Why isn't it allowed? Natural versus proscribed misdeeds

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JKhedrup
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Why isn't it allowed? Natural versus proscribed misdeeds

Postby JKhedrup » Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:34 am


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Indrajala
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Re: Why isn't it allowed? Natural versus proscribed misdeeds

Postby Indrajala » Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:12 am

I think the idea is that there is some kind of karmic retribution for having made a vow to the Buddha distantly through your precepts and then breaking it. The metaphysics used to explain this, as far as I've read in Chinese, are generally poorly constructed and easily refuted. In some commentary literature they talk about all the terrible hells you'll find yourself in for being disobedient to ecclesiastical law.

So, intentionally eating yeast, which is prohibited by proscription, will get you into some awful hell for immeasurable years unless you confess it.

That's just dreadfully dogmatic on a level that is repulsive.

A lot of the Vinaya commentary literature is a lot of fire and brimstone. A whole lot of talk of hell for having knowingly violated Church law.
tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

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Re: Why isn't it allowed? Natural versus proscribed misdeeds

Postby JKhedrup » Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:15 am

Honestly in the Vinaya commentary given by Geshe Sonam at Nalanda monastery there was not that flavour at all, not in the commentary on the Vinaya Sutra that he used for the course, by Kunkyen Tsonawa.

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Re: Why isn't it allowed? Natural versus proscribed misdeeds

Postby Indrajala » Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:41 am

Sure, not all of it is like that. The classical stuff though preserved from Sanskrit in Chinese is rather illustrative of mid-period Vinaya commentary literature.

There is a lot of reification clearly existent in such works and displays a lack of insight into life and practice.
tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

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Re: Why isn't it allowed? Natural versus proscribed misdeeds

Postby Nicholas Weeks » Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:37 pm

Maybe it has more to do with whether you vowed or pledged to not do proscribed acts. If one gets in the habit of breaking promises re: proscribed acts, then it may lead to deciding certain natural misdeeds are not that terrible. Bad habits are easy to form and very hard to break.
A bodhisattva does not become weary of evil beings nor does he commit the error of bringing forth thoughts inclined to reject them and cast them aside. Avatamsaka Sutra, ch. 25

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Re: Why isn't it allowed? Natural versus proscribed misdeeds

Postby Indrajala » Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:59 pm

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

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Re: Why isn't it allowed? Natural versus proscribed misdeeds

Postby Nicholas Weeks » Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:03 pm

A bodhisattva does not become weary of evil beings nor does he commit the error of bringing forth thoughts inclined to reject them and cast them aside. Avatamsaka Sutra, ch. 25

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Re: Why isn't it allowed? Natural versus proscribed misdeeds

Postby Indrajala » Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:58 pm

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

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Re: Why isn't it allowed? Natural versus proscribed misdeeds

Postby Nicholas Weeks » Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:33 pm

Not sure what the implication of your blog post is Indrajala. But it does seem you are expending much attention & energy to these issues of rules & authorities.

May your path toward buddhahood never be blocked! :bow:
A bodhisattva does not become weary of evil beings nor does he commit the error of bringing forth thoughts inclined to reject them and cast them aside. Avatamsaka Sutra, ch. 25

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Re: Why isn't it allowed? Natural versus proscribed misdeeds

Postby Indrajala » Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:16 pm

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

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Re: Why isn't it allowed? Natural versus proscribed misdeeds

Postby Nicholas Weeks » Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:52 pm

"at heart I'm an anarchist and have a pathological distrust of authority and rules." Good gracious! :shock:
A bodhisattva does not become weary of evil beings nor does he commit the error of bringing forth thoughts inclined to reject them and cast them aside. Avatamsaka Sutra, ch. 25

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Re: Why isn't it allowed? Natural versus proscribed misdeeds

Postby Indrajala » Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:36 am

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

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Re: Why isn't it allowed? Natural versus proscribed misdeeds

Postby lobster » Wed Jul 03, 2013 2:38 am


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Re: Why isn't it allowed? Natural versus proscribed misdeeds

Postby sukhamanveti » Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:44 am

namo bhagavate śākyamunaye tathāgatāyārhate samyaksaṁbuddhāya | namaḥ sarvabuddhabodhisattvebhyaḥ ||

"Bodhisattva-mahāsattvas love all beings in the world equally, as if each were their only child..." Buddhāvataṃsakamahāvaipulya Sūtra

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Re: Why isn't it allowed? Natural versus proscribed misdeeds

Postby In the bone yard » Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:29 pm

Hi sukhamanveti,

Those are sutra and tantra teachings grouped together.
Be careful interpreting tantra teachings because they're not meant to be understood intellectually.
I'll give an example in a minute...

A bodhisattva (meant here as a realized one) or Vajrayana practioner is held by his or her samaya (vow of merit) and progress on the path is depended upon it.
There's a higher understanding of cause and effect, an acute sensitivity, and so they are "held under a higher standard".

There are countless tantra teachings where killing occurs but it's the states of mind that are being killed.
For instance in the book, "The Great Kagyu Masters: The Golden Lineage Treasury" there's killing of states of mind, or killing of one's ego, that are named after worldly dieties.
So if you read it literally it appears that someone is being killed but only a state of mind or one's ego is being killed.

