Renunciation

Moderator: Tibetan Buddhism moderators

Re: Renunciation

Postby waimengwan » Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:56 pm

The first of the Mahayana path is the path of accumulation during which we practice to accumulate merit and purify negative karma. This leads me to think the accumulation of merit does bring me closer towards enlightenment and to leave samsara. I was told we need merits to understand the dharma also, my experience of this was I used to read dharma books lots of them none of them made much sense or had much of a lasting impact on my mind. But one day I offered a huge candle during Wesak day. Something clicked after that, I appreciated the dharma much more after that. I do attribute my depth of understanding of the dharma due to the act of making offering to the buddhas.

Merit provides supportive conditions and reates the potential for enlightenment.
User avatar
waimengwan
 
Posts: 183
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:16 am

Re: Renunciation

Postby Andrew108 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:23 pm

So then you should try to accumulate as much merit as you can. Then you can become enlightened and leave Samsara. That would be great. If I were you I would try to make thousands of offerings everyday.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
Andrew108
 
Posts: 1502
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: Renunciation

Postby waimengwan » Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:38 pm

But you are not me so I will do my dharma work.
User avatar
waimengwan
 
Posts: 183
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:16 am

Re: Renunciation

Postby Will » Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:52 pm

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?


In one of Buddha's early suttas (forgot which one) he says before renunciation becomes appealing a person needs to ponder much on the flaws and problems & suffering that samsara is - the First Noble Truth, in other words. When the attraction for sensory, worldly experience fades, as a result of this meditation on all the forms of suffering, then renunciation or non-attachment will be occurring.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
User avatar
Will
 
Posts: 1922
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:21 am

Re: Renunciation

Postby Malcolm » Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:11 pm

Will wrote: then renunciation or non-attachment will be occurring.



They are not the same thing.

For example, a renunciate who has given up sexual activity may still be attached to sexual activity. A non-renunciate may be no attachment to sexual activity.

But there are different paths for different people of different dispositions, this is why we talk about the path of renuciation, transformation, and self-liberation. The essence of the last path is freedom from grasping, but not renunciation.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12157
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Renunciation

Postby Andrew108 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:16 pm

waimengwan wrote:But you are not me so I will do my dharma work.

I wish you much success.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
Andrew108
 
Posts: 1502
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: Renunciation

Postby Will » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:52 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Will wrote: then renunciation or non-attachment will be occurring.



They are not the same thing.

For example, a renunciate who has given up sexual activity may still be attached to sexual activity. A non-renunciate may be no attachment to sexual activity.

But there are different paths for different people of different dispositions, this is why we talk about the path of renuciation, transformation, and self-liberation. The essence of the last path is freedom from grasping, but not renunciation.


They are the same thing, as I explained in another post. Since we disagree, can we agree to that disagreement and move on?
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
User avatar
Will
 
Posts: 1922
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:21 am

Re: Renunciation

Postby Malcolm » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:59 pm

Will wrote:
They are the same thing


They are not the thing. One who is free of grasping and attachment has no need renunciation.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12157
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Renunciation

Postby dharmagoat » Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:14 pm

Malcolm wrote:One who is free of grasping and attachment has no need renunciation.

I think this is very clear. But wouldn't renunciation naturally follow non-attachment? Or does renunciation necessarily involve rejection?
Last edited by dharmagoat on Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
May all beings be happy
dharmagoat
 
Posts: 1270
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:39 pm
Location: Gone Bush

Re: Renunciation

Postby Will » Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:20 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Will wrote:
They are the same thing


They are not the thing. One who is free of grasping and attachment has no need renunciation.


Correct, because he has renounced. "Free" of attachment = renunciation.

I noticed that this is a Gelug forum, so here is Je Rinpoche with HHDL's comments on Renunciation. (This is not for you M., but for others)

Renunciation

(3) [Je Rinpoche] Since taking keen interest in the pleasurable fruits of the ocean of compulsive existence, without pure renunciation Is no method for (achieving) the peace (of liberation) -
In fact, by craving what is found in compulsive situations, limited beings are completely bound - First, strive for renunciation.

[HHDL] The phrase pure renunciation is mentioned here. Renunciation must be pure in the sense of being totally disinterested in the glories or so-called good things of samsara. If we lack such pure renunciation and are totally obsessed with worldly concerns, there is no way to attain liberation. If we have desire and attachment, then no matter how much positive karma we might have, we will not be able to cut out the root of uncontrollably recurring rebirth. Therefore, we need to develop renunciation.


"Totally disinterested" = non-attachment = renunciation. [paraphrasing[ "If we do not have desire & attachment, that is, if we do have non-attachment, then we will be able to cut the root..."

This is the same formula that Buddha proposed from the suttas in my earlier post.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
User avatar
Will
 
Posts: 1922
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:21 am

Re: Renunciation

Postby JKhedrup » Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:10 am

I too have heard renunciation rendered as "disenchantment" which would connect well with the quote that Will posted above.

I think that Will is posting from this teaching, which has a couple of more good points from His Holiness on the meaning of renunciation:
HHDL on renunciation (1983, commentary on Lamtso Namsum)- available on Berzin Archives, trans. Berzin

"Renunciation is based on the attitude with which we turn our minds completely away from all wishes for samsara, uncontrollably recurring existence. Our attainment of liberation is dependent on having such a renunciation."

Here, in the former, the explanation of renunciation is in two parts. The first is to turn away from our obsessions with this life through remembering our precious human rebirth and impermanence. The second is to turn away from our obsession with future lives by remembering the suffering nature of all of samsara.

Renunciation has two directions of looking. On the one hand, with such an attitude, we look down at the suffering of samsara, with no interest in it, and we feel disgust and the wish to be rid of it completely. On the other hand, we look up at liberation and wish to attain it
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2324
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Renunciation

Postby heart » Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:04 am

JKhedrup wrote:I too have heard renunciation rendered as "disenchantment" which would connect well with the quote that Will posted above.


My Dzogchen master make the exact same point, renunciation is disenchantment, so I agree with you and Will. Disenchantment with Samsara is a very important point in the Dzogchen teachings.

/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: 3103
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:55 pm

Re: Renunciation

Postby Tilopa » Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:16 am

heart wrote:Disenchantment with Samsara is a very important point in the Dzogchen teachings.

Disenchantment with samsara is a very important point in all of Buddha's teachings and there's a good reason he taught the truth of suffering first.
No renunciation = no liberation.
User avatar
Tilopa
 
Posts: 486
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2010 3:53 am

Re: Renunciation

Postby greentara » Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:39 am

"merit is accrued due to someone engaging in actions with a bodhicitta intention/ non selfish motivation, and this then is dedicated towards enlightenment"
If you really wish to accrue merit does that not entail selfish motivation? The merit is for this individual to accrue. As I understand it individuality has to go. That is real merit.
greentara
 
Posts: 925
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:03 am

Re: Renunciation

Postby Andrew108 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:43 am

When you think of enlightenment as a state where you need to be, then you also feel the need to do something to get you there. So you accumulate merit and hope and aspiration and at the same time you become disenchanted with the thing called samsara, trying to get out. This is how it is for most people I guess. BUT is this really how it is?

Think about this really hard. If enlightenment was something that you get through renunciation and merit gathering, would you really want it? It becomes something you produced through your actions. So how would you know that you have removed yourself from samsara through renunciation, when really you are trying to achieve something through the renunciation? How do you know that you haven't just involved yourself in a construction?

So at some point you have to give up the idea of renunciation because it becomes obviously a false ideal (samsaric) and along with giving up renunciation you give up the idea of there being a goal. This is the inspiration we take from non-attachment and this is the difference that Malcolm was pointing to.

In Dzogchen non-attachment is important of course, but actually disenchantment isn't (for someone wanting to become open to Dzogchen then yes may be use disenchantment as a tool). Renunciation in this sense, as I have alluded to, is simply not adding / not getting. Where renunciation is thought to get you something then it really isn't renunciation and in fact becomes an obstacle.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
Andrew108
 
Posts: 1502
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: Renunciation

Postby Indrajala » Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:14 am

Andrew108 wrote:Think about this really hard. If enlightenment was something that you get through renunciation and merit gathering, would you really want it? It becomes something you produced through your actions. So how would you know that you have removed yourself from samsara through renunciation, when really you are trying to achieve something through the renunciation? How do you know that you haven't just involved yourself in a construction?


This kind of revisionism is unnecessary. Śākyamuni clearly taught renunciation as being an optimal way of life for achieving liberation from suffering. In theory the further you proceed the less you are supposed to suffer.

With your logic we could just as well live a life of hedonism complete with hookers, cocaine and loan sharking, telling ourselves it is all just a construction anyway.
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
 
Posts: 5959
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Japan

Re: Renunciation

Postby JKhedrup » Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:18 pm

Enlightenment comes in large part due to removing the afflictive emotions that obscure our Buddha nature. The Buddha nature itself is eternally present, but that does not mean that we are already Buddhas (at least according to what I have heard from my mostly Gelug teachers, and a teacher from the Karma Kamtsang Kagyu tradition as well).

The nature of the mind is pure, the stains are adventitious, but that does not mean that we do not have to strive to remove these stains. So in fact, while we have the Buddha nature, we do need to do something to "sad" tibetan for "activate it.

Comments on The Sublime Continuum treatise on Buddha Nature from Chokyi Gyaltsen "Ocean of Sport". Translation Jampa Gendun


The meaning [of the second simile is as follows]: when the element [of buddha] –
the sugata essence – in the continua of all sentient beings is freed of the stains of
obscurations, there is a way that it transforms into a nature body. The great sages,
seeing with their eye of exalted wisdom, the omniscience of the buddhas, that the
element [of buddha] – the sugata essence – in the continua of all sentient beings is
enclosed within the covering of the afflictions, see that in dependence upon
instructing in the methods that free from those afflictions, when it is free from all
the adventitious stains of them, it becomes a nature body. Analogously, a person
trying to get at honey surrounded by a swarm of bees clears away the bees with a
method; in doing so, the honey is accordingly made manifest.

In teaching the third simile Sublime Continuum says:
Just as the kernel of unhusked grain
Is not what people refine;
So those who want food and so forth
Extract [the kernel] from its husk. [v.1.107]
Similarly, as long as the victor within sentient beings
Remains mixed with the stains of afflictions
And is not separated out from them,
That long will it not enact a victor’s deeds in the three realms.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2324
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Renunciation

Postby Andrew108 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:56 pm

It's good that the different views are being presented here. Readers of this forum can be inspired according to which view they feel most affinity with. For me buddhanature is both honey and the bee.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
Andrew108
 
Posts: 1502
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: Renunciation

Postby heart » Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:12 pm

Andrew108 wrote:When you think of enlightenment as a state where you need to be, then you also feel the need to do something to get you there. So you accumulate merit and hope and aspiration and at the same time you become disenchanted with the thing called samsara, trying to get out. This is how it is for most people I guess. BUT is this really how it is?

Think about this really hard. If enlightenment was something that you get through renunciation and merit gathering, would you really want it? It becomes something you produced through your actions. So how would you know that you have removed yourself from samsara through renunciation, when really you are trying to achieve something through the renunciation? How do you know that you haven't just involved yourself in a construction?

So at some point you have to give up the idea of renunciation because it becomes obviously a false ideal (samsaric) and along with giving up renunciation you give up the idea of there being a goal. This is the inspiration we take from non-attachment and this is the difference that Malcolm was pointing to.

In Dzogchen non-attachment is important of course, but actually disenchantment isn't (for someone wanting to become open to Dzogchen then yes may be use disenchantment as a tool). Renunciation in this sense, as I have alluded to, is simply not adding / not getting. Where renunciation is thought to get you something then it really isn't renunciation and in fact becomes an obstacle.


Disenchantment with Samsara don't mean that you remove yourself from Samsara, that would be difficult, no? It just means that the spell is broken and you see things more as they are. Non-attachment isn't possible without disenchantment.

/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: 3103
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:55 pm

Re: Renunciation

Postby JKhedrup » Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:15 pm

I agree.
In fact, it might be good to create a topic discussing some of these points outside the Gelug forum, so we can get a variety of views. Since this is the Gelug forum, I am posting mostly from Gelug resources, so we don't lose the direction of the discussion too much, but if we took the topic to the TB forum, we could have a look at passages from all different points of view.

The strange thing is, I realize that even within the various traditions are extremely divergent views. I recently had a discussion with a Western nun at the nunnery affiliated with Namdroling, Penor Rinpoche's monastery. She is one year away from finishing the shedra, and I was sharing with her some of my understanding of the Dzogchen path from what I had read mostly on this forum and through a few videos of Choegyal Namkhai Norbu.

Her understanding in fact in many ways mirrored the gradual approach of the Gelug, and she saw the nine yanas as being essential for developing a clear understanding of the mind's nature etc. Her monastery emphasizes studying the classical texts over a course of nine years, using commentaries from Mipham and the like.

So I realized that even within Nyingma there are very different views. Here at Dharma Wheel some of our most erudite and well-educated scholars (particularly Malcolm) are students of Choegyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, so the view most often discussed is his presentation of Dzogchen. And from watching his videos I think that ChNN is an excellent teacher, though I prefer a "gradualist" approach. But there are many other ways to climb the mountain!
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2324
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

PreviousNext

Return to Gelug

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 1 guest

>