MN 29 Maha Saropama Sutta: The Longer Heartwood-simile

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Re: MN 29 Maha Saropama Sutta: The Longer Heartwood-simile

Postby perkele » Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:54 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Whether liberation is permanent or not was a point of disagreement between sects, so this line may be a late addition to the Theravada version.

No comments on this? I wasn't aware of it, and it puts some discussions about arahants in a different light...

:anjali:
Mike


Not sure what you mean here. Should we consider this idea as a real possibility? Then what would be the goal of the dhamma? What about the ubiquitous phrase "Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world"? Also a later addition?
Nah, can't take this serious.

Anyhow, thanks for the interesting discussion of this sutta. This part of the forum is a real gem. I never have anything intelligent to say but the interested discussions here are always worthwhile to read.
:anjali:
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Re: MN 29 Maha Saropama Sutta: The Longer Heartwood-simile

Postby vinasp » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:08 am

Hi Mike,

From a book which I am reading - on the Personalists:

"Kosa VI #57: ... or else samaya means "time": the first five Arhats are
susceptible to falling from deliverence (vimukta), they are therefore
delivered for a time (kalantara), and so are samayavimukta, the sixth
Arhat (cf Kosa VI #56) is not susceptible to falling from deliverence,
he is therefore definitively delivered (atyantavimukta), and so is
asamayavimukta." [ footnote 256 page 61 ]

I cant make much sense of this. What are these six types of Arhats?
At least there is one type which has permanent liberation. It is all
very complicated so I will not try to pursue it any further here.

The other schools were probably not saying that all arahants can fall
from their attainments, only some. But were they even using the term
arahant in the same way?

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: MN 29 Maha Saropama Sutta: The Longer Heartwood-simile

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:49 am

Hi Perkele, Vincent,

Thanks for the quotation, Vincent. As I said, Ven Sujato only mentioned in passing that there was disagreement between sects over the possibility of an arahant "falling from deliverence". This is consistent with your quotation, which seems to imply that some arahants are "safe" and others are not.

Ven Sujato specifically mentioned the Sarvastivadins as one of the sects that held a different view from the Theravada regarding Arahants.

I have no further information on the subject, but I think that it is important to recognise that the suttas of different sects evolved over time and some of the changes may be a result of doctrinal arguments. I.e. the suttas may have been changed to support the doctrine of the sect. It's not so black and white that the derived doctrine is in the commentaries and abhidhamma and the suttas are untouched.

:anjali:
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Re: MN 29 Maha Saropama Sutta: The Longer Heartwood-simile

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:35 am

So this holy life, bhikkhus, does not have gain, honour, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of virtue for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision as its benefit. But it is this unshakable deliverance of mind that is the goal of this holy life, its heartwood, and its end.

BB: "Unshakable deliverance of mind" is the fruit of arahantship according to MA.
Thus "perpetual liberation" --- as including all four paths and fruits --- has a wider range of meaning than "unshakable deliverance of mind", which alone is declared to be the goal of the holy life.


I have difficulty figuring out what exactly Bhikkhu Bodhi is saying here. Perhaps I'm not reading it correctly...

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Re: MN 29 Maha Saropama Sutta: The Longer Heartwood-simile

Postby Sam Vara » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:08 pm

So this holy life, bhikkhus, does not have gain, honour, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of virtue for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision as its benefit. But it is this unshakable deliverance of mind that is the goal of this holy life, its heartwood, and its end.

BB: "Unshakable deliverance of mind" is the fruit of arahantship according to MA.
Thus "perpetual liberation" --- as including all four paths and fruits --- has a wider range of meaning than "unshakable deliverance of mind", which alone is declared to be the goal of the holy life.


I have difficulty figuring out what exactly Bhikkhu Bodhi is saying here. Perhaps I'm not reading it correctly...


Is he not saying that the "unshakable deliverance of mind" is what should be aimed at as the final goal, but could conceivably be attained by beings who had no need of all of the four paths and fruits? In the terms of the analogy, that whoever is successful in gaining the heartwood, does so by virtue of having dissected and processed the whole tree. Their liberation is perpetual because there is no longer the possibility of backsliding with regard to renown, virtue, concentration, and vision.
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Re: MN 29 Maha Saropama Sutta: The Longer Heartwood-simile

Postby perkele » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:25 pm

Sam Vega wrote:
So this holy life, bhikkhus, does not have gain, honour, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of virtue for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision as its benefit. But it is this unshakable deliverance of mind that is the goal of this holy life, its heartwood, and its end.

BB: "Unshakable deliverance of mind" is the fruit of arahantship according to MA.
Thus "perpetual liberation" --- as including all four paths and fruits --- has a wider range of meaning than "unshakable deliverance of mind", which alone is declared to be the goal of the holy life.


I have difficulty figuring out what exactly Bhikkhu Bodhi is saying here. Perhaps I'm not reading it correctly...


Is he not saying that the "unshakable deliverance of mind" is what should be aimed at as the final goal, but could conceivably be attained by beings who had no need of all of the four paths and fruits? In the terms of the analogy, that whoever is successful in gaining the heartwood, does so by virtue of having dissected and processed the whole tree. Their liberation is perpetual because there is no longer the possibility of backsliding with regard to renown, virtue, concentration, and vision.


I have difficulty figuring out what exactly Sam Vega is saying here. Perhaps I'm not reading it correctly...

As far as I understand Bhikkhu Bodhi only says that "perpetual liberation" (referring to attaining the path or fruit of stream-entry, sakadagami, anagami or arahatship) has a broader meaning than "unshakable deliverance of mind" which refers only to arahatship, or to the final goal, nibbana.
Does that help?
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Re: MN 29 Maha Saropama Sutta: The Longer Heartwood-simile

Postby Sam Vara » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:41 pm

I have difficulty figuring out what exactly Sam Vega is saying here. Perhaps I'm not reading it correctly...

As far as I understand Bhikkhu Bodhi only says that "perpetual liberation" (referring to attaining the path or fruit of stream-entry, sakadagami, anagami or arahatship) has a broader meaning than "unshakable deliverance of mind" which refers only to arahatship, or to the final goal, nibbana.
Does that help?


Yes, apologies, I didn't put it well at all.

I saw the perpetual liberation as broader, in that it referred to the earlier processes mentioned in the sutta, rather than nibbana. I think however that your reading of this phrase is probably more correct.
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Re: MN 29 Maha Saropama Sutta: The Longer Heartwood-simile

Postby daverupa » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:20 pm

Perhaps MN 122 offers some help; here is TH:

"Indeed, Ananda, it is impossible that a monk who delights in company, enjoys company, is committed to delighting in company; who delights in a group, enjoys a group, rejoices in a group, will enter & remain in the awareness-release that is temporary and pleasing, or in the awareness-release that is not-temporary and beyond provocation. But it is possible that a monk who lives alone, withdrawn from the group, can expect to enter & remain in the awareness-release that is temporary and pleasing, or in the awareness-release that is not-temporary and beyond provocation."


BB has "deliverance of mind that is temporary and delectable... or perpetual and unshakeable."

BB notes that the former is deliverance through the jhanas and the immaterial attainments, the latter deliverance through the supramundane paths and fruits.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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