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Bhikku Bodhi’s In the Buddha’s Words

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Comments

  • DavidDavid Just another unique aspect of the same old thang The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    @adamcrossley said:

    @David said:
    The last few pages of the introduction to The Human Condition is where I seem to take issue with many takes on the dharma and I am grateful for the Mahaparinibbana Sutta otherwise I would be at odds with the dharma it may seem.

    What specifically were you taking issue with @David? And what do you like most about the Mahaparinibbana? Thanks for your post—it was very interesting.

    Thanks, I'm glad. I take issue with the judgement that samsara is pointless. It is a subjective label and yet many qualified teachers seem to believe it an absolute statement of truth. It simply is not

    Specifically I'm speaking of not taking any teaching or interpretation on faith especially if it goes against your better judgement or common sense. That he said "even if I said it" helps a lot because of the different ways these things can be interpreted and that a teaching meant for one person may not be the teaching for another. Many or most suttas are named after the student that inspired it and it was directed towards.

    In said introduction it says that past lifetimes are beginningless and could even be endless as long as there is ignorance.

    It qualifies this by saying we are all just wandering pointlessly.

    The problem here is that "pointless" is a value judgement. One that requires a subjective experience. It reminds me of the Hard Question of Consciousness because subjectivity is needed to figure out or explain or awaken to reality.

    I see another way it could be endless and that is if we turn the ignorance into wonder.

    I agree actually. I’m not a firm believer in rebirth (or a firm disbeliever). But whenever I get a sense of it, which happens sometimes when I’m out in nature, it doesn’t seem pointless or depressing. If anything it seems wonderful, beautiful. It gives me a great sense of the interconnectedness of things, which has always seemed to me like an optimistic, celebratory view of the world.

    Perhaps something about the Mahayana goal of Bodhisattva-hood is more in this vein. Rebirth for the would-be Arahant is a bad thing; rebirth for the buddhing Bodhisattva is all part of the mission.

    It’s not that me personally being reborn is what’s appealing, although there’s definitely something beautiful and comforting about the idea of returning to the natural world. It’s the sense of compassion and wonder it gives me, thinking that this little mouse or even that fly might once have been my mother. We’re all in it together. That’s very appealing to me, and doesn’t seem pointless.

    Agreed.

    To me the point would be an ever greater awareness.

    It's all just information being shared in a cooperative way.

    That's my take being almost as influenced by Star Trek as Buddhism.

    lobsteradamcrossley
  • DavidDavid Just another unique aspect of the same old thang The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited May 2020

    @Kerome said:
    The ‘human condition’ section starts with three suttas on old age, illness and death. I found it interesting that one of the three, entitled the Three Divine Messengers (AN 3.35), was a speech given by the Buddha describing a dialogue between King Yama and someone about to be reborn in a hell realm.

    He was already reborn in a hell realm. Strangely, King Yama is a Hindu god of death and so I guess Buddha just kind of adopted it to suit the dharma.

    Pretty sly for conversions sake. Using the pre existing gods in stories promoting a slightly different take on things.

    I mean, he had King Yama relating his story of the 4 signs except he left out the 4th and called it the 3 Divine Messengers.

    So basically he remade his vision into a story to suit the needs of the monks he was addressing at the time.

    lobsteradamcrossley
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @David said:

    @Kerome said:
    The ‘human condition’ section starts with three suttas on old age, illness and death. I found it interesting that one of the three, entitled the Three Divine Messengers (AN 3.35), was a speech given by the Buddha describing a dialogue between King Yama and someone about to be reborn in a hell realm.

    He was already reborn in a hell realm. Strangely, King Yama is a Hindu god of death and so I guess Buddha just kind of adopted it to suit the dharma.

    Pretty sly for conversions sake. Using the pre existing gods in stories promoting a slightly different take on things.

    I mean, he had King Yama relating his story of the 4 signs except he left out the 4th and called it the 3 Divine Messengers.

    Be careful not to state opinions as facts.

  • DavidDavid Just another unique aspect of the same old thang The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited May 2020

    @Bunks said:

    @David said:

    @Kerome said:
    The ‘human condition’ section starts with three suttas on old age, illness and death. I found it interesting that one of the three, entitled the Three Divine Messengers (AN 3.35), was a speech given by the Buddha describing a dialogue between King Yama and someone about to be reborn in a hell realm.

    He was already reborn in a hell realm. Strangely, King Yama is a Hindu god of death and so I guess Buddha just kind of adopted it to suit the dharma.

    Pretty sly for conversions sake. Using the pre existing gods in stories promoting a slightly different take on things.

    I mean, he had King Yama relating his story of the 4 signs except he left out the 4th and called it the 3 Divine Messengers.

    Be careful not to state opinions as facts.

    It is fact. The 4 visions are an old person, a sick person, a corpse and a person sitting in meditation.

    In the parable of the 3 Divine Messengers it is the same minus the meditator and it is the Hindu god of death talking to a person just reborn in a hell realm.

    It is not a critique but an example of Buddha tailoring his teachings to suit his current audience.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Be careful not to state opinions as facts.

    Anything stated is opinion? For example in some maths 2 + 2 can equal 5 or just about anything.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imaginary_number

    oh dear 0/zero exists? Does that mean 0=1? What about negative numbers ... now widely accepted ...

    In my opinion Nothing is a fact. 🤪

    BunksWalkerhow
  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    In one opinion, the most essential meditative understanding of any fact is how not to let it manifest as sufferings cause.

    Is an opinion, just us being too lazy to objectively reexamine all truths in each new moment for the continued validity of their existence?

    How powerful must an identity be in order to credibly recreate its dream world with every new nano second against the denial of reality's counter truth?

    Just another fact wobbling about upon a foundation of unanswerable questions.

    Bunkslobster
  • DavidDavid Just another unique aspect of the same old thang The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    I have to say I really do like the way Bikkhu Bodhi condenses for too much repetition. I find it is much easier to follow when I'm not reading the same paragraph over 5 times with only one variation between them.

    The way he did The Dart of Painful Feeling (2 Arrows) is just superb in my opinion.

    adamcrossley
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @David said:
    I have to say I really do like the way Bikkhu Bodhi condenses for too much repetition. I find it is much easier to follow when I'm not reading the same paragraph over 5 times with only one variation between them.

    The way he did The Dart of Painful Feeling (2 Arrows) is just superb in my opinion.

    I agree, but I also understand why the Buddha repeated the Dhamma over and over again. As the language of the time was only spoken, by getting the monks to repeat the text over and over again it was more likely to stay in the mind stream.

    adamcrossleyAlexDavidRen_in_black
  • DavidDavid Just another unique aspect of the same old thang The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited June 2020

    @Kerome said:

    @federica said:
    The Source according to Bikkhu Bodhi, is the Buddha. It says as much in the title.
    Are you doubting the provenance, or his honesty?

    Not all of the suttas in the book are actually spoken by the Buddha, according to the text. So it seems a fair question, who had witnessed the discussion between the supernatural ruler of the deva’s and the Buddha? I have a lot of respect for Bikkhu Bodhi, but this sutta may not have been the best choice.

    That's true. There are suttas about monks going to the disciples such as Venerable Mahakaccana for wisdom. There are also as you mention, suttas about deities transmitting the dharma.

    The first is an example of Buddhas teachings being understood by the disciples who are qualified to speak with the voice of the Buddha. The latter is an example of Buddha using metaphor to relate better to the audience at hand.

    Both of these are useful in painting as true a portrait of the Buddha as possible when no picture exists.

    @Kerome, I urge you to re read the introduction to Chapter 2: The Bringer of Light and really take your time on it. I think it may at least partially explain your objections above.

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