śīlavrataparāmarśa (P. sīlabbataparāmāsa; T. tshul khrims dang brtul zhugs mchog 'dzin ཚུལ་ཁྲིམས་དང་བརྟུལ་ཞུགས་མཆོག་འཛིན་; C. jiejinqu jian; 戒禁取見), is translated at "attachment to rites and rituals," "grasping at precepts and practices," "holding discipline and ritual to be paramount," "holding bad rules and practices as supreme," etc.
Śīlavrataparāmarśa is identified as:
- one of the ten fetters
- one of the four types of clinging (upādāna)
- one of five types of wrong view in the Sanskrit tradition
As one of the ten fetters
The following descriptions are given in the context of one of the ten fetters.
- "Adherence to rites and ceremonies” is the belief that the performance of rituals constitutes the means to liberation.
Buddhist Dictionary states:
- What is the clinging to mere rules and ritual? The holding firmly to the view that through mere rules and ritual one may reach purification: this is called the clinging to mere rules and ritual.
- This specific type of attachment constitutes the wrong view (dṛṣṭi) that certain purificatory rites, such as bathing in the Ganges River or performing ritual sacrifices, can free a person from the consequences of unmeritorious action (akuśala-karman). Attachment to rites and rituals thus often constitutes either a belief in non-Buddhist religious systems, or a clinging to those elements of non-Buddhist systems that run contrary to Buddhist doctrine.
The Library of Wisdom and Compassion (Vol 3) states:
- View of rules and practices clings to mistaken codes of ethics and mistaken practices as virtuous and as the path to awakening – for example, holding extreme aesthetic practices of self mortification, such as fasting for weeks or sitting in fire to be virtuous, or holding perfectly performed Brahminic rituals to be the path.
As one of the four types of clinging
As one of the five types of wrong view
The Library of Wisdom and Compassion (Vol 3) states:
- The view holding bad rules and practices as supreme is a corrupt intelligence that believes purification of mental defilements is possible by ascetic practice and inferior ethical codes that are inspired by erroneous views. It causes us to engage in useless actions that make us exhausted but bring no spiritual benefit.
- View of rules and practices thinks that what are not causes for higher rebirth and liberation or causes for them and what is not the path to liberation is the path. Under its influence people engage in non-virtue, believing it to be virtue, and follow a path they believe will lead to liberation that leads instead to unfortunate rebirths. Examples of erroneous views include thinking that killing in the name of one's religion will bring rebirth in a heavenly realm and that animal sacrifice pleases the gods and brings good fortune. Other instances are believing that the perfect performance of a ritual alone, without any mental transformation, is the path to liberation; that negativities can be purified by bathing in or drinking holy water; and that attachment is abandoned by extreme asceticism, such as fasting for days on end, walking through fire, or laying on a bed of nails. Although these people aspire for a liberation, their aspiration remains unfulfilled.
With regards to the Pali term (sīlabbataparāmāsa):
- sīla refers to "moral conduct," "discipline," etc.
- vata (or bata) to "religious duty, observance, rite, practice, custom,"
- parāmāsa to "being attached to" or "a contagion" and has the connotation of "mishandling" the Dhamma.
Hence, sīlabbata-parāmāsa is translated as "clinging to rules and ritual," etc.
- the distorted grasp of rules and vows (Bodhi, 2000)
- clinging to precepts and vows (Gethin, 1998)
- grasping at precepts and vows (Harvey, 2007)
- grasping at precepts and practices (Thanissaro, 2000)
- attachment to rites and rituals (Walshe, 1995)
- clinging to mere rules and ritual (Nyanatiloka Thera, Buddhist Dictionary)
- adherence to rites and ceremonies (Bodhi, A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma)
- holding discipline and ritual to be paramount (Kunsang, Gateway to Knowledge)
- holding bad rules and practices as supreme (Thubten Chodron, The Library of Wisdom and Compassion)
- holding ethics and vows to be supreme (Thupten Jinpa, Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics)
- clinging to ideologies regarding ethical behavior and compulsive performance (Guenther, Mind in Buddhist Psychology)
- Bhikkhu Bodhi 2000, s.v. Chapter 7.
- Nyanatiloka Thera 2019, s.v. upādāna.
- Buswell & Lopez 2014, s.v. śīlavrataparāmarśa.
- Dalai Lama & Thubten Chodron 2018b, s.v. Chapter 3.
- Rhys Davids & Stede (1921-25), p. 597, "Vata (2)" entry (retrieved 2008-04-09).
- Rhys Davids & Stede (1921-25), p. 421, "Parāmāsa" entry (retrieved 2008-04-09).
- Bhikkhu Bodhi, ed. (2000), A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma, Pariyatti Publishing
- Buswell, Robert E.; Lopez, Donald S. (2014), The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, Princeton University
- Dalai Lama; Thubten Chodron (2018b), Saṃsāra, Nirvāṇa, and Buddha Nature, The Library of Wisdom and Compassion, Volume 3, Wisdom Publications
- Mipham Rinpoche (2004), Gateway to Knowledge, vol. I, translated by Kunsang, Erik Pema, Rangjung Yeshe Publications
- Nyanatiloka Thera (2019), Nyanaponika Thera, ed., Buddhist Dictionary: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines, Pariyatti Publishing
- Thupten Jinpa, ed. (2020), Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics, Volume 2: The Mind, translated by Rochard, Dechen; Dunne, John, Wisdom Publications
- Yeshe Gyeltsen (1975), Mind in Buddhist Psychology: A Translation of Ye-shes rgyal-mtshan's "The Necklace of Clear Understanding", translated by Guenther, Herbert V.; Kawamura, Leslie S., Dharma Publishing