Reliability of Mahāvihāra Commentaries?... Right View

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Re: Reliability of Mahāvihāra Commentaries?... Right View

Postby Virgo » Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:11 pm

Alex123 wrote:
How do you know that there are no Arahant in human realm at this time?


With metta,

Alex


That is according to the texts, not my opinion. I have no way to verify it through personal experience.

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Re: Reliability of Mahāvihāra Commentaries?... Right View

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:14 pm

Virgo wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
How do you know that there are no Arahant in human realm at this time?


With metta,

Alex


That is according to the texts, not my opinion. I have no way to verify it through personal experience.
What texts? If you are going to claim textual support for something, then supply the texual evidence.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Reliability of Mahāvihāra Commentaries?... Right View

Postby Virgo » Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:14 pm

adeh wrote:".....no good and virtuous recluses and brahmins in the world who have realized for themselves by direct knowledge and declare this world and the other world." This is wrong view. [MN. 117:5]


Beleiving that there are currently no Arahants in the world now is not wrong view, it is Right View. There are good and viruous recluses and brahmins int he world who have realized for themselves by direct knowlegde. There are just of the first three stages of enlightenment. In other realms, there are ones of the final stage. It is not as though they don't exist. Besides I think that verse it talking about the Buddha. Disbelieving that the Buddha is enlightened and knows this world and all the other worlds is wrong view, not thinking that there aren't Arahants around now.

kevin

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Re: Reliability of Mahāvihāra Commentaries?... Right View

Postby Virgo » Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:16 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Virgo wrote:From the traditional point of view there are no more Arahants in the human realm right now. But people can still become liberated. There can still be sotapannas, sakadagami, and anagami. One will attain Arahatta in one of the other realms.

Kevin
Then there is another reason to reject the traditional view, but let us see the basis of your claim.

No. The view is based on the truth that people of this day and age have less parami.

Kevin

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Re: Reliability of Mahāvihāra Commentaries?... Right View

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:17 pm

Virgo wrote:
Kevin
Then there is another reason to reject the traditional view, but let us see the basis of your claim.[/quote]
No. The view is based on the truth that people of this day and age have less parami.[/quote]Says who?

You keep making these claims, but offering no support. You are fast moving to a put-up-or-shut-up situation.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Reliability of Mahāvihāra Commentaries?... Right View

Postby Kenshou » Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:26 pm

Not the parami thread again!

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Re: Reliability of Mahāvihāra Commentaries?... Right View

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:27 pm

Kenshou wrote:Not the parami thread again!
No. That will not happen here. We are now in a patient holding pattern while Kevin supplies us with a textual source for his claims.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Reliability of Mahāvihāra Commentaries?... Right View

Postby Virgo » Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:32 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Virgo wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
How do you know that there are no Arahant in human realm at this time?


With metta,

Alex


That is according to the texts, not my opinion. I have no way to verify it through personal experience.
What texts? If you are going to claim textual support for something, then supply the texual evidence.

    On the degrees of Ariyanship during the Dispensation of Gotoma Buddha
    "But the Buddha thought of people with different accumulations. He praised samatha, and the person who deserves the highest respect is the person endowed with jhanas, supranatural powers and the four <analytical knowledges>, patisambiddhas. In the Co. it has been explained that when further away from the Buddha's time the arahats have less excellent qualities, no more analytical knowledges. In the Co. to the In the ³Samantapåsådikå², in the Commentary to the Vinaya, to the Cullavagga, Ch X, on Nuns, the decline of Buddhism has been explained in the Buddha era of this Buddha, the Buddha Gotama.

    This Commentary explains about the degrees of paññå of ariyans in the different periods after the Buddha¹s passing away. During the period of the first thousand years there were still arahats with the four ³analytical knowledges², paìisambhidå . In the following period of thousand years there were only arahats who are sukkha vipassaka, those who had not attained any stage of jhåna, but who had developed only insight. In the third period of thousand years there are only people who have attained the state of non-returner, anågåmí, in the fourth period of thousand years there are only sakadågåmís and in the fifth period of thousand years there are only sotåpannas."

