Victor Gunasekara wrote:Here naturally a question arises if there is no I or self, who gets the results of kamma. The Buddha in answer said: “I have taught you, O bhikkhus, to see conditionality everywhere in all things
kirk5a wrote:Victor Gunasekara wrote:Here naturally a question arises if there is no I or self, who gets the results of kamma. The Buddha in answer said: “I have taught you, O bhikkhus, to see conditionality everywhere in all things
Personally I find the former a potent response to that commonly expressed doubt.
Ven.-Moliya-Phagguna said to the Blessed One, "Lord, who feeds on the consciousness-nutriment?"
"Not a valid question," the Blessed One said.
Introduction by Victor Gunasekara
...From the discourse we can infer that Dighanaka was a sceptic, i.e. who did not accept any proposition. The Commentary calls him an “Annihilationist”, i.e. someone who did not believe in re-birth or in the doctrine of kamma-vipaka (action-result).
"Master Gotama, I am of the view, of the opinion, that 'All is not pleasing to me.'"
this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire,—why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.
“Master Gotama, my doctrine
and view is this: “Nothing is acceptable to me.”
I, good Gotama, speak thus, I am of this view: all is not pleasing to me
With regard to those brahmans & contemplatives who are of the view, of the opinion, that 'All is not pleasing to me': That view of theirs is close to not being impassioned, close to non-bondage, close to not-delighting, close to not-holding, close to not-clinging."
When this was said, LongNails the wanderer said to the Blessed One, "Master Gotama commends my viewpoint. Master Gotama recommends my viewpoint."
BB: Dı̄ghanakha was Ven. Sāriputta’s nephew. At the time he approached the Buddha, Sāriputta had been a bhikkhu for only two weeks and was still a stream-enterer.
BB: MA holds that Dı̄ghanakha is an annihilationist (ucchedavādin ) and explains this assertion to mean: “No [mode of] rebirth is acceptable to me.” However, the text itself does not give any concrete evidence supporting this interpretation. It seems much more likely that Dı̄ghanakha’s statement, “Nothing is acceptable to me” (sabbaṁ me na khamati), is intended to apply specifically to other philosophical views, and thus shows Dı̄ghanakha to be a radical sceptic of the class satirically characterised at MN 76.30 as “eel-wrigglers”. His assertion would then be tantamount to a wholesale repudiation of all philosophical views.
http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pit ... ka-e1.html
“Again, Sandaka, here a certain teacher is dull and confused. Because he is dull and confused, when he is asked such and such a question, he engages in verbal wriggling, in eel-wriggling: ‘I don’t say it is like this. And I don’t say it is like that. And I don’t say it is otherwise. And I don’t say it is not so. And I don’t say it is not not so.’
MA: This position is called eel-wriggling (amarāvikkhepa) because the doctrine roams about here and there, like an eel diving in and out of the water, and thus it is impossible to catch hold of it. In the Sāmaññaphala Sutta this position is ascribed to Sañjaya Belaṭṭhiputta (DN 2.32/1.58–59). It is quite possible that the “eel-wrigglers” were a class of radical sceptics who questioned the entire prospect of apodictic knowledge about ultimate issues.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"When this was said, Sañjaya Belatthaputta said to me, 'If you ask me if there exists another world [after death], if I thought that there exists another world, would I declare that to you? I don't think so. I don't think in that way. I don't think otherwise. I don't think not. I don't think not not. If you asked me if there isn't another world... both is and isn't... neither is nor isn't... if there are beings who transmigrate... if there aren't... both are and aren't... neither are nor aren't... if the Tathagata exists after death... doesn't... both... neither exists nor doesn't exist after death, would I declare that to you? I don't think so. I don't think in that way. I don't think otherwise. I don't think not. I don't think not not.'
I don't have a view about this stuff...
[Vacchagotta] "Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"
[The Buddha] "A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origin, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origin, such its disappearance; such is perception... such are mental fabrications... such is consciousness, such its origin, such its disappearance.' Because of this, I say, a Tathagata — with the ending, fading out, cessation, renunciation, & relinquishment of all construings, all excogitations, all I-making & mine-making & obsession with conceit — is, through lack of clinging/sustenance, released."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
No takers to the question of how to distinguish an "eel wriggler" from someone worth listening to on the basis of suttas such as those quoted above?
Such is form, such is its origin, such its disappearance...etc
"But, friend, might there be another way in which a noble disciple is one of right view... and has arrived at this true Dhamma?"
Sam Vega wrote:Well, that's my view, anyway! And because it isn't a particularly useful one, I'd be happy to swap it for a better one...
