Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma

Discussion of Abhidhamma and related Commentaries
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Eko Care
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Re: Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma

Post by Eko Care »

Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 3:08 am Mahasi Sayadaw :
  • ... There is no mentioning of how to practice sila ...
Analysis of the Precepts

Therein what is the precept that is abstaining from killing beings?

At the time when, in one abstaining from killing beings, skilful consciousness characteristic of the plane of desire arises, accompanied by mental pleasure, associated with knowledge; that which at that time is avoiding, desisting from, refraining from, abstaining from, not committing, not doing, being guiltless of, not over-stepping the limit of, destroying the causeway to killing beings. This is called the precept that is abstaining from killing beings. (As also are) The remaining dhammas associated with the abstention.
...
Therein what is the precept that is abstaining from taking that which is not given? ...
The precept that is abstaining from sexual misconduct? ...
The precept that is abstaining from false speech? ...
The precept that is abstaining from intoxicating beers, wines and spirits causing heedlessness? ...
The Book of Analysis
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BrokenBones
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Re: Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma

Post by BrokenBones »

Eko Care wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 10:30 pm
Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 3:08 am Mahasi Sayadaw :
  • ... There is no mentioning of how to practice sila ...
Analysis of the Precepts

Therein what is the precept that is abstaining from killing beings?

At the time when, in one abstaining from killing beings, skilful consciousness characteristic of the plane of desire arises, accompanied by mental pleasure, associated with knowledge; that which at that time is avoiding, desisting from, refraining from, abstaining from, not committing, not doing, being guiltless of, not over-stepping the limit of, destroying the causeway to killing beings. This is called the precept that is abstaining from killing beings. (As also are) The remaining dhammas associated with the abstention.
...
Therein what is the precept that is abstaining from taking that which is not given? ...
The precept that is abstaining from sexual misconduct? ...
The precept that is abstaining from false speech? ...
The precept that is abstaining from intoxicating beers, wines and spirits causing heedlessness? ...
The Book of Analysis
How does a list of synonyms help in ones practice? If 'refrain' from killing doesn't make sense when you hear it then you've got a long road ahead.
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Eko Care
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Re: Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma

Post by Eko Care »

BrokenBones wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 11:10 pm How does a list of synonyms help in ones practice? If 'refrain' from killing doesn't make sense when you hear it then you've got a long road ahead.
Abhidhamma recognizes other two Pitakas fully. There is no discouraging caused by Abhidhamma but an encouraging to use Sutta and Vinaya.
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BrokenBones
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Re: Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma

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Eko Care wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 11:30 pm
BrokenBones wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 11:10 pm How does a list of synonyms help in ones practice? If 'refrain' from killing doesn't make sense when you hear it then you've got a long road ahead.
Abhidhamma recognizes other two Pitakas fully. There is no discouraging caused by Abhidhamma but an encouraging to use Sutta and Vinaya.
Fully understood... now about my question...
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Eko Care
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Re: Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma

Post by Eko Care »

BrokenBones wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 11:10 pm How does a list of synonyms help in ones practice?
They are not just list of synonyms. They are the definitions. They are the interpretations of the words mentioned in all 3 Pitakas.

If one doesn't know the correct interpretation and definition, there is a risk for him to get caught up by incorrect and tricky interpretations.

The definitions make the understanding clearer.

Both the Theory and Practical are necessary in any field.
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BrokenBones
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Re: Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma

Post by BrokenBones »

Eko Care wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 12:25 am
BrokenBones wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 11:10 pm How does a list of synonyms help in ones practice?
They are not just list of synonyms. They are the definitions. They are the interpretations of the words mentioned in all 3 Pitakas.

If one doesn't know the correct interpretation and definition, there is a risk for him to get caught up by incorrect and tricky interpretations.

The definitions make the understanding clearer.

Both the Theory and Practical are necessary in any field.
You mean like knowing the difference between killing someone and... maybe not killing them?... I'm just going off the list you provided.

It reminds of the itemised procedures involved in making a cup of tea. You'd be amazed at how intricate they make it. It's interesting as an exercise but totally irrelevant in everyday life... I just make tea... I refrain from killing (the suttas provide extensive 'teachings' on how to cultivate this attitude but don't see the need to 'synonymise' the act of not killing... just don't do it).
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robertk
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Re: Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma

Post by robertk »

BrokenBones wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:58 am
Eko Care wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 12:25 am
BrokenBones wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 11:10 pm How does a list of synonyms help in ones practice?
They are not just list of synonyms. They are the definitions. They are the interpretations of the words mentioned in all 3 Pitakas.

If one doesn't know the correct interpretation and definition, there is a risk for him to get caught up by incorrect and tricky interpretations.

The definitions make the understanding clearer.

Both the Theory and Practical are necessary in any field.
You mean like knowing the difference between killing someone and... maybe not killing them?... I'm just going off the list you provided.

It reminds of the itemised procedures involved in making a cup of tea. You'd be amazed at how intricate they make it. It's interesting as an exercise but totally irrelevant in everyday life... I just make tea... I refrain from killing (the suttas provide extensive 'teachings' on how to cultivate this attitude but don't see the need to 'synonymise' the act of not killing... just don't do it).
Killing does seem obvious but look at the debates we see about abortion or killing insects.
In the Introduction to the Vibhanga(Abhidhamma pitaka) (Pali text society)
Iggelden writes
It is all very well to say ‘I know what needs to be done to break
the continuity of rebirth and death’. In fact very few people know of
even the most elementary reasons for the continuity of process, let
alone of breaking it. It is the detailed description, analysis and
reasons given for this cyclic process that the scriptures spend so
much care in putting before us.
It is all very well to say ‘What do I want to know all these
definitions of terms for, it only clutters the mind?’ The question is,
though, how many people when they seriously ask themselves as to the
extent and range of some such apparently simple terms as greed,
hatred and ignorance, can know their full and proper implications and
manifestations within their own thoughts and actions…This the
scriptures are at pains to make clear to even the dullest
reade
r…”Endquote. He goes on in a similar vein for pages.

The Dhamma is above all for daily life but if not
informed by correct theory one can follow paths that come to
dead ends.
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Re: Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma

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I agree with Robert. The precepts are training rules that are actually very difficult to practice in real life. It takes some thought and effort to get anywhere close to perfecting harmlessness.

Robert said recently (probably over-modestly, he is from New Zealand, after all... :tongue:) that his progress with metta was such that: "I mostly don't take it personally when someone cuts me off...". I think if we're honest, that's how it is with the precepts: "I mostly don't yell at people when they do something I don't like..." :tongue:

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Eko Care
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Re: Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma

Post by Eko Care »

BrokenBones wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:58 am You mean like knowing the difference between killing someone and... maybe not killing them?... I'm just going off the list you provided.
Haven't you seen the people struggling with the meaning of Sati, Vipassana, Sammaditthi, Samadhi, Dhamma, Abhidhamma etc. or continuing the practice with an imagined definition?
BrokenBones wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:58 am It reminds of the itemised procedures involved in making a cup of tea. You'd be amazed at how intricate they make it.
It's interesting as an exercise but totally irrelevant in everyday life... I just make tea...
Let's say there is a definition for tea. What will happen if you used to use marijuana thinking that it is tea ?
Is it totally irrelevant?
Even to just make tea, we have to identify tea first, I think.
Even to just eat, we have to distinguish food and poison first, I think.
BrokenBones wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:58 am I refrain from killing (the suttas provide extensive 'teachings' on how to cultivate this attitude but don't see the need to 'synonymise' the act of not killing... just don't do it).
You say the suttas don't. What about the following synonyms?
Saccavibhaṅgasutta
Sāriputto, bhikkhave, pahoti cattāri ariyasaccāni vitthārena ācikkhituṁ desetuṁ paññāpetuṁ paṭṭhapetuṁ vivarituṁ vibhajituṁ uttānīkātun”ti.
..
Katamā cāvuso, jāti? Yā tesaṁ tesaṁ sattānaṁ tamhi tamhi sattanikāye jāti sañjāti okkanti abhinibbatti khandhānaṁ pātubhāvo āyatanānaṁ paṭilābho, ayaṁ vuccatāvuso: ‘jāti’.

Katamā cāvuso, jarā? Yā tesaṁ tesaṁ sattānaṁ tamhi tamhi sattanikāye jarā jīraṇatā khaṇḍiccaṁ pāliccaṁ valittacatā āyuno saṁhāni indriyānaṁ paripāko, ayaṁ vuccatāvuso: ‘jarā’.

Katamañcāvuso, maraṇaṁ? Yā tesaṁ tesaṁ sattānaṁ tamhā tamhā sattanikāyā cuti cavanatā bhedo antaradhānaṁ maccu maraṇaṁ kālaṅkiriyā khandhānaṁ bhedo kaḷevarassa nikkhepo jīvitindriyassupacchedo, idaṁ vuccatāvuso: ‘maraṇaṁ’.
..
Katamañcāvuso, yampicchaṁ na labhati tampi dukkhaṁ? Jātidhammānaṁ, āvuso, sattānaṁ evaṁ icchā uppajjati: ‘aho vata mayaṁ na jātidhammā assāma; na ca vata no jāti āgaccheyyā’ti. Na kho panetaṁ icchāya pattabbaṁ. Idampi: ‘yampicchaṁ na labhati tampi dukkhaṁ’. Jarādhammānaṁ, āvuso, sattānaṁ …pe… byādhidhammānaṁ, āvuso, sattānaṁ … maraṇadhammānaṁ, āvuso, sattānaṁ … sokaparidevadukkhadomanassupāyāsadhammānaṁ, āvuso, sattānaṁ evaṁ icchā uppajjati: ‘aho vata mayaṁ na sokaparidevadukkhadomanassupāyāsadhammā assāma; na ca vata no sokaparidevadukkhadomanassupāyāsā āgaccheyyun’ti. Na kho panetaṁ icchāya pattabbaṁ. Idampi: ‘yampicchaṁ na labhati tampi dukkhaṁ’.
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Re: Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma

Post by BrokenBones »

mikenz66 wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 4:59 am I agree with Robert. The precepts are training rules that are actually very difficult to practice in real life. It takes some thought and effort to get anywhere close to perfecting harmlessness.

Robert said recently (probably over-modestly, he is from New Zealand, after all... :tongue:) that his progress with metta was such that: "I mostly don't take it personally when someone cuts me off...". I think if we're honest, that's how it is with the precepts: "I mostly don't yell at people when they do something I don't like..." :tongue:

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Mike
I think the rules only become difficult if we become over elaborate and break things down to their minutest detail... bit like putting a microscope on the Mona Lisa to see how beautiful it is.
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Re: Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma

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mikenz66 wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 4:59 am . I think if we're honest, that's how it is with the precepts: "I mostly don't yell at people when they do something I don't like..." :tongue:

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Re: Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma

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  • Theoretical knowledge and practical knowledge are like two sides of the coin, both are equally important.
  • It is necessary to understand both the ends of the spectrum.
  • Theory teaches you the experience of others.
  • Theoretical knowledge can give you a deeper understanding of a concept through seeing it in the context of understanding the why behind it.
  • Theoretical learning is what the knowledge is about and the practical application is how the knowledge learnt needs to be implemented in certain real life situations.
  • Practical knowledge can often lead to a deeper understanding of a concept through the act of personal experience.
  • The mode of practical application along with theory gives everyone a clear explanation about the facts.
A quote from a (non-Dhamma) article at vesimDOTvesDOTacDOTin
The theory without practical is lame and practical without theory is blind.
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Re: Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma

Post by mikenz66 »

BrokenBones wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 6:19 am I think the rules only become difficult if we become over elaborate and break things down to their minutest detail... bit like putting a microscope on the Mona Lisa to see how beautiful it is.
The rules are simple. Keeping them is difficult, and doesn't happen spontaneously, as far as I can tell...

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Re: Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma

Post by Dhammanando »

Eko Care wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 5:10 am You say the suttas don't. What about the following synonyms?
As this isn't the Pali Forum, would you please in future supply an English translation for any Pali passages that you post. Thank you.
Anabhirati kho, āvuso, imasmiṃ dhammavinaye dukkhā, abhirati sukhā.

“To not delight in this dhammavinaya, friend, is painful; to delight in it is bliss.”
(Sukhasutta, AN 10:66)
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Re: Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma

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Analysis of Truth
Monks, Sāriputta is able to declare, teach, disclose, describe, reveal, expound, and clarify the Four Noble Truths.
...
“And, Venerables, what is birth? The birth, appearance, descent, or production of those beings amidst a group of beings; the manifestation of the aggregates; the acquisition of the sense-bases – Venerables, this is called ‘birth.’

“And, Venerables, what is aging? The aging, decrepitude, broken teeth, gray hair, and wrinkled skin of those beings amidst a group of beings; the dwindling of vitality; the weakening of one‘s faculties – Venerables, this is called ‘aging.’

“And, Venerables, what is dieing? The falling, shifting away, dissolution, disappearance, mortality, and dieing of those beings from a group of beings; the completion of the lifetime; the dissolution of the aggregates; the laying-down of the body; the severance of the life-faculty – Venerables, this is called ‘dieing.’
...
“And what, Venerables, is ‘not getting what one wants is dissatisfaction’? Venerables, this kind of wish arises in a being who is subject to birth: ‘Oh, may we not be subject to birth; may birth not come to us.’ But that wish is not attainable. This is called ‘not getting what one wants is dissatisfaction.’ Venerables, this kind of wish arises in a being who is subject to aging… illness… dieing… sorrow, lamentation, pain, dejection, and anguish: ‘Oh, may we not be subject to sorrow, lamentation, pain, dejection, and anguish; may sorrow, lamentation, pain, dejection, and anguish not come to us.’ But that wish is not attainable. This is also called ‘not getting what one wants is dissatisfaction.’
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