Parajika

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Meezer77
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Parajika

Post by Meezer77 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:21 pm

Hello,

I was wondering if there is a reason that falsely claiming to have supernatural powers or attainments is a parajika in the vinaya rules.The reason I ask is because slander is considered a lesser offence, but to my reasoning it would be just as immoral. I'm not intending to come across as argumentative, just curious

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Dhammanando
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Re: Parajika

Post by Dhammanando » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:24 am

The Vinaya's background story can be read here:

https://suttacentral.net/en/pi-tv-bu-vb-pj4
"But in this world with its gods, its lords of death, and its supreme beings, in this population with its ascetics and brahmins, its gods and humans, this is the greatest gangster: he who untruthfully and groundlessly boasts about a super-human quality. Why is that? Monks, you’ve eaten the country’s almsfood by theft."

Whoever should declare himself
to be other than he truly is,
Has eaten this by theft,
like a cheater who has deceived.

Many ocher-necks of bad qualities,
uncontrolled and wicked—
By their wicked deeds,
they are reborn in hell.

It is better to eat an iron ball,
heated, like a burning flame,
Than for the immoral and uncontrolled
to eat the country’s alms.
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

Meezer77
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Re: Parajika

Post by Meezer77 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:36 am

Thanks Bhante, I'm guessing that during the Buddha's time that there were some charlatans profiteering from claiming to have special powers and taking advantage of people? Would that be a fair interpretation?

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Dhammanando
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Re: Parajika

Post by Dhammanando » Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:24 am

Meezer77 wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:36 am
Thanks Bhante, I'm guessing that during the Buddha's time that there were some charlatans profiteering from claiming to have special powers and taking advantage of people? Would that be a fair interpretation?
I don't know if there's any mention of this being done in the early texts, but it wouldn't be at all surprising. If shameless bhikkhus resorted to it, then it seems likely that shameless wanderers and ascetics of other persuasions would have done so too.
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

Meezer77
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Re: Parajika

Post by Meezer77 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:02 am

It's interesting he uses the word gangster eh? Fitting I guess

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Dhammanando
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Re: Parajika

Post by Dhammanando » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:11 pm

Meezer77 wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:02 am
It's interesting he uses the word gangster eh? Fitting I guess
The Pali has mahācora, lit. "great thief", and I.B. Horner rendered it so. But the version of the English Vinaya at Sutta Central has been greatly revised, in part to correct Horner's errors, but also to present the whole work in a much more modernised and demotic idiom.

While the corrections are certainly welcome, the modernising and vulgarising of the translation are not always well-conceived. For example, neither Horner's literal rendering "great thief" nor Sutta Central's free and vulgar rendering "gangster" are good translations of mahācora — a term that denotes a master thief, as opposed to a thief's apprentice. "Great thief" fails to convey this, while "gangster" is simply misleading, for a mahācora is not necessarily a member of any gang.
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

Meezer77
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Re: Parajika

Post by Meezer77 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:59 pm

Perhaps some of these revisions are subjective in that they come from the individual's sensibilities and culture. I quite like the term "gangster" but that's probably because I'm a bit uncouth and vulgar myself :mrgreen:

Meezer77
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Re: Parajika

Post by Meezer77 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:11 pm

I guess what I'm trying to figure out is why the Buddha thought that claiming to be something your not is worse than malicious gossip or slander. But maybe morality is subjective?

Brick In The Wall
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Re: Parajika

Post by Brick In The Wall » Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:50 pm

Hi everyone! I would like to know if there are any theravadian monks here on the forum who are quite educated in Vinaya or have access to such kind of educated teachers. Want to ask them some important questions about Parajika. Thank you!

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SDC
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Re: Parajika

Post by SDC » Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:10 pm

Brick In The Wall wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:50 pm
Hi everyone! I would like to know if there are any theravadian monks here on the forum who are quite educated in Vinaya or have access to such kind of educated teachers. Want to ask them some important questions about Parajika. Thank you!
Hi there,

There are several monks who post on the forum and who read threads regularly. If you have a specific question about Parajika you can post it in this section and you should get a response. If you prefer a private discussion, hang around the forum for a bit and you'll see the good Venerables popping up here and there, at which point you can reach out via PM.

Welcome to the forum!

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salayatananirodha
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Re: Parajika

Post by salayatananirodha » Thu Aug 01, 2019 3:33 pm

The Pali has mahācora, lit. "great thief", and I.B. Horner rendered it so. But the version of the English Vinaya at Sutta Central has been greatly revised, in part to correct Horner's errors, but also to present the whole work in a much more modernised and demotic idiom.

While the corrections are certainly welcome, the modernising and vulgarising of the translation are not always well-conceived. For example, neither Horner's literal rendering "great thief" nor Sutta Central's free and vulgar rendering "gangster" are good translations of mahācora — a term that denotes a master thief, as opposed to a thief's apprentice. "Great thief" fails to convey this, while "gangster" is simply misleading, for a mahācora is not necessarily a member of any gang.
Bhante or anyone, i'm interested in reading more about IB Horner's proposed errors, as I'm relying on her translation of the majjhima nikāya and comparing it here or there to lord chalmers' and others'
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/wp-conte ... _Heart.pdf
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

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Dhammanando
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Re: Parajika

Post by Dhammanando » Thu Aug 01, 2019 5:34 pm

salayatananirodha wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 3:33 pm
Bhante or anyone, i'm interested in reading more about IB Horner's proposed errors, as I'm relying on her translation of the majjhima nikāya and comparing it here or there to lord chalmers' and others'
I'm afraid I can't really tell you much about the errors in Horner's MN translation because I read it when I was 16 and hadn't yet learned any Pali and so was in no position to evaluate it. In the four decades since then I've never re-read it and it's only on rare occasions that I've even consulted it.

Assuming, however, that the errors in her MLS are similar in character to those in her Vinaya, most often they'll arise from the fact that she's aiming to translate according to the commentarial glosses but at a period in her life when her grasp of commentarial Pali was rather shaky. So not infrequently she simply misunderstands what the commentary is saying. Probably the easiest way to avoid (or at least to minimize) falling into error when reading the MLS would be to compare it with the Ñāṇamoli/Bodhi translation. Where the two differ the rendering in the latter will most often be the better one.
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

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