SuttaCentral

What can be synonymous with the brahmin caste today?


#22

sutta references please


#23

Just dropping off a couple of supporting references:
AN 4.39, SN 3.9 (SN120), SN1.32


#24

See MN 142 for the clearest example of a ‘return-on-investment’- sutta:

In times to come there will be members of the spiritual family merely by virtue of wearing ocher cloth around their necks; but they are unethical and of bad character. People will give gifts to those unethical people in the name of the Saṅgha. Even then, I say, a religious donation bestowed on the Saṅgha is incalculable and immeasurable.

It is true that a few suttas mention as a requisite the purity of the donor as well. But they are in the minority. In the majority of cases the mind of the donor is irrelevant - the recipient is highlighted.

AN 3.57 states that “fools devoid of understanding, dull-witted, unlearned, do not attend on the holy ones but give their gifts to those outside.” And AN 5.175 calls a lay follower who gives dakkhiṇā to non-Buddhist teachers an outcast (caṇḍāla), a stain, and blameworthy.


#25

Master Gotama, I have heard: ‘The ascetic Gotama says: “Alms should be given only to me, an.i.161 not to others; alms should be given only to my disciples, not to the disciples of others. Only what is given to me is very fruitful, not what is given to others; only what is given to my disciples is very fruitful, not what is given to the disciples of others.”’SuttaCentral

At Sāvatthī. Seated to one side, King Pasenadi said to the Buddha: “Sir, where should a gift be given?” “Wherever your heart feels inspired, great king.” “But sir, where is a gift very fruitful?” “Where a gift should be given is one thing, great king, but where a gift is very fruitful is another. A gift is very fruitful when it’s given to an ethical person, not so much to an unethical person.

In the same way, a gift to anyone who has given up five factors and possesses five factors is very fruitful, no matter what family they’ve gone forth from. What are the five factors they’ve given up? Sensual desire, ill will, dullness and drowsiness, restlessness and remorse, and doubt. These are the five factors they’ve given up. What are the five factors they possess? The entire spectrum of an adept’s ethics, immersion, wisdom, freedom, and knowledge and vision of freedom. These are the five factors they possess. I say that a gift to anyone who has given up these five factors and possesses these five factors is very fruitful.” SuttaCentral


#26

Have you noticed that we both quoted the same sutta AN 3.57 :slight_smile:
The prose starts nicely with a rejection by the Buddha, but go on and see the poem at the end - it actually goes back to the (false?) claim at the beginning: don’t give to outsiders!

The same holds for SN 3.24 which you quote: First it says “Sure, give to anyone you like”, but it’s “very fruitful” if you give to enlightened Buddhists - which makes the beginning irrelevant.


#27

Giving gives less benefit than _metta, anicca.

Once, householder, there was a brahman named Velāma. And this was the nature of the gift, the great gift, he gave: He gave 84,000 gold trays filled with silver, 84,000 silver trays filled with gold, 84,000 copper trays filled with gems. He gave 84,000 elephants with gold ornaments… SuttaCentral

Without abandoning these five qualities, one is incapable of entering & remaining in the first jhana. Which five? Stinginess as to one’s monastery… SuttaCentral


#28

We can always pick a handful of suttas which shed a nice light on the EBT. Doesn’t it matter to you that there are ten times as many with profane contents of: ‘give to the sangha and you’ll go to heaven’?


#29

Well you are content to pick the inauthentic poems when it suits you and not the body text. I suppose you are critical of the Vedic texts on Hindu forums?


#30

To give to the Sangha headed by the Buddha is suppose to be meritorious according to the Buddha/some suttas. This might be true, and it is quite difficult to prove.

There are monks who almost solely just speak about such things i.e give to me and you will go to heaven or be rewarded, chant this chant of mine and be healed etc
The latest one I heard…, There was a family, nearby me,whose child was dying, she was not going to recover, so a monk told the family to go and make merit at the temple by doing work there,work like driving the monks around to go do big pujas , or creating big pujas. This from my point of view sounds quite ridiculous, but it is the general norm and the lay people love it. That family stills works at the temple, happily it seems. Both parties believe that they are doing the right thing. All I know in terms of this,is that generosity is praised, and being dishonest is dispraised.

The ‘brahmin type Buddhist monks’ are definitely not shy in asking for donations, they believe it’s there duty, so that people can gain merit, and laity support them immensely ,with great faith.

When it comes to ‘forest’ monks or monks who have joined the Sangha not for making merit but for freedom from dukkha;
I haven’t found any such monk pushing for donations or trying to convince lay donors that they will be greatly benefited, it seems like an unwholesome act i.e trying to convince the laity to be generous ,so as to get access to sensual requisites.

There are some suttas/ texts, maybe in the abhidhamma I think, describing the exact rewards for giving specific items. This sounds awfully suspicious.

A monk with integrity should reflect before he gives advice on generosity and merit-gaining-actions i.e do I speak thus because I want fame,gain,pleasure? If yes, he shouldn’t speak.


#31

The OP question was what could be compared to Brahmin priests nowadays. The simple answer is: any priest from any religion, including the Buddhist. Sutta composition has been around long enough (at least 300 years) before closing the canon to slip in unworthy content. And Buddhist priests make good use of the self-serving texts, and even twist them further. I advocate for seeing the good and the bad at the same time.

Even though it is out of fashion today to see an ‘original’ forest Buddhism, and a later decadent ‘urban’ Buddhism, I find this simplified categories still useful. There is a common spirit in not-asking, not-insinuating, not-persuading, not-asking-with-both-hands, in shame and fear of wrong-doing. And we see this spirit in all major spiritual masters. It’s not a matter of (Buddhist) enlightenment but of ethical and spiritual sincerity of any spiritual path.


#32

I don’t want to get into this any deeper. I will just reaffirm my opinion, expressed a few times on earlier occasions, that the Buddha was primarily a world-renouncing ascetic teaching an ascetic path to spiritual realization to other world renouncers, and that most of the stuff incorporating sacrificial traditions is a later addition reflecting the gradual “hinduization” of Buddhism, and its transformation from an ascetic path into a more elaborate and universal religion and social system.


#33

I agree, but what does that have to do with the OP? Are you saying the Brahmin caste is corrupt.


#34

Maybe we could use more the term ‘historical Buddha’ vs. ‘sutta/EBT Buddha’ to signify that we are aware that the EBT portray things differently?


#35

Again, the Brahmin ‘caste’ is a misnomer. ‘Caste’ is not an occupation or livelihood. We should talk about the religious professionals only, the priests. So “are the Brahmin priests corrupt?” That would be a silly simplification. Corrupt attitudes and behaviors are not determined by the profession as such. Statistically there is probably a ‘spiritual’ minority and a ‘religious’ majority.


#36

Yes so is there a sense that dakshina is for this spiritual ‘minority’, among them?