SN 22.80 Pindolya Sutta: Almsgoers

Each week we study and discuss a different sutta or Dhamma text

Moderator: mikenz66

SN 22.80 Pindolya Sutta: Almsgoers

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:11 am

SN 22.80 PTS: S iii 91 CDB i 918
Pindolya Sutta: Almsgoers
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

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

On one occasion the Blessed One was staying among the Sakyans at Kapilavatthu in the Banyan Park. Then, after having dismissed the community of monks over a particular incident, he early in the morning put on his robes and, carrying his bowl and outer robe, went into Kapilavatthu for alms. After having gone for alms in Kapilavatthu, after his meal, returning from his almsround, he went to the Great Forest for the day's abiding. Plunging into the Great Forest, he sat down at the root of a beluva sapling as his day's abiding.

Then, as he was alone in seclusion, this line of thought arose in his awareness: "I have turned away the community of monks. But here there are monks who are new — not long gone forth, only recently come to this Dhamma & discipline. If they do not see me, there may be alteration in them, there may be change. Just as when a young calf does not see its mother, there may be alteration in it, there may be change; in the same way, there are monks who are new — not long gone forth, only recently come to this Dhamma & discipline. If they do not see me, there may be alteration in them, there may be change. Just as when young seedlings don't get water, there may be alteration in them, there may be change; in the same way, there are monks who are new — not long gone forth, only recently come to this Dhamma & discipline. If they do not see me, there may be alteration in them, there may be change. What if I were to aid the community of monks as I did before?"

Then Brahma Sahampati — having known with his own awareness the line of thinking in the Blessed One's awareness — just as a strong man might extend his flexed arm or flex his extended arm, disappeared from the Brahma-world and reappeared in front of the Blessed One. Arranging his upper robe over one shoulder, he knelt down with his right knee on the ground, saluted the Blessed One with his hands before his heart, and said to him: "So it is, O Blessed One! So it is, O One Well-gone! The Blessed One has turned away the community of monks. But here there are monks who are new — not long gone forth, only recently come to this Dhamma & discipline. If they do not see the Blessed One, there may be alteration in them, there may be change. Just as when a young calf does not see its mother... Just as when young seedlings don't get water... in the same way, there are monks who are new — not long gone forth, only recently come to this Dhamma & discipline. If they do not see the Blessed One, there may be alteration in them, there may be change. Let the Blessed One delight in the community of monks! Let the Blessed One welcome the community of monks! Let the Blessed One aid the community of monks as he did before!"

The Blessed One acquiesced with silence.

Then Brahma Sahampati, sensing the Blessed One's acquiescence, bowed down to the Blessed One and, after circumambulating him, disappeared right there.

Then the Blessed One, emerging from seclusion in the evening, went to the Banyan Park. On arrival he sat down on a seat made ready. After he had sat down he worked a psychic feat such that the monks went to him contritely, in ones and twos. On arrival, they bowed down to him and sat to one side. As they were sitting there the Blessed One said to them, "Monks, this is the lowliest form of livelihood, that of an almsgoer. A term of abuse in the world is, 'You go about as an almsgoer with a bowl in your hand!' And yet sons of good family take up [this livelihood] with compelling reason, in dependence on a compelling reason — not coerced by kings nor coerced by thieves nor from debt nor from fear nor to earn a livelihood, but [with the thought]: 'I am oppressed with birth, aging, & death, with sorrows, lamentations pains, distresses, & despairs. I am oppressed with stress, overcome with stress. Perhaps an ending of this entire mass of suffering & stress might be found!'

"And although this son of a good family has gone forth in this way, he is covetous, with strong passion for sensual desires, with a mind of ill will, of corrupt resolves, his mindfulness muddled, unalert, unconcentrated, his mind distracted, loose in his sense faculties. Just as a log from a funeral pyre, burning at both ends, smeared with excrement in the middle, fills no use as timber either in the village or in the wilderness: I speak of this person with this comparison. He has missed out on the enjoyments of the householder, and yet does not fulfill the goal of the contemplative life.

"Monks, there are these three types of unskillful thinking: thinking of sensuality, thinking of ill will, thinking of harm. These three types of unskillful thinking cease without remainder in one who dwells with his mind well established in the four frames of reference or who develops the themeless concentration.[1]This is reason enough, monks, to develop the themeless concentration. The themeless concentration, when developed & pursued, is of great fruit, great benefit.

