The Buddha's path to liberation

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: The Buddha's path to liberation

Postby starter » Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:47 pm

Following the above post:

"Seeing thus, the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones grows disenchanted with the eye, disenchanted with forms, disenchanted with consciousness at the eye, disenchanted with contact at the eye, disenchanted with feeling, disenchanted with craving.

"He grows disenchanted with the ear...

"He grows disenchanted with the nose...

"He grows disenchanted with the tongue...

"He grows disenchanted with the body...

"He grows disenchanted with the mind faculty, disenchanted with mind objects, disenchanted with consciousness at the mind faculty, disenchanted with contact at the mind faculty, disenchanted with feeling, disenchanted with craving. Disenchanted, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion, he is fully released." (MN 148)

I'm wondering if the confusion of regarding equanimity (dispassion) as nibbana arose due to the misunderstanding of the teaching "Through dispassion, he is fully released" and "this is the peaceful, this is the sublime, that is, the stilling of all volitions, the relinquishing of all attachments, the ending of craving, dispassion, cessation, nibbana."

To my understanding, dispassion itself is not nibbana, but through dispassion ignorance is abandoned and true knowledge arises, which then puts an end to suffering:

"There is the case where a monk — quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unwholesome states of mind — enters & abides in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from seclusion, accompanied by initial application & sustained application (to the meditation object). With that he abandons passion/lust. No passion-obsession gets obsessed there. There is the case where a monk considers, 'O when will I enter & abide in the dimension that the noble ones now enter & abide in?' In one who thus generates this yearning for the unexcelled liberations, there arises within him sorrow with that yearning as condition. With that he abandons resistance/aversion. No resistance-obsession gets obsessed there. There is the case where a monk, with the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of joy & distress — enters & abides in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. With that he abandons ignorance. No ignorance-obsession gets obsessed there."[6]

But exactly what's ignorance? Ignorance is the counterpart of true knowledge. What's the true knowledge?

"When the mind was thus concentrated, purified, bright, unblemished, rid of defilement, pliant, malleable, steady, & attained to imperturbability, I directed it to the knowledge of the ending of the assavas. I directly knew as it actually is: ‘This is suffering’; I directly knew as it actually is: ‘This is the origin of suffering’; I directly knew as it actually is: ‘This is the cessation of suffering’; I directly knew as it actually is: ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’ I directly knew as it actually is: ‘These are the assavas’; I directly knew as it actually is: ‘This is the origin of the assavas’; I directly knew as it actually is: ‘This is the cessation of the assavas’; I directly knew as it actually is: ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of the assavas.’

“My mind, thus knowing, thus seeing, was liberated from the assava of sensual desire, from the assava of being, and from the assava of ignorance. When it was liberated, there came the knowledge: ‘It is liberated.’ I directly knew: ‘Birth is destroyed, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more coming to any state of being.’

“This was the third true knowledge attained by me in the last watch of the night. Ignorance was banished and (true) knowledge arose, darkness was banished and light arose, as happens in one who abides heedful, ardent, and resolute." (MN 4)

Metta to all!
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Re: The Buddha's path to liberation

Postby starter » Wed Dec 25, 2013 8:53 pm

More thoughts following the above posts:

Sections from http://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/E ... ses-01.htm (with my notes and minor change)

"Realisation

‘This is suffering’ [/ ‘This is the arising of suffering’ / ‘This is the cessation of suffering’ / ‘This is the practice (path) leading to the cessation of suffering’], to me, monks, regarding these previously unheard-of things reflecting wisely and practising continuously, knowledge arose, vision arose, understanding arose, comprehension arose, intelligence arose, wisdom arose and light became manifest.

...

Now that to which “this is suffering” refers (i.e. suffering itself) is to be fully known [/Now that to which “this is the arising (origination) of suffering” refers (i.e. craving) is to be (completely) given up / Now that to which “this is the noble truth of the cessation of suffering” refers (i.e. Emancipation) is to be experienced/ Now that to which “this is the noble truth of the practice leading to the end of suffering” refers (i.e. the practice (path) itself) is to be (fully) developed], to me, monks, regarding these previously unheard-of things reflecting wisely and practising continuously, knowledge arose, vision arose, understanding arose, comprehension arose, intelligence arose, wisdom arose and light became manifest.

...

Now that to which “this is the noble truth of suffering” refers has been fully known [/Now that to which “this is the noble truth of the arising (origination)of suffering” refers has been given up / Now that to which “this is the noble truth of the cessation of suffering” refers to has been experienced / Now that to which “this is the noble truth of the practice (path) leading to the end of suffering has been developed”], to me, monks, regarding these previously unheard-of things reflecting wisely and practising continuously, knowledge arose, vision arose, understanding arose, comprehension arose, intelligence arose, wisdom arose and light became manifest.

...

Declaring the Awakening

For as long as to me, monks, in regard to these four noble truths reflected upon wisely and turned like this, in three ways, twelvefold, knowledge and insight (knowledge of the path and first three fruits) was (still) arising, for that long, monks, I did not declare that I was a Full and Perfect Sambuddha with unsurpassed complete awakening; but when knowledge and insight was no longer arising, and in regard to these four noble truths, monks, turned like this, in three ways, twelvefold, knowledge and insight had arisen (and I knew): sure is my liberation of mind, wisdom and liberation have been experienced, then I, monks, did declare that I was a Full and Perfect Sambuddha with unsurpassed complete awakening and knowledge and insight (final fruit knowledge) arose:

‘Destroyed is (re)birth for me,
accomplished is the spiritual life,
done is what ought to be done,
there is no more of this mundane state - this I know’."

It seems to me that this sutta elaborates the third true knowledge (wisdom, insight) that the Buddha attained in the last watch of the night of his enlightenment more completely, including the four noble truths "reflected upon wisely and turned like this, in three ways (phases), twelvefold". The Buddha had directly known (not through reasoning, imagining, doubting and so on, instead "knowledge arose, vision arose, understanding arose, comprehension arose, intelligence arose, wisdom arose and light became manifest") that he had fully comprehended the noble truth of suffering, he had abandoned the noble truth of the origination/arising of the suffering, and he had fully developed the practice (path) leading to the cessation of the suffering. I suppose when one attains the first fruit, he also directly knows that has comprehended the first fourfold of the 4NT.

Regarding "this is the peaceful, this is the sublime, that is, the stilling of all volitions, the relinquishing of all attachments, the ending of craving, dispassion, cessation, nibbana", I tend to think cessation means cessation of ignorance (about the 4NT) with the arising of the above-mentioned true knowledge. The knowledge/wisdom/insight will destroy the cord (all modes) of being (existence), and all beings (existences) all together cease and hence no more "decay" (defiled states) in samsara:

http://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/E ... ses-01.htm

"Where there is no imagining or doubt that is said to be wisdom,
Whatever comes from wisdom, in that there is no ignorance at all.
In whatever place there is cessation of ignorance,
There is a cessation of all decay and the factors of existence which are destroyed by decay (?)."

I was first confused about "the stilling of all volitions" as a practice to nibbana, but have realized that "the stilling of all volitions" is a description of nibbana which applies to arahants, not a way of practice to nibbana for trainers, as discussed in the following thread:

"Did the Buddha teach us to dwell only on the present?"

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=18131&p=272592#p272592

Merry Christmas and metta to all!
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Re: The Buddha's path to liberation

Postby starter » Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:14 am

Greetings!

Just to let you know that I've updated my understanding of the path again in the first post of this thread. I've realized that if one hasn't truly comprehended/penetrated all the 8 path factors, then he probably still hasn't entered the steam yet.

May all of us lots of progress on the path this year. Metta to all!

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Re: The Buddha's path to liberation

Postby yogya » Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:56 am

Doing the right thing: Right understanding leads to right decision/choice, right thought to speech....
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Re: The Buddha's path to liberation

Postby vishuroshan » Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:21 am

please read this . you can download this PDF. http://www.pathtonibbana.com
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Re: The Buddha's path to liberation

Postby starter » Sat Jan 25, 2014 3:35 am

vishuroshan wrote:please read this . you can download this PDF. http://www.pathtonibbana.com


Hello vishuroshan,

Thanks for your recommendation. I had a quick glance at the talk, and would like to share some of my immature thoughts since I'd like to be helpful. As to the title of the talk, "The Path to Nibbana as Declared by the Gautama Buddha", I would rather phrase it as "Interpretation of the Path ...". I believe that an arahant, and other noble disciples who have gained samma ditthi (entered the "stream") will always refer their students to the Buddha's words, instead of their own interpretation of the Buddha's words. Real Buddhists always follow the Buddha's words.

By the way, to my immature understanding of the Buddha's teaching, "dana" is not really part of the noble path, but part of the mundane path leading to the gaining of the "Dhamma eye" (vision of the Dhamma):

Ud 5.3 Kutthi Sutta The Leper:

Then the Blessed One, having encompassed the mind of the entire assembly with his mind, asked himself, "Now who here is capable of understanding the Dhamma?" He saw Suppabuddha the leper sitting in the assembly, and on seeing him the thought occurred to him, "This person here is capable of understanding the Dhamma." So, aiming at Suppabuddha the leper, he gave a step-by-step talk, i.e., he proclaimed a talk on generosity, on virtue, on heaven; he declared the drawbacks, degradation, & corruption of sensuality, and the rewards of renunciation. Then when the Blessed One knew that Suppabuddha the leper's mind was ready, malleable, free from hindrances, elevated, & clear, he then gave the Dhamma-talk peculiar to Awakened Ones, i.e., suffering, origination, cessation, & path.

I believe that we should practice the mundane path to remove the "gross impurities" (ten unwholesome deeds) first, before jumping to remove the "moderate impurities" (sensuality, ...) in the Noble Path. While I agree that the Noble Right Seeing is the comprehension of the 4NT and the Noble Right Resolve/Thinking are non-sensuality/non-malevonance/non-harming, I believe that we have to practice mundane right seeing and mundane right resolve/thinking first in order to truly comprehend the 4NT. The sequence of the practice had been outlined in the following sutta:

AN 3.102 (The goldsmith): mainly from http://www.buddha-vacana.org/sutta/angu ... 3-102.html (with some changes)

In the same way [as purifying gold], there are these gross impurities in a monk intent on heightened mind: misconduct in body, misconduct in speech, & misconduct in mind [unrighteous greed/covetousness, ill will, wrong views (of the law of karma)]. These [Ten unwholesome deeds] the monk — aware & able by nature — abandons, destroys, dispels, wipes out of existence [so that they will not rise again].
-- Step 1. Cultivate right thinking of non-unrighteous greed/non-covetousness, non-ill will, non-wrong views (of the law of karma), and right action/speech. It seems to me that the sequence for purification here should probably be abandoning misconduct in mind first, and then misconduct in speech and action. [For the definition of the "misconducts", please see AN 10.176]

When he is rid of them, there remain in him the moderate impurities [of mind]: thoughts of sensuality (due to liking), thoughts of hostility/hatred (due to disliking), & harming. These he abandons, destroys, dispels, wipes out of existence.
-- Step 2. Cultivate right thinking of non-sensuality, non-hostility (the moderate impurity here should not be the same as the gross impurity of ill will), and non-harming.

When he is rid of them, there remain in him the fine impurities: thoughts of his caste [greed for status], thoughts of his home district, thoughts related to not wanting to be despised [aversion]. These [the eight worldly winds] he abandons, destroys, dispels, wipes out of existence.
-- Step 3. Cultivate right thinking of non-greed for fame/honor, gain, praise, mental pleasure, and non-aversion to defame/dishonor, loss, censure, and mental pain.

When he is rid of them, there remain only thoughts of the Dhamma. His concentration is neither calm nor refined, it has not yet attained serenity or unity, and is kept in place by the fabrication of forceful restraint. But there comes a time when his mind grows steady inwardly, settles down, grows unified & concentrated. His concentration is calm & refined, has attained serenity & unity, and is no longer kept in place by the fabrication of forceful restraint.

And then whichever of the higher knowledge he turns his mind to know & realize, he can witness them for himself whenever there is an opening [penetration?]."

Metta to all!

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Re: The Buddha's path to liberation

Postby starter » Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:42 am

Greetings!

I happened to encounter Ven. Bodhi's following comments today:

"Considered from the standpoint of practical training, the eight path factors divide into three groups: (i) the moral discipline group (silakkhandha), made up of right speech, right action, and right livelihood; (ii) the concentration group (samadhikkhandha), made up of right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration; and (iii) the wisdom group (paññakkhandha), made up of right view and right intention. These three groups represent three stages of training: the training in the higher moral discipline, the training in the higher consciousness, and the training in the higher wisdom.

..Perplexity sometimes arises over an apparent inconsistency in the arrangement of the path factors and the threefold training. Wisdom — which includes right view and right intention — is the last stage in the threefold training, yet its factors are placed at the beginning of the path rather than at its end, as might be expected according to the canon of strict consistency. The sequence of the path factors, however, is not the result of a careless slip, but is determined by an important logistical consideration, namely, that right view and right intention of a preliminary type are called for at the outset as the spur for entering the threefold training. Right view provides the perspective for practice, right intention the sense of direction. But the two do not expire in this preparatory role. For when the mind has been refined by the training in moral discipline and concentration, it arrives at a superior right view and right intention, which now form the proper training in the higher wisdom."


As described in the first post of this thread:

1) "a preliminary type" of right view and right intention is the mundane right view [of law of karma] and mundane right intention [of striving for 1) non-unrighteous greed/non-covetousness, non-ill will, non-wrong view (of the law of karma), 2) non-bodily and then non-mental sensual desire, non-hatred/non-malevonance, non-cruelty/non-harming ], for the effacement of 10 unwholesome deeds, establishment of the 8 path factors, and the understanding of the 4 Noble Truths.

2) "a superior right view and right intention" is the noble right view of the 4 Noble Truths, and noble right intention/thinking of the perfection of non-sensuality, non-malevonance (hate, hostility, anger, ...), and non-harming.

The 8-factored path contains both the mundane path and the noble path; the mundane path, which is led by mundane right view and intention/thoughts, leads to the noble right intention/thoughts, which start the noble path.

As to culaavuso's helpful comments (http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 4&start=40) concerning the sequence of the practice, here are my two cents:

I agree that the relationship between the path factors is not purely linear, but often intertwined (e.g. right mindfulness and right effort should be practiced for developing all the other path factors), and incorporates feedback loops. But again, I tend to think that during the course of the gradual training we should probably try to concentrate our effort on developing and perfecting each factor sequentially ("step-by-step"), while also practicing the other factors. It's not that we only practice one factor at a time. It's also not that we practice all the factors with equal emphasis at once.

To my understanding, the following teaching outlines the sequence of perfection of the path factors, which also teaches us the sequence of practice:

AN 10.103: Micchatta Sutta

"In a person of right view, right resolve comes into being. In a person of right resolve, right speech. In a person of right speech, right action. In a person of right action, right livelihood. In a person of right livelihood, right effort. In a person of right effort, right mindfulness. In a person of right mindfulness, right concentration. In a person of right concentration, right knowledge. In a person of right knowledge, right release."

Thanks for all your input and metta to all!
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Re: The Buddha's path to liberation

Postby culaavuso » Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:51 am

starter wrote:To my understanding, the following teaching outlines the sequence of perfection of the path factors, which also teaches us the sequence of practice:

AN 10.103: Micchatta Sutta

"In a person of right view, right resolve comes into being. In a person of right resolve, right speech. In a person of right speech, right action. In a person of right action, right livelihood. In a person of right livelihood, right effort. In a person of right effort, right mindfulness. In a person of right mindfulness, right concentration. In a person of right concentration, right knowledge. In a person of right knowledge, right release."


It may be useful to compare a few other suttas, which seem to suggest that right view and right intention are the last path components to be perfected.

AN 3.86: Sekhin Sutta wrote:There is the case where a monk is wholly accomplished in virtue, wholly accomplished in concentration, and moderately accomplished in discernment.


MN 44: Culavedalla Sutta wrote:Right speech, right action, & right livelihood come under the aggregate of virtue. Right effort, right mindfulness, & right concentration come under the aggregate of concentration. Right view & right resolve come under the aggregate of discernment.


In the context of AN 3.86, it seems that first virtue is perfected (right speech/action/livelihood), then concentration (right effort/mindfulness/concentration), then discernment (right view and right intention). These stages represent stream entry, non-return, and arahantship.

AN 3.86: Sekhin Sutta wrote:There is the case where a monk is wholly accomplished in virtue, moderately accomplished in concentration, and moderately accomplished in discernment.
...
With the wasting away of [the first] three fetters, he is one who has seven more times at most.
...
There is the case where a monk is wholly accomplished in virtue, wholly accomplished in concentration, and moderately accomplished in discernment.
...
With the wasting away of the five lower fetters, he is one going upstream to the Peerless
...
There is the case where a monk is wholly accomplished in virtue, wholly accomplished in concentration, wholly accomplished in discernment.
...
With the ending of effluents, he dwells in the effluent-free awareness-release and discernment-release, having directly known and realized them for himself right in the here-and-now.

Those who are partially accomplished attain a part; those who are wholly accomplished, the whole.
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Re: The Buddha's path to liberation

Postby starter » Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:27 am

Hello culaavuso,

Nice to have you in the forum and thanks for your input. To my understanding, the complete aranhant path has 10 factors [the 8 path factors plus right knowledge and right deliverance]:

“Therein, bhikkhus, right view comes first. And how does right view come first? In one of right view, right intention comes into being; in one of right intention, right speech comes into being; in one of right speech, right action comes into being; in one of right action, right livelihood comes into being; in one of right livelihood, right effort comes into being; in one of right effort, right mindfulness comes into being; in one of right mindfulness, right concentration comes into being; in one of right concentration, right knowledge comes into being; in one of right knowledge, right deliverance comes into being. Thus, bhikkhus, the path of the disciple in higher training possesses eight factors, the arahant possesses ten factors." (MN 117 http://suttacentral.net/mn117/en)

The right view you refer to as discernment appears to mean the 9th factor -- right/complete knowledge (of the 3 ways and 12 folds of the 4 Noble Truths), which eradicates ignorance.

The right view I refer to mean the 1st path factor, the comprehension of the first one of the three ways, and the first 4 folds of the 12 folds of 4 NT):

‘This is suffering’, ‘This is the arising of suffering’, ‘This is the cessation of suffering’, ‘This is the practice (path) leading to the cessation of suffering’.

Please correct me if I'm wrong. Mega metta!

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Re: The Buddha's path to liberation

Postby culaavuso » Tue Mar 04, 2014 3:56 am

starter wrote:The right view I refer to mean the 1st path factor, the comprehension of the first one of the three ways, and the first 4 folds of the 12 folds of 4 NT):

‘This is suffering’, ‘This is the arising of suffering’, ‘This is the cessation of suffering’, ‘This is the practice (path) leading to the cessation of suffering’.


This description seems to refer to noble right view, as opposed to mundane right view. This could lead an interesting reading to MN 117 in interpreting mundane right view, right effort, and right mindfulness as the conditions for establishing noble right view. It's also interesting to note for this interpretation that the aggregate of concentration (right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration) are not explained as being "of two sorts" in the same way as the other aspects of the path. It also seems that the definitions of right effort and right mindfulness suggest work on improving all aspects of the path equally, whenever an opportunity presents. This seems to support the idea that right effort and right mindfulness are important early developments for their ability to reinforce the rest of the path.

MN 117: Maha-cattarisaka Sutta wrote:Right view, I tell you, is of two sorts: There is right view with effluents, siding with merit, resulting in acquisitions [of becoming]; there is right view that is noble, without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.
...
One makes an effort for the abandoning of wrong view & for entering into right view: This is one's right effort. One is mindful to abandon wrong view & to enter & remain in right view: This is one's right mindfulness. Thus these three qualities — right view, right effort, & right mindfulness — run & circle around right view.


SN 45.8 wrote:And what, monks, is right effort? (i) There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen. (ii) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen. (iii) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen. (iv) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen: This, monks, is called right effort.

"And what, monks, is right mindfulness? (i) There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, aware, & mindful — putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. (ii) He remains focused on feelings in & of themselves — ardent, aware, & mindful — putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. (iii) He remains focused on the mind in & of itself — ardent, aware, & mindful — putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. (iv) He remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, aware, & mindful — putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. This, monks, is called right mindfulness.


AN 10.103 (Micchatta Sutta) describes a natural progression, but it doesn't seem like a clear suggestion to focus on one path factor at a time to the exclusion of work on the others. The natural progression makes sense in that right view sees in terms of the four noble truths, and thus the duties with regard to the four truths become clear, which results in right intention, which thus shapes verbal and bodily actions giving rise to right speech and right action, which creates an impact on lifestyle as a whole that gives rise to right livelihood, etc.

One way to interpret this natural progression is that once the noble right view attained at stream entry arises, the other seven factors will naturally follow. It's interesting to note that there are at most seven lifetimes remaining for a stream entrant and that they likewise have at most seven path factors left incomplete. However, there are limits to how far this parallel can be drawn since it is not until non-return that sensual desire is abandoned, which is part of the definition of noble right intention.

It's also interesting that the tool provided by the path for abandoning sensual desire is the pleasure of right concentration. Thus it seems that right concentration is useful to develop in order to cultivate right intention, which is out of order relative to the presentation of AN 10.103. This development of right concentration previous to right intention seems to be suggested by MN 137
MN 137: Salayatana-vibhanga Sutta wrote:Here, by depending & relying on the six kinds of renunciation joy, abandon & transcend the six kinds of household joy.


SN 36.31: Niramisa sutta wrote:And what is rapture of the flesh? There are these five strings of sensuality.
...
And what is rapture not of the flesh? There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensual pleasures, withdrawn from unskillful qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana


It's interesting to note that AN 11.2 (Cetana Sutta) also describes a natural progression leading to final release, but in that progression the first step is virtue (right speech/action/livelihood). Assuming that the path must have a fixed order with a specific beginning step would seem to create a contradiction from the different orderings of AN 10.103 and AN 11.2. However, this is not a contradiction if one considers the path to be more of an upward spiral than a directly linear set of steps. Thus, AN 10.103 and AN 11.2 would seem to be describing the same upward spiral from a different starting point and focusing on a different set of steps along the way.

Previous to either progression, giving rise to right view requires vigilant application of right effort and right mindfulness as well as a preliminary level of right view to understand what constitutes right effort and right mindfulness. Developing that preliminary level of right view requires a preliminary level of right speech, right action, and right livelihood in order to gain experience with skillful actions and to avoid circumstances that lead to self deceit. Developing that preliminary level of right speech, right action, and right livelihood requires an application of right effort and right mindfulness in order to remember to be virtuous and influence one's behavior in that way. This earlier establishment of right effort and right mindfulness requires forming an intention to establish them, which requires having a view that such an intention is necessary.

Looking at this structure from a high level appears to be more of a spiral upwards where the path factors are all mutually reinforcing, until eventually some "final turn" of the spiral results in right knowledge and release. This "final turn" may appear linear but it is strongly supported by the developments of the earlier turns. Where the "final turn" of the spiral begins would also then seem to be somewhat arbitrary.
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Re: The Buddha's path to liberation

Postby starter » Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:41 am

Hello culaavuso,

Here is my understanding of the "upward spiral" of the path:

→ Mundane ("preliminary type" of tainted) Right View of the law of karma
→ Mundane Right Resolve/Thinking [still tainted; 1) striving for and culminating intention/thoughts of non-unrighteous greed/non-covetousness, non-ill will, non-wrong view (of the law of karma); 2) striving for intention/thoughts of non-bodily and then non-mental sensual desire, non-malevonance, non-cruelty/non-harming]
→ Mundane Sila [still tainted]: striving for
Right speech
Right conduct
Right livelihood
→ Mundane Right effort [still tainted]
→ Mundane Right mindfulness [still tainted]
→ Mundane Right Samādhi [still tainted; singleness of mind equipped and supported with the previous 7 factors]

→ Mundane Right Knowledge [the All are anicca/dukkha/anatta]

→ Gain Noble Right View (the first one of the three ways, the first 4 of the 12 folds of the 4 Noble Truths)
→ Noble Right Resolve/Thinking [perfection of the resolve and thinking of non-sensuality, non-malevonance, non-cruelty/non-harming; taintless]
→ Noble Sila: [taintless]
Noble Right Speech
Noble Right Conduct
Noble Right Livelihood
→ Noble Right Effort [taintless]
→ Noble Right Mindfulness [taintless]
→ Noble Right Samādhi [the 4 jhanas, equipped and supported with the previous 7 path factors; taintless]

→ Right knowledge (comprehension of the four Noble Truths in three ways and twelve folds & cessation of ignorance)
-- Nibbana

To my understanding, the noble right samadhi is obtained after the culmination of the noble right resolve:

SN 36.31: Niramisa sutta
And what is rapture not of the flesh? There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensual pleasures, withdrawn from unskillful qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana

Mundane right samadhi could help with the practice/perfection of the noble right resolve (and other path factors).

