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The Danger of Rebirth - Page 30 - Dhamma Wheel

The Danger of Rebirth

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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mikenz66
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Feb 20, 2010 8:10 am

I should point out that Ven Paññāsikhara actually takes scholarship seriously. He is, after all, writing a PhD thesis. And he very kindly gave me a copy of a book by one of the famous scholars who he may or may not be referring to. Richard Gombrich's "What the Buddha Thought". :anjali:

It's a very interesting book, and Prof Gombrich's investigation of what the background assumptions of groups that some of the Suttas were aimed at, or addressed to (which are not necessarily the same thing...), notably Brahmins and Jains, are very interesting and I think are actually helpful to those of us who are reading the Suttas for "religious reasons" (perhaps there's a better term), rather than for "scholarly reasons".

On the other hand, his discussion of actual practise is quite sketchy. And, as an example of the sort of thing Ven Paññāsikhara alludes to, he rejects out of hand that Venerable Anuruddha could have known which Jhanas the Buddha was in just before his parinibbana. Putting aside the issue of whether it is possible, there are definitely plenty of stories of teachers who are said to be able to diagnose their student's meditation by just watching them.

It occurs to me that "academic scholars" such as Gombrich serve a very useful role in applying their particular discipline to the available material, and sometimes coming up with interesting insights into how some passages might be read (e.g. as satirizing the Brahmins or the Jains). Whereas the likes of Bhikkhu Bodhi (and his predecessors in Sri Lanka) might be classified as "religious scholar" in the sense that they take as their starting point the received wisdom of the Theravada, and try to clarify it by careful research.

Metta
Mike

chownah
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby chownah » Sat Feb 20, 2010 1:55 pm


PeterB
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby PeterB » Sat Feb 20, 2010 2:00 pm

Chownah your arguement starts reasonably, then becomes reductio ad absurdum and ends with a strawman. largely I suspect because it is conducted with too much emotional attachment to a particular view.

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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby PeterB » Sat Feb 20, 2010 2:31 pm

I have twice Mike come across teachers, one Mahayana and one Theravada who appear convincingly to have the ability to perceive the mental states of those they are instructing. I dont think that this indicated any kind of " supernatural" ability. I think its a phenomenon to do with depth rather than the horizontal.
I think that there is an accomodation to be found between Buddhadasa and more literalist post mortem rebirth teachers. This is hardly an original thought but I think its to do with our understanding of time. With a loosening of our view of time as linear, various possibilities arise and with them various interpretations of the Canon.

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mikenz66
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Feb 20, 2010 8:42 pm


seanpdx
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby seanpdx » Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:43 pm


meindzai
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby meindzai » Mon Feb 22, 2010 6:27 pm

As I noted in another thread I think we benefit from the contributions of Scholars, buddhist or non Buddhist, as well as "non scholar" teachers, who are more practice oriented. Scholarly knowledge tends to be wider but less deep. This is evident in some of the theories they come up with. But they catch a lot of the cultural and historical background that we tend to miss when we focus on only on "Buddhist" material. IMO we need scholars becuase we weren't "there" when the Buddha was alive teaching and so it's easy to miss the parts of his teaching that may have been implied when delivering to his audience. But the caution against scholarly "theories" I think is that they make a lot of points that are tangential and may be distracting for those who are interested in actually practicing rather than just engage in speculative debate.

-M

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Annapurna
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Annapurna » Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:54 pm

http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

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BlackBird
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby BlackBird » Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:51 pm

"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." -


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