BB:This exchange, as interpreted by MA and MṬ, should be understood as follows: The Buddha suggests, by his question, that Dı̄ghanakha’s assertion involves an inherent contradiction. For he cannot reject everything without also rejecting his own view, and this would entail the opposite position, namely, that something is acceptable to him. However, though Dı̄ghanakha recognises the implication of the Buddha’s question, he continues to insist on his view that nothing is acceptable to him.
BB: MA says that the first sentence refers to those who first take up a basic eternalist or annihilationist view and then subsequently adopt secondary variations on that view; the second sentence refers to those who abandon their basic view without adopting an alternative.
But if, as seems plausible, Dı̄ghanakha was a radical sceptic, then the Buddha’s statement might be understood to point to an unsatisfactoriness inherent in the sceptic’s position: it is psychologically uncomfortable to insist on remaining in the dark. Thus most sceptics, while professing a rejection of all views, surreptitiously adopt some definite view, while a few abandon their scepticism to seek a path to personal knowledge.
most sceptics, while professing a rejection of all views, surreptitiously adopt some definite view, while a few abandon their scepticism to seek a path to personal knowledge.
BB: MA identifies the three views here as eternalism, annihilationism, and partial eternalism. The eternalist view is close to lust (sārāgāya santike), etc., because it affirms and delights in existence in however sublimated a form; annihilationism is close to non-lust, etc., because, though involving a wrong conception of self, it leads to disenchantment with existence. If the second view is understood as radical scepticism, it could also be seen as close to non-lust in that it expresses disillusionment with the attempt to buttress the attachment to existence with a theoretical foundation and thus represents a tentative, though mistaken, step in the direction of dispassion.
Among these, the view of those recluses and brahmins who hold the doctrine and view ‘Everything is acceptable to me’ is close to lust, close to bondage, close to delighting, close to holding, close to clinging. The view of those recluses and brahmins who hold the doctrine and view ‘Nothing is acceptable to me’ is close to non-lust, close to non-bondage, close to non-delighting, close to non-holding, close to non-clinging.”
MA: This teaching is undertaken to show Dı̄ghanakha the danger in his view and thereby encourage him to discard it.
mikenz66 wrote:“Now, Aggivessana, a wise man among those recluses and brahmins who hold the doctrine and view ‘Everything is acceptable to me’ considers thus:MA: This teaching is undertaken to show Dı̄ghanakha the danger in his view and thereby encourage him to discard it.
‘If I obstinately adhere to my view “Everything is acceptable to me” and declare: “Only this is true, anything else is wrong,” then I may clash with the two others: with a recluse or brahmin who holds the doctrine  and view “Nothing is acceptable to me” and with a recluse or brahmin who holds the doctrine and view “Something is acceptable to me, something is not acceptable to me.” I may clash with these two, and when there is a clash, there are disputes; when there are disputes, there are quarrels; when there are quarrels, there is vexation.’ Thus, foreseeing for himself clashes, disputes, quarrels, and vexation, he abandons that view and does not take up some other view. This is how there comes to be the abandoning of these views; this is how there comes to be the relinquishing of these views.
Sam Vega wrote:And here, I am more inclined to veer round to the opposite (i.e. Bhikkhu Bodhi's) position. This seems to be less about Aggivessana's feelings towards the world, and more about his "doctrine" of how it should be seen. ...
Perhaps the difference is that the eel-wrigglers are those who are "faking" the "not having a view" condition.
Sam Vega wrote:The contradictory nature of this Sutta suggests to me that we are dealing here with a composite discourse made up of two which were originally separate. This would account for the Dighanakha/Agivessana confusion as well.
[*] MA: At this point Dı̄ghanakha has discarded his annihilationist view. Thus the Buddha now undertakes to teach him insight meditation, first by way of the impermanence of the body and then by way of the impermanence of the mental factors under the heading of feeling.
BB: MA quotes a verse that says that an arahant may use the words “I” and “mine” without giving rise to conceit or misconceiving them as referring to a self or ego
(SN 1:25/i.14). http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.htmlSee too DN 9.53/i.202, where the Buddha says of expressions employing the word “self”: “These are merely names, expressions, turns of speech, designations in common use in the world, which the Tathāgata uses without misapprehending them.”
Bonds are gone for him without conceits,
All delusion's chains are cast aside:
Truly wise, he's gone beyond such thoughts.
That monk still might use such words as "I,"
Still perchance might say:
"They call this mine."
Well aware of common worldly speech,
He would speak conforming to such use.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html