What did the Buddha teach the Lay people?

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What did the Buddha teach the Lay people?

Postby Wind » Sun May 16, 2010 12:49 am

I read the Dhamma that the lay people hear is different than the ones given to bhikkhus. What did the Buddha teach to the lay people?
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Re: What did the Buddha teach the Lay people?

Postby bodom » Sun May 16, 2010 12:54 am

See this thread:

Suttas for the Householder
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=259#p2290

: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: What did the Buddha teach the Lay people?

Postby Wind » Sun May 16, 2010 1:12 am

thanks bodom
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Re: What did the Buddha teach the Lay people?

Postby bodom » Sun May 16, 2010 1:56 am

: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: What did the Buddha teach the Lay people?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sun May 16, 2010 2:02 am

Wind wrote:I read the Dhamma that the lay people hear is different than the ones given to bhikkhus. What did the Buddha teach to the lay people?


In general, this is probably true. However, lest we make an overly sharp distinction between "lay" and "monastic" persons and their teachings, it may also be helpful to point out that there would also be a range of different teachings in both types, dependent on the person to whom the Buddha was teaching.

Or, in other words, the Buddha usually gave very specific teachings to people in accord with not only what they needed, but also what they were capable of understanding and putting into practice.

In that time, when teachings are oral matters, and when the Buddha himself - and his great disciples - were capable of comprehending the audience in a manner and through means that many of us probably cannot really fathom, this is incredibly effective. However, in the modern day and age, with not only print but also digital information, all these teachings become open to the same extent - whether or not we are capable of understanding and practicing them or not. This is true with a personal guide or teacher, who may give us personal instruction to the extent appropriate, but for those who do not have such teachers and rely solely on books and the 'net, we must admit that this is a far cry from the original circumstances and conditions under which the Dhamma was taught by the Buddha himself.

:soap:
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Re: What did the Buddha teach the Lay people?

Postby Wind » Sun May 16, 2010 2:11 am

Well said venerable. Sometimes it seems to cause a lot of confusion with the exposure to all the teachings we have available today. I hope one day I can find a teacher who has the ability to understand me well and give me the right instructions that I need to progress.
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Re: What did the Buddha teach the Lay people?

Postby Anicca » Sun May 16, 2010 3:50 am

From another perspective - what did the Buddha *not* teach the lay people?

It is said the Buddha taught with an open hand - hiding nothing - this is true regarding the lay people, right?

Monks displaying their knowledge and abilities was another matter though ... (abhiñña)
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Re: What did the Buddha teach the Lay people?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun May 16, 2010 3:58 am

Hi Anicca,
Anicca wrote:From another perspective - what did the Buddha *not* teach the lay people?

Have you read this sutta?
MN 143 Anathapindikovada Sutta: Instructions to Anathapindika
Ven. Sariputta offers a deep teaching on non-clinging to the ailing lay-follower Anathapindika.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
[Sariputta:]
...
"Then, householder, you should train yourself in this way: 'I won't cling to what is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, attained, sought after, pondered by the intellect; my consciousness will not be dependent on that.' That's how you should train yourself."

When this was said, Anathapindika the householder wept and shed tears. Ven. Ananda said to him, "Are you sinking, householder? Are you foundering?"

"No, venerable sir. I'm not sinking, nor am I foundering. It's just that for a long time I have attended to the Teacher, and to the monks who inspire my heart, but never before have I heard a talk on the Dhamma like this."

[Sariputta:] '"This sort of talk on the Dhamma, householder, is not given to lay people clad in white. This sort of talk on the Dhamma is given to those gone forth."

"In that case, Ven. Sariputta, please let this sort of talk on the Dhamma be given to lay people clad in white. There are clansmen with little dust in their eyes who are wasting away through not hearing [this] Dhamma. There will be those who will understand it."
...

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Re: What did the Buddha teach the Lay people?

Postby retrofuturist » Sun May 16, 2010 3:59 am

Greetings,

Off the topic of my head I don't recall instances of the Buddha teaching deepened states of concentration to householders.

Does anyone know otherwise?

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: What did the Buddha teach the Lay people?

Postby Anicca » Sun May 16, 2010 4:02 am

mikenz66 wrote:Have you read this sutta?

Reaching for a kleenex - yes - thank you

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Re: What did the Buddha teach the Lay people?

Postby Anicca » Sun May 16, 2010 4:13 am

retrofuturist wrote:...I don't recall instances of the Buddha teaching deepened states of concentration to householders.


Not off hand, but it really struck me reading what the forest tradition Ajahns write about the simple minded isolated villagers getting it zipola from a simple buddho intro - makes me wonder how handicapped i am with all my american big city edjuhkayshun.
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Re: What did the Buddha teach the Lay people?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun May 16, 2010 5:24 am

Hi Retro:
retrofuturist wrote:...I don't recall instances of the Buddha teaching deepened states of concentration to householders.

