Grace in Buddhism?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Re: Grace in Buddhism?

Postby Sylvester » Sun Mar 31, 2013 4:01 am

Sam Vara and Mr Man are on to something when they talk about favourable conditions and boon and barami. Here's a formulaic statement from the suttas about how ex-monks reflect on their dropping out of the monastic life -

mayamevamhā alakkhikā mayaṃ appapuññā te mayaṃ evaṃ svākkhāte dhammavinaye pabbajitvā nāsakkhimhā yāvajīvaṃ paripuṇṇaṃ parisuddhaṃ brahmacariyaṃ caritu’’nti

We were unlucky, we have little merit; for though we went forth into homelessness in such a well-proclaimed Dhamma, we were unable to live the perfect and pure holy life for the rest of our lives.

eg MN 77

It's not clear from the suttas or the Vinaya what the Buddha or the redactors themselves thought about this sob-sob reaction, but it's quite clear from the texts that the speakers believe what they said about lacking the supporting conditions for success in the monastic life. Not quite "grace" in the theistic sense of from "another", but what are we anyway if not the product of "our" past?

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Re: Grace in Buddhism?

Postby Prasadachitta » Sun Mar 31, 2013 4:13 am

Sylvester wrote:what are we anyway if not the product of "our" past?

Either unfathomably more than that or nothing at all.
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

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Re: Grace in Buddhism?

Postby Goofaholix » Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:23 am

qoheleth wrote:He has attended several of the 10 day Goenka Vipassana retreats, and he quoted Goenka as saying something like: "The Dhamma wants you to be awakened," or "it begins to work with you", or something to that effect. I realize that he does not represent Theravada, but it made me think of the concept of grace,

That doesn't mean that the Dhamma is some kind of omnipotence granting you something you don't deserve because of it's benevolence (aka grace). What i believe Goenka is saying is that you are working in harmony with nature and when you work in harmony with nature you are no longer resisting nature so things start falling into place, harmony leads to more harmony.

It's all about how you work, not free gifts.
"Right effort is effort with wisdom. Because where there is wisdom, there is interest. The desire to know something is wisdom at work. Being mindful is not difficult. But it’s difficult to be continuously aware. For that you need right effort. But it does not require a great deal of energy. It’s relaxed perseverance in reminding yourself to be aware. When you are aware, wisdom unfolds naturally, and there is still more interest." - Sayadaw U Tejaniya

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