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BSWA dhamma talk. Why EBT's are important for practice

brahmali
dhamma-talk
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#1

25/1/2019, Dhamma talk from Ajahn Brahmali at Dhammaloka. A wonderful and inspiring talk emphasising the importance of the Buddhas actual teachings.

Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu

Note, the broadcast starts with approx 40 minutes of meditation before the talk commences.
Enjoy!


Why can't LBTs be Authentic?
#2

Thank you for a wonderful lesson! :pray:

Being addicted to over-thinking, I started to wonder why the non-EBT tale of giving away the rain-giving elephant became so popular given that it diverges so much from the “good for oneself and others” giving of the EBT’s. It is indeed a tale that stretches and stretches the believable and sensible. Yet it apparently remains a popular Buddhist tale.

Perhaps this later non-EBT tale is less about giving and more about renunciation, about letting go. To give, one has to let go. It is indeed a very long tale, yet one that draws listeners in because of its very preposterousness, especially in a context of great poverty and hardship. And preposterousness continues as the tale ends with a happy ending as tales often do. What might a listener glean from such a tale? Well, perhaps one might be inspired to give a bit more and hoard a bit less. Perhaps that little bit of giving might be the value of the tale. As non-EBT teaching, it might have been more palatable to the general public than the EBTs themselves.

OK. That was a ramble. Back to EBTs.


#3

How lucky are we to listen to amazing teachers who boost our confidence in Buddha’s words? As a kid growing up in a traditional buddhist background, the jataka stories have always left me confused and less confident in Buddha’s teachings. Now I understand that one builds confidence in the dhamma by listening to dhamma and not fairy tales.
Anyway this made me think how wonderful Ajahn Brahm is for establishing this tradition in Perth with the help of lay community and well wishers in Australia and abroad. He has made Dhammaloka a safe haven for everyone. I have seen old gentlemen in tears coming to Ajahn for solace. Amidst all the counselling he does so much more to keep this tradition going and developing it for future generations. I would not have been able to get back on the “dhamma horse” if not for this tradition. The vinaya of the ajahns have inspired me to “come see” the dhamma.

Another amazing thing is that he has guided teachers like Ajahn Brahmali and Ajahn Sujato and other inspiring monks at Bodhinyana and nuns in Dhammasara to spread the dhamma. And they are doing just that with kindness, compassion and wisdom just like their teacher. My confidence in the dhamma got boosted because of these amazing teachers. Suttas are important but I always highlight the importance of kalyanamittas (as buddha recommended) because I have experience of the benefits of associating (mostly listening to) ariya sangha. These are my true kalyanamittas who inspired me to go further on the path. Keep doing what you do ajahns because you are helping beings like me find the light switch inside. :bulb::metal:t3:


#4

Great Dhamma talk overall.
We learn Jataka stories when we go to Sunday schools as kids. For many Sri Lakans thats all about the Buddha’s teaching. I learnt about Tipitaka from Westeners.
Having said that the extream stories like Vessantara Jatak has application in extream cases, specilly in the West. In the West the divorce rate is almost about 30%. It is not uncommon for the huband to take the gun and kill the whole family including the wife and the young children in the case of a divorce. If Westerner are taught Vessantara when they were young the story would have beebn other wise for many Western families.


#5

@brahmali
Bhante as far as I know there is no support for Antarabhava in the Sutta.
Give me the Sutta reference please.
We have an extensive discussion on this topic in Dhamma Wheel.

https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=255&hilit=


https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=33055&start=30


#6

To my mind there is quite a lot of evidence. Here is one piece:

“And, Master Gotama, when a being has laid down this body but has not yet been reborn in another body, what does Master Gotama declare to be its fuel on that occasion?”

“When, Vaccha, a being has laid down this body but has not yet been reborn in another body, I declare that it is fuelled by craving. For on that occasion craving is its fuel.” (SN 44.9)


#7

Perhaps this is referring to Rupavacara beings and Arupavacara beings as they do not have physical bodies.


#8

Perhaps it is incorrect to assume there is birth and death in a clear cut fashion.

