The causes for wisdom

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Cormac Brown
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Cormac Brown » Fri Feb 05, 2016 11:31 am

As is detailed in Canki Sutta, and as is illustrated by the example of Ven. Assaji, a teacher can help a student by ensuring that their own behaviour is free of activities that signal greed, aversion and delusion. This, as the Buddha explains, is a factor in arousing conviction in a prospective student. As much can be seen in Ven. Sariputta's admiration of Ven. Assaji's elegance. Many a person has been discouraged by seeing monastics behave in an unseemly or ungainly fashion, in more or less subtle expressions of defilement. 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). The Vinaya, in particular the Sekhiya rules (the first ones new and prospective monks should learn) and Khandhakas, contain very detailed instructions on deportment, manner and etiquette. It's fair to assume that one of the Buddha's reasons for such detail was to encourage monks to behave in such a way that would inspire faith in others.

The value of this has to be verified for oneself, however. And, as the Buddha says, only a discerning person will be able to spot someone of good conduct and habit, not an undiscerning one. [AN 4.192] Some people, on seeing a monk refined in conduct, can really become inspired at heart, wanting to emulate and learn from them, as happened with Ven. Sariputta and Ven. Assaji, and subsequently Ven. Mogallanna, who knew simply from his friend's countenance that he had seen the Deathless.

(1) Regrettably, I cannot find the reference for this. Any help would be appreciated.

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mikenz66
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:58 pm

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.

It was Ājīvaka Upaka who was particularly impressed by his appearance:
https://suttacentral.net/en/mn26/45
“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:

However, the group of 5 did seem to be impressed enough to listen to him:
https://suttacentral.net/en/mn26/48
“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.’

:anjali:
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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:05 pm

dhamma follower wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
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.
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.


Hi Tilt,

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).
"They say different things," and those who study the Buddha's teachings say different things.
.


++++++++++++++++
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

Cormac Brown
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Cormac Brown » Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:59 pm

Thank you Mike.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Cormac Brown » Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:21 pm

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.'"


I think that Ajahn Mun's teachings and example fit the above criteria. But that's perhaps best left for another thread.

I think we can agree that Ven. Sariputta was not wrong in his assumption and went the right way.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Cormac Brown » Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:18 pm

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".


robertK wrote:
But if one thought that 'Oh, here is desire I must remove it', then
one is no longer following the path toward vipassana.


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. The oft-suggested incompatibility of insight and deliberate suppression is thus challenged, to say the least. We can derive from this that, again, deliberate suppression and removal of desire/defilement is only unnecessary at arahantship. Any negligence, while still unattained, to deliberately eradicate thoughts of sensuality is, as previously quoted, "acquiescence." Deliberate suppression or removal of desire displays only that one has not yet attained to liberating insight, but it is certainly not indicate that one is not on the path toward it. Again, it is clear that without such effort, one has abandoned the path toward vipassana.

Thus a reformulation of robertK's statement would be:

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.


From SN 1.34:

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.


Metta

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mikenz66
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:50 am

I don't think anyone disagrees that the removal of defilements is what the Buddha taught. Where I see people disagreeing often seems to revolve around differences of opinion over (1) The timescale; and (2) The method.

(1) Timescale: When the Buddha says "do away with X" some interpret that as immediate. They have to do away with it right now! Others, perhaps more realistically, view the removal of certain issues as a long-term, perhaps many-lifetime project.

(2) Method: Sometimes it is necessary to use specific antidotes, but in other cases paying close attention will allow one to see the disadvantages of following though with certain actions and thoughts and thus drop the problematical issue. I don't think "Right Effort" is a matter of gritting the teeth and blasting through the barriers.

And of course, doing away with deep defilements ultimately involves understanding with wisdom. And we can't will that wisdom into being. All we can do is set up the causes and conditions for it to arise. Though I don't go along with all of Robert's argument, I certainly agree that wisdom arises due to causes and conditions.

:anjali:
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Dhammanando » Fri Feb 12, 2016 1:51 am

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.


The ṭīkā does nothing of the kind. On the contrary, it treats the two kinds of suppression as two different things. It states that in the non-arahant defilements may be suppressed by either mundane jhāna or by insight. In the case of the former the suppression is effected by the jhāna factors, while the path leading to it may entail deliberate acts of suppression of the kind outlined in the Vitakkasaṇṭhānasutta. As for suppression by insight (vipassanā-vikkhambhana), every instance of this described in the texts consists in the displacement of something akusala or flawed or inferior by the arising of some kind of knowledge. There isn’t a single case where it consists in the akusala thing being suppressed by a deliberate act of will.

Some examples of suppression by insight:

• Perception of permanence (niccasaññā) is displaced by the perception of impermanence (aniccasaññā).
• Perception of pleasure (sukhasaññā) is displaced by the perception of suffering (dukkhasaññā).
• Perception of self (attāsaññā) is displaced by the perception of not-self (anattāsaññā).
• Delight (nandi) is displaced by knowledge of disenchantment (nibbidā).
• Greed (rāga) is displaced by knowledge of dispassion (virāga).
• Origination (samudaya) is displaced by knowledge of cessation (nirodha).
• Appropriation (ādāna) is displaced by knowledge of relinquishment (paṭinissagga).
• Perception of compactness (ghanasaññā) is displaced by knowledge of destruction (khaya).
• Accumulation (āyūhana) is displaced by knowledge of disappearance (vaya).
• Perception of everlastingness (dhuvasaññā) is displaced by knowledge of transience (vipariṇāma).
• Signs (nimitta) are displaced by knowledge of the signless (animitta).
• Desire (paṇidhi) is displaced by knowledge of the desireless (appaṇihita).
• Voluntary adhesion (abhinivesa) is displaced by knowledge of emptiness (suññatā).
• Voluntary adhesion due to grasping at an essence (sārādānābhinivesa) is displaced by insight into dhammas at the level of higher understanding (adhipaññādhammavipassanā).
• Voluntary adhesion due to delusion (sammohābhinivesa) is displaced by knowledge and vision according to reality (yathābhūtañāṇadassana).
• Voluntary adhesion due to reliance [on formations] (ālayābhinivesa) is displaced by knowledge of the peril [in formations] (ādīnava).
• Non-reflection (appaṭisaṅkha) is displaced by reflection (paṭisaṅkha).
• Voluntary adhesion due to the fetters (saṃyogābhinivesa) is displaced by knowledge of turning away (vivaṭṭa).
    Yathā bubbuḷakaṃ passe, yathā passe marīcikaṃ,
    Evaṃ lokaṃ avekkhantaṃ, maccurājā na passati.

    One should see it as a bubble;
    One should see it as a mirage.
    Who regards the world thus
    The King of Death sees him not.
    (Dhammapada 170)


    ผู้ที่มองเห็นโลก ว่าไม่จีรังและหาสาระอะไรมิได้
    เช่นเดียวกับคนมองฟองน้ำและพยับแดด
    คนเช่นนี้พญามารย่อมตามหาไม่พบ ฯ
    (ธรรมบท ๑๗๐)

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Alex123
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Alex123 » Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:13 pm

Hello MikeNZ, all,

mikenz66 wrote:I don't think anyone disagrees that the removal of defilements is what the Buddha taught. Where I see people disagreeing often seems to revolve around differences of opinion over (1) The timescale; and (2) The method.

(1) Timescale: When the Buddha says "do away with X" some interpret that as immediate. They have to do away with it right now! Others, perhaps more realistically, view the removal of certain issues as a long-term, perhaps many-lifetime project.


One of the qualities of Dhamma is: Akaliko.
Many people attained paths/fruits very quickly.
Many suttas say that if you do this, awakening can happen in a day-7years.

In the 4 main nikayas there is no teaching about gathering paramis for many lifetimes in order to become an Arhat.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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mikenz66
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Feb 15, 2016 6:08 am

Yes, there is some progress in some suttas. In others it seemed to take quite a lot of time and effort.

Furthermore, many would argue that akaliko is better translated as "in this life", rather than "immediately".
Brahm wrote:On the Meaning of Sanditthika and Akalika

Some modern writers have suggested that the effect must arise simultaneously with its cause, or arise just one moment after, for this to qualify as a Dhamma which can be 'seen here and now' and be 'immediate'. They argue that since the Dhamma is sanditthika and akalika, and Dependent Origination is one of the central features of the Dhamma, therefore Dependent Origination must be sanditthika and akalika. But does 'sanditthika' mean 'seen here and now'? Does 'akalika' mean 'immediate'? As I will now show, these translations can be misleading.
...
Continued here: http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books3/Ajahn_Brahm_Paticca_Samuppada_Dependent_Origination.htm


:anjali:
Mike

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Alex123
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Alex123 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:27 pm

Hello MikeNZ, all,

mikenz66 wrote:Yes, there is some progress in some suttas. In others it seemed to take quite a lot of time and effort.

Furthermore, many would argue that akaliko is better translated as "in this life", rather than "immediately".


In any case, "in this life" or "immediately" is far shorter than aeons of parami gathering.

In 4.5 Nikayas there aren't any teaching that it has to take that long to become an Arhat.

It is interesting how when the Buddha speaks in the suttas about time, it always talks about how short it is. Today, teachers tend to overemphasize how many countless lives it may take.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:24 am

Alex123 wrote:Hello MikeNZ, all,

mikenz66 wrote:I don't think anyone disagrees that the removal of defilements is what the Buddha taught. Where I see people disagreeing often seems to revolve around differences of opinion over (1) The timescale; and (2) The method.

(1) Timescale: When the Buddha says "do away with X" some interpret that as immediate. They have to do away with it right now! Others, perhaps more realistically, view the removal of certain issues as a long-term, perhaps many-lifetime project.


One of the qualities of Dhamma is: Akaliko.
Many people attained paths/fruits very quickly.
Many suttas say that if you do this, awakening can happen in a day-7years.

In the 4 main nikayas there is no teaching about gathering paramis for many lifetimes in order to become an Arhat.


Hi Alex,

Akaliko refers to the fact the the fruit (phala citta, supermundane dhamma) follows immediately the
Path moment (magga citta). This is as opposed to mundane dhammas, which can only give result at another moment with intervals between the moment of cause and the moment of result (nānā khanika kamma).
The term doesn't suggest the timescale for people to reach enlightenment.

The Six Qualities of the Dhamma

The Dhamma is:

Svakkhato Bhagavata Dhammo – well-proclaimed by the Blessed One,
Sanditthiko – self-realized,
Akaliko – followed by fruit without delay (of immediate result),
Ehipassiko – worthy of the invitation “Come and see”,
Opaneyyiko – brought to oneself,
Paccattam Veditabbo Vinnuhi – realized by the wise each for himself.


Brgrds,

D.F

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:49 pm

dhamma follower wrote:
Akaliko refers to the fact the the fruit (phala citta, supermundane dhamma) follows immediately the
Path moment (magga citta). This is as opposed to mundane dhammas, which can only give result at another moment with intervals between the moment of cause and the moment of result (nānā khanika kamma).
The term doesn't suggest the timescale for people to reach enlightenment.
This is spelled out in what sutta?
.


++++++++++++++++
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:42 am

tiltbillings wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:
Akaliko refers to the fact the the fruit (phala citta, supermundane dhamma) follows immediately the
Path moment (magga citta). This is as opposed to mundane dhammas, which can only give result at another moment with intervals between the moment of cause and the moment of result (nānā khanika kamma).
The term doesn't suggest the timescale for people to reach enlightenment.
This is spelled out in what sutta?


I don't think the sutta gives any explanation about the term. What I wrote above is from the Visudhimagga:

'It has no delay (lit takes no time — kala) in the man-
ner of giving its own fruit, thus it is "without delay
(akala)". "Without delay" is the same as "not delayed
(akalika)". What is meant is that instead of giving its fruit
after creating a delay (using up time), say, five days, seven
days, it gives its fruit immediately next to its own
occurrence (Sn. 266) 2 .

Or alternatively, what is delayed (kalika — lit. what
takes time) is what needs some distant time to be reached
before it gives its fruit. What is that? It is the mundane
law of profitable [kamma]. This, however, is undelayed (na
kalika) because its fruit comes immediately next to it, so it
is "not delayed" (akalikaf 3 .


Visudhimagga, page 234. Further can be read about the remaining qualities of the Dhamma.

Since a lot of the words used by the Buddha seem to be ordinary, and are interpreted as in their ordinary meaning, but actually what it is pointed to is much, much deeper (ex the Four Noble Truth), I think it can apply to the word akaliko as well. Because no further explanation is found in the sutta, either one relies on the ancient texts, or chooses to interpret it in one's own way.

Brgrds,

D.F


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