Spiritual Obstacles

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zan
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Spiritual Obstacles

Post by zan » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:45 am

On page 24 of Manual of Insight five spiritual obstacles are discussed. They are (keep in mind that, except for "Insulting a noble one", these are not complete quotes from the book but are just the first few words for each heading.):

Kamma
"Kammic obstacle" (kammantaraya) refers to the five fatal types of misconduct:...

Wrong Views
"Defilement obstacle" (kilesantaraya) refers to the three types of wrong views:...

Inborn deficiency
"Obstacle of inborn deficiency" (vipakantaraya) refers to an inborn deficiency in spiritual intellect...

Insulting a noble one
"Obstacle of insulting a noble one" (ariyupavadantaraya) refers to the act of insulting or degrading a noble one, with or without knowledge of his or her virtues. It damages the prospect of both elestial rebirth and path knowledge and fruition knowledge. One can remove this obstacle, however, by apologizing to the noble one for the offense.

Knowingly violating the monastic code
"Obstacle of knowingly violating the monastic code" (anavitikkamantaraya) refers to a monk's knowing violation of the code of monastic rules that are sorted into seven groups.

My questions are:

1.) Where does this list come from? Is there a sutta that lists them or is it from a commentary?

2.) What is "insulting a noble one" exactly? Would this entail deliberately hurling an insult at a noble one, with the intent that one's statement or gesture should be taken as an insult? Or would it include literally any statement or gesture that could possibly be considered insulting that is directed at a noble one? For example one may tell a coworker or friend that their new shoes are atrocious playfully. This is definitely an insult, but is not meant to be a serious thing, yet if the coworker or friend was, unbeknownst to the speaker, an Arahant, does the speaker incur this offense? Or if one were explaining one's reasoning for ceasing to see a certain Buddhist teacher to a friend or another Buddhist teacher casually, saying nor meaning anything particularly insulting, yet explaining the teachers faults which could be considered an insult, does one incur this offense if the teacher turned out to be an Arahant? Or for example the many, many off hand remarks made about different teachers or monks made by almost all Buddhists that could technically be insulting in some sense, if any of these teachers or monks happened to be Arahants do all who have ever spoken an ill word about them incur this offense?
I don't have much knowledge of the Dhamma, I'm just a beginner. Keep that in mind before you take anything I say too seriously :tongue:

perkele
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Re: Spiritual Obstacles

Post by perkele » Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:16 am

Interesting questions.
zan wrote:1.) Where does this list come from? Is there a sutta that lists them or is it from a commentary?
About the "Kammic obstacle" (kammantaraya) there is this sutta (AN 6.87).

"Wrong Views" seems self-explanatory as an obstacle.

I find the juxtaposition of kammantaraya and vipakantaraya interesting. Both here are "fatal" obstructions, though, the first one due to kamma performed in this life, and the second as a result (vipaka) of (presumably similar grave) kamma performed in some previous life.
It seems clear from AN 6.87 that any such antaraya kamma would make it impossible to attain stream-entry in this life (see also the sad surrounding story to the Samaññaphala Sutta), and from other sources I think I have read the definite result of such kamma for the next life, without any possible recourse, would be rebirth in Avicii (the deepest hell, with the longest lifespan; Devadatta and Ajatasattu are still there, presumably). This sutta (AN 5.129) alludes to it, yet is not as explicit.

As to other types of obstruction, I have found these two suttas:
AN 6.86: Avaranata Sutta: Obstructions
AN 5.51: Avarana Sutta: Obstacles

They are a bit vague, though, and don't answer or exemplify explicitly all of these different types of obstruction that you listed here. I think those are largely commentarial extrapolations that might require deeper study of some commentaries to make sense of. And maybe they would make total and precise sense then, complete with references traceable to suttas.

As to this one, which I find particularly interesting:
zan wrote:Insulting a noble one
"Obstacle of insulting a noble one" (ariyupavadantaraya) refers to the act of insulting or degrading a noble one, with or without knowledge of his or her virtues. It damages the prospect of both elestial rebirth and path knowledge and fruition knowledge. One can remove this obstacle, however, by apologizing to the noble one for the offense.

