Bhante Sujatos and karmic snobbery.

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diamind
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Bhante Sujatos and karmic snobbery.

Post by diamind » Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:24 pm

Im just listening to a few talks by Bhante Sujato. It doesn't take long until you encounter his view of karma.
Where is he getting these ideas from? It seems like he really believes his view point but then I think maybe his belief is some what fabricated to try and push his "early buddhism ideology" further. Can anyone shed some light onto this?
So basically his example is, if a TV drops out of a hotel window and you are walking along on the street below minding your own business and the tv lands on your head, this has nothing to do with karma. He also says collective karma's are a myth and birth defects are not created by karma.
If you take his very strict definition of karma and say karma is only a deliberate thought pattern of the present mind, then YES I agree, the example has nothing to do with karma, but then why is the TV hitting you on the head? Sujato doesn't really answer this question.

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Re: Bhante Sujatos and karmic snobbery.

Post by santa100 » Sat Sep 29, 2018 4:01 pm

diamind wrote:So basically his example is, if a TV drops out of a hotel window and you are walking along on the street below minding your own business and the tv lands on your head, this has nothing to do with karma.
We actually don't even need to search the suttas to point out the flaw of that statement. Just apply common sense and logic. By saying outright that the event has nothing to do with kamma, it automatically assumes that Sujato already possesses the supernormal power to see through the countless lives of that person and found zero kammic causes that lead to the unfortunate event. It would've been a more honest and humble response if he simply said he doesn't know because the truth is that he really doesn't know (and same for everyone else who haven't attained supernormal powers).

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Re: Bhante Sujatos and karmic snobbery.

Post by diamind » Sat Sep 29, 2018 4:27 pm

Have you listened to many of his teachings? Whats the story with him?

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Re: Bhante Sujatos and karmic snobbery.

Post by Goofaholix » Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:43 pm

Looking at the Sivaka Sutta I would say the Buddha would back him up...
“Master Gotama, there are some ascetics and brahmins who hold such a doctrine and view as this: ‘Whatever a person experiences, whether it be pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant, all that is caused by what was done in the past.’ What does Master Gotama say about this?”

“Some feelings, Sīvaka, arise here originating from bile disorders: that some feelings arise here originating from bile disorders one can know for oneself, and that is considered to be true in the world. Now when those ascetics and brahmins hold such a doctrine and view as this, ‘Whatever a person experiences, whether it be pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant, all that is caused by what was done in the past,’ they overshoot what one knows by oneself and they overshoot what is considered to be true in the world. Therefore I say that this is wrong on the part of those ascetics and brahmins.

“Some feelings, Sīvaka, arise here originating from phlegm disorders … originating from wind disorders … originating from an imbalance of the three … produced by change of climate … produced by careless behaviour … caused by assault … produced as the result of kamma: that some feelings arise here produced as the result of kamma one can know for oneself, and that is considered to be true in the world. Now when those ascetics and brahmins hold such a doctrine and view as this, ‘Whatever a person experiences, whether it be pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant, all that is caused by what was done in the past,’ they overshoot what one knows by oneself and they overshoot what is considered to be true in the world. Therefore I say that this is wrong on the part of those ascetics and brahmins.” - SN 36.21
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

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Re: Bhante Sujatos and karmic snobbery.

Post by DNS » Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:20 pm

Kamma can cause some things:
"So it is the way people live that makes them how they are, whether short-lived or long lived, sickly or healthy, ugly or lovely, insignificant or illustrious, poor or rich, in a low class or eminent family, or witless or wise. Sentient beings are the owners of their deeds and heir to their deeds. Deeds are their womb, their relative, and their refuge. It is deeds that divide beings into inferior and superior.”
https://suttacentral.net/mn135/en/sujato
Kamma could be a cause, but it does not determine everything. Things could happen for other reasons too, including natural laws (dhamma niyàma), biological laws (bãja niyàma), physical laws (utu niyàma) and psychological laws (citta niyàma).

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Sam Vara
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Re: Bhante Sujatos and karmic snobbery.

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:21 pm

Goofaholix wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:43 pm
Looking at the Sivaka Sutta I would say the Buddha would back him up...
“Master Gotama, there are some ascetics and brahmins who hold such a doctrine and view as this: ‘Whatever a person experiences, whether it be pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant, all that is caused by what was done in the past.’ What does Master Gotama say about this?”

“Some feelings, Sīvaka, arise here originating from bile disorders: that some feelings arise here originating from bile disorders one can know for oneself, and that is considered to be true in the world. Now when those ascetics and brahmins hold such a doctrine and view as this, ‘Whatever a person experiences, whether it be pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant, all that is caused by what was done in the past,’ they overshoot what one knows by oneself and they overshoot what is considered to be true in the world. Therefore I say that this is wrong on the part of those ascetics and brahmins.

“Some feelings, Sīvaka, arise here originating from phlegm disorders … originating from wind disorders … originating from an imbalance of the three … produced by change of climate … produced by careless behaviour … caused by assault … produced as the result of kamma: that some feelings arise here produced as the result of kamma one can know for oneself, and that is considered to be true in the world. Now when those ascetics and brahmins hold such a doctrine and view as this, ‘Whatever a person experiences, whether it be pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant, all that is caused by what was done in the past,’ they overshoot what one knows by oneself and they overshoot what is considered to be true in the world. Therefore I say that this is wrong on the part of those ascetics and brahmins.” - SN 36.21
To say as per the OP that an accident involving a falling TV had nothing to do with kamma would require a stronger formulation than the above, which deals with the claim that all a person experiences is the result of kamma. To rule out the kammic cause of the falling TV we would need the Buddha to criticise the view that anything experienced now is caused by kamma.

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Re: Bhante Sujatos and karmic snobbery.

Post by Goofaholix » Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:37 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:21 pm
To say as per the OP that an accident involving a falling TV had nothing to do with kamma would require a stronger formulation than the above, which deals with the claim that all a person experiences is the result of kamma. To rule out the kammic cause of the falling TV we would need the Buddha to criticise the view that anything experienced now is caused by kamma.
I think the point of the passage is that to say it's definately due to kamma is to overshoot, I agree to say it's definately not due to kamma is also to overshoot.

The teaching of kamma is about action, or at least the intention behind action, not about determining the reason for an occurance. As soon as we start speculating about how kamma affected hypothetical occurances we may as well start speculating about how bile and wind also contributed.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

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Re: Bhante Sujatos and karmic snobbery.

Post by SarathW » Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:08 pm

Perhaps what we are talking here is the Vipaka (result) not the Kamma (action).
Certainly, every action produces some result.
If two people do the same thing the result will be different due to other Niyama factors pointed out by DS.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Bhante Sujatos and karmic snobbery.

Post by retrofuturist » Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:26 pm

Greetings,

The operation of kamma in Buddhism is a personal function, rooted in avijja.

It is not an external function, externally operated such as this...

Image

Once the personal is transcended and someone becomes an arahant, kamma becomes inoperative.

Therefore, if it is understood as such, how does the personal exert a force whilst walking along the street to magically compel the TV to land on their head?

:shrug:

It doesn't take a lot to see that Theravada's niyama model pointed to above by David, makes a lot more sense than the all-inclusive Hindu take on karma, which has regrettably infected some Buddhist thinking on kamma.

[I'm going to move this into the General Theravada section, as it seems too much of an advanced / inconclusive / explorative topic for the Discovering Theravada section]

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Bhante Sujatos and karmic snobbery.

Post by SarathW » Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:36 pm

Therefore, if it is understood as such, how does the personal exert a force whilst walking along the street to magically compel the TV to land on their head?

:shrug:
The present five aggregate is the result of previous Kamma.
For instance, if I did not have the body (say I am a Deva) the TV would not land on my head.
:juggling:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Bhante Sujatos and karmic snobbery.

Post by retrofuturist » Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:43 pm

Greetings Sarath,

Sure, it's hard to get hit by a TV when you're in a different realm to the TV.

:lol:

But that's not the model of kamma that Diamind is advocating. The model being pushed is that there is definitely some unexplained kammic causality linking the two events - that of the person walking down the street, and the TV falling out the window. The model being pushed will not allow for the possibility of it being accidental or coincidental... it will magically insist, without proof or sutta substantiation, that it is retribution for some past deed... but be totally incapable of explaining how this magic works, short of pointing out that conjecture over the precise workings of kamma leads to madness.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Bhante Sujatos and karmic snobbery.

