MN Session 6 - MN 57. Kukkuravatika Sutta

Each week we study and discuss a different sutta or Dhamma text

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jcsuperstar
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Re: MN Session 6 - MN 57. Kukkuravatika Sutta

Post by jcsuperstar » Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:26 am

ajahn brahm tells a story of a shop owner who learns somewhere that if only he can control his thoughts at the time of death he can guarantee himself a better rebirth

he does this by naming his kids buddha dhamma and sangha so at the time of his death he can be surounded by them and think only of buddha dhamma and sangha thus a good rebirth.

but on his death bed surounded by buddha dhamma and sangha it dawns on him that if his 3 children are there with him, just who is running his shop.. and he dies in a worried state of mind....

:jawdrop:

the moral is it's better to just lead the moral life than to hope you can wrap it all up in the end... dont know if that helps, but i like the story
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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phil
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Re: MN Session 6 - MN 57. Kukkuravatika Sutta

Post by phil » Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:36 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Phil,

I'm no expert, but I think that what you are saying may oversimplifying both the Abhidhammic interpretation and the Suttas.

See, for example, Abhidhamma in Daily Life by Nina Van Gorkom
Chapter 10, THE FIRST CITTA IN LIFE
http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/ni ... bhi-10.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
People want to know whether they can ensure a happy rebirth for themselves by controlling the last cittas before the dying-consciousness, by willing them to be kusala. Some people invite monks to chant in order to help a dying person to have kusala cittas. However, nobody can be sure that his rebirth will be a happy one, unless he has attained one of the stages of enlightenment. One cannot have power over one's cittas. Can we control our thoughts now, at this moment? Since we cannot do this, how could we control our thoughts at the time shortly before dying? There is no self which can decide about one's rebirth in the next life. Even if one has done many good deeds, there may be akusala kamma of a previous life which can produce an unhappy rebirth in the next life. After the last akusala cittas or kusala cittas in life have fallen away, the cuti-citta arises. The cuti-citta is succeeded by the patisandhi-citta of the next life. When the patisandhi-citta arises the new lifespan starts. As long as kamma there will be future lives.
So, it's unpredictable, but presumably the more kusla cittas the better the chance...

Actually, the Suttas say that too - that you can't tell what the results of kamma will be unless you are a Buddha.

Metta
Mike
Thanks Mike. As you say, "the more kusala citta the better the chance" is probably what it comes down to.


Funny you mention Nina, since she is the very person I was thinking of as having dissuaded me from placing a wholehearted emphasis on the kammas of this one life time. And the quote you provide is the very one I was thinking of! She writes: "Even if one has done many good deeds, there may be akusala kamma of a previous life which can produce an unhappy rebirth in the next life." I don't doubt this is true, and it's good she points it out. I have never heard Bhikkhu Bodhi mention this in any of his MN talks and the kind of quote of his I provide in the previous post (accumulated intentions gaining power and propelling mindstream into next realm of birth according to ethical quality of the accumulated intentional energies) might lead one to hope one can completely erase one's kamma of past lives by living wholesomely in this one lifetime, which is not the case. Then again, the sutta being discussed here with its "live like a dog, be reborn like a dog" message (yes, I have simplified) *does* place a lot of emphasis on the present life kammas.

This is an important topic. Are these study thread locked down after the week is up? That seems to be the case with another I tried to add a comment to. Fair enough if they are.

Metta,

Phil
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

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phil
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Re: MN Session 6 - MN 57. Kukkuravatika Sutta

Post by phil » Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:47 am

jcsuperstar wrote:ajahn brahm tells a story of a shop owner who learns somewhere that if only he can control his thoughts at the time of death he can guarantee himself a better rebirth

he does this by naming his kids buddha dhamma and sangha so at the time of his death he can be surounded by them and think only of buddha dhamma and sangha thus a good rebirth.

but on his death bed surounded by buddha dhamma and sangha it dawns on him that if his 3 children are there with him, just who is running his shop.. and he dies in a worried state of mind....

:jawdrop:

the moral is it's better to just lead the moral life than to hope you can wrap it all up in the end... dont know if that helps, but i like the story
Hi JC.

I can just hear him telling the story, he is such a delightful speaker.

But although the quote from Abhidhamma in Daily Life above talks about the deathbed cittas and attempts to control them, I'm thinking more of decades long efforts to avoid unwholesome intentions. There certainly are stories about people who were "saved" by understanding near death, but best not to count on it or seek it out by trying to control deathbed cittas.

In my case, my mother has Alzheimer's Disease and I am so much like her genetically that I assume I will get it too. That is probably why I place such an emphasis on developing wholesome habit energy because I hope it will steer me on through senility! It's interesting to observe how some senile people are very sweet and some are subject to constant bad temper and impatience - I take it that that is a carryover from the habit energy they developed when they were lucid and even if it's not true I will carry on believing so! It's a good motivator for watching one's behaviour, and as the Buddha said, the wise man is known by his behaviour in body, speech and mind. (AN 3:2) :smile:

Metta,

Phil
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

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