SN 12.17 Acela Sutta: To the Clothless Ascetic

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Re: SN 12.17 Acela Sutta: To the Clothless Ascetic

Postby daverupa » Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:46 am

Sam Vega wrote:The "Knowing/seeing" issue gets more interesting the more I think about it. Are there any Pali scholars who could elaborate on the terms used in the Sutta ("Knowing" and "Seeing")?


You can get some of that in this thread.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: SN 12.17 Acela Sutta: To the Clothless Ascetic

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:47 am

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:In any case, my point is that he's talking about confidence a about something in the future, not the "all has to be seen in the present moment..." line that Ven Nanavira seems to take.

I cannot accept your conclusion here, as it is a false distinction being drawn.

The very reason the arahant knows that jati is ended is because they personally know paticcasamuppada and have personally eradicated avijja. So it is seen here-and-now. It is seen here-and-now that there is the remainderless cessation of avijja, and thus, the arahant therefore knows that jati has ended. The confidence lies in understanding the steadfastness and universality of paticcasamuppada... thus, the house-builder is destroyed.

mikenz66 wrote:Which is very much to the point of what some of these lines mean. Does "I know dukkha..." mean "I know about dukkha because I used to suffer", or "I am still experiencing dukkha."?

He knows the Truth of Dukkha, and because He knows the Truth of Dukkha, He does not suffer.

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: SN 12.17 Acela Sutta: To the Clothless Ascetic

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:54 am

Hi Retro,
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:In any case, my point is that he's talking about confidence a about something in the future, not the "all has to be seen in the present moment..." line that Ven Nanavira seems to take.

I cannot accept your conclusion here, as it is a false distinction being drawn.

Sure. Opinions about that point obviously differ. As one would expect... :reading:

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Re: SN 12.17 Acela Sutta: To the Clothless Ascetic

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:18 am

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:Sure. Opinions about that point obviously differ. As one would expect... :reading:

Do you actually disagree then with the paragraph that followed the sentence you quoted, or did you stop there and disengage, holding the remainder of my post at arm's length with platitudes, preferring not to investigate and understand the basis for the disagreement?

Differences in opinion need not necessarily give rise to suffering.

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: SN 12.17 Acela Sutta: To the Clothless Ascetic

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:36 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:Sure. Opinions about that point obviously differ. As one would expect... :reading:

Do you actually disagree then with the paragraph that followed the sentence you quoted,...

Yes. Knowing something doesn't have to mean that what is known has completely played itself out.
I (and a number of others) have disagreed with that interpretation for a long time, and I don't see us coming to an agreement any time soon.

But this is all meta-discussion. Perhaps we could return to some of the issues of the Acela Sutta.

:anjali:
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Re: SN 12.17 Acela Sutta: To the Clothless Ascetic

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:30 am

"[If one thinks] 'The one who actsis the same as the one who experiences [the result]', [then one asserts] weith reference to one existing from the beginning: 'Suffering is created by oneself'. When one asserts thus, this amounts to eternalism."

BB gives some technical discussion of exactly how to translate this...

Spk: If at the beginning (one thinks), "The one who acts is the same as the one who experiences (the result)," in such a case the belief afterwards follows, "Suffering is created by oneself." And here, what is meant by suffering is the suffering of the round (vattadukkha). Asserting this, from the beginning one declares eternalism, one grasps hold of eternalism. Why? Because that view of his amounts to this. Eternalism comes upon one who conceives teh agent and the experiencer to be one and the same.

Spk-pt: Prior to the belief that suffering is created by oneself there are the distortions of perception and of mind (sannacittavipallasa) in the notion, "The one who acts is the same as the one who experiences (the result)," and then a wrong adherence to these distortions develops, namely, the belief "Suffering is created by oneself" (a distortion of views, ditthivipallasa).

On the three levels of distortion with their four modes, see AN II 52.
AN 4.49 Vipallasa Sutta: Distortions of the Mind
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .olen.html
Sensing no change in the changing,
Sensing pleasure in suffering,
Assuming "self" where there's no self,
Sensing the un-lovely as lovely -

Gone astray with wrong views,
beings Mis-perceive with distorted minds.
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Re: SN 12.17 Acela Sutta: To the Clothless Ascetic

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:36 am

"[If one thinks] 'The one who acts is one, the one who experiences [the result] is another,' [then one asserts] with reference to one stricken by feeling: 'Suffering is created by another.' When one asserts thus, this amounts to annihilationism."

[More comments from BB on the language and how the Commentary interprets it...]

