Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammāsambuddhassa


Introduction to 3.2.6
Mahācattārīsakasuttaṃ
(Discerning Wrong View and Developing Right View)


In this sutta selected from Majjhimanikāya the Buddha details the links of the Noble Eightfold Path, their interrelation and also shows how sammadiṭṭhi precedes the other links. In reference to all of them the Buddha points out that all these links have to be understood first in their micchā qualities in order to abandon those and to be able then to develop their sammā qualities. These are always twofold, as has been pointed out congruently with sammadiṭṭhi (see lesson 3.2.4): They are with taints and taintless, mundane and supramundane:dvāyaṃ vadāmi – atthi, sāsavā puññabhāgiyā upadhivepakkā[1]; atthi, ariyā anāsavā lokuttarā maggaṅgā[2] “ I say (they are) twofold: - affected by impurities, partaking of merit and yielding fruit on the side of attachement; and (they are) without impurities, supramundane and factor of the path”.

The sutta then depicts how sammadiṭṭhi precedes the respective other links, because one has to understand, comprehend and realize them likewise in their micchā as well as in their sammā characteristics: Micchāsaṅkappaṃ ‘micchāsaṅkappo’ti pajānāti, sammāsaṅkappaṃ ‘sammāsaṅkappo’ti pajānāti, sāssa hoti sammādiṭṭhi. Sammadiṭṭhi precedes the respective other links[3] as precursor in two ways:

It is the right view that is getting developed with Vipassana and scrutinizes all conditioned formations[4] thoroughly in their qualities of anicca, dukkha and anatta: Vipassanāsammādiṭṭhi tebhūmakasaṅkhāre[5] aniccādivasena parivīmaṃsati.

And it is the right view of the Path, which that is getting developed through thorough investigation (Vipassana) and uproots and cools rolling on in the rounds of acquired existence like cold water from a vessel sprinkled manifold on the head: Maggasammādiṭṭhi pana parivīmaṃsanapariyosāne[6] bhūmiladdhaṃ vaṭṭaṃ[7] samugghāṭayamānā[8] vūpasamayamānā sītudakaghaṭasahassaṃ[9] matthake āsiñcamānā viya uppajjati


[1] Puññabhāgiyāti puññakoṭṭhāsabhūtā. Upadhivepakkāti upadhisaṅkhātassa vipākassa dāyikā: ‘Partaking of merit’: merit with the quality of growing. ‘Yielding fruit on the side of attachement’: It is considered attachement providing result. Bhikkhu Bodhi explaines this mundane right view to result in favourable rebirths.

[2] For vocabulary please refer to the sutta-text!

[3] These are taken up here and referred to in the respective further chapters of the ETP: (see lessons 3.3.5; 3.4.8; 3.5.6 and 3.6.6)

[4] the expression saṅkhārā will be explained in introduction to the next text (see lesson 3.2.7)

[5] tebhūmakasaṅkhāre: ti + bhūmaka + saṅkhāre: three + stages (rounds of existence) + conditioned formation (rounds of kamma, kilesa (sin) and vipāka (result)

[6] parivīmaṃsanapariyosāne: parivīmaṃsana + pariyosāne: thorough investigation +conclusion

[7] bhūmiladdhaṃ vaṭṭaṃ: stage of existence + acquired + round

[8] samugghāṭayamānā: samugghāṭa + yamānā: abolishment, removal + pr. participle suffix

[9] sītudakaghaṭasahassaṃ: sīta + udaka + ghaṭa + sahassaṃ: cold + water + vessel, pot + thousand



Pāli lesson (with audio) 3.2.6

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Last modified: Monday, 14 December 2015, 8:31 AM