Suicide and rebirth

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Re: Suicide and rebirth

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:20 am

Greetings nowheat,
nowheat wrote:Some comments in that Other Rebirth Thread got me thinking that I don't actually know if the Buddha ever took a stand on suicide, or what implications it would have in terms of rebirth. Anyone have thoughts or citations?
The following article investigate this quite thoroughly...

Suicide as A Response to Suffering by Michael Attwood
http://www.westernbuddhistreview.com/vo ... ering.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

After a few cases studies and some analysis, he concludes thusly...
I approached this subject expecting to find clear statements against suicide but, perhaps surprisingly, it is not possible, from a study of various instances in the Pali Canon, to come to any hard and fast conclusion regarding suicide. There appear to be times when suicide in that context at least does no harm, though these must surely be very rare. The ethical principles of Buddhism, however, do give us some useful guidelines and there are other indications that suicide is not an acceptable response to suffering in general. Certainly self-harm is unhelpful and a cause of future suffering, and suicide does generally involve self-harm. Taking a slightly broader look at the Pali Canon, we find that the practice of self-torture or self-harm as spiritual exercises is specifically rejected by the Buddha, as, for instance, in the Kandaraka Sutta.[40] Elsewhere the Buddha says, �one who seeks delight in suffering ... is not freed from suffering. One who does not seek delight in suffering ... is freed from suffering.�[41] Self-harm simply leads directly to suffering. Although it would seem that in principle suicide is self-harm, some of the cases cited in the Pali Canon are exceptions in that they result not in suffering, but in the complete release from all suffering!

Violence in any form is not simply a breach of the precepts in a legalistic sense; it actually increases the suffering in the world. In general any action that is based upon unskilful states of mind, such as despair and grief, leads only to more suffering. From a Buddhist point of view death is no answer to suffering since we are simply reborn and cannot, it seems, escape the ripening of our karma. Clinging to life and clinging to death being equally causes of suffering, we are presented with dilemmas. This study has hopefully shown that we cannot prejudge a situation ethically. We must weigh each case carefully, and even then we may, like Saariputta, who was �foremost in wisdom�, make a mistake.

In his seminal book, Suicide: A Study In Sociology, Durkheim suggests that one of the main causes of suicide is a failure to connect with other people:

�In this case the bond attaching man to life relaxes because that attaching him to society is itself slack. The incidents of private life that seem the direct inspiration of suicide and are considered its determining causes are in reality only incidental causes. The individual yields to the slightest shock of circumstance because the state of society has made him a ready prey to suicide.�[42]

Durkheim also discusses other causes such as mental illness, but underlying this type of suicide is a failure, in Sangharakshita�s terms, to imaginatively identify with other beings. One experiences one�s self as isolated and unloved. Objectively neither of these things is true, but subjectively the experience can be intense and seem inescapable. To overcome it one must strive to make that imaginative leap to identify with people. One must go out to people, search one�s own experience and use it to empathise with others. The Buddha gives us many clues as to how to do this:

�Having traversed all quarters with the mind,
One finds none anywhere dearer than oneself.
Likewise, each person holds himself dear;
Hence one who loves himself should not harm others.�[43]

Here then are the beginnings of empathy. In Durkheim's terminology one must strengthen, must exercise even, that bond one has with society, so that it becomes strong, flexible and robust.

One glimmer of hope comes from the close call stories of Sappadasa and Siiha. In the �positive nidana� series we see that from suffering arises faith.[44] They are very much aware of their suffering, and somehow in the midst of it they not only gain a greater perspective on it, but they also gain insight into reality itself. It is as though we can go from the depths of despair straight to insight, that in the experience of suffering insight is somehow more accessible. Sangharakshita alludes to this possibility in his Guide to the Buddhist Path in the section on the six realms of conditioned existence. In writing about the hell realms (mental suffering and despair being the psychological counterpart of the this realm) he tells us that the Buddha who appears in this realm offers the being there am.rta. �Am.rta�means �deathless�which is a synonym for Nirvaana. �It is as though there is nothing left for us to do about our suffering except to go, as it were, straight to Nirvaana. There is no other hope for us: all worldly hope has foundered.�[45]

