AN 7.29: the lay follower, what is the higher virtue?

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AN 7.29: the lay follower, what is the higher virtue?

Postby Mkoll » Sat Nov 23, 2013 3:16 am

Dear friends,

In AN 7.29, Ven. Bodhi's translation, we find under the list of the seven things that lead to the decline of the lay follower: "he does not train in the higher virtuous behavior". And under the seven things that lead to the non-decline of the lay follower: "he trains in the higher virtuous behavior".

What is the "higher virtuous behavior"? The Pali term? Where is it defined in the suttas? Please provide references.

:thanks:
Peace,
James
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Re: AN 7.29: the lay follower, what is the higher virtue?

Postby santa100 » Sat Nov 23, 2013 5:14 am

Adhisilasikkha/higher virtues or higher moral discipline training, one of the three-fold training. The other 2 are Adhicittasikkha/higher consciousness training and Adhipannasikkha/higher wisdom training. From Ven. Bodhi's "The Noble Eightfold Path":
The eight factors of the Noble Eightfold Path are not steps to be followed in sequence, one after another. They can be more aptly described as components rather than as steps, comparable to the intertwining strands of a single cable that requires the contributions of all the strands for maximum strength. With a certain degree of progress all eight factors can be present simultaneously, each supporting the others. However, until that point is reached, some sequence in the unfolding of the path is inevitable. 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.~~ http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... toend.html ~~
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Re: AN 7.29: the lay follower, what is the higher virtue?

Postby Mkoll » Sat Nov 23, 2013 12:44 pm

So essentially, the "higher virtue" is a translation of the Pali "silakkhandha", and "silakkhandha" is those three aspects of the Noble Path, namely, right speech, right action, and right livelihood; is this correct?

Is this term defined in the suttas and if so, where is it defined?

:thanks:
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James
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Re: AN 7.29: the lay follower, what is the higher virtue?

Postby santa100 » Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:16 pm

Ven. Bodhi's essay seems to say so although I haven't had much luck finding the explicit definition from the suttas..
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Re: AN 7.29: the lay follower, what is the higher virtue?

Postby santa100 » Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:12 am

Just found something on AN 3.89..
"And what is the training in heightened virtue? There is the case where a monk is virtuous. He dwells restrained in accordance with the Patimokkha, consummate in his behavior & sphere of activity. He trains himself, having undertaken the training rules, seeing danger in the slightest fault. This is called the training in heightened virtue." ~~ http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html ~~
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Re: AN 7.29: the lay follower, what is the higher virtue?

Postby Mkoll » Thu Nov 28, 2013 8:29 am

Thanks santa. So the higher virtue of the bhikkhu is to follow the Patimokkha whilst seeing danger in the slightest fault. Clearly, the laymen doesn't follow the Patimokkha so perhaps we could extrapolate the bhikkhu rule to the layman, replacing the precepts the layman has taken with the Patimokkha, i.e. the higher virtue for the layman is to follow the precepts whilst seeing danger in the slightest fault...

Of course that's just speculation. Maybe it entails some further aspects? The question is: is the "higher virtue" specifically defined for the layperson somewhere in the suttas?

:reading:

Regardless, I think a circumspect person who wholeheartedly practices the Dhamma knows, via wise reflection, how to practice the "higher virtue whilst seeing danger in the slightest fault" and a formal sutta definition is probably not necessary for that kind of practitioner.

:anjali:
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