2.) What is "insulting a noble one" exactly?
I think it can be quite subjective what constitutes an "insult", especially after having spent the night reading and commenting upon discussion about differnces in polite manners in America and Germany.
Your example of "Your shoes are atrocious" does not sound very insulting to me, whether it be meant in earnest or as a joke. But I think, as in all important questions, the intention is the most determining factor here. Regarding them in an intentionally disrespectful manner so that it causes offense in some way.

zan
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Re: Spiritual Obstacles

Post by zan » Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:35 pm

perkele wrote:Interesting questions.
zan wrote:1.) Where does this list come from? Is there a sutta that lists them or is it from a commentary?
About the "Kammic obstacle" (kammantaraya) there is this sutta (AN 6.87).

"Wrong Views" seems self-explanatory as an obstacle.

I find the juxtaposition of kammantaraya and vipakantaraya interesting. Both here are "fatal" obstructions, though, the first one due to kamma performed in this life, and the second as a result (vipaka) of (presumably similar grave) kamma performed in some previous life.
It seems clear from AN 6.87 that any such antaraya kamma would make it impossible to attain stream-entry in this life (see also the sad surrounding story to the Samaññaphala Sutta), and from other sources I think I have read the definite result of such kamma for the next life, without any possible recourse, would be rebirth in Avicii (the deepest hell, with the longest lifespan; Devadatta and Ajatasattu are still there, presumably). This sutta (AN 5.129) alludes to it, yet is not as explicit.

As to other types of obstruction, I have found these two suttas:
AN 6.86: Avaranata Sutta: Obstructions
AN 5.51: Avarana Sutta: Obstacles

They are a bit vague, though, and don't answer or exemplify explicitly all of these different types of obstruction that you listed here. I think those are largely commentarial extrapolations that might require deeper study of some commentaries to make sense of. And maybe they would make total and precise sense then, complete with references traceable to suttas.

As to this one, which I find particularly interesting:
zan wrote:Insulting a noble one
"Obstacle of insulting a noble one" (ariyupavadantaraya) refers to the act of insulting or degrading a noble one, with or without knowledge of his or her virtues. It damages the prospect of both elestial rebirth and path knowledge and fruition knowledge. One can remove this obstacle, however, by apologizing to the noble one for the offense.

2.) What is "insulting a noble one" exactly?
I think it can be quite subjective what constitutes an "insult", especially after having spent the night reading and commenting upon discussion about differnces in polite manners in America and Germany.
Your example of "Your shoes are atrocious" does not sound very insulting to me, whether it be meant in earnest or as a joke. But I think, as in all important questions, the intention is the most determining factor here. Regarding them in an intentionally disrespectful manner so that it causes offense in some way.
Thank you so much for the well researched and helpful answer! Yes I agree about the shoes example and manners things. They are extremely subjective and open to interpretation. So it seems intent must be important, though I wish I could find a source for this in the literature.
I don't have much knowledge of the Dhamma, I'm just a beginner. Keep that in mind before you take anything I say too seriously :tongue:

R1111 = rightviewftw
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Re: Spiritual Obstacles

Post by R1111 = rightviewftw » Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:50 pm

I think insulting is like if one were to say things like or implying "you are fool", inappropriately scolding, ridiculing small mistakes with malicious intent or foolishly saying inappropriate things about The Tripple Jewel etc
Last edited by R1111 = rightviewftw on Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

zan
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Re: Spiritual Obstacles

Post by zan » Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:06 pm

In the older translation we have this:

"(4) Ariyūpavādantarāya
Making an allegation or a reproach or censure against an Ariya
(noble person) either knowingly or unknowingly to cause to destroy
his Sīla or to defame him, is known as “Ariyūpavādantarāyo". This
offence will bring about both Saggantarāyo and Maggantarāyo.
However, obstacle or danger can be removed or liberated after
asking for pardon or forgiveness and paying due respects (to the
person concerned)."

