April 5, 2018 at 11:14 pm #14988
Dear all, I need guidance on something:
Under “User’s Guide to Pure Dhamma Website”, there’s grave statement about micca ditthi, about how making adhamma to be dhamma is a serious offense.
Suppose a person is stating adhamma to be dhamma, but he believes that what he’s saying is dhamma. Is that an offense?
Elsewhere in puredhamma.net, I read that it is cetana that is kamma. This person’s cetana is pure in the sense that he believes he’s spreading dhamma.
I’ve been studying puredhamma.net (a true god-send to me!) over a year now, and I am finally convinced that my past interpretation on some things are erroneous, such as: taking anicca to be “impermanence”, anatta to be “no self”, anapanasati to be “mindfulness of in-breath and out-breath”, etc.
In my local dhamma circle, I’m the only one with this view. Some in my circle are even “meditation teachers”. They firmly believe, and teach, such things as “mindfulness of breathing”, “mindfulness of bodily movements”, anicca is impermanence, anatta is “no-self”.
For such a one, is any offence committed?
April 6, 2018 at 6:52 am #14989
Welcome to the discussion forum, Lang!
This is a good question that requires some thinking.
You asked: “Suppose a person is stating adhamma to be dhamma, but he believes that what he’s saying is dhamma. Is that an offense?”
- Yes. Think about it this way. Even in common law enforced in the courts, “not knowing about a law” is not an excuse.
- Micca ditthi is the reason that we all are still in this rebirth process. We all have had wrong views about the world going back to an untraceable beginning for each of us. Until one clearly sees adhamma as adhamma, one cannot escape the rebirth process.
You asked about that same person spreading adhamma as dhamma: “This person’s cetana is pure in the sense that he believes he’s spreading dhamma.”
– His/her cetana is NOT pure. It is contaminated by micca ditthi. This is a straight forward explanation. However, it may need some thinking to become clear.
– We need to remember that cetana is universal cetasika that basically “put together all sobhana (good) or asobhana (bad) cetasika that arise AUTOMATICALLY due to our gati”. In this particular case, those asobhana cetasika that arise include moha and micca ditthi is a big part of that.
– Also, remember that sobhana and asobhana cetasika CANNOT arise together in a citta. As soon as micca ditthi is there, no other sobhana cetasika can arise in that citta. One may “feel good” teaching adhamma as dhamma unknowingly, but that does not negate the fact that it is still a akusala. In the language of Abhidhamma, it is a “Somanassa sahagata ditthi sampayutta citta“, an akusala citta done with wrong views and joy.
– So, cetana is NOT what we commonly take as “intention”. This intention could (unknowingly) have bad cetasika embedded in it. This is why it is VERY IMPORTANT to learn correct Dhamma.
Hopefully, this will answer rest of your questions as well.
This is also discussed from a different angle in the post, “What is Intention in Kamma?“.
Quoting from #3 of that post:
There are two key factors to be remembered in evaluating how to assess a kammā vipāka:
1. Which of the dasa akusala is the intention? For example, it could be taking a life, stealing, or harsh speech. Who is affected is not involved in this step. The “cetana” in “cetana ham bhikkhave kamman vadami”, is just which dasa akusala is in one’s mind; that is all.
2. Then the strength of the kammā vipāka is based on the “level of consciousness” or “qualities” of the living beings affected by that kammā. For example, killing a human will bring stronger kamma vipaka than killing an animal.
Applying these rules to your question, the intention involved is contaminated by micca ditthi as we saw above. The strength of the kamma done with that intention involves to whom one is “teaching adhamma“. Of course one is harming oneself by not getting rid of adhamma too.
April 6, 2018 at 11:21 am #14992
Sadhu! Thank you! That was a big help with the clarification of what cetana means.
I’d like to follow up with a speculation on the weight of kamma of this situation and ask for your comments on my thinking. Assessing this based on the 2 key factors, we have:
1) You pointed out that the dasa akusala involved is micca ditthi. In this case, the “teacher” harms himself because he’s staying in samsara longer until he has correct ditthi.
2) He teaches this to the general public. In his mind, he teaches Buddha Dhamma, or specifically bhavana; but he just calls it “mindfulness meditation” to make it sound neutral, i.e. not connected to a religion, which gives it a wider appeal. Most “students” may not even know the pali terms anapanasati or Kāyānupassanā (mindulness of bodily positions and movements as taught here).
The average student of this person gets a temporary calm from practicing this. So, using factor number 2, can we say that the kamma vipaka of his action, even with micca ditthi in it, is minimal or negligible? There’s no real harm to the student; in fact, some find this calm beneficial.
April 6, 2018 at 4:37 pm #14993
Of course that teacher will get merits for some of his teachings. Even teaching moral values — as done by those “secular Buddhists” (who don’t believe in rebirth or Nibbana as stopping the rebirth process) –, is a meritorious deed and thus will be “good kamma”.
So, I am not saying that such teachers will always generate bad kamma. But there will be times, when such teachers will (inadvertently) teach incorrect Dhamma (or adhamma), because of a lack of understanding of Dhamma, for example in the interpretation of Tilakkhana.
The Buddha has specifically said that sorting out exactly how laws of kamma work is not possible for anyone but a Buddha. We can only deduce general trends.
By the way, there is a fundamental connection between adhamma and anatta. Those who are not aware of true Dhamma (i.e., follow adhamma) will become anatta or helpless in the rebirth process. This is a basic, but deeper explanation of anatta, as explained in the post:”Dasa Akusala and Anatta – The Critical Link“.
In particular, see #7, #8 in that post.
April 9, 2018 at 6:45 am #15001Dr. J ChakmaParticipant
I would like to point out one thing. As Lal mentioned in his first answer, that this “teacher” is generating “Somanassa sahagata ditthi sampayutta citta”, which is very potent immoral citta and in fact an apaygami citta, during his “teaching” of breath meditation as anapana sati and anicca as impermannece. Both these are not completely wrong, but only minute fraction of actual meanings.
It has potential to bring very severe consequences in future, especially if it becomes part of his gathi. Especially if he is not even ready to consider the actual meanings of anapana sati and anicca (a niyata micca ditthi).
However, I think this is unlikely, but probability cannot be ruled out.
If I am wrong, please correct me.
May the blessings of Triple gem be with all of us, always. Sadhu, sadhu, sadhu
April 12, 2018 at 1:28 pm #15065
On the Welcome page on puredhamma.net, I read that the three main misconceptions prevalent today could be responsible for rebirth in the apayas, not just blocking the path to Nibbana. That gave me the chill and led me to ask the question.
In my circle, Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta are interpreted the usual, “wrong” way; and anapanasati is taken as breath meditation; and nobody knows about the gandhabba.
I do not “teach” anybody. I do call myself Buddhist, and attend vipassana retreats; therefore, occasionally an average person asks me about “Buddhism”. I was concerned about consequences if I gave misinterpretations in what I say, as well as about the “teachers” in my group.
April 12, 2018 at 8:56 pm #15094
Cubibobi (Lang) said: “..occasionally an average person asks me about “Buddhism”. I was concerned about consequences if I gave misinterpretations in what I say, as well as about the “teachers” in my group.”
It is not NECESSARILY teaching adhamma that gets one to trouble. Having micca ditthi is the REASON for rebirth in the apayas. Micca ditthi is removed in two stages: First one must remove the 10 types of micca ditthi. Then that makes it possible for one to remove the deeper layer by comprehending Tilakkhana. This has been discussed in many posts; see, for example,”Buddha Dhamma – In a Chart“.
We need to look at it this way. Most people have the perception that rebirth in the apayas can be avoided just by preventing from doing some specific things, for example by avoiding killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, gossiping, etc (mainly by avoiding the akusala done by the body and speech). That part is ESSENTIAL to get to the mindset to remove the three done by the mind: greed (abhijja), hate (vyapada), and especially micca ditthi (wrong views).
One becomes a Sotapanna by removing a big part of micca ditthi, and that is done understanding the true nature of this world, Tilakkhana. When that understanding comes, one is AUTOMATICALLY prevented from doing other 9 akusala to a great extent (the apayagami strength is removed).
If we look at the framework of Buddha Dhamma carefully, we will realize that what is NORMAL for any given living being is to be born in the apayas.
I know that is a scary thought. But that is where we all had spent much of our time in the past. This is why it is said, “dukkham bhayattena” which means, “dukha is to be feared”. Obviously this dukha or suffering is much worse than what anyone can experience in this human life. When one understands the real nature of the 31 realms, one would indeed get scared.
We all had been born in the apayas than in higher realms. The Buddha said that being born in the apayas is like someone always coming back home from trips to other cities or countries. So, the times a given living being spend outside the apayas are like the time we spend on trips.
I am not saying all this to scare people. But we need to know the truth. Just by ignoring the truth is not going to make it go away, which is the approach of many. In a way, we all have done that through an infinite number of rebirths. That is why we are still here in this world.
Therefore, a better way to look at this issue is to understand the ROOT CAUSES for one to be born in the apayas. I think the new series that I just started will help understand this “big picture” if one spends some time thinking about what is discussed there: “Buddha Dhamma for an Inquiring Mind – Part I“.
April 19, 2018 at 12:10 am #15213
I have another question that is more directly related to micca ditthi than how I started this thread: the 10 micca ditthi.
In this list, ditthi #5 is: “This world does not exist”.
What does this ditthi mean? Is it possible to believe that this world (and most of us know only of this world and the animal world) does not exist?
April 19, 2018 at 11:52 am #15229
Lang said: “In this list, ditthi #5 is: “This world does not exist”.What does this ditthi mean?”.
It may sound strange, but people have all sorts of ditthi. The Buddha listed 62 such views in the Brahmajala sutta, I believe.
An example of this wring view is “Solipsism“.
To quote from the above article: “..solipsism holds that knowledge of anything outside one’s own mind is unsure; the external world and other minds cannot be known and might not exist outside the mind.”
By the way, the next line in the 10 types of micca ditthi is, “paralowa does not exist”. This paralowa or the “nether world” is the world of gandhabbas. Even many Theravadins today do not believe that gandhabba concept is correct: “Hidden World of the Gandhabba: Netherworld (Paralowa)“.
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