AN 4.77 Acintita Sutta: Unconjecturable

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mikenz66
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AN 4.77 Acintita Sutta: Unconjecturable

Post by mikenz66 »

AN 4.77 PTS: A ii 80 Acintita Sutta: Unconjecturable
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu


If you spend too much time pondering these four things you will surely drive yourself crazy.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

"There are these four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them. Which four?

"The Buddha-range of the Buddhas[1] is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

"The jhana-range of a person in jhana...[2]

"The [precise working out of the] results of kamma...

"Conjecture about [the origin, etc., of] the world is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

"These are the four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them."

Notes

1. I.e., the range of powers a Buddha develops as a result of becoming a Buddha.

2. I.e., the range of powers that one may obtain while absorbed in jhana.
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mikenz66
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Re: AN 4.77 Acintita Sutta: Unconjecturable

Post by mikenz66 »

Bhikkhu Bodhi's notes: 

“Bhikkhus, there are these four inconceivable matters...
  • Acinteyyāni. Mp says only “unsuitable to think about” (cintetuṃ ayuttāni).

    Mp explains the four as follows: “The domain of the Buddhas (buddhavisaya) is the procedure and spiritual might (pavatti ca ānubhāvo ca) of the Buddha’s qualities such as the omniscient knowledge and so forth. The domain of one in jhāna (jhānavisaya) is the direct knowledges and jhānas. The result of kamma (kammavipāka) is the result of kamma to be experienced in the present life and so forth. Speculation about the world (lokacintā) is such worldly speculations as: ‘Who made the sun and moon? Who made the earth and the ocean?
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Re: AN 4.77 Acintita Sutta: Unconjecturable

Post by acinteyyo »

The "Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines", by NYANATILOKA notes:

acinteyya lit. 'That which cannot or should not be thought, the unthinkable, incomprehensible, impenetrable, that which transcends the limits of thinking and over which therefore one should not ponder.

These 4 unthinkables are:

- the sphere of a Buddha (buddha-visaya),
- of the meditative absorptions (jhāna-visaya),
- of karma-result (kamma-vipāka), and
- brooding over the world (loka-cintā), especially over an absolute first beginning of it
(s. A.IV.77).

"Therefore, o monks, do not brood over the world as to whether it is eternal or temporal, limited or endless .... Such brooding, O monks, is senseless, has nothing to do with genuine pure conduct (s. ādibrahmacariyaka-sīla), does not lead to aversion, detachment, extinction, nor to peace, to full comprehension, enlightenment and Nibbāna, etc." (S.56.41).

best wishes, acinteyyo ;)
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.
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Re: AN 4.77 Acintita Sutta: Unconjecturable

Post by mikenz66 »

acinteyyo wrote: "Therefore, o monks, do not brood over the world as to whether it is eternal or temporal, limited or endless .... Such brooding, O monks, is senseless, has nothing to do with genuine pure conduct (s. ādibrahmacariyaka-sīla), does not lead to aversion, detachment, extinction, nor to peace, to full comprehension, enlightenment and Nibbāna, etc." (S.56.41).
Thanks. That sutta is here: http://suttacentral.net/search?query=sn+56.41.

Are there other suttas that discuss the four unconjecturables/inconceivables? I'm having difficulty finding any more...

:anjali:
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Re: AN 4.77 Acintita Sutta: Unconjecturable

Post by acinteyyo »

acinteyyo wrote:I found this sentence in the Paliversion of the MN56 Upalisutta: Iddhivisayo nāma acinteyyo, tasmā kathaṃ sūriyassa uggantuṃ nādāsīti na cintetabbaṃ.But I've not been able to find the sentence in a translation yet and my Pali isn't good enough to give a adequate translation. So I don't know whether it adds something helpful for the topic.
I now know why I couldn't find the sentence in MN56. The sentence is not in MN56 to be found but in the Pali commentary to MN56. Didn't notice that right from the start.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.
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