MN 74: Dighanaka Sutta — To LongNails

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Sam Vara
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Re: MN 74: Dighanaka Sutta — To LongNails

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:48 pm

mikenz66 wrote:“Now, Aggivessana, a wise man among those recluses and brahmins who hold the doctrine and view ‘Everything is acceptable to me’ considers thus:
MA: This teaching is undertaken to show Dı̄ghanakha the danger in his view and thereby encourage him to discard it.
‘If I obstinately adhere to my view “Everything is acceptable to me” and declare: “Only this is true, anything else is wrong,” then I may clash with the two others: with a recluse or brahmin who holds the doctrine [499] and view “Nothing is acceptable to me” and with a recluse or brahmin who holds the doctrine and view “Something is acceptable to me, something is not acceptable to me.” I may clash with these two, and when there is a clash, there are disputes; when there are disputes, there are quarrels; when there are quarrels, there is vexation.’ Thus, foreseeing for himself clashes, disputes, quarrels, and vexation, he abandons that view and does not take up some other view. This is how there comes to be the abandoning of these views; this is how there comes to be the relinquishing of these views.
...
And here, I am more inclined to veer round to the opposite (i.e. Bhikkhu Bodhi's) position. This seems to be less about Aggivessana's feelings towards the world, and more about his "doctrine" of how it should be seen. It is more likely scepticism and annihilationism than cynicism. The reason for this is that simply liking or not liking the world is not likely to bring one into conflict with those who feel differently about it. De gustibus non est disputandum, etc. Disputes occur over matters of alleged fact, and this is supported by the phrase "Only this is true, anything else is wrong". The different translations (Thanissaro and Horner) include a similar phrase. This seems at this point to be an epistemological dispute about the possibility of knowledge of the world - possibly about knowledge of dependent origination.

The contradictory nature of this Sutta suggests to me that we are dealing here with a composite discourse made up of two which were originally separate. This would account for the Dighanakha/Agivessana confusion as well.

vinasp
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Re: MN 74: Dighanaka Sutta — To LongNails

Post by vinasp » Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:31 pm

Hi everyone,

From: G.C.Pande, Studies in the Origins of Buddhism, Motilal Banarsidass,
Delhi, fourth revised edition, 1995.

"Sutta 74 depicts Buddha as a thorough-going sceptic, who would not hold
even the sceptical thesis itself [127].
The ideal monk viewing the body and the three feelings as non-self, is
emancipated, and "Evem vimuttacitto kho Aggivesana bhikkhu na kenaci
samvadati, na kenaci vivadati, yanca loke vuttam tena voharati aparamasam
ti" [128] This sutta seems to represent an early strand of thought.
It only expresses more logically and very uncomprimisingly that opposition
to holding any "opinion" (ditthi) which is found prominently even in the
earliest texts, e.g., in the Atthakavagga of the Sn." [page 168.]

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: MN 74: Dighanaka Sutta — To LongNails

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:40 pm

Hi Sam,
Sam Vega wrote: And here, I am more inclined to veer round to the opposite (i.e. Bhikkhu Bodhi's) position. This seems to be less about Aggivessana's feelings towards the world, and more about his "doctrine" of how it should be seen. ...
Yes, it is confusing, isn't it? I initially thought of this Sutta as straightforwardly saying that just denying all views wasn't the same as relinquishing them, which I expressed above as:
Perhaps the difference is that the eel-wrigglers are those who are "faking" the "not having a view" condition.
But perhaps it is more complicated than that, or either the translations or the original are a bit mixed up.
Sam Vega wrote: The contradictory nature of this Sutta suggests to me that we are dealing here with a composite discourse made up of two which were originally separate. This would account for the Dighanakha/Agivessana confusion as well.
It may be a composite, but it seems quite common in suttas for the Buddha to use a different name, such as a clan name, when addressing someone.

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: MN 74: Dighanaka Sutta — To LongNails

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:48 am

“A wise man among those recluses and brahmins who hold the doctrine and view ‘Something is acceptable to me, something is not acceptable to me’ considers thus: ‘If I obstinately adhere to my view “Something is acceptable to me, something is not acceptable to me” and declare: “Only this is true, anything else is wrong,” then I may clash with the two others: with a recluse or brahmin who holds the doctrine and view “Everything is acceptable to me” and with a recluse or brahmin who holds the doctrine and view “Nothing is acceptable to me.” I may clash with these two, and when there is a clash, there are disputes; when there are disputes, there are quarrels; when there are quarrels, there is vexation.’ Thus, foreseeing for himself clashes, disputes, quarrels, and vexation, he abandons that view and does not take up some other view. This is how there comes to be the abandoning of these views; this is how there comes to be the relinquishing of these views.

“Now, Aggivessana,[*] this body made of material form, consisting of the four great elements, procreated by a mother and father, and built up out of boiled rice and porridge, is subject to impermanence, to being worn and rubbed away, to dissolution and disintegration. It should be regarded as impermanent, as suffering, as a disease, as a tumour, as a dart, as a calamity, as an affliction, as alien, as disintegrating, as void, as not self. When one regards this body thus, one abandons desire for the body, affection for the body, subservience to the body.[/i]
[*] MA: At this point Dı̄ghanakha has discarded his annihilationist view. Thus the Buddha now undertakes to teach him insight meditation, first by way of the impermanence of the body and then by way of the impermanence of the mental factors under the heading of feeling.

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Re: MN 74: Dighanaka Sutta — To LongNails

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:05 am

“Seeing thus, a well-taught noble disciple becomes disenchanted with pleasant feeling, disenchanted with painful feeling, disenchanted with neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling. Being disenchanted, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion [his mind] is liberated. When it is liberated there comes the knowledge: ‘It is liberated.’ He understands: ‘Birth is destroyed, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more coming to any state of being.’

“A bhikkhu whose mind is liberated thus, Aggivessana, sides with none and disputes with none; he employs the speech currently used in the world without adhering to it.”
BB: MA quotes a verse that says that an arahant may use the words “I” and “mine” without giving rise to conceit or misconceiving them as referring to a self or ego
  • (SN 1:25/i.14). http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
    Bonds are gone for him without conceits,
    All delusion's chains are cast aside:
    Truly wise, he's gone beyond such thoughts.
    That monk still might use such words as "I,"
    Still perchance might say:
    "They call this mine."
    Well aware of common worldly speech,
    He would speak conforming to such use.
See too DN 9.53/i.202, where the Buddha says of expressions employing the word “self”: “These are merely names, expressions, turns of speech, designations in common use in the world, which the Tathāgata uses without misapprehending them.”
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Sam Vara
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Re: MN 74: Dighanaka Sutta — To LongNails

Post by Sam Vara » Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:54 am

he employs the speech currently used in the world without adhering to it.”
This reminds me of something I have sometimes heard monks say - that an important aspect of Right view is how we actually hold those views.

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Re: MN 74: Dighanaka Sutta — To LongNails

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:30 am

Now on that occasion the venerable Sāriputta was standing behind the Blessed One, [501] fanning him. Then he thought: “The Blessed One, indeed, speaks to us of the abandoning of these things through direct knowledge; the Sublime One, indeed, speaks to us of the relinquishing of these things through direct knowledge.” As the venerable Sāriputta considered this, through not clinging his mind was liberated from the taints.
MA: Having reflected on the discourse spoken to his nephew, Ven. Sāriputta developed insight and attained arahantship. Dı̄ghanakha attained the fruit of stream-entry.

Note that MN 111 also talks about Sāriputta's arahantship. Is there a contradiction?
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Nanamoli/Bodhi translation:
  • Again, bhikkhus, by completely surmounting the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, Sāriputta entered upon and abided in the cessation of perception and feeling. And his taints were destroyed by his seeing with wisdom.
    • MA offers this explanation of the passage, transmitted by “the elders of India”: “The Elder Sāriputta cultivated serenity and insight in paired conjunction and realised the fruit of non-returning. Then he entered the attainment of cessation, and after emerging from it he attained arahantship.”
But in the wanderer Dīghanakha the spotless immaculate vision of the Dhamma arose: “All that is subject to arising is subject to cessation.” The wanderer Dīghanakha saw the Dhamma, attained the Dhamma, understood the Dhamma, fathomed the Dhamma; he crossed beyond doubt, did away with perplexity, gained intrepidity, and became independent of others in the Teacher’s Dispensation.
MA: Vision of the Dhamma (dhammacakkhu) is the path of stream-entry. The phrase “All that is subject to arising is subject to cessation” shows the mode in which the path arises. The path takes cessation (Nibbāna) as its object, but its function is to penetrate all conditioned states as subject to arising and cessation.

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Re: MN 74: Dighanaka Sutta — To LongNails

Post by danieLion » Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:47 am

Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:Sometimes non-reactivity gets inserted into the path under the factor of right mindfulness. But the Buddha never defined mindfulness as non-reactivity. Mindfulness in his lexicon means the ability to keep something in mind. And there is such a thing as right mindfulness and wrong mindfulness. Wrong mindfulness is when you keep in mind desires that get you worked up about the world. Right mindfulness is when you take any of four frames of reference and keep them in mind as a basis for right concentration.

Now, when the Buddha teaches concentration, he does start out with non-reactivity or equanimity as a prerequisite. Before he teaches Rahula breath meditation, he tells him first to make his mind like earth. When disgusting things are thrown on the earth, the earth doesn't react. Then he adds, "Make your mind like water. Water doesn't get disgusted when it has to wash away disgusting things. Make your mind like fire. Fire doesn't get disgusted when it burns disgusting things. Make your mind like wind. Wind doesn't get disgusted when it blows disgusting things around." You try to make your mind imperturbable like the elements.

So here there would be an element of non-reactivity. But this non-reactivity is for the purpose of putting your mind in a position where it can observe things clearly, and in particular, to observe your actions and their results in a patient, reliable way. Because when you start working with the breath, you're not just looking at the breath in a nonreactive way. You're working with it, playing with it, mastering it through experimenting with it. And you want to be able to judge the results of your experiments in a fair and accurate manner (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... sntnibbana" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;).
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