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RE: Interested in your Pali Group

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  • Danya Furda
    Hi! My name is Danya Furda and I live in Columbus, Ohio. Currently I am working on my Ph.D. thesis (through McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada) and hope
    Message 1 of 20 , Sep 3, 2003
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      Hi! My name is Danya Furda and I live in Columbus, Ohio. Currently I am
      working on my Ph.D. thesis (through McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada)
      and hope to be finished by the end of next year. My thesis is about Kamma
      and Grace in the story of Angulimala. One of the main parts of my project
      has been to translate all but one version of the story of Angulimala from
      the Chinese Buddhist canon. Now I am working on my chapter regarding kamma
      and grace within the Pali version (MN 86) and my seven Chinese ones. I
      would really appreciate it if you could suggest articles or books that you
      found particularly helpful in understanding how kamma operates within
      Theravada Buddhism. Of course if any of you know articles/books that might
      mention grace as a concept within Theravada Buddhism, please pass that on as
      well. So far, I have only found Divine Revelation in Pali Buddhism by Peter
      Masefield to be useful in this regard.

      Thank you so much,
      Danya
    • Piya Tan
      Dear Danya, It helps if you have a working definition of grace . Sukhi Piya ... From: Danya Furda To: Sent:
      Message 2 of 20 , Sep 3, 2003
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        Dear Danya,

        It helps if you have a working definition of "grace".

        Sukhi

        Piya
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Danya Furda" <dfurda@...>
        To: <Pali@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2003 4:44 AM
        Subject: [Pali] RE: Interested in your Pali Group


        >
        > Hi! My name is Danya Furda and I live in Columbus, Ohio. Currently I am
        > working on my Ph.D. thesis (through McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada)
        > and hope to be finished by the end of next year. My thesis is about Kamma
        > and Grace in the story of Angulimala. One of the main parts of my project
        > has been to translate all but one version of the story of Angulimala from
        > the Chinese Buddhist canon. Now I am working on my chapter regarding
        kamma
        > and grace within the Pali version (MN 86) and my seven Chinese ones. I
        > would really appreciate it if you could suggest articles or books that you
        > found particularly helpful in understanding how kamma operates within
        > Theravada Buddhism. Of course if any of you know articles/books that
        might
        > mention grace as a concept within Theravada Buddhism, please pass that on
        as
        > well. So far, I have only found Divine Revelation in Pali Buddhism by
        Peter
        > Masefield to be useful in this regard.
        >
        > Thank you so much,
        > Danya
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
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        > [Homepage] http://www.tipitaka.net
        > [Send Message] pali@yahoogroups.com
        > Paaliga.na - a community for Pali students
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        web only.
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >
        >
      • Ong Yong Peng
        Dear Piya, Danya and friends, I am afraid that the word grace implies (in a theistic sense) that we are in the mercy of a supreme, almight, all-powerful being.
        Message 3 of 20 , Sep 3, 2003
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          Dear Piya, Danya and friends,

          I am afraid that the word grace implies (in a theistic sense) that we
          are in the mercy of a supreme, almight, all-powerful being. This
          concept does not exist in Buddhism. The concept of grace and seeking
          it, however, exists in all other religions that believe in one, two
          or many divine beings.

          Bringing up the word grace brings up the concept of sin too. I would
          say both are irrelevant in the Buddhist context. Angulimala was a man
          of good nature and was the most outstanding student of his teacher
          before turning into a bandit. Circumstances brought him into a life
          of wickedness, the compassion of Buddha brought him back to the right
          path and Buddha's wisdom subdued his unfounded and ignorant excuses
          for wrong-doing.

          metta,
          Yong Peng

          --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Piya Tan wrote:
          > It helps if you have a working definition of "grace".
          >
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > > Hi! My name is Danya Furda and I live in Columbus, Ohio.
          Currently I am working on my Ph.D. thesis (through McMaster
          University, Hamilton, Canada) and hope to be finished by the end of
          next year. My thesis is about Kamma and Grace in the story of
          Angulimala. One of the main parts of my project has been to
          translate all but one version of the story of Angulimala from the
          Chinese Buddhist canon. Now I am working on my chapter regarding
          kamma and grace within the Pali version (MN 86) and my seven Chinese
          ones. I would really appreciate it if you could suggest articles or
          books that you found particularly helpful in understanding how kamma
          operates within Theravada Buddhism. Of course if any of you know
          articles/books that might mention grace as a concept within Theravada
          Buddhism, please pass that on as well. So far, I have only found
          Divine Revelation in Pali Buddhism by Peter Masefield to be useful in
          this regard.
        • Piya Tan
          Dear Group, Words are what we make of it, although how we are influence by dominant forces do colour our response. There is also a tendency amongst world
          Message 4 of 20 , Sep 4, 2003
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            Dear Group,

