Seeking rebirth in Tushita heaven

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
tamdrin
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Re: Seeking rebirth in Tushita heaven

Post by tamdrin »

chownah wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 3:52 am
tamdrin wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 3:37 am Bhante, It seems you are of the opinion that practitioners (lay or ordained) should only seek human rebirth until stream entry is achieved?
(ASIDE: Will the bhante tell tamdrin to seek rebirth of any kind?)
chownah
I'm doing some research. Not looking for personal advice. I'm curious because the devas seem to be a big deal to Theravada practitioners however they are not generally seen as anything special in Mahayana or Vajrayana.

So Chownah, I see you live in Thailand. That's cool man, way to go.
tamdrin
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Re: Seeking rebirth in Tushita heaven

Post by tamdrin »

I don't feel stupid for asking such questions. I am generally curious about other realms of existence because I only know the human realm. If I ask a question that is difficult to answer there will still be a few interesting responses, like the people who gave me links to books or quoted texts. This is useful and it furthers my understanding of the teachings.
tamdrin
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Re: Seeking rebirth in Tushita heaven

Post by tamdrin »

Interestingly, I found the following in Ven. Punnadhammo's book on Buddhist cosmology and it contradicts what Bhante Dhammanando said because here it's stated that Maitreya is continuously teaching abhidhamma to a retinue of devas.

The Majjhima Commentary gives some details about Gotama Buddha’s prior existence
as a Tusita deva, in the context of discussing his recollection of past lives according to
name, clan, appearance, nutriment, pleasure and pain and life-span. In Tusita, his name
was Setaketu. Among devas, there is only one clan (ekagotto). His appearance was
golden coloured (suvaṇṇavaṇṇa). His nutriment was divine ambrosia (dibbasudhāhāra).
His pleasure was the experience of divine happiness (dibbasukhapaṭisaṃvedī) and his
suffering was merely the suffering of conditioned existence itself (dukkhaṃ pana
saṅkhāradukkhamattameva). His span of life was the full 576,000,000 years (MN-a 4).
When the Buddha went up to Tāvatiṃsa to teach the Abhidhamma to the assembled
666. Translation by Bhante Nyantusita.
541
devas, his mother descended from Tusita to listen, and was seated in the place of
honour to the right of the Buddha (Dhp-a 14:2). There might be a trace of confusion in
the tradition between Tāvatiṃsa and Tusita. A verse in the commentary has Sāriputta
remarking, at the time of the Buddha’s descent from Tāvatiṃsa, “Never have I seen, nor
has anyone heard, such lovely teachings, from the one descended from Tusita with his
retinue” (ibid.). The same verse occurs without context in the Suttanipāta and the
commentary explains that this refers to the Buddha’s initial descent at the time of his
conception. That text, however, does not account for the mention of a “retinue” (gaṇi)
very well, taking it as referring to his retinue of devas while still in Tusita, and his
retinue of arahants on earth (Sn-a 4: 16).
The being, who will become the next Buddha, Metteyya, is now dwelling as a deva in
Tusita. His name there is Nātha and he is said to be continuously teaching Abhidhamma
to the assembled devas.667
tamdrin
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Re: Seeking rebirth in Tushita heaven

Post by tamdrin »

And this from the same text:

"Tusita has a special place in the cosmology because of its connection with the Dhamma.
Pious Buddhists, like the dying layman in the story cited above, may have an aspiration
to be reborn there, and thus into the presence of a Bodhisatta. Many beings with the first
or second stages of awakening are reborn there. This is why it is called “the most
delightful” of the saggas, even though on a scale based on purely worldly
considerations, the happiness of the two higher saggas surpasses it (MN 97). Tusita
nevertheless is a world within the plane of sense-desire, and the beings there are still
“subject to the bondage of sensuality, under Māra’s dominion” (SN 5:7). Despite being a
special place of contentment and wisdom, Tusita is still a part of saṃsāra. At best, we
may consider it a way station on the path to nibbāna."
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Dhammanando
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Re: Seeking rebirth in Tushita heaven

Post by Dhammanando »

tamdrin wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:52 am Interestingly, I found the following in Ven. Punnadhammo's book on Buddhist cosmology and it contradicts what Bhante Dhammanando said because here it's stated that Maitreya is continuously teaching abhidhamma to a retinue of devas.

[...]

The being, who will become the next Buddha, Metteyya, is now dwelling as a deva in
Tusita. His name there is Nātha and he is said to be continuously teaching Abhidhamma
to the assembled devas.
The source cited by Ven. Punnadhammo actually says 'Dhamma', not 'Abhidhamma'.

But what is his source? It's neither canon nor commentary nor even sub-commentary. it's merely the personal belief of Kassapa V, the 10th century king of Anuradhapura, as reported in a verse in the Cūḷavaṃsa, a late Sinhalese chronicle. Kassapa reigned at a time when the cult of Metteyya was in full bloom in Ceylon and all sorts of wild notions were then springing up about the bodhisatta.

And so I stand by my earlier statement: no classical Theravadin source presents the Bodhisatta Metteyya as a teacher of an ariya-making Dhamma.
tamdrin wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 3:37 am It seems you are of the opinion that practitioners (lay or ordained) should only seek human rebirth until stream entry is achieved?
I am of the opinion that aspiring to this or that rebirth is a dhammically sub-optimal kind of thinking. Being virtually the antithesis of yoniso manasikāra it's best to set it aside. Holding on to it one will fail to advance beyond a basically egoic and Jātaka-ish level of engagement with the Dhamma.
From the Vibhaṅga's Exposition of the Occurrences of Craving (an expanded exposition of the Taṇhājālinī Sutta, AN 4.199):

Therein what are “eighteen occurrences of craving in connection with internal aggregates”? There is, “I am”; there is, “I am such a one”; there is, “I am also”; there is, “I am different”; there is, “I shall be”; there is, “I shall be such a one”; there is, “I also shall be”; there is, “I shall be something different”; there is, “I am eternal”; there is, “I am not eternal”; there is, “I may be”; there is, “I may be such a one”; there is, “I also may be”; there is, “I may be something different”; there is, “would that I may be”; there is, “would that I may be such a one”; there is, “would that I also may be”; there is, “would that I may be something different”.

[...]

And how is there, “I shall be”? Making no distinction with regard to any state either form, feeling, perception, volitional activities or consciousness, one gets the wish, “I shall be”; one gets the conceit, “I shall be”; one gets the wrong view, “I shall be”; when this happens there are these obsessions, “I shall be such a one” or “I also shall be” or “I shall be different”.

And how is there, “I shall be something different”? “I shall be a ruler” or “I shall be a brahmin” or “I shall be a merchant” or “I shall be an artisan” or “I shall be a householder” or “I shall be an ascetic” or “I shall be a god” or “I shall be a human being” or “I shall have material form” or “I shall have no material form” or “I shall have perception” or “I shall have non-perception” or “I shall have “neither perception nor non-perception”. Thus there is, “I shall be something different”.

[...]

And how is there, “Would that I may be such a one”? “Would that I may be a ruler” or “would that I may be a brahmin” or “would that I may be a merchant” or “would that I may be an artisan” or “would that I may be a householder” or “would that I may be an ascetic” or “would that I may be a god” or “would that I may be a human being” or “would that I may have material form” or “would that I may have no material form” or “would that I may have perception” or “would that I may have non-perception” or “would that I may have “neither perception nor non-perception”. Thus there is, “Would that I may be such a one”.

https://legacy.suttacentral.net/en/vb17
Svākkhātaṃ brahmacariyaṃ, sandiṭṭhikam’akālikaṃ,
Yattha amoghā pabbajjā, appamattassa sikkhato.


“The holy life is well proclaimed,
directly visible, immediate,
Where not in vain is the going forth
of one who trains heedfully.”
— Sela Sutta
tamdrin
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Re: Seeking rebirth in Tushita heaven

Post by tamdrin »

Dhammanando wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:45 am
tamdrin wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:52 am Interestingly, I found the following in Ven. Punnadhammo's book on Buddhist cosmology and it contradicts what Bhante Dhammanando said because here it's stated that Maitreya is continuously teaching abhidhamma to a retinue of devas.

[...]

The being, who will become the next Buddha, Metteyya, is now dwelling as a deva in
Tusita. His name there is Nātha and he is said to be continuously teaching Abhidhamma
to the assembled devas.
The source cited by Ven. Punnadhammo actually says 'Dhamma', not 'Abhidhamma'.

But what is his source? It's neither canon nor commentary nor even sub-commentary. it's merely the personal belief of Kassapa V, the 10th century king of Anuradhapura, as reported in a verse in the Cūḷavaṃsa, a late Sinhalese chronicle. Kassapa reigned at a time when the cult of Metteyya was in full bloom in Ceylon and all sorts of wild notions were then springing up about the bodhisatta.

And so I stand by my earlier statement: no classical Theravadin source presents the Bodhisatta Metteyya as a teacher of an ariya-making Dhamma.
tamdrin wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 3:37 am It seems you are of the opinion that practitioners (lay or ordained) should only seek human rebirth until stream entry is achieved?
I am of the opinion that aspiring to this or that rebirth is a dhammically sub-optimal kind of thinking. Being virtually the antithesis of yoniso manasikāra it's best to set it aside. Holding on to it one will fail to advance beyond a basically egoic and Jātaka-ish level of engagement with the Dhamma.
From the Vibhaṅga's Exposition of the Occurrences of Craving (an expanded exposition of the Taṇhājālinī Sutta, AN 4.199):

Therein what are “eighteen occurrences of craving in connection with internal aggregates”? There is, “I am”; there is, “I am such a one”; there is, “I am also”; there is, “I am different”; there is, “I shall be”; there is, “I shall be such a one”; there is, “I also shall be”; there is, “I shall be something different”; there is, “I am eternal”; there is, “I am not eternal”; there is, “I may be”; there is, “I may be such a one”; there is, “I also may be”; there is, “I may be something different”; there is, “would that I may be”; there is, “would that I may be such a one”; there is, “would that I also may be”; there is, “would that I may be something different”.

[...]

And how is there, “I shall be”? Making no distinction with regard to any state either form, feeling, perception, volitional activities or consciousness, one gets the wish, “I shall be”; one gets the conceit, “I shall be”; one gets the wrong view, “I shall be”; when this happens there are these obsessions, “I shall be such a one” or “I also shall be” or “I shall be different”.

And how is there, “I shall be something different”? “I shall be a ruler” or “I shall be a brahmin” or “I shall be a merchant” or “I shall be an artisan” or “I shall be a householder” or “I shall be an ascetic” or “I shall be a god” or “I shall be a human being” or “I shall have material form” or “I shall have no material form” or “I shall have perception” or “I shall have non-perception” or “I shall have “neither perception nor non-perception”. Thus there is, “I shall be something different”.

[...]

And how is there, “Would that I may be such a one”? “Would that I may be a ruler” or “would that I may be a brahmin” or “would that I may be a merchant” or “would that I may be an artisan” or “would that I may be a householder” or “would that I may be an ascetic” or “would that I may be a god” or “would that I may be a human being” or “would that I may have material form” or “would that I may have no material form” or “would that I may have perception” or “would that I may have non-perception” or “would that I may have “neither perception nor non-perception”. Thus there is, “Would that I may be such a one”.

https://legacy.suttacentral.net/en/vb17
Not very convincing on the part of the Theravadin doctrine that a Bodhisattva who has spent potentially millions of lives cultivating parami and has met many Buddhas can't even teach the dhamma. :shrug:
cookiemonster
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Re: Seeking rebirth in Tushita heaven

Post by cookiemonster »

tamdrin wrote: Tue Oct 27, 2020 3:15 am Not very convincing on the part of the Theravadin doctrine that a Bodhisattva who has spent potentially millions of lives cultivating parami and has met many Buddhas can't even teach the dhamma. :shrug:
I figure it's because the bodhisatta's kamma associated with the paramis is not scheduled to mature yet, until his final birth as a human.
TRobinson465
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Re: Seeking rebirth in Tushita heaven

Post by TRobinson465 »

tamdrin wrote: Sun Oct 25, 2020 5:19 am What are the benefits of rebirth in Tushita heaven? Is it possible to practice there? What kind of pleasures are experienced. I understand a fair amount of Theravada monks seek such a rebirth. Some in Mahayana too.
In my opinion Tusita is one of the best places to be reborn if you do not expect to become an anagami or an arahant in this lifetime (and lets be real here, how many of the people who have the Nibbana or bust mentality will actually make it to those attainments in this life?). I too actually aim for rebirth there, i do not expect to enlighten in this very life purely out of probability.

One of the biggest advantages of being reborn in Tusita is it is the realm where bodhissattas reside before thier final rebirth, due to them making merit with the intention of helping others. It certainly seems like a good place for people determined to practice as the being who will become the Lord Metteya Buddha will be born there upon his final life before Buddhahood and i think the being who will become Metteya even resides there now along with other Buddhist figures like Anathapindika and Lord Gautama Buddha's mother. In one text a follower of the Buddha was actually able to go all the way up to Paranimmita-vasavatti and chose to go to Tusita, so certainly seems like there is something to it.

https://tipitaka.fandom.com/wiki/Dhamma ... AJif3xl2Rw

I believe all devas are able to practice, just not as easily as a human. Theres one famous jataka where our bodhisatta practices as a naga, and i remember reading another text about a deva in Tavatimsa who ends up being reborn in Tusita due to end of life merit he made in that life as a deva. Plus there were devas who tried making merit with arahants on earth so it makes sense its possible. But for reasons laid out above, i think practicing in tusita would actually be more suitable since its easier to find spiritual friends there, especially since higher levels of heaven like Paranimmita-vasavatti have deva-putta maras.
"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism" - the 14th Dalai Lama

"At Varanasi, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by brahmins, devas, Maras, Brahmas or anyone in the cosmos." -Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

"Go forth, monks, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the good and the happiness of gods and men. Let no two of you go in the same direction." - First Khandhaka, Chapter 11, Vinaya.
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confusedlayman
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Re: Seeking rebirth in Tushita heaven

Post by confusedlayman »

TRobinson465 wrote: Tue Oct 27, 2020 5:47 am
tamdrin wrote: Sun Oct 25, 2020 5:19 am What are the benefits of rebirth in Tushita heaven? Is it possible to practice there? What kind of pleasures are experienced. I understand a fair amount of Theravada monks seek such a rebirth. Some in Mahayana too.
In my opinion Tusita is one of the best places to be reborn if you do not expect to become an anagami or an arahant in this lifetime (and lets be real here, how many of the people who have the Nibbana or bust mentality will actually make it to those attainments in this life?). I too actually aim for rebirth there, i do not expect to enlighten in this very life purely out of probability.

One of the biggest advantages of being reborn in Tusita is it is the realm where bodhissattas reside before thier final rebirth, due to them making merit with the intention of helping others. It certainly seems like a good place for people determined to practice as the being who will become the Lord Metteya Buddha will be born there upon his final life before Buddhahood and i think the being who will become Metteya even resides there now along with other Buddhist figures like Anathapindika and Lord Gautama Buddha's mother. In one text a follower of the Buddha was actually able to go all the way up to Paranimmita-vasavatti and chose to go to Tusita, so certainly seems like there is something to it.

https://tipitaka.fandom.com/wiki/Dhamma ... AJif3xl2Rw

I believe all devas are able to practice, just not as easily as a human. Theres one famous jataka where our bodhisatta practices as a naga, and i remember reading another text about a deva in Tavatimsa who ends up being reborn in Tusita due to end of life merit he made in that life as a deva. Plus there were devas who tried making merit with arahants on earth so it makes sense its possible. But for reasons laid out above, i think practicing in tusita would actually be more suitable since its easier to find spiritual friends there, especially since higher levels of heaven like Paranimmita-vasavatti have deva-putta maras.
I think i will miss tushita heaven next life ... i have been doing metta karuna equnimity and jhana (a bit) ...and i am also breaking 5 precepts so mostly hell or if upwards meams non sensual plane
I may be slow learner but im at least learning...
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Re: Seeking rebirth in Tushita heaven

Post by whynotme »

Tushita means contented. So being satisfied and contented with life will end up there. That is why bodhisatvas are reborn there, bc they are always content.

But after all, it is just an illusion like every other realms, just mind made, the dream of dead people.
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Dhammanando
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Re: Seeking rebirth in Tushita heaven

Post by Dhammanando »

tamdrin wrote: Tue Oct 27, 2020 3:15 amNot very convincing on the part of the Theravadin doctrine that a Bodhisattva who has spent potentially millions of lives cultivating parami and has met many Buddhas can't even teach the dhamma. :shrug:
It depends what you mean by "teaching the Dhamma." If you merely mean delivering moral exhortations to his companions, along the lines of: "Gifts are to be given, the sīlas are to be kept, the uposatha is to be observed, etc." then there's no disagreement between us, for in the Jātakas the Bodhisatta is often represented doing just this.

But if you mean teaching an ariya-making Dhamma, then it would imply that bodhisattas in Tusita have already discovered the middle way and eightfold path. In the case of Gotama it would further imply that he was a wiser being in his penultimate life than he was in his final life. That is, he knew all about the middle way as a deva in Tusita, but did not know about it as a human in Magadha, and so had to first spend twenty-nine years doing kāmasukhallikānuyoga and then six years doing attakilamatthānuyoga before he he was able to discover something that in his former life he'd known all along. To me that's a quite ridiculous notion.
Svākkhātaṃ brahmacariyaṃ, sandiṭṭhikam’akālikaṃ,
Yattha amoghā pabbajjā, appamattassa sikkhato.


“The holy life is well proclaimed,
directly visible, immediate,
Where not in vain is the going forth
of one who trains heedfully.”
— Sela Sutta
TRobinson465
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Re: Seeking rebirth in Tushita heaven

Post by TRobinson465 »

Yes I would imagine if metteya is preaching at all it would be moral exhortions. Not unlike sakka of tavatimsa.
That or unenlightened takes on the dhamma like we are doing now, since metteya was a monk under our Buddha and devas can remember thier past lives.
Either way tusita is a good resting place to be reborn as you progress on the path if u have not reached the anagami stage yet. I really wish you luck in this goal and hope to see you there.
"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism" - the 14th Dalai Lama

"At Varanasi, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by brahmins, devas, Maras, Brahmas or anyone in the cosmos." -Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

"Go forth, monks, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the good and the happiness of gods and men. Let no two of you go in the same direction." - First Khandhaka, Chapter 11, Vinaya.
tamdrin
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Re: Seeking rebirth in Tushita heaven

Post by tamdrin »

Interesting to see this mahayana take on it as well.

https://fpmt.org/mandala/archives/manda ... ya-buddha/
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