"Monks, there are these two views: the view of becoming and the view of non-becoming. There the instructed disciple of the noble ones considers thus: 'Is there anything in the world to which I could cling without being blameworthy?' He discerns: 'There is nothing in the world to which I could cling without being blameworthy.' He discerns: 'In clinging, I would be clinging just to form. In clinging, I would be clinging just to feeling... perception... fabrications. In clinging, I would be clinging just to consciousness. From that clinging of mine as a requisite condition would come becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition, birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging, illness, & death, sorrow, lamentation pain, distress, & despair would come into play. Thus would be the origination of this entire mass of suffering & stress.'

"What do you think, monks — Is form constant or inconstant?"

"Inconstant, lord."

"And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?"

"Stressful, lord."

"And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: 'This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am'?"

"No, lord."

"... Is feeling constant or inconstant?" — "Inconstant, lord." ...

"... Is perception constant or inconstant?" — "Inconstant, lord." ...

"... Are fabrications constant or inconstant?" — "Inconstant, lord." ...

"What do you think, monks — Is consciousness constant or inconstant?"

"Inconstant, lord."

"And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?"

"Stressful, lord."

"And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: 'This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am'?"

"No, lord."

"Thus, monks, any form whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every form is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.'

"Any feeling whatsoever...

"Any perception whatsoever...

"Any fabrications whatsoever...

"Any consciousness whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every consciousness is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.'

"Seeing thus, the instructed disciple of the noble ones grows disenchanted with form, disenchanted with feeling, disenchanted with perception, disenchanted with fabrications, disenchanted with consciousness. Through disenchantment, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion, he is fully released. With full release, there is the knowledge, 'Fully released.' He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'"

Notes

1. See MN 121. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

See also Iti 91. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#iti-091
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10380
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 22.80 Pindolya Sutta: Almsgoers

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:14 am

SN 22.80 PTS: S iii 91 CDB i 918
Pi.n.dolya.m Sutta: Going Begging. A Stern Admonition
translated from the Pali by Maurice O'Connell Walshe

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

[Extract]

"This, monks, is the meanest[1] of callings — that of one who goes begging! It is a term of abuse in the world to say: 'You scrap-gatherer, wandering about bowl in hand!' This is the life undertaken by young men of good family seeking their own good because it is good, not compelled by rulers, not compelled by robbers, not on account of debts, not through fear, not for a livelihood,[2] but with the thought: 'Here I am, plunged into birth, decay-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair, thrown into suffering, overcome with suffering! Surely there must be a way of bringing this entire mass of suffering to an end!'

"So, monks, a young man of good family leaves the world, but he is greedy for sense pleasures, with fierce passions, with hate in his heart, corruptly motivated,[3] lacking in mindfulness, inattentive, unconcentrated, scatter-brained, his faculties uncontrolled. Just as, monks, a funeral-torch lit at both ends and smeared in the middle with dung is no good as fuel either in the village or in the forest — that is how I would describe that man, who has lost his home and wealth without satisfying the demands of the recluse life. There are, monks, three unskilled ways of thought: thoughts of lust, thoughts of ill-will, thoughts of hurting. And these three unskilled states disappear utterly in him whose heart is well established in the four foundations of mindfulness, or who practices concentration on the signless.[4]

"Indeed, monks, this concentration on the signless is greatly to be commended; the concentration on the signless, if developed and frequently practiced, is of great fruit, of great profit.

"There are, monks, these two views: the existence view and the non-existence view. And the well-taught Ariyan disciple deliberates: 'Is there anything in the world that I can cling to without being at fault?' And he realizes: 'There is nothing in the world that I can cling to without being at fault. Suppose I were to grasp and cling to the body,... to feelings,... perceptions,... the mental formations,... consciousness. Conditioned by my clinging, becoming would arise; conditioned by becoming, birth; conditioned by birth; decay-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair. In that way the whole mass of suffering would arise.'"

Notes

1. Anta.m: lit. "the end": SA [SN commentary] says=laamaka.m "inferior, mean."

2. Or "not from fear of having no livelihood."

3. Padu.t.tha-mana-sankappo: cf. Dhp 1 manasaa ce padu.t.thena... "if with a mind corrupted..." Also means having micchaa-sankappa "wrong-thought": the opposite of sammaa-sankappa "Right Thought," the second step of the Noble Eightfold Path.

4. "Signless, being secluded from the sign of the five aggregates, taken as having no graspable entity (aviggaha)." Comm. to VM [Visuddhimagga] XVI, 23 (quoted, PP [The Path of Purification, by Ven. Naa.namoli, Colombo 1956] p. 564n.). cf. also SN 40.9. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10380
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 22.80 Pindolya Sutta: Almsgoers

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Dec 16, 2010 9:44 am

Some comments from Bhikkhu Bodhi (BB) and Commentary (Spk).

The the Blessed One, having dismissed the bhikkhus for a particular reason ...

Spk: After spending the rains residence as Savatthi, the Buddha had set out for Kapilavatthu together with a large company of Bhikkhus. When they arrived, the Sakyans cam to see him, bringing many gifts for the Sangha. A noisy quarrel broke out among the Bhikkhus over the distribution of the gifts, and it was for the reason that the Teacher dismissed them. he wanted to teach them, "It isn't for the sake of such things as robes, etc., that you have gone forth into homelessness, but for the sake of arhantship".


Then, while the Blessed one was alone in seclusion, a reflection arose in his mind ...

BB: There is a similar passage in MN 67 http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/Majjhima-Nikaya/mn-67.htm, but there the Sakyans first request the Buddha to pardon the Bhikkhus, followed by Brahma Sahampati, who makes the same appeal. In the MN version the sequence of the two similes is inverted.
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10380
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 22.80 Pindolya Sutta: Almsgoers

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:21 am

Then in the evening the Blessed One emerged from seclusion and went ot Nigrodha's Park. He sat down in the appointed seat and performed such a feat of spiritual power that the Bhikkhus would come to him, alone and in pairs, in a timid manner.

Spk: Why did the Buddha perform such a feat? From a desire for their welfare. For if they had come to him in groups they would not have shown reverence towards the Buddha nor would they have been able to receive a Dhamma teaching. But when they dome timidly, ashamed, alone and in pairs, they show reverence and can receive a teaching.

"Bhikkhus, this is the lowest form of livelihood, that is, gathering alms. In the world this is a term of abuse. ...

Abhisapa, glossed akkosa by Spk, which explains: "For when people get angry they abuse their antagonist by saying, 'You should put on a monk's robe, get yourself a begging bowl, and roam around seeking alms!'" Kapala, rendered here "begging bowl", is not the usual word for a monks almsbowl (= patta), but refers to the kind of bowl used by non-Buddhist ascetics (sometimes made from a skull); the use of the word seems pejorative.
This paragraph and the next are also at It 89-90.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#iti-091
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10380
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 22.80 Pindolya Sutta: Almsgoers

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:08 am

"There are, bhikkhus, these three kinds of unwholesome thoughts: sensual thought, thought of ill will, thought of harming..."

BB: Spk says theis passage is introuduced to show that this person has become like a brand from a funeral pyre because of his evil thoughts. The "signless concentration" [in the following passage] is insight concentration (vipassana-samadhi), called "signless" because it removes the signs of permanence, etc. [BB refers to other notes regarding signless concentration.]


"There are, bhikkhus, these two views: the view of existence and the view of extermination. Therein, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple reflects thus: 'Is there anything in the world that I could cling to without being blameworthy?' ..."

Spk: The view of existence (bhavaditthi) is eternalism (sassataditthi); the view of extermination (vibhavaditthi) is annihilationism (ucchedaditthi). This passage is introduced to show that the signless concentration removes not only the three wrong thoughts but also eternalism and annihilationism.


'... Such would be the origin of this whole mass of suffering'

BB: Here the Buddha connects clinging, which arises on the basis of the mere five aggregates mistakenly held to as a self, with the last portion of the formula on dependent origination, thus showing present clinging to be the sustaining cause for the continuation of the round of existence.
For a parallel, see MN 75 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"In the same way, Magandiya, if I were to teach you the Dhamma — 'This is that freedom from Disease; this is that Unbinding' — and you on your part were to know that freedom from Disease and see that Unbinding, then together with the arising of your eyesight you would abandon whatever passion & delight you felt with regard for the five clinging-aggregates. And it would occur to you, 'My gosh, how long have I been fooled, cheated, & deceived by this mind! For in clinging, it was just form that I was clinging to... it was just feeling... just perception... just fabrications... just consciousness that I was clinging to. With my clinging as a requisite condition, there arises becoming... birth... aging & death... sorrow, lamentation, pains, distresses, & despairs. And thus is the origin of this entire mass of stress.'"
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10380
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 22.80 Pindolya Sutta: Almsgoers

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:35 am

"Seeing thus ... He understands: '... there is no more for this state of being.'"

Spk: At the end of the discourse five hundred bhikkhus attained arahantship together with the analytical knowledges (patisambhida).
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10380
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand


Return to Study Group

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests