The Commentaries are unreliable: I know better

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Re: The Commentaries are unreliable: I know better

Postby robertk » Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:23 am

legolas wrote: I do not deny that experiences that are in line with "nana knowledges" do occur when practicing certain types of meditation, my contention is whether these are within the Buddha's teachings.


What are these forms of meditaion and which Commentary cites them?
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Re: The Commentaries are unreliable: I know better

Postby nathan » Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:40 am

A glass of water and a little bit of moisturizing creme will clear up that dry insight problem in a jiffy.
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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Re: The Commentaries are unreliable: I know better

Postby PeterB » Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:50 am

In all honesty much of this seems to me to be bald men discussing combs.
Splitting hairs about states which probably no one involved has any experiential knowledge of.
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Re: The Commentaries are unreliable: I know better

Postby legolas » Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:56 am

mikenz66 wrote:Thanks Retro.

I guess a supplementary question is what the faith-follower/dhamma-follower definition really means. Is it really "on the path", or a precursor to being on the path?

And is it really intended by the compilers of the Commentaries that those descriptions were supposed to be equivalent to the path/fruit description of stream entry and so on in the Abhidhamma and Commentaries. The Commentarial descriptions are presumably based in the accumulated experience of practitioners, and perhaps the terminology just shifted a little (as presumably happened with a five-fold, rather than four-fold classification of jhanas).

:anjali:
Mike


I think the term "follower" illustrates that these people are actually on the path, otherwise what are they actually following?

Dhamma/faith follower are sutta terms. The sutta descriptions are based on the accumulated experience of the Buddha (and his immediate disciples).
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Re: The Commentaries are unreliable: I know better

Postby legolas » Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:04 am

PeterB wrote:In all honesty much of this seems to me to be bald men discussing combs.
Splitting hairs about states which probably no one involved has any experiential knowledge of.


How wonderfully insightful.
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Re: The Commentaries are unreliable: I know better

Postby legolas » Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:10 am

robertk wrote:
legolas wrote: I do not deny that experiences that are in line with "nana knowledges" do occur when practicing certain types of meditation, my contention is whether these are within the Buddha's teachings.


What are these forms of meditaion and which Commentary cites them?


My understanding (and I am open to being shown to be wrong) is that the modern vipassana techniques draw their legitamacy and structure from commentarial/abhidhamma works. Whether this is true or not, I do know that I cannot find any clear legitamacy for them within the suttas.
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Re: The Commentaries are unreliable: I know better

Postby PeterB » Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:38 am

legolas wrote:
PeterB wrote:In all honesty much of this seems to me to be bald men discussing combs.
Splitting hairs about states which probably no one involved has any experiential knowledge of.


How wonderfully insightful.



Pretty obvious actually. It requires no iddhis or depth. Clangingly obvious.
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Re: The Commentaries are unreliable: I know better

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:52 am

Greetings,

On the other hand, the whole purpose of this topic (as far as I can tell) was to lay down the gauntlet and effectively say, "Well, what is different or inconsistent?"

It was never assumed that answers to those questions would be found. To that end, I think it's fine to point out those potential differences, since that's what Robert asked for... but pushing for why the/a Mahavihara interpretation is incorrect would not be appropriate in this forum.

It's a fine line, and I think people are doing a decent job of maintaining appropriate balance.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: The Commentaries are unreliable: I know better

Postby legolas » Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:56 am

PeterB wrote:
legolas wrote:
PeterB wrote:In all honesty much of this seems to me to be bald men discussing combs.
Splitting hairs about states which probably no one involved has any experiential knowledge of.


How wonderfully insightful.



Pretty obvious actually. It requires no iddhis or depth. Clangingly obvious.


Perhaps with all the hair splitting and Yul Bryner's running around looking for combs and people seemingly falling short of providing cogent arguments that you find worthwhile, one wonders what the original poster actually intended to happen. Resolution? :jumping:
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Re: The Commentaries are unreliable: I know better

Postby legolas » Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:14 am

Apologies to Robert, my previous post does not make complete sense, I actually thought Peter was the original poster. It must be my age. Apologies to Peter as well, if he will accept an apology from a balding hair-splitter.
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Re: The Commentaries are unreliable: I know better

Postby PeterB » Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:51 am

No apologies needed. I just have this old fashioned notion that this Dhamma stuff is supposed to be experiential primarily.
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Re: The Commentaries are unreliable: I know better

Postby robertk » Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:10 pm

legolas wrote:
robertk wrote:
legolas wrote: I do not deny that experiences that are in line with "nana knowledges" do occur when practicing certain types of meditation, my contention is whether these are within the Buddha's teachings.


What are these forms of meditaion and which Commentary cites them?


My understanding (and I am open to being shown to be wrong) is that the modern vipassana techniques draw their legitamacy and structure from commentarial/abhidhamma works. Whether this is true or not, I do know that I cannot find any clear legitamacy for them within the suttas.

I am pretty sure there are no vipassana meditation techniques mentioned/ described in the Commentaries, they seem to be a recent innovation.
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Re: The Commentaries are unreliable: I know better

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:36 pm

Hi Robert,
robertk wrote:I am pretty sure there are no vipassana meditation techniques mentioned/ described in the Commentaries, they seem to be a recent innovation.

Robert's observation neatly illustrates (as do many other threads such as http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=7360 and http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=4807) that the differences between how the Suttas and Commentaries are interpreted by different members, teachers, and scholars is the key issue.

In most cases disagreements don't seem to me to have much to do with alleged inconsistencies between Sutta and Commentary. So Robert is just as skeptical of modern vipassana as Legolas... Hmmm...

However, this seems to be getting a little away from the topic...

:anjali:
Mike
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Re: The Commentaries are unreliable: I know better

Postby legolas » Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:58 pm

One example might be the technique of "no technique", where "developing understanding of realities" au natural looks to the abhidhamma for its validation.
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Re: The Commentaries are unreliable: I know better

Postby robertk » Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:54 am

legolas wrote:One example might be the technique of "no technique", where "developing understanding of realities" au natural looks to the abhidhamma for its validation.

Is that something like the example by Alex (earlier in this thread): about Suppabuddha attaining while listening to a Dhamma talk, while he was on his begging round?
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Re: The Commentaries are unreliable: I know better

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:02 am

legolas wrote:One example might be the technique of "no technique", where "developing understanding of realities" au natural looks to the abhidhamma for its validation.
As in the Sujin Boriharnwanaket "method."
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The Commentaries are unreliable: I know better

Postby legolas » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:29 am

robertk wrote:
legolas wrote:One example might be the technique of "no technique", where "developing understanding of realities" au natural looks to the abhidhamma for its validation.

Is that something like the example by Alex (earlier in this thread): about Suppabuddha attaining while listening to a Dhamma talk, while he was on his begging round?


Nothing like.
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Re: The Commentaries are unreliable: I know better

Postby legolas » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:29 am

tiltbillings wrote:
legolas wrote:One example might be the technique of "no technique", where "developing understanding of realities" au natural looks to the abhidhamma for its validation.
As in the Sujin Boriharnwanaket "method."


Absolutely.
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Re: The Commentaries are unreliable: I know better

Postby Nyana » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:05 am

mikenz66 wrote:Robert's observation neatly illustrates (as do many other threads such as http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=7360 and http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=4807) that the differences between how the Suttas and Commentaries are interpreted by different members, teachers, and scholars is the key issue.

In most cases disagreements don't seem to me to have much to do with alleged inconsistencies between Sutta and Commentary.

Issues of inconsistencies and dubious interpretations present in the commentarial literature have been noted by various teachers, translators, and scholars, largely based on quite reasonable readings of the different historical strata of texts. But there is still plenty of middle ground between the two extremes of dogmatic allegiance to every commentarial word an letter on the one hand, and dogmatic wholesale rejection of all commentary on the other. As was already mentioned in the post which Robert quoted at the start of this thread: "The commentaries and the Visuddhimagga are not canonical. Moreover, the commentaries do not present a homogeneous doctrine. It's not uncommon to find multiple opinions presented regarding a particular canonical passage, etc. It's also not uncommon to find quite dubious etymologies of particular terms and an obvious lack of understanding of canonical metaphors, and so on. This is due to the commentaries being authored by people separated from the historical, geographical, and cultural situation of the early Buddhist community. This has been well documented by a number of translators and scholars. Therefore, while the commentaries are also important, they aren't of the same caliber as the Tipiṭaka."

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: The Commentaries are unreliable: I know better

Postby robertk » Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:37 pm

legolas wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
legolas wrote:One example might be the technique of "no technique", where "developing understanding of realities" au natural looks to the abhidhamma for its validation.
As in the Sujin Boriharnwanaket "method."


Absolutely.

Ok, so earlier when you mentioned about vipassana techniques, you meant the way Sujin Boriharnwanaket teaches? You accept that Suppabuddha was enlightened while listening to the Buddha, who he happened to come across (due to past kamma) while he was out looking for food, but he wasn't a) understanding realities..OR b) he did something that was unnatural or C) he had a special different method ?
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