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Right Learning?

You’re confused? Then we should discuss it.

with metta

Hey Mat, if you are volunteering to break this down I would love to read your explanation. Thanks so much!

Very Nice and useful. Thanks very much!

It is a great work by Kalyanamitta @Stephen18
I think this should be printed and distributed to every temple to use as a wall hanging.

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Would this be understood? :

2nd Noble Truth: origination, origination = DO in the forward order = cause of how suffering arises
3rd Noble Truth: cessation = DO in the ceasing order = how the cause of suffering is removed so that suffering ceases.

with metta

Why is the 2nd noble truth tanha and not avijja?

Understood with my limited intelligence. :thinking: Thanks

Don’t worry Rosie, I know a guy better than all teachers in this world combined. Not only is he very knowledgeable when it comes to Buddhism, but he is also very good at explaining. He explains things so well and clear that even a bronze age indian peasant can understand. The fact that you live in a place that is remote in terms of buddhism might end up being the best thing that ever happened to you, saving you from years wasted uselessly. I’ve sent PM with this teacher.

Imagine there were a bunch of bushman seeing a car for the first time. Naturally they would believe it is pushed by a mysterious force, maybe the spirit of an elephant, maybe the spirit of a tiger since the car is so fast. A mechanic might come to them and tell them there is no spirit, that there is just an engine and that is all there is, but they would not understand. They would probably imagine this engine as some sort of spirit, or they would simply not be able to understand it.

What is missing here ? Why can’t they understand there is just the car and no spirit behind it ?

To lift a 200 kg weight we need to practice first from a lighter weight then gradually increasing the weight. In the same way our mental defilements are 2 tons weight, we need to have a very strong muscle of wisdom first to lift them off.

Tell that to Aguimala who was a serial killer and became a stream enterer after just a couple of hours, not even days. Tell that to all the hundreds of cases of people attaining stream entry in the suttas, who all did it in the exact same way and all took a relatively short time.

So what do you think about the bushman, what seems to be missing from their understanding of the car ? Is it defilements that are keeping them from understanding there is no spirit pushing the car, or is it something else ?

You need to consider the practice and kamma that they have done in their last lives. Developing the paramitas spans multiple lifetimes.

Obviously they lack physics lessons.

Let alone that done in past lives, consider the kamma done in the present live. Aguimala even tried killing the Buddha.

Obviously they lack physics lessons.

That is a great observation. Nobody explained them how this engine works. Nobody showed it to them, nobody explained how every little piece of it works. If someone would have done that, they would be able to see that there really is just the car and the engine, with no spirit behind.

In the case of the non-existence of a self, we see that there are hundreds of cases in the suttas where people attain stream entry. All of them did it while listening to discourses about the higher dhamma (the technical details about how being work, how aggregates work, etc.). They also generally listened to it in a particular order, such as the 5 friends of the Buddha who he first intructed into this new dhamma that he has discovered. On the first day he explained conditionality, on the second day the aggregates, etc. and only at the end did he give the most difficult teachings about no-self.

Despite so many cases of people attaining stream entry in the suttas, I have seen no case where a person does it in a different way. I’ve seen no case of a person going to the forest to meditate, or a person perfecting his detachment, etc. All who did it, did it in the same exact way. If you know of such a sutta where a person does it in a different manner, then please share it with me.

Also, if you consider detachment to be necessary, then how come there were so many wanderers during Buddha time and none achieved anything ? More than this, we see that people who were exposed to this higher dhamma either became arahants if they were ascetics or simply stream enterers if they were random lay persons.

The whole point about buddhism is this dhamma that was discoered by the buddha, shared to this world and well preserved to this day. There are monks in all religions, the most hardcore ascetics are withing orthodox christianity. In buddhism, the first step is right view (stream entry), only then does the difficult part of removing attachment starts. If we are doing it the other way around, that can be called an amateurish approach. It is like trying to build the rooftop of a house before building the house.

By the way, how did Buddha achieve enlightenment ? What did he do different from all other ascetics of his time ?

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I posted here a while ago about the 4 types of person, maybe it could help you sort the question out. For reference the text is from the boddhipakkhiya dipani (just Google it).

The Buddha himself :slightly_smiling_face:

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Well, we see in the suttas that those were were ascetics achieved non-returning or arahnship on the spot when getting exposed to this higher dhamma part of Buddha teachings. Those that were simple random lay persons achieved only stream entry. So if a person is a true renunciate, that will of course help. He will achieve higher liberation when he will get exposed to the dhamma. But we see in the suttas that Buddha always started with this right-view part. He even said that it is inefficient to do it the other way arround:

“Bhikkhus, whether for a layperson or one gone forth, I do not praise the wrong way. Whether it is a layperson or one gone forth who is practising wrongly, because of undertaking the wrong way of practice he does not attain the method, the Dhamma that is wholesome. And what, bhikkhus, is the wrong way? It is: wrong view … wrong concentration. This is called the wrong way. Whether it is a layperson or one gone forth who is practising wrongly, because of undertaking the wrong way of practice he does not attain the method, the Dhamma that is wholesome.

It is much more efficient to start with right view and only then continue with the other 7 steps of the path.

The Buddha himself

Is that how Buddha achieved stream entry ? He actually achieved enligtenment on the spot when he discovered the dhamma because he already had detachment fully developed so he skipped the lower stages.

And he did not do it through meditation, neither through detachment. The way he achieved enlightenment can be found here in SN 12.65

Before he did that, he was a random ascetic like other tens of thousands of ascetics wandering around in India at that time.

As far as I remember the Buddha starts the middle way by first remembering his anapanasati meditation from childhood, then entering jhana, and so on thus practicing the middle path i.e. not doing self harm and not chasing sense pleasures.

That’s true. But the moment he achieved enlightenment and the thing he did differently in that day is described in SN 12.65. Before doing that, he was still an “uninlightened boddhasita”, to which such things “never occurred”.

Though I agree that for a person to discover the dhamma, such things as detachment (that also requires jhana) are probably needed. Maybe the only option for the one who discovers the dhamma by himself is to attain enlightenment on the spot.

But we do not need to rediscover the wheel. Thankfully we have the dhamma well exposed and well preserved up until this day.

From the 4 types of person I said earlier, basically if you are a person born with a high level of amoha you can attain enlightenment just by hearing dhamma. But nowadays only a lower type of people exists whose should practice the middle path completely to attain enlightment. The human race, after all, goes into decline not incline.

However these 4 types of persons will attain stream entry, they still need to do it through the same way people in the suttas did it. They can’t do it in another way. So weather they chose to read and contemplate the higher dhamma or prefer to postpone that, assuming that they are too stupid or simply not the right person to become a stream enterer, it doesn’t matter. They will still have to do that step of reading and contemplating it at one point.

It is similar to those self-mutilating ascetics from Buddha time. They said they have bad kamma and are inflicting suffering upon themselves in order to get rid of it. The Buddha asked them “do you know how much bad kamma you have ?” and they answered “no, we don’t”.

Similary, people who refuse to do the step needed to become a stream enterer, based on the idea that they have bad kamma or that they are not the most suited person because supposedly people today are super bad at understanding the dhamma, I ask them this: “Do you know exactly how much bad kamma you have ? How do you know you don’t actually have a ton of good kamma behind and this is your lucky day ?” and "Do you know for sure you are an inferior person because of being born today ? Do you know for sure that you are inferior enough so that you won’t be able to understand the higher dhamma if you were to try and therefore can’t attain stream entry ? Do you have a measuring device that told you how inferior and how much bad kamma you have, so that you know for sure that what you are saying is correct ?

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