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The Final Countdown 1 — 2 Comments

  1. Sadhu!
    Yes, the ‘Double Lucky’ arguement – living well has a godo effect here and now, and if there is a future life, it will help us there too!

  2. Good topic and clear breakdown – thanks Phra Pandit!… Yes indeed – lets get o with the practice cos we never know when death will come!
    Teachers Steve & Rosemary Weissman ( runnig excellent retreat at Wat Kow Tahm, Thailand) use a similar caveat:
    that we dont have to decide whether we ‘believe’ in rebirth or ‘don’t believe’… but why not use it as a useful theory… as we can see the immediate effects in everyday life – e.g. how we are ‘reborn’ according to the emotional state we are in, etc. … So why wouldnt ’causes’ continue to have their ‘effects’ at the precise moment the body dies away…

    eg.: Anger leads to that person being ‘reborn” as a person expressing negative harmful emotions, getting ‘hot and bothered’ often seemingly writhing in inner pain, becomeing red, breathing harshly, facial contortions, etc… So, through expressing it is ‘reborn’ ugly in those moments;
    and its expression leads to a definite result of being not liked, others expressing their distaste/ pr even violence to you, etc…. i.e. being “reborn” in those “hell realms” for those moments…
    Then why dont we take take rebirth as a useful theory that helps us live a good life right now…
    and if it is true, we have made out best efforts to have a rebirth in a more beneficial state.

    Llike the Kalama Sutta says if it is not true, then we will still benefit from practicing in the Brahma Viharas in THIS life (the “4th Assurance”), even i:

    “Thus, Kalamas, those disciples of the Noble Ones, who have such a hate-free mind, such a malice-free mind, such an undefiled mind, and such a purified mind, are ones by whom four assurances are found here and now:
    “‘If there is a world beyond, and there is the fruit and result of Kamma well-done or ill, then at death, at the dissolution of this body, I shall be reborn in a good destination, in a heaven world’
    “This is the first assurance attained by them.
    “‘If, however, there is no world beyond, and there is no fruit and result of Kamma well-done or ill, yet in this very life I dwell free from hostility and affliction, sorrowless and happy.’
    “This is the second assurance attained by them.”
    “‘If ill (results) befall an evil-doer, I, however, think of doing evil to no one. Then, how can ill (results) affect me who does no evil deed?’”
    “This is the third assurance attained by them.
    “‘If, however, evil (results) do not befall an evil-doer, I see myself purified in any case.’
    “This is the fourth assurance attained by them.

    and how do we practice?
    The Kalama sutta also helps us there:
    “Disciples of the Noble Ones, Kalamas, who are freed of coveting, freed of ill will, undeluded, clearly comprehending and mindful, dwell, having pervaded, with the thought of Metta (compassionate loving-kindness), one quarter; likewise the second; likewise the third; likewise the fourth; so above, below, and across. They dwell, having pervaded because of the existence in the entire world of all living beings, everywhere, with the great, exalted, boundless thought of Metta that is free of hate or malice.
    “Disciples of the Noble Ones, Kalamas, who are freed of coveting, freed of ill will, undeluded, clearly comprehending and mindful, dwell, having pervaded, with the thought of Compassion, one quarter; likewise the second; likewise the third; likewise the fourth; so above, below, and across. They dwell, having pervaded because of the existence in the entire world of all living beings, everywhere, with the great, exalted, boundless thought of Compassion that is free of hate or malice.
    “Disciples of the Noble Ones, Kalamas, who are freed of coveting, freed of ill will, undeluded, clearly comprehending and mindful, dwell, having pervaded, with the thought of Sympathetic Joy, one quarter; likewise the second; likewise the third; likewise the fourth; so above, below, and across. They dwell, having pervaded because of the existence in the entire world of all living beings, everywhere, with the great, exalted, boundless thought of Sympathetic Joy that is free of hate or malice.
    “Disciples of the Noble Ones, Kalamas, who are freed of coveting, freed of ill will, undeluded, clearly comprehending and mindful, dwell, having pervaded, with the thought of Equanimity, one quarter; likewise the second; likewise the third; likewise the fourth; so above, below, and across. They dwell, having pervaded because of the existence in the entire world of all living beings, everywhere, with the great, exalted, boundless thought of Equanimity that is free of hate or malice.

    Anguttara Nikaya III.65

    Comments by Steve Weissman:… “This is one of the most important Suttas in the entire Pali Canon. Here the Buddha is encouraging the Kalamas (and all who have read or heard this teaching for over 2500 years) not to believe just because; it’s a famous book, an old tradition, a famous teacher, our teacher, or any number of other reasons why people will often blindly believe.
    How much harm comes through blind belief?
    In other words, he is saying, “Test it. See if it is beneficial or not. Test it, don’t blindly believe just because…” Even with regard to his own teachings, he did not want people to just believe. How very important this advice is. Without it, people will follow all sorts of wrong teachings and unwise teachers. And much, much harm can come as a result.”

    Sahdu!