Sunday, November 7, 2021

🔗📝what does ariya savaka and sekha actually mean?

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.

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



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