MN Session 8 - MN 41. Sāleyyaka Sutta: The Brahmins of Sālā

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MN Session 8 - MN 41. Sāleyyaka Sutta: The Brahmins of Sālā

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:58 pm

MN 41
Saleyyaka Sutta
The Brahmans of Sala
Translated from the Pali by
Ñanamoli Thera
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.041.nymo.html

Introduction
by Bhikkhu Khantipalo
The brahmans of this discourse, intelligent people, asked a question about the causality of rebirth — why is one reborn in the states of deprivation (the hells, animals, and ghosts) while others make it to the heaven worlds?

The Buddha then analyzes what kind of kamma will take one to a low rebirth. You see any of your own actions here? Then you know what to do about it, for if one makes any of these ten courses of unwholesome kamma strong in oneself, a result can be expected at least "on the dissolution of the body, after death," if not in this life.

The ten courses of wholesome kamma follow. They should be strengthened in oneself, repeated frequently so that they become habitual. If one recognizes any of one's own actions among them, then just guard against the conceit: "I am good."

The last part of the sutta deals with the aspirations which one may have for rebirth at the time of death. Of course, one's previously made kamma must be such that it will support such aspirations. A miser might aspire to riches but his kamma will give him poverty. If a person has kept the Uposatha and generally all the precepts and been generous and truthful as well, this is the passport to heavenly birth (from the gods of the Four Kings up to the gods that Wield Power over others' Creations). Beyond this, it is necessary also to be proficient in jhana and one will gain rebirth among the Brahmas (from the Divinity's Retinue to the Very Fruitful gods) according to proficiency in this. For the next five Brahma-planes, the state of non-returning is required, while for the last four one must have gained the formless attainments. Finally, one may aspire to no rebirth: to arahantship, but of course the aspiration alone is not sufficient — practice and sufficient insight-wisdom are needed.



1. Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was wandering in the Kosalan country with a large Sangha of bhikkhus, and eventually he arrived at a Kosalan brahman village called Sala.

2. The brahman householders of Sala heard: "A monk called Gotama, it seems, a son of the Sakyans who went forth from a Sakyan clan, has been wandering in the Kosalan country with a large Sangha of bhikkhus and has come to Sala. Now a good report of Master Gotama has been spread to this effect: 'That Blessed One is such since he is arahant and Fully Enlightened, perfect in true knowledge and conduct, sublime, knower of worlds, incomparable teacher of men to be tamed, teacher of gods and humans, enlightened, blessed. He describes this world with its gods, its Maras, and its (Brahma) Divinities, this generation with its monks and brahmans, with its kings and its people, which he has himself realized through direct knowledge. He teaches a Dhamma that is good in the beginning, good in the middle and good in the end with (the right) meaning and phrasing, he affirms a holy life that is utterly perfect and pure.' Now it is good to see such arahants."

3. The brahman householders of Sala went to the Blessed One; and some paid homage to the Blessed One and sat down at one side; some exchanged greetings with him, and when the courteous and amiable talk was finished, sat down at one side; some raised hands palms together in salutation to the Blessed One and sat down at one side; some pronounced their name and clan in the Blessed One's presence and sat down at one side; some kept silence and sat down at one side.

4. When they were seated, they said to the Blessed One: "Master Gotama, what is the reason, what is the condition, why some beings here, on the dissolution of the body, after death, reappear in states of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, even in hell; and what is the reason, what is the condition, why some beings here, on the dissolution of the body, after death, reappear in a happy destination, even in the heavenly world?"

5. "Householders, it is by reason of conduct not in accordance with the Dhamma, by reason of unrighteous conduct, that beings here on the dissolution of the body, after death, reappear in states of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, even in hell. It is by reason of conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, by reason of righteous conduct, that some beings here on the dissolution of the body, after death, reappear in a happy destination, even in the heavenly world."

6. "We do not understand the detailed meaning of this utterance of Master Gotama's spoken in brief without expounding the detailed meaning. It would be good if Master Gotama taught us the Dhamma so that we might understand the detailed meaning of Master Gotama's utterance spoken in brief without expounding the detailed meaning."

"Then, householders, listen and heed well what I shall say."

"Yes, venerable sir," they replied. The Blessed One said this:

7. "Householders, there are three kinds of bodily conduct not in accordance with the Dhamma, unrighteous conduct. There are four kinds of verbal conduct not in accordance with the Dhamma, unrighteous conduct. There are three kinds of mental conduct not in accordance with the Dhamma, unrighteous conduct.

