A new interpretation of the Pali Canon

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Re: A new interpretation of the Pali Canon

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:10 am

vinasp wrote: On the raft subject : What are these "wrong teachings" anyway ? Surely no Buddhist monk is following any other teachings. Does the Buddha mean that some of his own teachings could be "wrong" in some sense ?

The Sutta is about the wrong interpretations of Arittha:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying in Savatthi, at Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's park. Now on that occasion this pernicious viewpoint (ditthigata) had arisen in the monk Arittha Formerly-of-the-Vulture-Killers: "As I understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One, those acts the Blessed One says are obstructive, when indulged in, are not genuine obstructions." A large number of monks heard, "They say that this pernicious viewpoint has arisen in the monk Arittha Formerly-of-the-Vulture-Killers: 'As I understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One, those acts the Blessed One says are obstructive, when indulged in, are not genuine obstructions.'" So they went to the monk Arittha Formerly-of-the-Vulture-Killers and on arrival said to him, "Is it true, friend Arittha, that this pernicious viewpoint has arisen in you — 'As I understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One, those acts the Blessed One says are obstructive, when indulged in, are not genuine obstructions'?"

It seems clear, and is spelled out in the Commentary, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... o.html#n-1 that Arittha thought that sex was OK for a monk.

Mike
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Re: A new interpretation of the Pali Canon

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:15 am

Greetings Vincent, all,

As for the raft and the dhamma to be let go of, I have heard (and agree) that this refers to mental objects. So eventually one needs to let go of wholesome mindstates, let alone the unwholesome ones... thus, it is about transcending the net of kamma, and attachment to delightful mindstates, in order to attain final deliverance.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
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 » Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:46 am

Hi tiltbillings,

On textual sources : Yes you are right, I will back up what I said - as far as I am able to - when each point is discussed. I am not academically trained, nor do I have any debating experience. I am not sure what constitutes a claim, can you direct me to any guidance on this point ?

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

Postby vinasp » Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:50 am

Hi Manapa,

What seems like a non-buddhist understanding ?

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

Postby vinasp » Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:01 am

Hi mike,

On what the Buddha said to Vacchagotta in MN 72 : Yes you are right. That is the higher understanding expressed clearly. No puthujjana should believe anything else, but they do. Why is the main discourse about the Buddha's life leading up to his death, called the Parinibbana Sutta ?

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Re: A new interpretation of the Pali Canon

Postby vinasp » Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:15 am

Hi retrofuturist,

Then all those translations which say "teachings" are wrong ? Dhamma here should be understood as mental objects. But then it would not fit the parable of the raft, because mental objects are abandoned at all stages of the path, not just at the end.

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Re: A new interpretation of the Pali Canon

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:19 am

vinasp wrote: On what the Buddha said to Vacchagotta in MN 72 : Yes you are right. That is the higher understanding expressed clearly. No puthujjana should believe anything else, but they do.

Since a puthujjana is an "uninstructed worldly person", that's hardly surprising.
http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... puthujjana
So what has that to do with Buddhist scholars/practitioners?

vinasp wrote:Why is the main discourse about the Buddha's life leading up to his death, called the Parinibbana Sutta ?

Because parinibbana is what happens at the end of the life of an Arahant or Buddha, according to the texts:
http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... bb%C4%81na
http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... bb%C4%81na
The texts don't say he "goes somewhere".

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Re: A new interpretation of the Pali Canon

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:20 am

Greetings Vincent,

vinasp wrote:Then all those translations which say "teachings" are wrong ?


No, just (in my opinion) not as right as they could be.

vinasp wrote:But then it would not fit the parable of the raft, because mental objects are abandoned at all stages of the path, not just at the end.


On the earlier stages of the path, the focus is on replacing unwholesome mindstates with wholesome mindstates. These wholesome mindstates are an improvement, but are still conditioned by ignorance (think here in terms of the D.O. points you made earlier). I don't quite understand what you think doesn't fit.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
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 Cittasanto » Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:26 am

vinasp wrote:Hi Manapa,

What seems like a non-buddhist understanding ?

Best wishes, Vincent.


Basicaly your view of the lower understanding!

you don't seam to know the difference betweeen buddhist and non-buddhist teachings, or you are trying to convince the wrong people (not saying you are trying to convince us but lack of better words)
but some of your higher understandings are off the mark with theravadin teachings.

you should try 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 Cittasanto » Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:33 am

vinasp wrote:Hi retrofuturist,

Then all those translations which say "teachings" are wrong ? Dhamma here should be understood as mental objects. But then it would not fit the parable of the raft, because mental objects are abandoned at all stages of the path, not just at the end.

Best wishes, Vincent.

The grasp of the reft changes as the current does accross the river, their is a difference between taking one stone from a basket and taking the last stone from it (taking one stone out at a time), BTW mental objects isn't a perfect match as a translation of Dhamma.
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 vinasp » Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:46 am

Hi Manapa,

Tell me what you think is wrong - one point at a time. Tell me, briefly, why you think it is wrong. Take any point first.

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

Postby vinasp » Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:55 am

Hi mike,

MN 22 starts with a wrong understanding by a monk, that is all. It is not all about his wrong understanding. It moves on to much more important topics. What has the raft got to do with Arittha ?
Also: Are you saying that no Buddhist monk is a puthujjana ?

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

Postby vinasp » Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:33 pm

Hi everyone,

Maybe its time to change to another topic ? I am puzzled by the parable of the raft, I do not think that there is anything more that I can say, at present. On the nibbana / parinibbana topic, the only remaining point that I would like to make is this:
If parinibbana is the cessation of the aggregates, then by the higher understanding, and in the case of the Buddha, it happened on the night of his awakening.

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

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:54 pm

Enlightenment with and without fuel remaining that is the difference between the two.

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "Monks, there are these two forms of the Unbinding property. Which two? The Unbinding property with fuel remaining, & the Unbinding property with no fuel remaining.

And what is the Unbinding property with fuel remaining? There is the case where a monk is an arahant whose fermentations have ended, who has reached fulfillment, finished the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, ended the fetter of becoming, and is released through right gnosis. His five sense faculties still remain and, owing to their being intact, he is cognizant of the agreeable & the disagreeable, and is sensitive to pleasure & pain. His ending of passion, aversion, & delusion is termed the Unbinding property with fuel remaining.

And what is the Unbinding property with no fuel remaining? There is the case where a monk is an arahant whose fermentations have ended, who has reached fulfillment, finished the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, ended the fetter of becoming, and is released through right gnosis. For him, all that is sensed, being unrelished, will grow cold right here. This is termed the Unbinding property with no fuel remaining."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#iti-044
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 vinasp » Sat Oct 03, 2009 9:44 pm

Hi Manapa,

Thank you for the quotation from the Itivuttaka. I think the alternative translation by John D. Ireland ( also avilable on the same site ), would be less confusing. It has the more common renderings such as nibbana-element and residue left.
Did you post this in connection with my recent remark about parinibbana ?
Do you think it supports my position, or shows it to be wrong ?
These are my two stages of enlightenment, the first is the one which I say should be called non-returner, the second is my tathagata - full enlightenment.
Notice that both are called arahant, as is the Buddha in the first sentence. In his notes, Ireland says that the "residue" is the five aggregates.
For upaadi ; see old PTS dictionary page 149.
In MN 10.46 the Buddha says:
"Bhikkhus, if anyone should develop these four foundations of mindfulness in such a way for seven years, one of two fruits could be expected for him : either final knowledge here and now, or if there is a trace of clinging left, non-return". Bhikkhu Bodhi; Middle Length Discourses; page 155.
The "trace of clinging left" here, is I think, upaadi-sesa . ( I need to check the Pali on this point ).
But why is it mentioned in the context of the non-returner ?

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

Postby vinasp » Mon Oct 05, 2009 1:32 am

Hi everyone,

I think that Manapa said ( on another thread ) that he was about to go away for a week or two. So perhaps we should not expect a response from him.

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

Postby vinasp » Mon Oct 05, 2009 1:35 am

Hi everyone,

Here is the alternative translation by John D. Ireland complete with notes.

44 The Nibbana-Element

This was said by the Lord, said by the Arahant, so I heard:
"Bhikkhus, there are these two Nibbana-elements. What are the two? The Nibbana-element with residue left and the Nibbana-element with no residue left. What, bhikkhus, is the Nibbana-element with residue left?

Here a bhikkhu is an arahant, one whose taints are destroyed (25), the holy life fulfilled, who has done what had to be done, laid down the burden, attained the goal, destroyed the fetters of being and is completely released through final knowledge. However, his five sense faculties remain unimpaired, by which he still experiences what is agreeable and disagreeable and feels pleasure and pain. It is the extinction of attachment, hate and delusion in him that is called the Nibbana-element with residue left (26).

Now what, bhikkhus, is the Nibbana-element with no residue left?
Here a bhikkhu is an arahant .......completely released by final knowledge. For him, here in this very life, all that is experienced, not being delighted in, will be extinguished. That, bhikkhus, is called the Nibbana-element with no residue left (27). These, bhikkhus, are the two Nibbana-elements.

Verses ommitted.

Notes:

25. The taints (aasava) are sensual desire, desire for being, and ignorance. See Sutta 56. "one in whom the taints are destroyed" (khinaasava) is another name for an arahant.

26. The attainment of arahantship consists in the extinction of the defilements (kilesa-parinibbaana) - attachment, hate and delusion - and while the arahant continues to live out his life, his freedom from defilements is called " the Nibbana-element with residue left" ( sa-upaadisesa-nibbaanadhaatu). The "residue" is the five aggregates - the mind and body and the senses - that continue to function.

27. As there is no craving and clinging ( "delight" ), at the arahant's death, when the body perishes there is nothing to be projected into a future birth. Thus there takes place the final extinction of the aggregates
( khandha-parinibbaana ), which is "the Nibbana-element with no residue left"
( anupaadisesa-nibbaanadhaatu ).

The Itivuttaka. The Buddha's Sayings. John D. Ireland. 1991 Buddhist Publication Society. Kandy, Sri Lanka.

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

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:12 am

vinasp wrote:Hi everyone,

I think that Manapa said ( on another thread ) that he was about to go away for a week or two. So perhaps we should not expect a response from him.

Best wishes, Vincent.


Hi Vinasp,
this is very true, but it will be 6 weeks without a propper connection and three of these weeks without any as I will be in a monastery in UK (Amaravati), plus I am focusing more on my practice during the 6 weeks if you or anyone have a facebook page and are interested in how things are going I am on there with the user name Manapa Bhojanadhikari and have it set up to provide updates through my blog page, as that is where I have a fare few friends online so it keeps everyone in the loop.
to answer your previous questions the quote was provided in responce to your responce to everyone imediately above it.
as for the understandings their are four kinds, the worldlings which is not right view, the right view, the noble ones (each and every stage on the path) which is not right view, and the right view or understanding, as one progresses along the path, view will be erroded away by understanding (mini-realisations as opposed to the realisation which brings Nibbana these pave the way to making nibbana "closer" or in another way attainable) some of what you say are lower understandings arent the Buddhist "Lower understandings" or view to adopt, rebirth is a prime example of this, the buddhist lower view isn't the same as the non-buddhist understanding but can share some similarities, then the higher understanding is the 'mechanics' of rebirth keeping in mind the no-self, and kamma understandings, which wouldn't be right Gnosis of it fully until the understanding has been fully understood in relation to the other mini-understandings, higher and lower understandings and views within Buddhism isn't the same as Higher and lower understandings and views comparing Buddhist views & understandings to other Views & Understandings.

this will probably be the last post on this thread, although I will possibly be able to nip on from time to time, but I am essentially off the grid of the WWW at the moment and will not be able to respond to anything either at all, or fully if I do respond so any communication will be as and when I have something to say and not nexesarilly as posts initially come to my attention, more a cut and paste sort it off line then post later.
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 appicchato » Mon Oct 05, 2009 2:02 pm

Manapa wrote:...the noble ones (each and every stage on the path) which is not right view...


So, arahants don't have right view? (if this is what you are inferring)...reference?...
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Re: A new interpretation of the Pali Canon

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:18 am

Hi Bhante,
No I wasn't trying to infer that, just that those not yet fully enlightened don't have complete right view yet, even though they are noble ones and have right view to a certain extent depending on how far allong the path they are!
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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