The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.

Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby piotr » Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:55 am

:goodpost:

This cuts short some of Polak's speculations in “Reexaming Jhāna” aswell. It seems to me that most of what he calls ‘internal discrepancies’ in Sutta-piṭaka are easily solved if one strives for the simplest explainations while examining the text. I often have a feeling that Ockham's razor is put aside when I read hypotheses of some scholars…
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Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby daverupa » Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:44 pm

Sylvester wrote:Ah ha! Looks like you've been dipping into the Wynne honeypot. Or perhaps the Brahm honeypot? :tongue:


Well actually, MN 125, in particular the fact that it seems to draw a parallel between satipatthana and first jhana.

Anapanasati is (an example of) first jhana's vitakka/vicara; by practicing with both and then with vicara alone, one ends up able to practice without either - which is second jhana.

Something along these lines.
    "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: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby daverupa » Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:13 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Well, could you (or someone else) just give us a clue or a specific reference? I'm genuinely perplexed, since I don't recall ever seeing an argument that the Satipatthana Sutta contained Upanishadic influence.


There are a number of works which gesticulate in this direction:

The Two Traditions Of Meditation In Ancient India by Johannes Bronkhorst
The Ideas and Meditative Practices of Early Buddhism by Tilmann Vetter
The Origin of Buddhist Meditation by Alexander Wynne
Early Buddhism: a new approach : the I of the beholder by Sue Hamilton
Early Buddhist Metaphysics: The Making Of A Philosophical Tradition by Noa Ronkin

Additionally, a number of papers in the Early Buddhism Resources section relate to the issue.
    "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: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:22 pm

daverupa wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Well, could you (or someone else) just give us a clue or a specific reference? I'm genuinely perplexed, since I don't recall ever seeing an argument that the Satipatthana Sutta contained Upanishadic influence.


There are a number of works which gesticulate in this direction:

The Two Traditions Of Meditation In Ancient India by Johannes Bronkhorst
The Ideas and Meditative Practices of Early Buddhism by Tilmann Vetter
The Origin of Buddhist Meditation by Alexander Wynne
Early Buddhism: a new approach : the I of the beholder by Sue Hamilton
Early Buddhist Metaphysics: The Making Of A Philosophical Tradition by Noa Ronkin

Additionally, a number of papers in the Early Buddhism Resources section relate to the issue.

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And what do these gesticulating works actually have to say that gesticulates to a Upanishadic influence on the Satipatthana Sutta?
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Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:35 pm

Hi Dave,

Since I've looked at a number of papers and haven't seen this Upanashadic claim about Satipatthana in particular, I still find this an odd statement, but of course I have not read everything available.
Just one quote would be useful...

Of course, I'm quite aware of discussions about Upanashadic references in the suttas, but you seem to be talking about Upanashadic ideas replacing what the Buddha actually taught, right?


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Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby daverupa » Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:38 pm

In Vetter, a discussion of this nature begins on page 65; there, the various kasina meditations are mapped onto an Upanisadic cosmology, and interestingly may also be connected to the arupa attainments.

I meant only to remark on what I felt was an interesting line of inquiry, but I haven't got the books lined up for citations and argumentation, I haven't got page numbers and passages, I have no theoretical outline to construct and support against orthodox challenge.

Despite this nebulousness, I yet wanted to indicate something I found interesting and possible, but a strong argument which I am willing to present and defend is thesis-sized material, not forum post-sized material. In any event, I apologize for the use of the term "gesticulate", as it has received ridicule, and censure thereby.

So; moving on.
    "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: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:06 pm

Thanks Dave,

I had not intention of being argumentative, and I don't mind gesticulating... :hello:

These various books and papers are certainly interesting (though often they seem overly theoretical, and uniformed by practical experience). I'm certainly aware of these discussions of where exactly the various techniques came from, but mostly, as in the example you just quoted, more to do with jhana techniques, rather than satipatthana.

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Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby JBG » Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:06 am

:candle:
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Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby Sylvester » Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:23 am

daverupa wrote:
Sylvester wrote:Ah ha! Looks like you've been dipping into the Wynne honeypot. Or perhaps the Brahm honeypot? :tongue:


Well actually, MN 125, in particular the fact that it seems to draw a parallel between satipatthana and first jhana.

Anapanasati is (an example of) first jhana's vitakka/vicara; by practicing with both and then with vicara alone, one ends up able to practice without either - which is second jhana.

Something along these lines.


Thanks for the reference to MN 125.

However, the passage dealing with the junction between satipatthana and 2nd Jhana has a very clear instruction -

Tamenaṃ tathāgato uttariṃ vineti— ‘ehi tvaṃ, bhikkhu, kāye kāyānupassī viharāhi, ca kāmūpasaṃhitaṃ vitakkaṃ vitakkesi. Vedanāsu… citte… dhammesu dhammānupassī viharāhi, mā ca kāmūpasaṃhitaṃ vitakkaṃ vitakkesī’ti.


The higher training in the satipatthanas involves an injunction to NOT think. That much is clear. The only uncertainty lies in the variant readings, some of which say "do not think thoughts connected to kāmā/kāma" for all 4 satipatthanas, while other variant readings say "do not think thoughts connected to kāya etc".

The primary injunction seems to be to just "abide body watching with reference to the body", supplied by the imperative viharāhi.
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Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby daverupa » Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:22 pm

Sylvester wrote:The higher training in the satipatthanas involves an injunction to NOT think.


Yes, which is part of what distinguishes second jhana from first jhana. The first satipatthana reference in that Sutta does not contain the injunction to not think, only the second one, which is obvious since it correlates with the second jhana. The first injunction is to practice satipatthana right after the hindrances are dealt with, and from elsewhere we know already that anapanasati is for the elimination of thinking and fulfills satipatthana.

It all comes together rather nicely.
    "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: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby Dmytro » Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:39 pm

Hi Sylvester,

Sylvester wrote:However, the passage dealing with the junction between satipatthana and 2nd Jhana has a very clear instruction -

Tamenaṃ tathāgato uttariṃ vineti— ‘ehi tvaṃ, bhikkhu, kāye kāyānupassī viharāhi, ca kāmūpasaṃhitaṃ vitakkaṃ vitakkesi. Vedanāsu… citte… dhammesu dhammānupassī viharāhi, mā ca kāmūpasaṃhitaṃ vitakkaṃ vitakkesī’ti.


The higher training in the satipatthanas involves an injunction to NOT think. That much is clear. The only uncertainty lies in the variant readings, some of which say "do not think thoughts connected to kāmā/kāma" for all 4 satipatthanas, while other variant readings say "do not think thoughts connected to kāya etc".

The primary injunction seems to be to just "abide body watching with reference to the body", supplied by the imperative viharāhi.


Well, detailed instructions are given in Dvedhavitakka sutta:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

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Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:57 pm

daverupa wrote:Yes, which is part of what distinguishes second jhana from first jhana. The first satipatthana reference in that Sutta does not contain the injunction to not think, only the second one, which is obvious since it correlates with the second jhana. The first injunction is to practice satipatthana right after the hindrances are dealt with, and from elsewhere we know already that anapanasati is for the elimination of thinking and fulfills satipatthana.

It all comes together rather nicely.

Perhaps it's useful to look at Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation and comments:
22. “Having thus abandoned these five hindrances, imperfections of the mind that weaken wisdom, he abides contemplating the body as a body, ardent, fully aware, and mindful, having put away covetousness and grief for the world. He abides contemplating feelings as feelings…mind as mind…mind-objects as mind-objects, ardent, fully aware, and mindful, having put away covetousness and grief for the world.1176
    BB: Note that here the four foundations of mindfulness are expounded in the place usually reserved for the four jhānas.
24. “Then the Tathāgata disciplines him further: ‘Come, bhikkhu, abide contemplating the body as a body, but do not think thoughts of sensual desire. Abide contemplating feelings as feelings…mind as mind…mind-objects as mind-objects, but do not think thoughts of sensual desire.’1177
    BB: I translate on the basis of BBS and SBJ (supported by a 1937 Sinhala edition) rather than PTS. Both BBS and SBJ abridge the passage; where PTS reads kāyūpasaṁhitaṁ and dhammūpasaṁhitaṁ , these two eds. read kāmūpasaṁhitaṁ in both places, a significant difference. I am told that the Chinese translation of the Madhyama Āgama (the Skt counterpart of MN) has a reading that corresponds to that of BBS and SBJ. The Chinese version mentions all four jhānas.

Can someone comment on the Pali that Bhikkhu Bodhi translates as "do not think thoughts of sensual desire" and Horner as "do not apply yourself to a train of thought connected with mental states.'"

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Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby Sylvester » Sat Jul 21, 2012 12:20 am

daverupa wrote:
Sylvester wrote:The higher training in the satipatthanas involves an injunction to NOT think.


Yes, which is part of what distinguishes second jhana from first jhana. The first satipatthana reference in that Sutta does not contain the injunction to not think, only the second one, which is obvious since it correlates with the second jhana. The first injunction is to practice satipatthana right after the hindrances are dealt with, and from elsewhere we know already that anapanasati is for the elimination of thinking and fulfills satipatthana.

It all comes together rather nicely.


Thanks dave.

It would not surprise you that I view the vacisankharas in 1st Jhana differently. I follow the interpretation that it does not mean thoughts and investigation, but that it means intentions (per SN 12.25 and MN 78). Perhaps we could revive the Vitakka-Vicara thread.
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Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby Sylvester » Sat Jul 21, 2012 12:48 am

mikenz66 wrote:
daverupa wrote:Yes, which is part of what distinguishes second jhana from first jhana. The first satipatthana reference in that Sutta does not contain the injunction to not think, only the second one, which is obvious since it correlates with the second jhana. The first injunction is to practice satipatthana right after the hindrances are dealt with, and from elsewhere we know already that anapanasati is for the elimination of thinking and fulfills satipatthana.

It all comes together rather nicely.

Perhaps it's useful to look at Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation and comments:
22. “Having thus abandoned these five hindrances, imperfections of the mind that weaken wisdom, he abides contemplating the body as a body, ardent, fully aware, and mindful, having put away covetousness and grief for the world. He abides contemplating feelings as feelings…mind as mind…mind-objects as mind-objects, ardent, fully aware, and mindful, having put away covetousness and grief for the world.1176
    BB: Note that here the four foundations of mindfulness are expounded in the place usually reserved for the four jhānas.
24. “Then the Tathāgata disciplines him further: ‘Come, bhikkhu, abide contemplating the body as a body, but do not think thoughts of sensual desire. Abide contemplating feelings as feelings…mind as mind…mind-objects as mind-objects, but do not think thoughts of sensual desire.’1177
    BB: I translate on the basis of BBS and SBJ (supported by a 1937 Sinhala edition) rather than PTS. Both BBS and SBJ abridge the passage; where PTS reads kāyūpasaṁhitaṁ and dhammūpasaṁhitaṁ , these two eds. read kāmūpasaṁhitaṁ in both places, a significant difference. I am told that the Chinese translation of the Madhyama Āgama (the Skt counterpart of MN) has a reading that corresponds to that of BBS and SBJ. The Chinese version mentions all four jhānas.

Can someone comment on the Pali that Bhikkhu Bodhi translates as "do not think thoughts of sensual desire" and Horner as "do not apply yourself to a train of thought connected with mental states.'"

:anjali:
Mike


Hi Mike

It's a problem of the variant readings. I guess Horner's translation was based on the PTS version. Horner would have based her translation on the PTS reading of dhammūpasaṁhitaṁ (dhamma + upasaṁhita = connected to mental states).

Oddly enough, regardless of the variant readings, I suspect both interpretations would actually be supported by doctrine. We read elsewhere (no handy reference ready with me!) that dhammatakka (thoughts of dhamma/states) are to be given for the sake of samadhi. We also know that kamasanna (perception of kāmā or kāma?) is absent in the 1st Jhana.

Edit - found the reference. Thoughts about dhamma being an upakkilesa is mentioned in the Pamsudhovaka Sutta, AN 3.102.
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Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby daverupa » Sat Jul 21, 2012 1:04 am

Sylvester wrote:It would not surprise you that I view the vacisankharas in 1st Jhana differently. I follow the interpretation that it does not mean thoughts and investigation, but that it means intentions (per SN 12.25 and MN 78). Perhaps we could revive the Vitakka-Vicara thread.


It doesn't matter, as far as I can tell. Whether the speech or the intention for same is meant, it's present 1st and then absent 2nd.

(In any case, given that entering and leaving jhana at will is a sign of jhana mastery, the cessation of intention seems to me to be a simple contradiction, but this is wholly tangential - well, more related to Michael Kush's Jhana Question, actually, as intention and jhana cropped up there as well...)
    "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: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby Sylvester » Sat Jul 21, 2012 1:20 am

daverupa wrote:
Sylvester wrote:It would not surprise you that I view the vacisankharas in 1st Jhana differently. I follow the interpretation that it does not mean thoughts and investigation, but that it means intentions (per SN 12.25 and MN 78). Perhaps we could revive the Vitakka-Vicara thread.


It doesn't matter, as far as I can tell. Whether the speech or the intention for same is meant, it's present 1st and then absent 2nd.

(In any case, given that entering and leaving jhana at will is a sign of jhana mastery, the cessation of intention seems to me to be a simple contradiction, but this is wholly tangential - well, more related to Michael Kush's Jhana Question, actually, as intention and jhana cropped up there as well...)


Actually, it does make a difference, if the Rahogata Sutta is anything to go by.

What is often overlooked in the modern interpretations of the vacisankharas is how its absence is juxtaposed against ajjhattaṃ sampasādanaṃ (internal confidence) in the 2nd Jhana pericopes. Thoughts afflict those in doubt equally as those who are certain...

Do you have at hand any pericopes about entering and leaving Jhana at will?
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Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby daverupa » Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:02 am

Sylvester wrote:Do you have at hand any pericopes about entering and leaving Jhana at will?


Hmm; why specify pericope... and is there one about not doing so?

Rhetorical; :focus:
    "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: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby Sylvester » Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:25 am

Hi Dave.

Pericopes not required. Any sutta citation would be fine. AN 4.35 perhaps?
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Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby ancientbuddhism » Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:55 pm

Sylvester wrote:Hi Dave.

Pericopes not required. Any sutta citation would be fine. AN 4.35 perhaps?


AN. 4.35:

“One easily attains the four Jhānas as he wishes, without pain or difficulty, a pleasant abiding known now.”

‘…catunnaṃ jhānānaṃ ābhicetasikānaṃ diṭṭhadhammasukhavihārānaṃ nikāmalābhī akicchalābhī akasiralābhī

Also with reference to entering and leaving Jhāna at will, see: DN 28, MN 6.1, MN 53.1, MN 108.1, MN 119.1, SN 21.4, AN 4.22, AN 4.87, AN 5.87, AN 5.104, AN 5.106, AN 5.109, AN 5.110, AN 5.179, AN 5.232, AN 5.233, AN 5.234, AN 7.67, AN 7.75, AN 7.76, AN 7.77, AN 7.79, AN 8.30, AN 8.57, AN 8.58, AN 8.71, AN 10.8, AN 10.30, AN 10.71, AN 10.98, AN 11.14.
Fingers walk the darkness down
Mind is on the midnight
Gather up the gold you've found
You fool, it's only moonlight.
If you try to take it home
Your hands will turn to butter
You better leave this dream alone
Try to find another. – Townes Van Zandt ‘Lungs’

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Re: The Satipatthana Sutta a forgery?

Postby Sylvester » Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:38 am

Thanks AB!

The pericopes in question, as you helpfully point out, speak of -

nikāmalābhī akicchalābhī akasiralābhī


The first, nikāmalābhī, is variously translated as "attains ... as he wishes", or "attains ... as he wills" or "attains ... as he desires".

Does nikāma mean "will"? In MN 4, we hear of meditators who are -

... lābhasakkārasilokaṃ nikāmayamānā...

desirous of gains, offerings and fame


I've not surveyed all the compounds where nikāma occurs, but the general sense from the dictionary seems to be that it only means desire or wish, but not will or intention.

In fact, I wonder if the 3 words in sequence might not be a set of synonyms arranged according to the waxing syllable principle?

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