Do Dhammapada verses 15, 16, imply an intermediate state?

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davidbrainerd
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Do Dhammapada verses 15, 16, imply an intermediate state?

Post by davidbrainerd »

Dhammapada verse 15-16 quoting from Thanissaro's translation:
15. The evil-doer grieves here and hereafter; he grieves in both the worlds. He laments and is afflicted, recollecting his own impure deeds.

16. The doer of good rejoices here and hereafter; he rejoices in both the worlds. He rejoices and exults, recollecting his own pure deeds.
If he said "both worlds" with respect only to the evil doer, I would think it meant this world and hell.

If he said "both worlds" with respect only to the good doer, I would think it meant this world and heaven.

But since he says "both worlds" with respect to both, it would seem its a world they both pass through, i.e. an intermediate realm between death and rebirth.

Does anyone think the grieving here over evil deeds takes place in an intermediate realm? or the rejoicing takes place in an intermediate realm? Like in between death and rebirth, people are going "whoohoo, I did good and I'm going to a better rebirth" or "oh crap, I'm totally going to hell now."

Verse 17 and 18 are also of interest here:
17. The evil-doer suffers here and hereafter; he suffers in both the worlds. The thought, "Evil have I done," torments him, and he suffers even more when gone to realms of woe.

18. The doer of good delights here and hereafter; he delights in both the worlds. The thought, "Good have I done," delights him, and he delights even more when gone to realms of bliss.
It seems to imply (at least as translated here) that going to the realms of woe is after this second world. Same with vs 18 and realms of bliss.
perkele
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Re: Do Dhammapada verses 15, 16, imply an intermediate state?

Post by perkele »

davidbrainerd wrote:But since he says "both worlds" with respect to both, it would seem its a world they both pass through, i.e. an intermediate realm between death and rebirth.
I think all these inferences are unwarranted. The Dhammapada is a poetic work, and the translations also tend to be that way. The original Pali also often plays with ambiguity, or thus have I heard, not being able to read and understand it myself.

But not even if it were a prose text would I come to draw these reaching conclusions which seem to be very contrived to me, and not logically convincing.
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Re: Do Dhammapada verses 15, 16, imply an intermediate state?

Post by Reductor »

davidbrainerd wrote:Dhammapada verse 15-16 quoting from Thanissaro's translation:
15. The evil-doer grieves here and hereafter; he grieves in both the worlds. He laments and is afflicted, recollecting his own impure deeds.

16. The doer of good rejoices here and hereafter; he rejoices in both the worlds. He rejoices and exults, recollecting his own pure deeds.
If he said "both worlds" with respect only to the evil doer, I would think it meant this world and hell.

If he said "both worlds" with respect only to the good doer, I would think it meant this world and heaven.

But since he says "both worlds" with respect to both, it would seem its a world they both pass through, i.e. an intermediate realm between death and rebirth.

Does anyone think the grieving here over evil deeds takes place in an intermediate realm? or the rejoicing takes place in an intermediate realm? Like in between death and rebirth, people are going "whoohoo, I did good and I'm going to a better rebirth" or "oh crap, I'm totally going to hell now."

Verse 17 and 18 are also of interest here:
17. The evil-doer suffers here and hereafter; he suffers in both the worlds. The thought, "Evil have I done," torments him, and he suffers even more when gone to realms of woe.

18. The doer of good delights here and hereafter; he delights in both the worlds. The thought, "Good have I done," delights him, and he delights even more when gone to realms of bliss.
It seems to imply (at least as translated here) that going to the realms of woe is after this second world. Same with vs 18 and realms of bliss.
You're projecting. Each instance of 'hereafter' in the english is a translation of the pali word 'pecca', which comes from the joining of roots 'pa' and 'i'. 'Pa' indicates a forward direction, while 'i' indicated movement. So 'movement forward' might be a translation of 'hereafter'. That is very general - it simply suggests a place other than 'here'.

All cases of "in both worlds" is 'ubhayattha'. This means in both places, or maybe 'in both cases'. It is very general.

