Hell as a mind moment

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Vanda
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Hell as a mind moment

Post by Vanda » Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:05 pm

[Split from a Discovering Theravada Thread]

Every flash of a moment can give birth to the hell realm. If this moment you are not there, why give it any thought. Why change the moment with any form of desire.
“Don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted and carried out, lead to welfare and to happiness’ — then you should enter and remain in them.”
- Kalama Sutta, Anguttara Nikaya

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samseva
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Re: Regarding Unwholesome root- Hatred and Karma

Post by samseva » Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:40 am

Vanda wrote:Every flash of a moment can give birth to the hell realm.
I think this is a little too extreme.

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Vanda
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Re: Regarding Unwholesome root- Hatred and Karma

Post by Vanda » Wed Aug 05, 2015 2:50 am

In what way do you mean? I don't understand. How is Dhamma extreme?
“Don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted and carried out, lead to welfare and to happiness’ — then you should enter and remain in them.”
- Kalama Sutta, Anguttara Nikaya

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samseva
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Re: Regarding Unwholesome root- Hatred and Karma

Post by samseva » Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:13 am

Vanda wrote:In what way do you mean? I don't understand. How is Dhamma extreme?
I was referring to 'every flash of a moment giving birth to the hell realm'.

Usually, being reborn in hell is due to highly unwholesome kamma, such as the 5 ānantarika-kamma (the 5 heinous ‘actions with immediate destiny’, which are parricide, matricide, killing an Arahat, wounding a Buddha, creating schism in the monks order). Murder and cruelty are also a cause to be reborn in hell, but a simple 'flash of a moment'—let alone every flash—is a little too extreme.

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Vanda
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Re: Regarding Unwholesome root- Hatred and Karma

Post by Vanda » Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:35 am

Niraya (hell) is a woeful state in which we can be born in to quite easily. Every time we fall victim to craving and clinging another birth occurs at that moment. To recognize how this happens is important, to understand paticcasamuppada is of prime importance. Yes, suffering is extreme, but there is a way that leads us out of suffering which is taught by the Buddha.
“Don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted and carried out, lead to welfare and to happiness’ — then you should enter and remain in them.”
- Kalama Sutta, Anguttara Nikaya

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samseva
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Re: Regarding Unwholesome root- Hatred and Karma

Post by samseva » Wed Aug 05, 2015 4:04 am

Vanda wrote:Niraya (hell) is a woeful state in which we can be born in to quite easily. Every time we fall victim to craving and clinging another birth occurs at that moment. To recognize how this happens is important, to understand paticcasamuppada is of prime importance. Yes, suffering is extreme, but there is a way that leads us out of suffering which is taught by the Buddha.
Applying the concept of rebirth to every thought-moment is debatable, as well as hell being a state in which we can easily be reborn in.

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Vanda
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Re: Regarding Unwholesome root- Hatred and Karma

Post by Vanda » Wed Aug 05, 2015 5:44 am

Buddhaghosa’s idea seems debatable. If volitional action (kamma) creates a birth and the person is afflicted by extreme anxiety or agitation then hell is generated in that moment. Each birth of a self can happen in an instant, as the notion of a self arises. "Hell" is a mind state, not some underground dwelling below the earth's surface with little red devils holding pitchforks dancing all around. This is my understanding. Put sati into motion, whether sitting, walking, etc, and see for your self. Watch when the notion of “me” or “mine” arises, when feeling comes about, when feeling turns into craving. Experience is best over speculation.
“Don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted and carried out, lead to welfare and to happiness’ — then you should enter and remain in them.”
- Kalama Sutta, Anguttara Nikaya

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Aloka
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Re: Hell as a mind moment

Post by Aloka » Fri Aug 07, 2015 7:24 am

"Hell" is a mind state, not some underground dwelling below the earth's surface with little red devils holding pitchforks dancing all around.
Wut?

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waterchan
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Re: Regarding Unwholesome root- Hatred and Karma

Post by waterchan » Fri Aug 07, 2015 12:43 pm

Vanda wrote: "Hell" is a mind state, not some underground dwelling below the earth's surface with little red devils holding pitchforks dancing all around.
Are you saying that there is no such thing as a hell realm outside this human state of existence of ours?

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Re: Hell as a mind moment

Post by clw_uk » Fri Aug 07, 2015 12:58 pm

I can see where this is going to go :jedi: :rofl:
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befriend
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Re: Hell as a mind moment

Post by befriend » Fri Aug 07, 2015 1:25 pm

preserving the teaching of literal hell is wonderful for taming the wicked and preventing people from commiting suicide.
nothing can destroy a man who has lived a pure life

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Re: Hell as a mind moment

Post by santa100 » Fri Aug 07, 2015 1:33 pm

Vanda wrote:"Hell" is a mind state, not some underground dwelling below the earth's surface with little red devils holding pitchforks dancing all around. This is my understanding.
While a moment-to-moment interpretation of hell realm might be useful for insight practice, the Buddha actually was quite explicit in describing hell as a concrete separate realm just like the human or animal realms. A common stock phrase being used in many suttas:
...it's by reason of un-Dhamma conduct, dissonant conduct that some beings here, with the break-up of the body, after death, reappear in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in hell.

