Debts

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.

Re: Debts

Postby cooran » Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:54 pm

Hello Ashtanga,

Why not consider becoming/staying a Novice – a saama.nera? This would provide a taste of what it is like to be a bhikkhu, gives many benefits and you don’t have to go further and become a Bhikkhu.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... tml#novice

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Re: Debts

Postby mlswe » Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:36 am

.
Last edited by mlswe on Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Debts

Postby rowyourboat » Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:12 am

There is a sutta where Ven Sariputta asks the Buddha why some businessmen never make money however hard they try while others do. The Buddha replies it is due to their past karma. IMO some of these 'bad karma' can be a blessing- why not try something which doesnt require you to earn HARD CASH. While such an attitude maybe frowned upon by the christian work ethic of the west, kaya and citta viveka, resting of the mind and body is praised by the Buddha as conducive to your practice.

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Re: Debts

Postby Annapurna » Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:16 am

kiwi wrote:Difficult one Tony ....Is it possible to sit down with those you are in debt to and point out that the possibility of bankruptcy is on the horizon and draw up a mutual agreement of a manageable amount for you to pay of .


I suggested that earlier, only with a debt counselor present, since they usually achieve more than a normal indebted individual.

Often, people are willing to give up a little bit, if that brings them closer to getting the rest.
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Re: Debts

Postby Alex123 » Sat Jan 15, 2011 4:50 pm

mlswe wrote:Was usury allowed during the time of the Buddha and if not what implications does that have on the codes applications in our times?


In ancient world you could become a slave. Some angry people could also hire assassins to take you out. The Buddha may have imposed "no-debt" rule so that angry creditors would not hunt down new members of the sangha, and for political purposes.

I wonder if bankruptcy, as it is today in western world, was in existence in those times when the Buddha was making rules.
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Re: Debts

Postby Goofaholix » Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:38 pm

Alex123 wrote:In ancient world you could become a slave. Some angry people could also hire assassins to take you out. The Buddha may have imposed "no-debt" rule so that angry creditors would not hunt down new members of the sangha, and for political purposes.

I wonder if bankruptcy, as it is today in western world, was in existence in those times when the Buddha was making rules.


I assume he didn't want the monastic sangha to be a place people run to to escape from their debts, the same reason that wanted criminals are not allowed to be ordained (presumably until after they've paid their debt to society).
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Re: Debts

Postby Alex123 » Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:04 pm

Goofaholix wrote:I assume he didn't want the monastic sangha to be a place people run to to escape from their debts, the same reason that wanted criminals are not allowed to be ordained (presumably until after they've paid their debt to society).


And when one declares bankruptcy, one can write-off unsecured debts.


BTW, what if the person has a mortgage (house)? Most mortgages may take 20-30+ years to be paid off. What about foreclosing it?
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Re: Debts

Postby andre9999 » Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:23 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Goofaholix wrote:I assume he didn't want the monastic sangha to be a place people run to to escape from their debts, the same reason that wanted criminals are not allowed to be ordained (presumably until after they've paid their debt to society).


And when one declares bankruptcy, one can write-off unsecured debts.


BTW, what if the person has a mortgage (house)? Most mortgages may take 20-30+ years to be paid off. What about foreclosing it?


This is easily one of the strangest discussions I've ever had. Sell the house would be ideal, but foreclosure isn't the same at all since the lender has the deed and all the money paid so far.

You seem to frequently use the term "write-off", but what does it mean? Where does the debt go?
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Re: Debts

Postby Alex123 » Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:43 pm

andrer9999 wrote:This is easily one of the strangest discussions I've ever had. Sell the house would be ideal, but foreclosure isn't the same at all since the lender has the deed and all the money paid so far.


What if the house IN THIS MARKET (post 2008) can be sold only at $100K below the mortgage? What will one do with $100K debt incurred as a result of selling the house?

You seem to love the term "write-off", but what does it mean? Where does the debt go?


Its all "fake" (from real, tangible asset perspective) money anyways. Where do numbers go? It is not like one takes someone's real property (like gold, land, cattle) and doesn't give it back. Numbers are numbers. Intangible.

When debt is written-off, it is no longer debt. And in any case the "debt" here would be numbers stored electronically in a bank account. It is not debt as tangible possession, like that in Buddha's time.

Even paper money is just agreed on convention. You can't actually use it for much other than maybe as a toilet paper or something to burn to keep you warm...
The government, as we've seen, can print out the money. So I am not concerned about that.
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Re: Debts

Postby andre9999 » Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:53 pm

No need to continue because we have no common ground around which we can have a discussion.
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Re: Debts

Postby Alex123 » Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:59 pm

andrer9999 wrote:No need to continue because we have no common ground around which we can have a discussion.



What common ground?


In any case, returning tangible things is one thing - with which I agree. As one ordains, one can't keep it anyways.

Trying to return "agreed upon conventions, numbers", especially when it can't realistically be done, is another. I don't agree here. In today's world it is too easy to accumulate this and the interest alone can force one to work all one's life. It seems that some try to get as many people as possible in this type of slavery (mortgage, something that you pay till death). This may not have been, what is called "debt", in the Buddha's time.
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Re: Debts

Postby octathlon » Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:49 pm

Just now reading this thread, which seems to have become a discussion on whether the requirement of paying off debts before ordination is good or bad. Well, the reasons for the rule are good ones, as has been pointed out. Looking at this from a Buddhist perspective, I would say that even if you could declare bankruptcy and then ordain, what would your chances of success be?

