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Quick death is worse than torture?

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:46 am
by TRobinson465
So I found an interesting passage in the vinaya.

It says:
On one occasion a monk went to a place of execution and said to the executioner, “Don’t torture him. Kill him with a single blow.” “All right, Venerable,” he said, and he killed him with a single blow. The monk became remorseful... “You have committed an offense entailing expulsion.”

https://suttacentral.net/pli-tv-bu-vb-pj3/en/brahmali
Perhaps in my unenlightened mind i find it weird that a monk would have committed a parajika for this since I do not "truly" understand what happens at death or the value of human life. but it still seems weird. Almost any good willed or compassionate person would advise against torturing someone over quickly killing them. Yet the monk who did this was expelled. Even more confusing is another passage says
On one occasion the monks from the group of six, meaning to cause death, set fire to a forest grove. Some people were burnt and died. Some people were burnt, but did not die. The monks became remorseful. “There’s no offense entailing expulsion,but there’s a serious offense.”
https://suttacentral.net/pli-tv-bu-vb-pj3/en/brahmali
So a group of monks who, intending to kill people, killed people in an indirect matter did not commit a parajika. yet a well-intentioned monk who intended a quick death of somebody over torturing them did. Thoughts?

Re: Quick death is worse than torture?

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:06 am
by robertk
On one occasion a monk went to a place of execution and said to the executioner, “Don’t torture him. Kill him with a single blow.” “All right, Venerable,” he said, and he killed him with a single blow. The monk became remorseful... “You have committed an offense entailing expulsion.”
https://suttacentral.net/pli-tv-bu-vb-pj3/en/brahmali

It is about hastening death. Examples are given when the executioner says he will make it quick but actually proceeds at the usual pace- no parajika.

Remember, there is no self, only a stream of nama and rupa. A few seconds doesn't seem long in conventional terms but in fact many lifetimes- in the ultimate sense - have come and gone.

Re: Quick death is worse than torture?

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:14 am
by Sam Vara
TRobinson465 wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:46 am

Perhaps in my unenlightened mind i find it weird that a monk would have committed a parajika for this since I do not "truly" understand what happens at death or the value of human life. but it still seems weird. Almost any good willed or compassionate person would advise against torturing someone over quickly killing them. Yet the monk who did this was expelled.
I'm very far from being familiar with the vinaya, but I think the issue in that particular case is that advocating killing is absolutely proscribed; the monk was of course free to dissuade the executioner from torturing, but not if that dissuasion also included a recommendation that the victim be killed. It is in effect a "mercy killing", which monks should not perform or recommend. Presumably, the monk who does so creates for himself the kamma associated with killing as well as that associated with the merciful plea that the victim not be tortured.

Re: Quick death is worse than torture?

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:28 am
by TRobinson465
robertk wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:06 am
A few seconds doesn't seem long in conventional terms but in fact many lifetimes- in the ultimate sense - have come and gone.
All you did with this is confuse me more.

Re: Quick death is worse than torture?

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:30 am
by JamesTheGiant
The Vinaya is primarily a legal system, not an ethical system. It has many ethical elements to it, but it's primarily a system of laws governing the behaviour of monks.
Unfortunately legal systems based on numbered rules can lead to loopholes, and sometimes the laws are unable to deal satisfactorily with actions which are ethically bad but which are not against the rules. Like the one you quoted about the Group of Six monks setting that fire.

For example the monk who was merciful and compassionate and wanted to shorten the suffering of the person who was going to be tortured, got expelled.
But the monks who set the fires which killed people just had to confess.
You can see there are the vinaya rules on one hand, and ethics which are quite different.

Keep in mind the vinaya rules are not a system of ethics. Just because a monk can get away with bad bad things, or is punished for being compassionate and merciful like in that example, doesn't mean thats okay.
The vinaya rules are a system of laws, and they exist within a framework of ethics and morals. The vinaya rules do not set those ethics and morals.
The vinaya does not define what is right and wrong. It says what a monk can and cannot do, and can lead to results we know are not morally acceptable.

Re: Quick death is worse than torture?

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:31 am
by sentinel
robertk wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:06 am
On one occasion a monk went to a place of execution and said to the executioner, “Don’t torture him. Kill him with a single blow.” “All right, Venerable,” he said, and he killed him with a single blow. The monk became remorseful... “You have committed an offense entailing expulsion.”
https://suttacentral.net/pli-tv-bu-vb-pj3/en/brahmali

It is about hastening death. Examples are given when the executioner says he will make it quick but proceeds at the usual pace- no parajika.

Remember, there is no self, only a stream of nama and rupa. A few seconds doesn't seem long in conventional terms but in fact many lifetimes- in the ultimate sense - have come and gone.
If not mistaken , here you are referring namarupa as materiality and mentality of a person or the five aggregates ?

Re: Quick death is worse than torture?

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:16 am
by robertk
TRobinson465 wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:28 am
robertk wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:06 am
A few seconds doesn't seem long in conventional terms but in fact many lifetimes- in the ultimate sense - have come and gone.
All you did with this is confuse me more.
The dispeller of Delusion (pali text society) trans. Bhikku Nanamoli:
page 121, volume1:
"this division too should be known, namely momentary death (khanika-
marana)
, conventional death (samutti marana) and death as cutting
off (samuccheda-marana
)
also path of purification xliii “
T
here are three kinds of death: death as
cutting off, momentary death, and conventional death. Death as cutting off belongs
to those whose cankers are exhausted (and are Arahants). Momentary death is
that of each consciousness of the cognitive series beginning with life-continuum
consciousness, which arise each immediately on the cessation of the one preceding.
Conventional death is that of all (so-called) living beings
I was referring to khanika-marana in my earlier post.

Re: Quick death is worse than torture?

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:18 am
by robertk
James Tan wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:31 am
robertk wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:06 am
On one occasion a monk went to a place of execution and said to the executioner, “Don’t torture him. Kill him with a single blow.” “All right, Venerable,” he said, and he killed him with a single blow. The monk became remorseful... “You have committed an offense entailing expulsion.”
https://suttacentral.net/pli-tv-bu-vb-pj3/en/brahmali

It is about hastening death. Examples are given when the executioner says he will make it quick but proceeds at the usual pace- no parajika.

Remember, there is no self, only a stream of nama and rupa. A few seconds doesn't seem long in conventional terms but in fact many lifetimes- in the ultimate sense - have come and gone.
If not mistaken , here you are referring namarupa as materiality and mentality of a person or the five aggregates ?
They are the same, just different classifications.
the commentary to the Abhidhammattha Sangaha, the
Abhidhammattha
Vibhavani :
"There are people who like short explanations, there
are people who
like explanations of medium length, and there are
people who like
detailed explanations. Those among the different
groups who are slow in
understanding as regards mentality can understand
realities as
explained by way of five khandhas, because mentality
is classified by
way of four khandhas, thus, in a more extensive way.
Those who are slow
in understanding as regards physical phenomena (rupa)
can understand
realities as explained by way of �yatanas. The five
senses and the
five sense objects are ten kinds of r�pa which are
�yatanas. As to
dhamm�yatana this comprises both n�ma and r�pa. Thus
in this
classification r�pa has been explained more
extensively. Those who are
slow in understanding as to both n�ma and r�pa can
understand realities
as explained by way of elements, dh�tus, because in
this
classification both n�ma and r�pa have been explained
in detail."

Re: Quick death is worse than torture?

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:17 am
by Dhammanando
TRobinson465 wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:46 am
So a group of monks who, intending to kill people, killed people in an indirect matter did not commit a parajika.
No. There seems to be an error in the translation. There are actually three related scenarios but the translator's compression of the text doesn't make this clear:

1. The monks start a forest fire not intending to kill anyone but some people get burned to death: no offence (because they weren't aiming to kill anyone).

2. The monks start a fire intending to kill people and some people do get killed: a defeating offence.

3. The monks start a fire intending to kill people but nobody is killed: grave offence.

Re: Quick death is worse than torture?

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:31 am
by Bundokji
JamesTheGiant wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:30 am
The Vinaya is primarily a legal system, not an ethical system. It has many ethical elements to it, but it's primarily a system of laws governing the behaviour of monks.
Unfortunately legal systems based on numbered rules can lead to loopholes, and sometimes the laws are unable to deal satisfactorily with actions which are ethically bad but which are not against the rules. Like the one you quoted about the Group of Six monks setting that fire.

For example the monk who was merciful and compassionate and wanted to shorten the suffering of the person who was going to be tortured, got expelled.
But the monks who set the fires which killed people just had to confess.
You can see there are the vinaya rules on one hand, and ethics which are quite different.

Keep in mind the vinaya rules are not a system of ethics. Just because a monk can get away with bad bad things, or is punished for being compassionate and merciful like in that example, doesn't mean thats okay.
The vinaya rules are a system of laws, and they exist within a framework of ethics and morals. The vinaya rules do not set those ethics and morals.
The vinaya does not define what is right and wrong. It says what a monk can and cannot do, and can lead to results we know are not morally acceptable.
Your distinction is well made but do not seem obvious to the monk himself who became "remorseful", which indicates, if i am not wrong, that he believed he transgressed a moral law.

