Anonymous (online) Bikkhus

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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AgarikaJ
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Re: Anonymous (online) Bikkhus

Post by AgarikaJ » Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:53 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:11 pm
We allow bhikkhus here either to be public about their ordination status or to remain anonymous, as they see fit. The easiest way to make one's ordination status known is via their username, but the signature function would work well too.
We have seen models elsewhere that have put extra requirements on bhikkhus to enable them to be more clearly differentiated, but we are merely thankful for the presence of bhikkhus, so we leave it to their discretion how and if they wish to make themselves known.
Thank you, @retrofuturist. This is an explanation I understand and be contend with.

I take from it, that I definitely need to be more circumspect in my application of Speech, which is, as @WorldTraveller pointed out, true in any situation and talking to whomever. If the other person is suspected to be a Bikkhu, I shall be especially courteous and careful, for Kammic reasons (thank you, @StormBorn and @Zom).

I take from it additionally, that it is also the responsibility of a Bikkhu who chooses to stay unknown to neither be offended or even shaken in his discipline by ignorance he may encounter (thank you, @rightviewftw).


DooDoot wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:28 am
"Sila" is not for the purpose of demonizing and victimizing others.
Bikkhu @DooDot, I value your personal input in this. So let me say, I am very sorry and remorseful, where I brought offense. My -- as I mistakenly thought -- harmless question, how I could discern if Bhante's description of direct experience of the Jhanas is more authoritative than that of a whole Nikaya of highly respected monks, was a mistake born out of not knowing that any answer would break your discipline and make you liable to incur disciplinary action.

You even quoted me back that you would incur a Vinaya offense and while I thought you referred to a Pārājika offense, you then quoted me back that you would at least incur a Pācittiya offense, which describes the offense of a Bikkhu announcing attainments to a layman. I am not clear why Bhante does not understand the resulting confusion.
DooDoot wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:47 pm
AgarikaJ wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:46 pm
Pls advise
pācittiya 8
"yo pana bhikkhu anupasampannassa uttarimanussadhammaṃ āroceyya, bhūtasmiṃ pācittiyaṃ."

Not to announce to a layman a realisation that has been achieved. If a bhikkhu announces to a layman or to a sāmaṇera, a realisation partaking with a jhāna nature or with a stage of ariyā, and this realisation has genuinely been achieved, he commits a pācittiya.
From Bhante's comment, I can see further, that even this question about 'Anonymous (online) Bikkhus', which I asked declaredly to be answered on a theoretical basis and without the wish of involving personalities and without bringing a name up once, made Bhante still feel treated improperly by this layperson.

I do have noted the new signature, so take it that the description of @rightfiewftw ("that monks might be hesitant to make their views publicly known for that reason because they don't want to become known as "that monk who was shown to be wrong" or just making their interpretations known in general") might be applicable.

I will respect your right to your privacy, Bhante, but I wish you to understand that I can only go by the words Bhante has written and they inform my opinions.

I am unsure how I can help Bhante cast off this feeling of being disrespected, so that this emotional imbalance might be righted properly. I can only ask you to accept my heartfelt apology, Bikkhu @DooDot (or Not-Bikkhu, as you please, I still wish to apologize either way).
:anjali:


To recapitulate: this question was not about Bhante, this question was about specifically me avoiding Kammic repercussions when addressing any monastic naively in the wrong fashion on an online discussion forum. My wish would be that it is indeed taken as such.

With metta.
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: Anonymous (online) Bikkhus

Post by DooDoot » Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:06 am

AgarikaJ wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:40 am
I was reprimanded by another poster to not ask him to do something which would break a Vinaya rule (which I would not have done knowingly, but it does not matter in this context). To this point in time, this other participant in the discussion was taken to be a layman just as me.
Take for example, the Buddhist precept on sexual misconduct, which lists certain "prohibited women". Just because a certain woman fall outside of this list, such as a female goat or female sheep, it does not mean it is OK to have sex with a female goat or sheep. Similarly, just because Vinaya prohibits monks from declaring attainments to laypeople, does not mean its OK for rare enlightened lay people to declare attainments. It all depends on the reasons or "spirit" of the rules. Its OK for an ordinary or family encumbered layperson to kill in self-defence but its not OK for a monk to kill in self-defense';just as it is unlikely a solitary enlightened layperson would kill in self-defense. Once a layperson attains enlightenment, they are Noble Sangha and should follow the spirit of the Vinaya rules when appropriate.
AgarikaJ wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:53 am
I am very sorry and remorseful, where I brought offense.
The above sounds like discursive speech (based on the papanca posted after it).
AgarikaJ wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:53 am
My -- as I mistakenly thought -- harmless question, how I could discern if Bhante's description of direct experience of the Jhanas is more authoritative than that of a whole Nikaya of highly respected monks, was a mistake born out of not knowing that any answer would break your discipline and make you liable to incur disciplinary action.
The above sounds like more discursive speech because I never ever criticsed a whole Nikaya of highly respected monks about jhana.

OK, lets go over what happened to break the clinging & pride towards a mistake and stop the cycle of discursive speech:

1. From many teachings of Ajah Chah, AgarikaJ chose a teaching or translation about jhana that was contrary to the suttas.

2. Later, Doot posted a teaching of Ajahn Chah about jhana that conformed with the suttas but AgarikaJ ignored this.

3. In short, AgarikaJ via their own volition chose an inaccurate teaching to explain what jhana was.

4. Thus Doot conformed with the suttas, Ajahn Brahm conformed with the suttas, Ajahn Chah conformed with the suttas, but AgarikaJ did not conform with the suttas.

5. But AgarikaJ could not confess to the Dhamma about misrepresenting the Dhamma. Thus, the clinging, pride & discursive speech continue.

:roll:
Kaayena vaacaaya va cetasaa va

Whether by body, speech or mind,

Dhamme kukammang pakatang mayaa yang

Whichever evil karma have I committed towards the Dhamma,

Dhammo patigganhatu accayantang

May the Dhamma forgive me for the whole fault.

Kaalantare sangvaritung va dhamme.

For the sake of later restraint towards the Dhamma.

http://www.dharmathai.com/evening-praye ... -chanting/
Moderator note: irrelevant and potentially offensive material removed from this post.

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AgarikaJ
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Re: Anonymous (online) Bikkhus

Post by AgarikaJ » Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:46 am

DooDoot wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:06 am
AgarikaJ wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:53 am
I am very sorry and remorseful, where I brought offense.
The above sounds like false speech.
Bhante, to this I say (see Bala-pandita Sutta AN 2.21, https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html):
"Monks, these two are fools. Which two? The one who doesn't see his transgression as a transgression, and the one who doesn't rightfully pardon another who has confessed his transgression. These two are fools.
"These two are wise people. Which two? The one who sees his transgression as a transgression, and the one who rightfully pardons another who has confessed his transgression. These two are wise people."
Bhante might take me as the fool in this statement and I will give no word back to the contrary.

As this heedless dispute therefore has come to an end, Bhante, please allow me to re-state the point of discussion one more time, so further digression can be avoided:
To recapitulate: this question was not about Bhante, this question was about specifically me avoiding Kammic repercussions when addressing any monastic naively in the wrong fashion on an online discussion forum.
It is an important question to me, for which I have received some answers. I found them quite interesting so far and I will try to take them to heart as much as possible.

If there are further illuminating remarks with regard to the question, I would be very grateful.
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: Anonymous (online) Bikkhus

Post by DooDoot » Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:51 am

AgarikaJ wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:46 am
To recapitulate: this question was not about Bhante, this question was about specifically me avoiding Kammic repercussions when addressing any monastic naively in the wrong fashion on an online discussion forum.
AN 6.63. Kamma is intention. Anonymous bhikkhu = no intention to address a bhikkhu in wrong fashion = no transgression = no kamma = freedom. :thumbsup:

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StormBorn
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Re: Anonymous (online) Bikkhus

Post by StormBorn » Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:29 am

AgarikaJ wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:16 pm
"In times to come there will be members of the spiritual family merely by virtue of wearing ocher cloth around their necks; but they are unethical and of bad character. People will give gifts to those unethical people in the name of the Saṅgha. Even then, I say, a teacher’s offering bestowed on the Saṅgha is incalculable and immeasurable. But I say that there is no way a personal offering can be more fruitful than one bestowed on a Saṅgha.
This whole para is missing from one Chinese Agama parallel. Obviously giving to ariyas can't be equal to giving to unethical monks. Otherwise, it would contradict the portion that I quoted earlier. Real Sangha is ariyas, not a bunch of unethical yellow cloth wearers :D
“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: Anonymous (online) Bikkhus

Post by StormBorn » Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:34 am

DooDoot wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:51 am
AgarikaJ wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:46 am
To recapitulate: this question was not about Bhante, this question was about specifically me avoiding Kammic repercussions when addressing any monastic naively in the wrong fashion on an online discussion forum.
AN 6.63. Kamma is intention. Anonymous bhikkhu = no intention to address a bhikkhu in wrong fashion = no transgression = no kamma = freedom. :thumbsup:
One accused the Buddha badly without knowing that was the Buddha. The intention to accuse was fulfilled; action (karma) committed. Knowing whether that was the Buddha or not is irrelevant. Of course, the karma will be heavy because the object that the accusation was directed happened to be a Buddha. If one knowingly do the vipaka will be heavier I think, as there's a disrespect aspect involved too.
“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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Re: Anonymous (online) Bikkhus

Post by SarathW » Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:53 am

@Doodoot
Once a layperson attains enlightenment, they are Noble Sangha and should follow the spirit of the Vinaya rules when appropriate.
Can you give me the Sutta support for this? For instance, if I tell this forum I am a Sotapanna, what is the problem?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Anonymous (online) Bikkhus

Post by AgarikaJ » Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:05 am

StormBorn wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:29 am
AgarikaJ wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:16 pm
"In times to come there will be members of the spiritual family merely by virtue of wearing ocher cloth around their necks; but they are unethical and of bad character. People will give gifts to those unethical people in the name of the Saṅgha. Even then, I say, a teacher’s offering bestowed on the Saṅgha is incalculable and immeasurable. But I say that there is no way a personal offering can be more fruitful than one bestowed on a Saṅgha.
This whole para is missing from one Chinese Agama parallel. Obviously giving to ariyas can't be equal to giving to unethical monks. Otherwise, it would contradict the portion that I quoted earlier. Real Sangha is ariyas, not a bunch of unethical yellow cloth wearers :D
Interesting, that this paragraph, as you say, has no parallel and might be a later addition. This would to my mind be another sign that the consolidating Sangha hierarchy after the Parinibbāna of the Buddha made subtle changes to cement its influence.
But they did so, in a much less ashamed way (if one believes in using paralells to indentify changes, additions and substractions to the Suttas) when lowering the status of the Bikkhuni Sangha; a very interesting overview of those parallels can be found in Bikkhu Analayo's 'The Foundation History of the Nuns’ Order'. It is a massive work of nearly 300 pages and can be downloaded in full and freely from the website of the University of Hamburg, here:
https://www.buddhismuskunde.uni-hamburg ... udies.html

To me this opens the question: should we use those 'identified' examples of human defilements who *might* have crept into the process to canonalize the Suttas to create a "cleaner" version of them? Who decides this? Or should we ignore those instances, as we will never be able to know for sure what really happened?

To my mind, both those extremes will not bring us further; as always there must be a Middle Way to use. With this I mean, we should still reflect on those passages, having in mind that their position in the canon might (or might not) be tainted and try to ascertain why those changes might have happened.

Further, we should reflect on the merit of those passages, having understood possible intentions/motivations.

In this case, I would see a Sangha, beleagerued from the earliest time on by members behaving unwholesome (else the Buddha would have seen no need for Vinaya rules) trying to create damage control by pointing out, that it is still the Dhamma that counts, it is the Dhamma which should be respected and it is the Dhamma we should have faith in -- and that individuals, behaving humanly and therefore driven by defilements should not be taken as a reflection of a somehow faulty Dhamma.

This would be, to my mind, still be a wholesome thought, because without a Sangha respected by the laiety, there will be no refuge in the Triple Gem and the preservation of the Dhamma not possible.

So to come to a conclusion -- sorry, I have been long-winded and meandering once more -- I do not think that we can refuse giving alms individually to "unethical yellow cloth wearers"... you either give to all of them and only this gives you any merit (or to none).
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: Anonymous (online) Bikkhus

Post by DooDoot » Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:52 am

StormBorn wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:34 am
One accused the Buddha badly without knowing that was the Buddha. The intention to accuse was fulfilled; action (karma) committed. Knowing whether that was the Buddha or not is irrelevant. Of course, the karma will be heavy because the object that the accusation was directed happened to be a Buddha. If one knowingly do the vipaka will be heavier I think, as there's a disrespect aspect involved too.
The "accusing" above sounds like ill-will. Its unwholesome kamma regardless of the object. Not addressing an anonymous bhikkhu is not ill-will because there is no intention for ill-will (disrespect). Regardless, what is ill-will & unwholesome is asserting without evidence that a layman cannot never understand the Dhamma better than a bhikkhu.

In MN 140, a bhikkhu, who never knew the Buddha, originally addressed the Buddha as "friend". Later when the bhikkhu realised it was the Buddha, the bhikkhu confessed a transgression occurred. The transgression occurred in retrospect. In other words, at the original time, no transgression obviously occurred since there was not mal-intent. Also, since the Buddha chose to remain anonymous, surely the Buddha contributed to this transgression.

On this thread, AgarikaJ appeared to blame the anonymous person yet I doubt AgarikaJ would blame the Buddha for remaining anonymous in MN 140.
SarathW wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:53 am
Once a layperson attains enlightenment, they are Noble Sangha and should follow the spirit of the Vinaya rules when appropriate.
Can you give me the Sutta support for this? For instance, if I tell this forum I am a Sotapanna, what is the problem?
We were discussing the Vinaya rather than Sutta. :focus:

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Re: Anonymous (online) Bikkhus

Post by StormBorn » Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:05 am

AgarikaJ wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:05 am
I do not think that we can refuse giving alms individually to "unethical yellow cloth wearers"... you either give to all of them and only this gives you any merit (or to none).
Everyone is free to decide but I don't support people who are there just for the sake of the belly and a cause of people losing faith in Buddhism. I don't blindly give offerings for the sake of "merit craving". :smile:
“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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Re: Anonymous (online) Bikkhus

Post by AgarikaJ » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:03 am

StormBorn wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:05 am
AgarikaJ wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:05 am
I do not think that we can refuse giving alms individually to "unethical yellow cloth wearers"... you either give to all of them and only this gives you any merit (or to none).
Everyone is free to decide but I don't support people who are there just for the sake of the belly and a cause of people losing faith in Buddhism. I don't blindly give offerings for the sake of "merit craving". :smile:
I do get your point, @StormBorn, and I too can see aversion coming up in me when I see monks walk into a phone shop, buying themselves the latest model with money from their purse (I have indeed witnessed such). It is wrong on many levels and there is a very big danger that the Sangha will loose respect as an institution.

But then I think: why am I looking for fault in them? Just because they *seemingly* have not embraced the Dhamma by heart, does it mean that I am without my own delusions? Their wrong does not make me right(er) and some monks *seeming* to behave unwholesomely does not mean there are no monastics that have achieved progress on their path.

As I am unable to recognize virtuous monastics by simply looking at them, I rather give to all. One reason can be found in the Thana Sutta (AN 4.192):
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
"It's through living together that a person's virtue may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning.
"It's through dealing with a person that his purity may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning.
"It's through adversity that a person's endurance may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning.
"It's through discussion that a person's discernment may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning.
I do expect the Sangha to clean the most obvious examples of offenders from their ranks though, the Vinaya being the right tool for this, not me second-guessing rules.


---
Not directly related to this, but maybe this is one reason that I take people at face value, when they tell me about their virtue, until it reaches a state where it really is not believable any more. But even then I would try to critisize proper behaviour not being adhered to, instead of going for the person directly. I am not infallible at this, but it is an aspiration I have.
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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AgarikaJ
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Re: Anonymous (online) Bikkhus

Post by AgarikaJ » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:31 am

StormBorn wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:34 am
One accused the Buddha badly without knowing that was the Buddha.
This is really interesting. Do you have a Sutta reference?

I think it might be illustrative, in which way the Buddha reacted to such an accusation, instead of being hung up on somebody being adversarial.

I found another Sutta, With Māgaṇḍiya.
https://suttacentral.net/mn75/en/sujato

Here the Buddha is directly accused that his teachings are wrong. I believe it remarkable that the Buddha, upon hearing that he is accused, is looking to interact and discuss the issue. In the end -- as always -- his explanation wins the accuser over
Then as the wanderer Māgaṇḍiya was going for a walk he approached that fire chamber. He saw the grass mat spread out there and asked the brahmin of the Bhāradvāja clan: “Mister Bhāradvāja, who has this grass mat been spread out for? It looks like an ascetic’s bed.” “There is the ascetic Gotama, a Sakyan, gone forth from a Sakyan family. He has this good reputation: ‘That Blessed One is perfected, a fully awakened Buddha, accomplished in knowledge and conduct, holy, knower of the world, supreme guide for those who wish to train, teacher of gods and humans, awakened, blessed.’ This bed has been spread for that Master Gotama.”
“Well, it’s a sad sight, Mister Bhāradvāja, a very sad sight indeed, to see a bed for Master Gotama, that life-destroyer!” “Be careful what you say, Māgaṇḍiya, be careful what you say. Many astute aristocrats, brahmins, householders, and ascetics are devoted to Master Gotama. They’ve been guided by him in the noble procedure, the skillful teaching.”
“Even if I was to see Master Gotama face to face, Mister Bhāradvāja, I would say to his face: ‘The ascetic Gotama is a life-destroyer.’ Why is that? Because that’s what it implies in a discourse of ours.” “If you don’t mind, I’ll tell the ascetic Gotama about this.” “Don’t worry, Mister Bharadvāja. You may tell him exactly what I’ve said.”

...

When he said this, Māgaṇḍiya said to him: “Excellent, Master Gotama! Excellent! As if he were 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, Master Gotama has made the teaching clear in many ways. I go for refuge to Master Gotama, to the teaching, and to the mendicant Saṅgha.
The mere accusation in itself seems to have created no Bad Kamma, as long as the accuser was able to overcome his ignorance.
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]

SarathW
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Re: Anonymous (online) Bikkhus

Post by SarathW » Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:24 am

One accused the Buddha badly without knowing that was the Buddha.
Actually, there are few Sutta mentioned where people did not recognise Buddha.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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StormBorn
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Re: Anonymous (online) Bikkhus

Post by StormBorn » Sat Nov 03, 2018 4:07 pm

AgarikaJ wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:31 am
The mere accusation in itself seems to have created no Bad Kamma, as long as the accuser was able to overcome his ignorance.
Can't say with a certainty, right, unless someone has psychic powers at least? :shrug: :smile:
“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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AgarikaJ
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Re: Anonymous (online) Bikkhus

Post by AgarikaJ » Sat Nov 03, 2018 6:28 pm

StormBorn wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 4:07 pm
Can't say with a certainty, right, unless someone has psychic powers at least? :shrug: :smile:
Yes, of course we do not know. But it is a fact that Māgaṇḍiya became fully enlighhtened, so must have been able to work through all Bad Kamma that has resulted from his first encounter with the Buddha.
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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