SN 1.3 Upaneyyam Sutta: Doomed

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SN 1.3 Upaneyyam Sutta: Doomed

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:30 am

SN 1.3 PTS: S i 2 CDB i 90
Upaneyya.m Sutta: Doomed
translated from the Pali by Maurice O'Connell Walshe


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


Thus have I heard. At one time the Blessed One was staying near Saavatthii, at Jeta Grove, in Anaathapi.n.dika's park. Now a certain deva,[1] as the night was passing away, lighting up the whole Jeta Grove with his effulgent beauty, approached the Blessed One and, having approached, stood on one side.

Standing thus on one side, the deva spoke this verse before the Blessed One:


Life but leads to doom. Our time is short.
From Decay there's naught can keep us safe.
Contemplating thus the fear of death,
Let's make merit that will bring us bliss.

[The Blessed One replied:]
Life but leads to doom. Our time is short.
From Decay there's naught can keep us safe.
Contemplating thus this fear of death,
Scorn such worldly bait, seek final peace.[2]

Notes

1. These words are repeated from the beginning of the whole work (SN 1.1), translated in Vol. I and Vol. II with slight differences. I render Bhagavaa literally as "the Blessed One" (Vol. I: "the Lord," Vol. II with KS "the Exalted One"). For the meaning of deva (or devataa) see Vol. I, n.1. In general, information given in the notes to Vols. I and II will not be repeated here.

2. The Buddha here makes a vital distinction which is valid to this day as marking the difference between the aims of "popular Buddhism" and the serious treading of the Path. "Merit" (puñña) can lead to a happier rebirth, perhaps in one of the deva-worlds, but this too will come to an end. The proper course is to tread the Noble Eightfold Path and gain the "final peace" of Nibbaana. Note, however, the remarks of the Ven. Khantipalo in The Buddhist Monk's Discipline (WH 130/131, p.7): "Puñña is the benefit of increasing purity of mind derived from skillful actions such as generosity, virtue, helpfulness, etc. 'Merit' is an inadequate rendering."
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Re: SN 1.3 Upaneyyam Sutta: Doomed

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:48 am

SN 1.3 Reaching
Translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi


http://suttacentral.net/sn1.3/en/

At Savatthi. Standing to one side, that devata recited this verse in the presence of the Blessed One:

“Life is swept along, short is the life span;
No shelters exist for one who has reached old age.
Seeing clearly this danger in death,
One should do deeds of merit that bring happiness.” [9]

The Blessed One:

“Life is swept along, short is the life span;
No shelters exist for one who has reached old age.
Seeing clearly this danger in death,
A seeker of peace should drop the world’s bait.” [10]

Notes:

[9] Spk: “Life is swept along” (upanīati jīvitaṃ) means: “(Life) is destroyed, it ceases; or it moves towards, i.e., gradually approaches, death” (upanīyatī ti parikkhīyati nirujjhati; upagacchati vā; anupubbena maraṇaṃ upetī ti attho). “Short is the life span” (appam āyu): “The life span is limited in two ways: first, because it is said, ‘One who lives long lives for a hundred years or a little longer’ (see SN 4.9); and second, because in the ultimate sense the life-moment of beings is extremely limited, enduring for a mere act of consciousness.”
Spk continues as at Vism 238 (Ppn 8:39).
Vissudimagga is here: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... index.html
    VIII.39. 8. As to the shortness of the moment: in the ultimate sense the life-moment of
    living beings is extremely short, being only as much as the occurrence of a
    single conscious moment. Just as a chariot wheel, when it is rolling, rolls [that
    is, touches the ground] only on one point of [the circumference of] its tire, and,
    when it is at rest, rests only on one point, so too, the life of living beings lasts
    only for a single conscious moment. When that consciousness has ceased, the
    being is said to have ceased, according as it is said: “In a past conscious moment
    he did live, not he does live, not he will live. In a future conscious moment not he
    did live, not he does live, he will live. In the present conscious moment not he did
    live, he does live, not he will live.”
    [continues for over a page...]

[10] Spk: This deva had been reborn into one of the brahmā worlds with a long life span. When he saw beings passing away and taking rebirth in realms with a short life span, he was moved to pity and urged them to do “deeds of merit” (puññāni)—to develop the form-sphere and formless-sphere jhānas—so that they would be reborn into the form and formless realms with a long life span. The Buddha’s verse is a rejoinder intended to show that the deva’s advice is still tied to the round of existence and does not lead to emancipation. The peace (santi) which the Buddha commends is Nibbāna.
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Re: SN 1.3 Upaneyyam Sutta: Doomed

Postby Sam Vara » Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:47 pm

Many thanks.

Walshe's second note seems to be spot on. I like the way that (in Walshe's version only) the deva refers to the fear of death, as if it were self-evident; whereas the Buddha refers to this fear of death, as it is just one of the things that one might fear. The Buddha reflects the deva's assumption.

The different titles are also instructive. (I assume that no titles are given in the original Pali, or one translator would be taking liberties...?) Walshe's "doom" has the possibly misleading sense of "destiny foretold". But BB's version is almost random. In either case, I like the idea of being swept along and finding no shelter. It reminds me of the Ratthapala Sutta (MN 82) : "The world is swept away...".
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Re: SN 1.3 Upaneyyam Sutta: Doomed

Postby Samma » Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:34 pm

These translations are certainly somewhat different.
Doomed vs. swept along...a bit different in tone.

Also interesting how Walshe talks about fear of death. Reminds me of all the debate in western philosophy...why fear death when its just and ending, what sucks in the pain or unfinished business. So I prefer bhikkhu bodhi's here. But if you are going to be reborn anyway how much danger is there hm?
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Re: SN 1.3 Upaneyyam Sutta: Doomed

Postby Young7952 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:31 am

hi Sam Vara!

Thanks for sharing.
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