Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
It mentions only 6 Buddhas, but it does not say that there have only been only 6 Buddhas in the past 91 aeons. It fails to mention Dipankara, who was one of five Buddhas in that fortunate aeon in which the bodhisatta Sumedha is said to have obtained the sure prediction.
Citation please Venerable? Considering the detail that the Buddha goes into in DN14 (race, clan names, life-span, enlightenment location, disciple names, assembly size, personal attendant names, family names, etc.) It seems rather a large omission to skip a Buddha wholesale wouldn't you agree? There have only been 6 in 91 aeons, hardly a banality which would warrant the oversight you are suggesting in this sutta. (I see note 260 mentioning 5 Buddhas in this fortunate aeon but cannot find supporting documentation aside from the DN 26 allusion to the coming of Meteyya.)
mogg wrote:Jotipala has to be dragged 'kicking and screaming' by his friend Ghatikara to see the Buddha Kassapa.
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:It does not say that. It says that Jotipāla went along with his friend voluntarily after being persuaded that the Buddha Kassapa was really someone very special worth visiting.
Note that I did not use quotation marks Bhikkhu Pesala (which denote a direct quote), I used apostrophes which imply paraphrasing. Nonetheless, lets examine what MN 81 says: Ghatikara requests 3 times for Jotipala to go see Buddha Kassapa and is rejected three times. He then switches track and lures Jotipala to the river to bathe (knowing full well the Blessed one's monastery is nearby). Jotipala acquiesces and they proceed to the river where Ghatikara asks Jotipala a further 3 times to go to see the Buddha, and yet again Jotipala refuses with : "Enough, my dear Ghatikara, what is the use of seeing that bald-pated recluse?" Then Ghatikara decides to take extreme action: "Then the potter Ghatikara seized the brahmin student Jotipala by the belt
..." and requests again and is rebuffed again. Ghatikara takes even more extreme action at this point: "Then when the brahmin student Jotipala had washed his head, the potter Ghatikara seized him by the hair
..." and requests again. The sutta makes particular mention of the fact that Ghatikara was of inferior birth to the brahmin Jotipala, and it is indeed the sheer extremity of the actions perpetrated by Ghatikara that make Jotipala realise that this really must be something serious indeed to warrant such an extreme social transgression. A peasant transgressing the sanctity of a Brahmins head and hair was probably punishable by death in those times, so yes my use of the English vernacular 'kicking and screaming' was the correct phrase to use. I'm unsure if English is your first language or not Bhikkhu Pesala, but in my native country of Australia, we use the phrase "kicking and screaming" for precisely the kind of circumstance that is described in this sutta; it is never meant to be taken in the literal sense. I apologise if that's where the confusion arose, I'm making it a point to remember that I am communicating with an international audience, and will endeavour to keep my posts less culturally specific going forward.
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Proceed with caution when adding your own spin on what you read in the Suttas.
Thanks for the advice, but in this particular instance I think your comment doesn't apply.
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
There no doubt that some works (e.g. the Milindapañha) are later works, and there may be works in the four main nikāyas that are later works. Whatever you read, and wherever you read it, don't just swallow it hook, line, and sinker, but reflect carefully using the Four Great References as guidelines. Then try to practice meditation to gain personal realisation of what really matters.
An Excellent Man is not Credulous
I agree, and once again thanks for the advice, I'll do my best!