            Words are what we make of it, although how we are influence by dominant
            forces do colour our response.
            There is also a tendency amongst world religions to adopt, adapt and even
            absorb attractive elements of other religions.

            In our times, there is a trend for Catholics (esp priests) to learn Buddhist
            meditation in an effort to regain their lost contemplative tradition. This
            is interesting because we are actually helping them to regain lost
            spirituality.

            Sukhi

            Piya


            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Ong Yong Peng" <ypong001@...>
            To: <Pali@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2003 2:04 PM
            Subject: [Pali] Re: Interested in your Pali Group


            > Dear Piya, Danya and friends,
            >
            > I am afraid that the word grace implies (in a theistic sense) that we
            > are in the mercy of a supreme, almight, all-powerful being. This
            > concept does not exist in Buddhism. The concept of grace and seeking
            > it, however, exists in all other religions that believe in one, two
            > or many divine beings.
            >
            > Bringing up the word grace brings up the concept of sin too. I would
            > say both are irrelevant in the Buddhist context. Angulimala was a man
            > of good nature and was the most outstanding student of his teacher
            > before turning into a bandit. Circumstances brought him into a life
            > of wickedness, the compassion of Buddha brought him back to the right
            > path and Buddha's wisdom subdued his unfounded and ignorant excuses
            > for wrong-doing.
            >
            > metta,
            > Yong Peng
            >
            > --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Piya Tan wrote:
            > > It helps if you have a working definition of "grace".
            > >
            > > ----- Original Message -----
            > > > Hi! My name is Danya Furda and I live in Columbus, Ohio.
            > Currently I am working on my Ph.D. thesis (through McMaster
            > University, Hamilton, Canada) and hope to be finished by the end of
            > next year. My thesis is about Kamma and Grace in the story of
            > Angulimala. One of the main parts of my project has been to
            > translate all but one version of the story of Angulimala from the
            > Chinese Buddhist canon. Now I am working on my chapter regarding
            > kamma and grace within the Pali version (MN 86) and my seven Chinese
            > ones. I would really appreciate it if you could suggest articles or
            > books that you found particularly helpful in understanding how kamma
            > operates within Theravada Buddhism. Of course if any of you know
            > articles/books that might mention grace as a concept within Theravada
            > Buddhism, please pass that on as well. So far, I have only found
            > Divine Revelation in Pali Buddhism by Peter Masefield to be useful in
            > this regard.
            >
            >
            >
            > - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
            > [Homepage] http://www.tipitaka.net
            > [Send Message] pali@yahoogroups.com
            > Paaliga.na - a community for Pali students
            > Yahoo! Groups members can set their delivery options to daily digest or
            web only.
            >
            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            >
            >
            >
          • nina van gorkom
            Dear Danya, Welcome to the list. I hope you find it useful for your studies. Yes, I was puzzled by the word grace. I have a try. See below. ... Danya wrote: I
            Message 5 of 20 , Sep 4, 2003
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              Dear Danya,
              Welcome to the list. I hope you find it useful for your studies.
              Yes, I was puzzled by the word grace. I have a try. See below.
              op 04-09-2003 02:56 schreef Piya Tan op libris@...:
              > It helps if you have a working definition of "grace".
              Danya wrote:
              I would really appreciate it if you could suggest articles or books that
              you
              >> found particularly helpful in understanding how kamma operates within
              >> Theravada Buddhism.
              Nina: Wheel no 221-224, BPS Sri Lanka, Kamma and its Fruit, also containing
              articles by me. I believe it is on line now.
              It is very intricate how different conditions operate at different moments
              in the course of our lives. Akusala kamma committed aeons ago can still
              produce result now when the conditions are right. Each moment of
              consciousness, citta, arises and falls away, and is succeeded by the next
              one. That is why good and bad inclinations can be accumulated from life to
              life. Thus, not only different kammas are accumulated, also good and bad
              inclinations which can motivate good and bad deeds. Angulima had
              accumulated inclinations to violence but also, he must have listened to
              Dhamma in former lives, he must have accumulated right understanding. The
              Buddha knew his disposition and he knew that it was the right time for him
              to hear the Dhamma. He became a monk and later on he attained arahatship as
              you have read in the sutta (M, 86). At the attainment of arahatship the end
              of the cycle is reached. Kamma cannot produce as result any kind of rebirth.
              However, an arahat can, during his last life, still experience results of
              former kammas in the form of pleasant and unpleasant experiences through the
              senses. This is explained also in this sutta. A cloth of earth, sticks and
              gravel fell upon A"ngulimaala so that he had a broken head. The Buddha
              explained that he was experiencing the result of akusala kamma, which, had
              he not been an arahat, could have produced rebirth in Hell.
              I see the Buddha's great compassion in this sutta, but I would not use the
              word grace. Different kammas and different inclinations were the conditions
              for different effects. This sutta helps us to understand that events in life
              all have their appropriate conditions. This is actually Dhamma Nyaama, the
              fixed nature of Dhamma. I wrote (in Meanings of dhamma, no 7) about the
              Fixedness of Law (Dhamma) regarding all things, also quoting from Buddhist
              Dict by Ven. Nyanatiloka.
              <There is a fivefold natural order, that governs:
              1. temperature, season.
              2. plant life.
              3. kamma.
              4. functions of citta in the processes.
              5. certain events occurring in the lives of the Buddhas.
              As regards kamma: akusala kamma produces an undesirable result and kusala
              kamma produces a desirable result, and this is niyaama, a fixed order of
              dhammas. It cannot be altered.
              The ³Gradual Sayings² (I, 285) Ch XIV, §134, Appearance states:
              "Monks, whether there be an appearance or non-appearance of a Tathaagata,
              this causal law of nature (dhaatudhamma.t.thitataa), this orderly fixing of
              things (dhammaniyaamataa) prevails, namely, All phenomena are
              impermanent..."
              The same is said with regard to the nature of dukkha and anattaa.>
              Conditions take their course, no matter whether there is an appearance or
              non-appearance of a Tathaagata. When you use the word grace it suggests a
              person who bestows grace. This is in the context not according to reality.
              Not even a Buddha can alter the fixedness of kamma.
              Nina.
            • Danya Furda
              Thanks for your help and suggestions. For the purposes of my thesis, I am defining grace as a gift or favor given by a representative of ultimate reality
              Message 6 of 20 , Sep 4, 2003
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                Thanks for your help and suggestions. For the purposes of my thesis, I am
                defining grace as "a gift or favor given by a representative of ultimate
                reality without regard to the recipient's virtue and without which ultimate
                liberation would not be possible." Many religious traditions embrace a
                concept of grace in this sense. There does not need to be a god or God to
                have a concept of grace. Grace needs not to be a technical term monopolized
                by Christian theology. I am arguing here, however, that buddhas are special
                beings and possess abilities and qualities not possessed by human beings or
                even by devas.

                The concept of grace (as defined above) was brought to my attention while
                reading Peter Masefield's excellent book, Divine Revelation in Pali
                Buddhism. I guess my question in terms of grace is whether or not anyone
                else has come across other resources which explore the idea that a buddha is
                an essential element for Dharma to be transmitted to others.

                Thanks Nina for the info on kamma. It appears that kamma is operative
                regardless whereas grace can only occur when a buddha is present in the
                world to reveal the Dharma to those ready to hear it. Also, I am
                distinguishing between the concept of grace and that of compassion. For
                something to be "grace," rather than just simply "compassion," it must lead
                to assured ultimate liberation.

                Danya


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Ong Yong Peng
                Dear Danya, Nina, Piya and friends, I am not able to provide any references, but kindly allow me to offer some opinions. The concept of grace is vague in
                Message 7 of 20 , Sep 4, 2003
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                  Dear Danya, Nina, Piya and friends,

                  I am not able to provide any references, but kindly allow me to offer
                  some opinions.

                  The concept of grace is vague in Buddhism comparing to all other
                  religions. Even in Christianity, grace is only given "in exchange"
                  for faith. A buddha may be an essential element for Dharma to be
                  transmitted to others. But a Buddha is not a Hindu avatar or a Jewish
                  messiah. And it is possible for a person, under the right conditions,
                  to attain nibbana on his own. This we call a paccekabuddha.

                  I would not call the Buddha approaching Angulima a gift or favor,
                  although I am not hesitant to use christian evangelistic words that
                  Angulima was "ripe to pluck". :-)

                  Your exploration of the concept of grace in Buddhist literature is an
                  interesting and significant one. Dr Masefield's work has received
                  high regards throughout buddhist circles. It is highly possible that
                  elements of grace do exist in Buddhism, you may regard Buddha's Pure
                  Land (in the Pure Land school of Mahayana Buddhism) as an example.
                  However, because in the Asian buddhist traditions, people approach
                  religion with a different mindset, hence we don't see many works
                  discussing grace in Buddhism. I am sure your investigation will be an
                  eye-opener for us, providing us another window to see the magnificent
                  nature of the Buddha-dhamma.

                  metta,
                  Yong Peng
                • Ong Yong Peng
                  Dear Danya and friends, allow me to add that Buddhism is not a dogmatic, blind faith religion. Therefore, grace is not the deterministic factor to Nibbana,
                  Message 8 of 20 , Sep 4, 2003
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                    Dear Danya and friends,

                    allow me to add that Buddhism is not a dogmatic, "blind faith"
                    religion. Therefore, grace is not the deterministic factor to
                    Nibbana, even in Pure Land Buddhism.

                    This thought led me to the word faith, which is also not greatly
                    emphasized in Buddhism as in other religions. But, that doesn't mean
                    that faith is futile in Buddhist practice.

                    Many western writers have given Buddhism a new perspective, and this
                    includes Sharon Salzberg's Faith (ISBN: 1573222283). This may be an
                    area you want to consider -- the ever evolving globalising Buddhism.
                    And living in America means that you can easily get in touch with
                    these contemporary Buddhist thinkers.

                    As for the word kamma, with right understanding and right effort, all
                    humans can attain nibbana here and now in their present lives,
                    regardless of their past kamma. Nina had, in a previous mail, related
                    Angulimala's story and kamma.

                    metta,
                    Yong Peng
                  • Ong Yong Peng
                    Dear Danya and friends, I missed out the last question. :-) So, here s my reply. Compassion brings peace and love to all, as it is unconditional. Grace is
                    Message 9 of 20 , Sep 4, 2003
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                      Dear Danya and friends,

                      I missed out the last question. :-) So, here's my reply. Compassion
                      brings peace and love to all, as it is unconditional. Grace is
                      conditional, conditions vary from religion to religion, including
                      demands and commandments. Therefore, grace does not bring true peace
                      and love, and definitely not to all.

                      metta,
                      Yong Peng

                      --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Danya Furda wrote:
                      Also, I am distinguishing between the concept of grace and that of
                      compassion.
                    • rjkjp1
                      ... all ... Dear Yong peng, I understand this point differently. There are said to be at this present time only two types of human : Neyya and padaparama.
                      Message 10 of 20 , Sep 4, 2003
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                        --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "Ong Yong Peng" <ypong001@y...> wrote:
                        > >
                        > As for the word kamma, with right understanding and right effort,
                        all
                        > humans can attain nibbana here and now in their present lives,
                        > regardless of their past kamma.
                        >_________________
                        Dear Yong peng,
                        I understand this point differently.
                        There are said to be at this present time only two types of human :
                        Neyya and padaparama.
                        Neyya may or may not be able to attain in this present life .
                        However, padaparama definitely cannot attain in this life and can
                        only make conditions that may lead to success in future lives.
                        Even at the Buddha's time there were those such as King Ajatasattu
                        whose kamma (in this case killing his father) meant they could not
                        attain in that life .
                        Robertk
                      • Ong Yong Peng
                        Dear Robert and friends, you are right, Robert. Thanks for pointing that out. Padaparamas are indeed the exceptions. metta, Yong Peng
                        Message 11 of 20 , Sep 4, 2003
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                          Dear Robert and friends,

                          you are right, Robert. Thanks for pointing that out. Padaparamas are
                          indeed the exceptions.

                          metta,
                          Yong Peng

                          --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, rjkjp1 wrote:
                          > > As for the word kamma, with right understanding and right effort,
                          > all
                          > > humans can attain nibbana here and now in their present lives,
                          > > regardless of their past kamma.
                          > >_________________
                          > Dear Yong peng,
                          > I understand this point differently.
                          > There are said to be at this present time only two types of human :
                          > Neyya and padaparama.
                          > Neyya may or may not be able to attain in this present life .
                          > However, padaparama definitely cannot attain in this life and can
                          > only make conditions that may lead to success in future lives.
                          > Even at the Buddha's time there were those such as King Ajatasattu
                          > whose kamma (in this case killing his father) meant they could not
                          > attain in that life .
                          > Robertk
                        • Lennart Lopin
                          Dear Danya, On your interesting thesis we even had a small discussion here among friends. Actually, before you came up with your working thesis on grace, we
                          Message 12 of 20 , Sep 4, 2003
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                            Dear Danya,

                            On your interesting thesis we even had a small discussion here among
                            friends. Actually, before you came up with your "working thesis" on grace,
                            we automatically thought of the (christian) concept of grace in a buddhist
                            context and couldnt bring them together in any way (especially thinking of
                            grace in a protestant context - it is sooo apart from the Buddhist point of
                            view - none taking responsibility for your actions other than you. Yourself
                            the one who eventually has to cross the stream, albeit taking the help of
                            other kalyana mittas.)

                            I understand now, that you try to explain the Buddhas to be special
                            embodiements of the Dhamma, especially in a sense that they possess for
                            instance the 10 powers and have accumulated sila, samadhi and panna during
                            inamaginable long aeons - thus they would be kind of a "representative
                            reality" (sic) who - because of their "grace" convey or "bestow" the dhamma
                            on other beings even though they are murderers like Angulimala.

                            Well, i think that the term, as it is so bound up with some of the most
                            contrary concepts to Buddhist thought (as Yong Peng pointed out) and
                            Angulimala in fact (as Nina pointed out) was already "under the surface"
                            ready for understanding the dhamma, that it will be very difficult (to say
                            the least) to come to terms with it in a Buddhist (tipitaka) context.

                            That said, i wish you much luck for solving this task, but i am curious to
                            know, how you came to relate so diverse ideas to each other?

                            kind regards,

                            Lennart

                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: "Danya Furda" <dfurda@...>
                            To: <Pali@yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2003 8:25 PM
                            Subject: RE: [Pali] RE: kamma and grace


                            > Thanks for your help and suggestions. For the purposes of my thesis, I am
                            > defining grace as "a gift or favor given by a representative of ultimate
                            > reality without regard to the recipient's virtue and without which
                            ultimate
                            > liberation would not be possible." Many religious traditions embrace a
                            > concept of grace in this sense. There does not need to be a god or God to
                            > have a concept of grace. Grace needs not to be a technical term
                            monopolized
                            > by Christian theology. I am arguing here, however, that buddhas are
                            special
                            > beings and possess abilities and qualities not possessed by human beings
                            or
                            > even by devas.
                            >
                            > The concept of grace (as defined above) was brought to my attention while
                            > reading Peter Masefield's excellent book, Divine Revelation in Pali
                            > Buddhism. I guess my question in terms of grace is whether or not anyone
                            > else has come across other resources which explore the idea that a buddha
                            is
                            > an essential element for Dharma to be transmitted to others.
                            >
                            > Thanks Nina for the info on kamma. It appears that kamma is operative
                            > regardless whereas grace can only occur when a buddha is present in the
                            > world to reveal the Dharma to those ready to hear it. Also, I am
                            > distinguishing between the concept of grace and that of compassion. For
                            > something to be "grace," rather than just simply "compassion," it must
                            lead
                            > to assured ultimate liberation.
                            >
                            > Danya
                            >
                            >
                            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                            > [Homepage] http://www.tipitaka.net
                            > [Send Message] pali@yahoogroups.com
                            > Paaliga.na - a community for Pali students
                            > Yahoo! Groups members can set their delivery options to daily digest or
                            web only.
                            >
                            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                            >
                          • Bruce Burrill
                            Grace is a concept that arises with in theistic context. Grace is given by god, though there is nothing we do to deserve it. Quite the contrary, being sinners,
                            Message 13 of 20 , Sep 4, 2003
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                              Grace is a concept that arises with in theistic context. Grace is given by
                              god, though there is nothing we do to deserve it. Quite the contrary, being
                              sinners, we do not.

                              >Dr Masefield's work has received
                              >high regards throughout buddhist circles.

                              Masefield's book is generally regarded by Buddhologists as eccentric, which
                              it is.
                            • Everett Thiele
                              Hi everyone, Offhand two main points of contact occur to me between Buddhism and Grace . I m not sure how theologically correct these are, but they might be
                              Message 14 of 20 , Sep 5, 2003
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                                Hi everyone,

                                Offhand two main points of contact occur to me between Buddhism and
                                "Grace". I'm not sure how theologically correct these are, but they
                                might be worth looking at.

                                1) In the Pali Canon and in stories such as in the Dhp-a the act of
                                putting faith in the Buddha is often enough for someone to get a
                                heavenly rebirth. This sounds a lot like the Christian idea of faith
                                being salvific. The difference would be that Christianity sees heaven
                                as the end of the line, whereas Buddhism sees it as a state from
                                which a being eventually falls.

                                I haven't checked the Angulimala Sutta, but IIRC he gains this sort
                                of faith to begin with. He then, of course, goes on to become an
                                Arahant.

                                2) Pure Land Buddhism goes further and allows for faith in Amitabha
                                to enable one to be reborn in a heavenly realm as a non-returner.
                                This sounds, on the surface of it, to be very much based on 'other
                                power' like in Christianity, and to be fully salvific even in
                                Buddhist terms.

                                I'm not sure, but perhaps this 'Pure Land' is related to the sorts of
                                very high heavens which can be attained by advanced meditators in the
                                Pali tradition. I'd be very interested in hearing if this has been
                                studied.

                                best regards,

                                --Rett
                              • Ong Yong Peng
                                Dear Everett, Bruce, Lennart and friends, thanks. As much as I know about Pure Land school, there are some differences. Anagamis have worked diligently on the
                                Message 15 of 20 , Sep 5, 2003
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                                  Dear Everett, Bruce, Lennart and friends,

                                  thanks. As much as I know about Pure Land school, there are some
                                  differences. Anagamis have worked diligently on the path to reach the
                                  stage of non-returners. Beings reborn in pure lands may not have
                                  reached the stage of anagami yet, however pure land is a place where
                                  no new kamma would be created, hence achieving the result of non-
                                  returning.

                                  Furthermore, the heavenly realm anagamis reside in is still within
                                  the samsaric realm, which is a result of the collective karma of all
                                  sentient beings in that realm/world. A pure land, on the other hand,
                                  is a result of a Buddha's past vows. Amitabha's past vows was to
                                  construct such a pure land. Shakyamuni's past vows was to reach out
                                  to the beings in samsara.

                                  Unlike a heavenly realm where beings enjoy the fruits of their good
                                  karma (in Buddhist teachings), a pure land is a more conducive place
                                  than samsara for beings to practice till they reach nibbana.

                                  metta,
                                  Yong Peng

                                  --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Everett Thiele wrote:
                                  > 2) Pure Land Buddhism goes further and allows for faith in Amitabha
                                  > to enable one to be reborn in a heavenly realm as a non-returner.
                                  > This sounds, on the surface of it, to be very much based on 'other
                                  > power' like in Christianity, and to be fully salvific even in
                                  > Buddhist terms.
                                  >
                                  > I'm not sure, but perhaps this 'Pure Land' is related to the sorts
                                  of very high heavens which can be attained by advanced meditators in
                                  the Pali tradition. I'd be very interested in hearing if this has
                                  been studied.
                                • Brian Tawney
                                  ... being ... I have heard this definition of grace, but I find it difficult to unravel. Having married a Christian, I have learned that her church believes
                                  Message 16 of 20 , Sep 5, 2003
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                                    > Grace is a concept that arises with in theistic context. Grace is given by
                                    > god, though there is nothing we do to deserve it. Quite the contrary,
                                    being
                                    > sinners, we do not.

                                    I have heard this definition of grace, but I find it difficult to unravel.
                                    Having married a Christian, I have learned that her church believes grace is
                                    only given to those who practice Christianity correctly. In other words,
                                    God (in the person of Christ) came into the world to teach how salvation
                                    might be attained, but salvation must still be earned through individual
                                    effort in the form of correct practice. Is this what is called "grace"?

                                    The Buddha came into the world to teach how nibbana might be attained, but
                                    nibbana must still be earned through individual effort in the form of
                                    correct practice. Is this what is called "compassion"?

                                    To my inexperienced mind, if there is something in the Christian idea of
                                    "God's grace" that is not in the Buddhist idea of "Buddha's compassion", it
                                    is that God created salvation, whereas the Buddha discovered nibbana. On
                                    the other hand, Christians believe that God created everything else as well,
                                    and Buddhists (as far as I know) simply don't address the question of why
                                    reality should be so constructed that we can escape samsara.

                                    If I have said anything someone knows to be wrong, let me know. This is one
                                    of many topics I regularly come across in discussions with my wife.

                                    Thank you.
                                    Brian.
                                    (new to the group)
                                  • Ong Yong Peng
                                    Dear Brian, I am afraid not so. Although, the Buddha taught out of compassion (unconditional love), nibbana is not a physical location where there is an
                                    Message 17 of 20 , Sep 5, 2003
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                                      Dear Brian,

                                      I am afraid not so. Although, the Buddha taught out of compassion
                                      (unconditional love), nibbana is not a physical location where there
                                      is an archangel guarding the gates to determine whether you have met
                                      the criteria to enter. Nibbana is a state which only one who have
                                      reached it can truly experience it, but there are of course many
                                      books that try to explain it. The Buddhist experience and knowledge
                                      is far much beyond the scope that the Christian doctrine can grasp.
                                      This is a philosophical difference.

                                      Buddhists do not practise to earn Buddha's compassion to reach
                                      nibbana, Christians practise to earn God's grace to enter heaven. The
                                      relationship between Buddha and Buddhists is teacher and students,
                                      while that of God and Christians is master and servants. This is a
                                      theological difference. In fact, without the concept of creation in
                                      Hinduism, Taoism or Judaism, Buddhism is not even a theology.

                                      metta,
                                      Yong Peng

                                      --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Brian Tawney wrote:
                                      The Buddha came into the world to teach how nibbana might be
                                      attained, but nibbana must still be earned through individual effort
                                      in the form of correct practice. Is this what is called "compassion"?
                                    • rjkjp1
                                      ... of ... faith ... heaven ... Dear Everett, I think a difference between most religions and Buddhism is that the Buddha taught any attachment, even to him,
                                      Message 18 of 20 , Sep 5, 2003
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                                        --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Everett Thiele <rett@t...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > 1) In the Pali Canon and in stories such as in the Dhp-a the act
                                        of
                                        > putting faith in the Buddha is often enough for someone to get a
                                        > heavenly rebirth. This sounds a lot like the Christian idea of
                                        faith
                                        > being salvific. The difference would be that Christianity sees
                                        heaven
                                        > as the end of the line, whereas Buddhism sees it as a state from
                                        > which a being eventually falls.
                                        > ________________
                                        Dear Everett,
                                        I think a difference between most religions and Buddhism is that the
                                        Buddha taught any attachment, even to him, is unwholesome.
                                        The mind states which condition rebirth in deva realms are kusala
                                        and all kusala cittas arise together with saddha. However faith - in
                                        its normal usage - may include kusala confidence in the virtues of
                                        the Buddha but it may also include attachment. Lobhamula citta
                                        (mindstate rooted in attachment) cannot directly condition rebirth
                                        in a heavenly realm.
                                        Once the Buddha scolded Vakkali for his attachment to Buddha:
                                        Yo kho Vakkali dhammam passati so mam passati Vakkali
                                        whoever sees Dhamma, sees me [the Buddha]
                                        RobertK
                                      • nina van gorkom
                                        Dear Yong Peng and friends, op 05-09-2003 13:17 schreef Ong Yong Peng op ypong001@yahoo.com: Beings reborn in pure lands may not have ... N: According to the
                                        Message 19 of 20 , Sep 6, 2003
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                                          Dear Yong Peng and friends,
                                          op 05-09-2003 13:17 schreef Ong Yong Peng op ypong001@...:
                                          Beings reborn in pure lands may not have
                                          > reached the stage of anagami yet, however pure land is a place where
                                          > no new kamma would be created, hence achieving the result of non-
                                          > returning.
                                          N: According to the Theravada tradition, anagamis still perform kamma which
                                          bring result. We read in Buddhist Dictionary, Ven. Nyanatiloka: <Now, a
                                          being through the disappearing of the five lower fetters (sa.myojana)
                                          reappears in a higher world (amongs the devas of the 'pure abodes'
                                          suddhaavaasa) and without returning from that world (into the Sensuous
                                          Spere) he there reaches Nirvana> Thus, he is not reborn in a sensuous plane,
                                          but still performs kamma in that higher plane.
                                          Only the arahat does not perform any new kamma, although he still receives
                                          results of former kammas for the remainder of his lifespan. That is why the
                                          arahat has, instead of kusala citta, mahaakiriyacitta. Kiriyacitta is
                                          inoperative, it does not bring result.
                                          Y: Furthermore, the heavenly realm anagamis reside in is still within
                                          > the samsaric realm, which is a result of the collective karma of all
                                          > sentient beings in that realm/world.
                                          N: I have heard the word collective kamma before, but we read in the Suttas
                                          time and again that the Buddha explained that beings are heirs to their own
                                          kamma, kamma is the womb from which they are born. Kammassakata ~naa.na,
                                          knowing kamma as one's own (saka) is clearly seen by insight knowledge,
                                          vipassana ~naa.na. According to Theravada tradition there is no collective
                                          kamma. This makes sense to me, because kamma is accumulated by each
                                          individual in the cycle, va.t.ta. Kamma is mental, it is intention, and thus
                                          it can be accumulated from moment to moment, from life to life.
                                          There are people who are born in a country where there is hunger and war, or
                                          people who are together in a accident. It may seem that they receive the
                                          same result, but in reality this is not so. There are different moments of
                                          pain, seeing, hearing, all results of kamma. A person may feel the pain of
                                          hunger but the next moment he may hear a pleasant sound. All different
                                          moments of vipaka and they cannot be the same for a group of people. There
                                          are also different intensities of vipaka.
                                          Instead of thinking of a whole situation of people, or groups of people who
                                          receive vipaka, we should analyse different moments of citta, then we come
                                          closer to reality. People react differently to the result they receive. Some
                                          people react with kusala citta, others with aversion, with akusala citta.
                                          The reason is that people have accumulated different inclinations, and
                                          different defilements, kilesas. In the commentary it is explained that there
                                          are three cycles: the cycle of kamma, the cycle of vipaka and the cycle of
                                          kilesa. Kilesa motivates again kamma and this produces again vipaka and this
                                          conditions again kilesa, and so we go on and on. Thus the three cycles keep
                                          turning around in our lives.
                                          Nina.
                                        • Ong Yong Peng
                                          Dear Nina and friends, thanks for everything, Nina. You are right about collective kamma, it is commonly used in Mahayana schools, and a search on collective
                                          Message 20 of 20 , Sep 6, 2003
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                                            Dear Nina and friends,

                                            thanks for everything, Nina. You are right about collective kamma, it
                                            is commonly used in Mahayana schools, and a search on collective
                                            karma will reveal that. I cannot for sure determine if the usage of
                                            the word is more of a convenience, but I have the idea it appears in
                                            Mahayana sutras.

                                            I totally agree on the explanation you have given on the Theravada
                                            perspective. And I apologise for my lack of knowledge and any
                                            confusion due to that. Browsing the web, I have found what Sayadaw U
                                            Silananda wrote on this topic:

                                            One more thing that should not be applied to the doctrine of kamma is
                                            the idea of mass kamma or collective kamma. There is no operation of
                                            a collective kamma affecting a group of people. There may be, however
                                            a group of people who do something together and who get the results
                                            of their individual kamma together. In that case, the results of each
                                            individual kamma is operating.

                                            http://www.mahindarama.com/e-library/volition4.html

                                            metta,
                                            Yong Peng
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