yathābhūtadassana: "seeing things as they really are"?

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yathābhūtadassana: "seeing things as they really are"?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:48 pm

Over here
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=9607&view=unread#p150170

DaveRupa mentioned yathābhūtadassana , commonly translated as "seeing things as they really are".

Perhaps one of our Pali experts could comment on this phrase. As I understood it, from some source I can't currently locate, the word "things" in the English translation is not really justified by the Pali, and it might be better translated as "seeing clearly" or "seeing correctly".

My amateur attempt at looking up the words:
yathā - according to http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philol ... 1:264.pali
bhūta - becoming, nature, etc, etc... http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philol ... :3646.pali
dassana - seeing http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philol ... :2358.pali

:anjali:
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Re: yathābhūtadassana: "seeing things as they really are"?

Postby Alex123 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:59 pm

The word as yathābhūtadassana is mentioned only 3 times in Peṭakopadesapāḷi (a later book in KN).

I think what DaveRupa meant was "yathābhūtañāṇadassanaṃ"
"the knowledge and vision of things as they really are is the supporting condition for disenchantment, disenchantment is the supporting condition for dispassion, dispassion is the supporting condition for emancipation, and emancipation is the supporting condition for the knowledge of the destruction (of the cankers)." - http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .bodh.html

Its usage in that context suggests its function.

Additional translation of various words:
yathābhūta=adjective= conformity with the truth. *
bhūta = past participle passive from bhavati = become; existed.
ñāṇadassana = perfect knowledge.

By truth, I believe what is meant is truth of Dhamma (anicca, dukkha, anatta, etc) rather than worldly philosophy.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: yathābhūtadassana: "seeing things as they really are"?

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:18 pm

Yathā-bhūta-ñāna-dassana: 'the knowledge and vision according to reality', is one of the 18 chief kinds of insight vipassana.
(Maha Thera Nyanatiloka. Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines, Buddhist Publication Society, first edition 1952)

So, without ñāna, it could be 'vision according to reality' or perhaps "seeing things as they really are" could be another interpretation.
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Re: yathābhūtadassana: "seeing things as they really are"?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:18 pm

Thanks Alex, David,

This question arises from the thread on realism: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=9607&view=unread#p150179 and my question is now whether the translation:
yathābhūtañāṇadassanaṃ: "The knowledge and vision of things as they really are."
Is suggesting a "reality" or "thingness" that is not implied by the Pali, and whether something like:
"The correct understanding of phenomena" would be better.

:anjali:
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Re: yathābhūtadassana: "seeing things as they really are"?

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:29 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Thanks Alex, David,

This question arises from the thread on realism: http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... ad#p150179 and my question is now whether the translation:
yathābhūtañāṇadassanaṃ: "The knowledge and vision of things as they really are."
Is suggesting a "reality" or "thingness" that is not implied by the Pali, and whether something like:
"The correct understanding of phenomena" would be better.


Hi Mike,

Okay, then based on that context saying "as they really are" might be misleading or a stretch. Perhaps "according to reality" is better. But I base that more on overall Buddhist philosophy, not from any expert Pali opinion.
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Re: yathābhūtadassana: "seeing things as they really are"?

Postby Alex123 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:32 pm

Hello Mikenz, all,

My idea is that we should also look at the context of the word in order to know better what it means, and also about the teaching (Dhamma) in general.

dassana= sight; intuition; insight.

So maybe dassana it is not "seeing" in literal sense of the word, but more of an "insight" which makes perfect sense considering the context and that it is one of the 18 chief kinds of insight vipassana as David N. Snyder has said. I don't believe that one is supposed to develop a 3rd eye, x-ray vision or something like that.

Just like paññācakkhu (eye of wisdom) is not a 3rd fleshy eye or augmentation to fleshy eyes, neither is yathābhūtañāṇadassanaṃ. IMHO.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: yathābhūtadassana: "seeing things as they really are"?

Postby Sylvester » Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:37 am

mikenz66 wrote:Over here
http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... ad#p150170

DaveRupa mentioned yathābhūtadassana , commonly translated as "seeing things as they really are".

Perhaps one of our Pali experts could comment on this phrase. As I understood it, from some source I can't currently locate, the word "things" in the English translation is not really justified by the Pali, and it might be better translated as "seeing clearly" or "seeing correctly".

My amateur attempt at looking up the words:
yathā - according to http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philol ... 1:264.pali
bhūta - becoming, nature, etc, etc... http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philol ... :3646.pali
dassana - seeing http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philol ... :2358.pali

:anjali:
Mike


Yathabhutañanadassana - "Knowledge and Vision of "Things" (as they really are)".

I think translators opt for "things" because of the bhūta, a word related to "hoti". You can see piotr's suggestive hints here - viewtopic.php?f=17&t=9731#p149851

The present tense opted by translators may not really be grammatically justified, since bhūta is a past participle of bhavati, ie bhūta = has become.

You also had this concern -

This question arises from the thread on realism: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=9607&view=unread#p150179 and my question is now whether the translation:
yathābhūtañāṇadassanaṃ: "The knowledge and vision of things as they really are."
Is suggesting a "reality" or "thingness" that is not implied by the Pali,


Bhūta being the past participle of bhavati has already implied the arising or passing away of the very thing that is the object of this knowledge and vision. What arises/passes away cannot have an essence. We're safe from the Sarvastivadins' svabhava dharmas.

All of my notes above come from Ven Analayo's "From Craving to Liberation" (pp 124 - 131). The point about the "essence-less" formulation of Bhūta cited by Ven Analayo comes from Kalupahana, an expert on the Sarvastivadin 'essence' problem that was the subject of Nagarjuna's critique.

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Re: yathābhūtadassana: "seeing things as they really are"?

Postby daverupa » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:57 am

:anjali:

:group:
    "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: yathābhūtadassana: "seeing things as they really are"?

Postby danieLion » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:28 pm

Mikenz66,
Thank you for starting this thread. Daverupa's post from the "Is Theravada Realist?" thread has been on my heart too. I hope to log in again soon enough to join the conversation before this thread's run its course.
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Re: yathābhūtadassana: "seeing things as they really are"?

Postby Nyana » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:24 pm

At least a couple modern translators have suggested that a more accurate (less essentialist) translation of yathābhūtañāṇadassana would be something like "knowledge and vision of things as they have become." The point is to emphasize the the process of becoming and not some sort of static reality. In the suttas, yathābhūtañāṇadassana leads to disenchantment and dispassion.

All the best,

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Re: yathābhūtadassana: "seeing things as they really are"?

Postby daverupa » Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:57 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:yathābhūtañāṇadassana would be something like "knowledge and vision of things as they have become." The point is to emphasize the the process of becoming and not some sort of static reality.


I'm looking at the compound and I want to baby-talk the phrase as follows:

yathā-bhūta-ñāṇa-dassana

{according to-becoming} <-- knowing-seeing

Experiential knowledge of becoming(-ness?)

Is it the case that the object in the English translation, "things", is altogether absent in the Pali compound? In other words, does English convention require an object that isn't required in Pali, in this case? Does -ness offer a viable alternative?
    "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: yathābhūtadassana: "seeing things as they really are"?

Postby Nyana » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:36 pm

daverupa wrote:Does -ness offer a viable alternative?

I think so.
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Re: yathābhūtadassana: "seeing things as they really are"?

Postby daverupa » Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:45 am

:heart: Pali
    "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: yathābhūtadassana: "seeing things as they really are"?

Postby ancientbuddhism » Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:06 pm

“Seeing and knowing as it actually is’ gives it a kind of 'command of the obvious' tone.

Perhaps this is the auto-soteriological equivalent to duh!
“The authentic and pure values – truth, beauty, and goodness – in the activity of a human being are the result of one and the same act, a certain application of the full attention to the object.”
– Simone Weil (Gravity and Grace)

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

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Re: yathābhūtadassana: "seeing things as they really are"?

Postby danieLion » Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:04 pm

From Paul Fuller's The Notion of Ditthi in Theravada Buddhism
The notion of 'view' or 'opinion' (ditthi) as an obstacle to 'seeing things as the are' (yathabutadassana) is a central concept in Buddhist thought....

[S]eeing things as they are is...soteriologically transformative..., usually stated in terms of craving and ignorance being overcome by calm and insight. Early Buddhist soteriology is both prescriptive and descriptive. What is of value is based upon seeing things in a certain way; it is based upon insight into the way things are. In the...Canon what we crave is inseparable from what we know.... Our understanding of how things are affects how we act. One of the reasons to adopt right-view and reject wrong-views is because right-view produces...wholesome...action. It produces the cessation of craving. The reason for this, the early texts suggest, is that is based upon a true description of reality. Through combining notions of 'is' and 'ought' ditthi encompasses a number of factors: the cognitive and affective; the descriptive and prescriptive; fact and value.... Insight into the way things are has a transformative effect and...categories that we normally separate are intrinsically bound and inseparable factors on the Buddhist path. By not separating the 'is' from the 'ought', the early texts are making an important point. That is that ignorance and craving are inseparable in producing unwholesome action and in turning away from the way things really are.

Two theories may be proposed as to the nature of seeing things as they are.... The strong theory emphasises the 'ought', the weak theory emphasises the 'is' and the 'ought'. It is the weak theory I am arguing for.... [T]he 'is' cannot be divorced from 'ought' without undermining the purpose of Buddhist doctrine. The seeing of things as they are is a statement of fact and value....

In the Buddhist texts it is often suggested that the aim of the Buddhist path is 'seeing things as they are'.... In fact, the commentaries often gloss samma-ditthi as yathava-ditthika 'the view of things as they are'... (Mp I 27, 355, V 66). This idea is found in the Mahasalayatanika-sutta {M III 287-90}). This sutta is concerned with seeing the 'great sixfold base {mahasalayatana} as it is. The view of such a person is right-view {yathabhutassa ditthi, sassa hoti samma-ditthi, M III 289} and the other path factors are 'right'.). Rupert Gethin has pointed out that samma-ditthi is essentially knowledge of suffering, its arising, cessation (The Buddhist Path to Awakening: A Study of the Bodhi-Pakkaya Dhamma, p. 190). This is the apprehending of the process of 'rise and fall' (udayabbaya).... Sue Hamilton (in Early Budhhism) has argued that seeing things as they are relates to the adaptation of experience, the way our cognition perceives the world, and entails an insight into the very nature of cognition. It is the truth of knowing that we are no longer bound to continuity {p. 55}; it is knowing 'how our experience operates' {pp. 122, 134}. Seeing things as they are is a soteriological truth, best explained as insight into the nature of knowledge. Hamilton argues that this understanding...is epistemological, and that the primary aim of the Buddhist path is not an ontological understanding of the self [atta] and the world [loka] {p. 138}:

The problem that needs solving...is an epistemological one, and following the Buddha's teachings leads to insight into the arising and nature of knowledge, and into the status of what one knows. But the process that leads to that insight, and the solving of the epistemological problem, does not itself affect Reality {p. 140}.


(pp. 1, 10-11, 40-41, 191)

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Re: yathābhūtadassana: "seeing things as they really are"?

Postby altar » Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:23 pm

in a talk, my teacher Venerable Subhuti, an Indian monk draws parallel with this term i believe it was, with "the way to the beyond."
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Re: yathābhūtadassana: "seeing things as they really are"?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:30 pm

Hi Altar,

You mean as in the last chapter of the Sutta Nipata?
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#vagga-5
Parayanavagga — The Chapter on the Way to the Far Shore

More literally that might be something like chapter (vagga) on knowledge/way (yana) of/to the beyond (para).
[I'm sure our Pali scholars can give a better account...]

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Re: yathābhūtadassana: "seeing things as they really are"?

Postby altar » Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:45 pm

whichever term it was..
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