Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

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Rahula
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Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Postby Rahula » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:40 pm

:anjali:

I was listening to a series of talks by John Peacock and came across his speech 'Metta as a path to awakening' (http://www.audiodharma.org/teacher/207/).

There he talks about 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' and at one point (See 4:30 min on http://www.audiodharma.org/teacher/207/)
he translates
"... Nahi jatu gabbaha seyyam punaretiti ..."
as
"...one who practices this will never come to be reborn again..."

But as I understand it should be translated as ' will never be conceived in a womb' not as 'never come to be reborn'.
(http://www.londonbuddhistvihara.org/Kar ... 0Sutta.pdf
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html)

Then he identify this as awakening since only awaken ones never come to be reborn.

I see this as a misinterpretation, since it talks about one form of birth, birth by a womb and there are 4 forms of birth in Buddhist text.

Please share your knowledge here.
Did John Peacock got it wrong.
------------------------------------------
Edit:
This talk by Dr.Peacock is about 'Metta as a path to awakening'. If he doesn't interpret this sutta text as "...one who practices this will never come to be reborn again...", he may not consider it as awakening. So his entire talk/teaching 'Metta as a path to awakening' might change. His entire talk is based on the conclusion.

(I wanted to add above since the question seems not descriptive enough. And it was questioned in a comment bellow.)
Last edited by Rahula on Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Postby Shaswata_Panja » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:59 pm

Rahula wrote::anjali:

I was listening to a series of talks by John Peacock and came across his speech 'Metta as a path to awakening' (http://www.audiodharma.org/teacher/207/).

There he talks about 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' and at one point (See 4:30 min on http://www.audiodharma.org/teacher/207/)
he translates
"... Nahi jatu gabbaha seyyam punaretiti ..."
as
"...one who practices this will never come to be reborn again..."

But as I understand it should be translated as ' will never be conceived in a womb' not as 'never come to be reborn'.
(http://www.londonbuddhistvihara.org/Kar ... 0Sutta.pdf
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html)

Then he identify this as awakening since only awaken ones never come to be reborn.

I see this as a misinterpretation, since it talks about one form of birth, birth by a womb and there are 4 forms of birth in Buddhist text.

Please share your knowledge here.
Did John Peacock got it wrong.



I am a native Bengali so can naturally pick up bits and pieces of Pali as Bengali descended from Pali and other Prakrit languages--i will take a shot

nahi---not/no
jatu--born/come out of/spring forth of
gabbaha--womb
seyyam---------------donot know what this word means
punaretiti----something to do with again


That's as much as I can help you. sorry!!

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Re: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Postby santa100 » Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:45 pm

AN 11.16 explains the many benefits of Metta:
"1. "He sleeps in comfort. 2. He awakes in comfort. 3. He sees no evil dreams. 4. He is dear to human beings. 5. He is dear to non-human beings. 6. Devas (gods) protect him. 7. Fire, poison, and sword cannot touch him. 8. His mind can concentrate quickly. 9. His countenance is serene. 10. He dies without being confused in mind. 11. If he fails to attain arahantship (the highest sanctity) here and now, he will be reborn in the brahma-world." ~~ http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .piya.html ~~

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Re: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:42 pm

Yes, he got it wrong. It means not being reborn in a womb again, i.e. attaining Non-returning, not Arahantship, but the Non-returners inevitably attain Arahantship in the Pure Abods of the Brahma Realms.

How to Be Liberated from Entering a Womb
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Re: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Postby Digity » Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:52 pm

My understanding is that metta alone is not sufficient for awakening.
Samsara sucks. #samvega

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Re: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:34 pm

The last verse talks about more than just metta:
But when he has no trafficking with views,
Is virtuous, and has perfected seeing,
And purges greed for sensual desires,
He surely comes no more to any womb.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.html

See also this thread on brhahmaviharas, jhanas, and liberation:
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=13896



:anjali:
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Re: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Postby Rahula » Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:22 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Yes, he got it wrong. It means not being reborn in a womb again, i.e. attaining Non-returning, not Arahantship, but the Non-returners inevitably attain Arahantship in the Pure Abods of the Brahma Realms.

How to Be Liberated from Entering a Womb


Thanks, that's exactly what I understood.

I can't believe that Dr.John Peacock got it all messed-up considering his background.
I had much faith in his teachings but now it start to melt away.

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Re: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:36 pm

Rahula wrote:I can't believe that Dr.John Peacock got it all messed-up considering his background.
I had much faith in his teachings but now it start to melt away.

