Cormac Brown wrote: I seem to recall that the five ascetics mightn't have even listened to the Buddha were it not for the fact his new-found demeanour was so impressive (1).
(1) Regrettably, I cannot find the reference for this. Any help would be appreciated.
“Then, bhikkhus, when I had stayed at Uruvelā as long as I chose, I set out to wander by stages to Benares. Between Gayā and the Place of Enlightenment the Ājīvaka Upaka saw me on the road and said: ‘Friend, your faculties are clear, the colour of your skin is pure and bright. Under whom have you gone forth, friend? Who is your teacher? Whose Dhamma do you profess? ’ I replied to the Ājīvaka Upaka in stanzas:
“Then, bhikkhus, wandering by stages, I eventually came to Benares, to the Deer Park at Isipatana, and I approached the bhikkhus of the group of five. The bhikkhus saw me coming in the distance, and they agreed among themselves thus: ‘Friends, here comes the recluse Gotama who lives luxuriously, who gave up his striving, and reverted to luxury. We should not pay homage to him or rise up for him or receive his bowl and outer robe. But a seat may be prepared for him. If he likes, he may sit down.’ However, as I approached, those bhikkhus found themselves unable to keep their pact. One came to meet me and took my bowl and outer robe, another prepared a seat, and another set out water for my feet; however, they addressed me by name and as ‘friend.’
"They say different things," and those who study the Buddha's teachings say different things.dhamma follower wrote:tiltbillings wrote:As for the "Buddha's teachings," you really have no way of knowing if they are really the Buddha's teachings other than speculation and expectations. Working with a teacher, working on your one with the books, you are in same position as with one with the other. A good teacher may be a bit further along the path and may have some genuine insight, which may be worthwhile, but in either case, it is always stepping off the cliff's edge.dhamma follower wrote:Without one's own studying of the Teaching which is now our Teacher because the Buddha is gone, there's no way to know whether someone's teaching is the Buddha's teaching or not, let alone knowing what level of attainment he/she has, in such cases,it would be one's own speculations and expectations only.
The point was not about studying with books vs studying with one Teacher, as almost everyone has a teacher and reads books. The point was that the trust on a living teacher should not outweigh one's own studying of the Buddha's Teaching as found in the Tipitaka with careful reflection. We know very well that there are many famous and inspiring teachers, but they say different things... I don't think the Buddha encouraged speculations and expectations as part of the way. Instead, he encouraged us to consider and test out for our-self (the famous Kesaputta sutta to the people of Kalamas).
robertk wrote:Ajahn Maha Boowa also notes that it was while witnessing Ajahn Mun's deportment while doing walking meditation that he was convinced he had found an arahant. This inspired him to become a disciple of the Venerable Ajahn
Of course Mahaboowa might have been wrong in his assumption and gone the wrong way.
"As for the qualities of which you may know, 'These qualities lead to dispassion, not to passion; to being unfettered, not to being fettered; to shedding, not to accumulating; to modesty, not to self-aggrandizement; to contentment, not to discontent; to seclusion, not to entanglement; to aroused persistence, not to laziness; to being unburdensome, not to being burdensome': You may categorically hold, 'This is the Dhamma, this is the Vinaya, this is the Teacher's instruction.'"
Dhammanando wrote:In the Dvedhāvitakka Sutta the Bodhisatta's suppressing of the three kinds of unwholesome thought through the power of reflection is described as culminating in the jhānas. Since no amount of such suppression would by itself suffice to generate insight, the practice could not really be described as a "path toward vipassanā".
But if one thought that 'Oh, here is desire I must remove it', then
one is no longer following the path toward vipassana.
Then another devata uttered this inspired utterance in the presence of the Blessed One: "See his concentration well-developed and his mind well liberated - not bent forward and not bent back, and not blocked and checked by forceful suppression..."
Bhikkhu Bhodi's note: "Spk-pt: This is not achieved, not fixed, forcefully, with effort, by way of abandoning in a particular respect or by way of abandoning through suppression as is the mundane-jhana mind or insight; but rather it has been achieved because the defilements have been completely cut off" (my emphasis)
But if one thought that 'Oh, here is desire I don't need to remove it', then
one is no longer following the path toward vipassana.
They are not sense pleasures, the world's pretty things:
Man's sensuality is the intention of lust.
The pretty things remain as they are in the world
But the wise remove the desire for them.
Cormac Brown wrote:In relation to this discussion, it might be worth referring to SN 1.38 and its accompanying note 88 from CDB:Then another devata uttered this inspired utterance in the presence of the Blessed One: "See his concentration well-developed and his mind well liberated - not bent forward and not bent back, and not blocked and checked by forceful suppression..."Bhikkhu Bhodi's note: "Spk-pt: This is not achieved, not fixed, forcefully, with effort, by way of abandoning in a particular respect or by way of abandoning through suppression as is the mundane-jhana mind or insight; but rather it has been achieved because the defilements have been completely cut off" (my emphasis)
The implication, of course, is that until the defilements have been cut off, there is always an element of deliberate suppression, and the tika here can be seen most explicitly relating abandonment through suppression to the path of insight.
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