The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

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Lal
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal »

I don't agree with your interpretation of breath meditation is about watching breath.
Yes. Some people are not able to understand that. That is fine.

The Buddha himself was not able to convince some people. Thus, he recommended HIS VERSION of Anapanasati ONLY those who are able to understand the underlying framework of Buddha Dhamma (Noble Truths, Tilakkhana, Paticca Samuppada):
- I explained that in my pot, "Sotapannā – Just Starting on the Noble Path" above. See #1 and #2 there. Here is #2:
"2. The same sutta also has the following verse: “Nāhaṁ, bhikkhave, muṭṭhassatissa asampajānassa ānāpānassatiṁ vadāmi.” In the above translation: “I do not say that there is the development of mindfulness of breathing for one who is forgetful, who is not fully aware.”
- But the real meaning of that Pāli verse is more like, “I do not teach ānāpānassati to those who do not know where to establish sati (muṭṭhassatissa) and not know how to sort out “san or defilements” (asampajānassa)..."

As we know, yogis like Alara Kalama and Uddakaramaputta practiced "breath meditation" even before the Buddha. Many people are satisfied with the "calmness of the mind" due to focusing the mind on the breath. In fact, if practiced correctly, one can even get to anariya jhana with "breath meditation" (like those two yogis). But the Buddha rejected that method because it is NOT possible to stop "future suffering" with just that.

This is my last comment in response to your comments. I am going to ignore your comments. It is a waste of time.
- My advice to you is not to read my posts if you get agitated by reading them. There are others who seem to want to read them.
auto
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Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:02 pm

Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by auto »

Lal wrote: Thu Nov 11, 2021 8:24 am
I don't agree with your interpretation of breath meditation is about watching breath.
Yes. Some people are not able to understand that. That is fine.

The Buddha himself was not able to convince some people. Thus, he recommended HIS VERSION of Anapanasati ONLY those who are able to understand the underlying framework of Buddha Dhamma (Noble Truths, Tilakkhana, Paticca Samuppada):
- I explained that in my pot, "Sotapannā – Just Starting on the Noble Path" above. See #1 and #2 there. Here is #2:
"2. The same sutta also has the following verse: “Nāhaṁ, bhikkhave, muṭṭhassatissa asampajānassa ānāpānassatiṁ vadāmi.” In the above translation: “I do not say that there is the development of mindfulness of breathing for one who is forgetful, who is not fully aware.”
- But the real meaning of that Pāli verse is more like, “I do not teach ānāpānassati to those who do not know where to establish sati (muṭṭhassatissa) and not know how to sort out “san or defilements” (asampajānassa)..."

As we know, yogis like Alara Kalama and Uddakaramaputta practiced "breath meditation" even before the Buddha. Many people are satisfied with the "calmness of the mind" due to focusing the mind on the breath. In fact, if practiced correctly, one can even get to anariya jhana with "breath meditation" (like those two yogis). But the Buddha rejected that method because it is NOT possible to stop "future suffering" with just that.

This is my last comment in response to your comments. I am going to ignore your comments. It is a waste of time.
- My advice to you is not to read my posts if you get agitated by reading them. There are others who seem to want to read them.
You may ignore my comments, but it is common knowledge in alchemical traditions what deal with psychic centers that there are things to be done before one would use breath. In breath there is the light of the awareness to be discovered as one of the thing before one can access body with the breath, a'la recognize the 9 stages of anapanasati as body(if want to be sutta and commentary compliant). The card you play implying breath meditators doesn't know pre-stages, i see you doing that, it is weak hand. And you don't have to tout all the time about underlying frameworks of buddha dhamma, please delete your domain name.

You don't really explain why it is waste of time to respond my comments, because they require too much effort? you are used to give fleshed out copy paste responses?
anyway i hope you become a bit more grown up..
Lal
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Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:39 am

Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal »

Dhamma – Different Meanings Depending on the Context

Dhamma is a Pāli word that gives (seemingly) different meanings depending on the context. But those meanings are based on the root “to bear.”

Introduction

1. In the previous post, “Yoniso Manasikāra and Paṭicca Samuppāda,” we discussed the four requirements for someone to attain the Sotapanna stage There we discussed the first three requirements. The fourth is dhammā­nu­dhammap­paṭi­patti.

- The Pāli word dhammā­nu­dhammap­paṭi­patti is the combination of three words: dhamma, anudhamma, and paṭi­patti.
- Therefore, we need to discuss the words “dhamma” and “anudhamma.” As we will see, “dhamma” can have different meanings based on the context.
- We have many examples in English where the same word gives different meanings based on the context. For example, the term “right” conveys unrelated things in “turn right” and “you are right.”
- That is why it is dangerous to translate Pāli texts word-by-word, as commonly done these days. I have pointed out such issues with specific examples.

The Meaning of “Dhamma

2. “Dhamma” means “to bear.” This direct meaning is in verse, “manañca paṭicca dhamme ca uppajjāti manoviññāṇaṃ.”

- Vipāka-bearing kammic energy” of a kamma stays in viññāṇa dhātu as “kamma bija” or “dhamma.”
- Just like a rupa can bring in a sensory input via the five physical senses, dhammā can bring a sensory input (memory of a previous kamma) directly to the mind.
- While the five types of rupa (vaṇṇa, sadda, gandha, rasa, phoṭṭhabba) belong to the “material world” made of suddhāṭṭhaka, “dhammā” are below the suddhāṭṭhaka stage. As we know, a suddhāṭṭhaka is the smallest unit of matter in Buddha Dhamma (comparable to an atom or an elementary particle in modern science. However, a suddhāṭṭhaka is even smaller.)
- Unlike the other five types of rupa, dhammā cannot be seen (anidassana) or touched even with most sensitive instruments (appaṭigha) and detectable only with the mind (dhammāyatanapariyāpannaṁ).
- That is explained in the last verse of “2.3.1. Tikanikkhepa” in Dhammasaṅgaṇī as, “yañca rūpaṁ anidassanaṁ appaṭighaṁ dhammāyatanapariyāpannaṁ; asaṅkhatā ca dhātu—ime dhammā anidassana appaṭighā.” : https://suttacentral.net/ds2.3.1/pli/ms ... ript=latin
- Therefore, those dhammā bear the fruits of kamma! They can bring vipāka in the future.

3. All such dhammā generally appear in two forms: dhammā and adhammā.

- The word dhammā generally refers to “good dhammā.” Those that arise due to “bad kamma” are “adhammā.”
- “Dhamma Sutta (AN 10.182)” (https://suttacentral.net/an10.182/pli/m ... ript=latin) provides a direct explanation. “Killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, divisive, harsh, or idle speech, greed, ill will, and wrong view. Those ten are adhammā. Abstaining from such actions (and having the opposite mindset generating "good javana power") lead to dhammā.
- However, both dhammā and adhammā belong to the dhammā category. It is just that adhammā “bear the fruits of bad kamma” and dhammā “bear the fruits of good kamma.“
- The word “smell” indicates all types of odors, but if someone says “it smells,” that means it is a “bad odor.” That is the accepted usage. In the same way, dhammā usually means the "good type."

Anudhamma at the Basic Level

4. Each of the ten types of dhamma falls into four categories. For example, concerning killing other living beings, it is not only abstaining from killing that counts as dhamma.

- Not helping others in killings, not encouraging others to kill, and not praising killings by others also count as “good deeds” or dhamma. Those are the anudhamma.
- In the same way, while killing is the worst adhamma in that category, helping others to kill, encouraging others to kill, and praising killings by others also count as evil deeds and will have dire kammic consequences.

Above Usage is the Basic Form – Completes the Mundane Eightfold Path

5. Abstaining from immoral deeds and cultivating moral acts is NECESSARY to facilitate the mundane eightfold path. That is to bear “moral dhamma” and NOT to bear “immoral adhamma.”

- Cultivation of moral dhamma will help remove the ten types of micchā diṭṭhi.
- Getting to that stage is NECESSARY to comprehend the deeper dhamma needed to get to the Sotapanna and higher levels of Nibbāna.
- Of course, even after that, it is necessary to hear the deeper dhamma (Four Noble Truths/Tilakkhana/Paṭicca Samuppāda) from a Noble Person. As we have discussed, the first two conditions pertain to that.

Mundane Eightfold Path Has Similarities with Other Religions

6. From #3 above, we can see that the mundane path has some common features with other world religions. However, even there, there are some drastic differences.

- For example, other religions (except some versions of Hinduism) do not see a problem with killing animals.
- All other religions teach a permanent heavenly existence (or permanent existence in Hell). That is one of the 10 types of wrong views (micchā diṭṭhi) in #5 above.

What Is the Deeper Buddha Dhamma?

7. As we can see, dhammā arise due to “good or bad kamma.” Good kamma lead to good vipāka and bad kamma lead to bad vipāka. However, both types are associated with “this world.”

- In contrast, “Buddha Dhamma” is “bhava uddha dhamma.” It mainly refers to the teachings of the Buddha that lead to Nibbāna, i.e., the results (vipāka) of actions taken according to Buddha Dhamma lead to “stopping of future existence/rebirths.”
- The word Buddha comes from “bhava” + “uddha “; here, “bhava” means “existence (in the 31 realms)” and “uddha” means “removal.” Therefore, a Buddha figures out how to stop the rebirth process and thus end future suffering.
- Now the question is: What kind of “deeper dhamma” would lead to the stopping of the rebirth process and the permanent elimination of future suffering?

Paṭicca Samuppāda Is Buddha Dhamma!

8. The “Mahāhatthipadopama Sutta (MN 28)” (https://suttacentral.net/mn28/pli/ms?la ... ript=latin) ends with the statement, “Yō Paṭiccasamuppādam passati, so Dhammam passati; yo Dhammaṁ passati so paṭiccasamuppādaṁ passatī”ti.” That means, “One who sees paṭicca samuppāda sees the Dhamma; one who sees the Dhamma sees paṭicca samuppāda.” To understand Buddha Dhamma, one needs to know how future suffering arises via the paṭicca samuppāda process.

- In other words, Paṭicca Samuppāda is the same as Buddha Dhamma. To be precise, Akusala-mula Paṭicca Samuppāda explains how existences and rebirths arise due to the accumulation of “lokiya dhamma” or “good/bad dhamma” that we discussed in #2 and #3 above. As we know, those Paṭicca Samuppāda processes start with “avijjā paccayā saṅkhāra,” i.e., actions based on avijjā or ignorance of the Four Noble Truths. Thus, comprehension of Paṭicca Samuppāda will lead to the stopping of such processes. That is the “lokottara dhamma” or the deeper version.
- Therefore, in many cases, “dhamma” (without the “long a”) refers to either version of Buddha Dhamma.
For example, “Dhammo ha ve rakkhati dhammacāriṁ” means, “Dhamma will protect those who follow (Buddha) Dhamma.”

Anudhamma at the Deeper Level – Tilakkhana

9. As we have already discussed, Paṭicca Samuppāda is closely related to Tilakkhana (anicca, dukkha, anatta.) Those are the three characteristics of this suffering-filled world (in the rebirth process.)

- We will discuss that in detail, with sutta references, in the next post.
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Ontheway
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Ontheway »

More like Acariyavada...
"The Buddha is like the rising sun; the Dhamma as already stated is like the web of his rays; and the Sangha is like the world rid by him of darkness."

Paramatthajotikā
(The Illustrator of Ultimate Meaning)
Lal
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Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:39 am

Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal »

Dhammā­nu­dhamma Paṭi­patti - Connection to Paṭicca Samuppāda/Tilakkhana

What Is Dhammā­nu­dhamma Paṭi­patti?

1. The Pāli word dhammā­nu­dhammap­paṭi­patti (dhamma a­nu­dhamma ­paṭi­patti) is the combination of three words: dhamma, anudhamma, and paṭi­patti. In the previous post, we did an overview: "Dhamma – Different Meanings Depending on the Context." 

- Dhamma here is Buddha Dhamma. The "Mahāhatthipadopama Sutta (MN 28)" ends with the statement, "Yō Paṭiccasamuppādam passati, so Dhammam passati; yo Dhammaṁ passati so paṭiccasamuppādaṁ passatī”ti." That means, “One who sees paṭicca samuppāda sees the Dhamma; one who sees the Dhamma sees paṭicca samuppāda.” To understand Buddha Dhamma, one needs to know how future suffering arises via the paṭicca samuppāda process.
- We discussed "anudhamma" briefly in the previous post. Those are other aspects (one could say, subcategories) that fall under dhamma. There are four suttas that clarify "anudhamma" at a deeper level. They are "Anudhamma Sutta (SN 22.39)"  through "Catutthaanudhamma Sutta (SN 22. 42)" We will discuss them below. Simply stated, "anudhamma" means "according to Dhamma" or "according to paṭicca samuppāda."
- Paṭi­patti is conduct or practice.

Therefore, the literal translation of dhammā­nu­dhammap­paṭi­patti is to "live according to dhamma and anudhamma."

Requirements for the Sotapanna Stage

2. We listed the four requirements for someone to attain the Sōtapanna stage in a previous post, "Yoniso Manasikāra and Paṭicca Samuppāda." There we discussed the first three requirements.

- The first two requirements reflect that one must hear the "previously unknown teachings of the Buddha" from a Buddha or a true disciple of a Buddha who has understood those teachings. The framework of Buddha Dhamma can be stated in three inter-related ways: Four Noble Truths, Paṭicca Samuppāda, Tilakkhana.
- The third condition (yōniso manasikāra) is to UNDERSTAND those concepts, i.e., how the suffering-filled rebirth process continues because the true nature of this world is not understood. 
- The fourth condition (dhammā­nu­dhammap­paṭi­patti) is where that understanding becomes established permanently in mind. That happens when it becomes clear without a doubt that the word of 31 realms has the three characteristics of anicca, dukkha, anatta, and thus it is not possible to stop future suffering until stopping of the rebirth process. 

Anudhamma - At Deeper Level

3. As we discussed in the previous post, "anudhamma" -- at the primary level -- means "moral living." After comprehending the deeper Dhamma, one would realize that just moral living is not enough to stop suffering in future lives. 

- Deeper level anudhammā are concepts related to Paṭicca Samuppāda. Tilakkhana (anicca, dukkha, anatta) are those anudhammā.
- It is important to note that "moral living" is based on mundane versions of alobha, adosa, and amoha have "hidden ignorance." That is ignorance of Tilakkhana

4. Anudhamma at the deeper level is discussed in a series of four suttas, as mentioned in #1 above. Following is the English translation of the "Anudhamma Sutta (SN 22.39)":

- “A bhikkhu lives by the Dhamma (Dhammānudhammappaṭipadā), after he understands what is meant by Dhamma (i.e., Paṭicca Samuppāda). Then he lives without attaching (nibbidābahulo) to rupa, vedanā, saññā, saṅkhāra, viññāṇa. He fully understands the real nature of rupa, vedanā, saññā, saṅkhāra, viññāṇa and thus he is freed from rebirth, aging, and death; he is free from sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair; he is free from all suffering (through future rebirths).”
- The Pāli verse is in Ref. 1 below.
- The next three suttas in that series explain why a bhikkhu would not attach to (or crave) anything in this world (rupa, vedanā, saññā, saṅkhāra, viññāṇa)

Connection to Tilakkhana

5. The REASON why someone would not attach to (or crave) rupa, vedanā, saññā, saṅkhāra, viññāṇa is he has understood that they all have anicca, dukkha, anatta nature! That is explicitly stated in the three suttas of Ref. 2 through Ref. 4 below.

"Dutiya Anudhamma Sutta (SN 22.41)" states that such a bhikkhu would have seen the anicca nature of rupa, vedanā, saññā, saṅkhāra, viññāṇa (the five aggregates or pañcakkhandha.)
"Tatiya Anudhamma Sutta (SN 22.42)" states that such a bhikkhu would have seen the dukkha nature of rupa, vedanā, saññā, saṅkhāra, viññāṇa (the five aggregates or pañcakkhandha.)
"Catuttha Anudhamma Sutta (SN 22.43)" states that such a bhikkhu would have seen the anatta nature of rupa, vedanā, saññā, saṅkhāra, viññāṇa (the five aggregates or pañcakkhandha.)

Connection to the First Discourse - Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

6. We note that the Buddha is referring to the five aggregates (pañcakkhandha) above.

- Attaching to pañcakkhandha is pañcupādānakkhandha (pañca upādāna khandha). That is the root cause of future suffering.
- One would lose the craving for things in this world when he sees the dangers of such desires. As we have discussed, "this world" means rupa in this world and our mental impressions of them (vedanā, saññā, saṅkhāra, viññāṇa.) That is pañcupādānakkhandha.
- We have discussed the fact that the Buddha summarized suffering as "saṃkhittena pañcu­pādā­nak­khan­dhā dukkhā.” See, "Essence of Buddhism – In the First Sutta."
- The main task in studying Buddha Dhamma is to understand the truth of the above statement. There are many ways to tackle that.

Different Approaches

7. The purdhamma.net website is tailored to provide that understanding. I have presented it in several ways. The most recent approach started with the section, "Basic Framework of Buddha Dhamma": https://puredhamma.net/key-dhamma-conce ... ha-dhamma/ Then we proceeded to the next step: "Paṭicca Samuppāda, Tilakkhana, Four Noble Truths": https://puredhamma.net/paticca-samuppad ... le-truths/ All those posts are also at Dhamma Wheel. This current post is in the second section.

- In those sections, we discussed Tilakkhana (anicca, dukkha, anatta) or three characteristics of this world. We can summarize them as follows: Anicca means our expectation to get rid of suffering cannot be achieved within this world. Dukkha means what we perceive to be desirable in this world leads to suffering. Anatta means "therefore, any efforts to get rid of suffering would be in vain."
- Ignorance of Tilakkhana (avijjā) leads to unwise actions via saṅkhāra. In an 11-step process that leads to future births and, thus, the continuation of suffering. That process is Paṭicca Samuppāda. It describes how our efforts (saṅkhāra) based on avijjā WILL INEVITABLY lead to rebirth among the 31 realms. While some of those existences are mostly suffering-free, they are only temporary, AND the probability of such "good births" is very low. Most rebirths are in the suffering-filled four lowest realms (apāyās.)

Dhammā­nu­dhamma Paṭi­patti Leads to Nibbāna

8. The "Naḷakalāpī Sutta (SN 12.67)" has the following verse at the end (see Ref. 5 below): “If a bhikkhu is practicing for the purpose of release from aging-and-death via losing attachment (virāgāya) and cessation (nirodhāya), he can be called a bhikkhu who is practicing in accordance with the Dhamma (dhammānudhammappaṭipanno). If through such practice a bhikkhu has lost attachment (virāgāya) and attained cessation (nirodhāya), he can be called a bhikkhu who has attained Nibbāna in this very life.."

References

1. The "Anudhamma Sutta (SN 22.39)" states:

Dhammānudhammappaṭipannassa, bhikkhave, bhikkhuno ayam anudhammo hoti yaṁ rūpe nibbidābahulo vihareyya, vedanāya nibbidābahulo vihareyya, saññāya nibbidābahulo vihareyya, saṅkhāresu nibbidābahulo vihareyya, viññāṇe nibbidābahulo vihareyya. Yo rūpe nibbidābahulo viharanto, vedanāya … saññāya … saṅkhāresu nibbidābahulo viharanto, viññāṇe nibbidābahulo viharanto rūpaṁ parijānāti, vedanaṁ … saññaṁ … saṅkhāre … viññāṇaṁ parijānāti, so rūpaṁ parijānaṁ, vedanaṁ … saññaṁ … saṅkhāre … viññāṇaṁ parijānaṁ parimuccati rūpamhā, parimuccati vedanāya, parimuccati saññāya, parimuccati saṅkhārehi, parimuccati viññāṇamhā, parimuccati jātiyā jarāmaraṇena sokehi paridevehi dukkhehi domanassehi upāyāsehi, parimuccati dukkhasmāti vadāmī”ti.

2. The "Dutiya Anudhamma Sutta (SN 22.40)" states: “Dhammānudhammappaṭipannassa, bhikkhave, bhikkhuno ayam anudhammo hoti yaṁ rūpe aniccānupassī vihareyya …pe (vedanāya … saññāya … saṅkhāresu...viññāṇe aniccānupassī) … parimuccati dukkhasmāti vadāmī”ti.

3. The "Tatiya Anudhamma Sutta (SN 22.41)" states: “Dhammānudhammappaṭipannassa, bhikkhave, bhikkhuno ayam anudhammo hoti yaṁ rūpe dukkhānupassī vihareyya …pe (vedanāya … saññāya … saṅkhāresu...viññāṇe  dukkhānupassī)… parimuccati dukkhasmāti vadāmī”ti.

4. The "Catuttha Anudhamma Sutta (SN 22.42)" states (full version as in Ref.1): “Dhammānudhammappaṭipannassa, bhikkhave, bhikkhuno ayam anudhammo hoti yaṁ rūpe anattānupassī vihareyya, vedanāya … saññāya … saṅkhāresu … viññāṇe anattānupassī vihareyya. Yo rūpe anattānupassī viharanto …pe… rūpaṁ parijānāti, vedanaṁ … saññaṁ … saṅkhāre … viññāṇaṁ parijānāti, so rūpaṁ parijānaṁ, vedanaṁ … saññaṁ … saṅkhāre … viññāṇaṁ parijānaṁ parimuccati rūpamhā, parimuccati vedanāya, parimuccati saññāya, parimuccati saṅkhārehi, parimuccati viññāṇamhā, parimuccati jātiyā jarāmaraṇena sokehi paridevehi dukkhehi domanassehi upāyāsehi, parimuccati dukkhasmāti vadāmī”ti.

5. The verse from the "Naḷakalāpī Sutta (SN 12.67)" : "‘Jarāmaraṇassa ce, āvuso, bhikkhu nibbidāya virāgāya nirodhāya dhammaṁ deseti, dhammakathiko bhikkhūti alaṁvacanāya. Jarāmaraṇassa ce, āvuso, bhikkhu nibbidāya virāgāya nirodhāya paṭipanno hoti, dhammānudhammappaṭipanno bhikkhūti alaṁvacanāya. Jarāmaraṇassa ce, āvuso, bhikkhu nibbidā virāgā nirodhā anupādā vimutto hoti, diṭṭhadhammanibbānappatto bhikkhūti alaṁvacanāya."

6. I have discussed only a few suttā pertaining to this subject. Some other relevant suttā are: SN 12.16, 12.67; SN 22.115, 22.116; SN 35.155; SN 51.10; SN 55.25; Ud 6.1; MN 113; AN 4.6, 4.7, 4.97; AN 7.68; AN 8.25, 8.26, 8.62, 8.70, 8.78, 8.82, AN 10.83, DN 16, DN 29.
Lal
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal »

Distortion of Pāli Keywords in Paṭicca Samuppāda

Distortion of Pāli Keywords in Paṭicca Samuppāda is quite common in current English translations. I will analyze two critical suttas to make that clear.

First Two Suttas in Udāna

1. The suttas in the Udāna section are the "joyful utterances" of the Buddha and many of his disciples. Let us look at the first two suttas in Udāna. They describe how the Buddha comprehended anulōma and patilōma Paṭicca Samuppāda during the night of the Enlightenment. First, I will reproduce the English translations of the two suttas verbatim.

The following verses are from the first sutta. The Pāli version of the corresponding verses are in Ref. 1 :

"In the first part of the night, he reflected on dependent origination in forward order:

When this exists, that is, due to the arising of this, that arises. That is: Ignorance is a condition for choices. Choices are a condition for consciousness. Consciousness is a condition for name and form. Name and form are conditions for the six sense fields. The six sense fields are conditions for contact. Contact is a condition for feeling. Feeling is a condition for craving. Craving is a condition for grasping. Grasping is a condition for continued existence. Continued existence is a condition for rebirth. Rebirth is a condition for old age and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress to come to be. That is how this entire mass of suffering originates."

