exact meaning of the fetter "attachment to rites and rituals" & the term "precept"

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exact meaning of the fetter "attachment to rites and rituals" & the term "precept"

Post by R1111 = rightviewftw » Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:37 pm

Greetings friends,
I am curious about the Pali semantics of these concepts
Silabbata-paramata accoding to wiki this is the term used for the fetter of rites and rituals?
Also im curious what is the word for precept and if can be said that the fetter is attachment to precepts in some way?

Im curious because of the translation of Silabbata Sutta.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

I think modern interpretation is suspect in terms of assuming presence of an attachment or a view that sacrificing animals or similar practises from other religions are somehow believed to be enlightening in ALL practitioner close to stream entry as i think even non enlightened disciples rarely hold any attachment to such things as it doesnt fit with Right View.
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Re: exact meaning of the fetter "attachment to rites and rituals" & the term "precept"

Post by Derek » Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:11 am

In the historical context, it does indeed mean attachment to the rites and rituals of the religion of the Buddha's day: Definition of Stream-Entry.

Sīla and sīlabbatupādāna are etymologically related, but this does not imply that the precepts are what people get attached to. See the PTS Pali-English Dictionary pages 712 and 713: http://dsalsrv02.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/p ... pali.97779

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Re: exact meaning of the fetter "attachment to rites and rituals" & the term "precept"

Post by SarathW » Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:29 am

An interesting Sutta relating to OP:

When — by following a life of precept & practice, a life, a holy life that is followed as of essential worth — one's unskillful mental qualities increase while one's skillful mental qualities decline: that sort of precept & practice, life, holy life that is followed as of essential worth is fruitless. But when — by following a life of precept & practice, a life, a holy life that is followed as of essential worth — one's unskillful mental qualities decline while one's skillful mental qualities increase: that sort of precept & practice, life, holy life that is followed as of essential worth is fruitful

http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 5434&hilit
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: exact meaning of the fetter "attachment to rites and rituals" & the term "precept"

Post by R1111 = rightviewftw » Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:36 am

Derek wrote:In the historical context, it does indeed mean attachment to the rites and rituals of the religion of the Buddha's day: Definition of Stream-Entry.
How do we know this?
Derek wrote: Sīla and sīlabbatupādāna are etymologically related, but this does not imply that the precepts are what people get attached to. See the PTS Pali-English Dictionary pages 712 and 713: http://dsalsrv02.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/p ... pali.97779
Thanks for the link
-- bbata [=vata2] good works and ceremonial observances Dh 271; A i.225; S iv.118; Ud 71; Sn 231
I would like to check out the Abbrevations before drawing any preliminary conclusions of my own, but im interested to know how you reached your conclusion?

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Re: exact meaning of the fetter "attachment to rites and rituals" & the term "precept"

Post by R1111 = rightviewftw » Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:46 am

SarathW wrote:An interesting Sutta relating to OP:

When — by following a life of precept & practice, a life, a holy life that is followed as of essential worth — one's unskillful mental qualities increase while one's skillful mental qualities decline: that sort of precept & practice, life, holy life that is followed as of essential worth is fruitless. But when — by following a life of precept & practice, a life, a holy life that is followed as of essential worth — one's unskillful mental qualities decline while one's skillful mental qualities increase: that sort of precept & practice, life, holy life that is followed as of essential worth is fruitful

http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 5434&hilit
Thanks for valuable input,
This is the Sutta that i linked to in the OP. To me the meaning of it is seemingly quite clear. As in Ananda states that not every religious practise will bear equal result and that not all variations of Precept&Practise will lead to the goal and not keeping certain precepts will render the practise fruitless because in its wholeness one's skillful qualities degrade. I think it is also noteworthy that The Buddha praised his profound discernment quality relative to his state as one still in training. Im not sure when Ananda became a Sotapanna, but if he was at the time of this discourse i think the Sutta is very important to and has implications describing the state of a Stream Winner.

There is a similar Sutta, Cant remember the name unfortunately, but ive linked to it before and can look for it later.
(In my own words) where some monks decided not to observe the one meal a day precept, and The Blessed One asked them if he ever taught that any "precept&practise variation will make one's good qualities increase and bad qualities to decrease. Cant remember the name unfortunately.

From the thread linked to,
SarathW wrote: Furthermore, the appropriate and literal translation into English is ‘adherence to precepts and religious observance’ – a much broader category than ‘rites and rituals’.
This is basicly sort of interpretation im inclined twards aswell atm. As in relationship to the precepts and perhaps things ie like bowing to The Buddha statue when one enters a meditation Hall and significance of such acts is what changes for the Stream Enterer.
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Re: exact meaning of the fetter "attachment to rites and rituals" & the term "precept"

Post by Sam Vara » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:58 am

I can't throw any light on the etymology, but I have heard this concept explained in two different ways by monks. The first explanation is to do with the erroneous belief that rites and rituals can have some kind of supernatural or magic effect. (Sacrifice or prayer would be examples of this). The second is to do with an attachment to particular ways of doing things to support the practice in everyday life. For example, one can become obsessed with the types of food one eats, how much rest or exercise one engages in, etc., and meditators become preoccupied with recreating "perfect" conditions for their practice.