The first of the Buddha's Noble Truths tells us that we cannot run away from pain, that it is there in everything we experience in the world. In responding to those who are contemplating suicide, or who have attempted it and lived, we face a difficult task. All the ethical case studies and all the legalistic workings out of ethical principles may well be useless in the face of extreme suffering. Telling someone who is in extreme physical or mental pain that by �taking the knife� they are breaking the precepts, or that they are only hurting themselves, would be unlikely to dissuade them. What seems important is the imaginative identification. If we are able to empathise with others then we will be more able to face our own suffering, and therefore in a better position to help others face theirs.
Metta,
Retro. :)
"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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Re: Suicide and rebirth

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:25 am

Greetings,
cooran wrote:To cut one's own throat requires a strong intention, fueled by a strong emotion.
That would be the conventional worldly perspective, yes.

To an arahant it may merely be the interplay of the four elements, without any subject/object dichotomy upon which the word "violent" could have any true meaning. Seeing things as they really are.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"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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Re: Suicide and rebirth

Post by Ben » Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:36 am

Hi Retro
retrofuturist wrote:
cooran wrote:What is your explanation of why an arahant would commit suicide? Why would he care to do such a thing?
Persistent unpleasant sensations that showed no signs of abating (see also the quotation at the end of this post)
For an Arahant, unpleasant vedana are not suffering. All vedana, regardless whether they are pleasant, neutral or unpleasant, are just vedana, fleeting phenomena. Paticca samuppada has been interrupted and vedana no longer lead to tanha.
retrofuturist wrote:
cooran wrote:An arahant would just allow the kammic accumulations and latent tendencies to dissipate.
By my understanding, an arahant has no kammic accumulations, nor latent tendencies (anusaya)
Maybe not sankhara or anusaya, but definitely kamma.
Angulimala who when he was an Arahant was attacked by relatives of those he slain. Also the Buddha, who was attacked by Devadatta and suffered an injury to his foot. Not forgetting Mogallana who was murdered.

My opinion is that an arahant is incapable of breaking sila or killing a living being including him/herself. So I tend to agree with the commentarial explanation as quoted by Bhikkhu Bodhi.
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
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Re: Suicide and rebirth

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Jan 28, 2010 9:45 pm

Greetings Ben,
Ben wrote:For an Arahant, unpleasant vedana are not suffering. All vedana, regardless whether they are pleasant, neutral or unpleasant, are just vedana, fleeting phenomena.
Agreed, but they're still unpleasant. If the enlightened were completely impartial towards pleasant feeling and unpleasant feeling, the Buddha would not have bothered to meditate post-enlightenment in order to experience the tranquillity, rapture and joy associated with jhana, or use it as a pain-killer when experiencing illness or back-troubles. I agree also with what Abyss wrote above about painful sensations - http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 411#p49581" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Also, consider what Analayo writes in his Satipatthana text (p171)...
Of further interest in a discussion of neutral feeling is the Abhidhammic analysis of feeling tones arising at the five physical sense doors. The Abhidhamma holds that only the sense of touch is accompanied by pain or pleasure, while feelings arising at the other four sense doors are invariably neutral. This Abhidhammic presentation offers an intruiging perspective on the contemplation of feeling, since it invites an inquiry into the degree to which an experience of delight or displeasure in regards to sight, sound, smell or taste is simply the outcome of one's own mental evaluation.
Thus, mental evaluation (or equanimity) cannot eradicate the inherent painful quality of painful sensations.
Ben wrote:Paticca samuppada has been interrupted and vedana no longer lead to tanha.
Agreed... though I'd say the interruption actually took place with the eradication of ignorance and everything that would otherwise flow beyond that.
Ben wrote:Maybe not sankhara or anusaya, but definitely kamma.
Do you mean kamma or do you mean vipaka? I would argue that neither apply to an arahant, but I'd be interested to understand what you mean specifically, since the examples you give are a result or consequence (broadly defined, not in any technical sense like vipaka which is mental only) of previous action (again, broadly defined... not in the sense of kamma because the Buddha didn't create kamma, yet Devadatta was envious of him).

