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Goenka: a bodhisatta? - Dhamma Wheel

Goenka: a bodhisatta?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Sekha
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Goenka: a bodhisatta?

Postby Sekha » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:43 am

I recently heard about two very old Israeli students of Goenka who were deeply involved in Dhamma service in his centers who got convinced that Goenka would be a bodhisatta, mainly because he would have said in a discourse of a long course something in the lines of: 'Countless lives we have been meditating together, and countless lives we will be meditating together'. I cannot acknowledge this fact insofar as I never sat such a long course.

But I remember a question put to him in For the benefit of many where someone says that Mogaliputta Tissa (at the time of Asoka) would have prophesized that a bodhisatta would appear 2500 years after the Buddha's demise to revitalize the sasana. At this, Goenka does not reply with denial, nor does he approve. He replies something not very meaningful (if I remember properly), like: 'don't bother about this'.

Anyone could confirm the first fact mentioned above? Any additional information?
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Jhana4
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Re: Goenka: a bodhisatta?

Postby Jhana4 » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:53 am

I've met the man, I don't think so and without any disrespect to him.

I have the impression that there are people who would tend to say such things about anyone who is devoted to teaching meditation.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

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Ben
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Re: Goenka: a bodhisatta?

Postby Ben » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:59 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Sanghamitta
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Re: Goenka: a bodhisatta?

Postby Sanghamitta » Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:43 pm

And of course even the merest nod to AjAhn Buddhadasa's view of " countless lives" would give a very different interpretation. i.e, that these are not events in linear time.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

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Ben
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Re: Goenka: a bodhisatta?

Postby Ben » Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:59 pm

Yes that';s right Valerie - there are numerous ways to interpret "countless lives".
The important thing of course is to come to one's own understanding of the nature of nama and rupa through one's own penetration of the dhamma from walking the path.
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

whynotme
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Re: Goenka: a bodhisatta?

Postby whynotme » Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:44 pm

Dear Dukkhanirodha,

Do you have any source for this statement: a bodhisatta would appear 2500 years after the Buddha's demise to revitalize the sasana? I tried to search but found nothing.

Regards.
Please stop following me

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gavesako
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Re: Goenka: a bodhisatta?

Postby gavesako » Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:30 pm

I have heard from this another source in Thailand, someone who has been quite close to the Goenka centers there. Apparently the impressive stupa project in India and trying to collect as many relics for it as possible is part of this aspiration.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

- Theravada texts
- Translations and history of Pali texts
- Sutta translations

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Ben
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Re: Goenka: a bodhisatta?

Postby Ben » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:16 pm

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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retrofuturist
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Re: Goenka: a bodhisatta?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jun 23, 2011 12:25 am

Greetings,

The idea of Mr. Goenka being a bodhisatta is ludicrous.

He is teaching the Buddha-dhamma - he is not "turning the wheel of the Dhamma" for the first time in a world system. In other words, the current Buddhasasana still lives on. Yet, Mr. Goenka is a well-regarded teacher, here and now.

The implication of him being a bodhisatta, yet still living in the time of the Buddha's dispensation, is that he would deliberately refrain from attaining stream-entry in order to not attain nibbana until after the current sasana is lost. That's hardly a desirable attribute for a vipassana teacher, attempting to guide others in the way of insight meditation.

Whilst suggesting he is a bodhisatta was probably intended as praise by these students, if you look into the nuts and bolts of it, it's inadvertently insulting to Mr. Goenka and his life's work to realise and spread the supra-mundane path.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

chownah
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Re: Goenka: a bodhisatta?

Postby chownah » Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:33 am

retrofuturist,
I don't understand....are you saying that it is insulting to say that Goenka has not entered the stream?
chownah

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retrofuturist
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Re: Goenka: a bodhisatta?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:01 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Ben
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Re: Goenka: a bodhisatta?

Postby Ben » Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:42 am

Well said, Retro.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

chownah
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Re: Goenka: a bodhisatta?

Postby chownah » Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:25 am


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tiltbillings
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Re: Goenka: a bodhisatta?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:35 am


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gavesako
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Re: Goenka: a bodhisatta?

Postby gavesako » Thu Jun 23, 2011 7:49 am

Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

- Theravada texts
- Translations and history of Pali texts
- Sutta translations

Jhana4
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Re: Goenka: a bodhisatta?

Postby Jhana4 » Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:08 am

Your comment made me think of Venerable Dhammika's criticism of Asian Theravada ( via his book The Broken Buddha ). According to him most Asian Theravada Buddhists ( not all ) don't do anything to help other people beyond their own families and giving dana to monks to secure a better afterlife. He also claimed that monks rarely encourage people to give dana or help anyone other than monks.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

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Ben
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Re: Goenka: a bodhisatta?

Postby Ben » Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:11 am

Maybe you should have a look at the link in my signature, J4.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

Jhana4
Posts: 1309
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: U.S.A., Northeast

Re: Goenka: a bodhisatta?

Postby Jhana4 » Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:59 am

Later tonight. I have sigs turned off and don't have time right now. You also aren't an Asian Theravada Buddhist raised and living in Asia. Venerable Dhammika would point that your nonprofit work is not typical and not encouraged in Asian Theravada right before he would praise you for starting something new and needed in Theravada.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

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mikenz66
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Re: Goenka: a bodhisatta?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Jun 23, 2011 12:30 pm


Nyana
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Re: Goenka: a bodhisatta?

Postby Nyana » Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:21 pm



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