The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

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kstan1122
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by kstan1122 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:12 am

Please read this topic "The Great Discourse On Not-Self (Anattalakkhaṇa Sutta) - Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw" which says that the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta was delivered on the full moon day of July and the Anattalakkhaṇa Sutta on the 5th waning day of July as highlighted with underline below:
The Dhammacakka Sutta, the First Discourse, was delivered on the evening of the full moon day of July, 2,552 years ago. At that time, only one of the Group of Five [*], Venerable Koṇḍañña, attained the first stage of Higher Knowledge and became a Sotāpanna, a Stream Enterer. Having fully penetrated into the Dhamma, with firmly established confidence and unshakable faith in the Buddha's Teaching, he sought and gained admission into the Order (Saṅgha).

[* The Group of Five were the five ascetics who had previously followed the Bodhisatta while he was practicing austerities and who later heard the First Discourse and became the Buddha's first monk disciples.]

The remaining four monks, the Venerables Vappa, Bhaddiya, Mahānāma and Assaji, had not yet achieved that Higher Knowledge, so the Blessed One urged them to devote themselves to the strenuous practice of Dhamma under his personal guidance. They did not go out, even for alms round. The Blessed One himself also stayed in the monastery to attend to their progress and assist them in removing the obstacles, hindrances and impurities that arise in the course of meditation practice. Thus, instructed and guided by the Blessed One, and striving arduously and consistently, the Venerable Vappa attained the Path and Fruition on the first waning day of July; the Venerable Bhaddiya on the 2nd, the Venerable Mahānāma on the 3rd and the Venerable Assaji on the 4th respectively, and each of them became a Stream Enterer.

I have already dealt elaborately with the account of their attainments in the concluding portions of the discourses on the Dhammacakka Sutta [See The Great Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma, by Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw, translated by U Ko Lay; Buddhadhamma Foundation.] I stated there that the four monks other than Koṇḍañña were not accomplished enough to attain the Higher Knowledge by just listening to the discourse, but had to strive for it, and that is why the Blessed One wanted them to devote themselves to the practice of the Dhamma. In view of this fact, I warned against being led astray by the mistaken and irresponsible doctrine that the status of Stream Enterer can be attained without the effort of vipassanā meditation, just by listening to a discourse.

The Commentaries say that after all five monks had become Stream Enterers and received ordination as members of the Buddha's Order, the Buddha taught them the Anattalakkhaṇa Sutta on the 5th waning day of July. Thus, "at one time" in the introduction means the 5th waning day of July, while the Blessed One was still staying in the Deer Sanctuary near the town of Varanasi.

Lal
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:44 am

kstan1122
Please read this topic "The Great Discourse On Not-Self (Anattalakkhaṇa Sutta) - Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw" which says that the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta was delivered on the full moon day of July and the Anattalakkhaṇa Sutta on the 5th waning day of July as highlighted with underline below:
Thank you.
What I referred to is also in the book, “The Life of the Buddha” by Bhikkhu Nanamoli. In the 2001 (Pariyatti edition), the account of taking several days for each of the five ascetics to attain the Sotapanna stage is on p. 45. Then on p. 46, the account of the Anattalakkhana sutta leading to the Arahanthood for all five is given.

So, I want to emphasize the point that it is impossible to convey the message of a given (deep) sutta in a word-by-word translation. One needs to explain the concepts in detail. It took the five ascetics several days to digest the material in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta. As I mentioned in the previous post, that material has been condensed to a few pages of text.

By the way, many of such detailed accounts are not in the Sutta Pitaka, but in the Vinaya Pitaka. The book by Bhikkhu Nanamoli has many of such accounts from the Vinaya Pitaka. For example, details on the life of the Devadatta are on pp. 257-273.

Furthermore, that book gives a chronological account of the Buddha’s life. It is hard to see that in the Sutta Pitaka.

