ya puggala attha - those eight individuals

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ya puggala attha - those eight individuals

Postby khlawng » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:57 am

hi all,

i was just reading excellent attributes, teaching on ratana sutta edited by ven dhammasubho.

in it, he describes the 4 pairs of eight individuals as:

"stream enterer and the one who experience the fruit of entering into the path...
once-returner and the person who is experiencing the fruit of attaining once returner...
never-returner...
arahanta..."

now as far as i was made aware, the 4 pairs of eight individuals were -

one on the path (in training) to stream entry and the one who attained stream entry
one on the path (in training) to once-retuner and the one who attained once-retuner
one on the path (in training) to non-retuner and the one who attained non-retuner
one on the path (in trianing) to arahanthood and the one who attained arahanthood

which of these definition is correct?

would it mean that base on the former definition, all individuals that is on the path and has not attained stream entry is excluded from proper veneration?
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Re: ya puggala attha - those eight individuals

Postby reflection » Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:57 am

When grouping the 8 noble persons into the usual 4, the pair of path-stream enterer and fruit-stream enterer are both put into one group of 'stream enterer'. So the difference is very small between those two and in a way both translations make sense. One practicing for getting right view (stream entry) is not automatically 'one on the path to stream entry', such a being is called puthujjana.

That's the technical way of looking at it. Of course in English a puthujjana practitioner could say "I'm training for stream entry" or "I'm on the path toward stream entry" and all is fine. But when the suttas use the term "path" in this context it means the inevitable attaining of right view, not just practicing for it.

Every time such a topic comes up, I think there is a danger of people trying to fit themselves into a category, or the arising of craving to be someone else. So I think it best not to worry too much about those things. There is no sutta that says we should contemplate these kind of things, as far as I'm aware. It is not a central part of the dhamma one needs to understand, like for example anatta is. I think it is better to see things in terms of the 10 fetters or the 8 factors of the path, instead of 'attainments'. This way you avoid looking at labels and instead are looking closer at the problem and the solution.

:anjali:
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Re: ya puggala attha - those eight individuals

Postby Zenainder » Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:22 am

reflection wrote:When grouping the 8 noble persons into the usual 4, the pair of path-stream enterer and fruit-stream enterer are both put into one group of 'stream enterer'. So the difference is very small between those two and in a way both translations make sense. One practicing for getting right view (stream entry) is not automatically 'one on the path to stream entry', such a being is called puthujjana.

That's the technical way of looking at it. Of course in English a puthujjana practitioner could say "I'm training for stream entry" or "I'm on the path toward stream entry" and all is fine. But when the suttas use the term "path" in this context it means the inevitable attaining of right view, not just practicing for it.

Every time such a topic comes up, I think there is a danger of people trying to fit themselves into a category, or the arising of craving to be someone else. So I think it best not to worry too much about those things. There is no sutta that says we should contemplate these kind of things, as far as I'm aware. It is not a central part of the dhamma one needs to understand, like for example anatta is. I think it is better to see things in terms of the 10 fetters or the 8 factors of the path, instead of 'attainments'. This way you avoid looking at labels and instead are looking closer at the problem and the solution.

:anjali:


:goodpost:
If the words "I", "me", or "you" are used, they are for the use of convenience related purposes. None of these exist, of course. ;)
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Re: ya puggala attha - those eight individuals

Postby BlackBird » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:15 pm

One view (the one I ascribe to) is that quite simply, one attains the path first, and the fruit may not be attained for some time thereafter, but at the very latest before the breakup of the body. So one attained to the path is either a Dhammanusari (one attained to the path by Dhamma) or a Saddhanusari (one attained to the path by faith). They are not yet a stream 'enterer' but they are destined to become one. This of course is not accepted by some traditional teachers who teach the path and fruit are attained within moments of each other, but if I recall correctly, even Bhikkhu Bodhi has had something to say about that, I can remember reading a note in my Majjhima I think it was where he says something to the effect of such an interpretation being contradicted by a certain sutta passage, and it would seem by the given passage that the Path & Fruit are seperate and one can be attained to the former without the latter following immediately after.

I will try and hunt this comment out, for I am sure It's not the first time I've spoken of it.

It becomes a bit murky when it comes to defining what exactly what one who has attained the path is, the easiest way to describe it is that they have a foot in both camps, they have not yet attained the spotless eye of Dhamma, but their understanding is such that they cannot ever fall back into avijja completely, they must at some point realize sabbe sankhara anicca, sabbe sankhara dukkha & sabbe dhamma anatta.
"And so, because this Teaching is so different from what Westerners are accustomed to, they will try to adapt the Teaching to their own framework. What they need to learn to do is not to adapt the Teaching to their own point of view but to adapt their own point of view to the Teaching. This is called saddhá, or faith, and it means giving oneself to the Teaching even if the Teaching is contrary to one’s own preconceived notions of the way things are."- Ven Bodhesako

Nanavira Thera's teachings - An existential approach to the Dhamma | Ven. Bodhesako's essay on anicca
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Re: ya puggala attha - those eight individuals

Postby santa100 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:57 pm

BlackBird wrote:One view (the one I ascribe to) is that quite simply, one attains the path first, and the fruit may not be attained for some time thereafter, but at the very latest before the breakup of the body. So one attained to the path is either a Dhammanusari (one attained to the path by Dhamma) or a Saddhanusari (one attained to the path by faith). They are not yet a stream 'enterer' but they are destined to become one. This of course is not accepted by some traditional teachers who teach the path and fruit are attained within moments of each other, but if I recall correctly, even Bhikkhu Bodhi has had something to say about that, I can remember reading a note in my Majjhima I think it was where he says something to the effect of such an interpretation being contradicted by a certain sutta passage, and it would seem by the given passage that the Path & Fruit are seperate and one can be attained to the former without the latter following immediately after.

I will try and hunt this comment out, for I am sure It's not the first time I've spoken of it.


This might be what you're looking for..
Contrary to the commentaries, which hold that the path-attainer realizes the fruit immediately after attaining the path, the Nika¯yas say merely that one who reaches the stage of Dhamma-follower or faith-follower (corresponding to the commentarial notion of path-attainer) will realize the fruit within this same life—but not necessarily in the next mind-moment. The two positions might be reconciled if we see the path of the Dhamma-follower and faith-follower as extended in time but reaching its climax in an instantaneous breakthrough that is immediately followed by realization of the fruit. ~~ In the Buddha's Words - X.20 ~~
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Re: ya puggala attha - those eight individuals

Postby BlackBird » Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:11 pm

Yes, thank you, that is exactly what I was after.

It would seem Ven. Bodhi has gone one step further than I was aware of and attempted to reconcile the two positions, this is one of the rare times I would criticise him for his liberties. I find such a reconciliation impossible, and unwarranted, although admittedly his attempted solution show's no small amount of ingenuity.. The commentaries are quite clear that where they differ from the Suttas it is the Suttas that are to be given primacy, this is one case where I would think it advisable.
"And so, because this Teaching is so different from what Westerners are accustomed to, they will try to adapt the Teaching to their own framework. What they need to learn to do is not to adapt the Teaching to their own point of view but to adapt their own point of view to the Teaching. This is called saddhá, or faith, and it means giving oneself to the Teaching even if the Teaching is contrary to one’s own preconceived notions of the way things are."- Ven Bodhesako

Nanavira Thera's teachings - An existential approach to the Dhamma | Ven. Bodhesako's essay on anicca
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Re: ya puggala attha - those eight individuals

Postby khlawng » Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:36 am

thank you all for your replies. they have been really helpful in structuring my thoughts on this matter.
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