A new interpretation of the Pali Canon

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Re: A new interpretation of the Pali Canon

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Sep 29, 2009 7:14 pm

vinasp wrote:Hi tiltbillings,

On the use of the term arahant for those on the higher path. I had in mind those references to " the arahants path", which are found in the nikayas. The best known example is MN 117 section 34. They are, of course, talking about the asekha.

Best wishes, Vincent.



Given the sort of claims you are making, it would be appropriate to quote the actual texts you feel supports your position. Even without looking at the text, you are stating that it does not, apparently, actually support the claim: "The term arahant is also used for those on the higher path. "
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.

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Re: A new interpretation of the Pali Canon

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 7:46 pm

Hi vinasp,
vinasp wrote:On the use of the term arahant for those on the higher path. I had in mind those references to " the arahants path", which are found in the nikayas. The best known example is MN 117 section 34. They are, of course, talking about the asekha.

I guess you mean this section of MN117, where the Arahant has right knowledge and right release?
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"Of those, right view is the forerunner. And how is right view the forerunner? In one of right view, right resolve comes into being. In one of right resolve, right speech comes into being. In one of right speech, right action... In one of right action, right livelihood... In one of right livelihood, right effort... In one of right effort, right mindfulness... In one of right mindfulness, right concentration... In one of right concentration, right knowledge... In one of right knowledge, right release comes into being. Thus the learner is endowed with eight factors, and the arahant with ten.

It might be worth pointing out that the supramundane "path" described in this Sutta is in the sense of the Abhidhamma, as "attainment of the path". Have you listened to Bhikkhu Bohdi's talks on this Sutta?
http://www.bodhimonastery.net/bm/about- ... ?showall=1
and/or the talk here: http://www.bswa.org/audio/podcast/SuttaStudy.rss.php
The Great Forty
Monday, 26 June 2006 4:00 p.m.
Ajahn Brahmali discusses the Mahacattarisaka Sutta, Majhimma Nikaya 117


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Re: A new interpretation of the Pali Canon

Postby vinasp » Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:10 pm

Hi everyone,

To expand on point 1. I am trying to make a list of all the things in the teachings which are understood in one way by a puthujjana , and in another way by an ariya savaka.

1. Dependent Origination.
2. The five aggregates.
3. The five aggregates of clinging.
4. The Noble Eightfold Path.
5. The Buddha's liberation.
6. The Four Noble Truths.
7. The four jhana's ?
8. The non-returner ?
9. Nibbana and parinibbana.
10. Tathagata ?

A question mark means I am not certain about it. As you read through the list, ask yourself : do I see both ways in which these are understood ?

Best wishes, Vincent.
Last edited by vinasp on Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A new interpretation of the Pali Canon

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:12 pm

vinasp wrote:Hi everyone,

To expand on point 1. I am trying to make a list of all the things in the teachings which are understood in one way by a puthujjana , and in another way by an ariya savaka.

1. Dependent Origination.
2. The five aggregates.
3. The five aggregates of clinging.
4. The Noble Eightfold Path.
5. The Buddha's liberation.
6. The Four Noble Truths.
7. The four jhana's ?
8. The non-returner ?
9. Nibbana and parinibbana.
10. Tathagata ?

A question mark means I am not certain about it.

Best wishes, Vincent.


This is kind of stating the obvious. Your point is?
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: A new interpretation of the Pali Canon

Postby vinasp » Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:40 pm

Hi tiltbillings,

I am new to Buddhist forums, I am only talking here about an interpretation which I think is interesting. I only have an outline of it at present. It is work in progress. I have not worked out all the details yet.
I may make statements which are difficult to defend by quoting a text. Are you insisting on rigorous academic standards ? I like the higher path interpretation because it solves many problems in the teachings. But they may never actually say explicitly that there is such a higher path.
On the passage in MN 117 : " Thus the learner is endowed with eight factors, and the arahant with ten". The sekha is defined by his having the eight path factors, not yet fully developed. In other words anyone on the noble eightfold path. The asekha has ten factors. Why should I not interpret these ten factors as a tenfold path ? When do you think the five aggregates cease ? At death or before death ? They do not cease through the noble eightfold path.

Best wishes, Vincent.
Last edited by vinasp on Wed Sep 30, 2009 2:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A new interpretation of the Pali Canon

Postby BlackBird » Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:10 pm

The essential problem I have with your interpretation Vincent, is that it seems to rely on The Buddha saying one thing to one group of people, and another thing to another. Withholding information, esotericism, and in effect not being truthful, this is not the Dhamma, this is not the Buddha, this is not the teaching. To quote you from a previous thread:

vinasp wrote: I have just found even stronger evidence that the Buddha tells porkies.


The simple fact is the three realms of existence are mentioned extensively throughout the Pali Canon. For the reality of the three realms to be false the follow passage would naturally have to be untrue:

[1] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial (or: not connected with the goal), unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

[2] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

[3] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, but unendearing & disagreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them.

[4] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

[5] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

[6] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, and endearing & agreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them. Why is that? Because the Tathagata has sympathy for living beings."

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

This is a doctrine founded upon truth. Not upon deceit in the case that is for the benefit of others, as highlighted in the above quote.

The true doctrine of the Buddha is not esoteric. The Blessed One has spoken thus:
"What more does the community of bhikkhus expect from me, Ananda? I have set forth the Dhamma without making any distinction of esoteric and exoteric doctrine; there is nothing, Ananda, with regard to the teachings that the Tathagata holds to the last with the closed fist of a teacher who keeps some things back.

- DN 16 verse 32, Maha-paranibbana Sutta

If there's one thing you take out of this post, please let it be that this is not a doctrine to be intellectually analysed and radical conclusions drawn from. It is a doctrine to be practised. Only by practising the Noble Eightfold Path (of which meditation is a large proportion) can one come to realise the path with one's own conviction, to know it for sure.

All schisms that have affected the Triple Gem, have as a cause: not practicing the Noble Eightfold Path. They have, as a result: radical interpretations of the Dhamma. Since the time of the first council, we have had the correct interpretation of the Buddha's teachings available to us, those beings who compiled the teachings which were to form the Pali Canon, were the Ariya-Sangha, they were meditators, who had seen the Dhamma for themselves, and knew with absolute conviction that this was the way things were. The way these Ariyan Bhikkhus saw things, has been passed down from generation to generation up unto the present day, the orthodox view represents what the Buddha, and the Ariya-Sangha saw through conviction. It is therefore the right view.

"Monks, these two slander the Tathagata. Which two? He who explains what was not said or spoken by the Tathagata as said or spoken by the Tathagata. And he who explains what was said or spoken by the Tathagata as not said or spoken by the Tathagata. These are two who slander the Tathagata."

- AN 2.23 Abhasita Sutta: What Was Not Said - http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

"Now, for one of wrong view, Lohicca, I tell you, there is one of two destinations: either hell or the animal womb.

- DN 12 Lohicca Sutta - http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Vincent, you say you do not meditate and struggle to see the truth, but it is exactly by meditation that one comes to see the truth, there is no other way. Follow the Noble Eightfold Path, practice virtue, restraint of the senses, practice calming meditation, establish yourself in mindfulness, put the effort in, wisdom shall arise, and you shall realise and know, what is and is not the path.

Metta to you
Jack.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: A new interpretation of the Pali Canon

Postby vinasp » Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:17 pm

Hi mikenz66,

That is the correct passage.Thank You for posting it. When I read it through it made me wonder if I have got it right. Perhaps it is not a tenfold path, but a two limb path. The extra two factors are the higher path. Just thinking aloud.

Best wishes, Vincent.
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Re: A new interpretation of the Pali Canon

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:24 pm

vinasp wrote: On the passage in MN 117 : " Thus the learner is endowed with eight factors, and the arahant with ten. The sekha is defined by his having the eight path factors, not yet fully developed. In other words anyone on the noble eightfold path.

My understanding is that a sekha is at least a stream-enterer:
http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... .htm#sekha
Sekha: a 'noble learner', a disciple in higher training, i.e. one who pursues the 3 kinds of training sikkhā, is one of those 7 kinds of Noble Disciples who have reached one of the 4 supra-mundane paths or the 3 lower fruitions see: ariya-puggala while the one possessed of the 4th fruition, or Arahatta-phala, is called 'one beyond training' asekha lit. 'no more learner'. The worldling puthujjana is called 'neither a noble learner, nor perfected in learning' n'eva-sekha-nāsekha Cf. Pug. 23-25.

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Re: A new interpretation of the Pali Canon

Postby vinasp » Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:46 pm

Hi Blackbird,

Thank you for your most interesting post. Please do not assume that I say these things without deep thought. I worry every day whether I should be saying these things. Many will see it as damaging to the Buddha, Sangha, teachings etc. But one must also consider possible benefits.
Did the Buddha say one thing to one group of people, and another thing to another ? We do not actually know. Could lay people hear the entire teachings, or only Digha Nikaya ? It is more a question of how people understand what the Buddha is saying.

Best wishes, Vincent.
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Re: A new interpretation of the Pali Canon

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:10 pm

vinasp wrote:Hi Blackbird,

Thank you for your most interesting post. Please do not assume that I say these things without deep thought. I worry every day whether I should be saying these things. Many will see it as damaging to the Buddha, Sangha, teachings etc. But one must also consider possible benefits.
Did the Buddha say one thing to one group of people, and another thing to another ? We do not actually know. Could lay people hear the entire teachings, or only Digha Nikaya ? It is more a question of how people understand what the Buddha is saying.

Best wishes, Vincent.


Hi Vincent,
The Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha are strong enough on their own not to be damaged, and any Damage would not be to the true Buddha Dhamma and Sangha, but I do not see anything which would suggest the Buddha was a teacher with a closed fist, he certainly taught what was appropriate in a situation asking people to put his words to the test by living and practicing in accordance with them (not necesarily donning the robes which is something the commentaries and certain passages support, see my exploration in my signature or a thread about Dhamma & Vinaya monks viewtopic.php?f=24&t=1708&p=22244&hilit=different+kinds+of+monks#p22244). but I would suggest that the only way to understand what the Buddha is saying is by doing the practice.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: A new interpretation of the Pali Canon

Postby zavk » Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:58 pm

Hi Vincent (and others)

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I've been trying to follow this thread but I must say that I can only partially follow the discussion as I do not have a comprehensive understanding of the Nikayas as some of you do. Nevertheless, I became curious about one thing as I was reading the different posts and this curiosity sort of crystallized in this offhand remark you made:

vinasp wrote:But one must also consider possible benefits.


So if I may interrupt the discussion and ask you a personal (but I hope not intrusive) question. I'll return to being a curious spectator after this.

Given how the aim of the Buddhadhamma is the cessation of dukkha, and given how the Pali Canon is the earliest extant collection of teachings leading to the cessation of dukkha, how then has your extended study and new understanding of the Nikaya benefited you on the path leading to the cessation of dukkha?

In other words, how has your study/new understanding of the Nikaya helped you live a life of peace and contentment?


:anjali:
With metta,
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Re: A new interpretation of the Pali Canon

Postby alan » Wed Sep 30, 2009 1:37 am

Wow! I just joined 10 minutes ago, hoping to find a few interesting, intelligent people who like to discuss Dhamma. And the first thing I come across is this lunacy!
How about I say what we must all be thinking--whoever posted this nonsense should just be ignored. This thread is a waste of time.
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Re: A new interpretation of the Pali Canon

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Sep 30, 2009 1:42 am

Hi Alan and welcome,
sometimes unerstanding where a peron is comming from with their views can shed light onto our own!
just because someone thinks something at face value we may or may not disagree with doesn't mean we ignore them, it means we reflect on this, and use that as a tool to reflect on ourselves.

it is nice to meet you but it is customary to post first in the introduction section of the forum
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: A new interpretation of the Pali Canon

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Sep 30, 2009 1:44 am

Greetings Alan,

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel.

Understandably, the Dhammic Free-For-All section may not be to everyone's fancy.

Appropriate conduct within the Dhammic free-for-all forum
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=175

As those guidelines state...

The purpose of this sub-forum is to openly permit important and challenging discussion on the Dhamma. By establishing a particular forum as a Free-For-All, albeit one where members must still be nice to each other, we aim to keep other areas of the site free from vociferous debate. We have attempted to establish an appropriate time and place for everything, with well established boundaries that will be enforced.


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Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: A new interpretation of the Pali Canon

Postby vinasp » Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:10 am

Hi mikenz66,

Savatthi....
Then a certain monk came to visit the Exalted One...
Seated at one side that monk said this to the Exalted One...
" A learner, a learner !" lord, is the saying. Pray, lord, how
how far is one a learner ?
" Herein, monk, a monk is imperfectly possessed of right view, and
the rest. He is imperfectly possessed of right concentration.
Thus far, monk, he is a learner.

In other words if one is still developing the path factors then one is a learner.
I thought I would quote an old PTS version for a change. Kindred Sayings Vol.5 page 13.

Best wishes, Vincent.
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Re: A new interpretation of the Pali Canon

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:20 am

vinasp wrote: In other words if one is still developing the path factors then one is a learner.

Yes, that's what the definition I quoted above said. A Sekha is not yet an Arahant, so has not perfected the path. As it says, only an Arahant is "beyond training."

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Re: A new interpretation of the Pali Canon

Postby vinasp » Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:29 am

Hi mike,

What do you think is the meaning of right effort for an arahant ?
And if the path factors never end, are you not saying that the path never ends ?

Best wishes, Vincent.
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Re: A new interpretation of the Pali Canon

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:41 am

I didn't say the path never ends, I said it didn't end until Arahantship.

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Re: A new interpretation of the Pali Canon

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:54 am

Vinasp,
what is your agenda?

sorry but I get a sense you are either concealing something, or out for something else!
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: A new interpretation of the Pali Canon

Postby Jechbi » Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:27 am

vinasp wrote: There is nothing physical in the aggregates. What I mean is that the aggregates should not be understood as any real physical or material thing. That rupa is material things. But rupa as an aggregate is only a category of mental object.
These mental objects are mis-understandings of physical or material things. The other four aggregates are mental so would not be physical. But these also are only categories of mental object , in other words, mis-understandings of mental things.

Thanks, Vincent. Sorry to be dense, but I still don't understand what you mean by "physical." You seem to say that a "physical" thing, if it existed, would be a "material" thing rather than a "mental" thing. But what would distinguish it as "physical" or "material," and not "mental," if such a thing existed? What characteristic or quality would, in theory, endow the "physical" with separateness from the "mental"? I'm just trying to understand how you personally are defining the word "physical" in your interpretation. thx.
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