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MN 117 states:

And what, bhikkhus, is right view that is affected by the taints, partaking of merit, ripening in the acquisitions? ‘There is what is given and what is offered and what is sacrificed; there is fruit and result of good and bad actions; there is this world and the other world; there is mother and father; there are beings who are reborn spontaneously; there are in the world good and virtuous recluses and brahmins who have realised for themselves by direct knowledge and declare this world and the other world.’ This is right view affected by taints, partaking of merit, ripening in the acquisitions.

Why does MN 117 refer to a dirty defiled (กิเลส) right view? How can this be so? How can a right view be polluted with asava (effluents, outflows, taints, corruptions, discharge, secretions, กิเลส)?

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Good topic, one of my favorite.

Right view with taints is still a deeply materialistic view, full of naive simplifications and reifications.

In right view with taints, we still have the world with its beings, with their karma and goals and fruits and suffering.

In right view without taints, we clearly know -- with direct knowledge -- how things are. We clearly see the limits of the extent to which there may be a notion of "entity" and "karma" and "suffering" and "experience" and "right view". We see the elements ("dharmas") and how they can be analyzed in multitude of different ways. We see essenselessness, we see transitory collections of causal chains, we see dependent-coarising, we see the "gears" of the "mechanism" at work.

Why does MN 117 refer to a tainted right view as "with bondage"

Because Buddha wanted to clearly delineate the difference between upaya and truth, between conventional and ultimate. Because people were confused and did not clearly see the difference. Because of this they were getting caught up in the reifications associated with the tainted right view, and due to these reifications they were still caught in the wheel of suffering.

By the way, in my interpretation, "sasava" means "with asava" where "asava" is a type of liquor (a kind of sweet beer with honey and spices). Generally speaking asava means intoxicant. So sasava as adjective means "drunk", in contrast to "sober". In this case drunkenness stands as metaphor for delusion, and sobriety - for clarity of wisdom. So the sasava right view, is merely a useful view that is still deluded, as opposed to the real Bodhi.

  • Where is it said that those two levels are opposed sside of ideas of defilement mind? And why using "we" in a communist manner? The Buddha never used we. Just his opponents to win the favor of the audience, a low debater trick. – Samana Johann Dec 10 '17 at 15:54
  • The complete right view includes the deluded right view and utilizes it as a tool. So it's not opposition. It is only contrasted here, for the sake of understanding. Using "we" because I am inviting the reader to join me :) I could say "I" but in that case I would have to declare myself as Buddha, and I am not ready for that :)) – Andrei Volkov Dec 10 '17 at 16:05
  • So you give all including your self the status to be Buddha when following you? Or what is that good for, honestly? Nyom Andreis addition here condradicts the notion in the answer, like many times in the same pattern. Where again is it said that the second kind utilizes the first, aside of ideas from you and yours or what ever is behind "we". How about "there is the case" or " if this than that" the Buddha said, being clear of what he told and is grounded by him. – Samana Johann Dec 10 '17 at 16:10
  • A Buddha or Arahat migh ask or answer without desire. It's not a question of preference of food. Sure aversion can come up when not able to nurish on something... so what about the raft? – Samana Johann Dec 10 '17 at 19:57
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In Pali text, it says sāsavā, not asāvā. Because there are no direct translation of both words to English that would capture meanings and differentiate them at the same time. The translator tried his best to preserve original Pali text. A new word in English may have to be invented.

Maybe "still a taint" is another option for sāsavā?

...And what, bhikkhus, is right view is still affected by the taints ...

...Katamā ca, bhikkhave, sammādiṭṭhi? Sammā­diṭṭhim­pahaṃ , bhikkhave, dvāyaṃ vadāmi—atthi, bhikkhave, sammādiṭṭhi sāsavā puññabhāgiyā upadhivepakkā;.....

there is no direct translation to english for sāsavā . But I understand this word as "positive attachments to mind, things of good merits", quite opposite of asava, negative attachements to mind). However, any attachment; positive or negative is still a taint (asava)

Where further in this sutta "anāsavā lokuttarā", i understand it as positive attachments to mind that noble disciples know they need to let go.

They are 3 different key words in this sutta:

  • sāsavā
  • asava
  • anāsavā
  • sa - prefix, used as first pt. of compounds, is the sense of “with,” possessed of, having same as; e.g. sadevaka with the deva suttacentral.net/define/sa – Dhammadhatu Aug 9 '17 at 3:09
  • Buddha was mindful with every word he said. In MN 117 Buddha did not refer defilement as a right view, but rather even a right view (from lay person) is still a defilement. That was why two words were chosen, sasava and asava. Compare to views of a noble ones which is neither one of those but Anasava... I am going to draw a similarity with another popular sutta about karma you might have read. Buddha broke karma into 3 categories; black, white, and neither black nor white. – user5056 Aug 9 '17 at 22:18
  • black karma is that which brings pain to 5 skandhas, compare to white karma which brings pleasures. Both are still defilement because it is involved with 5 skandhas. however, neither black nor white karma (8 fold path) which isnt a defilement because it is a path to eradicate 5 skandhas at the end. I retracted part of my answer because the translator of the english text probably wanted to preserve the original text as close to buddha as possible but unfortunately for him, there is no direct distinguishable words for both sasava and asava in english. – user5056 Aug 9 '17 at 22:24
  • For translation of sāsavā see: buddhism.stackexchange.com/a/23970/10100 – Bonn Dec 10 '17 at 13:06
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Sāsavā right view is a basic right view that available every time, though without buddhism. This sāsava right view is an important base of vipassanā-meditation.

However, the sāsava right view can't destruct āsava. Because sāsava right view arises in control of āsavā, especially avijjā-āsava and bhava-āsava, that ignore and attach the resultant (upadhi) of sāsava right view.

For the example of sāsava right view:

We stop to attach everything in kāma-loka for birth in brahma-loka (that is attached by bhavā-āsava).

So sāsavā right view arises before or after āsava. Only a khīnāsava-puggala (a taintless person, i.e. an arahant) has anāsava right view.

Even a anāgāmi-puggala (a non-returner) also has āsava arising, before he will change to be khīnāsava-puggala.

For translation of sāsavā see: https://buddhism.stackexchange.com/a/23970/10100

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Taking the whole passage in context, it says (I summarise):

  • "Wrong view" is "nothing matters, there's no fruit, no virtue"
    (which I think means "nihilism")
  • "Right view sāsavā" is "things matter, there is fruit, there are virtuous people"
    (which I think means "the opposite of nihilism")
  • "Right view anāsavā" is "wisdom and discernment of the states"

The reason why "right view sāsavā" is "right view" might be obvious: it's the direct opposite of wrong view; it motivates a person on the eightfold path; etc.

The reason why "right view sāsavā" is "sāsavā" is ... perhaps it's because it's to do with "merit" and "acquisition", so maybe it includes (it doesn't necessarily exclude) identity-view and greed (even if only spiritual greed, some conceit about being good).

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My answer to this question is obsession with morality prevents the eradication of self-view & liberation from the world. Morality views sense phenomena as "beings" ("satta") rather than as "elements" ("dhatu"). Even St Paul in the Christian Bible taught attachment to the moral law does not set the mind free. Imagine if the Buddhist teachings resulted in more bondage (upadhi) than Christianity? How pathetic & embarrassing would that be for the Noble Dhamma.

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The different between the "two kinds" of right might be easer to be understood in the sample of right speech, having the same pattern:

MN 117

[3] "Of those, right view is the forerunner. And how is right view the forerunner? One discerns wrong speech as wrong speech, and right speech as right speech. This is one's right view. And what is wrong speech? Lying, divisive tale-bearing, abusive speech, & idle chatter. This is wrong speech.

"And what is right speech? Right speech, I tell you, is of two sorts: There is right speech with effluents, siding with merit, resulting in the acquisitions [of becoming]; and there is noble right speech, without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.

"And what is the right speech that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions? Abstaining from lying, from divisive tale-bearing, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter. This is the right speech that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions.

"And what is the right speech that is without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path? The abstaining, desisting, abstinence, avoidance of the four forms of verbal misconduct of one developing the noble path whose mind is noble, whose mind is without effluents, who is fully possessed of the noble path. This is the right speech that is without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.

"One tries to abandon wrong speech & to enter into right speech: This is one's right effort. One is mindful to abandon wrong speech & to enter & remain in right speech: This is one's right mindfulness. Thus these three qualities — right view, right effort, & right mindfulness — run & circle around right speech.

There is no distinction of the elements but simply in the distinction of "in training" or "on the path".

Just if the magga (path) is reached one is on the lane of transcentent toward phala (fruit), the next, and so on... till finally destruction of effluents.

It's a great missunderstanding that the first right view and the secound are different. At first it is "just" imitated trained, to strengthen the other factors as well, then it might become a matter of discerment rather then Saddha.

If understanding that it might be understood why even an Arahat does not abound to teach "simply" the first kind since the secound is a "product".

Imitating the second, an attainment, does not lead to much of benefit. It's like being a donkey running after behind cows. (Note that monk here should be understood as one not an outsider, e.g. an Noble One)

And what is then heightened virture? (To continue toward {next} fruit, next path, with possible fast success?)

And what is the training in heightened virtue? There is the case where a monk is virtuous. He dwells restrained in accordance with the Patimokkha (even as lay person would train in this sphere), consummate in his behavior & sphere of activity. He trains himself, having undertaken the training rules, seeing danger in the slightest fault. This is called the training in heightened virtue.

Once path is gained, the training in virtue becomes a training in heightened virtue, no more relaying on wordly understandings of what is taking without being given for example. Stealing is no more justified by conventions in regard of tolerated transgressions by other laws aside of simply that.

For one no shame in deliberal lying and all it's various appearances, hiding his misconducts and so on, such is not only not even near the path but said that there is no evil such a person is not able to do.

One of right view, beyound world, therfore is not able to transgress the basic precepts deliberatly for any purpose in or for the world, not even for the sake of Nibbana, since he knows and has no more doubt of what is path and not-path.

At the very end of all sufferings discernment and views of all kind are (to be) released.

[Note: This is a gift of Dhamma, not meant for commercial purpose or other low wordily gains my means of trade and exchange]

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