That standard definition of 'wrong view'

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manas
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That standard definition of 'wrong view'

Postby manas » Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:59 pm

Greetings members,

I've often seen this given as a (basic?) definition of 'wrong view' in various suttas:

And what is wrong view? 'There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no brahmans or contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is wrong view.


The meaning of 'there is no fruit or result of good or bad actions' is quite clear from the translation. In case anyone else has ever wondered what it means by 'there is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed', or 'no this world, no next world' (I was a little unsure) I found this:

Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:This is the materialist view espoused by Ajita Kesakambalin (DN 2), who maintained that there was no birth after death and that actions bore no results. "Nothing given" means that the act of generosity bears no karmic fruit. "No this world, no next world" means that there is no life after death. "No spontaneously reborn beings" means that there are no inhabitants of heaven or hell. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .html#fn-3


So it seems that something got lost in translation (for me anyway). I had always wondered if 'there is no this world, no next world' was referring to someone who thinks that everything we see is just an illusion, that there isn't any point in doing good things because there is no moral order to anything - that literally 'there is nothing' - and other such nihilistic ideas. But apparently it simply refers to the view that 'there is no life after death' (quite a common view nowadays, ironically).

So could someone please clarify one last thing: 'no mother, no father'...? Clearly we all came from our parents so what exactly does a micchāditthiko claim here?

Kind regards
manas
:anjali:

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Re: That standard definition of 'wrong view'

Postby polarbuddha101 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:30 pm

It implies that children have no responsibility to help their parents, that no gratitude is owed. However the Buddha repeatedly emphasized the great debt we all owe our parents.

"I tell you, monks, there are two people who are not easy to repay. Which two? Your mother & father. Even if you were to carry your mother on one shoulder & your father on the other shoulder for 100 years, and were to look after them by anointing, massaging, bathing, & rubbing their limbs, and they were to defecate & urinate right there [on your shoulders], you would not in that way pay or repay your parents. If you were to establish your mother & father in absolute sovereignty over this great earth, abounding in the seven treasures, you would not in that way pay or repay your parents. Why is that? Mother & father do much for their children. They care for them, they nourish them, they introduce them to this world. But anyone who rouses his unbelieving mother & father, settles & establishes them in conviction; rouses his unvirtuous mother & father, settles & establishes them in virtue; rouses his stingy mother & father, settles & establishes them in generosity; rouses his foolish mother & father, settles & establishes them in discernment: To this extent one pays & repays one's mother & father."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Re: That standard definition of 'wrong view'

Postby manas » Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:32 pm

polarbuddha101 wrote:It implies that children have no responsibility to help their parents, that no gratitude is owed. However the Buddha repeatedly emphasized the great debt we all owe our parents.

"I tell you, monks, there are two people who are not easy to repay. Which two? Your mother & father. Even if you were to carry your mother on one shoulder & your father on the other shoulder for 100 years, and were to look after them by anointing, massaging, bathing, & rubbing their limbs, and they were to defecate & urinate right there [on your shoulders], you would not in that way pay or repay your parents. If you were to establish your mother & father in absolute sovereignty over this great earth, abounding in the seven treasures, you would not in that way pay or repay your parents. Why is that? Mother & father do much for their children. They care for them, they nourish them, they introduce them to this world. But anyone who rouses his unbelieving mother & father, settles & establishes them in conviction; rouses his unvirtuous mother & father, settles & establishes them in virtue; rouses his stingy mother & father, settles & establishes them in generosity; rouses his foolish mother & father, settles & establishes them in discernment: To this extent one pays & repays one's mother & father."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


I appreciate the reply, but I still don't understand why it's worded like that. Because if your explanation is correct, why use a wording that appears to simply negate their existence? "there is no mother, no father..."? Is it just a difference in the mode of expression between English and Pali, or am I missing something more here?

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Re: That standard definition of 'wrong view'

Postby equilibrium » Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:17 am

manas wrote:.....
Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:
This is the materialist view espoused by Ajita Kesakambalin (DN 2), who maintained that there was no birth after death and that actions bore no results. "Nothing given" means that the act of generosity bears no karmic fruit. "No this world, no next world" means that there is no life after death. "No spontaneously reborn beings" means that there are no inhabitants of heaven or hell.
Is this not the view of the materialist?

(AN 10.103): "In a person of wrong view, wrong resolve comes into being. In a person of wrong resolve, wrong speech. In a person of wrong speech, wrong action. In a person of wrong action, wrong livelihood. In a person of wrong livelihood, wrong effort. In a person of wrong effort, wrong mindfulness. In a person of wrong mindfulness, wrong concentration. In a person of wrong concentration, wrong knowledge. In a person of wrong knowledge, wrong release. "This is how from wrongness comes failure, not success."

(MM 117): "And how is right view the forerunner? One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view....."One tries to abandon wrong view & to enter into right view: This is one's right effort. One is mindful to abandon wrong view & to enter & remain in right view: This is one's right mindfulness. Thus these three qualities — right view, right effort, & right mindfulness — run & circle around right view."

Right View is the first of the eight path factors in the Noble Eightfold Path, and belongs to the wisdom division of the path.....(right understanding and right view)

The Buddha calls this path the middle way (majjhima patipada). It is the middle way because it steers clear of two extremes, two misguided attempts to gain release from suffering.

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Re: That standard definition of 'wrong view'

Postby polarbuddha101 » Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:02 am

manas wrote:
I appreciate the reply, but I still don't understand why it's worded like that. Because if your explanation is correct, why use a wording that appears to simply negate their existence? "there is no mother, no father..."? Is it just a difference in the mode of expression between English and Pali, or am I missing something more here?


As far as I know, it's just idiomatic. This is the best explanation I've heard from bhikkhu's and it makes sense. What else could it possibly mean?
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Re: That standard definition of 'wrong view'

Postby santa100 » Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:15 am

From MN 41:
And how, householders, are there three kinds of mental conduct not in accordance with the Dhamma, unrighteous conduct? Here someone is covetous; he covets the wealth and property of others thus: ‘Oh, may what belongs to another be mine!’ Or he has a mind of ill will and intentions of hate thus: ‘May these beings be slain and slaughtered, may they be cut off, perish, or be annihilated!’ Or he has wrong view, distorted vision, thus: ‘There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed; no fruit or result of good and bad actions; no this world, no other world; no mother, no father; no beings who are reborn spontaneously; no good and virtuous recluses and brahmins in the world who have themselves realised by direct knowledge and declare this world and the other world

And Ven. Bodhi's footnote:
“There is nothing given” means that there is no fruit of giving; “no this world, no other world” that there is no rebirth into either this world or a world beyond; “no mother, no father” that there is no fruit of good conduct and bad conduct towards mother and father. The statement about recluses and brahmins denies the existence of Buddhas and arahants.

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Re: That standard definition of 'wrong view'

Postby manas » Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:48 pm

Thanks everyone for your replies. I am happy now with the explanation that it is an idiomatic thing to do with Pali. I can accept Ven. Thanissaro and Ven. Bodhi's explanations, they cover it adequately.

Problem solved! :anjali:


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