'Spiritual one-upmanship', is it good or bad?


Yes, that’s the one!


Which part of it doesn’t conform to the SC guidelines?


Well I could be wrong but, I don’t recall a guideline that points out how conceit can be ‘helpful’. Particularly, when it comes to our conversation here? The Sutta seemed to be saying as much - conceit is OK - in a specific context?

I also know that the teachings tell us that conceit is, the last thing to go, before complete awakening. So, it’s not completely avoidable for most of us?


The sutta’s message, as I understand it, is that conceit may serve as an impetus to right striving. I don’t think it’s implied that it will help one to express oneself appropriately when discussing Dhamma.

I think it’s quite unavoidable for the non-arahant. The task (for someone in whom conceit is very prominent) would be to make use of it but without making a virtue of it.


That makes some sense if, it’s unavoidable until the end it must be workable or, nobody would completely wake up.

This reminds me of the simile about picking up a snake - what Sutta is that in - dear Venerable? I’ve had trouble finding the name of that Sutta?

I guess conceit is like a very slippery snake or, it wouldn’t be the last thing to go. It can also have a nasty bite!

There’s conceit and, there’s CONCEIT - do you get my drift? :thinking:


The Alagaddūpama Sutta, MN. 22.

Yes. I think that practically speaking the advice in the Bhikkhunī Sutta is likely to be more useful for teaching others than for self-guidance. That is, a skilled teacher might recognise that conceit is a particularly prominent trait in certain students and take advantage of that when exhorting them to strive.


Ajahn Brahm once told me about the advantage of having ‘some’ competitiveness. I have trouble understanding it’s value!

He said: when monks hear the good-news that one of them has had a break-through - a positive development - it may spur them on to apply themselves more diligently.

Is this connected with the benefits of conceit? If, they didn’t think they had ‘what it takes’ they may not ‘seize the day’.

This may have something to do with the difference between discernment and natural stillness - Panna and Samadhi?


Sometimes the easiest remedy is to have some time for silence and reflection.

I can assist with this :slight_smile:

A temporary time out





This topic was automatically opened after 15 hours.


In DN33, the ninth lost opportunity for liberation is:

Furthermore, a Realized One has arisen in the world. But he doesn’t teach the Dhamma leading to peace, extinguishment, awakening, as proclaimed by the Holy One. And a person is reborn in a central country. And they’re wise, bright, clever, and able to distinguish what is well said from what is poorly said. This is the ninth lost opportunity for spiritual practice.

When the Buddha spoke to Upaka in MN26, he lost an opportunity for liberation because he simply proclaimed his Realization without teaching the Dhamma. So Upaka shook his head and left. Understanding the lost opportunity, the Buddha went on to teach the Dhamma.

Earlier you had claimed the need to perhaps one day call a follower of yours

This made me sad and made me shake my head. Like Upaka, I fear that in this conversation we have both lost the opportunity to teach and learn.