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Venerable Nanda and the Celestial Nymphs -- Re: [Pali] Re: The Twin Miracle, Yamaka Patihara

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  • Kumara Bhikkhu
    Very well said, Chanida. Sadhu! About the Ven Nanda s story, I d like to add that Buddha probably saw what would happen. One might say that it s somewhat
    Message 1 of 16 , Mar 17, 2013
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      Very well said, Chanida. Sadhu!

      About the Ven Nanda's story, I'd like to add that Buddha probably saw
      what would happen. One might say that it's somewhat crafty of the
      Buddha (and of the father in your analogy), but it's completely
      compassionate. On the similar note, Anathapindika was also somewhat
      crafty in bribing his son to attend talks by the Buddha.

      Chanida wrote thus at 03:05 AM 13-02-13:
      >Dear Frank,
      >
      >I understand your confusion. Things can appear very contradictory.
      >But how would you think about the following story? (My example is
      >perhaps out of date, but it could probably give you some ideas.)
      >
      >1. A teenager wanted to buy a game with the small money he had.
      >2. His father showed him a more sophisticated gaming machinery, in
      >which he was much more interested, and guaranteed that he would
      >obtain it if he would keep that money and continued assisting with
      >their family business.
      >3. As time passed, the son grew up, having an amount of money in
      >hand which was sufficient to buy a car.
      >4. Ridiculed by his friends for desiring for a gaming machine which
      >is 'not suitable for an adult,' the son agreed and then decided to
      >buy a car instead.
      >
      >In this case, do you think that the father lied in guaranteeing his
      >son that he would obtain the gaming machinery? I think that it is
      >not the case. It was just the son himself changed his mind, even
      >though he could obtain what he was promised.
      >
      >In the same way, if Nanda continued on his ordination, he certainly
      >would have to practise according to the discipline and the dhamma.
      >Such is meritorious and contributes to sufficient merit
      >(puñña) for him to be reborn as a 'devaputta' with
      >celestial nymph retinue after death, if his mind still desired so.
      >However, as he continued his practice and ridiculed by his fellow
      >monks for such an inappropriate desire. He agreed, abandoned such
      >desire and, instead, pursue a higher (highest) goal, i.e., nibbāna.
      >
      >As for the case of Aṅgulimāla and Ajātasattu, it is
      >the work of mixed kamma that complecates things. Everyone has done
      >miscellaneous kammas. But it is the strongest vipāka that takes priority.
      >
      >Will explain more when I have time, and if it is still needed. But
      >in brief, Ajātasattu's bad kamma is like a horse, while his
      >good kamma is like a dog. The horse runs faster. This is opposite in
      >the case of Aṅgulimāla who was ordained and properly
      >practised himself under the Buddha's guidance. You may find further
      >information that his monk's life was not at all easy. But he
      >tolerated it and trained himself appropriately, and finally won.
      >
      >With mettā,
      >Chanida
    • Nina van Gorkom
      Dear Frank, ... N: Conditions, conditions. We cannot understand all conditions thoroughly. We have to consider which factors make akusala kamma a heinous
      Message 2 of 16 , Mar 20, 2013
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        Dear Frank,
        Op 12-feb-2013, om 17:23 heeft Frank K het volgende geschreven:

        > N: He had killed, but not committed a heinous crime like killing
        > > parents or the Buddha. A heinous crime is an impediment. There was
        > > not such an imediment.
        > >
        > >
        > F: So trying to deliberately murder a Samma Sambuddha, and failing
        > only
        > because the Buddha stopped him, is not considered heinous?
        ------
        N: Conditions, conditions. We cannot understand all conditions
        thoroughly.
        We have to consider which factors make akusala kamma a heinous crime,
        and thus a hindrance to enlightenment.
        -------
        > F: Just a petty
        > crime, a misdemeanor, a mere impediment? In my book, when you have the
        > intention, have planned it out, carried it out and almost certainly
        > would
        > have succeeded with that action 99% of the time if not for
        > extraordinary
        > intervention, the kammic fruit for that is much closer to 99% of full
        > kammic fruit than 0%.
        -------
        N: I understand your point of view, you are reasoning, you have a
        logical view about things.
        But kamma and vipaaka is most intricate and only Buddhas can
        thoroughly understand it.
        What is our understanding compared to the Buddha's omniscience?
        The Buddha also knew the kusala and understanding Angulima had
        accumulated in former lives. This was never lost and could bear
        fruit. When considering kamma and result so many factors also
        stemming from past lives have to be taken into consideration. We do
        not have the Buddha's wisdom.
        I understand that at first sight you find things incomprehensible.
        But let us consider things more deeply, not just by logic.
        We can never judge the deeds of someone else, who knows his past
        accumulations? We also may have killed in former lives, but now: here
        we are studying Dhamma. This sutta is also an encouragement that
        kusala is never lost, somehow it will bear fruit, inspite of all the
        tribulations one may experience.
        Angulima was aware and developed understanding of whatever dhamma
        appeared at the present moment, even akusala dhamma; he saw that as
        just a conditioned reality. Only in that way he could attain
        arahatship. So, let us never forget the dhamma appearing right now.
        The only way.

        Nina.



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • stefan_karpik
        What Nina says is somewhat supported by Richard Gombrich in How Buddhism Began . He argues that Angulimala was a Kali devotee and his murders were part of his
        Message 3 of 16 , Mar 21, 2013
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          What Nina says is somewhat supported by Richard Gombrich in 'How Buddhism Began'. He argues that Angulimala was a Kali devotee and his murders were part of his devotions. With that information, one can begin to see Angulimala as a very religious person practising misguided rites and rituals until the Buddha opened his eyes. Angulimala still puzzles me, but this makes him a little more understandable.

          --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Nina van Gorkom <vangorko@...> wrote:
          >
          > Dear Frank,
          > Op 12-feb-2013, om 17:23 heeft Frank K het volgende geschreven:
          >
          > > N: He had killed, but not committed a heinous crime like killing
          > > > parents or the Buddha. A heinous crime is an impediment. There was
          > > > not such an imediment.
          > > >
          > > >
          > > F: So trying to deliberately murder a Samma Sambuddha, and failing
          > > only
          > > because the Buddha stopped him, is not considered heinous?
          > ------
          > N: Conditions, conditions. We cannot understand all conditions
          > thoroughly.
          > We have to consider which factors make akusala kamma a heinous crime,
          > and thus a hindrance to enlightenment.
          > -------
          > > F: Just a petty
          > > crime, a misdemeanor, a mere impediment? In my book, when you have the
          > > intention, have planned it out, carried it out and almost certainly
          > > would
          > > have succeeded with that action 99% of the time if not for
          > > extraordinary
          > > intervention, the kammic fruit for that is much closer to 99% of full
          > > kammic fruit than 0%.
          > -------
          > N: I understand your point of view, you are reasoning, you have a
          > logical view about things.
          > But kamma and vipaaka is most intricate and only Buddhas can
          > thoroughly understand it.
          > What is our understanding compared to the Buddha's omniscience?
          > The Buddha also knew the kusala and understanding Angulima had
          > accumulated in former lives. This was never lost and could bear
          > fruit. When considering kamma and result so many factors also
          > stemming from past lives have to be taken into consideration. We do
          > not have the Buddha's wisdom.
          > I understand that at first sight you find things incomprehensible.
          > But let us consider things more deeply, not just by logic.
          > We can never judge the deeds of someone else, who knows his past
          > accumulations? We also may have killed in former lives, but now: here
          > we are studying Dhamma. This sutta is also an encouragement that
          > kusala is never lost, somehow it will bear fruit, inspite of all the
          > tribulations one may experience.
          > Angulima was aware and developed understanding of whatever dhamma
          > appeared at the present moment, even akusala dhamma; he saw that as
          > just a conditioned reality. Only in that way he could attain
          > arahatship. So, let us never forget the dhamma appearing right now.
          > The only way.
          >
          > Nina.
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • Chanida
          Dear Frank, On preparing for the Sunday dhamma study class, I incidentally came across this relevant reference, being another version of the Buddha s guarantee
          Message 4 of 16 , Mar 21, 2013
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            Dear Frank,

            On preparing for the Sunday dhamma study class, I incidentally came across this relevant reference, being another version of the Buddha's guarantee to Nanda in the commentary to AN.I which is probably clearer than the one from Dhammapadaṭṭhakathā you referred to:

            "Nanda, evarūpā accharā samaṇadhammaṃ karontānaṃ na dullabhāti. Sace me, bhante bhagavā, pāṭibhogo hoti, ahaṃ samaṇadhammaṃ karissāmīti. Vissattho tvaṃ, nanda, samaṇadhammaṃ karohi. Sace te sappaṭisandhikā kālakiriyā bhavissati, ahaṃ etāsaṃ paṭilābhatthāya pāṭibhogoti." (AN-a 1.316-7)

            Rough translation:

            Buddha: "Nanda, such celestial nymphs are not hard to be obtained for those who practise samaṇa-dhamma."

            Nanda: If the Blessed one will be my guarantor, I will do it.

            Buddha: "Be confident, Nanda. Practise samaṇa-dhammmma. If there will be death with (future) rebirth for you, I am guarantor for the obtainment of those nymphs."

            As for another example of another killer who attained dhamma, see the story of Tambadāṭhikacoraghātaka in the Dhammapadaṭṭhakathā 2.202-208.

            As for the comparison of Ajātasattu, you may recollect that he did not practise himself according to Buddha's teachings as did Angulimala. The best Ajatasattu did was only 'dāna', and he has not abandoned any desire. See the story of Jotika where Ajātasattu's greed was mentioned.

            Metta,
            Chanida

            --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Frank K <frank48k@...> wrote:
            >
            > The problem is the Buddha guaranteed his cousin Nanda
            > celestial nymphs if he didn't disrobe and remained in the order. If the
            > Buddha had made the guarantee in a not so ironclad way, I wouldn't have a
            > problem with that either. For example, if he said, "Nanda, if you don't
            > disrobe, I will show you how to develop samatha to the point where you
            > could easily attain celestial nymphs." Then the Buddha would be stating a
            > truth, and not making ironclad guarantees that seem to be not something an
            > enlightened being would say.
            >
            > In the case of Angulimala, is there any other precedent in the Canon where
            > someone can commit such heinous crimes as Angulimala and still attain
            > arahantship or even stream entry in that safe lifetime?
          • Frank K
            Dear Chanida, The diacritics in your pali quotes are not coming out correctly through the pali email subscription or looking at the message itself on the yahoo
            Message 5 of 16 , Mar 24, 2013
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              Dear Chanida,
              The diacritics in your pali quotes are not coming out correctly through the
              pali email subscription or looking at the message itself on the yahoo server
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Pali/message/16021

              Getting unicode to work on yahoogroups is possible, but it can be tricky.
              You can try the velthuis converter that they've been discussing recently.

              metta,
              frank

              On Thu, Mar 21, 2013 at 9:06 AM, Chanida <jchanida@...> wrote:

              > **
              >
              >
              > Dear Frank,
              >
              > On preparing for the Sunday dhamma study class, I incidentally came across
              > this relevant reference, being another version of the Buddha's guarantee to
              > Nanda in the commentary to AN.I which is probably clearer than the one from
              > Dhammapadaṭṭhakathā you referred to:
              >
              > "Nanda, evarūpā accharā samaṇadhammaṃ
              > karontānaṃ na dullabhāti. Sace me, bhante bhagavā,
              > pāṭibhogo hoti, ahaṃ samaṇadhammaṃ
              > karissāmīti. Vissattho tvaṃ, nanda,
              > samaṇadhammaṃ karohi. Sace te sappaṭisandhikā
              > kālakiriyā bhavissati, ahaṃ etāsaṃ
              > paṭilābhatthāya pāṭibhogoti." (AN-a 1.316-7)
              >
              > Rough translation:
              >
              > Buddha: "Nanda, such celestial nymphs are not hard to be obtained for
              > those who practise samaṇa-dhamma."
              >
              > Nanda: If the Blessed one will be my guarantor, I will do it.
              >
              > Buddha: "Be confident, Nanda. Practise samaṇa-dhammmma. If there
              > will be death with (future) rebirth for you, I am guarantor for the
              > obtainment of those nymphs."
              >
              > As for another example of another killer who attained dhamma, see the
              > story of Tambadāṭhikacoraghātaka in the
              > Dhammapadaṭṭhakathā 2.202-208.
              >
              > As for the comparison of Ajātasattu, you may recollect that he did
              > not practise himself according to Buddha's teachings as did Angulimala. The
              > best Ajatasattu did was only 'dāna', and he has not abandoned any
              > desire. See the story of Jotika where Ajātasattu's greed was mentioned.
              >
              > Metta,
              > Chanida
              >
              >
              > --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Frank K <frank48k@...> wrote:
              > >
              > > The problem is the Buddha guaranteed his cousin Nanda
              > > celestial nymphs if he didn't disrobe and remained in the order. If the
              > > Buddha had made the guarantee in a not so ironclad way, I wouldn't have a
              > > problem with that either. For example, if he said, "Nanda, if you don't
              > > disrobe, I will show you how to develop samatha to the point where you
              > > could easily attain celestial nymphs." Then the Buddha would be stating a
              > > truth, and not making ironclad guarantees that seem to be not something
              > an
              > > enlightened being would say.
              > >
              > > In the case of Angulimala, is there any other precedent in the Canon
              > where
              > > someone can commit such heinous crimes as Angulimala and still attain
              > > arahantship or even stream entry in that safe lifetime?
              >
              >
              >


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Kumara Bhikkhu
              I wonder if it s because this group is set to text only (i.e, no html). Yes, Velthuis is the safest bet here.
              Message 6 of 16 , Mar 30, 2013
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                I wonder if it's because this group is set to text only (i.e, no
                html). Yes, Velthuis is the safest bet here.

                Frank K wrote thus at 11:13 PM 24-03-13:
                >Dear Chanida,
                >The diacritics in your pali quotes are not coming out correctly through the
                >pali email subscription or looking at the message itself on the yahoo server
                >http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Pali/message/16021
                >
                >Getting unicode to work on yahoogroups is possible, but it can be tricky.
                >You can try the velthuis converter that they've been discussing recently.
                >
                >metta,
                >frank
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