Analysis of Two truths. Samvrti satya (Conventional Truth) Paramrtha satya (absolute Truth). Two Truths. Dve satye samupasritya Buddhanam dharma desana Loka samvrti satyan ca Satyan ca paramarthatah 24; 08
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Samvrti satya (Conventional Truth) Paramrtha satya (absolute Truth)
Buddhanam dharma desana
Loka samvrti satyan ca
Satyan ca paramarthatah 24; 08
(The teaching of the doctrine by the Buddha is based on two truths: truth relating to worldly convention and truth in terms of
the multiplicity of the Truth is not a strange thing in Indian tradition. As an
example it is possible to show the Anekantavada (non-absolutism) of Jina
Philosophy. By this theory they have
Jain’s Anekantavada (non-absolutism) has
seven members. It is called Saptabhangi
1. It is possible that it is (syad asti).
2. It is possible that it is not (syad nasti)
3. It is possible that it is and it is not (syad
asti ca nasti ca).
4. It is possibly indescribable (syad
indescribable (syad asti ca avktavyam).
6. It is possible that it does not exist and
is indescribable (syad nasti ca
7. It is possible that it exists and does not
exist and is indescribable (syad asti ca
nasti ca avaktavyam).
(Samsayavadi) Sanjaya Belatthi putta rejected any of the possibilities and given
five types of ambiguous answers.
1. I do not agree with it (Evam pi me no).
2. I do not say it is true (Tatha ti pi me no).
3. I do not say it is otherwise (Annatha ti pi
4. I do not say it is not so (No ti pi me no).
5. I do not say it is not not so (No no ti pi
Sanjaya replied with this five negations for
04 types of major questions which can be all togther 16 questions.
1.Atthi paro loko = Does the other world exist?
2. Atthi satta opapatika = Are there beings
which born spontaneously?
3. Does the result of good and bad karma exist? (atthi sukata dukkatanam kammanam phalam vipako?
4. Does the thus-gone exist after death (Hoti tathagato parammarana)?
Each one can be divided into four.
1.Atthi? 2 Natthi? 3 Atthi ca Natthi ca?
4. Neva atthi na na natthi
samvrti (Conventional) and Paramttha/
Nikayas. This is in the Anguttara Nikaya.
“Dve me bhikkhave tathagatam abbhaci-kkhanti. Katame dve? Yo ca neyyattham suttam nitattho suttanto ti dipeti. Yo ca nitattham suttantam neyyattho suttanto
ti dipeti”. ( Monks, there are two, who blame the Tathagata. Who are those two?
interpretation given for this Neyyattha and
Nitattha. But in the Commentary to Anguttara Nikaya gives an interpretation
‘One person exists’ (Eka puggalo) “There
are two persons” etc, but though Buddha says one person etc, that has to be understood as neyyattha, means in the ultimate sense there is no person. In that manner the meaning has to be inferrred.
But a person who has taken If there is no
the time of commentaries this became a
(Vipassna). Normally insight meditation individual has analyzed to show there is no person or Atman, there only Khandhas
elements (dhatu) remains. Then in order to identify these two separate sections of an individual two names have to be given. Those two names have given as Sammuti and Paramttha.
This word sammuti with its meaning we can find in the Samyutta Nikaya in the
vajra sutta. There when a person
Yatha hi anga sambhara
Hoti saddo ratho iti
Evam khandhesu santesu
Hoti sattoti sammuti.
(When the parts are rightly set, then there is a name of vehicle. In the same way when there are aggregates rightly set
a being (Satto). Here the word Sammuti
has taken in the Atthakathas to differentiate the two kinds of mode of
advices of the Buddha. This kind of two modes of teachings were necessitated in
order to show the difference of the Buddha
and the Pacceka Buddha (Solitary Buddha).
But Theravadi commentators were very careful not to give one truth more value than the other. If it is so then only one will become the Truth the other will become a false.
Sambuddho vadatam varo
Sammutim paramtthan ca
Paramattha vacanam saccam
In the same way as explained in the Kathavatthu Atthakatha Arya Nagarjuna
Buddhanam Dharma desana
Loka samvrti satyam ca
Satyam ca paramarthatah.
(The teaching of the doctrine of the Buddhas
is based upon two truths: truth relating to worldly convention and truth in terms of ultimate fruit). In this manner Nagrjuna accepted the two truths.
Te tattvam na vijananti
(Those who do not understand the distinction between the two truths do not
understand the profound truth embodied
in the Buddha’s message).
Paramartho na desyate
ultimate truth is not taught. Without understanding the ultimate truth, freedom is not attained).
This is the crucial point of talking about Dhamma. To talk about Dhamma we have to use the conventional language. The
language is convention. Therefore to
If someone takes these Samvrti and Paramartha in wrong way that is something similar to taking a serpent in
a wrong way.
Sammuti has been used. It is accepted that Paramartha cannot be expressed but
using the sammuti paramartha is taught.
Here clearly shows there are two truths, but it seems that here two sides of one truth. This is the Madhyamaka explanation
two truths to show they are two separate truths and teachings of the Buddha can be mixed with these two truths.
In the Dighanikaya Atthakatha (Sumangala Vilasini) gives this explanation: “Tatha sammutikathaya bujjhanaka sattassapi na
pathamam paramatthakatham katheti.
Sammutikathaya pana bodhetva paccha
sammutikatham katheti” DA.II.383. (In the same way, for the beings who realize the teachings on the basis of Sammuti katha even, not at the beginning teachings will be (on the basis of) Paramattha katha. After the realization on the way
Of sammuti katha then after that teachings will be on paramattha. For the beings who
realize the teachings on the way of Paramattha even at first there will be no sammutikatha. After the realization of Dhamma on the basis of paramattha katha then after that only there will be sammuti
katha.) It says here for the beings who realize Dhamma on the teachings of conventional truth, at the beginning there will not be the teachings on Paramattha.
(Sammuti desana). Some beings realize Dhamma on the basis of ultimate truth
(Paramattha desana). This is the speciality of the clarification of Pali commentators.
This explanation of Commentary is some-
what different from the interpretation
given in the Mulamadhyamakakarika.
“vyavaharamanartya paramartho nadesyate, paramrthamanagamya nirvanam nadhigamyate”. In that case Arya Nagarjuna cannot be a Mahayanists. Because of his support for the Sthaviravada. (Hinayana).