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Re: exact meaning of the fetter "attachment to rites and rituals" & the term "precept"

Post by SarathW » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:15 am

I think attachment to rites and rituals is a result of wrong perception.

What are the 18 types of perceptions and antidote?


http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 8923&hilit
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Re: exact meaning of the fetter "attachment to rites and rituals" & the term "precept"

Post by cjmacie » Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:27 pm

R1111 wrote:Greetings friends,
I am curious about the Pali semantics of these concepts...
Maybe not directly answering on the linguistics, but not that far off-topic:

Reading discussion of this "attachment to rites and rituals" by Mahasi Sayadaw (I think in the series of talks on the Dhamma-wheel-turning Sutta), gave me a clear, even useful way of understanding the issue. He said, in effect, it means abandoning any and every practice or habit that's not explicitly shaped by, cultivated from conscious Right-View. This may imply quite a rigorous conscious application of mindfulness and effort, 24/7, which only a monastic might be able to apply -- but then wasn't that the main context of the Buddha's teaching?

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Re: exact meaning of the fetter "attachment to rites and rituals" & the term "precept"

Post by R1111 = rightviewftw » Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:51 pm

SarathW wrote:An interesting Sutta relating to OP:
Here i found the intereting Sutta related to the interesting Sutta related to the OP:
... "Monks, have you ever understood me to teach the Dhamma in this way: 'Whatever a person experiences — pleasant, painful, or neither-pleasant-nor-painful — his unskillful qualities decrease and his skillful qualities grow'?"...

For those interested, Kitagiri Sutta, At first glance its not immediately related to the question at hand but it's quite a similar teaching to the Silabbata Sutta.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Looking at the references from the Pali Dictionary
-- bbata [=vata2] good works and ceremonial observances Dh 271; A i.225; S iv.118; Ud 71; Sn 231
If anybody wants to take a look aswell,

Dh Dhammapada - "Na silabbatamattena" - "Not only by mere moral practice" http://www.tipitaka.net/tipitaka/dhp/ve ... ?verse=271 found only 1 translation so far.

A Anguttara - "Silabbata Sutta: Precept & Practice"
S Sanyutta - Couldnt find this one so far help pls :)
Ud Udana - Couldnt figure this one out either help pls :)

Sn Sutta-nipata - Ratana Sutta, here describing the Fetter shed at stream Entry word Silabbata is used in this context
"Sīlabbataṃ vāpi yadatthi kiñci" and It is translated as Rites and Rituals by the Venerable Piyadassi Thera, whilst translation by Venerable Thanissaro Bhikkhu is as follows: any attachment to precepts & practices.

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Re: exact meaning of the fetter "attachment to rites and rituals" & the term "precept"

Post by vinasp » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:29 pm

Hi R1111,

S. iv.118 is SN 35.132 - Lohicca.

Ud 71 is Udana chapter 6, sutta 8, Courtesan.

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: exact meaning of the fetter "attachment to rites and rituals" & the term "precept"

Post by R1111 = rightviewftw » Wed Feb 22, 2017 5:12 pm

vinasp wrote:Hi R1111,

S. iv.118 is SN 35.132 - Lohicca.

Ud 71 is Udana chapter 6, sutta 8, Courtesan.

Regards, Vincent.
Thank you,
I found it abit hard to find the words and translations because of seemingly long texts.

I am inclined to think that the meaning is Precepts/rules and/or Practises, i think it is the more simple theory than attachment to rituals or practises found in other religions, however it does require some connecting of the dots to make sense because it would be weird for a Sotapanna to abandon attachment to morality and a translation like "attachment to precepts and rituals" within a Buddhist context seems somewhat absurd almost paradoxical. However i think it may be explained as this:

There is a case where a Sotapanna having seen with Dhamma eye, shedding doubt about self identity, well established in Mindfulness, upon arising of craving thinking things like: I am well established in Mindfulness, i will not take birth an 8th birth and states of Woe are ended for me, whatever suffering and hardship i shall endure will not be 1/3 of the suffering i have endured prior to attainment, i have alot of goodness in me, i am naturally keeping many precepts, have made tremedous merit in the past and im making alot of merit in my practise and i can be my own teacher
Not thinking about the danger in small evil and true nature of the body.

