Making Merit - or is it craving?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Sylvester
Posts: 2205
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:57 am

Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Post by Sylvester » Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:13 am

Hanzze wrote:
Sylvester wrote:...
Silvester, the story of this man taught by Bodhidharma hardly points out on the three stages of providing a wholesome mindstate. Before, while performing and after. With his question (or better the thought of the need to being soure to have done well, or its reference that he has done it with an expect) he has simply fulish burned down his offspring on the field of merits before it could have fruits, if there have been even seeds on this field.
And with respect to the Mahayana, I do not see any need for the Pali take on dana to be lensed through Ven Bodhidharma's Mahayana world-view. It is inconsistent with the Dana Sutta which I cited.
I guess you are a Abhidhamma profi
Proficiency in Abhidhamma does not make one an Abhidhammika. Not that I see it as relevant here, since I simply offer the early readings.

User avatar
Hanzze
Posts: 1906
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:47 pm
Location: Cambodia

Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Post by Hanzze » Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:20 am

Sylvester wrote:
Hanzze wrote:
Sylvester wrote:...
Silvester, the story of this man taught by Bodhidharma hardly points out on the three stages of providing a wholesome mindstate. Before, while performing and after. With his question (or better the thought of the need to being soure to have done well, or its reference that he has done it with an expect) he has simply fulish burned down his offspring on the field of merits before it could have fruits, if there have been even seeds on this field.
And with respect to the Mahayana, I do not see any need for the Pali take on dana to be lensed through Ven Bodhidharma's Mahayana world-view. It is inconsistent with the Dana Sutta which I cited.
As you see a different, can you point that/it out?
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_

Sylvester
Posts: 2205
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:57 am

Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Post by Sylvester » Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:33 am

Just read this again -

http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 20#p206293" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

User avatar
Hanzze
Posts: 1906
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:47 pm
Location: Cambodia

Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Post by Hanzze » Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:40 am

So the maintaining of the right mind state is not relevant?

Pubba cetana (prior volition)
Munca cetana (prevailing volition)
Apara cetana (post-charity volition)

No doubt that if there is no more craving there the fruit of the highest merit is archived. Do you think one could even turn past "wrong" volutions to a better place. Thought of "oh I had the wrong volition" or "I still had volition"... and what Bodhidharma maybe have caused/helped.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_

Sylvester
Posts: 2205
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:57 am

Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Post by Sylvester » Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:00 am

Hanzze wrote:So the maintaining of the right mind state is not relevant?

Pubba cetana (prior volition)
Munca cetana (prevailing volition)
Apara cetana (post-charity volition)

No doubt that if there is no more craving there the fruit of the highest merit is archived. Do you think one could even turn past "wrong" volutions to a better place. Thought of "oh I had the wrong volition" or "I still had volition"... and what Bodhidharma maybe have caused/helped.

Of course they are relevant.

But I was not addressing that, if you read carefully. I was addressing the writer's belief that craving nullifies the merit.

In this respect, craving as an āsava lies much, much deeper in the psyche than just the 3 cetana you list. IMO, those Abhidhammic "cetana" are better translated as "motive" or "reason", but craving as an āsava is a mūla. Take a close look again at the Dana Sutta, where the various givers rationalise their giving on different grounds. Those rationalisations would be the "cetana" you describe. However, even in those cases where there is no spiritual materialism whatsoever (ie those cases after case #1), there is still clinging.

Whether the āsava is subtle (as in the cases of clinging without spiritual materialism), or is gross (in the 1st case of craving for a good rebirth), it is effective to actually create the desired rebirth.

The writer's belief that craving nullifies merit is therefore unfounded. In fact, it violates an important aspect of Dependant Origination. Clinging is in fact a necessary condition for bhava/existence. If you don't cling, your kamma cannot bear fruit. See - http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

User avatar
Hanzze
Posts: 1906
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:47 pm
Location: Cambodia

Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Post by Hanzze » Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:47 am

I think I understand what you mean, Sylvester

But the OP Question of "Making Merit - or is it craving?" is no directed in a question like "Is somebody asking like the Emperor free already" but more if such samples are on the path (where kinds of cravings are still needed) or are kamma that leads to a better position (lesser defilements).

Maybe we (I) just running around a word misunderstanding.

Your explaining here btw. , I think, is very good in regard of craving. Thanks for your effort.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_

User avatar
DAWN
Posts: 801
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:22 pm

Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Post by DAWN » Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:39 am

Dana of exemple is the greatest dana, dana of the wise.
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...
I'am sorry for my english

User avatar
ancientbuddhism
Posts: 884
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:53 pm
Location: Cyberia

Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Post by ancientbuddhism » Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:01 pm

“Merit Transference” in Sinhalese Buddhism: A Case Study of the Interaction Between Doctrine and Practice, by Richard Gombrich

Also take a look at The Buddhist Dead: Practices, Discourses, Representations, a collection of essays edited by Bryan J. Cuevas and Jacqueline I. Stone
I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

A Handful of Leaves

User avatar
DNS
Site Admin
Posts: 11677
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, Estados Unidos de América
Contact:

Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Post by DNS » Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:07 pm

Sylvester wrote: Take a close look again at the Dana Sutta, where the various givers rationalise their giving on different grounds.
Whether the āsava is subtle (as in the cases of clinging without spiritual materialism), or is gross (in the 1st case of craving for a good rebirth), it is effective to actually create the desired rebirth.

The writer's belief that craving nullifies merit is therefore unfounded. In fact, it violates an important aspect of Dependant Origination. Clinging is in fact a necessary condition for bhava/existence. If you don't cling, your kamma cannot bear fruit. See - http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
:goodpost:

Thanks for reminding us of the Dana Sutta. The generosity, even with the expectation still bore some fruit, just not the highest fruits. And there is this note from the translator:
The Commentary notes that the highest motivation, untainted by lower motivations and leading to non-returning, requires a certain level of mastery in concentration and insight in order to be one's genuine motivation for giving.
Not necessarily anyone here, but speaking just in general, there sometimes tends to be this arahantification of sotāpannas and even regular Buddhists. The commentary notes that such giving with the highest motivation of truly no expectations for reward of any kind, requires a high level of mastery.

And as I touched on in my previous post on page 1 of this thread, there also needs to be attention to the receiving. Both giving and receiving are two sides of the same coin. Receiving with ill-will, jealousy, anger, questioning or speculating on motives of the giver, etc. are not wholesome and far enemies of the brahma-viharas. I have seen too many people get discouraged about giving due to the actions of recipients. In my opinion this is why the Elders included the Vimanavatthu, 3-fold rule, and Dana Sutta in important places in the Canon, so that future generations would be encouraged to be generous.
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote: The Bodhisatta also practised the perfections throughout many existences, wishing to attain Omniscience. We must distinguish between the unwholesome kamma of craving (tanhā), and the wholesome desire to attain spiritual progress (chandiddhipāda). Without a strong desire to succeed, nothing can be attained.
:bow:

User avatar
Hanzze
Posts: 1906
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:47 pm
Location: Cambodia

Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Post by Hanzze » Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:39 am

David N. Snyder wrote:Receiving with ill-will, jealousy, anger, questioning or speculating on motives of the giver, etc. are not wholesome and far enemies of the brahma-viharas.
As mostly the factor greed (as one of the three in right intention) is missing or overseen in regard of what is unwholesome, often a factor that is contained in what we guess as being metta or karuna the quote of Bhikkhu Pesala is very importand.
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote: We must distinguish between the unwholesome kamma of craving (tanhā), and the wholesome desire to attain spiritual progress (chandiddhipāda). Without a strong desire to succeed, nothing can be attained.
Dana work (letting go) is much neede to understand this different between tanha and wholesome desire to attain spiritual progress. Not at all, not even from the beginning, it is good to see it as an act to help somebody else.
To help somebody else is the Dana (giving) which is a fundamental for our sociaty - even trought many even need to learn thoses ways as a first step - but not yet something that touches what is meant by Dana.
While the normal Giving and receiving leads to a strong binding at least, letting go (Dana as a spirutall pratice) lets to unbinding. Not only the giver, but also the receiver gains more freedom out of such an act while Dana as it is mostly usuall does the opposit.

Today this popular giving which is nothing else as tanha has destroyed much of what was a healthy giving and taking and the givers will have many problems out of this chaos by ensnared demands and depts. The sooner people understand the contraproductivity of giving out of tanha the sooner we will learn to focus more on modersty and virtue as a helping tool. The wave which was raised by this craving has its vale and its good to have learned to live moderst in future times of much dryness.
Don't think that a receiver had learned generosity when he has taken with an unwholesome mind setting. That is something we can not expect. Can you live with that or will you react?
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_

User avatar
cooran
Posts: 8504
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Making Merit - or is it craving?

Post by cooran » Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:08 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
Sylvester wrote: Take a close look again at the Dana Sutta, where the various givers rationalise their giving on different grounds.
Whether the āsava is subtle (as in the cases of clinging without spiritual materialism), or is gross (in the 1st case of craving for a good rebirth), it is effective to actually create the desired rebirth.

The writer's belief that craving nullifies merit is therefore unfounded. In fact, it violates an important aspect of Dependant Origination. Clinging is in fact a necessary condition for bhava/existence. If you don't cling, your kamma cannot bear fruit. See - http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
:goodpost:

Thanks for reminding us of the Dana Sutta. The generosity, even with the expectation still bore some fruit, just not the highest fruits. And there is this note from the translator:
The Commentary notes that the highest motivation, untainted by lower motivations and leading to non-returning, requires a certain level of mastery in concentration and insight in order to be one's genuine motivation for giving.
Not necessarily anyone here, but speaking just in general, there sometimes tends to be this arahantification of sotāpannas and even regular Buddhists. The commentary notes that such giving with the highest motivation of truly no expectations for reward of any kind, requires a high level of mastery.

And as I touched on in my previous post on page 1 of this thread, there also needs to be attention to the receiving. Both giving and receiving are two sides of the same coin. Receiving with ill-will, jealousy, anger, questioning or speculating on motives of the giver, etc. are not wholesome and far enemies of the brahma-viharas. I have seen too many people get discouraged about giving due to the actions of recipients. In my opinion this is why the Elders included the Vimanavatthu, 3-fold rule, and Dana Sutta in important places in the Canon, so that future generations would be encouraged to be generous.
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote: The Bodhisatta also practised the perfections throughout many existences, wishing to attain Omniscience. We must distinguish between the unwholesome kamma of craving (tanhā), and the wholesome desire to attain spiritual progress (chandiddhipāda). Without a strong desire to succeed, nothing can be attained.
:bow:
Thanks David, Sylvester. This is a good reminder.

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: binocular, Gszab and 52 guests