The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

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Lal
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Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:39 am

Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal »

Since we discussed in the previous post that sense desires possible for a living being depend on the realm, it is a good idea to continue that discussion and get a basic idea about the general characteristics of the three main categories: kama loka, rupa loka, and arupa loka.
- As we know, kama loka includes the four lowest realms, human realm and six deva realms.
- Rupa loka has 16 rupavacara brahma realms and the arupa loka has 4 arupavacara brahma realms.
- It is not necessary to understand all the details, but it is good to have a general idea of the characteristics of these different realms.

31 Realms Associated with the Earth

1. There are many things in “this world” that we cannot see, hear, etc (i.e., perceive with our six senses). Scientists admit that they cannot account for 96% of the “stuff” that makes our universe; read the book, “The 4 Percent Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality”, by Richard Panek (2011), or Google “dark energy, dark matter” for more information.

- There are also many energy forms that apparently do not have significant mass (or weight) but exist out there in the world.
- A good example is the fact that we are totally unaware of the huge amounts of “information” that surrounds us. There are hundreds and thousands of radio and television signals in a major city. Yet, we cannot see or hear any of those programs (i.e., we are unaware of their existence) without having a radio or a television “tuned” to the correct frequency.
- In the same way, we are totally unaware of the existence of the 31 realms that are centered around the Earth. Living beings in some of those realms live side-by-side by us, but we are unaware of them. Most of these beings are “more like energy forms” than solid matter that we are used to.
- With better detection technologies we may be able to communicate with some of these living beings with fine bodies in the future. Of course, those who develop abhiññā powers can also see some of them. We will get back to this issue below, but let us first discuss the relative locations of the 31 realms.

2. Buddha Dhamma says there are 31 realms associated with each habitable planetary system (cakkavāla), and there are infinite number of them in the universe (this latter fact has been confirmed by science).

- Modern science is gradually confirming this wider world view explained by the Buddha 2500 years ago; see, “Dhamma and Science – Introduction“.
- However, only a few hundred years ago, Western world accepted a universe that centered around the Earth with stars “embedded in a celestial sphere”; see, “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celestial_spheres“.
- So, we can clearly see that Buddha knew about the universe than what scientists know even today. In the future, it will be confirmed that there are many "star systems" with "Earth-like planets" with living beings.

3. In the post, “The Grand Unified Theory of Dhamma – Introduction“, we described a model for the 31 realms that consisted of 31 concentric “shells”. The actuality is pretty much close to that analogy, with some additional features. I have also compiled a summary of the 31 realms in the table “31 Realms of Existence“. But here is a summary:

- The sphere with 31 concentric shells overlaps the Earth. The lowest realm, niraya (or hell) is located deep inside the Earth.
- The next four realms (preta, asura, animal, and human) are located closer to the Earth’s surface. There are some preta apāyās deep inside the Earth, but some pretās live on the surface. Asurās also live on the surface, but mostly in remote locations such as the ocean and isolated mountains. Both pretās and asurās cannot be seen by the humans.
- There are many suttas in the Tipitaka that describe those three realms (niraya, preta, asura) in detail. We will discuss in the future. The Peta Vatthu in the Khuddaka Nikaya of the Tipitaka describes pretās as well as gandhabbās.

4. Of course, humans and animals live on the surface of the Earth. It must be noted that gandhabbās only belong to either the human or animal bhava. Those gandhabbās are waiting for a suitable womb to be born with human (or animal) bodies; see the section: Gandhabba (Manomaya Kaya).

- Thus we say that those gandhabbās are in para lōka (nether world), even though they live alongside us with very fine bodies that we cannot see. I have discussed Tipitaka references in the post: "Gandhabba State – Evidence from Tipitaka", Oct 28, 2018 (p.43).
- By the way, gandhabbas are in human and animal realms. The other realms do not have gandhabbas.
- So, our world is much more complex than we think.

5. Then come the 6 realms for the devas. The lowest of the 6 realms are again located on the surface of the Earth; those devas are called Bhummatta devas, and they belong to the Cātummahārājika deva realm; see, “31 Realms of Existence“. They live mostly in their residences (deva vimāna) based on trees. Of course, we cannot see them or their “residences”.

- The higher 5 deva realms extend out from the Earth.
- The 16 rupa realms extend even higher above the Earth.
- The 4 arupa lōka realms are located even further from the Earth.
- All these realms are concentric with Earth’s center. As the Earth spins around its axis and rotates around the Sun, all 31 realms move along with the Earth, just like the human realm does.
- Buddha has named these various realms in several key suttas, for example, in Dhammacappavattana Sutta (SN 56.11) and Maha Samaya Sutta (DN 20).

6. In general, beings in higher realms can “see” or “perceive” those in the lower realms, but not the other way around. For example, devas can see us, but cannot see the rupi or arupi brahmās. Rupi brahmās can see devas, but cannot see the arupi brahmās.

- There are only traces of “real matter” (suddhāshtaka) in the arupa realms. Thus beings in the other 27 realms cannot “see” or”perceive” those arupi brahmās.
- When one develops abhiññā powers, one is said to be able “see” successively higher realms. Of course, one needs to be able to get into the fourth jhana in order to develop such abhiññā powers. Eventually, when one develops the eighth jhana (and able to get into attha samāpatti), one could be able to see many of the 31 realms.

7. Now let us look at “things” in this world from a different perspective. A key premise of Buddha Dhamma is that “energy” is embedded in spin (bhamana in Pāli; bramana or බ්‍රමණ in Sinhala) and rotation (paribbhamana in Pāli; bramana or පරිබ්‍රමණ in Sinhala).

- The smallest unit of matter, a suddhāshtaka, does not stay still. Depending on its rotation or spin (bhamana) and its rotation around something else (paribbhamana), other “modes of energy” and “types of rupa” arise.
- It is easy to visualize by considering the motions of the Earth. We all know that the Earth rotates (paribbhamana) around the Sun, and it takes a year to complete one revolution around the Sun.
- While doing that the Earth rotates around its own North-South axis; this is the spinning (bhamana). It takes a day for the Earth to complete one such spin.
- Here is a nice video that discusses this universal feature:



- There are infinite number of such cakkavāla (star systems or a collection of planets revolving around a star) in our universe. Each planet in such a “star system” undergoes spin around its own axis and rotation around the star. This has been confirmed by science within the past hundred years.
- Each of those cakkavāla could have “Earth-like” planets with its own 31 realms.

8. Scientists have also confirmed that all elementary particles (the smallest particles scientists can detect) have spin. Furthermore, in an atom the electrons can be said to “rotate” around the nucleus, in a crude analogy with the Earth rotating around the Sun.

- Then our Solar system rotates too. The next higher conglomerates (for example galaxies) also undergo rotation. Because of these rotations, all these structures tend to flatten out. For example, in our Solar system, all the planets are on a plane. In the same way, all galaxies in a galaxy cluster in a flattened disk.
- Therefore, even though we see a very calm starry night sky, things out there are in constant motion, not to mention very violent explosions of stars (supernova) that occur a billion times a year in the visible universe.
- This is why the realities out there are much more different than what we perceive with our very crude sense faculties. All the atoms and molecules in our bodies are in constant motion, not to mention the spins and rotations of uncountable suddhāshtaka that constitute them.
- Thus everything around us is in constant flux. Our senses are just not capable of detecting them.

9. Modern science has also enabled us to see more and more of living beings around us. For example, the Western world was not aware of the existence of microscopic living beings until the advent of the microscope by Leeuwenhoek in the late 17th century: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonie_van_Leeuwenhoek.

- Now we know that there are billions of living beings on or in the body of a human being: “There are as many creatures on your body as there are people on Earth!“:https://puredhamma.net/new-revised-post ... on-earth/.
- Hopefully, new technologies will enable us to “see” many living beings belonging to the preta, asura, and deva realms — as well as gandhabbās — in the future.
- Even though there are some claims of detection of horrible sounds from the niraya deep inside the Earth, they have not been confirmed; see, “Does the Hell (Niraya) Exist?“.

10. It needs to be emphasized that as one moves up to higher realms, it is easy see to that attachments to the material aspects decreases, and correspondingly, number of sense faculties is reduced.

- In the kāma lōka, one has all six sense faculties. Even there, the higher deva realms have “less strong sense contacts” with less dense bodies that we cannot see.
- The bodies of rupi brahmās are much more fine compared to kāma lōka devas, and of course they do not have touch, taste, and smell sensations.
- The density of “matter” becomes so fine in higher rupa lōka realms that even in the final destruction of a cakkavāla (in a supernova explosion), the realms above the Abhassara realm (realm #17) are not destroyed. Of course the four arupa realms are also not destroyed. This is why the lifetimes of those realms are much longer than a single mahā kappa (an aeon or the age of universe); see, “31 Realms of Existence“.

11. Let us discuss the reasons as to why we cannot see the other 29 realms, and how it would be possible to “see them”. Also, we will discuss the relative locations of these other realms as described by the Buddha.

- The main reason that we are not aware of most other realms is that most living beings (and their realms) are not made of “dense” matter that our world (with humans and animals) is made of.
- The four arupa realms are mostly devoid of even the smallest unit of matter (suddhāshtaka); Realms in the rupa lōka and even in the deva realms of the kāma lōka are made of very fine matter that we cannot see.
- The beings in the niraya (hell) have very dense bodies that can be subjected to various forms of torture; of course that realm is located deep inside the Earth.

12. Even though we are used to the “ghana saññā” or the perception of “solid tangible physical bodies” of humans and animals, those physical bodies are actually inert.

- They all start with a single cell (zygote) in a mother’s womb that we cannot even be seen. As we discussed in the post, “Buddhist Explanations of Conception, Abortion, and Contraception“ (https://puredhamma.net/three-levels-of- ... ha-dhamma/, a gandhabba merges with that zygote that was formed by the union of a mother and a father.
-Before entering the womb, that gandhabba had a fine body similar to that of a rupi brahma. Then that cell grows by taking in food first from the mother and then by eating once coming out of the womb. What we are enamored with “my body” is just the accumulation of inert matter.
- A human bhava may not end at the physical death of the solid body that lives about 100 years. A human bhava may last thousands of years, and that life stream continues its existence in many “physical bodies” with the gandhabba as the basis; see, "Bhava and Jāti – States of Existence and Births Therein" Oct 27, 2018 (p. 43) and "Gati to Bhava to Jāti – Ours to Control" Nov 15, 2018 (p. 47).

13. For example, in rebirth stories, the physical bodies in successive births are different, even though there may be some similarities; see, “Evidence for Rebirth“. In between successive lives, the life stream continues just in the form its core, the gandhabba.

- The solid body of a few hundred pounds that we consider to be “me”, is just a shell. When the gandhabba leaves the body — either at death or sometimes during a heart operation (see, “Manomaya Kaya and Out-of-Body Experience (OBE)“), it has no attributes of life.
- This is a good way to contemplate on the “ghana saññā” or to really realize that our physical bodies are mostly dead matter; a shell that the gandhabba resides in. If a person of 300 pound loses 100 pounds of weight, really that person “lose” one third of his/her identity? It is the same person, because the gandhabba is the same.
- All beings in the 31 realms eventually have “mental bodies” that are very fine comparable to that of a gandhabba; that cannot be seen even with the finest microscope.

14. Finally, this overall picture gives us a perspective on how foolish we are to focus on the material wealth, titles, etc. for at most 100 years in this life. By living a moral life, and by doing meritorious deeds we can make a much bigger “investment” on the future by accruing merits that could lead to rebirths in deva or brahma deva worlds where there much less suffering with no physical illnesses.

- But even in those higher realms, there is the inevitability of death no matter how long the lifetimes are. Most of all, there is no escape from the possibility of future births in the lowest four realms with so much suffering. Thus Nibbāna is the only permanent solution.
- We need to understand this "wider world view" of the Buddha in order to really understand the First Noble Truth of Suffering. It is about this un-ending rebirth process where one can and will be born in the lowest realms until one attains Nibbana.
- Nibbana is a "destination" that is outside the 31 realms. It exists, but cannot be described in our terminology.
- This is the key message of the Buddha. There is no Buddhism without rebirth, see, " “Rebirth in Early Buddhism?” Nov 17, 2018 (p. 49) AND Nov 18, 2018 (p. 49).

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khemindas
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by khemindas »

So, after analyzing this neo-Lankan idea, that Anicca allegedly is not impermanence, I decided, as always, to turn to the suttas. I did not find the definition of the word anicca in suttas, but I found another way to figure out what Anicca is, for this we can refer to the suttas in which the word anicca goes along with other words to underline the meaning. And what are these words? So there are the following words going along with the word anicca: painful, subject to change, passive, changeable, conditioned, arisen dependent, subject to destruction, extinction, termination, impersonal, you should not cling to it, subject to destruction, disintegration, extinction, termination, unsatisfactory, illness, boil, [poisoned] arrow, disaster, illness, alien, decaying, empty, created from aging and death, the source of the disease, perishable, flowing, which can't avoid changing.
I think there is no need to continue, it obviously follows from these synonyms that Anicca is impermanence rather than inability to maintain, and even if anicca would be inability to maintain, then this argument says if the cancer is impermanent it turns out to be suffering, we can apply to the phrase if cancer is unable to maintain, then it turns out suffering as well. It turns out the same discrepancy. And the thing is that the word anicca cannot be applied to the characteristic of dukkha, since dukkha already comes from anicca. So, the teaching of Vaharaka Abhayaratanalankara is just another heresy that decided to advertise on an unusual approach and a patriotic - national idea.

