The Danger of Rebirth

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby clw_uk » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:32 am

No I'm really confused. Clearly in the first quote you are using "death" the same way the rest of us would?

General question to all: As far as I can tell, this "Dhamma Language" idea originates with Buddhadasa. Am I correct? Or confused?

Metta
Mike



As a conventional means, in reality its only the momentary ending of grasping/craving since its from this that self-view or "I" comes from. Which is why in the other post i stated that my understanding is when i speak of death in reality its just means ending of craving/grasping


As far as i can tell its from the suttas

The Awakened One, best of speakers,
Spoke two kinds of truths:
The conventional and the ultimate.
A third truth does not obtain.

Therein:
The speech wherewith the world converses is true
On account of its being agreed upon by the world.
The speech which describes what is ultimate is also true,
Through characterizing dhammas as they really are.


Therefore, being skilled in common usage,
False speech does not arise in the Teacher,
Who is Lord of the World,
When he speaks according to conventions.
(Mn. i. 95)
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
User avatar
clw_uk
 
Posts: 3479
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby appicchato » Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:18 am

tiltbillings wrote:Mostly what we have been dealing with here in this thread is a strongly differing of opinion about the use of language...


'Uncooked' was an apt description...if I were asked... :coffee:
User avatar
appicchato
 
Posts: 1598
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:47 am
Location: Bridge on the River Kwae

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Feb 20, 2009 3:35 am

Hi Craig,
clw_uk wrote:
General question to all: As far as I can tell, this "Dhamma Language" idea originates with Buddhadasa.
Mike

As far as i can tell its from the suttas

The Awakened One, best of speakers,
Spoke two kinds of truths:
The conventional and the ultimate.
A third truth does not obtain.

I'm familiar with conventional and ultimate terms.

That's not what I mean. I'm talking about Buddhadasa's "Dhamma language", where he claims that conventional terms such as "birth" have a different meaning when talking about Dhamma.
E.g. http://www.dharmaweb.org/index.php/Two_ ... uage#Birth
The word "birth" is very common in the Buddha's discourses. When he was speaking of everyday things, he used the word "birth" with its everyday meaning. But when he was expounding Higher Dhamma - for instance, when discussing conditioned arising (paticca-samuppada) - he used the word "birth" (jati) with the meaning it has in Dhamma language. In his description of conditioned arising, he wasn't talking about physical birth. He was talking about the birth of attachment to the ideas of "me" and "mine", "myself" and "my own."

Metta
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10393
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby kc2dpt » Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:04 am

Mike, I have never heard this idea from another teacher. But I only have experience with a few teachers.
User avatar
kc2dpt
 
Posts: 956
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:48 pm

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:37 am

Greetings,

From what I understand "Dhamma language" refers to ultimate terms.

So, jati (birth) might conventionally mean childbirth or conception, but jati in ultimate terms, means something different... namely the birth of a conceptualised "I" resulting from ignorance.

Well that's how I understand what Buddhadasa aimed to communicate.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14674
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:59 am

retrofuturist wrote:Well that's how I understand what Buddhadasa aimed to communicate.

I think I understand what Ajahn Buddhadasa was saying, but, like Peter, have only heard that idea from Ajahn Buddhadasa and his followers.

My understanding of "conventional" and "ultimate" language in the Suttas is not that terms like "birth" are redefined, but that they are not used at all, the "ultimate" descriptions are in terms of aggregates, elements, etc.

For example, in SN 12.2 (Bhikkhu Bodhi translation) the Buddha says:
The passing away of the various beings from the various orders of beings, their perishing, breakup, disappearance, mortality, death, completion of time, the breakup of the aggregates, the laying down of the carcass: this is called death.

The commentary quoted by Bhikkhu Bodhi states that the red terms are conventional (lokassammutya) and the blue terms are ultimate (paramattha).

Metta
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10393
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Feb 20, 2009 7:17 am

Greetings Mike,

It is the contention of Buddhadasa that each of the twelve nidanas of dependent origination are ultimate paramattha... rather than being a mish-mash of conventional and ultimate.

What I don't understand however is why people then take this so far as to say that this particular way of looking at dependent origination necessitates the denial of conventional rebirth.... I've never understand that leap of thinking, because as you and others point out, there are plenty of instances of rebirth in the suttas which are unambiguously referring to conventional rebirth.... it just happens to be that they're generally about subjects other than dependent origination.

It's worth pointing out that the word 'jati' has been traditionally interpreted as conventional birth when used in the suttas, but its most common usage in the Abhidhamma is a momentary-birth.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14674
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Feb 20, 2009 7:21 am

From what I understand "Dhamma language" refers to ultimate terms.

So, jati (birth) might conventionally mean childbirth or conception, but jati in ultimate terms, means something different... namely the birth of a conceptualised "I" resulting from ignorance.

Well that's how I understand what Buddhadasa aimed to communicate.

And all that does is add a layer of confusion on thing, as we have seen here in this thread. It would seem that Craig has been using Buddhadasa's newfangled Dhamma-language notion, and, until now, insisting that its definitions are what is what, and no one else had a clue that the game had changed.

The idea here is to communicate with each other. While Buddhadada's approach may work within his specfic context, it does not work too well outside of it, as we see here all too graphically illustrated. I don't see much need for what Buddhadasa has done.
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: 19564
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Feb 20, 2009 7:30 am

Greetings Tilt,

What venerable Buddhadasa presented with respect to dependent origination was excellent, but the logic he used to explain it has been expanded by many of his followers beyond its intended scope (much like you say) into areas where it is misapplied and used inappropriately (e.g. to deny conventional rebirth, to deny kamma bearing fruit in the future beyond the original action)

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14674
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby cooran » Fri Feb 20, 2009 7:40 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

What venerable Buddhadasa presented with respect to dependent origination was excellent, but the logic he used to explain it has been expanded by many of his followers beyond its intended scope (much like you say) into areas where it is misapplied and used inappropriately (e.g. to deny conventional rebirth, to deny kamma bearing fruit in the future beyond the original action)

Metta,
Retro. :)

Hello Retro,

Would you say that this is what clw_uk has been doing? .... misapplying and using the teachings of Buddhadasa inappropriately?

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: 7616
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:20 am

Dhamma Language

I can see what he is saying, but this is something that is peculiar to him.
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: 19564
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby appicchato » Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:15 am

The Awakened One, best of speakers,
Spoke two kinds of truths:
The conventional and the ultimate.
A third truth does not obtain.

In reference to Buddhadasa's 'Dhamma Language'...I, personally, am confident this is where he got it(Dhammapada?...I took a cursory spin through it, but didn't see it)...and the meaning (if I were asked) is analogous...

tiltbillings: Buddhadasa's new fangled Dhamma-language notion...


mmmm...maybe, maybe not... :smile:
User avatar
appicchato
 
Posts: 1598
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:47 am
Location: Bridge on the River Kwae

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Mawkish1983 » Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:57 am

Right, I'm lost (sorry).... can someone provide a brief summary before we keep going?
Mawkish1983
 
Posts: 1175
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:46 am
Location: Essex, UK

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:02 am

Greetings Chris,

I think so. Buddhadasa teaches dependent origination as a non-time-delineated model, not too dissimilar from the visual I presented model here (viewtopic.php?f=13&t=21) ... in this model, "birth" doesn't mean "rebirth" like it does in the commentarial 3-lifetime version. Personally, I think he's got this right... but extending it into places of the Dhamma where birth is clearly meant "conventionally", is misleading.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14674
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby clw_uk » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:12 pm

Greetings Friends

I think what i made the mistake of doing was taking Buddhadasa teaching on the buddhas higher dhamma language and wordly dhamma language withhout explaining the meaning of it and excpecting everyone to be familliar with that teaching style, which lead to confusion



As for dependent origination and rebirth, just because it occurs in moments i dont take it to mean that can be without a doubt no rebirth, or that it has nothing to do with it if it does happen, its just in my understanding it was never taught as an explanation of rebirth by the buddha, even if it does lead to rebirth. I see it as being taught so one can see how dukkha and self view arise in the moment so they can then put an end to it in the moment. If it does cover three lives, its irrelevant. At least thats my understanding on its intended meaning and usage

I think it can be easily taken as meaning there is no dukkha after death because if one is used to the three lives model and its explanation of rebirth and then sees its taught in moments, this can lead to the conclusion that there is no dukkha after death then since there is no model for it. This is what i nearly did but this misses several points

That the buddha wasnt a liar or deceitful so why would he teach something that he had no knowledge of or knew wouldnt happen

At that time in India there were already lots of people who were following teachings that denied rebirth (i.e. the annihilationsist, and the later Cārvākas show how a religion can take off and not include rebirth) so he wouldnt have needed to include it as a teaching tool just to get people to follow his own teachings since others at the time were ready to accept non rebirth

Also the Buddha wasnt concerned with gaining followers, he only taught to those who wanted to hear, so he wasnt in the habbit of changing his Dhamma to suite other people by adding concepts of rebirth, he only taught Dhamma, the only difference is how much of the Dhamma he would reveal to each individual need, so some could only accept rebirth, others could accept the four noble truths and so on.

The Buddha didnt teach rupa death was the end of all dukkha and I-making, he said craving was, otherwise why didnt he just teach suicide


This of course is not to say that i fully accept rebirth, i dont. I have confidence in it because it was taught by the buddha but since i have no direct knowledge, im going to keep some skepticism. This however is just how it works for me, some people may benefit more from accepting rebirth completely and there will be some who benefit more from the Dhamma by having no view of rebirth, everyones practice and needs are different


Metta
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
User avatar
clw_uk
 
Posts: 3479
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby kc2dpt » Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:43 pm

I think this is a very reasonable statement of opinion.
I don't agree it, but that's OK.

Personally, I don't see any evidence nor reason why the Buddha would use words one way everywhere else and then change it up so radically for paticcasamuppada without clearly explaining that to anyone. In fact, as in SN 12.2, he goes out of his way to continue to explicitly define these words as not referring to mind moments.

Buddha wrote:"Now what is aging and death? Whatever aging, decrepitude, brokenness, graying, wrinkling, decline of life-force, weakening of the faculties of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called aging. Whatever deceasing, passing away, breaking up, disappearance, dying, death, completion of time, break up of the aggregates, casting off of the body, interruption in the life faculty of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called death.

"And what is birth? Whatever birth, taking birth, descent, coming-to-be, coming-forth, appearance of aggregates, & acquisition of [sense] media of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called birth.


If the Buddha wanted to describe the arising and fall of cittas I think he would have done so in a much clearer fashion. Maybe he would have employed a simile. "Just as at the end of life there is the break up of the aggregates, the casting off of the body, so too does each citta fall away." Something like that.

To say this teaching refers to mind moments seems to me an invention of the reader, and not the Buddha's intention. Just my opinion, though.
- Peter

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

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby clw_uk » Fri Feb 20, 2009 3:17 pm

You do raise a very good point and your quote does seem to show dependent origination as three lives and discussing conventional death etc. However the point i raise is this


Since dependent origination does occur in moments reguardless, its extremely useful to see and understanding how it comes about in the moment. This way one knows how dukkha arises dependent on conditions and can work to remove it in the moment which is what i feel is in line with the buddhas teachings since he was concerned with liberation in the here and now. When one sees depenent origination in the moments then one comes to a deeper understanding of it which allows for nibbana by quenching all craving

I think it all comes down to whats practical which i feel is seeing it in moments since its not removed from the present, all links are rising and ending here


:namaste:
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
User avatar
clw_uk
 
Posts: 3479
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Feb 20, 2009 3:38 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Chris,

I think so. Buddhadasa teaches dependent origination as a non-time-delineated model, not too dissimilar from the visual I presented model here (http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=21) ... in this model, "birth" doesn't mean "rebirth" like it does in the commentarial 3-lifetime version. Personally, I think he's got this right... but extending it into places of the Dhamma where birth is clearly meant "conventionally", is misleading.


I have no problem seeing paticcasamuppada playing itself as a "moment to moment" thing, but I see no justification for limiting it to just that.

Literal rebirth is placed squarely in terms of paticcasamuppada:

"'From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form.' Thus it has been said. And this is the way to understand how from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form. If consciousness were not to descend into the mother's womb, would name-and-form take shape in the womb?"

"No, lord."

"If, after descending into the womb, consciousness were to depart, would name-and-form be produced for this world?"

"No, lord."

"If the consciousness of the young boy or girl were to be cut off, would name-and-form ripen, grow, and reach maturity?"

"No, lord."

"Thus this is a cause, this is a reason, this is an origination, this is a requisite condition for name-and-form, i.e., consciousness."
- DN II 62-3.


“Ananda, if there were no element of sense desire, and no kamma to to ripen (there), would there be any sense-desire-becoming manifested?”

“Surely not, Lord.”

“In this way, Ananda, kamma is the field, consciousness
[viññāṇa] is the seed, craving [tanha] is the moisture: for beings hindered by ignorance, fettered by craving, viññāṇa is supported in a lower element. Thus, in the future, there is re-becoming [punabbhava] and production. Thus, Ananda, there is becoming. - AN I 233


Both these texts are talking about actual rebirth in terms of paticcasamuppada. I do not think the 12 link version needs to be solely understood in term of three lives, but there is no reason it cannot be taken that way. And let us not forget that paticcasamuppada is not limited only to the 12 link formula. The Buddha applied the principle of interdependent conditionality in a very wide variety of ways. The Four Noble Truths is another application of a generalized, simpler formula of paticcasamuppada that we see repeatedly in the suttas.
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: 19564
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby clw_uk » Fri Feb 20, 2009 3:48 pm

You are correct. To me though it is more practical to focus on moments. Any ignorance that was in the past was in the past, any consciousness thate arises in future has not come to be yet. When we look into craving and clinging in the moment its seeing dependent origination in the moment, which is why the buddha in some suttas teaches it as moments



He seeing a form with the eye does not greed for a pleasant form, nor become averse to a disagreeable form. Abides with mindfulness of the body established and with a limitless mind, knowing the release of mind and the release through wisdom as it really is, where thoughts of demerit cease completely. Dispelling agreeing and disagreeing feels whatever feeling, pleasant, unpleasant, or neither unpleasant nor pleasant. Neither delighted nor pleased with those feelings does not appropriate them. To him neither delighted, nor pleased and not appropriating those feelings the interest for them ceases. When interest ceases the holding ceases. When holding ceases being ceases. When being ceases birth ceases. When birth ceases decay and death, grief, lament, unpleasantness, displeasure and distress cease. Thus the complete mass of unpleasantness. ceases. Hearing a sound with the ear, cognising a smell with the nose, cognising a taste with the tongue, cognising a touch with the body, cognising an idea with the mind, does not become greedy for a pleasant idea. Does not become averse to a disagreeable idea. Abides with mindfulness of the body established and with a limitless mind, knowing the release of mind and the release through wisdom as it really is, where thoughts of demerit cease completely. Dispelling agreeing and disagreeing feels whatever feeling, pleasant, unpleasant, or neither unpleasant nor pleasant. Neither delighted nor pleased with those feelings does not appropriate them. Then the interest for those feelings cease. When interest ceases the holding ceases. When holding ceases being ceases. When being ceases birth ceases. When birth ceases decay and death, grief, lament, unpleasantness, displeasure and distress, cease. Thus the complete mass of unpleasantness ceases.


All that comes to be in the moment

Of course you can take it as three lives, nothing really to stop one doing so. The suttas have evidence either way, it all comes down to what is most practical. To me the practicality of only looking at its arising in the moments outweighs looking at it via three lives

MN 38



Metta
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
User avatar
clw_uk
 
Posts: 3479
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Feb 20, 2009 4:01 pm

Craig:
To me though it is more practical to focus on moments. Any ignorance that was in the past was in the past, any consciousness thate arises in future has not come to be yet. When we look into craving and clinging in the moment its seeing dependent origination in the moment, which is why the buddha in some suttas teaches it as moments


Sure; however, that does not mean our lives cannot and should not be placed within a larger context. We are, after all human beings and, unless we are Sarah Palin, we have a certain degree of curiosity about our world. We do, whether we want to or not, think in terms of past, present and future, and there is no reason that the Dhamma cannot be seen in those terms (after all the Buddha taught it in those terms), as way of bringing us to the moment, but you are quite correct that our practice, all of what we are, unfolds in the moment.
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: 19564
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

PreviousNext

Return to Open Dhamma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Digity, Kumara and 8 guests