MN 117 has been tampered with

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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:17 am

Thank you, Mike.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Postby nibbuti » Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:58 am

Cittasanto wrote:
nibbuti wrote:Something that is well researched isn't necessarily true and beneficial only on account of being well researched.

There is a refutation of Ven. Analayo's paper here

I didn't say that paper was true or beneficial, I only said it was "excellently" researched.

It wasn't specifically directed at you.

:anjali:
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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Postby vinasp » Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:20 pm

Hi everyone,

Is 'The Noble Eightfold Path' just an abstract idea?

What I mean is that the reality is four separate and distinct paths. The first three
of these are eightfold.

Those on any of these first three paths are called 'learners'. They may be developing
one of these paths for from one to six weeks. When the fruit is attained the path factors
cease, so those enjoying fruition are not learners. The first two fruits are transcendent
and can continue for months [One has a temporary experience of the 'next world'.]
The third fruit is permanently transcendent.

Each path is present for only a few weeks. Those enjoying fruition are not 'on' any path.
Where, then, is 'the' noble eightfold path? It is just an abstract idea.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Postby vinasp » Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:18 pm

Hi everyone,

What exactly are the four asava's?

The Abhidhamma teaches that they are the same as the four floods and the four bonds.
I think that this is correct.

In the five Nikaya's the four asava's are nowhere explained, nor are the four floods,
but the four bonds are explained, in AN 4.10 - Bonds.

1. The bond of sensuality: sensual lust, delight, passion, attachment, sensual craving.
2. The bond of existence: lust for existence ... craving for existence.
3. The bond of views: lust for views ... craving for views.
4. The bond of ignorance: not understanding, as they really are the origin and the passing
away, the gratification, the danger, and the escape in regard to the six bases for
contact.

[The above is a summary of AN 4.10, Bhikkhu Bodhi, TNDB, 2012, page 396.]

So the asava's of views, sensuality and existence are the lust for these things, or the
craving (for renewed existence) which is based on these things.

The asava of ignorance is the six spheres of contact. When these have ceased then the
asava of ignorance has ceased.

But Dependent Origination shows that even after the six spheres have ceased there remains
consciousness and name-and-form. These also have to be eliminated, so the destruction of
the asava's is not completion of the path.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:29 am

Greetings,

Another sutta worth considering in conjunction with MN 117, vis-a-vis the with/without asava distinction...

AN 2.67 - Bodhi translation wrote:"Bhikkhus, there are these two kinds of happiness. What two? The happiness with taints and the happiness without taints. These are the two kinds of happiness. Of these two kinds of happiness, the happiness without taints is foremost."

If there can be "two kinds of happiness" where "the happiness without taints is foremost", why cannot it also be so for Right View?

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:56 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Another sutta worth considering in conjunction with MN 117, vis-a-vis the with/without asava distinction...

AN 2.67 - Bodhi translation wrote:"Bhikkhus, there are these two kinds of happiness. What two? The happiness with taints and the happiness without taints. These are the two kinds of happiness. Of these two kinds of happiness, the happiness without taints is foremost."

If there can be "two kinds of happiness" where "the happiness without taints is foremost", why cannot it also be so for Right View?

Metta,
Retro. :)
What would right view with taints be as opposed to right view without taints. I assume, then, that right view with taints, being right view is important and probably necessary in one's practice, given that one cannot simply jump to right view without taints until one has gained that level of practice/insight.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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

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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:07 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:What would right view with taints be as opposed to right view without taints.

I'm surprised you ask me, and not MN 117... the sutta is clear and addresses this very point.

tiltbillings wrote:I assume, then, that right view with taints, being right view is important and probably necessary in one's practice, given that one cannot simply jump to right view without taints until one has gained that level of practice/insight.

I sense there's a dead horse you wish to flog here, but my interest is not in that - my interest is on topic, and is about refuting the OP's notion "that the Mahācattārīsaka Sutta has been tampered with material from the Abhidhamma and some of the late works found in the Khuddaka Nikāya, that it contains a number of statements which are in direct contradiction with the teachings found elsewhere in the four Nikāyas, and that it seeks to despise the original teaching of the Buddha to promote terminology and theories of late origin."

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:17 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:What would right view with taints be as opposed to right view without taints.

I'm surprised you ask me, and not MN 117... the sutta is clear and addresses this very point.
I asked you, or anyone else who may care to answer.

tiltbillings wrote:I assume, then, that right view with taints, being right view is important and probably necessary in one's practice, given that one cannot simply jump to right view without taints until one has gained that level of practice/insight.

I sense there's a dead horse you wish to flog here, but my interest is not in that - my interest is on topic, and is about refuting the OP's notion "that the Mahācattārīsaka Sutta has been tampered with material from the Abhidhamma and some of the late works found in the Khuddaka Nikāya"
I stay away from dead horses. They tend to stink. Now that the "counterfeit question has been pretty much discarded, I am asking this question given that various opinions about what this sutta is saying have been put forth on this forum. Sorry, did not mean to touch a raw nerve 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: MN 117: a counterfeit

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:10 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:Now that the "counterfeit question has been pretty much discarded...

At what point exactly was the actual topic "discarded", in preference for off-topic diversions? And who decided this? And on what basis?...

:coffee:

tiltbillings wrote:...I am asking this question given that various opinions about what this sutta is saying have been put forth on this forum.

Perhaps if you wish to initiate an exploration on whether or not "one cannot simply jump to right view without taints until one has gained that level of practice/insight", you can kindly start your own topic to do so.

:focus:

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:12 am

(All very parenthetically:
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:Now that the "counterfeit question has been pretty much discarded...

At what point exactly was the actual topic "discarded", in preference for off-topic diversions? And who decided this? And on what basis?...
Not a diversion. Actually, it would be directly to the point of what the terms meant, now that we are not looking at them through Abhidhamma filters: "If there can be "two kinds of happiness" where "the happiness without taints is foremost", why cannot it also be so for Right View."



tiltbillings wrote:...I am asking this question given that various opinions about what this sutta is saying have been put forth on this forum.

Perhaps if you wish to initiate an exploration on whether or not "one cannot simply jump to right view without taints until one has gained that level of practice/insight", you can kindly start your own topic to do so.
Maybe.

I'm surprised you ask me
Being human and all, mistakes are made. It shan't happen again.)
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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

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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Postby Sylvester » Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:43 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Another sutta worth considering in conjunction with MN 117, vis-a-vis the with/without asava distinction...

AN 2.67 - Bodhi translation wrote:"Bhikkhus, there are these two kinds of happiness. What two? The happiness with taints and the happiness without taints. These are the two kinds of happiness. Of these two kinds of happiness, the happiness without taints is foremost."




This distinction between pleasure that is anāsava versus pleasure that is sāsava seems to be implied in MN 44's treatment of the latent tendencies. Apparently, the latent tendency to lust does not underlie the pleasure of 1st Jhana. To the extent that the anusayā listing coincides a fair bit with the āsavā listing, perhaps jhanic pleasure is anāsava.

This much seems to be implied from MN 101, where after contrasting the pain of the Niganthas against the pleasures of the jhanas, the Buddha proclaims that the pleasures of the latter are anāsava -

...yaṃ etarahi evarūpā anāsavā sukhā vedanā vedeti

...since he now feels such taintless pleasant feelings


I would just note that the Commentaries interpret that section in MN 44 somewhat differently, ascribing the abandonment of the rāgānusaya (latent tendency to lust) to the specific attainment of anāgāmimagga (Non-Returner's Path (citta)). That's the Abhidhammic lokuttara citta model governing the Comy, but the plain reading of the MN 117 conception of anāsava does not appear to lend itself to either being the source for the Abhidhammic model or being influenced by the Abhidhammic model.

If there can be "two kinds of happiness" where "the happiness without taints is foremost", why cannot it also be so for Right View?


I believe it is possible, going by the discussion of Right View in MN 41 that I posted a little earlier. It appears that if one craves for good rebirth, one of the necessary conditions for the desire to materialise would have to include the 3 conducts in accordance with the Dhamma. One of such 3 conducts is the mental conduct of Right View, defined in MN 117's standard pericope of "There is what is given ... etc etc".

The Right View here does not seem to be inherently an āsava. I think the "sa" in sāsava refers to āsava accompanying the Right View. The āsava in question seems to be the various forms of craving for rebirth in the respective spheres.
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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Postby Anders » Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:57 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Mike,

Thanks for sharing, but I'm unable to ascertain from venerable Dhammanando's quote whether the words 'sāsava' and 'anāsava', are the actual words used in Petakopadesa and Nettipakarana to represent 'mundane' and 'supramundane', or whether those treatises use their own words to reflect these notions, which are then in some way related back to MN 117's own terms - 'sāsava' and 'anāsava'. (Oh for the days when Ven.D was here instead of in the hills!)

The fact that words found in a particular sutta may also happen to appear in subsequent treatises doesn't seem surprising in and of itself. As for the matter of these terms appearing in this sutta alone seems of little more significance than the fact that in the 12907 posts I've made to date on this forum, that I'm sure there's some posts which include a particular word that is unique to that post (vis-a-vis the 'canon' of my posts), that does not appear elsewhere in my other 12906 posts.

If there's anything I'm missing here, feel free to help me join the dots. At this point though, I do not understand the full importance of it.

Metta,
Retro. :)


I think actually this is a fairly cut and dried case of later textual addition. It checks two very signficant boxes:

a) material with no parallel in either Agamas nor Tibetan collections (this one, it seems, is actually preserved in Tibetan too, so the strength of the comparison is quite heavy).
b) Proclaims tenets that are not found anywhere else in the canon(s).

Really, what more do you want for proof of it being a later addition? I suppose if some heavy grammatical analysis showed that the grammar shows signs of being later that would seal the deal, but other than that I don't see what more you could ask for if we are to acknowledge any suttas have been tampered with at all.

edit: And in this case, we also have a clear motive for the editorial addition. Although I take point that for all we know, the abidhammikas took their inspiration from the [already edited?] sutta rather than editing it back into the sutta. But it does have the look of an addition that is not exactly random.
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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:35 am

Anders Honore wrote:I think actually this is a fairly cut and dried case of later textual addition. It checks two very signficant boxes:

a) material with no parallel in either Agamas nor Tibetan collections (this one, it seems, is actually preserved in Tibetan too, so the strength of the comparison is quite heavy).
b) Proclaims tenets that are not found anywhere else in the canon(s).
Following Ven Anālayo, whose scholarship on this is far better than anything else presented here or elsewhere linked on the subject, I think you are probably correct. The question is: how important is it one way or the other?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Postby vinasp » Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:52 pm

Hi everyone,

Right View.

A very difficult topic, here are some thoughts.

1. The ordinary man understands right view as right belief. MN 117 gives a set of beliefs
as wrong view, and their opposites as right view. This right view is what most ordinary
men already believe. So they are sure that they have right view and that they are on
the noble eightfold path.

2. The noble disciple is not satisfied with such beliefs, although they are true they are
of no help in reaching liberation in this life. The noble disciple understands right
view as right understanding. Since there are four paths each must be understood before
one can begin. This is why right view is put first. So there are four distinct right
views because each path has to be understood.

3. So the teachings depend on an ambiguity in the word 'ditthi' (view). The literal
meaning of this word is 'sight'. There is a similar ambiguity with the word 'see' in
English, which, depending on the context, can refer to someone's belief, or to their
understanding.

