Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

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Rahula
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Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Post by Rahula » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:40 pm

:anjali:

I was listening to a series of talks by John Peacock and came across his speech 'Metta as a path to awakening' (http://www.audiodharma.org/teacher/207/).

There he talks about 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' and at one point (See 4:30 min on http://www.audiodharma.org/teacher/207/)
he translates
"... Nahi jatu gabbaha seyyam punaretiti ..."
as
"...one who practices this will never come to be reborn again..."

But as I understand it should be translated as ' will never be conceived in a womb' not as 'never come to be reborn'.
(http://www.londonbuddhistvihara.org/Kar ... 0Sutta.pdf
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html)

Then he identify this as awakening since only awaken ones never come to be reborn.

I see this as a misinterpretation, since it talks about one form of birth, birth by a womb and there are 4 forms of birth in Buddhist text.

Please share your knowledge here.
Did John Peacock got it wrong.
------------------------------------------
Edit:
This talk by Dr.Peacock is about 'Metta as a path to awakening'. If he doesn't interpret this sutta text as "...one who practices this will never come to be reborn again...", he may not consider it as awakening. So his entire talk/teaching 'Metta as a path to awakening' might change. His entire talk is based on the conclusion.

(I wanted to add above since the question seems not descriptive enough. And it was questioned in a comment bellow.)
Last edited by Rahula on Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

Shaswata_Panja
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Re: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Post by Shaswata_Panja » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:59 pm

Rahula wrote::anjali:

I was listening to a series of talks by John Peacock and came across his speech 'Metta as a path to awakening' (http://www.audiodharma.org/teacher/207/).

There he talks about 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' and at one point (See 4:30 min on http://www.audiodharma.org/teacher/207/)
he translates
"... Nahi jatu gabbaha seyyam punaretiti ..."
as
"...one who practices this will never come to be reborn again..."

But as I understand it should be translated as ' will never be conceived in a womb' not as 'never come to be reborn'.
(http://www.londonbuddhistvihara.org/Kar ... 0Sutta.pdf
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html)

Then he identify this as awakening since only awaken ones never come to be reborn.

I see this as a misinterpretation, since it talks about one form of birth, birth by a womb and there are 4 forms of birth in Buddhist text.

Please share your knowledge here.
Did John Peacock got it wrong.

I am a native Bengali so can naturally pick up bits and pieces of Pali as Bengali descended from Pali and other Prakrit languages--i will take a shot

nahi---not/no
jatu--born/come out of/spring forth of
gabbaha--womb
seyyam---------------donot know what this word means
punaretiti----something to do with again


That's as much as I can help you. sorry!!

santa100
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Re: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Post by santa100 » Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:45 pm

AN 11.16 explains the many benefits of Metta:
"1. "He sleeps in comfort. 2. He awakes in comfort. 3. He sees no evil dreams. 4. He is dear to human beings. 5. He is dear to non-human beings. 6. Devas (gods) protect him. 7. Fire, poison, and sword cannot touch him. 8. His mind can concentrate quickly. 9. His countenance is serene. 10. He dies without being confused in mind. 11. If he fails to attain arahantship (the highest sanctity) here and now, he will be reborn in the brahma-world." ~~ http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .piya.html ~~

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:42 pm

Yes, he got it wrong. It means not being reborn in a womb again, i.e. attaining Non-returning, not Arahantship, but the Non-returners inevitably attain Arahantship in the Pure Abods of the Brahma Realms.

How to Be Liberated from Entering a Womb
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Digity
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Re: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Post by Digity » Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:52 pm

My understanding is that metta alone is not sufficient for awakening.

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Re: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:34 pm

The last verse talks about more than just metta:
But when he has no trafficking with views,
Is virtuous, and has perfected seeing,
And purges greed for sensual desires,
He surely comes no more to any womb.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.html
See also this thread on brhahmaviharas, jhanas, and liberation:
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=13896
:anjali:
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Rahula
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Re: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Post by Rahula » Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:22 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Yes, he got it wrong. It means not being reborn in a womb again, i.e. attaining Non-returning, not Arahantship, but the Non-returners inevitably attain Arahantship in the Pure Abods of the Brahma Realms.

How to Be Liberated from Entering a Womb
Thanks, that's exactly what I understood.

I can't believe that Dr.John Peacock got it all messed-up considering his background.
I had much faith in his teachings but now it start to melt away.

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Re: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:36 pm

Rahula wrote:I can't believe that Dr.John Peacock got it all messed-up considering his background.
I had much faith in his teachings but now it start to melt away.
Nobody's perfect, except for the Buddha. Here's hoping my translation is 100% accurate :juggling:
Attadīpā viharatha attasaraṇā anaññasaraṇā, dhammadīpā dhammasaraṇā anaññasaraṇā.
Abide with yourself as your own refuge, take no other refuge. Abide with the Dhamma as your refuge, take no other refuge.
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Re: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Post by Mkoll » Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:30 pm

Digity wrote:My understanding is that metta alone is not sufficient for awakening.
It is certainly a practice that brings much fruit: it's second only to the perception of impermanence when compared with a few other things according to the Velama Sutta. Even if it's developed for just a moment's length of time, it's worth doing. And if one has ill will, it's development is virtually a necessity.

:anjali:
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Re: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:39 pm

Rahula wrote:
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Yes, he got it wrong. It means not being reborn in a womb again, i.e. attaining Non-returning, not Arahantship, but the Non-returners inevitably attain Arahantship in the Pure Abods of the Brahma Realms.

How to Be Liberated from Entering a Womb
Thanks, that's exactly what I understood.

I can't believe that Dr.John Peacock got it all messed-up considering his background.
I had much faith in his teachings but now it start to melt away.
  • But when he has no trafficking with views,
    Is virtuous, and has perfected seeing,
    And purges greed for sensual desires,
    He surely comes no more to any womb.
The question is: do the italicized bits refer to arahant level of awakening. They certainly point to ariya status, but I think a good argument can be made that arahant status is being pointed to here. Again, this is the Sutta Nipata. The language in this collection is not as set as it is in the other Nikayas. I would not say Dr Peacock is necessarily wrong.
>> 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: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Post by culaavuso » Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:29 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
  • But when he has no trafficking with views,
    Is virtuous, and has perfected seeing,
    And purges greed for sensual desires,
    He surely comes no more to any womb.
The question is: do the italicized bits refer to arahant level of awakening.
The relevant bit in Pali is:
http://suttacentral.net/snp1.8/pi
Sn1.8: Mettasutta wrote: Diṭṭhiñca anupaggamma,
Sīlavā dassanena sampanno;
Kāmesu vinaya gedhaṃ,
Na hi jātuggabbhaseyya punaretī
I would like to hear from someone more skilled in Pali than I, but it seems that this could refer to (1) the abandoning of the fetter of views, (2) abandoning the fetter of doubt and/or arising of the "dustless, stainless, dhamma eye", and (3) abandoning the fetter of sensual desire/lust. As I understand it, #1 and #2 refer to sotapanna and #3 refers to anagami, which is consistent with the possibility of rebirth not from a womb.

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Re: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:34 pm

culaavuso wrote:I would like to hear from someone more skilled in Pali than I, but it seems that this could refer to (1) the abandoning of the fetter of views, (2) abandoning the fetter of doubt and/or arising of the "dustless, stainless, dhamma eye", and (3) abandoning the fetter of sensual desire/lust. As I understand it, #1 and #2 refer to sotapanna and #3 refers to anagami, which is consistent with the possibility of rebirth not from a womb.
That's correct. See the link in my earlier post the the Mahāsi Sayādaw's discourse on the Brahmavihāra Dhamma — I am sure that he knew Pāḷi a lot better than anyone else mentioned in this thread.
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Re: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:35 pm

culaavuso wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
  • But when he has no trafficking with views,
    Is virtuous, and has perfected seeing,
    And purges greed for sensual desires,
    He surely comes no more to any womb.
The question is: do the italicized bits refer to arahant level of awakening.
The relevant bit in Pali is:
http://suttacentral.net/snp1.8/pi
Sn1.8: Mettasutta wrote: Diṭṭhiñca anupaggamma,
Sīlavā dassanena sampanno;
Kāmesu vinaya gedhaṃ,
Na hi jātuggabbhaseyya punaretī
I would like to hear from someone more skilled in Pali than I, but it seems that this could refer to (1) the abandoning of the fetter of views, (2) abandoning the fetter of doubt and/or arising of the "dustless, stainless, dhamma eye", and (3) abandoning the fetter of sensual desire/lust. As I understand it, #1 and #2 refer to sotapanna and #3 refers to anagami, which is consistent with the possibility of rebirth not from a womb.
Thanks. It is an interesting discussion however it ends.
>> 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: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:13 pm

It's certainly an interesting discussion, but I think that to
Rahula wrote: I can't believe that Dr.John Peacock got it all messed-up considering his background.
I had much faith in his teachings but now it start to melt away.
is a bit of an over-reaction. For one thing, as Tilt points out, the Sutta Nipata verses are difficult to translate. For another, it's just a talk, and anyone can make a mistake. It is possible to quibble with translations from any teacher/scholar/translator (as a survey of this forum will quickly demonstrate...).

[Off-topic rant]
I've seen several instances here where snippets from talks or books have been called into question, with the implication (or outright statement) that the author is an incompetent idiot and should be flogged and then permanently ejected from all Dhamma circles. It's a silly conclusion, in my view, especially when (as is generally the case) the talk in question isn't pretending to be some sort of scholarly tome. By all means point out where there may be some confusion or inaccuracy, but there's usually no need to read any more into it...
[/end rant]

:anjali:
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Re: Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:02 pm

Perhaps the message of his talk on loving-kindness got lost in translation ? :stirthepot:
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