8. "And how are there three kinds of bodily conduct not in accordance with the Dhamma, unrighteous conduct? Here someone is a killer of living beings: he is murderous, bloody-handed, given to blows and violence, and merciless to all living beings. He is a taker of what is not given: he takes as a thief another's chattels and property in the village or in the forest. He is given over to misconduct in sexual desires: he has intercourse with such (women) as are protected by the mother, father, (mother and father), brother, sister, relatives, as have a husband, as entail a penalty, and also with those that are garlanded in token of betrothal. That is how there are three kinds of bodily conduct not in accordance with the Dhamma, unrighteous conduct.

9. "And how are there four kinds of verbal conduct not in accordance with the Dhamma, unrighteous conduct? Here someone speaks falsehood: when summoned to a court or to a meeting, or to his relatives' presence, or to his guild, or to the royal family's presence, and questioned as a witness thus, 'So, good man, tell what you know,' then, not knowing, he says 'I know,' or knowing, he says 'I do not know,' not seeing, he says 'I see,' or seeing, he says 'I do not see'; in full awareness he speaks falsehood for his own ends or for another's ends or for some trifling worldly end. He speaks maliciously: he is a repeater elsewhere of what is heard here for the purpose of causing division from these, or he is a repeater to these of what is heard elsewhere for the purpose of causing division from those, and he is thus a divider of the united, a creator of divisions, who enjoys discord, rejoices in discord, delights in discord, he is a speaker of words that create discord. He speaks harshly: he utters such words as are rough, hard, hurtful to others, censorious of others, bordering on anger and unconducive to concentration. He is a gossip: as one who tells that which is unseasonable, that which is not fact, that which is not good, that which is not the Dhamma, that which is not the Discipline, and he speaks out of season speech not worth recording, which is unreasoned, indefinite, and unconnected with good. That is how there are four kinds of verbal conduct not in accordance with the Dhamma, unrighteous conduct.

10. "And how are there three kinds of mental conduct not in accordance with the Dhamma, unrighteous conduct? Here someone is covetous: he is a coveter of another's chattels and property thus: 'Oh, that what is another's were mine!' Or he has a mind of ill-will, with the intention of a mind affected by hate thus: 'May these beings be slain and slaughtered, may they be cut off, perish, or be annihilated!' Or he has wrong view, distorted vision, thus: 'There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed, no fruit and ripening of good and bad kammas, no this world, no other world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously (born) beings,1 no good and virtuous monks and brahmans that have themselves realized by direct knowledge and declare this world and the other world.'2 That is how there are three kinds of mental conduct not in accordance with the Dhamma, unrighteous conduct.

"So, householders, it is by reason of conduct not in accordance with the Dhamma, by reason of unrighteous conduct, that some beings here, on the dissolution of the body, after death, reappear in states of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, even in hell.

11. "Householders, there are three kinds of bodily conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct. There are four kinds of verbal conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct. There are three kinds of mental conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct.

12. "And how are there three kinds of bodily conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct? Here someone, abandoning the killing of living beings, becomes one who abstains from killing living beings; with rod and weapon laid aside, gentle and kindly, he abides compassionate to all living beings. Abandoning the taking of what is not given, he becomes one who abstains from taking what is not given; he does not take as a thief another's chattels and property in the village or in the forest. Abandoning misconduct in sexual desires, he becomes one who abstains from misconduct in sexual desires: he does not have intercourse with such women as are protected by mother, father, (father and mother), brother, sister, relatives, as have a husband, as entail a penalty, and also those that are garlanded in token of betrothal. That is how there are three kinds of bodily conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct.

13. "And how are there four of verbal conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct? Here someone, abandoning false speech, becomes one who abstains from false speech: when summoned to a court or to a meeting or to his relatives' presence or to his guild or to the royal family's presence, and questioned as a witness thus, 'So, good man, tell what you know,' not knowing, he says 'I do not know,' or knowing, he says 'I know,' not seeing he says 'I do not see,' or seeing, he says 'I see'; he does not in full awareness speak falsehood for his own ends or for another's ends or for some trifling worldly end. Abandoning malicious speech, he becomes one who abstains from malicious speech: as one who is neither a repeater elsewhere of what is heard here for the purpose of causing division from these, nor a repeater to these of what is heard elsewhere for the purpose of causing division from those, who is thus a reuniter of the divided, a promoter of friendships, enjoying concord, rejoicing in concord, delighting in concord, he becomes a speaker of words that promote concord. Abandoning harsh speech, he becomes one who abstains from harsh speech: he becomes a speaker of such words as are innocent, pleasing to the ear and lovable, as go to the heart, are civil, desired of many and dear to many. Abandoning gossip, he becomes one who abstains from gossip: as one who tells that which is seasonable, that which is factual, that which is good, that which is the Dhamma, that which is the Discipline, he speaks in season speech worth recording, which is reasoned, definite and connected with good. That is how there are four kinds of verbal conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct.

14. "And how are there three kinds of mental conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct? Here someone is not covetous: he is not a coveter of another's chattels and property thus: 'Oh, that what is another's were mine!' He has no mind of ill-will, with the intention of a mind unaffected by hate thus: 'May these beings be free from enmity, affliction and anxiety, may they live happily!' He has right view, undistorted vision, thus: 'There is what is given and what is offered and what is sacrificed, and there is fruit and ripening of good and bad kammas, and there is this world and the other world and mother and father and spontaneously (born) beings, and good and virtuous monks and brahmans that have themselves realized by direct knowledge and declared this world and the other world.' That is how there are three kinds of mental conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct.

"So, householders, it is by reason of conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, by reason of righteous conduct, that some beings here, on the dissolution of the body, after death, reappear in a happy destination, even in the heavenly world.

15. "If a householder who observes conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct, should wish: 'Oh, that on the dissolution of the body, after death, I might reappear in the company of the warrior-nobles of great property!' it is possible that on the dissolution of the body, after death, he may do so. Why is that? Because he observes conduct that is in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct.

16. "If a householder who observes conduct is accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct, should wish: 'Oh, that on the dissolution of the body, after death, I might reappear in the company of the brahmans of great property!' it is possible...

17. "If a householder who observes conduct in accordance with the Dhamma,...'... I might reappear in the company of householders of great property!' it is possible...

18. "If a householder who observes conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct, should wish: 'Oh, that on the dissolution of the body, after death, I might reappear in the company of the gods of the Four Kings!' it is possible that on the dissolution of the body, after death, he may do so. Why is that? Because he observes conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct.

19. ...of the gods of the Realm of the Thirty-three...3
20. ...of the gods that have Gone to Bliss...
21. ...of the Contented gods...
22. ...of the gods that Delight in Creating...
23. ...of the gods that Wield Power over others' Creations...
24. ...of the gods of Brahma's Retinue...
25. ...of the Radiant gods...
26. ...of the gods of Limited Radiance...
27. ...of the gods of Measureless Radiance...
28. ...of the gods of Streaming Radiance...
29. ...of the Glorious gods...
30. ...of the gods of Limited Glory...
31. ...of the gods of Measureless Glory...
32. ...of the gods of Refulgent Glory...
33. ...of the Very Fruitful gods...
34. ...of the gods Bathed in their own Prosperity...
35. ...of the Untormenting gods...
36. ...of the Fair-to-see gods...
37. ...of the Fair-seeing gods...
38. ...of the gods who are Junior to None...
39. ...of the gods of the base consisting of the infinity of space...
40. ...of the gods of the base consisting of the infinity of consciousness...
41. ...of the gods of the base consisting of nothingness...

42. "If a householder who observes conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct, should wish: 'Oh, that on the dissolution of the body, after death, I might reappear in the company of the gods of the base consisting of neither-perception-nor-non-perception!' it is possible that, on the dissolution of the body, after death, he may do so. Why is that? Because he observes conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct.

43. "If a householder who observes conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct, should wish: 'Oh, that by realization myself with direct knowledge, I may here and now enter upon and abide in the deliverance of the heart and the deliverance by wisdom that are taint-free with exhaustion of taints!' it is possible that, by realization himself with direct knowledge, he may here and now enter upon and abide in the deliverance of the heart and the deliverance by wisdom that are taint-free with exhaustion of taints. Why is that? Because he observes conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct."

44. When this was said, the brahman householders of Sala said to the Blessed One:

"Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent, Master Gotama! The Dhamma has been made clear in many ways by Master Gotama, as though he were turning upright what had been overthrown, revealing the hidden, showing the way to one who was lost, holding up a lamp in the darkness for those with eyes to see forms.

45. "We go to Master Gotama for refuge, and to the Dhamma, and to the Sangha of bhikkhus. From today let Master Gotama accept us as followers who have gone to him for refuge for life."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notes

1. Beings who appear due to the force of past action (kamma) in some states of birth: all gods and divinities, ghosts, inhabitants of hells; see Majjhima Nikaya Sutta 12 (Maha-sihanada Sutta).

2. For an explanation of these views held by some teachers in the Buddhist time, and which were a rejection of all moral values, see Ledi Sayadaw, The Eightfold Path and its Factors Explained (BPS Wheel No. 245/247).

3. The rendering of the various gods' names are based on the commentary to the Hadayavibhanga (in the Vibhanga, second book of the Abhidhamma: see The Book of Analysis, P.T.S. Translation Series).



and the study guide

41 Sāleyyaka Sutta The Brahmins of Sala
42 Verañjaka Sutta The Brahmins of Verañja
SUMMARY
In these two discourses, identical except for a few word changes, the Buddha
explains to groups of brahmin householders the courses of bodily, verbal and
mental conduct (the ten courses of unwholesome and wholesome action as in
MN9 and MN113) that lead to rebirth in lower realms or to higher rebirth and
deliverance.
NOT ES
The causes and conditions for why some beings, after death, reappear in states
of deprivation and others reappear in happy destinations are directly related to
whether their conduct is in accordance with the Dharma. Here is a list of the
ten courses of wholesome and unwholesome conduct:
Bodily conduct:
1. killing (violent, merciless); Noble: putting aside weapons; abiding
compassionate toward all beings
2. stealing (theft of others’ wealth and property); Noble: not stealing
3. sexual misconduct (intercourse with women who are protected); Noble:
not engaging in sexual misconduct. [Ed: Note that this teaching is for
householders. Monks and nuns follow celibacy. See my notes in MN117
on right action.]
Verbal conduct:
4. lying intentionally (for one’s own end, for another’s or some trifling worldly
end); Noble: speaking words that are beneficial and true. [Ed: See my
notes in MN58 on noble speech.]
PRACT ICE
1. Reflect on where you draw the line between wholesome and unwholesome
action. What criteria makes this determination? Is the line subjective, depending
on how you are viewing the action and the circumstance at the time? Are the
Buddha’s criteria subjective? 2. Reflect on ways that you could live a more noble
life.
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: MN Session 8 - MN 41. Sāleyyaka Sutta: The Brahmins of Sālā

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:33 am

Greetings,

This is interesting...

"If a householder who observes conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct, should wish: 'Oh, that by realization myself with direct knowledge, I may here and now enter upon and abide in the deliverance of the heart and the deliverance by wisdom that are taint-free with exhaustion of taints!' it is possible that, by realization himself with direct knowledge, he may here and now enter upon and abide in the deliverance of the heart and the deliverance by wisdom that are taint-free with exhaustion of taints. Why is that? Because he observes conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct."


It certainly seems opposed to the maxim that one must be a renunciate to be an arahant.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: MN Session 8 - MN 41. Sāleyyaka Sutta: The Brahmins of Sālā

Postby Dhammanando » Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:52 am

Hi Retro,

retrofuturist wrote:It certainly seems opposed to the maxim that one must be a renunciate to be an arahant.


But the Theravadin maxim is not that a householder can't attain arahatta, but that he can't attain it and thereafter remain a householder.

The Subha Sutta is relevant in this connection, though here the Buddha is responding to the brahminical view that the household life is the true way:

    The brahmin student Subha, Todeyya’s son, went to the Blessed One and exchanged greetings with him. When this courteous and amiable talk was finished, he sat down at one side and asked the Blessed One:

    “Master Gotama, the brahmins say this: ‘The householder is accomplishing the true way, the Dhamma that is wholesome. The one gone forth [into homelessness] is not accomplishing the true way, the Dhamma that is wholesome.’ What does Master Gotama say about this?”

    “Here, student, I am one who speaks after making an analysis (vibhajjavāda); I do not speak one-sidedly (ekaṃsavāda). I do not praise the wrong way of practice on the part either of a householder or one gone forth; for whether it be a householder or one gone forth, one who has entered on the wrong way of practice, by reason of his wrong way of practice, is not accomplishing the true way, the Dhamma that is wholesome. I praise the right way of practice on the part either of a householder or one gone forth; for whether it be a householder or one gone forth, one who has entered on the right way of practice, by reason of his right way of practice, is accomplishing the true way, the Dhamma that is wholesome.”
    (MN. 99)

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: MN Session 8 - MN 41. Sāleyyaka Sutta: The Brahmins of Sālā

Postby Lazy_eye » Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:11 am

Based on this sutta, what is the relative likelihood of being reborn as a human (or better?). I can see both "optimistic" and "pessimistic" takes on this.

The optimistic view would be that we've got a fairly good shot provided we live virtuously and avoid bloody-handed behavior, thievery, sexual misconduct, etc. The pessimistic view would be that "righteous conduct" is difficult if nigh impossible for most people to achieve, since practically everyone is guilty of covetous thoughts or wrong speech at one time or another.

The pessimist might point out that human birth is exceedingly rare, according to the Buddha; the optimist might say this rarity has to be measured against the vast numbers of beings in the universe, and that once you get to the human realm in the first place, you should be in a relatively good position to stay there (as long as you lead a reasonably decent life). Humans certainly seem better positioned than, say, animals or hungry ghosts, who lack the capacity for moral decisions.

I've heard it said that most people are reborn as humans, and I've also heard that practically no one is reborn as human. Which view is more correct?

Metta,
LE
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Re: MN Session 8 - MN 41. Sāleyyaka Sutta: The Brahmins of Sālā

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:34 am

Hi Lazy Eye,

Lazy_eye wrote:I've heard it said that most people are reborn as humans, and I've also heard that practically no one is reborn as human. Which view is more correct?


The latter. There are many suttas about this in the Anguttara Nikaya. The gist of them is that exceedingly few humans and devas get reborn as humans or devas; most are headed for the lower realms.

I hope that doesn't spoil your day. :thinking:

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: MN Session 8 - MN 41. Sāleyyaka Sutta: The Brahmins of Sālā

Postby Lazy_eye » Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:46 am

Dhammanando wrote:Hi Lazy Eye,

Lazy_eye wrote:I've heard it said that most people are reborn as humans, and I've also heard that practically no one is reborn as human. Which view is more correct?


The latter. There are many suttas about this in the Anguttara Nikaya. The gist of them is that exceedingly few humans and devas get reborn as humans or devas; most are headed for the lower realms.

I hope that doesn't spoil your day. :thinking:

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu


Well, it's nearly midnight here, so the day is beyond spoiling. Might make for some strange dreams though.

Thanks for clearing this up.

:namaste:
LE
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Re: MN Session 8 - MN 41. Sāleyyaka Sutta: The Brahmins of Sālā

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Mar 16, 2009 7:02 am

Hi Bhante,
correct me if I am wrong please but don't Householders either go forth very soon after, or die?

Dhammanando wrote:Hi Retro,

retrofuturist wrote:It certainly seems opposed to the maxim that one must be a renunciate to be an arahant.


But the Theravadin maxim is not that a householder can't attain arahatta, but that he can't attain it and thereafter remain a householder.

The Subha Sutta is relevant in this connection, though here the Buddha is responding to the brahminical view that the household life is the true way:

    The brahmin student Subha, Todeyya’s son, went to the Blessed One and exchanged greetings with him. When this courteous and amiable talk was finished, he sat down at one side and asked the Blessed One:

    “Master Gotama, the brahmins say this: ‘The householder is accomplishing the true way, the Dhamma that is wholesome. The one gone forth [into homelessness] is not accomplishing the true way, the Dhamma that is wholesome.’ What does Master Gotama say about this?”

    “Here, student, I am one who speaks after making an analysis (vibhajjavāda); I do not speak one-sidedly (ekaṃsavāda). I do not praise the wrong way of practice on the part either of a householder or one gone forth; for whether it be a householder or one gone forth, one who has entered on the wrong way of practice, by reason of his wrong way of practice, is not accomplishing the true way, the Dhamma that is wholesome. I praise the right way of practice on the part either of a householder or one gone forth; for whether it be a householder or one gone forth, one who has entered on the right way of practice, by reason of his right way of practice, is accomplishing the true way, the Dhamma that is wholesome.”
    (MN. 99)

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: MN Session 8 - MN 41. Sāleyyaka Sutta: The Brahmins of Sālā

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:42 am

Greetings Manapa,

Manapa wrote:correct me if I am wrong please but don't Householders either go forth very soon after, or die?


