Challenging the Sotapanna cannot break the Five Precepts View

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Polar Bear
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Re: Challenging the Sotapanna cannot break the Five Precepts View

Post by Polar Bear » Wed Nov 28, 2018 7:37 am

Hello Bhante,

Many people could probably survive being hit by a car driving 30 miles per hour down the sidewalk but it’s likely that some people will die. Is it necessarily intentional killing if I choose to beat the traffic by bulldozing down a crowded sidewalk in my sedan?

Ants are conscious sentient beings too, stuck on this violent planet in this cycle of samsara. They are our family, both evolutionarily and, according to the texts, most have been our parents and siblings and children in past lives. If you wouldn’t run over humans with the intention of getting yourself needed medical attention you shouldn’t crush ants with the intention of avoiding some stings and itchiness.

Idk if it meets some exact definition of intentional killing, but it’s too close for comfort for the heedful and compassionate imo.

:anjali:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

thepea
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Re: Challenging the Sotapanna cannot break the Five Precepts View

Post by thepea » Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:37 pm

Polar Bear wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 7:37 am
Hello Bhante,

Many people could probably survive being hit by a car driving 30 miles per hour down the sidewalk but it’s likely that some people will die. Is it necessarily intentional killing if I choose to beat the traffic by bulldozing down a crowded sidewalk in my sedan?

Ants are conscious sentient beings too, stuck on this violent planet in this cycle of samsara. They are our family, both evolutionarily and, according to the texts, most have been our parents and siblings and children in past lives. If you wouldn’t run over humans with the intention of getting yourself needed medical attention you shouldn’t crush ants with the intention of avoiding some stings and itchiness.

Idk if it meets some exact definition of intentional killing, but it’s too close for comfort for the heedful and compassionate imo.

:anjali:
What if the ants were crawling in your ear and eye area, are we to pick them gently from our eye balls or is a quick sweeping action better suited to protect our vision. Head lice, bed bugs, they have to go it is unhealthy to live with these creatures on our bodies or our children’s.
I think as long as there is no Ill will for these creatures it is ok to remove them from causing us or family harm.
They are so fragile that it is unavoidable to not kill them in this process. I gave the example of house builder digging for foundation, he knows he will be harming insects and small creatures in this process but digs as it is his job and necessary.

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Kumara
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Re: Challenging the Sotapanna cannot break the Five Precepts View

Post by Kumara » Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:10 am

thepea wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:37 pm
I gave the example of house builder digging for foundation, he knows he will be harming insects and small creatures in this process but digs as it is his job and necessary.
It's a good example.

Everytime we walk, cycle, or drive, some beings are bound to die; we can be certain of that. (That's why some Jains go around wearing surgical masks, and brooms to sweep the ground before them, but I think that's not for sure.) Shall we stop moving around?

We need to draw the line somewhere, and the only reasonal place I see is intention/volition (cetana), which the Buddha said is kamma.

Nonetheless, if one is able to avoid unintentional killing, one should try to.
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Re: Challenging the Sotapanna cannot break the Five Precepts View

Post by Polar Bear » Thu Nov 29, 2018 3:30 am

Kumara wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:10 am
thepea wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:37 pm
I gave the example of house builder digging for foundation, he knows he will be harming insects and small creatures in this process but digs as it is his job and necessary.
It's a good example.

Everytime we walk, cycle, or drive, some beings are bound to die; we can be certain of that. (That's why some Jains go around wearing surgical masks, and brooms to sweep the ground before them, but I think that's not for sure.) Shall we stop moving around?

We need to draw the line somewhere, and the only reasonal place I see is intention/volition (cetana), which the Buddha said is kamma.

Nonetheless, if one is able to avoid unintentional killing, one should try to.
That’s true, I do drive a car. But originally bhikkhus are supposed to walk everywhere and are not allowed to use vehicles. Jains still follow this rule but this is one reason why there are no Jain monks outside of India. I think a perfect bhikkhu would have greater conduct than I as a worldly layman though.

I have had bugs crawling on my eyelids and in my ears and up my nose while meditating though. I just shake my head, blow air out my nose, and try to brush near the bugs but not on them to scare them away. They were flying bugs though. With ants I blow them off me so as not to crush them. Never had ants on my face or head though that I specifically recall. And sometimes I am unmindful and brush an itch and only after think whether the cause was a bug.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Re: Challenging the Sotapanna cannot break the Five Precepts View

Post by Kumara » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:53 am

Polar Bear wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 3:30 am
I have had bugs crawling on my eyelids and in my ears and up my nose while meditating though. I just shake my head, blow air out my nose, and try to brush near the bugs but not on them to scare them away. They were flying bugs though. With ants I blow them off me so as not to crush them. Never had ants on my face or head though that I specifically recall. And sometimes I am unmindful and brush an itch and only after think whether the cause was a bug.
Same here. Sometimes I really think it's just an itch, but only after stratching that I learnt that it was an insect.

Going by the Vinaya rule on depriving a living being of life, a monk sweeping knowing that some beings might die in the process does not break the rule if he doesn't intend to kill. Hmm... now I wonder if some beings might have lived if not for the sweeping Jains. :thinking:
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Re: Challenging the Sotapanna cannot break the Five Precepts View

Post by SavakaNik » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:21 pm

I agree with OP and Nanavira. Adultery for instance...

It's the mind which gives the deed its kammic weight, not the deed in and of itself.

Take Dhammapada verse 309

Four things befall that heedless one
sleeping with one who’s wed:
demerit gained but not good sleep,
third is blame while fourth is hell.


This is speaking of the putthujjana. They'd either be racked up in great regret, suffering, and despair, or be haughty, conceited, and dishonest about the affair- either are great faults leading to lower rebirths.

Adultery is not on the "incapable of being done by a sotapanna" list:

To take any determination (sankhāra) as permanent,
To take any determination as pleasant,
To take any thing (dhamma) as self,
To kill his mother,
To kill his father,
To kill an arahat,
Maliciously to shed a Buddha's blood,
To split the Sangha,
To follow any teacher other than the Buddha.


For they are still very much bound by sensual desire.

And it is very much well said in the Canon that no one can say of the Buddha [and honestly I am paraphrasing but I will find the source if someone doesn't already know about this is in the suttas] "when expounding the law and the dhamma you left this out" or "in this way your (The Buddhas) exposition is inadequate or incomplete", so it would be non-canonical to assume that there are other possible things that a sotapanna cannot do which the Buddha failed to expound.

Adultery committed by a sotapanna would not be the same mental process as that of a putthujjana;
They would immediately know their fault and not make efforts to conceal the deed, they would take full responsibility for their actions and accept whatever fate it may bring, meanwhile (till fate comes) in that acceptance calm their mind gathering themselves in the understanding that they already have and would make great efforts to atone for their transgression and refrain from further ones by continuing to develop it (wisdom/understanding) while they still can - a putthujana does not have the same understanding (wisdom) thus would be unable to do this thus his misery would be far greater and in that misery suffer a lower rebirth.

It's the mind which gives the deed it's kammic weight (or lack of weight).

The list of "uncapabale of a sotapanna" deeds is not listed as such because of a sotapannas virtue, it's because of their wisdom [as regards sankhara] especially pertaining to sakkayaditthi [or lack thereof technically], should said person develop their understanding that it encompasses the sense spheres then they would either be a non returner or close to it once returner.... maybe those two can't break the five precepts? I don't know.

But a sotapanna certainly could, again, saying a sotapanna can't break the five precepts is synonymous with saying the Buddha omitted factual realities as regards what a sotapanna can or can't do, which would be heretical.

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Re: Challenging the Sotapanna cannot break the Five Precepts View

Post by Kumara » Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:03 am

See a pretty complete list of a sotapanna's characteristics here:
https://dhammawiki.com/index.php/Sotapanna

... and decide for yourselves.
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