MN 120: why are bhikkhus aspiring for the household life?

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
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DooDoot
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MN 120: why are bhikkhus aspiring for the household life?

Post by DooDoot » Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:02 am

Dear DW forum

I have always found MN 120 to be an unusual sutta; in that it appears to say the bhikhus are aspiring for a non-bhikkhu life. For example, it says:
“Take a mendicant who has faith, ethics, learning, generosity, and wisdom.

“Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu saddhāya samannāgato hoti, sīlena samannāgato hoti, sutena samannāgato hoti, cāgena samannāgato hoti, paññāya samannāgato hoti.

They think:

Tassa evaṃ hoti:

‘If only, when my body breaks up, after death, I would be reborn in the company of well-to-do aristocrats!’

‘aho vatāhaṃ kāyassa bhedā paraṃ maraṇā khattiyamahāsālānaṃ sahabyataṃ upapajjeyyan’ti.

They settle on that thought, stabilize it and develop it.

So taṃ cittaṃ dahati, taṃ cittaṃ adhiṭṭhāti, taṃ cittaṃ bhāveti.

Those choices and meditations of theirs, developed and cultivated like this, lead to rebirth there.

They think:

Tassa evaṃ hoti:

‘If only, when my body breaks up, after death, I would be reborn in the company of well-to-do brahmins

‘aho vatāhaṃ kāyassa bhedā paraṃ maraṇā brāhmaṇamahāsālānaṃ … pe …

or well-to-do householders.’

gahapatimahāsālānaṃ sahabyataṃ upapajjeyyan’ti.

They settle on that thought, stabilize it and develop it.

So taṃ cittaṃ dahati, taṃ cittaṃ adhiṭṭhāti, taṃ cittaṃ bhāveti.

Those choices and meditations of theirs, developed and cultivated like this, lead to rebirth there.

https://suttacentral.net/mn120/en/sujato
What is supposed to be the meaning or message of the above parts of this sutta?

Thanks :shrug:
Never ordained... not an anonymous-online-bhikkhu or ex-bhikkhu...

cookiemonster
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Re: MN 120: why are bhikkhus aspiring for the household life?

Post by cookiemonster » Sat Sep 29, 2018 4:58 am

DooDoot wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:02 am
Dear DW forum

I have always found MN 120 to be an unusual sutta; in that it appears to say the bhikhus are aspiring for a non-bhikkhu life. For example, it says:
“Take a mendicant who has faith, ethics, learning, generosity, and wisdom.

“Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu saddhāya samannāgato hoti, sīlena samannāgato hoti, sutena samannāgato hoti, cāgena samannāgato hoti, paññāya samannāgato hoti.

They think:

Tassa evaṃ hoti:

‘If only, when my body breaks up, after death, I would be reborn in the company of well-to-do aristocrats!’

‘aho vatāhaṃ kāyassa bhedā paraṃ maraṇā khattiyamahāsālānaṃ sahabyataṃ upapajjeyyan’ti.

They settle on that thought, stabilize it and develop it.

So taṃ cittaṃ dahati, taṃ cittaṃ adhiṭṭhāti, taṃ cittaṃ bhāveti.

Those choices and meditations of theirs, developed and cultivated like this, lead to rebirth there.

They think:

Tassa evaṃ hoti:

‘If only, when my body breaks up, after death, I would be reborn in the company of well-to-do brahmins

‘aho vatāhaṃ kāyassa bhedā paraṃ maraṇā brāhmaṇamahāsālānaṃ … pe …

or well-to-do householders.’

gahapatimahāsālānaṃ sahabyataṃ upapajjeyyan’ti.

They settle on that thought, stabilize it and develop it.

So taṃ cittaṃ dahati, taṃ cittaṃ adhiṭṭhāti, taṃ cittaṃ bhāveti.

Those choices and meditations of theirs, developed and cultivated like this, lead to rebirth there.

https://suttacentral.net/mn120/en/sujato
What is supposed to be the meaning or message of the above parts of this sutta?

Thanks :shrug:
I think the kamma of their striving is the main point here; I don't believe that the Lord is commenting that their strivings are necessarily good or bad goals. He is merely pointing out the fact that they will go where they're striving for.

SarathW
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Re: MN 120: why are bhikkhus aspiring for the household life?

Post by SarathW » Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:13 am

Because many monks are longing for Kamavacara, Rupavacara and Arupavacara state.
Not many monks are there to attain Nibbana.
That is why they disrobe, involve with politics and many wrong livelihoods etc.
Even in this forum, many do not want to realise Nibbana.
If we ask the same question from monks they might give the same answers if they are very honest.
Why are you in this forum?

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=31074&p=454274&hilit=
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

James Tan
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Re: MN 120: why are bhikkhus aspiring for the household life?

Post by James Tan » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:01 am

SarathW wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:13 am
Because many monks are longing for Kamavacara, Rupavacara and Arupavacara state.
Not many monks are there to attain Nibbana.
That is why they disrobe, involve with politics and many wrong livelihoods etc.
Even in this forum, many do not want to realise Nibbana.
If we ask the same question from monks they might give the same answers if they are very honest.
Why are you in this forum?

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=31074&p=454274&hilit=
Nibbana is a term only , something one do not know , but to end suffering it seems far more realistic .
:reading:

SarathW
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Re: MN 120: why are bhikkhus aspiring for the household life?

Post by SarathW » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:57 am

but to end suffering it seems far more realistic .
Agree.
It is easier to understand end suffering, eliminate ignorance etc rather than the word Nibbana.
Unfortunately, as a householder, it is not easy to understand Nibbana but tastes the Nibbana as a Sotapanna etc.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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DooDoot
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Re: MN 120: why are bhikkhus aspiring for the household life?

Post by DooDoot » Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:09 am

I think I realised the answer to my question. The bhikkhus are aspiring to be "in the company of well-to-do aristocrats, brahmins and householders" so they have good supportive conditions (such as good alms food & other requisites and abide in a relatively civil domain for practise).

:smile:
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dharmacorps
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Re: MN 120: why are bhikkhus aspiring for the household life?

Post by dharmacorps » Tue Oct 02, 2018 4:32 pm

I always read this as a warning to monks that the desire to be associated with well-to-do lay followers would at best lead to rebirth in the human or animal realm.

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DooDoot
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Re: MN 120: why are bhikkhus aspiring for the household life?

Post by DooDoot » Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:45 pm

dharmacorps wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 4:32 pm
I always read this as a warning to monks that the desire to be associated with well-to-do lay followers would at best lead to rebirth in the human or animal realm.
Thanks a lot DC. Sounds very logical to me. :thanks:
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cappuccino
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Re: MN 120: why are bhikkhus aspiring for the household life?

Post by cappuccino » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:36 pm

Take a mendicant who has faith, ethics, learning, generosity, and wisdom.
I don't think this refers to Buddhist monks.

Nor lay followers.

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DooDoot
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Re: MN 120: why are bhikkhus aspiring for the household life?

Post by DooDoot » Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:54 am

cappuccino wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:36 pm
I don't think this refers to Buddhist monks.
The Pali says: "bhikkhu".
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cappuccino
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Re: MN 120: why are bhikkhus aspiring for the household life?

Post by cappuccino » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:08 am

actually a human rebirth is helpful

that didn't occur to me

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seeker242
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Re: MN 120: why are bhikkhus aspiring for the household life?

Post by seeker242 » Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:49 am

DooDoot wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:02 am

What is supposed to be the meaning or message of the above parts of this sutta?

Thanks
That whatever "They settle on that thought, stabilize it and develop it" this will be the result. It's hypothetical scenarios that is explaining "If you do this, then this will be the result". He never says that a monk is actually aspiring for such things.

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DooDoot
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Re: MN 120: why are bhikkhus aspiring for the household life?

Post by DooDoot » Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:02 pm

seeker242 wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:49 am
That whatever "They settle on that thought, stabilize it and develop it" this will be the result. It's hypothetical scenarios that is explaining "If you do this, then this will be the result". He never says that a monk is actually aspiring for such things.
Maybe. But the confusing part of the sutta is when it says: “Take a mendicant who has faith, ethics, learning, generosity, and wisdom".
Never ordained... not an anonymous-online-bhikkhu or ex-bhikkhu...

santa100
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Re: MN 120: why are bhikkhus aspiring for the household life?

Post by santa100 » Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:20 pm

“Take a mendicant who has faith, ethics, learning, generosity, and wisdom"

Nothing wrong with that statement. It'd be a problem if it said s/he has 100% faith, 100% ethics, 100%learning, and yet s/he still...

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Zom
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Re: MN 120: why are bhikkhus aspiring for the household life?

Post by Zom » Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:27 pm

MN 120: why are bhikkhus aspiring for the household life?
I think the majority of all asian monks (most of whom ordain temporarily) are aspiring for the [good future] household life .) So, nothing strange in the sutta.

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