tiltbillings wrote:As far as the Parinibbana Sutta is concerned, points 1-7, I already have. I have no problem with number 8.
Can you please repost what you've said in reply to points 1-7?
At least it is good that you accept point #8
8) Regarding Ven. Channa's suicide the Buddha has said
"if someone gives up this body and seizes another, I say it is a fault. In the bhikkhu that fault is not apparent. Bhikkhu Channa took his life faultlessly." - MN144
So it is possible to take one's life faultlessly. And so the Buddha could take His life faultlessly. There is a whole chapter in DN16 called "Giving up life fabrication". (Āyusaṅkhāraossajjanaṃ
) PTS D 2.105 (CST 4.0 program).
Now, your turn to address my point of why do you feel you need to give an absolute literalist reading to DN16, a reading not at all unlike Xtian fundamentalists and their Bible
And what is so mystical about a highly accomplished person with great powers giving up will to live? There are far stranger things in the Canon than this.
Generally speaking, the Buddha is careful to point that He is giving a metaphor when He is giving a metaphor. I find it to be on a very slippery slope for a worldling (who is often under ignorance) to try to reinterpet the passages that one doesn't like, accept or believe in.
Unlike supposed "historical" events, rebirth, according to the tradition has the potential of being verified via one's practice.
So maybe history of Mahayana is wrong (ie. It is not later teaching, but an original teaching going to the roots
), and it is the real teaching... Maybe it is right, and so one should practice its beliefs and practices (some of which are very different from Theravada)... Maybe the Historical Buddha didn't even exist and the canon was taught by some unawakened people.... Yeh, right.
To quote a 3 sentence answer regarding attitude of the Buddha toward suicide and answer this thread:
"if someone gives up this body and seizes another, I say it is a fault. In the bhikkhu that fault is not apparent. Bhikkhu Channa took his life faultlessly."