After thinking this he may because of Kilesas allow himself to indulge in sensuality and being ignorant of Teachers words and his own knowledge give himself over to negligence/heedlessness. Effectively breaking various precepts depending on his circumstance and state of mind. What precepts he breaks, how he breaks them will depend alot on context, vipallasa & kilesa variations, circumstance and perhaps even the lay/monastic state as in his associates and restrictions or current "precept program". He might basicly struggle to restrain his mind from evil, but he will have knowledge of right and wrong that transcends that of faith in regards to Precepts so he wont be as attached because of his confidence.

I think it fits neatly with the Kitagiri Sutta, which i think is illuminating in this way:
"And what is the individual who is a bodily witness? There is the case where a certain individual remains touching with his body those peaceful liberations that transcend form, that are formless, and — having seen with discernment — some of his fermentations are ended. This is called an individual who is a bodily witness.[6] Regarding this monk, I say that he has a task to do with heedfulness. Why is that? [I think:] 'Perhaps this venerable one, when making use of suitable resting places, associating with admirable friends, balancing his [mental] faculties, will reach & remain in the supreme goal of the holy life for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself in the here & now.' Envisioning this fruit of heedfulness for this monk, I say that he has a task to do with heedfulness.

"And what is the individual attained to view? There is the case where a certain individual does not remain touching with his body those peaceful liberations that transcend form, that are formless, but — having seen with discernment — some of his fermentations are ended, and he has reviewed & examined with discernment the qualities (or: teachings) proclaimed by the Tathagata. This is called an individual who is attained to view.[7] Regarding this monk, I say that he has a task to do with heedfulness. Why is that? [I think:] 'Perhaps this venerable one, when making use of suitable resting places, associating with admirable friends, balancing his [mental] faculties, will reach & remain in the supreme goal of the holy life for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself in the here & now.' Envisioning this fruit of heedfulness for this monk, I say that he has a task to do with heedfulness.

"And what is the individual released through conviction? There is the case where a certain individual does not remain touching with his body those peaceful liberations that transcend form, that are formless, but — having seen with discernment — some of his fermentations are ended, and his conviction in the Tathagata is settled, rooted, and established. This is called an individual who is released through conviction.[8] Regarding this monk, I say that he has a task to do with heedfulness. Why is that? [I think:] 'Perhaps this venerable one, when making use of suitable resting places, associating with admirable friends, balancing his [mental] faculties, will reach & remain in the supreme goal of the holy life for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself in the here & now.' Envisioning this fruit of heedfulness for this monk, I say that he has a task to do with heedfulness.

"And what is the individual who is a Dhamma-follower? There is the case where a certain individual does not remain touching with his body those peaceful liberations that transcend form, that are formless, nor — having seen with discernment — are his fermentations ended. But with a [sufficient] measure of reflection through discernment he has come to an agreement with the teachings proclaimed by the Tathagata. And he has these qualities: the faculty of conviction, the faculty of persistence, the faculty of mindfulness, the faculty of concentration, & the faculty of discernment. This is called an individual who is a Dhamma-follower.[9] Regarding this monk, I say that he has a task to do with heedfulness. Why is that? [I think:] 'Perhaps this venerable one, when making use of suitable resting places, associating with admirable friends, balancing his [mental] faculties, will reach & remain in the supreme goal of the holy life for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself in the here & now.' Envisioning this fruit of heedfulness for this monk, I say that he has a task to do with heedfulness.

"And what is the individual who is a conviction-follower? There is the case where a certain individual does not remain touching with his body those peaceful liberations that transcend form, that are formless, nor — having seen with discernment — are his fermentations ended. But he has a [sufficient] measure of conviction in & love for the Tathagata. And he has these qualities: the faculty of conviction, the faculty of persistence, the faculty of mindfulness, the faculty of concentration, & the faculty of discernment. This is called an individual who is a conviction-follower. Regarding this monk, I say that he has a task to do with heedfulness. Why is that? [I think:] 'Perhaps this venerable one, when making use of suitable resting places, associating with admirable friends, balancing his [mental] faculties, will reach & remain in the supreme goal of the holy life for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself in the here & now.' Envisioning this fruit of heedfulness for this monk, I say that he has a task to do with heedfulness.

"Monks, I do not say that the attainment of gnosis is all at once. Rather, the attainment of gnosis is after gradual training, gradual action, gradual practice. And how is there the attainment of gnosis after gradual training, gradual action, gradual practice? There is the case where, when conviction has arisen, one visits [a teacher]. Having visited, one grows close. Having grown close, one lends ear. Having lent ear, one hears the Dhamma. Having heard the Dhamma, one remembers it. Remembering, one penetrates the meaning of the teachings. Penetrating the meaning, one comes to an agreement through pondering the teachings. There being an agreement through pondering the teachings, desire arises. When desire has arisen, one is willing. When one is willing, one contemplates. Having contemplated, one makes an exertion. Having made an exertion, one realizes with the body the ultimate truth and, having penetrated it with discernment, sees it.[10]

"Now, monks, there hasn't been that conviction, there hasn't been that visiting, there hasn't been that growing close ... that lending ear ... that hearing of the Dhamma ... that remembering ... that penetration of the meaning of the teachings ... that agreement through pondering the teachings ... that desire ... that willingness ... that contemplation ... that exertion. You have lost the way, monks. You have gone the wrong way, monks. How far have you strayed, foolish men, from this Dhamma & Discipline!
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Re: exact meaning of the fetter "attachment to rites and rituals" & the term "precept"

Post by vinasp » Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:24 pm

Hi R1111,

From the Buddhist Dictionary:

saṃyojana: 'fetters'. There are 10 fetters tying beings to the wheel of existence, namely: (1) personality-belief (sakkāya-diṭṭhi, q.v.), (2) sceptical doubt (vicikicchā q.v.), (3) clinging to mere rules and ritual (sīlabbata-parāmāsa; s. upādāna), (4) sensuous craving (kāma-rāga, 4.v.), (5) ill-will (byāpāda), (6) craving for fine-material existence (rūpa-rāga), (7) craving for immaterial existence (arūpa-rāga), (8) conceit (māna, q.v.), (9) restlessness (uddhacca, q.v.), (10) ignorance (avijjā, q.v.). The first five of these are called 'lower fetters' (orambhāgiya-saṃyojana), as they tie to the sensuous world. The latter 5 are called 'higher fetters' (uddhambhāgiya-saṃyojana), as they tie to the higher worlds, i.e. the fine-material and immaterial world (A. IX, 67, 68; X. 13; D . 33, etc.).

The term ' parāmāsa ', means 'perversion' or 'wrong grasp.'

Some explain it as the wrong view that adherence to rules and observances is, in itself, capable of producing awakening.

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: exact meaning of the fetter "attachment to rites and rituals" & the term "precept"

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:37 pm

R1111 wrote:
Derek wrote:In the historical context, it does indeed mean attachment to the rites and rituals of the religion of the Buddha's day: Definition of Stream-Entry.
How do we know this?
Because the historical context of the Buddha was at so-and-so time, in such-and-such place, and so the rituals and rites of so-and-so time in such-and-such place were the ones the Buddha was talking about, from a historical perspective only.

Likely we are meant to extrapolate and determine that rituals and rites beyond those present in the historical context of the Buddha's ministry can also be critiqued using this paradigm. That being said, certain narratives that get propagated, generally by converts from Western backgrounds, generally seem oddly familiar with traditional American anti-ritualism. I am always suspicious when the ideologies of the Buddha are presented in such a way.

The Buddha is not necessarily anti-ritualist in this specific way (i.e. in such a way that he believes that all rituals are evil/useless/damaging by virtue of their being rituals).

Case in point is the Siṅgālasutta (DN 31). Are these the words of a "hard" anti-ritualist? An anti-ritualist would have stopped Siṅgāla and chastised him for performing his ritual.

Instead, the Buddha offer a new "householder dhamma" context for the ritual, and transforms it using the principals of his teaching. He does not tell Siṅgāla to stop performing the ritual, but neither does he tell him it, his new "dhammic" ritual paradigm, is a valid substitute for Dhamma practice, as it is not.

Just as the Buddha, and others of attainment, can say "I" without being "attached" to the "I", so to is the case with the observation of rituals, it stands to reason.
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如無為,如是難見、不動、不屈、不死、無漏、覆蔭、洲渚、濟渡、依止、擁護、不流轉、離熾焰、離燒然、流通、清涼、微妙、安隱、無病、無所有、涅槃。
Like this is the uncreated, like this is that which is difficult to realize, with no moving, no bending, no dying. Utterly lacking secretions and smothered in the dark, it is the island shore. Where there is ferrying, it is the crossing. It is dependency's ceasing, it is the end of circulating transmissions. It is the exhaustion of the flame, it is the ending of the burning. Flowing openly, pure and cool, with secret subtlety, and calm occultation, lacking ailment, lacking owning, nirvāṇa.
Asaṁskṛtadharmasūtra, Sermon on the Uncreated Phenomenon, T99.224b7, Saṁyuktāgama 890

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Re: exact meaning of the fetter "attachment to rites and rituals" & the term "precept"

Post by aflatun » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:45 pm

I tend to think it means exactly what it says, much as abandonment of all views means exactly what it says, etc.

I understand why that's not palatable for many people, but I take it quite literally!

:anjali:
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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Re: exact meaning of the fetter "attachment to rites and rituals" & the term "precept"

Post by SarathW » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:52 pm

To have some idea of clinging to rites and rituals please see some Kumbh Mela festivals.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGvK_9ugecM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1RzYjJ6YCo
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