Ud 7.7: Papañcakhaya Sutta — The Ending of Objectification

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Ud 7.7: Papañcakhaya Sutta — The Ending of Objectification

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:32 am

Ud 7.7 PTS: Ud 77
Papañcakhaya Sutta: The Ending of Objectification
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu


The Buddha reflects on his own state of mind.

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

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion the Blessed One was sitting, contemplating his own abandoning of the perceptions & categories of objectification.

Then the Blessed One, realizing his own abandoning of the perceptions & categories of objectification, on that occasion exclaimed:

    One who
    has no objectifications,[1]
    no standing-place,[2]
    who has gone beyond
    the tether & cross-bar:
    The world, even with its devas,
    doesn't look down on him —
    he, going about without craving,
    a sage.

Note

1. Papañca: A mode of thought that begins with the assumption, "I am the thinker," and develops its categories and perceptions — about self and world, about existence and non-existence — from there. For more on this topic, see the introduction to MN 18 and Skill in Questions, chapters 3 and 8.

2. On the teaching that the awakened person has no location, see The Paradox of Becoming, chapter 7.
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Re: Ud 7.7: Papañcakhaya Sutta — The Ending of Objectificati

Postby Sam Vara » Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:03 pm

Many thanks, Mike. I hadn't seen this one before, but it fits with Thanissaro's recent attempts to come up with a more subtle and meaningful way of reading papanca. In his introduction to MN 18, for example, he asks
What are these perceptions & categories that assail the person who papañcizes? Sn 4.14 states that the root of the categories of papañca is the perception, "I am the thinker." From this self-reflexive thought — in which one conceives a "self," a thing corresponding to the concept of "I" — a number of categories can be derived: being/not-being, me/not-me, mine/not-mine, doer/done-to, signifier/signified. Once one's self becomes a thing under the rubric of these categories, it's impossible not to be assailed by the perceptions & categories derived from these basic distinctions.


I have heard papanca explained as "proliferation", with the apparently less sophisticated meaning of thoughts expanding and mushrooming so as to lead one away from a more useful object of attention or contemplation.

Nyanatiloka's Buddhist Dictionary gives it as literally "Expansion, diffuseness", but goes on to explain it in ways very similar to Thanissaro's, by way of the passage from MN 18:
Whatever man conceives, he differentiates; and whatever he differentiates, by reason thereof "ideas and considerations of differentiation" arise in him".

This seem to bring us somewhere near to MN1:
Perceiving earth as earth, he conceives [things] about earth, he conceives [things] in earth, he conceives [things] coming out of earth, he conceives earth as 'mine,' he delights in earth

But this conceiving is mannati, the same as the "conceit" as per the 3 obsessions or gaha. Does anyone have any light to throw on the relationship between mannati and papanca? They seem to me to be very similar, but I might have misunderstood completely.

It is quite a tricky area. Even Thanissaro struggles when trying to combine this more subtle reading of papanca with a poetic rendering. I've seen him do things more elegantly than this sutta!
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Re: Ud 7.7: Papañcakhaya Sutta — The Ending of Objectificati

Postby Sylvester » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:59 am

Three words seem to be used fairly interchangeably. The one that has attracted the most attention is of course the noun papañca and its verb papañceti.

As Sam notes, maññati also appears as a close synonym to papañceti in MN 1. It pops up also in SN 36.30-32 and SN 36.90-91 (looking only at maññati and none of the other conjugations). The context of those SN 36 suttas, especially in the light of the conceiving "That is mine", seems to the classical form of clinging/appropriation.

Another close synonym appears to be paññapeti, but more on this later.

We start with the Buddha's statement in MN 18 -

Yatonidānaṃ bhikkhu purisaṃ papañcasaññāsaṅkhā samudācaranti, ettha ce natthi abhinanditabbaṃ abhivaditabbaṃ ajjhosetabbaṃ, esevanto rāgānusayānaṃ. Esevanto paṭighānusayānaṃ. Esevanto diṭṭhānusayānaṃ. Esevanto vicikicchānusayānaṃ. Esevanto mānānusayānaṃ. Esevanto bhavarāgānusayānaṃ. Esevanto avijjānusayānaṃ. Esevanto daṇḍādānasatthādānakalahaviggahavivāda tuvantuvampesuññamusāvādānaṃ. Etthete pāpakā akusalā dhammā aparisesā nirujjhantīti.

If, monk, with regard to the cause whereby the perceptions & categories of objectification assail a person, there is nothing there to relish, welcome, or remain fastened to, then that is the end of the obsessions of passion, the obsessions of resistance, the obsessions of views, the obsessions of uncertainty, the obsessions of conceit, the obsessions of passion for becoming, & the obsessions of ignorance. That is the end of taking up rods & bladed weapons, of arguments, quarrels, disputes, accusations, divisive tale-bearing, & false speech. That is where these evil, unskillful things cease without remainder."


What Ven T renders as "obsessions" are the anusayā/latent tendencies.

A little later, we see this -

Now, when there is the eye, when there are forms, when there is eye-consciousness, it is possible that one will delineate a delineation of contact. When there is a delineation of contact, it is possible that one will delineate a delineation of feeling. When there is a delineation of feeling, it is possible that one will delineate a delineation of perception. When there is a delineation of perception, it is possible that one will delineate a delineation of thinking. When there is a delineation of thinking, it is possible that one will delineate a delineation of being assailed by the perceptions & categories of objectification.

So vatāvuso cakkhusmiṃ sati rūpe sati cakkhuviññāṇe sati phassapaññattiṃ paññāpessatīti ṭhānametaṃ vijjati. Phassapaññattiyā sati vedanāpaññattiṃ paññāpessatīti ṭhānametaṃ vijjati. Vedanāpaññattiyā sati saññāpaññattiṃ paññāpessatīti ṭhānametaṃ vijjati saññāpaññattiyā sati vitakkapaññattiṃ paññāpessatīti ṭhānametaṃ vijjati, vitakkapaññattiyā sati papañcasaññāsaṅkhāsamudācaraṇapaññattiṃ paññāpessatīti ṭhānametaṃ vijjati.

Now, when there is no eye, when there are no forms, when there is no eye-consciousness, it is impossible that one will delineate a delineation of contact. When there is no delineation of contact, it is impossible that one will delineate a delineation of feeling. When there is no delineation of feeling, it is impossible that one will delineate a delineation of perception. When there is no delineation of perception, it is impossible that one will delineate a delineation of thinking. When there is no delineation of thinking, it is impossible that one will delineate a delineation of being assailed by the perceptions & categories of objectification.

So vatāvuso cakkhusmiṃ asati rūpe asati cakkhuviññāṇe asati phassapaññattiṃ paññāpessatīti netaṃ ṭhānaṃ vijjati. Phassapaññattiyā asati vedanāpaññattiṃ paññāpessatīti netaṃ ṭhānaṃ vijjati. Vedanāpaññattiyā asati saññāpaññattiṃ paññāpessatīti netaṃ ṭhānaṃ vijjati. Saññāpaññattiyā asati vitakkapaññattiṃ paññāpessatīti netaṃ ṭhānaṃ vijjati, vitakkapaññattiyā asati papañcasaññāsaṅkhāsamudācaraṇapaññattiṃ paññāpessatīti netaṃ ṭhānaṃ vijjati.


Note the "delineation" = paññatti, and "will delineate" = paññāpessatī (future tense conjugation of paññāpeti/delineates). These terms pop up in another closely related sutta, DN 15 -

‘‘Kittāvatā ca, ānanda, attānaṃ paññapento paññapeti? Rūpiṃ vā hi, ānanda, parittaṃ attānaṃ paññapento paññapeti – ‘‘rūpī me paritto attā’’ti. Rūpiṃ vā hi , ānanda, anantaṃ attānaṃ paññapento paññapeti – ‘rūpī me ananto attā’ti. Arūpiṃ vā hi, ānanda, parittaṃ attānaṃ paññapento paññapeti – ‘arūpī me paritto attā’ti. Arūpiṃ vā hi, ānanda, anantaṃ attānaṃ paññapento paññapeti – ‘arūpī me ananto attā’ti.

‘‘Tatrānanda, yo so rūpiṃ parittaṃ attānaṃ paññapento paññapeti. Etarahi vā so rūpiṃ parittaṃ attānaṃ paññapento paññapeti, tattha bhāviṃ vā so rūpiṃ parittaṃ attānaṃ paññapento paññapeti, ‘atathaṃ vā pana santaṃ tathattāya upakappessāmī’ti iti vā panassa hoti. Evaṃ santaṃ kho, ānanda, rūpiṃ [rūpī (ka.)] parittattānudiṭṭhi anusetīti iccālaṃ vacanāya.

To what extent, Ananda, does one delineate when delineating a self? Either delineating a self possessed of form and finite, one delineates that 'My self is possessed of form and finite.' Or, delineating a self possessed of form and infinite, one delineates that 'My self is possessed of form and infinite.' Or, delineating a self formless and finite, one delineates that 'My self is formless and finite.' Or, delineating a self formless and infinite, one delineates that 'My self is formless and infinite.'

"Now, the one who, when delineating a self, delineates it as possessed of form and finite, either delineates it as possessed of form and finite in the present, or of such a nature that it will [naturally] become possessed of form and finite [in the future/after death], or he believes that 'Although it is not yet that way, I will convert it into being that way.' This being the case, it is proper to say that a fixed view of a self possessed of form and finite obsesses him.


