Samaya

A forum for beginners and members of other Buddhist traditions to ask questions about Theravāda (The Way of the Elders). Responses require moderator approval before they are visible.

Samaya

Postby davcuts » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:20 pm

This might be a totally naive question, but I have never studied Theravada Buddhism, so please bare with me. Is there samaya in Theravada Buddhism? In Tibetan Buddhism it's a big no no to speak negatively against your teacher. I've been taught it can lead to aeons in hell. Is it the same for Theravada?

Thanks,
David
davcuts
 
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:03 am
Location: Asheville, North Carolina

Re: Samaya

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:39 pm

Greetings David,

The short answer is no.

It's possible that for bhikkhus, somewhere in their 227 precepts there might be something about respect and service towards their preceptor (the person who gave them their precepts and acts as a mentor) but alas I can't find a list of the 227 precepts on-line to be able to see whether that's the case or not.

Does anyone know if the 227 precepts are online somewhere?

There's definitely nothing along those lines for lay Theravadin Buddhists. If someone doesn't like what a particular teacher has to offer by way of Dhamma, they're free to seek Dhamma teachings elsewhere.

As for what leads one to hell, reviling noble ones (noble ariyan Sangha) has bad consequences.

MN 54: Potaliya Sutta (extract)
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"When the disciple of the noble ones has arrived at this purity of equanimity & mindfulness, he sees — by means of the divine eye, purified & surpassing the human — beings passing away & re-appearing, and he discerns how they are inferior & superior, beautiful & ugly, fortunate & unfortunate in accordance with their kamma: 'These beings — who were endowed with bad conduct of body, speech & mind, who reviled noble ones, held wrong views and undertook actions under the influence of wrong views — with the break-up of the body, after death, have re-appeared in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in hell.


This sort of logic however is not used to force compliance or submission to a teacher.

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: Samaya

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:54 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Does anyone know if the 227 precepts are online somewhere?


just noticed this so posting before I read the rest

you can find a couple of versions on A2I
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/vin/index.html
scroll down and there are several links to different sections and I know of another link but would need to have a search for that one
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5751
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Samaya

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:57 pm

Hi All
I think the Kalama Sutta is also relevant as the Buddha says that even he should be questioned.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5751
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Samaya

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:00 pm

Greetings Manapa,

There doesn't seem to be anything along the lines of what davcut's is enquiring about...

Introduction to the Patimokkha Rules
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... intro.html

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: Samaya

Postby Fede » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:04 pm

I found this:

and this.....

Hope it helps.....
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/
User avatar
Fede
 
Posts: 1182
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: The Heart of this "Green & Pleasant Land"...

Re: Samaya

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:08 pm

Hi Retro

Try this link http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... index.html


retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Manapa,

There doesn't seem to be anything along the lines of what davcut's is enquiring about...

Introduction to the Patimokkha Rules
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... intro.html

Metta,
Retro. :)
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5751
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Samaya

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:14 pm

Greetings Manapa, davcuts, all,

A seemingly relevant quotation, on whether to accept a teacher or preceptors words...

Buddhist Monastic Code I - Thanissaro Bhikkhu
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... intro.html

One is the narrative of the Second Council, during which the bhikkhus of Vesālī defended ten practices on the grounds that they had learned them from their teachers. The elders who judged the case, though, insisted on evaluating the practices in terms of whether they adhered to the Canon. The primary point of controversy — the question of whose authority was greater, the Canon's or the teachers' — was point six:

"'The practice of what is habitual, sir — is it allowable?'

"'What is the practice of what is habitual, my friend?'

"'To practice (thinking), this is the way my preceptor habitually practiced; this is the way my teacher habitually practiced — is this allowable?'

"'The practice of what is habitual is sometimes allowable, sometimes not.'" — Cv.XII.2.8

What this means, as the elders showed in their conduct of the meeting, is that one's teacher's and preceptor's practices are to be followed only when in accordance with the Canon.

Good advice.

