Life from what period

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

Life from what period

Postby robertk » Mon May 12, 2014 8:44 am

There was a discussion in another thread which suggest that a monk believes that aborting a fetus that is less than 3 or 4 months old is not a problem and he thinks the Texts support this.

This is a view that may be acceptable in the "Modern Theravada" groups but the ancients saw it differently.

Visuddhimgga VIII
30. Herein, firstly the span has no sign because there is no definition such as:
Just so much must be lived, no more than that. For beings [die in the various
stages of the embryo, namely], at the time of the kalala, of the abbuda, of the pesi, of
the ghana, at one month gone, two months gone, three months gone, four months
gone, five months gone … ten months gone, and on the occasion of coming out
of the womb. And after that they die this side or the other of the century.

The kalala is that time shortly after the meeting of the male seed with the female egg when the fetus is just beginning to develop. Once this occurs the matter is ripe for teh arising of a new consciousness.

XVII
1
52. But when that minimal amount arises in the two kinds of generation
termed egg-born and womb-born, it amounts to no more than a drop of cream of
ghee on a single fibre of new-born [kid’s] wool, and it is known as the “embryo
in the first stage” (S I 206).


At this stage the size of the fetus is post microscopic where someone with very keen eyesight under good light might just be able to perceive the rupa.
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1252
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Life from what period

Postby robertk » Mon May 12, 2014 8:50 am

how long is the being in the womb?
XVI
37.When this being is born in the mother’s womb, he is not born inside a blue or
red or white lotus, etc., but on the contrary, like a worm in rotting fish, rotting dough,
cesspools, etc., he is born in the belly in a position that is below the receptacle for
undigested food (stomach), above the receptacle for digested food (rectum), between
the belly-lining and the backbone, which is very cramped, quite dark, pervaded by
very fetid draughts redolent of various smells of ordure, and exception-ally
loathsome.11 And on being reborn there, for ten months he undergoes excessive
suffering, being cooked like a pudding in a bag by the heat produced in the mother’s
womb, and steamed like a dumpling of dough, with no bending, stretching, and so
on.
So this, firstly, is the suffering rooted in the descent into the womb.


XVI
The pain of abortion
39. When the mother has an abortion, the pain that arises in him through the
cutting and rending in the place where the pain arises that is not fit to be seen
even by friends and intimates and companions—this is the suffering rooted in
abortion.
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1252
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Life from what period

Postby James the Giant » Mon May 12, 2014 9:35 am

And now let's see you quote the texts that monk you mentioned used to justify his position. Seems fair to present both sides of what could easily become a harmful or fiery debate, since that monk is not here to rebut the commentaries.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
User avatar
James the Giant
 
Posts: 784
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 6:41 am

Re: Life from what period

Postby waterchan » Mon May 12, 2014 10:26 am

James the Giant wrote:And now let's see you quote the texts that monk you mentioned used to justify his position. Seems fair to present both sides of what could easily become a harmful or fiery debate, since that monk is not here to rebut the commentaries.

:goodpost:

Although if this was said at a public talk, it's unlikely that monk would have given a sutta or vinaya reference.

By the way, I think it was Bill Maher who said that he doesn't believe embryos are alive because they can be stored in freezers.
Last edited by waterchan on Mon May 12, 2014 10:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)
User avatar
waterchan
 
Posts: 456
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 7:17 pm
Location: Sereitei

Re: Life from what period

Postby cooran » Mon May 12, 2014 10:26 am

Ajahn Brahmavamso - In this thread?

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=12323&start=80

With 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 ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7597
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Life from what period

Postby robertk » Mon May 12, 2014 11:02 am

James the Giant wrote:And now let's see you quote the texts that monk you mentioned used to justify his position. Seems fair to present both sides of what could easily become a harmful or fiery debate, since that monk is not here to rebut the commentaries.

I am not aware of any suttas that justify that position, but if you have some please tell us.
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1252
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Life from what period

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Mon May 12, 2014 11:41 am

robertk wrote:
James the Giant wrote:And now let's see you quote the texts that monk you mentioned used to justify his position. Seems fair to present both sides of what could easily become a harmful or fiery debate, since that monk is not here to rebut the commentaries.

