MN 117 has been tampered with

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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Post by retrofuturist » Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:08 pm

Greetings,
Sekha wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Another sutta worth considering in conjunction with MN 117, vis-a-vis the with/without asava distinction...
AN 2.67 - Bodhi translation wrote:"Bhikkhus, there are these two kinds of happiness. What two? The happiness with taints and the happiness without taints. These are the two kinds of happiness. Of these two kinds of happiness, the happiness without taints is foremost."
If there can be "two kinds of happiness" where "the happiness without taints is foremost", why cannot it also be so for Right View?
And why would it?
For one, because it is.

:anjali:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: MN 117 has been tampered with

Post by JhanaStream » Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:09 pm

mikenz66 wrote:...sorting out which statements can or can not be directly attributed to the Buddha.
Of those statements that accord with the essence of Dhamma, it can never be known which statements are directly attributed to the Buddha. There was a time or various times when the teachings were compiled, not by Buddha, but by third parties. All that can be known is liberation of mind & which statements accord with liberation of mind. If a statement accords with liberation of mind (dukkha nirodha) it is Heartwood Dhamma.

Does the meritious view that "I have benefactors; I have mother & father; I have been the beneficiary of gifts & sacrifices; that I have done good karma & I have avoided bad karma; etc" bring liberation from suffering? For example, when mother & father die, will the meritorious right view free the mind from the suffering (sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief & despair) that can arise with aging-&-death of mother & father? A matter for investigation.

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Re: MN 117 has been tampered with

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:48 pm

Hi JhanaStream,
JhanaStream wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:...sorting out which statements can or can not be directly attributed to the Buddha.
Of those statements that accord with the essence of Dhamma, it can never be known which statements are directly attributed to the Buddha. There was a time or various times when the teachings were compiled, not by Buddha, but by third parties. All that can be known is liberation of mind & which statements accord with liberation of mind. If a statement accords with liberation of mind (dukkha nirodha) it is Heartwood Dhamma.
Well, of course, I agree, and therefore I value the wisdom of the compilers, commentators, and ancient and modern teachers, and I measure their advice against the sort of criteria you speak of.

However, as you will be aware, there are some who put a lot of emphasis on determining what exactly is or is not "Buddha-Vaccana". And I have see it argued that certain suttas are obviously late additions or distortions of the Buddha's teachings. Usually this criticism is levelled at the more mythical-sounding suttas, so it is interesting to see a very practical sutta coming under the same scrutiny.

Another case involving central doctrinal points was discussed here: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=11630" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
In that case the question is whether some Theravada suttas were doctored to bolster the tradition's assertion that arahantship is permanent (unlike some other early schools).

Whether or not one is convinced by the arguments in these cases is beside the point I am trying to make. The point is that if one is interested in sorting the "Buddha-Vaccana" from "the additions", such analyses have to be taken seriously. Of course, having taken it seriously, it is still possible to not agree with the analysis...

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Post by Sekha » Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:59 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,
Sekha wrote:
retrofuturist wrote: If there can be "two kinds of happiness" where "the happiness without taints is foremost", why cannot it also be so for Right View?
And why would it?
For one, because it is.
can you backup your statements, please?

happiness (sukha) can be wholesome or unwholesome.
right view is always wholesome

I have even seen recently a sutta where the Buddha says one can kill, steal etc. while feeling sukha (I will provide the exact reference on my next connection here)
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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:41 am

Greetings Sekha,
Sekha wrote:can you backup your statements, please?
If this was a debate, I might feel compelled to, but it's not, so don't expect too much.

MN 117 itself is "backup" enough in my opinion, but I have no interest in expending energies trying to convince you of its legitimacy.

For what it's worth, the 2nd paragraph of JhanaStream's last post is pertinent to this matter...

:ugeek:

... as is the rebuke that Sariputta received from the Buddha for teaching a man on his death-bed how to reach heavenly realms (through an inferior right view) when there was an opportunity to teach him how to attain nobility (through a superior right view).
On one occasion the Buddha mildly reproved Sariputta for not having carried his teaching far enough. When the brahman Dhanañjani was on his deathbed he was visited by the Venerable Sariputta. The Elder, reflecting that brahmans are bent on the Brahma-world (or "union with Brahma") taught the dying man the way to it through the Brahma-viharas. As a result, it is said, the brahman was in fact reborn there.

