Can these be Answered by Suttas Alone?

Exploring the Dhamma, as understood from the perspective of the ancient Pali commentaries.
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Eko Care
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Can these be Answered by Suttas Alone?

Post by Eko Care »

Here is a list of topics that can not be answered by the suttas alone. If you have found more, please feel free to mention it.
bksubhuti
Kasina meditation (Kasinas are mentioned in the suttas but there are no instructions)
Ceisiwr
The 8 bases of mastery.
DhammaWiki
The ambiguity of the context with the suicide of some disciples of the Buddha. (... In the Suttas, the Buddha simply said they are “blameless.” It was the Commentaries that explained that they attained arahanthood as they were dying, not before taking the knife.)
Mahavihara
The Dhutangas.
The Sattavisuddhis.
Upadaya-rupas like gender, jivita etc…
Types of causes (hetu, arammana, upanissaya etc.).
Achievable Jhana-levels of the different types of meditations.
What is the Jhana with vicara but no vitakka (mentioned in suttas as “avitakka vicaramattha samadhi”).
Difference between Dhamma-ayatana and Dhamma-arammana.
Difference between Dhamma-dhatu and Dhamma-arammana.
The factors of Mana-ayatana and Dhamma-ayatana.
The factors of The Mano-dhatu, Dhamma-dhatu and Manovinnana-dhatu.
Difference between Mana, Mano-vinnana and Manovinnana-dhatu.
Difference between Mind and Mental factors.
The fact that Apo-dhatu can not be felt by the body.
Paticcasamuppada explanation (in a sensible way).
Nitattha suttas and Neyyatha suttas.
Who appended “evam me sutam” in Suttas.
Why Buddha, Paccekabuddha and Mahasavakas are different in wisdom and the reason for it.
Why no other monk can achieve the level of wisdom of venerable Sariputta.
And many more …
Matthias
Few questions not precisely answered by suttas:
What is vitakka and vicāra?
What meditation objects bring the first, second, third, fourth jhāna?
How do you attain the arūpa jhāna?
How do you attain abhiññā?
How do you discern paticcasamupāda?
Do you discern anicca dukkha anattā first and paticcasamupāda after or the opposite?
What is the materiality derived from the four elements?
Can you develop mastery of phalasamāpatti?
How long occurs magga phala?
Zans
How to actually practice Buddhism.
I read In the Buddha’s Words, translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi fifteen years ago, and found that I needed a great deal more than just the suttas to form any kind of clear practice instructions. Many suttas read like they are written for someone already familiar with the teachings, or something to be accompanied by commentary.
As a thought experiment to demonstrate this point, if we took a thousand people and had them read the suttas alone, and then asked them to explain how to practice, for example, anapanasati, we’d likely get wildly differing answers. However, take those same thousand people, and have them read the Visuddhimagga, and we’d get much more consistent answers.
Matthias
One of the prominent Dhamma knowledge lacking in the suttas is both the theorycal and practical explanations about vipassanā.
In the suttas, nāma rūpa, khanda, āyatana, paticcasamupāda have only general answer, not precise. What these terms exactly mean, it is not explained fully. The ultimate realities are not explained in details.For exemple, nāma. What are the kusala, akusala and abyakata nāma dhamma? Not given. Here and there we can try to find something about it, but no comprehensive answer.
Next is the way to know and see these realities.It is only very broad, very general in the suttas.Not precise.
bksubhuti
Here is a quote from directly after the Buddha’s first sermon. Not only can you see that other monks are sharing the food from the alms collected that day, but we can also correctly point out that the sermon was not all that was needed for the monks to fully grasp the teachings. The Buddha remained, while the other two collected food. The suttas do not explain what was being taught to the remaining 4 monks during this time to become enlightened.
Atha kho bhagavā tadavasese bhikkhū nīhārabhatto dhammiyā kathāya ovadi anusāsi.Living on the food brought to him, the Buddha then instructed and taught the remaining monks.Yaṃ tayo bhikkhū piṇḍāya caritvā āharanti, tena chabbaggo yāpeti.The six of them lived on the almsfood brought by three.MAHAVAGGA 19
Matthias
Yes Bhante they needed more explanations than the Ven Kondañña to attain sotapatti, and all of them practiced until Arahantship the fifth night.And we don’t know precisely how the Buddha instructed them as details are not given.
However for such monks, very advanced one, we can infer that they did not need a lot of details, comparing to normal nowadays yogis.
They were powerful monks who knew the Buddha personnaly and attained Arahantship within few days. How much previous practice they had? Under past Buddhas for sure they had already fulfilled the Vipassanā knowledges just under gothrabū ñāna. For sure under previous Buddha they have contemplated paticcasamupāda, the khandas as anicca dukkha anattā, and for sure they had already heard Dhamma desanā and Pāli words together with stromg knowledge.Such one, even instructed a little, is closed to Arahantship by the power of his bodhipakkiya just like a pot already filled with water. That is why the needed less instruction.
A yogi nowadays is far from having the same samsāric experience and Dhamma abilities. Anyone who overlook this reality is far from real Dhamma nature and far from the real sāsana- unless he is beginner or does not have wise teachers. Unfortunately it is what do some non CTfollowers.They think the previous practice have no or little influence. They think one is able to practice till Arahantship with the same words than this Venerable. It can not be. And because they overlook this aspect - they also overlook the details of the commentaries, since according to their views, with few words anyone motivated can deeply practice until Arahantship.
What cannot be answered by Suttas Alone
Joe.c
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Re: Can these be Answered by Suttas Alone?

Post by Joe.c »

Totally BS questions and arguments.

All instructions are in Sutta. Problem is have you developed your faculties yet or not?

Some people want to have an arahant wisdom, but the faculties have not been developed. It is like a baby wants to go to study in University. Totally impossible.
May you be relax, happy, comfortable and free of dukkhas from hearing true dhamma.
May you gain unshakable confidence in Buddha, Dhamma and (Ariya) Sangha.
Learn about Buddha/Dhamma Characters.
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Can these be Answered by Suttas Alone?

Post by Ceisiwr »

Joe.c wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 5:31 pm Totally BS questions and arguments.

All instructions are in Sutta. Problem is have you developed your faculties yet or not?

Some people want to have an arahant wisdom, but the faculties have not been developed. It is like a baby wants to go to study in University. Totally impossible.
What is the sutta explanation of the bases of mastery, or the Kasiṇa?
“In the same way, great king, when a bhikkhu sees that these five hindrances are unabandoned within himself, he regards that as a debt, as a sickness, as confinement in prison, as slavery, as a desert road.

“But when he sees that these five hindrances have been abandoned within himself, he regards that as freedom from debt, as good health, as release from prison, as freedom from slavery, as a place of safety.”


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Re: Can these be Answered by Suttas Alone?

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings,
Ceisiwr wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 5:54 pm What is the sutta explanation of the bases of mastery, or the Kasiṇa?
The Simsapa Sutta.

All the best.

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

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

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)
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Re: Can these be Answered by Suttas Alone?

Post by BrokenBones »

retrofuturist wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 8:18 pm Greetings,
Ceisiwr wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 5:54 pm What is the sutta explanation of the bases of mastery, or the Kasiṇa?
The Simsapa Sutta.

All the best.

Metta,
Paul. :)
Isn't this the explanation for all the questions asked for which answers are not to be found in the suttas?

Apart from the ones that actually are in the suttas but people either don't like the answer or are too blind to see it.

Edit... this question would seem more at home in the general section... I can't see a question that is wholly about the suttas as being strictly classical.
Last edited by BrokenBones on Sun Nov 20, 2022 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Can these be Answered by Suttas Alone?

Post by Ceisiwr »

retrofuturist wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 8:18 pm Greetings,
Ceisiwr wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 5:54 pm What is the sutta explanation of the bases of mastery, or the Kasiṇa?
The Simsapa Sutta.

All the best.

Metta,
Paul. :)
Why is it something the Buddha knew but did not teach, when we have records of him teaching it?
“In the same way, great king, when a bhikkhu sees that these five hindrances are unabandoned within himself, he regards that as a debt, as a sickness, as confinement in prison, as slavery, as a desert road.

“But when he sees that these five hindrances have been abandoned within himself, he regards that as freedom from debt, as good health, as release from prison, as freedom from slavery, as a place of safety.”


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BrokenBones
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Re: Can these be Answered by Suttas Alone?

Post by BrokenBones »

Ceisiwr wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 10:34 pm
retrofuturist wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 8:18 pm Greetings,
Ceisiwr wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 5:54 pm What is the sutta explanation of the bases of mastery, or the Kasiṇa?
The Simsapa Sutta.

