The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

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victor79
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Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Post by victor79 » Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:27 am

Hi all,

I have been reading Buddhadasa's Buddha-Dhamma for uni students. There is a section which has me stumped on page 20 (Q12). I will quote part of:
"But laughing is regarded by the ariyan, and in their discipline, as the behaviour of immature children. So if we could laugh less, it would be a good thing, and not to laugh at all would be even better."

I would be grateful if somebody could clarify the above sentence in light of the following facts: laughter is a physiological response to amusement, and serves as a form of basic human communication. There are mental health benefits associated with laughter.

In addition, we have: "According to the traditions of ordinary people, singing, dancing, and laughing are of no consequence and are normal events, while in the ariyan discipline they are looked upon as pathetic and evaluated accordingly."

I would have thought that to indulge in such actitives excessively and mindlessly would be foolish. But to do so occasionally with proper understanding is fine. e.g. singing, dancing, and laughing can can beneficial and appropriate in some instances as part of human behaviour.

My current interpretation of that section is that Buddhadasa advocating that a true Buddhist is an emotionally numb zombie. It is at one extreme and therefore not the middle-path.

Any thoughts?

Kind regards,

Victor

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jcsuperstar
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Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Post by jcsuperstar » Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:36 am

monks arent even allowed to sing or dance.

buddhadasa is fully in line with the pali canon here, there are others here that can point you to the exact suttas and places in the vinaya that show this. i cant recall them off the top of my head
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

Element

Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Post by Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:36 am

mikenz66 wrote:As I read it (and other books of his that I've read) he doesn't deny rebirth, just that the books he's seen get it wrong, and that he sees no point in worrying about it. Which is probably good advice.
Mike

You have misrepresented Bhikkhu Buddhadasa. Buddhadasa has merely said not to concern yourself with rebirth. As for Buddhadasa's views on rebirth, below are merely two:
Now we come to the third question which they will ask: When there is no attā, then what is reborn? What or who is reborn? Forgive us for being forced to use crude language, but this question is absurd and crazy. In Buddhism, there is no point in asking such a thing. There is no place for it in Buddhism. If you ask what will be reborn next, that's the craziest, most insane question. If right here, right now, there is no soul, person, self, or attā, how could there be some "who" or "someone" that goes and gets reborn? So there is no way one can ask "who will be reborn?"Therefore, the rebirth of the same person does not occur. But the birth of different things is happening all the time. It happens often and continuously, but there is no rebirth. There is no such thing, in reality, as rebirth or reincarnation.

Anatta & Rebirth
Therefore, there being no one born here, there is no one who dies and is reborn. So, the whole Question of rebirth is utterly foolish and nothing to do with Buddhism at all.

Heartwood
Also, the following talk is very clear on the matter of rebirth: 4. Noble Truth of Dukkha's Origin (part 1 | part 2). I highly recommend this talk. All I can say is I heard it live in 1989 thus I can assure you it is not doctored.

Element

Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Post by Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:43 am

tiltbillings wrote:What is reasonable is to state that Buddhadasa interprets these things in a figurative manner.
This is a modern Theravada thread thus from a Modern Theravada perspective, contrary to a Classic Theravada view, this so called 'figurative manner' is more beneficial than believing in aliens and things one cannot see. :alien:

Buddha said his dhamma was 'sanditiko' - visible to the wise. This is we wish to believe in things the common Hindus believed in, we can. :smile:

Lord Buddha was not a dogmatist.
Last edited by Element on Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

Element

Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Post by Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:45 am

mikenz66 wrote:In which link did Ajahn Buddhadasa state that Devas were human beings? Is it in the book Retro is asking about?
Buddhadasa has said the Four Woeful States are psychological. As such, the higher realms to him are psychological also.

