Are there such phrases in the canon?

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Viach
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Are there such phrases in the canon?

Post by Viach » Wed May 01, 2019 6:26 am

Question to the sutras connoisseurs: are there phrases in the canon like 'practice of Path (8NP)' or 'to practice the Path'? The fact is that the interpretations of the Path as a set of practices or as a template by which all practices are sorted are very common. But, is there any evidence of such interpretations in the canon ? After all, if this is so, then the above phrases should be a natural (aspiring) expression of such interpretations. In my opinion, such phrases cannot be in the canon since 8NP is precisely the result of practice, and not a practice itself (a set of practices). After all, the word 'path' has at least two widespread meanings: directly a practice of taking steps and a sequence of views, landscapes, landmarks (as, for example, in the sentence: 'My path ran through the forest, further along the river and, finally, over the mountain.') Despite these two meanings of the word 'path', the first option (practice) is usually used when interpreting 8NP, rather than the second (sequence of landmarks). This is the background of my question.

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Astus
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Re: Are there such phrases in the canon?

Post by Astus » Wed May 01, 2019 8:26 am

Viach wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 6:26 am
is there any evidence of such interpretations in the canon?
The very first speech of the Buddha, the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, has it: ‘This noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering is to be developed’ (‘Taṃ kho panidaṃ dukkhanirodhagāminī paṭipadā ariyasaccaṃ bhāvetabban’ti). The Four Noble Truths itself tells exactly that the eightfold path is the path leading to the cessation of suffering. You may also look into the Magga Saṃyutta for basic teachings on the N8P.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

Viach
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Re: Are there such phrases in the canon?

Post by Viach » Fri May 03, 2019 5:12 am

The Path as a result of the practice can be developed, it can arise, it can be born. The Path as a set of practices can't be developed, it can't arise, it can't be born. The Path as a set of practices can only be practiced. Therefore, the Buddha did not use phrases like 'practice of Path' or 'to practice the Path'.

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Re: Are there such phrases in the canon?

Post by SonamTashi » Fri May 03, 2019 10:54 am

Viach wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 5:12 am
The Path as a result of the practice can be developed, it can arise, it can be born. The Path as a set of practices can't be developed, it can't arise, it can't be born. The Path as a set of practices can only be practiced. Therefore, the Buddha did not use phrases like 'practice of Path' or 'to practice the Path'.
Maybe you should actually read the sutras before simply deciding what the Buddha must have said based on nothing but your own biases and mental constructions.
:bow: :buddha1: :bow: :anjali: :meditate:

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Astus
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Re: Are there such phrases in the canon?

Post by Astus » Fri May 03, 2019 11:03 am

Viach wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 5:12 am
The Path as a result of the practice can be developed, it can arise, it can be born. The Path as a set of practices can't be developed, it can't arise, it can't be born. The Path as a set of practices can only be practiced.
The path is what one practices. There are no practices to get to the path. And the goal of the path, liberation, is what is the result of practice, not the practice itself is the result.

As it's said of the Noble Eightfold Path: "This is the only path; there is none other for the purification of insight. Tread this path, and you will bewilder Mara." (Dhp 20.274)
the Buddha did not use phrases like 'practice of Path' or 'to practice the Path'.
It is right there as the fourth noble truth. But if you mean the Buddha did not use the English word "practice", you are right. What you find, however, is the word 'bhāveti', and it means 'to cultivate' and 'to develop'.

Katame aṭṭha dhammā bhāvetabbā? Ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo seyyathidaṃ—sammādiṭṭhi, sammāsaṅkappo, sammāvācā, sammākammanto, sammāājīvo, sammāvāyāmo, sammāsati, sammāsamādhi.
What eight things should be developed? The noble eightfold path, that is: right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right immersion.
(DN 34)
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Are there such phrases in the canon?

Post by seeker242 » Fri May 03, 2019 12:28 pm

Viach wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 5:12 am
The Path as a result of the practice can be developed, it can arise, it can be born. The Path as a set of practices can't be developed, it can't arise, it can't be born. The Path as a set of practices can only be practiced. Therefore, the Buddha did not use phrases like 'practice of Path' or 'to practice the Path'.
He did use such phrases.

"You yourselves must strive. The Buddhas are only teachers. The meditative ones who practice the path are released from the bonds of evil" (Dhammapada. 276)."

An Arhat's enlightenment is a result of "practicing the path" laid out by a Buddha.
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!

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Re: Are there such phrases in the canon?

Post by Simon E. » Fri May 03, 2019 12:50 pm

Instead of telling us what you don't believe the Buddha said on this issue Viach, why don't you tell us clearly what you think he DID say?
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

Viach
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Re: Are there such phrases in the canon?

Post by Viach » Fri May 03, 2019 1:18 pm

But if you mean the Buddha did not use the English word "practice", you are right. What you find, however, is the word 'bhāveti', and it means 'to cultivate' and 'to develop'.

Does anyone know if Pali/Sanskrit has a word identical to the English word "practice"? And if so, why did the Buddha not use it, but use the word 'bhāveti'?

Viach
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Re: Are there such phrases in the canon?

Post by Viach » Fri May 03, 2019 2:01 pm

£$&^@ wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 12:50 pm
Instead of telling us what you don't believe the Buddha said on this issue Viach, why don't you tell us clearly what you think he DID say?
The path is the truth (the fourth), and the truth cannot be practiced: it can only be comprehended/achieved. Four Noble Truths - are the Aryan truths, i.e. a given for the Aryans. Beginners (we all) cannot “practice” them, for we are not Arias. And there is no other Aryan Path for beginners. Therefore, I believe that the Buddha meant by the word “path” not a set of practices, but the result of practices or a set of practices results.

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Re: Are there such phrases in the canon?

Post by Simon E. » Fri May 03, 2019 3:14 pm

Sorry. I have quite genuinely read that through slowly three times and I have no idea what you mean.
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

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Astus
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Re: Are there such phrases in the canon?

Post by Astus » Fri May 03, 2019 3:15 pm

Viach wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 1:18 pm
Does anyone know if Pali/Sanskrit has a word identical to the English word "practice"? And if so, why did the Buddha not use it, but use the word 'bhāveti'?
To practise:
1. Perform (an activity) or exercise (a skill) repeatedly or regularly in order to acquire, improve or maintain proficiency in it.
2. Carry out or perform (a particular activity, method, or custom) habitually or regularly.

Bhāveti does have a meaning similar to practising something. One of its derivatives is bhāvanā, that is commonly translated as meditation. Another word for practising is paṭipajjati, related to paṭipadā ('means of reaching a goal or destination, path, way, means, method, mode of progress') - see above: 'dukkhanirodhagāminī paṭipadā' (the way leading to the cessation of suffering) -, and it means 'to enter upon (a path), to go along, follow out (a way or plan), to go by; fig. to take a line of action, to follow a method, to be intent on, to regulate one's life'

'What is the Truth of the Path (mārgasatya)? It is the means by which one understands suffering (duḥkhaṃ parijānīte), abandons the origin [of suffering] (samudayaṃ prajahāti), attains the cessation [of suffering] (nirodhaṃ sākṣātkaroti) and cultivates the path (mārgaṃ bhāvayati). This, in brief, is called the characteristic of the Truth of the Path.'
(Abhidharmasamuccaya, p 140-141)
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Are there such phrases in the canon?

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Fri May 03, 2019 3:17 pm

Cannot offhand recall the sutta, but it had to do with our Buddha using a metaphor of finding a lost path that previous buddhas had trod. So if one wishes to say the 'path' is a series of landmarks - fine. But when one treads that path one is 'practicing' it. The Path is truly an inner way with & thru the mind.
May all seek, find and follow the Path of selflessness.

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Re: Are there such phrases in the canon?

Post by Viach » Fri May 03, 2019 4:01 pm

Bhāveti does have a meaning similar to practising something. One of its derivatives is bhāvanā, that is commonly translated as meditation. Another word for practising is paṭipajjati, related to paṭipadā ('means of reaching a goal or destination, path, way, means, method, mode of progress')
Obviously, if the Path were a set of practices, the Buddha would use the word paṭipajjati, related to paṭipadā. But, he used the word bhāveti, associated with the word bhāvanā, i.e. Path is a description of the eight qualities of a meditative state already achieved. (Path is stable stay (in time and in circumstances) in this meditative state). Q.E.D.

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Re: Are there such phrases in the canon?

Post by 如傑優婆塞 » Fri May 03, 2019 4:03 pm

Cannot offhand recall the sutta, but it had to do with our Buddha using a metaphor of finding a lost path that previous buddhas had trod. So if one wishes to say the 'path' is a series of landmarks - fine. But when one treads that path one is 'practicing' it. The Path is truly an inner way with & thru the mind.
This?
"In the same way I saw an ancient path, an ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-Awakened Ones of former times.
And what is that ancient path, that ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-Awakened Ones of former times? Just this Noble Eightfold Path: right view, right aspiration, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. That is the ancient path, the ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-Awakened Ones of former times.

I followed that path. Following it, I came to direct knowledge of aging & death, direct knowledge of the origination of aging & death, direct knowledge of the cessation of aging & death, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of aging & death. I followed that path. Following it, I came to direct knowledge of birth... becoming... clinging... craving... feeling... contact... the six sense media... name-&-form... consciousness, direct knowledge of the origination of consciousness, direct knowledge of the cessation of consciousness, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of consciousness. I followed that path."
1

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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Are there such phrases in the canon?

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Fri May 03, 2019 4:06 pm

如傑優婆塞 wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 4:03 pm
Cannot offhand recall the sutta, but it had to do with our Buddha using a metaphor of finding a lost path that previous buddhas had trod. So if one wishes to say the 'path' is a series of landmarks - fine. But when one treads that path one is 'practicing' it. The Path is truly an inner way with & thru the mind.
This?
"In the same way I saw an ancient path, an ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-Awakened Ones of former times.
And what is that ancient path, that ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-Awakened Ones of former times? Just this Noble Eightfold Path: right view, right aspiration, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. That is the ancient path, the ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-Awakened Ones of former times.

I followed that path. Following it, I came to direct knowledge of aging & death, direct knowledge of the origination of aging & death, direct knowledge of the cessation of aging & death, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of aging & death. I followed that path. Following it, I came to direct knowledge of birth... becoming... clinging... craving... feeling... contact... the six sense media... name-&-form... consciousness, direct knowledge of the origination of consciousness, direct knowledge of the cessation of consciousness, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of consciousness. I followed that path."
1
That is the one, Nagara Sutta: The City - thanks.
May all seek, find and follow the Path of selflessness.

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Re: Are there such phrases in the canon?

Post by Viach » Fri May 03, 2019 4:26 pm

£$&^@ wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 3:14 pm
Sorry. I have quite genuinely read that through slowly three times and I have no idea what you mean.
Tell me are you Aryan? If not, then you cannot “practice” the Path, for it is exclusively Aryan. (Arians are those who directly see the four Noble Truths. The Sanskrit word "Aryan" is translated as "noble" into English.)
Last edited by Viach on Fri May 03, 2019 5:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Simon E.
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Re: Are there such phrases in the canon?

Post by Simon E. » Fri May 03, 2019 5:01 pm

I thought that 'arias' were solo passages in operas, usually performed by sopranos.
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

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Re: Are there such phrases in the canon?

Post by Seishin » Fri May 03, 2019 5:06 pm

Viach wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 2:01 pm
The path is the truth (the fourth), and the truth cannot be practiced: it can only be comprehended/achieved. Four Noble Truths - are the Aryan truths, i.e. a given for the Aryans. Beginners (we all) cannot “practice” them, for we are not Arias. And there is no other Aryan Path for beginners. Therefore, I believe that the Buddha meant by the word “path” not a set of practices, but the result of practices or a set of practices results.
Not quite. Ārya is the root word, meaning noble, honorable, distinguished, right, good and ideal. Ārhat refers to a person. The Four Noble Truths are spelt ‘catvāri āryasatyāni’, and not ‘ārhat-satyāni’… which doesn’t make much sense anyway.

The word ‘Aryan’ is actually a western rendition created to describe a race of ancient Indo-Iranian people, that is now used by modern Indo-Iranians to describe themselves.

It would seem that you’ve made a conclusion based on a misunderstanding of ancient languages, with no actual proof stemming from the scriptures themselves. There are numerous examples of the Buddha compelling us to put the teachings to practice, many of which have already been given to you now. If you truly believe that the Buddha only meant the Four Noble Truths for Arhat’s, the burden of proof now falls to you.

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Re: Are there such phrases in the canon?

Post by seeker242 » Fri May 03, 2019 8:34 pm

Viach wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 4:26 pm
£$&^@ wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 3:14 pm
Sorry. I have quite genuinely read that through slowly three times and I have no idea what you mean.
Tell me are you Aryan? If not, then you cannot “practice” the Path,
Sure you can, that's what the Buddha's precepts are for.
The path is the truth (the fourth), and the truth cannot be practiced: it can only be comprehended/achieved. Four Noble Truths - are the Aryan truths, i.e. a given for the Aryans.
The path is the Buddhas teaching on how to become an ariya. The path is not taught just for people who are already enlightened, that wouldn't make any sense. Enlightened people don't need to be told to keep right speech, right action, etc, as that is how they naturally behave. The path is taught in order to turn ordinary people into ariya. Ariya are not the ones in need of teaching to begin with.
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!

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Astus
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Re: Are there such phrases in the canon?

Post by Astus » Fri May 03, 2019 8:48 pm

Viach wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 4:01 pm
Obviously, if the Path were a set of practices, the Buddha would use the word paṭipajjati, related to paṭipadā. But, he used the word bhāveti, associated with the word bhāvanā, i.e. Path is a description of the eight qualities of a meditative state already achieved. (Path is stable stay (in time and in circumstances) in this meditative state). Q.E.D.
Meditation is not something that just is, it is cultivation, it is training, it is practice. A path is something that leads from one place from another, it is not where one stays around. Also, you're neglecting the Four Noble Truths.

good practice - kalyāṇa vatta

'But there is this kind of good practice that has been instituted by me now, which leads to complete disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to peace, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbana. And what is that good practice? It is this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. This is the good practice instituted by me now, which leads to complete disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to peace, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbana.'
(MN 83.21)

in these things you should all train - tattha sabbeheva ... sikkhitabbaṃ

'So, bhikkhus, these things that I have taught you after directly knowing them—that is, the four foundations of mindfulness, the four right kinds of striving, the four bases for spiritual power, the five faculties, the five powers, the seven enlightenment factors, the Noble Eightfold Path—in these things you should all train in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing.'
(MN 103.3)

comes to fulfilment by development - bhāvanāpāripūriṃ gacchati

'The view of a person such as this is right view. His intention is right intention, his effort is right effort, his mindfulness is right mindfulness, his concentration is right concentration. But his bodily action, his verbal action, and his livelihood have already been well purified earlier. Thus this Noble Eightfold Path comes to fulfilment in him by development. When he develops this Noble Eightfold Path, the four foundations of mindfulness also come to fulfilment in him by development; the four right kinds of striving also come to fulfilment in him by development; the four bases for spiritual power also come to fulfilment in him by development; the five faculties also come to fulfilment in him by development; the five powers also come to fulfilment in him by development; the seven enlightenment factors also come to fulfilment in him by development.'
(MN 149.10)
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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