Did Thanissaro Bhikkhu really make such a comment on the attainments of Pa-auk and Mahasi??

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Post Reply
User avatar
sma
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:30 am
Location: China

Did Thanissaro Bhikkhu really make such a comment on the attainments of Pa-auk and Mahasi??

Post by sma »

Last month, I came across a lecture given by William Chu (朱倍贤) in 2018,regarding Ajahn Geoff's comments on Sayadaws Pa-Auk and Mahasi. But I searched online and found no similar public comments made by Ajahn Geoff.

I wonder whether Ajahn Geoff really gave such comments on Pa-auk and Mahasi systems. If yes, can anyone please kindly provide me with the references? Is it possible that William Chu fabricated the statements and lied about it?

I sent an inquiry email to the Metta Monastery via [email protected], but they did not respond.

Audio source (Chinese language):http://www.whatthebuddhataught.cn/Voice ... u/280.html
From 01:21:14 forward
For William Chu's information, please visit:
https://www.international.ucla.edu/buddhist/person/1003

I translated the audio clip as follows:
===
Transcript of the above clip (Translated from Chinese to English)

Question:
My second question is: according to the standard of primitive Buddhism, is it true that some of the Masters from Mahayana Buddhism and Southern Buddhism obtained the valid attainments (any of the Fruits)? If yes, is that because they have also touched the same stuff as primitive Buddhists do?

William Chu:
This is such a big question. It's very difficult for me to talk about a particular person, because it's very arrogant to put such a judgment on others.
Anyhow, I am here quoting what Ajahn Geoff had said. These are not my words, these are words from him.
According to Ajahn Geoff's opinion, in the whole Mahasi system and in the whole Pa-auk system, there is no person who has obtained any of the Fruits.
In other words, among so many students of these two Masters -- based on the books written by them, the public lectures delivered by them--of course, I have also read their books and lectures. Ajahn Geoff is a very erudite person, he is very familiar with their books and lectures. According to Ajahn Geoff's judgment, there is no person who has obtained the real Fruit among these people.
:anjali:
sakyan
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue May 14, 2019 1:00 pm

Re: Did Thanissaro Bhikkhu really make such a comment on the attainments of Pa-auk and Mahasi??

Post by sakyan »

It's quite common for us to think that among the 40 subjects of meditation and 4 types of Satipathana, Only the meditation which are practicing is correct, Only the Satipathana we are practicing is the correct.

I don't intend to bring any disrespect to Ven Thannisaro, we still don't know whether the Ven one even said such a thing or not.

That being said, The Mahasi method comes from Ven Mingun Sayadaw method, He was a reputed arhant in his time.

Ven Thannisaro is a wonderful monk, Even if he may have said such a thing that would not lower his respect in my mind. He has done a tremendous good work for Buddha Sasana and I am very glad for his work and dhamma talks.

I equally think Ven Mahasi Sayadaw's teaching is totally legit and falls under the Satipathana of the Body. I don't have any experience with Ven Pa-auk Sayadaw method so I won't comment about that.

Every method should be tested from Satipathana point of view, if it falls under the Satipathana then it is the Buddha's teaching and among those practicing it, it is expected that they can attain magga, phala and nibbana.
User avatar
Dhammanando
Posts: 6133
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Mae Wang Huai Rin, Li District, Lamphun

Re: Did Thanissaro Bhikkhu really make such a comment on the attainments of Pa-auk and Mahasi??

Post by Dhammanando »

sma wrote: Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:01 amI wonder whether Ajahn Geoff really gave such comments on Pa-auk and Mahasi systems.
Among Thai monks in the Ajahn Mun tradition the belief that their tradition alone has ariyas, though not universal, is not uncommon. And so it wouldn't be at all remarkable to hear a Thai Dhammayut monk say something like this.