Nobody's perfect, except for the Buddha. Here's hoping my translation is 100% accurate :juggling:
Attadīpā viharatha attasaraṇā anaññasaraṇā, dhammadīpā dhammasaraṇā anaññasaraṇā.
Abide with yourself as your own refuge, take no other refuge. Abide with the Dhamma as your refuge, take no other refuge.
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Re: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Postby Mkoll » Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:30 pm

Digity wrote:My understanding is that metta alone is not sufficient for awakening.


It is certainly a practice that brings much fruit: it's second only to the perception of impermanence when compared with a few other things according to the Velama Sutta. Even if it's developed for just a moment's length of time, it's worth doing. And if one has ill will, it's development is virtually a necessity.

:anjali:
Peace,
James

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Re: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:39 pm

Rahula wrote:
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Yes, he got it wrong. It means not being reborn in a womb again, i.e. attaining Non-returning, not Arahantship, but the Non-returners inevitably attain Arahantship in the Pure Abods of the Brahma Realms.

How to Be Liberated from Entering a Womb


Thanks, that's exactly what I understood.

I can't believe that Dr.John Peacock got it all messed-up considering his background.
I had much faith in his teachings but now it start to melt away.


    But when he has no trafficking with views,
    Is virtuous, and has perfected seeing,
    And purges greed for sensual desires,
    He surely comes no more to any womb.
The question is: do the italicized bits refer to arahant level of awakening. They certainly point to ariya status, but I think a good argument can be made that arahant status is being pointed to here. Again, this is the Sutta Nipata. The language in this collection is not as set as it is in the other Nikayas. I would not say Dr Peacock is necessarily wrong.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Postby culaavuso » Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:29 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
    But when he has no trafficking with views,
    Is virtuous, and has perfected seeing,
    And purges greed for sensual desires,
    He surely comes no more to any womb.
The question is: do the italicized bits refer to arahant level of awakening.


The relevant bit in Pali is:
http://suttacentral.net/snp1.8/pi
Sn1.8: Mettasutta wrote:Diṭṭhiñca anupaggamma,
Sīlavā dassanena sampanno;
Kāmesu vinaya gedhaṃ,
Na hi jātuggabbhaseyya punaretī


I would like to hear from someone more skilled in Pali than I, but it seems that this could refer to (1) the abandoning of the fetter of views, (2) abandoning the fetter of doubt and/or arising of the "dustless, stainless, dhamma eye", and (3) abandoning the fetter of sensual desire/lust. As I understand it, #1 and #2 refer to sotapanna and #3 refers to anagami, which is consistent with the possibility of rebirth not from a womb.

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Re: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:34 pm

culaavuso wrote:I would like to hear from someone more skilled in Pali than I, but it seems that this could refer to (1) the abandoning of the fetter of views, (2) abandoning the fetter of doubt and/or arising of the "dustless, stainless, dhamma eye", and (3) abandoning the fetter of sensual desire/lust. As I understand it, #1 and #2 refer to sotapanna and #3 refers to anagami, which is consistent with the possibility of rebirth not from a womb.

That's correct. See the link in my earlier post the the Mahāsi Sayādaw's discourse on the Brahmavihāra Dhamma — I am sure that he knew Pāḷi a lot better than anyone else mentioned in this thread.
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Re: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:35 pm

culaavuso wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
    But when he has no trafficking with views,
    Is virtuous, and has perfected seeing,
    And purges greed for sensual desires,
    He surely comes no more to any womb.
The question is: do the italicized bits refer to arahant level of awakening.


The relevant bit in Pali is:
http://suttacentral.net/snp1.8/pi
Sn1.8: Mettasutta wrote:Diṭṭhiñca anupaggamma,
Sīlavā dassanena sampanno;
Kāmesu vinaya gedhaṃ,
Na hi jātuggabbhaseyya punaretī


I would like to hear from someone more skilled in Pali than I, but it seems that this could refer to (1) the abandoning of the fetter of views, (2) abandoning the fetter of doubt and/or arising of the "dustless, stainless, dhamma eye", and (3) abandoning the fetter of sensual desire/lust. As I understand it, #1 and #2 refer to sotapanna and #3 refers to anagami, which is consistent with the possibility of rebirth not from a womb.
Thanks. It is an interesting discussion however it ends.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:13 pm

It's certainly an interesting discussion, but I think that to
Rahula wrote:I can't believe that Dr.John Peacock got it all messed-up considering his background.
I had much faith in his teachings but now it start to melt away.

is a bit of an over-reaction. For one thing, as Tilt points out, the Sutta Nipata verses are difficult to translate. For another, it's just a talk, and anyone can make a mistake. It is possible to quibble with translations from any teacher/scholar/translator (as a survey of this forum will quickly demonstrate...).

[Off-topic rant]
I've seen several instances here where snippets from talks or books have been called into question, with the implication (or outright statement) that the author is an incompetent idiot and should be flogged and then permanently ejected from all Dhamma circles. It's a silly conclusion, in my view, especially when (as is generally the case) the talk in question isn't pretending to be some sort of scholarly tome. By all means point out where there may be some confusion or inaccuracy, but there's usually no need to read any more into it...
[/end rant]

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:02 pm

Perhaps the message of his talk on loving-kindness got lost in translation ? :stirthepot:
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Re: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Postby SarathW » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:18 pm

Digity wrote:My understanding is that metta alone is not sufficient for awakening.


The way I understand, Metta suppress anger.
So it will lead you to third Jhana factor Pithi.
:)

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Re: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:45 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
culaavuso wrote:I would like to hear from someone more skilled in Pali than I, but it seems that this could refer to (1) the abandoning of the fetter of views, (2) abandoning the fetter of doubt and/or arising of the "dustless, stainless, dhamma eye", and (3) abandoning the fetter of sensual desire/lust. As I understand it, #1 and #2 refer to sotapanna and #3 refers to anagami, which is consistent with the possibility of rebirth not from a womb.

That's correct. See the link in my earlier post the the Mahāsi Sayādaw's discourse on the Brahmavihāra Dhamma — I am sure that he knew Pāḷi a lot better than anyone else mentioned in this thread.
I am sure he did, a well. But Mahasi's discourse really does not address the question at hand.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Postby kirk5a » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:54 am

A little more detail here makes clear that metta can be the basis for non-returning or arahantship, but there has to be insight into metta itself, not simply absorption in it.
Ven. Ananda wrote:"Then again, a monk keeps pervading the first direction[2] with an awareness imbued with good will, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth. Thus above, below, & all around, everywhere, in its entirety, he keeps pervading the all-encompassing cosmos with an awareness imbued with good will — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, without hostility, without ill will. He reflects on this and discerns, 'This awareness-release through good will is fabricated & intended. Now whatever is fabricated & intended is inconstant & subject to cessation.' Staying right there, he reaches the ending of the mental fermentations. Or, if not, then — through this very Dhamma-passion, this Dhamma-delight, and from the total wasting away of the first five Fetters — he is due to be reborn [in the Pure Abodes], there to be totally unbound, never again to return from that world.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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Re: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Postby pegembara » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:23 am

This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech,
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied,
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,
Not proud and demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove,

Wishing: In gladness and in safety,
May all beings be at ease.

Radiating kindness over the entire world:
Spreading upwards to the skies
And downwards to the depths,
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down,
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed vews,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense-desires,
Is not born again into this world
.


Essentially, the sutra describes the qualities that a Buddhist needs to cultivate to achieve the ultimate end of goodwill, the state of a ‘non-returner’, that is, someone who is at the penultimate stage of enlightenment. This is the meaning of the final line Being freed from all sense-desires, is not born again into this world. A ‘non-returner’ will never be born into this world again, but will take up residence in a heavenly state where they can become fully enlightened. This is because they are not holding to fixed views and are freed from all sense-desires through the practice of loving-kindness that loosens the bonds of attachment to the things of this world.

And that is no small achievement.
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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Re: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Postby Rahula » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:34 am

mikenz66 wrote:It's certainly an interesting discussion, but I think that to
Rahula wrote:I can't believe that Dr.John Peacock got it all messed-up considering his background.
I had much faith in his teachings but now it start to melt away.

is a bit of an over-reaction. For one thing, as Tilt points out, the Sutta Nipata verses are difficult to translate. For another, it's just a talk, and anyone can make a mistake. It is possible to quibble with translations from any teacher/scholar/translator (as a survey of this forum will quickly demonstrate...).

[Off-topic rant]
I've seen several instances here where snippets from talks or books have been called into question, with the implication (or outright statement) that the author is an incompetent idiot and should be flogged and then permanently ejected from all Dhamma circles. It's a silly conclusion, in my view, especially when (as is generally the case) the talk in question isn't pretending to be some sort of scholarly tome. By all means point out where there may be some confusion or inaccuracy, but there's usually no need to read any more into it...
[/end rant]

:anjali:
Mike


As I pointed-out in my question this talk by Dr.Peacock is about 'Metta as a path to awakening'. So we can't say it's just a talk, and anyone can make a mistake. Because his entire talk is based on this conclusion. If he doesn't interpret this sutta text as "...one who practices this will never come to be reborn again...", he may not consider it as awakening. So his entire talk/teaching 'Metta as a path to awakening' might change, don't you think?


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