4. MN 117 explains that to discern right resolve as right resolve, and wrong resolve as
wrong resolve is ones right view, and applies the same to other path factors. This
means that one has to understand what is right resolve and what is wrong resolve.
One has to understand each of the path factors in order to understand the path. So
right view is right understanding of the path, it is seeing what is the path and
what is not the path.

5. But MN 117 also says that discerning right view as right view is ones right view.
This is confusing and should be ignored. Right view as right understanding of the
path only needs to be an understanding of the other seven path factors.

6. But in any description of the path which uses these eight factors something is
missing. For a noble disciple each path is about eliminating something. These eight
factors do not specify what that something is. This understanding of what has to be
eliminated is the most essential thing, and without it there can be no right view,
no understanding of the path.

7. The first path is simple to understand because we are told, elsewhere in the teachings,
what has to be eliminated. We know that the stream enterer, the one who has obtained
the fruit of stream entry, has eliminated views of self. So it must be these views of
self which are diminished and removed by progress on this path.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Postby nibbuti » Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:40 pm

Anders Honore wrote:I think actually this is a fairly cut and dried case of later textual addition. It checks two very signficant boxes:

a) material with no parallel in either Agamas nor Tibetan collections (this one, it seems, is actually preserved in Tibetan too, so the strength of the comparison is quite heavy).
b) Proclaims tenets that are not found anywhere else in the canon(s).

Hi Anders Honore

That is not quite true, as most of the tenets are found in the Nikayas and none of the tenets contradict the essence of the Nikayas.

MN 117 states:

And what is the right view that is without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path? The discernment, the faculty of discernment, the strength of discernment, analysis of qualities as a factor for Awakening, the path factor of right view of one developing the noble path whose mind is noble, whose mind is free from effluents, who is fully possessed of the noble path. This is the right view that is without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.

The above aspects of wisdom are stock in the suttas, being the Five Faculties, the Five Powers & the Seven Factors of Enlightenment.

And what is the right resolve that is without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path? The thinking, directed thinking, resolve, (mental) fixity, transfixion, focused awareness & verbal fabrications of one developing the noble path whose mind is noble, whose mind is without effluents, who is fully possessed of the noble path. This is the right resolve that is without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.

Similarly, most of the terms above are found in descriptions of the path & the jhanas.

Anders Honore wrote:Really, what more do you want for proof of it being a later addition? I suppose if some heavy grammatical analysis showed that the grammar shows signs of being later that would seal the deal, but other than that I don't see what more you could ask for if we are to acknowledge any suttas have been tampered with at all.

edit: And in this case, we also have a clear motive for the editorial addition. Although I take point that for all we know, the abidhammikas took their inspiration from the [already edited?] sutta rather than editing it back into the sutta. But it does have the look of an addition that is not exactly random.

There may be an exaggeration.

:namaste:
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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Postby vinasp » Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:57 pm

Hi everyone,

"Here, venerable sir, a bhikkhu whose taints are destroyed develops the faculty of
faith, which leads to peace, leads to enlightenment. He develops the faculty of
energy ... the faculty of mindfulness ... the faculty of concentration ... the
faculty of wisdom, which leads to peace, leads to enlightenment."

[Bhikkhu Bodhi, TCDB, page 1700, part of SN 48.58 - The Boar's Cave.]

This discourse will also be rejected as a counterfeit by those who think that the
destruction of the asava's is the highest stage.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:44 pm

Anders Honore wrote:edit: And in this case, we also have a clear motive for the editorial addition. Although I take point that for all we know, the abidhammikas took their inspiration from the [already edited?] sutta rather than editing it back into the sutta. But it does have the look of an addition that is not exactly random.

Hi Anders,
what motive is clear?

on a general note -
does this addition point somewhere else than to nibbana?
I am reminded of the buddhas last advise to the stream enterers "dont be content with what you have" or words to that effect.

sorry I have a bandaged finger and I am not inclined to go through the parinibbana sutta at the moment.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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: MN 117: a counterfeit

Postby vinasp » Sat Oct 27, 2012 12:09 am

Hi everyone,

There seems to be some variation in the 'stock' passages describing the 'four stages'.
This one, from DN 6, does not use the term 'arahant' where one would expect it.

“idha, mahāli, bhikkhu tiṇṇaṃ saṃyojanānaṃ parikkhayā sotāpanno hoti avinipātadhammo niyato sambodhiparāyaṇo.

"Mahali, in one case a monk, having abandoned three fetters, becomes a stream-enterer,
not liable to states of woe, firmly set on the path to enlightenment." [Walshe, DN 6.13]

♦ “puna caparaṃ, mahāli, bhikkhu tiṇṇaṃ saṃyojanānaṃ parikkhayā rāgadosamohānaṃ tanuttā sakadāgāmī hoti, sakideva VAR imaṃ lokaṃ āgantvā dukkhassantaṃ karoti.

"Again, a monk who has abandoned the three fetters, and has reduced his greed, hatred,
and delusion, becomes a once-returner who, having returned to this world once more,
will make an end of suffering."

♦ “puna caparaṃ, mahāli, bhikkhu pañcannaṃ orambhāgiyānaṃ saṃyojanānaṃ parikkhayā opapātiko hoti, tattha parinibbāyī, anāvattidhammo tasmā lokā.

"Again, a monk who has abandoned the five lower fetters takes a spontaneous rebirth
and, without returning from that world, gains enlightenment."

♦ “puna caparaṃ, mahāli, bhikkhu āsavānaṃ khayā anāsavaṃ cetovimuttiṃ paññāvimuttiṃ diṭṭheva dhamme sayaṃ abhiññā sacchikatvā upasampajja viharati. [DN 6.12]

"Again, a monk through the extinction of the corruptions (asavas) reaches in this
very life the uncorrupted deliverance of mind, the deliverance through wisdom, which
he has realised by his own insight."

This last passage looks like it is describing a further, higher stage. But it
could be interpreted as another description, in different words, of the non-returner.

Some of the other versions of this description of the 'highest stage' do use the term
'arahant'.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Postby vinasp » Sat Oct 27, 2012 1:36 am

Hi everyone,

Those who have a copy of The Long Discourses of the Buddha by M. Walshe, can take a
look at DN 34.

This discourse explains what things are to be abandoned. It lists these things as:

One thing to be abandoned, two things ... three things .... [up to] ten things to be abandoned.

Nowhere are the asavas mentioned, not in the three's nor in the fours. But the floods
are mentioned in the fours, as four things to be abandoned.

The four yokes [bonds] are also mentioned as things which conduce to diminution, and
the four unyokings as things which conduce to distinction.

In total 550 things are mentioned in this discourse. How could the asavas be omitted?
They could not be, but they could be included under other names - floods and yokes.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Oct 27, 2012 1:46 am

Hi Vincent:

In DN 33:
(31) ‘Four floods (oghā): sensuality, becoming, [wrong] views, ignorance.

Here: http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... o.htm#ogha
Ogha: 'floods', is a name for the 4 fermentations āsava


http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... %C4%81sava
Āsava: lit: fermentations, taints, corruptions, intoxicant biases. There is a list of four as in D. 16, Pts.M., Vibh.:
1: The mental fermentation of sense-desire kāmāsava, Ex: 'All is pleasant'
2: The mental fermentation of desiring existence bhavāsava, Ex: 'Being is good'
3: The mental fermentation of wrong views ditthāsava, Ex: 'My opinion is best'
4: The mental fermentation of ignorance avijjāsava. Ex: 'Suffering exists not'
A list of three, omitting the fermentation of views, is possibly older and is more frequent in the Suttas, e.g. in M. 2, M. 9, D. 33; A. III, 59, 67; A. VI, 63. In Vibh. Khuddakavatthu Vibh. both the 3-fold and 4-fold division are mentioned. The fourfold division also occurs under the name of floods ogha and yokes yoga.

:anjali:
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