From awaking to the truth to finally attaining the truth

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From awaking to the truth to finally attaining the truth

Postby starter » Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:31 pm

Hi friend, I'm reading three translations of MN 95 by Ven. Bodhi, Thanissaro and Ñanamoli, but feel that the most important contents for how to awake to the truth and how to finally attain the truth were not really clearly explained in the sutta:

“... There being an agreement through pondering those dhammas, desire arises. With the arising of desire, he becomes willing. Willing, he contemplates (lit: "weighs," "compares"; BB: scrutinizes -- insight meditation). Contemplating, he makes an exertion. Exerting himself, he both realizes the ultimate meaning of the truth with his body and sees by penetrating it with discernment. [Thanissaro]

Final arrival at truth is the repetition, the keeping in being, the development, of those same ideas. [Ñanamoli]

The cultivation, development, & pursuit [BB: repetition, cultivation and development] of those very same qualities [BB: things]: to this extent, Bharadvaja, there is the final attainment of the truth.”

However, I here is my understanding as to an awakening to the truth and the final attainment of the truth:

… With the arising of desire to apply the teachings in his practice, he becomes willing to try the teachings out by practicing. Willing, he examines carefully the results of these efforts [of trying-teachings-out]. After examining, he strives to practice in accordance with the teachings. Striving resolutely, he both realizes the ultimate meaning of the truth with his body in deep jhana and sees by penetrating it with wisdom [stream entry].

Final arrival at the truth [nibbana] is by the repetition, cultivation, and development of the following:
Learning the true dhamma/reflective acceptance of the dhamma – try the teachings out in practice – examine the results of trying-teachings-out – striving to practice according to the teachings ...

Is my understanding of MN 95 correct? Your comments and input would be highly appreciated. By the way, it's strange that I can't post a new topic in the Dhamma Study forum. Therefore I post it here. Metta,

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Re: From awaking to the truth to finally attaining the truth

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:25 pm

Don't forget there are different ways of explaining the same thing. Here's another way:

Tipitaka Samyutta Nikaya SN 48
SN 48.53 PTS: S v 229 CDB ii 1696
Sekha Sutta: The Learner
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
© 2005–2010
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying in Kosambi, at Ghosita's Park. There he addressed the monks, "Monks, is there a manner of reckoning whereby a monk who is a learner, standing at the level of a learner, can discern that 'I am a learner,' and whereby a monk who is an adept,[1] standing at the level of an adept, can discern that 'I am an adept'?"

"For us, lord, the teachings have the Blessed One as their root, their guide, & their arbitrator. It would be good if the Blessed One himself would explicate the meaning of this statement. Having heard it from the Blessed One, the monks will remember it."

"In that case, monks, listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

"As you say, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said, "There is a manner of reckoning whereby a monk who is a learner, standing at the level of a learner, can discern that 'I am a learner,' and whereby a monk who is an adept, standing at the level of an adept, can discern that 'I am an adept.'

"And what is the manner of reckoning whereby a monk who is a learner, standing at the level of a learner, can discern that 'I am a learner'? There is the case where a monk is a learner. He discerns, as it actually is, that 'This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.' This is a manner of reckoning whereby a monk who is a learner, standing at the level of a learner, can discern that 'I am a learner.'

"Furthermore, the monk who is a learner reflects, 'Is there outside of this [doctrine & discipline] any priest or contemplative who teaches the true, genuine, & accurate Dhamma like the Blessed One?' And he discerns, 'No, there is no priest or contemplative outside of this doctrine & discipline who teaches the true, genuine, & accurate Dhamma like the Blessed One.' This too is a manner of reckoning whereby a monk who is a learner, standing at the level of a learner, can discern that 'I am a learner.'

"Furthermore, the monk who is a learner discerns the five faculties: the faculty of conviction... persistence... mindfulness... concentration... discernment. He sees clear through with discernment their destiny, excellence, rewards, & consummation, but he does not touch them with his body. This too is a manner of reckoning whereby a monk who is a learner, standing at the level of a learner, can discern that 'I am a learner.'

"And what is the manner of reckoning whereby a monk who is an adept, standing at the level of an adept, can discern that 'I am an adept'? There is the case where a monk who is an adept discerns the five faculties: the faculty of conviction... persistence... mindfulness... concentration... discernment. He touches with his body and sees clear through with discernment what their destiny, excellence, rewards, & consummation are. This is a manner of reckoning whereby a monk who is an adept, standing at the level of an adept, can discern that 'I am an adept.'

"Furthermore, the monk who is an adept discerns the six sense faculties: the faculty of the eye... ear... nose... tongue... body... intellect. He discerns, 'These six sense faculties will disband entirely, everywhere, & in every way without remainder, and no other set of six sense faculties will arise anywhere or in any way.' This too is a manner of reckoning whereby a monk who is an adept, standing at the level of an adept, can discern that 'I am an adept.'"

Note

1.
I.e., an arahant.
Provenance: ©2005 Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Transcribed from a file provided by the translator. This Access to Insight edition is ©2005–2010.
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How to cite this document (one suggested style): "Sekha Sutta: The Learner" (SN 48.53), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, July 1, 2010, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html.
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Re: From awaking to the truth to finally attaining the truth

Postby starter » Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:50 pm

Hi, Rowyourboat, thanks for the nice sutta. SN48 is about how to discern a learner from an arahant. The part I was trying to understand in MN 95 is about how to become an arahant from a stream entrant. I'm not really clear about the sentence describing the stream entrant "Exerting himself, he both realizes the ultimate meaning of the truth with his body and sees by penetrating it with discernment" (MN 95). Does "realizes the ultimate meaning of the truth with his body" means experiencing the truth (the deathless) in deep jhana?
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Re: From awaking to the truth to finally attaining the truth

Postby Kenshou » Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:19 pm

Forgive me if this is obnoxiously obvious, but a stream-enterer becomes an arahat simply my practicing the eightfold-path.

Edit: Oh, I see you are asking about the knowing with discernment vs touching with the body thing, there was a thread on that around here somewhere, I'll see if I can find it.
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Re: From awaking to the truth to finally attaining the truth

Postby starter » Sat Sep 18, 2010 5:08 pm

Hi Kensou, thanks for your help. Indeed the eightfold-path is the way for a stream entrant to become an arahant. But I'm trying to understand the accurate meaning of the relevant part in MN 95. For instance, it says "The cultivation, development, & pursuit [BB: repetition, cultivation and development] of those very same qualities [BB: things; Ñanamoli: ideas]: to this extent, Bharadvaja, there is the final attainment of the truth.” I'm trying to figure out what "those very same qualities/things/ideas" exactly mean.

I heard a talk saying that it's not necessary for a stream entrant to study the dhamma anymore since he has penetrated the teachings with wisdom. Some other talk mentioned that it's necessary to learn just enough Dhamma to build the "raft", and then it's not important to learn more of the teachings. Though as a beginner, I feel it's still necessary and important for a stream entrant to study the dhamma and use the teachings as guide for his practice. That's why I'd like to figure out if "those very same qualities/things/ideas" include, for instance, learning the dhamma ...
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Re: From awaking to the truth to finally attaining the truth

Postby IanAnd » Sun Sep 19, 2010 4:18 am

starter wrote: But I'm trying to understand the accurate meaning of the relevant part in MN 95. For instance, it says "The cultivation, development, & pursuit [BB: repetition, cultivation and development] of those very same qualities [BB: things; Ñanamoli: ideas]: to this extent, Bharadvaja, there is the final attainment of the truth.” I'm trying to figure out what "those very same qualities/things/ideas" exactly mean.

In the online version by Thanissaro, it is referencing the four paragraphs prior to the one you quoted above. See below:

"There is the case, Bharadvaja, where a monk lives in dependence on a certain village or town. Then a householder or householder's son goes to him and observes him with regard to three mental qualities — qualities based on greed, qualities based on aversion, qualities based on delusion: 'Are there in this venerable one any such qualities based on greed that, with his mind overcome by these qualities, he might say, "I know," while not knowing, or say, "I see," while not seeing; or that he might urge another to act in a way that was for his/her long-term harm & pain?' As he observes him, he comes to know, 'There are in this venerable one no such qualities based on greed... His bodily behavior & verbal behavior are those of one not greedy. And the Dhamma he teaches is deep, hard to see, hard to realize, tranquil, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise. This Dhamma can't easily be taught by a person who's greedy.

"When, on observing that the monk is purified with regard to qualities based on greed, he next observes him with regard to qualities based on aversion: 'Are there in this venerable one any such qualities based on aversion that, with his mind overcome by these qualities, he might say, "I know," while not knowing, or say, "I see," while not seeing; or that he might urge another to act in a way that was for his/her long-term harm & pain?' As he observes him, he comes to know, 'There are in this venerable one no such qualities based on aversion... His bodily behavior & verbal behavior are those of one not aversive. And the Dhamma he teaches is deep, hard to see, hard to realize, tranquil, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise. This Dhamma can't easily be taught by a person who's aversive.

"When, on observing that the monk is purified with regard to qualities based on aversion, he next observes him with regard to qualities based on delusion: 'Are there in this venerable one any such qualities based on delusion that, with his mind overcome by these qualities, he might say, "I know," while not knowing, or say, "I see," while not seeing; or that he might urge another to act in a way that was for his/her long-term harm & pain?' As he observes him, he comes to know, 'There are in this venerable one no such qualities based on delusion... His bodily behavior & verbal behavior are those of one not deluded. And the Dhamma he teaches is deep, hard to see, hard to realize, tranquil, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise. This Dhamma can't easily be taught by a person who's deluded.

"When, on observing that the monk is purified with regard to qualities based on delusion, he places conviction in him. With the arising of conviction, he visits him & grows close to him. Growing close to him, he lends ear. Lending ear, he hears the Dhamma. Hearing the Dhamma, he remembers it. Remembering it, he penetrates the meaning of those dhammas. Penetrating the meaning, he comes to an agreement through pondering those dhammas. There being an agreement through pondering those dhammas, desire arises. With the arising of desire, he becomes willing. Willing, he contemplates (lit: "weighs," "compares"). Contemplating, he makes an exertion. Exerting himself, he both realizes the ultimate meaning of the truth with his body and sees by penetrating it with discernment."

starter wrote:I heard a talk saying that it's not necessary for a stream entrant to study the dhamma anymore since he has penetrated the teachings with wisdom. Some other talk mentioned that it's necessary to learn just enough Dhamma to build the "raft", and then it's not important to learn more of the teachings. Though as a beginner, I feel it's still necessary and important for a stream entrant to study the dhamma and use the teachings as guide for his practice. That's why I'd like to figure out if "those very same qualities/things/ideas" include, for instance, learning the dhamma ...

Yes. It does.

starter wrote:Final arrival at the truth [nibbana] is by the repetition, cultivation, and development of the following:
Learning the true dhamma/reflective acceptance of the dhamma – try the teachings out in practice – examine the results of trying-teachings-out – striving to practice according to the teachings ... Is my understanding of MN 95 correct?

Yes. It is. (When all else fails, go with your first intuition of what makes sense.)
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV
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Re: From awaking to the truth to finally attaining the truth

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:27 pm

“... There being an agreement through pondering those dhammas, desire arises. With the arising of desire, he becomes willing. Willing, he contemplates (lit: "weighs," "compares"; BB: scrutinizes -- insight meditation). Contemplating, he makes an exertion. Exerting himself, he both realizes the ultimate meaning of the truth with his body and sees by penetrating it with discernment. [Thanissaro]

The path to stream entry in many ways encapsulates that whole path (from what I understand). Therefore it is said that the stream entrant does not need a teacher.

Certain changes take place in the mind when insights build up on one another. These unlike ordinary knowledge cause the mind to behave in a certain way towards what it perceives. In the culmination of these insights knowledges the ceases to exist for a moment (if not in a more prolonged way). The yogi sees the path to the cessation of all suffering in that moment (or should I say looking back at that moment). ie- he knows it through the body, but has understood what it meant. However even though the mind has seen that everything is anicca, dukkha and anatta, it still does not act like it. THat is, the defilements still exist, as if things were nicca, sukha and atta. So to further bring the mind in line with these truths, the rest of the path exists.

So what do you need to do/know to be a stream entrant?

This is probably the best description of it that I know:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... gress.html

You could also try this:
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/bm7insight.pdf

Also check stream entry here:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-subject.html#s

That should be enough guidance to last a lifetime! :namaste:

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Re: From awaking to the truth to finally attaining the truth

Postby starter » Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:24 pm

rowyourboat wrote:“... The path to stream entry in many ways encapsulates that whole path (from what I understand). Therefore it is said that the stream entrant does not need a teacher."


Hi rowyourboat, thanks a lot for your helpful comment. Would you please give me the sutta reference for the above statement "it is said that the stream entrant does not need a teacher"?

My sincere thanks to IanAnd for the very helpful comments as well.

Metta!

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Re: From awaking to the truth to finally attaining the truth

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:21 pm

Hi Starter

Thank you for that question because it may have opened my eyes to something I did not know:

To Upali the householder, as he was sitting right there, there arose the dustless, stainless Dhamma eye: Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation. Then — having seen the Dhamma, having reached the Dhamma, known the Dhamma, gained a footing in the Dhamma, having crossed over & beyond doubt, having had no more questioning — Upali the householder gained fearlessness and was independent of others with regard to the Teacher's message.

— MN 56

I may have misteken the above phrase to mean that they do not need a teacher from that point onwards.However there is nothing in the suttas to reflect that. I think it simply means that they have known the dhamma for themselves, without needing to listen to another for verification. Disciples higher on the path seem to help those lower on the path according to the suttas.

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Re: From awaking to the truth to finally attaining the truth

Postby starter » Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:03 pm

[quote="rowyourboat"]
To Upali the householder, as he was sitting right there, there arose the dustless, stainless Dhamma eye: Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation. Then — having seen the Dhamma, having reached the Dhamma, known the Dhamma, gained a footing in the Dhamma, having crossed over & beyond doubt, having had no more questioning — Upali the householder gained fearlessness and was independent of others with regard to the Teacher's message.

— MN 56

I may have misteken the above phrase to mean that they do not need a teacher from that point onwards.However there is nothing in the suttas to reflect that. I think it simply means that they have known the dhamma for themselves, without needing to listen to another for verification. Disciples higher on the path seem to help those lower on the path according to the suttas.

Hello RYB,

Thanks for clarifying your point further. I agree with you that the sentence "... was independent of others with regard to the Teacher's message" seems to mean Upali had awaken to the dhamma correctly without needing others' verification, but he probably still needed the teachings as guide to finally realize the truth. Our understanding of the teachings can grow when we repeatedly learn/reflect on the dhamma. Metta,

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