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Re: Listening Well : Concentration & insight knowledges

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  • Tep Sastri
    Hi, Matheesha - I think the great listeners as told in the reviewed suttas all had concentrated minds that supported insight knowledges, while they were
    Message 1 of 28 , Dec 31, 2005
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      Hi, Matheesha -

      I think the great listeners as told in the reviewed suttas all had
      concentrated minds that supported insight knowledges, while they
      were listening intently to the Buddha.

      AN V.140 gives two very important characteristics of "listening
      well" : 'when the Dhamma & Discipline declared by the Tathagata is
      being taught, a monk pays attention, applies his whole mind, and lends
      ear to the Dhamma'. This means paying attention with 100% absorption
      to the listening, i.e. "lending ear" and "applying mind to gnosis(special
      knowledge, direct knowledge). Other characteristics given by AN VI.88
      are : "grabbing hold of what is worthwhile" (insight knowledge) and
      being "endowed with the patience to conform with the teaching". The
      100% absorption and "gnosis" indicate 'samadhi' and 'nana'. So, it isn't
      surprising that AN V.202 states that there are rewards like "one's views
      are made straight and one's mind grows serene" : samma ditthi and
      samadhi

      My guess is that "gnosis" in the direct knowledge sense explains why
      Bahiya released his mind from all defilements in Bahiya Sutta.


      With appreciation,


      Tep

      ======


      --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, "matheesha"
      <dhammachat@h...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi everyone,
      >
      > Here's a collection of suttas on listening to the true dhamma, with
      > comments included.
      >
      > metta
      >
      > Matheesha
      > ---------------------------------------
      (snipped)
    • matheesha
      Hi Tep, T: -- hearing from a buddha or an arahant ( Tep: So we are hopeless to ... may be ... M: Shall we go looking for one!? ... fertile ... T: -- the
      Message 2 of 28 , Jan 1, 2006
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        Hi Tep,

        T: > -- hearing from a buddha or an arahant ( Tep: So we are
        hopeless to
        > become sotapanna through listening in this life because the next
        > Buddha has not yet arrrived and we do not know where an arahant
        may be
        > found? {:->) )

        M: Shall we go looking for one!?

        > >M: So I think even though it is possible that listening itself can
        > give rise to vimutti as mentioned in the suttas, it must be on
        fertile
        > soil for it to be practical.
        T: > -- the listener's faculties are mature (Tep: How mature?)

        M: Mature to the point that they need no further developing and that
        all that is reqired is for panna to reach its peak. Conditions more
        commonly found in a retreat setting. Saddha to the point of going on
        retreat, viriya to the point of keeping mindfulness right through
        the day, samadhi to a near jhanic or jhana level. I think this would
        be adequate. If this seems impossible you might want to see what
        hindrence is active.

        > Tep: Math, you are not convinced that having a right view "means
        being
        > an ariya. True, there are several definitions of "right view". MN
        117
        > defines two levels (Bhikkhu Bodhi calls them mundane and
        supramundane
        > right views). Arahant Sariputta Thera in MN9 describes several ways
        > (based on the 11 links of the Dependent Originations ) a monk might
        > become "one of right view, whose view is straight, who has perfect
        > confidence in the Dhamma, and has arrived at this true Dhamma".

        M: Tep, in the Samma ditti sutta sariputta talks of 'he here and now
        makes an end of suffering' or 'he entirely abandons the underlying
        tendency to lust, he abolishes the underlying tendency to aversion,
        he extirpates the underlying tendency to the view and conceit 'I
        am,' and by abandoning ignorance and arousing true knowledge he here
        and now makes an end of suffering.

        This is about an arahath, not a sotapanna.

        T:> In MN 2 the right view of a Sotapanna was clearly defined by the
        > Buddha based on yoniso-manisikara (wise/appropriate attention) as
        follows.
        > "He attends appropriately, This is stress... This is the
        origination
        > of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the way
        > leading to the cessation of stress. As he attends appropriately in
        > this way, three fetters are abandoned in him: identity-view, doubt,
        > and grasping at precepts & practices. These are called the
        > fermentations to be abandoned by seeing."

        M: Yes, I agree with this. But it does not speak of Right view, just
        yonisomanasikara. But what a find! I knew of this before but i did
        not link it up with the factors required to become a sotapanna.
        Thank you Tep. It is a mental technique for directing thought in the
        right way.

        > Tep: The above is the same as dhammanupassana of the ariya-sacca in
        > Maha-satipatthana Sutta. I am happily contented with this right
        view
        > because it assures that the lower three fetters are cut off
        > permanently. But a question is : how does one appropriately
        attends to
        > the four noble truths such that the three fetters can be abandoned
        for
        > good? Can someone, who understands satipatthana well enough,
        explain
        > to me how? I remember Dan D. and I tried to answer the "how to"
        once,
        > but our discussion did not reach an "appropriate" or "wise"
        conclusion.

