Attakari sutta

Author
Topic
#557

Hi KKT, Howard, Swee Boon, Herman, Chris & all,

A belated contribution to this thread and the sutta KKT gave the reference
for:

— phamdluan2000 wrote:

> KKT: Here is an extract from
> “The Message of the Buddha”
> by K.N. Jayatilleke, p.246:
>
> While the Buddha distinguished his causal theory
> from Determinism, he also faced the question of
> free-will and ASSERTED ITS REALITY IN NO UNCERTAIN
> TERMS. On one occasion, it is said, a certain brahmin
> (annataro brahmano) approached the Buddha and told
> him that he was of the opinion that there was no
> free-will on the part of himself (atta-kara) or
> others (para-kara). The Buddha admonished him and
> asked him how he could say such a thing when he
> himself of his own accord (sayam) could walk up
> to the Buddha and walk away from him.
<...>
(Anguttara Nikaya III.
> 337, 338, the Pali Text Society editions).
….
S: AN Bk of 6s, viii(38),PTS ‘Self-acting'(Attakaara Sutta)
Herman gave a translation in #48434 ‘The one who is doing’

The brahman’s comment:
natthi attakaaro, natthi parakaaroti
‘there is no self-agency; no other-agency’

PTS gives a footnote to say this was Makkhali Gosala’s heresy. More on
this can be read in the Saama~n~naphala Sutta. He was one of the 6
teachers whose views were given by King Ajattasattu. He didn’t believe in
conditions of kamma at all.

BB translation from the Samannaphala Sutta under ‘The Doctrine of Makkhali
Gosala’:

“…Makkhali Gosala said to me: ‘Great king, there is no cause or
condition for the defilement of beings; beings are defiled without any
cause or condition. There is no cause or condition for the purification
of beings; beings are purified without cause or condition. There is no
self-determination, no determination by others, no personal determination.
There is no power, no energy, no personal strength, no personal
fortitude. All sentient beings, all living beings, all creatures, all
souls, are helpless, powerless, devoid of energy. Undergoing
transformation by destiny, circumstance, and nature, they experience
pleasure and pain in the six classes of men.
….
“Though one might think: ‘by this moral discipline or observance or
austerity or holy life I will ripen unripened kamma and eliminate ripened
kamma whenever it comes up’ – that cannot be. For pleasure and pain are
measured out. Samsara’s limits are fixed, and they can neither be
shortened or extended. There is no advancing forward and no falling back.
Just as, when a ball of string is thrown, it rolls along unwinding until
it comes to its end, in the same way, the foolish and the wise roam and
wander (for the fixed length of time), after which them make an end to
suffering.’ ”
****
S: Clearly this is the worst of wrong views because someone who believes
it makes no difference at all how one acts can do anything at all — the
results will be the same.

In the AN sutta, the Buddha replies that he has never seen or heard of
such a view and proceeds to dispel it.

The word translated as free-will in KKT’s post or initiative in the PTS
translation is aarabbhadhaatu and PTS gives a note: aarabbha, gerund of
aaraadheti, to set on foot; dhaatu, element.

Herman asked for another rendering of a phrase in his translation given
as:’This is the being doing and the otherness’.

PTS gives: ‘There is no self-agency; there is no other-agency’ as I quoted
above, to be understood in the context of Makkhali Gosala’s view.

> Many scholars have failed to see that Buddhism
> UPHELD A THEORY OF NON-DETERMINISTIC CAUSAL
> CONDITIONING ALONG WITH THE DOCTRINE OF FREE-WILL.
> As a result Buddhism has been represented by some
> Western scholars as a form of fatalism because of
> their misunderstanding of the doctrine of karma
> as well as the doctrine of causation.
….
S: I’d prefer to say that the Buddha taught us that all dhammas, all
elements are conditioned but not pre-determined. It is not fatalistic
because good thoughts and deeds (as well as bad ones of course) are
accumulated and bring results.

However, ‘free-will’ is a misnomer as it suggests there is ‘something’
apart from conditioned dhammas, whereas the Buddha taught that the only
unconditioned dhamma is nibbana.

Metta,

Sarah
p.s KKT, I was very glad to see you around — please do post more!!
=========
Dear Scott,
——-
S: The compounds ‘aarabbadhaatuya’ and ‘aarabhavanto’ are still a bit
difficult for me. ‘Aarabbha’ (or ‘aarambha’) imply ‘attempt, effort,
inception of energy’. I can sort of see how ‘bhavanto’ modifies but
not ‘dhaatuu’. Is it perhaps ‘dhaatuka’ – ‘having the nature, by
nature, affected with’? As in, ‘having the nature of being effort or
incipient energy’? And does ‘sati’ mean some form of remembrance as
part of the ‘process’?
————
N: when you see the form sati it often means: when there is… A form
of santo, being, genetive absolute (see Warder). aarabbadhaatuya
sati: when there is the dhaatu of aarabbha, effort.
aarabhavanto sattaa pa~n~nayanti, beings are known to make an
effort . aarabhavati to make an effort.
“Ya.m kho, braahmana, aarabbadhaatuya sati aarabhavanto sattaa
pa~n~nayanti, aya.m sattaana.m attakaaro aya.m parakaaro.”
——–
Co. in Thai: aarabbadhaatu is the effort that has been initiated. The
effort that has the nature of departing from laziness is nikkhamataa
(going out). The nature of steafastness (.thiti). The nature
(sabhaava) of going ahead is the dhaatu of parakkama, endeavour. The
nature of strength, is thaama dhaatu, the element of power. The
nature of steafastness the dhaatu of .thiti.The nature of trying is
the element of undertaking, upakamma.
All these words are only names for effort.
——-
Remark: All these forms are called dhaatu, element devoid of self.
There is no question of ‘conventional effort’ . There is effort, but
it is a dhaatu.
The term steadfastness, .thiti, is also used for an arahat, for
example in the co to the Mahaaraahulovadasutta. The person who is
steadfast.
Nina.
———-
S: In the Anguttara Nikaaya, Chakkanipata, Devatavaggo, there is the
Attakaariisutta.m:

“Then a certain Brahmin approached the Blessed One, exchanged friendly
greetings, sat on a side, and said:

‘Good Gotama I am of this view and say: Nothing is done by the self,
nothing is done by others.’
————
Dear Scott,
——-
S: The compounds ‘aarabbadhaatuya’ and ‘aarabhavanto’ are still a bit
difficult for me. ‘Aarabbha’ (or ‘aarambha’) imply ‘attempt, effort,
inception of energy’. I can sort of see how ‘bhavanto’ modifies but
not ‘dhaatuu’. Is it perhaps ‘dhaatuka’ – ‘having the nature, by
nature, affected with’? As in, ‘having the nature of being effort or
incipient energy’? And does ‘sati’ mean some form of remembrance as
part of the ‘process’?
————
N: when you see the form sati it often means: when there is… A form
of santo, being, genetive absolute (see Warder). aarabbadhaatuya
sati: when there is the dhaatu of aarabbha, effort.
aarabhavanto sattaa pa~n~nayanti, beings are known to make an
effort . aarabhavati to make an effort.
“Ya.m kho, braahmana, aarabbadhaatuya sati aarabhavanto sattaa
pa~n~nayanti, aya.m sattaana.m attakaaro aya.m parakaaro.”
——–
Co. in Thai: aarabbadhaatu is the effort that has been initiated. The
effort that has the nature of departing from laziness is nikkhamataa
(going out). The nature of steafastness (.thiti). The nature
(sabhaava) of going ahead is the dhaatu of parakkama, endeavour. The
nature of strength, is thaama dhaatu, the element of power. The
nature of steafastness the dhaatu of .thiti.The nature of trying is
the element of undertaking, upakamma.
All these words are only names for effort.
——-
Remark: All these forms are called dhaatu, element devoid of self.
There is no question of ‘conventional effort’ . There is effort, but
it is a dhaatu.
The term steadfastness, .thiti, is also used for an arahat, for
example in the co to the Mahaaraahulovadasutta. The person who is
steadfast.
Nina.
———-
S: In the Anguttara Nikaaya, Chakkanipata, Devatavaggo, there is the
Attakaariisutta.m:

“Then a certain Brahmin approached the Blessed One, exchanged friendly
greetings, sat on a side, and said:

‘Good Gotama I am of this view and say: Nothing is done by the self,
nothing is done by others.’
————
Dear Scott,
——-
S: The compounds ‘aarabbadhaatuya’ and ‘aarabhavanto’ are still a bit
difficult for me. ‘Aarabbha’ (or ‘aarambha’) imply ‘attempt, effort,
inception of energy’. I can sort of see how ‘bhavanto’ modifies but
not ‘dhaatuu’. Is it perhaps ‘dhaatuka’ – ‘having the nature, by
nature, affected with’? As in, ‘having the nature of being effort or
incipient energy’? And does ‘sati’ mean some form of remembrance as
part of the ‘process’?
————
N: when you see the form sati it often means: when there is… A form
of santo, being, genetive absolute (see Warder). aarabbadhaatuya
sati: when there is the dhaatu of aarabbha, effort.
aarabhavanto sattaa pa~n~nayanti, beings are known to make an
effort . aarabhavati to make an effort.
“Ya.m kho, braahmana, aarabbadhaatuya sati aarabhavanto sattaa
pa~n~nayanti, aya.m sattaana.m attakaaro aya.m parakaaro.”
——–
Co. in Thai: aarabbadhaatu is the effort that has been initiated. The
effort that has the nature of departing from laziness is nikkhamataa
(going out). The nature of steafastness (.thiti). The nature
(sabhaava) of going ahead is the dhaatu of parakkama, endeavour. The
nature of strength, is thaama dhaatu, the element of power. The
nature of steafastness the dhaatu of .thiti.The nature of trying is
the element of undertaking, upakamma.
All these words are only names for effort.
——-
Remark: All these forms are called dhaatu, element devoid of self.
There is no question of ‘conventional effort’ . There is effort, but
it is a dhaatu.
The term steadfastness, .thiti, is also used for an arahat, for
example in the co to the Mahaaraahulovadasutta. The person who is
steadfast.
Nina.
———-
S: In the Anguttara Nikaaya, Chakkanipata, Devatavaggo, there is the
Attakaariisutta.m:

“Then a certain Brahmin approached the Blessed One, exchanged friendly
greetings, sat on a side, and said:

‘Good Gotama I am of this view and say: Nothing is done by the self,
nothing is done by others.’
————
Dear Scott,
——-
S: The compounds ‘aarabbadhaatuya’ and ‘aarabhavanto’ are still a bit
difficult for me. ‘Aarabbha’ (or ‘aarambha’) imply ‘attempt, effort,
inception of energy’. I can sort of see how ‘bhavanto’ modifies but
not ‘dhaatuu’. Is it perhaps ‘dhaatuka’ – ‘having the nature, by
nature, affected with’? As in, ‘having the nature of being effort or
incipient energy’? And does ‘sati’ mean some form of remembrance as
part of the ‘process’?
————
N: when you see the form sati it often means: when there is… A form
of santo, being, genetive absolute (see Warder). aarabbadhaatuya
sati: when there is the dhaatu of aarabbha, effort.
aarabhavanto sattaa pa~n~nayanti, beings are known to make an
effort . aarabhavati to make an effort.
“Ya.m kho, braahmana, aarabbadhaatuya sati aarabhavanto sattaa
pa~n~nayanti, aya.m sattaana.m attakaaro aya.m parakaaro.”
——–
Co. in Thai: aarabbadhaatu is the effort that has been initiated. The
effort that has the nature of departing from laziness is nikkhamataa
(going out). The nature of steafastness (.thiti). The nature
(sabhaava) of going ahead is the dhaatu of parakkama, endeavour. The
nature of strength, is thaama dhaatu, the element of power. The
nature of steafastness the dhaatu of .thiti.The nature of trying is
the element of undertaking, upakamma.
All these words are only names for effort.
——-
Remark: All these forms are called dhaatu, element devoid of self.
There is no question of ‘conventional effort’ . There is effort, but
it is a dhaatu.
The term steadfastness, .thiti, is also used for an arahat, for
example in the co to the Mahaaraahulovadasutta. The person who is
steadfast.
Nina.
———-
S: In the Anguttara Nikaaya, Chakkanipata, Devatavaggo, there is the
Attakaariisutta.m:

“Then a certain Brahmin approached the Blessed One, exchanged friendly
greetings, sat on a side, and said:

‘Good Gotama I am of this view and say: Nothing is done by the self,
nothing is done by others.’
————
Dear Herman (to read when you’re at work!):

I found a bit more regarding:

[“Ya.m kho, braahmana, aarabbadhaatuya sati aarabhavanto sattaa
pa~n~nayanti, aya.m sattaana.m attakaaro aya.m parakaaro.”

Me: The PTS PED has: “Aarambha…1. attempt, effort, inception of
energy…def. as kicca, kara.niiya, attha, i. e. 1. undertaking &
duty, 2. object)…2. support, ground, object, thing…” And:
“Aarabbha…1. beginning, undertaking etc., in cpd. Ëšvatthu occasion
for making an effort, concern, duty, obligation…”]

SN46,2(2), Bh. Bodhi translation:

“…And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of the
unarisen enlightenment factor of energy and for the fulfillment by
development of the arisen enlightenment factor of energy? There are,
bhikkhus, the element of arousal, the element of endeavour, the
element of exertion: frequent giving careful attention to them is the
nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of
energy and for the fulfillment by development of the arisen
enlightenment factor of energy.”

Scott: In Note 60:

“Spk: The element of arousal (aarambahadhaatu) is the initial phase
of energy, the element of endeavour (nikkamadhaatu) intermediate
energy, the element of exertion (parakkamadhaatu) energy at full
intensity.”

Scott: I think, especially when ‘elements’ are made mention of, that
there can be no confusion that one is speaking here, not of persons,
but of moments of consciousness – cittas and cetasikas.

The ‘energetic person’ is, to me, a manner of speaking and is in
reference to a particular citta which has viriya arising
concomitantly, and to the states related and subsequent to the arising
of this ‘person’. In Sammohavinodanii, the ‘element of arousal’, as
given by Bh. Bodhi, is referred to as ‘the element of initiating’
(aarambhadhaatu). In a section regarding ‘thiinamiddha’ (stiffness
and torpor [of the citta, I add], the following is noted:

“1267. But its abandoning comes about through wise bringing to mind
in regard to the element of initiating (aarambahadhaatu), etc. The
‘element of initiating’ is a name for the first initial energy. The
‘element of launching’ (nikkamadhaatu), because of going forth
(nikkantattaa) from indolence, is stronger than the last; the ‘element
of furthering (parakkamadhattu), because of proceeding to further
stages (para.m para.m .thaana.m akkamanato), is stronger than the
last. Because of employing wise bringing to mind much in regard to
that threefold energy, stiffness and torpor comes to be abandoned.”

Scott: Here, I think, is shown the development of energy (in relation
to thiinamiddha, as an example) and this shows how there is viriya but
no one exercising or commanding it. It is an ‘element’ which arises
due to conditions and develops, in conjunction with other mental factors.

Sincerely,

Scott.

  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.