The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

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hsandeepani
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by hsandeepani » Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:45 am

Dear all,
It is not possible to prove that Buddhaghosha thero is incorrect. But it can easily be proved that Waharaka Abhayarathanalankara is wrong. Buddhaghosha thero is a much respected and accepted figure by world Buddhists for centuries. Those who are great masters of recent times such as Ajahn Chah, Mahasi Sayadaw, Rerukane Chandavimala, Pa Auk Sayadaw, Nauyane Ariyadhamma have accepted his work. It takes patience, gratitude and respect to these masters to follow the way and to be free of suffering.
With Metta,
Sandeepani :candle:

Lal
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:52 am

hsandeepani said:
It is not possible to prove that Buddhaghosha thero is incorrect.
Can you refute the evidence presented here:
https://puredhamma.net/historical-backg ... -analysis/
But it can easily be proved that Waharaka Abhayarathanalankara is wrong.
Please provide evidence. I have responded to a baseless critique that you put out:
viewtopic.php?f=46&t=30673
As I pointed out, there is no evidence presented in these videos.

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

Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:56 am

Two Types of Vinnana – We Have Control Over Kamma Vinnana

1. In the previous post, I described how six types of viññāna can arise via the six sense faculties. It gives rise to a state of mind that is either good, bad, or neutral based on one's gati (habits/character) and the sense object. This happens within a split second and we do not have any control over that.

On the other hand, there are many suttās that clearly state "viññāna nirōdha", or stopping the arising of viññāna (defiled consciousness) leads to Nibbana.  A succinct statement can be found in the “Dvaya­tānu­passa­nā­sutta (Sutta Nipata 3.12)“:
“Yaṃ kiñci dukkhaṃ sambhoti,
Sabbaṃ viññāṇapaccayā;
Viññāṇassa nirodhena,
Natthi dukkhassa sambhavo
“.

Translated: “Whatever suffering that arises, all that arises due to viññāṇa; With not arising of viññāṇa, there is no existence with suffering“.

- How do we reconcile those two observations?
-The key is that there are two types of viññāna[/b]: vipāka viññāna and kamma viññāna. What we discussed in the previous post (viññāna associated with INITIAL exposure to a sense input via the six sense faculties) are all vipāka viññāna.

2. Following the initial AUTOMATIC response to the sense input by the mind (that I discussed in the last posting), we start doing sankhāra consciously. Here, we generate NEW kamma via the process, "sankhāra paccayā viññāna". This gives rise to the second type of viññāna: kamma viññāna.
- For example, patisandhi viññāna, which is the state of mind at the moment of grasping a new bhava (new existence) is a vipāka viññāna; we cannot control it (Of course patisandhi viññāna belongs to one of the six types of viññāna that I discussed in the last post: mano viññāna).
- Patisandhi viññāna is a result of a past kamma that we did with a kamma viññāna at the time of doing that kamma.
For example, someone kills a human being with a kamma viññāna, and that gives rise to a kamma bija (kammic energy). That kamma bija can bring in a vipāka viññāna in the form of a patisandhi viññāna in the future.

3. A vipāka viññāna arises via, for example, "cakkhunca paticca rupeca uppaddati cakkhu viññānam". In this case it brings a sense input though eye faculty. Hearing a sound occurs via, "sotanca paticca saddeca uppaddati sōta viññānam".
- In contrast, a kamma viññāna arises due to acting with avijjā in paticca samuppada: "avijjā paccayā sankhāra, sankhāra paccayā viññāna", and those viññāna that arise via "cakkhunca paticca rupeca uppaddati cakkhu viññānam".
- Those sankhāra are the mano, vaci, and kaya sankhāra (which correspond to kamma or actions done with the mind, speech, and body) done at the time of committing that kamma. In the above example of a patisandhi viññāna, it is those (abhi)sankhāra that were involved in the killing.
- It is VERY important to distinguish between vipāka viññāna and kamma viññāna. Much confusion can be avoided by comprehending this key fact.

4. It is only this kamma viññāna, that arises via "sankhāra paccayā viññāna" that CAN BE stopped from arising (or nirōdha) by getting rid of avijjā, i.e.,cultivating panna (wisdom).
- Vipāka viññāna are the results of past causes. Those cannot be stopped, because those causes have been completed. When a bullet takes off from a gun due to the firing of the gun, that bullet cannot be stopped.
- As long as one lives in this world (even an Arahant) will be generating vipāka viññāna via "cakkhunca paticca rupeca uppaddati cakkhu viññānam", "sotanca paticca saddeca uppaddati sōta viññānam", etc. for the six sense faculties. An Arahant becomes aware of a sense input. An Arahant  has purified viññāna, not defiled viññāna.
- Furthermore, an Arahant's mind WILL NOT initiate PS cycles starting with "avijjā paccayā sankhāra", because he/she has stopped kamma viññāna from arising (nirōdha).

5. This "viññāna nirōdha" is accomplished via the removal of anusaya (latent or suppressed defilements in the mind). Sometimes it is said that they are "sleeping" waiting for an opportunity to be awakened.
- These latent defilements or anusaya can be awakened when a strong and tempting sense input comes in.
- For example, when one sees an attractive person, thoughts of lust can arise. When one sees an arch enemy, thoughts of anger can arise.

6. One has latent or "sleeping" defilements because one does not understand the real nature of this world: That doing immoral actions for temporary sense satisfaction can bring about dangerous outcomes (kamma vipāka) in the future.
- This is accomplished by cultivating the Noble Eightfold Path.
- For that one must comprehend the Four Noble Truths.
- The key to understanding the First Noble Truth (Dukkha Sacca) is to comprehend the "real nature of this world of 31 realms" or Tilakkhana: anicca, dukkha, anatta.
- These latent defilements are closely related to one's gati.

7. When one start following the Noble Path, one's bad gati will be gradually removed and good gati will be cultivated.
- An enormous change in one's gati will happen at the Sōtāpanna stage, when one realizes with certainty how unfruitful -- and dangerous -- it is to commit worst of the dasa akusala that could make one eligible to be born in the four lowest realms (apayas).
- Two of the key anusaya -- ditthi anusaya and vicikicca anusaya -- will be removed with the understanding of the anicca nature at the Sōtāpanna phala moment.

The above is a basic but condensed outline of how we do immoral actions with bad kamma viññāna in mind. I hope it is clear how kamma viññāna are different from vipāka viññāna that I discussed in the previous posting.

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Coëmgenu
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Coëmgenu » Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:42 pm

Lal wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:52 am
hsandeepani said:
It is not possible to prove that Buddhaghosha thero is incorrect.
Can you refute the evidence presented here:
https://puredhamma.net/historical-backg ... -analysis/
There is no evidence provided in the link. So no, no one can refute it.

Evidence would be an extant manuscript of the original Sinhala Mahāṭṭhakathā that differs significantly from the Pāli.

No such manuscript exists, no such evidence exists.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः

Lal
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:21 pm

Coemgenu said:
There is no evidence provided in the link. So no, no one can refute it.
How about this evidence that is directly from that post (#10, #11, #12):

10. Now we turn to the issue of Biddhaghosa introducing Hindu Vedic meditation techniques to Buddha Dhamma in his Visuddhimagga.

Here is a key passage from Buddhaghosa’s original Pali Visuddhimagga (p. 254 of Ref. 1): “Tattha dighama va assasantoti digham va assasam pavattayanto. Assasoti bahi nikkhamanavato. Passasoti anto pavisanavatoti vinayatthakathayam vuttam. Suttantatthakathasu pana uppatipatiya agatam. Tattha sabbesampi gabbhaseyyakanam matukucchito nikkhamanakale pathamam abbhantaravato bahi nikkhamati. Paccha bahiravato sukhumarajam gehetva abbhaantaram pavisanto talum ahacca nibbayati. Evam tava assapassasa veditabba“.

Bhikkhu Nyanamoli correctly translates this passage to English as follows (p. 265 of Ref. 2): “Herein, breathing in long (assasanto) is producing a long in-breath. ‘assasa is the wind issuing out; passasa is the wind entering in’ is said in the Vinaya Commentary. But in the Suttanta Commentaries it is given in the opposite sense. Herein, when any infant comes out from the mother’s womb, first the wind from within goes out and subsequently the wind from without enters in with fine dust, strikes the palate and is extinguished [with the infant’s sneezing]. This, firstly, is how assasa and passasa should be understood”.

So, above is concrete evidence that Buddhaghosa himself referred to Anapanasati as breath meditation. He specifically talked about the inhaling and exhaling air.
However, actual Buddhist Anapana bhavana is not breath meditation; see, “https://puredhamma.net/bhavana-meditati ... s-anapana/“.

11. The second problem that Buddhaghosa introduced in his Visuddhimagga was to present mundane kasina meditation as a viable path to Nibbana. He gives detailed explanations on how to make kasina objects in the chapters 4 and 5 in Ref. 1.

For example, he goes to minute details in describing how to make an “earth kasina” starting on. 118 of Ref. 1: “..Nilapitalohitaodatsambhedavasena hi cattaro pathavikasinadosa. Tasma niladivannam mattikam aggahetva gangavahe mattikasadisaya arunavananaya mattikaya kasinam katabbam..”.
Bhikkhu Nyanamoli translates (p. 123 of Ref. 2): “..Now the four fruits of the earth kasina are due to the intrusion of blue, yellow, red, or white. So instead of using clay of such colours, he should make the kasina of clay like that in the stream of Ganga, which is the colour of the dawn..”.
In the same way, Buddhaghosa goes to great details to describe how make other types kasina objects.

