AN 7.54 (7.51): Avyakata Sutta — Undeclared

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AN 7.54 (7.51): Avyakata Sutta — Undeclared

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:52 am

AN 7.54 (7.51) PTS: A iv 67 [7.54 in Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation, 7.51 in Thanissaro Bhikkhu's]
Avyakata Sutta: Undeclared
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu


Why does doubt not arise in the mind of a stream-enterer?
http://suttacentral.net/search?query=an+7.54
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html



Then a certain monk went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One, "Lord, what is the cause, what is the reason, why uncertainty doesn't arise in an instructed disciple of the noble ones over the undeclared issues?"

"Because of the cessation of views, monk, uncertainty doesn't arise in an instructed disciple of the noble ones over the undeclared issues. The view-standpoint, 'The Tathagata exists after death,' the view-standpoint, 'The Tathagata doesn't exist after death,' the view-standpoint, 'The Tathagata both does and doesn't exist after death,' the view-standpoint, 'The Tathagata neither does nor doesn't exist after death': The uninstructed run-of-the-mill person doesn't discern view, doesn't discern the origination of view, doesn't discern the cessation of view, doesn't discern the path of practice leading to the cessation of view, and so for him that view grows. He is not freed from birth, aging, & death; from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, and despairs. He is not freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress. But the instructed disciple of the noble ones discerns view, discerns the origination of view, discerns the cessation of view, discerns the path of practice leading to the cessation of view, and so for him that view ceases. He is freed from birth, aging, & death; from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, and despairs. He is freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

"Thus knowing, thus seeing, the instructed disciple of the noble ones doesn't declare that 'The Tathagata exists after death,' doesn't declare that 'The Tathagata doesn't exist after death,' doesn't declare that 'The Tathagata both does and doesn't exist after death,' doesn't declare that 'The Tathagata neither does nor doesn't exist after death.' Thus knowing, thus seeing, he is thus of a nature not to declare the undeclared issues. Thus knowing, thus seeing, he isn't paralyzed, doesn't quake, doesn't shiver or shake over the undeclared issues.

"'The Tathagata exists after death' — this craving-standpoint, this perception-standpoint, this product of conceiving, this product of elaboration, this clinging-standpoint: That's anguish.[1] 'The Tathagata doesn't exist after death': That's anguish. 'The Tathagata both does and doesn't exist after death': That's anguish. 'The Tathagata neither does nor doesn't exist after death': That's anguish.[2]

The uninstructed run-of-the-mill person doesn't discern anguish, doesn't discern the origination of anguish, doesn't discern the cessation of anguish, doesn't discern the path of practice leading to the cessation of anguish, and so for him that anguish grows. He is not freed from birth, aging, & death; from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, and despairs. He is not freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress. But the instructed disciple of the noble ones discerns anguish, discerns the origination of anguish, discerns the cessation of anguish, discerns the path of practice leading to the cessation of anguish, and so for him that anguish ceases. He is freed from birth, aging, & death; from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, and despairs. He is freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

"Thus knowing, thus seeing, the instructed disciple of the noble ones doesn't declare that 'The Tathagata exists after death,' doesn't declare that 'The Tathagata doesn't exist after death,' doesn't declare that 'The Tathagata both does and doesn't after death,' doesn't declare that 'The Tathagata neither does nor doesn't exist after death.' Thus knowing, thus seeing, he is thus of a nature not to declare the undeclared issues. Thus knowing, thus seeing, he isn't paralyzed, doesn't quake, doesn't shiver or shake over the undeclared issues."

Notes

1. "Anguish" here translates vippatisara, which is usually rendered into English as "remorse" or "regret." Here, however, the feeling of vippatisara relates to concerns about the future, rather than the past, and so neither remorse nor regret are appropriate to the context. The anguish alluded to in this passage is based either on the fear that Awakening would entail an end to existence or on the contrary fear that it wouldn't.

2. In some manuscripts, this paragraph runs as follows: "'The Tathagata exists after death' — this craving-standpoint, this perception-standpoint, this product of conceiving, this product of elaboration, this clinging-standpoint: That's anguish. 'The Tathagata doesn't exist after death'... 'The Tathagata both does and doesn't exist after death'... 'The Tathagata neither does nor doesn't exist after death' — this craving-standpoint, this perception-standpoint, this product of conceiving, this product of elaboration, this clinging-standpoint: That's anguish.

See also: MN 63; MN 72

vinasp
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Re: AN 7.54 (7.51): Avyakata Sutta — Undeclared

Post by vinasp » Fri Nov 14, 2014 5:46 pm

Hi Mike,

My Opinion:

So the original teaching was that the path to awakening involves giving up all views, but this was obscured by later teachings.

As Buddhism became a popular religion and taught lay followers about kamma and rebirth it became the exact opposite of the original teachings.

Although, it is true, eliminating all views is probably beyond the capacity of most people.

So the real path to awakening is supramundane and beyond the reach of a puthujjana, who does not even see this path.

The 'cessation of views' means that one does not know, and does not claim to know, those things which are unknowable.

And with regard to deeper views, such as the view of self, it results in a profound psychological transformation.

Facts of experience can, of course, be known. Views are things which we desire to be true, even in the absence of any valid justification.

The conceit 'I am' is a view, so also is the view of self.

Perhaps the noble eightfold path is nothing but the elimination of views.

In some discourses views are said to be 'constructed things' (sankhata) and to be 'dependently originated.'

Regards, Vincent.

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