The causes for wisdom

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:40 am

pulga wrote:
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.
Which is likely an aberrant position, to follow your line of thinking. More correctly "the commentraial position is that they are coterminous" according to you is the case in the one instance, but certainly in others, including MN 2 it is not at all the case.

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.
But you have actually made no argument that that phrasing is indicative of an ariya status. So far the suttas and the commentries argue against 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 tiltbillings » Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:31 am

pulga wrote: 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.
But the text of MN 2 and the commentary does not support your position, as we see above.
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 11:51 am

tiltbillings wrote:

But you have actually made no argument that that phrasing is indicative of an ariya status. So far the suttas and the commentries argue against your position.


I think I did. Attending to things saccanulomika, to the impermanent as impermanent, etc. necessitates an insight beyond the ken of the puthujjana which is why it is associated with the ariyasavaka later in the Sutta.

It really isn't that complicated. In order to attend to things as they really are, so to speak, requires an understanding as to how things really are: yoniso manasikára and paññá must occur coterminously. Yoniso manasikara tainted with sakkāya-diṭṭhi is a contradiction in terms, as the Sabbásavasutta makes clear.

I'd like to add that when I regard Suttas as aberrant I by no means reject them. I simply set them aside until I get a better understanding of the Suttas as a whole: it's an exercise in hermeneutics.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:24 pm

pulga wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:

But you have actually made no argument that that phrasing is indicative of an ariya status. So far the suttas and the commentries argue against your position.


I think I did. Attending to things saccanulomika, to the impermanent as impermanent, etc. necessitates an insight beyond the ken of the puthujjana which is why it is associated with the ariyasavaka later in the Sutta.
You are making assertion, but no actual argument for your position.

It really isn't that complicated. In order to attend to things as they really are, so to speak, requires an understanding as to how things really are: yoniso manasikára and paññá must occur coterminously. Yoniso manasikara tainted with sakkāya-diṭṭhi is a contradiction in terms, as the Sabbásavasutta makes clear.
The MN 2 and it commentary suggest something other than what you claim, as has been shown.

I'd like to add that when I regard Suttas as aberrant I by no means reject them. I simply set them aside until I get a better understanding of the Suttas as a whole: it's an exercise in hermenuetics.
Setting aside, rejecting, no real difference in as much as you are not taking what they say seriously and you have no reaoned argument for your setting aside of them, other than they do not fit your predilection.

And I am still waiting for you to tell us if the bodhisatta was 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 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:43 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
I'd like to add that when I regard Suttas as aberrant I by no means reject them. I simply set them aside until I get a better understanding of the Suttas as a whole: it's an exercise in hermenuetics.
Setting aside, rejecting, no real difference in as much as you are not taking what they say seriously and you have no reaoned argument for your setting aside of them, other than they do not fit your predilection.


All the Sutta quotations you posted are valid, but they reflect aspects of the Dhamma as seen through the understanding of an ariyan, i.e. in light of the tilakkhana, saccanulomika.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:03 pm

pulga wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
I'd like to add that when I regard Suttas as aberrant I by no means reject them. I simply set them aside until I get a better understanding of the Suttas as a whole: it's an exercise in hermenuetics.
Setting aside, rejecting, no real difference in as much as you are not taking what they say seriously and you have no reaoned argument for your setting aside of them, other than they do not fit your predilection.


All the Sutta quotations you posted are valid, but they reflect aspects of the Dhamma as seen through the understanding of an ariyan, i.e. in light of the tilakkhana, saccanulomika.
You say stuff like this, but you make no case for what you are saying. In this I'll take Ven Analayo, Ven Bodhi and Ven Dhammanando seriously.
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 5:11 pm

daverupa wrote: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!)


Hi Dave,

The Pali reflects a greater precision than Ven. Thanissaro's translation:

Ekaṃ samayaṃ āyasmā ca sāriputto āyasmā ca mahākoṭṭhiko [mahākoṭṭhito (sī. syā. kaṃ. pī.)] bārāṇasiyaṃ viharanti isipatane migadāye. Atha kho āyasmā mahākoṭṭhiko sāyanhasamayaṃ paṭisallānā vuṭṭhito yenāyasmā sāriputto tenupasaṅkami…pe… etadavoca – ‘‘sīlavatāvuso, sāriputta, bhikkhunā katame dhammā yoniso manasikātabbā’’ti? ‘‘Sīlavatāvuso, koṭṭhika, bhikkhunā pañcupādānakkhandhā aniccato dukkhato rogato gaṇḍato sallato aghato ābādhato parato palokato suññato anattato yoniso manasi kātabbā. Katame pañca? Seyyathidaṃ – rūpupādānakkhandho, vedanupādānakkhandho, saññupādānakkhandho, saṅkhārupādānakkhandho, viññāṇupādānakkhandho. Sīlavatāvuso, koṭṭhika, bhikkhunā ime pañcupādānakkhandhā aniccato dukkhato rogato gaṇḍato sallato aghato ābādhato parato palokato suññato anattato yoniso manasi kātabbā. Ṭhānaṃ kho panetaṃ, āvuso, vijjati yaṃ sīlavā bhikkhu ime pañcupādānakkhandhe aniccato…pe… anattato yoniso manasi karonto sotāpattiphalaṃ sacchikareyyā’’ti

Sorry I can't highlight any of the texts: the message board format isn't offering it for the time being. But what is being used here is the future passive participle (yoniso manasi kátabba). It conveys not only the future, but the imperative, so when Ven. Sariputta is speaking it doesn't necessarily mean that the silavata bhikkhu at that time is even capable of yonisomanasikara. He is saying that he should (in the future) properly attend to the pañcupádánakkhandhá, because if he were to do so there is the possiblity that he might attain sotápattiphala. If the silavata bhikkhu fails to live up to Ven. Sariputta's imperative, he remains a puthujjana. Sorry that I didn't catch that earlier. 
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby daverupa » Mon Mar 04, 2013 6:32 pm

pulga wrote:He is saying that he should (in the future) properly attend to the pañcupádánakkhandhá, because if he were to do so there is the possiblity that he might attain sotápattiphala.


Properly attending in the future, he might attain sotápattiphala. But he might not. So, properly attending is being done by a puthujjana, as instructed, with sotápattiphala perhaps following. But perhaps 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 pulga » Mon Mar 04, 2013 6:54 pm

daverupa wrote:Properly attending in the future, he might attain sotápattiphala. But he might not. So, properly attending is being done by a puthujjana, as instructed, with sotápattiphala perhaps following. But perhaps not.


No, properly attending is being done by a sotápanna who has attained the path. When Ven. Sariputta is speaking the silavata bhikkhu has attained neither path nor fruit.

But of course you're free to read it any way you like.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby daverupa » Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:35 pm

pulga wrote:No, properly attending is being done by a sotápanna who has attained the path.


Well, I suppose I must be a dullard, confused by such things as SN 55.5 which says that yoniso manasikara is a factor for stream-entry.
    "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 pulga » Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:07 pm

daverupa wrote:Well, I suppose I must be a dullard, confused by such things as SN 55.5 which says that yoniso manasikara is a factor for stream-entry.


Wew! You had me worried there for a second. I have to admit that the Silavant Sutta is pretty cleverly worded.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:25 am

pulga wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
I'd like to add that when I regard Suttas as aberrant I by no means reject them. I simply set them aside until I get a better understanding of the Suttas as a whole: it's an exercise in hermenuetics.
Setting aside, rejecting, no real difference in as much as you are not taking what they say seriously and you have no reasoned argument for your setting aside of them, other than they do not fit your predilection.


All the Sutta quotations you posted are valid, but they reflect aspects of the Dhamma as seen through the understanding of an ariyan, i.e. in light of the tilakkhana, saccanulomika.
First, we get from you the suttas that I quoted are likely aberrant, but now they are not. But even more interesting is the highly selective reading of Ven Bodhi's footnote 13 on page 729 of CDB:

pulga wrote:I personally think that the Suttas themselves makes this apparent, but it is worth noting regarding yoniso manasikara that Ven. Bodhi finds the traditional interpretation "unsatisfactory" and in his footnote to the Vipassísutta (CDB 729) offers his own understanding of the term, placing yoniso manasikara before paññá and thus at the level of the puthujjana -- which is puzzling given that throughout the Suttas yoniso manasikara is attributed to the ariyasávaka, if not overtly, at least implicitly. viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15952&start=480#p233393
The first thing Ven Bodhi says in his footnote is:

    The commentaries consistently gloss yoniso manasikara as upayamanasikara, pathamanasikara,, “attention that is right means, attention on the (right) course.” [He then discusses the particular commentarial gloss and then adds:] . . . In general sutta usage yoniso manasikara is the forerunner of paññā, while paññā is the efficient cause of abhisamaya.

In other words the sutta in question and particularly the commentarial gloss are the outliers here, and your reading of Ven Bodhi’s footnote is at best highly selective, and what Ven Bodhi actually says does not support your contention that the gloss of the sutta found on CDB 537 is characteristic of how yoniso manasikara is used throughout the suttas. You have seriously misrepresented Ven Bodhi.
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 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:16 am

tiltbillings wrote: You have seriously misrepresented Ven Bodhi.


If I have, then I apologize to Ven. Bodhi. I would still like to learn more about his interpretation of yoniso manasikara.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:28 am

pulga wrote:
tiltbillings wrote: You have seriously misrepresented Ven Bodhi.


If I have, then I apologize to Ven. Bodhi. I would still like to learn more about his interpretation of yoniso manasikara.
The problem with this statement of yours is that Ven Bodhi is quite clear as to his "interpretation" of the role of yoniso manasikara, even in his footnote 13 in CDB 729.
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 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:13 pm

tiltbillings wrote:The problem with this statement of yours is that Ven Bodhi is quite clear as to his "interpretation" of the role of yoniso manasikara, even in his footnote 13 in CDB 729.


Your contention that the whole of Ven. Bodhi's thoughts on yonisomanasikara can be contained in a few of his footnotes is not only absurd, but an insult. But please do share with us Ven. Bodhi's interpretation in your own words, rather than quacking things out through cutting and pasting.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:46 pm

pulga wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:The problem with this statement of yours is that Ven Bodhi is quite clear as to his "interpretation" of the role of yoniso manasikara, even in his footnote 13 in CDB 729.


Your contention that the whole of Ven. Bodhi's thoughts on yonisomanasikara can be contained in a few of his footnotes is not only absurd, but an insult. But please do share with us Ven. Bodhi's interpretation in your own words, rather than quacking things out through cutting and pasting.
Ven Bodhi has been quite clear in his various footnotes about how yoniso manasikara is used in the suttas in his translations of the Nikayas.
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 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:56 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
pulga wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:The problem with this statement of yours is that Ven Bodhi is quite clear as to his "interpretation" of the role of yoniso manasikara, even in his footnote 13 in CDB 729.


Your contention that the whole of Ven. Bodhi's thoughts on yonisomanasikara can be contained in a few of his footnotes is not only absurd, but an insult. But please do share with us Ven. Bodhi's interpretation in your own words, rather than quacking things out through cutting and pasting.
Ven Bodhi has been quite clear in his various footnotes about how yoniso manasikara is used in the suttas in his translations of the Nikayas.


Excuse the harsh tone of my last post: I was just being a little mischievious. But in all honesty I do think there is a lot unsaid in his notes that warrant further elaboration.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:18 pm

pulga wrote:
Excuse the harsh tone of my last post: I was just being a little mischievious. But in all honesty I do think there is a lot unsaid in his notes that warrant further elaboration.
Maybe you need to practice yoniso manasikara. Ven Bodhi's comments in his notes reflect clearly what is going in in the suttas, and that certainly is supported by Ven Analayo's comments as quoted above.
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 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:25 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Maybe you need to practice yoniso manasikara. Ven Bodhi's comments in his notes reflect clearly what is going in in the suttas, and that certainly is supported by Ven Analayo's comments as quoted above.


At some point it proves helpful to put the writings of others into one's own words, especially when you believe yourself to hold to their views.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:38 pm

pulga wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Maybe you need to practice yoniso manasikara. Ven Bodhi's comments in his notes reflect clearly what is going in in the suttas, and that certainly is supported by Ven Analayo's comments as quoted above.


At some point it proves helpful to put the writings of others into one's own words, especially when you believe yourself to hold to their views.
If you say so; however, given your propensity to not answer direct questions put to you, or to directly respond to points raised in response to what you have said, and not to mention your failing to actually make reasoned and exampled arguments to support your position, I do not find your telling me what I should be doing here compelling. You have your opinions about yoniso manasikara and I have mine, which I share with the likes of Vens Bodhi and Analayo.

As for your argument, you based a fair amount of it on Ven Bodhi's footnote 13 from page CDB 729, but you also destroyed your argument by your ignoring the significant points Ven Bodhi raised in that footnote. Neither the actual text of MN 2, a text to which you appealed, nor the commentary to it, as Ven Bodhi carefully outlined, support your position. You tried to dismiss other texts that were quoted to counter your position as being aberrant and then in a major, and with an unexplained, shift of position you claimed the same texts are speaking from a stand point of being ariya, but in both cases, you offered no actual support for your claims. Essentially, while you have made claims about the nature of yoniso Manasikara, you have not come close to actually offering any support for your claims, and in contrast what Vens Bodhi, Analayo, and Dhammanando had to say shows that what you are claiming fails, falls flat, has no legs, is impotent. Before I even remotely consider your request to "use my own words," I would like to see you do some actual heavy lifting here and actually present a reasoned and exampled argument for your your claims. There is, otherwise, no point in my wasting my time any further with this, given your lack of actually engaging in a dialogue.
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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