Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

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Re: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Postby manas » Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:39 am

Dhammanando wrote:
greenjuice wrote:How did the Lord Buddha talk to Acharn Mun?


Perhaps while the latter was undergoing an hallucination or pleasant snooze.


    “Bhikkhus, just as when the stalk of a bunch of mangoes has been cut, all the mangoes on it go with it, just so the Tathāgata’s link with becoming has been cut. As long as the body subsists, devas and humans will see him. But at the breaking-up of the body and the exhaustion of the life-span, devas and humans will see him no more.
    — Brahmajāla Sutta


Hello Bhante,

I think 'hallucination' might be a bit harsh. Even if the images were produced by the mind alone, it was a highly purified mind that produced them. If Ajahn Mun really did attain the Deathless, then could he have had a vision of things beyond the limitations of time and space, perhaps? Beyond the limitations of 'then' and 'now', beyond the conception of time as linear?

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Re: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Postby BlackBird » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:14 am

tiltbillings wrote:
kirk5a wrote:
Dhammanando wrote:Like the cardinal with his ‘special revelations’, Ajahn Maha Bua could justify virtually anything simply by claiming that it had been directly revealed to Ajahn Mun by the Buddha himself.

What, exactly, did Ajahn Maha Bua actually justify in this way?
The interesting thing about Maha Bua's biography of Ajahn Mun is that other students of Ajahn Mun strongly disagreed with the portrayal of Ajan Mun by Maha Bua. Sadly, it is Maha Bua's biography with which we are stuck. What is interesting about the biography is that in it we can see how the Mahayana, in it religious splendor, arose.


This is a very good point, among other very good points that have been made in this thread not the least of which was Venerable. Dhammanando's posts.

As much as people may like Ven. Maha Boowa's account, one cannot deny the fact that he has included a number of stories that contradict the word of the Buddha. That is simply a fact. What conclusions one decides to draw from that is another thing entirely.

But what I don't like is that people read Ven. Maha Boowa's account, and assume they know Venerable Mun well enough to make categorical calls the likes of which we have seen a taste of above e.g. 'he was a highly purified mind' - You weren't there, so how can you say with any degree of clarity what the nature of a monk who died over half a century ago was. In response to Manas' post later in this thread, I think the same applies in reverse - If you weren't there you can't go around saying oh Ajahn Mun was deluded either.

To often people conflate their faith with fact, and speak with an assurance that is not deserved. For instance I believe Ven. Nyanavira & Ven. Bodhesako to be Ariyans, but I don't know that to be true. I have faith that it is so, just like Christians have faith in Jesus. But the Bible is not proof of God any more than Maha Boowa's account of eternal Buddha's and arahants descending from Nibbana to visit Ajahn Mun and congratulate him on his quite public arahantship is proof of such things being real.

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Re: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Postby Dhammanando » Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:06 am

manas wrote:I think 'hallucination' might be a bit harsh.


"Devas and humans will see him no more."
Ajahn Mun was a human.
Therefore Ajahn Mun will see him no more.


Yet Ajahn Mun did see him, so it is claimed. Assuming that the reported experience did not occur in a dream but in the ajahn’s waking hours, then we can call it an apparitional experience. But since Ajahn Mun (as reported by Ajahn Maha Bua) did not take it as an apparition, but really believed that Gotama Buddha and his disciples were coming to pay him a courtesy call, it was an apparition that deceived him. And that, by definition, would be an hallucination.


    Hallucination: (n) an experience involving the apparent perception of something not present.

If Ajahn Mun really did attain the Deathless, then could he have had a vision of things beyond the limitations of time and space, perhaps? Beyond the limitations of 'then' and 'now', beyond the conception of time as linear?


I don’t think we need attribute the ajahn’s experience to anything so exotic. If one were to live as Ajahn Mun did — dwelling in a lonely place, fasting for days on end, and devoting all of one’s waking hours to the recitation of a mantra, and all of this unguided by any teacher and informed by only the meagrest acquaintance with the Buddha’s teaching, I think it would be rather remarkable if one did not end up having some bizarre mental experiences.

