Should Wives Be Obedient?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby SamKR » Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:22 am

BlackBird wrote:The same is true of some of the social things the Buddha discussed, they clearly have no impact upon the Dhamma as a doctrine, so to say that if we start to question them - where does the buck stop? That's what we call a 'slippery slope fallacy'. If we were talking about an actual doctrinal point of the Dhamma, I would feel differently, but we're just talking about some advice the Buddha gave to a householder on how to make his family harmonious. Clearly that is something that is relevant to the culture and the time in which it was spoken, but culture and time changes.

But the problem here is, his conversation to Sujata is not just related to solving a family issue, it is related to Dhamma:
Who is called a Slayer, a Tyrant, or a Thief,
Who is rude, unvirtuous, and disrespectful,
Such kinds of wives will on their death
To hellish worlds of misery depart.

But wives like Mother, Sister, Friend and Handmaid,
Firm in virtue, imbued with long termed self-control,
Such kinds of wives will on their death
To happy destinies depart.

Deeply moved, Sujata replied that from then on she would strive to be a handmaid to her husband. The words of the Enlightened One had shown her how to conduct herself as a wife. Later she became a faithful disciple of the Buddha, to whom she was ever grateful for her salvation.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el334.html

The Buddha's words here seem to be concerned with the long-term benefit of the wife (Sujata) than with the benefit of the family or the husband.
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby Feathers » Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:40 am

SamKR wrote:Even if it is a later distortion, being obedient and nice to others is not bad at all from the perspective of Dhamma.


There is a vast difference between "being nice" and "being obedient". People in general should be nice to each other, I see no reason for obedience (except maybe for practical reasons with children and in certain systems e.g. police)

Given that the Buddha famously teaches us to test things for ourselves, I would think we're explicitly permitted by the Buddha to critique the teachings, and if needs be, set them aside as symptomatic of their times and not relevant or helpful today.
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:41 am

wormhole wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:That is response of the fundamentalist, literalist Christian to not taking the Bible as being true in every word that is written in the Bible.


Any Christians who don't take all words of the Bible as true are contradicting their own religion. They believe an omniscient supreme deity inspired their word, meaning every word should be correct.
Only if they are fundamentalist, literalist type believers, which does not characterize all Christians by a long shot.

Are you saying that every Buddhist must believe everything said in any sutta as being an accurate reflection and true as written reflection of reality?
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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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby wormhole » Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:46 am

tiltbillings wrote:
wormhole wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:That is response of the fundamentalist, literalist Christian to not taking the Bible as being true in every word that is written in the Bible.


Any Christians who don't take all words of the Bible as true are contradicting their own religion. They believe an omniscient supreme deity inspired their word, meaning every word should be correct.
Only if they are fundamentalist, literalist type believers, which does not characterize all Christians by a long shot.

Are you saying that every Buddhist must believe everything said in any sutta as being an accurate reflection and true as written reflection of reality?


No. The Buddha taught us to be skeptics and question for ourselves. I was answering your question regarding Christianity, was I not?
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby SDC » Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:47 am

Wow this thread is stupid.

Sorry to all for the negative post but I had to say it.
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby SamKR » Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:55 am

Feathers wrote:I see no reason for obedience (except maybe for practical reasons with children and in certain systems e.g. police)

It may all depend upon intentions. Being obedient (or even disobedient) is not bad in itself if the intentions are good. Good intentions lead to good destinations ("Intention is Kamma"). I believe the Buddha was assuming good intentions while talking about being obedient.
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby BlackBird » Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:03 am

wormhole wrote:No. The Buddha taught us to be skeptics and question for ourselves. I was answering your question regarding Christianity, was I not?


The Buddha did not teach us to be skeptics.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby Anagarika » Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:03 am

wormhole wrote:
Justsit wrote:Well, there is a prohibition in the Biblical Old Testament against touching pigskin on Sunday. I don't know of any Christian denomination that has a problem with football on Sunday.
Really, some common sense is key. Just IMO, obviously.


You clearly are unfamiliar with the Bible. Jesus taught that once he resurrected the old law was to be abolished, meaning the Old Testament was no longer law. And besides the point, just because everyone does something doesn't make it any more right (in this Christian situation).


And, footballs are made from cattle skin, not pig skin. Cows and bulls are killed,their skin is stripped off the bones, and it is subjected to chemicals in a large drum to make the skins for footballs. Nasty stuff. People shouldn't touch footballs on Sunday, maybe, as a gesture of repudiation over how we treat our animals in this country. Not sure what Jesus might have to say about that.
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:09 am

SDC wrote:Wow this thread is stupid.