The complete English translation: "Upon Awakening (1st)" :https://suttacentral.net/ud1.1/en/sujat ... ript=latinThe second translation there is almost the same: "The First Discourse about the Awakening Tree": https://suttacentral.net/ud1.1/en/anand ... ript=latin

2. The following verses are from the second sutta. The Pāli version of the corresponding verses are in Ref. 2 :

"In the second part of the night, he reflected on dependent origination in reverse order:

When this doesn't exist, that is not; due to the cessation of this, that ceases. That is: When ignorance ceases, choices cease. When choices cease, consciousness ceases. When consciousness ceases, name and form cease. When name and form cease, the six sense fields cease. When the six sense fields cease, contact ceases. When contact ceases, feeling ceases. When feeling ceases, craving ceases. When craving ceases, grasping ceases. When grasping ceases, continued existence ceases. When continued existence ceases, rebirth ceases. When rebirth ceases, old age and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress cease. That is how this entire mass of suffering ceases."

The complete English translation: "Upon Awakening (2nd)": https://suttacentral.net/ud1.2/en/sujat ... ript=latin The second translation there is almost the same: "The Second Discourse about the Awakening Tree": https://suttacentral.net/ud1.2/en/anand ... ript=latin

Overview of the Two Suttas

3. Those two suttas summarize the key findings of the Buddha upon his Enlightenment.

- The first sutta describes how future suffering arises via future rebirths. It all starts with the step, "avijjā paccayā saṅkhārā."
- The second sutta explains that removal of ignorance from a mind leads to the stopping of future rebirths.

4. Both English translations of the second sutta are blatantly incorrect. BuBuddha'sind became free of any ignorance (avijjā) upon Enlightenment that night. Does that mean he stopped all the subsequent steps as stated in the translation of #2 above?

- If so, he would not have generated any saṅkhāra from the moment of attaining Enlightenment (Buddhahood.) Vedanā and saññā are in ALL types of saṅkhāra. Does that mean he would not feel anything or would not be able to perceive and identify anything?
- The literal word-by-word translation is blatantly wrong for all the steps in the second sutta.
- The cessation of those steps would also hold for any Arahant since they have no trace of avijjā left in their minds!

Insane Discussions in Discussion Forums

5. There is a recent ongoing discussion at Dhamma Wheel: "Do Arhats experience contact with their sixfold sense media? What about vedanā?": viewtopic.php?p=655293#p655293 It is a clear example of the confusion caused by such translations. The participants are understandably confused by the above translation of the second sutta in #2 above.

- The translation in #2, without a doubt, says that when avijjā is not there, choices (saṅkhāra), consciousness, name and form, six sense fields, contact (with the sense fields), feeling, craving, grasping (upādāna), continued existence (bhava), rebirth, and the entire mass of suffering ceases.
- We all agree that the Buddha and Arahants do not have even a trace of avijjā (ignorance about the Four Noble Truths) left.
- Then, according to the translations in #2 above, they would not generate any more saṅkhāra. They do not experience the six sensory facilities (i.e., don't hear, taste, smell, touch, or think) and will not feel anything. That means they would essentially not be living!
- On the contrary, we know that the Buddha lived for 45 years after Enlightenment. He experienced all six sensory faculties, used them optimally, and had the best mind. He was able to recall any event in the past as far as he desired. But he also felt all types of vedanā, including bodily dukkha vedanā (he had back problems and once was injured by Devadatta)

6. So, where is the problem? Is that second sutta wrong?

- Both suttas are perfectly fine. Such problems arise when translators start translating Pāli suttas word-by-word without paying attention (or not understanding) to the basic concepts in Buddha Dhamma.
- As I have repeatedly emphasized, each Pāli word (especially in deep suttas) needs to be handled in the context of the discussed issue.  We run into similar situations, even in English. The word "park" means two different things in the same sentence, "She will park the car so we can walk in the park."

Sutta Interpretation – Uddēsa, Niddēsa, Paṭiniddēsa

7. The steps in Paṭicca Samuppāda (and those in the reverse or the Patiloma Paṭicca Samuppāda) are in the "utterance (uddesa)" form. That is to recite the 11 steps.

- Those steps need explanations in either the niddēsa (brief descriptions) or the paṭiniddēsa (detailed explanations.) Details at "Sutta Interpretation – Uddēsa, Niddēsa, Paṭiniddēsa": https://puredhamma.net/sutta-interpreta ... Diniddesa/
- There are many verses like that in the Tipiṭaka. Another is "Ye dhammā hetuppabhavā, Tesaṃ hētuṃ tathāgato āha; Tesañca yo nirōdhō, Evaṃvādī mahāsamaṇō.” Upatissa (Ven. Sariputta before becoming a bhikkhu) attained the Sotapanna stage just by hearing the "uddesa version." Of course, he was the chief disciple of the Buddha and had the sharpest mind next to the Buddha.
- For a few other people at the time of the Buddha, the niddēsa version would have been enough to understand the meaning of that verse.
- However, that verse needs to be explained in detail for most people, i.e., the paṭiniddēsa version is required. Most current English translations provide word-by-word translations of that “uddēsa version” without any explanation. That can have disastrous outcomes, as illustrated by the translation of the second sutta in #2 above.

Niddēsa and Paṭiniddēsa Versions of Some Steps in Paṭicca Samuppāda

8. I have explained those 11 steps in Paṭicca Samuppāda in many posts. Below I will briefly state the correct interpretations and will provide a selected relevant post. It is not possible to discuss even a single term with a single essay.

- First, saṅkhāra in the step “avijjā paccayā saṅkhāra" refers to "abhisaṅkhāra." “Paṭiccasamuppāda Vibhaṅga” (https://suttacentral.net/vb6/pli/ms?lay ... ript=latin) explains the step “avijjā paccayā saṅkhāra” as, “Tattha katame avijjā paccayā saṅkhārā? Puññābhisaṅkhāro, apuññābhisaṅkhāro, āneñjābhisaṅkhāro.” Translated: "What is meant by 'avijjā paccayā saṅkhārā?' That means Puññābhisaṅkhāra, apuññābhisaṅkhāra, āneñjābhisaṅkhāra.” For details, see "Sankhāra – What It Really Means": https://puredhamma.net/living-dhamma/na ... lly-means/
- Abhisaṅkhāra leads to the cultivation of "kamma viññāna," which are different from cakkhu viññāna, sota viññāna, etc. The latter are the six sensory fields, which are "vipāka viññāna."
- Therefore, an Arahant would have the six sensory fields intact (contrary to the translation in #2 above) but would not generate kamma viññāna. See, "Vinñāṇa – What It Really Means": https://puredhamma.net/living-dhamma/na ... lly-means/
- Nāmarupa in the step "viññāṇa paccayā nāmarūpa" is a bit harder to explain. See: "Kamma Viññāṇa and Nāmarūpa Paricceda Ñāṇa": https://puredhamma.net/living-dhamma/na ... ceda-nana/ I may get to address all these terms again, but let us finish our overview.

9. In the next step, "salāyatana" does not refer to the "six sense fields" but only when those sensory fields (indriya) are used as "āyatana." For example, an Arahant would have "cakkhu indriya," i.e., he will be able to see just like anyone else. But an Arahant would not use eyes for pleasure-seeking, and thus it will not become "cakkhu āyatana" (or "cakkhāyatana.") See, "How Do Sense Faculties Become Internal Āyatana?": https://puredhamma.net/dhamma-and-scien ... l-ayatana/

- The above becomes clear when we look at the next step, "saḷāyatana paccayā phasso." Here, "phassa" means "samphassa." The contact between cakkhu and rupa is "phassa," and that leads to "seeing" or "cakkhu viññāna." Details at "Indriya Make Phassa and Āyatana Make Samphassa": https://puredhamma.net/dhamma-and-scien ... samphassa/
- As I explained in that post, "samphassa" means "contact of the mind with lobha, dosa, moha (defilements in mind called anusaya.) Such "samphassa" then lead to "samphassa-jā-vedanā." That is a type of vedanā made up by a defiled mind. Therefore, the niddēsa version of "phassa paccayā vedanā" is "samphassa paccayā samphassa-jā-vedanā."
- It is samphassa-jā-vedanā that leads to taṇhā in the step "vedanā paccayā taṇhā." Therefore, not all vedanā lead to taṇhā. It is only those samphassa-jā-vedanā that lead to taṇhā.

Correct Explanation of the Second Sutta


10. Now, one should get at least an idea of the real meaning of the second sutta.

- A living Arahant would not generate abhisaṅkhāra (which involve lobha, dosa, moha to various degrees.) But an Arahant can think, speak, and do bodily actions. Those involve mano, vaci, and kāya saṅkhāra. But they will not become abhisaṅkhāra!
- Living Arahants can see, hear, etc., as anyone else. Thus, they will have all six sensory faculties. But they will not use them seeking sensory pleasures, i.e., they will not become "āyatana."
- Each sensory event will have vedanā cetasika. That means an Arahant can "feel" just like anyone else. But there will be no "samphassa-jā-vedanā."
- Of course, since there is no taṇhā, the rest of the steps will not materialize, i.e., there will be no upādāna, bhava, or jāti (future rebirths.)

11. Any rebirth (jāti) leads to "old age and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress," as stated in #1. Since an Arahant would not be reborn, all such suffering will not arise. That is the "parinibbāna" (or "full Nibbāna") reached by an Arahant at the death of the physical body.

- However, it is not advisable to focus on "ending rebirths" at the beginning of the Path. If a child thinks about getting a Ph.D. in nuclear physics, she will be quickly discouraged. She must first go through the primary, secondary schools. One's first goal should be the Sotapanna stage, and even then, one must first learn the basic concepts. See, "Is It Necessary for a Buddhist to Eliminate Sensual Desires?" : https://puredhamma.net/living-dhamma/tr ... l-desires/Still, it is a good idea to have the "big picture" laid out by the Buddha (and the ultimate goal of Nibbāna) in the back of mind.

Summary

12. We can reach two critical conclusions.

(i) Paṭicca Samuppāda IS Buddha Dhamma. Simply stating the 11 steps is useless. A detailed explanation of each step is necessary.
(ii) There is danger in translating Pāli verses word-by-word without understanding their meanings that depend on the context.

- It is sad to go through discussions in various "Buddhist discussion forums" to"see how many people struggle to figure out the true meanings/concepts in multiple suttas. But they run into problems because most translations are wrong, and there are apparent contradictions.
- This "mindless word-by-word translation process" has been going on for years. Just read old posts at Dhamma Wheel. Many topics have been repeatedly discussed, citing the identical wrong translations! But those translations are not consistent with other translations (by even the same author) because the translators do not understand the meanings of keywords in the context of some suttas. Many words have different meanings depending on the context. For example, "viññāna" DOES NOT mean the same thing everywhere! That is the problem. See my recent post, "Dhamma – Different Meanings Depending on the Context."
- It is time for those translators to come to their senses and learn the genuine and pure Buddha Dhamma and not continue with cranking out meaningless translations!

References

1. Relevant verse from "Paṭhamabodhi Sutta (Ud 1.1)" (https://suttacentral.net/ud1.1/pli/ms?l ... ript=latin): 

"Atha kho bhagavā tassa sattāhassa accayena tamhā samādhimhā vuṭṭhahitvā rattiyā paṭhamaṁ yāmaṁ paṭiccasamuppādaṁ anulomaṁ sādhukaṁ manasākāsi:

Iti imasmiṁ sati idaṁ hoti, imassuppādā idaṁ uppajjati, yadidaṁ—avijjā paccayā saṅkhārā, saṅkhāra paccayā viññāṇaṁ, viññāṇa paccayā nāmarūpaṁ, nāmarūpa paccayā saḷāyatanaṁ, saḷāyatana paccayā phasso, phassa paccayā vedanā, vedanā paccayā taṇhā, taṇhā paccayā upādānaṁ, upādāna paccayā bhavo, bhava paccayā jāti, jāti paccayā jarāmaraṇaṁ sokaparidevadukkhadomanassupāyāsā sambhavanti. Evametassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa samudayo hotī”ti.
"

2. Relevant verse from "Dutiyabodhi Sutta (Ud 1.2)"(https://suttacentral.net/ud1.2/pli/ms?l ... ript=latin):

"Atha kho bhagavā tassa sattāhassa accayena tamhā samādhimhā vuṭṭhahitvā rattiyā majjhimaṁ yāmaṁ paṭiccasamuppādaṁ paṭilomaṁ sādhukaṁ manasākāsi:

Iti imasmiṁ asati idaṁ na hoti, imassa nirodhā idaṁ nirujjhati, yadidaṁ—avijjā nirodhā saṅkhāranirodho, saṅkhāra nirodhā viññāṇa nirodho, viññāṇa nirodhā nāmarūpa nirodho, nāmarūpa nirodhā saḷāyatana nirodho, saḷāyatana nirodhā phassa nirodho, phassa nirodhā vedanā nirodho, vedanā nirodhā taṇhā nirodho, taṇhā nirodhā upādāna nirodho, upādāna nirodhā bhava nirodho, bhava nirodhā jāti nirodho, jāti nirodhā jarāmaraṇaṁ sokaparidevadukkhadomanassupāyāsā nirujjhanti. Evametassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa nirodho hotī”ti.
Lal
Posts: 665
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:39 am

Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal »

Saṅkhāra - Should Not be Translated as a Single Word

Saṅkhāra is a critical Pāli word with different meanings depending on the context. It should not be translated with a single word like choices, processes, activity, mental formations, etc., as commonly done these days.

Introduction

1. In the previous post, I referred to a couple of English translations of two key suttas. They translated "saṅkhāra" as "choices" and "mental formations." See, "Distortion of Pāli Keywords in Paṭicca Samuppāda."

- According to those translations, ALL saṅkhāra would stop from arising if a mind is devoid of avijjā. In the two English translations quoted in the above post, "avijjā nirodhā saṅkhāra nirodho" is translated as "When ignorance ceases, choices cease" and "from the cessation of ignorance, there is the cessation of volitional processes."
- We all know that the Buddha's mind became free of avijjā upon attaining the Buddhahood. But then he lived for 45 years. Did not the Buddha generate any saṅkhāra during that whole time?
- As discussed below, one cannot think, speak, or do anything without generating saṅkhāra!
- That itself would clearly illustrate the dangers of mindlessly translating Pāli suttas word by word without understanding the meaning of the sutta in the context of the topic. 

Several Types of Saṅkhāra

2. The "Cūḷavedalla Sutta (MN 44)" discusses three types of saṅkhāra: kāya saṅkhāra, vacī saṅkhāra, citta saṅkhāra. The last type is (almost) the same as mano saṅkhāra.

- In the English translations of this sutta at Sutta Central, three translators translate those three types of saṅkhāra in three different ways: "Physical, verbal, and mental processes," "bodily process, the speech process, the mental process" and "physical activity, verbal activity, and mental activity."
- However, all three types of saṅkhāra are MENTAL; they arise in mind. They are NOT physical processes, but they can control physical processes.
- Kāya saṅkhāra arises in mind and controls bodily actions. Vaci saṅkhāra also occur in the mind and may lead to speech. All three types of saṅkhāra appear in mind.
- It is NOT POSSIBLE to find a single English word representing the different meanings of saṅkhāra in various suttas. We will discuss another way to categorize saṅkhāra below, but let us first briefly examine these three types of saṅkhāra.

Any Thought Has Mano Saṅkhāra

3. In the Cūḷavedalla Sutta (MN 44), citta (mano) saṅkhāra defined as, "vedanā and saññā." See Ref. 1 below.

- In most English translations, vedanā and saññā are feelings and perception (or recognition).
- But vedanā is more like "sensing an external sensory input." Saññā is recognition but includes one's biases for such a sensory event.
- For example, tree roots feel vedanā, and the leaves of a tree feel the sunlight. Each can respond to such stimuli. For instance, we know that a plant "turns" towards sunlight over time.
- However, plants DO NOT have saññā. Only sentient beings (like people and animals) have saññā. For example, we know that a dog becomes joyful when seeing its owner but is aggressive towards strangers. A dog can identify individuals. Cittā (thoughts) arise in a dg with vedanā and saññā.

4. Therefore, only living beings generate mano saṅkhāra. In other words, mano saṅkhāra are in any citta ("thought.")

- Abhidhamma clarifies this issue. Any citta (loosely translated as a thought) will ALWAYS arise with seven cetasika (mental factors.) Two of those seven are vedanā and saññā. Therefore, any "thought" is ALWAYS associated with vedanā and saññā.
- In other words, it is not possible to think without generating mano saṅkhāra!

Vaci Saṅkhāra That Arise in the Mind Lead to Speech

5. The Cūḷavedalla Sutta (MN 44) defines vaci saṅkhāra as, "vitakka vicārā vacī saṅkhāro"; see Ref. 1.

- Vitakka and vicāra are two cetasika that MAY ARISE in a citta. They arise when we consciously start thinking about something. Simply put, vitakka means to "turn attention to an ārammaṅa" and vicāra is to "stay on that ārammaṅa to investigate." 
- When we do that, we either "talk to ourselves" or "speak out." Both involve vaci saṅkhāra. See, "Correct Meaning of Vacī Sankhāra": https://puredhamma.net/key-dhamma-conce ... -sankhara/
- Since the Buddha spoke to others for 45 years after attaining the Buddhahood, it is clear that he generated a lot of vaci saṅkhāra.

All Bodily Actions Are Based on Kāya Saṅkhāra That arise in the Mind

6. Kāya saṅkhāra is defined as, "Assāsa passāsā kāya saṅkhāro" in Ref. 1. That means, "breathing in and out is due to kāya saṅkhāra."

- All bodily activities are due to kāya saṅkhāra. Breathing is just one aspect. The mind controls breathing, but we don't need to breathe consciously. Then why is it called a type of saṅkhāra?
- Again, we need to refer to Abhidhamma. All mental activities involve citta vithi. A single citta does not arise by itself. Cittas ALWAYS occur in a series of citta (citta vithi). However, we "feel" only those citta vithi that contain javana citta. Those citta vithi that maintain breathing do not have javana citta, and they are atiparittārammana citta vithi (i.e., "weak citta vithi").
- The fact that citta vithi are involved in breathing becomes apparent when you think about asthma patients. They need to breathe willfully, i.e., they need to "make an effort to breathe."
- That sutta mentioned because it happens all the time, except when unconscious. When unconscious, citta vithi cannot arise, and kammic energy keeps the body alive.
- The critical point is that ANY body movement involves kāya saṅkhāraTo write, walk, run, or move any body part, we must do that with kāya saṅkhāra.

Avijjā Is Not Involved in Most Saṅkhāra!

7. Therefore, we generate numerous saṅkhāra during the day. That was true for the Buddha and Arahants as well. As long as one lives in this world, one will generate kāya, vaci, and mano saṅkhāra.

- That is why it is foolish to translate "avijjā nirodhā saṅkhāra nirodho" as "When ignorance ceases, choices cease" or "from the cessation of ignorance, there is the cessation of volitional processes" in the two translations cited in the post, "Distortion of Pāli Keywords in Paṭicca Samuppāda." - We can also see that the English words "choices" and "volitional processes" are not applicable for some types of saṅkhāra. For example, there is no need to make "choices" or "mental formations (consciously)" to breathe, but breathing involves kāya saṅkhāra.
- Those translators don't seem to realize that only abhisaṅkhāra will cease to arise in an Arahant. An Arahant would not have a trace of avijjā but obviously would generate all three types of saṅkhāra discussed above!
- That type of translation distorts Buddha Dhamma! I have repeatedly pointed out that it leads to much confusion in discussion forums. Even after I wrote the previous post last week, some people at the Dhamma Wheel discussion forum (who may not have read my post) still seem to have the same confusion.
- Now, let us discuss another way to categorize saṅkhāra that is directly relevant to "avijjā paccayā saṅkhāra." These types are saṅkhāra are abhisaṅkhāra, some of which (apuññābhisaṅkhāra) can lead to "bad kamma vipaka" as various forms of suffering. Some kinds of abhisaṅkhāra (puññābhisaṅkhāra) can lead to temporary relief from suffering (and even bouts of happiness) but will NEVER lead to a permanent end of suffering.

Akusala-Mula Paṭicca Samuppāda Involves Abhisankhara

8. Saṅkhāra in the step “avijjā paccayā saṅkhāra” refers to “abhisaṅkhāra.” “Paṭiccasamuppāda Vibhaṅga” (https://suttacentral.net/vb6/pli/ms?lay ... ript=latin) explains the step “avijjā paccayā saṅkhāra” as, “Tattha katame avijjā paccayā saṅkhārā? Puññābhisaṅkhāro, apuññābhisaṅkhāro, āneñjābhisaṅkhāro.”

Translated: "What is meant by 'avijjā paccayā saṅkhārā?' That means Puññābhisaṅkhāra, apuññābhisaṅkhāra, āneñjābhisaṅkhāra.” For details, see "Sankhāra – What It Really Means": https://puredhamma.net/living-dhamma/na ... lly-means/

- Such abhisankhara can be kāya, vaci, or mano saṅkhāra that we discussed above. But only a part of kāya, vaci, and mano saṅkhāra are abhisankhara.
- In other words, abhisankhara lead to kamma done with lobha, dosa, moha. They are dasa akusala (three with the body, four with speech, and three with the mind). They are kāya kamma, vaci kamma, and mano kamma. See, "Ten Immoral Actions (Dasa Akusala)" :https://puredhamma.net/three-levels-of- ... a-akusala/

9. Then a question arises: How can puññābhisaṅkhāra (puñña abhisankhara or MORAL ACTIONS) be done with lobha, dosa, moha?

- Puññābhisaṅkhāra leads to puñña kamma that can bring "good results" in this world. 
- That means such "good kamma" leads to "good kamma vipaka" (like health and wealth) during such "good existences." Stronger ones can lead to rebirth in "good realms."
- However, such benefits are only temporary. Such births in "good realms" are rare. Even if we think we only do good deeds in this life, we may have done many "bad deeds" in past lives, and those can still bring rebirths in "bad realms." Puñña kamma become kusala kamma (that lead to Nibbana) ONLY with the comprehension of Tilakkhana; see #11 below.

Examples

10. As we already noted, breathing takes place via kāya saṅkhāra. Raising one's hand involves kāya saṅkhāra. Eating food involves kāya saṅkhāra. All these activities are NECESSARY to live life. We cannot categorize them as "good" or "bad." Those are kammically neutral activities.

- On the other hand, hitting another person with anger involves the apuññābhisaṅkhāra version of kāya saṅkhāra. So does stealing or sexual misconduct. Telling a lie is done with the apuññābhisaṅkhāra version of vaci saṅkhāra.
- Preparing a meal and offering that to a bhikkhu or a homeless person involves the puññābhisaṅkhāra version of kāya saṅkhāra. Teaching Buddha Dhamma (or anything valuable) to others involves kāya and vaci saṅkhāra that belong to the category of puññābhisaṅkhāra.
- Having a greedy or angry mindset is a mano saṅkhāra belonging to the apuññābhisaṅkhāra version. The same is true for having the ten types of wrong views. The opposites of those belong to the puññābhisaṅkhāra category.

Doing Good Deeds (Puñña Kamma) Is Not Enough to Stop Future Suffering

11. The point is that while "good deeds (puñña kamma)" can lead to periods of happiness in good realms, that would not remove the possibility of future rebirths in the apāyās.  

- That is another way to say this is: "rebirths the apāyās will stop only upon understanding the dangers in the rebirth process, i.e., that this world is of anicca, dukkha, anatta nature (Tilakkhana.) That is when one becomes a Sotapanna. Attempts to overcome past "bad deeds' by ONLY engaging in "good deeds" or puñña kamma will not be successful. However, it is necessary to engage in puñña kamma to gain that insight.
- Instead, (while engaging in puñña kamma with puññābhisaṅkhāra) one MUST try to understand the three characteristics of this world of 31 realms. That is the ONLY WAY to avoid severe suffering in the future.
- Understanding Tilakkhana leads to the cultivation of "kusala-mula Paṭicca Samuppāda," which leads to various stages of Nibbāna. See, "Kusala-Mula Paṭicca Samuppāda" :https://puredhamma.net/paticca-samuppad ... samuppada/

Difference Between Puñña Kamma and Kusala Kamma

12. It is essential to understand the difference between puñña kamma and kusala kamma. Puñña kammā BECOME kusala kammā IF one comprehends Tilakkhana!.

- Puññābhisaṅkhāra lead to puñña kamma.
- The same puñña kamma done with the comprehension of Tilakkhana are NOT puññābhisaṅkhāra. They can be called "kusala-mula saṅkhāra."
- That is why the Kusala-mula Paṭicca Samuppāda process (that leads to Nibbāna) starts with "kusala-mula paccayā saṅkhāra."
- For details, see, "Kusala and Akusala Kamma, Puñña and Pāpa Kamma":https://puredhamma.net/three-levels-of- ... nna-kamma/
- For those unfamiliar with these terms, it may take a repeated reading of relevant posts to understand these concepts. Things will fall into place once one can get a foothold (like in a jigsaw puzzle).

Reference

1. In the "Cūḷavedalla Sutta (MN 44)" (https://suttacentral.net/mn44/pli/ms?la ... ript=latin):

Tayome, āvuso visākha, saṅkhārā—kāya saṅkhāro, vacī saṅkhāro, citta saṅkhāro”ti.

“Katamo panāyye, kāya saṅkhāro, katamo vacī saṅkhāro, katamo citta saṅkhāro”ti?

“Assāsapassāsā kho, āvuso visākha, kāya saṅkhāro, vitakka vicārā vacī saṅkhāro, saññā ca vedanā ca citta saṅkhāro”ti.
Noble Sangha
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Noble Sangha »

I wonder if anyone even reads these posts or if they have an open mind in regards to what is shared here.

Much appreciation and merits Lal for doing your best to share another way of learning/seeing and understanding the Buddha Dhamma.

May we all living beings attain the supreme bliss of Nibbana.
Lal
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal »

Thank you, Bhante.

I also saw your post at the other thread, pointing out the difference between the "Sāvaka Buddha" (an Arahant) and "Buddha Sāvaka" (anyone from the Sotapanna Anugāmi stage to an Arahant; can also be called "Ariya Sāvaka"). Good explanation. I hope you will participate in more discussions.
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal »

I received an email from a reader pointing out #3 of my recent post, "Saṅkhāra – Should Not be Translated as a Single Word" is not quite correct. The correct version is as follows:

3. In the Cūḷavedalla Sutta (MN 44), citta (mano) saṅkhāra defined as, “vedanā and saññā.” See Ref. 1 below.

- In most English translations, vedanā and saññā are feelings and perception (or recognition).
- But vedanā is more like “sensing an external sensory input.” Saññā is the recognition of the sensory input (but includes one’s biases for such a sensory event.)
- For example, tree roots feel vedanā (of nutrients in the soil), and the leaves of a tree feel the sunlight. Each can respond to such stimuli. For instance, we know that a plant “turns” towards sunlight over time, and tree roots “pull in” suitable nutrients.
- Therefore, plants and trees have a basic form of vēdanā and saññā. A plant can “feel” when sunlight falls on it (vēdanā), and recognize that as sunlight (saññā). However, a plant CANNOT generate saṅkhāra (in thoughts or cittā) about those vēdanā and saññā. I had explained it correctly in a previously post, “Contact Between Āyatana Leads to Vipāka Viññāna.”: viewtopic.php?f=46&t=26749&start=1095
- Only sentient beings (like people and animals) can generate saṅkhāra. For example, we know that a dog becomes joyful when seeing its owner but is aggressive towards strangers. A dog can generate lobha (in this case affection for the owner) or dosa (in this case aversion toward the stranger.)
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by ssasny »

To say that a plant can have vedanā (btw, I don't think it's possible to have a long e vowel in Pāli), seems strange, as there would be an awareness by the plant of sukha vedanā, dukkha vedanā, or adukkhamasukha vedanā. This is different than just reacting to sunlight. (e.g. heliotropism)
Also, 'recognizing' it's sunlight (as opposed to electric light?) would require a fairly high level of discernment.

But I suppose it's possible. Powers' recent book The Overstory shows us that trees are more sentient than many have thought. And perhaps saṅkhārā are possible. We now know trees can communicate with their neighbors and lend aid if the community is under attack.

If knowing plants possess the 5 aggregates or not helps to lead a person towards liberation is a separate question, however.
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by S. Johann »

Huge and patient effort here since a long time, good householder Lal, trying to 'nail' down saññas to possible open up the path. Sadhu and Mudita, not to forget that listening to the Dhamma but also teaching it, when proper attention, leading to 'giving up' arises, are stright ways to liberation amoung also citing, pondering, or certain kammathan.

May there be also much of two-fold purification contact all the way down, toward the lasting escape.

And what is the cause, condition, that proper attention arise? What it's effect?
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal »

To say that a plant can have vedanā (btw, I don't think it's possible to have a long e vowel in Pāli), seems strange, as there would be an awareness by the plant of sukha vedanā, dukkha vedanā, or adukkhamasukha vedanā.
The suttas describe those three types of vedana in regards to sentient beings.
- However, there is a deeper aspect of vedana that applies to things like plants.
- The Paticca Samuppada cycle separates into two branches at the "vinnana paccaya namarupa" step. One branch is for sentient beings and the other for things like plants.
- But it is too early to get into that discussion. I will not say anymore on that subject for a while. We have many more things to get clarified first.
P.S. Those who have a decent understanding of Abhidhamma can get an idea about my above statements by reading the following two posts:
"The Origin of Matter – Suddhāṭṭhaka: :https://puredhamma.net/abhidhamma/the-o ... dhatthaka/
"Buddhism and Evolution – Aggañña Sutta (DN 27)" : https://puredhamma.net/sutta-interpreta ... nna-sutta/
If knowing plants possess the 5 aggregates or not helps to lead a person towards liberation is a separate question, however.
- Plants DO NOT have the five aggregates. As I explained in both those posts, sankhara generation (and thus sankhara and vinnana aggregates are ONLY for sentient beings).
- But it is true that learning about the vedana of plants does not help much toward liberation. However, it is part of Paticca Samuppada. As the Buddha explained in the verse "Manō pubbangamā dhammā.." EVERYTHING in this world has the mind as the precursor.

I am afraid I don't understand the following question from S. Johann (or is it just a comment?):
And what is the cause, condition, that proper attention arise? What it's effect?
- If there is a question, please clarify it a bit more.
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S. Johann
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by S. Johann »

Nothing more of benefit, what ever skilful engaged, good householder, then yonisomanasikāra. And therefore it was asked, therefore there was it's try to touch. Of what one takes on, tends to, turns toward, there one arives. Taken on the wrong, of what isn't a refuge, everturning on becoming, aging, decay. Again, here within the 'nailing down' on saññas: What's the reason, the cause, for yonisomanasikāra arising, the line of chains, and what the effect, once turning there? May good householder do as he feels fit with it.
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal »

Kamma and Saṅkhāra, Cetanā and Sañcetanā

Kamma and saṅkhāra are related. Kāya, vaci, and mano saṅkhāra with cetanā lead to kāya, vaci, and mano kamma. However, only kāya, vaci, and mano abhisaṅkhāra with sañcetanā lead to akusala kamma and are responsible for the rebirth process.

Introduction

1. Most people use the word "kamma" to indicate "bad deeds" or even "results of past bad deeds." When something bad happens they say, "Oh, this is my kamma."

- But kamma is a generic word that means "action." That could mean moving the body, speaking, or thinking (kāya, vaci, and mano kamma.) Kamma can be of mainly three types:
(i) Neutral kamma: like using a knife to cut vegetables or asking directions from someone.
(ii)  Akusala (or pāpa) kamma: e.g., stabbing someone with a knife or telling a lie with the intention to make money.
(iii) Kusala (or puñña) kamma: e.g., using a knife to cut loose a trapped animal or teaching something useful to others.
- All three types are done with a certain intention. All of us need to engage in various types of kamma of the first type in our daily lives. The "intention" in the second type is bad or immoral, while that in the third type is good or moral.
- The first type of kamma yields results that do not have "kammic consequences." The second/third type can bring "bad/good results" at that time or in the future.
- The "intention" is connected to the cetanā cetasika (mental factor) per a verse in the Nibbhedika Sutta (AN 6.63). Let us discuss that next.

Cētanā Is In Every Citta!

2. "Nibbedhika Sutta (AN 6.63)" is a vital sutta that explains many keywords in Buddha Dhamma. Toward the end, it defines kamma as follows: "Cetanā, I tell you, is kamma. With intention, one does kamma by way of body, speech, and mind." See Ref. 1.

- Now, cetanā is a "universal cetasika" meaning it is in every citta. This is a CRITICAL observation. We don't do good or bad kamma at all times. Thus, kamma means any bodily activity, speech, or even thoughts. For example, we saw that even breathing happens with cittā.
- Therefore, even any action like lifting an arm is a kamma. One may also speak and think with the intention of getting some task done that would NOT have morally good or morally bad intentions. Those would NOT belong to akusala, pāpa, puñña, or kusala kamma. They are just kamma. Such "neutral kamma" would have just cetanā cetasika in cittās without sobhana (good) or asobhana (bad) cetasika.

3. Any action, speech, thought would have kammically-neutral kāya, vaci, mano saṅkhāra associated with them.

- If one does that task with lobha, dosa, moha, then it is an akusala (or pāpa) kamma. Another subtle way to say that is any action done with chandarāga (with a mindset that says worldly pleasure are worthwhile pursuing) have at least a trace of akusala nature.
- If a particular activity involves generosity, compassion, etc., it is a puñña kamma. A kusala kamma is a "better version" of a puñña kamma done with an understanding of Tilakkhana. In some places in the Tipitaka, puñña kamma done without an understanding of Tilakkhana are referred to as, "kāmāvacara kusala kamma." That means those are "good kamma" done with the expectation of "better rebirths/good vipāka" in the higher realms of the kāma loka (human and Deva realms.)
- The same"good deeds (kamma)" are done by someone with the comprehension of the Four Noble Truths/Paṭicca Samuppāda/Tilakkhana, they would be pure kusala kamma. Such kusala kamma are done WITHOUT expectations for worldly benefits, but ONLY with the expectation of attaining Nibbāna and, thus, stopping the suffering-filled rebirth process.

What Is Cētanā?

4. Cētanā is a cetasika that is in every citta. There are 7 such "universal cetasika" that is in every citta: Phassa (contact with an (ārammaṇa);   vēdanā (feeling);  saññā (perception);  cētanā (putting together all suitable mental factors); Ekaggata (One-pointedness);  jivitindriya (life faculty); manasikāra (memory.)

- A citta vithi arises when a new ārammaṇa comes in. That contact with the new ārammaṇa is phassa. The mind "feels" that (vedana) and recognizes it (saññā) with the help of the manasikara cetasika that can recall similar past events. Ekaggata helps keep the mind focused on that ārammaṇa.
- That is a very complex process that happens within a billionth of a second (lifetime of a citta.) See, "Amazingly Fast Time Evolution of a Thought (Citta)." (https://puredhamma.net/abhidhamma/essen ... ght-citta/) It is critical to read that post to understand this basic process.
- Now we can begin to see the role of the cetanā cetasika. If the ārammaṇa is mind-pleasing, for example, lobha (greed) can arise in the mind. When the cetanā cetasika "puts together the citta" now it becomes a "lobha citta." On the other hand, seeing an enemy would generate dosa (anger), and the corresponding cittas would be angry cittas because cetanā would incorporate the dosa cetasika to the cittas.
- Going back to the types of kamma in #1 above, now we can make sense of the role of the cetanā cetasika. The "intention" comes from the types of cetasika that arise in the mind based on ārammaṇa. Since it is the cetanā cetasika that "constructs" a citta, those added cetasika will dictate the "intention." This is a CRITICAL point to understand. I highly recommend reading the above-suggested post and the links in that post.

Kammic Energy Arises In the Mind

5. As we know, the three types of kamma are kāya, vaci, and mano kamma. Therefore, all three types of kamma accumulation occur in the mind, with cetanā incorporating other mental factors (cetasika) such as lobha, dasa or alobha, adosa.

- Note that cetanā is a cetasika in every citta, together with vedana and saññā; see Ref. 2. The cetanā cetasika "incorporates other relevant cetasika such as lobha, dosa, alobha, amoha" to a citta. The "intention" comes from the types of cetasika included. For example, stealing happens with a "greedy intention in mind" where cetanā has included the lobha cetasika to that citta. Thus, cetanā is like a supervisor/administrator who adds other relevant cetasika (good or bad) based on the "state of mind." It is good to read the post, “What is a Thought?” (https://puredhamma.net/abhidhamma/the-m ... a-thought/)

6. Since cetanā cetasika is ANY citta, it is in ALL cittas of an Arahant or a Buddha. They also do things, speak, and think with specific "intentions."

- But an Arahant would not do anything, speak, or think about hurting others or deceiving others. That happens only when "asobhana cetasika" like lobha and dosa are incorporated into cittā by the cetanā cetasika. That gives rise to "sañcetanā." Thus, Arahants do not generate sañcetanā.
- Even when "sobhana cetasika" like alobha and adosa are incorporated into cittā by the cetanā cetasika they are still "sañcetanā" IF one has not comprehended the dangers of the rebirth process, i.e., since one still has a (weaker level) of avijjā. That is why one needs to comprehend Four Noble Truths/Paṭicca Samuppāda/Tilakkhana. See, "Kusala and Akusala Kamma, Puñña and Pāpa Kamma."https://puredhamma.net/three-levels-of- ... nna-kamma/

How Cētanā Become Sañcetanā

7. The word "sañcetanā" comes from "san" + "cetanā." Thus, it means cetanā cetasika has incorporated "san" that can contribute to generating kammic energy for future rebirths. I have discussed the importance of the word "san" in many posts. See, "San – A Critical Pāli Root."https://puredhamma.net/key-dhamma-concepts/san/

- Therefore, saṅkhāra are associated with cetanā and abhisaṅkhāra (those that contribute to the rebirth process) involve sañcetanā
- A Buddha or an Arahant would not generate abhisaṅkhāra with sañcetanā, but they do generate saṅkhāra with cetanā until Parinibbāna.
- That is why the types of saṅkhāra that arise due to the ignorance of the Four Noble Truths (i.e., “avijjā paccayā saṅkhārā”) are kāya saṅkhāra, vacī saṅkhāra, and citta saṅkhāra that involve kāya sañcetanā, vaci sañcetanā, and mano (or citta) sañcetanā.
- It is imperative to understand these basic concepts.

References

1. From Nibbedhika Sutta (AN 6.63): "Kammaṁ, bhikkhave, veditabbaṁ …pe… kammanirodhagāminī paṭipadā veditabbāti, iti kho panetaṁ vuttaṁ. Variant: kammanirodhagāminī → sabbatthapi evamevaKiñcetaṁ paṭicca vuttaṁ? Cetanāhaṁ, bhikkhave, kammaṁ vadāmi. Cetayitvā kammaṁ karoti—kāyena vācāya manasā."
- https://suttacentral.net/an6.63/pli/ms? ... ript=latin

2. The "Sammādiṭṭhi Sutta (MN 9)" defines nāma (mentality) as, "Vedanā, saññā, cetanā, phasso, manasikāro—idaṁ vuccatāvuso, nāmaṁ." In Abhidhamma, two more cetasika of jivitindriya and ekaggata are listed together with the above five cetasika. Thus, there are seven cetasika in every citta. The point here is that "intention" is not a good translation for cetanā in the strict sense. One's "intention" comes through the types of other good or bad cetasika (such as lobha or alobha) included in the citta. The cetana cetasika "puts together appropriate cetasikā and builds the citta."
- https://suttacentral.net/mn9/pli/ms?lay ... ript=latin

3. "Paṭiccasamuppāda Vibhaṅga" states: "Kāya sañcetanā kāya saṅkhāro, vacī sañcetanā vacī saṅkhāro, mano sañcetanā citta saṅkhāro. Ime vuccanti “avijjā paccayā saṅkhārā”.
- https://suttacentral.net/vb6/pli/ms?lay ... ript=latin
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