Ryan95227
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Ryan95227 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:35 pm

Lal wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:16 pm
Ryan 95227 said:
I'd like you to answer stormbro's questions.
Please post a specific question. Let us start with the most important one. You can copy it from there and post it, so that I know what the specific question is.
since the most important concepts we will want to investigate here are : anatta, anicca, dukkha, and anapasati. I want you to answer these threads

viewtopic.php?t=32857 one questioned by stormborn

viewtopic.php?t=32683 one that directly counters your translation of anatta, anicca, and dukkha

Lal
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:34 am

If anyone has serious questions, please quote from what I have written incorrectly and explain why. Just quoting incorrectly translated suttas does not serve any purpose to the discussion. I have explained those points many times before.
- I have made some direct statements in order to get points across. They may seem harsh, but some people don't pay attention unless the naked truth is told directly. Of course, they may get offended, but my intention is not hurt anyone's feelings, but to point out the truth.
- My sincere apologies if I hurt anyone's feelings. If they don't see any point in reading my posts and keep getting aggravated, it may be better not to read them.

Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

1. Some people think that the Buddha actually recited each sutta (as it appears in the Tipitaka) when delivering a discourse.  (That could be reason that the suttas are translated word-by-word). But that is far from the truth.

- For example, as we saw,  Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta  was delivered to the five ascetics over several days.
- In the first night that it was delivered, only Kondañña attained the Sotapanna stage. Then the material was discussed for several days, until the other four ascetics attained the Sotapanna stage one by one. So, is it reasonable to assume that one could understand the sutta by just reading a word-by-word translation of a few pages of the sutta?
- Then on the fifth day, all five attained the Arahanthood when the Buddha delivered the second sutta: Anattalakkhana Sutta.

2. The above facts provide some key insights.

- Buddha actually did not recite the sutta as it appears in the Tipitaka. That recital would have been finished within 15 minutes!
- It appears that the Buddha himself summarized the material in each sutta in a short concise way to a limited number of verses that was suitable for oral transmission (easy to remember); see, "Sutta – Introduction".
- We must remember that all the suttas in the Tipitaka were transmitted down several generations over about 500 years before it was written down. 

3. Therefore, what is in the Tipitaka are short summaries of those suttas. They are highly condensed, and need to be discussed in detail.

- Instead, what happens these days is that they are translated word-by-word into English. This is a very bad practice. It is no different from just reciting a sutta! One can finish reading a sutta in 15 minutes.
- Some of these deep suttas need to be explained in detail. Some of the verses need to be explained in detail.
- As we saw above, it took many hours of explanation by the Buddha for those five ascetics to understand the concepts embedded in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta.
- Anyway, we will now focus on a few key verses in the sutta. That itself can be done only in brief in a post like this. But I hope you will get the main idea.

4. Even before starting to discuss a few verses, we can make a few more deductions from those passages in the Vinaya pitaka (as given in the references mentioned in the most recent posts.

- We note that the five ascetics first refused to believe that the Buddha had actually attained the Buddhahood (i.e., grasped the knowledge to overcome future suffering). Only on the third time when the Buddha asked them whether he had told them anything untruthful before, that they consented to listen to the Buddha.
- When they listened to the explanations, of course they realized that it is the truth about the nature that the Buddha had indeed discovered.
- Thus, one should accept or reject any "theory" based solely on whether they make sense. Of course, there were many at the time of the Buddha (especially in the initial days, just like the five ascetics) who did not believe in what the Buddha was trying to say.

5. Now, let us look at a few key verses. After explaining the four Noble Truths, the Buddha says in the middle of the sutta: "Ñāṇañca pana me dassanaṃ udapādi: ‘akuppā me vimutti, ayamantimā jāti, natthi dāni punabbhavo’”ti."

Translated: "The knowledge and vision arose in me: ‘unshakable is the liberation of my mind. This is my last birth. There is no more renewed existence.’”

- That statement says the outcome of the discovery of that knowledge. The solution to future suffering. It is the ending of the rebirth process.
- So, my point is that this statement by itself explains that:  (i) the Buddha was focused on stopping suffering in future lives (some of which in lower realms could be unimaginably harsh). (ii) there is no "safe" rebirth anywhere in this world, whether it is a human, deva, or a brahma realm.

6. In fact, in the later part of the sutta, the Buddha has listed most of those other realms that are in this world: "Pavattite ca pana bhagavatā dhammacakke bhummā devā sad­da­manus­sā­vesuṃ: “etaṃ bhagavatā bārāṇasiyaṃ isipatane migadāye anuttaraṃ dhammacakkaṃ pavattitaṃ appaṭivattiyaṃ samaṇena vā brāhmaṇena vā devena vā mārena vā brahmunā vā kenaci vā lokasmin”ti. Bhummānaṃ devānaṃ saddaṃ sutvā cātumahārājikā devā..."

- All these are realms higher than the human realm, and beings from those realms had come there to listen to the discourse. While only five humans attained magga phala within those few days, millions of beings from other realms attained magga phala.
- These are important points that do not get much attention. 
- Of course, the four lower realms are not mentioned in this sutta. They are discussed in other suttas. The Buddha was just listing the names of the higher realms from which beings were present there to listen to the sutta.

7. We know that Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta was the first sutta delivered by the Buddha, which laid out the essence of his newly discovered Dhamma (laws of Nature). We know that many attained the Sotapanna stage there. 

Thus we should be able to understand the critical concepts from just this sutta. There is no need to even analyze any other sutta. Of course they are all consistent with this first sutta.
I will discuss a few more verses in the future in order to illustrate this point. 
Last edited by Lal on Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Sam Vara
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:39 pm

Lal wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:34 am
- For example, as we saw,  Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta  was delivered to the five ascetics over several days.
I didn't see that. Could you please recap that bit in detail?

Lal
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:12 pm

Lal wrote: ↑Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:34 am
- For example, as we saw, Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta was delivered to the five ascetics over several days.
I didn't see that. Could you please recap that bit in detail?
Form the reference I gave earlier (https://legacy.suttacentral.net/en/pi-tv-kd1):

Then the venerable Aññata Koṇḍañña, having seen dhamma, attained dhamma, known dhamma, plunged into dhamma, having crossed over doubt, having put away uncertainty, having attained without another’s help to full confidence in the teacher’s instruction, spoke thus to the Lord: “May I, Lord, receive the going forth in the Lord’s presence, may I receive ordination?”

“Come, monk,” the Lord said, “well taught is dhamma. Fare the Brahma-faring for making an utter end of ill.” So this came to be this venerable one’s ordination.

Then the Lord exhorted, instructed those remaining monks with dhamma-talk. Then while they were being exhorted, instructed by the Lord with dhamma-talk, dhamma-vision, dustless, stainless, arose to the venerable Vappa and to the venerable Bhaddiya, that “whatever is of the nature to uprise, all that is of the nature to stop.”

These, having seen dhamma, attained dhamma, known dhamma … having attained without another’s help to full confidence in the teacher’s instruction, spoke thus to the Lord: “May we, Lord, receive the going forth in the Lord’s presence, may we receive ordination?”

“Come, monks,” the Lord said, “well taught is dhamma, fare the Brahma-faring for making an utter end of ill.” So this came to be these venerable ones’ ordination.

Then the Lord, eating the food brought back by these, exhorted, instructed those remaining monks with dhamma-talk, saying: “Let the group of six live on whatever the three monks bring when they have walked for almsfood.”

Then while they were being exhorted, instructed by the Lord with dhamma-talk, dhamma-vision, dustless, stainless, arose to the venerable Mahānāma and to the venerable Assaji, that “whatever is of the nature to uprise, all that is of the nature to stop.”

These, having seen dhamma, attained dhamma … having attained without another’s help to full confidence in the teacher’s instruction, spoke thus to the Lord: “May we, Lord, receive the going forth in the Lord’s presence, may we receive ordination?”

There are other accounts with more details that it actually took five days (I think) for all five to attain the Sotapanna stage. On the fifth day, they all attained the Arahanthood upon the delivery of the Anttalkkhana Sutta.

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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:07 pm

Lal wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:12 pm
Lal wrote: ↑Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:34 am
- For example, as we saw, Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta was delivered to the five ascetics over several days.
I didn't see that. Could you please recap that bit in detail?
Form the reference I gave earlier (https://legacy.suttacentral.net/en/pi-tv-kd1):

Then the venerable Aññata Koṇḍañña, having seen dhamma, attained dhamma, known dhamma, plunged into dhamma, having crossed over doubt, having put away uncertainty, having attained without another’s help to full confidence in the teacher’s instruction, spoke thus to the Lord: “May I, Lord, receive the going forth in the Lord’s presence, may I receive ordination?”

