Reconciling Suttas on Debate

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Re: Reconciling Suttas on Debate

Post by sunnat » Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:42 am

There are subtleties that escape. Buddha does not argue, people argue with him. Buddha simply asked Saccaka a couple of questions and S quickly realised his argument was empty and with prompting agreed with the Buddha and, after suffering the comments of Dummukkha, asked the Buddha how to walk the path. The Buddha, without rancour, obliged. Various comments, as is usually the case, are more indicative of the nature of the commentators, grounded in conceit.

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Re: Reconciling Suttas on Debate

Post by Bundokji » Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:01 am

I think this kind of contradictions can be useful in revealing the nature of self deception. The suttas being mostly formed around a central figure (The Buddha) who is an archetype of wisdom, challenges the reader to find the underlying consistency amid many apparent contradictions. Ideally, this would lead to a more dynamic interpretation/approach to the texts and makes the reader more alert to context in order to derive the exact meaning of what is being said/taught.

Even our desire for consistency can be a form of self-deception.

I have read once that those who seek answers to the ultimate questions of life would inevitably encounter self contradictions, and i believe this to be true. In a way, we are using our tools of knowledge in order to transcend them, and from this it seems, comes about our encounter with contradictions and our search for consistency.

If we take the Dhamma as an art, an artist is more concerned with capturing what is real than being consistent (which would otherwise make him a logician).
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Re: Reconciling Suttas on Debate

Post by PeterC86 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:52 pm

I learned that feeling responsibility arises through assuming/believing that someone else can separate right from wrong behaviour. Responsibility defined as the perceived social force that requires one to act in way determined by that force.

I also learned that feeling responsible arises through assuming/believing that one himself can separate right from wrong behaviour.

If one wants to do right all the time, this causes an aversion for doing wrong. The intent of doing someone else right, by assuming it does good, as the opposite of wrong doing bad, stems from self-view. If this is the case, the intent of doing right does not come from real compassion, but from the change in feeling one perceives when doing wrong. One can only find out if this is the case, by acting in a way that other people or one self might perceive as wrong. If one only does right, one doesn´t know if this comes from not wanting to do wrong (feeling responsiblity and feeling responsible), or from real compassion.

If there is a change in feeling when doing something potentially 'wrong', like the arising of stress or guilt, these negative feeling don´t stem from real compassion but from self-view. If this happens, this means that one´s behaviour to do right also does not stem from real compassion. If there is a change in feeling, there is one that is perceiving, if there is one perceiving, one has not completely dissolved. If one is able to transcend these feelings, by letting go of the judgement of one self, one is equanimous; one cannot be harmed nor be found. It opens one up to real compassion and loving-kindness. It opens one self up for the judgement of others; one consciously puts himself and someone else in a potential harmful state in order to grow. It may be the ultimate sacrifice, and it might have been the toughest lesson I had to learn, but I don't see another way.

This is definitely not a plead for the freedom to do whatever you want regardless of other people, and it should definitely not be perceived as such! It is about being mindful of one´s own actions in regard to others. I'm just sharing my experience here, as I experience the above as an opportunity to help one self and the other. I prefer, in choosing what potential 'wrong' to do to the other, to try to be as harmless as possible, with the greatest possibility to learn. But i'm not here to lecture; I don't know wrong from right. One develops a skill in how to go about it I guess. Through practicing the above, and by developing this skill, one develops equanimity, compassion, and loving-kindness. This ultimately also leads to empathic joy. Grow together.
Last edited by PeterC86 on Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:20 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Reconciling Suttas on Debate

Post by Ceisiwr » Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:59 pm

One is how a non-Arahant should practice, the other is how an Arahant can sometimes debate.
“Lust is a maker of signs. Aversion is a maker of signs. Delusion is a maker of signs.” MN 43

"Rooted in desire, friends, are all phenomena; originating in attention, are all phenomena”
— A. v. 106

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Re: Reconciling Suttas on Debate

Post by justindesilva » Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:51 pm

SDC wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:42 pm
mikenz66 wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:35 pm
I also thought DD made a good point that the "crushed feeling" in the sutta was because of the attitude and argumentativeness that the protagonist Saccaka brought to the debate.
A very good point. Also good to acknowledge that the simile was that of Dummukha who seems to be a bit of a troublemaker.
Let me also introduce an instance when Angulimala obstinately ran behind lord Buddha to kill him. Angulimala not realising that he was obsessed with an anantariya papa karma wanted to kill lord Budda. Lord Budda who made himself to appear to run ahead of AM was told by AM to stop. Lord Buddha then replies, Angulimala, I have stopped it is you still running. AM baffled by this statement stops chasing Lord Budda and listens to him, to convert himself later even to an arhant. This is a beautiful instant from suttas ( Angulimala sutta), to understand how an opponent was treated when the opponent wanted to crush Lord Buddah not only mentally but also physically. Angulimala paritta is chanted to pregnant mothers to give a soothing child birth , by meaning said by AM
" by virtue of the fact since I was born I do not recall intentionally recall killing a living being , through this truth may there be well being for you." Here since I was born means since I realised the truth.
This shows the meaning of the meaning of crushing down a person by Buddha, it is psychologically.

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