Question about the Brahmajala sutta

A forum for members who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the Pali Canon and associated Commentaries, which for discussion purposes are both treated as authoritative.

Moderator: Mahavihara moderator

Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Question about the Brahmajala sutta

Postby Individual » Mon Feb 09, 2009 6:39 am

In the list of wrong views in the Brahmajala Sutta, I notice that certain views are not mentioned. That is, in the pattern, "view X", "negation of view X", "both view X and its negation", and "neither", in this pattern, "neither" tends to be associated with logic and reasoning, while the other three logical possibilities are associated with concentration.

Based on this pattern, could we deduce that, if one determines such a "neither" view based on concentration (as it seems the Buddha might have), then it is insight?

More specifically... If one meditates and determines wrong views #4 (self is eternal), #8 (body is impermanent, but the mind is eternal), #12 (the world is neither finite nor infinite), #18 (the self and world arises spontaneously, randomly, due to chance), would this be regarded as a wrong view?

Its lack of a particular enumeration suggests one of two things: Either it is not a wrong view, or it is not regarded as a "possible" view.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra

User avatar
Paul Davy
Posts: 15730
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Question about the Brahmajala sutta

Postby Paul Davy » Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:11 am

Greetings Individual,

For you or anyone else interested, the following text is available for US$8 at

The Discourse on The All-Embracing Net of Views - The Brahmajala Sutta and Its Commentaries
Translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi

The Brahmajala, one of the Buddha's most important discourses, weaves a net of sixty-two cases capturing all the speculative views on the self and the world. The massive commentary and subcommentary allow for a close in-depth study of the work. The book contains a lengthy treatise on the Theravada conception of the Bodhisattva ideal. The long introduction is itself a modern philosophical commentary on the sutta.

2007, 370 pp, 22 cm BP 209S

Retro. :)
“I hope, Anuruddha, that you are all living in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, blending like milk and water, viewing each other with kindly eyes.” (MN 31)

Dharma Paths Practice Community

User avatar
Posts: 8214
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Question about the Brahmajala sutta

Postby cooran » Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:18 am

Hello Individual, Retro, all,

Thanks for putting up a reference to Bhikkhu Bodhi's work - I really think Individual would benefit from buying and studying that.


Bhikkhu Bodhi's work examines the Brahmajala Sutta in this way:

Speculations about the Past:
-Doctrines of the Finitude and Infinity of the World
-Doctrines of Endless Equivocation
-Doctrines of Fortuitous Origination

Speculations about the Future:
-Doctrines of Percipient Immortality
-Doctrines of Non-percipient Immortality
-Doctrines of Neither Percipient nor Non-percipient Immortality
-Doctrines of Nibbana Here and Now

I think an in-depth study of Bhikkhu Bodhi's publication is the necessary base-line before attempting to see if any mixture of views doesn't fit in the Buddha's teaching.
Perhaps when Ajahn has recovered (may it be soon :bow: ) we can take a more in-depth look at this Sutta?

I would be enthusiastic about doing that. :smile:

---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

Return to “Classical Theravāda”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Goofaholix, rahula80 and 4 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine