MN 109/SN 22.82 Maha-punnama Sutta:The Great Full-moon Night

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MN 109/SN 22.82 Maha-punnama Sutta:The Great Full-moon Night

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:20 am

MN 109 PTS: M iii 15
Maha-punnama Sutta: The Great Full-moon Night Discourse
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu


A thorough discussion of issues related to the five aggregates. Toward the end of the discussion, a monk thinks that he has found a loophole in the teaching. The way the Buddha handles this incident shows the proper use of the teachings on the aggregates: not as a metaphysical theory, but as a tool for questioning clinging and so gaining release.

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

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi in the Eastern Monastery, the palace of Migara's mother. And on that occasion — the uposatha of the fifteenth, the night of a very full moon — he was sitting out in the open with the community of monks.

Then a certain monk, rising from his seat, arranging his robe over one shoulder, and placing his hands palm-to-palm over the heart, said to the Blessed One: "Lord, there is an area where, if the Blessed One would give me leave, I would like the answer to a question."

"Very well, then, monk. Sit back down in your seat and ask whatever you want."

Responding to the Blessed One, "Yes, lord," the monk sat back down in his seat and said to the Blessed One, "Aren't these the five clinging-aggregates, i.e., form as a clinging-aggregate, feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness as a clinging-aggregate."

"Monk, these are the five clinging-aggregates, i.e., form as a clinging-aggregate, feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness as a clinging-aggregate."

Saying, "Very good, lord," the monk delighted & approved of the Blessed One's words and then asked him a further question: "But in what, lord, are these five clinging-aggregates rooted?"

"Monk, these five clinging-aggregates are rooted in desire."

Saying, "Very good, lord," the monk... asked him a further question: "Is clinging the same thing as the five clinging-aggregates, or is clinging separate from the five clinging-aggregates?"

"Monk, clinging is neither the same thing as the five clinging-aggregates, nor is it separate from the five clinging-aggregates. Just that whatever passion & delight is there, that's the clinging there."

Saying, "Very good, lord," the monk... asked him a further question: "Might there be diversity in the desire & passion for the five clinging-aggregates?"

"There might, monk. There is the case where the thought occurs to someone, 'May I be one with such a form in the future. May I be one with such a feeling... perception... fabrications... such a consciousness in the future. This is how there would be diversity in the desire & passion for the five clinging-aggregates."

Saying, "Very good, lord," the monk... asked him a further question: "To what extent does the designation 'aggregate' apply to the aggregates?"

"Monk, whatever form is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: that is called the aggregate of form. Whatever feeling is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: that is called the aggregate of feeling. Whatever perception is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: that is called the aggregate of perception. Whatever fabrications are past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: those are called the aggregate of fabrication. Whatever consciousness is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: that is called the aggregate of consciousness.[1] This is the extent to which the term 'aggregate' applies to the aggregates."

Saying, "Very good, lord," the monk... asked him a further question: "Lord, what is the cause, what the condition, for the delineation[2] of the aggregate of form? What is the cause, what the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness?"

"Monk, the four great existents (earth, water, fire, & wind) are the cause, the four great existents the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of form. Contact is the cause, contact the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of feeling. Contact is the cause, contact the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of perception. Contact is the cause, contact the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of fabrications. Name-&-form is the cause, name-&-form the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of consciousness."

Saying, "Very good, lord," the monk... asked him a further question: "Lord, how does self-identity view come about?"

"There is the case, monk, where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — assumes form to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form.

"He assumes feeling to be the self, or the self as possessing feeling, or feeling as in the self, or the self as in feeling. He assumes perception to be the self, or the self as possessing perception, or perception as in the self, or the self as in perception. He assumes fabrications to be the self, or the self as possessing fabrications, or fabrications as in the self, or the self as in fabrications. He assumes consciousness to be the self, or the self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in the self, or the self as in consciousness.

"This, monk, is how self-identity view comes about."

Saying, "Very good, lord," the monk... asked him a further question: "Lord, how does self-identity view no longer come about?"

"There is the case, monk, where a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones — who has regard for nobles ones, is well-versed & disciplined in their Dhamma; who has regard for men of integrity, is well-versed & disciplined in their Dhamma — does not assume form to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form. He does not assume feeling to be the self... does not assume perception to be the self... does not assume fabrications to be the self... He does not assume consciousness to be the self, or the self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in the self, or the self as in consciousness.

"This, monk, is how self-identity view no longer comes about."

Saying, "Very good, lord," the monk... asked him a further question: "What, lord, is the allure of form? What is its drawback? What is the escape from it? What is the allure of feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness? What is its drawback? What is the escape from it?"

"Monk, whatever pleasure & joy arises dependent on form: that is the allure of form. The fact that form is inconstant, stressful, subject to change: that is the drawback of form. The subduing of desire & passion, the abandoning of desire & passion for form: that is the escape from form.

"Whatever pleasure & joy arises dependent on feeling: that is the allure of feeling...

"Whatever pleasure & joy arises dependent on perception: that is the allure of perception...

"Whatever pleasure & joy arises dependent on fabrications: that is the allure of fabrications...

"Whatever pleasure & joy arises dependent on consciousness: that is the allure of consciousness. The fact that consciousness is inconstant, stressful, subject to change: that is the drawback of consciousness. The subduing of desire & passion, the abandoning of desire & passion for consciousness: that is the escape from consciousness."

Saying, "Very good, lord," the monk... asked him a further question: "Knowing in what way, seeing in what way, is there — with regard to this body endowed with consciousness, and with regard to all external signs — no longer any I-making, or my-making, or obsession with conceit?"

"Monk, one sees any form whatsoever — past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near — every form, as it actually is with right discernment: 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.'

"One sees any feeling whatsoever... any perception whatsoever... any fabrications whatsoever...

"One sees any consciousness whatsoever — past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near — every consciousness — as it actually is with right discernment: 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.'"

"Monk, knowing in this way, seeing in this way, there is — with regard to this body endowed with consciousness, and with regard to all external signs — no longer any I-making, or my-making, or obsession with conceit."

Now at that moment this line of thinking appeared in the awareness of a certain monk: "So — form is not-self, feeling is not-self, perception is not-self, fabrications are not-self, consciousness is not-self. Then what self will be touched by the actions done by what is not-self?"

Then the Blessed One, realizing with his awareness the line of thinking in that monk's awareness, addressed the monks: "It's possible that a senseless person — immersed in ignorance, overcome with craving — might think that he could outsmart the Teacher's message in this way: 'So — form is not-self, feeling is not-self, perception is not-self, fabrications are not-self, consciousness is not-self. Then what self will be touched by the actions done by what is not-self?' Now, monks, haven't I trained you in counter-questioning with regard to this & that topic here & there? What do you think — Is form constant or inconstant?" "Inconstant, lord." "And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?" "Stressful, lord." "And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: 'This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am'?"

"No, lord."

"... Is feeling constant or inconstant?" "Inconstant, lord."...

"... Is perception constant or inconstant?" "Inconstant, lord."...

"... Are fabrications constant or inconstant?" "Inconstant, lord."...

"What do you think, monks — Is consciousness constant or inconstant?" "Inconstant, lord." "And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?" "Stressful, lord." "And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: 'This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am'?"

"No, lord."

"Thus, monks, any form whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every form is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.'

"Any feeling whatsoever...

"Any perception whatsoever...

"Any fabrications whatsoever...

"Any consciousness whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every consciousness is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.'

"Seeing thus, the instructed disciple of the noble ones grows disenchanted with form, disenchanted with feeling, disenchanted with perception, disenchanted with fabrications, disenchanted with consciousness. Disenchanted, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion, he is fully released. With full release, there is the knowledge, 'Fully released.' He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'"

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the monks delighted in the Blessed One's words. And while this explanation was being given, the minds of sixty monks, through no clinging (not being sustained), were fully released from fermentations.
Notes

1. One form of consciousness apparently does not come under the aggregate of consciousness. This is termed viññanam anidassanam — consciousness without a surface, or consciousness without feature. MN 49 says specifically that this consciousness does not partake of the "allness of the all," the "all" being conterminous with the five aggregates. The standard definition of the aggregate of consciousness states that this aggregate includes all consciousness, "past, present, or future... near or far." However, because viññanam anidassanam stands outside of space and time it would not be covered by these terms. Similarly, where SN 22.97 [http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.097.than.html] says that no consciousness is eternal, "eternal" is a concept that applies only within the dimension of time, and thus would not apply to this form of consciousness.

2. Delineation (paññapana) literally means, "making discernible." This apparently refers to the intentional aspect of perception, which takes the objective side of experience and fabricates it into discernible objects. In the case of the aggregates, the four great existents, contact, and name-&-form provide the objective basis for discerning them, while the process of fabrication takes the raw material provided by the objective basis and turns it into discernible instances of the aggregates. This process is described in slightly different terms in SN 22.79. [http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.079.than.html]
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SN 22.8 Maha-punnama Sutta: The Great Full-moon Night

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:39 am

SN 22.82 Maha-punnama Sutta
Translated by Bhikkhu Ñanananda


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... passage-19

Once the Exalted One was staying near Saavatthi in East Park at the palace of Migaara's mother, with a great gathering of monks.

Now, on that occasion — it was the Uposatha day of the fifteenth on the night when the moon was full — the Exalted One was seated in the open air surrounded by the community of monks.

Then a certain monk rose from his seat, and arranging his robe on one shoulder, bowed before the Exalted One with folded hands and thus addressed the Exalted One: "Lord, I would fain question the Exalted One on a certain point, if the Exalted One would grant me an answer to the question."

"Then sit in your own seat, monk, and ask what you like."

"Even so lord," replied that monk to the Exalted One, and having sat down in his own seat, thus addressed the Exalted One: "Are these the five aggregates of grasping, lord, to wit: the form-aggregate of grasping, the feeling-aggregate of grasping, the perception-aggregate of grasping, the perception-aggregate of grasping, the formations-aggregate of grasping and the consciousness-aggregate of grasping?"

"That is so, monk. Those are the five aggregates of grasping, as you say."

"It is well, lord," said that monk rejoicing in and appreciating the words of the Exalted One, and put another question: "But these five aggregates of grasping, lord, in what are they rooted?"

"These five aggregates of grasping, monk, have their root in desire."

"It is well, lord," said that monk... and put another question: "Lord, are just these five aggregates of grasping the whole of grasping or is there any grasping apart from these five aggregates of grasping?"

"No indeed, monk, these five aggregates of grasping are not the whole of grasping, and yet there is no grasping apart from those five aggregates of grasping. But it is the desire and lust in these five aggregates of grasping that is the grasping therein.[57]

"It is well, lord," said that monk... and put another question:

"Might there be, lord, a variety of desire and lust in the five aggregates of grasping?"

"There might be, monk," replied the Exalted One. "Herein, monks, one thinks thus: 'May I be of such a form in the future. May I be of such a feeling in the future. May I be of such a perception in the future. May I be of such a formation in the future.' In this way, monk, there might be a variety of desire and lust in the five aggregates of grasping."

"It is well, lord," said that monk... and put another question:

"Pray, lord, how far does the definition of the term 'aggregate' go, in the case of the aggregates?"

"Any kind of form, whatever, whether past, future or present, in oneself or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near — this is called the aggregate of form.

"Any kind of feeling...

"Any kind of perception...

"Any kind of formations...

"Any kind of consciousness, whatever, whether past, future or present, in oneself or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near — this is called the aggregate of consciousness.

"Thus far, monk, does the definition of 'aggregate' go, in the case of aggregates."[58]

"It is well, lord," said that monk... and put another question:

"What, lord, is the reason, what is the condition, for designating the form-aggregate? What is the reason, what is the condition, for designating the feeling-aggregate? What is the reason, what is the condition for designating the formations-aggregate? What is the reason, what is the condition, for designating the consciousness aggregate?"

"The four great elements,[59] monk, are the reason, the four great elements are the condition for designating the form-aggregate. Contact is the reason, contact is the condition for designating the feeling-aggregate. Contact is the reason, contact is the condition for designating the perception-aggregate. Contact is the reason, contact is the condition for designating the formations-aggregate. Name-and-form is the reason, name-and-form is the condition, for designating the consciousness-aggregate."

"It is well, lord," said that monk... and put another question:

"Pray, lord, how does there come to be the personality-view?"

"Herein, monk, the untaught average person, taking no account of the noble ones, unskilled in the doctrine of the noble ones, untrained in the doctrine of the noble ones, taking no account of the good men, unskilled in the doctrine of the good men, untrained in the doctrine of the good men, regards form as self or self as having form, or form as being in self, or self as being in form (and so with feeling, perception, the formations and consciousness)... he regards consciousness as self, on self as having consciousness, or consciousness as being in self, or self as being in consciousness. That is how, monk, there comes to be the personality-view."

"It is well, lord," said that monk... and he put another question:

"But, lord, how does there not come to be the personality-view?"

"Herein, monk, the well-taught noble disciple who discerns the noble ones, who is skilled in the doctrine of the noble ones, well-trained in the doctrine of the noble ones, who discerns the good men, who is skilled in the doctrine of the good men, well-trained in the doctrine of the good men, does not regard form as self,... does not regard consciousness as self, or self as having consciousness, or consciousness as being in self, or self as being in consciousness. That is how, monk, there does not come to be the personality-view."

"It is well, lord," said that monk... and put another question:

"Pray, lord, what is the satisfaction, what is the misery, and what is the escape in the case of form? What is the satisfaction, what is the misery, what is the escape, in the case of feeling? What is the satisfaction, what is the misery, what is the escape, in the case of perception? What is the satisfaction, what is the misery, what is the escape in the case of formations? What is the satisfaction, what is the misery, what is the escape in the case of consciousness?"

"The pleasure and happiness, monk, that arises in dependence on form — this is the satisfaction in the case of form. Form is impermanent, painful and subject to change — this is the misery in the case of form. The restraint of desire and lust, the abandonment of desire and lust, for form — this is the escape in the case of form.

"The pleasure and happiness, monk, that arises in dependence on feeling... in dependence on perception... in dependence on formations... in dependence on consciousness... this is the escape in the case of consciousness."

"It is well, lord," said that monk... and put another question.

"How, lord, should one know, how should one see, so that in this body with its consciousness and in all external signs, there be no idea of 'I' or 'mine,' no latent conceits therein?"

"Any kind of form, monk, whatever, whether past, future or present, in oneself or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near, he sees all of it with right understanding, thus: 'This is not mine; this am not I; this is not my self.

"Any kind of feeling...

"Any kind of perception...

"Any kind of formations...

"Any kind of consciousness whatever... '...this is not my self.'

"It is when one knows thus, monk, and sees thus, that there come to be in him no idea of 'I' or 'mine' and no latent conceits, in this body with its consciousness and in all external signs."

At that moment there arose in a certain monk this train of thought:

"So, it seems, form is not self, feeling is not self, perception is not self, formations are not self, consciousness is not self. Then what self will the actions done by the not self touch?"

Then the Exalted One knew with his mind the thought in that monk's mind, and he addresses the monks thus:

"It is possible, monks, that some foolish man, unknowing and ignorant, with his mind dominated by craving, might fancy that he could by-pass the Master's teaching thus: 'So, it seems, form is not self... Then what self will the actions done by the not-self touch?' But, monks, you have been trained by me by the counter-question method[60] on certain occasions, in regard to certain teachings. Now, what do you think, monks? Is form permanent or impermanent?"

"Impermanent, lord."

"That which is impermanent, is it painful or pleasant?"

"Painful, lord."

"That which is impermanent, painful and subject to change, is it fit to be regarded thus: 'This is mine, this am I, this is my self?"

"Surely not, lord."

"What do you think, monks? Is feeling permanent... perception... formations... consciousness...?"

"Surely not, lord."

"Therefore, monks, any kind of form, whatever, whether past, future or present, in oneself or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near, all form should be seen as it is with right understanding, thus: 'This is not mine, this am not I, this is not my self.' Any kind of feeling... perception... formations... consciousness... '...not my self.

"Thus seeing, the well-taught noble disciple becomes dispassionate towards form, becomes dispassionate towards feeling, becomes dispassionate towards perception, becomes dispassionate towards formations, becomes dispassionate towards consciousness. Being dispassionate he lusts not for it; not lusting, he is liberated; when he is liberated, there comes the knowledge: 'liberated.' And he understands: 'Exhausted is birth, lived is the holy life, done is the task, there is nothing beyond this for (a designation of) the conditions of this existence.'"

Notes

[57] The point of this discussion is the determination whether the Five Aggregates of Grasping comprehend the entire concept of grasping or whether there is a mode of grasping outside of them. Both propositions are negated because the former does not take into account the 'desire-and-lust' (chandaraaga), while the latter overlooks the fact that his 'desire-and-lust' which is called a grasping, is still something that has to do with the Five Aggregates of Grasping.

Here the question concerns not so much the simple identity or difference between the two terms as the delimitation of their meaning and applicability. The usual Paali idiom for expressing identity and difference runs something like this: 'Ta.m jiiva.m ta.m sariira.m, a~n~na.m jiva.m a~n~na.m sariira.m' S. IV 392. ('Is body the same as soul, or is body one thing and soul another'). In contrast with it, is the idiom used in the present context: 'Ta~n~neva nu kho bhante upaadaanakkhandhaa, udaahu a~n~natra pa.ncupadaanakkhandehi upaadaananti.' Hence the rendering of this sentence at M.L.S. III 66, is to be preferred to the one given at K.S. III 85.

[58] The definition explains why the 'Aggregates' are so called. It gives the justification for the nomenclature by showing how comprehensively each aggregate is conceived.

[59] On the four elemental-nodes, earth, water, fire and air (pa.thavii, aapo, tejo, vaayo) depends the concept of form. The former themselves are abstractions from the experience of solidity, cohesion, heat and motion.

[60] The correct reading should be: 'Pa.ti pucchaa viniitaa kho me tumhe bhikkhave tatra tatra tesu tesu dhammesu.' The variant reading 'paticcaviniitaa' which some texts See M. III 19. [MN 109]) have adopted, hardly makes sense, and at best it could only be rendered within the given context, as follows: (i) 'trained to look for causality' — P.E.D. (ii) 'You, monks, have been trained by me (to look for) conditions now here, now there, in these things and in those.' — M.L.S. III 69. (iii) 'Now bhikkus you have been trained by me in dependent conditionality in various instances' — Ven. ~Naa.namoli's Transl. Of M. (unpublished [Now Nanamoli/Bodhi edition]). Though the P.T.S. ed. reads 'pa.tipucchaa viniitaa,' its translation fails to bring out the significance of this key-word: 'That question, brethren, I have already answered thus and thus in those teachings that I have given you.' (K.S. III 88).

At A. I 285 we get a classification of three types of assemblies according to the modes of training adopted, one of them being 'the assembly trained by the counter-question method' (pa.tipucchaa viniitaaparisaa). Moreover, at A. II 46 [AN 4.42 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.042.than.html]where four types of questions are mentioned, it is said that some questions have to be dealt with by a counter-question (pa.tipucchaa vyaakara.niiyo). That one has to be skilled enough to use one's discretion in determining to which category a question belongs, is also clearly stated there.

eka.msavacana.m eka.m - vibhaja vacanaa para.m
tatiya.m pa.tipuccheyya - catittha.m pana thaapaye
yo ca nesa.m tattha tattha - jaanaati anydhammata.m
catupa.nhassa kusalo - aahu bhikkhu.m tathaavidha.m

'One (type of question) is that which admits of a categorical reply, another requires an analytical statement, the third type should be questioned-in-return, while the fourth should be set aside.

That monk who knows what type is applicable here and there, according to circumstances, such a one, they say, is an expert in the tetrad of questions.'

The latter half of that sentence in the sutta with its clumsy-looking iteratives ('tatra tatra tesu tesu dhammasu...') can be better explained in the context of the above two verses. Its import is exactly the same as that of the second verse. The prefix 'anu' in 'anudhammata.m,' fulfills the same distributive function as does the phrase 'tesu tesu dhammesu.' Hence it is clear that the Buddha is here reminding the monks that he has, upon occasion, trained them by the counter-question method, and this is just the method he proposes to employ on the present occasion too, in order to dispel the wrong view of that monk. The catechism on the Three Signata with its arrestive 'what-do-you-think?' is, in fact, a kind of counter-question by which the questioner's false assumptions are gradually exposed, layer by layer. The final rhetoric question: 'That which is impermanent, painful and liable to change, is fit to be regarded thus: 'This is mine, this am I, this is my self?' — goes to the root of the matter, in its appeal to common sense. On the whole, this catechism serves the very practical purpose of disabusing the questioner's mind of his prejudices, thus shattering the very basis of his question (See Note. [38] [below]).

    [38] 'aayati.m punabbhavaabhinibbatti' : 'Name-and-form' which is the reciprocal condition for consciousness, is already implicit in this expression. Except in the case of the arahants 'who have no vortex whereby to designate' (See below: Note 51), the concepts of birth, decay, death and re-birth of all beings are necessarily dependent on this vortex between consciousness and name-and-form. The consciousness of the individual is always an 'established-consciousness' (pati.t.thitavi~n~naa.na), that is to say, established on name-and-form. His Sa.msaaric existence is a constant oscillation between two. When the body breaks up at death, consciousness gravitates towards a fresh foot-hold, resulting in a crystallization of 'name-and-form' into the form of a new individual existence. "If, Ananda, consciousness were not to descend into the mother's womb, would 'name-and-form' be left remaining* inside the mother's womb?" "No, lord..." "If, Aananda, consciousness were not to get a foothold in name-and-form, would there be manifest any arising or origination of birth, decay, death and suffering?" "No, lord" (D. II. 63). The six-fold sense-sphere, contact, feeling, etc. represent the growth of name-and-form supported as it is by consciousness. "And, Aananda, if the consciousness of a boy or a girl comes to be cut-off at childhood itself, would name-and-form attain development, growth and plenitude?" "No, lord." (ib.).

    Phagguna's question: "Who feeds on the consciousness nutriment?" — is not a fit question because the very concept of an individual implies both consciousness and name-and-form bound in a reciprocal relationship. The passage of consciousness at death is merely a gravitation towards its object name-and-form implicit in the last thought moment, which thereby crystallizes into a new existence. The vortex has shifted, consciousness has changed its station and a new world of experience has unfolded itself. This is the polarization between 'this-ness' (itthabhaava) and otherwise-ness' (a~n~nathaabhaava) in Sa.msaaric existence (Cf. Sn. v. 752). The other questions of Phagguna concerning contact, feeling, grasping and craving were similarly disallowed since they all fall within the orbit of the vortical interplay between consciousness and name-and-form.

    * 'samucchissatha': (P.E.D.: 'derivation and meaning uncertain'). Probably from sa.m + ud + √ sish — to remain. Without the support of consciousness, name-and-form cannot remain within the mother's womb, nor can it result in rebirth. "If, Aananda, consciousness, having descended into the mother's womb, were to slip out, would name-and-form be reborn into this state of existence?" "No, lord." (ib.).

Some critics who have failed to appreciate the cathartic significance of this catechism in the present context, seem to have interpreted it as some sort of a cavalier escapade from the point at issue. When the full import of the expression 'pa.tipucchaaviniitaa' is understood, there can be no provocation for such an attitude, the less so since here the Buddha himself has taken the trouble to probe into the mind of that monk and bring out a question which, otherwise, might well have remained unasked. Equally unjustified is the attempt to find in this type of catechism, an excuse for 'a self outside-the-five-aggregates.'
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Re: MN 109/SN 22.8 Maha-punnama Sutta: The Great Full-moon Night

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:42 am

Thanks to acinteyyo for suggesting this Sutta. Interesting how many of these Suttas appear in more than one place...

:anjali:
Mike
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Re: MN 109/SN 22.8 Maha-punnama Sutta: The Great Full-moon Night

Postby daverupa » Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:23 am

mikenz66 wrote:Thanks to acinteyyo for suggesting this Sutta. Interesting how many of these Suttas appear in more than one place...

:anjali:
Mike


Thankfully so! Brilliant repetition.
    "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: MN 109/SN 22.8 Maha-punnama Sutta: The Great Full-moon Night

Postby ancientbuddhism » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:01 pm

I like this sutta, how it ties off any attempt to reach for a self outside of the khandhas. Also the reference to Phagguna's question "Who feeds on the consciousness nutriment?" (SN. 12.12 ), is a helpful reminder of this.
Katamo ca bhikkhave asaṅkhatagāmī maggo: samatho ca vipassanā ca. Ayaṃ vuccati bhikkhave asaṅkhatagāmī maggo.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Calm and insight. This, bhikkhus, is called the path leading to the unconditioned.” SN. 43.2 – Samathavipassanāsuttaṃ

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Re: MN 109/SN 22.8 Maha-punnama Sutta: The Great Full-moon Night

Postby kirk5a » Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:40 pm

Interesting. In another thread awhile ago, someone asked about what Ven. Walpola Rahula mentions in Chapter 6 of What the Buddha Taught:
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 46#p113746

Here naturally a question arises: If there is no Atman or Self, who gets the results of karma (actions)? No one can answer this question better than the Buddha himself. When this question was raised by a bhikkhu the Buddha said: 'I have taught you, O bhikkhus, to see conditionality everywhere in all things.'


Checking my copy, I see that Ven. Rahula was referring there to MN 109 (M III (PTS), p. 19). But according to Ven. Ñanananda, that's a mistranslation of the Buddha saying he taught them to counter-question? Curious, because when I read Ven. Rahula's summary, I thought that was a really penetrating answer.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: MN 109/SN 22.8 Maha-punnama Sutta: The Great Full-moon Night

Postby ancientbuddhism » Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:04 pm

kirk5a wrote:Interesting. In another thread awhile ago, someone asked about what Ven. Walpola Rahula mentions in Chapter 6 of What the Buddha Taught:
viewtopic.php?f=24&t=7146#p113746

Here naturally a question arises: If there is no Atman or Self, who gets the results of karma (actions)? No one can answer this question better than the Buddha himself. When this question was raised by a bhikkhu the Buddha said: 'I have taught you, O bhikkhus, to see conditionality everywhere in all things.'


Checking my copy, I see that Ven. Rahula was referring there to MN 109 (M III (PTS), p. 19). But according to Ven. Ñanananda, that's a mistranslation of the Buddha saying he taught them to counter-question? Curious, because when I read Ven. Rahula's summary, I thought that was a really penetrating answer.


I’ve only just scanned through the pāḷi of MN. 109 and don’t find Ven. Rahula's source either. But in a similar vein we do have the Buddha’s rebuke of Bhikkhu Sāti in Mahātaṇhāsaṅkhaya Sutta (MN. 38) [SLTP. 1.1.4.8]

“Useless man, to whom have you known me to teach the Dhamma in this way? … haven’t I said in many and various ways that consciousness arises dependent upon a cause, that other than by means of a foundation, the arising of consciousness cannot exist?”


Which if viññāṇa arises dependently this is speaking for the other 4 khandha as well.

Also we have this essentially stated with reference to dukkha and conditions in the Kaccānagotta Sutta (SN. 12.15) where Ven. Kaccāna is asking after what is Right View and is answered:

“The world, Kaccāna, is usually exerted and inclined to being bound to attachments; its things to be identified with and preferences. Although such a one (with sammādiṭṭhi) does not identify with or make determinations of these attachments; its things to be identified with and preferences, nor does he take up the thought “I have a ‘Self’” ('attā me'ti). Of this there is no waver or doubt - ‘It is only the arising of affliction that comes into existence; it is only the decline of affliction that is extinguished.’ Knowledge of this does not depend on others. It is to this extent, Kaccāna, that there is right view."
[SLTP.II:1.2.5 ]

Or with reference to ‘all existence’ with the three-marks:

“All existence is impermanent, dissatisfying and of the nature to change.”

sabbe bhavā aniccā dukkhā vipariṇāmadhammāti.’

(AN. 4.185) [Catukoṭikasuññatā/Brāhmaṇasaccasuttaṃ - SLTP II:4.4.4.5]
Katamo ca bhikkhave asaṅkhatagāmī maggo: samatho ca vipassanā ca. Ayaṃ vuccati bhikkhave asaṅkhatagāmī maggo.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Calm and insight. This, bhikkhus, is called the path leading to the unconditioned.” SN. 43.2 – Samathavipassanāsuttaṃ

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Re: MN 109/SN 22.8 Maha-punnama Sutta: The Great Full-moon Night

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:43 pm

Thanks ancientbuddhism for pointing that out.

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Re: MN 109/SN 22.8 Maha-punnama Sutta: The Great Full-moon Night

Postby paul » Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:22 pm

The crucial point of the sutta is the question "Then what self will the actions of the non-self touch?" which is an attempt to transpose something directly from one reality to another (ultimate to conventional), which cannot be done, consequently the Buddha does not answer the question directly. The monk's question seems typical of a simple view which cannot countenance the existence of two simultaneous realities, also seen today.
Of further interest is that the Buddha brings up the four elements (as the basis for form) because Nibbana is sometimes referred to as the unconditioned element (asankhata-dhatu, Vism. XV 42), ie. something outside the four elements,yet within the same "element" context.
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Re: MN 109/SN 22.8 Maha-punnama Sutta: The Great Full-moon Night

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:44 am

Hi Paul, I'm sorry, I can't follow your comment about two simultaneous realities. Perhaps you could expand a little.

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Re: MN 109/SN 22.8 Maha-punnama Sutta: The Great Full-moon Night

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Jun 06, 2011 10:14 am

Some comments and Commentary (MA, Spk) from Bhikkhu Bodhi's MN and SN notes.

The Uposotha day of the fifteenth.

BB MN: The fifteenth day of the fortnight. [Which sounds silly, but the full moon can be on the fourteenth for fifteenth day of a lunar month...]


Then a certain bhikkhu rose from his seat...

BB MN: MA explains that the bhikkhu was himself an arahant and the teacher of sixty other bhikkhus who lived with him in the forest, striving in meditation. With their teacher's guidance they had developed various insight knowledges but could not attain the paths and fruits. Therefore their teacher brought them to see the Buddha in the hope that he could guide them to the supramundane attainments. The teacher asks the questions, not because he doubts, but in order to dispel the doubts of his disciples.


The five aggregates affected by clinging, bhikkhu, are rooted in desire.

BB MN: Chandamulaka. MA glosses chanda by tanha, craving which is the origin of the suffering comprised by the five aggregates.
Note that in the SN BB translates "five aggregate subject to clinging".


Venerable sir, in that clinging the same as these five aggregates affected by clinging, or is the clinging something apart from the five aggregates affected by clinging?

BB MN: See also MN 44.6 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Bhikkhus, that clinging is nether the same as these five aggregates subject to clinging, nor is the clinging something apart from the five aggregates subject to clinging. But rather, the desire and lust for them, that is the clinging there.

BB SN: See MN 44 and SN 22.121 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Spk: "Clinging is neither the same as the five aggregates subject to clinging" because the aggregates are not reducible simply to desire and lust; "nor is the clinging something apart from the five aggregates subject to clinging" because there is no clinging apart from the aggregates either as conascent factors or as object. For when a citta associated with craving occurs, the form produced by that citta belongs to the form aggregate, and the remaining mental states except craving belong to the other four aggregates: thus there is no clinging apart from the aggregates as conascent factors. (Craving is excepted because craving is what clings to the aggregates, and a mental factor cannot cling to itself.) Then, too, there is no clinging apart from the aggregates as object, because when clinging arises it takes as object one of the aggregates such as form.
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Re: MN 109/SN 22.8 Maha-punnama Sutta: The Great Full-moon Night

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:07 am

MA on MN 44 [Which has the same question.]
Because clinging is only one part of the aggregate of formations (as defined here, greed), it is not the same as the five aggregates; and because clinging cannot be altogether disconnected from the aggregates, there is no clinging apart from the aggregates.
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Re: MN 109/SN 22.8 Maha-punnama Sutta: The Great Full-moon Night

Postby paul » Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:22 pm

Hi mike,
It is evident the two realities exist simultaneously for example when the Buddha says, "These are merely names, expressions, turns of speech, designations in common use in the world, which the Perfect One uses without misapprehending them " (D.9): i.e. he uses the names but is aware they are for practical purposes only and implicit is the broader perspective of non-self. There may be a tendency for religious zealots to promulgate doctrine that conventional reality doesn't exist at all, but as the Buddha shows, that would be a mistake, not the middle way, which is always a path between two simultaneous realities. Although things have a present temporary reality, impermanence dictates that is not their ultimate condition, so present reality is an illusion.
The understanding of two realities is prominent in Mahayana and also in Christianity under the terminology of immanent and transcendent. The mystic William Blake said, "God keep us from single vision": the foolish monk in the sutta was arguing for single vision.
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Re: MN 109/SN 22.8 Maha-punnama Sutta: The Great Full-moon Night

Postby beeblebrox » Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:13 am

This idea: "What self, then, will be touched by the actions done by what is not-self?" is a wrong view of this: "Form is not-self, feeling is not-self, perception is not-self, fabrications are not-self, and consciousness is not-self."

It should be viewed only in this way: "These aggregates are impermanent; impermanence is dukkha; and therefore these shouldn't be seen as self." That's it... no implications beyond this.

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Re: MN 109/SN 22.8 Maha-punnama Sutta: The Great Full-moon Night

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:03 am

What is the cause and condition, venerable sir, for the manifestation of the form aggregate?

BB SN: Rupakkhandassa pannapanaya. This might have been renderd "for the description of the form aggregate. Pannapanaya is literally "making known", and something is "made known" either by becoming manifest of being described.


The four great elements, bhikkhu are the cause and condition for the manifestation of the material form aggregate.
Contact ... feeling ... perception ... formations aggregate.
Mentality-materiality ... consciousness aggregate.


BB MN: In the material form aggregate each of the four great elements is a condition for the other three and for derived material form. Contact is a condition for each of the three middle aggregates, as it is said: "Contacted one feels, bhikkhus, contacted one perceives, contacted one wills" [SN 35.93http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn35/sn35.093.than.html].
MA explains that at the moment of conception, the material phenomena and the three mental aggregates that arise are the materiality-mentality that is a condition for the rebirth conciousness. During the course of life the physical sense faculties and the sense objects together with the three mental aggregates are the mentality-materiality that is a condition for sense consciousness.


Venerable sir, How does identity view come to be?
... regards material form as self or self possessed of material form or material form as in self for self as in material form.
... feeling ... perception ... formations ... consciousness ...


BB MN 44: These are the twenty kinds of identity view.
MA quote Pts. i.144-45 to illustrate the four basic modes of identity view in regard to material form.
One may regard material form as self, in the way the flame of a burning oil-lamp is identical with the colour (of the flame).
Or one may regard self as possessing material form, as a tree possesses a shadow.
Or one may regard material form as in self, as the scent is in the flower.
Or one may regard self as in material form, as a jewel is in a casket.


MN 109: Then, in the mind of a certain Bhikku this thought arose: "So, it seems, material form is not self, feeling ... perception ... formations ... consciousness is not self. What self, then will actions done by the not-self affect?"

SN 22.82: .. what self, then, will deeds done by what is nonself affect?

BB MN: It seems that this bhikkhu had difficulty how kamma can produce results without a self to receive them.

BB SN: I prefer the reading of the parallel MN. [Some technical Pali discussion.] Spk is silent, but MA explains that this monk has slipped into an eternalist view.


MN 109: Now, bhikkhus, you have been trained by me through interrogation on various occasions in regard to various things. [b]

[b]SN 22.82: Now, bhikkhus, you have been trained by me through interrogation here and there in regard to diverse teachings.[b]

[b]BB MN: The readings of this sentence are highly divergent in different editions. The same sutta appears at SN 22.82, and the reading there (patipuccha vinita) seems preferable to the reading here (in PTS, paticca vinita; in BBS pativinita). The translation here follows the SN text. Nanamoli's translation, based on the PTS MN text, reads: "Now, Bhikkhus, you have been trained by me in dependent [conditionality] in various instances.


BB SN: [Technical Pali discussion.] Neither MA nor Spk offers any explanation, but it is clear enough that the "training through interrogation" is the catechistic method to be applied in the following paragraph.


[b]MN 109: Now, while this discourse was being spoken, through not clinging the minds of sixty bhikkhus were liberated from the taints.


MA: The sixty bhikkhus discarded their original meditation subjects and investigated a new subject (based on the Bhuddha's discourse, MT). Without breaking their posture, right in their seats the attained arahantship.

BB SN 22.82: MN 109 concludes by stating that at the conclusion sixty bhikkhus were liberated [Not in SN].
Spk states that at the conclusion of each sutta of this vagga five hundred bhikkhus attained arahantship!
The verse that follows is in some editions, but not others, and not in the MN.

SN 22.82 concluding verse:
    These are the ten questions
    The bhikkhu came to ask:
    Two about the aggregates,
    Whether the same, can there be,
    Designation and the cause,
    Two about identity,
    [One each on] gratification
    And [this body] with consciousness.
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Re: MN 109/SN 22.8 Maha-punnama Sutta: The Great Full-moon Night

Postby beeblebrox » Fri Jun 10, 2011 2:35 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
MN 109: Then, in the mind of a certain Bhikku this thought arose: "So, it seems, material form is not self, feeling ... perception ... formations ... consciousness is not self. What self, then will actions done by the not-self affect?"

SN 22.82: .. what self, then, will deeds done by what is nonself affect?

BB MN: It seems that this bhikkhu had difficulty how kamma can produce results without a self to receive them.

BB SN: I prefer the reading of the parallel MN. [Some technical Pali discussion.] Spk is silent, but MA explains that this monk has slipped into an eternalist view.



I think it's interesting that MA says this is an eternalist view... it also could imply nihilism (no self that is affected by the aggregates), which is also a wrong view.

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Re: MN 109/SN 22.8 Maha-punnama Sutta: The Great Full-moon Night

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:27 pm

beeblebrox wrote:I think it's interesting that MA says this is an eternalist view... it also could imply nihilism (no self that is affected by the aggregates), which is also a wrong view.

Perhaps the bhikkhu is using the argument that the Buddha has declared that the aggregates are nonself, but has not explicitly said that there is no self anywhere, so there could be some eternal self outside of the aggregates.

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Re: MN 109/SN 22.8 Maha-punnama Sutta: The Great Full-moon Night

Postby beeblebrox » Fri Jun 10, 2011 9:34 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
beeblebrox wrote:I think it's interesting that MA says this is an eternalist view... it also could imply nihilism (no self that is affected by the aggregates), which is also a wrong view.

Perhaps the bhikkhu is using the argument that the Buddha has declared that the aggregates are nonself, but has not explicitly said that there is no self anywhere, so there could be some eternal self outside of the aggregates.


Yes, I see that too. It wasn't the first thing that occurred to my mind, though... I think it's also important to keep in mind that the problem here wasn't that there was "no self" to begin with, per se, but it's trying to view with the idea of a "self" in the first place. This encompasses both eternalism and annihilationism, along with nihilism.

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