Did John Peacock got 'Karaniya Metta Sutta' wrong?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
SarathW
Posts: 9576
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

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

Post by SarathW » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:18 pm

Digity wrote:My understanding is that metta alone is not sufficient for awakening.
The way I understand, Metta suppress anger.
So it will lead you to third Jhana factor Pithi.
:)
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

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

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:45 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
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.
I am sure he did, a well. But Mahasi's discourse really does not address the question at hand.
>> 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

User avatar
kirk5a
Posts: 1959
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm

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

Post by kirk5a » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:54 am

A little more detail here makes clear that metta can be the basis for non-returning or arahantship, but there has to be insight into metta itself, not simply absorption in it.
Ven. Ananda wrote: "Then again, a monk keeps pervading the first direction[2] with an awareness imbued with good will, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth. Thus above, below, & all around, everywhere, in its entirety, he keeps pervading the all-encompassing cosmos with an awareness imbued with good will — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, without hostility, without ill will. He reflects on this and discerns, 'This awareness-release through good will is fabricated & intended. Now whatever is fabricated & intended is inconstant & subject to cessation.' Staying right there, he reaches the ending of the mental fermentations. Or, if not, then — through this very Dhamma-passion, this Dhamma-delight, and from the total wasting away of the first five Fetters — he is due to be reborn [in the Pure Abodes], there to be totally unbound, never again to return from that world.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

pegembara
Posts: 1229
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 8:39 am

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

Post by pegembara » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:23 am

This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech,
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied,
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,
Not proud and demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove,

Wishing: In gladness and in safety,
May all beings be at ease.

Radiating kindness over the entire world:
Spreading upwards to the skies
And downwards to the depths,
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down,
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed vews,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense-desires,
Is not born again into this world
.
Essentially, the sutra describes the qualities that a Buddhist needs to cultivate to achieve the ultimate end of goodwill, the state of a ‘non-returner’, that is, someone who is at the penultimate stage of enlightenment. This is the meaning of the final line Being freed from all sense-desires, is not born again into this world. A ‘non-returner’ will never be born into this world again, but will take up residence in a heavenly state where they can become fully enlightened. This is because they are not holding to fixed views and are freed from all sense-desires through the practice of loving-kindness that loosens the bonds of attachment to the things of this world.

And that is no small achievement.
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

User avatar
Rahula
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2012 10:34 am

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

Post by Rahula » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:34 am

mikenz66 wrote: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:
Mike
As I pointed-out in my question this talk by Dr.Peacock is about 'Metta as a path to awakening'. So we can't say it's just a talk, and anyone can make a mistake. Because his entire talk is based on this conclusion. 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, don't you think?

culaavuso
Posts: 1363
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:27 pm

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

Post by culaavuso » Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:26 am

Rahula wrote: this talk by Dr.Peacock is about 'Metta as a path to awakening'
The practice of metta when perfected and combined with insight into inconstancy is a path to awakening, as described in MN52 which was mentioned above:
MN52: Atthakanagara Sutta wrote: Then again, a monk keeps pervading the first direction[2] with an awareness imbued with good will, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth. Thus above, below, & all around, everywhere, in its entirety, he keeps pervading the all-encompassing cosmos with an awareness imbued with good will — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, without hostility, without ill will. He reflects on this and discerns, 'This awareness-release through good will is fabricated & intended. Now whatever is fabricated & intended is inconstant & subject to cessation.' Staying right there, he reaches the ending of the mental fermentations. Or, if not, then — through this very Dhamma-passion, this Dhamma-delight, and from the total wasting away of the first five Fetters — he is due to be reborn [in the Pure Abodes], there to be totally unbound, never again to return from that world.
"The ending of the mental fermentations" means full awakening. "The total wasting away of the first five Fetters" means the state of non-return, which implies only one remaining rebirth in the Pure Abodes which will then yield full awakening. These descriptions can be seen in MN118
MN118: Anapanasati Sutta wrote: "In this community of monks there are monks who are arahants, whose mental effluents are ended, who have reached fulfillment, done the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, laid to waste the fetter of becoming, and who are released through right gnosis: such are the monks in this community of monks.

"In this community of monks there are monks who, with the wasting away of the five lower fetters, are due to be reborn [in the Pure Abodes], there to be totally unbound, destined never again to return from that world: such are the monks in this community of monks.

User avatar
Aloka
Posts: 5760
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:51 pm

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

Post by Aloka » Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:15 am

Digity wrote:My understanding is that metta alone is not sufficient for awakening.
This paper by Professor Richard Gombrich (historian & Pali scholar) might be of interest:

"Kindness and Compassion as means to Nirvana in Early Buddhism"

http://www.ocbs.org/images/documents/gonda.pdf


:anjali:

Thule
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2013 6:27 pm

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

Post by Thule » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:42 pm

Aloka wrote:
Digity wrote:My understanding is that metta alone is not sufficient for awakening.
This paper by Professor Richard Gombrich (historian & Pali scholar) might be of interest:

"Kindness and Compassion as means to Nirvana in Early Buddhism"

http://www.ocbs.org/images/documents/gonda.pdf


:anjali:
Two related articles by Giuliana Martini:

The Meditative Dynamics of the Early Buddhist Appamāṇas,
Giuliana Martini, Canadian Journal of Buddhist Studies, Number 7, 2011
http://jps.library.utoronto.ca/index.ph ... 7071/14047
"Abstract:

