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SN 22.86 Anuradha Sutta - Dhamma Wheel

SN 22.86 Anuradha Sutta

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SN 22.86 Anuradha Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:57 am

SN 22.86 Anuradha Sutta: To Anuradha
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

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


I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Vesali, in the Great Wood, at the Hall of the Gabled Pavilion. At that time Ven. Anuradha was staying not far from the Blessed One in a wilderness hut.

Then a large number of wandering sectarians went to Ven. Anuradha and on arrival exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, they sat to one side. As they were sitting there, they said to Ven. Anuradha, "Friend Anuradha, the Tathagata — the supreme man, the superlative man, attainer of the superlative attainment — being described, is described with [one of] these four positions: The Tathagata exists after death, does not exist after death, both does & does not exist after death, neither exists nor does not exist after death."

When this was said, Ven. Anuradha said to the wandering sectarians, "Friends, the Tathagata — the supreme man, the superlative man, attainer of the superlative attainment — being described, is described otherwise than with these four positions: The Tathagata exists after death, does not exist after death, both does & does not exist after death, neither exists nor does not exist after death."

When this was said, the wandering sectarians said to Ven. Anuradha, "This monk is either a newcomer, not long gone forth, or else an elder who is foolish & inexperienced." So the wandering sectarians, addressing Ven. Anuradha as they would a newcomer or a fool, got up from their seats and left.

Then not long after the wandering sectarians had left, this thought occurred to Ven. Anuradha: "If I am questioned again by those wandering sectarians, how will I answer in such a way that will I speak in line with what the Blessed One has said, will not misrepresent the Blessed One with what is unfactual, will answer in line with the Dhamma, so that no one whose thinking is in line with the Dhamma will have grounds for criticizing me?"

Then Ven. Anuradha went to the Blessed One and on arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "Just now I was staying not far from the Blessed One in a wilderness hut. Then a large number of wandering sectarians came and... said to me, 'Friend Anuradha, the Tathagata — the supreme man, the superlative man, attainer of the superlative attainment — being described, is described with [one of] these four positions: The Tathagata exists after death, does not exist after death, both does & does not exist after death, neither exists nor does not exist after death.'

"When this was said, I said to them, 'Friends, the Tathagata — the supreme man, the superlative man, attainer of the superlative attainment — being described, is described otherwise than with these four positions: The Tathagata exists after death, does not exist after death, both does & does not exist after death, neither exists nor does not exist after death.'

"When this was said, the wandering sectarians said to me, 'This monk is either a newcomer, not long gone forth, or else an elder who is foolish & inexperienced.' So, addressing me as they would a newcomer or a fool, they got up from their seats and left.

"Then not long after the wandering sectarians had left, this thought occurred to me: 'If I am questioned again by those wandering sectarians, how will I answer in such a way that will I speak in line with what the Blessed One has said, will not misrepresent the Blessed One with what is unfactual, will answer in line with the Dhamma, and no one whose thinking is in line with the Dhamma will have grounds for criticizing me?'"

"What do you think, Anuradha: Is form constant or inconstant?"

"Inconstant, lord."

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

"Stressful, lord."

"And is it proper 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."...

"Is consciousness constant or inconstant?

"Inconstant, lord."

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

"Stressful, lord."

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

"No, lord."

"What do you think, Anuradha: Do you regard form as the Tathagata?"

"No, lord."

"Do you regard feeling as the Tathagata?"

"No, lord."

"Do you regard perception as the Tathagata?"

"No, lord."

"Do you regard fabrications as the Tathagata?"

"No, lord."

"Do you regard consciousness as the Tathagata?"

"No, lord."

"What do you think, Anuradha: Do you regard the Tathagata as being in form?... Elsewhere than form?... In feeling?... Elsewhere than feeling?... In perception?... Elsewhere than perception?... In fabrications?... Elsewhere than fabrications?... In consciousness?... Elsewhere than consciousness?"

"No, lord."

"What do you think: Do you regard the Tathagata as form-feeling-perception-fabrications-consciousness?"

"No, lord."

"Do you regard the Tathagata as that which is without form, without feeling, without perception, without fabrications, without consciousness?"

"No, lord."

"And so, Anuradha — when you can't pin down the Tathagata as a truth or reality even in the present life — is it proper for you to declare, 'Friends, the Tathagata — the supreme man, the superlative man, attainer of the superlative attainment — being described, is described otherwise than with these four positions: The Tathagata exists after death, does not exist after death, both does & does not exist after death, neither exists nor does not exist after death'?"

"No, lord."

"Very good, Anuradha. Very good. Both formerly & now, it is only stress that I describe, and the cessation of stress."

See also: The suttas in the Avyakata Samyutta.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... l#avyakata

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Re: SN 22.86 Anuradha Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Dec 28, 2010 2:02 am

SN 22.86 PTS: S iii 116 CDB i 936
Anuraadho Sutta: Anuraadha is Caught Out
translated from the Pali by Maurice O'Connell Walshe

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

[The Ven. Anuraadha, dwelling alone in a forest hut, is quizzed by wanderers of another sect. He takes his problem to the Buddha, who is staying at Vesali:] "I am staying, Lord, in a forest hut not far away. Now a number of wanderers of another sect came to me... and said: 'Friend Anuraadha, a Tathaagata, a superman, a man supreme, one who has gained the Highest, must be describable in [one of] four ways: a Tathaagata comes to be after death; he does not come to be after death; he both comes to be and does not come to be after death; he neither comes to be nor does not come to be after death.'[1] To this Lord, I replied...: 'A Tathaagata can be described otherwise than in these four ways...' At my reply the wanderers of another sect said: 'This monk must be a novice, not long ordained, or if he is an elder, he is an ignorant fool.' Then the wanderers, abusing me as a novice and a fool, got up and went away. Soon after they had left, Lord, I thought: 'If these wanderers were to ply me with further questions,[2] how should I answer them so as to express correctly the Blessed One's standpoint without misrepresentation, in accordance with the true doctrine, so that no follower of his teacher would incur reproach?'"

"Now what do you think Anuraadha, is the body permanent or impermanent?"

"Impermanent, Lord."...

"Well then, Anuraadha, do you equate the Tathaagata with his body,[3]... feelings,... perceptions,... mental formations,... consciousness?"[4]

"No indeed, Lord."

"Do you consider he has no body,... feelings,... perceptions,... mental formations,... consciousness?"

"No indeed, Lord."

"Then, Anuraadha, since in this very life the Tathaagata is not to be regarded as really and truly existing, is it proper for you to declare of him: 'Friends, he who is a Tathaagata... can be described otherwise than in these four ways...'?"[5]

"No indeed, Lord."

"Good, good, Anuraadha. As before, so now I proclaim just suffering and the ceasing of suffering."

Notes

1. The fourfold division of Indian Logic: a thing (1) is, (2) is not, (3) both is and is not, (4) neither is nor is not.

2. Or: "were to ask me the same question again."

3. Here, as in other similar passages, SA [SN commentary] glosses Tathaagata (SN 12.15, n. 10 []) with satta "a being," to the confusion of scholars. The point seems to be that even in this life any "being," and not merely the Tathaagata, is only real in terms of conventional, not of ultimate truth (see SN 1.20, n. 8 []). The difference lies in what happens after death.

4. The identification of a person with "consciousness" is strongly condemned by the Buddha's rebuke to "Saati the fisherman's son" in MN 38 [].

5. Anuraadha was of course wrong to say that a Tathaagata can be described otherwise than in one of these four ways, since he cannot after death be described at all. He would have been right to deny that any one of the four ways of description (n. 1) was correct, but not to suggest that there is any other possible description. We may note that the "wanderers of another sect" were obviously extremely well informed about the Buddha's teaching (even though they did not really understand it!), and laid a careful trap for Anuraadha. They had the terminology off pat, and were only too ready to pounce on a seeming weakness.

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Re: SN 22.86 Anuradha Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Dec 28, 2010 5:41 am


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Re: SN 22.86 Anuradha Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:53 pm

I've read this sutta before, but it had not fully registered that the "wanderers of other sects" were actually correct to criticise Ven Anuradha's answer. I recall a few other suttas where Bhikkhus give the wrong answer, and are corrected by the Buddha, and also a few where they don't know the answer, and have to ask.

Assignment: Provide some references to suttas where the Buddha corrects or provides an answer.

:anjali:
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Re: SN 22.86 Anuradha Sutta

Postby phil » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:45 pm

Hi Mike and all



This sutta is kind of timely for me, as you might have seen at DSG before I left (not sure you still go there) I have been struggling with what I consider to be a premature move of understanding on the part of some people there to insist that people don't exist.. I feel we have to grow very gradually into that kind of understanding - very, very, very gradually. So while in meditation practice one (not me at this point) may develop understanding of the characteristics of conditioned elements like in this sutta, I personally feel that contact with this kind of sutta (and of course Abhidhamma) can push people into trying to go too far with casual statements of ultimate non-existence of beings etc. Of course not denying the great treasure that this teaching is, just that in my opinion we are sometimes too eager to get our grubby paws all over the treasure. On the other hand, maybe I am lazy about pushing understanding deeper...I certainly love reading suttas in SN 22 and SN 35, which are almost all of this nature, but when I read them I kind of read from a very respectful distance...

This is just my "problem", I think, though I wouldn't call it a problem....

p.s I didn't address the assignment, I'm sure others will. But nice idea assigning a specific task like that. :smile:
Last edited by phil on Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

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Re: SN 22.86 Anuradha Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:19 am


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Re: SN 22.86 Anuradha Sutta

Postby Anicca » Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:23 am


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Re: SN 22.86 Anuradha Sutta

Postby Anicca » Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:29 am


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Re: SN 22.86 Anuradha Sutta

Postby phil » Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:34 am

Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

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Re: SN 22.86 Anuradha Sutta

Postby Anicca » Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:55 am


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Re: SN 22.86 Anuradha Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:23 am


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Re: SN 22.86 Anuradha Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Dec 29, 2010 5:09 am

Looks like Anicca is currently at the top of the class...

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: SN 22.86 Anuradha Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Dec 29, 2010 5:13 am


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Re: SN 22.86 Anuradha Sutta

Postby phil » Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:36 am

Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

phil
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Re: SN 22.86 Anuradha Sutta

Postby phil » Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:41 am

Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

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Re: SN 22.86 Anuradha Sutta

Postby Anicca » Wed Dec 29, 2010 4:11 pm


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Re: SN 22.86 Anuradha Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Dec 29, 2010 7:14 pm

OK class, pay attention! :reading:

Some comments from the Commentary suggesting that the Venerable was panicked into giving an incorrect response:

"When this was said, the Venerable Anuradha said to those wanderers ... he describes them apart from these four cases: ... "

Spk: It is said that he thought: "These are hostile enemies of the Teaching. The Teacher would not describe (the Tathagata) as they say. He must have described him in some other way."

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Re: SN 22.86 Anuradha Sutta

Postby Anicca » Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:45 pm


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Re: SN 22.86 Anuradha Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:57 am


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Re: SN 22.86 Anuradha Sutta

Postby Anicca » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:49 pm



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