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Ghatikaara Suttam

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#1 Abhidhammika



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Posted 01 June 2006 - 01:45 PM

Dear Robert K, Scott D, Mike N, Christine F, Nina and all

How are you?

I notice Brahamali's article regarding Jhaana controversy on Samatha forum. The problem with those who insist on samatha jhaanas as prerequisite for vipassanaa seems to be their failure to understand the reason behind the practice of samatha to the level of jhaana attainment.

I am saying the above as one who would indulge in proper samatha practice in pursuit of jhaana accomplishment in the first available opportunity that is not possible in my current western lifestyle for the time being. To persue Samatha Jhaana in a western society like Australia, you either need to be rich enough to overcome any concerns related to livelihood or be brave enough to be able to survive as an outcast, perhaps living in the desert far away from western civilization. As I am neither of both, realistic samatha practice proper is out of my reach as things stand now.

The most sensible approach an average person can take in a western society is, fortunately, also the most important practice of the Buddha's teachings, which is vipassanaa practice.

Vipassanaa practice as taught in Satipa.t.thaana Suttam by the Buddha does not require us to attain samatha jhaanas whose main goals are superhuman powers in terms of Iddhis, which are worldly and dependent on conditions.

In support of vipassanaa's capability to ensure attainment of awakening for nibbana, the Buddha taught us Gha.tikaara Suttam in Majjhimapannaasa, in Majjhimanikaaya.

In Gha.tikaara Suttam, the Buddha listed Gha.tikaara's attributes in Section 288 that are all to do with noble faith, noble behaviors, noble understanding and noble awakening as a non-returner. As the Buddha dedicated one whole middle-length Suttam to Gha.tikaara the Pot-maker, he could have listed any samatha jhaana among Gha.tikaara's attributes if he had them. But, as none of the samatha jhaanas were mentioned as Gha.tikaara's attainments by the Buddha, we can know for sure that this noble pot-maker did not have any samatha jhaanas.

Here is the Pali pasage from Section 288, Gha.tikaara Suttam, Majjhimapannaasa, Majjhimanikaaya.

“‘Atthi, mah±r±ja, vega¼iŖga½ n±ma g±manigamo. Tattha ghaµik±ro n±ma kumbhak±ro; so me upaµµh±ko aggupaµµh±ko. Tuyha½ kho pana, mah±r±ja, na me kassapo bhagav± araha½ samm±sambuddho adhiv±seti b±r±ŗasiya½ vass±v±santi attheva ‚01 ańńathatta½, atthi domanassa½. Tayida½ ghaµik±rassa kumbhak±rassa ‚02 natthi ca na ca bhavissati. Ghaµik±ro kho, mah±r±ja, kumbhak±ro buddha½ saraŗa½ gato, dhamma½ saraŗa½ gato, saŖgha½ saraŗa½ gato. Ghaµik±ro kho, mah±r±ja, kumbhak±ro p±ŗ±tip±t± paµivirato, adinn±d±n± paµivirato, k±mesumicch±c±r± paµivirato, mus±v±d± paµivirato, sur±merayamajjapam±daµµh±n± paµivirato. Ghaµik±ro kho, mah±r±ja, kumbhak±ro buddhe aveccappas±dena samann±gato, dhamme aveccappas±dena samann±gato, saŖghe aveccappas±dena samann±gato, ariyakantehi s²lehi samann±gato. Ghaµik±ro kho, mah±r±ja, kumbhak±ro dukkhe nikkaŖkho, dukkhasamudaye nikkaŖkho, dukkhanirodhe nikkaŖkho, dukkhanirodhag±miniy± paµipad±ya nikkaŖkho. Ghaµik±ro kho, mah±r±ja, kumbhak±ro ekabhattiko brahmac±r² s²lav± kaly±ŗadhammo. Ghaµik±ro kho, mah±r±ja, kumbhak±ro nikkhittamaŗisuvaŗŗo apetaj±tar³parajato. Ghaµik±ro kho, mah±r±ja, kumbhak±ro pannamusalo na sahatth± pathavi½ khaŗati ‚03. Ya½ hoti k³lapalugga½ v± m³sikukkaro ‚04 v± ta½ k±jena ±haritv± bh±jana½ karitv± evam±ha– “ettha yo icchati taŗ¹ulapaµibhast±ni ‚05 v± muggapaµibhast±ni v± ka¼±yapaµibhast±ni v± nikkhipitv± ya½ icchati ta½ harat³”ti. Ghaµik±ro kho, mah±r±ja, kumbhak±ro andhe jiŗŗe m±t±pitaro poseti. Ghaµik±ro kho, mah±r±ja, kumbhak±ro pańcanna½ orambh±giy±na½ sa½yojan±na½ parikkhay± opap±tiko tattha parinibb±y² an±vatti-dhammo tasm± lok±.

With regards,



#2 RobertK



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Posted 01 June 2006 - 03:21 PM

Thank you very much Suan,
Here is the other thread.
I am very interested in the above pali passage. Anagami are said to be perfect in concentration :they no longer have sense desire, dosa, doubt and other hinrdrances after all. And yet there are examples like Gha.tikaara who do not appear to have them. I think the commentaries explain that at or near death moment they spontaneously develop the jhans which lead to rebirth in the Pure abodes.