How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jul 16, 2009 5:06 am

As moderator: Please keep posting to the subject, and please refrain from making the argument about individuals.
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby zerotime » Thu Jul 16, 2009 5:10 am

Patrick said to me Tan Ajahn Buddhadasa was Mahayana because he taught sunyata.


but who is Patrick, Peter or Jennifer. It doesn't care!!. One must use hiw own understanding and faith. What Buddha teached was not Theravada or Mahayana but the end of dukkha. There is not end of dukkha without emptiness, and this is the teaching of Buddha summarizing the whole Tipitaka. All efforts, knowledge and moral discipline, all them are developed in order to realize emptiness. In sunnata there is not death therefore there is not rebirth. For this reason this is the end of suffering. Rebirth only exists when there is ignorance.
From here, we can start two ways to understand dhamma:

One, if we talk from ignorance instead from emptiness, then rebirth becomes logical. While the end of ignorance has not beed fulfilled then there is the recollection of beings of MN.79. This recollection is the same of one second before, minute, hour, day or year before. All them are mind-made images which have been built in my mind following the thread of "me" and "mine".

"Udayi, it’s from me, who recollect, one birth, two births,... recollect the manifold previous births with all modes and details, that this question about the beginning should have been asked. I could have convinced your mind answering a question about the beginning.[...]. Yet Udayi, let alone the beginning and let alone the end, I will teach you, when this is, this comes to be: when this arise, this arises. When this is not present, this is not, and when this cease, this ceases."

The second, if we talk from emptiness then rebirth didn't exists. Because that recollection of beings is not of "me" and "my" but just become a recollection of beings. These images are not sustained in the individual mind but just in the Mind. Such understanding will appear by panna, and in this way Buddha teach Udayi to be focused in the present moment, in where panna can arise. Getting away the protagonist of his thoughts at each moment so panna can arise freely to show him truth and emptiness.

When this understanding arises it doesn't care translations because the truth is auto-evident. Suttas are not truth depending of translators but because are conductive to emptiness. Translators are only the cleaning staff. Despite Suttas are partiallly collected, sometimes not rightly translated or even manipulated, while truth inside them can be seen then this is enough. Translators can be good or worse but the main thing is one must clean his own glasses. If our glasses are clean then we can recognize the value of any old object despite the acumulation of dust or later additions of third people. One doesn't need an expert knowledge of Pali to recognize in Buddhadhasa a wonderful teaching, a rare master able to clarify what is dark and difficult to clarify. There is not many people like him in the Buddhist History. Even somebody can say that maybe he used badly this or that Pali term but such person didn't understand nothing at all.


best,
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby Ben » Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:42 am

Hi Zerotime

zerotime wrote:
Patrick said to me Tan Ajahn Buddhadasa was Mahayana because he taught sunyata.


but who is Patrick, Peter or Jennifer. It doesn't care!!.


Patrick is actually Patrick Kearney, a highly respected lay vipassana teacher in Australia.
But you are right, bhavana is the engine that generates liberative punna and that's what all of us should be doing.
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby Santikaro » Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:11 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Present wrote:
tiltbillings wrote: Buddhadasa followers aggressively pushing what they said were Buddhadasa's views as if they were the only truly true way to approach the Buddha's Dhamma, anything else being simply wrong.

Tiltbillings

Respectfully, how could that be?


Don't ask me. I am not a Buddhadasa aficionado.


I hope that neither am I. The way you are using the word aficionado, linked above with aggressiveness, leads me to think that such pushing is not in keeping w/ Tan Ajahn's approach. I have done my share of pushing and it is not the middle way, it doesn't serve the Buddha. The MW of teaching & practice is neither aggressive nor passive. Nor is it opinionated, intellectually sloppy, or lazy.

There's a passage in the Sutta-nipata (I can't reference it properly as I am traveling) that describes the attitude of "only this is the truth, all others are wrong" as wrong understanding. It's not just the ideas that are "right," but how they are held & presented. Anatta is considered right understanding but wielded as a 'weapon of the tongue' it becomes wrong understanding.

Rebirth -- in the conventional, literal sense -- is also considered right understanding. Note in 'The Great Forty' (MN 117) the distinction b/w worldly/conventional right understanding and transcendent/liberating right understanding.

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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby stuka » Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:28 pm

Santikaro wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
tiltbillings wrote: Buddhadasa followers aggressively pushing what they said were Buddhadasa's views as if they were the only truly true way to approach the Buddha's Dhamma, anything else being simply wrong.



Don't ask me. I am not a Buddhadasa aficionado.


I hope that neither am I. The way you are using the word aficionado, linked above with aggressiveness, leads me to think that such pushing is not in keeping w/ Tan Ajahn's approach. I have done my share of pushing and it is not the middle way, it doesn't serve the Buddha. The MW of teaching & practice is neither aggressive nor passive. Nor is it opinionated, intellectually sloppy, or lazy.

There's a passage in the Sutta-nipata (I can't reference it properly as I am traveling) that describes the attitude of "only this is the truth, all others are wrong" as wrong understanding. It's not just the ideas that are "right," but how they are held & presented. Anatta is considered right understanding but wielded as a 'weapon of the tongue' it becomes wrong understanding.

Rebirth -- in the conventional, literal sense -- is also considered right understanding. Note in 'The Great Forty' (MN 117) the distinction b/w worldly/conventional right understanding and transcendent/liberating right understanding.

May all beings be free of being beings.



Again, Santikaro, no one here who defers to Buddhadasa's teachings is taking an "only this is the truth, all others are wrong" attitude; the accusation is merely a straw man.
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby stuka » Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:33 pm

stuka wrote:
Peter wrote:
[The Buddha] taught that the path is progressive, that views need to be left behind sooner or later.

He taught that views get left behind by one who has known and seen, aka one who is sotapanna or higher. Are you claiming to be sotapanna or higher?



Your direct source for this claim, please.




Peter


Again, where in the Suttas are you claiming that the Buddha says that one must be a sotapanna in order to shed any of the sixty-two speculative views?

There are examples all over the Suttas of persons -- a veritable parade of Brahmins, Jains, householders, kings, beggars, and thieves -- who, after having spoken to the Buddha, have given up their speculative views and taken refuge in the Buddha, the Dhamma, the Sangha, both as lay followers and as members of the community of monks. Did the Naked Dog-Duty Ascetic suddenly become a sotapanna when he gave up his speculative view and joined the Buddha?
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby stuka » Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:40 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
stuka wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:

Sure, but there is nothing in that that negates rebirth (without atta).


It declares it a speculative wrong view, in the discussion of eternalistic views prior to the quote. It's just that you have declared an Atta that is reincarnated, merely calling it not-an-Atta.


Thank you for sharing your opinion. No reincarnation. No need for it and no need for your clever "not-an-Atta."



You can call it "re-birth" if you like, or you can call it "reincarnation", if you like, and you can call it an "Atta" if you like, or you can call it "not-an-Atta", or "re-linking Consciousness", if you like, but you are theorizing identical processes based upon the same speculative view, and merely slapping a different label on it. Buddhadasa clearly alluded to that sort of thing when he asked "What is it that is reborn?"
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby Santikaro » Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:52 pm

Peter wrote:
Santikaro wrote:In the "three lifetimes interpretation" (found in the Visuddhimagga) of the classic paticcasamuppada sequence, rebirth & dukkha occur in the future, which is taken to be a life after the physical death of the entity or whatever that was craving & clinging. Assuming that one entity does the craving & clinging and another experiences the rebirth & dukkha, how can either of them fully realize the causal relations?

Ah, I see. Taking this in conjunction with something you said earlier...

Santikaro wrote:The usual citation is to the first of the 3 nyanas under the bodhi tree, but that overlooks the not-yet-awakened (tho almost) situation of the bodhisatta. Tan Ajahn considered the 3rd nyana far more important, that is, causal for the great awakening.

Tan Ajahn considered the 1st nyana not relevant to awakening and then criticized the 3-lifetime model for being dependent on the 1st nyana? Could you explain this apparent circular logic?


I'm not going so far as saying 1st nyana is irrelevant, it might be supportive, but it isn't the fully liberating nyana. His criticisms of the 3-lifetime interpretation weren't, to my memory, based on his understanding of the 1st nyana.

