MN Session 3 - MN 47. Vimaṃsaka Sutta

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MN Session 3 - MN 47. Vimaṃsaka Sutta

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:18 am

Greetings,

Here is this week's sutta for discussion.

Metta,
Retro. :)

-----------------------------

MN 47: Vimamsaka Sutta (The Examination)
http://www.dhammaweb.net/Tipitaka/read.php?id=81

I heard thus.

At one time the Blessed One was living in the monastery offered by Anaathapindika in Jeta’s grove in Saavatthi. Then the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus from there.

Bhikkhus, by a bhikkhu who could read the thought processes of another, an examination of the Thus Gone One should be done. Is he rightfully enlightened or not or only conscious of it? Venerable sir, the Blessed One is the origin of the Teaching, the leader and the refuge of the Teaching. Good that the meaning of these words occur to the Blessed One. Hearing it from the Blessed One, the bhikkhus will bear it in mind. Then bhikkhus, listen, I will teach.

Bhikkhus, by the bhikkhu who could examine the thought processes of another the Thus Gone One should be examined on two things. On things cognisable by eye consciousness and ear consciousness. Are defiled things cognisable by eye and ear consciousness evident in the Thus Gone One or are they not? When examining he knows. These defiled things cognisable by eye and ear consciousness (*1) are not evident in the Thus Gone One. Then he should make a further examination: Are mixed things cognisable by eye and ear consciousness evident in the Thus Gone One or are they not? When examining he knows. These mixed things cognisable by eye and ear consciousness (*2) are not evident in the Thus Gone One. Then he should make a further examination: Are pure things cognisable by eye and ear consciousness evident in the Thus Gone One or are they not? When examining he knows. The pure things cognisable by eye and ear consciousness (*3) are evident in the Thus Gone One.

Then he should make a further examination. Has the venerable one attained to these things of merit since long or are they attained to recently? When examining he knows these things of merit were attained since long, and not recently. Then he should make a further examination. Is the venerable one internally convinced of this attainment? Is there a possible danger evident? He should make a thorough examination to know whether there is some danger evident. When examining he knows the venerable one is internally convinced of the attainment and there is no danger evident.

Then he should further examine. Does the venerable one not indulge in sensuality, through destruction of greed or through fear? When examining he knows. The venerable one does not indulge in sensuality through destruction of greed, and not through fear.

Then the others should question that bhikkhu. On what grounds did the venerable one say, that the venerable one did not indulge in sensuality because greed is destroyed and not through fear? If that bhikkhu should reply rightly, he should say: Whether the venerable one is in the amidst of the community, or living alone. Living there well or miserably, if when advising a crowd, he sees someone fallen for materiality, or someone not soiled by materiality, the venerable one does not look down on him: This I heard in the presence of the Blessed One, and he acknowledged it ‘I do not indulge in sensuality because my greed is destroyed, not out of fear.’

Then further it may, even be questioned from the Thus Gone One himself: Are defiled things cognisable by eye and ear consciousness evident in the Thus Gone One or are they not? Then I would declare.‘Defiled things cognisable by eye and ear consciousness are not evident in the Thus Gone One’. Asked: Are mixed things cognisable by eye and ear consciousness evident in the Thus Gone One, or are they not? I would declare. ‘Mixed things cognisable by eye and ear consciousness are not evident in the Thus Gone One’.Asked: Are pure things cognisable by eye and ear consciousness evident in the Thus Gone One, or are they not?. I would declare. ‘Pure things cognisable by eye and ear consiousness are evident in the Thus Gone One.That is my path and pasture, but I do not make them mine’. Bhikkhus, a Teacher who says thus, is suitable to be approached to hear the Teaching. He teaches leading one to more and more exalted states, showing the dark and white counterparts’. When teaching leading to more and more exalted states, at a certain point he reaches the summit (*4) and establishes faith in the Teacher: The Blessed One is rightfully enlightened, the Teaching is well proclaimed, the Community of bhikkhus have gone well.

Then the others should question that bhikkhu. On what grounds did the venerable one say, the Blessed One is rightfully enlightened, the Teaching is well proclaimed and the Community of bhikkhus have gone well? That bhikkhu replying rightly should say, I approached the Blessed One to listen to the Teaching. The Blessed One taught me leading to more and more exalted states, showing the dark and white counterparts. When teaching, leading me to more and more exalted states, at a certain point I reached the summit, and then I established faith in the Teacher and came to the conclusion, the Blessed One is rightfully enlightened, the Teaching is well proclaimed, and the Community of bhikkhus has gone dwell.

Bhikkhus, in whomever faith is established in the Thus Gone One in this manner with these phrases and words, it becomes well established, thoroughly rooted faith and insight. It cannot be changed by a recluse, brahmin, god, Maaraa Brahmaa or by anyone in the world.