By the way, to me AN 11.2 (Cetana Sutta) does not necessarily mean that the first step of the path is virtue. This particular sutta seems to teach how sila is important for and leads to samadhi and final liberation. Although noble right view and the other path factors were not mentioned in this sutta, I believe it was taught to the noble disciples who had already possessed noble right view and noble right resolve/thinking, who were perfecting their sila and samadhi. If sila were taught as the first step of the Path without the first two (and other) path factors, then it wouldn't lead to right samadhi, right knowledge and nibbana.

Thanks and metta!

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Last edited by starter on Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Buddha's path to liberation

Postby starter » Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:39 am

Just to add the following teaching, which indicates that the other 7 path factors must be culminated before reaching noble right samadhi:

“What, bhikkhus, is noble right concentration with its supports and its requisites, that is, right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, and right mindfulness? Unification of mind equipped with these seven factors is called noble right concentration with its supports and its requisites." (MN 117)

Metta to all!
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Re: The Buddha's path to liberation

Postby starter » Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:23 pm

Greetings!

I happened to study MN 24 and tried to translate the following paragraph based upon my personal understanding:

MN 24. Ratha-vinita Sutta: Relay Chariots

“… In the same manner (as the relay of chariots),

sīlavisuddhi (precepts/morality purity) is for citta­visuddhatthā (mind purification [samadhi]),

citta-visuddhi (mind purity) is for diṭṭhi-visuddhatthā (view purification [Understanding the three characteristics (anicca/dukkha/anatta) and breaking of the fetter of self view]),

diṭṭhi-visuddhi (view purity) is for kaṅkhāvitaraṇa-visuddhatthā (doubt-overcoming purification [breaking the fetter of doubt about the Buddha and the Dhamma]),

kaṅkhāvitaraṇa-visuddhi (purity from doubt) is for maggāmaggañāṇadassana­ visuddhatthā (purification of path/non-path knowledge [gaining the noble right view of the 4NT in one of the three ways and four of the twelve folds, breaking the fetter of grasping sila and rituals]),

and maggāmaggañāṇadassana­visuddhi (purity of path/non-path knowledge) is for paṭipadāñāṇadassana-visuddhatthā (purification of knowledge of the [NOBLE 8-fold] path),

paṭipadāñāṇadassana-visuddhi (purity of knowledge of the path) is for ñāṇadassana-visuddhatthā (purification of [liberating] knowledge and insight [comprehension of the four noble truths in three ways and twelve folds & cessation of ignorance]),

ñāṇadassana-visuddhi (purity of knowledge and insight) is for final Nibbana without grasping.

It is for Nibbana without grasping that the holy life is lived in the dispensation of the Blessed One.”

Ven. Sariputta and Ven. Punna Mantaniputta summarized the sequence of the practice very well, which is in complete agreement with the Buddha's teaching (of course). I feel a pity that this sequence of the practice appeared to have been misinterpreted by some commentators and practitioners, and the commentaries (instead of the Buddha's words) have been used to guide their practice.

Please correct me if I'm wrong. Thanks and metta!
Last edited by starter on Sat Jun 14, 2014 10:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Buddha's path to liberation

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:55 pm

Hi Starter,

Since this sutta was used by Buddhaghosa as a basis for his classification of The Path of Purification, Visuddhimagga, downloadable here: http://www.bps.lk/library_books.php it would be logical to compare your understanding with the traditional classification.

You might also find Ven Analyo's article about the Visuddhimagga and the Vimuttimagga useful, as he discusses the relationships to the suttas:
http://www.buddhismuskunde.uni-hamburg.de/fileadmin/pdf/analayo/TreatisePathLiberation.pdf

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Re: The Buddha's path to liberation

Postby starter » Sun Jun 15, 2014 3:02 am

Hello Mike,

Thanks for the information. I've to admit that I don't feel like that I can read the Visuddhimagga now*; I suppose that this diagram (http://paauktawyausa.org/dhamma/the-tea ... -training/) is a good summary of it. I'm amazed how it could have become such an influential "bible", in replacement of the suttas. Why have so many practitioners chosen to follow it instead of the Buddha's teaching? [* When I started learning about Theravada Buddhism about 4 years ago, I was very attracted to the Visuddhimagga and read a little about it. Fortunately Bhante Piyadhammo stopped me from reading it and told me to read Majjhima Nikaya.]

Metta to all!

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Re: The Buddha's path to liberation

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jun 15, 2014 5:23 am

Yes, that's a discussion of the progress of insight. I thought this thread was in the Classical Theravada section, which is why I mentioned the Visuddhimagga, but I seem to be mistaken. To answer your question, many people obviously find the Theravada commentaries on the Suttas, which summarise knowledge and analysis of ancient practitioners, to be as helpful as modern ones. I would have thought that it would be interesting for you to compare your commentary to that of the ancients, as well as comparing it with modern commentators (which would include those who post on this forum).

There are some examples of the practical advice that is encapsulated in the Visuddhimagga on this thread. This particular post I have compared advice with a modern teacher:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=20969#p294902

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Re: The Buddha's path to liberation

Postby starter » Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:59 am

Hello Mike,

Please be sure that your input has always been appreciated, and your suggestions as well. I'm surely interested in comparing my "commentary" to that of the ancients, as well as that of the modern commentators. It's just that I felt disappointed about the Visuddhimagga's interpretation of the wisdom section (from view purification to knowledge and vision purification). But I agree with you that the practical advice encapsulated in the Visuddhimaggaon (such as on samadhi as mentioned on your thread) could be helpful. By the way, thanks for sharing your interesting comparison and knowledge with us. I've always been impressed by your knowledge and helpfulness.

Any more suggestions/comments would be sincerely welcome. Mega metta!

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Re: The Buddha's path to liberation

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:24 am

Hi Starter,
starter wrote:It's just that I felt disappointed about the Visuddhimagga's interpretation of the wisdom section (from view purification to knowledge and vision purification).

Now I'm confused. I thought you said you hadn't read it. So how can you be disappointed?

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Re: The Buddha's path to liberation

Postby starter » Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:22 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Starter,
starter wrote:It's just that I felt disappointed about the Visuddhimagga's interpretation of the wisdom section (from view purification to knowledge and vision purification).

Now I'm confused. I thought you said you hadn't read it. So how can you be disappointed?

:anjali:
Mike


Hi Mike,

Yesterday I had a glance through the wisdom section to compare it with the diagram ( (http://paauktawyausa.org/dhamma/the-tea ... -training/), in particular the interpretation of e.g. change-of-lineage-knowledge. I'm surprised that the first path knowledge was put after the path-knowledge purification. I don't agree with the steps/descriptions outlined in the wisdom section. In addition, if the diagram summarizes Visuddhimagga precisely, it appears to me that the complete training on full awareness and clear comprehension, the establishment/development of the other three mindfulness (feeling/mind states/Dhamma) and etc. are not there. But this is only my immature opinion.

Thanks and metta,

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Re: The Buddha's path to liberation

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Jun 16, 2014 7:40 pm

Mindfulness is, of course, a key part of liberation:
XVI.86 ... The term right mindfulness includes the fourfold foundation
of mindfulness, the mindfulness faculty, the mindfulness power, and the
mindfulness enlightenment factor.

XXII.33 1. Herein, the fulfilment of states sharing in enlightenment is the fulfilledness
of those states partaking in enlightenment. For they are the following thirty-
seven states: the four foundations of mindfulness (MN 10), ...

XXII.39 So there are these thirty-seven states partaking of enlightenment.
Now, in the prior stage when mundane insight is occurring, they are found
in a plurality of consciousnesses as follows: the foundation of mindfulness
consisting in contemplation of the body [is found] in one discerning the
body in the fourteen ways; the foundation of mindfulness consisting in
contemplation of feeling, in one discerning feeling in the nine ways; the
foundation of mindfulness consisting in the contemplation of mind, in one
discerning the [manner of] consciousness in sixteen ways; the
foundation of mindfulness consisting in contemplation of mental objects, in
one discerning mental objects in the five ways. And at the time when, on
seeing an unprofitable state arisen in someone else, which has not yet arisen
in his own person, he strives for its non-arising thus, “I shall not behave as
he has done in whom this is now arisen, and so this will not arise in me,”
then he has the first right endeavour; when, seeing something unprofitable
in his own behaviour, he strives to abandon it, then he has the second; when
he strives to arouse jhána or insight so far unarisen in this person, he has the
third; and when he arouses again and again what has already arisen so that
it shall not diminish, he has the fourth. And at the time of arousing a profitable
state with zeal as the motive force, there is the road to power consisting in
zeal, [and so on with the remaining three roads to power]. And at the time of
abstaining from wrong speech there is right speech, [and so on with
abstaining from wrong action and wrong livelihood].


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