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A metaphor by Sariputta, in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta. - Dhamma Wheel

A metaphor by Sariputta, in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta.

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Individual
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A metaphor by Sariputta, in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta.

Postby Individual » Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:17 am

The best things in life aren't things.


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Re: A metaphor by Sariputta, in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta.

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:37 am

Greetings Individual,

My reading is that there's no way to attain arahantship that can circumvent the need for the development of the seven enlightenment factors, eradication of the five hindrances and the development of the four frames of reference (satipatthana). You can't sneak in through the side - you have to go properly through the gate.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: A metaphor by Sariputta, in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta.

Postby Individual » Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:57 am

The best things in life aren't things.


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Re: A metaphor by Sariputta, in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta.

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:09 am

Greetings Individual,

As you've ascertained, it depends on how far we distinguish between an Arahant and a Buddha. What is the qualitative difference? There is no single answer on that question in the Theravada tradition and you'll find sutta and commentarial sources that could be used to argue any point along the spectrum.

Sariputta says he knowledge is on account of the "lawfulness of the Dhamma", indicating to me that by attaining the goal of arahantship, he can by inference make such a statement, and the Buddha does not rebuke him for doing so (unlike for his previous exclamations).

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: A metaphor by Sariputta, in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta.

Postby kc2dpt » Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:40 am

The sutta reads chopped to me. After Sariputta makes his simile (and I believe it is a simile and not a metaphor) the Buddha doesn't agree or disagree or even consent with silence. The sutta simply skips on to the next story. And it does so with an "and". That seems weird to me.

Back on topic... It seems to come down to what we take "more exalted in Enlightenment" to be referring to. Considering Sariputta is an Arahant and not a Buddha I think for the sutta to make sense we have to assume he is speaking of that which is common to both Buddha's and Arahants - namely liberation. There can't be more or less liberation; there is only liberation. Same for an Arahant, same for the Buddha, same for all Buddha past and future.

If on the other hand we take "more exalted in Enlightenment" to be referring to Buddha-powers then we know Sariputta is speaking out of turn since the full range of Buddha-powers can only be known to Buddhas.

As to which one... "will abandon the five hindrances, the mental defilements that weaken wisdom; will well establish their minds in the four foundations of mindfulness; will duly cultivate the seven factors of enlightenment"... these are all factors of Arahantship. There is nothing here which points to anything more.

That's my take on it.
- Peter


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Re: A metaphor by Sariputta, in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta.

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:45 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: A metaphor by Sariputta, in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta.

Postby Ben » Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:51 am

Hi Individual, Peter, Retro

Something seems a bit odd to me. My understanding is that both Mahamogallana and Sariputta died before the Buddha and that the Mahaparinibbana Sutta was uttered by the Buddha just prior to his passing. Sariputta returning home to convert his mother to Dhamma while on his deathbed. I also remember from 'Great Disciples of the Buddha' where Sariputta made a grand complement to the Buddha which was rebuked, according to my unreliable memory. I'll check tonight.
Kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: A metaphor by Sariputta, in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta.

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:58 am

Greetings Ben,

The sutta spans quite a period of time... for example, the sukara-maddava (dodgy mushrooms, pork, truffles, whatever) appear only half way through it. Sariputta's comments are very early on in the piece.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: A metaphor by Sariputta, in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta.

Postby kc2dpt » Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:59 am

- Peter


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Re: A metaphor by Sariputta, in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta.

Postby cooran » Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:25 am

Hello all,

Interesting that Sister Vajira & Francis Story have such a long drawn out translation. I think the 'style' which the translators use can have a large effect on the 'feeling' and 'flow' {and thus the clarity} of the translation.

Maurice Walshe's translations verse 16 reads reads very succinctly:
"So, Sariputta, you do not have knowledge of the minds of the Buddhas of the past, the future or the preent. Thus, Sariputta, have you not spoken boldly with a bull's voice and roared the lion's roar of certainty with your declaration?
"Lord, the minds of the Arahant Buddhas of the past, future and present are not open to me. But I know the drift of the Dhamma [note 372]. Lord, it is as if there were a royal frontier city, with might bastions and a mighty encircling wall in which was a single gate at which was a gatekeeper, wise, skilled and clever who kept out strangers and let in those he knew. And he, constantly patrolling and following along a path, might not see the joins and clefts in the bastion, even such as a cat might creep through. But whatever larger creatures entered or left the city, must all go through this very gate. And it seems to me, Lord, that the drift of the Dhamma is the same. All those Arahant Buddhas of the past attained to supreme enlightenment by abandoning the five hindrances, defilements of mind that weaken the understanding, having firmly established the four foundations of mindfulness in their minds and realised the seven factors of enlightenment as they really are. All the Arahant Buddhas of the future will do likewise, and you, Lord, who are now the Arahant, fully enlightened Buddha have done the same."

Note 372: Dhammanvaya: 'The way the Dhamma goes'

metta
Chris
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Re: A metaphor by Sariputta, in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta.

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:53 am


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Re: A metaphor by Sariputta, in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta.

Postby Ben » Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:24 am

Thank you Retro and Peter for your kind corrections.
Metta

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Re: A metaphor by Sariputta, in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta.

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:04 am


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Re: A metaphor by Sariputta, in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta.

Postby Ben » Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:45 am

For the sake of clarification, I removed Son of Man's post as it was off-topic for this forum.
Kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

Son of man
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Re: A metaphor by Sariputta, in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta.

Postby Son of man » Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:28 pm

Ah...sorry I had not read the rules :)

Ok so the metaphor means as follows:

The Castle is the Deathless.

The gatekeeper is the Dhamma.

There is no other way to enter the Deathless, but by upholding the Dhamma.

BeAnAtta
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Re: A metaphor by Sariputta, in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta.

Postby BeAnAtta » Wed May 03, 2017 12:21 pm

In the Long Discourses there is a more complete account

I tried to attach a screenshot but it was too large so ive typed a tiny portion that answers the original posters question as to how none will ever be as Buddha is. And if you want to read the entire thing... get the long discourses, or lookup online where you can at least read the full passage.

"This the blessed lord fully comprehends and beyond it lies nothing further to be comprehended; and in such understanding there is no ascetic or brahmin who is greater or more enlightened than the blessed lord..."

Its an in depth analysis of how Buddha has covered everything so comprehensively that there is nothing more that could be discovered or taught, the work is complete in other words. Happy reading!

netlava
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Re: A metaphor by Sariputta, in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta.

Postby netlava » Thu May 04, 2017 5:56 am


paul
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Re: A metaphor by Sariputta, in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta.

Postby paul » Thu May 04, 2017 8:08 am

It's not a castle it's a frontline fortress and the implication of a fortress is that the dhamma is a battle plan requiring constant vigilance. The Buddha was a member of the warrior class and trained in martial arts, consequently the outlook of the dhamma is as a comprehensive fighting strategy, beginning with the interlocking logic of The Four Noble Truths and continuing through the complete fortress of the dhamma. The gatekeeper to the fortress is mindfulness.
"Just as a royal frontier fortress has a gatekeeper- wise, experienced, intelligent- to keep out those he doesn't know and to let in those he does, for the protection of those within and to ward off those without; in the same way, a disciple of the noble ones is mindful, endowed with excellent proficiency in mindfulness, remembering and recollecting what was done and said a long time ago. With mindfulness as his gatekeeper, the disciple of the noble ones abandons what is unskillful, develops what is skillful, abandons what is blameworthy, develops what is blameless, (Right Effort) and looks after himself with purity." ---AN 7:63


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