When Karma strikes back...

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: When Kharma strikes back...

Postby Annapurna » Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:37 pm

IanAnd wrote:
Admiral wrote:Let's imagine somebody that killed and lied a lot in its past lives.
When karma will strike him back, will it be "dangerous" for the people around him, his family, etc...?

I mean : is karma totally personal or can it affect the people around?
When a lot of people die in a plane crash, is this because of the bad karma of one, or are they all paying for their past mistakes?

From where, in heaven's sake, are you coming up with these crazy assumptions? Who or what has influenced your thinking such that you would even entertain asking a question in this manner?

Apparently, you are confused as to the definition of kamma that the Buddha used. In other words, your understanding of it is insufficient enough to ask a reasonable and cogent question about it without resorting to deluded thinking patterns which must have been inculcated in you from some outside source. The question I'm asking is: from where did these delusional thinking patterns that you are displaying arise? By asking this question, which I intend that you personally contemplate, it is meant to be self-reflective rather than to be argumentative or create controversy. In other words, it would be of benefit for you to examine your own thought processes that allowed such thoughts to arise within you, thus muddying your field of vision.

Begin here in order to understand the correct definition of kamma and its use:
The Buddha's definition of kamma is: "It is volition, monks, that I declare to be kamma. Having willed, one performs an action by body, speech, or mind." (AN 6.63)

The question you asked, highlighted above, presumes some sort of metaphysical transference. This is not possible. Unless one's thinking is deluded.

In other words, what on earth would have you thinking that one person's unwholesomeness or defiled thinking and actions would somehow invisibly affect the path of other people? What makes you think that there is a quid pro quo aspect to kamma? That is, other than having made the (unintended) mistake by getting on the wrong plane at the wrong time, to use the example given above?



From where, in heaven's sake, are you coming up with these crazy assumptions? Who or what has influenced your thinking such that you would even entertain asking a question in this manner?


Ianand, there are no silly questions, only silly replies.

If things are not clear, a person is safe here to ask and get a non-judgmental, informative, impersonal reply.


"Monks, it's through his way of participating in a discussion that a person can be known as fit to talk with or unfit to talk with. If a person, when asked a question, puts down [the questioner], crushes him, ridicules him, grasps at his little mistakes, then — that being the case — he is a person unfit to talk with. But if a person, when asked a question, doesn't put down [the questioner], doesn't crush him, doesn't ridicule him, doesn't grasp at his little mistakes, then — that being the case — he is a person fit to talk with.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Last edited by Annapurna on Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: When Kharma strikes back...

Postby Hoo » Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:41 pm

Annapurna wrote:....If things are not clear, a person is safe here to ask and get a neutral, informative, impersonal reply.

"Monks, it's through his way of participating in a discussion that a person can be known as fit to talk with or unfit to talk with. If a person, when asked a question, puts down [the questioner], crushes him, ridicules him, grasps at his little mistakes, then — that being the case — he is a person unfit to talk with. But if a person, when asked a question, doesn't put down [the questioner], doesn't crush him, doesn't ridicule him, doesn't grasp at his little mistakes, then — that being the case — he is a person fit to talk with.


:goodpost:
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Re: When Karma strikes back...

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:36 pm

Greetings Anna,

Ian's response may be challenging, and therefore not easy and comfortable for Admiral to take on board, but if Admiral does as Ian has suggested, he will have a far better understanding of kamma than he had previously. If this is what Admiral wants, then what Ian provided should prove very helpful and I see none of the "crushes him, ridicules him" variety of malice you attribute to him.

If Admiral wanted to be molly-coddled, then there won't be much in Ian's response for him. Molly-coddling however, won't help someone differentiate what the Buddha taught about kamma, from erroneous understandings of kamma held by Hindus, some Mahayanists and popular culture. To that end, is molly-coddling really as kind and caring and connected with someone's welfare as it might superificially seem?

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


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


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Re: When Karma strikes back...

Postby Tex » Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:39 am

Hello, Admiral -- here's a study guide with a lot of sutta references that you might be interested in:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/study/kamma.html

:buddha1:
"The serene and peaceful mind is the true epitome of human achievement."-- Ajahn Chah, Living Dhamma

"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi
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Re: When Karma strikes back...

Postby Hoo » Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:03 am

To that end, is molly-coddling really as kind and caring and connected with someone's welfare as it might superificially seem?


Is everyone having a bad day today like I am? I admit, I read that as a loaded question. My apologies, Retro, if your question was in earnest. My chemo is beating me up today and I seem to be personalizing things that aren't mine.

What is the middle way when replying to a possible newcomer?...And who is to be the judge of what's molly-coddling, the mind of the questioner, the attainment/appropriatness of the answerer, and the appropriateness of being kind or rude? Which of the Brahma Vihara are demonstrated when one ceases to "molly-coddle" and becomes, evaluative, judgemental, rude, or demeaning in their replies?

My answer to your question is that it's better to "molly-coddle" - choose honesty, gentleness and kindness and communicate that way when dealing with an unknown quantity - is this a person very new to Buddhism, or an unknown practitioner stirring the pot? To err on the extreme of rudeness and insults (or what could be taken that way) IMO would clearly be wrong speech. Harsh speech would alienate a new person and have no impact on an oldtimer, except to maybe stoke both our egos and perpetuate a useless discussion.

Rather, I'd like others, when they see me, to see the impact the Buddha has in my life. It may be the only glimple of Buddhism they'll get, so what shall it be? Well, no matter how well or poorly I'm doing that day, They'll see the impact the Buddha has made in my life. That's almost frightening because I'm so poor at the mindfulness and equanimity that's called for.

So if an extreme is called for, I try to err on the extreme of being kind and gentle. If tough love is called for (rare outside of family these days), I can be kind and gentle with that, too (practiced and taught it for years). If harsh measures are called for, I'm probably wrong and need to make a clear case that it's not my ego calling out.

So my answer to your question is to molly-coddle (however you're defining it). If one begins to assume he knows the poster's mind and needs, that they need harsh speech to meet those needs, etc., I think one attaches to fixing others and makes the superficial connection...to meet one's own ego needs?

Hoo - who has donned his asbestos pajamas and is going to bed :)
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Re: When Karma strikes back...

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:18 am

Greetings Hoo,

Hoo wrote:
To that end, is molly-coddling really as kind and caring and connected with someone's welfare as it might superificially seem?


Is everyone having a bad day today like I am? I admit, I read that as a loaded question. My apologies, Retro, if your question was in earnest. My chemo is beating me up today and I seem to be personalizing things that aren't mine.

To be clear, I'm not advocating rudeness, rough speech or anything along those lines.

I cannot speak for others and what they want to receive by way of Dhamma responses... but if I asked a question like Admiral did and I got a response like Ian's, put it into practice and improved my understanding, I would be in a much better position than if I had been intimidated by the challenge it laid out. Since suffering is caused by ignorance, I am thankful to people who can help dispel that ignorance, because they help me suffer less... as they say, the Dhamma is the greatest of all gifts.

If others need to be approached with a gentle touch before they will take advice on board, then so be it. My objection was only to this tendency to instantly think the worst of others, and the insinuation that Ian didn't have the member's best interests at heart.

Best wishes.

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


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


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Re: When Karma strikes back...

Postby Annapurna » Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:13 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Anna,

Ian's response may be challenging, and therefore not easy and comfortable for Admiral to take on board, but if Admiral does as Ian has suggested, he will have a far better understanding of kamma than he had previously. If this is what Admiral wants, then what Ian provided should prove very helpful and I see none of the "crushes him, ridicules him" variety of malice you attribute to him.

If Admiral wanted to be molly-coddled, then there won't be much in Ian's response for him. Molly-coddling however, won't help someone differentiate what the Buddha taught about kamma, from erroneous understandings of kamma held by Hindus, some Mahayanists and popular culture. To that end, is molly-coddling really as kind and caring and connected with someone's welfare as it might superificially seem?

Metta,
Retro. :)


Retro,

to pass on information, all that is needed is that naked information.

All other additions, whether approving, supportive, belittling, or contraproductive serve another purpose and arise from opposing, (often subconscious) causes.

To analyse those from both a psychological angle as well as the Buddhadhamma, I'll start another thread, because it would be getting too OT here.

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Re: When Karma strikes back...

Postby Admiral » Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:10 am

Every answer I found here will be very useful to me, thanks to everyone :namaste:

But about Ian's answer : I found it a little bit "aggressive" at first time, but as I'm a newcomer in buddhism, I may have offended him with my lack of knowledge. If so, I'm sorry! But I'm thankful for every answer as it helps me a little every time :)
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Re: When Karma strikes back...

Postby plwk » Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:15 am

Admiral :group: :hug:
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

Anguttara-Nikaya: Ekanipata: Ekadhammapali: Pañhamavagga
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Re: When Karma strikes back...

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:19 am

Greetings Admiral,

Admiral wrote:But I'm thankful for every answer as it helps me a little every time :)

Very admirable Admiral. :thumbsup:

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


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


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Re: When Karma strikes back...

Postby Annapurna » Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:05 am

Admiral wrote:Every answer I found here will be very useful to me, thanks to everyone :namaste:

But about Ian's answer : I found it a little bit "aggressive" at first time, but as I'm a newcomer in buddhism, I may have offended him with my lack of knowledge. If so, I'm sorry! But I'm thankful for every answer as it helps me a little every time :)


Hi, Admiral,

please don't worry about a lack of knowledge, as this is what we all have in common.

If we knew it all, what are we doing here then? Would we even be here?

Obviously, there was a reason why we reincarnated, and isn't that happening because of ignorance and craving?

Please feel free to ask anything to comes to your mind.

Btw, I once contemplated the same question you asked.

I even got a good reply from a Buddhist, let me see if I can recollect it...

Ok.

Let me use this Suttha: Please click it and read it, it will help you to understand kamma a lot better.

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

The Blessed One said: "There is the case, student, where a woman or man is a killer of living beings, brutal, bloody-handed, given to killing & slaying, showing no mercy to living beings. Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, hell. If, on the break-up of the body, after death — instead of reappearing in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, hell — he/she comes to the human state, then he/she is short-lived wherever reborn. This is the way leading to a short life: to be a killer of living beings, brutal, bloody-handed, given to killing & slaying, showing no mercy to living beings.


ok, in short since I need to get to work:

If you look at the passengers in an airplane, you will have old people, young people, babies, rich, old, and so forth.

If you look at airplane crashes, you often have survivors, and some get away nearly unscathed.

This has to do with individual karmic workings that we can't analyse.

A Supreme Buddha could view them, though.

So, that said, each person that died in a plane crash had it in their kamma, and that it is a death with others also has to do with their individual kamma, but we can't really tell why they die together.

Metta,

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Re: When Karma strikes back...

Postby Admiral » Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:22 am

Annapurna wrote:
Admiral wrote:Every answer I found here will be very useful to me, thanks to everyone :namaste:

But about Ian's answer : I found it a little bit "aggressive" at first time, but as I'm a newcomer in buddhism, I may have offended him with my lack of knowledge. If so, I'm sorry! But I'm thankful for every answer as it helps me a little every time :)


Hi, Admiral,

please don't worry about a lack of knowledge, as this is what we all have in common.

If we knew it all, what are we doing here then? Would we even be here?

Obviously, there was a reason why we reincarnated, and isn't that happening because of ignorance and craving?

Please feel free to ask anything to comes to your mind.

Btw, I once contemplated the same question you asked.

I even got a good reply from a Buddhist, let me see if I can recollect it...

Ok.

Let me use this Suttha: Please click it and read it, it will help you to understand kamma a lot better.

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

Editing....


I didn't know the Cula-kammavibhanga Sutta !
Thanks a lot for the help Anna (:
I'll print it to keep it with me and read it before my next meditation session !
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Re: When Karma strikes back...

Postby Annapurna » Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:23 am

:smile:

Sounds great!
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Re: When Karma strikes back...

Postby Annapurna » Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:04 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Hoo,

Hoo wrote:
To that end, is molly-coddling really as kind and caring and connected with someone's welfare as it might superificially seem?


Is everyone having a bad day today like I am? I admit, I read that as a loaded question. My apologies, Retro, if your question was in earnest. My chemo is beating me up today and I seem to be personalizing things that aren't mine.

To be clear, I'm not advocating rudeness, rough speech or anything along those lines.

I cannot speak for others and what they want to receive by way of Dhamma responses... but if I asked a question like Admiral did and I got a response like Ian's, put it into practice and improved my understanding, I would be in a much better position than if I had been intimidated by the challenge it laid out. Since suffering is caused by ignorance, I am thankful to people who can help dispel that ignorance, because they help me suffer less... as they say, the Dhamma is the greatest of all gifts.

If others need to be approached with a gentle touch before they will take advice on board, then so be it. My objection was only to this tendency to instantly think the worst of others, and the insinuation that Ian didn't have the member's best interests at heart.

Best wishes.

Metta,
Retro. :)



Retro, the Buddha clearly advocated the gentle touch.

"He speaks words that are soothing to the ear, that are affectionate, that go to the heart, that are polite, appealing & pleasing to people at large.


"One should speak only pleasant words, words which are acceptable (to others). What one speaks without bringing evils to others is pleasant."


"One should speak only that word by which one would not torment oneself nor harm others. That word is indeed well spoken.


"It is spoken at the right time. It is spoken in truth. It is spoken affectionately. It is spoken beneficially. It is spoken with a mind of good-will."



Metta,

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Re: When Karma strikes back...

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:23 am

Annapurna wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Retro, the Buddha clearly advocated the gentle touch.
Yes, this is clearly the most skilful way, if we can manage it.
The Buddha was not always so gentle though, especially when admonishing his ordained disciples:
“So, Ānanda, be friendly towards me, not hostile. When I teach Dhamma seeking your welfare, give ear and exert your mind to understand. This will lead to your welfare and happiness for a long time. I shall not treat you as the potter treats the unbaked pot. Repeatedly restraining you, I will speak to you Ānanda. Repeatedly admonishing you, I will speak to you Ānanda. The sound core will stand the test.”
The hard part is knowing when to speak gently, when to be strict, and when not to speak at all.
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Re: When Karma strikes back...

Postby Hoo » Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:56 am

retrofuturist wrote:To be clear, I'm not advocating rudeness, rough speech or anything along those lines...

....as they say, the Dhamma is the greatest of all gifts...


Hi Retro,

I acknowledge that my bias is to give a gift with a welcoming smile. Perhaps it's because my pre-Buddhist life was so aggressive that I'm sensitive to things like giving a gift with a challenge or a frown. If I do that, the benefit is likely for me, not the recipient. Perhaps others can carry it off successfully, and Admiral seems to have surfed it all admirably :twothumbsup:

No one appointed me the motivation police and I'm not volunteering. Just wanted to share what I thought I was seeing and I'm glad others did too.

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Re: When Karma strikes back...

Postby Annapurna » Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:51 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Annapurna wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Retro, the Buddha clearly advocated the gentle touch.
Yes, this is clearly the most skilful way, if we can manage it.
The Buddha was not always so gentle though, especially when admonishing his ordained disciples:
“So, Ānanda, be friendly towards me, not hostile. When I teach Dhamma seeking your welfare, give ear and exert your mind to understand. This will lead to your welfare and happiness for a long time. I shall not treat you as the potter treats the unbaked pot. Repeatedly restraining you, I will speak to you Ānanda. Repeatedly admonishing you, I will speak to you Ānanda. The sound core will stand the test.”
The hard part is knowing when to speak gently, when to be strict, and when not to speak at all.


Hello, Bikkhu Pesala, you're right, it's so much easier said than done, and this too:

The hard part is knowing when to speak gently, when to be strict, and when not to speak at all.


The Buddha also said that if we had an insight, it should be followed by action,-so practising it will be a constant 'duty'.

Btw, is there ungentleness in the Buddhas words....? :thinking: .

:anjali:

Metta,

PS.....Being strict doesn't mean you have to be rude and use bad words, does it?

It can be said quite calmy, can be explained well, and then insight should follow.

If not, leave the full cup alone,-and we should have known it is not the right time to fill it...



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Re: When Karma strikes back...

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:04 pm

Annapurna wrote:

Btw, is there ungentleness in the Buddhas words....? .
Nothing gentle in this:
"Of whom do you know, foolish man, that I have taught to him the teaching in that manner? Did I not, foolish man, speak in many ways of those obstructive things that they are obstructions indeed, and that they necessarily obstruct him who pursues them? Sense desires, so I have said, bring little enjoyment, and much suffering and disappointment. The perils in them are greater. Sense desires are like bare bones, have I said; they are like a lump of flesh... they are like a snake's head, have I said. They bring much suffering and disappointment. The perils in them are greater. But you, O foolish man, have misrepresented us by what you personally have wrongly grasped. You have undermined your own (future) and have created much demerit. This, foolish man, will bring you much harm and suffering for a long time." http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nypo.html
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: When Karma strikes back...

Postby Goedert » Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:16 pm

Translator's Introduction
In this discourse, the Buddha shows the factors that go into deciding what is and is not worth saying. The main factors are three: whether or not a statement is true, whether or not it is beneficial, and whether or not it is pleasing to others. The Buddha himself would state only those things that are true and beneficial, and would have a sense of time for when pleasing and unpleasing things should be said. Notice that the possibility that a statement might be untrue yet beneficial is not even entertained.

This discourse also shows, in action, the Buddha's teaching on the four categories of questions and how they should be answered (see AN 4.42). The prince asks him two questions, and in both cases he responds first with a counter-question, before going on to give an analytical answer to the first question and a categorical answer to the second. Each counter-question serves a double function: to give the prince a familiar reference point for understanding the answer about to come, and also to give him a chance to speak of his own intelligence and good motives. This provides him with the opportunity to save face after being stymied in his desire to best the Buddha in argument. The Commentary notes that the prince had placed his infant son on his lap as a cheap debater's trick: if the Buddha had put him in an uncomfortable spot in the debate, the prince would have pinched his son, causing him to cry and thus effectively bringing the debate to a halt. The Buddha, however, uses the infant's presence to remove any sense of a debate and also to make an effective point. Taking Nigantha Nataputta's image of a dangerous object stuck in the throat, he applies it to the infant, and then goes on to make the point that, unlike the Niganthas — who were content to leave someone with a potentially lethal object in the throat — the Buddha's desire is to remove such objects, out of sympathy and compassion. In this way, he brings the prince over to his side, converting a potential opponent into a disciple.

Thus this discourse is not only about right speech, but also shows right speech in action.

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' Sanctuary.

Then Prince Abhaya went to Nigantha Nataputta and on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, Nigantha Nataputta said to him, "Come, now, prince. Refute the words of Gotama the contemplative, and this admirable report about you will spread afar: 'The words of Gotama the contemplative — so mighty, so powerful — were refuted by Prince Abhaya!'"

"But how, venerable sir, will I refute the words of Gotama the contemplative — so mighty, so powerful?"

"Come now, prince. Go to Gotama the contemplative and on arrival say this: 'Lord, would the Tathagata say words that are unendearing & disagreeable to others?' If Gotama the contemplative, thus asked, answers, 'The Tathagata would say words that are unendearing & disagreeable to others,' then you should say, 'Then how is there any difference between you, lord, and run-of-the-mill people? For even run-of-the-mill people say words that are unendearing & disagreeable to others.' But if Gotama the contemplative, thus asked, answers, 'The Tathagata would not say words that are unendearing & disagreeable to others,' then you should say, 'Then how, lord, did you say of Devadatta that "Devadatta is headed for destitution, Devadatta is headed for hell, Devadatta will boil for an eon, Devadatta is incurable"? For Devadatta was upset & disgruntled at those words of yours.' When Gotama the contemplative is asked this two-pronged question by you, he won't be able to swallow it down or spit it up. Just as if a two-horned chestnut[1] were stuck in a man's throat: he would not be able to swallow it down or spit it up. In the same way, when Gotama the contemplative is asked this two-pronged question by you, he won't be able to swallow it down or spit it up."

Responding, "As you say, venerable sir," Prince Abhaya got up from his seat, bowed down to Nigantha Nataputta, circumambulated him, and then went to the Blessed One. On arrival, he bowed down to the Blessed One and sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he glanced up at the sun and thought, "Today is not the time to refute the Blessed One's words. Tomorrow in my own home I will overturn the Blessed One's words." So he said to the Blessed One, "May the Blessed One, together with three others, acquiesce to my offer of tomorrow's meal."

The Blessed One acquiesced with silence.

Then Prince Abhaya, understanding the Blessed One's acquiescence, got up from his seat, bowed down to the Blessed One, circumambulated him, and left.

Then, after the night had passed, the Blessed One early in the morning put on his robes and, carrying his bowl and outer robe, went to Prince Abhaya's home. On arrival, he sat down on a seat made ready. Prince Abhaya, with his own hand, served & satisfied the Blessed One with fine staple & non-staple foods. Then, when the Blessed One had eaten and had removed his hand from his bowl, Prince Abhaya took a lower seat and sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, "Lord, would the Tathagata say words that are unendearing & disagreeable to others?"

"Prince, there is no categorical yes-or-no answer to that."

"Then right here, lord, the Niganthas are destroyed."

"But prince, why do you say, 'Then right here, lord, the Niganthas are destroyed'?"

"Just yesterday, lord, I went to Nigantha Nataputta and... he said to me...'Come now, prince. Go to Gotama the contemplative and on arrival say this: "Lord, would the Tathagata say words that are unendearing & disagreeable to others?"... Just as if a two-horned chestnut were stuck in a man's throat: he would not be able to swallow it down or spit it up. In the same way, when Gotama the contemplative is asked this two-pronged question by you, he won't be able to swallow it down or spit it up.'"

Now at that time a baby boy was lying face-up on the prince's lap. So the Blessed One said to the prince, "What do you think, prince: If this young boy, through your own negligence or that of the nurse, were to take a stick or a piece of gravel into its mouth, what would you do?"

"I would take it out, lord. If I couldn't get it out right away, then holding its head in my left hand and crooking a finger of my right, I would take it out, even if it meant drawing blood. Why is that? Because I have sympathy for the young boy."

"In the same way, prince:

[1] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial (or: not connected with the goal), unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

[2] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

[3] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, but unendearing & disagreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them.

[4] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

[5] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

[6] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, and endearing & agreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them. Why is that? Because the Tathagata has sympathy for living beings."

"Lord, when wise nobles or priests, householders or contemplatives, having formulated questions, come to the Tathagata and ask him, does this line of reasoning appear to his awareness beforehand — 'If those who approach me ask this, I — thus asked — will answer in this way' — or does the Tathagata come up with the answer on the spot?"

"In that case, prince, I will ask you a counter-question. Answer as you see fit. What do you think: are you skilled in the parts of a chariot?"

"Yes, lord. I am skilled in the parts of a chariot."

"And what do you think: When people come & ask you, 'What is the name of this part of the chariot?' does this line of reasoning appear to your awareness beforehand — 'If those who approach me ask this, I — thus asked — will answer in this way' — or do you come up with the answer on the spot?"

"Lord, I am renowned for being skilled in the parts of a chariot. All the parts of a chariot are well-known to me. I come up with the answer on the spot."

"In the same way, prince, when wise nobles or priests, householders or contemplatives, having formulated questions, come to the Tathagata and ask him, he comes up with the answer on the spot. Why is that? Because the property of the Dhamma is thoroughly penetrated by the Tathagata. From his thorough penetration of the property of the Dhamma, he comes up with the answer on the spot." [2]

When this was said, Prince Abhaya said to the Blessed One: "Magnificent, lord! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to show the way to one who was lost, or to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way has the Blessed One — through many lines of reasoning — made the Dhamma clear. I go to the Blessed One for refuge, to the Dhamma, and to the Sangha of monks. May the Blessed One remember me as a lay follower who has gone to him for refuge, from this day forward, for life."

Notes
1.A two-horned chestnut is the nut of a tree (Trapa bicornis) growing in south and southeast Asia. Its shell looks like the head of a water buffalo, with two nasty, curved "horns" sticking out of either side.
2.This statement is apparently related to the more abstract statement in AN 4.24, that what the Tathagata knows is not "established" in him. In other words, he does not define himself or the awakened mind in terms of knowledge or views, even concerning the Dhamma, although the knowledge that led to his awakening is fully available for him to draw on at any time.

Abhaya Sutta
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Re: When Karma strikes back...

Postby Annapurna » Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:34 pm

Thank you, Tilt, your input is appreciated.

I'm sure Bikkhu Pesala will return to explain the quote he was referring to and that I asked about.

While reading your quote, it became apparent to me that the scenario is a bit different, but nevertheless interesting.

Here, we had a beginner harmlessly asking a question. In this suttha, however, we have a monk insisting on wrong viewm although he had better instructions.


2. Now on that occasion a monk called Arittha, formerly of the vulture killers, had conceived this pernicious view: "There are things called 'obstructions'[1] by the Blessed One. As I understand his teaching, those things are not necessarily obstructive for one who pursues them."

3. Several monks, hearing about it, went to the monk Arittha, formerly of the vulture killers, and asked him: "Is it true, friend Arittha, that you have conceived this pernicious view: "There are things called (obstructions) by the Blessed One. As I understand his teaching, those things are not necessarily obstructive for one who pursues them'?"

"Yes, indeed, friends, (I do hold that view)."

Then those monks, wishing to dissuade Arittha from that pernicious view, urged, admonished, questioned and exhorted him thus: "Do not say so, friend Arittha, do not say so! Do not misrepresent the Blessed One! It is not right to misrepresent him. Never would the Blessed One speak like that.


So we could sum up, I suppose, that there is a difference between asking for guidance, and a monk who should know better misunderstanding or resisting the guidance that was previously given.

Thank you for sharing! :anjali:
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