vasubandhu at earthlink.net
Tue Nov 8 14:38:27 MST 2011
Lots of things packed in, so it may take a few messages to respond to all of
> I don't think there is much doubt that the account in the
> Ariyapariyesana and several other suttas is much older than the version
> of Aśvaghoṣa.
No one said otherwise.
What is at issue is the fact that we can find, from early one, a variety of
versions of details of Buddha's biography -- even within the canonical Pali
materials themselves -- and many alternate versions were apparently afloat
from early on as well, with efforts to make Buddha more and more divine,
resisted by the Theravadins (or whichever name one wishes to assign to the
folks represented by the Kathavatthu, for example). Some are preserved in
Lalitavistara, Mahavastu, etc., and later in certain Mahayana treatments,
but we have certainly lost some of the earlier stories that circulated. A
mainstream story -- or its skeleton -- eventually becomes the core of all
later versions (with variations and countless embellishments), so when
something appears, like the Ariyapariyesana sutta, which omits the usually
highlighted events, and suggests, even in passing, details contrary to what
became the mainstream story, attention is drawn. You will notice that my
comments were largely in defense of the plausibility and soundness of the
mainstream story, since the Ariyapariyesana has a number of features that
suggest its lateness, features which I did not specify in detail, but only
gave some brief examples.
> Abhidhamma doesn't occur at all in the Ariyapariyesana.
True. I wrote too quickly. I was thinking about other Majjhima texts, like
Gulissāni sutta and Mahāgosiṅga sutta. I'll say more about them later. My
intent in alluding to the them was to indicate how sometimes an
"anachronistic" term -- to borrow the characterization by Nanamoli and Bh.
Bodhi -- sheds light.
>Forms of kilesa
> occur some 250 times in the Majjhimanikāya alone. I don't think it is at
> all rare.
I trust your computation (not being able to check that at the moment), but
would suggest that number is misleading, since it gives the impression that
the term is widely used and dispersed throughout the Nikayas. It is not
absent from the Nikayas, but tends to occur in abhidhammic-type clusters,
which rapidly elevate the total count. For instance, the Vatthūpama sutta
4. Katame ca bhikkhave cittassa upakkilesā: abhijjhāvisamalobho cittassa
upakkileso. Byāpādo cittassa upakkileso. Kodho cittassa upakkileso. Upanāho
cittassa upakkileso. Makkho cittassa upakkileso. Paḷāso cittassa upakkileso.
Issā cittassa upakkileso. Macchariyaṃ cittassa upakkileso. Māyā cittassa
upakkileso. Sāṭheyyaṃ cittassa upakkileso. Thambho cittassa upakkileso.
Sārambho cittassa upakkileso. Māno cittassa upakkileso. Atimāno cittassa
upakkileso. Mado cittassa upakkileso. Pamādo cittassa upakkileso.
5. Sa kho so bhikkhave bhikkhu abhijjhāvisamalobho cittassa upakkilesoti iti
viditvā abhijjhāvisamalobhaṃ cittassa upakkilesaṃ pajahati. Byāpādo cittassa
upakkilesoti iti viditvā byāpādaṃ cittassa upakkilesaṃ pajahati. Kodho
cittassa upakkilesoti iti viditvā kodhaṃ cittassa upakkilesaṃ pajahati.
Upanāho cittassa upakkilesoti iti viditvā upanāhaṃ cittassa upakkilesaṃ
pajahati. Makkho cittassa upakkilesoti iti viditvā makkhaṃ cittassa
upakkilesaṃ pajahati. Paḷāso cittassa upakkilesoti iti viditvā paḷāsaṃ
cittassa upakkilesaṃ pajahati. Issā cittassa upakkilesoti iti viditvā issaṃ
cittassa upakkilesaṃ pajahati. Macchariyaṃ cittassa upakkilesoti iti viditvā
macchariyaṃ cittassa upakkilesaṃ pajahati. Māyā cittassa upakkilesoti iti
viditvā māyaṃ cittassa upakkilesaṃ pajahati. Sāṭheyyaṃ cittassa upakkilesoti
iti viditvā sāṭheyyaṃ cittassa upakkilesaṃ pajahati. Thambho cittassa
upakkilesoti iti viditvā thambhaṃ cittassa upakkilesaṃ pajahati. Sārambho
cittassa upakkilesoti iti viditvā sārambhaṃ cittassa upakkilesaṃ pajahati.
Māno cittassa upakkilesoti iti viditvā mānaṃ cittassa upakkilesaṃ pajahati.
Atimāno cittassa upakkilesoti iti viditvā atimānaṃ cittassa upakkilesaṃ
pajahati. Mado cittassa upakkilesoti iti viditvā madaṃ cittassa upakkilesaṃ
pajahati. Pamādo cittassa upakkilesoti iti viditvā pamādaṃ cittassa
6. Yato ca kho bhikkhave bhikkhuno abhijjhāvisamalobho cittassa upakkilesoti
iti viditvā abhijjhāvisamalobho cittassa upakkileso pahīno hoti, byāpādo
cittassa upakkilesoti iti viditvā byāpādo cittassa upakkileso pahīno hoti,
kodho cittassa upakkilesoti iti viditvā kodho cittassa upakkileso pahīno
hoti, upanāho cittassa upakkilesoti iti viditvā upanāho cittassa upakkileso
pahīno hoti, makkho cittassa upakkilesoti iti viditvā makkho cittassa
upakkileso pahīno hoti, paḷāso cittassa upakkilesoti iti viditvā paḷāso
cittassa upakkileso pahīno hoti, issā cittassa upakkilesoti iti viditvā issā
cittassa upakkileso pahīno hoti, macchariyaṃ cittassa upakkilesoti iti
viditvā macchariyaṃ cittassa upakkileso pahīno hoti, māyā cittassa
upakkilesoti iti viditvā māyā cittassa upakkileso pahīno hoti, sāṭheyyaṃ
cittassa upakkilesoti iti viditvā sāṭheyyaṃ cittassa upakkileso pahīno hoti,
thambho cittassa upakkilesoti iti viditvā thambho cittassa upakkileso pahīno
hoti, sārambho cittassa upakkilesoti iti viditvā sārambho cittassa
upakkileso pahīno hoti, māno cittassa upakkilesoti iti viditvā māno cittassa
upakkileso pahīno hoti, atimāno cittassa upakkilesoti iti viditvā atimāno
cittassa upakkileso pahīno hoti, mado cittassa upakkilesoti iti viditvā mado
cittassa upakkileso pahīno hoti, pamādo cittassa upakkilesoti iti viditvā
pamādo cittassa upakkileso pahīno hoti.
I'll let others count up the upakkilesa-s just in this small portion of the
sutta. Is this sutta early or later? I'll say something about that in a
The point is that while the term is not spread throughout the Majjhima, when
it does occur, it tends to arrive in a tsunami. E.g.:
Cūḷadukkhakkhandha suttaṃ (MN 14)
2. Dīgharattāhaṃ bhante bhagavatā evaṃ dhammaṃ desitaṃ ajānāmi: lobho
cittassa upakkileso, doso cittassa upakkileso, moho cittassa upakkileso'ti.
Evañcāhaṃ bhante bhagavatā dhammaṃ desitaṃ ājānāmi: lobho cittassa
upakkileso, doso cittassa upakkileso, moho cittassa upakkilesoti...
The PTS Pali-Eng Dictionary, which I cited as claiming the word kilesa is
found much more frequently in later literature (that was their claim), gives
this, with Nikaya citations, for upakkilesa (p. 139):
Upakkilesa [fr. upa + kliś] anything that spoils or obstructs, a minor
stain, impurity, defilement, depravity, Vin ii.295 (cp. SnA 487 & VvA 134 &
see abbha); M i.36, 91; D iii.42 sq., 49 sq., 201; S v.92 sq. (pañca
cittassa upakkilesā), 108, 115; A i.10 (āgantuka), 207 (cittassa), 253
(oḷārika etc.); ii.53 (candima -- suriyānaŋ samaṇa -- brāhmaṇānaŋ), 67;
iii.16 (jātarūpassa, cittassa), 386 sq.; iv.177 (vigatā); v.195; Ps i.164
(eighteen); Pug 60; Dhs 1059, 1136; Nett 86 sq., 94, 114 sq.; Sdhp 216, 225
(as upaklesa). Ten stains at Vism 633.
As we know, the preferred term in non-Theravada works became (skt)
āgantuka-kleśa, typically translated "adventitious defilements."
Just taking a single example from the PTS Dict. citation, "S v.92 sq. (pañca
cittassa upakkilesā)" refers to a Samyutta N. sutta appropriately enough
called the Kilesa sutta. It consists of two paragraphs: The first asks and
answers What are the five "corruptions" (upakkilesa) of gold -- the answer
being a foreign intrusion, viz. iron, copper, tin, lead, or silver,
"corrupted by which gold is neither malleable nore wieldy nor radiant, but
brittle and not properly fit for work." The second paragraph asks the same
re: five corruptions of mind. They turn out to be sensual desire
(kāmacchanda), ill-will (vyāpāda), sloth and torpor (thīna-middha),
restlessness and remorse (uddhacca-kukkucca), and doubt (vicikicchā),
"corrupted by which the mind is neither malleable nore wieldy nor radiant,
but brittle and not properly fit for work."
Nevermind that this is seven, not five items (at least when transferred into
English, which forces one to look at semantic considerations -- thīna-middha
are a related pair perhaps, and frequently conjoined in this way, but
uddhacca-kukkucca are not semantic near-synomyms, their similarity merely a
superficial resemblance of endings, uddhaca involving being agitated,
distracted, fluttery focus, i.e., the MTV generation, and kukkucca meaning
"remorse, worry"), and nevermind that the five things actually are better
known by another label, the five nīvaraṇas, "five obstructions" (labelling
them five mental upakkilesas is not the usual nomenclature), more
interesting for our purposes is that most editions omit the passages listing
and describing the latter four. In their Eng. tr., Nanamoli and Bhikkhu
Bodhi insert the omitted portion in square brackets, and offer a note that
begins "The bracketed passage is in Se only, but is clearly necessary..." Se
is the Sinhala-script edition of SN. The note ends by requesting that we
look at "the following two notes for a similar case in which certain textual
traditions have preserved the unity" (vol 2, p. 1905). One could equally
claim the notes show where "helpful" redactors added in what they thought
belonged in missing texts, and also could be a sign of some textual problems
that, presupposing the integrity of the sinhala emendations, etc., get
ignored and swept under the rug.
[to be continued]
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