Ritual for becoming a Buddhist

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
budo
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Re: Ritual for becoming a Buddhist

Post by budo »

Antaradhana wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:42 pm
It is somehow strange to believe that only Aryans have refuge and that simple believers do not have refuge. The first time I hear such a strange interpretation.
It is strange that people would take refuge in something they know nothing about. Why would someone take refuge in the Buddha (and thus Dhamma) if they never heard it?
Antaradhana wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:44 pm
The faith of the sotapanna is different from the faith of the simple follower, in that it is confirmed (devoid of doubt).
Please read the thread for context. Faith and Dhamma followers are ariyas. We're not discussing full sotapannas (fruit attainers).

budo
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Re: Ritual for becoming a Buddhist

Post by budo »

It's quite easy to solve. Sariputta attained Ariya without going for refuge, he attained just by hearing Assaji talk about impermanence. He didn't even see the Buddha when that happened and didn't go for refuge before that either. Then he relayed the exact same message to Moggallanna who also attained Ariyahood without seeing the Buddha and without going for refuge.

Therefore there are 2 triggers into Ariyahood:

1) DO (Dependent Origination) -> 5 Aggregates -> 4 Noble Truths


Which triggered Annakondanna in the first sermon.

2) DOP (Dependent Origination Phenomena) -> 3 Characteristics -> Impermanence


Which triggered the rest of the group of 5, in the second sermon. And also triggered Sariputta and Moggallana.

It is the Dhamma that triggers Ariyahood, nothing else.

As the Buddha said, when you see the Dhamma, you see him, and when you see him, you see the Dhamma. You don't need to see the Buddha physically to attain Ariyahood, you only need to hear the Dhamma.

Therefore going for refuge is pointless if you don't hear the TRUE Dhamma (saddhamma).

Also, the amount one attains in that moment (I.e. Faith Follower to Arahant) depends on their level of their concentration in the past. So someone who is an ascetic who has attained jhanas in the past will attain a higher Ariya level upon hearing either DO or DOP.

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Antaradhana
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Re: Ritual for becoming a Buddhist

Post by Antaradhana »

budo wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:46 pm
It is strange that people would take refuge in something they know nothing about. Why would someone take refuge in the Buddha (and thus Dhamma) if they never heard it?
People who have heard the Dhamma and take refuge, not necessarily Arya, or coming at the expense of faith or Dhamma to the sotapanna fruit. Although I do not exclude that I misunderstood you, I do not know english very well.
All that is subject to arising is subject to termination, all formations are non-permanent. And that which is impermanent is suffering. Regarding what is impermanent and prone to suffering, one cannot say: "This is mine, I am this, this is my self".

budo
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Re: Ritual for becoming a Buddhist

Post by budo »

Furthermore, there is a sutta where the Buddha says that not everyone will accept the true dhamma, even if it is told to them perfectly, they will still reject it, and have no hope in their life. He also said there are also beings who do not need to hear the dhamma from another to attain Ariya in their life (aka Pacceka Buddhas).

So again, not everyone is a faith follower. Some people, even on this forum, reject the true dhamma. They can take as much refuge as they want in the 3 gems, but if they reject the Sadhamma, they will never be Ariyas. So taking refuge is meaningless for them.

Ruud
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Re: Ritual for becoming a Buddhist

Post by Ruud »

budo wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:39 pm
It is easy solve. To answer your conundrum. No, not everyone is a faith follower simply because they believe in a picture or a concept such as the triple gem.
...
So no, simply having faith in the 3 gems won't make one a faith follower (and thus an ariya) if they haven't read the true dhamma (the 4 nikayas and some of the khuddaka nikaya).
Hence my question whether the people here all would be Ariyas, since, in my experience, people have a rather informed view of the Buddha and his Dhamma here.
budo wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:39 pm
And even going further, the core of the dhamma is Dependent Origination (which is summarized as the 5 aggregates and the 4 noble truths) and Dependent Origination Phenomena (which is summarized as the 3 characteristics).

So not only do they need to hear the dhamma, they need to understand DO and DOP.

So no, not everyone is a faith follower, especially if they haven't read the suttas, and especially if they haven't at least somewhat understood DO and DOP.
And in this way you move the goalposts. From confidence in the Triple Gem we moved towards 'need to understand DO'. Intellectually or experientially? How much is 'at least somewhat'?

Why exclude people who feel they have confidence in the Triple Gem from solidifying that faith by taking refuge? And thus opening the way for continued learning?
Dry up what pertains to the past,
do not take up anything to come later.
If you will not grasp in the middle,
you will live at peace.
—Snp.5.11,v.1099 (tr. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)

Whatever is will be was. —Ven. Ñānamoli, A Thinkers Notebook, §221

budo
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Re: Ritual for becoming a Buddhist

Post by budo »

Ruud wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:43 pm
budo wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:39 pm
It is easy solve. To answer your conundrum. No, not everyone is a faith follower simply because they believe in a picture or a concept such as the triple gem.
...
So no, simply having faith in the 3 gems won't make one a faith follower (and thus an ariya) if they haven't read the true dhamma (the 4 nikayas and some of the khuddaka nikaya).
Hence my question whether the people here all would be Ariyas, since, in my experience, people have a rather informed view of the Buddha and his Dhamma here.
budo wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:39 pm
And even going further, the core of the dhamma is Dependent Origination (which is summarized as the 5 aggregates and the 4 noble truths) and Dependent Origination Phenomena (which is summarized as the 3 characteristics).

So not only do they need to hear the dhamma, they need to understand DO and DOP.

So no, not everyone is a faith follower, especially if they haven't read the suttas, and especially if they haven't at least somewhat understood DO and DOP.
And in this way you move the goalposts. From confidence in the Triple Gem we moved towards 'need to understand DO'. Intellectually or experientially? How much is 'at least somewhat'?

Why exclude people who feel they have confidence in the Triple Gem from solidifying that faith by taking refuge? And thus opening the way for continued learning?
I said from the beginning that "Faith in the Buddha" is a deep subject that needs to be discussed, just look at the first page of this thread where I said that. Just because I didn't expand on it in the first page doesn't mean I "moved the goal posts".

Also I'm not going to bother to expand on a subject for people who do not accept the suttas, that would be a waste of time, as I said previous to this post that the Buddha said there are people who will reject the Sadhamma (true dhamma) no matter what, so there's no reason to waste my energy on them. This is why the Buddha surveyed the environment to see who has the faculties to understand the dhamma, even if they were mass murderers, he didn't care.

Finally, Faith in the Buddha means Faith in the Dhamma, as I explained, and Faith in the Dhamma means either DO or DOP. Just like attaining fruit means seeing Dependent Origination, before one sees Dependent Origination they need to have faith and conviction that it is true.

Going for refuge into a status symbol isn't going to do anything for anyone. Just like Mahayanists going for refuge or Pragmatic Buddhists or Atheist Buddhists or whoever going for refuge is pointless if they reject the Sadhamma (True Dhamma) which the suttas say is Dhamma and the Sutta Vinaya.

Therefore not everyone is going to be a faith follower because

1) They lack the faculties/karma and thus reject the True Dhamma no matter what, even if they call themselves Buddhists
2) They have faith in the wrong thing, like say a status symbol, a picture or statue of a Buddha, or some pointless ritual, or counterfeit Buddhism which the Buddha said would arise after his death. Instead of having faith in the true dhamma (which is DO or DOP).

If they do not have faith in the right thing (True Dhamma, DO and DOP) then status rituals like taking refuge is meaningless.

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Antaradhana
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Re: Ritual for becoming a Buddhist

Post by Antaradhana »

Refuge means: taking Buddha as Teacher, Dhamma as Doctrine, and Arya Sangha as a spiritual ideal to which one should strive. Of course, a rejection of all other teachings is required. But taking refuge does not mean that a person will immediately get rid of all false beliefs. This may take a while.
All that is subject to arising is subject to termination, all formations are non-permanent. And that which is impermanent is suffering. Regarding what is impermanent and prone to suffering, one cannot say: "This is mine, I am this, this is my self".

budo
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Re: Ritual for becoming a Buddhist

Post by budo »

Antaradhana wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:19 pm
Refuge means: taking Buddha as Teacher, Dhamma as Doctrine, and Arya Sangha as a spiritual ideal to which one should strive. Of course, a rejection of all other teachings is required. But taking refuge does not mean that a person will immediately get rid of all false beliefs. This may take a while.
If they take refuge in counterfeit dhamma (which also uses the Buddha) it won't mean anything.

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Antaradhana
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Re: Ritual for becoming a Buddhist

Post by Antaradhana »

budo wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:20 pm
Antaradhana wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:19 pm
Refuge means: taking Buddha as Teacher, Dhamma as Doctrine, and Arya Sangha as a spiritual ideal to which one should strive. Of course, a rejection of all other teachings is required. But taking refuge does not mean that a person will immediately get rid of all false beliefs. This may take a while.
If they take refuge in counterfeit dhamma (which also uses the Buddha) it won't mean anything.
What do you mean by counterfeit dhamma within the theravada? After all, this is a forum dedicated to theravada.
All that is subject to arising is subject to termination, all formations are non-permanent. And that which is impermanent is suffering. Regarding what is impermanent and prone to suffering, one cannot say: "This is mine, I am this, this is my self".

budo
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Re: Ritual for becoming a Buddhist

Post by budo »

Antaradhana wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:29 pm
budo wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:20 pm
Antaradhana wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:19 pm
Refuge means: taking Buddha as Teacher, Dhamma as Doctrine, and Arya Sangha as a spiritual ideal to which one should strive. Of course, a rejection of all other teachings is required. But taking refuge does not mean that a person will immediately get rid of all false beliefs. This may take a while.
If they take refuge in counterfeit dhamma (which also uses the Buddha) it won't mean anything.
What do you mean by counterfeit dhamma within the theravada? After all, this is a forum dedicated to theravada.
There is counterfeit Dhamma even in Theravada.
"That's the way it is, Kassapa. When beings are degenerating and the true Dhamma is disappearing, there are more training rules and yet fewer monks established in final gnosis. There is no disappearance of the true Dhamma as long as a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has not arisen in the world, but there is the disappearance of the true Dhamma when a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has arisen in the world. Just as there is no disappearance of gold as long as a counterfeit of gold has not arisen in the world, but there is the disappearance of gold when a counterfeit of gold has arisen in the world, in the same way there is no disappearance of the true Dhamma as long as a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has not arisen in the world, but there is the disappearance of the true Dhamma when a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has arisen in the world.[1]

"It's not the earth property that makes the true Dhamma disappear. It's not the water property... the fire property... the wind property that makes the true Dhamma disappear.[2] It's worthless people who arise right here [within the Sangha] who make the true Dhamma disappear. The true Dhamma doesn't disappear the way a boat sinks all at once.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

Even Theravada has counterfeit Dhamma. The Buddha said that his dhamma full and complete, If someone were to deduct or add anything to it, then he does not see the True Dhamma, therefore anything that comes afterwards is counterfeit.

From DN 29, anyone who tries to ADD onto the dhamma, does not see the dhamma:

“There is the case, Cunda, where a teacher has appeared in the world, worthy & rightly self-awakened. And the Dhamma is well-proclaimed, well-expounded, leading out, conducive to calming, expounded by one who is rightly self-awakened. But his disciples have not been instructed in the meaning/goal of the True Dhamma,2 nor has the complete holy life been entirely disclosed to them, made plain, with all its steps collected, complete with miracles,3 well-proclaimed as far as human beings & devas. Then their teacher disappears. When a teacher of that sort has died, it is a matter of regret for his disciples. Why is that? Because: ‘A teacher has appeared in the world, worthy & rightly self-awakened. And the Dhamma is well-proclaimed, well-expounded, leading out, conducive to calming, expounded by one who is rightly self-awakened. But we have not been instructed in the meaning/goal of the True Dhamma, nor has the complete holy life been entirely disclosed to us, made plain, with all its steps collected, complete with miracles, well-proclaimed as far as human beings & devas, and now our teacher has disappeared.’ When a teacher of that sort has died, it is a matter of regret for his disciples.
...

“But how would one, speaking rightly, say, ‘Seeing, one doesn’t see’? One speaking rightly, would say just this: ‘Seeing, one doesn’t see.’ And what is it that, ‘seeing, one doesn’t see’? Such a well-expounded, entirely complete, well-proclaimed holy life, consummate in all its aspects, complete in all its aspects, with nothing lacking and nothing in excess: This is what one sees. One doesn’t see, ‘If this were taken away from here, it would become purer.’ One doesn’t see, ‘If this were added here, it would become more complete.’ This is called, ‘seeing, one doesn’t see.’

“Cunda, if one speaking rightly were to say, ‘a well-expounded, entirely complete, well-proclaimed holy life, consummate in all its aspects, complete in all its aspects, with nothing lacking and nothing in excess,’ he would, speaking rightly, say it of this: ‘a well-expounded, entirely complete, well-proclaimed holy life, consummate in all its aspects, complete in all its aspects, with nothing lacking and nothing in excess.’
Adding to or taking away from the True Dhamma, one does not see the True Dhamma.
Last edited by budo on Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Antaradhana
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Re: Ritual for becoming a Buddhist

Post by Antaradhana »

I asked, what exactly do you consider are counterfeit dhamma? Any specific texts?
All that is subject to arising is subject to termination, all formations are non-permanent. And that which is impermanent is suffering. Regarding what is impermanent and prone to suffering, one cannot say: "This is mine, I am this, this is my self".

budo
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Re: Ritual for becoming a Buddhist

Post by budo »

Antaradhana wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:45 pm
I asked, what exactly do you consider are counterfeit dhamma? Any specific texts?
That's a topic for another thread.

santa100
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Re: Ritual for becoming a Buddhist

Post by santa100 »

thomaslaw wrote:For a person to become a Buddhist in the Theravada tradition, does any ritual have to perform?
Some ritual is usually performed when one takes refuge in the Triple Gem, but does it "have to be performed"? No.

Regarding the topic about what's required/expected of one before taking the refuge, while it's obvious that one'd need to have certain degree of faith in the Triple Gem so that they'll take refuge in, it'd be excessive to require that one is at least a Faith-follower or a Dhamma-follower. Afterall, just having some degree of faith in the Triple Gem doesn't automatically qualifies one as a Faith-follower. Similarly for the other one, fluency in large numbers of suttas doesn't automatically qualifies one as a Dhamma-follower. It's gonna require a lot more dedication/cultivation to get there because once one's attained either Faith-follower or Dhamma-follower stages, it is guaranteed that s/he'll attain Stream-Entry before passing away. These are no trivial attainments. Beside, if that was the requirement, every single person who took the refuge would be guaranteed of Sotapanna-hood before passing away!
SN 25.01 wrote:One who has conviction & belief that these phenomena are this way is called a faith-follower: one who has entered the orderliness of rightness, entered the plane of people of integrity, transcended the plane of the run-of-the-mill. He is incapable of doing any deed by which he might be reborn in hell, in the animal womb, or in the realm of hungry shades. He is incapable of passing away until he has realized the fruit of stream-entry.

"One who, after pondering with a modicum of discernment, has accepted that these phenomena are this way is called a Dhamma-follower: one who has entered the orderliness of rightness, entered the plane of people of integrity, transcended the plane of the run-of-the-mill. He is incapable of doing any deed by which he might be reborn in hell, in the animal womb, or in the realm of hungry shades. He is incapable of passing away until he has realized the fruit of stream-entry.

Ruud
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Re: Ritual for becoming a Buddhist

Post by Ruud »

budo wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:05 pm


Also I'm not going to bother to expand on a subject for people who do not accept the suttas, that would be a waste of time, as I said previous to this post that the Buddha said there are people who will reject the Sadhamma (true dhamma) no matter what, so there's no reason to waste my energy on them. This is why the Buddha surveyed the environment to see who has the faculties to understand the dhamma, even if they were mass murderers, he didn't care.

...

Going for refuge into a status symbol isn't going to do anything for anyone. Just like Mahayanists going for refuge or Pragmatic Buddhists or Atheist Buddhists or whoever going for refuge is pointless if they reject the Sadhamma (True Dhamma) which the suttas say is Dhamma and the Sutta Vinaya.

Therefore not everyone is going to be a faith follower because

1) They lack the faculties/karma and thus reject the True Dhamma no matter what, even if they call themselves Buddhists
2) They have faith in the wrong thing, like say a status symbol, a picture or statue of a Buddha, or some pointless ritual, or counterfeit Buddhism which the Buddha said would arise after his death. Instead of having faith in the true dhamma (which is DO or DOP).

