Can a sotāpanna committ suicide?

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Volovsky
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Re: Can a sotāpanna committ suicide?

Post by Volovsky » Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:07 pm

budo wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:36 pm
If that's the case then you can deny all the characters who declare themselves in the Sutta Pitaka as being noble ones. You have to take the suttas at face value. Usually a higher monk or the Buddha would call them out on their claim, but in these suttas the Buddha is confirming their attainment.

There has to be a reasonable limit to doubt, and I would say that your denial is beyond the reasonable limit of doubt.
1. Cases of overestimating are reported often in the canon. 2. Commentary says that he overestimated himself and made his claim while still a puthujjana. 3. He committed suicide, which is also strange for an ariya, especially for an arahant (MN 125) (which he claimed to be). Overestimating one's arahant attainment doesn't count as a prove for attainment of lower phalas.

Therefore there is nothing beyond a reasonable limit of doubt in questioning his claim. I don't deny all claims in the suttas, not even this one. I just doubt in one particular case because there are resons for doubt.

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Re: Can a sotāpanna committ suicide?

Post by budo » Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:10 pm

Volovsky wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:07 pm
budo wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:36 pm
If that's the case then you can deny all the characters who declare themselves in the Sutta Pitaka as being noble ones. You have to take the suttas at face value. Usually a higher monk or the Buddha would call them out on their claim, but in these suttas the Buddha is confirming their attainment.

There has to be a reasonable limit to doubt, and I would say that your denial is beyond the reasonable limit of doubt.
1. Cases of overestimating are reported often in the canon. 2. Commentary says that he overestimated himself and made his claim while still a puthujjana. 3. He committed suicide, which is also strange for an ariya, especially for an arahant (MN 125) (which he claimed to be). Overestimating one's arahant attainment doesn't count as a prove for attainment of lower phalas.

Therefore there is nothing beyond a reasonable limit of doubt in questioning his claim. I don't deny all claims in the suttas, not even this one. I just doubt in one particular case because there are resons for doubt.
As I said, in those cases an elder monk will correct them or take that person to meet the Buddha, where the Buddha will correct them. In this case however, the Buddha is correcting Sariputta.

Can you please provide a quote and source to the commentary you're referencing. I'd be interested in reading it.

Thanks!

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Re: Can a sotāpanna committ suicide?

Post by DooDoot » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:31 am

Manopubbangama wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:19 pm
Do you have any more links on "kaya" or aggregates and upadana in relationship to rebirth?
The word "kaya" does not necessarily or always mean the "physical body". "Kaya", such as in the term "Nikaya", literally means "group" or "collection". For example, MN 44 refers to the five aggregates clung to as "sakkaya".
The Buddha said that these five grasping aggregates are identity.”
Ime kho, āvuso visākha, pañcupādānakkhandhā sakkāyo vutto bhagavatā”ti.

https://suttacentral.net/mn44/en/sujato
:candle:
rightviewftw wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:28 pm
I am done with this topic because i think the immediately related Sutta material has been more or less presented.
:popcorn:
rightviewftw wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:38 am
reborn
Please explain why the word "upādiyati" means "reborn"? :popcorn:
When someone lays down this body and takes up another body, I call them ‘blameworthy’.
Yo kho, sāriputta, imañca kāyaṃ nikkhipati aññañca kāyaṃ upādiyati tamahaṃ ‘saupavajjo’ti vadāmi.

https://suttacentral.net/mn144/en/sujato
This is called a noble disciple who gets rid of things and doesn’t accumulate them;
Ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, ariyasāvako apacināti, no ācināti;

who gives things up and doesn’t grasp at them;
pajahati, na upādiyati;

https://suttacentral.net/sn22.79/en/sujato
The five aggregates are indeed burdens,
Bhārā have pañcakkhandhā,

and the person is the bearer of the burden.
bhārahāro ca puggalo;

Picking up the burden is suffering in the world,
Bhārādānaṃ dukhaṃ loke,

and putting the burden down is happiness.
bhāranikkhepanaṃ sukhaṃ.

When the heavy burden is put down
Nikkhipitvā garuṃ bhāraṃ,

without picking up another,
aññaṃ bhāraṃ anādiya;

and craving’s pulled out from the root,
Samūlaṃ taṇhamabbuyha,

you’re hungerless, extinguished.
nicchāto parinibbuto”ti.

https://suttacentral.net/sn22.22/en/sujato

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Volovsky
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Re: Can a sotāpanna committ suicide?

