Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Re: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby clw_uk » Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:26 pm

Also The Supreme Patriarch of Thailand has said this

"His Holiness' view on Heaven and Hell
... His Holiness’ two books on heaven and hell are truly analytical view on the subject from a Buddhist point of view. As we are so familiar, in religious sphere, the concept of heaven and hell is a very prominent belief. In many cases, it becomes the goal of religious practice itself. On this very subject, His Holiness critically analyses that the very concept and belief of heaven and hell in Buddhism is a cultural influence of indigenous culture and belief. He states: (I quote) [b]‘the subject of cosmology appeared in Buddhism is clearly can be seen that it is not ‘Buddhist teaching’ at all but an ancient geography. The concept and belief about it was included in Buddhist Canon merely because of strong influence of popular belief of the time. Later Commentaries further explain about heaven and hell in a greater detail distant itself from the original teaching of the Buddha. If Buddhism teaches such belief on heaven and hell it would not be Buddhism at all but an ancient geography. Buddha wouldn’t be the Buddha who delivered the Noble Truth and ‘timeless’ message for mankind.’ (p. 1) (end of the quote) He then shows in his teaching that the concept of heaven and hell in Buddhism are in fact symbolic, representing the quality of mind and spirituality instead. One can be in heaven and hell in this very earth and life. No need to wait until one dies...*"



http://www.sangharaja.org/en_main.asp
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby pink_trike » Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:32 pm

clw_uk wrote:Its also important to remember that the view "there is no rebirth" is just as speculative as "there is rebirth"


The Buddhas own noble teaching transcends both with the removal of "I am" since its that which gives rise to both (and all the other speculative views)


Metta

Agreed. With practice, rebirth is verifiable in every mind moment - we create the world with every breath/sensation and movement of the mind. My point is that literal post-mortem rebirth isn't verifiable, so practice is a better bet than faith. Especially for modern people who tend toward extreme upward and outward displacement and who hunger for magic and mystery and reward/punishment.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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Re: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:31 pm

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Re: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby thornbush » Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:49 am

Gawd, is this gonna be another 69 paged rebirth thread again? :pig:
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Re: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby pink_trike » Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:08 am

The beauty of having fingers is that if a thread causes irritation we can always click to a different thread. :popcorn:
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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Re: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby Dan74 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:27 am

Greetings Friends,

Just this morning I came across this:

<<Warning: some cross-denominational perspective - >>

"All verbal teachings are just to cure diseases. Because diseases are not the same, the remedies are also different. That is why it is sometimes said that there is Buddha, and sometimes it is said that there is no Buddha.

True words are those that actually cure sickness; if the cure manages to heal, then all are true words. If they can't effectively cure sickness, all are false words.

True words are false words when they give rise to views. False words are true words when they cut off the delusions of sentient beings. Because disease is unreal, there is only unreal medicine to cure it."

--------Pai-Chang (720-814)


No doubt defenses tend to spring up to fortify the mighty fortresses of views and beliefs, but if we listen openly, this ancient is inviting us to experience the Dhamma quite differently. To use the medicine, rather than revere it, and not to get addicted to the pills, when the illness is cured.

So if your understanding of the teaching of the hell realms is helping you cut off delusions and realize clarity, openness and compassion - great! :anjali:

I find it a liberating medicine. Perhaps not suitable for everyone just like he says, and I am sure not everyone will be swallowing this pill either. :smile:

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Re: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby pink_trike » Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:08 am

Dan74 wrote:Greetings Friends,

Just this morning I came across this:

<<Warning: some cross-denominational perspective - >>

"All verbal teachings are just to cure diseases. Because diseases are not the same, the remedies are also different. That is why it is sometimes said that there is Buddha, and sometimes it is said that there is no Buddha.

True words are those that actually cure sickness; if the cure manages to heal, then all are true words. If they can't effectively cure sickness, all are false words.

True words are false words when they give rise to views. False words are true words when they cut off the delusions of sentient beings. Because disease is unreal, there is only unreal medicine to cure it."

--------Pai-Chang (720-814)



To use the medicine, rather than revere it, and not to get addicted to the pills, when the illness is cured.


