I have looked at a list of some wrong-views in Buddhism, and I'm somewhat confused about the meaning of the notion of 'view' [ditthi].

In Buddhism, what does it mean to hold a view?

1) I ask this because I'm unsure what the holding of a view means in this case. Does it mean merely believing the view? Does it mean believing and acting in relation to that view?

2) More so, I'm unsure whether the views listed as wrong are considered as definitive? Or, are there various types of wrong views and the lists consider only the greatest examples?

3) Finally, I wonder what views are in relation to emptiness. I can't help but feel wisdom linked with emptiness would dismantle views altogether. Wouldn't a view, in emptiness, exist only relatively and not in a definite manner? Wouldn't it be impossible to hold a view as true? I'm reminded of Nagarjuna who claims, for example, that those seeing emptiness as a view are misguided.

  • The answers to this question touched on some of the characteristics of a "view": How are 'conceit' and 'identity-view' not the same? – ChrisW Sep 23 '18 at 12:55
  • I think we should assume that in the third part of the question you were asking for a Mahayana-perspective answer, i.e. asking for someone to explain (and not, to contradict) Nagarjuna's claim. – ChrisW Sep 24 '18 at 11:57

This is a long answer (below), so here is a summary up front:

  • "In Buddhism, what does it mean to hold a view?"

    I think it means to get attached to a view, maybe to rejoice in or to delight in a view, like attaching to a sense-object -- especially a wrong view, such as "delight in being" (bhavaratā).

  • "Or, are there various types of wrong views and the lists consider only the greatest examples?"

    If 62 of them are listed I doubt that's an exhaustive list -- after all, why not 63 then? There's no end to the number of ways of being wrong (or of views to attach to)!

    I suppose that "right view" is defined more narrowly (4 noble truths, 3 characteristics, dispassion, etc.), and that attaching to or holding to views (doctrines) other than that and thus is 'wrong'.

    Conversely though, there is "right seeing" or "seeing things as they are", which includes seeing their cause[s] and their cessation.

So a "view" is a diṭṭhi, defined here as follows:

diṭṭhi: view, speculative opinion, belief, credo, dogma, doctrine. Generally designates a wrong view. Sammādiṭṭhi is the first constituent of the ariya aṭṭh·aṅgika magga, and consists in considering the four ariya·saccas. When the prefix sammā· is absent, the word diṭṭhi generally designates a wrong view. The Buddha exhaustively expounds the 62 wrong views in the Brahmajāla Sutta. Diṭṭhis are one of the seven anusayas. See also sammādiṭṭhi.

In MN 72 for example you can see that the word diṭṭhi can be given all kinds of qualifiers:

Each of these ten convictions is the thicket of views, the desert of views, the trick of views, the evasiveness of views, the fetter of views.

Sassato loko’ti kho, vaccha, diṭṭhigatametaṃ diṭṭhigahanaṃ diṭṭhikantāro diṭṭhivisūkaṃ diṭṭhivipphanditaṃ diṭṭhisaṃyojanaṃ

The dictionary gives diṭṭhisaṃyojana as "the fetter of empty speculation", by the way.

After that sentence in MN 72 the Buddha says,

Seeing this drawback I avoid all these convictions.
Imaṃ kho ahaṃ, vaccha, ādīnavaṃ sampassamāno evaṃ imāni sabbaso diṭṭhigatāni anupagato”ti.

But does Master Gotama have any convictions at all?
“Atthi pana bhoto gotamassa kiñci diṭṭhigatan”ti?

The Realized One has done away with convictions.
Diṭṭhigatanti kho, vaccha, apanītametaṃ tathāgatassa.

I wanted to know what diṭṭhigata (used there) means exactly. Because the dictionary defines it as ...

a (false) view, a theory.
a belief; wrong view.

... but I found it odd, it didn't make sense to me, that Vacchagotta would ask the Buddha, "what wrong views do you hold?" -- so I figured that diṭṭhigata would mean something slightly different than explicitly or literally "wrong".

As Andrei commented,

Well, ditthi means view and gata means something like "settled in", so why wouldn't ditthigata mean a position or conviction?

I think that "settled in" is so -- see also for example gata used in Tathagata (usually translated as "gone" or "gone to") ... or for example sugata, and gata generally.

So, I guess, maybe diṭṭhigata means something like, "gone to a view", or "dwelling in a view" ... or "holding a view" (which is the subject of the question in the OP), perhaps conversely "being held by a view" (if you use non-anatta terminology), perhaps "stuck on a view", perhaps a "stuck view", maybe "an abiding view" or "a view of abiding", or something like that.

There's a whole sutta actually, itivuttaka 49 is titled the Diṭṭhigatasutta. That title is translated in English as "Held by Views". Read the whole sutta, it's not long:

This was said by the Lord…

“Bhikkhus, held by two kinds of views, some devas and
human beings hold back and some overreach; only those with vision see.

“And how, bhikkhus, do some hold back? Devas and humans enjoy being, delight in being, are satisfied with being. When Dhamma is taught to them for the cessation of being, their minds do not enter into it or acquire confidence in it or settle upon it or become resolved upon it. Thus, bhikkhus, do some hold back.

“How, bhikkhus, do some overreach? Now some are troubled, ashamed, and disgusted by this very same being and they rejoice in (the idea of) non-being, asserting: ‘In as much as this self, good sirs, when the body perishes at death, is annihilated and destroyed and does not exist after death—this is peaceful, this is excellent, this is reality!’ Thus, bhikkhus, do some overreach.

“How, bhikkhus, do those with vision see? Herein a bhikkhu sees what has come to be as having come to be. Having seen it thus, he practises the course for turning away, for dispassion, for the cessation of what has come to be. Thus, bhikkhus, do those with vision see.”

Having seen what has come to be
As having come to be,
Passing beyond what has come to be,
They are released in accordance with truth
By exhausting the craving for being.

When a bhikkhu has fully understood
That which has come to be as such,
Free from craving to be this or that,
By the extinction of what has come to be
He comes no more to renewal of being.

This too is the meaning of what was said by the Lord, so I heard.

I note five things from this sutta:

  1. The first two groups of devas and human beings are maybe (in my vernacular) "fooling around with" views ... i.e. they're "rejoicing" or "delighting" in views.

    Perhaps that's analogous to what people do with sensuality -- i.e. they attach to it.

    So maybe that is literally what's meant by "holding" a view -- i.e. people hold a view in the same way that people attach to sense-objects.

    I like (or have attached to) this metaphor (quoting from What is attachment as per Buddhism?):

    To distinguish craving from clinging, Buddhaghosa uses the following metaphor:

    "Craving is the aspiring to an object that one has not yet reached, like a thief's stretching out his hand in the dark; clinging is the grasping of an object that one has reached, like the thief's grasping his objective.... [T]hey are the roots of the suffering due to seeking and guarding."

  2. In this sutta, the views which they hold are views of something being still or static:

    • In the first case, it's a view of "being" -- as if "being" were something constant, or eternal, or even non-empty in the Mahayana sense.
    • In the second case, it's a view of annihilation-after-death.
  3. What you're supposed to do instead ...

    How, bhikkhus, do those with vision see?
    Kathañca, bhikkhave, cakkhumanto passanti? -- (the dictionary says that passati is the same as one of the meanings of dassati)

    ... is to see the coming-to-be and the cessation.

    And that (i.e. seeing coming-to-be and cessation) is the same as what the Buddha says in MN 72, immediately after he denies having Diṭṭhigata:

    Seeing this drawback I avoid all these convictions.”

    “But does Master Gotama have any convictions at all?”
    “Atthi pana bhoto gotamassa kiñci diṭṭhigatan”ti?

    “The Realized One has done away with convictions.
    “Diṭṭhigatanti kho, vaccha, apanītametaṃ tathāgatassa.

    For the Realized One has seen:
    Diṭṭhañhetaṃ, vaccha, tathāgatena: (note the use of Diṭṭhi again but here not implying wrong -- nor stuck/held/fixed)

    ‘Such is form, such is the origin of form, such is the ending of form.
    Such is feeling, such is the origin of feeling, such is the ending of feeling.
    Such is perception, such is the origin of perception, such is the ending of perception.
    Such are choices, such is the origin of choices, such is the ending of choices.
    Such is consciousness, such is the origin of consciousness, such is the ending of consciousness.’

    That’s why the Realized One is freed with the ending, fading away, cessation, giving up, and letting go of all conceivings, all worries, and all ego, possessiveness, or underlying tendency to conceit, I say.”

    “But Master Gotama, when a mendicant’s mind is freed like this, where are they reborn?”

    “‘They’re reborn’ doesn’t apply, Vaccha.”

    “Well then, are they not reborn?”

    “‘They’re not reborn’ doesn’t apply, Vaccha.”


    If you're worried about diṭṭhi being used to refer to both right views and wrong views, I think in summary the Buddha isn't stuck on any particular fixed view, but instead rightly-sees the arising, being, and ceasing of all the aggregates.

  4. And, it's for the same kinds of purpose in MN 72 as in Iti 49: i.e. for turning away, dispassion, cessation.

    There's another sutta (I forget which one) which says that something "in the stream" will reach the ocean (a metaphor for nibbana), unless it sinks or gets stuck on something along the way. Maybe that (being stuck) is another sense of "held", and why the Buddha warns against it -- i.e. given that he wants to teach "only suffering and cessation", speculative views and conceits and so on are an obstacle to cessation.

  5. When the sutta said "delight in being" (bhavaratā bhavasammuditā) I took that as a reference to self-view (e.g. "I am"), but also as a reference to attaching to things, after not (truly) seeing the three characteristics (and so e.g. "this thing is not impermanent, this thing is desirable, and this thing is mine").

    I think that "self-view" isn't the only 'wrong' view -- i.e. seeing the three characteristics of "things" is also 'right' (see also a a separate answer about 'emptiness', and AN 10.3 below).

I looked for other places where Diṭṭhigata is used.

  • Another place the word Diṭṭhigata is used in the last verse of Snp 4.8 which I think says that wanting to win arguments is a vain conceit.

    That's inline with other suttas which say that conceit is a cause of arguments.

  • On the subject of "conceit" and "views" I recommend the answers to How are 'conceit' and 'identity-view' not the same? for example:

    A view is taking something to be true, whereas conceit falls in the category of a simple experience, which one may or may not hold to be valid. It is similar with greed; one may want something without believing it proper to want, and one may likewise feel conceit ("I am better", etc.) without actually believing in a self.

    I assume that's similar to an addiction or an ex-addiction; e.g. the thought might occur and reoccur, to a former addict, "I want X (where 'X' is e.g. alcohol or whatever the object of addiction/attachment is)", and you then have to decide "No, that's a bad idea! I really don't want that." I guess conceit or egoism might be an addictive pleasure, or something, that people have to wean themselves from over time.

  • SN 41.3 is, again, speculative views about the afterlife. Ditto AN 10.3. A lot of the "held views" seem to be on that kind of topic.

    Maybe debating such views was a custom then, e.g. among a "holy men" i.e. the wanderers or seekers in that society.

  • AN 10.3 also defines right view, as "what's created is impermanent, what's impermanent is dukkha, what's dukkha is when seen with right wisdom not mine, not me, and not myself".

    That's a bit unusual in that, as I said earlier, instead of mentioning the three characteristics explicitly as it does in AN 10.3, other suttas tend to contrast Diṭṭhigata with seeing the creation (cause), being, and cessation of the five aggregates.

  • AN 7.54 also uses diṭṭhigata (translated here as "misconception"), to describe the various famously "undeclared points" or "unanswered questions" (e.g. "does a Tathagata exist after death?" etc.).

    It also says that, it is due to Diṭṭhinirodhā (i.e. due to the "cessation of views") that "an educated noble disciple has no doubts" -- where "doubts" (vicikicchā) is one of the canonical fetters (see also e.g. the second half of this answer).

    AN 7.54 appears to be the only sutta to mention Diṭṭhinirodhā, FYI -- and that's in the context of things that are avyākata ("not designated" -- if you want to research further you might want to check the usage of avyākata and of its antonym, byākata).

Given that the definition at the top of this answer says that diṭṭhi is one of the seven types of anusaya, you might also want to read this answer which helps to define anusaya.

You may or may not also find this helpful: Buddhaghosa on seeing things as they are (2)

One thing it says is ...

Having a diṭṭhi is not the problem, being diṭṭhigata is.

... and then goes on to talk about seeing things as they are, yathābhūtadassana.

It ends with what I think of as a pun on the word "conclusion" (i.e. two separate meanings of "conclusion"):

  • One meaning of "conclusion" is "a theory", for example, "I made these observations and 'concluded' that such-and-such a generalisation is true".
  • Another meaning of "conclusion" is "cessation", "ending".

I think, I suppose, that in the suttas the Buddha is trying to point towards the latter (cessation), and not the former (sustaining generalisations, holding views, conceited arguments, etc.).

  • Very nice answer - thank you for that much work! – Gottfried Helms Sep 26 '18 at 6:50
  • iti 49 is the view that a "self" is annihilated at death. It is not the view the mind ends at the termination of life. Iti 49 is about two self-views; the self is eternal & the self dies. – Dhammadhatu Sep 26 '18 at 10:20
  • @Dhammadhatu I don't see what you're getting at with your comment on Iti 49 -- neither how your translation differs from the one quoted (e.g. "for the cessation of their being" and "inasmuch as this self"), nor how that affects my thesis (i.e. the difference between "right view" and "holding views"). – ChrisW Sep 26 '18 at 10:28
  • Perhaps something you might think unorthodox about my answer is that I imagine that a "delight in being" in Iti 49 includes (in practice) "delight in having (things)" -- so not seeing things (and not just, 'self') as impermanent, caused, suffering ... so "not mine" as well as "not me" and "not myself" ... IOW the way in which you view things is relevant, as well as the way in which you view self. – ChrisW Sep 26 '18 at 10:36
  • Iti 49 literally says: "this SELF , good sirs, when the body perishes at death, is annihilated"... but you claim this is unorthodox. This is because, as said in the Ani Sutta: "they will listen when discourses that are literary works — the works of poets, elegant in sound, elegant in rhetoric, the work of outsiders, words of disciples — are recited."... – Dhammadhatu Sep 26 '18 at 10:42

View is synonymous with a position (on something). It's a conviction that a concept or a cohesive set of concepts (a theory) is a valid (and complete!) description of reality, and that therefore any other conviction that differs from or logically contradicts this one is, correspondingly, mistaken. So a view is a conviction about how reality (or a part of reality) is.

Holding a view does not refer broadly to "a way of knowing" or "a type of knowing" - it is more specifically a reification, it is about assuming that a concept is referring to the way things truly (ontologically) are. It's about confusing a model with reality.

The problem with views is that they tend to be simplistic, one-sided, limited, and relative. This is because our concepts are often based on either hearsay or very limited observations, which we then extrapolate to the totality. Or even if views are fact-based, the way we interpret and summarize these facts usually depends on some implicit assumptions, agendas, biases, and specific frames-of-reference. Indeed, the world is complex and for pretty much any set of facts S that can be generalized to a View X one can find another set S' that would contradict it. Plus, same things can be viewed and described from vastly different perspectives, so you can have multiple valid views e.g. at different levels of abstraction.

