the great rebirth debate

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Tue May 05, 2009 2:36 pm

Tilt


Are you saying paticcasamuppada has nothing to do with choice?


No im not saying that


Saying that knowledge of paticcasamuppada is open to verification is to still assume that it is real.


But the point is that "parts" of it are verifiable on a basic level, For example feeling, craving and clinging. Seeing the whole process clearly and in an intimate way is difficult. Rebirth has no "parts" that can be verified in some way

A statement that has been shown via a number of texts to be wrong, but the only rebuttal you have offered is naught more than gainsaying and avoiding actually addressing what has been carefully presented.


I have shown a text that says it isnt wrong

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' Sanctuary. Then Visakha the lay follower went to Dhammadinna the nun and, on arrival, having bowed down to her, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to her, "'Self-identification, self-identification,' it is said, lady. Which self-identification is described by the Blessed One?"

"There are these five clinging-aggregates, friend Visakha: form as a clinging-aggregate, feeling as a clinging-aggregate, perception as a clinging-aggregate, fabrications as a clinging-aggregate, consciousness as a clinging-aggregate. These five clinging-aggregates are the self-identification described by the Blessed One."

<edit - 1st Noble Truth, about "I am" not physical birth>

Saying, "Yes, lady," Visakha the lay follower delighted & rejoiced in what Dhammadinna the nun had said. Then he asked her a further question: "'The origination of self-identification, the origination of self-identification,' it is said, lady. Which origination of self-identification is described by the Blessed One?"

"The craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming: This, friend Visakha, is the origination of self-identification described by the Blessed One."

<edit - 2nd Noble Truth, craving leads to new identification so new birth of "I am">

"'The cessation of self-identification, the cessation of self-identification,' it is said, lady. Which cessation of self-identification is described by the Blessed One?"

"The remainderless fading & cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, & letting go of that very craving: This, friend Visakha, is the cessation of self-identification described by the Blessed One."

<edit - 3rd Noble Truth>

"'The way of practice leading to the cessation of self-identification, the way of practice leading to the cessation of self-identification,' it is said, lady. Which way of practice leading to the cessation of self-identification is described by the Blessed One?"

<edit - 4th Noble Truth>

"Precisely this noble eightfold path — right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration: This, friend Visakha, is the way of practice leading to the cessation of self-identification described by the Blessed One."


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

In this text by a wise nun who was praised by the Buddha and who is discussing the 4nt's, Please tell me where is rebirth in there?

It is not a matter of “must be”; it is a matter that rebirth is interwoven into the Buddha’s teachings. If it were not part of the way the universe operated, as the Buddha saw it, there is no reason he would have taught as being the way things are given that the Buddha stated he taught what was only true and useful.


Its the way people of the time thought the world/universe operated and the Buddha made use of that in some situations, just as he did with the use of the idea of the time of mount sumeru or the gods of the Brahmins etc

There is no justification that you have given that requires that jati has be read in one way only in all circumstances. This has been pointed out to you in detail, which you have simply ignored.


I have given arguments for it, it seems you have just ignored them

But we have seen no real argumentation from you to support this, though we have seen you ignore text after text and argument after argument that do not support your position..


I have answered suttas that have been put to me, i have used various suttas to back up my argument and i have not ignored arguments, if i had i wouldnt have posted anything :?

the factt of the matter, it is there. You have given no reasoned and exampled evidence as to why it should not be there.


Once again you have ignored some of my posts

1st Noble Truth
This is the noble truth of suffering: birth is suffering, aging is suffering, illness is suffering, death is suffering; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair are suffering; union with what is displeasing is suffering; separation from what is pleasing is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering; in brief, the five aggregates subject to clinging are suffering.

The last bit is important for understanding, because of clinging to khandas there is "I am". When there is "I am" there is identiciation with the Khandas, when there is identification there is ageing, sickness and death (and also the whole not wanting to get sick, grief, anger etc that go hand in hand with that)

For example, if one clings to the body they identify with it. When the body ages there is the ignorant view "I age". When it dies there is the ignoranct view "I die" and so all the grief and sadness that go along with this

As the Buddhas states here

"There is the case where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — assumes form (the body) to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form. He is seized with the idea that 'I am form' or 'Form is mine.' As he is seized with these ideas, his form changes & alters, and he falls into sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair over its change & alteration.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

2nd Noble Truth
This is the noble truth of the origin of suffering: it is this craving which leads to new becoming, accompanied by delight and lust, seeking delight here and there, that is, craving for sensual pleasures, craving to be, craving not-to-be.

Craving is a condition for the arising of clinging (origin of dukkha)
Clinging is a condition for the arising of becoming
Becoming is a condition for the arising of jati, or birth of "I am", so new becoming (first noble truth because when there is identification through clinging to the khandas, there is dukkha)


3rd Noble Truth
This is the noble truth of the cessation of suffering: it is the remainderless fading away and cessation of that same craving, the giving up and relinquishing of it, freedom from it, nonreliance on it.

By removing craving (through the practice) there is no more clinging and so no more birth of "I" or identification with that which ages and dies (so no more ageing and death i.e. the deathless)

'He has been stilled where the currents of construing do not flow. And when the currents of construing do not flow, he is said to be a sage at peace.' Thus was it said. With reference to what was it said? 'I am' is a construing. 'I am this' is a construing. 'I shall be' is a construing. 'I shall not be'... 'I shall be possessed of form'... 'I shall not be possessed of form'... 'I shall be percipient'... 'I shall not be percipient'... 'I shall be neither percipient nor non-percipient' is a construing. Construing is a disease, construing is a cancer, construing is an arrow. By going beyond all construing, he is said to be a sage at peace.

"Furthermore, a sage at peace is not born, does not age, does not die, is unagitated, and is free from longing. He has nothing whereby he would be born. Not being born, will he age? Not aging, will he die? Not dying, will he be agitated? Not being agitated, for what will he long? It was in reference to this that it was said, 'He has been stilled where the currents of construing do not flow. And when the currents of construing do not flow, he is said to be a sage at peace.'


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


4th Noble Truth
Noble eight fold path will lead one to the deathless

Right View - Understanding of the Four Noble Truths


I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' Sanctuary. Then Visakha the lay follower went to Dhammadinna the nun and, on arrival, having bowed down to her, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to her, "'Self-identification, self-identification,' it is said, lady. Which self-identification is described by the Blessed One?"

"There are these five clinging-aggregates, friend Visakha: form as a clinging-aggregate, feeling as a clinging-aggregate, perception as a clinging-aggregate, fabrications as a clinging-aggregate, consciousness as a clinging-aggregate. These five clinging-aggregates are the self-identification described by the Blessed One."

<edit - 1st Noble Truth, about "I am" not physical birth>

Saying, "Yes, lady," Visakha the lay follower delighted & rejoiced in what Dhammadinna the nun had said. Then he asked her a further question: "'The origination of self-identification, the origination of self-identification,' it is said, lady. Which origination of self-identification is described by the Blessed One?"

"The craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming: This, friend Visakha, is the origination of self-identification described by the Blessed One."

<edit - 2nd Noble Truth, craving leads to new identification so new birth of "I am">

"'The cessation of self-identification, the cessation of self-identification,' it is said, lady. Which cessation of self-identification is described by the Blessed One?"

"The remainderless fading & cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, & letting go of that very craving: This, friend Visakha, is the cessation of self-identification described by the Blessed One."

<edit - 3rd Noble Truth>

"'The way of practice leading to the cessation of self-identification, the way of practice leading to the cessation of self-identification,' it is said, lady. Which way of practice leading to the cessation of self-identification is described by the Blessed One?"

<edit - 4th Noble Truth>

"Precisely this noble eightfold path — right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration: This, friend Visakha, is the way of practice leading to the cessation of self-identification described by the Blessed One."


And

"And what are the ideas fit for attention that he does attend to? Whatever ideas such that, when he attends to them, the unarisen fermentation of sensuality does not arise in him, and the arisen fermentation of sensuality is abandoned; the unarisen fermentation of becoming does not arise in him, and the arisen fermentation of becoming is abandoned; the unarisen fermentation of ignorance does not arise in him, and the arisen fermentation of ignorance is abandoned. These are the ideas fit for attention that he does attend to. Through his not attending to ideas unfit for attention and through his attending to ideas fit for attention, unarisen fermentations do not arise in him, and arisen fermentations are abandoned.

"He attends appropriately, This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the way leading to the cessation of stress. As he attends appropriately in this way, three fetters are abandoned in him: identity-view, doubt, and grasping at precepts & practices. These are called the fermentations to be abandoned by seeing.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

The fact of the matter, it is there. You have given no reasoned and exampled evidence as to why it should not be there


Im not saying its not there in the pali canon, just not in the 4nts

Before one can decide what bits of tradition that can be viewed otherwise, it is really important to actually understand the tradition, something I have yet to see from you.


How do you know if i understand the tradition or not?


Metta
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Tue May 05, 2009 2:58 pm

There has been all this argument for rebirth in the Buddhas teachings but i have never seen one solid argument as to why

A) It must be there
B) The importance of it to the individual walking the path, so the importance of it to the practice and to nibbana

The fact of the matter, it is there. You have given no reasoned and exampled evidence as to why it should not be there.



Why must it be there (why is it so important?) and if rebirth is so important then it must have a practical use to the path, what is that?

I see no real use in having such a view


Metta
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Dhammanando » Tue May 05, 2009 3:05 pm

clw_uk wrote:In this text by a wise nun who was praised by the Buddha and who is discussing the 4nt's, Please tell me where is rebirth in there?


It is alluded to with the words “taṇhā ponobbhavikā”, rendered in your translation as “the craving that makes for further becoming.”

‘Ponobbhavika’ is the adjectival form of punabbhava, which is one of the commonest sutta terms for ‘rebirth’. As in the the Alagaddūpamasutta, for instance:

    “Here the bhikkhu has abandoned the round of births (jāti-saṃsāra) that brings renewed being (ponobbhavika), has cut it off at the root...”
    (MN. 22)
    ...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,
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Dhammanando » Tue May 05, 2009 3:15 pm

clw_uk wrote:Why must it be there (why is it so important?) and if rebirth is so important then it must have a practical use to the path, what is that?


:roll:

I have told you before, citing the Pabbajita-abhiṇhasutta (AN. v. 87-8), the Abhiṇhapaccavekkhitabbaṭhānasutta (AN. iii. 71-5), the first of the two Āghātapaṭivinayasuttas (AN. iii. 185-6), and the dozen or so suttas in the Anamataggasaṃyutta of the SN's Nidānavagga (SN. ii. 177-193).

But a man hears what he wants to hear...
    ...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,
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Tue May 05, 2009 3:17 pm

Greetings Bhante


Doesnt punabbhava just mean "birth in a new existence"?


Metta
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Tue May 05, 2009 3:28 pm

Craig,

Me: Are you saying paticcasamuppada has nothing to do with choice?


Craig: No im not saying that


So, what you saying? Kamma is a part of paticcasamuppada after all?

But the point is that "parts" of it are verifiable on a basic level, For example feeling, craving and clinging. Seeing the whole process clearly and in an intimate way is difficult. Rebirth has no "parts" that can be verified in some way


Are you sure? Based upon what do you make this claim about rebirth? Actually, given that rebirth is very much part of the paticcasamuppada process, your claim is not too terribly meaningful.

I have shown a text that says it isnt wrong . . . In this text by a wise nun who was praised by the Buddha and who is discussing the 4nt's, Please tell me where is rebirth in there?


What is really interesting in this important text is that jati is not used in it, but Ven Dhammanando has just neatly shown you that rebirth is very much a part of the text you quoted. As I have said, there is no problem with the “moment-to-moment” reading of paticcasamuppada, but that is not the only way it is presented and there is no compelling evidence that it must, absolutely be read as you are suggesting it must be read. There is clear evidence of a rebirth reading of paticcasamuppada, which you have tried to dismiss without a real argument, or you have simply avoided addressing it, as you usually do.

Its the way people of the time thought the world/universe operated and the Buddha made use of that in some situations, just as he did with the use of the idea of the time of mount sumeru or the gods of the Brahmins etc


You say this, but the fact of the matter is that a number of texts have been presented that puts rebirth directly and literally into the context of paticcasamuppada and the Four Noble Truths (which are a specific application of a general formula of paticcasamuppada). Also, you attempt at reading jati solely in a figurative manner is simply contrived.

I have given arguments for it, seems you just ignored them


Others here, far more learned than you have carefully addressed this issue with you and the ignoring and sidestepping comes from thee and no one else here.

I have answered suttas that have been put to me,


No, you have not.

i have used various suttas to back up my argument


And it has been shown to you, by individuals far more learned than you, that your position is not well grounded.

And there is not a thing in the Four Noble Truths that you have quoted that necessitates reading the suttas and understanding the Buddha’s teaching in the limited way you suggest.

Im not saying its not there in the pali canon, just not in the 4nts


Right View, which you listed, is very much part and parcel of the Four Noble Truths, which I pointed out to you more than once. Since paticcasamuppada involves rebirth, it is very much a part of the Four Noble Truths.

How do you know if i understand the tradition or not?


You graphically illustrate the callowness of your understanding with this:
Why must it be there (why is it so important?) and if rebirth is so important then it must have a practical use to the path, what is that?

I see no real use in having such a view
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 Dhammanando » Tue May 05, 2009 3:30 pm

clw_uk wrote:Doesnt punabbhava just mean "birth in a new existence"?


The full form, "generation of renewal of being in the future" (āyatiṃ punabbhavābhinibbatti), certainly does.

As for punabbhava by itself, I can't say whether each and every occurrence of it means birth in a new existence as I haven't checked them all.
    ...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,
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Tue May 05, 2009 3:50 pm

Hey Tilt


Me: Are you saying paticcasamuppada has nothing to do with choice?

Craig: No im not saying that

So, what you saying? Kamma is a part of paticcasamuppada after all?


My current understanding is no but im not set in that

Are you sure? Based upon what do you make this claim about rebirth? Actually, given that rebirth is very much part of the paticcasamuppada process, your claim is not too terrible meaningful.


I think this is where the problem lies, the interpreation of paticcasamuppada. If someone takes it as a rebirth model then of course it is non-sensical to say the Buddha didnt teach rebirth, but if someone doesnt take it as a rebirth model then its not non-sensical to say he didnt teach it

What is really interesting in this important text is that jati is not used in it, but Ven Dhammanando has neatly shown you that rebirth is very much a part of the text you quoted.


The text i quoted states quite clearly that its discussing self-idenitiy or "I am" and not rebirth, it is quite clear in that

As I have said, there is no problem with the “moment-to-moment” reading of paticcasamuppada, but that is not the only way it is presented and there is no compelling evidence that it must, absolutely be read as you are suggesting it must be read. There is clear evidence of a rebirth reading of paticcasamuppada, you have tried to dismiss without a real argument, or you have simply avoided addressing it, as you usually do.


There is plenty or argument, sutta referneces and "evidence", much of which has been discussed here and in other threads

Right View, which you listed, is very much part and parcel of the Four Noble Truths, which I pointed out to you more than once. Since paticcasamuppada involves rebirth, it is very much a part of the Four Noble Truths.


Once again this comes down to interpretation/understanding of paticcasamuppada

How do you know if i understand the tradition or not?

You graphically illustrate the callowness of your understanding with this:
Why must it be there (why is it so important?) and if rebirth is so important then it must have a practical use to the path, what is that?

I see no real use in having such a view


Understanding and agreeing are two different things, just because i dont agree doesnt mean i dont understand


Right view is about dukkha, how it comes to be, its quenching and the way to quench it. Its about what is, investigation and rational inquiry. The Buddhas teachings are practical, things that can be put into imeditate effect. Its not about if's and but's and maybes, about unprovable theories about reincarnation, about humans living for 80, 000 years, not about spirits and ghosts in the forests or about the Brahmins gods

As Ajahn Buddhadasa said

To call something a foundation of the Buddhist Teachings is only correct if firstly, it is a principle which aims at the extinction of Dukkha [2] and, secondly, it has a logic that one can see for oneself without having to believe others. These are the important constituents of a foundation.

The Buddha refused to have any dealing with those things which don't lead to the extinction of Dukkha. Take the question of whether or not there. is rebirth. What is reborn? How is it reborn? What is its kammic inheritance [3] ? These questions are not aimed at the extinction of Dukkha. That being so they are not Buddhist teaching and they are not connected with it. They do not lie in the sphere of Buddhism. Also, the one who asks about such matters has no choice but to indis­criminately believe the answer he's given, because the one who answers is not going to be able to produce any proofs, he's just going to speak according to his memory and feeling. The listener can't see for himself and so has to blindly believe "the other's words. Little by little the matter strays from Dhamma until it's something else altogether, unconnected with the extinction of Dukkha.


Which lies in sync with what the Buddha taught here

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Metta
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Tue May 05, 2009 3:56 pm

Greetings Bhante

Dhammanando wrote:
clw_uk wrote:In this text by a wise nun who was praised by the Buddha and who is discussing the 4nt's, Please tell me where is rebirth in there?


It is alluded to with the words “taṇhā ponobbhavikā”, rendered in your translation as “the craving that makes for further becoming.”

‘Ponobbhavika’ is the adjectival form of punabbhava, which is one of the commonest sutta terms for ‘rebirth’. As in the the Alagaddūpamasutta, for instance:

    “Here the bhikkhu has abandoned the round of births (jāti-saṃsāra) that brings renewed being (ponobbhavika), has cut it off at the root...”
    (MN. 22)


How can it mean rebirth (post mortem) in this sutta when it is discussing self-identity (or "I am) and the origin of self-identity and not the origin of rebirth post mortem?


Metta

:anjali:
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Tue May 05, 2009 4:09 pm

Me: So, what you saying? Kamma is a part of paticcasamuppada after all?


Craig: My current understanding is no but im not set in that


So, there is no choice in paticcasamuppada (maybe).

I think this is where the problem lies, the interpreation of paticcasamuppada. If someone takes it as a rebirth model then of course it is non-sensical to say the Buddha didnt teach rebirth, but if someone doesnt take it as a rebirth model then its not non-sensical to say he didnt teach it


It is the language itself of some of the basic formulas of paticcasamuppada that tells us that rebirth is part of paticcasamuppada.

The text i quoted states quite clearly that its discussing self-idenitiy or "I am" and not rebirth, it is quite clear in that


And you know better than Ven Dhammanando? The issue of “I am” is very much part of impels rebirth.

Once again this comes down to interpretation/understanding of paticcasamuppada


The problem with your position is that you have to work really hard to explain away or ignore rebirth in the texts. You certainly have ignored the texts I have quoted above.

Understanding and agreeing are two different things, just because i dont agree doesnt mean i dont understand


But you have not shown any understanding.

As Ajahn Buddhadasa said


I’ll take the Buddha over Buddhadasa any day, and there is not a thing in the text you referenced that argues against rebirth.

"This is how he attends inappropriately: 'Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past? Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?' Or else he is inwardly perplexed about the immediate present: 'Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?'

Just as you claim “moment-to-moment” in this very life rebirth, this “inappropriate attention” is just as easily applied to that model. All of those “speculations” can be applied to one in a one life model.

So, it seems that not only you, but also Buddhadasa don’t quite get it.
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 kc2dpt » Tue May 05, 2009 4:46 pm

OK, hang on a minute. Craig, you are arguing so dishonestly (or confusedly) I must call you on it.

Craig: Because in the Buddhas teachings of the 4nt's etc there is no rebirth contained within them,
Tilt: A statement that has been shown via a number of texts to be wrong
Craig: I have shown a text that says it isnt wrong

Craig, first you say the teachings of the 4NT do not contain rebirth. No teachings of 4NT contain rebirth. That's your assertion. Then you are shown some examples which explicitly mention rebirth. Right there you are proven wrong. Instead of addressing this proof, however, you respond by showing a different example which does not explicitly mention rebirth.* How does your response support your initial claim that the teachings on the 4NT never contain rebirth? No one here is claiming that every discourse given by the Buddha explicitly mentions rebirth. Some mention it explicitly, some imply it, some don't touch on it at all.** But you have made the bold claim that the 4NT never contain rebirth. You have been shown examples which disprove this claim. You need to address those examples. Providing different examples doesn't do that. All you have demonstrated is that sometimes the Buddha mentions rebirth and sometimes he doesn't mention rebirth. That is not the same thing as demonstrating that "in the Buddhas teachings of the 4nt's etc there is no rebirth contained within them". I may at one point talk about the sofa in my living room. I may at another point just talk about my living room and never mention the sofa. That doesn't mean there is suddenly no more sofa, only that I'm not talking about it right then.

Perhaps your point is that if the Buddha sometimes talked about the 4NT without explicitly mentioning rebirth, then that makes the rebirth teachings optional/marginal/not important? Is that your point? But then aren't you taking one discourse out of context? These monks and nuns heard many discourses over their lives, as well we can expect that they talked to each other about the teachings they had heard. Is it sensical to try to interpret one sutta in isolation from all the others? If this is what you want to assert, then you need to provide some evidence that any one sutta can and should be understood in isolation (and in contradiction) to the rest of the suttas.



* It was later shown that it implicitly refers to rebirth.

** Although it should be noted no discourse denies nor contradicts rebirth.
Last edited by kc2dpt on Tue May 05, 2009 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby kc2dpt » Tue May 05, 2009 4:49 pm

clw_uk wrote:How can it mean rebirth (post mortem) in this sutta when it is discussing self-identity (or "I am) and the origin of self-identity and not the origin of rebirth post mortem?

Because the Buddha teaches self-identifying as the cause for post-mortem rebirth. Self-identifying is not a topic completely unrelated to rebirth. The two concepts are closely related in Buddha's teachings. It is precisely because we cling to the false notion of "I am" that we continue to be born.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Tue May 05, 2009 5:39 pm

To everyone, including Craig:

I am absolutely enjoying this debate. For a Mahayana person wanting to learn and understand the words of the Buddha, reading your dissections of the suttas is very useful. Thanks to the staff for allowing the debate to go on.

:bow:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Dhammanando » Tue May 05, 2009 6:44 pm

How can it mean rebirth (post mortem) in this sutta when it is discussing self-identity (or "I am) and the origin of self-identity and not the origin of rebirth post mortem?


The Sutta is discussing embodiment (as I prefer to translate 'sakkāya'), which is a term for the five aggregates of grasping. The craving referred to is "the past craving that produced these [aggregates]" (tesaṃ nibbattikā purimataṇhā). That is to say, the aggregates of the present life were generated by the taṇhā ponobbhavikā of the past life. The taṇhā ponobbhavikā of the present life, if not extinguished, will generate the aggregates of a future life.

As evidence for the reasonableness of this reading I would draw your attention to the Sīhasutta (AN. ii. 32-4). This is likewise about the origination and cessation of embodiment, but with especial reference to the effect that this teaching has upon those long-lived devas who deludedly imagine themselves to be eternal. The said devas are shocked and stricken with terror upon hearing it, for hitherto they had believed that their existence was without beginning and without end. But after hearing it they came to understand that their present sakkāya was in fact impermanent — it was generated by past craving and so had a beginning in past time and would have an end in future time.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby kc2dpt » Tue May 05, 2009 6:58 pm

Sakkāya [sat+kāya] the body in being, the existing body or group

from here

=====

* sakkāya

'existing group', 'this word is usually translated by 'personality',

but according to the commentaries it corresponds to sat-kāya, 'existing group', hence not to Sanskrit sva-kāya, 'own group' or 'own body'.

In the suttas (e.g. M.44) it is said to be a name for the 5 groups of existence (khandha):

"Sakkāya, o Brother Visākha, is said by the Blessed One to be a name for the 5 'groups as objects of clinging' (upādāna-kkhandha), to wit: corporeality, feeling, perception, mental formations, and consciousness."

from here
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby kc2dpt » Tue May 05, 2009 7:28 pm

Furthermore, sakkāya-ditthi is defined as the view that the self is either:
- identical with the 5 groups of existence (khandha)
- contained in them;
- independent of them;
- or the owner of them.

Thus we can see sakkāya-ditthi is literally a view concerning the five khandhas.

So we can understand the "first noble truth" part of MN 44 as simply defining sakkāya as the five khandhas. "What is the Buddha refering to when he says 'sakkāya'? The five khandhas." This then means the "second noble truth" part of "What is the origin of sakkāya?" equivalent to asking "What is the origin of the five khandhas?" And the way to understand craving as the origin of the khandhas is to understand it as craving from the previous life causing rebirth.

Ven. Thanissaro's translations makes it quite different. The 1st NT part becomes "What is it we self-identify with?" rather than "What does the Buddha refer to when he says 'sakkāya'?" Two very different interpretations.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby kc2dpt » Tue May 05, 2009 7:41 pm

This reminds me of a debate I see on internet forums concerning the First Noble Truth. Is it defining dukkha? or is it describing what dukkha arises in reference to? For example, are birth, old age, sickness, and death themselves dukkha? or is it that an unawakened person experiences dukkha in reference to birth, old age, sickness, and death? If the former then Nibbana is the end of birth, old age, sickness, and death (meaning no more rebirth). If the latter then NIbbana is not the end of birth, old age, sickness, and death but rather only the end of suffering arising due to these things.

I don't mean for this to be debated here; I'm just noticing the similarity in argumentation. If sakkāya is defined as the 5 khandhas then that is one thing. If sakkāya arises in reference to the 5 khandhas then that is something else. Funny enough, in both cases it comes down to arguing about rebirth.

BTW, MN 44 does not discuss the Four Noble Truths at all. Rather it follows the same format as the Four Noble Truths - definition, arising, ceasing, way to ceasing. The Four Noble Truths are regarding dukkha. There are many teachings in the scriptures that borrow the 4NT format.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Mon May 11, 2009 3:16 pm

Greetings Bhante

Sorry for another late reply, have been busy last few days and didnt have time to write a long post


The Sutta is discussing embodiment (as I prefer to translate 'sakkāya'), which is a term for the five aggregates of grasping. The craving referred to is "the past craving that produced these [aggregates]" (tesaṃ nibbattikā purimataṇhā). That is to say, the aggregates of the present life were generated by the taṇhā ponobbhavikā of the past life. The taṇhā ponobbhavikā of the present life, if not extinguished, will generate the aggregates of a future life


The translation reads ""The craving that makes for further becoming" (also in Bodhi's translation from memory) which doesnt really have to relate to new aggregates, also the sutta, as i said earlier, is discussing identification which comes to be via clinging, nothing to do with rebirth or birth from womb


Peter

Furthermore, sakkāya-ditthi is defined as the view that the self is either:
- identical with the 5 groups of existence (khandha)
- contained in them;
- independent of them;
- or the owner of them.

Thus we can see sakkāya-ditthi is literally a view concerning the five khandhas.

So we can understand the "first noble truth" part of MN 44 as simply defining sakkāya as the five khandhas. "What is the Buddha refering to when he says 'sakkāya'? The five khandhas." This then means the "second noble truth" part of "What is the origin of sakkāya?" equivalent to asking "What is the origin of the five khandhas?" And the way to understand craving as the origin of the khandhas is to understand it as craving from the previous life causing rebirth.

Ven. Thanissaro's translations makes it quite different. The 1st NT part becomes "What is it we self-identify with?" rather than "What does the Buddha refer to when he says 'sakkāya'?" Two very different interpretations.


The five khandas origin are defined else where without any reference to a rebirth, the sutta is clearly discussing self-identification and the origin of that

"Monk, the four great existents (earth, water, fire, & wind) are the cause, the four great existents the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of form. Contact is the cause, contact the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of feeling. Contact is the cause, contact the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of perception. Contact is the cause, contact the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of fabrications. Name-&-form is the cause, name-&-form the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of consciousness."


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

No rebirth there

Tilt

And you know better than Ven Dhammanando? The issue of “I am” is very much part of impels rebirth.


I am allowed to disagree with Bhikkhus, just as you do with Buddhadasa, without claiming to know more than them. Do you claim to know more than Ajhan Buddhadasa just because you disagree with him? obviously this isnt a logical argument to make

How does "I am" reguire rebirth?

The problem with your position is that you have to work really hard to explain away or ignore rebirth in the texts. You certainly have ignored the texts I have quoted above.


I dont have to work hard to ignore them, in fact i dont ignore them

But you have not shown any understanding.


So i know nothing at all? :roll:

I’ll take the Buddha over Buddhadasa any day, and there is not a thing in the text you referenced that argues against rebirth.


Thats assuming that Ajah Buddhadasa is against the Buddha in some way, an argument that doesnt really have any backing at all (if one is familiar with his work). I will take the Buddha over Buddhagosa any day

"This is how he attends inappropriately: 'Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past? Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?' Or else he is inwardly perplexed about the immediate present: 'Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?'

Just as you claim “moment-to-moment” in this very life rebirth, this “inappropriate attention” is just as easily applied to that model. All of those “speculations” can be applied to one in a one life model.

So, it seems that not only you, but also Buddhadasa don’t quite get it.


How is it easily applied to focus on the present moment and investigation into the present moment? by focusing wisely in the present moment, one doesnt ask those above questions and avoids increasing the taints

Those who hold rebirth view will at some point ask those above questions, its the natural outcome of having such a view



Anyway i think its best to just agree to disagree, this debate could go on forever

Metta
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby piotr » Mon May 11, 2009 5:29 pm

Hi,

clw_uk wrote:The translation reads ""The craving that makes for further becoming" (also in Bodhi's translation from memory) which doesnt really have to relate to new aggregates


But it does. Take for example this dialog:

    "But, Master Gotama, at the moment a flame is being swept on by the wind and goes a far distance, what do you designate as its sustenance (upādāna) then?"

    "Vaccha, when a flame is being swept on by the wind and goes a far distance, I designate it as wind-sustained, for the wind is its sustenance at that time."

    "And at the moment when a being sets this body aside and is not yet reborn (anupanna) in another body, what do you designate as its sustenance (upādāna) then?"

    "Vaccha, when a being sets this body aside and is not yet reborn in another body, I designate it as craving-sustained (taṇhūpādāna), for craving (taṇhā) is its sustenance at that time." — Kutuhalasālā-sutta (SN 44.9)

And ponder on this quote:

    The Buddha’s analysis of becoming as process throws a great deal of light on how imaginary, fictional, or dream worlds are created, but that was not his main concern. He was more interested in seeing how the process of becoming relates to the way suffering and stress are brought about and how they can be brought to an end. One of his first discoveries in analyzing the relationship between becoming and suffering was that the processes of becoming operate on different scales in space and time. The process by which the mind creates a psychological sense of location for itself in states of becoming within this lifetime is the same process by which it establishes a location for itself in another world after death. The question of whether death was followed by rebirth was hotly debated in the Buddha’s time, so in teaching the fact of rebirth he was not simply parroting the assumptions of his culture. The experience of his Awakening is what gave him proof that becoming has both psychological and cosmological dimensions — within the moment and stretching over lifetimes — with a parallel pattern in each. You can learn how the mind finds a place for rebirth by watching how it moves from one becoming to another here and now. — The Paradox of Becoming, Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Mon May 11, 2009 7:28 pm

Craig: Anyway i think its best to just agree to disagree, this debate could go on forever


That is one way, Craig, to continue to avoid the questions I have put to you, and for you to avoid the counter arguments that show your position is poorly grounded.
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