When the Venerable Sariputta returned from the visit, the Master asked him: "Why, Sariputta, while there was more to do, did you set the brahman Dhanañjani's thoughts on the inferior Brahma-world, and then rising from your seat, leave him?" The Venerable Sariputta replied: "I thought: 'These brahmans are bent on the Brahma-world. Should I not show the brahman Dhanañjani the way to the communion with Brahma?"

"The brahman Dhanañjani has died, Sariputta," said the Buddha, "and he has been reborn in the Brahma-world."

This story, which is found in the Dhanañjani Sutta of the Majjhima Nikaya (97), is interesting as an illustration of the undesirability of rebirth in an inferior Brahma-world for one who is capable of bringing rebirth entirely to an end. For while the Buddha himself sometimes showed only the way to Brahma, as for example in the Tevijja Sutta, it seems probable that in the case of Dhanañjani the Master saw that he was fit to receive a higher teaching, while the Venerable Sariputta, lacking the capacity of knowing others' hearts (lokiya-abhiñña), was not able to discern that fact. The result is that Dhanañjani will spend an incalculable period in the Brahma-world and will have to take human birth again before he can achieve the goal.
Source: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el090.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

... so unless you're going to say that Sariputta taught Dhanañjani wrong view, there are indeed different gradings of right view, with commensurate results.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Post by Sekha » Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:46 am

Sekha wrote: I have even seen recently a sutta where the Buddha says one can kill, steal etc. while feeling sukha (I will provide the exact reference on my next connection here)
here it is..

MN 46
ekacco sahāpi sukhena sahāpi somanassena pāṇātipātī hoti, pāṇātipātapaccayā ca sukhaṃ somanassaṃ paṭisaṃvedeti
someone destroys life with sukha and joy, and feels the sukha and joy that is dependent on destroying life
retrofuturist wrote: MN 117 itself is "backup" enough in my opinion, but I have no interest in expending energies trying to convince you of its legitimacy.
Do you mean to say that just because something is written in a Theravada sutta that makes it the Truth? I am disappointed.

retrofuturist wrote: ... so unless you're going to say that Sariputta taught Dhanañjani wrong view, there are indeed different gradings of right view, with commensurate results.
we agree on that, my friend.

My point is this:
1) every right view is a factor of the path
2) saying that there is a right view 'saasava' is in contradiction with statements made in other suttas

The right view that may have lead that brahman to the Brahma world is a factor of the path, and it will lead him to Nibbana, even though another type of right view may have led him to Nibbana faster. It is not the right view itself that is saasava. It is the person endowed with that right view an many other views some of which are sasava.

I suggest you read my article properly before trying to debunk it.

:anjali:
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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:16 am

Greetings,
Sekha wrote:Do you mean to say that just because something is written in a Theravada sutta that makes it the Truth? I am disappointed.
Well, your disappointment is your own doing... because when you said you wanted me to "back up" what I was saying, you were basically excluding my personal testimony from your range. I told you how it is, and that was insufficient for you, so I found additional support in the texts for what I had told you.
Sekha wrote:I suggest you read my article properly before trying to debunk it.
I read it once and have better things to do than to read it again.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: MN 117 has been tampered with

Post by Sekha » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:43 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Sekha wrote:Do you mean to say that just because something is written in a Theravada sutta that makes it the Truth? I am disappointed.
Well, your disappointment is your own doing... because when you said you wanted me to "back up" what I was saying, you were basically excluding my personal testimony from your range. I told you how it is, and that was insufficient for you, so I found additional support in the texts for what I had told you.
yeah... our personal experience may or may not be distorted. We must back up what we say by statements easily traceable in the suttas, otherwise we are merely discussing personal interpretations, and there is no end to that. But if you do it by hammering the sutta that is currently under discussion, that merely makes you sound completely dogmatic. And as for JhanaStream's quote, it is not in contradiction with my statements, so...
retrofuturist wrote:
Sekha wrote:I suggest you read my article properly before trying to debunk it.
I read it once and have better things to do than to read it again.
I should not have written that anyway. I have been carried away. Sorry for that.
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Re: MN 117 has been tampered with

Post by Sylvester » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:53 am

In his magisterial "A Comparative Study of the Majjhima Nikaya" (Vol 2), Ven Analayo draws some really interesting inferences about why the texts evolved -
A difference between the Vedic and the early Buddhist oral traditions that has important ramifications for the Buddhist oral transmission is that, whereas .... Brahmin youths memorised texts without understanding their meaning, the Buddhist reciters memorised texts whose meanings they would for the most part have understood. ... This difference acquires considerable significance when considered in the light of the modern day academic research on textual memory. This research has shown that textual memory does not work in a way comparable to a tape recorder.... Memory, far from being merely reproductive, is rather of a constructive nature. At the time of trying to recall, the mind constructs the information anew. .... at the time when something is heard or read is to be memorised, information is not simply taken in. Rather, the information is stored in the mind together with inferences made by the reader or listener. ... In view of this, it would only be natural if with the early Buddhist reciters the process of drawing inferences were to leave its mark on the material transmitted. ... In terms of modern research on textual memory, it therefore seems that the early Buddhist reciters involved in the transmission of the discourses tended to "draw inferences". Because of this tendency to draw inferences, the material would have been stored together with those inferences and on retrieval was "re-constructed".

summarised and extracted from pp 870 - 873
Perhaps the anasava and lokuttara descriptions in MN 117 and its 2 SA parallels represent the intrusion of the inferences of its early reciters. I think it is more fruitful to ask - are those inference consistent or inconsistent with the rest of the early doctrines?

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Re: MN 117 has been tampered with

Post by Sekha » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:05 am

Sekha wrote:as for JhanaStream's quote, it is not in contradiction with my statements
I have to correct myself. I have read my article again and I did find out that some teachings of the Buddha, although they ultimately lead to Nibbana, may lead in between to attachment to *favorable* rebirth. Just the same way as the path uses desire (chanda) as a basis for the four right strivings that lead ulti;ately to the cessation of desire. So that means I have to delete a small part of my article, but that doesn't change anything to the general conclusion, as there are so many other evidences.
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Re: MN 117 has been tampered with

Post by Sekha » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:08 am

Sylvester wrote: I think it is more fruitful to ask - are those inference consistent or inconsistent with the rest of the early doctrines?
I believe this is what I did, and I have found that many statements made in MN 117 are inconsistent with other suttas.

That said, I think there is more here than just 'inferences', but this is the realm of personal interpretation.
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Re: MN 117 has been tampered with

Post by Sylvester » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:04 am

Hi Sekha

If I may trouble you for some clarification -
Let us analyze these three terms:

1) 'sāsava' correctly means 'connected with the āsavas' (ie. mental impurities or corruptions of the mind).
I note that "sa-" in bahubbīhi compounds always connote accompaniment or possession. Your explanation of this compound as a relation of "connection" is usually served by the suffix -ika, -ima or -iya, but no such āsava compound exists. Might you be able to point me to where your explanation of sa- might be attested?
Moreover, at AN 10.139, it is said:
AN 10.139
Katamo ca, bhikkhave, sāsavo dhammo? Micchādiṭṭhi, micchāsaṅkappo... micchāsamādhi, micchāñāṇaṃ, micchāvimutti: ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, sāsavo dhammo. Katamo ca, bhikkhave, anāsavo dhammo? Sammādiṭṭhi, sammāsaṅkappo... sammāsamādhi, sammāñāṇaṃ, sammāvimutti: ayaṃ , bhikkhave, anāsavo dhammo ti.
And what, bhikkhus, are the states connected with the mental impurities? Wrong view, wrong thinking... wrong concentration, wrong knowledge, wrong liberation: these are called, bhikkhus, states connected with the mental impurities. And what, bhikkhus, are the states disconnected from the mental impurities? Right view, right thinking... right concentration, right knowledge, right liberation: these are called, bhikkhus, states disconnected from the mental impurities.
This directly contradicts any claim that there could be a right view connected with the mental impurities (ie. 'sāsava'). If any view is connected per se with the mental impurities, it is a wrong view. So this makes clear that this use of the word 'sāsava' in this context is a complete nonsense.
I believe AN 10.139 needs to be translated differently. Note that the sutta contrasts 2 sets of 10 factors. The analysis, as is typical of sutta analyses of sets, is to apply the predicate to the whole set, and not to its individual members. Note that ayaṃ is in the singular (= this), as is the verb vuccati, reinforced by dhammo (nominative singular). Your translation would have required the Pali to have been "ime vuccanti, bhikkhave, anāsavā dhammā ti". Clearly, the singular demonstrative pronoun, verb and noun are referring to each set of 10, rather than each of the 10 members of the set.

