Sunday, November 7, 2021

🔗📝what does ariya savaka and sekha actually mean?

Internal notes on lucid24.org

Ariya‍ = noble. Can be referring to any of the 4 attainments of stream entry, once returner, or non-returner, or arahant. 🔗📝.

Ariya-savaka‍ = noble one's disciple. One who hears/learns the teachings of a noble one, but is not necessarily a noble one themself.

a-sekha = see Ariya‍ 3. an arahant who no longer needs training of a trainee (sekha), since they are not being liable to rebirth (SN 48.53), and they have direct experience with 5ind🖐️ resulting in the culmination of that.


External notes

(also see links to other articles and proofs at bottom of this page)

summary

ariya = noble. Can be referring to any of the 4 attainments of stream entry, once returner, or non-returner, or arahant. 

ariya-savaka = noble one's disciple. One who hears/learns the teachings of a noble one, but is not necessarily a noble one themself. 
LBT Commentary claims ariya-savaka (in all contexts) is at least a stream-enterer.
The fundamental purpose of the term 'ariya savaka' is to contrast against a disciple who has not been exposed to the Buddha (Noble one's) teaching, the 'unlearned ordinary person'.  It's not to differentation an unenlightened Buddhist disciple from an enlightened one, for which other terms already exist (stream entry, etc.). 
MN 64 example

The Buddha said this:Bhagavā etadavoca:

“Ānanda, take an unlearned ordinary person who has not seen the noble ones, and is neither skilled nor trained in the teaching of the noble ones. They’ve not seen good persons, and are neither skilled nor trained in the teaching of the good persons.“Idhānanda, assutavā puthujjano ariyānaṁ adassāvī ariyadhammassa akovido ariyadhamme avinīto, sappurisānaṁ adassāvī sappurisadhammassa akovido sappurisadhamme avinītoTheir heart is overcome and mired in identity view,sakkāyadiṭṭhipariyuṭṭhitena cetasā viharati sakkāyadiṭṭhiparetena;



a-sekha = an arahant who no longer needs training of a trainee (sekha), since they are  not being liable to rebirth (SN 48.53), and they have direct experience with 5indriya resulting in the culmination of that.

sekha = a trainee who has attained at least stream entry, once returner, or non-returner, but is not yet an arahant. (Proof : The distinction between sekha and asekha with regard to the five faculties as given in SN 48:53 is identical to the distinction between the stream enterer and the arahant as given in SN 48:3 and SN 48:4.)

reference:


If you search that page for "sekh", it produces 7 finds of sutta titles with 'sekh' in there.


a forum thread showing some commentary glosses saying ariya-savaka is at least a stream enterer.
grammatically, both readings of ariya-savaka are valid.

certainty:

ariya savaka (noble one's disciple): one who is at the minimum a hearer/learner of Dharma teachings from a noble one (ariya). This interpretation works everywhere in the suttas if you plug that definition in. 

sekha (trainee): 

* from AN 5.1  they have 3 of the 5 bala, with sati and samadhi removed and replaced with hiri and ottappa.  

SN 48.53 they are a trainee if they have at least faith in 4 noble truths, and that there are no other teachers whose teachings match or exceed the Buddha's in accuracy or harmony with truth of reality. They know (paññāya ca ativijjha passati.) that the 5 bala are the means to realize truth, but have not directly realized that result through meditation experience yet.  

a-sekha (not a trainee, one who has completed training): 

SN 48.53 not being liable to rebirth, and they have direct experience with 5indriya resulting in the culimination of that. 

Yaṅgatikāni yaṃparamāni yaṃphalāni yaṃpariyosānāni. Kāyena ca phusitvā viharati;


uncertainty:


ariya savaka: noble one's disciple. 

Theravada commentary seems to say ariya savaka  is not just a noble one's disciple, but is themself a noble one, one who has at minimum reached the path (or fruit?)  of stream entry.


Where's the sutta proof? If you plug in  the definition "noble one's disciple" everywhere, it works, but "noble disciple" often seems overqualified, unnecessary, or unjustified.

For example, right livelihood: miccha ajiva pahaya. samma ajivena jivitam kappeti. An ariya savaka abandoned wrong livelihood, and takes up right livelihood.

Why would you need to be a stream enterer to do that? Plenty of ordinary people can do that.





sekha (trainee): 

sekha: any serious monastic or lay person trying to attain full arahantship? Must be at least stream enterer? (B. Bodhi translates this as 'disciple in higher training')



my doubts about sekha being stream enterer


MN 152 especially makes me doubt ariya status of sekha:
why would a stream enterer do this when he has some samadhi but just not mastered?
shouldn't he be doing the same practice as the ariya with developed faculties?


