Author Topic: Ajahn Sumedho on dependent origination  (Read 3319 times)

Offline ABC

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Re: Ajahn Sumedho on dependent origination
« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2010, 09:01:46 am »
This mental consciousness is but turbulence built upon turbulence.


I already quote the Upaya Sutta. Pure consciousness is not "turbulence".

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Furthermore, each of the other five consciences, which all ultimately reside in the mind, are but interpretations of reflections through various media and translations (mechanical transmissions, and ultimately electrochemical transmissions, which come to reside in an organ of interpretation and storage, which in turn cause an electro-magnetic field to arise, which is what I reason to be mind; all of this subject to error, and none of it directly representative of the object which is being interpreted, labeled and given a judgement of form and function by mind.

Whatever you are trying to say here is over-complicated.

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My understanding from years of reading Theravadan suttas is that consciousness is what causes consciousness to arise.

The Buddha is not describing how consciousness arises. How consciousness comes to exist as an element is meta-physics.

The Buddha is describing how consciousness is conditioned by ignorance in a way that leads to suffering. This is Dhamma.

For example, because the mind is subject to agitation and boredom, consciousness will become affected by craving resulting in consciousness being engaged in watching television. The Buddha said:

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At Savatthi. There the Blessed One said, "One attached is unreleased; one unattached is released. Should consciousness, when standing, stand attached to (a physical) form, supported by form (as its object), landing on form, watered with delight, it would exhibit growth, increase, & proliferation.

"Should consciousness, when standing, stand attached to feeling, supported by feeling (as its object), landing on feeling, watered with delight, it would exhibit growth, increase, & proliferation.

"Should consciousness, when standing, stand attached to perception, supported by perception (as its object), landing on perception, watered with delight, it would exhibit growth, increase, & proliferation.

"Should consciousness, when standing, stand attached to fabrications, supported by fabrications (as its object), landing on fabrications, watered with delight, it would exhibit growth, increase, & proliferation.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.053.than.html



  :namaste:
« Last Edit: August 29, 2010, 09:03:52 am by ABC »
Therefore, Ananda, engage with me friends and not as opponents. That will be for your long-term well-being & happiness - MN 122

Offline ABC

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Re: Ajahn Sumedho on dependent origination
« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2010, 09:10:02 am »
My understanding from years of reading Theravadan suttas is that consciousness is what causes consciousness to arise.  Nothing more.  Therefore, by this reasoning and understanding, Mind is both dependent and impermanent and is not what enters into nibbana.  Which leaves the question:  "What is it that enters nibanna."...which is another thread.

The mind experiences Nibbana. Nibbana is the cesssation of greed, hatred and delusion.


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Here, ruler of the gods, a bhikkhu has heard that nothing is worth clinging to. When a bhikkhu has heard nothing is worth clinging to, he directly knows everything; having directly known everything, he fully understands everything; having fully understood everything, whatever feeling he feels, whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant, he abides contemplating impermanence in those feelings, contemplating fading away, contemplating cessation, contemplating relinquishment. Contemplating thus, he does not cling to anything in the world. When he does not cling, he is not agitated. When he is not agitated, he personally attains Nibbana. He understands: 'What had to be done has been done'. Briefly, it is in this way, ruler of the gods, that a bhikkhu is liberated in the destruction of craving, one who has reached the ultimate end.

Culatanhasankhaya Sutta

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(6) "I understand Nibbana, and the path and way leading to Nibbana. And I also understand how one who has entered this path will, by realizing it for himself with direct knowledge, here and now enter upon and abide in the deliverance of mind and deliverance by wisdom that are taintless with the destruction of the taints.”

Maha-sihanada Sutta

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Samyutta Nikaya: Division 12: Chapter 16:

‘If through revulsion towards ignorance, through its fading away and cessation, one is liberated by non-clinging, one is fit to be called one who has attained Nibbana in this very life.’

Samyutta Nikaya: Division 38: Chapter 1:

‘What now is Nibbana? The destruction of lust, the destruction of hatred, the destruction of delusion: this friend is called Nibbana’.

Samyutta Nikaya: Division 45: Chapter 7:

‘The removal of lust, the removal of hatred, the removal of delusion is the designation for the element of Nibbana…. is the Deathless. The destruction of the taints is spoken of in that way’.


 :namaste:

« Last Edit: August 29, 2010, 09:12:39 am by ABC »
Therefore, Ananda, engage with me friends and not as opponents. That will be for your long-term well-being & happiness - MN 122

Offline Caz

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Re: Ajahn Sumedho on dependent origination
« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2010, 09:17:29 am »
Nice to see you back ABC  ;D
Wise words as ever.  :pray:
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We would like to request you to please respect this precious Dharma book, which functions to free living beings from suffering permanently. If you continually read and practice the advice in this book, eventually your problems caused by anger, attachment and ignorance will cease.

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Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Ajahn Sumedho on dependent origination
« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2010, 09:29:50 am »
Thanks for the response and the sutta citations, ABC.  Very much appreciated.

So, given this view of permanent mind, the mind which "experiences" nibbana is the eternal being which moves from form to form in the mundane reality, and is the only survivor once all fetters, taints, corruptions, shackles, fermentations, and any attachment to them have been removed.  Am I understanding your view correctly?

If so, what of Buddha's teaching with regard to emptiness?  What am I not understanding correctly here?

Thank you in advance for your kind response.   :namaste:

My understanding from years of reading Theravadan suttas is that consciousness is what causes consciousness to arise.  Nothing more.  Therefore, by this reasoning and understanding, Mind is both dependent and impermanent and is not what enters into nibbana.  Which leaves the question:  "What is it that enters nibanna."...which is another thread.

The mind experiences Nibbana. Nibbana is the cesssation of greed, hatred and delusion.


Quote
Here, ruler of the gods, a bhikkhu has heard that nothing is worth clinging to. When a bhikkhu has heard nothing is worth clinging to, he directly knows everything; having directly known everything, he fully understands everything; having fully understood everything, whatever feeling he feels, whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant, he abides contemplating impermanence in those feelings, contemplating fading away, contemplating cessation, contemplating relinquishment. Contemplating thus, he does not cling to anything in the world. When he does not cling, he is not agitated. When he is not agitated, he personally attains Nibbana. He understands: 'What had to be done has been done'. Briefly, it is in this way, ruler of the gods, that a bhikkhu is liberated in the destruction of craving, one who has reached the ultimate end.

Culatanhasankhaya Sutta

Quote
(6) "I understand Nibbana, and the path and way leading to Nibbana. And I also understand how one who has entered this path will, by realizing it for himself with direct knowledge, here and now enter upon and abide in the deliverance of mind and deliverance by wisdom that are taintless with the destruction of the taints.”

Maha-sihanada Sutta

Quote
Samyutta Nikaya: Division 12: Chapter 16:

‘If through revulsion towards ignorance, through its fading away and cessation, one is liberated by non-clinging, one is fit to be called one who has attained Nibbana in this very life.’

Samyutta Nikaya: Division 38: Chapter 1:

‘What now is Nibbana? The destruction of lust, the destruction of hatred, the destruction of delusion: this friend is called Nibbana’.

Samyutta Nikaya: Division 45: Chapter 7:

‘The removal of lust, the removal of hatred, the removal of delusion is the designation for the element of Nibbana…. is the Deathless. The destruction of the taints is spoken of in that way’.


 :namaste:


What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline ABC

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Re: Ajahn Sumedho on dependent origination
« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2010, 09:33:18 am »
I would appreciate you explaining and justifying your statement.  It appears that your only argument is with the translator.  


I would appreciate you reading the references I quoted, such as P.A. Payutto.

Thanissaro's translation misses the essence. The sankhara do not cause consciousness to exist. The sankhara taint consciousness.

A Buddha that is completely free from ignorance, that has "stilled" the sankhara, is not unconsciousness.

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Also I am not certain why something being caused by something which comes before it , or is dependent upon it in any way like a prop changes the basic meaning of DO.


P. A. Payutto has answered your question.  Please refer there.

Example, when the physical body has a disease, a 'diseased body' arises. Medicine concerns itself with the eradication of the diseased body rather than the body itself.

The Buddha in teaching dependent origination was concerned with the eradication of dukkha. He was not concerned with the eradication of consciousness.

On the night of his enlightenment, the conciousness of the Buddha did not "cease". His consciousness "quenched" & was "liberated".

What ceased was the greed, hatred and delusion affecting, obscuring or tainting his consciousness.

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In one of the suttas Buddha uses the analogy of a sheath of wheat holding up the other sheaths of wheat, and if it fell, all the others would fall.  

You are confusing meta-physics here with spirituality.

A plant depends on soil for its existence. Consciousness and name-form depend on each other for their existence.

But the Buddha in DO was not describing how these mental & physical phenomena come into existence.

The Buddha was describing how these mental & physical phenomena are influenced by ignorance to lead to dukkha.

Ajahn Sumedho has made this very clear. I would suggest before you comment on Ajahn Sumedho, you read his book.

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Your point of one thing not causing another to rise is fine, but it doesn't change the fact that attachment to things which are dependent upon other things for their current positions is any less dangerous than dependence upon things which are caused to arise by other things.


Attachment depends on craving and craving depends on ignorance.

Attachment does not depend on having consciousness-mind-body.

The Buddha was free from ignorance-craving-attachment but he had consciousness-mind-body.

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The basic and over-riding point, according to my understanding, is that we should be attached to "nothing" in this samsaric realm, and should work diligently towards unbinding and release by letting go of that which causes our suffering.  Once all of the clouds of contaminants have been dissipated, then nibbana will become apparent to whatever there is left of us to experience it, or to say it another way in our ignorance of reality with these samsarically derived minds, our true, permanent nature, will be revealed.


You have said: "then nibbana will become apparent to whatever there is left of us to experience it".

All experience occurs due to consciousness and mind. Consciousness and mind will experience Nibbana.

Nibbana is a mind object.

You also said: "our true, permanent nature, will be revealed"

There is no permanent true nature. This is Hinduism.

Buddha taught the only permanent thing is the Nibbana element. But this is not "ours", nor our true nature.

Our true nature is impermanence, unsatisfactoriness & emptiness. When this is realised, Nibbana will be experienced due to the destruction of craving.

Nibbana itself exists forever as an element in nature. But the Buddha's experience of Nibbana on lasted for 45 years.

 :namaste:

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"He perceives Unbinding as Unbinding. Perceiving Unbinding as Unbinding, he conceives things about Unbinding, he conceives things in Unbinding, he conceives things coming out of Unbinding, he conceives Unbinding as 'mine,' he delights in Unbinding. Why is that? Because he has not comprehended it, I tell you.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.001.than.html




« Last Edit: August 29, 2010, 09:42:42 am by ABC »
Therefore, Ananda, engage with me friends and not as opponents. That will be for your long-term well-being & happiness - MN 122

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Ajahn Sumedho on dependent origination
« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2010, 10:36:37 am »
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ABC wrote:  "I would appreciate you reading the references I quoted, such as P.A. Payutto. "


Have read this:  http://www.buddhanet.net/cmdsg/coarisea.htm#note

Is this what you meant?

I would be happy to read and study more.  Where do I begin looking?  I have already read your references quoted, which prompted my questions.  If one translator differs in interpretation from another, how do we know which is correct?:  personal verification and validation.

And, the only way I know to verify and validate what is left upon entry into nibbana is to be entering the state of nibbana!  Am I there yet?  Are you there yet?  Are we there yet?

Not trying to be argumentative here, just trying to understand your perspective on this very important issue in Buddhist studies.  I am not there yet, so far as I know.  I hope you are, but you didn't indicate that you were, so I will await your answer.  Do you think Payutto is there yet?  If not, how do we know that his perspective is better or more correct than any other translator?  Do you see my difficulty?

In any case, thank you again for sharing and clarifying your perspectives and your references.  They give me other avenues to explore during my studies and practice.

_/\_Ron
« Last Edit: August 29, 2010, 10:58:34 am by Bodhisatta2010 »
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline ABC

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Re: Ajahn Sumedho on dependent origination
« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2010, 01:20:06 pm »
Is this what you meant?

Hi Ron

I meant what I quoted, posted below  

When we read these translations, we take the words "arise" and "cease" literally, as though the mind-body "ceases".

Nirodha does not mean "cease". Nirodha means to "quench". Nirodha means the causes of dukkha cease. The fires of defilemnet cease. They "extinguish".

When the mind experiences "nirodha", as in step 15 of Anapanasati, what ceases are greed, hatred and delusion, or in short, craving

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As for nirodha in the third Noble Truth (or the Dependent Origination cycle in cessation mode), although it also describes a natural process, its emphasis is on practical considerations. It is translated in two ways in the Visuddhimagga. One way traces the etymology to "ni" (without) + "rodha" (prison, confine, obstacle, wall, impediment), thus rendering the meaning as "without impediment," "free of confinement." This is explained as "free of impediments, that is, the confinement of samsara." Another definition traces the origin to anuppada, meaning "not arising", and goes on to say "nirodha here does not mean bhanga, breaking up and dissolution."

    Therefore, translating nirodha as "cessation", although not entirely wrong, is nevertheless not entirely accurate. On the other hand, there is no other word which comes so close to the essential meaning as "cessation." However, we should understand what is meant by the term. In this context, the Dependent Origination cycle in its cessation mode might be better rendered as "being free of ignorance, there is freedom from volitional impulses ..." or "when ignorance is gone, volitional impulses are gone ..." or "when ignorance ceases to give fruit, volitional impulses cease to give fruit ..." or "when ignorance is no longer a problem, volitional impulses are no longer a problem."

   Even in the forward mode, there are some problems with definitions. The meaning of many of the Pali terms are too broad to be translated into any single English words. For instance, avijja paccaya sankhara also means "When ignorance is like this, volitional impulses are like this; volitional impulses being this way, consciousness is like this; consciousness being this way, body and mind are like this; ..."

http://www.buddhanet.net/cmdsg/coarisea.htm#note


 :namaste:
« Last Edit: August 29, 2010, 01:22:14 pm by ABC »
Therefore, Ananda, engage with me friends and not as opponents. That will be for your long-term well-being & happiness - MN 122

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Ajahn Sumedho on dependent origination
« Reply #22 on: August 29, 2010, 01:37:15 pm »
Thanks, ABC.  I actually read and understood it as you explained.  My big problem with that the link you provided doesn't mention the author's name except at the very bottom in fine print, so I wasn't sure if I was reading the sutta you were quoting.

Again, thanks for your kind efforts.
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Ajahn Sumedho on dependent origination
« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2010, 01:49:40 am »
Quote
"Bhikkhus, all is burning. And what is the all that is burning?

"The eye is burning, forms are burning, eye-consciousness is burning, eye-contact is burning, also whatever is felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with eye-contact for its indispensable condition, that too is burning. Burning with what? Burning with the fire of lust, with the fire of hate, with the fire of delusion.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn35/sn35.028.nymo.html


 :namaste:



Thanks, a useful extract.

Spiny

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Ajahn Sumedho on dependent origination
« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2010, 02:00:22 am »
But the Buddha in DO was not describing how these mental & physical phenomena come into existence.
The Buddha was describing how these mental & physical phenomena are influenced by ignorance to lead to dukkha.

That's a view I've been coming round to over a period of time.  What clinched it for me was recognising dukkha as a mental activity conditioned by craving, as described in the second Noble Truth.  So it makes sense for DO to be describing a mental process rather than a physical one.
But I'm aware a lot of people don't see it like that. :wink1:

Spiny

 


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