sīlabbata parāmāsa

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
Sam Vara
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Re: sīlabbata parāmāsa

Post by Sam Vara »

Bundokji wrote: Thu Jun 20, 2024 12:12 pm Most of the discussion thus far focused on the negative aspects of rituals as one of the fetters of the mind.

More often than not, we tend to believe that meditation is the alternative to rituals.
Some might, but others don't, depending on disposition. Many, for example, rely on dana or giving; or even pūja.
What is there to worship amongst those who see the world as a bait and seek an escape?
At the risk of introducing semantic distinctions between concepts expressed in English like worship, reverence, and so on, people might be drawn to worship or revere the means of escape from that world.
If there is a right grasp in relation to sīlabbata parāmāsa
There can't be. As per above, the parāmāsa bit implies mishandling, a wrong grasp.
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Re: sīlabbata parāmāsa

Post by Bundokji »

Sam Vara wrote: Thu Jun 20, 2024 12:26 pm
Bundokji wrote: Thu Jun 20, 2024 12:12 pm Most of the discussion thus far focused on the negative aspects of rituals as one of the fetters of the mind.

More often than not, we tend to believe that meditation is the alternative to rituals.
Some might, but others don't, depending on disposition. Many, for example, rely on dana or giving; or even pūja.
What is there to worship amongst those who see the world as a bait and seek an escape?
At the risk of introducing semantic distinctions between concepts expressed in English like worship, reverence, and so on, people might be drawn to worship or revere the means of escape from that world.
If there is a right grasp in relation to sīlabbata parāmāsa
There can't be. As per above, the parāmāsa bit implies mishandling, a wrong grasp.
But the relics are singled out in the following sutta:

https://suttacentral.net/pv35/en/kiriba ... ight=false
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.
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Nicolas
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Re: sīlabbata parāmāsa

Post by Nicolas »

A few sutta quotes on the topic which I found useful:
Gaṇikā Sutta (Ud 6.8) wrote: Those for whom the training is the essence, or precepts and observances, celibacy, and service as the essence: this is one extreme.
Those who say, ‘There’s nothing wrong with sensual pleasures’: this is the second extreme.
Sīlabbata Sutta (AN 3.78) wrote: Take the case of someone who cultivates precepts and observances, a lifestyle, and a spiritual path, taking this as the essence. If unskillful qualities grow while skillful qualities decline, that’s not fruitful.
However, if unskillful qualities decline while skillful qualities grow, that is fruitful.
Rathavinīta Sutta (MN 24) wrote: Is the spiritual life lived under the Buddha for the sake of purification of ethics? Certainly not.
[...]
Purification of ethics is only for the sake of purification of mind. Purification of mind is only for the sake of [...] [etc.] [...] is only for the sake of extinguishment by not grasping.
Paṭhamagilāna Sutta (SN 35.74) wrote: the Buddha has not taught the Dhamma merely for the sake of ethical purity.
the Buddha has taught the Dhamma for the purpose of the fading away of greed.
Dutiyagilāna Sutta (SN 35.75) wrote: the Buddha has not taught the Dhamma merely for the sake of ethical purity.
the Buddha has taught the Dhamma for the purpose of complete extinguishment by not grasping.
Mahābyūha Sutta (Snp 4.13) wrote: Those who champion ethics speak of purity through self-control;
having undertaken a vow, they stick to it:
‘Let us train right here, then we will be pure.’
Claiming to be experts, they are led on to future lives.

If they fall away from their precepts and vows,
they tremble, having failed in their task.
They pray and long for purity,
like one who has lost their caravan while journeying far from home.

But having given up all precepts and vows,
and these deeds blameworthy or blameless;
not longing for ‘purity’ or ‘impurity’,
live detached, fostering peace.
Nandamāṇavapucchā (Snp 5.8) wrote: There are those here who have given up all
that is seen, heard, and thought, and precepts and vows,
who have given up all the countless different things.
Fully understanding craving, free of defilements,
those people, I say, have crossed the flood.
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Re: sīlabbata parāmāsa

Post by Bundokji »

Thank you Nicolas for the sutta quotes. I find your precise sutta references to be relevant and inspiring. :anjali:
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.
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Re: sīlabbata parāmāsa

Post by Sam Vara »

[quote=Bundokji post_id=766862 time=1718887250
But the relics are singled out in the following sutta:

https://suttacentral.net/pv35/en/kiriba ... ight=false
[/quote]

I'm failing to understand the use of "but" here.
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Re: sīlabbata parāmāsa

Post by Bundokji »

Sam Vara wrote: Thu Jun 20, 2024 1:56 pm I'm failing to understand the use of "but" here.
The sutta singled out criticizing worshipping the relics of the Supreme Buddha as harmful. In other suttas, such as SN22.87, the Buddha told Ven. Vakkali:
“Enough, Vakkali! Why do you want to see this foul body? One who sees the Dhamma sees me; one who sees me sees the Dhamma. For in seeing the Dhamma, Vakkali, one sees me; and in seeing me, one sees the Dhamma.
So the Buddha criticized Ven. Vakkali for getting out of his way to show respect, reverence and devotion to the Buddha, but in the sutta i ve shared, criticizing worshiping the relics leads one to be reborn as a ghost.

The significance of the relics, based on comparing these two suttas, seems to transcend the mere appearances which SN22.87 comes to embody. Worshiping the relics and making offerings to them seems very ritualistic, unless the sutta is hinting at something that could easily escape the eye.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.
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Re: sīlabbata parāmāsa

Post by Sam Vara »

Bundokji wrote: Thu Jun 20, 2024 2:10 pm
Sam Vara wrote: Thu Jun 20, 2024 1:56 pm I'm failing to understand the use of "but" here.
The sutta singled out criticizing worshipping the relics of the Supreme Buddha as harmful. In other suttas, such as SN22.87, the Buddha told Ven. Vakkali:
“Enough, Vakkali! Why do you want to see this foul body? One who sees the Dhamma sees me; one who sees me sees the Dhamma. For in seeing the Dhamma, Vakkali, one sees me; and in seeing me, one sees the Dhamma.
So the Buddha criticized Ven. Vakkali for getting out of his way to show respect, reverence and devotion to the Buddha, but in the sutta i ve shared, criticizing worshiping the relics leads one to be reborn as a ghost.

The significance of the relics, based on comparing these two suttas, seems to transcend the mere appearances which SN22.87 comes to embody. Worshiping the relics and making offerings to them seems very ritualistic, unless the sutta is hinting at something that could easily escape the eye.
Sure, but none of this contradicts the three points that I made.
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Re: sīlabbata parāmāsa

Post by Bundokji »

Sam Vara wrote: Thu Jun 20, 2024 2:33 pm Sure, but none of this contradicts the three points that I made.
It possibly contradicts the third point you made, as it states that there can't be a right grasp on rites and rituals.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.
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Re: sīlabbata parāmāsa

Post by Sam Vara »

Bundokji wrote: Thu Jun 20, 2024 2:40 pm
Sam Vara wrote: Thu Jun 20, 2024 2:33 pm Sure, but none of this contradicts the three points that I made.
It possibly contradicts the third point you made, as it states that there can't be a right grasp on rites and rituals.
No, it doesn't. Parāmāsa simply means "wrong grip". If you have a right grip on something, such as revering the Buddha's relics, then by definition it cannot be parāmāsa.
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