Do bodhisattas have partners?

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Do bodhisattas have partners?

Postby gavesako » Wed May 20, 2009 8:09 pm

Is this the accepted Theravada idea?

------------------


Below is extracted from the Notes section (page 478) of Venerable Acariya Mun Bhuridatta Thera- A Spiritual Biography:

Spiritual partner. Literally, "one's partner in developing the spiritual perfections (parami).Most living beings have an individual, usually of the opposite sex with whom they have maintained an intimate, personal relationship spanning countless lifetimes over many eons of existance. Life after life, those couples who share a deep spiritual commitment will reconnect and renew their relationship, assisting each other to develop one or another aspect of spiritual perfection. Such a devoted companion is considered to be essential for the eons-long quest to become a fully-enlightened Buddha, as Gautama Buddha's own story illustrates:

In a past eon of the world, as a forest-dwelling ascetic named Sumedha, he threw himself at the feet of an earlier Buddha, Dipankara, and resolved to become a Buddha himself in future. As he made this vow, a young woman bearing incense and flowers stepped forth joyously to congratulate him. He immediately rejected her support, saying that as a forest-dwelling ascetic he was determined to live alone. Dipankara Buddha then cautioned the young ascetic, telling him that every aspirant to Buddhahood had a spiritual companion (pada-paricarika) who was his inseparable partner throughout the long, ardous journey to perfection. After that, through countless lives, the Bodhisatta and his spiritual partner labored and sacrificed together for the benefit of other living beings as they traveled the Path of Awakening.


:console:



And also:

http://thaiforesttradition.blogspot.com ... ation.html

The Power of Aspiration

I cannot read Thai but Khun Mer, a Thai mae chi shared with me the story about Luang Por Mun.

During the time of the Buddha, Luang Por Mun was a rich man and inspired by the Buddha's teachings, he gave up his wealth and seek ordination with his wife. As he was old, he was not able to learn the Dhamma as much as he would like to. But in that lifetime, he had made an aspiration to become the future Buddha.

So through about 2500 years, he went through the cycle of life and death- till he reached his final birth and was born in Ubon Ratchathani (North East of Thailand) in 1870. He ordained as a monk at the age of 22 and practiced with dilligence. He remembered back his past birth during the Buddha's lifetime. It was during his final lifetime, he gave up his aspiration to become the future Buddha but instead, to end the cycle of rebirth and death.

Khun Mer said that in my previous birth, I had known Ajahn Mun and did dana and paid respect to him. But I was probably too old to be able to learn the Dhamma well, still, the respect I had for Ajahn Mun had always been deep.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Do bodhisattas have partners?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed May 20, 2009 9:12 pm

Hi Bhante
I am reminded of Buddhas wife who upon hearing what practice Siddhata was following (one meal a day and so forth) done the same practice, and his words to Ananda about Spiritual friendship being the whole of the path, with this post.

when seing the title of this thread I was expecting a question and answering, Boddhisattas aren't necesarily monks, and may have partners!

Thank-you for reminding me of these
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Re: Do bodhisattas have partners?

Postby Dhammanando » Thu May 21, 2009 6:59 am

gavesako wrote:Khun Mer said that in my previous birth, I had known Ajahn Mun and did dana and paid respect to him. But I was probably too old to be able to learn the Dhamma well, still, the respect I had for Ajahn Mun had always been deep.


In the more usual "apadana" narrative in Thai monk hagiographies, when the monk changes his mind and starts striving for arahantship (rather than paccekabodhi or sammasambodhi), the wife who's been tagging along with him through countless lives does not remain on good terms with him. In the life in which the male changes his mind, the female will usually be born as a yakkhini or a female naga. Incensed at what she perceives as a betrayal of their joint vows she will do her utmost to spoil his meditation, until the heroic arahant-to-be finally vanquishes her with the power of his samadhi.
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: Do bodhisattas have partners?

Postby rowyourboat » Thu May 21, 2009 5:59 pm

the more I see how couples are different in their application of the dhamma the more I understand that the becoming enlightened is notsomething that can be done holding hands :thinking:
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Re: Do bodhisattas have partners?

Postby kc2dpt » Thu May 21, 2009 7:05 pm

gavesako wrote:Life after life, those couples who share a deep spiritual commitment will reconnect and renew their relationship, assisting each other to develop one or another aspect of spiritual perfection.

This reminds me of my relationship with my wife. :meditate: :meditate:
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Re: Do bodhisattas have partners?

Postby Ordinaryperson » Thu May 21, 2009 11:38 pm

gavesako wrote:Is this the accepted Theravada idea?

Khun Mer said that in my previous birth, I had known Ajahn Mun and did dana and paid respect to him. But I was probably too old to be able to learn the Dhamma well, still, the respect I had for Ajahn Mun had always been deep.


Bhante Gavesako,

Could you let me know if Khun Mer is from the North or South?

Dhammanando wrote:"... until the heroic arahant-to-be finally vanquishes her with the power of his samadhi.


Bhante,

What do you mean by "vanquishes her"?

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Re: Do bodhisattas have partners?

Postby Individual » Fri May 22, 2009 12:02 am

Dhammanando wrote:
gavesako wrote:Khun Mer said that in my previous birth, I had known Ajahn Mun and did dana and paid respect to him. But I was probably too old to be able to learn the Dhamma well, still, the respect I had for Ajahn Mun had always been deep.


In the more usual "apadana" narrative in Thai monk hagiographies, when the monk changes his mind and starts striving for arahantship (rather than paccekabodhi or sammasambodhi), the wife who's been tagging along with him through countless lives does not remain on good terms with him. In the life in which the male changes his mind, the female will usually be born as a yakkhini or a female naga. Incensed at what she perceives as a betrayal of their joint vows she will do her utmost to spoil his meditation, until the heroic arahant-to-be finally vanquishes her with the power of his samadhi.

Not very romantic, is it?
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Re: Do bodhisattas have partners?

Postby Dhammanando » Fri May 22, 2009 12:30 am

Ordinaryperson wrote:What do you mean by "vanquishes her"?


Like when the Buddha sent Mara packing.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: Do bodhisattas have partners?

Postby Dhammanando » Fri May 22, 2009 12:57 am

Individual wrote:Not very romantic, is it?


No, it isn't. :smile:

The north-east region of Thailand —where most of these monks come from— is a rather macho culture that prefers rugged tough guy heroes to romantic ones. For the latter one would need to read hagiographies of Bangkok monks like Somdet Toh.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: Do bodhisattas have partners?

Postby Individual » Fri May 22, 2009 5:41 am

Gavesako or anyone else: Is a Bodhisatta's "partner" always in a romantic\sexual relationship with them?
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: Do bodhisattas have partners?

Postby Dhammanando » Fri May 22, 2009 10:31 am

Gavesako or anyone else: Is a Bodhisatta's "partner" always in a romantic\sexual relationship with them?


In the Jātakas' depiction of the future Gotama Buddha, he and the future Rāhulamātā didn’t get to meet in every single life, but in those lives when they did meet they were always partners. But their partnership wasn’t always sexual — in some lives they were both ascetics.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: Do bodhisattas have partners?

Postby gavesako » Fri May 22, 2009 11:46 am

Dhammanando wrote:
Individual wrote:Not very romantic, is it?


No, it isn't. :smile:

The north-east region of Thailand —where most of these monks come from— is a rather macho culture that prefers rugged tough guy heroes to romantic ones. For the latter one would need to read hagiographies of Bangkok monks like Somdet Toh.



Do you know if Luang Por Waen was one of those Isaan monks who had a trouble with a "khu barami"?

http://thaiforesttradition.blogspot.com ... hiang.html

It was said that Luang Por Dune and Mae Chee Yos were "Parami couple", which implied that they had been practicing Dhamma together for many many lifetimes.

http://www.simplybuddhist.com/2009/01/l ... n-yos.html

And here is the full story of Ajahn Mun's ex-partner coming to visit him as a devata:

http://thaiforesttradition.blogspot.com ... rtner.html
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Re: Do bodhisattas have partners?

Postby gavesako » Fri May 22, 2009 11:48 am

Ordinaryperson wrote:
gavesako wrote:Could you let me know if Khun Mer is from the North or South?


Not sure. I don't know the author of the blog. But I would imagine she was an old mae chee from Isaan.
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Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Do bodhisattas have partners?

Postby Dhammanando » Fri May 22, 2009 12:52 pm

Hi Bhante,

gavesako wrote:Do you know if Luang Por Waen was one of those Isaan monks who had a trouble with a "khu barami"?


I don't know. I haven't heard much about Luang Phor Waen except that old story about how he would fly through the air and overtake aeroplanes.

The one whom I’ve heard most about is Ajahn Weun, a disciple of Ajahn Laa and one of the teachers of the veteran American forest monk Tan Dhammachando (Tan Chad). This was supposedly a case of husband and wife formerly vowing to attain Buddhahood and Buddha-wifehood, but Tan Weun changed his mind and then found himself being pestered by his wife-turned-nāga. He first tried to get rid of her using the saiyasaat that he’d studied before ordaining, but she was too powerful to be overcome in this way. In the end he developed fire kasina and then expanded the nimitta into a wall of fire surrounding himself. The she-nāga couldn’t get through the fire and Weun attained arahantship after she’d given up and gone away. So they say.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: Do bodhisattas have partners?

Postby gavesako » Fri May 22, 2009 2:36 pm

Wow, that must have been quite a spectacular sight! Probably something akin to the Naga Fireball festival:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTMjAtxIhF4

:jedi:
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Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Do bodhisattas have partners?

Postby serg_o » Sat May 23, 2009 7:09 am

I think rather peaceful story is about Maha Kassapa and his wife in their last life.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... 5.html#ch1
When both found themselves of one accord, they had pale-yellow cloth and clay bowls brought for them from the bazaar, and then shaved each other's head. They thus became like ascetic wanderers, and they made the aspiration: "Those who are Arahats in the world, to them we dedicate our going forth!" Slinging their almsbowls over their shoulders, they left the estate's manor, unnoticed by the house servants. But when they reached the next village, which belonged to the estate, the laborers and their families saw them. Crying and lamenting, they fell to the feet of the two ascetics and exclaimed: "Oh, dear and noble ones! Why do you want to make us helpless orphans?" — "It is because we have seen the three worlds to be like a house afire, therefore we go forth into the homeless life." To those who were serfs, Pipphali Kassapa granted their freedom, and he and Bhadda continued on their road. leaving the villagers behind still weeping.

When walking on, Kassapa went ahead while Bhadda followed behind him. Considering this, Kassapa thought: "Now, this Bhadda Kapilani follows me close behind, and she is a woman of great beauty. Some people - could easily think, 'Though they are ascetics, they still cannot live without each other! It is unseemly what they are doing.' If they spoil their minds by such wrong thoughts or even spread false rumors, they will cause harm to themselves." So he thought it better that they separate. When they reached a crossroads Kassapa said: "Bhadda, you take one of these roads, and I shall go the other way." She said: "It is true, for ascetics a woman is an obstacle. People might think and speak badly about us. So please go your own way, and we shall now part." She then respectfully circumambulated him thrice, saluted him at his feet, and with folded hands she spoke: "Our close companionship and friendship that had lasted for an unfathomable past5 comes to an end today. Please take the path to the right and I shall take the other road." Thus they parted and went their individual ways, seeking the high goal of Arahatship, final deliverance from suffering. It is said that the earth, shaken by the power of their virtue, quaked and trembled.
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Re: Do bodhisattas have partners?

Postby Ordinaryperson » Sun May 24, 2009 2:05 am

gavesako wrote:
Ordinaryperson wrote:
gavesako wrote:Could you let me know if Khun Mer is from the North or South?


Not sure. I don't know the author of the blog. But I would imagine she was an old mae chee from Isaan.


Dhammanando wrote:
Ordinaryperson wrote:What do you mean by "vanquishes her"?


Like when the Buddha sent Mara packing.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu


Thank you Bhantes.

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Re: Do bodhisattas have partners?

Postby gavesako » Wed May 27, 2009 8:22 am

Do you think this notion may have something to do with the (later) Vajrayana idea of "tantric consort"? :thinking:
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Re: Do bodhisattas have partners?

Postby Thanavuddho » Fri May 29, 2009 11:50 am

gavesako wrote:So through about 2500 years, he went through the cycle of life and death- till he reached his final birth and was born in Ubon Ratchathani (North East of Thailand) in 1870. He ordained as a monk at the age of 22 and practiced with dilligence. He remembered back his past birth during the Buddha's lifetime. It was during his final lifetime, he gave up his aspiration to become the future Buddha but instead, to end the cycle of rebirth and death.



Luang Por was a bodhisatta before he gave up the Adhiṭṭhāna. This is a good story here, but I don't feel that it's literal. I feel that Luang Por was practicing as a bodhisatta far longer that 2500 years. This is just my personal feeling and please don't be upset by what I say

:spy:

Bodhisattas that are destined to reach sammasambodhi have spiritual partners, but this doesn't mean that they are always encased in a sexual relationship with that partner.
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Re: Do bodhisattas have partners?

Postby kc2dpt » Fri May 29, 2009 2:22 pm

Santeri wrote:I feel that Luang Por was practicing as a bodhisatta far longer that 2500 years.

Why do you feel that way? What about him makes you unsatisfied with the number 2500? What would be the difference between a person practicing as a bodhisatta for 2500 vs a person practicing for longer?
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