If they do not have faith in the right thing (True Dhamma, DO and DOP) then status rituals like taking refuge is meaningless.
You do seem to assume a lot about the people you interact with. You do not know about my or others acceptance of the suttas, beliefs and readings. You seem to assert that your interpretation of the Dhamma is the only true one. Others can not have other interpretations because then it is counterfeit Dhamma. You feel free to indicate people as not elected (based on kamma) or assume people just take refuge as a status symbol, without even knowing the people.

You are free to have your interpretation of the Dhamma. Everyone is. And that does not mean all are true. But defining the Dhamma in a specific way and then saying “Only this is true, everything else is wrong” is, in my view, not practicing Dhamma in accordance with the Dhamma.

Especially when people ask simple questions about ceremonies that, when performed with the right mindset, can strengthen their conviction, why discourage people from engaging in them? Especially when most answers direct them to the steps that come afterwards. Is refuge as a ceremony absolutely necessary? As santa100 said, no. But can it be useful? I would say yes. And if you want to discourage people from doing so based on technicalities about them being faith followers or not, I think energy could be spend better and more wisely.
Dry up what pertains to the past,
do not take up anything to come later.
If you will not grasp in the middle,
you will live at peace.
—Snp.5.11,v.1099 (tr. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)

Whatever is will be was. —Ven. Ñānamoli, A Thinkers Notebook, §221

budo
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Re: Ritual for becoming a Buddhist

Post by budo »

Ruud wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:34 pm
budo wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:05 pm


Also I'm not going to bother to expand on a subject for people who do not accept the suttas, that would be a waste of time, as I said previous to this post that the Buddha said there are people who will reject the Sadhamma (true dhamma) no matter what, so there's no reason to waste my energy on them. This is why the Buddha surveyed the environment to see who has the faculties to understand the dhamma, even if they were mass murderers, he didn't care.

...

Going for refuge into a status symbol isn't going to do anything for anyone. Just like Mahayanists going for refuge or Pragmatic Buddhists or Atheist Buddhists or whoever going for refuge is pointless if they reject the Sadhamma (True Dhamma) which the suttas say is Dhamma and the Sutta Vinaya.

Therefore not everyone is going to be a faith follower because

1) They lack the faculties/karma and thus reject the True Dhamma no matter what, even if they call themselves Buddhists
2) They have faith in the wrong thing, like say a status symbol, a picture or statue of a Buddha, or some pointless ritual, or counterfeit Buddhism which the Buddha said would arise after his death. Instead of having faith in the true dhamma (which is DO or DOP).

If they do not have faith in the right thing (True Dhamma, DO and DOP) then status rituals like taking refuge is meaningless.
You do seem to assume a lot about the people you interact with. You do not know about my or others acceptance of the suttas, beliefs and readings. You seem to assert that your interpretation of the Dhamma is the only true one. Others can not have other interpretations because then it is counterfeit Dhamma. You feel free to indicate people as not elected (based on kamma) or assume people just take refuge as a status symbol, without even knowing the people.

You are free to have your interpretation of the Dhamma. Everyone is. And that does not mean all are true. But defining the Dhamma in a specific way and then saying “Only this is true, everything else is wrong” is, in my view, not practicing Dhamma in accordance with the Dhamma.

Especially when people ask simple questions about ceremonies that, when performed with the right mindset, can strengthen their conviction, why discourage people from engaging in them? Especially when most answers direct them to the steps that come afterwards. Is refuge as a ceremony absolutely necessary? As santa100 said, no. But can it be useful? I would say yes. And if you want to discourage people from doing so based on technicalities about them being faith followers or not, I think energy could be spend better and more wisely.
You're trying to make this about me, it's basically ad-hominem fallacy, i.e. to make the argument about the speaker/writer rather than the argument at hand.

I just read and interpret the suttas. You're free to believe and do whatever you wish. I'm free to state my opinion, you're free to state yours. So far I've debunked your false claims about Ariyas, and provided sutta references. That's all I do, is provide sutta references, whether or not you agree with those references is none of my concern.

The thing about no-self is not only do you need to recognize no self in yourself, but also in others. If you think I am concerned with individuals on this forum, then you give me too much credit. It doesn't matter to me who I am engaging with and what their individual ceremonies or rituals are. I simply reference suttas, it's up to them to decide what to do with that information.

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