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37925Re: Phil: intelligent act of dana

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  • rjkjp1
    Nov 1, 2004
      Dear Sukin and Antony,
      You explain it well Sukin.
      The quote from@the sayadaw says
      "Here, those who do not know Buddha's methodology in
      teaching the dhamma conceived that paramatta desanaa is
      better and therefore, send their good wishes not to the
      individual, but to the khandhas. It must be remembered that
      in practising Brahmacariya, not only the generic term, all
      beings or sabbe sattaa, is used but also the specific term,
      all men or sabbe purisaa, all women or sabbe itthiyo, etc.,
      is used. In sending love and kind regards to others one has
      to direct his mind or attention to recipients as
      individuals, and not to their mind and matter"
      This is certainly explained throughout the Abhidhamma. Metta takes
      as an object only a concpet of a being, not nama or rupa.
      I haven't heard of this idea of sending metta to the khandhas before
      but perhaps it occurs in Burma and the Sayadaw was pointing out the
      error.

      Then again of course, when giving or having a being as object of
      metta it does not mean that there should not also be understanding
      that teh object is a concept.
      The cariyapitaka attahkattha explains:
      http://abhidhamma.org/Paramis-%20perfections%20of%20insight.htm#,
      the bodhisattva-aspirant should reflect: Attachment to external
      objects is like the bathing of an elephant; therefore you should not
      be attached to anything. .. when I have undertaken to exert myself
      for the welfare of all the world, I should not arouse even the
      subtlest wrong thought over this wretched, ungrateful, impure body,
      which I have entrusted to the service of others. And besides, what
      distinction can be made between the internal material elements (of
      the body) and the external material elements (of the world)? They
      are both subject to inevitable breaking-up, dispersal, and
      dissolution. This is only confused prattle, the adherence to this
      body as `This is mine, this am I, this is my self.' I should have no
      more concern over my own hands, feet, eyes, and flesh than over
      external things.""
      Thus indeed understanding that there is only khandas arising and
      falling is a great support for giving and metta.

      Robertk



      In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, "Sukinderpal Singh Narula"
      <sukinder@k...> wrote:
      >
      > Hello DN,
      >
      > Thanks for Mahasi Sayadaw's lecture.
      >
      > I agree with the Sayadaw regarding the superiority in some cases,
      of
      > conventional expressions of dhamma. Though even in these cases, I
      > would think that sometimes it depends on the listener, how much
      > understanding he or she has about ultimate realities. It does seem
      > however, that the Sayadaw acknowledges that ultimately whatever is
      > said, paramattha dhamma are being referred to, no? But in any
      case,
      > is this even an issue? Does anyone here deny the usefulness and
      > application of the Teachings in conventional terms?
      >
      > I think the Sayadaw is addressing more the misapplication of the
      > knowledge of Abhidhamma. And this may be a problem he faced
      directly
      > in real life experience, perhaps in Myanmar? Or it may be rooted
      to
      > some degree in his `doing' or `proactive' approach to dhamma? From
      > my perspective the question of choice between stating in
      paramattha
      > terms vs. conventional designation, should not even arise. Why
      does
      > one have to `choose' between one way of saying things from the
      > other. Is it a reflection of panna which stops to consider the
      > better way of stating facts?
      >
      > Abhidhamma is about understanding the moment, not about *using*
      any
      > knowledge and projecting that onto experiences. This is the world
      of
      > a difference between seeing the Teachings as prescriptive on one
      > hand and descriptive on another. The same difference between
      `doing'
      > and `understanding', control and no control. In the one there is
      > what I believe genuine `practice' conditioned from time to time,
      but
      > the other, though they "believe" in practice, little positive seem
      > to happen as far as understanding the moment is concerned.
      >
      > Now to the point of the original post, namely, did the Buddha in
      > some particular case, specifically in his teachings on Dana,
      prefer
      > ordinary kusala over vipassana? Here too it seems that the
      Venerable
      > is making an unnecessary distinction in his lecture. It is part of
      > correct Abhidhamma understanding that a moment of dana, metta,
      > karuna for example, the object of citta is a being or person. It
      is
      > also correct understanding that Dana and metta are parami and that
      > without the accumulation of these, panna cannot be developed to
      the
      > full, and all along the path, these help and support each other.
      On
      > the other hand it would be wrong understanding to even think about
      > trying to change the object of citta from `beings' to `the
      > characteristic of dhammas'. This is from a wrong idea of `self and
      > control' and the result would be neither the kusala of Dana nor
      any
      > kusala thinking, but distorted view. However for the Venerable to
      go
      > on and say to the effect, that one should *avoid* satipatthana in
      > order so that Dana can be most effective is I think equally wrong.
      I
      > think it is in the Dhammapadda where the Buddha states that "a
      > hundred years of metta if not as good one single moment of
      insight".
      > I know that this may be referred to vipassana and not ordinary
      > satipatthana. However it does point to the superiority and
      > preferability of knowing dhammas, no? The Venerable would in my
      > opinion not see this problem had he not separated the practice of
      > satipatthana from daily life into formalized practice. As Ken O
      has
      > said, that Dana has arisen already and that it is conditioned and
      if
      > there is any rejoice later, this too would be conditioned. The
      > important thing is that *all this can happen interspersed with
      > satipatthana if the attitude is correct*.
      >
      > Sorry for the abrupt ending, need to go out somewhere.
      >
      > Metta,
      > Sukin.
      >
      >
      > --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, "dighanakha"
      > <dighanakha@y...> wrote:
      > >
      > > Hello All.
      > >
      > > Here is a lengthier treatment of the same subject in Mahasi
      > > Sayadaw's lectures on the Bhaara Sutta. Particularly worthy
      > > of attention are his remarks at the end about the "semblance
      > > of vipassanaa."
      > >
      > > http://www.mahasi.org.mm/pdf/E04pdf.PDF
      > >
      > > PA~N~NATTA AND PARAMATTHA
      > >
      > > There are two methods of instruction in Buddha's teachings,
      > > namely, the paramattha desanaa and the pa~n~nattha desanaa,
      > > the former being concerned with abstract knowledge while the
      > > latter with ordinary or conventional knowledge appealing to
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