New Anthology: Noble Warrior by Ajahn Thanissaro

https://www.dhammatalks.org/ebook_index.html#NobleWarrior

From the website:

Noble Warrior : A Life of the Buddha Compiled from the Pāli Canon, by Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu & Khematto Bhikkhu. (published October 26, 2019) A biography of the Buddha using passages collected exclusively from the Pāli Canon. The translated passages are interspersed with a minimum of explanation, allowing the compilers of the Canon to speak for themselves. While the passages in the Canon are not sufficient for a strictly chronological account, they do contain ample material for a thematic one that highlights the Buddha’s three main accomplishments: 1) finding the path and attaining awakening, 2) teaching that path to his contemporaries, establishing a living apprenticeship for awakening, and 3) establishing the Dhamma and Vinaya to give structure to that apprenticeship so that the True Dhamma would last for many generations. Particular attention is given to the many accounts of the Buddha’s awakening and the role that his awakening played in shaping the Dhamma he taught.

Has anyone had a chance to read through yet?

Folks may also not know that Pariyatti offers a free pdf of Life of the Buddha According to the Pali Canon. https://store.pariyatti.org/Life-of-the-Buddha--According-to-the-Pali-Canon--PDF-eBook_p_1412.html

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Thanks for the heads up!

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Thank you🙏

I think it will be my next reading.
Only one thing, to me sound a little bit strange to put together the word Noble, Arya, with warrior, that brings in my mind always the idea of a war…
Our goal should be to make an end to the struggle inside us (that could also be useful as an help to bring peace around us…)…

mbo

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This may help…

SN2.3:3.5: The noble ones praise the slaying of anger, for when it’s incinerated there is no sorrow.”

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“The word ārya (Pāli: ariya), in the sense of “noble” or “exalted”, is very frequently used in Buddhist texts to designate a spiritual warrior or hero, which use this term much more often than Hindu or Jain texts. Buddha’s Dharma and Vinaya are the ariyassa dhammavinayo. The Four Noble Truths are called the catvāry āryasatyāni (Sanskrit) or cattāri ariyasaccāni (Pali). The Noble Eightfold Path is called the āryamārga (Sanskrit, also āryāṣṭāṅgikamārga) or ariyamagga (Pāli).

In Buddhist texts, the ārya pudgala (Pali: ariyapuggala, “noble person”) are those who have the Buddhist śīla (Pāli sīla, meaning “virtue”) and who have reached a certain level of spiritual advancement on the Buddhist path, mainly one of the four levels of awakening”—-Wikipedia

-Thanissaro has recently published two books broadly on this theme which reflects his stage of life, when extra effort is needed.

https://www.dhammatalks.org/ebook_index.html

-Thanissaro alludes to the populist thread which adulterates western Buddhism:

“when you look at the list of qualities included under the bases for success, you find only one that’s emphasized in modern mindfulness. That’s intentness. The other three—desire, effort, using your powers of judgment—are all considered antithetical to proper mindfulness practice as it’s generally taught now.”

“Just as a royal frontier fortress has a large army stationed within — elephant soldiers, cavalry, charioteers, bowmen, standard-bearers, billeting officers, soldiers of the supply corps, noted princes, commando heroes, infantry, & slaves — for the protection of those within and to ward off those without; in the same way a disciple of the noble ones keeps his persistence aroused for abandoning unskillful mental qualities and taking on skillful mental qualities, is steadfast, solid in his effort, not shirking his duties with regard to skillful mental qualities. With persistence as his army, the disciple of the noble ones abandons what is unskillful & develops what is skillful, abandons what is blameworthy & develops what is blameless, and looks after himself with purity…”—-AN 7.63

-To exert the effort of will and persistence required to advance in the dhamma is to fulfill a necessary aspect of the teaching:

"And what is the food for the arising of unarisen persistence as a factor for Awakening, or for the growth & increase of persistence… once it has arisen? There is the potential for effort, the potential for exertion, the potential for striving. To foster appropriate attention to them: This is the food for the arising of unarisen persistence as a factor for Awakening, or for the growth & increase of persistence… once it has arisen.”—-SN 46.51

-Making the distinction between conventional and ultimate reality, the practitioner sees clearly the parameters within which they are working, and therefore has the confidence for striving and persistence while going against the current:

"And who is the individual who goes with the flow? There is the case where an individual indulges in sensual passions and does evil deeds. This is called the individual who goes with the flow.