Now I don’t know whether or not a real arahant could have visions of the kind attributed to Ajahn Mun, though it doesn’t seem entirely unlikely, for example, as a consequence of the kind of neural damage that gives rise to peduncular hallucinosis:

    Unlike some other kinds of hallucinations, those that patients with PH experience are very realistic, and often involve people and environments that are familiar to the affected individuals. Because the content of the hallucinations is never exceptionally bizarre, patients can rarely distinguish between the hallucinations and reality.

But what I think we can be confident of is that an arahant, through his destruction of the akusala root of delusion, would be beyond the possibility of being deceived by any apparitional or visionary experience that he may undergo.
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

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Re: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Postby Dhammanando » Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:15 am

kirk5a wrote:What, exactly, did Ajahn Maha Bua actually justify in this way?


Whatever the ajahn taught that was unsupported in the texts would be attributed either to what he claimed to have personally discovered through his practice or what had been made known to Ajahn Mun during the visits paid to him by past Buddhas and their arahant disciples. The things that he justified by the latter means, when considered individually, will no doubt appear to most people as trifling and innocuous, perhaps even amusing. The general thrust, however, was not so, for it served to justify and promote: (1) an ugly nationalism (wherever there’s a difference between Thai Buddhist practice and that of other Buddhist countries, it’s the Thais who are doing it the Buddha’s way); (2) support of far-right authoritarian government (as a consequence of that nationalism); (3) nikāya chauvinism (wherever Dhammayutt and Mahanikaya practice differ, it’s the Dhammayutts who are doing it the Buddha’s way); and (4) exaltation of self (wherever practice in Maha Bua’s wat differs from that of other wats in the Thai forest tradition, it’s he who is doing it the Buddha’s way).
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Postby SarathW » Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:17 am

robertk wrote:yes he lived an austere life and respected the Vinaya (although enjoyed smoking ).


I am just trying to imagine Buddha enjoying his smoke and talking about Anatta.
I unerstand that monk has to reflect on food they consumed etc.
I wonder how a monk reflect on smoking!
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Re: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Postby lyndon taylor » Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:49 am

Hindsight is 20/20. So now we are condemning respected monks for smoking in the 50s when most people smoked and it wasn't even yet perceived as bad for your health, maybe we should be ridiculing him for not having a cellphone and computer like our modern venerables.......
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Re: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Postby kirk5a » Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:36 pm

Dhammanando wrote:
kirk5a wrote:What, exactly, did Ajahn Maha Bua actually justify in this way?


Whatever the ajahn taught that was unsupported in the texts would be attributed either to what he claimed to have personally discovered through his practice or what had been made known to Ajahn Mun during the visits paid to him by past Buddhas and their arahant disciples. The things that he justified by the latter means, when considered individually, will no doubt appear to most people as trifling and innocuous, perhaps even amusing. The general thrust, however, was not so, for it served to justify and promote: (1) an ugly nationalism (wherever there’s a difference between Thai Buddhist practice and that of other Buddhist countries, it’s the Thais who are doing it the Buddha’s way); (2) support of far-right authoritarian government (as a consequence of that nationalism); (3) nikāya chauvinism (wherever Dhammayutt and Mahanikaya practice differ, it’s the Dhammayutts who are doing it the Buddha’s way); and (4) exaltation of self (wherever practice in Maha Bua’s wat differs from that of other wats in the Thai forest tradition, it’s he who is doing it the Buddha’s way).

Such a broad pattern ought to have publicly available information which would clearly show this. I would be interested to see an example of two of this.
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Re: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:28 pm

Hi Kirk,

Regarding:
(2) support of far-right authoritarian government (as a consequence of that nationalism);

I presume Bhante is referring to such statements as: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajahn_Maha ... Shinawatra

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Re: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Postby manas » Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:40 pm

It just occurred to me that, maybe we ought to be careful not to level any accusations of having been deluded at Ajahn Mun, and instead only question the veracity of the biography. I think we had better be careful with our speech here.

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Re: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:57 pm

manas wrote:It just occurred to me that, maybe we ought to be careful not to level any accusations of having been deluded at Ajahn Mun, and instead only question the veracity of the biography. I think we had better be careful with our speech here.

That's a good point.

One of the problems I see with forming any attitude towards figures like Ajahn Mun is that their fame, and our knowledge about them, rests on second-hand (or worse) stories, translated from other languages. We don't have access to primary sources, or any source of coherent explanation of their teachings, for that matter.

Such figures can be helpful inspiration, but since it's the stories and hagiographies that create the interest/inspiration, it is hard to be sure what exactly they taught. Perhaps it's best not to worry...

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Re: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Postby kmath » Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:00 pm

What a freaky picture.
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Re: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Postby purple planet » Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:40 pm

One of the problems I see with forming any attitude towards figures like Ajahn Mun is that their fame, and our knowledge about them, rests on second-hand (or worse) stories, translated from other languages. We don't have access to primary sources, or any source of coherent explanation of their teachings, for that matter.

Such figures can be helpful inspiration, but since it's the stories and hagiographies that create the interest/inspiration, it is hard to be sure what exactly they taught. Perhaps it's best not to worry...


That is a good point - not to judge based on stories and second hand (or worse) stories - but i also think its good to hear all of the criticism fully and not censor it - this way if tomorrow we find out that some was monk was drinking in some pub - our practice wont be shattered by that and we can just calmly just move on to the next monk
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Re: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Postby BlackBird » Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:26 pm

The picture painted of Ajahn Mun in Ajahn Lee's biography is a lot different than that of Ven. Maha Boowa's account. I remember thinking there was such a disconnect between the two accounts. Of the two I happen to prefer Ajahn Lee's. Also it pays to remember that Ven. Maha Boowa wrote much of the content not from his own experience, but from that of stories he had heard from other disciples he interviewed for the purpose of writing the book. The picture we get of Ajahn Mun in the biography is not the recollection of one person, but of many.

And on the smoking point I wholeheartedly agree - This was the early half of the 1900's when Doctors prescribed smoking for supposed health benefits, rural Thais thought smoking was a medicine, and treated it as such.

Look these are monks who often had no access to the Suttas, these are monks who relied on Vinaya and meditation for the most part - Spending years at a time in seclusion in the depths of the Thai rainforest. Almost all of them contracted Malaria, time and time again. Their accounts and recollections must be remembered in the context of rural Thai culture of the early 1900s. This was a time before Western culture, medicine & technology had penetrated to that area. In a sense, it wasn't much different then than it had been 300 years earlier.

Whether or not you agree with Ven. Maha Boowas 'forest Dhamma' with it's eternal Buddhas and cittas that can descend from Nibbana and visit people at will, which in my opinion is closer to Mahayana than Theravada, one should not forget the positives these great men brought to Thai Buddhism - The revival of the Vinaya, of Meditation, of the kammathana - Practices that the Buddha would have praised! I personally think the Ajahn Mun of history and the one from the biography are quite different people.

Here are some quotes from Ajahn Lee's biography concerning Ajahn Mun, I think they offer some valuble insights into the mind of this venerable sir:

At about five in the evening I reached the forest monastery at Kut Laad, where I learned
that Ajaan Mun had just returned to Wat Burapha. So the next morning, after breakfast, I
walked back to Ubon. There I paid my respects to Ajaan Mun and told him my purpose in
seeking him out. The advice and assistance he gave me were just what I was looking for. He
taught me a single word—buddho—to meditate on. It so happened that he was ill at the
time, so he sent me to Baan Thaa Wang Hin (StonePalace Landing), a very quiet and
secluded area where Phra Ajaan Singh and Phra MahaPin were staying along with about 40
other monks and novices.


After that, I said goodbye and set out for the city of Ubon. Reaching Wang Tham
(CavePalace) Village, though, I found Ajaan Mun staying in the forest there, so I joined him,
staying under his guidance for quite a few days.
This was when I decided to re-ordain, this time in the Dhammayutika sect (the sect to
which Ajaan Mun belonged), in order to make a clean break with my past wrongdoings.
When I consulted Ajaan Mun, he agreed to the idea, and so had me practice my part in the
ordination ceremony. When I had it down pat, he set out—with me following—wandering
from district to district.
I became extremely devoted to Ajaan Mun, because there were many things about him
that had me amazed. For instance, there were times when I would have been thinking about
something, without ever mentioning it to him, and yet he’d bring up the topic and seem to
know exactly what my thoughts had been. Each time this happened, my respect and
devotion toward him deepened. I practiced meditation constantly, free from many of the
worries that had plagued me in the past.


Another night, toward the end of the rains, I had been lying on my back, reading a book
and meditating at the same time, when I fell asleep. I dreamed that Ajaan Mun came to
scold me. ‘What are you doing in Bangkok?’ he asked. ‘Go out into the forest!’
‘I can’t,’ I answered. ‘My preceptor won’t let me.’
Ajaan Mun answered with a single word: ‘Go!’
So I dedicated a resolution to him: ‘At the end of the rains, may Ajaan Mun come and
take me with him out of this predicament.’

It was just a few days later that Chao Khun Upali* broke his leg, and Ajaan Mun came
down to pay his respects to him. A short while after that, Lady Noi, the mother of Chao
Phraya Mukhamontri, passed away, and the funeral services were to be held at Wat
Debsirin. Because Lady Noi had been one of Ajaan Mun’s supporters when he was staying in
Udon Thani, he made a point of attending her funeral. My preceptor and I were also invited,
and I met Ajaan Mun up on the crematorium. I was overjoyed but had no chance to have
even a word with him. So I asked Chao Khun Phra Amarabhirakkhit where Ajaan Mun was
staying, and he answered, ‘At Wat Boromnivasa.’ On the way home from the funeral I got
permission from my preceptor to stop at Wat Boromnivasa to pay my respects to Ajaan
Mun.

In the four years since my reordination, this was my first encounter with Ajaan Mun.
After I had paid my respects, he delivered a short sermon to me on the text, ‘Khina jati,
vusitam brahmacariyanti,’ which he translated in short as, ‘The noble ones, having freed
themselves from the mental effluents, find happiness. This is the supreme holy life.’ That’s all
I can remember of it, but I felt that sitting and listening to him speak for a few moments
gave my heart more peace than it had felt all the years I had been practicing on my own.
In the end he told me, ‘You’ll have to come with me this time. As for your preceptor, I’ll
inform him myself.’ That was our entire conversation. I bowed down to him and returned to
Wat Sra Pathum.

When I told my preceptor about my meeting with Ajaan Mun, he simply sat very still.
The next day, Ajaan Mun came to Wat Sra Pathum and spoke with my preceptor, saying
that he wanted to have me go with him up north. My preceptor gave his assent.
I began to get my necessary belongings together and to say goodbye to my friends and
the temple boys. I asked one of the boys how much money I had left for my travel expenses,
and he told me, ‘Thirty satang.’ That wasn’t even enough to pay for the ride to
HuaLamphong Station, which by that time had risen to 50 satang. So I went to inform
Ajaan Mun, and he assured me that he would take care of everything.
The day before Lady Noi’s cremation*, Ajaan Mun was invited to deliver a sermon at the
home of Chao Phraya Mukhamontri and afterwards received the following donations: a set
of robes, a container of kerosene, and 80 baht. Later, Ajaan Mun told me that the set of
robes he gave to a monk at Wat Boromnivasa, the kerosene he gave to Phra MahaSombuun,
and the money he gave to people who needed it, leaving just enough for two people’s
traveling expenses: his and mine.
...
After a while, when Chao Khun Upali finally let Ajaan Mun return north, we took the
train to Uttaradit, where we stayed at Wat Salyaphong, a temple founded by Chao Khun
Upali himself...
One day I got into a disagreement with Ajaan Mun and he drove me away. Although I
felt riled, I decided not to let my feelings show, so I stayed on with him, attending to his
needs as I always had.


