Interpretations of Path and Fruit

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Modus.Ponens
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Interpretations of Path and Fruit

Post by Modus.Ponens » Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:08 pm

Hi.

It is often said that stream entry occurs in two consecutive mind moments, path and fruit. However, I vaguely remember reading a sutta that said that someone who has begun the path will surely attain fruit before, or at the moment, of death. Is my memory simply wrong, or is there in fact such a sutta? And if there is, how can we reconcile the two views about what path and fruit mean? In the first view, path means the mind moment of "non occurrence" which is followed by the fruit. In the second view, path seems to be the beginning of the progress of insight through the insight knowledges.

:shrug:

:anjali:
"He turns his mind away from those phenomena and, having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.' " - Jhana Sutta

budo
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Re: Interpretations of Path and Fruit

Post by budo » Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:38 pm

Yes there are several suttas that say someone who attains stream entry path will not die until they attain fruit, take for example sarakani the alcoholic who attained fruit at the time of his death.

2600htz
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Re: Interpretations of Path and Fruit

Post by 2600htz » Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:49 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:08 pm
Hi.

It is often said that stream entry occurs in two consecutive mind moments, path and fruit. However, I vaguely remember reading a sutta that said that someone who has begun the path will surely attain fruit before, or at the moment, of death. Is my memory simply wrong, or is there in fact such a sutta? And if there is, how can we reconcile the two views about what path and fruit mean? In the first view, path means the mind moment of "non occurrence" which is followed by the fruit. In the second view, path seems to be the beginning of the progress of insight through the insight knowledges.

:shrug:

:anjali:
Hello:

SN 25.1
"One who has conviction & belief that these phenomena are this way is called a faith-follower: one who has entered the orderliness of rightness, entered the plane of people of integrity, transcended the plane of the run-of-the-mill. He is incapable of doing any deed by which he might be reborn in hell, in the animal womb, or in the realm of hungry shades. He is incapable of passing away until he has realized the fruit of stream-entry.
No, i dont know any interpretation where you can reconcile the "consecutive mind moments for path and fruition" theory with the suttas.

Regards.

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mikenz66
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Re: Interpretations of Path and Fruit

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:09 pm

It would be helpful to have some comments from someone well versed in the Abhidhamma and Commentaries. However it is clear that terminology and meaning evolved over the centuries. My simplistic, and not particularly useful, observation is that one should be careful when trying to read later terminology back into the suttas. In particular, pulling "sound bites" out of the Abhidhamma and Commentaries without carefully studying the context is likely to lead to confusion.

See, for example, this thread: viewtopic.php?t=21974#p313601

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SarathW
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Re: Interpretations of Path and Fruit

Post by SarathW » Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:07 am

I agree that the terms Path and Fruit arising together is the Abhidhamma domain.
However Buddha said that you experience the fruit here and now.
Which means there is no time delay in practicing and enjoy the fruit.

The word Maggaphala is used exclusively for eight Puggala to appear as there are 8 type of people.
But I believe this is conventional speaking.

To me this is something like a medical student and a fully qualified medical practitioner.
Final year medical student may have the same knowledge but he will not get paid for it until he get the certificate.
:shrug:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

budo
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Re: Interpretations of Path and Fruit

Post by budo » Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:37 am

I was listening to a talk by Dhammavuddho and he makes a good point:

MN 142 says one can give dana to path attainers and fruit attainers.

If Path & Fruit happen together, then no one can give dana to Path attainers.

pegembara
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Re: Interpretations of Path and Fruit

Post by pegembara » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:10 am

Isn't this description clearer than path and fruit?
At Savatthi. "Monks, eye-consciousness is inconstant, changeable, alterable. Ear-consciousness... Nose-consciousness... Tongue-consciousness... Body-consciousness... Intellect-consciousness is inconstant, changeable, alterable.

"One who has conviction & belief that these phenomena are this way is called a faith-follower: one who has entered the orderliness of rightness, entered the plane of people of integrity, transcended the plane of the run-of-the-mill. He is incapable of doing any deed by which he might be reborn in hell, in the animal womb, or in the realm of hungry shades. He is incapable of passing away until he has realized the fruit of stream-entry.

"One who, after pondering with a modicum of discernment, has accepted that these phenomena are this way is called a Dhamma-follower: one who has entered the orderliness of rightness, entered the plane of people of integrity, transcended the plane of the run-of-the-mill. He is incapable of doing any deed by which he might be reborn in hell, in the animal womb, or in the realm of hungry shades. He is incapable of passing away until he has realized the fruit of stream-entry.

"One who knows and sees that these phenomena are this way is called a stream-enterer, steadfast, never again destined for states of woe, headed for self-awakening."
Instead of mind moments, isn't it more sensible to observe the arising/alteration/passing of sights/sounds/smells/tastes/touch/thoughts/feelings etc?
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

budo
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Re: Interpretations of Path and Fruit

Post by budo » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:16 am

pegembara wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:10 am
Isn't this description clearer than path and fruit?
Yes, and the faith and dhamma followers are considered Ariyas, thus they are "stream entry path".

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Re: Interpretations of Path and Fruit

Post by sentinel » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:34 am

budo wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:16 am
pegembara wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:10 am
Isn't this description clearer than path and fruit?
Yes, and the faith and dhamma followers are considered Ariyas, thus they are "stream entry path".
Does dhamma followers with faith counting from three refuge and five precepts but no more progress .
:buddha1:

budo
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Re: Interpretations of Path and Fruit

Post by budo » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:41 am

sentinel wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:34 am
budo wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:16 am
pegembara wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:10 am
Isn't this description clearer than path and fruit?
Yes, and the faith and dhamma followers are considered Ariyas, thus they are "stream entry path".
Does dhamma followers with faith counting from three refuge and five precepts but no more progress .
They attain from hearing the dhamma with proper attention. They don't progress due to lack of Samadhi.

As SN 55.40 shows

https://suttacentral.net/sn55.40/en/sujato

sentinel
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Re: Interpretations of Path and Fruit

Post by sentinel » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:48 am

budo wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:41 am




They attain from hearing the dhamma with proper attention. They don't progress due to lack of Samadhi.

As SN 55.40 shows

https://suttacentral.net/sn55.40/en/sujato
I doubt the Faith alone follower that do not understand dhamma even has samadhi is able to progress further .
:buddha1:

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mikenz66
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Re: Interpretations of Path and Fruit

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:15 pm

budo wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:37 am
I was listening to a talk by Dhammavuddho and he makes a good point:

MN 142 says one can give dana to path attainers and fruit attainers.

If Path & Fruit happen together, then no one can give dana to Path attainers.
Yes, that's a common argument. However, perhaps one needs to be careful about the actual terminology being used. It would be lazy to assume that whenever we see "path" in a translation that it always means the same thing in Pali.

I'm no Pali expert, but if we examine MN142 we have this translation by Bhikkhu Sujato:
One gives a gift to someone practicing to realize the fruit of stream-entry.
Sotāpattiphalasacchikiriyāya paṭipanne dānaṃ deti—
[Fruit-of-entering-the-stream-realisation entered-upon-a-path-or-course alms gives]
https://suttacentral.net/mn142/en/sujato#5.21
The Nanamoli/Bodhi translation is much the same:
One gives a gift to one who has entered upon the way to the realisation of the fruit of stream-entry;
Note that the Eightfold path is aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo https://suttacentral.net/sn56.11/en/sujato#3.2. The term there, magga, is not the same word as paṭipanne in the above fragment, though some translation do read something like: "on the path to stream entry".

Now consider path and fruition mind moments. It seems that maggacitta (and phalacitta) only appear in the Abhidhamma and Commentaries.

In A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma Bhikkhu Bodhi notes:
Each stage [of awakening] involves two types of citta, path
consciousness (maggacitta) and fruition consciousness (phalacitta),
Now, the sutta doesn't mention path (magga). It talks about sotāpattiphala, the fruit of stream entry, and the practice paṭipanna leading to that.

My tentative conclusion is that the sutta is talking about someone who is practising, but is not yet a stream-winner. The Abhidhamma and Commentaries added the concept of path-consciousness (maggacitta) and fruition consciousness (phalacitta) (among a lot of other stuff!). I don't see why we should equate a stream-enterer's maggacitta with sotāpattiphalasacchikiriyāya paṭipanne.

It is, of course, possible to argue that these Abhidhammic additions are unnecessary. But it would be very odd if the ancients who thought out such a complex system would have committed such a simplistic error as the one raised in the OP.

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Mike

budo
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Re: Interpretations of Path and Fruit

Post by budo » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:28 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:15 pm
Now, the sutta doesn't mention path (magga). It talks about sotāpattiphala, the fruit of stream entry, and the practice paṭipanna leading to that.

My tentative conclusion is that the sutta is talking about someone who is practising, but is not yet a stream-winner. The Abhidhamma and Commentaries added the concept of path-consciousness (maggacitta) and fruition consciousness (phalacitta) (among a lot of other stuff!). I don't see why we should equate a stream-enterer's maggacitta with sotāpattiphalasacchikiriyāya paṭipanne.

My tentative conclusion is that the sutta is talking about someone who is practising, but is not yet a stream-winner.

:heart:
Mike

Except this is ignoring the context of that sutta.

The context is 14 people:

1 - Buddha

2 - Paeccheka Buddha

3-10 - 8 ariyas

11 - Putajana Ascetic

12 - Good Putajana

13 - Bad Putajana

14 - Animal


Therefore your statement:

"My tentative conclusion is that the sutta is talking about someone who is practising, but is not yet a stream-winner. "

Is implying he is Putajana, but that goes against the context, which this person you quoted "Sotāpattiphalasacchikiriyāya paṭipanne" is clearly an Ariya, which is one of the 8 Ariyas, thus a stream entry path, thus he is a faith or dhamma follower.

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Re: Interpretations of Path and Fruit

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:03 pm

budo wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:28 pm
Is implying he is Putajana, but that goes against the context, which this person you quoted "Sotāpattiphalasacchikiriyāya" is clearly an Ariya, which is one of the 8 Ariyas, thus a stream entry path, thus he is a faith or dhamma follower.
They are not sotāpattiphalasacchikiriyāya, they are sotāpattiphalasacchikiriyāya paṭipanne, as I tried to explain in detail. The key issue is whether you someone practising (paṭipanne) to attain stream entry has gone though the "path mind-moment" described in the Abhidhamma (which of course doesn't exist in the suttas).

Bhikkhu Bodhi comments:
MA and MṬ explain that this term can be loosely extended to include even a lay follower who has gone for refuge to the Triple Gem, as well as lay people and monks intent on fulfilling the moral training and the practice of concentration and insight. In the strict technical sense it refers only to those possessing the supramundane path of stream-entry.
In my view, properly analysing the relationship between the sutta descriptions and the Abhidhamma path and fruition mind moments (which of course don't exist in the suttas) would require a lot more detailed work than what's being presented by in this thread.

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MIke

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Re: Interpretations of Path and Fruit

Post by budo » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:08 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:03 pm
budo wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:28 pm
Is implying he is Putajana, but that goes against the context, which this person you quoted "Sotāpattiphalasacchikiriyāya" is clearly an Ariya, which is one of the 8 Ariyas, thus a stream entry path, thus he is a faith or dhamma follower.
They are not sotāpattiphalasacchikiriyāya, they are sotāpattiphalasacchikiriyāya paṭipanne, as I tried to explain in detail. The key issue is whether you someone practising (paṭipanne) to attain stream entry has gone though the "path mind-moment" described in the Abhidhamma (which of course doesn't exist in the suttas).
Yes, I edited and added "patipanne" after. The patipanne is still an ariya. There are only 8 ariyas, the sotapatti patipanne is the lowest, thus he is stream entry path.

mikenz66 wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:03 pm
Bhikkhu Bodhi comments:
MA and MṬ explain that this term can be loosely extended to include even a lay follower who has gone for refuge to the Triple Gem, as well as lay people and monks intent on fulfilling the moral training and the practice of concentration and insight. In the strict technical sense it refers only to those possessing the supramundane path of stream-entry.
In my view, properly analysing the relationship between the sutta descriptions and the Abhidhamma path and fruition mind moments (which of course don't exist in the suttas) would require a lot more detailed work than what's being presented by in this thread.

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MIke
As I said, do not ignore the context of that sutta.

Notice the Buddha lists the 8 ariyas, and then right after that he declared the next person an outsider.

In reverse order:
Now, Ānanda, gifts to the following persons may be expected to yield the following returns.

To an animal, a hundred times. To an unethical ordinary person, a thousand. To an ethical ordinary person, a hundred thousand. To an outsider free of sensual desire, 10,000,000,000.
And now the 8 ariyas (+ 2 buddhas)
But a gift to someone practicing to realize the fruit of stream-entry may be expected to yield incalculable, immeasurable returns. How much more so a gift to a stream-enterer, someone practicing to realize the fruit of once-return, a once-returner, someone practicing to realize the fruit of non-return, a non-returner, someone practicing to realize the fruit of perfection, a perfected one, or a Buddha awakened for themselves? How much more so a Realized One, a perfected one, a fully awakened Buddha?

Therefore I highly disagree with anyone who says that both path and fruit always arise together (or extremely quickly one after another). They would be ignoring several of the suttas in the 4 nikayas.

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