Stream-Winner Death

Where members are free to take ideas from the Theravāda Canon out of the Theravāda framework. Here you can question rebirth, kamma (and other contentious issues) as well as examine Theravāda's connection to other paths
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clw_uk
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Stream-Winner Death

Postby clw_uk » Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:00 pm

I have recently discovered the works of Ñāṇavīra Thera who was a self proclaimed stream-winner. In reading his works i discovered that Ñāṇavīra Thera commited suicide due to an illness that he was suffering with for some years.

My understanding is that suicide is a breaking of the first precept not to kill, and his unwholesome kamma.

If one is a Stream-Winner then the lower realms are cut off from him/her, if one is a stream-winner and they kill themselves, how do they experience the unwholesome kamma? Or is suicide not a unwholesome act in certain circumstances i.e. if one is a stream-winner?

I am in now way trying to judge Ñāṇavīra Thera as I am developing an appreciation of him and his writtings, its just the suicide of self proclamied stream-winner confuses me somewhat.


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Paul Davy
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Re: Stream-Winner Death

Postby Paul Davy » Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:06 pm

Greetings Craig,

The suttas contain account of arahants who have committed suicide, so by inference, it's possible that suicide could be done without a defiled mind. You mention kamma in your post. If suicide, a volitional action, is done without a defiled mind (in other words, the action was done from a mindstate rooted in generosity, lovingkindess and/or wisdom) then it needn't be considered "bad kamma". However, such circumstances would of course be rare, hence why the first precept is 99.999% of the time the best course of action.

Metta,
Retro. :)
“I hope, Anuruddha, that you are all living in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, blending like milk and water, viewing each other with kindly eyes.” (MN 31)

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clw_uk
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Re: Stream-Winner Death

Postby clw_uk » Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:49 pm

Thanks you retrofuturist

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Pure awareness is pure knowledge


Element

Re: Stream-Winner Death

Postby Element » Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:41 pm

From what I browsed, I agree with Mahavira regarding some aspects of dependent origination, in correctly defining the meaning of sankhara and quoting the relevant texts.

Mahavira sounded brainy, appears to have had insight but killing oneself at 45 years of age is disconcerting.

He could have returned to the West for medical treatment but instead possibly due to aversion to Western society took his life.

E

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David N. Snyder
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Re: Stream-Winner Death

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:44 pm

retrofuturist wrote:The suttas contain account of arahants who have committed suicide, so by inference, it's possible that suicide could be done without a defiled mind. You mention kamma in your post. If suicide, a volitional action, is done without a defiled mind (in other words, the action was done from a mindstate rooted in generosity, lovingkindess and/or wisdom) then it needn't be considered "bad kamma". However, such circumstances would of course be rare, hence why the first precept is 99.999% of the time the best course of action.

From what I recall from the Suttas (or it may have been the notes or the Commentaries) the Arahants who killed themselves ("took the knife") did so with a defiled mind, but then as they were bleeding, realized the error, meditated and attained enlightenment while they were bleeding to death, not before.


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