Spk: If at the beginning (one thinks) "The one who acts is one, the one who experiences (the result) is another," ins such a case afterwards there comes the belief, "Suffering is created by another," held by one stricken by --- that is, pierced by --- the feeling associated with the annihilationist view that arises thus: 'The agent is annihilated right here, and someone else ('another') experiences (the results) of his deeds. Asserting thus, from the beginning one declares annihilationism, one grasps hold of annihilationism. Why? Because the view one holds amounts to this. Annihilationism comes upon him.
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Re: SN 12.17 Acela Sutta: To the Clothless Ascetic

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:49 am

Greetings,

"[If one thinks] 'The one who acts is the same as the one who experiences [the result]', [then one asserts] with reference to one existing from the beginning: 'Suffering is created by oneself'. When one asserts thus, this amounts to eternalism."....

"[If one thinks] 'The one who acts is one, the one who experiences [the result] is another,' [then one asserts] with reference to one stricken by feeling: 'Suffering is created by another.' When one asserts thus, this amounts to annihilationism."

I wonder... is it implicit in self-view, that there is some framing with respect to that self in terms of what happens to it in the past, present and future? In other words, from the root/basic self-view comes (some flavour of) eternalism or annihilationism, and that one of the 62 eternalist/annihilationist views outlined in the Brahmajala are necessary consequences of the root view of self?

That would seem to be what the "this amounts to" terminology bolded above is pointing to.

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: SN 12.17 Acela Sutta: To the Clothless Ascetic

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:18 am

Indeed, in all cases I can recall it's not really the past or future that are the problem.
See, for example, MN 131 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nana.html where conceiving about a self in the past, future, or present, is the problem. Perhaps the current Sutta benefits from comparison with that one.

:anjali:
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Re: SN 12.17 Acela Sutta: To the Clothless Ascetic

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:05 am

"Without veering towards either of these extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma by the middle. 'With ignorance as condition, volitional formations...'"

Spk: The Tathagata teaches the Dhamma by the middle without veering to either of these extremens --- eternalism or annihilationism --- having abandoned them without reservation. He teaches while being established in the middle way. What is that Dhamma? By the formula of dependent origination, the effect is shown to occur through the cause and to cease with the cessation of the cause, but no agent or experiencer (karaka, vedaka) is described.
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Re: SN 12.17 Acela Sutta: To the Clothless Ascetic

Postby reflection » Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:42 pm

vinasp wrote:Hi Mike,

"It it not that I do not know and see suffering, Kassapa. I know suffering, I see suffering."

My interpretation of this is that it can be understood in two ways.

!. The Buddha remembers what suffering is like, from his life before
his awakening.

2. The Buddha knows and sees suffering in other people, almost everyone
that he encounters - including Kassapa.

Regards, Vincent.

Possible explanations, but

3. The Buddha is still suffering.

You know he said, old age is suffering. The BUddha still had to die. Dying is suffering. It may all be bodily suffering and not mental, but it is still suffering and it arose from the same process of dependent origination.
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Re: SN 12.17 Acela Sutta: To the Clothless Ascetic

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:12 pm

Greetings,

reflection wrote:The BUddha still had to die. Dying is suffering. It may all be bodily suffering and not mental, but it is still suffering and it arose from the same process of dependent origination.


Alternatively, from the Vinaya...

MV 1.6 wrote:Upaka: Do you mean to say that you claim to have won victory over birth and death?
Buddha: Indeed friend I am a Victorious One; and now, in this world of the spiritually blind, I go to Benares to beat the drum of Deathlessness."


And the Suttas...
SN 12.17 (retrofuturist translation) wrote:From personal identification as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.

AN 10.60 (retrofuturist translation) wrote:This truly is the most peaceful and refined, that is to say, the stilling of all formations, the foresaking of all acquisitions, and every substratum of identification, the fading away of craving, cessation, nibbana.

MN 26 wrote:"... the unborn, unageing, unailing, deathless, sorrowless, undefiled supreme security from bondage."

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: SN 12.17 Acela Sutta: To the Clothless Ascetic

Postby Sam Vara » Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:03 pm

"Without veering towards either of these extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma by the middle. 'With ignorance as condition, volitional formations...'"


Could anyone please explain why this is "by the middle", as opposed to being a new way, a third view, an alternative conception, etc?
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Re: SN 12.17 Acela Sutta: To the Clothless Ascetic

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:14 pm

Greetings Sam,

In this case, the Middle Way dissects...

'Existing from the very beginning, stress is self-made.' and 'For one existing harassed by feeling, stress is other-made.'

In the suttas there are many examples of "extremes" which the Middle Way enables one to navigate through.

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: SN 12.17 Acela Sutta: To the Clothless Ascetic

Postby Sam Vara » Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:26 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Sam,

In this case, the Middle Way dissects...

'Existing from the very beginning, stress is self-made.' and 'For one existing harassed by feeling, stress is other-made.'

In the suttas there are many examples of "extremes" which the Middle Way enables one to navigate through.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Hi Retro,

Yes, I am familiar with the idea of the Middle Way enabling one to navigate between extremes, but cannot in this case see why the (fairly standard) formula of paticcasamuppada constitutes a Middle Way. Does paticcasamuppada somehow embody aspects of both Eternalism and Annihilationism? They seem to be mutually exclusive positions, and therefore subject to the law of excluded middle. Paticcasamuppada seems to be looking at something else, rather than the two wrong views or some position midway between them.
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Re: SN 12.17 Acela Sutta: To the Clothless Ascetic

Postby reflection » Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:27 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

reflection wrote:The BUddha still had to die. Dying is suffering. It may all be bodily suffering and not mental, but it is still suffering and it arose from the same process of dependent origination.


Alternatively, from the Vinaya...

MV 1.6 wrote:Upaka: Do you mean to say that you claim to have won victory over birth and death?
Buddha: Indeed friend I am a Victorious One; and now, in this world of the spiritually blind, I go to Benares to beat the drum of Deathlessness."


And the Suttas...
SN 12.17 (retrofuturist translation) wrote:From personal identification as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.

AN 10.60 (retrofuturist translation) wrote:This truly is the most peaceful and refined, that is to say, the stilling of all formations, the foresaking of all acquisitions, and every substratum of identification, the fading away of craving, cessation, nibbana.

MN 26 wrote:"... the unborn, unageing, unailing, deathless, sorrowless, undefiled supreme security from bondage."

Metta,
Retro. :)


Hi,

These things refer to this being his last life and therefore his last death. In another way, it's his last bit of karma. After that last death is the deathless, unageing etc. Victory over birth and death should be viewed in that context. You can't deny the Buddha did not age after his enlightenment or that he did not die.

With metta,
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Re: SN 12.17 Acela Sutta: To the Clothless Ascetic

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:29 pm

Greetings Reflection,

Yes, I assumed that was your view. I was just presenting alternative support for my earlier stated comment that "He knows the Truth of Dukkha, and because He knows the Truth of Dukkha, He does not suffer."

There's no need for us to concur on such matters, so I'll leave it 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: SN 12.17 Acela Sutta: To the Clothless Ascetic

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:58 am

Sam Vega wrote:Yes, I am familiar with the idea of the Middle Way enabling one to navigate between extremes, but cannot in this case see why the (fairly standard) formula of paticcasamuppada constitutes a Middle Way. Does paticcasamuppada somehow embody aspects of both Eternalism and Annihilationism? They seem to be mutually exclusive positions, and therefore subject to the law of excluded middle. Paticcasamuppada seems to be looking at something else, rather than the two wrong views or some position midway between them.

Some of the commentary I posted on SN 12.15 Kaccaayanagotto Sutta addresses this point:
viewtopic.php?f=25&t=11269#p170723
Ajahn Pasanno wrote:Although these passages portray the Middle Way as balancing two ends of a
continuum, there are other instances where the Buddha defines the Middle Way as a
precise approach that cuts through the continuum entirely. This is especially apparent
in passages where he discusses the Middle Way in terms, not of behavior or
motivation, but of Right View.

viewtopic.php?f=25&t=11269#p170881
Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:Dependent origination offers a radically different perspective that transcends the two extremes. It shows that individual existence is constituted by a current of conditioned phenomena devoid of metaphysical self yet continuing on from birth to birth as long as the causes that sustain it remain effective.

So "middle way" doesn't always mean "the average of two bad extremes" ("a dash of eternalism and a pinch of annihilationism" :)). It means a path that avoids the extremes.

:anjali:
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Re: SN 12.17 Acela Sutta: To the Clothless Ascetic

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:07 am

Greetings,

Indeed. Should anyone wish to hunt them out, there are further instances of this point Mike makes in Nanananda's Nibbana Sermons, explained using the simile of two ends of a rope.

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: SN 12.17 Acela Sutta: To the Clothless Ascetic

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:15 am

Hmm, I should have in included the Bhikkhu Nanananda quote as well.
viewtopic.php?f=25&t=11269#p170030
Nanananda wrote:In this sense, too, the worldling's way of thinking has a ten-
dency to go to extremes. It goes to one extreme or the other.
When it was said that the world, for the most part, rests on a di-
chotomy, such as that between the two views `Is' and `Is not',
this idea of a framework is already implicit. The worldling's
ways of thought `end-up' in one extreme or the other within
this framework. The arahant transcends it, his consciousness
is, therefore, endless, ananta.


:anjali:
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