Agganna Sutta

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Re: Agganna Sutta

Postby Alex123 » Thu Dec 23, 2010 1:07 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Alex123 wrote:When one sides with puthujjana scientists vs the Buddha, how can one be a follower of the Buddha?
More trotting out of the ImageIt is not an issue of one vs the other. If you actually understood what science is and does, you would know that. You are way off topic here.


I am on topic.
If one believes the Buddha, then Agganna sutta poses no problems. If one believes the scientists on that matter, then one can disbelieve what the Buddha has said in suttas such as Agganna sutta that contradict the science.

So when it comes to Agganna sutta, do you believe the Buddha or puthujjana scientists?
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Re: Agganna Sutta

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 23, 2010 1:14 am

Alex123 wrote:I am on topic.
You are off-topic and this will be the last time you are told this.

If one believes the Buddha, then Agganna sutta poses no problems. If one believes the scientists, then one can disbelieve what the Buddha has said in suttas such as Agganna sutta that contradict the science.

So when it comes to Agganna sutta, do you believe the Buddha or puthujjana scientists?
I do not see a need to choose between one or the other. They are dealing with totally different issues. The problem arises when one tries to make the other conform to it.

Now, this thread is not about me, so get back to the topic.
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Re: Agganna Sutta

Postby Alex123 » Thu Dec 23, 2010 1:20 am

tiltbillings wrote:[I do not see a need to choose between one or the other. They are dealing with totally different issues. The problem arises when one tries to make the other conform to it.


About what issue does Agganna sutta speak?
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Re: Agganna Sutta

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 23, 2010 1:23 am

Alex123 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:[I do not see a need to choose between one or the other. They are dealing with totally different issues. The problem arises when one tries to make the other conform to it.


About what issue does Agganna sutta speak?
You tell me.
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.
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Re: Agganna Sutta

Postby Alex123 » Thu Dec 23, 2010 1:44 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:[I do not see a need to choose between one or the other. They are dealing with totally different issues. The problem arises when one tries to make the other conform to it.


About what issue does Agganna sutta speak?
You tell me.


You answer it first.

What does quote below talk about?

"There comes a time, Vasettha, when, after the lapse of a long, long period, this world died. And when this happens, beings have mostly been reborn into the Realm of Radiance [as devas]; and there they dwell, made of mind, feeding on rapture, self-luminous, traversing the air, continuing in glory; and thus they remain for a long, long period of time. There comes also a time, Vasettha, when sooner or later this world begins to re-evolve. When this happens, beings who had deceased from the World of Radiance usually come to life as humans...now at that time, all had become one world of water, dark, and of darkness that maketh blind. No moon nor sun appeared, no stars were seen, nor constellations, neither was night manifest nor day, neither months nor half-months, neither years nor seasons, neither female nor male. Beings were reckoned just as beings only. And to those beings, Vasettha, sooner or later after a long time, earth with its savours was spread out in the waters, even as a scum forms on the surface of boiled milky rice that is cooling, so did the earth appear."
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Re: Agganna Sutta

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 23, 2010 1:57 am

Alex123 wrote:You answer it first.
Sure. Pretty much the same thing that is going on in Digha Nikaya 1 and 24.
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.
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Re: Agganna Sutta

Postby Alex123 » Thu Dec 23, 2010 2:15 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Alex123 wrote:You answer it first.
Sure. Pretty much the same thing that is going on in Digha Nikaya 1 and 24.



Here is how I understand it. The suttas do not deny the existence of Devas and Brahmas or what is said in Agganna sutta quote.

The DN1 sutta denies forming Self Views based on limited knowledge (or limited clairvoyance) about Devas/Brahmas.


What the Buddha known and seen was not a speculation for Him. So what He taught in Agganna sutta was not a speculation.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .bodh.html
http://tipitaka.wikia.com/wiki/Patika_Sutta
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Re: Agganna Sutta

Postby yuttadhammo » Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:24 am

tiltbillings wrote:
yuttadhammo wrote:In what way does it conflict with science?
Time frame; the process of evolutions; the assumptions behind the sutta story; those things that cannot be measured and so forth.


I don't see a time frame specified...

As for the process of evolution, it's important to distinguish between the evolution of a single being and the evolution of a species. Science says species on Earth are evolving; this is in no way contradictory to the idea that individual beings have been devolving - in fact, it's pretty clear that it is the devolution of higher beings that is leading to the population increase on Earth (along, one might presume, with the evolution of hell beings).

What assumptions are behind the story and what things cannot be measured? Are you being vague on purpose?

clw_uk wrote:Also, I dont subscribe to Rebirth being a part of Buddhas teachings


I know this sort of statement is fashionable among modern Buddhists, but really? Do you realize that removing rebirth from the Buddha's teaching means removing:

  • any reference to pubbenivāsānussatiñāṇa and cutūpapātañāṇa - the first of the three knowledges of the Buddha's enlightenment
  • Suttas like brahmajālasutta, bālapaṇḍitasutta, devadūtasutta, cūḷa and mahākammavibhaṅgasutta, etc.
  • Dhammapada verses like "anekajātisaṃsāraṃ..."
    etc.
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Re: Agganna Sutta

Postby Individual » Thu Dec 23, 2010 5:28 am

yuttadhammo wrote:If we don't take this story as literal, we will have to come up with some other explanation as to where we all were before the earth became liveable... unless we're going to deny the core Theravada doctrine of rebirth.

There's an argument for you, Tilt.

"Where we all were before"?
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Re: Agganna Sutta

Postby clw_uk » Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:08 am

I know this sort of statement is fashionable among modern Buddhists, but really? Do you realize that removing rebirth from the Buddha's teaching means removing:


any reference to pubbenivāsānussatiñāṇa and cutūpapātañāṇa - the first of the three knowledges of the Buddha's enlightenment
Suttas like brahmajālasutta, bālapaṇḍitasutta, devadūtasutta, cūḷa and mahākammavibhaṅgasutta, etc.
Dhammapada verses like "anekajātisaṃsāraṃ..."
etc.




already addressed in the rebirth thread. I wont post it all here again since we need to keep threads on topic
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Re: Agganna Sutta

Postby clw_uk » Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:11 am

They must not have the basic faith in the Buddhadhamma that you do. I think that for them it consitutes "doubt in the Buddha's teachings", because they think he was meaning something entirely different based on modern scientific theory,



Doubt in the teachings is doubt in the Buddhas knowledge of dukkha and how to end it, not doubt in a cosmology


However if Buddha did teach the Agganna Sutta in the literalist way that is being put forward here, it contradicts mainstream Biology quite badly and it would seem Buddha was ignorant


However this all rests on reading such suttas literally, which I dont think is the suttas intent at all
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Re: Agganna Sutta

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:15 am

yuttadhammo wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
yuttadhammo wrote:In what way does it conflict with science?
Time frame; the process of evolutions; the assumptions behind the sutta story; those things that cannot be measured and so forth.


I don't see a time frame specified...
In that you are correct. It had been awhile since I read the text.

As for the process of evolution, it's important to distinguish between the evolution of a single being and the evolution of a species. Science says species on Earth are evolving; this is in no way contradictory to the idea that individual beings have been devolving - in fact, it's pretty clear that it is the devolution of higher beings that is leading to the population increase on Earth (along, one might presume, with the evolution of hell beings).
Devolving. Well, yes, here you are talking not about science but a religious notion.

What assumptions are behind the story and what things cannot be measured? Are you being vague on purpose?
You tell me what can be .... ah, wait. The Aggañña Sutta is a religious text within a particular context. Ignore the context, try to take it literally in a scientific context and what you have is a Buddhist version of Xtian fundamentalists/literalists creationists trying to make a religious text do scientific work, which none of the literalist here have shown it can do, which would mean giving a credible accounting of the scientific accounting of the formation of the earth and the rise of life, which clearly has not been done. What we have gotten here is an attempt at impugning science as a way of opening the door for this creation story, which is the sort of tactic Xtian creationists use in promoting their religious creation story. All this does is make the Dhamma look cheesy.
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.
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Re: Agganna Sutta

Postby clw_uk » Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:44 am

Since Evolution is being discussed here and since some misunderstandings have been posted, here are some links to give better information on the Subject


http://science.howstuffworks.com/enviro ... lution.htm


http://nationalacademies.org/evolution/


http://evolution.berkeley.edu/


http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evo_01 (this one is quite good)


http://www.newscientist.com/topic/evolution
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Re: Agganna Sutta

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:57 am

Alex123 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Alex123 wrote:You answer it first.
Sure. Pretty much the same thing that is going on in Digha Nikaya 1 and 24.



Here is how I understand it. The suttas do not deny the existence of Devas and Brahmas or what is said in Agganna sutta quote.
The existence of Devas is not an issue here. I am not denying they exist.

The DN1 sutta denies forming Self Views based on limited knowledge (or limited clairvoyance) about Devas/Brahmas.


What the Buddha known and seen was not a speculation for Him. So what He taught in Agganna sutta was not a speculation.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .bodh.html
http://tipitaka.wikia.com/wiki/Patika_Sutta
What is going on in the texts involved here is an addressing of the Brahmanical points of view as found in the creation teachings in the Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upanishad, giving a very specific Buddhist twist to them via a rather biting satire, undermining the Brahmanical position by having God/Brahma appear somewhat foolish and as a being still bound by kamma. This is also done in the Aggañña Sutta, a discourse involving two young brahmins wanting to become bhikkhus. In the process he critiques the Brahmanical notion of societal hierarchy among other things. Walshe, in the first footnote to this text (THUS HAVE I HEARD, page 603) states: ”This is a parallel fable to the previous Sutta, giving a slightly different account of ‘origins’, and including a devastating attack on the pretensions of the Brahmins.”
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.
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Re: Agganna Sutta

Postby clw_uk » Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:59 am

On the issue that since we cant "see" macroevolution and speciation then we should discount it, I found this



Macroevolution encompasses the grandest trends and transformations in evolution, such as the origin of mammals and the radiation of flowering plants. Macroevolutionary patterns are generally what we see when we look at the large-scale history of life.

It is not necessarily easy to "see" macroevolutionary history; there are no firsthand accounts to be read. Instead, we reconstruct the history of life using all available evidence: geology, fossils, and living organisms.

Once we've figured out what evolutionary events have taken place, we try to figure out how they happened. Just as in microevolution, basic evolutionary mechanisms like mutation, migration, genetic drift, and natural selection are at work and can help explain many large-scale patterns in the history of life.

The basic evolutionary mechanisms — mutation, migration, genetic drift, and natural selection — can produce major evolutionary change if given enough time.



http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrar ... 0_0/evo_48
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Re: Agganna Sutta

Postby son of dhamma » Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:17 am

In the Samyutta nikaya of the Sutta Pitaka, it says,
"it is out of compassion for all creatures, for the welfare and happiness of gods and men, that a Buddha arises".

Why the (theoretical) epithet "gods" be used here? Do you insist that it is not referring to real, living gods here?
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Sometimes no Buddhas arise in the world. Sometimes they do. When it happens, it is for the welfare and happiness of men, out of compassion for all creatures. For a long, long time he has been working to become a Buddha. He met other Buddhas along the way. And after his long striving he attains his final life, yet not without showing everyone else how to get there.
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Re: Agganna Sutta

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:18 am

son of dhamma wrote:In the Samyutta nikaya of the Sutta Pitaka, it says,
"it is out of compassion for all creatures, for the welfare and happiness of gods and men, that a Buddha arises".

