Dovacassatāsutta AN 6.115

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    • #41795
      Jorg
      Participant

      Theruwan saranai everyone,

      In AN 6.115, it states:

      Dovacassatāya pahānāya sovacassatā bhāvetabbā, pāpamittatāya pahānāya kalyāṇamittatā bhāvetabbā, cetaso vikkhepassa pahānāya ānāpānassati bhāvetabbā.

      It’s obvious that dovacassatāya and sovacassatā & pāpamittatāya and kalyāṇamittatā are counterparts. Then the same should apply for cetaso vikkhepassa and ānāpānassati.

      Vikkhepa is translated as derangement, confusion, distraction, or disturbance. It’s clear that they relate to asobhana cetasika. The practice of ānāpānassati is to cultivate sobhana cetasika, so it makes sense from that angle.
      However, why use this specific term vikkhepa? I thought there might be more to it, therefore, I searched for some context. Another reason is that one might still interpret anapanassati as mindfulness of breathing if one takes vikkhepa as “distracted,” so I was looking for some details from that perspective as well.

      What I found was that some commentaries mention it frequently, especially Ānāpānassatikathā. I’m fascinated by that one, but unfortunately, it’s hard to navigate through with my knowledge of Pali and no side-by-side English translation (not that it would be accurate, but it would help somewhat).
      There are also connections listed, to uddhacca, in the jhanavibhanga:

      Tattha katamaṁ uddhaccaṁ? Yaṁ cittassa uddhaccaṁ avūpasamo cetaso vikkhepo bhantattaṁ cittassa — idaṁ vuccati “uddhaccaṁ.”
      The involvement of moha/avijja and mana cetasika come to mind here.

      In AN10.76
      So anupārambhacitto samāno bhabbo muṭṭhassaccaṁ pahātuṁ asampajaññaṁ pahātuṁ cetaso vikkhepaṁ pahātuṁ.
      So avikkhittacitto samāno bhabbo ayonisomanasikāraṁ pahātuṁ kummaggasevanaṁ pahātuṁ cetaso līnattaṁ pahātuṁ.

      From that same cetasika angle, especially when moha is present, one cannot get to yonisomanasikara, unless one has no vikkhepa (referring to avikkhittacitta I assume).
      By the way, is lina related to vikkhepa? it’s translated as sluggishness, but it seems it’s a bit more than that. Something like “being shut off from reality, unwilling to explore it in the slightest,” basically being in denial.

    • #41799
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Jorg asked: “However, why use this specific term vikkhepa?”
      Why not? Vikkhepa DOES mean “confusion.”

      Jorg: “Another reason is that one might still interpret anapanassati as mindfulness of breathing if one takes vikkhepa as “distracted,” so I was looking for some details from that perspective as well.”

      – One is distracted if confused.
      The main problem is that people are trying very hard to justify their addiction to “breath meditation.” Once, a moderator at Dhamma Wheel became upset with me. He wrote something like, “I have practiced breath meditation for 30 years. How can you tell me it does not work?”
      – It is possible to be on the wrong path for billions of years, not just a mere 30 years! Until one learns the Ānāpānasati taught by a Buddha, one will never be able to know what it is and practice it.
      – Of course, one can get “peace of mind” by practicing breath meditation or other mundane kasina meditations. That can lead to anariya jhana and even abhinna powers if one stays away from sensual pleasures. Devadatta did precisely that and attained abhinna powers. But he ended up in an apaya.

      Please read the post, “Ānāpānasati – Overview” carefully and let me know if there is ANY wiggle room to justify Ānāpānasati as “breath meditation.”
      – I just revised that post a bit more.
      – I would be happy to discuss that post with anyone anywhere. That is the only way to settle this issue once and for all.

    • #41887
      Jorg
      Participant

      I’m sorry for my delayed response, I’ve been sick the whole week. Once I fully recover, I’ll take a closer look. I’m afraid I’m not able to express myself optimally now.

    • #41889
      Lal
      Keymaster

      I hope you get better soon, Jorg!

      The “Dovacassatā Sutta (AN 6.115)” is a short sutta. The English translation there is misleading.

      In many cases, this and other modern translators provide the mundane meaning because they do not know the deeper meanings.

      Dovacassatā” and  “pāpamittatā” essentially refer to asappurisa.

      I linked above to the verse “Dovacassatāya pahānāya sovacassatā bhāvetabbā, pāpamittatāya pahānāya kalyāṇamittatā bhāvetabbā, cetaso vikkhepassa pahānāya ānāpānassati bhāvetabbā.”

      That verse is translated with the mundane meaning in the above link: “You should develop being easy to admonish to give up being hard to admonish, good friendship to give up bad friendship, and mindfulness of breathing to give up a distracted mind.”

      It should be translated as: “You should associate with those who speak the correct Dhamma, not those who speak adhamma, a Noble Person and not an immoral person, and practice ānāpānassati to remove confusion/distracted-ness of the mind to get to samādhi

      Mindfulness of breathing CAN BE give up a distracted mind temporarily. It WILL NOT help remove any anusaya/bad gati!

      • In the same way, “good friends” that one associates to have a good time, are, in most cases, asappurisa.
    • #41998
      Jorg
      Participant

      On a technical note:
      It seems some HTML language pops up in the post that I can’t seem to delete during editing.

      Thank you for the added clarification. <br />
      It’s unfortunate kalyāṇamitta and sappurisasaṁseva get translated as “good” friends. <br />
      It’s obvious that merely a “good” friend cannot get one on the noble path. <br />
      Plenty of suttā mention one cannot practice Ānāpānassati/satipaṭṭhānā  without kalyāṇamitta/sappurisasaṁseva, e.g.,  tanhāsutta AN 10.62, Avijjāsutta AN 10.61, and Sambodhisutta AN 9.1. Needless to say, the average person can practice and come up with breath meditation themselves. <br />
      <br />
      Lal, regarding Ānāpānassati, have you considered writing a post on all of the 16 instructions? (I know you’ve discussed a few lines in some of the posts).<br />
      “Dīghaṁ  assasanto ‘dīghaṁ assasāmī’ti pajānāti, dīghaṁ  passasanto ‘dīghaṁ passasāmī’ti pajānāti.”<br />
      to<br />
      “Paṭinissaggānupassī assasissāmī’ti sikkhati, ‘paṭinissaggānupassī passasissāmī’ti sikkhati.”

      Since these represent satipaṭṭhānā (kayānupassana/vedanānupassana/cittānupassana/dhammānupassana), it would be a great addition to the whole series. And it would offer the opportunity to explain what those mean, as explained in the commentary Ānāpānasatikathā.

       

    • #42002
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Select the sentence that you want to be “bold” or “italics,” and then press the “b” or “i” on the format bar. That will solve the formatting issue. I corrected the first “bolded ” sentence in your comment.

      Yes. I will try to address those when I have time. A lot can be written on various issues/concepts, but it is a matter of having enough time.

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