Post by Volovsky » Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:46 am

budo wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:10 pm
As I said, in those cases an elder monk will correct them or take that person to meet the Buddha, where the Buddha will correct them.
Sariputta and Mahā Cunda obviously didn't approve his claim. Considering the sickness of Channa it would probably be too difficult to take him to the Buddha.
In this case however, the Buddha is correcting Sariputta.
I think we are going around. There are two options: 1. His claim was right and he was an arahant when meeting the Sariputta, 2. He overestimated himself. You said, that even if he wasn't an arahant, then he must have been an anagamin. I say that overestimation of higher phala doesn't presuppose the lower ones. Anyway, I will stop here until other agreements will come up.
Can you please provide a quote and source to the commentary you're referencing. I'd be interested in reading it.
Example of overestimation:
"I have heard, venerable sir, that a number of bhikkhus have declared final knowledge in the presence of the Blessed One. Did they do so rightly or are there some bhikkhus here who declare final knowledge because they overestimate themselves?”

5.“When those bhikkhus, Sunakkhatta, declared final knowledge in my presence, there were some bhikkhus who declared final knowledge rightly and there were some who declared final knowledge because they overestimated themselves.
MN 105
There are more examples of overestimation, but searching all of them is too time consuming.

Commentary opinion on Channa (in presentation of VBB):
MA: Although this declaration (of blamelessness) was made while Channa was still a worldling, as his attainment of final Nibbāna followed immediately, the Buddha answered by referring to that very declaration.
Doubts on whether arahant can commit suicide from MN125 I have already cited.

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DooDoot
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Re: Can a sotāpanna committ suicide?

Post by DooDoot » Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:09 am

Volovsky wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:39 am
Committing suicide due to a severe sickness would actually mean, he is not able to endure these feelings.
I disagree. There can come a time when the body is completely disabled; which is far beyond the following:
30.“That bhikkhu is able to endure cold and heat, hunger and thirst, and contact with gadflies, mosquitoes, wind, the sun, and creeping things; he is able to endure ill-spoken, unwelcome words and [arisen bodily feelings that are painful, racking, sharp, piercing, disagreeable, distressing, and menacing to life.
Also, the translation above of "menacing to life" may refer to everything listed above; such as words where another person threatens to kill you. I prefer Sujato's translation below:
Such a mendicant endures cold, heat, hunger, and thirst; the touch of flies, mosquitoes, wind, sun, and reptiles; rude and unwelcome criticism; and puts up with physical pain—intense, severe, acute, unpleasant, disagreeable, and life-threatening.

So hoti bhikkhu khamo sītassa uṇhassa jighacchāya pipāsāya ḍaṃsamakasavātātapasarīsapasamphassānaṃ duruttānaṃ durāgatānaṃ vacanapathānaṃ, uppannānaṃ sārīrikānaṃ vedanānaṃ dukkhānaṃ tibbānaṃ kharānaṃ kaṭukānaṃ asātānaṃ amanāpānaṃ pāṇaharānaṃ adhivāsakajātiko hoti


https://suttacentral.net/mn125/en/sujato
:alien:
Volovsky wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:46 am
Sariputta and Mahā Cunda obviously didn't approve his claim. Considering the sickness of Channa it would probably be too difficult to take him to the Buddha.
Personally, I think MN 144 is dodgy. I can't imagine an arahant, particularly the Arahant Sariputta, asking the Buddha: "Tassa kā gati, ko abhisamparāyo". MN 144 contains language at the end which is similar to a sutta with the befuddled Vachagotta. For me, MN 144 is another of the later additions put into the MN; of which there are many. MN 144 makes Sariputta look & act like a puthujjana.
Last edited by DooDoot on Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:25 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Volovsky
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Re: Can a sotāpanna committ suicide?

Post by Volovsky » Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:16 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:09 am
I disagree. There can come a time when the body is completely disabled; which is far beyond the following:
I would take the Buddha's words as meaning arahant's ability to endure any type of painful feelings. Otherwise there would be no reason to mention it, since anyone is able to endure painful feelings to some extent.

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Re: Can a sotāpanna committ suicide?

Post by DooDoot » Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:18 am

Volovsky wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:16 am
I would take the Buddha's words as meaning arahant's ability to endure any type of painful feelings. Otherwise there would be no reason to mention it, since anyone is able to endure painful feelings to some extent.
Obviously, you made the above clear in your previous post; however I disagree with your interpretation. In choosing Thanissaro's translation, it appears you equated: the "painful bodily feelings" of the death process (such as dying from cancer) with "life-threatening". Personally, I doubt the Pali says this.

For example, when we squat a gadfly, there is more than just avoidance of pain occurring. We squat gadflies because we believe they are life-threatening; that we may get a disease or sickness from their bite.
Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. 6 Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant[a] and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. 7 But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.”

