Antagrāhadṛṣṭi (P. antaggāhikā-diṭṭhi; T. mthar 'dzin gyi lta ba མཐར་འཛིན་གྱི་ལྟ་བ་; C. bianjian 邊見) is translated as "view holding to an extreme," "belief of holding extremes," "view of extremes," etc. It is an afflictive intelligence that, when referring to the "I" or "mine" grasped by the view of personal identity (satkāyadṛṣṭi), regards them with either of two extreme views:
- the view of permanence (śāśvatadṛṣṭi) - the belief that there is a permanent "self" or "soul" that persists after death, and is reborn in lifetime after lifetime
- the view of annihilation (ucchedadṛṣṭi) - the belief that the "self" ceases to exist after death and is thus not reborn
Either of these extreme views prevent one from attaining the view of the middle way, which is free from extremes.
The texts of the Pali tradition do not generally emphasize the "view of holding extremes" (antagrāhadṛṣṭi) as a separate type of view. In the Pali tradition, the extreme views of eternalism and annihilationism are presented within the context of the view of personal identity (satkāyadṛṣṭi).
The Khenjuk states:
- The belief of holding extremes means regarding the self or the five aggregates to be permanent or discontinous. Its function is to hinder emancipation by means of the Middle Path.
The Foundation of Buddhist Practice states:
- The view of extremes (antagrāhadṛṣṭi) is an afflictive intelligence that, when referring to the "I" or "mine" grasped by the view of personal identity, regards them in an absolutist or nihilistic fashion. It prevents us from finding the view of the middle way free from extremes.
Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics (Vol. 2) states:
- A view holding to an extreme is an afflictive intelligence that grasps the focal object of the view of the perishable collection as either permanent or annihilated. The Compendium of Knowledge says: “What is the view holding to an extreme? It is any acquiescing and so on that views the five aggregates of appropriation as either permanent or annihilated.” This falling to an extreme that views something as permanent or as annihilated is the main obstacle to making progress on the Middle Way, which is free from the extremes of viewing as permanent and viewing as annihilated. When categorized, the view holding to an extreme has two types: the view of permanence and the view of annihilation.
Saṃsāra, Nirvāṇa, and Buddha Nature states:
- The view of the extremes is a corrupt intelligence that, referring to the I and mine apprehended by the view of personal identity, regards them in either an absolutist or nihilistic manner. Based on grasping the I as inherently existent, view of the extremes holds either (1) an absolutist perspective that the I exists as an eternal, immutable soul or a self that continues in future lives, or (2) a nihilistic outlook that the I becomes totally nonexistent after death, there being no continuum of the mere I in future lives. View of the extremes prevents us from finding the middle way view, free from the two extremes of absolutism and nihilism. It also causes us to neglect creating the virtuous causes for higher rebirth and liberation.
- The absolutist view is also called the view of existence, eternalism, superimposition, or permanence because it projects a false mode of existence on the person.
- The nihilistic view is called the view of nonexistence, annihilation, or deprecation because it denies the continuity of this the self that actually exists. In doing so, it negates future rebirth as well as the possibility of liberation and awakening. The Buddhist spoke of this view, saying its holders think, "I may not be, it may not be for me, I shall not big, it will not be for me."
- By identifying the view of extremes as erroneous, the Buddha clarified that although there is no inherently existent person, a conventionally existent person—the mirror I—That is reborn and can attain liberation exists.
The Necklace of Clear Understanding states:
- It is an emotionally toned appreciation of the self as it is conceived by a nihilistic view ['jig-lta] in terms of absolute eternalism or absolute nihilism.
- The lamrim explains these two latter views as follows:
- The opinion holding to an extreme is an emotionally toned appreciation that sees the self, as conceived by the nihilistic view ['jig-lta] as being absolutely eternal or absolutely nihilistic since there will be no subsequent existence.
- Therefore, since these bad views make a person fall into the extremes of eternal existence or eternal non-existence, they are the primary obstacles for seeing the middle path which has nothing to do with eternalism or nihilism.
Nina van Gorkom states:
- The scriptures often refer to the eternalistic view and to the annihilationistic view. Eternalism is the belief that there is a "self" who is permanent. Annihilationism is the belief that there is a "self" who will be annihilated after death. There is also a "semi-eternalistic view": one holds that some phenomena are eternal while others are not. One may sometimes cling to the eternalistic view and sometimes to the annihilistic view.
- See Steinert dictionary
- Buswell & Lopez 2014, s.v. antagrāhadṛṣṭi.
- At least this is the case for the texts consulted for this article.
- Mipham Rinpoche 2004, s.v. Formations.
- Dalai Lama & Thubten Chodron 2018, s.v. Chapter 3: The Basis of the Self: The Body and Mind.
- Thupten Jinpa 2020, s.v. The Six Root Mental Afflictions.
- Dalai Lama & Thubten Chodron 2018b, s.v. Chapter 3: True Origins of Duḥkha.
- Yeshe Gyeltsen 1975, s.v. Opinionatedness [lta ba].
- van Gorkom 1999, Cetasikas, Wrong View (ditthi)
- Note that van Gorkom does not explicitly mention a named category of "view holding to extremes."
- Buswell, Robert E.; Lopez, Donald S. (2014), The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, Princeton University
- Dalai Lama; Thubten Chodron (2018), The Foundation of Buddhist Practice, The Library of Wisdom and Compassion, Volume 2, Wisdom Publications
- 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
- 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
- van Gorkom, Nina (1999), Cetasikas, Zolog