The Danger of Rebirth

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
DarkDream
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Post by DarkDream » Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:54 pm

Dhammanando wrote:Hi DarkDream,
DarkDream wrote:Thanissaro Bhikku has written a lot on dependent orgination and in this audio teaching:
http://www.audiodharma.org/mp3files/200 ... tation.m3u where he is critical of the three lives model because if you eliminate ignorance (first link in the chain) you will have to wait a couple of lives later to see the result of it.
I haven't time to listen to the talk, but if you are stating T's view accurately then it is utter nonsense. None of the schools which taught the 3-life interpretation held that the result of eliminating ignorance is only experienced after another couple of lives.
Venerable Dhammanado,

I appreciate your response. I apologize for I did provide the wrong audio link. The one I intended is this one: http://www.audiodharma.org/mp3files/200 ... -QandA.m3u

Around 7:13 in the audio Thanissaro Bhikkhu says the following (forgive me if I have transcribed it wrong):
If it happend [dependent origination] only over many life times, you wouldn't know if the path worked. Suppose you put an end to ignorance. Would it really work? You would have to wait three lifetimes to find out.
I hope I have given his position fairly. One may need to hear the audio more to gain the context of this quote correctly.

Bhikkhu Buddhadasa writes in this article http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... uppada.htm something along the same lines:
The eleven states are mutually dependent in a complete process of dependent arising. As stated in the Pali suttas, there is no gap between any of the states. Therefore, it is not necessary to classify the first two states as belonging to the past, the next ten states to the present, the remaining state to the future, and thereby explain a process of dependent arising as encompassing three lifetimes. If it is explained as encompassing three lifetimes, how can one take advantage of dependent arising and cultivate to end suffering, when the “cause” is in the present life and the “fruit” is in another?
I am curious what is you response to these quotes. Would you consider them "utter nonsense"?

-DarkDream
Last edited by DarkDream on Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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kc2dpt
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Post by kc2dpt » Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:21 pm

Yes, those are both utter nonsense. They show a startling lack of understanding of the three-life model.
Why this is so has already been explained in some depth in this thread.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.

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clw_uk
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Post by clw_uk » Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:03 am

There are varied responses and opinions darkdream

I for one take Buddhadasa argument as making complete sense and i do reject the three lives model, i see the three lives model as a slight (unintended) corruption of the buddhas original intent and meaning of Dependent Origination


However there are some who take it the opposite way, it all comes down to what works best for each individual, some will accept it only as moments, others only as three lives and some who take it as both


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mikenz66
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:19 am

Hi DarkDream,

You left out the bit before and after the bit that you quote where Ajahn Thanissaro says that an instantaneous model is untenable:
"If it were only instantaneous then we couldn't talk about factors operating over time".
(I'm not going to transcribe the whole thing...)

Basically he's saying that you need both the short-term and long-term causality for the model to be useful. I think he's deliberately exaggerating the long-term into three lifetimes for effect (eliminate ignorance in this lifetime, so no craving, etc, in the next, so no third life), but of course he's actually arguing that with enough diligence ignorance, craving, etc, can be stopped in one life so there won't be a next life.

Metta
Mike

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Dhammanando
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Post by Dhammanando » Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:44 am

Hi Dark Dream,
Thanissaro: If it happend [dependent origination] only over many life times, you wouldn't know if the path worked. Suppose you put an end to ignorance. Would it really work? You would have to wait three lifetimes to find out.
This is risible.

With emergence from the ariyan fruition and the arising of knowledge of reflection (paccavekkhaṇa-ñāṇa), one knows in an instant that it "really works", i.e., that one has arrived by means of such and such path, such and such fetters have been abandoned, such and such fetters remain to be abandoned (or, in the case of the arahatta fruition, that no fetters remain to be abandoned).
Buddhadasa: The eleven states are mutually dependent in a complete process of dependent arising. As stated in the Pali suttas, there is no gap between any of the states.
The suttas state neither that there is a gap nor that there isn't one. The Paṭiccasamuppāda-vibhaṅga Sutta states:
  • "With birth as condition there is aging-&-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair."

    [...]

    "And what is birth? Whatever birth, taking birth, descent, coming-to-be, coming-forth, appearance of aggregates, & acquisition of [sense] media of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called birth."

This happened to me in 1965.
  • "Now what is aging and death? Whatever aging, decrepitude, brokenness, greying, wrinkling, decline of life-force, weakening of the faculties of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called aging."

With me the wrinkling began on my forehead in 1984 and the first grey hairs appeared in 1996.
  • "Whatever deceasing, passing away, breaking up, disappearance, dying, death, completion of time, break up of the aggregates, casting off of the body, interruption in the life faculty of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called death."
This I expect to happen to me some time in the future.

So, I hardly need a sutta to tell me that there is a temporal gap between birth and aging-&-death.
I am curious what is you response to these quotes. Would you consider them "utter nonsense"?
It would seem so. Buddhadāsa's critique of the three-life interpretation seems to have been formulated in disregard of (or ignorance of) discourses like the Paṭiccasamuppāda-vibhaṅga Sutta, the Paccaya Sutta, the Ñāṇavatthu Sutta, etc., in which the Buddha clearly defines the factors of dependent arising. And so disregarding the Buddha's definitions he then substitutes his own.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu

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clw_uk
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Post by clw_uk » Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:48 am

Bhante Dhammanando

I dont think Buddhadasa ignores them just gives them different meaning in his understandings of wordly language and Dhamma language



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Dhammanando
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Post by Dhammanando » Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:52 am

Hi Craig,
clw_uk wrote:I dont think Buddhadasa ignores them just gives them different meaning in his understandings of wordly language and Dhamma language
So where does he discuss greying and wrinkling?

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu

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tiltbillings
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:56 am

Craig:
I dont think Buddhadasa ignores them just gives them different meaning in his understandings of wordly language and Dhamma language
It seems that Buddhadasa's "Dhamma Language" serves as self-serving way of redefining things to fit how he thinks should be. You really have not addressed Ven Dhammanando's point.
>> 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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robertk
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Post by robertk » Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:19 am

Maybe the discussions about the accuracy or otherwise of Buddadasa's views could be carried out on this thread
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=311" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Last edited by robertk on Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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tiltbillings
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:30 am

robertk wrote:Maybe the discussions about the accuracy or otherwise of Buddasdasa's views could be carried out on this thread
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=311" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I think so,
>> 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

chophel
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Post by chophel » Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:49 am

clw_uk said (regarding rebirth) "The problem is most buddhists take it as absolute"

How do you know that? Do you know "most buddhists" ?

with metta, Chophel
"Over there are the roots of trees; over there, empty dwellings. Practice jhana, Ananda. Don't be heedless. Don't later fall into regret. This is our message to you all." - the Indriya-bhavana Sutta

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clw_uk
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Post by clw_uk » Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:55 pm

chophel wrote:clw_uk said (regarding rebirth) "The problem is most buddhists take it as absolute"

How do you know that? Do you know "most buddhists" ?

with metta, Chophel


Can you quote what i said, i cant find the post and i cant remember in what context i said it


metta
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chophel
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Post by chophel » Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:43 am

It was on page 6 of this topic, although you said at least a few times before that,the one I found was at Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:45 pm

with metta Chophel
"Over there are the roots of trees; over there, empty dwellings. Practice jhana, Ananda. Don't be heedless. Don't later fall into regret. This is our message to you all." - the Indriya-bhavana Sutta

Freawaru
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Post by Freawaru » Sun Feb 14, 2010 8:09 pm

Hi tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:
"'From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form.' Thus it has been said. And this is the way to understand how from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form. If consciousness were not to descend into the mother's womb, would name-and-form take shape in the womb?"
DN II 62-3.


I do not understand this - even when I take it literally. What does "descend into a mother's womb" mean in this context? I mean, what does "descend" mean? Is "consciousness" an avatar (descending one)? And descending from where? Descending means a downward movement. Or is this just a mistranslation that confuses me?

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Feb 14, 2010 8:40 pm

Freawaru wrote:I do not understand this - even when I take it literally. What does "descend into a mother's womb" mean in this context? I mean, what does "descend" mean? Is "consciousness" an avatar (descending one)? And descending from where? Descending means a downward movement. Or is this just a mistranslation that confuses me?
it is a mistranslation, in my opinion.
This is what the PTS dictionary says for okkamissatha:
At D ii 63 occurs the question ʻ if consciousness were not to develop in the womb? ʼ (viññāṇaŋ na okkamissatha)
It is an important point I think. We can distinguish two types of truth, conventional and ultimate. In common parlance one talks about “going up to heaven,” or “falling into hell,” but what is there that rises or falls? Consciousness ceases here, and rebirth consciousness arises elsewhere dependent on the decease consciousness.

The language of ultimate truth talks of conditional arising: decease consciousness is the cause for the arising of rebirth consciousness. No consciousness travels anywhere — that is the wrong view held by Bhikkhu Sati, that the same consciousness or soul abides forever, and transmigrates from one body to another. Theravāda Buddhism teaches the doctrine of rebirth (not reincarnation), that is a process of cause and effect, which is a continuous process, not a continuous self or soul.
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