Buddhists - why have children?

Cino

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Making merit is also a common goal for Buddhists: giving almsfood and other provisions to the monastics, sponsoring recitations of the teachings, general charity...
 

Aupmanyav

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Making merit is also a common goal for Buddhists: giving almsfood and other provisions to the monastics, sponsoring recitations of the teachings, general charity...
Cino, making merit is for the benefit of the whole world and not for the players, because the players would not be there again. The players are 'anicca'. Of them, there is no 'atta'. In all other religions, people seek merit for themselves.
 

Cino

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Maybe you're right from a doctrinal point of view, although the impression I got from reading Buddhist literature was of a more complex situation regarding Anatta and rebirth.

When I was living in SE Asia (decades ago), people were happily doing it for themselves.
 

seattlegal

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I means does that not make the relationship between mother and off-springs meaningless. in the end, the mom does not have to really take care of the child in anyway, because the favor she does to the child is too good already (you get to ascend). Also, should all scientific discoveries humans have brought about as well as economic development have no reason to continue to exist.

All the people on earth just have to practice Buddhism to ascend and not have to worry about other souls for they risk not getting the chance to ascend by the burden of others who are not willing to. Also, should they be willing to give up their lives in the events of covids and other pandemics, as well as natural disasters in the case that medical practices just stop evolving due to the lack of need for a longevity, the longer you live (the more you have to work to provide yourself meals and needs).

Also, the world will devolve and no one will really care to exceed in their work for they are here to ascend, not to help further the suffering of this world (they would probably live a basic life standard, which will be enough to sustain life but at the expense of any new or great discovery for the world). I mean there are people who choose not to have babies already and it would not affect their chances of ascending, then why do we have to bother. Also, how many souls are their in the universe that can ascend and what awaits us all above there.

Like one every single soul in this universe ascend to greater planes, would this planet be as dead as the ones around it (like turning into another Mars). Would there be any meaning behind that greater existence, like would that be eternal happiness for souls and is that the purpose of our existence, which is to past the test and ascend for eternal happiness. Can we really achieve that or we just end up being material for this universe invisible forces to manipulate. Humanity would descend for sure for souls to ascend spiritually.

(Edited by moderator: paragraph spaces and capitalization added for readability)
I'm sorry, I don't understand what you are trying to convey. The mother/child relationship is important within Buddhism as an example of having compassion for others--if we follow the example of the compassionate relationship between a mother and child, and extend that to everyone, the world would be a much better place.
 

Nicholas Weeks

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Cino, making merit is for the benefit of the whole world and not for the players, because the players would not be there again.

Not so, Cino is correct. Merit or good karma accrues in the mental continuum and will benefit self now and/or in future lives. It is because of past lives merit or good karma that we have whatever virtues we do have now.

Merit can be dedicated exclusively for other beings, yet even that selfless motivation has a good or meritorious effect on the one who dedicates.
 

Aupmanyav

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Are you talking of Hinduism? Yes, Hinduism believes in past and future lives. IMHO, Buddhism does not. There is no 'atta'. You cannot put your feet in the same river again. You are born and die every moment of your life. There is no mental continuum. It is all Dependently co-originated. Effects of Karma continue but not 'selves'.
The best explanation given to me by a Buddhist or one who understood about it (was it you who gave me this explanation?): 'Karmas' are like the energy of billiard balls (selves). Once a billiard ball (self) transfers its energy (Karmas) to another billiard ball (another self), it becomes irrelevant. 'Karmas' ride on 'selves'.
 
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Cino

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Are you talking of Hinduism? Yes, Hinduism believes in past and future lives. IMHO, Buddhism does not.

It depends (Buddhist pun).

There is the teaching about not-self "anatta" (Pali) / "anatman" (Sanskrit), that any part of sensate experience that can be observed (including thoughts and emotions), will not display any traces of an unchanging self-essence, are not "I, nor mine, nor my self". There are many discourses about this. This teaching is more emphasized in Theravada than in other schools, which tend to dwell more on the related teaching of emptiness, "shunyata".

Then there is another body of teachings about past lives, karma, and rebirth in all schools of buddhism. This ranges from the fairy-tale like Jataka accounts, about the Buddha's and some of his disciples previous lives, to full-blown doctrinal discourses touching both on the not-self and dependent-arising teachings, teachings about birth in the other realms of being, discourses mentioning that someone died hearing the Buddha's sermon, only to be then born into a favorable existence where they then attained enlightenment, also the Bodhisattva ideal hinges on rebirth.

There are discourses where the Buddha flat-out refuses to give a straight answer to the question of personal rebirth of an indestructible self-essence, but suggesting that unlike his exercises and teachings, this line of inquiry would not lead to enlightenment.

As I mentioned, these finer points never stopped the Buddhists I lived among in SE Asia from making merit for themselves. Maybe hedging one's bets is a basic human trait. I know a lot of otherwise secular Christians who take care to get the sacraments, just in case.

My 2 obols. I'm not a Buddhist.
 
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Nicholas Weeks

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Are you talking of Hinduism? Yes, Hinduism believes in past and future lives. IMHO, Buddhism does not.

It is well that your opinion is "humble", for you are clueless and thus mistaken. Having taken refuge in the Triple Jewel over 40 years ago and thus being a Buddhist, it is a fact that all buddhas have taught rebirth cannot be avoided by ordinary people. Only Arhats, Pratyekabuddhas, & Bodhisattvas are liberated from cyclic existence (samsara). Even these Bodhi blessed ones can voluntarily take rebirth if they wish to.

There is an entire section of Sutras taught by Buddha on karma & rebirth, not to mention the majority of other Sutras that teach rebirth. Here is a translator remarking on a newly translated major sutra:

"Exposition of Karma belongs to a group of Buddhist scriptures that scholars of Buddhism have called the Karma vibhaṅga or Śukasūtra class. The texts in this group deal extensively with the topic of karma and rebirth according to individuals’ actions. Characteristic of the treatment of karma and rebirth in these texts is their detailed, catalog-like listing of specific karmic consequences and their causative actions."
 
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Aupmanyav

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Ah, Buddhists have always been very catalogic. That may have confused Indians in earlier times. The brahminic system was much easier to understand - worship deities and get your desired rewards.
 
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Nick the Pilot

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...worship deities and get your desired rewards.

Amusing! If a person's goals are enlightenment and then nirvana, it is going to take a lot more than just worshiping deities. (It is my understanding that enlightenment and nirvana are part of Hinduism. Are they?)
 

Aupmanyav

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Yeah, they are, also being a Jeevanmukta - nirvana, moksha, without dying. Well, the Hindu theists (like all other theists) do believe that worshiping deities is enough.

Sanskrit for your 'avatara' from Valmiki Ramayana - Lord Rama saying "Satyan nasti parama padam" (There is no station higher than truth).
 
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Nicholas Weeks

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On worship seeking rewards - from Gita 2:42-4 with comments by Swami Rama. This is a kind of 'spiritual materialism'.

42. This is the flowery speech that the unwise speak, absorbed in the discussions of the Vedas,
saying ‘There is nothing else.’
43. Totally identified with their desire, intent upon heaven, uttering the speech that leads to the
fruit of karma in the form of rebirth, ample in specific rituals, resulting in pleasure and power;
44. Since they are attached to pleasure and power and their minds are plundered by that speech of
theirs, their determinative wisdom does not succeed in leading to samadhi.

Theologians, scholars, and priests theorize and write commentaries on scriptures such as the Vedas.
Yet, however profound their theoretical knowledge may be, they cannot assimilate that knowledge and
live according to it without sadhana. Intellectualization is easy, but sadhana is difficult.
 

Cino

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however profound their theoretical knowledge may be, they cannot assimilate that knowledge and
live according to it without sadhana. Intellectualization is easy, but sadhana is difficult.

"Less theory, more practice"?

I think both a lack of practice and a lack of theory can limit development.
 

Nicholas Weeks

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"Less theory, more practice"?

I think both a lack of practice and a lack of theory can limit development.

Swami Rama is clearly correct that one cannot assimilate theoretical knowledge and live according to it without sadhana or cultivation of higher parts of mind. So it is not amount of or the ratio of theory & practice, but the union of or yoga of the two.
 

Aupmanyav

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On worship seeking rewards - from Gita 2:42-4 with comments by Swami Rama. This is a kind of 'spiritual materialism'.
Vaishnavas are strong on Bhakti. Vedas were strong on rituals - Yajnas. So, there is a conflict. Advaita is strong on knowledge. Different ways.
 
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Nicholas Weeks

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Vaishnavas are strong on Bhakti. Vedas were strong on rituals - Yajnas. So, there is a conflict. Advaita is strong on knowledge. Different ways.

Doubt such distinctions are that airtight. Temple ritual worship is also an expression of Bhakti. Many so-called Advaitas use rituals.
 

Aupmanyav

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I would put that in Bhakti group. Vedic ritualism (Purva Mimamsa) is a different category.

"This tradition is also known as Pūrva-Mīmāṃsā because of its focus on the earlier (pūrva) Vedic texts dealing with ritual actions, and similarly as Karma-Mīmāṃsā due to its focus on ritual action (karma).
The school of Mīmāṃsā consists of both atheistic and theistic doctrines, but the school showed little interest in systematic examination of the existence of Gods. .. For the Mīmāṃsā school, dharma meant rituals and social duties, not devas, or gods, because gods existed only in name."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mīmāṃsā

I (have devised and) follow a bare-bone Buddhist (Theravada) kind of 'advaita'. :)
 
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Aupmanyav

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They are quite similar to start with.
From Buddhism: Dhamma, Noble four-fold path, anatta, anicca, Kesamutti Sutta.
From Hinduism: Dharma, Yama, Niyama, Dhyana, Maya, Brahman.
From Science: Creation, Evolution, Relativity, Probability, Uncertainty, Quantum Mechanics.

Campari19_DrinkingHealing_TheBureau.jpg
 
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Aupmanyav

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Kesamutti is a wonderful selection of the name of the sutta. This is the the original Occam's Razor. No one else said it so clearly before or after Buddha.
Kesamutti (Sanskrit: Kesha +Mukti = Hair release). The idea is that ignorance is holding you by hair. If you want release, then follow this sutta.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kesamutti_Sutta
 
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