Why the (theoretical) epithet "gods" be used here? Do you insist that it is not referring to real, living gods here?
with metta
To whom are you addressing this?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: Agganna Sutta

Postby son of dhamma » Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:33 am

I was addressing that to everyone, I'm sure. You've said that you're not denying the existence of devas, and claiming a reasoning for the Buddha to explain cosmology and the arising of life that is other than showing the real cosmology. You've been saying that. But the Buddha is said to be teacher of gods and to have taught the Brahma you've been talking about. All throughout the Canon. I don't see the base for you claim, anywhere. I'm trying to, but I don't see why you would have grounds to think this way unless you took the entire scripture at face value. And you might say that his teaching of awakening doesn't concern these things, but you can't read the teaching of awakening without standing neck-deep in devas and brahmas and hell, and rebirth.

And again the entire expanse of the Dhamma scripture quotes over and over again that the Buddha is a teacher of gods and men. His mother even became a devi in Tusita, upon dieing some time after the birth of Siddhatta. He teaches the Abhidhamma to her along with the other devas in Tavatimsa. He also claimed to know Sakka and lists the exact qualities required to become the King of the Gods (of Tavatimsa).
The Buddha was using the current representation of the world to explain the reality of the cosmological structure. The people would not have understand that the world was a sphere, they would not have understand galaxies, or galactic clusters, or the universe. So, he told them about their world, about how the solar system with its sun, moon, and earth forms, and how beings come to arise on earth. And he explained how the planes of existence rise to the top of all existence, above a thousand worlds, a thousand of those systems, a thousand of those systems.
Just because the Brahmanistic ideas were so similar to the real cosmos, doesn't mean that the Buddha was just fabricating something to convince them of their fallacy. What if the Buddha arose in such a time of those ideas to correct them? That is much more plausible, and it doesn't rip apart the scripture, either.
with metta
Sometimes no Buddhas arise in the world. Sometimes they do. When it happens, it is for the welfare and happiness of men, out of compassion for all creatures. For a long, long time he has been working to become a Buddha. He met other Buddhas along the way. And after his long striving he attains his final life, yet not without showing everyone else how to get there.
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Re: Agganna Sutta

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:52 am

son of dhamma wrote:I was addressing that to everyone, I'm sure. You've said that you're not denying the existence of devas, and claiming a reasoning for the Buddha to explain cosmology and the arising of life that is other than showing the real cosmology. You've been saying that. But the Buddha is said to be teacher of gods and to have taught the Brahma you've been talking about. All throughout the Canon. I don't see the base for you claim, anywhere. I'm trying to, but I don't see why you would have grounds to think this way unless you took the entire scripture at face value. And you might say that his teaching of awakening doesn't concern these things, but you can't read the teaching of awakening without standing neck-deep in devas and brahmas and hell, and rebirth.
Damdifino what you think I am saying, though I have been quite clear.

His mother even became a devi in Tusita, upon dieing some time after the birth of Siddhatta.
The name Siddhattha is not found in the suttas. It is, rather, a name coined after the death of the Buddha as his "life story" was being composed by those who came after him as is the story of his mother and the origins of the Abhidhamma. This not at all unlike what the Mahayanists have done in their claims about their sutras.

The Buddha was using the current representation of the world to explain the reality of the cosmological structure. The people would not have understand that the world was a sphere, they would not have understand galaxies, or galactic clusters, or the universe.
This is sort of correct. He did use the Brahmanical stories to make a point by turning the Brahmanical stories into Buddhist stories that really are critiques of the basis of the Brahmanical claims.

Just because the Brahmanistic ideas were so similar to the real cosmos, doesn't mean that the Buddha was just fabricating something to convince them of their fallacy. What if the Buddha arose in such a time of those ideas to correct them? That is much more plausible, and it doesn't rip apart the scripture, either.
It only "rips apart" anything if you are stuck on having to have the security of a literalist point of view, and then you are stuck with having to act like other literalist such as Xtian fundamentalists when confronted with science, making the Dhamma look stupid.
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.
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Re: Agganna Sutta

Postby clw_uk » Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:08 am

And you might say that his teaching of awakening doesn't concern these things, but you can't read the teaching of awakening without standing neck-deep in devas and brahmas and hell, and rebirth.


Depends on interpretation of those terms and what the Buddha meant by them


We already know he put a different twist on words in relation to kamma and by what he meant by "world"
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