Path to Buddhahood

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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:04 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Not at all. i have no problem with the commentaries, etc., but that does not mean I cannot look at the what the suttas have to say about a particular subject.

You obviously do have a problem with the commentaries, etc.
According to you, maybe, but not according to me. Now, rather than your continuing to try to take this discussion to the man, please address the actual issues.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby Nyana » Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:00 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Not at all. i have no problem with the commentaries, etc., but that does not mean I cannot look at the what the suttas have to say about a particular subject.

You obviously do have a problem with the commentaries, etc.
According to you, maybe, but not according to me. Now, rather than your continuing to try to take this discussion to the man, please address the actual issues.

It's a simple point of fact relevant to the issue at hand: You reject the Paṭisambhidāmagga and commentarial explanations of the buddha-knowledges, therefore you have a problem with the commentaries. To be unwilling to acknowledge this would be a sign of duplicity.
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:08 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:It's a simple point of fact relevant to the issue at hand: You reject the Paṭisambhidāmagga and commentarial explanations of the buddha-knowledges, therefore you have a problem with the commentaries. To be unwilling to acknowledge this would be a sign of duplicity.
I don't reject the later texts; however, in asking what the suttas say about a particular subject, is not asking what the later commentarial literature has to say about that subject, unless I am doing a comparative study, or a study of Theravada doctrine, or a study of Theravada doctrinal development, which I'm not.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby ancientbuddhism » Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:27 pm

Is it just me, or is this discussion becoming rather circular?

It seems clear that the endowments of a Sammāsambuddha, and the conditions for, and qualities of, the sambodhi of an arahant, are separate no matter how one backreads later material into the suttas.
Katamo ca bhikkhave asaṅkhatagāmī maggo: samatho ca vipassanā ca. Ayaṃ vuccati bhikkhave asaṅkhatagāmī maggo.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Calm and insight. This, bhikkhus, is called the path leading to the unconditioned.” SN. 43.2 – Samathavipassanāsuttaṃ

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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:33 pm

ancientbuddhism wrote:Is it just me, or is this discussion becoming rather circular?
It has, indeed, become a tail chaser.
Image


It seems clear that the endowments of a Sammāsambuddha, and the conditions for, and qualities of, the sambodhi of an arahant, are separate no matter how one backreads later material into the suttas.
Certainly seems to be so.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby Nyana » Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:17 pm

tiltbillings wrote:I don't reject the later texts; however, in asking what the suttas say about a particular subject, is not asking what the later commentarial literature has to say about that subject, unless I am doing a comparative study, or a study of Theravada doctrine, or a study of Theravada doctrinal development, which I'm not.

The suttas are not a comprehensive, systematic presentation of the dhamma, and there is no evidence that they were ever meant to be. Moreover, there is no evidence that the suttas were ever meant to be understood without recourse to further commentary (oral, then later, written commentary).

The only advantage of excluding the rest of the Tipiṭaka and trying to rely exclusively on the suttas is that this allows one to pursue and develop any novel pet-theory that they wish. Theories that appeal to the notion of a more pristine pre-Tipiṭaka "Early Buddhism" are speculative, and such speculations only exist in people's imaginations.

The Theravāda tradition is the only Buddhist tradition that has managed to retain and transmit it's entire Tipiṭaka, well edited and preserved in an Indic language. Without the significant efforts of Theravāda monastics we'd now be trying to piece together the dhammavinaya from fragmentary collections of different schools, much of which is only available in Chinese translation. Moreover, the Theravāda offers the best opportunity to continue to introduce and maintain monastic Buddhism in the West. Preservation, translation, and engagement with the entire Tipiṭaka is an important part of this transmission.
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby santa100 » Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:32 pm

If I may interject, I think both Tilt and Nana are referring to aspects that aren't really at odds with each other. The Buddha definitely shares the same "sambodhi" as His disciples arahants. This bodhi's scope includes the total elimination of all outflows and defilements, which enable one to put an end to suffering and samsara. However, the Buddha went much further than His disciples arahants and attained what is called "samma-sambodhi", the Perfect/Complete Enlightenment, which, beside the total elimination of outflows/defilements, the scope expands to includes the supernormal abilities only unique to Buddhas (knowing the limits of other people's faculties, direct knowledge of all that's heard and seen, etc..). So, at the end of the day, it's really up to the practitioner's aspiration to choose a path for themselves. S/He can choose the path of "sambodhi", or s/he can choose the path of "samma-sambodhi", they are not completely different since they share the same base scope, just like they are not completely the same since the later would require A LOT more effort and time..
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:16 am

Geoff wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:I don't reject the later texts; however, in asking what the suttas say about a particular subject, is not asking what the later commentarial literature has to say about that subject, unless I am doing a comparative study, or a study of Theravada doctrine, or a study of Theravada doctrinal development, which I'm not.

The suttas are not a comprehensive, systematic presentation of the dhamma, and there is no evidence that they were ever meant to be. Moreover, there is no evidence that the suttas were ever meant to be understood without recourse to further commentary (oral, then later, written commentary).
Whose commentary? We look at the Kathavatthu and we see all sort of interesting commentarial ideas from differing schools being discussed. My favorite is that the Buddha being a pure being, his poop smelled like sandalwood, or there is the docetic version of the Buddha, which found great favor with aspects of the Mahayana. Or there is the question of what happens after death and before rebirth. The Theravadin commentaries say one thing, but other schools say differently based upon pretty good evidence from the suttas. Interestingly, it seems that each school, vada, developed its own set of commentaries that see things differently from other schools. So, whose set of commentaries, whose “systematic presentation” do we favor, and why?

The only advantage of excluding the rest of the Tipiṭaka and trying to rely exclusively on the suttas is that this allows one to pursue and develop any novel pet-theory that they wish.
There can be some truth to that; however, that can be safe guarded against it by good, careful scholarship. I am not advocating anything that is not supported by the suttas directly, and you have not shown that I have done otherwise. Also, the suttas are not quite as bleak in content on some subjects as you seem to want to imply. The Buddha had said a fair amount about the question of bodhi, and while there are things in this disquisition viewtopic.php?f=16&t=9747&p=149864&#p149864 that I would, if rewriting it, reconsider, but the central thesis – The bodhi the Buddha attained is no different from that if the arahant – holds up.

Theories that appeal to the notion of a more pristine pre-Tipiṭaka "Early Buddhism" are speculative, and such speculations only exist in people's imaginations.
I am not advocating some sort of “pristine Buddhism.” I am, rather, asking what a careful exegesis of the suttas, as we have them, would show in terms of the question of bodhi. My conclusion is actually fairy common among scholars such as Ven Bodhi or A.K. Warder or others.

The Theravāda tradition is the only Buddhist tradition that has managed to retain and transmit it's entire Tipiṭaka, well edited and preserved in an Indic language.
Thanks to a fortunate happenstance of Theravada being ensconced in Sri Lanka shielded from the Brahmanical/Hindu persecutions and the Islamic incursions.

Without the significant efforts of Theravāda monastics we'd now be trying to piece together the dhammavinaya from fragmentary collections of different schools, much of which is only available in Chinese translation. Moreover, the Theravāda offers the best opportunity to continue to introduce and maintain monastic Buddhism in the West. Preservation, translation, and engagement with the entire Tipiṭaka is an important part of this transmission.
Can we meaningfully argue and show that without question that the Theravada has THE correct understanding of the Dhamma, of how the suttas should be, must be, interpreted? So, under no circumstance should we ever look to the suttas without the filter of later commentarial works?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby ancientbuddhism » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:11 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Whose commentary? We look at the Kathavatthu and we see all sort of interesting commentarial ideas from differing schools being discussed. My favorite is that the Buddha being a pure being, his poop smelled like sandalwood, or there is the docetic version of the Buddha, which found great favor with aspects of the Mahayana. Or there is the question of what happens after death and before rebirth. The Theravadin commentaries say one thing, but other schools say differently based upon pretty good evidence from the suttas. Interestingly, it seems that each school, vada, developed its own set of commentaries that see things differently from other schools. So, whose set of commentaries, whose “systematic presentation” do we favor, and why? ... Also, the suttas are not quite as bleak in content on some subjects as you seem to want to imply. The Buddha had said a fair amount about the question of bodhi, and while there are things in this disquisition viewtopic.php?f=16&t=9747&p=149864&#p149864 that I would, if rewriting it, reconsider, but the central thesis – The bodhi the Buddha attained is no different from that if the arahant – holds up.


Or the commentaries can present a conflicting analysis. Even setting aside the possibility I mentioned earlier that AN. 4.24 may include a direct polemic against Upaniṣadic ontology; the context prima facie is with reference to assumptions about cognitions e.g. “…seen, heard, sensed, cognised …” made “In this world with its gods…”, more so than an advertisement about paranormal qualities. Here, the Tathāgata knows these cognitions and is not indecisive about them e.g. eel-wriggling – tamahaṃ jānāmi ca na ca jānāmīti vadeyyaṃ ... tamahaṃ neva jānāmi na na jānāmīti vadeyyaṃ.

Where the commentary discusses maññati, it says it is “related to the plane of emptiness” (suññatābhūmi nāma kathitā), which is nearer the context of the text overall, that is, the Tathāgata has no imaginings (na maññati) of the “…seen, heard etc…” and is tādī ‘such’, and thus is without assumptions about cognitions that others have “affixed … “I know, I see, thus it is so”; a qualitiy also possessed by the arahant.
Katamo ca bhikkhave asaṅkhatagāmī maggo: samatho ca vipassanā ca. Ayaṃ vuccati bhikkhave asaṅkhatagāmī maggo.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Calm and insight. This, bhikkhus, is called the path leading to the unconditioned.” SN. 43.2 – Samathavipassanāsuttaṃ

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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby Nyana » Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:17 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
The only advantage of excluding the rest of the Tipiṭaka and trying to rely exclusively on the suttas is that this allows one to pursue and develop any novel pet-theory that they wish.
There can be some truth to that; however, that can be safe guarded against by good, careful scholarship. I am not advocating anything that is not supported by the suttas directly, and you have not shown that I have done otherwise. Also, the suttas are not quite as bleak in content on some subjects as you seem to want to imply. The Buddha had said a fair amount about the question of bodhi, and while there are things in this disquisition http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 4&#p149864 that I would, if rewriting it, reconsider, but the central thesis – The bodhi the Buddha attained is no different from that if the arahant – holds up.

Your inability to locate sutta references which explicitly state that a buddha's awakening is qualitatively different from that of an arahant disciple is insufficient to establish your conclusion that: "The "enlightenment" -- bodhi -- of the arahant is no different from that of the Buddha." If you were to simply acknowledge that your conclusion is both speculative and novel this discussion would have ended some time ago.

People who want to deny post-mortem continuum, or those who want to assert that nibbāna is a type of consciousness, and so on, all use this same strategy for trying to place their theories into the mouth of the Buddha. And they, no doubt, consider their efforts to be "careful scholarship" as well. So where does one draw the line? A reasonable guideline is to rely on the Pāli Tipiṭaka. The treatise/commentary portions of the Tipiṭaka are generally quite conservative and don't introduce a lot of new ideas. The advantages of relying on the Tipiṭaka are many, a couple of the most obvious being that it offers a safeguard against mistaken interpretations, and avoids unnecessary dissonance.

tiltbillings wrote:Can we meaningfully argue and show that without question that the Theravada has THE correct understanding of the Dhamma, of how the suttas should be, must be interpreted? So, under no circumstance should we ever look to the suttas without the filter of later commentarial works?

The Tipiṭaka is relatively early, conservative, and displays a high degree of internal consistency. There's much less variation than in the Aṭṭhakathā, etc. And in terms of doctrine, understanding the general developmental structure and general principles doesn't require literal adherence to every letter.

tiltbillings wrote:So, whose set of commentaries, whose “systematic presentation” do we favor, and why?

"Dance with the one that brung ya." If one is practicing within the Theravāda then the Tipiṭaka is a source of refuge.
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:10 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
The only advantage of excluding the rest of the Tipiṭaka and trying to rely exclusively on the suttas is that this allows one to pursue and develop any novel pet-theory that they wish.
There can be some truth to that; however, that can be safe guarded against by good, careful scholarship. I am not advocating anything that is not supported by the suttas directly, and you have not shown that I have done otherwise. Also, the suttas are not quite as bleak in content on some subjects as you seem to want to imply. The Buddha had said a fair amount about the question of bodhi, and while there are things in this disquisition http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 4&#p149864 that I would, if rewriting it, reconsider, but the central thesis – The bodhi the Buddha attained is no different from that if the arahant – holds up.

Your inability to locate sutta references which explicitly state that a buddha's awakening is qualitatively different from that of an arahant disciple is insufficient to establish your conclusion that: "The "enlightenment" -- bodhi -- of the arahant is no different from that of the Buddha." If you were to simply acknowledge that your conclusion is both speculative and novel this discussion would have ended some time ago.
But it is not speculative and novel, given that I have located numerous suttas that show that the (sam)bodhi attained by the Buddha is no different from that of the arahant. This has been carefully shown. What has not been shown, by using the suttas, is your claim otherwise.

