the great rebirth debate

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby PeterB » Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:05 pm

No specific point. Just saying that I don't think it is in anyone's interest for those who want to establish or consolidate a practice of meditation to think that thier practice is is or should be conditional on what they eat or what interpretation of punabhava they favour..
It seems to me that some aspects of dhamma are arrived at , one way or another , after a regular practice has been established. Rather than being qualifications needed to commence practice.
I am afraid that I dont really function by logical debate.. :embarassed:

I tend instead to make general points about what is buzzing in my noggin...
If useful.... good. If not, disregard.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:21 pm

PeterB wrote:No specific point. Just saying that I don't think it is in anyone's interest for those who want to establish or consolidate a practice of meditation to think that thier practice is is or should be conditional on what they eat or what interpretation of punabhava they favour..

That's a fair point. However, it seems to me that there is a lot attachment to views by some who seek to dismiss (rather than put aside) various statements in the Pali Canon as "irrelevant", "superstitious", "Brahmin/Hindu hangovers/additions". And that the modern teachers who they enlist to support their views generally seem to have a much more subtle and inclusive approach.

It would be interesting to discuss some of those subtleties...

:anjali:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:12 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Aloka wrote:I find no need for a view in either direction and such views have no relevance to my practice either.
She said, expressing a view.



Sure - but any criticisms I receive about it are also views... just opinions and speculation about my written words from people who've never met me.

I recommend this excellent talk (which I've mentioned before) from Ajahn Sumedho :

"Who needs enlightenment when I have my opinions "

http://www.dhammatalks.org.uk/index.php?id=11&search=author:%22Sumedho%22&page=21
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:17 am

Aloka wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Aloka wrote:I find no need for a view in either direction and such views have no relevance to my practice either.
She said, expressing a view.



Sure - but any criticisms I receive about it are also views...
Sure, but the thing is that to try to dismiss the Buddha's teachings about rebirth as being opinions, views, and speculations rather seriously misses the point about views in the Dhamma, as has been evidenced by a number of the anti-rebirthers' arguments in the this thread.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:57 am

Hi Tilt,

My understanding is that rebirth belief promotes morality but isn't a factor of the noble path. See MN 117



"And what is right view? Right view, I tell you, is of two sorts: There is right view with effluents [asava], siding with merit, resulting in the acquisitions [of becoming]; and there is noble right view, without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.

"And what is the right view that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions? 'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this world & the other world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are priests & contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the other after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is the right view that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions.

"And what is the right view that is without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path? The discernment, the faculty of discernment, the strength of discernment, analysis of qualities as a factor for Awakening, the path factor of right view of one developing the noble path whose mind is noble, whose mind is free from effluents, who is fully possessed of the noble path. This is the right view that is without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:06 am

Aloka wrote:Hi Tilt,

My understanding is that rebirth belief promotes morality but isn't a factor of the noble path. See MN 117
It helps promote morality, but, as the very text you quote shows, among a myriad of others, rebirth plays a larger role than that.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:12 am

Hi Tilt,

My understanding is that rebirth doesn't play a larger role that that. Please could you explain how it does play a larger role?
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby cooran » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:18 am

Hello all,

I thought this was of interest:

From Dhamma Without Rebirth? by Bhikkhu Bodhi

''If we suspend our own predilections for the moment and instead go directly to our sources, we come upon the indisputable fact that the Buddha himself taught rebirth and taught it as a basic tenet of his teaching. Viewed in their totality, the Buddha's discourses show us that far from being a mere concession to the outlook prevalent in his time or an Asiatic cultural contrivance, the doctrine of rebirth has tremendous implications for the entire course of Dhamma practice, affecting both the aim with which the practice is taken up and the motivation with which it is followed through to completion.''......
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ay_06.html

with metta
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:20 am

Aloka wrote:Hi Tilt,

My understanding is that rebirth doesn't play a larger role that that. Please could you explain how it does play a larger role?
Sure. After a night's sleep.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:24 am

But before I toddle to the lap of Nyx here is a bit that I posted earlier in this thread:

Rebirth is very much part of the teaching of dukkha, which means it is also part of the teaching of anicca and anatta, making it very much part of the teaching of paticcasamuppada.
An ocean of tears

"Which is greater, the tears you have shed while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — or the water in the four great oceans?... This is the greater: the tears you have shed...

"Long have you (repeatedly) experienced the death of a mother. The tears you have shed over the death of a mother while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — are greater than the water in the four great oceans.

"Long have you (repeatedly) experienced the death of a father... the death of a brother... the death of a sister... the death of a son... the death of a daughter... loss with regard to relatives... loss with regard to wealth... loss with regard to disease. The tears you have shed over loss with regard to disease while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — are greater than the water in the four great oceans.

"Why is that? From an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. Long have you thus experienced stress, experienced pain, experienced loss, swelling the cemeteries — enough to become disenchanted with all fabricated things, enough to become dispassionate, enough to be released."
— SN 15.3
This precious human birth

"Monks, suppose that this great earth were totally covered with water, and a man were to toss a yoke with a single hole there. A wind from the east would push it west, a wind from the west would push it east. A wind from the north would push it south, a wind from the south would push it north. And suppose a blind sea-turtle were there. It would come to the surface once every one hundred years. Now what do you think: would that blind sea-turtle, coming to the surface once every one hundred years, stick his neck into the yoke with a single hole?"

"It would be a sheer coincidence, lord, that the blind sea-turtle, coming to the surface once every one hundred years, would stick his neck into the yoke with a single hole."

"It's likewise a sheer coincidence that one obtains the human state. It's likewise a sheer coincidence that a Tathagata, worthy & rightly self-awakened, arises in the world. It's likewise a sheer coincidence that a doctrine & discipline expounded by a Tathagata appears in the world. Now, this human state has been obtained. A Tathagata, worthy & rightly self-awakened, has arisen in the world. A doctrine & discipline expounded by a Tathagata appears in the world.

"Therefore your duty is the contemplation: 'This is stress...This is the origination of stress...This is the cessation of stress...This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.'" — SN 56.48
Why do we wander in samsara?

"It's because of not understanding and not penetrating four things that we have wandered & transmigrated on such a long, long time, you & I. Which four?

"It's because of not understanding and not penetrating noble virtue that we have wandered & transmigrated on such a long, long time, you & I.

"It's because of not understanding and not penetrating noble concentration that we have wandered & transmigrated on such a long, long time, you & I.

"It's because of not understanding and not penetrating noble discernment that we have wandered & transmigrated on such a long, long time, you & I.

"It's because of not understanding and not penetrating noble release that we have wandered & transmigrated on such a long, long time, you & I.

"But when noble virtue is understood & penetrated, when noble concentration... noble discernment... noble release is understood & penetrated, then craving for becoming is destroyed, the guide to becoming (craving & attachment) is ended, there is now no further becoming."

AN 4.1
Here we have rebirth tied directly to the Four Noble Truths.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:10 pm

Hi Tilt,

In response to your post above:


Rebirth is very much part of the teaching of dukkha, which means it is also part of the teaching of anicca and anatta, making it very much part of the teaching of paticcasamuppada.


My understanding is dukkha as the 2nd characteristic is not the same as the dukkha of paticcasamuppada. Dukkha as the 2nd characteristic is the ‘unsatisfactoriness’ of impermanent phenomena, as described in the Maggavagga of the Dhammapada, whereas the dukkha of paticcasamuppada is mental torment, or psychic irritants, as explained to to Nakulapita in SN 22.1


An ocean of tears

"Which is greater, the tears you have shed while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — or the water in the four great oceans?... This is the greater: the tears you have shed...

"Long have you (repeatedly) experienced the death of a mother. The tears you have shed over the death of a mother while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — are greater than the water in the four great oceans.

"Long have you (repeatedly) experienced the death of a father... the death of a brother... the death of a sister... the death of a son... the death of a daughter... loss with regard to relatives... loss with regard to wealth... loss with regard to disease. The tears you have shed over loss with regard to disease while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — are greater than the water in the four great oceans.

"Why is that? From an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. Long have you thus experienced stress, experienced pain, experienced loss, swelling the cemeteries — enough to become disenchanted with all fabricated things, enough to become dispassionate, enough to be released."
— SN 15.3




My understanding is the Buddha did not use the word “transmigration”. Bhikkhu Bodhi uses the word ‘roaming’. My understanding of this sutta is the ‘four great oceans’ is a simile. One person being able to cry more tears than the four great ocean is an impossibility because the water cycle recirculates. To accept this sutta literally would mean 6 billion human beings have cried more tears than the four great oceans.

My thoughts are that this sutta is referring to how a person mentally repeatedly experiences the death of a loved one. My understanding is that it is not related to comprehending the Four Noble Truths because comprehending the Four Noble Truths results in the cessation of suffering rather than crying & weeping.

This sutta shows how the mundane right view leads to asava and acquisitions. Because of the right view that mother & father loved us and mother & father are “beings”, crying & weeping is the result of this “good karma”.


This precious human birth

"Monks, suppose that this great earth were totally covered with water, and a man were to toss a yoke with a single hole there. A wind from the east would push it west, a wind from the west would push it east. A wind from the north would push it south, a wind from the south would push it north. And suppose a blind sea-turtle were there. It would come to the surface once every one hundred years. Now what do you think: would that blind sea-turtle, coming to the surface once every one hundred years, stick his neck into the yoke with a single hole?"

"It would be a sheer coincidence, lord, that the blind sea-turtle, coming to the surface once every one hundred years, would stick his neck into the yoke with a single hole."

"It's likewise a sheer coincidence that one obtains the human state. It's likewise a sheer coincidence that a Tathagata, worthy & rightly self-awakened, arises in the world. It's likewise a sheer coincidence that a doctrine & discipline expounded by a Tathagata appears in the world. Now, this human state has been obtained. A Tathagata, worthy & rightly self-awakened, has arisen in the world. A doctrine & discipline expounded by a Tathagata appears in the world.

"Therefore your duty is the contemplation: 'This is stress...This is the origination of stress...This is the cessation of stress...This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.'" — SN 56.48


Why do we wander in samsara?

"It's because of not understanding and not penetrating four things that we have wandered & transmigrated on such a long, long time, you & I. Which four?

"It's because of not understanding and not penetrating noble virtue that we have wandered & transmigrated on such a long, long time, you & I.

"It's because of not understanding and not penetrating noble concentration that we have wandered & transmigrated on such a long, long time, you & I.

"It's because of not understanding and not penetrating noble discernment that we have wandered & transmigrated on such a long, long time, you & I.

"It's because of not understanding and not penetrating noble release that we have wandered & transmigrated on such a long, long time, you & I.

"But when noble virtue is understood & penetrated, when noble concentration... noble discernment... noble release is understood & penetrated, then craving for becoming is destroyed, the guide to becoming (craving & attachment) is ended, there is now no further becoming."

AN 4.1



I disagree with your opinion that inferences of rebirth in these suttas are tied directly to the Four Noble Truths. My opinion is the very opposite.

Human minds wander in samsara because they have not understood & not penetrated the Four Noble Truths. These suttas show what I posted earlier about two kinds of right view. Minds with the mundane right view wander in samsara, whereas minds with transcendent right view of the Four Noble Truths are liberated from spinning around in samsara.

So to conclude, to me, the explanation you have provided isn't convincing, as these suttas are about minds that have not realised the Four Noble Truths.

with kind wishes,

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby daverupa » Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:19 pm

SN and AN Suttas are often bereft of context, in this case the audience. I expect these Suttas were quite motivating to those who believed the proto-Hindu metaphysics of transmigration, and the teaching is therefore skillfully ad hoc in that it accepts this metaphysics (as, indeed, a certain right view with asava) and then, using metaphor, tenderly insists that right view without asava is the solution. Indeed, it seems to me that the proto-Hindu worldview saw samsara as a given fact and that it was the best one could do to obtain favorable abodes within that system; here, the Buddha is highlighting that samsara is appropriately seen as predicated on dukkha, and therefore it is to be escaped, as opposed to pursued in the hopes of maximizing the good bits.
    "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: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:20 pm

Aloka wrote:Hi Tilt,

My understanding is that rebirth belief promotes morality but isn't a factor of the noble path. See MN 117
And so you are saying sila, morality, plays no important role in the practice? Are you really willing to argue that position?

MN 117: "And what is right view? Right view, I tell you, is of two sorts: There is right view with effluents [asava], siding with merit, resulting in the acquisitions [of becoming]; and there is noble right view, without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.

"And what is the right view that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions? 'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this world & the other world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are priests & contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the other after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is the right view that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions.
What interesting here is that rebirth, literal rebirth, is taken as a given and is a real as "mother and father." There is no denial of literal rebirth here. If anything it is affirmed, and it is affirmed as part of Right View that leads to awakening.

"And what is the right view that is without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path? The discernment, the faculty of discernment, the strength of discernment, analysis of qualities as a factor for Awakening, the path factor of right view of one developing the noble path whose mind is noble, whose mind is free from effluents, who is fully possessed of the noble path. This is the right view that is without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.
As Ven Bodhi says about this in his footnote( p 1322): "We may understand that the conceptual comprehension of the four truths falls under mundane right view, while the direct penetration of the truths by realizing Nibbana with the path constitutes supramundane right view." In other words, you cannot have supramundane right view without some degree of awakening. Until that time it is all mundane Right View. This text does not dismiss kamma or rebirth. Don’t forget the Buddha stated:

"This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond."
SN I, 38.

aloka wrote:
I wrote:Rebirth is very much part of the teaching of dukkha, which means it is also part of the teaching of anicca and anatta, making it very much part of the teaching of paticcasamuppada.


My understanding is dukkha as the 2nd characteristic is not the same as the dukkha of paticcasamuppada. Dukkha as the 2nd characteristic is the ‘unsatisfactoriness’ of impermanent phenomena, as described in the Maggavagga of the Dhammapada, whereas the dukkha of paticcasamuppada is mental torment, or psychic irritants, as explained to to Nakulapita in SN 22.1
This is a distinction without a difference. “the ‘unsatisfactoriness’ of impermanent phenomena,” vs “mental torment, or psychic irritants”

"What is the noble truth of suffering? Birth is suffering, ageing is suffering, sickness is suffering, death is suffering; sorrow and lamentation, pain, grief, and despair are suffering; association with the loathed is suffering, dissociation from the loved is suffering, not to get what one wants is suffering; in short, the five aggregates affected by clinging are suffering." - SN SN 56:11
What do we see here? Mental torment and psychic irritations driven by grasping after that which changes.

My understanding is the Buddha did not use the word “transmigration”. Bhikkhu Bodhi uses the word ‘roaming’. My understanding of this sutta is the ‘four great oceans’ is a simile. One person being able to cry more tears than the four great ocean is an impossibility because the water cycle recirculates. To accept this sutta literally would mean 6 billion human beings have cried more tears than the four great oceans.
And the Buddha did not use the word roaming. The point is that samsara, the word the Buddha did use, involves a greatness of time, far exceeding one’s mere singular lifetime. Trying to read this text in terms of a singular lifetime requires a contortionism that makes the Buddha look stupidly inept at explaining what he is teaching.

My thoughts are that this sutta is referring to how a person mentally repeatedly experiences the death of a loved one. My understanding is that it is not related to comprehending the Four Noble Truths because comprehending the Four Noble Truths results in the cessation of suffering rather than crying & weeping.
Huh? This makes no sense.

This sutta shows how the mundane right view leads to asava and acquisitions. Because of the right view that mother & father loved us and mother & father are “beings”, crying & weeping is the result of this “good karma”.
”mundane right view” If it is right view, albeit mundane, it will lead to awakening, if acted upon as the Buddha taught. If mundane right view leads only to “asavas and acquisitions” then there is no way out. This is a very strange position for a Buddhist to take. What the heck does that say about the Buddha’s teachings?

I disagree with your opinion that inferences of rebirth in these suttas are tied directly to the Four Noble Truths. My opinion is the very opposite.
There is no inference. In SN 56.48 the connexion is quite straightforward.

Human minds wander in samsara because they have not understood & not penetrated the Four Noble Truths. These suttas show what I posted earlier about two kinds of right view. Minds with the mundane right view wander in samsara, whereas minds with transcendent right view of the Four Noble Truths are liberated from spinning around in samsara.
And, of course, this makes no sense. If it is Right View, and it is acted upon as the Buddha taught, it leads to awakening, which is where supramundane Right View is realized.

So to conclude, to me, the explanation you have provided isn't convincing, as these suttas are about minds that have not realised the Four Noble Truths.
That is the attempt at de-rebirthing the suttas, but that is a modern phenomenon, which requires a great deal of unneeded, unnecessary effort to try to fit what is straightforward into a modern point of view.

daverupa wrote: SN and AN Suttas are often bereft of context, in this case the audience. I expect these Suttas were quite motivating to those who believed the proto-Hindu metaphysics of transmigration, and the teaching is therefore skillfully ad hoc in that it accepts this metaphysics (as, indeed, a certain right view with asava) and then, using metaphor, tenderly insists that right view without asava is the solution. Indeed, it seems to me that the proto-Hindu worldview saw samsara as a given fact and that it was the best one could do to obtain favorable abodes within that system; here, the Buddha is highlighting that samsara is appropriately seen as predicated on dukkha, and therefore it is to be escaped, as opposed to pursued in the hopes of maximizing the good bits.
Well, that is one way to try to dismiss these texts.

The problem for the de-rebirthers is that the Buddha described his awakening in terms of being liable to birth, death and rebirth and becoming free of that. What the de-rebirthers try to do is say that the ONLY way to understand rebirth is to take it figuratively -- ONLY. There is no support for such an extreme position in the suttas.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:50 pm

Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:The problem for the de-rebirthers is that the Buddha described his awakening in terms of being liable to birth, death and rebirth and becoming free of that. What the de-rebirthers try to do is say that the ONLY way to understand rebirth is to take it figuratively -- ONLY. There is no support for such an extreme position in the suttas.

It's an awfully complicated issue. Much of it seems to hinge on how key Pali terms are translated.

If one is translating key sutta terms from a 'transmigratory' perspective, the translated suttas read as being self-evident that transmigration is intended.

If one is translating them from a perspective of bhava (existence/becoming) being not a physical incarnation or manifestation, but a dependently originated phenomenon (based on ignorance) instead, then such a translated sutta would in no way read as being validation of (the English term with no clear parallel in the suttas) "(literal) rebirth"

... and no, "punabhava" (repeated becoming) doesn't count, because it can be translated in either of the two ways I mention above.

Metta,
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:30 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:The problem for the de-rebirthers is that the Buddha described his awakening in terms of being liable to birth, death and rebirth and becoming free of that. What the de-rebirthers try to do is say that the ONLY way to understand rebirth is to take it figuratively -- ONLY. There is no support for such an extreme position in the suttas.

It's an awfully complicated issue. Much of it seems to hinge on how key Pali terms are translated.

If one is translating key sutta terms from a 'transmigratory' perspective, the translated suttas read as being self-evident that transmigration is intended.

If one is translating them from a perspective of bhava (existence/becoming) being not a physical incarnation or manifestation, but a dependently originated phenomenon (based on ignorance) instead, then such a translated sutta would in no way read as being validation of (the English term with no clear parallel in the suttas) "(literal) rebirth"

... and no, "punabhava" (repeated becoming) doesn't count, because it can be translated in either of the two ways I mention above.
It is not very complicated at all. One of the major problems is that the de-rebirthers are drawing a far too sharp of a line in order to make their point, which from what I have seen tends to distort the teachings.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:36 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:It is not very complicated at all. One of the major problems is that the de-rebirthers are drawing a far too sharp of a line in order to make their point, which from what I have seen tends to distort the teachings.

Yet one could say exactly the same of "pro-rebirthers" (indeed, just look at the extract from the Bhikkhu Bodhi supplied in the article above)

Hence, it's only "not very complicated at all" if you've already made your mind up about which mode of translation is the appropriate one.

The mode of translation of key terms fashions the teachings in very different ways - one is ontological, one is phenomenological.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:50 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:It is not very complicated at all. One of the major problems is that the de-rebirthers are drawing a far too sharp of a line in order to make their point, which from what I have seen tends to distort the teachings.

Yet one could say exactly the same of "pro-rebirthers" (indeed, just look at the extract from the Bhikkhu Bodhi supplied in the article above)

Hence, it's only "not very complicated at all" if you've already made your mind up about which mode of translation is the appropriate one.

The mode of translation of key terms fashions the teachings in very different ways.
I have done
Pali translation. No, it is not a matter of making up one's mind before hand; it is about openly exploring the texts themselves. The de-rebirthers, as incarnated in this thread, tend to make a far sharper contrast than is necessary. The Pali terminology is more than rich enough to accommodate both the rebirth position and the "dependently originated phenomenon." These are not at all mutually exclusive positions. I find it rather puzzling and disheartening to see this unnecessary dichotomy drawn, given the actual nature of the texts/teachings.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:03 am

Greetings Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:The Pali terminology is more than rich enough to accommodate both the rebirth position and the "dependently originated phenomenon." These are not at all mutually exclusive positions.

That is essentially the point I am making.

Things become problematic when one side holds so ardently to their views that they fail to see the lack of mutual exclusion involved with the two positions.

I think it's somewhat imbalanced though to imply that only one side is guilty of this tendency... because pro-rebirthers do it too.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:07 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:The Pali terminology is more than rich enough to accommodate both the rebirth position and the "dependently originated phenomenon." These are not at all mutually exclusive positions.

That is essentially the point I am making.
Thanks for clearing that up.

Things become problematic when one side holds so ardently to their views that they fail to see the lack of mutual exclusion involved with the two positions.

I think it's somewhat imbalanced though to imply that only one side is guilty of this tendency... pro-rebirthers do it too.
Over all, it is the de-rebirthers who are at greater fault here by failing to see the mutual inclusion of both sides, as if there were two side to begin with.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:20 am

tiltbillings wrote: The Pali terminology is more than rich enough to accommodate both the rebirth position and the "dependently originated phenomenon."


So in your view did the Buddha intend to convey both these positions?

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