MN 117 has been tampered with

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vinasp
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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Post by vinasp » Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:52 am

Hi everyone,

From Sekha's OP:

"There are two types of suttas: connected with the performance of good deeds and connected with insight" [Net 33].

The ordinary man is concerned with merit-making which he understands as leading to a
fortunate rebirth. The noble disciple desires enlightenment in this life, through insight
which removes unwholesome states of mind.

"There are two paths: connected with merit and connected with the fruitions." [Net 33]

The ordinary man is on the wrong eightfold path, where concentration results in only
temporary liberation in this life, but leads to rebirth in higher realms. So this kind
of concentration is really just merit-making.

The noble disciple works to obtain the first fruit, and becomes established on the
noble eightfold path. All these fruits represent the complete and permanent elimination
of a particular group of unwholesome things. For the first path these are views of self.

"There are two types of virtue: the virtue of restraint and the virtue of abandoning."
[Net 33]

The ordinary man practices the virtue of restraint. He has no other choice because he
does not achieve the permanent removal of unwholesome states.

The noble disciple, on the noble eightfold path, eliminates things permanently, this is
called the 'virtue of abandoning'. This is 'continuous liberation.'

On each of the four paths, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration take
as their 'object' the unwholesome things which are to be removed by that path.

Regards, Vincent.

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mikenz66
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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:14 am

Hi Retro,
retrofuturist wrote: Thanks for sharing, but I'm unable to ascertain from venerable Dhammanando's quote whether the words 'sāsava' and 'anāsava', are the actual words used in Petakopadesa and Nettipakarana to represent 'mundane' and 'supramundane', or whether those treatises use their own words to reflect these notions, which are then in some way related back to MN 117's own terms - 'sāsava' and 'anāsava'. (Oh for the days when Ven.D was here instead of in the hills!)
I think he's saying that the terms are not the same in MN117 as in the Petakopadesa and Nettipakarana. I agree it's a bit terse.
retrofuturist wrote: The fact that words found in a particular sutta may also happen to appear in subsequent treatises doesn't seem surprising in and of itself. As for the matter of these terms appearing in this sutta alone seems of little more significance than the fact that in the 12907 posts I've made to date on this forum, that I'm sure there's some posts which include a particular word that is unique to that post (vis-a-vis the 'canon' of my posts), that does not appear elsewhere in my other 12906 posts.
I think that Ven D's point was that no other suttas used this way of expressing right view, etc.

Since this is the only sutta using this particular approach, and it differs from the suttas of other sects, one might hesitate about making too much out of it. On the other hand, there is the argument that unique things are likely to be genuine, and boilerplate things later additions...
retrofuturist wrote: If there's anything I'm missing here, feel free to help me join the dots. At this point though, I do not understand the importance of it.
:anjali:
Mike

vinasp
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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Post by vinasp » Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:43 am

Hi everyone,

Why are people objecting to the word 'transcendent' when used for path factors?

It just means the highest of the four paths. The factors of the first three paths are
ordinary, the factors of the fourth path are 'transcendent'.

The non-returner has completed the learners course. When he enters the next path he is
no longer called a non-returner. He is called 'one working to obtain the fruit of
arahantship'. But he has passed from 'this world' to the 'next world', [taking these
'worlds' as just states of mind]. So the fourth path is 'beyond this world'.

If one understands that the non-returner has been spontaneously 'reborn' into another
world (state of mind), then why not call the fourth path 'transcendent'?

The six spheres have ceased for a non-returner, and these are said to be 'the world'.
The state of a non-returner is nibbana with residue, this is called the 'next world' in MN 117:

"And what is the right view that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions? 'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this world & the next world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are brahmans & contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is the right view that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions."

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Post by Sylvester » Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:06 am

retrofuturist wrote: Whilst scholars may have proposed that there's some abhidhammic influence occurring here in MN 117, I'm a little hesitant to follow suit... mainly because I see the:

[A]. with asavas, resulting in acquisitions
. without asavas, transcendent

... distinction as having closer and older parallels to other suttas - for example, AN 4.235...



I'm inclined to agree with Retro on this.

Certainly, the very mention of the word lokuttara might elicit an association with the Abhidhammic model of lokuttara versus lokiya. But I think there is another way of viewing the presence of lokuttara in MN 117.

Firstly, there is no mention of the term lokiya. The foil is made between sāsavā puññabhāgiyā upadhivepakkā (with outflows, siding with merit, resulting in acquisitions) versus ariyā anāsavā lokuttarā maggaṅgā (noble, without outflows, transcendant, factor of the path). It appears to me that lokuttara is being used as a contrast to upadhivepakkā, where upadhi is interpreted to mean the Aggregates. This usage of the term lokuttara in the context of 5 path factors looks too remote and unconnected with the Abhidhammic lokuttara analysis that is applied to the 8 cittas of path and fruition.

Secondly, the lokuttara concept pops up in MN 48, Kosambi Sutta. 7 knowledges come up for mention, and oddly enough, we see each of the 7 ñāṇa described as ariyaṃ lokuttaraṃ asādhāraṇaṃ puthujjanehi. Again, MN 48's supramundane analysis does not look anything like the Abhidhammic citta analysis. Each of the 7 supramundane knowledges are the outcome of the person reflecting (paṭisañcikkhati) on specific issues, none of which can be tied to the Abhidhammic 8-fold citta model. Here, it appears that lokuttara is nothing more than a synonym for ariya, indicated clearly by the foil puthujjana. Might the lokuttara in MN 117 be likewise a synonym for ariya?

Most importantly, MN 117 does not apply the predicate lokuttara to the final 3 factors of the Path. If this had been an Abhidhammic enterprise, no factor would have been more ripe and susceptible to the lokuttara/lokiya treatment than Right Concentration.

PS -

As for the "right" path factors that are sāsavā versus those that are anāsavā, take a look at MN 41.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Right view is discussed in para 14 as a part of mental conduct in accordance with the Dhamma (manasā dhammacariyā samacariyā).

Para 15 to para 42 then launches into an examination of the motive for the 3 conducts in accordance with the Dhamma, primarily from the perspective of the desire for favourable rebirths, and it appears that dhammacārī samacārī is a condition for the desire to bear fruit. Eg -

If a householder who observes conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct, should wish: 'Oh, that on the dissolution of the body, after death, I might reappear in the company of the gods of the Four Kings!' it is possible that on the dissolution of the body, after death, he may do so. Why is that? Because he observes conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct.


On the other hand, at para 43, we have this unusual desire -

If a householder who observes conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct, should wish: 'Oh, that by realization myself with direct knowledge, I may here and now enter upon and abide in the deliverance of the heart and the deliverance by wisdom that are taint-free with exhaustion of taints!' it is possible that, by realization himself with direct knowledge, he may here and now enter upon and abide in the deliverance of the heart and the deliverance by wisdom that are taint-free with exhaustion of taints. Why is that? Because he observes conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct.

Ākaṅkheyya ce gahapatayo dhammacārī samacāri 'aho vatāhaṃ āsavānaṃ khayā anāsavaṃ cetovimuttiṃ paññāvimuttiṃ diṭṭheva dhamme sayaṃ abhiññā sacchikatvā upasampajja vihareyyanti. Ṭhānaṃ kho panetaṃ vijjati yaṃ so āsavānaṃ khayā anāsavaṃ cetovimuttiṃ paññāvimuttiṃ diṭṭheva dhamme sayaṃ abhiññā sacchikatvā upasampajja vihareyya. Taṃ kissa hetu? Tathā hi so dhammacārī samacārīti.


The desire in para 43 refers to the states that are anāsava, leading me to surmise that the preceding 42 motives are sāsavā. I take this reading, as all the 42 courses lead to rebecoming, which according to MN 36's definition of āsava -

In whomever the fermentations which defile, which lead to renewed becoming, which give trouble, which ripen in stress, and lead to future birth, aging, & death are not abandoned: Him I call deluded.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ... .than.html

Yassa kassaci aggivessana ye āsavā saṅkilesikā ponobhavikā sadarā dukkhavipākā āyatiṃ jātijarāmaraṇīyā appahīnā, tamahaṃ sammūḷhoti vadāmi.


The Buddha typically gives the graduated teaching, but the really deep stuff leading to Nibbana are only taught when He felt that the listener was receptive. the rest of the time, He would probably have taught the path to good rebirth.

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Cittasanto
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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Post by Cittasanto » Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:16 am

nibbuti wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:here is an excellently researched paper by Venerable Analayo.
Something that is well researched isn't necessarily true and beneficial only on account of being well researched.

There is a refutation of Ven. Analayo's paper here

:namaste:
I didn't say that paper was true or beneficial, I only said it was "excellently" researched.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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retrofuturist
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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:17 am

Thank you, Mike.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Post by nibbuti » Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:58 am

Cittasanto wrote:
nibbuti wrote:Something that is well researched isn't necessarily true and beneficial only on account of being well researched.

There is a refutation of Ven. Analayo's paper here
I didn't say that paper was true or beneficial, I only said it was "excellently" researched.
It wasn't specifically directed at you.

:anjali:

vinasp
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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Post by vinasp » Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:20 pm

Hi everyone,

Is 'The Noble Eightfold Path' just an abstract idea?

What I mean is that the reality is four separate and distinct paths. The first three
of these are eightfold.

Those on any of these first three paths are called 'learners'. They may be developing
one of these paths for from one to six weeks. When the fruit is attained the path factors
cease, so those enjoying fruition are not learners. The first two fruits are transcendent
and can continue for months [One has a temporary experience of the 'next world'.]
The third fruit is permanently transcendent.

Each path is present for only a few weeks. Those enjoying fruition are not 'on' any path.
Where, then, is 'the' noble eightfold path? It is just an abstract idea.

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Post by vinasp » Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:18 pm

Hi everyone,

What exactly are the four asava's?

The Abhidhamma teaches that they are the same as the four floods and the four bonds.
I think that this is correct.

In the five Nikaya's the four asava's are nowhere explained, nor are the four floods,
but the four bonds are explained, in AN 4.10 - Bonds.

