The causes for wisdom

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
dhamma follower
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Thu May 09, 2013 4:15 am

Dear all,

By the way, according to the Abhidhamma, there are 19 wholesome mental factors which always arise together. When the 20th, wisdom/understanding/right view arises,it arises with all those 19. Ekkagata (concentration) arises with all cittas, when it arises with wholesome citta, it is wholesome, and vice versa.

Brgrds,
D.F

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Thu May 09, 2013 4:21 am

Alex123 wrote:
robertk wrote:Khanika has the meaning of momentary. Eggakata cetasika (concentration) arises with practically all cittas, kusala or akusala.


If all cittas already have concentration cetasika, then why did the Buddha talk about developing concentration? What is the difference between Jhāna and restless state of mind? How can you develop that which already is? You can't make water any more wet than it is.

If every second it is a new object, then how can we talk about "focusing on one object" if it is different object every second?


Dear Alex,

The Budda talked about developing right concentration, not concentration. There is of course wrong concentration as well.

There can be focusing on one object with wholesome or unwholesome mental factors. Our delusion doesn't allow us to see that ekkagata arises with every citta. It doesn't distinguish from lobha and ekkagata and sati...That's why we need to learn much how they are different.

The Buddha said that to distinguishing one mental factor from the other is more difficult to distinguish whether the water one is tasting comes from the Gange or othe rivers when one is taking water from the ocean.

Sorry now I don't have time to find quotes.

Brgds,

D.F

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 09, 2013 4:31 am

dhamma follower wrote:
Dear Tilt,

A simple mathematical problem:
A always go with B
B always go with C
C always go with D.
Does A always go with D?
Does A always go with D? Not without doing all that is necessary for all that is in between the two to arise.

    "Brahman, the holy life is lived under the Blessed One with the aim of abandoning desire."

    "Is there a path, is there a practice, for the abandoning of that desire?"

    "Yes, there is a path, there is a practice, for the abandoning of that desire."

    "What is the path, the practice, for the abandoning of that desire?"

    "Brahman, there is the case where a monk develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on desire & the fabrications of exertion. He develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on persistence... concentration founded on intent... concentration founded on discrimination & the fabrications of exertion. This, Brahman, is the path, this is the practice for the abandoning of that desire."
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
These things just do not automatically arise; there is doing involved.
    >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
    -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 09, 2013 4:35 am

dhamma follower wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
robertk wrote:Khanika has the meaning of momentary. Eggakata cetasika (concentration) arises with practically all cittas, kusala or akusala.


If all cittas already have concentration cetasika, then why did the Buddha talk about developing concentration? What is the difference between Jhāna and restless state of mind? How can you develop that which already is? You can't make water any more wet than it is.

If every second it is a new object, then how can we talk about "focusing on one object" if it is different object every second?


Dear Alex,

The Budda talked about developing right concentration, not concentration. There is of course wrong concentration as well.

There can be focusing on one object with wholesome or unwholesome mental factors. Our delusion doesn't allow us to see that ekkagata arises with every citta. It doesn't distinguish from lobha and ekkagata and sati...That's why we need to learn much how they are different.
And one of the central ways is by doing, by meditation, by looking at these things as they arise and fall. Just thinking about all this is of limited value.

The Buddha said that to distinguishing one mental factor from the other is more difficult to distinguish whether the water one is tasting comes from the Gange or othe rivers when one is taking water from the ocean.

Sorry now I don't have time to find quotes.
Do find the actual text. So far I have not been impressed with the skewed interpretations I have seen supporting the Sujin point of view.
    >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
    -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby mikenz66 » Thu May 09, 2013 5:16 am

dhamma follower wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Hi DF,

The development of insight, according to the suttas and commentaries, requires a high degree of samadhi (but not necessarily jhana):
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 07#p244480
“The words ‘insight alone’ are meant to exclude not virtue, etc., but serenity (i.e.
jhána), which is the opposite number in the pair, serenity and insight. This is for
emphasis. But the word ‘alone’ actually excludes only that concentration with distinction
[of jhána]; for concentration is classed as both access and absorption (see IV.32). Taking this stanza as the teaching for one whose vehicle is insight does not imply that there is no concentration; for no insight comes about without momentary concentration. And again, insight should be understood as the three contemplations of impermanence,
pain, and not-self; not contemplation of impermanence alone” (Vism-mhþ 9–10).


Mike


Dear Mike,

That "concentration is classed as access and absorption" is taken from the chapter of Concentration development, in other words, samatha bhavana.

I think you are mistaken. That quote is a footnote of the Commentary on chapter 1, which gives an overview of the entire process of purification. Here is the whole quote:

[Visuddhimagga, Chapter I paragraph 6]
6. In some instances this path of purification is taught by insight alone, [3] according
as it is said:
    “Formations are all impermanent:
    When he sees thus with understanding
    And turns away from what is ill,
    That is the path to purity” (Dhp 277).
[3] “The words ‘insight alone’ are meant to exclude not virtue, etc., but serenity (i.e.
jhána), which is the opposite number in the pair, serenity and insight. This is for
emphasis. But the word ‘alone’ actually excludes only that concentration with distinction
[of jhána]; for concentration is classed as both access and absorption (see IV.32). Taking this stanza as the teaching for one whose vehicle is insight does not imply that there is no concentration; for no insight comes about without momentary concentration. And again, insight should be understood as the three contemplations of impermanence,
pain, and not-self; not contemplation of impermanence alone” (Vism-mhþ 9–10).


I also gave some other quotes from the start of:
Visuddhimagga: CHAPTER XVIII PURIFICATION OF VIEW (Diþþhi-visuddhi-niddesa

here: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 07#p244480

The quotes I gave above and in that link are specifically talking about dry insight. I suggest you read them in context. The Visuddhimagga is on line here: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... index.html

:anjali:
Mike

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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Thu May 09, 2013 5:46 am

This is what Dhammanando said about Khanika Samadhi for anyone's interest.

http://www.abhidhamma.org/forums/index. ... hl=khanika



This is something that I have meant to get around to for awhile - tracking down just what khanika samadhi (momentary concentration) is in the tipitaka.




The term is actually from the commentaries.





QUOTE
Is it the ekagatta cetasika, the split second one-pointedness on each and every object that is cognized, or is it something that, as a post from the Venerable who sends the daily Dhamma message says "a few seconds of one-pointedness" that comes about as the first stage of deepening of concentration. (Before access concentration etc.) I've heard other people, including Bhikkhu Bodhi refer to it in this way, as a few seconds of concentration, but some friends who are keen students of Abhidhamma say it is simply ekagatta cetasika, accompanies each and every citta.




The commentaries speak of "threefold concentration" (tividha samādhi), comprising momentary concentration, approach concentration, and arrival concentration. The second and third of these are meditative attainments; the first is the ordinary concentration that is always present, which the Abhidhamma identifies with the ekaggatā cetasika. That being so, the widespread modern practice of exhorting meditators to "develop momentary concentration", if taken literally, is simply nonsensical. It would be as meaningless as telling someone to develop phassa, or develop vedanā, or develop saññā (which like ekaggatā also arise with every consciousness). It's meaningless to speak of "developing" something that one is never without.

More charitably construed, the modern usage might be seen as a shorthand for "develop the foundations of mindfulness, but without aiming for upacāra- or appanā-samādhi." I believe this is in fact what most modern vipassanā teachers mean by the expression. All the same, it's unfortunate that they have chosen this way of saying it, for it has given rise to an almost universal misapprehension of khaṇika-samādhi as being something that one has to strive to achieve.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu

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mikenz66
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby mikenz66 » Thu May 09, 2013 5:55 am

Thanks, Robert. That is an interesting point.

However, reading of those passages in the Visuddhimagga (and other passages) in context, leads me to the conclusion that quite a lot of concentration is required for insight.

