What is wisdom?

A forum for beginners and members of other Buddhist traditions to ask questions about Theravāda (The Way of the Elders). Responses require moderator approval before they are visible.
Post Reply
nichiren-123
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:24 am

What is wisdom?

Post by nichiren-123 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:27 pm

I read a dhammapada quote (340) earlier:
Everywhere these streams are swirling,
up-bursting creepers (craving) rooted firm.
Seeing the craving-creeper there
with wisdom cut its root!
And this raises a question for me: What does 'wisdom' mean as a buddhist concept?

What exactly are we using to cut the roots of craving?

2600htz
Posts: 178
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:37 pm

Re: What is wisdom?

Post by 2600htz » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:54 pm

Hello:

Wisdom in buddhism means understanding the 4 noble truths and dependent origination.
Shortly stated: "understanding what is stress and how to experience the cessation of stress".

Regards.

User avatar
CedarTree
Posts: 237
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:37 pm

Re: What is wisdom?

Post by CedarTree » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:58 pm

nichiren-123 wrote:I read a dhammapada quote (340) earlier:
Everywhere these streams are swirling,
up-bursting creepers (craving) rooted firm.
Seeing the craving-creeper there
with wisdom cut its root!
And this raises a question for me: What does 'wisdom' mean as a buddhist concept?

What exactly are we using to cut the roots of craving?
Wisdom is almost an ability. The ability of other well developed factors to than see through delusion.

Wisdom penetrates into Dharma and see's things as they are.

Wisdom in Theravada is usually presented in the context of the five spiritual faculties. It is the fifth and the others are the developed factors needed for it's utilization.

:) hope this helps friend
Don't hold out on practice!

Gyobutsuji Zen Monastery in America

Ajahn Chah Associated Monasteries

Practice, Practice, Practice

Caodemarte
Posts: 709
Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 3:21 pm

Re: What is wisdom?

Post by Caodemarte » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:19 pm

2600htz wrote:Hello:

Wisdom in buddhism means understanding the 4 noble truths and dependent origination.
Shortly stated: "understanding what is stress and how to experience the cessation of stress".

Regards.
It can also be understood as non-conceptual insight.

befriend
Posts: 1085
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:39 am

Re: What is wisdom?

Post by befriend » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:52 pm

It can mean seeing clearly things like impermanence unsatisfactoriness and non self.
nothing can destroy a man who has lived a pure life

User avatar
BasementBuddhist
Posts: 265
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:03 pm

Re: What is wisdom?

Post by BasementBuddhist » Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:06 am

Knowledge is knowing a Tomato is a fruit

Wisdom is knowing not to put it in fruit salad.

:clap:

paul
Posts: 722
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 11:27 pm
Location: Vietnam

Re: What is wisdom?

Post by paul » Thu Aug 10, 2017 4:11 am

"The training in wisdom centers on the development of insight (vipassana-bhavana), a deep and comprehensive seeing into the nature of existence which fathoms the truth of our being in the only sphere where it is directly accessible to us, namely, in our own experience. Normally we are immersed in our experience, identified with it so completely that we do not comprehend it. We live it but fail to understand its nature. Due to this blindness experience comes to be misconstrued, worked upon by the delusions of permanence, pleasure, and self. "---"The Noble Eightfold Path", Bikkhu Bodhi.

User avatar
TreeSleeper
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:27 pm

Re: What is wisdom?

Post by TreeSleeper » Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:32 pm

Wisdom, the Highest Virtue. Wisdom, with it, you will free yourself.

Wisdom means to "see" things in a new way. It can also mean to realize something.

The purpose of "wisdom contemplation" is to come to this new way of "seeing".
Such as when one is investigating the body, seeing it as suffering, loathsome, ugly, in pieces, impermanent, and not-self, one will eventually "see" the body in these ways. You will see that body as disgusting, something which is a burden, something that is destructible. One may see other peoples bodies as just "bodies" and not people. Inanimate object walking around. Other people may take on a "disgusting" appearance, like one is looking at a dead body. The purpose is to drop attachments, once you see in this way, you'll know for certain that the body is not self.

Or if one investigates sight, one can realize and see that everything is just a collection of colors and shapes. There's no depth to anything or distance in seeing. Everything is just there all at the same time. The mountains are as near to you as your nose so you don't really need to go hiking or seeking "far" away things. It's already near you. That's another kind of "seeing" one can come to through wisdom.

Another level of wisdom is when you realize a solution to a problem through thought based reasoning. Once you have an insight into how some aspect of your mind works or why suffering is arising , that "wisdom" will cut off that cause of suffering.

One can investigate, what is the body? What is sense-consciousness? Why do I feel painful and pleasant feelings? Why do I crave things? Etc. If one manages to investigate properly, real insights can be acquired, and attachment will fall away. :namaste:

User avatar
cjmacie
Posts: 638
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:49 am

Re: What is wisdom?

Post by cjmacie » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:41 pm

In a book by B. Gunaratana, I was once s/w surprised to read a definition of 'wisdom' as basically an established realization of anicca (inconstancy). Arguably that infers, leads to total relinquishment of tanha, upadana, etc., and towards ultimate unbinding.

justindesilva
Posts: 406
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:38 pm

Re: What is wisdom?

Post by justindesilva » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:20 am

From what I understand wisdom is understanding life and its involvement with Loba, Dosa, moha. For this achievement we have to perceive life with sila of disciplining the word and action while achieving an insight in to data through Samadhi. Samadhi of course is an achievement to be gained with meditation samatha and insight. All these are explained in the dammacakkapavattsna sutta and further explained in other sutta of tripitaka.
Wisdom brings in enlightenment to get rid of dukka and experience anatta in to the state if nibbana.

User avatar
Bundokji
Posts: 1216
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:57 pm

Re: What is wisdom?

Post by Bundokji » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:58 am

This is what i imagine it to be. Wisdom is when you no longer driven by desire and pride. It is the end of stubbornness.
“It happened that a fire broke out backstage in a theater. The clown came out to inform the public. They thought it was a jest and applauded. He repeated his warning. They shouted even louder. So I think the world will come to an end amid the general applause from all the wits who believe that it is a joke.”
Søren Kierkegaard

User avatar
bodom
Posts: 5810
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: What is wisdom?

Post by bodom » Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:17 pm

"And what does it mean to be consummate in discernment? There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones is discerning, endowed with discernment of arising and passing away — noble, penetrating, leading to the right ending of stress. This is called being consummate in discernment.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

:namaste:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


"Dont send the mind outside. Watch the mind right at the mind."

- Ajahn Dune Atulo

User avatar
phil
Posts: 843
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:08 am
Location: Tokyo

Re: What is wisdom?

Post by phil » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:35 am

I think it is always a sorting out of harmful and non-harmful, beneficial and non-beneficial etc, staring with concepts of whether people are behaving in a wise way or not, and boiling down through the development of panna to sorting out in the same way the factors that operate in the moment. I think the former (non-harmful behaviour in our dealings with other people) provides a shelter for the more penetrative, liberating wisdom (i.e consummate in discernment) to develop and even if most of us (certainly me) never seem to go beyond that starting point it is still basis for a life well-lived.
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests