Lots of people posting on DW describe samsara as a place or places/realms. My understanding (limited) is that samsara is actually the mental processes (lead by the 3 fires) that keep perpetuating worlds / and places. If samsara was a place, an arahant would literally have to be able to exit it to experience Nibbana. This understanding of samsara as a place seems more in line with the Jains and brahmanism during the Buddha’s time.
Samsara literally means "wandering-on." Many people think of it as the Buddhist name for the place where we currently live — the place we leave when we go to nibbana. But in the early Buddhist texts, it's the answer, not to the question, "Where are we?" but to the question, "What are we doing?" Instead of a place, it's a process: the tendency to keep creating worlds and then moving into them. As one world falls apart, you create another one and go there. At the same time, you bump into other people who are creating their own worlds, too.
The next is dhamma - ending age. Does anyone have scriptural sources for this?
SN 20.7 Ani Sutta: The Peg
Staying at Savatthi. "Monks, there once was a time when the Dasarahas had a large drum called 'Summoner.' Whenever Summoner was split, the Dasarahas inserted another peg in it, until the time came when Summoner's original wooden body had disappeared and only a conglomeration of pegs remained.
"In the same way, in the course of the future there will be monks who won't listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — are being recited. They won't lend ear, won't set their hearts on knowing them, won't regard these teachings as worth grasping or mastering. But they will listen when discourses that are literary works — the works of poets, elegant in sound, elegant in rhetoric, the work of outsiders, words of disciples — are recited. They will lend ear and set their hearts on knowing them. They will regard these teachings as worth grasping & mastering.
"In this way the disappearance of the discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — will come about.
"Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — are being recited. We will lend ear, will set our hearts on knowing them, will regard these teachings as worth grasping & mastering.' That's how you should train yourselves."
dhammafriend wrote:This argument is often used to dissuade others to take purposeful action in there personal lives or social/ political action. Eg: “what do you expect, you can’t change the world, it’s samsara, you need to meditate more.” This seems absurd to me because the argument, assumes that ‘action’ (mental/verbal/physical) is optional. When we really can’t choose whether to act or not but are compelled to anyway through dependant origination. So rather choose meritorious action than the impossible ‘non- action.’
AN 8.53: Gotami Sutta wrote:Gotami, the qualities of which you may know, 'These qualities lead to passion, not to dispassion; to being fettered, not to being unfettered; to accumulating, not to shedding; to self-aggrandizement, not to modesty; to discontent, not to contentment; to entanglement, not to seclusion; to laziness, not to aroused persistence; to being burdensome, not to being unburdensome': You may categorically hold, 'This is not the Dhamma, this is not the Vinaya, this is not the Teacher's instruction.'
Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:Another story deals with Ajaan Chah surveying the damage in his monastery after a storm, discovering that one of the huts had half its roof blown off by the wind. He asked the monk living in the hut, "Why aren't you fixing the roof?" The monk replied, "I'm practicing equanimity, sleeping in the half of the hut that's still sheltered." Ajaan Chah said, "That's the equanimity of a water buffalo. Fix the roof."
So when you're looking at the practice, you have to look at it from many sides. In Ajaan Chah's case, he was pointing out the need to balance contentment with the duty of persistently caring for the fruits of other people's generosity.
dhammafriend wrote:Lots of people posting on DW describe samsara as a place or places/realms.
Thus, if the social or political involvement leads you to become more passionate, fettered, discontented with the actions of others, burdensome to others in your quest, then it is not in line with the Dhamma...
The best source for the Dhamma-ending Age is the Anagatavamsa (post-canonical text):
dhammafriend wrote:My issue here is this, if the Lord Buddha attained what he said he did on that night, he would have known that it’s all going to crap anyway so why bother? He established something that he knew would fall apart. Why would he do this?
Why would he go to such great lengths to preserve his teaching, to his own personal cost? He didn’t owe anyone anything. My theory is that his compassion for the dukkha of others lead him to actually get out there and start gathering disciples to establish his community.
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