Sutta teachings about forgiveness

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
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DooDoot
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Sutta teachings about forgiveness

Post by DooDoot » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:58 am

Dear DW forum

From the 1000s of Pali suttas, which suttas are on the topic of "forgiveness"?

Can we try to make a list and cordially discuss their merits and method of use.

Thanks you :heart:

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Sam Vara
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Re: Sutta teachings about forgiveness

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:21 am

There is this, from the "Foolish and Wise" series:
Mendicants, there are two fools. What two? One who doesn’t recognize when they’ve made a mistake. And one who doesn’t properly accept the confession of someone who’s made a mistake. These are the two fools.

There are two who are astute. What two? One who recognizes when they’ve made a mistake. And one who properly accepts the confession of someone who’s made a mistake. These are the two who are astute.”
https://suttacentral.net/an2.21-31/en/sujato

And here is a sutta where forgiveness is withheld, but for wider reasons to do with teaching and the Sangha:

https://suttacentral.net/sn16.10/en/sujato

And here is the libertine asking forgiveness from Subha after their unpleasant encounter in the grove:
Harming a person like you
is like embracing a blazing fire,
It's as if I have seized a poisonous snake.
So may you be safe. Forgive me."
https://suttacentral.net/thig14.1/en/thanissaro

Edit: Oh Dear! I've just seen where this thread has come from! Doodoot got into a protracted and personal argument with another poster, who asked him if he was aware of the Buddha's teachings on forgiveness. Doodoot is now asking for suttas on forgiveness, so I hope this is not in an attempt to show that other poster who has the greater sutta knowledge, and merely attempt to prove them wrong. That would be truly ironic!

Still, I'll leave my offerings above, rather than delete them.

perkele
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Re: Sutta teachings about forgiveness

Post by perkele » Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:45 am

AN 2.21: Bala-pandita Sutta is the first one that comes to mind for me (already mentioned by Sam Vara).

But maybe that sutta is more about pardon, not forgiveness. I am not sure if, and in what way exactly, one should make a distinction between pardon and forgiveness.

In SN 35.88, Venerable Punna seems to be very forgiving:
SN 35.88: Punna Sutta wrote:"If they insult and ridicule me, I will think, 'These Sunaparanta people are civilized, very civilized, in that they don't hit me with their hands.' That is what I will think, O Blessed One. That is what I will think, O One Well-gone."

"But if they hit you with their hands, what will you think?"

"...I will think, 'These Sunaparanta people are civilized, very civilized, in that they don't hit me with a clod.'..."

/.../

"But if they take your life with a sharp knife...?"

"If they take my life with a sharp knife, I will think, 'There are disciples of the Blessed One who — horrified, humiliated, and disgusted by the body and by life — have sought for an assassin, but here I have met my assassin without searching for him.' [1] That is what I will think, O Blessed One. That is what I will think, O One Well-gone."

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Re: Sutta teachings about forgiveness

Post by JohnK » Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:32 pm

In case it is helpful here, coincidentally, I just became aware of this essay (right after glancing at this thread).
It is Thanissaro Bhikkhu on the Buddha's teachings on animosity and forgiveness.
https://www.dhammatalks.org/books/uncol ... ness.html
"...the practice is essentially a practice, and not a theory to be idly discussed...right view leaves unanswered many questions about the cosmos and the self, and directs your attention to what needs to be done to escape from the ravages of suffering." Thanissaro Bhikkhu, On The Path.

pegembara
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Re: Sutta teachings about forgiveness

Post by pegembara » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:20 am

Forgiveness is given to those who have caused hurt and make the blood boil. The ultimate idea is transcendence, like water off a duck's back not forgiveness.
"In the same way, monks, there are these five aspects of speech by which others may address you: timely or untimely, true or false, affectionate or harsh, beneficial or unbeneficial, with a mind of good-will or with inner hate. Others may address you in a timely way or an untimely way. They may address you with what is true or what is false. They may address you in an affectionate way or a harsh way. They may address you in a beneficial way or an unbeneficial way. They may address you with a mind of good-will or with inner hate. In any event, you should train yourselves: 'Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words. We will remain sympathetic to that person's welfare, with a mind of good will, and with no inner hate. We will keep pervading him with an awareness imbued with good will and, beginning with him, we will keep pervading the all-encompassing world with an awareness imbued with good will equal to space — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.' That's how you should train yourselves.

"Suppose that a man were to come along carrying a burning grass torch and saying, 'With this burning grass torch I will heat up the river Ganges and make it boil.' Now, what do you think — would he, with that burning grass torch, heat up the river Ganges and make it boil?"

"No, lord. Why is that? Because the river Ganges is deep & enormous. It's not easy to heat it up and make it boil with a burning grass torch. The man would reap only a share of weariness & disappointment."

"Monks, even if bandits were to carve you up savagely, limb by limb, with a two-handled saw, he among you who let his heart get angered even at that would not be doing my bidding. Even then you should train yourselves: 'Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words. We will remain sympathetic, with a mind of good will, and with no inner hate. We will keep pervading these people with an awareness imbued with good will and, beginning with them, we will keep pervading the all-encompassing world with an awareness imbued with good will — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.' That's how you should train yourselves.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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DooDoot
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Re: Sutta teachings about forgiveness

Post by DooDoot » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:55 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:21 am
That would be truly ironic!
"Irony" is lots of fun because it helps maintaining a forgiving (aka non-attached) attitude. :)
perkele wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:45 am
But maybe that sutta is more about pardon, not forgiveness. I am not sure if, and in what way exactly, one should make a distinction between pardon and forgiveness.
Interesting distinction. Hopefully, we can discuss this more. :thumbsup:
pegembara wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:20 am
Forgiveness is given to those who have caused hurt and make the blood boil. The ultimate idea is transcendence, like water off a duck's back not forgiveness.
Thanks for that Pegembara. Something lofty sounding to reflect upon. :ugeek:
JohnK wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:32 pm
In case it is helpful here, coincidentally, I just became aware of this essay (right after glancing at this thread). It is Thanissaro Bhikkhu on the Buddha's teachings on animosity and forgiveness.
Thank you JK. Are there any quotes you might find compelling in the Venerable Thanissaro's essay you could kindly share with us? Please forgive my laziness although I am interested in which teaching you find compelling or most effective. Thanks :thanks:

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DooDoot
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Re: Sutta teachings about forgiveness

Post by DooDoot » Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:09 am

I have always found the end of DN 2 interesting due to the heaviness of the dark kamma: :shock:
"A transgression has overcome me, lord, in that I was so foolish, so muddle-headed, and so unskilled as to kill my father — a righteous man, a righteous king — for the sake of sovereign rulership. May the Blessed One please accept this confession of my transgression as such, so that I may restrain myself in the future."

"Yes, great king, a transgression overcame you in that you were so foolish, so muddle-headed, and so unskilled as to kill your father — a righteous man, a righteous king — for the sake of sovereign rulership. But because you see your transgression as such and make amends in accordance with the Dhamma, we accept your confession. For it is a cause of growth in the Dhamma & Discipline of the noble ones when, seeing a transgression as such, one makes amends in accordance with the Dhamma and exercises restraint in the future."

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
“Indeed, great king, a transgression overcame you. You were so foolish, so deluded, so unskilful that for the sake of rulership you took the life of your father, a righteous man and a righteous king. But since you have seen your transgression as a transgression and make amends for it according to the Dhamma, we acknowledge it. For, great king, this is growth in the discipline of the Noble One: that a person sees his transgression as a transgression, makes amends for it according to the Dhamma, and achieves restraint in the future.”

https://suttacentral.net/dn2/en/bodhi
When the Buddha had spoken, King Ajātasattu said to him: “Excellent, sir! Excellent! As if he was righting the overturned, or revealing the hidden, or pointing out the path to the lost, or lighting a lamp in the dark so people with good eyes can see what’s there, so too the Buddha has made the teaching clear in many ways. I go for refuge to the Buddha, to the teaching, and to the mendicant Saṅgha. From this day forth, may the Buddha remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge for life. I have made a mistake, sir. It was foolish, stupid, and unskillful of me to take the life of my father, a just and principled king, for the sake of sovereignty. Please, sir, accept my mistake for what it is, so I will restrain myself in future.”

“Indeed, great king, you made a mistake. It was foolish, stupid, and unskillful of you to take the life of your father, a just and principled king, for the sake of sovereignty. But since you have recognized your mistake for what it is, and have dealt with it properly, I accept it. For it is growth in the training of the noble one to recognize a mistake for what it is, deal with it properly, and commit to restraint in the future.”

https://suttacentral.net/dn2/en/sujato

TRobinson465
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Re: Sutta teachings about forgiveness

Post by TRobinson465 » Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:09 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:21 am
There is this, from the "Foolish and Wise" series:
Mendicants, there are two fools. What two? One who doesn’t recognize when they’ve made a mistake. And one who doesn’t properly accept the confession of someone who’s made a mistake. These are the two fools.

There are two who are astute. What two? One who recognizes when they’ve made a mistake. And one who properly accepts the confession of someone who’s made a mistake. These are the two who are astute.”
https://suttacentral.net/an2.21-31/en/sujato

And here is a sutta where forgiveness is withheld, but for wider reasons to do with teaching and the Sangha:

https://suttacentral.net/sn16.10/en/sujato

And here is the libertine asking forgiveness from Subha after their unpleasant encounter in the grove:
Harming a person like you
is like embracing a blazing fire,
It's as if I have seized a poisonous snake.
So may you be safe. Forgive me."
https://suttacentral.net/thig14.1/en/thanissaro

Edit: Oh Dear! I've just seen where this thread has come from! Doodoot got into a protracted and personal argument with another poster, who asked him if he was aware of the Buddha's teachings on forgiveness. Doodoot is now asking for suttas on forgiveness, so I hope this is not in an attempt to show that other poster who has the greater sutta knowledge, and merely attempt to prove them wrong. That would be truly ironic!

Still, I'll leave my offerings above, rather than delete them.
Don't worry about it. We wrapped up the discussion and moved on. There is other Dhamma to share and discuss. This thread is still worth keeping and adding to as i am sure some onlooker will one day find it useful.
"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism" - the 14th Dalai Lama

"At Varanasi, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by brahmins, devas, Maras, Brahmas or anyone in the cosmos." -Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

"Go forth, monks, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the good and the happiness of gods and men. Let no two of you go in the same direction." - First Khandhaka, Chapter 11, Vinaya.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Sutta teachings about forgiveness

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:20 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:55 am
"Irony" is lots of fun because it helps maintaining a forgiving (aka non-attached) attitude. :)
It also helps in maintaining malevolence towards other members, and then claiming that one's mental state was wholesome.

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DooDoot
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Re: Sutta teachings about forgiveness

Post by DooDoot » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:11 am

TRobinson465 wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:09 am
There is other Dhamma to share and discuss. This thread is still worth keeping and adding to as i am sure some onlooker will one day find it useful.
I think its a beneficial topic for the here-&-now. Everything can be a means of Dhamma realisation.
Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:21 am
There is this, from the "Foolish and Wise" series:
Mendicants, there are two fools. What two? One who doesn’t recognize when they’ve made a mistake. And one who doesn’t properly accept the confession of someone who’s made a mistake. These are the two fools.

There are two who are astute. What two? One who recognizes when they’ve made a mistake. And one who properly accepts the confession of someone who’s made a mistake. These are the two who are astute.”
Interesting quote here SV; worthy of investigation. What happens when one imputes harm when it did not actually occur and then confesses for the wrong mistake? :shrug: Allow me to provide an example. When I was a child, we had religious scripture class for 30 minutes per week and periodically had to go to Catholic confession. I would not go to confession so the old lady preacher would visit my mother's shop and tell my mother I never went to confession. My mother would force me to go and I would make up sins to tell the priest, such as I stole $2 from my mother's purse (when I actually did not). Which "sin" should I have confessed? The sin of stealing, the sin of lying about sinning when I had no awareness of any sins or the sin of sinlessness? :|

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Sam Vara
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Re: Sutta teachings about forgiveness

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:25 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:11 am
Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:21 am
There is this, from the "Foolish and Wise" series:
Mendicants, there are two fools. What two? One who doesn’t recognize when they’ve made a mistake. And one who doesn’t properly accept the confession of someone who’s made a mistake. These are the two fools.

There are two who are astute. What two? One who recognizes when they’ve made a mistake. And one who properly accepts the confession of someone who’s made a mistake. These are the two who are astute.”
Interesting quote here SV; worthy of investigation. What happens when one imputes harm when it did not actually occur and then confesses for the wrong mistake? :shrug: Allow me to provide an example. When I was a child, we had religious scripture class for 30 minutes per week and would periodically had to go to Catholic confession.
I'm not sure that I follow what you mean. A person who imputes harm when there is none has made a mistake; this would, in Catholic terms, be like a person who confesses to something they think is a sin, but which is not a sin. Are you saying that they would then need to confess for having made the mistake of confessing that which did not require it? I don't know the Catholic doctrine here, but it would seem a little harsh.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Sutta teachings about forgiveness

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:37 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:11 am
TRobinson465 wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:09 am
There is other Dhamma to share and discuss. This thread is still worth keeping and adding to as i am sure some onlooker will one day find it useful.
I think its a beneficial topic for the here-&-now. Everything can be a means of Dhamma realisation.
Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:21 am
There is this, from the "Foolish and Wise" series:
Mendicants, there are two fools. What two? One who doesn’t recognize when they’ve made a mistake. And one who doesn’t properly accept the confession of someone who’s made a mistake. These are the two fools.

There are two who are astute. What two? One who recognizes when they’ve made a mistake. And one who properly accepts the confession of someone who’s made a mistake. These are the two who are astute.”
Interesting quote here SV; worthy of investigation. What happens when one imputes harm when it did not actually occur and then confesses for the wrong mistake? :shrug: Allow me to provide an example. When I was a child, we had religious scripture class for 30 minutes per week and periodically had to go to Catholic confession. I would not go to confession so the old lady preacher would visit my mother's shop and tell my mother I never went to confession. My mother would force me to go and I would make up sins to tell the priest, such as I stole $2 from my mother's purse (when I actually did not). Which "sin" should I have confessed? The sin of stealing, the sin of lying about sinning when I had no awareness of any sins or the sin of sinlessness? :|
Sorry, you were in the process of editing when I replied earlier. I don't really know what Catholic doctrine is regarding the confession of sin, but in this particular case - leaving Catholic doctrine aside - I think it would be better for a person in that position not to lie about a non-existent theft. That would remove the problem of lying about sinning. The "sin of sinlessness" is oxymoronically meaningful only if one holds that assumption that sin must have occurred. A rational adult of good will would be able to talk to the preacher about that assumption, and gain a better understanding of the requirements of the confessional which would then lead to this situation being avoided. But of course, we can't expect this of children, and they are often upset and perplexed by conflicting rules and standards.

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AgarikaJ
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Re: Sutta teachings about forgiveness

Post by AgarikaJ » Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:24 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:11 am
Interesting quote here SV; worthy of investigation. What happens when one imputes harm when it did not actually occur and then confesses for the wrong mistake? :shrug:
Allow me to provide an example. When I was a child, we had religious scripture class for 30 minutes per week and periodically had to go to Catholic confession. I would not go to confession so the old lady preacher would visit my mother's shop and tell my mother I never went to confession. My mother would force me to go and I would make up sins to tell the priest, such as I stole $2 from my mother's purse (when I actually did not).
Which "sin" should I have confessed? The sin of stealing, the sin of lying about sinning when I had no awareness of any sins or the sin of sinlessness? :|
Incidentally, even telling white lies to make the other side feel better (in this case the priest expecting to hear about sinning, so he can return absolution) or avoiding harm to yourself (what might the priest have done to you if you had nothing to confess, go once more to your mother so you would be piunished?) are still that: lies.

As you were aware that you were telling a straight lie -- in opposition to simply avoiding a truth -- your unwholesome action was volitional with automatic harmful consequences for yourself (rising defilements and Bad Kamma). However, your personal motivation defines how much Bad Kamma you have aquired by practicing False Speech.

The Buddha warned further, that intentional lying leads to habitual lying, and as such will lead to rebirth in a lower realm.

However, there is a way to overcome telling a lie even after the fact, namely confessing the act to a teacher. This is, it might seem funny, nothing else what Catholic Confession in essence tries to achieve, the overcoming of negative repercussions due to unwholesome actions (purgatory and hell), forcing the sinner at the same time to reflect on what he did, so he can avoid such behaviour in the future.

In your case, I would have thought that a confession of Pride (no less but one of the Cardinal Sins!) would have been in order, due to your assumption that you were free of sins to confess. :-)


Moving on from this particular incident, the Buddha had the following to say about intentional lying, in the Ambalatthikarahulovada Sutta (MN 61):
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
At that time Ven. Rahula[1] was staying at the Mango Stone. Then the Blessed One, arising from his seclusion in the late afternoon, went to where Ven. Rahula was staying at the Mango Stone. Ven. Rahula saw him coming from afar and, on seeing him, set out a seat & water for washing the feet. The Blessed One sat down on the seat set out and, having sat down, washed his feet. Ven. Rahula, bowing down to the Blessed One, sat to one side.

Then the Blessed One, having left a little bit of water in the water dipper, said to Ven. Rahula, "Rahula, do you see this little bit of left-over water remaining in the water dipper?"

"Yes, sir."

"That's how little of a contemplative there is in anyone who feels no shame at telling a deliberate lie."

Having tossed away the little bit of left-over water, the Blessed One said to Ven. Rahula, "Rahula, do you see how this little bit of left-over water is tossed away?"

"Yes, sir."

"Rahula, whatever there is of a contemplative in anyone who feels no shame at telling a deliberate lie is tossed away just like that."

...

"In the same way, Rahula, when anyone feels no shame in telling a deliberate lie, there is no evil, I tell you, he will not do. Thus, Rahula, you should train yourself, 'I will not tell a deliberate lie even in jest.'

"What do you think, Rahula: What is a mirror for?"

"For reflection, sir."

"In the same way, Rahula, bodily actions, verbal actions, & mental actions are to be done with repeated reflection.

...

"Whenever you want to do a verbal action, you should reflect on it: 'This verbal action I want to do — would it lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Would it be an unskillful verbal action, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it would lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it would be an unskillful verbal action with painful consequences, painful results, then any verbal action of that sort is absolutely unfit for you to do. But if on reflection you know that it would not cause affliction... it would be a skillful verbal action with pleasant consequences, pleasant results, then any verbal action of that sort is fit for you to do.

"While you are doing a verbal action, you should reflect on it: 'This verbal action I am doing — is it leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Is it an unskillful verbal action, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it is leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both... you should give it up. But if on reflection you know that it is not... you may continue with it.

"Having done a verbal action, you should reflect on it: 'This verbal action I have done — did it lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Was it an unskillful verbal action, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it led to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it was an unskillful verbal action with painful consequences, painful results, then you should confess it, reveal it, lay it open to the Teacher or to a knowledgeable companion in the holy life. Having confessed it... you should exercise restraint in the future. But if on reflection you know that it did not lead to affliction... it was a skillful verbal action with pleasant consequences, pleasant results, then you should stay mentally refreshed & joyful, training day & night in skillful mental qualities.
The teaching is a lake with shores of ethics, unclouded, praised by the fine to the good.
There the knowledgeable go to bathe, and cross to the far shore without getting wet.
[SN 7.21]

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DooDoot
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Re: Sutta teachings about forgiveness

Post by DooDoot » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:42 am

AgarikaJ wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:24 pm
Moving on from this particular incident
Thanks for your efforts but that event happened a long time ago, probably when I was 10 years and 200 days old and I probably moved on from that incident when I was 10 years and 201 days old . It was merely an example. Regardless, it won't lead to hell. :) Back to topic:
Forgiveness wrote:Now, a trifling evil act done by what sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment? There is the case where a certain individual is developed in the body, developed in virtue, developed in mind [i.e., painful feelings cannot invade the mind and stay there], developed in discernment: unrestricted, large-hearted, dwelling with the immeasurable. A trifling evil act done by this sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

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Re: Sutta teachings about forgiveness

Post by AgarikaJ » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:16 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:42 am
AgarikaJ wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:24 pm
Moving on from this particular incident
Thanks for your efforts but that event happened a long time ago, probably when I was 10 years and 200 days old and I probably moved on from that incident when I was 10 years and 201 days old . It was merely an example. Regardless, it won't lead to hell. :) Back to topic:
Forgiveness wrote:Now, a trifling evil act done by what sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment? There is the case where a certain individual is developed in the body, developed in virtue, developed in mind [i.e., painful feelings cannot invade the mind and stay there], developed in discernment: unrestricted, large-hearted, dwelling with the immeasurable. A trifling evil act done by this sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
So you tell me that you were a young boy and (I guess) totally unaware of the Precepts. Unluckily, this makes you definitely not an "individual developed in the body, developed in virtue, developed in mind, developed in discernment: unrestricted".

As such, intentional lying had nothing trifling about it and you declared yourself that your lie was motivated to deceive both the priest and your mother. It is interesting that you still quote the Lonaphala Sutta and while joking about hell, you seem to have overread the following line:
"Now, a trifling evil deed done by what sort of individual takes him to hell? There is the case where a certain individual is undeveloped in [contemplating] the body, undeveloped in virtue, undeveloped in mind, undeveloped in discernment: restricted, small-hearted, dwelling with suffering. A trifling evil deed done by this sort of individual takes him to hell.
In another thread there is a discussion if ignorance of rules increases or decreases the Bad Kamma created by rule-breaking. I actually am of the opinion that ignorance of rules, in such a case, would diminish the Bad Kamma created, but not everybody shared that view. I am further of the opinion, that evil actions can be cancelled out by later doing merit, but also in this point there are those, who have declared this not to be correct.

You take your pick(s), as I have done -- well aware that my ideas about this might be just a protective delusion (as I have done my fair part of Wrong Speech throughout my life).

One question comes from this that I am grappling with:
Does it even matter, from a Theravada viewpoint, if the rule-breaker is a child, eg. has a still developing mind, or is no such discernment made?
The teaching is a lake with shores of ethics, unclouded, praised by the fine to the good.
There the knowledgeable go to bathe, and cross to the far shore without getting wet.
[SN 7.21]

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