DFFA Suicide and Euthanasia according to Theravada

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: Suicide and Euthanasia according to Theravada

Postby Alex123 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 3:23 pm

Hello all.

Please read the Godhika sutta:


How, O Blessed One, can your disciple— One delighting in the Teaching, A trainee seeking his mind’s ideal—Take his own life, O widely famed?”&311

Now on that occasion the Venerable Godhika had just used the knife. Then the
Blessed One, having understood, “This is Måra the Evil One,” addressed him in verse:
Such indeed is how the steadfast act: They are not in love with life. Having drawn out craving with its root, Godhika has attained final Nibbåna.”
SN 4.23 (3) Godhika


So we learn that:
1) Sekha can commit suicide.
2) Such indeed is how the steadfast act
3) Buddha didn't condemn and didn't restrain Godhika's action.

In MN144 sick monk Ven. Channa has cut his throat. We learn that:
http://metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pitaka/ ... ada-e.html

1) Ven. Channa declared his innocence in front of Ven.Sariputta
"Sàriputta, wasn't the faultlessness of the bhikkhu Channa declared in your presence?"

2) Suicide isn't faulty if one doesn't get reborn afterwards.
"if someone gives up this body and seizes another, I say it is a fault. In the bhikkhu that fault is not apparent. Bhikkhu Channa took his life faultlessly."


In DN16 the Buddha has relinquished his will to live. He didn't extend the life, nor did He allow it to play out naturally. He deliberately relinquished his vitality fabrications. It is something similar to a sick person deciding to go off life support while knowing fully well that it will cause death. A protracted suicide.


With metta,

Alex
”Even the water melting from the snow-capped peaks finds its way to the ocean."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2847
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: Suicide and Euthanasia according to Theravada

Postby cooran » Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:28 pm

Hello Alex

‘’ In DN16 the Buddha has relinquished his will to live. He didn't extend the life, nor did He allow it to play out naturally. He deliberately relinquished his vitality fabrications. It is something similar to a sick person deciding to go off life support while knowing fully well that it will cause death. A protracted suicide.’’


Can you give us the exact verse, and show how you came to this conclusion?

But even more importantly, can you show links to where any respected scholars or persons well-versed in the Dhamma have actually stated that the Buddha ‘’committed suicide’’?

With metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7528
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Suicide and Euthanasia according to Theravada

Postby Alex123 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:13 pm

Hello Cooran, all,

Buddha had three options:
1) He could have lived out his nature lifespan
2) He could have extended it to a Kappa
3) He could shorten his lifespan.

After giving the hint for Ananda to beg Him to extend his lifespan, and Ananda not realizing this the Buddha has done active steps to SHORTEN his lifespan remaining to 3 more months. (Apparently the normal lifespan went as much as 100-120 years in those days. Buddha died at 80, though He could have lived longer).

And at the Capala shrine the Blessed One thus mindfully and clearly comprehending renounced his will to live on.
...
47. "And in this way, Ananda, today at the Capala shrine the Tathagata has renounced his will to live on."
...
And of that, Ananda, which the Tathagata has finished with, that which he has relinquished, given up, abandoned, and rejected — his will to live on — the Tathagata's word has been spoken once for all: 'Before long the Parinibbana of the Tathagata will come about. Three months hence the Tathagata will utterly pass away.' And that the Tathagata should withdraw his words for the sake of living on — this is an impossibility.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .vaji.html


It is a plain case of deliberate and prolonged suicide.

The example is this. A patient's life is dependend on life-support. What do you call it when the patient fully knowing it, willingly deciding and switching off his life support fully knowing when the death will come? A suicide (that is protracted). Or, what do you call it when a person decides to fast to death? Suicide as well. I agree that this suicide (like fasting to death) is protracted, it is not as dramatic as cutting one's own throat with a knife (those monks were tough! Not many can pull it off! ) but none-the-less it is deliberate shortening of ones life.

