the great rebirth debate

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Cloud
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Cloud » Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:55 pm

Enlightenment is not about not experiencing; in that sense dukkha may have been used to indicate something unpleasant, but it goes on to say he was unperturbed (and that's the part that keeps being left out; it's one full explanation, don't stop at "dukkha"). This is what enlightenment is; all things are experienced, but the 'one who knows', that awareness, does not grasp at the experience; pleasure and pain are the same, gain and loss, praise and blame... none of these are clung to. That is what it's all about, and it seems easy to get stuck on the words; this says this, that says that. All experiences are seen as transient, not self and bound with dukkha; they are not grasped at, not clung to, only experienced.

The Buddha is credited with saying many times it is only through not understanding, not fully penetrating these Four Noble Truths that one remains bound in Samsara. Does it make sense that you don't understand dukkha? Yes. Will you? Yes. As I'm not Ajahn Cloud, I may not be the one to explain it. In fact no one may. Where real understanding arises is within your very mind; others can only help create supporting conditions for that understanding to arise, because for you they are all sights, sounds, tastes, touch, smells and thoughts.

The Tipitaka is really really large, so I would give advice to study the Four Noble Truths and all related commentary exclusively until this understanding arises, and don't leave out practice! Practice is where this conceptual understanding, once right view, will develop further. Take this advice as you will, remembering that I'm not a teacher; life is your teacher, your mind the subject to study.

Also, you don't have to just study the Tipitaka and its commentaries. There have been many books written by those who have understood that present the teachings in ways that may be easier to understand. The focus should not be on the words, but the meaning, and the meaning of the Tipitaka may be difficult because of its size; we try to delineate and read parts, and so may not get the "whole", even though the whole is just expounding upon these Four Noble Truths. Each mind is at a different state of conditioning so to speak, and understanding may arise at any time from even one sentence or one word; find the teachings wherever they may be, not just in the Tipitaka.
Last edited by Cloud on Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:11 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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tiltbillings
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:01 pm

Alex123 wrote:Hello Tilt, CLW, Cloud, all,
tiltbillings wrote:They feel pain, but is it dukkha - that is, is the sensation of pain tied up with the wanting, the grasping after, and not wanting, the pushing away, associated with the concept of a self? Or are they free of that? If they are not free of that, it is not much of an awakening.
Is dukkhavedanā included or related in some way to Dukkha?

What about these phrases by the Buddha spoken in MN26 and Ud4.5 about dukkha?
Really, really does not address the question, does it? Nope. It also misses the point that dukkha is not used consistently throughout the suttas.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Alex123
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Alex123 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:13 pm

Cloud, Tilt, all,
Cloud wrote:...
The Tipitaka is really really large, so I would give advice to study the Four Noble Truths and all related commentary exclusively until this understanding arises, and don't leave out practice! Practice is where this conceptual understanding, once right view, will develop further.
This is my understanding. Dukkha includes everything. There is no corner in samsara that is 100% freed from it. While an Arahant does not experience any emotional suffering, the physical pain is still there.

As for the suttas and commentaries, they fully support what I was saying.
There are 3 Types of Dukkha
1 Dukkha-dukkhata : Suffering of the mind and body in ordinary sense includes pain, etc
2 saṅkhāra-dukkhata: Suffering of the Aggregates ; state of dis-ease and instability, the rising and falling away of the momentary phase of existence.
3 Vipariṇāma-dukkhata : Dukkha cause by change or transience. All things are anicca ( impermanent ) therefore there is no eternal soul or unchanging physical and mental force or energies ( anatta ).
http://www.mahindarama.com/msps/4-noble-truths.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It is possible that an ordinary person should take any determination as permanent. It is impossible, that one come to right view should take any determination as pleasant.
http://metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pitaka/ ... uka-e.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Last edited by Alex123 on Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Alex123
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Alex123 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:15 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Alex123 wrote:Hello Tilt, CLW, Cloud, all,
tiltbillings wrote:They feel pain, but is it dukkha - that is, is the sensation of pain tied up with the wanting, the grasping after, and not wanting, the pushing away, associated with the concept of a self? Or are they free of that? If they are not free of that, it is not much of an awakening.
Is dukkhavedanā included or related in some way to Dukkha?

What about these phrases by the Buddha spoken in MN26 and Ud4.5 about dukkha?
Really, really does not address the question, does it? Nope. It also misses the point that dukkha is not used consistently throughout the suttas.

As I've said, there are different aspects of Dukkha. Dukkha as anger or fear is not experienced by the Arhat. But dukkhavedanā such as when one's foot is pierced by stone (as happened to the Buddha) does occur. Also saṅkhāra-dukkha and Vipariṇāma-dukkha does occur. Arhatship doesn't alter 3 characteristics, of anicca, dukkha and anatta.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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tiltbillings
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:20 pm

Alex123 wrote: . . . .
Still not addressing the point raised.