Element

Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Post by Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:49 am

mikenz66 wrote:In which link did Ajahn Buddhadasa state that Devas were human beings? Is it in the book Retro is asking about?
Buddhadasa was not overly interested in mundane matters. However, there are some pointers.
HEAVEN

"Heaven" in everyday language means some wonderful, highly attractive, celestial realm up above. Spend a certain amount of money in merit making and you're entitled to one mansion in heaven, where there are angels by the hundreds. In Dhamma language, however, "heaven" refers first of all to infatuating sensual bliss of the highest order. This is the lower heaven, the heaven of sensuality. Higher up is the heaven called the Brahmaloka, where there are no objects of sensuality. It is a state of mental well-being that results from the absence of any disturbing sensual object. It is as if a certain person with a hunger for sense objects had indulged himself until becoming thoroughly fed up with all sense objects. Then he would want only to remain quite empty, still, untouched. This is the state of freedom from sensuality, the condition of the Brahma gods in the Brahmaloka. The ordinary heavens are full up with sensuality, the highest of them, the Paranimmitavasavatti heaven, being completely full of sensuality. The heavens of the Brahmaloka, however, are devoid of disturbance from sensuality, though the "self", the "I" still persists.

Two Kinds of Language

Element

Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Post by Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:58 am

Mike

Let us compare the above quote with some suttas:
Husband & wife, both of them
having conviction,
being responsive,
being restrained,
living by the Dhamma,
addressing each other
with loving words:
they benefit in manifold ways.
To them comes bliss.
Their enemies are dejected
when both are in tune in virtue.
Having followed the Dhamma here in this world,
both in tune in precepts & practices,
they delight in the world of the devas, Image
enjoying the pleasures they desire.


Samajivina Sutta

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tiltbillings
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Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:09 am

Element wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:What is reasonable is to state that Buddhadasa interprets these things in a figurative manner.
This is a modern Theravada thread thus from a Modern Theravada perspective, contrary to a Classic Theravada view, this so called 'figurative manner' is more beneficial than believing in aliens and things one cannot see.

Buddha said his dhamma was 'sanditiko' - visible to the wise. This is we wish to believe in things the common Hindus believed in, we can.
We cannot see feelings. We cannot see taste. We cannot see kamma. And whether or not devas exist is beside the point. That the Buddha’s Slave, for whatever reason, opts to give a figurative interpretation to the notion of devas, is his choice, but in the Buddha’s teachings - in the suttas -, devas are not human beings, though a human being may act in a deva-ish way or may know, through jhana,the deva realms.
Lord Buddha was not a dogmatist.
Non-Sequitur.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

Element

Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Post by Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:19 am

tiltbillings wrote:There is nothing in this text that would support a claim that a deva is a human being, or that the Buddha was talking about these things in a figurative way. That Buddhadasa may have given an idiosyncratic reading to the idea of being a deva – that is, that being a deva is a figurative sort of way of talking about things – is fine; that it is his way of talking about things, but that is far cry from baldly, without qualification, stating that a deva is a human being. The texts clearly do not support that. What is reasonable is to state that Buddhadasa interprets these things in a figurative manner.
Dear Tilt,

Is the text below idiosyncratic and figurative?
10. Uposathasuttaü Ý On the full moon day

‘‘Santi , bhikkhave, bhikkhū imasmiṃ bhikkhusaṅghe devappattā viharanti; santi, bhikkhave, bhikkhū imasmiṃ bhikkhusaṅghe brahmappattā viharanti; santi, bhikkhave, bhikkhū imasmiṃ bhikkhusaṅghe āneñjappattā viharanti; santi, bhikkhave, bhikkhū imasmiṃ bhikkhusaṅghe ariyappattā viharanti.

Bhikkhus, in this Community there are bhikkhus who dwell having attained the status of a deva; bhikkhus who dwell having attained the status of a Brahma; bhikkhus who dwell having attained the imperturbable; bhikkhus who dwell having attained the status of noble ones. [Bhikkhu Bodhi]

Bhikkhus, how has a monk having attained the status of a deva?

Here, bhikkhus, the bhikkhu secluded from sensual desires ... re ... abides in the first higher state of mind ... re ... in the second higher state of mind ... re ... in the third higher state of mind, ... re ... in the fourth higher state of mind. Bhikkhus, thus the bhikkhu abides in heavenly bliss.

Bhikkhus, how does the bhikkhu partake the bliss of the brahma world?

