June 5, 2018 at 12:26 pm #16253
After reading the post on the 5 hindrances, I have a question on the 5th one:
In the post, Vicikicca (“vi” is twisted, “ci” is thoughts, and “kicca” is action done with “icca” or cravings) is the tendency to do unwise things because of the ignorance of the true nature of this world. Lal broke down the Pali for us, and the meaning was clear.
So many books, however, explain vicikicca as doubt — toward the teaching, the teacher, and oneself. Is there a basis for this explanation? I do not see a connection between “the tendency to do unwise things because of the ignorance of the true nature of this world’ and “doubt”.
June 5, 2018 at 7:52 pm #16258
Doubt is entirely different from vicikicca. Let us take a couple of examples form the Tipitaka to illustrate.
Even Sotapannas or an Arahant may have doubts or “unresolved issues” about somethings. For example, Mahanama was a wealthy person, who had attained the Sotapanna stage, and had full faith in the Buddha. As we know, one does not significantly get rid of the tendency to “get angry” until the Anagami stage. Mahanama had many businesses, and when he visited those places he could see people doing “stupid things” and he would get really mad at them. Later on, he would become upset about getting angry, and would wonder whether he would be born in the apayas if he died at such a moment. So, he went to the Buddha and told about his concerns. The Buddha told him that he had attained the Sotapanna stage, and thus it is not possible for him to be born in the apayas.
Mahanama went back and sometime later had another experience like that. He went to the Buddha told again that he is still worried that because of how angry he got; maybe it is still possible that he would be born in the apayas. Three times he did that, and only at the third time he accepted the word of the Buddha.
So, it is clear that Mahanama still had “doubts” about something the Buddha clearly stated.
Even more importantly, we can take the following account about Ven. Moggallana. The Buddha has specifically stated that it is not possible for a human to fully understand how vast the universe is, and had warned bhikkhus not to investigate such things (there were 5 such “acinteyya” or unthinkables, as we discussed recently).
Anyway, one day Ven. Moggalana, who was only to second to the Buddha in supernormal powers, decided to “take a look” at how vast the universe is. He got lost, and had to be “rescued” by the Buddha.
If someone knows the two suttas, please post links to them. I do not remember the names of the suttas.
So, the point is that even an Arahant may have “doubts” about certain things. But once one becomes a Sotapanna, one would not engage in “really foolish things” like committing apayagami actions; those are the actions that are “unwise”.
Vicikicca is an akusala, that can lead to rebirth in the apayas. But anyone except a Buddha can have doubts.
There is another related term, khanka vicikicca, which is even worse. Khanka or “kha” + “anka” literally means “outright rejection done with disdain” (i.e., rejecting as utter foolishness). It is easier to get the phonetic meaning in Sinhala (“ganan ganne naha” or “ගණන් ගන්නේ නැහැ”; “anka” means “number”). For example, those who reject rebirth as hogwash or nonsense have khanka vicikicca.
When one is on the mundane path, one takes Buddha Dhamma seriously, and would not have khanka vicikicca. One believes in the rebirth process and laws of kamma, for example. But until one comprehends Tilakkhana and gets on the Noble Path, one will have vicikicca, and may do apayagami actions “under pressure”, i.e., when coming across a very tempting situation. For example, we know that “highly moral” people are sometimes charged with serious crimes such as bribery or even rape, and people say “we cannot believe that he/she was capable of doing such a thing”. Such things are possible for anyone below the Sotapanna stage.
June 8, 2018 at 10:52 am #16331
Thank you for the clarification of vicikicca, and especially the added explanation of khanka vicikicca.
I did some searching and found this:
I wonder if this is related to what you said about Mahanama.
For the case of Mahanama, his angry instances were then patigha and not vayapada, but he on his own could not tell the difference?
I did not find anything about the story of Ven. Moggallana getting “lost”, and here I do have some doubt, I must admit. Wherever Ven. Moggallana “went”, it would have been in one of the 31 realms, would it not? Someone of his caliber certainly would not have been lost in one of those realms. Just a thought.
June 8, 2018 at 11:31 am #16336
Thanks for the reference, Lang. Yes. That is the right one on Mahanama.
You said:”Wherever Ven. Moggallana “went”, it would have been in one of the 31 realms, would it not? Someone of his caliber certainly would not have been lost in one of those realms.”
No, that is not where he got lost.
– There are an uncountable number of Cakkavata (or Star systems with planets around them). Ours is the called the Solar system because it is centered around Sun.
– Like that, most of the stars in the universe have planetary systems like that. EACH OF THEM has 31 realms!
– There are billions of stars in our galaxy, the Milky Way. And there are billions of galaxies like that!
– Of course scientists have not yet found life in even a single star system. However, the closest star is 4 light years away. To get an idea of that distance think about the fact that it takes only 8 minutes for light from our Sun to get to Earth, i.e., if one one traveled at the speed of light it will take only 8 minutes to get the Sun. But even at that speed (which cannot be reached), it will take FOUR YEARS to get to the nearest star. So, don’t expect scientists to find life in other star systems anytime soon.
So, the universe out there is mind-boggling; see the video in, “The Grand Unified Theory of Dhamma – Introduction“.
That is where Ven. Moggalana got lost.
June 8, 2018 at 3:51 pm #16339
With some more searching, I found this which looks like mahayaha material:
Regardless of the nature of the above source, it seems like he traveled, and got lost, physically, and that he was able to do this because of his supernormal power?
June 8, 2018 at 6:42 pm #16351
That is not the right sutta. That is one of those suttas made up by the Mahayanists.
You said: “Regardless of the nature of the above source, it seems like he traveled, and got lost, physically, and that he was able to do this because of his supernormal power?”
And there is another sutta that gives the basic idea. There Rohitassa, when he was a yogi with supernormal powers tried to find “the end of universe” and died on the way. He was reborn a deva, and came to the Buddha to tell his story: “Rohitassa Sutta: To Rohitassa“.
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