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: Samaya

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:30 am

Greetings davcuts,

We don't have the guru relationship that I believe samaya refers to. And it's not clear whether you're talking about "disagreeing" or "being insulting". Obviously you can question a teacher without indulging in harmful speech, and I don't think we should mix that up with harmful speech.

In Theravada Monks have certain rules regarding their preceptor, but that's not relevant to a lay student. However, my monastic teachers certainly caution me that speaking badly about anyone should be avoided due to kammic consequences. Which is a no-brainer, since such speech would usually violate the fourth precept ("The monks at that monastery are don't study/meditate/work hard enough..." etc.).

Metta
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10389
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Samaya

Postby davcuts » Tue Jan 27, 2009 6:42 am

Thanks everyone!

I have made remarks about my teacher that people have condemned me to hell for saying. Mainly I've stated he has hurt a lot of people with his actions. Is saying such a thing in Theravada Buddhism justification for someone to spend aeons in hell?

I can understand how criticizing someone who has reached realizations is not a wise thing to do. I don't however understand why speaking the truth no matter what it might be can send someone to hell for aeons. It seems fear is used in Tibetan Buddhism to make sure people obey their teachers at all cost. Even if that teacher is abusing you, speaking out is considered breaking samaya. Is it the same with Theravada Buddhism?

Breaking samaya according to Tibetan Buddhism is the worst action someone can do. They don't just go to hell, they go to the worst possible hell, imprisoned in molten lava for aeons. So how is this viewed in Theravada Buddhism. Can someone say they believe their teacher has harmed a great many of people without the fear of hell?

Take care,
David
davcuts
 
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:03 am
Location: Asheville, North Carolina

Re: Samaya

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:18 am

i think thats a mainly tantric thing, guru devotion. the closest thing to that would be the master/student relationship in zen and even there its way more fluid than in tibetan buddhism, my master and i argued a lot, i looked to him as a sort of father, once i told him im glad it wasnt the old days and he couldnt hit me with a stick, he said back, if it was the old days he would have beaten me to death by now :jumping:
dogen once said how ever you shouldnt critise a group of monks as when theres monks in a group it represents the sangha (as a whole i guess)

but bad conduct kinda should be pointed out in individuals, i think a lay person is suposed to (one of our monk friends can correct me here theyd know better) advise a monk to not do bad things or something, but maybe that is just in regards to creating a schism.. i cant remember. but mainly if a monk is bad i think they way he's traditionaly dealt with is to just not offer him food, and the other monks will kinda run him off since it will end up meaning theyll starve too if the lay people quit suporting the temple
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
User avatar
jcsuperstar
 
Posts: 1915
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:15 am
Location: alaska

Re: Samaya

Postby cooran » Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:20 am

Hello davcuts,

The Vinaya Rules for the Ordained are not the same as Vajrayana Samaya being practised by lay devotees of a particular teacher. Nor is it the same as the taking Precepts.

The Buddha never required Samaya from any follower. My understanding is that this first began with tantric practitioners hundreds of years after the Buddha entered Parinibbana - in Tibet about the 7th Century of the modern era and most widely known via Sakya Pandita's lists of vows or commitments.

And 'realised' practitioners were never encouraged by the Buddha to make their attainments public. One has to wonder just how it could be proven or disproven. Enlightened beings do not do anything that could be criticised by sincere followers of the Dhamma - they do not breach the Precepts, and don't have a particular understanding that allows them to act in immoral, selfish, harmful or criminal ways. i.e. Saying one is enlightened doesn't make it so.

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: 7615
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Samaya

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:30 am

Hi David

I doubt it would send you to hell, but I would think those who wished it upon you would spend time there.

The Buddha Allowed harsh speach, there is no rule against saying what is true in a way that would be helpful, be it harsh or kind, but the intention behind it is looked at more,
Right Speech samma vaca wrote:"It is spoken at the right time. It is spoken in truth. It is spoken affectionately. It is spoken beneficially. It is spoken with a mind of good-will."




davcuts wrote:Thanks everyone!

I have made remarks about my teacher that people have condemned me to hell for saying. Mainly I've stated he has hurt a lot of people with his actions. Is saying such a thing in Theravada Buddhism justification for someone to spend aeons in hell?

I can understand how criticizing someone who has reached realizations is not a wise thing to do. I don't however understand why speaking the truth no matter what it might be can send someone to hell for aeons. It seems fear is used in Tibetan Buddhism to make sure people obey their teachers at all cost. Even if that teacher is abusing you, speaking out is considered breaking samaya. Is it the same with Theravada Buddhism?

Breaking samaya according to Tibetan Buddhism is the worst action someone can do. They don't just go to hell, they go to the worst possible hell, imprisoned in molten lava for aeons. So how is this viewed in Theravada Buddhism. Can someone say they believe their teacher has harmed a great many of people without the fear of hell?

Take care,
David
Last edited by Cittasanto on Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5751
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Samaya

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:33 am

Greetings,

Further to what Manapa said...

The criteria for deciding what is worth saying
From MN 58 (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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: Samaya

Postby Dhammanando » Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:59 am

Hi Manapa,

Manapa wrote: The Buddha Allowed harsh speach, there is no rule against saying what is true in a way that would be helpful,


"Harsh speech" is usually used to translate pharusā vācā, which is one of the four kinds of wrong speech. It means speech prompted by an unwholesome mind state and spoken merely with the aim of hurting someone:

    "He speaks harshly; he utters such words as are rough, hard, hurtful to others, offensive to others, bordering on anger, unconducive to concentration."
    (MN. 114)

Probably you mean speech that is disagreeable to others, but is also true and beneficial. To a listener this may at times appear indistinguishable from pharusā vācā but it is inwardly distinguished by the different motivation that prompts it.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
User avatar
Dhammanando
 
Posts: 1266
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Wat Pa Mieng Khun Pang, Chiang Mai

Re: Samaya

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:39 am

Hi Bhante,
Yes that is what I was meaning, MN 58: Abhayarajakumara Sutta — To Prince Abhaya. one of my favourite suttas, although can never remember the name? and possibly where I used harsh from.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5751
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Samaya

Postby davcuts » Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:28 pm

I wish no ill will towards my teacher. I however feel the need to educate people about the tradition he created. There where times I spoke out of anger, and that seems to be the cause for people accusing me of going straight to hell when I die. It doesn't seem this type of fundamentalist beliefs are held in Theravada Buddhism. So could a Theravada practitioner state they feel there former teacher was a cult leader, or would that be breaking some precept?

Thanks,
David
davcuts
 
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:03 am
Location: Asheville, North Carolina

Re: Samaya

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:31 pm

I don't like it when people scare others with hell talk. And then go so far as to condemn them to aeons in hell.

No one knows your karma or future births, Dave. Not even you :heart:
User avatar
Ngawang Drolma.
 
Posts: 805
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:38 pm

Re: Samaya

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:03 pm

Greetings Davcuts,

davcuts wrote:So could a Theravada practitioner state they feel there former teacher was a cult leader, or would that be breaking some precept?


No, not at all.

As for future destinations, there are determined by kamma (action). Kamma performed that is rooted in wholesome mindstates of wisdom, lovingkindess and renunciation/generosity will lead to good results. Conversely kamma performed that is rooted in unwholesome mindstates of delusion, aversion and greed, will lead to bad results. Your mindstate/motivation when you performed these activities will determine their kammic legacy... not threats from others which have no grounding in the tipitaka.

There is no samaya to protect teachers in Theravada. Teachers must teach that which is in accord with the Pali Canon or they will be easily exposed by those who are knowledgeable on particular subjects.

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: Samaya

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:50 am

PS

What would be worse than breaking samaya would be following a guru who is heading directly to the hell realms.

Theravadan people please ignore above comment. Is only about TB samaya and David's pain and worry.

Kindly,
Drolma :heart:
User avatar
Ngawang Drolma.
 
Posts: 805
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:38 pm

Next

Return to Discovering Theravāda

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests