The causes for wisdom

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby pulga » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:40 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
AN I 4; NDB 91: For one who attends carefully [yoniso manasikara] to the mark of the unattractive, unarisen sensual desire does not arise and arisen sensual desire is abandoned.

AN I 13; NDB 100: Bhikkhus, I do not see even a single thing that so causes unarisen qualities to arise and arisen unwholesome qualities to decline as careful attention [yoniso manasikara].

AN I 15; NDB 102: For one who attends carefully [yoniso manasikara], unarisen factors of enlightenment arise and arisen factors of enlightenment reach fulfillment by development.

AN I 31; NDB 117: For one of careful attention, unarisen right view arises and arisen right view increases.

SN I 105; CDB 197: You to, bhikkhus, by careful attention, by careful right striving, must arrive at unsurpassed liberation, must realize unsurpassed liberation.

SN II 10; CDB 537 [here we clearly see in the whole of this discourse CDB 536-540 that careful attention precedes wisdom]: Then, bhikkhus, through careful attention, there took place in me a breakthrough by wisdom.


One needs to keep in mind that the Buddha didn't solely address puthujjanas, there were of course sekhas that needed to be exhorted and guided towards final liberation. Yoniso manasikara is so much regarded as an Ariyan attribute in the Suttas, that it seems such Suttas had to have been addressed to those already familiar with paticcasamuppáda.

SN II 10 is precisely where Ven. Bodhi explains in his footnote that he deviates from the traditional interpretation.

But I'm not here to argue. You're free to believe whatever you like.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby daverupa » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:55 pm

I think that idea is mistaken, pulga. I am not here to argue either - I am here to ensure that we are all quite clear about an essential condition for right view:

SN 22.122 wrote:On one occasion Ven. Sariputta & Ven. Maha Kotthita were staying near Varanasi in the Deer Park at Isipatana. Then Ven. Maha Kotthita, emerging from seclusion in the late afternoon, went to Ven. Sariputta and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to Ven. Sariputta, "Sariputta my friend, which things should a virtuous monk attend to in an appropriate way?"

"A virtuous monk, Kotthita my friend, should attend in an appropriate way to the five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self. Which five? Form as a clinging-aggregate, feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness as a clinging-aggregate. A virtuous monk should attend in an appropriate way to these five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self. For it is possible that a virtuous monk, attending in an appropriate way to these five clinging-aggregates as inconstant... not-self, would realize the fruit of stream-entry."


yoniso manasikara is here clearly practiced by both puthujjana and sekha alike. (arahants too! all aboard yoniso manasikara!)
Last edited by daverupa on Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
    "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: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:08 am

pulga wrote:
One needs to keep in mind that the Buddha didn't solely address puthujjana, there were of course sekhasi] that needed to be exhorted and guided towards final liberation. [i]Yoniso manasikara is so much regarded as an Aryan attribute in the Suttas, that it seems such Suttas had to have been addressed to those already familiar with paticcasamuppáda.
What do you mean "already familiar with paticcasamuppáda?" One can be familiar with paticcasamuppáda without yet having penetrated it, which is where yoniso manasikara comes into play. While yoniso manasikara may be an attribute of an ariya, it is a something to cultivate in order to attain to that level, otherwise one is stuck in the problem that we see with the Sujin people in this thread, you have to be awakened to be awakened.

Ven Bodhi is correct, and I have yet to see the sutta that unequivocally state that yoniso manasikara is only for the ariya. The suttas certainly paint a different picture. While I am not a reject the commentaries in toto as being a total waste of time sort of person, Ven Bodhi does make good arguments when he rejects a commentarial position, and I have yet to disagree with him when he does.


But I'm not here to argue. You're free to believe whatever you like.
It is not an argument; it is a discussion. And you certainly do not have to accept my point of view.
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: The causes for wisdom

Postby pulga » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:00 am

"A virtuous monk, Kotthita my friend, should attend in an appropriate way to the five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self. Which five? Form as a clinging-aggregate, feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness as a clinging-aggregate. A virtuous monk should attend in an appropriate way to these five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self. For it is possible that a virtuous monk, attending in an appropriate way to these five clinging-aggregates as inconstant... not-self, would realize the fruit of stream-entry."


I don't see how that contradicts what I've written. On the contrary, it only affirms that attending to the khandhá in the proper way in accordance with the tilakkhana marks the transition from puthujjana to ariyan.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby daverupa » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:05 am

pulga wrote:
"A virtuous monk, Kotthita my friend, should attend in an appropriate way to the five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self. Which five? Form as a clinging-aggregate, feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness as a clinging-aggregate. A virtuous monk should attend in an appropriate way to these five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self. For it is possible that a virtuous monk, attending in an appropriate way to these five clinging-aggregates as inconstant... not-self, would realize the fruit of stream-entry."