I guess we will continue to come to different conclusions.

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Thu May 09, 2013 5:59 am

Thanks Mike
I did say that say that during those brief moment of vipassana nana that Samadhi is very strong indeed- and at that flash when nibbana is attained it is even considered as equivalent in strength to jhana.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tinhtan » Thu May 09, 2013 8:33 am

Hello
robertk wrote:QUOTE
... That being so, the widespread modern practice of exhorting meditators to "develop momentary concentration", if taken literally, is simply nonsensical. It would be as meaningless as telling someone to develop phassa, or develop vedanā, or develop saññā (which like ekaggatā also arise with every consciousness). It's meaningless to speak of "developing" something that one is never without.

imo, this is a rigid, flat reading,
as it lacks the real life of intensity, volume level.

developping or practicing or doing or bhavana,etc.. all means make them (cetasikas -> citta) growing in intensity, gaining sufficient power to accomplish better their tasks.

the seeds are there but it does not mean that they are strong enough to do their job.
and this is concerned with everything you are taking to do in real life

best wishes

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Mr Man
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Mr Man » Thu May 09, 2013 8:34 am

So "momentary concentration" is the standard concentration that all beings would have which comes with being alive? And this concentration has different levels of intensity. Normally it is through sustained application that intensity is developed. robertk how would you say the intensity of concentration arises?

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 09, 2013 10:14 am

tinhtan wrote:Hello
robertk wrote:QUOTE
... That being so, the widespread modern practice of exhorting meditators to "develop momentary concentration", if taken literally, is simply nonsensical. It would be as meaningless as telling someone to develop phassa, or develop vedanā, or develop saññā (which like ekaggatā also arise with every consciousness). It's meaningless to speak of "developing" something that one is never without.

imo, this is a rigid, flat reading,
as it lacks the real life of intensity, volume level.
You are quite correct in this. What we are being asked to believe by the Sujin followers, in the most bare terms, is that by thinking about a concept we have heard a remarkable level of concentration and awareness will automatically arise.

On the other hand, if some degree of concentration is part of every moment of concentration, it is not unreasonable to think that we can cultivate that concentration, making it stronger, more precise, and the same goes for attention, and this is the experiential basis of the meditation practices that the Buddha advocated that we do.

    Mindfulness, though so highly praised and capable of such great achievements, is not at all a 'mystical' state, beyond the ken and reach of the average person. It is, on the contrary, something quite simple and common, and very familiar to us. In its elementary manifestation, known under the term 'attention', it is one of the cardinal functions of consciousness without which there cannot be perception of any object at all. If a sense object exercises a stimulus that is sufficiently strong, attention is roused in its basic form as an initial 'taking notice' of the object, as the first 'turning towards' Because of this, consciousness breaks through the dark stream of subconsciousness ( -a function that, according to the Abhidhamma (Buddhist psychology), is performed innumerable times during each second of waking life). This function of germinal mindfulness, or initial attention, is still a rather primitive process, but it is of decisive importance, being the first emergence of consciousness from its unconscious subsoil.

    From this first phase of the perceptual process naturally only a very general and indistinct picture of the object results. If there is any further interest in the object, or if its impact on the senses is sufficiently strong, closer attention will be directed towards details. The attention, then, will dwell not only on the various characteristics of the object, but also on its relationship to the observer. This will enable the mind to compare the present perception with similar ones recollected from the past, and, in that way, a coordination of experience will be possible. This stage marks a very important step in mental development, called in psychology 'associative thinking'. It also shows us the close and constant connection between the functions of memory and attention (or mindfulness), and will thereby explain why in Pali, the language of the Buddhist scriptures, both these mental functions are expressed by the one word sati. Without memory, attention towards an object would furnish merely isolated facts, as it is the case with most of the perceptions of animals.

    It is from associative thinking that the next important step in evolutionary development is derived: generalization of experience, i.e. the capacity of abstract thinking. For the purpose of this exposition we include it in the second stage of cognition as affected by the development of attention. We have found four characteristics of this second stage: increase of detail, reference to the observer (subjectivity), associative, and abstract, thinking.

    By far the greatest part of the mental life of humanity to-day takes place on the plane of this second phase. It covers a very wide field: from any attentive observation of every-day facts, and attentive occupation with any work, up to the research work of the scientist and the subtle thoughts of the philosopher. Here, perception is certainly more detailed and comprehensive, but it is not necessarily more reliable. It is still more or less adulterated by wrong associations and other admixtures, by emotional and intellectual prejudices, wishful thinking, etc., and, primarily, by the main cause of all delusion: the conscious or unthinking assumption of a permanent substance in things, and of an Ego or soul in living beings. By all these factors the reliability of even the most common perceptions and judgements may be seriously impaired. On the level of this second stage, by far the greatest part of all those will remain who lack the guidance of the BuddhaDhamma, as well as those who do not apply that instruction to the systematic training of their own minds.

    With the next advance in the gradual development of Attention, we enter the very domain of Right Mindfulness or Right Attention (samma-sati). It is called 'right' because it keeps the mind free from falsifying influences; because it is the basis as well as part and parcel of Right Understanding; because it teaches us to do the right thing in the right way, and because it serves the right purpose pointed out by the Buddha: the Extinction of Suffering.

    The objects of perception and thought, as presented by Right Mindfulness, have gone through the sifting process of keen incorruptible analysis, and are therefore reliable material for all the other mental functions, as theoretical judgements, practical and ethical decisions, etc.; and notably these undistorted presentations of actuality will form a sound basis for the cardinal Buddhist meditation, i.e. for viewing all phenomena as impermanent, liable to suffering, and void of substance, soul or Ego.

    To be sure, the high level of mental clarity represented by Right Mindfulness, will, to an unattuned mind, be anything but 'near' and 'familiar'. At best, an untrained mind will very occasionally touch its borderland. But in treading the way pointed out by the Satipatthana method, Right Mindfulness may grow into something quite near and familiar, because, as we have shown before, it has its root in quite common and elementary functions of the mind.

    Right Mindfulness performs the same functions as the two lower stages of development, though it does so on a higher level. These functions common to them are: producing an increasingly greater clarity and intensity of consciousness, and presenting a picture of actuality that is increasingly purged of any falsifications.

    We have given here a brief outline of the evolution of mental processes as mirrored by the actual stages and qualitative differences of perception: from the unconscious to the conscious; from the first faint awareness of the object to a more distinct perception and a more detailed knowledge of it; from the perception of isolated facts to the discovery of their causal, and other, connections; from a still defective, inaccurate, or prejudiced cognition to the clear and undistorted presentation by Right Mindfulness. We have seen how in all these stages, it is an increase in the intensity and quality of attention, or mindfulness, that is mainly instrumental in enabling a transition to the next higher stage. If the human mind wants a cure for its present ills, and wishes to be set firmly on the road to further evolutionary progress, it will have to start again through the Royal Gate of Mindfulness.
    -- an extract from The Heart of Buddhist Meditation found here: http://www.wisdom-books.com/ProductExtract.asp?PID=1380
    >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
    -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby binocular » Thu May 09, 2013 12:04 pm

tiltbillings wrote:What were are being asked to believe by the Sujin followers, in the most bare terms, is that by thinking about a concept we have heard a remarkable level of concentration and awareness will automatically arise.


Well, it's not such an outlandish idea. There are stories of plenty of people who have heard a few words from the Buddha, practiced a little, and "in no long time reached & remained in the supreme goal of the holy life for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself in the here & now."

Perhaps we wrongfully take for granted that we're not close, not ripe for such a quick path to enlightenment.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Alex123 » Thu May 09, 2013 12:09 pm

binocular wrote:There are stories of plenty of people who have heard a few words from the Buddha, practiced a little, and "in no long time reached & remained in the supreme goal of the holy life for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself in the here & now."

Perhaps we wrongfully take for granted that we're not close, not ripe for such a quick path to enlightenment.



It would be interesting to know more facts about those people. Maybe prior to meeting the Buddha they were meditating for years, 20 hours per day, seven days a week, and were ready for specific personal instruction by the best teacher - the Buddha. This could also be a context for Lin-chi talking about "nothing special", not doing anything and living a "normal" life.

It is very possible that few rather than many words are needed. But without the Buddha who could teach only what one needs, we do not know which words are most appropriate for our situation - Hence we need to study a lot to find what works the best.
Last edited by Alex123 on Thu May 09, 2013 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Thu May 09, 2013 12:14 pm

here is one for you Alex
http://www.buddhanet-de.net/ancient-bud ... ggo-03.htm
Udana 5: So?avaggo

3: The Discourse about the Leper Suppabuddha



Thus I heard:
at one time the Gracious One was dwelling near Rajagaha, in Bamboo Wood, at the Squirrels' Feeding Place.

Then at that time the leper known as Suppabuddha (Wide Awake) was in Rajagaha, a poor man, a wretched man, a miserable man.

Then at that time the Gracious One was sitting teaching Dhamma surrounded by a great assembly. The leper Suppabuddha saw while still far away that great crowd of people assembled together. Having seen (that), this occurred to him: “Undoubtedly in this place some comestibles and edibles will be distributed. Well now, I could go to that great crowd of people, perhaps I will get some comestibles or edibles in this place.”

Then the leper Suppabuddha went to that great crowd of people. The leper Suppabuddha saw the Gracious One sat teaching Dhamma surrounded by a great assembly. Having seen (that), this occurred to him: “Here there are no comestibles or edibles being distributed, this ascetic Gotama is teaching Dhamma to the assembly. Perhaps I also could hear the Dhamma”, and he sat down right there (and then), (thinking): “I will also listen to the Dhamma.”

Then the Gracious One, applied his mind and encompassed fully the whole of that assembly with his mind, (thinking): “Who here is able to understand the Dhamma?” The Gracious One saw the leper Suppabuddha sat in that assembly, and having seen (him), this occurred to him: “This one here is able to understand the Dhamma”, and having regard to the leper Suppabuddha he related a gradual talk, that is to say: talk on giving, talk on virtue, talk on heaven, the danger, degradation, and defilement of sensual desires, and the advantages in renunciation - (these) he explained.

When the Gracious One knew that the leper Suppabuddha was of ready mind, malleable mind, unhindered mind, uplifted mind, trusting mind, then he explained the Dhamma teaching the Awakened Ones have discovered themselves: suffering, origination, cessation, path. Just as it is known that a clean cloth without a stain would take the dye well, so to the leper Suppabuddha on that very seat, the dust-free, stainless Vision-of-the-Dhamma arose: “Whatever has the nature of arising, all that has the nature of ceasing.”

Then the leper Suppabuddha having seen the Dhamma, attained the Dhamma, understood the Dhamma, penetrated the Dhamma, crossed over uncertainty, being without doubts, attained full confidence, having become independent of others in the Teacher's teaching, after rising from his seat went to the Gracious One, and after going and worshipping the Gracious One, he sat down at one side.

While he was sitting on one side the leper Suppabuddha said this to the Gracious One: “Excellent, reverend Sir! Excellent reverend Sir! Just as, reverend Sir, one might set upright what has been overturned, or open up what has been closed, or show a path to one who is lost, or bear an oil lamp in the darkness so that those with vision can see forms, just so has the Dhamma been explained by the Gracious One in countless ways. I go, reverend Sir, to the Gracious One for refuge, and to the Dhamma, and to the Community of monks. Please bear it in mind, reverend Gotama, that I am a lay follower who has gone for refuge from today forward for as long as I am furnished with life.”

Then the Gracious One instructed, roused, enthused, and cheered the leper Suppabuddha with a Dhamma talk, and after greatly rejoicing and gladly receiving this word of the Gracious One, after rising from his seat, worshipping and circumambulating the Gracious One, he went away. Then not long after the leper Suppabuddha had gone a cow with a young calf having attacked him, deprived him of life.

Then many monks went to the Gracious One, and after going and worshipping the Gracious One, they sat down on one side. While sat on one side those monks said this to the Gracious One: “That leper called Suppabuddha, reverend Sir, who was instructed, roused, enthused, and cheered by the Gracious One with a Dhamma talk - he has died. What is his destination? What is his future state?”

“A wise man, monks, was Suppabuddha, who practiced Dhamma in accordance with the Dhamma, and did not trouble me on account of the Dhamma. The leper Suppabuddha, monks, through the destruction of three fetters, is a stream-enterer, not subject to the fall, and is assured of arriving at Full Awakening.”

When that was said, a certain monk said this to the Gracious One: “What was the reason, reverend Sir, what was the cause, through which the leper Suppabuddha became a poor man, a wretched man, a miserable man?”

“Formerly, monks, the leper Suppabuddha was a son of a wealthy merchant in this very Rajagaha. While going to his pleasure park he saw the Pacceka Buddha Tagarasikkhi entering the city for alms, and having seen (him), this occurred to him: “Who is this leper roaming around with his leper's robe?” And having spat, and circumambulated him (disrespectfully) on the left side, he went away.

As a result of that deed of his for many years, for many hundreds of years, for many thousands of years, for many hundreds of thousands of years, he boiled in the nether regions. And as a result of the remaining part of that deed of his he became a leper in this very Rajagaha, a poor man, a wretched man, a miserable man.

(But) he came to the Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One, and obtained faith, obtained virtue, obtained learning, obtained liberality, obtained wisdom. After coming to the Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One, and obtaining faith, obtaining virtue, obtaining learning, obtaining liberality, obtaining wisdom, at the break up of the body, after death, he arose in a fortunate destiny, in the world of Heaven, in the companionship of the Tavati?sa devas. And there he surely outshines the other devas with his beauty and repute.”

Then the Gracious One, having understood the significance of it, on that occasion uttered this exalted utterance:


“As a man with vision, while he is endeavouring, (would avoid) dangerous paths,
(So) a wise man in the world of the living, should avoid bad deeds.”

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Alex123 » Thu May 09, 2013 12:21 pm

robertk wrote:here is one for you Alex
http://www.buddhanet-de.net/ancient-bud ... ggo-03.htm
Udana 5: So?avaggo3: The Discourse about the Leper Suppabuddha


Another example: Bahiya. He has heard one paragraph of Dhamma and became an Arhat within seconds/minutes. We have heard that teaching, and many other teachings many times and yet - where are we? Why didn't we become awakened like those people even though we know 100x as much?

Suppabuddha, Bahiya, and other similar people were Ugghaṭitaññū or vipañcitaññū, who according to commentaries do not exist today (they achieved liberation long time ago during the time of the Buddha). What works for Ugghaṭitaññū or vipañcitaññū does NOT work for neyyo or padaparamo. http://www.thisismyanmar.com/nibbana/individu.htm

So we cannot take the minimum which works for Ugghaṭitaññū or vipañcitaññū and apply it to us (neyyo or padaparamo) expecting maggaphala. It is just not relevant cases for us.
Last edited by Alex123 on Thu May 09, 2013 12:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Thu May 09, 2013 12:29 pm

Dear Alex
even when one is developing vipassana alone there will be calmness, it happens naturally imho. I think one will feel more relaxed in any aspect of life- and that is just for the beginner, let alone for someone who is close to attaining.
Of course life is still dukkha and sometimes even distressing, depending on kamma made in the past and how strong the accumulations of lobha and dosa are. But the overall trend must be towards more understanding of reality. And that is freeing and always with detachment..

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Alex123 » Thu May 09, 2013 12:40 pm

Dear RobertK,

robertk wrote:Dear Alex
even when one is developing vipassana alone there will be calmness, it happens naturally imho. I think one will feel more relaxed in any aspect of life- and that is just for the beginner, let alone for someone who is close to attaining.


Right. I also believe that paññā is the most important. Mere Jhāna by itself does not lead to wisdom because there were many ascetics who mastered it and immaterial attainments and still clung to Atta and wrong views. But what Buddhist teachers today teach just Jhāna without some aspect of paññā?

One can't realize that "all dhammas are anicca, etc" merely due to amount of accumulated observation. We can't observe every single dhamma in past, future, or present, in this or other universe. Something else is needed.

robertk wrote:Of course life is still dukkha and sometimes even distressing, depending on kamma made in the past and how strong the accumulations of lobha and dosa are. But the overall trend must be towards more understanding of reality. And that is freeing and always with detachment..


As for wisdom. Listening and considering is the cause for sutamayā and cintāmayā paññā. These can be enough for Ugghaṭitaññū or vipañcitaññū for maggaphala, but not us.

The contention is how to develop bhāvanāmayā paññā for people living today. Not for those rare extraordinary people in the Buddha's time. Even in Buddha's time not everyone who has heard his teaching became Awakened. I would not be surprised if 99% of monks had to work hard for maggaphala, and that is under the Buddha - the best teacher.

Taking extremely rare, exceptional and gifted people's results as a general rule for us, IMHO, is wrong.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

binocular
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby binocular » Thu May 09, 2013 3:40 pm

Alex123 wrote:Another example: Bahiya. He has heard one paragraph of Dhamma and became an Arhat within seconds/minutes. We have heard that teaching, and many other teachings many times and yet - where are we? Why didn't we become awakened like those people even though we know 100x as much?

"Because what stands between us and enlightenment is our desire for enlightenment."
- Such snide retorts are an easy way to dismiss an important issue and yet sound profound ...


So we cannot take the minimum which works for Ugghaṭitaññū or vipañcitaññū and apply it to us (neyyo or padaparamo) expecting maggaphala. It is just not relevant cases for us.

Absolutely.
One reason why some of us take rebirth seriously in a more popular sense (ie. Hindu reincarnation-like) is precisely the consideration that we're probably not going to make it beyond suffering anytime soon, given the way things have been going for us so far, and that so there better be many lifetimes, or we're doomed.

But like I said earlier - Perhaps we wrongfully take for granted that we're not close, not ripe for such a quick path to enlightenment. Perhaps what some of us consider undue pride and cockiness, is actually appropriate.

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Alex123
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Alex123 » Thu May 09, 2013 4:25 pm

binocular wrote: we're probably not going to make it beyond suffering anytime soon, given the way things have been going for us so far, and that so there better be many lifetimes, or we're doomed.


The suttas do not seem to teach "aeons of dhamma practice for Awakening". If anything, they say that Awakening can come not long after correct practice. Satipatthana sutta promises results as quick as in 7 days, in MN85 one could under Buddha's guidance achieve Arhatship in a day. Etc.

Samyutta Nikaya 38.16 wrote:“But, friend, if a bhikkhu is practising in accordance with the Dhamma, would it take him long to become an arahant?”
Not long, friend.”


Even commentarial teaching say that the lowest type that can achieve Awakening, can do it from 7 days to 60 years.

(3) A Neyya : an individual who needs

to study the sermon and the exposition, and then
to practise the provisions contained therein for 7 days to 60 years, to attain the Paths and the Fruits during this lifetime if he tries hard with guidance from the right teacher. http://www.thisismyanmar.com/nibbana/individu.htm
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

binocular
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby binocular » Thu May 09, 2013 4:49 pm

Alex123 wrote:The suttas do not seem to teach "aeons of dhamma practice for Awakening". If anything, they say that Awakening can come not long after correct practice. Satipatthana sutta promises results as quick as in 7 days, in MN85 one could under Buddha's guidance achieve Arhatship in a day. Etc.

I know. I don't so much doubt the suttas, but my discernment about what may be the right thing to do, and my committment to the teachings and practice.


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