Kathañcānanda, sekho hoti pāṭipado?
"And how is one a person in training, someone following the way?
Idhānanda, bhikkhuno cakkhunā rūpaṃ disvā uppajjati manāpaṃ, uppajjati amanāpaṃ, uppajjati manāpāmanāpaṃ.
There is the case where, when seeing a form with the eye, there arises in a monk what is agreeable, what is disagreeable, what is agreeable & disagreeable.
So tena uppannena manāpena
He feels horrified, humiliated, & disgusted with the arisen agreeable thing...
uppannena amanāpena
disagreeable thing...
uppannena manāpāmanāpena aṭṭīyati harāyati jigucchati.
agreeable & disagreeable thing.


Sotena saddaṃ sutvā … pe …
"When hearing a sound with the ear...


forum discussion

https://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?p=652859#p652859


frank k wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 9:03 am
sekha: any serious monastic or lay person trying to attain full arahantship? Must be at least stream enterer? (B. Bodhi translates this as 'disciple in higher training')

Ven. Dhammanando:

In the Suttas asekhas are arahants and sekhas are ariyasāvakas but not yet arahants. This can be seen from what's predicated of the two persons in various Suttas in the Indriya Samyutta, e.g., the Sekhasutta, SN 48:53


There is, however, another (much less common) sense of sekha, found in the Vinaya's third pātidesanīya rule:

There are families designated as in training. Should any bhikkhu, not being ill, uninvited beforehand, chew or consume staple or non-staple food, having received it himself at the homes of families designated as in training, he is to acknowledge it: “Friends, I have committed a blameworthy, unsuitable act that ought to be acknowledged. I acknowledge it.”

The term in training (sekha) is usually used to refer to anyone who has attained at least the first noble path but has yet to become an arahant. Here, though, the Vibhaṅga uses it to refer to any family whose faith is increasing but whose wealth is decreasing—i.e., a family whose faith is so strong that they become generous to the point of suffering financially. In cases such as these, the Community may, as a formal transaction, declare them as families in training so as to protect them with this rule from bhikkhus who might abuse their generosity.

(Ven. Thanissaro, BMC I ch. 9)

https://www.dhammatalks.org/vinaya/bmc/Section0025.html



I asked the question to Ven. Thanissaro



AT: (Ajahn Thanissaro)


Frank:
where did you get sekha must be at least a stream enterer?
I'm as uncertain of that as I am that an ariya savaka must be a stream enterer.

AT: (Ajahn Thanissaro):
SN 48:53 read in conjunction with MN 48.


frank:

AN 5.1 has lower requirement for sekha, they have panna but no samadhi, whereas SN 48.53 they have all 5 indriya.

MN 48 second factor of stream entry says


Puna caparaṃ, bhikkhave, ariyasāvako iti paṭisañcikkhati:
Furthermore, a noble disciple reflects:
‘imaṃ nu kho ahaṃ diṭṭhiṃ āsevanto bhāvento bahulīkaronto labhāmi paccattaṃ samathaṃ, labhāmi paccattaṃ nibbutin’ti?
‘When I develop, cultivate, and make much of this view, do I personally gain serenity and quenching?’
So evaṃ pajānāti:
They understand:
‘imaṃ kho ahaṃ diṭṭhiṃ āsevanto bhāvento bahulīkaronto labhāmi paccattaṃ samathaṃ, labhāmi paccattaṃ nibbutin’ti.
‘When I develop, cultivate, and make much of this view, I personally gain serenity and quenching.’
Idamassa dutiyaṃ ñāṇaṃ adhigataṃ hoti ariyaṃ lokuttaraṃ asādhāraṇaṃ puthujjanehi. (2)
This is their second knowledge …

that says to me they have gotten at least a brief glimpse of nirvana.
AN 5.1 sekha has no samadhi bala, so how can they glimpse nirvana and fulfill that samatha?


AT: (Ajahn Thanissaro):

1) The standard lists of the characteristics of a stream enterer never
include concentration as one of the members of the list, even though SN
55:5 states that the stream consists of all eight factors of the noble
path, including right concentration, and MN 48 includes, as part of its
description of the stream enterer, enough tranquility to experience
unbinding.
The clue to understanding this discrepancy lies in AN 3:87, which
states that the stream enterer is wholly accomplished in virtue, but
only moderately accomplished in concentration and discernment. In other
words, just because the lists don’t include concentration doesn’t mean
that the stream enterer has no concentration at all. It just means that
it hasn’t been fully mastered. The stream enterer has tasted enough of
at least the first jhana to have gained an experience of unbinding. The
same can be assumed with the list in AN 5:1. It doesn’t give an
exhaustive list of the sekha’s characteristics, just five of the
prominent ones. When SN 48:53 states that the learner has seen, as they
have come to be, the four noble truths, that implies that he/she has
seen enough of all the factors of the noble eightfold path to have had
at least a glimpse of the third noble truth, like the stream enterer in
MN 48 who personally obtains serenity and unbinding.

