Questions about stream-winners

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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby cooran » Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:23 pm

Hello all,

Here are three sites with good diagrams/explanations of what is eliminated at each stage by the Ariya Sangha, and what remains to be overcome:

QUALITIES OF ARIYA PERSONS[ Reference: "Ten Suttas from Digha Nikaya", Burma Pitaka Association, 1984]
http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/ariyas4.htm

From Puthujjana to the Buddha ( Reference: Brahmajala Sutta)
http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/ariyacht.htm

Ariyas (Noble Persons)
http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/mtinmon4.htm

metta
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:30 pm

Hi Vincent,
vinasp wrote: I know it must sound crazy, I could not believe it myself when I first discovered it. One such sutta has already been quoted on the Sotapanna Issues thread : The Silavant Sutta SN 22. 122 PTS S iii 167. Here we see non-returners still training themselves to see no-self in the five clinging aggregates. I understand this to mean that they are still in the proccess of eliminating sakkaya ditthi. There are hundreds of such sutta's, but they do not use the term sakkaya ditthi. However they do show that a view of self is still being removed.


OK, here is the Sutta:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
As you say, for everyone it's the same thing:

"A monk who has attained non-returning 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 monk who has attained non-returning, attending in an appropriate way to these five clinging-aggregates as inconstant... not-self, would realize the fruit of arahantship."

Even an Arahant:
"Then which things should an arahant attend to in an appropriate way?"

"An arahant 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. Although, for an arahant, there is nothing further to do, and nothing to add to what has been done, still these things — when developed & pursued — lead both to a pleasant abiding in the here-&-now and to mindfulness & alertness."

Now for an Arahant, there is "noting further to do" in any sense. The question is whether the stream-enterer/etc attending "in an appropriate way" is because he/she still has sakkaya ditthi, or whether such attention is useful for removing the other fetters. Since the practise is still "useful" for the Arahant I would go with the second interpretation.

How do you reconcile your interpretation with the texts quoted here:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/stud ... ml#fetters
"In this community of monks there are monks who, with the total ending of [the first] three fetters, are stream-winners, steadfast, never again destined for states of woe, headed for self-awakening..."


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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby vinasp » Thu Sep 24, 2009 3:41 pm

Hi Mike,

So you are saying that an arahant still has the five clinging aggregates, which are inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction..... etc ?

Vincent.
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Sep 24, 2009 8:42 pm

vinasp wrote:Hi Mike,

So you are saying that an arahant still has the five clinging aggregates, which are inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction..... etc ?

Vincent.

I'm not sure what you mean. Of course he as aggregates, and pain. That's clear in the Suttas.

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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby vinasp » Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:05 pm

Hi Mike,

Now it's my turn to be baffled, I thought everyone understood that the five clinging aggregates have ceased for an arahant. It just goes to show that one must be careful about ones asumptions !

Vincent.
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:26 pm

[quote="vinasp"...]the five clinging aggregates have ceased... [/quote]
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: Questions about stream-winners

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:15 pm

vinasp wrote: Now it's my turn to be baffled, I thought everyone understood that the five clinging aggregates have ceased for an arahant. It just goes to show that one must be careful about ones asumptions !

How can form, feeling, etc, has ceased for an Arahant who still has a body?

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .html#shot
"Now, the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones, when touched with a feeling of pain, does not sorrow, grieve, or lament, does not beat his breast or become distraught. So he feels one pain: physical, but not mental. Just as if they were to shoot a man with an arrow and, right afterward, did not shoot him with another one, so that he would feel the pain of only one arrow. In the same way, when touched with a feeling of pain, the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones does not sorrow, grieve, or lament, does not beat his breast or become distraught. He feels one pain: physical, but not mental.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .vaji.html
28. But when the Blessed One had entered upon the rainy season, there arose in him a severe illness, and sharp and deadly pains came upon him. And the Blessed One endured them mindfully, clearly comprehending and unperturbed.

The term "clinging aggregates" suggests that there is some other kind of aggregate. "Aggregates subject to clinging" may be a better translation, but I'll leave that to the Pali experts. And remember that the khandhas are just classifications, not "things".
http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... tm#khandha
Some writers on Buddhism who have not understood that the five khandha are just classificatory groupings, have conceived them as compact entities 'heaps', 'bundles', while actually, as stated above, the groups never exist as such, i.e. they never occur in a simultaneous totality of all their constituents. Also those single constituents of a group which are present in any given body-and-mind process, are of an evanescent nature, and so also their varying combinations. Feeling, perception and mental constructions are only different aspects and functions of a single unit of consciousness. They are to consciousness what redness, softness, sweetness, etc. are to an apple and have as little separate existence as those qualities.


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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby vinasp » Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:45 pm

Hi everyone,

At Savatthi. "Bhikkhus, I will teach you the five aggregates and the five aggregates subject to clinging. Listen to that....
"And what, bhikkhus, are the five aggregates ? Whatever kind of form there is, whether past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near : this is called the form aggregate.
Whatever kind of feeling there is.....this is called the feeling aggregate.
Whatever kind of perception...
Whatever kind of volitional formations...
Whatever kind of consciousness there is , whether past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near : this is called the consciousness aggregate. These , bhikkus, are called the five aggregates.
"And what, bhikkhus, are the five aggregates subject to clinging ?
Whatever kind of form there is, whether past, future, or present ...... far or near, that is with asavas, and subject to clinging : this is called the form aggregate subject to clinging.
Whatever kind of feeling ....
Whatever kind of perception ...
Whatever kind of volitional formations ...
Whatever kind of consciousness there is, whether past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near, that is with asavas, and subject to clinging : this is called the consciousness aggreggate subject to clinging. These, bhikkhus, are called the five aggregates subject to clinging". S. iii, 47 - 48.

From : The Connected Discourses of the Buddha. Bhikkhu Bodhi.

( Translation abreviated and slightly modified by me. )

That the Buddha needs to give two separate definitions here shows clearly that there are two sets of aggregates. The aggregates are one of the most difficult parts of the teachings to understand correctly.

I will look for a passage which makes it clear that the five aggregates of clinging have ceased for an arahant. I will post what I find here. It may take a day or two, if anyone else knows some passages then please post.

Best wishes, Vincent.
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby cooran » Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:16 pm

Hello vinasp,

Can you give the Book, Vagga, and page number of Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation of the Samyutta Nikaya that you are referring to in your last post ( S. iii, 47 - 48)?

thanks
metta
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby vinasp » Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:37 pm

Hi Chris,

Yes, it's book 3 The book of aggregates. Division I the root fifty. Section V. number 48 . Title : Aggregates. Page 886.

Best wishes, Vinasp.
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby vinasp » Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:12 am

Hi everyone,

This is MN 44 PTS M i 299 Translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu from : www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.044.than.html

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' Sanctuary. Then Visakha the lay follower went to Dhammadinna the nun and, on arrival, having bowed down to her, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to her, "'Self-identification, self-identification,' it is said, lady. Which self-identification is described by the Blessed One?"

"There are these five clinging-aggregates, friend Visakha: form as a clinging-aggregate, feeling as a clinging-aggregate, perception as a clinging-aggregate, fabrications as a clinging-aggregate, consciousness as a clinging-aggregate. These five clinging-aggregates are the self-identification described by the Blessed One."

Saying, "Yes, lady," Visakha the lay follower delighted & rejoiced in what Dhammadinna the nun had said. Then he asked her a further question: "'The origination of self-identification, the origination of self-identification,' it is said, lady. Which origination of self-identification is described by the Blessed One?"

"The craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming: This, friend Visakha, is the origination of self-identification described by the Blessed One."

"'The cessation of self-identification, the cessation of self-identification,' it is said, lady. Which cessation of self-identification is described by the Blessed One?"

"The remainderless fading & cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, & letting go of that very craving: This, friend Visakha, is the cessation of self-identification described by the Blessed One."

"'The way of practice leading to the cessation of self-identification, the way of practice leading to the cessation of self-identification,' it is said, lady. Which way of practice leading to the cessation of self-identification is described by the Blessed One?"

"Precisely this noble eightfold path — right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration: This, friend Visakha, is the way of practice leading to the cessation of self-identification described by the Blessed One."

"Is it the case, lady, that clinging is the same thing as the five clinging-aggregates or is it something separate?"

"Friend Visakha, neither is clinging the same thing as the five clinging-aggregates, nor is it something separate. Whatever desire & passion there is with regard to the five clinging-aggregates, that is the clinging there."

"But, lady, how does self-identification come about?"

"There is the case, friend Visakha, where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — assumes form (the body) to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form.

"He assumes feeling to be the self...

"He assumes perception to be the self...

"He assumes (mental) fabrications to be the self...

"He assumes consciousness to be the self, or the self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in the self, or the self as in consciousness. This is how self-identification comes about."

"But, lady, how does self-identification not come about?"

"There is the case where a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones — who has regard for noble ones, is well-versed & disciplined in their Dhamma; who has regard for men of integrity, is well-versed & disciplined in their Dhamma — does not assume form to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form.

"He does not assume feeling to be the self...

"He does not assume perception to be the self...

"He does not assume fabrications to be the self...

"He does not assume consciousness to be the self, or the self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in the self, or the self as in consciousness. This is how self-identification does not come about."

Best wishes, Vincent.
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:29 am

vinasp wrote: Yes, it's book 3 The book of aggregates. Division I the root fifty. Section V. number 48 . Title : Aggregates. Page 886.

Interestingly, Venerable Bodhi says he lost the article he refers to in the footnote!

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastu ... sage/26007
Steve- khandhas, upadaanakkhandhas & B.Bodhi's comments

Hi Steve,

Your Qu received the most detailed response!

Sarah: Qu regarding the obtaining an article of yours
referred to in Note 65 of Khandhavagga:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastu ... sage/18775
*****

B.Bodhi:
>My paper on "Aggregates and Clinging Aggregates" was published in a
defunct journal, The Pali Buddhist Review, in c. 1976. I don't have a copy
of the paper. My basic argument there was: (1) the only sutta that
explicitly distinguishes between khandhas and upadaanakkhandhas is SN 22:
48. There the latter are defined in the same way as the former *except*
that they are each said to be 'saasava upaadaaniya' ("with taints, subject
to clinging"). It would follow that there must then be aggregates that are
anaasava anupaadaaniya (without taints, not subject to clinging).
Intuitively, these would seem to be the aggregates of the arahant.
However, no such statement can be found in the Nikayas. I then turned to
the Dhammasangani enumeration of 'saasava dhammas' and 'anaasava dhammas',
and 'upaadaaniya dhammas' and 'na upaadaaniya dhammas'. I found that Dhs
classifies the arahant's ordinary cittas and cetasikas under 'saasava' and
'upaadaaniya'. The only khandhas considered 'anaasava' and 'na
upaadaaniya' are the mental khandhas (cittas and cetasikas) of the four
maggas and phalas. All rupas are tainted and subject to clinging. I then
went on to explore the significance of this for an understanding of the
Dhamma; but without the paper I can't recapitulate what I wrote over 25
years ago. The old "Pali Buddhist Review" subsequently merged with another
scholarly journal to become the "Buddhist Studies Review". If you can
track this down on the web, perhaps they have back issues available and
you can find that article. Or perhaps the paper itself is on the web. Just
look for the above title.<
*****
Metta,

Sarah
p.s If there is anything anyone would particularly like me to bring to
BB’s attention (preferably with no urgency), please post and indicate.
=================

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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby vinasp » Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:53 am

Hi everyone,

Just some notes on MN 44. The Bhikkhu Bodhi translation seems better to me, if you have access to it. The term translated here as "Self - identification" is sakkaya in the Pali. The five clinging aggregates are called sakkaya. Note that the origination of sakkaya ( five clinging aggregates ) is craving. The wording is identical to the four noble truths. In fact the first truth ends with the words " ...in brief the five clinging aggregates are suffering". So suffering and the five clinging aggregates are the same thing. The cessation of sakkaya ( five clinging aggregates - suffering ) is the cessation of craving. The path which leads to this is the noble eightfold path. Therefore those who have completed the noble eightfold path no longer have suffering or sakkaya - the five clinging aggregates.
How does sakkaya ( five clinging aggregates - suffering ) come to be ? By seeing a self. How does sakkaya not come to be ? By not seeing a self.

Best wishes, Vincent.
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby vinasp » Sat Sep 26, 2009 1:39 am

Hi Mike,

Yes. Thanks for that, most interesting. I think bhikkhu Bodhi is probably right in that it is the only sutta which clearly makes that distinction. I suspect it might be a later sutta. It might even be trying to smooth over contradictions between suttanta and the abhidhamma. Or it could be genuine.

I think that there are two sets of aggregates, but the reason I believe this involves advanced topics which I have not spoken of yet. Such as the higher path beyond the noble eightfold path, which I do not know if Bhikkhu Bodhi was/is aware of.

Are you saying that you do not accept those definitions ? Or that they are problematic ?
On Bhikkhu Bodhi's old article, I have some quotations from it if you are interested.

Best wishes, Vincent.
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby cooran » Sat Sep 26, 2009 5:39 am

Hello vinasp,

vinasp says: ...the higher path beyond the noble eightfold path, which I do not know if Bhikkhu Bodhi was/is aware of.


A higher path beyond the Noble Eightfold Path?
and Bhikkhu Bodhi isn't aware of this?

Please say a lot more about this vinasp. I am very interested in hearing about it. Particularly where the Buddha taught this higher path and to whom.

metta
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Sep 26, 2009 5:49 am

Hi Vincent,
vinasp wrote:Are you saying that you do not accept those definitions ? Or that they are problematic ?
On Bhikkhu Bodhi's old article, I have some quotations from it if you are interested.

I don't have any particular issues with any of this. I tend to start from the Commentarial view and the "standard modern" interpretations, such as Venerable Nyanatiloka, Bodhi, etc, and if there appears to be a contradiction try to first see where I might be confused.

You stared this thread asking about the attainments of stream enterers. It was an off-shoot that we got into a discussion about Arahants and aggregates, and as I said, it seems clear that an Arahant has aggregates before parinibbana. Whether there are two kinds of aggregates or whether it is just that the Arahant is not clinging to the aggregates (which is the way I would be inclined to view it) is obviously a highly technical issue that I don't have expertise to resolve.


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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby Jechbi » Sat Sep 26, 2009 3:31 pm

Hi Vincent,
vinasp wrote:That the Buddha needs to give two separate definitions here shows clearly that there are two sets of aggregates.
Maybe the focus belongs on asavas rather than on aggregates?

(btw, there's some discussion here that might be on-topic.)
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby vinasp » Sat Sep 26, 2009 6:35 pm

Hi Chris,

You say that you would like to know more about the higher path. Can you tell me how many asava's there are ? And how many are eliminated by the noble eightfold path ? Lets call this clue number one.

Best wishes, Vincent.
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby Jechbi » Sat Sep 26, 2009 6:41 pm

vinasp wrote:Lets call this clue number one.

It probably would be more helpful if you could come right out and say whatever it is you'd like to convey, instead of hinting around.
:thanks:
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby vinasp » Sat Sep 26, 2009 7:19 pm

Hi Mike,

Thanks. I think I understand your position better now. I do not really mind what we talk about. I do not think that the Dhamma can be divided into " topics", it is an unbroken whole. To understand one part correctly requires a correct understanding of all the other parts.
You say : " ... it seems clear that an arahant has aggregates before parinibbana." But what are aggregates ? And what is parinibbana ? Both terms are open to alternative interpretations.
On whether there are two kinds of aggregates, or two sets of aggregates. I think that there are, but I would have to explain many things in order to give my reasons. The passage which I quoted ( S. iii, 47-48 ) perhaps does not establish that there are two sets. It is open to interpretation. I do not think that this should be seen as a highly technical issue. The teachings on the aggregates are confusing. One has to sort out ones own confusion by choosing how one understands the aggregates. The definition of rupa in the passage quoted, for example, would seem to include every physical thing that one can think of, and not just one's own body. It seems to be the entire physical world ! But does it mean actual physical things, or something else ?
About the arahant not clinging I will address that in a separate post.

Best wishes, Vincent.
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