"The Deathless" (amata)

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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby chownah » Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:32 am

If arahants never die then they must get really really old......then maybe scientists would never stop bugging them about how they got so old.....maybe that's why arahants never let anyone know about it.... :spy: ......sort of like vampires that have to get fake ID's so as not to attract attention for being like 300 years old.....I guess....but I don't know for sure.....they made a movie about it......vampires.....not arahants......
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:02 am

chownah wrote:If arahants never die then they must get really really old......then maybe scientists would never stop bugging them about how they got so old.....maybe that's why arahants never let anyone know about it.... :spy: ......sort of like vampires that have to get fake ID's so as not to attract attention for being like 300 years old.....I guess....but I don't know for sure.....they made a movie about it......vampires.....not arahants......
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There seems to be an attempt at humor here, but I suspect you are also trying to make a point. So, what is your point?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby Sylvester » Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:16 am

I agree with Tilt’s analysis that the string of epithets “ajātaṃ abhūtaṃ akataṃ asaṅkhataṃ” are modifiers, rather than nouns.

Here’s a boring grammatical analysis.

Let’s take a look at Ajahn Thanissaro’s translation of Ud 8.3, which is pretty representative of the translators who render the epithets as nouns –

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi, in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Now at that time the Blessed One was instructing urging, rousing, and encouraging the monks with Dhamma-talk concerned with Unbinding. The monks — receptive, attentive, focusing their entire awareness, lending ear — listened to the Dhamma.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
There is, monks, an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated. If there were not that unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, there would not be the case that emancipation from the born — become — made — fabricated would be discerned. But precisely because there is an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, emancipation from the born — become — made — fabricated is discerned.


It will be obvious that these translations rely on the presence of the antonyms to the epithet, ie “the born, the become, the made, the fabricated” to furnish a basis to treat both sets (ie the ajāta and jāta sets) as referring to nouns, instead of predicates.

The Pali for Ud 8.3 is –

669Evaṃ me sutaṃ— ekaṃ samayaṃ bhagavā sāvatthiyaṃ viharati jetavane anāthapiṇḍikassa ārāme. Tena kho pana samayena bhagavā bhikkhū nibbānapaṭisaṃyuttāya dhammiyā kathāya sandasseti samādapeti samuttejeti sampahaṃseti. Tedha bhikkhū aṭṭhiṃ katvā, manasi katvā, sabbaṃ cetaso samannāharitvā, ohitasotā dhammaṃ suṇanti.
670Atha kho bhagavā etamatthaṃ viditvā tāyaṃ velāyaṃ imaṃ udānaṃ udānesi—
671“Atthi, bhikkhave, ajātaṃ abhūtaṃ akataṃ asaṅkhataṃ. No cetaṃ, bhikkhave, abhavissa ajātaṃ abhūtaṃ akataṃ asaṅkhataṃ, nayidha jātassa bhūtassa katassa saṅkhatassa nissaraṇaṃ paññāyetha. Yasmā ca kho, bhikkhave, atthi ajātaṃ abhūtaṃ akataṃ asaṅkhataṃ, tasmā jātassa bhūtassa katassa saṅkhatassa nissaraṇaṃ paññāyatī”ti.


The issue is this – are the translators justified in translating the antonyms jāta bhūta kata saṅkhata as nouns, instead of being predicates?

Note, that the “jāta bhūta kata saṅkhata” are all inflected in the genitive case. Now, translating this genitive formation as the most common sense of the possessive, ie "birth’s escape", would not make sense at all. Ajahn Thanissaro et al therefore translate the genitive as an ablative, ie "escape from jāta bhūta kata saṅkhata". Grammatically, nissaraṇa/escape is always escape from something, ie the jāta bhūta kata saṅkhata are all treated as nouns from which one escapes. This construction therefore leads to the reading that the antonyms ajāta abhūta akata asaṅkhata are also nouns.

Is it meaningful to render the genitive as an ablative in this case, even though it is grammatically permissible?

Bear in mind that the grammars reminds us that the genitive form has overtaken the old dative form, ie the genitive can be read as the dative instead. Instead of reading the “-ssa” genitive in the ablative sense, Sue Hamilton proposes to give it the dative sense (Early Buddhism – A New Approach, p 187). She translates jāta bhūta kata saṅkhata in the sense of “the issuing of what is born, become…” (the dative here expressing result). This sense depicts Nibbana as the escape from Dependant Origination.

The udana recorded in Ud 8.3 is not a solitary occurrence. It appears again in It 37. The Pali for that is –

272Vuttañhetaṃ bhagavatā vuttamarahatāti me sutaṃ—
273“Atthi, bhikkhave, ajātaṃ abhūtaṃ akataṃ asaṅkhataṃ. No cetaṃ, bhikkhave, abhavissa ajātaṃ abhūtaṃ akataṃ asaṅkhataṃ, nayidha jātassa bhūtassa katassa saṅkhatassa nissaraṇaṃ paññāyetha. Yasmā ca kho, bhikkhave, atthi ajātaṃ abhūtaṃ akataṃ asaṅkhataṃ, tasmā jātassa bhūtassa katassa saṅkhatassa nissaraṇaṃ paññāyatī”ti. Etamatthaṃ bhagavā avoca. Tatthetaṃ iti vuccati—
274
“Jātaṃ bhūtaṃ samuppannaṃ,
kataṃ saṅkhatamaddhuvaṃ;
Jarāmaraṇasaṅghāṭaṃ,
roganīḷaṃ pabhaṅguraṃ.
275
Āhāranettippabhavaṃ,
nālaṃ tadabhinandituṃ;
Tassa nissaraṇaṃ santaṃ,
atakkāvacaraṃ dhuvaṃ.
276
Ajātaṃ asamuppannaṃ,
asokaṃ virajaṃ padaṃ;
Nirodho dukkhadhammānaṃ,
saṅkhārūpasamo sukho”ti.
277Ayampi attho vutto bhagavatā, iti me sutanti.


The entire udana from Ud 8.3 is repeated verbatim, but It supplies a commentary (presumably the Buddha’s) on the verse. This is Ajahn Thanissaro’s translation of It 38

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "There is, monks, an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated. If there were not that unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, there would not be the case that emancipation from the born — become — made — fabricated would be discerned. But precisely because there is an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, emancipation from the born — become — made — fabricated is thus discerned."
The born, become, produced,
made, fabricated, impermanent,
composed of aging & death,
a nest of illnesses, perishing,
come from nourishment
and the guide [that is craving] —
is unfit for delight.

The escape from that
is
calm, permanent,
beyond inference,
unborn, unproduced,
the sorrowless, stainless state,
the cessation of stressful qualities,
the stilling of fabrications,
bliss.


On the other hand, we have Rune Johansson’s translation –

This said by the Blessed One, the Worthy One, was heard by me
in this way: "Monks, there is freedom from birth, freedom from
becoming, freedom from making, freedom from conditioning.
For, monks if there were not this freedom from birth, freedom from
becoming, freedom from making, freedom from conditioning,
then escape from that which is birth, becoming, making,
conditioning, would not be known here. But, monks, because there is
freedom from
birth, freedom from becoming, freedom from making, freedom from
conditioning, therefore the escape from that which is birth,
becoming, making, conditioning is known."

[Here the Buddha, The Blessed One, offers his own verse commentary
on his statement.]

This meaning the Blessed One spoke, it is spoken here in this way:

That which is born, become, arisen, made, conditioned,
And thus unstable, put together of decay and death,
The seat of disease, brittle,
Caused and craving food,
That is not fit to find pleasure in.

Being freed of this, calmed beyond conjecture, stable,
Freed from birth, freed from arising, freed from sorrow,
Freed from passions, the elements of suffering stopped,
The conditioning [of greed, hatred and delusion] appeased,
This is ease [bliss].


Copied from http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastu ... sage/16590

Here again, you see that the genitive for jāta bhūta kata saṅkhata can easily accommodate the dative.

This reading gives a picture of the epithets as modifiers, rather than being nouns.
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:58 am

The following is not Rune Johansson's translation; it is mine, though I took inspiration from Johansson's excellent book, THE PSYCHOLOGY OF NIRVANA, (George Allen and Unwin, 1969) see page 54. His discussion opened up this issue for me. And when I was doing my Pali studies in the mid 80's at the U of Wisconsin, Madison, I worked on this translation. The "freedom from" was suggested by Johansson in his book, and the rest of the Itivuttaka translation is very much mine. A number of years later I came across a journal article by K.R. Norman that supported translating the Udana/Iti texts in this way as well as the translation I offered of a brief passage in Majjhima Nikaya I 173: http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=10378&p=159172&#p159172

Actually, if you reread the link http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastu ... sage/16590 you will see that it is actually attributed to me under my actual name.

Sylvester wrote:On the other hand, we have Rune Johansson’s translation –

This said by the Blessed One, the Worthy One, was heard by me
in this way: "Monks, there is freedom from birth, freedom from
becoming, freedom from making, freedom from conditioning.
For, monks if there were not this freedom from birth, freedom from
becoming, freedom from making, freedom from conditioning,
then escape from that which is birth, becoming, making,
conditioning, would not be known here. But, monks, because there is
freedom from
birth, freedom from becoming, freedom from making, freedom from
conditioning, therefore the escape from that which is birth,
becoming, making, conditioning is known."

[Here the Buddha, The Blessed One, offers his own verse commentary
on his statement.]

This meaning the Blessed One spoke, it is spoken here in this way:

That which is born, become, arisen, made, conditioned,
And thus unstable, put together of decay and death,
The seat of disease, brittle,
Caused and craving food,
That is not fit to find pleasure in.

Being freed of this, calmed beyond conjecture, stable,
Freed from birth, freed from arising, freed from sorrow,
Freed from passions, the elements of suffering stopped,
The conditioning [of greed, hatred and delusion] appeased,
This is ease [bliss].


Copied from http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastu ... sage/16590

Here again, you see that the genitive for jāta bhūta kata saṅkhata can easily accommodate the dative.

This reading gives a picture of the epithets as modifiers, rather than being nouns.

(When I have time, I'll see if I can give a citation for the Norman article.)
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby Zom » Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:03 am

And how whould you explain this sutta?

"Any consciousness by which one describing the Tathagata would describe him: That the Tathagata has abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Freed from the classification of consciousness, great king, the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the ocean. 'The Tathagata exists after death' doesn't apply. 'The Tathagata doesn't exist after death doesn't apply. 'The Tathagata both exists and doesn't exist after death' doesn't apply. 'The Tathagata neither exists nor doesn't exist after death' doesn't apply."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

?
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:06 am

Zom wrote:And how whould you explain this sutta?

"Any consciousness by which one describing the Tathagata would describe him: That the Tathagata has abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Freed from the classification of consciousness, great king, the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the ocean. 'The Tathagata exists after death' doesn't apply. 'The Tathagata doesn't exist after death doesn't apply. 'The Tathagata both exists and doesn't exist after death' doesn't apply. 'The Tathagata neither exists nor doesn't exist after death' doesn't apply."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

?
Take it at face value, as it is written.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby Zom » Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:08 am

So, as it seems, nibbana is still "some thing", but hard to measure, boundless, ect.. ,)
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:11 am

Zom wrote:So, as it seems, nibbana is still "some thing", but hard to measure, ect.. ,)
What would it be? Certainly not something outside of the nibbana-ized person. If it is any "thing" it is what happens to the person who is longer shaped or measured by grasping after, pushing away, or assuming he or she is some sort of unchanging agent.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby Zom » Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:16 am

What would it be?

Something boundless, hard to measure, ect .. -)


One more sutta where nibbana is an object of perception:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:33 am

Zom wrote:
What would it be?

Something boundless, hard to measure, ect .. -)
What is boundless is the nibbana-ized person, no longer bound by grasping after, pushing away, or assuming an unchanging agent behind it. But there is no some "thing."


One more sutta where nibbana is an object of perception:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html



"I was percipient at that time of 'The cessation of becoming — Unbinding.'"
But what is actually being perceived at that moment?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby Zom » Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:44 am

But what is actually being perceived at that moment?


Seems like some sort of existing reality apart from this world, that world, ect..
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:52 am

Zom wrote:
But what is actually being perceived at that moment?


Seems like some sort of existing reality apart from this world, that world, ect..
Probably not, otherwise you are going to end up a Hindu.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby Zom » Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:29 am

If not - what then? ,)
In the sutta it is said quite directly: "perceives something that is not this world, that world, ect.."
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby Sylvester » Fri Nov 25, 2011 12:39 pm

tiltbillings wrote:The following is not Rune Johansson's translation; it is mine, ...


For violating your droit de paternité so shamefully, I offer 100 strokes as penance.
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby chownah » Fri Nov 25, 2011 12:54 pm

Zom wrote:And how whould you explain this sutta?

"Any consciousness by which one describing the Tathagata would describe him: That the Tathagata has abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Freed from the classification of consciousness, great king, the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the ocean. 'The Tathagata exists after death' doesn't apply. 'The Tathagata doesn't exist after death doesn't apply. 'The Tathagata both exists and doesn't exist after death' doesn't apply. 'The Tathagata neither exists nor doesn't exist after death' doesn't apply."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

?

Trying to make sense of this is only difficult if you cling to your views of an "external" "real" "world". If you cling to your view of The All being all that there is then it makes perfect sense.....I guess.....
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby Paññāsikhara » Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:07 pm

In passing, it may be worth noting that Pali, Sanskrit etc., have neither articles such as "the" or "a", nor do they have Capital Letters.
While rather innocuous, these do have significance to discerning readers of the English language.

Moreover, the Indic prefix "a-" can be read as several types of compound, and they are not all equal.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:22 am

kirk5a wrote:I am curious to know whether a poster who proclaims views about "the Deathless" actually knows and sees the Deathless for him/herself or whether it's rooted in mere reading, thinking, and reasoning.
Not to worry. There is no "the Deathless" to know or see.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:34 am

Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:Not to worry. There is no "the Deathless" to know or see.


And to save us going around in circles...

"The Deathless" (amata)
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=10569

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: the great rebirth debate

Postby nowheat » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:35 am

retrofuturist wrote:For what it's worth, I found what you said to be totally in accord with the Dhamma of the Buddha.


That's of significant value, thanks.


tiltbillings wrote:Not to worry. There is no "the Deathless" to know or see.


How do you know this? Just curious. My temptation is to tease and say that since you have not known or seen the Deathless you know and see that there is none, but the joke could be too easily mistaken for me being snide. I would not be at all surprised if you had experienced the deathless, but just weren't aware that what you experiencing was it, just like people experience dukkha all the time without knowing what it is, what causes it (&c).

:namaste:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Prasadachitta » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:36 am

tiltbillings wrote:
kirk5a wrote:I am curious to know whether a poster who proclaims views about "the Deathless" actually knows and sees the Deathless for him/herself or whether it's rooted in mere reading, thinking, and reasoning.
Not to worry. There is no "the Deathless" to know or see.



:jawdrop: :cry: :computerproblem:
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