What is meant by “Sabbe Dhamma Anatta”

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What is meant by “Sabbe Dhamma Anatta”

Postby SarathW » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:27 am

I have read the follwing statement in another Dhamma discussion. To me it appears incorrect.
What are your thoughts?

-------------------------------------------
As we know the word dhamma has multiple meanings. Dhamma in
abhidhamma has analytical meaning. But the word sabbe dhamma anatta
is mostly in the sutta context.

Below is an interesting quote(s)

Subbe dhamma anatta

All compounds are devoid of self.

Some translate the phrase sabbe dhamma literally as "all phenomena"
(both compound and non-compound). This is not true. According to Lord
Buddha's Teaching in the Dhammapada Pali text, as interpreted by the
original arahant commentators and by the most recent translators
(Carter and Palihawadana 1987) 2, the words sabbe dhamma , in this
context, refer only to the Five Aggregates . These are sankhara or
compounds. Thus, the reference excludes pure, non-compound aspects of
nature such as nibbana.
-----------------------
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Re: What is meant by “Sabbe Dhamma Anatta”

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:37 am

Greetings,

Nibbana is an unconditioned dhamma, and is included in “sabbe dhamma anatta”.

When it's intended to be excluded, you will instead see "sabbe sankhara" instead of "sabbe dhamma". Therefore, "all compounds are devoid of self" would be "sabbe sankhara anatta". Therefore, they are different in meaning and intent. Is the person you quoted suggesting they are synonymous?

(...although interestingly it seems that in the different editions of the Pali Dhammapada there are discrepencies about which ones are used when).

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: What is meant by “Sabbe Dhamma Anatta”

Postby reflection » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:42 am

I'd also say it is incorrect. Nibbana is still non-self.

Nibbana is cessation, going out. Quite logically, you can't stop non-self, but you can stop suffering and impermanence. So nibbana is non-self, but it is not suffering or impermanent.

When I see fuzzy stuff like "pure non-compound elements of nibbana", personally, I'm already not very interested anymore in what the author has to say. I mean, what does that even mean?
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Re: What is meant by “Sabbe Dhamma Anatta”

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:32 am

I do believe that Nanavira argued that dhamma in Dhp 279 does not refer at all to 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: What is meant by “Sabbe Dhamma Anatta”

Postby Dhammanando » Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:51 am

SarathW wrote:All compounds are devoid of self.

Some translate the phrase sabbe dhamma literally as "all phenomena"
(both compound and non-compound). This is not true. According to Lord
Buddha's Teaching in the Dhammapada Pali text, as interpreted by the
original arahant commentators and by the most recent translators
(Carter and Palihawadana 1987) 2, the words sabbe dhamma , in this
context, refer only to the Five Aggregates . These are sankhara or
compounds. Thus, the reference excludes pure, non-compound aspects of
nature such as nibbana.


The writer you quote seems to be treating the Dhammapada Commentary's interpretation (which he approves of) as if it were the sole and normative definition of dhammā in this context. But in fact it's unique and exceptional. Everywhere else the commentaries support the view that the writer rejects, the usual gloss being:

    'Sabbe saṅkhārā aniccā' ti sabbe tebhūmakasaṅkhārā aniccā.
    'Sabbe dhammā anattā' ti sabbe catubhūmakadhammā anattā.

    'All saṅkhāras are impermanent' means that all saṅkhāras belonging to the three planes are impermanent.
    'All dhammas are not self' means that all dhammas belonging to the four planes are not self.
    (SA.ii.318; )

The three planes are those of sense-desires, refined-form and formlessness. The four planes are the same with the addition of the supramundane.
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: What is meant by “Sabbe Dhamma Anatta”

Postby Modus.Ponens » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:15 pm

Venerable, so acording to commentaries and abidhamma can the uncompound dhammas be self? I know that probably not, but I would like if you could explain in short the position of the abidhamma and commentaries on this. Thank you.

:anjali:
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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