The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

A forum for Dhamma resources in languages other than English
SarathW
Posts: 10371
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by SarathW » Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:01 pm

On the other hand, I have asked several questions from those who did not agree with my explanations. Those questions have not been answered.
Mare a fresh post if you need an answer to a particular topic.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

Lal
Posts: 245
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:39 am

Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:00 am

I am listing my recent posts below. As one reads those it will become clear that my questions have not been answered on all those topics: vinnana, sanna, paticca samuppada, anicca, anatta, breath and kasina meditations are not in the Tipitaka, why using Sanskrit texts is breaking Vinaya rules, etc.

Citta Vithi explained: October 2, 2018 (p. 35)
Parimukham explained 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)
“Can or Should a Lay Follower Eliminate Sensual Desires?” published September 26, 2018 (p. 33).
“Kamma vipaka cannot be conjectured about” commented on September 25, 2018 (p. 33).
“Sankhāra – What It Really Means” published September 24, 2018 (p. 33).
“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).
“Vinnana is not contact (phassa)” explained September 21, 2018 (p. 32).
“Amazingly Fast Time Evolution of a Thought (Citta)” explained September 18, 2018 (p. 31).
“Contamination of a citta in nine stages” explained September 19, 2018 (p. 31), September 21, 2018 (p. 32).
“Saññā – What It Really Means” explained September 14, 2018 (p. 31).
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).
“Sabbe Dhamma anatta” explained in two posts on August 30, 2018 (p. 28).
“Problems with Buddhaghosa’s Visuddhimagga” August 29, 2018 (p. 26), August 29, 2018 (p. 27), August 30, 2018 (p. 27).
“Samādhi, Jhāna, Magga Phala – Introduction” explained August 27, 2018 (p. 25).
“Two types of Samma Samadhi” explained in several posts on p. 25.
“Why Sanskrit texts should not 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).
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).
“Two Types of Vinnana – We Have Control Over Kamma Vinnana” explained August 21, 2018 (p. 23).
“Nine Stages of a Thought (Citta)” August 19, 2018 (p. 22).
Post on habits (Pali word “gati”, but gati is more that habits) on August 18, 2018 (p. 22).
Clarification of vinnana on August 17, August 18, 2018 (p. 21).
Paticca Samuppada explained on August 5, 2018 (p. 16) and clarified in in following posts.

There are many posts before that, but I just don’t have time to go through them.

If there are clearly formulated questions, I would be happy to answer them. But just making statements without evidence from the Tipitaka will not get us anywhere, and thus I will not answer those.

SarathW
Posts: 10371
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by SarathW » Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:14 am

I am listing my recent posts below.
Sorry, what I meant was making a fresh OP (new topic) for each of your questions.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

Ryan95227
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2015 3:29 am

Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Ryan95227 » Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:07 pm

Lal wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:00 am
I am listing my recent posts below. As one reads those it will become clear that my questions have not been answered on all those topics: vinnana, sanna, paticca samuppada, anicca, anatta, breath and kasina meditations are not in the Tipitaka, why using Sanskrit texts is breaking Vinaya rules, etc.

Citta Vithi explained: October 2, 2018 (p. 35)
Parimukham explained 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)
“Can or Should a Lay Follower Eliminate Sensual Desires?” published September 26, 2018 (p. 33).
“Kamma vipaka cannot be conjectured about” commented on September 25, 2018 (p. 33).
“Sankhāra – What It Really Means” published September 24, 2018 (p. 33).
“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).
“Vinnana is not contact (phassa)” explained September 21, 2018 (p. 32).
“Amazingly Fast Time Evolution of a Thought (Citta)” explained September 18, 2018 (p. 31).
“Contamination of a citta in nine stages” explained September 19, 2018 (p. 31), September 21, 2018 (p. 32).
“Saññā – What It Really Means” explained September 14, 2018 (p. 31).
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).
“Sabbe Dhamma anatta” explained in two posts on August 30, 2018 (p. 28).
“Problems with Buddhaghosa’s Visuddhimagga” August 29, 2018 (p. 26), August 29, 2018 (p. 27), August 30, 2018 (p. 27).
“Samādhi, Jhāna, Magga Phala – Introduction” explained August 27, 2018 (p. 25).
“Two types of Samma Samadhi” explained in several posts on p. 25.
“Why Sanskrit texts should not 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).
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).
“Two Types of Vinnana – We Have Control Over Kamma Vinnana” explained August 21, 2018 (p. 23).
“Nine Stages of a Thought (Citta)” August 19, 2018 (p. 22).
Post on habits (Pali word “gati”, but gati is more that habits) on August 18, 2018 (p. 22).
Clarification of vinnana on August 17, August 18, 2018 (p. 21).
Paticca Samuppada explained on August 5, 2018 (p. 16) and clarified in in following posts.

There are many posts before that, but I just don’t have time to go through them.

If there are clearly formulated questions, I would be happy to answer them. But just making statements without evidence from the Tipitaka will not get us anywhere, and thus I will not answer those.
I'd like you to answer stormbro's questions. I may be clueless but generally i see you clinging to venerable thero. In my mind state a person who has attained what you claimed on puredhamma.net would mostly be from hateful/lustful/greedful attachments. Person, upon seeing several people here not posting accurately under delusion, would observe this phenomena for what it is. He will be sympathetic and not resort to saying "just going to ignore useless comments or keep saying "im not angry" or using extremes to saying this is the TRUTH this is what is ULTIMATE" He will simply see all of it as for what it is. As Buddha even said "not to trust even his teachings" I was dissapointed in you being very extreme and protective about entire teachings. You would have carefully answered most of the challenging questions and maybe accept your errors if there is any. I'm wondering what your take is.

Lal
Posts: 245
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:39 am

Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:16 pm

Ryan 95227 said:
I'd like you to answer stormbro's questions.
Please post a specific question. Let us start with the most important one. You can copy it from there and post it, so that I know what the specific question is.

freedom
Posts: 198
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2014 1:44 am

Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by freedom » Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:09 pm

Lal wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:16 pm
Please post a specific question. Let us start with the most important one. You can copy it from there and post it, so that I know what the specific question is.
I am a simple person and have very limited knowledge about the Dhamma, so I have a very simple question: "How do we know that we are clinging to something? and how can we practically cut off that clinging?"
One should not be negligent of discernment, should guard the truth, be devoted to relinquishment, and train only for calm - MN 140.

Lal
Posts: 245
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:39 am

Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:57 pm

freedom said:
I am a simple person and have very limited knowledge about the Dhamma, so I have a very simple question: "How do we know that we are clinging to something? and how can we practically cut off that clinging?"
Good question. These are the issues that need to be resolved first.

One should first think about WHY the Buddha said to get rid of clinging or cravings.
The answer can be given at various levels. But at the very basic level, cravings can lead to very bad consequences.

1. For example, people commit bad akusala like stealing and rape to satisfy their cravings: to get money or material things to “enjoy life” in the first and to satisfy sexual cravings in the second.
- Now, they may or may not get caught and suffer in this life itself. But kammic consequences cannot be avoided. One WILL pay for such misdeeds or akusala either in this life, or in future lives.
- If one believes in laws of kamma (as the Buddha taught), then just by contemplating on such bad consequences, one can get rid of cravings for such drastic actions.
- But if one does not believe in laws of kamma, then it would be easier for that person (even unthinkingly) to commit such drastic kamma IF THE temptation becomes strong enough.
- Some people do not believe in rebirth, so they think if they can be clever enough to avoid getting caught, there will be no consequences, since they do not believe in kamma vipaka in future lives.

The bottom line is that such strong bad kamma can lead to rebirths in the lower four realms (animal realm included), per Buddha Dhamma.

2.If one does believe in Buddha’s teachings, then there are more levels to think about. I will just briefly discuss the next level.
- One’s future births depend on the (good and bad) kamma that one has done in this life AND in past lives. This is described in paticca samuppada. It starts with “avijja paccaya sankhara” and leads to “bhava paccaya jati”, where jati are the births. The very bad births discussed above are due strong version of avijja called moha. But here, one is not really doing immoral things, but “unfruitful things” due to avijja (it may not be clear at first; this is really about the anicca nature).
- As I explained in the post on sankhara, we do things (i.e., kamma) according to the way we think (sankhara). See, “Sankhāra – What It Really Means” published September 24, 2018 (p. 33).
- So, we do foolish things with cravings, because we have avijja (not knowing the consequences of such actions).
- This requires a lengthy discussion, but basically even if one engages in sex, for example, one will not be able to avoid rebirths in the kama loka (which includes the human realm and the deva realms). But not only sex but craving for other sense pleasures (for food, odors, music, etc) are also included in “kama raga” or “craving for sense pleasures”.
- Therefore, if one desires to stop rebirths in the human or deva realms (and at least to the higher brahma realms), then one MUST get rid of those cravings for sense pleasures (kama raga). Of course, most people do not see any harm in engaging in sense pleasures if that does not involve harming others. So, even this level is hard to comprehend for many people.
- Now, cultivating jhana REQUIRES at least SUPPRESSING kama raga. This is why those ancient yogis went deep into forests to be away from sense attractions.
- However, if one follows the Noble Eightfold Path, one can not only suppress, but also REMOVE kama raga. And that does not require going deep into forests. One just needs to comprehend the unsatisfactory nature of the human and deva realms. Of course, that REQUIRES the knowledge of the true teachings of the Buddha (anicca, dukkha, anatta nature of even those realms).

