A fruitful practice and nibbana, without the commentaries?

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Re: A fruitful practice and nibbana, without the commentaries?

Postby kc2dpt » Sun Mar 22, 2009 2:46 am

clw_uk wrote:Can ones practice be frutiful (and lead to nibbana) without referring to the commentaries?

It depends on the "one" who's practice we are talking about. For some it will be necessary and for others it won't. What you are really asking is if it is necessary for you. The answer is: How should I know? I don't know you. :shrug:

But really, I see no difference between this question and asking if you need to read the Digha Nikaya and the Majjhima Nikaya or if only one nikaya is enough. My answer is: why look for shortcuts? If you find the time and inclination to read more then read more. If you feel your practice is progressing fine as it is then don't read more. It's up to you to monitor your own practice.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
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Re: A fruitful practice and nibbana, without the commentaries?

Postby salmon » Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:29 am

did supposed arahants like Ajahn Mun & Mahasi Sayadaw refer to commentaries?
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Re: A fruitful practice and nibbana, without the commentaries?

Postby clw_uk » Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:40 am

did supposed arahants like Ajahn Mun & Mahasi Sayadaw refer to commentaries?


I dont know much about Mahasi Sayadaw but im pretty sure Ajhan Mun didnt, id have to check his biography though
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Re: A fruitful practice and nibbana, without the commentaries?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:42 am

salmon wrote:did supposed arahants like Ajahn Mun & Mahasi Sayadaw refer to commentaries?

Mahasi Sayadaw certainly did. He played a major role at the Sixth Buddhist Council, translated the Visuddhimagga into Burmese, and so on...
http://aimwell.org/Books/Mahasi/BioMaha ... ahasi.html

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Re: A fruitful practice and nibbana, without the commentaries?

Postby salmon » Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:52 am

clw_uk wrote:
did supposed arahants like Ajahn Mun & Mahasi Sayadaw refer to commentaries?


I dont know much about Mahasi Sayadaw but im pretty sure Ajhan Mun didnt, id have to check his biography though


I suppose we can use them as safe guides as to whether commentaries are needed or not?
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Re: A fruitful practice and nibbana, without the commentaries?

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:17 pm

Remember, it's not just about if a person personally studies the commentaries. Everyone learns from a teacher. If that teacher teaches in line with the commentaries then you've still got a practice that's commentary based. The issues people have with commentaries is not that they don't want to read a particular book, but rather that they want to understand the teachings in a way that is at odds with the commentarial tradition.
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Re: A fruitful practice and nibbana, without the commentaries?

Postby gavesako » Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:03 pm

clw_uk wrote:
did supposed arahants like Ajahn Mun & Mahasi Sayadaw refer to commentaries?


I dont know much about Mahasi Sayadaw but im pretty sure Ajhan Mun didnt, id have to check his biography though


Of course Ajahn Mun did, too. When you look at the teachings of the Thai forest tradition, the Pali terms they use come to a large extent from the commentaries. Why? Because the Dhamma textbooks that they used when they were young monks were composed partly from Suttas and partly from commentaries. In fact, I think most of the Thai monks would not know which teachings come from which source. Often you can hear them say things like "The Buddha taught the 40 meditation subjects" (which is a Visuddhimagga categorisation) or "the Buddha taught about khanika, upacara and appana samadhi" (all three are purely commentarial terms) or "the mind state wich the Buddha called bhavanga" (this might have been understood differently than defined in the Abhidhamma) and so on. In Asia, they often learn Buddhism in an ahistorical way: if it has been handed down as a tradition, it is simply accepted as such. It was only Ajahn Buddhadasa who was coming from a different angle and who distinguished between the two.
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Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

ajahnchah.org - Teachings of Ajahn Chah in many languages
Dhammatube - Videos on Buddhist practice
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
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Re: A fruitful practice and nibbana, without the commentaries?

Postby clw_uk » Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:03 pm

Of course Ajahn Mun did, too. When you look at the teachings of the Thai forest tradition, the Pali terms they use come to a large extent from the commentaries. Why? Because the Dhamma textbooks that they used when they were young monks were composed partly from Suttas and partly from commentaries. In fact, I think most of the Thai monks would not know which teachings come from which source. Often you can hear them say things like "The Buddha taught the 40 meditation subjects" (which is a Visuddhimagga categorisation) or "the Buddha taught about khanika, upacara and appana samadhi" (all three are purely commentarial terms) or "the mind state wich the Buddha called bhavanga" (this might have been understood differently than defined in the Abhidhamma) and so on. In Asia, they often learn Buddhism in an ahistorical way: if it has been handed down as a tradition, it is simply accepted as such. It was only Ajahn Buddhadasa who was coming from a different angle and who distinguished between the two.



Thank you Bhante, some new information for me there :)


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