Paccekabuddhas in Canon & Commentary

A forum for members who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the Pali Canon and associated Commentaries, which for discussion purposes are both treated as authoritative.
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Cittasanto
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Re: Paccekabuddhas in Canon & Commentary

Post by Cittasanto » Sun Jan 04, 2009 7:41 pm

Hi Will
Will wrote:In verse 41 and some others the word "companions" is used - "In the midst of companions there are sport, enjoyment, and great love for sons ..." It sounds like, in some cases, "family" or "wife" or "marriage" is meant, more than buddies or associates?
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Jason
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Re: Paccekabuddhas in Canon & Commentary

Post by Jason » Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:11 am

Excellent idea for a thread. Incidentally, this reminds me of something that I read a while ago in A Buddhist Philosophy of Religion by Bhikkhu Nanajivako, which suggests that there is a possibility this particular poem was modelled after a Jaina one, or vice versa. I no longer have the book (although I did find this related tid-bit online), but I know that in the Kalpa Sutra, an important Jaina text detailing the lives of the Jaina founders, it states that Mahavira was "single and alone like the horn of a rhinoceros" (261).
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Re: Paccekabuddhas in Canon & Commentary

Post by Dhammanando » Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:29 am

Hi Will,
Will wrote:In verse 41 and some others the word "companions" is used - "In the midst of companions there are sport, enjoyment, and great love for sons ..." It sounds like, in some cases, "family" or "wife" or "marriage" is meant, more than buddies or associates?
The Pali word sahāya doesn't make any distinction between relatives and non-relatives. It just means anyone you're with and with whom you feel comfortable.


From the Cullaniddesa:
  • Companion: with whichever persons one is comfortable coming, comfortable going, comfortable both coming and going, comfortable standing, comfortable sitting, comfortable lying down, comfortable talking to, comfortable talking with, comfortable greeting, and comfortable exchanging greetings, these persons are called companions. (Khaggavisanasuttaniddesa 121)
Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

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Ben
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Re: Paccekabuddhas in Canon & Commentary

Post by Ben » Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:49 am

Thank you Ajahn for providing the alternative translations of the sutta. It is beautiful and one which I think many of us feel no small measure of affinity.
Thanks also for pointing out that the Khaggavisāṇa Sutta was in fact the sayings of the Paccekabuddhas. My mistaken impression was that it was the Buddha's advice to the sangha.
Also, I was interested to note that the Isigili Sutta is regarded as a paritta. If you don't mind me asking, in what way does the Isigili Sutta offer protection?
Many thanks

Ben
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Re: Paccekabuddhas in Canon & Commentary

Post by Dhammakid » Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:12 am

Yes indeed, thank you venerable bhikkhu for providing the wonderful translations of the sutta. This greatly appeals to my introvert tendencies (although sometimes I'm an extrovert as well. Guess you can call me a multivert :D )

I second Ben's request.

Also, a question: If, when there is no Dhamma dispensation in the world, one becomes a paccekabuddha, will others in the world know about this monumental event? Or are solitary buddhas destined to anonymity until a future sammasambuddha comes along and recognizes them?

What practice leads one to paccekabuddha-hood if you don't have the Dhamma to guide you? Just meditation? Do the suttas say anything about this?

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Re: Paccekabuddhas in Canon & Commentary

Post by zamis » Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:03 pm

Thank you also, Bhante. It was delightful to read that this was a collection of sayings by Paccekabuddhas. I'm one of many with affinity to this particular Sutta. Along the lines of Ben's question regarding the Sangha, it mentions in two places to shed the household marks. How is this understood? Did these contemplatives leave the household life and don ochre robes though there was no sangha to join? Were ochre robes worn by others before the Buddha's first sangha?
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Re: Paccekabuddhas in Canon & Commentary

Post by Dhammanando » Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:52 pm

Hi Ben,
Ben wrote:Also, I was interested to note that the Isigili Sutta is regarded as a paritta. If you don't mind me asking, in what way does the Isigili Sutta offer protection?
I don’t know. In Thailand one occasionally finds the sutta included in books of parittas, but I’ve never witnessed any ceremony in which it was chanted or read any instructions as to what it is for.

The sutta's use as a paritta in Sri Lanka seems to go back a long way, for it’s one of eight parittas listed in the Anguttara Commentary (Āṭānāṭiyaparitta, Isigiliparitta, Dhajaggaparitta, Bojjhaṅgaparitta, Khandhaparitta, Moraparitta, Mettaparitta, Ratanaparitta) whose efficacy extends throughout the ten thousandfold world sphere. But unlike with other parittas, the commentary to the Isigilisutta doesn't say anything about the sutta's origin that would furnish any clue

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

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Re: Paccekabuddhas in Canon & Commentary

Post by Dhammanando » Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:21 pm

Hi Dhammakid,
Dhammakid wrote:Also, a question: If, when there is no Dhamma dispensation in the world, one becomes a paccekabuddha, will others in the world know about this monumental event? Or are solitary buddhas destined to anonymity until a future sammasambuddha comes along and recognizes them?
Right. In the human realm they may be respected by some as virtuous ascetics, but it seems that their status as incomparable fields of merit goes by and large unremarked. The commentaries have quite a few stories about people ending up in hell for mistreating paccekabuddhas, or as hungry ghosts for being niggardly towards them, not realizing the enormity of what they're doing. On the other hand, there are stories of people ending up spending aeons in heavenly realms just for giving a paccekabuddha a spoonful of rice.
What practice leads one to paccekabuddha-hood if you don't have the Dhamma to guide you? Just meditation? Do the suttas say anything about this?
In the Sutta Piṭaka the only source is the Cullaniddesa's detailed exposition of the Khaggavisāṇa Sutta. Other than that one has to go to the commentaries. As for a paccekabuddha's practice, this will be covered in the Manop article.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

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Re: Paccekabuddhas in Canon & Commentary

Post by Dhammakid » Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:47 pm

Dhammanando wrote: Right. In the human realm they may be respected by some as virtuous ascetics, but it seems that their status as incomparable fields of merit goes by and large unremarked. The commentaries have quite a few stories about people ending up in hell for mistreating paccekabuddhas, or as hungry ghosts for being niggardly towards them, not realizing the enormity of what they're doing. On the other hand, there are stories of people ending up spending aeons in heavenly realms just for giving a paccekabuddha a spoonful of rice.
Ouch! Haha. Seems you had better practice compassion towards all beings, even the random lonely ascetic in the forest, because you never know who you're messing with! :lol:
Dhammanando wrote:In the Sutta Piṭaka the only source is the Cullaniddesa's detailed exposition of the Khaggavisāṇa Sutta. Other than that one has to go to the commentaries. As for a paccekabuddha's practice, this will be covered in the Manop article.
Thank you for the reference info. I'll look it up as soon as I have the chance.

Namaste,
Dhammakid

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gavesako
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Re: Paccekabuddhas in Canon & Commentary

Post by gavesako » Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:15 pm

Although many people in Theravada history are reported to have undertaken the bodhisattva path, there are almost no mentions of individuals who have undertaken the paccekabuddha path. One possible exception is Ajahn Sao, the teacher of Ajahn Mun in his early days in Ubon, who apparently made such a determination (vow). He did not speak much and did not give extensive instructions to his students. It is possible that the story is just a later invention (Ajahn Mun himself is said to have made the bodhisattva vow and later given it up).

Any other cases of paccekabuddha candidates?

Bhikkhu Gavesako
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Re: Paccekabuddhas in Canon & Commentary

Post by Dhammakid » Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:58 am

Hey Dhammanando,
How's the Manop article coming along?

:namaste:
Dhammakid

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Re: Paccekabuddhas in Canon & Commentary

Post by Dhammakid » Sun Jan 11, 2009 3:00 am

Gavesako,
But I thought Paccekabuddha-hood could only be attained during a sasana when the Dhamma is lost? Or do I have it wrong and it actually can be achieved during the Gotama sasana as long as one doesn't have a teacher?

:namaste:
Dhammakid

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Re: Paccekabuddhas in Canon & Commentary

Post by Dhammanando » Sun Jan 11, 2009 3:03 am

Hi Dhammakid,
Dhammakid wrote:How's the Manop article coming along?
Well, I haven't forgotten about it, but I've been busy with class preparation, so it's had to take a back seat these last few days.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

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Re: Paccekabuddhas in Canon & Commentary

Post by Dhammakid » Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:00 am

Dhammanando wrote:Hi Dhammakid,
Dhammakid wrote:How's the Manop article coming along?
Well, I haven't forgotten about it, but I've been busy with class preparation, so it's had to take a back seat these last few days.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
Yes yes, I totally understand. Hope I didn't come off as rushing you.

:namaste:
Dhammakid

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Will
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Re: Paccekabuddhas

Post by Will » Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:04 am

Here is a little from Ledi Sayadaw on the subject:
I shall now outline the ten ordinary perfections, the ten higher perfections, and the ten supreme perfections.

All external objects such as a wife and children, animate and inanimate things, belonging to a person, are the objects through which the ten ordinary perfections are fulfilled. One’s own limbs or head or any organs of the body are the objects through which the ten higher perfections are fulfilled. One’s own life (being sacrificed) is the object through which the ten supreme perfections are fulfilled.

Of those three categories of objects, undertakings that forsake the first category are called ordinary perfections. Undertakings that forsake the second are called higher perfections. Those that forsake the third, i.e. one’s own life, are called supreme perfections.

One who can fulfil only the first ten attains the enlightenment of a Noble Disciple. One who can fulfil only the first ten and the second ten attains the enlightenment of a Solitary Buddha. One who can fulfil all thirty attains Supreme Self-Enlightenment....

As to the Noble Disciples: in the commentary on the Suttanipāta there are three types: (i) one who depends on confidence for his enlightenment, (ii) one who depends on diligence, and (iii) one who depends on wisdom.

The Three Types of Solitary Enlightenment

Similarly, Solitary Enlightenment (paccekabodhi) is also of three types. The commentaries say that the enlightenment of a Solitary Buddha is attained after fulfilling the ten perfections and the ten higher perfections for two aeons and a hundred thousand world cycles.
May all seek, find and follow the Path of selflessness.

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