People who want to deny post-mortem continuum, or those who want to assert that nibbāna is a type of consciousness, and so on, all use this same strategy for trying to place their theories into the mouth of the Buddha. And they, no doubt, consider their efforts to be "careful scholarship" as well. So where does one draw the line?
Since I am not making either claim, and since I am not "most people," that assertion has not a thing to do with what I have said. As to where the line is drawn, it is by looking directly at my claim vis-a-vis the texts I used, which is something you have not done, though I have asked you to do so repeatedly.

A reasonable guideline is to rely on the Pāli Tipiṭaka. The treatise/commentary portions of the Tipiṭaka are generally quite conservative and don't introduce a lot of new ideas. The advantages of relying on the Tipiṭaka are many, a couple of the most obvious being that it offers a safeguard against mistaken interpretations, and avoids unnecessary dissonance.
If your claim is so, then you should easily be able to demolish my position by using the suttas alone; you should be able to show that my position is speculative and novel.

tiltbillings wrote:Can we meaningfully argue and show that without question that the Theravada has THE correct understanding of the Dhamma, of how the suttas should be, must be interpreted? So, under no circumstance should we ever look to the suttas without the filter of later commentarial works?

The Tipiṭaka is relatively early, conservative, and displays a high degree of internal consistency. There's much less variation than in the Aṭṭhakathā, etc. And in terms of doctrine, understanding the general developmental structure and general principles doesn't require literal adherence to every letter.
That is nice, but I am not looking at the Aṭṭhakathā, etc, though Ven Bodhi has, in likely far more detail than you can claim, and he said:
    Later forms of Buddhism draw extreme distinctions between the Buddhas and the arahants, but in the Nikayas this distinction is not as sharp as one might expect if one takes the later texts as the benchmark of interpretation. On the one hand, the Buddha is an arahant, as is evident from the standard verse of homage to the Blessed One; on the other, arahants are buddhas, in the sense that they have attained full enlightenment, sambodhi, by awakening to the same truths that the Buddha himself realized.A Buddha has the function of discovering and expounding the path, and he also possesses a unique familiarity with the intricacies of the path not shared by his disciples. His disciples follow the path he reveals and attain enlightenment afterward, under his guidance. IN THE BUDDHA’S WORDS, by Bhikkhu Bodhi. Page 382.
I don't believe I am saying anything of any significant difference.

tiltbillings wrote:So, whose set of commentaries, whose “systematic presentation” do we favor, and why?

"Dance with the one that brung ya." If one is practicing within the Theravāda then the Tipiṭaka is a source of refuge.
Your response does not really answer the questions you, yourself, brought up concerning the commentaries.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby Dmytro » Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:07 am

Hi Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:That is nice, but I am not looking at the Aṭṭhakathā, etc, though Ven Bodhi has, in likely far more detail than you can claim, and he said:
    Later forms of Buddhism draw extreme distinctions between the Buddhas and the arahants, but in the Nikayas this distinction is not as sharp as one might expect if one takes the later texts as the benchmark of interpretation. On the one hand, the Buddha is an arahant, as is evident from the standard verse of homage to the Blessed One; on the other, arahants are buddhas, in the sense that they have attained full enlightenment, sambodhi, by awakening to the same truths that the Buddha himself realized.A Buddha has the function of discovering and expounding the path, and he also possesses a unique familiarity with the intricacies of the path not shared by his disciples. His disciples follow the path he reveals and attain enlightenment afterward, under his guidance. IN THE BUDDHA’S WORDS, by Bhikkhu Bodhi. Page 382.
I don't believe I am saying anything of any significant difference.


In the Nikayas the word "Buddha" still retains the original sense of "one who awoke on his own":

"The Blessed One said, "The Tathagata — the worthy one, the rightly self-awakened one — is the one who gives rise to the path (previously) unarisen, who engenders the path (previously) unengendered, who points out the path (previously) not pointed out. He knows the path, is expert in the path, is adept at the path. And his disciples now keep following the path and afterwards become endowed with the path.

"This is the difference, this the distinction, this the distinguishing between one rightly self-awakened and a monk discernment-released."

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

It is only in Atthakatha that Arahants are called Buddhas:

http://www.vipassana.info/b/buddha.htm

So the above statement of Bhikkhu Bodhi is somewhat contradictory, since, talking about Nikayas in contrast to later literature, he draws upon the later texts.