Also, this is a rebirth thread. I think the digression has gone on long enough. There have been complaints.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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clw_uk
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by clw_uk » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:21 pm

As I've said, there are different aspects of Dukkha. Dukkha as anger or fear is not experienced by the Arhat. But dukkhavedanā such as when one's foot is pierced by stone (as happened to the Buddha) does occur. Also saṅkhāra-dukkha and Vipariṇāma-dukkha does occur. Arhatship doesn't alter 3 characteristics, of anicca, dukkha and anatta.


If it does not give rise to mental dukkha, then dukkha is not really experienced so what is the problem?
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by BlackBird » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:26 pm

The comical thing is Alex, one doesn't understand Dukkha until one reaches stream entry. So all this talk about Dukkha is really a misappropriation of effort, do you not think?
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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Cloud
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Cloud » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:29 pm

So all this talking wouldn't help unless it gave rise to stream-entry? Well, since tilt wants it back on subject anyway, no more dukkha-talk. :)

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Alex123
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Alex123 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:29 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Alex123 wrote: . . . .
Still not addressing the point raised.

Also, this is a rebirth thread. I think the digression has gone on long enough. There have been complaints.

You mean this question?
They feel pain, but is it dukkha - that is, is the sensation of pain tied up with the wanting, the grasping after, and not wanting, the pushing away, associated with the concept of a self? Or are they free of that? If they are not free of that, it is not much of an awakening.
The suttas do use the word dukkha, and dukkha vedanā EVEN for an arahant.

As for clinging that leads to dukkha: It doesn't always refer to simultaneous or momentary occurrence. Clinging is kamma, and the results of kamma can occur aeons into the future. An Arahant can experience unwholesome results due to clinging done in the past, perhaps done aeons ago.


IMHO the suffering that is destroyed by stream entry is due to the fact that one will be reborn only 7 more times at the most. 7 lives and none of them below the Human world is nothing compared to almost infinite amount of lives and lower regions.
“So too, bhikkhus, for a noble disciple, a person accomplished in view who has made the breakthrough, the suffering that has been destroyed and eliminated is more, while that which remains is trifling.&218 The latter does not amount to a hundredth part, [134] or a thousandth part, or a hundred thousandth part of the former mass of suffering that has been destroyed and eliminated, as there is a maximum of seven more lives. Of such great benefit, bhikkhus, is the breakthrough to the Dhamma, of such great benefit is it to obtain the vision of the Dhamma.”&
SN13.1 Ven BB Transl.
Note the suffering that was destroyed is the possibility of rebirths (which could number a trillion or more) after 7th life.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by clw_uk » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:30 pm

BlackBird wrote:The comical thing is Alex, one doesn't understand Dukkha until one reaches stream entry. So all this talk about Dukkha is really a misappropriation of effort, do you not think?

So the Buddha didnt have some insight into it when he set of onto his journey?
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Alex123
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Alex123 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:35 pm

BlackBird wrote:The comical thing is Alex, one doesn't understand Dukkha until one reaches stream entry. So all this talk about Dukkha is really a misappropriation of effort, do you not think?
Is it possible to have conceptual right view prior to stream entry?

Furthermore, I have quoted many suttas, I've provided pali text for important passages. I can quote much more.

Please read SN 26. Arising of aggregates, sense bases, elements, consciousness, etc = arising of suffering. No mention of "suffering happens now only due to present clinging".
Setting at Såvatth¥. “Bhikkhus, the arising, continuation, production, and manifestation of form … of feeling … of perception … of volitional constructions … of consciousness is the arising of suffering, the continuation of disease, the manifestation of aging-and-death.

“The cessation, subsiding, and passing away of form … of consciousness is the cessation of suffering, the subsiding of disease, the passing away of aging-and-death.”

SN26.10 Aggregates - Ven. BB Trans.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Anicca » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:37 pm

Back on topic - original post:
jcsuperstar wrote:i guess someone needs to get this ball rolling :twisted:
personally i believe in literal rebirth. it's just i don't care that much about it. and i don't think it's a necessity. i feel the non literal moment to moment view of rebirth is far more important to focus on in terms of one's daily practice.
what's your take?
I agree with James. To expound on the original post - the term's of one's daily practice should be: to understand dukkha - its beginning - its end and the path that leads to its extinction.

Dukkha no more!

metta

:shrug:

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clw_uk
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by clw_uk » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:39 pm

I agree with this part of the original OP

i feel the non literal moment to moment view of rebirth is far more important to focus on in terms of one's daily practice.
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BlackBird
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by BlackBird » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:44 pm

clw_uk wrote:
BlackBird wrote:The comical thing is Alex, one doesn't understand Dukkha until one reaches stream entry. So all this talk about Dukkha is really a misappropriation of effort, do you not think?

So the Buddha didnt have some insight into it when he set of onto his journey?
Bit of a red herring really. I'm suggesting we direct our efforts towards walking the path rather than standing about arguing about the composition of the gravel.
:anjali:
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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clw_uk
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by clw_uk » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:46 pm

Bit of a red herring really. I'm suggesting we direct our efforts towards walking the path rather than standing about arguing about the composition of the gravel.
Not really, your post suggests that we should not say a word on dukkha because we are to ignorant. However one can have some understanding of it without being a stream enterer superman, thus we can discuss it
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