"Enlightened in regard to all things"

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"Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby Sherab » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:59 pm

Came across this verse:
23. "Here, I see no ground on which any recluse or brahman or god or Mara or Brahma or anyone at all in the world could, in accordance with the Dhamma, accuse me thus: 'While you claim full enlightenment, you are not fully enlightened in regard to certain things.' [72] And seeing no ground for that, I abide in safety, fearlessness and intrepidity.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .ntbb.html

Since the Buddha was refuting the accusation that he was not fully enlightened in regard to certain things, it would seemed that he was indirectly claiming that he was enlightened in regard to all things.

If so what then is the meaning of "enlightened in regard to all things". If not, how should the verse be interpreted?
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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby acinteyyo » Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:04 pm

Sherab wrote:Came across this verse:
23. "Here, I see no ground on which any recluse or brahman or god or Mara or Brahma or anyone at all in the world could, in accordance with the Dhamma, accuse me thus: 'While you claim full enlightenment, you are not fully enlightened in regard to certain things.' [72] And seeing no ground for that, I abide in safety, fearlessness and intrepidity.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .ntbb.html

Since the Buddha was refuting the accusation that he was not fully enlightened in regard to certain things, it would seemed that he was indirectly claiming that he was enlightened in regard to all things.

If so what then is the meaning of "enlightened in regard to all things". If not, how should the verse be interpreted?

The Buddha was enlightend in regard to all things. The All, all things simply are the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas.
Sabba Sutta: The All SN 35.23
"Monks, I will teach you the All. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

"As you say, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. [1] Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range."


Itivuttaka 112
This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "The world [1] has been fully awakened to by the Tathagata. From the world, the Tathagata is disjoined. The origination of the world has been fully awakened to by the Tathagata. The origination of the world has, by the Tathagata, been abandoned. The cessation of the world has been fully awakened to by the Tathagata. The cessation of the world has, by the Tathagata, been realized. The path leading to the cessation of the world has been fully awakened to by the Tathagata. The path leading to the cessation of the world has, by the Tathagata, been developed.


[1] SN 35.82 defines the "world" as the six sense spheres, their objects, consciousness at those spheres, contact at those spheres, and whatever arises in dependence on that contact, experienced as pleasure, pain, or neither-pleasure-nor-pain.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby Sherab » Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:53 pm

Would you agree that "the All" refers to all things/phenomena that can be sensed and therefore exclude whatever that is not within the realm of senses?
If yes, do you confine "the All" to the present or do you include "the All" that has passed and "the All" that is to come?
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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby alan » Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:13 am

Not an appropriate question... accinteyo's response contains all the references you need.
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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby ground » Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:07 am

Sherab wrote:Would you agree that "the All" refers to all things/phenomena that can be sensed and therefore exclude whatever that is not within the realm of senses?

Yes. "Sense bases" include "mind" because there are 6.

Sherab wrote:If yes, do you confine "the All" to the present or do you include "the All" that has passed and "the All" that is to come?

The "aggregates" include past, present and future. "sense spheres" necessarily refers to the aggregates: Sense base and objects are form, sense consciousness is consciousness, contact entails feeling, perception and volition(al formations).

In contrast to the "timelessly momentary" aggregates "past" and "future" aggregates however refer to mind only, not to the physical senses. Therefore it refers to conceivings which are - according to the Buddha - to be uprooted.
So "the All" actually includes delusion which - if accompanied by mindfulness - loses its dukkha potential.

Kind regards
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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby rowyourboat » Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:37 am

Anything you can't sense, you can't know for sure, exists. Then any assertion made about 'their' existence is pure speculation. I could come up with my own version of reality and so could everyone, based entirely on imagination. When they have been around for a while they start gaining some credibility and people start accepting them without questioning, making them 'real' in their own minds.

While things may exist that we can't sense, there existence is unknowable (in an ultimate sense -I do not mean this in a scientific sense). However to make assumptions on what we cannot know is that path to ridicule, nonsense and madness.

So what can be known is the stimuli from the six senses. The Buddha knew everything there was to know about them. Hope that is clear.

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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby acinteyyo » Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:52 pm

Sherab wrote:Would you agree that "the All" refers to all things/phenomena that can be sensed and therefore exclude whatever that is not within the realm of senses?

I wouldn't, because your statement depends on assumptions which lie beyond range, see Sabba Sutta: The All SN 35.23.
SN 35.23
"Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range."

What might be the grounds for your assumption that there is something not within the realm of senses?
Sherab wrote:If yes, do you confine "the All" to the present or do you include "the All" that has passed and "the All" that is to come?

There is only "the All" in the present moment. When you're talking about 'the present that existed in the past' ("the All" that has passed") it is simply another way of talking about 'the past that exists in the present'. When you're talking about 'a present which will be in the future' ("the All" that is to come) it is simply another way of talking about 'a future which exists in the present'.
This is what Ven. Ñanavira once said about it:
Notes on Dhamma :: Fundamental Structure :: II. DYNAMIC ASPECT - §10
Past and future (as well as present) exist in the present; but they exist as past and as future. And since each 'present' is a self-sufficient totality, complete with the entire past and the entire future, it is meaningless to ask whether the past and the future that exist at present are the same as the real past or future, that is to say as the present that was existing in the past and the present that will be existing in the future: 'the present that existed in the past' is simply another way of saying 'the past that exists in the present'.[o] From this it will be understood that whenever we discuss past, present, and future, we are discussing the present hierarchy, and whenever we discuss the present hierarchy we are discussing past, present, and future.


best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby kirk5a » Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:32 pm

With regard to things
Command-A
selects "All"
to delete
or not to delete
is that the question?

(just a little mac humor)
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby rowyourboat » Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:07 pm

kirk5a wrote:With regard to things
Command-A
selects "All"
to delete
or not to delete
is that the question?

(just a little mac humor)


Hi Kirk,

The question arises, only because the All exists. No 'All, no question... no problem. :anjali:

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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby acinteyyo » Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:17 pm

kirk5a wrote:With regard to things
Command-A
selects "All"
to delete
or not to delete
is that the question?

(just a little mac humor)

hm... practice the noble 8-fold path or try command-Q :tongue:
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby Sherab » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:09 am

acinteyyo wrote:I wouldn't, because your statement depends on assumptions which lie beyond range, see Sabba Sutta: The All SN 35.23.

Would this sentence be more agreeable to you? : "The All" refers to all things/phenomena that can be sensed and anything beyond the realm of senses is mere speculation and irrelevant.

If so, how would you regard those things that man cannot sense? For example, magnetic fields? Note that the teachings only talked about the five senses.

And how would you regard hypotheses and theories that are useful but cannot be proven, let alone sense, and would be beyond the comprehension of most people?

acinteyyo wrote:Past and future (as well as present) exist in the present; but they exist as past and as future.
Is this what the Buddha taught?

Also if you accept that free will/choice exists in the present, then you will have to advocate a multiverse theory since there will be many different paths that the future can take depending on the choices that you make in the present. All these futures have to exist side by side with one another in the present don't they?
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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby beeblebrox » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:19 am

Sherab wrote:Would this sentence be more agreeable to you? : "The All" refers to all things/phenomena that can be sensed and anything beyond the realm of senses is mere speculation and irrelevant.

If so, how would you regard those things that man cannot sense? For example, magnetic fields? Note that the teachings only talked about the five senses.

And how would you regard hypotheses and theories that are useful but cannot be proven, let alone sense, and would be beyond the comprehension of most people?


It's six senses. The theory about magnetic fields was constructed by mind, the sense #6... based on what's been observed with the mind, along with some of the other senses. It's really that simple. And not only that, the way we apprehend, or understand this theory is also through our own mind. If these magnetic fields actually existed outside of the "All", then we won't even have a theory for it... that would be impossible.

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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby Sherab » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:34 am

beeblebrox wrote:The theory about magnetic fields was constructed by mind, the sense #6... based on what's been observed with the mind, along with some of the other senses. It's really that simple. And not only that, the way we apprehend, or understand this theory is also through our own mind. If these magnetic fields actually existed outside of the "All", then we won't even have a theory for it... that would be impossible.

Perhaps I misunderstood you, but are you saying that the mind constructed the theory of magnetic fields and sense its own construction? That there is no magnetic field out there to be sensed by a sense power (which I mentioned previously, man does not possessed)?
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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby beeblebrox » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:44 am

Sherab wrote:Perhaps I misunderstood you, but are you saying that the mind constructed the theory of magnetic fields and sense its own construction? That there is no magnetic field out there to be sensed by a sense power (which I mentioned previously, man does not possessed)?


Yes, you misunderstood. The mind don't construct the magnetic fields themselves... it only perceived these, and then constructed a theory about it.

Actually, I think it's more accurate to say that the khandhas are what construct the theories (fabrications), based on what's been perceived by the senses. These senses also explains why the khandhas (which themselves are a theory of aggregates) are listed the way they are. Hope this is clear. It's basically a loop, between viññana and namarupa... which is the "All." (Mind & ideas, eyes & forms, etc.)

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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby Sherab » Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:21 am

beeblebrox wrote:The mind don't construct the magnetic fields themselves... it only perceived these, and then constructed a theory about it.

Actually, I think it's more accurate to say that the khandhas are what construct the theories (fabrications), based on what's been perceived by the senses. These senses also explains why the khandhas (which themselves are a theory of aggregates) are listed the way they are. Hope this is clear. It's basically a loop, between viññana and namarupa... which is the "All." (Mind & ideas, eyes & forms, etc.)

Is "the All" then confined to the present only since what has passed is no longer existing and what has not come is non-existent?
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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby beeblebrox » Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:23 pm

Sherab wrote:Is "the All" then confined to the present only since what has passed is no longer existing and what has not come is non-existent?


I think not quite. The mind (sense kind) still see things about the past, and things about the future. These things could be based on something real, or based on fantasy... just like the mind can have some silly notions about the magnetic fields (such as viewing them as magic), or have precise notions (as in having a scientific theory).

The mind also could see the past or the future as "existent," "non-existent," "both existent and non-existent," or "neither"... whatever you can think of. All of these would be the objects of mind sense (i.e., mind & ideas).

This "All" is inclusive of everything that we can experience and think. That is basically why the Buddha said that if we try to see, or explain something that lies beyond this "All," we'll only end up vexed or frustrated. I think this is a very important clue... it points out the way to a complete liberation.

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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby acinteyyo » Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:30 pm

Sherab wrote:
acinteyyo wrote:I wouldn't, because your statement depends on assumptions which lie beyond range, see Sabba Sutta: The All SN 35.23.

Would this sentence be more agreeable to you? : "The All" refers to all things/phenomena that can be sensed and anything beyond the realm of senses is mere speculation and irrelevant.

I would prefer if you insist on reformulating what is stated in sutta SN35.23: "'The All' refers to the six sense bases as well as to their corresponding sense objects."
The rest of your sentence is irrelevant, because "the All" is already containing everything there is and talking about another "All" lies beyond range.
Sherab wrote:If so, how would you regard those things that man cannot sense? For example, magnetic fields? Note that the teachings only talked about the five senses.

If you examine Sutta SN35.23 carefully again you will notice that the teachings are talking about the six senses and define the six senses and their corresponding objects as "the All" (and in SN 35.82 as "the world").
SN35.23
"What is the All? Simply the
1. eye & forms,
2.ear & sounds,
3.nose & aromas,
4.tongue & flavors,
5.body & tactile sensations,
6.intellect & ideas."

A magnetic field is part of "the All". We can talk about it, think about the idea of magnetic fields and so on because it lies within the sphere of our senses. But I don't want to go in for further discussion in that particular direction. Please keep in mind that it's just suffering and the ending of suffering which the Buddha was concerend with and not physics.
Sherab wrote:And how would you regard hypotheses and theories that are useful but cannot be proven, let alone sense, and would be beyond the comprehension of most people?

It depends, something which is useful for you needn't to be useful for anyone else and vice versa. But if you don't comprehend a hypotheses, theorie, idea or what ever, if you don't understand it, don't grasp it how can it be useful?
Sherab wrote:Also if you accept that free will/choice exists in the present, then you will have to advocate a multiverse theory since there will be many different paths that the future can take depending on the choices that you make in the present.
There are many different paths that the future can take depending on the choices that you make in the present, don't you think? Things aren't completely determined but they aren't also completely independent. There is only the present moment, the here and now. Future is nothing else but an idea in the present about how the present could become next. Which doesn't need to have anything to do with the present which actually became next. When a "future"(-idea) becomes reality we call it present. But the present can certainly change in a way no one expected and still can become real. The past is also just an idea in the present about how the present which has already changed could have been before. This idea of the past present also doesn't need to have anything to do with the past present which really was when it was actually present. This is the way I see it, but btw I don't consider such thoughts important for liberation from suffering.
Sherab wrote:All these futures have to exist side by side with one another in the present don't they?

All ideas which are thought toghether about how the present could probably become next exist (more or less) with one another in the present.
Sherab wrote:
acinteyyo wrote:Past and future (as well as present) exist in the present; but they exist as past and as future.
Is this what the Buddha taught?

I'm not quite sure about that... maybe, maybe not. It's what Ven. Ñanavira Bhikkhu said about past, present and future.
But I wouldn't ponder much about it, what the Buddha taught is this:
MN 131 Bhaddekaratta Sutta: An Auspicious Day
"You shouldn't chase after the past or place expectations on the future. What is past is left behind. The future is as yet unreached. Whatever quality is present you clearly see right there, right there. [...]"

"And how, monks, does one chase after the past? One gets carried away with the delight of 'In the past I had such a form (body)'... 'In the past I had such a feeling'... 'In the past I had such a perception'... 'In the past I had such a thought-fabrication'... 'In the past I had such a consciousness.' This is called chasing after the past.

"And how does one not chase after the past? One does not get carried away with the delight of 'In the past I had such a form (body)'... 'In the past I had such a feeling'... 'In the past I had such a perception'... 'In the past I had such a thought-fabrication'... 'In the past I had such a consciousness.' This is called not chasing after the past.

"And how does one place expectations on the future? One gets carried away with the delight of 'In the future I might have such a form (body)'... 'In the future I might have such a feeling'... 'In the future I might have such a perception'... 'In the future I might have such a thought-fabrication'... 'In the future I might have such a consciousness.' This is called placing expectations on the future.

"And how does one not place expectations on the future? One does not get carried away with the delight of 'In the future I might have such a form (body)'... 'In the future I might have such a feeling'... 'In the future I might have such a perception'... 'In the future I might have such a thought-fabrication'... 'In the future I might have such a consciousness.' This is called not placing expectations on the future.

"And how is one taken in with regard to present qualities? There is the case where an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person who has not seen the noble ones, is not versed in the teachings of the noble ones, is not trained in the teachings of the noble ones, sees form as self, or self as possessing form, or form as in self, or self as in form.

"He/she sees feeling as self, or self as possessing feeling, or feeling as in self, or self as in feeling.

"He/she sees perception as self, or self as possessing perception, or perception as in self, or self as in perception.

"He/she sees thought-fabrications as self, or self as possessing thought-fabrications, or thought-fabrications as in self, or self as in thought-fabrications.

"He/she sees consciousness as self, or self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in self, or self as in consciousness. This is called being taken in with regard to present qualities.

"And how is one not taken in with regard to present qualities? There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones who has seen the noble ones, is versed in the teachings of the noble ones, is well-trained in the teachings of the noble ones, does not see form as self, or self as possessing form, or form as in self, or self as in form.

"He/she does not see feeling as self, or self as possessing feeling, or feeling as in self, or self as in feeling.

"He/she does not see perception as self, or self as possessing perception, or perception as in self, or self as in perception.

"He/she does not see thought-fabrications as self, or self as possessing thought-fabrications, or thought-fabrications as in self, or self as in thought-fabrications.

"He/she does not see consciousness as self, or self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in self, or self as in consciousness. This is called not being taken in with regard to present qualities.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby kirk5a » Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:54 pm

acinteyyo wrote:I would prefer if you insist on reformulating what is stated in sutta SN35.23: "'The All' refers to the six sense bases as well as to their corresponding sense objects."
The rest of your sentence is irrelevant, because "the All" is already containing everything there is and talking about another "All" lies beyond range.

Are you leaving room to accomodate this statement?

"'Consciousness without surface,
endless, radiant all around,
has not been experienced through the earthness of earth ... the liquidity of liquid ... the fieriness of fire ... the windiness of wind ... the allness of the all.'[9]
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby Kenshou » Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:27 pm

"Consciousness without surface" is a tricky issue with a lot of interpretations. It would probably be good to look into a variety of them rather than just Thanissaro's. I'm just saying, it's one of those things.
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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby acinteyyo » Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:03 pm

kirk5a wrote:
acinteyyo wrote:I would prefer if you insist on reformulating what is stated in sutta SN35.23: "'The All' refers to the six sense bases as well as to their corresponding sense objects."
The rest of your sentence is irrelevant, because "the All" is already containing everything there is and talking about another "All" lies beyond range.

Are you leaving room to accomodate this statement?

"'Consciousness without surface,
endless, radiant all around,
has not been experienced through the earthness of earth ... the liquidity of liquid ... the fieriness of fire ... the windiness of wind ... the allness of the all.'[9]
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

I'm leaving room... but I prefer to put it aside for the moment, 'cuz with respect to it I don't dare taking a position. "viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ" seems not to be all clear and far from easy to understand. See for example http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=5618#p87611

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

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