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Re: About suicide in early Buddhism

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  • Ong Yong Peng
    Piya, I thought you meant your article concludes any prevailing discussion. :) My apologies. metta, Yong Peng. ... I m still mystified how my posting has in
    Message 1 of 22 , May 19 8:51 PM
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      Piya, I thought you meant your article concludes any prevailing
      discussion. :)

      My apologies.

      metta,
      Yong Peng.


      --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Piya Tan wrote:

      I'm still mystified how my posting has in anyway plugged the flow of
      new insights.

      > Your extensively researched articles and the effort you put in
      > for them deserve credits. However, that should not plug the flow
      > of new insights.

      >> My article tries to be a digest of the latest discussions on the
      >> topic, with special emphasis on the Suttas.
    • Piya Tan
      Yong Peng, I know this is funny (see the :) ): I thought...you thought...such and such. Ironically I am working on just this very fascinating subject: papanca,
      Message 2 of 22 , May 19 9:14 PM
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        Yong Peng, I know this is funny (see the :) ): I thought...you
        thought...such and such.

        Ironically I am working on just this very fascinating subject: papanca,
        which is how
        the mind proliferates from a single thought into a tsunami of ideas mostly
        from
        past demons and project them onto others.

        I have also listened to two online audios on papanca by speakers from the
        USA
        Vipassana people, and it's amazing how good they (Donald Rothberg & Rodney
        Smith)
        are in their talks: I am proud of them and I am humbled at the same time.

        My over-enthusiam or perception of it are probably echos of the pains of
        constant
        inroads from the zealous evangelists: the best way to protect the Suttas is
        to talk
        about them. And perhaps a bit of Berkeley, too, where we try to share what
        we think
        is really worthwhile, and we never get put down for it :)

        I think the Internet can be a spiritual connection if we allow it.

        Thanks for understanding.

        Happy Vesak again.

        Piya




        On 5/20/07, Ong Yong Peng <pali.smith@...> wrote:
        >
        > Piya, I thought you meant your article concludes any prevailing
        > discussion. :)
        >
        > My apologies.
        >
        > metta,
        > Yong Peng.
        >
        > --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com <Pali%40yahoogroups.com>, Piya Tan wrote:
        >
        > I'm still mystified how my posting has in anyway plugged the flow of
        > new insights.
        >
        > > Your extensively researched articles and the effort you put in
        > > for them deserve credits. However, that should not plug the flow
        > > of new insights.
        >
        > >> My article tries to be a digest of the latest discussions on the
        > >> topic, with special emphasis on the Suttas.
        >
        >
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Ong Yong Peng
        Dear Piya, thanks for sharing your recent study. When I use the similey :) , I am not trying to be funny, it means I was smiling as I typed at that moment.
        Message 3 of 22 , May 19 9:42 PM
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          Dear Piya,

          thanks for sharing your recent study. When I use the similey " :) ", I
          am not trying to be funny, it means I was smiling as I typed at that
          moment. When I wrote "I thought...", it was a mild expression of
          writing "you sounded like...". (so as not to be offensive)

          Perhaps I was struck by a tsunami of ideas when I read your previous
          post, and projected it onto you? How good if we can do that with real
          tsunamis. :-)

          metta,
          Yong Peng.


          --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Piya Tan wrote:

          Yong Peng, I know this is funny (see the :) ): I thought...you
          thought...such and such.
        • Ngawang Dorje
          Hi, Here are some articles: Suicide as A Response to Suffering Michael Attwood
          Message 4 of 22 , May 19 9:57 PM
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            Hi,

            Here are some articles:

            Suicide as A Response to Suffering
            Michael Attwood
            http://www.westernbuddhistreview.com/vol4/suicide_as_a_response_to_suffering.html

            Buddhism and Suicide: The Case of Channa
            By Damien Keown
            http://www.buddhistethics.org/3/keown3.html

            Attitudes to Euthanasia in the Vinaya and Commentary
            By Damien Keown
            http://www.buddhistethics.org/6/keown993.html

            Best wishes,
            Rahula


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          • thomaslaw03
            Dear Piya and Yong Peng, Thank you very much for your replies about my question. Piya s articles are very useful for the topic. Thanks again. Best wishes,
            Message 5 of 22 , May 19 11:16 PM
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              Dear Piya and Yong Peng,

              Thank you very much for your replies about my question. Piya's articles
              are very useful for the topic. Thanks again.

              Best wishes,

              Thomas Law
            • Ong Yong Peng
              Thomas, you are welcome. Can you tell us something about yourself, like where you live, and what you do for a living. Thank you. metta, Yong Peng. ... Thank
              Message 6 of 22 , May 20 3:37 AM
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                Thomas,

                you are welcome. Can you tell us something about yourself, like where
                you live, and what you do for a living. Thank you.

                metta,
                Yong Peng.


                --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, thomaslaw03 wrote:

                Thank you very much for your replies about my question.
              • Gunnar Gällmo
                ... And perhaps somewhat similar to vikings - violent for certain, but not in order to convert others to their own religion. Of course, Japanese culture has a
                Message 7 of 22 , May 20 5:25 AM
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                  --- Ong Yong Peng <pali.smith@...> skrev:

                  > In a way, this attitude is built into many Asian
                  > cultures, and the
                  > samurai's culture is quite an extreme example of
                  > Buddhist influence.
                  > But, then, the samurai is a warrior, a person who
                  > should have been
                  > through the worst of life, even though his function
                  > to kill has
                  > deviated from the Buddhist value of compassion.
                  > Also, do not associate
                  > a samurai with a Jihadist or Crusadist suicide
                  > bomber. A samurai is
                  > just like an elite soldier you find in your
                  > country's military.

                  And perhaps somewhat similar to vikings - violent for
                  certain, but not in order to convert others to their
                  own religion.

                  Of course, Japanese culture has a special tradition of
                  "honorable" suicide - harakiri or seppuku; but I don't
                  know its historical origins. It certainly is not
                  recommended by Therarada Buddhism. Perhaps a Shinto
                  idea? (It may have some parallells in Pre-Christian
                  Nordic tradition as well.)

                  On the other hand, not recommending suicide does not
                  necessarily mean condemning those who practice it, as
                  was done for many centuries in the West, with the
                  "self murderers" entombed first in the forest, and
                  later at the north (and "evil") side of church. I
                  think the basic idea there was that only God can give
                  life, and only God may take it (that later part was
                  not always practiced by kings), so taking your own
                  life was doing something only permissible to God, and
                  therefore an "unforgivable" sin. Such a theory, of
                  course, could have no basis in Buddhism.

                  In Buddhism, there is a special case of Arahants
                  deciding not to go on living although they may be able
                  to do so. In the Mahaparinibbaanasutta, the Buddha
                  himself is told to have made such a renounciation some
                  months before his death, and it seems that he ate his
                  last meal knowing it to be poisonous. Whether this is
                  to be called "suicide" is peerhaps a matter of
                  definition, but Arahants don't make kamma anyway -
                  their personal problems are already permanently
                  solved.

                  Gunnar







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                • Yojana Bhagat
                  there are said to be two types of marana, that is death in Buddhism- the kaala marana that is the timely death - the death which is by the exhaustion of
                  Message 8 of 22 , May 20 12:10 PM
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                    there are said to be two types of marana, that is death in Buddhism- the kaala marana that is the timely death - the death which is by the exhaustion of particular kammas and in the old age.the other is the akaala marana, that is the untimely death. the vipaka of some kammas are so great that the rupa ceases to exist and the nama continues in the next form. such death is the one in young age in some kind of accident or so on.
                    suicide could be considered into the kind of untimely death where the kammas are not yet exhausted and you yourself is curtailing the rupa. it is believed that the balance life with the kammas and the kammavipaka of the act of commiting suicide combines and gives one the next birth where one has to live the balance life of the earlier one and also the current one.
                    that is the reason the suicide is not talked about or favoured by in buddhism. this is what i have read.
                    may be you can say something more on it.

                    in metta
                    Dr. Yojana Bhagat


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                  • Ong Yong Peng
                    Dear Gunnar, Piya and friends, I would like to express my personal views, in addition to what I have replied to Thomas Law earlier. I like to especially expand
                    Message 9 of 22 , May 24 4:11 AM
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                      Dear Gunnar, Piya and friends,

                      I would like to express my personal views, in addition to what I have
                      replied to Thomas Law earlier.

                      I like to especially expand on the notion of subjectivism in Piya's
                      article. To me, being subjective is to consider an object or an issue
                      totally based on one's opinions and experience, without considering
                      external facts. It is unholistic, unwholesome and a very narrow-minded
                      way of looking at things.

                      Social issues like suicide, martyrdom, euthanasia (mercy killing),
                      cannibalism, murder, human sacrifice (the list can goes on), all
                      involve human lives, and one or more of these has been promoted or
                      tolerated by certain societies at certain times throughout history.

                      Discussing these issues from a Buddhist viewpoint means considering
                      them with compassion. Otherwise, the discussion can get personal and
                      subjective. On the topic of suicide, looking purely at the 'moral'
                      aspect of suicide will never help us understand suicidal tendencies.
                      At best, we are like Sariputta and Mahacunda in MN144 trying to talk
                      Channa out of it. At worst, we develop unwholesome mental attitudes
                      towards people and society.

                      metta,
                      Yong Peng.


                      --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Gunnar Gällmo wrote:

                      On the other hand, not recommending suicide does not necessarily mean
                      condemning those who practice it, as was done for many centuries in
                      the West, with the "self murderers" entombed first in the forest, and
                      later at the north (and "evil") side of church.
                    • Ong Yong Peng
                      Dear friends, the recent discussion on suicide provides us a very important lesson on what makes a good discussion and what does not. Before continuing, I have
                      Message 10 of 22 , May 25 10:57 PM
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                        Dear friends,

                        the recent discussion on suicide provides us a very important lesson
                        on what makes a good discussion and what does not.

                        Before continuing, I have to clearly state that I am not directing
                        this against Piya or anyone in particular. Piya's efforts and
                        contributions to the group is worthy of compliments.

                        And I also like to say that I would rather spend my time on something
                        more productive or more enjoyable than typing this message. So, I will
                        keep it real short.

                        For a meaningful discussion to exist, there has to be a discussion. It
                        is fine to refer to articles/materials elsewhere, but repeatedly
                        referring to a single article without any other inputs is bad.

                        This mailing list is one of the few successful ones with a Buddhist
                        theme and active participation. Very often, we have seen people
                        stirring up either out of envy, jealousy, ignorance or arrogance. Its
                        future success to remain as a useful online resource for Pali study
                        will depend on your support for open and honest discussions. Thank you.

                        metta,
                        Yong Peng.


                        --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Ong Yong Peng wrote:

                        I would like to express my personal views, in addition to what I have
                        replied to Thomas Law earlier.
                      • Peter Tomlinson
                        Hello to all, With all due respect, I knew Nanasumana, one of the last people to see Nanavira alive, and I visited Bundala, the sire of Nanavira s life and
                        Message 11 of 22 , May 26 9:46 PM
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                          Hello to all,
                          With all due respect, I knew Nanasumana, one of the last people to see Nanavira alive, and I visited Bundala, the sire of Nanavira's life and death. I have read "Notes on Dhamma" often and respect Nanavira's claim of Sotapanna. His sexual troubles notwithstanding, his Amoebiosis was what he claimed was killing him.

                          I do not deny the Satyriosis that he admitted to. It is a psychological problem I am told, yet does this mean he was deluded about his attainment? does this cast doubt on "Notes on Dhamma"?

                          His suicide was tragic, but he claimed he believed that he would be reborn in a state where he could practice Dhamma as he would have done had it not been for his disease. I read all of his letters and helped compile his writings with Sumana and Nanasuci and others.

                          I feel often that many did not understand what Nanavira tried to do by sending out "Notes on Dhamma" and that this has caused criticism.
                          Please forgive me if I have offended, that is not my intention.

