The Real Reason There Is Suttanta and EBT

It took some time, but I figured out why there are dvipitakans and EBT.

They believe you can be a sotapana without the need to know Nibbāna. I didn’t believe this was possible to remotely conclude until I was challenged to find it with the criteria of only using suttas. With this sutta only limitation, there is no mention of this requirement. For this reason, I think people want easy jhāna and easy security (Sotapana) and this is why they reject the commentaries.

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I thought seeing that whatever has the nature to arise, has the nature to cease counts?

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5fb3712e078933551aaca793/t/659d0df2f7e02c6cf58a93a3/1704791586114/CENE-Final-FA-INTERACTIVE.pdf

Perhaps this is one great case study, Ven. Aggacitta is EBT, Jhāna lite, and this is his reflection on comparison between classical theravada mode of attainment vs his EBT reflections. see page 92 for very clear conclusion that stream winners see nibbāna.

https://suttacentral.net/an6.120-139/en/sujato?lang=en&layout=linebyline&reference=&notes=none&highlight=false&script=latin

Having these six qualities the lay follower Sāragga is certain about the Realized One, sees freedom from death and lives having realized freedom from death.”
Imehi kho, bhikkhave, chahi dhammehi samannāgato sāraggo upāsako tathāgate niṭṭhaṅgato amataddaso amataṁ sacchikatvā iriyatī”ti.

amataddaso seems very clearly to mean see nibbāna. And these lay followers are not on arahant level.

Also SN12.68

“Reverend Saviṭṭha, apart from faith, endorsement, oral transmission, reasoned train of thought, or acceptance of a view after deliberation, I know and see that
“Aññatreva, āvuso paviṭṭha, saddhāya aññatra ruciyā aññatra anussavā aññatra ākāraparivitakkā aññatra diṭṭhinijjhānakkhantiyā ahametaṁ jānāmi ahametaṁ passāmi:
the cessation of continued existence is extinguishment.”
‘bhavanirodho nibbānan’”ti.

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For this I think they (those part of EBT which do believe Jhāna is Jhāna lite) are in essence agreeing with the dry insight path recognized by classical theravada, but also taking into account MN64.

There is a path and a practice for giving up the five lower fetters. It’s not possible to know or see or give up the five lower fetters without relying on that path and that practice. Suppose there was a large tree standing with heartwood. It’s not possible to cut out the heartwood without having cut through the bark and the softwood. In the same way, there is a path and a practice for giving up the five lower fetters. It’s not possible to know or see or give up the five lower fetters without relying on that path and that practice.

And what, Ānanda, is the path and the practice for giving up the five lower fetters? It’s when a mendicant—due to the seclusion from attachments, the giving up of unskillful qualities, and the complete settling of physical discomforts—quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unskillful qualities, enters and remains in the first absorption, which has the rapture and bliss born of seclusion, while placing the mind and keeping it connected. They contemplate the phenomena there—included in form, feeling, perception, choices, and consciousness—as impermanent, as suffering, as diseased, as a boil, as a dart, as misery, as an affliction, as alien, as falling apart, as empty, as not-self. They turn their mind away from those things, and apply it to the element free of death: ‘This is peaceful; this is sublime—that is, the stilling of all activities, the letting go of all attachments, the ending of craving, fading away, cessation, extinguishment.’ Abiding in that they attain the ending of defilements. If they don’t attain the ending of defilements, with the ending of the five lower fetters they’re reborn spontaneously, because of their passion and love for that meditation. They are extinguished there, and are not liable to return from that world. This is the path and the practice for giving up the five lower fetters.

Jhānas are required for non-returner onwards at the lastest. The dry insight of classical theravada if I am not wrong says access concentration can go all the way right?

So to not ignore MN64, they map access concentration to sutta Jhāna (there’s possibly different mappings by different teachers).

Only the EBT group who believes in Ajahn Brahm (most of sutta central monastics), take Jhāna to be deep and required for non-returner onwards.

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Perhaps just to make some things easier to comment on, I might propose these terminologies to discuss different parts of EBT based on the following difference in their views.

  1. Deep or Lite Jhāna.
  2. Something or nothing after parinibbāna.

EBT Something Lite
EBT Nothing Lite
EBT Something Deep
EBT Nothing Deep.

EBT Nothing Deep is aligned with classical Theravada except in the detail above where they don’t recognize dry insight path is possible.

There’s various teachers for each sect of EBT there. And it’s easy to see that other than EBT Nothing Deep who just wish to refer the sutta as ultimate authority, the other 3 types of EBT uses this opportunity to break away from commentaries to champion their respective views as detailed above. Perhaps EBT Nothing Lite is one of the most ok one for underlying picture still aligns with dry insight practise of classical Theravada, but EBT Something are totally stuck with wrong views of Nibbāna.

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Well, maybe we need to change the FAQ. No. You would need to “know” nibbāna. This is very clear in the Abhidhamma and then when this is known, the suttas are very clear and make sense. How else is one able to have unshakable faith? How else is one able to have only at most 7 lives as a human. How else is one prevented from lower births?

If I know that milk will one day become sour or that all living beings will die with unshakable faith, what use is that for the ending saṃsāra? How is that a super human state? The dhamma should not be belittled like this.

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I am sorry, I meant that I thought seeing that whatever has the nature to arise has the nature to cease means that the person actually have seen Nibbāna to be able to come to this knowledge.

There’s 2 other sutta I cited here: The Real Reason There Is Suttanta and EBT - #2 by Paññādhammika

Which clearly states that nibbāna is seen before arahanthood, by the trainees. So it’s very much in the suttas. Any EBT sect which arrive at the conclusion of something after parinibbāna has wrong view of nibbāna, so whatever they think they see as nibbāna is not the real nibbāna. I call them EBT Something.

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Now, I think that we have a problem with other monks who are in a belief of this. Furthermore, a “monk to be” told me or challenged me that it is not found in the suttas. It is interesting because I always thought of dvi pitakans as just people who rejected the commentaries and abhidhamma. But now I understand that there is a “fundamental” flaw, or wrong interpretation on the texts which actually makes them a sect that holds wrong view (without the official separation of saṅgha).

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As I analysed this here: The Real Reason There Is Suttanta and EBT - #4 by Paññādhammika

There’s various types of EBT, so they can have different combination of views. But EBT Nothing Deep is aligned with classical theravada with respect to Jhāna and nature of parinibbāna, but just denies dry insight is possible. And EBT Nothing Lite is aligned with the dry insight path found in classical Theravada, but just re-lable which is Jhānas. As the underlying path is still the same, mere-relabeling doesn’t mean that they are on the wrong path (according to dry insight).

Only EBT something does deserve this critique of

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Hello Bhante Subhuti,

They believe you can be a sotapana without the need to know Nibbāna. I didn’t believe this was possible to remotely conclude until I was challenged to find it with the criteria of only using suttas. With this sutta only limitation, there is no mention of this requirement.

Really?! I didn’t know that.

Isn’t Dhamma (as in Buddha-Dhamma-Sangha in which one takes refuge and has confirmed confidence in) means Nibbana?

Or 3rd ariya-sacca (Noble Truth) in its strongest sense require knowledge of Nibbana?

There are plenty of suttas that suggest knowledge of Nibbana. Another example:

whereas those who have known, seen, penetrated, realized, & attained it by means of discernment would have no doubt or uncertainty that the faculty of conviction… persistence… mindfulness… concentration… discernment, when developed & pursued, gains a footing in the deathless, has the deathless as its final end & consummation.” SN48.44

Thanks.

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I have shown that it’s not true. See this: The Real Reason There Is Suttanta and EBT - #2 by Paññādhammika

We can find suttas that say stream winners see nibbāna.

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