by Ven. Mingun Sayadaw | 1990 | 1,044,401 words
This page describes Sangha attribute (1-4) Suppatipano, etc. 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).
Summary: Sangha attribute (1-4) Suppaṭipano (Supaṭipano, Su-paṭipano), Ujuppaṭipanno (Ujupaṭipanno, Uju-paṭipanno), Ñāyappaṭipanno (Ñāyapaṭipanno, Ñāya-paṭipanno) and Sāmīcippaṭipanno (Sāmīcipaṭipanno, Sāmīci-paṭipanno).
In the nine attributes of the Sangha, the first four beginning with suppatipano, are the conditions that have the five latter ones as consequence.
The four conditions (attributes) are in fact not four different kinds of practice: if the right practice which is shown as the ariya-magga is carried out, all the four attributes are accomplished.
This is because the Buddha’s Teaching, in the last analysis, is right practice as a constituent of the Ariya Path. It is this right practice that was presented to the multitudes over the forty-five years of the Buddha’s mission in a multitude of ways to suit the natural bent of the hearer. Thus the right practice is the Buddha’s true message, the essential feature of His entire Teaching. One who follows the right practice is one who practices well, a suppatipaññā puggalo.
(1) The Community of the Disciples of the Buddha are endowed with the proper practice because they follow the right practice.
(2) The right practice, which is a constituent of Ariya Path, has the quality of destroying the opposing factors which are defilements. Therefore, the right-practice is the practice that is unfailing and straight. The Community of the Disciples of the Buddha who follow the right practice are therefore called The Noble Ones who are endowed with the straightforward upright practice.
(3) The right practice, which is a constituent of the Ariya Path, is the practice that does not go against Nibbāna, but is in conformity with Nibbāna. The Community of the Disciples who take upon themselves the right practice that conforms to Nibbāna, that is not against Nibbāna, are endowed with the practice leading to Nibbāna.
(4) The right practice, which is a constituent of the Ariya Path, is the practice that is in conformity with the nine Supramundane factors, and is therefore called The Righteous Practice, the practice that conforms to the Dhamma. Hence the Sangha are endowed with correctness of practice.
Of the eight categories of ariyas, the four, who are established in Path Knowledge, are endowed with the above (four aspects of) the right practice, which is a constituent of the Ariya Path. The four who are established in the Fruition Knowledge are endowed with the above right practice in the sense that it was through that right practice that they now enjoy the Fruit of the Path and Nibbāna.
(1) The Ariya-Sangha take upon themselves the Doctrine and discipline as taught by the Buddha. This is taking up the true practice, the faultless practice. Hence they are endowed with the true practice.
(2) The Sangha take up the eight constituents of the Path and thereby steer the middle course, avoiding the two extremes (of sense-gratification and self-mortification). This practice is also straight, without the slightest deviation or crookedness, in any examples of the three examples of crookedness. Hence they are endowed with the straightforward upright practice.
(4) Worshipping, welcoming, raising joined palms by way of obeisance, and offering of the four bhikkhu requisites are acts of veneration called Samīcikamma. Devas and men perform these acts of veneration towards the Sangha, having regard for the morality, concentration and wisdom of the Sangha. Anyone, lacking in morality, concentration and wisdom, does not deserve veneration. As for the Community of the Disciples of the Buddha, the taking up of the right practice which is the Ariya Path, endows them with morality, concentration and wisdom as the necessary threefold training. And so they deserve veneration. Since they conduct themselves to be worthy of veneration through their noble practice, they are endowed with samīcipaṭipanno. These four attributes are the conditions for their homage worthiness.
The Eight Categories of Ariyas in Four Pairs
(a) The ariya established in the First Path or the Stream-Enterer and the ariya established in the Fruition thereof;
(b) The ariya established in the Second Path or the Once-Returner and the ariya established in the Fruition thereof;
(c) The ariya established in the Third Path or the Never-Returner and the ariya established in the Fruition thereof;
(d) The ariya established in the Fourth Path or the arahatta-magga puggalo and the ariya established in the Fruition thereof or the arahatta-phala puggalo (The arahat).