All the best.

Metta,
Paul. :)
Why is it something the Buddha knew but did not teach, when we have records of him teaching it?
Perhaps he didn't deem it important enough. Maybe religions at the time put great effort into such things and the Buddha merely acknowledged their existence and benefits (limited).

Edit... maybe it's a glaring example of later interpolation 😉 who knows... its certainly something the suttas gave little attention to.
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Re: Can these be Answered by Suttas Alone?

Post by Ceisiwr »

BrokenBones wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 10:40 pm
Ceisiwr wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 10:34 pm
retrofuturist wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 8:18 pm Greetings,


The Simsapa Sutta.

All the best.

Metta,
Paul. :)
Why is it something the Buddha knew but did not teach, when we have records of him teaching it?
Perhaps he didn't deem it important enough. Maybe religions at the time put great effort into such things and the Buddha merely acknowledged their existence and benefits (limited).
That is possible. It's possible they are practices he knew of from his time with Āḷāra Kālāma & Uddaka Rāmaputta. They seem to be a way of entering the formless without the need of Jhāna. They look like the concentration and fixing exercises you detest so much. Its also possible, in fact I would say likely, that the oral tradition wasn't perfect. Not everything was preserved, or not every detail was preserved. You would expect then to find some things that aren't really explained fully in the suttas. It's possible both of those things are true. Of course, someone could take the view that oral traditions are perfect. That suttas contain absolutely everything the Buddha taught, in all their detail. If someone thinks that they might think then the Kasiṇa etc were inserted later by insidious monks and nuns, as they lack any real detail. I don't think that is likely myself, but someone could think that way.
“In the same way, great king, when a bhikkhu sees that these five hindrances are unabandoned within himself, he regards that as a debt, as a sickness, as confinement in prison, as slavery, as a desert road.

“But when he sees that these five hindrances have been abandoned within himself, he regards that as freedom from debt, as good health, as release from prison, as freedom from slavery, as a place of safety.”


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Re: Can these be Answered by Suttas Alone?

Post by BrokenBones »

Ceisiwr wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 10:51 pm
BrokenBones wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 10:40 pm
Ceisiwr wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 10:34 pm

Why is it something the Buddha knew but did not teach, when we have records of him teaching it?
Perhaps he didn't deem it important enough. Maybe religions at the time put great effort into such things and the Buddha merely acknowledged their existence and benefits (limited).
That is possible. It's possible they are practices he knew of from his time with Āḷāra Kālāma & Uddaka Rāmaputta. They seem to be a way of entering the formless without the need of Jhāna. They look like the concentration and fixing exercises you detest so much. Its also possible, in fact I would say likely, that the oral tradition wasn't perfect. Not everything was preserved, or not every detail was preserved. You would expect then to find some things that aren't really explained fully in the suttas. It's possible both of those things are true. Of course, someone could take the view that oral traditions are perfect. That suttas contain absolutely everything the Buddha taught, in all their detail. If someone thinks that they might think then the Kasiṇa etc were inserted later by insidious monks and nuns, as they lack any real detail. I don't think that is likely myself, but someone could think that way.
The idea that the suttas haven't been 'tampered' with is naïve... it is up to the individuals discernment.

More insidious would be later Buddhists 'filling in the details' of what the Buddha 'left out'.
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Re: Can these be Answered by Suttas Alone?

Post by Ceisiwr »

BrokenBones wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 11:00 pm
Ceisiwr wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 10:51 pm
BrokenBones wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 10:40 pm

