Agganna Sutta - human origins

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Agganna Sutta - human origins

Postby Will » Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:39 pm

Human origin within a cycle, not ultimate origins, is what this sutta is about:

http://www.columbia.edu/itc/religion/f2 ... asutta.pdf

The Mahavastu has the same cycles of devolve-evolve passages. Also Dhamma Wheel site has a couple of threads on this sutta.
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Re: Agganna Sutta - human origins

Postby Will » Wed Jul 06, 2011 5:38 pm

10. 'There comes a time, Vasettha, when, sooner or later after a long period, this world
contracts. At a time of contraction, beings are mostly born in the Abhassara Brahma
world. And there they dwell, mind-made, feeding on delight, self-luminous, moving
through the air, glorious — and they stay like that for a very long time. But sooner or
later, after a very long period, this world begins to expand again. At a time of expansion,
the beings from the Abhassara Brahma world, having passed away from there, are
mostly reborn in this world. Here they dwell, mind-made, feeding on delight, self-luminous,
moving through the air, glorious--and they stay like that for a very long time.


"Mind-made" I bolded, suggesting to me that we divine-like humans use some higher function of mind to intelligently design ourselves - from the 4 higher skandhas to cells to big toes. No Creator God needed. This is why the hyperventilating over ID as meaning ONLY "God the Creator" is silly.
Last edited by Will on Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Agganna Sutta - human origins

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:21 pm

Will wrote:
10. 'There comes a time, Vasettha, when, sooner or later after a long period, this world
contracts. At a time of contraction, beings are mostly born in the Abhassara Brahma
world. And there they dwell, mind-made, feeding on delight, self-luminous, moving
through the air, glorious — and they stay like that for a very long time. But sooner or
later, after a very long period, this world begins to expand again. At a time of expansion,
the beings from the Abhassara Brahma world, having passed away from there, are
mostly reborn in this world. Here they dwell, mind-made, feeding on delight, selfluminous,
moving through the air, glorious--and they stay like that for a very long time.


"Mind-made" I bolded, suggesting to me that we divine-like humans use some higher function of mind to intelligently design ourselves - from the 4 higher skandhas to cells to big toes. No Creator God needed. This is why the hyperventilating over ID as meaning ONLY "God the Creator" is silly.


No, we don't intelligently design ourselves. According to the Buddhist model, we stupidly degenerate by being attracted to physical food because of our afflictive patterns. There is nothing intelligent about it.

There is no higher function of mind at all involved here. Just affliction and action driving samsara. There is nothing at all intelligent about samsara; actually, samsara is driven by ignorance.

N
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Re: Agganna Sutta - human origins

Postby Will » Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:52 am

Malcolm, If you can skip another "the Bible says so" response, it would be helpful to explain what "mind-made" means in this sutta passage.
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Re: Agganna Sutta - human origins

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:06 am

Will wrote:...what "mind-made" means in this sutta passage.


Mano-maya kāya -- it means that the body in question here is from an apparitional birth; not womb, egg or moisture birth.

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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Agganna Sutta - human origins

Postby Will » Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:25 am

Namdrol wrote:
Will wrote:...what "mind-made" means in this sutta passage.


Mano-maya kāya -- it means that the body in question here is from an apparitional birth; not womb, egg or moisture birth.

N


Above is one definition, yet there are others. The Lankavatara Sutra and some of the suttas say it is also "will-made" ie, magical, siddhi created.

Here is a short paper on the subject: http://skb.or.kr/down/papers/129.pdf
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Re: Agganna Sutta - human origins

Postby Astus » Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:50 am

Will,

An expression is defined by context. Birth in heavens is always spontaneous, mind-made birth. Generating a mind-made body in meditation is a different context. The word connects them in the sense that both are mentally generated, one by ignorance, one by conscious effort.
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Agganna Sutta - human origins

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:29 pm

Will wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
Will wrote:...what "mind-made" means in this sutta passage.


Mano-maya kāya -- it means that the body in question here is from an apparitional birth; not womb, egg or moisture birth.

N


Above is one definition, yet there are others. The Lankavatara Sutra and some of the suttas say it is also "will-made" ie, magical, siddhi created.

Here is a short paper on the subject: http://skb.or.kr/down/papers/129.pdf


Not in this context. In any event, that so called body has no cells, etc.

N
http://www.bhaisajya.net
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Agganna Sutta - human origins

Postby Will » Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:44 pm

Astus wrote:Will,

An expression is defined by context. Birth in heavens is always spontaneous, mind-made birth. Generating a mind-made body in meditation is a different context. The word connects them in the sense that both are mentally generated, one by ignorance, one by conscious effort.


"Always" & "never" rarely prove true.

The dhyana stages of meditation can put one in the varied levels of the Rupa realms. The sutta is talking about the very, very distant future. Perhaps at that time most people can reach the Rupa realms easily in meditation.

Anyway, Sumi Lee's paper gives some of the differing meanings of mind-made. I am looking forward to Red Pine's new translation of the Lankavatara in Jan.? 2012.
Revealing one essence: this means the inherently pure, complete, luminous essence, which is pure of its own nature. -- Fa-tsang
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Re: Agganna Sutta - human origins

Postby Will » Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:56 pm

Namdrol: In any event, that so called body has no cells, etc.


True, but what are the following devolving steps? At some point the subtle body becomes flesh, which latter requires cells and growth from tiny to our "fathom long" body. The mind is surely involved at that point - maybe not "creating" but supplying a blueprint or image that can be copied. Whether the image contains design or stimulates intelligence or ... ?

At any rate this Buddhist devolve-evolve notion, with human life never ending, but transforming from subtle to gross & reverse, is not only very different from the conventional scientific idea, but suggests to me that mind or consciousness rules somehow.
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Re: Agganna Sutta - human origins

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:33 pm

Will wrote:
Namdrol: In any event, that so called body has no cells, etc.


True, but what are the following devolving steps? At some point the subtle body becomes flesh, which latter requires cells and growth from tiny to our "fathom long" body. The mind is surely involved at that point - maybe not "creating" but supplying a blueprint or image that can be copied.


Not necessarily. In any event, that is a species of mythology.


At any rate this Buddhist devolve-evolve notion, with human life never ending, but transforming from subtle to gross & reverse, is not only very different from the conventional scientific idea, but suggests to me that mind or consciousness rules somehow.


"Design" suggests intention. Buddha rejects the idea that the universe was designed.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Agganna Sutta - human origins

Postby Will » Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:34 pm

Namdrol: Not necessarily. In any event, that is a species of mythology.


What is "mythology" - the sutta? What is "not necessarily"? You are devolving into incoherence.

Namdrol: "Design" suggests intention. Buddha rejects the idea that the universe was designed.


The subject is human origins, not the universe - focus N. Design/intention also suggests cetana/karma as Buddha taught.
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Re: Agganna Sutta - human origins

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:57 pm

Will wrote:
Namdrol: Not necessarily. In any event, that is a species of mythology.


What is "mythology" - the sutta? What is "not necessarily"? You are devolving into incoherence.



Yes, the sutta is a mythology.

It is not necessary for the mind to provide a "blueprint".

By design, the ID people mean "planned".Cellular life is not random (since it requires certain causes and conditions), but it is not planned. Human beings and other forms of life on this planet as well as the rest of the cosmos were not created or designed by anyone.

N
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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