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Re: [dsg] Re: Views, Ontology, Philosophy of Buddha as it appears to me.

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  • DC Wijeratna
    Dear Sukin, Many thanks for your kind response. Here I quote the relevant portion of your response for easy reference. S: Is this interpretation only with
    Message 1 of 152 , Sep 29, 2007
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      Dear Sukin,

      Many thanks for your kind response.

      Here I quote the relevant portion of your response for easy reference.
      "S: Is this interpretation only with reference to the particular

      Dhammapada verse or is this the general meaning. I've hardly ever

      thought about this particular aspect of Dana, but it would seem to me

      that it being a form of Dana / kusala is determined by the quality of the

      intention, no? In this case the further qualification might be perhaps that

      the moment is accompanied by Right Understanding, and whether this is

      in turn understood by the student should make little or no difference, no?"


      Here are my answers (and questions):

      1. How else can one give dhamma daana. Is giving some free dhamma books as gifts dhamma daana? I am sure you would agree that Buddha would not designate that as the greatest gift. [The provocation for my talk was an incident like that. Somebody distributing some books on dhamma being described as dhammadaana.]

      2. How do you give dhamma? Is it a tangible thing to give?

      3. There are many meanings to dhamma: "deanaa, gu.na, hetu etc.] Only the first two meanings can make any sense in the context of dhamma-daana. You can preach dhamma, but if the hearer does not establish himself in the dhamma, then can we say whether the gift has been given? No I think, it is wasted.

      It is this kind of thinking that led me to say what I said.

      The full gaathaa is as follows: "The gift of Truth excels all gifts; the flavour of Truth excels all flavours; the delight in Truth excels all delights; the Craving-freed overcomes all suffering." Dhamma is here translated as the Truths. You can easily see that the meaning I have given is in consonance with the gaathaa.

      4. Daana/kusala -- Daana and kusala are two different things. Daana is the act of giving and kusala is something that lead you towards nibbaana. Daana is a meritorious deed (pu~n~naa). Are you familiar with this distinction?

      5. >sukin: "it being a form of Dana / kusala is determined by the quality of the


      intention, no?"

      DC: How do you interpret quality of intention. If you give something expecting something in return then there is a reduction of quality. But can you establish somebody in Dhamma, for example, in the five precepts. What can you expect back. Really can any body do a thing like that with a bad intention. ["Desetha bhikkave dhamma.m, bahujanhitaaya, bahujansukhaaya, lokaanukampaaya"] You do it out of mettaa or karunna or for the benefit of the many and happiness of the many.

      6. >Sukin: "In this case the further qualification might be perhaps that


      the moment is accompanied by Right Understanding, and whether this is


      in turn understood by the student should make little or no difference, no?"

      DC: I refer to the word "moment" above. It is not relevant here. That is abhidhammic analysis. The Buddha did not teach in the language of "Abhidhamma". He taught in a language that could be understood by mere mortals like you and me. So we will have to understand it that way. If you glance through the Kaalaama sutta you will understand what I mean.

      One word about Abhidhamma or (more accurately, Abhidhamm Pi.taka.) It is a later development and part of sectarian Buddhism. Each early school, out of the 18 mentioned in the Cullavagga, I think, is supposed to have had its own Abhidhamma Pi.taka. Only three are extant now: Theravaada, Sarvastivaada and Saariputra Abhidharma Sastra. They are different from one another. So how can we decide which one is true?

      Kaalena dhamma saakacchaa eta.m man.gala muttama.m'

      With mettaa,

      D. G. D. C. Wijeratna




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      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Jonothan Abbott
      Hi DC (and Elaine) Not wanting to buy into your discussion, but would just like to suggest that the mention you have seen of citta that knows vedana that
      Message 152 of 152 , Nov 5, 2007
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        Hi DC (and Elaine)

        Not wanting to buy into your discussion, but would just like to suggest
        that the mention you have seen of "citta that knows vedana that feels
        etc." might be to "citta that knows" and "vedana that feels", rather
        than to "citta that knows vedana".

        According to what I have read citta (consciousness) is that which knows,
        while vedana (feeling) is the mental factor that feels.

        Both citta and vedana are said to be mere impersonal elements (dhatus),
        or dhammas. This of course is not how we experience things, but then it
        helps to know in what respect the world as it really is, as described by
        the Buddha, differs from the world as we currently perceive it.

        Jon

        DC Wijeratna wrote:
        > Dear Elaine,
        >
        > Thank you for your quick and thoughtful reply, re. Citta that knows or vedana that knows or whatever,
        >
        > Just like you, I cannot understand it either. That is why I said "please ponder about''.
        >
        > ...
        >
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