So would this be even something so simple, that is done by most Buddhists at some point or other, as saying "I do not like the teachings of such and such (ancient or modern) teacher and so I recommend this book instead of that book."? or "I feel that this teachers teachings are not in line with the suttas and so I recommend this book or this course of action instead."?

Such statements defame a teacher to a degree and there is no way to know if someone is an Arahant or not.

So what are we to do?

It seems the best bet would be to say nothing about other Buddhists whatsoever just to be safe. Or perhaps to simply say nothing about other people at all, as there is no way to tell if someone is an Arahant or not and no way to know for sure what constitutes a breach of this rule.

With that in mind, how is it that this is not the most oft repeated rule? Should it not be on page one of every beginner Buddhist book? It is an offense that can be committed entirely by accident and can prevent one from reaching enlightenment. Should it not be the first thing taught in every case regarding Buddhism? How many countless people do not know of this rule and may be violating it and harming their chances to become enlightened? They may not all even have the possible opportunity to apologize to whatever Arahant they may have insulted or they may not even know that it has been done.

The five heinous acts seem fairly rare and so it makes sense that they are not preached constantly and all the other obstacles are easily reversible (except for inborn deficiency but one with that can still be reborn in heavenly realms) but this is potentially an extremely common, everyday occurrence, and can it always be reversed? It is sad to think of people harming their chances to become enlightened because they simply didn't know about a specific rule that can be broken easily, regularly, and without even knowing it has been broken or that it was a rule in the first place.
Last edited by zan on Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:30 pm, edited 3 times in total.
I don't have much knowledge of the Dhamma, I'm just a beginner. Keep that in mind before you take anything I say too seriously :tongue:

R1111 = rightviewftw
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Re: Spiritual Obstacles

Post by R1111 = rightviewftw » Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:11 pm

zan wrote:
R1111 wrote:I think insulting is like if one were to say things like or implying "you are fool", inappropriately scolding, ridiculing small mistakes or foolishly saying inappropriate things about The Tripple Jewel etc
In the older translation we have this:

"(4) Ariyūpavādantarāya
Making an allegation or a reproach or censure against an Ariya
(noble person) either knowingly or unknowingly to cause to destroy
his Sīla or to defame him, is known as “Ariyūpavādantarāyo". This
offence will bring about both Saggantarāyo and Maggantarāyo.
However, obstacle or danger can be removed or liberated after
asking for pardon or forgiveness and paying due respects (to the
person concerned)."
sounds good to me,
i think its a better definition, in sense that if one talks inappropriately about The Buddha ie, that isnt automatically insulting more like offensive i think. So it makes sense for insults to be more towards defaming or shaming.

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Dhammanando
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Re: Spiritual Obstacles

Post by Dhammanando » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:52 pm

zan wrote:1.) Where does this list come from? Is there a sutta that lists them or is it from a commentary?
The list is given in full in Buddhaghosa’s Vinaya Commentary, though much of it is also found in the Milindapañha and at least some of it can be traced to the Suttas.

zan wrote:2.) What is "insulting a noble one" exactly?
Either professing that ariyans don't exist ("There are no good and virtuous samaṇas and brahmins in the world who have realised for themselves by direct knowledge and declare this world and the other world") or else denying the ariyan qualities of a particular person.

From the Visuddhimagga:
  • “Revilers of Noble Ones”: being desirous of harm for Noble Ones consisting of Buddhas, Paccekabuddhas, and disciples, and also of householders who are stream-enterers, they revile them with the worst accusations or with denial of their special qualities; they abuse and upbraid them, is what is meant.

    Herein, it should be understood that when they say, “They have no
    asceticism, they are not ascetics,” they revile them with the worst accusation;
    and when they say, “They have no jhāna or liberation or path of fruition, etc.,” they revile them with denial of their special qualities. And whether done knowingly or unknowingly it is in either case reviling of Noble Ones; it is weighty kamma resembling that of immediate result, and it is an obstacle both to heaven and to the path. But it is remediable.

    The following story should be understood in order to make this clear. An elder and a young bhikkhu, it seems, wandered for alms in a certain village. At the first house they got only a spoonful of hot gruel. The elder’s stomach was paining him with wind. He thought, “This gruel is good for me; I shall drink it before it gets cold.” People brought a wooden stool to the doorstep, and he sat down and drank it. The other was disgusted and remarked, “The old man has let his hunger get the better of him and has done what he should be ashamed to do.” The elder wandered for alms, and on returning to the monastery he asked the young bhikkhu, “Have you any footing in this Dispensation, friend?”— “Yes, venerable sir, I am a stream-enterer.”—“Then, friend, do not try for the higher paths; one whose cankers are destroyed has been reviled by you.” The young bhikkhu asked for the elder’s forgiveness and was thereby restored to his former state.

    So one who reviles a Noble One, even if he is one himself, should go to him; if he himself is senior, he should sit down in the squatting position and get his forgiveness in this way, “I have said such and such to the venerable one; may he forgive me.” If he himself is junior, he should pay homage, and sitting in the squatting position and holding out his hand palms together, he should get his forgiveness in this way, “I have said such and such to you, venerable sir; forgive me.” If the other has gone away, he should get his forgiveness either by going to him himself or by sending someone such as a co-resident.

    If he can neither go nor send, he should go to the bhikkhus who live in that monastery, and, sitting down in the squatting position if they are junior, or acting in the way already described if they are senior, he should get forgiveness by saying, “Venerable sirs, I have said such and such to the venerable one named so and so; may that venerable one forgive me.” And this should also be done when he fails to get forgiveness in his presence.

    If it is a bhikkhu who wanders alone and it cannot be discovered where he is living or where he has gone, he should go to a wise bhikkhu and say, “Venerable sir, I have said such and such to the venerable one named so and so. When I remember it, I am remorseful. What shall I do?” He should be told, “Think no more about it; the elder forgives you. Set your mind at rest.” Then he should extend his hands palms together in the direction taken by the Noble One and say, “Forgive me.”

    If the Noble One has attained the final Nibbāna, he should go to the place where the bed is, on which he attained the final Nibbāna, and should go as far as the charnel ground to ask forgiveness. When this has been done, there is no obstruction either to heaven or to the path. He becomes as he was before.

zan
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Re: Spiritual Obstacles

Post by zan » Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:16 pm

Dhammanando wrote:
zan wrote:1.) Where does this list come from? Is there a sutta that lists them or is it from a commentary?
The list is given in full in Buddhaghosa’s Vinaya Commentary, though much of it is also found in the Milindapañha and at least some of it can be traced to the Suttas.

zan wrote:2.) What is "insulting a noble one" exactly?
Either professing that ariyans don't exist ("There are no good and virtuous samaṇas and brahmins in the world who have realised for themselves by direct knowledge and declare this world and the other world") or else denying the ariyan qualities of a particular person.

From the Visuddhimagga:
  • “Revilers of Noble Ones”: being desirous of harm for Noble Ones consisting of Buddhas, Paccekabuddhas, and disciples, and also of householders who are stream-enterers, they revile them with the worst accusations or with denial of their special qualities; they abuse and upbraid them, is what is meant.

    Herein, it should be understood that when they say, “They have no
    asceticism, they are not ascetics,” they revile them with the worst accusation;
    and when they say, “They have no jhāna or liberation or path of fruition, etc.,” they revile them with denial of their special qualities. And whether done knowingly or unknowingly it is in either case reviling of Noble Ones; it is weighty kamma resembling that of immediate result, and it is an obstacle both to heaven and to the path. But it is remediable.

    The following story should be understood in order to make this clear. An elder and a young bhikkhu, it seems, wandered for alms in a certain village. At the first house they got only a spoonful of hot gruel. The elder’s stomach was paining him with wind. He thought, “This gruel is good for me; I shall drink it before it gets cold.” People brought a wooden stool to the doorstep, and he sat down and drank it. The other was disgusted and remarked, “The old man has let his hunger get the better of him and has done what he should be ashamed to do.” The elder wandered for alms, and on returning to the monastery he asked the young bhikkhu, “Have you any footing in this Dispensation, friend?”— “Yes, venerable sir, I am a stream-enterer.”—“Then, friend, do not try for the higher paths; one whose cankers are destroyed has been reviled by you.” The young bhikkhu asked for the elder’s forgiveness and was thereby restored to his former state.

    So one who reviles a Noble One, even if he is one himself, should go to him; if he himself is senior, he should sit down in the squatting position and get his forgiveness in this way, “I have said such and such to the venerable one; may he forgive me.” If he himself is junior, he should pay homage, and sitting in the squatting position and holding out his hand palms together, he should get his forgiveness in this way, “I have said such and such to you, venerable sir; forgive me.” If the other has gone away, he should get his forgiveness either by going to him himself or by sending someone such as a co-resident.

    If he can neither go nor send, he should go to the bhikkhus who live in that monastery, and, sitting down in the squatting position if they are junior, or acting in the way already described if they are senior, he should get forgiveness by saying, “Venerable sirs, I have said such and such to the venerable one named so and so; may that venerable one forgive me.” And this should also be done when he fails to get forgiveness in his presence.

    If it is a bhikkhu who wanders alone and it cannot be discovered where he is living or where he has gone, he should go to a wise bhikkhu and say, “Venerable sir, I have said such and such to the venerable one named so and so. When I remember it, I am remorseful. What shall I do?” He should be told, “Think no more about it; the elder forgives you. Set your mind at rest.” Then he should extend his hands palms together in the direction taken by the Noble One and say, “Forgive me.”

    If the Noble One has attained the final Nibbāna, he should go to the place where the bed is, on which he attained the final Nibbāna, and should go as far as the charnel ground to ask forgiveness. When this has been done, there is no obstruction either to heaven or to the path. He becomes as he was before.
Thank you so much Venerable!

Is the "insulting a noble one obstacle" ever stated directly in the suttas?

I still find this to be a broad issue that I fail to see clear boundaries of.

I assume I must be misunderstanding something as this seems to be much too large of a problem to go unnoticed by so many.

Please forgive my verbose response and lack of understanding. I am finding it difficult to express my confusion concisely.

What of the many who may have said things in general that were potentially insulting about possible Arahants? For example the countless criticisms of literary works that would certainly be insulting to the authors, in that they imply that the views of the author are incorrect, many of which could potentially be Arahants? Should they just ask general forgiveness for anything they may have said that may have been insulting to any potential Arahants and keep their mouths shut from thereafter? Or should they write letters to each and every author they have ever criticized?

The issue that makes it so difficult for me to understand is that Arahants are not necessarily known and so much of conversation about Dhamma works or teachings that is even remotely critical risks this offense as any criticism will automatically include practitioners and if one of these practitioners is an Arahant then one has insulted them.

So every time a book comes out and thousands of Buddhists discuss whether or not the author represents the Dhamma correctly they are all risking this offense because the cover usually will not declare whether or not the author is an Arahant. Yet no one seems to know this and so books are openly discussed and whether or not the authors truly understand the Dhamma is a frequent topic of discussion. I imagine if this was a well known and deeply ingrained teaching then there would be a lot less discussion amongst the pious and criticism would be left to the secular practitioners only.

This of course is just one example. One can imagine the countless other ways that this offense could accidentally be incurred in our current age of rapid communication.
I don't have much knowledge of the Dhamma, I'm just a beginner. Keep that in mind before you take anything I say too seriously :tongue:

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Re: Spiritual Obstacles

Post by R1111 = rightviewftw » Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:14 pm

I have written some things questioning Ven. Mahasi Sayadaws methods and i see that it was wrong of me, i regret doing it and would like to apologize.
What i wrote was that his approach to Higher Training and it was based on my flawed understanding of the term jhana /facepalm.. regret writing it and people seeing the post :(
Any ideas?
Last edited by R1111 = rightviewftw on Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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mikenz66
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Re: Spiritual Obstacles

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:33 pm

My general observation would be that different approaches are useful to different people at different times. So if something does not seem useful, it's probably good to simply put it aside. Sometimes I see someone posting enthusiastically about how inspiring some teacher is, and when I listen to their talks they seem boring and incoherent. There would be little point in me posting all of those experiences because, clearly, they are inspiring to others.

