Path to Buddhahood

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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:17 am

Dmytro wrote:that's why he is called 'Buddha', "one who comprehended on his own"
Would you be so kind as to actually carefully support that statement rather than merely asserting it.
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 santa100 » Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:36 am

Tiltbillings wrote:
"First of all the "beings and persons" is in no way limited in its description the text in question for the monk how has that power. All the AN texts is saying is that the Buddha knows the contents of the minds of beings and persons. Obviously if it is not in their minds, it is not known by the Buddha. The AN text is not a statement of omniscience anymore than is the SN statement."

Obviously it did not have "whatever in the cosmos". It's specifically "beings and persons", regardless of whether in the unlimited or limted sense, but that's still it. And as long as that "whatever" is still being "sought after" or "pondering by the intellect", the Buddha has direct knowledge. Thus it's obvious that the scope of the AN excerpt is the "superset" to that of the SN excerpt..
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:31 am

santa100 wrote: Thus it's obvious that the scope of the AN excerpt is the "superset" to that of the SN excerpt.
Not that you have shown.
You try to weight these: '"sought after" or "pondering by the intellect", the Buddha has direct knowledge,' but the problem with this is what does it actually mean? Walshe's translation: "whatever was achieved, sought after or mentally pondered upon" and Ven Thanisarrao's: "attained, sought after, pondered by the intellect." Both translations point to experiences in the past tense, which is to say it has to do with memory. It is mind reading, not omniscience.

Obviously it did not have "whatever in the cosmos". It's specifically "beings and persons", regardless of whether in the unlimited or limted sense, but that's still it.
The SN is still open ended, not limited, which put it out there with "whatever in the cosmos."
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 » Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:43 am

Hi Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:The "omniscience" (whatever that means, exactly) and various teaching skills spelled out in the stuttas (which seem to me to be connected with the "omniscience") are the distinctions between an Arahant and a Buddha?


The main distinction is that the Buddha opens up the forgotten path.
Other distinctions are omniscience (in the Buddhist sense), teaching skills, and other faculties, explained more fully in Patisambhidamagga.
That's why his attainment is called Samma-sambodhi.

:anjali:
Last edited by Dmytro on Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:29 am

Dmytro wrote:Hi Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:The "omniscience" (whatever that means, exactly) and various teaching skills spelled out in the stuttas (which seem to me to be connected with the "omniscience") are the distinctions between an Arahant and a Buddha?


The main distinction is that the Buddha opens up the forgotten path.
Other distinctions are omniscience (in the Buddhist sense), teaching skills, and other faculties, explained more fully in Patisambhidamagga.
Yes, indeed, and none of that is bodhi as the Buddha uses the term in relation to himself and the attainment of the arahants.

That's why his attainment is called Samma-sambodhi.
Because he makes known the path to the awakening, bodhi, he attained through the power he cultivated, and that bodhi the Buddha attained, that nibbana, that cessation is no different from that attained bodhi by the arahants:

    Bhikkhus, the seven factors of awakening, when developed and cultivated, lead to utter revulsion, to cessation, to peace, to direct knowledge, to bodhi, to nibbana. SN v 82

    Because, friend, this is beneficial, relevant to the fundamentals of the holy life, and leads to revulsion, dispassion, to cessation [nirodha], to peace, to direct knowledge[abi~n~ aa], to sambodhi, to nibbana. Therefore the Blessed one has declared it. SN ii 223

    A monk who is thus possesses the fifteen factors including entusiasm is capapable of beaking out, capable of sambodhi, capable of attaining the supreme security from bondage [these last four words are used for nibbana]. MN i 104

    The Tathagata has awkened to the middle way, which gives rise to vision, which gives rise to knowledge, which leads to peace, to direct knowledge, to sambodhi, to nibbana. And what is the middle way awakened to by the tathagata .... It is the Noble Eightfold Path.... SN iv 330-1

    There friends, greed is an evil, anger is an evil. To dispel greed and anger, there is the middle path which conduces to wisdom, knowledge, sambodhi, and nibbana. It is this same noble eightfold path such as right view, right thoughts, right speech, right actions, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. Friends, this is the middle path which conduces to wisdom, knowledge, sambodhi, and nibbana. MN i 15

    "Come, this is the Way, this is the course I [the Buddha] have followed until, having realized by my own super-knowledge the matchless plunge into Brahma-faring, I have made it known. Come you too, follow likewise, so that you also, having realized by your own super-knowledge the matchless plunge into the Brahma-faring, may abide in it." -- AN I 168-69.


    He [the Buddha] says: 'Here! This is the path, this is the practice that, having practiced, I make known the unexcelled gaining of a footing in the holy life, having directly known & realized it for myself. Come! You, too, practice in such a way that you will remain in the unexcelled gaining of a footing in the holy life [attaining nibbana], having directly known & realized it for yourselves.' Thus the Teacher teaches the Dhamma, and others practice, for Suchness. And there are countless hundreds of them, countless thousands of them, countless hundreds of thousands of them. This being the case … this business of going-forth … one that benefits countless beings…. AN I 168-69. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/su ... 3-060.html

    'Two things, o monks, I [the Buddha] came to know well: not to be content with good states of mind, so far achieved and to be unremitting in the struggle for the goal. Unremittingly, indeed, did I struggle and I resolved: "Let skin, sinews and bones remain; let flesh and blood in the body dry up: yet there shall be no ceasing of energy, manly energy, manly effort!"

    'Through heedfulness have I won sambodhi, through effort have I won the unsurpassable security from bondage
    [yogakkhemo=nibbana]. 'If you, O monks, will struggle unremittingly and resolve: "Let skin ... [as above] manly effort" -- then you, too, O monks, will soon realize here and now, through your own direct knowledge, that unequaled goal of the holy life."' -- AN II ii 5.
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 santa100 » Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:34 pm

Tiltbillings wrote:
"Not that you have shown.
You try to weight these: '"sought after" or "pondering by the intellect", the Buddha has direct knowledge,' but the problem with this is what does it actually mean? Walshe's translation: "whatever was achieved, sought after or mentally pondered upon" and Ven Thanisarrao's: "attained, sought after, pondered by the intellect." Both translations point to experiences in the past tense, which is to say it has to do with memory. It is mind reading, not omniscience"

I did. But you did not. Read Thanissaro's translastion again on this: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html , he used the big word "IS", not "WAS". The message can't be any clearer than that.

Tiltbillings wrote:
"The SN is still open ended, not limited, which put it out there with "whatever in the cosmos.""

If there's no "whatever in the cosmos", then it simply cannot be put out there with the AN excerpt. That simple..
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby Nyana » Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:38 pm

tiltbillings wrote:It is mind reading, not omniscience.

And how do you know this? The Theravāda tradition maintains that it's referring to omniscience. The Theravāda tradition also commonly explains that omniscience is one of the definitions of the term bodhi. Moreover, all Buddhist traditions maintain that the Buddha was omniscient and that this is one of the qualities that differentiates a Buddha's awakening from that of an arahant disciple. You're attempting to reject a foundational Buddhist tenet that's well over 2000 years old, considered important enough to be included in the Pāli canon, as well as in Ven. Walpola Rahula's Basic Points Unifying the Theravāda and the Mahāyāna which was unanimously approved at the First Congress of the World Buddhist Sangha Council.
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby daverupa » Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:43 pm

As already discussed, it's a matter of whether this or that interpretive authority is considered as valid for the purpose of understanding what one can read in the suttas. Citing more authority isn't going to change this fundamental difference in approach.

(No. 8 in that link, for example, is utterly problematic.)
    "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 David N. Snyder » Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:53 pm

From another thread:

Dhammanando wrote:Well, the commentarial view is that all knowable things are potentially accessible to [the Buddha's understanding, paññā], but that they are not all simultaneously accessible. We haven't yet got around to the question of what is meant by a knowable thing, but this too is an important qualification, for nowhere is it asserted that all things are knowable things. And so the Buddha's "omniscience" as the commentators understand it, is far from being the Allah-like or Jehovah-like omniscience that some Mahayana Buddhists posit. For example, there must be at least some future things that are not knowable things, since for all future things to be knowable would require all future things to be predetermined, which would conflict with the Buddha's rejection of fatalism.


viewtopic.php?f=16&t=132#p820
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby santa100 » Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:32 am

And that's all fine and dandy David. There's certainly no need to associate any Allah-like attribute to our Buddha. Now, there's an important point to notice, that the "commentarial view" in Dhammanando's quote is exactly that of the Theravada exegetical tradition. Here is the full note from Bhikkhu Bodhi in his MN book:

[Note 714]: "MA explains that even though part of the statement is valid, the Buddha rejects the entire statement because of the portion that is invalid. The part of the statement that is valid is the assertion that the Buddha is omniscient and all-seeing; the part that is excessive is the assertion that knowledge and vision are continuously present to him. According to the Theravāda exegetical tradition the Buddha is omniscient in the sense that all knowable things are potentially accessible to him. He cannot, however, know everything simultaneously and must advert to whatever he wishes to know. At MN 90.8 the Buddha says that it is possible to know and see all, though not simultaneously, and at AN 4:24/ii.24 he claims to know all that can be seen, heard, sensed, and cognized. This is understood by the Theravāda commentators as an assertion of omniscience in the qualified sense. See too in this connection Miln 102–7."
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby daverupa » Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:38 am

santa100 wrote:... This is understood by the Theravāda commentators as...


...which is exactly what's been mentioned repeatedly... the assertion requires commentarial referents, and otherwise has nothing to do with the degree of freedom from the asavas.
    "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 santa100 » Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:01 am

Daverupa wrote:
"...which is exactly what's been mentioned repeatedly... the assertion requires commentarial referents, and otherwise has nothing to do with the degree of freedom from the asavas."

Which is fine with me. You've probably noticed all my posts so far, I don't dispute the elimination of the asavas of the arahants as any less than that of the Buddha. I do however, consistently emphasize the point the Buddha did go further than any of His disciples in attaining other capabilities (and I'm quite liberal in word usage, call it omniscience or samma-sambodhi or whatever you see fit). To me, it'd be wrong to say that the range/scope of attainments of the Noble disciples match exactly that of the Buddha. They only match the Buddha in regard to the specific domain of the ending of asavas. This has no contradiction to what Ven. Bodhi said, and also what the Theravada exegetical tradition said. It's that simple..
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby Nyana » Sun Sep 23, 2012 2:27 am

daverupa wrote:(No. 8 in that link, for example, is utterly problematic.)

May be problematic in the realm of ivory tower Buddhist studies, but it isn't problematic for Theravāda Buddhism.

daverupa wrote:...which is exactly what's been mentioned repeatedly... the assertion requires commentarial referents, and otherwise has nothing to do with the degree of freedom from the asavas.

A mahābodhisatta is concerned with the long term development of the pāramīs in order to realize sammāsambodhi, not the elimination of the āsavas during this dispensation.
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:34 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:It is mind reading, not omniscience.

And how do you know this?
It is what the text clearly describes.

The Theravāda tradition maintains that it's referring to omniscience.
I know, and I am not contesting that.

The Theravāda tradition also commonly explains that omniscience is one of the definitions of the term bodhi.
You have not shown that to be the case. And certainly you have not supported that with direct quotes from the suttas, which is what I am talking about, not the later sectarian stuff.

Moreover, all Buddhist traditions maintain that the Buddha was omniscient and that this is one of the qualities that differentiates a Buddha's awakening from that of an arahant disciple. You're attempting to reject a foundational Buddhist tenet that's well over 2000 years old, considered important enough to be included in the Pāli canon,
I am not rejecting anything. I am simply pointing to what the suttas say and how the term bodhi is used by the Buddha as he relates it to himself AND the arahants in the suttas. That after the death of the Buddha there was movement in how the Buddha was to be understood is well know and is certainly demonstrable even using tradition texts such as the Kathavatthu, which addresses these movements. And in this the Theravada was certainly not exempt from valorizing the Buddha, drawing a separation between the Buddha and the arahants that was not there in the suttas.

as well as in Ven. Walpola Rahula's Basic Points Unifying the Theravāda and the Mahāyāna which was unanimously approved at the First Congress of the World Buddhist Sangha Council.
That's nice; however, it really does not address the point I have raised.

Also, now for the fifth time, I ask you: Can we 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 tiltbillings » Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:39 am

Ñāṇa wrote:A mahābodhisatta is concerned with the long term development of the pāramīs in order to realize sammāsambodhi, not the elimination of the āsavas during this dispensation.
However, it seems that from a Theravadin point of view concerning the question of bodhi, a bodhisatta cannot attain bodhi until the moment of his full awakening. So, what is being developed up until the time of full awakening actually is not bodhi, but it certainly the requisites for the attainment of bodhi.
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 tiltbillings » Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:41 am

santa100 wrote: . . .
I am not going to convince you, nor you me; however, that is really beside my point: The bodhi attained by the Buddha is no different from that attained by the arahants.
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 santa100 » Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:08 am

Tiltbillings wrote:
"I am not going to convince you, nor you me; however, that is really beside my point: The bodhi attained by the Buddha is no different from that attained by the arahants"

Of course, it's not part of my intention to begin with, and that's also beside my point: The arahants and the Buddha attained bodhi, the Buddha went the extra miles and attained samma-sambodhi..
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:10 am

santa100 wrote:Tiltbillings wrote:
"I am not going to convince you, nor you me; however, that is really beside my point: The bodhi attained by the Buddha is no different from that attained by the arahants"

Of course, it's not part of my intention to begin with, and that's also beside my point: The arahants and the Buddha attained bodhi, the Buddha went the extra miles and attained samma-sambodhi..
So, there are two bodhis?
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 santa100 » Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:13 am

Neither same nor different, read my original post again..
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:16 am

santa100 wrote:Neither same nor different, read my original post again..
Do explain again, please.
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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