the great rebirth debate

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: Buddhist Rebirth Refuted?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:10 am

DarkDream wrote: Are you actually suggesting that devas are real? I mean, be perfectly honest, do you even know what a deva looks like let alone find one, photograph one and scientifically prove one exists.

We're talking about Dhamma here, not Science. Different modes of understanding, in my opinion (my day job is science BTW). Anyway why would you expect to be able to photograph a deva?

Metta
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10112
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Buddhist Rebirth Refuted?

Postby clw_uk » Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:11 am

So you are seeing scientific "facts" are obvious? That's a fallacy, since it requires science education. I doubt the average person can "just do a test to see molecules"


No but they have more weight behind them, the facts are easily to access and the maths is there if you really want to discover for yourself although this would be a waste of time since logic would state that its true

I find it funny that people uneducated in meditation would doubt the writings of thousands of meditators, but believe the writings of thousands of scientists -- even when they don't understand half of the science they put out.


In all the Dhamma talks and books by various masters i myself have never come accross one discussing devas in their practice or experience


Buddhism is about the Lok and understanding the Devas is just one such basic understanding - or else you disregard major suttas which are said by Devas. The meditation on Devas is part of the Tipitika and one of the basic meditation observed during the Upasotha.


I dont disregard the suttas, just the possible meaning of the Devas in them

Metta



:anjali:
“Happy is the man who has broken the chains which hurt the mind, and has given up worrying once and for all.” Ovid
User avatar
clw_uk
 
Posts: 3330
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: Buddhist Rebirth Refuted?

Postby clw_uk » Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:17 am

As i said earlier however this is all just pure specualtion isnt it, we cant know for sure if devas truly exsist in some realm some where, i dont think anyones understanding of Dhamma has got that deep yet so in the end its pretty pointless to try to prove or disprove devas, the realms that exsist here are enough in my view



:focus:
“Happy is the man who has broken the chains which hurt the mind, and has given up worrying once and for all.” Ovid
User avatar
clw_uk
 
Posts: 3330
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: Buddhist Rebirth Refuted?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:25 am

clw_uk wrote:I think there are other suttas, will take a look

(whats that book like btw, i got it on order)

Gombrich's book, or the Samyutta Nikaya? :smile:
They are both good, but Gombrich's is much smaller and takes less time to read...

Interestingly, in the sort of cut and thrust that I thought only happened on the Internet, Bhikkhu Bodhi rubbishes Gombrich's interpretation of SN 2:68 {ii 1115} Kosambi. Well, maybe "rubbishes" is too strong:
It would be a misunderstanding of Narada's reply to take it as a rejoinder to Musila's tacit claim that he is an arahant (the interpretation adoped by Gombrich). The point is that ... Savittha ... held the wrong belief that the defining mark of an Arahant is the understanding of dependent origination and the nature of Nibbana. This understanding, rather, is common property of the trainee and the Arahant. What distinguishes the Arahant ... is not his insight into DO (and other aspects of the Dhamma) but the fact that he has used that insight to eradicate all defilements ...

[Narada was a non-returner, Musila an Arahant, so both had insight into DO and Nibbana.]

To answer more fully, I've been enjoying reading Gombrich, and comparing his comments with Ven. Bodhi's interpretations. I've learned a lot in the process. In my opinion we are fortunate to have access to both "Academic Scholasticism" (as in Gombrich and PTS) and "Monastic Scholasticism" (as in Ven. Bodhi, his distinguished German and British predecessors in Sri Lanka, and others such as Ven. Thanissaro).

Metta
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10112
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Buddhist Rebirth Refuted?

Postby Element » Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:31 am

DarkDream wrote:As clw_uk pointed out there is a sutta that seems to suggest you had Arahants that did not have remember their past lives or birth and death of beings.

I referred to the recollection of past lives, as described in the Khajjaniya Sutta. This is concerned with past 'attachments' or past 'wrong view', which held one or all of the five aggregates to be 'self'.

However, the sutta CLW UK has referred to is the Buddha talking to an unenlightened being. It was Susima asking the questions about 'past lives' according to his mundane and blind faith understanding of it.
Element
 

Re: Buddhist Rebirth Refuted?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Feb 28, 2009 5:29 am

Element wrote:However, the sutta CLW UK has referred to is the Buddha talking to an unenlightened being. It was Susima asking the questions about 'past lives' according to his mundane and blind faith understanding of it.

I don't think that's a correct summary of the Sutta: SN 2:70 {ii 119} Susima.

Susima is a wanderer from another sect who joins the Sangha to "steal the Dhamma". After learning a little he asks the Arahant Bhikkhus whether they have various powers. They say no, because they are "liberated through wisdom" (without Jhana, or at least without formless attainments, depending on the interpretation).

The Buddha sees that Susima is ready for liberation, and teaches him Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta, then Dependent Origination. Then he asks a series of questions about the powers:
"Knowing and seeing thus, Susima, do you recollect your manifold past abodes with their modes and details?" "No, venerable sir."

This Sutta is presented as one of the key expositions of "dry insight" (liberation without Jhana). Gombrich, in "How Buddhism Began", disagrees with the concept of "dry insight" and argues that the Sutta was modified into its present form (by comparing it with the Chinese Agama version).

Metta
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10112
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Buddhist Rebirth Refuted?

Postby Prasadachitta » Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:53 am

I recollect experiencing moments where I came into contact with what I very definitely perceived as cognizant entities outside the sphere of what I usually think of as being my subjective self when in fact there was absolutely nobody materially present. I have always been a sceptical person when it comes to people describing "paranormal activity". I don't recall ever experiencing anything supernatural. That is, I dont remember anything happening which seemed to defy physics and such. What I am talking about is perception through the mind. I have only experienced such "beings" a few times and at this moment I cannot say for certain that these experiences were anything more than some kind of brief psychotic episode. What I can say is that I remember very distinctly believing in the moment that this apparent thought and or image in my mind was as real as anything and that I perceived cognizance which was not the same as my cognizance. This is all I will say about this unless anyone has specific questions. I have no history of mental abnormality.

Devas?

Ghosts?

The Buddha has laid out a cosmological paradigm which leaves the possibility that I am not just a crazy person. Thanks to my faith in the Buddhist tradition I can judge these experiences based upon how they condition spiritual practice rather than get all caught up in particulars regarding what or who they are.

Metta

Gabriel
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
User avatar
Prasadachitta
 
Posts: 974
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:52 am
Location: San Francisco (The Mission) Ca USA

Re: Buddhist Rebirth Refuted?

Postby green » Sat Feb 28, 2009 6:00 pm

clw_uk wrote:
So you are seeing scientific "facts" are obvious? That's a fallacy, since it requires science education. I doubt the average person can "just do a test to see molecules"


No but they have more weight behind them, the facts are easily to access and the maths is there if you really want to discover for yourself although this would be a waste of time since logic would state that its true

I find it funny that people uneducated in meditation would doubt the writings of thousands of meditators, but believe the writings of thousands of scientists -- even when they don't understand half of the science they put out.


In all the Dhamma talks and books by various masters i myself have never come accross one discussing devas in their practice or experience


Buddhism is about the Lok and understanding the Devas is just one such basic understanding - or else you disregard major suttas which are said by Devas. The meditation on Devas is part of the Tipitika and one of the basic meditation observed during the Upasotha.


I dont disregard the suttas, just the possible meaning of the Devas in them

Metta



:anjali:


I agree with you on some points and disagree on some others -- I agree that a person can educate himself and see for himself some minor scientific truths -- BUT ONLY AFTER PROPER EDUCATION AND PRACTICE.

But that holds true to the Dhamma -- one who studies and educates himself in the proper practice can realize it -- if HE REALLY WANTED TO, the texts and practice are there.

Devas are found in writings of various cultures throughout human history -- the Vedas, Greek religion and Roman religion, Persian religion all had them...one shared amongst the early ones might be Zeus or Jupiter (Vedas -- Dyaus Pitar) -- one can say -- did these writings come from, for the most part, good, honest people? If so, why would they make it up?

Now having said this, this is one of the recollections I practice - it is called the Devata Anusati, here it is literally a declaration THAT THERE ARE devas in atleast 7 levels of heaven and beyond -- so other religions make mention of the seventh heaven" but only Buddhism declares each one by name and knows which gods preside in each:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... call-devas
1) 'There are the Devas of the Four Great Kings,
2)'There arethe Devas of the Thirty-three,
3) 'There arethe Yama Devas,
4) 'There arethe Contented Devas,
5) 'There arethe devas who delight in creation,
6) 'There arethe devas who have power over the creations of others,
7) 'There arethe devas of Brahma's retinue,
the devas beyond them.

Whatever conviction they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of conviction is present in me as well.
Whatever virtue they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of virtue is present in me as well.
Whatever learning they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of learning is present in me as well.
Whatever generosity they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of generosity is present in me as well.
Whatever discernment they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of discernment is present in me as well.'

As he is recollecting the devas, his mind is calmed, and joy arises; the defilements of his mind are abandoned, just as when gold is cleansed through the proper technique. And how is gold cleansed through the proper technique? Through the use of a furnace, salt earth, red chalk, a blow-pipe, tongs, & the appropriate human effort. This is how gold is cleansed through the proper technique. In the same way, the defiled mind is cleansed through the proper technique. And how is the defiled mind cleansed through the proper technique? There is the case where the disciple of the noble ones recollects the devas...

As he is recollecting the devas, his mind is cleansed, and joy arises; the defilements of his mind are abandoned. He is thus called a disciple of the noble ones undertaking the Deva-Uposatha. He lives with the devas. It is owing to the devas that his mind is calmed, that joy arises, and that whatever defilements there are in his mind are abandoned. This is how the mind is cleansed through the proper technique.
green
 
Posts: 73
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:25 am

Re: Buddhist Rebirth Refuted?

Postby clw_uk » Sat Feb 28, 2009 8:32 pm

I agree with you on some points and disagree on some others -- I agree that a person can educate himself and see for himself some minor scientific truths -- BUT ONLY AFTER PROPER EDUCATION AND PRACTICE.

But that holds true to the Dhamma -- one who studies and educates himself in the proper practice can realize it -- if HE REALLY WANTED TO, the texts and practice are there


Perhaps the realisation is that there really are no Devas? you may disagree but we dont know at the moment because this is pure speculation isnt it, which is why saying there are Devas is just as pointless as saying there are no Devas since one cant know for oneself



Devas are found in writings of various cultures throughout human history -- the Vedas, Greek religion and Roman religion, Persian religion all had them...one shared amongst the early ones might be Zeus or Jupiter (Vedas -- Dyaus Pitar) -- one can say -- did these writings come from, for the most part, good, honest people? If so, why would they make it up


Because they are just a projection of the conditioned mind arent they, just thoughts and ideas and beliefs

Nihilism, atheism, materialism and annihilationism can be found in ancient teachings, e.g. the teachings of Ajita Kesakambali, no reason to say he wasnt honest and good and there are others who thought and still do think like him, why would they make it up?

See the belief in devas and belief in annihilation just comes from view and opinions, they come from the conditionality of the mind



Whatever conviction they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of conviction is present in me as well.
Whatever virtue they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of virtue is present in me as well.
Whatever learning they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of learning is present in me as well.
Whatever generosity they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of generosity is present in me as well.
Whatever discernment they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of discernment is present in me as well.'

As he is recollecting the devas, his mind is calmed, and joy arises; the defilements of his mind are abandoned, just as when gold is cleansed through the proper technique. And how is gold cleansed through the proper technique? Through the use of a furnace, salt earth, red chalk, a blow-pipe, tongs, & the appropriate human effort. This is how gold is cleansed through the proper technique. In the same way, the defiled mind is cleansed through the proper technique. And how is the defiled mind cleansed through the proper technique? There is the case where the disciple of the noble ones recollects the devas...

As he is recollecting the devas, his mind is cleansed, and joy arises; the defilements of his mind are abandoned. He is thus called a disciple of the noble ones undertaking the Deva-Uposatha. He lives with the devas. It is owing to the devas that his mind is calmed, that joy arises, and that whatever defilements there are in his mind are abandoned. This is how the mind is cleansed through the proper technique.


This is a meditation to develop wholesome states of mind, it doesnt mean that the Devas exsist just the qualities that are associated with them should be cultivated



:anjali:
“Happy is the man who has broken the chains which hurt the mind, and has given up worrying once and for all.” Ovid
User avatar
clw_uk
 
Posts: 3330
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: Buddhist Rebirth Refuted?

Postby kc2dpt » Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:07 pm

DarkDream wrote:
Peter wrote:
DarkDream wrote:with things like devas and things is that it is a faith where you can never have your doubts resolved.
You know this how?
Peter, come on. Are you actually suggesting that devas are real?

I am suggesting, DarkDream, that you are unqualified to assert that a person can never have their doubts resolved on the subject of devas.

It is one thing to say "I don't know."
It is quite another thing to say "One cannot know."

If you make a claim like the latter, be prepared to defend it.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
User avatar
kc2dpt
 
Posts: 956
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:48 pm

Re: Buddhist Rebirth Refuted?

Postby Element » Sat Feb 28, 2009 10:22 pm

green wrote:Now having said this, this is one of the recollections I practice - it is called the Devata Anusati, here it is literally a declaration THAT THERE ARE devas in at least 7 levels of heaven and beyond -- so other religions make mention of the seventh heaven" but only Buddhism declares each one by name and knows which gods preside in each:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... call-devas
1) 'There are the Devas of the Four Great Kings,
2)'There arethe Devas of the Thirty-three,
3) 'There arethe Yama Devas,
4) 'There arethe Contented Devas,
5) 'There arethe devas who delight in creation,
6) 'There arethe devas who have power over the creations of others,
7) 'There arethe devas of Brahma's retinue,
the devas beyond them.

These heavens and gods equate to actual mental states. They are not divorced from our worldly reality.

For example, the world is full of Christian and Mahayana missionaries. These are devas of Brahma's retinue. Or there are those, such as policitians, monarchs, dictators, businessmen, parents, etc, who have power over others. These are the devas who have power over the creations of others. Or there are the various meditative jhanas. These are the gods of Streaming Radiance, Refulgent Glory, etc. Or if we read the suttas, where the realm of Sakka is described, it sounds just like the Palace of Versailles or any other bastion of wealth, power and excessive sensuality.
Element
 

Re: Buddhist Rebirth Refuted?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Feb 28, 2009 10:31 pm

Element:
These heavens and gods equate to actual mental states.


That is an assertion, not an argument.
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19191
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Location: The Grasslands

Re: Buddhist Rebirth Refuted?

Postby Element » Sat Feb 28, 2009 10:41 pm

tiltbillings wrote:That is an assertion, not an argument.


Thanks Tilt. :jumping:

as·ser·tion (-sûrshn)
n.
1. The act of asserting.
2. Something declared or stated positively, often with no support or attempt at proof.

ar·gu·ment (ärgy-mnt)
n.
1.
a. A discussion in which disagreement is expressed; a debate.
b. A quarrel; a dispute.
c. Archaic A reason or matter for dispute or contention: "sheath'd their swords for lack of argument" Shakespeare.

2.
a. A course of reasoning aimed at demonstrating truth or falsehood: presented a careful argument for extraterrestrial life.
b. A fact or statement put forth as proof or evidence; a reason: The current low mortgage rates are an argument for buying a house now.
c. A set of statements in which one follows logically as a conclusion from the others.

3.
a. A summary or short statement of the plot or subject of a literary work.
b. A topic; a subject: "You and love are still my argument" Shakespeare.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com
Element
 

Re: Buddhist Rebirth Refuted?

Postby nathan » Sat Feb 28, 2009 10:57 pm

Element wrote:
green wrote:Now having said this, this is one of the recollections I practice - it is called the Devata Anusati, here it is literally a declaration THAT THERE ARE devas in at least 7 levels of heaven and beyond -- so other religions make mention of the seventh heaven" but only Buddhism declares each one by name and knows which gods preside in each:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... call-devas
1) 'There are the Devas of the Four Great Kings,
2)'There arethe Devas of the Thirty-three,
3) 'There arethe Yama Devas,
4) 'There arethe Contented Devas,
5) 'There arethe devas who delight in creation,
6) 'There arethe devas who have power over the creations of others,
7) 'There arethe devas of Brahma's retinue,
the devas beyond them.

These heavens and gods equate to actual mental states. They are not divorced from our worldly reality.

For example, the world is full of Christian and Mahayana missionaries. These are devas of Brahma's retinue. Or there are those, such as policitians, monarchs, dictators, businessmen, parents, etc, who have power over others. These are the devas who have power over the creations of others. Or there are the various meditative jhanas. These are the gods of Streaming Radiance, Refulgent Glory, etc. Or if we read the suttas, where the realm of Sakka is described, it sounds just like the Palace of Versailles or any other bastion of wealth, power and excessive sensuality.



You may have cause to apologize to Sakka if he ever shows up for you. :bow: Sakka is just alright by me. :hello: I doubt he would find the comparison to Versailles flattering. :cookoo: Anyways, if there weren't corresponding mental qualities the existence and nature of these forms of being would be inconceivable and there would be no discussion of this by humans. Since there are these qualities these can be developed by humans. Like attracts to like, I'm suggesting there is a big clue there. Should you actually investigate and find that other DO and DC beings do exist in these forms and operate in these spheres is that going to be a problem for you? :cry: It appears to be so to me and there is no problem in it in terms of sound doctrine. :smile:

Maybe it is just discomfort from being stared at by beings who you contend don't exist? Feeling a little uncomfortable about that thought? Relax. I'm just pointing out that such beings would be well aware of the non-percipience so what would be the point of saying hi? They might be about as impressed by the thought as you would be if someone suggested that you don't exist while you were staring right at them.
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
nathan
 
Posts: 692
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 3:11 am

Re: Buddhist Rebirth Refuted?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Mar 01, 2009 12:08 am

Element wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:That is an assertion, not an argument.


Thanks Tilt. :

as·ser·tion (-sûrshn)
n.

2. Something declared or stated positively, often with no support or attempt at proof.


You are welcome.
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19191
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Location: The Grasslands

Re: Buddhist Rebirth Refuted?

Postby DarkDream » Sun Mar 01, 2009 12:09 am

mikenz66 wrote:
DarkDream wrote: Are you actually suggesting that devas are real? I mean, be perfectly honest, do you even know what a deva looks like let alone find one, photograph one and scientifically prove one exists.

We're talking about Dhamma here, not Science. Different modes of understanding, in my opinion (my day job is science BTW). Anyway why would you expect to be able to photograph a deva?


Mike, you say your day job is in science. Ok, would you agree that science is based on the scientific method whereby you observe, come up with a hypothesis, form a verifiable prediction and perform a test? My question to you is simply this, can you use the scientific method to verify the existence of a deva?

Here is an explanation of what a deva is:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deva_(Buddhism)

Here is a quote:

Most devas are also capable of constructing illusory forms by which they can manifest themselves to the beings of lower worlds; higher and lower devas even have to do this between each other.


If I remember properlyMost devas are also capable of constructing illusory forms by which they can manifest themselves to the beings of lower worlds; higher and lower devas even have to do this between each other.

As such devas can appear in the human realm. As such it seems that we can detect their presence. If we can detect their presence then the scientific method could be used towards that end.

My question to you as a scientist, do you believe there is actually celestial beings that exist and interact with humans? If we take everything literally in the Pali Canon, then there are actual beings that talk and everything that can be interacted with. If so, then it appears we can test for their presence.

--DarkDream
DarkDream
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 6:25 am

Re: Buddhist Rebirth Refuted?

Postby DarkDream » Sun Mar 01, 2009 12:35 am

Peter wrote:I am suggesting, DarkDream, that you are unqualified to assert that a person can never have their doubts resolved on the subject of devas.

It is one thing to say "I don't know."
It is quite another thing to say "One cannot know."

If you make a claim like the latter, be prepared to defend it.


Peter, I am not trying to be rude or anything, so please don't think I am being mean or attacking you.

You say that I an "unqualified." I am not following you here. In my life time I have never encountered any institution or school to provide you qualifications to see or interact with devas. Correct, me if I am wrong, do you know of any practice or institution which will "qualify" you for the ability to see and acknowledge the existence of devas?

Second, you do have a point besides the unqualified part. I can not say with 100% certainty that devas do not exist (even this is problematic -- see my last point)? Similarly, I can not proove with 100% certainty of pink miniture elephants. I can not say with 100% certainty that Santa Claus does not exist. I can only live in this world and try to navigate it by what I can see, feel and perceive. However, with the lack of any evidence out there to support such a claim, I can say in a probability sense that the existence of such beings are extremely unlikely.

Third, in order to be qualified or unqualified on the subject of devas, we need to be clear on what a deva is. Maybe you have greater knowledge on what a deva is, maybe you have seen one, have you? Can you explain to me what exactly a deva is. What does it look like? Where does it reside? How big is it? How much does it weigh? Is it intelligent? Can it speak languages? Does it wear clothes? Does it have horns? Does it have reproductive organs? Does it get sick? What does it eat?

If you can, please answer me these questions. Please educate on what a deva is because I do not know.

To be qualified or unqualified of something it is clear you need to know what it is you are being qualified or unqualified about.

--DarkDream
DarkDream
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 6:25 am

Re: Buddhist Rebirth Refuted?

Postby nathan » Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:13 am

DarkDream wrote:
Peter wrote:In my life time I have never encountered any institution or school to provide you qualifications to see or interact with devas. Correct, me if I am wrong, do you know of any practice or institution which will "qualify" you for the ability to see and acknowledge the existence of devas?
This one, for one, you want the whole list? Wow, I think if you do look, you will see them :namaste: .
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
nathan
 
Posts: 692
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 3:11 am

Re: Buddhist Rebirth Refuted?

Postby Element » Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:23 am

nathan wrote:There is this world and the next...

The sutta does not state this.

The sutta states: "There is this world and another world".

The translation of "next" is incorrect. Even Bhikkhu Bodhi does not use it.

However, all worlds are mundane friend, inclduing the worlds of 'jhana' and 'disassociated consciousness'.
Element
 

Re: Buddhist Rebirth Refuted?

Postby Dhammanando » Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:35 am

Hi Dark Dream,

DarkDream wrote:As such devas can appear in the human realm. As such it seems that we can detect their presence. If we can detect their presence then the scientific method could be used towards that end.


I don't think that's correct. There is no repeatable experiment that will yield public knowledge of devas. Devas can be seen by humans in two circumstances: (1) a human masters the jhanas and develops the requisite supernormal knowledge; (2) a deva chooses to make himself visible to a human.

The former wouldn’t count as scientific for the knowledge of devas gained thereby would be essentially private:

    Just then the Venerable Upavana was standing in front of the Lord, fanning him. And the Lord told him to move ‘Move aside, monk, do not stand in front of me.’ And the Venerable Ananda thought: ‘This Venerable Upavana has for long been the Lord’s attendant, keeping close at hand, at his beck and call. And now in his last hour the Lord tells him to stand aside and not stand in front of him. Why ever does he do that?’ And he asked the Lord about this.

    ‘Ananda, the devas from ten world-spheres have gathered to see the Tathagata. For a distance of twelve yojanas around the Mallas’ sal-grove near Kusinara there is not a space you could touch with the point of a hair that is not filled with mighty devas, and they are grumbling: “We have come a long way to see the Tathagata. It is rare for a Tathagata, a fully-enlightened Buddha, to arise in the world, and tonight in the last watch the Tathagata will attain final Nibbana, and this mighty monk is standing in front of the Lord, preventing us from getting a last glimpse of the Tathagata!”’

    ‘But, Lord, what kind of devas can the Lord perceive?’

    ‘Ananda, there are sky-devas whose minds are earth-bound, they are weeping and tearing their hair, raising their arms, throwing themselves down and twisting and turning, crying: “All too soon the Blessed Lord is passing away, all too soon the Well-Farer is passing away, all too soon the Eye of the World is disappearing!” And there are earth-devas whose minds are earth-bound, who do likewise. But those devas who are free from craving endure patiently, saying: “All compounded things are impermanent - what is the use of this?”
    (Mahaparibibbana Sutta, Walshe trans.)


And the latter case, where a deva makes himself visible, would be an impossible thing to engineer for it’s entirely in the hands of the devas. As devas can’t stand the smell of humans they normally have no wish to appear to us at all and will do so only in rather unusual circumstances.And so the apprehension of devas may be by jhana-based powers or by saddha, but not by the scientific method.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
User avatar
Dhammanando
 
Posts: 1265
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Wat Pa Mieng Khun Pang, Chiang Mai

PreviousNext

Return to Open Dhamma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Anagarika and 7 guests