Lal
Posts: 492
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:39 am

Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal »

This post is a continuation of the discussion in the the last two posts, but as I emphasize below, it would be better for those who have not read the earlier posts from around November  1 to read those too (of course only for those who are interested in learning).

P.S. I revised the post about 10 hours after the initial posting. I hope that this revised version would be a bit more better.

Types of Bodies in the 31 Realms and Manōmaya Kaya

1. There are three main categories that the 31 realms can be divided into: kāma lōka, rūpa lōka, and arūpa lōka.

- Living beings in the kāma lōka are in 11 realms: four lowest realms (apāyās), human realm and six dēvā realms.
- Rūpa lōka has 16 rūpāvacara brahma realms. A “rūpāvacara brahma” means a brahma in the rūpa lōka.
- Arūpa lōka has 4 arūpāvacara brahma realms.

2. Different sets of sense faculties are associated with beings in those three types of “lōka”.

- Those in the arūpa lōka have just the mind. Therefore, the only rūpa (or matter) associated with an arūpi brahma is the hadaya vatthu, which is of the size of the smallest unit of matter in Buddha Dhamma called a suddhāshtaka.
- That suddhāshtaka is much smaller than an atom in modern science. So, we cannot see these beings. It is important to note that cannot even see many microscopic beings that live among us, like those in drinking water. Just because we cannot see them, it does mean they do not exist.

3. Those in the rūpa lōka have just three sense faculties: eyes, ears, and the mind.

- But the eyes and ears are not solid and tangible things like the physical eyes and ears that we or the animals have. 
Seeing and hearing for those rūpāvacara brahmas happen with the aid of cakkhu and sota pasāda rūpa. Each of those two are also of the size of a suddhāshtaka.
- Therefore, even for a rūpāvacara brahma, the whole "body" is made of basically three suddhāshtaka, unimaginably small. This collection of hadaya vatthu and the two pasāda rūpa is called the manōmaya kaya of that brahma.
- An arūpāvacara brahma has a manōmaya kaya that has only a hadaya vatthu.
Therefore, even with the aid of the most sophisticated microscope it will be impossible see any of brahmas in those 20 realms.

4. In fact ALL BEINGS have the basic sense faculties of the size of a suddhāshtaka each. The basic sensing unit for a kāmāvacara being has six units for seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touch, and thinking.

- Any kāmāvacara being (including humans, animals, and dēvās) has a “fine body” with those unseen five sense faculties called “pasāda rūpa”: cakkhu pasāda rūpa for seeing, sota pasāda rūpa for hearing, ghana pasāda rūpa  for tasting, jivhā pasāda rūpa for smelling, kāya pasāda rūpa for touching.
- These five sets of pasāda rūpa and the hadaya vatthu make up the “mental body” or “manōmaya kaya” of a kāmāvacara living being.
- It is easy to see that a rūpāvacara brahma has a manōmaya kaya with just two pasāda rūpa (for seeing and hearing) and a hadaya vatthu for thinking. An arūpāvacara brahma has just the hadaya vatthu for the mind.In fact, that is pretty much all what those brahmas have.

5. The physical (solid) eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and the body of a kāmāvacara being (human or animal) just act as "sensing equipment" to collect external signals. 

- Then the brain processes those signals and send to the manōmaya kaya that is inside this solid body. I will explain this in the next post.
- This is why even for humans, the essence is in the manōmaya kaya. The solid body is just an inert shell that is "powered by" the manōmaya kaya. When the manōmaya kaya comes out at death, the physical body becomes inert just like a log of wood.

6. This “manōmaya kaya” is the one that takes hold of the zygote in a womb at conception. That zygote is made by the union of the mother and father; see, “Buddhist Explanations of Conception, Abortion, and Contraception”,  Nov 15, 2018 (p. 47).

- A gandhabba that descends to the womb originally has a bit more denser body than this manōmaya kaya. In addition to the “manōmaya kaya”, it has a “material body” too, but that is still too fine to be seen by us. When the gandhabba enters the womb, that “material body” is shed and only the “very fine manōmaya kāya” combines with the zygote.
- As discussed in that post, that zygote is the cell formed by the union of the mother and father and is well understood in modern science. Of course modern science is not aware of the manōmaya kāya of the gandhabba that merges with the zygote.
- In fact, scientists do not know how that zygote becomes a “new life”, a brand new living being.
Gandhabba is discussed at: Gandhabba State – Evidence from Tipitaka  Oct 28, 2018 (p.43) and in other posts.

7. Now that zygote with the manōmaya kaya, starts diving into more and more new cells. The energy needed for making those new cells comes from the mother (i.e., from the food eaten by the mother).

-That initial single cell grows to a baby of the size that comes out of the womb after nine months. Now, we can see that the critical manōmaya kaya -- with those basic sensing faculties –- is negligibly small compared to that baby.
- Of course once outside the womb, the baby grows by eating food and eventually grows to an adult. Virtually all solid matter in an adult is just lifeless matter. This is why a person can lose one-third or even half of the body mass, and still remain the "same person".

8. Therefore, there is not much in the heavy solid body that really defines that "person". All the key aspects are in the mental body or the manōmaya kaya.

- That solid body is made alive by the manōmaya kaya with the hadaya vatthu and the five pasāda rūpa. Hard to believe but that is what happens.
- At the death of the physical body, that manōmaya kaya comes out. When it comes out, it also has a very fine “physical type” body that resembles the body of the person that just dies. That combined fine body is really “ghost-like” and can be seen by even some people. That is what is called gandhabba and it now waits for another suitable body to enter, if there more kammic energy for the “human bhava” is left.

9. I hope this is not too complicated, especially with those Pāli words. But it is not possible to translate some of those Pāli words, because there are no English words for terms like pasāda rūpa. In any case, it is better to understand the meaning of each of those key Pāli words and just use those words.

- It may take some effort to absorb all this in. but it will be fully worthwhile. In the near future, I should be able describe what is really meant by other key Pāli words like anicca and anatta using this fundamental “blueprint” of a living being.
- I encourage those who are interested to repeatedly go through the relevant posts made after about November 1, 2018 (during the past month or so). These series of posts are all inter-related and will form a self-consistent picture in the end. Then it will be much easier to really understand the true teachings of the Buddha.