“And who is the individual who goes against the flow? There is the case where an individual doesn’t indulge in sensual passions and doesn’t do evil deeds. Even though it may be with pain, even though it may be with sorrow, even though he may be crying, his face in tears, he lives the holy life that is perfect & pure. This is called the individual who goes against the flow.”—AN 4.5

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I’m sure he’s right that there are teachers like that out there, but I’m always puzzled why he feels the need to generalise so much …
I enjoy his talks when he sticks to explaining what he thinks. I take those ideas into consideration, and sometimes agree and sometimes disagree. I ignore the passages where he starts speculating about others…

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I agree, it’s a weird flex. There are, it is true, certain terms used in Pali that especially evoke a warrior ethos. But these form one set of metaphors among many others, while Ariya is really fundamental to the Dhamma. It simply has a sense of “noble, excellent”, and has nothing to do with being a warrior. In support of this, the dictionaries lack any such reference. I think this is a mistake on the part of Wikipedia.

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Hello Bhante,

I think what makes the Buddha a “Noble” warrior is that he is not an actual warrior, i.e. immoral and base, but one who battles the defilements successfully, this is true regardless of the existential status of the phrase “noble warrior” in the texts. I think Ajahn Thanissaro picked the title because he found it inspiring and applicable rather than naming the book after an already established epithet of the Buddha.

Also, it follows his style of being somewhat contrary, since the warrior analogy/metaphor/whatever is largely shunned by western spiritualists, except when women use it, probably due to a concern with seeming androcentric and domineering and ungentle. So maybe it is a flex, but not one to be unexpected.

One may conquer a thousand men a thousand times in a battle,
but having conquered one’s own self, one would surely be supreme in battle.

Conquest over self is better than that over other people,
for the person who conquers himself, who lives constantly well-restrained,
neither gods, nor gandhabbas, nor Māra together with Brahmās,
can turn conquest into defeat for a person who is like this. - SuttaCentral

:anjal:

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Hmm, for me this has also a slightly other allusion. In the sutta with General Siha (AN8.12) the Buddha even takes on a list of commonly negative stigmated attributes for himself:

9 (1) “There is, Sīha, a way in which one could rightly say of me: ‘The ascetic Gotama is a proponent of non-doing who teaches his Dhamma for the sake of non-doing and thereby guides his disciples.’
10(2) “There is a way in which one could rightly say of me: ‘The ascetic Gotama is a proponent of deeds who teaches his Dhamma for the sake of deeds and thereby guides his disciples.’
11(3) “There is a way in which one could rightly say of me: ‘The ascetic Gotama is an annihilationist who teaches his Dhamma for the sake of annihilation and thereby guides his disciples.’
12(4) “There is a way in which one could rightly say of me: ‘The ascetic Gotama is a repeller who teaches his Dhamma for the sake of repulsion and thereby guides his disciples.’
13(5) “There is a way in which one could rightly say of me: ‘The ascetic Gotama is an abolitionist who teaches his Dhamma for the sake of abolition and thereby guides his disciples.’
14(6) “There is a way in which one could rightly say of me: ‘The ascetic Gotama is a tormentor who teaches his Dhamma for the sake of torment and thereby guides his disciples.’
15(7) “There is a way in which one could rightly say of me: ‘The ascetic Gotama is retiring, one who teaches his Dhamma for the sake of retiring and thereby guides his disciples.’
16(8) “There is a way in which one could rightly say of me: ‘The ascetic Gotama is a consoler who teaches his Dhamma for the sake of consolation and thereby guides his disciples.’

How I would express this reading is, that the Buddha isn’t one of the “political-correctness-talk” adherents, and demands from his listeners to accept that there is always a context for such commonly much overloaded terms.
See the explanations for the demanded context in the following 8 paragraphs.

Knowing the unconditionality of the sila-vows I never caught the idea, the Buddha could have talked other than “warrior for overcoming self-view, delusion, dukkha” and similarly when he took the term of “noble/aryan warrior” for himself…
(This perfect freedom in using terms, commonly stigmated or not, is, b.t.w., one of the aspects which I subsume under the meanings of the term “tathagatha”, but this is only a personal choice of a little experienced reader)

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Well, here is what he says in the introduction about it

As the Buddha himself said, a great deal can be learned about a person
through observing how he or she deals with adversity, so we felt it important to
include stories of the Buddha facing difficulties, both as evidence of his
character and as inspiration for those who are following his path. It’s because
the Buddha had to strategize and do repeated battle throughout his life—first
against his own defilements, then against the defilements of others—that we
have named this biography, Noble Warrior. Not only was he born into the noble-warrior
class, he also fought, and often won, the most noble of battles.

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