Question about the Sona Sutta

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Question about the Sona Sutta

Postby pedro1985 » Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:21 pm

Hello,

I'm happy I found this site, this is my third post now and in the previous two post I've already gotten much answers to my question, which I appreciate alot.

At the moment I'm studying the Sona Sutta at http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

I have a question about this part of this Sutta, see the red sentence below:

=================
As Ven Sona was meditating in seclusion [after doing walking meditation until the skin of his soles was split & bleeding], this train of thought arose in his awareness: "Of the Blessed One's disciples who have aroused their persistence, I am one, but my mind is not released from the effluents through lack of clinging/sustenance. Now, my family has enough wealth that it would be possible to enjoy wealth & make merit. What if I were to disavow the training, return to the lower life, enjoy wealth, & make merit?"
=================

Can anyone explain to me what is meant with this? What is meant with: "my mind is not released from the effluents through lack of clinging/sustenance"

I have to admit that English is not my native language, and that I use the dictionary alot when reading Suttas in English, but maybe someone can explain this to me in a bit easier English? Because, unfortunately, I still don't understand what is meant, even after using the dictionary on this sentence...
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Re: Question about the Sona Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:27 pm

Hi Pedro,

"Released from the effluents through lack of clinging/sustenance" is a standard phrase used for the attainment of arahantship. I.e. Ven Sona is lamenting that he is not yet awakened. I must admit that the translation is rather convoluted.

:anjali:
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Re: Question about the Sona Sutta

Postby pedro1985 » Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:48 pm

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the quick reply. So he is lamenting about not yet being awakened. I understand the purpose of the sentence now.
Maybe can you explain me too what is meant with "effluents"?
My dictionary translates effluent as: 1) a source, 2) draining something away
And about the words: clinging/sustenance
Why is there a slash (/) between those words? Should I read it as: "clinging to sustenance" or "clinging and sustenance"
My dictionary translates sustenance as: 1) "food", 2) "fuel for the body"

So say that effluent means "source" and sustenance means "food", then I understand this sentence in this way:
"But my mind is not released from the source through lack of clinging to food

And then what is meant with "source"? Which source? The source of clinging perhaps? How can you be released from clinging through a lack of "clinging to sustenance(food?)"

I'm really confused...
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Re: Question about the Sona Sutta

Postby Stephen K » Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:41 pm

Effluents are the three taints (āsava):
Sensual desire (kāma)
Becoming (bhava)
Ignorance (avijjā )

Clinging/sustenance is just clinging (upādāna). Clinging is the ninth link in dependent origination.

These are all the basic causes of suffering. Through their eradication (i.e. removal) one becomes enlightened.


Using dictionaries to decode English Buddhist terms, which are really imperfect translations of Pali terms, can cause confusion.

You might find this useful: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/glossary.html
With metta,
Upāsaka Sumana
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Re: Question about the Sona Sutta

Postby pedro1985 » Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:47 pm

Thanks, I think I understand it better now. :reading:
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