I realise this is directed towards venerable Dhammanando but in the meantime I'll answer to the best of my ability. The timeframe, according the Question Of King Milinda is seven days. There is, as far as I'm aware, no mention of such timeframe in the suttas, nor any explanation as to why precisely they would die after seven days. As far as I'm aware, the suttas don't give any examples of householder arahants, and sometimes the language in suttas is such that when explaining the four-levels of attainment, the final group (arahants) is spoken of with reference to renunciates only, whereas the other three ariya levels used more generic language, not specific to the ordained. Apologies for the lack of example... I have no idea how I would search for such a thing... I just remember seeing it, and probably explained by a Bhikkhu Bodhi footnote.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: MN Session 8 - MN 41. Sāleyyaka Sutta: The Brahmins of Sālā

Postby Abandon » Mon Mar 16, 2009 12:12 pm

Yes, the idea of the 7 days limit on laylife after ordination was introduced in the Visudhimagga so far as I know. It has no Sutta counterpart. The gist of the idea is that without a means to gain food you would not survive - no supernatural reasons are given for the spontaneous death.

This sutta, as many many other suttas, has a relevance with the dependent origination teaching that many teachers have tried to explain as happening in the space of an instant. In this interpretation jati means to be 'reborn' into the present moment, as one who is happy, angry, sad etc... Yet, when we see jati described in such suttas as above, it is patently clear that what is meant is literally rebirth in the heaven\hell (etc.) realms.

Also, it has been dawning on me over recent years that practically every time the Suttas talk about karma, they refer to modes (and conditions) of rebirth. This is not the same emphasis that karma is usually given in 'pop' Buddhism eg. your car is stolen due to your karma. Granted, conditions of rebirth last through life - for instance one is a rich person if previously generous, one is a leader if one was previously respectful etc.. Yet, Karma seems to really have very little to do with day to day actions.

Therefore, though Karma refers to action, and vipaka the results, I do not see that we have to generalise to mean ALL action - it practically always refers as in the quoted sutta to rebirth. :juggling:
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Re: MN Session 8 - MN 41. Sāleyyaka Sutta: The Brahmins of Sālā

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Mar 16, 2009 1:01 pm

Hi Retro, Abandon,
It was only directed as it was Dhammanando's post which sparked the thought.
I have a feeling there may be a sutta "passing reference" as this topic has come up in conversations I have had before, and I am sure one (maybe more) have been mentioned? I'll have to ask my friends I had the conversations with! I have a feeling it is in the monk or nuns sections? or it may of been in a commentary to those and it was mistaken from memory for being in, or the meaning of the sutta?
maybe renunciate is given a different emphasis in meaning when referring to Lay Arahants, and the time frame for ordination or death is more to do with how long it takes for the Arahant to decide to teach or leave the world behind completely? take their seat as which Buddha they are if you will? nothing supernatural because the body can last for a long time without or with very little food which would of been known by people then, with the starvation practices which the Buddha underwent and others, they just go off into the forest never to be seen again to dwell somewhere in solitude?
WM
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Re: MN Session 8 - MN 41. Sāleyyaka Sutta: The Brahmins of Sālā

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:05 pm

Hi Manapa,

Manapa wrote:Hi Bhante,
correct me if I am wrong please but don't Householders either go forth very soon after, or die?


In the Suttas there are no reports of any householder attaining arahatta and then remaining a householder. All householder arahants either go forth at once or die. However, the earliest explicit statement that an arahant cannot remain a householder comes from the Kathāvatthu, the Abhidhamma Piṭaka's record of the controversies debated at the Third Council. It's notable that even the opponents of the Theravādin debater don't really hold a contrary view on this question. Rather, their disagreement arises from the semantic issue of whether the phrase "fetters of a householder" means a householder's mental fetters or his material possessions.

Later still, in the Milindapañha, we get the claim that a householder attaining arahatta must go forth the very same day or else pass away (I've no idea why so many people say that it's "seven days"). The statement is made in two dialogues. Firstly in Book IV chapter 3 (Mil. 161-4):


    'And moreover, O king, you may know by this fact the greatness and the peerless glory of the bhikkhu state—that if a layman, a disciple of the faith, who has entered upon the Excellent Way, should attain to the realisation of arahatship, one of two results must happen to him, and there is no other—he must either die away on that very day, or take upon himself the condition of a bhikkhu. For immovable, O king, is that state of renunciation, glorious, and most exalted—I mean the condition of being a member of the Order!'



