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Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:15 am
by Ben
Hi all,

My friend, Sachin, on facebook posted the following and I would like to know your thoughts on the matter.
Particularly as there are quite a few married (inc. defacto) and ordained members.
What are your thoughts?

Ben

Q: Is MARRIAGE a vehicle (yana) to take a person to its liberation?

-Marriage is a vow to dissolve the self and become two.
-Marriage is a system in which you practice to love, care, respect your counterpart thus help dissolve EGO.
-Marriage brings a joy of creation of another life (offspring), watch them grow, take a form, experience working of Sanskaras and karma.
-Marriage evokes paramitas in a person like karuna, sheel, maîtri, virya, daan(ability to live selflessly for others ) and so on.
-Marriage, with time, naturally empties lust from the minds of the couple.
-Married family constitutes a miniscule form of SANGHA in which morality is nurtured, vows of panchasheel are observed and eightfold path is practiced.
-Marriage is a perfect vehicle to reach and experience NIBBANA, but often misunderstood.
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Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:20 am
by tiltbillings
blasphemy

Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:25 am
by Ben
To some, I agree Tilt.
I thought it was an interesting idea. I have long believed that life as a layperson is by no means second rate because there are rich veins of spiritual growth in the crucible of a long-term relationship.
kind regards,

Ben

Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:31 am
by tiltbillings
Ben wrote:To some, I agree Tilt.
I thought it was an interesting idea. I have long believed that life as a layperson is by no means second rate because there are rich veins of spiritual growth in the crucible of a long-term relationship.
kind regards,

Ben
I do not agree with me. I simply would not phrase the various points the way they are phrased above. As for the blasphemy, there are those, it would seem, that hold being a monastic is best course of action and that best teachers are monastic. Ain't necessarily so.

Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:47 am
by Ben
Yes, I wouldn't have phrased it the same way as Sachin.

Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:55 am
by SarathW
"The point of Ānanda’s discourse is that even food, craving and conceit, which are normally
factors of bondage, can be skilfully employed to attain arahantship; but with sexuality there is absolutely
no skilful way it can be used for the goal of the holy life."

Page 59:
http://www.urbandharma.org/pdf1/wh155An ... ikaya1.pdf
;)

Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:15 am
by Coyote
Lay people can attain Nibbana. The monastic Sangha was specifically tailored to be a path to Nibbana, so it's better in that respect. I think it is clear from the discourses which is the favoured vehicle. After all, Arahants no longer see the lay life as worthy and must ordain or die.
But better is perhaps a subjective quality, and so it would depend on the person which path is better for them at that point.

Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:29 am
by Gaoxing
SarathW wrote:" but with sexuality there is absolutely
no skilful way it can be used for the goal of the holy life."


Page 59:
http://www.urbandharma.org/pdf1/wh155An ... ikaya1.pdf
;)
Part of the mind wants to agree but another not. Do you think brushing another persons teeth has the same problem?
Ok, the real question is why do you think so and what do you see as a holy life?

Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:33 am
by Sekha
This is just a rhetoric question it seems, and everyone knows the answer imo. It is very clear in the suttas that lay followers who are faithful enough attain stream-entry.

Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:47 am
by kirk5a
Ben wrote: Q: Is MARRIAGE a vehicle (yana) to take a person to its liberation?

-Marriage is a vow to dissolve the self and become two.
-Marriage is a system in which you practice to love, care, respect your counterpart thus help dissolve EGO.
-Marriage brings a joy of creation of another life (offspring), watch them grow, take a form, experience working of Sanskaras and karma.
-Marriage evokes paramitas in a person like karuna, sheel, maîtri, virya, daan(ability to live selflessly for others ) and so on.
-Marriage, with time, naturally empties lust from the minds of the couple.
-Married family constitutes a miniscule form of SANGHA in which morality is nurtured, vows of panchasheel are observed and eightfold path is practiced.
-Marriage is a perfect vehicle to reach and experience NIBBANA, but often misunderstood.

No, the eightfold path is the vehicle, not marriage. I think it can be followed in the context of marriage, but with limitations on the extent of one's progress. In my unmarried, unenlightened opinion. Where does he get "naturally empties lust from the minds of the couple" from? :lol:

Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:11 pm
by PadmaPhala
yes.

see the semantic field of samgha in spokesanskrit.de

Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:39 pm
by santa100
From MN 68 ( http://palicanon.org/index.php/sutta-pi ... l-akapa-na ):
Here a bhikkhu hears thus: ‘The bhikkhu named so-and-so has died; the Blessed One has declared of him: “He was established in final knowledge.”’691 And he has either seen that venerable one for himself or heard it said of him: ‘That venerable one’s virtue was thus, his state [of concentration] was thus, his wisdom was thus, his abiding [in attainments] was thus, his deliverance was thus.’ Recollecting his faith, virtue, learning, generosity, and wisdom, he directs his mind to such a state. In this way a bhikkhu has a comfortable abiding
Here a man lay follower hears thus: ‘The man lay follower named so-and-so has died; the Blessed One has declared of him: “With the destruction of the five lower fetters he has reappeared spontaneously [in the Pure Abodes] and will there attain final Nibbāna without ever returning from that world.
And Ven. Bodhi's footnote:
Aññā: the knowledge attained by the arahant. It should be noted that whereas the declarations of attainment made by monks and nuns begin with arahantship, those for men and women lay followers begin with non-returning (in §18, §21). Though early Buddhism recognises the possibility of lay persons attaining arahantship, in all such cases attested to in the Nikāyas, they do so either when on the verge of death or just before requesting admission into the Sangha.

Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:57 pm
by Coyote
^ in relation to what is said above, on the attainment of non-returning sensual activity ceases and therefore one is unlikely to remain a layperson, unless one has dependents or other obligations. I think this explains why few laypeople are recorded to have attained arahantship.

Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:12 pm
by PadmaPhala
silent arahanta...

Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:13 pm
by Sekha
I just realized that there are two questions, which are actually quite different.

1) Is marriage a path to Nibbana? (understood: is it possible to attain Nibbana while being married) - Yes.

2) Is marriage a VEHICLE to Nibbana? - No.
Performing one's duties in the context of marriage can be part of the vehicle to Nibbana, but it is evident that it is not the whole thing. Otherwise a Buddha would teach that the way to Nibbana is to get married. And there would be many more arahants.

Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 6:43 pm
by binocular
Ben wrote:Q: Is MARRIAGE a vehicle (yana) to take a person to its liberation?
I think that depends entirely on what one believes marriage to be, and according to what values and beliefs one engages in it.

Marriage according to modern consumerist values and beliefs? No, I don't think that one has anything conducive to do with making an end to suffering.

Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:04 pm
by binocular
kirk5a wrote: Where does he get "naturally empties lust from the minds of the couple" from?
Because in time, sexual lust turns to boredom, contempt and lust for chocolate. :yingyang:

Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:49 pm
by manas
Is the Pope a Pagan?

Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Posted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:11 am
by Lazy_eye
manas wrote:Is the Pope a Pagan?
In some ways, yes. He observes rituals and ceremonies that have a pagan origin, and worships a Mother Goddess. :)

Re: Is marriage a path to Nibbana?

Posted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:01 am
by Gaoxing
Sekha wrote:I just realized that there are two questions, which are actually quite different.

1) Is marriage a path to Nibbana? (understood: is it possible to attain Nibbana while being married) - Yes.

2) Is marriage a VEHICLE to Nibbana? - No.
Performing one's duties in the context of marriage can be part of the vehicle to Nibbana, but it is evident that it is not the whole thing. Otherwise a Buddha would teach that the way to Nibbana is to get married. And there would be many more arahants.
But look at from another side. It depends on the woman you married. If she's nothing but trouble you could end up running for a monastery sooner than you wished for. That's a kind of vehicle isn't it?