A discussion of bodhi

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A discussion of bodhi

Postby cittaanurakkho » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:09 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Sambodhi is a synonym for nibbana, the complete, perfect freedom from greed, hatred, and ignorance.



Although your interpretation -- that bodhi and sambodhi is equivalent to nibbana -- is very suggestive --, it is not convincing to me. Here is why it is not convincing.

Fist the definition of Bodhi:
Bodhi1 (f.) [fr. budh, cp. Vedic bodhin -- manas having an attentive mind; RV v.75, 5; viii.82, 18] (supreme) knowledge, enlightenment, the knowledge possessed by a Buddha (see also sambodhi & sammā -- sambodhi) M i.356; ii.95=D iii.237 (saddho hoti, saddahati Tathāgatassa bodhiŋ); D iii.159 (anuttaraŋ pappoti bodhiŋ), 165 (id.); S i.103, 196; v.197 sq.; A ii.66; VbhA 310 (def.). Bodhi consists of 7 elements called bojjhangā or sambojjhangā, and is attained by the accomplishment of the perfections called bodhi -- pācanā dhammā (see under cpds. & cp. bodhi -- pakkhiya -- dhammā). The Buddha is said to have found the Path followed by former Buddhas, who "catusu satipaṭṭhānesu supatiṭṭhitacittā satta -- bojjhange yathābhūtaŋ bhāvetvā anuttaraŋ sammā -- sambodhiŋ abhisambujjhiŋsu" S v.160. The moment of supreme enlightenment is the moment when the Four Truths (ariya -- saccāni) are grasped S v.423. Bodhi is used to express the lofty knowledge of an ascetic (Bodhi -- paribbājaka Np. J v.229 sq.), and the stage of enlightenment of the Paccekabuddha (paccekabodhi J iii.348; pacceka -- bodhi -- ñāṇa J iv.114; paccekasambodhi SnA 73), as distinguished from sammāsambodhi.


Why would pacceka sambodhi be differentiated from samma sambodhi if they are the same and identical? Note also that bodhi consists of bojjhanga.

And just because sambodhi is listed sequentially next to nibbana, do not mean the two are equivalent. Frequently in the sutta, a list is provided to show a progressive refinement rather than equivalence. For example, the sutta you quoted:

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


The lists above show a progressive advancement of wisdom from revulsion to nibbana. Otherwise one can say revulsion is equivalent to nibbana, which is really odd.

My intepretation is as the word is defined: sambodhi is the highest enlightment and nibbana is cessation of dukkha. Sambodhi refers to the bursting of iqnorance and nibbanna refers to the end of suffering. There is fine difference between the two. While nibanna is unconditoned, sambodhi requires (thus conditioned by) the maturing of bojjhanga (the 7 factor of awakening). Thus sambodhi is not equivalent to nibanna.

I would also argue that sambodhi of each and every arahant is unique and different as each elements of the bojjhanga of the arahants’ has different strength.

However, I agree with you that Buddha does not teach a path (at least in the nikaya) to become “Him”, a Buddha. To do so would be illogical. I mean why bother teaching people to become a path-finder when the path is already made known by him.
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A discussion of bodhi

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:26 am

The above msg was pulled out of the "Path to Buddhahood" thread. The idea here is to look at the meaning of a central term of the Pali suttas, bodhi, which is most often translated as "enlightenment." I have presented a number of sutta quotes that help point to getting an idea of what the terms mean by how it is used.

    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

A more expansive discussion can be found here: http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 4&#p149864

Now, the above is my take, but it is definitely worth looking at this subject from differing perspective, as Ven Cittaanurakkho suugests.
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: A discussion of bodhi

Postby Hanzze » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:43 am

Thanks for your detail answer, I guess the most is much to "high" for me.

It seems that the discussion or better the perceptions of those words need to be classified. Maybe a dividing in "way"/"aim"/"reminder" is a possible solution that any perception is not able to camouflage the underlying deeper meaning as well as the value of some things.
Mostly we just find points in regard of the "way" as "aim" and "reminder" is something that comes be it self (the way) which does not need that much perceptions in regard of the "aim"
In regard of reminders, it seems that it was not a little from interest, exept in regard of the Buddha.

Sorry that I can not provide much special word as well as no special samples.

There are different kinds of Arahants - released both ways, released through discernment:

They do not seem to be differnt, but interesting that there are two words used. AN 9.45., AN 9.44.
It would be no be no evidence of the "reminder"-idea, but like before a simply pointing on the "way" (I am not sure if two).

Just came to: Probably I always used the wrong word: reminder -> remainings (next to nibbana after final bodhi)
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: A discussion of bodhi

Postby cittaanurakkho » Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:07 pm

The revulsion business is interesting, given the differences between the two texts, but cessation (nirodha) certainly seems to be a term indicating nibbana and it comes befor sambodhi. Also, I am taking (sam)bodhi as meaning complete insight into the Four Ennobling Truths. Here is a fuller look at my argument: http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 4&#p149864

If you have not, take a look, please and if you wish we can continue this in a new thread. It is worth a careful, considered discussion and it promises to be interesting.


Tilt, thanks for the link and for the new thread. As you suggested, I look into it. Your post bring out a lot salient features I never have read or thought about. I did not search back to see the whole discussion between you and Savant. But let’s just use your link there, particularly your repost with lots of sutta quotes as the starting point.

Correct me if I am wrong, your interpretation is that Nirodha, (Sam)bodhi, are synonymous/equivalent with Nibbana: definitely (Sam)bodhi, and Nirodha is at least an indicator if not a synonym with Nibbana? My interpretation is that Nirodha and (Sam)bodhi are not equivalent to Nibbana.

In this post, I will discuss the Nirodha. When I got to it, I will post another to discuss the (Sam)bodhi. And where could be a better start then the first sermon, Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, which you have already quoted. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

It mentioned the 3 rounds and 12 permutations (3 rounds times 4NTs = 12 total) of knowledge and vision, which I summarized below:
1. Dukkha: the knowledge of dukkha, the need to comprehend it, and the comprehension.
2. Samudaya: the knowledge of origination, the need to abandon it, and the abandoning.
3. Nirodha: the knowledge of cessation, the need to experience it, and the experience
4. Magga: the knowledge of the path, the need to develop it, and the development.

Then he goes on to say that his knowledge of his 3 rounds and 12 permutation (not just 3 rounds with a total of 3 permutations) was pure before declaring enlightenment to the world.

"And, monks, as long as this — my three-round, twelve-permutation knowledge & vision concerning these four noble truths as they have come to be — was not pure, I did not claim to have directly awakened to the right self-awakening unexcelled in the cosmos with its deities, Maras, & Brahmas, with its contemplatives & brahmans, its royalty & commonfolk. But as soon as this — my three-round, twelve-permutation knowledge & vision concerning these four noble truths as they have come to be — was truly pure, then I did claim to have directly awakened to the right self-awakening unexcelled in the cosmos with its deities, Maras & Brahmas, with its contemplatives & brahmans, its royalty & commonfolk. Knowledge & vision arose in me: 'Unprovoked is my release. This is the last birth. There is now no further becoming.'"


You refers the (Sam)bodhi as the complete insight into the 4NTs. You also quoted SN v 416-417 where Buddha said that ascetics of past, present, and future awake to the 4NTs. Is anywhere in the sutta ever said that they are ever awoken to just one truth only? So, does the knowledge of only Nirodha sufficient to claim attainment of nibbana or even sambodhi? My interpretation in this case is the knowledge of Nirodha is necessary, but only Nirodha is not sufficient to qualify for nibbana: i.e. Nirodha is not Nibbana.

One may argue: “Well, that is Dukkha-Nirodha. But there are other Nirodhas”. To which I will say Dukkha-Nirodha is the purest form of Nirodhas. Please take a look at the quote below. Does, for example, the cessation of feeling more sublime than Dukkha-Nirodha where it is placed last?

"The thought occurred to me, 'I [the Buddha] have attained this path to Awakening [bodhi], i.e., from the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of consciousness, from the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of the six sense media. From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling. From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Thus is the cessation of this entire mass of stress. Cessation, cessation.' Vision arose, clear knowing arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before. SN ii 105


One could also argue: “Well, there is THE Nirodha.” Even if one would combine all Nirodhas into THE Nirodha, still how can an amalgam of Nirodhas be higher/purer in its potentcy for liberation than Dukkha-Nirodha? My interpretation is if Dukkha-Nirodha cannot be equated with Nibbana, then no other Nirodhas is eligible.

So that’s why I interpret that Nirodha is not equivalent to Nibbana. Perhaps Nirodha could be an indicator of Nibbana. I will discuss this point in the follow up post of (Sam)bodhi.

I have not experienced Dukkha-Nirodha, so this disussions are just thought. Because of that, I reserved my right to change my mind, should I be convinced that I am wrong or should there be something new came up that I am not aware of yet or even changing my mind when I feel a new interpretation is better.
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Re: A discussion of bodhi

Postby Dmytro » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:31 pm

Hi Hanzze,

Hanzze wrote:Thanks for your detail answer, I guess the most is much to "high" for me.


It's always a surprise to learn that some people don't know Pali. :)
I'll repost the cryptic part with translations added:

So it could be possible that they mostly go deeper step by step? It could mean that (in the context they where used here in argumentation) that these are steps, steps to one and the same aim. How ever it is not easy possible to take it as equal as well it is not possible to refer it as something total different.


Yes, these are culminating steps.

The essential development of wisdom consists of cultivating "seven selective recognitions (sanna)":

aniccasañña (of impermanence), anattasañña (of impersonality), asubhasañña (of non-attractiveness), ādīnavasañña (of drawbacks), pahānasañña (of abandoning), virāgasañña (of dispassion), nirodhasañña (of cessation),
- as explained in Mahaparinibbana sutta ( viewtopic.php?f=23&t=2834#p40805 )

In Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation:

1.10. 'I will tell you another seven things ... As long as monks develop the perception of impermanence, of non-self, of impurity, of danger, of overcoming, of dispassion, of cessation, ... they may be expected to prosper and not decline.'

or as explained in Chachakka sutta:
aniccasañña (of impermanence), anattasañña (of impersonality), pahānasañña (of abandoning), nibbidasañña (of disgust), virāgasañña (of dispassion), vimutti (release), ñāṇa (knowledge).

