The causes for wisdom

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby pulga » Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:13 pm

robertk wrote: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.


I take it your cat is a fully ignorant one.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:58 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.
It depends upon what you mean by "properly attend[ing] to the pancupadanakkhandha as anicca, dukkha, and anatta." Obviously one can have yoniso manasikara, but not yet attain to ariya status.

Again, the question: Was the bodhisatta ariya befor his awakening?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby pulga » Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:45 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Again, the question: Was the bodhisatta ariya befor his awakening?


We've already discussed the Vipassísutta. As I said, I'm inclined to follow the tradition in interpreting yoniso manasikara when used as such.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:51 pm

pulga wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Again, the question: Was the bodhisatta ariya befor his awakening?


We've already discussed the Vipassísutta. As I said, I'm inclined to follow the tradition in interpreting yoniso manasikara when used as such.
You are not answering the question, which is relevant to the issue of yoniso manasikara. And as for the "tradition," we have seen, via Ven Dhammanando's discussion of what the commentaries say, that your intial take on what was said was wrong.

And you have not addressed this point: "It depends upon what you mean by "properly attend[ing] to the pancupadanakkhandha as anicca, dukkha, and anatta." Obviously one can have yoniso manasikara, but not yet attain to ariya status," as the sutta quoted above clearly shows.
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 11:07 pm

tiltbillings wrote: Ven Dhammanando's discussion of what the commentaries say, that your intial take on what was said was wrong.
In what way?

tiltbillings wrote: And you have not addressed this point: "It depends upon what you mean by "properly attend[ing] to the pancupadanakkhandha as anicca, dukkha, and anatta."
And how do you mean it? How is it that a puthujjana can properly attend to the pancupandanakkhandha as anicca, dukkha, and anatta short of understanding them?
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:16 am

pulga wrote:
tiltbillings wrote: Ven Dhammanando's discussion of what the commentaries say, that your initial take on what was said was wrong.
In what way?
You: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15952&start=480#p233393

Ven Dhammanando: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15952&start=500#p233469 and viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15952&start=500#p233471 and add to that the suttas I quoted.



tiltbillings wrote: And you have not addressed this point: "It depends upon what you mean by "properly attend[ing] to the pancupadanakkhandha as anicca, dukkha, and anatta."
And how do you mean it? How is it that a puthujjana can properly attend to the pancupandanakkhandha as anicca, dukkha, and anatta short of understanding them?
You made a statement and were asked about what you meant by it, so before I address your questions, you can please address mine.
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 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:46 am

tiltbillings wrote:You made a statement and were asked about what you meant by it, so before I address your questions, you can please address mine.


I really haven't gone through all the various texts and thought about the significance of yoniso manasikara enough to have any definite opinion about it. I don't find your examples definitive in coming to any conclusion. If there is some grand insight that you have contigent upon a mundane interpretation of the term, then please do share it forthrightly, and I'll give it some thought.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby pulga » Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:37 pm

Greetings Bhante,

Dhammanando wrote:In the general definition there's no limiting of yoniso mansikāra to ariyans.


Tattha yoniso manasikāro nāma upāyamanasikāro pathamanasikāro, aniccādīsu aniccanti ādinā eva nayena saccānulomikena vā cittassa āvaṭṭanā anvāvaṭṭanā ābhogo samannāhāro manasikāro, ayaṃ vuccati yoniso manasikāroti.


I'm not much into the Commentaries, so please correct me if I'm mistaken, but a lot of this claim hinges on how one understands saccanulomika. From what I've gathered it does seem to convey a conformity with the truth, which -- at least according to the tradition from which it is derived -- is no mere mundane truth of the unenlightened. From an Abhidhammic website I came across the following:

The Co. mentions under purity of view saccaanulomika~naa.na, conformity knowledge, and this is insight knowledge in conformity with the Truth, or adaptation knowledge. It is pa~n~naa that penetrates one of the three characteristics of impermanence, dukkha or anattaa. It surely leads to nibbaana, the subco. adds. It is followed by Path-consciousness and Fruition.


This would seem to have some significance on how some interpret the Sabbásavasutta. But I'm not here to paint anyone into a corner, or to make anyone lose face. The whole matter of yoniso manasikara is something I"ve just begun to delve into, and unfortunately there seems to be more in play in its interpretation than the mere purity of an understanding the Dhamma.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:31 pm

pulga wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:You made a statement and were asked about what you meant by it, so before I address your questions, you can please address mine.


I really haven't gone through all the various texts and thought about the significance of yoniso manasikara enough to have any definite opinion about it.
It certainly looks like you expressed a definite opinion about yoniso manasikara being applicable only to ariya.

I don't find your examples definitive in coming to any conclusion. If there is some grand insight that you have contigent upon a mundane interpretation of the term, then please do share it forthrightly, and I'll give it some thought.
The examples I gave certainly point to, as Ven Dhammanando states:

'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. . . . 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,'

which neatly contradicts your claim that yoniso manasikara is apllicable only to ariya. Essentially the argument you made for the ariya only interpretation of yoniso manasikara has been shown via the commentaries and the suttas to be at best not well grounded.
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 Alex123 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:47 pm

Interesting thing is that one can possess right view and still go to hell:

(iv) "But here some person abstains from killing living beings... and has right view. On the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in the states of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, in hell. MN136


So it seems that even if one possesses right view, one doesn't have to be an ariyan.



78. Bhikkhus, the misery from the decrease of wealth is nothing in comparison to the decrease of wisdom. Bhikkhus, of decreases the decrease in wisdom is miserable. AN1:8:78


Wisdom can decrease.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby pulga » Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:31 pm

tiltbillings 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. . . . 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,'

which neatly contradicts your claim that yoniso manasikara is apllicable only to ariya. Essentially the argument you made for the ariya only interpretation of yoniso manasikara has been shown via the commentaries and the suttas to be at best not well grounded.


I think Ven. Dhammanando may be mistaken in his interpretation of the commentarial gloss here. As for the Silavant Sutta, as I've already intimated, I'm somewhat noncommittal: it appears aberrant -- like a number of the other Suttas you've sited -- and in contradiction to other more established Suttas in the Canon. The tendency that some have to clinging to it only reflects the tenuous nature of the view they're trying to hold.

But as I've said, I'm open to a change of opinion. Just from my own reading of the Suttas I've always had the impression that there is an ariyan quality about the term, and I can understand how the tradition came to interpret it as such. It would be interesting to learn more about why Ven. Bodhi rejects the tradition here, and to gather a more compeling reason to support your view.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:07 pm

pulga wrote:
tiltbillings 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. . . . 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,'

which neatly contradicts your claim that yoniso manasikara is applicable only to ariya. Essentially the argument you made for the ariya only interpretation of yoniso manasikara has been shown via the commentaries and the suttas to be at best not well grounded.


I think Ven. Dhammanando may be mistaken in his interpretation of the commentarial gloss here.
Do you read the extremely difficult commentarial Pali? Ven Dhammanando, who does, might, indeed, be wrong, but given that he is highly learned in this, more so than anyone else I have seen on this forum, I rather doubt that he is wrong, and merely stating that he might be wrong is not an argument.

As for the Silavant Sutta, as I've already intimated, I'm somewhat noncommittal: it appears aberrant -- like a number of the other Suttas you've sited -- and in contradiction to other more established Suttas in the Canon.
Ah, the it-does-not-agree-with-my-point-of-view,-so-that-sutta-you-just-quoted-can-be-dismissed-as-aberrant argument, which suggests that you, in fact, have no argument. Interestingly, you have not referenced any other "established suttas" other than Vipassi, and even that does not support your position. The suttas I quoted, and I certainly could quote any number of others, are as established as any other sutta in the Nikayas.

But as I've said, I'm open to a change of opinion. Just from my own reading of the Suttas I've always had the impression that there is an ariyan quality about the term, and I can understand how the tradition came to interpret it as such.
The problem for you here is that Ven Dhammanando has put into context what the tradition -- via the commentary you referenced -- has said, which contradicts your point of view.

It would be interesting to learn more about why Ven. Bodhi rejects the tradition here, and to gather a more compeling reason to support your view.
One comment in the commentaries is not the whole of the tradition, and Ven Dhammanando already addressed 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 Alex123 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:08 pm

pulga wrote: I've always had the impression that there is an ariyan quality about the term, and I can understand how the tradition came to interpret it as such. It would be interesting to learn more about why Ven. Bodhi rejects the tradition here, and to gather a more compeling reason to support your view.


Is right view (sammādiṭṭhi) always supramundane?
Is wisdom (paññā) always supramundane?

If not, then why can't yonisomanasikāro be mundane (at least in the beginning)?
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby pulga » Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:39 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Do you read the extremely difficult commentarial Pali? Ven Dhammanando, who does, might, indeed, be wrong, but given that he is highly learned in this, more so than anyone else I have seen on this forum, I rather doubt that he is wrong, and merely stating that he might be wrong is not an argument.
Hopefully I'll get a chance to learn more from him later.

tiltbillings wrote:Ah, the it-does-not-agree-with-my-point-of-view,-so-that-sutta-you-just-quoted-can-be-dismissed-as-aberrant argument, which suggests that you, in fact, have no argument.
Does such an assessment apply to Ven. Analayo's critique of the Mahacattarisaka Sutta?

tiltbillings wrote:One comment in the commentaries is not the whole of the tradition.
Note that I said "here", i.e. with regards to yoniso manasikara.

One final note. You're much too hostile to have any satisfying exchange with. It may be a part of your personality and you may have no control over it, but please excuse me if I'm disinclined to respond to you. Feel free of course to respond to any of my posts.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby pulga » Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:09 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Is right view (sammādiṭṭhi) always supramundane?
Is wisdom (paññā) always supramundane?

If not, then why can't yonisomanasikāro be mundane (at least in the beginning)?


Hi Alex,

I'd recommend a reading of the Mahacattarisakasutta (M117). As for yonisomanasikāra I'm still too uncommitted about its use in the Suttas to say definitively that it can't be mundane, at least when it is applied to mundane matters, but it is worth noting that in the Sabbasavasutta (M2) the Buddha tells us that for one who knows and sees yonisomanasikāra and ayonisomanasikāra the ásavas are extinguished.
Last edited by pulga on Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:26 pm

pulga wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Ah, the it-does-not-agree-with-my-point-of-view,-so-that-sutta-you-just-quoted-can-be-dismissed-as-aberrant argument, which suggests that you, in fact, have no argument.
Does such an assessment apply to Ven. Analayo's critique of the Mahacattarisaka Sutta?
You are going to provide a link to this? And you are going to give a brief, accurate synopsis of what Ven Analayo's point is?

As for Ven Analayo: "The resemblance in function between sati and attention is also reflected in the fact that wise attention (yoniso manasikara) parallels several aspects of satipatthana contemplation, such as directing attention to antidotes for the hindrances, becoming aware of the impermanent nature of the aggregates or the sense spheres, establishing the awakening factors, and contemplating the four noble truths.69

69 Wise attention (yoniso manasikara) is applied to antidotes for the hindrances at S V 105, can lead to realization by giving attention to the impermanent nature of the aggregates at S III 52 and the sense-spheres at S IV 142, establish the awakening factors at S V 94, and consists in contemplating the four noble truth at M I 9. Cf. also A V 115, where wise attention functions as "nutriment" for mindfulness and clear knowledge, which in turn act as nutriment for satipatthana. -- SATIPATTHANA, Pages 59-60.

What we see here with Ven Analayo's comments supports, not your position, but rather it supports the idea that yoniso manasikara is a tool for awakening and he seems not to find a problem with the texts which I could have just as easily quoted. What we see with Ven Analayo's comments is that yoniso manasikara is clearly a tool for awakening, not just an expression of awakening as you would have it.

tiltbillings wrote:One comment in the commentaries is not the whole of the tradition.
Note that I said "here", i.e. with regards to yoniso manasikara.
Thank you for the correction.

One final note. You're much too hostile to have any satisfying exchange with. It may be a part of your personality and you may have no control over it, but please excuse me if I'm disinclined to respond to you. Feel free of course to respond to any of my posts.
Sorry you feel I am being hostile, and if I have offended you, my apologies. I am certainly being very direct in response to your msgs, which very often side-step and ignore what is being said to and asked of you in response to your postings, and I am asking to you not ignore what being said to and asked of you, and I do not mean that to be hostile, but I am trying to see what the fullness of your argument is. Whether you respond further or not is, indeed, your choice.
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 tiltbillings » Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:41 pm

Does such an assessment apply to Ven. Analayo's critique of the Mahacattarisaka Sutta?
Thanks to god-google, I tracked it down. http://www.buddhismuskunde.uni-hamburg. ... risaka.pdf

