Share on Facebook
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Thread: Is There a Criterion?

  1. #1

    Is There a Criterion?

    I was looking at this sutta for the first time today. I wondered if anyone had any comments about it ?


    SN 35.152 Atthinukhopariyaayo Sutta: Is There a Criterion?

    "Is there, monks, any criterion whereby a monk, apart from faith, apart from persuasion, apart from inclination, apart from rational speculation, apart from delight in views and theories, could affirm the attainment of enlightenment: 'Birth is destroyed, the holy life has been accomplished, what was to be done is done, there is no further living in this world'?"

    "For us, Lord, all things have the Blessed One as their root, their guide, their refuge. It would be well, Lord, if the meaning of these words were to be made clear by the Blessed One. Hearing it from the Blessed One, the monks will remember it."

    "There is such a criterion, monks, whereby a monk... could affirm the attainment of enlightenment... What is that method?

    "In this, monks, a monk seeing an object with the eye recognizes within himself the presence of lust, hatred or delusion, knowing 'Lust, hatred or delusion is present in me,' or he recognizes the absence of these things, knowing 'There is no lust, hatred or delusion present in me.' Now, monks, as regards that recognition of the presence or absence of these things within him, are these matters to be perceived by faith, by persuasion, by inclination, by rational speculation, by delight in views and theories?"

    "No, indeed, Lord."

    "Are not these matters to be perceived by the eye of wisdom?"

    "Indeed, Lord."

    "Then, monks, this is the criterion whereby a monk, apart from faith, apart from persuasion, apart from inclination, apart from rational speculation, apart from delight in views and theories, could affirm the attainment of enlightenment: 'Birth is destroyed, the holy life has been accomplished, what was to be done is done, there is no further living in this world.'"

    [Similarly for ear, nose, tongue, body (touch), mind.]


    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipit....152.wlsh.html

  2. #2
    Forums Member clw_uk's Avatar
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    795
    What this Sutta says to me is that the Dhamma is immediately observable, without any need of having "faith". Also the core practice of Dhamma (that of non-clinging) isn't dependent on having faith or in holding to doctrines.






    N.B. Some confidence in the Buddhas teaching is needed to start the practice.

  3. #3
    Anyone else have any comments about this sutta ?

  4. #4
    Forums Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Marion VA, USA
    Posts
    7
    It seems to me that the buddha attempted to make the attainment of enlightenment, quantifiable. And that it can be identified by recognizing the arising, or lack of, during the perception of an object. That belief, religious stance, philosophical views have no bearing. Only that the arising, or lack of, is percevied with wisdom.

    I may be way off base, i sometimes am. i guess i had always veiwed this sort of introspection as a tool for enlightenment. But it seems to me that with this sutta, the he is saying that the act of veiwing of the arising, and lack of, during the perception of an object throuh wisdom, is enlightenment.

  5. #5
    Forums Member Debbera's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Ontario Canada.
    Posts
    1
    I understand it to mean, once we have purgered our selfs of desires of the flesh and mind, we are free to experience life without judgement, attachments and curuption.

  6. #6
    Forums Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    395
    This is the key bit, "In this, monks, a monk seeing an object with the eye recognizes within himself the presence of lust, hatred or delusion, knowing 'Lust, hatred or delusion is present in me,' or he recognizes the absence of these things, knowing 'There is no lust, hatred or delusion present in me.' "

    This is interesting because it doesn't say that 'Lust, hatred or delusion' needs to be eradicated to be enlightened, but that when you encounter stuff you can see how it affects you. The word 'or' is important here.

  7. #7
    Forums Member Polar Bear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    California
    Posts
    47
    Quote Originally Posted by philg View Post
    This is the key bit, "In this, monks, a monk seeing an object with the eye recognizes within himself the presence of lust, hatred or delusion, knowing 'Lust, hatred or delusion is present in me,' or he recognizes the absence of these things, knowing 'There is no lust, hatred or delusion present in me.' "

    This is interesting because it doesn't say that 'Lust, hatred or delusion' needs to be eradicated to be enlightened, but that when you encounter stuff you can see how it affects you. The word 'or' is important here.
    I think you are misreading the sutta. The reason you need to see with the eye of wisdom whether lust etc are present or not is because the destruction of lust etc is nibbana. Seeing the presence or absence of lust etc is the method not the attainment.

  8. #8
    Forums Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    395
    Not for me, Polar Bear. Re-reading the sutta I think my original comment still holds. The eye of wisdom sees the 'either or' bit. There is no mention in the sutta of nibbana being the destruction of lust, as far as I can see. The sutta clearly says that, for the Buddha, the method is the attainment.

  9. #9
    Forums Member Polar Bear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    California
    Posts
    47
    You’re going to read one sutta out of context and interpret it in such a way that it contradicts all other suttas? Methinks that not a good method.

    By your reckoning, anyone who does the cittanupassana part of satipatthana is an arahant.

    Anyway, to clarify why the sutta in the OP is so great is because it shows the method by which one can discern whether they have realized the goal for themselves, but the method is not the goal.

    “And what, bhikkhus, is the unconditioned? The destruction of lust, the destruction of hatred, the destruction of delusion: this is called the unconditioned. - https://suttacentral.net/sn43.12/en/bodhi

    “Bhikkhus, I will teach you the taintless and the path leading to the taintless. Listen to that….

    “Bhikkhus, I will teach you the truth and the path leading to the truth…. I will teach you the far shore … the subtle … the very difficult to see … the unaging … … the stable … the undisintegrating … the unmanifest … the unproliferated … the peaceful … the deathless … the sublime … the auspicious … … the secure …. the destruction of craving … the wonderful … the amazing … the unailing … the unailing state … Nibbāna … the unafflicted … dispassion … … purity … freedom … the unadhesive … the island … the shelter … the asylum … the refuge … …”

    “Bhikkhus, I will teach you the destination and the path leading to the destination. Listen to that….

    “And what, bhikkhus, is the destination? The destruction of lust, the destruction of hatred, the destruction of delusion: this is called the destination.


    - https://legacy.suttacentral.net/en/sn43.14 & https://legacy.suttacentral.net/en/sn43.44

  10. #10
    Forums Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    395
    The sutta was the one under discussion, so I was talking about that particular one which was about identifying someone who may be enlightened, not about what enlightenment might be. If you are bringing in other suttas, it's clear that the Buddha offers no description of the identifying features of such a person, so that a statement of what may be going on internally is not the same as someone on the outside noticing external factors. The thread is about criterion whereby others may affirm the attainment of enlightenment in someone they meet, not about what destination they may have reached.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Los Angeles Mexico City London Colombo Kuala Lumpur Sydney
Fri, 9:02 AM Fri, 11:02 AM Fri, 5:02 PM Fri, 9:32 PM Sat, 12:02 AM Sat, 2:02 AM