Anatta and rebirth (according to Nagasena)

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greenjuice
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Anatta and rebirth (according to Nagasena)

Postby greenjuice » Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:13 pm

From the Milinda Panha

6. “What is it, Nàgasena, that is reborn?”

“Mind and matter.”

“Is it this very mind and matter that is reborn?”

“No, it is not, but by this mind and matter deeds are done and because of those deeds another mind and matter is reborn; but that mind and matter is not thereby released
from the results of its previous deeds.”

“Give me an illustration.”

“It is like a fire that a man might kindle and, having warmed himself, he might leave it burning and go away. Then, if that fire were to set light to another man’s field and
the owner were to seize him and accuse him before the king, and he were to say, ‘Your majesty, I did not set this man’s field on fire. The fire that I left burning was different to that which burnt his field. I am not guilty’. Would he deserve punishment?”

“Indeed, yes, because whatever he might say the latter fire resulted from the former one.”

“Just so, O king, by this mind and matter deeds are done and because of those deeds another mind and matter is reborn; but that mind and matter is not thereby released
from the results of its previous deeds.”

I have various problems with this. Firstly, how can namarupa be reborn, isn't only the nama reborn? Further, is this an unfortunate translation, or does he really say that "another mind" will be born because of the deeds of this mind? That is plainly contradictory with the teaching that people are heirs of their own kamma. The metaphor confuses the question further, the one indirectly harming another man('s possessions) just supports this interpretation which is not only in contradiction with Buddha's words, but also pointless in itself, if one's bad kamma after his death results in another person being born in hell, how does that enact the 'deserved punishment' on the first person, the doer of the bad kamma?

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Anatta and rebirth (according to Nagasena)

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:07 pm

• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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Re: Anatta and rebirth (according to Nagasena)

Postby greenjuice » Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:55 pm

That is in contradiction with moral responsibility, which Buddha's thought by saying that beings are the heirs of their kamma. If is not a being that is the heir of it's kamma, but some other being, then there is no moral responsibility.

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Re: Anatta and rebirth (according to Nagasena)

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:07 pm

Greetings greenjuice,

It seems then that you find Nagasena's explanation unsatisfactory.

Would you like us to move this topic now to a more general section of the forum so an ongoing exploration of that perceived unsatisfactoriness can take place?

The Discovering Theravada section has specific guidelines which are likely to constrain such exploration of perceived conflicts/unsatisfactoriness - viewtopic.php?f=24&t=9992

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Anatta and rebirth (according to Nagasena)

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:29 pm

• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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Re: Anatta and rebirth (according to Nagasena)

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:10 am


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greenjuice
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Re: Anatta and rebirth (according to Nagasena)

Postby greenjuice » Mon Nov 25, 2013 5:52 pm


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retrofuturist
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Re: Anatta and rebirth (according to Nagasena)

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:51 pm

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Anatta and rebirth (according to Nagasena)

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:06 am


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Re: Anatta and rebirth (according to Nagasena)

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:19 am

Last edited by Bhikkhu Pesala on Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:34 am, edited 3 times in total.
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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retrofuturist
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Re: Anatta and rebirth (according to Nagasena)

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:31 am

Greetings,

Yep, that's the one... interesting to learn the origin and correct spelling of the word!

:thanks:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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greenjuice
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Re: Anatta and rebirth (according to Nagasena)

Postby greenjuice » Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:18 pm


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Mkoll
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Re: Anatta and rebirth (according to Nagasena)

Postby Mkoll » Tue Nov 26, 2013 6:37 pm

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa


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