Can a sotāpanna committ suicide?

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Manopubbangama
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Can a sotāpanna committ suicide?

Post by Manopubbangama » Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:15 pm

I'm thinking particularly of Nanavira Thera who claimed to be a stream-enterer.

Nanavira Thera, translator of Julius Evola and author of "Notes on Dhamma"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanavira_Thera
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budo
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Re: Can a sotāpanna committ suicide?

Post by budo » Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:33 pm

I'm leaning towards no, unless jhanic or nibbanic bliss is so good that they don't care about their own bodies and starve to death. In which case I wouldn't call it suicide if you let the body die on its own. Suicide would be akin to murder to me, as in intentionally killing yourself.

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Manopubbangama
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Re: Can a sotāpanna committ suicide?

Post by Manopubbangama » Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:40 pm

I hope people can help interpret Channovada Sutta of the Majjhima, because its opaque in ultimate meaning to me.
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Nwad
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Re: Can a sotāpanna committ suicide?

Post by Nwad » Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:09 pm

Sottapana can not kill an Arya. Suicide is a murder.

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Re: Can a sotāpanna committ suicide?

Post by dharmacorps » Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:43 pm

There are several mentions in the canon of arahants who are gravely ill who commit suicide "blamelessly" because they had reached the end of the path that is arahantship, and the inference I get from that is that until you are a arahant, you can't commit suicide without it being blameworthy. I would also think that since a sotapanna has the lower realms cut off to them, they would be incapable of committing an act that would land them there.

In the case of Nanavira, I think its clear he was a intelligent guy who ardently practiced but also had many struggles. There doesn't seem to be a lot of precise information out there about his death so its probably best not to speculate. Whenever people proclaim their attainments I take anything else they say with a grain of salt. :anjali:

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pitakele
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Re: Can a sotāpanna committ suicide?

Post by pitakele » Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:38 pm

Nwad wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:09 pm
Sottapana can not kill an Arya. Suicide is a murder.
Interesting point in the Vinaya is that murder is pārājika (defeat), whereas suicide is dukkata (offence of wrong doing). Always wondered how a dead person can confess an offence 😊
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Re: Can a sotāpanna committ suicide?

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:59 pm

pitakele wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:38 pm
Nwad wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:09 pm
Sottapana can not kill an Arya. Suicide is a murder.
Interesting point in the Vinaya is that murder is pārājika (defeat), whereas suicide is dukkata (offence of wrong doing). Always wondered how a dead person can confess an offence 😊
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Re: Can a sotāpanna committ suicide?

Post by Volovsky » Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:45 pm

pitakele wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:38 pm
Interesting point in the Vinaya is that murder is pārājika (defeat), whereas suicide is dukkata (offence of wrong doing). Always wondered how a dead person can confess an offence 😊
Where is it written (that suicide is a dukkata)?

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pitakele
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Re: Can a sotāpanna committ suicide?

Post by pitakele » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:11 pm

Volovsky wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:45 pm
Where is it written (that suicide is a dukkata)?
Mahāvagga or Cūlavagga - when I have time I'll find the reference.

Edit: Not so easy to find the source, although it is somewhere in my hand written Vinaya summary from the past. Maybe someone else can recollect the location...
Last edited by pitakele on Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Can a sotāpanna committ suicide?

Post by James Tan » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:08 am

It was said in the text that the Buddha did not say arahant suicidal act is totally blameless but rather not a big offence .
:reading:

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Re: Can a sotāpanna committ suicide?

Post by rightviewftw » Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:14 am

Suicide is not same as killing and this can be inferred from these discourses;
DN33: Arahants incapable of taking life
sn35.87: Arahant kills himself

Of a Sotapanna it is stated
Dhp story to the verse 124: "Bhikkhus, the sotapannas do not kill, they do not wish others to get killed."

If one is to be consistent with the definitions of what constitutes taking life in this Doctrine then it follows that suicide is not the same as killing another.
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robertk
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Re: Can a sotāpanna committ suicide?

Post by robertk » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:34 am

No arahat committed suicide in Theravada.

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Bundokji
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Re: Can a sotāpanna committ suicide?

Post by Bundokji » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:05 am

If the question raised in the OP has to do with morality, and as the quality of moral actions has to do with knowledge, then what type of knowledge, if any, makes suicide not morally wrong?
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

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Volovsky
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Re: Can a sotāpanna committ suicide?

Post by Volovsky » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:17 am

pitakele wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:11 pm
Mahāvagga or Cūlavagga - when I have time I'll find the reference.

Edit: Not so easy to find the source, although it is somewhere in my hand written Vinaya summary from the past. Maybe someone else can recollect the location...
I have found it myself:
3) A bhikkhu, feeling oppressed and discontented, throws himself over a cliff. Instead of dying, he lands on and kills a hapless basket-maker standing at the foot of the cliff—again, no offense for the death, but a dukkaṭa for throwing oneself from a high place. This rule shows that attempts to kill oneself—aside from searching for an assassin, as mentioned above—would not come under the main rule here, because the bhikkhu would have apparently felt pain when landing on the basket-maker, and yet the penalty is only a dukkaṭa. If the case had been treated under the main rule, he would have been penalized with a thullaccaya instead.
The Commentary extrapolates from this case to apply the dukkaṭa to all attempts at suicide, including even the decision not to take food when motivated by a desire to die. However, it then runs into the question of how far this penalty applies to a bhikkhu who is ill. Its verdict: As long as medicine and attendants are available to him, the penalty would still apply. But then it lists two cases where the penalty would not apply: (a) A bhikkhu is suffering from a long and serious illness, and the attendant bhikkhus are fed up with caring for him, thinking, “When will we be free of this sick one?” If the bhikkhu reflects that, even with medical care, his body won’t last and that the bhikkhus are being put to difficulties, he incurs no penalty in refusing food and medicine. (b) A bhikkhu—reflecting that his illness is harsh, the forces of life are running out, and yet the noble attainments appear to be within his reach—may refuse food and medicine without penalty.
Ven. Thanissaro, BMC. It goes on further (i didn't want to overload the post with the quote), please those who are interested read by yourself the rest.

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Re: Can a sotāpanna committ suicide?

Post by Nwad » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:49 am

rightviewftw wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:14 am
Suicide is not same as killing and this can be inferred from these discourses;
Thanks for clarifying :anjali:

To add to the topic, i think there is no conditions in Sottapana mind to suicide because he knows suffering as it is, he dont see it as : "i am suffer", but "there is suffering", and it would be very selfish to suicide when your life is a field for the merit of many people.. He should rather cherish himself as an Arya, develop metta..

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