A question about right view

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A question about right view

Postby pink_trike » Wed May 06, 2009 3:11 am

Could someone point out to me the exact lines in The Discourse on RIght View" that extends the explanation of the view into the mental realm of "supernatural"....particularly in relationship to the repeated use of the phrase "he here and now makes an end of suffering"?
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Clear Light is Union
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Re: A question about right view

Postby Dhammanando » Wed May 06, 2009 6:07 am

Hi Pink Trike,

pink_trike wrote:Could someone point out to me the exact lines in The Discourse on RIght View" that extends the explanation of the view into the mental realm of "supernatural"....particularly in relationship to the repeated use of the phrase "he here and now makes an end of suffering"?


What do you mean by "supernatural" ?

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
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Re: A question about right view

Postby pink_trike » Wed May 06, 2009 6:31 am

Hi Ven. D,

"Right View" has been pointed at in several threads here as specifically supporting the concept of post -mortem rebirth, a phenomena that would require mechanics that fall outside of scientific visibility. I'm not finding a leaping point in The Discourse on RIght View into this kind of supernatural view.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernatural

---

[general note: It isn't my intent for this to be another discussion of post-mortem rebirth...it is a question of how A becomes B in this particular discourse. I'm more interested in the logic flow that results in a supernatural reading of this discourse. ]
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.
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Re: A question about right view

Postby Dhammanando » Wed May 06, 2009 9:07 am

Hi Pink Trike,

pink_trike wrote:"Right View" has been pointed at in several threads here as specifically supporting the concept of post -mortem rebirth, a phenomena that would require mechanics that fall outside of scientific visibility. I'm not finding a leaping point in The Discourse on RIght View into this kind of supernatural view.


Firstly, we shouldn't in fact expect rebirth to be an especially prominent theme in discourses by Sariputta. The Buddha says of him in the Saccavibhanga Sutta:

    "Cultivate the friendship of Sariputta and Moggallana, bhikkhus; associate with Sariputta and Moggallana. They are wise and helpful to their companions in the holy life. Sariputta is like a mother and Moggallana is like a wet-nurse. Sariputta trains others for the fruit of stream-entry, Moggallana for the supreme goal (arahantship). Sariputta, bhikkhus, is able to announce, teach, describe, establish, reveal, expound, and exhibit the Four Noble Truths."
    (MN. 141)

Sariputta's speciality lay in his taking newly converted disciples of the Buddha (kalyāṇa puthujjanas already possessed of mundane right view) and giving them discourses of an abhidhammic sort (i.e. relating to aggregates, elements, sense-bases, dependent arising and the truths) to turn them into sotapannas. In discourses of an abhidhammic sort naturally the focus is upon impersonal phenomena. Such discourses are not concerned with persons and their stories – not even with their present life stories, let alone with their past saṃsāric narrative.

Nonetheless, rebirth is not absent in Sariputta's discourses, but the topic is usually covered allusively and implicatively rather than directly, and seldom in detail.

In the case of the Sammaditthi Sutta, the opening section concerns the ten wholesome and ten unwholesome courses of action (kusala/akusala kammapatha) and their respective roots:

    "And what, friends, is the unwholesome, what is the root of the unwholesome, what is the wholesome, what is the root of the wholesome? Killing living beings is unwholesome; taking what is not given is unwholesome; misconduct in sensual pleasures is unwholesome; false speech is unwholesome; malicious speech is unwholesome; harsh speech is unwholesome; gossip is unwholesome; covetousness is unwholesome; ill will is unwholesome; wrong view is unwholesome."

    [....]

    And what is the wholesome? Abstention from killing living beings is wholesome; abstention from taking what is not given is wholesome; abstention from misconduct in sensual pleasures is wholesome; abstention from false speech is wholesome; abstention from malicious speech is wholesome; abstention from harsh speech is wholesome; abstention from gossip is wholesome; uncovetousness is wholesome; non-ill will is wholesome; right view is wholesome."

So, the tenth item in this pair of kammapatha is right view and wrong view respectively. And in all suttas where right view in the context of the kammapathas is defined, there is always an assertion of kammic efficacy, rebirth, and the existence of worlds beyond those normally visible to humans. In short, they all include affirmations of what you would term "the supernatural", while the definitions of wrong view in this context always entail a denial of the same. As the stock definition goes:

    "He has wrong view, distorted vision, thus: ‘There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed; no fruit or result of good and bad actions; no this world, no other world; no mother, no father; no beings who are reborn spontaneously; no good and virtuous recluses and brahmins in the world who have themselves realised by direct knowledge and declare this world and the other world."

    "He has right view, undistorted vision, thus: ‘There is what is given and what is offered and what is sacrificed; there is fruit and result of good and bad actions; there is this world and the other world; there is mother and father; there are beings who are reborn spontaneously; there are good and virtuous recluses and brahmins in the world who have themselves realised by direct knowledge and declare this world and the other world."
    (MN. 41)

So that's one connection between the Sammaditthi Sutta and rebirth.

