Favourites from Sutta Nipata

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phil
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Favourites from Sutta Nipata

Postby phil » Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:53 am

Hi all

Retro posted a link to a sutta from Sutta Nipata in another thread, and it reminded me how many wonderful suttas there are in there. It seems a corner of the Canon that I am really unfamiliar with, so I would appreciate hearing some of your favourites so I could look them up.

My personal favourite is the Mangala Sutta, which is available in several translation at ATI. Here's one.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

I think it really provides a complete plan for approach Dhamma, a great framework of reference for lay followers. There is a very good series of talks on it by Bhikkhu Bodhi here:

http://www.bodhimonastery.net/bm/about- ... ipata.html

Also, there is a wonderful recitation of it by Sayadaw U Silananda in Pali and English here:

http://www.buddhanet.net/audio-chant.htm

Please scroll down to "Paritta Chanting, Burmese style" and click track 2.

The "mangalas" are translated as blessings, 38 of them, but the wonderful thing is that they are blessing that we earn or fail to earn through our own actions. Towards the end of the sutta there are very refined attainments, I usually don't get that far in my reflections on it - but early on there are many wonderful sources of reflection for lay followers working with undeveloped minds. A very helpful sutta for moral guidance, the most helpful I've found, personally.

Metta,

Phil
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

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Re: Favourites from Sutta Nipata

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:24 am

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Re: Favourites from Sutta Nipata

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:07 pm

Definitely the Metta Sutta.

The Dhammika Sutta is pretty good too:

"He should not kill a living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should he incite another to kill. Do not injure any being, either strong or weak, in the world.”

Dhammika Sutta, Sutta Nipata, Khuddaka Nikaya

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Re: Favourites from Sutta Nipata

Postby phil » Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:16 am

phil wrote:Hi all

Retro posted a link to a sutta from Sutta Nipata in another thread, and it reminded me how many wonderful suttas there are in there. It seems a corner of the Canon that I am really unfamiliar with, so I would appreciate hearing some of your favourites so I could look them up.

My personal favourite is the Mangala Sutta, which is available in several translation at ATI. Here's one.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

I think it really provides a complete plan for approach Dhamma, a great framework of reference for lay followers. There is a very good series of talks on it by Bhikkhu Bodhi here:

http://www.bodhimonastery.net/bm/about- ... ipata.html

Also, there is a wonderful recitation of it by Sayadaw U Silananda in Pali and English here:

http://www.buddhanet.net/audio-chant.htm

Please scroll down to "Paritta Chanting, Burmese style" and click track 2.

The "mangalas" are translated as blessings, 38 of them, but the wonderful thing is that they are blessing that we earn or fail to earn through our own actions. Towards the end of the sutta there are very refined attainments, I usually don't get that far in my reflections on it - but early on there are many wonderful sources of reflection for lay followers working with undeveloped minds. A very helpful sutta for moral guidance, the most helpful I've found, personally.

Metta,

Phil


Hi all

Looking through the Sutta Nipata at ATI, found this sutta that is described as a companion to the Mangala in that it lays out the ways one falls away from the path while the former lays out ways that lead to happiness and progress.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nara.html

Metta,
Phil

p.s thank you Bhikkhu and David (?) for your recommendations.
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

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Re: Favourites from Sutta Nipata

Postby phil » Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:39 am

Hi all

.

Here is a good sutta for reflection on unattractiveness of the body for those of us who need constant help in that area.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

It ends with this succinct reminder:


"This two-footed, filthy, evil-smelling,
filled-with-various-carcasses,
oozing-out-here-&-there body:
Whoever would think,
on the basis of a body like this,
to exalt himself or disparage another:
What is that
if not blindness?"

Metta,

Phil

p.s In my first reaction on reading this there was a hint of resentment. "Hey! my body's not filthy! speak for yourself" We have very thick layers of delusion about the body to cut through!
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

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Re: Favourites from Sutta Nipata

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:21 pm

Greetings,

Does anyone have any recommendations on particular translations of the Sutta Nipata?

Venerable Dhammanando has once said...

Woven Cadences is a very old translation by E.M. Hare and quite outstanding from a literary point of view (possibly the most beautiful translation ever of a Buddhist text), but unfortunately it's too free a rendering to be relied on for learning Dhamma.

The only accurate translation is Group of Discourses by K.R. Norman.


What about H. Saddhatissa's translation ( http://www.amazon.com/Sutta-Nipata-New- ... 0700701818 )?

Image

I've seen a Youtube video of Bhikkhu Bodhi reading from it, so I assume he considers it to be a reasonable version. Has anyone seen this one, or any other works from this translator?

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Favourites from Sutta Nipata

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:42 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Does anyone have any recommendations on particular translations of the Sutta Nipata?

