What is "fear and blame in the other world" (paralokavajjabhaya)?

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
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DooDoot
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What is "fear and blame in the other world" (paralokavajjabhaya)?

Post by DooDoot » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:07 am

Dear forum

In the accounts of the Buddha's post-awakening, there is the stock phrase in a number of suttas (SN 6.1, MN 26, MN 85 and DN 14), namely:
I surveyed the world with the eye of a Buddha. Surveying the world with the eye of a Buddha, I saw beings with little dust in their eyes and with much dust in their eyes, with keen faculties and with dull faculties, with good qualities and with bad qualities, easy to teach and hard to teach, and some who dwelt seeing fear and blame in the other world (paralokavajjabhaya). Just as in a pond of blue or red or white lotuses, some lotuses that are born and grow in the water thrive immersed in the water without rising out of it, and some other lotuses that are born and grow in the water rest on the water’s surface, and some other lotuses that are born and grow in the water rise out of the water and stand clear, unwetted by it; so too, surveying the world with the eye of a Buddha, I saw beings with little dust in their eyes and with much dust in their eyes, with keen faculties and with dull faculties, with good qualities and with bad qualities, easy to teach and hard to teach, and some who dwelt seeing fear and blame in the other world. (Bodhi)

https://suttacentral.net/mn26/en/bodhi

And some of them lived seeing the danger in the flaw to do with the next world, while others did not. (Sujato)

https://suttacentral.net/sn6.1/en/sujato

I saw beings with little dust in their eyes, with much dust in their eyes, with acute faculties with dull faculties, of good dispositions, of bad dispositions, docile, indocile, few seeing from fear sins and the world beyond. (Horner)

https://suttacentral.net/mn26/en/horner

I saw beings with little dust in their eyes and those with much, those with keen faculties and those with dull, those with good attributes and those with bad, those easy to teach and those hard, some of them seeing disgrace & danger in the other world. (Thanissaro)

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Sometimes, the term "paraloka" is translated as "next world". Regardless, this verse is not clear to me. What does fear and blame in the other/next world (paralokavajjabhaya) actually mean? Is fear and blame in the other/next world (paralokavajjabhaya) here a virtue or a sin? Is fear and blame in the other/next world (paralokavajjabhaya) a good quality or bad quality?

Thank you. Please discuss.

SarathW
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Re: What is "fear and blame in the other world" (paralokavajjabhaya)?

Post by SarathW » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:36 am

Interesting.
This is something you can translate as you wish.
I see the following.
- Next birth
- Blame from Deva world
- Internal (your world) and external (others world)
What is Loka?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

santa100
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Re: What is "fear and blame in the other world" (paralokavajjabhaya)?

Post by santa100 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:51 am

DooDoot wrote:Is fear and blame in the other/next world (paralokavajjabhaya) here a virtue or a sin? Is fear and blame in the other/next world (paralokavajjabhaya) a good quality or bad quality?
Combining all versions above(Thanissaro's seems like the clearest) and with the final version by Prof. Piya Tan below would seem to show that it's a virtue and a good quality of the few who possess it:
Piya wrote:Surveying the world with the buddha-eye, I saw beings
with little dust in their eyes and beings with much dust in their eyes,
the keen and the dull,
the good and the bad,
those easy to teach and those hard to teach,
some who live seeing fear in blame (in wrongdoing) and in the hereafter.
And note:
“Seeing blame … the hereafter,” paraloka,vajja,bhaya,dassāvino (pl), an ambiguous cpd. M:B 261 (Ariya
Pariyesanā S, M 26,21/1:169) tr as “seeing fear in blame and in the other world,” which agrees well with Comys,
which resolve it as paralokañ c’eva vajjañ ca bhayato passanti (MA 2:179; SA 1:200). Bodhi, however, notes that at
Dh 317 f bhaya and vajja are treated as parallel terms, which suggests that the cpd should be resolved as paraloke
vajjañ c’eva bhayañ ca passanti. (S:B 433 n371). In fact, it is obvious that the two terms are allusions to “moral
shame” (hiri) and “moral fear” (ottappa) respectively.

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Sam Vara
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Re: What is "fear and blame in the other world" (paralokavajjabhaya)?

Post by Sam Vara » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:00 am

santa100 wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:51 am
...
Agreed. I always thought it was a reference to the virtue involved in acknowledging the post-mortem results of one's actions.

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Crazy cloud
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Re: What is "fear and blame in the other world" (paralokavajjabhaya)?

Post by Crazy cloud » Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:16 am

If one doesn't regard following the five precepts important, then one won't feel the full force of H.O., or understand how essential precepts are for any practice. This is my experience so far

Guess that might be the difference between noble and ordinary practice
If you didn't care
What happened to me
And I didn't care for you

We would zig-zag our way
Through the boredom and pain
Occasionally glancing up through the rain

Wondering which of the
Buggers to blame
And watching for pigs on the wing
- Roger Waters

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Polar Bear
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Re: What is "fear and blame in the other world" (paralokavajjabhaya)?

Post by Polar Bear » Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:33 am

Two possible meaning occur to me:

1) They recognize the dangers of unwholesome actions regarding how they effect one’s rebirth (as has been mentioned by others in this thread).

2) They see fear and blame in being reborn at all. In other words, to some the next world represents continuity in samsara which is fearful and they see that to be reborn in the next world is blameworthy as it means they have not overcome the defilements that lead to renewed existence.

:anjali:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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