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?s ... ersion=NIV

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Re: Can a sotāpanna committ suicide?

Post by Volovsky » Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:37 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:18 am
Obviously, you made the above clear in your previous post; however I disagree with your interpretation. In choosing Thanissaro's translation, it appears you equated: the "painful bodily feelings" of the death process (such as dying from cancer) with "life-threatening". Personally, I doubt the Pali says this.
There are also other synonyms for painful feelings: "painful, racking, sharp, piercing, disagreeable, distressing". Even if we exclude "life-threatening" from the list as not necessarily being painful.

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Re: Can a sotāpanna committ suicide?

Post by DooDoot » Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:40 am

Volovsky wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:37 am
There are also other synonyms for painful feelings: "painful, racking, sharp, piercing, disagreeable, distressing". Even if we exclude "life-threatening" from the list as not necessarily being painful.
Sure but there comes a time when life is terminal; which appeared to be Channa's case; such as when the body is rotting away with cancer and must be given morphine and other opiates (which Channa did not have 2,600 years ago); and the body cannot walk and do anything; where a person needs a "carer", as Sariputta offered but Channa declined the offer.

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Re: Can a sotāpanna committ suicide?

Post by Nwad » Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:47 am

DooDoot wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:51 am
In the suttas, many monks ended life because they saw life as worthless or without substance; such as monks who practised contemplation of foulness of the body.
Arahants ?
DooDoot wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:51 am
Nwad wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:49 am
because he knows suffering as it is, he dont see it as : "i am suffer", but "there is suffering"
Where did you learn this? Based on the suttas, suffering depends on the "I". If there is no "I" there is no suffering.
But Sottapana is not free from ill will, sensuality, conceit, ignorance etc...
DooDoot wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:51 am
Nwad wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:49 am
and it would be very selfish to suicide when your life is a field for the merit of many people..
What people? A reason why a sotāpanna might end their life is because people don't understand the Dhamma thus they feel life has no purpose.
But Sottapana is not a Sammasambuddha. He is not yet fully free to thinking about teaching peoples. He can do that but iam not sure that he will suicide and end opportunity to practice and develop his mind in the world where Buddha Dhamma is present, just because peoples don't hear him ...

I think is not wise for not fully free Sottapana to suicide in this humain realm with Buddha Dhamma, to reborn somewhere in celestial realm... The duty of Sottapana is find the solution from ill will and sensual attachement, iam not sure that he can find this solution in celestial realm... imho

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Re: Can a sotāpanna committ suicide?

Post by SarathW » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:19 am

A reason why a sotāpanna might end their life is because people don't understand the Dhamma thus they feel life has no purpose.
Does this mean Buddha would have ended his life if people did not understand Dhamma?
What about Metta, Karuna, and Mudita?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Can a sotāpanna committ suicide?

Post by budo » Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:17 am

Volovsky wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:46 am
Commentary opinion on Channa (in presentation of VBB):
MA: Although this declaration (of blamelessness) was made while Channa was still a worldling, as his attainment of final Nibbāna followed immediately, the Buddha answered by referring to that very declaration.
Doubts on whether arahant can commit suicide from MN125 I have already cited.
You didn't finish the quote:
MA: Although this declaration was made while Channa was still a worldling, as his attainment of final Nibbana followed immediately, the Buddha answered by referring to that very declaration"

It should be noted that this commentarial interpretation is imposed on the text from the outside, as it were. If one sticks to the actual wording of the text it seems that Channa was already an Arahant when he made his declaration, the dramatic punch being delivered by the failure of his two brother-monks to recognize this. The implication of course, is that excruciating pain might motivate even an arahant to take his own life - Not from aversion, but simply from a wish to be free from unbearable pain.

...

* This statement seems to imply that Channa was an Arahant at the time he committed suicide, though the commentary explains otherwise. "
Hence the importance of taking suttas at face value. If someone did over-estimate themselves, then the Buddha or a higher mark would say so in the sutta.

Anyway, there's nothing more I can add to this subject. I will settle on that there are exceptions for every rule, and in the case of suicide, a noble one can commit suicide if their body is in an extremely painful state. As I wrote earlier in this thread, why wouldn't an Arahant simply abide in Nirodha Samapatti until he died from starvation, which from what I remember reading is how some Devas die because they forget to eat (not from Nirodha samapatti). And at the end of the day, is allowing yourself to die naturally any different than committing suicide if you have right view of no-self. This is why I would assume he was a non-returner or less, I highly doubt though that he was a wordling.

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Re: Can a sotāpanna committ suicide?

