The fetters of conceit, ignorance and doubt

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The fetters of conceit, ignorance and doubt

Postby starter » Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:45 pm

Hello friends,

The difference and relationship between the fetter of conceit and the fetter of ignorance became clear to me this morning while listening to the teaching of MN 2 by Ven. Bodhi, and I'd like to share with you this new understanding. To my understanding, the fetter of conceit is "I"/"mine" making -- regarding the 5 aggregates as "I" and the 6 sense objects as "mine" out of delusion. The fetter of ignorance is not having the panna of knowing things as they truly are -- not knowing that the 5 aggregates/6 sense objects are all anicca/dukkha/anatta, which creates the delusion of regarding the 5 aggregates/6 sense objects as permanent/sukha/atta. It's not that by breaking the fetter of ignorance a Buddha/an arahant becomes omniscient (knowing everything), but that he can see things as they truly are without delusion and attachments, thus he is liberated from the all. I don't think that the Buddha had ever claimed omniscience, and I tend to think that the omniscience later added to the Buddha is probably due to the misunderstanding of the fetter of ignorance.

While listening to Ven. Bodhi's good teaching of this sutta, I also wonder how come some practitioners could understand the Buddha's teachings (at least the 1st and 2nd noble truths, and probably also the 3rd noble truth) but could not really practice in accordance with the teachings. Could it be due to the lack of understanding of the 4th noble truth, the noble path, which might be part of the 3rd fetter (doubt)? The 3rd fetter might not only include the doubt on the Buddha/Dhamma/Sangha, but also the unclarity of the path? One who hasn't really found and comprehended the path (the 4th noble truth) and doesn't yet know what and how to practice, or doesn't practice according to the path cannot be a stream winner, to my immature opinion.

Metta to all,

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Re: The fetters of conceit, ignorance and doubt

Postby starter » Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:43 pm

Hello friends,

This morning I was pondering about the interpretation of "lokavidū: a knower of the cosmos/world", and realized that it actually means seeing things of the cosmos as they truly are (anicca/dukkha/anatta), a knower of the truth of the cosmos, instead of knowing everything of the cosmos. The omniscience later added to the Buddha is probably not only due to the misunderstanding of the fetter of ignorance, but also the misinterpretation of lokavidū.

A correct understanding of lokavidū is helpful for us to understand that even the knowledge of a Buddha can be limiting in regards to e.g. the origin of ignorance ... A Buddha is the one who is enlightened to the truth of the cosmos and rediscovers the path to liberation, who shows us the path. We don't have to blindly assume that a Buddha should know everything of the world and lose faith if he doesn't.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Metta to all,

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Re: The fetters of conceit, ignorance and doubt

Postby daverupa » Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:45 pm

starter wrote:To my understanding, the fetter of conceit is "I"/"mine" making -- regarding the 5 aggregates as "I" and the 6 sense objects as "mine" out of delusion.


What you describe here seems to be sakkāya-ditthi, while asmimāna (the "I am"-conceit fetter) seems to be more subtle than that:

SN 22.89 wrote:"It's just like the scent of a blue, red, or white lotus: If someone were to call it the scent of a petal or the scent of the color or the scent of a filament, would he be speaking correctly?"

"No, friend."

"Then how would he describe it if he were describing it correctly?"

"As the scent of the flower: That's how he would describe it if he were describing it correctly."

"In the same way, friends, it's not that I say 'I am form,' nor do I say 'I am other than form.' It's not that I say, 'I am feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness,' nor do I say, 'I am something other than consciousness.' With regard to these five clinging-aggregates, 'I am' has not been overcome, although I don't assume that 'I am this.'


At this point, the following Sutta is useful:

AN 4.199 wrote:The Blessed One said: "And which craving is the ensnarer that has flowed along, spread out, and caught hold, with which this world is smothered & enveloped like a tangled skein, a knotted ball of string, like matted rushes and reeds, and does not go beyond transmigration, beyond the planes of deprivation, woe, & bad destinations? These 18 craving-verbalizations dependent on what is internal and 18 craving-verbalizations dependent on what is external.

"And which are the 18 craving-verbalizations dependent on what is internal? There being 'I am,' there comes to be 'I am here,' there comes to be 'I am like this' ... 'I am otherwise' ... 'I am bad' ... 'I am good' ... 'I might be' ... 'I might be here' ... 'I might be like this' ... 'I might be otherwise' ... 'May I be' ... 'May I be here' ... 'May I be like this' ... 'May I be otherwise' ... 'I will be' ... 'I will be here' ... 'I will be like this' ... 'I will be otherwise.' These are the 18 craving-verbalizations dependent on what is internal.

"And which are the 18 craving-verbalizations dependent on what is external? There being 'I am because of this (or: by means of this),' there comes to be 'I am here because of this,' there comes to be 'I am like this because of this' ... 'I am otherwise because of this' ... 'I am bad because of this' ... 'I am good because of this' ... 'I might be because of this' ... 'I might be here because of this' ... 'I might be like this because of this' ... 'I might be otherwise because of this' ... 'May I be because of this' ... 'May I be here because of this' ... 'May I be like this because of this' ... 'May I be otherwise because of this' ... 'I will be because of this' ... 'I will be here because of this' ... 'I will be like this because of this' ... 'I will be otherwise because of this.' These are the 18 craving-verbalizations dependent on what is external.

"Thus there are 18 craving-verbalizations dependent on what is internal and 18 craving-verbalizations dependent on what is external. These are called the 36 craving-verbalizations. Thus, with 36 craving-verbalizations of this sort in the past, 36 in the future, and 36 in the present, there are 108 craving-verbalizations.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: The fetters of conceit, ignorance and doubt

Postby Nyana » Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:49 pm

:goodpost:
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Re: The fetters of conceit, ignorance and doubt

Postby starter » Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:18 pm

"... asmimāna (the "I am"-conceit fetter) seems to be more subtle (than sakkāya-ditthi)..."

-- I agree. Conceit (the sense of "I"/"mine") is like the scent of a washed cloth. Although the dirt (self-identity view) on the cloth is gone, but the scent (sense of "I"/"mine") still remains there for a while.

Thanks and metta,

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Re: The fetters of conceit, ignorance and doubt

Postby starter » Sat May 26, 2012 9:10 pm

Hello friends,

Would like to share with you my new understanding of the third fetter doubt, which might include not only the skeptical doubt on the Buddha/Dhamma/Sangha, the uncertainty/lack of clarity of the 8-fold path, but also the doubt about "this world or other worlds" including the uncertainty/insecurity about the future. The cutting-off of this fetter probably means going beyond doubts including the uncertainty/insecurity about the unknown future, because the self identity view was truly cut off and hence there's no identification/clinging to "my" future, and also because the confidence and knowing is established -- whatever and however it turns out to be, it'll lead to the same end -- nibbana.

Identification of the 5 aggregates & Sense of self → Uncertainty (insecurity)/fear about future → Perception/delusion of which choice is better for our future → Desire to control / force things to be the way we perceive as better → Turmoils

Letting-go of "self" → Let things go their natural course without craving/clinging/forcing → Peace

Metta to all,

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Re: The fetters of conceit, ignorance and doubt

Postby Sambodhi in Oz » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:24 am

The doubt on the path goes only at the attainment of sotapanna since the meditator gets a glimpse of nibbana, having got that where is the doubt on the path. Prior to that whatever one might do some minor strains will remain.

Identity view may start going from Bhanga nana onwards.

Metta

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Re: The fetters of conceit, ignorance and doubt

Postby starter » Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:52 am

Hello Parth and other friends,

Many thanks for your helpful comments. May I make a suggestion to have English translation added to the used Pali terms so that the beginners like me can learn them without having to search a dictionary? Sorry that you'll have to spend a bit more time helping us.

Thanks to an Ayya, who made me realize the true meaning of the word REFUGE, which we might have intellectually understood but didn't really reach the true Dhamma. If we truly put ourselves under the refuge of the three gems, then where is doubt/insecurity about the future? The third fetter is linked to our faith in the three gems. As long as we follow the Buddha and practice according to the Dhamma, our good karma will secure our future, and the noble Sangha will also help/protect us. I guess there must be some arahants (at least lots of non-returners) in the five Pure Abodes, who might have been watching and helping us. I feel when I really need guidance, I'll get it one way or another, and I should let things just go their natural course, which will turn out to be the best for my practice.

Metta to all,

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Re: The fetters of conceit, ignorance and doubt

Postby starter » Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:52 am

Greetings!

Tonight I read the Ud 5.3 Kutthi Sutta The Leper again, and understood more about the following:

"Having seen the Dhamma, reached the Dhamma, known the Dhamma, gained a footing in the Dhamma, having crossed over & beyond doubt, having had no more perplexity, having gained fearlessness & independence from others with regard to the Teacher's message, ..."
(http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html)

It made me realize that the third fetter is not only concerning the skeptical doubt about the Buddha-Dhamma, but also other uncertainties/fear. One who has truly broken the third fetter (and reached the second stage of awakening) has no more doubt/insecurity/perplexity and hence has no fear, and will not attempt to control/force things to be the way he wants. We only hurt ourselves when we try to force things to be the way we want, against natural course.

Metta to all!

PS: AN 4.184 Abhaya Sutta: Fearless
"Furthermore, there is the case of the person in doubt & perplexity, who has not arrived at certainty with regard to the True Dhamma. Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he comes down with a serious disease, the thought occurs to him, 'How doubtful & perplexed I am! I have not arrived at any certainty with regard to the True Dhamma!' He grieves & is tormented, weeps, beats his breast, & grows delirious. This, too, is a person who, subject to death, is afraid & in terror of death." ...

"Furthermore, there is the case of the person who has no doubt or perplexity, who has arrived at certainty with regard to the True Dhamma. Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he comes down with a serious disease, the thought occurs to him, 'I have no doubt or perplexity. I have arrived at certainty with regard to the True Dhamma.' He does not grieve, is not tormented; does not weep, beat his breast, or grow delirious. This, too, is a person who, subject to death, is not afraid or in terror of death."
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Re: The fetters of conceit, ignorance and doubt

Postby SarathW » Sat Dec 07, 2013 2:47 am

Hi Starter

I think Doubt is the second fetter.
Not it really matters but better stick to the book so readers will understand it better.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fetter_(Buddhism)
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Re: The fetters of conceit, ignorance and doubt

Postby starter » Sun Dec 08, 2013 5:08 pm

I'd like to amend my understanding of the fetter of doubt as explained in the following thread:

Sotāpanna: the path and fruit taught by the Buddha
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=8129

Here is Bhante Anandajoti's translation:

Suppabuddhassa kuṭṭhissa
to the leper Suppabuddha

"tasmiṁ yeva āsane virajaṁ vītamalaṁ Dhammacakkhuṁ udapādi:
on that very seat, the dust-free, stainless Vision-of-the-Dhamma arose:

“Yaṁ kiñci samudayadhammaṁ, sabbaṁ taṁ nirodhadhamman-ti.”
“Whatever has the nature of arising, all that has the nature of ceasing.”

Atha kho Suppabuddho kuṭṭhi diṭṭhadhammo pattadhammo
Then the leper Suppabuddha having seen the Dhamma, attained the Dhamma,

viditadhammo pariyogāḷhadhammo tiṇṇavicikiccho vigatakathaṁkatho
understood the Dhamma, penetrated the Dhamma, crossed over uncertainty, being without doubts,

vesārajjappatto aparappaccayo Satthusāsane, ...
attained full confidence, having become independent of others in the Teacher's teaching, ..."

[http://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/Texts-and-Translations/Udana/5-Sonavaggo-03.htm]

Here the fetter of doubt appears to concern the veracity of the teaching -- specifically about the nature of the 2nd and 3rd noble truths, or conditionality, which is in accordance with SN Chapter IV - 25 Okkantisaṃyutta Connected Discourses on Entering.

Thanks to SarathW's correction. Metta to all!
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Re: The fetters of conceit, ignorance and doubt

Postby Sanjay PS » Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:28 am

starter wrote:Hello friends,

This morning I was pondering about the interpretation of "lokavidū: a knower of the cosmos/world", and realized that it actually means seeing things of the cosmos as they truly are (anicca/dukkha/anatta), a knower of the truth of the cosmos, instead of knowing everything of the cosmos. The omniscience later added to the Buddha is probably not only due to the misunderstanding of the fetter of ignorance, but also the misinterpretation of lokavidū.

A correct understanding of lokavidū is helpful for us to understand that even the knowledge of a Buddha can be limiting in regards to e.g. the origin of ignorance ... A Buddha is the one who is enlightened to the truth of the cosmos and rediscovers the path to liberation, who shows us the path. We don't have to blindly assume that a Buddha should know everything of the world and lose faith if he doesn't.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Metta to all,

Starter


Hi Starter ,

i would not say that the knowledge of the Buddhas can be limiting as regard to the origin of ignorance , simply because , then the laws of dependent origination( paticcasammupada) would be redundant. For anything to arise , a condition to support comes into play , what was then " that first condition " does away the very basis of conditionality , thus giving birth to the ignorance of i ,me and mine .

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Re: The fetters of conceit, ignorance and doubt

Postby starter » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:03 am

"A first beginning of ignorance cannot be conceived, (of which it can be said), 'Before that, there was no ignorance and it came to be after that.' Though this is so, monks, yet a specific condition of ignorance can be conceived. Ignorance, too, has its nutriment, I declare; and it is not without a nutriment. And what is the nutriment of ignorance? 'The five hindrances,' should be the answer.

"But the five hindrances, too, have their nutriment, monks; they are not without a nutriment. And what is the nutriment of the five hindrances? 'The three ways of wrong conduct,' should be the answer.

"The three ways of wrong conduct, too, have their nutriment; they are not without a nutriment. And what is their nutriment? 'Lack of sense-control,' should be the answer.

"Lack of sense-control, too, has its nutriment; it is not without a nutriment. And what is its nutriment? 'Lack of mindfulness and clear comprehension,' should be the answer.

"Lack of mindfulness and clear comprehension, too, has its nutriment; it is not without a nutriment. And what is the nutriment of the lack of mindfulness and clear comprehension? 'Unwise attention,' should be the answer.

"Unwise attention, too, has its nutriment; it is not without a nutriment. And what is the nutriment of unwise attention? 'Lack of faith,' should be the answer.

"Lack of faith, too, has its nutriment; it is not without a nutriment. And what is the nutriment of lack of faith? 'Listening to wrong teachings,' should be the answer.

"Listening to wrong teachings, too, has its nutriment; it is not without a nutriment. And what is the nutriment to listening to wrong teachings? 'Association with unworthy people,' should be the answer.

"Hence, when association with unworthy people prevails, it will make prevail the listening to wrong teachings. When listening to wrong teaching prevails, it will make prevail lack of faith. When lack of faith prevails, it will make prevail unwise attention. When unwise attention prevails, it will make prevail lack of mindfulness and clear comprehension. When lack of mindfulness and clear comprehension prevails, it will make prevail lack of sense-control. When lack of sense-control prevails, it will make prevail the threefold wrong conduct. When the threefold wrong conduct prevails, it will make prevail the five hindrances. When the five hindrances prevail, they will make ignorance prevail. Such is the nutriment of that ignorance, and so it prevails.

— Avijjā-sutta (AN 10.61)
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Re: The fetters of conceit, ignorance and doubt

Postby Sanjay PS » Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:47 am

starter wrote:"A first beginning of ignorance cannot be conceived, (of which it can be said), 'Before that, there was no ignorance and it came to be after that.' Though this is so, monks, yet a specific condition of ignorance can be conceived. Ignorance, too, has its nutriment, I declare; and it is not without a nutriment. And what is the nutriment of ignorance? 'The five hindrances,' should be the answer.

"But the five hindrances, too, have their nutriment, monks; they are not without a nutriment. And what is the nutriment of the five hindrances? 'The three ways of wrong conduct,' should be the answer.

"The three ways of wrong conduct, too, have their nutriment; they are not without a nutriment. And what is their nutriment? 'Lack of sense-control,' should be the answer.

"Lack of sense-control, too, has its nutriment; it is not without a nutriment. And what is its nutriment? 'Lack of mindfulness and clear comprehension,' should be the answer.

"Lack of mindfulness and clear comprehension, too, has its nutriment; it is not without a nutriment. And what is the nutriment of the lack of mindfulness and clear comprehension? 'Unwise attention,' should be the answer.

"Unwise attention, too, has its nutriment; it is not without a nutriment. And what is the nutriment of unwise attention? 'Lack of faith,' should be the answer.

"Lack of faith, too, has its nutriment; it is not without a nutriment. And what is the nutriment of lack of faith? 'Listening to wrong teachings,' should be the answer.

"Listening to wrong teachings, too, has its nutriment; it is not without a nutriment. And what is the nutriment to listening to wrong teachings? 'Association with unworthy people,' should be the answer.

"Hence, when association with unworthy people prevails, it will make prevail the listening to wrong teachings. When listening to wrong teaching prevails, it will make prevail lack of faith. When lack of faith prevails, it will make prevail unwise attention. When unwise attention prevails, it will make prevail lack of mindfulness and clear comprehension. When lack of mindfulness and clear comprehension prevails, it will make prevail lack of sense-control. When lack of sense-control prevails, it will make prevail the threefold wrong conduct. When the threefold wrong conduct prevails, it will make prevail the five hindrances. When the five hindrances prevail, they will make ignorance prevail. Such is the nutriment of that ignorance, and so it prevails.

— Avijjā-sutta (AN 10.61)



Excellent , excellent . Thank you very much . Good worthy company and its inspiration to work out the entangles makes life worth living :smile:

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