Metta,
Retro. :)
"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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Re: Suicide and rebirth

Post by Cittasanto » Thu Jan 28, 2010 9:58 pm

retrofuturist wrote:
Ben wrote:Maybe not sankhara or anusaya, but definitely kamma.
Do you mean kamma or do you mean vipaka? I would argue that neither apply to an arahant, but I'd be interested to understand what you mean specifically, since the examples you give are a result or consequence (broadly defined, not in any technical sense like vipaka which is mental only) of previous action (again, broadly defined... not in the sense of kamma because the Buddha didn't create kamma, yet Devadatta was envious of him).

Metta,
Retro. :)
Hi retro,
maybe Ben is referring to the fourth kind of kamma found in the Ariyamagga Sutta, AN 4.235, neither dark nor bright kamma, with neither dark nor bright results?
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
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Re: Suicide and rebirth

Post by nowheat » Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:03 pm

acinteyyo wrote:Since actually and in truth a living arahant is not to be found, it cannot be said that suicide of an arahant is an act against someone nor against noone nor both nor not both. It's just giving up a body. If an unenlightened being commits suicide it is an act of violence.
So then someone can kill an arahant and be blameless, because they have not committed violence against a living being?

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Re: Suicide and rebirth

Post by nowheat » Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:07 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Peter Harvey translates a section of the Vinaya commentary for us which gives a set of circumstances where suicide is not considered to be a breach of the Vinaya rules...
Ah, then there are Vinaya rules against it, presumably initiated by the Buddha?

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Re: Suicide and rebirth

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:08 pm

Greetings nowheat,
nowheat wrote:So then someone can kill an arahant and be blameless, because they have not committed violence against a living being?
No.

Blameless relates to the mental state at the time of performing the action, or otherwise phrased, the kammic quality of the action.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"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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Re: Suicide and rebirth

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:15 pm

Greetings nowheat,
nowheat wrote:Ah, then there are Vinaya rules against it, presumably initiated by the Buddha?
From the above article...
Based on these two cases a rule is formulated that proscribes assisting a suicide, praising the beauty of death in any way, and inciting anyone to kill themselves.[36] Breaking this rule entails permanent expulsion from the bhikkhu sangha. But here suicide itself is not specifically forbidden. Peter Harvey points out, in his book on Buddhist ethics, that since suicide is death, there is no need to have a rule expelling from the sangha the bhikkhu who kills himself, since he is already dead.

There is rule which seems to forbid attempting suicide, arising from the case of a monk who, tormented by sexual desire, throws himself off the Vulture's Peak.
The whole article is worth a read, if you've not already done so.

Furthermore, it is possible that someone could over-estimate their spiritual attainments. It would be unfortunate if someone was under the perception that they could do it blamelessly (i.e. without kamma, without consequence, without subsequent birth) when they were not really in such a position.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"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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Re: Suicide and rebirth

Post by nowheat » Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:26 pm

Abyss wrote:If we think of suicide only as self-murder, an arahant cannot commit suicide, since he is free from the conceit "I am". But the simple fact that "pain is painful" remains even in the case of an arahant. If his body comes in contact with fire for example, he will certainly make an effort to get away from the flames - not out of fear, but because it hurts. So if his body becomes painful due to an illness or injury, and if there is no way to get rid of that pain otherwise, I see no valid reason why he should endure a pain which is not going to cease or which is so intense that it is preventing him from any other activity (teaching for example).
And if one has dislocated a shoulder, the wise thing to do is a violent act that causes considerable pain but leaves one with a useful arm afterward. There surely can be no blame attached to causing pain to improve the situation long-term. When there is a terminal illness causing great pain, since the highest goal of the path is to leave the body behind and reach a truly deathless state, one that has no more rebirths, it only makes sense for an arahant to step past the pain to the final goal.

I wonder why the Buddha would not apply the same rule to an unenlightened monk? In terms of real human suffering, it makes little sense to me to ask the monk who is less-skilled with handling pain to live it out, and let the arahant who has greater skill at not clinging to the suffering caused by pain slit his throat.

I didn't see anything in all I read about "great karmic effects from suicide" nothing about being reborn in Hells.

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Re: Suicide and rebirth

Post by nowheat » Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:39 pm

Thanks to everyone who has responded. I've got several tabs open with your links and am working on reading them all.

It seems as though the Buddha himself did not take a strong stand against a person choosing to commit suicide, but did against others encouraging it. Perhaps they looked on suicide as we do in these times, as most often a failure of social connections and support, but an individual in continuous agony with no reasonable hope of relief would have the option to consider euthanasia.

I wonder, though, why it did not become a common practice for arahants to hasten final nibbana, if there was no karmic consequence.

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Re: Suicide and rebirth

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:45 pm

Greetings nowheat,
nowheat wrote:I wonder, though, why it did not become a common practice for arahants to hasten final nibbana, if there was no karmic consequence.
A short non-exhaustive list would be to create a good example to others as a living arahant, to teach, to support, to answer questions from others, to experience jhanic bliss, to uphold the reputation of the Sangha, for the continuance of the Buddha's dispensation, to not be seen to be promoting suicide as a path to the cessation of suffering etc.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"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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Re: Suicide and rebirth

Post by Ben » Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:11 am

Hi Retro
retrofuturist wrote:
Ben wrote:For an Arahant, unpleasant vedana are not suffering. All vedana, regardless whether they are pleasant, neutral or unpleasant, are just vedana, fleeting phenomena.
Agreed, but they're still unpleasant. If the enlightened were completely impartial towards pleasant feeling and unpleasant feeling, the Buddha would not have bothered to meditate post-enlightenment in order to experience the tranquillity, rapture and joy associated with jhana, or use it as a pain-killer when experiencing illness or back-troubles. I agree also with what Abyss wrote above about painful sensations - http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 411#p49581" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
The salient characteristic of vedana being pleasant, unpleasant or neutral is no different to the characteristic of light to be this or that colour. It is an objective, observable characteristic and it should not be confused with the affective quality we bring to the experience through sanna and sankhara. The fact is that as unenlightened worldlings, our experience of vedana is shaped by our perception of what is going on, our reactive patterns of behaviour and our craving and aversion towards what is experienced or what one would like to experience. So I think there is a danger of confusing pleasant, unpleasant and neutral vedana with the experience of craving, aversion and ignorance.
I agree with Abyss in that an arahant continues to experience painful vedana but will move out of the way of pain as it is detrimental to health and the ability to continue to do what arahants do. Meditate - teach - whatever.
Also, consider what Analayo writes in his Satipatthana text (p171)...
Of further interest in a discussion of neutral feeling is the Abhidhammic analysis of feeling tones arising at the five physical sense doors. The Abhidhamma holds that only the sense of touch is accompanied by pain or pleasure, while feelings arising at the other four sense doors are invariably neutral. This Abhidhammic presentation offers an intruiging perspective on the contemplation of feeling, since it invites an inquiry into the degree to which an experience of delight or displeasure in regards to sight, sound, smell or taste is simply the outcome of one's own mental evaluation.
Thus, mental evaluation (or equanimity) cannot eradicate the inherent painful quality of painful sensations.
Venerable's work is impressive and having read the section on neutral sensation, I have to say that I will need to continue to revisit his words. I am not suggesting that as an arahant, painful sensation ceases to be painful. Its still painful, but it now lacks the admixture of our own constructs that make this or that experience dukkha.
Ben wrote:Paticca samuppada has been interrupted and vedana no longer lead to tanha.
Agreed... though I'd say the interruption actually took place with the eradication of ignorance and everything that would otherwise flow beyond that.
Absolutely, could not have agreed more. My point being that the process dominant with the putthujana of vedana leading to tanha (within the context of paticca samuppada) has now ceased.
Ben wrote:Maybe not sankhara or anusaya, but definitely kamma.
Do you mean kamma or do you mean vipaka? I would argue that neither apply to an arahant, but I'd be interested to understand what you mean specifically, since the examples you give are a result or consequence (broadly defined, not in any technical sense like vipaka which is mental only) of previous action (again, broadly defined... not in the sense of kamma because the Buddha didn't create kamma, yet Devadatta was envious of him).
My apologies. I often use the term kamma for vipakka or for that matter the entire equation of kamma and vipakka. As a result of past kamma, some vipakka continues to manifest within the life of the arahant. One example of that is rupa, which is borne from kamma continues to exist until the life principle is exhausted. If all kamma was made defunct at arahantship it would mean that one would die on acquiring magga and phala citta.
With regards to Angulimala:
Their assault must have been quite brutal, for Angulimala returned to the Buddha seriously injured, with blood running from his head, with his bowl broken, and with his outer robe torn. The Master saw him coming and called out to him: "Bear it, Brahmin! Bear it, Brahmin! You are experiencing here and now the result of deeds on account of which you might have been tortured in hell for many years, for hundreds of years, for many thousands of years."
Being an arahant, Angulimala remained firm and invulnerable in mind and heart. But his body, the symbol and fruit of previous kamma, was still exposed to the effects of his former evil deeds. Even the Buddha himself, as a result of former deeds, had to suffer slight injury at the hands of his evil cousin Devadatta.. The two chief disciples also had to experience bodily violence: Sariputta was hit on the head by a mischeavious demon and Mogallana was brutally murdered. If even these three great ones could not avoid bodily harm, how could Angulimala excape such a fate - he who in his present life had comitted so much evil? Yet, it was only his body that received these blows, not his mind, which remained in inviolable equipoise. Hence we may understand the Buddha's words to Angulimala a reminder of the kammic contatenation of causes and effects, which still had to be endured, though greatly ameliorated by his inner metamorphosis.

Notes to this section: The primary source for the story of Angulimala is the Angulimala Sutta (MN 86). Additional details are provided by MN Comy and Thag Comy.

-- Great Disciples of the Buddha
I hope that answers your questions.
metta

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

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Re: Suicide and rebirth

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:15 am

Greetings Ben,
Ben wrote:Its still painful, but it now lacks the admixture of our own constructs that make this or that experience dukkha.
Agreed. It's one dart, not two.

SN 36.6: Sallatha Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nypo.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Ben wrote:As a result of past kamma, some vipakka continues to manifest within the life of the arahant. One example of that is rupa, which is borne from kamma continues to exist until the life principle is exhausted. If all kamma was made defunct at arahantship it would mean that one would die on acquiring magga and phala citta.
(This may seem pedantic and somewhat technical but please bear with me...)

As defined by Nyanatiloka's Buddhist Dictionary, vipāka is mental only...

http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/bu ... dic3_v.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
vipāka: 'kamma-result', is any kammically (morally) neutral mental phenomenon (e.g. bodily agreeable or painful feeling, sense-consciousness, etc. ), which is the result of wholesome or unwholesome volitional action (kamma, q.v.) through body, speech or mind, done either in this or some previous life. Totally wrong is the belief that, according to Buddhism, everything is the result of previous action. Never, for example, is any kammically wholesome or unwholesome volitional action the result of former action, being in reality itself kamma. On this subject s. titthāyatana, kamma, Tab. I; Fund II. Cf. A. III, 101; Kath. 162 (Guide, p. 80).

Kamma-produced (kammaja or kamma-samuṭṭhāna) corporeal things are never called kamma-vipāka, as this term may be applied only to mental phenomena.
Hence, you are speaking of "Kamma-produced (kammaja or kamma-samuṭṭhāna) corporeal things" and I agree... kamma is a condition for the arising of form. It is not however the only factor, as indicated by the teaching of the five niyamas, as found for example in...

The Manual of Cosmic Order by Mahathera Ledi Sayadaw
http://www.dhammaweb.net/html/view.php?id=5" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

...where other niyamas (orders) are mentioned and elaborated upon. If form were solely kamma produced (note, not vipāka-produced!) the Buddha would indeed have died upon attaining Buddhahood... but he didn't, so it's not. :woohoo:

As for the quotation you provide on Angulimala, I agree with this, and find it to be possibly the best explanation for Angulimala's injuries that I've seen. The reason being that it demonstrates that past kamma is attributable for the presence of a physical body subject to physical pain and pleasure, but doesn't rely on speculation or attempt to deny that the injuries were deliberately inflicted by others.

I won't elaborate further on this quotation, as Angulimala has been discussed elsewhere in a different context (and I don't want to veer off-topic) but I think it's suffice to say that we both seem to agree that an arahant can feel painful bodily sensations, yet does not feel painful mental sensations (as all painful mental sensations are rooted in greed, aversion &/or ignorance).

Metta,
Retro. :)
"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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Re: Suicide and rebirth

Post by Ben » Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:03 am

Hi Retro
It was a master stroke of yours to quote some of my favourite latter-day authors in debate. Thanks for the opportunity to hone my understanding.
metta

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

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