Post by BKh » Sun Sep 30, 2018 12:38 am

DNS wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:20 pm
Things could happen for other reasons too, including natural laws (dhamma niyàma), biological laws (bãja niyàma), physical laws (utu niyàma) and psychological laws (citta niyàma).
As far as I understand, these classifications are not found as such in the sutta pitaka. The concepts may be, but the terms are not. If they are I would be interested in knowing where.

I mention this not to disagree or cast doubt, just to clarify.
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Re: Bhante Sujatos and karmic snobbery.

Post by DooDoot » Sun Sep 30, 2018 12:53 am

diamind wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:24 pm
If you take his very strict definition of karma and say karma is only a deliberate thought pattern of the present mind, then YES I agree, the example has nothing to do with karma
The above sounds similar to AN 6.63:
Intention, I tell you, is kamma. Intending, one does kamma by way of body, speech & intellect.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
:candle:
diamind wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:24 pm
but then why is the TV hitting you on the head? Sujato doesn't really answer this question.
The TV fell through the window probably because physical things are unstable and break (unpredictably).
Form, O monks, is not-self; if form were self, then form would not lead to affliction and it should obtain regarding form: 'May my form be thus, may my form not be thus'; and indeed, O monks, since form is not-self, therefore form leads to affliction and it does not obtain regarding form: 'May my form be thus, may my form not be thus.'

What do you think of this, O monks? Is form permanent or impermanent?"

"Impermanent, O Lord."

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .mend.html
And why do you call it 'form'? Because it is afflicted, thus it is called 'form.' Afflicted with what? With cold & heat & hunger & thirst, with the touch of flies, mosquitoes, wind, sun, & reptiles. Because it is afflicted, it is called form.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
So it is, householder. So it is. The body is afflicted, weak, & encumbered. For who, looking after this body, would claim even a moment of true health, except through sheer foolishness? So you should train yourself: 'Even though I may be afflicted in body, my mind will be unafflicted.' That is how you should train yourself."

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
:alien:
SarathW wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:36 pm
The present five aggregate is the result of previous Kamma.
So if i want or intend to not have five aggregretes, will that work to be free from five aggregates? :shrug:
SarathW wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:36 pm
For instance, if I did not have the body (say I am a Deva) the TV would not land on my head.
More Hinduism. The suttas say Deva can be reborn in hell.
diamind wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:24 pm
Where is he getting these ideas from?
So if I decide to murder you because i simply delight in killing (say similar to how Donald Trump delights in killing or starving people in Iran); is that your kamma, i.e., your fault? If my murdering you is your fault, where are the boundaries of right & wrong; good & evil? :shrug: Why do suttas say there are "inoffensive" ("innocent") people; which violence can be done to by an evil doer? :shrug:
137. He who inflicts violence on those who are unarmed, and offends those who are inoffensive, will soon come upon one of these ten states:

138-140 Sharp pain, or disaster, bodily injury, serious illness, or derangement of mind, trouble from the government, or grave charges, loss of relatives, or loss of wealth, or houses destroyed by ravaging fire; upon dissolution of the body that ignorant man is born in hell.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .budd.html
Never ordained... not an anonymous-online-bhikkhu or ex-bhikkhu...

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Re: Bhante Sujatos and karmic snobbery.

Post by SarathW » Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:22 am

So if i want or intend to not have five aggregretes, will that work to be free from five aggregates? :shrug:
What I understand is that my present five aggregate is the result of Vipaka of my previous kamma.
Whatever I do now with my present aggregate is fresh kamma.
If the TV fall because of the wind and I am injured it could be due to many factors.
Maybe I was careless or the wind came without any warning.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Bhante Sujatos and karmic snobbery.

Post by DooDoot » Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:41 am

SarathW wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:22 am
What I understand is that my present five aggregate is the result of Vipaka of my previous kamma.
I doubt the statement above is "understanding". It sounds like just unverified belief or interpretation.
SarathW wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:22 am
Whatever I do now with my present aggregate is fresh kamma.
What is the kamma? The aggregates? Or the doing? Also, the above sounds like "The Self" does the kamma. SN 12.17 appears to say the self does not do kamma.
SarathW wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:22 am
If the TV fall because of the wind and I am injured it could be due to many factors.
Maybe I was careless or the wind came without any warning.
If earthquake injure you and millions of others, is that kamma?
Never ordained... not an anonymous-online-bhikkhu or ex-bhikkhu...

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