Lal
Posts: 492
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:39 am

Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal »

I have written many posts during the past two years or so, but thought about writing sequentially starting with the basics (and critical foundational aspects) only about a month ago. In order to make it easier for people new to this thread (and also for even who have been reading), I have sorted out the posts within the past 5 months or so.

They are in three categories, and of course my future posts will continue in the first category. Yet those posts in the other two categories are also important, and are relevant. I will also refer to them as needed.

I will respond only to meaningful comments, and sincere questions seeking clarification. If there is anything in these posts that contradicts the Tipitaka, I would be happy to address them. My goal is to be 100% compatible with the Tipitaka. It is self-consistent and we do not need any other sources. As I have explained with evidence, such "extra" material will only lead to confusion. If I make any mistakes, I would be happy to correct them.

Summary of Posts within the Past Several Months

Recommended Sequence of Posts
Mahā Cattārisaka Sutta (Discourse on the Great Forty) Tue Oct 23, 2018 (p.42); this explains why one needs to complete mundane eightfold path before getting into the Noble Eightfold Path.
“Can or Should a Lay Follower Eliminate Sensual Desires?” published September 26, 2018 (p. 33).
Wrong Views (Miccā Ditthi) – A Simpler Analysis Wed Oct 24, 2018 (p.43).
Ten Types of Miccha Ditthi Two posts on Nov 16, 2018 (p. 48).
Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta Oct 10, 2018 (P. 37) AND Oct 11, 2018 (p. 37) AND Oct 15, 2018 (p. 39).
“Rebirth in Early Buddhism?” Nov 17, 2018 (p. 49) AND Nov 18, 2018 (p. 49).
Pathama Niraya Sagga Sutta (AN 10.210): Causes for Rebirth in Good and Bad Realms Nov 19, 2018 (p. 49) AND Tue Nov 20, 2018 (p. 50).
How the Buddha Described the Chance of Rebirth in the Human Realm Wed Oct 31, 2018 (p.43).
Gandhabba State – Evidence from Tipitaka Sun Oct 28, 2018 (p.43).
Buddhist Explanations of Conception, Abortion, and Contraception Nov 15, 2018 (p. 47).
The Law of Attraction, Habits, Character (Gati), and Cravings (Asavas) Thu Oct 25, 2018 (p.43).
Post on habits (Pali word “gati”, but gati is more that habits) on August 18, 2018 (p. 22).
How Habits are Formed and Broken – A Scientific View Nov 28, 2018 (p. 50).
Bhava and Jāti – States of Existence and Births Therein Sat Oct 27, 2018 (p. 43).
Gati to Bhava to Jāti – Ours to Control Nov 15, 2018 (p. 47).
Why is it Necessary to Learn Key Pali Words? Oct 08, 2018 (p. 36).
Combination of Words (Sandhi) in Pali with Key Roots Nov 09, 2018 (p. 44).
Translation of Tipitaka Pali Words to English Nov 12, 2018 (p. 45), Nov 13, 2018 (p.46), and Nov 14, 2018 (p.46).
Dasa Kusala and Dasa Akusala – Fundamentals in Buddha Dhamma Nov 21, 2018 (p. 50).
Dasa Kusala and Dasa Akusala – Fundamentals in Buddha Dhamma – Continued Nov 22, 2018 (p. 50).
Part 1 (Nibbana): Three Kinds of Happiness Nov 23, 2018 (p.50).
Part 2 (Nibbana): How Does Abstaining from Dasa Akusala Lead to Happiness? Nov 24, 2018 (p. 50).
- More posts on deeper aspects of Nibbana to follow.
Kāmaccandha and Icca – Being Blinded by Cravings Nov 26, 2018 (p. 50).
Kāmaccandha Is Not There in Brahma Realms – The Bigger Picture in the 31 Realms Nov 29, 2018 (p. 50).
31 Realms Associated with the Earth Nov 30, 2018 (p. 51).
Types of Bodies in the 31 Realms and Manōmaya Kaya Dec 01, 2018 (p. 51).

Other Important Posts
“Why Sanskrit texts should not be used to learn Buddha Dhamma” and that would be breaking Vinaya rules for bhikkhus on August 26, 2018 (p. 24).
“Incorrect Thēravada Interpretations – Historical Timeline” August 25, 2018 (p. 23). Another post on the historical background before that on August 25, 2018 (p. 23).
On the group of five (on the Five Ascetics attaining Sotapanna stage with Dhammacakkappavattana suatta) Text from the Vinaya Pitaka Oct 12, 2018 (p. 38).
What Am I Trying to Achieve at This Forum? Oct 07, 2018 (p. 36).
Post on why kasina and breath meditations are not in Buddha Dhamma (Tipitaka), but added on by Buddhaghosa’s Visuddhimagga: August 23, 2018 (p. 23).
“Problems with Buddhaghosa’s Visuddhimagga” August 29, 2018 (p. 26), August 29, 2018 (p. 27), August 30, 2018 (p. 27).
“Why I have high respect for Waharaka Thero” commented on September 23, 2018 (p. 33).
Total fabrications about a Waharaka Thero’s desana explained September 22, 2018 (p. 33).
Myths about the Sotapanna Stage Oct 08, 2018 (p. 36).

Key Pali Words and Concepts
Lōbha, Dōsa, Mōha versus Rāga, Patigha, Avijjā Nov 11, 2018 (p. 44).
Difference between Phassa and Samphassa Nov 08, 2018 (p. 44).
“Saññā – What It Really Means” explained September 14, 2018 (p. 31).
Vedana (Feelings) Tue Nov 06, 2018 (p. 44).
Sankhāra – What It Really Means Thu Nov 01, 2018 (p. 43).
Correct Meaning of Vacī Sankhāra Sat Nov 03, 2018 (p.43).
Free Will in Buddhism – Connection to Sankhāra Sun Nov 04, 2018 (p.44).
Clarification of vinnana on August 17, August 18, 2018 (p. 21).
“Vinnana is not contact (phassa)” explained September 21, 2018 (p. 32).
“Two Types of Vinnana – We Have Control Over Kamma Vinnana” explained August 21, 2018 (p. 23).
Difference Between Rupa and Rupakkhandha Mon Oct 22, 2018 (p. 42).
“Amazingly Fast Time Evolution of a Thought (Citta)” explained September 18, 2018 (p. 31).
“Nine Stages of a Thought (Citta)” August 19, 2018 (p. 22).
“Contamination of a citta in nine stages” explained September 19, 2018 (p. 31), September 21, 2018 (p. 32).
Critical Role of Memories – Nāmagotta Oct 04, 2018 (p. 35).
Citta Vithi – Processing of Sense Inputs : October 2, 2018 (p. 35).
Parimukham- Establishing Mindfulness in Front? October 5, 2018 (p. 35).
Nibbana meaning explained October 1, 2018 (p. 34).
Nimitta explained September 28, 2018 (p. 33) and September 29, 2018 (p. 34).
“Kamma vipaka cannot be conjectured about” commented on September 25, 2018 (p. 33).
Jhanic states explained September 2, 2018 (p. 30), September 9, 2018 (p. 30), and September 12, 2018 (p. 31).
Corrected one mistake I had done inadvertently on September 1, 2018 (p. 30).
“Samādhi, Jhāna, Magga Phala – Introduction” explained August 27, 2018 (p. 25).
“Two types of Samma Samadhi” explained in several posts on p. 25.
“Sabbe Dhamma anatta” explained in two posts on August 30, 2018 (p. 28).
Paticca Samuppada explained on August 5, 2018 (p. 16) and clarified in in following posts.
Dependent Origination (Paticca Samuppada) and on the fact that there are no rebuttals to my arguments” Jul 15, 2018 (p. 15).
“The real nature of viññāna as cause for suffering is clearly stated in the “Dvayatānupassanā sutta (Sutta Nipata 3.12)“: Jun 30, 2018 (p. 12) AND Jul 02, 2018 (two posts on P. 13)