Post by rightviewftw » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:17 am

i am surprised people actually believe that the Bhikkhu Sangha with The Buddha in charge and a close proximity would allow a putthujhana monk to go around thinking they are an Arahant and contemplating suicide in their midst.
How to meditate: Anapanasati, Satipatthana.
Intro to General Semantics
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"The statements; 'With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media is it the case that there is anything else?' '.. is it the case that there is not anything else .. is it the case that there both is & is not anything else .. is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?' objectify non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes."

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Re: Can a sotāpanna committ suicide?

Post by DooDoot » Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:46 am

Nwad wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:47 am
DooDoot wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:51 am
Nwad wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:49 am
because he knows suffering as it is, he dont see it as : "i am suffer", but "there is suffering"
Where did you learn this? Based on the suttas, suffering depends on the "I". If there is no "I" there is no suffering.
But Sottapana is not free from ill will, sensuality, conceit, ignorance etc...
The above reply has no relevance to my comment. The sotāpanna has seen clearly the absence of "I" is the absence of suffering. Also, while also irrelevant, your view of the Sottapana appears perverted. You make the Sottapana sound utterly defiled where as the Sottapana, in reality, has only a small amount of defilement, as described in SN 13.1:
The great earth is far greater, lord. The little bit of dust the Blessed One has picked up with the tip of his fingernail is next to nothing. It's not a hundredth, a thousandth, a one hundred-thousandth — this little bit of dust the Blessed One has picked up with the tip of his fingernail — when compared with the great earth."

"In the same way, monks, for a disciple of the noble ones who is consummate in view, an individual who has broken through [to stream-entry], the suffering & stress that is totally ended & extinguished is far greater.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
A Sottapana is a Noble Disciple of the Noble Sangha. to be bowed to & venerated. Yet you say a Sottapana has ill will, sensuality, conceit, ignorance etc. Why would veneration be given to a person with ill will, sensuality, conceit, ignorance etc? :shrug:
Nwad wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:49 am
But Sottapana is not a Sammasambuddha.
There is only one Sammasambuddha, namely, Gotama Buddha. There have been many Arahants since Gotama but only one Sammasambuddha.
Nwad wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:49 am
He is not yet fully free to thinking about teaching peoples.
Even the Buddha was reluctant to teach people.
Nwad wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:49 am
He can do that but iam not sure that he will suicide and end opportunity to practice and develop his mind in the world where Buddha Dhamma is present, just because peoples don't hear him ...
If there is enough Sangha to perpetuate the Dhamma, a sotāpanna, such as Nanavira, may commit suicide; particularly if there is a physical problem that hinders progress. If the body has certain problems, developing jhana for non-returner can be difficult, even impossible.
Nwad wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:49 am
I think is not wise for not fully free Sottapana to suicide in this human realm with Buddha Dhamma, to reborn somewhere in celestial realm... The duty of Sottapana is find the solution from ill will and sensual attachement, iam not sure that he can find this solution in celestial realm... imho
Your views of sotāpanna remain perverted; viewing a sotāpanna as defiled. A sotāpanna is a Noble Person. "Dispassion" & "disenchantment" are not "ill-will" and "sensual attachment". As for "celestial realm", this does not appear to be the true Dhamma but things added later to the teachings (such as the illogical MN 143, where Anathapindika is supposed to be a sotappana yet claims to have never heard teachings of non-attachment before).

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Re: Can a sotāpanna committ suicide?

Post by AgarikaJ » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:20 pm

SarathW wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:19 am
A reason why a sotāpanna might end their life is because people don't understand the Dhamma thus they feel life has no purpose.
Does this mean Buddha would have ended his life if people did not understand Dhamma?
What about Metta, Karuna, and Mudita?
Interestingly, the Buddha actively decided not to prolong his life above the normal physical life span of his body, as he had explained all of the Dhamma. Understanding it was (and is) the job of the Sangha and something he clearly saw as beyond his responsibility.

See the Maha-parinibbana Sutta; I will not quote it, as it is quite long, but I am assuming everybody on here knows it anyway.

What I take from this is, that there might be situations where a Sotapanna might indeed decide on the end of life, as he feels by definition neither a desire to prolong or to end life, but sees his duties fulfilled.

While we might discuss, if this or that individual in the Suttas overestimated his own achievements, surely we do not doubt in the attainments of the Buddha himself?

Now what might need to be discussed, is there a difference of actively not prolonging one's life to actively ending it? Both has intention/motivation and resulting action.
The teaching is a lake with shores of ethics, unclouded, praised by the fine to the good.
There the knowledgeable go to bathe, and cross to the far shore without getting wet.
[SN 7.21]

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