Noble Eightfold Path is only for monks not for the household!!

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SarathW
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Noble Eightfold Path is only for monks not for the household!!

Post by SarathW »

Noble Eightfold Path is only for monks not for the household!!

The following is from a post appeared in Stack Exchange.
I like to know your opinion on this. In my opinoin, this is utter wrong understanding.
==========
The 1st sermon, SN 56.11, says the Noble Eightfold Path is for monks who have left the household life. Therefore, the Noble Eightfold Path was taught primarily for monks. It includes celibacy, including no masturbation. It follows, since monks are not expected to be tempted by or have access to drugs & alcohol, including a prohibition against drugs & alcohol in the Noble Eightfold Path was probably regarded as unnecessary.

Unlike the 5 precepts, the Noble Eightfold Path was never intended for laypeople. As already mentioned, the sexual Right Action in the Noble Eightfold Path is not the same as the 3rd precept. The Noble Path includes abstinence from all sexual activity; where as the 3rd precept allows sexual activity with a right partner.

In summary, the Noble Eightfold Path is not for puthujjana. While Buddhist puthujjana imagine they are following the Noble Eightfold Path, including 'fondling with meditation', generally they are not.

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retrofuturist
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Re: Noble Eightfold Path is only for monks not for the household!!

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings,
Unlike the 5 precepts, the Noble Eightfold Path was never intended for laypeople.
Disagree.
In summary, the Noble Eightfold Path is not for puthujjana. While Buddhist puthujjana imagine they are following the Noble Eightfold Path, including 'fondling with meditation', generally they are not.
Agree.

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

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)
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Re: Noble Eightfold Path is only for monks not for the household!!

Post by sentinel »

YES the Noble eight fold path wasn't for lays .
The Mundane eight fold path is the preparation for the Next step towards liberation .
For lays five precepts and 10 wholesome action is suffice .
You always gain by giving
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Re: Noble Eightfold Path is only for monks not for the household!!

Post by form »

Very interesting topic.
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Re: Noble Eightfold Path is only for monks not for the household!!

Post by Bundokji »

SarathW wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:55 am In summary, the Noble Eightfold Path is not for puthujjana. While Buddhist puthujjana imagine they are following the Noble Eightfold Path, including 'fondling with meditation', generally they are not.
Maybe the first three stages of enlightenment who still need the path have perfected the right grasp on things so their actions are one directional, that is, towards "extinguishing" rather than producing Kamma/rebirth. However, that does not mean that the path is not for puthujjana who mostly need it.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.
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Volo
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Re: Noble Eightfold Path is only for monks not for the household!!

Post by Volo »

There are examples of lay people who attained arahantship (for example Yasa). And many more anagamins and sotapannas. Did they follow some other path? I don't think so:
Dhp wrote:273. Of all the paths the Eightfold Path is the best; of all the truths the Four Noble Truths are the best; of all things passionlessness is the best: of men the Seeing One (the Buddha) is the best.

274. This is the only path; there is none other for the purification of insight. Tread this path, and you will bewilder Mara.
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Sam Vara
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Re: Noble Eightfold Path is only for monks not for the household!!

Post by Sam Vara »

SN 56.11, says the Noble Eightfold Path is for monks who have left the household life. Therefore, the Noble Eightfold Path was taught primarily for monks. It includes celibacy, including no masturbation.
It only includes celibacy if "indulgence in sensual pleasures" is taken to mean sex. It often is, of course, but if we take SN 56.11 to be literally the first sutta, then a later conflation of sense pleasure and sexual activity could have been read back into it. But in any case, I can't see much credible evidence to support the view that SN 56.11 was indeed the first formal (successful) teaching that the Buddha gave.
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Re: Noble Eightfold Path is only for monks not for the household!!