12. The critical point is that true Buddhist kasina meditation does not involve any physical kasina objects. If anyone can find a reference in the Tipitaka where it is described how to make a physical kasina object, I would appreciate receiving that reference.

The true Buddhist kasina meditation was described by the Buddha to Ven. Rahula in the Maha Rahulovada Sutta (Majjhima Nikaya, MN 62). It was explained to him as a part of Anapanasati bhavana, which can be done in many ways, but here by contemplating on internal body parts made of satara maha bhuta and realizing that external objects are also made with the same satara maha bhuta. Furthermore, that means there is nothing to be considered in one’s body as. “me, myself, etc”.
“..Ekamantaṃ nisinno kho āyasmā rāhulo bhagavantaṃ etadavoca: “kathaṃ bhāvitā nu kho, bhante, ānāpānassati, kathaṃ bahulīkatā mahapphalā hoti mahānisaṃsā”ti? “Yaṃ kiñci, rāhula, ajjhattaṃ paccattaṃ kakkhaḷaṃ kharigataṃ upādinnaṃ, seyyathidaṃ—kesā lomā nakhā dantā taco maṃsaṃ nhāru aṭṭhi aṭṭhimiñjaṃ vakkaṃ hadayaṃ yakanaṃ kilomakaṃ pihakaṃ papphāsaṃ antaṃ antaguṇaṃ udariyaṃ karīsaṃ, yaṃ vā panaññampi kiñci ajjhattaṃ paccattaṃ kakkhaḷaṃ kharigataṃ upādinnaṃ— ayaṃ vuccati, rāhula, ajjhattikā pathavīdhātu. Ya ceva kho pana ajjhattikā pathavīdhātu yā ca bāhirā pathavīdhātu, patha­vī­dhātu­revesā. Taṃ ‘netaṃ mama, nesohamasmi, na meso attā’ti—evametaṃ yathābhūtaṃ sammappaññāya daṭṭhabbaṃ. Evametaṃ yathābhūtaṃ sammappaññāya disvā pathavīdhātuyā nibbindati, pathavīdhātuyā cittaṃ virājeti.”.

The other three, apo, tejo, vayo are discussed in the same way there. One does not need to make kasina objects for true Buddhist kasina meditation, and as I said there is nowhere in the Tipitaka that discusses preparing kasina objects.

I actually left out many other things. For example, Buddhaghosa was unable to explain paticca samuppada either. But let us first discuss the above.

SarathW
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by SarathW » Sat Aug 25, 2018 1:00 am

It is fruitless to talk too much about hearsay statements even if it was in Tipitaka.
What you personally experienced is what really matters.
Ask your self whether the way you understand Aniicca will lead you to final liberation.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Coëmgenu
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Coëmgenu » Sat Aug 25, 2018 2:22 am

Lal wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:21 pm
Coemgenu said:
There is no evidence provided in the link. So no, no one can refute it.
How about this evidence that is directly from that post (#10, #11, #12):

10. Now we turn to the issue of Biddhaghosa introducing Hindu Vedic meditation techniques to Buddha Dhamma in his Visuddhimagga.

Here is a key passage from Buddhaghosa’s original Pali Visuddhimagga (p. 254 of Ref. 1): “Tattha dighama va assasantoti digham va assasam pavattayanto. Assasoti bahi nikkhamanavato. Passasoti anto pavisanavatoti vinayatthakathayam vuttam. Suttantatthakathasu pana uppatipatiya agatam. Tattha sabbesampi gabbhaseyyakanam matukucchito nikkhamanakale pathamam abbhantaravato bahi nikkhamati. Paccha bahiravato sukhumarajam gehetva abbhaantaram pavisanto talum ahacca nibbayati. Evam tava assapassasa veditabba“.

Bhikkhu Nyanamoli correctly translates this passage to English as follows (p. 265 of Ref. 2): “Herein, breathing in long (assasanto) is producing a long in-breath. ‘assasa is the wind issuing out; passasa is the wind entering in’ is said in the Vinaya Commentary. But in the Suttanta Commentaries it is given in the opposite sense. Herein, when any infant comes out from the mother’s womb, first the wind from within goes out and subsequently the wind from without enters in with fine dust, strikes the palate and is extinguished [with the infant’s sneezing]. This, firstly, is how assasa and passasa should be understood”.

So, above is concrete evidence that Buddhaghosa himself referred to Anapanasati as breath meditation. He specifically talked about the inhaling and exhaling air.
However, actual Buddhist Anapana bhavana is not breath meditation; see, “https://puredhamma.net/bhavana-meditati ... s-anapana/“.