If Bhikkhu Channa could take his life faultlessly, why couldn't the Buddha?
"if someone gives up this body and seizes another, I say it is a fault. In the bhikkhu that fault is not apparent. Bhikkhu Channa took his life faultlessly." - MN144




With metta,

Alex
Last edited by Alex123 on Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
”Even the water melting from the snow-capped peaks finds its way to the ocean."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2847
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: Suicide and Euthanasia according to Theravada

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:16 pm

Alex123 wrote: (Apparently the normal lifespan went as much as 100-120 years in those days.
Source?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19404
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Suicide and Euthanasia according to Theravada

Postby Alex123 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:26 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Alex123 wrote: (Apparently the normal lifespan went as much as 100-120 years in those days.
Source?

this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

When the Buddha said, “Ananda, I have developed the four Iddhipadas (bases of psychic power). If I so desire, I can live either a whole kappa or a
little more than a kappa”, the kappa should be taken to mean ayukappa, the lifespan of humans, which was 100 years during that period. This is the interpretation provided by the Commentaries on the statement of the Buddha taken from the Mahaparinibbana Sutta.
http://www.urbandharma.org/pdf/PDF_Budd ... Appear.pdf


Also, how old was Ven.Ananda when he died? Or Ven.Bakkula?
”Even the water melting from the snow-capped peaks finds its way to the ocean."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2847
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: Suicide and Euthanasia according to Theravada

Postby cooran » Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:29 pm

Hello all,

This might be of interest -

How the Buddha died - Venerable Dr Mettanando Bhikkhu

During Wesak Day, we are informed that it is also the day Buddha attained Parinibbana. But not many know how the Buddha died. Ancient texts weave two stories about the Lord Buddha's death. Was it planned and willed by the Buddha, or was it food poisoning, or something else altogether? Here's an account
-ooOoo-

The Mahaparinibbana Sutta, from the Long Discourse of Pali Tipitaka, is without doubt the most reliable source for details on the death of Siddhattha Gotama (BCE 563-483), the Lord Buddha. It is composed in a narrative style that allows readers to follow the story of the last days of the Buddha, beginning a few months before he died.

To understand what really happened to the Buddha is not a simple matter, though. The sutta, or discourse, paints two conflicting personalities of the Buddha, one overriding the other.

The first personality was that of a miracle worker who beamed himself and his entourage of monks across the Ganges River (D II, 89), who had a divine vision of the settlement of gods on earth (D II, 87), who could live until the end of the world on condition that someone invite him to do so (D II, 103), who determined the time of his own death (D II, 105), and whose death was glorified by the shower of heavenly flowers and sandal powder and divine music (D II, 138).

The other personality was that of an aged being who was failing in health (D II, 120), who almost lost his life because of a severe pain during his last retreat at Vesali (D II, 100), and who was forced to come to terms with his unexpected illness and death after consuming a special cuisine offered by his generous host.

These two personalities take turns emerging in different parts of the narrative. Moreover, there also appear to be two explanations of the Buddha's cause of death:
One is that the Buddha died because his attendant, Ananda, failed to invite him to live on to the age of the world or even longer (D II, 117).
The other is that he died by a sudden illness which began after he ate what is known as "Sukaramaddava" (D II, 127-157).
The former story was probably a legend, or the result of a political struggle within the Buddhist community during a stage of transition, whereas the latter sounds more realistic and accurate in describing a real life situation that happened in the Buddha's last days.

A number of studies have focused on the nature of the special cuisine that the Buddha ate during his last meal as being the agent of his death. However, there is also another approach based on the description of the symptoms and signs given in the sutta, which modern medical knowledge can shed light on.