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings,
Volo wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:28 pm There are examples of lay people who attained arahantship (for example Yasa). And many more anagamins and sotapannas. Did they follow some other path? I don't think so:
Dhp wrote:273. Of all the paths the Eightfold Path is the best; of all the truths the Four Noble Truths are the best; of all things passionlessness is the best: of men the Seeing One (the Buddha) is the best.

274. This is the only path; there is none other for the purification of insight. Tread this path, and you will bewilder Mara.
The point isn't that it's a different path, it's that Right View is the forerunner of the path (i.e. stream-entry) and it's the Noble Eightfold Path that one follows once they are a sekha (i.e. a noble trainee). Until then, how can the path be followed when its forerunner is absent?

:shrug:

On related lines, the Pali texts talk of how Sariputta (the arahant renowned for his analytical prowess) was often tasked with getting people to stream-entry, and that it was Mahamoggallana (the arahant renowned for his jhanic prowess) who was often tasked with helping sekhas transition to arahanthood. These distinctions are not coincidental.

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

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)
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Re: Noble Eightfold Path is only for monks not for the household!!

Post by cappuccino »

Commentary says: "When Sariputta accepted pupils for training, whether they were ordained by him or by others, he favored them with his material and spiritual help, looked after them in sickness, gave them a subject of meditation and at last, when he knew that they had become stream-winners and had risen above the dangers of the lower worlds, he dismissed them in the confident knowledge that 'Now they can, by their own manly strength, produce the higher stages of Saintship.' Having thus become free from concern about their future, he instructed new groups of pupils. But Maha Moggallana, when training pupils in the same way, did not give up concern for them until they had attained Arahatship. This was because he felt, as was said by the Master:
'As even a little excrement is of evil smell, I do not praise even the shortest spell of existence, be it no longer than a snap of the fingers.'
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Re: Noble Eightfold Path is only for monks not for the household!!

Post by SarathW »

it's that Right View is the forerunner of the path
Agree but there are two type of Right views.
One followed by Ariya and another followed by household (Putujana).
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Re: Noble Eightfold Path is only for monks not for the household!!

Post by DooDoot »

SarathW wrote: Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:23 am Agree but there are two type of Right views. One followed by Ariya and another followed by household (Putujana).
According to MN 117, it appears the right view followed by the puthujjana is not "noble". If so, this puthujjana right view is not a factor of the Noble Path.
"And what is right view? Right view, I tell you, is of two sorts: There is right view with effluents, siding with merit, resulting in acquisitions [of becoming]; there is right view that is noble, without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.

"And what is the right view with effluents, siding with merit, resulting in acquisitions? 'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this world & the next world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are contemplatives & brahmans who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is the right view with effluents, siding with merit, resulting in acquisitions.

"And what is the right view that is noble, without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path? The discernment, the faculty of discernment, the strength of discernment, analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening, the path factor of right view in one developing the noble path whose mind is noble, whose mind is without effluents, who is fully possessed of the noble path. This is the right view that is noble, without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.


https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
:alien:
Volo wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:28 pmThere are examples of lay people who attained arahantship (for example Yasa).
Unlikely Yasa could be defined as a typical lay person because, according to the story, Yasa was disenchanted towards sensuality and never returned to sensuality after 1st hearing the True Noble Dhamma.
Volo wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:28 pmAnd many more anagamins and sotapannas. Did they follow some other path? I don't think so:
Obviously point above however it appears unrelated to the OP, where the OP says:
The 1st sermon, SN 56.11, says the Noble Eightfold Path is for monks who have left the household life :idea: . Therefore, the Noble Eightfold Path was taught primarily :!: for monks. It includes celibacy :idea: ....
If you assume these lay anagamins and sotapannas continued to engage in sexual activity then obviously they were not practising 100% of the Noble Eightfold Path, which says:
And what is right action?

Katamo ca, bhikkhave, sammākammanto?

Avoiding killing living creatures, stealing, and sexual activity.

Yā kho, bhikkhave, pāṇātipātā veramaṇī, adinnādānā veramaṇī, abrahmacariyā veramaṇī—

https://suttacentral.net/sn45.8/en/sujato
Are you claiming these lay anagamins and sotapannas continued to have sexual intercourse while free from lust or "desire" for sex? :shrug:
It’s when a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of the body—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of desire and aversion for the world.

Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu kāye kāyānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ;


https://suttacentral.net/sn45.8/en/sujato
:smile:
Last edited by DooDoot on Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:04 am, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: Noble Eightfold Path is only for monks not for the household!!

Post by chownah »

If we take the "noble" in the 8fldpth to mean the four pairs of noble disciples then (viewing it heirarchically) the top is the arahand BUT the bottom is someone who has not yet attained stream entry...a descrition of thes bottom nobles is found at nyanatiloka's dictionary:
Sotāpattiyanga: the 4 preliminary 'conditions to Stream-entry' are: companionship with good persons, hearing the Good Law, wise reflection, living in conformity with the Law S. LV, 5; D. 33. Cf. sotāpannassa angāni
Does not seem like you have to be a monk to have realized those conditions and hence be considered to be "noble".
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Re: Noble Eightfold Path is only for monks not for the household!!

Post by Volo »

DooDoot wrote: Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:45 am Unlikely Yasa could be defined as a typical lay person because, according to the story, Yasa was disenchanted towards sensuality and never returned to sensuality after 1st hearing the True Noble Dhamma.
Of course a person who attains arahantship after hearing two discourses is not a typical lay person.
Obviously point above however it appears unrelated to the OP, where the OP says:
The 1st sermon, SN 56.11, says the Noble Eightfold Path is for monks who have left the household life. Therefore, the Noble Eightfold Path was taught primarily for monks. It includes celibacy, including no masturbation. It follows, since monks are not expected to be tempted by or have access to drugs & alcohol, including a prohibition against drugs & alcohol in the Noble Eightfold Path was probably regarded as unnecessary.

Unlike the 5 precepts, the Noble Eightfold Path was never intended for laypeople.
The question was about a lay person following the noble path, not about celibacy. Celibacy and 8NP is a different question.
If you assume these lay anagamins and sotapannas continued to engage in sexual activity
Where did I say this?
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Re: Noble Eightfold Path is only for monks not for the household!!

Post by Volo »

retrofuturist wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:49 pm The point isn't that it's a different path, it's that Right View is the forerunner of the path (i.e. stream-entry) and it's the Noble Eightfold Path that one follows once they are a sekha (i.e. a noble trainee). Until then, how can the path be followed when its forerunner is absent?
The question was about lay people and N8P. Not about whether only a noble individual can follow N8P.
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Re: Noble Eightfold Path is only for monks not for the household!!

Post by DooDoot »

Volo wrote: Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:26 amThe question was about a lay person following the noble path, not about celibacy. Celibacy and 8NP is a different question.
The question is about a "householder". A "householder" is generally described as follows:
“Sir, we live at home with our children, using sandalwood imported from Kāsi, wearing garlands, perfumes and makeup, and accepting gold and money.

https://suttacentral.net/sn55.53/en/sujato
:alien:
Volo wrote: Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:26 amThe question was about lay people and N8P.
The question appeared to be about how the Noble Path was originally & primarily taught to & for monks:
Bhikkhus, these two extremes should not be followed by one who has gone forth into homelessness. What two? The pursuit of sensual happiness in sensual pleasures, which is low, vulgar, the way of worldlings, ignoble, unbeneficial; and the pursuit of self-mortification, which is painful, ignoble, unbeneficial. Without veering towards either of these extremes, the Tathagata has awakened to the middle way, which gives rise to vision, which gives rise to knowledge, which leads to peace, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna.

“And what, bhikkhus, is that middle way awakened to by the Tathagata, which gives rise to vision … which leads to Nibbāna? It is this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.

https://suttacentral.net/sn56.11/en/bodhi
Last edited by DooDoot on Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:46 am, edited 3 times in total.
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