omniscience and freewill
- --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "Stephen Hodge" <s.hodge@...> wrote:
> Dear Bhante Dhammanando,
> > the Sandaka Sutta ... discussion of sabba~n~nutaa in Pali
> I am not sure how this gives much help with the question of aBuddha's
> "omniscience". Could you indulge me and spell things out a bit ?Hello friends
> > If anyone is interested in how this problem has been handled
> > in western thought, there are four fine articles ...
> Thank you for these interesting URLs -- lots of reading there.
> Best wishes,
> Stephen Hodge
theres an article here
(my only reserevation is that The Theory of Quantum Mechanics'
which seem to establish That
We perceive only our pre-conceived `givens'
is actually science,
although probably Different from the popular notion of it.)
I wish to thanks The Venerable Dhammanando
and hope The Venerable will not consider it improper
as I tried some answer too:
Free Will and Freedom
Lessons from the Sandaka Sutta (M.N. 67) The discourse with
In the Discourse, The Venerable Ananda , probably as a response to
the Wanderer's lack of discipline, Explains about choices.
Eight major ways that negate the holy life:
Four kinds of `holy life without consolation'
Since the fruit of these practices are not different from lay life.
These ways may be accepted even in contemporary society
And probably reflect more on the long term karmic effects.
1 no reward for good deeds
2 no retribution for evil.
3 no merit, no purification possible, no cause, no effect.
4 The universe is determined, as shown in varied speculations about
the natural and the supernatural, no individuality or personal
development is possible, one's Kamma is utterly fixed and
All these ways are based on wrong view, which is wrong knowledge,
wrong assumptions about reality, hence, any application of choice
does not make any sense. And do not leave any meaning to a `free
Further four ways that `a wise man would certainly not live the
Or will not attain', thereby.
The faults of this second group are more obvious, can be easily
noticed in casual
Encounter and easily rejected.
As `free choice', obviously, has to be an intelligent one as well.
1 abandonment, no understanding of cause and effect, one is driven
by destiny alone.
2 adherences to tradition, no freedom, as some ideas and observances
are right, some are wrong.
3 same, but based on logic, same results.
4 skeptic, a denial of any possibility of positive knowledge or
Next, the Buddhist path is expounded, with its fruit and benefits.
The Dhamma leads one on' and that takes heart and faith.
Faith is caused by suffering (and/or the understanding of the first
`Dhukha pahoti Saddha' (UpanisaSutta)
`Self will' raises the question of a self,
`selfless ness' `Anatta' as a fundamental `emptiness' -
No center, no possibility of control, no tenable position.
"Dhammata' is the natural way,
A different choice surely indicates a delusional mind.
`Freedom is a choiceless state' (J. Krishnamurth),
This point, which we try to investigate, is questioned further by
In the form of three questions, all deeply concerning the subject of
1 an arahat can never transgress,
And by interpretation,
The Five percepts, the primary `choice' of a Buddhist,
Are, then, simulations of the `Normal Mind'.
2 The second, by extension, is that an accomplished one
Knows a fact only when he puts his mind to it.
(a direct answer to the omnisience question, although only a variant
of an answer we allready had)
3 the third is about the `emancipators' `Niyyaataaro'
The creation of Sankharas mental determinations is described as
"By oneself or influenced by others",
The inquiry, discipline and practice generate
.`KussalaDhammaa - Wholesome mind objects' as the cause of
What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters
compared to what lies within us." Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Dear Stephen,
Sorry for the late reply. I have not been reading the posts
for some time.
>> I am surprised that no one has yet mentioned the Sandaka SuttaStephen Hodge:
>> (MN 76). This would surely be the obvious starting point for
>> any discussion of sabba~n~nutaa in Pali Buddhism.
> I am not sure how this gives much help with the question ofI'm inclined to agree, it really doesn't help at all. The reason
> a Buddha's "omniscience".
I called it "the obvious starting point for a discussion" is not
because it helps but because in my experience most discussions on
this topic DO in fact start by somebody citing the Sandaka Sutta
as negative evidence against the omniscience claims made in the
Pa.tisambhidaamagga, Milindapa~nhaa and Commentaries. Of course
they have to interpret the sutta in their own way rather than the
Pali commentaries' way in order to claim that it supports their
position. As a result, much of the discussion of sabba~n~nutaa
comes down in the end to a wrangle about just how the Sandaka
Sutta should be read. In the traditional reading it is assumed
that the Buddha is ridiculing only the omniscience claims of
titthiya teachers; but certain modern scholars (Jayatilleke and
Kalupahana come to mind) read the sutta as ridiculing the very
idea of omniscience.