Re: Quick death is worse than torture?

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:12 pm
by TRobinson465
Dhammanando wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:17 am
TRobinson465 wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:46 am
So a group of monks who, intending to kill people, killed people in an indirect matter did not commit a parajika.
No. There seems to be an error in the translation. There are actually three related scenarios but the translator's compression of the text doesn't make this clear:

1. The monks start a forest fire not intending to kill anyone but some people get burned to death: no offence (because they weren't aiming to kill anyone).

2. The monks start a fire intending to kill people and some people do get killed: a defeating offence.

3. The monks start a fire intending to kill people but nobody is killed: grave offence.
Oh okay. That makes more sense. Some1 should tell them about their mistake.

Re: Quick death is worse than torture?

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:45 pm
by JamesTheGiant
TRobinson465 wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:12 pm
]

Oh okay. That makes more sense. Some1 should tell them about their mistake.
I'll email the translator, i have his address,

Re: Quick death is worse than torture?

Posted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:51 am
by salayatananirodha
robertk wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:06 am
Remember, there is no self
"Ananda, if I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is a self — were to answer that there is a self, that would be conforming with those brahmans & contemplatives who are exponents of eternalism [the view that there is an eternal, unchanging soul]. If I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is no self — were to answer that there is no self, that would be conforming with those brahmans & contemplatives who are exponents of annihilationism [the view that death is the annihilation of consciousness]. If I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is a self — were to answer that there is a self, would that be in keeping with the arising of knowledge that all phenomena are not-self?"

"No, lord."

"And if I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is no self — were to answer that there is no self, the bewildered Vacchagotta would become even more bewildered: 'Does the self I used to have now not exist?'"

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

Re: Quick death is worse than torture?

Posted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:05 am
by salayatananirodha
TRobinson465 wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:46 am
So I found an interesting passage in the vinaya.

It says:
On one occasion a monk went to a place of execution and said to the executioner, “Don’t torture him. Kill him with a single blow.” “All right, Venerable,” he said, and he killed him with a single blow. The monk became remorseful... “You have committed an offense entailing expulsion.”

https://suttacentral.net/pli-tv-bu-vb-pj3/en/brahmali
Perhaps in my unenlightened mind i find it weird that a monk would have committed a parajika for this since I do not "truly" understand what happens at death or the value of human life. but it still seems weird. Almost any good willed or compassionate person would advise against torturing someone over quickly killing them. Yet the monk who did this was expelled.

"Of those, right view is the forerunner. And how is right view the forerunner? One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view. 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.

- MN 117
Why else would someone encourage death over life if they had the right view of this world, next world? Encouraging or having an intentional hand in death is a defeating offense, even describing death beneficially. It's always cruel and evil to kill, although the world has re-interpreted it. It's good that you note your mind in the beginning of your statements; mindfulness of mind to the degree of understanding 'there is mind' is of great fruit, of great benefit (see MN 10).
See chiggala sutta for the value of human life.

Re: Quick death is worse than torture?

Posted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:06 am
by robertk
salayatananirodha wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:51 am
robertk wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:06 am
Remember, there is no self
"Ananda, if I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is a self — were to answer that there is a self, that would be conforming with those brahmans & contemplatives who are exponents of eternalism [the view that there is an eternal, unchanging soul]. If I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is no self — were to answer that there is no self, that would be conforming with those brahmans & contemplatives who are exponents of annihilationism [the view that death is the annihilation of consciousness]. If I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is a self — were to answer that there is a self, would that be in keeping with the arising of knowledge that all phenomena are not-self?"

"No, lord."

"And if I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is no self — were to answer that there is no self, the bewildered Vacchagotta would become even more bewildered: 'Does the self I used to have now not exist?'"

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Fortunately ven. Dhammanando explained this some time ago:

i
hrjordan wrote:
"If I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is no self — were to answer that there is no self, that would be conforming with those brahmans & contemplatives who are exponents of annihilationism [the view that death is the annihilation of consciousness
]. "
. Let me give one oft-quoted specimen of Thanissaro's equivocation, from his article The Not-Self Strategy:
The evidence for this reading [i.e. of the anattā teaching] of the Canon centers around four points:

[...]

3. Views that there is no self are ranked with views that that there is a self as a "fetter of views" which a person aiming at release from suffering would do well to avoid.
The Not-self Strategy

But this is simply false. What is ranked among the fetter of views in the Sabbāsava Sutta is not: "There is no self" but rather the ucchedadiṭṭhi: "There is no self for me.
(ven Dhammanando)