                          Peter Tomlinson

                          Piya Tan <dharmafarer@...> wrote: On 5/26/07, Piya Tan <dharmafarer@...> wrote:

                          Lest Yong Peng be misunderstood, please note that he is not criticizing me,
                          > but
                          > referring to section of "The danger of subjectivism" (Intro 2) in my
                          > essay. I need to
                          > clarify this.
                          >
                          > Looking back (I worked on the essay in 2005), other than the Sutta
                          > translation, I enjoyed researching section 5 of the Introduction, about why
                          > and how the Italian wealthy eccentric Baron Evola tried to force his
                          > romanticized idea of suicide into Buddhism, and how the tragic western monk
                          > Nanavira, troubled with his sexuality, in the end committed suicide. These
                          > are painful truths many monks even today face.
                          >
                          > For them, let me say it is vital to find good spiritual friends in
                          > teachers with still minds. There is often the danger when they don the robe
                          > they think they should not listen to
                          > other teachers, esp teachers from other Buddhist ordinations. As they
                          > reach seniority,
                          > it becomes harder for them to learn, esp thinking more devotees respect
                          > them. So they
                          > live a Jekyll and Hyde life.
                          >
                          > Buddhism is about liberating yourself, not about self-pride or which
                          > school one belongs to.
                          >
                          > Piya Tan
                        • Piya Tan
                          Peter, It is to one s advantage to be able to see good even in the evil, although this may be difficult in some cases who have done great evil (such as
                          Message 12 of 22 , May 27 6:02 PM
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                            Peter,

                            It is to one's advantage to be able to see good even in the evil, although
                            this may be
                            difficult in some cases who have done great evil (such as Hitler).
                            Nevertheless, with
                            some understanding we will see that people are mostly products of their past
                            karma
                            and present circumstances.

                            Anyone who seeks inner peace (as Nanavira and others like him) surely have
                            great
                            potential goodness within. Whether or not one is a saint is only another's
                            guess. (I
                            have written a whole article on this elsewhere based on the Suttas.)

                            As I said earlier, one great way to deeper wisdom (not that I claim it) is
                            to constantly
                            sk "why do I think this way" (I try to do that). In understand this as a
                            form of wise
                            attention (yoniso manasikaara) taught as vitakka,sankhaara,santhaana in the
                            Vitakka
                            Santhana Sutta (M 20).

                            I think the Buddha has made the rule about monastics' not claiming spiritual
                            states (esp
                            those who have not truly attained) is not only to prevent flies from coming
                            to the sugar
                            (and so drown in it), but to encourage each of us to work towards inner
                            stillness so
                            that we can ourselves attain stream-winning in this life itself.

                            Thank you Peter for reminding me of Nanavira's good side, which I fail to
                            mention. And also
                            for thoughtfully sharing your insights.

                            If we are respectfully open and curious about one another ,even facelessly
                            on the net, we
                            can still bring out one another's goodness. I always try to remember what,
                            after all, learning
                            Pali is about, it is about the grammar of word, but more so about the
                            grammar of sprituality
                            of the Buddha Dhamma.

                            Every day is Vesak for those who seek within.

                            Piya Tan

                            On 5/27/07, Peter Tomlinson <gnanayasa@...> wrote:
                            >
                            >
                            > Hello to all,
                            > With all due respect, I knew Nanasumana, one of the last people to see
                            > Nanavira alive, and I visited Bundala, the sire of Nanavira's life and
                            > death. I have read "Notes on Dhamma" often and respect Nanavira's claim of
                            > Sotapanna. His sexual troubles notwithstanding, his Amoebiosis was what he
                            > claimed was killing him.
                            >
                            > I do not deny the Satyriosis that he admitted to. It is a psychological
                            > problem I am told, yet does this mean he was deluded about his attainment?
                            > does this cast doubt on "Notes on Dhamma"?
                            >
                            > His suicide was tragic, but he claimed he believed that he would be reborn
                            > in a state where he could practice Dhamma as he would have done had it not
                            > been for his disease. I read all of his letters and helped compile his
                            > writings with Sumana and Nanasuci and others.
                            >
                            > I feel often that many did not understand what Nanavira tried to do by
                            > sending out "Notes on Dhamma" and that this has caused criticism.
                            > Please forgive me if I have offended, that is not my intention.
                            >
                            > Peter Tomlinson
                            >
                            > Piya Tan <dharmafarer@... <dharmafarer%40gmail.com>> wrote: On
                            > 5/26/07, Piya Tan <dharmafarer@... <dharmafarer%40gmail.com>> wrote:
                            >
                            > Lest Yong Peng be misunderstood, please note that he is not criticizing
                            > me,
                            > > but
                            > > referring to section of "The danger of subjectivism" (Intro 2) in my
                            > > essay. I need to
                            > > clarify this.
                            > >
                            > > Looking back (I worked on the essay in 2005), other than the Sutta
                            > > translation, I enjoyed researching section 5 of the Introduction, about
                            > why
                            > > and how the Italian wealthy eccentric Baron Evola tried to force his
                            > > romanticized idea of suicide into Buddhism, and how the tragic western
                            > monk
                            > > Nanavira, troubled with his sexuality, in the end committed suicide.
                            > These
                            > > are painful truths many monks even today face.
                            > >
                            > > For them, let me say it is vital to find good spiritual friends in
                            > > teachers with still minds. There is often the danger when they don the
                            > robe
                            > > they think they should not listen to
                            > > other teachers, esp teachers from other Buddhist ordinations. As they
                            > > reach seniority,
                            > > it becomes harder for them to learn, esp thinking more devotees respect
                            > > them. So they
                            > > live a Jekyll and Hyde life.
                            > >
                            > > Buddhism is about liberating yourself, not about self-pride or which
                            > > school one belongs to.
                            > >
                            > > Piya Tan
                            >
                            >



                            --
                            The Minding Centre
                            Blk 644 Bukit Batok Central #01-68 (2nd flr)
                            Singapore 650644
                            Website: dharmafarer.googlepages.com


                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Ong Yong Peng
                            Dear Piya and Peter, someone used to say, Without religion, it takes good men to do good and evil men to do evil. With religion, it takes good men to do
                            Message 13 of 22 , May 28 7:06 AM
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                              Dear Piya and Peter,

                              someone used to say, "Without religion, it takes good men to do good
                              and evil men to do evil. With religion, it takes good men to do evil."
                              If we look at the history of religion, we can clearly see the validity
                              of this statement. Even in the present day, there are plenty of
                              examples. James Kopp is a good one.

                              Piya: I have not heard about Nanavira previously, but reading your
                              article (I have not read your article until last week) leaves behind a
                              lot of questions about him. While you must have achieved your
                              objectives for your article, your brief account of Nanavira does not
                              necessarily do him right. Alas. A dead man cannot speak for himself.

                              I can understand that your writings are always evangelical in flavor,
                              from when you were a monk up till now. However, I believe there is a
                              limit as to how far evangelism should go before it starts getting onto
                              people's nerves. Most people just want to be good, and live a life of
                              their choice. You chose to become a monk, and later you chose to have
                              a family. Those were your choices. Similarly, everyone should have be
                              able to make choices for him/herself.

                              Peter: Buddhism is a religion about respect. Out of respect for life,
                              we abstain from killing, neither do we encourage suicide. Nanavira's
                              story is no doubt a tragic one, it reminds us of the constant
                              challenges we have to face in life, and the compassion and wisdom we
                              need to develop to help ourselves and others through times of difficulty.

                              To all: Let's take a break from this topic. If there is any questions
                              on Piya's article, please write to him in private.

                              metta,
                              Yong Peng.