I don't see how that contradicts what I've written. On the contrary, it only affirms that attending to the khandhá in the proper way in accordance with the tilakkhana marks the transition from puthujjana to ariyan.


It is possible, but not instantaneous. So there is a time where a certain virtuous puthujjana enacts yoniso manasikara without realizing any fruit. This is opposed to what you have said, which is that only sekha can enact yoniso manasikara, is it not?
    "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: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:10 am

daverupa wrote:
It is possible, but not instantaneous. So there is a time where a certain virtuous puthujjana enacts yoniso manasikara without realizing any fruit.
And the suttas do not oppose that point.
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: The causes for wisdom

Postby pulga » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:48 am

daverupa wrote:It is possible, but not instantaneous.


In the Pali the present participle is used in correlation with sacchikareyyā: in other words, it's contemporaneous. (Besides the sutta is refering to sotápattiphala, not magga.) Let's not forget that even an understanding of the tilakkhana is ariyan. How is the puthujjana supposed to attend properly to what he doesn't understand? The dhammacakkhu is presented as a sudden insight in the Suttas, not something one gradually arrives at.

In addition it is worth noting that the sīlavata bhikkhu is not being referred to as a puthujjana in the Sutta. Might it be referring to one of the anusárí? The Sutta is ambiguous: I wouldn't base such an important aspect of the Teaching on something so anomalous and vague.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:14 am

pulga wrote: . . .
The problem is, however, that you still have not effectively countered Ven Bodhi's educated demurral, or the other sutta statements that do not support your position.
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: The causes for wisdom

Postby pulga » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:29 am

tiltbillings wrote:The problem is, however, that you still have not effectively countered Ven Bodhi's educated demurral, or the other sutta statements that do not support your position.


Apart from his brief comment in his footnote I have never seen anything written by Ven. Bodhi supporting his reasons for departing from this fundamentally important aspect of the tradition.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:15 am

pulga wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:The problem is, however, that you still have not effectively countered Ven Bodhi's educated demurral, or the other sutta statements that do not support your position.


Apart from his brief comment in his footnote I have never seen anything written by Ven. Bodhi supporting his reasons for departing from this fundamentally important aspect of the tradition.
The brief comment and the suttas texts themselves make a decent case. It would seem that otherwise if yoniso manasikara is only experienced by an ariya, you are left with the problem of being ariya arising from ayoniso manasikara. As i said, and as the suttas I quoted, I do not find your position compelling. By extension, your position would require than there is no jhana, no insights, no sila, right view, no right anything expect for the ariya, and you are left with the question of how one goes from being a worldling to being an ariya.
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: The causes for wisdom

Postby Dhammanando » Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:00 am

Pulga: I don't see how that contradicts what I've written. On the contrary, it only affirms that attending to the khandhá in the proper way in accordance with the tilakkhana marks the transition from puthujjana to ariyan.

Dave: It is possible, but not instantaneous...


More to the point, the phrase “ṭhānaṃ etaṃ vijjati ... sacchikareyya” (“it is possible ... he would realize.” More literally: “...this situation is to be found ... he may realize...”) would seem to contradict Pulga by indicating that stream-entry attainment is possible for such a person but not inevitable.

If it is merely a possibility that one attending appropriately may realize the fruit of stream-entry, then there is also a possibility that he may not. And all those who do not would count as instances of puthujjanas possessed of yoniso manasikāra. Hence yoniso manasikāra may be present in a puthujjana.
    ...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: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:04 am

Dhammanando wrote: . . .
Thank you, bhante.
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: The causes for wisdom

Postby Dhammanando » Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:18 am

pulga wrote:This accords -- more or less -- with the traditional interpretation, cf. the MA to Sabbásavasutta where yoniso manasikara is identified with sotapattimagga,


The commentary to this sutta defines the term twice, once giving the stock commentarial definition (the paragraph beginning: "tattha _yoniso manasikāro_ nāma upāyamanasikāro...") and once a context-specific one (notice the limiting adverb "ettha", "here"). It is only in the latter that sotāpattimagga is alluded to. In the general definition there's no limiting of yoniso mansikāra to ariyans.
    ...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: The causes for wisdom

Postby pulga » Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:19 am

Dhammanando wrote:More to the point, the phrase “ṭhānaṃ etaṃ vijjati ... sacchikareyya” (“it is possible ... he would realize.” More literally: “...this situation is to be found ... he may realize...”) would seem to contradict Pulga by indicating that stream-entry attainment is possible for such a person but not inevitable.

If it is merely a possibility that one attending appropriately may realize the fruit of stream-entry, then there is also a possibility that he may not. And all those who do not would count as instances of puthujjanas possessed of yoniso manasikāra. Hence yoniso manasikāra may be present in a puthujjana.


Thank you for your input, Bhante. I find the Sutta problematical to the extent that it doesn't identify the silavata bhikkhu as being a puthujjana, and that it is exhorting him to practice yoniso manasikara for the realization of the fruit of stream-entry, not of the path. It reads as if the path has already been attained, that the silavata bhikkhu sees pancakkhandha as anicca, dukkha, and anatta, and is capable of attending to them accordingly. So I'm not really sure what level of attainment is implied. The commentary has nothing to say either way.

"Silavata bhikkhu" is a very uncommon designation in the Suttas. Might it be that given his ability to attend to the pancakkhandhá saccanulomika (to use the commentarial expression) as anicca, dukkha, and anatta, that the sutta may be referring to either a saddhanusari or to a dhammanusari, or both -- neither of whom should be regarded as puthujjanas?
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby pulga » Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:38 am

Dhammanando wrote:The commentary to this sutta defines the term twice, once giving the stock commentarial definition (the paragraph beginning: "tattha _yoniso manasikāro_ nāma upāyamanasikāro...") and once a context-specific one (notice the limiting adverb "ettha", "here"). It is only in the latter that sotāpattimagga is alluded to. In the general definition there's no limiting of yoniso mansikāra to ariyans.


Thank you once again, Bhante. The general definition does however bring in the notion of saccānulomika in defining yoniso manasikara.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:12 am

pulga wrote: It reads as if the path has already been attained, that the silavata bhikkhu sees pancakkhanda as anicca, dukkha, and anatta, and is capable of attending to them accordingly. . .
No, it does not, not in the Ven Bodhi translation, CDB 970-1: "A virtuous bhikkhushould carefully attend to these five aggregates subject to clinging as impermanent . . . as non-self. When , friend, a virtuous bhikkhu carefully attends to these five aggregates subject to clinging, it is possible that he may realize the fruit of stream-entry. But, friend Sariputta, what are the things that a bhikkhu who is a stream-enterer should carefully attend to?" The distinction is made here between one who ariya and who is not, but who might become so based upon the careful attention employed. But there is no guarantee that any particuar incident of the practice of yoniso manasikara would necessarily lead to ariya status.

Let me as you a question here: Was the bodhisatta ariya before his awakening?
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: The causes for wisdom

Postby pulga » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:07 pm

Dhammanando wrote:If it is merely a possibility that one attending appropriately may realize the fruit of stream-entry, then there is also a possibility that he may not. And all those who do not would count as instances of puthujjanas possessed of yoniso manasikāra. Hence yoniso manasikāra may be present in a puthujjana.


Or it may imply that through the very act of yoniso manasikara and the accompanying penetration through understanding the path is attained, thus making it possible for the fruit to be realized. This might explain the silence in the Sutta as to whether the silavata bhikkhu is to be regarded as puthujjana or ariyan.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:05 pm

pulga wrote:
Dhammanando wrote:If it is merely a possibility that one attending appropriately may realize the fruit of stream-entry, then there is also a possibility that he may not. And all those who do not would count as instances of puthujjanas possessed of yoniso manasikāra. Hence yoniso manasikāra may be present in a puthujjana.


Or it may imply that through the very act of yoniso manasikara and the accompanying penetration through understanding the path is attained, thus making it possible for the fruit to be realized. This might explain the silence in the Sutta as to whether the silavata bhikkhu is to be regarded as puthujjana or ariyan.
The problem is, as we have seen, the particulat text in question is not saying what you are suggesting it is saying.
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: The causes for wisdom

Postby pulga » Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:43 pm

tiltbillings wrote:The problem is, as we have seen, the particulat text in question is not saying what you are suggesting it is saying.


I think the crux of the matter is whether a puthujjana can properly attend to the pancupadanakkhandha as anicca, dukkha, and anatta. I say he can't, that the tilakkhana is beyond his ken.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Sat Mar 02, 2013 6:30 pm

pulga wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:The problem is, as we have seen, the particulat text in question is not saying what you are suggesting it is saying.


I think the crux of the matter is whether a puthujjana can properly attend to the pancupadanakkhandha as anicca, dukkha, and anatta. I say he can't, that the tilakkhana is beyond his ken.

there are two type of putthujjana. the fully ignorant one and the one who is beginning to study and see the way, who is starting to understand the agggregates , the ayatanas, conditionality. this latter one may eventually discern nama and rupa and subsequently the tilakkhana.
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