So yea, it's good to determine where a teaching falls before using discriminating wisdom.

A living example would be Rinpoche Chogyam Trungpa where some believe many of his deeds where impure.
We couldn't have gotten away with what he did. At the same time we can't possibly fathom his reasons for doing some of the things he did.
We don't have the realization to see what this great being did and what he needed to do or the reasons behind it.
We only have people's interpretations of his actions.

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Re: Why isn't it allowed? Natural versus proscribed misdeeds

Postby In the bone yard » Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:55 pm

To make clearer what I was saying about Samaya...

"does not cause small pain and suffering to arise as a way of preventing great pain and suffering, or does not abandon a small benefit in order to achieve a greater benefit, if he neglects to do these things even for a moment, he is at fault."

An example would be using wrathful, enlightened activity (as 1 of 4 enlightened activities... pacifying, increasing, subjugating, wrathful).
Short term it may be uncomfortable for oneself and another to use wrath, but a bigger cause and effect was prevented.

In the higher tantra it is said that cause and effect is abandoned althogether at very higher levels of attainment.
All stains concerning cause and effect are abandoned and one "enters the action via the 5 wisdoms."
They work entirely for the benefit of sentient beings.

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Re: Why isn't it allowed? Natural versus proscribed misdeeds

Postby uan » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:08 am


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Re: Why isn't it allowed? Natural versus proscribed misdeeds

Postby sukhamanveti » Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:30 am

Thank you In the bone yard and uan for your kind replies and your thoughts. You both make good observations.

I should have added that, in the cases I mentioned, the killing is interpreted as literal rather than figurative, even in the "tantric flavored" lojong text. Geshe Lhundub Sopa provides a commentary on it in which he explains in three paragraphs that sometimes war against certain kinds of destructive people is necessary and sometimes certain people must even be "eliminated," because the alternative is much, much worse. As the two verses of the lojong text assert, one must return one's Pratimoksha vow and fight when enemies are destroying Buddhism. Not returning one's monastic vows would be the greater violation. Similarly, two years ago His Holiness the Dalai Lama seems to have approved of the assassination of Osama bin Laden, arguing, "If something is serious and it is necessary to take counter-measures, you have to take counter-measures." (http://articles.latimes.com/2011/may/04 ... a-20110504) Both of the commentaries I have on the bodhisattva vow permit killing (and other negative actions) for those who have actualized bodhicitta and are acting out of compassion.

I think I may have found exactly what I was looking for. I was getting "hung up" on words such as "natural misdeeds" or "naturally uncommendable actions," and especially "inherently negative, regardless of context," and wondering how they could be applicable, given the texts I mentioned (among others). It was a problem of meaning and coherence for me. I think I was also reading too much into those words. Geshe Sonam Rinchen has made some helpful comments in The Bodhisattva Vow that I had actually read before but forgotten. He explains that actions of "natural non-virtue" are seen as such because they "are in themselves harmful." "Inherently negative regardless of context" (etc.) may simply mean "invariably causing harm" then instead of inherently wrong, wrong regardless of context, or always blameworthy, which is how I had been reading these words initially. Although, they are certainly misdeeds for those who are monks and nuns (while they are monks and nuns) regardless of context, as well as lay persons who have not actualized bodhicitta out of compassion. These actions are "never permitted according to the individual liberation vow," but may be mandatory for lay bodhisattvas.

I suppose another way to look at it may be that the “natural misdeeds” perspective belongs to what is sometimes called the “listener’s vehicle” (for lack of a better term and with no offense intended) portion of the Tibetan Buddhist teachings, since it seems most applicable in the texts to lay persons who have not actualized bodhicitta and monks and nuns.

I’m a bit sleepy at this hour. I hope this is intelligible. :smile:

EDIT: I changed "deeds" to "misdeeds."

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Re: Why isn't it allowed? Natural versus proscribed misdeeds

Postby muni » Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:39 am

If one breaks the rules in order to not harm or take us out of ignorance, let it be. There can be a lot of silliness or even harm by grasping to the limitations of prescribed rules. There can be harm in the first place for ourselves and so others, by so called "acting by Dharma" while a lot of benefit by actions in which the Dharma is not recognized as being Dharma.

All harm is by clinging.
While of course vows, eventually ethical rules can help to keep us wakeful not to harm (misdeeds) as guideline. :namaste:

o o

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Re: Why isn't it allowed? Natural versus proscribed misdeeds

Postby invisiblediamond » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:46 pm

It occurs to me that vinaya might the worlds first codifications of conducts. So making and modifying rules as issues arise along with unanimous voting was a system of checks and balances. Buddha was trying to get the Sangha to take a more sophisticated course but they didn't get it. Instead opting for a simplified scheme that they could handle.

It's as if the habits of democracy were new and the Sangha wasn't ready. Maybe it's time for some monks to implement this strategy. Subtle thinking was basically an invention of Buddha it seems. Or his clan.

Then the function of vinaya will be clear, to steer people away from actions that start fights or legal actions, I.e. keeping the peace. Rather than lay down a universal law which is opposite of a wise person.

The vinaya does assist Mahayana and Vajrayana. It's a favorable condition for some. And a good way to communicate ones values to the uninitiated.


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