Making Merit - or is it craving?

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Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby Hanzze » Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:57 am

ground wrote:
Hanzze wrote:
ground wrote:Whoever thinks to know does not know. Only freedom can tell but freedom does not come about through thinking "it is like this" or "it is like that".
Religious thought based on hope may provide comfort for the fearful. There is nothing wrong about that. So striving for merit may provide ephemeral feelings of joy and happiness thus making this short period between birth and death a bit more bearable. :sage:

The religion traumata will also fade away with time

No traumata, but mere investigation.
Maybe am explanation of what is meant with the term "religion" is necessary: From my perspective religion is a system of thought that engenders hope for something beyond experience thus providing a support for consciousness. No mystery just psychology in the context of the psychology the Buddha taught.

I am sure it is well meant.

Hanzze wrote:and don't worry that others can be caught in it while doning Dana (in a meritious way) as that would not be possible. Just do not rest unhonestly.

There is no worry about other at all because there is complete reliance on other's wisdom.

Does such cause "but.." or "just..."

Hanzze wrote:Making merits (Dana) with the hope or enjoyment of good feeling is no merit making at all. But to abstain from making Dana (letting go of possession) with the fear of maybe doing it for pleasure is a good subtile excusse to abstain from it.
Letting go of intellectuall possession is Dana as well. Just give up!

No need for discussing the ideas "merit" or "dana" further. Everything is fine, you just do what you feel is good for you. :sage:

I am on your side that just doing without but is much better.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby cooran » Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:09 am

And a little more:

Here is an e-book: Theravada Text
Ten Ways of Making Merit - By Ven. Nyanadassana, Bhikkhu

The Ten Ways of Making Merit
So how does one acquire this merit? There are ten ways of making merit named dasapuñña-kiriya-vatthu.
These are:
1. Giving or generosity (Dāna-mayaŋ puñña-kiriya-vatthu)
2. Moral conduct or virtue (Sīla-mayaŋ ........................... )
3. Meditation or mental development (Bhāvana-maya .... )
4. Respect or reverence (Apaciti-sahagataŋ .... )
5. Service in helping others (Veyyāvacca-sahagataŋ .... )
6. Transference of merit (Pattānuppadānaŋ .................. )
7. Rejoicing in other’s merit (Abbhanumodanaŋ ......... )
8. Expounding or teaching the dhamma (Desana-mayaŋ .....)
9. Listening to the dhamma (Savana-mayaŋ ................. )
10. Correcting one’s views (Diññhijjukammaŋ puñña-kiriya-vatthu)
http://www.buddhistelibrary.org/library ... adpath=359

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby ground » Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:15 am

Hanzze wrote:
Hanzze wrote:and don't worry that others can be caught in it while doning Dana (in a meritious way) as that would not be possible. Just do not rest unhonestly.

There is no worry about other at all because there is complete reliance on other's wisdom.

Does such cause "but.." or "just..."

Cause or no cause? ... this or that? ... is it or is it not? When light hits the mirror there is reflection but the reflection is not the light that hit the mirror.

Hanzze wrote:
Hanzze wrote:Making merits (Dana) with the hope or enjoyment of good feeling is no merit making at all. But to abstain from making Dana (letting go of possession) with the fear of maybe doing it for pleasure is a good subtile excusse to abstain from it.
Letting go of intellectuall possession is Dana as well. Just give up!

No need for discussing the ideas "merit" or "dana" further. Everything is fine, you just do what you feel is good for you. :sage:

I am on your side that just doing without but is much better.

Then just do without but ... and when there is the time for but then do it with but. :sage:
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Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby Hanzze » Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:24 am

No doubt that a chart- robot will stay as such for a long time. "Dahingrundln" would be a word for the perception for an existence in the counciousnessless world. I guess its good to stop the heedless dancing session, so I give you open for partner exchange. :smile: Who likes, anybody likes to receive this Dana?
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby ground » Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:42 am

Hanzze wrote:"Dahingrundln" would be a word for the perception for an existence in the counciousnessless world.


No perception of anything, ...
The way leading to the cessation of the sixfold base is just this Noble Eightfold Path
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .ntbb.html

From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of the six sense media.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html



... neither existence nor non-existence
Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html



As to "consciouslessness"
The way leading to the cessation of consciousness is just this Noble Eightfold Path
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .ntbb.html

"Now from the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications. From the cessation of fabrications comes the cessation of consciousness. ...
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


:sage:
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Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby Sylvester » Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:13 am

Hanzze wrote:
Sylvester wrote:...

Silvester, the story of this man taught by Bodhidharma hardly points out on the three stages of providing a wholesome mindstate. Before, while performing and after. With his question (or better the thought of the need to being soure to have done well, or its reference that he has done it with an expect) he has simply fulish burned down his offspring on the field of merits before it could have fruits, if there have been even seeds on this field.


