Ritual for becoming a Buddhist

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Ruud
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:07 am

Re: Ritual for becoming a Buddhist

Post by Ruud » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:22 am

budo wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:29 am
"One who has conviction & belief that these phenomena are this way is called a faith-follower: one who has entered the orderliness of rightness, entered the plane of people of integrity, transcended the plane of the run-of-the-mill. He is incapable of doing any deed by which he might be reborn in hell, in the animal womb, or in the realm of hungry shades. He is incapable of passing away until he has realized the fruit of stream-entry.

"One who, after pondering with a modicum of discernment, has accepted that these phenomena are this way is called a Dhamma-follower: one who has entered the orderliness of rightness, entered the plane of people of integrity, transcended the plane of the run-of-the-mill. He is incapable of doing any deed by which he might be reborn in hell, in the animal womb, or in the realm of hungry shades. He is incapable of passing away until he has realized the fruit of stream-entry.

"One who knows and sees that these phenomena are this way is called a stream-enterer, steadfast, never again destined for states of woe, headed for self-awakening."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

...
In other words, the path can be approached from a faith or confidence based point of view and from an intellectual based point of view. Both have an amount of development in the five faculties, and have conviction in the three gems. As a representation of that one can take refuge. This is refuge based on confidence. It is also possible to "perform the ceremony" of refuge without confidence, and then you "look", outwardly, like a follower of the Buddha. This ceremony, this way being an empty ritual, does not add much, hence the descriptions of upasakas that are a stain etc. But that does not mean that the ritual of taking refuge is meaningless, if done with conviction. And whether you call that one an Ariya or not, I find not so important, outside the fact that an Ariya is generally considered more than someone that has conviction/faith.

BTW,
budo wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:48 pm
Even King Ajātasattu, who murdered his father, attained Faith Follower at minimum, but not Dhamma eye (Fruition).
is in direct contradiction with the suttas. Because on the one hand he must necessarily be reborn in the states of woe, because he performed one of the heinous crimes, but meanwhile he must in the very least be a stream-enterer at death, because he was a faith follower (your claim). A stream-enterer is by definition free from the states of woe, and therefore someone who performed one of the heinous crimes can't be a stream-enterer, not even at death.
Dry up what pertains to the past,
do not take up anything to come later.
If you will not grasp in the middle,
you will live at peace.
—Snp.5.11,v.1099 (tr. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)

Whatever is will be was. —Ven. Ñānamoli, A Thinkers Notebook, §221

budo
Posts: 1752
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:16 am

Re: Ritual for becoming a Buddhist

Post by budo » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:43 am

Ruud wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:22 am
budo wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:29 am
"One who has conviction & belief that these phenomena are this way is called a faith-follower: one who has entered the orderliness of rightness, entered the plane of people of integrity, transcended the plane of the run-of-the-mill. He is incapable of doing any deed by which he might be reborn in hell, in the animal womb, or in the realm of hungry shades. He is incapable of passing away until he has realized the fruit of stream-entry.

"One who, after pondering with a modicum of discernment, has accepted that these phenomena are this way is called a Dhamma-follower: one who has entered the orderliness of rightness, entered the plane of people of integrity, transcended the plane of the run-of-the-mill. He is incapable of doing any deed by which he might be reborn in hell, in the animal womb, or in the realm of hungry shades. He is incapable of passing away until he has realized the fruit of stream-entry.

"One who knows and sees that these phenomena are this way is called a stream-enterer, steadfast, never again destined for states of woe, headed for self-awakening."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

...
In other words, the path can be approached from a faith or confidence based point of view and from an intellectual based point of view. Both have an amount of development in the five faculties, and have conviction in the three gems. As a representation of that one can take refuge. This is refuge based on confidence. It is also possible to "perform the ceremony" of refuge without confidence, and then you "look", outwardly, like a follower of the Buddha. This ceremony, this way being an empty ritual, does not add much, hence the descriptions of upasakas that are a stain etc. But that does not mean that the ritual of taking refuge is meaningless, if done with conviction. And whether you call that one an Ariya or not, I find not so important, outside the fact that an Ariya is generally considered more than someone that has conviction/faith.
You said there was no sutta evidence of an Ariya who is not beyond doubt, I showed you sutta evidence. Now you're babbling about something irrelevant.

In the suttas people go for refuge upon attaining minimum faith from hearing a Dhamma Talk and thus attaining some right view.

As I said, attaining right view weakens doubt which creates faith. When one attains fruition they have completely destroyed doubt and no longer require faith as they know for certain, as the suttas say.
Ruud wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:22 am

BTW,



is in direct contradiction with the suttas. Because on the one hand he must necessarily be reborn in the states of woe, because he performed one of the heinous crimes, but meanwhile he must in the very least be a stream-enterer at death, because he was a faith follower (your claim). A stream-enterer is by definition free from the states of woe, and therefore someone who performed one of the heinous crimes can't be a stream-enterer, not even at death.
There is no contradiction. Had King Ajatasattu not attained path he would have gone to hell, but because he met the Buddha he attained path and professed his sins to the Buddha, which the Buddha accepted and told him his profession leads to growth in the Dhamma. Since he attained path, and thus some Right View, he became aware of his wrong doing.

So there is no contradiction, King Ajatasattu is free from states of woe, just like the mass murderer Aṅgulimāla, is free from states of woe upon hearing the Dhamma from the Buddha.

budo
Posts: 1752
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:16 am

Re: Ritual for becoming a Buddhist

Post by budo » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:49 am

Even Mahasi Sayadaw (who follows Visuddhimagga's intrepretation of path and fruit) says King Ajatasattu has been spared hell.
After hearing the sermon, Ajatasattu formally declared himself a disciple of the Buddha. He would have attained the first stage on the path but for his patricide. Nevertheless, from that time he had peace of mind and after his death, he was spared the terrors of Avici hell that would have been in store for him had he not met the Buddha.
https://www.wisdomlib.org/buddhism/book ... c1984.html

User avatar
seeker242
Posts: 927
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:01 am

Re: Ritual for becoming a Buddhist

Post by seeker242 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:17 am

Go to a local temple and take refuge/precepts. That is all that's required. :meditate:

chownah
Posts: 8380
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Ritual for becoming a Buddhist

Post by chownah » Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:54 pm

ooooops......posted in wrong thread...
chownah
Last edited by chownah on Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Volo
Posts: 903
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:32 am

Re: Ritual for becoming a Buddhist

Post by Volo » Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:57 pm

budo wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:49 am
Even Mahasi Sayadaw (who follows Visuddhimagga's intrepretation of path and fruit) says King Ajatasattu has been spared hell.
After hearing the sermon, Ajatasattu formally declared himself a disciple of the Buddha. He would have attained the first stage on the path but for his patricide. Nevertheless, from that time he had peace of mind and after his death, he was spared the terrors of Avici hell that would have been in store for him had he not met the Buddha.
https://www.wisdomlib.org/buddhism/book ... c1984.html
He was spared from Avici (the most terrifying hell), but reappeared in the hell called Lohakumbhiya, which is a bit better.
DPPN wrote:According to the Digha Commentary, (i.237-8) Ajātasattu was born in the Lohakumbhiya niraya after his death.
In the suttas people go for refuge upon attaining minimum faith from hearing a Dhamma Talk and thus attaining some right view.
As I said Buddha himself introduced going for refuge as a part of bhikkhu ordination. Obviously, not all candidates were ariyas:
Kd.1.12.3 “I allow, monks, that you yourselves may now let go forth may ordain in any quarter, in any district. And thus, monks, should one let go forth, should one ordain: First, having made him have his hair and beard cut off, having made him put on yellow robes, having made him arrange an upper robe over one shoulder, having made him honour the monks’ feet, having made him sit down on his haunches, having made him salute with joined palms, he should be told: ‘Speak thus: Kd.1.12.4 “I go to the awakened one for refuge, I go to dhamma for refuge, I go to the Order for refuge. And a second time I go … And a third time I go to … the Order for refuge.”’ I allow, monks, the going forth and the ordination by these three goings for refuge.
You has been shown a quotation from the Buddha himself, where he says who counts as a lay follower (i.e. the one who went for refuge in the three gems). And although some people don't have enough faith to accept this definition of the Buddha, we still count them as buddhists if they go for refuge in him.

budo
Posts: 1752
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:16 am

Re: Ritual for becoming a Buddhist

Post by budo » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:06 pm

Volo wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:57 pm
budo wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:49 am
Even Mahasi Sayadaw (who follows Visuddhimagga's intrepretation of path and fruit) says King Ajatasattu has been spared hell.
After hearing the sermon, Ajatasattu formally declared himself a disciple of the Buddha. He would have attained the first stage on the path but for his patricide. Nevertheless, from that time he had peace of mind and after his death, he was spared the terrors of Avici hell that would have been in store for him had he not met the Buddha.
https://www.wisdomlib.org/buddhism/book ... c1984.html
He was spared from Avici (the most terrifying hell), but reappeared in the hell called Lohakumbhiya, which is a bit better.
DPPN wrote:According to the Digha Commentary, (i.237-8) Ajātasattu was born in the Lohakumbhiya niraya after his death.
You missed this
According to the Digha Commentary, (i.237-8) Ajātasattu was born in the Lohakumbhiya niraya after his death. He will suffer there for 60,000 years, and later will reach nibbana as a Pacceka Buddha named Viditavisesa (Vijitāvī). Ajātasattu’s crime of parricide is often given as an example of an upacchedaka-kamma which has the power of destroying the effect of meritorious deeds (E.g., AA.i.369). He is also mentioned as the worst kind of parricide (E.g. AA.i.335).

http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_n ... asattu.htm

Seems like he still attained something by hearing Guatama Buddha, enough to turn him into a future Paecceka Buddha. Who knows if these commentaries are accurate or not. I follow the suttas.

Ruud
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:07 am

Re: Ritual for becoming a Buddhist

Post by Ruud » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:09 pm

budo wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:43 am
You said there was no sutta evidence of an Ariya who is not beyond doubt, ...
I never stated that. You said that only an Ariya could take refuge. I assumed (possibly wrong, perfectly willing to admit that) you were talking about the more regular way of using that term, namely a stream-enterer or above. And therefore I did not see proof in the suttas that an Ariya would be the only one to be able to take refuge. And honestly I still am not convinced of that fact, especially given AN 8.25 and AN 5.175 combined.

By your definition, everyone here who has some conviction in the triple gem, is "incapable of passing away until he has realized the fruit of stream-entry". I think that that is quite a generalization, significantly altering the general understanding (in my view also coming from the suttas) of the idea of an Ariya.
budo wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:43 am
... Now you're babbling about something irrelevant.
Don't only focus on Right View, also keep Right Speech in mind. I might have expressed myself unclearly, but meant what I said sincerely and with the best intentions.
budo wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:43 am
There is no contradiction. Had King Ajatasattu not attained path he would have gone to hell, but because he met the Buddha he attained path and professed his sins to the Buddha, which the Buddha accepted and told him his profession leads to growth in the Dhamma. Since he attained path, and thus some Right View, he became aware of his wrong doing.

So there is no contradiction, King Ajatasattu is free from states of woe, just like the mass murderer Aṅgulimāla, is free from states of woe upon hearing the Dhamma from the Buddha.

DN2 wrote: When the Buddha had spoken, King Ajātasattu said to him, “Excellent, sir! 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, the Buddha has made the teaching clear in many ways. I go for refuge to the Buddha, to the teaching, and to the mendicant Saṅgha. From this day forth, may the Buddha remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge for life.

I have made a mistake, sir. It was foolish, stupid, and unskillful of me to take the life of my father, a just and principled king, for the sake of authority. Please, sir, accept my mistake for what it is, so I will restrain myself in future.”

“Indeed, great king, you made a mistake. It was foolish, stupid, and unskillful of you to take the life of your father, a just and principled king, for the sake of sovereignty. But since you have recognized your mistake for what it is, and have dealt with it properly, I accept it. For it is growth in the training of the noble one to recognize a mistake for what it is, deal with it properly, and commit to restraint in the future.”

When the Buddha had spoken, King Ajātasattu said to him, “Well, now, sir, I must go. I have many duties, and much to do.”

“Please, great king, go at your convenience.”

Then the king, having approved and agreed with what the Buddha said, got up from his seat, bowed, and respectfully circled him, keeping him on his right, before leaving.

Soon after the king had left, the Buddha addressed the mendicants, “The king is broken, mendicants, he is ruined. If he had not taken the life of his father, a just and principled king, the stainless, immaculate vision of the Dhamma would have arisen in him in that very seat.
AN5.129 wrote:“Mendicants, these five fatal wounds lead to a place of loss, to hell. What five? Murdering your mother or father or a perfected one; maliciously shedding the blood of a Realized One; and causing a schism in the Saṅgha. These five fatal wounds lead to a place of loss, to hell.”
Ajātasattu killed his father -> Ajātasattu commited one of the heinous crimes -> Ajātasattu is destined for the places of loss.
Ajātasattu has confidence in the triple gem -> Ajātasattu is an Ariya -> Ajātasattu is not destined for the places of loss.