This may sound complex, but is explained very well in Chachakka sutta (MN 148).

So the passage:

‘Etañhi, āvuso, atthasaṃhitaṃ etaṃ ādibrahmacariyakaṃ etaṃ nibbidāya virāgāya nirodhāya upasamāya abhiññāya sambodhāya nibbānāya saṃvattati. Tasmā taṃ byākataṃ bhagavatā’’

"Because, friend, this is beneficial, relevant to the fundamentals of the holy life, and leads to disgust [nibbidā], to dispassion [virāgā], to cessation [nirodha], to peace [upasamā], to direct knowledge[abhi~n~naa], to sambodhi, to nibbana. Therefore the Blessed one has declared it."

SN ii 223

describes the culminating three of "seven selective recognitions", and then the following "peace", "direct knowledge", "sambodhi" (comprehension of the Four Actualities for the Noble, and optionally also other things), and finally the experience of "nibbana".

In regard of reminders, it seems that it was not a little from interest, exept in regard of the Buddha.


Well, Nibbana isn't anihillation, it's the end of defilements, so all the best qualities of the person shine up in the Arahant.

They do not seem to be differnt, but interesting that there are two words used. AN 9.45., AN 9.44.
It would be no be no evidence of the "reminder"-idea, but like before a simply pointing on the "way" (I am not sure if two).


Arahant who is "released both ways" is more advanced in abilities.
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Re: A discussion of bodhi

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:57 pm

Dmytro wrote:. . . "Because, friend, this is beneficial, relevant to the fundamentals of the holy life, and leads to disgust [nibbidā], to dispassion [virāgā], to cessation [nirodha], to peace [upasamā], to direct knowledge[abhi~n~naa], to sambodhi, to nibbana. Therefore the Blessed one has declared it."

SN ii 223

describes the culminating three of "seven selective recognitions", and then the following "peace", "direct knowledge", "sambodhi" (comprehension of the Four Actualities for the Noble, and perhaps also other things), and finally the experience of "nibbana".
The problem, however, is that it is not quite that clear in this passage.

In the S.N. IV 251 and IV 321 we find: "That which is the destruction of greed, hatred and delusion is nibbana."
S.N. IV 371: "That which is the destruction of greed, hatred and delusion is destruction of craving [virāgā]."
Peace [upasamā] is a characteristic of nibbana, and one certainly cannot have sambodhi with having nibbana.
The only thing in this particular list (SN ii 223) that would suggest a meaning of progression is nibbida, but the other list (SN v 82), I quoted reads: "utter revulsion" or complete turning away, which is characteristic of nibbana.

It is worth a few minutes to look at these two lists, which are clearer in expression:

MN i 167; MLDB page 260: "And it is hard to see this truth, namely, the stilling of all formations, the relinquishing of all attachments, the destruction of craving, dispassion, cessation, Nibbana." Certainly the denotations overlap, and the connotation here, with this list, is that these expressions are all referring to the same thing, "this truth."

It is the same for the very common list, MN ii 83; MLDB page 697: “This is the good practice instituted by me now, which leads to complete disenchantment [ekantanibbāya], to dispassion [virāgāya], cessation [nirodhāya], to peace[upasamāya], to direct knowledge [abhiññāya], to enlightenment [sambodhāya], to Nibbana.

Theres no reason here to assume that these two texts are describing a progression, given that each item of the texts is characteristic of "this truth." The stilling of all formations is characteristic of nibbana; the relinquishing of all attachments is characteristic of nibbana; the destruction of craving is characteristic of nibbana; dispassion (virāgā) is characteristic of nibbana; cessation is characteristic of nibbana, and so could be said for the MN ii 83 passage. In other words these lists are describing characteristics of the goal.

Arahant who is "released both ways" is more advanced in abilities.
Yes, but I have yet to see an argument that all the abilities, but one, are necessary to characterize 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: A discussion of bodhi

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:03 pm

Thank you Ven Cittaanurakkho.

cittaanurakkho wrote:
Tilt, thanks for the link and for the new thread. As you suggested, I look into it. Your post bring out a lot salient features I never have read or thought about. I did not search back to see the whole discussion between you and Savant. But let’s just use your link there, particularly your repost with lots of sutta quotes as the starting point.
You are welcome. A couple of minor points. The discussion with Savant took place years ago on the now quite defunct E-Sangha. Savant was a Mahayanist who would have no truck with the idea that the Buddha would say that his Bodhi was no different from that of the arahants.

Correct me if I am wrong, your interpretation is that Nirodha, (Sam)bodhi, are synonymous/equivalent with Nibbana: definitely (Sam)bodhi, and Nirodha is at least an indicator if not a synonym with Nibbana? My interpretation is that Nirodha and (Sam)bodhi are not equivalent to Nibbana.
Before I respond, let me add a couple more quotes here that I think are a bit better to my point:

MN i 167; MLDB page 260: "And it is hard to see this truth, namely, the stilling of all formations, the relinquishing of all attachments, the destruction of craving, dispassion, cessation, Nibbana."

MN ii 83; MLDB page 697: “This is the good practice instituted by me now, which leads to complete disenchantment [ekantanibbāya], to dispassion [virāgāya], cessation [nirodhāya], to peace[upasamāya], to direct knowledge [abhiññāya], to enlightenment [sambodhāya], to Nibbana.

In this context I would take nirodha in terms of the Third Noble Truth, as in:
    MN I 49; MLDB p 135 “And what is the cessation of suffering? It is the remanderless fading away and ceasing, the giving up, the relinquishing, letting go, and rejecting of that same craving. This is called the cessation of suffering.”

    MN I 140;MLDB p 234: Bhikkhus, both formerly and now what I teach is suffering and the cessation of suffering.”

So, does the knowledge of only Nirodha sufficient to claim attainment of nibbana or even sambodhi? My interpretation in this case is the knowledge of Nirodha is necessary, but only Nirodha is not sufficient to qualify for nibbana: i.e. Nirodha is not Nibbana.

One may argue: “Well, that is Dukkha-Nirodha. But there are other Nirodhas”. To which I will say Dukkha-Nirodha is the purest form of Nirodhas. Please take a look at the quote below. Does, for example, the cessation of feeling more sublime than Dukkha-Nirodha where it is placed last?

"The thought occurred to me, 'I [the Buddha] have attained this path to Awakening [bodhi], i.e., from the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of consciousness, from the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of the six sense media. From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling. From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Thus is the cessation of this entire mass of stress. Cessation, cessation.' Vision arose, clear knowing arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before. SN ii 105


One could also argue: “Well, there is THE Nirodha.” Even if one would combine all Nirodhas into THE Nirodha, still how can an amalgam of Nirodhas be higher/purer in its potentcy for liberation than Dukkha-Nirodha? My interpretation is if Dukkha-Nirodha cannot be equated with Nibbana, then no other Nirodhas is eligible.
I don’t think one needs to combine “all the nirodhas,” but I am a bit puzzled by your saying that the cessation of suffering, as in the Third Noble Truth, is not referring to nibbana – if that is what you are saying. Some clarification may be needed here.
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: A discussion of bodhi

Postby cittaanurakkho » Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:58 am

Before I respond, let me add a couple more quotes here that I think are a bit better to my point:

MN i 167; MLDB page 260: "And it is hard to see this truth, namely, the stilling of all formations, the relinquishing of all attachments, the destruction of craving, dispassion, cessation, Nibbana."

MN ii 83; MLDB page 697: “This is the good practice instituted by me now, which leads to complete disenchantment [ekantanibbāya], to dispassion [virāgāya], cessation [nirodhāya], to peace[upasamāya], to direct knowledge [abhiññāya], to enlightenment [sambodhāya], to Nibbana.”

If you don’t mind I will discuss this in the later post on (Sam)bodhi which I think would be a longer post. Because the root source of our differing interpretation is our different take of what those lists represent.

In this context I would take nirodha in terms of the Third Noble Truth, as in:
MN I 49; MLDB p 135 “And what is the cessation of suffering? It is the remanderless fading away and ceasing, the giving up, the relinquishing, letting go, and rejecting of that same craving. This is called the cessation of suffering.”

MN I 140;MLDB p 234: Bhikkhus, both formerly and now what I teach is suffering and the cessation of suffering.”

The third noble truth is Dukkha-Nirodha, the noble truth regarding the cessation of suffering. For now, if it is ok with you then I will just summarize your position that Nirodha for you is Dukkha-Nirodha. Later, if you want to take the term Nirodha into a different direction, I will be ok with that.

I don’t think one needs to combine “all the nirodhas,” but I am a bit puzzled by your saying that the cessation of suffering, as in the Third Noble Truth, is not referring to nibbana – if that is what you are saying. Some clarification may be needed here.

Dukkha-Nirodha the Third Noble Truth is certainly in context with the goal of achieving nibbana. What I am saying is that the Third Noble Truth [correction: should be "knowledge of the Third Noble Truth] by itself cannot be equated with nibbana.

My interpretation is that Dukkha-Nirodha is only one part, one Truth out of the Four Noble Truths. The knowledge of only one individual Truth, be it the First only, the Second only, the Third only, or the Fourth only, cannot be equated with Nibbana. For anybody who attained Nibbana, the knowledge of all Four Truths have to arise, the whole package of Four Truths and nothing less, not even 2 out of 4 Truths, or 3 out of 4 Truths. It has to be all 4 out of the 4 Truths.