There are a number of cases in the Majjhiima Nikaya For example:
MN 51.4
... Pessa, the elephant driver's son said: "It is wonderful, venerable sir, it is marvellous how well the four foundations of mindfulness have been made known by the Blessed One ... For, venerable sir, we white-clothed lay people also from time to time abide with our minds well established in the four foundations of mindfulness ...

MN 145.7
... Then, during the Rains, the venerable Punna established 500 men lay followers and 500 women lay followers in the practice, ...

Mike

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Re: What did the Buddha teach the Lay people?

Postby retrofuturist » Sun May 16, 2010 5:28 am

Greetings Mike,

Yes, certainly there's teachings of a vipassana, satipatthana, aggregates, sense base etc. type variety given to householders.

It's more those regarding jhana (rupa / arupa) etc. that I was thinking of.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: What did the Buddha teach the Lay people?

Postby Anicca » Sun May 16, 2010 6:15 am

Astus linked to this pdf, Layman Saints, which lists suttas depicting lay people accomplished in jhana but not of what the Buddha taught them specifically...
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Re: What did the Buddha teach the Lay people?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun May 16, 2010 6:24 am

retrofuturist wrote:Yes, certainly there's teachings of a vipassana, satipatthana, aggregates, sense base etc. type variety given to householders.

It's more those regarding jhana (rupa / arupa) etc. that I was thinking of.

Well, yes, but some would argue that many of the instructions in the Satipatthana Sutta imply, or at least approach, jhana. In any case, it's not a beginners achievement to be established in satipatthana.
And the second quote I gave was not specifically on satipatthana.

As I recall, there is a Sutta, which I thought was in the MN, where a lay follower tells someone from another sect (a Niganta etc) that he does not have to take some meditative attainment on faith because he has achieved it. Perhaps someone else can recall it.

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Re: What did the Buddha teach the Lay people?

Postby Phra Chuntawongso » Sun May 16, 2010 7:58 am

The Buddha taught lay people the 4 noble truths.
He gave 5 precepts to live by.
Some teachings of course do differ.
When being mindful,we are mindful of the present moment and are taught not to think of the future,however, one teaching the Buddha gave to a householder was how to deal with money.
How much should be given away,how much to spend on food etc and how much to put away for the future.
So the teachings are slightly different for lay people and monastics.
The spiritual truths are not different.
Life is suffering,the cause...... :buddha2:
And crawling on the planets face,some insects called the human race.
Lost in time
Lost in space
And meaning
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Re: What did the Buddha teach the Lay people?

Postby fig tree » Sun May 16, 2010 8:31 am

mikenz66 wrote:As I recall, there is a Sutta, which I thought was in the MN, where a lay follower tells someone from another sect (a Niganta etc) that he does not have to take some meditative attainment on faith because he has achieved it. Perhaps someone else can recall it.

In the Nigantha Sutta (SN 41.8, S iv 298) Citta the householder bests Nigantha Nataputta himself, who asks Citta about jhana lacking applied and sustained thought (vitakka and vicara), whether he believes the Buddha about it. When Citta says no, Nataputta praises him for his good sense, but then Citta points out that he knows that there is such a jhana because he can generate it himself, and thus doesn't merely believe in it.

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/buddhism/disciples14.htm.

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Re: What did the Buddha teach the Lay people?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun May 16, 2010 8:44 am

Thanks fig tree!

That's the sutta but I misremembered which Nikaya it was in...

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Re: What did the Buddha teach the Lay people?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sun May 16, 2010 11:57 am

chiangmaigreg wrote:The Buddha taught lay people the 4 noble truths.



Although I'd definitely agree that the Buddha taught the ariya-saccani to some lay people, I would question whether or not this was standard, or even common, occurrence.

Often there is a distinction made between the "gradual" discourse on giving, morality and rebirth in higher states; compared to the discourse on the four truths. It appears that for the vast majority of lay people, they probably heard the gradual discourse.

We may also reflect on the basic meaning of "ariya saccani" itself, which is understood as "truths for holy people". When it comes down to it, many people are unwilling to even acknowledge these as "truths" as such. Particularly when they are told that certain elements of their daily lifestyles are basically the cause of their continued rebirth in samsaric existence. A certain amount of denial can quickly creep in. As one develops insight, gradual acceptance of these truths deepens.

So, maybe some lay people heard teachings on the four ariya saccani, but I'd warrant that these were the exceptional cases, not the norm.
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Re: What did the Buddha teach the Lay people?

Postby Lazy_eye » Sun May 16, 2010 6:18 pm

Hi,

Wouldn't understanding of the four noble truths be a prerequisite for stream entry? One would need to know what the Buddha's teachings were in order to confirm their accuracy, right?

Namaste,

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