the great rebirth debate

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:51 am

Alex123 wrote:It is my understanding that "to live is to suffer" and that "suffering is inseparable from existence".


I think there is support for that idea in the suttas, most obviously that birth, ageing and death are included in descriptions of dukkha - unless one interprets this to mean that it is the mental suffering associated with these events rather than the events themselves.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:54 am

Alex123 wrote:Why do we need the Buddha if we are guaranteed parinibbāna at death?


Do the suttas actually support this idea of paranibbana as annihilation? I thought that "what happens to a Tathagata at death?" was one of the Buddha's unanswered questions?

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:03 pm

Cloud wrote:from the teachings of Ajahn Chah:
Even the Buddha experienced these things, he experienced comfort and pain, but he recognized them as conditions in nature. He knew how to overcome these ordinary, natural feelings of comfort and pain through understanding their true nature. Because he understood this “natural suffering” those feelings didn’t upset him.


Both joy and sorrow, both pleasure and pain, are dukkha if we have not released the mind from all wrong view. Really these are the same thing (i.e. pleasure and pain); it is only through our delusions of permanence, stability and self that we make distinction and suffer.



But Cloud, in YOUR OWN post it says that "Even the Buddha experienced these things, he experienced comfort and pain,"

Pain is included into Dukkha.

With metta,

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:06 pm

But Cloud, in YOUR OWN post it says that "Even the Buddha experienced these things, he experienced comfort and pain,"

Pain is included into Dukkha.

With metta,

Alex



Pain is a word we have to use when talking conventionally, like self


from my own exp. I can say I am feeling pain for sake of a label and yet not experience dukkha


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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:07 pm

Spiny O'Norman wrote:
Alex123 wrote:Why do we need the Buddha if we are guaranteed parinibbāna at death?


Do the suttas actually support this idea of paranibbana as annihilation? I thought that "what happens to a Tathagata at death?" was one of the Buddha's unanswered questions?

Spiny



IMHO the suttas say this:

Nibbana is not annihilation of an existing Being. The problem in the question of "what happens to a Tathagata at death?" is the assumption that Tathagata is an existing being that is either survives eternally or is annihilated after death. When one posits a Self, one then can hold such positions as self survives death, or death is the end of the Self, or hold some agnostic position. The problem is the Self-View.

Parinibbana is complete ending of the 5 khandhas without anything remaining. It is not an annihilation because there is no One to be annihilated in the first place.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:09 pm

Hi CLW,


clw_uk wrote:
But Cloud, in YOUR OWN post it says that "Even the Buddha experienced these things, he experienced comfort and pain,"

Pain is included into Dukkha.

With metta,

Alex



Pain is a word we have to use when talking conventionally, like self




So if the Buddha was severely physically hurt, He didn't feel pain?



clw_uk wrote:from my own exp. I can say I am feeling pain for sake of a label and yet not experience dukkha
metta :anjali:


it is like tasting lots of salt and not finding it salty.


I am not aware that an Arahant is invulnerable to pain and physical discomfort.

Pain is included into Dukkha.

Thus Arhats/Buddha do feel Dukkha to some degree.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:15 pm

Alex123 wrote:Thus Arhats/Buddha do feel Dukkha to some degree.
They feel pain, but is it dukkha - that is, is the sensation of pain tied up with the wanting, the grasping after, and not wanting, the pushing away, associated with the concept of a self? Or are they free of that? If they are not free of that, it is not much of an awakening.
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 tiltbillings » Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:18 pm

Alex123 wrote:Parinibbana is complete ending of the 5 khandhas without anything remaining. It is not an annihilation because there is no One to be annihilated in the first place.

Since a tathagata, even when actually present, is incomprehensible, it is inept to say of him – of the Uttermost Person, the Supernal Person, the Attainer of the Supernal – that after death the tathagata is, or is not, or both is and is not, or neither is nor is not SN III 118
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 clw_uk » Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:19 pm

Alex


So if the Buddha was severely physically hurt, He didn't feel pain?


I dont know I wasnt in his head



it is like tasting lots of salt and not finding it salty.


Pain is just a different sensation to pleasure, a label used to describe a different sensation. I know my self that it doesnt have to be dukkha


I am not aware that an Arahant is invulnerable to pain and physical discomfort.


So because your not aware, it must be false?

Pain is included into Dukkha.


Dukkha is summed up as clinging to the aggregates. Non-clinging to the aggregates = no dukkha

It follows that if there is no clinging, then pain is not dukkha. Pain is not pain if you will

You seem to ignore the last part of the first noble truth

Also the suttas where the Buddha states that when one is not adverse to a physical sensation, then there is no dukkha there

Thus Arhats/Buddha do feel Dukkha to some degree.


