BORN A BUFFALO FOR THE SUM OF 40 KYATS?

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BORN A BUFFALO FOR THE SUM OF 40 KYATS?

Postby cooran » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:45 am

BORN A BUFFALO FOR THE SUM OF 40 KYATS?
by Mahasi Sayadaw

In a certain town in Monywa district, there lived a man who was engaged in the business of money-lending during the British regime. He asked for the return of a loan from a certain farmer who replied he had already repaid the money he had borrowed. The moneylender repeatedly insisted that the farmer had not yet repaid the loan. Finally, he declared, "May I become a buffalo in your house if I had really asked for a double payment of the forty kyats which you said you had already returned." With this oath, he pressed again for the return of his loan. The poor farmer was thus forced to make knowingly a double settlement of the loan he had taken.
Soon after, the moneylender passed away. And there was born in the house of the farmer, who had made a double payment of his loan, a young buffalo. Guessing that the moneylender had made a rebirth in his house as a buffalo, the poor farmer called out to the young buffalo, "Saya, Saya, please come,' in the same way he used to address the old moneylender. The young buffalo answered his call and came to him. Believing now that the old moneylender had really become a buffalo in his house according to his oath, the farmer started to talk about this incident. Thereupon, the daughter of the departed moneylender went to court suing the poor farmer for defaming her father.
The judge who heard the case sent for the appellant, the defendant and the young buffalo together with witnesses for both sides. In the court, the farmer called out 'Saya, Saya, please come' to the buffalo in the same way he used to address the moneylender. The buffalo responded to his call by coming to him. The moneylender's daughter used to address her father as 'Shi, Shi'. In the court when she said 'Shi, Shi', the buffalo went to her. The judge came to the conclusion that the poor farmer was making an honest statement (without any intention of defamation) and accordingly discharged the case. From this story it is not hard to believe that a human being may be reborn a buffalo. It is plain, therefore, that tanha will cause rebirth. It should be observed also that swearing a false oath is liable to land one in dire calamity.
http://www.thisismyanmar.com/nibbana/dhamak5b.htm
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: BORN A BUFFALO FOR THE SUM OF 40 KYATS?

Postby Individual » Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:09 pm

Stories like this are interesting, but it's problematic (from the stance of anatta) when discussions of rebirth resemble reincarnation superstitions. The story suggests a continuity of personality between the dead money-lender and the buffalo, that the behavior or mind of the previous being was implanted in the buffalo. But the idea that sentient beings have free-will is another way to think of anatta: Because there is no fixed continuity of personality, it is possible for the money-lender to NOT come to the man when he says, "Saya, saya", whether he was still alive or a buffalo. And conversely, it is also possible for any random buffalo to strangely come to the man with that beckoning call, without much of an explanation (although there is a causal foundation, the cause is not necessarily reincarnation). Taking this into account, it's reasonable to be skeptical; the man is not likely malicious, but the "proof" that the money-lender was reborn a buffalo is dubious.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
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Re: BORN A BUFFALO FOR THE SUM OF 40 KYATS?

Postby BlackBird » Sun Jul 26, 2009 10:32 am

Individual wrote:Stories like this are interesting, but it's problematic (from the stance of anatta) when discussions of rebirth resemble reincarnation superstitions. The story suggests a continuity of personality between the dead money-lender and the buffalo, that the behavior or mind of the previous being was implanted in the buffalo. But the idea that sentient beings have free-will is another way to think of anatta: Because there is no fixed continuity of personality, it is possible for the money-lender to NOT come to the man when he says, "Saya, saya", whether he was still alive or a buffalo. And conversely, it is also possible for any random buffalo to strangely come to the man with that beckoning call, without much of an explanation (although there is a causal foundation, the cause is not necessarily reincarnation). Taking this into account, it's reasonable to be skeptical; the man is not likely malicious, but the "proof" that the money-lender was reborn a buffalo is dubious.


I dunno, Individual. Have you realised these things for yourself, or pieced it together from the Suttas and abstract commentaries?
The whole Anatta-Rebirth combo is a tough nut to crack - for sure.
"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: BORN A BUFFALO FOR THE SUM OF 40 KYATS?

Postby Individual » Mon Jul 27, 2009 10:45 pm

BlackBird wrote:
Individual wrote:Stories like this are interesting, but it's problematic (from the stance of anatta) when discussions of rebirth resemble reincarnation superstitions. The story suggests a continuity of personality between the dead money-lender and the buffalo, that the behavior or mind of the previous being was implanted in the buffalo. But the idea that sentient beings have free-will is another way to think of anatta: Because there is no fixed continuity of personality, it is possible for the money-lender to NOT come to the man when he says, "Saya, saya", whether he was still alive or a buffalo. And conversely, it is also possible for any random buffalo to strangely come to the man with that beckoning call, without much of an explanation (although there is a causal foundation, the cause is not necessarily reincarnation). Taking this into account, it's reasonable to be skeptical; the man is not likely malicious, but the "proof" that the money-lender was reborn a buffalo is dubious.


I dunno, Individual. Have you realised these things for yourself, or pieced it together from the Suttas and abstract commentaries?
The whole Anatta-Rebirth combo is a tough nut to crack - for sure.

Both. The suttas and (to a much lesser degree) the commentaries have been a tool for self-realization.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
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Re: BORN A BUFFALO FOR THE SUM OF 40 KYATS?

Postby cooran » Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:25 pm

hello Individual,

The suttas and (to a much lesser degree) the commentaries have been a tool for self-realization.

Could you expand on this some more?

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: BORN A BUFFALO FOR THE SUM OF 40 KYATS?

Postby Individual » Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:01 pm

Chris wrote:hello Individual,

The suttas and (to a much lesser degree) the commentaries have been a tool for self-realization.

Could you expand on this some more?

metta
Chris

In what way? What needs clarifying?
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
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Re: BORN A BUFFALO FOR THE SUM OF 40 KYATS?

Postby Pannapetar » Thu Jul 30, 2009 4:07 am

Individual wrote:The story suggests a continuity of personality between the dead money-lender and the buffalo, that the behavior or mind of the previous being was implanted in the buffalo.


Are you saying there is no continuity?

Cheers, Thomas
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