What awakens?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
boris
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Re: What awakens?

Post by boris »

Sakkāya is pañc'upādānakkhandhā (Majjhima v,4 <M.i,299>), and may conveniently be translated as 'somebody' or 'person' or, abstractly, 'personality'. See PARAMATTHA SACCA, also for what follows.

An arahat (while alive—that is, if we can speak of a 'living arahat') continues to be individual in the sense that 'he' is a sequence of states (Theragāthā v. 716)[13] distinguishable from other arahanto (and a fortiori from individuals other than arahanto). Every set of pañcakkhandhā[a]—not pañc'upādānakkhandhā in the arahat's case—is unique, and individuality in this sense ceases only with the final cessation of the pañcakkhandhā at the breaking up of the arahat's body. But a living arahat is no longer somebody or a person, since the notion or conceit '(I) am' has already ceased. Individuality must therefore be carefully distinguished from personality, which is: being a person, being somebody, being a subject (to whom objects are present), selfhood, the mirage 'I am', and so on. The puthujjana is not able to distinguish them—for him individuality is not conceivable apart from personality, which he takes as selfhood.
http://nanavira.org/index.php/notes-on- ... es/sakkaya
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ancientbuddhism
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Re: What awakens?

Post by ancientbuddhism »

rolling_boulder wrote:When we say that people reach a state of Awakening,
Do people attain Buddhahood "individually?"

How can a person with anatta (no binary state of a "self") suddenly make a change in state like that?

Must it then be a gradual process?

Thanks for understanding what must be a vague question ...
What the arahant has attained is Nibbāna which is the complete cooling of greed, anger and delusion (lobha, dosa and moha). This produces a rarified perspective of ‘shuchness’ (tādī), shorn of imaginings (maññati) of a ‘self’ or what would belong to such.

Simple version, read the Kāḷakārāma Sutta (Discourse to Kāḷaka) AN. 4.24
I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

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Re: What awakens?

Post by dhamma follower »

rolling_boulder wrote:When we say that people reach a state of Awakening,
Do people attain Buddhahood "individually?"

How can a person with anatta (no binary state of a "self") suddenly make a change in state like that?

Must it then be a gradual process?

Thanks for understanding what must be a vague question,

:candle:
Greeting R_B,

Your question is not vague. It is legitimate and neccesary. And it goes to the heart of the understanding of the Buddha's teaching.


In order to answer this question, it would be helpful to know/remind that what we take for person/being is actually only the five aggregates, namely materiality, feeling, perception, mental formations, and consciousness.

If there is seeing, hearing...experiencing the world through the six sense doors now, it is because each of the five aggregate is doing its own function: eye sense contacts with the visible object for consciousness to experience it, feeling feels it to be pleasant or unpleasant, perception recognize its characteristics, mental formations like or dislike or understand it.

So, at any given moment, there's no being, no one. Each of the five aggregate is conditioned: eye sense is conditioned by previous kamma, it doesn't belong to someone; eye consciousness is also result of kamma; feeling, perception, mental formations all are conditioned by multiples factors. Each moment of experiencing is conditioned differently and therefore no permanent entity is found.

Among the mental formations, we can mention some such as craving, aversion, ignorance, generosity, non aversion, and understanding/non-delusion.

Any person who has not become an arahatta has several of those mental factors arise almost each moment, and we call those moments moments of craving, of hatred, of loving -kindness or of understanding...these arise by conditions without any real "person" behind it. There are a lot of conditions making up these events and it is too complex to go into details here.

So, when we talk about a Buddha or a arahatta, it must be understood that it is merely a conventional way to designate a state where there are no more conditions for unwholesome states such as craving, aversion and delusion to arise in that stream of five aggregates.

The moment of awakening is the moment when the consciousness, accompanied by understanding (mental formations) of a very high degree, together with other mental factors, experience the unconditioned called Nibanna. In order for that moment to occur, understanding must have been developed gradually until it reaches such maturity. After that moment, certain defilements are said to be totally removed, there are no more conditions for them to arise again. So there is awakening but no person who become awakened. That means certain inferior states don't have conditions to arise any more in that stream of five aggregates, and it goes on until there's no more conditions for that stream of aggregates to continue. It is the moment of Paranibanna.

So it is not so much that first there's a person with a self and then the self is transcended gradually. There's only the mistaken idea of a self which should be removed, not by a person, but by understanding, which can arise thanks to hearing the Buddha's teaching. But that truth is deep, and difficult to grasp, so it takes time for that understanding to grow. In the meantime, so many moments of self-view, of craving and ignorance continue to arise as usual, and occasionally, some moments of generosity, of non-aversion and even more rarely, of right understanding also arise, building the Path leading to the end of samsara.

Does that make any sense?

Rgds,

D.F
boris
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Re: What awakens?

Post by boris »

dhamma follower wrote: So, at any given moment, there's no being, no one. (...). Each moment of experiencing is conditioned differently and therefore no permanent entity is found....
dhamma follower wrote: Does that make any sense?
It does not. Nibbana is cessation of bhava now and here. But before such cessation, there is such thing like state of being -bhava- and person- sakkaya. True, person as such, exist only due to ignorance, but as long ignorance is present, to say that "there is no person", "there is no one" is just simply wrong view.
Only about Tathagata we can say that because he realized cessation of being, he is not to be found, now and here.
The reason why the Tathāgata is not to be found (even here and now) is that he is rūpa-, vedanā-, saññā-, sankhāra-, and viññāna-sankhāya vimutto (ibid. 1 <S.iv,378-9>), i.e. free from reckoning as matter, feeling, perception, determinations, or consciousness. This is precisely not the case with the puthujjana, who, in this sense, actually and in truth is to be found.
http://nanavira.org/index.php/notes-on- ... ttha-sacca

But remark
dhamma follower wrote:There's only the mistaken idea of a self which should be removed, not by a person, but by understanding, which can arise thanks to hearing the Buddha's teaching.
is quite proper, as long as we ignore, that on initial stage just can not help, it is the person who try to remove himself :smile: Shell we call his efforts attempt of mental suicide? :smile:
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kirk5a
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Re: What awakens?

Post by kirk5a »

boris wrote:Shell we call his efforts attempt of mental suicide? :smile:
No. That's a completely misleading and inaccurate simile. We could call his efforts attempting to wake up.
Last edited by kirk5a on Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"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: What awakens?

Post by Mkoll »

As long as one has craving, one is a being. This means only fully liberated ones are free from being which I believe is the translation of bhava.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi at Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Then Ven. Radha went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "'A being,' lord. 'A being,' it's said. To what extent is one said to be 'a being'?"

"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for form, Radha: when one is caught up[1] there, tied up[2] there, one is said to be 'a being.'[3]

"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for feeling... perception... fabrications...

"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for consciousness, Radha: when one is caught up there, tied up there, one is said to be 'a being.'

"Just as when boys or girls are playing with little sand castles:[4] as long as they are not free from passion, desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for those little sand castles, that's how long they have fun with those sand castles, enjoy them, treasure them, feel possessive of them. But when they become free from passion, desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for those little sand castles, then they smash them, scatter them, demolish them with their hands or feet and make them unfit for play.

"In the same way, Radha, you too should smash, scatter, & demolish form, and make it unfit for play. Practice for the ending of craving for form.

"You should smash, scatter, & demolish feeling, and make it unfit for play. Practice for the ending of craving for feeling.

"You should smash, scatter, & demolish perception, and make it unfit for play. Practice for the ending of craving for perception.

"You should smash, scatter, & demolish fabrications, and make them unfit for play. Practice for the ending of craving for fabrications.

"You should smash, scatter, & demolish consciousness and make it unfit for play. Practice for the ending of craving for consciousness — for the ending of craving, Radha, is Unbinding."

-SN 23.2
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
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Re: What awakens?

Post by Babadhari »

Mkoll wrote:As long as one has craving, one is a being. This means only fully liberated ones are free from being which I believe is the translation of bhava.
so would it be fair to say that an arahant could be viewed as a human done instead of a human being?? :thinking:
'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world.'
MN105
Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion.
Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28
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Re: What awakens?

Post by boris »

kirk5a wrote:
boris wrote:Shell we call his efforts attempt of mental suicide? :smile:
No. That's a completely misleading and inaccurate simile. We could could his efforts attempting to wake up.
But in reality person as such is a part of structure we can call avijja, there is no place for avijja in awakening. In fact awakening and cessation of person (sakkaya) are synonyms.
"Bhikkhus, there are two kinds of (wrong) view, and when deities and human beings are in their grip, some hang back and some overreach; it is only those with vision that see. How do some hang back? Deities and human beings love being, delight in being, enjoy being; when the Dhamma is expounded to them for the ending of being, their hearts do not go out to it or acquire confidence, steadiness and decision. So some hang back. And how do some overreach? Some are ashamed, humiliated and disgusted by that same being, and they look forward to non-being in this way: 'Sirs, when with the dissolution of the body this self is cut off, annihilated and accordingly after death no longer is, that is the most peaceful, that is the goal superior to all, that is reality.' So some overreach. And how do those with vision see? Here a bhikkhu sees whatever has come to being as come to being. By seeing it thus he has entered upon the way to dispassion for it, to the fading and ceasing of lust for it. That is how one with vision sees."
Iti. 49
Venerable sir, one sees as it really is with correct wisdom: ‘This has come to be.’ Having seen as it really is with correct wisdom: ‘This has come to be,’ one is practising for the purpose of revulsion towards what has come to be, for its fading away and cessation. One sees as it really is with correct wisdom: ‘Its origination occurs with that as nutriment.’ Having seen as it really is with correct wisdom: ‘Its origination occurs with that as nutriment, ’ one is practising for the purpose of revulsion towards its origination through nutriment, for its fading away and cessation. One sees as it really is with correct wisdom: ‘With the cessation of that nutriment, what has come to be is subject to cessation.’ Having seen as it really is with correct wisdom: ‘With the cessation of that nutriment, what has come to be is subject to cessation, ’ one is practising for the purpose of revulsion towards what is subject to cessation, for its fading away and cessation. It is in such a way that one is a trainee.
http://suttacentral.net/sn12.31/en#31-32
The puthujjana sees neither a task to be performed that can justify his existence—not even, in the last analysis, that of perpetual reflexion (Heidegger's Entschlossenheit or 'resoluteness', acceptance of the guilt of existing; which does no more than make the best of a bad job)—nor a way to bring his unjustifiable existence to an end. The ariyasāvaka, on the other hand, does see the way to bring his existence to an end, and he sees that it is this very task that justifies his existence
http://www.nanavira.org/index.php/notes ... otes/kamma

I am but suppose I see that concept "I am" is impermanent, determined (sankhata) and dependently arisen. Knowing and seeing this way my task is to remove this "I am". If this is so, metaphor of mental suicide although not perfect, is quite well chosen. So perhaps objection:
That's a completely misleading and inaccurate simile
comes from one who does not see a way to bring his unjustifiable existence (bhava) to an end.
The man who wants to avoid grotesque collapses should not look for anything to fulfill him in space and time.

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Re: What awakens?

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boris wrote:I am but suppose I see that concept "I am" is impermanent, determined (sankhata) and dependently arisen. Knowing and seeing this way my task is to remove this "I am". If this is so, metaphor of mental suicide although not perfect, is quite well chosen.
If it was "well chosen" I'd suppose we'd see the metaphor of "mental suicide" in the suttas, but we don't, as far as I've seen.
So perhaps objection:
That's a completely misleading and inaccurate simile
comes from one who does not see a way to bring his unjustifiable existence (bhava) to an end.
Your attempt to personalize the discussion is irrelevant and :offtopic:
"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: What awakens?

Post by kirk5a »

"What gains total release from the five khandhas?"

"The heart, of course, & the heart alone.
It doesn't grasp or get entangled.
No more poison of possessiveness,
no more delusion,
it stands alone.
No saññas can fool it into following along
behind them."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/mun/ballad.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: What awakens?

Post by Babadhari »

kirk5a wrote:
"What gains total release from the five khandhas?"

"The heart, of course, & the heart alone.
It doesn't grasp or get entangled.
No more poison of possessiveness,
no more delusion,
it stands alone.
No saññas can fool it into following along
behind them."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/mun/ballad.html
NB***
Translating the poem has presented a number of difficulties, not the least of which has been getting a definitive reading of the original manuscript. Ajaan Mun wrote during the days before Thai spelling became standardized, some of the passages were smudged with age, and a few seem to have been "corrected" by a later hand.
Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion.
Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28
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Re: What awakens?

Post by kirk5a »

kitztack wrote:NB***
Translating the poem has presented a number of difficulties, not the least of which has been getting a definitive reading of the original manuscript. Ajaan Mun wrote during the days before Thai spelling became standardized, some of the passages were smudged with age, and a few seem to have been "corrected" by a later hand.
So what? The poem is certainly reflective of what is available elsewhere of Ajahn Mun taught.
"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: What awakens?

Post by Babadhari »

kirk5a wrote:
kitztack wrote:NB***
Translating the poem has presented a number of difficulties, not the least of which has been getting a definitive reading of the original manuscript. Ajaan Mun wrote during the days before Thai spelling became standardized, some of the passages were smudged with age, and a few seem to have been "corrected" by a later hand.
So what? The poem is certainly reflective of what is available elsewhere of Ajahn Mun taught.
i meant no offence. i guess there was no mistranslation of the piece you posted since one of the books of Ajahn Muns teachings was called A Heart Released :oops:
Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion.
Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28
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kirk5a
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Re: What awakens?

Post by kirk5a »

kitztack wrote:i meant no offence. i guess there was no mistranslation of the piece you posted since one of the books of Ajahn Muns teachings was called A Heart Released :oops:
None taken. Just didn't know what point you were making. "A Heart Released," indeed, as the quotation from the Discourse on the Not-Self Characteristic provided by pegembara earlier says:
Now during this utterance, the hearts of the bhikkhus of the group of five were liberated from taints through clinging no more.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.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: What awakens?

Post by Babadhari »

ive just been coming across different translations of cittareferring to both heart and mind respectively lately in different passages as this alternative translation of the same passage illustrates
This the Blessed One said. Pleased, the group of five monks were delighted with the exposition of the Blessed One; moreover, as this exposition was being spoken, the minds of the group of five monks were freed of defilements, without attachment.
anupādāya āsavehi cittāni vimucciṃsūti.

there seems to be a tendancy in some Thai traditions to refer to 'heart-mind'
Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion.
Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28
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