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Element
18 Apr 12, 21:04
dear forum

i thought to raise a quite serious topic for inquiry here

in his 1st sermon, buddha taught the 4 noble truths, with its 8 fold path

then, in his 2nd sermon, buddha added (as fruition of the path) the 3 characteristics of impermanence, unsatisfactoriness & not-self

what resulted from these two sermons was many fully enlightened beings (arahants)

for what reasons would buddha teach the path in the following different ways, with often the same dhammas taught in a different &/or overlapping structure?

:confused:



the 37 enlightenment dhamma are as follows:


In this community of monks there are monks who remain devoted to the development of the four frames of reference... the four right exertions... the four bases of power... the five faculties... the five strengths... the seven factors for awakening... the noble eightfold path: such are the monks in this community of monks.

MN 118


The four frames of reference. Which four?


A monk remains observing the body in & of itself — ardent, clearly comprehending & mindful — putting away covetousness & distress towards the world.

He remains observing feelings in & of themselves — ardent, clearly comprehending & mindful — putting away covetousness & distress towards the world.

He remains observing the mind in & of itself — ardent, clearly comprehending & mindful — putting away covetousness & distress towards the world.

He remains observing dhammas in & of themselves — ardent, clearly comprehending & mindful — putting away covetousness & distress towards the world.




And what, monks, is right effort?


A monk generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen.

He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen.

He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen.

He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen.

This, monks, is called right effort.


These four bases of power, when developed & pursued, are of great fruit & great benefit.


There is the case where a monk develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on zeal (devotion)...

He develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on persistence (energy)...

He develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on intent (mind)...

He develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on discrimination (investigation)...




Monks, there are these five faculties. Which five?


The faculty of conviction (faith)

The faculty of persistence (energy)

The faculty of mindfulness (mindfulness)

The faculty of concentration (concentration)

The faculty of discernment (wisdom)




Monks, there are these five powers. Which five?


The power of conviction

The power of persistence

The power of mindfulness

The power of concentration

The power of discernment.




Kassapa, these seven factors for Awakening rightly taught by me, when developed and pursued, lead to direct knowledge, to self-Awakening, to Unbinding. Which seven?


Mindfulness as a factor for Awakening...

Analysis of dhammas as a factor for Awakening...

Persistence as a factor for Awakening...

Rapture as a factor for Awakening...

Serenity as a factor for Awakening...

Concentration as a factor for Awakening...

Equanimity as a factor for Awakening...




Now what, monks, is the Noble Eightfold Path? Right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.

And what, monks, is right view? Knowledge with regard to stress, knowledge with regard to the origination of stress, knowledge with regard to the stopping of stress, knowledge with regard to the way of practice leading to the stopping of stress: This, monks, is called right view.

And what is right resolve? Being resolved on renunciation, on freedom from ill will, on harmlessness: This is called right resolve.

And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, abstaining from divisive speech, abstaining from abusive speech, abstaining from idle chatter: This, monks, is called right speech.

And what, monks, is right action? Abstaining from taking life, abstaining from stealing, abstaining from unchastity: This, monks, is called right action.

And what, monks, is right livelihood? There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones, having abandoned dishonest livelihood, keeps his life going with right livelihood: This, monks, is called right livelihood.

And what, monks, is right effort? (i) There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen. (ii) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen. (iii) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen. (iv) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen: This, monks, is called right effort.

And what, monks, is right mindfulness? (i) There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, aware, & mindful — putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. (ii) He remains focused on feelings in & of themselves — ardent, aware, & mindful — putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. (iii) He remains focused on the mind in & of itself — ardent, aware, & mindful — putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. (iv) He remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, aware, & mindful — putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. This, monks, is called right mindfulness.

And what, monks, is right concentration? (i) There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful (mental) qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. (ii) With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of concentration, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. (iii) With the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.' (iv) With the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — he enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This, monks, is called right concentration.

;D

Yuan
19 Apr 12, 09:31
I think the answer is simple, Buddha developed better idea of what 'enlightenment' is, and different ways to teach to people with different 'dispositions' in his 49 years of teaching. His earlier students were probably all similar in their 'fundamentals' (e.g. practicing asceticism/Brahmanism for a long time.) But as the number of students grew, his students probably become diverse, and he had to adjust his materials and method to meet the need of his students, like any good teachers would do. So while the core stays the same, the detail changed.

Someone asked about upāya-kauśalya in another thread, I think this is an example.

In other words, I believe that Buddha himself grew and learned, as a 'enlightened being' and as a 'teacher.'

Element
19 Apr 12, 09:47
His earlier students were probably all similar in their 'fundamentals' (e.g. practicing asceticism/Brahmanism for a long time.) But as the number of students grew, his students probably become diverse....
thank you Yuan, for a very reasonable point of view. accordingly, the earlier students practised asceticism & therefore practised self-reliance but some later students could progress with dhammas such as faith (saddha) as the foundation

:hands: