Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

The Noble Eightfold Path

Collapse
This is a sticky topic.
X
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Jerrod Lopes
    started a topic The Noble Eightfold Path

    The Noble Eightfold Path

    By suggestion and out of common sense I thought it a good time to start a thread on the Noble Eightfold Path. We often speak of the Four Nobler Truths, the Five Precepts, Meditation and so forth, but really haven't delved much into the Noble Eightfold Path. In my reasoning at least, this is a majority part of the practice, as it is integral to the fundamental Four Noble Truths, being the road map tot he path out of samsara. Many many dhamma related questions can often be answered by one's ownself in daily decision making by having even a basic understanding of this Noble Eightfold Path.

    My hope is that this post can be migrated into a new forum dealing with the Noble Eightfold Path as its focus. I will be presenting the factors of the path one by one, much as the Five Precepts have been presented as individual topics elsewhere on this site. I will be using Ven. Bikkhu Bodhi's book "The Noble Eightfold Path" as reference, however, anyone is welcome to add to rebut or refute the posts using teachings from other teachers (i.e. Ajahn Brahmali, another world renown Buddhist and Pali Scholar).

    The first post regarding the first factor of the path shall follow shortly in another thread. May all beings be well and happy.

    Jerrod Lopes

  • Michael Rodgers
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sylvester Lam
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • Andrea Collisson
    replied
    For me right view is simply to know and accept the buddha's teachings as opposed to the teachings of the brahmins for instance.

    Leave a comment:


  • Rudite Salina
    replied
    Here Ajahn Brahm reads the Sammaditthi Sutta ( Right View MN 9 ).
    Wonderful, very inspiring!
    My deepest gratitude to Ajahn Brahm!

    With metta.

    Leave a comment:


  • Stuart Corner
    replied
    Thanks Rudite

    Stuart
    xxx

    Leave a comment:


  • Rudite Salina
    replied
    Originally posted by Stuart Corner View Post

    ... Rudite, I cant seem to find that thread is there any chance you (or someone) could do a link for me?

    Stuart
    xxx
    Hi Stuart,
    Sorry, I seem to have missed your question. Here is the link to that thread.

    With metta.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jerrod Lopes
    replied
    Continuing with the Noble Eightfold Path

    WOuld anyone care to continue where we've left off. I'm a bit busy with school and work for the time being and don't feel I will give this discussion the energy it needs, but would love to see it continue in a timely manner. Any takers?

    Metta,

    Jerrod : )

    Leave a comment:


  • Stuart Corner
    replied
    Thanks Rudite, thanks Guy ...

    ... Rudite, I cant seem to find that thread is there any chance you (or someone) could do a link for me?

    Stuart
    xxx

    Leave a comment:


  • Guy Craft
    replied
    Hi Stuart,

    Originally posted by Stuart Corner View Post
    'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed' - this sounds a lot like brahminic sacrifice and a little incongruous for Buddhist thought? - I'm not sure how to read this stanza - what are others thoughts?
    Just a guess: Perhaps the "sacrifice" doesn't mean killing or burnt offerings or anything like that, instead, perhaps it means giving up our own self-interest for the benefit of others. Therefore (if this interpretation is accurate) the Buddha is saying that we need to acknowledge that other people (such as our parents, teachers, etc.) have to give up many things in order to help us to get to where we are. Though, not knowing the original Pali word (nor it's intended meaning) that is used in this verse, I have no idea how accurate this guess is. It makes sense to me, given the context of the sentence. Perhaps Ajahn Brahmali can shed some light on this after the Rains Retreat.

    Originally posted by Stuart Corner View Post
    'There are beings who are reborn spontaneously' - the 'spontaneously' bit sounds like it may be saying that there is no cause and effect operating? … any thoughts?
    I don't believe that spontaneous rebirth means without cause, I believe it is referring to any realm other that the human or animal realm. In the human and animal realms beings come from the womb or an egg, whereas spontaneously reborn beings (all other realms) do not have to go through this process. So the verse here is saying that Right View includes the view that other realms (aside from that which we can see with our human eyes) exist. At least, this is my interpretation.

    Metta,

    Guy
    Last edited by Guy Craft; 24th-August-2011, 08:02 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Rudite Salina
    replied
    There is a thread Right View where Ajahn Brahmali wrote:

    The first part about giving is simply an affirmation that there is value, certainly kammic value but also "awakening" value, in the act of generosity. Remember that there were ascetics at the time of the Buddha, apparently famous ones, who denied the efficacy of giving.

    The reference to mother and father seems to be another reference to kamma. The emphasis on parents may be due to the particularly heavy kammic weight that actions towards one's parents tend to have. For example, killing one's parents is akin to killing an arahant in terms of kammic weight. Thus any moral practice should include particular attention to how one treats one's parents.

    The reference to spontaneously reborn beings is perhaps included to show that the field of kammic results is not limited to the human realm. This is important since it shows that kamma may ripen in very unpleasant ways. Potential rebirth in a lower realm is a very good motivator for getting off the wheel of rebirth. The idea of rebirth in other realms is important in Buddhism, and it is emphasized quite a bit in the suttas.
    I find this very helpful.

    With metta.

    Leave a comment:


  • Stuart Corner
    replied
    Originally posted by Michael Rodgers View Post
    Of course there are other definitions in the suttas eg.

    "There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this world & the next world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are priests & contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves."
    Hi all,

    'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed' - this sounds a lot like brahminic sacrifice and a little incongruous for Buddhist thought? - I'm not sure how to read this stanza - what are others thoughts?

    'There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this world & the next world.' - I guess this is kamma and rebirth … it is interesting to note that right/wrong view is also included in the kammapatha (paths of intention) – so it is wholesome kamma to take on right view in just the same way as it is wholesome kamma to refrain from killing, lying, stealing, etc.. it seems that just holding the correct view is part of Buddhist morality.

    'There is mother & father' – This seems a bit odd – you would have thought that this is obvious – is there a non-literal interpretation of this that I am missing?

    'There are beings who are reborn spontaneously' - the 'spontaneously' bit sounds like it may be saying that there is no cause and effect operating? … any thoughts? …

    'there are priests & contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.
    ' - I certainly hope so

    Stuart
    xxx

    Leave a comment:


  • Jerrod Lopes
    replied
    Glad to hear it Indira. I'm sure your friend will benefit greatly. Good to see you here friend.: )

    Jerrod

    Leave a comment:


  • Indira Fernando
    replied
    Bhikku Bodhi's book is really good. Just purchased a copy to give to a friend.... to help her in treading the Noble 8fold path.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guy Craft
    replied
    Hi Jerrod,

    Originally posted by Jerrod Lopes View Post
    What is the importance of kamma and rebirth as it relates to attaining Right View? Reasoning that the truth of these teachings would be known to one when one achieved Right View, is there importance to knowing these things as a condition to attain Right View?

    Jerrod
    I believe that the Kalama Sutta gives us a pretty good idea of how one who lacks direct knowledge of rebirth and/or kamma, should view rebirth:

    "Now, Kalamas, one who is a disciple of the noble ones — his mind thus free from hostility, free from ill will, undefiled, & pure — acquires four assurances in the here-&-now:

    "'If there is a world after death, if there is the fruit of actions rightly & wrongly done, then this is the basis by which, with the break-up of the body, after death, I will reappear in a good destination, the heavenly world.' This is the first assurance he acquires.

    "'But if there is no world after death, if there is no fruit of actions rightly & wrongly done, then here in the present life I look after myself with ease — free from hostility, free from ill will, free from trouble.' This is the second assurance he acquires.

    "'If evil is done through acting, still I have willed no evil for anyone. Having done no evil action, from where will suffering touch me?' This is the third assurance he acquires.

    "'But if no evil is done through acting, then I can assume myself pure in both respects.' This is the fourth assurance he acquires.

    "One who is a disciple of the noble ones — his mind thus free from hostility, free from ill will, undefiled, & pure — acquires these four assurances in the here-&-now.
    "Kalama Sutta: To the Kalamas" (AN 3.65), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, 30 January 2011, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipit....065.than.html

    The way I understand it, not everyone who has Right View has knowledge of rebirth and/or kamma - some do, some don't - but all of them believe in it to some extent. It is safe to assume, even if you don't know for sure, that rebirth and kamma are true because the belief itself leads to wholesome outcomes in this lifetime (let alone any future lifetimes).

    How does all this fit in with the Right View of the Four Noble Truths?

    In my opinion, if we don't believe in rebirth, then the idea of getting off the wheel of Samsara loses it's meaning. Some people interpret the wheel of Samsara as referring, metaphorically, to the ups and downs of this life only - I believe that this is a Wrong View. If this life is all there is then there are still, undoubtedly, benefits to be had from keeping precepts and practicing meditation - but wouldn't it mean that at the end of this life we effectively reach Pari-Nibbana no matter what, even if we don't practice the Noble Eightfold Path?

    The Buddha talks about crying more tears than the four great oceans and having one's head cut off over and over again - surely, even if these are intended as metaphors, many people's lives (this time around) are not that bad. If there is only one lifetime, what is the point in arousing a sense of urgency? Suffering ceases at death, right?

    Metta,

    Guy
    Last edited by Guy Craft; 19th-August-2011, 08:58 AM.

    Leave a comment:

Working...
X

Debug Information