Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:31 am

Dan74 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:What seems to be going in this thread is an attempt at reading Mahayana tenet system stuff into the Theravada


Is that what's going on?
Seems to be.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:36 am

Good quote, Paul, the Ariyaparyesana Sutta is a good place to start looking: "Practicing as instructed, you will in no long time reach & remain in the supreme goal of the holy life for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for yourselves in the here & now."

But this is a specific statement to a group of people, who are known to have a long term relationship with the Buddha. If we accept the Jatakas to even a small measure, that relationship may include previous lifetimes.

We may also ask the question of what sort of kamma one needs to engage in to have the result of becoming one of a newly awakened Buddha's first five disciples. The situation with the "five" bhikkhus does not start with them at t=0 on the spiritual path timeline.

We should thus be cautious about generalizing this as a statement applicable to all people with respect to the time required from t=0.
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Re: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:39 am

Paññāsikhara wrote:We should thus be cautious about generalizing this as a statement applicable to all people with respect to the time required from t=0.

And, bhante, it goes the other way around, and to say that the "perfections" must be practiced many, many lifetimes befor one can become awakened does not square with the suttas as a whole.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
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Re: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby Ben » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:42 am

Hi Venerable

Then how does one reconcile the prediction at the end of the Satipatthana Sutta?
"Now, if anyone would develop these four frames of reference in this way for seven years, one of two fruits can be expected for him: ...

kind reards

Ben
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Re: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby Virgo » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:50 am

Hi,

What people don't seem to realize is that practicing the Perfections goes hand and hand with, and is integral to the development of panna. When panna develops, it sees the anatta, anicca, or dukkha aspect of arising dhammas. When this happens attachment is lessened. One feels "these belongings are not truly me or mine, they do not have an owner" and one easily gives. When one feels attached, panna can arise and understand anicca on an experiential level and then one will not crave to have some object that only arises and just as soon disappears due to anicca. At that time one will understand that one should give because it conditions less attachment to objects which only cause pain to cling to because it is only delusion which wishes to cling to them. At that time, one is practicing the Perfection of Giving. It is the same with Renunciation, and with all the Perfections. They are born out of wisdom, panna. It is just panna translating into daily life. Each time these perfections are done it reinforces the understanding that it is good to give something away, for example, since dhammas are not-self, impermanent, and so on. It helps reinforce the development of panna in this way through conditioning. In this way, the development of panna and the development of the other qualities listed earlier go hand and hand. They cannot really be separated. This is how the contents of the citta are changed from those of delusion to those born of wisdom which lets go. You should listen to the wise ones who wrote these Commentaries and elucidated these points for the dull-witted like us. The Buddha made the same points but was speaking to people of high parami who understood these things very easily (just look, most of them became Arahants within a single lifetime!). For example, the Buddha would mention in the Suttas that sila helps meditation. Fine that is plain enough, and the Buddha does not go into much more detail about it than that. It is in places such as the Book Of Analysis that we learn that sila helps samadhi beacause sila helps condition kusala mental states, and that only kusala mental states can lead to calm, and to the arising of less akusala or unwholesome mental states, therefore allowing the mind to settle down on the object of meditation. This is just an example of how the Commentaries may seemingly introduce something new, but are really just elucidating what the Buddha taught in a brief way to people in the Suttas.

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Re: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby Dan74 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:55 am

edited for stupid content :embarassed:
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Re: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby Virgo » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:56 am

Ben wrote:Hi Venerable

Then how does one reconcile the prediction at the end of the Satipatthana Sutta?
"Now, if anyone would develop these four frames of reference in this way for seven years, one of two fruits can be expected for him: ...

kind reards

Ben


Hi Ben, if ones parami are very developed one will penetrate the teaching almost instantly. If ones parami are less developed it will take one one month, a little less developed two months, even less developed four, less developed than that it may take one year, even less developed two years... five years... seven years... many liftimes.

It all depends on our accumulations. Please keep in mind that we can practice all the Perfections in this life, including the Perfection of Wisdom, so if one has moments of satipattana and practices the four frames of reference in this life, one is developing the Perfection of Wisdom, as well as the other Perfections at that time, and is simply accumulating Parami. When those parami are developed to the level that panna can penetrate dhammas fully and be very clear, one will attain the Path and it's Fruit.

All the best,

Kevin
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Re: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:01 am

Greetings Virgo,

Virgo wrote:You should listen to the wise ones who wrote these Commentaries and elucidated these points for the dull-witted like us.


Speak for yourself. ;)

No one person has intellectual monopoly over the Buddha's teaching, and none should be granted.