Perhaps he didn't deem it important enough. Maybe religions at the time put great effort into such things and the Buddha merely acknowledged their existence and benefits (limited).
That is possible. It's possible they are practices he knew of from his time with Āḷāra Kālāma & Uddaka Rāmaputta. They seem to be a way of entering the formless without the need of Jhāna. They look like the concentration and fixing exercises you detest so much. Its also possible, in fact I would say likely, that the oral tradition wasn't perfect. Not everything was preserved, or not every detail was preserved. You would expect then to find some things that aren't really explained fully in the suttas. It's possible both of those things are true. Of course, someone could take the view that oral traditions are perfect. That suttas contain absolutely everything the Buddha taught, in all their detail. If someone thinks that they might think then the Kasiṇa etc were inserted later by insidious monks and nuns, as they lack any real detail. I don't think that is likely myself, but someone could think that way.
The idea that the suttas haven't been 'tampered' with is naïve... it is up to the individuals discernment.
I didn't say they hadn't been edited.
More insidious would be later Buddhists 'filling in the details' of what the Buddha 'left out'.
Is it? Many suttas contain commentary, probably more than we realise. You yourself have most likely internalised commentary, just by accepting what you read in the suttas. Venerable Anālayo has pointed this out based on his studies. What would have happened is that a Thera or Therī would give a Dhamma talk starting with a sutta, and then would explain what the sutta means in greater detail. Overtime, commentary became part of the sutta. This way of teaching is what happens today too. This is what Bhante Vimalaramsi does in his Dhamma talks. I mean, his 6 R's aren't found in the suttas. He uses the suttas to formulate his teachings, to make them easier to understand for his audience. No Buddhist, until perhaps recent times, simply read the suttas or repeated them from memory and that was it. I mean, the Buddha didn't teach just by repeating suttas. His disciples didn't teach just by repeating suttas. Nor did their disciples. The suttas contain what is essential, the monks and nuns then explain them based on their own wisdom, so folks like me and you can understand the suttas and Dhamma.
“In the same way, great king, when a bhikkhu sees that these five hindrances are unabandoned within himself, he regards that as a debt, as a sickness, as confinement in prison, as slavery, as a desert road.

“But when he sees that these five hindrances have been abandoned within himself, he regards that as freedom from debt, as good health, as release from prison, as freedom from slavery, as a place of safety.”


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Re: Can these be Answered by Suttas Alone?

Post by Joe.c »

Ceisiwr wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 5:54 pm What is the sutta explanation of the bases of mastery, or the Kasiṇa?
LOL. Let me ask 1 easy question. Have you perfecting your morality of 5 precepts in your daily life for 24/7?

Well answer this question truthfully.

If not, then, how can you know the bases of mastery or the kasina? Let alone the Kasina, I can say something outrages, you probably will never trust anything. Why? because, there is No developed/sharp faculties yet. Hence there is no super normal knowledges.

This is why Buddha said:
SN 6.1 wrote:...And the Buddha saw:
sentient beings with little dust in their eyes, and some with much dust in their eyes;
with sharp faculties and with weak faculties,
with good qualities and with bad qualities,
easy to teach and hard to teach.
And some of them lived seeing the danger in the fault to do with the next world,
while others did not. ...
This is why Buddha doesn't want to teach, because to teach true dhamma is frustrating especially there are more fools in this world.

All bases/knowledges come from precepts.

Even the psychic power is developed in human world here & now, and it is not because you are born in higher realm.

Good luck.
May you be relax, happy, comfortable and free of dukkhas from hearing true dhamma.
May you gain unshakable confidence in Buddha, Dhamma and (Ariya) Sangha.
Learn about Buddha/Dhamma Characters.
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Re: Can these be Answered by Suttas Alone?

Post by BrokenBones »

Giving commentary is fine and dandy. 'Filling in details' with new ideas is not.

I would say a good commentary is mainly about giving examples in everyday life... not inventing whole new ideas that aren't found within the suttas.

Take metta... little of the practice as laid out in the Visuddhimagga is found in the suttas. It's not a commentary... it's an invention.
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Re: Can these be Answered by Suttas Alone?

Post by frank k »

On the bases of mastery, actually read what the Vism. has to say on it, you won't find much, because their redefined rūpa is completely incoherent.
In the suttas, internal rūpa is the meditator's physical body.
Just as vism. very conspiculously left out the four jhāna similes to not draw attention to kiling the kāya physical body, they say very little about 8 bases of mastery, to not draw attention to this corruption of rūpa.
BrokenBones wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 10:33 pm
retrofuturist wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 8:18 pm Greetings,
Ceisiwr wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 5:54 pm What is the sutta explanation of the bases of mastery, or the Kasiṇa?
The Simsapa Sutta.

All the best.

Metta,
Paul. :)
Isn't this the explanation for all the questions asked for which answers are not to be found in the suttas?

Apart from the ones that actually are in the suttas but people either don't like the answer or are too blind to see it.

Edit... this question would seem more at home in the general section... I can't see a question that is wholly about the suttas as being strictly classical.
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Re: Can these be Answered by Suttas Alone?

Post by auto »

frank k wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 12:31 pm In the suttas, internal rūpa is the meditator's physical body.
Internal is ajjhatta.
pdf404 wrote:32. Here is the commentary on the words that are not clear. Internally in oneself
(ajjhattaí paccattaí): both these words are terms for what is one’s own (niyaka), since
what is one’s own is what is produced in one’s own self (attani játaí); the meaning
is, included in one’s continuity (sasantati-pariyápanna). This is called “internal”
(ajjhanaí = adhi + attá, lit. “belonging-to-self”) because it occurs in self (attani—
locative case) just as in the world, speech among women (itthìsu—loc. case) is called
“[speech] belonging-to-women” (adhitthi). And it is called, “in oneself” (paccattaí)
because it occurs owing to self (attánaí paþicca).22
base,
pdf552 wrote:5. Furthermore, “base, (áyatana) should be understood in the sense of place of
abode, store (mine),3 meeting place, locality of birth, and cause. For accordingly
in the world in such phrases as the lord’s sphere” (áyatana) and “Vásudeva’s
sphere” (áyatana), it is a place of abode that is called “base”; and in such phrases
as “the sphere of gold” and “the sphere of silver” it is a store (mine) that is called
“base.” But in the Dispensation, in such passages as:
“And so in the delightful realm (áyatana)
Those flying in the air attend him” (A III 43),
it is a meeting place; and in such phrases as “The southern land is the realm
(áyatana) of cattle” (?) it is the locality of birth; and in such passages as “He
acquires the ability to be a witness of it … whenever there is an occasion (áyatana)
for it’” (M I 494; A I 258), it is a cause.
consciousness has eye(material) as its support
wrote:6. And these various states of consciousness and its concomitants dwell in the
eye, etc., because they exist in dependence on them, so the eye, etc., are their place
of abode. And they frequent the eye, etc., because they have them [respectively] as
their [material] support and as their object, so the eye, etc., are their store. And the
eye, etc., are their meeting place because they meet together in one or other of them,
[using them] as physical basis, door, and object. And the eye, etc., are the locality
of their birth because they arise just there, having them as their respective supports
and objects. And the eye, etc., are their reason because they are absent when the
eye, etc., are absent.
Now that those things are defined, physical support in case of the colour is the eye,
p177 wrote:29. The colour should not be reviewed. The characteristic should not be given
attention.8 But rather, while not ignoring the colour, attention should be given
by setting the mind on the [name] concept as the most outstanding mental
datum, relegating the colour to the position of a property of its physical support.
frank k wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 12:31 pm Just as vism. very conspiculously left out the four jhāna similes to not draw attention to kiling the kāya physical body, they say very little about 8 bases of mastery, to not draw attention to this corruption of rūpa.
'internal' in 2nd jhana,
206 wrote:141. Internal: here one’s own internal41 is intended; but that much is actually
stated in the Vibhaòga too with the words “internally in oneself” (Vibh 258).
And since one’s own internal is intended, the meaning here is this: born in
oneself, generated in one’s own continuity
jhana mechanics in visuddhimagga,
wrote:152. When he has emerged from the second jhána [159] happiness appears
gross to him as he reviews the jhána factors with mindfulness and full awareness,
while bliss and unification appear peaceful.
happiness is reviewed after one has emerged from the 2nd jhana as stated above.
Here the purpose of bringing the same(means even if the sign disappears you can bring that up again) sign for ..
wrote:Then as he brings that same sign to
mind as “earth, earth” again and again with the purpose of abandoning the
gross factor and obtaining the peaceful factors, [knowing] “now the third jhána
will arise,” there arises in him mind-door adverting with that same earth kasióa
as its object, interrupting the life-continuum.
fine-material sphere arises what belongs to the 3rd jhana,
wrote:After that, either four or five
impulsions impel on that same object, the last one of which is an impulsion of
the fine-material sphere belonging to the third jhána. The rest are of the kinds
already stated
bliss is felt(with his body) before entering that abode.
wrote:153. And at this point, “With the fading away of happiness as well he dwells
in equanimity, and mindful and fully aware, he feels bliss with his body; he
enters upon and dwells in the third jhána, ..
frankk, if i remember, claimed(that the visuddhimagga said) bliss is felt after emerging(yes after 2nd jhana, no to after third, based on above quote).
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