Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby daverupa » Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:54 am

The idea that the Buddha could have only died due to an indigestible meal, along with living to the end of an aeon, and so on, all strike me as a certain flavor of hagiography as opposed to historiography. The problem mentioned in the OP seems to be related to a level of omniscience which is not clearly asserted in the Nikayas, but which echoes there - in my opinion - as simply another example of an early stage of this sort of hagiographical embellishment.

:shrug:
    "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: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby Anagarika » Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:58 am

I read once an interesting essay by a Buddhist physician who opines that the Buddha in fact died as a result of mesenteric infarction. The Suttas describe the Buddha with thirst, with chills, and other symptoms (bleeding) that made Ven. Ananda feel faint. It may not have been tainted mushrooms (food for pigs) or tainted pork (food made from pigs) [translators vary on this], but the size of the meal that aggravated an already chronic condition. I will look for the article and post it, if I can find it.
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby SarathW » Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:59 am

Buddha does not check whether food is poisons every time he eats some food.
Though he was omniscience he will know it, only he pays attention for it.
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby daverupa » Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:05 am

BuddhaSoup wrote:I read once an interesting essay by a Buddhist physician who opines that the Buddha in fact died as a result of mesenteric infarction.


viewtopic.php?f=13&t=19552#p274299

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=19552#p274284

Yes, already done twice.

:heart:
    "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: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:10 am

daverupa wrote:
BuddhaSoup wrote:I read once an interesting essay by a Buddhist physician who opines that the Buddha in fact died as a result of mesenteric infarction.

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=19552#p274299
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=19552#p274284
Yes, already done twice.


And which the Suttas have refuted here: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=19552#p274322
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby Anagarika » Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:11 am

daverupa wrote:
BuddhaSoup wrote:I read once an interesting essay by a Buddhist physician who opines that the Buddha in fact died as a result of mesenteric infarction.


viewtopic.php?f=13&t=19552#p274299

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=19552#p274284

Yes, already done twice.

:heart:


Yep, that's it. Missed Cooran's reference the first time I breezed through the postings. Gracias
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby cooran » Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:13 am

Hello all,

Concerning what the omniscience of the Buddha was like :
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=11009

With metta,
Chris
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---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:10 am

Whenever they sign a death certificate, coroners always try to give the cause of death, but they never give the true cause, which is birth.

The Buddha died of old age, having already announced the time of his death three months earlier when he had renounced the possibility of extending it by means of psychic powers.

Whether he ate the food or not, he was due to die that day, so there no reason not to eat it.
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby suttametta » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:38 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Whenever they sign a death certificate, coroners always try to give the cause of death, but they never give the true cause, which is birth.

The Buddha died of old age, having already announced the time of his death three months earlier when he had renounced the possibility of extending it by means of psychic powers.

Whether he ate the food or not, he was due to die that day, so there no reason not to eat it.


This makes sense.
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby suttametta » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:51 pm

cooran wrote:Hello all,

Concerning what the omniscience of the Buddha was like :
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=11009

With metta,
Chris


Thank you. That's what I suspected. He CAN know anything he wants to know. But that doesn't explain the Aggañña Sutta which incorrectly summarizes a devolution of humans based on tasting earth. Whereas we know humans evolved by becoming the best killers. This is another thread perhaps. Does the Aggañña Sutta contradict the Buddha can know anything he wants to know?
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:16 pm

suttametta wrote:
cooran wrote:Hello all,

Concerning what the omniscience of the Buddha was like :
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=11009

With metta,
Chris


Thank you. That's what I suspected. He CAN know anything he wants to know. But that doesn't explain the Aggañña Sutta which incorrectly summarizes a devolution of humans based on tasting earth. Whereas we know humans evolved by becoming the best killers. This is another thread perhaps. Does the Aggañña Sutta contradict the Buddha can know anything he wants to know?


It is only a contradiction if you believe every word of the suttas is completely true. As was mentioned above, the biography of the Buddha isn't reliable. There is no reason to believe in every word of the suttas as true.
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby Mkoll » Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:54 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:There is no reason to believe in every word of the suttas as true.


Some of the reasons for this being:

- Common sense should say not do so; words are not to be believed

- The Buddha said not to do so as per the Kalama Sutta

- The suttas were passed down orally for hundreds of years before being committed to writing, making "copying" errors extremely likely in that oral period

- It is very probable that completely new material was added to the suttas

- Parts of the suttas contradict each other

That's just off the top of my head. I'm sure a scholar or someone smarter than myself could come up with more.

:anjali:
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby suttametta » Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:04 pm

Sure. But people often tend to think Buddha was a super science mind predicting numerous worlds etc. So then, was he wrong on this account? Was this account a wrong account and Buddha never said this? Is Aggañña Sutta a later addition? Is there a contradictory sutra where he said there is evolution? Or is there no reason to think Buddha didn't always knew what he was talking about? Or maybe he had another motive for spinning this yarn?
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby Mkoll » Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:26 pm

Dear suttametta,

I'm sorry but I can't give a good answer for any of your questions. The reason being is that I don't give attention to such speculation.

I have faith that the Fully Enlightened Buddha of our age taught the Dhamma out of compassion for others, beautiful in the beginning, middle, and end, for the purpose of Nibbana about 2500 years ago in Northern India/Nepal. What he said was memorized by his disciples and committed to writing hundreds of years after his death.

What leads to passion, fettering, accumulating, self-aggrandizement, discontent, entanglement, laziness, and being burdensome is not the Dhamma (AN 8.53).

I don't care what others think about the Buddha. My faith in the Triple Gem doesn't rely on exterior things any more. Getting to this point has meant abandoning fruitless speculation. I don't mean to belittle your questions or speculation in general, they certainly have their place and must be exercised...up to a point. There has just come to be a point in my experience where certain lines of inquiry just do not draw my interest at all, even though they had before.

:anjali:
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby robertk » Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:30 pm

Mkoll wrote:
Modus.Ponens wrote:There is no reason to believe in every word of the suttas as true.




- The Buddha said not to do so as per the Kalama Sutta

-

:anjali:

so the suttas are pretty much al made up ( or those parts that dont agree with MY beliefs?
except for the kalama sutta which is absolutely true and should be proof?
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby Mkoll » Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:53 pm

robertk wrote:so the suttas are pretty much al made up ( or those parts that dont agree with MY beliefs?
except for the kalama sutta which is absolutely true and should be proof?


Dear robertk,

No. And I hope you don't think I implied that because that was not my intention. My intention with that post is that one should be cautious and discerning.

I think most of the suttas in the DN, MN, SN, AN, and the older stratum of the Khuddaka Nikaya are as genuine as it gets. But there are discrepancies: that's all I'm saying.

In the end it has to be "MY beliefs"; please tell me, who else could it be? And I use that phrase "MY beliefs" with clear comprehension of the three marks of existence applied to the five aggregates as I understand them at this point of my practice.

:anjali:
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby daverupa » Mon Jan 06, 2014 7:10 pm

Mkoll wrote:
robertk wrote:so the suttas are pretty much al made up ( or those parts that dont agree with MY beliefs?
except for the kalama sutta which is absolutely true and should be proof?


No. And I hope you don't think I implied that because that was not my intention. My intention with that post is that one should be cautious and discerning.

I think most of the suttas in the DN, MN, SN, AN, and the older stratum of the Khuddaka Nikaya are as genuine as it gets. But there are discrepancies: that's all I'm saying.


...and even that {DN-MN-SN-AN + ~KN} bracket of texts has seen additions and massages and editorial attention while closing in a piecemeal fashion over a couple hundred years or so. Most of the comparisons between Nikayas and Agamas are positive, but to say that the Nikayas we've read are "100% EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED" is just as foolish and groundless as saying that "WE CAN KNOW NOTHING FOR SURE" - it's a little more nuanced than these extremes.

---

I expect that the Buddha ate his meal, the mesenteric infarction warmed up, the Buddha said to dispose of the meal just in case it was bad food (turns out it was just the infarction, so the Buddha - or disciples later on - cleared up the issue of guilt for the host & for the recitation tradition) while the Buddha & his entourage hustled toward a town containing a well-supplied doctor... until the Buddha called a stop and sought repose, there at the end.

:shrug:

Maybe I make too few religious assumptions, but mysterious meals made by commoners that only a tathagata can digest strikes me as pious storytelling after the fact (after all, if only a tathagata could fully digest the meal, and yet even he didn't seem to fully digest it, what's the point of that interjection in the first place other than as a piece of pious narrative?).
    "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: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Mon Jan 06, 2014 7:37 pm

I think what has been said by Mkoll and Daverupa is reasonable. It's not an all or nothing question.

My personal aproach is to take the recurring theachings in the suttas, the core of the teachings, as being the word of the Buddha. Things that occur only once or twice, and that either contradict science, or contradict other recurring teachings in the suttas, I do not take as the word of the Buddha.

This thread started as a discussion about the alleged suicide of the Buddha, then went on to the Buddha's stance on assisted suicide _ and then suicide of any kind _ , then to the nature of the omniscience of the Buddha and to the authenticity of the scriptures. All of them are controversial topics. I'm out, for the time being.
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby cooran » Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:10 pm

On the authority of the Suttas:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=15141&p=218656

With metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Did Buddha Knowingly Kill Himself?

Postby suttametta » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:17 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:I think what has been said by Mkoll and Daverupa is reasonable. It's not an all or nothing question.

My personal aproach is to take the recurring theachings in the suttas, the core of the teachings, as being the word of the Buddha. Things that occur only once or twice, and that either contradict science, or contradict other recurring teachings in the suttas, I do not take as the word of the Buddha.

This thread started as a discussion about the alleged suicide of the Buddha, then went on to the Buddha's stance on assisted suicide _ and then suicide of any kind _ , then to the nature of the omniscience of the Buddha and to the authenticity of the scriptures. All of them are controversial topics. I'm out, for the time being.


I'm asking related questions about what he knew or didn't know ahead of time and what that might mean if he did. It seems he didn't. And so omniscience per the threads cited is either a mistranslation or a legalistically limited definition. I'm inclined to believe the latter, because Buddha does that, I.e., Everything as being the khanda. I'm satisfied.

Thank you for taking time to answer me.

May you all be well and happy.

P
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