SN 12.15 Kaccaayanagotto Sutta

Each week we study and discuss a different sutta or Dhamma text

Moderator: mikenz66

SN 12.15 Kaccaayanagotto Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:42 pm

SN 12.15 PTS: S ii 16 CDB i 544
Kaccaayanagotto Sutta: Kaccaayana
translated from the Pali by Maurice O'Connell Walshe


The Buddha explains to Ven. Kaccayana Gotta how dependent co-arising applies in the development of right view.

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

[At Saavatthii the Ven. Kaccaayana asked the Blessed One:] "'Right view,[1] right view,' it is said, Lord. In what way, Lord, is there right view?'

"The world in general, Kaccaayana, inclines to two views, to existence[2] or to non-existence.[3] But for him who, with the highest wisdom, sees the uprising of the world as it really is,[4] 'non-existence of the world' does not apply, and for him who, with highest wisdom, sees the passing away of the world as it really is, 'existence of the world' does not apply.

"The world in general, Kaccaayana, grasps after systems and is imprisoned by dogmas.[5] But he[6] does not go along with that system-grasping, that mental obstinacy and dogmatic bias, does not grasp at it, does not affirm: 'This is my self.'[7] He knows without doubt or hesitation that whatever arises is merely dukkha[8] that what passes away is merely dukkha and such knowledge is his own, not depending on anyone else. This, Kaccaayana, is what constitutes right view.

"'Everything exists,'[9] this is one extreme [view]; 'nothing exists,' this is the other extreme. Avoiding both extremes the Tathaagata[10] teaches a doctrine of the middle: Conditioned by ignorance are the formations... [as SN 12.10]... So there comes about the arising of this entire mass of suffering. But from the complete fading away and cessation of ignorance there comes the cessation of the formations, from the cessation of the formations comes the cessation of consciousness... So there comes about the complete cessation of this entire mass of suffering."


Notes

1. Samma Di.t.thi: the first step of the Noble Eightfold Path, lit. "Right Seeing." It is also rendered "Right Understanding," but the connotations of this are too exclusively intellectual. The rendering "Right Views" (plural) is to be rejected, since it is not a matter of holding "views" (opinions) but of "seeing things as they really are."

2. Atthitaa: "is-ness." The theory of "Eternalism" (sassatavaada).

3. Natthitaa: "is-not-ness." The theory of "Annihilationism" (ucchedavaada). All forms of materialism come under this heading. See the discussion in Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation of DN 1, The All-Embracing Net of Views (BPS 1978), pp. 30-33.

4. Yathaabhuuta.m: cf n. 1.

5. Or, as we might say today, "ideologies" or "isms."

6. I take this to mean the man who sees "with the highest wisdom" mentioned above. Mrs Rhys Davids seems to have gone slightly astray here.

7. [Attaa me ti:] Cf. SN 3.8, n. 1. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html
Feer's edition of SN reads here attaa na me ti "this is not myself," which would also make sense but is contradicted, not only in SA [Commentary], but also when the story is repeated at SN 22.90. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

8. The usual translation "suffering," always a makeshift, is inappropriate here.
Dukkha in Buddhist usage refers to the inherent unsatisfactoriness and general insecurity of all conditioned existence.

9. Sabbam atthi. From the Sanskrit form of this expression, sarvam asti (though used in a slightly different sense) the Sarvaastivaadin school got their name. They held that dharmas existed in "three times," past, present and future. It was mainly to this early school that the label "Hiinayaana" ("Lesser Career or Vehicle") was applied and later illegitimately applied to the Theravaada (see SN 12.22, n. 1 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.022x.wlsh.html).

10. Lit. probably either "Thus come" tathaa-aagata or "Thus gone (beyond)" (tathaa-gata): the Buddha's usual way of referring to himself. For other meanings cf. Bhikkhu Bodhi, The All-Embracing Net of Views (BPS 1978), pp. 50-53, 331-344.
[Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation of DN1 is here: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.01.0.bodh.html, but the (very long!) discussion of the meaning of Thatagata is not reproduced there.]
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9612
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 12.15 Kaccaayanagotto Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:43 pm

SN 12.15 PTS: S ii 16 CDB i 544
Kaccayanagotta Sutta: To Kaccayana Gotta (on Right View)
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu


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

Dwelling at Savatthi... Then Ven. Kaccayana Gotta approached the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "Lord, 'Right view, right view,' it is said. To what extent is there right view?"

"By & large, Kaccayana, this world is supported by (takes as its object) a polarity, that of existence & non-existence. But when one sees the origination of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'non-existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one. When one sees the cessation of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one.

"By & large, Kaccayana, this world is in bondage to attachments, clingings (sustenances), & biases. But one such as this does not get involved with or cling to these attachments, clingings, fixations of awareness, biases, or obsessions; nor is he resolved on 'my self.' He has no uncertainty or doubt that just stress, when arising, is arising; stress, when passing away, is passing away. In this, his knowledge is independent of others. It's to this extent, Kaccayana, that there is right view.

"'Everything exists': That is one extreme. 'Everything doesn't exist': That is a second extreme. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle: From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media. From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.

"Now from the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications. From the cessation of fabrications comes the cessation of consciousness. From the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of the six sense media. From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling. From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of stress & suffering."
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9612
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 12.15 Kaccaayanagotto Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:54 pm

Translation by Ajahn Pasanno & Ajahn Amaro, The Island, Page 106.
http://www.abhayagiri.org/main/book/1788/

At Sævatthi. Then the Venerable Kaccænagotta
approached the Blessed One, paid respects to him, sat down to
one side, and said to him, “Venerable sir, it is said, ‘Right View,
Right View.’ In what way, venerable sir, is there Right View?”
“This world, Kaccæyana, for the most part depends upon the
dualism of the notions of existence and non-existence. But for
one who sees the origin of the world as it really is with right
understanding, there is no notion of non-existence with regard to
the world. And for one who sees the cessation of the world as it
really is with right understanding, there is no notion of existence
with regard to the world.

“This world, Kaccæyana, is for the most part shackled by bias,
clinging, and insistence. But one such as this [with Right View],
instead of becoming engaged, instead of clinging – instead of
taking a stand about ‘my self’ through such a bias, clinging,
mental standpoint, adherance and underlying tendency – such a
one has no perplexity or doubt that what arises is only dukkha
arising, and what ceases is only dukkha ceasing. In this their
knowledge is independent of others. It is in this way, Kaccæyana,
that there is Right View.

“‘All exists,’ Kaccæyana, this is one extreme, ‘All does not exist,’
this is the other extreme. Without veering towards either of these
extremes the Tathægata teaches the Dhamma by the Middle Way:
With ignorance as condition, volitional formations come to be;
with volitional formations as condition, consciousness comes to
be... Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.
“But with the remainderless fading away, cessation and nonarising
of ignorance there comes the cessation of volitional
formations; with the cessation of volitional formations, when
there are no volitional formations, there is the cessation of
consciousness, consciousness does not come to be... Such is the
cessation of this whole mass of suffering.”
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9612
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 12.15 Kaccaayanagotto Sutta

Postby Sam Vara » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:50 pm

[At Saavatthii the Ven. Kaccaayana asked the Blessed One:] "'Right view,[1] right view,' it is said, Lord. In what way, Lord, is there right view?'


A couple of questions about Right View, if I may.

I once asked Stephen Batchelor what he thought "Right View" was. (Yes, I confess to malicious intent, trying to challenge his anti-foundationalist and pragmatic reading of the Dhamma...) He replied that the Buddha gave many different versions of "Right View", depending on the context. Sometimes it was about the reality of action, and sometimes about the 4NT, etc.. In this Sutta, Kaccayana does not give any context. So why do you think the Buddha gives this particular formulation of Right View? Is it in some sense the most fundamental?

Second point. I have often read commentaries about eternalism and annihilationism, and they are presented as theories of the fundamental nature of the self or soul; usually as a preliminary exposition of Anatta. But this Sutta is talking about the existence/non-existence of the world. Are the two ideas the same? Or conceptually related?
User avatar
Sam Vara
 
Posts: 778
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm

Re: SN 12.15 Kaccaayanagotto Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:47 pm

Hi Sam,

I was going to post this later, but perhaps it helps. It's the context from the the Ajahn Pasanno & Ajahn Amaro translation I mentioned above which connects the sutta to views of self.

Ajahn Pasanno & Ajahn Amaro wrote:Perhaps the finest expression of the causes of these two strands of wrong
view, eternalism and annihilationism, comes in a passage from the Itivuttaka.

    This was said by the Lord...
    “Bhikkhus, held by two kinds of views, some devas and human
    beings hold back and some overreach; only those with vision
    see.
    “And how, bhikkhus, do some hold back? Some devas and
    humans enjoy being, delight in being, are satisfied with being.
    When the Dhamma is taught to them for the cessation of being,
    their minds do not enter into it or acquire confidence in it or
    settle upon it or become resolved upon it. Thus, bhikkhus, do
    some hold back.
    “How, bhikkhus, do some overreach? Now some are troubled,
    ashamed and disgusted by this very same quality of being and
    they rejoice in [the idea of] non-being, asserting: ‘Good sirs,
    when the body perishes at death, this self is annihilated and
    destroyed and does not exist any more – this is true peace, this is
    excellent, this is reality!’ Thus, bhikkhus, do some overreach.
    “How, bhikkhus, do those with vision see? Herein one sees what
    has come to be as having come to be. Having seen it thus, one
    practises the course for turning away, for dispassion, for the
    cessation of what has come to be. Thus, bhikkhus, do those with
    vision see.”
    ~ Iti 49 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#iti-049

It is important to note that the last paragraph more describes a method of
meditation practice than merely another philosophical position. These various
teachings point to the fact that the answer to the conundrum of being and non-being is
to be found in reshaping the issue, mostly by the way in which it is seen. The advice
given in the last passage closely matches the practice of vipassana (insight) meditation:
this is comprised of, firstly, the calm and attentive observation of the arising of all
patterns of experience.

Secondly, it involves the seeing of all such patterns through the reflective lens
of anicca-dukkha-anatta (impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and not-self). Lastly, in
the culmination of the process, there is the remainderless relinquishment of all
experience. There is a complete acceptance of all that arises and no confusion about
the fact that all patterns of experience are of the same dependent, insubstantial nature.

    "Whatever form... feeling... perception... mental
    formations ... consciousness there are: past, future or present;
    internal or external; gross or subtle; inferior or superior; far or
    near – all should be seen as they really are through true wisdom
    thus: ‘This is not mine, I am not this, this is not my self.’”
    ~ MV 1.6, S 22.59, Anattalakkhana Sutta
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.html


The evidence for ‘being’ (the arising of things) is seen and seen through, the
evidence for ‘non-being’ (the cessation of things) is seen and seen through; both are
thus let go of through perfect understanding, and the heart experiences release.
Another of the highly significant expressions of this same balancing point of
the Middle Way comes in the Collection on Causation in the Saμyutta Nikaya:
    [SN 12.15 Kaccaayanagotto Sutta]
    At Sævatthi. Then the Venerable Kaccænagotta
    approached the Blessed One, paid respects to him, sat down to
    one side, and said to him, “Venerable sir, it is said, ‘Right View,
    Right View.’ In what way, venerable sir, is there Right View?”
    “This world, Kaccæyana, for the most part depends upon the
    dualism of the notions of existence and non-existence. But for
    one who sees the origin of the world as it really is with right
    understanding, there is no notion of non-existence with regard to
    the world. And for one who sees the cessation of the world as it
    really is with right understanding, there is no notion of existence
    with regard to the world.

    “This world, Kaccæyana, is for the most part shackled by bias,
    clinging, and insistence. But one such as this [with Right View],
    instead of becoming engaged, instead of clinging – instead of
    taking a stand about ‘my self’ through such a bias, clinging,
    mental standpoint, adherance and underlying tendency – such a
    one has no perplexity or doubt that what arises is only dukkha
    arising, and what ceases is only dukkha ceasing. In this their
    knowledge is independent of others. It is in this way, Kaccæyana,
    that there is Right View.

    “‘All exists,’ Kaccæyana, this is one extreme, ‘All does not exist,’
    this is the other extreme. Without veering towards either of these
    extremes the Tathægata teaches the Dhamma by the Middle Way:
    With ignorance as condition, volitional formations come to be;
    with volitional formations as condition, consciousness comes to
    be... Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.
    “But with the remainderless fading away, cessation and nonarising
    of ignorance there comes the cessation of volitional
    formations; with the cessation of volitional formations, when
    there are no volitional formations, there is the cessation of
    consciousness, consciousness does not come to be... Such is the
    cessation of this whole mass of suffering.”

