The Great Chronicle of Buddhas

by Ven. Mingun Sayadaw | 1990 | 1,044,401 words

This page describes Special Point to note [regarding the six attributes of the Dhamma] contained within the book called the Great Chronicle of Buddhas (maha-buddha-vamsa), a large compilation of stories revolving around the Buddhas and Buddhist disciples. This page is part of the series known as the Dhamma Ratanā. This great chronicle of Buddhas was compiled by Ven. Mingun Sayadaw who had a thorough understanding of the thousands and thousands of Buddhist teachings (suttas).

Part 7 - A Special Point to note [regarding the six attributes of the Dhamma]

The Commentary says that of the six attributes of the Dhamma, only first one, svākkhāto, relates to the Doctrine as expounded by the Buddha, and that the remaining five relate to the nine Supramundane factors. Visuddhi-magga Mahāṭīkā (Volume I) discusses this matter in another light which is briefly reproduced below:

“Although the Commentary says that in specific terms the five attributes beginning with sandiṭṭhiko belong to the Supramundane, they can also be considered as belonging to the Doctrine or pariyatti-dhamma on the following grounds:

A wise person, who is learned, who has memorized much Pāli, who is of very stable mindfulness, can perceive the Doctrine as being excellent in the beginning, etc and so the Doctrine is sandiṭṭhiko, as sandiṭṭhiko is defined as “Sandiṭṭhiya jayatīti sandiṭṭhiko –that the knowledge of the Doctrine can be a tool to conquer believers of other doctrines”–it is specifically sandiṭṭhiko. In conquering the defilements, knowledge of the Doctrine is a contributing factor and so the Doctrine is by inference sandiṭṭhiko. As another definition puts it: “Sandiṭṭhaṃ arahatīti sandiṭṭhiko—— that the Doctrine has been expounded to clear away all defiling factors” and directed at the promotion of pure meritorious factors, it is worthy to be studied closely to gain perception. Hence it is sandiṭṭhiko.

Since the Doctrine is the true condition for the attainment of the supramundane magga, which may be realized at all times, it is akāliko, considered from the point of probable result.

The Doctrine itself is real and is perfectly pure. So it also is open to inspection and can invite all the world to come and see it, to learn it, and to examine it. Hence it is also ehipassiko.

Being replete with these attributes, the Doctrine is worthy of being constantly borne in mind by the wise who wish to make an end of dukkha. Therefore it is opaneyyiko.

One who studies the Doctrine with a mind intent on arahatship, will get delightful satisfaction both on account of its excellence in language and excellence in meaning. This quality of giving delightful satisfaction to the wise individually, according to their capacity, is truly paccattaṃveditabbo.

This is the explanation given in Visuddhi-magga Mahā Tika about how the five later attributes of the Dhamma can also belong to the Doctrine.

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