"Dogs do it better"

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"Dogs do it better"

Postby Individual » Sun Feb 22, 2009 4:02 am

On another forum I visit, someone said:
In Theravada there is a saying: "Dogs do it better".

Has anyone here heard this saying before or know its possible origin? Could they possibly elaborate on its meaning?
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: "Dogs do it better"

Postby Dhammanando » Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:57 am

Hi Individual,

The only thing that comes to mind is the Soṇa Sutta (AN. iii. 221-2), where the Buddha describes the five ways in which dogs are better than brahmins, owing to the latter's discarding of their ancient customs. It's one of a series of suttas where the Buddha decries how the brahmins of his day had degenerated. To paraphrase:

1. Dogs only have sex with other dogs, whereas brahmins, though formerly having sex only with other brahmins, nowadays will do it with women from any caste.
2. Dogs only have sex when the bitch is in season, whereas brahmins will do it at any time.
3. Dogs don't buy and sell bitches, but rather, will mate according to mutual affection. Brahmins do buy and sell lady brahmins.
4. Dogs don't hoard silver, gold, grain etc., but brahmins do.
5. Dogs go looking for their evening meal in the evening and their morning meal in the morning. Brahmins stuff themselves silly and then keep the leftovers for the next meal.

"Verily, bhikkhus, these are the five ancient brahmin dhammas that are nowadays practised by dogs but not by brahmins."

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: "Dogs do it better"

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Feb 22, 2009 6:17 am

And who said the Buddha did not have a sense of humor.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: "Dogs do it better"

Postby jcsuperstar » Sun Feb 22, 2009 7:10 am

i think it may be a buddhadasa reference, or maybe ajahn chah? but i remember something about dogs from one of them....
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: "Dogs do it better"

Postby appicchato » Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:46 am

tiltbillings wrote:And who said the Buddha did not have a sense of humor.


Touche... :smile:
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Re: "Dogs do it better"

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Feb 22, 2009 4:10 pm

When you put it in English translation, it sort of sounds like one of the bad rap songs.
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Re: "Dogs do it better"

Postby Jechbi » Sun Feb 22, 2009 6:26 pm

Who let the dogggs out?

Boom. Boom. Boomboom.

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But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: "Dogs do it better"

Postby Individual » Sun Feb 22, 2009 6:52 pm

Dhammanando wrote:Hi Individual,

The only thing that comes to mind is the Soṇa Sutta (AN. iii. 221-2), where the Buddha describes the five ways in which dogs are better than brahmins, owing to the latter's discarding of their ancient customs. It's one of a series of suttas where the Buddha decries how the brahmins of his day had degenerated. To paraphrase:

1. Dogs only have sex with other dogs, whereas brahmins, though formerly having sex only with other brahmins, nowadays will do it with women from any caste.
2. Dogs only have sex when the bitch is in season, whereas brahmins will do it at any time.
3. Dogs don't buy and sell bitches, but rather, will mate according to mutual affection. Brahmins do buy and sell lady brahmins.
4. Dogs don't hoard silver, gold, grain etc., but brahmins do.
5. Dogs go looking for their evening meal in the evening and their morning meal in the morning. Brahmins stuff themselves silly and then keep the leftovers for the next meal.

"Verily, bhikkhus, these are the five ancient brahmin dhammas that are nowadays practised by dogs but not by brahmins."

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu

:lol:

I have sadly observed the same quality, with regards to my own behavior. Many dogs don't get angry or neurotic or depressed in the way that human beings do.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
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Re: "Dogs do it better"

Postby thornbush » Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:47 am

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Re: "Dogs do it better"

Postby Element » Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:34 am

Individual wrote:Has anyone here heard this saying before or know its possible origin? Could they possibly elaborate on its meaning?

Ralf Mo made it up.

However, it is reassuring to learn the Buddha had the same notion.
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Re: "Dogs do it better"

Postby kc2dpt » Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:40 pm

tiltbillings wrote:And who said the Buddha did not have a sense of humor.

I have to admit, that is a pretty convincing example.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
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Re: "Dogs do it better"

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:54 am

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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: "Dogs do it better"

Postby Tom » Fri May 31, 2013 5:59 am

Dhammanando wrote:The only thing that comes to mind is the Soṇa Sutta (AN. iii. 221-2), where the Buddha describes the five ways in which dogs are better than brahmins, owing to the latter's discarding of their ancient customs.

Where does this concept of dogs being better than brahmins in these ways come from?
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Re: "Dogs do it better"

Postby Sekha » Fri May 31, 2013 6:04 am

And what if this sutta was a late addition?

To me it sounds like pure ill-will and I cannot imagine the Buddha saying such things
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

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As a sweet-smelling and beautiful lotus flower may grow upon a heap of rubbish thrown on the highway, so also, out of the rubbish heap of beings may appear a disciple of the Buddha, who with his wisdom, shines resplendent in wisdom. -/ Dhp 58-59
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Re: "Dogs do it better"

Postby tiltbillings » Fri May 31, 2013 6:11 am

Sekha wrote:And what if this sutta was a late addition?

To me it sounds like pure ill-will and I cannot imagine the Buddha saying such things
It is not out of character of other suttas in relation to the Brahmins. Modern day sensibilities likely are not necessarily appropriate in determining what the Buddha said or did not say. There is a fair amount of very sharp humor used in the suttas.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: "Dogs do it better"

Postby Sekha » Fri May 31, 2013 6:46 am

tiltbillings wrote:It is not out of character of other suttas in relation to the Brahmins.

One may well suggest the same thing about them. Actually, some suttas indicate that some mentions to brahmins have been later additions to the text. See for example MN 53.

Modern day sensibilities likely are not necessarily appropriate in determining what the Buddha said or did not say.

This argument may apply to the problem of latent misogyny but in this case I don't think modern sensibility to harshness is any different from what it was in the past.
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org

As a sweet-smelling and beautiful lotus flower may grow upon a heap of rubbish thrown on the highway, so also, out of the rubbish heap of beings may appear a disciple of the Buddha, who with his wisdom, shines resplendent in wisdom. -/ Dhp 58-59
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Re: "Dogs do it better"

Postby Dhammanando » Fri May 31, 2013 8:30 am

Sekha wrote:To me it sounds like pure ill-will and I cannot imagine the Buddha saying such things


Typically brahmin-bashing Suttas are addressed to a brahmin enquirer (or challenger) whom the Buddha sees as having the potential for awakening, or at least for conversion, but who in the meantime is so bloated with caste conceit as to be unteachable. So the Buddha will begin by taking the man down a peg or two and teach him the Dhamma only when he’s suitably softened.

In the present case, however, the Sutta is addressed to bhikkhus and no context is given. Perhaps the purpose is to provide the listeners with material to be used for the above teaching tactic.
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: "Dogs do it better"

Postby tiltbillings » Fri May 31, 2013 8:32 am

Sekha wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:It is not out of character of other suttas in relation to the Brahmins.

One may well suggest the same thing about them. Actually, some suttas indicate that some mentions to brahmins have been later additions to the text. See for example MN 53.

Modern day sensibilities likely are not necessarily appropriate in determining what the Buddha said or did not say.

This argument may apply to the problem of latent misogyny but in this case I don't think modern sensibility to harshness is any different from what it was in the past.
You can try to massage the suttas to fit your sentiments, but the reality is, of course, a bit different from what you wish were true.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: "Dogs do it better"

Postby Dhammanando » Fri May 31, 2013 9:14 am

Sekha wrote:Actually, some suttas indicate that some mentions to brahmins have been later additions to the text. See for example MN 53.


I take it that you’re referring to the verse:

And by the Brahma Sanankumara this verse was said:

The noble warrior is the best among people
When judging by clan.
But a person consummate in clear-knowing & conduct,
Is the best of beings, human & divine.

This verse was well-sung by the Brahma Sanankumara, not ill-sung; well-said, not ill-said; connected with the goal, not unconnected with the goal. It was endorsed by the Blessed One.


and to your (or is it Ven. Thanissaro’s?) footnote to it:

“This verse, concerned with disputing the dominant position of brahmans in the cast system, is obviously not, as claimed in the following paragraph, "connected with the goal." It rather sounds like polemical nonsense.”

Actually what we have here is a literary device that occurs numerous times in the Dhammapada and the SN’s Sagāthavagga. First there will be a line or verse expressing some mundane commonplace (that may or may not be in accordance with Dhamma). This will then be trumped by a subsequent line or verse expressing the Dhamma. The “connected with the goal” attribute applies of course to the latter, not to the more pedestrian utterance that served as its springboard.
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: "Dogs do it better"

Postby BlackBird » Fri May 31, 2013 9:27 am

Holy moley, a post or two from the Venerable Dhammanando.

:anjali:
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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