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2019

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Review Progress Report

[Bold = ✓]

Dīgha Nikāya

Suttas: [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34]

Majjhima Nikāya

Suttas: [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45][46][47][48][49][50][51][52][53][54][55][56][57][58][59][60][61][62][63][64][65][66][67][68][69][70][71][72][73][74][75][76][77][78][79][80][81][82][83][84][85][86][87][88][89][90][91][92][93][94][95][96][97][98][99][100][101][102][103][104][105][106][107][108][109][110][111][112][113][114][115][116][117][118][119][120][121][122][123][124][125][126][127][128][129][130][131][132][133][134][135][136][137][138][139][140][141][142][143][144][145][146][147][148][149][150][151][152]

Saɱyutta Nikāya

Saɱyuttas:SN 1: [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11]
SN 2: [12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21]
SN 3: [22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34]
SN 4: [35][36][37][38][39][40][41][42][43][44]

SN 5: [45][46][47][48][49][50][51][52][53][54][55][56]

Aŋguttara Nikāya

Volumes [1][2][3][4][5]

See below for details.

Oblog: [O.12.8.19] Sunday, December 08, 2019 9:15 AM

[SN 5.46.4] Clothes, the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation and the Olds translation.
Sāriputta describes the way he utilizes the Seven Dimensions of Awakening.

 


 

[SN 5.46.5] To a Monk, the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation and the Olds translation.
The Buddha explains the meaning of the term 'A dimension of Awakening'.

 


 

Oblog: [O.12.2.19] Monday, December 02, 2019 7:51 AM

New Gallery Entry for K.R. Norman.

Selected Quotes from K.R. Norman:

A Philological Approach to Buddhism

Used with permission.

p. 11f.

If you examine many translations of Buddhist texts the impression you will gain is that the translator has looked at the words, has perhaps looked them up in the dictionary and has ascertained meanings for them, and then has used his intuition to put those words together to reveal the meaning of the Buddhavacana, the word of the Buddha. Sometimes intuition leads a translator to the right result, and sometimes not.

p. 21

Another way in which philology, the study of why words mean what they do, can be helpful is that we sometimes find that those who made the first English translations of Buddhist texts gave a particular meaning to a word which we have for the most part followed without change ever since. When we come to look at the words themselves we find that the meanings which we have accepted for so long are very often not the only possible meanings but in some cases not even the most likely meanings. Take for example, the phrase “noble truth”, which I mentioned a few minutes ago. It has become a commonplace to talk about the four noble truths, and this is a perfectly acceptable translation of the compound ariya-sacca : ariya means noble and sacca means truth, so ariya-sacca means noble truth. This translation is so common and so fixed in our minds, that it seems almost like blasphemy to have to point out that not only is this not the only possible translation, but it is in fact the least likely of all the possibilities. If we look at the commentators we find that they knew this very well. They point out that the compound can have a number of meanings. It can mean “truth of the noble one”, “truth of the noble ones”, “truth for a noble one”, i.e. truth that will make one noble, as well as the translation “noble truth” so familiar to us. This last possibility, however, they put at the bottom of the list of possibilities, if they mention it at all. My own feeling is that it is very likely that “the truth of the noble one (the Buddha)” is the correct translation, although we must never lose sight of the fact that in Indian literature multiple meanings are very often intended, so that it is not always possible to say that there is a single correct meaning.

p. 27f.

Since I shall in these lectures be giving translations of many of the terms I shall discuss, it would perhaps be sensible to start now by giving some idea of the approach to translation which I have evolved over the years.

It is very difficult to give a one-for-one translation of Sanskrit and Pāli words into English. It is very rare that one Sanskrit or Pāli word has exactly the same connotations, no less and no more, as one English word. This means that if I wish to give a more adequate translation I am forced to give a phrase in English, or perhaps even a whole sentence, or in the case of a very difficult word with a wide range of connotations, even a whole paragraph. Consequently, if I am translating a Buddhist text into English, it is very difficult to produce something which approximates closely to the meaning of the original, and yet appears in good, clear, concise, and readable English.

It is for this reason that many translators do not translate the difficult words, but leave them in their original Sanskrit or Pāli form. And this is fine, for them. As they read through their translations, every time they come across a Sanskrit or a Pā̊li word, they know, within limits, what it means, and they can mentally substitute that meaning. It is not, however, so good for the rest of us, who have little idea of what these scholars have in mind, since their translations may consist of little more than strings of Sanskrit, Pāli or Tibetan words linked together with “ands” and “buts”. Reviewers sometimes complain of translations which are so literal and so full of foreign words that they hardly read as English. Such translations are of little value, and one might just as well leave the whole thing in the original. Only an expert can understand all the words left in the original language, and the expert needs no English words at all.

And so what I have favoured over the years, when translating, is to leave a minimum of these difficult terms in their original form, but the first time they occur, to include a note as lengthy and as detailed as I think is required, giving some idea of what I think the word means, and why I think it means it. In effect I am saying that, every time the reader comes across this word thereafter, he must remember to consult the relevant note to find out what it means in the context. This system does have defects. As anyone who has looked at any of my translations knows, the actual translation is only a small proportion of the book. The notes are far longer, and then there are all the indexes which will enable the reader to find where I dealt first with the problematic word.

 


 

Oblog: [O.12.1.19] Sunday, December 01, 2019 4:20 AM

A Snapping Fine Thing,
and Full of Wonder!

That the exposition
of master and disciple,
both in spirit and in letter,
will agree,
will harmonize,
will not suffer loss,
that is, in any word about the highest.

[SN 4.44.1][SN 4.44.7][SN 4.44.8]]

 


 

Oblog: [O.12.1.19.2]

[SN 5.22.126] Subject to Origination (1),
Subject to Origination (2), The Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Bhikkhu Thanissaro, in a possible error, has divided #126 into these two.
Linked to the Pali, and the Woodward translation.
Upon being asked the Buddha teaches a bhikkhu the definition of 'blindness' and 'vision' in terms of understanding the nature of shape, sense-experience, perception, own-making and consciousness as things that come to be, cease to be and both come to be and cease to be.

 


 

Oblog: [O.11.29.19] Friday, November 29, 2019 7:20 AM

 

Thirty-Two Synonyms for Nibbāna
SN 4.43.1-44

1 The Not Own-made A-Sankhatam
2 The End Antam
3 The Without Corruptions Anāsavam
4 The True Saccam
5 The Further Bank[1] Pāram
6 The Subtle Nipuṇam
7 The Hard to See Sududdasam
8 The Unfading Ajajjaram
9 The Stable Dhuvam
10 The Undecaying Apalokinam
11 The Invisible Anidassanam
12 The Unspoiled Nippapam
13 The Peace Santam
14 The Deathless Amatam
15 The Excellent Panītam
16 The Happy Sivam
17 The Security from Bonds Khemaɱ
18 The Destruction of Thirst Taṇha-k-khaya
19 The Wonderful Acchariya
20 The Marvelous Abbhutam
21 The Healthy Anītika
22 The Healthy State Anītika-dhamma
23 Out of the Woods Nibbānam
24 The Harmless Avyāpajjha
25 Dispassion Virāgo
26 Purity Suddhi
27 Freedom Mutti
28 Non-attachment Anālaya
29 The Light Dīpa
30 The Cave of Shelter Lena
31 The Stronghold Tāṇaɱ
32 The Refuge Saraṇam
33 The Goal Parāyaṇam

 


 

Oblog: [O.11.21.19] Thursday, November 21, 2019 4:51 AM

"Ken" for "Jhāna"

Jhāna 'trance' 'musing', 'gnosis', 'absorption' 'concentration'. I have used 'knowing' and 'burning'. The jhānas, at a certain point definitely resemble or might as well be called trances, but the implication of the word distorts the reality. What these states are is wide-awake, fully conscious awareness of states of reality. The word 'jhāna' is the root of our word 'Know' and it would be best to emphasize that aspect of jhāna over the fact that from the outside the individual highly concentrated in jhāna seems to be in a trance state. Hense my regurgitation of the archaic word: 'ken'. This, over 'knowning' for two reasons: 1. the similarity in sound to 'zen' and 'chan' and 'jhana'; and 2. to rise above the ordinary implications of 'knowing' which would otherwise work well.

Ken: OED: "The form is properly causative 'to cause to know', to make known', and was restricted to this use in Goth. and OE. At an early period, however, in all the Teutonic tongues, the verb also acquired the sense 'to know', in English this may have been taken from Norse, in which both senses were in early use." (Likely from the original idea of 'seeing' as 'understanding'. -mo)

Meanings: 7. "To recognize (at sight or by some marks or tokens); to identify.
8. To recognize, acknowledge, admit to be (genuine, valid, or what is claimed)
9. To get to know, ascertain, find out.
11. To know (a thing): to have knowledge of or about (a thing, place, person., etc.). To be acquainted with, to understand.
11.b. To know, understand, or perceive (a fact., etc.); to be aware of, to be aware that (what, etc.)."

While I am at it (I am working on my previous translation of the series of suttas in which the Buddha instructs Mahā Moggallāna on jhāna at SN 4.40.) I have come across a term which is etymologically very close to if not an exact match for 'vicara', that is: 'recur'. Again OED: Re (Vi) + currêre: to run (cara: to move around, or walk around). 4. Of something known, an idea, thought, etc. To come back or return to one's thoughts, mind or memory. But how do we say: "With re-thinking and with-recurring"? So, until the real thing comes along, 're-examination' will have to do.

Here a beggar,
just separated from sensuality,
just separated from unskillful things,
with-rethinking,
with re-examination,
in the pleasant enjoyment
born of solitude
abides getting a grip
on The First Kenning.

So now, if everyone is agreed, we have our own English, etymologically correct term specifically for jhāna.

SN 4.40.1 - Olds
Discussion

 


 

Oblog: [O.11.20.19] Wednesday, November 20, 2019 7:45 AM

Three Sorts of Pain

Physical Pain (dukkha-dukkhatā)
The Pain that Accompanies the Own-made (sankhāra-dukkhatā)
The Pain that Accompanies Alteration from the Liked in Things (vipariṇāma-dukkhatā).

—SN 4.39.14

 


 

Oblog: [O.11.16.19] Saturday, November 16, 2019 9:15 AM

Quick Study:
On the Importance of Respecting Concensus Reality in Our Thinking
or
Think Like a Lawyer;
or
The Importance of Precise use of Words
in Understanding the Buddha's Dhamma

1. Read Woodward's translation of SN 4.36.21 (because it is completely rolled out).

2. Read Bhkkhu Thanissaro's 'Translator's note' to the same sutta.

3. In the same location read p.p.'s comment on Bhikkhu Thanissaro's note.

 


 

Oblog: [O.11.15.19] Friday, November 15, 2019 8:16 AM

[SN 4.36.7] In the Sick Ward, the M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation, the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation, and the Nyanaponika Thera translation.
The Buddha visits the sick ward and delivers a sermon on being prepared for death through recollectedness and self-awareness.
It is interesting to note the difference in customs and culture between our own and the Buddha's time as can be seen in this sutta. If someone today were to walk into a ward for the terminally ill and deliver a sermon on being prepared to die he would be thought to be in very poor taste ... and as a result of respecting this convention those who were in fact facing immanent death would not hear what they needed to hear. For whose sake, for whose comfort in blindness, then, is our custom of never mentioning death to the dying? Of course our situation is so twisted up today [Friday, November 15, 2019 8:24 AM] that the dying themselves would become offended at this 'behavior in bad taste'.

 


Oblog: [O.11.15.19.2]

Stopping Own-Making

The stopping of own-making is gradual.

Attainng the first gnosis,
speech is stopped.

Attainng the second gnosis,
re-thinking and re-working is stopped.

Attainng the third gnosis,
enthusiasm is stopped.

Attainng the fourth gnosis,
inbreathing and outbreathing is stopped.

Attainng the sphere of endless space,
perception of shapes is stopped.

Attainng the realm of infinite consciousness,
perception of the sphere of endless space is stopped.

Attainng the realm of no-things-there,
the perception of the sphere of endless consciousness is stopped.

Attainng the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception,
the perception of the sphere of no things-there is stopped.

Both sense-perception and sense-experience are stopped
attaining the cessation of sense-perception and sense-experience.

Destroying the corrupting influences,
lust is stopped,
anger is stopped,
blindness is stopped.

 


 

Mastering Own-Making

The mastering of own-making is gradual.

By attaining the first gnosis,
speech is mastered.

By attaining the second gnosis,
re-thinking and re-working is mastered.

By attaining the third gnosis,
enthusiasm is mastered.

By attaining the fourth gnosis,
inbreathing and outbreathing is mastered.

By attaining the sphere of endless space,
perception of shapes is mastered.

By attaining the realm of infinite consciousness,
perception of the sphere of endless space is mastered.

By attaining the realm of no-things-there,
the perception of the sphere of endless consciousness is mastered.

By attaining the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception,
the perception of the sphere of no things-there is mastered.

Both sense-perception and sense-experience are mastered
by attaining the cessation of sense-perception and sense-experience.

By destroying the corrupting influences,
lust is mastered,
anger is mastered,
blindness is mastered.

 


 

All-Around Impassivity

By attaining the first gnosis,
there is impassivity to speech.

By attaining the second gnosis,
there is impassivity to re-thinking and re-working.

By attaining the third gnosis,
there is impassivity to enthusiasm.

By attaining the fourth gnosis,
there is impassivity to inbreathing and outbreathing.

There is impassivity to both sense-perception and sense-experience
on attaining the cessation of sense-perception and sense-experience.

By destroying the corrupting influences,
there is impassivity to lust,
there is impassivity to anger,
there is impassivity to blindness.

SN 4.36.11

 


 

Oblog: [O.11.12.19] Tuesday, November 12, 2019 6:45 AM

Eleven Instructive Similies

 

Four Venemous Snakes The Four Great Characteristics of Living Beings [mahā-bhūta]: Solidity, Liquidity, Heat and Motion; aka Earth, Water, Firelight, and Wind.
Five Murderous Enemies The Five Stockpiles [khandha]: Graspings after [upādāna-k-khandha] Body, Sense-experience, Sense-Perception, Own-making, and Sense-consciousness
The House-Breaker Delight and Lust [nandi-rāga]
The Empty Town The Eye, Ear, Nose, Tongue, Body and Mind
The Robbers The enchantment arising from [manāpāmanāpesu] Sights, Sounds, Scents, Tastes, Touches, and Things
The Wide Wattery Deep Lust [kāma], Becoming [bhava], Views [diṭṭhi], and Blindness [avijja]
This Side Views about Individuality [sakkāya-diṭṭhi]
The Further Shore Nibbāna[1]
The Raft The Aristocratic Eight-Dimensional High Way: High View, High Principles, High Talk, High Works, High Lifestyle, High Self Control, High Mind, and High Serinity.
Striving with Hands and Feet Self Control [vāyamamāno]
Crossed over and Gone Beyond Arahantship

— from SN 4.35.197

 


[1] There are places (e.g., SN 4.35.200, SN 5.45.34) where the further shore is not Nibbāna. There are a number of similes used in the suttas with sometimes contradictory meanings which, however, in context, do not contradict each other. So don't form a narrow understanding in this regard.

 


 

Oblog: [O.11.10.19] Sunday, November 10, 2019 7:53 AM

Is There a Curiculum?
or
"To Thine Own Self Be True"[1]

Is there a course laid out such that a person,
without reliance on faith,
without reliance on preference,
without reliance on the word of another,
without reliance on worked-out thinking,
without reliance on acceptance of a speculative point of view,
whereby one might assert Arahantship thus:

'Left behind is rebirth,
lived is the best of lives,
done is duty's doing,
no further is there of being
suchas so-and-so.'[2]

Or might know of himself
that he has not as of yet
achieved the final erradication of
Lust, Being, and Blindness?

There is.

Here friends, a person
seeing sights with the eye,
hearing sounds with the ear,
smelling scents with the nose,
tasting tastes with the tongue,
feeling touches with the body,
knowing things with the mind,
can know of such experiences:

'There is present in me,
in experiencing such,
lust, anger, and stupidity.'

Or:

'There is not present in me,
in experiencing such,
lust, anger, or stupidity.'

This, friends, is seeing directly
with the eye of wisdom.

It does not rely on faith,
it does not rely on preference,
it does not rely on the word of another,
it does not rely on worked-out thinking,
it does not rely on acceptance of a speculative point of view.

— Based on, but not a translation of SN 4.35.152

 


[1] Polonius in Shakespeare's, Hamlet, I.iii.

"This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man."

[2] itthattāyā I usually translate: "it'n-n-at'n" or "being any sort of it at any place of atness." Essentially, having come into existence.

 


 

Oblog: [O.11.6.19] Wednesday, November 06, 2019 6:41 AM

[SN 4.35.117] Strings of Sensuality, the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation and the Olds translation.
The Buddha urges the bhikkhus to be careful even concerning sense impressions that have passed in that memories of such are still capable of of influencing the mind.
The Pali and the Woodward translation have been unabridged in accordance with the indications in the texts and in accordance with their own logic. However it is highly likely that there is an error in the Pali and that it has resulted in confusion and mistranslation all round (including that of Bhk. Bodhi who has made the best sense of it as it is.) What has been done in the Olds version is not a translation. It should be thought of as a convenient way to explain what is suggested as the correct way the sutta should have been edited. It has just been patched together using Woodward's translation, that of Bhk. Bodhi and some original translation.
Bhk. Thanissaro's translation is an effort to explain and deal with some of the confusion in the translations of this sutta.

 


 

Oblog: [O.11.6.19.2]

[AN 6.61] The Further Shore the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Hare translation and the Olds translation.

A number of bhikkhus debate the meaning of the riddle 'Who knows both ends - not midst that sage is soiled, him call I great man, he here hath passed the seamstress' in 'The Way to the Beyond'.

 


 

Oblog: [O.11.5.19] Tuesday, November 05, 2019 8:33 AM

[SN 4.35.104]An Avocation Leading to Safety, the M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation and the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation.

The Buddha provides a general rule for the attainment of freedom from yokes in general through yoking one's self to abandoning the realms of the senses.
The sutta uses puns and depends on understanding the terms 'yoga' and 'pariyaya'. 'Yoga' in it's literal meanings as 'yoke' (as the yoke of a beast of burden to it's burden') and figuratively as 'devotion' or 'application' to a task. 'Pariyaya' means 'pass-round-whatsoever-whatsoever'. Most frequently in the sense of curiculum, or course. But it also means 'in general.' 'everything whatever'. The idea is along the lines of 'abandonging desire through desire to abandon desire;' 'yoked to abandonging the senses one abandons the yokes of the senses.' Here the meaning is that this curiculum will serve in any case of being yoked; that this is the most general way of stating the way to attain freedom.
I have done a new translation where I attempt to show the pun in the case of 'yoke'.

 


 

Oblog: [O.11.5.19.2]

Disassociating from Pain

In association with sense-objects,
sense-consciousness appears,
the conjunction of sense-object, sense-organ and consciouosness is contact;
associated with contact, sense experience;
associated with sense experience, hunger/thirst.

Such is the arising to self of pain.

By hunger/thirst's absolute dispassionate ending
arising ends,
arising ending, becoming ends,
becoming ending, birth ends,
birth ending, aging and death,
grief and lamentation,
pain and misery,
and despair
desolve.

— SN 4.35.106

Such is the arising to the self and the settling-down of the world.

— SN 4.35.106

 


 

Oblog: [O.11.2.19] Saturday, November 02, 2019 6:25 AM

"All is Vanity"

Ecclesiastes I: 1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

"Is there, bhante, one thing,
which when let go by a beggar,
blindness is let go,
vision is born?"

"There is, beggar, one thing,
which when let go by a beggar,
blindness is let go,
vision is born."

"Following up, bhante, what one thing
which when let go by a beggar,
is blindness let go,
vision born?"

"Here, beggar, a beggar has heard:

'All things are hollow over-indulgences.'

Thus having heard, beggar that:

'All things are hollow over-indulgences,'

he understands all things,
comprehends all things,
thoroughly knows all things,
sees all signs as 'alien'.

SN 4.35.80 - Olds, trans.

 


 

Oblog: [O.10.15.19.2] Tuesday, October 15, 2019 6:36 AM

This is belated notice that the entire collection of sutta translations and the original Pali found on this site is currently undergoing 'review.' As previously announced, the haste with which the PTS translations were scanned, the scans read, the read-scans converted to html and proofread against the hard-copy originals left many small errors and the occasional big error. These errors are being corrected during this review (cross fingers). In addition, page numbers which were omitted originally are being inserted; the citations to suttas (not to the Vinaya or to the commentaries) in the footnotes are being converted to links; some errors in translation are being corrected; most of the Pali texts and the PTS translations are being unabridged where they were not previously unabridged; both the Pali and the PTS translations are being formatted by phrase for clear comprehension where this was not done previously; and Pali compounds are being hyphinated, although at this time not consistently (sometimes in both senses). The progress of this review will be reported above.
Even with this third or fourth or fifth reading, a thorough, systematic proofreading is still to be desired.
Please keep this in mind if you have plans to incorporate these materials in derivative works! The justification for such premature releases ... ahum ... is that the materials will be found helpful even in their imperfect state by the tolerant reader, and the wait for an error-free edition might be a very long one.

 


 

Oblog: [O.10.15.19] Tuesday, October 15, 2019 6:36 AM

There is a malicious and derogatory opinion being broadcast about in certain circles concerning the Pali Text Society Translations that needs to be pointed out and debunked; that is that these translations are 'ancient' and use 'archaic' terminology. This is simply not true on either count. The translations were only completed in the 1950s. Even given that they began in the late 1890s (1899 to be exact), that is only a hair off the 20th century and at this time we are only in the second decade of the 21st Century. So much for 'ancient'.

The 'archaic' terminology of Mrs. Rhys Davids, and following her, Woodward, was a conscious choice of style and the 'archaic' part of it largely consists of the use of 'Thee s,' and 'Thou s', the rest of the vocabulary being standard modern English. This was not the way these translators spoke or wrote which was perfectly modern English as anyone could see if they had read any of their other writings. It was a style choice reflecting a belief that such style would best represent the style of the original language. A legitimate translation choice.

The disparagement of these works has already created a great deal of damage and negative attitude towards what is still the best (the only!) unbiased (from the point of view of putting forward Buddhist adgendas) series of translations of the Nikayas, and it has been done to advance the personal adgendas and fame of translators of lesser skill.

The fact is that the PTS translations are the basis for all the other translations (it is no great thing to note that most new translations are not translations at all, but edited versions of these translations or edited versions of edited versions of these translations: Thesaurus translations - you can see this in the fact that errors in the PTS are often found in the 'translations' of others), and to ignore the base, to not place them first on one's list of translations to study is poor methodology and an oversight that will work to the disadvantage of anyone who approaches Dhamma study in that way.

This is the problem: Trust. The mind has been subjected to false promises of salvation from samsara since the beginning of Time; it is sceptical to say the least. As wrong an approach as it is, it approaches a new doctrine with fault-finding in mind. Any reasonable thinker, reading a translation will need to check out its sources. That will take the form of working back in time through the previous translations and will, sooner or later, land on the PTS translations prior or subsequent to hitting the Pali itself. So to go elsewhere first, is a waste of time. Do you have time to waste?

For more on this subject see the Discussion Topic: On the Importance of the Pali Text Society Translations.

 


 

Oblog: [O.10.13.19] Sunday, October 13, 2019 10:03 AM

[SN 3.22.122] The Fruit of Studious Etiological Examination, the M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
In a dialogue between Sariputta and Maha Kotthita Sariputta explains how by tracing out in mind the inconstance of, pain in, diseased nature of, cancerous nature of, knotty nature of, the thorny nature of, the horror of, the oppressive nature of, the otherness of, the corruptability of, the emptiness of, the non-self of shape, sense-experience, perception, own-making, and consciousness the ethical person can become a Streamwinner, the Streamwinner can become a Once-Returner, the Once-Returner can become a Non-Returner, the Non-Returner can become an Arahant and the Arahant can live pleasantly in this visible world.

 


 

Oblog: [O.10.12.19] Saturday, October 12, 2019 12:36 PM

[SN 3.22.113] Blindness, the M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali and the Woodward translation.
The Buddha describes blindness in terms of not knowing about shape, sense-experience, perception, own-making or sense-consciousness, not knowing about their arising, not knowing about their ending, and not knowing about the walk to walk to bring about their ending.||
This is not too hard. See if you can 'see' how this is saying the same thing as the Four Truths. This should also help clear up understanding the first word of the Four Truths: "This."

 


 

Oblog: [O.10.8.19] Tuesday, October 08, 2019 7:11 AM

"Just as, friends, in the case
of the scent of a blue lotus
or a white lotus, -
if one should say:

'The scent belongs to the petals
or the colour
or the stalk of it,'

would he be rightly describing the scent?"

"Not in this case, friend."

"Then how would he be right
in describing it?"

"By speaking of the scent
of the flower, friend."

"Even so, friends,
I do not speak of the 'I am' as a body,
I do not speak of the 'I am' as sense experience,
I do not speak of the 'I am' as perception,
I do not speak of the 'I am' as own-making,
I do not speak of the 'I am' as consciousness.

Nevertheless I see
that in these five fuel-piles
there remains the idea of an 'I am'
yet I do not hold the idea
that I am this 'I am.'

Though, friends, an Ariyan disciple
has put away the five yokes to the low,
yet there remains in him
a subtle remnant
from among the five fuel-piles,
a subtle remnant of the I-conceit,
of the I am-desire,
of the residual tendency to think 'I am.'

Later on
he lives contemplating the rise and fall
of the five fuel-piles,
seeing thus:

'Such is body,
such is the arising of body,
such is the ceasing of body.

Such is sense experience,
such is the arising of sense experience,
such is the ceasing of sense experience.

Such is perception,
such is the arising of perception,
such is the ceasing of perception.

Such is own-making,
such is the arising of own-making,
such is the ceasing of own-making.

Such is consciousness,
such is the arising of consciousness,
such is the ceasing of consciousness.'

In this way,
as he lives in the contemplation
of the five fuel-piles,
that subtle remnant of the I am-conceit,
of the I am-desire,
that residual tendency to think 'I am,'
is removed.

Suppose, friends,
there is a dirty soiled cloth,
and the owners give it to a washerman,
and he rubs it smooth with salt-earth,
or lye
or cowdung,
and rinses it in pure clean water.

Now, though that cloth be clean,
well cleaned,
yet there hangs about it,
still unremoved,
the smell of the salt-earth
or lye
or cowdung.

Then when the washerman returns it to the owners,
and they lay it up
in a sweet-scented chest
that smell of salt-earth
or lye
or cowdung,
that hung about it
is removed.

— Adapted from the Woodward translation of SN 3.22.89.
See also: the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation and the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation.

 


 

Oblog: [O.10.5.19] Saturday, October 05, 2019 3:54 AM

"Did you see him?" he asked.

"You mean the old fellow who has just gone out?"

"Precisely."

"Yes, I met him at the door."

"What did ou think of him?"

"A pathetic, futile, broken creature."

"Exaactly, Watson, Pathetic and futile. But is not all life pathetic and futile? Is not his story a microcosm of the whole? We reach. We grasp. And what is left in our hands at the end? A shadow. Or worse than a shadow - misery."

Sherloc Holmes, The Adventure of the Retired Colourman, The Complete Sherlock Holmes, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Race Point Publishing, 2013.

 


 

Oblog: [O.10.3.19] Thursday, October 03, 2019 6:32 AM

[AN 4.259] The Solitary Bed-Seat, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation and the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Four things that make a bhikkhu fit for living alone in the forest.

 


 

Oblog: [O.10.2.19] Wednesday, October 02, 2019 1:22 PM

[KD.Snp 1.8] Loving-Kindness, the K.R. Norman translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Fausbøll translation and the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.

 


 

Oblog: [O.9.30.19] Monday, September 30, 2019 9:40 AM

[SN 5.46.11] Living Beings, The Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation.
As the posture of all breathing things depends on the earth, so awakening depends on the development of the seven dimensions of awakening.

 


 

Oblog: [O.9.28.19] Saturday, September 28, 2019 7:44 AM

[SN 3.22.51] Destruction of Delight, The First, the M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation and the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation.
Seeing shape, sense-experience, perception, own-making and sense-consciousness as inconstant is consummate view (samma-ditthi); so seeing, distaste arises; with the arising of distaste the attraction diminishes, with the diminishing of the attraction lust diminishes, with the destruction of lust one is free.
[SN 3.22.52] Destruction of Delight, The Second, the M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation and the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation.
The Buddha urges the bhikkhus to thoroughly exmine body, sense-experience, perception, own-making and consciousness, seeing these things as impermanent and regarding them with distaste and by that achieving freedom.

These two suttas should be read together. I did a translation of these two suttas because they did not make sense in the other translations. They still do not make sense to me. The two halfs do not hang together. There is no logic to the transition from the instructions in the first half to the refrain: "By the extinction of delight ..." in the second half apparent to me.

 


 

Oblog: [O.9.24.19] Tuesday, September 24, 2019 7:08 AM

[SN 5.56.30] Gavampati, The Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation.
Gavampati states to a group of elder bhikkhus that he has heard face-to-face with the Buddha that he who sees any one of the Four Truths also sees all of them. See also the Discussion.

 


 

Oblog: [O.9.23.19] Monday, September 23, 2019 6:54 AM

SN 4. A corrected edition of the PTS Pali of
pdfSaɱyutta Nikāya, Volume 4. by Peter Jackson.
"The main purpose of this revised edition is to add in the readings of the main oriental editions."

pdf Keith, Buddhist Philosophy.
Unread by me. Included because cited by Woodward in SN 3.22.22 note.

 


 

Oblog: [O.9.21.19] Saturday, September 21, 2019 8:01 AM

[SN 3.22.131] Origination (1), the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali and the Woodward translation.
Upon being asked, the venerable Sariputta teaches the venerable Maha Kotthita the definition of 'blindness' in terms of not understanding the nature of shape, sense-experience, perception, own-making and consciousness as things that come to be, cease to be and both come to be and cease to be.

[SN 3.22.132] Origination (2), the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali and the Woodward translation.
Upon being asked, the venerable Sariputta teaches the venerable Maha Kotthita the definition of 'vision' in terms of understanding the sweetness of, the wretchedness of and the escape from shape, sense-experience, perception, own-making and consciousness.

 


 

Oblog: [O.9.18.19] Wednesday, September 18, 2019 8:40 AM

[SN 2.21.3] The Barrel, The Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Rhys Davids translation, and the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation.
Sāriputta and Moggallāna speak of a conversation between Maha-Moggallāna and Gotama via clairvoyance and clariaudience, the topic being consummate energy.

[SN 2.21.6] Bhaddiya, The Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Rhys Davids translation, the Nizamis translation, and the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation.
The Master proclaims the wisdom of this ugly, huntchbacked dwarf.

[SN 2.21.9] Tissa, The Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Rhys Davids translation, and the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation.
The Buddha admonishes Tissa, nephew to Gotama's father, to learn to accept criticism as well as give it.

 


 

Oblog: [O.4.28.19] Sunday, April 28, 2019 5:11 AM
Updated: Tuesday, September 17, 2019 12:04 PM

UPT Large Image

U Pho Thi Library

The Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the U Pho Thi Library, W. Pruitt, Y. Ousaka, S. Kasamatsu

Hardcover, 412 pages, $53; available from the Pariyatti Bookstore, or directly from the Pali Text Society (where for the very reasonable membership fee you get a hefty discount and a free book every year you are a member:

The Catalogue gives details of over 780 palm-leaf manuscripts and 5 parabaiks. The texts cover a wide range of Pāli canonical texts, commentaries, and sub-commentaries. There are also many rare texts in Burmese, Burmese nissayas, and Mon nissayas.

The monumental project to photograph the manuscripts was sponsored by the Pali Text Society and financed by several generous grants from Japan.

They are available as high-resolution PDF scans totaling 61GB of data and can be downloaded here.

Update: The University of Toronto website with all the PDFs of the U Pho Thi manuscripts in a searchable database is up and running at:

Myanmar Manuscript Digital Library, [MMDL] hosted by the University of Toronto.

This archive, hosted by the University of Toronto and supported by Robarts Library, aims at bringing together and making manuscripts and rare print editions available online from individual libraries throughout Myanmar. It is the platform for an ongoing digitizing project, initiated and conducted by William Pruitt and an international team of Myanmar and Pali scholars, and supported, since 2012, by the Pali Text Society, as well as by Yumi Ousaka of the Sendai National College of Technology, the KDDI Foundation, the Mitsubishi Foundation, the CARI Foundation, and JSPS Kakenhi.

Download a PDF file of UPT Pāli titles in alphabetical order. This is an essential, even for the searchable database, as the file names give no indication of the contents and the contents, except for a brief ID on the first page, are devoid of internal identifications in English.

More information can be found on the PTS website: http://www.palitext.com/subpages/thaton.htm

 


 

Oblog: [O.9.6.19] Friday, September 06, 2019 8:50 AM

How Many Æons?

"How many aeons, bhante, have passed and gone by?"

"Many, bhikkhus, are the æons passed and gone by.

It is not easy to number them:
so many æons,
so many hundreds,
so many thousands,
so many hundred thousand æons."

"Can it be done, bhante, by a parable?"

"It can, bhikkhus," said Bhagavā.

"Suppose that there were four disciples
who went on living here for a century,
and they were to recollect each day
a hundred thousand æons.

The æons are just to be recalled by them, no more.

And at the lapse of the century
they were to die.

Even so many aeons, bhikkhus,
have passed and gone by.

—SN 2.15.7: Adapted from Mrs. Rhys Davids translation.

4 X 365 X 100,000 X 100 + (25 leap-days X 100000 X 4 = 10,000,000) = 14,610,000,000 æons. Fourteen-billion-six-hundred-and-ten-million æons.

Modern science (2019) estimates the age of the universe to be between 13.772 billion and 13.82 billion years old.

The figure for the length of a kappa in years is:

1 sesame seed removed from a Magadha Karika (cartload) every hundred years. Which I once calculated to contain 103,959,025 sesame seeds. (I counted a tsp worth and worked it out from there)

100 X 103,959,025 = 10,395,902,500 years so in years the Buddhas calculation of the age of the universe is: 10,395,902,500 X 14,610,000,000 = 1.5188414e+20 = 151,884,135,525,000,000,000 years. So we have a little discrepancy.

The Buddha's statement as to the length of the kappa in years is:
10,395,902,500 years using my sesame-seed count.

The modern science calculation: 13,820,000,000

That is very close and the difference could be accounted for by a couple of sesame seeds in the original teaspoon.

So what appears to be the case is that the modern science view is of one kappa only for the age of the Universe.

Then there is another consideration. The Kappa is supposedly made up of four parts: Evolution, rest, devolution, rest. I wonder how modern science accounts for or doesn't account for that.

Today [Sunday, September 15, 2019 4:47 AM]: "Study finds the universe might be 2 billion years younger." AP wire service: "Scientists estimate the age of the universe by using the movement of stars to measure how fast it is expanding. If the universe is expanding faster, that means it got to its current size more quickly, and therefore must be relatively younger. The expansion rate, called the Hubble constant, is one of the most important numbers in cosmology. A larger Hubble Constant makes for a faster moving — and younger — universe. The generally accepted age of the universe is 13.7 billion years, based on a Hubble Constant of 70. Jee’s team came up with a Hubble Constant of 82.4, which would put the age of the universe at around 11.4 billion years."

 


 

Oblog: [O.9.6.19.2]

[SN 2.15.5] A Mountain, The Bhk. Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali and the Mrs. Rhys Davids translation.
The Buddha provides a simile to describe the length of an aeon.

[SN 2.15.6] Mustard Seed, The Bhk. Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali and the Mrs. Rhys Davids translation.
The Buddha provides a simile to describe the number of aeons that there have been.

[SN 2.15.8] The Ganges, The Bhk. Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali and the Mrs. Rhys Davids translation.
The Buddha provides a simile to describe the number of aeons that there have been.

 


 

Oblog: [O.8.18.19] Sunday, August 18, 2019 8:27 AM

[SN 2.12.69] Rises, The Bhk. Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Mrs. Rhys Davids translation, and the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation.
The Buddha likens the momentum of ignorance to the way the rise and fall of the sea-level influences the momentum of the flow of water in the great rivers, streams, lakes, and feeder streams.
This sutta poses some difficulties with regard to making the simile comport with the message. The words to understand here are upaya (PED: approach, undertaking, taking up; clinging to, attachment ... in an- (anūpaya metri causa) not going near, aloof, unattached) from upa-upāya, and apaya from an-upāya (I say), which would have the meaning here not of rise or fall, but of flow or impeded momentum.
There is a phenomena seen in rivers emptying into the ocean of a reverse of flow at flood-tide; but it effects the flow of the river for only a short distance back into the land and it's hard to think that there is any effect at all on the feeder streams or further back. It may happen at a certain very subtle level. I would read the Pali: 'A rise in the ocean impeeds access to it by the river, etc.'

 


 

Oblog: [O.8.16.19] Friday, August 16, 2019 11:36 AM

[SN 2.12.66] Scrutiny, The Bhk. Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Mrs. Rhys Davids translation, and the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation.
The Buddha teaches a method for self-mastery based on conceptualizing the world and it's pleasures and delights as inherently painful.

 


 

Oblog: [O.8.15.19] Thursday, August 15, 2019 9:07 AM

Even this Very
Own-making
[sankhārā]
is not
My
Own-making.

 

See: SN 2.12.65-olds:

"What I saw, Beggars was what had not been known before:
the idea that
'this thing is self-generated!'

This Dukkha is a thing
that is self-generated!

And at that I saw the light,
I got the point,
I had discovered the key
and gained the wisdom:
'things are self-generated!'"

 

double-helix

Self-generated: Samudaya, here with emphasis on the "Saŋ". "Self-rising," if it wern't so easily understood in exactly the opposite of the Buddhist idea. The idea is "raised by it's bootstraps"; not created by some external power or god. With co-factors, to be sure, but arising in dependance on them, not caused by or created by them. Something that should not be too difficult for those of us with computers to understand. An idiot invented a little pattern with four letters that could look at itself and create a program that could be used to create programs that could be used to experience Aging and Death, grief and lamentation, pain and misery and despair.

The error that results in subjective individuality is that of Mind identifying with the process. The elements of the process carry with them a sort of magnetic field which self-identifies: "I am this, this is my" which when contacted by consciousness claps on to it and creates the illusion of self-identification.

 


 

Oblog: [O.8.13.19] Tuesday, August 13, 2019 9:17 AM

[SN 2.12.62] Uninstructed (2), the Bhikkhu Thanissaro, translation.
LInked to the Pali, the Warren translation, the Mrs. Rhys Davids translation, and the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation.
The Buddha points out that because it is easier to become repelled by body than by mind, that it would be better for most people if they thought of the body as the self that way they would not be attached to it and might more easily become free from it. Then he describes how it is that consciousness arises through contact, sense-experience and perception and that it is by perceiving that that detachment leads to freedom and the knowledge of freedom.

 


 

Oblog: [O.8.11.19] Sunday, August 11, 2019 10:27 AM

[SN 2.12.51] Investigating, the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Mrs. Rhys Davids translation, and the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation.
An outline of the practice to be used by the person interested in comprehending the Paticca Samuppada.
An important sutta for understanding the method of investigation. The word used here is Parivīmaɱsa. Pari = pass-around; vīmaɱsa: re-member, in the sense of pondering over bringing to mind the various aspects of a thing. This is translated by Bhk. Bodhi as 'thorough investigation' which is also used for the translation of yoniso-manisikara (tracing back in memory the origin of a thing). The distinction is that Parivīmaɱsa encompasses yoniso-manisikara and then projects it forward into those insights which should arise from the determination of the origin of a thing. Generally, however, yoniso-manisikara is more frequently encountered and apparently is assumed to result in these insights.
Vīmaɱsa: should not be confused with vicara, also translated 'pondering,' although vimaɱsa is probably vicara,.
Also included in this sutta is a test that measures one's understanding. If one is still making plans, one has not yet got a thorough understanding. This means that although one may understand in theory, intellectually, the real job here is 'seeing' or 'knowing': seeing the inevitable progression from own-making to death in the mind's eye in the real world in absolutely every plan-making without exception.

 


 

Oblog: [O.8.9.19] Friday, August 09, 2019 8:32 AM

pdf.gif The Mind Like Fire Unbound, by Thānissaro Bhikkhu. (Revised Dec. 15, 2018).
Western Buddhists have usually understood the Buddha’s metaphor of nibbana (Sanskrit, nirvana) as "extinguishing" or "extinction". This book, which includes an essay and readings from the Pāli Canon, examines ancient Indian theories on the mechanics of fire in order to understand the Buddha's metaphor in its original context.
From the Preface: "To study ancient texts is like visiting a foreign city: Time and inclination determine whether you want a quick, pre-packaged tour of the highlights, a less structured opportunity for personal exploration, or both. This book on the connotations of the words nibbāna (nirvāṇa) and upādāna in the early Buddhist texts is organized on the assumption that both approaches to the topic have their merits..."
Often referenced by Bhk. Thanissaro in his translations.

 


 

Oblog: [O.8.6.19] Tuesday, August 06, 2019 8:38 AM

This Very
Sense of Self
is not
My
Sense of Self

The Converse
of the
Holographic View
is
Omni-consciousness

Feeling [Sensation, Vedana] that is not-painful-but-not-pleasant [adukkha-ɱ-asukhā] is like intentional not-doing which is both kamma and not-doing; it is consciousness of their being no sensation at the senses. It is not a sensation in and of itself. It is not 'neutral' sensation. It is not a 'thing' at all. 'Neutrality' indicates a position between two things (like equanimity), a sort of cancelling out of the two by each other; not-painful-but-not-pleasant vedana is a position apart from either painful or pleasant sensation that results when there is no perception of the results of sense-stimulation as in the case of the ending of perception and feeling. It is called 'vedana' because awareness of its existence is dependent on the senses, but it does not arise from sense-stimulation. For the ordinary person this experience will be perceived as unpleasant and that perception, based on blindness, will result in Hunger/Thirst and Planning to Get and the rest; when experienced by the well-educated student of the Aristocrats, it is perceived as a small taste of Nibbāna.

 


 

Oblog: [O.8.5.19] Monday, August 05, 2019 6:42 AM

Upādāna

Getting Bound Up = Grasping; Planning to Get/Do/Keep/Get Away From; Fueling the Fire

And what, beggars, is Upādāna?

There are these four classes of Upādāna:

Kām'ūpadānaɱ,||
diṭṭh'ūpadānaɱ,||
sīlabbat'ūpadānaɱ,||
att'avād'ūpādānaɱ.
|| ||

Getting bound up in sense pleasures
getting bound up in points of view,
getting bound up in ethics and rituals,
getting bound up in theories of self.

or

Planning to get/etc based on desire for sense pleasures,
planning to get/etc based on points of view,
planning to get/etc based on ethics and rituals,
planning to get/etc based on theories of self.

or

Fueling the fire with thoughts about sense pleasures,
fueling the fire with thoughts about points of view,
fueling the fire with thoughts about ethics and rituals,
fueling the fire with theories of self.

The origin, the force resulting in some form of Upādāna arising to self or as one's own is Hunger/Thirst [Taṇhā] which is, itself, based on Sensation [Vedana], that is, experience of either pleasant or painful or neither painful nor pleasant sensations or feelings.

The end of Upādāna is found in the end of Hunger/Thirst.

The walk to walk to the ending of Upādāna is this Aristocratic Multi-dimensional High Way:

High View
High Principles
High Talk
High Works
High Lifestyle
High Self-control
High Mind
High Getting High
High Vision
High Detachment

—SN 2.12.33
—SN 4.39.12

 


 

Oblog: [O.8.4.19] Sunday, August 04, 2019 9:57 AM

I say it is in knowing, beggars,
in seeing,
that influences are destroyed,
not without knowing,
without seeing.

 

[SN 2.12.23] Precursers, the M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Mrs. Rhys Davids translation, the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation, and to two Bhikkhu Bodhi translations (#1)(#2).
The Buddha teaches a variation of the Paṭicca Samuppada which works back from the elimination of the corrupting influences. Most frequently called the positive version of the Paticca Samuppada, this sutta is primarily directed at another idea altogether: the necessity in the process of getting rid of the Āsavas (Lust, Existence and Blindness) of making one's self conscious that they are destroyed. Without that fact being recognized, there will follow retrogression.

It is not recognizing that freedom is first freedom relative to things of Time (this world) and because of that is temporary and only becomes permanent when one has become detached, through recognition of this fact, even from that freedom, resulting in a freedom now called 'freedom from things not of time', that that freedom becomes permanently established, that is an especially important fact being ignored by all the major translators - and practitioners - today.

 


 

Oblog: [O.8.3.19] Saturday, August 03, 2019 6:31 AM

Beyond Pīti and Sukha

"But if, Sāriputta, they should ask you:

'How is it, friend Sāriputta,
that when you know,
when you see,
blissful feeling is not present with you?'

how would you make answer?"

"If they were to ask me thus, lord:

'How is it, friend Sāriputta,
that when you know,
when you see,
blissful feeling is not present with you?'

I should thus make answer:

'There are these three [modes of] feeling, friend.

Which three?

Pleasant,
painful,
neutral feeling.

Now these three modes are impermanent.

And when it is discerned
that that which is impermanent is painful,
blissful feeling is not present.

Thus asked, thus, lord, should I make answer."

"Well done, Sāriputta,
well done!

Moreover the way to answer just this in brief is:

'Whatever is felt is concerned with pain.'

—SN 2.12.32 - Mrs. Rhys Davids, trans.

 


 

Oblog: [O.8.2.19] Friday, August 02, 2019 5:45 AM

"Where there have been deeds, Ānanda,
personal weal and woe arise
in consequence of the will[1] there was in the deeds.

Where there has been speech,
personal weal and woe arise
in consequence of the will there was in the speech.

Where there has been thought,
personal weal and woe arise
in consequence of the will there was in the thought."

— SN 2.12.24-Mrs. Rhys Davids, trans.
See also below #O.5.30.19

[1] Sañcetanā. Intent to create pleasure or pain or to bring kamma to an end.

 


 

Oblog: [O.7.26.19] Friday, July 26, 2019 10:24 AM

A new suggested translation for the term 'Vicāra:' = 'Reasoning'.

OED: f. L. ratiōn-em reckoning, accounting, relation, understanding, move, cause, etc., vbl sb. f. rat =, ppl. stem of rēri to think, reckon ...
III.10. a: That intellectual power or faculty (usually regarded as characteristic of mankind, but sometimes also attributed in a certain degree to the lower animals) which is ordinarily employed in adapting thought or action to some end; the guilding principle of the human mind in the process of thinking.

 


 

Oblog: [O.7.25.19] Thursday, July 25, 2019 10:22 AM

[SN 2.12.2] Splitting Hairs, The M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Mrs. Rhys Davids translation, the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation, and the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation.
An analysis which gives Gotama Buddha's definitions of the terms used in the Paticca Samuppada.
A couple of points to note here: Note that in §15 'avijjā' is very clearly defined as 'ignorance' 'aññāṇa' 'not-knowledge'. I have stated elsewhere that it was my perception that the meaning was not 'ignorance' but 'not seeing', that is not having the experience of seeing the pain of the world as opposed to simply knowing about it through hear-say. Now I revise my thinking such that though the term used is 'not seeing' or 'non-vision' or 'non-wisdom' the meaning should also be understood to include simply never having heard or 'ignorance of' the Four Truths.
The other thing is to note that in the definition of sankhārā, the third way one sankharas is by way of the heart [citta], not 'mind' which would be [mano]. The term is usually translated (including by myself) as 'Mind'. The difference points to a possible distinction between the identified-with heart and the un-individualized mind - heart is a much more personalized term than is mind - . Put aside the thought that today it makes little difference; in those days (and even in more recent times in English) it appears to have had much more significance.

 


 

Oblog: [O.7.24.19] Wednesday, July 24, 2019 8:53 AM

Mrs. Rhys Davids' Editorial Notes to the PTS translation of Samyutta Nikāya, Nidana Vagga.
This is of some interest concerning the history of the study of the terms of the Paticca Samuppada. It is not recommended to most readers as it is spoiled by the incredable blindness and arrogance of Mrs. Rhys Davids. She makes the all-too-common-today error of taking herself for the Buddha, at least in spirit, and then declaring with absolute certainly what she 'feels' is what this great man would have and would not have done to teach his Dhamma in a Time and Place utterly unfamiliar to her.

 


 

Oblog: [O.7.22.19.3] Monday, July 22, 2019 2:56 PM

"That was how bad things had become back in 1986. Nobody believed anybody anymore, since there was so much lying going on."
The Narrator in Kurt Vonnegut's Galapagos.

Oblog: [O.7.22.19.2] Monday, July 22, 2019 6:15 AM

Sakka's Seven Rules of Conduct

1. "As long as I live,
may I maintain my parents.

2. As long as I live,
may I revere the head of the family.

3. As long as I live,
may I use gentle language.

4. As long as I live,
may I utter no slander.

5. As long as I live,
with a mind rid of stain and selfishness,
may I conduct myself in the home
with generosity,
with clean hands,
delighting in renunciation,
amenable to petitions,
delighting in sharing gifts.

6. As long as i live,
may I speak the truth.

7. As long as I live,
may I not give way to anger:
if anger should rise,
may I swiftly repress it."

-SN 1.11.13-Mrs. Rhys Davids, trans.

Oblog: [O.7.22.19] Monday, July 22, 2019 6:08 AM

"I don't hate anyone
I don't have time enough for that."
- Mr. Watanabe in Akira Kurosawa's Ikiru

 


 

Oblog: [O.7.19.19] Friday, July 19, 2019 9:17 AM

[SN 1.10.4] With Maṇibhadda, The Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali and the Mrs. Rhys Davids translation.
The Buddha explains to a Yakka that the happiness brought by good luck is not as good as that brought by harmlessness and kindness.

 


 

Oblog: [O.7.18.19] Thursday, July 18, 2019 8:43 AM

e-pub.jpg Washburn Hopkins, Religions of India. [e-pub]
pdf.gif Washburn Hopkins, Religions of India. [pdf]
Unread by me; upon a quick look-see it seems to have a lot of interesting information. Included on site because it is referenced in SN 1.10.5-Rhys Davids, note 5.

 


 

"Few finer logia than the answer here given are to be found ascribed to any teacher."
SN 1.10.2-Rhys Davids

 

Oblog: [O.7.17.19] Wednesday, July 17, 2019 10:34 AM

[SN 1.10.2] The Yakka Named Sakka, the M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali and the Mrs. Rhys Davids translation.
The Buddha explains that unlike ordinary men the man of knowledge is not creating bonds for himself when he teaches because he is motivated by compassion and empathy.

 


 

Oblog: [O.7.5.19] Friday, July 05, 2019 8:12 AM

"Anto-jaṭā bahi-jaṭā jaṭāya-jaṭitā pajā,||
Taɱ taɱ Gotama pucchāmi ko imaɱ vijaṭaye jaṭan" ti?

"Tangled within, tangled-without
a generation entangled in tangles this!
Of you Gotama I ask:
who from this tangle's untangled?"

[SN 1.1.7.6] Tangles, the M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Rhys Davids translation, and the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Another relation of the Bharadvaja Brahman, this one named Tangles visits the Buddha and is given a discourse based on his name, he is so impressed that he becomes a disciple, enters the order and becomes an arahant.
This is just one of a long series of suttas describing a truly inspiring series of conversions begun by The Dhananjani Brahminee. Her one outburst of praise for the Buddha results in what looks like half an entire clan becoming disciples of the Buddha.

 


 

Oblog: [O.7.3.19] Wednesday, July 03, 2019 9:04 AM

Introduction to the Book of the Great Decease by T.W. Rhys Davids.
One of Rhys Davids excursions into the subject of the chronology of the Buddhist works. That this leads directly into the discussion of authenticity is regrettable as it has given legitimacy to an irrelevant discussion. The authenticy of the Dhamma is assertained through experience based on practice and should be concerned with the verbal construction and consistancy of presentation of the Dhamma, not the place in the chronology that it occupies.
My say.

 


 

Oblog: [O.7.1.19] Monday, July 01, 2019 8:57 AM

The Eight 'Wisdoms' [Vijjas] of the Arahant

1. Vipassanā-ñāṇaɱ, knowledge of insight into the rise and fall of things;
2. Mano-may'iddhi, the ability to exercise mental magic powers (see: The Gradual Course, The 10th Question, Part 1 The Powers;
3. Iddhi-p-pabhedo, Either 'various sorts of powers' or 'knowledge of how powers work';
4. Dibba-sotaɱ, the Deva Ear, the ability to hear both ordinary and other-worldly sounds, far or near;
5. Pharassa ceto-pariya-ñāṇaɱ, Deep knowledge of the ways of the heart;
6. Pubbe-nivās-ā-nussati-ñāṇaɱ, knowledge of the recollection of past abodes;
7. Dibba-cakkhu, the ability to see the rebirth of individuals according to kamma;
8. Āsava-k-khaya-ñāṇaɱ or āsava-saŋkhayo, knowledge that the corrupting influences have been completely destroyed in one.

From Childers' Dictionary of the Pali Language, sourcing: D'Alwis, An Introduction of Kachchāyana's Grammar of the Pāli language. I. xxxiv; Man. B. 414

 


 

Oblog: [O.6.30.19] Sunday, June 30, 2019 10:09 AM

Do'n Time

This from SN 1.6.10- Mrs. Rhys Davids

"How long, lord, is the measure of life
in the White Lotus Purgatory?"

"Long indeed, bhikkhu, is the measure of life
in the White Lotus Purgatory.

Not easy is it to reckon
how many years,
or centuries,
or tens or thousands of centuries."

"Can we reckon it by means of a figure, lord?"

"We can, bhikkhu," said the Exalted One.

"Suppose there were a load of twenty kharis
as we reckon them here in Kosala,
of sesamum seed.

And suppose at the end of every century
a man were to take out one seed at a time.

Sooner, bhikkhu, would that same load
be used up and finished
than [a term in] the Abbuda Purgatory. ...

Now one term in the Nirabbuda Purgatory
is equal to twenty in Abbuda Purgatory;

Twenty Kharis = 1 Karika. The Magadha Karika = approximately: 103,959,025 sesame seeds, so the Kosalan Karika would be approximately 415,836,100 sesame seeds or 415,836,100,000 years in Abbuda.
X 20 = 8,316,722,000,000 years in Nirabbuda;
X 20 = 166,334,440,000,000 years in Ababa;
X 20 = 3,326,688,800,000,000 years in Aṭaṭa;
X 20 = 66,533,776,000,000,000 years in Ahaha;
X 20 = 1,330,675,520,000,000,000 years in Water-Lilly;
X 20 = 532,270,208,000,000,000,000 years in Sogandhika;
X 20 = 10,645,404,160,000,000,000,000 years in Blue-Lotus;
X 20 = 212,908,083,200,000,000,000,000 years in White-Lotus;
X 20 = 4,258,161,664,000,000,000,000,000 years in Red-Lotus.

That's four undecillion, two-hundred-and-fifty-eight decillion, one hundred-sixty-one nonillion, six-hundred-sixty-four octillion years.

Time enough to settle in.

See Weights and Measures
The Advantages and Disadvantages

 


 

Oblog: [O.6.23.19] Sunday, June 23, 2019 9:58 AM

Introduction to the Mahā-Sudassana Suttanta, by T.W. Rhys Davids
added to the translation [DN 17 - Rhys Davids]
Contains an early discussion of the difficulty of translating the term 'sankhārā' which includes this statement:

The word translated 'component things' or 'compounds' is sankhārā, literally confections, from kar, 'to make,' and sam, 'together.' It is a word very frequently used in Buddhist writings, and a word consequently of many different connotations; and there is, of course, no exactly corresponding word in English. 'Production' would often be very nearly correct, although it fails entirely to give the force of the preposition sam; but a greater objection to that word is the fact that it is generally used, not of things that have come into being of themselves, but of things that have been produced by some one else. It suggests, if it does not imply, a producer; which is contrary to the whole spirit of the Buddhist passages in which the word sankhārā occurs.

Which I respond to thus: Rhys Davids here, as he often does, has hit upon an important fact, but has missed the interpretation most useful for the Buddhist. The 'san' in Sankhārā is there because what is being produced is, as well as being a 'thing,' the identification with the thing produced as being one's own, belonging to one; one's own world, own 'self'. The idea of a producer is not necessary when understanding the term this way.

 


 

Oblog: [O.6.22.19] Saturday, June 22, 2019 8:53 AM

Yoniso-Mana-Sikārā
Womb-so Mind-Study
Studious Etiological Examination
Tracing Things Back to Their Point of Origin

This is not 'careful attention'. Careful attention is adequately covered with 'jagarianuyoga' Guard-Yoga and 'sati' Minding. Careful attention or minding will help you note details in a current situation, and, with knowledge of the Four Truths will help you see things as they are, but what is required to free one's self from attachments is to see where the attachment began (what sort of thirst (taṇhā) was involved) and examine the thinking that went into the action that brought the situation about in the first place. Further the practice of tracing things back to their points of origin, made a big thing of, made a habit, conduces to very speedy release from on-coming distractions.

 


 

Oblog: [O.6.16.19] Sunday, June 16, 2019 5:38 AM

Friendship with the Lovely

As well as frequently being advised as to the danger in association with bad sorts, there is also frequent advice to associate with that which is lovely.

In SN 5.45.2, Ānanda says that for him "half the holy life is friendship with what is lovely." This sentiment is echoed throughout the suttas (SN 5.45.56; AN 10.17; etc.) and the Buddha's famous response is that no, this is not the case, what is the case is that the whole of the holy life could be said to be friendship with the lovely.

This statement has been widely interpreted to mean just having a companion whose company one enjoys, aka 'a Dhamma friend'. But this is not the way this should be understood. There is responsibility involved in the office of the 'lovely friend'. And it is this responsibility that makes the satement that the whole of the religious life is friendship with the lovey rational.

The important thing to note is the description of the benefits of such a friend: "Of a bhikkhu who is a friend of the lovely we may expect that among other good things, he will cultivate the Magga.

How exactly friendship with the lovely results in cultivation of the Magga is revealed in SN 1.3.18 where the Buddha explains that a person who is considered a lovely companion in the holy life will instruct his friends in the Magga:

"From a bhikkhu, Ānanda, who is a friend to righteousness, we expect that he will develop and expand the Ariyan eightfold path of one who is a friend, an intimate, an associate of that which is righteous.

And how, Ānanda, does a bhikkhu who is a friend, an intimate, an associate of that which is righteous, expand the Ariyan eightfold path?

He is taught, Ānanda, to develop right views based on detachment, based on passionlessness, based on cessation, involving maturity of surrender;
to develop in the same way,
right plans,
right speech,
action and livelihood,
right effort,
right mindfulness,
and right concentration.

It is thus, Ānanda, that a bhikkhu who is a friend, an intimate, an associate of that which is righteous, develops and expands the Ariyan eightfold path.

And it is in just this way, Ānanda, that thou must understand how the whole of this life in religion is concerned with friendship, intimacy, association with whatsoever is lovely and righteous."

—SN 1.3.18-C. Rhys Davids

 


 

Oblog: [O.6.16.19.2] Sunday, June 16, 2019 5:38 AM

Who as friend would know the self,
do not to evil ways be bound,
for not sweet is found to be the gain,
where pleasure's found in giving pain.
 
At end-making's taking down,
from what is of man now stripped away,
what then has one to call one's own?
what in that going stands one stead?
 
What has one got that follows one
inseparable as shadow in the sun?
 
Both evil deed and deed well done
as mortal man worked here —
That then has one to call one's own;
that in that going stands one stead.
 
That has one got that follows one
inseparable as shadow in the sun.
 
Therefore here in straight ways act
and so lay up for time beyond
rewards to be in future worlds found
taking hold and firmly standing ground.

—SN 1.3.4-Olds, trans.

 


 

Oblog: [O.6.14.19] Friday, June 14, 2019 9:29 AM

'Tis food both gods and men chiefly desire.

3 Sorts of Gifts

Dhamma-dānaɱ The gift of Dhamma; a spiritual gift; resulting in spiritual benefits
Āmisa-dānaɱ, The carnal gift; a temporal gift resulting in worldly benefits.
Bali-dānaɱ, giving offerings; offerings to kinsfolk, guests, the departed, the king, the gods.

3 Sorts of Givers

Dāna-pati, a noble giver, one who gives much and keeps little, or gives the good and keeps the bad;
dāna-sahāyo, one who gives away property similar to what he keeps;
dāna-dāso, one who gives little and keeps much, a sorded giver.

From Childers, A Dictionary of the Pali Language: Dānaɱ, who apparently adopted the list from the Commentaries.
See also: SN 1.1.2.23

 


 

Oblog: [O.6.8.19] Saturday, June 08, 2019 1:33 PM

Slow Down!
It's
Faster

 


 

Oblog: [O.6.6.19] Thursday, June 06, 2019 7:24 AM

Monks, there are these three things
which shine forth for all to see,
which are not hidden.

What three?

The disc of the moon
shines for all to see:
it is not hidden.

The disc of the sun
shines for all to see:
it is not hidden.

The Dhamma-Discipline of a Tathāgata
shines for all to see:
it is not hidden.

- AN 3.129-Woodward

Note that in the same way as with the moon and sun, the Dhamma and Discipline, although open and visible to all is not because of that seen by all and has its 'wonderous deep' mysteries.

 


 

Oblog: [O.6.5.19] Wednesday, June 05, 2019 9:53 AM

Off the Web

Ffrank has posted a video showing his sit-down 'warm-up' routine (or part of it).
Concerning such exercise routines, there is no mention in the suttas of any yoga-type practices. The physical exercise that the bhikkhus had seems to have been walking to and from their begging rounds (which could have been as much as 20 miles of walking a day!), pacing back and forth, and various chores around the vihara. Walking can be a thoroughly therapeutic excercise (as is sweeping and raking) and may be all that is needed. On the other hand sitting for any length of time will often result in spontaneously performing exactly one or another or many of the stretches ffrank shows here. It is the question of intent that is of concern: Is intentionally exercising perhaps setting going unnecessary bodily kamma? (Where waiting for the spontaneous urge to stretch, (which stretch would be the sort of kamma that ends kamma if construed as a response to the needs of the body), would at least limit the kamma to the exercise the body is saying it needs). It is certainly a 'doing', but are the benefits in extended sit-down times a worthwhile expenditure?

Ffrank also has an interesting take on emojis, likening them to the Chinese pictogram. Personally I can't make heads or tails of most of them and they do not have pop-up explanations so they go blank on me. Old dog new tricks.

Taking off from a discussion on a Certain Discussion Board: MN 136 has the statement:

"... there is the case of some person here who abstains from slaughtering living creatures, taking what has not been given to him and who does not abandon his ethical conduct in the pursuit of pleasure, he abstains from speaking lies, slander, the use of harsh language, is no gossip, is not covetous or cruel and holds High View.
He, at the breaking up of the elements at death finds consciousness again in the Way of Woe, as an animal, or in Niriaya Hell."

The questioner and many of the respondents appear to be mistaking 'having Sammā Diṭṭhi (High View)' for 'being a Streamwinner', and are, as a result, thrown into confusion concerning the numerous statements throughout the suttas that the Streamwinner is henceforth and forever freed from the possibility of rebirth in Hell.

First, though the Streamwinner must have High View, High View is not the only requirement for Streamwinning. Generally the formula for Streamwinning is that the eye of Wisdom has opened and the Streamwinner sees that 'Whatsoever has come to be, comes to an end.' In other words, Streamwinning is not just the possession of knowledge (intellectually understanding High View) but also is a matter of achieving insight as to the implications of that High View (that absolutely every existing thing will at some time come to an end).

Then there is the case (raised in the discussion) that there are in the suttas two different formulas for Sammā Diṭṭhi. The one people first come across is that Sammā Diṭṭhi is the first dimension of the Magga, that is, The Four Truths. The second formula is the one that states that Sammā Diṭṭhi is the view that 'there is' concerning:

"almsgiving, sacrifice, offering. There is fruit, there is result of good and evil deeds. This world is, the world beyond is. There is mother and father, there are beings of spontaneous birth. In the world are recluses and brahmins who have won the summit, who have won perfection, who of themselves have realized by supernormal power both this world and the world beyond, and proclaim it."

It is, of course, the first of these which is being mistaken for Streamwinning, but it is most likely that it is the second of these which is being referred to in MN 136.

The MN 136 sutta is dealing with the apparent contradiction in Dhamma that occurs when a seer sees that a man of such good character could go to Hell. The resolution of the paradox is that such a person may have done a bad deed previous to his being observed as a good man, or may have done a bad deed after having been so observed, or may have abandoned Sammā Diṭṭhi and taken up Micchā Diṭṭhi at the time of death.

So there is no real issue here. A person may have either of the two Sammā Diṭṭhi's and yet not be a Streamwinner and may be subject to a change of view.

The question of the Streamwinner by Faith should not come up here: such a one is safe only in so far as his faith is solid, if he gets distracted by some apparently higher method or just looses faith because of some aparent contradiction in the Dhamma ... ahum ... , then he is no longer safe or a Streamwinner.

 


 

Oblog: [O.6.2.19] Sunday, June 02, 2019 6:58 AM

... can't get no

[AN 3.104] Atitti Suttaɱ No Satisfaction, the M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali and the Woodward translation.
The Buddha points out that there is no reaching satisfaction in sleep, drink and sexual intercourse.

 


 

Oblog: [O.6.1.19] Saturday, June 01, 2019 5:39 AM

On Eliminating Bias

We are told that bias/prejudice is bad and that we should get rid of it. But being biased and thinking "I am biased"; one will never be able to get rid of bias.

How come?

Because there is no thing there that is this "I" in which there is this bias.

There is no way to find this bias to see it, analyze it, understand it, get rid of it because it is not where you are looking.

But thinking "There is bias in me" (the 'me' there being conventional speech) and focusing on getting rid of every instance of the expression of that bias, gets rid of that bias.

This way of dealing with faults completely eliminates the reluctance one has to admit faults because seeing things this way, faults are never a reflection on the core values one wishes to see in one's self, they are always 'out there'; it is curiously impersonal and liberating.

On Seeing

It is very important to 'seeing' that one have a clear idea of this business of the absolute center. (see below O.3.8.19.2) Any deviation from that, in either yourself, or in what you see of others, is a result of wanting. Where seeing gets confused is in not recognizing the subtle levels of wanting. So many things one does are just poses; poses come from wanting to appear in a certain way ("Look Ma! No hands!"); that is, wanting. When you see the deviation, you can see the opinions or points of view that were their basis. You could say that any deviation off absolute zero was bias. This is information and with your own mind at zero, that information can be understood.

The movement off zero is sankharaming, a disturbance, a ripple in the cosmos, energy being projected outwards, and always is a projection of the desire to be, to have and to hold, to own. This is what the seer sees, and it is this phenomena (or, rather, the lack of it) that explains the tracklessness of the arahant.

"What about responses?" you might ask. When you are asked a question or asked to do something and you respond to the precise degree demanded by the request and no more, (even to the point of an expression on the face, a jesture, etc.), that does not fall under own-making, it is not a projection of self and so the zero point has not been left; there is no kamma associated with such a deed, it falls within the description of the sort of kamma which ends kamma. It is exactly an abstention, but it is of not projecting any intent other than to bring the situation to resolution by the answer or the deed.

On Signs

'Nimitta' in the case of instructions as to developing jhāna, is not just this 'reflex image' thing, though that may be a sign. What we should be doing is recognizing the signs that occur to us in our development of jhāna. "I see that pīti arises when I do this". "I notice that the longer I focus the mind on the mouth the higher, clearer and more encompassing are the visions and insights I gain when I do take off into some subject." "Ah! Whenever I do/think x or whenever x appears, I am about to loose my concentration." (e.g., allowing one's self to dwell on the attractive features of some erotic image that comes to mind) Etc. The idea is 'tracking'. Following the tracks.

 


 

Oblog: [O.5.31.19] Friday, May 31, 2019 5:35 AM

Where you are headed is where you are going.

It is very important that one's last thoughts be on a good level and to avoid the old trouble-making patterns of thought as you go from this life to the next in the same way as you go from one minute to another in this life.

See also O.3.8.19

Thinking in terms of kamma, the difference between Buddhism and the other systems that council behavior change to avoid the painful repercussions of unethical behavior, is in the thoroughness and depth of the logic of the advice given.

Example: Another system says: Thou shalt not kill.
Buddha says: Train yourself to abstain from harm to living beings.
Another system says: Thou shalt not bear false witness.
Buddha says: Train yourself to abstain from saying that which is not true.
Another system says: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors goods.
Buddha says: Train yourself not to take the possessions of others that have not been given to you.

You need to ask yourself which of the two forms of advice is going to protect you more completely from hard repercussions.

 


 

Oblog: [O.5.30.19] Thursday, May 30, 2019 9:19 AM

"If, beggars, one were to say:

'Whatever whatsoever is such as a person does by his deed
such is such as the experience that returns to him.'

Such being the case, beggars,
there could be no living of the godly life.

There would be no room for a clear understanding
of the consummate making an end of pain.

But for one speaking thus, beggars:

'Whatever whatsoever sensation this person intends to create,
such is such as gives result to the experience that returns to him.'

Such being the case, beggars,
there could be the living of the godly life.

There would be room for a clear understanding
of the consummate making an end of pain."

[AN 3.99] Loṇaka-Phala Suttaɱ, Salt-Crystal the M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Warren translation, the Woodward translation, and the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
The Buddha illustrates the relativity of kamma using three similies. The important thing in this sutta is to clearly understand the importance of the distinction being made in the two views of the nature of kamma in the quote above. The introduction to this translation goes into detail.

 


 

Oblog: [O.5.23.19] Thursday, May 23, 2019 8:30 AM

"Comprehending knowledge
is for the self-collected
not for the scatterbrained."

[AN 3.73] Mahānāma Sakka Suttaɱ Mahānāma the Sakkyan, the M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation and the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Ananda instructs the Buddha's uncle Mahānāma concerning the morality, serenity and wisdom of the seeker and the morality, serenity and wisdom of the adept.

Mahānāma asks the question: "Which comes first? Knowledge [ñāṇa] or Serenity [samādhī]. This is another way of asking which comes first samatha [calming down] or vipassana [insight].

Ānanda's response shows that the method is more complex than this simple construction. It is a chicken or egg problem.

He explains a progression:

First one becomes knowledgable by way of developing one's ethics, perfecting serenity, and developing wisdom (a mixture of understanding ethics and putting ethical thinking and behavior into practice, developing samādhi through the jhānas, and with experience developing wisdom) and then using these faculties to see and understand the Four Truths. So far one is still a seeker, not an adept.

Then, with this mixture of faculties complete, and this knowledge of the Truths seen clearly, directing the mind to the destruction of the corrupting influences, (lust for sense pleasures, becoming, and blindness); having destroyed them, abiding in a heart free from corruption, a mind with corruption-free perception.

Experience will show that as well as having loop-backs within each of the two practices, the two parts themselves revolve around each other to the end.

 


 

Oblog: [O.5.21.19] Tuesday, May 21, 2019 10:37 AM

Seraphita

[Exerpt]

Honore de Balzac

No translator is given. This excerpt is taken from the Scholar Select series, which has on its back cover the statement: "This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work."

This excerpt will not be to everyone's taste. Following a very well-argued version of the high-school intellectual's refutation of God, (which I could barely force myself to read) Seraphita explains how the truly spiritual has little to no relationship with 'reason' and 'logic' or worldly ambitions or love. The passage quoted should be read substituting 'Nibbana' for 'God' and 'intent' for 'prayer' and requires a liberal flexible attitude towards descriptions of the goal, but with that one could well say of Balzac that here, given knowledge of the Dhamma, could have been another of the arahants. There are so many parallels with the stages one will pass through in acquiring faith in the Dhamma.

I propose the progression: God as Savior > becoming Brahma > Arahantship.

 


 

Oblog: [O.5.13.19] Monday, May 13, 2019 5:23 AM

In the Land of the Blind
the One-Eyed is King

An Adaptation of
Woodward's Translation of AN 3.29.

There are these three sorts of persons to be seen in this world.

What three?

The Blind
the One-Eyed, and
the Two-Eyed.

 

§

 

And how is a person blind?

In this case a person does not have an eye
to see how to acquire wealth
or to see how to make the wealth he has increase.

Further he does not have an eye
to see the good or the bad
to see the blameworthy and the praisworthy,
to see the low and the high
to see the light and the dark.

This is how a person is blind.

And how is a person one-eyed?

In this case a person does have an eye
to see how to acquire wealth
and to see how to make the wealth he has increase,
but he does not have an eye
to see the good or the bad
to see the blameworthy and the praisworthy,
to see the low and the high
to see the light and the dark.

This is how a person is one-eyed.

And how is a person two-eyed?

In this case a person does have an eye
to see how to acquire wealth
and to see how to make the wealth he has increase,
and he does have an eye
to see the good and the bad,
to see the blameworthy and the praisworthy,
to see the low and the high
to see the light and the dark.

This is how a person is two-eyed.

Wherefore, friends, do not settle for being the king of the blind,
but train yourselves to see and live in this world with both eyes wide open.

This teaching points in the direction of detachment, escape and freedom. It is for your good and profit both here in this world and for the beyond.

 


 

Oblog: [O.5.12.19] Sunday, May 12, 2019 7:01 AM

[AN 3.23] Sankhāra Suttaɱ, Made One's Own, the M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, the Bhk. Bodhi translation, and the Sister Upalavanna translation.
By identification with intentional deviant, non-deviant or mixed deeds one creates personal experience of deviant, non-deviant or mixed worlds.
The reader should keep in mind that the word 'sankhāra' is very much like and almost a synonym of 'kamma' and needs to accommodate both the act of creation and the thing that results. The differentiation between this term and kamma is essentially the emphasis put on the personal nature of the creating and the results. To 'sankhara' one identifies with the intent to create personal experience by way of thought, word or deed. The result is personal experience formed by the nature of the intent when creating. (This sutta describes the process.) The word, properly translated must convey this dual nature and this personalizing process. I have suggested 'own-making' Saŋ = own; + khāra = make. and 'the own-made'. What it is not is just 'activities' or 'mental formations' or 'fabrications' or anything else without the sense of those activities etc being the means of constructing one's own personal world. But 'activities' although sankharing is activity, does not relate etymologically with the word at all, and 'mental ... and volitionl' are also 'explanations' unrelated to the word. Sticking closely to the Pali we could get: 'con-struction', 'con-fection,' 'con-juration,' 'co-formation,' etc. But where we have elsewhere [see AN 3.32] the terms 'I-making' and 'My-making' why not also 'Own-making?' What it absolutely is not is 'conditioning'...which translation leads into major misunderstanding of Dhamma. [see: Is Nibbana Conditioned?] For the various terms used by other translators visit the Glossology page.

 


 

Oblog: [O.5.11.19] Saturday, May 11, 2019 7:05 AM

I'm just a little behind the times ... not too much ...

In September of 2017, Bhk. Thanissaro wrote:

"When I was up in the Bay Area last week, I came across a new word: corelessness. Apparently, the latest fashion is to claim that the Buddha said we are coreless, and that that’s the meaning of anatta. In other words, there’s a jumble of karmic activities that make up a human being. That’s what you are. The anatta teaching, in this interpretation, is not a not-self teaching; it’s a no-self teaching. It answers the question of what you are, saying that what you are has no core. You’re like a karmic fuzz ball. All the fuzz that’s picked up as the fuzz ball moves across the floor under the force of the wind is held together only by static electricity, but there’s no real core there. This is supposed to represent what the Buddha taught about what we are.

The problem is that the Buddha never talked about what we are."[1]

Now the careful reader (I am sure I have one) knows that I (and Jim Carry) have promoted the idea of the individual personality as being something like fly-paper (or a fuzzball if you will), but without the fly paper: an evolving vortex[2] of bits that have been aquired from without through programming, grasping, attraction, and accident; a thing without a center, or central core.

Here is the problem: What Bhk. Thanissaro is saying is that there is a core to the individual; his argument defeats his own argument. He correctly states that the Buddha refrains from describing what the self is, but what he has here is a statement made by himself as to what the self is. What is being said here is that there is no thing there that is the core of the individual, though there is a core to the practice.

Beggars! The best course does not have a gains-honour-reputation-core,
nor an accomplishment-in-ethics-core,
nor a accomplishment-in-serenity-core,
nor a knowledge-vision-core.

But there is beggars, unshakable heart-release —
here, beggars the best course is for attainment of this.

This is it's hardwood.

This is it's encompassing end.

MN 29, MN 30

How is this to be understood?

Following the Magga one drops off, lets go, renounces, gives up bit by bit the accumulated detritus until at the end an absolute detachment from any existing thing has been accomplished. That which was the individuality So-and-so (in reality a mistaken identification with the fuzzball), has been entirely eliminated. What remains is the core ... not of the individual, but of the practice. An un-pin-downable, invisible consciousness; a consciousness which has no existing thing as its object; a freedom of mind and heart that is not dependent on existing phenomena, fed (sustained) by freedom itself.

 


[1] First noted at Dhamma Wheel, The Quotable Thanissaro, post of May 9, 2019, by dhammapal, quoted from: The Core of Experience, by Bhikkhu Thanissaro, Dhammatalks.org.

[2] Vortex: A mass of air or water that spins around very fast and pulls objects into its empty center.

 


 

Oblog: [O.5.9.19] Thursday, May 09, 2019 12:17 PM

Paramatthadīpanī IV
(Petavatthu Commentary), 2019, ed. P. Jackson, Index by Y. Ousaka. Pali Text Society. List price: £ 55.50

The Pali Text Society's editions of the Petavatthu and the Vimānavatthu commentaries have been out of print for some years. These editions first published in 1894 and 1901 respectively were considered too flawed to keep in print. Peter Jackson has prepared a new edition of the Petavatthu commentary (Paramatthadīpanī IV) using the Burmese Sixth Council edition and collating variant readings from the original PTS edition by E. Hardy (1894), the Sinhala-script edition published as part of the Simon Hewavitarne Bequest Series, and the BUDSIR electronic text (apparently based on the Thai-script Mahācuḷālaṅkaraṇarājavidyālaya edition). Variant readings found in the notes of all these editions are also included. Page breaks and the line breaks of the Hardy edition are kept as far as possible to facilitate finding references to page and line numbers. A complete word index prepared by Professor Yumi Ousaka is also included.

 


 

Oblog: [O.4.26.19] Friday, April 26, 2019 5:50 AM

The Great Blindness Data

[The Buddha:]
"It is because of data, beggars,
that perceptions arise,
views arise,
thoughts arise."

[Old Man Kaccāyano:]
"Whatever can be the view then, bhante,
what the reason,
that it appears to a not-consummately self-awakened one
that he is a consummately self-awakened one?"

[The Buddha:]
"Great is that data, Kaccāyana,
that is, the blindness data."

Backward data, Kaccāyano, is the reason for the appearance of
backward perception
backward views
backward thinking
a backward heart,
backward ambitions,
backward motives —
backward persons backward talk;
backward explanations,
disertations,
wisdom
revelations
analyses
laying out —
backward that which is the outcome
so I say.

-SN 2.14.13-Olds, trans.

 


 

Oblog: [O.4.25.19] Thursday, April 25, 2019 7:44 AM

One Hundred Men High

Upekkha

Sort of following up on the reference below to the state of the world - one more shot at convincing people that 'upekkha' should be being translated 'detachment', not 'equanimity'.

There is a hell, so-called, called the Sataporisa Avicci, where one finds consciousness after the break-up of the body buried under a pile of 'gutha' 100-men high.

Now imagine that one there has found a stout string (sutta) promising to lead one to the surface. Thinking: "By means of this string I will escape the Sataporisa Avicci!" and he works his way along the string and sees that he is slowly rising to the surface but final escape depends on his understanding of the term 'upekkha'. where some profess the term to mean 'Equanimity', and the Professor states that the term means 'detachment'.

So here is the question:

Imagining yourself to be this man, struggling to free himself from that huge pile, which would you rather have: Detachment from or Equanimity in your situation?

 

Edit: Oblog: [O.5.12.19edit] Sunday, May 12, 2019 5:20 AM

Taking this problem from the other end, there is already a perfectly good word for equanimity in the etymological perfect fit Samānatta.

 

§

 

Oblog: [O.4.25.19.2] Thursday, April 25, 2019

Who Seeks a Teacher?

I see a tremendous waste of energy being expended in people's efforts to determine whether this teacher or that is an Arahant. We hear words of praise of such-and-such a one: "He is much honored by the people; he is of perfect virtue; he is a great meditation master; he has knowledge and vision; he certainly has magic powers; he can read minds!" But these are not the goal and to draw the conclusion that one possessing such is an arahant is to place trust where it is unwarranted.

Why unwarranted?

Because it is not possible for one who is at a lower level of detachment to know the state of one of a higher level of detachment. It is precisely the opposite of the investigation that should be being made.

What one should examine, in attempting to determne if a person is worth while to seek out as one's teacher is where that person demonstrates characteristics that are incompatable with a given state of detachment, or below one's own state of detachment. An Arahant, for example, cannot indulge in sexual intercourse. You see your potential teacher engaging in the pleasures of sexual intercourse, you can know for certain that he is not an Arahant.

One may not be able to see if a person 'is' but one can see when a person 'isn't'.

 


 

Oblog: [O.4.24.19] Wednesday, April 24, 2019 7:24 AM

Fingersnap
[ITZA SNAP]

Monks, if even for the lasting of a finger-snap a monk should practise the first musing, such an one may be called a monk.
-AN 1.394-Woodward, trans.

First Jhāna: vivicc'eva kāmehi||
vivicca akusalehi dhammehi||
sa-vitakkaɱ,||
sa-vicāraɱ||
viveka-jaɱ pīti-sukhaɱ||
paṭhamaɱ-jhānaɱ upasampajja viharati.|| ||

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

Formula for the 1st Jhāna:

Separated from sensuality,
separated from unskillful things
with thinking and recapitulating
he enters into and abides in the First Jhāna,
which is born of the appreciation of the pleasures of solitude.

Not obsessed by lust, malice, delusion = separated from sensuality, separated from unskillful things.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

At such time, Mahānāma,
as the Ariyan disciple
thus calls to mind the Wayfarer, [or Dhamma, or Sangha]
at that time his heart
is not obsessed by lust,
not obsessed by malice,
not obsessed by delusion;
at such time his heart
is firmly fixed on the Wayfarer;
with upright heart the Ariyan disciple
wins the joyful thrill of the wea1,
wins the joyful thrill of Dhamma,
wins the joyful thrill
of joy that goes with Dhamma;
in one so joyous is born zest;
in one of zestful mind
the body is calmed;
he whose body is calmed
experiences happiness;
the mind of the happy man is concentrated. [samādhi]
-AN 11.12-Woodward, trans. Bold and [] mine.

Jhāna can be attained for as short a time as it takes to snap the fingers.
Samādhi is attained at the moment one reflects on the Buddha, Dhamma or Sangha (or, presumably, on any subject of the Dhamma). The point is that though the scope of even the First Jhāna is vast, there is a point of entry and that is no more complicated or further away than taking your mind and placing it on some lofty subject such as the Buddha or his Dhamma or the Sangha.

Red HerringRed Hering: 1. Smoked herring. 2. something intended to mislead

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

The endless debates about the difficulty of attaining jhāna is a red herring, an excuse to be blunt, to concentrate on an irrelevant topic (the difficulty) rather than the simple putting into practice of the instructions.

If you trust what is called an authority by those who are called authorities today, then go ahead and get wound up in this debate, but know that going by authority is not the method of the Pali. Until you are Arahant, your only authority is the Dhamma as we have it in the most original documentation, and even that is conditional: a trial-and-error relationship to the instructions. And the reality is that here today [USAmerica, Wednesday, April 24, 2019 8:16 AM] there is no-one vouched for by the Buddha; any claim to jhāna attainment other than strictly according to the Pali formula is just a guess. You take one of these contemporary authorities as your basis for trust you are setting yourself up for a fall. The truth of the Dhamma can be worked out exclusively through the study of the suttas. That is, for one who is serious. Otherwise you are trusting that your authority is not one who has deluded himself with attainment of one of the vast number of extra-ordinary mental states which can be experienced by the mind: a sea of traps.

This is the thing, folks: Take a look out there at the state of the World. It's not so hard to get a fair idea now that we have the Internet and Google. A person who's mind is not obsessed with lust, hate and delusion is not easy to find. That one should reach a point in one's evolution where one is able to rise above the stench for even just so long as it takes to snap the fingers, is a person who has accomplished something extremely rare. Do not sell yourself short!

 


 

Oblog: [O.4.22.19] Monday, April 22, 2019 8:03 AM

SN 4.Appendix

"It is wonderful, your reverence!
It is marvellous, your reverence,
how the explanation both of Master and disciple
will agree, will harmonize,
meaning with meaning,
letter with letter;
how they will not be inconsistent
— that is, in any word about the highest."

-Ānanda to Sāriputta in AN 11.8-Woodward trans.

 


 

Oblog: [O.4.20.19] Saturday, April 20, 2019 10:03 AM

[AN 10.219] Lust, Malice and the Rest, The Woodward translation, fully unabridged.
This is one of what is called the "Wheel" style of sutta construction. These are frequently found at the ends of 'books'; sometimes elsewhere, sometimes shorter than this one, sometimes longer. These are exercises in memory building; mental gymnastics. These wheel suttas are almost universally ignored and disparaged as 'tedious repititions'. Your homework is to read the sutta in its entirety and at least give memorizing it a shot. Read it slowly and do not skip! If you at least give this a try, I guarantee one outcome if nothing more: you will end up with an appreciation of the extreme difficulty of the task and therefore you should be able to see that it is a valuable tool for the exercise of the memory. There is the potential for one who memorizes this sutta of attaining very interesting mental states.

 


 

Oblog: [O.4.16.19] Tuesday, April 16, 2019 6:21 AM

Not of Time

[Akālika][1]

The goal of this Dhamma is said to be "not of Time". But what does "not of time" actually mean?

Here is an illustrative example:

When you abstain from a habit, the result in terms of withdrawl experiences and perception of effect can be perceived in two ways:

1. By attending to changes in the material things of one's world (shapes, perceptions, sense-experiences, own-makings and individualized consciousness); or
2. by not attending to material things, but to the fact of being free from the usual results of the indulgence of the habit.

The former is a mater of time, the latter is a thing not of time.

The former is bound up in the evolution of the world (aka:Time): to reach freedom that way involves "seeing the story through to the end", at the end you get your just reward (or, in most cases, you come to see the false promise of 'salvation as a future reward for the dutifull following of some rule or ritual');
the latter is instantaneous; the instant the habit is dropped, the freedom starts.
Where you focus the mind is up to you.

[1] Akālika. Not of Time. See, for various translations: SN 2.12.41 DN 16, AN 5.179, and many others.

 


 

Oblog: [O.4.15.19] Monday, April 15, 2019 7:53 AM

Low View

Micchā-Diṭṭhi

N'atthi dinnaɱ,||
n'atthi yiṭṭhaɱ,||
n'atthi hutaɱ,||
n'atthi sukaṭa-dukkaṭānaɱ kammānaɱ phalaɱ vipāko,||
n'atthi ayaɱ loko,||
n'atthi paroloko,||
n'atthi mātā,||
n'atthi pitā,||
n'atthi sattā opapātikā,||
n'atthi loke samaṇa-brāhmaṇā sammaggatā sammāpaṭipannā,||
ye imañ ca lokaɱ parañ ca lokaɱ sayaɱ abhiññā sacchi-katvā pavedentī.|| ||

There is no gift,
no offering,
no sacrifice;
there is no fruit or ripening of deeds
well done or ill done;
this world is not,
the world beyond is not;
there is no mother,
no father,
no beings supernaturally born;
there are no recluses and brāhmins in the world who have gone right,
who fare rightly,
men who by their own comprehension
have realized this world
and the world beyond
and thus declare.

—AN 10.176 - Woodward

 


 

Oblog: [O.4.14.19] Sunday, April 14, 2019 12:30 PM

[AN 10.174] Bound-Up in Intentional Action, the M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali and the Woodward translation.
The Buddha explains that it is a consequence of acting upon lust, hatred and stupidity that there is killing, theft, sexual misconduct, lies, spite, bitter speech, idle babble, coveting ones neighbours goods, working harm and wrong view, and that to bring these things to an end it is necessary to end the intentional action (kamma) bound up in lust, hate and stupidity that brings them into being.
This is a valuable sutta in that it shows how one can use the heirarchical structure of the mind to short-cut one's progress. I have used the simile of two people looking to gratify their taste for chocolate. One seeks out a Dark Chocolate Teuscher's Champaign Truffle, the other thinks of chocolate generically. Who is most likely to find their craving gratified first? Here in this sutta we learn that in stead of attacking various unskillful states serially (killing, theft, sexual misconduct, etc.), by focusing in stead on their root dependencies (lust, hate and stupidity) they can be dealt with in a much simpler, swifter way. This is but one example of this trick; there are suttas in which a bhikkhu asks for a lesson in brief and gets a one-word lesson in response: You can do the whole thing using 'appamāda' or 'taṇha' or 'upekkha'. There is also Lesson One.

Oblog: [O.4.14.19.2] Edit: Friday, April 26, 2019

[Householder Dasama:] "Pray, Ānanda, sir,
is there any one condition
enunciated by that Exalted One who knows, who sees,
that arahant who is a perfectly enlightened one
— a condition whereby a monk
who lives in earnest, ardent,
with the self established,
can get release for his heart yet unreleased;
or whereby the cankers not yet destroyed
will come to an end —
a condition whereby he wins
the unsurpassed peace from bondage not yet won?"

[Ānanda:] "There is such a condition, housefather,
enunciated by that Exalted One who knows, who sees,
that arahant who is a perfectly enlightened one
— a condition whereby a monk
who lives in earnest, ardent,
with the self established,
can get release for his heart yet unreleased;
or whereby the cankers not yet destroyed
will come to an end —
a condition whereby he wins
the unsurpassed peace from bondage not yet won."

"And pray, sir, what is that one condition?"

"Herein, housefather, a monk
aloof from sense-desires,
aloof from unprofitable states,
enters upon the first musing,
which is accompanied by thought directed and sustained,
born of seclusion,
zestful and easeful,v and abides therein.

He thus ponders:

'This first musing is just a higher product,
it is produced by higher thought.'

Then he comes to know:

'Now even that which is a higher product,
produced by higher thought,
is impermanent, of a nature to end.'

Fixed on that
he wins destruction of the cankers;
and, if not that,
yet by his passion for dhamma,
by his delight in dhamma,
by utterly making an end
of the five fetters belonging to this world,
he is reborn spontaneously,
and in that state passes utterly away,
never to return (hither) from that world.

[Here Ānanda goes on to describe escape in the exact same terms for the practice of the Second, Third and Fourth Jhāna; each of the four Brahmaviharas, and the Spheres of Space, Consciousness, Nothing to be Had. And then Dasama remarks:]

"Just as if, your reverence,
a man should own a house with eleven doors.

If that house were ablaze,
he could win safety for himself by any one door"

-AN 11.17-Woodward, trans. Bold mine.

"a higher product" = Abhi-saŋ-khata A higher-own-construction.
"higher thought" = abhi-sañ-cetayita Higher One-with-Heart = Intention.

The point is not to make the goal sound easy, but to introduce flexibility in thinking about the ways to attain the goal.
The conclusion implied is that any accomplishment 'in the world' is a matter of ownmaking and personal intent and that from whatever state one is in, the escape is in deep penetration of the fact of its impermanance and by that unsatisfactory as an escape from impermanance.
Having attained a degree of release by one means or another, there remains the task of seeing that freedom as freedom and accepting the need, based on that, for that freedom to become absolute, to let go of everything else in the world.

 


 

Oblog: [O.4.11.19] Thursday, April 11, 2019 11:03 AM

[AN 10.116] Ajita, the M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali and the Woodward translation.
Ajita approaches the Buddha and describes what he understands to be a sage. Gotama responds by describing that a sage in this system is to be understood as one who argues according to Dhamma. Gotama then enumerates ten general areas to be considered good form and which are the goal and ten which are not good form and which are not the goal. An expansion on the previous suttas. There is a big problem with this sutta. No single version of the Pali or translation agrees with anything else.

 


 

Oblog: [O.4.8.19] Monday, April 08, 2019 5:30 AM

[AN 10.101] A Seeker's Perceptions, the M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali and the Woodward translation.
When three things about the reality of his situation as a bhikkhu are perceived it results in the fulfillment of seven highly advantageous conditions in his life.
This translation was done to provide a contrast with Woodward's translation of 'saññā' as 'idea' vs 'perception'.
[AN 10.103] The Low, the M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali the Woodward translation. and the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
The Buddha explains how the low road leads to failure and the high road leads to success. The exposition of the two paths is in a paticca-samuppada-like formula: 'this being that becomes'; and consists of the positive and negative dimensions of the Seeker's Path, the Eightfold path with the two additional dimensions of knowledge and release. No mention is made of the Eightfold Path or the Seeker's Path. Woodward translates 'sammā' and 'micchā' as right and wrong, which would be better as 'high' and 'low', or 'consummate' and 'contrary'. For discussion of these terms see: On "Sammā" "Miccha," "Ariya," and "Angika"

 


 

Oblog: [O.4.3.19] Wednesday, April 03, 2019 7:06 AM

[MN 48] In Kosambī, The Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Chalmers translation, the Horner translation, the Sister Upalavanna translation, and the Olds translation.
The Buddha explains how to think to achieve Stream-entry and then describes seven fruits of Stream-entry.

[SN 5.48.52] Mallans, The Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali and the Woodward translation.
The Buddha likens the stabilizing effect of knowledge on the forces of faith, energy, memory, and serenity to the stabilizing effect of the ridge-beam on the roofbeams of a house with a peaked roof.

 


 

Oblog: [O.3.30.19] Saturday, March 30, 2019 8:26 AM

[AN 10.82] Ānanda, the M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali and the Woodward translation.
Ten things which prevent increase, growth and maturity in this Dhamma-discipline and ten things which promise increase, growth and maturity in this Dhamma-discipline.
I did a translation of this sutta so as to provide a second English translation. None of the translators have seen that little 'ti' in the Pali which indicates that what is being said is a quotation, so they are all off track though the message is simple enough. In fairness it is no easy trick to figure out how to translate this. The utterance, and the quote, seem to come out of nowhere.

 

Oblog: [O.3.30.19.2] Saturday, March 30, 2019 8:26 AM

The Unbounded Freedom of Heart
of the
That-That-Got-That

AN 10.81

For the Tathāgata to live with unbounded freedom of heart,
these ten things must be put away, separated from, shaken off:

[1] Shape (rūpa)
[2] Sense Experience (Vedanā)
[3] Perception (Saññā)
[4] Own-making (Sankhāra)
[5] Individualized-consciousness (Viññāṇa)
[6] Birth (Jāti)
[7] Aging (Jarā)
[8] Death (Maraṇa)
[9] Pain (Dukkha)
[10] Slime (Kilesa)

 


 

Oblog: [O.3.24.19] Sunday, March 24, 2019 7:45 AM

[AN 10.64] A Satisfying Certainty, The M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali and the Woodward translation.
Almost identical to the previous sutta except that here Gotama asserts that all those who have unwavering faith in him are Streamwinners. Something to consider for those insisting that there can be no stream-entry without breaking the first three samyojanas. The catch is of course the 'unwavering' part. It is an easy thing to say one has unwavering faith in something when one has studied it for years or decades or practiced it a little with good results, but this is a wide world and the mind is organized in hierarchies and unless the person has crossed the line marked by the 'dhamma eye': "all things that have come into existence are destined to come to an end" the mind which had latched onto faith through fear (not a high level in the hierarchy) could find a greater satisfaction in someone dying on the cross for their sins, for example, or in the idea that there was no self, or in the idea that this was a one-shot thing and there was no possibility of having to pay up, than in concepts such as compassion, giving or ethical behavior ... themselves not high up in the pecking order. In fact, faith based on such things is one of the three things that the usual definition of the streamwinner suggests must be broken. Still the possibility exists that a person with no more than a faith that the Buddha taught a way to freedom, or a way to the end of pain, might tenaceously hold on to that faith at death and that tenacious hanging on could drag them into a rebirth where their faith could find growth and develop into knowledge and vision, so it is a true statement to say it can be done by faith alone.
One more thing: there was a point not too far back where many of those of us who had faith in Gotama's teaching were trying to make the idea of faith sound palatable to a population heartily disenchanted with a faith that depended on faith that had proved incapable of inspiring it's leaders to remain on the path of righteousness, so to speak. There was a big effort to convince everyone that faith in Buddhism was not faith, but 'confidence' [e.g. Bhk. Bodhi in his translation of this sutta] or 'conviction' [Bhk. Thanissaro] or 'trust' or 'well-reasoned or grounded trust' [me], but here the plain fact of the case is that this sutta is speaking about blind faith and I think we need to accept the fact that there is this level of trust, conviction and confidence in Gotama and his system as well and that it is not without good results. There are those of us who would like to think of Gotama's system as mathematically pure science, which it is, but we need also to recognze that there are those who have blind faith even in pure mathematics, and that it is not therefore a danger to the system that there are such believers. ... it's when a person has confidence and conviction that their blind faith is well grounded and starts proselytizing that the trouble starts, but that is another story.

 


 

Oblog: [O.3.23.19] Saturday, March 23, 2019 12:50 PM

[AN 10.63] Taking A Stand, The M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali and the Woodward translation.
Gotama states that all those who attain the goal are possessed of or are certain about 'view'; some of those reach the goal here in the human state and some of them reach the goal after 'departure'.

 


 

Oblog: [O.3.21.19] Thursday, March 21, 2019 3:30 PM

[SN 5.54.6] To Ariṭṭha (On Mindfulness of Breathing), the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation, and the M. Olds translation.
Arittha's method of practicing minding the respirations is corrected by the Buddha.

 


 

Oblog: [O.3.17.19] Sunday, March 17, 2019 10:39 AM

[AN 10.48] Ten Things, the M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation and the Piyadassi Thera translation.
Ten things (dhammas) that should be kept in mind by a bhikkhu. Good things for one and all to keep in mind, but of special importance to a bhikkhu, for the fall for one who has joined the order and is therefore representative of the Buddha and the Dhamma is much more serious. For bhikkhus this should be a hair-raising sutta. A good sutta for comparing translations.

 


 

Oblog: [O.3.11.19] Monday, March 11, 2019 1:48 PM

The question is: When robots become smarter than humans, will they also be able to awaken to Nibbāna?

 


 

Oblog: [O.3.10.19] Sunday, March 10, 2019 6:52 AM

Did you know that Sherlock Holms was somewhat of an expert on Sri Lankan Buddhism? See "The Sign of the Four"; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1890.
Did you know that the father of the character 'Lawrence' in Lawrence Durrell's The Alexandria Quartet translated the Pali in a multi-volume work? Set c WWII; see especially "Balthazar".

 

Oblog: [O.3.10.19.2] 6:52 AM

Simple:

12:00 AM = Day begins;
12:00 PM = Night begins.

Refrain from eating at Night, at a wrong time = refrain from eating past 12:00 High Noon. Previously I (and others) have suggested a 'noon hour' (12:00 to 1:00), or 'two-finger-shadow of an upright stick, but this does not fit the uses such as suggested by the statement of the disadvantages of giving to the gods 'after the sun is full up'. [see e.g.: MN 112; AN 5.228]

 


 

'Monks, there are these five disadvantages
in a family who eat
when the sun is right up.

What five?

Their honoured visitors
they honour not in time;

the devas who receive oblations
they honour not in time;

recluses and brāhmans
who have but one meal a day
abstain from eating at night,
eating at wrong times,
they honour not in time;

their slaves,
work-folk
and men
work as men averse from work;

moreover as long as food is eaten unseasonably
it lacks strengthening qualities.

Monks, these are the five disadvantages
in a family who eat
when the sun is right up.'

 


 

Oblog: [O.3.8.19] Friday, March 08, 2019 6:00 AM

[SN 5.55.22] Mahānāma (2), The M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Because Mahanama is occasionally beset with sense-desires he is concerned about his future destiny. The Buddha tells him not to fear for he has long had faith, virtue, learning, the practice of letting go, and insight. His mind is likened to a tree that is bent to an angle; when it is cut down, it falls in the direction of its bent.
This sutta supports the idea that the thoughts on one's mind at the time of death are highly determinate of one's future rebirth. I do not recall that this idea is stated explicitly anywhere in the suttas.

 

Oblog: [O.3.8.19.2] 6:00 AM
Revised: Saturday, March 09, 2019 6:20 AM

Exercise

Go to your place to be alone, prepare your seat, sit down sitting up straight, legs folded in front forming a lap, and take the mind from wherever it is wandering around and place it on the area around the mouth.

Think of this as your center.

The point of having a center is to have a place around which you can organize your mind and from which you start out on sitting down to sit and to which you can return when thoughts peter out or become confused. There is more to this than that, and to demonstrate just one feature is the point of this exercise.

Next, with mind kept focused on the mouth, locate the breathing. In the same way as with Satipatthana practice, make yourself aware of the in and out breaths. The point of this exercise is not to concentrate on the breathing. Let that idea go. See the breathing from the base of the stomach to the area around the mouth as a vibrating energy field.

Take this energy field as the body itself; the whole body. See how your idea of 'my body' is emanating from this energy configuration.

Then imagine this energy configuation as a one-stringed musical instrument. As the string vibrates, in place of a sound, see that: 'in accordance with the vibration, so is your body and the world in which it is located being created.' When the string is vibrating chaotically, so is your world; when the string is still, your world is calm.

So what you want to do now is to still, calm and tranquillize that vibrating string.

At the point where that string becomes very still you may see the world split into what appears like two mirrors facing each other at an angle; again with the world streaming off in both directions from the center divide. The images on either side will appear flat; one-dimensional. (Three-dimensional vision occurs when the images of the two mirrors are superimposed on each other in normal perception.)

Many different things can be discovered with this perception, but do not pay any attention to them at this point.

What you want to do at this point; and it may happen spontaneously; is to take the center line (the string) and shrink it down to one point located in the area around the mouth.

From the point where you have focused the mind on your mouth and the breathing process - keeping the focus on the mouth, not extending it to the whole body, continue to keep this dual perception (mouth and breath) in focus.

It is clear in the suttas that there are two main approaches to awakening: you can basically just sit there with the determination that you will not get up again until you have achieved awakening (I know when I am not free; I will know when I am free); or, as more frequently practiced, one can work one's way through one's blindness a problem at a time according to a graduated path. In other words the concentration practice described to this point can be used as a brute-force path to awakening but will here be described as the vehicle to use to pass from one state of awareness to another (arriving at one level of consciousness by abandoning another) until all barriors to awakening have been dealt with individually. Zero point center > problem under investigation > zero point center ... etc. Step-by-step all the way to Nibbāna.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

This is the center-point, the absolute zero of your center.

This focus on your 'center' is something like tacking into the wind for the sailor. It is concentration on zero with the result that the longer it is held steady, the higher and more refined and more interesting and more yielding to insight will be the visions that appear to the mind's eye.

At the appearance of any interesting memory; or after having intentionally focused on some subject, in stead of withdrawing from the perception of the resulting images and returning to focus on the breathing (as the conventional approach to Satipatthana practice is taught), continue to return in stead to the thing being seen, the story or the logic or even the fantasy you are following.

Continue to concentrate on this one subject. It may be necessary to return to it again and again over an extended period of time alternating between concentration on the area of the mouth and the breating and your subject, but sooner or later what will happen is that the story under examination will 'open up' and reveal what was not seen before.

It does not really matter how significant the subject; there is no detail of your life that does not connect to all the others; everything supports everything else and leads to everything else.

The point of this exercise is to demonstrate one of the basic functions of Satipatthana practice. What Satipatthana practice is not about is concentration on the breathing. This concentration is simply a tool in aid of insight. What Satipatthana practice is about is providing a framework (Bhk. Thanissaro's translation for Satipatthana, which is a bad translation, but a good description of the actual function of this practice) onto which one hangs one's understanding of this 'being' that we are identifying with. You take your problem, or your memory, or your fantasy and you examine it for its elements relating to personal form (body); sense-experience; mental states; and the Dhamma. What you are doing is examining phenomena through the lens of the Dhamma.

This practice of doggedly examining in this way through the lens of the Dhamma is the practice of yoniso-manisikara, or tracing things back to their point of origin. It might well also be called 'vicara' 'examination'. It might also be called 'vicaya' 'research'. It might also be called 'vimaɱsa' 'reminiscence' or 'investigation'. However it fits into the Dhamma the result in 'opening up' is the 'falling off' of blindness, or what you did not previously see of what was there all along and that would be 'vipassana' 'insight'.

 


 

Oblog: [O.3.7.19] Thursday, March 07, 2019 8:51 AM

[SN 5.55.21] Mahānāma (1), The M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Because Mahanama is occasionally beset with sense-desires he is concerned about his future destiny. The Buddha tells him not to fear for he has long had faith, virtue, learning, the practice of letting go, and insight. His mind is likened to the butter in a crock of butter tossed into a pond where when the crock cracks open the butter rises to the surface.

 


 

Oblog: [O.3.4.19] Monday, March 04, 2019 5:17 AM

"Learn to think like a thief"
says the Ajhan[1]

And he and the bhikkhu (beggar) being instructed are delighted by this way of conceiving the mental attitude of the aspirant. After all, it teaches waryness, alertness, sense of danger and alertness to opportunity. But through such a dangerous vehicle! And a vehicle concerning which there is so little really good information. It reminds me of the destiny of one who practices the habits of dogs or cows.[2] And there is the danger in that tool of the bhikkhus and the Saŋgha being called a den of thieves. On the other hand, if one were seeking out an instructive model, what about using the one given us by the Sammā-Saɱ-Buddha and his 84,000 lessons and:

Learn to think like a beggar

 


[1]An instruction given to Bhk. Thanissaro at an early point in his training: [Bhk. Thanissaro: Think Like a Thief "Shortly before my ordination, my teacher — Ajaan Fuang Jotiko — told me: "If you want to learn, you'll have to think like a thief and figure out how to steal your knowledge."

[2] MN 57.

See also: AN 10.48; AN 10.101.

Edit: Sunday, March 17, 2019 8:43 AM

'Castless have I now become'.

One who has gone forth should repeatedly reflect on this.

'Bound up in the reactions of others is my life'.

One who has gone forth should repeatedly reflect on this.

'What is proper for me to do is now different.'

One who has gone forth should repeatedly reflect on this.

- AN 10.48;

Oblog: [O.3.4.19.2] 7:15 AM

PDFVincent Arthur Smith, Asoka, the Buddhist emperor of India
E-pubVincent Arthur Smith, Asoka, the Buddhist emperor of India

Unread at this point. Cited in AN 10.19, n. 1

Oblog: [O.3.4.19.3] 8:52 AM

[DN 33] DN 33: The Recital: Introduction, by C.A.F. Rhys Davids

 


 

Oblog: [O.2.27.19] Wednesday, February 27, 2019 7:34 AM

Those that much covet are with gain so fond
That what they have not, that which they possess,
They scatter and unloose it from their bond,
And so, by hoping more, they have but less;
Or, gaining more, the profit of excess
  Is but to surfeit, and such griefs sustain,
  That they prove bankrupt in this poor-rich gain.

The aim of all[1] is but to nurse the life
With honour, wealth and ease, in waning age;
And in this aim there is such thwarting strife
That one for all or all for one we gage;
As life for honour in fell battle's rage;
  Honour for wealth; and oft that wealth doth cost
  The death of all, and all together lost.

So that in venturing ill we leave to be
The things we are for that which we expect;
And this ambitious foul infirmity,
In having much, torments us with defect
Of that we have: so then we do neglect
  The thing we have, and, all for want of wit,
  Make something nothing by augmenting it.

- The Rape of Lucrece, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, The Cambridge Edition Text, as edited by William Aldis Wright, Doubleday, Doran & Compny, Inc., 1936

[1] For the Buddhist, this goes to far, but it is true of the unawakened nevertheless.

 


 

Oblog: [O.2.21.19] Thursday, February 21, 2019 7:12 AM

[AN 9.41] Tapussa the Householder, the M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Hare translation, and the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
The Buddha describes the benefits of giving all up and the dangers in pleasures of the senses. The essence of the sutta is a not too difficult to understand progression of lettings-go leading to Nibbana by way of the Jhānas.

This sutta has two interesting features. The first is that there is here the only case that I know of where 'vitakka' alone is said to be the obstruction to the second jhāna. To me this makes sense if one sees that although ultimately, there being no self there, all existing things come from the outside, it is thoughts that approach one, asking for attention, whereas pondering (vicara) is an action taken by the individual and is therefore more or less under one's control and is by that not so much of an obstruction as thinking.

The other interesting thing in this sutta is an apparent dissonance between the way it begins and the way it goes on after the Second Jhāna. The first part sets one pattern, but subsequent to the second jhāna another pattern is used. Further within the second pattern two other incompatable patterns are used. I found it impossible to reconcile the differences and what I have here in this translation is a reconstruction based on a pattern that makes sense to me. The Hare translation I have left abridged as he has it, so you can see the problem, and I have left the Pali also as it appears in the PTS texts, but I have also provided a second Pali reconstructed to parallel my translation. All other translations have the single occurance of 'vitakka' though none note it's uniqueness in the Pali. No translator notes the confusion of patterns. All versions can be found in the Index.

Oblog: [O.2.21.19.2] Thursday, February 21, 2019 9:48 AM

The Problem with Worldly Activisim

For the seeker after ultimate freedom, freedom of mind, freedom of heart, freedom of consciousness, the inniinvisable consciousness, living outside time, the Deathless, the unborn, Nibbāna, orientation towards getting creates the situation where every existing thing becomes an obstruction to this freedom, every effort to attain binds one more strongly to this world, not the least because of the anger and frustration likely to be experienced at not attaining; primarily because ultimate freedom cannot be attained while caught up in the sorts of points of view that inspire worldly activisim and the sorts of deeds that follow.

But for one oriented towards letting go, desire to change the world, improve the world, act in the world in any way is seen as the obstruction. That is the starting point, the background, the given, and there is no expectation that messing with the world will yield anything more than pain. And every even very transient experience of freedom that results from not-doing is seen as a blessing, a release, a reward, a confirmation that such ultimate freedom exists and can be found, a motivator, encouraging courage and fortitude in letting it all go.

For one unconcerned with personal escape from pain into ultimate freedom, of course, this is not seen as a problem. And teaching others, encouraging others in worldly activism is not seen as misguiding those who follow.

This is not to say that doing good deeds in the world, while maintaining an over-all orientation towards letting go, is not good kamma and correct practice. It is. And such deeds are encouraged as stepping stones to building confidence in letting go of what is hard to let go of. But, to use Don Juan's term, such deeds should always be seen as 'controlled folly'.

It can be seen that one can successfully use action to abandon action; desire to let go of desire, but the motive of changing the world even for the better is not that, it is a grasping after personal gain. Always!

Compassion for beings should be oriented towards their ultimate good and that is best taught by example and the example to be followed in this Dhamma is that of the Buddha letting it all go.

So say I.

Oblog: [O.2.21.19.3] Thursday, February 21, 2019 1:27 PM

Cetaso Ekodibhāvaɱ = Single Heart

The meaning is 'not duplicitous'.

King Henry VIII, William Shakespeare, Act V, iii, Cranmer:
"My good lords, hitherto, in all the progress
Both of my life and office, I have labour'd,
And with no little study, that my teaching
And the strong course of my authority
Might go one way, and safely; and the end
Was ever to do well: nor is there living,
I speak it with a single heart, my lords,
A man that more detests, more stirs against,
Both in his private conscience and his place,
Defacers of a public peace, than I do."

page 1361, Col. 2. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, The Cambridge Edition Text, as edited by William Aldis Wright, Doubleday, Doran & Compny, Inc., 1936

Today we would say: 'single-minded' or 'whole-hearted' with the negative connotation being "having a one-track mind".

That 'might go one way' might also be the idea in back of 'Ekāyano'; again, not hypocritical or duplicitous or having a hidden adgenda.

 


 

Oblog: [O.2.12.19] Tuesday, February 12, 2019 8:41 AM

PDFThe Buddhist Monastic Code Volumes I & II combined. Volume I: The Pāṭimokkha Rules; Volume II (begins on page 643; see also the bookmarks): The Khandhaka Rules. Translated and Explained by Thānissaro Bhikkhu (Geoffrey DeGraff).
A paperback copy of this book is available free of charge. To request one write to: Book Request, Metta Forest Monastery, PO Box 1409, Valley Center, CA 92082 USA. Unless you are a bhikkhu, please consider making a donation to Metta Forest Monastery for this work.

