The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Postby Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:54 am

mikenz66 wrote:I now think you are misreading Ajahn Buddhadasa:

I do not misread Buddhadasa nor the suttas. I have listened to Buddhadasa speak in person over 50 times.

I trust you have misread the text.

The human state is the realm of work, the realm of effort, the realm of renunciation.
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Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:01 am

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Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:09 am

Ajahn Buddhadasa's book is quite interesting. Luckily the Western writings have improved since the 1970s. Perhaps Element, or someone else, would like to comment...

Page 2
“What subject did the Buddha teach?
THE BEST WAY of answering this is to quote the Buddha himself, “Know this, O Monks: Now, as formerly, I teach of only dukkha (suffering, unsatisfactoriness) and the elimination of dukkha.”
Whether or not this answer agrees with what you had thought, please take good note of it. There are many other ways we may answer, but this one saying of the Buddha sums up his teaching very succinctly.
The Buddha taught only dukkha and the quenching of it. This renders irrelevant any questions without a direct bearing on the elimination of dukkha. Don’t consider such questions as “Is there rebirth after death?” or “How does rebirth take place?” These can be considered later.
So, if a Westerner asks us this question, we shall answer it by saying, “The Buddha taught nothing other than dukkha and the elimination of it.”

As I read it (and other books of his that I've read) he doesn't deny rebirth, just that the books he's seen get it wrong, and that he sees no point in worrying about it. Which is probably good advice.
Page 25.
So we find there is a third kind of kamma. Most people know of only the first and second kinds of kamma, good and evil kamma. They don’t know yet what the third kind of kamma is. The Buddha called the first kind of kamma black or evil kamma, and the second kind white or good kamma. The kind of kamma that can be called neither-black-nor-white is that which puts an end to both black kamma and white kamma. This third kind of kamma is a
tool for putting a complete stop to both black and white kamma. The Buddha used these terms “black kamma”, “white kamma”, and “kamma neither-black-nor-white”. This third type of kamma is kamma in the Buddhist sense, kamma according to Buddhist principles. As has been said, to put an end to lust, hatred, and delusion is to put an end to kamma. Thus, the third kind of kamma is the ending of lust, hatred, and delusion; in other words, it is the Noble Eightfold Path. Whenever we behave and practise in accordance with the Noble Eightfold Path, that is the third type of kamma. It is neither black nor white; rather it brings to an end black kamma and white kamma. It is world-transcending (lokuttara), above good and above evil.
This third type of kamma is never discussed by Westerners in their chapters on “Kamma and Rebirth”. They get it all wrong; what they expound is not Buddhism at all. To be Buddhist, they should deal with the third type of kamma, the kamma that is capable of bringing to an end lust, hatred, and delusion. Then the whole lot of old kamma — black kamma and white kamma — ends as well.

That's well covered in what I've read...

Metta
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Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:16 am

Greetings,

The following is the section of the text that Element asked us to look at earlier... apologies for the formatting. Try here http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... udents.pdf if you want to read it in PDF format.

This is the teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa.

47) Now, let us see,
47) “What is the meaning of the Four Woeful States?”
THE FIRST OF the Four Woeful States is hell. Hell is anxiety (in Thai, literally “a hot heart”). Whenever one experiences anxiety,
burning, and scorching, one is simultaneously reborn as a creature
of hell. It is a spontaneous rebirth, a mental rebirth. Although the body physically inhabits the human realm, as soon as anxiety arises the mind falls into hell. Anxiety about possible loss of prestige
and fame, anxiety of any sort — that is hell.
Now rebirth in the realm of beasts is stupidity. Whenever one is inexcusably stupid about something: stupid in not knowing that Dhamma and nibbāna are desirable, stupid in not daring to come into contact with or get close to Buddhism, stupid in believing that if one became interested in Dhamma or Buddhism it would make one old-fashioned and odd. That is how children see it, and their parents too. They try to pull back and move far away from Dhamma and religion. This is stupidity. Regardless of what sort of stupidity it is, it amounts to rebirth as an animal. As soon as stupidity
arises and overwhelms one, one becomes an animal. One is a beast by spontaneous rebirth, by mental rebirth. This is the second
Woeful State.
The third Woeful State is the condition of a peta, a ghost that is chronically hungry because his desires continually outrun the supply of goods. It is a chronic mental hunger which a person suffers
from, not hunger for bodily food. For instance, one wants to get a thousand baht. Then having just got the thousand baht, one suddenly wants to get ten thousand baht. Having just got the ten thousand baht, one suddenly wants to get a hundred thousand baht. No sooner has one got the hundred thousand baht, it’s a million baht that one wants, or a hundred million. It is a case of chasing
and never catching. One has all the symptoms of chronic hunger.
One further resembles a hungry ghost in having a stomach as big as a mountain and a mouth as small as a needle’s eye. The intake is never sufficient for the hunger, so one is all the time a peta. The peta’s direct opposite is the person who, on getting ten satang *, is content with getting just the ten satang, or on getting twenty satang is content with twenty. But don’t get the idea that being easily
satisfied like this means one falls into decline and stops looking
for things. Intelligence tells one what has to be done, and one goes about doing it the right way. In this way, one is filled to satisfaction
every time one goes after something. One enjoys the seeking
and then is satisfied. This is how to live without being a peta, that is, without being chronically hungry. Going after something with craving constitutes being a peta. Going after something intelligently
is not craving: then one is not a peta; one is simply doing what has to be done.
Thus, a wish such as the wish to extinguish suffering is not craving.
Don’t go telling people the wrong thing, spreading the word that mere wishing is craving or greed. To be craving or greed it must be a wish stemming from stupidity. The wish to attain nibbāna is a craving, if pursued with foolishness, infatuation, and pride. Going for lessons in insight meditation without knowing what it is all about is craving and greed; it is ignorance that leads to suffering
because it is full of grasping and clinging. However, if a person
wishes to attain nibbāna, after clearly and intelligently perceiving
suffering and the means whereby it can be extinguished, and in this frame of mind steadily and earnestly learns about insight meditation in the right way, then such a wish to attain nibbāna is not craving, and it is not suffering. So wishing is not necessarily always craving. It all depends on where it has its origin. If it stems from ignorance or the defilements, the symptoms will be similar to those of chronic hunger — that chasing without ever catching. We speak of this chronically hungry condition as spontaneous rebirth as a hungry ghost (peta).
The last Woeful State is the realm of the asuras (cowardly demons). First to explain the word asura: sura means “brave”, a means “not”, thus asura means “not brave” or “cowardly”. Take it that whenever one is cowardly without reason, one has been spontaneously
reborn an asura. Being afraid of harmless little lizards, millipedes, or earthworms is unjustified fear and a form of suffering.
To be afraid unnecessarily, or to be afraid of something as a result of pondering too much on it, is to be reborn as an asura. We all fear death, but our fear is made a hundred or a thousand times greater by our own exaggeration of the danger. Fear torments a person all the time. He is afraid of falling into hell and in so doing becomes an asura. Thus he is actually falling into the Four Woeful
States every day, day after day, month after month, year in and year out. If we act rightly and don’t fall into these Woeful States now, we can be sure that after dying we shall not fall into the Woeful
States depicted on temple walls.
This interpretation of the Woeful States agrees in meaning and purpose with what the Buddha taught. These sorts of false belief regarding the Four Woeful States should be recognized as superstition.
The most pitiable thing about Buddhists is the inaccurate way we interpret the teaching of the Buddha and the stupid way we put it into practice. There’s no need to go looking for superstition
in other places. In the texts there are references to people imimeditation in the right way, then such a wish to attain nibbāna is not craving, and it is not suffering. So wishing is not necessarily always craving. It all depends on where it has its origin. If it stems from ignorance or the defilements, the symptoms will be similar to those of chronic hunger — that chasing without ever catching. We speak of this chronically hungry condition as spontaneous rebirth as a hungry ghost (peta).
The last Woeful State is the realm of the asuras (cowardly demons). First to explain the word asura: sura means “brave”, a means “not”, thus asura means “not brave” or “cowardly”. Take it that whenever one is cowardly without reason, one has been spontaneously
reborn an asura. Being afraid of harmless little lizards, millipedes, or earthworms is unjustified fear and a form of suffering.
To be afraid unnecessarily, or to be afraid of something as a result of pondering too much on it, is to be reborn as an asura. We all fear death, but our fear is made a hundred or a thousand times greater by our own exaggeration of the danger. Fear torments a person all the time. He is afraid of falling into hell and in so doing becomes an asura. Thus he is actually falling into the Four Woeful
States every day, day after day, month after month, year in and year out. If we act rightly and don’t fall into these Woeful States now, we can be sure that after dying we shall not fall into the Woeful
States depicted on temple walls.
This interpretation of the Woeful States agrees in meaning and purpose with what the Buddha taught. These sorts of false belief regarding the Four Woeful States should be recognized as superstition.
The most pitiable thing about Buddhists is the inaccurate way we interpret the teaching of the Buddha and the stupid way we put it into practice. There’s no need to go looking for superstition
in other places. In the texts there are references to people imitating the behaviour of cows and dogs; these were practices current
in India at the time of the Buddha. There is no more of that these days, but behaviour does exist now which is just as foolish and much more undersirable. So give up all this superstition and enter the Stream of Nibbāna. To give up belief in a permanent ego-entity, to give up doubt, and to give up superstition is to enter the Stream of Nibbāna and have the Dhamma-eye — the eye that sees Dhamma and is free of delusion and ignorance.
Bear in mind that in us worldlings there is always a certain measure of ignorance and delusion in the form of ego-belief, doubt, and superstition. We must move up a step and break free of these three kinds of stupidity in order to enter the Stream of Nibbāna. From that point on there is a flowing downhill, a convenient sloping down towards nibbāna, like a large stone rolling down a mountain-side. If you are to become acquainted with nibbāna and the Stream of Nibbāna, if you are to practise towards attaining nibbāna, then you must understand that these three kinds of delusion and stupidity
must be given up before one can give up sensual desire and ill-will, which are fetters of a higher and more subtle order. Simply giving up these three forms of ignorance constitutes entering the Stream of Nibbāna. To completely give up self-centredness, hesitancy
in pinpointing one’s life objective, and ingrained superstitious behaviour is to enter the Stream of Nibbāna. You can see that this kind of giving up is universally valuable and applicable to every person
in the world. These three forms of ignorance are undersirable, Just as soon as a person has succeeded in giving them up he becomes an ariyan, a Noble One. Prior to this he is a fool, a deluded person, a lowly worldling, not at all an ariyan. When one has improved and progressed to the highest level of worldling, one must advance still further, until one reaches the stage where there is nowhere to go except enter the Stream of Nibbāna by becoming a sotapanna. Then one continues to progress and flow on to nibbāna itself.
The practice that leads away from grasping, self-centredness, and delusion is to observe all things as unworthy of being grasped at or clung to. This results in the eradication of hesitancy, blind grasping,
and self-centredness. So we ought to start taking an interest in non-attachment right this very minute, each of us at the level most appropriate for us. If you fail in an examination there is no need to weep. Determine to start again and do your best. If you pass an examination you should not become carried away; you should realize that this is the normal way of things. This will then mean that there has arisen some understanding of non-grasping and non-clinging.
When you are sitting for an examination, you should forget about yourself. Take good note of this! When starting to write an examination answer, you should forget about being yourself. Forget
about the “me” who is being examined and who will pass or fail. You may think beforehand of how to go about passing the examination
and plan accordingly, but as soon as you start to write, you must forget all that. Leave only concentration, which will pierce through the questions and seek out the answers. A mind free of any “me” or “mine” who will pass or fail immediately comes up agile and clean. It remembers immediately and thinks keenly. So sitting for an examination with proper concentration will produce good results. This is how to apply cit waang (a mind free of the self-illusion), or Buddhist non-grasping and non-clinging, when sitting for examinations. In this way you will get good results.
Those who don’t know how to make use of this technique always feel anxious about failing. They become so nervous that they are unable to call to mind what they have learned. They can not write accurate and orderly answers. Consequently they fail thoroughly.
Others become carried away by the idea that “I am brilliant,
I am certain to pass.” A student carried away by this sort of grasping and clinging is also bound to do poorly, because he lacks cit waang. On the other hand, for the “person” with cit waang there is no “me” or “mine” involved, so he cannot become panicky or over-confident. There remains only concentration, which is a natural
power. Entirely forgetting about self, he can pass well. This is an elementary, most basic example of the effect of non-attachment and of cit waang.
Now a stupid and deluded person, as soon as he hears the word suññata mentioned in temple lecture halls, translates it as “utter emptiness or nothingness”. That is the materialistic interpretation and is how certain groups of people understand it. The suññata of the Buddha means absence of anything that we should grasp at and cling to as being an abiding entity or self, although physically everything is there in its entirety. If we cling, there is dukkha; if we do not cling, there is freedom from dukkha. The world is described as empty because there is nothing whatsoever that we might have a right to grasp at. We must cope with this empty world with a mind that does not cling. If we want something, we must go after it with a mind free from grasping, so that we get the desired object without it becoming a source of suffering.
Misunderstanding the word “empty”, just this one single word, is a great superstition (sīlappata-parāmāsa) and constitutes a major obstacle to people attaining the Stream of Nibbāna. So let us understand
the word “empty”, and all other words used by the Buddha, properly and completely. He described the world as empty because there is nothing in it which can be taken as a self or ego. He answered King Mogha’s question by saying, “Always regard the 72
world as something empty. Always look on this world with all that it contains as something empty.” Viewing it as empty, the mind automatically becomes free of grasping and clinging. There can not arise lust, hatred, and delusion. To succeed in doing this is to be an arahant. If one has not succeeded in doing it, one has to keep on trying; though still an ordinary worldling, one will have less suffering.
No suffering arises as long as there is cit waang. Whenever one becomes carried away and lapses, there is suffering again. If we keep good watch, producing emptiness (of self-idea) more and more often and lastingly, we come to penetrate to the core of Buddhism, and come to know the Stream of Nibbāna.


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: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Feb 11, 2009 6:37 am

Dona Sutta

On one occasion the Blessed One was traveling along the road between Ukkattha and Setabya, and Dona the brahman was also traveling along the road between Ukkattha and Setabya. Dona the brahman saw, in the Blessed One's footprints, wheels with 1,000 spokes, together with rims and hubs, complete in all their features. On seeing them, the thought occurred to him, "How amazing! How astounding! These are not the footprints of a human being!"
Then the Blessed One, leaving the road, went to sit at the root of a certain tree — his legs crossed, his body erect, with mindfulness established to the fore. Then Dona, following the Blessed One's footprints, saw him sitting at the root of the tree: confident, inspiring confidence, his senses calmed, his mind calmed, having attained the utmost control & tranquility, tamed, guarded, his senses restrained, a naga. On seeing him, he went to him and said, "Master, are you a deva?"

"No, brahman, I am not a deva."

"Are you a gandhabba?"

"No..."

"... a yakkha?"

"No..."

"... a human being?"

"No, brahman, I am not a human being."

"When asked, 'Are you a deva?' you answer, 'No, brahman, I am not a deva.' When asked, 'Are you a gandhabba?' you answer, 'No, brahman, I am not a gandhabba.' When asked, 'Are you a yakkha?' you answer, 'No, brahman, I am not a yakkha.' When asked, 'Are you a human being?' you answer, 'No, brahman, I am not a human being.' Then what sort of being are you?"

"Brahman, the fermentations by which — if they were not abandoned — I would be a deva: Those are abandoned by me, their root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. The fermentations by which — if they were not abandoned — I would be a gandhabba... a yakkha... a human being: Those are abandoned by me, their root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising.

"Just like a red, blue, or white lotus — born in the water, grown in the water, rising up above the water — stands unsmeared by the water, in the same way I — born in the world, grown in the world, having overcome the world — live unsmeared by the world. Remember me, brahman, as 'awakened.'

"The fermentations by which I would go
to a deva-state, or become a gandhabba in the sky,
or go to a yakkha-state & human-state:
Those have been destroyed by me,
ruined, their stems removed.
Like a blue lotus, rising up,
unsmeared by water,
unsmeared am I by the world,
and so, brahman,
I'm awake."


There is nothing in this text that would support a claim that a deva is a human being, or that the Buddha was talking about these things in a figurative way. That Buddhadasa may have given an idiosyncratic reading to the idea of being a deva – that is, that being a deva is a figurative sort of way of talking about things – is fine; that it is his way of talking about things, but that is far cry from baldly, without qualification, stating that a deva is a human being. The texts clearly do not support that. What is reasonable is to state that Buddhadasa interprets these things in a figurative manner.
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: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Postby victor79 » Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:27 am

Hi all,

I have been reading Buddhadasa's Buddha-Dhamma for uni students. There is a section which has me stumped on page 20 (Q12). I will quote part of:
"But laughing is regarded by the ariyan, and in their discipline, as the behaviour of immature children. So if we could laugh less, it would be a good thing, and not to laugh at all would be even better."

I would be grateful if somebody could clarify the above sentence in light of the following facts: laughter is a physiological response to amusement, and serves as a form of basic human communication. There are mental health benefits associated with laughter.

In addition, we have: "According to the traditions of ordinary people, singing, dancing, and laughing are of no consequence and are normal events, while in the ariyan discipline they are looked upon as pathetic and evaluated accordingly."

I would have thought that to indulge in such actitives excessively and mindlessly would be foolish. But to do so occasionally with proper understanding is fine. e.g. singing, dancing, and laughing can can beneficial and appropriate in some instances as part of human behaviour.

My current interpretation of that section is that Buddhadasa advocating that a true Buddhist is an emotionally numb zombie. It is at one extreme and therefore not the middle-path.

Any thoughts?

Kind regards,

Victor
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Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:36 am

monks arent even allowed to sing or dance.

buddhadasa is fully in line with the pali canon here, there are others here that can point you to the exact suttas and places in the vinaya that show this. i cant recall them off the top of my head
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Postby Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:36 am

mikenz66 wrote:As I read it (and other books of his that I've read) he doesn't deny rebirth, just that the books he's seen get it wrong, and that he sees no point in worrying about it. Which is probably good advice.

Mike

You have misrepresented Bhikkhu Buddhadasa. Buddhadasa has merely said not to concern yourself with rebirth. As for Buddhadasa's views on rebirth, below are merely two:
Now we come to the third question which they will ask: When there is no attā, then what is reborn? What or who is reborn? Forgive us for being forced to use crude language, but this question is absurd and crazy. In Buddhism, there is no point in asking such a thing. There is no place for it in Buddhism. If you ask what will be reborn next, that's the craziest, most insane question. If right here, right now, there is no soul, person, self, or attā, how could there be some "who" or "someone" that goes and gets reborn? So there is no way one can ask "who will be reborn?"Therefore, the rebirth of the same person does not occur. But the birth of different things is happening all the time. It happens often and continuously, but there is no rebirth. There is no such thing, in reality, as rebirth or reincarnation.

Anatta & Rebirth


Therefore, there being no one born here, there is no one who dies and is reborn. So, the whole Question of rebirth is utterly foolish and nothing to do with Buddhism at all.

Heartwood


Also, the following talk is very clear on the matter of rebirth: 4. Noble Truth of Dukkha's Origin (part 1 | part 2). I highly recommend this talk. All I can say is I heard it live in 1989 thus I can assure you it is not doctored.
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Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Postby Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:43 am

tiltbillings wrote:What is reasonable is to state that Buddhadasa interprets these things in a figurative manner.

This is a modern Theravada thread thus from a Modern Theravada perspective, contrary to a Classic Theravada view, this so called 'figurative manner' is more beneficial than believing in aliens and things one cannot see. :alien:

Buddha said his dhamma was 'sanditiko' - visible to the wise. This is we wish to believe in things the common Hindus believed in, we can. :smile:

Lord Buddha was not a dogmatist.
Last edited by Element on Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Postby Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:45 am

mikenz66 wrote:In which link did Ajahn Buddhadasa state that Devas were human beings? Is it in the book Retro is asking about?

Buddhadasa has said the Four Woeful States are psychological. As such, the higher realms to him are psychological also.
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Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Postby Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:49 am

mikenz66 wrote:In which link did Ajahn Buddhadasa state that Devas were human beings? Is it in the book Retro is asking about?


Buddhadasa was not overly interested in mundane matters. However, there are some pointers.

HEAVEN

"Heaven" in everyday language means some wonderful, highly attractive, celestial realm up above. Spend a certain amount of money in merit making and you're entitled to one mansion in heaven, where there are angels by the hundreds. In Dhamma language, however, "heaven" refers first of all to infatuating sensual bliss of the highest order. This is the lower heaven, the heaven of sensuality. Higher up is the heaven called the Brahmaloka, where there are no objects of sensuality. It is a state of mental well-being that results from the absence of any disturbing sensual object. It is as if a certain person with a hunger for sense objects had indulged himself until becoming thoroughly fed up with all sense objects. Then he would want only to remain quite empty, still, untouched. This is the state of freedom from sensuality, the condition of the Brahma gods in the Brahmaloka. The ordinary heavens are full up with sensuality, the highest of them, the Paranimmitavasavatti heaven, being completely full of sensuality. The heavens of the Brahmaloka, however, are devoid of disturbance from sensuality, though the "self", the "I" still persists.

Two Kinds of Language
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Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Postby Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:58 am

Mike

Let us compare the above quote with some suttas:
Husband & wife, both of them
having conviction,
being responsive,
being restrained,
living by the Dhamma,
addressing each other
with loving words:
they benefit in manifold ways.
To them comes bliss.
Their enemies are dejected
when both are in tune in virtue.
Having followed the Dhamma here in this world,
both in tune in precepts & practices,
they delight in the world of the devas, Image
enjoying the pleasures they desire.


Samajivina Sutta
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Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:09 am

Element wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:What is reasonable is to state that Buddhadasa interprets these things in a figurative manner.

This is a modern Theravada thread thus from a Modern Theravada perspective, contrary to a Classic Theravada view, this so called 'figurative manner' is more beneficial than believing in aliens and things one cannot see.

Buddha said his dhamma was 'sanditiko' - visible to the wise. This is we wish to believe in things the common Hindus believed in, we can.


We cannot see feelings. We cannot see taste. We cannot see kamma. And whether or not devas exist is beside the point. That the Buddha’s Slave, for whatever reason, opts to give a figurative interpretation to the notion of devas, is his choice, but in the Buddha’s teachings - in the suttas -, devas are not human beings, though a human being may act in a deva-ish way or may know, through jhana,the deva realms.

Lord Buddha was not a dogmatist.


Non-Sequitur.
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: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Postby Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:19 am

tiltbillings wrote:There is nothing in this text that would support a claim that a deva is a human being, or that the Buddha was talking about these things in a figurative way. That Buddhadasa may have given an idiosyncratic reading to the idea of being a deva – that is, that being a deva is a figurative sort of way of talking about things – is fine; that it is his way of talking about things, but that is far cry from baldly, without qualification, stating that a deva is a human being. The texts clearly do not support that. What is reasonable is to state that Buddhadasa interprets these things in a figurative manner.

Dear Tilt,

Is the text below idiosyncratic and figurative?

10. Uposathasuttaü Ý On the full moon day

‘‘Santi , bhikkhave, bhikkhū imasmiṃ bhikkhusaṅghe devappattā viharanti; santi, bhikkhave, bhikkhū imasmiṃ bhikkhusaṅghe brahmappattā viharanti; santi, bhikkhave, bhikkhū imasmiṃ bhikkhusaṅghe āneñjappattā viharanti; santi, bhikkhave, bhikkhū imasmiṃ bhikkhusaṅghe ariyappattā viharanti.

Bhikkhus, in this Community there are bhikkhus who dwell having attained the status of a deva; bhikkhus who dwell having attained the status of a Brahma; bhikkhus who dwell having attained the imperturbable; bhikkhus who dwell having attained the status of noble ones. [Bhikkhu Bodhi]

Bhikkhus, how has a monk having attained the status of a deva?

Here, bhikkhus, the bhikkhu secluded from sensual desires ... re ... abides in the first higher state of mind ... re ... in the second higher state of mind ... re ... in the third higher state of mind, ... re ... in the fourth higher state of mind. Bhikkhus, thus the bhikkhu abides in heavenly bliss.

Bhikkhus, how does the bhikkhu partake the bliss of the brahma world?

Here, bhikkhus, the bhikkhu pervades one direction with loving kindness ... re ... with compassion, ... re ... with intrinsic joy, ... re ... with equanimity, also the second, the third, the fourth, above, below and across in every respect, under all circumstances, entirely, he pervades with equanimity grown great and immeasurable. Thus the bhikkhu partakes the bliss of the brahma world.

Bhikkhus, how does the bhikkhu partake the bliss of imperturbability?

Here, bhikkhus, the bhikkhu overcoming all perceptions of matter, aversion and varied perceptions, with space is boundless abides in the sphere of space. Overcoming the sphere of space and with consciousness is boundless abides in the sphere of consciousness. Overcoming all the sphere of consciousness, with there is nothing abides in the sphere of no-thingness. Overcoming the sphere of no-thingness abides in the sphere of neither perception nor non-perception. Bhikkhus, thus the bhikkhu abides in imperturbability.

Bhikkhus, how does the bhikkhu abide in nobility?

Here, bhikkhus, the bhikkhu knows as it really is, this is unpleasant ... re ... knows as it really is, this is the path leading to the cessation of unpleasantness. Thus the bhikkhu abides in nobility.

AN IV, 190
Element
 

Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Postby Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:20 am

tiltbillings wrote:Non-Sequitur.

Is English the language of this forum?
Element
 

Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Postby Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:22 am

tiltbillings wrote:We cannot see feelings. We cannot see taste. We cannot see kamma.

We cannot contemplate feelings? We cannot experience taste? We can comprehend the workings of kamma & fruit within?

In Pali, there is the word 'anupassana', translated as 'contemplate'. 'Passa' means 'to see'.

What is kayanupassana, vedanupassana, cittanupassana and dhammanupassana then?
Last edited by Element on Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
Element
 

Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:23 am

Non-sequitur is a very commonly used Latin expression in English, enough so that there is a comic strip that is so named.
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: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:33 am

Element wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:We cannot see feelings. We cannot see taste. We cannot see kamma.

We cannot contemplate feelings? We cannot experience taste? We can comprehend the workings of kamma & fruit within?

In Pali, there is the word 'anupassana', translated as 'contemplate'. 'Passa' means 'to see'.

What is kayanupassana, vedanupassana, cittanupassana and dhammanupassana then?


You gave us this criteria: This is a modern Theravada thread thus from a Modern Theravada perspective, contrary to a Classic Theravada view, this so called 'figurative manner' is more beneficial than believing in aliens and things one cannot see.

Cannot see; your words. Are you sure we cannot see devas? You tried and they just weren't there to be seen?
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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Posts: 19758
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Postby Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:37 am

tiltbillings wrote:...in the Buddha’s teachings - in the suttas -, devas are not human beings, though a human being may act in a deva-ish way or may know, through jhana,the deva realms.

All realms are the mental dwelling places of physical human beings.

However, Buddhadasa has taught a human being is a human being with hiri-ottapa, namely, conscience and concern.

In Dhamma language, the word "birth" refers to the birth of the idea "I" or "ego" that arises in the mind throughout each day. In this sense, the ordinary person is born very often, time and time again; a more developed person is born less frequently; a person well advanced in practice (ariyan, noble one) is born less frequently still, and ultimately ceases being born altogether. Each arising in the mind of the idea of "I" in one form or another is called a "birth." Thus, birth can take place many times over in a single day. As soon as one starts thinking like an animal, one is born as an animal in that same moment. To think like a human being is to be born a human being. To think like a celestial being is to be born a celestial being. Life, the individual, pleasure and pain, and the rest-all these were identified by the Buddha as simply momentary states of consciousness. So the word "birth" means in Dhamma language the arising of the idea of "I" or "me", and not, as in everyday language, physical birth from the mother's womb.

But in Dhamma language, the word "person" refers to certain special qualities implied in the word "human" - which means "possessing a lofty mind" or "high minded" - certain high mental qualities


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Element
 

Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Postby Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:41 am

tiltbillings wrote:Are you sure we cannot see devas? You tried and they just weren't there to be seen?

Have you seen some? Please describe?
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