the great rebirth debate

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby nowheat » Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:43 am

daverupa wrote:Briefly, it's primarily intended to support the idea that one can have attained to right view without any view on rebirth; that right view can be conveyed without rebirth-talk at all (this conclusion is also borne out by MN 9 as well as others). The context of saying that "disbelief in rebirth is a view" is the secondary target; to disbelieve there is flying teacup around Jupiter is to refrain from such a view on account of poor evidence, but it is not making a counter-claim that such a teacup is certainly impossible or certainly nonexistent.


Thanks, daverupa.

So what I hear you saying is that because Anathapindika was talking about what is right view, and he did not include rebirth in that right view, rebirth is not a necessary part of right view. Sariputta does the same in MN 9. Do I understand that correctly?

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby nowheat » Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:48 am

Alex123 wrote:There it clearly says what I was saying.


But I am not asking what you are saying. I am asking if you disagree with the Buddha. The Buddha says that even if there is no rebirth, following the dhamma is a good thing. I am asking if you disagree with the Buddha. It's actually a "yes or no" question.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:51 am

nowheat wrote:So what I hear you saying is that because Anathapindika was talking about what is right view, and he did not include rebirth in that right view, rebirth is not a necessary part of right view. Sariputta does the same in MN 9. Do I understand that correctly?
:namaste:


And what do suttas state?
    Then Ven. Sariputta and Ven. Ananda, having given this instruction to Anathapindika the householder, got up from their seats and left. Then, not long after they left, Anathapindika the householder died and reappeared in the Tusita heaven. Then Anathapindika the deva's son, in the far extreme of the night, his extreme radiance lighting up the entirety of Jeta's Grove, went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, bowed down to him and stood to one side. As he was standing there, he addressed the Blessed One with this verse: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Another instance of rebirth in the suttas. Ven. Sariputta and Ven. Ananda were instructing Anathapindika the householder on his death bed. Anathapindika the householder died, died, and was reborn (reappeared) as deva in Tusita heaven.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Nyana » Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:52 am

nowheat wrote:The Buddha says that even if there is no rebirth, following the dhamma is a good thing.

You're misunderstanding the passage in question. The Buddha does not deny rebirth.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby nowheat » Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:52 am

Alex123 wrote:
Again. First of all you liberate yourself, then help others.

    "Cunda, it is impossible that one who is himself sunk in the mire[23] should pull out another who is sunk in the mire. But it is possible, Cunda, that one not sunk in the mire himself should pull out another who is sunk in the mire.
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... -mn-008-23

There it clearly says what I was saying.


So on this point, it seems you are saying you have to be fully liberated to help others. I will ask the same question I keep asking. Are you saying this is what the Buddha taught: you must be fully liberated before you can help others?

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby nowheat » Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:57 am

Alex123 wrote:And what do suttas state?
    Then Ven. Sariputta and Ven. Ananda, having given this instruction to Anathapindika the householder, got up from their seats and left. Then, not long after they left, Anathapindika the householder died and reappeared in the Tusita heaven. Then Anathapindika the deva's son, in the far extreme of the night, his extreme radiance lighting up the entirety of Jeta's Grove, went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, bowed down to him and stood to one side. As he was standing there, he addressed the Blessed One with this verse: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Another instance of rebirth in the suttas. Ven. Sariputta and Ven. Ananda were instructing Anathapindika the householder on his death bed. Anathapindika the householder died, died, and was reborn (reappeared) as deva in Tusita heaven.


And who is it who says that Anathapindika the householder ended up a deva in Tusita heaven. Who do you find is speaking in that part of the sutta?

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:02 am

nowheat wrote:But I am not asking what you are saying. I am asking if you disagree with the Buddha. The Buddha says that even if there is no rebirth, following the dhamma is a good thing. I am asking if you disagree with the Buddha. It's actually a "yes or no" question.
:namaste:


    "And who is the individual who goes against the flow? There is the case where an individual doesn't indulge in sensual passions and doesn't do evil deeds. Even though it may be with pain, even though it may be with sorrow, even though he may be crying, his face in tears, he lives the holy life that is perfect & pure. This is called the individual who goes against the flow." http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Why would a person lives the holy life that is perfect & pure that brings in this life: pain, sorrow and tears.
Isn't Dhamma supposed to stop suffering? Not add pain, sorrow and tears?

It is perfectly understandable to suffer in this life so that there will not be much greater amount of suffering in next lives. But to live the holy life that is perfect & pure that brings in this life: pain, sorrow, tears - is just self inflicted deprivation and hardship.



“Bhikkhus, suppose there was a man with a lifespan of a hundred years, who could live a hundred years. Someone would say to him: ‘Come, good man, in the morning they will strike you with a hundred spears; at noon they will strike you with a hundred spears; in the evening they will strike you with a hundred spears. And you, good man, being struck day after day by three hundred spears will have a lifespan of a hundred years, will live a hundred years; and then, after a hundred years have passed, you will make the breakthrough to the four noble truths, to which you had not broken through earlier.
“It is fitting, bhikkhus, for a clansman intent on his good to accept the offer. For what reason? Because this saμsåra, bhikkhus, is without discoverable beginning; a first point cannot be discerned of blows by spears, blows by swords, blows by axes. And even though this may be so, bhikkhus, I do not say that the breakthrough to the four noble truths is accompanied by suffering or displeasure. Rather, bhikkhus, the breakthrough to the four noble truths is accompanied only by happiness, accompanied only by joy. What four? The noble truth of suffering … the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of
suffering. “Therefore, bhikkhus, an exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is suffering.’ … An exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’” BB Transl. - SN 56.35 (5) A Hundred Spears


If there is one life only, why accept the deal of being tortured for hundred years in order to realize 4NT? It works only if we consider multi-lifetimes where suffering can be much greater than in this one.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:04 am

nowheat wrote:And who is it who says that Anathapindika the householder ended up a deva in Tusita heaven. Who do you find is speaking in that part of the sutta?
:namaste:


The Buddha has said it and Ananda remembered.

    Then when the night had past, The Blessed One addressed the monks: "Last night, monks, a certain deva's son in the far extreme of the night, his extreme radiance lighting up the entirety of Jeta's Grove, came to me and, on arrival, bowed down to me and stood to one side. As he was standing there, he addressed me with this verse:... http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:22 am

Greetings Alex,

Gee - you paint a pretty grim picture of Dhamma practice, one that's hard to relate to.

Even though one might loosely say that the practice can give rise to dukkha, it wouldn't really be correct to say it was the Dhamma practice itself causing suffering, rather... it would be craving for sensory gratification causing suffering, and that on account of the Dhamma practice, those cravings are not being fulfilled, not being surrendered to.

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: the great rebirth debate

Postby nowheat » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:30 am

Alex123 wrote:
nowheat wrote:And who is it who says that Anathapindika the householder ended up a deva in Tusita heaven. Who do you find is speaking in that part of the sutta?
:namaste:


The Buddha has said it and Ananda remembered.


Yes. And he tells us why he talks of where people end up, and among the reasons he gives, notably absent is "because it's the truth." He tells stories of where people go to inspire those who cared about them.

"What do you think, Anuruddha? What purpose does the Tathagata see that when a disciple has died, he declares his reappearance thus: 'So-and-so has reappeared in such-and-such a place...'?"

"Anuruddha, it is not for the purpose of scheming to deceive people or for the purpose of flattering people or for the purpose of gain, honour, or renown, or with the thought, 'Let people know me to be thus,' that when a disciple has died, the Tathagata declares his reappearance... Rather, it is because there are faithful clansmen inspired and gladdened by what is lofty, who when they hear that, direct their minds to such a state, and that leads to their welfare and happiness for a long time."
-- MN 68
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:12 am

rowboat wrote:I'm sorry Kirk5a, I've scoured the web and I haven't found the original source. I remember the information being from an interview with someone from Suan Mokkh or from an article looking at the period between Ven. Buddhadasa's stroke and his death. I'll have a look again later.

These talks by Santikaro (formerly Ven Santikaro, and translator for Ven Buddhadasa) may be of interest:
http://www.audiodharma.org/teacher/129/
It's been a while since I listened to them, but he gives an interesting account of Ven Buddhadasa's hospitalization and eventual death.

I think there are some questions towards the end about the issue of Ven Buddhadasa's opinions on rebirth.

:anjali:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Notron » Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:11 am

Alex123 wrote:
Notron wrote:... If the Buddha taught the absence of an ego (anatta), then what is migrating from one life to the next?


If the Buddha taught the absence of an ego (anatta), then what receives results of practice?

This question suggests a belief in a "permanent self" or entity that transmigrates from one lifetime to another...a belief in eternalism. Paticcasamuppada (dependent origination) describes something else entirely as explained by Ven. Buddhadasa.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby rowboat » Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:44 am

mikenz66 wrote:
rowboat wrote:I'm sorry Kirk5a, I've scoured the web and I haven't found the original source. I remember the information being from an interview with someone from Suan Mokkh or from an article looking at the period between Ven. Buddhadasa's stroke and his death. I'll have a look again later.

These talks by Santikaro (formerly Ven Santikaro, and translator for Ven Buddhadasa) may be of interest:
http://www.audiodharma.org/teacher/129/
It's been a while since I listened to them, but he gives an interesting account of Ven Buddhadasa's hospitalization and eventual death.

I think there are some questions towards the end about the issue of Ven Buddhadasa's opinions on rebirth.

:anjali:
Mike


Thank you, Mike. I'll have to listen to that.
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That the rain will not sodden it.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby nowheat » Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:26 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
nowheat wrote:The Buddha says that even if there is no rebirth, following the dhamma is a good thing.

You're misunderstanding the passage in question. The Buddha does not deny rebirth.


You are misreading me. I do not say that the Buddha denies rebirth.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Nyana » Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:15 pm

nowheat wrote:You are misreading me. I do not say that the Buddha denies rebirth.

Sorry, my mistake.

:anjali:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby ancientbuddhism » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:13 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
rowboat wrote:I'm sorry Kirk5a, I've scoured the web and I haven't found the original source. I remember the information being from an interview with someone from Suan Mokkh or from an article looking at the period between Ven. Buddhadasa's stroke and his death. I'll have a look again later.

These talks by Santikaro (formerly Ven Santikaro, and translator for Ven Buddhadasa) may be of interest:
http://www.audiodharma.org/teacher/129/
It's been a while since I listened to them, but he gives an interesting account of Ven Buddhadasa's hospitalization and eventual death.

I think there are some questions towards the end about the issue of Ven Buddhadasa's opinions on rebirth.

:anjali:
Mike


Towards the middle of the 4th in this series (37:~) Santikaro discusses Ajahn Buddhadasa’s critique of Buddhaghosa’s interpretation of DO, and toward 40:~ that his own pragmatism on rebirth was to change traditional (Thai) viewpoints of a Buddhist transmigratory class system – that contemplative life is only suitable for monks, whereas the laity can only make merit for hope of a better future life – and encourage them to ‘do something about suffering here and now’.

This is a rather common interpretation of his intentions and may be helpful with the debate going on in recent pages of this thread wrt rebirth agnosticism. In this regard Ajahn Buddhadasa was indifferent about rebirth as an essential right view, or that it had any significance to the contemplative work of Dhamma. Although Ajahn Buddhadasa made strong emphases on one life only, its central motivation was the utility of encouraging people to practice Dhamma; some hindered by traditional views on rebirth and others by the apparent incongruity of rebirth with scientific empiricism. In this sense his agnostic position was less a determined view on rebirth, than to help those who would practice Dhamma if not for being stuck on tradition or untenable metaphysical claims.
Katamo ca bhikkhave asaṅkhatagāmī maggo: samatho ca vipassanā ca. Ayaṃ vuccati bhikkhave asaṅkhatagāmī maggo.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Calm and insight. This, bhikkhus, is called the path leading to the unconditioned.” SN. 43.2 – Samathavipassanāsuttaṃ

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:07 pm

daverupa wrote: The context of saying that "disbelief in rebirth is a view" is the secondary target;


If we're talking about questions on which we're not currently certain then of course disbelief is a view. The same way that belief is a view.

The only way to not have a view is to say "I don't know".

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:13 pm

Notron wrote:If the Buddha taught the absence of an ego (anatta), then what receives results of practice


This is a good question, but it's problematic even when considered across one lifetime.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:22 pm

daverupa wrote:..... that right view can be conveyed without rebirth-talk at all (this conclusion is also borne out by MN 9 as well as others).


But MN9 clearly describes how aging and death arise in dependence on birth, and how birth arises in dependence on the process of becoming in the 3 realms.


"And what is aging and death, what is the origin of aging and death, what is the cessation of aging and death, what is the way leading to the cessation of aging and death? The aging of beings in the various orders of beings, their old age, brokenness of teeth, grayness of hair, wrinkling of skin, decline of life, weakness of faculties — this is called aging. The passing of beings out of the various orders of beings, their passing away, dissolution, disappearance, dying, completion of time, dissolution of the aggregates, laying down of the body — this is called death. So this aging and this death are what is called aging and death. With the arising of birth there is the arising of aging and death. With the cessation of birth there is the cessation of aging and death. The way leading to the cessation of aging and death is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view... right concentration."
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:23 pm

Spiny O'Norman wrote:
The only way to not have a view is to say "I don't know".

spiny


Hi, Spiny. Alternately, we can just dwell in emptiness abandoning all views.

Snp 4.5 PTS: Sn 796-803
Paramatthaka Sutta: On Views
translated from the Pali by
John D. Ireland
© 1994–2012
Alternate translation: Thanissaro
"A person who associates himself with certain views, considering them as best and making them supreme in the world, he says, because of that, that all other views are inferior; therefore he is not free from contention (with others). In what is seen, heard, cognized and in ritual observances performed, he sees a profit for himself. Just by laying hold of that view he regards every other view as worthless. Those skilled (in judgment)[1] say that (a view becomes) a bond if, relying on it, one regards everything else as inferior. Therefore a bhikkhu should not depend on what is seen, heard or cognized, nor upon ritual observances. He should not present himself as equal to, nor imagine himself to be inferior, nor better than, another. Abandoning (the views) he had (previously) held and not taking up (another), he does not seek a support even in knowledge. Among those who dispute he is certainly not one to take sides. He does not [have] recourse to a view at all. In whom there is no inclination to either extreme, for becoming or non-becoming, here or in another existence, for him there does not exist a fixed viewpoint on investigating the doctrines assumed (by others). Concerning the seen, the heard and the cognized he does not form the least notion. That brahmana[2] who does not grasp at a view, with what could he be identified in the world?

"They do not speculate nor pursue (any notion); doctrines are not accepted by them. A (true) brahmana is beyond, does not fall back on views."


source: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .irel.html
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