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Ud 8.8: Visākhā Sutta - Dhamma Wheel

Ud 8.8: Visākhā Sutta

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Ud 8.8: Visākhā Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Thu May 09, 2013 8:45 am


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Re: Ud 8.8: Visākhā Sutta

Postby Coyote » Sat May 11, 2013 9:25 am

Hi Mike,

Indecently a buddhist story of a similar theme came up in my studies, not as a part of my dhamma study but as part of my studies on Alexander the Great. The story of kisagotami has parallels to legends concerning Alexander's death, so I will share it with you all.

The story of kisagotami http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/btg/btg85.htm

And Kisa Gotami had an only son, and he died. In her grief she carried the dead child to all her neighbors, asking them for medicine, and the people said: "She has lost her senses. The boy is dead. At length Kisa Gotami met a man who replied to her request: "I cannot give thee medicine for thy child, but I know a physician who can." The girl said: "Pray tell me, sir; who is it?" And the man replied: "Go to Sakyamuni, the Buddha."

Kisa Gotami repaired to the Buddha and cried: "Lord and Master, give me the medicine that will cure my boy." The Buddha answered: "I want a handful of mustard-seed." And when the girl in her joy promised to procure it, the Buddha added: "The mustard-seed must be taken from a house where no one has lost a child, husband, parent, or friend." Poor Kisa Gotami now went from house to house, and the people pitied her and said: "Here is mustard-seed; take it!" But when she asked Did a son or daughter, a father or mother, die in your family?" They answered her: "Alas the living are few, but the dead are many. Do not remind us of our deepest grief." And there was no house but some beloved one had died in it.

Kisa Gotami became weary and hopeless, and sat down at the wayside, watching the lights of the city, as they flickered up and were extinguished again. At last the darkness of the night reigned everywhere. And she considered the fate of men, that their lives flicker up and are extinguished. And she thought to herself: "How selfish am I in my grief! Death is common to all; yet in this valley of desolation there is a path that leads him to immortality who has surrendered all selfishness."


Both are powerful reminders of clinging and impermanence, and I find they are just as relevant today despite medical advancements.

metta
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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Re: Ud 8.8: Visākhā Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Sat May 11, 2013 9:40 am

Thanks Coyote,

More about Kisa Gotami here: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

:anjali:
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Re: Ud 8.8: Visākhā Sutta

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat May 11, 2013 1:31 pm

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
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Re: Ud 8.8: Visākhā Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Sat May 11, 2013 9:30 pm


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Re: Ud 8.8: Visākhā Sutta

Postby Sam Vara » Sat May 11, 2013 10:02 pm


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Re: Ud 8.8: Visākhā Sutta

Postby Coyote » Sat May 11, 2013 10:26 pm

This is definatly one area of the teaching that is hard to swallow. I think the attachment to "dear ones" is so strong because it lies at the heart of what makes us human - it's what bonds our communities and families together and to abandon that is to reject something seems intimately connected with being a human. It's something we've known (if we are lucky) from the day we are born and it has helped keep us alive and well. It's a scary thought, at least for me, that we must give this attachment up.

But to awaken is to go beyond being "human" - "remember me as awakened".

I think part of the problem for many is in a lack of seeing this attachment as a clinging that leads to suffering, we'd rather gloss over either the suffering part or the attachment part, as your Catholic friend seems to have done, Sam. That should be fixed by contemplation of the first and second (third?) truths, I would think.

Metta
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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Re: Ud 8.8: Visākhā Sutta

Postby santa100 » Sun May 12, 2013 12:37 am

While "Those who have no dear ones have no sufferings" and "one cherish all living beings; Radiating kindness over the entire world" seems to be contradictory at first, it's kind of make sense if we take a closer look at the implication of "dear ones". Obviously if someone has "dear ones", s/he must've have some other "not so dear" ones. Else there'd be no frame of reference for the former group to establish. While Kisa Gotami certainly went door to door asking neighbors for medicine to help her own child, would she do the exact same thing if the child was some other people's son? So, for one who still has "dear ones", that implies there's still a "not so dear" group out there to be referenced against. This differentiating notion not only binds one to suffering but also is the big hindrance that prevents the actual implementation of "cherishing all living beings; radiating kindness over the entire world". For if one truely cherishes all living beings, the notion of "dear ones" automatically dissolves. Just like white color is only relevant if there's black color. If there's no black color and everything is white, then "whiteness" itself no longer applies..

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Re: Ud 8.8: Visākhā Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Sun May 12, 2013 2:21 am


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Re: Ud 8.8: Visākhā Sutta

Postby Spiny Norman » Sun May 12, 2013 9:36 am

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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Re: Ud 8.8: Visākhā Sutta

Postby Coyote » Mon May 13, 2013 10:20 am

I think one thing to bear in mind, while this teaching clearly pertains to all "dear ones", the example being given is of a grandmother who has lost their grandchild. Perhaps the Buddha gave this teaching to a layperson where it would ordinarily have been reserved for monks because it is a skillful way of dealing with grief. Perhaps that is the context in which this teaching is fully realised, for a layperson.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
Iti 26

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Re: Ud 8.8: Visākhā Sutta

Postby binocular » Mon May 13, 2013 7:04 pm


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Re: Ud 8.8: Visākhā Sutta

Postby binocular » Mon May 13, 2013 7:11 pm


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Re: Ud 8.8: Visākhā Sutta

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue May 14, 2013 10:13 am

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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Re: Ud 8.8: Visākhā Sutta

Postby pegembara » Tue May 14, 2013 3:50 pm

And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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Re: Ud 8.8: Visākhā Sutta

Postby chargingbull » Tue May 14, 2013 6:27 pm

It would seem to me that the Buddha is simply using the example of human relationship to provide another teaching on attachment. What we hold dear has great potential to cause attachment and, eventually, suffering through impermanence.

The very idea of 'dear ones' implies something that is seperate to us, as it cannot be held by something that is the same as it. The more we fragment our understanding of totality, it would seem to me that we have more opportunities to be hurt by it.

But at the same time, in my short time reading on Buddhism, it would seem the Buddha often speaks in hyperbole, to allow the truth to be registered by our frequently dull minds. Like the ego/self, just because we realise that we have it, and that it causes suffering, it doesn't them imply that all beings at all times should aim to cut it off. One takes the principle, and uses it as a foundation for organic growth. Extremes to me seem to merely be another form of resistance, another form of grasping.


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