1. The bond of sensuality: sensual lust, delight, passion, attachment, sensual craving.
2. The bond of existence: lust for existence ... craving for existence.
3. The bond of views: lust for views ... craving for views.
4. The bond of ignorance: not understanding, as they really are the origin and the passing
away, the gratification, the danger, and the escape in regard to the six bases for
contact.

[The above is a summary of AN 4.10, Bhikkhu Bodhi, TNDB, 2012, page 396.]

So the asava's of views, sensuality and existence are the lust for these things, or the
craving (for renewed existence) which is based on these things.

The asava of ignorance is the six spheres of contact. When these have ceased then the
asava of ignorance has ceased.

But Dependent Origination shows that even after the six spheres have ceased there remains
consciousness and name-and-form. These also have to be eliminated, so the destruction of
the asava's is not completion of the path.

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:29 am

Greetings,

Another sutta worth considering in conjunction with MN 117, vis-a-vis the with/without asava distinction...
AN 2.67 - Bodhi translation wrote:"Bhikkhus, there are these two kinds of happiness. What two? The happiness with taints and the happiness without taints. These are the two kinds of happiness. Of these two kinds of happiness, the happiness without taints is foremost."
If there can be "two kinds of happiness" where "the happiness without taints is foremost", why cannot it also be so for Right View?

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:56 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Another sutta worth considering in conjunction with MN 117, vis-a-vis the with/without asava distinction...
AN 2.67 - Bodhi translation wrote:"Bhikkhus, there are these two kinds of happiness. What two? The happiness with taints and the happiness without taints. These are the two kinds of happiness. Of these two kinds of happiness, the happiness without taints is foremost."
If there can be "two kinds of happiness" where "the happiness without taints is foremost", why cannot it also be so for Right View?

Metta,
Retro. :)
What would right view with taints be as opposed to right view without taints. I assume, then, that right view with taints, being right view is important and probably necessary in one's practice, given that one cannot simply jump to right view without taints until one has gained that level of practice/insight.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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retrofuturist
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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:07 am

Greetings Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:What would right view with taints be as opposed to right view without taints.
I'm surprised you ask me, and not MN 117... the sutta is clear and addresses this very point.
tiltbillings wrote:I assume, then, that right view with taints, being right view is important and probably necessary in one's practice, given that one cannot simply jump to right view without taints until one has gained that level of practice/insight.
I sense there's a dead horse you wish to flog here, but my interest is not in that - my interest is on topic, and is about refuting the OP's notion "that the Mahācattārīsaka Sutta has been tampered with material from the Abhidhamma and some of the late works found in the Khuddaka Nikāya, that it contains a number of statements which are in direct contradiction with the teachings found elsewhere in the four Nikāyas, and that it seeks to despise the original teaching of the Buddha to promote terminology and theories of late origin."

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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tiltbillings
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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:17 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:What would right view with taints be as opposed to right view without taints.
I'm surprised you ask me, and not MN 117... the sutta is clear and addresses this very point.
I asked you, or anyone else who may care to answer.
tiltbillings wrote:I assume, then, that right view with taints, being right view is important and probably necessary in one's practice, given that one cannot simply jump to right view without taints until one has gained that level of practice/insight.
I sense there's a dead horse you wish to flog here, but my interest is not in that - my interest is on topic, and is about refuting the OP's notion "that the Mahācattārīsaka Sutta has been tampered with material from the Abhidhamma and some of the late works found in the Khuddaka Nikāya"
I stay away from dead horses. They tend to stink. Now that the "counterfeit question has been pretty much discarded, I am asking this question given that various opinions about what this sutta is saying have been put forth on this forum. Sorry, did not mean to touch a raw nerve here.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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retrofuturist
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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:10 am

Greetings Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:Now that the "counterfeit question has been pretty much discarded...
At what point exactly was the actual topic "discarded", in preference for off-topic diversions? And who decided this? And on what basis?...

:coffee:
tiltbillings wrote:...I am asking this question given that various opinions about what this sutta is saying have been put forth on this forum.
Perhaps if you wish to initiate an exploration on whether or not "one cannot simply jump to right view without taints until one has gained that level of practice/insight", you can kindly start your own topic to do so.

:focus:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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tiltbillings
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Re: MN 117: a counterfeit

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:12 am

(All very parenthetically:
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:Now that the "counterfeit question has been pretty much discarded...
At what point exactly was the actual topic "discarded", in preference for off-topic diversions? And who decided this? And on what basis?...
Not a diversion. Actually, it would be directly to the point of what the terms meant, now that we are not looking at them through Abhidhamma filters: "If there can be "two kinds of happiness" where "the happiness without taints is foremost", why cannot it also be so for Right View."


tiltbillings wrote:...I am asking this question given that various opinions about what this sutta is saying have been put forth on this forum.
Perhaps if you wish to initiate an exploration on whether or not "one cannot simply jump to right view without taints until one has gained that level of practice/insight", you can kindly start your own topic to do so.
Maybe.
I'm surprised you ask me
Being human and all, mistakes are made. It shan't happen again.)
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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