Therefore I did feel there was a contradiction. And I feel (did then and still do) the claim "Ajātasattu has confidence in the triple gem -> Ajātasattu is an Ariya" is the weakest link in this reasoning.
budo wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:49 am
Even Mahasi Sayadaw (who follows Visuddhimagga's intrepretation of path and fruit) says King Ajatasattu has been spared hell.
After hearing the sermon, Ajatasattu formally declared himself a disciple of the Buddha. He would have attained the first stage on the path but for his patricide. Nevertheless, from that time he had peace of mind and after his death, he was spared the terrors of Avici hell that would have been in store for him had he not met the Buddha.
https://www.wisdomlib.org/buddhism/book ... c1984.html
He also said the following in "The Manual of Insight" (p.36, Wisdom Publications):
The two reasons that people fail to attain path knowledge and fruition knowledge in this life are bad companionship (pāpamittatā) and insufficient practice or instruction (kiriyāparihāni). We may take the case of Prince Ajātasattu as an example of bad companionship. Ajātasattu missed the opportunity for enlightenment because he followed the advice of his bad companion, Venerable Devadatta, and assassinated his own father,
King Bimbisāra. Killing one’s father is one of the five fatal misconducts and is necessarily an obstacle to not only path knowledge and fruition knowledge but also to insight knowledges, such as the insight knowledge of arising and passing away
But the bottomline is that all this is theoretical discussion in relation to the OP. I feel we can both agree that if one has confidence in the triple gem, one can go for refuge in the Triple Gem in order to 'become' a lay follower. That is, in a way, all that matters. Why would we want to discourage people taking refuge? Especially when indicating this is just one step on the path?
Dry up what pertains to the past,
do not take up anything to come later.
If you will not grasp in the middle,
you will live at peace.
—Snp.5.11,v.1099 (tr. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)

Whatever is will be was. —Ven. Ñānamoli, A Thinkers Notebook, §221

budo
Posts: 1752
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:16 am

Re: Ritual for becoming a Buddhist

Post by budo » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:21 pm

Ruud wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:09 pm
budo wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:43 am
You said there was no sutta evidence of an Ariya who is not beyond doubt, ...
I never stated that. You said that only an Ariya could take refuge. I assumed (possibly wrong, perfectly willing to admit that) you were talking about the more regular way of using that term, namely a stream-enterer or above. And therefore I did not see proof in the suttas that an Ariya would be the only one to be able to take refuge. And honestly I still am not convinced of that fact, especially given AN 8.25 and AN 5.175 combined.

By your definition, everyone here who has some conviction in the triple gem, is "incapable of passing away until he has realized the fruit of stream-entry". I think that that is quite a generalization, significantly altering the general understanding (in my view also coming from the suttas) of the idea of an Ariya.
If you disagree that Dhamma and Faith followers are Ariyas, take it up with the suttas. Not my problem you don't accept the suttas, and not my issue to waste time on.

Ruud
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:07 am

Re: Ritual for becoming a Buddhist

Post by Ruud » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:27 pm

budo wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:21 pm
Ruud wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:09 pm
budo wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:43 am
You said there was no sutta evidence of an Ariya who is not beyond doubt, ...
I never stated that. You said that only an Ariya could take refuge. I assumed (possibly wrong, perfectly willing to admit that) you were talking about the more regular way of using that term, namely a stream-enterer or above. And therefore I did not see proof in the suttas that an Ariya would be the only one to be able to take refuge. And honestly I still am not convinced of that fact, especially given AN 8.25 and AN 5.175 combined.

By your definition, everyone here who has some conviction in the triple gem, is "incapable of passing away until he has realized the fruit of stream-entry". I think that that is quite a generalization, significantly altering the general understanding (in my view also coming from the suttas) of the idea of an Ariya.
If you disagree that Dhamma and Faith followers are Ariyas, take it up with the suttas. Not my problem you don't accept the suttas, and not my issue to waste time on.
Interesting you focus on that and do not reply to the conclusion following from this that everyone here (assuming they have a speck of conviction in the Triple Gem) are Ariyas, necessarily reaching stream-entry at latest at death.
Dry up what pertains to the past,
do not take up anything to come later.
If you will not grasp in the middle,
you will live at peace.
—Snp.5.11,v.1099 (tr. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)

Whatever is will be was. —Ven. Ñānamoli, A Thinkers Notebook, §221

budo
Posts: 1752
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:16 am

Re: Ritual for becoming a Buddhist

Post by budo » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:31 pm

Ruud wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:27 pm
budo wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:21 pm
Ruud wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:09 pm


I never stated that. You said that only an Ariya could take refuge. I assumed (possibly wrong, perfectly willing to admit that) you were talking about the more regular way of using that term, namely a stream-enterer or above. And therefore I did not see proof in the suttas that an Ariya would be the only one to be able to take refuge. And honestly I still am not convinced of that fact, especially given AN 8.25 and AN 5.175 combined.

By your definition, everyone here who has some conviction in the triple gem, is "incapable of passing away until he has realized the fruit of stream-entry". I think that that is quite a generalization, significantly altering the general understanding (in my view also coming from the suttas) of the idea of an Ariya.
If you disagree that Dhamma and Faith followers are Ariyas, take it up with the suttas. Not my problem you don't accept the suttas, and not my issue to waste time on.
Interesting you focus on that and do not reply to the conclusion following from this that everyone here (assuming they have a speck of conviction in the Triple Gem) are Ariyas, necessarily reaching stream-entry at latest at death.
If we cannot agree on accepting the suttas, there's no reason for me to continue reading your post.

Furthermore, they may not read the suttas, so they their faith may be misplaced, and thus are not faith followers.

Ruud
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:07 am

Re: Ritual for becoming a Buddhist

Post by Ruud » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:35 pm

I do accept the suttas, in general, and am open to combine them, and critically assess them when needed. Apparently we ran into an issue that is not easily solved with one simple text.
Dry up what pertains to the past,
do not take up anything to come later.
If you will not grasp in the middle,
you will live at peace.
—Snp.5.11,v.1099 (tr. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)

Whatever is will be was. —Ven. Ñānamoli, A Thinkers Notebook, §221

budo
Posts: 1752
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:16 am

Re: Ritual for becoming a Buddhist

Post by budo » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:39 pm

Ruud wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:35 pm
I do accept the suttas, in general, and am open to combine them, and critically assess them when needed. Apparently we ran into an issue that is not easily solved with one simple text.
It is easy solve. To answer your conundrum. No, not everyone is a faith follower simply because they believe in a picture or a concept such as the triple gem.

As the suttas I already quoted show, one first needs to hear the dhamma. The Buddha said when you see him, you see the dhamma, and when you see the dhamma you see him. The Buddha also said that when he dies that the sutta-vinaya are now the teacher. Therefore, if one doens't read the suttas (aka hear the dhammas) then they cannot know The Buddha (and thus have faith in the Buddha)

So no, simply having faith in the 3 gems won't make one a faith follower (and thus an ariya) if they haven't read the true dhamma (the 4 nikayas and some of the khuddaka nikaya).

And even going further, the core of the dhamma is Dependent Origination (which is summarized as the 5 aggregates and the 4 noble truths) and Dependent Origination Phenomena (which is summarized as the 3 characteristics).

So not only do they need to hear the dhamma, they need to understand DO and DOP.

So no, not everyone is a faith follower, especially if they haven't read the suttas, and especially if they haven't at least somewhat understood DO and DOP.

Therefore to know the Buddha you need to know the suttas (the dhamma), and to have faith in the Buddha, is to have faith in the dhamma (the suttas).

User avatar
Antaradhana
Posts: 233
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:56 pm
Location: Saratov, Russia

Re: Ritual for becoming a Buddhist

Post by Antaradhana » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:42 pm

It is somehow strange to believe that only Aryans have refuge and that simple believers do not have refuge. The first time I hear such a strange interpretation.
All that is subject to arising is subject to termination, all formations are non-permanent. And that which is impermanent is suffering. Regarding what is impermanent and prone to suffering, one cannot say: "This is mine, I am this, this is my self".

User avatar
Antaradhana
Posts: 233
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:56 pm
Location: Saratov, Russia

Re: Ritual for becoming a Buddhist

Post by Antaradhana » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:44 pm

The faith of the sotapanna is different from the faith of the simple follower, in that it is confirmed (devoid of doubt).
All that is subject to arising is subject to termination, all formations are non-permanent. And that which is impermanent is suffering. Regarding what is impermanent and prone to suffering, one cannot say: "This is mine, I am this, this is my self".

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bunks, chownah, Google [Bot] and 134 guests