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Why did Buddha beg alms from the public? Did Buddha himself explain his rationality for doing this?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Discussion' started by paarsurrey, Apr 26, 2013.

  1. paarsurrey

    paarsurrey Veteran Member

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    Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad; all of them were founders of great revealed religions of the world; they did not beg alms from the public.
    I don’t get at the rationality of Buddha seeking alms from the public.
    Is there anybody who should explain this here?

    Please quote from Buddha in this connection, if possible.
     
  2. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta and Spiritualist and Pantheist
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    My guess is that monks and priests served the community spiritually and by teaching. So it was the custom for the society members to help support them.

    I would say they had the mentality that some are teachers, some are farmers, some are priests, etc. and all have their role in society.
     
  3. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

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    even before lord buddha atained enlightenment he lived as a renunciate , a renunciate owns nothing , has no fixed abode and no way of obtaining food rellying solely upon the donations of householders . this is the vedic system . renunciates are allways supported by the other ashramas.

    the system is as old as the vedas and would have been followed by all dharmic faiths alike .
     
  4. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    It was also practice. Whatever was put in the bowl was accepted and or eaten.
     
  5. Gjallarhorn

    Gjallarhorn N'yog-Sothep

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  6. paarsurrey

    paarsurrey Veteran Member

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    I think Buddha did not support the vedas; and he did not support the prevailing Hindu system in any way.
     
  7. paarsurrey

    paarsurrey Veteran Member

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    Maybe I am wrong to understand; but followings seem to me against begging alms, not in its favour:

    1. “Bhikkhus, this is contemptible means of subsistence, this gathering of alms.
    2. Far better for him to swallow
    A fiery hot iron ball
    Than that immoral and uncontrolled
    He should eat the country’s alms.

    Thanks and regards
     
  8. Gjallarhorn

    Gjallarhorn N'yog-Sothep

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    You skipped all the important bits, particularly:
    "“So this young man of good family has gone forth (into homelessness), but he may be covetous for objects of desire, strongly passionate, unconcentrated, of wandering mind and uncontrolled faculties. Just as a brand from a funeral pyre, burnt at both ends and in the middle smeared with exrements, can be used as timber neither in the village nor in the forest, so by such a simile do I speak about this person: he has missed out on the enjoyments of a householder, yet he does not fulfill the purpose of recluseship.”"
     
  9. paarsurrey

    paarsurrey Veteran Member

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    Due to difficult English words, in the bold; I could not understand the passage. Please paraphrase for me.

    How is it in favour of begging alms? Please

    Thanks
     
  10. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Begging for alms has been a tradition in Hinduism and Buddhism and most Eastern religions for a very long time. The rest of us take on the responsibiltiy of supporting the renunciates, fully knowing that one lifetime it will be our turn to renounce the world and strive for moksha/nirvana/enlightenment.

    It can't be understood by Abrahamics easily because its not part of Abrahamic tradition. It should be left at that.
     
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  11. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta and Spiritualist and Pantheist
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    Even in Abrahamics, the priest provides spiritual service and religious teaching to the community and the community supports that with donations.
     
  12. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    But its quite a lot different as they are on a salary usually, not just totally dependent on alms. Kind of forced alms maybe. Of course, as with our Hindu priests, if you're privy to their salary, you might top it up with gifts of food, etc. Monasteries, which are different than wandering ascetics like Buddha, often utilise some methods of self-support, like gardens.
     
  13. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

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    if you look at buddhas actions from the perspective of sanatana dharma you will see that buddha supported exactly the same moral principles . it is simply that buddha went against some of the practices of the corrupt brahmin preisthood of his day .
    and through the practices he introduced he reestablished perfect sanatana dharma .
     
  14. paarsurrey

    paarsurrey Veteran Member

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    I don't see anything from Buddha in favour of vedas; if he supported them, please quote from Buddha.

    Thanks and regards.
     
  15. paarsurrey

    paarsurrey Veteran Member

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    Agnostics say Buddha was one of them; do they beg alms like Buddha or they support Buddha for begging alms?

    Buddha was a young man when he is stated to left home; he could have worked for a living. I don't buy that a wise man like Buddha would opt for begging alms instead.
     
  16. crossfire

    crossfire Antinomian feminist heretic freak ☿
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    Samaññaphala Sutta: The Fruits of the Contemplative Life

    First & Second fruits of contemplative life: breaking down classism and materialism

    "Yes, it is, great king. But first, with regard to that, I will ask you a counter-question. Answer however you please. Suppose there were a man of yours: your slave, your workman, rising in the morning before you, going to bed in the evening only after you, doing whatever you order, always acting to please you, speaking politely to you, always watching for the look on your face. The thought would occur to him: 'Isn't it amazing? Isn't it astounding? — the destination, the results, of meritorious deeds. For this King Ajatasattu is a human being, and I, too, am a human being, yet King Ajatasattu enjoys himself supplied and replete with the five strings of sensuality — like a deva, as it were — while I am his slave, his workman... always watching for the look on his face. I, too, should do meritorious deeds. What if I were to shave off my hair and beard, put on the ochre robes, and go forth from the household life into homelessness?'
    "So after some time he shaves off his hair and beard, puts on the ochre robes, and goes forth from the household life into homelessness. Having thus gone forth he lives restrained in body, speech, and mind, content with the simplest food and shelter, delighting in solitude. Then suppose one of your men were to inform you: 'You should know, your majesty, that that man of yours — your slave, your workman... always watching for the look on your face... has gone forth from the household life into homelessness... content with the simplest food and shelter, delighting in solitude.' Would you, thus informed, say, 'Bring that man back to me. Make him again be my slave, my workman... always watching for the look on my face!'?"
    "Not at all, lord. Rather, I am the one who should bow down to him, rise up out of respect for him, invite him to a seat, invite him to accept gifts of robes, almsfood, lodgings, and medicinal requisites for the sick. And I would provide him with righteous safety, defense, and protection."
    "So what do you think, great king. With that being the case, is there a visible fruit of the contemplative life, or is there not?"
    "Yes, lord. With that being the case, there certainly is a visible fruit of the contemplative life."
    "This, great king, is the first fruit of the contemplative life, visible in the here and now, that I point out to you."
    <...>
    "Yes, it is, great king. But first, with regard to that, I will ask you a counter-question. Answer however you please. Suppose there were a man of yours: a farmer, a householder, a taxpayer swelling the royal treasury. The thought would occur to him: 'Isn't it amazing? Isn't it astounding? — the destination, the results, of meritorious deeds! For this King Ajatasattu is a human being, and I, too, am a human being, yet King Ajatasattu enjoys himself supplied and replete with the five strings of sensuality — like a deva, as it were — while I am a farmer, a householder, a taxpayer swelling the royal treasury. I, too, should do meritorious deeds. What if I were to shave off my hair and beard, put on the ochre robes, and go forth from the household life into homelessness?'
    "So after some time he abandons his mass of wealth, large or small; leaves his circle of relatives, large or small; shaves off his hair and beard, puts on the ochre robes, and goes forth from the household life into homelessness. Having thus gone forth he lives restrained in body, speech, and mind, content with the simplest food and shelter, delighting in solitude. Then suppose one of your men were to inform you: 'You should know, your majesty, that that man of yours — the farmer, the householder, the taxpayer swelling the royal treasury... has gone forth from the household life into homelessness... content with the simplest food and shelter, delighting in solitude.' Would you, thus informed, say, 'Bring that man back to me. Make him again be a farmer, a householder, a taxpayer swelling the royal treasury!'?"
    "Not at all, lord. Rather, I am the one who should bow down to him, rise up out of respect for him, invite him to a seat, invite him to accept gifts of robes, almsfood, lodgings, and medicinal requisites for the sick. And I would provide him with righteous safety, defense, and protection."​
    Higher fruits of contemplative life to be found in this sutta: development of virtue by abandoning non-virtuous activity and thoughts, and developing contentedness; development of the mind.
     
  17. paarsurrey

    paarsurrey Veteran Member

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    Well; I don't see any merit in the above. Buddha was a wise man, he could not do that; this is no way to spend one's life. If one is rich, charitable in habit; kind with everybody; not only one earn's for oneself but doing a successful business one help's provide others to get employment to lead a good family; I think that person is far better than one who has left his wife and children on mercy of others; and gone into the forest shirking one's responsibilities of life.​
     
  18. crossfire

    crossfire Antinomian feminist heretic freak ☿
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    That would be the difference between a Buddhist monk/nun and a Buddhist layperson. :)
     
  19. Gjallarhorn

    Gjallarhorn N'yog-Sothep

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    So you're saying Buddha was not Buddha? :confused:
     
  20. nameless

    nameless The Creator

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    just a note, krishna did not find any religion, he is not that cheap :D
     
    #20 nameless, Apr 27, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013
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