It is more problematic when, rather than expressing enthusiasm for some teacher, or asking questions to clarify their doubts, posts are negative about some teacher. This is especially problematical when they enlist the opinions of some other teacher in support of their negativity, thus inviting a smack-down contest between Teacher X and Teacher Y. It's hard to work out the best way to respond to these posts. If no-one responds then it makes the original statement appear true...

Members are, of course, free to express their opinions. However, they might consider whether phrasing their posts in terms of questions of clarification, rather than full-on criticism:
"How should I reconcile what Teacher X says about A, given that the suttas say B?"
is likely to lead to a far more useful discussion, and less chance of someone making statements that they might later regret than a statement like:
"Teacher X is talking nonsense, because they say A and the suttas say B".

:heart:
Mike

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Re: Spiritual Obstacles

Post by rightviewftw » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:39 am

i am most remorseful just thinking about all the possible transgressions.
Just apologizing on the internet does not seem to help really.

Makes me want to give up on higher paths altogether but i am not sure for the Paths are difficult and maybe i am looking for an out but it is very disheartening. However Paths are hard to attain, IE Ven. Ananda took his time from Stream-Winning to Arahantship so there is no way to tell afaik.
Nor is it clear if the merit from pratice with a blocked Path will bear fruit later, likely it will i think but then this Vsm story where the Elder tells the younger Bhikkhu not to practice for Path.

Worse yet it is mostly based on Vsm... :cry:

There is one more thing that make me think that Reviling a Noble One is a helluva impediment but i won't even say it here for risk of Reviling a Noble One :juggling: :(
85. So one who reviles a Noble One, even if he is one himself, should go to him;
if he himself is senior, [426] he should sit down in the squatting position and get
his forgiveness in this way, “I have said such and such to the venerable one; may
he forgive me.” If he himself is junior, he should pay homage, and sitting in the
squatting position and holding out his hand palms together, he should get his
forgiveness in this way, “I have said such and such to you, venerable sir; forgive
me.” If the other has gone away, he should get his forgiveness either by going to
him himself or by sending someone such as a co-resident.

86. If he can neither go nor send, he should go to the bhikkhus who live in that
monastery
, and, sitting down in the squatting position if they are junior, or
acting in the way already described if they are senior, he should get forgiveness
by saying, “Venerable sirs, I have said such and such to the venerable one named
so and so; may that venerable one forgive me.” And this should also be done
when he fails to get forgiveness in his presence.
87. If it is a bhikkhu who wanders alone and it cannot be discovered where he
is living or where he has gone, he should go to a wise bhikkhu and say, “Venerable
sir, I have said such and such to the venerable one named so and so. When I
remember it, I am remorseful. What shall I do?” He should be told, “Think no
more about it; the elder forgives you. Set your mind at rest.” Then he should
extend his hands palms together in the direction taken by the Noble One and
say, “Forgive me.”
88. If the Noble One has attained the final Nibbána, he should go to the place
where the bed is
, on which he attained the final Nibbána, and should go as far
as the charnel ground to ask forgiveness. When this has been done, there is no
obstruction either to heaven or to the path. He becomes as he was before

89. Wrong in their views: having distorted vision. Acquirers of kamma due to
wrong view: those who have kamma of the various kinds acquired through wrong
view, and also those who incite others to bodily kamma, etc., rooted in wrong
view. And here, though reviling of Noble Ones has already been included by the
mention of verbal misconduct, and though wrong view has already been
included by the mention of mental misconduct, it may be understood,
nevertheless, that the two are mentioned again in order to emphasize their great
reprehensibility.
90. Reviling Noble Ones is greatly reprehensible because of its resemblance to
kamma with immediate result. For this is said: “Sáriputta, just as a bhikkhu
possessing virtuous conduct, concentration and understanding could here and
now attain final knowledge, so it is in this case, I say; if he does not abandon
such talk and such thoughts
and renounce such views, he will find himself in
hell as surely as if he had been carried off and put there” (M I 71).18 [427] And
there is nothing more reprehensible than wrong view, according as it is said:
“Bhikkhus, I do not see any one thing so reprehensible as wrong view”
Vsm does not give much explicit Sutta support but i saw this;
SN 16.10:
...
Venerable Mahakassapa dressed and, taking bowl and robe, went to the bhikkhunīs’ quarters with the Venerable Ānanda as his companion. When he arrived he sat down on the appointed seat. Then a number of bhikkhunīs approached the Venerable Mahakassapa, paid homage to him, and sat down to one side. As they were sitting there, the Venerable Mahakassapa instructed, exhorted, inspired, and gladdened those bhikkhunīs with a Dhamma talk, after which he rose from his seat and departed.

Then the bhikkhunī Thullatissa, being displeased, expressed her displeasure thus: “How can Master Mahakassapa think of speaking on the Dhamma in the presence of Master Ānanda, the Videhan sage? For Master Mahakassapa to think of speaking on the Dhamma in the presence of Master Ānanda, the Videhan sage—this is just as if a needle-peddler would think he could sell a needle to a needle-maker!”

The Venerable Mahakassapa overheard the bhikkhunī Thullatissa making this statement and said to the Venerable Ānanda: “How is it, friend Ānanda, am I the needle-peddler and you the needle-maker, or am I the needle-maker and you the needle-peddler?”

“Be patient, Venerable Kassapa, women are foolish.”

“Hold it, friend Ānanda! Don’t give the Saṅgha occasion to investigate you further. What do you think, friend Ānanda, was it you that the Blessed One brought forward in the presence of the Bhikkhu Saṅgha, saying: ‘Bhikkhus, to whatever extent I wish, secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, I enter and dwell in the first jhana, which is accompanied by thought and examination, with rapture and happiness born of seclusion. Ānanda too, to whatever extent he wishes, secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, enters and dwells in the first jhana’?”

“No, venerable sir.”

“I was the one, friend, that the Blessed One brought forward in the presence of the Bhikkhu Saṅgha, saying: ‘Bhikkhus, to whatever extent I wish, … I enter and dwell in the first jhana…. Kassapa too, to whatever extent he wishes, enters and dwells in the first jhana.’

The same exchange is repeated for the remaining meditative attainments and the six direct knowledges, all as in the preceding sutta.

“I was the one, friend, that the Blessed One brought forward in the presence of the Bhikkhu Saṅgha, saying: ‘Bhikkhus, by the destruction of the taints, in this very life I enter and dwell in the taintless liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, realizing it for myself with direct knowledge. Kassapa too, by the destruction of the taints, in this very life enters and dwells in the taintless liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, realizing it for himself with direct knowledge.’

“Friend, one might just as well think that a bull elephant seven or seven and a half cubits high could be concealed by a palm leaf as think that my six direct knowledges could be concealed.”

But the bhikkhunī Thullatissa fell away from the holy life.

Saengnapha
Posts: 1338
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Re: Spiritual Obstacles

Post by Saengnapha » Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:18 am

rightviewftw wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:39 am
i am most remorseful just thinking about all the possible transgressions.
Just apologizing on the internet does not seem to help really.

Makes me want to give up on higher paths altogether but i am not sure for the Paths are difficult and maybe i am looking for an out but it is very disheartening. However Paths are hard to attain,
Well, why don't you just stop trying to be something you are not? It seems to me that this is the real obstacle. Why complicate it? :thinking:

rightviewftw
Posts: 1553
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:50 pm

Re: Spiritual Obstacles

Post by rightviewftw » Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:00 pm

If i did not try to attain the unattained i would surely not be who i am, let alone becoming who i want to be in this body.