Moving on to the next section, where Sariputta expounds the four kinds of nutriment using the framework of the four noble truths. Here rebirth is alluded to in the statement that volition is the third type of nutriment and consciousness is the fourth. As the commentary explains:

    The nutriment volitional thought when occurring as kamma leading to rebirth on the sensuous plane, feeds and conditions sensuous existence. When occurring as kamma leading to rebirth on the fine-material or immaterial plane, it feeds and conditions the corresponding existence. So does the nutriment volitional thought in all cases feed and condition the three states of existence.

    The nutriment consciousness, at the moment of rebirth, feeds and conditions the three other mental groups (khandhā), conjoined with it; and by way of conascence-condition, etc., it feeds and conditions the thirty corporeal processes that arise in a triple continuity (ti-santati). So does the nutriment consciousness feed and condition mind-and-body at rebirth.
    (translation from Nyanaponika's The Four Nutriments of Life)

So, that's two occurrences already, and we haven't even started yet on the twelvefold paṭiccasamuppāda.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: A question about right view

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 06, 2009 9:35 am

Ven Dhammanando,

So, that's two occurrences already, and we haven't even started yet on the twelvefold paṭiccasamuppāda.


Please do. Your above discussion is, as always, helpful.

The Craig has given us this:
[MN 38]Bhikkhus, with the coming together of three things a descent to the womb comes about: Here the mother and father come together. It is not the season of the mother. The gandhabba is not present, then there is no descent to the womb. Here, mother and father come together. It is the season of the mother. The gandhabba is not present. Then there is no descent to the womb. Here mother and father come together. It is the season of the mother and the gandhabba is present. Then there is a descent to the womb. That mother protects the womb for nine or ten months with great anxiety and trouble. After nine or ten months that mother gives birth with great anxiety and trouble. She supports the born with her own blood. In the noble ones’ dispensation mother’s milk is called blood. Bhikkhus, that boy grows and his faculties mature and he plays games that boys play. Such as mock games as taking a bowl, turning somersaults, making toy wind mills with palm leaves, making small carts and bows. Bhikkhus, that boy, grows and his faculties develop and is provided with the five strands of sense pleasures, and he lives enticed by pleasing agreeable forms cognisable by eye consciousness, agreeable sounds cognisable by ear consciousness, agreeable smells cognisable by nose consciousness, agreeable tastes cognisable by tongue consciousness and agreeable touches cognisable by body consciousness.

<edit - Begining of the round of paticcasamuppada >

He seeing a form with the eye becomes greedy for a pleasant form, or averse to a disagreeable form. Abides with mindfulness of the body not established and with a limited mind. Not knowing the release of mind nor the release through wisdom as it really is, where thoughts of demerit cease completely (*11). He falls to the path of agreeing and disagreeing and feels whatever feeling, pleasant, unpleasant, or neither unpleasant nor pleasant. Delighted and pleased with those feelings he appropriates them. To him delighted, pleased and appropriating those feelings arises interest. That interest for feelings is the holding (* 12) To him holding, there is being, from being arises birth, from birth decay and death, grief, lament, unpleasantness, displeasure and distress, thus arises the complete mass of unpleasantness. Hearing a sound with the ear, cognising a smell with the nose, cognising a taste with the tongue, cognising a touch with the body, cognising an idea with the mind, becomes greedy for a pleasant idea. Becomes averse to a disagreeable idea. Abides with mindfulness of the body not established and with a limited mind. Not knowing the release of mind nor the release through wisdom as it really is. Not knowing how thoughts of demerit cease completely. He falls to the path of agreeing and disagreeing and feels whatever feeling, pleasant, unpleasant, or neither unpleasant nor pleasant. Delighted and pleased with those feelings, appropriates them. To him delighted, pleased and appropriating those feelings arise interest. That interest for feelings is the holding (*12) To him holding, there is being, from being arises birth, from birth decay and death, grief, lament, unpleasantness, displeasure and distress, thus arises the complete mass of unpleasntness.


As we see in this sutta, paticcasamuppada starts after physical birth, when the human is a certain age (the text doesnt state but i go for early/middle childhood) and also, its occurence in present moment


His reading of it, suggesting that paticcasamuppada starts around early to mid childhood makes no sense.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: A question about right view

Postby clw_uk » Wed May 06, 2009 11:30 am

Greetings Bhante

In the case of the Sammaditthi Sutta, the opening section concerns the ten wholesome and ten unwholesome courses of action (kusala/akusala kammapatha) and their respective roots:


"And what, friends, is the unwholesome, what is the root of the unwholesome, what is the wholesome, what is the root of the wholesome? Killing living beings is unwholesome; taking what is not given is unwholesome; misconduct in sensual pleasures is unwholesome; false speech is unwholesome; malicious speech is unwholesome; harsh speech is unwholesome; gossip is unwholesome; covetousness is unwholesome; ill will is unwholesome; wrong view is unwholesome."

[....]

And what is the wholesome? Abstention from killing living beings is wholesome; abstention from taking what is not given is wholesome; abstention from misconduct in sensual pleasures is wholesome; abstention from false speech is wholesome; abstention from malicious speech is wholesome; abstention from harsh speech is wholesome; abstention from gossip is wholesome; uncovetousness is wholesome; non-ill will is wholesome; right view is wholesome."

So, the tenth item in this pair of kammapatha is right view and wrong view respectively. And in all suttas where right view in the context of the kammapathas is defined, there is always an assertion of kammic efficacy, rebirth, and the existence of worlds beyond those normally visible to humans. In short, they all include affirmations of what you would term "the supernatural", while the definitions of wrong view in this context always entail a denial of the same. As the stock definition goes


But isnt right view most commonly asserted as being a view of the 4nt? something that is immediately based in the here and now

Its also interesting to note (something another member brought up) that this...

"He has wrong view, distorted vision, thus: ‘There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed; no fruit or result of good and bad actions; no this world, no other world; no mother, no father; no beings who are reborn spontaneously; no good and virtuous recluses and brahmins in the world who have themselves realised by direct knowledge and declare this world and the other world."

"He has right view, undistorted vision, thus: ‘There is what is given and what is offered and what is sacrificed; there is fruit and result of good and bad actions; there is this world and the other world; there is mother and father; there are beings who are reborn spontaneously; there are good and virtuous recluses and brahmins in the world who have themselves realised by direct knowledge and declare this world and the other world."


...doesnt seem to be the words of the Buddha since he was opposed to sacrifice, which this passage affirms to be a right view. That being said couldnt it be looked upon as just a stock phrase to convey a meaning, such as what effect a certain "outlook" on life has on the person

If one has the first view, its very likely that they will have an unwholesome mind set and engage in unwholesome things, while the other passage (right view), although obviously not the words of the Buddha, convey what is a conductive view in relation to the postive effects it will have on the person, since if there is a view of other worlds etc people will naturaly lean towards more wholesome conduct

As i said i dont think its a description of what is, but it is describing what views or, shall we say, what outlooks on life are wholesome and conductive and which outlooks on life are unwholesome and not conductive to indivuduals, although not needed by all since there is right view of the 4nts which, if people can get a grasp of them, lead to wholesome conduct (and eventualy towards nibbana)


Metta
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: A question about right view

Postby Dhammanando » Wed May 06, 2009 12:10 pm

Hi Craig,

clw_uk wrote:But isnt right view most commonly asserted as being a view of the 4nt?


I haven't counted, but I suspect that right view of the four noble truths is of greater frequency than right view of the ten kusala kammapathas. Nonetheless, there is no denying that the latter is a major theme in the Buddha's teaching, occurring in many dozens of suttas. If you can get a copy of Gradual Sayings, (the PTS Anguttara Nikaya translation), I think you'll find the Book of the Tens very edifying in this connection. There must be fifty or so suttas in it on this subject, most of them addressed to bhikkhus, and some addressed to ariyan bhikkhus. So there's no room here for any Buddhadasa-style dismissal of these doctrines as just moral teachings for gullible peasants.

something that is immediately based in the here and now


All paññā (of which right view is one mode) arises in the here and now.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: A question about right view

Postby mikenz66 » Wed May 06, 2009 2:17 pm

While we are on "varieties of Right View" theme, I'd like to ask about MN117: "The Great Forty" http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
As I said over here: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=1255 the idea of mundane/supermundane right view there seems to be directly from the Abhidhamma, and is the only Sutta I've read where that sort of exposition is presented. Are there others?

Mike
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Re: A question about right view

Postby Dhammanando » Wed May 06, 2009 2:49 pm

Hi Craig,

clw_uk wrote:Its also interesting to note (something another member brought up) that this...

"He has right view, undistorted vision, thus: ‘There is what is given and what is offered and what is sacrificed; there is fruit and result of good and bad actions; there is this world and the other world; there is mother and father; there are beings who are reborn spontaneously; there are good and virtuous recluses and brahmins in the world who have themselves realised by direct knowledge and declare this world and the other world."


...doesnt seem to be the words of the Buddha since he was opposed to sacrifice, which this passage affirms to be a right view.


This is too simplistic. The Buddha rejected certain views about the value of sacrifice, notably, that it can bring about purification:

    "There are certain recluses and brahmins whose doctrine and view is this: ‘Purification comes about through sacrifice.’ But it is impossible to find a kind of sacrifice that has not already been offered up by me in this long journey, when I was either a head-anointed noble king or a well-to-do brahmin.

