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Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan? - Dhamma Wheel

Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Virgo
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Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby Virgo » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:24 am

Last edited by retrofuturist on Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:36 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Reason: Split from "Dharma Wheel -- Mahayana forum" discussion topic, in Announcements section


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retrofuturist
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Re: Dharma Wheel -- Mahayana forum

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:41 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Dharma Wheel -- Mahayana forum

Postby Virgo » Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:11 am



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Re: Dharma Wheel -- Mahayana forum

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:34 am

Greetings Kevin,

How did all those noble ones in the early days of the Buddhasasana, such as those featured in the Pali Canon, manage to spend "many. many lifetimes" prior practicing the perfections, when the Dhamma had been lost prior to the arrival of the most recent Buddha? What did they do 100 years before the Buddha set the wheel of Dhamma in motion... 200 years, 500 years, 1000 years before... how could they possibly know that this was the Dhamma and this is what they needed to be doing for enlightenment? You could attribute it to teaching of the previous Buddha, but you've then got an infinite regress in place, and solve nothing. It just doesn't stack up.

Yes, seeing some "direct quotes" such as those you claim to have, would be of interest.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

Virgo
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Re: Dharma Wheel -- Mahayana forum

Postby Virgo » Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:43 am

Last edited by Virgo on Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:47 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Dharma Wheel -- Mahayana forum

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:46 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Dharma Wheel -- Mahayana forum

Postby Virgo » Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:50 am



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

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:57 am

Greetings Kevin,

So it's OK for the 1st Buddha and for Paccekabuddhas to get an exemption from this elaborate scheme, but every other sucker has to have studied directly under the Buddha in order to gain enlightenment?

What about those that didn't? Is it a case of too bad, so sad? Shall we pack up and go home?

I don't buy into your pessimistic and bleak outlook on the inability of anyone to attain the higher levels of enlightenment in this day and age. This fatalistic negativity should be challenged lest it become a self-fulfilling prophecy due to everyone giving up on enlightenment.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

Virgo
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Re: Many lifetimes of paramitta development needed to be aryan?

Postby Virgo » Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:05 am



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

Postby BlackBird » Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:43 am

Would be very keen to see some scriptural evidence to back up these ideas, preferably Nikayan.

metta
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"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." -

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

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:53 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Dharma Wheel -- Mahayana forum

Postby Paññāsikhara » Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:18 am

My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

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

Postby Ben » Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:43 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Re: Dharma Wheel -- Mahayana forum

Postby BlackBird » Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:47 am

"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." -

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

Postby ground » Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:54 am

One may become an Arhat only after many lifetimes of practice.
Why?
Because "Arhat" means cessation of births and "birth" is a mark of dukkha. But the continuum of births is not said to start in just the life during which one becomes an Arhat because if this were so then the tenet of "cessation of births" would become senseless. Why should one strive to end the cycle of births if one was not born before many times? If however one was born before many times then one has had many lives before. And if one has had many lives before and one would not have practiced the dharma during those lives then the conclusion would be that becoming an Arhat happens accidentally without a cause in preceeeding lives in just one of the many lives (i.e. without preparatory practice in preceeding lives).
If however "becoming an Arhat" just happens accidentially in one of the many lives without practice in many preceeding lives would the teaching of a Buddha be necessary? If it would not be necessary then this contradicts buddhist tenets. However if it is claimed that the teaching of a Buddha is a prerequisite for one to become an arhat and if it is further claimed that there is no need to practice during many lives in order to become an Arhat then all the followers of the Buddha Gautama during his lifetime should have become Arhats in the very lifetime they listened to the teachings of Gautama because 1) there was Gautama the Buddha who taught and 2) they listened to his teachings. But the latter is not transmitted. The alternative would be that only some - upon listing to the teachings - become Arhats and others did not and that those others who did not would therefore either never become an Arhat - totally lacking the capacity - or that they would have to practice during many lives - in contrast to those who accidentally became Arhats upon listening. But this begs the question: what is the cause for the difference of qualification and capacity between those two groups if not the duration and quality of practice during many preceding lives?
Or is "becoming an Arhat" just dependent on the reading and studying of the pali canon, the belief in it and the corresponding practice? If this were so then the same arguments apply because the term "reading and studying of the pali canon" just replaces the term "listening to a Buddha".
Or is it the karma that renders one capable to become an Arhat in one specific life? Karma is however said to be collected during many lives. If it is conducive karma what are the conducive activities that caused this conducive karma other than those activities that have been called "wholesome" and "right" by the Buddhas? And if these conducive activities are the "wholesome" and "right" activities taught by the Buddhas then the corresponding conduct during the lives the karma has been collected is no different from "practice".

One may conclude that what holds true for "Arhat" also holds true for "bodhisattva" or "Buddha" and the many alternative vehicles like "vajrayana" and so forth and that the asserted differences of "duration" of practice before attaining the promoted goal which read "one life time" or "seven lifetimes" or "three kalapas" are just skillful means to generate mental effects in the minds of those being taught.

Kind regards
Last edited by ground on Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:56 am


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

Postby ground » Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:59 am


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

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:01 am


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

Postby fig tree » Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:07 am


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

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:40 am

I remember a talk given by Chanmyay Sayādaw at Chiswick Vihāra many years ago. He said, “There is one person here who cannot attain nibbāna. Shall I tell you who it is?” Those in audience who were lacking in pāramī no doubt became alarmed, thinking that the Sayādaw would name and shame them. The Sayādaw continued — “One person here is hopeless. The lazy person is incapable of attaining nibbāna.”

Accumulated past kamma (pāramī) is like the seed. Present effort is like the soil, water, sunlight, and cultivation of the plant. Without a healthy seed, no amount of cultivation will bear fruit as a healthy plant. However, without soil, water, sunlight, and cultivation, even the best of seeds will not grow.

Past kamma only accounts for 1/16th — present kamma (hard work) accounts for 15/16ths. Unless one makes strenuous, unrelenting efforts to cultivate insight throughout the remainder of one's life without taking a break and without losing faith, one could not attribute one's failure to attain nibbāna to lack of pāramī. It is much more likely to be due to lack of effort or lack of skill.

None of knows what our full potential (pāramī) really is. Who knows what might be achieved with a good teacher and a powerful kick up the backside from life's vicissitudes?

Although I offer the facility to practise meditation for the whole day (12 hours) free of charge, I get very few customers. Most say that it is too long. I say, “It is only half a day.” To gain any significant insight one would need to practise much more than half a day. An average person would need to practice strenuously without talking for at least a week or two — that is at least 18 hours a day, without stopping during meals, and only sleeping for six hours at most out of 24.

Check out the Ledi Sayādaw's for more inspiration.
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)


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