Past slander of the Buddha = hell?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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KiwiNFLFan
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Past slander of the Buddha = hell?

Post by KiwiNFLFan » Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:03 am

I know that in Pure Land and Nichiren Buddhism, slander of the Dharma is seen as a bad offence. I recently returned to Theravada from a Mahayana mindset and decided to look up what the Theravada view was on such a concept.

I didn't find anything about slandering the Dhamma, but I did come across a reference to Samyutta Nikaya 6:9:
For more than two quinquadecillion years,
and another five quattuordecillion years,
a slanderer of noble ones goes to hell,
having aimed bad words and thoughts at them.” (Sujato translation)
Does this refer to past slander of the Buddha, or is it irrevocable? The person mentioned in the passage did not appear to have changed his views.

I'm concerned because I used to be a fundamentalist Christian who thought that all other religions, including Buddhism, were wrong. I cannot honestly remember if I spoke bad words against the Buddha based on these erroneous beliefs, but it would have been in my mind. I do remember saying that the First Precept was impossible, but that was due to not understanding cetana.

Over a year ago I took refuge and converted to Buddhism formally, and have called myself a Buddhist from then on. I am opposed to conservative Christianity and would like to see it decline and be replaced with Buddhism.

Let's say someone had definitely committed slander of the Buddha - imagine they were a Christian missionary who spent extensive amounts of time in countries like Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar. This person attacked Buddhism and the Buddha frequently while claiming that Jesus is the only way to be saved, and made a siginificant number of converts to their form of Christianity. Imagine they later start reading books critical of Christianity and realise it's not true. They remember what people in these countries had told them about Buddhism, look into it and eventually take refuge. Can such a person progress on the Buddhist path and get a good rebirth in their next life (where they may be able to become a monk and a sotapanna), or has their slander of the Buddha during their time following a wrong view doomed them to zillions of years in Avicii?

A reference is also made to this chapter, which seems to come from the Taisho Tripitaka. I'm guessing it thus has no relevance to Theravada Buddhism, unless there is a parallel text in the Pali Canon.

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WindDancer
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Re: Past slander of the Buddha = hell?

Post by WindDancer » Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:25 am

I am not a Buddhist scholar, but I cannot imagine that severe of a cause and effect of speaking what you felt to be true at the time. That is different than a person who has taken refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and the Sangha who then intentionally seeks to cause harm to the Buddha through words and actions.

Many of us had wrong view, wrong intentions, actions, speech, etc. before we learned the Buddha's middle way. And we get to experience the natural consequences of our choices; however, now we can live a gradual practice where we do our best to follow the Noble 8 Fold Path.

:namaste:

WindDancer
Live Gently....

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cappuccino
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Re: Past slander of the Buddha = hell?

Post by cappuccino » Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:29 am

since you're afraid of hell, it should be this life

this life to awaken, or enter the stream

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DooDoot
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Re: Past slander of the Buddha = hell?

Post by DooDoot » Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:04 am

"Monks, these two slander (abbhācikkhati) the Tathagata. Which two? He who explains what was not said or spoken by the Tathagata as said or spoken by the Tathagata. And he who explains what was said or spoken by the Tathagata as not said or spoken by the Tathagata. These are two who slander the Tathagata."

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
But you, misguided man, by your wrong grasp have misrepresented (abbhācikkhasi) us, injured yourself, and stored up much demerit; for this will lead to your harm and suffering for a long time.

https://suttacentral.net/mn22/en/bodhi
For more than two quinquadecillion years,
and another five quattuordecillion years,
a slanderer (garahī) of noble ones goes to hell,
having aimed bad words and thoughts at them.” (Sujato translation)

Samyutta Nikaya 6:9
KiwiNFLFan wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:03 am
Does this refer to past slander of the Buddha, or is it irrevocable? The person mentioned in the passage did not appear to have changed his views.

I'm concerned because I used to be a fundamentalist Christian who thought that all other religions, including Buddhism, were wrong. I cannot honestly remember if I spoke bad words against the Buddha based on these erroneous beliefs, but it would have been in my mind. I do remember saying that the First Precept was impossible, but that was due to not understanding cetana.
As soon as you change your bad kamma by seeing its error with wisdom, so its not repeated in the future, its revoked. :anjali:
He who having been heedless is heedless no more, illuminates this world like the moon freed from clouds.

He, who by good deeds covers the evil he has done, illuminates this world like the moon freed from clouds.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .budd.html
:thumbsup:
Because you see your transgression as such and make amends in accordance with the Dhamma, we accept your confession. For it is a cause of growth in the Dhamma & Discipline of the noble ones when, seeing a transgression as such, one makes amends in accordance with the Dhamma and exercises restraint in the future.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
:thumbsup:
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/paticcasamuppada
https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati

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WindDancer
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Re: Past slander of the Buddha = hell?

Post by WindDancer » Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:04 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:04 am
"Monks, these two slander (abbhācikkhati) the Tathagata. Which two? He who explains what was not said or spoken by the Tathagata as said or spoken by the Tathagata. And he who explains what was said or spoken by the Tathagata as not said or spoken by the Tathagata. These are two who slander the Tathagata."

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
But you, misguided man, by your wrong grasp have misrepresented (abbhācikkhasi) us, injured yourself, and stored up much demerit; for this will lead to your harm and suffering for a long time.

https://suttacentral.net/mn22/en/bodhi
For more than two quinquadecillion years,
and another five quattuordecillion years,
a slanderer (garahī) of noble ones goes to hell,
having aimed bad words and thoughts at them.” (Sujato translation)

Samyutta Nikaya 6:9
KiwiNFLFan wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:03 am
Does this refer to past slander of the Buddha, or is it irrevocable? The person mentioned in the passage did not appear to have changed his views.

I'm concerned because I used to be a fundamentalist Christian who thought that all other religions, including Buddhism, were wrong. I cannot honestly remember if I spoke bad words against the Buddha based on these erroneous beliefs, but it would have been in my mind. I do remember saying that the First Precept was impossible, but that was due to not understanding cetana.
As soon as you change your bad kamma by seeing its error with wisdom, so its not repeated in the future, its revoked. :anjali:
He who having been heedless is heedless no more, illuminates this world like the moon freed from clouds.

He, who by good deeds covers the evil he has done, illuminates this world like the moon freed from clouds.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .budd.html
:thumbsup:
Because you see your transgression as such and make amends in accordance with the Dhamma, we accept your confession. For it is a cause of growth in the Dhamma & Discipline of the noble ones when, seeing a transgression as such, one makes amends in accordance with the Dhamma and exercises restraint in the future.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
:thumbsup:
:goodpost:
Live Gently....

KiwiNFLFan
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Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:24 am

Re: Past slander of the Buddha = hell?

Post by KiwiNFLFan » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:04 am

Thanks for the replies. It seems that once you have changed your views, the bad kamma is gone?
since you're afraid of hell, it should be this life

this life to awaken, or enter the stream
For some people, it is simply not possible to enter the stream in their present life. One of the conditions of entering the stream is the complete absence of doubt in the Triple Gem, and I don't think I'll ever achieve that in this life. When I return home from travelling, I plan to make offerings of incense, lights etc to the Triple Gem as I've read that those who do so gain a good rebirth. But I don't think that unless I have some sort of extreme breakthrough in practicing meditation, I'll ever get to the stage of a sotapanna in this life.
"Monks, these two slander (abbhācikkhati) the Tathagata. Which two? He who explains what was not said or spoken by the Tathagata as said or spoken by the Tathagata. And he who explains what was said or spoken by the Tathagata as not said or spoken by the Tathagata. These are two who slander the Tathagata."

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
How does this fit in with the Mahayana sutras? If a person quotes, say, the Lotus Sutra as the word of the Buddha, or says that the Buddha taught devotion to Amitabha in the Pure Land Sutras, does this count as slander? No scholar of Buddhism considers the Mahayana sutras to have been directly taught by the Buddha.

Pulsar
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Re: Past slander of the Buddha = hell?

Post by Pulsar » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:12 am

He who having been heedless is heedless no more, illuminatesthis world like the moon
freed from clouds
well said Dear DooDoot, a beautifully executed response.
Be well!

justindesilva
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Re: Past slander of the Buddha = hell?

Post by justindesilva » Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:10 pm

WindDancer wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:25 am
I am not a Buddhist scholar, but I cannot imagine that severe of a cause and effect of speaking what you felt to be true at the time. That is different than a person who has taken refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and the Sangha who then intentionally seeks to cause harm to the Buddha through words and actions.

Many of us had wrong view, wrong intentions, actions, speech, etc. before we learned the Buddha's middle way. And we get to experience the natural consequences of our choices; however, now we can live a gradual practice where we do our best to follow the Noble 8 Fold Path.

:namaste:

WindDancer
Knowing arhat Angulimala , he once ran behind lord Buddha to kill him. But once lord Buddha explained the truth he became a refuge and then an arhant.
But Devadattha who always slandered the Buddha ended up in hell.

budo
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Re: Past slander of the Buddha = hell?

Post by budo » Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:04 pm

KiwiNFLFan wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:04 am

For some people, it is simply not possible to enter the stream in their present life.
How would you know? According to the suttas stream entry path requires hearing the true dhamma with proper attention. So as long as they have eyes, ears, and attention, they can attain stream entry path. We can thank Ashokas edicts and pillars for giving us a reference to the True Dhamma, as he put up those monuments before the 500 year mark the Buddha said the dhamma would disappear.
KiwiNFLFan wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:04 am
When I return home from travelling, I plan to make offerings of incense, lights etc to the Triple Gem as I've read that those who do so gain a good rebirth.
Rituals don't lead to stream entry, that's for sure.
KiwiNFLFan wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:04 am
But I don't think that unless I have some sort of extreme breakthrough in practicing meditation, I'll ever get to the stage of a sotapanna in this life.
You should read Dhammavuddho's article "liberation"

KiwiNFLFan
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Re: Past slander of the Buddha = hell?

Post by KiwiNFLFan » Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:54 pm

budo wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:04 pm
KiwiNFLFan wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:04 am

For some people, it is simply not possible to enter the stream in their present life.
How would you know? According to the suttas stream entry path requires hearing the true dhamma with proper attention. So as long as they have eyes, ears, and attention, they can attain stream entry path. We can thank Ashokas edicts and pillars for giving us a reference to the True Dhamma, as he put up those monuments before the 500 year mark the Buddha said the dhamma would disappear.
Stream entry also requires being free of all doubts in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. I don't think I can achieve this in my current lifetime (unless I progress very far in meditation), because my mental state (due to mental health issues) is not such that I can have unwavering faith. People with one of the conditions I have are more likely to be atheists that regular people.
KiwiNFLFan wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:04 am
When I return home from travelling, I plan to make offerings of incense, lights etc to the Triple Gem as I've read that those who do so gain a good rebirth.
Rituals don't lead to stream entry, that's for sure.


I read somewhere that those who make these kinds of offerings achieve rebirth in the deva realms. Can't find the source though.
KiwiNFLFan wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:04 am
But I don't think that unless I have some sort of extreme breakthrough in practicing meditation, I'll ever get to the stage of a sotapanna in this life.
You should read Dhammavuddho's article "liberation"
[/quote]

I will.

A monk on Discord told me that confessing doesn't get rid of the kamma. But does this apply to seeing the error of one's bad karmma with wisdom and not repeating it?

I left Catholicism because I was terrified of going to hell, and now it seems like it's come full circle and I'm terrified of going to Buddhist hell. I honestly don't remember slandering the Buddha, and I would not have had cetana informed by Buddhst teachings, but I'm still scared. By the way, I have OCD which has frequently manifested in a religious way in the past.

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cappuccino
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Re: Past slander of the Buddha = hell?

Post by cappuccino » Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:03 pm

KiwiNFLFan wrote: because my mental state (due to mental health issues) is not such that I can have unwavering faith.
A famous Henry Ford quote, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't – you're right,” emphasizes how much attitude determines success or failure.

sunnat
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Re: Past slander of the Buddha = hell?

Post by sunnat » Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:06 pm

Sabbasava Sutta
All the Fermentations
Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
---o0o---
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying at Savatthi, in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. There he addressed the monks: "Monks!"
"Yes, lord," the monks replied.
The Blessed One said, "Monks, the ending of the fermentations is for one who knows & sees, I tell you, not for one who does not know & does not see. For one who knows what & sees what? Appropriate attention & inappropriate attention. When a monk attends inappropriately, unarisen fermentations arise, and arisen fermentations increase. When a monk attends appropriately, unarisen fermentations do not arise, and arisen fermentations are abandoned. There are fermentations to be abandoned by seeing, those to be abandoned by restraining, those to be abandoned by using, those to be abandoned by tolerating, those to be abandoned by avoiding, those to be abandoned by destroying, and those to be abandoned by developing."

What are "fermentations". - typically involving effervescence and the giving off of heat. The foaming when brewing beer.

Asava is effervescence. It is anicca. Observe anicca with correct attention and new sankharas (kammas) are not created and the old ones that arise, pass away, not to return. (the seeds 'fall on barren ground'.)

Disciple
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Re: Past slander of the Buddha = hell?

Post by Disciple » Sat Jun 22, 2019 5:16 am

Relax

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