Here, bhikkhus, the bhikkhu pervades one direction with loving kindness ... re ... with compassion, ... re ... with intrinsic joy, ... re ... with equanimity, also the second, the third, the fourth, above, below and across in every respect, under all circumstances, entirely, he pervades with equanimity grown great and immeasurable. Thus the bhikkhu partakes the bliss of the brahma world.

Bhikkhus, how does the bhikkhu partake the bliss of imperturbability?

Here, bhikkhus, the bhikkhu overcoming all perceptions of matter, aversion and varied perceptions, with space is boundless abides in the sphere of space. Overcoming the sphere of space and with consciousness is boundless abides in the sphere of consciousness. Overcoming all the sphere of consciousness, with there is nothing abides in the sphere of no-thingness. Overcoming the sphere of no-thingness abides in the sphere of neither perception nor non-perception. Bhikkhus, thus the bhikkhu abides in imperturbability.

Bhikkhus, how does the bhikkhu abide in nobility?

Here, bhikkhus, the bhikkhu knows as it really is, this is unpleasant ... re ... knows as it really is, this is the path leading to the cessation of unpleasantness. Thus the bhikkhu abides in nobility.

AN IV, 190

Element

Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Post by Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:20 am

tiltbillings wrote:Non-Sequitur.
Is English the language of this forum?

Element

Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Post by Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:22 am

tiltbillings wrote:We cannot see feelings. We cannot see taste. We cannot see kamma.
We cannot contemplate feelings? We cannot experience taste? We can comprehend the workings of kamma & fruit within?

In Pali, there is the word 'anupassana', translated as 'contemplate'. 'Passa' means 'to see'.

What is kayanupassana, vedanupassana, cittanupassana and dhammanupassana then?
Last edited by Element on Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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tiltbillings
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Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:23 am

Non-sequitur is a very commonly used Latin expression in English, enough so that there is a comic strip that is so named.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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tiltbillings
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Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:33 am

Element wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:We cannot see feelings. We cannot see taste. We cannot see kamma.
We cannot contemplate feelings? We cannot experience taste? We can comprehend the workings of kamma & fruit within?

In Pali, there is the word 'anupassana', translated as 'contemplate'. 'Passa' means 'to see'.

What is kayanupassana, vedanupassana, cittanupassana and dhammanupassana then?
You gave us this criteria: This is a modern Theravada thread thus from a Modern Theravada perspective, contrary to a Classic Theravada view, this so called 'figurative manner' is more beneficial than believing in aliens and things one cannot see.

Cannot see; your words. Are you sure we cannot see devas? You tried and they just weren't there to be seen?
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

Element

Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Post by Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:37 am

tiltbillings wrote:...in the Buddha’s teachings - in the suttas -, devas are not human beings, though a human being may act in a deva-ish way or may know, through jhana,the deva realms.
All realms are the mental dwelling places of physical human beings.

However, Buddhadasa has taught a human being is a human being with hiri-ottapa, namely, conscience and concern.
In Dhamma language, the word "birth" refers to the birth of the idea "I" or "ego" that arises in the mind throughout each day. In this sense, the ordinary person is born very often, time and time again; a more developed person is born less frequently; a person well advanced in practice (ariyan, noble one) is born less frequently still, and ultimately ceases being born altogether. Each arising in the mind of the idea of "I" in one form or another is called a "birth." Thus, birth can take place many times over in a single day. As soon as one starts thinking like an animal, one is born as an animal in that same moment. To think like a human being is to be born a human being. To think like a celestial being is to be born a celestial being. Life, the individual, pleasure and pain, and the rest-all these were identified by the Buddha as simply momentary states of consciousness. So the word "birth" means in Dhamma language the arising of the idea of "I" or "me", and not, as in everyday language, physical birth from the mother's womb.

But in Dhamma language, the word "person" refers to certain special qualities implied in the word "human" - which means "possessing a lofty mind" or "high minded" - certain high mental qualities


Link

Element

Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Post by Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:41 am

tiltbillings wrote:Are you sure we cannot see devas? You tried and they just weren't there to be seen?
Have you seen some? Please describe?

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