Does Pariyattidharo definitely liberate from suffering?

Triple Gem Bless You All.

I would begin here asking your opinions about an important opinion held by Venerable Maggavihari of IIT, which he described in one of his recent “Fundamentals of Theravada” video in Sinhala.

In Abhidhammapiṭaka Khuddakavatthuvibhaṅga aṭṭhakathā, there is a sentence,
"na hi pariyattidharo dukkhato na muccatī"
which can be interpreted in two ways as below, according to the venerable Maggavihari.

  1. pariyattidharo dukkhato muccatī. (mere positive meaning is taken by negating the negation)
  2. pariyattidharo dukkhato muccatī eva. (same meaning but in a definite sense)

He taught the meaning according to the 2nd way. And he believes Buddhist scholars definitely attain Nibbana one day in samsaric journey due to the habit of their Dhamma learning. Though there is space for a non-meditating scholar to be delayed, he still attain Nibbana one day like venerable Pothila, he said in the video.

Furthermore, the pariyattidhara person will attain Nibbana, before the meditators who condemn the Pariyatti, he added. The act of condemning the “parato ghosa paccaya” is very serious, he added.

Is this 2nd way of interpretation correct or more probable than the other option (1st one) ?

Duppaññopi upaṭṭhākānaṃ majjhe nisinno’Majjhimanikāye me pañcattayaṃ olokentassa sahiddhiyāva maggo āgato.Pariyatti nāma amhākaṃ na dukkarā.Pariyattivāvaṭo pana dukkhato na muccatīti pariyattiṃ vissajjayimhā’tiādīni vadanto attano mahāpaññataṃ dipti.Eva vadanto panassa sāsane pahāraṃ deti.Iminā sadiso mahācoro nāma hi pariyattidharo dukkhato na muccatīti.Akhīṇāsavopi gmadārake disvā’Tumhākaṃ mitāpitaro amhe kiṃ vadantī”ti? “Arahāti ⁇ vadanti,bhante”ti. 'Yāva check gahapatikā,na sakkā vañcetu’nti attano khīṇāsavabhāvaṃ dipti.

Triple Gem Bless You All.


Dear ekocare
nice to see you on this forum, I always like your posts on dhammawheel.

I do agree with the extract you posted - pariyatti is the basis for sure. Pariyatti leads to pattipati.
I will try to find another citation on this as well.

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I am not that skillful in pariyatti to know for sure, but I was under the impression that only the attainment of Nibbāna would be a guarantee for liberation. Not eve cūḷasotāpanna is a guarantee.

The only other thing I can think of is a prophecy by a Buddha. For instance Ven Devadatta’s days are numbered.since he will become a paccekabuddha.


It seems without the true pariyatti there will not be any patipatti and thus no attainments either

Anguttara Nikaya 5:156
These five things, monks, incline toward the confusion and the
disappearance of the true dhamma. What five?

  1. When monks mis-understand the discourses they have learned, mis-
    arranging the words and letters, and then misconstrue the meaning of
    the mis-arranged words and letters.
  2. When monks mis-speak, do things that constitute mis-behavior, are
    endowed with a lack of patience/forbearance, and possess little
    talent for grasping the teaching.
  3. When the monks who have learned much, who have received what has
    been passed down, who have retained the dhamma, the vinaya and the
    manuals, —they do not make others carefully speak the discourses;
    and because of their lapse the discourses become something with its
    roots severed, without a refuge.
  4. When the senior monks live in luxury, take the lead in falling
    into laxity, lay aside the responsibility of dwelling in seclusion,
    and no longer put forth effort: to attain what has not yet been
    attained, to achieve what has not yet been achieved, to experience
    what has not yet been experienced.
  5. When the community is divided. When the community is divided,
    then there is shouting at one another, there is blaming one another,
    there is closing in on one another, there is giving up on one
    another. Those who are not clear do not get clear there, and the few
    who are clear become otherwise.

From the dispeller of Delusion

  1. For which five reasons do they become manifest ? (1) Through attainment (adhi gam a), (2) through competency [in scriptures] (pariyati), (3) through hearing (sav‹ zryz ), (4) through being questioned,

(5) through previous work Yoga).

  1. Herein, (1) “attainment” is Arahatship; for the discriminations become manifest in one who has reached that. (2) “Competency [in scriptures]” is the Buddha’s word; for the Discriminations become manifest as one is leaming that. (3) “Hearing” is the hearing of the dhamma; for the Discriminations become manifest in one who listens to the dhamma attentively. (4) “Being questioned” is the explanation of meaning (atthakathä), [389] for the Discriminations become manifest in one who explains the meaning of the Päli he has learnt. (5) “Previous work” is formerly practised meditation, having laid hold of the meditation subject in a past existence by the method of “carrying it forth and carrying it back”;* for the Discriminations become manifest in one who was formerly a meditator
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2169. For there are three kinds of disappearance (antaradhäna):!! (1) disappearance of competency (pari y atti), (2) disappearance of penetration pativedha) and (3) disappearance of practice (p<.!R ä tti). Herein, (1) competency is the three pitakas; (2) the “penetration” is the penetration of the Truths; (3) the “pract:ice” is the way. And herein, penetration and practice both are and are not [from time to time]. For at one time the bhikkhus who effect penetration are many and the bhikkhu

who is still an ordinary man must be pointed out with the finger. And in this island, too, on one occasion [432] there was no bhikkhu who was an ordinary man. Also those who fulfil the practice are now many,

dispeller of delusion

2350 And one who is without understanding sits in the midst of his
supporters and makes a show of his great understanding by speaking thus:
‘As I was looking up in the Majjhima Nikaaya the three kinds of
proliferation, I came to the path with the miraculous powers. Competency
in the scriptures is not difficult for us. But one who gets involved in
scriptural competency is not released from suffering, so we gave up
scriptural competency.’ And so on. But one who speaks thus strikes a blow
at the dispensation. There is no greater rogue (mahaacora) than this. For
it is not a fact that an expert in the scriptures is not released from

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a comment from Nina van Gorkom explaining the differences between pariyatti and patipatti.
Dear friends,

During this journey Khun Sujin stressed time and again the immense
difference between theoretical understanding and direct
understanding. We may have learnt that citta and cetasika are
different. Citta is the leader in knowing an object and cetasikas
have each their own characteristic and function. Citta and cetasikas
arise together, but they have different characteristics. We may
believe that we notice akusala citta with anger, but that is only
thinking, and there is still an idea of �my anger�. Theoretical
knowledge is not the direct understanding of realities. When pa���
has been developed in vipassan� there can be direct understanding of
the nature of citta and cetasika, of kusala and akusala, without an
idea of self. It takes an endlessly long time, many lives, to develop
satipa��h�na, but even if there is a short moment of right
understanding of n�ma and r�pa we are on the right way.
Khun Sujin said that when we begin to develop understanding we should
not think too much of the words satipa��h�na or stages of insight,
because then we are likely to cling to something for which there are
no conditions yet. The objects of sati are ordinary realities of
daily life like hearing, sound, hardness or feeling. We believe that
we see this or that person, we are forgetful of the characteristic of
visible object. What appears through the eyes is a reality, a r�pa,
but it falls away very quickly. We recognize people, they seem to be
there all the time, they do not seem to fall away. At such a moment
we are thinking of concepts, and the concepts hide the paramattha
dhammas. It seems that we hear the sound of hammering or the sound of
birds because time and again thinking of conventional terms arises.
In between thinking sati can arise and realize the characteristic of
sound: that which can be heard, which has a degree of loudness. At
that short moment there is no notion of people or things in the
sound, sati can be directly aware of its characteristic. When sound
appears there must also be the n�ma which experiences it; if there
were no citta how could sound appear? There could not be thinking of
birds if there were no hearing of sound. We can learn the difference
between the moment of sati and the moment of forgetfulness. We need
to listen time and again so that we can understand the difference
between these moments. Only in that way can we come to know the
characteristic of sati and when we know this sati can be accumulated.
I said to Khun Sujin that I become nervous when I hear that we should
know the difference between the moment of sati and the moment without
sati. When we become nervous it shows that there is clinging to sati
and then it cannot be developed. It is of no use to worry about lack
of sati or to wonder what we can do so that sati can arise.

more from Nina


08/29/07 #75010

Dear friends,

I appreciate it immensely that Khun Sujin always brings the
listener back to the present moment, when she for example says :

�We have intellectual understanding of n�ma and r�pa, but what about
this moment? There is the r�pa which is seen at this moment. There
can be some understanding, even if it is very little. It is only
visible object.�

We read that n�ma and r�pa are elements, dh�tus, and that they can be
classified as eighteen elements: the five r�pas which are the sense-
organs, the five sense-objects experienced through these sense-
organs, the five sense-cognitions, mind-element (mano-dh�tu) [1],
dhamma-dh�tu (cetasika, subtle r�pas and nibb�na), mind-consciousness
element (mano-vi���na dh�tu, including all cittas except the sense-
cognitions and mind-element). When we read this it is not too
difficult to have theoretical understanding. But the Buddha taught
the elements to help people to understand that they arise now, that
they are anatt�, that they have no owner and are beyond control. The
whole of his teaching points to the development of satipatth�na,
because what he teaches can be realized by pa���. We read in the
�Dialogues of the Buddha� (III, no. 33, The Recital, Sang�ti Sutta,
Double Doctrines, 10) one sentence, full of meaning:

�Proficiency in elements and in understanding them�.

The Commentary to this sutta, the �Suma�gala Vil�sin�, explains:

�Proficiency in elements�. Eighteen elements, the element of eye,
etc. …the element of mind-consciousness. When it is said that there
is with regard to these elements proficiency in the elements,
understanding of them, it means that there is defining of the
characteristics of these eighteen elements, pa��� based on listening,
on bearing in mind, pa��� which comprehends and realizes (pativedha).

The P�li term �pativeda� means the realization of the truth by pa���.
There is a beginning of the realization of the truth when the stages
of insight arise, but it is completed when enlightenment is attained:
when the path-consciousness (magga-citta) arises which eradicates
defilements and experiences nibb�na, and the fruition-consciousness
(phala-citta) arises which is the result of the magga-citta. Pativeda
is the result of the study of the Dhamma (pariyatti) and the practice
of vipassan� (pa�ipatti). The practice has to be in conformity with
the study of the Dhamma. Through the practice we begin to verify what
we learnt. Pativeda is the realisation of the truth of what we learnt.

  1. including adverting-consciousness and receiving-consciousness,
    arising wthin a sense-door process of cittas.


Yes bhante, the famous Kathavatthu Atthakata says, under the topic “NiyatassaNiyamaKatha”, that there are only two "Niyata(definite)"s and all the rest in the world are “Aniyata(Indefinite)”.

  1. Sammatta Niyata : Definite liberation from hell in the next birth (= attaining sotapanna)
  2. Micchaatta Niyata : Definite non-liberation from hell in the next birth (= commiting anantariya kamma)
  3. Sabbe hi pi Tebhumaka Dhamma Aniyata : All the other things in the three-spheres are indefinite.

Niyatassa niyāmakathāvaṇṇanā

Idāni niyatassa niyāmakathā nāma hoti. Tattha duvidho niyāmo – micchattaniyāmo ca ānantariyakammaṃ, sammattaniyāmo ca ariyamaggo. Ime dve niyāme ṭhapetvā añño niyāmo nāma natthi. Sabbepi hi sesā tebhūmakadhammā aniyatā nāma. Tehi samannāgatopi aniyatoyeva. Buddhehi pana attano ñāṇabalena “Ayaṃ satto anāgate bodhiṃ pāpuṇissatī”ti byākato bodhisatto puññussadattā niyatoti vuccati. Iti imaṃ vohāramattaṃ gahetvā “Pacchimabhaviko bodhisatto tāya jātiyā bhabbo dhammaṃ abhisametu”nti adhippāyena “Niyato niyāmaṃ okkamatī”ti yesaṃ laddhi, seyyathāpi pubbaseliyāparaseliyānaṃ; te sandhāya pucchā sakavādissa, paṭiññā itarassa. micchattaniyato tiādi aññena niyāmena niyatassa aññaniyāmābhāvadassanatthaṃ vuttaṃ. pubbe maggaṃ bhāvetvā tiādi niyāmappabhedadassanatthaṃ vuttaṃ. satipaṭṭhāna ntiādi ekasmimpi niyāme dhammappabhedadassanatthaṃ vuttaṃ. bhabbo bodhisatto ti vacanaṃ kevalaṃ bodhisattassa bhabbataṃ dīpeti, na niyatassa niyāmokkamanaṃ, tasmā asādhakaṃ. So hi pubbe ekenapi niyatadhammena aniyato bodhimūle saccadassanena niyāmaṃ okkantoti.

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Pariyatti, Patipatti and Pativeda are all important. And Pariyatti is the basis for Patipatti and Pativeda. Without Pariyatti, Patipatti and Pativeda are impossible.

I do believe that everyone will need to work towards Nibbāna according to his/her own effort, Parami and degree of diligence, some might do Pariyatti very good and couldn’t attain even Sotapanna (examples can be found in Visuddhimagga) and some without strong Pariyatti but just learn a little yet attain Arahatship (like Arahant Cula Panthaka Thera)…

For us, it is best to learn all that we take in and practice as much as we can, to be happy in this life and next, finally attain Nibbāna too in future. In this age of uncertainty (pandemic, wars, conflict, social degeneration, etc), I am grateful we still have Pali Tipitaka here as our guidance.


There are two types of Pariveda Sasana: Pariyatti Pariveda Sasana and Patipatti Pariveda Sasana.
In Pariyatti Sasana, if the learners attain the highest examinations, they can stop learning. Then they can go on with Pariyatti Pariveda Sasana.
In Patipatti Sasana, if the learners attain Nirodha in practice, they can stop learning. Arahants are responsible to maintain Patipatti Pariveda Sasana.

Verse 070

Furthermore, the Buddha explained to him how in one of his past existences during the time of Kassapa Buddha, Jambuka had prevented a thera from going with him to the house of a lay-disciple where alms-food was being offered and how he had also thrown away the food that was sent along with him for that thera. It was for those evil deeds that Jambuka had to be eating excreta and sleeping on the ground.

Pariyatti is not enough as the mind is not being tamed as a part of learning.

Verse 075

But the Venerable Sariputta insisted that Tissa should deliver a discourse on the dhamma, and said to Tissa, “Tissa, talk to them about the dhamma and show them how to gain happiness and how to be liberated from the ills of life.”

The only way to attain Nirodha is Patipatti training.

Verse 423

At the end of the discourse the brahmana became established in the faith in the Three Gems (the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Samgha) and became a lay-disciple of the Buddha.

Upon hearing the Dhamma, one could attain faith, possibly due to past good deeds.

Verse 422

Every one was afraid that the untrained elephant might give trouble, but when brought near Thera Angulimala it was quite docile.

It was with reference to this incident that the bhikkhus later asked Angulimala whether he did not get frightened or not. To this question Angulimala answered that he was not frightened. The bhikkhus then went to the Buddha and said that Thera Angulimala claimed to have attained arahatship. To them the Buddha said, “Bhikkhus! It is quite true that Angulimala was not afraid; those who are like him are also not afraid.”

Verse 007

James Bond escaped.
All the stories highlight the need for Patipatti training.

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