SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

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SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:52 am

SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

The Buddha describes the burdens we carry, and how to cast them off.

SN 22.22 Bhaara.m Sutta: The Burden
translated from the Pali by Maurice O'Connell Walshe
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html

The Pali title of this sutta is based on the PTS (Feer) edition.

"Monks, I will explain to you the burden,[1] the laying hold of the burden, the holding on to the burden,[2] the laying down of the burden. Listen.

"What, monks, is the burden?

"'The five groups of clinging'[3] is the answer. Which five? They are: the group of clinging to corporeality,... to feelings,... to perceptions,... to mental formations,... to consciousness. This, monks, is called 'the burden.'

"What is the laying hold of the burden? The answer is that it is the person,[4] the Venerable So-and-so, of such-and-such a family. This, monks, is called 'the laying hold of the burden.'

"What is the holding on to the burden? The answer is that it is that craving which gives rise to fresh rebirth and, bound up with lust and greed, now here now there finds ever fresh delight. It is sensual craving,[5] craving for existence,[6] craving for non-existence.[7] This, monks, is called 'the holding on to the burden.'[8]

"What is the laying down of the burden? It is the complete fading away and extinction of this craving, its forsaking and giving up, liberation and detachment from it. This, monks, is called 'the laying down of the burden.'"[9]

Thus said the Blessed One, the Well-farer[10] spoke thus; the Teacher then said:

The five groups are the heavy load,
The seizing of the load is man.
Holding it is misery,
Laying down the load is bliss.
Laying down this heavy load,
And no other taking up,
By uprooting all desire,
Hunger's stilled, Nibbaana's gained.[11]

Notes

1. This sutta, as E.J. Thomas (Early Buddhist Scriptures, London 1935, p. 123) says, "has been appealed to both by those who would find in Buddhism the doctrine of something permanent in addition to the five groups [i.e., the sankhaaras], and also by those who deny it." To the former party belong, e.g., H.C. Warren, who included it in his Buddhism in Translations (Harvard 1896, rep. 1963), and Erich Frauwallner, who prints in his Philosophie des Buddhismus ([East] Berlin 1956, p. 25f.) a German translation from the Chinese version of Tsa Ahan (Taisho 99, k. 3) which he entitles "Das Suutra vom Lastträger" ("The Suutra of the Burden-Bearer") with the Sanskrit heading (retranslated from the Chinese!) Bhaarahaarasuutram. But Woodward in KS [Book of the Kindred Sayings, trans. of the Sa.myutta Nikaaya, Vol. III, PTS 1924], countering a similar view expressed by A.B. Keith, says: "No bearer of the burden is mentioned at all, but a bearing. Haaro is 'a taking.' The puggalo ['person'] is the taking hold of the fivefold mass." (Woodward's italics). Woodward's view is expressly supported by Mrs Rhys Davids, as editor, in a note of her own, though she doubtless changed her mind about this later, having subsequently (as is well known) drifted into wrong views! The sutta is discussed briefly twice in EB [Encyclopaedia of Buddhism, Colombo 1961], and, curiously, different opinions are expressed on this point. Under Bhaara, U. K[arunaratana] says: "the burden-bearer (bhaarahaara) is the person (puggala)," while under Bhaara Sutta L[akshmi] R. G[oonesekere] writes: "the 'laying hold of the burden' [=bharahara] is the individual." Grammar would seem to be on the side of the latter view, and while I am unable to say whether Frauwallner has translated from the Chinese correctly or not, the same would apply to the Sanskrit title he quotes. It is further noteworthy that in Frauwallner's text the four things are given in a different order from the Pali as: "The Burden," "the taking up of the burden" (but see n. 2), "the laying down of the burden," and "the bearer of the burden" [=bhaarahaara.] The last of these three is said to be "the person," etc., but with a somewhat expanded description. The final verses are also somewhat different. In any case the Sanskrit text (on which the Chinese version is based) is clearly secondary.

It is easy to understand how this sutta could be misunderstood, both in ancient and in modern times, since (doctrinal issues apart!) one would expect the "person" to be described as the bearer rather than the "bearing." The explanation is that the "person" is in terms of relative truth what the khandhas are according to ultimate truth (cf. SN 1.20, n. 8 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn01/sn01.020.wlsh.html#fn-8).

