Re: Door = reality. Rupa kalapa = concepts
- Hi Sukin.
--- In email@example.com, "sukinderpal narula" <sukinder@...> wrote:
> Now for some of us, it is clear that no matter what situation, the message is the same, namely the development of understanding with regard to namas and rupas. So really it is you who is saying that the Buddha is sending two messages by suggesting the he prescribed other practices.
No, I am saying that those practices which he did in fact encourage and teach, are part of the path. This is despite your understanding that he didn't mean it when he taught those things.
> He encouraged all forms of kusala, but not as a practice / Path.
That is not what he said, it is what you are saying.
> > How does dana, sila and samatha bhavana not being part of the Path make
> > it equivalent to nonsense? Giving and being kind are nonsense unless
> > seen as part of the Path? People who don't know the Dhamma have no
> > chance but to be reborn in a low plane of existence?
> Rob E:
> So you would kindly promote metta and such just to create enough merit to get a better rebirth? Even if it leads to a much longer period of ignorance? Why not just teach the path and end the cycle of rebirth altogether?
> Su: Being kind and understanding at the same time, that kindness is a conditioned reality encourages not only more kindness, but also the Path leading to the end of samsara. The kindness itself of course, is not the Path.
If such kindness encourages the Path, then such kindness is a supporting condition for the development of the path.
> Was the Buddha encouraging longer period of ignorance when he referred to one of the benefits of metta being rebirth in a good plane of existence?
No he was encouraging kusala dhammas which would support and lead to the development of the path. The various kusala factors that replace defilements with kusala open a door for path development.
> > What the Buddha dismissed upon his enlightenment was wrong view and
> > wrong practices, not other kinds of kusala. He dismissed Jhana as being
> > the Path, not the Jhana itself.
> Rob E:
> When did he dismiss Jhana as the path? I never saw any such statement.
> Su: What do you think is the significance of the Bodhisatta's resolve to sit under the Bodhi tree until he came to see the Truth and finally becoming enlightened?
Considering that sitting under the Bodhi tree in order to realize the Truth was a form of Formal Meditation taken to an extreme, I suppose you must thing the Buddha was indulging in wrong view when he felt he had to sit still under a tree to reach enlightenment. Why on earth would he do something like that when you say that he dismissed all forms of meditation? That doesn't make sense, does it? Why didn't the Buddha follow the principles of Buddhism as you understand them?
> Did he not do this in reaction to the perception that all those Jhana practices out there which he followed and was more than successful at, were *not* the way? Is the Noble Eightfold Path not different from Jhana which is the result of the development of samatha? Are samatha and vipassana not different from each other?
Now this really astounds me. Not only did the Buddha realize full enlightenment while *in the jhanas* and not only did he continue to practice jhana in his sitting under the Bodhi tree, reaching all of the higher jhanas, including the formless states which led to his enlightenment -- which apparently you are denying her? -- but he continued to practice the jhanas *after* his enlightenment, teach them to his followers, praise them, utilize them as objects of insight in the final stages of the path leading to enlightenment for all the monks he instructed, but he also maintained his status as the greatest of the Jhana Masters and made a point of going through all the jhanas forwards and backwards with perfect skill in his final moments -- the most important demonstration of his entire career -- before exiting this worldly existence into his parinibbana.
He never ever said anything like you say above, but instead continued to teach and praise the jhanas his entire life. It was the centerpiece of his practice and that of every monk that ever followed him, and he taught a most skillful use of samatha and jhana, to be developed in tandem in order to realize the deepest levels of insight with jhana as object.
Even those here who are adherents of the 'dry insight' philosophy that is popular here freely admit that the *deepest and most profound enlightenment is gained through, with and because of* the use of the jhanas, for those who can attain them.
You are so very wrong in saying that the Buddha somehow substituted panna for jhana, and that they are two separate paths. He used them together. He never said a cross word about jhana his entire life. How can you possibly hold such a view? It is unbelievable. It makes me think that those who believe in "insight only" and are so against samatha and so sure in this philosophy that they do not or cannot read what the Buddha has said on this subject.
You cannot develop vipassana without a requisite degree of samatha. The skill of calming the mind, concentrating the mind and focusing the mind on what is present to achieve sati sampajanna and beyond all work together. Without some requisite samatha you have nothing. Insight will not arise for a mind that is so defiled that it jumps all over the place. This is basic common sense, but in the wonderful world of magical cittas and inexplicable arising dhammas it all happens by magic.
> > Similarly he would dismiss what you are suggesting.
> Rob E:
> Really - that is good to know. So the Buddha was a teacher of all kinds of kusala, path and non-path. Good to know. He was just a general kusala teacher, so people could have a bit better vipaka.
> Su: The development of the Perfections requires wisdom which knows the nature of the particular kind of kusala, or else it is done with the aim of benefiting other beings. The Buddha would not promote kusala so that one might think to have better rebirth.
Then why did he advertise it? Jon has recently said that having a better rebirth is a supporting condition for hearing the Dhamma and thus developing the path. Maybe this is what the Buddha had in mind?
> Do you perform good deeds because you want something for yourself?
Depends on the occasion I am sure.
> > Yes, he was here to end suffering and that is why he taught about the
> > Path. If he taught dana, sila and samatha bhavana regardless of whether
> > the listener will take these for "self", he'd have not done his duty.
> > But this was not the case. The Buddha rightly taught about the value of
> > all kinds of kusala, because he also made it clear that these are
> > conditioned, impermanent, unsatisfactory and non-self.
> Rob E:
> Not at the same time, he didn't. He taught about all these forms of kusala without ever saying that they were dukkha, many many times. He saved that for the advanced course.
> Su: Not always at the same time perhaps, but neither would he teach them to people who would take the particular dhammas for "self". This means that they would have already understood the basic teachings.
> So you think it does not matter that someone would take dana, sila, metta and so on for "self"? Please explain.
I think that he taught them because they are kusala and that this kusala would support the path. You inject the question of self into every issue, but the Buddha did not see the need for that.
When one truly realizes metta, at that moment one has no sense of self-concept, but is open to kusala towards that which is outside of self. It is positive in its own right and leads towards enlightenment. I do not agree with your interpretation that only by coldly seeing that metta has this or that technical specification can metta lead to the path of knowing what is beyond self. I believe that the Buddha taught metta because it *is* beyond self concept in its own right, sila because it leads to eradicating defilements which are obstacles to the path, and dana because it also goes beyond the self. There's no room for such ideas however in your philosophy that is only about cold understanding of cold dhammas and nothing else.
> > > > So it is not that kusala is part of the Path, but rather that the Path
> > > > won't arise all the time, therefore during the rest of the time, kusala
> > > > is preferable.
> > >
> > > So the Buddha was a politician? If he couldn't teach on Enlightenment
> > > for a particular group, he'd teach them to be nice to others and be
> > > kind to animals instead? What a nice Guy!
> > You are projecting.
> Rob E:
> No you are.
> Su: I never suggested that the Buddha chose his audiences and taught accordingly, one, the Path, and the other, kusala.
Neither did I. Kusala is part of the path.
> What I said with regard to time for kusala of other kinds and the Path is in relation to objects of experience for any given person (and I've explained this more than once!!). Therefore your characterization of the Buddha as "politician" is your projection.
I am sarcastically saying that this is the implication of your view that such teachings were 'non-path' and yet the Buddha taught them anyway. I am not espousing such a thing as a doctrine or saying seriously that the Buddha would do such. I'm saying since he *wouldn't* do such, it is wrong to say that he was teaching non-path knowledge.
> > The Buddha would not teach other kinds of kusala at the expense of Right
> > View.
> > What do you think, would he talk about the Brahmaviharas to his
> > enlightened disciples or not?
> Rob E:
> If he did, what would be the reason? Why?
> Su: Because metta, karuna, mudita and uppekha are good dhammas to always be encouraged when thinking in terms of other beings.
I don't agree that his motivation was that arbitrary. He did not teach the general good. He taught the path, and such factors support the path. All good supports the development of the necessary kusala for the path.
> > Right, no side topics, hence why at the end of some of his discourses
> > after giving conventional descriptions, the Buddha pointed out that in
> > truth and reality, there are just the Five Aggregates.
> > Some of us suggest that the Noble Eightfold Path is a reference to
> > different cetasikas accompanying a particular kind of citta. Others say
> > that each of the factors are separate practices to be followed. Yours is
> > something quite different. You are suggesting that dana, sila, body
> > contemplation, kasina and breath concentration, metta, karuna, mudita,
> > uppekha, are all part of the Path.
> > Please explain your position.
> Rob E:
> I think I've already explained it. They were all taught by the Buddha, who I believe taught that such kusala would lead to greater understanding and eventually to insight, when accompanied by the full range of practices he recommended - Right concentration, mindfulness, livelihood, action, etc....
> Su: I was not looking for the kind of explanation where you put forward a general opinion about the teachings as a whole from which you draw a conclusion. I was asking about how the different kinds of kusala function in relation to the Path and what your understanding exactly is with regard to the latter.
I don't have that exact an understanding. If you don't agree with the above then we will have to disagree.
> In relation to what you wrote above, you can also answer as to why are the eight "Rights" as individual practices, separated from the other practices such as metta, karuna, mudita, uppekha, dana, sila, body contemplation, kasina concentration, Jhana and so on?
I don't know which categories these are all in, but the Buddha did teach them. As for Jhana it is defined *by the Buddha* *as* Right Concentration itself on many occasions. Are you purposely ignoring that?
The Buddha also taught that breath and body contemplation would not only lead to development of insight but to *all* the path factors and full enlightenment if followed as he described, in the anapanasati sutta, and kayagatasati sutta, so that is Right Mindfulness right there. Are you purposely ignoring that as well?
When the Buddha said that Body Contemplation is an ultimate form of meditation that will lead to enlightenment, do you think he really meant something else? I guess ignoring the Buddha's words is okay as long as you are sure your philosophy is correct.
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Hi Rob ERE: Hi Jon.
> RE: I will get into the next part about the Satipatthana sutta later, as I need to look at it to continue the discussion.
> J: Glad to hear you'll be checking out the text of the sutta for a change!! :-))
:-) I appreciate what I desperately hope is your humor here, and if so, is very funny.
I will get back to you with the usual sutta quotes as soon as I can. :-)
Very very funny, Jon. ; - /
- - - - - - - - - -
J: You may have forgotten in the confusion over the new format that you have already come back with a quote from the Satipatthana Sutta. My reply to your message can be found here: