AKB, Ch. 1, Ver. 1: Exposition of the Elements (Dhatunirdesa); Homage; Qualities for the benefit of the Buddha Himself

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Grigoris
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AKB, Ch. 1, Ver. 1: Exposition of the Elements (Dhatunirdesa); Homage; Qualities for the benefit of the Buddha Himself

Post by Grigoris »

...the darkness in regard to everything, in regard to all knowable objects, is destroyed by him or for him...

..."Darkness", i.e., ignorance or not-knowing, for ignorance hinders the seeing of things as they are.
So basically here it seems the text is not referencing the omniscience of the Buddha but rather the ability to see reality.

Ignorance in this instance is not a lack of knowledge, but it is an obscuration to viewing reality.

Pratyekabuddhas and Sravakas (and here he seems to be referring to Arhat) on the other hand:
have not destroyed the darkness in every respect, for the
ignorance in which defilements are absent or undefiled ignorance
is active or manifests in them; they do not know:
1. the qualities [dharma] belonging [uniquely] to the Buddha
2-3. objects very distant in space or in time
4. the infinite variety and divisions of things.
Undefiled ignorance... So they have overcome defiled ignorance as defined above, but still lack the ability to know the 1. morality (sila), concentration (samadhi), super knowledge (prajna), liberation (vimukti) and cognition-insight of liberation (vimukti nanadarsana) of a Buddha.

4. Seems to refer to a lack of omniscience.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde
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Ch. 1, Ver. 1: Exposition of the Elements (Dhatunirdesa); Homage; Qualities for the benefit of the Buddha Himself

Post by jake »

Grigoris wrote: Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:03 am
...the darkness in regard to everything, in regard to all knowable objects, is destroyed by him or for him...

..."Darkness", i.e., ignorance or not-knowing, for ignorance hinders the seeing of things as they are.
So basically here it seems the text is not referencing the omniscience of the Buddha but rather the ability to see reality.
I think this is probably a "distinction without a difference" but I understood this passage to be more that the Buddha knows the true nature of reality rather than "see reality" and thus, is omniscient.
Grigoris wrote: Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:03 am Ignorance in this instance is not a lack of knowledge, but it is an obscuration to viewing reality.
This is a part of the Chapter that I'm still slowly digesting. I'd always though of knowledge (Sangpo translates as "understanding") as a sort of noun. Like a data bit that is transferred in and stored. The passage:
Sangpo, vol. 1, pp 205 wrote:That which is called the following (anucara) of understanding is its retinue (parivara), namely, the five pure aggregates (skandha; i. 7a) which coexist with understanding.
has changed how I understand and view this. The idea of understanding co-existing with the skandha makes it a little more clear on how one "gains" insight by removing obstructions. I'm still digesting this so not writing that clearly, and perhaps this shows that I lack a solid background in doctrine. :shrug:
Grigoris wrote: Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:03 am Pratyekabuddhas and Sravakas (and here he seems to be referring to Arhat) on the other hand:
have not destroyed the darkness in every respect, for the
ignorance in which defilements are absent or undefiled ignorance
is active or manifests in them; they do not know:
1. the qualities [dharma] belonging [uniquely] to the Buddha
2-3. objects very distant in space or in time
4. the infinite variety and divisions of things.
Undefiled ignorance... So they have overcome defiled ignorance as defined above, but still lack the ability to know the 1. morality (sila), concentration (samadhi), super knowledge (prajna), liberation (vimukti) and cognition-insight of liberation (vimukti nanadarsana) of a Buddha.

4. Seems to refer to a lack of omniscience.
The second part of this I'm still working on. I understand the difference between the two awakenings, if you will, the bodhi and anuttarasamyaksabodhi but how it links to the five pure aggregates, that part I'm still digesting.
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Ch. 1, Ver. 1: Exposition of the Elements (Dhatunirdesa); Homage; Qualities for the benefit of the Buddha Himself

Post by Grigoris »

By omniscience I am talking about "knowing everything". Clearly if one sees reality one will know the truth of reality, but is this the same with knowing how many hairs I have on my (slowly balding) head?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde
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Ch. 1, Ver. 1: Exposition of the Elements (Dhatunirdesa); Homage; Qualities for the benefit of the Buddha Himself

Post by Malcolm »

Grigoris wrote: Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:03 am
4. Seems to refer to a lack of omniscience.
Yes, and when you get a bit further, all knowable things really just means compounded and uncompounded phenomena included in various schemes of the skandhas, āyatanas, and dhātus.
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Ch. 1, Ver. 1: Exposition of the Elements (Dhatunirdesa); Homage; Qualities for the benefit of the Buddha Himself

Post by Malcolm »

Grigoris wrote: Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:32 pm By omniscience I am talking about "knowing everything". Clearly if one sees reality one will know the truth of reality, but is this the same with knowing how many hairs I have on my (slowly balding) head?
No, the Buddha could know that if he chose, but that is not really what omniscience here intends.
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Ch. 1, Ver. 1: Exposition of the Elements (Dhatunirdesa); Homage; Qualities for the benefit of the Buddha Himself

Post by Grigoris »

Malcolm wrote: Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:33 pm
Grigoris wrote: Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:32 pm By omniscience I am talking about "knowing everything". Clearly if one sees reality one will know the truth of reality, but is this the same with knowing how many hairs I have on my (slowly balding) head?
No, the Buddha could know that if he chose, but that is not really what omniscience here intends.
Yes, I am aware of the fact that a Buddha's omniscience requires that he turns his attention to an object, rather than just knowing everything all the time.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde
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Re: AKB, Ch. 1, Ver. 1: Exposition of the Elements (Dhatunirdesa); Homage; Qualities for the benefit of the Buddha Himse

Post by Queequeg »

This is the Pruden translation:
By this [that he has destroyed all blindness], the Buddha, the [Bhagavat] is sufficiently designated, for he alone, through possession of the antidote to ignorance has definitely destroyed all ignorance with respect to all knowable things, so that it cannot arise.

But the Pratyekabuddhas and the Sravakas have also destroyed all blindness, for they are freed from all ignorance defiled by defilements.

But they do not know the qualities proper to the Buddha, objects very distant in space or time, nor the infinite complex of things; therefore, they have not destroyed blindness in an absolute manner, for the ignorance freed from the defilements is active in them.
I added the emphasis above to easily contrast the two types of ignorance that are eliminated.

So in this passage V is explaining why Buddha alone is called Buddha.

A while back I was looking at the difference in practice between a bodhisattva and an sravaka with respect to the 12 linked chain. A sravaka seeks to break the chain between feeling (vedana) and clinging (tanha). There is nothing that can be done to halt the ripening of karma; so from rebirth to feeling, there is nothing much we can do. However, we can make efforts to break the cycle by preventing feeling from giving rise to craving. Carry on that practice long enough, eventually, karma is exhausted without continuing into craving and around and around. So this is the end of defilements - but, the end of ignorance, and particularly, fundamental ignorance (overcoming other forms of ignorance grounded in defilements is achieved - one needs to understand the subtler levels of defilement in order to play defense against them, and as one roots out the defilements, one becomes more acquainted and familiar with them), is not part of their path.

In contrast, as Malcolm points out, the Buddha knows all knowable things. So, his scope of knowledge extends to knowing what things actually are (empty). The sravaka approach does not require that kind of knowledge in order to reach nirvana (the final blowing out). If one knows the real nature of things, its kind of like winning the game by just blowing up the entire playing field. I've been taught, if you see emptiness, then nothing can arise anymore to cause you trouble. The whole 12 links just evaporates.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
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