the great rebirth debate

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: Is hell and hungry ghost realm to be taken literally?

Postby Lazy_eye » Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:46 pm

darvki wrote: I think people should take on the viewpoint that works for them. However, I think you're misrepresenting your own outlook demographic on several points here. Neither camp is a homogeneous group.. let's not have your personal opinions speak for the entire group. What you've expressed does not represent most of the one-lifers I know.


Hi Darvki,

Not claiming to speak for any "group" or "outlook demographic"; as you say, these are heterogenous. I was presenting what seems to me a logical problem that arises if we try to combine a one-life view with the goal of the path/practice as set forth in the Pali Canon.

As I understand it, the goal is cessation of the aggregates and and a final exit from samsara. This goal is inconsistent with the premise that we live once and then die forever. There is an obvious problem of redundancy; we are going to achieve the goal sooner or later, whether we practice or not.

Indeed, if samsaric suffering is so awful, what is the argument for staying alive at all? Let alone embarking on a spiritual path that involves a great deal of renunciation and sacrifice, and concludes with what we are going to get anyway: oblivion. If we choose to stick around, it must be because there is after all some positive value to samsaric experience. But that contradicts the Buddha's message.

So in order for Buddhism to make sense, it must rely on some other premise. And the obvious candidate, given that it is mentioned so many times in the suttas, is rebirth.

This isn't supported by the suttas. Buddha (an arahant of his own kind), smiled, spontaneously uttered joyous verses (Udana), stretched his aching back, and spoke of escaping headaches by entering deep meditation.


Sure. The relief that comes when one knows they have reached the end of existence. No more burden, no more affliction. It is like someone who gladly welcomes his own death. But I believe it would be a mistake to see this as some state of "Happy" that we are aspiring to reach. That would be more in line with jhana attainments. Nibbana is more about eradication and cessation.

BlueLotus wrote:
So you say
1) You have spent a long time reading about it, discussing it but there is lack of credible sources to actually believe in it.
2) You say, most pro-rebirth arguments are predictably fallacious or pseudoscientific.
3) Yet it makes perfect sense to believe in it


There's no contradiction in my argument. I didn't say that "I don't believe in rebirth but actually do believe in it", as you seem to imply.

I said nibbana as a goal makes sense for people who believe in rebirth. I do not believe in rebirth. Therefore the goal of nibbana does not make sense to me either.

In order to practice Buddhism while rejecting rebirth, I would argue, one has to redefine nibbana, arahantship, and maybe the whole purpose of the practice. And if we look attentively at Western secularized Buddhism, and compare it to the dhamma taught in Burma or Sri Lanka for example, we can see that some subtle but important shifts have taken place. For example, many Western meditation teachers will tend not to emphasize the notion of suppressing afflictions; instead, we are encouraged accept them non-judgmentally, watch them come in go, dance with our experiences, etc etc. It's a soft-toned, easy-going approach.

But traditional Theravada, from what I can judge, is much more severe. Monks are taught to cultivate thorough disgust for sensory phenomena. Disgust with the body, disgust with women and sex, suspicion of nature, revulsion at the act of eating ("the loathsomeness of food") and so on. They work very hard to stamp out even the slightest residue of affection for worldly life. A withered tree, as I said before. To be frank, it all strikes me as rather fanatical and inhumane, but then again, I'm a secular Western liberal. Such austerity makes more sense if you assume (as I don't) an ongoing cycle of rebirths, mostly in excruciating hells.
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Re: Is hell and hungry ghost realm to be taken literally?

Postby vinasp » Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:00 am

Hi everyone,

"When the Aggregates arise, decay and die, O Bhikkhu, every moment you are born, decay
and die." The Buddha.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: Is hell and hungry ghost realm to be taken literally?

Postby BlueLotus » Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:09 am

Lazy_eye wrote:There's no contradiction in my argument. I didn't say that "I don't believe in rebirth but actually do believe in it", as you seem to imply.

I said nibbana as a goal makes sense for people who believe in rebirth. I do not believe in rebirth. Therefore the goal of nibbana does not make sense to me either.


I didn't say there is contradiction. I was pointing out the sheer baselessness of your argument. You yourself don't believe in it, you have researched and found no credible source to justify such belief but you continue to insist that such belief is absolutely necessary to nibbana. Which means, to anyone who has not taken up a baseless belief (vastly unsupported by credible sources) on sheer blind faith, the ultimate goal makes no sense. Yes, no better than saying believe in God or leave the church.

Lazy_eye wrote:In order to practice Buddhism while rejecting rebirth, I would argue, one has to redefine nibbana, arahantship, and maybe the whole purpose of the practice.


There is no need to redefine anything. Nibbana is consistently defined in suttas as "cessation of suffering", arahath is defined as "the compassionate human being who having surpassed suffering, lives in peace of mind till death. There is evidence in the suttas that the Buddha has enjoyed and commented on the beauty of nature. Nibbana is not attaining a zombie state where you become like a plank of wood and wait till death so that you will never be born again.

Where does it say nibbana is cessation of the aggregates? Please quote the suttas.
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Re: Is hell and hungry ghost realm to be taken literally?

Postby BlueLotus » Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:09 am

Lazy_eye wrote:But traditional Theravada, from what I can judge, is much more severe. Monks are taught to cultivate thorough disgust for sensory phenomena. Disgust with the body, disgust with women and sex, suspicion of nature, revulsion at the act of eating ("the loathsomeness of food") and so on. They work very hard to stamp out even the slightest residue of affection for worldly life. A withered tree, as I said before. To be frank, it all strikes me as rather fanatical and inhumane, but then again, I'm a secular Western liberal. Such austerity makes more sense if you assume (as I don't) an ongoing cycle of rebirths, mostly in excruciating hells.


For the record, "cultivate thorough disgust" is taught ONLY to those who have extensive levels of desires (extreme sexual desires, jest, fanaticism) in countries like Sri Lanka or Thailand. I am Chinese but currently in Sri Lanka and I regularly visit a Sri Lankan maha thero in talks, talk to my sri lankan Buddhist friends a lot, some even give me inputs to these online discussions and I know this as a fact. I am not sure from where you get your sources. Also, there are records that the Buddha once advised such meditation practices to some monks who committed suicide and he later accepted that such practices are not recommended for all. Methods of mental training are obviously different to different people. It is best to stick to what is effective to you on an experience teacher's recommendation.

But regarding withdrawal from sensual pleasures, I think the Buddhist practice definitely involves that. Personally I practice moderation because I see sensual pleasure as a "poisonous snake" which inevitably bites me at some point in life. Some of these bites are almost deadly. Knowing and seeing the pain and suffering of sensual attachment, I choose to first practice physical withdrawal which helps me cultivate mental withdrawal (detachment). Nope, no after-life beliefs there.
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Re: Is hell and hungry ghost realm to be taken literally?

Postby Lazy_eye » Sat Dec 08, 2012 5:30 am

BlueLotus wrote:. Which means, to anyone who has not taken up a baseless belief (vastly unsupported by credible sources) on sheer blind faith, the ultimate goal makes no sense.


Right. That's the argument I put forward. Without rebirth, the ultimate goal makes no sense. It appears to be premised on the notion of multiple lives. So if we (correctly, in my opinion) throw out that notion, then we also have to redefine the goal.

Anyway, I have presented my position and don't have much more to add. Thank you for responding to it. I'm not aiming to pick a fight or insist that my point of view is correct, but to improve my understanding. I find debates of this sort to be helpful in clarifying things and identifying possible areas of confusion.

The issue we have been discussing here has been a big obstacle for me, one which led me to stop self-identifying as Buddhist. At this point, I feel more comfortable as a "Buddhist-influenced secular humanist" or something like that.

There is no need to redefine anything. Nibbana is consistently defined in suttas as "cessation of suffering", arahath is defined as "the compassionate human being who having surpassed suffering, lives in peace of mind till death. There is evidence in the suttas that the Buddha has enjoyed and commented on the beauty of nature. Nibbana is not attaining a zombie state where you become like a plank of wood and wait till death so that you will never be born again.

