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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:37 pm 
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Astus wrote:
How the "transference of merit" happens? To quote from the text I have already referred to:

What you meant to quote was this line:
Quote:
In order to share the good deed done by another, what is important is that there must be actual approval of the deed and joy arising in the beneficiary's heart.


The key term in that quote is "approval", not being aware. Because the article goes on to say...
Quote:
However, those who have no chance to be reborn in a happy abode are always waiting to receive merits from their living relatives to offset their deficiency and to enable them to be born in a happy abode.


The quote from the Khuddakapatha also mentions nothing of the deceased knowing of the deed:
Quote:
As river, when full must flow
and reach and fill the distant main,
So indeed what is given here will
reach and bless the spirits there.
As water poured on mountain top must
soon descend and fill the plain
So indeed what is given here will reach
and bless the spirits there.
(Nidhikanda Sutta in Khuddakapatha)


The article you posted DOES say that one should remember things done by the deceased as impetus for the meritorious action, which DOES maintain the chain of cause and effect.


Last edited by PorkChop on Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:42 pm 
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Astus wrote:
And it is because of the system of action and results that if constellations could define the events of one's life then good and bad things would not be the fruits of previous deeds, unless we can somehow establish that the stars and planets reflect one's karmic seeds.


Or more succinctly, that the mandala one is impelled to be born into is arrayed precisely reflecting one's karmic seeds with the constellations being merely signposts indicating the gestalt.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:04 pm 
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PorkChop,

First the text clearly defines that transference happens when the receiver knows about it. Then it advises people to do good things that actually make merit. It actually follows what the Milindapanha says (PDF, p. 149), the section explained a bit by Dhammanando Bhikkhu here. This also explains the Tirokudda Kanda Sutta, that offerings can be made to certain hungry spirits, but not just generally to anyone.

"According to the Theravada understanding of the Law of Kamma, we are the makers and heirs of our own kamma. Therefore, there is no question of “sharing/transferring” meritorious kamma to another. The concept of transference of merits contradicts this understanding." (Ven. Aggacitta)

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"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:26 pm 
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Astus wrote:
PorkChop,

First the text clearly defines that transference happens when the receiver knows about it. Then it advises people to do good things that actually make merit. It actually follows what the Milindapanha says (PDF, p. 149), the section explained a bit by Dhammanando Bhikkhu here. This also explains the Tirokudda Kanda Sutta, that offerings can be made to certain hungry spirits, but not just generally to anyone.

"According to the Theravada understanding of the Law of Kamma, we are the makers and heirs of our own kamma. Therefore, there is no question of “sharing/transferring” meritorious kamma to another. The concept of transference of merits contradicts this understanding." (Ven. Aggacitta)


All I'm saying is that link you provided at first directly contradicts what you are saying.
If you do not see this fact, you need to re-read it a few times, I already posted multiple quotations.
The link does qualify that saying that transfer of merit is only possible in certain situations; where the deceased is in an unhappy destination and waiting for offerings.

This idea of only being able to receive offerings in certain states is consistent with the Anguttara Nikaya (AN 10.177) reference I posted on the other thread about this same topic:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
This reference says that offering food for the deceased can only be received by those relatives in the hungry ghost realms.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:52 pm 
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PorkChop wrote:
The link does qualify that saying that transfer of merit is only possible in certain situations; where the deceased is in an unhappy destination and waiting for offerings.


And that is because only certain pretas can hang around to know about the offering.

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"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:02 am 
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Astus wrote:
PorkChop wrote:
The link does qualify that saying that transfer of merit is only possible in certain situations; where the deceased is in an unhappy destination and waiting for offerings.


And that is because only certain pretas can hang around to know about the offering.


Yeah, that's what I was trying to say. :twothumbsup:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... html#khp-7
I think I'll continue to make offerings for Pretas in the likely chance there are any relatives in the Preta realm (as is described in the AN quote).


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:42 am 
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Astus wrote:
"According to the Theravada understanding of the Law of Kamma, we are the makers and heirs of our own kamma. Therefore, there is no question of “sharing/transferring” meritorious kamma to another. The concept of transference of merits contradicts this understanding." (Ven. Aggacitta)


So is there a "self" or isn't there? What exactly constitutes the boundary between persons?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:54 am 
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Karma Dorje wrote:
So is there a "self" or isn't there? What exactly constitutes the boundary between persons?


The whole merit transference topic came in to show that it is not magical thinking. Getting into another subject on the nature of continuum could be dealt with in another topic if you want to pursue it. I promise I answer there. :)

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"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:24 am 
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Astus wrote:
Karma Dorje wrote:
So is there a "self" or isn't there? What exactly constitutes the boundary between persons?


The whole merit transference topic came in to show that it is not magical thinking. Getting into another subject on the nature of continuum could be dealt with in another topic if you want to pursue it. I promise I answer there. :)


No, I just find it ironic that astrology gets questioned as fictitious in the same thread where the wholly fictitious entity called "an individual person" is used as some sort of substantial basis.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:12 am 
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Karma Dorje wrote:
I just find it ironic that astrology gets questioned as fictitious in the same thread where the wholly fictitious entity called "an individual person" is used as some sort of substantial basis.

Two completely different things. the "fictitious entity called an individual person", used as some sort of substantial basis, is used within the context of the understanding that it is an illusion, like buying a tiny plastic house with Monopoly money.
.
.
.

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Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:20 am 
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In the pre-modern world, both East and West, astrology and astronomy were inseparable. Ptolemy was both astronomer and astrologer, as was Kepler. The calculations necessary for computing the Indian calendar are identical to those used for computing a horoscope. The Kalachakra tantra was the source for both the Tibetan Calendar and half of Tibetan astrology, the other half coming from China. It reflects the state of astronomical knowledge in India in the 9th Century.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:23 am 
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The original Bhrigu horoscopes are not available. During foreign invasions of India by Muslim warriors from the northwest in the 12th and 13th centuries, the brahmin community became dispersed all over India. The invaders captured these prime assets of the brahmins. Some parts of the 'Bhrigu Saṃhitā' were taken away by them. The most unfortunate and destructive event was the destruction of the Nalanda university library by then Muslim rulers, where several thousands of the horoscopes compiled by Sage Bhrigu had been stored. Only a small percentage of the original horoscopes of Bhrigu Saṃhitā remained with the Indian community which are now scattered throughout various parts of India. Many of the pages scattered in North of India were with Pt. Deshraj Sharma from Hoshiarpur. The city of Hoshiarpur was famous for its Bhrigu horoscopes.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:34 am 
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PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Karma Dorje wrote:
I just find it ironic that astrology gets questioned as fictitious in the same thread where the wholly fictitious entity called "an individual person" is used as some sort of substantial basis.

Two completely different things. the "fictitious entity called an individual person", used as some sort of substantial basis, is used within the context of the understanding that it is an illusion, like buying a tiny plastic house with Monopoly money.


Not as discussed here, where one is saying that punya can not be transferred from one person to another. This is a claim about phenomena, not a strictly verbal convention as in the case of buying a tiny plastic house with Monopoly money.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:42 am 
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There is, I think, some confusion about merit transference to beings in the lower realms.
It is not impossible to change the path of cause and effect of someone else.
It is not much different than giving directions to a lost traveler.
The moment they become aware, there is no more cause for being lost.
However, there is a lot that they are still stuck with.
If they are exhausted from so much aimless wandering,
there isn't much you can do about that.
Likewise, transferring merit may not be able to reverse the results
that another being will reap from his own negative actions.

But it can remove future obstacles to that being's liberation, and this is important.
A being trapped in a lower realm will be there until the causes for that existence are exhausted.
Those causes, likewise, are conditional. This means that they are also subject to change.
When you dedicate merit,
you are essentially wishing that the causes of liberation (for beings in lower realms) not be blocked.

You can't change that being's past, but you can influence their future.
You aren't transferring something, like giving them a thing to put in their pocket.
You are directing aspirations to the causes of that being's future suffering,
that the causes of liberation be unhindered.
.
.
.

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Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.


Last edited by PadmaVonSamba on Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:44 am 
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Merit isn't a tangible "thing".
.
.
.

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Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:01 am 
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PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Merit isn't a tangible "thing".


Neither is a person. Neither is a cause nor a condition. In fact, no tangible "thing" can be found at all. Treating persons as if they are anything more than a designation and that there is some sort of fixed line between them is incoherent. I agree with your points that a being will experience the results of the causes they have accumulated. However, those causes require particular secondary conditions to manifest, and it is to these conditions that dedication of merit and the four magical activities are directed.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:42 am 
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:smile:

Quote:
I don't know that there is any way, aside from anecdotal reports, to measure 'auspiciousness'. I suppose two crops of vegetables could be planted, one of them on an auspicious day, and the determine if, by some standard, that crop did better than the other


You have to understand that in ancient cultures getting the crops planted in the correct seasons was a life or death matter.
So if the priests knew that when a particular star appeared to be in a certain part of the sky it was time to plant crops that was vital knowledge to have.
That knowledge was where astrology started. The local priests were the ones who kept such knowledge alive.
It was vital then to have such knowledge. That knowledge became part of their religion and was considered sacred.
So astrology ... watching the stars and their "influrnce" on daily life was a vital subject then.
Astrology then was "Science".
:smile:

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:57 am 
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Karma Dorje wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Merit isn't a tangible "thing".


Neither is a person. Neither is a cause nor a condition. In fact, no tangible "thing" can be found at all. Treating persons as if they are anything more than a designation and that there is some sort of fixed line between them is incoherent. I agree with your points that a being will experience the results of the causes they have accumulated. However, those causes require particular secondary conditions to manifest, and it is to these conditions that dedication of merit and the four magical activities are directed.


That secondary condition is that phenomena is experienced as having substantial, inherent reality.
Beings suffer because they think they are beings.
.
.
.

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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:32 am 
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I read a quote about astrology once, from an astrologer no less. Forgot exactly where but it went like this "A wise man rules the stars and a fool is ruled by them". After that, astrology seemed less important, ha!

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:36 am 
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PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Karma Dorje wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Merit isn't a tangible "thing".


Neither is a person. Neither is a cause nor a condition. In fact, no tangible "thing" can be found at all. Treating persons as if they are anything more than a designation and that there is some sort of fixed line between them is incoherent. I agree with your points that a being will experience the results of the causes they have accumulated. However, those causes require particular secondary conditions to manifest, and it is to these conditions that dedication of merit and the four magical activities are directed.


That secondary condition is that phenomena is experienced as having substantial, inherent reality.
Beings suffer because they think they are beings.


No, of course phenomena is not actually experienced as having substantial, inherent reality. It is imagined to have substantial, inherent reality. This overactive imagination is what madhyamaka reasoning remedies. The actual field of phenomena is completely pure. Beings suffer because they are conditioned to grasping at the non-existent, which at every moment is trying to make itself evident to them through impermanence.

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