The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

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The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:06 am

In Chapter 17 of Ajahn Pasanno's section of The Island,
http://www.forestsangha.org/index.php?o ... s&Itemid=8
he talks about the phrase found in many suttas, from the First Discourse onward:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.html
Now during this utterance, there arose in the venerable Kondañña the spotless, immaculate vision of the True Idea: "Whatever is subject to arising is all subject to cessation."

This "Dhamma Eye" is one of the stock descriptions of a stream enterer.

Ajahn Pasanno wrote:[There are several phrasings and translations:]
    And just as a clean cloth from which all stains have been
    removed receives the dye perfectly, so in the Brahmin Kþ¥adanta, as
    he sat there, there arose the pure and spotless Dhamma-eye, and he
    knew: “Whatever things have an origin must come to cessation.”
    Then Kþ¥adanta, having seen, attained, experienced and penetrated
    the Dhamma, having passed beyond doubt, transcended
    uncertainty, having gained perfect confidence in the Teacher’s
    doctrine without relying on others.
    ~ D 5.29-30 (Maurice Walshe trans.)
    Just as a clean cloth with all marks removed would take
    dye evenly, so too, while the householder Upali sat there, the
    spotless immaculate vision of the Dhamma arose in him: “All that
    is subject to arising is subject to cessation.” Then the householder
    Upali saw the Dhamma, attained the Dhamma, understood the
    hamma, fathomed the Dhamma; he crossed beyond doubt, did
    away with perplexity, gained intrepidity, and became
    independent of others in the Teacher’s Dispensation.
    ~ M 56.18 (Bhikkhu Ñanamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi trans.)
    To Upali the householder, as he was sitting right there,
    there arose the dustless, stainless Dhamma eye: Whatever is
    subject to origination is all subject to cessation. Then – having
    seen the Dhamma, having reached the Dhamma, known the
    Dhamma, reached a footing in the Dhamma, having crossed over
    & beyond doubt, having had no more questioning – Upæli the
    householder gained fearlessness and was independent of others
    with regard to the Teacher’s message.
    ~ M 56.18 (Thanissaro Bhikkhu trans.)

Here, the key factor in turning away from the stream of the world and
entering the stream of Dhamma is the insight into impermanence, along with the
seeing of a causal connection between all phenomena. We can recognize that
seeing the truth of “All that is subject to arising is subject to cessation,” is not
beyond our own or anybody else’s capabilities. Having made this point, the
discourse goes onto describe the results, the first being the transcending of doubt and uncertainty.

Due to the different nature of the English and Pali languages, there are
difficulties in translation that may obscure crucial aspects of the Dhamma. If we
translate the stream-entry vision literally from Pali, we have something like ‘what-
ever arising-dhamma cessation-dhamma.’ This is terrible English but beautiful
insight. English grammar requires subject and verb. Thus ‘something’ arises and
ceases. Hence ‘dhamma’ comes across as a thing, or an attribute of things. A thing
has existence in time, so whatever thing arises, or is subject to arising, subsequent-
ly ceases. This is not really news to the reflective mind. However if we consider
stream-entry as something profound, it would be useful to consider the experience
to be one in which the very process that brings ‘things’ to awareness is seen into.

That is, the mind is experiencing an ‘event-stream’ dynamic of arising and ceasing
that rules out substantiality

It is like writing in water – the experience is of arising and ceasing
occupying the same time frame. In this light, perhaps a better rendering would be
‘Whatever is experienced as arising, is experienced as ceasing’; or ‘Any experience
of arising is an experience of ceasing,’
the enigmatic ring of which may alert the
reader to the profundity of the experience.

This would also result in a direct understanding of dependent arising: that
is of a reality not of things existing in a void, but a dynamic of forces, currents and
tendencies. There is no void. The ‘unconditioned dhamma’ some texts allude to is
the experience of an awareness that doesn’t support or give rise to conditions.

Whether one agrees with the exact conclusion regarding how arising-and-ceasing is experienced, it seems undeniable that the mundane observation that "things arise and cease" is not what is being talked about in these sutta passages.

:anjali:
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:16 am

Greetings,

A big sadhu to Ajahn Pasanno for saying this...

A thing has existence in time, so whatever thing arises, or is subject to arising, subsequently ceases. This is not really news to the reflective mind. However if we consider stream-entry as something profound, it would be useful to consider the experience to be one in which the very process that brings ‘things’ to awareness is seen into.

That very process is fabrication...

Fabrication
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=11402

... and it is explained in the Buddha's suttas on dependent origination.

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


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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:40 am

Yes, I think that book is excellent. Ajahn Amaro gave some talks about his half here:
http://www.audiodharma.org/series/1/talk/1839/
    The Safety of the Island: Exploring the Nature of Nibanna RSS iTunes
    Beginning with an overview of the teachings on nibbana, Ajahn Amaro elaborated on definitions the teachings of 'non-self'. The afternoon addressed the essential themes of attending to the deathless, unsupported consciousness and the unconditioned and non-locality. He then discussed applications of the teachings to the Gradual Path, stream entry and the blessings of nibbana, followed by discussion.

It covers much the same material as Ven Nanananda's Nibbana Sermons
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katukurund ... rnal_links
but of course in a rather different style...

Anyway, any comments about the
"whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"
"translation"?

:anjali:
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:47 am

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:Yes, I think that book is excellent... It covers much the same material as Ven Nanananda's Nibbana Sermons

That's enough of a recommendation for me. Downloaded! Once I finish the text I'm reading at the moment, I'll endeavour to get it across onto the iPad.

mikenz66 wrote:Anyway, any comments about the "whatever arising-dhamma cessation-dhamma" "translation"?

I thought it was cute, and I agree with the analysis given (and highlighted by you in red).

The second part you highlighted goes to show that 'ceasing' and 'arising' are actually entirely subjective, and require a thing-ness (dhamma) to exist with respect to.

It is like writing in water – the experience is of arising and ceasing
occupying the same time frame. In this light, perhaps a better rendering would be
‘Whatever is experienced as arising, is experienced as ceasing’; or ‘Any experience
of arising is an experience of ceasing,’ the enigmatic ring of which may alert the
reader to the profundity of the experience.

To give an example - the sound ceases, the silence arises... whether the experience is framed as ceasing or arising is entirely predicated upon the thing (dhamma) it is being bench-marked against.

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


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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby vinasp » Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:51 pm

Hi everyone,

"He understands thus: 'This, indeed, is how there comes to be
be the inclusion, gathering, and amassing of things into these
five aggregates affected by clinging. Now this has been said by
the Blessed One: "One who sees dependent origination sees the
Dhamma, one who sees the Dhamma sees dependent origination."
And these five aggregates affected by clinging are dependently
arisen." [MN 28.38 Bhikkhu Bodhi]

Please note: "... gathering and amassing of things ...", and
that this "mass" of things is "dependently arisen" - past tense.

He sees that all the things which have arisen are capable of ceasing.
Because what has arisen in dependence on ignorance, will cease when
ignorance is eliminated.

It has no connection with experience through the five senses.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby Ariya Suriya » Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:31 pm

Yes, the dhamma-eye is not common understanding, it is experienced in an "intuitive" trascendental way. I wish I had it.
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby piotr » Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:39 pm

Hi Mike,

In ‘yaṃ kiñci samudayadhammaṃ sabbaṃ taṃ nirodhadhamman’ti only a verb (atthi - to be) is omitted, a subject is there (kiñci - whatever). But it's nothing uncommon in Pāli as well as in many other languages. The usual translation might sound not so profound but I guess that in order to understand its meaning one has to connect it with specific conditionality and therefore with dependent arising.
Bhagavaṃmūlakā no, bhante, dhammā...
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:54 pm

Hi piotr,

Thanks for your input. Very helpful. So we have:
    ‘yaṃ kiñci samudayadhammaṃ sabbaṃ taṃ nirodhadhamman’ti
    "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"
piotr wrote:... only a verb (atthi - to be) is omitted, a subject is there (kiñci - whatever). But it's nothing uncommon in Pāli as well as in many other languages. The usual translation might sound not so profound but I guess that in order to understand its meaning one has to connect it with specific conditionality and therefore with dependent arising.

Certainly there is a danger in simply manipulating the language to make it sound "deep".

However, let me put the issue another way. A casual reading the usual abridged (elided) versions of the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn56/sn56.011.nymo.html, only takes a few minutes, and could lead one to the conclusion that it's just a philosophical chat about suffering and craving. Chanting a full Pali version (e.g. http://www.buddha-vacana.org/sutta/samyutta/maha/sn56-011.html), takes about 20 minutes, and really hammers in the "vision arose, insight arose, ..." (cakkhuṃ udapādi, ñāṇaṃ udapādi, ...).

Now, the Buddha's exclamation:
Then the Blessed One uttered the exclamation: "Kondañña knows! Kondañña knows!," and that is how that venerable one acquired the name, Añña-Kondañña — Kondañña who knows.

is much more than that of a teacher happy that his philosophy student has been paying attention. Kondañña has clearly had a profound experience.

Better understanding the descriptions of stream entry (and other path/fruition experiences) in the suttas might help narrow the apparent disconnect between the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta and descriptions of stream entry in later literature (Commentaries and modern accounts). Ajahn Pasanno's alternate translation: ‘Any experience of arising is an experience of ceasing’ to me sounds a lot like the commentarial descriptions of the experience of rapid arising and dissolution of phenomena.

:anjali:
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:10 pm

Greetings Mike,

Nice example re: Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta.

I guess it goes to show that one should use what one has learned (for what else could be used?), but in doing so should vigilantly remain open to improvements, enhancements, and even revisions of that accumulated understanding.

:candle: :meditate: :reading: :meditate: :anjali: :meditate: :reading: :meditate: :candle:

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


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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:53 am

Another (well known) observation about the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta is that Dependent Origination, in both arising an cessation modes, is an elaboration of the causality inherent in the Noble Truths:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.html
"The origin of suffering, as a noble truth, is this: It is the craving that produces renewal of being accompanied by enjoyment and lust, and enjoying this and that; in other words, craving for sensual desires, craving for being, craving for non-being.

"Cessation of suffering, as a noble truth, is this: It is remainderless fading and ceasing, giving up, relinquishing, letting go and rejecting, of that same craving.


From that, it's not such a leap to:
‘Any experience of arising is an experience of ceasing,’

or the more conventional:
"Whatever is subject to arising is all subject to cessation."

:anjali:
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby Nyana » Sun Feb 12, 2012 5:35 am

mikenz66 wrote:It is like writing in water – the experience is of arising and ceasing
occupying the same time frame.

Wangchuk Dorje (9th Karmapa) says the same thing.
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 5:45 am

Thanks Geoff,

Do you have a reference and/or any elaboration you'd care to share?

[Also note that what was quoted were Ajahn Pasanno's words, not mine...]

All the best.

:anjali:
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby vinasp » Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:26 pm

Hi Mike,

There is not a lot said about the "opening of the Dhamma-Eye", in the
Sutta Pitaka. Here are some of my thoughts.

1. The main distinction was between "ordinary person" and "noble disciple".

2. The ordinary person does not understand the four truths, but the noble
disciple does understand them.[ PTS GS I page 67, and footnote 1.]

3. Understanding the four truths is the same as attaining right view, and
therefore, signifies entry into the noble eightfold path.

4. The "stream" is said to be the noble eightfold path, so whoever has
attained the path has entered the stream.

The main "breakthrough" seems to be what is called the "penetration" of
the four truths. So perhaps we should look at these in detail.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby Nyana » Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:17 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Thanks Geoff,

Do you have a reference and/or any elaboration you'd care to share?

The simile of writing in water seems to be indicating basically the same thing in both cases, i.e. the non-substantiality of phenomena.
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby vinasp » Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:47 pm

Hi everyone,

Here is the Sutta from PTS Gradual Sayings Vol. 1, page 67.
[ The book of twos, chapter V, #4]

"Monks, there are these two companies. What two? The Ariyan and the
un-Ariyan (1). And what, monks, is the un-Ariyan company?
Herein, monks, in whatsoever company the monks understand not, as it
really is, the meaning of "This is suffering"; understand not, as it
really is, the meaning of "This is the arising of suffering"; understand
not, as it really is, the meaning of "This is the ending of suffering";
understand not ... "This is the practice leading to the ending of
suffering", - this company is called "the un-Ariyan."
And what, monks is the Ariyan company? (The reverse of the above).
..... These are the two companies, and of these two the Ariyan company
has the pre-eminence.

Footnote 1. Comy, distinguishes them as "that of noble disciples" and
"that of the ordinary persons".

[ I have made some minor changes, such as replacing "Ill" with "suffering".]

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby vinasp » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:25 pm

Hi everyone,

One of the best Sutta's for understanding what the stream-enterer has
understood is SN 12.41
I will note the main points. [ Bhikkhu Bodhi, Connected Discourses, page 578]

1. A noble disciple can declare himself to be a "stream-enterer", when:

a) Five fears have subsided.

b) He possesses the four factors of stream-entry.

c) He has clearly seen and thoroughly penetrated with wisdom the noble
method.

Details of the third item (c) the noble method, is given below:

"And what is the noble method that he has clearly seen and thoroughly
penetrated with wisdom? Here, householder, the noble disciple attends
closely and carefully to dependent origination itself thus:"When this
exists, that comes to be: with the arising of this, that arises. When
this does not exist, that does not come to be; with the cessation of
this, that ceases. That is, with ignorance as condition, volitional
formations [come to be] .... Such is the origin of this whole mass
of suffering. But with the remainderless fading away and cessation
of ignorance comes cessation of volitional formations; .........
Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering."

It does not say that he has penetrated the four noble truths, but
this is because dependent origination is the detailed understanding
of the four noble truths.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:56 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Thanks Geoff,

Do you have a reference and/or any elaboration you'd care to share?

The simile of writing in water seems to be indicating basically the same thing in both cases, i.e. the non-substantiality of phenomena.

Oh, OK. Thanks for clarifying that it was the simile in particular you were referring to. I guess that could be a reasonably common simile. And, besides, Ajahn Amaro, at least, seems to have read widely (presumably also Ajahn Pasanno, but I'm less familiar with his teaching).

:anjali:
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 8:02 pm

Hi Vincent,
vinasp wrote: SN 12.41 [ Bhikkhu Bodhi, Connected Discourses, page 578]
"And what is the noble method that he has clearly seen and thoroughly
penetrated with wisdom? Here, householder, the noble disciple attends
closely and carefully to dependent origination itself thus:"When this
exists, that comes to be: with the arising of this, that arises. When
this does not exist, that does not come to be; with the cessation of
this, that ceases. That is, with ignorance as condition, volitional
formations [come to be] .... Such is the origin of this whole mass
of suffering. But with the remainderless fading away and cessation
of ignorance comes cessation of volitional formations; .........
Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.".

Yes, that's what I was getting at above viewtopic.php?f=13&t=11448&p=173332#p173245 when I said that the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta contains the essence of Dependent Origination, so it may not be so surprising that Kondañña's utterance was to do with arising-cessation.

Normally, one would think of the important thing about stream-entry was penetration of not-self, but that is not explicitly discussed in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, though of course it is implied by Dependent Origination.

:anjali:
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Feb 12, 2012 8:11 pm

just to chip in my nonsense
to my understanding Dependent Arising correlates to the Second Noble Truth and Dependent Cessation with the Third Noble Truth, See DN22 for an example, and to check.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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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."
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 8:21 pm

Cittasanto wrote:just to chip in my nonsense
to my understanding Dependent Arising correlates to the Second Noble Truth and Dependent Cessation with the Third Noble Truth, See DN22 for an example, and to check.

Yes, that's exactly how I understand it. I've seen it discussed in numerous places, such as:
http://www.buddhanet.net/funbud12.htm
On the basis of the Buddha’s own statements, we can see a very close relationship between the Four Noble Truths and dependent origination. What is it that the Four Noble Truths and dependent origination have in common? The principle that both have in common is the principle of causality - the law of cause and effect, of action and consequence. In one of our earlier lectures we have mentioned that the Four Noble Truths are divided into two groups. The first two - suffering and the causes of suffering, and the last two - the end of suffering and the path to the end of suffering. In both of these groups, it is the law of cause and effect that governs the relationship between the two. In other words, suffering is the effect of the cause of suffering; and similarly, the end of suffering is the effect of the path to the end of suffering. Here too in regard to dependent origination, the fundamental principle at work is that of cause and effect. In dependent origination, we have a more detailed description of what actually takes place in the causal process.


:anjali:
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