I am not aware of any suttas that justify that position, but if you have some please tell us.

It's your thread - that's up to you to back up....
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



Image

Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....
User avatar
TheNoBSBuddhist
 
Posts: 1614
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:06 pm
Location: Loch Lomond, via the High AND Low road....

Re: Life from what period

Postby James the Giant » Mon May 12, 2014 11:47 am

Robert, I'm sure you are aware of this thread, sutta quotes with references to abortion and fetuses and all that stuff. viewtopic.php?f=19&t=17159&p=245253
There are some other relevant references in this paper http://www.stefan.gr/buddhism/books/aja ... -begin.pdf
Do you prefer to rely on commentaries, or suttas?
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
User avatar
James the Giant
 
Posts: 784
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 6:41 am

Re: Life from what period

Postby robertk » Mon May 12, 2014 11:48 am

TheNoBSBuddhist wrote:
robertk wrote:
James the Giant wrote:And now let's see you quote the texts that monk you mentioned used to justify his position. Seems fair to present both sides of what could easily become a harmful or fiery debate, since that monk is not here to rebut the commentaries.

I am not aware of any suttas that justify that position, but if you have some please tell us.

It's your thread - that's up to you to back up....


Ok so far I am not aware of any forum guidelines stating that a thread originator must find any texts that counter his original thesis.

In the case of this topic I do have some background in the Pali texts with several decades of study, and cannot recall any suggesting a 3 month old fetus is not alive.
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1252
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Life from what period

Postby cooran » Mon May 12, 2014 11:52 am

Please remember the Classical Forum rules:

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=373

With 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 ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7597
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Life from what period

Postby robertk » Mon May 12, 2014 11:52 am

James the Giant wrote:Robert, I'm sure you are aware of this thread, sutta quotes with references to abortion and fetuses and all that stuff. http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 9&p=245253
There are some other relevant references in this paper http://www.stefan.gr/buddhism/books/aja ... -begin.pdf
Do you prefer to rely on commentaries, or suttas?

I wasn't aware of that thread , could you quote the sections proving that the Commentaries are in error on this matter. And also the link to the pdf file, how does it prove the Visuddhimagga is wrong?

As to your question, I cannot think of a single case where the Commentary goes against the suttas
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1252
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Life from what period

Postby James the Giant » Mon May 12, 2014 12:18 pm

a monk believes that aborting a fetus that is less than 3 or 4 months old is not a problem and he thinks the Texts support this.

This is a view that may be acceptable in the "Modern Theravada" groups but the ancients saw it differently

I would like to read what this monk actually says. Three or four months specifically? How did he back up his arguments?
Can you give us a link to where he stated this? Preferably not a link to an hour-long dhamma talk.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
User avatar
James the Giant
 
Posts: 784
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 6:41 am

Re: Life from what period

Postby robertk » Mon May 12, 2014 12:26 pm

James the Giant wrote:
a monk believes that aborting a fetus that is less than 3 or 4 months old is not a problem and he thinks the Texts support this.

This is a view that may be acceptable in the "Modern Theravada" groups but the ancients saw it differently

I would like to read what this monk actually says. Three or four months specifically? How did he back up his arguments?
Can you give us a link to where he stated this? Preferably not a link to an hour-long dhamma talk.

As i said i was referring to another thread.

where this was stated:
I was at a talk by Ajahn Brahm in Brisbane a year or so ago. He told the same jokes I'd heard from him before, the same stories I'd read in his books - and then he said abortion was o.k. up to about 16 or more weeks. At that point quite a number of the audience walked out
.
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=12323&start=40
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1252
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Life from what period

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Mon May 12, 2014 12:41 pm

robertk wrote:Ok so far I am not aware of any forum guidelines stating that a thread originator must find any texts that counter his original thesis.

In the case of this topic I do have some background in the Pali texts with several decades of study, and cannot recall any suggesting a 3 month old fetus is not alive.


Posts should also include support from a reference or a citation (Tipitaka, commentarial, or from a later work from an author representative of the Classical point-of-view)



From the forum rules, link in Cooran's post.

