Animals, Hell Beings, Enlightenment

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Animals, Hell Beings, Enlightenment

Postby Christopherxx » Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:33 am

By the orthodox pali canon are animals, hell beings, etc. able to practice dhamma and achieve enlightenment?

I remember sutta references to the buddha teaching man and gods so it would seem there is references to the above human realm learning and having achievements. Though I should be noted on this as I am going by memory and not sutta reference which is important.

Let the experts way in!

Metta :)
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Re: Animals, Hell Beings, Enlightenment

Postby polarbuddha101 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:55 am

Christopherxx wrote:By the orthodox pali canon are animals, hell beings, able to practice dhamma and achieve enlightenment?


No
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: Animals, Hell Beings, Enlightenment

Postby Christopherxx » Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:11 am

Although I appreciate the directness can you provide sutta references?

**On a side note I was thinking about the Lord Buddha providing discourses to the higher realms. If higher form realms/immaterial realms can receive dhamma discourse and path achievements than why not the lower? ((Though I too need to locate references to establish this potential memory))

That is why sutta references are a must. Or we will end up with discussions based on opinion and other related frameworks such as the Mahayana "Buddha-Nature" framework.

**Hi DharmaWheel! :)**
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Re: Animals, Hell Beings, Enlightenment

Postby cooran » Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:15 am

Hello Christopher,

Have a read over these previous threads on the Hell Realms and see if there are any clues as to whether the Dhamma could be known there:

Anyone can go to hell, so be heedful
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=1133
Is hell and hungry ghost realm to be taken literally?
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=9277
Opening the Doors to The Hell Realms!
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=7785
Do the heaven/hell realms hurt credibility of the dhamma?
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=3318&start=0

with metta
Chris
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Re: Animals, Hell Beings, Enlightenment

Postby khlawng » Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:31 pm

Here is a glimpse of what goes on in hell:

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

So between the racking pain and tortures, don't think beings born in hell can set aside time for dhamma learning.

Beings that are born as petas or hungry ghost are just constantly hungry. You need just look at yourself as a human to know that when you are hungry, you pretty much can't do anything until you have eaten. So imagine feeling that 24/7, how can anyone learn anything in that state.

Beings that are born as animals have very basic instincts which needs to be fulfilled. So its eat, propogate, rest, sleep and eat. Besides, how do you teach them dhamma when they do not have the faculties to understand complex language beyond the redumentary communication tools they are bestowed with?

Beings born in the asura realm are constantly angry and warring with each other and devas. I think they may have some chance to learn the dhamma but maybe due to their state of mind, being angry all the time, they do not have the requisite to learn it.

Most beings born in the celestial realms are previleaged, enjoy sensory pleasures that are highten to such an extent they don't experience suffering or are in a constantly blissful state, so they are unlikely to think about learning the dhamma.

Wheras we humans are most fortunate to be exposed to both suffering and happiness. Beacause we get to see and experience both sides of the coin and have the right faculty of learning, we have the highest chance to be awaken.
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Re: Animals, Hell Beings, Enlightenment

Postby Christopherxx » Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:07 pm

I think though when those natural existences and inner existential landscapes are really thought on it doesn't really hold up as disqualifying factor. Or maybe it does (Sutta probably will turn this question on it's head like it does other's by showing its based on the wrong premises and why those premises are mistaken).

Lastly the "unconditioned", etc is exactly that. I'm not sure those standpoints hold up for disqualifying path achievements.

I posted in Classical Theravada because particularly i'm looking for classical sutta standpoints.
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Re: Animals, Hell Beings, Enlightenment

Postby Christopherxx » Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:08 pm

P.s. Cooran thanks I'll try and do some looking over. Hopefully if one or more of the wise adepts from those posts would chime in we could quickly have an answer ;)
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Re: Animals, Hell Beings, Enlightenment

Postby Christopherxx » Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:10 pm

P.s. Khlawng

I definitely agree that we in humanity have a unique opportunity for dhamma study/achievement.

And I believe this is noted in the suttas.

Thanks for your post :)
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Re: Animals, Hell Beings, Enlightenment

Postby fig tree » Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:53 am

I know the original poster asked for sutta references, but perhaps it's of interest to look at what the abhidhamma has to say about it. According to it, awakening requires what it terms a triple-rooted rebirth consciousness, which beings in woeful states don't have. See chapter 4 sections 24 and 25 of A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma, edited by Bhikkhu Bodhi.

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Re: Animals, Hell Beings, Enlightenment

Postby Christopherxx » Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:52 pm

Thanks Fig,

I'll look into this.
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