Paper on Anattā. Can you help me to find it?

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.

Paper on Anattā. Can you help me to find it?

Postby piotr » Tue May 21, 2013 5:09 pm

Hi All,

I'm searching for a paper which I've found on the Internet once. The main point of it was a comparative analysis of Cūlasaccaka-sutta (MN 35) and it's Chinese counterpart. Author was interested in differences in a simile which is prominent in the discourse, i.e. the king and power he exerts in his domain. If anyone knows this paper, I'd be thankful for a link.
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Re: Paper on Anattā. Can you help me to find it?

Postby EmptyShadow » Tue May 21, 2013 8:15 pm

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Re: Paper on Anattā. Can you help me to find it?

Postby piotr » Wed May 22, 2013 6:16 am

Hi,

Thanks but it's not it. An author of the paper was trying to give new understanding of anattā based on different simile from Chinese version.
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Re: Paper on Anattā. Can you help me to find it?

Postby EmptyShadow » Wed May 22, 2013 10:08 am

What about this? :smile:
Here is an abstract from it:
Scholars have pointed out that the arguments for not-self (anattā, or “non-self”) recurring in the Buddhist texts are meant to refute the “self” (ātman) in the Upaniṣads. The Buddha’s denial of the self, however, was not only pointed at Brahmanism, but also confronted various śramaṇic trends of thought against Brahmanism. This paper investigates the extant three versions of a Buddhist text which records a debate between the Buddha and Saccaka, an adherent of a certain śramaṇic sect, over the relationship of the self and the five aggregates (khandha). There exist divergences among the three versions in regard to the account of this debate. The account in sutta 35 of the Majjhima Nikāya is generally consistent with that in sūtra 110 of the Saṃyukta Āgama in Chinese translation, whereas sūtra 10 of Chapter 37 of the Ekottarika Āgama in Chinese translation tells a very different story.

It's in pdf
https://www.equinoxpub.com/journals/ind ... /7179/1122
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Re: Paper on Anattā. Can you help me to find it?

Postby piotr » Wed May 22, 2013 4:30 pm

That's it! :woohoo:

Thank you very, very much for your help EmptyShadow!
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Re: Paper on Anattā. Can you help me to find it?

Postby EmptyShadow » Wed May 22, 2013 4:47 pm

I'm happy to help, Piotr :smile:
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Re: Paper on Anattā. Can you help me to find it?

Postby daverupa » Wed May 22, 2013 8:33 pm

One highlight from the paper:

Here we find that the definition of self as an autonomous entity correlates with the definition of self as something that is permanent and happy. If something is an autonomous entity, it can always be the way that it wishes to be, and therefore it is permanent and happy. Such a thing, however, could not be found anywhere in the universe. This argument for non-self, which has been shown to be coherent, is apparently aimed at refuting the Upaniṣadic idea of the self or similar concepts of the essence held by other religions. Such an argument for non-self is more likely to have been put forward by the Buddha than the argument in the Pali Anattalakkhaṇa Sutta.


My take is that the self that the Buddha spent energy refuting was anything which was taken to be causally isolated - a self, in other words, that could enact causes but was itself incapable of being acted upon, and therefore independent of idapaccayata.
    "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: Paper on Anattā. Can you help me to find it?

Postby Rasko » Thu May 23, 2013 1:24 pm

Here's another paper on this anātman teaching:
"Miraculous Transformation and Personal Identity: A note on the First anatman Teaching of the Second Sermon", Alexander Wynne, Thai International Journal of Buddhist Studies (2009)
http://www.ocbs.org/images/stories/awynne2009btijbs.pdf
p.84:
That the first an anātman teaching of the Second Sermon is a peculiarity
requiring explanation is support by the fact that it is found in only two other
canonical Pāli texts: the Anattalakkhaṇa Sutta and the Cūḷasaccaka Sutta.7
Since the former is a verbatim repetition of the Second Sermon preserved in
the Vinaya Mahāvagga, it means that the Pāli canon records only two instances
when this teaching was given by the Buddha.
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Re: Paper on Anattā. Can you help me to find it?

