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SN 12.35 says:

“Not a valid question,” the Blessed One replied. “Bhikkhu, whether one says, ‘What now is aging-and-death, and for whom is there this aging-and-death?’ or whether one says, ‘Aging-and-death is one thing, the one for whom there is this aging-and-death is another’—both these assertions are identical in meaning; they differ only in the phrasing. If there is the view, ‘The soul and the body are the same,’ there is no living of the holy life; and if there is the view, ‘The soul is one thing, the body is another,’ there is no living of the holy life. Without veering towards either of these extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma by the middle: ‘With birth as condition, aging-and-death. ’

Why is there no living the holy life when there is the view, ‘The soul and the body are the same,’ and if there is the view, ‘The soul is one thing, the body is another’?

3 Answers 3

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As long as one has wrong view, has not left home/stand, what ever ways one lifes, it's not to be regarded as living the holy life. Of course right view requires proper attention at first place, not grasping straw-men. Not able to take on the Jīva (stand/robe of the Arahats, eg. right view, leaving home), what should/can a house/stand-maintainer expect to validate holy in his ways?

Understand? Speech and mind aren't different for one of right view. Just Ahara-hants think one way, speak in another, act different of both.

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Why is there no living the holy life when there is the view, ‘The soul and the body are the same,’ and if there is the view, ‘The soul is one thing, the body is another’?

"The body" is comprised of form derived of the four elements. "The cosmos" is also derived, in traditional Buddhist thinking, of form derived of the four elements. The view "The self (or soul) and the body are the same" is the same as the view "The self and the world/cosmos are the same" that is rejected in DN 1. Furthermore, both views are self-views. View 1 states that the self is the same as form derived of the four elements. View 2 states that the self is something other than form derived of the four elements. They are both self-view.

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  • thank u for your answer but you appear to have presented no evidence above that "jiva" refers to "self" and thus equates with the teachings in DN 1 Commented Mar 11, 2022 at 12:20
  • This is from the Concise Pali-English dictionary. I've removed the jargon and will include a link to the full definition at the bottom: "Jīva, 1. the soul. Sabbe jīvā all the souls, enumerated with sattā pāṇā bhūta in the dialect used by the followers of Gosāla D. I, 53 (=DA. I, 161 jīvasaññī). “taṃ jīvaṃ taṃ sarīraṃ udāhu aññaṃ j. aññaṃ s. ” (is the body the soul, or is the body one thing and the soul another?)" wisdomlib.org/definition/jiva#pali (Scroll down to "Pali-English dictionary" to find the rest)
    – Caoimhghin
    Commented Mar 11, 2022 at 12:24
  • sorry a dictionary is not evidence. also Gosāla was not a Buddhist, whatever Gosāla believed is irrelevant Commented Mar 11, 2022 at 12:26
  • Yes, a dictionary is evidence. This is a world-class dictionary that contains correct information in it. If you don't like the dictionary, maybe you should try to compile your own, independent of the qualified experts, and see if it's any good compared to theirs?
    – Caoimhghin
    Commented Mar 11, 2022 at 12:27
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Dependent origination defines "death" as the death of "beings in a category of beings". SN 23.2 and SN 5.10 define "a being" as strong attachment & a view.

Therefore, it appears the ideas the life (jiva) and/or the physical body "die" are wrong views.

It appears "death" ("marana") occurs to a "self-view" born from ignorance & attachment at "jati". This is why many suttas (e.g. MN 87) refer to "the death of a mother", "a father", "a son", etc.

Therefore, it appears the matters of "jiva" ("life") & "sarīra" ("physical body") are irrelevant or invalid.

"Death" is not the ending of life or the ending of the physical body. Death is as defined as follows:

The passing away, perishing, disintegration, demise, mortality, death, decease, breaking up of the aggregates, laying to rest of the corpse, and cutting off of the life faculty of the various beings in the various classes/categories/conventions of beings.

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  • I marked this down. It is confusing "jīva" and "jīvitindriya." The usage of "jīva" here is soul/self, as substantiated in various Pali-English dictionaries.
    – Caoimhghin
    Commented Mar 11, 2022 at 12:26
  • dictionaries do not substantiate Commented Mar 11, 2022 at 12:34
  • I marked this down because you have answered your own question, a disingenuous way of proselytising your idiosyncratic interpretations. "Laying to rest of the corpse" could not be clearer. Commented Mar 11, 2022 at 19:54
  • sorry but this forum allows answering own question Commented Mar 12, 2022 at 4:56
  • 1
    No it doesn't allow answering own question -- see here and here and here.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Mar 12, 2022 at 9:33

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