2) The distinction between sekha and asekha with regard to the five
faculties as given in SN 48:53 is identical to the distinction between
the stream enterer and the arahant as given in SN 48:3 and SN 48:4.
These are probably the clearest passages showing that the sekha must be
at least a stream enterer.

With best wishes,
Ajaan Geoff


Sujato translates ariya-savaka as 'noble disciple' but interprets it loosely

https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/ho ... ll/6695/15

sujato Bhante Oct '17

The ambiguity arises because the term usually appears as a compound, and the relation between the elements is not specified. Compare, for example, ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo which must be an adjective, “noble eightfold path”, as opposed to ariyassa vinaye “the training of the noble one”.


So far as I know, we don’t have any resolved forms of ariyasāvaka in the EBTs that would determine the issue on purely grammatical grounds. It seems that the more common usage of ariya is as an adjective, which would support “noble disciple”. In addition, the general sense of it through the texts seems to support this reading.


On the other hand, the commentaries seem to prefer “disciple of the noble (Buddha)” (ariyassa Buddhassa sāvako). This would seem to be supported by DN 8, which has gotamasāvakasaṅgho and gaṇācariyasāvakasaṅghā, which must be, “the community of disciples of Gotama” and “the community of disciples of the teachers of groups” (i.e. non-Buddhist communities).


The difference in meaning is probably not as great as it might appear. In this kind of context, a “disciple of the noble one” would mean “a true disciple of the noble one”, not just someone who called themselves a follower. Usually in the texts, of course, an ariyasāvaka is one of the four pairs of awakened beings. However it does seem to be used more loosely on occasion, so needs to be read carefully in context. @Brahmali, I wonder if you have any thoughts on this?


Brahmali Ajahn

Oct '17

I tend to agree with what you have said here. It seems that in a number of instances the expression ariyasāvaka is used to designate the ideal conduct of a disciple, and thus primarily refers to stream-enterers. Here are a few examples:


MN2: “Bhikkhus, a well-taught noble disciple [ariyasāvaka], who has regard for noble ones and is skilled and disciplined in their Dhamma, who has regard for true men and is skilled and disciplined in their Dhamma, understands what things are fit for attention and what things are unfit for attention. Since that is so, he does not attend to those things unfit for attention and he attends to those things fit for attention.”


MN14: “Even though a noble disciple has seen clearly as it actually is with proper wisdom that sensual pleasures provide little gratification, much suffering and despair, and that the danger in them is still more, as long as he still does not attain to the rapture and pleasure that are apart from sensual pleasures, apart from unwholesome states, or to something more peaceful than that, he may still be attracted to sensual pleasures.”


MN22: ““Bhikkhus, a well-taught noble disciple who has regard for noble ones and is skilled and disciplined in their Dhamma, who has regard for true men and is skilled and disciplined in their Dhamma, regards material form thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ He regards feeling thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ He regards perception thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ He regards formations thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ He regards what is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, encountered, sought, mentally pondered thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ And this standpoint for views, namely, ‘That which is the self is the world; after death I shall be permanent, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change; I shall endure as long as eternity’—this too he regards thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’”


I believe most occurrences of ariyasāvaka in the suttas are found in contexts similar to the ones above. In these contexts the obvious translation is “noble disciple”, that is, someone who has understood the teachings through insight. I do recall, however, that there are some exceptions to this. In these other cases the term seems to be used more loosely and does not necessarily imply an ariya. Still, since the preponderance of usage refers to ariyas, I think “noble disciple” is the better translation. One just needs to keep in mind that the term is not used with absolute consistency. This is in fact true for a large number of terms. In other words, we always need to be sensitive to context.


sujato

Oct '17

That’s right, in fact normally samaṇabrāhmaṇa means “professional spiritual practitioners”. It is used in contexts where Buddhists may or may not be included.


Misc. Notes


Iti 82 shows a newly ordained monk would already be a stream enterer 'ariya savaka', which is clearly wrong.

🔗📝 collection of notes on KN Iti 82


why isn't Sammā-sam-buddha-sāvako "a disciple who also happens to be a Buddha"?




why it matters: "noble disciple" vs. "disciple of the noble ones"


SN 55.7 ariya savaka is not enlightened here





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