Experiential comprehension of the "Four Actualities for the Noble Ones" (ariya-sacca), cessation of suffering, is essentially the same for anyone who attains it.
Yet the Arahants are clearly not Buddhas, according to the Nikayas.
Buddha's Awakening included the "three knowledges" instead of one knowledge of the Arahants, and much more. This is well described in the Nikayas.

So while the Arahant's Awakening may be called "Bodhi", the Buddha's Awakening is "Sammā-sambodhi".
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:34 am

Dmytro wrote:Experiential comprehension of the "Four Actualities for the Noble Ones" (ariya-sacca), cessation of suffering, is essentially the same for anyone who attains it.
Yet the Arahants are clearly not Buddhas, according to the Nikayas.
Buddha's Awakening included the "three knowledges" instead of one knowledge of the Arahants, and much more. This is well described in the Nikayas.

So while the Arahant's Awakening may be called "Bodhi", the Buddha's Awakening is "Sammā-sambodhi".
I never said that the arahants are "buddhas" in terms of sammsambuddho, but, as we see in the suttas, arahants are clearly awake, buddha, as well as tathagata, terms that are used to describe one who had destroyed greed, hatred, and ignorance. The question is, according to the suttas, what is bodhi? It seems a lot of stuff gets applied to the term bodhi in later literature, but I am waiting to see the actual term bodhi in reference to the Buddha clearly defined, using the suttas, in terms the differeniates it from the arahants. Interestingly, bodhi is pretty well defined in the suttas and the Buddha defines bodhi for the arahant in terms he uses for himself.


viewtopic.php?f=16&t=9747&p=149864&#p149864
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=9747&p=149864&#p149866
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby Dmytro » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:17 am

tiltbillings wrote:... as we see in the suttas, arahants are clearly awake, buddha,


"Buddha" doesn't mean "awake", it is a middle voice grammatical form that specifically means "one who awoke on his own". Thus it doesn't denote Arahants, at least in the Sutta.

It seems a lot of stuff gets applied to the term bodhi in later literature, but I am waiting to see the actual term bodhi in reference to the Buddha clearly defined, using the suttas, in terms the differeniates it from the arahants.


Well, 'bodhi' is just the knowledge of the "Four Paths", i.e. Arahantship, as explained in Niddesa:

"Bodhi vuccati catūsu maggesu ñāṇaṃ".
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:43 pm

Dmytro wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:... as we see in the suttas, arahants are clearly awake, buddha,


"Buddha" doesn't mean "awake", it is a middle voice grammatical form that specifically means "one who awoke on his own". Thus it doesn't denote Arahants, at least in the Sutta.
All right, buddho; however, "buddha" -- all by itself -- does not mean "one who awoke on his own". But also, no one can awaken another. At best one points the way, but the other is the one who does all the one that has to do all the work in following the way. As the suttas show: "What I (the Buddha) attained, you can attain."

It seems a lot of stuff gets applied to the term bodhi in later literature, but I am waiting to see the actual term bodhi in reference to the Buddha clearly defined, using the suttas, in terms the differeniates it from the arahants.


Well, 'bodhi' is just the knowledge of the "Four Paths", i.e. Arahantship, as explained in Niddesa:

"Bodhi vuccati catūsu maggesu ñāṇaṃ".
That is the Niddesa, but what do the suttas say?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby Dmytro » Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:49 pm

tiltbillings wrote:All right, buddho; however, "buddha" -- all by itself -- does not mean "one who awoke on his own".


It's hard to convey the sense of this middle voice form in English - I formulated it as I could. In Russian it's much easier to understand.

But also, no one can awaken another.


Buddha is called "Bodhetar" - one who awakens.

That is the Niddesa, but what do the suttas say?


Suttas don't have all the definitions. That why other texts, like Niddesa, are necessary.
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby Nyana » Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:42 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:If you were to simply acknowledge that your conclusion is both speculative and novel this discussion would have ended some time ago.
But it is not speculative and novel....

If you can't support your opinion with a quotation from a Theravāda treatise then, in the context of this forum, it's reasonable to consider it a novel, speculative opinion.

tiltbillings wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:The Tipiṭaka is relatively early, conservative, and displays a high degree of internal consistency. There's much less variation than in the Aṭṭhakathā, etc. And in terms of doctrine, understanding the general developmental structure and general principles doesn't require literal adherence to every letter.
That is nice, but I am not looking at the Aṭṭhakathā, etc,...

You missed my point, which differentiates the Tipiṭaka from the Aṭṭhakathā.

tiltbillings wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:So, whose set of commentaries, whose “systematic presentation” do we favor, and why?

"Dance with the one that brung ya." If one is practicing within the Theravāda then the Tipiṭaka is a source of refuge.
Your response does not really answer the questions you, yourself, brought up concerning the commentaries.

Sure it does. But given that you don't accept the Pāli Tipiṭaka as an authoritative source of knowledge there is no basis for meaningful discussion.
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby daverupa » Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:56 pm

The Tipiṭaka exhibits a swath of chronological development; the issue here seems to be summed up in terms of whether this corpus is taken as authoritative in toto, or whether that inherent chronological development is itself analyzed for text which seems likely to comprise an earlier strata.

I don't see a resolution where one side is going to be convinced. It is akin to the split between Orthodox/Conservative/Reform/Reconstructionist branches of Judaism with respect to the Talmud, but in terms of the Theravada Abhidhamma & Commentaries instead.

:shrug:
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:58 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:If you were to simply acknowledge that your conclusion is both speculative and novel this discussion would have ended some time ago.
But it is not speculative and novel....

If you can't support your opinion with a quotation from a Theravāda treatise then, in the context of this forum, it's reasonable to consider it a novel, speculative opinion.
You can consider what I have said however you wish. It does not matter to me, but what is rather evident other than merely gainsaying what I have said, you have, in fact, offered no actual sutta rebuttal to what I have said, which – according to your claims – I would think you would be able to easily do. But rather than an actual textual discussion, all we are getting from you here is merely gainsaying, which really does not make for much of a dialogue.

tiltbillings wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:The Tipiṭaka is relatively early, conservative, and displays a high degree of internal consistency. There's much less variation than in the Aṭṭhakathā, etc. And in terms of doctrine, understanding the general developmental structure and general principles doesn't require literal adherence to every letter.
That is nice, but I am not looking at the Aṭṭhakathā, etc,...

You missed my point, which differentiates the Tipiṭaka from the Aṭṭhakathā.
I have not missed your point. It is simply not relevant to asking what the suttas say about a subject without filtering the suttas through the commentaries.

So, we can assume here that for you, one can never look to the suttas without filtering them through the commentaries?

And if someone finds something in the suttas is not in the commentaries it is perforce wrong? Since the commentaries hardly, if at all, mention the Brahmanical/Upanishadic notions that some see the suttas are actually responding to, that really is not the case that the suttas are responding to Brahmanical/Upanishadic notions because the commentaries do not say support it?

Ñāṇa wrote:Sure it does. But given that you don't accept the Pāli Tipiṭaka as an authoritative source of knowledge there is no basis for meaningful discussion.
Of course the Pāli Tipiṭaka is is authoritative; however, that does not mean that one cannot look at parts of it, and that does not mean that it does not show strata of doctrinal development. Or are you saying that there is no doctrinal development of any sort to be found at all after the death of the Buddha?

Now, I still waiting for you to show me, with some detail, from the suttas that I am wrong and that you are correct.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby ancientbuddhism » Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:12 pm

daverupa wrote:The Tipiṭaka exhibits a swath of chronological development; the issue here seems to be summed up in terms of whether this corpus is taken as authoritative in toto, or whether that inherent chronological development is itself analyzed for text which seems likely to comprise an earlier strata.

I don't see a resolution where one side is going to be convinced. It is akin to the split between Orthodox/Conservative/Reform/Reconstructionist branches of Judaism with respect to the Talmud, but in terms of the Theravada Abhidhamma & Commentaries instead.

:shrug:


Brown discusses this with reference to factions within the Catholic Church and biblical exegesis.

Biblical Exegesis and Church Doctrine, by Raymond E. Brown S.S.

    “Reflections on the interplay between the biblical criticism employed by almost all Roman Catholic scholars and the doctrinal proclamations of the Catholic Church. An attempt is made to explain why liberals and ultraconservatives alike misinterpret the effects of biblical criticism on doctrine. Special attention is given to the positive results of contemporary biblical studies for the understanding of Mary, the Holy Spirit, and the Church.”

With reference to textual positivism, there was some discussion of this back on this thread.
Katamo ca bhikkhave asaṅkhatagāmī maggo: samatho ca vipassanā ca. Ayaṃ vuccati bhikkhave asaṅkhatagāmī maggo.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Calm and insight. This, bhikkhus, is called the path leading to the unconditioned.” SN. 43.2 – Samathavipassanāsuttaṃ

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