Lal
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal »

From the last two posts on the "wider world of 31 realms" in Buddha Dhamma, we can easily see why both views of "self" and "no-self" are wrong.

In addition, we will analyze the important Ānanda Sutta (SN 44.10) to illustrate why translating "anatta" as "no-self" is wrong.

Anattā (Mundane Interpretation) - There is no "Unchanging Self"

1. These days, most people just translate the key Pāli word "anatta" simply as "no-self". However, just by looking at a few occurrences of "anatta" in the Tipitaka, we can clearly see that it needs to be interpreted in different ways, depending on the context.

- In fact, the words "attha", "atta", and "attā" can have many different meanings depending on the context.
- Even in English there are cases like this: The word "right" means two different things in "you are right" and "turn right". Even though it is pronounced the same way, "write" means something entirely different from both those meanings of "right".

2. Even though this a bit deep sutta, Ānanda Sutta (SN 44.10), provides a good basis to start a discussion on anatta. Just as now, many people in the days of the Buddha wondered whether a "self" or a "soul" (attā) exists. This is of course the mundane meaning of attā.

- Vacchagotta comes to the Buddha asked "kiṃ nu kho, bho gotama, atthattā”ti?" OR "Master Gotama, is it correct to say that there is a "self"?".
- Note that "atthattā" is "attha attā" where "attha" means "truth" and (as Vaccagotta meant in this case) "attā" to be "self". Thus, by saying "atthattā" Vacchagotta meant: "correct to say an attā exists".

3. The Buddha remained silent and Vacchagotta asked the question again in the negative form. The second time, he asked: "Kiṃ pana, bho gotama, natthattā”ti?" or, ""Master Gotama, is it not correct to say that there is a "self"?". Seeing that the Buddha is refusing to answer his question, Vacchagotta got up and left.

- Note that "natthattā" is  made up of three words: "na attha attā" which negates  "atthattā". 
- I have discussed some of these word combinations in Pāli: "Combination of Words (Sandhi) in Pali with Key Roots", Nov 09, 2018 (p. 44) and "Kāmaccandha and Icca – Being Blinded by Cravings", Nov 26, 2018 (p. 50).

4. When Vacchagotta left, Ven. Ānanda asked why the Buddha did not answer the question.

- The Buddha explained that if he answered in positive (i.e., there is a "self"), then he would be agreeing with those who had the wrong view that such a "self" exists. This view is called sassatavāda or the view that there is an "everlasting entity" (these days also called "a soul").
- If answered in negative (i.e., there is "no-self"), then he would be agreeing with those who had the wrong view that such a "self" does not exist. - This is called ucchedavāda or the view that the death of the body is the "end of a person", i.e., no re-birth.
- The Buddha rejected both views of "self" (sassatavāda) and "no-self"(ucchedavāda).

5. Just from that verse it is clear that if one takes "anatta" as "no-self", then one has  the wrong view taken by one faction of brahmins in the days of the Buddha: that of ucchedavāda.

- I was surprised to that the Sutta Central English translation says exactly what I explained in the #4 above; see, "[html]https://legacy.suttacentral.net/en/sn44.10[/html]". Directly quoting from that translation:
"If, Ānanda, when I was asked by the wanderer Vacchagotta, ‘Is there a self?’ I had answered, ‘There is a self,’ this would have been siding with those ascetics and brahmins who are eternalists. And if, when I was asked by him, ‘Is there no self?’ I had answered, ‘There is no self,’ this would have been siding with those ascetics and brahmins who are annihilationists."
- So, the translation of this verse is the same as mine. But the Sutta Central translation of the next verse uses the same meaning of "no-self" in ‘sabbe dhammā anattā’ and gets into a contradiction, as we discuss now.

6. Then the Buddha told Ven. Ānanda that any discussion on this topic would confuse Vacchagotta because he would then get mixed up with the deeper meaning of "anatta" in ‘sabbe dhammā anattā’, the "anatta nature": "Ahañcānanda, vacchagottassa paribbājakassa ‘atthattā’ti puṭṭho samāno ‘atthattā’ti byākareyyaṃ, api nu me taṃ, ānanda, anulomaṃ abhavissa ñāṇassa uppādāya: ‘sabbe dhammā anattā’”ti?". “No hetaṃ, bhante”.

- In fact, this the the confusion most people have today. They equate "anatta nature" in "sabbe dhammā anattā" with the "no-self" meaning of "anattā".
- "Sabbe dhammā anattā" needs to be translated as " all dhammā are of anatta nature", i.e., of "without essence", and that one would become "anattā" or "without refuge" if one does not comprehend the "anatta nature".

7. In the Sutta Central translation, the same mundane meaning ("no self")  is used for anatta in "sabbe dhammā anattā". 

- The verse in #6 is translated in the Sutta Central translation  as: "If, Ānanda, when I was asked by the wanderer Vacchagotta, ‘Is there a self?’ I had answered, ‘There is a self,’ would this have been consistent on my part with the arising of the knowledge that ‘all phenomena are nonself’?”.
- First of all, the statement "all phenomena are non-self", does not make any sense. Dhammā cannot have a "self" anyway. Here, the correct translation is something like, "all phenomena are of no real essence". We will discuss this in detail later.
- Furthermore, that translation, "all phenomena are non-self" is self-contradictory to the Sutta Central translation of previous verses in #5 above, where both "self" and "no-self" were shown to be rejected by the Buddha.

8. That is the danger in translating suttas word-by-word, without grasping the real meanings of Pāli words and without understanding that meanings depend on exactly in what context the word is used.

- Therefore, it should be quite clear that Vacchagotta's confusion is not different from the confusion that many people have today.
- However, Vacchagotta was able to grasp that distinction later on and became a bhikkhu. Ven. Vacchagotta became an Arahant.
- I sincerely hope those who have the wrong understanding today will also be able to see the truth at some point.

9. The deeper meaning of "anatta" will become clear as we discuss this in detail in the future, after more basic material is discussed. Without understanding those more basic concepts, it is dangerous to just translate a given key Pāli word like anatta using a generic English word(s).

- For now, we will postpone the discussion on the deeper meaning of "anatta" and just focus on "attā" and "anattā" in the sense of "self" and "no-self".

10. From the last two posts "31 Realms Associated with the Earth" of Nov 30, 2018 (p. 51) and "Types of Bodies in the 31 Realms and Manōmaya Kaya" Dec 01, 2018 (p. 51), we see that a given living being can be born in any of the 31 realms (actually a few realms are reserved for Anāgāmis).

- But the point is that a human in this life could be born a deva or a brahma or an animal or a preta in the next life. Would a human reborn as a dog have the same "self" as that human?
- So, it is quite clear that there in no "unchanging self".

11.  On the other hand, a human does not just become a deva or a brahma or an animal or a preta in the next life without underlying causes. It is not a random process.

- There is a continuation of the "lifestream" from this life to the next. The connection is made with one's gati and one's kamma vipaka accumulated in this and previous lives. This important and forgotten key word gati was discussed in several posts:"The Law of Attraction, Habits, Character (Gati), and Cravings (Asavas)" on Oct 25, 2018 (p.43); post on habits (Pāli word “gati”, but gati is more that habits) on August 18, 2018 (p. 22); "How Habits are Formed and Broken – A Scientific View" on  Nov 28, 2018 (p. 50); "Bhava and Jāti – States of Existence and Births Therein" on Oct 27, 2018 (p. 43); "Gati to Bhava to Jāti – Ours to Control" on Nov 15, 2018 (p. 47).
- This is why it is not correct to say that there is "no-self". There are "personality attributes" that flow from this life to the next. 
- That is what is explained in Paticca Samuppāda (PS) or Dependent Origination. As we know, PS cycles start with "avijjā paccayā sankhāra" and go through "bhava paccayā jāti". That explains how avijjā leads to future births (jāti).
- Roughly speaking, high levels of avijjā (or mōha) leads to births in the apāyās.

12. Therefore, from #10 and #11 we can see why the Buddha rejected both views of "an unchanging self" and "no-self".

- Rather, there is a next life (birth) according to the principle of Paticca Samuppāda, which is based on cause and effect , just like in modern science. We will discuss PS later. However, it is easy to see this with just an understanding of kamma and kamma vipāka.
- Basically, dasa akusala (and pāpa kamma or immoral deeds) lead to bad births and dasa kusala (and punna kamma or moral deeds) lead to good births.
- This was discussed briefly in two posts: "Dasa Kusala and Dasa Akusala – Fundamentals in Buddha Dhamma" Nov 21, 2018 (p. 50) and "Dasa Kusala and Dasa Akusala – Fundamentals in Buddha Dhamma – Continued", Nov 22, 2018 (p. 50).

Orinsine
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Orinsine »

I made an account for this express purpose. In the hopes that it may perhaps serve as another form of evidence that one may look to. I can only speak for myself, but, Lal's work at puredhamma has above and beyond done way more for my understanding of the whole of Buddhism than many other resources ever could. It is a shame that so many have assumed his intentions are in the wrong place and therefore have closed themselves off from giving what he has to say a fair chance. He has tirelessly worked to spread more information about it and to provide what he and I know to be true through our own lived experience. The insults and put-downs aimed at him have only served to undermine the fair criticisms that may or may not be raised. The obvious difference in respect that was afforded to other posters and the later ganging up in this forum goes against the way the Buddha exhorted us to act. All I ask is that some of you who may be visiting this forum give what Lal has to say a fair chance. One does not need to believe it immediately, but simply treat it as a theory to be tested. Barring all the years of historical tradition and the great teachers that follow different interpretations. Gently ignoring any preconceived notions one might have about Lal or Ven. Waharaka. Look at what he has to say without judgement and try it in your own life. Does anicca make more sense as an "inability to maintain something to one's own satisfaction?" or does impermanence make more sense. I don't wish to argue over that point, as discussion itself rarely leads to insight, it is only contemplation after the fact that does. But I cannot underestimate the massive difference even that very simple distinction made in my own life, and the later confidence it led to the Buddha's teaching as a whole. I know Lal is motivated by that same desire. To show others what ended up working and clicking with him in a way that none of the other interpretations possibly could. To assume he comes from a place of augmenting his own "sects" prestige or seeking to put down others is, although understandable, vastly misguided. I owe an enormous debt to both Lal and his teacher Ven. Waharaka Abhayatanalankara for what they have provided. I hope that some of you may benefit in the future as well.

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

Post by Sam Vara »

Orinsine wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:19 pm
I made an account for this express purpose. In the hopes that it may perhaps serve as another form of evidence that one may look to. I can only speak for myself, but, Lal's work at puredhamma has above and beyond done way more for my understanding of the whole of Buddhism than many other resources ever could. It is a shame that so many have assumed his intentions are in the wrong place and therefore have closed themselves off from giving what he has to say a fair chance. He has tirelessly worked to spread more information about it and to provide what he and I know to be true through our own lived experience. The insults and put-downs aimed at him have only served to undermine the fair criticisms that may or may not be raised. The obvious difference in respect that was afforded to other posters and the later ganging up in this forum goes against the way the Buddha exhorted us to act. All I ask is that some of you who may be visiting this forum give what Lal has to say a fair chance. One does not need to believe it immediately, but simply treat it as a theory to be tested. Barring all the years of historical tradition and the great teachers that follow different interpretations. Gently ignoring any preconceived notions one might have about Lal or Ven. Waharaka. Look at what he has to say without judgement and try it in your own life. Does anicca make more sense as an "inability to maintain something to one's own satisfaction?" or does impermanence make more sense. I don't wish to argue over that point, as discussion itself rarely leads to insight, it is only contemplation after the fact that does. But I cannot underestimate the massive difference even that very simple distinction made in my own life, and the later confidence it led to the Buddha's teaching as a whole. I know Lal is motivated by that same desire. To show others what ended up working and clicking with him in a way that none of the other interpretations possibly could. To assume he comes from a place of augmenting his own "sects" prestige or seeking to put down others is, although understandable, vastly misguided. I owe an enormous debt to both Lal and his teacher Ven. Waharaka Abhayatanalankara for what they have provided. I hope that some of you may benefit in the future as well.
Many thanks, Orinsine, and welcome to Dhamma Wheel. :hello:

If Lal or anyone else has been subjected to "insults and put-downs" on this forum, then these should be reported. They are against the Terms of Service, and such posts can lead to the posts being modified or removed or the poster being warned.

freedom
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by freedom »

Orinsine wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:19 pm
Does anicca make more sense as an "inability to maintain something to one's own satisfaction?" or does impermanence make more sense.
I am wondering why you cannot maintain something to your own satisfaction?
One should not be negligent of discernment, should guard the truth, be devoted to relinquishment, and train only for calm - MN 140.

Lal
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal »

Thank you for the kind posts, Orinsine and Sam Vara!
-As I have said before, my only goal here is to provide an introduction to the “true and pure dhamma of the Buddha” that has been -- in my opinion -- hidden for many hundreds of years. Of course, it is up to each individual to decide for oneself.

Freedom said: “I am wondering why you cannot maintain something to your own satisfaction?”
- That statement pertains more to the rebirth process, even though it is also true in this life (even those things that one has been able to maintain in this life will have to be given up when one dies). One’s future births are not what one desires or wishes. This was pointed out in the most recent post “Anattā (Mundane Interpretation) - There is no "Unchanging Self" of Dec 3. Impermanence is just one aspect of anicca nature. The whole idea of the systematic approach is to provide answers to such questions regarding the anicca, dukkha, and anatta. Buddha Dhamma is much deeper than most people think. If one is serious about learning, one could follow the recommendations in the recent post: "Summary of Posts within the Past Several Months" posted on Dec 2.

As mentioned in the above two posts, I recently I realized that instead of repeating some material at puredhamma.net, I can do a better job by posting a series starting with the basics. One question that a new reader coming to puredhamma.net asks is, “where to start?”. Hopefully, this current approach will be more beneficial than what I did before at this forum, responding to various questions and jumping from one topic to another.
- However, please do not hesitate to ask questions. This is a discussion forum and I hope we can have fruitful discussions. However, they must be based on the Tipitaka and not mere speculations. Furthermore, please keep questions to the current topic. It would be a distraction to jump from one topic to another.

In a recent post, I promised that I would provide details of how the mental body (gandhabba) inside the physical body of a human receives external signals through eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and the body. Then I realized that is too technical at this stage in the current attempt to provide a systematic approach to Buddha Dhamma.
Those who really want to see the details can read the following post at puredhamma.net:
"Brain – Interface between Mind and Body": [html]https://puredhamma.net/abhidhamma/gandh ... -and-body/[/html]

In the past, I mostly just copied and made a few adjustments to existing posts at puredhamma.net. However, now I need to spend a bit more time to “keep up with a consistent progression” which may require some re-writing. Therefore, I may not be able to post almost every day as I used to do in the past few months.

Spiny Norman
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Spiny Norman »

Orinsine wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:19 pm
Does anicca make more sense as an "inability to maintain something to one's own satisfaction?" or does impermanence make more sense.
Doesn't the "inability to maintain something to one's own satisfaction" represent dukkha?

As the suttas say, "what is impermanent is unsatisfactory". Anicca and dukkha.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

freedom
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by freedom »

Lal wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:38 am
Freedom said: “I am wondering why you cannot maintain something to your own satisfaction?”
- That statement pertains more to the rebirth process, even though it is also true in this life (even those things that one has been able to maintain in this life will have to be given up when one dies).
Even if I will need to give something up, this does not mean that I do not satisfy with it or I will be in trouble.

When I gave up my little money to a beggar, I am happy. Not disappointed.

When I am getting old, I give up my job. This does not mean that I no longer satisfy with that job.

I cannot maintain my failed business, so I gave it up. That was the best thing that I did.
One should not be negligent of discernment, should guard the truth, be devoted to relinquishment, and train only for calm - MN 140.

Lal
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal »

Dinsdale wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:57 am
Orinsine wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:19 pm
Does anicca make more sense as an "inability to maintain something to one's own satisfaction?" or does impermanence make more sense.
Doesn't the "inability to maintain something to one's own satisfaction" represent dukkha?

As the suttas say, "what is impermanent is unsatisfactory". Anicca and dukkha.
Yes. If something is impermanent, not possible to maintain to one’s satisfaction, breaks down unexpectedly or become injured or sick, not possible to stop aging, not possible to stop dying,… all these describe the anicca nature.
- So, impermanence is just one aspect of anicca nature.

In any of those cases, that leads to suffering (dukkha). It is true that the opposite also happens and one can become happy at times. But old aging and death can never be stopped.

Furthermore, suffering in the rebirth process (where one gets births that one does not like) is the main type of suffering that the Buddha emphasized.
- The Buddha explained that a living being is born in the apayas (four lowest realms) most of the time. Births in higher realms (human or above) is rare.
- This is why anicca nature leads to suffering. Because of that one becomes helpless in the rebirth process (when one is born especially in bad realms (apayas). That is the end result and it is called the anatta nature.
- It is not possible to grasp the seriousness of the suffering that the Buddha emphasized if one does not believe in the rebirth process.
- That is why not believing in the rebirth process is one of the 10 types of wrong views (miccha ditthi).

In the Samyutta Nikāya (Anicca Vagga), many suttas including Ajjhattanicca Sutta (SN 35.1), Bahiranicca Sutta (SN 35.4), and Yadanicca sutta (SN 22.15), the Buddha stated that the three characteristics of “this world” are RELATED to each other:

yadaniccam tam dukkham, yam dukkham tadanattā” (“yad aniccam tam dukkham, yam dukkham tad anattā“), i.e.,

if something is anicca, dukkha arises, therefore anatta”.

@freedom: See the comment above. What you describe is just within this life, and even then does not take into account other aspects.

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

Post by Sam Vara »

Lal wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:36 pm

Furthermore, suffering in the rebirth process (where one gets births that one does not like) is the main type of suffering that the Buddha emphasized.
Is it? There are several suttas where the Buddha seems to emphasise the suffering experienced in this lifetime. For example, in the Maha-Dukkhakkhandha Sutta (The "Great Sutta on the Mass of Suffering"), he lists the drawbacks attendant on sensuality. There is a long list of drawbacks "visible here and now", some of them quite gruesomely depicted. Cold, heat, mosquitoes and flies, dying from hunger or thirst; gaining no wealth and the associated despair in which he "sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught"; quarrels and fights which destroy families and cause death and deadly pain; pitched battles involving wounding and various deaths; sieges involving even more painful slaughter; and crimes which are punished with a long list of protracted and horrific tortures. In contrast, the reappearance after death in planes of deprivation and hell is dealt with in one short paragraph, involving no graphic descriptions.

Similarly, in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, the suffering listed is all to do with this life, makes no mention of post mortem suffering, and is summarised as consisting of the five clinging-aggregates.

So it seems that the Buddha sometimes emphasised suffering in this life.

freedom
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by freedom »

Lal wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:36 pm
Dinsdale wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:57 am
Orinsine wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:19 pm
Does anicca make more sense as an "inability to maintain something to one's own satisfaction?" or does impermanence make more sense.
Doesn't the "inability to maintain something to one's own satisfaction" represent dukkha?

As the suttas say, "what is impermanent is unsatisfactory". Anicca and dukkha.
Yes. If something is impermanent, not possible to maintain to one’s satisfaction, breaks down unexpectedly or become injured or sick, not possible to stop aging, not possible to stop dying,… all these describe the anicca nature.
- So, impermanence is just one aspect of anicca nature.

In any of those cases, that leads to suffering (dukkha). It is true that the opposite also happens and one can become happy at times. But old aging and death can never be stopped.

Furthermore, suffering in the rebirth process (where one gets births that one does not like) is the main type of suffering that the Buddha emphasized.
- The Buddha explained that a living being is born in the apayas (four lowest realms) most of the time. Births in higher realms (human or above) is rare.
- This is why anicca nature leads to suffering. Because of that one becomes helpless in the rebirth process (when one is born especially in bad realms (apayas). That is the end result and it is called the anatta nature.
- It is not possible to grasp the seriousness of the suffering that the Buddha emphasized if one does not believe in the rebirth process.
- That is why not believing in the rebirth process is one of the 10 types of wrong views (miccha ditthi).

In the Samyutta Nikāya (Anicca Vagga), many suttas including Ajjhattanicca Sutta (SN 35.1), Bahiranicca Sutta (SN 35.4), and Yadanicca sutta (SN 22.15), the Buddha stated that the three characteristics of “this world” are RELATED to each other:

yadaniccam tam dukkham, yam dukkham tadanattā” (“yad aniccam tam dukkham, yam dukkham tad anattā“), i.e.,

if something is anicca, dukkha arises, therefore anatta”.

@freedom: See the comment above. What you describe is just within this life, and even then does not take into account other aspects.
I cannot maintain my failed business to my own satisfaction, so I gave it up. However, I am happy that I did so.
Per your definition of anicca above, this will lead to dukkha. Do you mean that after death, I will suffer because of that business?

I failed to keep my money in good shape, so I gave up my little money to a beggar and I am happy. Do you mean after death, I will suffer because of that action?

What other aspects that I am missing?
One should not be negligent of discernment, should guard the truth, be devoted to relinquishment, and train only for calm - MN 140.

Lal
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal »

Sam Vara said: “There are several suttas where the Buddha seems to emphasise the suffering experienced in this lifetime. For example, in the Maha-Dukkhakkhandha Sutta (The "Great Sutta on the Mass of Suffering"), he lists the drawbacks attendant on sensuality. “

Of course. It is true that there is suffering one does experience in this itself: sicknesses, depression, injuries, old age, etc and finally death. Those are described in great detail in the Maha-Dukkhakkhandha Sutta as you mentioned. But the point is that we go through this birth after birth.

The Assu Sutta (SN 15.3) and other suttas in SN 15 (Anamatagga Samyutta) explain the suffering associated with the rebirth process that has no discernible beginning.
- Sutta Central English translation of that sutta which state that all the tears that one has shed for the death of one’s mother in past lives alone is greater than the waters in the four great oceans: Tears (SN 15.3): [html]https://legacy.suttacentral.net/en/sn15.3[/html].

It is very difficult to even imagine the length of the rebirth process, which is infinite. For an intersting account of infinity, see, "The Beginning of Infinity" by David Deutsch, a physicist.
- There are several suttas in SN 15 that describe this unimaginable length of samsara (rebirth process). Majority of those are in lower realms with high-levels of suffering. This is very much compatible with the account in the above book.

However, by attaining Nibbana (Arahanthood), one cannot overcome all the suffering in this life, even though it can be lessened to some extent. Rather the main goal is to stop future suffering, especially in rebirths in lower realms.
- For example, Ven. Moggalana was beaten to death. That was a kamma vipaka that even he could not stop. However, that is last event of suffering that he would experience, because there would be no more rebirths.

Sam Vara said: “Similarly, in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, the suffering listed is all to do with this life, makes no mention of post mortem suffering, and is summarised as consisting of the five clinging-aggregates.”

let us look at how the Buddha summarized the First Noble Truth about suffering in that sutta (SN 56.11).

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 pañcu¬pādā¬nak¬khan¬dhā 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.
- So, each time one is reborn one undergoes inevitable suffering. And that suffering is much higher in the lowest four realms (apayas).
- This is why the Buddha uttered these words of joy in the same Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta: “ayam antimā jāti, natthi dāni punabbhavo” OR “This is my last birth; no more rebirths (and no more suffering for me)”.

This suffering associated with the rebirth process in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta was discussed further by Ven. Saripuatta in the “Saccavibhanga Sutta (MN 141): Discourse on The Analysis of the Truths”:https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

The detailed explanation of the part “yampicchaṃ na labhati tampi dukkhāṃ” is explained as:
"What is meant by not getting what one desires, that too is suffering? To beings subject to birth there comes desire: 'O might we not be subject to birth, and birth not come to us.' But this cannot be attained by mere desiring..”

Even though we think birth is an auspicious event, births in some realms are outright scary. For example, see the Devaduta sutta (MN 130): [html]https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html[/html].
- Even humans cannot bear certain life events and that is why some commit suicide. Of course, they cannot overcome the suffering that way, because they will be reborn whether they like it or not. That happens according to Paticca Samuppada (Dependent Origination).

Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta was discussed in detail in three posts: Oct 10, 2018 (P. 37) AND Oct 11, 2018 (p. 37) AND Oct 15, 2018 (p. 39).

However, it must be noted that Buddha’s message is NOT a depressing one.
- Whether there is a Buddha in the world or not, this suffering exists. This suffering is real but there is way to overcome that suffering.
- Without a Buddha we will not even be aware of this hidden suffering. Furthermore, a Buddha FINDS A WAY (Noble Eightfold Path) to stop this perpetual suffering. That is the uplifting message.

This is why the Udāna section of the Tipitaka has many “happy verses” from bhikkhus and bhikkhunis who had attained the Arahanthood. Just like the Buddha expressed his joy in overcoming the rebirth process in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, they expressed their joy in their own words in those udāna verses.
Last edited by Lal on Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:54 am, edited 2 times in total.

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