Hi pt1pt1 wrote: There are different interpretations of the sutta. One that appeals to me at this point is that the actual abandoning of craving happens by understanding craving (tilakkhana etc) when it arises in the here and now - in that way the craving is used/relied upon.
I suppose one could interpret it that way, but if üse is taken to refer to ünderstanding", should not the same be said for sexual intercourse, per the same sutta -
This body comes into being through sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse is to be abandoned. With regard to sexual intercourse, the Buddha declares the cutting off of the bridge."
I was thinking about this bit from MN 44 -Anusaya is one of those things I can't quite wrap my mind around. Could you please give a bit more detail about what you mean here in reference to MN 44? Thanks.
The bit "with that he abandons"comes from the Pali tena pajahati". The Comy, following the Abhidhammic model of transcendent path and fruition cittas, limits the occassions of such abandonment to specific stages of awakening. The tena is interpreted as a straightforward instrumental for a particular transcendent citta", a most unusual reading for a "ta" pronoun which is always used with reference to something that was mentioned in a preceding sentence. No mention of any transcendant cittas or awakening stages in this whole passage.What obsession (anusaya/latent tendency) gets obsessed (anuseti/lies with) with pleasant feeling? What obsession gets obsessed with painful feeling? What obsession gets obsessed with neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling?"
"Passion-obsession gets obsessed with pleasant feeling. Resistance-obsession gets obsessed with painful feeling. Ignorance-obsession gets obsessed with neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling."
"Does passion-obsession get obsessed with all pleasant feeling? Does resistance-obsession get obsessed with all painful feeling? Does ignorance-obsession get obsessed with all neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling?"
"But what is to be abandoned with regard to pleasant feeling? What is to be abandoned with regard to painful feeling? What is to be abandoned with regard to neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling?"
"Passion-obsession is to be abandoned with regard to pleasant feeling. Resistance-obsession is to be abandoned with regard to painful feeling. Ignorance-obsession is to be abandoned with regard to neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling."
"Is passion-obsession to be abandoned with regard to all pleasant feeling? Is resistance-obsession to be abandoned with regard to all painful feeling? Is ignorance-obsession to be abandoned with regard to all neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling?"
There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. With that he abandons passion. No passion-obsession gets obsessed there. There is the case where a monk considers, 'O when will I enter & remain in the dimension that those who are noble now enter & remain in?' And as he thus nurses this yearning for the unexcelled liberations, there arises within him sorrow based on that yearning. With that he abandons resistance. No resistance-obsession gets obsessed there. There is the case where a monk, with the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. With that he abandons ignorance. No ignorance-obsession gets obsessed there."
However, tena can also carry a temporal locative sense, in which case, the translation would be ïn that he abandons", ie "that"would refer to either the sorrow or to the yearning. This seems to be the more natural reading of the passage.
So, the craving and conceit mentioned in AN 4.159 would likely be frustrated many, many times before the breakthrough is made. In those cases where frustration rears its ugly head, sorrow typically follows (except perhaps for Non-Returners and Arahats). MN 44 seems to be an encouragement not to worry about such sorrows.