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Author Topic: [Q&A] Confession in Buddhism  (Read 327 times)

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Offline Johann

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[Q&A] Confession in Buddhism
« on: December 05, 2017, 11:29:01 AM »
[Q&A] Confession in Buddhism

Quote from: asked by Robin on BSE
Confession in Buddhism

Growing up in the Roman Catholic tradition, we were encouraged to go to confession (penance) on a regular basis for reconciliation and to be absolved of sins. In Buddhism, the only mention of confession I've seen is in regard to a practice for monks prior to the reciting of the patimokkha. I understand there is no idea of absolving sins in Buddhism, but why is it considered benefical or useful for monks to confess but not for lay people to do the same? I'm assuming there is some sense of unburdening in the confession process and wondering what serves that function for lay people? Thank you.

Venerable members of the Sangha,
walking in front Fellows in leading the holly life.

  _/\_  _/\_  _/\_

In Respect of the Triple Gems, Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, in Respect of the Elders of the community  _/\_ , my person tries to answer this question. Please, may all knowledgeable Venerables and Dhammika, out of compassion, correct my person, if something is not correct and fill also graps, if something is missing.

Valued Upasaka, Upasika, Aramika(inis),
dear Readers and Visitors,

 *sgift*

(This is a maybe modified and expanded answer of the "original" that can be found here   .)

- Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa   -



Confessing faults is very importand for oneself and in cases of relations and communities.

It's absolutly wrong and wrong introduced, especially in the west, to give less empathy toward confessing. The "psychological" benefit is not different to that of Christan earlier usuals.

It can be merely regarded to be or have been a1 kind of marketing strategy, that it's use and benefit is/was generaly denied by "buddhist" teacher.

While others than the believe that confessing will make results from deeds eternally disapear, it's used by the wise to walk best free of conscious on and stay an serious regarded member of a relation ship.

Of course, since the Buddha did not "rule" lay people in any way, there is no such as a "laymans ritual" but people in contact with the costumes of the Noble One often make use of certain ways informal.

To get some ideas of ways, it's good to look at the Uposathakkhandhako: The Uposatha Khandhaka , in the Mahavagga, Vinaya.

The personal purpose is like in the Sutta Pitaka clear presented:

 

- Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa -

(Mv.II.3.8 )‘An existing offense’: He has fallen into it, or, having fallen into it, he hasn’t been rehabilitated.

‘Should reveal’: should reveal it either in the midst of the Saṅgha, in the midst of a group, or in the presence of one individual.

‘Having revealed it, he will have peace.’ The peace of what?

He will have the peace of the attainment of the first jhāna, the peace of the attainment of the second jhāna, the peace of the attainment of the third jhāna, the peace of the attainment of the fourth jhāna, the peace of the attainment of the jhānas, liberations, concentrations, attainments, escapes through renunciation, seclusion, and skillful qualities.

The probably most famous instance, where the Buddha taught about the issue confessing, is in the instruction to his son Rahula been given:

 

- Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa -

"Having done a bodily action/verbal action, you should reflect on it: 'This bodily/verbal action I have done — did it lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Was it an unskillful bodily/verbal action, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it led to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it was an unskillful bodily/verbal action with painful consequences, painful results, then you should confess it, reveal it, lay it open to the Teacher or to a knowledgeable companion in the holy life. Having confessed it... you should exercise restraint in the future. But if on reflection you know that it did not lead to affliction... it was a skillful verbal action with pleasant consequences, pleasant results, then you should stay mentally refreshed & joyful, training day & night in skillful mental qualities.

It's maybe goid to notice that confessing a fault does not have much sense if confessing toward somebody who has fallen into the same fault. One should look for one who is clean in this regard. One might propable remember the pointless gatherings of people where they merely agree with their common missconducts. Such kind of confessing is not of benefit but may even cause bad results on a community or for people in certain relations.

Usual "formal" tradition under lay people is to ask for pardon mostly in the evening chanting from the Juwels:
 
Kāyena vācāya va cetasā vā, Buddhe kukammaṃ pakataṃ mayā yaṃ, Buddho paṭiggaṇhatu accayantaṃ, Kālantare saṃvarituṃ va buddhe.

Whatever bad kamma I have done to the Buddha [also Dhamma, Sangha] by body, by speech, or by mind, may the Buddha accept my admission of it, so that in the future I may show restraint toward the Buddha.

To do something wrong is "normal", but to be of a kind who sticks to the conviction in cause and effect rather to seek and hold disclaimers of all kinds for his/her actions is already special in that amount. Being then probably in good relation with the three governing principles , one has every support possible to gain from outward.

Moral Shame, discern in reagard of deeds, as well as the tools of cleaning are tools to grow and torward liberation. The more open and honest one is, the more one can expect to benefit not only by being aware that "someone is watching you" but also by being given helpful advices, sometimes helpful rebukes. For one hidding, lying, denying... what than fear is hisgher gain? Where would one try to escape from the fruits of deeds?

At least, if one likes to confess deeds to a god or deity, if one has a serious relation, why not. Better than to don't do at all. If a missdeed has been done torward a person or group, aside of confessing it, if possible, it's also good and releasing to ask for pardon from the victim.

It would be not wrong, and possible of great benefit, to approach a trusted monk or nun (thinking on the advice to Ven.Rahula).

There is just one righteous and possible way to overcome the burden of remorse, shame... and the requirement of cleaning, and this is being most possible virtuous.

In all regards of benefical growing it's of the only outward support to seek always for association and relation with those more advanced, not to rest with equal and avoid binding dependence and nurishment on those lower. If somehow bond to certain relations it's good to leave them from time to time and clean oneself. That is why the layfollower of the Buddha gather on Sila- and Uposatha days in monasteries. To get advices, to renew their precepts, and to use the gained tools by practicing to perform the Uposatha of the Noble Ones , in cleaning the mind by reflection on the six main objects for everyone.

When living next to each other, approving loud or silent faults to each other, what's the gain of being part of a community having given up a strive for becoming better and perfect? The Buddha called it simply a "cattle-like affiliation", "sheep-like affiliation", "heedless-affiliation"... "the undertaking of sectarians"

So while lay people are not bond at all on rules but have generally their own rules of society, law... it's generally nevertheless of benefit to integrate certain tools if possible also within a community.

...why is it considered benefical or useful for monks to confess but not for lay people to do the same? was asked.

Actually itjs not only high benefical and useful, also for lay people but also regarded as such, if meeting lay people actually following the Juwels.

Very formal confessions and asking for pardon, especially toward ones parents, elders, teacher, leader... are still common (of course decaying everywhere...) and in regard of monasitics there are even formal texts.

Requesting Forgiveness

Extending and other aspects can be found in an answer to: What is the Buddhas approach of admitting a mistake? with similar but lesser on seeking distinctions to other sects usuals in doing such as confessing.

Anumodana!
« Last Edit: December 05, 2017, 06:04:37 PM by Johann »
This post and Content has come to be by Dhamma-Dana and so is given as it       Dhamma-Dana: Johann

Tags:
 

Plauderbox

 

Johann

Today at 03:15:10 PM
Nyom Roman.
 

Johann

October 12, 2018, 04:13:16 PM
Good to see Nyom Norum.
 

Johann

October 07, 2018, 10:38:10 AM
Maybe of support for lasting satifaction: Seeds of Becoming .
 

Johann

October 07, 2018, 06:57:38 AM
When ever love arises, dislike will be it's end. Who ever seeks out for friends, will get his enemy. Why? Because not willing to leave home. May wanderer gus find the way to never return. Mudita

gus

October 07, 2018, 03:38:58 AM
Vandami.

gus

October 07, 2018, 03:38:22 AM
Nevertheless my courage of active participation  has been fallen down. Anyway I hope to come time to time.
Okasa dwarattayena katam sabbam accayam khamata me bhante.

gus

October 07, 2018, 03:37:11 AM
Okasa bhante,

I didn't accepted Dymitros invitation to start a Theravada forum, because I thought this forum is pure Theravada. Now I regret about it, yet think this forum is comparatively good.  I learnt many valuable things from you and grateful to you. Nevertheless my courage of active partici
 

Johann

October 07, 2018, 02:20:29 AM
What ever one searches for, that he/she will find. Less are those seeing the nature of combined thing, leaving home and go beyond Maras domain.
 