This sutta seems to say so.
Bhikkhus, whatever Arahants, Perfectly Enlightened Ones [Arahanto sammaasambuddha], in the past fully awakened to things as they are, all fully awakened to the Four Noble Truths as they really. Whatever Arahants, Perfectly Enlightened Ones, in the future will fully awaken to things as they really are, all will fully awakened to to the Four Noble Truths as they really are. Whatever Arahants, Perfectly Enlightened Ones, at present have fully awakened to things as they really are, all have fully awakened to the Four Noble Truths as they really are. SN v 433


So does the first sermon, Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
which goes to list all 12 knowledge entirely. Note also that each individual Truth is unique and not at all equal to the other Three Truths. So unique that what one has to do with each one Truth is different: Dukkha is to be comprehended, Samudaya is to be abandoned, Nirodha is to be experienced, Magga is to be developed.
"Vision arose, insight arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before:

'This is the noble truth of stress.'…
'This noble truth of stress is to be comprehended.' …
'This noble truth of stress has been comprehended.' …

'This is the noble truth of the origination of stress'...
'This noble truth of the origination of stress is to be abandoned' ...
'This noble truth of the origination of stress has been abandoned.'

'This is the noble truth of the cessation of stress'...
'This noble truth of the cessation of stress is to be directly experienced'...
'This noble truth of the cessation of stress has been directly experienced.'

'This is the noble truth of the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress'...
'This noble truth of the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress is to be developed'...
'This noble truth of the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress has been developed.'


Then the Buddha again emphasize the totality of the arising of this knowledge (all 12) in the following:
"And, monks, as long as this — my three-round, twelve-permutation knowledge & vision concerning these four noble truths as they have come to be — was not pure, I did not claim to have directly awakened to the right self-awakening unexcelled in the cosmos with its deities, Maras, & Brahmas, with its contemplatives & brahmans, its royalty & commonfolk. But as soon as this — my three-round, twelve-permutation knowledge & vision concerning these four noble truths as they have come to be — was truly pure, then I did claim to have directly awakened to the right self-awakening unexcelled in the cosmos with its deities, Maras & Brahmas, with its contemplatives & brahmans, its royalty & commonfolk. Knowledge & vision arose in me: 'Unprovoked is my release. This is the last birth. There is now no further becoming.'"


So, may this clarify and hopefully not muddy-fy my interpretation.
Last edited by cittaanurakkho on Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A discussion of bodhi

Postby vinasp » Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:40 am

Hi cittaanurakkho,

Quote: "What I am saying is that the Third Noble Truth by itself cannot be equated with nibbana."

In my opinion, there is no such thing as: "the third noble truth by itself."

".... Friends, in the presence of the Blessed One I have heard and learned this:
'Bhikkhus, one who sees suffering also sees the origin of suffering, also sees
the cessation of suffering, also sees the way leading to the cessation of suffering.
One who sees the origin of suffering ....'" [Repeat for the other three truths.]
[Bhikkhu bodhi, CDB, p.1857, part of SN 56.30 - Gavampati.]

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: A discussion of bodhi

Postby Hanzze » Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:07 am

Good point, but in regard of "What I am saying is that the Third Noble Truth by itself cannot be equated with nibbana." it might be not so useful. The third noble truth clearly characterize Nibbana, while the second characterize the "existence" of the All.

Of cause it does not describe Nibbana it self, as something which could even be describe, but its coming to "be".
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: A discussion of bodhi

Postby cittaanurakkho » Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:26 pm

Hello Vincent,

In my opinion, there is no such thing as: "the third noble truth by itself."

I don’t think so either. For clarification, I should have worded it “the knowledge of the third noble truth by itself”.

".... Friends, in the presence of the Blessed One I have heard and learned this:
'Bhikkhus, one who sees suffering also sees the origin of suffering, also sees
the cessation of suffering, also sees the way leading to the cessation of suffering.
One who sees the origin of suffering ....'" [Repeat for the other three truths.]
[Bhikkhu bodhi, CDB, p.1857, part of SN 56.30 - Gavampati.]

Thanks. Excellent quote. This quote seems to put the knowledge of each Truths on equal footing, which begs more question. What do you think Vincent, when the knowledge of Four Noble Truth arises, does it arises sequentially from 1, 2, 3, 4 or can it arises in any random order?
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Re: A discussion of bodhi

Postby vinasp » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:03 pm

Hi cittaanurakkho,

I think that the SN 56.30 passage is saying that to see any one of the truths is to
see them all, at the same time.

I think that 'see' means to understand, but that this is just comprehension at this initial stage.

If one understands how X originates from a cause Y, then one also understands how X
ceases when Y is removed. One also understands what needs to be done to bring about the
cessation of X, (remove the cause Y). This is the understanding of X.

So this initial stage is seeing, understanding, or knowledge.

But is it the first four of the twelve knowledges, or the first eight?

Clearly,'what needs to be done', has not yet been done, so there will not be the final
four knowledges.

It seems to me, that the abandoning of the origin of suffering, is at the same time,
the actualisation (?) of the cessation of suffering, and also the development of the
way (method) that brings about the cessation of suffering.

So it may be that the doing of 'what needs to be done' in relation to any one truth is
also the doing of 'what needs to be done' in relation to the other truths. These are
four aspects of the same thing. If so, then the four final knowledges are attained together.

Whether this makes any sense may depend on one's understanding of other parts of the
teachings, for example, what is meant by suffering.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: A discussion of bodhi

Postby cittaanurakkho » Fri Sep 28, 2012 2:50 pm

Tilt,
Here is my post regarding (Sam)bodhi.

This quote is from http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Fabricated = conditioned = saṅkhata.

"Is the noble eightfold path fabricated or unfabricated?"
"The noble eightfold path is fabricated."

If Noble Eightfold Paths is conditioned then the Four Noble Truths is also conditioned. As Nirodha is in Four Noble Truths, this will make Nirodha conditioned. However, Nibbana is unconditioned so I think this will rule out that Nirodha is equal to Nibbana.

And the sutta mentioned that when an arahants awake(sambodhi), they are awoken to the Four Noble Truths. That in effects say that sambodhi is conditioned by the Four Noble Truths. Another way of looking is that awakening is conditioned by the maturing of the Seven Factors of Awakening. Then the state they reach is Nibbana which is unconditioned. So, that is the reason I also don’t equate (Sam)bodhi with Nibbana.

Now let’s deal with the list.

First, some housekeeping. In your discussion with Savant, you have about 22 itemized contention or sutta quote. To that I will add the following item you mentioned just to keep tract of them.
23] S.N. IV 251 and IV 321
24] S.N. IV 371
25] MN i 167; MLDB page 260
26] MN ii 83; MLDB page 697

From this I want discuss the list shown on items because they show common feature.
9] SN v 82
10] SN v 437 cf DN i 189
11] SN ii 223
13] SN iv 330-1
14] MN i 15
26] MN ii 83; MLDB page 697

25] may seems needed to be included but it can be interpreted differently. I think if one would go through the sutta more thoroughly, one can find more similar list. But 26] MN ii83 is the most complete and representative of the list, so I quoted them below.
MN ii 83; MLDB page 697: “This is the good practice instituted by me now, which leads to complete disenchantment [ekantanibbāya], to dispassion [virāgāya], cessation [nirodhāya], to peace[upasamāya], to direct knowledge [abhiññāya], to enlightenment [sambodhāya], to Nibbana.”


Because I don’t equate (Sam)bodhi with Nibbana, when I read the list above, instead of synonym I see a progression, like stages of development culminating in Nibbana. In fact, one can fit Buddha chronology of his development into the list:
1. His complete disenchantment with the sorrow of daily, aging, death.
2. His dispassion of that life that drives him to become contemplative.
3. His cessation of lay life and beginning of contemplative life.
4. His peace obtain through samadhi.
5. The three knowledge obtain in the night of his enlightenment.
6. To his englightenment.
7. Nibbana

I would say, he is speaking from his own life experience to Nibbana.

Note that the list follow this general logical format: “If you do what I just teach you, it will lead you to … , … , … , Nibbana”. But the list occurs so often in the sutta (albeit with varying number of items), one would wonder why? One possibility is that when a Bhikkhu accepted Buddha’s teaching to reach for Nibbana, the natural inclination would be to think “how would I get from where I am now to Nibbana?” Sensing that question, the Buddha would dish out a list (depending on the inclinaton of the Bhikkhu) showing how adoption of his teaching would put the Bhikkhu on a progressive stage from where he is to Nibbana.

This list contain 6 items plus Nibbana. As I recall, the sutta is quite meticulous with lists. It may remove items from a list but it rarely mixed up the sequence. In fact of the 6 lists (9,10,11,13,14,26), although the item at the beginning of the list may differs, the last three (direct knowledge, enlightenment, Nibbana) are always the same. It’s like saying, at beginning of their path toward Nibbana, the Bhikkhus are quite varied in term of what their stages of development. But getting closer, they are converging. And at the end they end up at the same Nibbana. The direct knowledge of various Arahants would be different because some have 3 knowledges while other just one. I think the Arahants (Sam)bodhi would be different because it is conditioned by their individual bojhanga.

List presented in 14] (MN I 15) is peculiar. It started with wisdom and as I recall, it appears quite frequently in the sutta, perhaps as frequently as list in 26] (MN ii 83). One conjecture is that MN ii 83 is a list intended for Bhikkhu with inclination of ceto-vimutti, and MN i 15 is intended for Bhikkhu with inclination of panna-vimutti. Just a guess.

These six item could also be an indicator to Nibbana in the same way traffic sign “Missouri” could mean one is entering the state of Missouri. But when one equate Nirodha or (Sam)bodhi with Nibbana, that is like saying the traffic sign “Missouri” is equal to the state of Missouri. Tell that to the Missourians and they might say “Show me!”.

Another way these six can be an indicator to Nibbana is in a colloquial context. In conversation, monks in Thailand would say “That monk is peaceful.”, which is a coded word for monk with high attainment, perhaps even an Arahant.

But I think to equate any of the six items in this list to Nibbana is a danger of mistaken the raft for the destination.

Let me give an analogy to illustrate my interpretation. Suppose suffering is equal to breathing polluted air. Complete disenchantment is like disenchantment with breathing the poluted air everday in the valley. Dispassion would be like no longer interested in doing any activity there. Cessation is like ceasing to live in the valley and begin to travel up the mountain where the air is fresher. Peace is like being refresh as the air quality get better. Direct knowledge is like knowledge that we ourself caused that pollution in the air. Enlightment is like reaching the summit where the air is totally fresh. Nibbana is like the absence of polution in the air.

Finally, I prefer the path of Arahantship than Bodhisatva but not so inspire to discuss the distinction between Buddha and Arahant. I have a few observations regarding the Bodhisatva path.

It seems like it is the student who is eager to pursue Bodhisatva Path. If we accept the story of the present Buddha where in the past life he made the vow to become the Buddha, the vow was made by his own determination, not by the urging of the past Buddha that he met. I don’t think any Buddha could have recommend Bodhisatva Path. While the Noble Eighfold Path was just being reveal, it would have been very odd to encourage anybody to go through eons of lifetime perfecting their paramis just to be like Buddha. That would be a cruelty and not compassion which is the quality of enlighten person. Ven. Sariputa was chastized by Buddha for teaching a brahmin to be reborn in Brahma world. So Buddha encouraging people to pursue Bodhisatva Path? No.
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Re: A discussion of bodhi

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:13 pm

cittaanurakkho wrote:
MN ii 83; MLDB page 697: “This is the good practice instituted by me now, which leads to complete disenchantment [ekantanibbāya], to dispassion [virāgāya], cessation [nirodhāya], to peace[upasamāya], to direct knowledge [abhiññāya], to enlightenment [sambodhāya], to Nibbana.”


Because I don’t equate (Sam)bodhi with Nibbana, when I read the list above, instead of synonym I see a progression, like stages of development culminating in Nibbana. In fact, one can fit Buddha chronology of his development into the list:

1. His complete disenchantment with the sorrow of daily, aging, death.
2. His dispassion of that life that drives him to become contemplative.
3. His cessation of lay life and beginning of contemplative life.
4. His peace obtain through samadhi.
5. The three knowledge obtain in the night of his enlightenment.
6. To his englightenment.
7. Nibbana
You have modified/explained this list in a way that is simply unconvincing, and you have shown absolutely no justification for your interpretations of each item. None of the many suttas that use this list support your modification of the list in this way. This is not a list of progression. I'll go with Occam Razor here. It is far more simply a list showing different aspects of of the same thing. You also ignore the fact the most of the items in this list, as stated, are used specifically to refer to the goal, as I have shown, as is plainly obvious with virāga: S.N. IV 371: "That which is the destruction of greed, hatred and delusion is destruction of craving [virāga]." Your discussion of cessation, I find equally unconvincing. Cessation is used repeatedly at the end of a number progressive paticcasamuppada type lists to indicate nibbana. You have made things far too complicated where it seems it is far more straightforward. And why would the experience of sambodhi be any different from the experience of nibbana? I am thinking here that we are not going to agree on these matters.
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: A discussion of bodhi

Postby daverupa » Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:43 pm

In the oral recitations, often lists of synonyms will occur as a guard against losing the meaning; having a list of similar terms helps recall all of them, and there is often a principle of the waxing syllable, where the words are in an order from short to long. In any event,

Because I don’t equate (Sam)bodhi with Nibbana, when I read the list above, instead of synonym I see a progression


is begging the question: "I don't equate" is the conclusion to be supported, but it is taken as proven and then used as evidence itself. This approach is backwards.
    "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: A discussion of bodhi

Postby cittaanurakkho » Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:07 am

tiltbillings wrote:You have modified/explained this list in a way that is simply unconvincing, and you have shown absolutely no justification for your interpretations of each item.

Modified the list? In what way have I modified the list. I have neither change the order nor remove any item from the list in M ii 83.

Explained the list in a way that is unconvinving? Yes, I guess that may be true.

None of the many suttas that use this list support your modification of the list in this way. This is not a list of progression. I'll go with Occam Razor here. It is far more simply a list showing different aspects of of the same thing. You also ignore the fact the most of the items in this list, as stated, are used specifically to refer to the goal, as I have shown, as is plainly obvious with virāga: S.N. IV 371: "That which is the destruction of greed, hatred and delusion is destruction of craving [virāga]." Your discussion of cessation, I find equally unconvincing. Cessation is used repeatedly at the end of a number progressive paticcasamuppada type lists to indicate nibbana. You have made things far too complicated where it seems it is far more straightforward.

Excuse me tilt,
craving: (f.) taṇhā; nikanti; abhijjhā.
It is not virāga.

And why would the experience of sambodhi be any different from the experience of nibbana?

Because the experience of (Sam)bodhi is caused by maturing of the seven factor of wakening.
But Nibbana is technically not “an experience” of any sort.

I am thinking here that we are not going to agree on these matters.

We?
If you are implying that you no longer want to discuss the matter further with me, that is ok with me.

But I prefer to speak for myself that I am open to other interpretation. If you said, as you mentioned responding to dymtro, that the list “characterized” Nibbana. Yes, I can agree that the list can be a descriptive list (a non progressive list) in the sense that the surface tension, the polarity , … , the liquidity, “characterized” liquid water. In this sense the whole six items on the list “characterized” Nibbana.

But that is quite different from what you originally said: which is Nirodha, (Sam)bodhi (all six items on the list?) are “synonymous” with Nibbana. That is like saying liquidity is synonymous with liquid water. Which does not make sense because there are other matter that have the property of liquidity, not just liquid water.
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Re: A discussion of bodhi

Postby cittaanurakkho » Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:25 am

Hi daverupa,

daverupa wrote:In the oral recitations, often lists of synonyms will occur as a guard against losing the meaning; having a list of similar terms helps recall all of them, and there is often a principle of the waxing syllable, where the words are in an order from short to long.

Good to know. Do you have examples from Pali sutta?

In any event,
Because I don’t equate (Sam)bodhi with Nibbana, when I read the list above, instead of synonym I see a progression

is begging the question: "I don't equate" is the conclusion to be supported, but it is taken as proven and then used as evidence itself. This approach is backwards.

You are right if you lump the two parts discussion into one.

But there are 2 seperate parts in that post. The first part is the discussion about Nirodha and (Sam)bodhi as “synonymous” with Nibbana. And I believed I made my conclusion that I don’t interpret Nirodha or (Sam)bodhi as “synonymous” with Nibbana because Nirodha and (Sam)bodhi are conditioned while Nibbana is not.

Now, given that conclusion, the second part of the discussion deal with the list, particularly my interpretation of the list, but I also includes other interpretation that make sense to me. Granted that in the second part I did briefly mentioned the Nirodha/(Sam)bodhi issue but the bulk of the discussion is not meant to provide further evidence to the first part. And there is no conclusion on the second part.

I hope that clarify.
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Re: A discussion of bodhi

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:27 am

None of the many suttas that use this list support your modification of the list in this way. This is not a list of progression. I'll go with Occam Razor here. It is far more simply a list showing different aspects of of the same thing. You also ignore the fact the most of the items in this list, as stated, are used specifically to refer to the goal, as I have shown, as is plainly obvious with virāga: S.N. IV 371: "That which is the destruction of greed, hatred and delusion is destruction of craving [virāga]." Your discussion of cessation, I find equally unconvincing. Cessation is used repeatedly at the end of a number progressive paticcasamuppada type lists to indicate nibbana. You have made things far too complicated where it seems it is far more straightforward.

Excuse me tilt,
craving: (f.) taṇhā; nikanti; abhijjhā.
It is not virāga.
Did you check the Pali of S.N. IV 371?

And why would the experience of sambodhi be any different from the experience of nibbana?

Because the experience of (Sam)bodhi is caused by maturing of the seven factor of wakening.
But Nibbana is technically not “an experience” of any sort.
So, you can have sambodhi without having nibbana, and you have nibbana without having sambodhi, is that what you are saying?

But that is quite different from what you originally said: which is Nirodha, (Sam)bodhi (all six items on the list?) are “synonymous” with Nibbana. That is like saying liquidity is synonymous with liquid water. Which does not make sense because there are other matter that have the property of liquidity, not just liquid water.
Interesting question. A person attains sambodhi, did she attain nibbana?
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: A discussion of bodhi

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:29 am

cittaanurakkho wrote:Nirodha and (Sam)bodhi are conditioned . . . .
Based upon what?
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: A discussion of bodhi

Postby Dmytro » Sat Sep 29, 2012 7:16 am

Hi Cittanurakkho,

cittaanurakkho wrote:Because I don’t equate (Sam)bodhi with Nibbana, when I read the list above, instead of synonym I see a progression, like stages of development culminating in Nibbana. In fact, one can fit Buddha chronology of his development into the list:
1. His complete disenchantment with the sorrow of daily, aging, death.
2. His dispassion of that life that drives him to become contemplative.
3. His cessation of lay life and beginning of contemplative life.
4. His peace obtain through samadhi.
5. The three knowledge obtain in the night of his enlightenment.
6. To his englightenment.
7. Nibbana


There's certainly a progression in this list, which includes the culminating stages of "seven selective recognitions", described, for example, in Chachakka sutta:
aniccasañña (recognition of impermanence), anattasañña (of impersonality), pahānasañña (of abandoning), nibbidasañña (of disgust/disenchantment), virāgasañña (of dispassion), vimutti (release), ñāṇa (knowledge),
and Mahaparinibbana sutta:
aniccasañña (of impermanence), anattasañña (of impersonality), asubhasañña (of non-attractiveness), ādīnavasañña (of drawbacks), pahānasañña (of abandoning), virāgasañña (of dispassion/disenchantment), nirodhasañña (of cessation).

By the way, these seven selective recognitions also feature, in shortened form, in the last tetrad of Anapanasati sutta. Patisambhidamagga chapter on Anapanasati has a helpful explanation of "seven selective recognitions", including "nirodha".

I don’t think any Buddha could have recommend Bodhisatva Path. While the Noble Eighfold Path was just being reveal, it would have been very odd to encourage anybody to go through eons of lifetime perfecting their paramis just to be like Buddha. That would be a cruelty and not compassion which is the quality of enlighten person. Ven. Sariputa was chastized by Buddha for teaching a brahmin to be reborn in Brahma world. So Buddha encouraging people to pursue Bodhisatva Path? No.


I agree with you.
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