Would Buddhagosa be considered a man of low character by the Buddha?

Here is a quote from the conclusion of the Visuddhimagga:

By the performance of such merit
As has been gained by me through this
And any other still in hand
So may I in my next becoming
Behold the joys of Tavatimsa
(Translation: Bhikkhu Ňanamoli)

AN 7.50

“Or… he practices the holy life intent on being born in one or another of the deva hosts, (thinking) ‘By this virtue or practice or abstinence or holy life I will be a deva of one sort or another.’ He enjoys that, wants more of that, and luxuriates in that. This is a gap, a break, a spot, a blemish of the holy life. He is called one who lives the holy life in an impure way, one who is fettered by the fetter of sexuality. He is not freed from birth, aging, & death, from sorrows, lamentations, pains, griefs, & despairs. He is not freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

So it appears from this that the Buddha would consider Buddhagosa as someone “who lives the holy life in an impure way, one who is fettered by the fetter of sexuality”.

So the first conclusion from this is that Buddhagosa was the moral superior of no one who has a higher goal than Tavatimsa, especially not of anyone who is a sotapanna today, whether they were born in Asia, in a Western country, in Africa, South America, the Pacific or anywhere else.

The second conclusion is that obviously we shouldn’t blindly follow everything Buddhagosa wrote.

Now I believe that he was well aware of AN 7.50 but he still wrote this because apparently it was the common belief in his era that no one could become an ariya any more. If this was indeed the case, I see no reason to cling so hard to his opinions.

I believe the purpose of Buddhaghosa want to be reborn in the Tavatimsa is to wait for the next Buddha. In this case the motivation is not impure.

Also consider how the Buddha make his nephew stay in the Sangha [1].

What is more concerning is that if Buddhaghosa goals is to be reborn in the Tavatimsa then what he wrote about citta visuddhi and so on is suttamaya-panna (knowledge from learning) and not bhavanamaya-panna (knowledge from experience). With suttamaya-panna everyone has different understanding or views which is not necessarily correct [2]

[1] https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/ud/ud.3.02.than.html
[2] https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/ud/ud.6.04.than.html

My dear friend, I know that your conclusions comes with the careless hurry to decide.

It is not a characteristic of a Theravādin.


Good householder,

the Sublime Buddha always encouraged his disciples to be not afraid in doing merits, as such conditions future existances.

Let my person bring a sample of people making water tanks. Some speculate, actually lazy to prove and sacrifices further, that the made tank is seal and leave the side. Later, in dry season, they find that the tank wasn’t seal. Others, on the other hand, do all efforts to prepare it well and sacrifice possible more as would have been required. In any case, they didn’t fail.

Nothing wrong to say: " May the effect of my action has the cause for this or that", and as the Sublime Buddha stated, teaching the Dhamma well, leads to heavenly existances, while disprove of merits, giving, easy leads downwardly.

Approaching such, meritorious deeds, shares of merits, with mudita is much more benefical for one. “May he, they, are not deprived from the fruits of their good labor.”, letting it theirs with sympathetic joy, approve.

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And only an Arahat is beyond all “sex”, even, althought no more in the sensual sphere, a Non-returner goes after becoming. It would be right for an Arahat to rebuke one, so that letting go of such as well, but of course does not lie in a proper sphere of an Asekha, or the first 2 Sekhas, yet good for the Sekha not to grasp it as the highest possible to do: “my tank seal for sure or not?” Maybe good to go after good deeds anyway aside of turning away.

Even to become in another Buddhist forum, seeking of socializing of all kind, is still “sex”, yet the best if after viraga and vimutti, or a matter of compassion, such as to use ones gained merits to reach the devas there for a share.

Hi Ekocare, I see that you keep bestowing on me your somewhat maladroit and ambivalent style.

Perhaps the facts that this topic’s title was formulated as a question rather than a claim, and that the rather prudent expressions “it appears from this” and “if this was indeed the case” were used, should have been hints that you may not “know” quite as much.

But leaving these matters of communication aside, thank you for the reference, I did learn something valuable from it.

It appears then that the answer to the title question should be: the evidence at our disposal indicate an answer in the negative.

This is a duplicate. Colophons of Visuddhimagga - Not By Buddhaghosa Thera
Please read that thread carefully and much of what has been written in the authenticity of the texts category.
However, after doing so, it would be good to get some more “classic points” from you that we can easily prove wrong. You might want to ask @ekocare in a private message or @RobertK if this was discussed already before posting.