Forum Replies Created
Yes. The incorrect interpretation of anicca as impermanence and anatta as no-self resulted due to equating anicca and anatta in Pali to anitya and anatma in Sanskrit.
– Unfortunately, those two Sanskrit words have been incorporated into the Sinhala language over the past 2000 years.
Therefore, the damage was done before the Europeans made those incorrect translations worldwide by using the newly discovered printing press. I may need to revise the post, “Misinterpretation of Anicca and Anatta by Early European Scholars” a bit to emphasize that point.
– That is because ALL Sanskrit sutras always use anitya and anatma.
– It is those Mahayana sutras that spread to many countries and influenced even Sri Lanka (Abhayagiri sector) well before the arrival of Europeans. Even the Mahavihara Theravadins adopted these two words over the years, and that is what I was taught growing up (anitya and anatma).
– Early European scholars (in the 1800s) made it well-established using the printing press (of course, that was a genuine mistake). Especially in the West, that is all people have access to (English translations with “impermanence” and “no-self”). It is mostly the puredhamma.net website that tries to point out this big problem to the English-speaking audience.
– It is appalling to see this “Sanskritization” has so much influence in Sri Lanka.September 17, 2021 at 8:17 pm in reply to: A Self-inquiry on Emptiness and request for support #35568
I am glad that you did not take my answer the wrong way. Some people get upset when I point out certain things.
There are always two sides to issues like this.
1. On the mundane side, we need to live a healthy, comfortable life.
2. When we contemplate the rebirth process and the possible future suffering, we need to realize that any type of joy that we may enjoy is of limited duration.
Those two MUST BE balanced.
– Without living a healthy, comfortable life, we will not able to spend time learning Dhamma and practicing.
– Think about a very poor person or a person who is not well most of the time. Their minds will be distracted handling issues related to those issues. They will not have a calm, peaceful mind that is required for learning/practicing Buddha Dhamma.
But living a comfortable life does not mean unnecessary “enjoyments” like video games or watching TV all the time. Those are wasteful activities.
– In fact, once one gets used to living a simple life, one would not want to have anything to do with such wasteful activities. Peace of mind is infinitely better than having an agitated mind playing video games.
– When you start learning deeper aspects of Dhamma, you will want to spend ALL your time figuring out those subtle issues. You will not even think about “mundane pleasurable activities”. Once one gets traction, there is no turning back. I know that not only from my experience but also from the experience of several others who have made such drastic changes in their lives.
Yes. As you have stated, understanding anicca/anatta nature will automatically get your mind off of such “pleasurable but meaningless activities.”
– There is a different type of “pleasure” associated with a mind free of craving for such “mundane pleasurable activities”. That pleasure is of different nature, but long-lasting.
See, “Nirāmisa Sukha”
It is rare that another gandhabba can take over a living human body (possession).
– The person “being possessed” must have a weak mind and must willingly “hand over” the body to another gandhabba. Usually, that other gandhabba is a deceased person who had authority while living.
– For example, someone with a weak mind could be possessed by the gandhabba of a deceased relative. In Sri Lanka, there have been a few credible accounts.
On the other hand, it is of the more common occurrence of the case Daniel mentioned at the end. It is possible for a gandhabba who had taken possession of a zygote to leave and for another gandhabba to take possession of that zygote.
– That may happen within several days or weeks of pregnancy.
To learn about the zygote and gandhabba, see “Buddhist Explanations of Conception, Abortion, and Contraception“
“In the gadhabba state, there is probably no chance to be in the bhavanga state, and no such thing as “sleep”?”
A gandhabba very likely does not sleep. There is no need to sleep since there is no physical body that needs to “reset and recover” from the physical activities during the day.
– But the mind could be in bhavanga state if there is no arammana (thought object).
Another thing to think about: A gandhabba inside a physical body is the same as a gandhabba outside.
– The only difference is that a gandhabba inside a body would not get a sensory input if the body is asleep.
– A gandhabba outside a physical body gets sensory inputs (only visual and auditory) without such a restriction.
Gandhabba can certainly generate vaci sankhara.
A gandhabba, in general, can hear.
– But there is no mention in the Tipitaka about a gandhabba being able to attain a magga phala.
Thus, it could be either that a gandhabba would not listen to Dhamma.
– Another possibility: A deeper point is that since a gandhabba does not have a physical body and a brain, citta can just flow “without control”.
– The brain needs time to process sensory data, and thus slows down the whole process. That gives us (those with brains) to take a bit of time and contemplate the consequences.
See, “Brain – Interface between Mind and Body”
“It is mentioned in the first talk that once one reaches sakadagami stage one will not experience
any physical discomfort because of the nature of their subtle bodies in the deva realms.
I am wondering if these entities out of compassion, able to help and guide those in the lower stages to come out of their predicament?”
– Yes. Devas do not feel physical discomforts.
– No. Devas cannot help humans. Only humans (especially those with magga phala) can help other humans by teaching Dhamma. Devas cannot teach Dhamma to humans.
“Can an arhant guide humanity if he/she wishes to do so, or do they cease to exist?”
– An Arahant is not reborn in this world.
– Of course, an Arahant can help others attain Nibbana (by teaching Dhamma) until their death.September 12, 2021 at 8:37 pm in reply to: A Self-inquiry on Emptiness and request for support #35527
Yes. This topic could be confusing. The following are key points to remember.
1. The perception of “me” and “mine” are GOING TO BE THERE in everyone below the Arahant stage.
– This is exactly why all living beings go through the rebirth process.
– So, don’t try to lose upadana by force. It is a long process to get there.
– The first thing is to get rid of bad habits by seeing the bad consequences of such bad habits.
2. In brief, that perception (innate feeling) of a “me” CANNOT be removed by willpower.
3. Instead, we first need to realize that it is UNFRUITFUL to take things as “mine” especially if we tend to do immoral things to get hold of them.
– When one starts comprehending the anicca nature, one will first realize the truth of the above statement. However, to understand the “anicca nature” one needs to first calm one’s mind by stopping activities like playing video games, watching too much TV, etc.
– That “seeing” happens at the Sotapanna Anugami stage, and one gets there by learning Dhamma.
– But even after “seeing that truth” the perception of a “me” WILL NOT go away. It is a step-by-step process to get rid of the “me”/”mine” mindset. That process is completed at the Arahant stage, and there are very few Arahants living today. So, we all are trying to “get there” gradually.
So, I think you picked one of the deeper/complex posts to start.
– I would recommend starting learning more basic concepts first in the “Living Dhamma” section.
– In particular, read the post “Is It Necessary for a Buddhist to Eliminate Sensual Desires?”
Now, to get rid of the habit of playing too many video games, you can use a simple approach.
– Just think about the bad consequences of continuing that habit. You are wasting valuable time on an activity that does not lead to any real benefit.
– Furthermore, activities such as playing video games and watching too much TV lead to an agitated mind. I guess you have realized that.
– Try to break that habit by switching to a better activity like reading or exercising (even walking is beneficial).
– When you start calming the mind, you will be able to learn Dhamma easier.
I do not know the background of you or anyone else. Some people have had some exposure to Buddha Dhamma (Buddhism) and some may not have any background. The post that you referred to is suited for someone with a good background in Buddha Dhamma.
– So, one needs to look at different sections on the website decide “where to start”.
In Buddhism, it is rebirth, not reincarnation. There is a difference but it is not critical for someone starting to learn Buddhism.
Things of this type cannot have absolute “proof” but there is evidence to support rebirth:
“Evidence for Rebirth”
Regarding my comment above, see, “What Reincarnates? – Concept of a Lifestream”
Please feel free to ask questions on any of these posts. It would be easier if you refer to the post particular bullet number in question (unless it is a general question).
Yes. This is a question that comes up a lot these days.
The Buddha allowed one to declare attainment of magga phala in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta.
However, he also noted that there are 4 types of people who declare such attainments:
1. Those who genuinely have them.
2. Those who think they have attained magga phala and thus unknowingly declare as having them.
3. Those who declare so because they have mental problems.
4. Those who do that for their personal benefit.
It is only those in category 4 that commit a bad kamma. If an upasampada bhikkhu does that he would have committed a parajika deed. Thus, even if he keeps on wearing a yellow robe, he would not be a bhikkhu. It would be a serious issue.
But the Buddha never officially expelled any bhikkhu due to such deeds. Even though Devadatta committed worse deeds (including an anantariya kamma), he did not expel Devdatta from the order of the bhikkhus officially.
Furthermore, the issue of “delivering wrong Dhamma” was even there at the time of the Buddha. One time he was told by Bhikkhuni Pajapati Gotami that there are bhikkhus who deliver the wrong Dhamma.
– The Buddha said people should listen to all types of Dhamma and decide which versions to reject.
It is easy to discern who is delivering the wrong Dhamma. My main assessments are:
– Labeling Anapanasati as “breath meditation.”
– Interpreting anicca as “impermanence” and anatta as “no-self.”
I have listened to the bhikkhu in question and just suffice to say that he is delivering the wrong Dhamma in some cases.
– I listen to various types of discourses just to get an idea.
Aniduan wrote: “I try to think of Anatta in terms of Anartha which is a word in several Indian languages which means No-Artha(No-Meaning) i.e. futile, useless. It makes it easy for me to understand as I have sanna of that Hindi word. Also, when someone says “Anarth ho gaya” in Hindi it means a disaster has happened. The samsaric process is basically a Anartha (disaster). For me it’s just another way of understanding the Trilakshna.”
Yes. That is fine. Anatta has several related meanings. “Useless” (engaging/bonding with this world) is one of the meanings. This is what I mean by “fruitless” in several of my posts.
Raj asked: “Are there more talks on other subjects or it is just these five talks recorded so far?”
Those are the only talks specifically on Tilakkhana.
– There are several others in the section on, “Living Dhamma” highlighted in blue.
Raj wrote: “I just want to clarify and hope that I have correctly understood it now.
Anicca means we act in a certain way to achieve a certain result based on our desires/iccha, but the law of nature is such that our desires are not satisfied and don’t produce our expected results (especially if we act out of ignorance) which results in the experience of Dukkha or dissatisfaction (ranging from minor irritation to severe suffering, in this life or in future lives) and Anatta means we have no control over this phenomenon. Anatta is our helplessness in our inability to stop our wanderings in the 31 realms, and anatta also means the whole process is
useless or not worth our effort and in the Buddha’s teachings, the term Anatta has nothing to do with nonself.”
That is great, Raj. You have the correct ideas.
– Keep on listening to that set of audios.
– Also read the posts in the new series: “Basic Framework of Buddha Dhamma”
Those two activities will help solidify your understanding.