Bhante G vs. Bhante G

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Nyana
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Re: Bhante G vs. Bhante G

Postby Nyana » Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:12 pm

Sylvester wrote:Your quote above posits an absolute ontological statement

My quote doesn't posit anything of the sort. The Dhammasaṅgaṇī Cittuppādakaṇḍa offers lists of phenomena present (meaning mental factors concomitantly engaged) in a skillful, unskillful, etc, cognition. Thus, it's concern is phenomenological. The section on Rūpāvacarakusala lists the mental factors engaged in an optimally skillful rūpāvacarajjhānacitta. This list includes sammādiṭṭhi, sammāsati, sampajañña, samatha, and vipassanā. Taking the canonical Pāḷi treatises into consideration, as well as the numerous major non-Pāḷi Abhidharma treatises, there is nothing whatsoever unusual about the inclusion of vipassanā here. In all of our discussions you have yet to offer any canonical support for the premise that vipassanā cannot be engaged while abiding in jhāna.

Again: This thread is about Bhante G's teachings, and your introduction of Piya Tan's critique of Bhante G. I've pointed out a couple of serious flaws in Piya Tan's reading of the suttas, and provided canonical support for Bhante G's teaching on samatha and vipassanā conjoined in jhāna. You've offered no canonical support for Piya Tan's critique of Bhante G's teachings. And you've offered no canonical support for the notion that vipassanā cannot be conjoined with samatha in jhāna.

Moreover, you seem unwilling or unable to acknowledge the consequence of Ven. Brahmavamso and Ven. Sujato's interpretation of sammāsamādhi: To accept Ven. Brahmavamso and Ven. Sujato's interpretation, one has to accept that every single treatise and every single commentator in the history of Buddhist exegesis was wrong regarding sammāsamādhi. Do you accept Ven. Brahmavamso and Ven. Sujato's interpretation of sammāsamādhi or not? If so, do you accept this consequence or not?

All the best,

Geoff

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Re: Bhante G vs. Bhante G

Postby Sylvester » Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:32 pm

To accept Ven. Brahmavamso and Ven. Sujato's interpretation, one has to accept that every single treatise and every single commentator in the history of Buddhist exegesis was wrong regarding sammāsamādhi. Do you accept Ven. Brahmavamso and Ven. Sujato's interpretation of sammāsamādhi or not? If so, do you accept this consequence or not?



Of course I don't accept that consequence. After all, that consequence is simply another of your ex cathedra pronouncements that has not been demonstrated to be correct, let alone reasonable. It seems to be a favoured tactic, dropping names and appealing to authority, but I don't believe in engaging such non sequitors.

I don't see any success in your enterprise to refute Piya. Citing MN 111 (as per Ven Thanissaro's "ferreting" translation) does not make a dent on Piya's thesis that the casual reader of the English translation of a Pali text will be easily misled by Bhante G's assertion about the present tense which flies against the Pali grammars. It may be a technical argument, but that is not reason enough to justify reading the Pali present tense as importing "missa" as Bhante G asserts. Likewise, the problem with your belief about MN 111 coming to your rescue stems from your having not paid attention to the tenses of the 2 major sets of verbs used in the first 7 attainments, and assuming that the "arising" formula in the final 2 formula pertained to vipassana, when it is clearly tied to the status of the last 2 attainments as going beyond the sannasamapatti. Compare the tenses of "vavatthitā" and "viditā" versus the tenses for "pajānāti", "viharati" etc. I'm sure it should be obvious from the grammars (eg Warder at p.40) what sort of temporal sequence is intended by past participle verbs hanging around with present tense verbs (the latter functioning as the historical present in MN 111). The whole point about the final attainments surpassing the sannasamapatti is to clearly suggest the inability of sanna, not vipassana, to work in these 2 attainments. No meaningful sanna = no point hanging around in that absorption.

In fact, this difference in the sannasamapatti and the final 2 attainments is underscored in a very striking difference in their vipassana formulae. For the sannasamapatti, MN 111 uses "pajanati" for the understanding of all 7 attainments regarding their arising and passing away. For the final 2 attainments, there is no "pajanati" into the arising and passing away of these 2 attainments, implying that a different kind of vipassana is taking place. This I think is based not on direct experience (having surpassed sanna's ability to perceive the event) but as suggested by AN 10.36, will have to be tutored by others conceptually.

I have asked you very specifically to address your ontological statement regarding vipassana within Jhana, and all you can muster is -

More nonsense


If you choose to read the Dhammasangani in an ungrammatical manner, just so as to find some basis for your statement that the Dhammasangani says that vipassana is present in Jhana, you can't blame me for questionning that, no matter how unedifying the outcome. Why should you not be taken to task for bending the grammatical rules to suit your enterprise? You may wish to gloss over the peyyala series as "phenomenological", but the Dhammasangani itself is couched in very unmistakable "conditionality" form that it should be obvious that "existence" was not being discussed but paṭiccasamuppannā (referenced directly right after para 57)

I've also asked a fair question on the source of your interpretation of the peyyala. I think the readers ought to have the opportunity to know if the interpretation is canonical or commentarial or yours.

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Re: Bhante G vs. Bhante G

Postby Nyana » Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:02 pm

Sylvester wrote:Of course I don't accept that consequence.

You failed to answer the first question: Do you accept Ven. Brahmavamso and Ven. Sujato's interpretation of sammāsamādhi or not?

Sylvester wrote:I've also asked a fair question on the source of your interpretation of the peyyala.

I gave the source when I posted the excerpt from the Dhammasaṅgaṇī Cittuppādakaṇḍa: Khine, U Kyaw. The Dhammasaṅgaṇī. Delhi: Sri Satguru Publications. 1999.

All the best,

Geoff

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Re: Bhante G vs. Bhante G

Postby Nyana » Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:55 pm

Sylvester wrote:I have asked you very specifically to address your ontological statement regarding vipassana within Jhana....

Detailed answer already given here.

Sylvester wrote:You may wish to gloss over the peyyala series as "phenomenological", but the Dhammasangani itself is couched in very unmistakable "conditionality" form that it should be obvious that "existence" was not being discussed but paṭiccasamuppannā

Paragraph 1 of the Dhammasaṅgaṇī Cittuppādakaṇḍa is a list of numerous phenomena that arise concomitantly on a specific occasion, which are then defined in paragraphs 2 to 57. Paragraph 1 includes the arising of both samatha and vipassanā, specifically, at that time. These are then defined in paragraphs 54 and 55:

    What at that time is samatha? That which at that time is stability of mind, steadfastness of mind, thorough steadfastness of mind, unshakableness, non-distraction, imperturbability, calmness of mind, faculty of concentration, strength of concentration, right concentration. This at that time is samatha.

    What at that time is vipassanā? That which at that time is discernment (paññā), thorough understanding, investigation, comprehensive investigation, investigation of phenomena, consideration, discrimination, direct discrimination, erudite intelligence, proficiency, refined intelligence, discriminative examination.... This at that time is vipassanā.

Are you seriously suggesting that this passage be interpreted to preclude the concomitant occurrence of samatha and vipassanā?

All the best,

Geoff

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Re: Bhante G vs. Bhante G

Postby Sylvester » Sun Jan 02, 2011 3:19 am

Hi Geoff

Of course samatha and vipassana can arise concurrently in the Dhammasangani schema, based on a casual reading of the English translation. But let's not forget the Yevāpanaka admonition given at the end of the explanations -

Ye vā pana tasmiṃ samaye aññepi atthi paṭiccasamuppannā arūpino dhammā— ime dhammā kusalā.

'Or whatever other immaterial conditionally-arisen states (phenomena) there are too on that occasion'


All discussions of relations based on Dependant Origination will boil down to that terse Idappaccayata formula -

Imasmim sati, idam hoti. Imass uppadadam uppajjati.
Imasmim asati, idam na hoti. Imassa nirodha, idam nirujjhati


As far as I can see, all of the other writers I have consulted (Kalupahana, Kearney) have identified the "Imasmim sati, idam hoti" as being in the locative absolute.

Samatha and vipassana, as part of conditionally related pairs, may be grammatically interpreted as being concurrent under the locative absolute. But as Warder points out (p.103), the locative absolute also allows for the elements in the pair to be temporally disjunct. This probably accounts for why it is not meaningful to interpret the Padabhājanī list as a catalogue of each dhamma to be found in common in every citta. The qualifier "tasmiṃ samaye"/"on that accassion" should be a clear signal that these 56 "factors" in the Padabhājanī were not intended to list what is common to each and every citta. Were that to be the case, I'm sure the Abhidhamma would have listed 56 universals, instead of just 7.

Ven Nyanaponika has this comment on the inclusion of samatha-vipassana pair in the Padabhājanī -

We suggest that the intention in including these two groups was to show that the mental factors present in any wholesome state of consciousness associated with knowledge afford the chance to practice different methods of spiritual development (bhavana),of which two examples are given here. The exemplify the potentialities of the respective wholesome thought which belong as much to the dynamic structure of a state of consciousness as its actualities do.
Abhidhamma Studies, 1974, p 147


As for your first question, I really don't see the relevance other than as your attempt at the Horse Laugh, but nevertheless I will concede that I follow the absorption model of jhana discussed by Ven Analayo, Ven Nyanaponika, Ajahn Brahm, Ajahn Sujato and others.

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Re: Bhante G vs. Bhante G

Postby Nyana » Sun Jan 02, 2011 3:44 am

Sylvester wrote:This probably accounts for why it is not meaningful to interpret the Padabhājanī list as a catalogue of each dhamma to be found in common in every citta. The qualifier "tasmiṃ samaye"/"on that accassion" should be a clear signal that these 56 "factors" in the Padabhājanī were not intended to list what is common to each and every citta. Were that to be the case, I'm sure the Abhidhamma would have listed 56 universals, instead of just 7.

Another non-starter. These 56 factors are not "common to each and every citta." They are common to skillful kāmāvacara cittas accompanied by somanassasa and associated with ñāṇa and skillful rūpāvacarajjhāna cittas. (There are altogether eight categories of skillful kāmāvacara cittas. The section in question only pertains to the first.)

Sylvester wrote:As for your first question, I really don't see the relevance other than as your attempt at the Horse Laugh, but nevertheless I will concede that I follow the absorption model of jhana discussed by Ven Analayo, Ven Nyanaponika, Ajahn Brahm, Ajahn Sujato and others.

Then my question is: What is your concern with Ven. Gunaratana's teachings on jhāna?

All the best,

Geoff

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Re: Bhante G vs. Bhante G

Postby Nyana » Sun Jan 02, 2011 3:55 am

Sylvester wrote:Of course samatha and vipassana can arise concurrently in the Dhammasangani schema, based on a casual reading of the English translation.

This has nothing to with "a casual reading of the English translation." This is a specific enumeration of dhammas which occur concomitantly on a specific occasion, and which are all dependently arisen according to these appropriate conditions.

Sylvester wrote:But let's not forget the Yevāpanaka admonition given at the end of the explanations -

Ye vā pana tasmiṃ samaye aññepi atthi paṭiccasamuppannā arūpino dhammā— ime dhammā kusalā.

'Or whatever other immaterial conditionally-arisen states (phenomena) there are too on that occasion'


The inclusion of this statement is merely meant to indicate that the preceding enumeration isn't meant to be a closed system.

All the best,

Geoff

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Re: Bhante G vs. Bhante G

Postby Sylvester » Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:02 am

Then my question is: What is your concern with Ven. Gunaratana's teachings on jhāna?


The same concern, perhaps, that you have with Ajahn Brahm's et al teaching on jhana? I trust you will not be asserting a monopoly to truth and the upholding of the Dhamma?

This is a specific enumeration of dhammas which occur concomitantly on a specific occasion, and which are all dependently arisen according to these appropriate conditions.


Where in the Dhammasangani does it state that these dhammas occur concomitantly? Instead of the locative absolute which permits of 2 temporal possibilities, the redactors could have easily used the missakiriya to expressly exclude temporal disjunction, so that there is no doubt that contemporaneity was intended.

The trouble with your reading the Padabhājanī as a list of 56 dhammas that exist simultaneously in the rupavacara cittas is that certain states of the rupavacara are known to be bereft of piti, sukha, vitakka, vicara, sankappa. I think a more reasonable reading, if you insist on ignoring the locative absolute, would be to treat the 56 dhammas as possibilities. After all, if the peyyala instruction (as you put it below) for the 4th arupa attainment allows for discriminatory and selective repetition of the list, why isn't such discrimination in order for the rupavacara treatment?

Omissions are made of paragraphs no longer relevant to the higher jhānas. The formless attainments retain the same paragraphs as those pertaining to the fourth jhāna, with further omissions appropriate to the fourth formless attainment.


I don't see the Dhammasangani set out these instructions in the text itself as to which omissions are to be made to the peyyala series.

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Re: Bhante G vs. Bhante G

Postby Nyana » Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:32 pm

Sylvester wrote:The same concern, perhaps, that you have with Ajahn Brahm's et al teaching on jhana?

I don't go jumping in to discussions of Ven. Brahmavamso's teachings.

But the distinction between Ven. Gunaratana's teachings on sammāsamādhi and the teachings of Ven. Brahmavamso and Ven. Sujato are significant: Ven. Gunaratana's teachings accord with the Tipiṭaka, including the Paṭisambhidāmagga and the Dhammasaṅgaṇī, while Ven. Brahmavamso and Ven. Sujato's do not. Moreover, there is nothing particularly Buddhist about what Ven. Brahmavamso and Ven. Sujato consider to be "jhāna." It's only in the company of people who are unwilling to approach the Tipiṭaka on its own terms, and who are unwilling to consider the historical pan-Buddhist understanding of sammāsamādhi, that this "debate" about vipassanā occurring within jhāna is even an issue.

Sylvester wrote:Where in the Dhammasangani does it state that these dhammas occur concomitantly? Instead of the locative absolute which permits of 2 temporal possibilities, the redactors could have easily used the missakiriya to expressly exclude temporal disjunction, so that there is no doubt that contemporaneity was intended.

All of the dhammas in any specific category of citta occur "at that time." The context excludes any other interpretation of the grammar employed, just as in MN 111 the context excludes your forced grammatical interpretation. In the case of MN 111 the grammar reflects the speaker (the Buddha) narrating events which have already transpired. The context also makes it clear that Ven. Sāriputta knew those various dhammas as they occurred within jhāna while in the first seven abidings.

Sylvester wrote:The trouble with your reading the Padabhājanī as a list of 56 dhammas that exist simultaneously in the rupavacara cittas is that certain states of the rupavacara are known to be bereft of piti, sukha, vitakka, vicara, sankappa.

This qualm has already been addressed.

All the best,

Geoff

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Re: Bhante G vs. Bhante G

Postby Sylvester » Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:21 am

I don't go jumping in to discussions of Ven. Brahmavamso's teachings.


I agree; discussions of Ajahn Brahm don't seem to be your forte, but ex cathedras and ad hominems such as "ambulance jhana" abound. I notice that you have also elected to remain silent on Ven Analayo's absorption model which agrees with the Brahm model. Your claim that the entire commentarial community is pro-discursive jhana, save for Ajahns Brahm and Sujato, is a wild exaggeration in an attempt to appeal to authority.

But the distinction between Ven. Gunaratana's teachings on sammāsamādhi and the teachings of Ven. Brahmavamso and Ven. Sujato are significant: Ven. Gunaratana's teachings accord with the Tipiṭaka, including the Paṭisambhidāmagga and the Dhammasaṅgaṇī, while Ven. Brahmavamso and Ven. Sujato's do not. Moreover, there is nothing particularly Buddhist about what Ven. Brahmavamso and Ven. Sujato consider to be "jhāna."


Not that you have demonstrated, regardless of how many times you proclaim this. What you think the Tipitaka says may not be what the Tipitaka actually says; I'll furnish an example below on your reading of the 56 dhammas.

All of the dhammas in any specific category of citta occur "at that time." The context excludes any other interpretation of the grammar employed, just as in MN 111 the context excludes your forced grammatical interpretation.


Sadly, Geoff, if the resort to "context" is the best you can offer, then I have to say that you have not even been able to mount a single rebuttal to the implausibility of your thesis of 56 concomittant dhammas given the problems of piti, sukha, vitakka, vicara and sankappa that I posed you. Your context flies in the face of direct contrary evidence, unless of course, you wish to argue that the sutta jhana formulae are subordinate to your thesis. Please address the problem of including these 5 states as being invariably concommitant in the rupavacara, instead of just proclaiming that you have addressed it. Where?

In contrast to your 56 invariably concommitant dhammas reading of the Dhammasangani, please refer to Karunadasa's very insightful explanation (The Theravada Abhidhamma, 2010, p.89 - 90) for how this Dhammasangani schema is actually composed of a differentiation of the cittas into 8 classes of wholesome consciousness. One of the 3 qualifiers used by the Dhammasangani to differentiate the 8 classes is the presence or absence of "paññā" which, unsurprisingly, is also the description in para 55 for vipassana. This 8-fold classification makes it clear that "vipassana" as a rupavacara dhamma is not invariably present (let alone concommitantly present as Nyanaponika points out) and only 4 out of the 8 types of cittas will have "vipassana" as an attribute. My initial suspicions of vipassana being an attribute of only the lokuttara jhanas in the Abhidhamma scheme is confirmed by Karunadasa at p.93.

As a sidebar, you may like to note that this 8 fold schema accounts for the presence or absence of piti, sukha, vitakka, vicara and sankappa within any of the rupavacara cittas.

In the case of MN 111 the grammar reflects the speaker (the Buddha) narrating events which have already transpired.


I have said as much when I alluded to the cluster of verbs in the present tense - these indicate the historical present, which is how everyone has translated it.

The context also makes it clear that Ven. Sāriputta knew those various dhammas as they occurred within jhāna while in the first seven abidings.


That is a wild leap, if by "knew" you meant "pajanati". You have not addressed the very pertinent fact that the earlier cluster of verbs ("vavatthitā" and "viditā") were expressed in the past participle, instead of the same tense that was applied to the 2nd cluster of verbs. Please demonstrate the "context".

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Re: Bhante G vs. Bhante G

Postby Nyana » Mon Jan 03, 2011 3:46 am

Sylvester wrote:I notice that you have also elected to remain silent on Ven Analayo's absorption model which agrees with the Brahm model.

There is a major difference between Ven. Analayo's understanding of sammāsamādhi and that of Ven. Brahmavamso and Ven. Sujato. In keeping with the Paṭisambhidāmagga, Ven. Analayo understands that one doesn't have to have mastery of any model of absorption prior to entering the first noble path.

Sylvester wrote:Your claim that the entire commentarial community is pro-discursive jhana, save for Ajahns Brahm and Sujato, is a wild exaggeration in an attempt to appeal to authority.

I never claimed anything of the sort. I said that in the greater pan-Buddhist history of exegesis it is widely (probably universally) accepted that jhāna and vipassanā are not incompatible, and that the optimal development of vipassanā is understood to occur within the four jhānas. It is only among people who have either been largely influenced by the Visuddhimagga or someone like Ven. Brahmavamso that jhāna and vipassanā are considered incompatible. I haven't seen any historical evidence of this view outside of the classical Sinhalese Theravāda sub-school.

Sylvester wrote:
But the distinction between Ven. Gunaratana's teachings on sammāsamādhi and the teachings of Ven. Brahmavamso and Ven. Sujato are significant: Ven. Gunaratana's teachings accord with the Tipiṭaka, including the Paṭisambhidāmagga and the Dhammasaṅgaṇī, while Ven. Brahmavamso and Ven. Sujato's do not. Moreover, there is nothing particularly Buddhist about what Ven. Brahmavamso and Ven. Sujato consider to be "jhāna."


Not that you have demonstrated, regardless of how many times you proclaim this.

I've already demonstrated this at length. If you were willing to approach the Tipiṭaka directly you might be able to discern it for yourself. I'd recommend reading the Paṭisambhidāmagga.

Sylvester wrote:Sadly, Geoff, if the resort to "context" is the best you can offer, then I have to say that you have not even been able to mount a single rebuttal to the implausibility of your thesis of 56 concomittant dhammas given the problems of piti, sukha, vitakka, vicara and sankappa that I posed you.

Context is everything. The "problem" that you are intent on hanging your hat upon is merely a pseudo problem of your own making. It's obvious that paragraphs dealing with jhāna factors no longer present in the higher jhānas are dropped in the explanation of those higher jhānas. U Kyaw Khine understood this. It isn't a problem at all.

Sylvester wrote:Please address the problem of including these 5 states as being invariably concommitant in the rupavacara, instead of just proclaiming that you have addressed it. Where?

Here.

Sylvester wrote:please refer to Karunadasa's very insightful explanation (The Theravada Abhidhamma, 2010, p.89 - 90) for how this Dhammasangani schema is actually composed of a differentiation of the cittas into 8 classes of wholesome consciousness. One of the 3 qualifiers used by the Dhammasangani to differentiate the 8 classes is the presence or absence of "paññā" which, unsurprisingly, is also the description in para 55 for vipassana. This 8-fold classification makes it clear that "vipassana" as a rupavacara dhamma is not invariably present (let alone concommitantly present as Nyanaponika points out) and only 4 out of the 8 types of cittas will have "vipassana" as an attribute.

Already addressed here.

Sylvester wrote:My initial suspicions of vipassana being an attribute of only the lokuttara jhanas in the Abhidhamma scheme is confirmed by Karunadasa at p.93.

Sorry, but Karunadasa interprets the Abhidhamma through a Sinhalese Mahāvihāra commentarial framework. For some critiques of Mahāvihāra commentarial anomalies I would refer you to the writings of Ven. Gunaratana, Ven. Ñāṇananda, and Ven. Kheminda for starters.

Sylvester wrote:
In the case of MN 111 the grammar reflects the speaker (the Buddha) narrating events which have already transpired.


I have said as much when I alluded to the cluster of verbs in the present tense - these indicate the historical present, which is how everyone has translated it.

The context also makes it clear that Ven. Sāriputta knew those various dhammas as they occurred within jhāna while in the first seven abidings.


That is a wild leap, if by "knew" you meant "pajanati".

It's quite obvious to me by now that anything which doesn't agree with Ven. Brahmavamso's jhāna theory will be interpreted as a "wild leap" by you. Interesting sidebar is that the teachings of Ajahn Chah don't accord with Ven. Brahmavamso's jhāna theory.

All the best,

Geoff

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Re: Bhante G vs. Bhante G

Postby Sylvester » Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:12 am

Indeed, there are some differences between Ven Analayo's and Ajahn Brahm's understanding of the necessity of Jhana to attainment of Stream Entry. But it is a concession to this difference that Ajahn Brahm expressly acknowledges the possibilities of the work of a faith-follower and wisdom-follower proceeding without Jhana. But that was not relevant, was it, to the concurrence of both monks' views regarding the kamas and intention within the Jhanas?

I said that in the greater pan-Buddhist history of exegesis it is widely (probably universally) accepted that jhāna and vipassanā are not incompatible, and that the optimal development of vipassanā is understood to occur within the four jhānas.


And because there is no way of testing your understanding of this "pan-Buddhist" history of exegesis, unless you lay it out, it remains nothing more than ex-cathedra.

