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Questions about stream-winners - Page 2 - Dhamma Wheel

Questions about stream-winners

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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cooran
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby cooran » Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:23 pm

Hello all,

Here are three sites with good diagrams/explanations of what is eliminated at each stage by the Ariya Sangha, and what remains to be overcome:

QUALITIES OF ARIYA PERSONS[ Reference: "Ten Suttas from Digha Nikaya", Burma Pitaka Association, 1984]
http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/ariyas4.htm

From Puthujjana to the Buddha ( Reference: Brahmajala Sutta)
http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/ariyacht.htm

Ariyas (Noble Persons)
http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/mtinmon4.htm

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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mikenz66
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:30 pm


vinasp
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby vinasp » Thu Sep 24, 2009 3:41 pm

Hi Mike,

So you are saying that an arahant still has the five clinging aggregates, which are inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction..... etc ?

Vincent.

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Re: Questions about stream-winners

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vinasp
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby vinasp » Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:05 pm

Hi Mike,

Now it's my turn to be baffled, I thought everyone understood that the five clinging aggregates have ceased for an arahant. It just goes to show that one must be careful about ones asumptions !

Vincent.

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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:26 pm

[quote="vinasp"...]the five clinging aggregates have ceased... [/quote]

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Re: Questions about stream-winners

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vinasp
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby vinasp » Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:45 pm

Hi everyone,

At Savatthi. "Bhikkhus, I will teach you the five aggregates and the five aggregates subject to clinging. Listen to that....
"And what, bhikkhus, are the five aggregates ? Whatever kind of form there is, whether past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near : this is called the form aggregate.
Whatever kind of feeling there is.....this is called the feeling aggregate.
Whatever kind of perception...
Whatever kind of volitional formations...
Whatever kind of consciousness there is , whether past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near : this is called the consciousness aggregate. These , bhikkus, are called the five aggregates.
"And what, bhikkhus, are the five aggregates subject to clinging ?
Whatever kind of form there is, whether past, future, or present ...... far or near, that is with asavas, and subject to clinging : this is called the form aggregate subject to clinging.
Whatever kind of feeling ....
Whatever kind of perception ...
Whatever kind of volitional formations ...
Whatever kind of consciousness there is, whether past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near, that is with asavas, and subject to clinging : this is called the consciousness aggreggate subject to clinging. These, bhikkhus, are called the five aggregates subject to clinging". S. iii, 47 - 48.

From : The Connected Discourses of the Buddha. Bhikkhu Bodhi.

( Translation abreviated and slightly modified by me. )

That the Buddha needs to give two separate definitions here shows clearly that there are two sets of aggregates. The aggregates are one of the most difficult parts of the teachings to understand correctly.

I will look for a passage which makes it clear that the five aggregates of clinging have ceased for an arahant. I will post what I find here. It may take a day or two, if anyone else knows some passages then please post.

Best wishes, Vincent.

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cooran
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby cooran » Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:16 pm

Hello vinasp,

Can you give the Book, Vagga, and page number of Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation of the Samyutta Nikaya that you are referring to in your last post ( S. iii, 47 - 48)?

thanks
metta
Chris
Last edited by cooran on Sat Sep 26, 2009 5:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby vinasp » Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:37 pm

Hi Chris,

Yes, it's book 3 The book of aggregates. Division I the root fifty. Section V. number 48 . Title : Aggregates. Page 886.

Best wishes, Vinasp.

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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby vinasp » Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:12 am

Hi everyone,

This is MN 44 PTS M i 299 Translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu from : www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.044.than.html

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' Sanctuary. Then Visakha the lay follower went to Dhammadinna the nun and, on arrival, having bowed down to her, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to her, "'Self-identification, self-identification,' it is said, lady. Which self-identification is described by the Blessed One?"

"There are these five clinging-aggregates, friend Visakha: form as a clinging-aggregate, feeling as a clinging-aggregate, perception as a clinging-aggregate, fabrications as a clinging-aggregate, consciousness as a clinging-aggregate. These five clinging-aggregates are the self-identification described by the Blessed One."

Saying, "Yes, lady," Visakha the lay follower delighted & rejoiced in what Dhammadinna the nun had said. Then he asked her a further question: "'The origination of self-identification, the origination of self-identification,' it is said, lady. Which origination of self-identification is described by the Blessed One?"

"The craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming: This, friend Visakha, is the origination of self-identification described by the Blessed One."

"'The cessation of self-identification, the cessation of self-identification,' it is said, lady. Which cessation of self-identification is described by the Blessed One?"

"The remainderless fading & cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, & letting go of that very craving: This, friend Visakha, is the cessation of self-identification described by the Blessed One."

