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The Noble Eightfold Path

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  • #31
    The Buddha did teach 2 versions of Right View, ie the "there is what is given" version and the 4 Noble Truths version.

    If you pop into MN 117, both versions are laid out and distinguished. The first version is said to be " sāsavā puññābhāgiyā upadhivepakkā ", ie with outflows, connected with merit, resulting in acquisitions. The outflows/āsava is simply the process of consciousness flowing out to a new birth, which ties in to merit/kamma dictating the nature of the rebirth. 'Acquisitions' is another term used in the Pali Canon to refer to the 5 Aggregates. Essentially, this is taught if the Buddha felt that the listener is not yet ready for the deep teachings on the 4 Noble Truths. Try to recall the standard formula in the texts where the Buddha gives a graduated discourse (ānupubbī-kathā), depending on the listener's readiness -

    he gave a step-by-step talk, i.e., a talk on giving, a talk on virtue, a talk on heaven; he declared the drawbacks, degradation, & corruption of sensual passions, and the rewards of renunciation. Then when he saw that Suppabuddha the leper's mind was ready, malleable, free from hindrances, elated, & bright, he then gave the Dhamma-talk peculiar to Awakened Ones, i.e., stress, origination, cessation, & path.
    The 2nd version is said to be "ariyā anāsavā lokuttarā maggaṅgā", ie Noble, without outflows, transcending, a path factor. You can read in that sutta how this is explained for someone possessing the Right View that is transcending. You may be able to see how MN 117's exposition on the teaching peculiar to the Buddha's ties in with the the Stream Entry that always follows the ānupubbī-kathā.

    As for the "sacrifice" mentioned in the 1st type of Right View, the Pali word is "huta". It does carry the sense of sacrifice, but it also means in other contexts "offering". In this sense, I think the set "atthi dinnaṃ, atthi yiṭṭhaṃ, atthi hutaṃ" (There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed') should just be read as synonyms laying out an example of skilful kamma in generosity. MN117 declares that a denial of this is Wrong View, which is probably targeted at Ajita Kesakambalin's teachings recorded in DN 2.

    With metta


    • #32
      Dear Sylvester

      Ven Brahmali goes to great lengths in his talk on the this sutta (MN 117 the great forty) to say that the aryian right view is a later addition. He makes the point that this description of the standard right view as one that is connectected with the asavas and leads to rebirth, is a description not found in the chinese agamas or anywhere else in the suttas. However it is found in the abidhamma and so he sees it as a late addition to the suttas and not the word of the Buddha.



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