Inaccurate knowledge can damage the seeker of truth

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Inaccurate knowledge can damage the seeker of truth

Post by Stephen18 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:20 pm

You can't reach the truth without knowledge but [inaccurate] knowledge can damage the seeker of truth. Be careful what you believe, because what you read or hear cannot always be trusted because you can't make sure it comes from the words of a Fully Enlightened One.

For example, how much can you trust the suttas? How do you know the Buddha really said those words even if they sound great? No one really knows or could possibly prove that Ānanda recited the suttas as we have them today. He may well have recited a different material, remnants of which remain in the current suttas. Even then, how well do you trust Ānanda's memory of everything he recited at the First Council was word for word what the Buddha said? He probably recited something close to what the Buddha must have uttered but not exactly the same, yet this could possibly have led to terrible consequences on certain occasions due to the loss of precision.

Therefore, we can't trust the canonical material too much. If one does so, one can easily go the wrong way, because one is not going by what the Buddha really taught, but only by guesswork -- and sometimes - quite possibly -- complete and utter distortion of what the Buddha taught.

That is how even some great teachers can go wrong and make big mistakes or even destroy themselves.

The cure for this is to doubt what we study. Take it all with a big pinch of salt -- maybe even more salt, no matter what we read or listen to, because it may not have been the words of the Fully Enlightened One. Think for yourself. Test it out, but be careful before you test it and test it carefully - think reasonably whether it is worth testing it in the first place. Consider its possible benefit or harm. Don't think the words are necessarily the Buddha's, even if they seem great or reasonably said.

Finally, you need a good teacher to explain knowledge as preserved by the lineage of teachers going back to the Buddha. The Internet and books are just not enough.

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Re: Inaccurate knowledge can damage the seeker of truth

Post by SarathW » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:25 pm

The only way you can confirm Buddha's true teaching is in practice.
If you think your suffering (Dukkha) is reduced what you are practicing then you are on the right path.
For this, you have to fully comprehend what Dukkha means.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Inaccurate knowledge can damage the seeker of truth

Post by budo » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:37 pm

In my opinion theory is a means to an end and not an end in itself. Consistent predictable experience is the end. Also everything has risk associated with it, so you should take your time and take measures. Find balance in the middle, don't shy away from experimentation but also don't go overboard. Keep in mind the Buddha went to both extremes of pain and pleasure in his life, and then advocated the middle way.

I think this is why the virtue training of the threefold training is critical as it acts as a safeguard. If you follow and practice the virtue section you will not harm yourself or anyone else. If you harm yourself, you're still harming someone and are violating the precepts so treat yourself with the respect and dignity you would treat others. Take good care of yourself.

Lastly, the dhamma is about reducing stress and suffering, so if whatever it is you're doing is increasing stress and suffering then it is not the dhamma.

The dhamma is supposed to be pleasurable and sublime. If it leads to pain, it's not the dhamma.

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Re: Inaccurate knowledge can damage the seeker of truth

Post by rightviewftw » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:22 pm

As i see it;
The Sutta Pitaka is excellent but even having adequate general intelligence and skillset does not guarantee understanding, skepticism and bias can get in the way. Most people simply do not think of the world as a mirrage and either take the body to be self or believe self to be some non-material element that survives death of the body.

It is definitely dangerous to get wrong information and i really think this forum is a very dangerous place because ever so often beginners and seasoned "Buddhists" will spew out their garbage theories on various teachings which are simply wrong and are entirely products of delusion. More often than not they will not even state that those are their theories and even worse will attempt to make themselves look as credible as possible or worse yet assume the role of teachers.

Occasionally people will think that they are enlightened as well and defend that view even if there are clear irregularities which will be explained away as corruptions in the texts, other creative ways or just blatant denial. For some people it is easier to convince themselves that they are already a Sotapanna than becoming one and they don't seem to mind doing so.

On the other hand if a person is able to see the world as a mirrage, sees the flaw in the world and is desperate enough it will be hard to keep him from both understanding and realizing the teachings.

If there was some serious corruption or irregularities in the Sutta Pitaka this would be quickly established and reasonable people would not say that they understand the Dhamma in unison and allignment.

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Re: Inaccurate knowledge can damage the seeker of truth

Post by SDC » Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:35 am

Moderator Note: If people have personal questions to ask other members please send those questions via PM if they are not relevant to the topic.

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Re: Inaccurate knowledge can damage the seeker of truth

Post by WorldTraveller » Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:46 am

Stiphan wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:20 pm

Buddha also advised Kalamas not to accept a teaching just because it came through a certain canonical tradition.

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