Final Study Notes - Passage One"Another time I approached...

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"Another time I approached Ajita Kesakambalin and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings and courtesies, I sat to one side. As I was sitting there I asked him: 'Venerable Ajita, there are these common craftsmen. .. They live off the fruits of their crafts, visible in the here and now. .. Is it possible, venerable sir, to point out a similar fruit of the contemplative life, visible in the here and now?' "When this was said, Ajita Kesakambalin said to me, 'Great king, there is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no priests or contemplatives who, faring rightly and practicing rightly, proclaim this world and the next after having directly known and realized it for themselves. A person is a composite of four primary elements. At death, the earth (in the body) returns to and merges with the (external) earth- substance. The fire returns to and merges with the external fire-substance. The liquid returns to and merges with the external liquid-substance. The wind returns to and merges with the external wind-substance. The sense-faculties scatter into space. Four men, with the bier as the fifth, carry the corpse. Its eulogies are sounded only as far as the charnel ground. The bones turn pigeon-colored. The offerings end in ashes. Generosity is taught by idiots. The words of those who speak of existence after death are false, empty chatter. With the break-up of the body, the wise and the foolish alike are annihilated, destroyed. They do not exist after death.' This passage is from the Samaññaphala Sutta or The Fruits of the Contemplative Life (subtitle: "Annihilation") - King of Maghada as he converses with the Buddha - ascetic Anjita Kesakambali is a materialist , believing that there is only matter in the universe - focus is on the centrality of this life and the pursuit of pleasures of this world; no consequences or punishment - materialists deny any kind of self other than one which could be directly perceived , and held that this was annihilated at death - deny the idea of rebirth , karma and niyati (predestination) - the Buddha uses this and other views to explain why the contemplative life , one that mimics the Buddha’s path to enlightenment is ultimately the best as it doesn’t indulge purely in pleasures nor does it negate everything - the king ultimately takes refuge in the Three Gems - masterpiece of the Pali canon - portrait of the Buddhist path of training and its stages - Buddhist view in contrast to the teachings of rival philosophical teachers during this early Buddhist history (such as the Materialists and the Skeptics - two small groups of Sramanas ) - the Buddha said the Materialists view was ' annihilationism ', the extreme opposite to most other views of the day, which maintained that what survives death is some eternal
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This note was uploaded on 11/18/2011 for the course RLG 206Y1 taught by Professor Professorb.wood during the Fall '10 term at University of Toronto.

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Final Study Notes - Passage One"Another time I approached...

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