The Buddha's enlightenment vs. development of his teachings

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

The Buddha's enlightenment vs. development of his teachings

Postby starter » Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:40 pm

Hello Teachers/Friends,

As I understand, the Buddha obtained his supreme enlightenment after obtaining the three true knowledges, especially the four noble truths. I'm wondering if he obtained all the 10 Tathagata powers that night, or developed them later? This question is important since it's relevant to the development of his teachings. Is there a chronology of the important suttas (taught by the Buddha) available to learn the development of his teachings?

In his 1st sermon (SN56.11), he introduced the Four Noble Truths as:

"Suffering, as a noble truth, is this: Birth is suffering, aging is suffering, sickness is suffering, death is suffering, sorrow and lamentation, pain, grief and despair are suffering; association with the loathed is suffering, dissociation from the loved is suffering, not to get what one wants is suffering — in short, suffering is the five categories of clinging objects [five clinging aggregates].

"The origin of suffering, as a noble truth, is this: It is the craving that produces renewal of being accompanied by enjoyment and lust, and enjoying this and that; in other words, craving for sensual desires [pleasures?], craving for being, craving for non-being. [[How about ignorance or delusion??]]

"Cessation of suffering, as a noble truth, is this: It is remainderless fading and ceasing, giving up, relinquishing, letting go and rejecting, of that same craving. [[How about ignorance or delusion??]]

"The way leading to cessation of suffering, as a noble truth, is this: It is simply the noble eightfold path, that is to say, right view, right intention; right speech, right action, right livelihood; right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.""

I wonder why the assava of ignorance/delusion was not included in the origin of suffering here, which is the most fundamental cause/origin of suffering to me. Nevertheless, the Buddha did teach his 1st five disciples to break this delusion by introducing anicca/dukkha/anatta during his 2nd sermon, and later by introducing Dependant Origination.

If a chronology of the important suttas (taught by the Buddha) is available, I guess it would probably be better to learn his later teachings in addition to his earlier teachings. By the way, which discourse(s) is the most important/representative teaching on Dependent Origination?

My thanks and metta to all,

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Re: The Buddha's enlightenment vs. development of his teachings

Postby seanpdx » Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:41 pm

starter wrote:Is there a chronology of the important suttas (taught by the Buddha) available to learn the development of his teachings?


There isn't an accurate chronology, and attempting to place the suttas into a chronological order is extraordinarily difficult.
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Re: The Buddha's enlightenment vs. development of his teachings

Postby bodom » Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:45 pm

By the way, which discourse(s) is the most important/representative teaching on Dependent Origination?


Have a look here:

Maha-nidana Sutta: The Great Causes Discourse - DN 15

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

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The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: The Buddha's enlightenment vs. development of his teachings

Postby daverupa » Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:49 pm

Ignorance is the usual translation of avijja, but it's probably more accurate to translate this term as nescience, which is to say not ignorance generally, but ignorance of the Four Noble Truths specifically. Thus, that the first discourse was teaching the five about the Four Noble Truths shows that avijja was being addressed as a primary concern.
    "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 Buddha's enlightenment vs. development of his teachings

Postby Alex123 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:36 pm

daverupa wrote:Ignorance is the usual translation of avijja, but it's probably more accurate to translate this term as nescience, which is to say not ignorance generally, but ignorance of the Four Noble Truths specifically. Thus, that the first discourse was teaching the five about the Four Noble Truths shows that avijja was being addressed as a primary concern.


Ignorance is probably the better translation. As I understand it, when it comes to 4NT, it is not merely absence of knowledge - but also ignoring the unpleasant truth of dukkha. Some people may theoretically know about dukkha, but they ignore it.

So I think that "ignorance" and/or "ignoring" is a good translation of avijjā.
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Re: The Buddha's enlightenment vs. development of his teachings

Postby daverupa » Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:24 pm

Whatever gets the job done.
: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 Buddha's enlightenment vs. development of his teachings

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:18 am

Greetings,

bodom wrote:Maha-nidana Sutta: The Great Causes Discourse - DN 15 - http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

It's certainly not the oldest though, being in the Digha Nikaya and there are concerns about textual corruptions... from memory, I think one of the nidanas is even missing from the DN 15 presentation. Whilst DN 15 doubtlessly provides the most comprehensive "one stop shop" for all your dependent origination needs, I think the twelfth chapter of the Samyutta Nikaya is a more reliable source teaching.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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