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A Mosaic of Traditions - One Virtual Sangha => Meditation and Self-Reflection Practices => Topic started by: VisuddhiRaptor on August 08, 2017, 06:22:32 pm

Title: How to recollect past "lives" or past homes" !!
Post by: VisuddhiRaptor on August 08, 2017, 06:22:32 pm
The Pali sutta says:

Quote
At Savatthi. “Bhikkhus, those ascetics and brahmins who recollect their manifold past abodes all recollect the five aggregates subject to clinging or a certain one among them. What five?

When recollecting thus, bhikkhus: ‘I had such form in the past,’ it is just form that one recollects. When recollecting: ‘I had such a feeling in the past,’ it is just feeling that one recollects. When recollecting: ‘I had such a perception in the past,’ it is just perception that one recollects. When recollecting: ‘I had such volitional formations in the past,’ it is just volitional formations that one recollects. When recollecting: ‘I had such consciousness in the past,’ it is just consciousness that one recollects.

Therefore, bhikkhus, any kind of form whatsoever … Any kind of feeling whatsoever … Any kind of perception whatsoever … Any kind of volitional formations whatsoever … Any kind of consciousness whatsoever, whether past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near, all consciousness should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’

This is called, bhikkhus, a noble disciple who dismantles and does not build up; who abandons and does not cling; who scatters and does not amass; who extinguishes and does not kindle.

https://suttacentral.net/en/sn22.79

 :om:
Title: Re: How to recollect past "lives" or past homes" !!
Post by: VisuddhiRaptor on August 08, 2017, 06:31:24 pm
The Pali suttas do not include the words "past lives", which is a mistranslation by translators.

The sutta posted above uses the proper translation of "past abodes", which literally is "past homes".

This means "past adherences" or "past attachments" or "past self-beliefs". 

The sutta states when recollecting past abodes, the proper method is to reflect it was only aggregates in the past rather than a 'self'.

For example, when the mind thinks back: "I received a bicycle for my 5th birthday" or "I had sex with a prostitute on my 18th birthday paid by my friends", this is not Buddhist recollection of past abodes.

The Buddhist practise is, if these memories arise in the mind:

* "On its 5th birthday, five aggregates received some metal & rubber".

* "On its 18th birthday, five aggregates had sex with another five aggregates paid for by other five aggregates".

The sutta says when recollecting the past, in reality, there was only aggregates; only not-self.

Therefore, when Buddha recollected "past abodes" on the night of his enlightenment, it was recollecting each time in the past the mind mistakenly & ignorantly believed aggregates & life to be "self".

 :namaste:
Title: Re: How to recollect past "lives" or past homes" !!
Post by: The Artis Magistra on August 08, 2017, 06:55:53 pm
Yes, and just like play-dough, people can mold material such as the Sutta material to say or mean or "really mean" all kinds of things, and even so, what is useful about such a discussion is to ask what use there is in such things, what benefit, and how it can be used well.

So lets discuss what benefit there is in constantly referring to oneself as "five aggregates"? I guess it can help people feel more detached or something maybe. It can maybe make people feel more irresponsible too, it can get rid of some guilt maybe and make people de-sensitized.

Whatever the case, overall, it seems a rather boring notion to be overly focused on.

I'm curious about the value of the Buddhism you espouse, this "True and Real Authentic Buddhism from the lips of the Real and True and Authentic Siddhartha Gautama as somehow known for certain by the jungle folk of South-East Asia today" or whatever.

What is the point, what is the "good news" about it? It seems like you are just wasting your time, not only being mean and rude and trying to suppress people, but also having nothing very helpful or useful to say overall, because you believe in nothing, you espouse nothing much really. Who even cares what the Buddha said if all the Buddha said was "blah blah, stuff happens and you die forever", who cares? Why would you come onto forums just to say that? It just seems totally stupid. Even though you dislike me and my work and my style, it is still based in a delusional agenda, it has a point, yours doesn't make much sense to me at all, it just seems like a waste of time which you should even know is a waste of time, even by your philosophy its a waste of time and worthless garbage. My work may "actually be worthless garbage" the way people treat it and delete it, but I don't think so, I wouldn't do it otherwise, and if I had a philosophy like your philosophy I certainly would not do it. You're puzzling, and you represent more than just yourself, because there seem to be many "dead head" worthless philosophy people spending their time online ridiculing and abusing people, and it just makes no sense except maybe some sort of human frustration thing? Try to help me to understand how there is any value at all in these worthless ideas, why there is any delay in your leaving the world, and why you even come to forums at all to spread "blah blah, there is no reason to do anything or any gain in doing it, death is the end, if you get away with crime, you've simply gotten away with it".

