Wrong view and Avici Hell

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D1W1
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Wrong view and Avici Hell

Post by D1W1 » Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:19 pm

Hello all,

Just a short question. It's said that if someone teaches wrong view to other people that person will be reborn in avici hell. The question is, what does "teaches wrong view" mean?

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bodom
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Re: Wrong view and Avici Hell

Post by bodom » Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:34 pm

I imagine teaching any or all of the 62 views found in the Brahmajala Sutta DN 1.

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


"Dont send the mind outside. Watch the mind right at the mind."

- Ajahn Dune Atulo

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robertk
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Re: Wrong view and Avici Hell

Post by robertk » Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:23 pm

Not all of the 62.
only the extreme ones:
compendium of abhidhamma p.207
"Wrong view(micchaadi.t.thi) becomes a full course of action when it assumes the form of one of the morally nihilistic views which deny the validity of ethics and the retributive consequences of action. Three such views are mentioned often inthe Sutta Pitaka:

(i) nihilism(natthika-di.t.thi), which denies the survival of the personality in any form after death, thus negating the moral significance of deeds.

(ii) the inefficacy of action view(akiriya-di.t.thi), which claims that deeds have no efficacy in producing results and thus invalidates moral distinctions;

and (iii) the acausality view (ahetuka-di.t.thi), which states that there is no course or condition for the defilement and purification of beings, that beings are defiled by chance, fate, or necessity.

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bodom
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Re: Wrong view and Avici Hell

Post by bodom » Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:40 pm

Thank you Robert.

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


"Dont send the mind outside. Watch the mind right at the mind."

- Ajahn Dune Atulo

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Bundokji
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Re: Wrong view and Avici Hell

Post by Bundokji » Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:48 pm

robertk wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:23 pm
Not all of the 62.
only the extreme ones:
compendium of abhidhamma p.207
"Wrong view(micchaadi.t.thi) becomes a full course of action when it assumes the form of one of the morally nihilistic views which deny the validity of ethics and the retributive consequences of action. Three such views are mentioned often inthe Sutta Pitaka:

(i) nihilism(natthika-di.t.thi), which denies the survival of the personality in any form after death, thus negating the moral significance of deeds.

(ii) the inefficacy of action view(akiriya-di.t.thi), which claims that deeds have no efficacy in producing results and thus invalidates moral distinctions;

and (iii) the acausality view (ahetuka-di.t.thi), which states that there is no course or condition for the defilement and purification of beings, that beings are defiled by chance, fate, or necessity.
This makes me wonder, why teaching nihilistic views ensures rebirth in hell but not eternalism? did not the Buddha reject both views?
“It happened that a fire broke out backstage in a theater. The clown came out to inform the public. They thought it was a jest and applauded. He repeated his warning. They shouted even louder. So I think the world will come to an end amid the general applause from all the wits who believe that it is a joke.”
Søren Kierkegaard

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polarbear101
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Re: Wrong view and Avici Hell

Post by polarbear101 » Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:16 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:48 pm
This makes me wonder, why teaching nihilistic views ensures rebirth in hell but not eternalism? did not the Buddha reject both views?
Eternalist views allow for moral objectivism in the strongest sense. Whereas annihilationist views either lead one to reject moral objectivism or to proffer a weaker version in the sense that while some things may be objectively moral or immoral, there is still no guaranteed fruit of good and bad actions, i.e. at least some bad people will get away without consequence and some good people will go unrewarded. For the self-interested person, this opens up the possibility of doubt on every occasion where a moral decision must be made as to whether doing the right thing is worth it.

: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."

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Bundokji
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Re: Wrong view and Avici Hell

Post by Bundokji » Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:34 pm

polarbear101 wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:16 pm
Bundokji wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:48 pm
This makes me wonder, why teaching nihilistic views ensures rebirth in hell but not eternalism? did not the Buddha reject both views?
Eternalist views allow for moral objectivism in the strongest sense. Whereas annihilationist views either lead one to reject moral objectivism or to proffer a weaker version in the sense that while some things may be objectively moral or immoral, there is still no guaranteed fruit of good and bad actions, i.e. at least some bad people will get away without consequence and some good people will go unrewarded. For the self-interested person, this opens up the possibility of doubt on every occasion where a moral decision must be made as to whether doing the right thing is worth it.

