May 10, 2019 at 8:06 am #22995TienParticipant
Suppose I want to point to someone (who has never learnt about Dhamma before) about the drawbacks of sensual desires, especially sexual desire. This person may come up with these kind of arguments:
1. “If your parents wasn’t loved each others and had sex than there would be no you even to begin with let alone all your craps. So how could you said that sexual desire are bad?”
2. “We’ve clearly known about aging and death, even more so than you – youngster, so we try to making more money so we can enjoy pleasures at later dates. Why can’t you just become a normal human like us – making lot of money and enjoy life?” – this actually come from my parents, they think I’m crazy and brainwashed when they saw me in seclusion (meditation) or watching desanas all days.
3. Basically because you are so different than any other person in society, if your words are agaisnt the mass then they would just assumed that you are crazy, delusion, have some psychological problems or just ignore you. This is the general responds I received while trying to spread the Dhamma when I see it’s appropriate.
People these days are quite bussy, If I were to explain to them the scope of samsara, kamma, rebirth, 4 Noble Truths, PS or tilakkhana, they wouldn’t even listen because it’s too much. I think we need to have short replies to these arguments so that they can give up their wrong views before they get bore with our explanations.
But the Dhamma cannot be cheapen so it would be great if anyone of you have good counter arguments to the above arguments? You can add more to the discussion the problem that you’ve encoutered while spreading the Dhamma to people. I would love to hear your technique of spreading the Dhamma in society.
May 10, 2019 at 9:24 am #22996LvalioParticipant
I have this same problem…
I know a lot of people who want me to explain the Dhamma to them. But in reality I can’t find an easy way to explain the Dhamma to them. Sometimes they say it’s too complicated. Sometimes keep quiet, but I feel like they don’t understand anything.
I think maybe the start would be that these people observing Sila, but most watch and are moral people. Others don’t care, because the worldview “Died just” is very strong and comes from life in life many, many times. (Or is it materialistic and don’t believe in anything or religious and died will go to heaven or hell and ended up…).
Very difficult even among Buddhist already beginners who follow the Buddha as a common religion and not the truth about the existence in this world.
Most people are Christian and I have a sidekick that is getting old and discouraged, because Christianity actually gives no relief.
Death is a mystery.
How to help?
May 10, 2019 at 10:48 am #22997Johnny_LimParticipant
You might want to ask them to investigate how does sensual pleasures come about for a start. Ask them questions like, do you think this painting is beautiful? Is beautiful an attribute of the painting? Well if it is, then it should appear beautiful to everyone, anywhere, anytime. Actual fact is, there is no beautiful rupa out there. There are only ignorance and attachment in our minds to make us think that the outside rupa are beautiful/ugly. However, rupa has the propensity to vex us. When we attach ourselves to a rupa, we are mentally vexed. We have to perform abhisankhara to relieve ourselves from this vexation in order for sensual pleasures to surface. So, sensual pleasure is an outcome of a process. A process when one attaches and relieves oneself from suffering. We are so used to it that it becomes a natural thing to do. For someone who has not encountered Dhamma, it’s only right that they attach themselves to sense object and relieve themselves from suffering. This relief is what they called ‘Happiness’. But there can be no sensual pleasures without relief from suffering. In order to find sensual pleasures again, what do they do? Look for pain! No pain, no relief from pain, and therefore no sensual pleasures for them to enjoy. They thought they are trading up each time they could enjoy sense pleasures. But I think they are trading down. Way down! If only sensual pleasures can be acquired with resources without any side effects. But the consequence one has to bear is the sansaric habits that are cultivated over many lifetimes that are hard to break. So one is actually paying with rebirth suffering if he/she is ignorant about the Four Noble Truths and continue to get entrapped in a catch-22 situation.
When was the last time we took a paracetamol when we had NO headache and felt good about it? Never!
May 10, 2019 at 11:13 am #22998
“If your parents wasn’t loved each others and had sex than there would be no you even to begin with let alone all your craps. So how could you said that sexual desire are bad?”
In the long term you will be committing rape, threat, lie to have sex – a person needs to take rebirth process into count. Lust is something that bound you to existence and needs to be removed as fast as possible if one wants to live Holy life rather then the life of a cattle. Cattle do not question anything they just follow their urges to eat and reproduction impulses.
“We’ve clearly known about aging and death, even more so than you – youngster, so we try to making more money so we can enjoy pleasures at later dates. Why can’t you just become a normal human like us – making lot of money and enjoy life?”
The enjoyment of life is nonexisting phenomena created on the basis of ignorance. They want you to live like cattle – how good it can be? We can not extract happiness from life, the happiness people experience is because of ignorance not because happiness exists out there to be extracted from any event/people/happening or money. In reality, there is no happiness, the more you indulge in sense pleasure the more your mind and body will burn and suffer. You feeling like a beat-up person is far from being happy.
“Basically because you are so different than any other person in society, if your words are agaisnt the mass then they would just assumed that you are crazy, delusion, have some psychological problems or just ignore you. This is the general responds I received while trying to spread the Dhamma when I see it’s appropriate.”