_/|\_


Wise words, those.

...and be sure not to mistake the pill container for the cure. :smile:
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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Re: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby zavk » Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:16 am

Hi friends,

I'm reminded of a section in Ven. Analayo's book on Satipatthana where he suggested that it is helpful to distinguish between the principle of paticca-samuppada and its application.

The principle of paticca-samuppada, as we all know, is a certain law of dependent co-arising, or in a word, conditionality or causality.

The application of paticca-samuppada, on the other hand, is the Twelve Nidanas.

The teaching of the Twelve Nidanas is not the only application of paticca-samupadda but is arguably the most prominent one. It is this teaching that has been most commonly used to explain rebirth. However, Ven. Analayo reminds us that we can find other applications of paticca-samuppada that do not necessarily deal with rebirth. He thus suggest that it is possible to realise the principle of paticca-samuppada without its application:

The distinction between principle and application suggests that such an understanding of causality need not necessarily require a personal experience of the twelve links. That is, even without developing the ability to recollect past lives and thereby directly experiencing those factors of the twelve links that supposedly pertain to a past life, one can still personally realize the principle of dependent co-arising... [He mentions the discourse on contact and feeling in the Nidana Samyutta, the discourse on mind-moments in the Vibhanga, the discourse on the sense doors in the Indriyabhavana Sutta, the discourse on the perceptual process in the Madhupindika Sutta--all examples of the principle of paticca-samuppada applied in different ways]... Thus realization of dependent co-arising can take place simply by witnessing the operation of conditionality in the present moment, within one's own subjective experience (p. 109-110).


Teachings about rebirth, hell realms, etc (all applications of paticca-samuppada) are hard to accept and even harder to experience firsthand! But following Ven. Analayo's suggestion, we can nevertheless understand the principle of conditionality without its application. This, however, doesn't necessarily invalidate the applications. It merely brackets it off, suspends it, while we attempt to work with the principle within the context of our immediate experience.

This also keeps open the very real possibility that with continued engagement with the principle of conditionality, the truth of its application (whether it be rebirth, hell realms, or whatever) may be realised at some stage. The only difference is that we don't get caught up in the application and overlook the principle. For after all, it is said in the Anguttara Nikaya III 440 that a stream-enterer is one who has realised the principle of conditionality.

So until we attain some profound, ineffable enlightening experience, this seems to be a wise, pragmatic way of approach paticca-samuppada (and all its related application).

This seems to be what pink_trike has been suggesting. And I think Ben makes the same point too about setting the doctrines of rebirth aside and focusing on one's practice in the present moment.

Metta,
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Re: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby pink_trike » Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:22 am

Yes, this is what I'm suggesting. It is easy to speculate about heavens and hells, and then be scared or comforted by our speculation. Far harder to just sit. Or practice renunciation. Or to do charnel ground practice. Or metta practice for our enemies, as if this very life depends on it. Here, now.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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Re: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby BlackBird » Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:34 am

Different realms of rebirth are mentioned all throughout the Sutta Pitaka.

"...On the break up of the body he reappears in the realm of..."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#iti-070
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... o.html#n-3

"4. When they were seated, they said to the Blessed One: "Master Gotama, what is the reason, what is the condition, why some beings here, on the dissolution of the body, after death, reappear in states of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, even in hell; and what is the reason, what is the condition, why some beings here, on the dissolution of the body, after death, reappear in a happy destination, even in the heavenly world?"

5. "Householders, it is by reason of conduct not in accordance with the Dhamma, by reason of unrighteous conduct, that beings here on the dissolution of the body, after death, reappear in states of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, even in hell. It is by reason of conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, by reason of righteous conduct, that some beings here on the dissolution of the body, after death, reappear in a happy destination, even in the heavenly world."
- http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... holesome10

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... howto-hell
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... tml#shades

"When he dies he reappears in conjunction with the Abhassara devas. The Abhassara devas, monks, have a life-span of two eons. A run-of-the-mill person having stayed there, having used up all the life-span of those devas, goes to hell, to the animal womb, to the state of the hungry shades. But a disciple of the Blessed One, having stayed there, having used up all the life-span of those devas, is unbound right in that state of being. This, monks, is the difference, this the distinction, this the distinguishing factor, between an educated disciple of the noble ones and an uneducated run-of-the-mill person, when there is a destination, a reappearing."

- http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... tml#jhana2

Pink, Clw_UK, do you recall why there is a rule in the Vinaya against Monks chopping down trees?

It's all there in the Suttas. The Buddha wouldn't say these things just because post mortem rebirth was a convention. After all, during the time of the Buddha the Dhamma was anything but convention. Not a lot has changed really.

As far as setting the notions of hell realms a side, why set them a side? They're a useful tool for maintaining a wholesome and skillful lifestyle.

With metta
Jack :heart:
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Re: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby pink_trike » Thu Apr 23, 2009 5:21 am

BlackBird wrote:As far as setting the notions of hell realms a side, why set them a side? They're a useful tool for maintaining a wholesome and skillful lifestyle.

You may be right. Some folks need the stick. Some folks need the carrot. Some folks need both. Some folks just need practice. C'est la vie :anjali:
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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Re: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby clw_uk » Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:31 am

Greetings


As far as setting the notions of hell realms a side, why set them a side? They're a useful tool for maintaining a wholesome and skillful lifestyle



They are useful for those who need them but the Buddhas own noble teachings (i.e. the ones that come from the Buddha himself and not the ones that were already around) such as the 4NT go beyond such speculative views

The 4NT have no rebirth contained within them, the only reason people "see" it there is from a misunderstanding of what the word Jati (birth) means

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1st Noble Truth
This is the noble truth of suffering: birth is suffering, aging is suffering, illness is suffering, death is suffering; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair are suffering; union with what is displeasing is suffering; separation from what is pleasing is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering; in brief, the five aggregates subject to clinging are suffering.

The last bit is important for understanding, because of clinging to khandas there is "I am". When there is "I am" there is identiciation with the Khandas, when there is identification there is ageing, sickness and death (and also the whole not wanting to get sick, grief, anger etc that go hand in hand with that)

For example, if one clings to the body they identify with it. When the body ages there is the ignorant view "I age". When it dies there is the ignoranct view "I die" and so all the grief and sadness that go along with this

As the Buddhas states here

"There is the case where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — assumes form (the body) to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form. He is seized with the idea that 'I am form' or 'Form is mine.' As he is seized with these ideas, his form changes & alters, and he falls into sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair over its change & alteration.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

2nd Noble Truth
This is the noble truth of the origin of suffering: it is this craving which leads to new becoming, accompanied by delight and lust, seeking delight here and there, that is, craving for sensual pleasures, craving to be, craving not-to-be.

Craving is a condition for the arising of clinging (origin of dukkha)
Clinging is a condition for the arising of becoming
Becoming is a condition for the arising of jati, or birth of "I am", so new becoming (first noble truth because when there is identification through clinging to the khandas, there is dukkha)


3rd Noble Truth
This is the noble truth of the cessation of suffering: it is the remainderless fading away and cessation of that same craving, the giving up and relinquishing of it, freedom from it, nonreliance on it.

By removing craving (through the practice) there is no more clinging and so no more birth of "I" or identification with that which ages and dies (so no more ageing and death i.e. the deathless)

'He has been stilled where the currents of construing do not flow. And when the currents of construing do not flow, he is said to be a sage at peace.' Thus was it said. With reference to what was it said? 'I am' is a construing. 'I am this' is a construing. 'I shall be' is a construing. 'I shall not be'... 'I shall be possessed of form'... 'I shall not be possessed of form'... 'I shall be percipient'... 'I shall not be percipient'... 'I shall be neither percipient nor non-percipient' is a construing. Construing is a disease, construing is a cancer, construing is an arrow. By going beyond all construing, he is said to be a sage at peace.

"Furthermore, a sage at peace is not born, does not age, does not die, is unagitated, and is free from longing. He has nothing whereby he would be born. Not being born, will he age? Not aging, will he die? Not dying, will he be agitated? Not being agitated, for what will he long? It was in reference to this that it was said, 'He has been stilled where the currents of construing do not flow. And when the currents of construing do not flow, he is said to be a sage at peace.'


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


4th Noble Truth
Noble eight fold path will lead one to the deathless

Right View - Understanding of the Four Noble Truths


In the Buddhas noble teachings, there is no rebirth after death nor any need or place for it

Metta
Last edited by clw_uk on Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:51 am

Greetings Craig,

clw_uk wrote:In the Buddhas noble teachings, there is no rebirth after death nor any need or place for it

Ultimately true, conventionally false.

Be careful not to take the non-time-delineated model of dependent origination as a refutation of conventional rebirth.

To do so, you'd be extending the scope of the teaching beyond its domain... just as you're accusing others of doing.

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)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Apr 23, 2009 9:02 am

The 4NT have no rebirth contained within them, the only reason people "see" it there is from a misunderstanding of what the word Jati (birth) means


And you know what jati really truly true means? Based upon what?

But as soon as my knowing and seeing how things are, was quite purified in these twelve aspects, in these three phases of each of the Four Noble Truths, then I claimed in the world with its gods, its Maras and high divinities, in this generation with its monks and brahmans, its princes and men to have discovered the full Awakening that is supreme. Knowing and seeing arose in me thus: 'My heart's deliverance is unassailable. This is the last birth. Now there is no renewal of being." SN v 423

There is no justification for limiting "birth" in this passage as having only some sort of metaphorical meaning only, especially given the Buddha's own description of his awakening involves the recollection of past lives in a way that does not neatly allow for some sort of attempt to squeeze it into a metaphorical reading.

A brahmin, who saw the Buddha shortly after the Buddha's awakening, asked him, "What are you?"

The Buddha replied:

The outflows [asavas] whereby would be
A deva-birth or airy sprite,
Gandharva, or whereby myself
Would reach the state of yakkhahood,
Or to birth in a human womb--
Those outflows now by myself
Are slain, extinguished and rooted out.

"As a lotus, fair and lovely
By the water is not soiled,
By the world am I not soiled:
Therefore, brahmin, am I awake [buddha].
-- AN II 37-9.
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: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby appicchato » Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:32 am

clw_uk wrote:The last bit is important for understanding, because of clinging to khandas there is "I am". When there is "I am" there is identiciation with the Khandas, when there is identification there is ageing, sickness and death (and also the whole not wanting to get sick, grief, anger etc that go hand in hand with that)

Not to be nitpicking here...your statement (in italics and bold),to me, says that if there weren't identification then there wouldn't be aging, sickness, and death...whether you, or we, identify or not, we're all gonna age, get sick, and die...put another way, if there isn't identification, does anything change?...hunh uh... :coffee:
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Re: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby Dan74 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:05 am

appicchato wrote:
clw_uk wrote:The last bit is important for understanding, because of clinging to khandas there is "I am". When there is "I am" there is identiciation with the Khandas, when there is identification there is ageing, sickness and death (and also the whole not wanting to get sick, grief, anger etc that go hand in hand with that)

Not to be nitpicking here...your statement (in italics and bold),to me, says that if there weren't identification then there wouldn't be aging, sickness, and death...whether you, or we, identify or not, we're all gonna age, get sick, and die...put another way, if there isn't identification, does anything change?...hunh uh... :coffee:


I wonder, Bhante.. If there was no identification with khandas, with being, with dualistic sense of "self" and "other", with time, with cause and effect, etc etc how would reality appear?

:shock:

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Re: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby appicchato » Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:53 am

Dan74 wrote:I wonder, Bhante.. If there was no identification with khandas, with being, with dualistic sense of "self" and "other", with time, with cause and effect, etc etc how would reality appear?

Good question Dan...unfortunately it's going to take someone further down the pike than I to (credibly (and coherently)) answer you...at this point in time I feel I wouldn't know reality (for certain) if it bit me...

Be well... :smile:
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Re: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby clw_uk » Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:19 pm

Greetings Bhante


When, for example, the body ages and dies, if there is identification or clinging, there is the mistaken concept of "I am" ageing and dying (same for other khandas)

"There is the case where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — assumes form (the body) to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form. He is seized with the idea that 'I am form' or 'Form is mine.' As he is seized with these ideas, his form changes & alters, and he falls into sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair over its change & alteration.