This makes several views on the same topic particularly prone to clashing with each other. And as we know from experience as well as from Buddha's teaching, clashing views lead to arguments, conflict, and suffering. In addition to clashing with other views, once in a while a view may also clash with reality, which leads to failed expectations and personal frustration - another word for suffering.

I suppose this is why Buddha advised against attaching to views, which is meant to say, against assuming a view to be anything more than a vastly simplified model. A safe alternative to philosophical, metaphysical, political etc. views Buddha offered was careful analysis (of phenomena, their causes, and effects). In fact, "analysis of dhammas" is how Buddha defines the Ultimate Right View. Analysis is concerned with detailed examination of the elements or structure of something, separating the previously unexamined -- and therefore naively lumped "glob" -- into its constituent elements. In Buddha's view, it is analysis that is the best medicine to the naive overgeneralization, oversimplification, and reification associated with ignorance. It is analysis that helps to go beyond mistaken views and into seeing things as they are.

What's known as "Emptiness" in Mahayana is explication of this same principle originally postulated by the Buddha. So you are correct that realization of Emptiness entails doing away with all views. It's not that you become dumb and incapable of generalization, it's more like you grow wise and get to see its limits.

Vaccha, the position that 'the cosmos is eternal' is a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. It is accompanied by suffering, distress, despair, & fever, and it does not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation; to calm, direct knowledge, full Awakening, Unbinding.

The position that 'the cosmos is not eternal'...
...'the cosmos is finite'...
...'the cosmos is infinite'...
...'the soul & the body are the same'...
...'the soul is one thing and the body another'...
...'after death a Tathagata exists'...
...'after death a Tathagata does not exist'...
...'after death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist'...
...'after death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist'.

Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with.

In Mahayana this "position of no position" is recognized to eliminate a major source of inner and outer conflict, culminating in inner harmony (aka "suchness"). Complete realization of this principle (in one's real life, not just conceptually) is equated with Enlightenment.

  • I don't understand why people translate the MN 72 you quoted as "the Tathagata has done away with a position" or "... with convictions". Because the Pali word there is diṭṭhigata, which the dictionary translates as "a (false) view, a theory, a belief; wrong view"; or, a 'pernicious' viewpoint. So maybe the Tathagata has done away with false views and theories ... I'm not sure about doing away with e.g. right views as well, though there is the "dhamma as a raft". – ChrisW Sep 24 '18 at 18:49
  • Well, ditthi means view and gata means something like "settled in", so why wouldn't ditthigata mean a position or conviction? The "false" part is an implication by the dictionary. If it were "false" it would be miccha, as in micchaditthi - but here it's just ditthi. – Andrei Volkov Sep 24 '18 at 19:32
  • 1
    I've disagreed with others liberal usage of MN 72 precisely because others have used it to indicate the Tathagata is indicting logic or is somehow saying "don't think too much about it" which I find wildly off the mark. This is the Tathagata's advice to Vaccha and should be interpreted in that way: this is what Vaccha needed to hear because he found himself so hopelessly confused. It does not mean that thinking too hard or analyzing something closely is itself a fault. The mental consciousness can have unmistaken knowing just like other consciousness. – Yeshe Tenley Sep 24 '18 at 21:07
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    IOW, the Tathagata rightly knew Vaccha's mind was bound up with views of inherent existence. All those questions presupposed that things exist inherently. This is why the Tathagata did not answer... because the questions were based upon a faulty assumption of inherent existence. Had Vaccha been capable of seeing the middle way at that point I think the Tathagata's answer would have been different. – Yeshe Tenley Sep 24 '18 at 21:10
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    To me, the answer is that Buddha of Pali Canon proposed analysis (as in, splitting previously unexamined lumps into their constituent elements) as his method of choice for solving the problem of reification and that the talk about 4NT etc. that follows the discussion of diṭṭhigata serves as an example of analysis. In simple words, the Buddha was saying: "The generalizing views are dangerous, folks; analysis is a much safer method and here is an example of analysis: There is suffering... " etc. – Andrei Volkov Sep 24 '18 at 22:12

A view is nothing more than a belief about the truth value of a proposition. It is a type of knowing.

It is not true that one has to relinquish all views in order to realize suchness. It is true that one has to relinquish views that assume or believe things exist inherently in order to realize suchness.

The view of emptiness is simply the sure knowledge that nothing exists inherently. Knowing this directly is unmistaken and a correct view.

The idea that all views whatsoever are to be abandoned leads to logical fallacies and is an absurd and naive view. That view, being mistaken, needs to be abandoned in order to realize suchness.

This is a subtle point very hard to realize and thus it is not accepted among all tenet systems of Mahayana, but this is the view of the glorious Je Tsongkhapa and IMO the view of Nagarjuna and the Buddha as well.

Some direct responses:

"I can't help but feel wisdom linked with emptiness would dismantle views altogether."

Wisdom indeed does dismantle all views that assume or believe inherent existence.

Wouldn't a view, in emptiness, exist only relatively and not in a definite manner?

Certainly! Thus, even emptiness - when viewed as a thing - is empty of existing inherently.

Wouldn't it be impossible to hold a view as true?

No. This goes too far and is a view of nihilism which is a backdoor view of inherent existence. To assume that because everything exists relatively, dependently, without the slightest shred of inherent existence that nothing exists or that there is no such thing as truth etc., etc., is to fall to the extreme of nihilism. And if you really investigate deeply you'll see that this extreme of nihilism itself is based on the belief or assumption of inherent existence.

  • FWIW, I see very little daylight - if any at all - with Andrei's answer since his definition of view is inclusive only of those views (ways of knowing) that assume or believe in inherent existence... – Yeshe Tenley Sep 24 '18 at 14:37
  • In my understanding of Buddha's use of the word, in light of my understanding of Mahayana... view is not just broadly "way of knowing" or "type of knowing" - it is more specifically a reification of any piece of knowledge as referring to the way things truly (ontologically) are. It's confusing the model with reality. – Andrei Volkov Sep 24 '18 at 18:31
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    Right, which is why I said we're likely in agreement with only apparent contradiction. I simply use a different definition that I think is in keeping with the OP's POV, but I could be wrong. The point is that there are ways of knowing that are non-mistaken and that emptiness does not contradict this. Otherwise, you get into "all views are mistaken" <- "but that right there is a view and therefore mistaken" ... "no, i have no views!" ... "yes, you do!" etc, etc silliness :) – Yeshe Tenley Sep 24 '18 at 20:59
  • This sentence seems to contain the whole problem. "The view of emptiness is simply the sure knowledge that nothing exists inherently. Knowing this directly is unmistaken and a correct view". The point here, I suspect, is that knowing the truth of emptiness is not a view but a state of being. It may be expressed as a view, and even a right one, but it is not really a view. When someone states they are in pain we do not call this a view. . – PeterJ Sep 25 '18 at 12:54
  • Most every sentient being everywhere is so accustomed to believing in the inherent existence of things that this belief is held as a fundamental prior of all of our beliefs and thoughts. It doesn't even occur to us that this might be wrong. Therefore, all of our "views" are necessarily predicated on this false belief. This is how those "views" are wrong views. But there are other views which are unmistaken. These are not wrong views at all because they are not based upon a false belief. It is like the sure knowledge that an elephant is not in a particular room. – Yeshe Tenley Sep 25 '18 at 14:04

The Noble Eightfold Path is lead by Right View; which is the view that craving & attachment lead to suffering and thus are to be abandoned.

Apart from this, when the word "views" is used alone and generically in sutta, this appears to refer to "wrong views". Since wrong views will be inherently connected to attachment, then wrong views will inherently be forms of attachment. In other words, I doubt it is possible to be non-attached to a wrong view.

For example, the wrong view that there is no mother and no father is ingratitude or selfishness. Being selfish, such a view is already saturated with egoism and attachment.

Or engaging in sex is generally a form of attachment (to sensual pleasure). MN 38 says: "delight in feelings is attachment". It is generally not possible to engage in sex without attachment. Thus any exclusively positive view about sex itself will be a wrong view.

As for Nagarjuna, if all views (including Right View) are misguided then anything Nagarjuna thought, spoke or wrote is naturally also misguided.

In summary, the Noble Eightfold Path is lead by Right View. Any Buddhist practitioner that is not an Arahant must have Right View.


And, following from this previous answer ...

Re. your questions about emptiness, beware that my impressions of that doctrine are from hearsay.

I think that a statement like, "As for Nagarjuna, if all views (including Right View) are misguided then anything Nagarjuna thought, spoke or wrote is naturally also misguided", may be missing the mark -- i.e. I think that one needn't dismiss it as a self-referential paradox (and therefore nonsense).

Instead I suspect that the doctrine of emptiness might itself be an example of (a result of, intended as, usable as) right view or right-seeing -- because perhaps it matches the definition (from this previous answer) of what "right view" is -- i.e. it's some insight into, some knowledge of, the cause (e.g. components, boundaries) of any held view, and something about the cessation of holding such views -- and in particular, any views about the "being" of things.

I previously wondered how the anatta (non-self) doctrine of the suttas was ever (later) extended to a sunyata doctrine (i.e. that things too don't have a 'self'). Now, I suppose that it may be an extension of the anicca doctrine -- perhaps its purpose is to draw attention to, not only the 'view of impermanence', but also the 'impermanence of views'.

So if anicca is 'the view that things are impermanent', perhaps sunyata is a doctrine that 'the views (of things) are impermanent too' ... and/or that views themselves are inherently self-related (i.e. they're forms of self-view), and subject to the three characteristics (though some people consider it anathema to say e.g. that Dharmic views or doctrines are impermanent or unsatisfactory), and to that extent to be abandoned.


with birth as condition, aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair come to be --Dependent Origination SN12.1

If a view arises, a view disappears. This is a simple manifestation of dependent origination. Thoughts bubble up, thoughts disappear.

When a view is held, it is attached, there is craving for existence.

with craving as condition, clinging; with clinging as condition, existence;

The view becomes self, become identity. This is a view held. This is delusion. This is the fruit of ignorance. A view held is a volitional (i.e., held) formation.

With ignorance as condition, volitional formations come to be;

And what shall be done about held views?

‘This is not mine, I am not this, this is not my self.’

Regarding the wisdom of emptiness:

But they don’t conceive the dimension of nothingness, they don’t conceive regarding the dimension of nothingness, they don’t conceive as the dimension of nothingness, they don’t conceive that ‘the dimension of nothingness is mine’, they don’t take pleasure in the dimension of nothingness. --MN1


First, You have plenty of mistaken views listed here. http://obo.genaud.net/backmatter/indexes/sutta/sn/03_kv/idx_24_ditthisamyutta.htm

A view is a bunch of claims about ''the world'' or like puthujjanas love to put it, about ''reality''.

It is normal for puthujjanas to cling to their papanca and intellectualize what they experience, especially what they call the meditative experience, some of them to the point of creating dhammas, teachings, doctrines, philosophies, views, systems, perspectives, ways of life, logics, rationales. Then they claim that their views are better than other views created by other puthujjanas, and that only the really smart and really righteous people like them can understand their views (which are, at this point, no longer views, but truths).... In fact, puthujjanas cling so much their intellectualization of what they experience that it is easier to upset a male puthujjana by mocking his views than by giving him a bad experience through the usual 5 senses. This is how insane is the relation of puthujjana with views...

All those intellectuals and other rationalists continue to crave and to cling to their papanca way to much, like puthujjanas who cannot resist to interpret what is a view in terms of logic through (more or less) formal logic, with their vocabulary of ''postulate'', ''theories'', ''proposition'' and ''truth values''.This is the view adopted by humanist scholars long ago and that westerners crave so much.

They fail to see that The buddha does not postulate anything, that the dhamma has nothing to do with logic. Anything that the buddha says is a conclusion to his endeavor and it certainly not ''a theory'', nor a ''postulate'', nor ''an hypothesis that has to be verified''.

Overall, behind this question about views and ''destroying all views'' that those puthujjanas have created is as usual whether or not the path is conditioned, or fabricated. Since the path is indeed fabricated, https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.044.than.html they just see an opportunity to claim that there are different paths leading to nibbana. A few puthujjanas even claim that there are thousands of paths to nibanna, or even worse that each person has a different path from another person, because they claim and think that people are all different (because people like and dislike different things through the 6 senses and those puthujjanas fail to understand what is beyond the 6 senses so they remain on this level of existence and base a path on sensual likes and dislikes).... The path is indeed conditioned and is the method to stop being a puthujjana with the tools that a puthujjana has: sankharas, cetanas, talks, karma, rebirth, vedana, rupa, livelihood, views, and what not.

Of course, At the end of the day, there is not one sammā-vācā for one puthujjana and another sammā-vācā for another puthujjana , there is not one sammā-ājīva for one puthujjana and another sammā-ājīva for another puthujjana, there is not one sammā-samādhi for on puthujjana and another sammā-samādhi for another puthujjana, there is not one sammā-sankappa for one puthujjana and another sammā-sankappa for another puthujjana. The path is the same for all puthujjanas: sila is the same for all, samadhi is the same for all and prajna is the same for all....

Since you care about views, care about the sakkaya-ditthi and the samma-ditthi, instead of wasting the few energy that you have on embarrassing intellectual views even worse than sakkaya-ditthi. Spending your day doing sati sampajanna and yoniso manasikara is the opposite of relying on vitaka+vicara+papanca and rewriting the dhamma to determine what leads to nibanna or not and what must be done to see the dependent origination.

Also, there is a famous sutta https://legacy.suttacentral.net/en/mn64 about a baby and views. The buddha claims that a baby has no identity view, ''Yet the underlying tendency to identity view lies within him''. Somebody who has the lower fetter that is the sakkaya ditthi is really somebody who

abides with a mind obsessed and enslaved by identity view, and he does not understand as it actually is the escape from the arisen identity view; and when that identity view has become habitual and is uneradicated in him, it is a lower fetter.

and somebody who does not have this fetter is somebody who

understands as it actually is the escape from the arisen identity view, and identity view together with the underlying tendency to it is abandoned in him.

SO again the only view you care about and reject is sakkyaditthi and the only view that you should care about and embrace is samma-ditthi

  • 1
    Downvoted for the extraordinary comments about Nagarjuna. Also, while the comment that the Dhamma has nothing to do with logic is justifiable up to a point Nagarjuna shows that it has a sound logical basis and expression. In Buddhism we are advised to contemplate on our experience for the sake of wisdom and insight and this cannot be dismissed as mere 'intellectualising'. To be honest it comes across as a rather angry answer. . – PeterJ Sep 24 '18 at 10:29
  • It's a policy of this site that, when you write about a school of Buddhism (like Nagarjuna's) then you should do that in order to explain their perspective, and not to explain why you think they're wrong (though you may be allowed to explain a controversy e.g. to say that "one school teaches this while another school teaches that"). Also, to avoid causing arguments here (and, misrepresenting the views of other users) you may explain your perspective but please avoid contradicting or criticising the views of other users by name. – ChrisW Sep 24 '18 at 12:27

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