11. The second problem that Buddhaghosa introduced in his Visuddhimagga was to present mundane kasina meditation as a viable path to Nibbana. He gives detailed explanations on how to make kasina objects in the chapters 4 and 5 in Ref. 1.

For example, he goes to minute details in describing how to make an “earth kasina” starting on. 118 of Ref. 1: “..Nilapitalohitaodatsambhedavasena hi cattaro pathavikasinadosa. Tasma niladivannam mattikam aggahetva gangavahe mattikasadisaya arunavananaya mattikaya kasinam katabbam..”.
Bhikkhu Nyanamoli translates (p. 123 of Ref. 2): “..Now the four fruits of the earth kasina are due to the intrusion of blue, yellow, red, or white. So instead of using clay of such colours, he should make the kasina of clay like that in the stream of Ganga, which is the colour of the dawn..”.
In the same way, Buddhaghosa goes to great details to describe how make other types kasina objects.

12. The critical point is that true Buddhist kasina meditation does not involve any physical kasina objects. If anyone can find a reference in the Tipitaka where it is described how to make a physical kasina object, I would appreciate receiving that reference.

The true Buddhist kasina meditation was described by the Buddha to Ven. Rahula in the Maha Rahulovada Sutta (Majjhima Nikaya, MN 62). It was explained to him as a part of Anapanasati bhavana, which can be done in many ways, but here by contemplating on internal body parts made of satara maha bhuta and realizing that external objects are also made with the same satara maha bhuta. Furthermore, that means there is nothing to be considered in one’s body as. “me, myself, etc”.
“..Ekamantaṃ nisinno kho āyasmā rāhulo bhagavantaṃ etadavoca: “kathaṃ bhāvitā nu kho, bhante, ānāpānassati, kathaṃ bahulīkatā mahapphalā hoti mahānisaṃsā”ti? “Yaṃ kiñci, rāhula, ajjhattaṃ paccattaṃ kakkhaḷaṃ kharigataṃ upādinnaṃ, seyyathidaṃ—kesā lomā nakhā dantā taco maṃsaṃ nhāru aṭṭhi aṭṭhimiñjaṃ vakkaṃ hadayaṃ yakanaṃ kilomakaṃ pihakaṃ papphāsaṃ antaṃ antaguṇaṃ udariyaṃ karīsaṃ, yaṃ vā panaññampi kiñci ajjhattaṃ paccattaṃ kakkhaḷaṃ kharigataṃ upādinnaṃ— ayaṃ vuccati, rāhula, ajjhattikā pathavīdhātu. Ya ceva kho pana ajjhattikā pathavīdhātu yā ca bāhirā pathavīdhātu, patha­vī­dhātu­revesā. Taṃ ‘netaṃ mama, nesohamasmi, na meso attā’ti—evametaṃ yathābhūtaṃ sammappaññāya daṭṭhabbaṃ. Evametaṃ yathābhūtaṃ sammappaññāya disvā pathavīdhātuyā nibbindati, pathavīdhātuyā cittaṃ virājeti.”.

The other three, apo, tejo, vayo are discussed in the same way there. One does not need to make kasina objects for true Buddhist kasina meditation, and as I said there is nowhere in the Tipitaka that discusses preparing kasina objects.

I actually left out many other things. For example, Buddhaghosa was unable to explain paticca samuppada either. But let us first discuss the above.
You are confusing evidence with assertions. You have many assertions. You don't have evidence. I'm still waiting for that manuscript. I would even accept a reconstruction of the original.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः

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Coëmgenu
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Coëmgenu » Sat Aug 25, 2018 3:31 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 2:22 am
Lal wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:21 pm
[...]
You are confusing evidence with assertions. You have many assertions. You don't have evidence. I'm still waiting for that manuscript. I would even accept a reconstruction of the original.
Most of this is much ado about the Visuddhimagga. I don't care about those claims. Every meditation teacher teaches differently. Venerable Buddhaghoṣa is an ancient teacher. It makes sense that maybe his ways of explaining either aren't relevant to the present day or are wrong. Many in the present-day disagree with Ven Buddhaghoṣa's text and they do not come from Ven Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero's sect. So you and he are in good company.

We are talking about Sinhala vs Pāli Mahāṭṭhakathā.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः

Lal
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:49 am

Let us keep the discussion rational and thoughtful. This is not a courtroom where lawyers make heated arguments. We all want to uncover the original teachings of the Buddha and we need to find a systematic way to do that.

I propose the following procedure. We can revise it if anyone can make any of it better.

1. The goal of a Buddhist is to attain Nibbana, and Nibbana is defined by the Buddha as “ragakkhayo Nibbanan, dosakkhayo Nibbanan, mohakkhayo Nibbanan”. Nibbana is attained in a long process. But as one gets rid of greed, hate/anger, and ignorance (of the Four Noble Truths), one starts feeling Nibbana gradually (cooling down of one’s mind), and the progress is enhanced at the four stages of magga phala (Sotapanna etc).

2. Controversies arise when we discuss what the Buddha taught on how to get rid of greed, hate, and ignorance from one’s mind. But we can follow three basic guidelines to throw away bad interpretations and keep the good ones that make sense.
- A given interpretation MUST be consistent with #1 above.
- It MUST be also self-consistent, i.e., explanation of one concept must be consistent with the explanation of another concept. This is a proven method in modern science, and that is how science is making progress. I will give an example in 5 below.
- One can verify for oneself if one can actually start feeling the “cooling down” as one follows the correct interpretations.

3. If we can find a self-consistent interpretation within the Tipitaka that is also consistent with #1 above, there is no need to refer to other interpretations. Why make it harder than necessary? Again, this is the procedure followed by modern science: the simplest explanation that does not contradict the fundamental axioms is the best.

4. If we don’t follow these (or whatever guidelines we come with), then we will be just going around in circles. Once we find that someone’s interpretation is not consistent with the ultimate goal of #1 above OR it is inconsistent with another concept within that interpretation itself, then we MUST not go back to that interpretation.

5. In my post on Buddhaghosa’s Visuddhimagga, I have pointed out that two of his major interpretations are not consistent with #1 above.
- Focusing the mind on a one’s breath or on a kasina object can SUPPRESS greedy/hateful/ignorant thoughts and thus provide some cooling down. But that will not lead to a permanent solution in GETTING RID OF the hidden anusaya (that I have explained in recent posts). Put it in another way, one MUST get rid of one’s bad habits/character (gati) by learning the true Dhamma AND by following it.
- Others have pointed out many other problems. For example, on pp. 15-16 in his “Nibbana – The Mind Stilled” series, Ven. Nanananda points out that Visuddhimagga and another commentary of Buddhaghosa are inconsistent with #1 above.

6. Therefore, it does not make any sense to continue to use Buddhaghjosa’s works and to quote his commentaries. With such gaping errors, there is no justification to call them reliable sources of information on Buddha Dhamma.
- SarathW and Coemgenu have not provided any reasonable arguments to counter my evidence against Visuddhimagga. Just making statements is not enough.

7. Finally, Coemgenu said:” We are talking about Sinhala vs Pāli Mahāṭṭhakathā.”
- There are three commentaries written in Pali that are still with the Tipitaka: Nettipakarana, Patisambhidamagga Pakarana, and Petakopadesa. All subsequent Sinhala atthakatha have been destroyed.
- But those original commentaries are sufficient to help us find correct interpretations.
- The material at the puredhamma.net website is consistent with #1 above, with the Tipitaka with its three commentaries, and is also self-consistent. I welcome anyone to point out any inconsistencies.

8. By the way, I also want to also point out that the discussion that we had over the key concept of vinnana over the past week or so, is a good example to see that this above procedure works: Attaining Nibbana is synonymous with cleansing one’s defiled vinnana. - If anyone can point out a problem with my explanation of what is meant by vinnana, we can discuss that too.
- No matter what we do, we should follow some established guidelines. As I said, I am open to modifying/adding to the above suggestions if it can be improved.
- Otherwise, this process of just quoting incorrect interpretations will only lead to confusion.

SarathW
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by SarathW » Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:28 am

I have no objection to your methology.
What I am saying is your interpretation of Anatta is not in agreement with #1
I have read Visuddhimaga few times. In my opoinion it is consistent with Anapanasati Sutta and Satipathana.
Not by word to word by in essense.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:42 am

SarathW said:
I have no objection to your methology.
I am glad to hear that. We are making progress.
What I am saying is your interpretation of Anatta is not in agreement with #1
As I said, it does not do any good to the discussion to make statements. WHY do you say that? What is your evidence that my interpretation of anatta is not consistent with the definition of Nibbana, and your interpretation is correct?

On the other hand, I have explained BOTH many times: why my interpretation is consistent and yours -- that it means "no-self" -- is not consistent with the Tipitaka. At least go back and read them and point out what is wrong with what I stated. But PLEASE do not quote others. If you understand a concept, you should be able to explain it in your own words (with references to Tipitaka or its commentaries).

I am not going to respond if you keep making statements without evidence.

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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by SarathW » Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:01 am

yours -- that it means "no-self" -- is not consistent with the Tipitaka.
Are you saying there is a self?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Coëmgenu
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Coëmgenu » Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:58 pm

Lal wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:49 am
6. Therefore, it does not make any sense to continue to use Buddhaghjosa’s works and to quote his commentaries. With such gaping errors, there is no justification to call them reliable sources of information on Buddha Dhamma.
- SarathW and Coemgenu have not provided any reasonable arguments to counter my evidence against Visuddhimagga. Just making statements is not enough.
Let us keep the discussion rational and thoughtful. This is not a courtroom where lawyers make heated arguments.

I feel this is a misinterpretation. What I said was that I did not think it mattered how Ven Buddhaghosa personally taught meditation. The only claim I am interested in seeing substantiated are the claims about the Pāli Mahāṭṭhakathā.

Also you introduced a new claim, namely, that the original commentaries were "destroyed", but maybe you simply meant they were lost to time.

Who on earth would "destroy" the original commentaries? Occam's razor, if the originals were not preserved in their own line of transmission, it is more likely because the Pāli versions were semantically identical, if phonologically divergent.

Precedence for this would be the Sanskrit lines of transmission, which are largely identical to Prākrit lines coming from the same shrāvaka dispensation.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः

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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:21 pm

I'm no expert on the history of Pali and Sinhala pronunciation, and so on, but some of these links may be of interest:
Dhammanando wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:49 pm
Lal wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:16 pm
2.Those European scholars, when they first came across the Asoka pillars, came to the conclusion that Pali was a later iteration of Sanskrit. Of course, there were no Pali manuscripts in India except for the Asoka pillars. This is very clear in Allen’s book. If one really wants to understand the historical developments, one must read that book.

So, they immediately connected anicca to anitya, and anatta to anatma.
Nonsense. There are hundreds of parallel passages in Sanskrit Buddhist texts where Pali nicca appears as Sanskrit nitya, anicca as anitya, attā as ātmān, and anattā as anātmān.
....
For some comments on Sinhala pronunciation of Pali, which relates to these arguments see:
Mat: Metta is naturally written as ‘meththa’ by sri lankans, according to how it is pronounced in Sinhalese.

This is a common phenomenon in the pronunciation of Indo-Aryan speakers. ... .
...
However, in the Sinhala tradition people are mostly unaware of these phonological distinctions, so they really believe that the English ‘th’ sound is equivalent to the Sinhala and Pali dental ‘t’, hence erroneous spellings like ‘meththa’. The truth is they are not, and the story of that Sri-Lankan group believing that people got the meaning of ‘atta’ (‘aththa in their spelling’) and half of other doctrinal terms all wrong because of the spelling shows us that this Romanization had better be avoided to prevent confusion in both the Pali and Sinhala context :anjal:

https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/sc ... y/10410/23
Piya Tan:
ANICCA OR ANICCHĀ
...
fb180825 piya
https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/an ... ss/9623/55
:heart:
Mike

Lal
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:36 pm

Coemgenu said:
Also you introduced a new claim, namely, that the original commentaries were "destroyed", but maybe you simply meant they were lost to time.
Who on earth would "destroy" the original commentaries?
Again, you are picking on a small detail, not the overall picture.
I did not mean to emphasize the fact that during 277-304 CE, Mahāvihāra (which had been the center of Buddha Dhamma with a seven-story library) was burnt to the ground. It is documented in the following post. But the point is that this was when most of the Sinhala Atthakatha were lost. We need to understand that there were no printing presses at that time as I pointed in an earlier post; those texts were hand written on specially prepared leaves. Luckily there were few copies of the Tipitaka spread across the island in bits and pieces. If one needs to get a good idea, one should read the references given in the following post, which copy from the website (more posts at "https://puredhamma.net/historical-background/"):

Incorrect Thēravada Interpretations – Historical Timeline
April 29, 2017

1. Degradation of Thēravada Buddha Dhamma occurred gradually over the past 1500 years, but two drastic changes took place during that time: (i) Buddhaghōsa’s introduction of Hindu meditation techniques 1500 years ago, (ii) misinterpretation of anicca and anatta by the European scholars when they translated both Tipitaka and Visuddhimagga to English in the late 1800’s.

In several posts following this post in this section, I will provide evidence for the above (see bullet #7 below).
In this post I will discuss the historical timeline, which is critical to the discussion. I have combined two previous posts, “Thēravada: Problems with Current Interpretations of Key Concepts” and “Historical Timelines of Buddha Dhamma and Sri Lanka – End of Sinhala Commentaries” (and removed them) to come with this more concise post.
As I explained in earlier posts in this section, much worse distortions to Buddha Dhamma took place with branching out of various sects based on Mahāyāna, Zen, and Tibetan (Vajrayāna). It started with the rise of Mahāyāna in India about 500 years after the Buddha. Here we are focusing only on Thēravada Buddha Dhamma.