        M: Perhaps my answers to Dan might be useful in this regard. We can
        discuss it further if you like. There was another sutta by sariputta
        where he speaks of what needs to be done for different levels of the
        path including the sotapanna stage (all were the same). Do you
        remember that sutta?

        > I think an answer to the first question above is seen in your
        quoted
        > Samyutta Nikaya Sutta 46.4.8.

        M: I only have a pali version of this and i dont know how to read
        pali! Do you have an enlish (or sinhala) translation?

        > >M: when one listens to the Dhamma attentively, the 5 hindrances
        > (nivarana) do not exist and the 7 factors of enlightenment
        > (bojjhanga) are complete. These are the conditions to become an
        > Ariya. Therefore, if we listen to the Dhamma with proper attention
        > (yoniso manasikara) we can become Ariyas.

        M: Tep, i think you said this, not me! Is this from the same sutta?

        > Tep: It seems to me that listening attentively is eqivalent to
        yoniso
        > manasikara of the four noble truth as stated in MN 2. But
        listening to
        > whom (no arahant or a Buddha is available)? Is reading of that
        sutta
        > (SN 46.4.8) sufficient?

        M: My friend, like i said those factors dont automatically pop out
        of nowhere when listening to a Buddha or anyone else. Sometimes
        there will be only one person who can understand right away. Going
        on retreat, meditation, development of samadhi and vipassana
        (panna), then reading/listening to suttas/sermons, is the best
        chance there is IMO. (which is what those monks were doing when they
        become sotapannas in droves in the suttas)

        Good topic to discuss Tep. Thanks for it.

        take care

        Matheesha
      • Tep Sastri
        Hi, Matheesha - To facilitate the discussion that is getting more lengthy, let me divide it into subsets. (Set 1) ... describes several ways (based on the 11
        Message 3 of 28 , Jan 1, 2006
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          Hi, Matheesha -

          To facilitate the discussion that is getting more lengthy, let me divide it
          into subsets.

          (Set 1)
          > > Tep: Math, you are not convinced that having a right view "means
          > being an ariya. True, there are several definitions of "right view". MN
          > 117 defines two levels (Bhikkhu Bodhi calls them mundane and
          > supramundane right views). Arahant Sariputta Thera in MN9
          describes several ways (based on the 11 links of the Dependent
          Originations ) a monk might become "one of right view, whose view is
          straight, who has perfect confidence in the Dhamma, and has arrived
          at this true Dhamma".
          >
          > M: Tep, in the Samma ditti sutta sariputta talks of 'he here and now
          > makes an end of suffering' or 'he entirely abandons the underlying
          > tendency to lust, he abolishes the underlying tendency to aversion,
          > he extirpates the underlying tendency to the view and conceit 'I
          > am,' and by abandoning ignorance and arousing true knowledge he
          > here and now makes an end of suffering. This is about an arahath,
          > not a sotapanna.
          >

          Tep: The first right view is not that of the Arahant : "one of right view,
          whose view is straight, who has perfect confidence in the Dhamma,
          and has arrived at this true Dhamma"; I have not claimed this right view
          to be that of a sotapanna either. The point I have tried to make is there
          are several right views.

          ..........................
          (Set 2)
          > > T: But a question is : how does one appropriately attends to
          > > the four noble truths such that the three fetters can be abandoned
          > for good?
          > >Can someone, who understands satipatthana well enough,
          > explain to me how? I remember Dan D. and I tried to
          > >answer the "how to" once,
          > > but our discussion did not reach an "appropriate"
          > >or "wise" conclusion.
          >
          > M: Perhaps my answers to Dan might be useful in this regard. We can
          > discuss it further if you like. There was another sutta by sariputta
          > where he speaks of what needs to be done for different levels of the
          > path including the sotapanna stage (all were the same). Do you
          > remember that sutta?
          >
          Tep: No further discussion with Dan is needed, thanks. But if you want
          to, please give your answer to the above question (i.e. how does one
          appropriately attends to the four noble truths such that the three fetters
          can be abandoned for good? )

          I cannot recall the "another sutta" by the Arahant-- I need more details,
          please.

          ..............................
          (Set 3)
          > > >M: when one listens to the Dhamma attentively, the 5 hindrances
          > > (nivarana) do not exist and the 7 factors of enlightenment
          > > (bojjhanga) are complete. These are the conditions to become an
          > > Ariya. Therefore, if we listen to the Dhamma with proper attention
          > > (yoniso manasikara) we can become Ariyas.
          >
          > M: Tep, i think you said this, not me! Is this from the same sutta?
          >

          I am sorry. It was my quote from Dhammavuddho's article that I had
          posted for you at the beginning of the discussion.


          Warm regards,


          Tep

          =========

          --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, "matheesha"
          <dhammachat@h...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi Tep,
          >
          > T: > -- hearing from a buddha or an arahant ( Tep: So we are
          > hopeless to
          > > become sotapanna through listening in this life because the next
          > > Buddha has not yet arrrived and we do not know where an arahant
          > may be
          > > found? {:->) )
          >
          > M: Shall we go looking for one!?
          >
          > > >M: So I think even though it is possible that listening itself can
          > > give rise to vimutti as mentioned in the suttas, it must be on
          > fertile soil for it to be practical. -- the listener's faculties are mature
          (Tep: How mature?)
          >
          > M: Mature to the point that they need no further developing and that
          > all that is reqired is for panna to reach its peak. Conditions more
          > commonly found in a retreat setting. Saddha to the point of going on
          > retreat, viriya to the point of keeping mindfulness right through
          > the day, samadhi to a near jhanic or jhana level. I think this would
          > be adequate. If this seems impossible you might want to see what
          > hindrence is active.
          >
          (snipped)

          > T:> In MN 2 the right view of a Sotapanna was clearly defined by the
          > > Buddha based on yoniso-manisikara (wise/appropriate attention)
          as follows.
          > > "He attends appropriately, This is stress... This is the
          > origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the way
          > > leading to the cessation of stress. As he attends appropriately in
          > > this way, three fetters are abandoned in him: identity-view, doubt,
          > > and grasping at precepts & practices. These are called the
          > > fermentations to be abandoned by seeing."
          >
          > M: Yes, I agree with this. But it does not speak of Right view, just
          > yonisomanasikara. But what a find! I knew of this before but i did
          > not link it up with the factors required to become a sotapanna.
          > Thank you Tep. It is a mental technique for directing thought in the
          > right way.
          >
          > > Tep: The above is the same as dhammanupassana of the
          ariya-sacca in Maha-satipatthana Sutta. I am happily contented
          with this right view because it assures that the lower
          three fetters are cut off permanently.

          (snipped)

          > > I think an answer to the first question above is seen in your
          > quoted Samyutta Nikaya Sutta 46.4.8.
          >
          > M: I only have a pali version of this and i dont know how to read
          > pali! Do you have an enlish (or sinhala) translation?
          >

          (snipped)

          > > Tep: It seems to me that listening attentively is eqivalent to
          > yoniso manasikara of the four noble truth as stated in MN 2. But
          > listening to whom (no arahant or a Buddha is available)? Is reading
          of that sutta (SN 46.4.8) sufficient?
          >
          > M: My friend, like i said those factors dont automatically pop out
          > of nowhere when listening to a Buddha or anyone else. Sometimes
          > there will be only one person who can understand right away. Going
          > on retreat, meditation, development of samadhi and vipassana
          > (panna), then reading/listening to suttas/sermons, is the best
          > chance there is IMO. (which is what those monks were doing when
          they become sotapannas in droves in the suttas)
          >
          > Good topic to discuss Tep. Thanks for it.
          >
          > take care
          >
          > Matheesha
          >
        • matheesha
          Hi Tep (Set 1) ... view means ... view . MN ... right view, ... right view ... is there ... M: I agree with the idea that there are different degrees of right
          Message 4 of 28 , Jan 2, 2006
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            Hi Tep

            (Set 1)
            > > > Tep: Math, you are not convinced that having a right
            view "means
            > > being an ariya. True, there are several definitions of "right
            view". MN
            > > 117 defines two levels
            >
            > Tep: The first right view is not that of the Arahant : "one of
            right view,
            > whose view is straight, who has perfect confidence in the Dhamma,
            > and has arrived at this true Dhamma"; I have not claimed this
            right view
            > to be that of a sotapanna either. The point I have tried to make
            is there
            > are several right views.

            M: I agree with the idea that there are different degrees of right
            view. You can have mundane right view and not be an ariya.

            > ..........................
            > (Set 2)
            T:if you want
            > to, please give your answer to the above question (i.e. how does
            one
            > appropriately attends to the four noble truths such that the
            three fetters
            > can be abandoned for good? )

            M: Dear Tep, to know the cessation of suffering -the 3rd noble
            truth, one has to have already progressed to that level. TO know
            that the noble eightfold path is that path to the cessation of
            suffering, one has to have already traversed it and experienced the
            results. To put it in another way the 4 noble truths are a complete
            experession of success in the path. It is not the other way around -
            understanding the four noble truths does not lead to abandoning the
            3 fetters. It is a bit like 'knowledge and vision of release' -the
            knowledge can only arise after release; as I understand it.

