SN 41.8 Nigantha Nataputta, SN 48.44 Pubbakotthaka

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SN 41.8 Nigantha Nataputta, SN 48.44 Pubbakotthaka

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:51 pm

Here are two interesting Suttas about the role of saddha (faith):
SN 41.8 SN 41.8 Nigantha Nataputta and SN 48.44 Pubbakotthaka, Eastern Gatehouse.

A variation on the second is often told by Ajahn Chah's students. I suspect that their retelling conflates both of these Suttas.
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... =20#p51076

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Re: SN 41.8 Nigantha Nataputta, SN 48.44 Pubbakotthaka

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:09 pm

SN 41.8 Nigantha Nataputta
Translated by Sister Uppalavanna


[Note that it is numbered 40.8 here - and excuse the character set problems...]
http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pit ... ggo-e.html

(8) Nigantha Nataputta. The Son of Nigantha

1. It happened in Macchikasanda.

2. At that time Nigantha Nàthaputta arrived in Macchikasanda with a large community of Niganthas.

3. The householder Citta heard that Nigantha Nàthaputta had arrived in Macchikasanda with a large community of Niganthas.

4. Then the householder Citta approached Nigantha Nàthaputta with a large gathering of lay disciples exchanged friendly greetings and sat on a side.

5. To the house holder Citta, sitting on a side Nigantha Nàthaputta said, "Householder, do you believe in the recluse Gotama's concentration without reasoning and investigation and the concentration of the recluse Gotama in which reasoning and investigation cease?"

"Sir, I am not so close to the Blessed One to know this much yet there is concentration without reasoning and investigation and there is cessation of reasoning and investigating." .

6. When this was said, NNigaõñha Nàthaputta looked at his gathering and said: "Look! This good householder Citta is straightforward, without longing and honest that he should oppress even the wind with a net, or think to oppress, thinking the cessation of reasoning and investigating, which is like thinking to stop the source of river Ganges with the fist."

7. "Sir, what do you think is more excellent, knowledge or faith??

"Householder, faith with knowledge is more excellent."

8. "Venerable sir, when desired I seclude the mind from sensuality and demerit with reasoning and investigation and with pleasant joy born from seclusion, abide in the first high stage of mind. Venerable sir, when desired I overcome reasoning and investigation and with pleasant joy born from concentration abide in the second high stage of mind. Venerable sir, when desired with equanimity to joy and impartiality I enter and abide in the third high stage of mind. Venerable sir, when desired I dispel pleasant and unpleasant states and I enter and abide in the fourth high stage of mind. Venerable sir, why should I, knowing and seeing thus, rely on the faith of other recluses and Brahmins, there is concentration without reasoning and investigation and there is cessation of reasoning and investigation. .

9. When this was said, NNigaõñha Nàthaputta looked away from his gathering and said: "Look! This good householder Citta is not straightforward, with longing and not honest."

"Venerable sir, now itself you said these words, `Look, this good householder Citta is straightforward, without longing and honest' and now itself you say `Look, this good householder Citta is not straightforward, with longing and not honest''

10. Sir, if the words you said earlier are true, the words you said later are not true, if the words you said earlier are not true, the words you said later are true. Sir, there are these ten rightful inquiries common to all co-religious beliefs. When you know their meanings, you and this gathering of Niganthas will be rightfully accused. It's one question one exposition and one explanation, two questions two expositions and two explanations, three questions three expositions and three explanations, four questions four expositions and four explanations, five questions five expositions and five explanations, six questions six expositions and six explanations seven questions seven expositions and seven explanations, eight questions eight expositions and eight explanations, nine questions nine expositions and nine explanations, ten questions ten expositions and ten explanations.

11. The householder Citta making these ten inquiries from Nigantha Nàthaputta getting up from his seat went away.
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Re: SN 41.8 Nigantha Nataputta, SN 48.44 Pubbakotthaka

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:10 pm

SN 48.44 PTS: S v 220 CDB ii 1689
Pubbakotthaka Sutta: Eastern Gatehouse
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

The Buddha and Ven. Sariputta discuss conviction, and whether it is present in those who have seen the Deathless. They concur that until one experiences the Deathless for oneself, one can only take its existence on faith.

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

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying in Savatthi, at the Eastern Gatehouse. There he addressed Ven. Sariputta: "Sariputta, do you take it on conviction that the faculty of conviction, when developed & pursued, gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its goal & consummation? Do you take it on conviction that the faculty of persistence... mindfulness... concentration... discernment, when developed & pursued, gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its goal & consummation?"

"Lord, it's not that I take it on conviction in the Blessed One that the faculty of conviction... persistence... mindfulness... concentration... discernment, when developed & pursued, gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its goal & consummation. Those who have not known, seen, penetrated, realized, or attained it by means of discernment would have to take it on conviction in others that the faculty of conviction... persistence... mindfulness... concentration... discernment, when developed & pursued, gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its goal & consummation; whereas those who have known, seen, penetrated, realized, & attained it by means of discernment would have no doubt or uncertainty that the faculty of conviction... persistence... mindfulness... concentration... discernment, when developed & pursued, gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its goal & consummation. And as for me, I have known, seen, penetrated, realized, & attained it by means of discernment. I have no doubt or uncertainty that the faculty of conviction... persistence... mindfulness... concentration... discernment, when developed & pursued, gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its goal & consummation."

"Excellent, Sariputta. Excellent. Those who have not known, seen, penetrated, realized, or attained it by means of discernment would have to take it on conviction in others that the faculty of conviction... persistence... mindfulness... concentration... discernment, when developed & pursued, gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its goal & consummation; whereas those who have known, seen, penetrated, realized, & attained it by means of discernment would have no doubt or uncertainty that the faculty of conviction... persistence... mindfulness... concentration... discernment, when developed & pursued, gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its goal & consummation."
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Re: SN 41.8 Nigantha Nataputta, SN 48.44 Pubbakotthaka

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:52 am

SN 41.8 Nigantha Nataputta

BB: Nigantha Nataputta is identical with Mahavira, the historial pogenitor of Jainism. Though he makes several personal appearances in the Pali Canon (Particularly MN 56 http://www.bps.lk/olib/wh/wh098-u.html) there is no record of him meetingthe Buddha. His followers were called niganthas, "knotless ones".


Citta the householder ... approached Nigantha Nataputta.

Spk: Why did this noble disciple, a non-returner, appraoch a wretched, misguided, naked ascetic? To free (the Buddhists) from blame and to refute his doctrine. For the niganthas held that the Buddha's followers do not show hospitality to anyone else, and he wanted to free his co-religionists from this criticism. He also approached with the idea of refuting Nataputta's doctrine.


Nigantha Nataputta then said to him: "Householder, do you have faith in the ascetic Gotama when he says: 'There is a concentration without thought and examination, there is cessation of thought and examination."

BB: As will be shown, this refers to the second jhana.
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Re: SN 41.8 Nigantha Nataputta, SN 48.44 Pubbakotthaka

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:51 am

In this matter, venerable sir, I do not go by faith in the Blessed one when he says: "There is a concentration without thought and examination, there is a cessation of thought and examination."

BB: Citta is laying a verbal trap, which will be sprung just below. While he appears to be disclaiming allegiance to the Buddha, he is actually asserting that he has realized the truth of the Buddha's statement by personal experience and thus need not rely on mere faith in his word. The pun recurs at SN 48.44.

"Well, venerable sir, to whatever extent I wish, secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, I enter and dwell in the first jhana, ... second ... third .. fourth jhana ...

Since I know and see thus, venerable sir, in what other ascetic or brahmin need I place faith regarding the claim that there is a concentration without thought and examination, a cessation of thought and examination?"



"Further, venerable sir, these ten reasonable questions come up. When you understand their meaning then you might respond to me along with your retinue..."

BB: Spk paraphrases: "When the meaning of these (questions) is known, then you might come up to me along with your retinue of niganthas; having come to my doorkeeper's presence, you might inform me of your arrival."
BB goes on to arugue that a meaning "to respond, offer a rejoinder" may be a better meaning.

BB: The exact import of the following sentences is obscure in the Pali. Spk identifies the ten questions with the catechism at AN V 5-54
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nypo.html
http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pit ... ggo-e.html
7. Pañhamamahàpa¤hasutta: First on the important questions

The questions begin:
"What is one?" "All beings subsist on nutrient."
"What is two?" "Name and form", ...
According to Spk-pt the "question" means the inquiry; the synopsis, a brief statement of the meaning; and the answer, a detailed explanation of the meaning. One might have translated, "The questions abou on ... the question about ten", but the numbers are clearly distributive and the expressions are plurals. it is unclear whether Citta actually posed the questions (which where then abbreviated by the redactors) or merely indicated the format of the questions without filling it in (but see below).


Then Citta the householder rose from his seat and departed without having asked Nigantha Nataputta these ten reasonable questions.

BB: [Some technical discussion of the Pali.] The point seems to be that because Nataputta die not accept Citta's challenge, Citta left without actually posing his ten questions.
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Re: SN 41.8 Nigantha Nataputta, SN 48.44 Pubbakotthaka

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:45 am

Dhammapadda 7.8
http://home.nethere.net/dsparks/narada/ ... 0Vagga.htm
NOBLE IS HE WHO IS NOT CREDULOUS

The man who is not credulous, who understands the Uncreated (Nibbana), who has cut off the links, who has put an end to occasion (of good and evil), who has eschewed all desires, he indeed, is a supreme man. (97)

Story

The Buddha put some questions to the Venerable Sariputta with regard to faith. Sariputta replied that as he had realized the Paths and Fruits he would not act by mere faith in the Buddha. The monks were displeased to hear that he refused to believe in the Buddha. Thereupon the Buddha explained to the monks that Sariputta was not open to censure as he believed through personal experience and not through mere faith in another.

According to Ven Dhammanando this "story" is the same as SN 48.44

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Re: SN 41.8 Nigantha Nataputta, SN 48.44 Pubbakotthaka

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:59 am

Ajahn Chah and his students tell this story:
http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Samm_Samd ... chment.php
On one occasion, while Venerable Sāriputta was sitting, listening respectfully at his feet as the Buddha expounded the Dhamma, the Buddha turned to him and asked,

''Sāriputta, do you believe this teaching?''

Venerable Sāriputta replied, ''No, I don't yet believe it.''

Now this is a good illustration. Venerable Sāriputta listened, and he took note. When he said he didn't yet believe he wasn't being careless, he was speaking the truth. He simply took note of that teaching, because he had not yet developed his own understanding of it, so he told the Buddha that he didn't yet believe - because he really didn't believe. These words almost sound as if Venerable Sāriputta was being rude, but actually he wasn't. He spoke the truth, and the Buddha praised him for it.

''Good, good, Sāriputta. A wise person doesn't readily believe, he should consider first before believing.''

Conviction in a belief can take various forms. One form reasons according to Dhamma, while another form is contrary to the Dhamma. This second way is heedless, it is a foolhardy understanding, micchā-ditthi, wrong view. One doesn't listen to anybody else.

This appears to be a conflation of SN 41.8, SN 48.44, and possibly some other suttas, such as:
Upali Sutta, MN 56 http://www.bps.lk/olib/wh/wh098-u.html#Up%C4%81liSutta
“Householder, make a thorough investigation! It is good for a distinguished man like you to (first) make a thorough investigation.”


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