More importantly, this second step cannot be taken until one gets over the first step above.

3.The ultimate level is the Arahanthood. To get there, one must see the unfruitfulness of births in any realm.

I discussed the importance of this step-by-step process in the post, “Can or Should a Lay Follower Eliminate Sensual Desires?” published September 26, 2018 (p. 33). (It was a good idea to make that summary!)

As to your question on “How do we know that we are clinging to something?” is partially explained in the above. Sometimes, we do not realize the burden on the mind due to these clingings or cravings. Most of us cannot even see how there can be a burden to the mind due to cravings. It is only when we get rid of such cravings that we begin to realize how much of a burden that we have been carrying without even knowing. Put it in another way, a simple life leads to a less-burdened mind. That is the first step to really verify Buddha's teachings.

freedom
Posts: 198
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2014 1:44 am

Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by freedom » Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:01 pm

Lal wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:57 pm
As to your question on “How do we know that we are clinging to something?” is partially explained in the above. Sometimes, we do not realize the burden on the mind due to these clingings or cravings. Most of us cannot even see how there can be a burden to the mind due to cravings. It is only when we get rid of such cravings that we begin to realize how much of a burden that we have been carrying without even knowing. Put it in another way, a simple life leads to a less-burdened mind. That is the first step to really verify Buddha's teachings.
Thanks for answering my questions. As my simple understanding, the goal is to cut off our own craving and clinging. To do so, we will need to see and understand our own mind. We can understand all the theories in the world, master the whole tipitaka but if we do not see and understand our own mind, then all of those are useless.

As I see, It is better to see our own craving and clinging than understand everything about how craving and clinging described in the suttas. It is not good if we try to teach others what we cannot do or do not know how to do so.

What we think we understand are simply views. We only know if we can put those understandings into our own actual experiences. If we can repeatedly see how those things have happened and effected in our own minds/lives then we can know if our views are true or not.

We can win all debates, but if we cannot see and win our own problems then we are in vain. We can debates all our lives, but if we cannot see and change ourselves then we are hopeless.

It is very bad for us if we understand the teachings, but doing the opposite. It is bad for us if we ignore the warnings and advices of others and trying to protect our own egos.

It is good if we always look for our own problems. It is good if we are happy when we can find even a smallest problem.

The more we think we understand and possess the "truth", the more we cling to that. Do we see this?

My understanding is simple, I do not worry much about all the technical aspects of words, meanings,translations, theories... so I do not discuss about them. However, if you prefer to do so, I also have no problem.

I start seeing my own craving in trying to explain more and more, so I better stop now.

it is not easy to see our own ignorance!
One should not be negligent of discernment, should guard the truth, be devoted to relinquishment, and train only for calm - MN 140.

Lal
Posts: 245
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:39 am

Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:56 pm

Freedom said:
My understanding is simple, I do not worry much about all the technical aspects of words, meanings,translations, theories... so I do not discuss about them. However, if you prefer to do so, I also have no problem.
I am not quite sure what freedom is trying to say. There are many people stating their own opinions about various things at this forum and other forums here. Of course, I will state what I believe in. One could just ignore what I write. No need to comment, unless one can point out specifically if I wrote something in contradiction to the Tipitaka. I myself do ignore many unnecessary comments. I thought freedom’s question was sincere, and that is why I answered.

What Am I Trying to Achieve at This Forum?

Many people at this forum may be wondering why I am trying to disrupt the “nice hangout time” that they have had for years and years, quoting verses from deep suttas going back and forth (without really understanding the key message). I am trying to say that one needs to take Buddha’s teachings about suffering seriously.

First of all, I came to this forum on an invitation. Then I could not leave because I saw some people trying to distort the teachings of the Waharaka Thero.

Then I read some of other forums here too, and I feel bad about how un-informed some people are about what the Buddha really taught. So, I am also trying to say that there is a lot about Buddha’s teachings that are not known to most people.

They treat Buddha as a philosopher, who had some “nice theories” about life. Of course, many of his sayings in the suttas and in Dhammapada are intriguing, so they just try to analyze those to the best of their ability.

Buddha’s teachings are not about just living a moral life.

One should really pay attention to his first thoughts after attaining the Buddhahood: Will these humans be able to understand this deep Dhamma?

Buddha’s key message was that no matter how moral a life we may live, that WILL NOT lead to a solution to the problem of suffering in this world.
Of course, most people do not even realize that there is a problem of unimaginable suffering.

So, when I talk about Nibbana and magga phala (stages of Nibbana), they think that I am just trying too hard to “show off”. I can understand such views can arise because they have no idea what the Buddha was trying to teach.
- However, it is not possible to convey the teachings of the Buddha without referring to the Tipitaka.
- Freedom said: “, I do not worry much about all the technical aspects of words, meanings, translations, theories..”. It is not possible to understand Buddha’s message without understanding the Pali text of the Tipitaka. If you don’t want to worry about it, I can understand that.

Most people do not understand or believe that we could be born as animals or worse. Most suffering is not in this life, but in future lives in lower realms. I think that is the main reason for the lax attitude about the “problem of suffering” that the Buddha emphasized.
- In any case, I know that at least some people benefit from my posts.
- My purpose is to show that there is a deeper aspect to Buddha Dhamma.

Each one understands Buddha Dhamma in his/her own way. So, if one is happy about the way he/she understands, then that is fine. That is why I do not post in other forums at Dhammawheel.

freedom
Posts: 198
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2014 1:44 am

Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by freedom » Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:21 pm

Lal wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:56 pm

I am not quite sure what freedom is trying to say.
I am sorry that you do not understand what I have tried to say. However, I have tried my best and cannot explain better.
I understand each person has different level of awakening, different goal, and different understanding when approaching the Dhamma.

Seeing that you seem to be very well verse in Tipitaka, I thought that you may understand what I was pointing to, but now I do not see the need to ask you further. I will let other people do so if they wish.

Wish you be free from all sufferings. Thanks for your time and effort in answering my previous questions.
One should not be negligent of discernment, should guard the truth, be devoted to relinquishment, and train only for calm - MN 140.

Lal
Posts: 245
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:39 am

Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:43 am

If we are to learn the teachings of the Buddha, we need to go to the source: Tipitaka. We need to at least check with the Tipitaka to see whether a given interpretation is correct. But it is written in Pali, so we need to be careful in translating some key (and complex) Pali words to English. My point is that it is better to just use key Pali words (like anicca, viññāna, saññā, etc) and learn their meanings.

Why is it Necessary to Learn Key Pali Words?

I had not given this issue much thought until someone at an online forum pointed out in 2014 that I was using too many Pāli words and it was difficult to understand the meaning of those terms. This is an important point that has two aspects:

- In the Arana Vibhanga sutta, the Buddha advised bhikkhus to explain the Dhamma by providing the MEANINGS and not to emphasize a given language. As long as one comprehends the concept, it does not matter what language is used.

- On the other hand, we need to have a way to transmit the key foundational words for future generations without distorting the meaning of such words. And it is difficult to find suitable words in other languages for key words like anicca, anatta, and paticca samuppāda.
I have explained the meaning of any Pāli term I use. But for a first time reader, this could be a legitimate issue. Please use the “Search” button on the top right to locate relevant posts for any key word. There is a “Pāli Glossary – (A-K)” and “Pāli Glossary – (L-Z)“.

1. Buddha Dhamma is the most complex theory in the world; it encompasses all of nature’s laws. Even though its basic premises are not hard to grasp, if one needs to dig deeper, one needs to spend some time “learning the basics”, or the “fundamental ideas involved”.

- Think about it this way:Can one learn algebra without knowing arithmetic?
- The key is to learn the basic ideas well, words like anicca, anatta, bhava, etc. It is said that one could understand the Buddha’s message about existence just by comprehending anicca (which will lead to understanding of dukkha and anatta), and that is true.
But that is not possible if anicca is translated to English as just one word: impermanence. The Pāli word anicca means much more than just impermanence. So, it is better to the word anicca and to learn what is meant by that word.
- Viññāna is another word like that. It should not be be translated just as “consciousness”; it is much more complex; see, “Viññāna – What It Really Means“.

2. There is another aspect too. If one learns the basic concepts in addition/subtraction or even quantum mechanics, it does not matter what language one uses to learn it. The key is to get the IDEA, not just learn the words. One can learn addition/subtraction or quantum mechaincs in ANY language, not by memorizing words but by understanding the key concepts.

- When a child learns how to add/subtract, he/she has to learn the basic multiplication table and the procedures on how to use that knowledge in handling big numbers. After that he/she can solve any arbitrary problem involving big numbers.
- In the same way, one needs to get the IDEAS embodied in some key Pāli words, because many of those Pāli words CANNOT be directly translated into other languages: They are highly condensed, each word packed with deep meanings.
- In quantum mechanics, the word “quantum” embodies the subject; regardless of the language one uses, one knows what a quantum is. In the same way, one needs to know what “anicca” is. There is no other word for it in English.
- Once one UNDERSTANDS the meaning of a certain key Pāli word, then one may even be able to find a suitable word in any language to keep it in mind. There is no need to memorize Pāli words for the sake of memorizing. It is similar to learning any concept.
We just should not change the original Pāli words in the Tipitaka. That is the “blueprint” that need to be transmitted intact so that Buddha’s original message will be kept intact.

3. Let us first examine the reasons why Pāli is a special language.

- The Buddha delivered his discourses in Maghadhi language; a version of that language suitable for memorization (Pāli) was used to SUMMARIZE those suttas. For example, Dhamma Cakka Pavattana Sutta was delivered to the five ascetics overnight. How many pages would it take to write all that down? Yet, it was condensed into a few pages.
- In the old days suttas were orally transmitted generation-to-generation, and that was the other reason to condense it into a special form like a poem that is easy to remember and recite. The origin of the word “Pāli” comes from that particular way of organization of the words.

4. Therefore, it may take several words in a different language to express the meaning of some Pāli words like anicca, anatta, bhava, etc. Paticca samuppāda is another whole phrase that is best kept intact and just learn what is meant by that phrase; see, “Paticca Samuppada – “Pati+ichcha”+”Sama+uppäda”“.

- Thus, most Pāli words are impossible to be translated word-by-word to other languages. There is a system to glean the true meanings of the suttas as well as the deep subject of paticca samuppāda; see, “Sutta – Introduction“.
- This is the reason that many commentaries were written in the old days to explain the meaning of key words and phrases; see, “Preservation of Dhamma“ for details.
- Unfortunately, most of those original commentaries (Sinhala Attakatha) cannot be found today, except for three; see the above post.

5. Most of the problems we have today are due to such “word by word” translation of suttas into other languages.

- The most visible and disastrous translations are the translation of the words anicca and anatta into Sanskrit as anitya and anathma; these words were then ADOPTED in Sinhala language to express the meaning of anicca and dukkha. Then within the last two hundred or so years, those Sanskrit words were directly translated to English and now have become established to mean “impermanence” and “no-self”; see, “Misintepretation of Anicca and Anatta by Early European Scholars“.
- Incorrect translation of just those words have kept the message of the Buddha hidden for over fifteen hundred years. It is not an accident that there have not been that many Arahants during that time.
- For the correct meanings of these words, see, “Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta – Wrong Interpretations“ and the follow-up post.

6. In fact it is said that one can reach the Sōtapanna stage by just comprehending the true meanings of anicca, dukkha, anatta, the three characteristics of the world. These three words have embodied in them a very broad message. Whole suttas were delivered to describe what was meant by those words! It is WRONG and DISASTROUS to just translate them as impermanence, suffering, and “no-self”.

- But if one wishes, and knows the correct interpretations, one can dig much deeper to unimaginable depths. For example, there is a process involving 9 steps where a given citta starts off as a pure (pabhasvara) citta and gets “contaminated” before getting to the viññānakkhandha stage within a billionth of a second!
- Those are discussed in detail at, for example, “Amazingly Fast Time Evolution of a Thought (Citta)” and “Pabhassara Citta, Radiant Mind, and Bhavanga“.
- However, there is no need to go to that depth for most people (and many will not have enough time to do that anyway; but there could be a few who would really enjoy it).
- I just want everyone to appreciate Buddha Dhamma for what it is, and to help remove many misconceptions that are out there today.

7. To summarize, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of UNDERSTANDING the meanings of key Pāli words. It may take some time to truly grasp those meanings. I keep revising those key posts, whenever a better way to express an idea comes to mind or when someone else points out a better way to express it.

- Experience is a key factor in understanding. The word “elephant” may not mean anything to someone who does not understand English. But if it is shown to him what an elephant looks like, then he can associate the word “elephant” with the big animal.
- In the same way, it is important to UNDERSTAND what anicca means, by using one’s experience: for example, we cannot maintain even our body the way we would like for the LONG TERM, etc. Then you look at others, especially those who are even older than us, or those who died of old age, and realize that it is true. Then you think about anything in this world, and realize that it is true, i.e., we cannot maintain ANYTHING in this world to our satisfaction, and that is anicca.
- Also see, “Sanna – What It Really Means“.

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 4508
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Sam Vara » Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:04 am

Lal wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:43 am
For example, Dhamma Cakka Pavattana Sutta was delivered to the five ascetics overnight. How many pages would it take to write all that down?
Really? You mean it was a discourse lasting from dusk until dawn? How do we know this?

User avatar
budo
Posts: 579
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:16 am
Location: The world

Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by budo » Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:53 am

Lal wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:44 am
It is not that I have faith in Waharaka Thero. He enabled me to get to a state of unshakable faith in the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sanhga. And he is a part of Sangha. Sangha does not mean “bhikkhus”. Sangha (or “attha purisa puggala”) are the eight types of Noble Persons (Sotapanna, Sakadagami, Anagami, Arahant, and the four that are on the way become Sotapanna, Sakadagami, Anagami, Arahant). So, Sangha can include both bhikkhus and lay persons who attained one of those those eight stages.
So have you attained stream entry or more? If so please describe:

- the date and time, and moment you attained it
- what happened to your 5 senses, consciousness, etc..
- what were you doing at the time, and what was it specifically that caused it?
- what would you describe happened afterwards, and what changed from before and after

Thanks!

Lal
Posts: 245
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:39 am

Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:45 pm

Lal wrote: ↑Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:43 am
For example, Dhamma Cakka Pavattana Sutta was delivered to the five ascetics overnight. How many pages would it take to write all that down?

Really? You mean it was a discourse lasting from dusk until dawn? How do we know this?
It could in other places too, but I just searched and found this one. It is in this section of the Vinaya Pitaka under the topic, “On the group of five”:
https://legacy.suttacentral.net/en/pi-tv-kd1
- Only Ven. Koṇḍañña attained the Sotapanna stage in the first round. It actually took several days for all five ascetics to attain the Sotapanna stage. In the meantime, the five ascetics took turns to go out for alms rounds for food for everyone. All five attained the Arahant stage several days later with the second discourse, Anatta Lakkhana Sutta.
- Those suttas were composed for easy memorization and must necessarily be not too long. It is quite possible that the Buddha himself composed them (with the essence taught) and taught Ven. Ananda, so that he could remember them and recite at the first Sangayana (Council) three months after the Parinibbana of the Buddha.
- This is why (especially short) suttas should not be really translated word-by-word. Much more explanations are needed. As I repeatedly pointed out, it is a bad idea to translate vinnana as just “consciousness”. The word vinnana may refer to different things (vipaka vinnana, kamma vinnana, patisandhi vinnana, etc) in different contexts.

Please don’t be dismissive when asking questions. We can have a respectful discussion. I am not trying to sell anything to anyone.
So have you attained stream entry or more? If so please describe:

- the date and time, and moment you attained it
- what happened to your 5 senses, consciousness, etc..
- what were you doing at the time, and what was it specifically that caused it?
- what would you describe happened afterwards, and what changed from before and after

Thanks!
- I know that many people have wrong ideas about the attainment of the Sotapanna stage. It is not like a high-impact event like seeing flash of light. It is true that it happens within a split second. But one may not become aware of it until days or even weeks later. One just notices drastic changes in one’s behavior.
- It is good idea to read the following post to get an idea. But if anyone has seen such a drastic “event” described in the Tipitaka, please let me know.
- In case anyone has a question about this: The Buddha stated that a Sotapanna could declare the attainment if he/she wishes to do so. That statement is in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta (section 10: Dhammadasadhammapariyaya).
- On the other hand, declaring a magga phala that one does not have is a serious offense. A bhikkhu can become parajika (ned to give up the robe) in doing so.

Myths about the Sotapanna Stage

There are many myths and misconceptions on who a Sōtapanna is, and what needs to be done to become a Sōtapanna. Here we discuss some of these misconceptions.

1. When I was growing up in Sri Lanka, I was under the impression that a Sōtapanna could fly through the air, and an Arahant could vanish and reappear as he/she wished. These were the “mythical” status assigned to Sōtapannas and Arahants. I guess that is due to the fact that such attainments are perceived these days to be impossible to be attained on the one hand and also a clear idea of what those attainments mean has been lost.
- One is unlikely to identify a Sōtapanna or even an Arahant if one has even been associating with that person.
It is true that the attainment of even the Sōtapanna stage is not a trivial matter. And one cannot expect it to be trivial; see, “Why a Sōtapanna is Better off than any King, Emperor, or a Billionaire“.
- A Sōtapanna is incapable of doing only six things: Killing mother, killing mother, killing an Arahant, injure a Buddha, Sangha bheda (teaching adhamma as Buddha Dhamma), having niyata miccā ditthi; see, “Bahu­dhātu­ka­ sutta (MN 115)“.

2. The attainment of supernormal powers such as flying through the air or to vanish and reappear is possible even by developing anāriya jhānās. Most of such attainments are lost at death (even though the ability to get them back will be easier if one is reborn human again).
- Attainment of various stages of Nibbāna are accomplished by cleansing one’s mind and it has nothing to do with developing supernormal powers. - -- Even though it will be much easier for an Arahant or a Sōtapanna to develop such powers, by the time one attains such levels of purity of the mind they are not enamored anymore with such supernormal powers.

3. Various stages of Nibbāna are attained by systematically removing the 12 types of akusala citta (immoral thoughts) or, put it in a different way, by removing the ten samyojana. There are other ways to describe those conditions too; see, “Conditions for the Four Stages of Nibbāna“.

- The Sōtapanna stage is reached via removing the four lōbha citta that are based on miccā ditthi (wrong vision), and the mōha citta of vicikicca. It is important to note that the remaining 7 akusala citta including the two dōsa-mula citta are still with a Sōtapanna.
- The four lōbha cittas that a Sōtapanna removes are the ones that are responsible for vyapada, which is the strong version of anger that makes one eligible for rebirth in the apāyās; see, “Akusala Citta – How a Sōtapanna Avoids Apayagami Citta“. The two dōsa-mula citta, which gives rise to milder versions of anger, are removed only that the Anāgāmi stage.
- Furthermore, kāma rāga (craving for sensual pleasures) is included in the other four lōbha-mula citta that are “ditthi vippayutta” or “not associated with wrong views”. Thus craving for sensual pleasures is also removed only at the Anāgāmi stage.
- Therefore, attaining the Sōtapanna stage — while not trivial — is not as hard as many people think if one has a tihetuka uppatti. However, it is not possible to determine who has tihetuka or dvihetuka patisandhi; most people belong to those two categories. One with dvihetuka patisandhi cannot attain magga phala or Ariya jhāna in this life, but still can make progress towards Nibbāna; see, “Patisandhi Citta – How the Next Life is Determined According to Gathi“.
- On the other hand, many people are focused on trying to get rid of the perception of “self”. That is not something that can forced; it just HAPPENS at the Arahant stage. It is not possible to make that perception go away before that.

4. Turning to another myth, NO ONE ELSE can discern what magga phala one has attained: Sōtapanna or a higher stage of Nibbāna. Only a Buddha has that capability. Let me give an example to illustrate this point:

- One time, Ven. Sāriputta was giving instructions to a bhikkhu. The Buddha came along and told Ven. Sarputta that the bhikkhu had already attained the Arahantship and thus there is no need to give instructions to him. It turned out that the bhikkhu in question did not say anything to Ven. Sāriputta out of respect for him.
- Now, Ven. Sāriputta is only second to the Buddha in this Buddha Sāsana. He and Ven. Moggallāna were the two chief disciples: Ven. Sāriputta was second in knowledge to the Buddha and Ven. Moggallāna was second in psychic powers to the Buddha.
- Thus, if Ven. Sāriputta was not able to discern whether that bhikkhu was an Arahant, it is NOT possible for anyone living today to determine the stage of Nibbāna (Sōtapanna, Sakadāgāmi, Anāgāmi, Arahant) of any other person.
- One could be of any race or even religion and still be a jāti Sōtapanna (and, even that person may not be aware of it). If one had attained the Sōtapanna stage in previous life, he could in principle, be born anywhere in human or deva realms. Buddha Dhamma describes nature’s laws; it applies to everyone the same way.
- Those people who attained various stages of Nibbāna during the early years had different religious beliefs. They sat down to listen to the Buddha and by the time the discourse was over, they had attained various stages of Nibbāna. Some people came to debate the Buddha and left as Sotapannas. One does not need to formally become a “Buddhist” to realize the true nature of “this world”.

5. This is why one has to be very careful when dealing with other humans, and not to offend anyone intentionally. It is very important to have at least some knowledge of the different weights of kamma; see, “How to Evaluate Different Weights of Kamma“.

- Some people worry about inadvertently killing insects while cleaning the house, but do not think twice about saying a lie or a hurtful thing to a human. That is getting things backwards.
- The severity of the kamma depends on the “level of the being” that it is directed at. It is EXTREMELY difficult to get a human life; thus a human life could be millions times worth compared to any animal life. A Sōtapanna is at a more than thousand-fold higher level compared to a normal human, and the subsequent levels are even higher.
- There is no being in the 31 realms that is at a higher level compared to an Arahant. That is why killing an Arahant is a Anantariya pāpa kamma, i.e., it will bring extremely bad vipāka in the very next life. And it is not possible to say whether a given person is an Arahant by looking at that person, or even associating with him/her for a short time.

6. How does one discern whether one has attained, say, the Sōtapanna stage?

- A Sōtapanna does not attain Ariya jhānās coincident with the phala moment. There one’s “lineage” (gotra) is changed from a normal human to a Sōtapanna at the gotrabu citta. A similar citta vithi runs in attaining a jhāna, but in a jhāna one’s lineage is changed only to a jhanic state at the gotrabu moment; see, “Citta Vithi – Processing of Sense Inputs“.
- However, if one who just became a Sōtapanna had developed any anāriya jhāna previously, then that jhāna could be easily converted to an Ariya jhāna with some practice. Unlike an anāriya jhāna, an Ariya jhāna cannot be broken even if one forcefully tries to generate a sensual/hateful thought. Thus, for someone who has had jhanic experiences this may be a clue.
- Also, if one can get into the fourth Ariya jhāna, that means one is likely an Anāgāmi.
- Another way is to contemplate whether one is capable of doing any acts that could lead to rebirth in the apāyās (the four lowest realms). If one has ingrained characteristics or habits (gathi) of an animal, then it is likely that person will be born animal of that character. If one has extreme hate, and is capable of plotting to bring harm to other people, then that person may be destined to the niraya. If one does not have any of such extreme greed, hate, and ignorance, then one may be free of the apāyās, i.e., one is likely to be a Sōtapanna.
- However, unless one is subjected to extreme pressures, it may not be possible to discern whether one has removed such “apāyagāmi gathi“. It is easier to live a moral life when one has enough resources and when nothing unexpected happens. But there are instances when perfectly “moral people” commit murders in a moment of rage.
- The Sōtapanna stage is attained purely via attaining Sammā Ditthi, and removing 5 of the 12 possible akusala cittas: 4 lōbha cittas associated with miccā ditthi and the vicikicca citta that arises out out ignorance of the true nature of “this world”. All these 5 citta are removed via just comprehending anicca, dukkha, anatta to a certain extent; see, “Akusala Citta – How a Sōtapanna Avoids Apayagami Cittas“.
- Thus if one has any ESTABLISHED (niyata) wrong views (see, “Ten Immoral Actions (Dasa Akusala)“), then it is unlikely that one is a Sōtapanna. Attaining the Sōtapanna stage is not possible until one sees the “unfrutiful nature” of existence anywhere in the 31 realms; and that is not possible if one has ruled out rebirth or the existence of other realms; see, “Ten Immoral Actions (Dasa Akusala)“.
Also see, “How Does One Know whether the Sōtapanna Stage is Reached?” for more details.

7. Many people believe it is necessary to meditate a lot to attain the Sōtapanna stage. While it is beneficial to meditate, one can in principle be a Sōtapanna without doing any FORMAL meditation as I explain below. I have given some examples from the time of the Buddha in #4 above; however, such cases rare these days.

- There are basically two steps to get rid of lōbha, dōsa, mōha or to attain Nibbāna: “Dassanena pahātabbā” (removal by vision or the “ability to see”) comes first; that is what is necessary to attain the Sōtapanna stage.
- However, in order to accomplish “Dassanena pahātabbā” or “to see clearly”, one needs to realize what the Buddha meant by “suffering”, which comes in two types. This is described in detail — starting with the first type of suffering that can be eliminated in THIS LIFE — in the “Living Dhamma” section.
- Various stages of Nibbāna are attained as lōbha, dōsa, mōha are removed in stages. One attains the Sōtapanna stage via “dassanena pahātabbā” i.e., one removes those 5 akusala cittas associated with “wrong views” via discerning the true nature of “this world of 31 realms”, i.e., anicca, dukkha, anatta.
- Then, a Sōtapanna can remove the remaining 7 akusala citta in three stages via meditation, i.e., “bhāvanāya pahātabbā” and attain the higher stages Nibbāna.

Before start writing responses, please read the material carefully. In addition to the references in the post above, there is more information on the qualities of a Sotapanna in the Sotapattivagga of the Samyutta Nikaya.

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 4508
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Sam Vara » Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:18 pm

Lal wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:45 pm
Lal wrote: ↑Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:43 am
For example, Dhamma Cakka Pavattana Sutta was delivered to the five ascetics overnight. How many pages would it take to write all that down?

Really? You mean it was a discourse lasting from dusk until dawn? How do we know this?
It could in other places too, but I just searched and found this one. It is in this section of the Vinaya Pitaka under the topic, “On the group of five”:
https://legacy.suttacentral.net/en/pi-tv-kd1
- Only Ven. Koṇḍañña attained the Sotapanna stage in the first round. It actually took several days for all five ascetics to attain the Sotapanna stage. In the meantime, the five ascetics took turns to go out for alms rounds for food for everyone. All five attained the Arahant stage several days later with the second discourse, Anatta Lakkhana Sutta.
- Those suttas were composed for easy memorization and must necessarily be not too long. It is quite possible that the Buddha himself composed them (with the essence taught) and taught Ven. Ananda, so that he could remember them and recite at the first Sangayana (Council) three months after the Parinibbana of the Buddha.
- This is why (especially short) suttas should not be really translated word-by-word. Much more explanations are needed. As I repeatedly pointed out, it is a bad idea to translate vinnana as just “consciousness”. The word vinnana may refer to different things (vipaka vinnana, kamma vinnana, patisandhi vinnana, etc) in different contexts.
I've just read through the section "On the group of five", and there is no mention there of the Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta taking any longer to deliver than it currently takes to read or recite. The claim that it did appears to be speculative. That claim might be necessary for the rest of your points (i.e. that the suttas are not to be translated word-for-word, and they require further explanation because they were part of a more extensive teaching) but it is a claim not supported here.
Please don’t be dismissive when asking questions. We can have a respectful discussion. I am not trying to sell anything to anyone.
I was being far less dismissive, I think, than the following generalised ad hominem quote:
Many people at this forum may be wondering why I am trying to disrupt the “nice hangout time” that they have had for years and years, quoting verses from deep suttas going back and forth (without really understanding the key message).
I'm just trying to fit my responses to your tone. I'll only dismiss your point above if there is no evidence for it.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests