Core teachings

A forum for members who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the Pali Canon and associated Commentaries, which for discussion purposes are both treated as authoritative.

Moderator: Mahavihara moderator

Core teachings

Postby bachew » Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:34 pm

What are the core teachings in Pali canon, which without will render the canon useless in terms of practice?

I can think of few:

- Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha
- Impermanence, suffering and non-self
- Virtue, concentration and wisdom
- Four noble truths
- Four frames of reference
- Four means of accomplishments
- Five aggregates
- Five hindrances
- Five faculties
- Five precepts
- Seven factors of enlightenment
- Eight precepts
- Eightfold path
-- Right view - kamma and rebirth (or re-becoming?)
Last edited by bachew on Sat Jan 04, 2014 12:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
bachew
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:37 pm

Re: Core teachings

Postby Mkoll » Mon Dec 30, 2013 3:57 pm

Dear bachew,

I've always found Buddhism difficult to explain, especially to materialists/annihilationists. This is because there are certain things that one has to have some initial trust/faith in for the rest of the path to make any sense at all. What's the point of practicing any part of the path if you hold the view everything is annihilated at death and there are no repercussions for actions beyond this life?

The below three teachings immediately come to mind.

- Kamma
- Rebirth
- Faith in the Buddha's Supreme Enlightenment and the Triple Gem

:anjali:
Peace,
James
User avatar
Mkoll
 
Posts: 4137
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:55 pm
Location: California, USA

Re: Core teachings

Postby bachew » Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:46 am

Updated the list, I think that's part of right view?

Kamma and rebirth is always hard to explain because people with side annihilationism (materialism) or eternalism (indestructible soul) but seldom middle. The problem with the word rebirth is that one immediately think of a permanent soul, but without it would mean annihilationism. Kamma is just cause and effect but taken to the big picture (the many rebirths), what is the actually usage of kamma in Pali by the way?

I hope there's a better way to describe kamma and rebirth in less misleading way.
bachew
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:37 pm

Re: Core teachings

Postby thelotuseffect » Tue Dec 31, 2013 5:08 pm

http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?tit ... ightenment

That's the core. Its true that to master one dhamma is to understand them all (since they are all linked in subtle ways) but for most we have to put effort into knowing which factor to emphasize until they are equally strong.
thelotuseffect
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:46 am

Re: Core teachings

Postby Kamran » Wed Jan 01, 2014 6:24 am

As mentioned above, the core is the seven sets composing 37 factors.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... s/#table-1
When this concentration is thus developed, thus well developed by you, then wherever you go, you will go in comfort. Wherever you stand, you will stand in comfort. Wherever you sit, you will sit in comfort. Wherever you lie down, you will lie down in comfort.
User avatar
Kamran
 
Posts: 196
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 3:14 am

Re: Core teachings

Postby nibbuti » Wed Jan 01, 2014 5:47 pm

What are the core teachings in Pali canon, which without will render the canon useless in terms of practice?



Hi bachew

There are many helpful formulas all over the suttas, like Four Noble Truths, Noble Eightfold Path, Dependent Origination, after the Buddha's 45 years of teaching, and it is easy for a beginner to get lost.

But the one teaching which without will render the study or practise unsatisfactory (I think) is summarized by the following simple formula:

"one thing fulfills four, four fulfill seven, seven fulfill two (knowledge and vision)"

From there on, in the heartwood(=core teaching) sutta M 29 the Buddha reminds us:

“So this holy life, bhikkhus, does not have gain, honour, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of virtue for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakeable deliverance of mind that is the goal of this holy life, its heartwood, and its end.”

Regards
nibbuti
 
Posts: 155
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:36 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Core teachings

Postby bachew » Sat Jan 04, 2014 12:34 pm

Thanks guys for pointing out the 37 factors especially Wings to Awakening, very detailed.

Nibbuti, what do you mean by "one thing fulfills four, four fulfill seven, seven fulfill two (knowledge and vision)"?
bachew
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:37 pm

Re: Core teachings

Postby Unrul3r » Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:44 pm

bachew wrote:Thanks guys for pointing out the 37 factors especially Wings to Awakening, very detailed.

Nibbuti, what do you mean by "one thing fulfills four, four fulfill seven, seven fulfill two (knowledge and vision)"?


"Mindfulness of in-&-out breathing, when developed & pursued, is of great fruit, of great benefit. Mindfulness of in-&-out breathing, when developed & pursued, brings the four frames of reference to their culmination. The four frames of reference, when developed & pursued, bring the seven factors for awakening to their culmination. The seven factors for awakening, when developed & pursued, bring clear knowing & release to their culmination."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
User avatar
Unrul3r
 
Posts: 164
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 6:29 pm
Location: Porto, Portugal

Re: Core teachings

Postby bachew » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:58 pm

I see I see, it's also part of 37 factors.

There is one that I find weird is the third factor of four means of accomplishments (or four bases of power):
- Desire (... concentration founded on desire and the fabrications of exertion)
- Energy (... concentration founded on persistence)
- Consciousness (... concentration founded on intent)
- Wisdom (... concentration founded on discrimination and the fabrications of exertion)

Somehow neither consciousness (citta) nor "base of power endowed with concentration founded on intent" is clear for me, it somehow feels almost the same as first factor, could anyone correct me?
bachew
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:37 pm

Re: Core teachings

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:18 pm

bachew wrote:There is one that I find weird is the third factor of four means of accomplishments (or four bases of power):
- Desire (... concentration founded on desire and the fabrications of exertion)
- Energy (... concentration founded on persistence)
- Consciousness (... concentration founded on intent)
- Wisdom (... concentration founded on discrimination and the fabrications of exertion)

Somehow neither consciousness (citta) nor "base of power endowed with concentration founded on intent" is clear for me, it somehow feels almost the same as first factor, could anyone correct me?

See the Simile of the Wealthy Man. The third son, with an obsessive nature, is like someone with the basis of power called “cittiddhipāda.” It's hard to translate. Citta means thought as well as consciousness. A deep thinker pursuing a breakthrough in maths or science has this kind of obsession for gaining knowledge. Someone intent on gaining Enlightenment has it too, but for gaining insight knowledge.
AIM WebsitePāli FontsIn This Very LifeBuddhist ChroniclesSoftware (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)
User avatar
Bhikkhu Pesala
 
Posts: 2097
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:17 pm

Re: Core teachings

Postby bachew » Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:45 pm

Thanks Bhante for the simile, so it's sort of like an investigation mind, perhaps an intense one? I remember from Ajahn Mun's biography that at some stage of his practice, the mind went intense investigation day and night without needing to stop except for sleeping, until the mind drops into samadhi easily when it was forced to stop.
bachew
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:37 pm

Re: Core teachings

Postby Mkoll » Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:50 pm

Thank you for the simile, Bhante.
Peace,
James
User avatar
Mkoll
 
Posts: 4137
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:55 pm
Location: California, USA

Re: Core teachings

Postby Eightfolder » Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:56 am

http://bodhimonastery.org/a-systematic- ... ikaya.html

A link of Bhikkhu Bodhi giving lectures on the Majjhima Nikaya is a great way to learn the Pali Canon.

May all beings be happy!
Eightfolder
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:49 pm

Re: Core teachings

Postby Eightfolder » Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:21 pm

Speaking of the core teachings, how do we reconcile certain teachings that we find impossible to assimilate in the current age with our increase in scientific knowledge? I speak about two of what are suppose to be foundational understands (and I presume acceptance of) in order to attain higher levels of self-knowledge and eventual enlightenment. Anatta, or non-self, is difficult to manage in a highly individualized society but I can see how it might be possible to interpret it from two levels: a practical level and a philosophical level. But I must say the teaching about Kamma and re-birth seems completely unlikely to me. Nyanatiloka Mahathera in a paper described how one dying souls' kamma-energy rises and falls into the uterus of woman who is currently making love and about to conceive. If there is no soul entity (antta doctrine) and no transmigration as in the Hindu religion, how or what are we to make of this wave of rising and falling kamma-energy that goes into the embryo of a new human coming into existence? And does this not completely contradict the very idea of kamma since its suppose to be our own past lives and deeds we are considering? In the case described by Mahathera, some new baby in Omaha will get the kamma of an old dying Indonesian man. Would that baby grow up loving spicy Thai food? Mahathera almost completely negates the personalities, circumstances, and environment of parents in the development of a new child?

Do Western Buddhists or followers of Dhamma believe this stuff?

Thanks!
Eightfolder
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:49 pm

Re: Core teachings

Postby culaavuso » Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:50 pm

Eightfolder wrote:Speaking of the core teachings, how do we reconcile certain teachings that we find impossible to assimilate in the current age with our increase in scientific knowledge? I speak about two of what are suppose to be foundational understands (and I presume acceptance of) in order to attain higher levels of self-knowledge and eventual enlightenment. Anatta, or non-self, is difficult to manage in a highly individualized society but I can see how it might be possible to interpret it from two levels: a practical level and a philosophical level. But I must say the teaching about Kamma and re-birth seems completely unlikely to me. Nyanatiloka Mahathera in a paper described how one dying souls' kamma-energy rises and falls into the uterus of woman who is currently making love and about to conceive. If there is no soul entity (antta doctrine) and no transmigration as in the Hindu religion, how or what are we to make of this wave of rising and falling kamma-energy that goes into the embryo of a new human coming into existence? And does this not completely contradict the very idea of kamma since its suppose to be our own past lives and deeds we are considering? In the case described by Mahathera, some new baby in Omaha will get the kamma of an old dying Indonesian man. Would that baby grow up loving spicy Thai food? Mahathera almost completely negates the personalities, circumstances, and environment of parents in the development of a new child?

Do Western Buddhists or followers of Dhamma believe this stuff?

Thanks!


This thread seems to be more about a high level overview and reference point for studying the teachings further. It sounds like you have questions specifically about the doctrine of rebirth, rather than a conceptual overview of the path. I think a lot of what you're asking about was discussed recently in What am I missing? Rebirth.
culaavuso
 
Posts: 1246
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:27 pm

Re: Core teachings

Postby Eightfolder » Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:32 pm

Well it may be about a "high level overview" but I think my concerns and questions are relevant. But I think I see what you mean. Kamma seems to come later and I have more difficulty with that than Antta.
Anyway, thanks for the link. I'll check out that thread. Also, I'm new here and just learning how to operate on this kind of forum.
Thanks
Eightfolder
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:49 pm

Re: Core teachings

Postby Mkoll » Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:50 am

Eightfolder wrote:Speaking of the core teachings, how do we reconcile certain teachings that we find impossible to assimilate in the current age with our increase in scientific knowledge? I speak about two of what are suppose to be foundational understands (and I presume acceptance of) in order to attain higher levels of self-knowledge and eventual enlightenment. Anatta, or non-self, is difficult to manage in a highly individualized society but I can see how it might be possible to interpret it from two levels: a practical level and a philosophical level. But I must say the teaching about Kamma and re-birth seems completely unlikely to me. Nyanatiloka Mahathera in a paper described how one dying souls' kamma-energy rises and falls into the uterus of woman who is currently making love and about to conceive. If there is no soul entity (antta doctrine) and no transmigration as in the Hindu religion, how or what are we to make of this wave of rising and falling kamma-energy that goes into the embryo of a new human coming into existence? And does this not completely contradict the very idea of kamma since its suppose to be our own past lives and deeds we are considering? In the case described by Mahathera, some new baby in Omaha will get the kamma of an old dying Indonesian man. Would that baby grow up loving spicy Thai food? Mahathera almost completely negates the personalities, circumstances, and environment of parents in the development of a new child?

If I were you, I would take all elaborations on the concept of rebirth with a big grain of salt. Especially given that you have issues with the root premise, namely the concept of rebirth, any of your views on elaborations of that concept are bound to be full of more and more skepticism in proportion to increases in elaboration, IMHO.

Do Western Buddhists or followers of Dhamma believe this stuff?

I don't "believe" in rebirth in the sense of thinking everything else is worthless. The Buddha called this "safeguarding the truth". I think that it's just the most likely explanation and I can give you my reasons for this argument if you'd like.

"But to what extent, Master Gotama, is there the safeguarding of the truth? To what extent does one safeguard the truth? We ask Master Gotama about the safeguarding of the truth."

"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.
MN 95

:anjali:

EDIT

I forgot to add...

What do you think happens when you die?

:anjali:
Peace,
James
User avatar
Mkoll
 
Posts: 4137
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:55 pm
Location: California, USA

Re: Core teachings

Postby Eightfolder » Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:34 pm

James,

Sorry I'm a little late getting back to your response. I just figured out how to locate my old posts. I never know where I leave things in a forum of this kind. I don't think anything happens when we die. We just die. No spirit, no energy, no consciousness, no substance or non-substance rises up and places itself anywhere else. I just fail to see any kind of evidence for this. Of course, since I haven't died yet I can't really say with 100% certainly, right?

Frankly, I have enough trouble trying to figure out how to reduce the amount of "ME" in everything (anatta) considering I have just used the "I" about ten times. How in such a highly individualized culture with values at the core of "ME" do we reduce our "I-ness"? I even know the answer to that question. Sit. Sit. Sit some more.

8F
Eightfolder
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:49 pm

Re: Core teachings

Postby Babadhari » Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:46 pm

dont lose it when you stand up
Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion.
Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28
Babadhari
 
Posts: 459
Joined: Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:23 pm
Location: lalita ghat

Re: Core teachings

Postby Eightfolder » Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:16 pm

hey another Goenka person.....Isn't that 10 day the best thing since sliced whole wheat bread?


8F
Eightfolder
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:49 pm

Next

Return to Classical Theravāda

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 2 guests