So, the 'hereafter' simply seems to mean after death - it is not otherwise defined.

So the general sense is that one suffers in this life from doing wrong, and one suffers in the next life from doing wrong. Likewise, the inverse is true for doing good.

In verses 17 and 18 the meaning plainly is that "here" the thought of one's bad actions cause suffering, and "hereafter" one suffers even more as he goes to a place of woe.

So no, I do not see these verses as suggesting an intermediate state.

EDITs done for clarity
Last edited by Reductor on Sat Aug 20, 2016 12:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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_anicca_
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Re: Do Dhammapada verses 15, 16, imply an intermediate state?

Post by _anicca_ »

perkele wrote:
davidbrainerd wrote:But since he says "both worlds" with respect to both, it would seem its a world they both pass through, i.e. an intermediate realm between death and rebirth.
I think all these inferences are unwarranted. The Dhammapada is a poetic work, and the translations also tend to be that way. The original Pali also often plays with ambiguity, or thus have I heard, not being able to read and understand it myself.

But not even if it were a prose text would I come to draw these reaching conclusions which seem to be very contrived to me, and not logically convincing.
Reductor wrote:
davidbrainerd wrote:Dhammapada verse 15-16 quoting from Thanissaro's translation:
15. The evil-doer grieves here and hereafter; he grieves in both the worlds. He laments and is afflicted, recollecting his own impure deeds.

16. The doer of good rejoices here and hereafter; he rejoices in both the worlds. He rejoices and exults, recollecting his own pure deeds.
If he said "both worlds" with respect only to the evil doer, I would think it meant this world and hell.

If he said "both worlds" with respect only to the good doer, I would think it meant this world and heaven.

But since he says "both worlds" with respect to both, it would seem its a world they both pass through, i.e. an intermediate realm between death and rebirth.

Does anyone think the grieving here over evil deeds takes place in an intermediate realm? or the rejoicing takes place in an intermediate realm? Like in between death and rebirth, people are going "whoohoo, I did good and I'm going to a better rebirth" or "oh crap, I'm totally going to hell now."

Verse 17 and 18 are also of interest here:
17. The evil-doer suffers here and hereafter; he suffers in both the worlds. The thought, "Evil have I done," torments him, and he suffers even more when gone to realms of woe.

18. The doer of good delights here and hereafter; he delights in both the worlds. The thought, "Good have I done," delights him, and he delights even more when gone to realms of bliss.
It seems to imply (at least as translated here) that going to the realms of woe is after this second world. Same with vs 18 and realms of bliss.
You're projecting. Each instance of 'hereafter' in the english is a translation of the pali word 'pecca', which comes from the joining of roots 'pa' and 'i'. 'Pa' indicates a forward direction, while 'i' indicated movement. So 'movement forward' might be a translation of 'hereafter'. That is very general - it simply suggests a place other than 'here'.

All cases of "in both worlds" is 'ubhayattha'. This means in both places, or maybe 'in both cases'. It is very general.

So, the 'hereafter' simply seems to mean after death - it is not otherwise defined.

So the general sense is that one suffers in this life from doing wrong, and one suffers in the next life from doing wrong. Likewise, the inverse is true for doing good.

In verses 17 and 18 the meaning plainly is that "here" the thought of one's bad actions cause suffering, and "hereafter" one suffers even more as he goes to a place of woe.

So no, I do not see these verses as suggesting an intermediate state.
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Coëmgenu
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Re: Do Dhammapada verses 15, 16, imply an intermediate state?

Post by Coëmgenu »

It is Theravada orthodoxy that rebirth is spontaneous and instantaneous, correct?

I know that Tibetan Buddhism posits an intermediary phase between becomings, called bardo, but I recall reading somewhere that Theravadī believe the processes of becoming are instantaneous.
Then, the monks sang this gāthā:

These bodies are like foam.
Them being frail, who can rejoice in them?
The Buddha attained the vajra-body.
Still, it becomes inconstant and rots.
The many Buddhas are vajra-entities.
All are also subject to inconstancy.
Quickly ended, like melting snow --
how could things be different?