Something else about MN 18's possible/impossible scenarios are also echoed in DN 15, which outlines the 2 cases of delineation of the self versus non-delineation of the self. The possible/impossible dichotomy suggests that papañca is not an inevitable sequel to perception, and can be arrested. We therefore don't need to resort to the fiction of "unconditioned" perception to be free of papañca. The impossibility scenario simply illustrates that the prequel is a necessary condition, and not a sufficient condition, to what follows.

Further, if one looks at the situation where one delineates a self, the sutta says that " a fixed view of a self possessed of form and finite obsesses him", where we have anuseti for Ven T's "obsesses". This mirrors the Buddha's original enigmatic statement in MN 18 about the underlying tendency to view (diṭṭhānusayā).

A little further down DN 15, another form of papañca is represented by "assumptions about the self" (attānaṃ samanupassamāno) based on the feeling aggregate.

Looking at the main doctrinal statement in MN 18 about papañca's relationship to the anusayā, we know from SN 12.38 that the latter falls within Dependant Origination's saṅkhāra/volitional formation. I think we can probably deduce from that main doctrinal statement that it is another way of stating Dependant Cessation, ie with the cessation of ignorance, the cessation of volitions formations.
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Re: Ud 7.7: Papañcakhaya Sutta — The Ending of Objectificati

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:34 am

John Ireland's translation and comments:

Thus I have heard. At one time the Lord was staying near Savatthi in the Jeta Wood at Anathapindika's monastery. On that occasion the Lord was sitting reviewing his own abandonment of perceptions and concepts born of proliferation. [1]

Then the Lord, on realizing his own abandonment of perceptions and concepts born of proliferation, uttered on that occasion this inspired utterance:

    The world with its devas does not despise
    That cravingless sage as he fares along,
    For whom there are no proliferations and stagnation,
    Who has overcome the tether and bar. [2]

Notes

[1] Papanca-sanna-sankha-pahana. This is a very difficult phrase of profound import and in the various contexts where it occurs it has been translated very differently.
The stumbling block has been the important term papanca, which even the ancient commentators found difficult to define. I follow here Bhikkhu Nanananda's interpretation of it, in his Concept and Reality, as "conceptual proliferation." Through craving, conceit, and views we conceptualize what is perceived through the senses and by mind, distorting with fixed labels what is naturally a fluid "living" situation. The ordinary person measures and evaluates, chooses and rejects, the contents of his perceptions from the viewpoint of the ego or "self", the ultimate concepts to be dissolved when enlightenment is realized. The Buddha, by abandoning craving and so forth, no longer conceptualizes in this way.
See Dhammapada 195, 254.
    Dhp 195-196. He who reveres those worthy of reverence, the Buddhas and their disciples, who have transcended all obstacles and passed beyond the reach of sorrow and lamentation — he who reveres such peaceful and fearless ones, his merit none can compute by any measure.
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .budd.html

    254. There is no track in the sky, and no recluse outside (the Buddha's dispensation). Mankind delights in worldliness, but the Buddhas are free from worldliness.
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .budd.html
[2] Commentary explains thiti as "stagnation in samsara caused by the proliferations", which are the factors that delay one in samsara. But it also points out that in Netti (p. 37) thiti is glossed as anusaya, latent or dormant tendencies to the defilements. Commentary identifies the tether (sudana) as craving and views, which are like a tether in causing bondage. The bar, or cross-bar (paligha), is ignorance, which is similar to a cross-bar in preventing entry to the city of Nibbana.
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Re: Ud 7.7: Papañcakhaya Sutta — The Ending of Objectificati

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:07 pm

As noted above, Ven Thanissaro has a slightly different emphasis regarding the meaning of papanca from Ven Nanananda. For previous discussions see:
viewtopic.php?f=29&t=14229
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=12375

However, John Ireland's notes in the previous post do indicate that in Ven Nanananda's interpretation the concept of self does still play a role.
The ordinary person measures and evaluates, chooses and rejects, the contents of his perceptions from the viewpoint of the ego or "self", the ultimate concepts to be dissolved when enlightenment is realized.


:anjali:
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Re: Ud 7.7: Papañcakhaya Sutta — The Ending of Objectificati

Postby Buckwheat » Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:04 am

mikenz66 wrote:...And on that occasion the Blessed One was sitting, contemplating his own abandoning of the perceptions & categories of objectification.

Then the Blessed One, realizing his own abandoning of the perceptions & categories of objectification, on that occasion exclaimed:


Is this a repetition, or does "contemplating" refer to one thing, and "realizing" another? I feel confident I know what is meant by realizing his own abandoning (um, "to see clearly" might summarize my assumption), but what does contemplating mean in this context?
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.
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