SN 1.2 “Liberation”

I’ve had some negative feed back about the following “Liberation” sutta

At Sāvatthī.

Then, late at night, a glorious deity, lighting up the entire Jeta’s Grove, went up to the Buddha, bowed, stood to one side, and said to him, “Good sir, do you understand liberation, emancipation, and seclusion for sentient beings?”

“I do, sir.”

“But how is it that you understand liberation, emancipation, and seclusion for sentient beings?”

“With the ending of relish for rebirth,
the finishing of perception and consciousness,
and the cessation and stilling of feelings:
that, sir, is how I understand liberation,
emancipation, and seclusion for sentient beings.”

I personally see this as confirmation that the attainment of the cessation of perception and feeling is a crucial one in Buddhism.

My counter part takes issue with “…stilling” of feelings and claims this one word obscures the meaning of the sutta.

I’m wondering how folks see this sutta as an affirmation of Nirodha Samapatti. And I’m wondering how folks reconcile this “Liberation” with the traditional definition of Nibbāna (I.e. the ending of the effluents).

Thanks,

Pondera

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In short suttas like this a lot is packed into every line, and the first statement “With the ending of relish for rebirth” means the ending of the effluents, and being first it is the primary condition.

“When a monk’s effluents that should be abandoned by seeing have been abandoned by seeing, his effluents that should be abandoned by restraining have been abandoned by restraining, his effluents that should be abandoned by using have been abandoned by using, his effluents that should be abandoned by tolerating have been abandoned by tolerating, his effluents that should be abandoned by avoiding have been abandoned by avoiding, his effluents that should be abandoned by destroying have been abandoned by destroying, his effluents that should be abandoned by developing have been abandoned by developing, then he is called a monk who dwells restrained with the restraint of all the effluents. He has severed craving, thrown off the fetters, and—through the right penetration of conceit—has made an end of suffering & stress.”—MN 2

In fact the first line of the SN 1.2 verse encapsulates the activities of insight, while the second and third relate to calming.

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