Forum Replies Created
November 15, 2020 at 3:48 pm in reply to: A confusion related to attaining the fourth path in a pure abode: #32527
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.
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by y not.
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.
- This reply was modified 2 months ago by y not.
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.
“…it would indeed appear that one anantakappa corresponds to twenty billion years. I now hope I have got this right myself!!”
See? I did NOT get it right. Any of the four phases lasts twenty anantakappa (twenty billion years); so,in reply to the question, one anantakappa would equate with ONE billion years.
We do not need to give overdue importance to the actual lenght. It cannot be changed, whether we find out how long it is exactly or not, whether we think about it or not. What we CAN change is our destiny.
What is important is to realize that we have to do what is necessary NOW to get onto and to advance on the Path, during that ‘duration’ phase, however long it is in actual fact.
- This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by y not.
Thank you triple Gem Student !
It is my pleasure too.
“we spend 9 months on a good vacation while the remaining 3 months is tortured in the apaya’s?”
Indeed so – just because I may not remember reading it does not mean that statement is not correct. On the contrary, going into it further(as we are doing here) indicates it IS correct, just as you have pointed out as well.
“– I’m just wondering . . .approximately how many years is an antakkappa? 20 billion?”
“These original suddhāṭṭhaka have lifetimes of close to 20 antakkappa (or antarākappa in Sinhala), where 80 such antakkappa are in a mahā kappa.” See the post:(/abhidhamma/the-origin-of-matter-suddhatthaka/) # 8
Going by this alone, since 80 anantakappa make a maha kappa, then 20 anatakappa correspond exactly to the length of any of the four phases of : duration process of destruction, state of destruction (non- manifestation), and reformation. AND – this was written in November 2015 and revised as late as February 2020, well before Zapper brought up the matter that 10 billion years (by previous estimates) for any of the 4 phases cannot be correct. Therefore, it would indeed appear that one anantakappa corresponds to twenty billion years. I now hope I have got this right myself!!
I am delighted that you make mention of the importance of gratitude. Not many seem to do so; at least not as far as giving open expression to it goes. Without first becoming acquainted with a ‘Noble Friend’it is impossible to get a glimpse of the Path, let alone get on It. Without this compassion of the Noble Ones we would roam on and on in sansara, enmeshed in delusion and the resultant suffering. Hence, no amount of even expressing this Gratitude can do justice, can adequately recompense, that which we have been given. Best we can do is to share merits with Them; as with all other beings too – we do not know how many have helped us in the beginningless past, even if in the moral sense alone, which is a prerequisite to get to the stage where one becomes able to comprehend the Dhamma. Being ever conscious of all this in turn brings merits to ourselves. But that must not be the motive. Let that not be the motive. In fact, it CANNOT be the motive if that gratitude is deep and sincere.
However, most associations we have had have been with those who have hindered us, with the ‘wordly’ people. Even now. Towards these we must have compassion instead, having once realized for ourselves the amount of suffering in store for ordinary beings.
Lastly, it would be more beneficial to you and to everyone else, if you get answers from other readers as well.
“Does that exclude the destruction/remain in state of the Solar system and only applies for the 10 billion year reformation of Earth?” Yes.. See below.
“we spend 9 months on a good vacation while the remaining 3 months is tortured in the apaya’s?”
I do not clearly recall reading this. Perhaps possibly, but I am not sure.
You are right there, TripleGemStudent!
When we say ‘most births are in the apaya’ we mean those brought about by the process of upadhana, abhisakhara and kamma vipaka > bhava > jati. Those bring about results in the various planes WHEN those planes are in existence. When they are not, all beings transfer to realms above the Abhassara brahma realm out of necessity, as it were (or forced). Once those lower realms are reformed, the beings gradually ‘find their place’ according to their gati.
If you are not aware of it, those 4 gradual stages of: duration , process of destruction, state of destruction (non- manifestation), and reformation have been revised to 20 billion years from 10 billion following a comment by the participant Zapper to accord with the duration of three brahma realms. See ‘Dhamma and Science Forum: Confusion about maha kappa’
Your ‘knowing/understanding’ is far from off, 3GS. It seems to me you are able to spot the slightest thing that does not, or may not, make sense. Quite like Zapper, in fact. Guarding against blind belief remains paramount, from wherever and whomsoever the ‘information’ is coming from. Investigation and reflection are in fact tools to get to the Truth.
I appreciate greatly your value of my contribution, but please now, these are not my teachings. One in the spiritual line of the Buddha discovered the true Teaching, taught it to another in the same line who became an Ariya as well. In my turn, I do my bit to be of help and support to others who may need it, adding my own insight and the fruits of my reflections at times as well, but always ready to be corrected myself.
Hello there TripleGemStudent,
(I got it right this time!)
Here is my contribution:
I too had read something about “one of Buddha’s former lives when he was in hell”.
And also, if I remember correctly, it was only for a very short span of time. But I am not sure here whether that was about a Chief Disciple rather.
However, the perplexity arises from the use of the word ‘Buddha’.
If taken in the sense of ‘the one WHO HAS SINCE become a Buddha’ the notion is not at all startling. That is, before he even set out on the path to become a bodhisatta, before all that he had been just a normal being drifting in sansara from a time without beginning, just like the rest of the beings. And the records in the nama gotta are not limited to the past 91 mahakappa. They go back infinitely into the past. Just as he had been a Boddhisatta before becoming a Buddha, He had been a normal being in sansara before that. But we keep referring to Him as the Buddha in all circumstances, because that is what he finally achieved. Like when we say: the Professor was a student at so-and-so College (Now he is no longer a student at that college)
It is said that the time it took Him to fulfil the paramita (the requirements) spanned the time of 512,000 Buddhas. Taking the number of Buddhas in the last 91 mahakappa, 8, with the estimated duration of a mahakappa ( 80 billion years) as an average, we get : 91/8 x 512,000 x 80×10^9 . Close to 5×10^17 years. Insignificant compared to the all the infinite time before.
So there is no reason why a normal (until that time) being in sansara, including those later to become Boddhisattas and Buddhas, should be exempt from the hells. It is actually impossible, seeing that, until the attainments, most births are in the apaya.
Now it makes sense.
“But the brahma who was born prior to all others thinks how nice it would be if there are others in here. I wish others to come here and I won’t be alone”
A brahma realm inhabited by just one being?(before only the second arrives?)!! ‘Prior to all others’?? Those existences last for many mahakappas. Is this saying there was at least one point in time when this Baka Brahma was all by himself in that brahma world? !!!
It would be like saying there is a planet somewhere with only one inhabitant on it.
Is the transcription correct?September 5, 2020 at 8:44 am in reply to: Most skillful/wise choice in this Mundane world scenario #31934
In real terms, this is not an altogether theoretical situation. Substitute the two groups with the ruled and the rulers, and ‘C’ with any decent and humane individual, and we have the state of affairs in which the world has always been. And quite apart from any considerations as to magga phala, for that matter.
Governments, regimes, emperors, all types of rulers set out to change, if not the world,the realm where they have influence. But the prime aim remains their own personal interests. The’good and just’,the idealists, the ‘peaceful revolutionaries’ also try to change the world but without any personal motive attached.
One exception in the first category was Emperor Asoka. How did he set out? By changing himself, by turning from the bloody ways of his ancestors. He changed himself FIRST, becoming an ardent follower of the Buddha. He thereby benefited his subjects in both ways – the material and the supermundane.
I have nothing more to add to this.September 4, 2020 at 2:50 pm in reply to: Most skillful/wise choice in this Mundane world scenario #31930
Wosh! Sorry about that Triplegemstudent.September 4, 2020 at 2:29 pm in reply to: Most skillful/wise choice in this Mundane world scenario #31929
Whatever action this person C takes in respect of Groups A and B, his eventual attainment of magga phala will prove beneficial not only to himself, but to other beings eventually. The collective future suffering he saves others from outweighs immeasurably any suffering they may undergo now.
Should he help just one person get onto the Path, the suffering prevented in this way in the apayas will be many times over what all those people suffer now at the hands of Group B. Their suffering is after all only in the human realm.
So, for me it’s: “Strive/attain magga phala for oneself while helping others do the same”
Thank you Axel.
Much merits to you.
Having first scrolled back to see what the topic is about exactly before reading the latest here, I had this before me:
“Here is another key point:
Listening is not required to attain the Sotapanna Anugāmi stage.
P.S. In other words, a Sotapanna Anugami is guaranteed to attain the Sotapanna stage.”
And the thought: well, in that case, if listening is not necessary TO GET ONTO the Path, and the Sotapanna Stage itself is guaranteed after that, then LISTENING IS GUARANTEED in between (for the Ven. Thero to be right). And if so, that will be the work of Dhammata in some way.
Then I read Lair’s entry above.!
Plus: I woke up at 01:30 (15’ago). That rarely happens. Normally it is around 05:00. It seems I awoke just for this.