If i die today i will die training and devoted to destruction of craving. I am not perfect because of delusion left and it makes me do mistakes.
.
If this you call an obstacle, i guess it is a helluvan obstacle yes.

Perhaps you meant something else entirely tho?

I also see people commit this offence in their posting very frequently and it is a rude awakening in itself, seeing the carelessness of another makes me question my own tendencies.

binocular
Posts: 5441
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Re: Spiritual Obstacles

Post by binocular » Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:54 pm

rightviewftw wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:00 pm
If i did not try to attain the unattained i would surely not be who i am, let alone becoming who i want to be in this body.

If i die today i will die training and devoted to destruction of craving. I am not perfect because of delusion left and it makes me do mistakes.
.
If this you call an obstacle, i guess it is a helluvan obstacle yes.

Perhaps you meant something else entirely tho?

I also see people commit this offence in their posting very frequently and it is a rude awakening in itself, seeing the carelessness of another makes me question my own tendencies.
Like Aflatun, I, too, am worried about you, and I, too, think you should give yourself a break. And by this "giving yourself a break" I don't mean having a beer on the couch and such.
/.../
Ven. Sona, after bowing down to the Blessed One, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, the Blessed One said to him, "Just now, as you were meditating in seclusion, didn't this train of thought appear to your awareness: 'Of the Blessed One's disciples who have aroused their persistence, I am one, but my mind is not released from the fermentations... What if I were to disavow the training, return to the lower life, enjoy wealth, & make merit?'"
"Yes, lord."
"Now what do you think, Sona. Before, when you were a house-dweller, were you skilled at playing the vina?"
"Yes, lord."
"And what do you think: when the strings of your vina were too taut, was your vina in tune & playable?"
"No, lord."
"And what do you think: when the strings of your vina were too loose, was your vina in tune & playable?"
"No, lord."
"And what do you think: when the strings of your vina were neither too taut nor too loose, but tuned[1] to be right on pitch, was your vina in tune & playable?"
"Yes, lord."
"In the same way, Sona, over-aroused persistence leads to restlessness, overly slack persistence leads to laziness. Thus you should determine the right pitch for your persistence, attune[2]the pitch of the [five] faculties [to that], and there pick up your theme."
/.../
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
I realize this is easier said than done. Still, it seems to be the only way to actually accomplish something.
Take care.

rightviewftw
Posts: 1553
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:50 pm

Re: Spiritual Obstacles

Post by rightviewftw » Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:39 am

Imho here is more suggestive evidence from Patimokkha for validity of the Revilement of the Noble One's type of offense;
pācittiya 8
"yo pana bhikkhu anupasampannassa uttarimanussadhammaṃ āroceyya, bhūtasmiṃ pācittiyaṃ."

Not to announce to a layman a realisation that has been achieved. If a bhikkhu announces to a layman or to a sāmaṇera, a realisation partaking with a jhāna nature or with a stage of ariyā, and this realisation has genuinely been achieved, he commits a pācittiya.

On the other hand, a bhikkhu who makes such a declaration, while knowing it to be false, commits the pārājika 4. A bhikkhu must avoid making his attainments known, even to other bhikkhus. Apart from four exceptions when they can do so, ariyās never unveil their realisations:

Under a violent threat.
Undergoing an oppressive and virulent lack of respect.
A t the time of passing away.
To reveal it to his preceptor or to a fellow bhikkhu who does a similar practice.
So if a Bhikkhu is reviled with worst accusations definition from Vsm;
“Revilers of Noble Ones”: being desirous of harm for Noble Ones consisting of Buddhas, Paccekabuddhas, and disciples, and also of householders who are stream-enterers, they revile them with the worst accusations or with denial of their special qualities; they abuse and upbraid them, is what is meant.
This would be a valid reason to proclaim attainment, seemingly in line and explanatory with all the other material ITT afaik.

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