vicikicchā and suttas that define it

Explore the ancient language of the Tipitaka and Theravāda commentaries

Moderator: Mahavihara moderator

Post Reply
SamKR
Posts: 972
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:33 pm

vicikicchā and suttas that define it

Post by SamKR » Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:55 am

What is the meaning of vicikicchā in Sutta Pitaka? Which suttas define it?
:anjali:

SarathW
Posts: 8240
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: vicikicchā and suttas that define it

Post by SarathW » Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:00 am

“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

User avatar
Mkoll
Posts: 6373
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:55 pm
Location: California

Re: vicikicchā and suttas that define it

Post by Mkoll » Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:15 am

At AN 1.15 and 1.20, the Buddha says that there is nothing more conducive to the arising and increase of doubt than unwise attention and there is nothing more conducive to the non-arising and decrease of doubt than wise attention, respectively.

There may be a sutta where doubt is formally defined, but I don't know the reference to it. The Vibhanga does define it:
Vbh 17 wrote:Therein what is doubt? One is puzzled, doubts in the Teacher; one is puzzled, doubts in the Teaching; one is puzzled, doubts in the Order; one is puzzled, doubts in the precepts; one is puzzled, doubts in the ultimate beginning (of beings); one is puzzled, doubts in the ultimate end (of beings); one is puzzled, doubts in both the ultimate beginning and the ultimate end (of beings); one is puzzled, doubts in specific causality and dependently originated dhammas; that which is similar, puzzlement, being puzzled, state of being puzzled, rigidity of consciousness, mental scarifying. This is called doubt.
From Ven. T̶h̶a̶n̶i̶s̶s̶a̶r̶o̶'̶s̶ Nyanaponika's guide to the 5 hindrances:
Clipboard01.jpg
Clipboard01.jpg (185.86 KiB) Viewed 602 times
Last edited by Mkoll on Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

User avatar
katavedi
Posts: 234
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2014 11:42 pm

Re: vicikicchā and suttas that define it

Post by katavedi » Tue Jan 24, 2017 11:07 am

The word itself literally means "the desire to discern".

A common pericope found in DN 2, DN 25, and MN 39, among other places, gives a clue:
Abandoning doubt, he dwells with doubt left behind; without uncertainty as to what things are wholesome, his mind purified of doubt.

Buddha Vacana
Posts: 607
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2016 7:16 am

Re: vicikicchā and suttas that define it

Post by Buddha Vacana » Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:13 pm

At MN 16, vicikiccha applies to Buddha, Dhamma (that includes any part of the teaching, the noble truths, the three characteristics etc. and also who speaks the truth or falsehood [SN 43.13 and AN 3.66]), Sangha, the training (sikkha).

in MN 23, it is compared to a fork

at SN 22.84, doubt is compared to a "forked road"

at SN 12.32, doubt is about whether one as abandoned the asavas, in other words whether one is an arahant or not

at SN 46.51, doubt is twofold: there is doubt about the internal and doubt about the external

at AN 7.54, doubt does not arise about undeclared things because of the cessation of views

From MN 38, additional examples of vicikiccha and how it is removed:
"From the doubt — 'Has this come to be?' — does uncertainty arise?"

"Yes, lord."

"From the doubt — 'Does it come into play from that nutriment?' — does uncertainty arise?"

"Yes, lord."

"From the doubt — 'From the cessation of that nutriment, is what has come to be subject to cessation?' — does uncertainty arise?"

"Yes, lord."

"Monks, for one who sees with right discernment, as it has come to be, that 'This has come to be,' is that uncertainty abandoned?"

"Yes, lord."

"For one who sees with right discernment, as it has come to be, that 'It comes into play from that nutriment,' is that uncertainty abandoned?"

"Yes, lord."

"For one who sees with right discernment, as it has come to be, that 'From the cessation of that nutriment, what has come to be is subject to cessation,' is that uncertainty abandoned?"