One is tempted to think that this sutta was originally delivered for the benefit of one or other of the Bhaaradvaajas (see SN 7.1 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn07/sn07.001.wlsh.html, SN 7.2 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn07/sn07.002.wlsh.html, SN 35.127 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn35/sn35.127.wlsh.html), whose name appears to mean "twice-born burden"!

2. Bhaaraadaana: generally translated as "taking up the burden," etc., but aadaana, like upaadaana, can also mean "clinging," which gives a more pregnant meaning.

3. See Vol. I, n. 49. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... html#fn-49

4. Puggala. A term of relative truth, as pointed out in n. 1.

5. Kaamata.nhaa: "sensual craving," the first and crudest of three kinds of craving.

6. Bhavata.nhaa, the desire for continued existence connected with "Eternalism" (see SN 12.15, n. 2 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.015.wlsh.html#fn-2).

7. Vibhavata.nhaa, the desire for non-existence or the "death-wish," connected with "Annihilationism" (see SN 12.15, n. 3 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.015.wlsh.html#fn-3). In older works sometimes mistranslated as "desire for wealth" (also vibhava but a different word).

8. The formula is that for the Second Noble Truth.

9. The formula is that for the Third Noble Truth.

10. Sugato lit. "well-gone." All three designations refer, of course, to the Buddha. It is difficult to render the whole phrase into English without awkwardness.

11. Lit. "he is sated and brought to peace (or 'cooled')."
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Re: SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:56 am

SN 22.22 Bhara Sutta: The Burden
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

At Savatthi. "Monks, I will teach you the burden, the carrier of the burden, the taking up of the burden, and the casting off of the burden. [1] Listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

"As you say, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said, "And which is the burden? 'The five clinging-aggregates,' it should be said. Which five? Form as a clinging-aggregate, feeling as a clinging-aggregate, perception as a clinging-aggregate, fabrications as a clinging-aggregate, consciousness as a clinging-aggregate. This, monks, is called the burden.

"And which is the carrier of the burden? 'The person,' it should be said. This venerable one with such a name, such a clan-name. This is called the carrier of the burden.

"And which is the taking up of the burden? The craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming. This is called the taking up of the burden.

"And which is the casting off of the burden? The remainderless fading & cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, & letting go of that very craving. This is called the casting off of the burden."

That is what the Blessed One said. Having said that, the One Well-gone, the Teacher, said further:

A burden indeed are the five aggregates,
and the carrier of the burden is the person.
Taking up the burden in the world is stressful.
Casting off the burden is bliss.
Having cast off the heavy burden
and not taking on another,
pulling up craving,
along with its root,
one is free from hunger,
totally unbound.

Note
1. This discourse parallels the teaching on the four noble truths, but with a twist. The "burden" is defined in the same terms as the first noble truth, the truth of suffering & stress. The taking on of the burden is defined in the same terms as the second noble truth, the origination of stress; and the casting off of the burden, in the same terms as the third noble truth, the cessation of stress. The fourth factor, however — the carrier of the burden — has no parallel in the four noble truths, and has proven to be one of the most controversial terms in the history of Buddhist philosophy. When defining this factor as the person (or individual, puggala), the Buddha drops the abstract form of the other factors, and uses the ordinary, everyday language of narrative: the person with such-and-such a name. And how would this person translate into more abstract factors? He doesn't say. After his passing away, however, Buddhist scholastics attempted to provide an answer for him, and divided into two major camps over the issue. One camp refused to rank the concept of person as a truth on the ultimate level. This group inspired what eventually became the classic Theravada position on this issue: that the "person" was simply a conventional designation for the five aggregates. However, the other camp — who developed into the Pudgalavadin (Personalist) school — said that the person was neither a ultimate truth nor a mere conventional designation, neither identical with nor totally separate from the five aggregates. This special meaning of person, they said, was required to account for three things: the cohesion of a person's identity in this lifetime (one person's memories, for instance, cannot become another person's memories); the unitary nature of rebirth (one person cannot be reborn in several places at once); and the fact that, with the cessation of the khandhas at the death of an arahant, he/she is said to attain the Further Shore. However, after that moment, they said, nothing further could be said about the person, for that was as far as the concept's descriptive powers could go.

As might be imagined, the first group accused the second group of denying the concept of anatta, or not-self; whereas the second group accused the first of being unable to account for the truths that they said their concept of person explained. Both groups, however, found that their positions entangled them in philosophical difficulties that have never been successfully resolved.

Perhaps the most useful lesson to draw from the history of this controversy is the one that accords with the Buddha's statements in MN 72 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.072.than.html, where he refuses to get involved in questions of whether a person has a live essence separate from or identical to his/her body, or of whether after death there is something of an arahant that exists or not. In other words, the questions aren't worth asking. Nothing is accomplished by assuming or denying an ultimate reality behind what we think of as a person. Instead, the strategy of the practice is to comprehend the burden that we each are carrying and to throw it off. As SN 22.36 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.036.than.html points out, when one stops trying to define oneself in any way, one is free from all limitations — and that settles all questions.
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Re: SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby Ben » Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:21 am

Nice choice, Mike.
What is interesting is that the Buddha designated the 'person' as the carrier of the burden and that the burden itself was the five aggregates. Given the primacy of the doctrine of Anatta, I guess it is no wonder that some people used the play of ideas as support for a self.
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Re: SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:24 am

Yes, it's a really interesting Sutta and Walshe's and Ven Thanissaro's notes and references are worth studying in detail. As are the notes in Bhikkhu Bohdhi's translation. I'll add some of them later.

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Re: SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby Ben » Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:32 am

Hi Mike,
Yes, I was reading Ven Bodhi's translation and notes.
Actually, I was thinking it would be interesting to read the Atthakattha with regards to this sutta.
I don't suppose anyone has a copy???
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Re: SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:24 am

See also: A Discourse on the Bhāra Sutta by the Mahāsi Sayādaw.
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Re: SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby Ben » Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:43 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:See also: A Discourse on the Bhāra Sutta by the Mahāsi Sayādaw.

Excellent, thank you Bhante!
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Re: SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby Individual » Thu Oct 07, 2010 7:48 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Note
1. This discourse parallels the teaching on the four noble truths, but with a twist. The "burden" is defined in the same terms as the first noble truth, the truth of suffering & stress. The taking on of the burden is defined in the same terms as the second noble truth, the origination of stress; and the casting off of the burden, in the same terms as the third noble truth, the cessation of stress. The fourth factor, however — the carrier of the burden — has no parallel in the four noble truths, and has proven to be one of the most controversial terms in the history of Buddhist philosophy. When defining this factor as the person (or individual, puggala), the Buddha drops the abstract form of the other factors, and uses the ordinary, everyday language of narrative: the person with such-and-such a name. And how would this person translate into more abstract factors? He doesn't say. After his passing away, however, Buddhist scholastics attempted to provide an answer for him, and divided into two major camps over the issue. One camp refused to rank the concept of person as a truth on the ultimate level. This group inspired what eventually became the classic Theravada position on this issue: that the "person" was simply a conventional designation for the five aggregates. However, the other camp — who developed into the Pudgalavadin (Personalist) school — said that the person was neither a ultimate truth nor a mere conventional designation, neither identical with nor totally separate from the five aggregates. This special meaning of person, they said, was required to account for three things: the cohesion of a person's identity in this lifetime (one person's memories, for instance, cannot become another person's memories); the unitary nature of rebirth (one person cannot be reborn in several places at once); and the fact that, with the cessation of the khandhas at the death of an arahant, he/she is said to attain the Further Shore. However, after that moment, they said, nothing further could be said about the person, for that was as far as the concept's descriptive powers could go.

As might be imagined, the first group accused the second group of denying the concept of anatta, or not-self; whereas the second group accused the first of being unable to account for the truths that they said their concept of person explained. Both groups, however, found that their positions entangled them in philosophical difficulties that have never been successfully resolved.

The Theravadins and Pudgalavadins both seem to raise legitimate points, although as you say, neither seem to have resolved the issue.

People still ask Theravadins, "What is it that is reborn?" out of confusion and nobody can answer that question without invalidating their experience or contradicting anatta.

If I remember correctly, isn't the self one of four or five things that lead to madness when contemplated?
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Re: SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:44 pm

Hi Individual,
Individual wrote:The Theravadins and Pudgalavadins both seem to raise legitimate points, although as you say, neither seem to have resolved the issue.

I'm flattered that you refer to it as my note, but actually it's Thanissaro Bhikkhu's comment. :anjali:
Individual wrote:People still ask Theravadins, "What is it that is reborn?" out of confusion and nobody can answer that question without invalidating their experience or contradicting anatta.

The Buddha addresses this question when admonishing Sati, the Fisherman's son, in MN 38:
http://awake.kiev.ua/dhamma/tipitaka/2S ... ta-e1.html
Many bhikkhus, heard that this evil view had arisen to a bhikkhu, named Sāti the son of a fisherman: 'As I know the Teaching of the Blessed One, this consciousness transmigrates through existences, not anything else'.
...
Then the Blessed One, addressed the bhikkhus:
Bhikkhus, do you too know this Teaching, wrongly grasped by the bhikkhu Sāti the son of a fisherman. By that he blames me. Destroys himself, and accumulates much unpleasantness.
No, venerable sir. In various ways we are told, that consciousness arises dependently. Without a cause there is no arising of consciousness.
Bhikkhus, it is good, you know the Teaching preached by me. In various ways I have preached that consciousness arises dependently. Without a cause, there is no arising of consciousness. Yet, this bhikkhu Sāti son of a fisherman, grasping this wrong view blames me and destroys himself, and accumulates much demerit. It will be for his undoing and unpleasāntness for a long time.

Individual wrote:If I remember correctly, isn't the self one of four or five things that lead to madness when contemplated?

You mean this Sutta?

AN 4.77 Acintita Sutta: Unconjecturable
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"There are these four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them. Which four?

"The Buddha-range of the Buddhas[1] is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

"The jhana-range of a person in jhana...[2]

"The [precise working out of the] results of kamma...

"Conjecture about [the origin, etc., of] the world is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

"These are the four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them."

Notes

1. I.e., the range of powers a Buddha develops as a result of becoming a Buddha.
2. I.e., the range of powers that one may obtain while absorbed in jhana.

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Re: SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby Individual » Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:25 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Individual,
The Buddha addresses this question when admonishing Sati, the Fisherman's son, in MN 38:
http://awake.kiev.ua/dhamma/tipitaka/2S ... ta-e1.html
Many bhikkhus, heard that this evil view had arisen to a bhikkhu, named Sāti the son of a fisherman: 'As I know the Teaching of the Blessed One, this consciousness transmigrates through existences, not anything else'.
...
Then the Blessed One, addressed the bhikkhus:
Bhikkhus, do you too know this Teaching, wrongly grasped by the bhikkhu Sāti the son of a fisherman. By that he blames me. Destroys himself, and accumulates much unpleasantness.

As I read that, Sati is making the statement that consciousness transmigrates, certainly a mistaken view. "What is it that is reborn?" can be the perception, feeling, or experience that there is something that forms the basis, foundation, ground of experience, the complex of aggregates, rebirth -- without asserting whatever it is might be, without specifying; innocently inquiring about an aspect of experience without mistaken preconceptions. It's what makes some of us wonder whether robots can be sentient beings, and whether "sentience" is something real that's clarified by enlightenment or a bizarre illusion that's snuffed out by enlightenment.

mikenz66 wrote:You mean this Sutta?

AN 4.77 Acintita Sutta: Unconjecturable

Yes, and debates over the meaning of puggala seem like they might be masking over speculative views about self.
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Re: SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:58 am

Hi Individual,
Individual wrote:As I read that, Sati is making the statement that consciousness transmigrates, certainly a mistaken view. "What is it that is reborn?" can be the perception, feeling, or experience that there is something that forms the basis, foundation, ground of experience, the complex of aggregates, rebirth -- without asserting whatever it is might be, without specifying; innocently inquiring about an aspect of experience without mistaken preconceptions. It's what makes some of us wonder whether robots can be sentient beings, and whether "sentience" is something real that's clarified by enlightenment or a bizarre illusion that's snuffed out by enlightenment.

I tend to think that the question of "what is reborn" is one of those questions that is simply invalid. I'm not aware of that question being specifically discussed, but the question of whether the Tathagata continues after death is certainly examined.

In MN 72 Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta: To Vacchagotta on Fire we have the tetralemma:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"Then does Master Gotama hold the view: 'After death a Tathagata exists: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless'?"
"...'after death a Tathagata does not exist'...
"...'after death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist'...
"...'after death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist'.

and the key to the answer revolves around the analogy (or is it a simile?).
"And suppose someone were to ask you, 'This fire that has gone out in front of you, in which direction from here has it gone? East? West? North? Or south?' Thus asked, how would you reply?"

"That doesn't apply, Master Gotama. Any fire burning dependent on a sustenance of grass and timber, being unnourished — from having consumed that sustenance and not being offered any other — is classified simply as 'out' (unbound)."

"Even so, Vaccha, any physical form by which one describing the Tathagata would describe him: That the Tathagata has abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Freed from the classification of form, Vaccha, the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the sea. 'Reappears' doesn't apply. 'Does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Both does & does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Neither reappears nor does not reappear' doesn't apply.


:anjali:
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Re: SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby Individual » Fri Oct 08, 2010 2:31 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Individual,
I tend to think that the question of "what is reborn" is one of those questions that is simply invalid. I'm not aware of that question being specifically discussed, but the question of whether the Tathagata continues after death is certainly examined.

No question is invalid, because even questions made out of ignorance can help clarify ignorance.

You cannot answer the question, "What is it that is reborn?" without invalidating a person's experience or contradicting anatta. The personalists did the latter, the impersonalists (i.e. the Theravada) did the former.

Was the Buddha an "impersonalist" too?
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Re: SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:50 pm

Hi Individual,
Individual wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Hi Individual,
I tend to think that the question of "what is reborn" is one of those questions that is simply invalid. I'm not aware of that question being specifically discussed, but the question of whether the Tathagata continues after death is certainly examined.

No question is invalid, because even questions made out of ignorance can help clarify ignorance.

I'm not saying that one shouldn't ask the question to gain clarification, I'm saying that the answer in the Sutta is that the answer is that the question is invalid.
Individual wrote:You cannot answer the question, "What is it that is reborn?" without invalidating a person's experience or contradicting anatta. The personalists did the latter, the impersonalists (i.e. the Theravada) did the former.

The Buddha's answers do not contradicting anatta.
Individual wrote:Was the Buddha an "impersonalist" too?

The Buddha taught anatta, as demonstrated in these Suttas.

Do you have a specific comment on details of the Sutta we are discussing in this thread? It would be useful to keep the discussion focussed on that.

:anjali:
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Re: SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby Adriano was Element » Sat Oct 09, 2010 2:40 am

mikenz66 wrote:SN 22.22 Bhaara.m Sutta: The Burden
translated from the Pali by Maurice O'Connell Walshe

"'The five groups of clinging' is the answer. Which five? They are: the group of clinging to corporeality,... to feelings,... to perceptions,... to mental formations,... to consciousness. This, monks, is called 'the burden.'

"What is the laying hold of the burden? The answer is that it is the person, the Venerable So-and-so, of such-and-such a family. This, monks, is called 'the laying hold of the burden.'


SN 22.22 Bhara Sutta: The Burden
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

The Blessed One said, "And which is the burden? 'The five clinging-aggregates,' it should be said. Which five? Form as a clinging-aggregate, feeling as a clinging-aggregate, perception as a clinging-aggregate, fabrications as a clinging-aggregate, consciousness as a clinging-aggregate. This, monks, is called the burden.

"And which is the carrier of the burden? 'The person,' it should be said. This venerable one with such a name, such a clan-name. This is called the carrier of the burden.


It is interesting to compare these translations.

The first translation states the five groups of clinging are the burden and the manifestion of the 'person' is from the holding of the burden.

The second translation states the five aggregrates themselves are the burden and there is a 'carrier' of the burden, that is, the 'person'.

Both translations say casting off craving is the casting off of the burden.

The distinctions are interesting.

The first seems to say 'clinging' is burden, which is 'carrying' or 'taking hold of' the aggregates.

The second seems to say 'phenomena' (the five aggregates) are the burden and there is a 'carrier' or 'person'.

The first seems to say the 'person' is a result of the 'carrying'.

The second seems to say there is an existent person that does the carrying, that is, the carrying is a result of the person's actions.

The first seems to say by casting off craving, clinging will cast off.

The second seems to say by casting off craving, the aggregates will cease to exist.

:shrug:
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Re: SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Oct 09, 2010 9:10 am

Perhaps we can compare the translations of Maurice Walshe (MW), Thanissaro Bhikkhu (TB) and Bhikkhu Bodhi (TB).

MW: The burden: aggregates.
TB: The burden: aggregates.
BB: The burden: aggregates.

MW: Laying hold: the person.
TB: Carrier: The person
BB: Carrier: The person

MW: Holding on: craving
TB: Taking up: craving
BB: Taking up: craving

MW: Laying down: extinction of craving.
TB: Casting off: cessation of craving
BB: Laying down: cessation of craving

MW:
The five groups are the heavy load,
The seizing of the load is man.
Holding it is misery,
Laying down the load is bliss.
Laying down this heavy load,
And no other taking up,
By uprooting all desire,
Hunger's stilled, Nibbaana's gained.

TB:
A burden indeed are the five aggregates,
and the carrier of the burden is the person.
Taking up the burden in the world is stressful.
Casting off the burden is bliss.
Having cast off the heavy burden
and not taking on another,
pulling up craving,
along with its root,
one is free from hunger,
totally unbound.

BB:
The five aggregates are truly burdens,
The burden-carrier is the person.
Taking up the burden is suffering in the world,
Laying the burden down is blissful.

Having laid the heavy burden down
Without taking up another burden,
Having drawn out craving with its root,
One is free from hunger, fully quenched.

:anjali:
Mike
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Re: SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:51 am

Here are Bhikkhu Bodhi's extracts from the Commentary (Spk), and some of his own comments.

The burden: aggregates.
Spk: In what sense are these "five aggregates subject to clinging" called the burden? In the sense of having to be borne through maintenance. For their maintenance - by being lifted up, moved about, seated, ... fed, nourished - is something to be borne; thus they are called a burden in the sense of having to be borne through maintenance.

Carrier: The person
BB: The puggalavada, or "personalist" school of Buddhism appealed to this passage as proof for the existence of a person as a real entity ...
[the Theravada disagreed:]
Spk: Thus by the expression "the carrier of the burden", he shows the person to be a mere convention. For the person is called the carrier of the burden because it "picks up" the burden of the aggregates at the moment of rebirth, maintains the burden by bathing, ... during the course of life, and then discards them at the moment of death, only to take up another burden of aggregates at the moment of rebirth.

Taking up: craving
BB: This formula is identical with the definition of the second noble truth. So too, the explanation of the laying down of the burden is identical with the definition of the third truth.
Spk: Seeking delight here and there: having the habit of seeking delight in the place of rebirth or among the various objects such as forms. Lust of the five cords of sensual pleasure is craving for sensual pleasures. Lust for form-sphere or formless-sphere conciousness, attachment to jhana, and lust accompanied by the eternalist view: this is called craving for existence. Lust accompanied by the annihilationsist view is craving from extermination.
BB: This explanation of the last two kinds of craving seems to me too narrow. Most likely, craving for existence should be understood as the primordial desire to continue in existence (whether supported by a view or not), craving for extermination as the desire for a complete end to existenc, based on the underlying assumption (not necessarily formulated as a view) that such extermination brings and end to a real "I".

Laying down: cessation of craving
Spk: All these terms are designations for Nibbana. For it is contingent on this that craving fades away without remainder, ceases, is given up, is relinquished, and released; and hence there is no reliance on sensual pleasures of views. For such a reason Nibbana gains these names.

The five aggregates are truly burdens,
The burden-carrier is the person.
Taking up the burden is suffering in the world,
Laying the burden down is blissful.

Having laid the heavy burden down
Without taking up another burden,
Having drawn out craving with its root,
One is free from hunger, fully quenched.

Spk: The root of craving is ignorance. One draws out craving along with its root by the path of Arahantship.

:anjali:
Mike
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Re: SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:14 am

I thought that this quote from the commentary was interesting, because it's something I've heard in a lot of modern Dhamma talks...
Spk: In what sense are these "five aggregates subject to clinging" called the burden? In the sense of having to be borne through maintenance. For their maintenance - by being lifted up, moved about, seated, ... fed, nourished - is something to be borne; thus they are called a burden in the sense of having to be borne through maintenance.

Mike
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