Points of Controversy

3.2. Of the Quality called Ariyan

Controverted Point: (a) That the power of a Tathāgata, e.g., in discerning as it really is the causal occasion of anything, and its contradictory, is Ariyan.

Theravādin: If it be so, you should also affirm of that power that it is the (Ariyan) Path, or other Ariyan doctrine, such as Fruit, Nibbāna, one of the Four Paths to Arahantship, or of the Four Fruits thereof, one of the Applications in Mindfulness, Supreme Efforts, Steps to Potency, Controlling Powers, Forces, or Factors of Enlightenment. But you do not agree to this.

Or is the concept of Emptiness the object of that power? If you deny, you cannot affirm your proposition. If you assent, then you must affirm that one who is attending to the exercise of this power attends also to Emptiness. If you deny, you cannot affirm that Emptiness is the object of the power in your proposition. If you assent, then you are claiming a combination of two (mental) contacts, two consciousnesses—which of course you deny.

A similar argument holds good for the other two concepts of the “Signless” and the “Desireless”.

Or, to argue conversely, you admit that (1) the Applications in Mindfulness are Ariyan, and have as their object the concepts of “Emptiness,” the “Signless,” and the “Desireless.” But you deny that these are the object of that power of a Tathāgata. Hence that power cannot be classified under things “Ariyan.”

This argument applies also to (2) the Supreme Efforts and (8–6) the Steps to Potency, etc. (Kv3.2.1).

Andhaka: You say then that my proposition is wrong—that it is not Ariyan, and has not as its object Emptiness, the Signless, or the Desireless. Yet you do not deny that the six foregoing doctrines are Ariyan, and also have that Threefold object—why deny the same of that power of which my proposition speaks?

Theravādin: No, why do you maintain that the power of a Tathāgata, in discerning as it really is the decrease and rebirth of beings and its contradictory, is Ariyan, while you are not prepared to class that power with things we call Ariyan—the Path, and so on?

The arguments in Kv3.2.2Kv3.2.6 are then repeated for the Andhaka’s propositions: that the other powers of a Tathāgata discerning the decease and rebirth of beings as they really are, etc., are Ariyan.

Andhaka: You admit then that the tenth of the “Powers” ascribed to a Tathāgata—insight into the extinction as it really is of defilements—is Ariyan, but you deny it in the case of the two powers named above. How can you affirm it of the tenth?

The Andhaka puts the case negatively.

As in Kv3.2.13, Kv3.2.14, with the addition of the “Three Signs,” as “object,” added to the predicate “is Ariyan.”