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Mr Man
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Re: Regarding Unwholesome root- Hatred and Karma

Post by Mr Man » Fri Aug 07, 2015 6:14 pm

waterchan wrote:
Vanda wrote: "Hell" is a mind state, not some underground dwelling below the earth's surface with little red devils holding pitchforks dancing all around.
Are you saying that there is no such thing as a hell realm outside this human state of existence of ours?
waterchan
Do you think there is an underground dwelling below the earth's surface with little red devils holding pitchforks dancing all around?

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Nicolas
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Re: Hell as a mind moment

Post by Nicolas » Fri Aug 07, 2015 6:24 pm

This is the General Theravada discussion forum.
The Theravada tradition, and all other Buddhist traditions agree that rebirth, kamma, hell realms and other realms all exist. That is right view.

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clw_uk
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Re: Hell as a mind moment

Post by clw_uk » Fri Aug 07, 2015 6:34 pm

Nicolas wrote:This is the General Theravada discussion forum.
The Theravada tradition, and all other Buddhist traditions agree that rebirth, kamma, hell realms and other realms all exist. That is right view.

Yes but the interpretation of those concepts is what differs ;)
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Mr Man
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Re: Hell as a mind moment

Post by Mr Man » Fri Aug 07, 2015 8:27 pm

Nicolas wrote:This is the General Theravada discussion forum.
The Theravada tradition, and all other Buddhist traditions agree that rebirth, kamma, hell realms and other realms all exist. That is right view.
Hi Nicolas.
So how do you conceive hell?

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waterchan
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Re: Regarding Unwholesome root- Hatred and Karma

Post by waterchan » Fri Aug 07, 2015 8:51 pm

Mr Man wrote:
waterchan wrote:
Vanda wrote: "Hell" is a mind state, not some underground dwelling below the earth's surface with little red devils holding pitchforks dancing all around.
Are you saying that there is no such thing as a hell realm outside this human state of existence of ours?
waterchan
Do you think there is an underground dwelling below the earth's surface with little red devils holding pitchforks dancing all around?
If there was then surely our geologists would have discovered it by now. But it is obvious that the Buddha in the suttas taught the literal existence of other realms. Obvious from the stock passage quoted above which is repeated many times in the suttas:
...it's by reason of un-Dhamma conduct, dissonant conduct that some beings here, with the break-up of the body, after death, reappear in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in hell.

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Nicolas
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Re: Hell as a mind moment

Post by Nicolas » Fri Aug 07, 2015 9:24 pm

clw_uk wrote:Yes but the interpretation of those concepts is what differs ;)
The suttas are very clear:
Apannaka Sutta: A Safe Bet (MN 60) wrote: And what is wrong view? 'There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no contemplatives or brahmans who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is wrong view.
There is certainly room for disagreement, as in, those who hold the view that there is no rebirth or kamma are entitled to their view, but that view is wrong view according to the suttas.

Mr Man wrote:So how do you conceive hell?
Why is my conception of hell relevant?
I conceive hell as a plane of existence that some beings live in; a different "realm" or "dimension" in which experience is mostly unpleasant (euphemism).

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Mr Man
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Re: Hell as a mind moment

Post by Mr Man » Fri Aug 07, 2015 9:45 pm

Nicolas wrote:
Mr Man wrote:So how do you conceive hell?
Why is my conception of hell relevant?
I conceive hell as a plane of existence that some beings live in; a different "realm" or "dimension" in which experience is mostly unpleasant (euphemism).
But traditionally aren't the hell realms meant to be in the same dimension as the human? And what does "a plane of existence" really mean? How do you relate to such concepts?

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Re: Hell as a mind moment

Post by Nicolas » Fri Aug 07, 2015 10:28 pm

Mr Man wrote:But traditionally aren't the hell realms meant to be in the same dimension as the human? And what does "a plane of existence" really mean? How do you relate to such concepts?
Can you give me a sutta reference?
I don't think hell being in the same realm or a different realm than the human one really matters.
If the hell realms are in the same "dimension" as humans, then it is so, and hell beings are simply invisible to most humans most of the time, just like microscopic lifeforms are invisible to us, just like other beings such as petas and devas would usually be invisible to us. If the hell realms are in a different "dimension", then it is so.

Instead of thinking it terms of "planes of existence", we can think instead in terms of a being's life and the next life.
Let us take a being, born as a human. Its experience is a human experience. This involves certain senses which enable it to perceive the Dhamma, and sufficient cognitive ability to enable it to understand the Dhamma. Upon termination of that life, there will be another life. That life could be pleasant or unpleasant. It could be material or immaterial. If that existence is of a sufficient extra-human degree of unpleasantness, that being is described as being "in hell". It doesn't matter where hell "is" or if it's "only in the mind" (everything is in the mind), or if it's a separate realm or the same realm. What matters is that after this life, there are other lives that depend upon the actions done in this one.

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