Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

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Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby suttametta » Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:24 pm

Please forgive the incendiary sound to the title. It's not my intent. I am asking whether the Buddha knew the mushroom soup was deadly when he took it. If so, doesn't that mean the Buddha knowingly poisoned himself to death? I hope this isn't a taboo topic. Thank you.

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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby robertk » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:11 pm

the buddha never drank mushroom soup
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby suttametta » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:19 pm

Whatever the poison stuff was. Some say pig. Some say mushroom.
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby daverupa » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:40 pm

Have a look at this.

Before passing away, the Buddha told Ananda that Cunda was not to be blamed and that his death was not caused by eating Sukaramaddava. The statement is significant. The meal was not the direct cause of his death. The Buddha knew that the symptom was a repeat of an experience he'd had a few months earlier, the one which had almost killed him.

Sukaramaddava, no matter the ingredients or how it was cooked, was not the direct cause of his sudden illness.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby suttametta » Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:01 pm

daverupa wrote:Have a look at this.

Before passing away, the Buddha told Ananda that Cunda was not to be blamed and that his death was not caused by eating Sukaramaddava. The statement is significant. The meal was not the direct cause of his death. The Buddha knew that the symptom was a repeat of an experience he'd had a few months earlier, the one which had almost killed him.

Sukaramaddava, no matter the ingredients or how it was cooked, was not the direct cause of his sudden illness.


Contributory cause? Why would the psychic master take the stuff knowing it would contribute to his illness? Why would he bury food if all he had was too much of it? Sounds to me like he knew it was bad, but he was already sick and tired and that was that. It was time to eat the last supper, meaning he ate meal knowing it would kill him, and upshot is Cunda isn't to blame. Buddha is to blame. Well not to blame, but it seems Buddha decided to put an end to his physical suffering by his own hand rather than wait for the slow rot to claim him. This is a great argument for assisted suicide. Note, Buddha doesn't disapprove when so e monks to a razor to their own necks. Some he said, got parinibbana for their endeavor. I'm not for this position on suicide. I'm just seeing that maybe Buddha was.
Last edited by suttametta on Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby daverupa » Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:05 pm

suttametta wrote:Why would the psychic master take the stuff knowing it would contribute to his illness?


So, can you explain what this means? I'm not familiar with this as an epithet of the Buddha.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby suttametta » Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:09 pm

daverupa wrote:
suttametta wrote:Why would the psychic master take the stuff knowing it would contribute to his illness?


So, can you explain what this means? I'm not familiar with this as an epithet of the Buddha.


Omniscient. Knows karma of beings. Knows his own, reads minds, etc.
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:16 pm

suttametta wrote:Contributory cause? Why would the psychic master take the stuff knowing it would contribute to his illness? Why would he bury food if all he had was too much of it? Sounds to me like he knew it was bad, but he was already sick and tired and that was that. It was time to eat the last supper, meaning he ate meal knowing it would kill him, and upshot is Cunda isn't to blame. Buddha is to blame. Well not to blame, but it seems Buddha decided to put an end to his physical suffering by his own hand rather than wait for the slow rot to claim him. This is a great argument for assisted suicide. Note, Buddha doesn't disapprove when so e monks to a razor to their own necks. Some he said, got parinibbana for their endeavor. I'm not for this position on suicide. I'm just seeing that maybe Buddha was.


The Buddha said only an arahat could take his life blamelessly. He was an arahat. Wether he knowingly ate the food that lead to his death or not, I don't know. It's possible, that's all I can say from what I know.

However, there is a rule from the vinaya, one of the 4 that, if broken, results in the imediate expulsion from the ordained Sangha. That is the rule against taking human life. That even includes praising the advantages of death to a person, resulting in suicide. So the answer is no. The Buddha, as far as we can tell, wasn't a supporter of assisted suicide.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby robertk » Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:25 pm

the flesh was not poisoned.
This is a minor matter for sure, but has been debated since ancient
times. According to the orthodox Theravada it was soft pork
(although they don't overly insist on such a minor point):
"It is said in the Great Commentary that Sukaramaddava is the
already available meat of the pig that is tender and
succulent"(Udana commentary (masefield p1025)Cundasuttava.
Pataligamayaga
Suukaramaddavanti suukarassa mudusiniddha.m pavattama.msan"ti
mahaa-a.t.thakathaaya.m vutta.m.

"Some (keci) however, say that sukaramaddava is not pigs meat but
rather bamboo shoots that pigs have trampled upon (maddita), others
that it is a mushroom that has come into being at a spot that pigs
have trampled upon, whilts still others proclaim that sukaramaddava
is the name for a certain elixer". Note that Keci is usually a term
for those outside the orthodox tradition.
Keci pana "suukaramaddavanti na suukarama.msa.m, suukarehi
madditava.msaka.liiro"ti vadanti. A~n~ne "suukarehi
madditappadese
jaata.m ahichattakan"ti. Apare pana "suukaramaddava.m naama
eka.m rasaayanan"ti bha.ni.msu.
_
What is a little more important is that it should be known that
whatever the Buddha ate was in no way poisonous or contributed to
his death: "It is said that into that sukaramaddava the devatas in
the four great continents, had infused nutritive essense, therefore
it was not able to be digested properly by anyone else, in making
which point the Teacher roared his Lion's roar with 'I do not behold
him, Cunda' and so on with the aim of relaesing him from the balme
of others..."
It explains that the illness which had overtaken the Buddha was
grave and "For if [that illness] had arisen to him without his
having partaken therof [of the meal from cunda] it would have been
far too grating; whereas on account of his having partaken of that
succulent food, the pain became diminished".
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:47 pm

The biographical acounts of the Buddha are, sometimes, quite distorted in the suttas. A fortiori I wouldn't trust the commentaries with this matter.
I don't think any conclusion can be taken from the suttas, regarding the biographical events of the Buddha's life, with total certainty.

And it's not a necessary piece of the puzzle to conclude that the Buddha would never praise assisted suicide, imo.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby cooran » Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:28 pm

Hello all,

An interesting study of the symptoms,their probable causes and the scriptures by Venerable Dr. Mettanando Bhikkhu

HOW THE BUDDHA DIED
http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebdha192.htm

With metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby Mkoll » Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:39 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:The biographical acounts of the Buddha are, sometimes, quite distorted in the suttas. A fortiori I wouldn't trust the commentaries with this matter.
I don't think any conclusion can be taken from the suttas, regarding the biographical events of the Buddha's life, with total certainty.

And it's not a necessary piece of the puzzle to conclude that the Buddha would never praise assisted suicide, imo.

:goodpost:

Looking at all the legends about his life and former lives that sprung up later, this seems like a wise assessment. Ven. Bodhi comments in his books that his early followers were more interested in his teachings and their preservation rather than sketching a biography of his life. Only later was this given more thought...and embellishment.

:anjali:
Peace,
James
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby suttametta » Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:45 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:
suttametta wrote:Contributory cause? Why would the psychic master take the stuff knowing it would contribute to his illness? Why would he bury food if all he had was too much of it? Sounds to me like he knew it was bad, but he was already sick and tired and that was that. It was time to eat the last supper, meaning he ate meal knowing it would kill him, and upshot is Cunda isn't to blame. Buddha is to blame. Well not to blame, but it seems Buddha decided to put an end to his physical suffering by his own hand rather than wait for the slow rot to claim him. This is a great argument for assisted suicide. Note, Buddha doesn't disapprove when so e monks to a razor to their own necks. Some he said, got parinibbana for their endeavor. I'm not for this position on suicide. I'm just seeing that maybe Buddha was.


The Buddha said only an arahat could take his life blamelessly. He was an arahat. Wether he knowingly ate the food that lead to his death or not, I don't know. It's possible, that's all I can say from what I know.

However, there is a rule from the vinaya, one of the 4 that, if broken, results in the imediate expulsion from the ordained Sangha. That is the rule against taking human life. That even includes praising the advantages of death to a person, resulting in suicide. So the answer is no. The Buddha, as far as we can tell, wasn't a supporter of assisted suicide.


What about unassisted?
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby suttametta » Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:47 pm

robertk wrote:the flesh was not poisoned.
This is a minor matter for sure, but has been debated since ancient
times. According to the orthodox Theravada it was soft pork
(although they don't overly insist on such a minor point):
"It is said in the Great Commentary that Sukaramaddava is the
already available meat of the pig that is tender and
succulent"(Udana commentary (masefield p1025)Cundasuttava.
Pataligamayaga
Suukaramaddavanti suukarassa mudusiniddha.m pavattama.msan"ti
mahaa-a.t.thakathaaya.m vutta.m.

"Some (keci) however, say that sukaramaddava is not pigs meat but
rather bamboo shoots that pigs have trampled upon (maddita), others
that it is a mushroom that has come into being at a spot that pigs
have trampled upon, whilts still others proclaim that sukaramaddava
is the name for a certain elixer". Note that Keci is usually a term
for those outside the orthodox tradition.
Keci pana "suukaramaddavanti na suukarama.msa.m, suukarehi
madditava.msaka.liiro"ti vadanti. A~n~ne "suukarehi
madditappadese
jaata.m ahichattakan"ti. Apare pana "suukaramaddava.m naama
eka.m rasaayanan"ti bha.ni.msu.
_
What is a little more important is that it should be known that
whatever the Buddha ate was in no way poisonous or contributed to
his death: "It is said that into that sukaramaddava the devatas in
the four great continents, had infused nutritive essense, therefore
it was not able to be digested properly by anyone else, in making
which point the Teacher roared his Lion's roar with 'I do not behold
him, Cunda' and so on with the aim of relaesing him from the balme
of others..."
It explains that the illness which had overtaken the Buddha was
grave and "For if [that illness] had arisen to him without his
having partaken therof [of the meal from cunda] it would have been
far too grating; whereas on account of his having partaken of that
succulent food, the pain became diminished".


Then why would he have it buried?
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby binocular » Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:51 pm

Comparing the passing away of other exalted beings - Jesus on the cross and Krishna shot by a hunter, for example - the Buddha's passing away doesn't seem so extraordinary or intriguing. Apparently, they all knew what's going to happen, but let it happen anyway.
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby cooran » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:22 pm

cooran wrote:Hello all,

An interesting study of the symptoms,their probable causes and the scriptures by Venerable Dr. Mettanando Bhikkhu

HOW THE BUDDHA DIED
http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebdha192.htm

With metta,
Chris


Please Read the Retrospective Analysis and Conclusion in this excellent article by a top physician who is also a former Bhikkhu.

With metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:44 pm

suttametta wrote:Then why would he have it buried?


Yes, good point. I am sure the former bhikkhu Mettanando is very knowledgeable, but on this he is wrong.

19. Thereafter the Blessed One spoke to Cunda, saying: "Whatever, Cunda, is left over of the sukara-maddava, bury that in a pit. For I do not see in all this world, with its gods, Maras, and Brahmas, among the host of ascetics and brahmans, gods and men, anyone who could eat it and entirely digest it except the Tathagata alone."

And Cunda the metalworker answered the Blessed One saying: "So be it, O Lord."And what remained over of the sukara-maddava he buried in a pit.
Digha Nikaya 16


It was not good to eat, not even digestible, which is why it was buried.
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby SarathW » Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:51 pm

Buddha was aware of his Parinibbana (death) before it occurred and hence had Choti Citta three months in advance.
He would have passed away some or other form.
The most important thing to me is the sequence to his Parinibbana.

=======================
Page 200: The Buddha’s Parinibbana
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/buddh ... gsurw6.pdf

====================
Venerable Ānanda, who had then not developed the Divine
Eye, addressed Venerable Anuruddha and said: “O Venerable
Anuruddha, the Exalted One has passed away.”
“Nay, brother Ānanda, the Exalted One has not passed
away but has attained to “The Cessation of Perceptions and
Sensations”.
Then the Buddha, emerging from “The Cessation of Perceptions
and Sensations”, attained to “The Realm of Neither
Perception nor Non-perception.” Emerging from it, He
attained to “The Realm of Nothingness.” Emerging from it,
He attained to “The Realm of the Infinity of Consciousness.”
Emerging from it, He attained to “The Realm of the Infinity
of Space.” Emerging from it. He attained to the fourth Ecstasy.
Emerging from it, He attained to the third Ecstasy. Emerging
from it, He attained to the second Ecstasy. Emerging from
it, He attained to the first Ecstasy. Emerging from it, He attained
to the second Ecstasy. Emerging from it, He attained to
the third Ecstasy. Emerging from it, He attained to the fourth
Ecstasy. Emerging from it, and immediately after, the Buddha
finally passed away.38
:meditate:
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:03 am

suttametta wrote:
Modus.Ponens wrote:
The Buddha said only an arahat could take his life blamelessly. He was an arahat. Wether he knowingly ate the food that lead to his death or not, I don't know. It's possible, that's all I can say from what I know.

However, there is a rule from the vinaya, one of the 4 that, if broken, results in the imediate expulsion from the ordained Sangha. That is the rule against taking human life. That even includes praising the advantages of death to a person, resulting in suicide. So the answer is no. The Buddha, as far as we can tell, wasn't a supporter of assisted suicide.


What about unassisted?


Any suicide.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby suttametta » Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:41 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
suttametta wrote:Then why would he have it buried?


Yes, good point. I am sure the former bhikkhu Mettanando is very knowledgeable, but on this he is wrong.

19. Thereafter the Blessed One spoke to Cunda, saying: "Whatever, Cunda, is left over of the sukara-maddava, bury that in a pit. For I do not see in all this world, with its gods, Maras, and Brahmas, among the host of ascetics and brahmans, gods and men, anyone who could eat it and entirely digest it except the Tathagata alone."

And Cunda the metalworker answered the Blessed One saying: "So be it, O Lord."And what remained over of the sukara-maddava he buried in a pit.
Digha Nikaya 16


It was not good to eat, not even digestible, which is why it was buried.


Okay and to @Modus... Either he knew it was poisoned, because of his omniscience and therefore purposely ate poison, or he didn't know and omniscience means that he might not know everything ahead of time.
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