Being Mara’s cattle and not seeing the insanity of this world because of avijja. Not seeing the enormous size of the universe, that this whole universe is ticking bomb with earth, the shortage of life and potential suffering in the future – if someone does not even want to see thru that this person is pretty insane to really see or have hope for any happiness in such insane world mechanics.
A mistake you are making is trying to convince people to practice it. Firstly it will never work that way, Dhamma is not a religion of conversion but Dhamma needs to be understood and contemplated. First, attain at least Sakadagami or Anagami before coming to people because you will only cause harm to yourself and others. IF you are not sure about arguments or can not make them up on spot it means you are lacking understanding and wisdom to spread Dhamma on that stage as it will be useless for you, people and Dhamma itself. One needs to have high wisdom and insight to teach others and be on high stage itself and understand Dhamma deeply to relate it to people on the spot. Do not approach Dhamma as Dhamma-teacher without excellent PANNA.
Do not be mad, sad or anything because you can not pass Dhamma – focus first on yourself otherwise it would be useless to teach people on the simple conviction that Dhamma is right in your view but yet to be realized. Only realized beings (Ariya) have the right to spread Dhamma and have necessary wisdom to do so. Even some Arahats would stay away from the transmission of Dhamma
May 11, 2019 at 1:10 am #23005TienParticipant
Thanks all for your reply,
Out of compassion for them that I revealed the wisdom of the Buddha. But it was really a mistake that I try to introduce Dhamma to people without first attained to the Dhamma myself.
I have unshakable faith in the Triple Gems and memorized by heart the practice that lead to extinguishment, so it seems that I should finish the Path first before making anymore attempt to spread the Dhamma, or extinguish right there. I’m looking for a chance, 3 robes and a bowl to leave the lay life and go forth into the homelessness to finish the Path, then I’ll be set.
May 11, 2019 at 8:06 am #23016
Tien wrote: “Out of compassion for them that I revealed the wisdom of the Buddha. But it was really a mistake that I try to introduce Dhamma to people without first attained to the Dhamma myself.”
One does not need to attain the Arahantship or even the Sotapanna stage, before one can try to explain Dhamma to others (to the extent that one comprehends it). That is what most of us are doing.
But my position is that I try to avoid “debating” with those who try to make arguments against Buddha Dhamma just for the sake of debating. I will try to explain to the best of my ability and if they do not seem to be able to grasp the key ideas, I just stop responding.
– The Buddha said that trying to teach Dhamma to those who are obviously resisting, is like begging a woman after she has already said “no”.
– Buddha Dhamma is precious and does not need to be “forced upon”. Each person can make his/her own decisions based on the facts presented.
Different people have different capabilities, ditthis, etc. We all have had taken such stubborn positions in the past and that is why we are also still in the rebirth process and are still subject to suffering.
May 11, 2019 at 10:51 am #23020
Lal said “One does not need to attain the Arahantship or even the Sotapanna stage, before one can try to explain Dhamma to others (to the extent that one comprehends it). That is what most of us are doing.”
I will clarify it a bit. Most people look at you judgemental way and thru materialistic view – if there is nothing to gain there will be no interested in anything or in any “nonsense” that does not have clear benefits. As my characteristic changed, wisdom and everything people started to take a notice of drastic changes (even in my physical outlook) and started become interested in Dhamma so I think the best way is just to be an example of what Dhamma can do for human being so others will naturally try to figure it out what going on or at least to try to look into Dhamma.
So if you are speaking of Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha and you are no different then other people and fall in the same traps they will think it’s just another burden for their mind, a philosophy that they will still follow their urges like cattle but just with different concepts and name. One can teach Dhamma or spread Dhamma without being Sotapanna but there is high risk involved that person will be lacking too mach understanding and experience to show people the way of practice.
May 11, 2019 at 1:03 pm #23022sybe07Spectator
Maybe this is a helpful sutta?
It clearly states that rupa, feeling, sanna, sankhara and vinnana is not only painful.
I think it is important not to fool oneself and others and pretent there is only pain in rupa, sanna, sankhara etc. That is not our daily experience, right? There is also pleasure in it.
Some sutta also says that if one does not know a higher pleasure, like jhana, one will seek pleaure in the senses. I belief even the Budddha did. So, i think it is very good to see this and not become judgemental about people seeking gratification in sense-pleasure. It is quit normal.
But the sutta also says that because there is pleasure in rupa etc. there arises lust for it, we get caught up in it, and mind becomes corrupted. This is easy to see with addicted people. They lust very strong for sense-pleasure and they lie, steel, even kill to get pleasure.
When we relate this to ourselves we will see the same corruption in our own mind, maybe not so extreme, but the lust for sense-pleasure makes us cold too, insensitive, it clearly clouds a clear conscience. I remember that lust for a nice girl, (read sex), really clouded my wisdom and i became insensitive. This is quit normal, let us not pretent we our holy man. We are just normal human beings with such craving for sense-pleasure.
A judgemental mind cannot teach, it judges. It places itself above others and alienates from other beings. I belief the Buddha did not. Also when he spoke about sense-pleasure.
The dangers of sensual desires is immediately visible in the aspect that it corrups the mind. What if somebody or something would block the possibility for our sense-pleasure? Probably one will get mad.
One can also see directly to the craving mind. Is that mind happy? No. It is not happy at all. The craving mind is a mind which is hungry, is suffering. So why are those sense desires good when one suffers?
I find it is very easy to see that craving for sense-pleasure is really a burden. If one would not have this craving, one would only miss much pain and suffering and could still enjoy an icecream, a nice cup of thee etc.
May 12, 2019 at 7:03 am #23032
Christian wrote: “One can teach Dhamma or spread Dhamma without being Sotapanna but there is high risk involved that person will be lacking too much understanding and experience to show people the way of practice.”
Here are some things to think about:
1. If only people with magga phala were teaching Dhamma, Buddha Sasana would have long been disappeared.
– Today, only a tiny fraction of even the bhikkhus have magga phala. Even less had been there only 50 years ago and likely for many hundreds of years up to now. However, Buddha Sasana has been maintained by mainly the bhikkhus who faithfully transmitted the Pali Tipitaka over 2500 years: “Preservation of the Buddha Dhamma“.
2. There have always been people (including bhikkhus) who had not comprehended Dhamma. Even at the time of the Buddha this was the case. Devadatta was a prime example.
– Even when Devadatta tried to kill the Buddha, the Buddha did not expel Devadatta from the order of the bhikkhus. Devadatta remained a bhikkhu until death.
– There are many other examples, where bhikkhus were teaching the “wrong Dhamma”. There was Sati bhikkhu who could not understand what is meant by viññāna in the Maha Tanhasankhaya Sutta (MN 38). Another was Yamaka bhikkhu in “Yamaka Sutta (SN 22.85). Once the Buddha could not stop two fractions of bhikkhus who were arguing and decided to leave them and go to Palileyya forest.
-In none of these cases, the Buddha never asked any of those bhikkhus to give up the robes or to stop engaging in their activities, which included delivering discourses. But of course, he explained to them the correct Dhamma.
3. In that latter case, Visaka came to the Buddha and asked how to treat those bhikkhus who were “misbehaving and teaching the wrong Dhamma”. Buddha said that people should listen to all and need to figure out who is teaching the correct Dhamma.
4. There have been long stretches where there have been only a few with magga phala. But Buddha Sasana was maintained. Mainly because the faithful propagation of the Pali Tipitaka.
Regardless of how one explains Dhamma, the text in the Tipitaka remains the same. That is the most important factor.
5. Dhamma that may have veen hidden for long times can be revived by a few or even one person who is a “jati Sotapanna” (like Waharaka Thero).
– Therefore, the most critical is to preserve the Pali Tipitaka. Even if wrong Dhamma is delivered in many cases, there is built-in safety in the Pali Tipitaka. Without that continuity through long periods, where the Dhamma was explained incorrectly, Buddha Sasana would not have persevered.
Of course, it is a good thing that there are more bhikkhus and lay people who are teaching correct Dhamma these days.
May 12, 2019 at 5:23 pm #23045
Thank you for all kind words
Thank you Lal for an explanation but then I have a question on the basis of that – how one judge then a schism in the Sangha or if one is making such schism when leads to Apayas?
May 12, 2019 at 7:04 pm #23046
Christian wrote: “Thank you Lal for an explanation but then I have a question on the basis of that – how one judge then a schism in the Sangha or if one is making such schism when leads to Apayas?”
If one commits Sangha Bheda (schism in the Sangha), Nature will take care of it. Since it is an anantariya kamma, it will bring vipaka at the end of the current life and be instantly born in an apaya.
– No one else need to make a judgement.
This is very clear from the account of Devadatta. The Buddha did not take any action against him. Devadatta even remained a bhikkhu until his death.
May 12, 2019 at 11:31 am #23036LvalioParticipant
“Most people look at you judgemental way and thru materialistic view – if there is nothing to gain there will be no interested in anything or in any “nonsense” that does not have clear benefits. As my characteristic changed, wisdom and everything people started to take a notice of drastic changes (even in my physical outlook) and started become interested in Dhamma so I think the best way is just to be an example of what Dhamma can do for human being so others will naturally try to figure it out what going on or at least to try to look into Dhamma.”
Yes! That is true!
And I was very impressed with the Christian understanding about it. Demonstrates a high degree of understanding of Dhamma, too.
Thank you Christian, for this contribution!
September 27, 2023 at 9:10 am #46218GadParticipant
I want to add: Venerable Padhānikatissa was a puthujana Bhikkhu who taught the Dhamma correctly but didn’t practice. His students attain Arahantship when they hear a few verses from the Lord Buddha. Venerable Padhānikatissa gives them a huge opening to magga phala. They just need a little help from Lord Buddha, before they attain Nibãnna. Just like sir Lal said, “if the Dhamma was only taught by the ariya, he would have disappeared a long time ago.”
All puthujJanas are not the same; some can teach the Dhamma even if that will never be better than a ariya.
” It appears that Venerable Padhānikatissa has simply repeated the instructions that the Buddha normally gives to the meditating monks that they should meditate with mindfulness and diligence without practicing them by himself.”
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.