Should Wives Be Obedient?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby Jhana4 » Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:52 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:In substance, yes. But the key motivation is: how can I best troll a bunch of buddhists?

This guy joined on 12th July and last visited on 19th July, making 18 posts, 17 of which were on this thread.

So there isn't much value in continuing to discuss the substance in this context, imo.


It is my understanding that a "troll" is a person who posts messages with the intent of getting people to bicker. I'm not psychic, so I can't guess that person's intent.

Regardless, even if this were the case it is a legitimate subject.

Such things are in the Pali Canon, and worse, such as the Buddha advising masters and slaves how to behave with each other instead of coming out against slavery.

Someone who has been posting here for years could have brought up such a legitimate subject.

While the academics among us can guess that the Buddha was tailoring his advice to the environment he was in, we really do not know what his motivation was either or if such suttas were really his words or not.

So, we come back to my point, which is that the real questions is

"What do we do with our religion when we come across a piece of it that we find very objectionable to modern values we hold dearly?"
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby dagon » Tue Aug 20, 2013 2:33 pm

Jhana4 wrote:
Modus.Ponens wrote:In substance, yes. But the key motivation is: how can I best troll a bunch of buddhists?

This guy joined on 12th July and last visited on 19th July, making 18 posts, 17 of which were on this thread.

So there isn't much value in continuing to discuss the substance in this context, imo.


It is my understanding that a "troll" is a person who posts messages with the intent of getting people to bicker. I'm not psychic, so I can't guess that person's intent.

Regardless, even if this were the case it is a legitimate subject.

Such things are in the Pali Canon, and worse, such as the Buddha advising masters and slaves how to behave with each other instead of coming out against slavery.

Someone who has been posting here for years could have brought up such a legitimate subject.

While the academics among us can guess that the Buddha was tailoring his advice to the environment he was in, we really do not know what his motivation was either or if such suttas were really his words or not.

So, we come back to my point, which is that the real questions is

"What do we do with our religion when we come across a piece of it that we find very objectionable to modern values we hold dearly?"


Well I am not an academic so …. lol

The OP used a reference that did not say the same as the question posed. The OP said obey, the reference said respect. There is a difference, and that difference makes the Buddha’s teaching acceptable to me, whereas the proposition of the OP is not. The OP also did not chose to identity other teachings that outlined the moral and ethical duties of the husband to the wife!!

There are teachings such as the duties and obligations between slaves and masters that our gut response is one of rejection. You may be able to help me out but I do not recall that the Buddha said that there should be slavery – rather that he was saying that there was mutual rights and obligations, or to put it another way; moral and ethical considerations in all relationships. The reality was that there was slavery at that time and there is not (lawful) slavery now.

The teachings do adapt to the modern era simply because the Buddha also taught that we should obey the laws of the land – as the countries that most of us live in make slavery illegal we should follow that law.

I would be happy for you to provide us with examples that we could consider to assist my studies

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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:17 pm

Jhana4 wrote:
Modus.Ponens wrote:In substance, yes. But the key motivation is: how can I best troll a bunch of buddhists?

This guy joined on 12th July and last visited on 19th July, making 18 posts, 17 of which were on this thread.

So there isn't much value in continuing to discuss the substance in this context, imo.


It is my understanding that a "troll" is a person who posts messages with the intent of getting people to bicker. I'm not psychic, so I can't guess that person's intent.

Regardless, even if this were the case it is a legitimate subject.

Such things are in the Pali Canon, and worse, such as the Buddha advising masters and slaves how to behave with each other instead of coming out against slavery.

Someone who has been posting here for years could have brought up such a legitimate subject.

While the academics among us can guess that the Buddha was tailoring his advice to the environment he was in, we really do not know what his motivation was either or if such suttas were really his words or not.

So, we come back to my point, which is that the real questions is

"What do we do with our religion when we come across a piece of it that we find very objectionable to modern values we hold dearly?"


Yes, it's an absolutely legitimate subject for discussion and it should be encouraged. I think buddhist women will find it especialy relevant, even central to their relation with buddhism. I just don't want this guy to have the satisfaction of returning one day to see people arguing because of his little joke.

This subject has a bitter history here, though. History of which I'm not proud to say I belong. It should be treated with lots of skill.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby Jhana4 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:42 am

Modus.Ponens wrote:Yes, it's an absolutely legitimate subject for discussion and it should be encouraged. I think buddhist women will find it especialy relevant, even central to their relation with buddhism.

I just don't want this guy to have the satisfaction of returning one day to see people arguing because of his little joke.


Then don't bicker, discuss.

Trolls are attention seekers. The most disappointing thing for them is to get no response or attention ( even negative ) at all.
Too late there, by accusing him/her of trolling, s/he was already fed. The second most disappointing thing about a troll is to see her/his bait taken, but then used for a calm, interesting discussion.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:25 am

Jhana4 wrote:
Modus.Ponens wrote:Yes, it's an absolutely legitimate subject for discussion and it should be encouraged. I think buddhist women will find it especialy relevant, even central to their relation with buddhism.

I just don't want this guy to have the satisfaction of returning one day to see people arguing because of his little joke.


Then don't bicker, discuss.

Trolls are attention seekers. The most disappointing thing for them is to get no response or attention ( even negative ) at all.
Too late there, by accusing him/her of trolling, s/he was already fed. The second most disappointing thing about a troll is to see her/his bait taken, but then used for a calm, interesting discussion.


I'm wasn't bickering. :shrug:
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby dagon » Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:44 am

Hi guys

Maybe it would be more positive to start a new thread - Are any of The Buddha’s teaching incompatible with modern social values? that way we can move forward without the baggage of this thread. We are in breach of the TOS at this time, lets give the Mods a day off and take responsibility for our own actions. PLEASE

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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby Jhana4 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:34 am

dagon wrote:Hi guys

Maybe it would be more positive to start a new thread - Are any of The Buddha’s teaching incompatible with modern social values? that way we can move forward without the baggage of this thread. We are in breach of the TOS at this time, lets give the Mods a day off and take responsibility for our own actions. PLEASE

metta
paul


Oy, nobody is insulting or offending anyone. Relax.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:35 am

:focus:
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby rohana » Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:11 am

GusVanSpent wrote:The Buddha reached enlightenment, therefore he was all knowing, past present and future.

I forget which one, but there is a sutta in which the Buddha specifically rejects this, claiming he can know anything, but only if he directs his mind to it, and information about the past, present, and future is not, by default available to him.

See also the footnotes to the Simsapa Sutta by Maurice Walshe:
    The Buddha was naturally aware of many things, unknown to others, which he did not deem it necessary to teach for the gaining of enlightenment. We can accept, even without interpreting full enlightenment vulgarly as "omniscience," that the Buddha was at least potentially aware of whatever he wished or needed to know. He knew precisely which religious and philosophical doctrines that were or might be propounded were (a) true and (b) conducive to enlightenment.

    The Simsapa Leaves

As for the OP, I generally see instances like this as the Buddha giving 'common sense' advice regarding women living in a patriarchal culture.
Last edited by rohana on Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Delighting in existence, O monks, are gods and men; they are attached to existence, they revel in existence. When the Dhamma for the cessation of existence is being preached to them, their minds do not leap towards it, do not get pleased with it, do not get settled in it, do not find confidence in it. That is how, monks, some lag behind."
- It. p 43
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby Bodhisurfer » Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:56 pm

firstly I must admit to not having read this thread in its entirety -just a few pages at the start and a few at the end so my apologies if I have missed some important points or if I am repeating what has already been said.

I agree with the poster who says that the real question here is what do we do when parts of our religon disagree with our modern sensibilities. Surely we question everything - I beleive the Kalama sutta encourages that.

Does an obedient wife/partner move me, her, him or anyone else further on towards liberation? -I'm tempted to add does knowing whether a partner should be obedient help me on the path.?

I love the Pali cannon, I try to read something from it everyday. I believe its as near to the word of the Buddha as I can get but its unlikely to be exact, The chances of misinterpretation(deliberately or other wise), mistakes in copying, translation etc of something that is said to have not been written down for some considerable time after the Buddhas passing is probably quite high :buddha1:
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Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby Jhana4 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:04 pm

If you think of the Buddha as a non-divine human being, then you can accept that things he said and rules he made may be out of date.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Location: U.S.A., Northeast

Re: Should Wives Be Obedient?

Postby dagon » Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:12 am

It would have been better if the thread had been title WHY should women obey their husbands.

To reiterate the sutta quoted said respect, not obey.

If we go with the word respect then we have a basis for a discussion. If we want to be respected then there should be reasons why we are respected. If we want to be respected because the dhamma said we should be then we need (as husbands) to respect and follow the dhamma.

The problem with the original premise is that it leaves out half of the equation – how should husbands behave if they want respect from their wives. It is folly to believe that the dhamma gives husbands unilateral rights – The Buddha was talking about reciprocal rights and OBLIGATIONS. As a western society we are a rights based society and rarely consider the obligations which are in effect the rights of others in any transaction (including marriage).

The rights and obligations of both parties was based on their role in society – society has changed but the roles (striped of gender lables) have not. What we have now is that in most household both roles are carried out by both parties – there for what we now owe to our partners is both sets of obligations. If we apply this to our lives then we have a duty to mutually respect each other. This is in accordance with general Buddhist teachings and our society. If we take the invented (by the OP) duty of the wife to obey the husband this does not work.

Before we decide to impose the Buddha’s teaching on others we should try applying them to ourselves.

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