SN 47.20: Sedaka Sutta (2: The Beauty Queen)

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SN 47.20: Sedaka Sutta (2: The Beauty Queen)

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:21 pm

SN 47.20 PTS: S v 169 CDB ii 1649
Sedaka Sutta: At Sedaka
(2: The Beauty Queen)
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu


How solid is your concentration? Try this test, proposed by the Buddha: Can you keep a glass of oil balanced on your head while your favorite movie star is singing and dancing right in front of you?

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

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was living among the Sumbhas. Now there is a Sumbhan town named Sedaka. There the Blessed One addressed the monks, "Monks!"

"Yes, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said, "Suppose, monks, that a large crowd of people comes thronging together, saying, 'The beauty queen! The beauty queen!' And suppose that the beauty queen is highly accomplished at singing & dancing, so that an even greater crowd comes thronging, saying, 'The beauty queen is singing! The beauty queen is dancing!' Then a man comes along, desiring life & shrinking from death, desiring pleasure & abhorring pain. They say to him, 'Now look here, mister. You must take this bowl filled to the brim with oil and carry it on your head in between the great crowd & the beauty queen. A man with a raised sword will follow right behind you, and wherever you spill even a drop of oil, right there will he cut off your head.' Now what do you think, monks: Will that man, not paying attention to the bowl of oil, let himself get distracted outside?"

"No, lord."

"I have given you this parable to convey a meaning. The meaning is this: The bowl filled to the brim with oil stands for mindfulness immersed in the body. Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will develop mindfulness immersed in the body. We will pursue it, hand it the reins and take it as a basis, give it a grounding, steady it, consolidate it, and undertake it well.' That is how you should train yourselves."
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Re: SN 47.20: Sedaka Sutta (2: The Beauty Queen)

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:22 pm

SN 47.20 Sedaka Sutta
Transltated by Bhikkhu Nanananda


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... passage-27


Once the Exalted One was dwelling in the Sumbha country at Sedaka, a township of the Sumbha people. There the Exalted One addressed the monks:

"Suppose, monks, a large crowd of people flock together, crying: 'The beauty-queen! The beauty-queen!' And if that beauty-queen is also a highly gifted performer as to dancing and singing, a still larger crowd would flock together, crying: 'The beauty-queen is dancing, she is singing!'

"Then comes a man, who wishes to live and does not wish to die, who desires happiness and abhors suffering. The people say to him: 'Look here, man! Here's a bowl filled to the brim with oil. You must carry it round between the large crowd and the beauty-queen. A man with uplifted sword will follow, behind your back, and wherever you spill even a little drop of the oil, there itself he will chop off your head!'

"Now, what do you think, monks? Would that man, without paying attention to that bowl of oil, solicit heedlessness from outside?"

"Surely not, lord."

"Well, monks, this parable I have given to make the meaning clear. And its significance is this: 'The bowl filled to the brim with oil,' monks, is a term for mindfulness relating to body.

"Wherefore, monks, thus must you train yourselves: 'Mindfulness relating to body shall be cultivated by us, shall be made much of, made a vehicle, a ground-plan. It shall be made effective, well-acquainted, and consummate in us.' Thus, monks, must you train yourselves."

Note

This sutta presents one of the most impressive enunciations of the standard of mindfulness advocated by the Buddha. The parable is highly significant in that it depicts, the hazards involved in the worldly environment in regard to the practice of mindfulness. The beauty-queen with all her charms probably symbolizes those allurements of sense which evoke covetousness (abhijjaa). The restless crowd of people represents the other source of distraction — grief or mental uneasiness (domanassa). The bowl brimful of oil symbolizing the 'mindfulness-relating-to-body' (kaayagataasati) is always in danger of being 'spilt' amidst these distractions. Hence, the most effective impetus for the diligent practice of mindfulness is the constant awareness of impending death.
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Re: SN 47.20: Sedaka Sutta (2: The Beauty Queen)

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:23 pm

Bhikkhu Bodhi's comments.

On hearing, ‘The most beautiful girl of the land is dancing! The most beautiful girl of the land is singing!’ an even larger crowd of people would assemble.

BB: From the Pāli it cannot be determined whether the crowd gathers because they have heard “The most beautiful girl of the land!” being announced or gathers exclaiming “The most beautiful girl of the land!” I take it in the former way. Spk says such a girl is devoid of six physical defects (too tall or too short, too thin or too stout, too dark or too fair) and endowed with five kinds of beauty (of skin, flesh, sinews, bones, and age). The expression paramapāsāvinī nacce, paramapāsāvinī gīte seems to be unique to this text. PED explains pāsāvin as “bringing forth,” but see MW, s.v. pra-sava (2) > pra-savin, derived from pra-sūti (1) and meaning “impelling, exciting.” Spk: “In dancing and singing her presentation is supreme, her performance is the best; she dances and sings supremely well.”


BB: This sutta is related in the introduction to Jataka No. 96 (I 393-401), which concludes with a verse that alludes back to the sutta:

    As one might carry a bowl of oil
    Full to the brim without spilling a drop,
    So should one protect one’s own mind,
    Yearning for the quarter not reached
    before (i.e., Nibbāna).
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Re: SN 47.20: Sedaka Sutta (2: The Beauty Queen)

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:24 pm

I'm soon off on a retreat for the week. :meditate:

Looking forward to some interesting comments when I get back.

:anjali:
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Re: SN 47.20: Sedaka Sutta (2: The Beauty Queen)

Postby equilibrium » Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:35 pm

The bowl filled to the brim with oil stands for mindfulness immersed in the body.
Mindfulness also known as awareness.

(Parable: A parable is a succinct story, in prose or verse, which illustrates one or more instructive principles, or lessons.)

So the story goes like this, there are 2 issues here:
1. The man lured by the crowd. (A man being controlled by his senses)
2. The man with a bowl filled with oil. (A man not being controlled by his senses but in control of the situation)

1. The man was lured towards the scene by the crowd of people saying "The beauty queen! The beauty queen!" followed by a greater crowd saying "The beauty queen is singing! The beauty queen is dancing!".....Then a man comes along.....illustrating the point that the man was being controlled by the situation.....by his own desires..emotions..cravings.

2. Should the man have a bowl of oil on his head were to take up this position between the crowd and the beauty queen along with a man with a sword behind you.....illustrating the point that the man is under a condition, should a drop of oil is spilled he will meet death by the sword.....death (at any moment) is the FEAR factor which reinforces the gravity of the situation hence utmost attention/concentration to the bowl of oil. While in this state, the man will think twice about what is around him, especially the beauty queen and yet will not turn his head to look as the bowl of oil is more important as his life in on the line.

So point 1 is the man is not mindful(aware) that his senses are influencing his very actions.
And point 2 is a man in control of his senses (conditioned to do so) therefore mindful(aware) of what is around but not attached/influenced by it (as the man has a major task in hand).
We will develop mindfulness immersed in the body.
So mindfulness is to be developed.

The point here is we are not all walking around with a bowl of oil on top of our head and a man with a sword behind us, we have to be mindful(aware) that there will be situations we find ourselves (even in these forums) and only we ourselves are in control of our very own senses.....Guard your senses!..emotions!..cravings!.....BEFORE it controls YOU!
Last edited by equilibrium on Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SN 47.20: Sedaka Sutta (2: The Beauty Queen)

Postby Sam Vara » Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:23 pm

Spk says such a girl is devoid of six physical defects (too tall or too short, too thin or too stout, too dark or too fair) and endowed with five kinds of beauty (of skin, flesh, sinews, bones, and age). The expression paramapāsāvinī nacce, paramapāsāvinī gīte seems to be unique to this text. PED explains pāsāvin as “bringing forth,” but see MW, s.v. pra-sava (2) > pra-savin, derived from pra-sūti (1) and meaning “impelling, exciting.” Spk: “In dancing and singing her presentation is supreme, her performance is the best; she dances and sings supremely well.”


This seems to be a reminder for those who are more advanced along the path of dispassion and renunciation. Me, I can picture her only too well...
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Re: SN 47.20: Sedaka Sutta (2: The Beauty Queen)

Postby byronmajor » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:03 pm

:jedi: I would be loosing my head.... I have so much work to do.
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