Path to Buddhahood

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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:17 pm

Dmytro wrote:
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.
I understand what "middle voice"/reflective voice is. Given in Pali that attanopada is rarely used outside of poetry, your analysis is interesting, but so far it is not convincing. A.K. Warder (Introduction to Pali, page 314-5): "They are very rare in prose, a little less rare in verse."
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 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:01 am

Hi Tilt,

I learned a long time ago that my arguments are not convincing for you. I am posting this rather for other participants of the forum.
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:04 am

Dmytro wrote:Hi Tilt,

I learned a long time ago that my arguments are not convincing for you. I am posting this rather for other participants of the forum.
The problem is you do not really make an argument for what you assert; so, yes, I am not often convinced by what you say. I am posting this just to let you know.
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 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:53 am

tiltbillings wrote:The problem is you do not really make an argument for what you assert; so, yes, I am not often convinced by what you say.


Evidently we have very different references for arguments.
I mostly draw upon the earliest possible Pali sources which would clarify the question - including Niddesa, Patisambhidamagga, Vibhanga, etc.
You mostly draw upon English translations of the suttas and the opinions of Western scholars.

Since the basic Western commentary - Pali-English dictionary - is already embedded in your referential basis, and you don't recognize the authority of early Pali exegetical texts, we can agree on the simple and obvious statements from the Sutta, and not much more than that.
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:30 am

Dmytro wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:The problem is you do not really make an argument for what you assert; so, yes, I am not often convinced by what you say.


Evidently we have very different references for arguments.
I mostly draw upon the earliest possible Pali sources which would clarify the question - including Niddesa, Patisambhidamagga, Vibhanga, etc.
You mostly draw upon English translations of the suttas and the opinions of Western scholars.
Not necessarily so; however, appealing to the texts you referenced is not without its historical problems.

Since the basic Western commentary - Pali-English dictionary - is already embedded in your referential basis, and you don't recognize the authority of early Pali exegetical texts, we can agree on the simple and obvious statements from the Sutta, and not much more than that.
It is quite something. Next you'll tell me what I had for dinner and what my favorite color is. I have no problem with the authority of the "early" exegetical texts, but I do not see them as being the necessary final word on what is found in the suttas, and I have yet to see anyone here make an actual case that the suttas must, without question in all cases, be filtered through the "early Pali exegetical texts" to truly understand what they are saying. And certainly neither you nor Geoff have presented a reasonable counter argument to what I have presented, which is that in the suttas the Buddha taught that bodhi, awakening, he attained we can attain.
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 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:15 am

tiltbillings wrote:I have no problem with the authority of the "early" exegetical texts, but I do not see them as being the necessary final word on what is found in the suttas, and I have yet to see anyone here make an actual case that the suttas must, without question in all cases, be filtered through the "early Pali exegetical texts" to truly understand what they are saying.


Did I say that these texts are necessary the final word?
I will repeat - I mostly draw upon the earliest possible Pali sources. The earlier the text, the more reliable it is. If the suttas don't give a clearcut definition of something, then the next best choice are early exegetical texts. After that, the next choice is Atthakatha, etc. The modern works are usually least reliable.

So clearly there's a difference in our referential bases.

Since the suttas are quite laconic, there's necessarily a filter for their full understanding - be it Pali-English dictionary, early exegetical works, or just trendy guesswork.
It's better to choose the filters with care.

And certainly neither you nor Geoff have presented a reasonable counter argument to what I have presented, which is that in the suttas the Buddha taught that bodhi, awakening, he attained we can attain.


Did I present a counter argument? I pointed out a contradiction in the Ven. Bodhi's passage you quoted.

Surely we can attain bodhi, as defined in Niddesa, but that would be only a part of the Samma-sambodhi of the Buddha.
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby ancientbuddhism » Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:52 am

Dmytro wrote:Since the suttas are quite laconic...


The suttas are that vague to you, really?
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 vinasp » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:01 am

Hi everyone,

"Bhikkhus, these eight things, developed and cultivated, if unarisen do not
arise apart from the appearance of a Tathagata, an Arahant, a Perfectly
Enlightened One. What eight? Right view ... right concentration. These
eight things ..." [ BB, CD, p.1533, SN 45.14]

My very controversial interpretation.

The arising of the path is stream-entry. The noble eightfold path is the stream.
The path only arises on the appearance of a Tathagata. This means that the awakened
mind must appear first. Then the process of transformation can begin. It takes, on
average, about two weeks.

The stream-enterer is said to be destined for awakening. He does not have to do
anything, it is all automatic. The process completes itself. In fact, it cannot
be stopped or prevented. So, everything is already decided in the moment of the
opening of the Dhamma Eye.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby Dmytro » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:39 am

ancientbuddhism wrote:The suttas are that vague to you, really?


Did I say that they are vague to me?
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:55 am

Dmytro wrote:
ancientbuddhism wrote:The suttas are that vague to you, really?


Did I say that they are vague to me?
He said, laconically.
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 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:30 pm

Dmytro wrote:
ancientbuddhism wrote:The suttas are that vague to you, really?


Did I say that they are vague to me?


Dymtro wrote: Since the suttas are quite laconic, there's necessarily a filter for their full understanding - be it Pali-English dictionary, early exegetical works, or just trendy guesswork.


This is your statement. Is it because the suttas are vague (laconic in the sense of terse to the point of cryptic?) to you, that you prefer as your referential basis “the authority of early Pali exegetical texts.”?
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 Dmytro » Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:03 pm

ancientbuddhism wrote:
Dymtro wrote: Since the suttas are quite laconic, there's necessarily a filter for their full understanding - be it Pali-English dictionary, early exegetical works, or just trendy guesswork.


This is your statement. Is it because the suttas are vague (laconic in the sense of terse to the point of cryptic?) to you, that you prefer as your referential basis “the authority of early Pali exegetical texts.”?


I don't prefer as my referential basis “the authority of early Pali exegetical texts.” Please read carefully.

I wonder why my personal attitudes interest you so much. My statements were to explain my approach to interpretation of Pali terms, in this case - "bodhi". I still hope for the discussion of hermeneutic approaches on this forum.
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby ancientbuddhism » Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:49 pm

Dmytro wrote:
ancientbuddhism wrote:
Dymtro wrote: Since the suttas are quite laconic, there's necessarily a filter for their full understanding - be it Pali-English dictionary, early exegetical works, or just trendy guesswork.


This is your statement. Is it because the suttas are vague (laconic in the sense of terse to the point of cryptic?) to you, that you prefer as your referential basis “the authority of early Pali exegetical texts.”?


I don't prefer as my referential basis “the authority of early Pali exegetical texts.” Please read carefully.

I wonder why my personal attitudes interest you so much. My statements were to explain my approach to interpretation of Pali terms, in this case - "bodhi". I still hope for the discussion of hermeneutic approaches on this forum.


Good earth! I didn’t intend to overreach into your personal space, rather I’m just trying to understand what the disconnect is with what is evident in the suttas mentioned.

To quote the aṭṭha to a sutta is relatively easy, but as to hermeneutical approaches for discussing it there is consideration of the context in the sutta, other readings, its relevance to other materials and looking at what those pesky academics have to say with their trendy guesswork.
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

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby daverupa » Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:35 pm

ancientbuddhism wrote:as to hermeneutical approaches for discussing it there is consideration of the context in the sutta, other readings, its relevance to other materials and looking at what those pesky academics have to say with their trendy guesswork.


As to trendy guesswork, we can quote a delightfully non-laconic sentence from page 20 of Biblical Exegesis and Church Doctrine, by Raymond E. Brown S.S, which you mentioned earlier:

The effort of a few in their rhetorical overkill to demean historical criticism because it is not all-sufficient represents a danger of the recrudescence of the disdain for the historical that has too often marked theoretical thought.
    "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 Nyana » Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:18 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote: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.

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." In short: you haven't proven anything.

Your obstinate unwillingness to simply acknowledge that your conclusion is both speculative and novel is rather hilarious.
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:58 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote: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.

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." In short: you haven't proven anything.
However, the problem is not my inability to find such a sutta in my survey of suttas that discuss the question at hand, given that the suttas I found support my contention, and though I looked I found none that did not. The problem is that you have not shown that the suttas say otherwise, though you claim otherwise. I may not have proven anything, except that so far the suttas support my contention, not yours. You have made no effort to show othwerwise. Based upon what you have said, I would think that this issue could be easily put to rest by your quoting a sutta or two that clearly defines the Buddha's bodhi as being significantly different in nature from that of the arahants, as you seem to think it is defined.

Your obstinate unwillingness to simply acknowledge that your conclusion is both speculative and novel is rather hilarious.
It is always good to be amused; however, concerning my claim that the bodhi of the Buddha is the same as that of the arahant, you simply have not shown, even though I repeatedly asked you to do so, that my claim is not found in the suttas. It does not seem to be inappropriate to ask for suttas references to support your claim. So, I am wondering if you have anything to actually say other than mere gainsaying?

Also, I notice that you have now twice ignored this question: So, we can assume here that for you, one can never look to the suttas without filtering them through 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 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:43 am

I’m just trying to understand what the disconnect is with what is evident in the suttas mentioned.


Is there a disconnect?

ancientbuddhism wrote:To quote the aṭṭha to a sutta is relatively easy, but as to hermeneutical approaches for discussing it there is consideration of the context in the sutta, other readings, its relevance to other materials and looking at what those academics have to say.


Surely.

what those pesky academics have to say with their trendy guesswork.


I find it strange that, giving references to lots of academic works, you call academics 'pesky'.
They conduct an awesome work.
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:10 am

Dmytro wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:I have no problem with the authority of the "early" exegetical texts, but I do not see them as being the necessary final word on what is found in the suttas, and I have yet to see anyone here make an actual case that the suttas must, without question in all cases, be filtered through the "early Pali exegetical texts" to truly understand what they are saying.


Did I say that these texts are necessary the final word?
I will repeat - I mostly draw upon the earliest possible Pali sources. The earlier the text, the more reliable it is. If the suttas don't give a clearcut definition of something, then the next best choice are early exegetical texts. After that, the next choice is Atthakatha, etc. The modern works are usually least reliable.

So clearly there's a difference in our referential bases.
The things is, you and Geoff have not shown that the suttas do not give a clear-cut characterization of the Buddha's bodhi as being significantly different (or different at all) from that of the arahant. As for "modern works" being the least reliable, that is naught more than your opinion, and it certainly does not hold up at all when discussing the issues of Brahmanical stuff to which the Buddha is directly responding. Also, in terms of doctrinal development, it also can be shown that the early commentarial stuff does show some variances with the suttas. So, do we try to back-read the commentaries into the suttas to get rid of the variances?

Since the suttas are quite laconic, there's necessarily a filter for their full understanding - be it Pali-English dictionary, early exegetical works, or just trendy guesswork. It's better to choose the filters with care.
It seems to me that the suttas have a bit more to offer than you are suggesting. The filters/commentaries you have referenced are certainly sectarian in nature, which does, indeed, raise a question about filtering the suttas through the commentaries.

And certainly neither you nor Geoff have presented a reasonable counter argument to what I have presented, which is that in the suttas the Buddha taught that bodhi, awakening, he attained we can attain.


Did I present a counter argument? I pointed out a contradiction in the Ven. Bodhi's passage you quoted.
But, alas, you offered no real support your supposed contradiction.

Surely we can attain bodhi, as defined in Niddesa, but that would be only a part of the Samma-sambodhi of the Buddha.
Depends upon how you define bodhi. The suttas are rather clear on that.
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 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:35 am

tiltbillings wrote:The things is, you and Geoff have not shown that the suttas do not give a clear-cut characterization of the Buddha's bodhi as being significantly different (or different at all) from that of the arahant.


I did not intend to show that. Yet such characterization is clearly described, for example, in Mahasaccaka sutta. Buddha attained three knowledges in his Samma-sambodhi, while Arahants attain just one.

that is naught more than your opinion


It's hard to maintain a respectful conversation with such remarks of yours.

Also, in terms of doctrinal development, it also can be shown that the early commentarial stuff does show some variances with the suttas. So, do we try to back-read the commentaries into the suttas to get rid of the variances?


Why would we do so? The suttas are more reliable, as I have written.

The filters/commentaries you have referenced are certainly sectarian in nature, which does, indeed, raise a question about filtering the suttas through the commentaries.


I also referenced Pali-English dictionary. I think it's time to acknowledge that Western monks and scholars have built a new interpretation of Buddha's teaching. Perhaps historically it can be viewed as a certain sect, with salient features, such as "Four Noble Truths" formula, etc.

Depends upon how you define bodhi. The suttas are rather clear on that.


Can you provide a definition of 'bodhi' from the suttas?
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:45 am

Dmytro wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:The things is, you and Geoff have not shown that the suttas do not give a clear-cut characterization of the Buddha's bodhi as being significantly different (or different at all) from that of the arahant.


I did not intend to show that. Yet such characterization is clearly described, for example, in Mahasaccaka sutta. Buddha attained three knowledges in his Samma-sambodhi, while Arahants attain just one.
Yes; however, are all those "knowledges" bodhi?

that is naught more than your opinion

It's hard to maintain a respectful conversation with such remarks of yours.
You voice an opinion, it is called that and you take umbrage?

Also, in terms of doctrinal development, it also can be shown that the early commentarial stuff does show some variances with the suttas. So, do we try to back-read the commentaries into the suttas to get rid of the variances?


Why would we do so? The suttas are more reliable, as I have written.
I would certainly agree with that, which is why I opted to look at the question of bodhi without reference to the commentarial tradition.

The filters/commentaries you have referenced are certainly sectarian in nature, which does, indeed, raise a question about filtering the suttas through the commentaries.


I also referenced Pali-English dictionary. I think it's time to acknowledge that Western monks and scholars have built a new interpretation of Buddha's teaching. Perhaps historically it can be viewed as a certain sect, with salient features, such as "Four Noble Truths" formula, etc.
That is a mixed bag. There are certainly those who would have no truck with the comentarial tradition, but I am not one of those.

Depends upon how you define bodhi. The suttas are rather clear on that.


Can you provide a definition of 'bodhi' from the suttas?
I already have in the linked text.
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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