Sutta supporting khanikavada (momentariness)

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

Sutta supporting khanikavada (momentariness)

Postby SamKR » Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:07 am

Are there any Nikaya Suttas that support khanikavada (theory of momentariness)?

I am not asking about suttas on general impermanence; I am already aware of them. I am interested in suttas that talk about (or at least give hints) about momentariness (impermanence at its extreme)? I know Abhidhamma talks about it but I don't know if any Nikaya Suttas do.

Thanks a lot for your time.

:anjali:
SamKR
 
Posts: 774
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:33 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Sutta supporting khanikavada (momentariness)

Postby cooran » Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:36 am

Hello Sam,

I haven't had time to read this whole thread (64 posts) - but there may be some thing here:

Provenance of the notion of momentariness in the Theravada
http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 38&start=0

with metta
Chris
---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 ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7702
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Sutta supporting khanikavada (momentariness)

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:43 am

cooran wrote:Hello Sam,

I haven't had time to read this whole thread (64 posts) - but there may be some thing here:

Provenance of the notion of momentariness in the Theravada
http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 38&start=0

with metta
Chris
I do believe that Ven Dhammanando had something to say on the subject: Are there any Nikaya Suttas that support khanikavada (theory of momentariness)? Mostly, I would say that one will not get much support for the idea here, but I'd ask Ven D about it.
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19763
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Sutta supporting khanikavada (momentariness)

Postby Ben » Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:48 am

tiltbillings wrote:I do believe that Ven Dhammanando had something to say on the subject: Are there any Nikaya Suttas that support khanikavada (theory of momentariness)? Mostly, I would say that one will not get much support for the idea here, but I'd ask Ven D about it.


If I am not mistaken, Ajahn is returning to his mountain locale and may not be online again until November.
Robertk may also be of help.
kind regards,

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16226
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: Sutta supporting khanikavada (momentariness)

Postby robertk » Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:55 am

This sutta:

Guhatthaka-suttaniddeso
(Exposition of the Sutta of the Eightfold Mystery)

Translated by Andrew Olendzki.

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


1. "Life, personhood, pleasure and pain
- This is all that's bound together
In a single mental event- A moment that quickly takes place.

2. Even for the devas who endure
For 84,000 thousand kalpas
- Even those do not live the same
For any two moments of the mind.


3. What ceases for one who is dead,
Or for one who's still standing here,
Are all just the same heaps
- Gone, never to connect again.

4. The states which are vanishing now,
And those which will vanish some day,
Have characteristics no different
Than those which have vanished before.

5. With no production there's no birth;
With "becoming" present, one exists.
When grasped with the highest meaning,
The world is dead when the mind stops.

6. There's no hoarding what has vanished,
No piling up for the future;
Those who have been born are standing
Like a seed upon a needle.

7. The vanishing of all these states
That have become is not welcome,
Though dissolving phenomena stand
Uncombined through primordial time.

8. From the unseen, things come and go.
Glimpsed only as they're passing by;
Like lightning flashing in the sky
- They arise and then pass away."

Kathaṃ ṭhitiparittatāya appakaṃ jīvitaṃ? Atīte cittakkhaṇe jīvittha,
na jīvati na jīvissati; anāgate cittakkhaṇe jīvissati, na jīvati na jīvittha; paccuppanne cittakkhaṇe jīvati, na jīvittha na jīvissati.

“Jīvitaṃ attabhāvo ca, sukhadukkhā ca kevalā;
ekacittasamāyuttā, lahuso vattate khaṇo.
“Cullāsītisahassāni, kappā tiṭṭhanti ye marū;
natveva tepi jīvanti, dvīhi cittehi saṃyutā.
“Ye niruddhā marantassa, tiṭṭhamānassa vā idha;
sabbepi sadisā khandhā, gatā appaṭisandhikā.
“Anantarā ca ye bhaggā, ye ca bhaggā anāgatā;
tadantare niruddhānaṃ, vesamaṃ natthi lakkhaṇe.
“Anibbattena na jāto, paccuppannena jīvati;
cittabhaggā mato loko, paññatti paramatthiyā.
“Yathā ninnā pavattanti, chandena pariṇāmitā;
acchinnadhārā vattanti, saḷāyatanapaccayā.
“Anidhānagatā bhaggā, puñjo natthi anāgate;
nibbattā ye ca tiṭṭhanti, āragge sāsapūpamā.
“Nibbattānañca dhammānaṃ, bhaṅgo nesaṃ purakkhato;
palokadhammā tiṭṭhanti, purāṇehi amissitā.
“Adassanato āyanti, bhaṅgā gacchanti dassanaṃ;
vijjuppādova ākāse, uppajjanti vayanti cā”ti.

Evaṃ ṭhitiparittatāya appakaṃ jīvitaṃ.
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1290
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Sutta supporting khanikavada (momentariness)

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:57 am

Ben wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:I do believe that Ven Dhammanando had something to say on the subject: Are there any Nikaya Suttas that support khanikavada (theory of momentariness)? Mostly, I would say that one will not get much support for the idea here, but I'd ask Ven D about it.


If I am not mistaken, Ajahn is returning to his mountain locale and may not be online again until November.
Bummer.
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19763
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Sutta supporting khanikavada (momentariness)

Postby Ben » Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:59 am

Yes, he mentioned on his facebook page last night. Though I am not sure exactly when he is going. He could have already gone for all I know.
kind regards,

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16226
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: Sutta supporting khanikavada (momentariness)

Postby cooran » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:11 am

Hello all,

Hope this isn't off-topic, again just a resource I came across, and not yet read:

The Buddhist Doctrine of Momentariness - A Survey of the Origins and Early Phase of this Doctrine up to Vasubandhu
http://www.scribd.com/doc/43691507/The- ... Vasubandhu

with metta
Chris
---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 ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7702
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Sutta supporting khanikavada (momentariness)

Postby Ben » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:43 am

Dear all

Since Sam has asked for references from the suttas which support the notion of momentariness, I am moving this topic into the Classical Theravada Forum. To keep this topic tightly focused, for the purposes of discussion only sources from the Nikayas are considered authoritative.
Thanks for your cooperation

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16226
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: Sutta supporting khanikavada (momentariness)

Postby SamKR » Sat Jun 09, 2012 12:13 am

Thanks everyone for your replies and for the links.
Cooran's link to past discussion and the book (thesis) is very useful.

Thanks robertk for Guhatthaka-suttaniddeso which, as pointed out by tiltbillings in the past thread, is a commentary. But I think it is authoritative as it is a part of Nikaya. I hope there might be similar others that talk about impermanence close to momentariness, suttas preferably.
SamKR
 
Posts: 774
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:33 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Sutta supporting khanikavada (momentariness)

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Jun 09, 2012 12:46 am

Greetings Sam,

Can I ask a question. When you're asking about "momentariness" are you asking in relation to "atomized" moments?

atomized - past participle, past tense of at·om·ize (Verb)
Verb:
Convert (a substance) into very fine particles or droplets.
Reduce (something) to atoms or other small distinct units.

... and by doing so, designating that which is delineable, bounded, and inherently differentiated and separated from other atomized moments?

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14726
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Sutta supporting khanikavada (momentariness)

Postby SamKR » Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:40 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Sam,

Can I ask a question. When you're asking about "momentariness" are you asking in relation to "atomized" moments?

atomized - past participle, past tense of at·om·ize (Verb)
Verb:
Convert (a substance) into very fine particles or droplets.
Reduce (something) to atoms or other small distinct units.

... and by doing so, designating that which is delineable, bounded, and inherently differentiated and separated from other atomized moments?

Metta,
Retro. :)


Hello retro,

I am open to all usual definition of "momentariness" as found in Theravada (including "atomized" moments as you stated above).

Personally, I like to think momentariness as the instant process of being "on" and "off" (rising and falling) of individual discrete units in no time (or maybe in "Planck time"). The discrete units are identical (as long as they have the same underlying causes) but are disconnected in the sense that the previous unit does not directly cause the next one; although they are connected indirectly because they have the same underlying causes. These underlying causes themselves are in the process of momentary existence as described above.
I am not sure if my idea of momentariness is usual in Theravada, and I could be wrong, but I have reached this conclusion by pondering on the Buddha's words, and inferences from physics, and ideas from Vipassana tradition over years.
Last edited by SamKR on Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
SamKR
 
Posts: 774
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:33 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Sutta supporting khanikavada (momentariness)

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:47 am

I'm not sure how "atomistic" it can be considered, but there are statements such as:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents? There is the case where a monk remains focused on arising & falling away with reference to the five clinging-aggregates: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its passing away. ...

that certainly suggests a certain rapidity.

Another sutta suggesting some rapidity and atomicity (one thing at a time).
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
But what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Just as a monkey, swinging through a forest wilderness, grabs a branch. Letting go of it, it grabs another branch. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. In the same way, what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another.


:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10538
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Sutta supporting khanikavada (momentariness)

Postby robertk » Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:24 am

SamKR wrote:Thanks everyone for your replies and for the links.
Cooran's link to past discussion and the book (thesis) is very useful.

