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SN 35.28: Adittapariyaya Sutta: The Fire Sermon

posted Sep 30, 2013, 11:38 AM by Sung Yang

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying in Gaya, at Gaya Head, with 1,000 monks. There he addressed the monks:

"Monks, the All is aflame. What All is aflame? The eye is aflame. Forms are aflame. Consciousness at the eye is aflame. Contact at the eye is aflame. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the eye — experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain — that too is aflame. Aflame with what? Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion. Aflame, I tell you, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs.

"The ear is aflame. Sounds are aflame...

"The nose is aflame. Aromas are aflame...

"The tongue is aflame. Flavors are aflame...

"The body is aflame. Tactile sensations are aflame...

"The intellect is aflame. Ideas are aflame. Consciousness at the intellect is aflame. Contact at the intellect is aflame. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the intellect — experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain — that too is aflame. Aflame with what? Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion. Aflame, I say, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs.

"Seeing thus, the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones grows disenchanted with the eye, disenchanted with forms, disenchanted with consciousness at the eye, disenchanted with contact at the eye. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the eye, experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain: With that, too, he grows disenchanted.

"He grows disenchanted with the ear...

"He grows disenchanted with the nose...

"He grows disenchanted with the tongue...

"He grows disenchanted with the body...

"He grows disenchanted with the intellect, disenchanted with ideas, disenchanted with consciousness at the intellect, disenchanted with contact at the intellect. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the intellect, experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain: He grows disenchanted with that too. Disenchanted, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion, he is fully released. With full release, there is the knowledge, 'Fully released.' He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'"

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the monks delighted at his words. And while this explanation was being given, the hearts of the 1,000 monks, through no clinging (not being sustained), were fully released from fermentation/effluents.

©1993 Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

MN 7: Vatthupama Sutta: The Simile of the Cloth

posted Sep 15, 2013, 11:01 PM by Sung Yang

1. Thus have I heard. Once the Blessed One was staying at Savatthi, in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. There he addressed the monks thus: "Monks." — "Venerable sir," they replied. The Blessed One said this:

2. "Monks, suppose a cloth were stained and dirty, and a dyer dipped it in some dye or other, whether blue or yellow or red or pink, it would take the dye badly and be impure in color. And why is that? Because the cloth was not clean. So too, monks, when the mind is defiled,[1] an unhappy destination [in a future existence] may be expected.

"Monks, suppose a cloth were clean and bright, and a dyer dipped it in some dye or other, whether blue or yellow or red or pink, it would take the dye well and be pure in color. And why is that? Because the cloth was clean. So too, monks, when the mind is undefiled, a happy destination [in a future existence] may be expected.

3. "And what, monks, are the defilements of the mind?[2] (1) Covetousness and unrighteous greed are a defilement of the mind; (2) ill will is a defilement of the mind; (3) anger is a defilement of the mind; (4) hostility...(5) denigration...(6) domineering...(7) envy...(8) jealousy...(9) hypocrisy...(10) fraud...(11) obstinacy...(12) presumption...(13) conceit...(14) arrogance...(15) vanity...(16) negligence is a defilement of the mind.[3]

4. "Knowing, monks, covetousness and unrighteous greed to be a defilement of the mind, the monk abandons them.[4] Knowing ill will to be a defilement of the mind, he abandons it. Knowing anger to be a defilement of the mind, he abandons it. Knowing hostility to be a defilement of the mind, he abandons it. Knowing denigration to be a defilement of the mind, he abandons it. Knowing domineering to be a defilement of the mind, he abandons it. Knowing envy to be a defilement of the mind, he abandons it. Knowing jealousy to be a defilement of the mind, he abandons it. Knowing hypocrisy to be a defilement of the mind, he abandons it. Knowing fraud to be a defilement of the mind, he abandons it. Knowing obstinacy to be a defilement of the mind, he abandons it. Knowing presumption to be a defilement of the mind, he abandons it. Knowing conceit to be a defilement of the mind, he abandons it. Knowing arrogance to be a defilement of the mind, he abandons it. Knowing vanity to be a defilement of the mind, he abandons it. Knowing negligence to be a defilement of the mind, he abandons it.

5. "When in the monk who thus knows that covetousness and unrighteous greed are a defilement of the mind, this covetousness and unrighteous greed have been abandoned; when in him who thus knows that ill will is a defilement of the mind, this ill will has been abandoned;... when in him who thus knows that negligence is a defilement of the mind, this negligence has been abandoned — [5]

6. — he thereupon gains unwavering confidence in the Buddha[6] thus: 'Thus indeed is the Blessed One: he is accomplished, fully enlightened, endowed with [clear] vision and [virtuous] conduct, sublime, knower of the worlds, the incomparable guide of men who are tractable, the teacher of gods and men, enlightened and blessed.'

7. — he gains unwavering confidence in the Dhamma thus: 'Well proclaimed by the Blessed One is the Dhamma, realizable here and now, possessed of immediate result, bidding you come and see, accessible and knowable individually by the wise.

8. — he gains unwavering confidence in the Sangha thus: 'The Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples has entered on the good way, has entered on the straight way, has entered on the true way, has entered on the proper way; that is to say, the four pairs of men, the eight types of persons; this Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples is worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of reverential salutation, the incomparable field of merit for the world.'

9. "When he has given up, renounced, let go, abandoned and relinquished [the defilements] in part,[7] he knows: 'I am endowed with unwavering confidence in the Buddha... in the Dhamma... in the Sangha; and he gains enthusiasm for the goal, gains enthusiasm for the Dhamma,[8] gains gladness connected with the Dhamma. When he is gladdened, joy is born in him; being joyous in mind, his body becomes tranquil; his body being tranquil, he feels happiness; and the mind of him who is happy becomes concentrated.[9]

10. "He knows: 'I have given up, renounced, let go, abandoned and relinquished [the defilements] in part'; and he gains enthusiasm for the goal, gains enthusiasm for the Dhamma, gains gladness connected with the Dhamma. When he is gladdened, joy is born in him; being joyous in mind, his body becomes tranquil; when his body is tranquil, he feels happiness; and the mind of him who is happy becomes concentrated.

11. "If, monks, a monk of such virtue, such concentration and such wisdom[10] eats almsfood consisting of choice hill-rice together with various sauces and curries, even that will be no obstacle for him.[11]

"Just as cloth that is stained and dirty becomes clean and bright with the help of pure water, or just as gold becomes clean and bright with the help of a furnace, so too, if a monk of such virtue, such concentration and such wisdom eats almsfood consisting of choice hill-rice together with various sauces and curries, even that will be no obstacle for him.

12. "He abides, having suffused with a mind of loving-kindness[12] one direction of the world, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth, and so above, below, around and everywhere, and to all as to himself; he abides suffusing the entire universe with loving-kindness, with a mind grown great, lofty, boundless and free from enmity and ill will.

"He abides, having suffused with a mind of compassion... of sympathetic joy... of equanimity one direction of the world, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth, and so above, below, around and everywhere, and to all as to himself; he abides suffusing the entire universe with equanimity, with a mind grown great, lofty, boundless and free from enmity and ill will.

13. "He understands what exists, what is low, what is excellent,[13] and what escape there is from this [whole] field of perception.[14]

14. "When he knows and sees[15] in this way, his mind becomes liberated from the canker of sensual desire, liberated from the canker of becoming, liberated from the canker of ignorance.[16] When liberated, there is knowledge: 'It is liberated'; and he knows: 'Birth is exhausted, the life of purity has been lived, the task is done, there is no more of this to come.' Such a monk is called 'one bathed with the inner bathing."[17]

15. Now at that time the brahman Sundarika Bharadvaja[18] was seated not far from the Blessed One, and he spoke to the Blessed One thus: "But does Master Gotama go to the Bahuka River to bathe?"

"What good, brahman, is the Bahuka River? What can the Bahuka River do?"

"Truly, Master Gotama, many people believe that the Bahuka River gives purification, many people believe that the Bahuka River gives merit. For in the Bahuka River many people wash away the evil deeds they have done."

16. Then the Blessed One addressed the brahman Sundarika Bharadvaja in these stanzas:[19]


Bahuka and Adhikakka,[20] 
Gaya and Sundarika,
Payaga and Sarassati,
And the stream Bahumati —
A fool may there forever bathe, Yet will not purify his black deeds.

What can Sundarika bring to pass?
What can the Payaga and the Bahuka?
They cannot purify an evil-doer,
A man performing brutal and cruel acts.

One pure in heart has evermore
The Feast of Cleansing[21] and the Holy Day;[22] 
One pure in heart who does good deeds
Has his observances perfect for all times.

It is here, O brahman, that you should bathe[23] 
To make yourself a safe refuge for all beings.
And if you speak no untruth,
Nor work any harm for breathing things,

Nor take what is not offered,
With faith and with no avarice,
To Gaya gone, what would it do for you?
Let any well your Gaya be!
17. When this was said, the brahman Sundarika Bharadvaja spoke thus:

"Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent, Master Gotama! The Dhamma has been made clear in many ways by Master Gotama, as though he were righting the overthrown, revealing the hidden, showing the way to one who is lost, or holding up a lamp in the dark for those with eyesight to see forms.

18. "I go to Master Gotama for refuge, and to the Dhamma, and to the Sangha. May I receive the [first ordination of] going forth under Master Gotama, may I receive the full admission!

19. And the brahman Sundarika Bharadvaja received the [first ordination of] going forth under the Blessed One, and he received the full admission. And not long after his full admission, dwelling alone, secluded, diligent, ardent and resolute, the venerable Bharadvaja by his own realization understood and attained in this very life that supreme goal of the pure life, for which men of good family go forth from home life into homelessness. And he had direct knowledge thus: "Birth is exhausted, the pure life has been lived, the task is done, there is no more of this to come."

And the venerable Bharadvaja became one of the Arahats.

Notes

1.
"So too, monks, if the mind is defiled..." Comy: "It may be asked why the Buddha had given this simile of the soiled cloth. He did so to show that effort brings great results. A cloth soiled by dirt that is adventitious (i.e., comes from outside; agantukehi malehi), if it is washed can again become clean because of the cloth's natural purity. But in the case of what is naturally black, as for instance (black) goat's fur, any effort (of washing it) will be in vain. Similarly, the mind too is soiled by adventitious defilements (agantukehi kilesehi). But originally, at the phases of rebirth(-consciousness) and the (sub-conscious) life-continuum, it is pure throughout (pakatiya pana sakale pi patisandhi-bhavanga-vare pandaram eva). As it was said (by the Enlightened One): 'This mind, monks, is luminous, but it becomes soiled by adventitious defilements' (AN 1.49). But by cleansing it one can make it more luminous, and effort therein is not in vain."
2.
"Defilements of the mind" (cittassa upakkilesa). Comy.: "When explaining the mental defilements, why did the Blessed One mention greed first? Because it arises first. For with all beings wherever they arise, up to the level of the (Brahma heaven of the) Pure Abodes, it is first greed that arises by way of lust for existence (bhava-nikanti). Then the other defilements will appear, being produced according to circumstances. The defilements of mind, however, are not limited to the sixteen mentioned in this discourse. But one should understand that, by indicating here the method, all defilements are included." Sub.Comy. mentions the following additional defilements: fear, cowardice, shamelessness and lack of scruples, insatiability, evil ambitions, etc.
3.
The Sixteen Defilements of Mind:
  1. abhijjha-visama-lobha, covetousness and unrighteous greed
  2. byapada, ill will
  3. kodha, anger
  4. upanaha, hostility or malice
  5. makkha, denigration or detraction; contempt
  6. palasa, domineering or presumption
  7. issa, envy
  8. macchariya, jealousy, or avarice; selfishness
  9. maya, hypocrisy or deceit
  10. satheyya, fraud
  11. thambha, obstinacy, obduracy
  12. sarambha, presumption or rivalry; impetuosity
  13. mana, conceit
  14. atimana, arrogance, haughtiness
  15. mada, vanity or pride
  16. pamada, negligence or heedlessness; in social behavior, this leads to lack of consideration.
The defilements (3) to (16) appear frequently as a group in the discourses, e.g., in Majjh. 3; while in Majjh. 8 (reproduced in this publication) No. 15 is omitted. A list of seventeen defilements appears regularly in each last discourse of Books 3 to 11 of the Anguttara Nikaya, which carry the title Ragapeyyala, the Repetitive Text on Greed (etc.). In these texts of the Anguttara Nikaya, the first two defilements in the above list are called greed (lobha) and hate (dosa), to which delusion (moha) is added; all the fourteen other defilements are identical with the above list.

4.
"Knowing covetousness and unrighteous greed to be a defilement of the mind, the monk abandons them."
Knowing (viditva). Sub.Comy.: "Having known it either through the incipient wisdom (pubbabhaga-pañña of the worldling, i.e., before attaining to stream-entry) or through the wisdom of the two lower paths (stream-entry and once-returning). He knows the defilements as to their nature, cause, cessation and means of effecting cessation." This application of the formula of the Four Noble Truths to the defilements deserves close attention.

Abandons them (pajahati). Comy.: "He abandons the respective defilement through (his attainment of) the noble path where there is 'abandoning by eradication' (samucchedappahana-vasena ariya-maggena)," which according to Sub.Comy. is the "final abandoning" (accantappahana). Before the attainment of the noble paths, all "abandoning" of defilements is of a temporary nature. See Nyanatiloka Thera, Buddhist Dictionary, s.v. pahana.

According to the Comy., the sixteen defilements are finally abandoned by the noble paths (or stages of sanctity) in the following order:

"By the path of stream-entry (sotapatti-magga) are abandoned: (5) denigration, (6) domineering, (7) envy, (8) jealousy, (9) hypocrisy, (10) fraud.
"By the path of non-returning (anagami-magga): (2) ill will, (3) anger, (4) malice, (16) negligence.
"By the path of Arahatship (arahatta-magga): (1) covetousness and unrighteous greed, (11) obstinacy, (12) presumption, (13) conceit, (14) arrogance, (15) vanity."
If, in the last group of terms, covetousness is taken in a restricted sense as referring only to the craving for the five sense objects, it is finally abandoned by the path of non-returning; and this is according to Comy. the meaning intended here. All greed, however, including the hankering after fine material and immaterial existence, is eradicated only on the path of Arahatship; hence the classification under the latter in the list above.

Comy. repeatedly stresses that wherever in our text "abandoning" is mentioned, reference is to the non-returner (anagami); for also in the case of defilements overcome on stream-entry (see above), the states of mind which produce those defilements are eliminated only by the path of non-returning.

5.
Comy. emphasizes the connection of this paragraph with the following, saying that the statements on each of the sixteen defilements should be connected with the next' paragraphs, e.g., "when in him... ill will has been abandoned, he thereupon gains unwavering confidence..." Hence the grammatical construction of the original Pali passage — though rather awkward in English — has been retained in this translation.
The disciple's direct experience of being freed of this or that defilement becomes for him a living test of his former still imperfectly proven trust in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. Now this trust has become a firm conviction, an unshakable confidence, based on experience.

6.
"Unwavering confidence" (aveccappasada). Comy.: "unshakable and immutable trust." Confidence of that nature is not attained before stream-entry because only at that stage is the fetter of sceptical doubt (vicikiccha-samyojana) finally eliminated. Unwavering confidence in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha are three of four characteristic qualities of a stream-winner (sotapaññassa angani); the fourth is unbroken morality, which may be taken to be implied in Sec. 9 of our discourse referring to the relinquishment of the defilements.
7.
"When he has given up...(the defilements) in part" (yatodhi): that is, to the extent to which the respective defilements are eliminated by the paths of sanctitude (see Note 4). Odhi: limit, limitation. yatodhi = yato odhi; another reading: yathodhi = yatha-odhi.
Bhikkhu Ñanamoli translates this paragraph thus: "And whatever (from among those imperfections) has, according to the limitation (set by whichever of the first three paths he has attained), been given up, has been (forever) dropped, let go, abandoned, relinquished. "

In the Vibhanga of the Abhidhamma Pitaka, we read in the chapter Jhana-vibhanga: "He is a bhikkhu because he has abandoned defilements limitedly; or because he has abandoned defilements without limitation" (odhiso kilesanam pahana bhikkhu; anodhiso kilesanam pahana bhikkhu).

8.
"Gains enthusiasm for the goal, gains enthusiasm for the Dhamma" (labhati atthavedam labhati dhammavedam).
Comy.: "When reviewing (paccavekkhato)* the abandonment of the defilements and his unwavering confidence, strong joy arises in the non-returner in the thought: 'Such and such defilements are now abandoned by me.' It is like the joy of a king who learns that a rebellion in the frontier region has been quelled."

*["Reviewing" (paccavekkhana) is a commentarial term, but is derived, apart from actual meditative experience, from close scrutiny of sutta passages like our present one. "Reviewing" may occur immediately after attainment of the jhanas or the paths and fruitions (e.g., the last sentence of Sec. 14), or as a reviewing of the defilements abandoned (as in Sec. 10) or those remaining. See Visuddhimagga, transl. by Ñanamoli, p. 789.]

Enthusiasm (veda). According to Comy., the word veda occurs in the Pali texts with three connotations: 1. (Vedic) scripture (gantha), 2. joy (somanassa), 3. knowledge (ñana). "Here it signifies joy and the knowledge connected with that joy."

Attha (rendered here as "goal") and dhamma are a frequently occurring pair of terms obviously intended to supplement each other. Often they mean letter (dhamma) and spirit (or meaning: attha) of the doctrine; but this hardly fits here. These two terms occur also among the four kinds of analytic knowledge (patisambhida-ñana; or knowledge of doctrinal discrimination). Attha-patisambhida is explained as the discriminative knowledge of "the result of a cause"; while dhamma-patisambhida is concerned with the cause or condition.

The Comy. applies now the same interpretation to our present textual passage, saying: "Attha-veda is the enthusiasm arisen in him who reviews his unwavering confidence; dhamma-veda is the enthusiasm arisen in him who reviews 'the abandonment of the defilement in part,' which is the cause of that unwavering confidence..." Hence the two terms refer to "the joy that has as its object the unwavering confidence in the Buddha, and so forth; and the joy inherent in the knowledge (of the abandonment; somanassa-maya ñana)."

Our rendering of attha (Skt.:artha) b; "goal" is supported by Comy.: "The unwavering confidence is called attha because it has to be reached (araniyato), i.e., to be approached (upagantabbato)," in the sense of a limited goal, or resultant blessing.

Cf. Ang 5:10: tasmim dhamme attha-patisamvedi ca hoti dhammapatisamvedi ca; tassa atthapatisamvedino dhammapatisamvedino pamojjam jayati... This text continues, as our present discourse does, with the arising of joy (or rapture; piti) from gladness (pamojja). Attha and dhamma refer here to the meaning and text of the Buddha word.

9.
The Pali equivalents for this series of terms* are: 1. pamojja (gladness), 2. piti (joy or rapture), 3. passaddhi (tranquillity), 4. sukha (happiness), 5. samadhi (concentration). Nos. 2, 3, 5 are factors of enlightenment (bojjhanga). The function of tranquillity is here the calming of any slight bodily and mental unrest resulting from rapturous joy, and so transforming the latter into serene happiness followed by meditative absorption. This frequently occurring passage illustrates the importance given in the Buddha's Teaching to happiness as a necessary condition for the attainment of concentration and of spiritual progress in general.
* [Here the noun forms are given, while the original has, in some cases, the verbal forms.]

10.
"Of such virtue, such concentration, such wisdom" (evam-silo evam-dhammo evam-pañño). Comy.: "This refers to the (three) parts (of the Noble Eightfold Path), namely, virtue, concentration and wisdom (sila-, samadhi-, pañña-kkhandha), associated (here) with the path of non-returning." Comy. merely refers dhammo to the path-category of concentration (samadhi-kkhandha). Sub.Comy. quotes a parallel passage "evam-dhamma ti Bhagavanto ahesum," found in the Mahapadana Sutta (Digha 14), the Acchariya-abbhutadhamma Sutta (Majjh. 123), and the Nalanda Sutta of the Satipatthana Samyutta. The Digha Comy. explains samadhi-pakkha-dhamma as "mental states belonging to concentration."
11.
"No obstacle," i.e., for the attainment of the path and fruition (of Arahatship), says Comy. For a non-returner who has eliminated the fetter of sense-desire, there is no attachment to tasty food.
12.
"With a mind of Loving-kindness" (metta-sahagatena cetasa). This, and the following, refer to the four Divine Abidings (brahma-vihara). On these see Wheel Nos. 6 and 7.
13.
"He understands what exists, what is low, what is excellent" (so 'atthi idam atthi hinam atthi panitam...' pajanati).
Comy.: "Having shown the non-returner's meditation on the Divine Abidings, the Blessed One now shows his practice of insight (vipassana), aiming at Arahatship; and he indicates his attainment of it by the words: 'He understands what exists,' etc. This non-returner, having arisen from the meditation on any of the four Divine Abidings, defines as 'mind' (nama) those very states of the Divine Abidings and the mental factors associated with them. He then defines as 'matter' (rupa) the heart base (hadaya-vatthu) being the physical support (of mind) and the four elements which, on their part, are the support of the heart base. In that way he defines as 'matter' the elements and corporeal phenomena derived from them (bhutupadayadhamma). When defining 'mind and matter' in this manner, 'he understands what exists' (atthi idan'ti; lit. 'There is this'). Hereby a definition of the truth of suffering has been given."

"Then, in comprehending the origin of that suffering, he understands 'what is low.' Thereby the truth of the origin of suffering has been defined. Further, by investigating the means of giving it up, he understands 'what is excellent. Hereby the truth of the path has been defined."

14.
"... and what escape there is from this (whole) field of perception" (atthi uttari imassa saññaga-tassa nissaranam). Comy.: "He knows: 'There is Nibbana as an escape beyond that perception of the Divine Abidings attained by me.' Hereby the truth of cessation has been defined."
15.
Comy.: "When, by insight-wisdom (vipassana), he thus knows the Four Noble Truths in these four ways (i.e., 'what exists,' etc.); and when he thus sees them by path-wisdom (magga-pañña).
16.
Kamasava bhavasava avijjasava. The mention of liberation from the cankers (asava) indicates the monk's attainment of Arahatship which is also called "exhaustion of the cankers" (asavakkhaya).
17.
"Bathed with the inner bathing" (sinato antarena sinanena). According to the Comy., the Buddha used this phrase to rouse the attention of the brahman Sundarika Bharadvaja, who was in the assembly and who believed in purification by ritual bathing. The Buddha foresaw that if he were to speak in praise of "purification by bathing," the brahman would feel inspired to take ordination under him and finally attain to Arahatship.
18.
Bharadvaja was the clan name of the brahman. Sundarika was the name of the river to which that brahman ascribed purifying power. See also the Sundarika-Bharadvaja Sutta in the Sutta Nipata.
19.
Based on Bhikkhu Ñanamoli's version, with a few alterations.
20.
Three are fords; the other four are rivers.
21.
The text has Phaggu which is a day of brahmanic purification in the month of Phagguna (February-March). Ñanamoli translates it as "Feast of Spring."
22.
Uposatha.
23.
"It is here, 0 brahman, that you should bathe." Comy.: i.e., in the Buddha's Dispensation, in the waters of the Noble Eightfold Path. In the Psalms of the Sisters (Therigatha), the nun Punnika speaks to a brahman as follows:

Nay now, who, ignorant to the ignorant,
Hath told thee this: that water-baptism
From evil kamma can avail to free?
Why then the fishes and the tortoises,
The frogs, the watersnake, the crocodiles
And all that haunt the water straight to heaven
Will go. Yea, all who evil kamma work —
Butchers of sheep and swine, fishers, hunters of game,
Thieves, murderers — so they but splash themselves
With water, are from evil kamma free!
— Transl. by C. A. F. Rhys Davids, from Early Buddhist Poetry, ed. I. B. Horner Publ. by Ananda Semage, Colombo 11


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SN 35.197: Asivisa Sutta: Vipers

posted Aug 31, 2013, 8:46 AM by Sung Yang

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi in Jeta's Grove. Then he addressed the monks, "Monks, suppose there were four vipers of utmost heat & horrible venom. Then a man would come along — desiring life, desiring not to die, desiring happiness, & loathing pain — and people would tell him: 'Good man, these four vipers, of utmost heat & horrible venom, are yours. Time after time they must be lifted up, time after time they must be bathed, time after time they must be fed, time after time put to rest. And if any of these vipers ever gets angered with you, then you will meet with death or death-like suffering. Do what you think should be done.'

Then the man — afraid of the four vipers of utmost heat & horrible venom — would flee this way or that. They would tell him, 'Good man, there are five enemy executioners chasing right on your heels, [thinking,] "Wherever we see him, we'll kill him right on the spot." Do what you think should be done.'

Then the man — afraid of the four vipers of utmost heat & horrible venom, afraid of the five enemy executioners — would flee this way or that. They would tell him, 'Good man, there is a sixth executioner, a fellow-traveler, chasing right on your heels with upraised sword, [thinking,] "Wherever I see him, I'll kill him right on the spot." Do what you think should be done.'

Then the man — afraid of the four vipers of utmost heat & horrible venom, afraid of the five enemy executioners, afraid of the sixth fellow-traveling executioner with upraised sword — would flee this way or that. He would see an empty village. Whatever house he entered would be abandoned, void, & empty as he entered it. Whatever pot he grabbed hold of would be abandoned, void, & empty as he grabbed hold of it. They would tell him, 'Good man, right now, village-plundering bandits are entering this empty village. Do what you think should be done.'

Then the man — afraid of the four vipers of utmost heat & horrible venom, afraid of the five enemy executioners, afraid of the sixth fellow-traveling executioner with upraised sword, afraid of the village-plundering bandits — would flee this way or that. He would see a great expanse of water, with the near shore dubious & risky, the further shore secure & free from risk, but with neither a ferryboat nor a bridge going from this shore to the other. The thought would occur to him, 'Here is this great expanse of water, with the near shore dubious & risky, the further shore secure & free from risk, but with neither a ferryboat nor a bridge going from this shore to the other. What if I were to gather grass, twigs, branches, & leaves and, having bound them together to make a raft, were to cross over to safety on the other shore in dependence on the raft, making an effort with my hands & feet?' Then the man, having gathered grass, twigs, branches, & leaves, having bound them together to make a raft, would cross over to safety on the other shore in dependence on the raft, making an effort with his hands & feet. Crossed over, having gone to the other shore, he would stand on high ground, a brahman.

"Monks, I have made this simile to convey a meaning. Here the meaning is this: 'The four vipers of utmost heat & horrible venom' stands for the four great existents: the earth property, the liquid property, the fire-property, & the wind property. 'The five enemy executioners' stands for the five clinging-aggregates: the form clinging-aggregate, the feeling clinging-aggregate, the perception clinging-aggregate, the fabrications clinging-aggregate, the consciousness clinging-aggregate. 'The sixth fellow-traveling executioner with upraised sword' stands for passion & delight.

"'The empty village' stands for the six internal sense media. If a wise, competent, intelligent person examines them from the point of view of the eye, they appear abandoned, void, & empty. If he examines them from the point of view of the ear... the nose... the tongue... the body... the intellect, they appear abandoned, void, & empty. 'The village-plundering bandits' stands for the six external sense-media. The eye is attacked by agreeable & disagreeable forms. The ear is attacked by agreeable & disagreeable sounds. The nose is attacked by agreeable & disagreeable aromas. The tongue is attacked by agreeable & disagreeable flavors. The body is attacked by agreeable & disagreeable tactile sensations. The intellect is attacked by agreeable & disagreeable ideas.

"'The great expanse of water' stands for the fourfold flood: the flood of sensuality, the flood of becoming, the flood of views, & the flood of ignorance.

'The near shore, dubious & risky' stands for self-identification. 'The further shore, secure and free from risk' stands for Unbinding. 'The raft' stands for just this noble eightfold path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. 'Making an effort with hands & feet' stands for the arousing of persistence. 'Crossed over, having gone to the other shore, he would stand on high ground, a brahman' stands for the arahant."

See also: MN 22


©2004 Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Terms of use: You may copy, reformat, reprint, republish, and redistribute this work in any medium whatsoever, provided that: (1) you only make such copies, etc. available free of charge; (2) you clearly indicate that any derivatives of this work (including translations) are derived from this source document; and (3) you include the full text of this license in any copies or derivatives of this work.

AN 3.72:  Ajivaka Sutta: To the Fatalists' Student

posted Aug 21, 2013, 7:44 PM by Sung Yang

I have heard that on one occasion Ven. Ananda was staying in Kosambi at Ghosita's monastery. Then a certain householder, a disciple of the Fatalists (Ajivakas), went to him and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to Ven. Ananda, "Among us, sir, whose Dhamma is well-taught? Who has practiced well in this world? Who in the world is well-gone?"

"In that case, householder, I will question you in return. Answer as you see fit. Now, what do you think: those who teach a Dhamma for the abandoning of passion, for the abandoning of aversion, for the abandoning of delusion — is their Dhamma well-taught or not? Or how does this strike you?"

"Sir, those who teach a Dhamma for the abandoning of passion, for the abandoning of aversion, for the abandoning of delusion — their Dhamma is well-taught. That's how it strikes me."

"And what do you think, householder: those who have practiced for the abandoning of passion, for the abandoning of aversion, for the abandoning of delusion — have they practiced well in this world or not? Or how does this strike you?"

"Sir, those who have practiced for the abandoning of passion, for the abandoning of aversion, for the abandoning of delusion — they have practiced well in this world. That's how it strikes me."

"And what do you think, householder: those whose passion is abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising; those whose aversion is abandoned... whose delusion is abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising: are they, in this world, well-gone or not? Or how does this strike you?"

"Sir, those whose passion... aversion... delusion is abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising: they, in this world, are well-gone. That's how it strikes me."

"In this way, householder, you have answered yourself: 'Those who teach a Dhamma for the abandoning of passion, for the abandoning of aversion, for the abandoning of delusion — their Dhamma is well-taught. Those who have practiced for the abandoning of passion, for the abandoning of aversion, for the abandoning of delusion — they have practiced well in this world. Those whose passion... aversion... delusion is abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising: they, in this world, are well-gone.'"

"How amazing, sir. How astounding, that there is neither extolling of one's own Dhamma nor deprecation of another's, but just the teaching of the Dhamma in its proper sphere, speaking to the point without mentioning oneself.

"You, venerable sir, teach the Dhamma for the abandoning of passion... aversion... delusion. Your Dhamma is well-taught. You have practiced for the abandoning of passion... aversion... delusion. You have practiced well in this world. Your passion... aversion... delusion is abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. You, in this world, are well-gone.

"Magnificent, Master Ananda! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to point out the way to one who was lost, or to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way has Master Ananda — through many lines of reasoning — made the Dhamma clear. I go to the Buddha for refuge, to the Dhamma, & to the community of monks. May Master Ananda remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge from this day forward, for life."

See also:Sn 4.8; AN 3.78; AN 5.159; DN 16 (the Buddha's answer to Subhadda's question).


Translated by  Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Terms of use: You may copy, reformat, reprint, republish, and redistribute this work in any medium whatsoever, provided that: (1) you only make such copies, etc. available free of charge; (2) you clearly indicate that any derivatives of this work (including translations) are derived from this source document; and (3) you include the full text of this license in any copies or derivatives of this work.

DN 21: Sakka-pañha Sutta: Sakka's Questions

posted Aug 21, 2013, 7:41 PM by Sung Yang

...

Having been given leave by the Blessed One, Sakka the deva-king asked him his first question: "Fettered with what, dear sir — though they think, 'May we live free from hostility, free from violence, free from rivalry, free from ill will, free from those who are hostile' — do devas, human beings, asuras, nagas, gandhabbas, & whatever other many kinds of beings there are, nevertheless live in hostility, violence, rivalry, ill will, with those who are hostile?"

Thus Sakka asked his first question of the Blessed One, and the Blessed One, when asked, replied: "Devas, human beings, asuras, nagas, gandhabbas, & whatever other many kinds of beings there are, are fettered with envy & stinginess, which is why — even though they think, 'May we live free from hostility, free from violence, free from rivalry, free from ill will, free from those who are hostile' — they nevertheless live in hostility, violence, rivalry, ill will, with those who are hostile."

Thus the Blessed One answered, having been asked by Sakka the deva-king. Gratified, Sakka was delighted in & expressed his approval of the Blessed One's words: "So it is, O Blessed One. So it is, O One Well-gone. Hearing the Blessed One's answer to my question, my doubt is now cut off, my perplexity is overcome."

Then Sakka, having delighted in & expressed his approval of the Blessed One's words, asked him a further question: "But what, dear sir, is the cause of envy & stinginess, what is their origination, what gives them birth, what is their source? When what exists do they come into being? When what doesn't exist do they not?"

"Envy & stinginess have dear-&-not-dear as their cause, have dear-&-not-dear as their origination, have dear-&-not-dear as what gives them birth, have dear-&-not-dear as their source. When dear-&-not-dear exist, they come into being. When dear-&-not-dear are not, they don't."

"But what, dear sir, is the cause of dear-&-not-dear, what is their origination, what gives them birth, what is their source? When what exists do they come into being? When what doesn't exist do they not?"

"Dear-&-not-dear have desire as their cause, have desire as their origination, have desire as what gives them birth, have desire as their source. When desire exists, they come into being. When desire is not, they don't."

"But what, dear sir, is the cause of desire, what is its origination, what gives it birth, what is its source? When what exists does it come into being? When what doesn't exist does it not?"

"Desire has thinking as its cause, has thinking as its origination, has thinking as what gives it birth, has thinking as its source. When thinking exists, desire comes into being. When thinking is not, it doesn't."

"But what, dear sir, is the cause of thinking, what is its origination, what gives it birth, what is its source? When what exists does it come into being? When what doesn't exist does it not?"

"Thinking has the perceptions & categories of objectification[1] as its cause, has the perceptions & categories of objectification as its origination, has the perceptions & categories of objectification as what gives it birth, has the perceptions & categories of objectification as its source. When the perceptions & categories of objectification exist, thinking comes into being. When the perceptions & categories of objectification are not, it doesn't."

"And how has he practiced, dear sir: the monk who has practiced the practice leading to the right cessation of the perceptions & categories of objectification?"

"Joy is of two sorts, I tell you, deva-king: to be pursued & not to be pursued.[2] Grief is of two sorts: to be pursued & not to be pursued. Equanimity is of two sorts: to be pursued & not to be pursued.

"'Joy is of two sorts, I tell you, deva-king: to be pursued & not to be pursued.' Thus was it said. And in reference to what was it said? When one knows of a feeling of joy, 'As I pursue this joy, unskillful mental qualities increase, and skillful mental qualities decline,' that sort of joy is not to be pursued. When one knows of a feeling of joy, 'As I pursue this joy, unskillful mental qualities decline, and skillful mental qualities increase,' that sort of joy is to be pursued. And this sort of joy may be accompanied by directed thought & evaluation or free of directed thought & evaluation. Of the two, the latter is the more refined. 'Joy is of two sorts, I tell you, deva-king: to be pursued & not to be pursued.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"'Grief is of two sorts, I tell you: to be pursued & not to be pursued.' Thus was it said. And in reference to what was it said? When one knows of a feeling of grief, 'As I pursue this grief, unskillful mental qualities increase, and skillful mental qualities decline,' that sort of grief is not to be pursued. When one knows of a feeling of grief, 'As I pursue this grief, unskillful mental qualities decline, and skillful mental qualities increase,' that sort of grief is to be pursued. And this sort of grief may be accompanied by directed thought & evaluation or free of directed thought & evaluation. Of the two, the latter is the more refined. 'Grief is of two sorts, I tell you: to be pursued & not to be pursued.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"'Equanimity is of two sorts, I tell you: to be pursued & not to be pursued.' Thus was it said. And in reference to what was it said? When one knows of a feeling of equanimity, 'As I pursue this equanimity, unskillful mental qualities increase, and skillful mental qualities decline,' that sort of equanimity is not to be pursued. When one knows of a feeling of equanimity, 'As I pursue this equanimity, unskillful mental qualities decline, and skillful mental qualities increase,' that sort of equanimity is to be pursued. And this sort of equanimity may be accompanied by directed thought & evaluation or free of directed thought & evaluation. Of the two, the latter is the more refined. 'Equanimity is of two sorts, I tell you: to be pursued & not to be pursued.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"This is how he has practiced, deva-king: the monk who has practiced the practice leading to the right cessation of the perceptions & categories of objectification."

Thus the Blessed One answered, having been asked by Sakka the deva-king. Gratified, Sakka was delighted in & expressed his approval of the Blessed One's words: "So it is, O Blessed One. So it is, O One Well-gone. Hearing the Blessed One's answer to my question, my doubt is now cut off, my perplexity is overcome."

Then Sakka, having delighted in & expressed his approval of the Blessed One's words, asked him a further question: "But how has he practiced, dear sir: the monk who has practiced for restraint in the Patimokkha?"

"Bodily conduct is of two sorts, I tell you, deva-king: to be pursued & not to be pursued. Verbal conduct is of two sorts: to be pursued & not to be pursued. Searching is of two sorts: to be pursued & not to be pursued.

"'Bodily conduct is of two sorts, I tell you, deva-king: to be pursued & not to be pursued.' Thus was it said. And in reference to what was it said? When one knows of bodily conduct, 'As I pursue this bodily conduct, unskillful mental qualities increase, and skillful mental qualities decline,' that sort of bodily conduct is not to be pursued. When one knows of bodily conduct, 'As I pursue this bodily conduct, unskillful mental qualities decline, and skillful mental qualities increase,' that sort of bodily conduct is to be pursued. 'Bodily conduct is of two sorts, I tell you, deva-king: to be pursued & not to be pursued.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"'Verbal conduct is of two sorts, I tell you, deva-king: to be pursued & not to be pursued.' Thus was it said. And in reference to what was it said? When one knows of verbal conduct, 'As I pursue this verbal conduct, unskillful mental qualities increase, and skillful mental qualities decline,' that sort of verbal conduct is not to be pursued. When one knows of verbal conduct, 'As I pursue this verbal conduct, unskillful mental qualities decline, and skillful mental qualities increase,' that sort of verbal conduct is to be pursued. 'Verbal conduct is of two sorts, I tell you, deva-king: to be pursued & not to be pursued.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"'Searching is of two sorts, I tell you, deva-king: to be pursued & not to be pursued.' Thus was it said. And in reference to what was it said? When one knows of a search, 'As I pursue this search, unskillful mental qualities increase, and skillful mental qualities decline,' that sort of search is not to be pursued. When one knows of a search, 'As I pursue this search, unskillful mental qualities decline, and skillful mental qualities increase,' that sort of search is to be pursued. 'Searching is of two sorts, I tell you, deva-king: to be pursued & not to be pursued.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"This is how he has practiced, deva-king: the monk who has practiced the practice for restraint in the Patimokkha."

Thus the Blessed One answered, having been asked by Sakka the deva-king. Gratified, Sakka was delighted in & expressed his approval of the Blessed One's words: "So it is, O Blessed One. So it is, O One Well-gone. Hearing the Blessed One's answer to my question, my doubt is now cut off, my perplexity is overcome."

Then Sakka, having delighted in & expressed his approval of the Blessed One's words, asked him a further question: "But how has he practiced, dear sir: the monk who has practiced for restraint with regard to the sense faculties?"

"Forms cognizable by the eye are of two sorts, I tell you, deva-king: to be pursued & not to be pursued. Sounds cognizable by the ear... Aromas cognizable by the nose... Flavors cognizable by the tongue... Tactile sensations cognizable by the body... Ideas cognizable by the intellect are of two sorts: to be pursued & not to be pursued."

When this was said, Sakka the deva-king said to the Blessed One, "Dear sir, I understand the detailed meaning of the Blessed One's brief statement. If, as one pursues a certain type of form cognizable by the eye, unskillful mental qualities increase, and skillful mental qualities decline, that sort of form cognizable by the eye is not to be pursued. But if, as one pursues a certain type of form cognizable by the eye, unskillful mental qualities decline, and skillful mental qualities increase, that sort of form cognizable by the eye is to be pursued.

"If, as one pursues a certain type of sound cognizable by the ear...

"If, as one pursues a certain type of aroma cognizable by the nose...

"If, as one pursues a certain type of flavor cognizable by the tongue...

"If, as one pursues a certain type of tactile sensation cognizable by the body...

"If, as one pursues a certain type of idea cognizable by the intellect, unskillful mental qualities increase, and skillful mental qualities decline, that sort of idea cognizable by the intellect is not to be pursued. But if, as one pursues a certain type of idea cognizable by the intellect, unskillful mental qualities decline, and skillful mental qualities increase, that sort of idea cognizable by the intellect is to be pursued.

"This is how I understand the detailed meaning of the Blessed One's brief statement. Hearing the Blessed One's answer to my question, my doubt is now cut off, my perplexity is overcome."

Then Sakka, having delighted in & expressed his approval of the Blessed One's words, asked him a further question: "Dear sir, do all brahmans & contemplatives teach the same doctrine, adhere to the same precepts, desire the same thing, aim at the same goal?"

"No, deva-king, not all brahmans & contemplatives teach the same doctrine, adhere to the same precepts, desire the same thing, aim at the same goal."

"Why, dear sir, don't all brahmans & contemplatives teach the same doctrine, adhere to the same precepts, desire the same thing, aim at the same goal?"

"The world is made up of many properties, various properties. Because of the many & various properties in the world, then whichever property living beings get fixated on, they become entrenched & latch onto it, saying, 'Only this is true; anything else is worthless.' This is why not all brahmans & contemplatives teach the same doctrine, adhere to the same precepts, desire the same thing, aim at the same goal."

"But, dear sir, are all brahmans & contemplatives utterly complete, utterly free from bonds, followers of the utterly holy life, utterly consummate?"

"No, deva-king, not all brahmans & contemplatives are utterly complete, utterly free from bonds, followers of the utterly holy life, utterly consummate."

"But why, dear sir, are not all brahmans & contemplatives utterly complete, utterly free from bonds, followers of the utterly holy life, utterly consummate?"

"Those monks who are released through the total ending of craving are the ones who are utterly complete, utterly free from bonds, followers of the utterly holy life, utterly consummate. This is why not all brahmans & contemplatives are utterly complete, utterly free from bonds, followers of the utterly holy life, utterly consummate."

Thus the Blessed One answered, having been asked by Sakka the deva-king. Gratified, Sakka was delighted in & expressed his approval of the Blessed One's words: "So it is, O Blessed One. So it is, O One Well-gone. Hearing the Blessed One's answer to my question, my doubt is now cut off, my perplexity is overcome."

Then Sakka, having delighted in & expressed his approval of the Blessed One's words, said to him: "Yearning is a disease, yearning is a boil, yearning is an arrow. It seduces one, drawing one into this or that state of being, which is why one is reborn in high states & low. Whereas other outside brahmans & contemplatives gave me no chance to ask them these questions, the Blessed One has answered at length, so that he has removed the arrow of my uncertainty & perplexity."

"Deva-king, do you recall having asked other brahmans & contemplatives these questions?"

"Yes, lord, I recall having asked other brahmans & contemplatives these questions."

"If it's no inconvenience, could you tell me how they answered?"

"It's no inconvenience when sitting with the Blessed One or one who is like him."

"Then tell me, deva-king."

"Having gone to those whom I considered to be brahmans & contemplatives living in isolated dwellings in the wilderness, I asked them these questions. But when asked by me, they were at a loss. Being at a loss, they asked me in return, 'What is your name?'

"Being asked, I responded, 'I, dear sir, am Sakka, the deva-king.'

"So they questioned me further, 'But what kamma did you do to attain to this state?'

"So I taught them the Dhamma as far as I had heard & mastered it. And they were gratified with just this much: 'We have seen Sakka, the deva-king, and he has answered our questions!' So, instead of my becoming their disciple, they simply became mine. But I, lord, am the Blessed One's disciple, a stream-winner, steadfast, never again destined for states of woe, headed for self-awakening."

"Deva-king, do you recall ever having previously experienced such happiness & joy?"

"Yes, lord, I do."

"And how do you recall ever having previously experienced such happiness & joy?"

"Once, lord, the devas & asuras were arrayed in battle. And in that battle the devas won, while the asuras lost. Having won the battle, as the victor in the battle, this thought occurred to me: 'Whatever has been the divine nourishment of the asuras, whatever has been the divine nourishment of the devas, the devas will now enjoy both of them.' But my attainment of happiness & joy was in the sphere of violence & weapons. It didn't lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to direct knowledge to self-awakening, to Unbinding. But my attainment of happiness & joy on hearing the Blessed One's Dhamma is in the sphere of no violence, the sphere of no weapons. It leads to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to direct knowledge to self-awakening, to Unbinding."

...

Then Sakka, the deva-king, touched the earth with his hand and said three times, "Homage to the Worthy One, the Blessed One, the Rightly Self-awakened One! Homage to the Worthy One, the Blessed One, the Rightly Self-awakened One! Homage to the Worthy One, the Blessed One, the Rightly Self-awakened One!"

While this explanation was being given, there arose to Sakka the dustless, stainless Dhamma eye — "Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation" — as it also did to [his following of] 80,000 other devas.

Such were the questions that the Blessed One answered at Sakka's bidding. And so this discourse is called "Sakka's Questions."

Note

1.
Objectification = papañca. The tendency of the mind to proliferate issues from the sense of "self." This term can also be translated as self-reflexive thinking, reification, falsification, distortion, elaboration, or exaggeration. In the discourses, it is frequently used in analyses of the psychology of conflict. The categories of objectification stem from the self-reflexive thought, "I am the thinker," (see Sn 4.14), and include the categories of inappropriate attention (see MN 2): being/not-being, me/not-me, mine/not-mine, doer/done-to. The perceptions of objectification include such thoughts as "This is me. This is mine. This is my self." These perceptions and categories turn back on the person who allows them to proliferate, giving rise to internal conflict & strife, which then expand outward. For more on these terms, see MN 18.
2.
For further discussion of the skillful and unskillful pursuit of these feelings, see MN 101 and MN 137.

©1999 Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Terms of use: You may copy, reformat, reprint, republish, and redistribute this work in any medium whatsoever, provided that: (1) you only make such copies, etc. available free of charge; (2) you clearly indicate that any derivatives of this work (including translations) are derived from this source document; and (3) you include the full text of this license in any copies or derivatives of this work. 

AN 10.27 : Mahapañha Sutta: The Great Questions

posted Aug 21, 2013, 7:08 PM by Sung Yang

...

Monks, when a monk becomes entirely dispassionate towards one thing, when his lust for it entirely fades away, when he is entirely liberated from it, when he sees the complete ending of it, then he is one who, after fully comprehending the Goal, makes an end of suffering here and now.

What one thing? "All beings subsist by nutriment." When a monk becomes entirely dispassionate towards this one thing (nutriment), when his lust for it entirely fades away, when he is entirely liberated from it, and when he sees the complete ending of it, then, O monks, he is one who, after fully comprehending the Goal, makes an end of suffering here and now.

...

See also: SN 12.11; SN 12.12; SN 12.31; SN 12.63; SN 12.64; The Four Nutriments of Life by Nyanaponika Thera.


©1981 Buddhist Publication Society. Terms of use: You may copy, reformat, reprint, republish, and redistribute this work in any medium whatsoever, provided that: (1) you only make such copies, etc. available free of charge and, in the case of reprinting, only in quantities of no more than 50 copies; (2) you clearly indicate that any derivatives of this work (including translations) are derived from this source document; and (3) you include the full text of this license in any copies or derivatives of this work.

SN 12.31: Bhutamidam Sutta: This Has Come Into Being

posted Aug 21, 2013, 7:06 PM by Sung Yang   [ updated Aug 21, 2013, 7:09 PM ]

SN 12.31: Bhutamidam Sutta: This Has Come Into Being  
...

"'This has come to be'[1] — do you see that, Saariputta?"

"'This has come to be'[2] — that, O Lord, one sees with true wisdom,[3] as it really is. And having seen with true wisdom, as it really is, that 'this has come to be,' one is on the way[4] towards revulsion from what has come to be, towards dispassion and cessation.

"'Produced by such nutriment' — that one sees, with true wisdom, as it really is. And having seen, with true wisdom, as it really is, that 'this has been produced by such nutriment,' one is on the way towards revulsion from its production by nutriment, towards dispassion and cessation.

"'By the cessation of nutriment, that what has come to be is bound to cease'[5] — that one sees with true wisdom, as it really is. And having seen, with true wisdom, as it really is, that 'By the cessation of that nutriment, what has come to be is bound to cease,' one is on the way towards revulsion from what is liable to cease, towards dispassion and cessation. Thus, O Lord, is one in higher training."[6]

"And how, O Lord, is one a comprehender of Dhamma?[7] 'This has come to be' — that, O Lord, one sees with true wisdom, as it really is. And having seen with true wisdom, as it really is, that 'this has come to be,' then, through revulsion from what has come to be, through dispassion (concerning it) and the cessation (of it), one is liberated without any clinging.[8]

"'Produced by such nutriment' — that one sees with true wisdom, as it really is. And having seen with true wisdom, as it really is, that 'this has been produced by such nutriment,' then, through revulsion from its production by nutriment, through dispassion (concerning it) and the cessation (of it), one is liberated without any clinging.

"'By the cessation of nutriment, that what has come to be is bound to cease' — that one sees with true wisdom, as it really is. And having seen with true wisdom, as it really is, that 'by the cessation of that nutriment, what has come to be is bound to cease,' then, through revulsion from what is liable to cease, from dispassion (concerning it) and the cessation (of it), one is liberated without any clinging. Thus, O Lord, is one a comprehender of Dhamma..."

"Well spoken, Saariputta, well spoken," said the Exalted One.

...

Note

1.
bhuutam idan'ti.
2.
Comy: This refers to the five aggregates (pancakkhandha).
3.
Comy: This refers to the wisdom bestowed by the paths (of stream-entry, etc.) together with the insight (leading to it; saha-vipassanaaya magga-pannaaya).
4.
Comy: From the observance of morality up to the path (-moment) of sainthood (arahatta-magga) one is "on the way" (pa.tipanno).
5.
tad-aahaara-nirodhaa yam bhuutam tam nirodha-dhamman' ti.
6.
sekho, one who has attained to the four paths and three lower fruitions.
7.
sankhaata-dhammo. This is one who has attained to the fourth and highest fruition of sainthood (arahatta-phala), an arahant or asekha, "one beyond training."
8.
anupaadaa vimutto.
See also: SN 12.11; SN 12.12; SN 12.63; SN 12.64; AN 10.27; The Four Nutriments of Life by Nyanaponika Thera.


©1981 Buddhist Publication Society. Terms of use: You may copy, reformat, reprint, republish, and redistribute this work in any medium whatsoever, provided that: (1) you only make such copies, etc. available free of charge and, in the case of reprinting, only in quantities of no more than 50 copies; (2) you clearly indicate that any derivatives of this work (including translations) are derived from this source document; and (3) you include the full text of this license in any copies or derivatives of this work

SN 12.63:  Puttamansa Sutta: A Son's Flesh

posted Aug 21, 2013, 7:03 PM by Sung Yang

At Savatthi.

"There are, O monks, four nutriments[1] for the sustenance of beings born, and for the support of beings seeking birth.[2] What are the four?

"Edible food, coarse and fine;[3] secondly, sense-impression;[4] thirdly, volitional thought;[5] fourthly, consciousness.[6]

"How, O monks, should the nutriment edible food be considered? Suppose a couple, husband and wife, have set out on a journey through the desert, carrying only limited provisions. They have with them their only son, dearly beloved by them. Now, while these two traveled through the desert, their limited stock of provisions ran out and came to an end, but there was still a stretch of desert not yet crossed. Then the two thought: 'Our small stock of provisions has run out, it has come to an end; and there is still a stretch of desert that is not yet crossed. Should we not kill our only son, so dearly beloved, prepare dried and roasted meat, and eating our son's flesh, we may cross in that way the remaining part of the desert, lest all three of us perish?'

"And these two, husband and wife, killed their only son, so dearly beloved by them, prepared dried and roasted meat, and, eating their son's flesh, crossed in that way the remaining part of the desert. And while eating their son's flesh, they were beating their breast and crying: 'Where are you, our only and beloved son? Where are you, our only and beloved son?'

"What do you think, O monks? Will they eat the food for the pleasure of it, for enjoyment, for comeliness' sake, for (the body's) embellishment?"[7]

"Certainly not, O Lord."

"Will they not rather eat the food merely for the sake of crossing the desert?"

"So it is, O Lord."

"In the same manner, I say, O monks, should edible food be considered. If, O monks, the nutriment edible food is comprehended, the lust for the five sense-objects is (thereby) comprehended. And if lust for the five sense-objects is comprehended, there is no fetter enchained by which a noble disciple might come to this world again.[8]

"And how, O monks, should the nutriment sense-impression be considered? Suppose, O monks, there is a skinned cow that stands close to a wall, then the creatures living in the wall will nibble at the cow; and if the skinned cow stands near a tree, then the creatures living in the tree will nibble at it; if it stands in the water, the creatures living in the water will nibble at it; if it stands in the open air, the creatures living in the air will nibble at it. Wherever that skinned cow stands, the creatures living there will nibble at it.

"In that manner, I say, O monks, should the nutriment sense-impression be considered. If the nutriment sense-impression is comprehended, the three kinds of feeling[9] are thereby comprehended. And if the three kinds of feeling are comprehended, there is, I say, no further work left to do for the noble disciple.[10]

"And how, O monks, should the nutriment volitional thought be considered? Suppose, O monks, there is a pit of glowing embers, filled to cover a man's height, with embers glowing without flames and smoke. Now a man comes that way, who loves life and does not wish to die, who wishes for happiness and detests suffering. Then two strong men would seize both his arms and drag him to the pit of glowing embers. Then, O monks, far away from it would recoil that man's will, far away from it his longing, far away his inclination. And why? Because the man knows: 'If I fall into that pit of glowing embers, I shall meet death or deadly pain.'

"In that manner, I say, O monks, should the nutriment volitional thought be considered. If the nutriment volitional thought is comprehended, the three kinds of craving[11] are thereby comprehended. And if the three kinds of craving are comprehended, there is, I say, no further work left to do for the noble disciple.

"And how, O monks, should the nutriment consciousness be considered? Suppose, O monks, people have seized a criminal, a robber, and brought him before the king saying: 'This is a criminal, a robber, O Majesty! Mete out to him the punishment you think fit!' Then the king would tell them: 'Go, and in the morning strike this man with a hundred spears!' And they strike him in the morning with a hundred spears. At noon the king would ask his men: 'How is that man?' — 'He is still alive, Your Majesty.' — 'Then go and strike him again at noontime with a hundred spears!' So they did, and in the evening the king asks them again: 'How is that man?' — 'He is still alive.' — 'Then go and in the evening strike him again with a hundred spears!' And so they did.

"What do you think, O monks? Will that man, struck with three hundred spears during a day, suffer pain and torment owing to that?"

"Even if he were to be struck only by a single spear, he would suffer pain and torment owing to that. How much more if he is being struck by three hundred spears!"

"In that manner, I say, O monks, should the nutriment consciousness be considered. If the nutriment consciousness is comprehended, mind-and-matter are thereby comprehended. And if mind and body are comprehended, there is, I say, no further work left to do for the noble disciple."

Notes

1.
Paali: aahaara; from aaharati, to take up, to take on to oneself; to bring, carry, fetch.
2.
Of beings born — bhuutaanam; lit.: of those who have come to existence. — Of beings seeking birth — bhavesinam, lit.: of these seeking existence. The latter term refers, according to the Commentary, in the case of egg-born and womb-born beings, to the period before they have emerged from the egg shell or the membranous sheath. Beings born of moisture (sedaja) or spontaneously (opapaatika) are called "seeking birth" at their first thought moment.
3.
"Edible food," kabali"nkaaro aahaaro, lit.: "morsel-made food."  Comy: "It is a term for the nutritive essence (ojaa) of which boiled rice etc., is the (coarse) basic (vatthu)."
4.
"Sense-impression" (or contact; phassa) is sixfold: through eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind.
5.
"Volitional thought" mano-sancetanaa, is according to Comy. identical with cetanaa, and refers here to kammic volition.
6.
"Consciousness" (viññaa"na) refers to all types of consciousness.
7.
The same phrases occur in the monk's reflection on his alms food, e.g., at MN 2; explained in Visuddhimagga, trans. by Naa.namoli, p. 31 ff.
8.
That is he has become a non-returner (anaagaami) by eradicating the fetter of sensuous desire (kaamaraaga-samyojana) which, according to Comy. forms a unit with those other fetters which are given up (pahaanekattha) at this stage, i.e., personality belief, skeptical doubt, attachment to rites and rituals, and ill-will.
9.
Pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral feeling.
10.
This refers to the attainment of sainthood (arahatta).
11.
Sensual craving, craving for (eternal) existence, craving for self-annihilation.
See also: SN 12.11; SN 12.12; SN 12.31; SN 12.64; AN 10.27; The Four Nutriments of Life by Nyanaponika Thera.


©1981 Buddhist Publication Society. 

Terms of use: You may copy, reformat, reprint, republish, and redistribute this work in any medium whatsoever, provided that: (1) you only make such copies, etc. available free of charge and, in the case of reprinting, only in quantities of no more than 50 copies; (2) you clearly indicate that any derivatives of this work (including translations) are derived from this source document; and (3) you include the full text of this license in any copies or derivatives of this work.

SN 12.12: Phagguna Sutta: To Phagguna

posted Aug 21, 2013, 5:12 PM by Sung Yang


"There are, O monks, four nutriments for the sustenance of beings born, and for the support of beings seeking birth. What are the four? Edible food, coarse and fine; secondly, sense-impression; thirdly, volitional thought; fourthly, consciousness."

After these words, the venerable Moliya-Phagguna addressed the Exalted One as follows:

"Who, O Lord, consumes[1] the nutriment consciousness?"

"The question is not correct," said the Exalted One. "I do not say that 'he consumes.'[2] If I had said so, then the question 'Who consumes?' would be appropriate. But since I did not speak thus, the correct way to ask the question will be: 'For what is the nutriment consciousness (the condition)?'[3] And to that the correct reply is: 'The nutriment consciousness[4] is a condition for the future arising of a renewed existence;[5] when that has come into being, there is (also) the sixfold sense-base; and conditioned by the sixfold sense-base is sense-impression.'"[6]

"Who, O Lord, has a sense-impression?"

"The question is not correct," said the Exalted One.

"I do not say that 'he has a sense-impression.' Had I said so, then the question 'Who has a sense-impression?' would be appropriate. But since I did not speak thus, the correct way to ask the question will be 'What is the condition of sense-impression?' And to that the correct reply is: 'The sixfold sense-base is a condition of sense-impression, and sense-impression is the condition of feeling.'"

"Who, O Lord, feels?"

"The question is not correct," said the Exalted One. "I do not say that 'he feels.' Had I said so, then the question 'Who feels?' would be appropriate. But since I did not speak thus, the correct way to ask the question will be 'What is the condition of feeling?' And to that the correct reply is: 'sense-impression is the condition of feeling; and feeling is the condition of craving.'"

"Who, O Lord, craves?"

"The question is not correct," said the Exalted One. "I do not say that 'he craves.' Had I said so, then the question 'Who craves?' would be appropriate. But since I did not speak thus, the correct way to ask the question will be 'What is the condition of craving?' And to that the correct reply is: 'Feeling is the condition of craving, and craving is the condition of clinging.'"

"Who, O Lord, clings?"

"The question is not correct," said the Exalted One, "I do not say that 'he clings.' Had I said so, then the question 'Who clings?' would be appropriate. But since I did not speak thus, the correct way to ask the question will be 'What is the condition of clinging?' And to that the correct reply is: 'Craving is the condition of clinging; and clinging is the condition of the process of becoming.' Such is the origin of this entire mass of suffering.[7]

"Through the complete fading away and cessation of even these six bases of sense-impression, sense-impression ceases;[8] through the cessation of sense-impression, feeling ceases; through the cessation of feeling, craving ceases; through the cessation of craving, clinging ceases; through the cessation of clinging, the process of becoming ceases; through the cessation of the process of becoming, birth ceases; through the cessation of birth, old age, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of suffering."

Notes

1.
Consumes or eats (aaharati) — The commentators say that this monk believed that he understood the three other kinds of nutriment but concerning consciousness he had conceived the notion that there was a "being" (satta) that takes consciousness onto himself as nutriment.
2.
Comy: "I do not say that there is any being or person that consumes (or eats)."
3.
Comy: "That means: 'For what (impersonal) state (or thing; katamassa dhammassa) is the nutriment consciousness a condition (paccaya)?'" The term dhamma, in the sense of an impersonal factor of existence, is here contrasted with the questioner's assumption of a being or person performing the respective function. By re-formulating the question, the Buddha wanted to point out that there is no reason for assuming that the nutriment consciousness "feeds" or conditions any separate person hovering behind it; but that consciousness constitutes just one link in a chain of processes indicated by the Buddha in the following.
4.
The nutriment consciousness signifies here the rebirth-consciousness.
5.
aayatim punabbhavaabhinibbatti; Comy: "This is the mind-and-body (naama-ruupa) conascent with that very (rebirth) consciousness." This refers to the third link of the dependent origination: "Through (rebirth) consciousness conditioned is mind-and-body" (viññaa.na-paccayaa naama-ruupam).
6.
Comy: "The Exalted One said this for giving to the monk an opening for a further question."
7.
Comy: "Why does not the monk continue to ask: 'Who becomes?' Because as one cherishing wrong views, he believes that 'A being has become, has come to be.' Hence he does not question further, because it would conflict with his own beliefs. And also the Master terminates here the exposition, thinking: 'However much he questions, he will not be satisfied. He is just asking empty questions.'"
8.
Comy: "Here the Master takes up that very point from where he started the exposition: 'Through the sixfold sense (organ) base conditioned is sense-impression,' and here he now turns round the exposition (to the cessation of the cycle of dependent origination).
"In this discourse, there is one link (of cause and fruit) between consciousness and mind-and-body; one link (of fruit and cause) between feeling and craving, and one link (of cause and fruit) between the process of becoming and birth."

Sub-Comy: "Since, in the words of the discourse, 'The nutriment consciousness is a condition for the future arising of a renewed existence,' (consciousness is regarded) as being a condition in a former existence for a future existence, and as being a principal cause (muula-kaarana), therefore the Commentary says that 'there is a link (of cause and fruit) between consciousness and mind-and-body.' Hence it should be understood that by the term consciousness, also the 'kamma-forming consciousness' (abhisa"nkhaara-viññaa.na) is implied" (i.e., apart from being resultant rebirth consciousness).

See also: SN 12.11; SN 12.12; SN 12.17; SN 12.35; SN 12.31; SN 12.63; SN 12.64; AN 10.27; The Four Nutriments of Life by Nyanaponika Thera.


 ©1981 Buddhist Publication Society. Terms of use: You may copy, reformat, reprint, republish, and redistribute this work in any medium whatsoever, provided that: (1) you only make such copies, etc. available free of charge and, in the case of reprinting, only in quantities of no more than 50 copies; (2) you clearly indicate that any derivatives of this work (including translations) are derived from this source document; and (3) you include the full text of this license in any copies or derivatives of this work.

SN 12.11: Ahara Sutta: Nutriment

posted Aug 21, 2013, 5:09 PM by Sung Yang

At Savatthi.

"There are, O monks, four nutriments for the sustenance of beings born, and for the support of beings seeking birth. What are the four?

"Edible food, coarse and fine; secondly, sense-impression; thirdly, volitional thought; fourthly, consciousness.

"Of these four nutriments, O monks, what is their source, what is their origin, from what are they born, what gives them existence?

"These four nutriments, O monks, have craving as their cause, have craving as their origin, are born of craving, and craving gives them existence.

"And this craving, O monks, what is its source, what its origin, from what is it born, what gives it existence? Craving has feeling as its source and origin, it is born of feeling, and feeling gives existence to it.

"And this feeling, O monks, what is its source and origin, from what is it born and what gives existence to it? Feeling has sense-impression as its source and origin...

"And this sense-impression, O monks, what is its source...? sense-impression has the six sense-bases as its source and origin...

"And these six sense-bases, O monks, what is their source...? The six sense-bases have mind-and-body as their source and origin...

"And this mind-and-body, O monks, what is its source...? Mind-and-body has consciousness as its source and origin...

"And this consciousness, O monks, what is its source...? Consciousness has kamma-formations as its source and origin...

"And these kamma-formations, O monks, what is their source and origin, from what are they born, what gives existence to them? Kamma-formations have ignorance as their source and origin, they are born of ignorance and ignorance gives existence to them.

"Thus, O monks, through ignorance conditioned are kamma-formations; through the kamma-formations conditioned is consciousness; through consciousness conditioned is mind-and-body; through mind-and-body conditioned are the six sense-bases; through the six sense-bases conditioned is sense-impression; through sense-impression conditioned is feeling, through feeling conditioned is craving; through craving conditioned is clinging; through clinging conditioned is becoming; through becoming conditioned is birth; through birth conditioned are decay and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair. Thus arises this whole mass of suffering."

See also: SN 12.12; SN 12.31; SN 12.63; SN 12.64; AN 10.27; The Four Nutriments of Life by Nyanaponika Thera.


©1981 Buddhist Publication Society. Terms of use: You may copy, reformat, reprint, republish, and redistribute this work in any medium whatsoever, provided that: (1) you only make such copies, etc. available free of charge and, in the case of reprinting, only in quantities of no more than 50 copies; (2) you clearly indicate that any derivatives of this work (including translations) are derived from this source document; and (3) you include the full text of this license in any copies or derivatives of this work

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