Message Boards Message Boards

Theoreticians and Traditionalists (T&T)

Patisambhidamagga: insight stages in the Pali Canon

Threads [ Previous | Next ]
Toggle
The Patisambhidamagga contains one of the earlier references to what are clearly the ñanas/insight stages. It is considered in basket of the Suttas of the Pali Canon, though it is clearly younger than some other texts in that basket. It is found in two files:

Patisambhidamagga first part
Patisambhidamagga second part

From the website: "
The Patisambhidamagga ("path of discrimination"; sometimes called just Patisambhida for short) is the twelfth book of the Sutta Pitaka's Khuddaka Nikaya. Tradition ascribes it to the Buddha's disciple Sariputta. It comprises 30 chapters on different topics, of which the first, on knowledge, makes up about a third of the book.The Patisambhidamagga has been described as an "attempt to systematize the Abhidhamma" and thus as a possible precursor to the Visuddhimagga.The Patisambhidamagga has three divisions (vagga) composed of ten "chapters" (kathā) each for a total of thirty chapters. The three divisions are:
  • Mahāvagga ("Great Division") - starts with an enumeration of 73 types of knowledge which are then elaborated upon in detail.
  • Yuganandhavagga ("Coupling Division") - poses a series of questions.
  • Paññāvagga ("Wisdom Division") - answers the prior division's questions."
Actually, it is a very clear precursor to the Vimuttimagga and Visuddhimagga, and we can find many direct quotes from it in those texts, as well as emphases that are also reflected directly in those texts.

You will find the stages of insight described in Chapter V, found in the second part, but they really become clear in their final form starting at around paragraph 80 on page 263. Also, for you serious geeks, check out around page 402, Chapter XXIX, starting around paragraph 8, and then compare it to Visuddhimagga Chapter XXI paragraph 48, page 679 in the Wisdom version I have, which talks about Re-observation (called Knowledge of Reflection in that translation).

I find its take on meditation practice refreshingly broad, describing so many ways to practice, so many ways to relate to jhanas, so many ways to relate to insight, and so many ways to combine the two. While those who don't like the feel of the commentaries are not likely to have much good to say about this text, if you take the time to read it and think about what it is saying, I believe you will come to appreciate it as I do.

Enjoy!

Daniel

RE: Patisambhidamagga: insight stages in the Pali Canon
Answer
6/17/19 2:28 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Thanks! I have added it to my bookmarks and to my file for litterature recommendations by you.

RE: Patisambhidamagga: insight stages in the Pali Canon
Answer
6/17/19 3:53 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Amazing resource. Thanks for sharing. There goes any chance of doing any work today.
It seems to be saying that Desire for Deliverance/Re-observation and Equanimity are different names for the same thing?

RE: Patisambhidamagga: insight stages in the Pali Canon
Answer
6/17/19 6:06 AM as a reply to Edward.
A line also found in the Visuddhimagga, and one of my favorites.

RE: Patisambhidamagga: insight stages in the Pali Canon
Answer
6/17/19 6:36 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Oh my goodness! There’s really a very condensed recipe for awakening in there! I need to read this thouroghly. Is it okay to come back with questions? I’m not used to reading this kind of text at all.

RE: Patisambhidamagga: insight stages in the Pali Canon
Answer
6/17/19 7:21 AM as a reply to Edward.
Hey Edward

Good spot! Mahasi Sayadaw says the same thing - that D4D, Re-Ob, and Eq are all stages of a larger set he dubs Equanimity. He also says that Fear, Misery, and Disgust are just 3 stages of one set, I think called Fear. Anyway, I was pleased to discover that too because it helped explain why those stages seem to share certain underlying features. 

RE: Patisambhidamagga: insight stages in the Pali Canon
Answer
6/17/19 8:09 AM as a reply to Paul.
That actually does make sense for that very reason, to me too. In other ways it is a bit confusing, though. I look forward to learning more about it. And yeah, good spot! Edward, I have to say that I was impressed by you diving into this old text like that and immediately making interesting findings. I noticed a bit envy, so that made me open the files rather than just thinking that I should do it later. Thankyou for that!