Thanks robertk for Guhatthaka-suttaniddeso which, as pointed out by tiltbillings in the past thread, is a commentary. But I think it is authoritative as it is a part of Nikaya. I hope there might be similar others that talk about impermanence close to momentariness, suttas preferably.

The idea that it is part of the Commentaries and not an actual sutta seems to have come from the translators innocent use of the word 'commentary' when describing Sariputta's exposition. If , in his preface, the modern translator had instead used the word "exposition' it would have been clearer.
So just to stress again, IT IS A SUTTA and not part of the Atthakatha (commentaries).
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1290
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Sutta supporting khanikavada (momentariness)

Postby Ben » Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:31 am

robertk wrote:
SamKR wrote:Thanks everyone for your replies and for the links.
Cooran's link to past discussion and the book (thesis) is very useful.

Thanks robertk for Guhatthaka-suttaniddeso which, as pointed out by tiltbillings in the past thread, is a commentary. But I think it is authoritative as it is a part of Nikaya. I hope there might be similar others that talk about impermanence close to momentariness, suttas preferably.

The idea that it is part of the Commentaries and not an actual sutta seems to have come from the translators innocent use of the word 'commentary' when describing Sariputta's exposition. If , in his preface, the modern translator had instead used the word "exposition' it would have been clearer.
So just to stress again, IT IS A SUTTA and not part of the Atthakatha (commentaries).


Thank you for the clarification, Robert and thanks also for sharing the sutta.
kind regards,

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16226
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: Sutta supporting khanikavada (momentariness)

Postby danieLion » Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:29 am

FYI:

viewtopic.php?f=14&t=11973&start=0

Topic title: "Living In The Present Moment" (can it be supported by the suttas?)

metta
danieLion
 
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: Sutta supporting khanikavada (momentariness)

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:33 am

Hi Daniel,

I don't think that the issue of "being in the present moment" is the same as the issue of "momentariness".

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10538
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Sutta supporting khanikavada (momentariness)

Postby ancientbuddhism » Sat Jun 09, 2012 4:55 pm

Whenever this topic comes up I think of the following verse in Aṅguttara Nikāya:

    nāhaṃ, bhikkhave, aññaṃ ekadhammampi samanupassāmi yaṃ evaṃ lahuparivattaṃ yathayidaṃ cittaṃ. yāvañcidaṃ, bhikkhave, upamāpi na sukarā yāva lahuparivattaṃ cittanti.

    “Bhikkhus, I do not even know of one other phenomena that is of the nature to quickly change as the mind, so much so, bhikkhus, that to give an example of this quickly changing mind is not easily done.” (AN.1. 41-50)

But what may be helpful to the discussion is that an understanding of Dependant Origination and the middle-way will lend to an understanding of momentariness through causal processes. The Kaccānagotta Sutta (SN. 12.15) comes to mind with its alalysis of simple right-view, where rather than attaching to the extremes of ‘everything exists’ (sabbaṃ atthī’ti) or ‘everything does not exist’ (sabbaṃ natthī’ti), one proceeds with an understanding of the ‘Dhamma of the middle’ (majjhena … dhammaṃ) viz. DO.

Also, an article that may be informative to this topic is The Buddhist Conception of Time and Temporality by David J. Kalupahana
Fingers walk the darkness down
Mind is on the midnight
Gather up the gold you've found
You fool, it's only moonlight.
If you try to take it home
Your hands will turn to butter
You better leave this dream alone
Try to find another. – Townes Van Zandt ‘Lungs’

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

A Handful of Leaves
User avatar
ancientbuddhism
 
Posts: 671
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:53 pm
Location: Cyberia

Re: Sutta supporting khanikavada (momentariness)

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:54 pm

Thanks Ancient Buddhism,

It's strange that that particular sutta is not very easy to find on-line...

In fact, according to Sutta Central it should be here:
http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pit ... ali-e.html
but I don't see it... Hmmm...

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10538
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Sutta supporting khanikavada (momentariness)

Postby Alex123 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:56 pm

Hello Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:Another sutta suggesting some rapidity and atomicity (one thing at a time).
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
But what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Just as a monkey, swinging through a forest wilderness, grabs a branch. Letting go of it, it grabs another branch. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. In the same way, what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another.

:anjali:
Mike


To say that mind by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. is far far from talking about momentariness, as some take it to mean, that trillions of cittas rise and fall every second.

I do believe in a sort of momentariness. When we read every letter, then every split second there is different object of the mind - and thus the mind.
"dust to dust...."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2910
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Next

Return to Classical Theravāda

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests