Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sutra: Five Helpers to Right View

Based on trans. by Ven. Nyanaponika, Bhikkhu Bodhi (Numerical Discourses, AN V, 25)

The Buddha explained: Right view, O meditators, if it is helped by five things, has liberation of mind as its fruit and is rewarded by the fruit of liberation of mind. It has liberation by wisdom as its fruit and is rewarded by the fruit of liberation by wisdom.* What are those five things? Here, meditators, right view is helped** by:
  1. wide learning
  2. discussion (of what is learned)
  3. insight


*“Liberation of mind” (ceto-vimutti) means the concentration present at the attainment of the noble paths and fruitions -- that is, at the time of the first three stages of enlightenment.

  • “Liberation by wisdom” (panna-vimutti) is the liberating-wisdom pertaining to the fourth fruition, namely, arhatship. An arhat may be said to be an accomplished disciple or savaka-buddha, one who has gained full enlightenment (as distinct from pacceka-buddhas and sammasambodhi buddhas).

**This fivefold help to right view is compared to the growing of a mango tree in the ancient commentary to this text (called the Anguttara Atthakatha):

  • Right view is like the mango seed.
  • The other supporting factors are like measures taken to ensure the growth of the tree.
  • And the two liberations are like the fruits.