Being defeated and loss of attainments

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Being defeated and loss of attainments

Postby Modus.Ponens » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:50 pm

Hello

I've read somewhere that if a monk comits an offense that results in expulsion (parajika? I'm not sure of the name), he loses all his attainments. Can someone explain what exactly this means? I imagine that if a monk is a sotapanna he doesn't transform into a regular person if he is (correctly) expeled.

:)
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: Being defeated and loss of attainments

Postby reflection » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:57 pm

Don't think sotapanna can do a parajika offence anyway. Not sure, don't know them by head.

Anyway, why are you interested? Planning to ordain and commit an offence? ;)
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Re: Being defeated and loss of attainments

Postby Modus.Ponens » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:55 pm

:jumping:

I'm curious about it. It seems like a thing that is said to scare the monks, but it could be true.
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: Being defeated and loss of attainments

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:55 pm

I'd be interested to see the full quote to see the context. I am pretty certain that all attainments are 'safe-havens' where one cannot regress to a lower level. If one believes that one is at some certain level and then commits some offense that couldn't happen at that level, then the original notion of being at that level was false, not any loss of attainment.
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Re: Being defeated and loss of attainments

Postby Modus.Ponens » Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:58 pm

I gave the example of stream entry, but it could be the jhanas or psychic powers.

I don't have the quote, sorry.
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: Being defeated and loss of attainments

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:01 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:I gave the example of stream entry, but it could be the jhanas or psychic powers.

I don't have the quote, sorry.

If someone obtains, say, the fourth Jhana, then they are incapable of committing a Parajika offense. Asking, "What happens to a stream enterer when they murder someone?" is like asking, "What happens to a square when it is three-sided?" It can't happen; if a monk does commit a grave offense, then it just shows they were never a stream enterer in the first place.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: Being defeated and loss of attainments

Postby Modus.Ponens » Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:26 pm

LonesomeYogurt wrote:
Modus.Ponens wrote:I gave the example of stream entry, but it could be the jhanas or psychic powers.

I don't have the quote, sorry.

If someone obtains, say, the fourth Jhana, then they are incapable of committing a Parajika offense. Asking, "What happens to a stream enterer when they murder someone?" is like asking, "What happens to a square when it is three-sided?" It can't happen; if a monk does commit a grave offense, then it just shows they were never a stream enterer in the first place.


How about having sex? A sotapanna still has desire. It's possible and not that far fetched.
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: Being defeated and loss of attainments

Postby Dhammanando » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:55 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:I've read somewhere that if a monk comits an offense that results in expulsion (parajika? I'm not sure of the name), he loses all his attainments. Can someone explain what exactly this means? I imagine that if a monk is a sotapanna he doesn't transform into a regular person if he is (correctly) expeled.


According to Theravada teaching all ariyan attainments are irreversible. They cannot be lost.

Skill in jhāna is easily lost, and supernormal powers even more easily. Devadatta, for example, is reported to have lost all his powers just by conceiving a thought of malice towards the Buddha. Proficiency in jhāna can decline if one is indolent about maintaining it, or living in circumstances that are not optimal for it, or if one’s sīla is not sufficiently pure.

As for pārājika offences, I don’t know of any text states that one will necessarily lose jhānas or powers in this way, but as it amounts to a very grave decline in sīla it does seem rather likely to be the case. What the texts do say is that if people are “in communion by theft” (i.e., pretending to be bhikkhus or bhikkhunīs when they are not) then this will impede realization (abhisamaya), here meaning stream-entry. So if a bhikkhu committed a pārājika offence but concealed it and remained in the robes, then he would be cut off from any possibility of progress.
    ...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: Being defeated and loss of attainments

Postby Modus.Ponens » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:26 pm

Thank you Bhante for your explanation. Unfortunately I don't remember where I read it, so I don't even know if it's canonical or not or if it belongs to the commentaries.
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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