Points of Controversy

9.1. Of Release through seeing the Good

Controverted Point: That the Fetters are put off for one who discerns a blessing (in store).

Theravādin: But are not the Fetters also put off when the world is considered as impermanent? You admit this, of course. But then you should not confine yourself to the optimistic side.

You admit, too, they are put off when the world is considered as full of Suffering, as disease, as a canker, a piercing dart, as woe, as unbearable, as an enemy, as crumbling away, as a calamity, as oppression, as peril, as trouble, as fluctuating, as dissolving, as transient, as shelterless, as no retreat, as no refuge, as without protection, as empty, bare and void, as without soul, as full of danger, and mutable. But your statement hereby becomes one-sided.

You admit then that (at the same moment) a man can both consider the impermanence and so on of the world, and see the blessings in Nibbāna? No? But you have admitted that he loses the Fetters when he does both. You admit then that he can? But does this not involve us in two simultaneous mental reactions, two consciousnesses, and so on?

Andhaka: You reject my proposition. But did not the Exalted One say:

“Take, bhikkhus, the case of a bhikkhu who lives contemplating the happiness in Nibbāna, perceiving and feeling that happiness continually, constantly, and undiluted, convinced of it in his mind and permeated with it by insight?…

Surely then it is for one who discerns the happy prospect that the Fetters are put off.