The next morning—this was in early January, toward the end of the second lunar
month—two monks came looking for Ajaan Mun with the news that one of his followers
was seriously ill in Chieng Mai. The two monks then continued on down to Bangkok, after
which Ajaan Mun and I left Uttaradit for Chieng Mai. When we arrived we went to stay at
Wat Chedi Luang (GreatChedi Temple).
The ill follower turned out to be a layman—Nai Biew of San Kampheng district—who
had become mentally deranged. His older brother and sister-in-law brought him to Wat
Chedi Luang, and Ajaan Mun cured him with meditation.


That year I spent the Rains Retreat at Wat Chedi Luang. When we had first arrived,
there were quite a number of our fellow meditation monks staying at the temple, but as the
rains approached they left one by one to stay in the hills. At first, Ajaan Mun was going to
have me leave for the hills too, but I refused to go. I told him I had my heart set on staying
with him and attending to his needs throughout the rainy season. In the end he gave his
consent.
That was 1931, the year Chao Khun Upali died. I spent the rains very close to Ajaan
Mun, attending both to his needs and to my own meditation. He in turn gave me a
thorough breaking-in in every way. Each evening he had me climb up and sit in meditation
on the north side of the Great Chedi. There was a large Buddha image there—it’s still there
today—and Ajaan Mun told me that it was a very auspicious spot, that relics of the Buddha
had been known to come there often. I did as I was told in every way. Some nights I’d sit all
night, without any sleep.


I made a regular practice of going with Ajaan Mun when we went out for alms. As we
would walk along, he’d constantly be giving me lessons in meditation all along the way. If we
happened to pass a pretty girl, he’d say, ‘Look over there. Do you think she’s pretty? Look
closely. Look down into her insides.’ No matter what we passed—houses or roads—he’d
always make it an object lesson.

At the time I was only 26. It was my fifth Rains Retreat and I was still feeling young, so
he was always giving me lessons and warnings. He seemed very concerned for my progress.
But there was one thing that had me puzzled, having to do with robes and other requisites
that people would donate. He seemed reluctant to let me have anything nice to use.
Sometimes he’d ask for whatever nice things I did have and then go give them to someone
else. I had no idea what he meant by all this. Whenever I’d get anything new or nice, he’d
order me to wash and dye it to spoil the original color. Say I’d get a nice new white
handkerchief or towel: He’d order me to dye it brown with dye from the heartwood of a
jackfruit tree. Sometimes he’d have to order me several times, and when I still wouldn’t obey
he’d go ahead and dye the things himself. He liked to find old, worn-out robes, patch them
himself, and then give them to me to wear.

One morning I went together with him on our alms round, down past the Police
Station. We happened to pass a woman carrying goods to the market, but my mind was in
good shape: It didn’t stray away from the path we were following. I was keeping complete
control over myself. Another time when I was walking a little distance behind him—he
walked fast, but I walked slowly—I saw him come to an old, worn-out pair of policeman’s
trousers thrown away by the side of the road. He began to kick the trousers along, back and 23
forth—I was thinking all along that I had to keep my thoughts on the path I was following.
Finally, when he reached the fence around the Police Station, he stooped down, picked up
the trousers, and fastened them under his robes. I was puzzled. What did he want with old
trash like that?

When we got back to the hut, he placed the trousers over the clothes railing. I swept up
and then set out the sitting mats. After we had finished our meal, I went into his room to
arrange his bedding. Some days he’d be cross with me, saying I was messy, that I never put
anything in the right place—but he’d never tell me what the right places were. Even though
I tried my best to please him at all times, he was still severe with me the entire rainy season.
Several days later the old pair of trousers had become a shoulder bag and a belt: I saw
them hanging together on the wall. And a few days afterwards, he gave them to me to use. I
took them and looked at them. They were nothing but stitches and patches. With all the
good things available, why did he give me this sort of stuff to use?

Attending to Ajaan Mun was very good for me, but also very hard. I had to be willing to
learn everything anew. To be able to stay with him for any length of time, you had to be very
observant and very circumspect. You couldn’t make a sound when you walked on the floor,
you couldn’t leave footprints on the floor, you couldn’t make noise when you swallowed
water or opened the windows or doors. There had to be a science to everything you did—
hanging out robes, taking them in, folding them up, setting out sitting mats, arranging
bedding, everything. Otherwise he’d drive you out, even in the middle of the Rains Retreat.
Even then, you’d just have to take it and try to use your powers of observation

Every day, after our meal, I’d go to straighten up his room, putting away his bowl and
robes, setting out his bedding, his sitting cloth, his spittoon, his tea kettle, pillow, etc. I had
to have everything in order before he entered the room. When I had finished, I’d take note
of where I had placed things, hurry out of the room, and go to my own room, which was
separated from his by a wall of banana leaves. I had made a small hole in the wall so that I
could peek through and see both Ajaan Mun and his belongings. When he came into the
room, he’d look up and down, inspecting his things. Some of them he’d pick up and move;
others he’d leave where they were. I had to watch carefully and take note of where things
were put.
The next morning I’d do it all over again, trying to place things where I had seen him put
them himself. Finally one morning, when I had finished putting things in order and returned
to my own room to peek through the hole, he entered his room, sat still for a minute,
looked right and left, up and down, all around—and didn’t touch a thing. He didn’t even
turn over his sleeping cloth. He simply said his chants and then took a nap. Seeing this, I felt
really pleased that I had attended to my teacher to his satisfaction.
In other matters—such as sitting and walking meditation—Ajaan Mun trained me in
every way, to my complete satisfaction. But I was able to keep up with him at best only
about 60 percent of the time.


Ajaan Mun had told me that there was an important spirit dwelling in the mountain, but
that it wouldn’t harm or disturb me because it was acquainted with the Dhamma and
Sangha. The first day after reaching the top I didn’t have anything to eat. That night I felt
faint—the whole mountain seemed to be swaying like a boat in the middle of a choppy
sea—but my mind was in good shape and not the least bit afraid.


At about five in the afternoon, a person came to the top of the mountain with a letter for
me from Ajaan Mun. The letter said, ‘Come back right away. I have to leave Wat Chedi
Luang tomorrow morning because tomorrow evening the express train from Bangkok will
arrive.’ I hurried down from the mountain, but night fell as I reached Paa Heo (GlenForest)
Village, so I spent the night in the cemetery there. When I arrived at Wat Chedi Luang the
next day, Ajaan Mun had already left.
I asked around, but no one seemed to know where he had gone—leaving me with no
idea of where or how to find him. I had an inkling that he had headed north for Keng Tung,
which meant I would have to leave for Keng Tung right away, but I couldn’t yet, because
there were two things Ajaan Mun had said to me during the rainy season:
1. ‘I want you to help me in the steps of the practice, because I can’t see anyone else
who can.’ At the time I had no idea of what he meant, and didn’t pay it much attention.
2. ‘The Chieng Mai area has been home to a great number of sages ever since the distant
past. So before you leave the area, I want you to go stay on top of Doi Khaw Maw, in Buab
Thawng Cave, and in Chieng Dao Cave.’


The whole area was dazzling white and very beautiful. The air, though, was close, and
daylight didn’t penetrate. Ajaan Mun had told me that nagas came here to worship: The 26
stalagmite was their chedi. I had wanted to spend the night, but the air was so close I could
hardly breathe, so I didn’t dare stay. I walked back out of the cave.


I really loved Ajahn Lee's autobiography. It's really worth the read if you've got the time :)

metta
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"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: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Postby bodom » Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:47 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
robertk wrote:do you have the citations where the other followers of Mun disagreed with Mahabua. i would appreciate having those.
I do not, though they might be mentioned in other threads on this forum. it was a topic of discussion on the now very dead Grey Forum, and a particular student of Ajahn Mun was quoted as disagreeing with Maha Boowa's biography/hagiography.


This from the Acariya Mun Bhuridatto, dhutanga kammatthaana thread at E-Sangha:

You may as well know that Luang-ta Boowa’s biography of Achan Mun has been sharply criticized by the Dhammayut hierarchy since its publication in Thai (1969 – I was told although the English edition has it at 1971). Phra Achan Somchai Thitawiriyo, the late abbot of Wat Khao Sukim and disciple of Achan Mun had been on record stating “My teacher did not speak this way.”


viewtopic.php?f=16&t=1205

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:11 am

bodom wrote:
“My teacher did not speak this way.”
That is 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: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Postby Dhammanando » Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:50 am

mikenz66 wrote:Regarding:
(2) support of far-right authoritarian government (as a consequence of that nationalism);

I presume Bhante is referring to such statements as: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajahn_Maha ... Shinawatra


No, not Thaksin. I was referring to the Thai military strongmen of the Cold War era. Back in the 1980's the political idol of right-wing Northeastern monks in the Ajahn Mun tradition was General Sarit. He'd been dead twenty years, but the older monks at Baan Taad would wax nostalgically about the days of the Sarit dictatorship as if it had been some kind of golden age.


    Sarit felt that democracy had failed in Thailand and intended to rule according to "Thai ideologies", not imported Western political theories, choosing as his model the supposedly benevolent despots of his country's past.

    [...]

    Nevertheless, though generally popular for its achievements, Sarit's regime was the most repressive and authoritarian in modern Thai history, abrogating the constitution, dissolving parliament, and vesting all power in his newly formed Revolutionary Party. Although he pledged to appoint a constituent assembly to act as a legislature and draft a constitution, no one doubted the body would merely rubber-stamp his orders. Eventually Sarit's constitution was promulgated but not until after his death.

    Sarit banned all other political parties, imposing very strict censorship of the press after the coup, his Revolutionary Party banning eighteen leftist and neutralist publications, and forbidding starting up of new opposition newspapers. Sarit's "revolution" brought an intense crackdown on "leftists"; however, as genuine communists were rare in Thailand, it was the mildly socialist or neutralist professors, politicians and newspapers which bore the brunt of the suppression.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarit_Thanarat
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Postby Dhammanando » Sat Dec 07, 2013 2:33 am

kirk5a wrote:Such a broad pattern ought to have publicly available information which would clearly show this.


Not necessarily. I was recounting what I remember from my year’s stay at Baan Taad. I have no idea to what extent (if any) these things would be a matter of public record.


I would be interested to see an example of two of this.


In my diary entries for 1986 there are dozens of examples, but unfortunately the diary is in storage and not presently accessible to me. For now just a couple of brief illustrations...


Dhammanando wrote:wherever practice in Maha Bua’s wat differs from that of other wats in the Thai forest tradition, it’s he who is doing it the Buddha’s way.


Uniquely in the forest tradition Ajahn Maha Bua held that sandals without thongs were not allowable for monks. Although the Vinaya contains a very lengthy and detailed list of non-allowable footwear, there is no mention of this. The ajahn’s authority for his opinion is that the arahants who visited Ajahn Mun were all wearing sandals with thongs. Any monk arriving at Baan Taad with thongless sandals would be immediately required to exchange them for a pair that the ajahn deemed allowable. And so with his thong stipulation Ajahn Maha Bua in effect created a new Vinaya ordinance that had no warrant in the Vinaya texts, and which he could justify only by backing it up with a claim every bit as unfalsifiable as the special revelations of Cardinal Wiseman.

Some of the ajahn’s other claims, however, are falsifiable and have indeed been falsified. Take the matter of eyebrows, for example.

Dhammanando wrote:wherever there’s a difference between Thai Buddhist practice and that of other Buddhist countries, it’s the Thais who are doing it the Buddha’s way.


Once, after the morning meal, a layman from Bangkok asked Ajahn Maha Bua his opinion of Phra Phothirak and his new splinter group, the Santi Asoke Sangha. The ajahn replied with strong criticisms of them for their deviations from orthodox Theravadin practice, singling out their vegetarianism and their refusal to shave their eyebrows. The layman then remarked that it is only in Thailand that monks shave their eyebrows. The ajahn replied that the Buddha’s arahant disciples who visited Ajahn Mun all had shaven eyebrows and therefore it’s the Thai sangha alone that is doing things right.

Meanwhile, over in Lampang Province, my namesake and Pali teacher-to-be, Sayadaw Dhammananda, was also coming in for some criticism for the fact that in his wat the monks kept to the Burmese practice of leaving their eyebrows intact. The sayadaw responded to the criticisms by publishing a learned and well-argued treatise entitled Bhamukhāvinicchaya — An Adjudication on the Subject of Eyebrows. He composed it in Pali and then translated it into Burmese and Thai. After its publication his monks would carry copies of it in their bags to be given away to any Thais who enquired as to why their eyebrows were unshaven. In this treatise the sayadaw demonstrates beyond any reasonable doubt that although eyebrows grow on one’s head, nonethless they are not included in the term kesamassu (“head-hairs and beard” — i.e. the term for what the Vinaya requires to be shaved) but rather in lomā (“body hairs” — of which the Vinaya prohibits the shaving except for medical purposes).
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Dec 07, 2013 2:42 am

Thanks Bhante,

Thank you for the comments about General Sarit. That is very interesting. I interpreted Ajahn Maha Bua's opposition to Thaksin to be connected with the conservatism that you spoke of. As I understand it, Thaksin is despised by the "Old School Money" sector of Thai society. Ajahn Maha Bua's opposition seemed somewhat ironic, given that Thaksin poured a lot of money into Isaan, and your comments are helpful in understanding the background.

:anjali:
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Re: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Dec 07, 2013 7:21 am

In light of what has been said above, I think it is not at all unreasonable to look at Maha Bua's "biography" as being more accurately a Buddhist hagiography, reflecting Maha Bua's idiosyncratic perspectives and visions. It is not that the book does not have any value in the Dhamma stories told and as an entertaining read, but where I see the real value is in the insight it offers into the sort of visionary impetus that gave rise to the Mahayana.
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: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Postby BlackBird » Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:13 am

tiltbillings wrote:In light of what has been said above, I think it is not at all unreasonable to look at Maha Bua's "biography" as being more accurately a Buddhist hagiography, reflecting Maha Bua's idiosyncratic perspectives and visions. It is not that the book does not have any value in the Dhamma stories told and as an entertaining read, but where I see the real value is in the insight it offers into the sort of visionary impetus that gave rise to the Mahayana.


Quite, and frankly it's fascinating. It has occurred to me, that the way Ven. Maha Boowa & co. have constructed their views (especially on Citta) is not all that dissimilar to the notion of Buddha Nature within Mahayana. It is possible that quite like the Mahayana Maha Boowa has placed these quite doctrinally radical (i.e. not found in the Sutta Pitaka) ideas in the mouth of someone whom he has then elevated to Sainthood (Ajahn Mun). The passages of past Buddhas and Arahants descending out of Nibbana as pure cittas to congratulate him on his arahantship found in the biography then give a legitimacy to the ideas that would probably have been written off by many (more) if it had been seen to arise solely from his own mind, just in the same way that the Mahayana Sutra composers put their ideas within the mouthpiece of the Buddha in the Sutras to give it added legitimacy.

While this thought is new to me, I think the post I quoted from you - The idea in it is probably in a somewhat tertiary stage for you Tilt, given the amount of scholastic accounts on these matters that you have familiarized yourself with. I would be glad to know if there are further similarities between the likes of Ven. Maha Boowa's doctrine and the Mahayana - Besides the obvious illuminating heavenly visitations when the night was well advanced.

On a somewhat side note, it's also fascinating how many different movements within Thai Buddhism have sprung up over the last century with similar Vedic or Mahayanic tendencies - For instance the Dhammakaya (Although at heart it is perhaps more space opera than Vedic or Mahayana), Santi Asoke, Ajahn Buddhadasa and even imo some elements within the Ajahn Chah tradition i.e. Ajahn Sumedho, was it not the same with the early Mahayana - These ideas of a similar vein cropping up in several places quite independent of one another?

metta
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"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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