Striving to pay off the debt in order to be able to ordain would show dedication, right intention and right effort. If for whatever reasons, it is not possible to pay off the debts in this lifetime, then perhaps readiness for ordination is not the case in this lifetime. On the other hand, once the right intention and effort is sincerely applied, who knows what positive fruits this may bear, perhaps even allowing the debt to be paid off after all. But the point is not to try and get out of paying it, but that wholesome actions are taken even if the goal can't be reached, rather than choosing unwholesome actions hoping to reach a wholesome goal.
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Re: Debts

Postby Alex123 » Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:53 pm

octathlon wrote:Looking at this from a Buddhist perspective, I would say that even if you could declare bankruptcy and then ordain, what would your chances of success be?


Angulimala killed 999 people. Imagine the "debt" he had. I don't think he had to repay it, or make up for it, prior to ordination. Yet he became an Arahant.

Striving to pay off the debt in order to be able to ordain would show dedication, right intention and right effort. If for whatever reasons, it is not possible to pay off the debts in this lifetime, then perhaps readiness for ordination is not the case in this lifetime.


What if one could be even a quarter as good as Angulimala by ordaining, even with lots of debt outstanding?

Speaking about lifetimes, imagine the accumulated debt over many lives. It may never be paid off. But IMHO a good paying off the debts by becoming Aryan is much greater than bigger numbers in electronic bank account.
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Re: Debts

Postby cooran » Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:16 am

octathlon wrote:Just now reading this thread, which seems to have become a discussion on whether the requirement of paying off debts before ordination is good or bad. Well, the reasons for the rule are good ones, as has been pointed out. Looking at this from a Buddhist perspective, I would say that even if you could declare bankruptcy and then ordain, what would your chances of success be?

Striving to pay off the debt in order to be able to ordain would show dedication, right intention and right effort. If for whatever reasons, it is not possible to pay off the debts in this lifetime, then perhaps readiness for ordination is not the case in this lifetime. On the other hand, once the right intention and effort is sincerely applied, who knows what positive fruits this may bear, perhaps even allowing the debt to be paid off after all. But the point is not to try and get out of paying it, but that wholesome actions are taken even if the goal can't be reached, rather than choosing unwholesome actions hoping to reach a wholesome goal.


Sadhu! Well said.

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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 ---
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Re: Debts

Postby Goofaholix » Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:49 am

octathlon wrote:Just now reading this thread, which seems to have become a discussion on whether the requirement of paying off debts before ordination is good or bad. Well, the reasons for the rule are good ones, as has been pointed out. Looking at this from a Buddhist perspective, I would say that even if you could declare bankruptcy and then ordain, what would your chances of success be?

Striving to pay off the debt in order to be able to ordain would show dedication, right intention and right effort. If for whatever reasons, it is not possible to pay off the debts in this lifetime, then perhaps readiness for ordination is not the case in this lifetime. On the other hand, once the right intention and effort is sincerely applied, who knows what positive fruits this may bear, perhaps even allowing the debt to be paid off after all. But the point is not to try and get out of paying it, but that wholesome actions are taken even if the goal can't be reached, rather than choosing unwholesome actions hoping to reach a wholesome goal.


Very well said.

If you don't have a clear concience when you ordain then you can hardly expect the fruits of the holy life,
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Debts

Postby PeterB » Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:52 am

Thirded...well said.
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Re: Debts

Postby Annapurna » Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:14 am

Goofaholix wrote:
octathlon wrote:Just now reading this thread, which seems to have become a discussion on whether the requirement of paying off debts before ordination is good or bad. Well, the reasons for the rule are good ones, as has been pointed out. Looking at this from a Buddhist perspective, I would say that even if you could declare bankruptcy and then ordain, what would your chances of success be?

Striving to pay off the debt in order to be able to ordain would show dedication, right intention and right effort. If for whatever reasons, it is not possible to pay off the debts in this lifetime, then perhaps readiness for ordination is not the case in this lifetime. On the other hand, once the right intention and effort is sincerely applied, who knows what positive fruits this may bear, perhaps even allowing the debt to be paid off after all. But the point is not to try and get out of paying it, but that wholesome actions are taken even if the goal can't be reached, rather than choosing unwholesome actions hoping to reach a wholesome goal.


Very well said.

If you don't have a clear concience when you ordain then you can hardly expect the fruits of the holy life,


Then someone who killed can not ordain?
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Re: Debts

Postby cooran » Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:26 am

Not unless you are someone as fortunate as Angulimala who met the Buddha.
A one-of-a-kind decision was made by the Buddha to ordain him.

Otherwise, the rule is:
...anyone wishing to become a bhikkhu must fulfill certain conditions about which he will be questioned during the actual ordination procedure. The candidate must be male and at least twenty years old. He must never have committed any grievous crimes and, if previously ordained, he must not have been guilty of any Defeater (Paaraajika) offences or have entered some other religion without disrobing first. (See BMC pp.88-89) He should also be of good reputation; fit and healthy enough to carry out the duties of a bhikkhu; not in debt; not subject to government service; and have permission from parents or guardian.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ml#bhikkhu

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---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 ---
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Re: Debts

Postby Annapurna » Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:50 am

What is meant by "permission of parents"?

If someone is above 21, does he still need it?
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Re: Debts

Postby cooran » Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:00 am

Depends on the Tradition:
viewtopic.php?f=30&t=6031&p=94711
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