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This article completely revised Sunday, January 14, 2018 6:34 AM.

If Not Mine

Bhk. Bodhi[1] points out the existence of this formula in two versions:

#1. No c'assa||
no ca me siyā,||
na bhavissati||
na me bhavissati.
|| ||

and

#2. No c'assaṃ||
no ca me siyā,||
na bhavissāmi||
na me bhavissati.
|| ||

 


 

Bhk. Bodhi:

#1. It might not be,
and it might not be mine.
It will not be;
it will not be mine.

#2. (two versions):[3]

I may not be,
and it might not be mine.
I will not be,
and it will not be mine.

I might not be
and it might not be mine;
I shall not be
[and] it will not be mine.'

Hare[2]:

If it were not,
it would not be mine;
it shall not become,
for me it shall not become

Woodward:[4]

Were I not then,
it would not now be mine;
I'll not become,
'twill not become in me -

Bhk. Thanissaro:[5]

'I should not be;
it should not occur to me;
I will not be;
it will not occur to me.'

 


 

The problem in these translations stems from trying to make sense of the words hearing the emphasis on the idea of 'being', thinking: "existing" as in ultimate reality or as an ultimate self.

Because of hearing the emphasis on the idea of 'being', the debate is thrown off onto the issue of existence versus non-existence, whereas another way of hearing the same words is that the idea is the identification with being: "If it had not been identified with; there would not have been a "mine" 'for me' now. Hear the five-year-old claiming his toy: "My toy!" This is not easy to put into writing, but is a simple matter of inflection (the "in quotation marks" inflection) when speaking.

Think facing the consequences of some bad deed. If I had not lied, stolen, injured then, because of strong desire and identification with something or another, then I would not be suffering this outcome now.

If there had been no identification with form, sensation, perception, own-making or consciousness in the past,
there would not now be any identified with experiencing of this dukkha painful ugly ukky k-kha now.

Not doing any own-making such as to cause becoming now, there will not become any identified-with experiencing of dukkha in the future.

Said like it is said, it can be adopted to any situation that arises.

So mine:

#1.
No 'were that',
and no 'would that my',
no becoming,
no becoming 'my'.

#1. An' not 'were this',
and not ''tis my',
were no 'will be',
nor 'will be mine'.

#2. No 'were that my',
and no 'would that my',
no 'mine' becoming,
no becoming 'my'.

 


 

Then we come to the follow-up in AN 10.29:

Evaṃ diṭṭhino bhikkhave etaṃ pāṭikaŋkhaṃ:||
yā cāyaṃ bhave appaṭikulyatā,||
sā c'assa na bhavissati,||
yā cāyaṃ bhavanirodhe pāṭikulyatā,||
sā c'assa na bhavissatī ti.
|| ||

Woodward:

Of one who holds this view, monks,
this may be looked for -
that feeling of no-disgust in becoming
will not become for him,
and that feeling of disgust at ending becoming
will not become for him.

Bhk. Bodhi:

For it can be expected that one who holds such a view
will not be unrepelled by existence
and will not be repelled by the cessation of existence.

Bhk. Thanissaro:

Of one with this view it may be expected that
'the unloathsomeness of becoming
will not occur to him,
and the loathsomeness of the cessation of becoming
will not occur to him.'

All three of the above translations are stating the case in exactly the opposite of the way it should be stated, that is that they are affirming the idea that there should be a feeling of liking for becoming and disliking for the ending of becoming.

So my:

Thus of one of such views beggars it is to be expected:

That there will exist no inclination
towards whatever exists of this or that
and that there will exist no disinclination
towards the end of the existence of this or that.

A person who is saying that if a thing had not been identified-with as 'me' or 'mine' in the past the consequences would not now be being identified-with as 'me' or 'mine' is saying that the original identifying was a mistake; had he not done it, he would not be experiencing the painful result. Not having done it, and not now experiencing the painful result, is a pleasant outcome and is nothing to be reacting to with disinclination.

 


[1]Bhikkhu Bodhi, Numerical Discourses of the Buddha The Book of the Sevens, Sutta 55. [Our AN 7.52] n.1532

[2] AN 7.52

[3] The first from the note at AN 7.52, the second from AN 10.29

[4] AN 10.29

[5] AN 10.29 Thanissaro


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