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Re: Reliability of Mahāvihāra Commentaries?... Right View

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:50 pm

Virgo wrote: That is according to the texts,. . . in the fifth period of thousand years there are only sotåpannas."
The usual commentarial stuff, which fortunately not all Theravadins take as being the final word. That said, please get back to the actual subject.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Reliability of Mahāvihāra Commentaries?... Right View

Postby adeh » Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:53 pm

In note 425 to Sutta 41 of the Majjima Nikaya, which also uses the same quote to define wrong view, Bhikkhu Bodhi states: "The statement about recluses and brahmins [means one] denies the existence of Buddhas and Arahants."

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Re: Reliability of Mahāvihāra Commentaries?... Right View

Postby Nyana » Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:35 pm

tiltbillings wrote:The usual commentarial stuff, which fortunately not all Theravadins take as being the final word. That said, please get back to the actual subject.

"The usual commentarial stuff" is the actual subject.

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Re: Reliability of Mahāvihāra Commentaries?... Right View

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:56 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:The usual commentarial stuff, which fortunately not all Theravadins take as being the final word. That said, please get back to the actual subject.

"The usual commentarial stuff" is the actual subject.

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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Reliability of Mahāvihāra Commentaries?... Right View

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:59 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:The usual commentarial stuff, which fortunately not all Theravadins take as being the final word. That said, please get back to the actual subject.

"The usual commentarial stuff" is the actual subject.
Yes; however, what I was meaning to say is not get side tracked on a very specific issue and the threats of damnation.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Reliability of Mahāvihāra Commentaries?... Right View

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Jul 04, 2010 9:25 pm

It might be worth discussing to what degree the Mahāvihāra commentarial tenets are reliable and accurate references regarding the teaching of the Buddha (Buddhasāsana), particularly as it pertains to right view (sammādiṭṭhi), as right view is essential for right meditation (sammāsamādhi).
Well, having just awoken from a nap, letting the cobwebs clear, I suppose the question of the possibility of becoming an arahant at present is relevant as are the threats to hell, but usual commentarial stuff about the decline in achievement is well known, what about the threats of hell for those who do not believe in them. Where is the textual evidence for that? (Telling people here that they are going to hell, making bad kamma, becusae they do not beleive a certain way is not part of this discussion.)

One of the other areas of commentarial defict is in history. Richard Gombrich has pointed out correctly that the commentaries to a a very poor job of puting the Buddha's teachings in their historical context vis a vis the brahmins and their teachings, which is something worth looking at.

But one of the question I have in looking at all this: does - eschatology aside - the traditional point view on dhamma theory, jhana and such of view actually prevent one from attaining awakening? Looking at the likes of Burmese vipassana traditions, they seem to think that more than sotapanna is possible, and they are coming out of a traditional point of view. Arahant status has been atributed to more than one of the new Burmese vipassana teachers, such as Sunlun, which suggests not being slavish to the commentaries.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Reliability of Mahāvihāra Commentaries?... Right View

Postby pt1 » Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:56 am

tiltbillings wrote:Looking at the likes of Burmese vipassana traditions, they seem to think that more than sotapanna is possible, and they are coming out of a traditional point of view. Arahant status has been atributed to more than one of the new Burmese vipassana teachers, such as Sunlun, which suggests not being slavish to the commentaries.

I remember there was a post by Ven.Dhammanando on dsg where he explained that there are in fact several different accounts in the commentaries regarding the progress of the sasana decline - i.e. whether arahats are possible nowadays or not. It was something to the effect that Digha bhanakas said one thing and Anguttara bhanakas said something else - and Buddhagosa then accurately reported this discrepancy, without trying to insert his own opinion or argue in favor of one over the other (another reason why I like Buddhaghosa). I'll try to find this post a bit later.

Best wishes

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Re: Reliability of Mahāvihāra Commentaries?... Right View

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:16 am

pt1 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Looking at the likes of Burmese vipassana traditions, they seem to think that more than sotapanna is possible, and they are coming out of a traditional point of view. Arahant status has been atributed to more than one of the new Burmese vipassana teachers, such as Sunlun, which suggests not being slavish to the commentaries.

I remember there was a post by Ven.Dhammanando on dsg where he explained that there are in fact several different accounts in the commentaries regarding the progress of the sasana decline - i.e. whether arahats are possible nowadays or not. It was something to the effect that Digha bhanakas said one thing and Anguttara bhanakas said something else - and Buddhagosa then accurately reported this discrepancy, without trying to insert his own opinion or argue in favor of one over the other (another reason why I like Buddhaghosa). I'll try to find this post a bit later.

Best wishes
Please do. That would be of interest.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Reliability of Mahāvihāra Commentaries?... Right View

Postby Virgo » Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:45 am

tiltbillings wrote:
pt1 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Looking at the likes of Burmese vipassana traditions, they seem to think that more than sotapanna is possible, and they are coming out of a traditional point of view. Arahant status has been atributed to more than one of the new Burmese vipassana teachers, such as Sunlun, which suggests not being slavish to the commentaries.

I remember there was a post by Ven.Dhammanando on dsg where he explained that there are in fact several different accounts in the commentaries regarding the progress of the sasana decline - i.e. whether arahats are possible nowadays or not. It was something to the effect that Digha bhanakas said one thing and Anguttara bhanakas said something else - and Buddhagosa then accurately reported this discrepancy, without trying to insert his own opinion or argue in favor of one over the other (another reason why I like Buddhaghosa). I'll try to find this post a bit later.

Best wishes
Please do. That would be of interest.

Oh. What happened to nevermind!

Kevin

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Re: Reliability of Mahāvihāra Commentaries?... Right View

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:09 am

Virgo wrote:Oh. What happened to nevermind!
Follow the progression. I woke up, and now I am awakened.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Reliability of Mahāvihāra Commentaries?... Right View

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:38 am

Greetings,

I suspect this may be what pt1 is referring to above....

Regarding your other question (the one you e-mailed to me) about the decline of
the Buddha's dispensation, I hope you don't mind if I reply here as I seem to
have mislaid the e-mail.

Briefly:

1. The Pali atthakathaas and sub-commentaries are unanimous in their view that
realization (pa.tivedha) in Gotama's dispensation will last for 5,000 years and
then cease. This point is not contested by anyone.


2. However, there is no unanimity in the Atthakathaas concerning the manner of
decline during these 5,000 years. Rather, there are four quite discrepant
predictions of both the order of decline and the timescale for how long each
kind of ariyan attainment will last.

3. Buddhaghosa himself only reports the discrepant predictions without offering
any personal comment. He doesn't draw attention to the discrepancies in the
predictions, or attempt to reconcile them or advocate that one of them should be
preferred over the others.

4. In the sub-commentaries to the Tipi.taka, together with various minor Vinaya
treatise of the 12th-13th centuries, the discrepancies in the predictions are
noted and
explained as being due to their very origin: they are merely the
opinions that arose among different groups of text-reciters (bhaa.naka) and
which Buddhaghosa encountered here and there and wished to record for posterity.

5. If the sub-commentaries are right, then it follows that the status of the
predictions is not that of authoritative commentary (i.e., they are not sourced
in the atthakathaas brought to Ceylon by Mahinda.

6. It further follows that such claims as "non-returnership is the highest
ariyan attainment possible in the present age" or "attainment in the present age
is possible only by dry-visioned practice, not by jhaana" have only the
flimsiest textual support.


To Sarah, Jon, Nina, Rob, etc.

I realize the point of view I have expressed above is rather different to the
one usually voiced in DSG on this subject. However, inasmuch as this judgment of
the .Tiikaa authors has not to my knowledge been challenged by any Theravaadin
scholar of note for the last eight centuries, I believe it has a much stronger
claim to being the orthodox Theravadin view than that expressed in the Thai
article translated by Nina ("The Disappearance of Ariyans") to which readers of
DSG are often directed. The conclusion in that article is:

"It can be concluded that at the present time, which is the third period of
thousand years in the dispensation of the Buddha Gotama, nobody has the
excellent qualities of the degree of the arahat, and the highest attainment will
only be that of the anaagaamii."

The problem with this conclusion is that it is based upon seriously inadequate
research that doesn't take into account all of the relevant textual sources. In
particular:

1. The article's authors base their conclusion on the prediction of decline in
the Vinaya Atthakathaa, and a parallel passage in the Anguttara Atthakathaa, but
ignore a discrepant prediction also contained in the Anguttara Atthakathaa
(commentary to a nameless sutta in the Pamaadaadi Vagga of the Ekanipaata).

