Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

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Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Postby Ben » Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:15 am

Hi all,

My friend, Sachin, on facebook posted the following and I would like to know your thoughts on the matter.
Particularly as there are quite a few married (inc. defacto) and ordained members.
What are your thoughts?

Ben

Q: Is MARRIAGE a vehicle (yana) to take a person to its liberation?

-Marriage is a vow to dissolve the self and become two.
-Marriage is a system in which you practice to love, care, respect your counterpart thus help dissolve EGO.
-Marriage brings a joy of creation of another life (offspring), watch them grow, take a form, experience working of Sanskaras and karma.
-Marriage evokes paramitas in a person like karuna, sheel, maîtri, virya, daan(ability to live selflessly for others ) and so on.
-Marriage, with time, naturally empties lust from the minds of the couple.
-Married family constitutes a miniscule form of SANGHA in which morality is nurtured, vows of panchasheel are observed and eightfold path is practiced.
-Marriage is a perfect vehicle to reach and experience NIBBANA, but often misunderstood.

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"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:20 am

blasphemy
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: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Postby Ben » Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:25 am

To some, I agree Tilt.
I thought it was an interesting idea. I have long believed that life as a layperson is by no means second rate because there are rich veins of spiritual growth in the crucible of a long-term relationship.
kind regards,

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


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Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:31 am

Ben wrote:To some, I agree Tilt.
I thought it was an interesting idea. I have long believed that life as a layperson is by no means second rate because there are rich veins of spiritual growth in the crucible of a long-term relationship.
kind regards,

Ben
I do not agree with me. I simply would not phrase the various points the way they are phrased above. As for the blasphemy, there are those, it would seem, that hold being a monastic is best course of action and that best teachers are monastic. Ain't necessarily so.
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: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Postby Ben » Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:47 am

Yes, I wouldn't have phrased it the same way as Sachin.
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


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Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Postby SarathW » Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:55 am

"The point of Ānanda’s discourse is that even food, craving and conceit, which are normally
factors of bondage, can be skilfully employed to attain arahantship; but with sexuality there is absolutely
no skilful way it can be used for the goal of the holy life."

Page 59:
http://www.urbandharma.org/pdf1/wh155An ... ikaya1.pdf
;)
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Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Postby Coyote » Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:15 am

Lay people can attain Nibbana. The monastic Sangha was specifically tailored to be a path to Nibbana, so it's better in that respect. I think it is clear from the discourses which is the favoured vehicle. After all, Arahants no longer see the lay life as worthy and must ordain or die.
But better is perhaps a subjective quality, and so it would depend on the person which path is better for them at that point.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Postby Gaoxing » Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:29 am

SarathW wrote:" but with sexuality there is absolutely
no skilful way it can be used for the goal of the holy life."


Page 59:
http://www.urbandharma.org/pdf1/wh155An ... ikaya1.pdf
;)
Part of the mind wants to agree but another not. Do you think brushing another persons teeth has the same problem?
Ok, the real question is why do you think so and what do you see as a holy life?
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Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Postby Sekha » Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:33 am

This is just a rhetoric question it seems, and everyone knows the answer imo. It is very clear in the suttas that lay followers who are faithful enough attain stream-entry.
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

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Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Postby kirk5a » Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:47 am

Ben wrote:Q: Is MARRIAGE a vehicle (yana) to take a person to its liberation?

-Marriage is a vow to dissolve the self and become two.
-Marriage is a system in which you practice to love, care, respect your counterpart thus help dissolve EGO.
-Marriage brings a joy of creation of another life (offspring), watch them grow, take a form, experience working of Sanskaras and karma.
-Marriage evokes paramitas in a person like karuna, sheel, maîtri, virya, daan(ability to live selflessly for others ) and so on.
-Marriage, with time, naturally empties lust from the minds of the couple.
-Married family constitutes a miniscule form of SANGHA in which morality is nurtured, vows of panchasheel are observed and eightfold path is practiced.
-Marriage is a perfect vehicle to reach and experience NIBBANA, but often misunderstood.

No, the eightfold path is the vehicle, not marriage. I think it can be followed in the context of marriage, but with limitations on the extent of one's progress. In my unmarried, unenlightened opinion. Where does he get "naturally empties lust from the minds of the couple" from? :lol:
"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: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Postby PadmaPhala » Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:11 pm

yes.

see the semantic field of samgha in spokesanskrit.de
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Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Postby santa100 » Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:39 pm

From MN 68 ( http://palicanon.org/index.php/sutta-pi ... l-akapa-na ):
Here a bhikkhu hears thus: ‘The bhikkhu named so-and-so has died; the Blessed One has declared of him: “He was established in final knowledge.”’691 And he has either seen that venerable one for himself or heard it said of him: ‘That venerable one’s virtue was thus, his state [of concentration] was thus, his wisdom was thus, his abiding [in attainments] was thus, his deliverance was thus.’ Recollecting his faith, virtue, learning, generosity, and wisdom, he directs his mind to such a state. In this way a bhikkhu has a comfortable abiding

Here a man lay follower hears thus: ‘The man lay follower named so-and-so has died; the Blessed One has declared of him: “With the destruction of the five lower fetters he has reappeared spontaneously [in the Pure Abodes] and will there attain final Nibbāna without ever returning from that world.


And Ven. Bodhi's footnote:
Aññā: the knowledge attained by the arahant. It should be noted that whereas the declarations of attainment made by monks and nuns begin with arahantship, those for men and women lay followers begin with non-returning (in §18, §21). Though early Buddhism recognises the possibility of lay persons attaining arahantship, in all such cases attested to in the Nikāyas, they do so either when on the verge of death or just before requesting admission into the Sangha.
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Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Postby Coyote » Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:57 pm

^ in relation to what is said above, on the attainment of non-returning sensual activity ceases and therefore one is unlikely to remain a layperson, unless one has dependents or other obligations. I think this explains why few laypeople are recorded to have attained arahantship.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Postby PadmaPhala » Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:12 pm

silent arahanta...
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Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Postby Sekha » Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:13 pm

I just realized that there are two questions, which are actually quite different.

1) Is marriage a path to Nibbana? (understood: is it possible to attain Nibbana while being married) - Yes.

2) Is marriage a VEHICLE to Nibbana? - No.
Performing one's duties in the context of marriage can be part of the vehicle to Nibbana, but it is evident that it is not the whole thing. Otherwise a Buddha would teach that the way to Nibbana is to get married. And there would be many more arahants.
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

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Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Postby binocular » Fri Jun 14, 2013 6:43 pm

Ben wrote:Q: Is MARRIAGE a vehicle (yana) to take a person to its liberation?

I think that depends entirely on what one believes marriage to be, and according to what values and beliefs one engages in it.

Marriage according to modern consumerist values and beliefs? No, I don't think that one has anything conducive to do with making an end to suffering.
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Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Postby binocular » Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:04 pm

kirk5a wrote: Where does he get "naturally empties lust from the minds of the couple" from?

Because in time, sexual lust turns to boredom, contempt and lust for chocolate. :yingyang:
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Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Postby manas » Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:49 pm

Is the Pope a Pagan?
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Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Postby Lazy_eye » Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:11 am

manas wrote:Is the Pope a Pagan?


In some ways, yes. He observes rituals and ceremonies that have a pagan origin, and worships a Mother Goddess. :)
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Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Postby Gaoxing » Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:01 am

Sekha wrote:I just realized that there are two questions, which are actually quite different.

1) Is marriage a path to Nibbana? (understood: is it possible to attain Nibbana while being married) - Yes.

2) Is marriage a VEHICLE to Nibbana? - No.
Performing one's duties in the context of marriage can be part of the vehicle to Nibbana, but it is evident that it is not the whole thing. Otherwise a Buddha would teach that the way to Nibbana is to get married. And there would be many more arahants.
But look at from another side. It depends on the woman you married. If she's nothing but trouble you could end up running for a monastery sooner than you wished for. That's a kind of vehicle isn't it?
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