Where are the post-annihilationist monastics?

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daverupa
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Where are the post-annihilationist monastics?

Post by daverupa » Sun May 01, 2016 11:59 am

I decided that this was probably a very useful question to follow up on.

First:
AN 10.29 wrote:(8) “Bhikkhus, of the speculative views held by outsiders, this is the foremost, namely: ‘I might not be and it might not be mine; I shall not be, and it will not be mine.’ For it can be expected that one who holds such a view will not be unrepelled by existence and will not be repelled by the cessation of existence. There are beings who hold such a view. But even for beings who hold such a view there is alteration; there is change. Seeing this thus, the instructed noble disciple becomes disenchanted with it; being disenchanted, he becomes dispassionate toward the foremost, not to speak of what is inferior.
So, here comes such a wanderer:
SN 36.21 wrote:Moḷiyasīvaka: “Master Gotama, there are some ascetics and brahmins who hold such a doctrine and view as this: ‘Whatever a person experiences, whether it be pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant, all that is caused by what was done in the past.’ What does Master Gotama say about this?
Satisfied with this practical answer, he joins the Sangha.
AN 6.47 wrote:Then Moliyasivaka the wanderer went to the Blessed One and exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One, “‘The Dhamma is visible here-&-now, the Dhamma is visible here-&-now,’ it is said. To what extent is the Dhamma visible here-&-now, timeless, inviting verification, pertinent, to be realized by the wise for themselves?”
A brilliant introduction, one that suits me as well. Others of this inclination of mind join, and the Buddha crafts a graded lesson for them:
SN 22.55 wrote:At Savatthi. There the Blessed One uttered this inspired utterance: “‘It might not be, and it might not be for me; it will not be, and it will not be for me’: resolving thus, a bhikkhu can cut off the lower fetters.”
SN 35.31 wrote:Bhikkhus, I will teach you the way that is suitable for uprooting all conceivings. Listen to that….
Nice progression, the Good is discussed, post-death issues are altogether avoided...

---

Snp 2.13

:thinking:
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Ben
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Re: Where are the post-annihilationist monastics?

Post by Ben » Sun May 01, 2016 12:14 pm

Nice post, Dave.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
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in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
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Re: Where are the post-annihilationist monastics?

Post by Sylvester » Sun May 01, 2016 1:19 pm

In SN 36.21, the ascetics who hold that view are said to overshoot (atidhāvanti).

A similar criticism is made in Iti 49 -
How, bhikkhus, do some overreach? Now some are troubled, ashamed, and disgusted by this very same being and they rejoice in (the idea of) non-being, asserting: ‘In as much as this self, good sirs, when the body perishes at death, is annihilated and destroyed and does not exist after death—this is peaceful, this is excellent, this is reality!’ Thus, bhikkhus, do some overreach.
I am still trying to wrap my head around the suttas' records of the Buddha's attitude towards the annihilationists.

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Re: Where are the post-annihilationist monastics?

Post by vinasp » Sun May 01, 2016 6:54 pm

Hi daverupa,

Quote: - "Is it just me, or do we indeed find many examples of the Buddha converting various other wanderers & brahmins, but not so much annihilationist wanderers? They were said to be pretty close to dispassion; where are their conversion narratives? Maybe there are some clues there on this issue...?"

I think that Wanderers decide to join the Sangha because they are impressed by the Buddha or his Disciples, and by the quality of the teachings.
There is no 'conversion' in the sense that they have to change their present view. They can hold any of the 62 views, probably most held the Eternalist view and only a minority held the Annihilationist view.

[ I do not think that we know what the Annihilation view means exactly, I think that it has been misunderstood. However we do know, from DN 1, that it was a view about a presently existing self.]

When anyone joins the Sangha they are, at first, only a puthujjana Bhikhu.
These are the 'outsiders'. If he later becomes a noble disciple then he becomes an 'insider', a member of the Ariya Sangha.

The instructions are the same for all puthujjana bhikhus, they should abandon whatever view (about self) that they hold, but it is recognized that this is too difficult for most bhikkhus.

With kind regards, Vincent.

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Re: Where are the post-annihilationist monastics?