Since the discourse in question does not discuss yoniso manasikara, your point here is that it is obviously a sutta that might be considered "aberrant." The problem with your argument here is that while Ven Analayo is making a carefully done study of the text in question, you simply raised the specter of possible aberrancy of the texts I quoted because they do not fit in with what you call the "established suttas," but the problem is you offered no support for the question of aberrancy and you quoted no "established suttas" that contradicted the point I have been making. And, as we see in the above quote from Ven Analayo's book, you would be dismissing a fair number of suttas as being aberrant.
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 tiltbillings » Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:20 am

pulga wrote: . . . it is worth noting that in the Sabbasavasutta (M2) the Buddha tells us that for one who knows and sees yonisomanasikāra and ayonisomanasikāra the ásavas are extinguished.
And it is worth taking a look at what MN 2 actually has to say:

The Blessed One said, "Monks, the ending of the fermentations is for one who knows & sees, I tell you, not for one who does not know & does not see. For one who knows what & sees what? Appropriate attention & inappropriate attention. When a monk attends inappropriately, unarisen fermentations arise, and arisen fermentations increase. When a monk attends appropriately, unarisen fermentations do not arise, and arisen fermentations are abandoned. There are fermentations to be abandoned by seeing, those to be abandoned by restraining, those to be abandoned by using, those to be abandoned by tolerating, those to be abandoned by avoiding, those to be abandoned by destroying, and those to be abandoned by developing. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"Appropriate attention & inappropriate attention." Ven Bodhi, in his translation of this text, provides these comments in the footnote MLDB 1169 FN 33:
Wise attention (yoniso manasikara) is glossed as attention that is the right means (upaya), on the right track (patha). It is explained as mental advertence, consideration, or preoccupation that accords with the truth, namely, attention to the impermanent as impermanent, etc. . . . the destruction of the taints is for one who knows how to arouse wise attention and who sees to it that unwise attention does not arise.

Here we have Ven Bodhi telling us what the commentary to "Appropriate/wise attention & inappropriate/unwise attention” is saying. Both the sutta text and the commentary make it quite clear that yoniso manasikara is a skillful means that leads to awakening, and from that we can see that yoniso manasikara is not coterminous with 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 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:43 am

tiltbillings wrote: Ven Bodhi, in his translation of this text, provides these comments in the footnote MLDB 1169 FN 33:
Wise attention (yoniso manasikara) is glossed as attention that is the right means (upaya), on the right track (patha). It is explained as mental advertence, consideration, or preoccupation that accords with the truth, namely, attention to the impermanent as impermanent, etc. . . . the destruction of the taints is for one who knows how to arouse wise attention and who sees to it that unwise attention does not arise.

Here we have Ven Bodhi telling us what the commentary to "Appropriate/wise attention & inappropriate/unwise attention” is saying. Both the sutta text and the commentary make it quite clear that yoniso manasikara is a skillful means that leads to awakening, and from that we can see that yoniso manasikara is not coterminous with awakening.


But the commentarial position is that they are coterminous: yoniso manasikárena ca paññáya abhisamayo ahu (CDB 729). This is the traditional interpretation that Ven. Bodhi doesn't accept.

Truth here too is the truth that accords with the tilakkhana, i.e. it is ariyan: yoniso manasikara is "attention to the impermanent as impermanent, etc." I suppose this is why the tradition holds that it arises jointly with paññá.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby pulga » Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:52 am

tiltbillings wrote:Since the discourse in question does not discuss yoniso manasikara, your point here is that it is obviously a sutta that might be considered "aberrant." The problem with your argument here is that while Ven Analayo is making a carefully done study of the text in question, you simply raised the specter of possible aberrancy of the texts I quoted because they do not fit in with what you call the "established suttas," but the problem is you offered no support for the question of aberrancy and you quoted no "established suttas" that contradicted the point I have been making. And, as we see in the above quote from Ven Analayo's book, you would be dismissing a fair number of suttas as being aberrant.


Looking over the sutta quotes you offered, I'm still inclined in light of the Sabbásavasutta to think that several were addressed to sekhas. It wouldn't be surprising if vestiges of this sort were preserved of the Buddha's discourses to his enlightened disciples.
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