            1st noble truth: You will understands suffering in a conventional
            sense,("Birth, aging, death; sorrow,lamentation, pain, distress, &
            despair are stressful; association with what is not loved is
            stressful, separation from what is loved is stressful, not getting
            what is wanted is stressful) the mental and physical suffering. You
            can understand that when pleasure ends there is suffering ( the
            stressfulness of change). This needs more mindfulnes training to be
            detected because it is subtle (ie- a developmed faculty of
            mindfulness, developed in sensitivity, and span of time maintained).
            But that the 5 aggregates are suffering (dukkha as in the tilakkana)
            can be understood only through vipassana focused on the process of
            perception as I mentioned to Dan. This needs the development of
            sadda-->viriya--> sati--> samadhi. Samadhi will facilitate direct
            experiencing. Panna will arise.

            2nd noble truth
            you can see that craving, when not satisfied, leads to suffering.
            craving giving rise to rebirth and the five aggregates
            (undrestanding based on faith) gives rise to a mass of suffering
            (aging,death etc). On a vipassana level:

            "For him -- infatuated, attached, confused, not remaining focused on
            their drawbacks -- the five aggregates for sustenance head toward
            future accumulation. The craving that makes for further becoming --
            accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now this & now that --
            grows within him. His bodily disturbances & mental disturbances
            grow. His bodily torments & mental torments grow. His bodily
            distresses & mental distresses grow. He is sensitive both to bodily
            stress & mental stress.

            When there is understanding of tilakkana:

            "For him -- uninfatuated, unattached, unconfused, remaining focused
            on their drawbacks -- the five aggregates for sustenance head toward
            future diminution. The craving that makes for further becoming --
            accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now this & now that --
            is abandoned by him. His bodily disturbances & mental disturbances
            are abandoned. His bodily torments & mental torments are abandoned.
            His bodily distresses & mental distresses are abandoned. He is
            sensitive both to ease of body & ease of awareness.

            There is understanding of the bliss of renunciation.
            which is... the
            3rd noble truth.

            One a more deeper level, nibbida, revulsion towards the 5 aggregates
            (the opposite of craving) is a strong sudden emotion dismissing,
            rejecting everything in existence, rejecting all fabrications,
            rejecting all nama rupa. The mind is 'pushed' beyond the 8th jhana
            into a (non)glimpse of nibbana. The asankhata where there is no
            arising and passing away of anything. complete vijja giving rise to
            non arising of sanakhara (and the rest of the DO ending in dukkha).

            To give rise to such an experience we must be capable of going
            beyond the strength of the samyojanas for a moment. As far as I see
            the samyajana are what brings the mind back from nibbana and have it
            again rushing to the sense doors giving rise to fabrications. The
            middle ground between kaama loka and nibbana, is the rupa and arupa.
            So to traverse past these again and again the mind must be skilled
            in the jhanas. This is how phalasamawatha will be reached. But in
            the lower stages of the path to arahathood, the samyojana are still
            strong and phala experience is therefore disturbed - the mind
            slipping back again and again.

            "There is that dimension where there is neither earth, nor water,
            nor fire, nor wind; neither dimension of the infinitude of space,
            nor dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, nor dimension of
            nothingness, nor dimension of neither perception nor non-perception;
            neither this world, nor the next world, nor sun, nor moon. And
            there, I say, there is neither coming, nor going, nor staying;
            neither passing away nor arising: unestablished, unevolving, without
            support (mental object). This, just this, is the end of stress."

            [Ud VIII.1]

            The 4th noble truth is then understood. That this was the path to
            the cessation of suffering.

            I think this is the reason why the four noble truths are in this
            order. First you understand there is suffering and the full extent
            of that, then you find the cause, then you get rid of the cause,
            then if you were successful you see the path that you took.


            >
            > I cannot recall the "another sutta" by the Arahant-- I need more
            details,
            > please.

            MahaKotthita: "Sariputta my friend, which things should a virtuous
            monk attend to in an appropriate way?"

            Sariputta: "A virtuous monk, Kotthita my friend, should attend in an
            appropriate way to the five clinging-aggregates as inconstant,
            stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction,
            alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self. Which five? Form as a
            clinging-aggregate, feeling... perception... fabrications...
            consciousness as a clinging-aggregate. A virtuous monk should attend
            in an appropriate way to these five clinging-aggregates as
            inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an
            affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self. For it is
            possible that a virtuous monk, attending in an appropriate way to
            these five clinging-aggregates as inconstant... not-self, would
            realize the fruit of stream-entry."

            http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/sutta/samyutta/sn22-122.html

            M: This sutta talks of a stage after insight (yathabuthanana) has
            been gained. This is a stage where tilakkana (and perhaps other
            contemplations as above) can be constantly seen. This will lead to
            nibbida, the final rejection.

            metta

            Matheesha
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