2. They ignore the discrepant prediction in the Samyutta Atthakathaa (commentary
to the Saddhammapa.tiruupaka Sutta).

3. They misunderstand the Digha Atthakathaa's commentary to the Sampasaadaniiya
Sutta as being relevant only to the decline of the past dispensation of Kassapa
Buddha. But the very reason for the commentary describing the decline of
pa.tivedha in Kassapa's dispensation is that the Diigha-bhaa.nakas held that
pa.tivedha in Gotama's dispensation would decline in an identical pattern (as
attested in the Anguttara and Vinaya sub-commentaries).

4. They neglect all of the sub-commentarial and Vinaya treatises in which these
discrepancies are addressed. These are chiefly the Saaratthadiipanii.tiikaa to
the Vinaya Pi.taka, the .tiikaa to the Anguttara Nikaaya, and two other Vinaya
treatises: the Siimavisodhanii and Vimativinodanii.

I regret that I'm not able to give precise citations right now as I'm separated
from my library and writing from memory, but I will try to rectify this omission
when I'm back in Bangkok.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando

Source: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastu ... age/101337

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

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Re: Reliability of Mahāvihāra Commentaries?... Right View

Postby pt1 » Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:27 am

retrofuturist wrote:I suspect this may be what pt1 is referring to above....

Well done retro, that's the one, thanks. Here's a post by another dsg member regarding where exactly to find the excerpts that Ven.Dhammanando mentions. Though I guess it won't help much to those of us who don't know Pali.

Sayadaw's Statement 1:

_______________________________________________

1. The article's authors base their conclusion on the prediction of decline in
the Vinaya Atthakathaa, and a parallel passage in the Anguttara Atthakathaa, but
ignore a discrepant prediction also contained in the Anguttara Atthakathaa
(commentary to a nameless sutta in the Pamaadaadi Vagga of the Ekanipaata).
_____________________________________________________

For the above statement, please see Section 130, Dutiyapamaadaadi Vagga
Va.n.nanaa, Ekanipaata, Anguttaranikaaya A.t.thakathaa.


Sayadaw's Statement 2:

_____________________________________________________

2. They ignore the discrepant prediction in the Samyutta Atthakathaa (commentary
to the Saddhammapa.tiruupaka Sutta).
_____________________________________________________

For the above statement, please see Section 156, Saddhammappatiruupaka
Suttava.n.nanaa, Kassapasamyuttam, Nidaanavagga A.t.thakathaa, Samyuttanikaaya
A.t.thakathaa.


Sayadaw's Statement 3:

_____________________________________________

3. They misunderstand the Digha Atthakathaa's commentary to the Sampasaadaniiya
Sutta as being relevant only to the decline of the past dispensation of Kassapa
Buddha. But the very reason for the commentary describing the decline of
pa.tivedha in Kassapa's dispensation is that the Diigha-bhaa.nakas held that
pa.tivedha in Gotama's dispensation would decline in an identical pattern (as
attested in the Anguttara and Vinaya sub-commentaries).
__________________________________________________________


For the above Statement 3, please see Section 161, Sampasaadaniiya Sutta
Va.n.nanaa, Paathika Vaggo, Diighanikaaya A.t.thakathaa.


Sayadaw's Statement 4:

________________________________________________________

4. They neglect all of the sub-commentarial and Vinaya treatises in which these
discrepancies are addressed. These are chiefly the Saaratthadiipanii.tiikaa to
the Vinaya Pi.taka, the .tiikaa to the Anguttara Nikaaya, and two other Vinaya
treatises: the Siimavisodhanii and Vimativinodanii.
_______________________________________________________


For the above statement, please see Section 403, A.t.thagarudhammava.n.nanaa,
Saaratthadiipanii.tiikaa (Cuulavaggo, Vinaya Pi.taka .Tiikaa), Section 403,
Mahaapajaapatigotamiivatthukathaava.n.nanaa, Bhikhunikkhandhako, Vimativinodanii
.Tiikaa, and Upasampadaaka.n.do, Siimavisodhaniipaa.tha. Also, please see
Section 130, Dutiyapamaadaadi Vagga Va.n.nanaa, Ekanipaata, Anguttaranikaaya
.Tiikaa.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastu ... age/101533

Best wishes


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