Bhikkhus, that is the search in the Teaching of the Thus Gone One, and is the propriety of reaching the summit (*5) in the Teaching of the Thus Gone One..

The Blessed One said thus and those bhikkhus delighted in the words of the Blessed One. . :. . .

Notes:

1. Defiled things cognisable by eye and ear consciousness’ye sankili.t.thaa cakkusota vi~n~naaneyyaa dhammaa’ These are defiled perceptions born of eye and ear consciousness. Those are thoughts with greed, hate and delusion

2. Mixed things cognisable by eye and ear consciousness. ‘ye vitimissaa cakkhusota vi~n~naaneyyaa dhammaa’ This is a mixed up perception, when not sure whether it is seen or heard. They are thoughts with a mixture of greed, hate and delusion.

3. Pure things cognisable by eye and ear consciousness’ye vodaataa cakkhusota vi~n~naaneyyaa dhammaa’ These are pure perceptions and thoughts born of eye and ear consciousness, free of greed, hate and delusion. .

4. At a certain point reaches the summit.’idha ekacca.m dhamma.m ni.t.tha.m aagama.m’ Here, it is realising the Teaching of the Blessed One, and it is equivalent to attaining one or the other of the eight attainments of the Noble disciple. These attainments have to go in due order and the first of them is the entry into the stream of the Teaching. There is no progress without it.

5. The search in the Teaching of the Thus Gone One and the propriety of reaching the summit.’eva.m kho bhikkhave tathaagate dhammasamannesanaa hoti. Eva.m ca pana tathaagato dhammataasusamanni.t.tho honti’ It means that the understanding of the Teaching should come from within, and it becomes the fitness to see through.
-----------------------------

Study Guide - From Pressing Out Pure Honey by Sharda Rogell
PDF link: http://www.dharma.org/bcbs/Pages/docume ... eHoney.pdf

SUMMARY
The Buddha invites the bhikkhus to make an investigation of himself (the
Buddha) in order to find out whether or not he is fully enlightened. He gives them
a list of criteria to review.

NOTES
The criteria by which to know whether the Buddha or anyone else is fully
enlightened. One should investigate with respect to two kinds of states—states
cognizable by the eye (bodily action) and through the ear (speech):
1. No defiled states
2. Consistently right conduct (no “mixed states”—sometimes pure,
sometimes impure)
3. Purified conduct (“cleansed states”)
4. Attainment of these wholesome states over a long time rather than
recently
5. Absence of conceit or arrogance following attainment of renown and fame
6. Restrained without fear, not by fear; no indulgence in sense pleasures
because of the destruction of lust.
One can place confidence in a teacher with these qualities.

PRACTICE
Review these criteria for any teacher who claims to be fully enlightened before
placing full confidence in that teacher.
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: MN Session 3 - MN 47. Vimaṃsaka Sutta

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:05 am

i think this list isnt listened to enough these days... i really have nothing to ask about this one.
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the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: MN Session 3 - MN 47. Vimaṃsaka Sutta

Postby christopher::: » Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:22 am

retrofuturist wrote:
SUMMARY
The Buddha invites the bhikkhus to make an investigation of himself (the
Buddha) in order to find out whether or not he is fully enlightened. He gives them
a list of criteria to review.

NOTES
The criteria by which to know whether the Buddha or anyone else is fully
enlightened. One should investigate with respect to two kinds of states—states
cognizable by the eye (bodily action) and through the ear (speech):
1. No defiled states
2. Consistently right conduct (no “mixed states”—sometimes pure,
sometimes impure)
3. Purified conduct (“cleansed states”)
4. Attainment of these wholesome states over a long time rather than
recently
5. Absence of conceit or arrogance following attainment of renown and fame
6. Restrained without fear, not by fear; no indulgence in sense pleasures
because of the destruction of lust.
One can place confidence in a teacher with these qualities.

PRACTICE
Review these criteria for any teacher who claims to be fully enlightened before placing full confidence in that teacher.


That's a very sensible list.

:namaste:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: MN Session 3 - MN 47. Vimaṃsaka Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:20 pm

Perhaps it's worth thinking about the qualities on the list along with what isn't in the list (here, or in the Cankī Sutta, which we get to look at next). The list is all about upstandingly good behaviour, nothing about flashy and witty argumentation...

Metta
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Re: MN Session 3 - MN 47. Vimaṃsaka Sutta

Postby Tex » Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:38 am

6. Restrained without fear, not by fear; no indulgence in sense pleasures
because of the destruction of lust.


How would we recognize that the enlightened Bhikkhu is refraining from sense pleasures because of the distruction of lust? Don't all Bhikkus refrain from sense pleasures in accordance with their vows (celebacy, abstinence from entertainment, etc) whether they have fully eradicated lust or not?
"The serene and peaceful mind is the true epitome of human achievement."-- Ajahn Chah, Living Dhamma

"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi
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Re: MN Session 3 - MN 47. Vimaṃsaka Sutta

Postby Dhammanando » Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:17 am

Hi Tex,

Tex wrote:How would we recognize that the enlightened Bhikkhu is refraining from sense pleasures because of the distruction of lust? Don't all Bhikkus refrain from sense pleasures in accordance with their vows (celebacy, abstinence from entertainment, etc) whether they have fully eradicated lust or not?


Since some kinds of abstention from indulgence come under the heading of Dhamma rather than Vinaya, it's quite possible for a bhikkhu to be keeping all the Vinaya rules very strictly and yet still be living devoted to sensual indulgence. For example, a bhikkhu who eats like a hog, slumbers most of the day, likes to stand about ogling at the female visitors to his monastery, and is miserly about sharing the monk's requisites, will not in fact be breaking any Vinaya rules. Hence Buddhaghosa's warning that a bhikkhu shouldn't suppose that his sila is perfect just because his Vinaya is perfect.

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: MN Session 3 - MN 47. Vimaṃsaka Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:52 am

Dear Ven Dhammanando,

Thank you for your incisive observations. I could add that if I spend a few days on a meditation retreat, talking only to my teachers, the difference in sense restraint, etc, of the various monks and various lay people becomes glaringly obvious. People who reside or visit the Wat range from the lay people who feel to me as if they are shouting if I simply see them walking in the distance to my teachers, who I can talk to with little disturbance to my mind. Of course the monks are all closer to the latter end, but there are clear differences. And the more dedicated lay people (almost exclusively women) can be remarkably restrained. Thus, I think this and the Canki sutta are actually very practical advise.

Metta
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Re: MN Session 3 - MN 47. Vimaṃsaka Sutta

Postby Jesse Smith » Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:17 am

This issue was brought up in Bhikku Bodhi's lecture, but not satisfactorily addressed.
What is the difference between defiled states and mixed states? It would seem any mixed state would include a defiled state, making it defiled by default.
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Re: MN Session 3 - MN 47. Vimaṃsaka Sutta

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:21 am

Greetings Jesse,
Jesse Smith wrote:This issue was brought up in Bhikku Bodhi's lecture, but not satisfactorily addressed.
What is the difference between defiled states and mixed states? It would seem any mixed state would include a defiled state, making it defiled by default.

At any point in time, a mindstate can be defiled (rooted in greed, aversion or delusion) or undefiled. "Mixed states" would refer to someone like you or I who can have a combination of defiled or undefiled mindstates throughout the day. An arahant however would only ever have undefiled mindstates. Well that's how I understand the difference.

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: MN Session 3 - MN 47. Vimaṃsaka Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:27 am

Hi Jesse,

I recall Bhikku Bodhi discussing this "mixed" thing in several talks. As I recall, and as Retro says, it's a little problematical, because from an Abhidhamma point of view a citta can not have a mixed state. So it would have to be interpreted as a kind of "time average"...

Metta
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Re: MN Session 3 - MN 47. Vimaṃsaka Sutta

Postby Tex » Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:31 am

Thanks, Bhante, that makes sense of course. I'm still not understanding how we should be able to recognize the difference when evaluating a teacher?

The venerable one does not indulge in sensuality through destruction of greed, and not through fear.


So the reason that the enlightened teacher does not indulge in sensuality is because he has destroyed the greed, lust, and so on. Whereas any unenlightened monk might not indulge in sensuality because of "fear", or his vows, or just understanding the consequences, while he hasn't fully destroyed greed as the enlightened monk has.

Is that about right? If so, that makes perfect sense, but what I'm not getting is how do we determine the difference? We can pay attention to the actions and the words but how are we to know the reasonings behind them?...

Thanks in advance for any input...
Last edited by Tex on Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
"The serene and peaceful mind is the true epitome of human achievement."-- Ajahn Chah, Living Dhamma

"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi
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Re: MN Session 3 - MN 47. Vimaṃsaka Sutta

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:53 am

Greetings Tex,

Tex wrote:Is that about right? If so, that makes perfect sense, but what I'm not getting is how do we determine the difference? We can pay attention to the actions and the words but how are we to know the reasonings behind them?...

I think the logic is that no one can fake it forever.

A similar logic is used in this extract from...

Ud 6.2: Jatila Sutta
http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/K ... ya/ud6.htm

"It is through living together that a person's virtue may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning.

"It is through dealing with a person that his purity may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning.

"It is through adversity that a person's endurance may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning.

"It is through discussion that a person's discernment may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning."


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: MN Session 3 - MN 47. Vimaṃsaka Sutta

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:50 am

Greetings,

Session closed...

But have you still got questions? If so, you can still ask them in a relevant forum.

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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