Where does it say nibbana is cessation of the aggregates? Please quote the suttas.


Perhaps this would be a good subject for another thread. Or take a peek at this one.
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Re: Is hell and hungry ghost realm to be taken literally?

Postby alan... » Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:20 am

this is a long running thread and i don't have time to search every post to see if this has been said yet but:

there is some sutta in the samyutta nikaya where the buddha says that the underworld does not actually exist (under the sea... or something???) but refers to a state of mind! this is super confusing and as far as i know it is the only place where he comes out and says something like this. other than this one instance it seems like he taught that these realms are quite real. any one know what i'm talking about?

i for one think that the overwhelming number of times he seems to talk quite literally about these places means he taught that they were literal realms. but this one sutta i mentioned above has always bothered me, i don't get it's place among the rest.

i think that one can let go of thinking about them though if, in doing so, one focuses wholly on practicing the eightfold path. for one doing so there is no need to contemplate such states and realms. i feel they are spoken about to spur on people who are not practicing with much vigor or not practicing at all.
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Re: Is hell and hungry ghost realm to be taken literally?

Postby cooran » Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:38 am

alan said: here is some sutta in the samyutta nikaya where the buddha says that the underworld does not actually exist (under the sea... or something???) but refers to a state of mind!


Hello alan, all,

Could you (or anyone) please give the name and link to the sutta alluded to above?


with metta
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Re: Is hell and hungry ghost realm to be taken literally?

Postby alan... » Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:55 am

cooran wrote:
alan said: here is some sutta in the samyutta nikaya where the buddha says that the underworld does not actually exist (under the sea... or something???) but refers to a state of mind!


Hello alan, all,

Could you (or anyone) please give the name and link to the sutta alluded to above?


with metta
Chris


i was hoping someone else could do this. i have the samyutta nikaya right next to me but it's so big and the last time i looked for that sutta it took a half hour. why didn't i book mark it??? i'm tired. if no one else has posted that they found it by tomorrow evening i'll dig through the nikaya until i find it again. ugh. i LOVE paper books and will never switch to the whole e reader thing, but in situations like this it would be nice to simply do a word search for terms i know are in the sutta so i could find it quickly!
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Re: Is hell and hungry ghost realm to be taken literally?

Postby alan... » Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:04 am

i think this is it:

SN 36.4 the bottomless abyss

"bhikkhus, when the uninstructed worldling makes the statement, 'in the great ocean there is a bottomless abyss,' he makes such a statement about something that is nonexistent and unreal. this, bhikkhus is rather a designation for painful bodily feelings, that is, 'bottomless abyss.' "

very open to interpretation. it could be saying that the idea of a bottomless abyss hell type realm is non existent and is simply a metaphor for painful bodily feelings. however as i mentioned above, this is the only place i have seen where he gives such a statement and in the rest of the canon he frequently talks about these types of places as if they are very real and no mere metaphors for our bodily pains.
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Re: Is hell and hungry ghost realm to be taken literally?

Postby darvki » Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:53 am

Lazy_eye wrote:Not claiming to speak for any "group" or "outlook demographic"; as you say, these are heterogenous.

Didn't really mean to accuse you of doing so. I just find statements like, "If there is only one life (or multiple lives), then x, y and z," to be tiresome because they imply that subscribers to the worldview either do or should adhere to the conclusions of x, y, and z.

Lazy_eye wrote:I was presenting what seems to me a logical problem that arises if we try to combine a one-life view with the goal of the path/practice as set forth in the Pali Canon. As I understand it, the goal is cessation of the aggregates and and a final exit from samsara. This goal is inconsistent with the premise that we live once and then die forever. There is an obvious problem of redundancy; we are going to achieve the goal sooner or later, whether we practice or not.

