Corruption of the dhamma

I initially fell for this rhetorical trick, like most people. It is amazing how it has worked so well for 2,000 years and still is now.

Basically it appeals to people’s conceit

I will be a Buddha! Not just a lowly arahant!

This is exactly what I was told when I took an introductory class to Tibetan Buddhism

What about anapanassati?

This practice is highly recommended by the Buddha (SN 54.11), explained in detail, even when to practice it: after one’s meal (SN 54.8, one of the most important suttas), and it leads to those esoteric and seemingly elusive jhanas:

Now, a mendicant might wish: ‘May neither my body nor my eyes became fatigued. And may my mind be freed from grasping without defilements.’ So let them closely focus on this immersion due to mindfulness of breathing.

Now, a mendicant might wish: ‘May I give up memories and thoughts of the lay life … may I enter and remain in the first… second… third… fourth absorption…

To me the reason why people got confused about what jhana is is because their predecessors neglected practicing them so they had no one to tell them there was no mystery: just follow SN 54.8 and you’ll get there. I assume in the course of history some individuals must have gotten it.

From “The Life of Nyanatiloka Thera The Biography of a Western Buddhist Pioneer” p.11:

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Large institutions, especially those endorsed by the state (think Emperor Ashoka) eventually have their own agendas. Converts often bring their own baggage as well.

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I feel it is not beneficial to talk about corruption of Dhamma because we will never ever really know.

Oke, now then you can assume EBT is the real Dhamma, or you assume that parts of EBT are the real Dhamma or the Pali Canon as w whole is real Dhamma or Abhidhamma is the real higher dhamma…pffff…whatever.

I believe such ideas about corruption and also what is pure Dhamma only feed bad unwholesome qualities.

Buddha did study his mind. And what do his pupils? They are always, day in day out, fighting with eachother what is true Dhamma, pure Dhamma, what-the-Buddha-really taught, absolute Dhamma, universal Dhamma, light of Dhamma…
“In this and that text it said this and that”…using texts as weapens in battle. Trying to convince others and especially oneself. am fed up with it. I am gonna stop.

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I see no way around it. The canon, as we have it, is several canons. Its like a bag with puzzle pieces from many puzzles. If we put together puzzle pieces that actually fit together and are of the same thickness, material, etc… and produce a coherent whole, we almost certainly have a canon. It may be one of many in the bag, but we can at least make sense of it and evaluate it for whether or not we want to organize our lives around it. The alternative is going on in a state of profound cognitive dissonance, kidding ourselves that what is in the bag is a coherent whole produced by one person.

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There are many indications that the Buddha wanted his disciples to admonish those who would hold views that are contrary to Dhamma and Vinaya. So your idiosyncrasy is that you may not like it, but that doesn’t make it a worthless conversation at all. Judging by what came down to us in the suttas and the vinaya, the Buddha would have wanted us to discuss what is the true Dhamma and what isn’t

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The term, vipassana ‘insight’, is a noun form. It combines two elements, vi and the verbal form, passati, in the sense that ‘seeing completely and perfectly’, phenomena as they really are. For the practical meaning of vipassana, you need to look at the verbal form, passati, in the suttas (particularly in SN/SA suttas). Note: passati is always come together with another verb, jaanaati.

Thus, samatha and vipassana are not the same practice.

E.g.:
Page 34 from The Fundamental Teachings of Early Buddhism Choong Mun-keat 2000.pdf (69.3 KB)
Page 53 from The Fundamental Teachings of Early Buddhism Choong Mun-keat 2000.pdf (87.8 KB)

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It seems MN 140 has a good discussion about this matter, namely, why to not continue samadhi development into the immaterial spheres. In short, it seems the four immaterial spheres are excessive thus unnecessary. Yet, imo, they do represent a continuation of samadhi development. Keep in mind a stock phrase in the suttas about the departure from samadhi development is: "When my mind had become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—I extended/directed it toward… " Therefore, it seems, for the Buddha, the purity of the 4th jhana was sufficient or ideal for use in wisdom/insight development.

Possibly @SDC can comment on this, in light of their apparent exaltation or veneration of the missionary monks in AN 6.46, who were ‘practising’ for the welfare and happiness of the people, for the benefit, welfare, and happiness of gods and humans.

I’m not sure it counts, i.e., is conclusive, but AN 9.7 says: 'A mendicant with defilements ended can’t… have sex… store up goods for their own enjoyment like they did as a lay person.’ Plus the suttas seems to have no accounts of lay arahants.

MN 149 seems to strongly support the above conclusion.

The issue or unclarity or subject of debate here seems to be the word ‘kaya’ used in the 3rd jhana description (sukhañca kāyena paṭisaṁvedesiṁ) or used in the similes in MN 119, etc, may not necessarily refer to the physical body. ‘Kaya’ is one of those words, similar to sankhara & dhamma, with diverse contextual usage.

Very good. I agree. :pray:t2:

There seem not many but there seems to be a some such as AN 3.86 and Iti 96.

Excellent post btw. Thank you :slightly_smiling_face: :pray:t2:

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You mean the monks who the Buddha called “rare”?

“Therefore, friends, you should train yourselves thus: ‘Those of us who are meditators will praise those bhikkhus who are Dhamma specialists.’ Thus should you train yourselves. For what reason? Because, friends, these persons are astounding and rare in the world who see a deep and pithy matter after piercing it through with wisdom.”

It’s always a joy to have so much of your attention. I honestly wish I had more time to address each of your comments. :hugs:

Yes. I imagine it is “rare” for monks to devote themselves to mere scholarship but without fruits of meditation. Personally, I have met merely a few in my life therefore it is indeed “rare”. :slightly_smiling_face:

Thank you. I do recall the Buddha taught somewhere metta for others brings joy. :pray:t2: :two_hearts:

As I mentioned above, the practice of vipassana is presented in the SN/SA suttas in the content of the verbal form, passati-janati (i.e., right view) Corruption of the dhamma - #8 by thomaslaw

So, the vipassana movement in Burma and the practice of passati (right view) indicated in Samyutta/Samyukta suttas are not entirely the same teaching.

It is an enourmous task to become oneself and let go of all these ego-longing and really stop fighting or defending and protecting this or that. This ego always wants to fight for something. A fighter must fight. If he cannot fight, he feels lost.

Especially the accumulation of scriptural knowledge becomes the spiritual ego’s battlefield. I see this very clearly, in myself and others. Yes, addicted to fighting, the spiritual ego stands up as a real and pure Dhamma-protector who will teach and correct others (never himself!). This is ultimate self- and other-deception.

All this fighting over what is true and pure Dhamma is only bhava tanha. It is only addiction to passion and self/ego-aggrandizement. Even if one would like do it otherwise, one cannot. The kilesa’s are totally in control.

How hard it is to let go of this…the holy fight, the holy battle about a true and pure Dhamma…My Lord, we are lost, Lord we are lost.

Would the Buddha stimulate this, surely not. Moreover, Buddha always says that one must correct others with a loving heart. This is not happening. People critizise others never with a loving heart but with a heart full of defilements, teachings them a lesson but not teaching Dhamma.

Oke, some do their utmost best to forcefully supress their hate, the agression and pretent a loving and caring atmosphere, but one who knows and sees cannot be fooled anymore. It is all madness.
With love for Dhamma it has nothing to do.

When will the fighter ever stop fighting? What needs to happen for this? One can say: practice Dhamma, but the problem is, for a fighter also Dhamma practice becomes a battlefield.

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Or alternatively we can engage in polite and thoughtful debate. There is no reason polite and thoughtful discussions should be impossible, is there?

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You fight about what?

:grin: :rofl: :joy:

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Then it might come to even worse situation:

Question: Are you coming to bed?
Answer: I won’t (never). This is important.
Question: What?
Answer: Everyone else says that I am wrong on the internet.
(or another version: No one else is right on the internet.)
:grin: :rofl: :joy:

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Hmmm,
first I didn’t think to get involved in the discourse of this thread at all …

But just a bell ringed to recall a poem, that I’ve written in my young years (~24 yrs) on fighting and how do we stop this/ourselves …

Unfortunately, I think (at the moment) I cannot give a good translation to english, but perhaps there are some here around understanding german and as well interested in this workout :slight_smile:
(Remark: the “VVN” is a community of victims of the nazi-regime in Germany, and I as a young man tried to get contact, and inspiration, from them; the poem is a reflection after a visit on an event in my hometown)

Don’t know what “happened” here to (spiritually) “stop fighting for the ego” :wink: Perhaps it has been a good exercise to be able to find contact to the Buddha another 24 years later …

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I don’t think much can be inferred from that, for in the suttas vipassanā is most often expressed not with the word “vipassanā”, but rather with the phrase:

X yathābhūtaṁ sammappaññāya daṭṭhabbaṁ

“X should be seen as it really is with right understanding.”

Of this phrase, there are 216 occurrences in the first four Nikāyas:

DN. 3
MN. 74
SN. 111
AN. 28

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To me it’s kind of like debating which branch of a tree most authentically represents the trunk. Things change and evolve - so it goes. The solution is pretty simple: just find a native speaker of Pali that grew up in 5th century bc vedic India and is fluent in modern language and culture. They can explain everything. I am confident that all the various translators will get on board immediately.

My feeling is: The real corruption of Dhamma is happening in our own hearts. Maybe that is a huge platitude but i feel that all this searching for a one and only pure or true Dhamma, and all this propagating of a one and only pure Dhamma is itself a form of corruption. This is not to accuse someone. I always sense it is defiled with hate and greed, because what one seeks is not Dhamma but grip. They build a system of thoughts upon stuyding the texts. The sense of grip and order that is created, does cool them down. They feel they now understand Dhamma. They enjoy in the intellectual clarity like people in science who enjoy the beauty of formula’s.

They have a consistent picture in their head in which all pieces of the Dhamma puzzle fit. But it is also idiosychronic. The chooses one makes are solely subjective, rooted in emotions, will, longings, but that they will never ever admit. They feel there idiosynchronic Dhamma-thought-system is pure objectivity. This becomes with years stronger and stronger, especially when others enjoy the clarity of this thought system.

I do not want to accuse anybody but this is how i feel when people are propagating a pure Dhamma, a real understanding. Ofcourse they themselves never corrupt Dhamma, always others.

But for many it is attractive. The brain likes order and such people deliver a certain intellectual order and grip on Dhamma. But it is also very vulnarable to rely on this sense of order and thought-system.

I do feel the order of the mind of a Buddha is not based upon such intellectual grip and system but on letting that go.

I experience that the heart never corrupts anything, but it is the mental activities that seeks and veils the heart that does. Mind cant find the heart, so being stuck in the concept of fullness of mind wont do the trick. So there is the activity of mindfulness, and there is the stillness of heartfulness.

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