[Buddha-l] Ariyapariyesana

L.S. Cousins selwyn at ntlworld.com
Wed Nov 9 11:47:17 MST 2011

Dan writes:

> Lance, while challenging the characterization by the PTS Pali-Eng.
> Dictionary of the term kilesa as infrequent in the early texts, but more in
> the later literature, writes:
>> In fact, it seems more likly to be a pre-Buddhist term. It
>> probably has its original meaning of 'affliction' or 'disturbance'. The
>> metaphor is probably that of a pool which is disturbed so that you can't
>> see clearly. Later the metaphor of a pool which has become dirty is
>> common.
> The Kilesa sutta of the Samyutta Nikaya, which I cited in the first message,
> treats the term as something that infuses itself into something, spoiling
> it, so that that original thing -- gold, the mind -- loses its natural
> abilities and capacities. Since that is closer to "the metaphor of a pool
> which has become dirty," would that entail that the Kilesa sutta is a later
> text, reflecting a later development?
Yes, I think so.
> I vote we exile the word "sin" from any discussions of Buddhist 
> thought, and deny it is an acceptable rendering for any Buddhist term. 
> Lance then responds to my characterization of Ananda setting up the 
> meeting between Buddha and the monks as "tricking" him. 
> **4. After the bathing, Ananda suggests to Buddha that they go visit the
> Brahman, since he's a nice guy who likes the Dhamma. Buddha agrees to the
> suggestion by remaining silent. Ananda does NOT tell him that there'll be a
> bunch of monks there eagerly awaiting his presence and a chance to talk to
> him.
He specifically asks him to go anukampaṃ upādāya i.e. out of compassion. 
So he is being asked to go and teach.

> Since, per #4, Ananda did not tell Buddha WHY they should go to Rammaka's
> house, in fact, the reason he gives is a best a partial truth, it is clear
> he is manipulating Buddha and events.
No. It is quite clear that the Buddha is perfectly aware that he is 
being asked to go and teach. Ānanda's point is that it is a suitable 
place to teach.
>> I would rather say that material from a number of sources has been
>> collected into an oral chant for memorization and placed in several
>> suttas. Whether this happened already in the lifetime of the Buddha,
>> just after or at some later point, is open to debate.
> That has been the traditional view. I suggest that a judicious reading of
> Analayo's treatment of the Vatthupama-sutta (and I omitted several sections,
> as well as his very illuminating, profuse footnotes) indicates much more
> complicated processes were at work. If one patiently works through both
> volumes of his work, which goes in order from the first to the last sutta of
> the received MN in a similar manner, one finds more than some templates and
> modules -- oral or otherwise -- being shifted around, though that too is
> obviously ubiquitous.
I can't comment on Anālayo's book which I have not yet been able to see.

However, I think you are quite wrong if you think that the processes of 
oral transmission are anything but highly complicated.
> Concerning Brahma's intervention, convincing Buddha to teach, Lance writes:
>> There is no suggestion that the Buddha was 'about to pass into nirvana'.
>> That's more imagination.
> There are several accounts of that intervention in the Pali texts, and I
> would argue that the implication that Buddha was ready to just slip away is
> a fair reading of them, and one which, in any event, does not originate with
> me.

You will have to produce such passages to convince me. I don''t believe 
there is any such idea in the Pali texts.


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