Author Topic: Contradiction in the Theravada Pali Canon  (Read 322 times)

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Contradiction in the Theravada Pali Canon
« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2017, 10:45:57 pm »
Quote
Avrax:  "Ron-the-Elder thanks for the explanation regarding the difference between Arahant and Arahat."


You are quite welcome.

Here is the link to The Pali - English Societies website, which will help you in the future:

http://dsal.uchicago.edu/dictionaries/pali/

Also, please cite your sources in the future, when you quote a specific passage of within The Pali Canon.  Translators and sources make a big difference in understanding.  This will allow us, who understand your question to better assist you.

Sorry if you don't think I have addressed your question directly.  Please send the quote sources, including translator and I will try again.

 :wink1:

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 Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Contradiction in the Theravada Pali Canon
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2017, 11:11:48 pm »
Regarding the term "Arahat":  Source:  https://what-buddha-said.net/library/Buddhist.Dictionary/dic3_a.htm#Arahat

Here is a listing of the various attainments "short of nibbana":

Quote
Ariya-magga: see: The following.

Ariya-puggala: or simply Ariya: Noble Ones, noble persons:
The 8, Ariya = Noble Ones are those who have realized one of the 8 stages of Nobility, i.e. the 4 supra-mundane paths magga and the 4 supra-mundane fruitions phala of these paths. There are thus these 4 pairs:

A1. The one realizing the path of Stream-winning sotāpatti-magga.
A2. The one realizing the fruition of Stream-winning sotāpatti-phala.

A3. The one realizing the path of Once-return sakadāgāmi-magga.
A4. The one realizing the fruition of Once-return sakadāgāmi-phala.

A5. The one realizing the path of Non-return anāgāmi-magga.
A6. The one realizing the fruition of Non-return anāgāmi-phala.

A7. The one realizing the path of Nobility arahatta-magga.
A8. The one realizing the fruition of Nobility arahatta-phala.

Summed up, there are 4 noble individuals ariya-puggala:
1: The Stream-winner Sotāpanna,
2: The Once-Returner Sakadāgāmi,
3: The Non-Returner Anāgāmī,
4: The Worthy One Arahat.

In A. VIII,10 and A. IX, 16 the gotrabhū is listed as the 9th noble individual.

According to the Abhidhamma, the supra-mundane path, or simply path magga, is a designation of the moment of entering into one of these 4 stages of Nobility with Nibbāna being the object, produced by intuitional insight vipassanā into the impermanence, misery and impersonality of existence, flashing forth and forever transforming one's life and nature. By fruition phala is meant those moments of consciousness which follow immediately thereafter as the result of the path, and which in certain circumstances may repeat for innumerable times during the life-time.

I: Through the path of Stream-winning sotāpatti-magga one becomes free whereas in realizing the fruition, one is freed from the first 3 mental chains samyojana, which bind beings to existence in the sense-sphere, to wit:
1: Personality-belief sakkāya-ditthi, see. ditthi,
2: Skeptical doubt vicikicchā,
3: Clinging upādāna to mere rules and rituals sīlabbata-parāmāsa.
One has maximally 7 rebirth rounds before Awakening and cannot be reborn
as animal, ghost, demon or hell-being.

II: Through the path of Once-return sakadāgāmi-magga one becomes nearly freed from the 4th and 5th mental chains, to wit:
4: Sense-desire kāma-cchanda = kāma-rāga rāga, and
5: Ill-will vyāpāda = dosa see: mūla.

III: Through the path of Non-return anāgāmi-magga one becomes fully freed from the above-mentioned 5 lower mental chains.

IV: Through the path of Nobility arahatta-magga one furthermore becomes free from the 5 higher mental chains, to wit:
6: Craving for fine material existence rūpa-rāga,
7: Craving for formless existence. arūpa-rāga,
8: Conceit and pride māna,
9: Restlessness uddhacca, and
10: Ignorance avijjā.

The stereotype Sutta text runs as follows:

Stream-enterer:
I: After the disappearance of the three mental chains, the Bhikkhu has won the stream to Nibbāna and is no more subject to rebirth in the lower worlds, is firmly established, bound for full enlightenment.

Once-returner:
II: After the disappearance of the three mental chains and the reduction of greed, hatred and confusion, he will return only once more; and having once more returned to this world, he will put an end to suffering.

Non-returner:
III: After the disappearance of the five mental chains he appears in a higher world, and there he reaches Nibbāna without ever returning from that world to the sense-sphere worlds.

Arahat:
IV: Through the ceasing of all mental fermentations āsava-kkhaya he reaches already in this very life the deliverance of mind, the deliverance through understanding, which is free from fermentations, and which he himself has understood and directly realized.

For the various classes of Stream-winners and Non-Returners, see: Sotāpanna, Anāgāmī.

B: The sevenfold grouping of the Noble Disciples is as follows:

1: The faith-devotee saddhānusārī,
2: The faith-liberated one saddhā-vimutta,
3: The body-witness kāya-sakkhī,
4: The both-ways-liberated one ubhato-bhāga-vimutta,
5: The Dhamma-devotee dhammānusārī,
6: The vision-attainer ditthippatta,
7: The one liberated by understanding paññā-vimutta.
This group of seven Noble Disciples is thus explained in Vis.M XXI, 73:

1-2: He who is filled with determination adhimokkha and, in considering the constructions as impermanent anicca, gains the ability of faith, he, at the moment of the path to Stream-winning A1 is called a faith-devotee saddhānusārī; 2: at the seven higher stages A2-A8 he is called a faith-liberated one saddhā-vimutta.

3: He who is filled with tranquillity and, in considering the constructions as miserable dukkha, gains the ability of concentration, he in every respect is considered as a body-witness kāya-sakkhī.

4: He who after reaching the absorptions of the formless sphere has attained the highest fruition of Nobility, he is a both-ways-liberated one ubhato-bhāga-vimutta.

5: He who is filled with understanding and, in considering the constructions as no-self anattā, gains the ability of understanding, he is at the moment of Stream-winning A1 a Dhamma-devotee dhammānusārī,

6: At the later stages A2-A7 a vision-attainer ditthippatta,

7: At the highest stage A8 a understanding-liberated one paññā-vimutta. 

Further details about the body-witness => kāya-sakkhī, the both-ways-liberated one => ubhato-bhāga-vimutta and the understanding-liberated one => paññā-vimutta Cf. also M. 70; A. IX, 44; see: XII, 70; Pts.M. II, p. 33, PTS.

Here is the definition from another source, which relates to the terms used in The Mahayana Traditions and The Theravada:

Quote
heravada Buddhism defines arhat (Sanskrit) or arahant (Pali) as "one who is worthy"[1] or as a "perfected person"[1][2] having attained nirvana.[2][1] Other Buddhist traditions have used the term for people far advanced along the path of Enlightenment, but who may not have reached full Buddhahood.[3]
The understanding of the concept has changed over the centuries, and varies between different schools of Buddhism and different regions. A range of views on the attainment of arhats existed in the early Buddhist schools. The Sarvāstivāda, Kāśyapīya, Mahāsāṃghika, Ekavyāvahārika, Lokottaravāda, Bahuśrutīya, Prajñaptivāda, and Caitika schools all regarded arhats as imperfect in their attainments compared to buddhas.[4][5][6]
Mahayana Buddhist teachings urge followers to take up the path of a bodhisattva, and to not fall back to the level of arhats and śrāvakas.[7] The arhats, or at least the senior arhats, came to be widely regarded[by whom?] as "moving beyond the state of personal freedom to join the Bodhisattva enterprise in their own way".[3]
Mahayana Buddhism regarded a group of Eighteen Arhats (with names and personalities) as awaiting the return of the Buddha as Maitreya, and other groupings of 6, 8, 16, 100, and 500 also appear in tradition and Buddhist art, especially in East Asia.[8] They can be seen as the Buddhist equivalents of the Christian saints, apostles or early disciples and leaders of the faith.[8]

I have already explained my understanding (The way it was explained to me by my teachers, the authors of "What The Buddha Said in Plain English):  source cited at the beginning of this reply.

Sorry for any confusion caused by "idle" , but he is correct, because of his training in the definitions.  The meanings are different in different traditions and vehicles.

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 Avrax

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Re: Contradiction in the Theravada Pali Canon
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2017, 01:47:14 pm »
VisuddhiRaptor,

Quote
Jhanas are gradual & continual calming of the various mental factors of mind due to stillness & letting go (refer to SN 36.11 and MN 111, which provide a good description of how the various mental factors calm, tranquilize & disappear). Therefore, if the mind keeps letting itself calm & let go, it will reach the immaterial jhanas until the 9th jhana, where the mind lapses into unconsciousness.

The Buddha-To-Be was already wary of the limitations of immaterial jhanas with his initial two teachers (refer to MN 26). Therefore, to investigate the truth of the arising & ceasing of suffering and the three characteristics, it seems the Buddha regarded the clarity of the 4th jhana to be sufficient, which is why he eventually only included 4 jhanas in his 8 fold path.

Maybe I am missing something. What you are saying is that those sutta cited in the first post are kinda wrong and unimportant because the Buddha focused on the first four jhanas for liberation. Is that it?

IdleChater,

Thank you for the clarification on Arahat = Arahant!


Ron-the-Elder,

Thanks for the arahant vs araht definitions. It seems that you and Idle could be both correct depending on whether one is just purely interested in semantic, focusing on translating the word from Pali to Skr, or interested in the different meanings ascribed by the tradition.

Perhaps I am misunderstanding you, I did cite the sources, didn't I? They are at the end of each quote in the first post of this thread.
Thanks for your second post. However, I am unclear on how it relates to my original question. Could you explain?


Offline Avrax

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Re: Contradiction in the Theravada Pali Canon
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2017, 01:57:29 pm »
Friends, I have good news!

I found the/an answer to my question posed in the first post of this thread: The suttas contradict each other!

The contradiction between the sutta stating that a person released through discernment attains the immaterial jhānas and Majjhima Nikāya 1.477-78 stating that he or she does not (something similar with the body witness). Here is the answer according to Bodhi B.


"MN 70.17, I 478, 4-8 offers a formal definition of the body witness (kdyasakkhl) as a person who “contacts with the body and abides in those emancipations that are peaceful and formless, transcending forms, and some of his taints are destroyed by his seeing with wisdom.” In the present sutta, however, the term “body witness” does not conform to this formal definition but is explained on the basis of a word play. Strictly speaking, the one who attains the complete destruction of the taints is no longer a body witness, a category restricted to those still in training. … As suggested by the previous note, here the term “non-provisional sense” [without a sequel] is itself being used in a loose, “provisional” [with a sequel] sense. In the strict, non-provisional sense, such a disciple is not a body witness, for the real body witness has still not reached arahantship. Again, strictly speaking, according to the formal definition at MN 70.16, 1477, 33-36, the one liberated by wisdom (pannavimutta) [released through discernment] is an arahant who does not attain the formless emancipations or the cessation of perception and feeling. Similarly, to meet the formal requirement of “liberated in both respects” [released both ways] (in the following sutta), a disciple must not only realize arahantship but must also attain the formless emancipations, as stated at MN 70.15, I 477, 25-28 [brackets added]."  Bodhi, Aṅguttara Nikāya p. 1833-1834, notes 1955, 1957-58.


I have to thank VisuddhiRaptor who mentioned this about in another post about the body witness but not about those released through discernment.

Thanks you All for the help!  :grouphug:


Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Contradiction in the Theravada Pali Canon
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2017, 02:26:21 pm »
Quote
AVRAX:  "I am unclear on how it relates to my original question. Could you explain?"

This litany in my second post  is that of attainments of the noble ones called ariya in this citation, whereas the Jhanas are mind states that were likely the route of attainment, or the path (magga).  As I said before, experiencing or entering the jhanas is not in itself an attainment, but a means, or process of attainment.  The jhanas are not different states of nibbana, in other words, but a mental exercise conditioning the mind aiding the practitioner in attaining the goal:  nibbana.

The following commentary explains this in great detail:

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/gunaratana/wheel351.html

By the way, glad you found a satisfactory answer to your question.

My apologies for any confusion  or misdirection to your goal caused on my part.

I am sure Idle meant no harm with his scolding of my diversion.  It is just his style, which we have all come to accept in that he means well. :namaste:
« Last Edit: October 27, 2017, 10:25:38 pm by Ron-the-Elder »
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 Avrax

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Re: Contradiction in the Theravada Pali Canon
« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2017, 01:42:32 pm »
Dear Ron-the-Elder,

Thank you for the link. I have read Gunaratana's dense dissertation before. I found it very helpful! And thank you for the litany's explanation.

No apologies needed, but I appreciate them.

:namaste:

 


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