I have the http://www.palitext.com/ PTS translations of the Sutta Nipata and the other texts of the Canon (and what Wisdom pubs. has done so far).

The translation I have is from K. R. Norman, which seems to be good, but you're right, I've seen Bhikkhu Bodhi reading and studying from the other translation, so I would guess that one is better.

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Re: Favourites from Sutta Nipata

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:10 pm

Hi Retro,

retrofuturist wrote:What about H. Saddhatissa's translation ( http://www.amazon.com/Sutta-Nipata-New- ... 0700701818 )?

Image

I've seen a Youtube video of Bhikkhu Bodhi reading from it, so I assume he considers it to be a reasonable version. Has anyone seen this one, or any other works from this translator?


It's a fairly free rendering, and not a very good one, imo. I remember at E-sangha expressing surprise upon hearing that Bhikkhu Bodhi had chosen to use this translation rather than Norman's. But it turned out that the focus of his talks was chiefly suttas of a moralistic or devotional sort, whose contents can survive even in a poorish translation. Also, I was told by one of the posters that Bodhi often gives up on Saddhatissa's translation and supplies his own during the talks.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

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Re: Favourites from Sutta Nipata

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:45 am

Dhammanando wrote:It's a fairly free rendering, and not a very good one, imo. I remember at E-sangha expressing surprise upon hearing that Bhikkhu Bodhi had chosen to use this translation rather than Norman's. But it turned out that the focus of his talks was chiefly suttas of a moralistic or devotional sort, whose contents can survive even in a poorish translation. Also, I was told by one of the posters that Bodhi often gives up on Saddhatissa's translation and supplies his own during the talks.

I think I said that... Certainly in the lectures here http://www.bodhimonastery.net/courses/Sn/Sn_course.html Bhikkhu Bodhi often provides his own rendering of the Suttas.

Those lectures are well worth listening to, in my opinion, especially the first 12:
The Paritta (Protective) Suttas (Ratana, Mahāmaṅgala, Mettā).
They make a nice contrast to his talks on the Majjhima Nikaya, which has a more "analytical" focus, precisely because they are more "devotional".

Metta
Mike

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Re: Favourites from Sutta Nipata

Postby sherubtse » Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:53 am

mikenz66 wrote:
I think I said that... Certainly in the lectures here http://www.bodhimonastery.net/courses/Sn/Sn_course.html Bhikkhu Bodhi often provides his own rendering of the Suttas.

Those lectures are well worth listening to, in my opinion, especially the first 12:
The Paritta (Protective) Suttas (Ratana, Mahāmaṅgala, Mettā).
They make a nice contrast to his talks on the Majjhima Nikaya, which has a more "analytical" focus, precisely because they are more "devotional".

Metta
Mike


Yes he does provide his own rendering, and not infrequently takes the Ven Saddhatissa to task for his less than faithful rendering of the text.

I agree that they are more devotional than his talks from the MN. They are also more concerned with practical matters of ethics and conduct. IMO, they are wonderful talks!

Best wishes,
Sherubtse

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Re: Favourites from Sutta Nipata

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:00 am

sherubtse wrote:I agree that they are more devotional than his talks from the MN. They are also more concerned with practical matters of ethics and conduct. IMO, they are wonderful talks!

I agree. Perhaps my post wasn't clear. I had spent a lot of time reading "In the Buddh'a words" and the MN and listening to Bhikkhu Bodhi's talks before I listened to the Sn talks. Those first few Sn talks give a wonderful insight into what lay Buddhists in Asia are exposed to and therefore what might be particularly important (though often overlooked) for Western beginners...

Metta
Mike

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Re: Favourites from Sutta Nipata

Postby phil » Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:29 am

mikenz66 wrote:
sherubtse wrote:I agree that they are more devotional than his talks from the MN. They are also more concerned with practical matters of ethics and conduct. IMO, they are wonderful talks!

I agree. Perhaps my post wasn't clear. I had spent a lot of time reading "In the Buddh'a words" and the MN and listening to Bhikkhu Bodhi's talks before I listened to the Sn talks. Those first few Sn talks give a wonderful insight into what lay Buddhists in Asia are exposed to and therefore what might be particularly important (though often overlooked) for Western beginners...

Metta
Mike


This is really important. I have some good Dhamma friends who insist that every sutta should be seen in terms of the deeper implications, in Abhidhamma terms. For example, the Mangala sutta. I think they fail to appreciate the way suttas can motivate wholesome behaviour in very conventional ways that are not unique to Buddhism but still essential in setting up conditions for the deeper understanding. I think some of us in the West get very attracted to the deep teachings because a) we are impatient and b) there is a reluctance to be satisfied with conventional morality because of dissatisfactory connotations from other religions. The devotional aspect of Buddhism is underappreciated, I feel.

Metta,

Phil
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)


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