Why don't you spend your time with some loved ones, since there is nothing but death forever waiting for you? Or do you not have loved ones? So you just hang around the internet saying your "last words" of "death is all there is in the end, you should not say or think anything else" and suppress people and ridicule them?
Title: Re: How to recollect past "lives" or past homes" !!
Post by: VisuddhiRaptor on August 08, 2017, 10:25:46 pm
Yes, and just like play-dough, people can mold material such as the Sutta material to say or mean or "really mean" all kinds of things, and even so, what is useful about such a discussion is to ask what use there is in such things, what benefit, and how it can be used well.

The sutta literally says what I posted. Like Samana Johanne, dishonesty is digging a hell-realm.  :curtain:

Also, no realisation of emptiness.  :lmfao:
Title: Re: How to recollect past "lives" or past homes" !!
Post by: The Artis Magistra on August 08, 2017, 11:45:20 pm
Yes, and just like play-dough, people can mold material such as the Sutta material to say or mean or "really mean" all kinds of things, and even so, what is useful about such a discussion is to ask what use there is in such things, what benefit, and how it can be used well.

The sutta literally says what I posted. Like Samana Johanne, dishonesty is digging a hell-realm.  :curtain:

Also, no realisation of emptiness.  :lmfao:

Eh. Big whoop. So dramatic. Hell realm lol what melodrama. Is Buddhism just melodrama and melodramatic language for the bored and boring? The Sutta is in a different language from a totally alien culture, to think you have understood it from your Australian Atheist world, which was unheard of to those cave men, is really kidding yourself. Maybe they were as up to date as you though and then were indeed just being totally drama queens "ohh no its hell wah wah".
Title: Re: How to recollect past "lives" or past homes" !!
Post by: IdleChater on August 09, 2017, 03:36:57 am
The Pali suttas do not include the words "past lives", which is a mistranslation by translators.

Really?  And you know this because ....?

I'm assuming this arises from your boundless hubris and not because you can actually translate Pali.
Title: Re: How to recollect past "lives" or past homes" !!
Post by: VisuddhiRaptor on August 09, 2017, 01:46:49 pm
Really?  And you know this because ....?

I'm assuming this arises from your boundless hubris and not because you can actually translate Pali.

It is you posting uninformed hubris.

I challenge you to start a thread on any informed forum and ask about the literal meaning of the word "nivasa", which is used in the relevant scripture.

The Pali word for "life" or "lives" is "jiva". This is why the translator I quoted used the translation "abode" for "nivasa". "Nivasa" & "vasa" refer to "mental dwelling" or "adherence", as follows:

Quote
And how does one not live at home? Any desire, lust, delight, and craving, the engagement and clinging, the mental standpoints, adherences (ābhini­ve­sā) and underlying tendencies… these the Tathagata has abandoned, their root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Therefore the Tathagata is said to be not dwelling at home. Haliddakani Sutta

Quote
Bhikkhus, there are these ten abodes (vāsa) of the noble ones in which the noble ones abide in the past, present, or future. What ten?

Here, a bhikkhu (1) has abandoned five factors; (2) possesses six factors; (3) has a single guard (4) and four supports; (5) has dispelled personal truths, (6) totally renounced seeking, (7) purified his intentions, (8) tranquilized bodily activity, and become (9) well liberated in mind and (10) well liberated by wisdom.

AN 10.20

After you start a thread on an informed forum, you will learn how you have been conned & lied to about "past lives".   :namaste:

Quote
jīva
masculine & neuter

a living thing, any living being.
the principle of life; vital breath; an individual living being experiencing entity within the physical body.
life.