:namaste:

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Re: MN 117 has been tampered with

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:29 am

Hi Sylvester,
Sylvester wrote: Perhaps the anasava and lokuttara descriptions in MN 117 and its 2 SA parallels represent the intrusion of the inferences of its early reciters. I think it is more fruitful to ask - are those inference consistent or inconsistent with the rest of the early doctrines?
Sure, it seems reasonable that there would be considerable development and elaboration in suttas such as this, as well as in the abhidhamma and commentaries. Dave gave an interesting theory of how this sort of thing developed back here: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 92#p212651" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:anjali:
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Re: MN 117 has been tampered with

Post by Sylvester » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:48 am

Hi Mike

Indeed, Dave's theory is plausible and will probably explain some of the Mahavihara tradition creeping into the Pali Canon. It will not however explain some of the phenomena noted by Norman which go the other way, ie the Commentators resisting the loss of original meanings with the advent of Sanskritisation in the Pali texts.

Norman believes that the Reciters and the Commentators were 2 seperate bodies, thus accounting for the Commentators' ability to "audit" the Reciters' Sanskrit-influenced readings. Ven Analayo disagrees (vehemently!) with Norman on this. I suppose Ven Analayo has the advantage of reading Chinese and Tibetan and could therefore come to the conclusion that the Reciters and Commentators were one and the same.

We need to be careful with the notion of "Commentators". Ven Analayo's work would indicate that we should not inexorably conflate "Commentators" with the Mahavihara Commentators. The commentary began well before the ascendance of the Mahavihara. To this, he points to the Agamas containing more "commentarial" material than the Nikayas. This suggests the Sarva and Mulasarva Reciters were probably a tad more liberal in their redaction process than the Pali Reciters were. There is therefore the possibility that perhaps there was even a pre-sectarian Commentarial tradition, until the schools went their separate ways.

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Re: MN 117 has been tampered with

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:28 am

Hi Sylvester,

I guess I had the impression that Buddhaghosa back-translated that early commentary that you speak of into Pali. In the Visuddhimagga he sometimes compares the "reciters" of the different nikayas:
VIII. 179. In discerning [the meditation subject the formation] is gross, and it is subtle
[by comparison] in the first-jhána access; also it is gross in that, and subtle [by
comparison] in the first jhána; in the first jhána and second-jhána access it is gross,
and in the second jhána subtle; in the second jhána and third-jhána access it is
gross, and in the third jhána subtle; in the third jhána and fourth-jhána access it is
gross, and in the fourth jhána it is so exceedingly subtle that it even reaches cessation.
This is the opinion of the Dìgha and Saíyutta reciters. But the Majjhima reciters
have it that it is subtler in each access than in the jhána below too in this way
: In the
first jhána it is gross, and in the second-jhána access it is subtle [by comparison, and
so on]. It is, however, the opinion of all that the bodily formation occurring before the
time of discerning becomes tranquilized at the time of discerning, and the bodily
formation at the time of discerning becomes tranquilized in the first-jhána access ...
and the bodily formation occurring in the fourth-jhána access becomes tranquilized
in the fourth jhána. This is the method of explanation in the case of serenity.
:anjali:
Mike

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