Why the Buddha never forbade suicide ?

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2600htz
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Re: Why the Buddha never forbade suicide ?

Post by 2600htz »

Pondera wrote: Wed Apr 29, 2020 2:13 am
2600htz wrote: Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:19 pm
Pondera wrote: Tue Apr 28, 2020 4:40 am There’s the case where the Buddha was teaching the contemplation of disgust with the body to (for example) 50 monks (I don’t recall the actual number). After teaching, he retired to his hut.

20 of those monks were so disgusted with their bodies that they committed suicide.

The Buddha emerged the following day and was informed of this. His advice to the remaining 30 monks was to switch over to anapanasati.

How did the Buddha not see that ahead of time? Is he responsible for their deaths?
Hi:

I think its because the Buddha was able to see into the past and the future, but only if he directed his mind towards that. He was not omnipotent (example SN 42.9).

___________________________________________________________

About the subject, i think suicide falls into the precept of not killing (and fulfills all steps needed for commiting a kill: there is a living being, intention to kill, a weapon, and the action ) . Forbiding is an exaggeration, precepts are more suggestions, unless you are talking about monks. I dont know about rules, but pretty sure there is some words about suicide being wrong in the canon pali. Even if there where no rule, it does not mean it is a good thing, or that the Buddha was fine with it.

Regards.
I believe the Buddha was omnipotent also. But how does that justify the deaths of these monks.

Is there some way to say that they ended up in a better realm with better chances of reaching Nibbāna?

I don’t quite see what you’re saying.
Hello:

I am of the opinion the Buddha was not omnipotent. He just gave those instructions and went to seclusion. Its not his fault that those monks misunderstood what he was saying, neither his fault that they commited suicide. But i think that if he had made the determination to see into the future of those monks he could have avoided that, but he didnt.

In MN-71 he is asked if he is omniscient, his answer was NO. He had the triple knowledge.
5. “Venerable sir, I have heard thus: ‘The recluse Gotama claims to
be omniscient, all-seeing, to have complete knowledge and vision
thus: “Whether I am walking or standing or sleeping or awake,
knowledge and vision are continuously and uninterruptedly present in
me.” Venerable sir, do those who speak thus say what has been said
by the Blessed One, and not misrepresented him with what is
contrary to fact? Do they explain in accordance to the Dhamma in
such a way that nothing which provides a ground for censure can be
legitimately deduced from their assertion?”
“Vaccha, those who say thus do not say what has been said by me,
but misrepresented me with what is untrue and contrary to fact.”
Regards.
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NuanceOfSuchness
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Re: Why the Buddha never forbade suicide ?

Post by NuanceOfSuchness »

sentinel wrote: Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:11 am I am baffled why the Buddha never forbade people from committing suicide ? He laid down precepts in which not allowing to kill other people (including animals) yet not including killing own life ?
Isn't this is something illogical ?
There was the case of a particular monk who, having reached the door of awakening, having passed through that door multiple times only to fall back, saw an opportunity to cease the lifeform of the body by slitting his throat thus relinquishing his attachment to the body and realising full awakening. As it is said, the Buddha approached his lifeless corpse, investigated the scenario via his siddhi abilities and promptly informed the monks of the outcome.

Unfortunately, I am not able to locate the sutta but I hope someone here can.

EDIT: This is only meant for reference and not for real-world practical application.
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DooDoot
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Re: Why the Buddha never forbade suicide ?

Post by DooDoot »

NuanceOfSuchness wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 7:55 am Unfortunately, I am not able to locate the sutta but I hope someone here can.
SN 4.23. The other suicide sutta is MN 144. Plus there is SN 54.9, when many monks commit suicide due to practising loathsomeness of the body. Kind regards :smile:
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justindesilva
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Re: Why the Buddha never forbade suicide ?

Post by justindesilva »

NuanceOfSuchness wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 7:55 am
sentinel wrote: Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:11 am I am baffled why the Buddha never forbade people from committing suicide ? He laid down precepts in which not allowing to kill other people (including animals) yet not including killing own life ?
Isn't this is something illogical ?
There was the case of a particular monk who, having reached the door of awakening, having passed through that door multiple times only to fall back, saw an opportunity to cease the lifeform of the body by slitting his throat thus relinquishing his attachment to the body and realising full awakening. As it is said, the Buddha approached his lifeless corpse, investigated the scenario via his siddhi abilities and promptly informed the monks of the outcome.

Unfortunately, I am not able to locate the sutta but I hope someone here can.

EDIT: This is only meant for reference and not for real-world practical application.
This seems to be Goddhika sutta, where ven. Goddhika fails concentration when Mara advises him to suicide.
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Bundokji
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Re: Why the Buddha never forbade suicide ?

Post by Bundokji »

Probably making a distinction between civil law and kammic law can be relevant. From a civic law point of view, the aim is to maintain social order where the individual's behavior needs to be predictable considering its impact on the collective. The approach towards the act of killing in general, and suicide in particular are driven by this mindset under civic law where certain values can arise. This same civic law for instance can permit killing under certain circumstances such as in the cases of capital punishment, war or euthanasia.

The dhammic law or kammic law, however, presents human birth as a unique opportunity for liberating the mind or attaining higher knowledge. While the moral aspects of the precepts functions in a similar way to the civic law, they serve as indicative/reflective of levels of "understanding" the dhamma or the law of nature. These differences in both aims and emphasis require a different mindset than the civil law, where the individual's liberation is of a higher status than collective continuity or behavioral predictability, measuring the act of suicide becomes inseparable from the type of knowledge guiding it and to what kind of destination it is known to lead to.
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sentinel
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Re: Why the Buddha never forbade suicide ?

Post by sentinel »

Suicide is akusala , that's why it is dukkata (?)for monk violation . But then at the time of death , if the mind in the regret state one is destined for lower birth .
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sentinel
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Re: Why the Buddha never forbade suicide ?

Post by sentinel »

Dhammanando wrote: Mon Dec 30, 2019 6:53 am
sentinel wrote: Mon Dec 30, 2019 6:11 am Bhante, this does not answer the question not killing precept include killing oneself. I don't understand, so, for a lay person to kill himself is not violating the precept of not killing?
Right.

In their discussion of the phrase "perception of a living being" the Vinaya commentators were unanimous in defining it as "the perception of another living being".

And in their discussion of the object whose killing one abstains from, the Abhidhamma commentators were unanimous in defining it as "the life-faculty of another".

‘Ārammaṇato’ ti pāṇātipātā veramaṇī parassa jīvitindriyaṃ ārammaṇaṃ katvā attano veracetanāya viramati.

"As to object": abstaining from killing living things, after making another's life faculty its object, abstains from one's own hostile volition.
(Vibhaṅga Atthakathā 384; = Dispeller of Delusion, II 122)
Bhante , what are the violation and punishment for monk whom succeeded in suicide and those not successful in suicide ? Does suicides monk being violated the precept of not killing ?
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seeker242
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Re: Why the Buddha never forbade suicide ?

Post by seeker242 »

sentinel wrote: Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:11 am He laid down precepts in which not allowing to kill other people (including animals) yet not including killing own life ?
Where does it say it doesn't include oneself?
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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Why the Buddha never forbade suicide ?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala »

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote: Sun Nov 30, 2014 6:54 pm
dhammarelax wrote:Have you come across the sutta where some monks commit suicide or have themselves killed because they practiced the foulness of the body meditation and they were so disgusted by their bodies that decided to get rid of it? It could be a good candidate for a mistake. What do you think?
No, he gave the monks the most suitable meditation object for their needs at the time.

Making mistakes is not something a Fully Enlightened Buddha can do. It would conflict with the teachings in the Mahāsihanāda Sutta

The Buddha was able to see the kammic potential of those monks, and perceived that no matter what he did, their past evil kamma was due to ripen, so death by suicide or voluntary euthanasia was inevitable for them. That being so, gaining insight into the disgusting nature of the body would make it easier to relinquish it at the point of death.

The Buddha did not intervene to prevent the death of his chief disciple, Moggallāna, either, and for the same reasons.

When his own relatives were about to be slaughtered by Vidadubha's army, he did intervene three times to delay the event, but after that he did not intervene again, seeing that the result of their kamma had now ripened and had to give its inevitable result.

Any Arahant, who is always mindful and clearly comprehending, should not be accused of “making mistakes” either. Although they are not Omniscient like the Buddha, the so-called mistakes that they may make as perceived by others, e.g. Pilindavaccha referring to others as outcastes (vasala), was just his habitual way of speech, uttered without any pride, contempt, or malice. Arahants are never deluded or unmindful. That is what we call a mistake, when we do or say the wrong thing, driven by defilements.
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whynotme
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Re: Why the Buddha never forbade suicide ?

Post by whynotme »

Another point for the omniscience of the Buddha. Formerly I often question if the Buddha knows Devadatta would made serious crimes against him and sangha, why did he allowed him to join sangha? Isnt it better if he doesn't join sangha so he would not commit those crimes?

Its said that Devadatta would do serious crimes no matter what. But by joining sangha, at the time near his death, he would regret and take refuge in the Buddha. He still goes to hell no matter what, but exactly this vision of him taking refuge in the Buddha will make him enlighten after his kamma in hell exhaust. Thus thats why the Buddha allowed ordaining him.

A person asked if the Buddha is omniscient in the sense that he always know everything everytime. The Buddha is not omniscient in this sense like a creator god, but he is omniscient in the sense that whichever the matter he directs his mind to investigate, he know whether its possible or impossible.
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