"The Deathless" (amata)

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tiltbillings
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:04 am

kirk5a wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
kirk5a wrote: Paticcasamuppada tells of the cessation of the experiential process.
So, you are saying that the arahant has no experience after awakening.

MN I 354: My back aches. I will rest it. So, the Buddha was not experiencing an aching back.
No I am not saying that. Other formulations of paticcasamuppada include the cessation of feeling. Prior to parinibbana, that would necessarily be a temporary state.
And, as usual, you do not engage what is actually being said.
>> 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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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:08 am

Greetings,
tiltbillings wrote:Truth/Dhamma is to be seen/known/experienced in terms of the experiential process of conditioned co-production/paticcasamuppada, and nowhere else.
As long as you're including paticcasamuppada in its cessation mode too... as that's actually how amata is to be seen/known/experienced.

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: "The Deathless" (amata)

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:48 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,
tiltbillings wrote:Truth/Dhamma is to be seen/known/experienced in terms of the experiential process of conditioned co-production/paticcasamuppada, and nowhere else.
As long as you're including paticcasamuppada in its cessation mode too... as that's actually how amata is to be seen/known/experienced.
Interestingly enough the Buddha did not specify that in this text: Who sees paticcasamuppada sees Dhamma, who sees Dhamma sees paticcasamuppda. - MN 1 190-1.

But, of course, in seeing the interdependent rise and fall there is insight and a natural letting go.
>> 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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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:58 am

Greetings,
tiltbillings wrote:Interestingly enough the Buddha did not specify that in this text: Who sees paticcasamuppada sees Dhamma, who sees Dhamma sees paticcasamuppda. - MN 1 190-1.
Which interestingly enough doesn't specify amata at all... which makes it not quite so interesting after all, in the context of this topic.

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: "The Deathless" (amata)

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:04 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,
tiltbillings wrote:Interestingly enough the Buddha did not specify that in this text: Who sees paticcasamuppada sees Dhamma, who sees Dhamma sees paticcasamuppda. - MN 1 190-1.
Which interestingly enough doesn't specify amata at all... which makes it not quite so interesting after all, in the context of this topic.

Metta,
Retro. :)
Well, given that seeing the Dhamma is awakening which is freedom from death, and given that becoming awakened plays itself out in "the world," it is directly relevant to the context of this topic.
>> 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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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:14 am

Greetings Tilt,

Which makes your objection seem rather petty then, since not only was my post "directly relevant to the context of this topic" it was also about the experience of amata.

:D

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: "The Deathless" (amata)

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:26 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

Which makes your objection seem rather petty then, since not only was my post "directly relevant to the context of this topic" it was also about the experience of amata.

:D

Metta,
Retro. :)
First of all, it is not an objection. I am simply pointing out why I see what I said is relevant. That is just dialogue.
>> 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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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Post by Polar Bear » Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:29 pm

I just found an interesting Note by Thanissaro that deals with the translation of ajātaṃ as unborn as opposed to without birth which is similar to Tilt's translation which is freedom from birth. Anyway, I was just wondering if Tilt or anyone else who uses the without/freedom from translation would like to explain whether Ven Thanissaro's argument changes anything or why it doesn't. Personally, the without birth/ freedom from birth translation makes more sense to me but I was just wondering if Thanissaro has a point here or not.
Note

1.
Some scholars have argued that the term "unborn" cannot be used to distinguish unbinding from transmigration, as there are discourses (such as SN 15.3) stating that transmigration itself has no beginning point, implying that it too is unborn. Thus they argue that in this passage the term ajātaṃ, although a past participle, should be translated as, "without birth." However, this argument is based on two questionable premises. First, it assumes that unbinding is here being contrasted with transmigration, even though the passage simply contrasts it with the fabricated. Secondly, even assuming that the phrase "the born — the become," etc., is a reference to transmigration, the scholars' argument is based on a misreading of SN 15.3. There, transmigration is said to have an "inconceivable" or "undiscoverable" beginning point. This is very different from saying that it is unborn. If transmigration were unborn, it would be unfabricated (see AN 3.47), which is obviously not the case. Thus, in translating this term to describe unbinding, I have maintained the straight grammatical reading, "unborn."
2.
Iti 43 gives this exclamation as the synopsis of a Dhamma talk, followed by this verse:

The born, become, produced,
made, fabricated, impermanent,
fabricated of aging & death,
a nest of illnesses, perishing,
come-into-being through nourishment
and the guide [that is craving] —
is unfit for delight.
The escape from that
is
calm, permanent,
a sphere beyond conjecture,
unborn, unproduced,
the sorrowless, stainless state,
the cessation of stressful qualities,
stilling-of-fabrications bliss.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Here's the Pali for Itivuttaka 43:
6. Ajātasuttaṃ

43. Vuttañhetaṃ Bhagavatā, vuttamarahatāti me sutaṃ —

“Atthi, bhikkhave, ajātaṃ abhūtaṃ akataṃ asaṅkhataṃ. No cetaṃ, bhikkhave, abhavissa ajātaṃ abhūtaṃ akataṃ asaṅkhataṃ, nayidha jātassa bhūtassa katassa saṅkhatassa nissaraṇaṃ paññāyetha. Yasmā ca kho, bhikkhave, atthi ajātaṃ abhūtaṃ akataṃ asaṅkhataṃ, tasmā jātassa bhūtassa katassa saṅkhatassa nissaraṇaṃ paññāyatī”ti. Etamatthaṃ Bhagavā avoca. Tatthetaṃ iti vuccati —

“Jātaṃ bhūtaṃ samuppannaṃ, kataṃ saṅkhatamaddhuvaṃ.
Jarāmaraṇasaṅghāṭaṃ, roganīḷaṃ pabhaṅguraṃ.

“Āhāranettippabhavaṃ, nālaṃ tadabhinandituṃ.
Tassa nissaraṇaṃ santaṃ, atakkāvacaraṃ dhuvaṃ.

“Ajātaṃ asamuppannaṃ, asokaṃ virajaṃ padaṃ.
Nirodho dukkhadhammānaṃ, saṅkhārūpasamo sukho”ti.

Ayampi attho vutto Bhagavatā, iti me sutanti. Chaṭṭhaṃ.
:namaste:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Post by fivebells » Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:03 pm

Just read through this thread with interest, up to about page 13. Thanissaro's note does not address Tilt's point, as it does not consider the grammatical interpretation which is the basis for his argument.

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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:43 pm

polarbuddha101 wrote: Anyway, I was just wondering if Tilt or anyone else who uses the without/freedom from translation would like to explain whether Ven Thanissaro's argument changes anything or why it doesn't. Personally, the without birth/ freedom from birth translation makes more sense to me but I was just wondering if Thanissaro has a point here or not.
What Ven Thaissaro says does not come anywhere close to addressing the points I raised in the above discussion.
>> 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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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:08 pm

polarbuddha101 wrote:. . .
. . . First, it assumes that unbinding is here being contrasted with transmigration, even though the passage simply contrasts it with the fabricated. . . .
Interestingly, the Buddha does directly contrast samsara with nibbana:
  • ”Then the group of five monks, being thus exhorted, thus instructed by me [the Buddha], being liable to birth because of self, having known the perils in what is liable to birth, seeking freedom from birth, the uttermost security from the bonds -- nibbana -- won freedom from birth, the uttermost security from the bonds -- nibbana...." -- Majjhima Nikaya I 173
>> 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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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Post by Polar Bear » Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:42 pm

Thanks Tilt.

:anjali:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Post by mogg » Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:10 pm

tiltbillings wrote:The core idea that I have trying to get at with all this is the Dhamma is not about things, objects, substances, identities. When one talks about "the Deathless" something is seriously lost. It suggests, intentionally or not, that there is some substantial, objective "Truth" out there that we can get. The Buddha suggests something radically different from that in terms of seeing what we are in terms of experiential process. There is a reason why the Buddha said: Who sees paticcasamuppada sees Dhamma, who sees Dhamma sees paticcasamuppda. - MN 1 190-1. Truth/Dhamma is to be seen/known/experienced in terms of the experiential process that we are, and nowhere else.
  • SN 2.26: It is in this very fathom-long physical frame with its perceptions and mind, that, I declare, lies the world, and the arising of the world, and the cessation of the world, and the path leading to the cessation of the world. [26]
    • 26.The import of this significant declaration can be understood in the context of those suttas in which the Buddha defines the concept of the world. The 'world,' for the Buddha, arises in the six sense-spheres (See above Note 21). Hence its cessation too, is to be experienced there, in the cessation of the six sense-spheres (salaayatananirodha). "I will teach you, monks, how the world comes to be and passes away... What monks, is the arising of the world? Dependent on eye and forms, arises visual consciousness. The concurrence of the three is contact. Conditioned by contact is feeling. Conditioned by feeling, craving. Conditioned by craving, grasping. Conditioned by grasping, becoming. Conditioned by becoming, birth. And conditioned by birth, arise decay, death, grief lamentation, suffering, despair. This is the arising of the world.
      And what, monks, is the passing away of the world? Dependent on the eye and forms arise visual consciousness. The concurrence of the three is contact. Conditioned by contact is feeling. Conditioned by feeling is craving. By the utter fading away and cessation of that craving, grasping ceases, by the ceasing of grasping, becoming ceases, by the ceasing of becoming birth ceases, by the ceasing of birth, decay-and-death, grief, lamentation, suffering, despair, cease. Such is the ceasing of this entire man
      [sic; should be 'mass'] of Ill." -- SN ii 73 CDB i 581
      http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... passage-10" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
      http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... tml#fnt-26" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
    • "Monks, I will teach you the all. And what is the all? The eye and forms, the ear and sounds the nose and odors, the tongue and tastes, the body and touch, the mind and mental phenomena. This is called the all. If anyone, monks, should speak thus: ' Having rejected this all, I shall make known another all' - that would be a mere empty boast." SN IV 15.
This is an outstanding post :clap:

Tilt, I agree with your interpretive translation of amata. It makes perfect sense to me and is accordance with the dhamma as I understand it. Thanks for the great posts in this thread.

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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Post by male_robin » Thu May 16, 2013 1:23 am

Sylvester wrote:I agree with Tilt’s analysis that the string of epithets “ajātaṃ abhūtaṃ akataṃ asaṅkhataṃ” are modifiers, rather than nouns.

Here’s a boring grammatical analysis.

Let’s take a look at Ajahn Thanissaro’s translation of Ud 8.3, which is pretty representative of the translators who render the epithets as nouns –
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi, in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Now at that time the Blessed One was instructing urging, rousing, and encouraging the monks with Dhamma-talk concerned with Unbinding. The monks — receptive, attentive, focusing their entire awareness, lending ear — listened to the Dhamma.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
There is, monks, an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated. If there were not that unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, there would not be the case that emancipation from the born — become — made — fabricated would be discerned. But precisely because there is an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, emancipation from the born — become — made — fabricated is discerned.
It will be obvious that these translations rely on the presence of the antonyms to the epithet, ie “the born, the become, the made, the fabricated” to furnish a basis to treat both sets (ie the ajāta and jāta sets) as referring to nouns, instead of predicates.

The Pali for Ud 8.3 is –
669Evaṃ me sutaṃ— ekaṃ samayaṃ bhagavā sāvatthiyaṃ viharati jetavane anāthapiṇḍikassa ārāme. Tena kho pana samayena bhagavā bhikkhū nibbānapaṭisaṃyuttāya dhammiyā kathāya sandasseti samādapeti samuttejeti sampahaṃseti. Tedha bhikkhū aṭṭhiṃ katvā, manasi katvā, sabbaṃ cetaso samannāharitvā, ohitasotā dhammaṃ suṇanti.
670Atha kho bhagavā etamatthaṃ viditvā tāyaṃ velāyaṃ imaṃ udānaṃ udānesi—
671“Atthi, bhikkhave, ajātaṃ abhūtaṃ akataṃ asaṅkhataṃ. No cetaṃ, bhikkhave, abhavissa ajātaṃ abhūtaṃ akataṃ asaṅkhataṃ, nayidha jātassa bhūtassa katassa saṅkhatassa nissaraṇaṃ paññāyetha. Yasmā ca kho, bhikkhave, atthi ajātaṃ abhūtaṃ akataṃ asaṅkhataṃ, tasmā jātassa bhūtassa katassa saṅkhatassa nissaraṇaṃ paññāyatī”ti.
The issue is this – are the translators justified in translating the antonyms jāta bhūta kata saṅkhata as nouns, instead of being predicates?
Can someone explain how we know these are in the genitive case? Is it because the words are transliterated as, for example, akataṃ rather than akata? I have seen the sanskrit word for this translated as akṛta or akṛtaṃ, or in Indic script as अकृत अकृता अकृतम् . I have wondered if there is some distinction there.

अ negative prefix a- अ-. Similar to the Greek a-/an. English: un- (Merriam Webster sense 1)
कृ Verbal root kṛ cognate of Lain creō / crescere. English: To make, to create, to do, to put, to place.
त suffix -ta -त. Appears to function much like -ed in English. Forms a passive past participle; which can be used an adjective, possibly sometimes as an adjective noun with the modified noun implied, or even as a noun to express an abstract concept?
म् ???

I have some thoughts on, and a lot of questions about asaṅkhata if anyone is interested.

Sanskrit equivalent: asamskrita असंस्कृत. It breaks down just like akrita, except for:

Prefix sam- सं, cognate of sim-, similar in function to the English com-/ con- / co-. Senses: with, together, together with.

*Verbal Root skr स्कृ, veriant of kr

Does saṅkhata (compounded, constructed, conditioned, fabricated, put together) dhamma(s) (phenomena) refer only to human mental states; pertaining to epistemology, or is it inclusive of biological and / or purely physical processes?

How is kata (created, made) different from saṅkhata?

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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Post by tiltbillings » Thu May 16, 2013 4:30 am

male_robin wrote:Can someone explain how we know these are in the genitive case?
I did the basic work that is reflected above back in mid to late 80's when I was studying Pali at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in their South Asian/BuddhistStudies program. It was in Rune Johansson's book, The Psychology of Nirvana (pages 54-5) that I came across the idea that the four words -- atthi ajātaṃ abhūtaṃ akataṃ asaṅkhataṃ -- are adjectives and that in the sentence -- atthi ajātaṃ abhūtaṃ akataṃ asaṅkhataṃ -- the subject is implied, which opened up this text, Udana 80, for me. Heretofore it had been a mysterious concatenation of words, and now it is something that makes sense. I have subsequently seen a very detailed discussion of this subject by K.R. Norman, which supports this sort of reading I suggest in this thread, but, alas, I do not have a copy of that article, so I cannot give a citation for it. It has been tens of years since I seriously studied Pali and I am no longer in a position to discuss the grammatical and philological mechanics of all this beyond what I have offered in this thread.
Does saṅkhata (compounded, constructed, conditioned, fabricated, put together) dhamma(s) (phenomena) refer only to human mental states; pertaining to epistemology, or is it inclusive of biological and / or purely physical processes?
I suspect, taking all the uses of this word in the suttas that has to do with the teachings of awakening, it has to do with the conditioned nature of the mind/body experience.
How is kata (created, made) different from saṅkhata?
Obviously the words overlap, but as to how they are to be understood is dependent upon how they are used throughout the suttas.
>> 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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