Quote
Definitions for nivāsa
New Concise Pali English Dictionary
nivāsa
masculine
dress, clothing; an undergarment; wearing (an (under) garment)

Concise Pali English Dictionary
nivāsa
masculine
abode; resting place; living.

PTS Pali English Dictionary
nivāsa
stopping, dwelling, resting-place, abode; living, shelterin


Title: Re: How to recollect past "lives" or past homes" !!
Post by: Spiny Norman on August 10, 2017, 01:38:03 am
Here is an account in the suttas of the Buddha recalling his past lives: 

"When the mind was thus concentrated, purified, bright, unblemished, rid of defilement, pliant, malleable, steady, & attained to imperturbability, I directed it to the knowledge of recollecting my past lives. I recollected my manifold past lives, i.e., one birth, two... five, ten... fifty, a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand, many eons of cosmic contraction, many eons of cosmic expansion, many eons of cosmic contraction & expansion: 'There I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose there. There too I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose here.' Thus I remembered my manifold past lives in their modes & details."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.004.than.html (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.004.than.html)
Title: Re: How to recollect past "lives" or past homes" !!
Post by: Spiny Norman on August 10, 2017, 01:57:46 am
The sutta posted above uses the proper translation of "past abodes", which literally is "past homes".

Which in the suttas is a metaphor for past lives.   It's very revealing that you insist on the literal meaning only when it suits your dogma. 
Title: Re: How to recollect past "lives" or past homes" !!
Post by: Spiny Norman on August 10, 2017, 01:59:48 am
After you start a thread on an informed forum, you will learn how you have been conned & lied to about "past lives".   :namaste:

By "informed forums" I assume you mean the ones you haven't been banned from yet.
Title: Re: How to recollect past "lives" or past homes" !!
Post by: meez on August 10, 2017, 08:11:59 am
Quote
After you start a thread on an informed forum, you will learn how you have been conned & lied to about "past lives".   :namaste:

Are you saying we are uninformed, Element?  I gasp at such adjectives.
Title: Re: How to recollect past "lives" or past homes" !!
Post by: VisuddhiRaptor on August 10, 2017, 12:41:07 pm
Are you saying we are uninformed, Element?  I gasp at such adjectives.

Indeed, you are uninformed. You are interpreting text materialistically, without any understand of the underlying terms. You have not even comprehended the sutta I posted in the opening post, which literally states "recollecting past abodes" only refers to recollecting the past when an aggregate was taken to be "self".

Thus this sutta literally states what is recollected is not to be regarded as "self". Yet you seem to think what I posted is somehow wrong.

Why don't you read the sutta I posted? Thanks

 :namaste:
Title: Re: How to recollect past "lives" or past homes" !!
Post by: VisuddhiRaptor on August 10, 2017, 12:47:54 pm
Here is an account in the suttas of the Buddha recalling his past lives: 

"When the mind was thus concentrated, purified, bright, unblemished, rid of defilement, pliant, malleable, steady, & attained to imperturbability, I directed it to the knowledge of recollecting my past lives. I recollected my manifold past lives, i.e., one birth, two... five, ten... fifty, a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand, many eons of cosmic contraction, many eons of cosmic expansion, many eons of cosmic contraction & expansion: 'There I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose there. There too I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose here.' Thus I remembered my manifold past lives in their modes & details."
[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.004.than.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.004.than.html[/url])

Oh dear, Spiny.

1. This is not a literal translation. For example, the word "kappa" does not necessarily mean "an eon". It simply means "period of time", such in a DN 16.

2. Birth means "self-identity" or production of the view of "a being", as defined in SN 23.2, SN 5.10, SN 12.2.

3. The nutriments are fourfold thus in any arising of the idea of "being" or "self" is based on four nutriments. Refer to SN 12.63, MN 38, MN 9, etc.

4. 'Name & clan' are verbal designations, as explained in MN 98, SN 22.22, etc,

Each term in the above can be correlated with a here-&-now phenomena.

Your reading is materialistic or materialism.  :teehee:
Title: Re: How to recollect past "lives" or past homes" !!
Post by: VisuddhiRaptor on August 10, 2017, 12:56:48 pm
"When the mind was thus concentrated, purified, bright, unblemished, rid of defilement, pliant, malleable, steady, & attained to imperturbability, I directed it to the knowledge of recollecting my past lives. I recollected my manifold past lives, i.e., one birth, two... five, ten... fifty, a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand,

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.004.than.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.004.than.html[/url])


Why has the translator mistranslated this, twice?

Firstly, 'nivasa' means 'abodes' or 'dwellings' rather than "lives".

Secondly, "jati" means "birth" rather than "lives".

Why did the translator avoid using the word "births"?

Here is another translation:

Quote
I directed it to knowledge of the recollection of past lives. I recollected my manifold past lives, that is, one birth, two births, three births, four births, five births, ten births, twenty births, thirty births, forty births, fifty births, a hundred births, a thousand births.

So anekavihitaṃ pubbenivāsaṃ anussarāmi, seyyathidaṃ—ekampi jātiṃ dvepi jātiyo tissopi jātiyo catassopi jātiyo pañcapi jātiyo dasapi jātiyo vīsampi jātiyo tiṃsampi jātiyo cattālīsampi jātiyo paññāsampi jātiyo jātisatampi jātisahassampi jāti­sata­sahas­sampi

https://suttacentral.net/en/mn4 (https://suttacentral.net/en/mn4)


Title: Re: How to recollect past "lives" or past homes" !!
Post by: VisuddhiRaptor on August 10, 2017, 12:59:45 pm
I recollected my manifold past lives, i.e., one birth, two... five, ten... fifty, a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand, many eons of cosmic contraction, many eons of cosmic expansion, many eons of cosmic contraction & expansion: 'There I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain....
[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.004.than.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.004.than.html[/url])

What you think "many eons of cosmic contraction, many eons of cosmic expansion, many eons of cosmic contraction & expansion" means in the context?

 :curtain:
Title: Re: How to recollect past "lives" or past homes" !!
Post by: The Artis Magistra on August 10, 2017, 01:09:30 pm
Well, a long time ago, for around 2500 years or so, the majority of people thinking they understood the Sutta, took it to refer to concepts such as entirely different experiences of realities that were not in the same bodily lifetime experience. These people had read the same stuff as you are reading today in English, but they read it in their cultural context and language and somehow came up with the idea that these things didn't mean "A couple years ago when I was a different sort of person, doing different sort of things", but instead seem to have very much taken it as a reference to some sort of big system.

Furthermore, if everyone ends up at the same end, it kind of unravels the whole point of any of the fuss being made for 2500 years. One could simply say nothing and let each person live out their temporary life and die, and whether they are a criminal or a saint, they would just end up being dead the same as each other.

So much Buddhist literature seems to be dedicated to the idea that the whole fuss is because this is not believed to be the case in those various cultures called "Buddhist".
Title: Re: How to recollect past "lives" or past homes" !!
Post by: meez on August 10, 2017, 02:35:31 pm
Are you saying we are uninformed, Element?  I gasp at such adjectives.

Indeed, you are uninformed. You are interpreting text materialistically, without any understand of the underlying terms. You have not even comprehended the sutta I posted in the opening post, which literally states "recollecting past abodes" only refers to recollecting the past when an aggregate was taken to be "self".

Thus this sutta literally states what is recollected is not to be regarded as "self". Yet you seem to think what I posted is somehow wrong.

Why don't you read the sutta I posted? Thanks

 :namaste:

I didn't even read the sutta, so I didn't/wouldn't attempt to interpret it in any manner, much less try to comprehend it.  You might have been confused in thinking I was someone else, which can happen.

Take care!
Title: Re: How to recollect past "lives" or past homes" !!
Post by: The Artis Magistra on August 10, 2017, 05:13:29 pm
Even if we were to read any collection of words, how are we supposed to understand them correctly without your brain? We need your brain first to understand them as you wish for us to understand them. Generations of people have not had your brain so have misunderstood the words you understand. What you are asking seems too hard "read the suttas as I do and understand them with my brain", I have a much easier solution which I hope you will be able to agree with. I will simply say to you that indeed the Sutta says what you want it to say and that you have grasped it wholly and without error. I offer no evidence for this, simply my trust that you are indeed the one with the brain to understand that Sutta. Excellent work. Furthermore, any Sutta you post, I will pre-emptively say now you have understood it wholly and correctly and anyone who differs from your understanding is wrong. I am wrong, Spiny, IdleChater, and Samana are all wrong, our main fault being that we did not have your brain so could not understand the Sutta correctly.

There is a slight problem though. Since we don't have your brain, we can also not understand you or what you say or what you are pointing out when you show a Sutta, nor can we correctly read it as you wish us to. We are left just taking it on faith that you are absolutely right and we are absolutely wrong, but because we don't have your brain, we can not even follow your words or advice either or your statements on how to follow the Sutta which we also can not understand.

Basically, you alone are posessor of the Right Brain and we are Left Brainless (lacking the appropriate brain required to understand or perform as you wish us to), so all the communication appears impossible and futile. You will never find anyone with your brain which is the necessary brain to understand the Sutta. If they had your brain, you wouldn't have your brain but they would.
Title: Re: How to recollect past "lives" or past homes" !!
Post by: Spiny Norman on August 11, 2017, 01:15:12 am
"When the mind was thus concentrated, purified, bright, unblemished, rid of defilement, pliant, malleable, steady, & attained to imperturbability, I directed it to the knowledge of recollecting my past lives. I recollected my manifold past lives, i.e., one birth, two... five, ten... fifty, a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand,

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.004.than.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.004.than.html[/url])


Why has the translator mistranslated this, twice?

Firstly, 'nivasa' means 'abodes' or 'dwellings' rather than "lives".

Secondly, "jati" means "birth" rather than "lives".

Why did the translator avoid using the word "births"?

Here is another translation:

Quote
I directed it to knowledge of the recollection of past lives. I recollected my manifold past lives, that is, one birth, two births, three births, four births, five births, ten births, twenty births, thirty births, forty births, fifty births, a hundred births, a thousand births.

So anekavihitaṃ pubbenivāsaṃ anussarāmi, seyyathidaṃ—ekampi jātiṃ dvepi jātiyo tissopi jātiyo catassopi jātiyo pañcapi jātiyo dasapi jātiyo vīsampi jātiyo tiṃsampi jātiyo cattālīsampi jātiyo paññāsampi jātiyo jātisatampi jātisahassampi jāti­sata­sahas­sampi

[url]https://suttacentral.net/en/mn4[/url] ([url]https://suttacentral.net/en/mn4[/url])



Element, this is just further sophistry on your part.   Using "births" instead of "lives" doesn't alter the meaning here.  And just to remind you, here is how "birth" is defined in the suttas:
"And what is birth? Whatever birth, taking birth, descent, coming-to-be, coming-forth, appearance of aggregates, & acquisition of [sense] media of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called birth."  ( SN12.2, MN9, etc )

Clearly you are a materialist with a strong aversion to what the suttas say about rebirth, and you have desperate need to "prove" the suttas aren't describing a cycle of physical birth and death.  This is entirely pointless, it is rather like an atheist using the Bible to "prove" that God doesn't exist.

Quite a lot of westerners have problems with the teachings on rebirth.  The mature approach is to put these questions to one side, and focus on here and now practice.  Some people choose to adopt Secular Buddhism. 
Title: Re: How to recollect past "lives" or past homes" !!
Post by: Spiny Norman on August 11, 2017, 01:19:05 am
I recollected my manifold past lives, i.e., one birth, two... five, ten... fifty, a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand, many eons of cosmic contraction, many eons of cosmic expansion, many eons of cosmic contraction & expansion: 'There I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain....
[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.004.than.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.004.than.html[/url])

What you think "many eons of cosmic contraction, many eons of cosmic expansion, many eons of cosmic contraction & expansion" means in the context?
 :curtain:


It means what it says.  It is straightforward description, and there is no evidence it is intended metaphorically.  As I said, it's very revealing how you prefer the literal meaning only on occasions when it suits your agenda.  Most of the time you can't stand the straightforward or literal meaning, because it directly contradicts the dogma you preach.
Title: Re: How to recollect past "lives" or past homes" !!
Post by: The Artis Magistra on August 11, 2017, 02:33:20 am
Very good Spiny Norman, your answers are heroic! Thank you for writing that out!
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