[Buddha-l] Ariyapariyesana

Dan Lusthaus vasubandhu at earthlink.net
Tue Nov 8 16:47:49 MST 2011

Returning to the words "kilesa" and "abhidhamma" appearing in the Majjhima 
(though, admittedly, abhidhamma does not appear in the Ariyapariyesanā 

Kilesa and saṅkilesa do occasionally appear. E.g.,

Dvedhāvitakka suttaṃ (MN 19)(Another "autobiographical" sutta in which 
Buddha talks about his own earlier pre-enlightenment practice, specifically 
how kusala and akusala mental habits can be controlled):

Evameva kho ahaṃ bhikkhave addasaṃ akusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ ādīnavaṃ okāraṃ 
saṅkilesaṃ, kusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ nekkhamme ānisaṃsaṃ vodānapakkhaṃ

and our Ariyapariyesanā sutta (MN 26):

...saṅkilesadhammo samāno saṅkilesadhammaññeva pariyesati...

Concerning the phrase about his father and mother weeping as he left home, 
contained in the paragraph where he characterizes himself as young (though 
beareded), Analayo writes:

(Excerpts from pp. 173-58, charts omitted)

The Ariyapariyesana-sutta and its Madhyama-agama parallel, together with the 
Dharmaguptaka Vinaya and the Mahavastu (*1), note that the bodhisattva went 
forth against the wish of his weeping parents.(*2) The same is also reported 
in Sanskrit fragments paralleling the Mahasaccaka-sutta, which contain a 
counterpart to this part of the Ariyapariyesana-sutta.(*3)

[Here's a taste of his footnotes!]

(*1) MN 26 at MN I 163,29, MA 204 at T I 776b3, T 1428 at T XXII 779c15, and 
the Mahavastu in Basak 1965: 165,8 (cf. also p. 96,10) or in Senart 1890: 
117,19 (cf. also p. 68,20). This part of MN 26 recurs in MN 85 at MN II 93 
and in MN 100 at MN II 212. The Mahavastu in Basak 1965: 224,7 or in Senart 
1890: 159,3 also has the legendary account of the bodhisattva’s secret 
flight in the middle of the night in what in this work forms an additional 
account of the great renunciation. This tale is also found in the Mahisasaka 
Vinaya, T 1421 at T XXII 102a10. Bareau 1962: 23 draws attention to an 
inconsistency in the Mahisasaka account, which in T 1421 at T XXII 102a25 
describes how the bodhisattva handed over his clothes to his attendant 
Chanda, but then in T 1421 at T XXII 102b9, once Chanda had left, narrates 
how the bodhisattva gave his costly clothing away again, this time to a 
hunter in exchange for the latter’s dress.

(*2) MN 26 at MN I 163,29 describes that the bodhisattva went forth even 
though his “mother and father were weeping with tearful faces”, 
 (Be-MN I 219,30 and Se- MN I 318,2: 
, Se also reads rodantana
), a description found similarly in 
DN 4 at DN I 115,17, DN 5 at DN I 131,29, MN 36 at MN I 240,26, MN 85 at MN 
II 93,19, MN 95 at MN II 166,30, and MN 100 at MN II 212,1 (on the contrast 
between the motif of the mother’s crying when the bodhisattva went forth 
and her supposed death seven days after giving birth to him cf. also Analayo 
2012g and Bareau 1974a: 250). The same is recorded in DA 22 at T I 95b19 and 
DA 23 at T I 98a20 (parallels to DN 4 and DN 5): “[his] father and mother 
wept”, 父母涕泣, and in MA 204 at T I 776b3 (parallel to MN 26): “[his] 
father and mother cried”, 父母啼哭, a circumstance also reported in the 
Dharmaguptaka Vinaya, T 1428 at T XXII 779c15, and in the Mahavastu in Basak 
1965: 96,10 and 165,8 or in Senart 1890: 68,20 and 117,19. An exception to 
this pattern is fragment 331r6 in Liu 2009: 50, which refers to the 
relatives in general, reading akamakana
. A minor but perhaps nevertheless noteworthy circumstance 
is that the above-mentioned Chinese versions mention the father first, 
whereas the Pali passages and the Mahavastu mention the mother first. Horner 
1930/1990: 6 notes the general precedence of the mother in the Pali compound 
for parents, mata-pitu, and suggests that this could point to “some ancient 
forgotten social organisation, where motherright and mother-rule were 
dominant features”; cf. also Günther 1944: 78 note 1, Karunaratna 2003a: 
44, and Young 2004: 44, who suggests that this “grammatical precedence ... 
points to the prominence of the mother in South Asia” (on the eminent role 
of the mother in modern Sinhalese Buddhism cf. Gombrich 1972). Young 2004: 
55 note 66 also points out that the same pattern can be seen in the listing 
of the five heinous crimes, cf., e.g., MN 115 at MN III 64,30, where 
matricide comes before patricide. The same difference in sequence between 
Pali and Chinese discourses recurs in several other contexts, such as MN 93 
at MN II 153,15: matu pi sadiso pitu pi sadiso and its parallel MA 151 at T 
I 665a29: 或似父,或似母, MN 115 at MN III 64,30: matara
 jivita voropeyya 
... pitara
 jivita voropeyya and its parallel MA 181 at T I 724a2:
害父母 , MN 117 at MN III 72,11: atthi mata atthi pita and its parallel MA 
189 at T I 735c20: 有父有母, where the Tibetan parallel also mentions the 
father first, cf. D (4094) mngon pa, nyu 44b2 or Q (5595) thu 84a3: pha yod 
do, ma yod do, MN 130 at MN III 179,33: n’ eva matara kata...na pitara 
kata... and its parallel MA 64 at T I 504a10: 非父母為. Precedence to the 
mother is given also in a Tocharian fragment, THT 2375q.a2 in Peyrot 2008: 
121, which reads matär pa(tär), counterpart to Dhp 294-295: matara
 hantva, cf. also the Udana-(varga) 33.61-62 in Bernhard 1965: 
494-495. An exception to this pattern is MN 86 at MN II 102,8, where 
ALgulimala mentions first his father and then his mother when describing his 
parentage, a sequence also found in the parallel EA 38.6 at T II 720c19, so 
that in this instance both versions appropriately reflect the patrilinear 
descent that characterized ancient Indian society. In fact, in other 
instances of descriptions of comparable pairs (with each member having the 
same syllable count) the male usually precedes the female, as can be seen in 
DN 14 at DN II 26,14: devo va devi va, DN 32 at DN III 203,7+9: yakkhapotako 
va yakkhapotika va ... gandhabbo va gandhabbi va, MN 35 at MN I 234,9: 
kumaraka va kumarika va, and in MN 73 at MN I 493,19: upasaka ca ... upasika 
ca. Usually, it is only when the syllable count of such pairs differs and 
the law of waxing syllables makes itself felt that a term with less 
syllables takes precedence over a term with more syllables even though this 
involves putting the female before the male, as for example in MN 5 at MN I 
32,26: itthi va puriso va (for examples of the same pattern in other ancient 
Indian texts cf. Caland 1931: 62). According to Warder 1963/1991: 97, in 
dvanda compounds “the more important or leading object, if any, sometimes 
occupies the second position, which is normally the dominant position in 
Pali”, for which he gives the examples candima-suriya, sama-a-brahma-a, 
sariputta-moggallana and patta-civara
. While the case of candima-suriya is 
similar to mata-pitu, in that here too the female (moon) precedes the male 
(sun), the other examples do not seem to illustrate his suggestion too well. 
In the case of sama-a-brahma-a, just as the discourses usually list the 
warriors before the Brahmins, so too they list recluses before Brahmins, the 
Buddha being a recluse and a warrior himself, so that in this instance the 
more important of the pair seems to come first. In regard to Sariputta and 
(Maha-) moggallana, judging from Sn 3:7 at Sn 557, Ud 2.8 at Ud 17,29, and 
Th 1083 a case could be made for considering Sariputta to be the more 
important one of the two chief disciples. In the case of pattacivara, the 
law of waxing syllables would be responsible for the sequence of these two 
words. Thus Warder’s explanation does not seem to be backed up by the 
examples he selected. In fact, according to varttika 3 on PaUini 2.2.34 in 
Vasu 1891/1997: 273, in dvandva compounds the first member holds the place 
of honour. Regarding the compound mata-pitu, Be-Sadd I 73 suggests that the 
sequence mata-pitu is adopted due to an euphonic reason, since to adopt the 
sequence pita-mata would not be respecting or honouring the arrangement of 
sounds, saddaracana apujaniya. In the case of the Chinese translations, 
perhaps this order was then reversed, in line with the observation by Paul 
1980: 217 that in order “to accommodate the Confucian norms, Buddhist texts 
were changed to reflect the subordinate position of women in traditional 
Chinese society”, cf. also Guang Xing 2005: 98 note 12, who similarly 
suggests that the precedence given to the father in Chinese translations 
could reflect the influence of Confucian thought.

(*3) Fragment 331r6-332v5 in Liu 2009: 50-52 (the Pali parallel to these 
fragments, MN 36 at MN I 240,26, abbreviates, referring back to the full 
text given in MN 26).

(more to come)

More information about the buddha-l mailing list