The stages of the path.

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: The stages of the path.

Postby vinasp » Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:44 pm

Hi everyone,

Here is another important passage, which I believe supports my position.

"(6) Ten qualities of the non-learner (asekha): The non-learners right view, right
thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness,
right concentration, right knowledge, right liberation." [Walshe, DN 33.3.3 (6).]

If the asekha is making right effort, then he is still on a path of practice. These
are path factors which are being developed. The asekha is the seventh noble person.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: The stages of the path.

Postby vinasp » Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:17 pm

Hi everyone,

That one line in MN 117 seems to be important. Let us compare different translations:

"Thus, bhikkhus, the path of the disciple in higher training possesses eight factors,
the arahant possesses ten factors." [Bhikkhu Bodhi, MLDB, p.939 - MN 117.34]

"Thus the learner is endowed with eight factors, and the arahant with ten."
[Thanissaro bhikkhu. ATI.]

"Herein the trainee's progress has eight parts, the arahant's ten."
The Discourses of Gotama Buddha: Middle Collection. David W Evans, 1992

And for those who can read Pali:

iti kho, bhikkhave, aṭṭhaṅgasamannāgato sekkho VAR, dasaṅgasamannāgato arahā hoti.

Variations found in other Tipitaka's:

aṭṭhaṅgasamannāgatā sekhā paṭipadā (sī.), aṭṭhaṅgasamannāgato sekho pāṭipado (pī. ka.) ( ) natthi sī. syā. kaṃ. pī. potthakesu

I have no idea what this all means.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: The stages of the path.

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:39 pm

vinasp wrote:"(36) Three persons: the learner, the non-learner, the one who is neither 1043 ..."
[Walshe, Long Discourses, 1987, DN 33.1.10 (36).]

This is often misunderstood. It is claimed that 'the one who is neither', is the
worldling. This is rather improbable since it is an ascending series, and is shown to
be wrong by the next passage.

do see the note 1043 which directs you to note 542 page 582.
do also note the fourfold and threefold logic formulation within the canon. this follows the same pattern.

"(42) Three kinds of wisdom: of the learner, of the non-learner, of the one who is
neither." [Walshe, DN 33.1.10 (42).]

The worldling is never said to have wisdom. It is clear that the person who is meant
here is the arahant who has attained the arahant fruit.

The fool who at least knows they are a fool to that extent is wise. dhammapada.

The first six noble persons are sekha, the seventh is the asekha, and the eighth is the
one who is neither.

so a stream enterer is one who is in training. a non-returner on the path is beyond training. and an arahant is neither training or beyond training? does that really make any sense? someone who has passed beyond is not training or beyond training, as that is how I understand it. if it was both training and beyond training I could understand your interpretation for one with fuel remaining being both, but not this I am afraid.

do note the Digha is considered to contain some later additions and considering a search for "nevasekkh" produced only results from the Abhidhamma, Netti, and Digha text you quote I find it likely to be a categorisation developed later. so any understanding derived from the Abhidhamma or other work would probably be correct, unless you can show otherwise.

Here is another important passage, which I believe supports my position.

"(6) Ten qualities of the non-learner (asekha): The non-learners right view, right
thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness,
right concentration, right knowledge, right liberation." [Walshe, DN 33.3.3 (6).]

do note the "qualities" are things which are present not things necessarily developing although the content indicates they are developing in one and not in the other. also a way to describe the difference between the Arahant and one who is in the stream. remember the Stream winner is firmly upon the path they have right speech and so on yet are not rid on the underlying tendencies hinderances... so are not beyond training. An Arahant on the other hand is fully endowed with these eight qualities and more.
Iti kho, bhikkhave, aṭṭhaṅgasamannāgato sekkho,
dasaṅgasamannāgato
arahā hoti.
Mendicants, Thus the one in training is endowed with eight factors and the perfected one is endowed with ten factors.

aṭṭha = eight
dasa = ten
ṅga -> aṅga = 1. a constituent part; 2. a limb; 3. quality.
samannāgato -> samannāgata = endowed with; possessed of.
but as this is your evidence you would have to show an Arahant that does not possess these ten qualities, and a non-returner who does.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: The stages of the path.

Postby vinasp » Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:29 pm

Hi everyone,

The variations in the 'stock passages' on the eight persons are interesting.

"Monks, there are these eight persons worthy of offerings ... the world's
peerless field for merit. What eight?
The Streamwinner, he who attains to the realization of the fruit of Streamwinning,
the Once-returner, he who attains to the realization thereof, the Non-returner, he
who attains to the realization thereof, the Arahant, and he who attains to Arahantship.
.............."
[PTS, Gradual Sayings, Vol IV, E.M. Hare, page 193.]

[ The Book of the Eights, Chapter VI, #9 - The Eight Persons.]

I am open to the possibility that this may be a mistranslation. Comments from Pali
experts are invited. Does anyone have Bhikkhu Bodhi's Numerical Discourses?

Another such passage, from the same work:

"Monks, these nine persons are found living in the world. What nine?
The Arahant, he who has attained to arahantship, the Non-returner, he
who has attained to the realization of the fruit of the Non-returner,
the Once-returner, he who has attained to the realization of the fruit
of the Once-returner, the Stream-winner, he who has attained to the
realization of the fruit of the Stream-winner, [and the ordinary man]."

[PTS, GS, Vol. IV, page 247]

[The Book of the Nines, Chapter I, #9.]

Again, it could be a poor translation, comments are welcome.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: The stages of the path.

Postby vinasp » Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:11 pm

Hi everyone,

Another important Sutta is the Mulapariyaya (MN 1). It is based on a fourfold
classification of persons.

the tathagata, accomplished and fully enlightened
the arahant with taints destroyed ...
the bhikkhu in higher training (sekha)
the untaught ordinary person.

Anyone trying to understand the teachings has to relate these four persons to the
set of eight noble persons. Since the worldling is not a noble person, he must be
left out.

A monk who thinks that 'tathagata' is not a stage which can be attained by a monk,
must leave out the tathagata also. So he is left with just two kinds of person,
sekha and arahant. His only solution is to take the eighth noble person as the
arahant, and the other seven noble persons as sekha. But this leaves no place
for the asekha, who is higher than the sekha. So this monk must regard the asekha
as being just another name for an arahant.

The situation is different if one regards 'tathagata' as a stage which can be
attained by a monk. Now the tathagata is the eighth noble person, and the asekha can
be placed as the seventh noble person. The remaining six noble persons are sekha.

So, how one understands sekha and asekha will depend on whether one considers
the tathagata to be a stage which can be attained by a monk.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: The stages of the path.

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:17 pm

Hi Vincent,

Bhikkhu Bodhi translates AN 8:59 as "... The stream enterer, the one practising for the realization of stream entry; ...".

He does note that the text is different from AN 8:19, though he gives the same English translation.

:anjali:
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Re: The stages of the path.

Postby vinasp » Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:06 pm

Hi everyone,

There is an interesting passage in MN 142:

" ... One gives a gift to an arahant disciple of the Tathagata; this is the
third kind of personal offering. One gives a gift to one who has entered upon
the way to the realization of the fruit of arahantship; this is the fourth
kind of personal offering. One gives a gift to a non-returner; this is the
fifth kind of personal offering. One gives a gift to one who has entered upon
the way to the realization of the fruit of non-return; this is the sixth kind
of personal offering. ...." [BB, MLDB, p.1103]

This shows, I think, that my first post on this thread was wrong. I thought that
the one 'working for the realization of the fruit of arahantship', would be called
a non-returner, but it seems that he is not. What, then, is he called?

This mistake was corrected in the revised version of the stages of the path.
The above passage also shows that the scope, or range, of the term 'disciple'
(savaka) includes the arahant.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: The stages of the path.

Postby vinasp » Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:57 pm

Hi everyone,

On the topic of 'the learners course', MN 73 is interesting [trans. by Bhikkhu Bodhi]:

17. "Then the wanderer Vacchagotta received the going forth under the Blessed One,
and he received the full admission. Not long after his full admission, a half-month
after his full admission, the venerable Vacchagotta went to the Blessed One ....
and told the Blessed One: "Venerable sir, I have attained whatever can be attained
by the knowledge of a disciple in higher training, by the true knowledge of a
disciple in higher training. Let the Blessed One teach me the Dhamma further."

18. "In that case, Vaccha, develop further two things; serenity and insight. ..."

25." Then the venerable Vacchagotta, having delighted and rejoiced in the Blessed
One's words ...." [departed]

26." Before long, dwelling alone, withdrawn, diligent, ardent, and resolute, the
venerable Vacchagotta, by realizing for himself with direct knowledge, here
and now entered upon and abided in that supreme goal of the holy life ...
He directly knew:"Birth is destroyed, the holy life has been lived, what had
to be done has been done, there is no more coming to any state of being."
And the venerable Vacchagotta became one of the arahants."

Vacchagotta says that he has attained all that can be attained by a sekha, and he
asks for further instruction. He is told to develop serenity and insight. He goes
into seclusion and develops these. He is, at this point, an asekha. He succeeds in
his efforts and becomes an arahant.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: The stages of the path.

Postby vinasp » Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:07 am

Hi everyone,

"... and so Wisdom recurs at the end of the Path as liberating 'insight' or
'understanding'. This recurrence of Wisdom is sometimes recognised by the
addition of a further two limbs to the Path, sammanana 'right knowledge'
and sammavimutti 'right release'. This is said to be the ten-fold Path of
the 'adept', in contrast with the eight-fold Path of the 'learner'.(11)"

"Note 11: 'Learner' (sekho), 'adept' (asekho). D.II.217, III.271; M.I.42; A.II.89,
V.221."

[Selfless Persons, Steven Collins, Cambridge, 1982,1990, page 90.]

This is probably where I got the idea from. The key question seems to be: are these
ten 'qualities' [dhammaa -plural] path factors which have to be developed?

The references are to: DN 18.27, DN 33.3.3.(6), MN 8.12, AN 4.89, AN 10.111

Regards, Vincent.
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