Ud 5.4: Kumāra Sutta — Boys

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Ud 5.4: Kumāra Sutta — Boys

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 6:38 am

Ud 5.4 PTS: Ud 51
Kumāra Sutta: Boys
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu


The Buddha comes upon two boys catching fish, and speaks to them about physical pain.

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

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion, a large number of boys on the road between Sāvatthī & Jeta's Grove were catching fish. Then early in the morning the Blessed One adjusted his under robe and — carrying his bowl & robes — went into Sāvatthī for alms. He saw the large number of boys on the road between Sāvatthī & Jeta's Grove catching little fish. Seeing them, he went up to them and, on arrival, said to them, "Boys, do you fear pain? Do you dislike pain?"

"Yes, lord, we fear pain. We dislike pain."

Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:

    If you fear pain,
    if you dislike pain,
    don't anywhere do an evil deed
    in open or in secret.
    If you're doing or will do
    an evil deed,
    you won't escape pain
    catching up
    as you run away.
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Re: Ud 5.4: Kumāra Sutta — Boys

Postby convivium » Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:03 am

if someone were to slaughter a million people, and you could kill that person would you kill that person (even though killing is an evil deed)?
yes, we would take pain upon ourselves and save the person from that bad karma = mahayana response.
what is the sutta/vinaya response to these sort of ethical dilemas (or are they raised)?
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php
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Re: Ud 5.4: Kumāra Sutta — Boys

Postby manas » Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:20 am

convivium wrote:if someone were to slaughter a million people, and you could kill that person would you kill that person (even though killing is an evil deed)?
yes, we would take pain upon ourselves and save the person from that bad karma = mahayana response.
what is the sutta/vinaya response to these sort of ethical dilemas (or are they raised)?


I do not know the 'sutta response' but a few things just came up for me personally:

By killing the mass murderer, you might save the lives of a million people, but that action alone won't save them from birth and death. So your 'saving' has a limited quality about it. You have saved their bodies, that's all.

However, by abstaining from killing, you are doing something positive towards liberating one being (yourself). So, your inaction in this case has a positive quality about it. You have saved a mind from entering in to an unwholesome state - your own mind.

Besides, how can you ever know that the murderer won't have a change of heart at the last minute, the last second even, and spare the lives of the one million? How would you feel then, if you had killed him?

Just some thoughts...

:anjali:
Last edited by manas on Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ud 5.4: Kumāra Sutta — Boys

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:22 am

This dilemma has been discussed over here:

The train morality problem
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=8528&start=0

:anjali:
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Re: Ud 5.4: Kumāra Sutta — Boys

Postby convivium » Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:47 am

it's in one's own self-interest, karmically, to do nothing. if you help other's, you risk karmic debt.
helping others is generally a catch 22. and yet and yet...
http://www.abuddhistlibrary.com/Buddhism/A%20-%20Tibetan%20Buddhism/Authors/Shantideva/A%20Guide%20to%20the%20Bodhisattva's%20Way%20of%20Life%20-%20%20Stephen%20Bachelor%20tra/A%20Guide%20to%20the%20Bodhisattva's%20Way%20of%20Life.pdf
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php
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Re: Ud 5.4: Kumāra Sutta — Boys

Postby mirco » Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:56 am

I wonder if they were catching fish for food or for fun.
In my opion it was for fun, otherwise why should He have adressed them.

:-) Regards
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Re: Ud 5.4: Kumāra Sutta — Boys

Postby equilibrium » Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:14 pm

mikenz66 wrote:.....

A simple cause and effect illustration:

The boys fear/dislikes pain:
quote: "Yes, lord, we fear pain. We dislike pain."

Yet the boys were not aware that by catching the fishes, they were actually creating a "cause".....and with every cause, there will be an "effect" as noted by the Blessed One:
quote: "If you're doing or will do an evil deed, you won't escape pain catching up as you run away."

The pain "caused" towards catching the fishes will have the same "effect" on the doer!.....one CANNOT escape it!.....PERFECTION.

The point here is to escape the cycle and to go beyond!
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Re: Ud 5.4: Kumāra Sutta — Boys

Postby Sam Vara » Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:08 pm

equilibrium wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:.....

A simple cause and effect illustration:

The boys fear/dislikes pain:
quote: "Yes, lord, we fear pain. We dislike pain."

Yet the boys were not aware that by catching the fishes, they were actually creating a "cause".....and with every cause, there will be an "effect" as noted by the Blessed One:
quote: "If you're doing or will do an evil deed, you won't escape pain catching up as you run away."

The pain "caused" towards catching the fishes will have the same "effect" on the doer!.....one CANNOT escape it!.....PERFECTION.

The point here is to escape the cycle and to go beyond!


Agreed, but the boys were probably unaware that they were creating a cause which would affect the fish. Most adults who reflect upon it would be better informed, and would probably agree that the boys are causing pain for the fish. But how many would think that there are wider consequences for the doer? Do we think that the doer experiences the same pain as the fish, and if so, why do we?

With regard to the different question of why the boys are catching fish, I think it likely that the message here is that they are doing it for fun. Small fish, rather than fish for the family dinner. In other passages, though, the Buddha registers concern over the fates of those who kill even out of apparent necessity, for food:

"And which is the individual who torments others and is devoted to the practice of torturing others? There is the case where a certain individual is a butcher of sheep, a butcher of pigs, a butcher of fowl, a trapper, a hunter, a fisherman, a thief, an executioner,[5] a prison warden, or anyone who follows any other bloody occupation. This is called an individual who torments others and is devoted to the practice of torturing others.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.060.than.html

If catching the little fish for sport, are the boys totally innocent because they are ignorant of the consequences of their actions? There is the suggestion that they know that in principle their actions are wrong, because of the reference to running away. You can run away from the wandering holy man who you think might give you a bit of a scolding, but not from your Kamma.
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