Sorry to all for the negative post but I had to say it.
It probably is stupid, rather than pooping on the thread, why don't you try to add some insight and intelligence into it.
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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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby wormhole » Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:13 am

BuddhaSoup wrote:
wormhole wrote:
Justsit wrote:Well, there is a prohibition in the Biblical Old Testament against touching pigskin on Sunday. I don't know of any Christian denomination that has a problem with football on Sunday.
Really, some common sense is key. Just IMO, obviously.


You clearly are unfamiliar with the Bible. Jesus taught that once he resurrected the old law was to be abolished, meaning the Old Testament was no longer law. And besides the point, just because everyone does something doesn't make it any more right (in this Christian situation).


And, footballs are made from cattle skin, not pig skin. Cows and bulls are killed,their skin is stripped off the bones, and it is subjected to chemicals in a large drum to make the skins for footballs. Nasty stuff. People shouldn't touch footballs on Sunday, maybe, as a gesture of repudiation over how we treat our animals in this country. Not sure what Jesus might have to say about that.


For some reason I'm not concerned with whether or not Christians live their lives according to their own rules.
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby wormhole » Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:17 am

BlackBird wrote:
wormhole wrote:No. The Buddha taught us to be skeptics and question for ourselves. I was answering your question regarding Christianity, was I not?


The Buddha did not teach us to be skeptics.


Read MN47.
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby wormhole » Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:18 am

SDC wrote:Wow this thread is stupid.

Sorry to all for the negative post but I had to say it.


How is discussing the Buddha's teachings stupid?
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby wormhole » Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:32 am

I think what is important to say is that Buddha also taught each individual's social practices should be compatible with each individual's Dharma.
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby Ben » Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:37 am

wormhole wrote:Like Buddha said several times, should we still uphold things like this:

http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_n ... gaha_s.htm


The sutta is an artifact of the status quo within an ancient culture of gender relationships.
With regards to the ancient literature, we shouldn't just accept it all blindly but use our common sense and discernment.
If we were to apply the lessons from the above sutta in today's context it would be about mutual respect, cooperation and mutual responsibility between a husband and a wife.
kind regards,

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby wormhole » Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:47 am

Ben wrote:
wormhole wrote:Like Buddha said several times, should we still uphold things like this:

http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_n ... gaha_s.htm


The sutta is an artifact of the status quo within an ancient culture of gender relationships.
With regards to the ancient literature, we shouldn't just accept it all blindly but use our common sense and discernment.
If we were to apply the lessons from the above sutta in today's context it would be about mutual respect, cooperation and mutual responsibility between a husband and a wife.
kind regards,

Ben


I agree, but I think that although my personal belief is that a woman can find happiness in a non-sub-servant role as a wife, I think depending on the person it may be wise for their Dharma to be in a traditional, Bhudda-taught role.
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby Ben » Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:04 am

wormhole wrote:I think depending on the person it may be wise for their Dharma to be in a traditional, Bhudda-taught role.

It would be wise for them to practice the Noble Eightfold Path and not live as a doormat to a domineering husband.
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:17 am

Greetings,

The system the Buddha teaches doesn't look like one of sub-servience to me - it's a form of mutual duty and service, and to that extent I think it's a beautiful thing.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby arijitmitter » Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:40 am

Let us ask a simpler question than " Should Wives Be Obedient ", such as if Buddha was alive today will he insist that his followers memorize passages or will he want his words to be recorded in digital format and the transcripts saved on cloud ( computing ).

The alacrity with which Suttas are quoted makes me aware that someone will soon quote a Sutta passage where Buddha said " remember my words " and then insist that Buddha if born today will have insisted his words be memorized.

When reading Suttas, view it through the prism of modern life. Do you take herbs to relieve pain after surgery ? No. So you have accepted that you do not live 2,500 years ago. To lend an esoteric touch to your life, you may find orthodox, unbending view appealing. But adhering to the Suttas blindly is ALSO a fetter. Quoting Suttas to suit your point of view at drop of a hat is also a fetter. It is as much a fetter as dreaming of buying a Lamborghini 24x7. Further it shows you have no capacity of independent thought - a trait Buddha will not have liked much. Buddha himself was very unorthodox. He gave up life of wealth for life of an ascetic. He went against what 99.999 % people believed at that time and proposed radically different viewpoints.

Follow him.

Buddha said everything is impermanent. Same applies to the Suttas ( except for the 25 % most essential part about path of Enlightenment )
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby BlackBird » Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:00 am

wormhole wrote:
BlackBird wrote:
wormhole wrote:No. The Buddha taught us to be skeptics and question for ourselves. I was answering your question regarding Christianity, was I not?


The Buddha did not teach us to be skeptics.


Read MN47.


I have, more than once.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:23 am

I'm sorry, but does anybody else sense trolling?
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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