:anjali:
The problem with moral objectivism is that it can turn into bigotry very easily. The three Abrahamic religions for instance teaches eternalism, and yet, their followers are causing themselves and others a lot of suffering. From my personal observations in this life, i tend to find nihilists (secular people) to be in general less corrupted than eternalists.
“It happened that a fire broke out backstage in a theater. The clown came out to inform the public. They thought it was a jest and applauded. He repeated his warning. They shouted even louder. So I think the world will come to an end amid the general applause from all the wits who believe that it is a joke.”
Søren Kierkegaard

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polarbear101
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Re: Wrong view and Avici Hell

Post by polarbear101 » Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:17 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:34 pm
polarbear101 wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:16 pm
Bundokji wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:48 pm
This makes me wonder, why teaching nihilistic views ensures rebirth in hell but not eternalism? did not the Buddha reject both views?
Eternalist views allow for moral objectivism in the strongest sense. Whereas annihilationist views either lead one to reject moral objectivism or to proffer a weaker version in the sense that while some things may be objectively moral or immoral, there is still no guaranteed fruit of good and bad actions, i.e. at least some bad people will get away without consequence and some good people will go unrewarded. For the self-interested person, this opens up the possibility of doubt on every occasion where a moral decision must be made as to whether doing the right thing is worth it.

:anjali:
The problem with moral objectivism is that it can turn into bigotry very easily. The three Abrahamic religions for instance teaches eternalism, and yet, their followers are causing themselves and others a lot of suffering. From my personal observations in this life, i tend to find nihilists (secular people) to be in general less corrupted than eternalists.
Yes, this is a problem. I think the context that the Buddha was teaching in may help us here. It seems that generally there was a sort of pan-indian (or greater magadha) notion among samanas and many commonfolk that it is wrong to harm any living being, not just humans or your neighbor. Divorced of the context of ahimsa and the finite nature of rewards and punishments, eternalism fares no better than the worst forms of annihilationism. Because in this case, the bad non-believers are going to hell forever anyway and so justification for all sorts of evil can pop up, and there is blatant disregard for almost all living beings, turning them into mere instruments for our use. Where the Buddha was preaching, it was more the case that all the (relevant) eternalists would have had the same general outline of karma and rebirth and the Buddha would just come along and fill out the details, make some corrections, and eventually the escape from eternalism via dependent origination would be made available to those ready for it.

Note also that the Buddha rejected (certain) notions of a supreme being on the basis of it leading to a doctrine of inaction:
"Having approached the brahmans & contemplatives who hold that... 'Whatever a person experiences... is all caused by a supreme being's act of creation,' I said to them: 'Is it true that you hold that... "Whatever a person experiences... is all caused by a supreme being's act of creation?"' Thus asked by me, they admitted, 'Yes.' Then I said to them, 'Then in that case, a person is a killer of living beings because of a supreme being's act of creation. A person is a thief... unchaste... a liar... a divisive speaker... a harsh speaker... an idle chatterer... greedy... malicious... a holder of wrong views because of a supreme being's act of creation.' When one falls back on creation by a supreme being as being essential, monks, there is no desire, no effort [at the thought], 'This should be done. This shouldn't be done.' When one can't pin down as a truth or reality what should & shouldn't be done, one dwells bewildered & unprotected. One cannot righteously refer to oneself as a contemplative. This was my second righteous refutation of those brahmans & contemplatives who hold to such teachings, such views.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Arguably if one posits a free-will version of theism then one avoids the problem above, but then there is still the problem that the form of ethics that one holds to is thoroughly inadequate, in which case corrections are necessary.

: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."

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polarbear101
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Re: Wrong view and Avici Hell

Post by polarbear101 » Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:34 pm

Basically only if you hold to the buddhist version of strong objectivism can you be said to have right view, i.e. those who follow the five precepts, are generous, respectful to their parents etc. will be fine, those who do not heap up future suffering now, in the next life, or in some life after that. If you also think that by purifying the mind you can be reborn permanently in some blissful realm with God or can become one with the ultimate ground of being which is inherently blissful, well that's another problem but at least it isn't an ethical one.

I think that's the gist of what the Buddha was getting at. Ethically sound versions of eternalism are preferable to annihilationism when it comes to ethics, even if the annihilationist has a strong sound ethics, since there's room then for thinking that sometimes it might serve one better to be unethical. However, when it comes to dispassion, annihilationism is best among outside views, since annihilationists are not scared when the dhamma is taught for the cessation of being.

: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."

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ryanM
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Re: Wrong view and Avici Hell

Post by ryanM » Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:54 pm

robertk wrote: [...] which deny the validity of ethics and the retributive consequences of action
I would think if you're actively trying to teach people 'Because of X philosophy, there is no valid/objective morality. Therefore, feel free to commit this brutal act.', then you're creating unwholesome kamma. I wouldn't think teaching someone about nihilism in itself would put you in a state of despair i.e. hell since there is such a thing as secular ethics. At least, this makes sense to me in light of lines like this:
[...] thus negating the moral significance of deeds.
[...] which claims that deeds have no efficacy in producing results and thus invalidates moral distinctions;
sabbe dhammā nālaṃ abhinivesāya

"nothing whatsoever should be clung to"

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Sam Vara
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Re: Wrong view and Avici Hell

Post by Sam Vara » Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:59 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:48 pm

This makes me wonder, why teaching nihilistic views ensures rebirth in hell but not eternalism? did not the Buddha reject both views?
Here's a nice point made by Ajahn Thanissaro which addresses that issue:
the Buddha said, when you face dukkha—suffering or stress—you have two reactions. One is a sense of
bewilderment: Why is this happening to me? And the second is a search: Is there anyone who knows a way
out from this suffering and stress?
The Buddha took that sense of bewilderment very seriously. The other teachings given in his time that he
criticized the most were the ones that he said leave people bewildered: teachings that would say there’s
nothing you can do because you have no power of action or choice. That, he said, leaves you unprotected,
leaves you bewildered. Or the teaching that your life is totally dependent on the decisions of some creator god:
That, too, leaves you unprotected and bewildered. Or the teaching that everything is random, there’s no
pattern to why you suffer, so no matter how hard you try to figure it out, there’s no pattern to be discerned:
That leaves you bewildered and unprotected as well, for it leaves you with no way of making a decision as to
what you should and shouldn’t do to deal with your suffering
https://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/Wri ... fering.pdf

I see the "hell" aspect as meaning that while you have such beliefs there is literally no hope; a thorough-going nihilist or theological determinist would not see practice as a possibility.

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Aloka
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Re: Wrong view and Avici Hell

Post by Aloka » Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:11 pm

D1W1 wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:19 pm

Just a short question. It's said that if someone teaches wrong view to other people that person will be reborn in avici hell. ....
I realise its going off topic, but isn't threatening others with hell realms for one reason or another what one might call "punishment - system kamma" ? I heard a lot of that in the past from the older tulkus teaching Tibetan Buddhism . Do something naughty and you'll be impaled on spikes or boiled in oil in a nasty hell realm of unknown location after you die.

.
Last edited by Aloka on Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Bundokji
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Re: Wrong view and Avici Hell

Post by Bundokji » Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:14 pm

polarbear101 wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:17 pm

Yes, this is a problem. I think the context that the Buddha was teaching in may help us here. It seems that generally there was a sort of pan-indian (or greater magadha) notion among samanas and many commonfolk that it is wrong to harm any living being, not just humans or your neighbor. Divorced of the context of ahimsa and the finite nature of rewards and punishments, eternalism fares no better than the worst forms of annihilationism. Because in this case, the bad non-believers are going to hell forever anyway and so justification for all sorts of evil can pop up, and there is blatant disregard for almost all living beings, turning them into mere instruments for our use. Where the Buddha was preaching, it was more the case that all the (relevant) eternalists would have had the same general outline of karma and rebirth and the Buddha would just come along and fill out the details, make some corrections, and eventually the escape from eternalism via dependent origination would be made available to those ready for it.
I totally agree with your input. I remember reading once that the Buddha tolerated the views of people who saw the aim of spiritual life to be reborn in better destinations as long as they don't deny the possibility of a final release.

The points you raised about Kamma and Ahimsa is quite interesting. Maybe it shows that the Buddha's rejection of both Eternalism and Nihilism is not purely related to the moral consequences of those views. You can hold morally right view and still believe in eternalism and nihilism and vice versa. This is why i did not understand what Robert quoted as it implies that nihilism (denying the survival of the personality in any form after death) necessarily lead to negating the moral significance of deeds.

Would it be wrong to conclude that the Buddha's rejection of the two extremes is more related to wisdom than morality?
Note also that the Buddha rejected (certain) notions of a supreme being on the basis of it leading to a doctrine of inaction:
"Having approached the brahmans & contemplatives who hold that... 'Whatever a person experiences... is all caused by a supreme being's act of creation,' I said to them: 'Is it true that you hold that... "Whatever a person experiences... is all caused by a supreme being's act of creation?"' Thus asked by me, they admitted, 'Yes.' Then I said to them, 'Then in that case, a person is a killer of living beings because of a supreme being's act of creation. A person is a thief... unchaste... a liar... a divisive speaker... a harsh speaker... an idle chatterer... greedy... malicious... a holder of wrong views because of a supreme being's act of creation.' When one falls back on creation by a supreme being as being essential, monks, there is no desire, no effort [at the thought], 'This should be done. This shouldn't be done.' When one can't pin down as a truth or reality what should & shouldn't be done, one dwells bewildered & unprotected. One cannot righteously refer to oneself as a contemplative. This was my second righteous refutation of those brahmans & contemplatives who hold to such teachings, such views.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Arguably if one posits a free-will version of theism then one avoids the problem above, but then there is still the problem that the form of ethics that one holds to is thoroughly inadequate, in which case corrections are necessary.

:anjali:
To be fair to theistic religions, they don't promote inaction, but compatibilism. The action they promote should be in harmony with the will of the supreme being, which is not too different from Buddhism if you replace the notion of a supreme being with nature.
“It happened that a fire broke out backstage in a theater. The clown came out to inform the public. They thought it was a jest and applauded. He repeated his warning. They shouted even louder. So I think the world will come to an end amid the general applause from all the wits who believe that it is a joke.”
Søren Kierkegaard

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bodom
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Re: Wrong view and Avici Hell

Post by bodom » Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:14 pm

Aloka wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:11 pm
D1W1 wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:19 pm
Hello all,

Just a short question. It's said that if someone teaches wrong view to other people that person will be reborn in avici hell. ....
I realise its off topic, but isn't threatening others with hell realms for one reason or another what one might call "punishment - system kamma" ? I heard a lot of that in the past from the older tulkus teaching Tibetan Buddhism.

:anjali:
You will also hear alot of it from the Buddha himself in the suttas.

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


"Dont send the mind outside. Watch the mind right at the mind."

- Ajahn Dune Atulo

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Aloka
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Re: Wrong view and Avici Hell

Post by Aloka » Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:23 pm

bodom wrote:You will also hear alot of it from the Buddha himself in the suttas.
Sure, but everybody believed in other realms and a flat world in Iron Age India 2,500 years ago.

.

perkele
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Re: Wrong view and Avici Hell

Post by perkele » Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:29 pm

Aloka wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:23 pm
bodom wrote:You will also hear alot of it from the Buddha himself in the suttas.
Sure, but everybody believed in other realms and a flat world in Iron Age India 2,500 years ago.

.
But the Buddha maintained that he had seen these things with his own eyes, according to what is taught in the suttas.
And according to my belief at least, the Buddha was indeed a perfect and completely and unsurpassably enlightened being.
I, for one, find it impossible to reconcile my belief that the Buddha was enlightened with the belief that the Buddha took hallucinations for reality or even told flat out lies.

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Bundokji
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Re: Wrong view and Avici Hell

Post by Bundokji » Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:37 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:59 pm
Bundokji wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:48 pm

This makes me wonder, why teaching nihilistic views ensures rebirth in hell but not eternalism? did not the Buddha reject both views?
Here's a nice point made by Ajahn Thanissaro which addresses that issue:
the Buddha said, when you face dukkha—suffering or stress—you have two reactions. One is a sense of
bewilderment: Why is this happening to me? And the second is a search: Is there anyone who knows a way
out from this suffering and stress?
The Buddha took that sense of bewilderment very seriously. The other teachings given in his time that he
criticized the most were the ones that he said leave people bewildered: teachings that would say there’s
nothing you can do because you have no power of action or choice. That, he said, leaves you unprotected,
leaves you bewildered. Or the teaching that your life is totally dependent on the decisions of some creator god:
That, too, leaves you unprotected and bewildered. Or the teaching that everything is random, there’s no
pattern to why you suffer, so no matter how hard you try to figure it out, there’s no pattern to be discerned:
That leaves you bewildered and unprotected as well, for it leaves you with no way of making a decision as to
what you should and shouldn’t do to deal with your suffering
https://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/Wri ... fering.pdf

I see the "hell" aspect as meaning that while you have such beliefs there is literally no hope; a thorough-going nihilist or theological determinist would not see practice as a possibility.
Thanks Sam for the reference, it is really beneficial. :anjali:
“It happened that a fire broke out backstage in a theater. The clown came out to inform the public. They thought it was a jest and applauded. He repeated his warning. They shouted even louder. So I think the world will come to an end amid the general applause from all the wits who believe that it is a joke.”
Søren Kierkegaard

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Aloka
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Re: Wrong view and Avici Hell

Post by Aloka » Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:38 pm

perkele wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:29 pm

But the Buddha maintained that he had seen these things with his own eyes, according to what is taught in the suttas.
And according to my firm belief at least, the Buddha was indeed a perfect and completely enlightened being, who would never tell a lie or take hallucinations for reality.
I, for one, find it impossible to reconcile the belief that the Buddha was enlightened with the belief that the Buddha took hallucinations for reality or even told straight out lies.
I'm not suggesting for one moment that the Buddha wasn't enlightened but its possible that he could have been using what is called "skillful means" to teach the people around him in accordance with the beliefs that were popular in India at that time.

.

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bodom
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Re: Wrong view and Avici Hell

Post by bodom » Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:51 pm

Aloka wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:38 pm
perkele wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:29 pm

But the Buddha maintained that he had seen these things with his own eyes, according to what is taught in the suttas.
And according to my firm belief at least, the Buddha was indeed a perfect and completely enlightened being, who would never tell a lie or take hallucinations for reality.
I, for one, find it impossible to reconcile the belief that the Buddha was enlightened with the belief that the Buddha took hallucinations for reality or even told straight out lies.
I'm not suggesting for one moment that the Buddha wasn't enlightened but its possible that he could have been using what is called "skillful means" to teach the people around him in accordance with the beliefs that were popular in India at that time.

.
Very well could be. Though I tend to fall more to the literal view, I know both approaches, belief in literal hell realms and the belief that the Buddha taught them as skillful means work. I think as long as either spur you on to practice then that is all that matters.

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


"Dont send the mind outside. Watch the mind right at the mind."

- Ajahn Dune Atulo

perkele
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Re: Wrong view and Avici Hell

Post by perkele » Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:52 pm

Aloka wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:38 pm
I'm not suggesting for one moment that the Buddha wasn't enlightened but its possible that he could have been using what is called "skillful means" to teach the people around him in accordance with the beliefs that were popular in India at that time.
In other words, he might have just lied "for a good cause".
I believe that is simply not compatible with enlightenment.

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