And with respect to the Mahayana, I do not see any need for the Pali take on dana to be lensed through Ven Bodhidharma's Mahayana world-view. It is inconsistent with the Dana Sutta which I cited.

I guess you are a Abhidhamma profi


Proficiency in Abhidhamma does not make one an Abhidhammika. Not that I see it as relevant here, since I simply offer the early readings.
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Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby Hanzze » Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:20 am

Sylvester wrote:
Hanzze wrote:
Sylvester wrote:...

Silvester, the story of this man taught by Bodhidharma hardly points out on the three stages of providing a wholesome mindstate. Before, while performing and after. With his question (or better the thought of the need to being soure to have done well, or its reference that he has done it with an expect) he has simply fulish burned down his offspring on the field of merits before it could have fruits, if there have been even seeds on this field.


And with respect to the Mahayana, I do not see any need for the Pali take on dana to be lensed through Ven Bodhidharma's Mahayana world-view. It is inconsistent with the Dana Sutta which I cited.

As you see a different, can you point that/it out?
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby Sylvester » Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:33 am

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Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby Hanzze » Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:40 am

So the maintaining of the right mind state is not relevant?

Pubba cetana (prior volition)
Munca cetana (prevailing volition)
Apara cetana (post-charity volition)

No doubt that if there is no more craving there the fruit of the highest merit is archived. Do you think one could even turn past "wrong" volutions to a better place. Thought of "oh I had the wrong volition" or "I still had volition"... and what Bodhidharma maybe have caused/helped.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby Sylvester » Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:00 am

Hanzze wrote:So the maintaining of the right mind state is not relevant?

Pubba cetana (prior volition)
Munca cetana (prevailing volition)
Apara cetana (post-charity volition)

No doubt that if there is no more craving there the fruit of the highest merit is archived. Do you think one could even turn past "wrong" volutions to a better place. Thought of "oh I had the wrong volition" or "I still had volition"... and what Bodhidharma maybe have caused/helped.



Of course they are relevant.

But I was not addressing that, if you read carefully. I was addressing the writer's belief that craving nullifies the merit.

In this respect, craving as an āsava lies much, much deeper in the psyche than just the 3 cetana you list. IMO, those Abhidhammic "cetana" are better translated as "motive" or "reason", but craving as an āsava is a mūla. Take a close look again at the Dana Sutta, where the various givers rationalise their giving on different grounds. Those rationalisations would be the "cetana" you describe. However, even in those cases where there is no spiritual materialism whatsoever (ie those cases after case #1), there is still clinging.

Whether the āsava is subtle (as in the cases of clinging without spiritual materialism), or is gross (in the 1st case of craving for a good rebirth), it is effective to actually create the desired rebirth.

The writer's belief that craving nullifies merit is therefore unfounded. In fact, it violates an important aspect of Dependant Origination. Clinging is in fact a necessary condition for bhava/existence. If you don't cling, your kamma cannot bear fruit. See - www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an0 ... .than.html
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Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby Hanzze » Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:47 am

I think I understand what you mean, Sylvester

But the OP Question of "Making Merit - or is it craving?" is no directed in a question like "Is somebody asking like the Emperor free already" but more if such samples are on the path (where kinds of cravings are still needed) or are kamma that leads to a better position (lesser defilements).

Maybe we (I) just running around a word misunderstanding.

Your explaining here btw. , I think, is very good in regard of craving. Thanks for your effort.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby DAWN » Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:39 am

Dana of exemple is the greatest dana, dana of the wise.
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...
I'am sorry for my english
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Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby ancientbuddhism » Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:01 pm

“Merit Transference” in Sinhalese Buddhism: A Case Study of the Interaction Between Doctrine and Practice, by Richard Gombrich

Also take a look at The Buddhist Dead: Practices, Discourses, Representations, a collection of essays edited by Bryan J. Cuevas and Jacqueline I. Stone
Fingers walk the darkness down
Mind is on the midnight
Gather up the gold you've found
You fool, it's only moonlight.
If you try to take it home
Your hands will turn to butter
You better leave this dream alone
Try to find another. – Townes Van Zandt ‘Lungs’

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

A Handful of Leaves
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Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:07 pm

Sylvester wrote:Take a close look again at the Dana Sutta, where the various givers rationalise their giving on different grounds.
Whether the āsava is subtle (as in the cases of clinging without spiritual materialism), or is gross (in the 1st case of craving for a good rebirth), it is effective to actually create the desired rebirth.

The writer's belief that craving nullifies merit is therefore unfounded. In fact, it violates an important aspect of Dependant Origination. Clinging is in fact a necessary condition for bhava/existence. If you don't cling, your kamma cannot bear fruit. See - http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


:goodpost:

Thanks for reminding us of the Dana Sutta. The generosity, even with the expectation still bore some fruit, just not the highest fruits. And there is this note from the translator:

The Commentary notes that the highest motivation, untainted by lower motivations and leading to non-returning, requires a certain level of mastery in concentration and insight in order to be one's genuine motivation for giving.