In another mural painting at Wat Ratchasittharam, the Lord Buddha is approaching death, but he still takes time to answer questions put forth by the ascetic Subhadda, his last convert who, after being admitted to the Buddhist Order, became an arahant (enlightened monk).
What we know

In the Mahaparinibbana Sutta, we are told that the Buddha became ill suddenly after he ate a special delicacy, Sukaramaddava, literally translated as "soft pork", which had been prepared by his generous host, Cunda Kammaraputta. The name of the cuisine has attracted the attention of many scholars, and it has been the focus of academic research on the nature of the meal or ingredients used in the cooking of this special dish.

The sutta itself provides details concerning the signs and symptoms of his illness in addition to some reliable information about his circumstances over the previous four months, and these details are also medically significant.

The sutta begins with King Ajatasattus' plot to conquer a rival state, Vajji. The Buddha had journeyed to Vajji to enter his last rainy-season retreat. It was during this retreat that he fell ill. The symptoms of the illness were sudden, severe pain.
However, the sutta provides no description of the location and character of his pain. It mentions his illness briefly, and says that the pain was intense, and almost killed him.

Subsequently, the Buddha was visited by Mara, the God of Death, who invited him to pass away. The Buddha did not accept the invitation right away. It was only after Ananda, his attendant, failed to recognise his hint for an invitation to remain that he died. This piece of the message, though tied up with myth and supernaturalism, gives us some medically significant information. When the sutta was composed, its author was under the impression that the Buddha died, not because of the food he ate, but because he already had an underlying illness that was serious and acute-and had the same symptoms of the disease that finally killed him.

The Timing
Theravada Buddhist tradition has adhered to the assumption that the historical Buddha passed away during the night of the full moon in the lunar month of Visakha (which falls sometime in May to June). But the timing contradicts information given in the sutta, which states clearly that the Buddha died soon after the rainy-season retreat, most likely during the autumn or mid-winter, that is, November to January.
A description of the miracle of the unseasonal blooming of leaves and flowers on the sala trees, when the Buddha was laid down between them, indicates the time frame given in the sutta.
Autumn and winter, however, are seasons that are not favourable for the growth of mushrooms, which some scholars believe to be the source of the poison that the Buddha ate during his last meal.

Diagnosis
The sutta tells us that the Buddha felt ill immediately after eating the Sukaramaddava. Since we do not know anything about the nature of this food, it is difficult to name it as the direct cause of the Buddha's illness. But from the descriptions given, the onset of the illness was quick.
While eating, he felt there was something wrong with the food and he suggested his host have the food buried. Soon afterward, he suffered severe stomach pain and passed blood from his rectum.

We can reasonably assume that the illness started while he was having his meal, making him think there was something wrong with the unfamiliar delicacy. Out of his compassion for others, he had it buried.

Was food poisoning the cause of the illness? It seems unlikely.
The symptoms described do not indicate food poisoning, which can be very acute, but would hardly cause diarrhoea with blood. Usually, food poisoning caused by bacteria does not manifest itself immediately, but takes an incubation period of two to 12 hours to manifest itself, normally with acute diarrhoea and vomiting, but not the passage of blood.

Another possibility is chemical poisoning, which also has an immediate effect, but it is unusual for chemical poisoning to cause severe intestinal bleeding. Food poisoning with immediate intestinal bleeding could only have been caused by corrosive chemicals such as strong acids, which can easily lead to immediate illness. But corrosive chemicals should have caused bleeding in the upper intestinal tract, leading to vomiting blood. None of these severe signs are mentioned in the text.

Peptic ulcer diseases can be excluded from the list of possible illnesses as well. In spite of the fact that their onset is immediate, they are seldom accompanied by bloody stool. A gastric ulcer with intestinal bleeding produces black stool when the ulcer penetrates a blood vessel. An ulcer higher up in the digestive tract would be more likely to manifest itself as bloody vomiting, not a passage of blood through the rectum.

Other evidence against this possibility is that a patient with a large gastric ulcer usually does not have an appetite. By accepting the invitation for lunch with the host, we can assume that the Buddha felt as healthy as any man in his early 80s would feel. Given his age we cannot rule out that the Buddha did not have a chronic disease, such as cancer or tuberculosis or a tropical infection such as dysentery or typhoid, which could have been quite common in the Buddha's time.

These diseases could produce bleeding of the lower intestine, depending on their location. They also agree with the history of his earlier illness during the retreat. But they can be ruled out, since they are usually accompanied by other symptoms, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, weight loss, growth or mass in the abdomen. None of these symptoms were mentioned in the sutta.

A large haemorrhoid can cause severe rectal bleeding, but it is unlikely that a haemorrhoid could cause severe abdominal pain unless it is strangulated. But then it would have greatly disturbed the walking of the Buddha to the house of his host, and rarely is haemorrhoid bleeding triggered by a meal.

Mesenteric infarction
A disease that matches the described symptoms-accompanied by acute abdominal pain and the passage of blood, commonly found among elderly people, and triggered by a meal-is mesenteric infarction, caused by an obstruction of the blood vessels of the mesentery. It is lethal. Acute mesenteric ischaemia (a reduction in the blood supply to the mesentery) is a grave condition with a high rate of mortality.
The mesentery is a part of the intestinal wall that binds the whole intestinal tract to the abdominal cavity. An infarction of the vessels of the mesentery normally causes the death of the tissue in a large section of the intestinal tract, which results in a laceration of the intestinal wall.
This normally produces severe pain in the abdomen and the passage of blood. The patient usually dies of acute blood loss. This condition matches the information given in the sutta. It is also confirmed later when the Buddha asked Ananda to fetch some water for him to drink, indicating intense thirst.

As the story goes, Ananda refused, as he saw no source for clean water. He argued with the Buddha that the nearby stream had been muddied by a large caravan of carts. But the Buddha insisted he fetch water anyway.
A question arises at this point: Why did the Buddha not go to the water himself, instead of pressing his unwilling attendant to do so? The answer is simple. The Buddha was suffering from shock caused by severe blood loss. He could no longer walk, and from then to his death bed he was most likely carried on a stretcher.

If this was indeed the situation, the sutta remains silent about the Buddha's travelling to his deathbed, possibly because the author felt that it would be an embarrassment for the Buddha. Geographically, we know that the distance between the place believed to be the house of Cunda and the place where the Buddha died was about 15 to 20 kilometres. It is not possible for a patient with such a grave illness to walk such a distance.
More likely, what happened was that the Buddha was carried on a stretcher by a group of monks to Kusinara (Kushinagara).

It remains a point of debate whether the Buddha really determined to pass away at this city, presumably not much larger than a town. From the direction of the Buddha's journey, given in the sutta, he was moving north from Rajagaha. It is possible that he did not intend to die there, but in the town where he was born, which would have taken a period of three months to reach.

From the sutta, it is clear that the Buddha was not anticipating his sudden illness, or else he would not have accepted the invitation of his host.

Kusinara was probably the nearest town where he could find a doctor to take care of him. It is not difficult to see a group of monks hurriedly carrying the Buddha on a stretcher to the nearest town to save his life.

Before passing away, the Buddha told Ananda that Cunda was not to be blamed and that his death was not caused by eating Sukaramaddava. The statement is significant. The meal was not the direct cause of his death. The Buddha knew that the symptom was a repeat of an experience he'd had a few months earlier, the one which had almost killed him.

Sukaramaddava, no matter the ingredients or how it was cooked, was not the direct cause of his sudden illness.

Progression of the disease
Mesenteric infarction is a disease commonly found among elderly people, caused by the obstruction of the main artery that supplies the middle section of the bowel-the small intestine-with blood. The most common cause of the obstruction is the degeneration of the wall of the blood vessel, the superior mesenteric artery, causing severe abdominal pain, also known as abdominal angina.
Normally, the pain is triggered by a large meal, which requires a higher flow of blood to the digestive tract. As the obstruction persists, the bowel is deprived of its blood supply, which subsequently leads to an infarction, or gangrene, of a section of the intestinal tract. This in turn results in a laceration of the intestinal wall, profuse bleeding into the intestinal tract, and then bloody diarrhoea.
The disease gets worse as the liquid and content of the intestine oozes out into the peritoneal cavity, causing peritonitis or inflammation of the abdominal walls. This is already a lethal condition for the patient, who often dies due to the loss of blood and other fluid. If it is not corrected by surgery, the disease often progresses to septic shock due to bacterial toxins infiltrating the blood stream.

Retrospective analysis
From the diagnosis given above, we can be rather certain that the Buddha suffered from mesenteric infarction caused by an occlusion of the superior mesenteric artery. This was the cause of the pain that almost killed him a few months earlier during his last rainy-season retreat.
With the progress of the illness, some of the mucosal lining of his intestine sloughed off, and this site became the origin of the bleeding. Arteriosclerosis, the hardening of the vessel wall caused by ageing, was the cause of the arterial occlusion, a small blockage that did not result in bloody diarrhoea, but is a symptom, also known to us as abdominal angina.
He had his second attack while he was eating the Sukaramaddava. The pain was probably not intense in the beginning, but made him feel that there was something wrong. Suspicious about the nature of the food, he asked his host to have it all buried, so that others might not suffer from it.
Soon, the Buddha realised that the illness was serious, with the passage of blood and more severe pain in his abdomen. Due to the loss of blood, he went into shock. The degree of dehydration was so severe that he could not maintain himself any longer and he had to take shelter at a tree along the way.
Feeling very thirsty and exhausted, he got Ananda to collect water for him to drink, even though he knew that the water was muddied. It was there that he collapsed until his entourage carried him to the nearest town, Kusinara, where there would have been a chance of finding a doctor or lodging for him to recover in.
It was probably true that the Buddha got better after drinking to replace his fluid loss, and resting on the stretcher. The experience with the symptoms told him that his sudden illness was the second attack of an existing disease. He told Ananda that the meal was not the cause of his illness, and that Cunda was not to blame.

A patient with shock, dehydration and profuse blood loss usually feels very cold. This was the reason why he told his attendant to prepare a bed using four sheets of ifsanghati nf. According to Buddhist monastic discipline, a cloak, or extra piece of robe, very large, the size of a bed sheet, which the Buddha allowed monks and nuns to wear in winter. This information reflects how cold the Buddha felt because of his loss of blood. Clinically, it is not possible for a patient who is in a state of shock with severe abdominal pain, most likely peritonitis, pale and shivering, to be ambulatory.

The Buddha was most likely put into a lodging, where he was nursed and warmed, located in the city of Kusinara. This view is also confirmed with the description of Ananda who, weeping, swoons and holds onto the door of his lodge after learning that the Buddha was about to pass away.
Normally, a patient with mesenteric infarction could live 10 to 20 hours. From the sutta we learn that the Buddha died about 15 to 18 hours after the attack. During that time, his attendants would have tried their best to comfort him, for example, by warming the room where he was resting, or by dripping some water into his mouth to quench his lingering thirst, or by giving him some herbal drinks. But it would be highly unlikely that a shivering patient would need someone to fan him as is described in the sutta.

Off and on, he may have recovered from a state of exhaustion, allowing him to continue his dialogues with a few people. Most of his last words could have been true, and they were memorised by generations of monks until they were transcribed. But finally, late into the night, the Buddha died during a second wave of septic shock. His illness stemmed from natural causes coupled with his age, just as it would for anyone else.

Conclusion
The hypothesis outlined above explains several scenes in the narrative of the sutta, namely, the pressuring of Ananda to fetch water, the Buddha's request for a fourfold cloak for his bed, the ordering of the meal to be buried, and so on.
It also reveals another possibility of the actual means of transportation of the Buddha to Kusinara and the site of his death bed. Sukaramaddava, whatever its nature, was unlikely to have been the direct cause of his illness.
The Buddha did not die by food poisoning. Rather, it was the size of the meal, relatively too large for his already troubled digestive tract, that triggered the second attack of mesenteric infarction that brought an end to his life./.
Dr Mettanando Bhikkhu was a physician before entering the monkhood. He is currently based at Wat Raja Orasaram, Thailand.
-ooOoo-
http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/ebdha192.htm

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7528
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Suicide and Euthanasia according to Theravada

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:32 pm

Alex123 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Alex123 wrote: (Apparently the normal lifespan went as much as 100-120 years in those days.
Source?

this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

When the Buddha said, “Ananda, I have developed the four Iddhipadas (bases of psychic power). If I so desire, I can live either a whole kappa or a
little more than a kappa”, the kappa should be taken to mean ayukappa, the lifespan of humans, which was 100 years during that period. This is the interpretation provided by the Commentaries on the statement of the Buddha taken from the Mahaparinibbana Sutta.
http://www.urbandharma.org/pdf/PDF_Budd ... Appear.pdf

Also, how old was Ven.Ananda when he died? Or Ven.Bakkula?
That certain individuals lived to a very old age does not mean the normal life span was whatever that old age that certain individuals lived to.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19404
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Suicide and Euthanasia according to Theravada

Postby Alex123 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:37 pm

tiltbillings wrote:That certain individuals lived to a very old age does not mean the normal life span was whatever that old age that certain individuals lived to.


It doesn't change the fact that Buddha relinquished his will to live. He cut his life short. Today this is called suicide.

The food He ate, or His health, was not by itself responcible for His death if He didn't relinquish his will to live.


[regarding Godhika cutting his throat]
Such indeed is how the steadfast act: They are not in love with life. - The Buddha in
SN 4.23 (3) Godhika
”Even the water melting from the snow-capped peaks finds its way to the ocean."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2847
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: Suicide and Euthanasia according to Theravada

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:02 pm

Alex123 wrote:. . . It is a plain case of deliberate and prolonged suicide.
I am old worn out, one who has traversed life's path, I have reached the term of life, which is eighty. Just as an old cart is made to go on by being held together with straps, so the Tathagata's body is kept going by being strapped up." DN ii 101. Suicide? I supposed one could look at it that way, but that does not quite the fullness of the context.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19404
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Suicide and Euthanasia according to Theravada

Postby Alex123 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:13 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Alex123 wrote:. . . It is a plain case of deliberate and prolonged suicide.
I am old worn out, one who has traversed life's path, I have reached the term of life, which is eighty. Just as an old cart is made to go on by being held together with straps, so the Tathagata's body is kept going by being strapped up." DN ii 101. Suicide? I supposed one could look at it that way, but that does not quite the fullness of the context.



He could have lived longer if He didn't relinquish His will to live. "Tathagata's body is kept going by being strapped up" , and those supports he has relinquished. So that term of life which for Him was 80, was due to His relinquishing his will to live.


When the Buddha said, “Ananda, I have developed the four Iddhipadas (bases of psychic power). If I so desire, I can live either a whole kappa or a
little more than a kappa”, the kappa should be taken to mean ayukappa, the lifespan of humans, which was 100 years during that period. This is the interpretation provided by the Commentaries on the statement of the Buddha taken from the Mahaparinibbana Sutta.
http://www.urbandharma.org/pdf/PDF_Budd ... Appear.pdf
========
And at the Capala shrine the Blessed One thus mindfully and clearly comprehending renounced his will to live on.
...
47. "And in this way, Ananda, today at the Capala shrine the Tathagata has renounced his will to live on."
...
And of that, Ananda, which the Tathagata has finished with, that which he has relinquished, given up, abandoned, and rejected — his will to live on — the Tathagata's word has been spoken once for all: 'Before long the Parinibbana of the Tathagata will come about. Three months hence the Tathagata will utterly pass away.' And that the Tathagata should withdraw his words for the sake of living on — this is an impossibility.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .vaji.html
”Even the water melting from the snow-capped peaks finds its way to the ocean."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2847
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: Suicide and Euthanasia according to Theravada

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:36 pm

Alex123 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Alex123 wrote:. . . It is a plain case of deliberate and prolonged suicide.
I am old worn out, one who has traversed life's path, I have reached the term of life, which is eighty. Just as an old cart is made to go on by being held together with straps, so the Tathagata's body is kept going by being strapped up." DN ii 101. Suicide? I supposed one could look at it that way, but that does not quite the fullness of the context.



He could have lived longer if He didn't relinquish His will to live. "Tathagata's body is kept going by being strapped up" , and those supports he has relinquished. So that term of life which for Him was 80, was due to His relinquishing his will to live.
Probably the term of life was 80 because the body was no longer up to 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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19404
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Suicide and Euthanasia according to Theravada

Postby Alex123 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:00 pm

He Relinquished his will to live. Then when Ananda realized his mistake, he tried to make Buddha live longer. But Buddha didn't give in. Buddha made a choice to die in 3 month and so He did. Buddha could have lived much longer, but He made a choice to end His life in 3 month.
”Even the water melting from the snow-capped peaks finds its way to the ocean."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2847
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: Suicide and Euthanasia according to Theravada

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:15 pm

Alex123 wrote:He Relinquished his will to live. Then when Ananda realized his mistake, he tried to make Buddha live longer. But Buddha didn't give in. Buddha made a choice to die in 3 month and so He did. Buddha could have lived much longer, but He made a choice to end His life in 3 month.
You are repeating yourself.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19404
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Suicide and Euthanasia according to Theravada

Postby Alex123 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:32 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Alex123 wrote:He Relinquished his will to live. Then when Ananda realized his mistake, he tried to make Buddha live longer. But Buddha didn't give in. Buddha made a choice to die in 3 month and so He did. Buddha could have lived much longer, but He made a choice to end His life in 3 month.
You are repeating yourself.



Because that point is worth repeating. The Buddha has relinquished his will to live, this would be called suicide today. For all intents and purposes it is the same, it just took 3 months.

The example is this. A patient's life is dependend on life-support. What do you call it when the patient fully knowing it, willingly deciding and switching off his life support fully knowing when the death will come? A suicide that is protracted. Or, what do you call it when a person decides to fast to death? Suicide as well. I agree that this suicide (like fasting to death) is protracted, it is not as dramatic as cutting one's own throat with a knife (those monks were tough! Not many can pull it off! ) but none-the-less it is deliberate shortening of ones life.

If Bhikkhu Channa could take his life faultlessly, why couldn't the Buddha?
"if someone gives up this body and seizes another, I say it is a fault. In the bhikkhu that fault is not apparent. Bhikkhu Channa took his life faultlessly." - MN144


With metta,

Alex
”Even the water melting from the snow-capped peaks finds its way to the ocean."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2847
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: Suicide and Euthanasia according to Theravada

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:58 pm

Alex123 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Alex123 wrote:He Relinquished his will to live. Then when Ananda realized his mistake, he tried to make Buddha live longer. But Buddha didn't give in. Buddha made a choice to die in 3 month and so He did. Buddha could have lived much longer, but He made a choice to end His life in 3 month.
You are repeating yourself.



Because that point is worth repeating. The Buddha has relinquished his will to live, this would be called suicide today. For all intents and purposes it is the same, it just took 3 months.
Will to live is Thanisarro's typically less than adequate translation. Walshe has "renounced the life principle," which is a bit different, it would seem, than saying the Buddha "renounced the will to live."
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19404
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Suicide and Euthanasia according to Theravada

Postby Alex123 » Sun Oct 31, 2010 2:04 pm

tiltbillings wrote: Will to live is Thanisarro's typically less than adequate translation. Walshe has "renounced the life principle," which is a bit different, it would seem, than saying the Buddha "renounced the will to live."


It still doesn't change the point that the Buddha shortened his life, rather than prolonging or letting it play out naturally. Hence the reaction of Ananda when he realized that. Deliberately shortening one's life, knowing when it will end due to that action, is for all intents and purposes - Suicide.

Buddhism isn't Christianity or some life-affirming candle & crystal teaching, and thus its views on suicide do not have to coincide.
”Even the water melting from the snow-capped peaks finds its way to the ocean."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2847
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: Suicide and Euthanasia according to Theravada

Postby Individual » Sun Oct 31, 2010 3:53 pm

Alex123 wrote:Hello all.

Please read the Godhika sutta:


How, O Blessed One, can your disciple— One delighting in the Teaching, A trainee seeking his mind’s ideal—Take his own life, O widely famed?”&311

Now on that occasion the Venerable Godhika had just used the knife. Then the
Blessed One, having understood, “This is Måra the Evil One,” addressed him in verse:
Such indeed is how the steadfast act: They are not in love with life. Having drawn out craving with its root, Godhika has attained final Nibbåna.”
SN 4.23 (3) Godhika

I would underline the second sentence. "Having drawn out craving with its root".

That's not something you can do with a knife. :)
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
Individual
 
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Suicide and Euthanasia according to Theravada

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:44 pm

Alex123 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote: Will to live is Thanisarro's typically less than adequate translation. Walshe has "renounced the life principle," which is a bit different, it would seem, than saying the Buddha "renounced the will to live."


It still doesn't change the point that the Buddha shortened his life, rather than prolonging or letting it play out naturally..
And the reason for the Buddha killing himself?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19404
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Suicide and Euthanasia according to Theravada

Postby Alex123 » Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:59 pm

tiltbillings wrote: And the reason for the Buddha killing himself?



Because he has done his job, and the body was bothering him.

In MN26, He didn't even want to teach, and his mind inclined to inaction. Only with begging of Brahma, did Buddha agreed to teach. Later on, Ananda didn't beg Buddha to live for "a kappa or a bit longer" so the Buddha let go of life fabrications causing his death in 3 month.


If Bhikkhu Channa could take his life faultlessly, why couldn't the Buddha?
"if someone gives up this body and seizes another, I say it is a fault. In the bhikkhu that fault is not apparent. Bhikkhu Channa took his life faultlessly." - MN144

There was no fault in Buddha's action.
”Even the water melting from the snow-capped peaks finds its way to the ocean."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2847
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: Suicide and Euthanasia according to Theravada

Postby Alex123 » Sun Oct 31, 2010 6:03 pm

Individual wrote:
Alex123 wrote:Hello all.

Please read the Godhika sutta:


How, O Blessed One, can your disciple— One delighting in the Teaching, A trainee seeking his mind’s ideal—Take his own life, O widely famed?”&311

Now on that occasion the Venerable Godhika had just used the knife. Then the
Blessed One, having understood, “This is Måra the Evil One,” addressed him in verse:
Such indeed is how the steadfast act: They are not in love with life. Having drawn out craving with its root, Godhika has attained final Nibbåna.”
SN 4.23 (3) Godhika

I would underline the second sentence. "Having drawn out craving with its root".

That's not something you can do with a knife. :)



Ven. Godhika used the knife.

Mara's question to Buddha was: How, O Blessed One, can your disciple— One delighting in the Teaching, A trainee seeking his mind’s ideal—Take his own life, O widely famed?

Buddha has replied: Such indeed is how the steadfast act: They are not in love with life. Having drawn out craving with its root, Godhika has attained final Nibbåna.”
”Even the water melting from the snow-capped peaks finds its way to the ocean."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2847
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Next

Return to Open Dhamma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Khalil Bodhi, Nicolas, VinceField and 9 guests