Post by daverupa » Sun May 01, 2016 11:51 pm

vinasp wrote: I think that Wanderers decide to join the Sangha because they are impressed by the Buddha or his Disciples, and by the quality of the teachings.
Sure, any aspect of the Triple Gem will attract them if they are attracted to Buddhism...
There is no 'conversion' in the sense that they have to change their present view. They can hold any of the 62 views, probably most held the Eternalist view and only a minority held the Annihilationist view.
Of course, we're talking about the annihilationist folk here, as well as those stream-enterers who were once annihilationists.
I do not think that we know what the Annihilation view means exactly, I think that it has been misunderstood. However we do know, from DN 1, that it was a view about a presently existing self.
Yes, one that is annihilated... a claim that "overshoots", somehow.
When anyone joins the Sangha they are, at first, only a puthujjana Bhikhu.
Not necessarily; there are cases of someone becoming a stream-enterer and then proclaiming either lay status or ordination aspiration.
These are the 'outsiders'. If he later becomes a noble disciple then he becomes an 'insider', a member of the Ariya Sangha.
Sure, Buddhists are Noble Folk or they are not.
The instructions are the same for all puthujjana bhikhus, they should abandon whatever view (about self) that they hold
That's right... I don't think you've added anything with all this, though...

Anyone else have ideas about where we might find (post-)annihilationist folk in the Suttas? I think this obscure area would benefit from a little more light, some airing out... then again, most people don't seem to care much for an approach that deals with certain of these problems (epistemological boundaries, etc.).

I think most people don't really care for this approach, having satisfied themselves with the prevailing rebirth narrative. I hope it helps other folk; back to the stacks, I suppose.

:shrug:

:reading:
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

vinasp
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Re: Where are the post-annihilationist monastics?

Post by vinasp » Mon May 02, 2016 12:53 am

Hi dave,

Quote: - "Of course, we're talking about the annihilationist folk here, as well as those stream-enterers who were once annihilationists."

I probably differ from most on this point. I do not think that stream winners have eliminated their view, they have only abandoned it. The view is still present and is now seen as a delusion which is to be eliminated. It takes the entire noble eightfold path to do this.

Quote: - "Yes, one that is annihilated... a claim that "overshoots", somehow."

The point is that the 'acquired self' must cease within this life, not at the death of the body.

Quote: - "Anyone else have ideas about where we might find (post-) annihilationist folk in the Suttas?"

On my interpretation, only arahants can be described as post annihilationist.

Perhaps I don't really understand what your question is.

With kind regards, Vincent.

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Re: Where are the post-annihilationist monastics?

Post by SarathW » Mon May 02, 2016 1:02 am

I do not think that stream winners have eliminated their view
The way I understand the stream winner has eliminated the self view but not yet eradicated the self identification.

I think what you mean is this.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Where are the post-annihilationist monastics?

Post by Sylvester » Mon May 02, 2016 1:37 am

Another one for the bucket list - SN 22.153 and its parallel SN 24.4 -

vinasp
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Re: Where are the post-annihilationist monastics?

Post by vinasp » Mon May 02, 2016 1:53 am

Hi SarathW,

Quote: - "I think what you mean is this."

No. I am rejecting the interpretation of the Abhidhamma and the Commentaries. My understanding is that no views have ceased for a stream winner. Not the view of self (attanuditthi), not sakaya-ditthi, not the Eternalist view, and not the Annihilationist view.

These have only been abandoned, which means that they are seen as delusions which have to be removed. They are seen as not corresponding to reality.

This means that I also reject the 'four stages' and the explanation of these by the five lower and five higher fetters.

I base my interpretation on MN 11 the discourse that no one wants to talk about, because it contradicts the later, systematic misinterpretation of the earlier discourses.

With kind regards, Vincent.

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Re: Where are the post-annihilationist monastics?

Post by vinasp » Mon May 02, 2016 2:37 am

Hi everyone,

Here are the key passages from MN 11:

“Bhikkhus, there are these two views: the view of being and the view of non-being. Any recluses or brahmins who rely on the view of being, adopt the view of being, accept the view of being, are opposed to the view of non-being. Any recluses or brahmins who rely on the view of non-being, adopt the view of non-being, accept the view of non-being, are opposed to the view of being.

“Any recluses or brahmins who do not understand as they actually are the origin, the disappearance, the gratification, the danger, and the escape in the case of these two views are affected by lust, affected by hate, affected by delusion, affected by craving, affected by clinging, without vision, given to favouring and opposing, and they delight in and enjoy proliferation. They are not freed from birth, ageing, and death; from sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair; they are not freed from suffering, I say.