2. Here we look at the timeline of Thēravada Buddha Dhamma from the beginning, and see whether we can discern when the pure Dhamma started going underground. There are a few historical facts that most people agree on.
(BCE = Before Current Era, CE = Current Era = AD):

563 – 483 BCE: Buddha Gotama
377-307 BCE: The city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, was established by King Pandukabhaya. But there is evidence that human colonization in Sri Lanka goes back to at least 30,000 years; see the detailed article on Sri Lanka on Wikipedia: Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Sri_Lanka
247 BCE: Buddha Dhamma was introduced to the Sinhala Kingdom in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka by Ven. Mahinda Thero.
161-137 BCE: For the first time in history, King Dutugemunu united all of Sri Lanka under one kingdom.
29 BCE: Tipitaka (the version recited at the Third Buddhist Council —Dhamma Sangayāna — around 247 BCE), was written down in Sri Lanka at the Fourth Sangayāna, which was the last Sangayāna attended by all Arahants. This is the Pāli Tipitaka that has survived to this date.
100-200 CE: Ven. Maliyadeva, Last Arahant with psychic powers by some accounts, lived in Sri Lanka : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maliyadeva (However, it is likely that there have been “jati Sotapannas” who attained Arahanthood since then, but may not be that many).
100 BCE: It is likely that Mahāyāna Buddhism actually originated when the earliest Mahāyāna sūtras to include the very first versions of the Prajñāpāramitā series, along with texts concerning Akṣobhya Buddha, which were probably written down in the 1st century BCE in the south of India :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahāyāna
150-250 CE: Life of Nagarjuna; considered to be the founder of Mahāyāna Buddhism. Nagarjuna’s central concept was the “emptiness” (shunyata) of all dhammas. Most influential work is Mulamadhyamakakarika (Fundamental verses on the middle way).

2. It is clear that the Pāli Tipitaka that we have today has the original teachings of the Buddha, since it was written down by Arahants. However, Buddha Dhamma started to decline within 100-200 after it was written down.

Still, there was no significant impact on Thēravada Buddhism up to the writing of Visuddhimagga by Buddhaghōsa around 450 CE.
The other major work that influenced Thēravada teachings to date was Abhidhammattha Sangaha by Acariya Anuruddha, who was there around the same time as Acariya Buddhaghōsa. However, since not many people are knowledgeable in Abhidhamma, it has not impacted Thēravada to the same extent as Visuddhimagga.
The last, and most important misinterpretation took place much later, in the late 1800’s when early European scholars started translating the Tipitaka to English. That was when the key Pāli terms anicca and anatta were incorrectly translated as impermanence and “no-self”.

3. In order to first discuss the influence of Buddhaghōsa, let us look at the timeline of events that led his visit to Sri Lanka roughly 950 years after the Parinibbana of the Buddha. Here is a timeline compiled by Bhikkhu Nyānamoli, taken from his introduction to Ref. 1 (see the references below).

King Devanampiyatissa (307-276 BCE):

Arrival of Ven. Mahinda in Anuradhapura and establishing Dhamma in the kingdom of King Devanampiyatissa.
Mahāvihāra monastery founded by Ven. Mahinda.
King Vattagamini (104-88 BCE):

Abhayagiri monastery founded by the King and becomes separate from Mahāvihāra monastery.
Sensing insecurity, Mahāvihāra monastery writes down Tipitaka (away from the royal capital).
King Bhatikabhaya (20 BCE-9 CE):

Public disputes started to break out between Abhayagiri and Mahāvihāra monasteries.
King Vasabha (66-110 CE):

Sinhala commentaries on Tipitaka ended being recorded at any time after his reign.
King Voharika-Tissa (215-237 CE):

King supports both Mahāvihāra and Abhayagiri monasteries.
Abhayagiri adopts Vetulya (Mahāyāna?) pitaka.
King suppresses Vetulya doctrines.
King Gothabhaya (254-267 CE):

King supports Mahāvihāra monastery.
60 bhikkkhus in Abhayagiri banished by King for upholding Vetulya doctrines.
Indian Bhikkhu Sangamitta supports Abhayagiri monastery.
King Jettha-Tissa (267-277 CE):

King favors Mahāvihāra monastery; Sangamitta flees to India.
King Mahāsena (277-304 CE):

King supports Sangamitta, who returns from India.
Persecution of Mahāvihāra by King; its Bhikkhus driven from capital for 9 years.
Mahāvihāra with its libraries of seven stories burnt to the ground.
Sangamitta assasinated.
Rebuilding of Mahāvihāra.
King Sri Meghavanna (304-332 CE):

King favors Mahāvihāra.
Sinhala monastery established at Buddha Gaya in India.
King Jettha-Tissa II (332-334 CE):

Dipavamsa composed.
Some of Buddhadatta Thera’s works.
King Mahānama (412-434 CE):

Buddhaghōsa arrives in Sri Lanka and composes Visuddhimagga and other works.
4. I really recommend reading the Introduction to the English translation of Visuddhimagga by Ven. Nyānamoli (Ref. 1). To quote Ven. Nyānamoli (starting on p. xxvii of Ref. 1):

“…Now by about the end of first century B.C. E. (dates are very vague), with Sanskrit Buddhist literature just launching out upon its long era of magnificence, Sanskrit was on its way to become a language of international culture. In Ceylon the Great monastery (Mahāvihāra), already committed by tradition to orthodoxy based on Pāli, had been confirmed in that attitude by the schism of its rival, which now began publicly to study the new ideas from India. ……In the first century C.E., Sanskrit Buddhism (“Hīnayāna”, and perhaps by then Mahāyāna) was growing rapidly and spreading abroad. The Abhayagiri monastery would naturally have been busy studying and advocating some of these weighty developments while the Mahāvihāra has nothing new to offer. …….King Vasabha’s reign (66-110 CE) seems to be the last mentioned in the Commentaries as we have them now, from which it may lie dormant, nothing further being added. Perhaps the Mahāvihāra, now living only on its past, was itself getting infected with heresies. ……in King Mahāsena’s reign (277-304 CE) things came to a head. With the persecution of Mahāvihāra with royal assent and the expulsion of its bhikkhus from the capital, the Abhayagiri monastery enjoyed nine years of triumph. But the ancient institution rallied its supporters in the Southern provinces and the king repented. The bhikkhus returned and the king restored the buildings, which had been stripped to adorn the rival”.

“Still, the Mahāvihāra must have foreseen, after this affair, that unless it could successfully compete with the “modern” Sanskrit in the field of international Buddhist culture by cultivating Pāli at home and aboard it could assure its position at home. It was a revolutionary project, involving the displacement of Sinhala by Pāli as the language for the study and discussion of Buddhist teachings, and the founding of a school of Pāli literary composition. ………It is not known what was the first original Pāli composition in this period; but the Dipavamsa (dealing with historical evidence) belongs here (for it ends with Mahāsena’s reign and is quoted in the Samantapasadika, and quite possibly the Vimuttimagga (dealing with practice), was another early attempt by the Mahāvihāra in this period (4th century) to reassert its supremacy through original Pāli literary composition”.

5. Here is another account of the destruction of the original Mahāvihāra during the reign of King Mahāsena (277-304 CE) from Ref. 2 (p. 46): “..the Mahā-vihāra, the Brazen Palace, and all such religious edifices, built by generosity of devout kings and pious noblemen for the use of the orthodox Sangha, were razed to the ground. Some three hundred and sixty-four colleges and great temples were uprooted and destroyed, says an ancient chronicle (Nikaya-Sangraha, p.14), ..”.

6. Thus it is clear that the historical tradition of compiling Sinhala commentaries (on Tipitaka) was abandoned somewhere in the 4th century or even before that, and many of the original Sinhala Atthakatha could have been burnt when the original Mahāvihāra was burned. A concerted effort was initiated by the Mahāvihāra to compile literature in the Pāli language to counter the onslaught by Sanskrit Mahāyāna literature in India that was benefiting the Abhayagiri monastery. The appearance of Buddhaghōsa on the scene in the early fifth century accelerated this effort to compile Pāli literature.

More details can be found in the Mahāvamsa, the Pāli historical account of the history of Sri Lanka compiled in the 5th century (Ref. 3).
However, most accounts in the Mahāvamsa — especially regarding the history of Sri Lanka — are not correct. I will write a post on this issue later.
However, since Mahāvamsa was written around the time of Buddhaghōsa, it is possible that accounts about Buddhaghōsa may be correct.

7. In the next two posts, “Buddhaghōsa and Visuddhimagga – Historical Background” and “Buddhaghōsa’s Visuddhimagga – A Focused Analysis“, I will discuss the events leading to Buddhaghōsa’s writing of Visuddhimagga, and how it introduced the first major contamination of Buddha Dhamma by incorporating Hindu vedic meditations — breath mediation and kasina mediation.

The second major contamination — which has been even more damaging — was the incorrect translation of anicca and anatta as impermanence and “no-self”. This is discussed in the last two posts: “Background on the Current Revival of Buddha Dhamma” and “Misintepretation of Anicca and Anatta by Early European Scholars“.

References
1. The Path of Purification (Visuddhimagga), by Bhadantacariya Buddhaghōsa (translated by Bhikkhu Nyānamoli), BPS Edition, 1999. The Introduction (by Bhikkhu Nyānamoli) provides the historical background.

2. Pāli Literature of Ceylon, by G. P. Malasekara (Bharatiya Kala Prakashan, Delhi, 1928), 2010 edition.

3. THE MahāVAMSA – The Great Chronicle of Lanka, by Wilhelm Geiger (1912); click on the link to access the English document by Geiger.

– සරල සිංහල මහාවංසය (Sinhala Translation of Mahāvamsa, by Vijayasiri Vettamuni, (Sri Devi Printers, 2002; fourth printing 2013).

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