carita (temperament)

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phil
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carita (temperament)

Postby phil » Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:24 am

Hi all

Am I right in thinking that the teaching of the six carita (temperaments) first appeared in a commentarial text? If it is in fact a commentarial teaching what would the closest teaching in the suttas be?

Thanks.
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

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phil
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Re: carita (temperament)

Postby phil » Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:41 am

Here is a description I found through a google search:


"The Reflections on the Buddha and so forth are suitable for those of a devout temperament. The Reflections on Death and Peace, Perception on the loathsomeness of material food, and Analysis of the four Elements are suitable for those of an intellectual temperament. The remaining objects, chiefly Reflection on the Buddha, Meditation on Loving-Kindness, Mindfulness regarding the Body and Reflection on Death are suitable for all, irrespective of temperament.

There are six kinds of Temperaments (carita). They are:-

i. Lustful Temperament (rāgacarita),
ii. Hateful Temperament (dosacarita),
iii. Ignorant Temperament (mohacarita),
iv. Devout Temperament (saddhācarita),
v. Intellectual Temperament (buddhicarita), and
vi. Discursive Temperament (vitakkacarita).

Carita signifies the intrinsic nature of a person which is revealed when one is in normal state without being preoccupied with anything. The temperaments of people differ owing to the diversity of their actions or Kamma. Habitual actions tend to form particular temperaments.

Rāga or lust is predominant in some while dosa or anger, hatred, illwill in others. Most people belong to these two categories. There are a few others who lack intelligence and are more or less ignorant (mohacarita). Akin to ignorant are those whose minds oscillate unable to focus their attention deliberately on one thing (vitakka-carita). By nature some are exceptionally devout (saddhācarita) while others are exceptionally intelligent (bhuddhicarita).

Combining these six with one another, we get 63 types. With the inclusion of speculative temperament (ditthicarita) there are 64 types.

The subjects of meditation are variously adapted to these different temperaments and types of people." (end quote)


I suppose it doesn't matter that much if this is a teaching that first appeared in the commentaries, it still feels very valuable. But curious to know the closest teaching to this from the suttanta. Thanks.
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

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Dmytro
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Re: carita (temperament)

Postby Dmytro » Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:07 am

Hi Phil,

The earliest systematic description is given in Mahaniddesa:

Jānāti bhagavā– “ayaṃ puggalo rāgacarito, ayaṃ dosacarito, ayaṃ mohacarito, ayaṃ vitakkacarito, ayaṃ saddhācarito, ayaṃ ñāṇacarito”ti. Rāgacaritassa bhagavā puggalassa asubhakathaṃ katheti; dosacaritassa bhagavā puggalassa mettābhāvanaṃ ācikkhati; mohacaritassa bhagavā puggalassa uddese paripucchāya kālena dhammassavane kālena dhammasākacchāya garusaṃvāse niveseti; vitakkacaritassa bhagavā puggalassa ānāpānassatiṃ ācikkhati; saddhācaritassa bhagavā puggalassa pasādanīyaṃ nimittaṃ ācikkhati buddhasubodhiṃ dhammasudhammataṃ saṅghasuppaṭipattiṃ sīlāni ca attano; ñāṇacaritassa bhagavā puggalassa ācikkhati vipassanānimittaṃ aniccākāraṃ dukkhākāraṃ anattākāraṃ.

As Ven. Dhammanando explained:

Some further notes on this subject, in part from untranslated material.

First a summary of the recommendations on how the six caritas ought to be instructed according to two pre-Visuddhimagga Texts. The sources are the Mahāniddesa (Nidd. ii. 359-60), a text from the Khuddaka Nikāya; and the Nettipakaraṇa (Netti. 24-5), an early paracanonical treatise on hermeneutics. The latter mentions only the first three temperaments (though the closely related Peṭakopadesa mentions all six, but not in connection with prescribing meditation subjects). Of particular interest is the deluded type, who is not given any meditation subject.

Greedy temperament:
Mahāniddesa: "The Blessed one speaks to him with talk on unattractiveness (asubha-kathā)."
Nettipakaraṇa: "The Blessed One teaches him unattractiveness."

Hating temperament:
Mahāniddesa: "The Blessed One makes known to him the development of lovingkindness (mettābhāvanā)."
Nettipakaraṇa: "The Blessed One teaches him loving-kindness."

Deluded temperament:
Mahāniddesa: "The Blessed One requires him to engage in detailed questioning about expositions [of Dhamma] given in brief, timely hearing of the Dhamma and timely discussion of the Dhamma, and to reside with a teacher."
Nettipakaraṇa: "The Blessed One teaches him dependent arising (paṭiccasamuppāda)."

Faithful temperament:
Mahāniddesa: "The Blessed One makes known to him an object worthy of faith (pasādanīya nimitta), namely, the well-awakenedness of the Buddha, the well-foundedness of the Dhamma, the well-practisedness of the Saṅgha, and his own [observance of] the precepts (sīlāni).

Intelligent temperament:
Mahāniddesa: "The Blessed One makes known to him the insight sign (vipassanā nimitta), namely the aspects (ākāra) of anicca, dukkha and anattā."

Speculative/distracted temperament:
Mahāniddesa: "The Blessed One instructs him in mindfulness of the in- and out-breath.

________________________________________________

Secondly, the Commentary to the Mahāniddesa advises that a certain discourse from the Suttanipāta be taught to each temperament; here I give them with their titles in K.R. Norman's translation:

Greedy: Sammāparibbājanīya Sutta / Proper Wandering (Sn. II. 13)
Hating: Kalahavivāda Sutta / Quarrels and Disputes (Sn. IV. 11)
Deluded: Mahābyūha Sutta / Great Discourse on Dispositions (Sn. IV. 13)
Faithful: Tuvaṭaka Sutta / Speedy (Sn. IV. 14)
Intelligent: Purābheda Sutta / Before the Dissolution (Sn. IV. 10)
Speculative: Cūḷabyūha Sutta / Small Discourse on Dispositions (Sn. IV. 12)

http://dhamma.ru/forum/index.php?topic= ... 83#msg3083

Metta, Dmytro

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phil
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Re: carita (temperament)

Postby phil » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:08 pm

Many thanks, Dymtro.

I think it is an important topic, not only for dealing with the hindrances, but also to help the many people who come to Dhammawheel with an awareness that they are particularly prone to anger, or lust, or other temperaments. This teaching can perhaps help people understnad their defilements better, though of course without panna being developed there could only be speculation about one's temperament..

I would like to discuss this more, but maybe this isn't the right place since I would like to hear people's thoughts on it in addition to seeing the relevant texts...maybe later. :smile:
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)


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