“Any recluses or brahmins who understand as they actually are the origin, the disappearance, the gratification, the danger, and the escape in the case of these two views are without lust, without hate, without delusion, without craving, without clinging, with vision, not given to favouring and opposing, and they do not delight in and enjoy proliferation. They are freed from birth, ageing, and death; from sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair; they are freed from suffering, I say." [From MN 11 - BB - SuttaCentral.net.]

I take the 'view of being' to be the Eternalist view, and the 'view of non-being' to be the Annihilationist view. I do not see any other interpretation which makes sense in this context.

Those who have escaped these views are said to be:
" ... freed from birth, ageing, and death; from sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair; they are freed from suffering, I say."
All the other terms used imply arahantship.

These two views depend on the view of self (attanuditthi) so they are removed as the view of self is removed.

With kind regards, Vincent.

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Re: Where are the post-annihilationist monastics?

Post by daverupa » Mon May 02, 2016 9:19 am

vinasp wrote: Perhaps I don't really understand what your question is.
Annihilationism in the Suttas. Find citations & contexts. Or not. Thank you.
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Re: Where are the post-annihilationist monastics?

Post by Planetary » Wed May 04, 2016 5:08 pm

Hello vinasp,

I liked your posts. I also understand it that these views are abandoned fairly near the start of the actual practice I don't understand what is supposed to be discussed past this. Those who are monastics developing the path drop those views, same as the eternalists, and any other of the possible views. That's as far as they go. They are abandoned. There's nothing more to them. So I'm confused as well as to the point or the question at the root of this thread. But I appreciated your input nonetheless even if others don't. Have a good day!

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daverupa
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Re: Where are the post-annihilationist monastics?

Post by daverupa » Wed May 04, 2016 7:20 pm

Obviously I'm unable to communicate well & unable to think clearly. f*** it.
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Re: Where are the post-annihilationist monastics?

Post by mikenz66 » Wed May 04, 2016 7:31 pm

I thought it was an interesting question:
daverupa wrote: Is it just me, or do we indeed find many examples of the Buddha converting various other wanderers & brahmins, but not so much annihilationist wanderers? They were said to be pretty close to dispassion; where are their conversion narratives? Maybe there are some clues there on this issue...?
The Buddha encountered wanderers or brahmins with various views, and converted them into followers. Dave is asking whether there are any suttas where some wanderer or brahmin encountered the Buddha and asserted:
‘The self, good sir, has material form; it is composed of the four primary elements and originates from father and mother. Since this self, good sir, is annihilated and destroyed with the breakup of the body and does not exist after death, at this point the self is completely annihilated.’ In this way some proclaim the annihilation, destruction, and extermination of an existent being.
https://suttacentral.net/en/dn1/194
And, after some discussion, decided to join him:
“Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent, Master Gotama!… From today let Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge for life.”
Of course there are plenty of other views in DN1, so it might be a long process to see which view feature in personal encounters with the Buddha and which don't.

:coffee:
Mike

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Re: Where are the post-annihilationist monastics?

Post by SarathW » Wed May 04, 2016 11:27 pm

Perhaps this may relevant to the OP.

Safe Bet.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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daverupa
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Re: Where are the post-annihilationist monastics?

Post by daverupa » Fri May 13, 2016 3:06 pm

AN 10.29 wrote:“Bhikkhus, of the speculative views held by outsiders, this is the foremost, namely: ‘I might not be and it might not be mine; I shall not be, and it will not be mine.’
MN 117 wrote:And what, bhikkhus, is right view that is affected by the taints, partaking of merit, ripening in the acquisitions? ‘There is what is given and what is offered and what is sacrificed; there is fruit and result of good and bad actions; there is this world and the other world; there is mother and father; there are beings who are reborn spontaneously; there are in the world good and virtuous recluses and brahmins who have realised for themselves by direct knowledge and declare this world and the other world.’

“And what, bhikkhus, is right view that is noble, taintless, supramundane, a factor of the path? The wisdom, the faculty of wisdom, the power of wisdom, the investigation-of-states enlightenment factor, the path factor of right view in one whose mind is noble, whose mind is taintless, who possesses the noble path and is developing the noble path: this is right view that is noble, taintless, supramundane, a factor of the path.
So, is it the case that an annihilationist wanderer would have to transition through this tainted view on their way to right view? (And on that note, where is "right view that is affected by taints" in the SN & AN?)
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Re: Where are the post-annihilationist monastics?

Post by Mkoll » Fri May 13, 2016 3:38 pm

daverupa wrote:So, is it the case that an annihilationist wanderer would have to transition through this tainted view on their way to right view?
Possibly, possibly not. It's possible that they'd just have to not cling to their annihilationist view.

This sutta might offer some insight—it shows that the arahant understands view, its origin, cessation, and way to cessation.
AN 7.51 wrote:Then a certain monk went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One, "Lord, what is the cause, what is the reason, why uncertainty doesn't arise in an instructed disciple of the noble ones over the undeclared issues?"

"Because of the cessation of views, monk, uncertainty doesn't arise in an instructed disciple of the noble ones over the undeclared issues. The view-standpoint, 'The Tathagata exists after death,' the view-standpoint, 'The Tathagata doesn't exist after death,' the view-standpoint, 'The Tathagata both does and doesn't exist after death,' the view-standpoint, 'The Tathagata neither does nor doesn't exist after death': The uninstructed run-of-the-mill person doesn't discern view, doesn't discern the origination of view, doesn't discern the cessation of view, doesn't discern the path of practice leading to the cessation of view, and so for him that view grows. He is not freed from birth, aging, & death; from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, and despairs. He is not freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress. But the instructed disciple of the noble ones discerns view, discerns the origination of view, discerns the cessation of view, discerns the path of practice leading to the cessation of view, and so for him that view ceases. He is freed from birth, aging, & death; from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, and despairs. He is freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

"Thus knowing, thus seeing, the instructed disciple of the noble ones doesn't declare that 'The Tathagata exists after death,' doesn't declare that 'The Tathagata doesn't exist after death,' doesn't declare that 'The Tathagata both does and doesn't exist after death,' doesn't declare that 'The Tathagata neither does nor doesn't exist after death.' Thus knowing, thus seeing, he is thus of a nature not to declare the undeclared issues. Thus knowing, thus seeing, he isn't paralyzed, doesn't quake, doesn't shiver or shake over the undeclared issues.

"'The Tathagata exists after death' — this craving-standpoint, this perception-standpoint, this product of conceiving, this product of elaboration, this clinging-standpoint: That's anguish.[1] 'The Tathagata doesn't exist after death': That's anguish. 'The Tathagata both does and doesn't exist after death': That's anguish. 'The Tathagata neither does nor doesn't exist after death': That's anguish.[2]

The uninstructed run-of-the-mill person doesn't discern anguish, doesn't discern the origination of anguish, doesn't discern the cessation of anguish, doesn't discern the path of practice leading to the cessation of anguish, and so for him that anguish grows. He is not freed from birth, aging, & death; from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, and despairs. He is not freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress. But the instructed disciple of the noble ones discerns anguish, discerns the origination of anguish, discerns the cessation of anguish, discerns the path of practice leading to the cessation of anguish, and so for him that anguish ceases. He is freed from birth, aging, & death; from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, and despairs. He is freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

"Thus knowing, thus seeing, the instructed disciple of the noble ones doesn't declare that 'The Tathagata exists after death,' doesn't declare that 'The Tathagata doesn't exist after death,' doesn't declare that 'The Tathagata both does and doesn't after death,' doesn't declare that 'The Tathagata neither does nor doesn't exist after death.' Thus knowing, thus seeing, he is thus of a nature not to declare the undeclared issues. Thus knowing, thus seeing, he isn't paralyzed, doesn't quake, doesn't shiver or shake over the undeclared issues."
daverupa wrote:(And on that note, where is "right view that is affected by taints" in the SN & AN?)
I've never seen that in SN or AN.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Re: Where are the post-annihilationist monastics?

Post by mikenz66 » Fri May 13, 2016 8:47 pm

daverupa wrote: (And on that note, where is "right view that is affected by taints" in the SN & AN?)
MN117 is unique in it's use of such terminology:
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 341#p16848" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?t=20509" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?t=14592" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Definitely not one the early texts...

:anjali:
Mike

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daverupa
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Re: Where are the post-annihilationist monastics?

Post by daverupa » Fri May 13, 2016 10:20 pm

The weight of the evidence seems to indicate that an annihilationist wanderer would not need (nor be told) to accept rebirth in order to practice, even up to non-return.

So that's interesting. Maybe some secular folk would benefit from this information?
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Re: Where are the post-annihilationist monastics?

Post by Mkoll » Fri May 13, 2016 10:28 pm

Maybe a few. I'm under the impression that the majority subscribe as much to Nibbana and the 4 stages of enlightenment as they do rebirth. To them, Buddhist teachings are for the purpose of making one's worldly life better. Nothing more, nothing less.

My impression could very well be wrong.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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