It has been proposed (by Kalupahana, in ‘Nagarjuna: The Philosophy of the
Middle Way’) that this humble sutta was the principal seed for the great, early Indian
Buddhist philosopher Acariya Nagarjuna’s masterpiece, the Mulamadhyamaka-karika
– ‘Treatise on the Root of the Middle Way.’ It is certainly the only discourse of the
ancient Canon that is mentioned by name therein; in point of fact it is the only
discourse mentioned at all.

By way of expansion on this area, here are some of Acariya Nagarjuna’s own
incisive insights on being, non-being and causality:

    Investigation of Essences

    1. It is unreasonable for an essence to arise from causes and
    conditions. Whatever essence arose from causes and conditions
    would be something that has been made.
    . 2. How is it possible for there to be ‘an essence’ which has been
    made? Essences are not contrived and not dependent on
    anything else.
    3. If an essence does not exist, how can the thingness of the
    other exist. [For] the essence of the thingness of the other is said
    to be the thingness of the other.
    4. Apart from an essence and the thingness of the other, what
    things are there? If essences and thingnesses of others existed,
    things would be established.
    5. If things were not established, non-things would not be
    established. [When] a thing becomes something else, people say
    that it is a non-thing.
    6. Those who view essence, thingness of the other, things and
    non-things do not see the suchness in the teaching of the awakened.
    7. Through knowing things and non-things, the Buddha negated
    both existence and non-existence in his ‘Advice to Katyayana’
    8. If [things] existed essentially, they would not come to nonexistence.
    It is never the case that an essence could become
    something else.
    9. If essences did not exist, what could become something else?
    Even if essences existed, what could become something else?
    10. ‘Existence’ is the grasping at permanence; ‘non-existence’ is
    the view of annihilation. Therefore, the wise do not dwell, in
    existence or non-existence.
    11. ‘Since that which exists by its essence is non-existent’ is [the
    view of] permanence. ‘That which arose before is now nonexistent,’
    leads to [the view of] annihilation.
    ~ Acariya Nagarjuna, Mulamadhyamaka-karika, Ch.15. (Stephen
    Batchelor trans.)

As with many of the instances where the Buddha invokes dependent
origination as the resolution for dualities such as self and other, eternalism and
annihilationism, etc. (a large proportion of these are found in the Nidana
Saμyutta, ‘The Collection on Causation,’ S 12), Nagarjuna employs the same
method throughout his treatise. He illustrates again and again how the
dependently originated quality of all things is the basis for their emptiness,
(suññata).

His exposition is a poetic exploration of the relationship between
emptiness, dependent origination and the Middle Way. It is a work of great
philosophical depth yet its language throughout is extremely spare, diamond-like
in its purity and sharpness; it is also a work that stands close to the central
teachings of the Buddha and is thus capable of usefully informing practitioners of
both Northern and Southern schools.
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9612
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 12.15 Kaccaayanagotto Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:14 am

Some comments from Ven Nananada http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katukurund ... anda_Thera

Nibbana Sermon 4.

There is a discourse in the Nidāna section of the
Saṃyutta Nikāya, which affords us a deeper insight into the
meaning of the word nissaya. http://www.palikanon.com/english/wtb/n_r/nissaya.htm
It is the Kaccāyanagotta-
sutta, which is also significant for its deeper analysis of
right view. This is how the Buddha introduces the ser-
mon:
    "This world, Kaccāyana, for the most part, bases its views on two things:
    on existence and non-existence. Now, Kaccāyana, to one who
    with right wisdom sees the arising of the world as it is, the view
    of non-existence regarding the world does not occur. And to
    one who with right wisdom sees the cessation of the world as
    it really is, the view of existence regarding the world does not
    occur."

The Buddha comes out with this discourse in answer to the
following question raised by the brahmin Kaccāyana:
    "Lord, `right view', `right view',
    they say. But how far, Lord, is there `right view'?"

In his answer, the Buddha first points out that the worldlings
mostly base themselves on a duality, the two conflicting views
of existence and non-existence, or `is' and `is not'. They would
either hold on to the dogmatic view of eternalism, or would
cling to nihilism. Now as to the right view of the noble disci-
ple, it takes into account the process of arising as well as the
process of cessation, and thereby avoids both extremes. This is
the insight that illuminates the middle path.

Then the Buddha goes on to give a more detailed ex-
planation of right view:

    "The world, Kaccāyana, for the most part, is given to ap-
    proaching, grasping, entering into and getting entangled as re-
    gards views. Whoever does not approach, grasp, and take his
    stand upon that proclivity towards approaching and grasping,
    that mental standpoint, namely the idea: `This is my soul', he
    knows that what arises is just suffering and what ceases is just
    suffering. Thus, he is not in doubt, is not perplexed, and herein
    he has the knowledge that is not dependent on another. Thus
    far, Kaccāyana, he has right view."

The passage starts with a string of terms which has a deep
philosophical significance. Upaya means `approaching', up-
ādāna is `grasping', abhinivesa is `entering into', and vini-
bandha is the consequent entanglement. The implication is
that the worldling is prone to dogmatic involvement in concepts.
through the stages mentioned above in an ascending order.

The attitude of the noble disciple is then outlined in contrast
to the above dogmatic approach, and what follows after it. As
for him, he does not approach, grasp, or take up the standpoint
of a self. The word anusaya, latency or `lying dormant', is also
brought in here to show that even the proclivity towards such
a dogmatic involvement with a soul or self, is not there in the
noble disciple. But what, then, is his point of view? What arises
and ceases is nothing but suffering. There is no soul or self to
lose, it is only a question of arising and ceasing of suffering.
This, then, is the right view.

Thereafter the Buddha summarizes the discourse and brings
it to a climax with an impressive declaration of his via media,
the middle path based on the formula of dependent arising:

    "`Everything exists', Kaccāyana, is one extreme. `Nothing
    exists' is the other extreme. Not approaching either of those
    extremes, Kaccāyana, the Tathāgata teaches the Dhamma by
    the middle way:

    From ignorance as condition, preparations come to be; from
    preparations as condition, consciousness comes to be; from
    consciousness as condition, name-and-form comes to be; from
    name-and-form as condition, the six sense-bases come to be;
    from the six sense-bases as condition, contact comes to be; from
    contact as condition, feeling comes to be; from feeling as condi-
    tion, craving comes to be; from craving as condition, grasping
    comes to be; from grasping as condition, becoming comes to
    be; from becoming as condition, birth comes to be; and from
    birth as condition, decay-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain,
    grief and despair come to be. Such is the arising of this entire
    mass of suffering.

    From the complete fading away and cessation of that very
    ignorance, there comes to be the cessation of preparations; from
    the cessation of preparations, there comes to be the cessation
    of consciousness; from the cessation of consciousness, there
    comes to be the cessation of name-and-form; from the cessa-
    tion of name-and-form, there comes to be the cessation of the
    six sense-bases; from the cessation of the six sense-bases, there
    comes to be the cessation of contact; from the cessation of con-
    tact, there comes to be the cessation of feeling; from the ces-
    sation of feeling, there comes to be the cessation of craving;
    from the cessation of craving, there comes to be the cessation of
    grasping; from the cessation of grasping, there comes to be the
    cessation of becoming; from the cessation of becoming, there
    comes to be the cessation of birth; and from the cessation of
    birth, there comes to be the cessation of decay-and-death, sor-
    row, lamentation, pain, grief and despair. Such is the cessation
    of this entire mass of suffering."

It is clear from this declaration that in this context the law of
dependent arising itself is called the middle path. Some prefer
to call this the Buddha's metaphysical middle path, as it avoids
both extremes of `is' and `is not'. The philosophical implica-
tions of the above passage lead to the conclusion that the law
of dependent arising enshrines a certain pragmatic principle,
which dissolves the antinomian conflict in the world.

It is the insight into this principle that basically distin-
guishes the noble disciple, who sums it up in the two words
samudayo, arising, and nirodho, ceasing. The arising and ceas-
ing of the world is for him a fact of experience, a knowledge.
It is in this light that we have to understand the phrase aparap-
paccayā ñāṇam ev'assa ettha hoti, "herein he has a knowledge
that is not dependent on another". In other words, he is not be-
lieving in it out of faith in someone, but has understood it expe-
rientially. The noble disciple sees the arising and the cessation
of the world through his own six sense bases.


Nibbana Sermon 7

In this sense, too, the worldling's way of thinking has a ten-
dency to go to extremes. It goes to one extreme or the other.
When it was said that the world, for the most part, rests on a di-
chotomy, such as that between the two views `Is' and `Is not',
this idea of a framework is already implicit. The worldling's
ways of thought `end-up' in one extreme or the other within
this framework. The arahant transcends it, his consciousness
is, therefore, endless, ananta.

Nibbana Sermon 22

This mode of exposition receives support from the
Kaccāyanagot-tasutta of the Saṃyutta Nikāya. The way the
Buddha has defined right view in that discourse is highly sig-
nificant. We have already discussed this sutta on an earlier oc-
casion.

    "It is only suffering that arises and suffering that ceases.
    Under-standing thus, one does not doubt, one does not waver,
    and there is in him only the knowledge that is not dependent on
    another. It is in so far, Kaccāyana, that one has right view."
What is called aparappaccayā ñāṇa is that knowledge of re-
alization by oneself for which one is not dependent on another.
The noble disciple wins to such a knowledge of realization in
regard to this fact, namely, that it is only a question of suffer-
ing and its cessation. The right view mentioned in this context
is the supramundane right view, and not that right view which
takes kamma as one's own, kammassakatā sammā diṭṭhi, imply-
ing notions of `I' and `mine'.


Nibbana Sermon 23

While discussing the ten indeterminate points on a previ-
ous occasion, we happened to mention that the first four among
them concern the world. [Sermon 22]

What those theorists meant by the term world in this context
is none other than that prepared world which is constructed by
the six sense-bases. That is to say, it is just the concept of the
world.

However, they were not aware of the fact that their concept
of the world is a thought-construct, because they had no insight
into the law of dependent arising. They did not understand that
these are mere pre-parations. The fallacy involved here, that is,
the inability to understand that their concept of the world is the
outcome of wrong attention, we illustrated by the simile of the
magic kettle.

In an exhibition a magic kettle is displayed from which wa-
ter keeps on flowing into a basin. One curious onlooker is wait-
ing to see the kettle empty, while the other is waiting to see the
basin overflowing. Both are unaware of the fact that a hidden
tube conveys the water back again to the kettle, unseen through
the same flow of water.

The ordinary concept of the world carries with it the same
fallacy. The worldlings under the sway of defilements, which
thrive on the perception of the compact, ghanasaññā, have the
habit of grasping everything. The ordinary man of the world,
fully overcome by craving and grasping, entertains a perception
of permanence since he has no insight. That is why he regards
the world as a unit due to his perception of the compact, as he
takes cognizance only of the arising aspect, ignoring the decay-
ing aspect.


Whether such a world is eternal or not, is the point at is-
sue in the case of the first set of questions mentioned above,
while the next set poses the dilemma whether it is finite or infi-
nite. What is at the root of all those ill-conceived notions, is the
premise that it is possible to posit an absolute existence or an
absolute non-existence. In other words, the two extreme views
`everything exists' and `nothing exists'.

The unique norm of dependent arising, which the Bud-
dha discovered, dismisses both those extreme views. It is set
forth in the Kaccāya-nagottasutta of the Nidānasaṃyutta in the
Saṃyutta Nikāya, which we have quoted earlier too.761 We
shall, however, bring up again the relevant section to elucidate
this point.

    "This world, Kaccāyana, for the most part, bases its views
    on two things: on existence and non-existence. Now, Kac-
    cāyana, to one who with right wisdom sees the arising of the
    world as it is, the view of non-existence regarding the world
    does not occur. And to one who with right wisdom sees the
    cessation of the world as it really is, the view of existence re-
    garding the world does not occur."

This is where our simile of the magic kettle becomes mean-
ingful. Had both onlookers understood that the magic kettle is
getting filled at the same time it gets emptied, and that the basin
also gets filled while it is being emptied, they would not have
the curiosity to go on looking at it.

In contradistinction to both these viewpoints, the law of de-
pendent arising promulgated by the Buddha transcends them
by penetrating into the concept as such. The Buddha explained
the arising of the world in terms of the twelve factors, beginning
with "dependent on ignorance preparations", precisely because
it cannot be presented in one word.
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9612
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 12.15 Kaccaayanagotto Sutta

Postby Sam Vara » Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:30 pm

Many thanks. Masses to think about here, but as for my original query regarding the object of the eternalism/annihilationism (i.e. the self, or the world as a whole), M. O'C. W's note adds a bit to my perplexity.

3. Natthitaa: "is-not-ness." The theory of "Annihilationism" (ucchedavaada). All forms of materialism come under this heading.


The context for this makes it clear that were are here considering the world. I would have thought that various forms of materialism entail the annihilation of the self, in that the movement of matter involves the break-up of the conditions supporting the self, and the end of the individual. But it is possible for a material world, or at least its components, to be seen as eternal. Democritus, for example, who I am sure Walshe would have been familiar with. For some materialists, matter "is".

Complicated!
User avatar
Sam Vara
 
Posts: 778
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm

Re: SN 12.15 Kaccaayanagotto Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:26 pm

Hi Sam,

What you raise is an important point. I think that the Buddha is talking about "the world" as in "the world of experience".
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

It's interesting to compare these various translations:

Walshe:"
"The world in general, Kaccaayana, inclines to two views, to existence[2] or to non-existence.[3]"
2. Atthitaa: "is-ness." The theory of "Eternalism" (sassatavaada).
3. Natthitaa: "is-not-ness." The theory of "Annihilationism" (ucchedavaada). All forms of materialism come under this heading. See the discussion in Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation of DN 1, The All-Embracing Net of Views (BPS 1978), pp. 30-33.

Ven Thanissaro:
"By & large, Kaccayana, this world is supported by (takes as its object) a polarity, that of existence & non-existence.

Ajahn Pasanno & Ajahn Amaro:
“This world, Kaccæyana, for the most part depends upon the dualism of the notions of existence and non-existence.
Perhaps the finest expression of the causes of these two strands of wrong
view, eternalism and annihilationism, comes in a passage from the Itivuttaka. ...

Nagarjuna:
10. ‘Existence’ is the grasping at permanence; ‘non-existence’ is
the view of annihilation. Therefore, the wise do not dwell, in
existence or non-existence.

Ven Nanananda:
"This world, Kaccāyana, for the most part, bases its views on two things:
on existence and non-existence."
In his answer, the Buddha first points out that the worldlings
mostly base themselves on a duality, the two conflicting views
of existence and non-existence, or `is' and `is not'. They would
either hold on to the dogmatic view of eternalism, or would
cling to nihilism.

Bhikku Bodhi:
"The world, Kaccana, for the most part depends upon a duality - upon the notion of existence and the notion of non-existence."
[Commentary] Spk: "For the most part" means: for the great multitude, with the exception of the noble individuals. The notion of existence is eternalism; the notion of nonexistence is annihilationalism. Spk-pt: The notion of existence is eternalism because it maintains that the entire world (of personal experience) exists forever. The notion of nonexistence if annihilationism because is maintains that the entire world does not exist (forever) but is cut off.

Notice that these various ancient and modern commentators all talk the meaning to be about errors in the notion of existence and the "world of experience".

In my opinion the Sutta says nothing about whether or not "things (rocks, bones, whatever) exist". That's a separate philosophical question that is unimportant to liberation. It's about errors in perception regarding the existence of "my world", "me".

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9612
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 12.15 Kaccaayanagotto Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:35 pm

Here is Bhikkhu Bodhi's entire footnote regarding that brief sentence. While there is obviously room for disagreement over some aspects of this analysis, I wanted to draw out all the previous analyses to show that that a simplistic translation "existence" and "nonexistence" does not seem to be supported by anyone and that the sentence is about the wrong views of eternalism and annihilationism.

:anjali:
Mike


"The world, Kaccana, for the most part depends upon a duality - upon the notion of existence and the notion of non-existence."

Spk: "For the most part" means: for the great multitude, with the exception of the noble individuals. The notion of existence is eternalism; the notion of nonexistence is annihilationalism. Spk-pt: The notion of existence is eternalism because it maintains that the entire world (of personal experience) exists forever. The notion of nonexistence if annihilationism because is maintains that the entire world does not exist (forever) but is cut off.

BB: In view of these explanations it would be misleading to translate the two terms as simply "existence" and "nonexistence" and then to maintain (as is sometimes done) that the Buddha rejects all ontological notions as inherently invalid. the Buddhas's utterances at:
SN 22.94
    http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pitaka/3Samyutta-Nikaya/Samyutta3/21-Khandha-Samyutta/02-05-Pupphavaggo-e.html
    (94) Puppa or Vaddha: The Flower
    That translation is hard to follow. Bhikkhu Bodhi translates, in part:
    "And what is it, bhikkhus, that the wise in the world agree upon as existing, of which I, too, say that it exists? Form that is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change ... "
for example, show that he did not hesitate to make pronouncements with a clear ontological import when they were called for.

In the present passage atthita and natthita are abstract nouns formed from the verbs atthi and natthi. It is thus the metaphysical assumptions implicit in such abstractions that are at fault, not the ascptions of existence and nonexistnce themselves. I have tried to convey this sense of metaphysical abstraction, conveyed in Pali by the terminal -ta by rendering the two terms "the notion of existence" and "the notion of non-existence" respectively. On the two extremes rejected by the Buddha see:
SN 12.48 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
and for the Buddha's teaching on the origin and passing away of the world
SN 12.44 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Unfortunately, atthita and bhava both had to be rendered by "existence", which obscures the fact that in Pali they are derived from different roots. With atthita is the notion of existence in the abstract, bhava is concrete individual existence in one or other of the three realms. Froe the nsame of marking the difference, bhava might have been rendered by "being" (as was done in the MN translation), but this English word, I feel is too broad (suggestive of "Being", the absolute object of philosophical speculation) and does not sufficiently convey the sense of concreteness intrinsic to bhava.
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9612
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 12.15 Kaccaayanagotto Sutta

Postby Sam Vara » Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:55 pm

Again, many thanks.

Notice that these various ancient and modern commentators all talk the meaning to be about errors in the notion of existence and the "world of experience".

In my opinion the Sutta says nothing about whether or not "things (rocks, bones, whatever) exist". That's a separate philosophical question that is unimportant to liberation. It's about errors in perception regarding the existence of "my world", "me".


This is useful, in that I can understand the concept of the existence/non-existence of the thing that is "me", and had previously understood this and similar suttas to mean just that. I suppose the difficulties that arise for me are about:

1) The framing of the dichotomy (existence/non-existence) in terms of "my world", rather than me. Although, on further reflection, this makes perfect sense in the context of anatta because there is no "me" to point to; only perceptions which are variously fabricated into a sense of self through grasping. I am a world because I am not and cannot be anything else.

2) The fact that in other contexts, the philosophical question of the independent objectivity of the world is of importance in determining the possibility of liberation or salvation. Marxism, for example, or the incarnation of Christ.

3) Bhikkhu Bodhi's expression "errors in the notion of..." is also very hard for me to grasp. Normally, the only error in a notion would be that it did not concur with or describe reality. For "errors in the notion of existence", even more so. (What else could be wrong with a notion of existence, other than it is not true to that existence to which it points?)

But I think I am a little bit closer to understanding than when I awoke this morning, so I am thankful!
User avatar
Sam Vara
 
Posts: 778
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm

Re: SN 12.15 Kaccaayanagotto Sutta

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:24 pm

Greetings,

What I like, and find interesting about these comments...

Bhikku Bodhi:
"The world, Kaccana, for the most part depends upon a duality - upon the notion of existence and the notion of non-existence."
[Commentary] Spk: "For the most part" means: for the great multitude, with the exception of the noble individuals. The notion of existence is eternalism; the notion of nonexistence is annihilationalism. Spk-pt: The notion of existence is eternalism because it maintains that the entire world (of personal experience) exists forever. The notion of nonexistence if annihilationism because is maintains that the entire world does not exist (forever) but is cut off.

... is that it's talking about eternalism and annihilationism with respect to loka/sabba/salayatana and not with respect to atman.

In practice, it may be all too easy to think, "Easy. I don't believe in a soul/atman, so eternalism and annihilationism has no relevance to me. I've got that sorted. I'm not stuck in that net (jala)."

But how do we view the world of the six-sense-spheres? Do we regard that as something that will always exist? Do we regard that as something that currently exists that will cease to exist? Do we regard that as something that exists, which will cease to exist, as it "passes away"? Do we regard that as something that exists, but which will cease to exist, in a millionth of a second? Now there's some things worth investigating, whether or not we believe in, disbelieve, or are ambivalent about soul/atman. To what extent is there Right View?

Sam Vega wrote:I am a world because I am not and cannot be anything else.

Yet the Buddha achieved the nirodha (cessation) of salayatana in this very life time, so "the world" ought not be regarded as a given. As per what I've said above... this would be to hold to the view that the world exists. Something else to contemplate... :meditate:

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14521
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: SN 12.15 Kaccaayanagotto Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:07 am

Sam Vega wrote:3) Bhikkhu Bodhi's expression "errors in the notion of..." is also very hard for me to grasp. Normally, the only error in a notion would be that it did not concur with or describe reality. For "errors in the notion of existence", even more so. (What else could be wrong with a notion of existence, other than it is not true to that existence to which it points?)

Actually, I thought that was my paraphrasing, and "error" is perhaps a clumsy expression. As I understand it, what all these people are saying is that "you" will have problems if the notion of existence or non-existence is grasped at.

retrofuturist wrote:... it's talking about eternalism and annihilationism with respect to loka/sabba/salayatana and not with respect to atman.

In practice, it may be all too easy to think, "Easy. I don't believe in a soul/atman, so eternalism and annihilationism has no relevance to me. I've got that sorted. I'm not stuck in that net (jala)."

But how do we view the world of the six-sense-spheres? ...

Good point. What we cling to can clearly be very subtle...

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9612
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 12.15 Kaccaayanagotto Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:48 am

"But for one who sees the origin of the world as it really is, with correct wisdom, there is no notion of nonexistence in regard to the world. And for one who sees the cessation of the world as it really is with correct wisdom, there is no notion of existence in regard to the world."

Spk: The origin of the world: the production of the world of formations.
There is no notion of nonexistence in regard to the world: there does not occur in him the annihilationist view that might arise in regard to phenomena produced and made manifest in the world of formations, holding "The do not exist".
Spk-pt: The annihilationist view might arise in regard to the world of formations thus: "On accound of the annihilation an perishing of beings right where they are, there is no persisting being of phenomenon." It also includes the wrong view, having those formations as its object, which holds: "There are no beings that are reborn."
That view does not occur to him; for one seeing with right understanding the production and origination of the world of formations in dependence on such diverse conditions as kamma, ignorance, craving, etc., that annihilationist view does not occur, since one sees the uninterrupted production of formations.

Spk: The cessation of the world: the dissolution (bhanga) of formations.
There is no notion of existence in regard to the world: There does not occur in him the eternalist view which might arise in regard to phenomena produced and made manifest in the world of formations, holding "The exist".
Spk-pt: The eternalist view might arise in regard to the world of formations, taking it to exist at all times, owing to the apprehension of identity in the uninterrupted continuum occurring in a cause-effect relationship. But that view does not occur in him; because he sees the cessation of the successively arisen phenomnea and the arising of successively new phenonmena, the eternalist view does not occur.

Spk: Further, "the origin of the world" is direct-order conditionality; "the cessation of the world" reverse-order conditionality.
[Spk-pt: "Direct-order conditionality is the conditioning efficiency of the conditions in relation to their own effects; reverse order conditionality is the cessation of the effects through the cessation of their respective causes.]
For in seeing the dependency of the world, when one sees the non-termination of the conditionally arisen phenomena owing to the nontermination of their conditions, the annihilationist view, which might otherwise arise, does not occur. And in seeing the cessation of conditions, when one sees the cessation of the conditionally arisen phenomena owing to the cessation of their conditions, the eternalist view, which might otherwise arise, does not occur.
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9612
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 12.15 Kaccaayanagotto Sutta

Postby Sam Vara » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:50 am

Retro:

Sam Vega wrote:
I am a world because I am not and cannot be anything else.
retrofuturist wrote:Yet the Buddha achieved the nirodha (cessation) of salayatana in this very life time, so "the world" ought not be regarded as a given. As per what I've said above... this would be to hold to the view that the world exists. Something else to contemplate...


Agreed. To clarify, I didn't mean that the world was real whereas the self is not. I mean that to the extent that I conceive of myself, I am conceiving of the world and nothing else.
User avatar
Sam Vara
 
Posts: 778
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm

Re: SN 12.15 Kaccaayanagotto Sutta

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:41 pm

Please correct as you see fit/comment.

SN 12.15 Kaccayanagotta Sutta: To Kaccayana Gotta (on Right View) Translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:Dwelling at Savatthi... Then Ven. Kaccayana Gotta approached the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "Lord, 'Right view, right view,' it is said. To what extent is there right view?"


The two types of Right View (Upright Perspective as I prefer to render it) are
Mahasatipaṭṭhāna Sutta, DN22 wrote:Mendicants, Now what is upright perspective?
Mendicants, that which is knowledge about stress, knowledge about the origination of stress, knowledge about the destruction of stress, knowledge about the practice leading to the destruction of stress.
This, mendicants, is called upright perspective!

and
Mahācattārīsaka Sutta MN117 wrote:“There is what is given, offered and sacrificed, skilful and unskilled acts do have consequences or end result, this world, and the other world do exist, there are mothers, fathers, and spontaneously born beings, and there are also recluses and priests who have traversed the upright path until complete perfection, so by their own efforts, realizing this world and the world beyond, declare it.”

this text seams to be referring to the latter (MN117) version initially, which refers more to ones views & ideas, than how one frames experiences, although, the later is where we are looking from, and the former (which comes into play later) is how we are looking (hence my preference to perspective).

SN 12.15 Kaccayanagotta Sutta: To Kaccayana Gotta (on Right View) Translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:"By & large, Kaccayana, this world is supported by (takes as its object) a polarity, that of existence & non-existence. But when one sees the origination of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'non-existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one. When one sees the cessation of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one.

The world is referring to the eight worldly conditions, which are - gain/loss, status/disgrace, censure/praise, and pleasure/pain, and the world (loke) as related to the ‘All’ of the sabba sutta SN35.23, which is the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavours, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. In the Lokapala Sutta AN2.9, describes the world as that which disintegrates, with conscience & concern for the results of unskilful actions as the guardians. The qualities of the world mentioned in the Loka Sutta SN3.23, are greed, aversion, and delusion.

The Non-occurance of the idea of existence and non-existence would be referring to either (or both) the seeing of dependent co-arrising/cestation of objects, or/and
Bāhiya sutta (excerpt) wrote:In what is seen, there is only as much as what can be seen, in what is heard, there is only as much as what can be heard, in what is smelt, tasted & touched, there is only as much as what can be smelt, tasted & touched, in what is known, there is only as much as what can be known.

which is right discernemt (see MN43).

Personally I feel it is correct to say that things do exist in and of themselves/as objects, but lack independent existence, i.e. a self which can be claimed as a self/what we see is what we see, not what we think we see.

SN 12.15 Kaccayanagotta Sutta: To Kaccayana Gotta (on Right View) Translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:"By & large, Kaccayana, this world is in bondage to attachments, clingings (sustenances), & biases. But one such as this does not get involved with or cling to these attachments, clingings, fixations of awareness, biases, or obsessions; nor is he resolved on 'my self.' He has no uncertainty or doubt that just stress, when arising, is arising; stress, when passing away, is passing away. In this, his knowledge is independent of others. It's to this extent, Kaccayana, that there is right view.

This bondage to attachments, clingings (sustenances), & biases seams to me to be attaching to seeing things from either side of the eight worldly conditions in any given situation, and it srelation is to the four noble truths as right view.

SN 12.15 Kaccayanagotta Sutta: To Kaccayana Gotta (on Right View) Translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:"'Everything exists': That is one extreme. 'Everything doesn't exist': That is a second extreme. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle: From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media. From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.


SN 12.15 Kaccayanagotta Sutta: To Kaccayana Gotta (on Right View) Translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:"Now from the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications. From the cessation of fabrications comes the cessation of consciousness. From the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of the six sense media. From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling. From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of stress & suffering."


Within the Buddhas First Discourse it is said
Dhamma-cakkappavattana Sutta - The Setting The Wheel of Dhamma in Motion Discourse wrote:“Mendicants, there are these two extremes that one who has gone forth should not associate oneself with, which is this, devotion to the pleasure & happiness found in sensuous pleasures, which is base, vulgar, belonging to ordinary beings, ignoble, connected with harm; and the devotion to self-mortification, which is stressful, ignoble connected with harm.
Mendicants, not swaying towards either of these two extremes, the middle mode of conduct was realised by the awakened one, which produces vision, produces knowledge, leading to calm, understanding, full awakening and Nibbānā.

and the four noble truths (particularly the second and third textually (see DN22), but also the first and fourth as the duties of the first and the fourth found within the Dhamma-cakkappavattana Sutta may suggest.)
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5661
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: SN 12.15 Kaccaayanagotto Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:44 am

"This world, Kaccana, is for the most part shackled by engagement, clinging, and adherence."

BB: Spk explains that each of the three nouns --- engagement, clinging, and adherence --- occurs by way of craving and views (tanha, ditthi), for it is through these that one engages, clings to, and adheres to the phenomena of the three planes as "I" and "mine"




"But this one [with right view] does not become engaged and cling through that engagement and clinging, mental standpoint, adherence, underlying tendency; he does not take a stant about 'my self'."

BB: [Technical discussion of the difficult syntax...]. Spk says that craving and views are also called "mental standpoints" (adhitthana) because they are foundations for the (unwholesome) mind, and "adherences and underlying tendencies" (abhinivesanusaya) because they adhere to the mind and lie latent within it.




"He has no perplexity or doubt that what arises is only suffering arising, what ceases is only suffering ceasing. His knowledge about this is independent of others. It is in this way, Kaccana, that there is right view."

BB: Spk explainse dukkha here as "the mere five agghttp://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipit ... tmlregates subject to clinging". Thsu what the noble disciple sees, when he reflects upon his personal existence, is not a self or a substantially existent person but a mere assemblage of conditioned phenomena arising and passing away through the conditioning process governed by dependent origination. IN this connection see the verses of the bhikkhuni Vajira:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .bodh.html
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... bl143.html
By just this much --- the abandonment of the idea of a being (satta-sanna) --- there is right seeing.

Aparappaccaya namam, "knowledge independent of others" is glossed by Spk as "personal direct knowledge without dependence on another". This is said because the noble disciple, from the point of stream-entry on, has seen the essential truth of the Dhamma, and thus is not dependent on anyone else, not even the Buddha, for his or her insight into the Dhamma. Until arahantship is attained, however, such a disciple might still approach the Buddha (or another enlightened teacher) for practical guidance in meditation.




"'All exists': Kaccana, this is one extreme. 'All does not exist'" this is the second extreme. Without veering towards either of these extremes the Thahagata teachers the Dhamma by the middle: 'With ignorance as condition, volitional formations...
Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.
But with the remainderless cessation of ignorance ...
Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering'"
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9612
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 12.15 Kaccaayanagotto Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:46 am

I'm off soon for a long weekend, so please continue to discuss this very interesting sutta, along with its ancient and modern commentaries, amongst yourselves.

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9612
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 12.15 Kaccaayanagotto Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:16 am

Interestingly, the book by Ajahns Amaro and Pasanno, The Island, mentioned above has this sutta twice. Above I quoted it from Ajahn Amaro's section (the first half). Here it is again in Ajahn Pasanno's section.


Although these passages portray the Middle Way as balancing two ends of a
continuum, there are other instances where the Buddha defines the Middle Way as a
precise approach that cuts through the continuum entirely. This is especially apparent
in passages where he discusses the Middle Way in terms, not of behavior or
motivation, but of Right View. The Buddha often stresses the radical importance of
Right View:
    I do not envision any one other quality by which
    unarisen skillful qualities arise, and arisen skillful qualities
    go to growth and proliferation, like right view. When a
    person has right view, unarisen skillful qualities arise, and
    arisen skillful qualities go to growth and proliferation.
    ~ A 1.182
This is not a right view that is clung to as an orthodoxy. Instead, it is a
correct perception of truth that leads to correct practice producing the right results.
And, the practice is not clung to and upheld come what may. Instead, one must
continually align one’s views and practice so as to cut through the misperception
that all the options available to us can be expressed in an either/or. This helps
provide a perspective that is more intuitive and centered in the present moment.
    At Savatthø. Then the Venerable Kaccanagotta
    approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, sat down to
    one side, and said to him: “Venerable sir, it is said, ‘right view,
    right view.’ In what way, venerable sir, is there right view?”
    “This world, Kaccana, for the most part depends upon a duality –
    upon the notion of existence and the notion of nonexistence. But
    for one who sees the origin of the world as it really is with
    correct wisdom, there is no notion of nonexistence in regard to
    the world. And for one who sees the cessation of the world as it
    really is with correct wisdom, there is no notion of existence in
    regard to the world.
    “This world, Kaccana, is for the most part shackled by engagement,
    clinging, and adherence. But this one [with right view]
    does not become engaged and cling to that engagement and
    clinging, mental standpoint, adherence, underlying tendency; he
    does not take a stand about ‘my self.’ He has no perplexity or
    doubt that what arises is only suffering arising, what ceases is
    only suffering ceasing. His knowledge about this is independent
    of others. It is in this way, Kaccana, that there is right view.
    “‘All exists’: Kaccana, this is one extreme. ‘All does not exist’: this
    is the second extreme. Without veering towards either of these
    extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma by the middle...”
    ~ S 12.15 (Bhikkhu Bodhi trans.)

    Bhikkhus, held by two kinds of views, some devas and
    human beings hold back and some overreach; only those with
    vision see.
    And how, bhikkhus, do some hold back? Devas and humans enjoy
    being, delight in being, are satisfied with being. When Dhamma is
    taught to them for the cessation of being, their minds do not enter
    into it or acquire confidence in it or settle upon it or become
    resolved upon it. Thus, bhikkhus, do some hold back.
    How, bhikkhus, do some overreach? Now some are troubled,
    ashamed and disgusted by this very same being and they rejoice in
    (the idea of) non-being, asserting: “In as much as this self, good sirs,
    when the body perishes at death, is annihilated and
    destroyed and does not exist after death – this is peaceful, this is
    excellent, this is reality!” Thus, bhikkhus, do some overreach.
    How, bhikkhus, do those with vision see? Herein a bhikkhu sees
    what has come to be as having come to be. Having seen it thus, he
    practises the course for turning away, for dispassion, for the
    cessation of what has come to be. Thus, bhikkhus, do those with
    vision see.
    ~ Iti 49 (John D. Ireland trans.)
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#iti-049

The act of clinging to views of being or non-being forms the basis for our
misperception in life. When we hold to being, we foster a tendency to search for
ways of furthering the gratification, comfort, pleasure of that being. When we hold
to non-being, the swing goes in the direction of nihilism, fear, aversion to the
quality of being. This is to state the case in a somewhat oversimplified way, but as
we reflect and extrapolate from these two positions we can see how they can give
rise to a multitude of difficulties.

[SN 12.48 See this thread: http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=11292&start=0#p170319]
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9612
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 12.15 Kaccaayanagotto Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:56 am

Comments by Bhikkhu Bodhi from In the Buddha's Words.

Several suttas hold up dependent origination as a "teaching by the middle" (majjhena tahagato dhammam deseti). It is a "teaching by the middle" because it transcends two extremes that polarize philosophical reflection on the human condition. One extreme, the metaphysical thesis of eternalism (sassatavada), asserts that the core of human identity is an indestructible and eternal self, whether individual or universal. It also asserts that the world is created and maintained by a permanent entity, a God or some other metaphysical reality. The other extreme, annihilationism (ucchedavada), holds that at death the person is utterly annihilated. There is no spiritual dimension to human existence and thus no personal survival of any sort. For the Buddha, both extremes pose insuperable problems. Eternalism encourages an obstinate clinging to the five aggregates, which are really impermanent and devoid of substantial self; annihilationism threatens to undermine ethics and to make suffering the product of chance.

Dependent origination offers a radically different perspective that transcends the two extremes. It shows that individual existence is constituted by a current of conditioned phenomena devoid of metaphysical self yet continuing on from birth to birth as long as the causes that sustain it remain effective. Dependent origination thereby offers a cogent explanation of the problem of suffering that on the one hand avoids the philosophical dilemmas posed by the hypothesis of a permanent self, and on the other avoids the dangers of ethical anarchy to which annihilationism eventually leads. As long as ignorance and craving remain, the process of rebirth continues; kamma yields its pleasant and painful fruit, and the great mass of suffering accumulates. When ignorance and craving are destroyed, the inner mechanism of karmic causation is deactivated, and one reaches the end of suffering in samsara. Perhaps the most elegant exposition of dependent origination as the "middle teaching" is the famous Kaccanogotta sutta.
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9612
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 12.15 Kaccaayanagotto Sutta

Postby cooran » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:08 am

Love Bhikkhu Bodhi's knowledge, understanding and communication skills!

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7055
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Next

Return to Study Group

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest