vinasp wrote:Hi everyone,
If it makes no sense when interpreted in a literal way, then why not interpret it in a figurative way?
The knife is a symbol of wisdom. And attaining arahantship is psychological death.
They seem to love this sort of word-play, but it is often impossible to translate.
that makes a beautiful metaphor, but whether this is what was meant in the sutta is impossible to establish
as i stated in a deleted comment it's not about omniscience
alright i will repeat it then, it's about mind reading which has more to do with intuition
Samannaphala sutta (DN 2) wrote:
"With his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability, he directs and inclines it to knowledge of the awareness of other beings. He knows the awareness of other beings, other individuals, having encompassed it with his own awareness. He discerns a mind with passion as a mind with passion, and a mind without passion as a mind without passion. He discerns a mind with aversion as a mind with aversion, and a mind without aversion as a mind without aversion. He discerns a mind with delusion as a mind with delusion, and a mind without delusion as a mind without delusion. He discerns a restricted mind as a restricted mind, and a scattered mind as a scattered mind. He discerns an enlarged mind as an enlarged mind, and an unenlarged mind as an unenlarged mind. He discerns an excelled mind [one that is not at the most excellent level] as an excelled mind, and an unexcelled mind as an unexcelled mind. He discerns a concentrated mind as a concentrated mind, and an unconcentrated mind as an unconcentrated mind. He discerns a released mind as a released mind, and an unreleased mind as an unreleased mind. Just as if a young woman — or man — fond of ornaments, examining the reflection of her own face in a bright mirror or a bowl of clear water would know 'blemished' if it were blemished, or 'unblemished' if it were not. In the same way — with his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability — the monk directs and inclines it to knowledge of the awareness of other beings. He knows the awareness of other beings, other individuals, having encompassed it with his own awareness. He discerns a mind with passion as a mind with passion, and a mind without passion as a mind without passion... a released mind as a released mind, and an unreleased mind as an unreleased mind.
Uposatha sutta (KN : Ud 5.5) wrote:
When the night was (yet further) advanced and the last watch had ended, as dawn was approaching and the night was drawing to a close, a third time the Venerable Ananda arose from his seat... and said to the Lord: "The night is far advanced, revered sir, the last watch has ended; dawn is approaching and the night is drawing to a close and the bhikkhus have been sitting for a long time. Revered sir, let the Lord recite the Patimokka to the bhikkhus."
"The gathering is not pure, Ananda."
Then the Venerable Mahamoggallana thought: "Concerning which person has the Lord said, 'The gathering is not pure, Ananda'?" And the Venerable Mahamoggallana, comprehending the minds of the whole Order of bhikkhus with his own mind, saw that person sitting in the midst of the Order of bhikkhus — immoral, wicked, of impure and suspect behavior, secretive in his acts, no recluse though pretending to be one, not practicing the holy life though pretending to do so, rotten within, lustful and corrupt. On seeing him he arose from his seat, approached that person, and said: "Get up, friend. You are seen by the Lord. You cannot live in communion with the bhikkhus." But that person remained silent.
A second time and a third time the Venerable Mahamoggallana told that person to get up, and a second time and a third time that person remained silent. Then the Venerable Mahamoggllana took that person by the arm, pulled him outside the gate, and bolted it. Then he approached the Lord and said: "Revered sir, I have ejected that person. The assembly is quite pure. Revered sir, let the Lord recite the Patimokkha to the bhikkhus."
"It is strange, Moggallana, it is remarkable, Moggallana, how that stupid person should have waited until he was taken by the arm."
Katuviya sutta (AN 3.129) wrote:At one time the Blessed One was abiding in the deer park in Isipatana in Benares. The Blessed One putting on robes in the morning and taking bowl and robes entered Benares for the alms round and saw a certain bhikkhu going for alms, under a fig tree where cattle are bound. He was internally dissatisfied and his interests were turned out wards, forgetful, not aware and distracted the mind straying with uncontrolled mental faculties. Seeing him the Blessed One said: Bhikkhu, do not defile yourself. When you defile yourself an evil smell emanates and it is impossible that flies would not settle.
That bhikkhu advised by the Blessed One in this manner became remorseful. The Blessed One after going the alms round and after the meal was over addressed the bhikkhus: Bhikkhus, I put on robes in the morning and taking bowl and robes entered Benares for the alms round and saw a certain bhikkhu going for alms, under a fig tree where cattle are bound. He was internally dissatisfied and his interests were turned out wards, forgetful, not aware and distracted, his mind straying with uncontrolled mental faculties. Seeing him I said: Bhikkhu, do not defile yourself. When you defile yourself an evil smell emanates and it is impossible that flies would not settle.
That bhikkhu advised by me became remorseful.
When this was said a certain bhikkhu said: Venerable sir, what is defiling, what is the evil smell and what are flies?
Bhikikhu, the defiling is covetousness, the evil smell is aversion and flies are evil demeritorious thoughts. That bhikkhu defiling himself and emanating an evil smell, that flies should not settle is not possible.
With unprotected eyes and ears and mental faculties uncontrolled,
Flies in the form of greedy thoughts will settle.
The defiled bhikkhu emanates evil smells
Far from extinction, he has destroyed bliss.
In village or in forest not achieving his inner peace,
The fool sets forth followed by flies.
He that is virtuous and wisely attached to appeasemment
Sleeps well having destroyed the flies.
in theory while preaching the asubha bhavana technique the Buddha could have read the mind state of at least one monk with suicidal tendencies starting to develop
besides intuition there's common sense, being seasoned meditator and samana he probably must have been aware of possible adverse effects of this type of practice, with his power of conviction to enhance them, and cautioned the monks or not recommended it at all
that he didn't expect such an outcome looks as naivety and carelessness, it goes without saying that when disciples get harmed by the teaching, the teacher one way or another is responsible
also considering Buddha's famous skill in means, the ability to tailor his Dhamma lectures to the audience, he must have known what and how to preach to that particular community so it benefits from the teaching, but the sutta describes quite a failure in doing so, because the community was obviously unfit for this particular teaching
it's just that this particular episode stands in striking contrast with passages which extoll Tathagata as almost a supreme creature