The Danger of Rebirth

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:13 am

Sorry, I don't understand why attaining supermundane right view would involve abandoning mundane right view.


It doesn't. It is mundane right view and the rest of the Eight Fold Path that gives rise the to awakening.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby cooran » Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:26 am

Hello all,

Dhamma Without Rebirth - Bhikkhu Bodhi
Excerpt: The Buddha himself has clearly indicated that the root problem of human existence is not simply the fact that we are vulnerable to sorrow, grief and fear, but that we tie ourselves through our egoistic clinging to a constantly self-regenerating pattern of birth, aging, sickness and death within which we undergo the more specific forms of mental affliction. He has also shown that the primary danger in the defilements is their causal role in sustaining the round of rebirths. As long as they remain unabandoned in the deep strata of the mind, they drag us through the round of becoming in which we shed a flood of tears "greater than the waters of the ocean." When these points are carefully considered, we then see that the practice of Dhamma does not aim at providing us with a comfortable reconciliation with our present personalities and our situation in the world, but at initiating a far-reaching inner transformation which will issue in our deliverance from the cycle of worldly existence in its entirety.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ay_06.html

Rebirth - Bhikkhu Bodhi
Excerpt:
REBIRTH WITHOUT A TRANSMIGRATING SOUL
The concept of rebirth without a transmigrating soul commonly raises the question: How can we speak of ourselves as having lived past lives if there is no soul, no single life going through these many lives? To answer this we have to understand the nature of individual identity in a single lifetime. The Buddha explains that what we really are is a functionally unified combination of five aggregates. The five aggregates fall into two groups. First there is a material process, which is a current of material energy. Then there is a mental process, a current of mental happenings. Both these currents consist of factors that are subject to momentary arising and passing away. The mind is a series of mental acts made up of feelings, perceptions, mental formations and consciousnes. These mental acts are called in Pali "cittas". Each citta arises, breaks up and passes away. When it breaks up it does not leave any traces behind. It does not have any core or inner essence that remains. But as soon as the citta breaks up, immediately afterwards there arises another citta. Thus we find the mind as a succession of cittas, or series of momentary acts of consciousness.
Now when each citta falls away it transmits to its successor whatever impression has been recorded on itself, whatever experience it has undergone. Its perceptions, emotions and volitional force are passed on to the next citta, and thus all experiences we undergo leave their imprint on the onward flow of consciousness, on the "cittasantana", the continuum of mind. This transmission of influence, this causal continuity, gives us our continued identity. We remain the same person through the whole lifetime because of this continuity.
http://www.beyondthenet.net/dhamma/rebirth.htm

Does Rebirth Make Sense? - Bhikkhu Bodhi
Excerpt: The teaching of rebirth crops up almost everywhere in the Canon, and is so closely bound to a host of other doctrines that to remove it would virtually reduce the Dhamma to tatters. Moreover, when the suttas speak about rebirth into the five realms — the hells, the animal world, the spirit realm, the human world, and the heavens — they never hint that these terms are meant symbolically. To the contrary, they even say that rebirth occurs "with the breakup of the body, after death," which clearly implies they intend the idea of rebirth to be taken quite literally.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ay_46.html

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Element » Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:10 am

retrofuturist wrote:Right View with effluents is still right view... it's tainted only to the extent that it infers a self along with it. As you pointed out earlier, the Buddha does teach that each fares according to their deeds. The Buddha certainly did not teach that vipaka is escaped through death.

Retro

If fact, if you are referring to MN 117, mundane right view does not imply rebirth. MN 117 merely states there are the fruits of action and there is this realm (loka) and another realm.

Another realm means other psychological existences based on karma, either higher or lower.

MN 117 does not even use the word "rebirth". It used the word "opapātikā", which means "spontaneously born".

Buddha said:
"Sariputta, there are these four kinds of generation. What are the four?

Egg-born generation, womb-born generation, moisture-born generation and spontaneous generation (opapātikā).


Regarding "post-mortem continuance", it is mere monkey chatter. Any continuance implies permanence.

With metta

Element :)
Last edited by Element on Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:13 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:11 am

Greetings Element,

Element wrote:Regarding "post-mortem continuance", it is mere monkey chatter. Any continuance implies permanence.

What about the continuance of "Element" through this lifetime. No permanence there...

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


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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Element » Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:16 am

retrofuturist wrote:Perhaps you would prefer the term "post-mortem continuance" to "rebirth", because when one understands idappaccayata, it is evident that there is nothing to "re".

Retro,

I say, when one understands idappaccayata, there is no "post-mortem" and there is no "continuance".

Once the cause ends, it is over. Finito.

Now, how did Sariputta & his friend attain stream entry again?

With metta

Element :)
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Element » Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:17 am

retrofuturist wrote:What about the continuance of "Element" through this lifetime. No permanence there...

Indeed. There is no permanence there. Every arising of Element is a new Element. However, even when arising, it is already changing. There is no "Element".
Last edited by Element on Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:19 am

Greetings Element,

Element wrote:If fact, if you are referring to MN 117, mundane right view does not imply rebirth. MN 117 merely states there are the fruits of action and there is this realm (loka) and another realm.

Another realm means other psychological existences based on karma, either higher or lower.

MN 117 does not even use the word "rebirth". It used the word "opapātikā", which means "spontaneously born".

Buddha said:
"Sariputta, there are these four kinds of generation. What are the four?

Egg-born generation, womb-born generation, moisture-born generation and spontaneous generation (opapātikā).


If it is as you say, then how does that "side with merit, & result in acquisitions"?

"And what is the right view that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions? 'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this world & the next world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are priests & contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is the right view that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions.


To translate it as you do is a real stretch Element.

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


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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Element » Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:29 am

retrofuturist wrote:"And what is the right view that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions? 'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this realm & another realm. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously born beings; there are priests & contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the others after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is the right view that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions.

To translate it as you do is a real stretch Element.


Why? I have never had an issue with it since the first time I read it.

Note: It is not "the next world". It is not "spontaneously reborn".

I trust we do not need to go over the meaning of 'loka' or 'world' again.
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Element » Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:34 am

Chris wrote:Does Rebirth Make Sense? - Bhikkhu Bodhi
Excerpt: The teaching of rebirth crops up almost everywhere in the Canon, and is so closely bound to a host of other doctrines that to remove it would virtually reduce the Dhamma to tatters. Moreover, when the suttas speak about rebirth into the five realms — the hells, the animal world, the spirit realm, the human world, and the heavens — they never hint that these terms are meant symbolically. To the contrary, they even say that rebirth occurs "with the breakup of the body, after death," which clearly implies they intend the idea of rebirth to be taken quite literally.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ay_46.html

Non-sense.

Buddha spoke three sermons and already there were many arahants. Rebirth was not mentioned in none of the first three sermons.

Buddha-Dhamma has only one goal, which is the cessation of suffering.

If we do not comprehended 'death', there is nothing to practice. Buddha-Dhamma has no purpose without death.
Last edited by Element on Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:47 am

Greetings Element,

Element wrote:Why? I have never had an issue with it since the first time I read it.

Note: It is not "the next world". It is not "spontaneously reborn".

I trust we do not need to go over the meaning of 'loka' or 'world' again.


We've done this merry dance many times and you cannot reasonably deny every single sutta that points to some form of post-mortem continuance... particularly the suttas that use the phrase "at the break-up of the body" such as... just for the sake of example... (SN 42.6)

"So it is with any man who refrains from taking life, from stealing, & from indulging in illicit sex; refrains from lying, from speaking divisive speech, from harsh speech, & from idle chatter; is not greedy, bears no thoughts of ill-will, & holds to right view. Even though a great crowd of people, gathering & congregating, would pray, praise, & circumambulate with their hands palm-to-palm over the heart — [saying,] 'May this man, at the break-up of the body, after death, reappear in a destitution, a bad destination, the lower realms, hell!' — still, at the break-up of the body, after death, he would reappear in a good destination, the heavenly world."


Did venerable Buddhadasa actively deny rebirth like you do, Element?

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


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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Element » Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:50 am

retrofuturist wrote:Did venerable Buddhadasa actively deny rebirth like you do, Element?

I have quoted Buddhadasa many times. More so, I have referred you to an audio lecture to listen to.

If you had a genuine interest, you would have dropped everything to listen.

There is no need to answer your question Retro.

Buddhadasa was only interested in true comrades.

Every lecture began with "friends in birth, old age, disease and death".
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby clw_uk » Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:56 am

No. There are many suttas where the Buddha talked to monks about birth after the breakup of the body.

For example MN12 in which the Buddha speaks to Sariputta about the "ten Powers of a Tathagata"

...the Tathagata recollects his manifold past lives... / ...with the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, the Tathagata sees beings passing away and reappearing...

and "the five destinations and nibbana"


Yes he did, when teaching mundane dhamma concerned with morality, not partaking of release.


...the Tathagata recollects his manifold past lives... / ...with the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, the Tathagata sees beings passing away and reappearing...


He saw the sense of self appearing and dying, the continuous clinging as aggregates as self, not just rupa being born and dying that is so basic.




Rebirth is part of the Dhamma and it's not eternalism


First of all i didnt say that it wasnt, i have stated that it is part of it, just it is mundane and wont lead one to enlightenement if held to and that people mistake it as central.

Also it was taught as eternalism, you must look at who he was teaching it to when he taught it. It was to villagers, jains, new monks and brahmins, people who held the thought of self. IF he went in with emptiness they would misunderstand it as nihilism or annihilationism.
Rebirth states, YOU will become again. It is eternalism and not connected with nibbana.

Rebirth in a buddhist way is the middle way between those beliefs: There are existing phenomena which arise in dependence and pass away in dependence, but there is no soul, no self, no me, no I. And after the breakup of the body there arise further phenomena as long as there are ignorance and craving.


When someone states there is rebirth but there it is only a flux and no person passes through, this is still holding onto rebirth and not moving onto the higher dhamma of emptiness, there is no rebirth because there is no becoming again of any "I" or "Me".



In my opinion there is much more danger if you don't belief in rebirth:


First of all I started with rebirth and then left it because I seen the folly in it, i did not start of by saying it cant be.

Rebirth is right view with EFFLUENTS, take a look at right view without effluents, there is no mention of rebirth it is about dependent origination, about understanding dukkha and the nature of how self-view comes to be, not about being reborn.

Stick with rebirth and hold onto it and you wont see the truth of anatta and emptiness in its full light.


If there is no rebirth then why practice at all?


So do you deny that there is dukkha right now in this moment? That to hold the thought of self does not give rise to dukkha?
The buddhas higher dhamma is about the here and now, not about if and buts about after rupa dies.


Samsara is ongoing birth, aging and death as long as there is enough fuel for it


Samsara is the spinning of the mind, the birth and death of sense of self. It is the spinning of the world, but when the buddha talks about the world he doesnt mean the earth he means the world of the mind, there is a passage i can quote but will have to do it when i get home im in work at the moment.


[quote]If you see this then there is much more motivation for practice because if you don't end suffering in this life there will be further suffering in the next life.[quote]

There is dukkha in ths life, there is grasping at the aggregates as self in this life, the buddha was concerned with nibbana in the here and now was he not?

Ask yourself, what is the main essence of the buddhas teachings, mundane teachings about rebirh, or anatta and emptiness?



To end, I dont deny the buddha taught rebirth, only that it is mundane view, a view with effluents or a view with taints.
The buddha himself states that true right view does not contain effluents, it does not contain a view of renbirth.

There is no rebirth because there is no you to be reborn.
“ 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: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:08 am

Greetings Element,

Element wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Did venerable Buddhadasa actively deny rebirth like you do, Element?

I have quoted Buddhadasa many times. More so, I have referred you to an audio lecture to listen to.

An audio lecture that doesn't answer the question I have posed you.

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


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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Element » Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:21 am

retrofuturist wrote:An audio lecture that doesn't answer the question I have posed you.

If death is not comprehended, one does not pass go. No $200. No cigar.

Buddha said: "Birth, old age, sickness, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, despair, separation, association, wanting, attachment".

This like all of Buddha's teaching is in sequencial order.

Each must be comprehended, one by one, how they relate to eachother, how one arises from the other.

If death is not comprehended, one does not pass go. No $200. No cigar.
Last edited by Element on Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:25 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Element » Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:23 am

retrofuturist wrote:Did venerable Buddhadasa actively deny rebirth like you do, Element?

Your question is quite unrealistic Retro. Think about it.

:popcorn:
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Element » Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:27 am

retrofuturist wrote:An audio lecture that doesn't answer the question I have posed you.

You may have posed a question however is it really a question of there is no listener?

When a tree falls in the forest, does anybody hear? Does it actually fall?

8-)
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:30 am

Greetings Element,
Element wrote:Buddha said: "Birth, old age, sickness, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, despair, separation, association, wanting, attachment".

Yes, I know what death refers to that instance but that doesn't mean that every time he talks about death he means it in that context.

Ditto with world/loka, ditto with birth/jati.

Using a term relatively does not preclude it from being used absolutely (and vice versa) in a different context.

I think your active refutal of rebirth extends well beyond that of your teacher's... though of course I am open to evidence that suggests otherwise.

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


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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby clw_uk » Thu Feb 12, 2009 2:11 pm

Sorry, I don't understand why attaining supermundane right view would involve abandoning mundane right view.


