Points of Controversy

5.2. Of the Knowledge of an Adept

Controverted Point: That a learner has the insight of an adept.

Theravādin: Then you imply that the learner knows, sees the ideas of the adept, lives in the attainment of having seen, known, realized them, lives in personal contact therewith. If not—and you do deny this—then you cannot maintain your proposition.

We grant of course that the adept knows, sees the ideas of the adept, lives in the attainment… and so oil. But, as you have admitted, you cannot impute this knowledge to the learner.

Your position then is, that you credit the learner with the insight of an adept, yet you deny that the learner knows, sees the ideas of the adept, etc. But, the adept having also of course the insight of the adept, if he be as to insight on a level only with the learner, you must add of the adept also that he knows not, sees not the ideas of the adept, does not live in the attainment of having seen, known, realized them, does not live in personal contact therewith. Which is absurd, as you by your denial admit.

You are ready to deny that a person in a lower Stage of the Path has the insight as yet of the next higher Stage, or that one who is adopted has yet the insight of even the First Stage. How then can you ascribe the insight of those who have finally attained to those who as yet have not?

Uttarapāthakas: If my proposition is wrong, then how is it that a learner, asĀnanda was, knew the sublimity of the Exalted One, or of the Elder Sāriputta, or of the Elder Moggallāna the Great?