[Buddha-l] Loving your object of study

L.S. Cousins selwyn at ntlworld.com
Tue Dec 4 01:09:46 MST 2007


One small response for you to think about on your way to China.

You wrote:
>  > >Hearing, Thinking, Meditating (or cultivating: bhaavanaa),

I replied:
>  > Well maybe. But how do you establish that this threefold division is
>earlier ?

and you responded:

>Good point. I would, however, make that assumption based on the ubiquity of
>the threefold model, and the relative rarity of this fivefold version,
>clearly expressed in a fivefold fashion to fit the template of the "fives"
>section of AN. It would be mere speculation to assert that the fivefold
>model was the ancestor since there is no evidence, aside from the conceptual
>possibility, that that is the case.

The very common list of the three kinds of wisdom does not occur in 
the four Nikaayas, except in the single case of the Sa'ngiitisutta, 
usually considered to be a relatively late compilation. So the 
ubiquity of the threefold model is a fact only in later Buddhist 
literature. How far it is parallelled in other lists apart from this 
fivefold one I am not sure off-hand. I suspect it is.

The fivefold list at A III 88 _is_ parallelled elsewhere. Compare for 
example the sequence of the five vimuttaayatana at D III 241f.; 279; 
A III 21. The first three items occur more widely.


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