Renunciation

Moderator: Tibetan Buddhism moderators

Renunciation

Postby waimengwan » Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:00 pm

Renunciation, how I understand this is we need renunciation then the actions that we do will result in true merit. Without renunciation all actions we do can be either karma or a combination of karma and merits. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Then as a lay person what kind of renunciation can we achieve without becoming a monastic?
User avatar
waimengwan
 
Posts: 183
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:16 am

Re: Renunciation

Postby Andrew108 » Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:53 pm

In your view what is merit?
Andrew108
 
Posts: 1057
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: Renunciation

Postby waimengwan » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:44 pm

Merit is accrued due to someone engaging in actions with a bodhicitta intention/ non selfish motivation, and this then is dedicated towards enlightenment.
User avatar
waimengwan
 
Posts: 183
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:16 am

Re: Renunciation

Postby Andrew108 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:54 pm

But what is it exactly?
Andrew108
 
Posts: 1057
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: Renunciation

Postby dharmagoat » Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:08 pm

Andrew108 wrote:But what is it exactly?

Positive karma?

I have never been too sure about this.
User avatar
dharmagoat
 
Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:39 pm

Re: Renunciation

Postby Andrew108 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:46 pm

Buddhism presents a very different version of reality than the one we are used to. Merit is the sense of inspiration we take in this unconventional view. It follows that the amount of inspiration we have is an indication of our potential. So merit is both inspiration and potential. The greatest way of gaining merit is to wish more than anything to come into contact with genuine dharma. Merit making centred around an egotistical desire to improve ones circumstances or to inflated oneself is worthless.
Andrew108
 
Posts: 1057
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: Renunciation

Postby conebeckham » Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:57 pm

I don't know if I buy that, Andrew108.

In Buddhism, Merit isn't just "The inspiration we take in the unconventional view provided by the Dharma."

Merit is never "worthless," either, though it can be limited. The possibility of Human Existence is due to past merit, but this does not automatically mean that merit stemmed from appreciation of the Dharma.
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.
User avatar
conebeckham
 
Posts: 2430
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: Renunciation

Postby conebeckham » Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:04 pm

Put into other words...I believe it is possible for a sentient being to "accumulate merit" without any "inspiration in the unconventional worldview of the Dharma."
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.
User avatar
conebeckham
 
Posts: 2430
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: Renunciation

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:11 am

I like Berzin's rendering of bsod nams (merit) as "positive potential".
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
-Sakya Pandita
JKhedrup
Former staff member
 
Posts: 1945
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Renunciation

Postby Indrajala » Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:48 am

waimengwan wrote:Renunciation, how I understand this is we need renunciation then the actions that we do will result in true merit. Without renunciation all actions we do can be either karma or a combination of karma and merits. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Then as a lay person what kind of renunciation can we achieve without becoming a monastic?


Renunciation is not necessarily the formal conferment of monastic vows from an institution, which is in itself a provisional social construct that varies too much across cultures and time to have any perceivable inherent quality. The Vinaya precepts were originally just house rules laid down by the Buddha according to circumstances as they arose. In the early sangha there were no precepts and the expectation it seems was that any disciple of the Buddha would understand the need to restrain desire (particularly sexual desire) and unwholesome deeds if they were to achieve liberation. In a community of mature yogis this was clearly not an issue, though as the sangha grew there were a number of irresponsible men and women who behaved in foolish ways and hence formal rules were laid down with punitive measures enforced.

Renunciation is renouncing saṃsāra. It is renouncing saṃsāric ways. It is giving up worldly and mundane desires, pursuits and concerns in pursuit of liberation from saṃsāra. One's deeds and life goals are directed towards liberation, and not securing an impermanent happy life. It means sacrificing pleasures in favour of practice. It means giving up relationships, sex and other pursuits motivated by emotional longing and lust.

You do not need to be a formal monk or nun to renounce. Milarepa is a key figure in Tibetan Buddhism who as a lay yogi with long hair practiced diligently and attained liberation.

In some cultures and circumstances formal ordination is quite expedient when it comes to practice, otherwise you will be expected to marry and engage in worldly activities. As a monk or nun you are excused from such obligations and probably have an environment that is conducive to freeing oneself from mundane concerns, if you should take advantage of it. This is not always the case because many monks and nuns around the world are called to do mundane rites for patrons and become active agents on the merit market. In some cases you leave your biological family (i.e., the household) and just adopt a new household called the monastery complete with a rigid hierarchy, mundane chores and day jobs.

As a lay practitioner you might arguably have more time and opportunity to practice. One senior western monk I know has told me he that he thinks being a lay practitioner is more conducive to quality practice now than being a monk.

Anyway, renunciation is renunciation from saṃsāra and not necessarily formal ordination. With such a mindset in place your deeds will be motivated by powerful intent to leave behind saṃsāra.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
Former staff member
 
Posts: 5563
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: India

Re: Renunciation

Postby Indrajala » Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:54 am

dharmagoat wrote:
Andrew108 wrote:But what is it exactly?

Positive karma?

I have never been too sure about this.


Merit is the process of generating agreeable results that maturate from wholesome actions (kuśala-karma).

Merit alone does not liberate one from saṃsāra, but it does provide opportune and preferable circumstances in which to practice the path.

The intention to gain merit is "tainted" (āsrava) in the sense of being motivated by intention, which results in karma and thereafter the maturation process that stems from it (vipāka).

However, if you are unenlightened bloke it is still a good idea to generate merit because otherwise your future prospects will be all the more uncertain.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
Former staff member
 
Posts: 5563
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: India

Re: Renunciation

Postby Dave The Seeker » Sat Jul 28, 2012 12:24 pm

:good:
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
User avatar
Dave The Seeker
 
Posts: 409
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:02 pm
Location: Reading MI USA

Re: Renunciation

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Jul 28, 2012 12:47 pm

With words I am always interested in how the Tibetan gives it, because there can sometimes be several different English translations for the same word. In Tibetan nges par 'byung ba is the word that is often translated into English as renunication. In fact if you break down the world nges par is "definitely" and byung ba is emerge, hence another translation is definite emergence.
To me this carries a connotation of definitely wanting to emerge from, to get out of, that which binds us, and to eventually leave samsara behind.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
-Sakya Pandita
JKhedrup
Former staff member
 
Posts: 1945
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Renunciation

Postby undefineable » Sat Jul 28, 2012 5:45 pm

waimengwan wrote:Merit is accrued due to someone engaging in actions with a bodhicitta intention/ non selfish motivation,


Non-selfish motivation, atleast, seems likely to be a factor, as there are problems in the potential interpretation of arguments such as this:

Andrew108 wrote:Buddhism presents a very different version of reality than the one we are used to. Merit is the sense of inspiration we take in this unconventional view. It follows that the amount of inspiration we have is an indication of our potential. So merit is both inspiration and potential. The greatest way of gaining merit is to wish more than anything to come into contact with genuine dharma.


-In that case, a lot of people must be seriously 'undershooting' their potential somehow because (and not in spite of) that potential, particularly schizophrenics (during the quasi-inspired 'positive' stage of the illness), temporal-lobe epileptics, and so on- I may have misinterpreted the syntax in the 2'nd sentence of that paragraph, in which case my criticism of it would be the same as that of other replying 'post-ers'. {Also, I wonder if overblown inspiration is really such a good sign soon after one has stepped on to the Path}

Equally, simply having 'positive intention' cannot be enough to produce merit, if traditional accounts are to be taken seriously: This is where I'm unclear as to where the boundaries lie: Suppose you wanted to grow a Business - If the only sure way to effect this positive intention was to kill your main rival, then as long as you did so dispassionately -focusing only on commercial concerns as a sociopath might- killing another human being for the sake of your own gain would potentially be a karma-neutral action. :rolleye: Any quibbles about monopolies and so on are likely to be offset by uncertainty (as to what the outcome -and indeed the 'best outcome'- actually is) and by exceptional cases.

However, I suspect that other beings loom large enough in the minds of most sentient beings for killing to be closely associated with the negative karmas of aversion (towards those beings) or attachment (towards the perceived benefits those beings are perceived to stand in the way of). Still, it makes one wonder about what happens when we 'detach' from and disregard other beings completely, as our culture encourages us to do, and as we can do - given the acknowledged fact of the [semi-]permanent separateness of all individual mind-streams _ _ This argument:

Andrew108 wrote:Merit making centred around an egotistical desire to improve ones circumstances or to inflated oneself is worthless.


seems to apply, for some reason I can't yet put my finger on, in the example I've given.

Renunciation appears to short-circuit this confusion, as one sees (presumably) that only universal, non-'I'-centred inspiration can bring universally positive and permanent results.
Last edited by undefineable on Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:18 pm, edited 5 times in total.
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
undefineable
 
Posts: 489
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:34 am

Re: Renunciation

Postby Malcolm » Sat Jul 28, 2012 5:57 pm

JKhedrup wrote:With words I am always interested in how the Tibetan gives it, because there can sometimes be several different English translations for the same word. In Tibetan nges par 'byung ba is the word that is often translated into English as renunication. In fact if you break down the world nges par is "definitely" and byung ba is emerge, hence another translation is definite emergence.
To me this carries a connotation of definitely wanting to emerge from, to get out of, that which binds us, and to eventually leave samsara behind.


nges par 'byung ba = niḥsaraṇaḥ

Cologne Digital Sanskrit Lexicon: Search Results

1 niHsaraNa n. going forth or out MBh. Pan5c. ; issue , egress , gate L. ; means , expedient , remedy to get rid of (comp.) MBh. ; departure , death final beatitude L. ; %{-vat} (%{niH-sa4r-}) mfn. flowing out , liquid S3Br.
2 niHsAraNa n. turning out , expelling Ra1jat. ; egress or road of egress L.



The Pali Text Society's Pali-English dictionary.

Nissaraṇa
Nissaraṇa (nt.) [Sk. niḥsaraṇa, to nis+sarati, cp. BSk. nissaraṇa giving up (?) AvŚ ii.193] going out, departure; issue, outcome, result; giving up, leaving behind, being freed, escape (fr. saŋsāra), salvation Vin i.104; D iii.240, 248 sq.; S i.128, 142; ii.5; iii.170 (catunnaŋ dhātūnaŋ); iv.7 sq. (id.); v.121 sq.; A i.258, 260; ii.10 (kāmānaŋ etc.); iii.245 sq.; iv.76 (uttariŋ); v.188; M i.87 (kāmānaŋ), 326 (uttariŋ); iii.25; It 37, 61; Ps ii.180, 244; Vbh 247; Vism 116; ThA 233; DhsA 164; Sdhp 579. Cp. nissaṭa & nissaraṇīya.
-- dassin wise in knowing results, prescient, able to find a way to salvation S iv.205; -- pañña (adj.)=˚dassin D i.245 (a˚); iii.46; S ii.194; iv.332; A v.178 (a˚), 181 sq.; Miln 401.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
Malcolm
 
Posts: 10187
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Renunciation

Postby JKhedrup » Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:37 am

Of course, Sanskrit. While the entymology of the Tibetan word might tell us something about the concept,
to understand the source language is probably even more important.
I remember Samdhong Rinpoche saying that to understand the development of Buddhist concepts it would be good
to know Pali, Sanskrit, Tibetan and Classical Chinese.
Unfortunately, not for me in this lifetime.
I hear that sanskrit has one of the most complicated grammars of any language around.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
-Sakya Pandita
JKhedrup
Former staff member
 
Posts: 1945
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Renunciation

Postby heart » Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:21 am

Huseng, thank you for those posts!

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
User avatar
heart
 
Posts: 2935
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:55 pm

Re: Renunciation

Postby viniketa » Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:43 pm

In terms of lay persons, cannot renunciation be of intentions and actions not in accord with the Noble 8-fold way? :thinking:
If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
User avatar
viniketa
 
Posts: 819
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:39 am
Location: USA

Re: Renunciation

Postby Andrew108 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:23 pm

In the end renunciation consists of not adding to experiences. Just letting them be. Conventionally yogis like Milarepa led miserable lives. By modern standards they would be seen as loosers in life and lacking merit. No riches, or big monastery . So what was Milarepa's merit? His circumstances were tougher than tough but he had the inspiration to continue to practice. To not give up. To stay in mountain retreats and to live a life where experiences were not added to. This is the meaning of both merit and renunciation. To be inspired to the point where the teachings become a lived experience.
Andrew108
 
Posts: 1057
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: Renunciation

Postby undefineable » Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:56 pm

Andrew108 wrote:In the end renunciation consists of not adding to experiences.


Or, more fully, seeing that there is no benefit to be had from adding to them?

Andrew108 wrote:Conventionally yogis like Milarepa led miserable lives. By modern standards they would be seen as loosers in life and lacking merit.


-As long as we remember that on the inside Milarepa seems to have been deliberately going above and beyond ordinary human merit-making in the name of a greater goal, whereas your average bum/'loser' who may at times live an outwardly-similar lifestyle to Milarepa (how about some grass/weed/nettles?) is, for whatever reason, no longer capable of living as a human being, and so lives instead as an animal without any inner discipline to offset that-

I've always sensed that renunciation must be an inner, and not outward discipline for practitioners of limited capacity - people who can 'just about' manage in worldly and (therefore) spiritual matters - Monasticism for many of us will look like a comfy way of letting egotistic fear of shame/failure -and/or self-grasping idleness- take us over and plunge us straight into unavoidable rebirth in the lower realms. I've even read that those who find it hard to live normally should avoid attempting meditation before they've 'got it together', though I believe this to be an over-cautious approach. {Who knows every detail of what constitutes a normal life anyway?}
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
undefineable
 
Posts: 489
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:34 am

Next

Return to Gelug

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

>