Criteria for who is a disciple of the Buddha - Which sutta?

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Criteria for who is a disciple of the Buddha - Which sutta?

Postby binocular » Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:17 pm

Hello.


I recall a sutta where the Buddha states who may rightfully consider themselves to be a disciple of the Buddha.
I've tried to find it myself, but to no avail.
Does anyone know in which sutta this is the topic?


Thank you.
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Re: Criteria for who is a disciple of the Buddha - Which sut

Postby cooran » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:11 pm

The Sekha Patipada Sutta addresses the qualities of a Follower of the Buddha - not sure if this is what you mean.
http://buddhasutra.com/files/sekha.htm

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Re: Criteria for who is a disciple of the Buddha - Which sut

Postby cooran » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:14 pm

On second thoughts, I think it is the Jivaka Sutta you are looking for:

Jivaka Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

With metta,
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Re: Criteria for who is a disciple of the Buddha - Which sut

Postby binocular » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:20 pm

Thank you, but it's not these two.

The one I have in mind is using some heavy words, something to the effect of "And if you ever, even just for a moment, fail to keep in line with the Dhamma, you're not worthy calling yourself a disciple of the Buddha."
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Re: Criteria for who is a disciple of the Buddha - Which sut

Postby Goofaholix » Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:31 pm

binocular wrote:The one I have in mind is using some heavy words, something to the effect of "And if you ever, even just for a moment, fail to keep in line with the Dhamma, you're not worthy calling yourself a disciple of the Buddha."


Looking at that wording I would imagine that would disqualify anyone who wasn't fully awakened.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Criteria for who is a disciple of the Buddha - Which sut

Postby Mkoll » Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:00 am

Dear binocular,

I don't recall ever seeing anywhere in the suttas where it is explained directly. From my understanding, the numerous examples of people going for refuge at the end of many suttas is the beginning of discipleship.

"Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to show the way to one who was lost, or were to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way has Master Gotama — through many lines of reasoning — made the Dhamma clear. I go to Master Gotama for refuge, to the Dhamma, and to the Sangha of monks. May Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone to him for refuge, from this day forward, for life."
-MN 72

From there, I assume those people would try to live their lives according to the Dhamma as far as they are willing.

It sounds like you may be speaking of a sutta I've never read before which is a possibility given that I haven't read nearly enough suttas yet.

:anjali:
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Re: Criteria for who is a disciple of the Buddha - Which sut

Postby binocular » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:17 am

Goofaholix wrote:
binocular wrote:The one I have in mind is using some heavy words, something to the effect of "And if you ever, even just for a moment, fail to keep in line with the Dhamma, you're not worthy calling yourself a disciple of the Buddha."


Looking at that wording I would imagine that would disqualify anyone who wasn't fully awakened.

It's in a tone similar to AN 2.23:

"Monks, these two slander the Tathagata. Which two? He who explains what was not said or spoken by the Tathagata as said or spoken by the Tathagata. And he who explains what was said or spoken by the Tathagata as not said or spoken by the Tathagata. These are two who slander the Tathagata."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

When you consider the things that are nowadays popularly ascribed to having been said by the Buddha (e.g. http://sourcesofinsight.com/buddha-quotes/), according to this sutta, many if not most of these things are to be counted as slandering the Buddha.
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Re: Criteria for who is a disciple of the Buddha - Which sut

Postby robertk » Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:30 am

"
Monks, even if bandits were to savagely sever you, limb by limb, with a double-handled saw, even then, whoever of you harbors ill will at heart would not be upholding my Teaching.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: Criteria for who is a disciple of the Buddha - Which sut

Postby daverupa » Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:39 am

SN 55.40 wrote:"Lord, the disciple of the noble ones in whom the factors of stream entry are altogether & in every way lacking: Is he called a disciple of the noble ones who lives heedlessly?"

"Nandiya, the person in whom the factors of stream entry are altogether & in every way lacking I call an outsider, one who stands in the faction of the run-of-the-mill. But as to how a disciple of the noble ones lives heedlessly and heedfully, listen well and pay attention, I will speak."


:?:
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Criteria for who is a disciple of the Buddha - Which sut

Postby binocular » Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:50 pm

Thank you for the suggestions!


robertk wrote:"
Monks, even if bandits were to savagely sever you, limb by limb, with a double-handled saw, even then, whoever of you harbors ill will at heart would not be upholding my Teaching.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

This one is close.


daverupa wrote:
SN 55.40 wrote:"Lord, the disciple of the noble ones in whom the factors of stream entry are altogether & in every way lacking: Is he called a disciple of the noble ones who lives heedlessly?"

"Nandiya, the person in whom the factors of stream entry are altogether & in every way lacking I call an outsider, one who stands in the faction of the run-of-the-mill. But as to how a disciple of the noble ones lives heedlessly and heedfully, listen well and pay attention, I will speak."

So it appears that even a person who lives as heedlessly as described above, would still count as a disciple of the noble ones.

On a related note, there is what I find a peculiar formulation in the Patoda Sutta -

"Then again there is the case where an excellent thoroughbred horse is not stirred & agitated on seeing the shadow of the goad-stick, or when his coat is pricked, or when his hide is pricked, but when his bone is pricked [with the goad stick] he is stirred & agitated, [thinking,] 'I wonder what task the trainer will have me do today? What should I do in response?' Some excellent thoroughbred horses are like this. And this is the fourth type of excellent thoroughbred horse to be found existing in the world.

- as if a horse is still an "excellent thoroughbred horse" even if he has to be hit to the bone to become alert to the horse trainer. I think most people would not consider such a horse to be an "excellent thoroughbred horse", but a lazy one.
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Re: Criteria for who is a disciple of the Buddha - Which sut

Postby zamotcr » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:12 pm

Binocular, what is your point? What are you trying to prove? That to be a follower of the Buddha is very very difficult and that you are part of the elite? Well, that's not gonna happen :D

As several has pointed out, a follower of the Buddha is one who follow the five precepts, and take refuge in the Triple Gem, like it or not.
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Re: Criteria for who is a disciple of the Buddha - Which sut

Postby kirk5a » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:14 pm

binocular wrote:On a related note, there is what I find a peculiar formulation in the Patoda Sutta -

"Then again there is the case where an excellent thoroughbred horse is not stirred & agitated on seeing the shadow of the goad-stick, or when his coat is pricked, or when his hide is pricked, but when his bone is pricked [with the goad stick] he is stirred & agitated, [thinking,] 'I wonder what task the trainer will have me do today? What should I do in response?' Some excellent thoroughbred horses are like this. And this is the fourth type of excellent thoroughbred horse to be found existing in the world.

- as if a horse is still an "excellent thoroughbred horse" even if he has to be hit to the bone to become alert to the horse trainer. I think most people would not consider such a horse to be an "excellent thoroughbred horse", but a lazy one.

I take the point there to be that the horse is nevertheless trainable. I believe the Buddha's compassion was such that he did not exclude anyone who was trainable, even those who need harsher prodding. Nevertheless, there are some the Buddha considered untrainable. In my opinion, this would be someone who is really going to lengths to be obstinately closed minded to the Buddha's teachings.

Although I'd say there are examples in the suttas of those who certainly seemed completely convinced of their opposition to the Buddha (Saccaka for example), only to be converted by the Buddha's skillful means, so we probably shouldn't be too sure of who isn't ultimately able to accept the teachings.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

More on the training of horses here:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Criteria for who is a disciple of the Buddha - Which sut

Postby santa100 » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:45 pm

binocular wrote: ..I think most people would not consider such a horse to be an "excellent thoroughbred horse", but a lazy one.

Thoroughbred doesn't automatically imply diligence or laziness. It only means "high potential". Even for people, you'll see someone who is extremely bright and capable but lacks the motivation, some isn't so bright but works really hard, some has both, some has neither..
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Re: Criteria for who is a disciple of the Buddha - Which sut

Postby binocular » Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:36 pm

santa100 wrote:
binocular wrote: ..I think most people would not consider such a horse to be an "excellent thoroughbred horse", but a lazy one.

Thoroughbred doesn't automatically imply diligence or laziness. It only means "high potential". Even for people, you'll see someone who is extremely bright and capable but lacks the motivation, some isn't so bright but works really hard, some has both, some has neither..

The phrase was "excellent thoroughbred", not just "thoroughbred."


kirk5a wrote:I take the point there to be that the horse is nevertheless trainable. I believe the Buddha's compassion was such that he did not exclude anyone who was trainable, even those who need harsher prodding. Nevertheless, there are some the Buddha considered untrainable. In my opinion, this would be someone who is really going to lengths to be obstinately closed minded to the Buddha's teachings.

I don't see how the second part of the Patoda Sutta fits with the first one.
Each part per se makes sense to me, but the comparison eludes me.
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Re: Criteria for who is a disciple of the Buddha - Which sut

Postby santa100 » Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:45 pm

binocular wrote: The phrase was "excellent thoroughbred", not just "thoroughbred."

So? that still gives no ground to automatically associate with diligence or laziness. The most you can conclude is "excellent potential". That's all.
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Re: Criteria for who is a disciple of the Buddha - Which sut

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Jan 07, 2014 7:14 pm

binocular wrote:It's in a tone similar to AN 2.23:


Not at all, that quote is about spreading false teaching, the consequences aren't explained other than it's slander to do so.

The wording you originally posted advised that one small mistake not in line with the Dhamma and you'd never worthy calling yourself a disciple of the Buddha.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Criteria for who is a disciple of the Buddha - Which sut

Postby daverupa » Tue Jan 07, 2014 7:46 pm

binocular wrote:I don't see how the second part of the Patoda Sutta fits with the first one.
Each part per se makes sense to me, but the comparison eludes me.


There's seeing the hint of a goad-stick, and there's feeling the goad-stick to lesser, middling, and greater amounts. These are the four cases in which a horse, having experienced the goad-stick to one of these degrees, ends up in a state where they are amenable to the training.

So, hearing about pain & death is a goad-stick's shadow. The lesser, middling, and greater aspects are seeing the pain & death of any body, the body of a close relation, or one's own body. In each case the increasing discomfort of the goad-stick (to wit, awareness of mortality, etc.) is made more and more salient, more and more direct.

In each case, one who is motivated such that they are "stirred & agitated by that. Stirred, he becomes appropriately resolute. Resolute, he both realizes with his body the highest truth and, having penetrated it with discernment, sees" is an excellent thoroughbred.

:focus:
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Criteria for who is a disciple of the Buddha - Which sut

Postby manas » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:12 pm

There is a sutta where three kinds of noble disciples are described, the faith follower, the dhamma follower, and the stream enterer. Although the first two types were only said to be on the way to stream entry, and not as having achieved it as yet, they were nevertheless said to have "transcended the plane of the run-of-the-mill", if memory serves me correct.
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Re: Criteria for who is a disciple of the Buddha - Which sut

Postby Mkoll » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:34 pm

manas wrote:There is a sutta where three kinds of noble disciples are described, the faith follower, the dhamma follower, and the stream enterer. Although the first two types were only said to be on the way to stream entry, and not as having achieved it as yet, they were nevertheless said to have "transcended the plane of the run-of-the-mill", if memory serves me correct.
:anjali:


At the end of MN 22, the Buddha describes the four saints, Dhamma and faith followers, and those with sufficient faith in him.

"In the Dhamma thus well-proclaimed by me — clear, open, evident, stripped of rags — those monks who have abandoned the three fetters, are all stream-winners, steadfast, never again destined for states of woe, headed for self-awakening. This is how the Dhamma well-proclaimed by me is clear, open, evident, stripped of rags.

"In the Dhamma thus well-proclaimed by me — clear, open, evident, stripped of rags — those monks who are Dhamma-followers and conviction-followers [18] are all headed for self-awakening. This is how the Dhamma well-proclaimed by me is clear, open, evident, stripped of rags.

"In the Dhamma thus well-proclaimed by me — clear, open, evident, stripped of rags — those monks who have a [sufficient] measure of conviction in me, a [sufficient] measure of love for me, are all headed for heaven. This is how the Dhamma well-proclaimed by me is clear, open, evident, stripped of rags."


:anjali:
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Re: Criteria for who is a disciple of the Buddha - Which sut

Postby SarathW » Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:37 pm

I think anyone keep Nirvana as its objective is a disciple of the Buddha.
I think the first refuge “Buddham Saranam Gacchami” means that “ I keep Nirvana as my objective”.
If someone does not believe there is Nirvana he is not a disciple of Buddha.
:idea:
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