Sunday, June 26, 2011

Kathavatthu - Of United Resolve; Bogus Arahants; Self-governed Destiny; Counterfeit States of Consciousness; the Undetermined

Points of Controversy
Subjects of Discourse


1. Of United Resolve.
Controverted Point.—That sexual relations may be entered
upon with a united resolve.1
From the Commentary.—Snch a vow may be undertaken, some
think—for instance, the Andhakas and the Vetulyakas2—by a human
pair who feel mutual sympathy or compassion3 [not passion merely],
and who are worshipping, it may be, at some Buddha-shrine, and
aspire to be united throughout their future lives.
[1] Th.—Do you imply that a united resolve may be
undertaken which does not befit a recluse, does not become
a bhikkhu, or that it may be undertaken by one who has
cut off the root [of rebirth], or when it is a resolve that
would lead to a Parajika offence ?4
Or when it is a resolve by which life may be slain, theft
committed, lies, slander, harsh words, idle talk uttered,
burglary committed, dacoity, robbery, highway robbery,
adultery, sack and loot of village or town be committed . .5
[You must be more discriminating in your use of the
term ' with a united resolve'!]

Ekadhippayo. There is nothing objectionable in the relation
so entered upon, except, of course, for the recluse or a member of
the Order.
See XVII. 6.
Karunna, 'pity,' not the term anukampana , which does
much duty in Buddhism to express affection in social and conjugal
relations. See Ency. Religions, 'Love, Buddhist.' On the belief in
such repeated unions, see Maha Kassapa's legend, Pss. of the Brethren,
p. 359 f., and Bhadda's (his wife's) verses, Pss, of the Sisters, p. 49.
Meriting expulsion from the Order.
Dialogues, i. 69.

2. Of Bogus Arahants.
Controverted Point.—That infra-human beings, taking the
shape of Arahants,1 follow sexual desires.
From the Commentary.—This belief arose in consequence of the
dress and deportment of evil-minded bhikkhus, and is held by some—
for instance, certain of the Uttai apathakas.
[1] Th.—Would you also say that such beings, resem-
bling Arahants, commit any or all such crimes as are stated
above (XXIII. 1) ? You deny; but why limit them to
one only of those crimes ?
3. Of Self-govern ed Destiny.
Controverted Point.—That a Bodhisat (or future Buddha)
(a), goes to an evil doom, (b) enters a womb, (c) performs
hard tasks, (d) works penance under alien teachers of his
own accord and free will.
From the Commentary.—Some—for instance, the Andhakas—-judge
that the Bodhisatta, in the case of the Six-toothed Elephant Jataka2
and others, was freely so reborn as an animal or in purgatory, that
he freely performed difficult tasks, and worked penance under alien
[1] (a) Th.—Do you mean that he so went and endured
purgatory, the Sanjiva, Kalasutta, Tapana, Patapana, San-
ghataka, Roruva, and Avichi hells? If you deny, how can
you maintain your proposition ? Can you quote me a
Sutta to support this ?
[2] (b).—You maintain that he entered the womb of his
own free will.3 Do you also imply that he chose to be
reborn in purgatory, or as an animal? That he possessed

It should be remembered that in a wider, popular sense, any
religieux were—at least, in the commentarial narratives — called
Arahants—i.e., 'worthy ones,' 'holy men.' Cf. Pss. of the Sisters,
p. 130; Dhammapada Commentary, i. 400.
No. 514.
The PTS edition omits Amanta here.

magic potency ? You deny.1 I ask it again. You assent.2
Then did he practise the Four Steps to that potency—will,
effort, thought, investigation ? Neither can you quote me
here a Sutta in justification.
[3] (c).—You maintain further that the Bodhisat of his
own free will performed that which was painful and hard
to do. Do you thereby mean that he fell back on wrong
views such as ' the world is eternal,' etc., or ' the world is
finite,' etc., or 'infinite,' etc., 'soul and body are the same,'
. . . 'are different,' 'the Tathagata exists after death,' 'does
not exist,' ' both so exists and does not,' ' neither so exists
nor does not ' ? Can you quote me a Sutta in justification?
[4] (d).—You maintain further that the Bodhisat o f his
own free will made a series of penances following alien
teachers. Does this imply that he then held their views ?
Can you quote me a Sutta in justification ? . . .

4. Of Counterfeit States of Consciousness.
Controverted Point.—That there is that which is not
(a) lust, (b) hate, (c) dulness, (d) the corruptions, but which
counterfeits each of them.
From the Commentary.—Such are with regard to (a) amity, pity,
approbation ; with regard to (b) envy, selfishness, worry; with regard
to (c) the sense of the ludicrous ; with regard to (d) the suppressing of
the discontented, the helping of kindly bhikkhus, the blaming of the
bad, the praising of the good, the declaration of the venerable Pilinda-
Vaccha about outcasts,3 the declarations of the Exalted Ones about the
incompetent or irredeemable.4 Such is the opinion held, for instance,
by the Andhakas.

Free will, as liberty to do what one pleases through a specific
power or gift, is practically a denial of karma. Hence this question.—
He denies with reference to iddhi as accomplished by practice,
then assents with reference to iddhi as accomplished by merit.--
Vasala. Udana, iii. 6.
Mogha-purisa — e.g., Sunakkhatta, the Licchavi (Digha-
Nik., iii. 27 f.). The term is preceded by khelasika-vadang ,
'declaration about spittle-eaters,' presumably a term of opprobrium,
but the context of which we cannot trace

[1] Th.—Do you imply that there is that which is not
contact, not feeling, not perceiving, not volition, not cogni-
tion, not faith, not energy, not mindfulness, not concen-
tration, not understanding, but which simulates each of
these ?
[2] Similarly for (b), (c), (d).

5. Of the Undetermined
Controverted Point.—That the aggregates, elements, con-
trolling powers—all save 111 , is undetermined.1
From the Commentary.—Such is the opinion held by some—for
instance, certain of the Uttarapathakas and the Hetuvadins. Their
authority they find in the lines :
'Tis simply Ill that riseth, simply Ill
That doth persist, and then fadeth away.
Nought beside Ill it is that doth become ;
Nought else but Ill it is doth pass away.2
[1] Th.—Do you then maintain that [the marks of the
conditioned are lacking in, say, the material aggregate—
that] matter is not impermanent, not conditioned, has not
arisen because of something, is not liable to decay, to perish,
to be devoid of passion, to cessation, to change? Is not
the opposite true ?
[2] Do you imply that only Ill is caused ? Yes ? But
did not the Exalted One say that whatever was impermanent
was Ill ? Hence, if this be so, and since matter is imper-
manent, you cannot maintain that only Ill is determined.
[3] The same argument holds good for the other four
aggregates (mental), for all the mechanism of sense,3 for all
controlling powers.4

Aparinipphanna . See p. 261, n. 6.
Verses of Vajira, Bhikkhuni. Samyutta-Nik., i. 135 ; Pss. of the
Sisters, p. 191. Cf. above, p. 61.
This includes the categories 22-51, enumerated on p. 15 f .
This includes those enumerated (52-73) on p. 16.


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