With this article I review distinctive aspects of the early Buddhist practice of the appamāṇas, the boundless states of benevolence (mettā), compassion (karuṇā), sympathetic joy (muditā) and equanimity (upekkhā). My concern is specifically the function and potential of the appamāṇas in relation to the unfolding of the spiritual path of the individual. Quite apart from their beneficial relational and social effects, how are they meant to support the path to liberation? Since I focus on the early phases of Buddhist thought, and its position vis-à-vis the contemporary ancient Indian context, I employ the early Buddhist textual material as my main source, generally leaving aside commentaries and later developments. A close reading of the texts indicates that the specifics of appamāṇa meditation in the context of the early Buddhist soteriological scheme are the prescription to develop it in dependence on the factors of awakening (sambojjhangas) and the use of this practice as a platform for insight (vipassanā) and thereby for the realisation of awakening."
and:
Transcending the Limiting Power of Karma — The Early Buddhist Appamāṇas
http://www.undv.org/vesak2012/iabudoc/3 ... iFINAL.pdf

User avatar
Rahula
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2012 10:34 am

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

Post by Rahula » Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:39 am

pegembara wrote:
This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech,
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied,
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,
Not proud and demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove,

Wishing: In gladness and in safety,
May all beings be at ease.

Radiating kindness over the entire world:
Spreading upwards to the skies
And downwards to the depths,
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down,
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed vews,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense-desires,
Is not born again into this world
.
Essentially, the sutra describes the qualities that a Buddhist needs to cultivate to achieve the ultimate end of goodwill, the state of a ‘non-returner’, that is, someone who is at the penultimate stage of enlightenment. This is the meaning of the final line Being freed from all sense-desires, is not born again into this world. A ‘non-returner’ will never be born into this world again, but will take up residence in a heavenly state where they can become fully enlightened. This is because they are not holding to fixed views and are freed from all sense-desires through the practice of loving-kindness that loosens the bonds of attachment to the things of this world.

And that is no small achievement.
Following is the last line of 'Karaniya Metta Sutta'
"... Nahi jatu gabbaha seyyam punaretiti ..."

It's been translated as following;
"Truly, he does not come again; to be conceived in a womb"
(http://www.londonbuddhistvihara.org/Kar ... 0Sutta.pdf)

"one never again will lie in the womb."
(http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html)

My understanding is that translating it as "Is not born again into this world." is completely wrong.

The word "gabbaha" means womb.
In Sinhal language (my mother tongue) also "garbaha", which is similar, means womb.

Birth by a womb is just one form of birth. There are 4 forms of birth in Buddhist text.

So how can anyone translate "... Nahi jatu gabbaha seyyam punaretiti ..." as "Is not born again into this world." ?

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

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

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:45 am

Rahula wrote:

So how can anyone translate "... Nahi jatu gabbaha seyyam punaretiti ..." as "Is not born again into this world." ?
Naughty John Peacock. Never, ever listen to his talks again, never, ever!!!!!
>> 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

User avatar
Aloka
Posts: 5760
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:51 pm

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

Post by Aloka » Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:45 am

tiltbillings wrote: Naughty John Peacock. Never, ever listen to his talks again, never, ever!!!!!
:rofl:

.

User avatar
Rahula
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2012 10:34 am

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

Post by Rahula » Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:45 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Rahula wrote:

So how can anyone translate "... Nahi jatu gabbaha seyyam punaretiti ..." as "Is not born again into this world." ?
Naughty John Peacock. Never, ever listen to his talks again, never, ever!!!!!
:anjali:

My whole point is, if he got this wrong (I have not come to that conclusion yet), what else he might had taken wrong.
I will not be confidant in his teaching as I'll have doubt.

Do you think he was correct on his 'Metta as a path to awakening' talks? If so can you please explain in details. This is very important to me. I had much faith in Dr.Peacock's teachings. I like to keep that faith. You seems to be agree with his teachings, as I notices in your previous post. Please help me understand this.

User avatar
Mkoll
Posts: 6432
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:55 pm
Location: California

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

Post by Mkoll » Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:21 pm

Rahula wrote:I had much faith in Dr.Peacock's teachings. I like to keep that faith.
Why not put all your faith in the Triple Gem? Leave none of it for anything else and you won't get confused.

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

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

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

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:53 pm

Rahula wrote:
My whole point is, if he got this wrong (I have not come to that conclusion yet), what else he might had taken wrong.
I will not be confidant in his teaching as I'll have doubt.

Do you think he was correct on his 'Metta as a path to awakening' talks? If so can you please explain in details. This is very important to me. I had much faith in Dr.Peacock's teachings. I like to keep that faith. You seems to be agree with his teachings, as I notices in your previous post. Please help me understand this.
Metta can be a tool for awakening. You actually have been given a lot of information above to support this claim. But rather than worry about what we say, write to him directly, outlining your concerns. See what he has to say.
>> 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

User avatar
Rahula
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2012 10:34 am

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

Post by Rahula » Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:54 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Rahula wrote:
My whole point is, if he got this wrong (I have not come to that conclusion yet), what else he might had taken wrong.
I will not be confidant in his teaching as I'll have doubt.

Do you think he was correct on his 'Metta as a path to awakening' talks? If so can you please explain in details. This is very important to me. I had much faith in Dr.Peacock's teachings. I like to keep that faith. You seems to be agree with his teachings, as I notices in your previous post. Please help me understand this.
Metta can be a tool for awakening. You actually have been given a lot of information above to support this claim. But rather than worry about what we say, write to him directly, outlining your concerns. See what he has to say.
I tried contacting Dr.Peacock but did not get any reply. That's why I'm trying it here.
And none of information mentioned on this thread so far seems to be convincing to me. They are either look mis-interpretation or mis-understanding of Buddhist teachings to me.

Thank you anyway :anjali:

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: chownah, Will and 44 guests