Peter wrote:I suppose if I thought liberation depended on my being able to recall past lives and I also thought my chances of ever developing the ability to recall past lives were slim to none I might be tempted to reinterpret the Teachings in a way more suitable for my situation. I hope that's not what we're talking about here.


I don't think that's what I am talking about. As for others, who is to know but them, if they are sufficiently mindful?

Peter wrote:
Santikaro wrote:Tan Ajahn took [references to sotapanna, etc.] to be conventional comments, not essential liberating truths.

I have heard this said before but remain confused as to what it means. Does it mean the Buddha lied?


Conventional does not mean untrue or dishonest. Conventional -- sometimes referred to as 'relative truth' but I'm not trying to set up any absolute truths -- is in terms of persons, beings, and entities that do things like karma, birth, death, arguing, denying, believing, wondering, and confusing.

Peter wrote:
Santikaro wrote:Seems to me that the emphasis of the Buddha's teaching is seeing the impermanence, concoctedness, and selflessness of the stuff going on more than getting certain theories about the stuff right.

Seems to me as well. But people in online forums love to discuss theories and rarely discuss anything practical. :shrug: We get occasional flashes of practicality which for me makes it worthwhile to hang around.

Thank you for taking the time to address my queries. I am finding it helpful.


Is there a way to approach online forums as practice rather than papanca? For me, they can be opportunities for service, patience, being mindful of opinions & reactions, etc. But they can also become -- speaking for myself -- escapist, obsessive, and distracting from the middle way. I guess, once again, it's wise to be ever mindful of motivations and somewhat skeptical of our rationalizations, which are creative, self-serving, and convincing. Oh my!

Thanks, too, for the polite give & take.
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jul 16, 2009 4:01 pm

Santikaro wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Don't ask me. I am not a Buddhadasa aficionado.


I hope that neither am I.


You lived with your teacher, heard his words, seen him day in and out, you trusted him and he trusted you. That is something very different, very special.

The way you are using the word aficionado, linked above with aggressiveness, leads me to think that such pushing is not in keeping w/ Tan Ajahn's approach.


I would hope that would be the case, and it is good to hear.

I have done my share of pushing and it is not the middle way, it doesn't serve the Buddha. The MW of teaching & practice is neither aggressive nor passive. Nor is it opinionated, intellectually sloppy, or lazy.

There's a passage in the Sutta-nipata (I can't reference it properly as I am traveling) that describes the attitude of "only this is the truth, all others are wrong" as wrong understanding. It's not just the ideas that are "right," but how they are held & presented. Anatta is considered right understanding but wielded as a 'weapon of the tongue' it becomes wrong understanding.

Rebirth -- in the conventional, literal sense -- is also considered right understanding. Note in 'The Great Forty' (MN 117) the distinction b/w worldly/conventional right understanding and transcendent/liberating right understanding.

May all beings be free of being beings.


Ven Buddhadasa’s views are welcome here as part of the larger, ongoing civil discussion of the Buddha’s teachings. I would see Ven Buddhadasa’s teachings as a way of understanding the Buddha’s teachings. My preferences run more in line with Vens Mahasi Sayadaw and U Pandita understanding of the Buddha’s teachings. These two differing ways neither exclude nor negate each other. I would like to think we can express our understandings of our respective points of view, learning from both the differences and from where they say much the same things. We can disagree with each other without being at each other’s throats, and, Santikaro, from reading what you say, I think that is highly possible. Thank you.

tilt
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby clw_uk » Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:28 pm

Present wrote:
Santikaro wrote:Yes, hard to ignore those passages. They are rather common. But what do they mean?

Santikaro,

The Buddha informed us at the end of one sutta in the MN why he disclosed destinations, and the reason was to inspire faith.

I trust one of our dhamma friends here knows the passage & discourse and can post it.

:anjali:



MN 68

"So, Anuruddha, it is not for the purpose of scheming to deceive people or for the purpose of flattering people or for the purpose of gain, honour, and renown, or with the thought " let people know me to be thus", that when a disciple has died, the Tathagata declares his reappearance thus "so-and-so has reappeared in such-and-such a place" Rather, it is because there are faithful clansmen inspired and gladdened by what is lofty, who when they hear that, direct their minds to such a state, and that leads to their welfare and happiness for a long time"


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Adjective
[loftier, loftiest]
1. of majestic or imposing height
2. morally admirable: lofty ideals
3. unpleasantly superior: a lofty contempt
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:38 pm

Santikaro wrote:There's a passage in the Sutta-nipata (I can't reference it properly as I am traveling) that describes the attitude of "only this is the truth, all others are wrong" as wrong understanding.