I'm sceptical, however, that Ajahn Thanissaro would make a statement quite as rash and unequivocal. If he said anything at all on the matter I'd expect it to be much more measured and qualified, or perhaps no more an expression of personal disbelief about the claimed attainments within these two meditation schools.
sma wrote: Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:01 amIs it possible that William Chu fabricated the statements and lied about it?
I doubt it. It's more likely that he misremembered the precise words used.
sma wrote: Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:01 am William Chu:
This is such a big question. It's very difficult for me to talk about a particular person, because it's very arrogant to put such a judgment on others.
Anyhow, I am here quoting what Ajahn Geoff had said.
This is a bit odd. If Dr. Chu thinks that making such judgments is "very arrogant", then why quote the words of anybody on the matter?

:shrug:
Anabhirati kho, āvuso, imasmiṃ dhammavinaye dukkhā, abhirati sukhā.

“To not delight in this dhammavinaya, friend, is painful; to delight in it is bliss.”
(Sukhasutta, AN 10:66)
User avatar
confusedlayman
Posts: 4618
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:16 am
Location: Human Realm (as of now)

Re: Did Thanissaro Bhikkhu really make such a comment on the attainments of Pa-auk and Mahasi??

Post by confusedlayman »

sma wrote: Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:01 am Last month, I came across a lecture given by William Chu (朱倍贤) in 2018,regarding Ajahn Geoff's comments on Sayadaws Pa-Auk and Mahasi. But I searched online and found no similar public comments made by Ajahn Geoff.

I wonder whether Ajahn Geoff really gave such comments on Pa-auk and Mahasi systems. If yes, can anyone please kindly provide me with the references? Is it possible that William Chu fabricated the statements and lied about it?

I sent an inquiry email to the Metta Monastery via [email protected], but they did not respond.

Audio source (Chinese language):http://www.whatthebuddhataught.cn/Voice ... u/280.html
From 01:21:14 forward
For William Chu's information, please visit:
https://www.international.ucla.edu/buddhist/person/1003

I translated the audio clip as follows:
===
Transcript of the above clip (Translated from Chinese to English)

Question:
My second question is: according to the standard of primitive Buddhism, is it true that some of the Masters from Mahayana Buddhism and Southern Buddhism obtained the valid attainments (any of the Fruits)? If yes, is that because they have also touched the same stuff as primitive Buddhists do?

William Chu:
This is such a big question. It's very difficult for me to talk about a particular person, because it's very arrogant to put such a judgment on others.
Anyhow, I am here quoting what Ajahn Geoff had said. These are not my words, these are words from him.
According to Ajahn Geoff's opinion, in the whole Mahasi system and in the whole Pa-auk system, there is no person who has obtained any of the Fruits.
In other words, among so many students of these two Masters -- based on the books written by them, the public lectures delivered by them--of course, I have also read their books and lectures. Ajahn Geoff is a very erudite person, he is very familiar with their books and lectures. According to Ajahn Geoff's judgment, there is no person who has obtained the real Fruit among these people.
:anjali:
if those students break 5 precept, then no attainments. by the way it wont be of any significant to know .. more important is when we are going to attain any maghapala?
I may be slow learner but im at least learning...
JohnK
Posts: 1269
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:06 pm
Location: Tetons, Wyoming, USA

Re: Did Thanissaro Bhikkhu really make such a comment on the attainments of Pa-auk and Mahasi??

Post by JohnK »

sma wrote: Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:01 am I sent an inquiry email to the Metta Monastery via [email protected], but they did not respond.
Just FYI, it says on the site (at "Contact") that that email address is only for technical issues like broken links; contact regarding Dhamma is listed below that.
Those who grasp at perceptions & views wander the internet creating friction. [based on Sn4:9,v.847]
User avatar
sma
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:30 am
Location: China

Re: Did Thanissaro Bhikkhu really make such a comment on the attainments of Pa-auk and Mahasi??

Post by sma »

JohnK wrote: Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:49 pm
sma wrote: Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:01 am I sent an inquiry email to the Metta Monastery via [email protected], but they did not respond.
Just FYI, it says on the site (at "Contact") that that email address is only for technical issues like broken links; contact regarding Dhamma is listed below that.
It is stated on the site that Thanissaro Bhikkhu can only be reached by regular mail. I once contacted Thanissaro Bhikkhu via the email and they did forward my email to him. But this time they did not reply.
User avatar
Dhamma Chameleon
Posts: 212
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:55 am

Re: Did Thanissaro Bhikkhu really make such a comment on the attainments of Pa-auk and Mahasi??

Post by Dhamma Chameleon »

It seems wiser to ask William Chu for his reference first, rather than disturb Thanissaro Bhikkhu about it.
dharmacorps
Posts: 1495
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:33 pm

Re: Did Thanissaro Bhikkhu really make such a comment on the attainments of Pa-auk and Mahasi??

Post by dharmacorps »

Its important to realize you are reading what a academic's understanding, and there are frequent misunderstandings between academics and Buddhist monks/practitioners. I too doubt that Ajahn Geoff said that, or said it in the way that this person is claiming. There are several monks that are non-dhammayut that Ajahn Geoff has praised including Ajahn Chah and that tradition. Ajahn Geoff is quite eclectic actually I find, but people seem quite eager to pigeonhole him as overly rigid for some reason.
User avatar
sma
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:30 am
Location: China

Re: Did Thanissaro Bhikkhu really make such a comment on the attainments of Pa-auk and Mahasi??

Post by sma »

I never said that I knew for a fact that there were no awakened people in these systems. I did say to a small group of students that I had doubts about these systems, but I probably shouldn’t have said even that much. Comments of this sort should not be for public consumption.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Thanissaro Bhikkhu did reply me!
:namaste:
Last edited by sma on Mon Jun 15, 2020 11:19 am, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 24307
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Did Thanissaro Bhikkhu really make such a comment on the attainments of Pa-auk and Mahasi??

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings,

Good to get an official response. It is always better to allow to people to speak for themselves rather to than rely of second hand accounts which may (intentionally or unintentionally) misrepresented the original speaker's meaning and intent.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"Why now do you assume 'a being'? Mara, have you grasped a view?" (SN 5.10)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)
User avatar
rhinoceroshorn
Posts: 1177
Joined: Fri May 01, 2020 7:27 pm

Re: Did Thanissaro Bhikkhu really make such a comment on the attainments of Pa-auk and Mahasi??

Post by rhinoceroshorn »

sma wrote: Mon Jun 15, 2020 4:40 am
I never said that I knew for a fact that there were no awakened people in these systems. I did say to a small group of students that I had doubts about these systems, but I probably shouldn’t have said even that much. Comments of this sort should not be for public consumption.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Thanissaro Bhikkhu did reply me!
:namaste:
Ven. Ajahn Thanissaro is a wise, very wise monk.
Thanks for sharing this.
Eyes downcast, not footloose,
senses guarded, with protected mind,
not oozing — not burning — with lust,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Sutta Nipāta 1.3 - Khaggavisana Sutta
Image
See, Ānanda! All those conditioned phenomena have passed, ceased, and perished. So impermanent are conditions, so unstable are conditions, so unreliable are conditions. This is quite enough for you to become disillusioned, dispassionate, and freed regarding all conditions.
Dīgha Nikāya 17
User avatar
DooDoot
Posts: 10690
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

Re: Did Thanissaro Bhikkhu really make such a comment on the attainments of Pa-auk and Mahasi??

Post by DooDoot »

rhinoceroshorn wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 9:15 pm Ven. Ajahn Thanissaro is a wise, very wise monk.
Ven. Ajahn Thanissaro has made many questionable sutta translations & wrote "Not-Self Strategy" from a misunderstanding of SN 44.10. Ven. Ajahn Thanissaro appears to be "work in progress". Over the many years of his induction to the more superstitious elements of the Thai Forest Tradition, his personal teachings have changed over many years. For me, Thanissaro's great achievement was the worldly debunking of Bhikkhu Bodhi's Just War doctine. Apart from that, Bhikkhu Sujato showed how misguided Ven. Ajahn Thanissaro was about SN 44.10 & anatta. :smile:
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/paticcasamuppada
https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati
Post Reply