How should we understand delusion?

I am constantly puzzled about how to understand delusion. I know the hindrances fuel it yet is delusion a “thing” , part of which khanda? Is wisdom eradication of delusion or is wisdom the main “thing” and delusion a lack of wisdom.

Another related question that has been bothering me for years… if essentially there is no self then how is it possible for this process of rebirth to go on forever? HOW does seeing the Dhamma end this process, at most 7 lives.

Is it just me or is this really puzzling?

What if one sees the Dhamma but then gets dementia or when one gets reborn again and forgets- what is the fundamental difference. Why will that rebirth lrocess come to an end?

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The 3 poisons do not belong to the aggregates, they taint the aggregates.

Delusion is explained in samma ditthi sutta.

  1. "And what is the root of the wholesome? Non-greed is a root of the wholesome; non-hate is a root of the wholesome; non-delusion is a root of the wholesome. This is called the root of the wholesome.

  2. “When a noble disciple has thus understood the unwholesome, the root of the unwholesome, the wholesome, and the root of the wholesome, he entirely abandons the underlying tendency to lust, he abolishes the underlying tendency to aversion, he extirpates the underlying tendency to the view and conceit ‘I am,’ and by abandoning ignorance and arousing true knowledge he here and now makes an end of suffering. In that way too a noble disciple is one of right view, whose view is straight, who has perfect confidence in the Dhamma and has arrived at this true Dhamma.”

Delusion = Conceit + Identity view

I personally don’t believe in literal rebirth but ego rebirth, however it doesn’t really matter anyway, self is just a label you slap on a mechanism, it doesn’t have anything to do with a mechnsism, so even if physical rebirth was true, the self has nothing to do with it.

As for memory and dementia see this sutta on remembering the dhamma in a next life

https://suttacentral.net/an4.191/en/sujato

If we go by the interpretation of a mind “stream” then when one is physically reborn, remnants of the mind stream carry over memories to the next host of the mind stream. It’s kind of like the trill race in star trek deep space 9 with the dax symbiont entering new hosts and has memories of like 20 different hosts the past 1000 years, except instead of a symbiont it’s the “stream”, which you can’t call a self either since it’s just a mechanism.

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Yes, AN 10.61 says the five hindrances are the nutrient/food/fuel of ignorance. SN 46.55 provides some excellent metaphors showing how the five hindrances cause ignorance, obscuration or blindness.

It seems ignorance or ‘non-realisation’ is certainly a ‘thing’. For example, most people do not understand Dhamma therefore this lack of understanding seems to be a ‘thing’.

Sankhara khandha

There is no inherent underlying wisdom that somehow comes to fruition when ignorance is removed. It is ignorance that is the “main thing”; that is “inherent” or “underlying” (refer to AN 7.11). To remove ignorance requires both samadhi & insight. Samadhi gives the mind a clarity & sensitivity that allows wisdom to develop. In summary, wisdom is something that must be developed; while ignorance is something to be reduced & removed.

The above interpretation of the teachings is related to stream-entry. Even though the word “lives” or “rebirths” does not actually exist in the Pali in SN 13.1; the standard Theravada interpretation of SN 13.1 is it refers to “seven times at most” (“sattakkhattuṁparamatā”) lives. Stream-entry includes overcoming doubt about the Path. If the mind attains stream-entry, it will understand what the Four Noble Truths are thus all doubts about the Dhamma will be resolved. While the Buddha taught believing in ‘rebirth’ develops ‘merit’ (‘morality’; MN 60; MN 117); it seems stream-entry is a different type of matter and probably attaining stream-entry by learning to drop craving, attachment & identity-view seems more beneficial than getting caught up in “puzzlement” about interpretations you cannot verify. In AN 3.65, it is said if a person practices Dhamma correctly:

  • They will have happiness & safety in the here & now.
  • If there is ‘rebirth’ or ‘the other world’, happiness & safety will again be guaranteed.

Personally, I think it is best to avoid what seems a very common idea, namely, believing in rebirth guarantees a good birth. I have not read the Buddha teach a good rebirth comes from belief in rebirth. Rather, it seems a good rebirth comes from good practice/kamma. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Please quote a Sutta.

This is another misrepresentation of True Dhamma.

In fact the fetters of Mana, Avijja and sakkaya ditthi are being distinguished by Buddha.

Hey Joe. I struggled to understand the above. Are you suggesting mana, avijja & sakkaya ditthi are not all included within the 3rd defilement category of ‘delusion’?

Nibbana… is the extinction of attachment, hate and delusion Iti 44

“Reverend, the ending of greed, hate and delusion is called extinguishment.” SN 38.1

This, bhikkhu, is a designation for the element of Nibbāna: the removal of lust, the removal of hatred, the removal of delusion. The destruction of the taints is spoken of in that way. SN 45.7

Having given up desire and hate, having dispelled ignorance, the perfected ones with defilements ended— they in the world are not avid. SN 1.28

“Oh! How happy are the perfected ones!
“Sukhino vata arahanto,
Craving is not found in them,
taṇhā tesaṁ na vijjati;
the conceit ‘I am’ is cut off,
Asmimāno samucchinno,
and the net of delusion is shattered.
mohajālaṁ padālitaṁ.

SN 22.76

Struck by feelings born of contact with ignorance (avijjāsamphassajena), an uneducated ordinary person thinks ‘I am’, ‘I am this’, ‘I will be’, ‘I will not be’… SN 22.47

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Delusion is all the fetters. Not just 2 or 3 or 4. This needs to be practiced & to be realized by each individual, It can be tested here and now.

Just don’t get confused with simple Sutta to complex one. Buddha and arahant are master of languages/words. They can use simple sentences/words to express complex issue and vice versa.

Good luck.

I am constantly puzzled about how to understand delusion. I know the hindrances fuel it yet is delusion a “thing” , part of which khanda? Is wisdom eradication of delusion or is wisdom the main “thing” and delusion a lack of wisdom.

No any part of 5khanda did it, but person or " satta "… did.

This referred to " satta sutta "… which Buddha said,

" rūpe kho rādha yo chando yo rāgo yā nandi yā
taṇhā tatra satto tatra visatto tasmā sattoti vuccati "

Radha, who cherished in form, who enjoy in form, clinked in form, desired in form, that(person) called " satta "
(also applied to the rest of 5khandas)

Another related question that has been bothering me for years… if essentially there is no self then how is it possible for this process of rebirth to go on forever? HOW does seeing the Dhamma end this process, at most 7 lives.
What if one sees the Dhamma but then gets dementia or when one gets reborn again and forgets- what is the fundamental difference. Why will that rebirth lrocess come to an end?
Thing is " not self " call " satta "…or person is to be reborn by building up a new 5khandas, again.

For " Sotapanna "… is the person or " satta " got the right view , not 5 khandas… therefore…right view followed the person…to next life and end missions not more than 7th life.
:point_up_2:
This is not a sassatavādā (idealism)
Idealism take part of 5khandas as thing as permanenc to traveling to the next life… especially take citta… or …take vinnana

If you can understand delusion, then you aren’t deluded.

Is “Sotapanna” a “satta” that “cherished, clinged, desired” the five aggregates? :thinking:

Not only " Sotapana "…but even " Anakame “…as well… still classified as " satta”…

Excepted only " Arahan "…who no more clink which he turned from " satta "…to " extinguished-element, deathless-element, unconditioned-element "…

But Sotapana, Sakitaka and Anakame are low level of " sanmyoka – attach, cherish… , respectively.

You may referred to the level they give up on the " sanmyoka "…

Where does the Suttas say this? Thank you. For example, AN 9.12 calls these “persons” (“puggalā”) rather than “satta”:

There are these nine people who, dying with something left over, are exempt from hell, the animal realm, and the ghost realm. They’re exempt from places of loss, bad places, the underworld.

Navayime, sāriputta, puggalā saupādisesā kālaṁ kurumānā parimuttā nirayā parimuttā tiracchānayoniyā parimuttā pettivisayā parimuttā apāyaduggativinipātā.

The definition of " satta "…as below said this.
:point_down:
" rūpe kho rādha yo chando yo rāgo yā nandi yā
taṇhā tatra satto tatra visatto tasmā sattoti vuccati "

Radha, who cherished in form, who enjoy in form, clinked in form, desired in form, that(person) called " satta "
( applied to the rest of 5 khadas…as well)

Anakame person still cherished in " form and formless " based on upper 5 fetters.

Yes, from SN 23.2. But where does SN 23.2 say it only does not apply to Arahants? SN 23. 2 says:

In the same way, you should scatter, destroy, and demolish form, making it unplayable. And you should practice for the ending of craving.

Therefore, it seems the stream-enterer must scatter, destroy and demolish attachment as they practice for the ending of craving. Do you think the steam-enterer practises attachment to reach Arahant? :thinking:

For the non-Noble, the suttas say:

I understood how beings pass on according to their actions thus: ‘These worthy beings who were ill conducted in body, speech, and mind, revilers of noble ones, wrong in their views, giving effect to wrong view in their actions, on the dissolution of the body, after death, have reappeared in a state of deprivation, in a bad destination, in perdition, even in hell; but these worthy beings who were well conducted in body, speech, and mind, not revilers of noble ones, right in their views, giving effect to right view in their actions, on the dissolution of the body, after death, have reappeared in a good destination, even in the heavenly world.’

Are there sutta that describe Noble Ones as “beings” (“satta”)? :saluting_face:

Sotapano only got the " view "… ritgt-view no wrong-view…
But… he still… cherishing, enjoying, clinking, in 5khadas… therefore… he still " satta "…

But he is " satta "…who understands the way to get away from clink… doing practicing by his efforts to let go the clink…

You only posting your opinion and you avoiding my question. Is there any suttas calling Noble Ones “beings”? Thank you

Definition…of " satta "… in Satta Sutta …said this …

I will try to reach in the Sutta…
But surely there is no say in any Sutta…
You need to consider from the definition of " satta "… and why " sotapana-person "…still have to rebrith…

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Are you considered this👇
" sattā ye pana ariyena paññācakkhunā "

Linked Discourses 56.63
Saṁyutta Nikāya 56.63
7. Abbreviated Texts on Raw Grain
7. Paṭhamaāmakadhaññapeyyālavagga
Wisdom
Paññāsutta
“… the sentient beings who have the noble eye of wisdom are few, while those who are ignorant and confused are many. …”
… “Evameva kho, bhikkhave, appakā te sattā ye pana ariyena paññācakkhunā samannāgatā; atha kho eteva bahutarā sattā ye avijjāgatā sammuḷhā …pe….

Tatiyaṁ.

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Sounds like it includes Arahants. :slightly_smiling_face:

No,. exclude Arahant…

Only satta who got the right eyes…
But Arahant is more than right eyes but this achieved already.

Wisdom is being able to see beyond delusion, being able to see the truth.

Rebirth comes to an end once Leviathan/Ouroborous is slain…Once that happens it can’t be undone, even if one forgets the truth he has come to know.

There is something called the “second death”. Regular people when they die, die physically but also their spiritual body unravels and gets sucked back into reincarnation. Once leviathan has been overcome, the solar body protects from the second death, and means you wont come back but you’ll continue in the spiritual plane