@ekocare wrote on another forum and I replied:
Eko Care wrote: ↑Thu Apr 27, 2023 7:11 pm
It is true, but it demands the belief of the text beforehand. I mean how could we validate a given belief? what kind of evidences are needed for a belief to be a reasoned-belief?
> Eg: What are the Evidences and Inferences for the belief of Rebirth/Discrete-mind-moments …etc? Are the reasoning given by many sufficient? Do we need to keep such reasons always with us?
Robert: A great point:
na sīlabbatamattena, bāhusaccena vā pana |
atha vā samādhilābhena, vivittasayanena vā ||
phusāmi nekkhammasukhaṃ, aputhujjanasevitaṃ |
bhikkhu vissāsamāpādi, appatto āsavakkhayaṃ ||
Not merely by virtuous conduct and vows, nor, again, by much learning, nor by the attainment of samādhi, nor by sleeping in seclusion, do I attain the happiness of absence of desire, not attained by worldlings. Nor has a bhikkhu obtained assurance, as long as he has not attained the destruction of the āsavas.
Notice even bahusutta ( much learning) is included in the “not merely by…”
So no guarantee that learning will transpose into direct experience…
Yet at the same time the considering is needed:
The Grouped Sayings of the Buddha. Samyutta Nikaya.
Book [V: 95-6] section 46: The Links. 38: Unhindered.
When, Bhikkhus, a Noble Disciple listens carefully to the Dhamma,
alert with keen ears,
attending to it as a matter of crucial concern, as something of vital
his entire mind to it, in that very moment the Five Mental Hindrances
are absent in him.
On that occasion the Seven Links to Awakening develop towards
So how does this confidence develop …
I wrote to Sam Vara a while back :
This Dhamma is not easily realized
by those overcome
with aversion & passion.
What is abstruse, subtle,
hard to see,
going against the flow —
those delighting in passion,
cloaked in the mass of darkness,
That pretty much describes me (delighting in passion, cloaked in the mass of darkness), so I have no issue with seeing the path as being rather narrow and only clear to those with sufficient parami.
On the possibility of barking up the wrong tree: a perennial problem for all spiritual adventurers, I think.
Venerable Sunnakhata was the Buddha’s attendant before Ananda. He listened to Dhamma and attained
Jhana, even to the degree of having special powers of hearing.
But he eventually left the Buddha, spoke badly of the Dhamma, and followed ascetics who used to live a life of severe ascetism, copying dogs(dog-duty ascetics). Why, when he had all this going for him? The commentary says that this man had lived many consecutive past lives as an ascetic and had these tendencies. Even the Buddha’s teaching couldn’t overcome them.
And so we see how dependent past factors are in conditioning behaviour. Of course Sunnakhata made choices, he had conventional volitional control over what he did but what he couldn’t see was that ditthi (wrong view)and lobha were underlying all his choices.
My fairly surface level reasons for confidence in the teaching of the Elders are 1: it all makes perfect sense to how the world appears to me;
2. it seems to all come from an incredible wisdom, much more sublime and detailed than all the other paths I have heard of.
Are there deeper reasons - like accumulations from past lives that make one lean towards say Abhidhamma rather than Tibetan Tulkus. Yes that fits in with the teaching and makes sense to me too, although I have no way of really knowing that(but it does explain a lot).
Yet I think it can’t be stressed enough how subtle the path is. Wrong view masquerades as right view and it comes with attachment that can be mistaken for the confidence that is associated with right view.
Now, 2023, is not so long after the Buddha’s parinibbana but wrong ideas and practices keep increasing…
Regarding the comment about "Rebirth/Discrete-mind-moments …etc? Are the reasoning given by many sufficient? Do we need to keep such reasons always with us".
We read, listen, consider, discuss, and critically, see - as much as conditions allow - how this is happening in daily life.
Seeing - does it arise and pass away. Is sound different from seeing? Can pleasant feeling arise at the same moment as unpleasant feeling?
We start to understand that the Abhidhamma is not just theory - it really focusses the mind on the very nature of the world- and so there begin to be glimpses into the world that underlies the conceptual world we are used to.
There can be growing understanding that realities must arise with the right conditions, and so the idea that upon death everything ceases despite one being full of ignorance and craving - the view of the materialists- is dismissed easily.
On the other hand trying hard to have confidence and understanding doesn’t work, that is subtle attachment wanting some result that can be held up as proof.