“Come, monk,” the Lord said, “well taught is dhamma. Fare the Brahma-faring for making an utter end of ill.” So this came to be this venerable one’s ordination.

Then the Lord exhorted, instructed those remaining monks with dhamma-talk. Then while they were being exhorted, instructed by the Lord with dhamma-talk, dhamma-vision, dustless, stainless, arose to the venerable Vappa and to the venerable Bhaddiya, that “whatever is of the nature to uprise, all that is of the nature to stop.”

These, having seen dhamma, attained dhamma, known dhamma … having attained without another’s help to full confidence in the teacher’s instruction, spoke thus to the Lord: “May we, Lord, receive the going forth in the Lord’s presence, may we receive ordination?”

“Come, monks,” the Lord said, “well taught is dhamma, fare the Brahma-faring for making an utter end of ill.” So this came to be these venerable ones’ ordination.

Then the Lord, eating the food brought back by these, exhorted, instructed those remaining monks with dhamma-talk, saying: “Let the group of six live on whatever the three monks bring when they have walked for almsfood.”

Then while they were being exhorted, instructed by the Lord with dhamma-talk, dhamma-vision, dustless, stainless, arose to the venerable Mahānāma and to the venerable Assaji, that “whatever is of the nature to uprise, all that is of the nature to stop.”

These, having seen dhamma, attained dhamma … having attained without another’s help to full confidence in the teacher’s instruction, spoke thus to the Lord: “May we, Lord, receive the going forth in the Lord’s presence, may we receive ordination?”

There are other accounts with more details that it actually took five days (I think) for all five to attain the Sotapanna stage. On the fifth day, they all attained the Arahanthood upon the delivery of the Anttalkkhana Sutta.
There is nothing here about the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta. It says that Venerable Kondanna had already attained the Dhamma and gone beyond doubt; and this is consistent with the episode of the arising to him of the dhamma eye which is contained towards the end of the Sutta. Then Kondanna is ordained. Then the Buddha " exhorted, instructed those remaining monks with dhamma-talk." There is nothing to suggest that this is a repetition or development of the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta. It makes no claim other than the generic category of dhamma-talk. Then the dhamma eye arises for two others, and they also request ordination. Then there is more talk and exhortation, and the Buddha eats some food. Again, there is no evidence of this being the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta. Then the remaining pupils achieve the vision, and ordain.

The material consituting the first part of the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta might, as I said earlier, have been delivered verbatim in the time it takes to recite it. Alternatively, the whole episode might have been compiled much later by people who were recalling multiple sources. Both of these options are, like your version, merely inferences based upon an historical text. You need to show why your particular inference is more credible.

Ryan95227
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Ryan95227 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:16 pm

Lal wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:34 am
If anyone has serious questions, please quote from what I have written incorrectly and explain why. Just quoting incorrectly translated suttas does not serve any purpose to the discussion. I have explained those points many times before.
- I have made some direct statements in order to get points across. They may seem harsh, but some people don't pay attention unless the naked truth is told directly. Of course, they may get offended, but my intention is not hurt anyone's feelings, but to point out the truth.
- My sincere apologies if I hurt anyone's feelings. If they don't see any point in reading my posts and keep getting aggravated, it may be better not to read them.

Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

1. Some people think that the Buddha actually recited each sutta (as it appears in the Tipitaka) when delivering a discourse.  (That could be reason that the suttas are translated word-by-word). But that is far from the truth.

- For example, as we saw,  Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta  was delivered to the five ascetics over several days.
- In the first night that it was delivered, only Kondañña attained the Sotapanna stage. Then the material was discussed for several days, until the other four ascetics attained the Sotapanna stage one by one. So, is it reasonable to assume that one could understand the sutta by just reading a word-by-word translation of a few pages of the sutta?
- Then on the fifth day, all five attained the Arahanthood when the Buddha delivered the second sutta: Anattalakkhana Sutta.

2. The above facts provide some key insights.

- Buddha actually did not recite the sutta as it appears in the Tipitaka. That recital would have been finished within 15 minutes!
- It appears that the Buddha himself summarized the material in each sutta in a short concise way to a limited number of verses that was suitable for oral transmission (easy to remember); see, "Sutta – Introduction".
- We must remember that all the suttas in the Tipitaka were transmitted down several generations over about 500 years before it was written down. 

3. Therefore, what is in the Tipitaka are short summaries of those suttas. They are highly condensed, and need to be discussed in detail.

- Instead, what happens these days is that they are translated word-by-word into English. This is a very bad practice. It is no different from just reciting a sutta! One can finish reading a sutta in 15 minutes.
- Some of these deep suttas need to be explained in detail. Some of the verses need to be explained in detail.
- As we saw above, it took many hours of explanation by the Buddha for those five ascetics to understand the concepts embedded in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta.
- Anyway, we will now focus on a few key verses in the sutta. That itself can be done only in brief in a post like this. But I hope you will get the main idea.

4. Even before starting to discuss a few verses, we can make a few more deductions from those passages in the Vinaya pitaka (as given in the references mentioned in the most recent posts.

- We note that the five ascetics first refused to believe that the Buddha had actually attained the Buddhahood (i.e., grasped the knowledge to overcome future suffering). Only on the third time when the Buddha asked them whether he had told them anything untruthful before, that they consented to listen to the Buddha.
- When they listened to the explanations, of course they realized that it is the truth about the nature that the Buddha had indeed discovered.
- Thus, one should accept or reject any "theory" based solely on whether they make sense. Of course, there were many at the time of the Buddha (especially in the initial days, just like the five ascetics) who did not believe in what the Buddha was trying to say.

5. Now, let us look at a few key verses. After explaining the four Noble Truths, the Buddha says in the middle of the sutta: "Ñāṇañca pana me dassanaṃ udapādi: ‘akuppā me vimutti, ayamantimā jāti, natthi dāni punabbhavo’”ti."

Translated: "The knowledge and vision arose in me: ‘unshakable is the liberation of my mind. This is my last birth. There is no more renewed existence.’”

- That statement says the outcome of the discovery of that knowledge. The solution to future suffering. It is the ending of the rebirth process.
- So, my point is that this statement by itself explains that:  (i) the Buddha was focused on stopping suffering in future lives (some of which in lower realms could be unimaginably harsh). (ii) there is no "safe" rebirth anywhere in this world, whether it is a human, deva, or a brahma realm.

6. In fact, in the later part of the sutta, the Buddha has listed most of those other realms that are in this world: "Pavattite ca pana bhagavatā dhammacakke bhummā devā sad­da­manus­sā­vesuṃ: “etaṃ bhagavatā bārāṇasiyaṃ isipatane migadāye anuttaraṃ dhammacakkaṃ pavattitaṃ appaṭivattiyaṃ samaṇena vā brāhmaṇena vā devena vā mārena vā brahmunā vā kenaci vā lokasmin”ti. Bhummānaṃ devānaṃ saddaṃ sutvā cātumahārājikā devā..."

- All these are realms higher than the human realm, and beings from those realms had come there to listen to the discourse. While only five humans attained magga phala within those few days, millions of beings from other realms attained magga phala.
- These are important points that do not get much attention. 
- Of course, the four lower realms are not mentioned in this sutta. They are discussed in other suttas. The Buddha was just listing the names of the higher realms from which beings were present there to listen to the sutta.

7. We know that Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta was the first sutta delivered by the Buddha, which laid out the essence of his newly discovered Dhamma (laws of Nature). We know that many attained the Sotapanna stage there. 

Thus we should be able to understand the critical concepts from just this sutta. There is no need to even analyze any other sutta. Of course they are all consistent with this first sutta.
I will discuss a few more verses in the future in order to illustrate this point. 
Ok, Why are these english translations incorrect? can you show why they are?

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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:57 pm

Ok, Why are these english translations incorrect? can you show why they are?
If you learn to control your temper and read carefully what I write, you may be able to think rationally and not make statements like this. Again, I am not saying this in anger, but with compassion. When one’s mind is agitated, one cannot think logically.

I have said that one needs to be careful in translating deep suttas, like the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta that we are discussing.
- I have also said that some long suttas, especially in the Digha nikaya, can be translated word-by-word.
- Material in the Vinaya Pitaka can also be translated word-by-word in many cases when describing EVENTS such as the passage that you quoted.

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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:08 pm

Moderator note: would members please avoid attributing various mental states and emotions to others? It's unhelpful and leads to a derailing of threads. Ad hominem comments are against the ToS and may be removed.

Ryan95227
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Ryan95227 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:22 pm

Lal wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:57 pm
Ok, Why are these english translations incorrect? can you show why they are?
If you learn to control your temper and read carefully what I write, you may be able to think rationally and not make statements like this. Again, I am not saying this in anger, but with compassion. When one’s mind is agitated, one cannot think logically.

I have said that one needs to be careful in translating deep suttas, like the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta that we are discussing.
- I have also said that some long suttas, especially in the Digha nikaya, can be translated word-by-word.
- Material in the Vinaya Pitaka can also be translated word-by-word in many cases when describing EVENTS such as the passage that you quoted.
I actually may have been lazy and forgot which part you countered some of these questions but I'm just asking you as a guy who follows ven thero's teachings. This is very important for me personally. I thank you for all the sources you provided on puredhamma, specifically satipatthana. I just want clarification by testing your teachings by using good questions asked by various users here. I want you to step by step break down their arguments and why they are wrong. You are not doing that in my eyes right now. Even a rebuttal as proposed above you you have not addressed. You have resorted to saying "it's useless to even answer them" That's not helpful for my naive mind. I have no anger or hatred for you i just want to test the teaching further.

kstan1122
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by kstan1122 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:12 am

Ryan95227 wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:16 pm
Ok, Why are these english translations incorrect? can you show why they are?
If you can tell me the right meaning of the word "attā" of the verse 11.8 "‘rūpaṃ me attā, vedanā me attā, saññā me attā, saṅkhārā me attā, viññāṇaṃ me attā’”ti." to the verse 13.3 "‘rūpaṃ me attā’ti, vattati te tasmiṃ rūpe vaso— " in this sutta "The Shorter Discourse With Saccaka - Cūḷasaccakasutta" then you would have understood the meaning of wrong english translations.

Much metta.

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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:23 am

Continuing from the previous post on the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta:

1. Now, let us look at how the Buddha summarized the First Noble Truth about suffering in that sutta.

Idam kho pana, bhikkhave, dukkham ariyasaccam:

jātipi dukkhā, jarāpi dukkhā, byādhipi dukkho, maraṇampi dukkhāṃ, appiyehi sampayogo dukkho, piyehi vippayogo dukkho, yampicchaṃ na labhati tampi dukkhāṃ—saṃkhittena pañcu­pādā­nak­khan­dhā dukkhā
.

Translated: Bhikkhus, What is the Noble Truth of Suffering?

"Birth is suffering, getting old is suffering, getting sick is suffering, dying is suffering. Having to associate with things that one does not like is suffering and having to separate from those things one likes is suffering. If one does not get what one likes, that is suffering - Doing worldly activities (samkittena) to get all those things one craves for (pancupadanakkhandha) is suffering.

There are four sections in that verse. I have highlighted alternating sections to make it clear.

2. The first part in bold indicates what we consider to be forms of suffering: Birth, getting old, getting sick, and dying.

- We may not remember, but birth is a traumatic event, just like the dying moment. Coming out of the birth canal is a traumatic event for both the mother and the baby.
- We do not like to experience those four things. If we have to experience them, that is suffering.
- What we WOULD LIKE is to stay young, not get old, not get sick, and not to die ever. If we can have those conditions fulfilled we will be forever happy.

3. That is what the second part (not in bold) says.

- If we can be born instantaneously at a young age (say, 15 to 25 years), and stay at that age without getting old or sick and never die, that is what we would like. But no matter how much we would like to associated with such a life, we will NEVER get it.
- Instead we have to suffer at birth, when getting old, when getting sick, and finally when dying. There is no way to dissociate from those four things that we do not like.
- But that is not the end of it. We will  keep doing this over and over in the rebirth cycle. Furthermore, things can get much worse in the lowest four realms, including the animal realm.
- This is why the Buddha stated that the culmination of all his efforts to the ending of the suffering in the rebirth process, when stated "this would be my last birth": No more suffering!

4. Both those parts are combined in to one succinct statement in the third part: "Yampiccam nalabhati tampi dukkham".

"Yampiccam nalabhati tampi dukkham" is actually a shortened version of the verse (that rhymes).
The full sentence is "Yam pi iccam na labhati tam pi dukkham".

- "Yam pi iccam" means "whatever is craved for". "Na labhati" means "not getting". "tam pi dukkham" means "that leads to suffering".
- Therefore, that verse simply says: “If one does not get what one  craves or likes, that leads to suffering”.
- This is a more general statement, and applies in any situation.  The more one craves something, the more suffering one will endure at the end. But this requires a lot of discussion.

5. "Yampiccam nalabhati tampi dukkham" is the most important verse in the first sutta delivered by the Buddha, Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta. It provides the key to understanding the Buddha's message, and led to attaining of the Sotapanna stage by the five ascetics.

- It should be noted that icca and iccha (ඉච්ච and ඉච්ඡ in Sinhala) are used interchangeably in the Tipitaka under different suttas. The word “iccha” with the emphasis on the last syllable is used to indicated “strong icca” or “strong attachment”.
- Not getting what one desires or craves is the opposite of "icca" or "na icca" or "anicca". This is the same way that "na ā­gami" becomes "Anā­gā­mi". These are Pali sandhi rules.
- The intrinsic nature of this world is "anicca", i.e., we will never get what we crave for, and thus at the end (at least at death) we will leave all this behind and suffer, that is dukkha.

6. As you can see, one single verse itself takes a lot of explaining. I just don't have time to go into more detail. I hope that at least some people will get the basic idea.

- The last part of the verse, "saṃkhittena pañcu­pādā­nak­khan­dhā dukkhā" will take much more explaining. One needs to understand the five khandhas (rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara, vinnana) first, in order to even begin to understand this part.
- Note that upadana is related closely to craving. Upadana means "pulling closer in one's mind due to craving".
- Until one sees this anicca, dukkha, anatta nature of this world, one will be trapped in the suffering-filled rebirth process.

7. The other key point: Translating some key verses word-by-word can lead to bad unintended consequences. This is because many key Pali words CANNOT be translated as one English word.

- The five ascetics were able to attain the Sotapanna stage by understanding the detailed description of the material embedded in this sutta. That holds true today.
- By the way, there is nothing in this sutta that says impermanence leads to suffering. The key words are icca and anicca.
- Anicca is not the same as Sanskrit "anitya" (which does mean impermanence), which in Pali is "aniyata" or "addhuvan". None of those three words appear in this sutta. In fact, I don't think the word "anicca" appears directly in this sutta either; of course, it appears in many other suttas in the same context. But the word "anitya" does not appear in a single sutta in the Tipitaka; "aniyata" and "addhuvan" appear in a few suttas to actually indicate impermanence in other contexts. For example, "jeevitam aniyatam, maranam niyatam".
- The concept is explained with the word "icca" in this sutta, as I explained above.
- If anyone needs further information, it is available at puredhamma.net. I don't need to repeat things here. I have provided enough material to consider.

I wish everyone well in their efforts to find the true Dhamma.

Lal
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:22 pm

Sam Vara had said the following in an earlier post that I missed. Someone just notified me of this:
Lal wrote: ↑Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:34 am
- For example, as we saw, Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta was delivered to the five ascetics over several days.
I didn't see that. Could you please recap that bit in detail?
Form the reference I gave earlier (https://legacy.suttacentral.net/en/pi-tv-kd1):

Then the venerable Aññata Koṇḍañña, having seen dhamma, attained dhamma, known dhamma, plunged into dhamma, having crossed over doubt, having put away uncertainty, having attained without another’s help to full confidence in the teacher’s instruction, spoke thus to the Lord: “May I, Lord, receive the going forth in the Lord’s presence, may I receive ordination?”

“Come, monk,” the Lord said, “well taught is dhamma. Fare the Brahma-faring for making an utter end of ill.” So this came to be this venerable one’s ordination.

Then the Lord exhorted, instructed those remaining monks with dhamma-talk. Then while they were being exhorted, instructed by the Lord with dhamma-talk, dhamma-vision, dustless, stainless, arose to the venerable Vappa and to the venerable Bhaddiya, that “whatever is of the nature to uprise, all that is of the nature to stop.”

These, having seen dhamma, attained dhamma, known dhamma … having attained without another’s help to full confidence in the teacher’s instruction, spoke thus to the Lord: “May we, Lord, receive the going forth in the Lord’s presence, may we receive ordination?”

“Come, monks,” the Lord said, “well taught is dhamma, fare the Brahma-faring for making an utter end of ill.” So this came to be these venerable ones’ ordination.

Then the Lord, eating the food brought back by these, exhorted, instructed those remaining monks with dhamma-talk, saying: “Let the group of six live on whatever the three monks bring when they have walked for almsfood.”

Then while they were being exhorted, instructed by the Lord with dhamma-talk, dhamma-vision, dustless, stainless, arose to the venerable Mahānāma and to the venerable Assaji, that “whatever is of the nature to uprise, all that is of the nature to stop.”

These, having seen dhamma, attained dhamma … having attained without another’s help to full confidence in the teacher’s instruction, spoke thus to the Lord: “May we, Lord, receive the going forth in the Lord’s presence, may we receive ordination?”

There are other accounts with more details that it actually took five days (I think) for all five to attain the Sotapanna stage. On the fifth day, they all attained the Arahanthood upon the delivery of the Anttalkkhana Sutta.

There is nothing here about the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta. It says that Venerable Kondanna had already attained the Dhamma and gone beyond doubt; and this is consistent with the episode of the arising to him of the dhamma eye which is contained towards the end of the Sutta. Then Kondanna is ordained. Then the Buddha " exhorted, instructed those remaining monks with dhamma-talk." There is nothing to suggest that this is a repetition or development of the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta. It makes no claim other than the generic category of dhamma-talk. Then the dhamma eye arises for two others, and they also request ordination. Then there is more talk and exhortation, and the Buddha eats some food. Again, there is no evidence of this being the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta. Then the remaining pupils achieve the vision, and ordain.

The material consituting the first part of the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta might, as I said earlier, have been delivered verbatim in the time it takes to recite it. Alternatively, the whole episode might have been compiled much later by people who were recalling multiple sources. Both of these options are, like your version, merely inferences based upon an historical text. You need to show why your particular inference is more credible
.
Since this is an important point, I just need to say the following.

If you read the web link I had given, you will see that it does describe the delivery of the Dhammacakkapavattana sutta.

Or, one could read the Chapter, "After the Enlightenment" of the book, "The Life of the Buddha" by Bhikkhu Nanamoli.

Anyway, that is all I have to say.

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Sam Vara
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:54 pm

Lal wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:22 pm

Since this is an important point, I just need to say the following.

If you read the web link I had given, you will see that it does describe the delivery of the Dhammacakkapavattana sutta.

Or, one could read the Chapter, "After the Enlightenment" of the book, "The Life of the Buddha" by Bhikkhu Nanamoli.

Anyway, that is all I have to say.
The web link does indeed describe the delivery of the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta. My point is not that is doesn't, but that there is nothing in that web link to support your assertion that
For example, Dhamma Cakka Pavattana Sutta was delivered to the five ascetics overnight. How many pages would it take to write all that down?
In the excerpt you provide, in response to my question, there is no reference to the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta. There is reference to teaching the Dhamma, but nothing that specifically mentions the sutta in question: SN 56.11.

The section of the linked text which refers to SN 56.11 begins:
Then the Lord addressed the group of five monks, saying: “These two (dead) ends, monks, should not be followed by one who has gone forth....
...and it ends:
Then the Lord uttered this solemn utterance: “Indeed, Koṇḍañña has understood, indeed, Koṇḍañña has understood.” Thus it was that Aññata Koṇḍañña became the venerable Koṇḍañña’s name.
There is nothing there about how long it took. I can see nothing in the link to indicate the time when the delivery of that sutta began, or ended, or how long it took. I might have missed it, of course - that's a big chunk of text - but if so, then it should be quite a simple matter to quote the relevant section indicating the timescale.

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