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Thread: Wisdom

  1. #1
    Dear friends,

    What is your understanding of the term "wisdom" (panna) and how it arises and stabilises in one's Buddhist practice?


  2. #2
    As there hasn't been any response, here's an excerpt from p.246 of "The Island " - an anthology of the Buddha's teachings on Nibbana by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Amaro:


    The Buddha continually pointed to wisdom as the central factor of the path. This underlies the training, as well as modulating the training so that it bears fruit in release. The Noble Eightfold Path begins with the wisdom factors – right view and right resolve. The five spiritual faculties of faith, effort, mindfulness, concentration, wisdom, culminate with wisdom. Any ‘letting go’ has to rely on wisdom.

    14.3)
    " Bhikkhus, just as the footprints of all living beings
    that walk fit into the footprint of the elephant, and the
    elephant’s footprint is declared to be their chief by reason
    of its size, so too, among the steps that lead to enlightenment,
    the faculty of wisdom is declared to be their chief,
    that is, for the attainment of enlightenment."

    ~ S 48.54 (Bhikkhu Bodhi trans.)

    https://cdn.amaravati.org/wp-content...pdate_2015.pdf

    Another English translation of sutta SN 48.54 can also be found here.


    Any thoughts?

  3. #3
    Forums Member daverupa's Avatar
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    Every time I write something, I end up changing the phrasing, and missing out on things which I try to add at the end, and this makes me want to change how things were phrased at first...

    It's a complicated word-stuff, it's taking time to bake...

  4. #4
    Forums Member ancientbuddhism's Avatar
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    Nikāyan wisdom-as-paññā as applies to contemplative work, simply said, is paying forward direct sensate information unfiltered by fabricated biases. Everything else is commentary. Now go and live it.

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    If avidya- ignorance in the sense of not knowing then Panna - wisdom is knowing, w are talking about dhamma - reality here
    So the path is Sila - ethics, Samadhi - Meditation, Panna - wisdom

    As we practice we begin to know dhamma for ourselves, ethics and meditation result in wisdom, which strengthens ethics and meditation and you grow and develop in wisdom, there is a beautiful simplicity in it, becoming more skilful and less unskilful

  6. #6
    Forums Member ancientbuddhism's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McKmike View Post
    If avidya- ignorance in the sense of not knowing then Panna - wisdom is knowing, w are talking about dhamma - reality here
    So the path is Sila - ethics, Samadhi - Meditation, Panna - wisdom

    As we practice we begin to know dhamma for ourselves, ethics and meditation result in wisdom, which strengthens ethics and meditation and you grow and develop in wisdom, there is a beautiful simplicity in it, becoming more skilful and less unskilful
    Exactly. This is where we find, as given in the Susīma Sutta (SN 12:70) that the reflex of craving (taṇhā) is known in direct contemplative work. And it is there that the aspirant holds the 8-fold path. This is what is called ‘knowledge of the structure of phenomena’ (dhammaṭṭhitiñāṇaṃ), essentially found through contemplation of impermanence as the rise-and-fall of that phenomena within the five-bases (pañcakkhandhā). Contemplation of impermanence (anicca) leads the reflexive analysis of the three-marks of anicca, dukkha, anattā toward the unprompted release of what one no longer clings to. This is where one 'does not seek out' (nibbindati) the five aggregates of conditionality; and is detached, dispassionate, and has ‘the knowledge ‘this is freedom!’ (‘…vimuttasmiṃ vimuttamiti ñāṇaṃ hoti…’) (Yadanicca Sutta (SN. 22:12-14).

  7. #7
    Forums Member Polar Bear's Avatar
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    Wisdom is seeing that craving sucks, getting over it, and then chillin.

    (Also, figuring out how to get over it and not feed it, since it generally continues to arise and requires gradual elimination.)
    Last edited by Polar Bear; 09 Jan 18 at 08:11. Reason: deleted unnecessary introductory statement

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    Hi,
    I believe that the buddha's hand gestures represent 'wisdom" and 'compassion'.
    My sense is that they are the same thing; that one cannot have one without the other;
    and that if one is wise they will also be compassionate, and vice-versa.
    .... john

  9. #9
    Forums Member Lifeform's Avatar
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    I think wisdom are the different angles of the knowledge.

    Like when you have read a book then you have gained knowledge. But if you can read even one sentence again and get a different meaning out of it then that is gaining wisdom.


    A wise man listens carefully to a fool because he does not hear a fool. He tries to hear any different points of view.

    A wise man knows that he is not wise. There are always more angles of the knowledge to discover and consider.
    Last edited by Lifeform; 04 Sep 19 at 02:53.

  10. #10
    The following is from an article : "Prajna or Panna in Buddhism" by Barbara O'Brien .


    Prajna is Sanskrit for "wisdom." Panna is the Pali equivalent, more often used in Theravada Buddhism. But what is "wisdom" in Buddhism?

    The English word wisdom is linked to knowledge. If you look the word up in dictionaries, you find definitions such as "knowledge gained through experience"; "using good judgment"; "knowing what is proper or reasonable." But this is not exactly "wisdom" in the Buddhist sense.

    This is not to say that knowledge isn't important, also. The most common word for knowledge in Sanskrit is jnana. Jnana is practical knowledge of how the world works; medical science or engineering would be examples of jnana.

    However, "wisdom" is something else. In Buddhism, "wisdom" is realizing or perceiving the true nature of reality; seeing things as they are, not as they appear. This wisdom is not bound by conceptual knowledge. It must be intimately experienced to be understood.

    The article continues with definitions of wisdom in Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism.

    https://www.learnreligions.com/prajna-or-panna-449852

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