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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Anicca » Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:30 pm

SN 1.38 Sakalika Sutta: The Stone Sliver
Now at that time his foot had been pierced by a stone sliver. Excruciating were the bodily feelings that developed within him — painful, fierce, sharp, wracking, repellent, disagreeable — but he endured them mindful, alert, & unperturbed.
...
"What a naga is Gotama the contemplative! And like a naga, when bodily feelings have arisen — painful, fierce, sharp, wracking, repellent, disagreeable — he endures them mindful, alert, & unperturbed!"
...
"See a concentration well-developed, a mind well-released — neither pressed down nor forced back, nor with mental fabrication kept blocked or suppressed. Whoever would think that such a naga of a man, lion of a man, thoroughbred of a man, peerless bull of a man, strong burden-carrier of a man, such a tamed man should be violated: what else is that if not blindness?"

Seems that even under extreme pain he was not "violated" by dukha - he was "unperturbed".

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:47 pm

The Ballad of Liberation from the Khandhas - Aj. Mun

Extract

"What gains total release from the five khandhas?"

"The heart, of course & the heart alone.
It doesn't grasp or get entangled.
No more poison of possessiveness,
no more delusion,
it stands alone.
No saññas can fool it into following along
behind them."



http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... andhas.htm
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Cloud » Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:06 pm

This understanding of dukkha seems to be important, and until it came up in this forum I hadn't heard it mistaken.

Dukkha is not any thing of itself... dukkha is what arises when there is wrong view in combination with sight, sound, touch, smell, taste or thought. Dukkha is what arises to the unenlightened mind that sees itself as separate, craves for permanence, wants this or wants-not that, does not understand rightly the way of all dhammas as insubstantial and without self essence.

People equate dukkha with their sufferings; pain for instance. Maybe this is because of the English translation of dukkha as suffering mostly.

Dukkha is that unsatisfactoriness; frustration; stress; that which is difficult to bear. Even pleasurable things, when looked at correctly, are unsatisfactory. Pleasure arises only to fall and be replaced with Pain; that Pain arises and falls to be replaced with Pleasure. The Buddha, a Buddha, does not indulge in joy or pain; all are seen as the same, leading only to dukkha. Anicca-Dukkha-Anatta.

See Anicca-Dukkha-Anatta in all experiences, because they are all transient and bound with suffering if we take them to be other than no-self.

If one does not understand this dukkha, its cause, cessation and the way leading to its cessation, one remains bound. If this subject is one not comprehended, then it should not be passed by; it should be comprehended rightly, if one wishes to escape dukkha (of course).
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:08 pm

Cloud wrote:This understanding of dukkha seems to be important, and until it came up in this forum I hadn't heard it mistaken.

Dukkha is not any thing of itself... dukkha is what arises when there is wrong view in combination with sight, sound, touch, smell, taste or thought. Dukkha is what arises to the unenlightened mind that sees itself as separate, craves for permanence, wants this or wants-not that, does not understand rightly the way of all dhammas as insubstantial and without self essence.

People equate dukkha with their sufferings; pain for instance. Maybe this is because of the English translation of dukkha as suffering mostly.

Dukkha is that unsatisfactoriness; frustration; stress; that which is difficult to bear. Even pleasurable things, when looked at correctly, are unsatisfactory. Pleasure arises only to fall and be replaced with Pain; that Pain arises and falls to be replaced with Pleasure. The Buddha, a Buddha, does not indulge in joy or pain; all are seen as the same, leading only to dukkha. Anicca-Dukkha-Anatta.

See Anicca-Dukkha-Anatta in all experiences, because they are all transient and bound with suffering if we take them to be other than no-self.

If one does not understand this dukkha, its cause, cessation and the way leading to its cessation, one remains bound. If this subject is one not comprehended, then it should not be passed by; it should be comprehended rightly, if one wishes to escape dukkha (of course).




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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby kirk5a » Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:27 pm

As I understand the view being presented here, the senses are not dukkha, if not clung to.

How would this be explained, under that theory?

"And what is the noble truth of dukkha? 'The six internal sense media,' should be the reply. Which six? The medium of the eye... the ear... the nose... the tongue... the body... the intellect. This is called the noble truth of dukkha."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... index.html
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Cloud » Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:34 pm

Incomplete. One can't understand with a simple definition; that is what we cling to, get stuck on. There's more to study that explains the Four Noble Truths and dukkha in more detail, and then practice is what truly gives the mind's eye a view of this truth. If you read more than you can bear on AccessToInsight, it should become much more clear; that's one very good place to study, but even better to study your own mind and its objects.

In other words, it's out of context.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:34 pm

Hello Tilt, CLW, Cloud, all,

tiltbillings wrote:They feel pain, but is it dukkha - that is, is the sensation of pain tied up with the wanting, the grasping after, and not wanting, the pushing away, associated with the concept of a self? Or are they free of that? If they are not free of that, it is not much of an awakening.


Is dukkhavedanā included or related in some way to Dukkha?

What about these phrases by the Buddha spoken in MN26 and Ud4.5 about dukkha?


And if I were to teach the Dhamma and others would not understand me, that would be tiresome for me, troublesome for me.'
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


At one time the Lord was staying near Kosambi at the Ghosita monastery. At that time the Lord was living hemmed in by bhikkhus and bhikkhunis, by male and female lay followers, by kings and royal ministers, by sectarian teachers and their disciples, and he lived in discomfort (dukkhaṃ) and not at ease. Then the Lord thought: "At present I am living hemmed in by bhikkhus and bhikkhunis... by sectarian teachers and their disciples, and I live in discomfort and not at ease. Suppose I were to live alone, secluded from the crowd?"
...
Then, while the Lord was in solitude and seclusion, this thought arose in his mind: "Formerly I was living hemmed in by bhikkhus and bhikkhunis... and I was living in discomfort and not at ease. But now I live not hemmed in by bhikkhus and bhikkhunis... in comfort and at ease."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .irel.html


So some situation were indeed uncomfortable (dukkha) to the Buddha. In MN26 the Buddha initially didn't want to teach the Dhamma because it "would be tiresome for me, troublesome for me" and on some occasions He did retreat from others so that He wouldn't feel dukkha (Ud 4.5).
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Cloud » Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:38 pm

It's a story to convey the point that the Buddha was unsure whether or not the Dharma would be understood; if it was skillful to teach it. There's much more to go on; the Tipitaka is vast but if you read a deal of it the pieces fit together. Taken out of context, or not understood as a traditional accounting passed down not by the Buddha but by the Sangha, it is easy and likely to be confused; thinking this says that, that says this... but really they all say the same thing. We can't get bogged down by the stories and lose sight of what the teachings actually say and point toward.

Troublesome and worrisome simply describe the uncertainty as to the Dharma's receptivity by the world. This isn't the same meaning as the teachings otherwise show; not a state of dukkha in the Buddha's mind, unless we misunderstand dukkha as something other than what the Buddha taught, for this dukkha he taught was that which he had overcome fully. There is a difference between not clinging and not clinging with wisdom. If the Buddha were a fool and his body was injured and would undergo more injury if not careful, he would not cling without wisdom... and do harm; act unskillfully.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:42 pm

Cloud wrote:It's a story to convey the point that the Buddha was unsure whether or not the Dharma would be understood; if it was skillful to teach it. There's much more to go on; the Tipitaka is vast but if you read a deal of it the pieces fit together. Taken out of context, or not understood as a traditional accounting passed down not by the Buddha but by the Sangha, it is easy and likely to be confused; thinking this says that, that says this... but really they all say the same thing. We can't get bogged down by the stories and lose sight of what the teachings actually say and point toward.


The question was NOT about skillfulness of teaching the Dhamma. The point was that if others would not understand the Buddha, it would be tiresome and troublesome for Him.

"And if I were to teach the Dhamma and others would not understand me, that would be tiresome for me, troublesome for me.'" - MN26

Please explain what tiresome/troublesome implied. It certainly doesn't sound like happiness or pure tranquility.


And in Ud4.5 the word dukkha is used.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Cloud » Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:45 pm

So cling to those, does that help? Does not understanding them as stories, possibly translated poorly into English or misunderstood make more sense? Dukkha is what the purpose of the teachings is about; that it's our condition, but we may become free of it. We can't get stuck on the words as if they must be perfect or can not be misunderstood; if this is difficult then we should give up the words. Give them all up. Just practice, and let the truth of the words come to you that you may understand the teachings better; and then the teachings will illume that which the mind has seen. It all goes together. There can not be wisdom without both understanding and practice.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:50 pm

Cloud wrote:So cling to those, does that help? Does not understanding them as stories, possibly translated poorly into English or misunderstood make more sense? Dukkha is what the purpose of the teachings is about; that it's our condition, but we may become free of it.


I think that the word dukkha was translated very poorly into English. While it includes "suffering" it definately includes such meanings as "unsatisfactory" , "not ideal and permanent happiness", and it includes stress.

I agree that an arahant does not have emotional suffering. But when it comes to pain, even the Buddha had it.

Anicca wrote:I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Rajagaha at the Maddakucchi Deer Reserve. Now at that time his foot had been pierced by a stone sliver. Excruciating were the bodily feelings that developed within him — painful, fierce, sharp, wracking, repellent, disagreeable (vedanā vattanti sārīrikā vedanā dukkhā tibbā kharā kaṭukā asātā amanāpā.) — but he endured them mindful, alert, & unperturbed.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Look, that is another sutta that shows that even the Buddha could experience dukkhā.
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