Then in Book IV chapter 7 (Mil. 264-6):


    'Venerable Nāgasena, your people say:

    "Whosoever has attained, as a layman, to arahatship, one of two conditions are possible to him, and no other—either that very day he enters the Order, or he dies away, for beyond that day he cannot last."

    'Now if, Nāgasena, he could not, on that day, procure a teacher or preceptor, or a bowl and set of robes, would he then, being an arahat, ordain himself, or would he live over the day, or would some other arahat suddenly appear by supernormal power and ordain him, or would he die away?'

    'He could not, O king, because he is an arahat, ordain himself. For any one ordaining himself into the Order is guilty of communion by theft. And he could not last beyond that day. Whether another arahat should happen, or not, to arrive, on that very day would he die away.'

    'Then, Nāgasena, by whatever means attained, the holy condition of arahatship is thereby also lost, for destruction of life is involved in it.'

    'It is the condition of laymanship which is at fault, O king. In that faulty condition, and by reason of the weakness of the condition itself, the layman who, as such, has attained to arahatship must either, that very day, enter the Order or die away. That is not the fault of arahatship, O king. It is laymanship that is at fault, through not being strong enough.

    'Just, O king, as food, that guards the growth and protects the life of all beings, will, through indigestion, take away the life of one whose stomach is unequal to it, whose internal fire is low and weak—just so if a layman attains arahatship when in that condition unequal to it, then by reason of the weakness of the condition he must, that very day, either enter the Order or die away.

    'Or just, O king, as a tiny blade of grass when a heavy rock is placed upon it will, through its weakness, break off and give way—just so when a layman attains arahatship, then, unable to support arahatship in that condition, he must, that very day, either enter the Order or die away.

    'Or just, O king, as a poor weak fellow of low birth and little ability, if he came into possession of a great and mighty kingdom, would be unable to support the dignity of it—just so if a layman attains to arahatship, then is he unable, in that condition, to support it. And that is the reason why he must, on that very day, either enter the Order or die away.'

    'Very good, Nāgasena! That is so, and I accept it as you say.'

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
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    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
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Re: MN Session 8 - MN 41. Sāleyyaka Sutta: The Brahmins of Sālā

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Mar 17, 2009 7:07 am

Hi Bhante,

Dhammanando wrote:Hi Manapa,
"fetters of a householder" means a householder's mental fetters or his material possessions.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu


Why Not Both?
Bit of a rhetorical question there, I have not spoken to my friend where the specifics where mentioned but have left him a note to contact me, if he does today I'll post what he said, if he doesn't or was wrong..... :popcorn: I'll leave it
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: MN Session 8 - MN 41. Sāleyyaka Sutta: The Brahmins of Sālā

Postby Dhammanando » Tue Mar 17, 2009 12:02 pm

Hi Manapa,

Manapa wrote:Why Not Both?


The term "fetters of householdership" (gihisaṃyojana) is used only once in the Suttas:

    The wanderer Vacchagotta asked the Blessed One: “Master Gotama, is there any householder who, without abandoning the fetter of householdership, on the dissolution of the body has made an end of suffering?”

    “Vaccha, there is no householder who, without abandoning the fetter of householdership, on the dissolution of the body has made an end of suffering.”

    — Tevijjavacchagotta Sutta (MN. 71)

The Theravadin commentators understand "gihisaṃyojana" to refer to mental attachment to the goods of the household life, not to the goods themselves. If it applied to the goods themselves, then there would be no possibility of a householder attaining arahatta, but some householders (e.g. Yasa and his companions) have in fact done so.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: MN Session 8 - MN 41. Sāleyyaka Sutta: The Brahmins of Sālā

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Mar 17, 2009 3:13 pm

Hi Bhante

don't know why but I took mental fetters or his material possessions to both be mental in this instance, and the material possesions to be attachment for worldly life in contrast to the Bhikkhu's life.
wonder what train of thought was going on in the background of my mind?
:jumping:
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: MN Session 8 - MN 41. Sāleyyaka Sutta: The Brahmins of Sālā

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Mar 18, 2009 4:50 am

i'm going to go ahead and shut this one, as it's time for this weeks sutta!
i'm pretty sure ven. Dhammanando has the ability to respond if he thinks there's more to add.
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