Claims of Enlightenment...

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

Re: Claims of Enlightenment...

Postby Cittasanto » Thu May 10, 2012 10:15 pm

SDC wrote:A good quote from Venerable Ñanavira:

Only if you are not quite convinced yourself will you be anxious to convince others: you are seeking confirmation. Those who know don't speak.


In more ways than one!
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Claims of Enlightenment...

Postby dhamma_newb » Fri May 11, 2012 12:10 am

Cittasanto wrote:Would everyone agree to this as a general cover all of what these claims looks like?

New members making claims of attainments to complete strangers on a forum looks like trolling, or something else for the poster let go of, at best, and possibly may also look like “grandiose beliefs” which are characteristic of a psychological disorder, at worst.
Any claims, here on this forum, are gauged by the Buddhas Teachings, and not from elsewhere, and just because the correct words from Theravada or Buddhism in General are being used does not mean they are being used in the same way as found in the teachings the Buddha gave. An example of this is Dhammaoverground.
There is nothing to get by making claims, so good questions to ask is “why advertise a good thing?” and, “is this the right time and place?”
Advertisements for products which cost money and benefit the poster are against the terms of service and makes any claim dubious.


Sounds good Cittasanto!
The watched mind brings happiness.
Dhp 36

I am larger and better than I thought. I did not know I held so much goodness.
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Re: Claims of Enlightenment...

Postby Modus.Ponens » Fri May 11, 2012 12:27 am

I think there are valid reasons for being cautious with claiming an attainment, but apart from that it's all taboo inherited from tradition. There are also good reasons for claiming an attainment such as geting people to listen teachings and, very important too, to inspire people to train their minds hard, knowing it's possible to attain such states. I know I've been inspired from others telling they can achieve jhana.

The Buddha didn't prohibited lay people to claim anything so why do we, lay people, have to behave like monks?
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: Claims of Enlightenment...

Postby Volcommerce » Fri May 11, 2012 12:48 am

Hi friends, to get the bottom of this matter, and to avoid speculation;

Modus,

Can you refer us to where Buddha did not prohibit people from making claims to enlightenment?

Similarly, to the other posters, can you please provide support of your opinions and claims in reference to Buddhist doctrine?

Also, there is a big difference between a poster selling a product and proving wisdom of enlightenment -
these two are not related and it would appear some posters are contributing information that is contradictory to common sense and truth, which is in contravention of right action and right speech.

Please clarify.
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Re: Claims of Enlightenment...

Postby SDC » Fri May 11, 2012 1:18 am

Volcommerce, how long have you been official studying the dhamma? I recall you said only a few days is that correct? Or am I misremebering?
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Re: Claims of Enlightenment...

Postby Volcommerce » Fri May 11, 2012 2:12 am

Sigh,

The dhamma is the what Buddha realized through direct experience and spoke about his condition. He did not ''study'' the dhamma prior to his enlightenment. You must emphasize the nature of his intention, action and human condition if seek to express an understanding of Buddhism. Standing behind an explanation does not and will not lend you credibility.
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Re: Claims of Enlightenment...

Postby Goofaholix » Fri May 11, 2012 2:22 am

Volcommerce wrote:Standing behind an explanation does not and will not lend you credibility.


What do you think would lend you credibility?

What lends credibility to someone claiming to be a doctor?

What lends credibility to someone claiming to be a lawyer?
"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: Claims of Enlightenment...

Postby SDC » Fri May 11, 2012 2:37 am

Volcommerce wrote:Sigh,

The dhamma is the what Buddha realized through direct experience and spoke about his condition. He did not ''study'' the dhamma prior to his enlightenment. You must emphasize the nature of his intention, action and human condition if seek to express an understanding of Buddhism. Standing behind an explanation does not and will not lend you credibility.


My point, which I should have just come right out with, is that you seem fairly well versed. Quite a bit more than 2 days worth.

EDIT - Well versed, and confident with a specific perspective of the dhamma, which I would be shocked if you threw together over a few days.
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Re: Claims of Enlightenment...

Postby Cittasanto » Fri May 11, 2012 6:09 am

the prohabition is within the patimokkha, parajika & pacittia rules, as already mentioned earlier in the thread.
these rules are for monastics, however the Parajika is also covered by the fourth lay precept and the pacittia is covered within right speech.

The Dhamma is not always common sense, all phenomena are not self, is hardly common sense, just as all phenomena is stressful, is equally not common sense, and please directly support why any part is inappropriate, instead of making general statements they are not, as the line you are mentioning has been seen by members and mentioned it is a valid aspect to include.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Claims of Enlightenment...

Postby Cittasanto » Fri May 11, 2012 6:24 am

Modus.Ponens wrote:I think there are valid reasons for being cautious with claiming an attainment, but apart from that it's all taboo inherited from tradition. There are also good reasons for claiming an attainment such as geting people to listen teachings and, very important too, to inspire people to train their minds hard, knowing it's possible to attain such states. I know I've been inspired from others telling they can achieve jhana.

The Buddha didn't prohibited lay people to claim anything so why do we, lay people, have to behave like monks?

Yes there are valid reasons for allot of things.
the reason lay people look down upon it is, in my opinion and especially online, is because like the pressent claims they are by complete strangers, i.e. they are innapropriatly done, and not at the right time.

The Buddha didn't prohibit allot of things for lay people, however, could it be said making claims of attainments to strangers is inline with what the Buddha taught?

But as a general note can we stay on topic here now please!
There is another thread to discuss one of the current claimers claims.
:focus:
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Claims of Enlightenment...

Postby Cittasanto » Fri May 11, 2012 7:44 am

Just though I would add something to this.
Cittasanto wrote:
New members making claims of attainments to complete strangers on a forum looks like trolling, or something else for the poster let go of, at best, and possibly may also look like “grandiose beliefs” which are characteristic of a psychological disorder, at worst.
Any claims, here on this forum, are gauged by the Buddhas Teachings, and not from elsewhere, and just because the correct words from Theravada or Buddhism in General are being used does not mean they are being used in the same way as found in the teachings the Buddha gave. An example of this is Dhammaoverground.
There is nothing to get by making claims, so good questions to ask is “why advertise a good thing?” and, “is this the right time and place? Although, if you do believe you have an attainment, how you do this is just as important as timing and place!.”
Advertisements for products which cost money and benefit the poster are against the terms of service and makes any claim dubious.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Claims of Enlightenment...

Postby acinteyyo » Fri May 11, 2012 12:36 pm

Cittasanto wrote:Ok I have been thinking about this recently due to the recent bout of claims of attainments, and am wondering why members find such claims inappropriate (or which ever word you prefer)?

Hi cittasanto, all
Cittasanto wrote:Personally speaking, it isn't the claim of an attainment that bothers me (unless it was a monastic) it is other things, a question that often springs to my mind is "why claim attainments to complete strangers on a forum you just joined?" or "what are they trying to prove, or get?"
I think we shouldn't try to imagine or try to find out what is intended "behind" such claims. It seems to me most people react to such claims with immoderate skepticism, maybe because of so many who claimed attainments they obviously hadn't achieved.
Cittasanto wrote:I feel one shows attainments by the way they act via body speech and mind, not by stating them, however that doesn't mean they wouldn't, just it would be at an appropriate time.

I agree that one shows attainments by the way they act via body, speech and mind. And I don't see any problem in stating them, because the actions will verify or dismiss them.
I wonder why so many think they know when it is appropriate to state attainments and when not. I think most of us aren't in a position to know that at all!
As far as my knowledge reaches about attainments on the path, I'm sure that even achieving arahantship is no guaranty that "he/she" is talented methodically or didactically or that "he/she" is always aware of the appropriate time to say this or that to someone.
If I had attained anything, I wouldn't tell anybody. But I wouldn't do it, not because I think it wouldn't be appropriate to state it and should rather be shown via the way of action; but because I'm aware of the fact that stating attainments would directly lead to great refusal and over the top skepticism. On the other hand, if I feel it would be beneficial for someone to know that I achieved any state of what ever, assumed I would have, I would tell him/her.

Summed up, I think this topic should be seen with more emotional and personal distance. I think about the Brahmajala Sutta (DN1). It's not about such claims, but it shows my point well.
. "If, bhikkhus, others speak in dispraise of me, or in dispraise of the Dhamma, or in dispraise of the Sangha, you should not give way to resentment, displeasure, or animosity against them in your heart. For if you were to become angry or upset in such a situation, you would only be creating an obstacle for yourselves. If you were to become angry or upset when others speak in dispraise of us, would you be able to recognize whether their statements are rightly or wrongly spoken?"

"Certainly not, Lord."

"If, bhikkhus, others speak in dispraise of me, or in dispraise of the Dhamma, or in dispraise of the Sangha, you should unravel what is false and point it out as false, saying: 'For such and such a reason this is false, this is untrue, there is no such thing in us, this is not found among us.'

6. "And if, bhikkhus, others speak in praise of me, or in praise of the Dhamma, or in praise of the Sangha, you should not give way to jubilation, joy, and exultation in your heart. For if you were to become jubilant, joyful, and exultant in such a situation, you would only be creating an obstacle for yourselves. If others speak in praise of me, or in praise of the Dhamma, or in praise of the Sangha, you should acknowledge what is fact as fact, saying: 'For such and such a reason this is a fact, this is true, there is such a thing in us, this is found among us.'


best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

:anjali:
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Re: Claims of Enlightenment...

Postby Volcommerce » Fri May 11, 2012 4:02 pm

Acinteyyo,

Than you for posting these verses from the Brahmajala Sutta and clearing up any misconceptions - I am unfamiliar with them but I knew they would exist to be of this nature.
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Re: Claims of Enlightenment...

Postby piotr » Fri May 11, 2012 5:18 pm

Hi,

retrofuturist wrote:The issue of "attainments" is a bit inverted because it infers an "I" who can "attain" something, and an "attainment" would be a result of updana (appropriating).


What do you think of this sutta?
Bhagavaṃmūlakā no, bhante, dhammā...
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Re: Claims of Enlightenment...

Postby Volcommerce » Fri May 11, 2012 9:02 pm

Interesting sutta,

In reflection and consideration of truth regarding any statement regarding the path to enlightenment - it would not be a most venerable expression to use ''I'' in relation to an accurate explanation, however, as the Buddha stated, it is within a worldly nature of speech that one would use, ''I,'' and it would not be consistent in an enlightened mode, that a truthful heartfelt and compassionate method of speech and thought that one would constantly consider and configure how one's mode of speaking and thought is being expressed and perceived at every moment.
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