The Buddhas khandas "aged" and "died" but "he" had attained the deathless, through non-identification (or Anatta) there is no ageing and dying, no sadness or grief since there is no longer the concept "I am this ..."

'He has been stilled where the currents of construing do not flow. And when the currents of construing do not flow, he is said to be a sage at peace.' Thus was it said. With reference to what was it said? 'I am' is a construing. 'I am this' is a construing. 'I shall be' is a construing. 'I shall not be'... 'I shall be possessed of form'... 'I shall not be possessed of form'... 'I shall be percipient'... 'I shall not be percipient'... 'I shall be neither percipient nor non-percipient' is a construing. Construing is a disease, construing is a cancer, construing is an arrow. By going beyond all construing, he is said to be a sage at peace.

"Furthermore, a sage at peace is not born, does not age, does not die, is unagitated, and is free from longing. He has nothing whereby he would be born. Not being born, will he age? Not aging, will he die? Not dying, will he be agitated? Not being agitated, for what will he long? It was in reference to this that it was said, 'He has been stilled where the currents of construing do not flow. And when the currents of construing do not flow, he is said to be a sage at peace.


Birth ageing and death are for "those" who cling to khandas




Tilt

There is no justification for limiting "birth" in this passage as having only some sort of metaphorical meaning only, especially given the Buddha's own description of his awakening involves the recollection of past lives in a way that does not neatly allow for some sort of attempt to squeeze it into a metaphorical reading.


Recollection of past abodes, but even if it was past lives this just proves a point i made earlier, that if the Buddha did see past "lives", it was during his actual enlightenment. His entire motivation and view before that was an acknowledgement of what is "There is Dukkha". It wasnt "I will be reborn and so exp. Dukkha".

If people say that one must have rebirth view in order to start and practice the NEFP then they must conclude that the Buddha himself had wrong view throughout his search since he didnt start with the view "I will be reborn and suffer" since he had no knowledge of this until his nibbana (if you take it to mean he seen past lives)

Metta
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Re: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby Jechbi » Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:48 pm

Hi Craig,

clw_uk wrote:If people say that one must have rebirth view in order to start and practice the NEFP then they must conclude that the Buddha himself had wrong view throughout his search since he didnt start with the view "I will be reborn and suffer" since he had no knowledge of this until his nibbana (if you take it to mean he seen past lives)


Samma ditthi isn't exclusively a matter of having correct versus incorrect viewpoints. It's a matter of understanding. The Bodhisatta Gotama did not have perfect samma ditthi, perfect right understanding. In all likelihood, the Bodhisatta Gotama had exactly the type of rebirth view that you are pillorying.

I don't believe I've seen anyone on this board assert that "one must have rebirth view in order to start and practice the NEFP." I'm no longer sure what point you are trying to make. It does seem like beating a dead horse.
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Re: Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful

Postby clw_uk » Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:57 pm

Hey

Samma ditthi isn't exclusively a matter of having correct versus incorrect viewpoints. It's a matter of understanding. The Bodhisatta Gotama did not have perfect samma ditthi, perfect right understanding. In all likelihood, the Bodhisatta Gotama had exactly the type of rebirth view that you are pillorying.


He did have correct understanding since he reached Nibbana, and this can only be done by following the NEFP which he did, even if he was aware of it or not during his search

If one has wrong view/understanding at the begining, then they wont reach nibbana since then they have wrong intention etc through the other parts of the path

If the Buddha had wrong understanding at the begining he would have either never left home or, if he did leave, he would have gone the "wrong way" further on down the line and stayed there

I don't believe I've seen anyone on this board assert that "one must have rebirth view in order to start and practice the NEFP." I'm no longer sure what point you are trying to make. It does seem like beating a dead horse.


Saying that without rebirth view, there is a distortion of the teachings or Buddhadhama doesnt work or its not what the Buddha taught or not his teachings to exclude it, amounts to the same thing

I wasnt really trying to make a point to anyone i was just answering posts that were put to me

Metta
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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