    "There are certain recluses and brahmins whose doctrine and view is this: ‘Purification comes through fire-worship.’ But it is impossible to find a kind of fire that has not already been worshipped by me in this long journey, when I was either a head-anointed noble king or a well-to-do brahmin."
    (Mahāsīhanāda Sutta, MN. 12)

But to reject this is not to deny that sacrifice may conduce to benefits of a lower order. The Buddha wasn't "a one-sided speaker" (ekaṃsavādin), but rather "one who speaks after analysing the matter" (vibhajjavādin). The terms 'yañña' and 'hutta' (Vedic: 'yajña' and 'hotra') covered a great variety of oblational practices, some meeting with the Buddha's approval and others not.

As related in the appropriately named "Discourse on Sacrifices" (Yañña Sutta):

    The horse sacrifice, human sacrifice,
    Sammāpāsa, vājapeyya, niraggala:
    These great sacrifices, fraught with violence,
    Do not bring great fruit.

    The great seers of right conduct
    Do not attend that sacrifice
    Where goats, sheep, and cattle
    Of various kinds are slain.

    But when sacrifices free from violence
    Are always offered by family custom,
    Where no goats, sheep, or cattle
    Of various kinds are slain:
    The great seers of right conduct
    Attend a sacrifice like this.

    The wise person should offer this,
    A sacrifice bringing great fruit.
    For one who makes such a sacrifice
    It is indeed better, never worse.
    Such a sacrifice is truly vast
    And the devatās too are pleased.
    (SN. i. 75-6; CD. I. 171-2)

Note also that by the time of the Buddha's passing 'yañña' among his disciples had become modified to the point that its meaning was essentially the same as 'dāna'. From one of the post-parinibbāna suttas:

    Kumārakassapa: "Prince, when a sacrifice is made at which oxen are slain, or goats, fowl or pigs, or various creatures are slaughtered, and the participants have wrong view, wrong thought, wrong speech, wrong action, wrong livelihood, wrong effort, wrong mindfulness and wrong concentration, then that sacrifice is of no great fruit or profit, it is not very brilliant and has no great radiance ... But when none of these creatures are put to death, and the participants have right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration, then that sacrifice is of great fruit and profit, it is brilliant and of great radiance."

    Then Prince Payasi established a charity for ascetics and Brahmins, wayfarers, beggars and the needy. And there such food was given out as broken rice with sour gruel, and also rough clothing with ball-fringes. And a young Brahmin called Uttara was put in charge of the distribution.
    (DN. 23)

See also the Kutadanta Sutta (DN. 5), with its account of inferior and superior sacrifices.

And for some cutting-edge modern scholarship on the subject: Maria Heim, Theories of the Gift in South Asia: Hindu, Buddhist and Jain Reflections on Dāna, (Routledge NY 2004.)

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: A question about right view

Postby Dhammanando » Wed May 06, 2009 3:04 pm

Hi Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:As I said over here: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=1255 the idea of mundane/supermundane right view there seems to be directly from the Abhidhamma, and is the only Sutta I've read where that sort of exposition is presented. Are there others?


No, the Mahacattarisaka Sutta is unique.

I should note that the designations 'mundane' and 'supramundane' for these two right view are actually from the Petakopadesa and Nettipakarana, two early treatises on hermeneutics. At MN. 117 the distinction is expressed with the words 'sāsava' and 'anāsava', "accompanied by cankers" and "free of cankers" respectively.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: A question about right view

Postby mikenz66 » Wed May 06, 2009 10:28 pm

Dear Ven Dhammanando,

Thank you for the information.

So I am familiar with three forms of right view expressed in the Suttas:
1. Understanding the Noble Truths.
2. Understanding kamma, etc. ("There is what is given and what is offered and what is sacrificed; there is fruit and result of good and bad actions;...).
3. The MN 117 form which is
(a) "With taints" (as in (2)).
(b) "Without taints" (path and fruition definition).

Any other variations?

Mike
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Re: A question about right view

Postby pink_trike » Wed May 06, 2009 10:42 pm

Dhammanando wrote:Hi Pink Trike,

pink_trike wrote:"Right View" has been pointed at in several threads here as specifically supporting the concept of post -mortem rebirth, a phenomena that would require mechanics that fall outside of scientific visibility. I'm not finding a leaping point in The Discourse on RIght View into this kind of supernatural view.

So, that's two occurrences already, and we haven't even started yet on the twelvefold paṭiccasamuppāda.


Thanks for your detailed response, Ven. D.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.
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Re: A question about right view

Postby Dhammanando » Thu May 07, 2009 8:53 am

mikenz66 wrote:Any other variations?


As far as I know, all facets of right view would be subsumed under mundane and supramundane right view.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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