"'The way of practice leading to the cessation of self-identification, the way of practice leading to the cessation of self-identification,' it is said, lady. Which way of practice leading to the cessation of self-identification is described by the Blessed One?"

"Precisely this noble eightfold path — right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration: This, friend Visakha, is the way of practice leading to the cessation of self-identification described by the Blessed One."

"Is it the case, lady, that clinging is the same thing as the five clinging-aggregates or is it something separate?"

"Friend Visakha, neither is clinging the same thing as the five clinging-aggregates, nor is it something separate. Whatever desire & passion there is with regard to the five clinging-aggregates, that is the clinging there."

"But, lady, how does self-identification come about?"

"There is the case, friend Visakha, where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — assumes form (the body) to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form.

"He assumes feeling to be the self...

"He assumes perception to be the self...

"He assumes (mental) fabrications to be the self...

"He assumes consciousness to be the self, or the self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in the self, or the self as in consciousness. This is how self-identification comes about."

"But, lady, how does self-identification not come about?"

"There is the case where a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones — who has regard for noble ones, is well-versed & disciplined in their Dhamma; who has regard for men of integrity, is well-versed & disciplined in their Dhamma — does not assume form to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form.

"He does not assume feeling to be the self...

"He does not assume perception to be the self...

"He does not assume fabrications to be the self...

"He does not assume consciousness to be the self, or the self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in the self, or the self as in consciousness. This is how self-identification does not come about."

Best wishes, Vincent.

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mikenz66
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

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vinasp
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby vinasp » Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:53 am

Hi everyone,

Just some notes on MN 44. The Bhikkhu Bodhi translation seems better to me, if you have access to it. The term translated here as "Self - identification" is sakkaya in the Pali. The five clinging aggregates are called sakkaya. Note that the origination of sakkaya ( five clinging aggregates ) is craving. The wording is identical to the four noble truths. In fact the first truth ends with the words " ...in brief the five clinging aggregates are suffering". So suffering and the five clinging aggregates are the same thing. The cessation of sakkaya ( five clinging aggregates - suffering ) is the cessation of craving. The path which leads to this is the noble eightfold path. Therefore those who have completed the noble eightfold path no longer have suffering or sakkaya - the five clinging aggregates.
How does sakkaya ( five clinging aggregates - suffering ) come to be ? By seeing a self. How does sakkaya not come to be ? By not seeing a self.

Best wishes, Vincent.

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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby vinasp » Sat Sep 26, 2009 1:39 am

Hi Mike,

Yes. Thanks for that, most interesting. I think bhikkhu Bodhi is probably right in that it is the only sutta which clearly makes that distinction. I suspect it might be a later sutta. It might even be trying to smooth over contradictions between suttanta and the abhidhamma. Or it could be genuine.

I think that there are two sets of aggregates, but the reason I believe this involves advanced topics which I have not spoken of yet. Such as the higher path beyond the noble eightfold path, which I do not know if Bhikkhu Bodhi was/is aware of.

Are you saying that you do not accept those definitions ? Or that they are problematic ?
On Bhikkhu Bodhi's old article, I have some quotations from it if you are interested.

Best wishes, Vincent.

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cooran
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby cooran » Sat Sep 26, 2009 5:39 am

---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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mikenz66
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Sep 26, 2009 5:49 am


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Jechbi
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby Jechbi » Sat Sep 26, 2009 3:31 pm


vinasp
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby vinasp » Sat Sep 26, 2009 6:35 pm

Hi Chris,

You say that you would like to know more about the higher path. Can you tell me how many asava's there are ? And how many are eliminated by the noble eightfold path ? Lets call this clue number one.

Best wishes, Vincent.

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Re: Questions about stream-winners

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vinasp
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Re: Questions about stream-winners

Postby vinasp » Sat Sep 26, 2009 7:19 pm

Hi Mike,

Thanks. I think I understand your position better now. I do not really mind what we talk about. I do not think that the Dhamma can be divided into " topics", it is an unbroken whole. To understand one part correctly requires a correct understanding of all the other parts.
You say : " ... it seems clear that an arahant has aggregates before parinibbana." But what are aggregates ? And what is parinibbana ? Both terms are open to alternative interpretations.
On whether there are two kinds of aggregates, or two sets of aggregates. I think that there are, but I would have to explain many things in order to give my reasons. The passage which I quoted ( S. iii, 47-48 ) perhaps does not establish that there are two sets. It is open to interpretation. I do not think that this should be seen as a highly technical issue. The teachings on the aggregates are confusing. One has to sort out ones own confusion by choosing how one understands the aggregates. The definition of rupa in the passage quoted, for example, would seem to include every physical thing that one can think of, and not just one's own body. It seems to be the entire physical world ! But does it mean actual physical things, or something else ?
About the arahant not clinging I will address that in a separate post.

Best wishes, Vincent.


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