The Buddha passed into parinirvāṇa afterward.

(T1.27b10 Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra DĀ 2)
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robertk
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Re: Do Dhammapada verses 15, 16, imply an intermediate state?

Post by robertk »

Coëmgenu wrote:It is Theravada orthodoxy that rebirth is spontaneous and instantaneous, correct?

I know that Tibetan Buddhism posits an intermediary phase between becomings, called bardo, but I recall reading somewhere that Theravadī believe the processes of becoming are instantaneous.
yes.
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Re: Do Dhammapada verses 15, 16, imply an intermediate state?

Post by Spiny Norman »

davidbrainerd wrote:Dhammapada verse 15-16 quoting from Thanissaro's translation:
15. The evil-doer grieves here and hereafter; he grieves in both the worlds. He laments and is afflicted, recollecting his own impure deeds.

16. The doer of good rejoices here and hereafter; he rejoices in both the worlds. He rejoices and exults, recollecting his own pure deeds.
If he said "both worlds" with respect only to the evil doer, I would think it meant this world and hell.

If he said "both worlds" with respect only to the good doer, I would think it meant this world and heaven.

But since he says "both worlds" with respect to both, it would seem its a world they both pass through, i.e. an intermediate realm between death and rebirth.

Does anyone think the grieving here over evil deeds takes place in an intermediate realm? or the rejoicing takes place in an intermediate realm? Like in between death and rebirth, people are going "whoohoo, I did good and I'm going to a better rebirth" or "oh crap, I'm totally going to hell now."

Verse 17 and 18 are also of interest here:
17. The evil-doer suffers here and hereafter; he suffers in both the worlds. The thought, "Evil have I done," torments him, and he suffers even more when gone to realms of woe.

18. The doer of good delights here and hereafter; he delights in both the worlds. The thought, "Good have I done," delights him, and he delights even more when gone to realms of bliss.
It seems to imply (at least as translated here) that going to the realms of woe is after this second world. Same with vs 18 and realms of bliss.
I think it just means that the person who does good is happier, in this world and the next, ie in this life and future lives.
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Re: Do Dhammapada verses 15, 16, imply an intermediate state?

Post by Cittasanto »

davidbrainerd wrote:Dhammapada verse 15-16 quoting from Thanissaro's translation:
15. The evil-doer grieves here and hereafter; he grieves in both the worlds. He laments and is afflicted, recollecting his own impure deeds.

16. The doer of good rejoices here and hereafter; he rejoices in both the worlds. He rejoices and exults, recollecting his own pure deeds.
If he said "both worlds" with respect only to the evil doer, I would think it meant this world and hell.

If he said "both worlds" with respect only to the good doer, I would think it meant this world and heaven.

But since he says "both worlds" with respect to both, it would seem its a world they both pass through, i.e. an intermediate realm between death and rebirth.

Does anyone think the grieving here over evil deeds takes place in an intermediate realm? or the rejoicing takes place in an intermediate realm? Like in between death and rebirth, people are going "whoohoo, I did good and I'm going to a better rebirth" or "oh crap, I'm totally going to hell now."

Verse 17 and 18 are also of interest here:
17. The evil-doer suffers here and hereafter; he suffers in both the worlds. The thought, "Evil have I done," torments him, and he suffers even more when gone to realms of woe.

18. The doer of good delights here and hereafter; he delights in both the worlds. The thought, "Good have I done," delights him, and he delights even more when gone to realms of bliss.
It seems to imply (at least as translated here) that going to the realms of woe is after this second world. Same with vs 18 and realms of bliss.
Do note each verse is is only regarding the evil doer or good doer respectively, so you need not infer more from the verses than you would infer individually.

However Ven Analayo has writen about the intermediate state known as Bardo in Tibetan Buddhism from the Pali or all early Buddhist tect sources.

Yours In Truth
Cittasanto
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But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
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