Not necessarily anyone here, but speaking just in general, there sometimes tends to be this arahantification of sotāpannas and even regular Buddhists. The commentary notes that such giving with the highest motivation of truly no expectations for reward of any kind, requires a high level of mastery.

And as I touched on in my previous post on page 1 of this thread, there also needs to be attention to the receiving. Both giving and receiving are two sides of the same coin. Receiving with ill-will, jealousy, anger, questioning or speculating on motives of the giver, etc. are not wholesome and far enemies of the brahma-viharas. I have seen too many people get discouraged about giving due to the actions of recipients. In my opinion this is why the Elders included the Vimanavatthu, 3-fold rule, and Dana Sutta in important places in the Canon, so that future generations would be encouraged to be generous.

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:The Bodhisatta also practised the perfections throughout many existences, wishing to attain Omniscience. We must distinguish between the unwholesome kamma of craving (tanhā), and the wholesome desire to attain spiritual progress (chandiddhipāda). Without a strong desire to succeed, nothing can be attained.


:bow:
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Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby Hanzze » Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:39 am

David N. Snyder wrote:Receiving with ill-will, jealousy, anger, questioning or speculating on motives of the giver, etc. are not wholesome and far enemies of the brahma-viharas.


As mostly the factor greed (as one of the three in right intention) is missing or overseen in regard of what is unwholesome, often a factor that is contained in what we guess as being metta or karuna the quote of Bhikkhu Pesala is very importand.

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:We must distinguish between the unwholesome kamma of craving (tanhā), and the wholesome desire to attain spiritual progress (chandiddhipāda). Without a strong desire to succeed, nothing can be attained.


Dana work (letting go) is much neede to understand this different between tanha and wholesome desire to attain spiritual progress. Not at all, not even from the beginning, it is good to see it as an act to help somebody else.
To help somebody else is the Dana (giving) which is a fundamental for our sociaty - even trought many even need to learn thoses ways as a first step - but not yet something that touches what is meant by Dana.
While the normal Giving and receiving leads to a strong binding at least, letting go (Dana as a spirutall pratice) lets to unbinding. Not only the giver, but also the receiver gains more freedom out of such an act while Dana as it is mostly usuall does the opposit.

Today this popular giving which is nothing else as tanha has destroyed much of what was a healthy giving and taking and the givers will have many problems out of this chaos by ensnared demands and depts. The sooner people understand the contraproductivity of giving out of tanha the sooner we will learn to focus more on modersty and virtue as a helping tool. The wave which was raised by this craving has its vale and its good to have learned to live moderst in future times of much dryness.
Don't think that a receiver had learned generosity when he has taken with an unwholesome mind setting. That is something we can not expect. Can you live with that or will you react?
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Postby cooran » Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:08 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
Sylvester wrote:Take a close look again at the Dana Sutta, where the various givers rationalise their giving on different grounds.
Whether the āsava is subtle (as in the cases of clinging without spiritual materialism), or is gross (in the 1st case of craving for a good rebirth), it is effective to actually create the desired rebirth.

The writer's belief that craving nullifies merit is therefore unfounded. In fact, it violates an important aspect of Dependant Origination. Clinging is in fact a necessary condition for bhava/existence. If you don't cling, your kamma cannot bear fruit. See - http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


:goodpost:

Thanks for reminding us of the Dana Sutta. The generosity, even with the expectation still bore some fruit, just not the highest fruits. And there is this note from the translator:

The Commentary notes that the highest motivation, untainted by lower motivations and leading to non-returning, requires a certain level of mastery in concentration and insight in order to be one's genuine motivation for giving.


Not necessarily anyone here, but speaking just in general, there sometimes tends to be this arahantification of sotāpannas and even regular Buddhists. The commentary notes that such giving with the highest motivation of truly no expectations for reward of any kind, requires a high level of mastery.

And as I touched on in my previous post on page 1 of this thread, there also needs to be attention to the receiving. Both giving and receiving are two sides of the same coin. Receiving with ill-will, jealousy, anger, questioning or speculating on motives of the giver, etc. are not wholesome and far enemies of the brahma-viharas. I have seen too many people get discouraged about giving due to the actions of recipients. In my opinion this is why the Elders included the Vimanavatthu, 3-fold rule, and Dana Sutta in important places in the Canon, so that future generations would be encouraged to be generous.

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:The Bodhisatta also practised the perfections throughout many existences, wishing to attain Omniscience. We must distinguish between the unwholesome kamma of craving (tanhā), and the wholesome desire to attain spiritual progress (chandiddhipāda). Without a strong desire to succeed, nothing can be attained.


:bow:


Thanks David, Sylvester. This is a good reminder.

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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