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Bhava Sutta - Dhamma Wheel

Bhava Sutta

A forum for beginners and members of other Buddhist traditions to ask questions about Theravāda (The Way of the Elders). Responses require moderator approval before they are visible.
jandg
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:26 pm

Bhava Sutta

Postby jandg » Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:40 pm

I just read an item by Piya Tan regarding this sutta which raised a question for me (I've been practicing for only 8 months so having questions raised is pretty much my default mode). While discussing volition he stated that "For example, if we habitually make the aspiration (patthana) for a heavenly birth, that thought is reinforced in the subconscious as a latent tendency or habitual karma. At the moment of dying, this habitual karma is very likely to dominate us, resulting our being reborn in such a place".

I admittedly know less than nothing after only 8 months of study and practice but this idea of "accumulation of aspirations" doesn't feel quite right within what I think I know about the Theravadan view. Of course, he was a Theravadan monk so......

Anyhow, any illumination will be greatly appreciated.

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retrofuturist
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Bhava Sutta

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Aug 24, 2011 12:42 am

Greetings jandg,

Was the sutta and commentary online? If so, can you please provide a link?

Thanks.

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


Sylvester
Posts: 2205
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:57 am

Re: Bhava Sutta

Postby Sylvester » Wed Aug 24, 2011 4:28 am


jandg
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Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:26 pm

Re: Bhava Sutta

Postby jandg » Wed Aug 24, 2011 6:53 pm

Kinda heady stuff for a mere beginner, but thanks to all

santa100
Posts: 2673
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: Bhava Sutta

Postby santa100 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 3:03 am

Hi Jandg, it's possible that the moment-of-dying kamma might influence the next becoming of the individual. But it won't last as long as the habitual kamma that was re-inforced frequently during a person's lifetime. There're a lot of cases like that in life. For example, a baby was born into a wealthy and famous family, and it was quite beautiful and intelligent. But then it fell ill and die early around the age of 4 or 5. One possible explanation is that this individual in his previous life, used to generate lots of negative kamma throughout most of his life. But then right before he dies, for some reason he happened to generate one wholesome act of compassion toward other people. Due to this "last-minute" wholesome kamma, it influences his rebirth into a good environment with good conditions. But it soon worn out and his massive negative kamma took over: he died young and was reborn in a less favorable environment..

Sylvester
Posts: 2205
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:57 am

Re: Bhava Sutta

Postby Sylvester » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:41 am

Don't worry. Give yourself time.

The anusaya-s model provides the explanation for the suffering of suffering (what the Sallatha Sutta describes as cetasika vedana). When one grieves, one is said to lie with patighanusaya (the underlying tendency to aversion). Habituality of mental inclinations affects everyone, and a striking example is given by the Buddha for the anusayas that afflict even an infant. In MN 64, such an infant is specifically identified as subject to anusayas, even as MN 78 says that an infant acts without "evil resolves".

The anusaya-s are more difficult to tackle than bad kamma, and more than sila is required to tackle them. Meditation, especially the satipatthanas, are required to quell them.


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