Posting those links to your old posts on the piti-sukha problems does not bolster your case. In case you do not recognise it, here's what you are attempting-

Your Proposition - Vipassana is invariably present in every rupavacara citta
Your Reason - becos' the Dhammasangani says so

Counter 1 - if the Dhammasanagani is interpreted as such, that means vipassana must also be present in the arupavacara's attainment of NPNNP.
Counter 2 - if the Dhammasangani is interpreted as such, that means that piti-sukha, vitakka-vicara, sankappa must be present in all Jhanas

Your demurrer to Counter 2 as per your post below - "Omissions are made of paragraphs no longer relevant to the higher jhānas. The formless attainments retain the same paragraphs as those pertaining to the fourth jhāna, with further omissions appropriate to the fourth formless attainment."


It's a total non-sequitor, as should be obvious.

I suppose the redactors of the Dhammasangani will have to be faulted for allowing your perverse interpretation of the 56 dhamma as being invariably concommitant in every kamavacara and rupavacara citta. Why perverse? Because the contemporaneity of joy and neutral feelings in the list as you interpret it, violates the prohibition of such contemporaneity in the Mahanidana Sutta DN 15-

At a moment when a feeling of pleasure is sensed, no feeling of pain or of neither pleasure nor pain is sensed. Only a feeling of pleasure is sensed at that moment. At a moment when a feeling of pain is sensed, no feeling of pleasure or of neither pleasure nor pain is sensed. Only a feeling of pain is sensed at that moment. At a moment when a feeling of neither pleasure nor pain is sensed, no feeling of pleasure or of pain is sensed. Only a feeling of neither pleasure nor pain is sensed at that moment.


Why force the Dhammasangani to be read in such a way that violates the canon, when the Dhammasanagani itself gives very clear indications that it is dealing with conditionally arisen dhammas? You are pressing into service a bizarre reading so as to justify your notions that vipassana permeates every rupavacara and kamavacara citta.

Sorry, but Karunadasa interprets the Abhidhamma through a Sinhalese Mahāvihāra commentarial framework.


Sorry, but ad hominems need not be dignified with a response. Even more sorry is your misattribution of the 8-fold citta schema to the Commentaries. The 8 fold schema is laid out explicitly in the Dhammasangani's Suññatavāra, at paras 146 to 159, which Karunadasa sets out nicely in a tabular form. I trust you're not going to now assert that the 8 cittas exist concurrently...

Context is everything. The "problem" that you are intent on hanging your hat upon is merely a pseudo problem of your own making.


As will be obvious from the above, the problem was not of my own-making, but the express instructions of the Suññatavāra. You were either unaware of paras 146 to 159, or you decided to push it out of consideration as it was inconvenient to your thesis that relied on a bizarre reading of the Dhammasangani.

It's quite obvious to me by now that anything which doesn't agree with Ven. Brahmavamso's jhāna theory will be interpreted as a "wild leap" by you.


I would re-phrase it this way -

"... anything that takes issue with Ven. Brahmavamso's jhāna theory on the basis of some spurious reading of the suttas will be interpreted as a "wild leap" by you. "

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Re: Bhante G vs. Bhante G

Postby Nyana » Mon Jan 03, 2011 6:45 am

Sylvester wrote:And because there is no way of testing your understanding of this "pan-Buddhist" history of exegesis, unless you lay it out, it remains nothing more than ex-cathedra.

I would encourage you to do your own leg work. But I'll offer a few passages from major Abhidharma texts. The Sarvāstivāda *Mahāvibhāṣā (Apidamo dapiposha lun):

    In the four dhyānas, śamatha and vipaśyanā are equal in strength, and thus they are named a pleasant dwelling.

The Abhidharmakośabhāṣya:

    Samādhi is in fact excellent: it is a dhyāna filled with "parts," which goes by the means of the yoke of śamatha and vipaśyanā [that is to say, in which śamatha and vipaśyanā are in equilibrium], that is termed in the Sūtra "happiness in this world" and "the easy path," the path by which one knows better and easily.

The Yogācārabhūmiśāstra:

    Furthermore, only by depending on the dhyānas and the access concentration preceding the first dhyāna, the incompletely attained concentration, can one make the [initial] breakthrough to the noble truths. The formless attainments are inadequate. What is the reason? In the state of the formless attainments, the path of śamatha is superior, whereas the path of vipaśyanā is inferior. The inferior path of vipaśyanā is incapable of attaining the [initial] breakthrough to the noble truths.

The *Tattvasiddhiśāstra (Chengshih lun), the *Prakaraṇāryavācaśāstra (Xianyang shengjiao lun), and the *Mahāprajñāpāramitopadeśa (Dazhi du lun) make similar statements to these.


Sylvester wrote:Your Proposition - Vipassana is invariably present in every rupavacara citta

The discussion at hand is whether or not vipassanā can occur within the four jhānas. I have provided canonical support which states that it can. If one wants to choose to allow for the Dhammasaṅgaṇī to also include the four jhānas without ñāṇa that's fine by me. But it's quite irrelevant to the discussion of whether or not vipassanā can occur within jhāna.

Sylvester wrote:Counter 1 - if the Dhammasanagani is interpreted as such, that means vipassana must also be present in the arupavacara's attainment of NPNNP.

Complete non-starter.

Sylvester wrote:Counter 2 - if the Dhammasangani is interpreted as such, that means that piti-sukha, vitakka-vicara, sankappa must be present in all Jhanas

Another non-starter.

Sylvester wrote:I suppose the redactors of the Dhammasangani will have to be faulted for allowing your perverse interpretation of the 56 dhamma as being invariably concommitant in every kamavacara and rupavacara citta.

As I've already said: These 56 factors are not "common to each and every citta." They are common to skillful kāmāvacara cittas accompanied by somanassasa and associated with ñāṇa and skillful rūpāvacarajjhāna cittas. (There are altogether eight categories of skillful kāmāvacara cittas. The section in question only pertains to the first.)

It should be obvious to anyone who isn't motivated by an infatuation for pointless debate that my inclusion of rūpāvacarajjhāna cittas in the above statement was in reference to the first jhāna. And the part in brackets was in reference to the eight categories of skillful kāmāvacara cittas. The second category begins at paragraph 146. U Kyaw Khine's text includes all of the emendations for which paragraphs should be omitted in reference to these remaining seven categories.

Sylvester wrote:
Sorry, but Karunadasa interprets the Abhidhamma through a Sinhalese Mahāvihāra commentarial framework.


Sorry, but ad hominems need not be dignified with a response.

This isn't an ad hom. It's a criticism of Karunadasa's reliance upon the Mahāvihāra commentarial framework in his interpretation of the Abhidhamma.

Sylvester wrote:You were either unaware of paras 146 to 159, or you decided to push it out of consideration as it was inconvenient to your thesis that relied on a bizarre reading of the Dhammasangani.

You simply failed to notice my reference to paragraphs 146 to 159.

All the best,

Geoff

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Re: Bhante G vs. Bhante G

Postby Sylvester » Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:35 am

If one wants to choose to allow for the Dhammasaṅgaṇī to also include the four jhānas without ñāṇa that's fine by me. But it's quite irrelevant to the discussion of whether or not vipassanā can occur within jhāna.


I don't need to remind you that you were the one who resorted to the Dhammasangani in the first place when you said -

The Dhammasaṅgaṇī states that vipassanā is present in rūpāvacarajjhāna as well as lokuttarajjhāna.


The Dhammasaṅgaṇī Cittuppādakaṇḍa offers lists of phenomena present (meaning mental factors concomitantly engaged) in a skillful, unskillful, etc, cognition


The section on Rūpāvacarakusala lists the mental factors engaged in an optimally skillful rūpāvacarajjhānacitta. This list includes sammādiṭṭhi, sammāsati, sampajañña, samatha, and vipassanā.


You now suggest that -

It should be obvious to anyone who isn't motivated by an infatuation for pointless debate that my inclusion of rūpāvacarajjhāna cittas in the above statement was in reference to the first jhāna.


So, does this mean that you concede that the Dhammasangani per se is unable to substantiate your proposition that vipassana occurs in 2nd Jhana upwards? I still cannot understand why you cannot bring yourself to address Ven Nyanaponika's point about vipassana being a "potentiality", when the locative absolute construction of all Dependant Origination relations allow for "that" "hoti" to be in the future. The textbook grammatical form of the events described by the 2 clusters of verbs in MN 111 are clearly pointing to the "pajanati" being temporally disjunct from and subsequent to the 7 attainments itself. If you feel that your unspoken "context" calls for the textbook grammar to be ignored, please explicate the "context" which you have been tantalising us with but not laid out.

What you deem to be a non-starter in the piti-sukha problem is an example of a red herring - I cannot expect you to concede otherwise.

I admit missing your reference to paras 146 to 159. Where may I find it pls?

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Re: Bhante G vs. Bhante G

Postby Nyana » Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:07 pm

Sylvester wrote:I don't need to remind you that you were the one who resorted to the Dhammasangani in the first place when you said -

Ñāṇa wrote:The Dhammasaṅgaṇī states that vipassanā is present in rūpāvacarajjhāna as well as lokuttarajjhāna.

Which it does. Are you denying this?

Sylvester wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:The Dhammasaṅgaṇī Cittuppādakaṇḍa offers lists of phenomena present (meaning mental factors concomitantly engaged) in a skillful, unskillful, etc, cognition


Which it does. Are you denying this?

Sylvester wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:The section on Rūpāvacarakusala lists the mental factors engaged in an optimally skillful rūpāvacarajjhānacitta. This list includes sammādiṭṭhi, sammāsati, sampajañña, samatha, and vipassanā.


Which it does. Are you denying this?

Sylvester wrote:So, does this mean that you concede that the Dhammasangani per se is unable to substantiate your proposition that vipassana occurs in 2nd Jhana upwards?

This enterprise of yours is an exercise in pointless argumentation. The statement: My inclusion of rūpāvacarajjhāna cittas in the above statement was in reference to the first jhāna, was in reference to the prior statement: These 56 factors are not "common to each and every citta." They are common to skillful kāmāvacara cittas accompanied by somanassasa and associated with ñāṇa and skillful rūpāvacarajjhāna cittas. Thus it should be quite obvious that the 56 factor enumeration pertains to the first jhāna, and the appropriate emendations are made to the enumeration of the higher jhānas where vitakka, etc. are not present. None of these statements imply that J2 to J4 are devoid of vipassanā.

Sylvester wrote:I still cannot understand why you cannot bring yourself to address Ven Nyanaponika's point about vipassana being a "potentiality", when the locative absolute construction of all Dependant Origination relations allow for "that" "hoti" to be in the future.

The enumeration of 56 factors are fully present and engaged in skillful kāmāvacara cittas accompanied by somanassasa and associated with ñāṇa and skillful first rūpāvacarajjhāna cittas. They aren't merely "potentialities." Likewise, with the omission of vitakka and vicāra, the remaining factors are fully present and engaged in skillful second rūpāvacarajjhāna cittas, and so on.

Sylvester wrote:The textbook grammatical form of the events described by the 2 clusters of verbs in MN 111 are clearly pointing to the "pajanati" being temporally disjunct from and subsequent to the 7 attainments itself.

The passage from MN 111 which is of import is the following:

    tyāssa dhammā anupadavavatthitā honti; tyāssa dhammā viditā uppajjanti, viditā upaṭṭhahanti, viditā abbhatthaṃ gacchanti.

    these phenomena were defined by him one by one as they occurred; known to him these phenomena arose, known they were present, known they disappeared.

Here in the first seven attainments these phenomena are differentiated and known as they occur. But when we get to the final two attainments the above passage is replaced by the following:

    so tāya samāpattiyā sato vuṭṭhahati. so tāya samāpattiyā sato vuṭṭhahitvā ye dhammā atītā niruddhā vipariṇatā te dhamme samanupassati 'evaṃ kirame dhammā ahutvā sambhonti, hutvā paṭiventī'ti

    He emerged mindful from that attainment. Having done so, he contemplated the phenomena that had passed, ceased and changed, thus: 'So indeed, these phenomena, not having been, come into being; having been they vanished.'

In the final two attainments phenomena weren't differentiated and known as they occurred because apperception wasn't sufficiently engaged.

Sylvester wrote:I admit missing your reference to paras 146 to 159. Where may I find it pls?

These 56 factors are not "common to each and every citta." They are common to skillful kāmāvacara cittas accompanied by somanassasa and associated with ñāṇa and skillful rūpāvacarajjhāna cittas. (There are altogether eight categories of skillful kāmāvacara cittas. The section in question only pertains to the first.)

All the best,

Geoff

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Re: Bhante G vs. Bhante G

Postby Sylvester » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:36 am

Hi Geoff

OK, a piecemeal response to your queries -

To your first 4 points on vipassana and the 56 dhamma enumeration in the Dhammasangani, it is not for me to deny or affirm the truth value of what the Dhammasangini says. I can only quote its Suññatavāra and set out what that says about the states. You may have alluded to the 8-fold typology of the Suññatavāra, but the point I was making about your dismissal about Karunadasa as being bound by Commentary is that his enumeration of the 8-fold typology was nothing more than a verbatim extraction from the Suññatavāra. And what the Suññatavāra makes amply clear is that of the dhammas enumerated in all the preceding paragraphs, the dhammas are specifically distributed in specific patterns among the 8 types of citta, and not, as you had put unreservedly -

the Dhammasaṅgaṇī states that vipassanā occurs at the time of abiding in jhāna

The Dhammasaṅgaṇī states that vipassanā is present in rūpāvacarajjhāna as well as lokuttarajjhāna

We have to fill in the appropriate ellipses (here provided by U Kyaw Khine). Dhammasaṅgaṇī Cittuppādakaṇḍa (CSCD edition):
Rūpāvacarakusala
Catukkanayo
160. Katame dhammā kusalā? Yasmiṃ samaye rūpūpapattiyā maggaṃ bhāveti vivicceva kāmehi vivicca akusalehi dhammehi savitakkaṃ savicāraṃ vivekajaṃ pītisukhaṃ paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ [paṭhamajjhānaṃ (sī.)] upasampajja viharati pathavīkasiṇaṃ, tasmiṃ samaye phasso hoti … pe [complete this ellipse with the remainder of paragraph 1] … avikkhepo hoti … pe [complete this ellipse with the remainder of paragraphs 2 to 145] … ime dhammā kusalā.
The second ellipse includes paragraph 55:
55. Katamā tasmiṃ samaye vipassanā hoti? Yā tasmiṃ samaye paññā pajānanā vicayo pavicayo dhammavicayo sallakkhaṇā upalakkhaṇā paccupalakkhaṇā paṇḍiccaṃ kosallaṃ nepuññaṃ vebhabyā cintā upaparikkhā bhūrī medhā pariṇāyikā vipassanā sampajaññaṃ patodo paññā paññindriyaṃ paññābalaṃ paññāsatthaṃ paññāpāsādo paññāāloko paññāobhāso paññāpajjoto paññāratanaṃ amoho dhammavicayo sammādiṭṭhi – ayaṃ tasmiṃ samaye vipassanā hoti.

Sylvester wrote:
Are we supposed to pluck out everything in paras 2 onwards pertaining to the kamavaracarakusala arupi dhammas and export them wholesale to the rupavacarakusala lists?


Yes.

The Dhammasaṅgaṇī Cittuppādakaṇḍa offers lists of phenomena present (meaning mental factors concomitantly engaged) in a skillful, unskillful, etc, cognition. Thus, it's concern is phenomenological. The section on Rūpāvacarakusala lists the mental factors engaged in an optimally skillful rūpāvacarajjhānacitta. This list includes sammādiṭṭhi, sammāsati, sampajañña, samatha, and vipassanā.

Paragraph 1 of the Dhammasaṅgaṇī Cittuppādakaṇḍa is a list of numerous phenomena that arise concomitantly on a specific occasion, which are then defined in paragraphs 2 to 57. Paragraph 1 includes the arising of both samatha and vipassanā, specifically, at that time. These are then defined in paragraphs 54 and 55:


It's not easy for non-psychics like me to gather from the thrust of the above statements that you only intended to cover the first jhana. From the above unreserved statements, you eventually changed your position somewhat to a more qualified proposition -

These 56 factors are not "common to each and every citta." They are common to skillful kāmāvacara cittas accompanied by somanassasa and associated with ñāṇa and skillful rūpāvacarajjhāna cittas


But it still goes further than what the Suññatavāra allows, but I think I have made my point that, unlike your absolutist proposition, the Suññatavāra does posit certain kamavacarakusala cittas to be dissociated from nana (ñāṇavippayutta), or to be upekkhāsahagataṃ (instead of somanassasahagataṃ), or to be other than sasaṅkhārena.

I agree with the latest translation of MN 111 below. I suppose we just disagree of whether the vipassana refrain starts with the "pajanati" series or with the "vavatthita" series. Since "vavatthita" is tied to and only present in the sannasamapatti, I would understand that the "vavatthita" series is simply connected with the function of sanna.

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Re: Bhante G vs. Bhante G

Postby Sylvester » Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:17 am

Hi Geoff

It's suddenly occured to me why we interpret the Dhammasangani so differently. I've not seen U Kyaw Khine's translation but if he has translated it in the same manner as Mrs Rhys Davids, then I suppose you would be justified in reading the list of 56 dhammas as being all present in all kamavacarakusala cittas, even if the Suññatavāra suggests otherwise.

Here is how I read para 1 of the Padabhājanī, following the text arrangement on Worldtipitaka -


1.
368Katame dhammā kusalā? Yasmiṃ samaye kāmāvacaraṃ kusalaṃ cittaṃ uppannaṃ hoti somanassasahagataṃ ñāṇasampayuttaṃ rūpārammaṇaṃ vā saddārammaṇaṃ vā gandhārammaṇaṃ vā rasārammaṇaṃ vā phoṭṭhabbārammaṇaṃ vā dhammārammaṇaṃ vā yaṃ yaṃ vā panārabbha, tasmiṃ samaye—

369Phasso hoti, vedanā hoti, saññā hoti, cetanā hoti, cittaṃ hoti, (1)

370Vitakko hoti, vicāro hoti, pīti hoti, sukhaṃ hoti, cittassekaggatā hoti, (2)

371Saddhindriyaṃ hoti, vīriyindriyaṃ hoti, satindriyaṃ hoti, samādhindriyaṃ hoti, paññindriyaṃ hoti, manindriyaṃ hoti, somanassindriyaṃ hoti, jīvitindriyaṃ hoti, (3)

372Sammādiṭṭhi hoti, sammāsaṅkappo hoti, sammāvāyāmo hoti, sammāsati hoti, sammāsamādhi hoti, (4)

373Saddhābalaṃ hoti, vīriyabalaṃ hoti, satibalaṃ hoti, samādhibalaṃ hoti, paññābalaṃ hoti, hiribalaṃ hoti, ottappabalaṃ hoti, (5)

374Alobho hoti, adoso hoti, amoho hoti, anabhijjhā hoti, abyāpādo hoti, sammādiṭṭhi hoti, (6)

375Hirī hoti, ottappaṃ hoti, (7)

376Kāyapassaddhi hoti, cittapassaddhi hoti, kāyalahutā hoti, cittalahutā hoti, kāyamudutā hoti, cittamudutā hoti, kāyakammaññatā hoti, cittakammaññatā hoti, kāyapāguññatā hoti, cittapāguññatā hoti, kāyujukatā hoti, cittujukatā hoti, (8)

377Sati hoti, sampajaññaṃ hoti, (9)

378Samatho hoti, vipassanā hoti, (10)

379Paggāho hoti, avikkhepo hoti; (11)

380Ye vā pana tasmiṃ samaye aññepi atthi paṭiccasamuppannā arūpino dhammā— ime dhammā kusalā.


In my view, because of the specific arrangements of the dhammas into 11 clusters (unlike Mrs Rhys Davids' presentation which shows a mere disjointed sequence of 56 dhammas and a "hoti" at the preface, instead of with each dhamma), the list is not a list of dhammas per se, but a listing of 11 conditionality relations.

Eg, #1 is in fact a well-known conditionality statement from MN 109 (save that MN 109 does not have consciousness in dependance on phassa, which is to be found instead in the Nama-Rupa and Vinnana co-dependance formula). #4 is also another conditionality statement from MN 117.

What do you think?

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Re: Bhante G vs. Bhante G

Postby Nyana » Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:26 am

Sylvester wrote:To your first 4 points on vipassana and the 56 dhamma enumeration in the Dhammasangani, it is not for me to deny or affirm the truth value of what the Dhammasangini says.

Of course. It's entirely up to you whether or not you accept the authority of the Dhammasaṅgaṇī. But my hunch is that Ven. Gunaratana does.

Sylvester wrote:I agree with the latest translation of MN 111 below.

Glad we can agree on that.

Sylvester wrote:I suppose we just disagree of whether the vipassana refrain starts with the "pajanati" series or with the "vavatthita" series.

The phrase anupadadhammavipassanāya hoti (vipassanā of phenomena one by one as they occurred) which is found at the start of the sutta, connects vipassanā with the passage common to the first seven attainments:

    tyāssa dhammā anupadavavatthitā honti; tyāssa dhammā viditā uppajjanti, viditā upaṭṭhahanti, viditā abbhatthaṃ gacchanti.

    these phenomena were defined by him one by one as they occurred; known to him these phenomena arose, known they were present, known they disappeared.
Therefore this passage pertains to vipassanā.

All the best,

Geoff

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Re: Bhante G vs. Bhante G

Postby Nyana » Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:46 am

Sylvester wrote:I've not seen U Kyaw Khine's translation but if he has translated it in the same manner as Mrs Rhys Davids, then I suppose you would be justified in reading the list of 56 dhammas as being all present in all kamavacarakusala cittas

LOL... how many times do I have to repeat that I do not and never have maintained that all 56 dhammas are present in all skillful kāmāvacara cittas? There are eight categories of skillful kāmāvacara cittas:

1. accompanied by happiness and associated with knowledge
2. accompanied by happiness, associated with knowledge and caused by (internal or external) prompting
3. accompanied by happiness, but not associated with knowledge
4. accompanied by happiness, but not associated with knowledge and caused by (internal or external) prompting
5. accompanied by equanimity and associated with knowledge
6. accompanied by equanimity, associated with knowledge and caused by (internal or external) prompting
7. accompanied by equanimity but not associated with knowledge
8. accompanied by equanimity, not associated with knowledge and caused by (internal or external) prompting

The list of 56 is emended to exclude the dhammas not pertaining to certain categories.

Sylvester wrote:In my view, because of the specific arrangements of the dhammas into 11 clusters (unlike Mrs Rhys Davids' presentation which shows a mere disjointed sequence of 56 dhammas and a "hoti" at the preface, instead of with each dhamma), the list is not a list of dhammas per se, but a listing of 11 conditionality relations.

What do you think?

Hmmm... I don't think that the text has ever been interpreted that way. But I'm tired and have to catch a nap. I'll look at it closer in the morning.

All the best,

Geoff

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Re: Bhante G vs. Bhante G

Postby nathan » Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:59 pm

:thinking:
Ok, as for this page, no thank you and no thank you, not helping.
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}


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