Postby ancientbuddhism » Thu May 23, 2013 5:08 pm

Rasko wrote:..."Miraculous Transformation and Personal Identity: A note on the First anatman Teaching of the Second Sermon", Alexander Wynne, Thai International Journal of Buddhist Studies (2009)
p.84:
That the first an anātman teaching of the Second Sermon is a peculiarity
requiring explanation is support by the fact that it is found in only two other
canonical Pāli texts: the Anattalakkhaṇa Sutta and the Cūḷasaccaka Sutta.7
Since the former is a verbatim repetition of the Second Sermon preserved in
the Vinaya Mahāvagga, it means that the Pāli canon records only two instances
when this teaching was given by the Buddha.


The anattā doctrine was not limited to the pericope in Anattalakkhaṇa S., just as the ātmavāda of the Upaniṣadic and contemporary thinkers of the Tathāgata were known by its various epithets. And this is what we find with the anattā doctrine taught by the Tathāgata; epithets which were reflections of an anattā doctrine - polemic to Vedic, Upaniṣadic or contemporary trends - found throughout the Nikāyas.

The question of just what was common knowledge in Magadha at the time of the Tathāgata and his adherents, with reference to the ātmavāda of the Upaniṣads, Vedas and other sectarian thinkers of the time, has only recently been considered in academia. Norman and Gombrich were perhaps the first to write on this topic from a Nikāyan point of view, linking key phrases in the Nikāyas to their “linguistic echo” in the Upaniṣads. But Bronkhorst has opened this matter up still further by challenging these claims as too simple (Greater Magadha: Studies in the Culture of Early India – pp. 211-218).

I still think there is something to the idea of ‘linguistic echo’ to be considered, that these were punning on doctrinal and sectarian trends at the time, although it is perhaps overreaching to indicate that the Tathāgata was referring to such-in-such Upaniṣad as we have it today. Rather, what can be shown is that the epithets themselves match.
Katamo ca bhikkhave asaṅkhatagāmī maggo: samatho ca vipassanā ca. Ayaṃ vuccati bhikkhave asaṅkhatagāmī maggo.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Calm and insight. This, bhikkhus, is called the path leading to the unconditioned.” SN. 43.2 – Samathavipassanāsuttaṃ

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Re: Paper on Anattā. Can you help me to find it?

Postby Rasko » Thu May 23, 2013 6:28 pm

ancientbuddhism wrote:
Rasko wrote:..."Miraculous Transformation and Personal Identity: A note on the First anatman Teaching of the Second Sermon", Alexander Wynne, Thai International Journal of Buddhist Studies (2009)
p.84:
That the first an anātman teaching of the Second Sermon is a peculiarity
requiring explanation is support by the fact that it is found in only two other
canonical Pāli texts: the Anattalakkhaṇa Sutta and the Cūḷasaccaka Sutta.7
Since the former is a verbatim repetition of the Second Sermon preserved in
the Vinaya Mahāvagga, it means that the Pāli canon records only two instances
when this teaching was given by the Buddha.


The anattā doctrine was not limited to the pericope in Anattalakkhaṇa S., just as the ātmavāda of the Upaniṣadic and contemporary thinkers of the Tathāgata were known by its various epithets. And this is what we find with the anattā doctrine taught by the Tathāgata; epithets which were reflections of an anattā doctrine - polemic to Vedic, Upaniṣadic or contemporary trends - found throughout the Nikāyas.


That Wynne article has another part, http://www.ocbs.org/images/stories/awynne2009atijbs.pdf , and it begins like this:
The Second Sermon of the Buddha, preserved in the various Vinaya texts
of different Buddhsit sects and as a separate discourse in the Pāli canon (the
Anattalakkhaṇa Sutta), contains two important anātman teachings. The first of
these anātman teachings is found in only one other text: the Cūḷasaccaka Sutta
of the Majjhima Nikāya (no. 35).
The second and variants of it are, however,
much more widely distributed throughout the early Buddhist discourses,
particularly those preserved in Pāli.


This is "the second anātman teaching":
‘What do you think, bhikkhus: is form permanent or impermanent?’
‘Impermanent, master.’
‘Is that which is impermanent unsatisfactory or satisfactory?’
‘Unsatisfactory, master.’
‘And is it suitable to regard that which is impermanent, unsatisfactory
and subject to change as “This is mine, I am this, this is my attā”?’
‘No, master.’

and this quote is about "the first anātman teaching" in the awynne2009b part:
1. In the first anātman teaching of the Second Sermon the Buddha states that
various psycho-physical phenomena (the five aggregates) are ‘not ātman/attā’
(anātman/anattā) since they are beyond a person’s command. Collins has thus
described this teaching as an ‘argument from lack of control’.1 The Mahāvagga
of the Pāli Vinaya reports this teaching as follows:

‘Form, bhikkhus, is not attā. For if form were attā it would not incline
towards affliction, and with regard to it one would succeed with the
thoughts ‘let my form be thus’ or ‘let not my form be thus’. Since form
is not attā, bhikkhus, it inclines towards affliction and with regard to it
one does not succeed with the thought ‘let my form be thus’ or ‘let not
my form be thus’.
Feeling is not attā, for if feeling were attā, bhikkhus... ’.


The first article mentioned in this thread, "Rethinking Non-self" by Kuan, does say that
"The faulty argument for non-self in the first two versions (sutta 35 of the Majjhima Nikāya and sūtra 110 of the Saṃyukta Āgama) is also found at many other places in the Buddhist scriptures.22
(p. 21-22)"

but the note 22 only lists: "E.g. S 22.59 (III 66-67), SᾹ 318 (T II, 91a), T XXIV, 128b." S 22.59 is Anattalakkhaṇa Sutta and MN 35 is Cūḷasaccaka Sutta.

So just to clarify this, is "the first anātman teaching", the one using the ‘argument from lack of control’, also found in many other places in the Pali Nikayas?
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Re: Paper on Anattā. Can you help me to find it?

Postby ancientbuddhism » Fri May 24, 2013 5:35 pm

Rasko wrote: ... So just to clarify this, is "the first anātman teaching", the one using the ‘argument from lack of control’, also found in many other places in the Pali Nikayas?


The anattā analysis of the first section of Anattalakkhaṇa S. and Cūḷasaccaka S. is limited to these two examples. However, it does not bear the significance that Wynne is or Kuan claiming.
Katamo ca bhikkhave asaṅkhatagāmī maggo: samatho ca vipassanā ca. Ayaṃ vuccati bhikkhave asaṅkhatagāmī maggo.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Calm and insight. This, bhikkhus, is called the path leading to the unconditioned.” SN. 43.2 – Samathavipassanāsuttaṃ

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Re: Paper on Anattā. Can you help me to find it?

Postby Sylvester » Tue May 28, 2013 7:45 am

I think Wynne missed an important clue, which may justify Collins' analysis of the first argument denying the "controller", rather than the seeming "lack of control" angle. That clue lies in the Mahavastu formulation, which instead of using labbhati (obtain) uses kāmakārikatā. Edgerton (p. 178) defines this Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit term as meaning "condition/power of making at will".

Here, I think the linguistic echo thesis proposed by Norman and Gombrich would prod us to look to the pre-Buddhist literature, and we actually have in a Creation myth, the role of kāma (desire) in the making (abhisaṃskharoti) of the Universe (and "selves") by Prajapati. Desire, in Vedic thought, is enough to dictate the outcome of creation, but the first argument denies the plausibility of such outcomes without more. You see further this self as controller in the Chandogya where Prajapati is supposed to have proclaimed the Atman to be satya-kāmah satya-samkalpah, and knowing that Atman he obtains (āpnoti) all desires (sarvāṃs kāmān).

I think the Buddha was not denying the efficacy of volition in constructing states - this would run counter to His teachings elsewhere to strive. What He may have been quibbling with was the Vedic idea that kāma/desire by itself could actually will something into existence out of nothing.

I think this notion of selfhood is somewhat more sophisticated than the more garden variety criticised (eg self as essence/svabhāva). In fact, that Chandogya verse suggests that not only will knowledge of the Self allow one to obtain all desires, but it also allows one to obtain all worlds (sarvāṃs lokān āpnoti). I'm sure most here would immediately know what the Buddha said about the world/loka. See especially Ud 3.10 and SN 12.44, where He subverted the Vedic/Upanisadic notion of the word.

Somehow, the pun has not survived well, thus leading to Wynne's criticism.
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