I believe the author is a DW member, Sekha.
While there is much to laud in the article, Ven Analayo takes a more nuanced approach to the issue in his analysis of MN 117 and its Agama parallels -
According to the preamble found in all versions of the discourse, the main intent of
the present exposition was to show the supportive function of the other seven path factors
for right concentration. That is, the point at stake does not seem to have been an
exposition of the path factors individually, but rather their interrelation as a basis for
developing right concentration, and in particular the function of right view, right effort,
and right mindfulness as means of correction and support for the other path factors.109
This intent of the exposition would not require a supramundane description of the path
factors. Hence, it seems quite possible that the exposition of the supramundane path
factors is a later expansion of the present discourse. Perhaps an early commentary on
the Mahacattarisaka-sutta developed such a treatment of the path factors from the supramundane
perspective of path attainment. What originally may have been only an alternative
mode of explanation preserved in an oral commentary, during the process of
transmission could then have become part of the discourse itself.
A Comparative Study of the Majjhima Nikaya, p.660
What is a bit unfortunate is that Ven Analayo's analysis assumes that the concept of lokuttara
is related to the Abhidhamma concept of lokuttara
as "supramundane". I've disagreed with this assumption previously - http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... ne#p318127
" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; where I suggested:-
Firstly, MN 117 is not the only Pali sutta that employs lokuttarā. I'd penned some thoughts about this previously - viewtopic.php?f=29&t=20509#p287266
If one pops into Sutta Central and does a wild card search on "lokuttar*" (http://suttacentral.net/search?query=lo
" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ... 5&offset=0), the bulk of the results (ignoring MN 117 for now) indicates that the word lokuttara in the suttas is synonymous with escape from/transcendence of the world
, not "supramundane". It's entirely possible that MN 117 started life having a meaning no different from its lokuttara siblings, until perhaps the maggaṅga concept was introduced later. I'm rather surprised that Ven Analayo does not entertain this "creeping" evolution possibility, given that he documents it elsewhere in the MN Comparative Study.
This bifurcation of Right View into the worldly and world-transcending is also found in a Samyukta Agama sutra -
What is Right View? There are 2 kinds of Right View. There is Right View, of this world, with taints (sāsavā), with acquisitions, directing one to a fortunate rebirth; there is Right View, that is noble, world-transcending, without taints, without acquisitions, leading to the exhaustion of Suffering, directing one to the end of Suffering.
As should be obvious, whoever translated SA 785 into Chinese understood lokuttara
in a very suttanta style, which does not resort to the Abhidharma reading that was already prevalent at the time of the translation projects in China. While SA 785 does not survive in the SN collection, this portion has at least survived in MN 117.
And surely it can be implied that even the jhānas
are amenable to this worldly and world-transcending dichotomy (as was in fact done explicitly in SA 785)? The fact that AN 4.123 suggests that life after brahmahood secured by the jhānas
could be the lower realms must be the basis for the bifurcation of dhammas that enable one to transcend the world, versus those that do not.
And this I think is the principle difference between "worldly" Right View, versus Noble Right View. In the former, the Self is always posited as that which undergoes rebirth. In the latter, especially when we see the progressive subtlety of Right View in MN 9, the Noble version comes into play in terms of the Dhamma, without any recourse to the standard "worldly" Right View.