:namaste:
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



Image

Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....
User avatar
TheNoBSBuddhist
 
Posts: 1614
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:06 pm
Location: Loch Lomond, via the High AND Low road....

Re: Life from what period

Postby robertk » Mon May 12, 2014 12:45 pm

TheNoBSBuddhist wrote:
robertk wrote:Ok so far I am not aware of any forum guidelines stating that a thread originator must find any texts that counter his original thesis.

In the case of this topic I do have some background in the Pali texts with several decades of study, and cannot recall any suggesting a 3 month old fetus is not alive.


Posts should also include support from a reference or a citation (Tipitaka, commentarial, or from a later work from an author representative of the Classical point-of-view)



From the forum rules, link in Cooran's post.

:namaste:

I see.
So far my first two posts gave direct quotations from the Visuddhimagga. Since then i have been responding to posters who raise other issues.
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1252
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Life from what period

Postby Virgo » Mon May 12, 2014 2:30 pm

I don't believe there is support in the cannon for killing any living thing, nevermind a fetus. I also do not believe there is any indication that a young fetus is not yet a human being. In fact, it would seem, that the kamma involved is just that of a killing a human being. Therefore, the person who does it might re-arise in perdition in hell, etc., and when he or she comes back to the human realm be short- lived, etc.

Of course, if they recognized their error and lived with sila for the rest of their life, they may not have to suffer the effects of that kamma of killing in this life or the next life, or the ones thereafter.... but sooner or later, in the course of time, the result of that kamma will come to ripen and it will be painful. When, by conditions, the time is right, the effect of that killing will arise and be experienced.

Kamma is unerring.

Kein
Last edited by Virgo on Mon May 12, 2014 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Virgo
 
Posts: 1209
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:52 pm

Re: Life from what period

Postby tiltbillings » Mon May 12, 2014 2:36 pm

Virgo wrote:I don't believe there is support in the cannon for killing any living thing, nevermind a fetus. I also do not believe there is any indication that a young fetus is not yet a human being. In fact, it would seem, that the kamma involved is just that of a killing a human being. Therefore, the person who does it might re-arise in perdition in hell, etc., and when he or she comes back to the human realm be short- lived, etc.

Kamma is unerring.

Kein
The cannon?
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19553
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Life from what period

Postby Virgo » Mon May 12, 2014 2:39 pm

tiltbillings wrote:The cannon?

Canon*

Kevin
Virgo
 
Posts: 1209
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:52 pm

Re: Life from what period

Postby robertk » Mon May 12, 2014 2:51 pm

Dear kevin
It would be great if you could dig out some references on this issue.
Robert
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1252
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Life from what period

Postby ArkA » Mon May 12, 2014 3:48 pm

robertk, in order to prove your viewpoint, the reference from Vinaya Piṭaka is posted below. Anyone can clearly see in those incidents, starting from the highlighted one, Buddha never asked the question "how long has that lady been pregnant?" Note that a question like a 3-month fetus or not never arised!

Image from The Book of the Descipline, Volume I, page 144 (Vinaya Piṭaka, Pārājika Pāḷi, Pārājika 3)

Original rule:
3.Should any bhikkhu intentionally deprive a human being of life, or search for an assassin for him, or praise the advantages of death, or incite him to die (saying): “My good man, what use is this evil, miserable life to you? Death would be better for you than life,” or with such an idea in mind, such a purpose in mind, should in various ways praise the advantages of death or incite him to die, he also is defeated (parajika) and no longer in affiliation.

- page 74 of BMC I (Vinaya, Parajika 3)
Attachments
144.png
144.png (84.06 KiB) Viewed 341 times
Last edited by ArkA on Mon May 12, 2014 4:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
I'll restart my yearlong meditation retreat on 15th June 2014, hence will not be here.

"Bhikkhus, there are these three things that shine when exposed, not when concealed. What three? (1) The moon. (2) The sun. (3) The Dhamma and discipline proclaimed by the Tathagata."
- Anguttara Nikaya, 3.131, Paticchanna Sutta

"Silence is the language of God; all else is poor translation."
– Rumi

Introduction: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=20572
User avatar
ArkA
 
Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 2:33 pm
Location: Here and now

Next

Return to Classical Theravāda

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest