Enlightenment in Theravada

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: Enlightenment in Theravada

Postby plwk » Sun Oct 10, 2010 3:06 pm

Is there a concept of sudden enlightenment or realization in Theravada? If so, how does this fit in with the Buddha's gradual path approach?

Capacities? Capacities? Capacities?
Consider these...
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... 90.html#ii
Anguttara Nikaya, Catukka-nipata, No. 167.
...once the Venerable Maha Moggallana went to see the Elder and said to him:
"There are four ways of progress, brother Sariputta:
difficult progress, with sluggish direct-knowledge;
difficult progress, with swift direct-knowledge;
easy progress, with sluggish direct-knowledge;
easy progress, with swift direct-knowledge.
"By which of these four ways of progress, brother, was your mind freed from the cankers without remnants of clinging?"
To which the Venerable Sariputta replied: "By that of those four ways of progress, brother, which is easy and has swift direct-knowledge."

The explanation of this passage is that if the suppression of the defilements preparatory to absorption or insight takes place without great difficulty, progress is called "easy" (sukha-patipada); in the reverse case it is "difficult" or "painful" (dukkha-patipada).
If, after the suppression of the defilements, the manifestation of the Path, the goal of insight, is quickly effected, the direct-knowledge (connected with the Path) is called "swift" (khippabhiñña); in the reverse case it is "sluggish" (dandabhiñña).
In this discourse the Venerable Sariputta's statement refers to his attainment of arahantship.
His attainment of the first three Paths, however, was, according to the commentary to the above text, connected with "easy progress and sluggish direct-knowledge."
http://tipitaka.wikia.com/wiki/Susima_Sutta
Then the Blessed One said thus to venerable ânanda: "ânanda, is Sàriputta pleased with you too?"
"Venerable sir, how could venerable Sàriputta be displeased with someone, who is not a fool, not corrupt, not erring and thinks in a constructive way? Venerable sir, venerable Sàriputta is very wise, has a wide understanding, is quick witted, has keen intelligence, has sharp and penetrating wisdom, has few desires, is satisfied, is secluded and without associations, with aroused effort, particular about his observances, speaks gently, exhorts reprovingly, disapproves evil, so why should venerable Sàriputta be displeased with someone, who is not a fool, not corrupt, not erring and thinks in a constructive way."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... html#fn-14
The wanderer replied: "I am called Upatissa, friend. Please tell me according to your ability, be it much or little. It will be my task to penetrate its meaning by way of a hundred or a thousand methods." And he added:
"Be it little or much that you can tell,
the meaning only, please proclaim to me!
To know the meaning is my sole desire;
Of no avail to me are many words."

In response, the Elder Assaji uttered this stanza:
"Of all those things that from a cause arise,
Tathagata the cause thereof has told;
And how they cease to be, that too he tells,
This is the doctrine of the Great Recluse."

Upon hearing the first two lines, Upatissa became established in the Path of stream-entry, and to the ending of the last two lines he already listened as a stream-winner.

Contrast with Story of Culapanthaka Thera
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

Anguttara-Nikaya: Ekanipata: Ekadhammapali: Pañhamavagga
VSM VMM WBB TBHT WTBT My Page
plwk
 
Posts: 1126
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:14 am

Re: Enlightenment in Theravada

Postby Dhammakid » Sun Oct 10, 2010 3:22 pm

plwk wrote:
Is there a concept of sudden enlightenment or realization in Theravada? If so, how does this fit in with the Buddha's gradual path approach?

Capacities? Capacities? Capacities?
Consider these...
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... 90.html#ii
Anguttara Nikaya, Catukka-nipata, No. 167.
...once the Venerable Maha Moggallana went to see the Elder and said to him:
"There are four ways of progress, brother Sariputta:
difficult progress, with sluggish direct-knowledge;
difficult progress, with swift direct-knowledge;
easy progress, with sluggish direct-knowledge;
easy progress, with swift direct-knowledge.
"By which of these four ways of progress, brother, was your mind freed from the cankers without remnants of clinging?"
To which the Venerable Sariputta replied: "By that of those four ways of progress, brother, which is easy and has swift direct-knowledge."

The explanation of this passage is that if the suppression of the defilements preparatory to absorption or insight takes place without great difficulty, progress is called "easy" (sukha-patipada); in the reverse case it is "difficult" or "painful" (dukkha-patipada).
If, after the suppression of the defilements, the manifestation of the Path, the goal of insight, is quickly effected, the direct-knowledge (connected with the Path) is called "swift" (khippabhiñña); in the reverse case it is "sluggish" (dandabhiñña).
In this discourse the Venerable Sariputta's statement refers to his attainment of arahantship.
His attainment of the first three Paths, however, was, according to the commentary to the above text, connected with "easy progress and sluggish direct-knowledge."
http://tipitaka.wikia.com/wiki/Susima_Sutta
Then the Blessed One said thus to venerable ânanda: "ânanda, is Sàriputta pleased with you too?"
"Venerable sir, how could venerable Sàriputta be displeased with someone, who is not a fool, not corrupt, not erring and thinks in a constructive way? Venerable sir, venerable Sàriputta is very wise, has a wide understanding, is quick witted, has keen intelligence, has sharp and penetrating wisdom, has few desires, is satisfied, is secluded and without associations, with aroused effort, particular about his observances, speaks gently, exhorts reprovingly, disapproves evil, so why should venerable Sàriputta be displeased with someone, who is not a fool, not corrupt, not erring and thinks in a constructive way."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... html#fn-14
The wanderer replied: "I am called Upatissa, friend. Please tell me according to your ability, be it much or little. It will be my task to penetrate its meaning by way of a hundred or a thousand methods." And he added:
"Be it little or much that you can tell,
the meaning only, please proclaim to me!
To know the meaning is my sole desire;
Of no avail to me are many words."

In response, the Elder Assaji uttered this stanza:
"Of all those things that from a cause arise,
Tathagata the cause thereof has told;
And how they cease to be, that too he tells,
This is the doctrine of the Great Recluse."

Upon hearing the first two lines, Upatissa became established in the Path of stream-entry, and to the ending of the last two lines he already listened as a stream-winner.

Contrast with Story of Culapanthaka Thera


Wow, very helpful sutta references, plwk. Thanks.

:anjali:
Dhammakid
User avatar
Dhammakid
 
Posts: 366
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:09 am
Location: Georgia, USA

Re: Enlightenment in Theravada

Postby Goedert » Sun Oct 10, 2010 3:58 pm

Dhammakid wrote:Hello all,
While doing some random thinking, it has occurred to me that I can't think of an actual concrete concept of enlightenment in the Theravada tradition. As a matter of fact, with most of the literature from the Theravada tradition, the term "enlightenment" is rarely used (at least in my experience). I find the term used much more often in the Mahayana schools.

And yet, the basic story of the life of the Buddha remains the same for all traditions, each one talking about the Buddha attaining enlightenment as if it was a single event in time that happened in a flash of realization. The Theravada clearly takes the "gradual" stance on this issue, I suppose.

Is there a concept of sudden enlightenment or realization in Theravada? If so, how does this fit in with the Buddha's gradual path approach? If not, from where does the Mahayana derive this concept?

:anjali:
Dhammakid


Every one that try to concept nibbana fail. Even the openner of the path the Tathagatha, did not concept it.

Describing the abiding in emptiness and non-attachmment is very difficult. The majority of people will not comprehend it.

A good mahayana work that is very similar to the concept of enlightenment is the Maha-Prajnaparamita Sutta. Where Manjushri describes the perfection of wisdom. But as always, everything in life can be dangerous, someone reading it can misunderstand the whole thing and start a new wrong behaviour.

One forum member named tiltbealings said once upon time: "Enlightenment is to light up".
User avatar
Goedert
 
Posts: 312
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 9:24 pm
Location: SC, Brazil

Previous

Return to General Theravāda discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Nehemia83 and 19 guests