petavatthu

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
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Coëmgenu
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Re: petavatthu

Post by Coëmgenu » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:50 am

thomaslaw wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:11 am
StormBorn wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:59 am
thomaslaw wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:48 am


But, note that the texts pertain to the vyakarana-anga (P. veyyakarana-anga) portion of SA/SN, according to Yinshun (see pp. 68-9 in the Choong's article). That means, these discourses were a later collection subordinated to the relevant Sutra-anga sections.
Thanks. Similarly one might say that the The Moon is considerably older too as it has two Saṃyuktāgama parallels (oldest being 352–431 CE) and a Sanskrit parallel. From the content of the sutta we can clearly conclude that the sutta is a later fabrication and perhaps an attempt to make the Buddha so powerful to primitive eyes, but at modern times we know this is just a lunar eclipse.

Then you find The Sun also, but no Chinese parallels.

Credit: Ven. Kusalagavesi
How do you make up the date: oldest being 352–431 CE?
I think he is talking about the translation dates of 別譯雜阿含經/T100. Maybe T100 has a parallel to SN2.9 (edit: yes it does).

There are older Chinese scriptures, though. And these are simply the dates of the translations. The modern Chinese scriptures are all that has survived from much larger collections. All of the collections to the best of my knowledge are known to be parts of larger collections.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः

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retrofuturist
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Re: petavatthu

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:39 am

Greetings,

Some posts have been split off into:

Zen's "not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures"

:focus:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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StormBorn
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Re: petavatthu

Post by StormBorn » Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:45 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:50 am
thomaslaw wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:11 am
StormBorn wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:59 am


Thanks. Similarly one might say that the The Moon is considerably older too as it has two Saṃyuktāgama parallels (oldest being 352–431 CE) and a Sanskrit parallel. From the content of the sutta we can clearly conclude that the sutta is a later fabrication and perhaps an attempt to make the Buddha so powerful to primitive eyes, but at modern times we know this is just a lunar eclipse.

Then you find The Sun also, but no Chinese parallels.

Credit: Ven. Kusalagavesi
How do you make up the date: oldest being 352–431 CE?
I think he is talking about the translation dates of 別譯雜阿含經/T100. Maybe T100 has a parallel to SN2.9 (edit: yes it does).

There are older Chinese scriptures, though. And these are simply the dates of the translations. The modern Chinese scriptures are all that has survived from much larger collections. All of the collections to the best of my knowledge are known to be parts of larger collections.
Yes, they are the dates of SA parallels (in Chinese) as we have now since whatever (in Sanskrit?) brought from India to China no longer exist.
“Greater in battle than the man who would conquer a thousand-thousand men, is he who would conquer just one—himself.”

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StormBorn
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Re: petavatthu

Post by StormBorn » Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:34 pm

BKh wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 2:12 am
There are no contradictions between anything found in the Petavatthu or Vimanavatthu and what people call the early Buddhist texts. People may have theories why they are later texts, but there are no contradictions.
"From The non-existence of fundamental teachings of the Buddha in the text leads us to suppose that the Petavatthu cannot be regarded as an authentic teaching of the Buddha... The law of kamma depicted in this work is indeed a later development."
~ Professor Oliver Abeynayake, A Textual and Historical Analysis of the Khudddaka Nikāya (Colombo: Tisara Press, 1984), 143.

Also, 141, 142, 196 pages from the same:

All the credit to Ven. Kusalagavesi Bhikkhu
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Re: petavatthu

Post by BKh » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:39 pm

StormBorn wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:34 pm
Also, 141, 142, 196 pages from the same:
So I have to ask, have you actually read the complete Vimana Vatthu and Petavatthu? Because even a cursory reading of the complete books will show that there are many incorrect statements and conclusions drawn in the text you share.

First of all, to be clear, the OP asked this
I would like to know what inconsistencies one may point out between this and the early buddhist texts
They are asking about inconsistencies.

Is there a different emphasis in the VV and PV? Of course.

Is every Buddhist concept found in the VV and PV? Of course not. Why should they?

Does the VV state that the final goal is rebirth in heaven? Of course not. Nowhere.

Does the VV and PV only talk about the karma of making gifts to the sangha? Of course not. It talks of different kinds of gifts and different kinds of good and bad karma.

I think it is reasonable to say that an overarching theme in the PV and VV is karma and rebirth. You will find many people in the world who say that karma and rebirth are not core Buddhist concepts. If there are people who will say that about the first four nikayas, what chance is there that they would respect a set of texts that deals with karma and rebirth in the way that the VV and PV do?

So I would suggest folks please take the time to read the texts themselves before posting comments about their content.

Additionally, when reading academic literature, we should be on the lookout for things like
"...leads us to suppose..."
"... the purpose of compiling the text was..."
Basically theses are just guesses.
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Re: petavatthu

Post by BKh » Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:26 pm

Several years back I did an analysis looking at various characteristics of each of the stories in the Peta Vatthu, mostly to counter the idea that the suttas there are bland and two dimensional. Of course if you bother to read the text you will see that there is a richness to the collection that is often ignored. The list below shows the number of suttas that include the characteristic listed.

Of note is the fact that of the 51 suttas, only 12 talk about a ghost being hungry, with the next quality being nakedness. In 26 cases the ghost knows the connection between their previous actions (or lack thereof) and the results they are experiencing. Six of the suttas seem to contain no peta at all. Four are also included in the Vimana Vatthu.

Also of note is the fact that 7 of the stories deal with the uselessness of grief. Several of these stories don't include a peta and are possibly what have lead some translators to title the collection "Stories of the departed" instead of stories of ghosts.

Sorry if my notes below are too brief to make sense. If anyone would like the complete spreadsheet that includes which suttas have which characteristics, just send me a PM.
4—Included in Vv
5—Generosity General
1—Giving to deities
9—Result::Mixed good and bad
7—Bad Conduct::Speech
2—Good Conduct::Body
11—Result::Nakedness
3—Result::Flesh-eating
4—Result::Misc body fluid eating
12—Result::Hunger
2—Result::Hammers
3—Co-wife trouble
4—Action::Killing
1—Action::Sexual misconduct
2—Action::modest generosity (big result)
3—Action::Stingy
6—Action::Abusing Monks
10—Action::Not giving
5—Action::Disparaging Giving
2—Action::Putting curse on someone
4—Action::False oath
1—Action::Disparages relic worship
2—Action::Held false views
26—Peta knows action and results that lead to peta birth
1—Deva knows action and results that lead to peta birth
6—Peta explains transfer principle
5—Peta directs General Giving
4—Peta directs specific giving:recipient
3—Peta directs specific giving:item
3—Peta lives in mansion
3—Story::Monk to Monk giving
4—Story::Lay to monk giving in current story
2—Action::Lay to monk giving in previous life
3—Story::Lay to lay giving
1—Story::Unsuccessful gift
4—Story::Successful Merit transfer
9—Story::Peta exhorts
2—Story::Peta resolves to change its ways
2—Story::Long and complicated
2—Story::Someone gets a tour of realms
7—Characters::Multiple Petas
1—Characters::Non-peta experiencing results
7—Characters::Former relatives (including marriage)
6—Characters::Possibly no peta??
3—Characters::Deva not Peta??
3—Peta was a monk previously
3—Post story destination::Hell
7—Grief::Uselessness of
3—Grief::Unattainable Ruse
6—No story from verses
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StormBorn
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Re: petavatthu

Post by StormBorn » Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:38 am

Sanskrit preta simply means "departed". Brahmanic preta is a name for the soul of a dead person before it reaches the stage of pitaraḥ. This preta is invisible to the human vision. But in Buddhism, it became a ghost that might even chat with humans saying, "I need merit, please offer to monks!" :tongue:
Vyasa said; Those that are conversant with the scriptures behold, with the aid of acts laid down in the scriptures, the Soul which is clothed in a subtle body and is exceedingly subtle and which is dissociated from the gross body. As the rays of the sun that course in dense masses through every part of the firmament are incapable of being seen by the naked eye though their existence is capable of being inferred by reason, after the same manner, existent beings freed from gross bodies and wandering in the universe are beyond the ken of human vision.
~ Mahabharata, Santi Parva, Section CCLIII 253
The fact that those who depend or gains (mostly the priestly) from such primitive concepts defend them while many scholars, since the days of Rhys Davids, considers them to be non authentic proves that the text is indeed questionable. If one needs to know core Buddhist teachings better resort to suttas such as Dhammacakka Sutta or Anatta-lakkhana rather than these base level mix soups such as petavattu or vimanavattus.

In fact, there's no Chinese parallel of whole preta-vimana-vattu. Below image is from Professor A.K. Warder's Indian Buddhism.
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justindesilva
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Re: petavatthu

Post by justindesilva » Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:57 am

In Sri Lanka certain priests in sermons use petavattu story to create a psychosis towards akusaladamma to mention about future rebirths. In modern days students with modern education to believe phenomena. Is there any facts from sutta to present that petas really exist in there so called appearances. Yet it is observed that children who resemble ( at sambodhi childrens institute sri lanka) petas with flowing saliva while walking distortedly with warped hands. Is it them that is expressed as peta.

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Re: petavatthu

Post by thomaslaw » Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:24 am

justindesilva wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:57 am
In Sri Lanka certain priests in sermons use petavattu story to create a psychosis towards akusaladamma to mention about future rebirths. In modern days students with modern education to believe phenomena. Is there any facts from sutta to present that petas really exist in there so called appearances. Yet it is observed that children who resemble ( at sambodhi childrens institute sri lanka) petas with flowing saliva while walking distortedly with warped hands. Is it them that is expressed as peta.
The notion of peta (= pitti) is mentioned in the Pali SN 55.1, 16-17 (and also the Chinese version SA 835-6) as pitti-visaya 'the realm of ghosts' (= petti-visaya, peta-). It should be part of the early Buddhist teachings.

Is yakkha 'fierce spirit' (yaksa) belonging to peta, according to early or Pali Buddhism?

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