Jara Sutta

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Jara Sutta

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:09 am

Snp 4.6 PTS: Sn 804-813
Jara Sutta: Old Age
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

How short this life!
You die this side of a century,
but even if you live past,
you die of old age.

People grieve
for what they see as mine,
for nothing possessed is constant,
nothing is constantly possessed.[1]
Seeing this separation
simply as it is,
one shouldn't follow the household life.

At death a person abandons
what he construes as mine.
Realizing this, the wise
shouldn't incline
to be devoted to mine.

Just as a man doesn't see,
on awakening,
what he met in a dream,
even so he doesn't see,
when they are dead
— their time done —
those he held dear.

When they are seen & heard,
people are called by this name or that,
but only the name remains
to be pointed to
when they are dead.

Grief, lamentation, & selfishness
are not let go
by those greedy for mine,
so sages
letting go of possessions,
seeing the Secure,
go wandering forth.

A monk, living withdrawn,
enjoying a dwelling secluded:
they say it's congenial for him
he who wouldn't, in any realm,
display self.

Everywhere
the sage
independent
holds nothing dear or undear.

In him
lamentation & selfishness,
like water on a white lotus,
do not adhere.

As a water bead on a lotus leaf,
as water on a red lily,
does not adhere,

so the sage
does not adhere
to the seen, the heard, or the sensed;

for, cleansed,
he doesn't construe
in connection
with the seen, the heard, or the sensed.

In no other way
does he wish for purity,
for he neither takes on passion
nor puts it away.[2]




Notes
1."Nothing possessed is constant, nothing is constantly possessed" — two readings of the phrase, na hi santi nicca pariggaha.
2.Nd.I: An arahant has put passion totally away once and for all, and so has no need to do it ever again. An alternative explanation is that, as Sn 5.6 points out, the arahant has gone beyond all dhammas, dispassion included.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Jara Sutta

Postby Richard » Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:07 pm

This sutta speaks of the sufferings of old age and death as a way of urging people to join the monastic life. But I think that household life is an excellent place to reflect on getting older. I now have a grandchild, and she is beautiful to see, but also reminds me that I will be around for only a portion of her life; and to any children of hers, I will be only a name. Of course, there is no guarantee that her own life will be a long one--any of us can be cut short at any time. So the monastery is not the only place to learn about the need for nonclinging; we can see birth, aging and death in our everyday family lives.
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Re: Jara Sutta

Postby EricJ » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:46 am

Jara Sutta wrote:Grief, lamentation, & selfishness
are not let go
by those greedy for mine,
so sages
letting go of possessions,
seeing the Secure,
go wandering forth.
I just graduated from high school, and I am starting university in August. I'm also a fairly recent convert to Buddhism (although I've held a strong interest for years). Whenever I see verses like this, and other sutta exhortations to ordain, I often wonder whether or not I should forego the years as I plan to spend in university (up to my doctorate) in favor of ordination; especially considering the fact that I have no debts and no family to take care of. At the same time, I sometimes feel that ordaining right now would be a rash decision since there is always a possibility that I could leave the monastic life for whatever reason and end up without a degree and no way to make a living as a householder. Not to mention that my practice is still so new, and I am so inexperienced. I guess you could say I am "seeing the [in]Secure."

I apologize if my post isn't very substantive. This is the first time I've participated in one of these sutta discussions, and I don't know if they are geared towards relating the suttas to our lives/practices or if they are intended for more exegetical purposes.

Regards,
Eric
I do not want my house to be walled in on sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.- Gandhi

With persistence aroused for the highest goal's attainment, with mind unsmeared, not lazy in action, firm in effort, with steadfastness & strength arisen, wander alone like a rhinoceros.

Not neglecting seclusion, absorption, constantly living the Dhamma in line with the Dhamma, comprehending the danger in states of becoming, wander alone like a rhinoceros.
- Snp. 1.3
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Re: Jara Sutta

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Jun 22, 2010 6:44 am

no, your post is great! this is what the dhamma is really about,how it applies to our lives, not how we can examine it in some abstract philosophical form. i cant tell you what to do with school, i am also in college, back in college to be exact i never finished so now I'm slugging it out in my early 30s while working and being a husband. although i wish i had put it off for things such as being a monk i did it to tour with bands and play with rock stars :shrug: although i was living in a temple and preparing to ordain when i met my wife :toilet:
after i finish this degree however i will take a year off and ordain in Thailand, this is both for myself and for my (Thai) wife's family (who don't have a son to ordain).
you really cant plan life, just do your best, trade unwholesome for wholesome where you can and keep moving forward.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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