Fear of death. Why?

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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby PeterB » Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:07 pm

I am sure that's true T Mingyur, and that goes also for people who like the idea that the Buddha taught that people who give their mum and dad a bit of lip will have hot spikes hammered into them...there's no accounting for taste.

I notice however that you didn't actually answer my question...do you think that the Buddha taught that...as literal fact ?

Hot spikes...hell goons...all that ?
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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 4:35 pm

shjohnk wrote:Is this 'Devadåtasuttaü' in the Pali Canon?



Yes. Check MN129 and MN130 and MANY OTHER SUTTAS.
http://metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pitaka/ ... ita-e.html
http://metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pitaka/ ... uta-e.html


There is a large chunk of suttas that talk about hungry ghost (there is entire lakkhana-samyutta) and hell realm where one is spiked and burned and so on.


Some pick and chose according to their likes and preferences, which is wrong, IMHO.


Here, friend, as I was coming down from Mount Vulture Peak, I saw a skeleton moving through the air. Vultures, crows, and hawks, pursuing it here and there, were pecking at it between the ribs, stabbing it, and tearing it apart while it uttered cries of pain. It occurred to me: ‘It is wonderful, indeed! It is amazing, indeed! That there could be such a being, that there could be such a spirit, that could be such a form of individual existence Then the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus: “Bhikkhus, there are disciples who dwell having become vision, disciples who dwell having become knowledge, in that a disciple can know, see, and witness such a sight. In the past, bhikkhus, I too saw that being , but I did not speak about it. For if I had spoken about it, others would not have believed me, and if they would not have believed me that would have led to their harm and suffering for a long time. “That being, bhikkhus, used to be a cattle butcher in this same Råjagaha. Having been tormented in hell for many years, for many hundreds of years, for many thousands of years, for many hundreds of thousands of years as a result of that kamma, as a residual result of that same kamma he is experiencing such a form of individual existence.”


2 (2) The Piece of Meat
“Here, friend, as I was coming down from the mountain Vulture Peak, I saw a piece of meat moving through the air. Vultures, crows, and hawks, pursuing it here and there, were stabbing at it and tearing it apart as it uttered cries of pain.”… “That being, bhikkhus, was a cattle butcher in this same Rajagaha

3 (3) The Lump of Meat
20 … “I saw a lump of meat….” “That being was a poultry butcher in this same Rajagaha….”

5 (5) Sword Hairs
… “I saw a man with body-hairs of swords moving through the air. Those swords kept on rising up and striking his body while he uttered cries of pain….” “That being was a hog butcher in this same Rajagaha….”

10 (10) Pot Testicles
… “I saw a man whose testicles were like pots moving through the air. When he walked, he had to lift his testicles onto his shoulders, and when he sat down he sat on top of his testicles. Vultures, crows, and hawks, pursuing him here and there, were stabbing at him and tearing him apart while he uttered cries of pain….” “That being was a corrupt judge in this same Rajagaha….”

12 (2) The Dung Eater
… “I saw a man submerged in a pit of dung, eating dung with both hands….” “That being, bhikkhus, was a hostile brahmin in this same Rajagaha. In the time of the Buddha Kassapa’s Dispensation, he invited the Bhikkhu Sangha to a meal. Having had rice pots filled with dung, he said to the bhikkhus: ‘Aho, sirs, eat as much as you want and take the rest away with you.’…

16 (6) The Headless Trunk
… “I saw a headless trunk moving through the air; its eyes and mouth were on its chest. Vultures, crows, and hawks, pursuing it here and there, were stabbing at it and tearing it apart while it uttered cries of pain….” “That being was an executioner named Hårika in this same Rajagaha….”

18 (8) The Evil Bhikkhuni
… “I saw a bhikkhuni moving through the air. Her outer robe, bowl, waistband, and body were burning, blazing, and flaming while she uttered cries of pain….” “That bhikkhuni had been an evil bhikkhuni in the Buddha Kassapa’s Dispensation…

Samyutta Nikaya - transl. by Bhikkhu Bodhi
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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby PeterB » Mon Aug 23, 2010 4:46 pm

Wrong ? You mean there should be a Buddhist Inquisition Alex ?

You believe whatever ever stories about ghosts and goblins and scary monsters you like. I wont be joining you.
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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby ground » Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:07 pm

PeterB wrote:I am sure that's true T Mingyur, and that goes also for people who like the idea that the Buddha taught that people who give their mum and dad a bit of lip will have hot spikes hammered into them...there's no accounting for taste.

I notice however that you didn't actually answer my question...do you think that the Buddha taught that...as literal fact ?

Hot spikes...hell goons...all that ?


Now either the suttas are the words of the Buddha or they are not.

If we assume that they are then why accept some of his words and reject others?

And what does "literal" mean? If he taught literal "nirvana" he also taught "literal" hell.
Or - as an alternative - his teachings are is completely metaphorical ?

But please .. remember I am a Mahayana practitioner ... :o .

Usually Thervadins question my words "Where did the Buddha teach what you are saying?" :P

Now I am asking you: Why don't you accept the Buddhas teachings?

The Buddhas hell teachings pretty much complies with what is taught in tibetan Buddhism about the hells.

Alex123 wrote:There is a large chunk of suttas that talk about hungry ghost (there is entire lakkhana-samyutta) and hell realm where one is spiked and burned and so on.

That is mirrored in tibetan buddhism.


I have been taught that to reject or negate any of the Buddha's teachings is to disparage the buddha dharma. Since I have taken refuge I will never reject any of the Buddhas teachings. Never ever. I may not understand a teaching or it may disturb me and due to my ignorance I may not understand or like what the teaching says but I will not reject or negate it but practice according to its instruction to the best of my ability. That is why it is advisable to fear death if there is an incapacity in one's ethical conduct. Why? Because the Buddha taught so.


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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby PeterB » Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:51 pm

Then in your eyes I disparage the Buddhas teachings....

In my eyes I reject those parts of the Suttas like hell realms and Mount Meru and Buddhas causing earthquakes that seem to me to run clear counter to science and/or what the Budhha taught elsewhere.
I am not trying to convince you to do the same, and i dont know why you would be bothered in any way by what i think.
Just as i have come to my own conclusions and dont particularly care what you think..
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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby Kenshou » Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:53 pm

Now either the suttas are the words of the Buddha or they are not.


Are things really quite so black and white?

We may have the words of an individual known as the Buddha as preserved and remembered and organized by those who heard him and orally passed down those words and eventually wrote them down, but it's been 2500 years. Sabbe sankhara anicca, right? It's quite reasonable to think that some things might creep in and some things might get lost, not intentionally, but by the inevitable imperfection of any human information exchange/preservation.

Things are just not as simple as "either the suttas are the words of the Buddha or they are not". I do not say this in support of any particular batch of views, but we really have to use our critical thinking. We've got a big bag of stuff, I don't think we should just accept the whole thing unthinkingly. We've got to sort through the sack and find out what's the real stuff and what's not, and I do know that that's not necessarily an easy task at all.
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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:11 pm

Kenshou wrote:
Now either the suttas are the words of the Buddha or they are not.


Are things really quite so black and white?

We may have the words of an individual known as the Buddha as preserved and remembered and organized by those who heard him and orally passed down those words and eventually wrote them down, but it's been 2500 years. Sabbe sankhara anicca, right? It's quite reasonable to think that some things might creep in and some things might get lost, not intentionally, but by the inevitable imperfection of any human information exchange/preservation.

Things are just not as simple as "either the suttas are the words of the Buddha or they are not". I do not say this in support of any particular batch of views, but we really have to use our critical thinking. We've got a big bag of stuff, I don't think we should just accept the whole thing unthinkingly. We've got to sort through the sack and find out what's the real stuff and what's not, and I do know that that's not necessarily an easy task at all.


Hello Kenshou, PeterB,

How do you know which things to accept and which to reject? Reject those you don't like, understand or approve of and keep those that you like? Is that the standart? Kinda like buffet approach? Pick a bit from here, a bit from there, take this, don't take that...

Talk on ghosts, devas, and hell realms make a LARGE part of sutta-pitaka. It is not just few comments here and there. If one is going to negate a LARGE part of the teaching, then you need some strong proof.
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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:39 pm

Alex123 wrote:
How do you know which things to accept and which to reject? Reject those you don't like, understand or approve of and keep those that you like? Is that the standart? Kinda like buffet approach? Pick a bit from here, a bit from there, take this, don't take that...
Do you take everyting in the suttas as being lieteral descriptive historical truth?
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: Fear of death. Why?

Postby Kenshou » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:01 pm

Hi Alex,

How do you know which things to accept and which to reject? Reject those you don't like, understand or approve of and keep those that you like? Is that the standart? Kinda like buffet approach? Pick a bit from here, a bit from there, take this, don't take that...


No. I would consider that an ineffective approach. I neither assume my knowledge to be perfect and try to make the suttas conform to me, nor assume the suttas to be perfect in all facets and make my knowledge conform to them. I'm trying to get a good grip on the central pragmatic dhamma for the end of dukkha (since that's the point of it all), and make connections outwards from there to paint the larger picture. It isn't about picking and choosing based on what I want it to be, but trying to put it all together as it is. If something fits, and I don't understand it, so be it. But I wouldn't say that something must be a later addition merely based on the fact that at that point I don't understand it. It's a learning process.
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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:05 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
How do you know which things to accept and which to reject? Reject those you don't like, understand or approve of and keep those that you like? Is that the standart? Kinda like buffet approach? Pick a bit from here, a bit from there, take this, don't take that...
Do you take everyting in the suttas as being lieteral descriptive historical truth?



What Buddha said, I believe. That settles it.
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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:06 pm

Kenshou wrote:Hi Alex,

How do you know which things to accept and which to reject? Reject those you don't like, understand or approve of and keep those that you like? Is that the standart? Kinda like buffet approach? Pick a bit from here, a bit from there, take this, don't take that...


No. I would consider that an ineffective approach. I neither assume my knowledge to be perfect and try to make the suttas conform to me, nor assume the suttas to be perfect in all facets and make my knowledge conform to them. I'm trying to get a good grip on the central pragmatic dhamma for the end of dukkha (since that's the point of it all), and make connections outwards from there to paint the larger picture. It isn't about picking and choosing based on what I want it to be, but trying to put it all together as it is. If something fits, and I don't understand it, so be it. But I wouldn't say that something must be a later addition merely based on the fact that at that point I don't understand it. It's a learning process.


By saying "I'm trying to get a good grip on the central pragmatic dhamma for the end of dukkha (since that's the point of it all), and make connections outwards from there to paint the larger picture. "

So are you saying that Buddha has taught something that is useless or that he lied about certain things? Do you remember the simsipa leaves simile?
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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:20 pm

Alex123 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
How do you know which things to accept and which to reject? Reject those you don't like, understand or approve of and keep those that you like? Is that the standart? Kinda like buffet approach? Pick a bit from here, a bit from there, take this, don't take that...
Do you take everyting in the suttas as being lieteral descriptive historical truth?



What Buddha said, I believe. That settles it.
And we know for sure what the Buddha said in all cases?
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: Fear of death. Why?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:39 pm

And we know for sure what the Buddha said in all cases?


And how do you know what He didn't say? Are you suggesting that one may as well throw out entire sutta-pitaka and use oneself as the arbitor and judge of the truth? Or are you saying that one selectively chooses (according to which standart?) from the suttas what the Buddha did and didn't teach?
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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby Kenshou » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:46 pm

Alex123 wrote:So are you saying that Buddha has taught something that is useless or that he lied about certain things?


No. On the contrary, I want to find out precisely what he was saying as best as I can, by carefully going through the information that we have inherited from the bottom up. I think the root issues pertaining to the end of dukkha, the raison d'etre for all of this, is the logical place to start. Emphasis on the word start. Though I've expressed that I want to get to the "core" of the matter, that doesn't mean that I disregard everything outside of the "core" as useless. There are a variety of means presented in the suttas pointing us towards the end of dukkha, all worth understanding.

My distrust is not in the man himself but in the means by which the information has been passed down to us. It's been 2000 years. It's very unlikely that everything we have is as the Buddha said it and that's that. But I think the essence of what he said is in there.
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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:49 pm

Alex123 wrote:
And we know for sure what the Buddha said in all cases?


And how do you know what He didn't say? Are you suggesting that one may as well throw out entire sutta-pitaka and use oneself as the arbitor and judge of the truth? Or are you saying that one selectively chooses (according to which standart?) from the suttas what the Buddha did and didn't teach?
I am not suggesting anything. I am asking you a couple of questions. What is interesting is that if we switched a couple of words, your responses would be that of a fundamentalist, literalist Christian. We would certainly not accept the Flood story as being literal truth (do we?), but why would we need to accept the Buddha's reworking of the Brahmanical creation story as being literal, historical truth?
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: Fear of death. Why?

Postby Kenshou » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:59 pm

That's another point, a large amount of Buddhist concepts are explained in relation to or are a recycling of terms that existed in other ideologies of the time, or framed in a way as to be accessible to the audience. For this reason describing things in terms of Indian cosmology and whatnot would have been a good package to get the information passed along. Not a lie but a way of communicating the concept in a way that'd be understood. But to think that we should literally regard the Indian cosmological models and other "packages" as the truth would be taking it too far, imo.

I do think that in the suttas we have presented to us the idea that there is rebirth (in the more-than-one-life sense) and that beings "rebecome" in different circumstances ("realms") due to their kamma. But to take literally the Indian layer-cake cosmology and particular designations for those layers is not something I think is justified.
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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby Alex123 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:35 am

Kenshou wrote:That's another point, a large amount of Buddhist concepts are explained in relation to or are a recycling of terms that existed in other ideologies of the time, or framed in a way as to be accessible to the audience. For this reason describing things in terms of Indian cosmology and whatnot would have been a good package to get the information passed along.


There were plenty of Indian materialists in Buddha's time. So it is not that there was only one accepted teaching there. Buddha ON MANY occasions talked about the other word, talked to Devas, and talked about existence of other realms. Reason why He used indian names is perhaps
because He was an Indian. It makes a BIG chunk of the teaching and forms its core actually. 99.99% of Dukkha is felt due to potentially endless rebirths including in Hell-Realms where one can suffer more punishment in a day than is possible in one human life. In human life one can die when being stabbed by a sword. Not so in hell. A big part of 1st NT deals with being born in human realm. Buddhism would be senseless for most people if there was only one life. Suicide would get one quickly to parinibbana and there would be no need for any effort to achieve Parinibbana as everyone including evil dictators get there regardless of what they did.


Kenshou wrote: Not a lie but a way of communicating the concept in a way that'd be understood. But to think that we should literally regard the Indian cosmological models and other "packages" as the truth would be taking it too far, imo.

I do think that in the suttas we have presented to us the idea that there is rebirth (in the more-than-one-life sense) and that beings "rebecome" in different circumstances ("realms") due to their kamma. But to take literally the Indian layer-cake cosmology and particular designations for those layers is not something I think is justified.


It is taking too far by denying right view and affirming wrong view:



what is wrong view? 'There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no priests or contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is wrong view.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


"Because there actually is the next world, the view of one who thinks, 'There is no next world' is his wrong view. Because there actually is the next world, when he is resolved that 'There is no next world,' that is his wrong resolve. Because there actually is the next world, when he speaks the statement, 'There is no next world,' that is his wrong speech. Because there actually is the next world, when he is says that 'There is no next world,' he makes himself an opponent to those arahants who know the next world.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby Kenshou » Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:50 am

You seem to have gotten the impression that I am a rebirth-denying 1-lifer type. I'm not. As I said,

I do think that in the suttas we have presented to us the idea that there is rebirth (in the more-than-one-life sense) and that beings "rebecome" in different circumstances ("realms") due to their kamma.


I'm simply of the opinion that some of the distinctly indian concepts used to describe it don't need to be taken quite so literally, the Indian cosmological cake with each realm so-and-so many yojanas high, for example.
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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby Alex123 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:55 am

Kenshou wrote:You seem to have gotten the impression that I am a rebirth-denying 1-lifer type. I'm not. As I said,

I do think that in the suttas we have presented to us the idea that there is rebirth (in the more-than-one-life sense) and that beings "rebecome" in different circumstances ("realms") due to their kamma.


I'm simply of the opinion that some of the distinctly indian concepts used to describe it don't need to be taken quite so literally, .


We can call Devas (an Indian word), Angels (an english word). Ok, sure. But calling them by another name and in another language doesn't mean that they don't exist. Universe is a large place...
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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby Kenshou » Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:01 am

But calling them by another name and in another language doesn't mean that they don't exist


Yep, I never said that it did.

Seems to me, if rebirth is a reality, considering the size of the universe, there could be and probably are living things much more long lived and sublime than we are, and beings with it much worse and more painful than we have it. We have those right here on Earth, actually.
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