Except that if one has a one-life view, the samsara = literal rebirth and nirvana = cessation of literal rebirth premise isn't part of the combination and the redundancy is not created. The one-life view takes precedence. Is this advisable? People will have varying opinions. Is it possible? Yes, and people do it all over. They find a way to make a relationship with the Dhamma that works for them and find at least some easing of suffering, and in a more profound way than one can get from day-to-day pleasure it would seem.

Lazy_eye wrote:Indeed, if samsaric suffering is so awful, what is the argument for staying alive at all? Let alone embarking on a spiritual path that involves a great deal of renunciation and sacrifice, and concludes with what we are going to get anyway: oblivion. If we choose to stick around, it must be because there is after all some positive value to samsaric experience. But that contradicts the Buddha's message.

This assumes that one sees all existence as a form suffering and feels that renunciation and sacrifice are only good for attaining some future result. One can look at the Buddha's message free from these assumptions. Again, whether one finds that advisable or not, it's very possible and it happens. Thich Nhat Hanh is a good example.

Lazy_eye wrote:So in order for Buddhism to make sense, it must rely on some other premise. And the obvious candidate, given that it is mentioned so many times in the suttas, is rebirth.

For some, their definition of "sense" is personal resonance instead of airtight logic (if there is such a thing).

Lazy_eye wrote:Sure. The relief that comes when one knows they have reached the end of existence. No more burden, no more affliction. It is like someone who gladly welcomes his own death. But I believe it would be a mistake to see this as some state of "Happy" that we are aspiring to reach. That would be more in line with jhana attainments. Nibbana is more about eradication and cessation.

You said arahants are "emotionless" and "indifferent to pain and pleasure" and I provided evidence that I think supports the contrary.
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Re: Is hell and hungry ghost realm to be taken literally?

Postby Papashaw » Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:17 am

I can imagine other realms that have more pain than this, there probably is a hell and hungry ghost realm of sorts,
what I would be asking myself is if they were to last as long as described; they are described with huge numbers found in Southern Asian religions( 10^999....)

I would ideally think the portion of time is based on how long and painful as the effect of the action, the removed potential of the action(ex.years taken from someone by killing), and the pain combined with the pain of others in the action(mourning by relatives of murder victim). But I do not know how kamma works or remember my past lives in hell(I dont even know my most recent one) to know now what it is like.

I would forgive my murderer though, but its karma not divine punishment.
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Re: Is hell and hungry ghost realm to be taken literally?

Postby alan... » Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:58 am

no one thinks the sutta quote i posted has any relevance to this discussion? strange. i feel like i've seen a large debate about it's meaning somewhere before... or perhaps an article? not sure why no one thinks anything of it here. oh well. i guess i'll never know what is up with it, odd and uncharacteristic to the rest of the canon as it is.

i'm trying to remember, i feel like i read an article called "not a place under the sea" that discussed the implications of this sutta in relation to the idea of hell, but a web search returns nothing...

here is an EXTREMELY free translation of that sutta excerpt from dhammawiki http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=Rational_teachings_of_Buddha:

'“When the average ignorant person makes an assertion that there is a Hell under the ocean (or other freezing or burning, fire ridden place), he is making a statement that is false and without basis. The word 'hell' is a term for painful bodily sensations.” Samyutta Nikaya 36.4"

i don't speak pali, but i'm fairly certain it in no way says or implies "(or other freezing or burning, fire ridden place)"

and i see no other translations out there where they translate "bottomless abyss" as "hell". whoever wrote this article clearly believes this sutta is the buddha saying, flat out, that hell does not exist. however if i'm wrong and it does translate directly to this then this sutta completely and undeniably proves that the buddha taught, at least on one occasion, that there is no such place as hell and that it is only a metaphor for bodily suffering!

that being said: it is VERY relevant to this discussion, probably the most relevant and definitive post yet for this thread. i'm not talking up my writing but the striking words of the sutta and their implications for the topic at hand! this excerpt could literally be the one and only definitive answer to this post, from the buddha's own lips no less. again, not saying anything about me, it's about the sutta! it's nearly an exact answer for this specific thread. not to mention i've pondered this sutta alone for years and now would be a perfect time for someone to discuss it!

you are all silly people if you don't notice this :tongue: just playing around, no offense to anyone :heart:

but seriously, what do you all think about this sutta???

edit: if someone has already posted that excerpt in this thread and it's old hat now, :oops: sorry, i simply don't have time to read all 9 pages of this thread.
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Re: Is hell and hungry ghost realm to be taken literally?

Postby polarbuddha101 » Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:26 am

"Monks, when an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person makes the statement, 'There is a bottomless chasm in the ocean,' he is talking about something that doesn't exist, that can't be found. The word 'bottomless chasm' is actually a designation for painful bodily feeling.

"When an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is touched by a painful bodily feeling, he sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught. This is called an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person who has not risen up out of the bottomless chasm, who has not gained a foothold.

"When a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones is touched by a painful bodily feeling, he does not sorrow, grieve, or lament, does not beat his breast or become distraught. This is called a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones who has risen up out of the bottomless chasm, whose foothold is gained."


Whoever can't endure them
once they've arisen —
painful bodily feelings
that could kill living beings —
who trembles at their touch,
who cries & wails,
a weakling with no resiliance:
he hasn't risen up
out of the bottomless chasm
or even gained
a foothold.

Whoever endures them
once they've arisen —
painful bodily feelings
that could kill living beings —
who doesn't tremble at their touch:
he's risen up
out of the bottomless chasm,
his foothold is gained.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


I would need a connection to be established between hell and bottomless chasm within the canon.
"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: Is hell and hungry ghost realm to be taken literally?

Postby alan... » Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:00 am

polarbuddha101 wrote:
"Monks, when an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person makes the statement, 'There is a bottomless chasm in the ocean,' he is talking about something that doesn't exist, that can't be found. The word 'bottomless chasm' is actually a designation for painful bodily feeling.

"When an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is touched by a painful bodily feeling, he sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught. This is called an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person who has not risen up out of the bottomless chasm, who has not gained a foothold.

"When a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones is touched by a painful bodily feeling, he does not sorrow, grieve, or lament, does not beat his breast or become distraught. This is called a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones who has risen up out of the bottomless chasm, whose foothold is gained."


Whoever can't endure them
once they've arisen —
painful bodily feelings
that could kill living beings —
who trembles at their touch,
who cries & wails,
a weakling with no resiliance:
he hasn't risen up
out of the bottomless chasm
or even gained
a foothold.

Whoever endures them
once they've arisen —
painful bodily feelings
that could kill living beings —
who doesn't tremble at their touch:
he's risen up
out of the bottomless chasm,
his foothold is gained.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


I would need a connection to be established between hell and bottomless chasm within the canon.



agreed. that's kind of how i was able to let this sutta go. certainly a bottomless chasm is some kind of mythological idea but i don't believe it's a direct synonym for hell, let alone inclusive of all the different hells as implied by the dhammawiki translation. so perhaps he was refuting a specific mythological place but it's doubtful he was making a blanket statement saying: "there is no hell! the hundreds of times i've mentioned it it's always been a metaphor!" and this is exactly what the dhammawiki article implies he was saying, both in the skewed translation and the surrounding explanation of it (which cannot stand firmly without the skewed translation. unless it is a truly perfect and accurate translation but that is unlikely):

Rational teachings of Buddha

Cosmology

It is true that in Buddhism there is an elaborate cosmology that includes potential rebirth as an impermanent god, a ghost, an animal, or other beings. But there are some in Buddhism who see these different realms as mental states and that belief in these other realms is not essential. And there is some evidence from the Buddha's discourses to back up such a position.

Mara, considered the personification of ego, sometimes evil, is actually a Pali term meaning "death." Mara’s three offspring are named Lobha, Dosa and Moha, meaning Greed, Hatred and Delusion (mental states). (Samyutta Nikaya 1 Mara-samyutta)

“When the average ignorant person makes an assertion that there is a Hell under the ocean (or other freezing or burning, fire ridden place), he is making a statement that is false and without basis. The word 'hell' is a term for painful bodily sensations.” Samyutta Nikaya 36.4

As stated above, some level of acceptance of rebirth is important at least to the human and animal realms, as a skillful means and then wait and see with proper investigation if there is anything further to the validity of the rest of the cosmology.

http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?tit ... #Cosmology


someone should check this translation and if it is incorrect they should edit the wiki page as it is extremely misleading for those who have not read the scriptures. it says clear as day that the buddha taught that there is no hell of any kind. this is simply not what the scripture actually said. again unless i'm just way off but i doubt it.

i think mistranslation and selective quoting to completely destroy a fairly large portion of buddhist cosmology is inappropriate. it would be fair to give an accurate translation in it's place as readers could do what polarbuddha has done and simply say: well it says bottomless chasm, not hell, so does the buddha call hell a bottomless chasm in the canon?

written in the context it is laid out in it would still lead uninformed readers to believe roughly that the buddha said there is no hell because that's what the section implies, but at least it would be more accurate and more obviously open to interpretation as opposed to the very definitive statement of essentially: there is no hell.
this is simply not accurate and is totally unambiguous in it's wording, leaving almost no room for interpretation.

still misleading if you don't know about the hundreds (thousands? he talks about it a lot) of other times he says there is a hell, but at least it's not an open and shut statement, there's some ambiguity in his words.

anyway, translated as "abyss", does this necessarily imply "hell" to anyone? does anyone know if the buddha used "bottomless abyss" or "chasm" as a synonym for "hell" in the canon?

also thanks for discussing it with me!!
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Re: Is hell and hungry ghost realm to be taken literally?

Postby santa100 » Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:44 pm

The Buddha was quite explicit with the literal meaning of hell and other realms. The common stock phrase "on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, hell" was mentioned repeatedly in many suttas:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/search_r ... ght.org%2F
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Re: Is hell and hungry ghost realm to be taken literally?

Postby polarbuddha101 » Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:24 pm

santa100 wrote:The Buddha was quite explicit with the literal meaning of hell and other realms. The common stock phrase "on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, hell" was mentioned repeatedly in many suttas:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/search_r ... ght.org%2F


Yeah the suttas are pretty definitive. That's why threads like this and the great rebirth debate never really get anywhere, you have to do quite a bit of maneuvering to try to get around the explicitness of the suttas and the arguments against literal rebirth are never convincing.
:namaste:
"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: Is hell and hungry ghost realm to be taken literally?

Postby alan... » Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:20 am

polarbuddha101 wrote:
santa100 wrote:The Buddha was quite explicit with the literal meaning of hell and other realms. The common stock phrase "on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, hell" was mentioned repeatedly in many suttas:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/search_r ... ght.org%2F


Yeah the suttas are pretty definitive. That's why threads like this and the great rebirth debate never really get anywhere, you have to do quite a bit of maneuvering to try to get around the explicitness of the suttas and the arguments against literal rebirth are never convincing.
:namaste:



agreed.
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Re: Is hell and hungry ghost realm to be taken literally?

Postby Aloka » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:30 am

santa100 wrote:The Buddha was quite explicit with the literal meaning of hell and other realms. The common stock phrase "on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, hell" was mentioned repeatedly in many suttas:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/search_r ... ght.org%2F


Yet in my experience away from the internet, teachers from both the Tibetan and Theravada traditions have described the realms as mental states which can be experienced in this lifetime, why is that do you think ?
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Re: Is hell and hungry ghost realm to be taken literally?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:40 am

Hi Aloka,

In my experience, the majority of bhikkhus I've met (Ajahn Chah lineage included) don't deny literal interpretations.

:anjali:
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Re: Is hell and hungry ghost realm to be taken literally?

Postby cooran » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:45 am

Hello Mike, Aloka, all,

Same for me, Mike - I've never heard a bhikkhu state that he does not accept the hell and hungry ghost realms - if I had, I would certainly have asked why.

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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