From the Preface by Bhikkhu Thanissaro: "... a two-volume book that attempts to give an organized, detailed account of the Vinaya training rules and the traditions that have grown up around them. The Pāṭimokkha training rules as explained in the Sutta Vibhaṅga are the topic of the first volume; the rules found in the Khandhakas, the topic of the second. The book as a whole is aimed primarily at those whose lives are affected by the rules—bhikkhus who live by them, and other people who have dealings with the bhikkhus—so that they will be able to find gathered in one location as much essential information as possible on just what the rules do and do not entail. Students of Early Buddhism, Theravādin history, or contemporary Theravādin issues should also find this book interesting, as should anyone who is serious about the practice of the Dhamma and wants to see how the Buddha worked out the ramifications of Dhamma practice in daily life. The amount of information offered here is both the book’s strength and its weakness. On the one hand, it encompasses material that in some cases is otherwise unavailable in English or even in romanized Pali, and should be sufficient to serve as a life-long companion to any bhikkhu who seriously wants to benefit from the precise and thorough training the rules have to offer. On the other hand, the sheer size of the book and the mass of details to be remembered might prove daunting or discouraging to anyone just embarking on the bhikkhu’s life. To overcome this drawback, I have tried to organize the material in as clear-cut a manner as possible. In particular, in volume one I have analyzed each rule into its component factors so as to show not only the rule’s precise range but also how it connects to the general pattern of mindfully analyzing one’s own actions in terms of such factors as intention, perception, object, effort, and result—a system that plays an important role in the training of the mind. In volume two, I have gathered rules by subject so as to give a clear sense of how rules scattered randomly in the texts actually relate to one another in a coherent way."

 


 

Oblog: [O.2.10.19] Sunday, February 10, 2019 9:11 AM

 

Paṭhamam p'ahaɱ Bhikkhave jhānaɱ nissāya āsavānaɱ khayaɱ vadāmi.

By Means of the First Gnosis

Being a discourse based on the first section of
AN 9.36: Jhāna-Nisasaya Suttaɱ

 

Laid down at Sāvatthi:

"I say, beggars, that the destruction of the corrupting influences,
is had just by means of the First Gnosis."

Corrupting influences: Āsāvas: (1) Seeking out sense-pleasures, (2) the desire to exist, and (3) blindness as to the result of existence in pain. 'The destruction of the āsāvas:' is another way of naming Arahantship.

First Gnosis. Paṭhamaɱ-jhānaɱ. The first point at which one can know and see the point of the Dhamma and the method for attaining its ends. The fundamental nature or character of the first Gnosis is that there is here a conscious appreciation of the peace and calm of solitude. It is the first point at which actual experience shows one with the insight to appreciate it, the benefits of solitude.

This is what has been said,
and because of what is this said?

Taking himself to some place of solitude,
the root of some tree,
a cave on some mountainside,
a heap of straw in an open field,
or an empty hut;
sitting down,
sitting up straight,
head, neck and back in alignment with the perpindicular,
legs crossed Indian Style,
he minds the area around the mouth.

Legs crossed Indian Style For very long meditation sessions, better than either the full lotus or the half lotus - at least for those not brought up to using those postures - the Indian style, (that is the Native American 'Indian') where the legs are crossed in front of one, but do not overlap or rest under each other is the seat which can be maintained for the longest time with the least discomfort.

He minds the area around the mouth for the very simple reason that this is a very small, simple thing on which to focus and which serves as a 'center'. When you want to let it all go, you will want as little there to let go of as possible. The face is much more complex of a thing to let go than the mouth. It is also the mouth which is the starting point of existence in a body and it is further the place where most trouble begins (it is where you shovel in the food, and spew forth your bile). "Watch your mouth!" When this center is fully established, it then may prove valuable to mind the face, where one will find all the sense organs located and one can observe the reactions of such to sense-stimulus; or one may mind the interface of the body with the world, or of the body and the world as distinct from the mind, or mind to bring minding to the forefront of one's endeavours at setting up minding (1) the body, (2) the experiences, (3) the mental states and (4) The Dhamma. Start with minding around the mouth.

Here, beggars, a beggar is so separated from sense-pleasures,
separated from unskillful things,
that with thinking,
with pondering the appreciation
of the pleasures born of solitude
there is thus entrance into
and habituation of the First Gnosis.

Sense pleasures: (kāma) (1) Indulging in sights, (2) sounds, (3) scents, (4) savours, and (5) touches.

Unskillful things: (akusalehi dhammehi) The Nīvaraṇā: The Diversions: (1) Wishing for sense-pleasures; (2) deviance; (3) lazy ways and inertia; (4) fear and anxiety; (5) doubt and vacillation.

Then, whatever is to be had there,
of form,
of experience,
of perception,
of own-making,
of consciousness,

(1) Form, (2) experience, (3) perception, (4) own-making, (5) consciousness = the Khandhas. The stockpiled constituents of an existing being. When you 'sankhāra' that which you intend to create is stockpiled, awaiting an opportunity to manifest itself. Such opportunity is opened up the instant one takes action. Another way of saying: 'Everything that exists and exists in potentiality as an identified-with component of an existing being.'
(1) Form (rūpa): the shape or form or perceptable factor of whatever has become an existing thing, including sounds and other invisible things.
(2) Experience (vedanā): This is three things in English: 'experience', 'sense-experience' and 'sensation'. 'Experience' which is for the ordinary person 'sense-experience' and for the arahant 'extra-sensory experience'; 'sense-experience', for the ordinary person experiencing the results of contact of sense-organ with sense-object; and 'sensation,' for the ordinary person, the feeling of pleasure or pain or neither pleasure nor pain (not 'neutral' feeling; this is not a feeling, it is the absence of feeling and is another term for Nibbāna), for the arahant this is only the sensation that is neither pleasant nor painful;
(3) Perception (saññā): The first awareness of a thing or the characteristic of a thing; although perception is had only of things which consist of forms and their names, perception is prior to any 'thinking about' or 'pondering of' such things,
(4) Own-making (sankhāra): This is identification with the intent to create experience for the self by way of acts of thought, word, and deed and the resulting identified-with experience,
(5) Consciousness (viññāṇa): This is knowing that one knows. Conscious awareness. The word literally means re-knowing-knowing-knowledge, which reflects the reality.

such things he perceives for himself
as being changeable,
painful,
broken,
a boil,
a stab,
an abyss,
an affliction,
'other',
disintegrating,
empty,
not-self.

Here we have a simile of an archer who sets up a target (setting up the khandhas as the object of one's thinkiing and pondering) and conscientiously practices to shoot long distances (remembering what was done and said long ago), accurately, and in rapid succession (swift in intuition), and to pierce great masses (the great mass of blindness). There are those who by the use of a simile come to understanding. Others will need to be told that what is being said here is that once the method is understood, it must be put into practice over and over again until one has achieved mastery over it; thinking and pondering over all one is attached to in all the various ways such things can come up and what is necessary to know, see and understand in order to let go of attachment to them.

Thus he turns his heart away from such things.

He thus having turned his heart away from such things,
joins his heart to the state of the deathless
thinking:

"This is the peaceful,
this is the culmination,
that is to say:
the calming down of all own-making;
the laying down of all planning;
the destruction of hunger/thirst;
dispassion,
ending,
Nibbāna."

He, taking his stand on this
arives at the destruction of the corrupting influences.

There is a follow-up paragraph which states that should one fail at destruction of the corrupting influences using this method, one will nevertheless have created such momentum in practice that one will break the five yokes to rebirth in lower realms and will, upon departing this life without dying, be reborn in a higher realm without birth, spontaneously, and will make an end there. This, of course, if one has made good faith effort.

Edit [Saturday, February 23, 2019 8:10 AM]: There is in some cases of the description of the First Jhāna, an accompanying simile of a bath attendent or his apprentice taking soap-flakes, (at'za you mind, snow-flake), and in a copper bowl sprinkling them with water (understanding), working them round and round into a ball (repeated practice at bringing some coherance to your mind, in this case focusing on the thrill that accompanies appreciation of solitude), until that soap-ball (your body) is soaked, permeated, suffused and saturated with that thrill that accompanies the First Jhāna.

 


 

Oblog: [O.2.4.19] Monday, February 04, 2019 8:45 AM

[AN 9.16] Perceptions, the M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Hare translation, the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation and the Sister Upalavanna translation.
Nine perceptions which are of great fruit and of great profit.

Nine Profitable Perceptions

"There are these nine perceptions, beggars,
which, made a big thing of,
have great fruit
are of great advantage;
lead on to the deathless,
culminate in the deathless.

What nine?

1. Perception of the ugly

Bhikkhu Thanissaro would limit this to perception of the uglyness of body. Note this is 'perception' not 'thought of'. You really need to see the uglyness as uglyness. While this is the most important of the ways this perception can be used, it is not the only way. The idea is to break attachment by focusing on the unpleasant feature of a thing. It is especially useful when combating lust by focusing on the things in the lust-object which will drive you crazy the day after. Too fat, too thin, too tall, too short ...

2. perception of death,

This is the perception that one will die by way of seeing that death is bound up in existence; that once come to existence a thing will pass out of existence. Again, this is not a theoretical understanding, it is the perception of the fact. Look around, see if you can find an object that will not eventually cease to exist. Your perception of death is when you have given up trying to find such a thing.

3. perception of the revolting nature of food,

At root this is the perception that whatever it is that one eats, it involved the killing of some living being or many living beings.

4. perception of non-indulgence in all worlds,

This is seeing the uselessness of indulging in ambitions (however minor) in a world which is an ending thing. This must be a broad, sweeping perception that encompasses every sort and possibility of existing in any sort of world whatever. Focus on some form of existence ("I want to be a movie star") and then focus on all the disadvantages of that. The primary disadvantage being that one will have no time for Dhamma research and practice, but bring in all the other disadvantages you can imagine. Do this for any occupation in the world that tempts you.

5. perception of change,

Pay attention to the way things change. Again, not as a theoretical proposition, but as a perception of the reality. Think time-lapse photography. Begin by focusing on things where seeing the change is easy, such as with water, the weather, plant life; then broaden it out into percption of aging in your friends. Marvelous! It appears that I am the only one that does not change.

6. perception of pain in change,

This is where most people need to get real. It is painful when things do not go your way. It is more painful when they go your way for a time and then change direction. Somewhere in your history there is highly likely someone who has died whose death caused you pain. Focus on that and then generalize out. Inwardly one yearns for rest, stability. What we have in stead is like trying to keep balance on an avalanch. The stress is so constant that it has become like white noise; your job is to see through the block to the reality.

7. perception of not-self in the painful

This is essentially the perception that if a thing were one's own, it would be under one's control, would not cause us pain because we simply did not want to experience pain, and that 'this' is not under one's control and therefore must not be 'the self' of one should there be such a thing. Then of course there is the deduction that since all that which has come into existence will pass out of existence and because of that be painful, there is nothing there whatever that can rightfully be called the self. Then there is the need to restrain yourself from forming the opinion that there is no self.

8. perception of letting go,

Just giving up a bad habit is not going to bring you much closer to Nibbana. If you do not examine the situation, you will more than likely just pick up some new bad habit. What you must also do is to perceive the release of tension that follows letting go. Bring yourself to the perception that this thing that has been let go, if not taken up again, cannot in future cause you pain. That perceived is what will motivate you when some of the more difficult things to give up must be given up.

9. perception of dispassion

Again this is not the intellectual idea that by letting go of thirst one ends pain; it is the perception that when you have let go of any thirst, no pain could result from that.

 


 

Oblog: [O.2.3.19] Sunday, February 03, 2019 8:48 AM

In researching another topic I found the following which is Mrs. Rhys Davids discussion of the term 'Pīti' which I quote here in an effort to counter-act the tendency to define this term in only one way (as per Bhk. Thanissaro: 'rapture'). The reason for that being the dissonance between the ease of entering the first jhāna in all other respects versus the difficulty of that if Pīti is described as exclusively 'rapture.'

From: Dh.S.: A Buddhist Manual of Psychological Ethics, C.A.F. Rhys Davids, trans.: §7: "Pīti, as distinguished from sukhaɱ, is explicitly excluded from the skandha of feeling, considered as the irreducible hedonic constituent, and referred to the composite psychoses of the sankhāra skandha. It connotes emotion, as distinct from bare feeling; that is to say, pīti is a complex psychical phenomenon, implying a "central psycho-physical) origin" and a widely diffused "somatic resonance" (cf. Sully, The Human Mind, ii, 56). It arises out of a present idea, and suffuses the whole being. By Buddhaghosa's day it was divided into five species: the thrill of joy, just causing "the flesh to creep"; the flash of joy, like lightening; the flood of joy, like the breakers on a seashore; ecstasy or transport, in which the subject could float in the air; and overwhelming suffusing joy (Asl. 115, 116). Instances are related of the fourth species (ubbega-pīti), the inspiring idea being "Buddhārammaṇaɱ" (see also Visuddhi Magga, chap. iv; "Yogāvacara's Manual," vii; Bud. Psy., 1914, 187 f.) The same word (ubbego) is used to describe the anguish or trembling over guilt discovered."

Note the commentary classes Pīti not under vedana, but under sankhāra in the khandhas. In other words for the commentators pīti is self-made, intentionally created, not an externally stimulated thing. This much I agree with, but I would suggest that vedana too (as with all the khandhas) is sankhāra'd.

I do not disagree with Mrs. Rhys-Davids analysis, but think it is not sufficiently wide in scope. I am suggesting the term stands for the spectrum of phenomena that falls between appreciation and rapture.

Try thinking of the distinction as being between pleasure and the enjoyment of pleasure. The former is a sensation, the latter is a reaction to sensation. So what we have in the first jhāna is 'appreciation of the pleasures born of solitude,' rather than 'pleasure and enjoyment born of solitude'. The 'enjoyment' needs to be shown to be of the pleasure of solitude.

By the way this raises the issue of posture. It is very important to the arising of the more blissful states of Pīti that one is sitting or standing with one's spine in proper alignment. For tall people, the ability to sit up straight depends greatly on having good upper body strength and strong abdomnal muscles. Good posture used to be one of the things parents taught their children. Not so these days. So train yourselves starting as early as you can! Its important!

For more on Pīti, see AN 10.1 ff.

 


 

Oblog: [O.1.30.19] Wednesday, January 30, 2019 6:01 AM

Who the Potter, pray, and who the pot?
— Omar

A Doer of the Word, Chapter 2 of Twelve Men, by Theodore Dreiser, 1919.
An inspirational story about a Master Giver. It is a non-fiction interview. Although this is about a Christian who has made a vehicle of generosity, it is in no way in conflict with the ideas concerning generosity in the Buddha's system. It may, in these times, seem a bit sappy, but that is not really the case, Dreiser, as interviewer here is sufficiently skeptical. There are many tricks of giving revealed as well as some stories of magic power. Altogether anyone desiring to expand their hearts through generosity would do well to read this short chapter.
Theodore Dreiser was a little-known, but very influential American novelest writing at the end of the 19th century. He wrote on many levels, but the basic structure was to take the 'young pregnant unmarried mother evicted from her hovel in the depth of winter by the ruthless landlord who in frustrated lust and jealousy ties her up and puts her on the railroad tracks with a train on-coming' style and elevates it to fine art. Every scene in his writing is an examination of human nature.

 


 

Oblog: [O.1.27.19] Sunday, January 27, 2019 6:34 AM

[SN 5.46.8] Upavāṇa, the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
The Venerable Upavana explains how by developing the seven dimensions of awakening one can know a pleasant way of living (that is, Arahantship).

 


 

Oblog: [O.1.26.19] Saturday, January 26, 2019 8:24 AM

[DN 29] The Inspiring Discourse, The Bhikkhu Thanissaro, translation.
Linked to the Pali and the T.W. Rhys Davids translation.
Gotama responds to the news that the death of Nathaputta the Nigantha has resulted in the break-up and general disorder of his followers by outlining in great detail the solid foundation on which the Saŋgha has been constructed.
[AN 10.61] Ignorance, the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation.
In the technique of the Paticca Samuppada, the Buddha traces out how blindness rolls on and the way freedom from it is managed.
[SN 2.12.18] To Timbarukkha, the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali, the C.A.F. Rhys Davids translation, and the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation.
Timbaruka asks the Buddha a series of questions about the source of pain and pleasure and to each of his questions receives the response, 'it is not such as that.' When Timbaruka asks for an explanation, The Buddha teaches him the 'Doctrine Going Down the Middle': that is, the Paticca Samuppada, the chain of interdependent factors giving rise to the experience of individualized existence and the resulting pain.
The question here is: Is sayaɱ kataɱ 'own-whatever-made' (Rhys Davids: 'wrought by one's self'; Bhk. Bodhi: 'created by oneself'; Bhk. Thanissaro: 'self-made') not just another form of sankhāra 'own-making'? Or the other way around, is not sankhāra just a contracted form of sayaɱ kataɱ?

 


 

Oblog: [O.1.25.19] Friday, January 25, 2019 5:17 AM

[AN 4.195] To Vappa, The Bhikkhu Thanissaro, translation.
Linked to the Pali and the Woodward translation.
A very important sutta! Especially for anyone near death concerned about past kamma cataching up. The Buddha describes how it is that by not doing unskillful deeds (i.e., making any new kamma, any own-making) with mind, speech or body no new consequences will be accumulated; in not doing new deeds, one is placed face-to-face with the results of old deeds and by intelligently resolving all such consequences as they come up one will have eliminated the possibility of painful kammic results coming to one in any future state. As I understand this the proposition is that practicing in this way the results of past deeds are forced to present themselves in this life in that they cannot flow into the future state of a being where no action creating a future identified-with state (own-making, kamma, of thought, word, or deed) exists.
[SNP 30] Sundarika Bhāradvāja, The Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali and the Fausbøll translation.
A brahman questions the Buddha to see if the latter deserves to receive the cake resulting from his sacrifice.
[MN 56] The Teaching to Upāli
Linked to the Pali, the Chalmers translation, the Sister Upalavanna translation, and the Horner translation.
A debate with the Buddha concerning the Jain proposition that of deeds of mind, word, and body, the deed of body carried the strongest kammic consequences where the Buddha holds that it is the deed of mind that carries the strongest kammic consequences.
[AN 10.72] Thorns, The Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali and the Woodward translation.
The Buddha teaches of ten things which are thorns to one who is actively practicing. Pay special attention to Bhk. Thanissaro's Footnote #3 which explains the common-sense way the idea of 'thorn' should be taken.

 


 

Oblog: [O.1.23.19] Wednesday, January 23, 2019 9:37 AM

Max Muller, Vanity Fair
1875 Vanity Fair caricature of Müller confirming that, at the age of fifty-one, with numerous honours, he was one of the truly notable "Men of the Day".

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[dhp] The Dhammapada, A Collection of Verses, Being One of the Canonical Books of the Buddhists, translated by F. Max Max Müller, 1881
Reformatted from the version scanned and proofread by Christopher M. Weimer, Sacred Text Archives.
There is a very comprehensive (for the time) Introduction.
Chapters are linked-to from the Index;
individual verses are linked to the Pali; can be linked-to or located by appending '#v0' to the end of the url. E.g.: ~dhamma-vinaya/sbe/kd/dhp/kd.dhp.mulr.sbe.htm#v1
This is probably the most well-known and most-translated work of the Pali. This translation, one of the very first, has the advantage of being done by a non-Buddhist; it has the disadvantage of being done by a dyed-in-the-wool Sanskrit scholar.
I don't suppose that academics are actually any more arrogant than any other group of frightened people of limited scope (e.g., politicians, Englishmen), it is just that they have more exposure and are less fearful of their ignorance being exposed. So I suppose we should be grateful that Doc. Müller has graceously allowed that in some cases it may be reasonable for Pali scholars to use the Pali spelling of words in their works, and for that reason he has done so in this work. That said the reader of this translation will find the spelling of many Pali words in need of deciphering because the work was done prior to the establishment of any stable convention concerning diacriticals. I have inserted unicode diacriticals where it appeared harmless.

 


 

Oblog: [O.1.18.19] Friday, January 18, 2019 4:35 AM

Eight Accomplishments

Having enterprise
Being on-guard
Being friendly with the good
Living life on an even keel
Having gained faith
Being ethically conducted
Being generous
Having wisdom.

—AN 8.75
definitions are found onAN 8.76.

Eight That Advance One in Training

Taking no delight in activity;
Taking no delight in talking;
Taking no delight in sleep;
Taking no delight in groups;
Guarding the sense-forces;
Moderation in eating;
Taking no delight in contact;
Taking no delight in distraction.

—AN 8.75

 


 

Oblog: [O.1.13.19] Sunday, January 13, 2019 10:21 AM

[AN 8.63] A Condensed Dhamma Discourse, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Hare translation, and the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
A bhikkhu asks for a lesson 'in brief' and gets a lesson in detail. A truly unique sutta which leads to arahantship by a complex mixing of the four brahma viharas, and samādhi practice in the context of satipatthana training. A good sutta to break up the rigid understanding of samādhi and satipaṭṭhana practice.
This is a very interesting sutta because it gives a step-by-step instruction in meditation practice. It is notable here that while the factors of jhāna are stated, they are all just classed under 'samādhi' ('serenity'; Hare, Bhk. Thanisaro, Bhk. Bodhi: 'concentration') and are not put in the usual 1-4 grouping and the term 'jhāna' is not mentioned. The method for transitioning out of vitakka and vicāra is inidicated here in a way that is only found in a few suttas: that is, by abandoning one, then the other. Also interesting in this sutta is the way serenity practice is combined with the satipaṭṭānās. Note that this instruction was intended to, and did, result by itself in the hearer, putting it into practice, becoming an arahant.

 

§

 

Aŋguttara Nikāya
VIII. Aṭṭhaka Nipāta
VII. Bhūmi-Cāla Vagga

Sutta 63

Sankhitta-Desita Suttaɱ

A Condensed Dhamma Discourse

Translated from the Pali

 


 

[1][pts][than] I HEAR TELL:

Once upon a time The Lucky Man, Sāvatthi Town revisiting.

There then a bhikkhu drew near the Lucky Man.

Having drawn near The Lucky Man,
and given salutation,
he took a seat to one side.

Seated to one side, then, this bhikkhu addressed The Lucky Man:

"It would be well for me, bhante,
if the Bhagavā would teach a condensed Dhamma,
such that having heard Bhagavā's Dhamma,
I could live alone,
apart,
careful,
ardent,
intent on striving."

[aside] "... and even so are there some confused persons
who neither come to my Dhamma talks,
nor think they should follow me."

"Let, bhante, Bhagavā teach a condensed Dhamma
teach, Well-gone, a condensed Dhamma!

It may be such that even I might come to understand
the goal spoken of by Bhagavā;
it may be such that even I might become one
to receive what the Bhagavā says."

 

§

 

2. "In that case then, bhikkhu, train yourself this way:

'Let my heart,
having become well-composed within,
be still,
and not give rise to bad, unskillful things
that, persisting, overwhelm the heart.'

This is how, bhikkhu, to train yourself.

 

§

 

3. When, bhikkhu, your heart,
having become well-composed within,
is still,
and does not give rise to bad, unskillful things
that, persisting, overwhelm the heart,
then, bhikkhu, you must train yourself thus:

'Let freedom of heart through friendliness be made-become,
made a big thing,
made a vehicle,
made a reality,
come to greatness,
well-set going.'

This is how, bhikkhu, to train yourself.

4. When, bhikkhu, this serene state
has been made become this way,
made a big thing,
proceed thus, bhikkhu, with this serenity:

'Become with thinking along with pondering.

Become without thinking, but with pondering.

Become completely without thinking, without pondering.

Become along with enthusiasm.

Become completely without enthusiasm.

Become accompanied just with the agreeable.

Become accompanied just with detachment.'

This is how, bhikkhu, to train yourself.

 

§

 

5. When, bhikkhu, this serene state
has been made become this way,
made a big thing,
proceed thus, bhikkhu, with this serenity:

'Let freedom of heart through sympathy be made-become,
made a big thing,
made a vehicle,
made a reality,
come to greatness,
well-set going.'

This is how, bhikkhu, to train yourself.

When, bhikkhu, this serene state
has been made become this way,
made a big thing,
proceed thus, bhikkhu, with this serenity:

'Become with thinking along with pondering.

Become without thinking, but with pondering.

Become completely without thinking, without pondering.

Become along with enthusiasm.

Become completely without enthusiasm.

Become accompanied just with the agreeable.

Become accompanied just with detachment.'

This is how, bhikkhu, to train yourself.

 

§

 

6. When, bhikkhu, this serene state
has been made become this way,
made a big thing,
proceed thus, bhikkhu, with this serenity:

'Let freedom of heart through empathy be made-become,
made a big thing,
made a vehicle,
made a reality,
come to greatness,
well-set going.'

This is how, bhikkhu, to train yourself.

When, bhikkhu, this serene state
has been made become this way,
made a big thing,
proceed thus, bhikkhu, with this serenity:

'Become with thinking along with pondering.

Become without thinking, but with pondering.

Become completely without thinking, without pondering.

Become along with enthusiasm.

Become completely without enthusiasm.

Become accompanied just with the agreeable.

Become accompanied just with detachment.'

This is how, bhikkhu, to train yourself.

 

§

 

7. When, bhikkhu, this serene state
has been made become this way,
made a big thing,
proceed thus, bhikkhu, with this serenity:

'Let freedom of heart through detachment be made-become,
made a big thing,
made a vehicle,
made a reality,
come to greatness,
well-set going.'

This is how, bhikkhu, to train yourself.

When, bhikkhu, this serene state
has been made become this way,
made a big thing,
proceed thus, bhikkhu, with this serenity:

'Become with thinking along with pondering.

Become without thinking, but with pondering.

Become completely without thinking, without pondering.

Become along with enthusiasm.

Become completely without enthusiasm.

Become accompanied just with the agreeable.

Become accompanied just with detachment.'

This is how, bhikkhu, to train yourself.

 

§

 

8. When, bhikkhu, this serene state
has been made become this way,
made a big thing,
proceed thus, bhikkhu, with this serenity:

'Living in a body,
I will oversee the body,
ardent, self-aware, minding,
having settled down worldly coveting and depression.'

This is how, bhikkhu, to train yourself.

When, bhikkhu, this serene state
has been made become this way,
made a big thing,
proceed thus, bhikkhu, with this serenity:

'Become with thinking along with pondering.

Become without thinking, but with pondering.

Become completely without thinking, without pondering.

Become along with enthusiasm.

Become completely without enthusiasm.

Become accompanied just with the agreeable.

Become accompanied just with detachment.'

This is how, bhikkhu, to train yourself.

 

§

 

9. When, bhikkhu, this serene state
has been made become this way,
made a big thing,
proceed thus, bhikkhu, with this serenity:

'Living in sense-experience,
I will oversee sense-experience,
ardent, self-aware, minding,
having settled down worldly coveting and depression.'

This is how, bhikkhu, to train yourself.

When, bhikkhu, this serene state
has been made become this way,
made a big thing,
proceed thus, bhikkhu, with this serenity:

'Become with thinking along with pondering.

Become without thinking, but with pondering.

Become completely without thinking, without pondering.

Become along with enthusiasm.

Become completely without enthusiasm.

Become accompanied just with the agreeable.

Become accompanied just with detachment.'

This is how, bhikkhu, to train yourself.

 

§

 

10. When, bhikkhu, this serene state
has been made become this way,
made a big thing,
proceed thus, bhikkhu, with this serenity:

'Living in mental states,
I will oversee mental states,
ardent, self-aware, minding,
having settled down worldly coveting and depression.'

This is how, bhikkhu, to train yourself.

When, bhikkhu, this serene state
has been made become this way,
made a big thing,
proceed thus, bhikkhu, with this serenity:

'Become with thinking along with pondering.

Become without thinking, but with pondering.

Become completely without thinking, without pondering.

Become along with enthusiasm.

Become completely without enthusiasm.

Become accompanied just with the agreeable.

Become accompanied just with detachment.'

This is how, bhikkhu, to train yourself.

 

§

 

11. When, bhikkhu, this serene state
has been made become this way,
made a big thing,
proceed thus, bhikkhu, with this serenity:

'Living in the Dhamma,
I will oversee things,
ardent, self-aware, minding,
having settled down worldly coveting and depression.'

This is how, bhikkhu, to train yourself.

When, bhikkhu, this serene state
has been made become this way,
made a big thing,
proceed thus, bhikkhu, with this serenity:

'Become with thinking along with pondering.

Become without thinking, but with pondering.

Become completely without thinking, without pondering.

Become along with enthusiasm.

Become completely without enthusiasm.

Become accompanied just with the agreeable.

Become accompanied just with detachment.'

This is how, bhikkhu, to train yourself.

 

§

 

12. When, bhikkhu, this serene state
has been made become well developed this way,
proceeding thus, bhikkhu —

-◦-

approaching, whatever is thus approached,
is approached in comfort;

-◦-

whenever, however, standing,
the standing is comfortable,

-◦-

whenever, however seated,
the seat is comfortable,

-◦-

whenever, however the place for lying down be made,
the place for lying down that is made is comfortable.

 

§

 

13. There then, this bhikkhu,
having been so instructed with this instruction,
living alone,
apart,
careful,
ardent,
intent on striving
in no long time
clearly understood, incorporated, and achieved that goal
that un-surpassable living of the godly life
for which sons of good families
leave home for homelessness
seeing it for himself in this visible thing.

And he knew:

"Left behind is re-birth;
lived is the godly life,
done is duty's doing,
no further is there it'n-n-at'n."

And this bhikkhu became another of the Arahants.

 


 

Oblog: [O.1.9.19] Wednesday, January 09, 2019 8:07 AM

[AN 8.56] Fear, A Name for Sensuality, The M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali and the Hare translation.
Eight terms that should be considered synonyms for sense pleasures: 'fear', 'pain', 'disease', 'inflammation', 'hook', 'bondage', 'swamp', and 'in-wombed'.

 


 

Aŋguttara Nikāya
VIII. Aṭṭhaka Nipāta
VI. Gotamī Vagga aka Sa-ādhāna-Vagga

Sutta 56

Bhaya Suttaɱ

Fear, A Name for Sensuality

Translated from the Pali

 


 

[1][pts] I HEAR TELL:

Once upon a time The Lucky Man, Sāvatthi Town revisiting.

There, to the Beggars gathered round he said:

"Beggars!"

And the beggars responding, "Bhante!" the Lucky Man said this:

2. "'Fear', beggars, is a deeper way of speaking of sensuality;
'pain', beggars, is a deeper way of speaking of sensuality;
'sickness', beggars, is a deeper way of speaking of sensuality;
'a cancer', beggars, is a deeper way of speaking of sensuality;
'a stabbing', beggars, is a deeper way of speaking of sensuality;
'relations', beggars, is a deeper way of speaking of sensuality;
'a mire', beggars, is a deeper way of speaking of sensuality;
'a womb', beggars, is a deeper way of speaking of sensuality.

 

§

 

3. And why, beggars, is 'fear' a deeper way of speaking of sensuality?

Whoever is empassioned by lust for sensuality,
bound by lustful wishing,
is not even released from fear in this visible thing,
is certainly not released from fear in his future states.

Therefore is 'fear' a deeper way of speaking of sensuality.

3. And why, beggars, is 'pain' a deeper way of speaking of sensuality?

Whoever is empassioned by lust for sensuality,
bound by lustful wishing,
is not even released from pain in this visible thing,
is certainly not released from pain in his future states.

Therefore is 'pain' a deeper way of speaking of sensuality.

3. And why, beggars, is 'sickness' a deeper way of speaking of sensuality?

Whoever is empassioned by lust for sensuality,
bound by lustful wishing,
is not even released from sickness in this visible thing,
is certainly not released from sickness in his future states.

Therefore is 'sickness' a deeper way of speaking of sensuality.

3. And why, beggars, is 'a cancer' a deeper way of speaking of sensuality?

Whoever is empassioned by lust for sensuality,
bound by lustful wishing,
is not even released from cancer in this visible thing,
is certainly not released cancer in his future states.

Therefore is 'a cancer' a deeper way of speaking of sensuality.

3. And why, beggars, is 'a stab' a deeper way of speaking of sensuality?

Whoever is empassioned by lust for sensuality,
bound by lustful wishing,
is not even released from being stabbed in this visible thing,
is certainly not released from being stabbed in his future states.

Therefore is 'a stab' a deeper way of speaking of sensuality.

3. And why, beggars, is 'relations' a deeper way of speaking of sensuality?

Whoever is empassioned by lust for sensuality,
bound by lustful wishing,
is not even released from relations in this visible thing,
is certainly not released from relations in his future states.

Therefore is 'relations' a deeper way of speaking of sensuality.

3. And why, beggars, is 'the mire' a deeper way of speaking of sensuality?

Whoever is empassioned by lust for sensuality,
bound by lustful wishing,
is not even released from the mire in this visible thing,
is certainly not released from the mire in his future states.

Therefore is 'the mire' a deeper way of speaking of sensuality.

3. And why, beggars, is 'the womb' a deeper way of speaking of sensuality?

Whoever is empassioned by lust for sensuality,
bound by lustful wishing,
is not even released from the womb in this visible thing,
is certainly not released from the womb in his future states.

Therefore is 'the womb' a deeper way of speaking of sensuality."

 


 

Fear, pain, sickness,
and a cancer,
relations, a mire and a womb — each
'sensuality' are called —
as common people
beset by forms delightful,
further wombs beget.

But when a beggar, ardent,
self-awareness not neglecting,
this painful mired-path surpasses,
a people quaking at birth and aging
is what he sees there.

 


 

Oblog: [O.1.5.19] Saturday, January 05, 2019 5:29 AM

 

Deeper than
the deep blue sea
is seeing
deeper
than
the Seen.

Mettā

"I do not understand your enjoyments, people,
but I wish you great happiness
in the enjoyment of them.

Forgiveness

This is a very difficult thing, this business of living.
There is scope enough between the depths of misery,
and the bliss of life above,
to quench the anger
of almost anyone
over almost anything.

 


 

Oblog: [O.1.1.19] Monday, January 1, 2019 12:01 AM

 

Selected Translation Terms
from Dr. Rupert Gethin's
Sayings of the Buddha, Oxford University Press, 2008

Abhiññā direct knowledge
Appamāda attentiveness
Āsava taints
Attan self
Bala powers
Bhikkhu monk
Bodhi awakening
Citta mind
Dhamma Truth, practice, qualities, teaching
Diṭṭhi view
Domanassa unhappyness
Dukkha suffering
Indriya faculties, senses
Jhāna absorption
Kamma action
Khandha aggregates
Kāma sense desire
Manasikāra attention
Metta friendliness
Nibbidā disenchantment
Nirodha cessation
Nīvaraṇa hindrances
Padhāna application
Passaddhi tranquillity
Paññā wisdom
Paṭicca samuppāda dependent arising
Rūpa form
Sacca truth
Samatha calm
Sampajaññā awareness
Samādhi concentration
Sankhāra forces, volitional conditions
Sati mindfulness
Saññā conceiving
Saɱyojana fetters
Sila moral behavior
Taṇhā craving
Upekkhā equanimity
Vedana feelings
Vicara examining
Vipassana insight
Viriya energy
Virāga dispassion
Vitakka thinking
Viññaṇā consciousness
First Jhāna Completely secluded from sense desirs and unwholesome qualities, he lives having attained the joy and happiness of the first absorption, which is accompanied by thinking and examining, and born of seclusion.
Second Jhāna by stilling thinking and examining, a monk lives having attained the joy and happiness of the second absorption, a state of inner clarity and mental unification that is without thinking and examining, and is born of concentration.
Third Jhāna by having no desire for joy a monk lives equanimously, mindful and fully aware; he experiences the bodily happiness of which the noble ones speak saying "equanimous and mindful, one lives happily", and so lives having attained the third absorption
Fourth Jhāna by letting go of happiness and unhappiness, as a result of the earlier dispappearance of pleasure and pain, a monk lives having attained the pure equanimity and mindfulness of the fourth absorption, which is free of happiness and unhappiness.

These tables will be permanently available from a file linked to on the Glossology contents page.

 


 

Oblog: [O.1.1.19.1] Monday, January 1, 2019 12:01 AM

 

Aŋguttara Nikāya
VIII. Aṭṭhaka Nipāta
IV. Dāna Vagga

Sutta 40

Apāya-Saŋvattanika Suttaɱ

Landing One's Self in the Pay-up

Translated from the Pali

 


 

[AN 8.40][1][pts][than][bodh] I HEAR TELL:

Once upon a time The Lucky Man, Bhaggaland, Crocodile Hill, Bhesakala Forest Deer Park revisiting.

1. The destruction of life, beggars, practiced,
developed,
made a big thing of,
lands one's self in hell,
lands one's self in the womb of anmals,
lands one's self in the garb of ghosts.

What is an altogether trivial result
of the destruction of life
for a being that is human
is having landed one's self a short life.

2. Taking the ungiven beggars, practiced,
developed,
made a big thing of,
lands one's self in hell,
lands one's self in the womb of anmals,
lands one's self in the garb of ghosts.

What is an altogether trivial result
of taking the ungiven
for a being that is human
is having landed one's self bad luck with money.

3. Misbehavior in lusts beggars, practiced,
developed,
made a big thing of,
lands one's self in hell,
lands one's self in the womb of anmals,
lands one's self in the garb of ghosts.

What is an altogether trivial result
of misbehavior in lusts
for a being that is human
is having landed one's self hatred and emnity.

4. Deceptive speach beggars, practiced,
developed,
made a big thing of,
lands one's self in hell,
lands one's self in the womb of anmals,
lands one's self in the garb of ghosts.

What is an altogether trivial result
of deceptive speach
for a being that is human
is having landed one's self untrue information.

5. Malicious gossip beggars, practiced,
developed,
made a big thing of,
lands one's self in hell,
lands one's self in the womb of anmals,
lands one's self in the garb of ghosts.

What is an altogether trivial result
of malicious gossip
for a being that is human
is having landed one's self frienship-breaking emnity.

6. Cutting speach beggars, practiced,
developed,
made a big thing of,
lands one's self in hell,
lands one's self in the womb of anmals,
lands one's self in the garb of ghosts.

What is an altogether trivial result
of cutting speach
for a being that is human
is having landed one's self unpleasant words.

7. Idle lip-flapping beggars, practiced,
developed,
made a big thing of,
lands one's self in hell,
lands one's self in the womb of anmals,
lands one's self in the garb of ghosts.

What is an altogether trivial result
of idle lip-flapping
for a being that is human
is having landed one's self mindless yacking.

8. Drinking alcoholic drinks beggars, practiced,
developed,
made a big thing of,
lands one's self in hell,
lands one's self in the womb of anmals,
lands one's self in the garb of ghosts.

What is an altogether trivial result
of drinking alcoholic drinks
for a being that is human
is having landed one's self in madness.

 


 

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