Padaparama and Neyya

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Padaparama and Neyya

Postby Jechbi » Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:15 am

The discussion in this thread piqued my interest, and I'd like to ask a few follow-up questions in a new thread regarding this wonderful post by Ven. Dhammanando:
Dhammanando wrote:In the Ugghaṭitaññū Sutta (AN. ii. 135) the Buddha says that there are four kinds of person found in this world: those who are quick in acquiring, those who learn by means of a detailed exposition, those who may be guided, and those for whom the letter [of the Teaching] alone is the highest thing. In the Abhidhamma Piṭaka these are defined as follows:

    What sort of person is quick in acquiring (ugghaṭitaññū)?
    The person for whom there is penetration of the Dhamma at the very time when it is being taught is called “quick in acquiring.”

    What sort of person is one who learns by means of a detailed exposition (vipañcitaññū)?
    The person for whom there is penetration of the Dhamma when the meaning of what has been taught in brief is later analysed in detail is called “one who learns by means of a detailed exposition.”

    What sort of person is one who may be guided (neyya)?
    The person for whom penetration of the Dhamma comes gradually by means of recitation, questioning, proper attention, and by serving, cultivating and waiting upon kalyānamittas is called “one who may be guided.”

    What sort of person is one for whom the letter alone is the highest thing (padaparama)?
    The person for whom penetration of the Dhamma will not come in this life, however much [of the Teaching] he may hear and speak and bear in mind or recite, is called to be “one for whom the letter alone is the highest thing.”
    (Puggalapaññatti 41-2; Designation of Human Types 58)


Regarding the fourth type, the padaparama, his lack of potential for awakening in the present life may be due to a number of factors. Most padaparamas were already such before they were even born, when still in their mothers' wombs. Only humans conceived with a triple-rooted relinking consciousness (i.e., one accompanied by all three kusala roots: non-greed, non-hate and non-delusion) have the possibility of attaining jhāna or the noble path in their present life. Those with fewer kusala roots than this are all padaparamas.

Even those who have been reborn with such a consciousness may still be padaparamas. In the Puggalapaññati Atthakathā (PuggA. 184-5) Buddhaghosa lists six causes for incapacity to attain the paths and fruits in the present life; in each case the state is reckoned as one that lacks the requisite decisive support condition (upanissaya-paccaya). A similar list is also given in the Paṭisambhidāmagga (Paṭi. i. 123), but here I will use Buddhaghosa's as the Paṭisambhidāmagga's version does not supply any explanation.

1. Obstruction by kamma (kammāvaraṇa); meaning those who have committed one of the five anantariyaka kammas.
2. Obstruction by defilement (kilesāvaraṇa); meaning those who hold to any of the ten niyata wrong views ("there is no giving, no sacrifice... etc.").
3. Obstruction by kammic ripening (vipākāvaraṇa); meaning those who were reborn with only a double-rooted or a rootless relinking consciousness.
4. Lack of faith (assaddha); "one lacking faith in the Buddha, Dhamma and Saṅgha."
5. Lack of zeal/desire-to-act (acchandika); defined as being one who either lacks chanda in the sense of desiring to undertake what is kusala.
6. Being weak in wisdom (duppañña); defined as those in whom the bhavaṅga-citta of that lifetime lacks the mental factor of paññā (this in fact overlaps with #3, for it is the relinking consciousness that determines the character of the bhavaṅga-citta in any lifetime).

My questions are:

(1) Is it an accurate understanding of the teaching that only Padaparama and Neyya humans are born now?

(2) Can a person change from a Padaparama to a Neyya in this lifetime? Or is a Padaparama going to remain such until the time of physical death?

(3) What are the characteristics of a human conceived with a triple-rooted relinking consciousness (i.e., one accompanied by all three kusala roots: non-greed, non-hate and non-delusion)? Are such persons incapable of some certain akusala actions or impulses?

(4) Is it an accurate understanding of the teaching that any person conceived without a triple-rooted relinking consciousness has no hope of Jhana in this lifetime? And also no hope of stream entry in this lifetime?

(5) If a Padaparama cannot become a Neyya in this lifetime, what is the most appropriate practice for such a person? The same as for a Neyya? Or are certain meditation practices pointless for a Padaparama? Would a Padaparama be better off focusing on merit with an eye toward a more fortunate rebirth?

(6) If the appropriate practices are different for a Padaparama than they would be for a Neyya, is there a sure-fire way for a person to know which type he or she is, in order to make most effective use of this particular rebirth during this sasana?

The story of Angulimala seems to suggest that profound change can occur in a single lifetime. If a serial killer can become an Arahant, then I imagine a Padaparama can become a Sotapanna in the same lifetime. (Unless it's possible for a person conceived with a triple-rooted relinking consciousness to be a serial killer intent upon murdering his mother.)

I realize some of these questions may be fairly basic. Thank you for your patience.

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Re: Padaparama and Neyya

Postby Jechbi » Mon Apr 06, 2009 8:34 pm

Here is a very sobering article relevant to this thread.

Incentive to redouble our efforts ...

:buddha2:
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: Padaparama and Neyya

Postby kc2dpt » Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:20 am

Jechbi, some of these questions seem to have been already answered in the other thread in the very post you quote from.

Jechbi: (1) Is it an accurate understanding of the teaching that only Padaparama and Neyya humans are born now?

Dhammanando: ugghaṭitaññūs and vipañcitaññūs are generally held not to exist any more

Jechbi: (2) Can a person change from a Padaparama to a Neyya in this lifetime? Or is a Padaparama going to remain such until the time of physical death?

Dhammanando: "What sort of person is one for whom the letter alone is the highest thing (padaparama)?
The person for whom penetration of the Dhamma will not come in this life,"

Jechbi: (4) Is it an accurate understanding of the teaching that any person conceived without a triple-rooted relinking consciousness has no hope of Jhana in this lifetime? And also no hope of stream entry in this lifetime?

Dhammanando: Only humans conceived with a triple-rooted relinking consciousness have the possibility of attaining jhāna or the noble path in their present life.

(6) If the appropriate practices are different for a Padaparama than they would be for a Neyya, is there a sure-fire way for a person to know which type he or she is, in order to make most effective use of this particular rebirth during this sasana?

Dhammanando: One can know that certain individuals are padaparamas (e.g. those who've commited certain kinds of very weighty akusala kamma), but there isn't any outward sign by which one can discern if a person is a neyya.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
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Re: Padaparama and Neyya

Postby AdvaitaJ » Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:40 am

Jechbi,

Great link. "Sobering", though accurate, sounds awfully dismal, especially when the following excerpt from the article is considered:
(2) this being the time of Padaparama and Neyya classes of persons, if they heedfully put forth effort, they can secure ripe and mature seeds of Samatha and Vipassanà, and easily attain the supramundane benefit either within this life or in the deva loka (Deva abodes) in the next life -- within this Buddha Sàsana or within the Sàsana of the next Buddha,

(3) they can derive immense benefit from their existence as human beings during the Buddha Sàsana.


Honestly, bullet 3 is sufficient for my needs. :thumbsup:

Regards: AdvaitaJ
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Re: Padaparama and Neyya

Postby Jechbi » Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:43 am

Yes, I know, Peter, I read it all very closely. Thank you. Even so, I wanted to ask the questions in a different thread to make sure I understand the answers correctly, and to try to put it all together in a way that's easy for me to understand.

Apparently Angulimala was not a Padaparama who subsequently reformed. Apparently it is impossible for a Padaparama to become a Neyya in the same lifetime. That means some of us have no hope for stream entry in this lifetime. Since many of us may have engaged in past unmeritorious conduct, I think it's worthwhile to consider whether that influences the type of practice in which we should engage to make the most progress during this particular rebirth in this sasana.

Also apparently even a person conceived with three kusala roots is capable of horrible akusala conduct, such as mass murder (contrary to what I had assumed). And even such a person may be capable of stream entry in the same lifetime.

It appears that the modern-day practice will be the same for either type, however. With regard to (5), it's not clear to me whether some practices are inappropriate for some of us.

The answer to (3) appears to be that there are no particular distinguishing characteristics for most of us to know for sure which type we are. The answer to (6) appears to be no.

I'm sure for some out there the answers to these questions may be obvious and elementary. If so, please have patience with me.

(Also, thanks AdvaitaJ. I think you're right.)

Metta
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Uncover, then, what is concealed,
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Re: Padaparama and Neyya

Postby sukhamanveti » Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:05 am

AdvaitaJ wrote:Jechbi,

Great link. "Sobering", though accurate, sounds awfully dismal, especially when the following excerpt from the article is considered:
(2) this being the time of Padaparama and Neyya classes of persons, if they heedfully put forth effort, they can secure ripe and mature seeds of Samatha and Vipassanà, and easily attain the supramundane benefit either within this life or in the deva loka (Deva abodes) in the next life -- within this Buddha Sàsana or within the Sàsana of the next Buddha,

(3) they can derive immense benefit from their existence as human beings during the Buddha Sàsana.


Honestly, bullet 3 is sufficient for my needs. :thumbsup:

Regards: AdvaitaJ


AdvaitaJ,

Thank you for pointing out these encouraging words! Although I am determined to stay on the Path for the rest of my life and I know that I have benefitted from practicing the Dhamma, there are times when I encounter discouraging information and my zeal is diminished.

Sometimes I think that there ought to be a Dhamma Mitta ("friend in the Dhamma") Society for Theravada lay followers to encourage each other in staying with the Path, in keeping our focus on what is important, in reflecting upon various benefits of the Path and upon inspiring examples, in maintaining enthusiasm and a high level of commitment, etc. Maybe it could be simply a network of upasakas and upasikas who practice regularly, collect inspiring Dhamma quotes for each other, and lend an "ear" when a member is discouraged.

Ed
Sīlaṃ balaṃ appaṭimaṃ.
Sīlaṃ āvudhamuttamaṃ.
Sīlamābharaṇaṃ seṭṭhaṃ.
Sīlaṃ kavacamabbhutaṃ.


Virtue is a matchless power.
Virtue is the greatest weapon.
Virtue is the best adornment.
Virtue is a wonderful armor.

Theragatha 614


Sabbapāpassa akaraṇaṃ,
kusalassa upasampadā,
Sacittapariyodapanaṃ,
etaṃ buddhāna sāsanaṃ.


Refraining from all wrong-doing,
Undertaking the good,
Purifying the mind,
This is the teaching of the buddhas.

Dhammapada v. 183/14.5
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Re: Padaparama and Neyya

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:41 am

Greetings Ed,

sukhamanveti wrote:Sometimes I think that there ought to be a Dhamma Mitta ("friend in the Dhamma") Society for Theravada lay followers to encourage each other in staying with the Path, in keeping our focus on what is important, in reflecting upon various benefits of the Path and upon inspiring examples, in maintaining enthusiasm and a high level of commitment, etc. Maybe it could be simply a network of upasakas and upasikas who practice regularly, collect inspiring Dhamma quotes for each other, and lend an "ear" when a member is discouraged.


Hopefully Dhamma Wheel can help to fulfil such an objective... please let us know if you have any suggestions on how we may be able to do this any better.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Padaparama and Neyya

Postby Jechbi » Tue Apr 07, 2009 3:22 pm

Thanks all for your input. Following are what I believe to be the concise answers after having listened, read a little and given it some thought. Any corrections and clarifications are welcome.
Jechbi wrote:(1) Is it an accurate understanding of the teaching that only Padaparama and Neyya humans are born now?
Yes.
Jechbi wrote:(2) Can a person change from a Padaparama to a Neyya in this lifetime?
No.
Jechbi wrote:Or is a Padaparama going to remain such until the time of physical death?
Yes.
Jechbi wrote:(3) What are the characteristics of a human conceived with a triple-rooted relinking consciousness (i.e., one accompanied by all three kusala roots: non-greed, non-hate and non-delusion)?
Such a person has the capacity for stream entry in this same lifetime. The characteristics may be difficult to discern in oneself without practice.
Jechbi wrote:Are such persons incapable of some certain akusala actions or impulses?
Not necessarily.
Jechbi wrote:(4) Is it an accurate understanding of the teaching that any person conceived without a triple-rooted relinking consciousness has no hope of Jhana in this lifetime? And also no hope of stream entry in this lifetime?
Yes on both.
Jechbi wrote:(5) If a Padaparama cannot become a Neyya in this lifetime, what is the most appropriate practice for such a person?
Pretty much the same as for a Neyya: Sila, Samadhi and Panna as taught by the Buddha. The benefits of this practice are available to everyone.
Jechbi wrote:Or are certain meditation practices pointless for a Padaparama?
Some meditation practices may be more beneficial for some than for others, depending on factors such as previous meditation practice. The best idea is to take guidance from an experienced teacher.
Jechbi wrote:Would a Padaparama be better off focusing on merit with an eye toward a more fortunate rebirth?
While merit is never a bad idea, a Padaparama doesn't do himself or herself any favors by avoiding the other practices of the 8fold path on the mistaken theory that they will reap no benefit for oneself or others in this same lifetime. So no.
Jechbi wrote:(6) If the appropriate practices are different for a Padaparama than they would be for a Neyya, is there a sure-fire way for a person to know which type he or she is, in order to make most effective use of this particular rebirth during this sasana?
No.
Jechbi wrote:The story of Angulimala seems to suggest that profound change can occur in a single lifetime. If a serial killer can become an Arahant, then I imagine a Padaparama can become a Sotapanna in the same lifetime.
Actually a Padaparama cannot become a Sotapanna in the same lifetime.
Jechbi wrote:(Unless it's possible for a person conceived with a triple-rooted relinking consciousness to be a serial killer intent upon murdering his mother.)
Yup, it's possible.

For me, the key point of this thread discussion is to help determine the most worthwhile practice for myself to benefit myself and others during this particular rebirth in this sasana. Actually, I find all of this very encouraging. Thanks for your patience.

Metta
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But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: Padaparama and Neyya

Postby adosa » Wed May 06, 2009 2:38 am

Hello all,

Can someone clarify an apparent disconnect between the traits of a Padaparama:

A Padaparama is an individual who, though he encounters a Buddha Sàsana, and though he puts forth the utmost possible effort in both the study and practice of the Dhamma, cannot attain the Paths and the Fruits within this lifetime. All that he can do is to accumulate good habits and potentials (vàsanà).

Such a person cannot obtain release from worldly ills during this lifetime. If he dies while practising samatha (Tranquillity) or vipassanà (Insight), and attains rebirth either as a human being or a deva in his next existence, he can attain release from worldly ills in that existence within the present Buddha Sàsana. Thus did the Buddha declare with respect to four classes of individuals.



and that of the Dhamma-follower and Faith-follower:??

At Sāvatthī. “Bhikkhus, the eye is impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. The ear
… The nose … The tongue … The body … The mind is impermanent, changing,
becoming otherwise. One who places faith in these teachings and resolves on them thus is
called a faith-follower,
one who has entered the fixed course of rightness, entered the
plane of superior persons, transcended the plane of the worldlings. He is incapable of
doing any deed by reason of which he might be reborn in hell, in the animal realm, or in
the domain of ghosts; he is incapable of passing away without having realized the fruit of
stream-entry.

“One for whom these teachings are accepted thus after being pondered to a sufficient
degree with wisdom is called a Dhamma-follower
, one who has entered the fixed
course of rightness, entered the plane of superior persons, transcended the plane of the
worldlings. He is incapable of doing any deed by reason of which he might be reborn in
hell, in the animal realm, or in the domain of ghosts; he is incapable of passing away
without having realized the fruit of stream-entry.



Does this mean that a Padaparama cannot be a Faith-follower or a Dhamma-follower since a Padaparama cannot attain Stream-entry within this life-time and yet the Faith-follower and Dhamma-follower cannot pass away without attaining Stream-entry?


adosa
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Re: Padaparama and Neyya

Postby Sati1 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:57 am

Does anybody still have access to this article? The link has apparently been taken down.

Jechbi wrote:Here is a very sobering article relevant to this thread.

Incentive to redouble our efforts ...

:buddha2:


I am trying to learn more about neyyas and padaparamas.

Thank you.
Sati1
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"So this spiritual life, monks, does not have gain, honor, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of moral discipline for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakable liberation of mind that is the goal of this spiritual life, its heartwood, and its end," (MN 29, transl. Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi)
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Re: Padaparama and Neyya

Postby culaavuso » Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:20 am

Dhammanando wrote:ugghaṭitaññūs and vipañcitaññūs are generally held not to exist any more


What is the basis for this? From a naive reading it seems likely that these states would be likely among stream entrants in the later part of their seven remaining births, or in the final return of a once-returner. It would be interesting to see more information from canonical sources addressing the reasons for the thought that humans in these two categories simply no longer exist.
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Re: Padaparama and Neyya

Postby cooran » Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:56 am

Ajahn Dhammanando is in an isolated area of Thailand, out of contact, until July 2014.

with metta,
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