"Yes, lord."

"Monks, are you thus free from uncertainty here that 'This has come to be'?"

"Yes, lord."

"Are you thus free from uncertainty here that 'It comes into play from that nutriment'?"

"Yes, lord."

"Are you thus free from uncertainty here that 'From the cessation of that nutriment, what has come to be is subject to cessation'?"

"Yes, lord."

SamKR
Posts: 972
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:33 pm

Re: vicikicchā and suttas that define it

Post by SamKR » Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:53 am

Thanks everyone.
katavedi wrote:The word itself literally means "the desire to discern".
I like this meaning; this is encouraging as it fits my limited understanding: vicikicchā may not be "doubt" in the sense of "doubting the teachings, etc..." but it is doubt in the sense of "sense of not understanding". Such a sense or feeling of "not understanding" leads to questions like "Have I got it or not?" or "Why haven't I fully understood it yet?", or the desire to understand what is this whole thing really about.

And more precisely, it is the doubt about own's understanding regarding the following (due to lack of right view):
(1) doubting that when arising it is only suffering that arises
(2) doubting that when passing away it is only suffering that passes away
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
(3) doubting that whatever is subject to arising (that is suffering from (1)) is all subject to cessation (that is end of suffering from (2)).


The relaxation of such doubt/vicikicchā (regarding suffering and cessation of suffering) is crucial for arising of right view, and vice versa (dhamma-eye: whatever is subject to arising is all subject to cessation). Arising of Right View and the end of such vicikicchā happens together (sotapatti).

But my understanding could be wrong, any suggestion would be appreciated.
Last edited by SamKR on Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:31 am, edited 7 times in total.

SamKR
Posts: 972
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:33 pm

Re: vicikicchā and suttas that define it

Post by SamKR » Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:57 am

Buddha Vacana wrote:At MN 16, vicikiccha applies to Buddha, Dhamma (that includes any part of the teaching, the noble truths, the three characteristics etc. and also who speaks the truth or falsehood [SN 43.13 and AN 3.66]), Sangha, the training (sikkha).
Can you give me the name of this sutta or perhaps a link if you have it.
Thank you.

Buddha Vacana
Posts: 607
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2016 7:16 am

Re: vicikicchā and suttas that define it

Post by Buddha Vacana » Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:12 am

http://awake.kiev.ua/dhamma/tipitaka/2S ... ta-e1.html

The same occurs in other suttas in AN and SN. You can do a little research if you are interested

Tom
Posts: 278
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:50 pm

Re: vicikicchā and suttas that define it

Post by Tom » Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:03 am

Mkoll wrote:
Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:15 am
At AN 1.15 and 1.20, the Buddha says that there is nothing more conducive to the arising and increase of doubt than unwise attention and there is nothing more conducive to the non-arising and decrease of doubt than wise attention, respectively.

There may be a sutta where doubt is formally defined, but I don't know the reference to it. The Vibhanga does define it:
Vbh 17 wrote:Therein what is doubt? One is puzzled, doubts in the Teacher; one is puzzled, doubts in the Teaching; one is puzzled, doubts in the Order; one is puzzled, doubts in the precepts; one is puzzled, doubts in the ultimate beginning (of beings); one is puzzled, doubts in the ultimate end (of beings); one is puzzled, doubts in both the ultimate beginning and the ultimate end (of beings); one is puzzled, doubts in specific causality and dependently originated dhammas; that which is similar, puzzlement, being puzzled, state of being puzzled, rigidity of consciousness, mental scarifying. This is called doubt.
From Ven. Thanissaro's guide to the 5 hindrances:

Clipboard01.jpg
The link says the author isn’t Ven.Thanissaro but rather, Ven. Nyanaponika Thera

User avatar
Mkoll
Posts: 6373
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:55 pm
Location: California

Re: vicikicchā and suttas that define it

Post by Mkoll » Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:44 am

Thank you for the correction.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests