Buddhists - why have children?

Discussion in 'Buddhism' started by IowaGuy, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2018
    Messages:
    2,270
    Likes Received:
    999
    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 likes this.
  2. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,455
    Likes Received:
    314
    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.
     
  3. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2018
    Messages:
    2,270
    Likes Received:
    999
    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.
     
  4. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Messages:
    6,635
    Likes Received:
    110
    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.
     
  5. Nicholas Weeks

    Nicholas Weeks Bodhicitta

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Messages:
    425
    Likes Received:
    31
    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.
     
  6. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,455
    Likes Received:
    314
    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'.
     
    RJM Corbet likes this.
  7. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2018
    Messages:
    2,270
    Likes Received:
    999
    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.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2021
  8. Nicholas Weeks

    Nicholas Weeks Bodhicitta

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Messages:
    425
    Likes Received:
    31
    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."
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2021
  9. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,455
    Likes Received:
    314
    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.
     
    RJM Corbet likes this.
  10. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    3,833
    Likes Received:
    68
    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?)
     
  11. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,455
    Likes Received:
    314
    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).
     
    RJM Corbet likes this.
  12. Nicholas Weeks

    Nicholas Weeks Bodhicitta

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Messages:
    425
    Likes Received:
    31
    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.
     
  13. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2018
    Messages:
    2,270
    Likes Received:
    999
    "Less theory, more practice"?

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

    Nicholas Weeks Bodhicitta

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Messages:
    425
    Likes Received:
    31
    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.
     
  15. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,455
    Likes Received:
    314
    Vaishnavas are strong on Bhakti. Vedas were strong on rituals - Yajnas. So, there is a conflict. Advaita is strong on knowledge. Different ways.
     
    RJM Corbet likes this.
  16. Nicholas Weeks

    Nicholas Weeks Bodhicitta

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Messages:
    425
    Likes Received:
    31
    Doubt such distinctions are that airtight. Temple ritual worship is also an expression of Bhakti. Many so-called Advaitas use rituals.
     
  17. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,455
    Likes Received:
    314
    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'. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2021
  18. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2018
    Messages:
    2,270
    Likes Received:
    999
    That's fascinating! What do you emphasize from each religion?
     
  19. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,455
    Likes Received:
    314
    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.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2021
    RJM Corbet likes this.
  20. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,455
    Likes Received:
    314
    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
     
    muhammad_isa likes this.

Share This Page