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They understand a person’s stream of consciousness, unbroken on both sides, established in both this world and the next.
https://voice.suttacentral.net/scv/index.html?r=0.5481803775989993#/?search=DN28

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Are my future parents already here?
https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=21961


#9

It might help to look at the whole sutta in order to make sense of it - not a small excerpt.

Here it is in context, (highlights are my own)

DN 28 (sujato trans)

1.5. Attainments of Vision

And moreover, sir, how the Buddha teaches the attainments of vision is unsurpassable. There are these four attainments of vision. Firstly, some ascetic or brahmin—by dint of keen, resolute, committed, and diligent effort, and right focus—experiences an immersion of the heart of such a kind that they examine their own body up from the soles of the feet and down from the tips of the hairs, wrapped in skin and full of many kinds of filth. ‘In this body there is head hair, body hair, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, diaphragm, spleen, lungs, intestines, mesentery, undigested food, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, saliva, snot, synovial fluid, urine.’ This is the first attainment of vision.

Furthermore, some ascetic or brahmin attains that and goes beyond it. They examine a person’s bones with skin, flesh, and blood. This is the second attainment of vision.

Furthermore, some ascetic or brahmin attains that and goes beyond it. They understand a person’s stream of consciousness, unbroken on both sides, established in both this world and the next. This is the third attainment of vision.

Furthermore, some ascetic or brahmin attains that and goes beyond it. They understand a person’s stream of consciousness, unbroken on both sides, not established in either this world or the next. This is the fourth attainment of vision. This is unsurpassable when it comes to attainments of vision.


#10

This sutta has been discussed at some length by Late Venerable K. Nanananda in his Nibbana sermon series which I have read with interest. His main point of argument is the word annataram which has the English equivalent "certain" and anupapanno which has the English equivalent "not yet been reborn in another body.

He argues that annataram and anupapanno cannot syntactically be found in the same sentence because annataram - certain - means what is already existing. If the entire sentence is translated with these two words it would be somewhat like " when a being lays down this body and has not reached a certain body" which seems odd because of the word certain. In other words, since word certain refers to what is already in existence it is incorrect to say “not reached that certain existing body”.

Therefore, assuming that anupapanno has been wrongly put there, he replaces it with anupatto and translates the sentence as " when a being lays down this body and has reached a certain body" which then makes sense syntactically.

He also argues that this question is asked subsequent to asking the question “But when a flame is blown away by the wind, what do you say is its fuel then?” and the Buddha’s answer is “wind is the fuel”. This means that the wind has carried the flame to another tree existing some distance away. Therefore, he says that the second question too should be interpreted in a similar sense ie; " when a being lays down this body and has reached a certain body" without bringing in the “not yet reborn in another body”. If the question is phrased that way it is in the same line of questioning as the previous one.

He also maintains throughout his sermons that consciousness is always established and soon after death is no exception. For there to be an interim state consciousness must be established somewhere and if that is the case it is a new existence.
With Metta


#11

Excerpt from SN44.9

“But when someone who is attached has laid down this body and has not been reborn in one of the realms, what does Master Gotama say is their fuel then?”
“Yasmiñca pana, bho gotama, samaye imañca kāyaṃ nikkhipati, satto ca aññataraṃ kāyaṃ anupapanno hoti, imassa pana bhavaṃ gotamo kiṃ upādānasmiṃ paññāpetī”ti?
“When someone who is attached has laid down this body, Vaccha, and has not been reborn in one of the realms, I say they’re fueled by craving.
“Yasmiṃ kho, vaccha, samaye imañca kāyaṃ nikkhipati, satto ca aññataraṃ kāyaṃ anupapanno hoti, tamahaṃ taṇhūpādānaṃ vadāmi.
For craving is their fuel then.”
Taṇhā hissa, vaccha, tasmiṃ samaye upādānaṃ hotī”ti.


#12

It seems the later writings got it wrong with instantaneous re-birth. Reality seems to be messier - it’s said if there’s a straight and orderly symmetry it is created by man.