Reply To: Useful Essays from DRARISWORLD and Other Websites


Gad asked: “How can we know which faculties are most appropriate for ourselves? I understand that only a Lord Buddha is able to give us the best training. Are there other ways that can bring us closer to the best?”

It is a good idea to understand the sutta from the beginning. Otherwise, what is meant by “faculties” may not be clear.

1. First, understand the samyojanā (translated as “fetters”). Do you understand those?

  • Focus on the lower three (removed at the Sotapanna stage) or the lower five (removed at the Anagami stage.)  
  • Removal of the lower three stops rebirths in the apayas. Removal of the lower five stops rebirths in kama loka.
  • The link you provided lists of all ten samyojanā.

2. Then the sutta mentions this question by the Buddha: “For Mālunkyaputta, an infant lying on its back, does not have even the concept of identity, so how could the self-identity view arise in him?”

  • Have you understood why that is the case?
  • The Pali verse is: “Daharassa hi, mālukyaputta, kumārassa mandassa uttānaseyyakassa sakkāyotipi na hoti, kuto panassa uppajjissati sakkāyadiṭṭhi?”
  • In Sutta Central translation, the same verse is translated as: “For a little baby doesn’t even have a concept of ‘substantial reality,’ so how could substantialist view possibly arise in them?” See “Mahāmālukya Sutta (MN 64.)

3. As we can see, the two translations have sakkāyotipi /sakkāyadiṭṭhi translated as concept of identity/self-identity view and substantial reality/substantialist viewDo you understand the meanings of those two words (sakkāyotipi and sakkāyadiṭṭhi)?

  • I am not trying to put you in a difficult position. We need to clear up the basic concepts before we get to the end of the sutta.
  • Of course, anyone else can answer those questions, too. This is a discussion forum, and anyone with a particular interpretation in mind can provide that interpretation. Then, it would be easier to discuss the validity of those interpretations rather than to provide my understanding.