The Fully Enlightened Buddha was more wise than any commentator.

The Four Great Reference from DN 16
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .html#ref4

7. And there the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Now, bhikkhus, I shall make known to you the four great references. Listen and pay heed to my words." And those bhikkhus answered, saying:

"So be it, Lord."

8-11. Then the Blessed One said: "In this fashion, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu might speak: 'Face to face with the Blessed One, brethren, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation'; or: 'In an abode of such and such a name lives a community with elders and a chief. Face to face with that community, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation'; or: 'In an abode of such and such a name live several bhikkhus who are elders, who are learned, who have accomplished their course, who are preservers of the Dhamma, the Discipline, and the Summaries. Face to face with those elders, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation'; or: 'In an abode of such and such a name lives a single bhikkhu who is an elder, who is learned, who has accomplished his course, who is a preserver of the Dhamma, the Discipline, and the Summaries. Face to face with that elder, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation.'

"In such a case, bhikkhus, the declaration of such a bhikkhu is neither to be received with approval nor with scorn. Without approval and without scorn, but carefully studying the sentences word by word, one should trace them in the Discourses and verify them by the Discipline. If they are neither traceable in the Discourses nor verifiable by the Discipline, one must conclude thus: 'Certainly, this is not the Blessed One's utterance; this has been misunderstood by that bhikkhu — or by that community, or by those elders, or by that elder.' In that way, bhikkhus, you should reject it. But if the sentences concerned are traceable in the Discourses and verifiable by the Discipline, then one must conclude thus: 'Certainly, this is the Blessed One's utterance; this has been well understood by that bhikkhu — or by that community, or by those elders, or by that elder.' And in that way, bhikkhus, you may accept it on the first, second, third, or fourth reference. These, bhikkhus, are the four great references for you to preserve."


Accepting, rather than rejecting that which does not accord with Dhamma-Vinaya and the Four Great References is slanderous.

AN 2.23: Abhasita Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

"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."


Shall we slander our refuge? :o

Metta,
Retro. :)
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: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:03 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Paññāsikhara wrote:We should thus be cautious about generalizing this as a statement applicable to all people with respect to the time required from t=0.

And, bhante, it goes the other way around, and to say that the "perfections" must be practiced many, many lifetimes befor one can become awakened does not square with the suttas as a whole.


Indeed, that "perfections must be practiced for many, many lifetimes" is also a conclusion which the sutta does not necessitate, either. I am not arguing that they are. Though I do believe that for most, a fair amount of preparation is necessary. I see that for many people, one lifetime certainly is not enough. I can't say "all people", because I can't see anyone's past lives! But I do know that a lot of people, even with great effort in the Dhamma, still don't make it by the end of this life.

I think that one of the difficulties in this question, is that of when we ask "how long" (or "how many lifetimes"), we must first establish:
Starting from when? From what point do we begin to calculate?

The lack of explicit answers to this question, seems to me to lead to differences of opinion (and opinion they also are) as to when this begins, and thus to the total amount of time required, too.

Tilt, and everyone else for that matter, what would your thoughts be, with reference to the tradition if you will, on when to start calculating?
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Re: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby Virgo » Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:04 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Virgo,

Virgo wrote:You should listen to the wise ones who wrote these Commentaries and elucidated these points for the dull-witted like us.


Speak for yourself. ;)

No one person has intellectual monopoly over the Buddha's teaching, and none should be granted.

The Fully Enlightened Buddha was more wise than any commentator.

The Four Great Reference from DN 16
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .html#ref4

7. And there the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Now, bhikkhus, I shall make known to you the four great references. Listen and pay heed to my words." And those bhikkhus answered, saying:

"So be it, Lord."

8-11. Then the Blessed One said: "In this fashion, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu might speak: 'Face to face with the Blessed One, brethren, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation'; or: 'In an abode of such and such a name lives a community with elders and a chief. Face to face with that community, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation'; or: 'In an abode of such and such a name live several bhikkhus who are elders, who are learned, who have accomplished their course, who are preservers of the Dhamma, the Discipline, and the Summaries. Face to face with those elders, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation'; or: 'In an abode of such and such a name lives a single bhikkhu who is an elder, who is learned, who has accomplished his course, who is a preserver of the Dhamma, the Discipline, and the Summaries. Face to face with that elder, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation.'

"In such a case, bhikkhus, the declaration of such a bhikkhu is neither to be received with approval nor with scorn. Without approval and without scorn, but carefully studying the sentences word by word, one should trace them in the Discourses and verify them by the Discipline. If they are neither traceable in the Discourses nor verifiable by the Discipline, one must conclude thus: 'Certainly, this is not the Blessed One's utterance; this has been misunderstood by that bhikkhu — or by that community, or by those elders, or by that elder.' In that way, bhikkhus, you should reject it. But if the sentences concerned are traceable in the Discourses and verifiable by the Discipline, then one must conclude thus: 'Certainly, this is the Blessed One's utterance; this has been well understood by that bhikkhu — or by that community, or by those elders, or by that elder.' And in that way, bhikkhus, you may accept it on the first, second, third, or fourth reference. These, bhikkhus, are the four great references for you to preserve."


Accepting, rather than rejecting that which does not accord with Dhamma-Vinaya and the Four Great References is slanderous.

AN 2.23: Abhasita Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

"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."


Metta,
Retro. :)

Hi Retro, I don't see the point of your post. I have already explained above both how the Ten Perfections are traced to the Suttas as well as elucidated how they they work both through my experience and the experience of others, ie. verified them through practice.

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Re: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:07 am

Ben wrote:Hi Venerable

Then how does one reconcile the prediction at the end of the Satipatthana Sutta?
"Now, if anyone would develop these four frames of reference in this way for seven years, one of two fruits can be expected for him: ...

kind reards

Ben


Hi Ben,

It is a good question, but I think that some comments to it have already been made, yesterday. They run along the lines of "So what kamma does one have to perform (or is no kamma at all necessary?) for a person to even encounter such a teaching in the first place?" And issues like "Why is it that even those who encounter these teachings don't always have seven years, or even seven days, in which to practice it? Is availability of time (and other resources) to so practice also the result of what sort of kamma (or none at all, having time and resources is purely accidental / arbitrary)?" And as above, the question of "Beginning from when?" If somebody walks in off the street to your Dhamma center, how much success would you have by saying: "Look, just give up everything for seven years, and you'll become an ariya!" How many takers do you have? If few, if any, why not? Is their reluctance to accept and practice this due to lacking past interest, etc. other forms of kamma, or not at all?
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Re: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:10 am

Greetings venerable Paññāsikhara,

Paññāsikhara wrote:Tilt, and everyone else for that matter, what would your thoughts be, with reference to the tradition if you will, on when to start calculating?


Perhaps we could start counting from the time Angulimala started out in a career of mass murder?

Could someone with the alleged "many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan" tucked under his belt commit such horrendous murders? It just doesn't stack up. A mass murderer is a long long way from any kind of spiritual "perfection".

Yet, within a short time of encountering the Buddha and the Dhamma, he went from mass-murderer to arahant.

This demonstrates the efficacy of the Dhamma as a means to arahantship in this very life... without many kappa of paramita development. Attributing it to paramita development rather than the Buddha's intervention, in my opinion, diminishes the value placed on the Dhamma as a vehicle for enlightenment and transformation.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby Virgo » Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:14 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings venerable Paññāsikhara,

Paññāsikhara wrote:Tilt, and everyone else for that matter, what would your thoughts be, with reference to the tradition if you will, on when to start calculating?


Perhaps we could start counting from the time Angulimala started out in a career of mass murder?

Could someone with the alleged "many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan" tucked under his belt commit such horrendous murders?
Retro. :)

Yes, even someone with very high Parami could have a very bad wind disease, leading to temporary insanity, schizophrenia, and various other mental ailments. One may also have the kamma that one is taught that such things are correct to do (as Angulimala thought he was beings instructed to do these by a good teacher who he had faith in) even though it goes against ones natural instincts and so on. One could also be influenced by spirits, and so on. So I think it is certainly possible, yes.

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Re: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:20 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings venerable Paññāsikhara,

Paññāsikhara wrote:Tilt, and everyone else for that matter, what would your thoughts be, with reference to the tradition if you will, on when to start calculating?


Perhaps we could start counting from the time Angulimala started out in a career of mass murder?


We could. But I am not at all sure why we should. Do we have evidence that the time when he started his career as such he had hitherto not engaged in any sort of wholesome activities at all? In fact, evidence suggests the contrary, that even in that one life, he had lived for some time as an admirable spiritual practitioner. How about prior to that life? Again, we do not know. I would suggest nidana material in explanation of Angulimala, aka "Ahimsaka" (Harmless), but you seem to reject pretty much anything that is not in a sutta. So, it does not seem like a suitable candidate to begin counting to me.

Angulimala - Though, if we accept all commentarial literature as "the work of poets" and so on, then this will mean absolutely nothing. One could also ref. Gombrich, How Buddhism Began, 135-164, but this still indicates that he was some kind of spiritual practitioner, too.

Could someone with the alleged "many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan" tucked under his belt commit such horrendous murders? It just doesn't stack up. A mass murderer is a long long way from any kind of spiritual "perfection".


Why not? We know that Angulimala was previously a spiritual practitioner in that life alone. Go and have a look at some spiritual groups, picking one at random, do you know about the various criminals who started out in ISKCON as spiritual practitioners, only to become major criminals later? Such a situation is by no means certain.

Moreover, the "perfections" (and by the way, I am not using this term in my own posts, because I don't think we need to use it) can be described as simply "requisites to awakening". Even giving a bit of food to an animal is actually a requisite in this sense. It doesn't have to involve even the five precepts at all. So I don't think we can reject it on the grounds you suggest.

Yet, within a short time of encountering the Buddha and the Dhamma, he went from mass-murderer to arahant.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Yes. Though he was a spiritual practitioner in the same life before a mass murderer.

But, the question is not "how many lifetimes after one meets the Buddha ...", but on "perfections". We would first have to establish what conditions are required to even meet a Buddha in the first place. Obviously, all (okay, 98%) the people in the suttas already have that condition, but we don't! So in this regard, they may not be at t=0, we do not know. Moreover, do we know whether or not Angulimala had met the Buddha, or practiced perfections, or even just done some good deeds for spiritual development (which is what the paramis are) before that lifetime?

So, to sum up, how do we know that his meeting in that life was t=0? We do not. Do we have evidence to conclude that he had never met the Buddha (practiced good deeds, etc.) before? No, we do not.
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Re: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:23 am

Greetings Virgo,

Virgo wrote:[Yes, even someone with very high Parami could have a very bad wind disease, leading to temporary insanity, schizophrenia, and various other mental ailments. One may also have the kamma that one is taught that such things are correct to do (as Angulimala thought he was beings instructed to do these by a good teacher who he had faith in) even though it goes against ones natural instincts and so on. One could also be influenced by spirits, and so on. So I think it is certainly possible, yes.


It seems to take a lot of bizarre and elaborate explanations to maintain your view, Virgo... especially after all your repetition about panna (wisdom) being concurrent with the development of the paramis! Again, it just doesn't stack up.

If you took Dhamma-Vinaya on its own terms rather than through the lens of tenet systems created by non-Sammasambuddhas, you might find that things slot into place well without these elaborately fantastic and grandiose explanations.

The Dhamma isn't something elaborately fantastic and grandiose... it's just meant to lead to the cessation of suffering. It doesn't need "wow factor" to go with it.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby Virgo » Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:41 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Virgo,

Virgo wrote:[Yes, even someone with very high Parami could have a very bad wind disease, leading to temporary insanity, schizophrenia, and various other mental ailments. One may also have the kamma that one is taught that such things are correct to do (as Angulimala thought he was beings instructed to do these by a good teacher who he had faith in) even though it goes against ones natural instincts and so on. One could also be influenced by spirits, and so on. So I think it is certainly possible, yes.


It seems to take a lot of bizarre and elaborate explanations to maintain your view, Virgo... especially after all your repetition about panna (wisdom) being concurrent with the development of the paramis! Again, it just doesn't stack up.

Hi Retro,

Can you please explain further? I don't see anything bizarre being used to support what I said. I am honest with myself and with others. When I my points are shown to be wrong with sound logic, I concede them, adopt a more logical pov, and move on.

retro wrote:If you took Dhamma-Vinaya on its own terms rather than through the lens of tenet systems created by non-Sammasambuddhas, you might find that things slot into place well without these elaborately fantastic and grandiose explanations.

Everything fits into place fine for me.

retro wrote:The Dhamma isn't something elaborately fantastic and grandiose...

Sure it is. It is also unexcelled in the three times of past, present, and future.

retro wrote:it's just meant to lead to the cessation of suffering. It doesn't need "wow factor" to go with it.

I don't see where any "wow factor" has been added Retro. Can you please elaborate?


Kevin
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Re: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:45 am

Greetings Virgo,

Virgo wrote:Hi Retro, I don't see the point of your post. I have already explained above both how the Ten Perfections are traced to the Suttas as well as elucidated how they they work both through my experience and the experience of others, ie. verified them through practice.


As I said earlier, I have no problem with the cultivation of the ten wholesome and beneficial attributes listed as paramitas. I am not debating the benefit of them - in fact, no one is. That is a straw man.

What is being debated is your statement that "it is possible to achieve enlightenment in this lifetime, but only if you have been developing all of the perfections for many. many lifetimes already".

That was the relevance of my posting. This conclusion of your does not hold up to the Four Great References. By "carefully studying the sentences word by word, one should trace them in the Discourses and verify them by the Discipline. If they are neither traceable in the Discourses nor verifiable by the Discipline, one must conclude thus: 'Certainly, this is not the Blessed One's utterance; this has been misunderstood by that bhikkhu — or by that community, or by those elders, or by that elder.' In that way, bhikkhus, you should reject it."

The Buddha said you should reject it. That you choose not to, is your decision to follow. Perhaps you choose not to follow the four great references because they are some kind of provisional hinayana teaching? :shrug: Again, that's your decision to make.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby Virgo » Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:49 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Virgo,

Virgo wrote:Hi Retro, I don't see the point of your post. I have already explained above both how the Ten Perfections are traced to the Suttas as well as elucidated how they they work both through my experience and the experience of others, ie. verified them through practice.


As I said earlier, I have no problem with the cultivation of the ten wholesome and beneficial attributes listed as paramitas. I am not debating the benefit of them - in fact, no one is. That is a straw man.

What is being debated is your statement that "it is possible to achieve enlightenment in this lifetime, but only if you have been developing all of the perfections for many. many lifetimes already".

That was the relevance of my posting. This conclusion of your does not hold up to the Four Great References. By "carefully studying the sentences word by word, one should trace them in the Discourses and verify them by the Discipline. If they are neither traceable in the Discourses nor verifiable by the Discipline, one must conclude thus: 'Certainly, this is not the Blessed One's utterance; this has been misunderstood by that bhikkhu — or by that community, or by those elders, or by that elder.' In that way, bhikkhus, you should reject it."

The Buddha said you should reject it. That you choose not to, is your decision to follow. Perhaps you choose not to follow the four great references because they are some kind of provisional hinayana teaching? :shrug: Again, that's your decision to make.

Metta,
Retro. :)

Hi Retro,

I explained earlier how Paramis do not disagree with, but rather agree with the Buddha's statements in the Satipatthana Sutta if that is what you are referring to.

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Re: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby Dan74 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:02 am

To me, your position, retro, is only tenable if one rejects rebirth and kamma or if one adopts a strong free will position. If one does not then there is a place where you are spiritually, physically, intellectually, etc. There are some things you and me will never understand, never appreciate in this lifetime, in other words - limitations due to our kamma. Lots of things we will never be able to do. Well, that's OK - we are where we are. And what's important is that we make the most of it.

But how much we can make of it is also determined by our kamma. So to me this whole question is one of kamma and free will/determinism. If one adopts a strong free will position, then it is possible to over-ride the kammic effects of past lives, etc. Some sources in Theravada and Mahayana suggest that you can. Some seem to suggest that you can't.

But as practitioners, subjectively we do experience choices. Important to make the right ones, that's all, as I see it. For the purpose of this debate it is important to be clear whether one is arguing from an absolute perspective (of an all-knowing being) or a relative one.

(Logically a strong free will position doesn't make sense to me and doesn't agree with the Buddhist notion of kamma. But certainly some methods are more efficient in uprooting defilements and developing wisdom than others. So in that sense practicing the Dhamma we come close to a strong free will position in the sense of becoming almost free of conditioning - (almost) free of kamma, perhaps!)
Last edited by Dan74 on Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:09 am

Greetings Virgo,

Virgo wrote:I explained earlier how Paramis do not disagree with, but rather agree with the Buddha's statements in the Satipatthana Sutta if that is what you are referring to.


What you have done is give lots of explanations that are completely untraceable to the suttas and should therefore be rejected.

In fact, in this entire discussion (despite having been challenged to do so by multiple people), I cannot recall you providing a single quotation from the Dhamma-Vinaya to support your view that "it is possible to achieve enlightenment in this lifetime, but only if you have been developing all of the perfections for many. many lifetimes already". Not one. Not a single solitary quotation from the Buddha that even comes remotely close to supporting your view.

Yet, you espouse these words as if they were undoubtedly the truth... in spite of the four great references and despite the suttas about what constitutes slander of the Buddha.

Without a single supporting quote from the Pali Canon you give us tenet systems, scholastic papanca, wind diseases, infinite regresses, deference to non-Buddhas etc. and expect us to believe your view represents the Dhamma as taught by the Buddha? Come on.

If you expect me to think that your view is something other than Mahayana elitism, wrapped in Mahavihara clothing, I think the onus is now on you to try a little harder to provide a shred of evidence from the Dhamma-Vinaya to support your position. Anything...

Metta,
Retro. :)
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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