                              --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "Piya Tan" <dharmafarer@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Peter,
                              >
                              > It is to one's advantage to be able to see good even in the evil,
                              although
                              > this may be
                              > difficult in some cases who have done great evil (such as Hitler).
                              > Nevertheless, with
                              > some understanding we will see that people are mostly products of
                              their past
                              > karma
                              > and present circumstances.
                              >
                              > Anyone who seeks inner peace (as Nanavira and others like him)
                              surely have
                              > great
                              > potential goodness within. Whether or not one is a saint is only
                              another's
                              > guess. (I
                              > have written a whole article on this elsewhere based on the Suttas.)
                              >
                              > As I said earlier, one great way to deeper wisdom (not that I claim
                              it) is
                              > to constantly
                              > sk "why do I think this way" (I try to do that). In understand this as a
                              > form of wise
                              > attention (yoniso manasikaara) taught as vitakka,sankhaara,santhaana
                              in the
                              > Vitakka
                              > Santhana Sutta (M 20).
                              >
                              > I think the Buddha has made the rule about monastics' not claiming
                              spiritual
                              > states (esp
                              > those who have not truly attained) is not only to prevent flies from
                              coming
                              > to the sugar
                              > (and so drown in it), but to encourage each of us to work towards inner
                              > stillness so
                              > that we can ourselves attain stream-winning in this life itself.
                              >
                              > Thank you Peter for reminding me of Nanavira's good side, which I
                              fail to
                              > mention. And also
                              > for thoughtfully sharing your insights.
                              >
                              > If we are respectfully open and curious about one another ,even
                              facelessly
                              > on the net, we
                              > can still bring out one another's goodness. I always try to remember
                              what,
                              > after all, learning
                              > Pali is about, it is about the grammar of word, but more so about the
                              > grammar of sprituality
                              > of the Buddha Dhamma.
                              >
                              > Every day is Vesak for those who seek within.
                              >
                              > Piya Tan
                              >
                              > On 5/27/07, Peter Tomlinson <gnanayasa@...> wrote:
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > Hello to all,
                              > > With all due respect, I knew Nanasumana, one of the last people to see
                              > > Nanavira alive, and I visited Bundala, the sire of Nanavira's life and
                              > > death. I have read "Notes on Dhamma" often and respect Nanavira's
                              claim of
                              > > Sotapanna. His sexual troubles notwithstanding, his Amoebiosis was
                              what he
                              > > claimed was killing him.
                              > >
                              > > I do not deny the Satyriosis that he admitted to. It is a
                              psychological
                              > > problem I am told, yet does this mean he was deluded about his
                              attainment?
                              > > does this cast doubt on "Notes on Dhamma"?
                              > >
                              > > His suicide was tragic, but he claimed he believed that he would
                              be reborn
                              > > in a state where he could practice Dhamma as he would have done
                              had it not
                              > > been for his disease. I read all of his letters and helped compile his
                              > > writings with Sumana and Nanasuci and others.
                              > >
                              > > I feel often that many did not understand what Nanavira tried to do by
                              > > sending out "Notes on Dhamma" and that this has caused criticism.
                              > > Please forgive me if I have offended, that is not my intention.
                              > >
                              > > Peter Tomlinson
                              > >
                              > > Piya Tan <dharmafarer@... <dharmafarer%40gmail.com>> wrote: On
                              > > 5/26/07, Piya Tan <dharmafarer@... <dharmafarer%40gmail.com>> wrote:
                              > >
                              > > Lest Yong Peng be misunderstood, please note that he is not
                              criticizing
                              > > me,
                              > > > but
                              > > > referring to section of "The danger of subjectivism" (Intro 2) in my
                              > > > essay. I need to
                              > > > clarify this.
                              > > >
                              > > > Looking back (I worked on the essay in 2005), other than the Sutta
                              > > > translation, I enjoyed researching section 5 of the
                              Introduction, about
                              > > why
                              > > > and how the Italian wealthy eccentric Baron Evola tried to force his
                              > > > romanticized idea of suicide into Buddhism, and how the tragic
                              western
                              > > monk
                              > > > Nanavira, troubled with his sexuality, in the end committed suicide.
                              > > These
                              > > > are painful truths many monks even today face.
                              > > >
                              > > > For them, let me say it is vital to find good spiritual friends in
                              > > > teachers with still minds. There is often the danger when they
                              don the
                              > > robe
                              > > > they think they should not listen to
                              > > > other teachers, esp teachers from other Buddhist ordinations. As
                              they
                              > > > reach seniority,
                              > > > it becomes harder for them to learn, esp thinking more devotees
                              respect
                              > > > them. So they
                              > > > live a Jekyll and Hyde life.
                              > > >
                              > > > Buddhism is about liberating yourself, not about self-pride or which
                              > > > school one belongs to.
                              > > >
                              > > > Piya Tan
                              > >
                              > >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > --
                              > The Minding Centre
                              > Blk 644 Bukit Batok Central #01-68 (2nd flr)
                              > Singapore 650644
                              > Website: dharmafarer.googlepages.com
                              >
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                              >
                            • Gunnar Gällmo
                              Dear Piya Tan and Peter, With all respect, I think discussing the psychological problems of individual persons in this list is not proper, especially if the
                              Message 14 of 22 , May 28 7:20 AM
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                                Dear Piya Tan and Peter,

                                With all respect, I think discussing the psychological
                                problems of individual persons in this list is not
                                proper, especially if the person discussed has passed
                                away and can't defend himself.

                                Please let us keep to the problems discussed at a
                                general level.

                                Gunnar




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                              • Peter Tomlinson
                                Thanks to everyone for being such good Dhamma teachers. Yes, I need reminders, pointers, and encouragement to sustain Dhamma practice in this samsara realm.
                                Message 15 of 22 , May 28 7:30 AM
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                                  Thanks to everyone for being such good Dhamma teachers. Yes, I need reminders, pointers, and encouragement to sustain Dhamma practice in this samsara realm. Much of this world seems quite disturbed, even mad. I concur that metta, and sutta study and meditation and sila practice are important. I am very glad to know you, Piya Tan, and Ong Yong Peng even through e mail.

                                  Thanks again for your compassionate attention to the essentials of what the Buddha taught, wasn't it "only this do I teach, suffering and its end to reach"? Because of people like you I return daily to the practice, however imperfectly to keep sila and at least do a little study and meditation, (too little, I am afraid).

                                  I have few wishes to promulgate controversy any longer, and I cannot compare to the dedication or scholarship of any of you, still you keep me going through this difficult life.

                                  With metta,
                                  Pete Tomlinson

                                  Ong Yong Peng <pali.smith@...> wrote: Dear Piya and Peter,

                                  someone used to say, "Without religion, it takes good men to do good
                                  and evil men to do evil. With religion, it takes good men to do evil."
                                  If we look at the history of religion, we can clearly see the validity
                                  of this statement. Even in the present day, there are plenty of
                                  examples. James Kopp is a good one.

                                  Piya: I have not heard about Nanavira previously, but reading your
                                  article (I have not read your article until last week) leaves behind a
                                  lot of questions about him. While you must have achieved your
                                  objectives for your article, your brief account of Nanavira does not
                                  necessarily do him right. Alas. A dead man cannot speak for himself.

                                  I can understand that your writings are always evangelical in flavor,
                                  from when you were a monk up till now. However, I believe there is a
                                  limit as to how far evangelism should go before it starts getting onto
                                  people's nerves. Most people just want to be good, and live a life of
                                  their choice. You chose to become a monk, and later you chose to have
                                  a family. Those were your choices. Similarly, everyone should have be
                                  able to make choices for him/herself.

                                  Peter: Buddhism is a religion about respect. Out of respect for life,
                                  we abstain from killing, neither do we encourage suicide. Nanavira's
                                  story is no doubt a tragic one, it reminds us of the constant
                                  challenges we have to face in life, and the compassion and wisdom we
                                  need to develop to help ourselves and others through times of difficulty.

                                  To all: Let's take a break from this topic. If there is any questions
                                  on Piya's article, please write to him in private.

                                  metta,
                                  Yong Peng.

                                  --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "Piya Tan" <dharmafarer@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Peter,
                                  >
                                  > It is to one's advantage to be able to see good even in the evil,
                                  although
                                  > this may be
                                  > difficult in some cases who have done great evil (such as Hitler).
                                  > Nevertheless, with
                                  > some understanding we will see that people are mostly products of
                                  their past
                                  > karma
                                  > and present circumstances.
                                  >
                                  > Anyone who seeks inner peace (as Nanavira and others like him)
                                  surely have
                                  > great
                                  > potential goodness within. Whether or not one is a saint is only
                                  another's
                                  > guess. (I
                                  > have written a whole article on this elsewhere based on the Suttas.)
                                  >
                                  > As I said earlier, one great way to deeper wisdom (not that I claim
                                  it) is
                                  > to constantly
                                  > sk "why do I think this way" (I try to do that). In understand this as a
                                  > form of wise
                                  > attention (yoniso manasikaara) taught as vitakka,sankhaara,santhaana
                                  in the
                                  > Vitakka
                                  > Santhana Sutta (M 20).
                                  >
                                  > I think the Buddha has made the rule about monastics' not claiming
                                  spiritual
                                  > states (esp
                                  > those who have not truly attained) is not only to prevent flies from
                                  coming
                                  > to the sugar
                                  > (and so drown in it), but to encourage each of us to work towards inner
                                  > stillness so
                                  > that we can ourselves attain stream-winning in this life itself.
                                  >
                                  > Thank you Peter for reminding me of Nanavira's good side, which I
                                  fail to
                                  > mention. And also
                                  > for thoughtfully sharing your insights.
                                  >
                                  > If we are respectfully open and curious about one another ,even
                                  facelessly
                                  > on the net, we
                                  > can still bring out one another's goodness. I always try to remember
                                  what,
                                  > after all, learning
                                  > Pali is about, it is about the grammar of word, but more so about the
                                  > grammar of sprituality
                                  > of the Buddha Dhamma.
                                  >
                                  > Every day is Vesak for those who seek within.
                                  >
                                  > Piya Tan
                                  >
                                  > On 5/27/07, Peter Tomlinson <gnanayasa@...> wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > Hello to all,
                                  > > With all due respect, I knew Nanasumana, one of the last people to see
                                  > > Nanavira alive, and I visited Bundala, the sire of Nanavira's life and
                                  > > death. I have read "Notes on Dhamma" often and respect Nanavira's
                                  claim of
                                  > > Sotapanna. His sexual troubles notwithstanding, his Amoebiosis was
                                  what he
                                  > > claimed was killing him.
                                  > >
                                  > > I do not deny the Satyriosis that he admitted to. It is a
                                  psychological
                                  > > problem I am told, yet does this mean he was deluded about his
                                  attainment?
                                  > > does this cast doubt on "Notes on Dhamma"?
                                  > >
                                  > > His suicide was tragic, but he claimed he believed that he would
                                  be reborn
                                  > > in a state where he could practice Dhamma as he would have done
                                  had it not
                                  > > been for his disease. I read all of his letters and helped compile his
                                  > > writings with Sumana and Nanasuci and others.
                                  > >
                                  > > I feel often that many did not understand what Nanavira tried to do by
                                  > > sending out "Notes on Dhamma" and that this has caused criticism.
                                  > > Please forgive me if I have offended, that is not my intention.
                                  > >
                                  > > Peter Tomlinson
                                  > >
                                  > > Piya Tan <dharmafarer@... <dharmafarer%40gmail.com>> wrote: On
                                  > > 5/26/07, Piya Tan <dharmafarer@... <dharmafarer%40gmail.com>> wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > > Lest Yong Peng be misunderstood, please note that he is not
                                  criticizing
                                  > > me,
                                  > > > but
                                  > > > referring to section of "The danger of subjectivism" (Intro 2) in my
                                  > > > essay. I need to
                                  > > > clarify this.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Looking back (I worked on the essay in 2005), other than the Sutta
                                  > > > translation, I enjoyed researching section 5 of the
                                  Introduction, about
                                  > > why
                                  > > > and how the Italian wealthy eccentric Baron Evola tried to force his
                                  > > > romanticized idea of suicide into Buddhism, and how the tragic
                                  western
                                  > > monk
                                  > > > Nanavira, troubled with his sexuality, in the end committed suicide.
                                  > > These
                                  > > > are painful truths many monks even today face.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > For them, let me say it is vital to find good spiritual friends in
                                  > > > teachers with still minds. There is often the danger when they
                                  don the
                                  > > robe
                                  > > > they think they should not listen to
                                  > > > other teachers, esp teachers from other Buddhist ordinations. As
                                  they
                                  > > > reach seniority,
                                  > > > it becomes harder for them to learn, esp thinking more devotees
                                  respect
                                  > > > them. So they
                                  > > > live a Jekyll and Hyde life.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Buddhism is about liberating yourself, not about self-pride or which
                                  > > > school one belongs to.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Piya Tan
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > --
                                  > The Minding Centre
                                  > Blk 644 Bukit Batok Central #01-68 (2nd flr)
                                  > Singapore 650644
                                  > Website: dharmafarer.googlepages.com
                                  >
                                  >
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