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E-mails have been shared before – on one occasion that I know of at least.
Lal’s suggestion, however, keeps privacy perfectly intact and is therefore much better as an idea. However, HOWEVER, I am no computer expert, f a r from it !!! I find ways to improvise where the standard way does not work for some reason, that is all. But, yes, I will help as far as I can,
Simply highlight “170311 the three dangers \\ Thanissaro Bhikku\\ Dhamma Talk”,
copy, and paste onto Google search. You will find it listed as the first video clip.
I had thought of questions like these myself, me1.
When no answers are forthcoming from anywhere then you keep the questions there, on hold, as it were, reflecting on them, even if only passively. And it is not that the ‘answers’ are right first time around. The initial ones may only serve to ‘set the ground’ and to dispel any wrong implications taken for granted in the questions themselves.
This is what I have ,and that only up to now because I stand to be corrected, either by others or by the facts themselves when these come to light. As Lal here and others never tire of repeating: it will be most beneficial, vital, indispensable that you concentrate your efforts where it truly matters – for your own future well-being and that of others, and that is, in striving to eliminate greed, ill-will and delusion. All answers that we get to these questions, be they correct or incorrect, will not help one bit in the quest of Ariya-hood, which is the greatest, and hardest, quest one can possibly pursue. And the time for that is now, during a Buddha sasana, during which it is extremely rare to find oneself in a human body. With that in mind, here are my views:
There in nothing that is fortuitous or to no purpose in Existence. “Theoretically all planet systems could be inhabited”…granted, but we need not bring in extra-terrestrial involvement here at all, although I am certain myself that happens all the time, and that even Earth has been visited any number of times, and by more than one type of extra-terrestrial humans. And I am talking about visits in spacecraft and physical bodies. Consider: what would the Earth look like in its (re-)formation phase(s)? A ball of bubbling rock surrounded by impenetrable clouds of dust and gas most probably – making it a scientifically typical model of ‘ a planet unable to evolve life and sustain it’.
“Theoretically all planet systems could be inhabited”.. yes, only omit ‘Theoretically’. Even those planets which science deems unable to sustain life because they orbit their parent stars outside the ‘Goldilocks Zone’ – they will harbour life later as they must have in the past. Life will adapt to ANY prevailing conditions. We have proof enough of that here on this planet. We see lifeforms that thrive in Saharan temperatures, others in polar conditions, yet others in the depths of the oceans under tremendous pressure and in total darkness, and still others without the need of air(whether derived from the atmosphere or from water “There in nothing that is fortuitous or to no purpose in Existence”. So that answers your question: ‘Must it (a planet) be currently inhabited or could it have been in the past to be counted?’
“Must life originate indigenously in a planetary system for it to be counted?” My view is that life originates in all planetary systems ,GIVEN TIME . And this view was there even before I came across the Dhamma. The Dhamma has embellished it, one may say.
“What is the obstacle that prohibits a Buddha from travelling beyond this set of 10k systems?” Whoever said that the Buddha is prohibited? It has been stated that He could travel anywhere among the world-systems – now there is a sutta where the Buddha states that the number of beings he actually reaches is insignificant and can be compared as the dust on his fingernail to the great Earth, and that displeased Him without measure! I see it as a question of sheer numbers: if reaching all of the vast (and yet not infinite) number of beings in this one 1,000-star grouping is already a self-confessed impossible task for even a Buddha in his mere 45-year Ministry, why would He consider reaching beings in other star-groupings? So it is not that the Buddha is prohibited, either by way of limitation to his powers or by any one else, to travel beyond this 1,000-star system (taken as a unit). It is just that it would be superfluous to do so, seeing that few of even the beings ‘at home’ themselves can be reached, as much as He would have liked to reach many more of them out of His infinite Compassion. Besides the fact that most beings, at any time, are in the apayas, even those connected with Earth, so they too are ‘out of reach’ And as to other regions ,other realized Ones will take care of those. There are Buddhas aplenty, an infinite number of them.
The last point you mention becomes relevant here:
“If he wished, Ānanda, a Realized One could make his voice heard throughout a galactic supercluster, or AS FAR AS HE WANTS.”. So, certainly, he is in no way prohibited. Further along in the sutta (AN 3.80) it goes: ” “First, Ānanda, a Realized One would fill the galactic supercluster with light….When sentient beings saw the light, the Realized One would project his call so that they’d hear the sound.”
“So a Buddha from one dasasahassi lokadhātu could communicate with a Buddha from another dasasahassi lokadhātu, or any being, anywhere in the universe, that is receptive.” No Buddha communicates with another Buddha, because to what purpose? Who will help whom on the Path? What Path? Both are already enlightened. As to ‘communication with other beings anywhere in the universe’ he COULD do that ,but He does not, for the reason given above.
Enough said. Perhaps more than enough- the range and scope of Buddhas is one of the four imponderables. AN 4.77: “Monks, these four things are unthinkable. They should not be thought about, and anyone who tries to think about them will go mad or get frustrated”
- This reply was modified 7 months ago by y not.
1) The number of beings has always been, is, and ever will be infinite.
2) Therefore, the beings that are still in ignorance must be infinite.
3) Likewise, the number of beings who have attained Nibbana must also be infinite.
Though it is a rare occurrence indeed that a being anywhere attains Nibbana, yet the number of beings who have attained Nibbana and those who are still in ignorance is equal- both are infinite in number. Or, correctly stated, both are numberless. Just because the number of beings is infinite.
Imagine a line of, say, white marbles along a line of infinite length. The number of marbles would be infinite. Now let us suppose we colour every tenth, or hundredth, or thousandth, or millionth or one in any number, however high, in a different colour, say blue; the number of blue marbles will not be less than the number of white marbles. Just because there is no end to the line, BOTH sets will be infinite in number.
Taking this further, to the limit, it must follow that at any one moment an infinite number of beings attain Arahanthood (while still an infinite number of beings remain in ignorance), an infinite number of Buddhas are preaching the Dhamma on some planet somewhere in Infinity – just because the number of planets where Buddhas appear must also be infinite.
I could go on infinitely, but my time here is finite.
I now realize I have not been reflecting properly on “bhava paccaya jati”, taking bhava to be the taking up of, the grasping of a human existence at the death moment as a result of gati and abhisankhara -so as yet all this was purely mental ; and the jati the physical birth following. But that does not make sense when it comes to deva and brahma existences, where the two, bhava and jati, are one. With this there was no problem.
But my question arose because I could not see how the distinction between jati and bhava can be so easily swept aside – merely through a word, moreover a word in translation, even if the word in the original be attributed to a Buddha.
So, as ever,
- This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by y not.
All that is in the posts, Lal.
- This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by y not.
On many occasions the Buddha, after enumerating the various akusala actions (the breaking of any or a number of the 5 precepts) said that what will follow will be a birth in the apayas; in contrast, a happy destination awaits those who engage in kusala actions (the keeping of the precepts):
In both instances, that is preceded by “…at the BREAKUP OF THE BODY, after death” (kāyassa bhedā paraṁ maraṇā). It is natural to imagine that his listeners could have thought of no other body involved than the present physical one – param marana – after the death of the present body (surely not of the mental body, the manomaya kaya). And that would mean that the vast majority of humans go to the apayas at the very first jati in a human bhava. Now the Buddha has said that most human ‘births’, understood as ‘bhava’, are in the apayas. Accepted. But if most humans did in fact go to the apayas, as it would appear, after the death of the present physical body, how to account for children, especially children, being able to remember their last birth, in some cases even recent births? It would be impossible for them to do so, for they would not have returned here to tell us about it in the first place.
So how does it come about that the the phrases ‘kayassa bheda’ and ‘param marana’ are employed in this context? (to clarify: …and not something like ‘manomayakaya bheda’,or ‘param manussabhava marana’ ,if you would excuse my fragmentary ‘knowledge’ of Pali !
Metta and Merit to all Beings
- This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by y not.
“The Buddha replied, “No. Nibbāna is realized by removing greedy, hateful, and ignorant thoughts”. That account is in the “Manōnivarana Sutta (SN 1.24).”
There is also MN 20 Vitakkasaṇṭhānasutta. This is wrongly translated as ‘How to Stop thinking’ It is just a ‘little matter’ of the translators not completing the title with “…bad thoughts”
When you read the sutta you will see that the Buddha was talking about how to stop thinking bad thoughts and replacing them with good ones.
The immediately previous sutta, MN 19 ,Two Kinds of Thought, draws the contrasting characteristics and scope of bad and good thoughts and how to switch from one type to the other. Then the statement: ‘Whatever a mendicant frequently thinks about and considers becomes their heart’s inclination’ The whole of the sutta is a marvellous exposition of the two kinds of thought.
MettaFebruary 16, 2021 at 4:02 pm in reply to: Bopitiye Sadaham Pasala – Excellent Discourses in Sinhala/English/Italian #33493
I just listened to all four discourses in English. They are good and the illustrations are clear. The tone of the Thero is on the ‘relaxed’ side, affording listeners to think even while listening.
The one thing that struck me as ‘new'(to me),though in no way ‘revolutionary’ in the sense of not being consistent with Dhamma, is the relation given between moha and raga/dvesha – around 11’14” in Discourse 4 – Sensual Dancers. It is one other aspect to reflect on.
The three discourses in Italian are translations of the first three in English. A fifth discourse, titled ‘Aspects of the Mind’ appears to be available as well, but for that one is prompted to ‘subscribe for next videoS’ – go to 25’53” Discourse 04 – Sensual Dancers.
February 16, 2021 at 10:00 am in reply to: Bopitiye Sadaham Pasala – Excellent Discourses in Sinhala/English/Italian #33484
- This reply was modified 8 months, 1 week ago by y not.
Clicking on ‘Home’ one finds 4 discourses in English and 3 in Italian under the title ‘Authentic Dhamma’.
Much merits to him and to Lal.
November 15, 2020 at 3:48 pm in reply to: A confusion related to attaining the fourth path in a pure abode: #32527
- This reply was modified 8 months, 1 week ago by y not.
It means.. well .. that is what I tried to get through in all that followed. Overlooked. I better go back to my silence. I am weary trying to make myself understood. Weary. And worn.
I feel like I asked a question about number theory and was told to go back to multiplication tables.
Physical mouth, physical ears? ! Nothing personal, please. I am tired.November 15, 2020 at 1:25 pm in reply to: A confusion related to attaining the fourth path in a pure abode: #32525
“It is the sota pasada rupa that makes it possible to communicate with others.”
Communicate, yes, but is it not only one-way? For otherwise, the Buddha Himself would not have needed to visit the Tavatimsa, the Tusita, the brahma realm to dispel Baka brahmas’s views….and so on.
By ‘sota’ is generally understood hearing (to clarify: detecting the emission of sound) but really is it not the sanna of the other that is received or, better, perceived (sanna by sanna)? But one cannot, apparently, respond in like manner, deliberately and effectively ‘transmitting’ (as it were) one’s own reply or communication through sanna. One can only ‘hear’ (sota), receive, be aware of the other’s sanna.
Just why should this be so? What is it that I am overlooking?November 15, 2020 at 4:59 am in reply to: A confusion related to attaining the fourth path in a pure abode: #32510
It will be worth it to give more thought to this.
When brahmas, devas, and even yakkhas (‘nature spirits’, we may say) communicate with humans, they assume a human or other form, TOGETHER WITH THE FACULTIES OF THAT FORM.
Taking first the case of Brahma Sahampati, he could ‘listen’ to, he was able to sense what the Buddha was thinking, His doubt about whether to proclaim the Dhamma or not. If it were just a matter of a telepathic exchange, he would just have responded in like fashion FROM that brahma realm to made his noble entreaty to the Buddha to go ahead and preach the Dhamma. But no; brahma Sahampati disappears from that brahma realm and reappears in front of the Buddha. He assumes a human form: he ‘arranged his robe over one shoulder, knelt with his right knee on the ground, raised his joined palms toward the Buddha, and SAID…”
So it is not that communication with, in our case, the Buddha takes place with the manomayakaya alone. That would have been the obvious response.
The same can be said in the case of Ugga here. As long as there is a manomayakaya, I see no reason why all orders* of brahmas should be unable to assume any form they wish. Yakkhas can do it.
But we find many accounts of humans with magga phala who ‘saw through’ the assumed human forms yakkhas and devas put on. Any other would have been easily taken in by those assumed forms.
* afterthought: except those in the asanna realm, as far as I can make out.
Thank you Ikoren. Time I will somehow find.
You say something may be understood, if not sooner then later, through investigation and reflection, otherwise all suttas, recordings of suttas etc. could possibly serve no purpose. True. But how does that happen?
Certainly not by remembering and merely repeating suttas, chants and so on. Let us take the maxim ‘Attachment brings suffering’. Most refute this statement outright as negative and unrealistic. It is simply taken as ‘attachment IS suffering’. The absolute truth is that whatever happiness there may be in attachment at any time, it is inevitably followed by suffering. And that in the mundane sense only, not bringing in the Ariya truth of endless rounds of suffering that await beings trapped in sansara. But the first alone will suffice here.
There are not a few instances in the suttas where people, even kings, when asked whether sons and daughters, wives and dear ones in general bring happiness replied with an emphatic yes, and with an implied undertone (it seems to me) of ‘ What? Are you mad? ‘(to be thinking otherwise). Only when one has seen the reality for oneself through life experiences does a statement become true(to oneself). It has now become an observation. Real – not just words quoted from a book, ascribed to whoever at all it may be.
For that constant MINDFULLNESS is necessary (precisely of one’s experiences, both as one is going through them and also later on reflection), not constantly REMINDING oneself of the statement. In the end the connection between the two, and therefore the truth in the statement, will be evident. The statement is but a conclusion about the experience when it is all gone through ,not a substitute for the experience.
What if a lover were to declare: “I love you. But hey, the Buddhas say that attachment brings suffering, so I must not love you. We must part. Let us part”. Can that ever happen? Feelings cannot be denied. That would be denying the truth. They are the reality at that moment. Only later will the pain of separation hit, if not by one leaving the other, then by the death of one preceding that of the other. Then it is seen that attachment does indeed bring suffering.
“The buddha himself taught that each individual must walk the path for themselves and confirm its efficacy, it is not accurate to say one understands immediately upon hearing the lesson. Contemplation and reflection on the concepts lead to insight” Indeed. See whether that sounds different now.
I am not trying to win you over, Ikoren. Treat this as the experience of one person in particular if you will, to add to the many views you have already considered (I see you are quite good at this!). If nothing else, it helps to broaden further your perspective. What you make of the whole of it will be up to you and will in the end affect only you.
May you progress on the Path.
From life experience.
When a student does not understand what the teacher is saying, when the ‘import’ does not sink in, no matter how many times he may recall the teacher’s words afterwards, even if he took notes while the teacher was explaining, he will not understand. No amount of memory recall of the teacher’s words will be of any use.
When a student does understand, that understanding will be his; it will not leave him. The teacher’s words may well be forgotten, or they may not, it does not matter.
In short, once understood, recollection of the lesson is not necessary; if not understood, it would be futile.
I hope seeing it from the human level simplifies things somewhat, Ikoren,
may you progress on the Path.