205. The Four Kinds of Analytical Knowledge?

“දසබලයන්වහන්සේ නමැති ශෛලමය පර්වතයෙන් පැන නැඟී, අමා මහ නිවන නම් වූ මහා සාගරය අවසන් කොට ඇති, ආර්ය අෂ්ටාංගික මාර්ගය නම් වූ සිහිල් දිය දහරින් හෙබි, උතුම් ශ්‍රීමුඛ බුද්ධවචන ගංගාවෝ, ලෝ සතුන්ගේ සසර දුක් නිවාලමින්, බොහෝ කල් ගලා බස්නා සේක්වා!”
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Q. Can you explain "The Four Kinds of Analytical Knowledge (Paṭisambhidā-ñāṇa)"?

S / A. "Patisambhidā

'analytical knowledge' or 'discrimination', is of 4 kinds:

analytical knowledge of the true meaning (attha-patisambhidā),
of the law (dhamma-patisambhidā),
of language (nirutti-patisambhidā),
of ready wit (patibhāna-patisambhidā).
As an alternative rendering of the fourth term (patibhāna), Bhikkhu Ñānamoli proposes: perspicuity (in expression and knowledge).

1. The analytical knowledge of the meaning (attha-p.) is the knowledge with regard to the sense.
2. The analytical knowledge of the law (dhamma-p.) is the knowledge with regard to the law.
3. The analytical knowledge of language (nirutti-p.) is the knowledge of the language with regard to those former 2 things.
4. The analytical knowledge of ready-wit (patibhāna-p.) is the knowledge about the (former 3) kinds of knowledge" (Vibh. XV).
 
"(1) attha (Sanskrit artha, √ ar, to reach; result, meaning, purpose, true substance) designates, in short, the fruit (phala) of a cause (hetu); for since the fruit of a cause results from adhering to the cause, and is reached and effected thereby, therefore it is called result (attha). In particular, however, 5 things are considered as attha, namely: everything dependent on conditions, Nibbāna, the meaning of words, karma-result, and functional consciousness. When anyone reflects on that meaning any knowledge of his, falling within the category concerned with meaning (or result), is the 'analytical knowledge' of meaning.

"(2) dhamma (Sanskrit dharma, √ dhar, to bear; bearer, condition, law, phenomenon, thing) is, in short, a name for condition (paccaya).... In particular, however, 5 things are considered as dhamma, namely: every cause (hetu) producing a result, the noble path, the spoken word, the karmically wholesome, the karmically unwholesome. When anyone reflects on that law, any knowledge of his, falling within the category concerned with law (or cause), is the 'analytical knowledge' of the law.

In Vibh. it is further said: 'The knowledge of suffering is the 'analytical knowledge' of the true meaning (attha-patisambhidā), the knowledge of its origin is the 'analytical knowledge' of the law (dhamma-patisambhidā). The knowledge of the cause is the 'analytical knowledge' of the law (dhamma-patisambhidā), the knowledge of the result of the cause is the 'analytical knowledge' of the true meaning (attha-patisambhidā)... That the monk knows the law, the sunas etc. this is called the 'analytical knowledge' of the law (dhamma-patisambhidā); if however, he understands the meaning of this or that speech... it is called the 'analytical knowledge' of the true meaning (attha-patisambhidā).'

(3) " 'The knowledge of the language concerning those things' means: the language corresponding to reality, and the unfailing mode of expression concerning the true meaning and the law.

(4) " 'Knowledge about the kinds of knowledges' is that knowledge which has all knowledges as object and considers them. Or, the analytical knowledge of ready wit (patibhāna-patisambhidā) means the knowledge of the above mentioned 3 kinds of knowledge, in all their details, with their objects, functions, etc." (Vis.M. XIV).

On the 7 qualities leading to the attainment of the 4 'analytical knowledge' , s. A.VII.37 - See Vis.M. XIV, 21ff; Vibh. XV; Pts.M. Patisambhidā Kathā."

S / A. "The Four Kinds of Analytical Knowledge (Paṭisambhidā-ñāṇa).

[The Great Chronicle of Buddhas - Most Ven. Mingun Sayadaw: Chapter 42 - The Dhamma Ratanā]

It has been said above that as soon as the Buddha attained Perfect Enlightenment, He became possessed of the four kinds of Analytical Knowledge. These four Knowledges are: (i) Attha paṭisambhidā-ñāṇa, (ii) Dhamma paṭisambhidā-ñāṇa, (iii) Nirutti paṭisambhidāñāṇa, (iv) Paṭibhāna paṭisambhidā-ñāṇa. Paṭisambhidā means multifarious, diverse, various. Patisambhidā-ñāṇa means Knowledge which is discriminating and comprehensive.

(i) Attha patisambhidā-ñāṇa
Herein attha means: (a) things that are dependent on conditions, i.e., understanding results of causes, (b) Nibbāna (c) meaning of words (Pāli), (d) resultant thoughts (vipāka) (i.e. mind and mental concomitants), (e) non-causative thoughts (kiriya) (i.e. mind and mental concomitants).

The Buddha became endowed with the above five kinds of attha (meanings, results) as soon as He attained Buddhahood. Being endowed with Analytical Knowledge of attha, the Buddha knew discriminately and comprehensively about everything, and was able to expound these to others. The great non-causative consciousness (mahā kiriya ñāṇa) associated with four kinds of knowledge that arises in the Buddha when His mind attends to the above five atthas, as well as magga-phala that He knows when His mind attends to Nibbāna, are called Attha patisambhidā-ñāṇa of the Buddha.

(This attha patisambhidā-ñāṇa of ariyas, who are still training themselves to attain arahatta-phala, such as that of the Venerable Ānanda, consists of the great meritorious consciousness, mahākusala-citta, associated with four kinds of knowledge that arises in them when their mind attends to those five atthas, as well as the (three) lower maggas and phalas when their mind attends to Nibbāna.)

(ii) Dhamma paṭisambhidā-ñāṇa
Discriminating and comprehensive knowledge about phenomena.

Herein ‘dhamma’ means: (a) causes that produce results, (b) the four Ariya Paths, (c) the spoken word of the Buddha (Pāli) (d) meritorious thoughts (i.e. mind and mental concomitants) (e) demeritorious thoughts (i.e. mind and mental concomitants).

The Buddha became endowed with the above four kinds of dhamma (causes) as soon as He attained Buddhahood. Being endowed with Analytical Knowledge of dhamma, the Buddha knew discriminately and comprehensively about every dhamma and was able to expound them to others. The great non-causative consciousness associated with knowledge that arises in the Buddha when His mind attends to the above five dhammas is the dhamma paṭisambhidā-ñāṇa of the Buddha. In the case of ariyas, who are still training themselves to attain arahatta-phala, such as the Venerable Ānanda, Analytical Knowledge of dhamma means the great meritorious consciousness associated with knowledge. (The same applies with regard to the next two Analytical Knowledge).

(iii) Nirutti patisambhidā-ñāṇa
Analytical Knowledge of the natural language of the ariyas (i.e. māgadhi) concerning the five kinds of attha and the five kinds of dhamma (causes). The Buddha became endowed with the Analytical Knowledge of the natural language of ariyas (i.e. māgadhi). Being endowed with Analytical Knowledge of (words and grammar) the natural language of the ariyas, (i.e. māgadhi) the Buddha is able to teach it to others.

Indeed that is so–The five kinds of attha and the five kinds of dhamma need a wealth of words. For each of dhamma item, a wide range of vocabulary and grammatical forms and nuances of the natural language of the ariyas (i.e. māgadhi) is at the facile command of the Buddha. For example, a single dhamma factor ‘phassa’ (contact) is expressed in its various forms, such as ‘phasso’ (contact), ‘phusanā’ (being in contact), ‘samphusanā’ (full contact), ‘samphasitattha’ (contacting well), to bring out its various intrinsic meanings.

Likewise lobha (greed) is explained in more than a hundred terms. (Refer to Dhammasaṅganī, para 456)

(iv) Patibhāna patisambhidā-ñāṇa
This is the Analytical Knowledge that “attha paṭisambhidā-ñāṇa has discriminative and comprehensive knowledge about results; that dhamma paṭisambhā-ñāṇa has discriminative and comprehensive knowledge about five dhammas; that nirutte paṭisambhidā-ñāṇa has Analytical Knowledge about words and grammar.” Briefly put, it is knowledge about the three kinds of Analytical Knowledge, that knowledge which has all knowledge as object and considers them discriminately. The Buddha became endowed with this Knowledge about the kinds of knowledge as soon as He attained Buddhahood. (Nirutti paṭisambhidā-ñāṇa and paṭibhāna paṭisambhidā-ñāṇa, like the previous paṭisambhidhā-ñāṇas, are the great non-causative consciousness associated with knowledge mahā kiriya mahā kusala ñāṇa).

(Note: The fourth of the four paṭisambhidā-ñāṇas discriminately knows the functions of the three other Knowledges but is not able to discharge those functions itself. It is just like a preacher, without a good voice, who is well versed in scriptural knowledge and who is unable to preach as well as another good preacher who is gifted with a good voice but has scanty knowledge of the scriptures.)

Two bhikkhus learnt the art of preaching. One was poor in voice but intelligent; the other had a good voice but not intelligent. The latter made a great name everywhere he preached, the audience had a very good impression of him and said: “From the way this bhikkhu preaches, he must be one who has committed to memory the Three Piṭakas.” When the learned bhikkhu with a poor voice heard these remarks, he became jealous and said: “Well, you will find whether he is master of the Three Piṭakas when you hear him preach next time.” (He implies that: “You are going to hear much the same stuff.”) Yet whatever he might say about that popular preacher, he is just unable to preach as well as the one with a good voice who could captivate the audience.

Similarly, paṭibhāna samhhidā-ñāṇa discriminately knows the functions of the three other Analytical Knowledges, but it cannot discharge these functions itself This has been explained in the Commentary on the Vibhaṅga."

"දසබලසේලප්පභවා නිබ්බානමහාසමුද්දපරියන්තා, අට්ඨංග මග්ගසලිලා ජිනවචනනදී චිරං වහතූ!"

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