Also MN 95: Canki Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"If a person has conviction, his statement, 'This is my conviction,' safeguards the truth. But he doesn't yet come to the definite conclusion that 'Only this is true; anything else is worthless.' To this extent, Bharadvaja, there is the safeguarding of the truth. To this extent one safeguards the truth. I describe this as the safeguarding of the truth. But it is not yet an awakening to the truth.


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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby Present » Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:45 pm

zerotime wrote:In sunnata there is not death therefore there is not rebirth.

Zerotime

To me, you have indentified & differentiated the 'Deathless state' from the forest of views.

Buddhadasa did teach often and above all else, the question "Who dies? What dies?" "Can't you see? There is no dying".

Therefore, we must be very careful to select two or three words we have heard such as "wait & see" and to regard this as Buddhadasa's salient view.

Defilements such as coveteousness one must be very wary of. In religious circles this is very common, in adopting another's name or teachings and then adapting them for one's ulterior purpose.

Truthfulness, honesty, straightforwardness (sacca). This is a practitioners most basic development, as advised by the Lord Buddha himself.

Even for a householder, the Buddha taught there are four vital dhammas: sacca (honesty), dama (training), kanti (patience) & caga (sacrifice).

These four householder dhammas, I have read from the suttas and also heard them imparted by Buddhadasa.

:toast:
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:53 pm

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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby zerotime » Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:10 am

Present:
Truthfulness, honesty, straightforwardness (sacca). This is a practitioners most basic development, as advised by the Lord Buddha himself.
Even for a householder, the Buddha taught there are four vital dhammas: sacca (honesty), dama (training), kanti (patience) & caga (sacrifice).
These four householder dhammas, I have read from the suttas and also heard them imparted by Buddhadasa.


I think you are right; this is the real engine for wisdom and knowledge just the resultant movement.
On the rest of what you said, also probably you are right. I will remember that. :namaste:
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby .e. » Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:22 am

How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

I frequented a fairly large Thai Wat in Chicago some years back. There were monks and lay followers who were students of Buddhadasa. So he has been highly influential in my understanding of the Dhamma. There were also other monks who were not students of Buddhadasa. Most if not all of the senior teachers had a very good focus on the sutras, especially the Majjhima Nikaya. One American monk felt that Buddhadasa was verging on being an annihilationist . But I am not sure if he fully understood Buddhadasa in that there ultimately is no atta to live forever or be annihilated from the get go. I have been around the suttas a fair amount but am no scholar. I appreciate Buddhadasa (and many others from all the yanas) for his pragmatic approach to the Dhamma. That is, when you shelve the suttas and are meditating or out living your life, Buddhadasa has much to offer. His teachings on Dependent Origination as happening in the here and now are indispensible for where the rubber meets the road. To see the process of .../contact/vedena/.../birth (of ego)... within my own mind stream has brought the dhamma to life before my very eyes. In this respect I don't really see what a 3 lifetime view of Dependent Origination really brings to practice. For instance, if ignorance is always in the last life, how are you supposed to end it? I mean you can't go back in time and eradicate it there now can you? As you contemplate D.O. it is obvious this process is happening right here and now. All else is nothing but (cultural) belief i.e. societal conventions. Also, I don't see re-birth mentioned in D.O. but birth is.

I sat a retreat with Ajahn Amaro a few years ago. There were 3 monks he mentioned equally in his dhamma talks. Ajahn Chah (his teacher), Ajahn Sumedho (his friend) and Ajahn Buddhadasa.

Don't know if this is the right place to mention this but some friends are organizing a retreat with Santikaro and Leigh Brasington on April 2 2010. You all know Santikaro from this thread http://www.iberationpark.org/retreat/retreats.htm#2009 . Leigh was a student of Ayya Khema and teaches a very accessable method of jhana, http://www.leighb.com. Also, Santikaro moderates a yahoo group called Buddhadasa if you're interested.

Peace y'all!
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:26 am

Don't know if this is the right place to mention this


Not a problem. You might want to post more info about the teachers and what not in the "Theravada meditation" section.
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby kc2dpt » Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:53 am

.e. wrote:For instance, if ignorance is always in the last life, how are you supposed to end it? I mean you can't go back in time and eradicate it there now can you?

Ignorance happens in the present every time feeling leads to craving. Feeling only leads to craving due to ignorance in the present. The 3 life model does not teach that ignorance only happens in the past. What it does is present three different and intertwined models of how the cycle continues.

While we're on the subject...

Santikaro wrote:In the "three lifetimes interpretation" (found in the Visuddhimagga) of the classic paticcasamuppada sequence, rebirth & dukkha occur in the future, which is taken to be a life after the physical death of the entity or whatever that was craving & clinging. Assuming that one entity does the craving & clinging and another experiences the rebirth & dukkha, how can either of them fully realize the causal relations?

The model does not mean dukkha only occurs in the future; dukkha also occurs in the present (as we can plainly see). Sometimes the result of craving is dukkha that arises immediately, sometimes later in life, and sometimes in a future life.

It seems like Ven. Buddhadasa is criticizing an overly strict reading of the 3-lifetime model. I do not know anyone who teaches this model in this way.
- Peter

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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby nathan » Fri Jul 17, 2009 5:36 am

.e. wrote:For instance, if ignorance is always in the last life, how are you supposed to end it? I mean you can't go back in time and eradicate it there now can you? As you contemplate D.O. it is obvious this process is happening right here and now. All else is nothing but (cultural) belief i.e. societal conventions. Also, I don't see re-birth mentioned in D.O. but birth is.


Wow people, eleven (don't expect me to read them all) pages! Here's hoping Buddhadasa (if and wherever he is) can 'feel the love'.

Um, .e.. "All else is social convention?" So, the earth moves around the sun as a result of social convention? A man must eat because of social convention? We eventually drop dead because of social convention? Seems just a wee bit 'oversimplified' to me.

If this is the only birth, then whence all this endless baggage that also comes with, including the ignorance for that matter. Should have popped out of the womb pristine, no? Why do I prefer blue to red? I've pretty much canvased the length and breadth of this life and lifetime, put it to bed, watched it slip away. And, wouldn't you know... there is more. Much more. Sucks, but there it is, it is for me, that's the honest truth. I have found plenty of evidence of past being and becoming and in it the causes of future being and becoming.

I agree that the causes and conditions for being and becoming, in this very life, require primary attention. However, having attended to it, at length, more has arisen. So am I supposed to simply ignore that stuff, just because this teacher or that teacher 'doesn't seem to believe in it' or because some bboard posters rant against it? Uh, that would be pretty stupid on my part.

I'm completely in favor of taking this approach, to the present, to the present life, etc.. And when that is done, to continue with the rest of what will emerge, the rest of the problem. Do this first and the rest of the problem will seem, at least... approachable.

upekkha
:anjali:
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby nathan » Fri Jul 17, 2009 5:52 am

Just to update what I mentioned eight or so pages ago about the Buddhaghosa's VSM; Just because there is an example in there that covers three lifetimes, an example that the Buddha also used, btw. doesn't mean that it is intended as a literal truth. The Buddha said that it takes a very high level of accomplishment to be able to observe how all causality functions in the present. It is a highly complex set of wheels within wheels. The Buddha could see it, describe it in detail, Sariputta could, a few others. It seems that no one else of record has since. So maybe we could all stop arguing about it until someone can again and just get on with dealing with it. One couldn't very well examine any of the links in DO if they weren't all accessible in the present could one? That said, there they are there in the present, so it follows that they were there in the past, and it is no big leap to grasp that they will continue to be there in the future, until the chain is broken. Say you don't believe all you want. The chain don't care.

:anjali:
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:04 am

nathan wrote:Just to update what I mentioned eight or so pages ago about the Buddhaghosa's VSM; Just because there is an example in there that covers three lifetimes, an example that the Buddha also used, btw. doesn't mean that it is intended as a literal truth.


Would you kind enough to give the VSM chapter and verse for this and the Pale sutta quoted? Thanks.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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