The last footnote in the text reads:
One of the great ironies in the history of Buddhism is the extent to which teachings that the Buddha clearly disapproved of, such as this one, have later been taught as quintessentially Buddhist. In some circles, a teaching similar to this one — that non-reactivity to pain burns away the impurity of past kamma and creates no new kamma for the future — is still taught as Buddhist to this day.
can anyone put this in context with this discussion?
They're talking about various forms of painful asceticism that the Jains were known to partake in, in an attempt to expunge "impure" karma. They did/do stuff like intentionally sunburn themselves, starve themselves to near death (if they're lucky), lay on beds of nails, hold painful yoga postures, that kind of thing. It would probably be the exact opposite of the "living in sensuality" of the householder, but not in a good (skillful) way.
So, are the Jains an integral part of Buddhism... do their practices extend to Mahayana, zen, etc. Not to my knowledge. Is there a record of how effective these techniques are when the Buddha himself rejects them. It is their practice, fine, it is one system. It is actually the logical conclusion if once analyzes the practices involved.... but
Does anyone actually believe this is necessary in 2014? There are many accounts of awakened householders. And, the world is waking up without extreme practices like this. How can one possibly subscribe to this text. No one has presented any balance to this perspective.... am I missing something here?
Sorry, my opinion at this point, is that the world needs ppl to engage... those who choose a bed of nails, who need to separate themselves from life whether it be in a monastary or home life, are not willing to meet life full on with all it's trials and sorrow, temptations and joys. It is a fierce practice, it's not easy. Yet, it's so simple and elegant at the same time. And, I have to wonder who still thinks about their own personal achievement in such times. they are a'changing and we all have only ourselves to offer, just as we are.
Do anyone believe on faith in 2000 year old words that were written in a particular time and cultural setting as if they have relevance today. Buddha's message, loud and clear, is to be a lamp unto oneself.... precisely why he held up the flower.