It doesn't. It is mundane right view and the rest of the Eight Fold Path that gives rise the to awakening.



It would involved abandoning mundane right view because mundane view is a view with Effluents, it is correct but slightly mistaken.

The mundane sets one on the path to realise the supermundane

If you hold to the mundane you wont get the supermundane because you will still hold a view that has Effluents. It will hold you back.
“ 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: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Heavenstorm » Thu Feb 12, 2009 2:54 pm

It is quite irony that this discussion appears when Venerable Dhammanando is not with us. Anyway..........

clw_uk wrote:Also it was taught as eternalism, you must look at who he was teaching it to when he taught it. It was to villagers, jains, new monks and brahmins, people who held the thought of self. IF he went in with emptiness they would misunderstand it as nihilism or annihilationism.
Rebirth states, YOU will become again. It is eternalism and not connected with nibbana.


You are trying to argue that rebirth was only taught to a few groups, it just wasn't. Buddha talked about His past lives for all His disciples several times in suttas to emphasis the pain of samara and the path of Dharma. Never did He claim that rebirth was not necessary for anyone nor did He claim that it is some form of eternalism.

When someone states there is rebirth but there it is only a flux and no person passes through, this is still holding onto rebirth and not moving onto the higher dhamma of emptiness, there is no rebirth because there is no becoming again of any "I" or "Me".

First of all I started with rebirth and then left it because I seen the folly in it, i did not start of by saying it cant be.


Rebirth is the end product of Dependent Origination and Nirvana is the end product of the reverse Dependent Origination. They are both sides of a same coin. The observation that you are taking one as the ultimate Truth while disregard another as folly is revealing a lot about your inadequate understanding on the topic.

Stick with rebirth and hold onto it and you wont see the truth of anatta and emptiness in its full light.


Stick with the notion that rebirth is unnecessary, you too won't see the truth of anatta. See the contradiction?

So do you deny that there is dukkha right now in this moment? That to hold the thought of self does not give rise to dukkha?
The buddhas higher dhamma is about the here and now, not about if and buts about after rupa dies.


If there is no rebirth, then death will be Nirvana which is simply absurd.

Samsara is the spinning of the mind, the birth and death of sense of self. It is the spinning of the world, but when the buddha talks about the world he doesnt mean the earth he means the world of the mind, there is a passage i can quote but will have to do it when i get home im in work at the moment.


Your own interpretation of Samara, Buddha never said that. Yeah, I would love to see the original quote.

Ask yourself, what is the main essence of the buddhas teachings, mundane teachings about rebirh, or anatta and emptiness?


Its all relevant and are parts of the dependent origination teaching.

There is no rebirth because there is no you to be reborn.


There is rebirth because you are not Arahant. That I'm certain of.

It would involved abandoning mundane right view because mundane view is a view with Effluents, it is correct but slightly mistaken.


Mundane right view is not abandoned because there is nothing to be abandoned. The arising and falling of thought is a natural process, we should put effort in observing them and they will fade away as all things. The act of abandoning is not required.
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Prasadachitta » Thu Feb 12, 2009 2:59 pm

Holding the view that tomorrow will be a better day if I go to bed early tonight is "mundane" right view. Rebirth is no different. The difference between right view without outflows(asavas) and right view which is connected to liberation is in your intention. Is your intention connected to particular results in the future or is it right intention for the sake of right intention. This is why I do not think as I have said before to Cw_uk that "There is nothing in the Sutta you quote which indicates that there is no you to be reborn and there is no rebirth". I understand how Cw_uk has gone about inferring that this sutta cautions against rebirth as a view to rest in but the meaning of the sutta is far deeper than this. A pure mind does not attach to results it focuses with laser like accuracy upon its momentary flows of intention. The Buddha keeps his eye on the ball so to speak. This is possible whether or not you conceptually accept rebirth. I dont think rebirth is a necessary concept for practice. I think effective practice will eventually lead an individual to see the "mundane" value of upholding it as a good conceptual approximation of how things work.

Metta

Gabriel

And what is right view? Right view, I tell you, is of two sorts: There is right view with effluents, siding with merit, resulting in acquisitions; and there is noble right view, without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path

And what is the right view that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions? 'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this world & the next world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are priests & contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is the right view that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions

And what is the right view that is without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path? The discernment, the faculty of discernment, the strength of discernment, analysis of qualities as a factor of Awakening, the path factor of right view in one developing the noble path whose mind is noble, whose mind is free from effluents, who is fully pos­sessed of the noble path. This is the right view that is without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
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