Johann

October 06, 2018, 11:45:18 PM
 

Johann

October 06, 2018, 11:39:12 PM
When one is born in outer regions ... your island has drifted away.
 

Johann

October 06, 2018, 11:30:00 PM
macchariya, a boarder hard to cross to the middle way, abounding home, sakayaditthi, doubt and rituals.

gus

October 06, 2018, 02:33:02 PM
However much one say, West is West, East is East.
 

Johann

October 06, 2018, 02:28:29 PM
Where ever there is east, there is west. And vici versa. Where ever there is nama, there is rupa. Where ever one seeks for a home, there he will suffer.

gus

October 06, 2018, 02:03:31 PM
West is West

gus

October 06, 2018, 09:56:42 AM
belief of kamma, gratitude, independence, honesty, devotion : These are hard to find in people
 

Johann

October 06, 2018, 05:49:14 AM
Again, a latin proverb mit be useful: Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi , patisota is always harmful if not just one own defilements or having a proper stand to help. Sota is the virtue required to resist in borderlands.
 

Johann

October 06, 2018, 05:41:52 AM
If in a borderland it's better to simply serve and support the Sangha. It's not smart to seek for other householders to nurish on traced imperfections of something required to uphold, wanderer gus.

gus

October 06, 2018, 04:54:48 AM
Okasa, happy to hear such things reagarding kamma. Many monks I have met don't directly speak about kamma because they have been tired after practicing some years and now bit relaxed.
 

Johann

October 06, 2018, 04:17:26 AM
Such can be total kusala and total akusala or simply defuse. Set your mind right and be mindful, that nothing will be of harm for yourself and others.
 

Johann

October 06, 2018, 04:15:27 AM
There is nothing not permitted. Merits or demerits are the actors responsibility. One is full in charge of ones action in this Domain here, wanderer gus.

gus

October 06, 2018, 03:50:00 AM
Bhante, is it permitted to ask questions or post things on behalf of other/future people ?

gus

October 05, 2018, 09:19:32 AM
We have been advised like this:
"No matter however much monks reject you,
Never leave the place."
 

Johann

October 05, 2018, 09:09:37 AM
It's good when wanderer gus takes a rest, turns to a lonly place, enjoys the merits done and find a good place for his mind and fixes possible open wholes when clear where he likes to go some hours later.
 

Johann

October 05, 2018, 08:59:03 AM
Wanderer Gus knows how foolish this statement is. That is not the way to get out of a hole.

gus

October 05, 2018, 08:42:59 AM
okasa,
falling down from a status is suffering.
So, if I could stay in the hell-being status from the beginning, then no suffering.
 

Johann

October 05, 2018, 07:33:20 AM
From a state of a young Bhikkhu equal tradition...to householder... ...asura (now) on the border to animal, peta, hell-state. It can go quick if not having firm nissaya.
 

Johann

October 05, 2018, 07:29:27 AM
Aniccam vatta samsara...

gus

October 05, 2018, 06:56:28 AM
Evolution:
Bhante subhuti =>
Upasaka gus =>
Deva gus =>
Asura gus.

In the future:
Asura gus =>
Peta gus =>
Animal gus =>
Hell-being gus ???

gus

October 05, 2018, 05:51:42 AM
Okasa, I think bhante thinks me as a patriot because of some content of my posts. But it is not.
Vandami.
 

Johann

October 05, 2018, 05:41:33 AM
What ever one likes to, not touched like the moon, does not mean to praise what is blameworthy and vici-versa and to have metta not to let people run into hell if ways can be pointed out. Yet other choices at least are their. Be quick, your island drifts away!

gus

October 05, 2018, 05:34:15 AM
Okasa,
As long as I don't do exactly what you say, I think I'll not be able to make you happy or satisfied.
Vandami.
 

Johann

October 04, 2018, 02:12:55 PM
If thinking that this is for sure, if delighting in believing that connected things are a refuge and give space to rest: one may do so. Ones own choice. When ever one stops to nurish inwardly, ouwardly path and fruits die. Good as well as bad.

gus

October 04, 2018, 11:28:51 AM
If bhante didn't let the weak person to live in avatar/deva mode, then he will lose both openness and connection. Up to now I have secured at least the connection.
Vandami.

gus

October 04, 2018, 11:22:24 AM
Yet I appreciate and pay vandana for your care and advice on openness.
Vandami.

gus

October 04, 2018, 11:19:56 AM
Please forgive me  bhante if I have made you tired. I don't like to accumulate akusala by making a monk tired in expecting a naughty chicken to be a good duck.
Okasa dwarattayena katam sabbam accayam Khamtu me bhante!
 

Johann

October 04, 2018, 11:07:06 AM
 

Johann

October 04, 2018, 11:01:00 AM
Differnt asked "why is Bhante not happy, dwell not in outwardly seeming being not touched?" Because it would not only confirm and show sign of aggreement of unwise acts, but also very incompassionate and cruel. Also place for suspecting corrupt ways and invite others to follow the comfortable dwelli
 

Johann

October 04, 2018, 10:54:12 AM
No one is able to make my person angry, which does not mean that he would not appear angry so to possible prevent from doing what is not conductive for liberation, even lead in lower states. Nothing to worry, but also no invitation to test it foolish since it could hurt one self and others.

gus

October 04, 2018, 10:46:39 AM
Okasa bhante, Isn't there at least single way to stay anonymous without making you angry?
Vandami.
 

Johann

October 04, 2018, 10:33:12 AM
corr: "it's, the domain of the Noble Ones, is nobody's personal domain" there are no wards around fields for merits and no tickets to pay
 

Johann

October 04, 2018, 10:29:31 AM
What ever Deva gus feels inspired. It's oneones personal domain and all giving is good in the distance of the brigh cool moon. One should not fear, should not be shy to do what is good and praised by the wise but be quick!

gus

October 04, 2018, 10:21:39 AM
Bhante, is that mean you don't like me to talk about higher subjects and like to talk about basics only?
 

Johann

October 04, 2018, 10:02:12 AM
It would be more than good if teaching others a lot on the topic vandami (paying respect) and khamatu (asking for forgiviness) since unknown and not practiced here around this field of merits in compassion to former relatives, Deva gus.
 

Johann

October 04, 2018, 09:55:38 AM
...total no problem to dwell and lay down in the cool shadow to heal at all and no need to ask for pardon when intended for progressing and to get fit for the battles so hard to win.
 

Johann

October 04, 2018, 09:52:39 AM
But they would not feed them in ways which might look as nurishing relations for wordly sake directly, for people not understanding would think "look, he is herding, carry for his cattle, he wasts the gift of the land, the heritage of the Gems for his becoming and own gain. Understood? Total no prob
 

Johann

October 04, 2018, 09:45:29 AM
Never would people of integrity send away pets, petas or sick, for they are not able to change for now but possible can gain of what they need to change.
 

Johann

October 04, 2018, 09:42:28 AM
If, just to think about, one lives deliberatly with sign showing a rejection of firm trust in kamma, one lives in nurishing the danger of falling into grave wrong views and give ways that others follow what is improper to do. Just to reflect. How ever wishing to do.
 

Johann

October 04, 2018, 09:36:03 AM
What ever one does, holds as refuge or abounds, either good or bad refuge, one does for one self. Ones own choices, ones own fruits, ones own limitations, hindrences.

gus

October 04, 2018, 09:28:15 AM
Khamatu me bhante!
My previous  post was this.
"Please forgive me and give birth to kindness ao as to let me live here anonymous "
 

Johann

October 04, 2018, 09:21:35 AM
... doing so based on gratitude without just trading in giving, or out of duty in a relation one resits, one is able to get not only to the borders, but into Noble ones domain.

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