Ahu Sutta - It Was

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Ahu Sutta - It Was

Postby clw_uk » Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:12 pm

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi, in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Now at that time the Blessed One sat reflecting on the various evil, unskillful qualities that had been abandoned [in him] and on the various skillful qualities that had gone to the culmination of their development. Then as he realized the various evil, unskillful qualities that had been abandoned [in him] and the various skillful qualities that had gone to the culmination of their development, he on that occasion exclaimed:

Before, it was, then it wasn't.
Before, it wasn't, then it was.
It wasn't, it won't be,
and now isn't to be found.



Im having trouble understanding this sutta

i get the

Before, it was, then it wasn't.
Before, it wasn't, then it was.


Which i think means

before, it was, then it wasn't = unwholesome qualities were there then gone (and wholesome not being there then being there for the next line)


but the last two lines i cant make out

It wasn't, it won't be,
and now isn't to be found


Any thoughts???

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


:anjali:
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Ahu Sutta - It Was

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:43 pm

Greetings Craig,

Only that the first two lines may be applicable in comparing Arahantship, with what came before... whereas the last two lines the "it wasn't" may still be referring to a time, in the past, but still after the Buddha's enlightenment.

I look forward to what others have to say.

Metta,
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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Ahu Sutta - It Was

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Mar 19, 2009 3:10 am

Could it be referring to an atman?
He now realizes it wasn't ever there, it won't ever be in the future, and can't be found in the present.
If I'm right, then "and now can't be found" would be an awkward translation.
It would be "and can't be found now".
But I"m just guessing.
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Re: Ahu Sutta - It Was

Postby Jechbi » Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:21 am

Before, it was, then it wasn't.
Before, it wasn't, then it was.
It wasn't, it won't be,
and now isn't to be found.

I'll give my guess:

The word "it" doesn't refer to anything in particular. Rather, this poetic language is meant to convey the sense that before he was fully enlightened, everything seemed to play out in the conventional, ordinary way that all of us seem to observe.

The third line refers to his enlightened understanding of the not-self nature of all that. It wasn't what he thought. He had been looking at the world through the eyes of delusion.

The fourth line refers to enlightenment and nibbana.

:thinking:

Ok, I said it was a guess. Would love to get clarity from Ven. Dhammanando on this.
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Re: Ahu Sutta - It Was

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Mar 19, 2009 6:38 am

The Ahu Sutta is called the Paccavekkhaṇa Suttaṃ in the Chatthasangayana edition. This is the whole verse:
“Ahu pubbe tadā nāhu, nāhu pubbe tadā ahu.
Na cāhu na ca bhavissati, na cetarahi vijjatī”ti.

Regarding the last two lines, the Commentary says:

Na cāhu na ca bhavissati, na cetarahi vijjatīti yo pana so anavajjadhammo ariya maggo mayhaṃ bodhimaṇḍe uppanno, yena sabbo kilesagaṇo anavasesaṃ pahīno, so yathā mayhaṃ maggakkhaṇato pubbe na cāhu na ca ahosi, evaṃ attanā pahātabbakilesābhāvato te kilesā viya ayampi na ca bhavissati anāgate na uppajjissati, etarahi paccuppannakālepi na vijjati na upalabbhati attanā kattabbakiccābhāvato. Na hi ariyamaggo anekavāraṃ pavattati. Tenevāha– “na pāraṃ diguṇaṃ yantī”ti.

Iti Bhagavā ariyamaggena attano santāne anavasesaṃ pahīne akusale dhamme bhāvanāpāripūriṃ gate aparimāṇe anavajjadhamme ca paccavekkhamāno attupanā yikapītivegavissaṭţhaṃ udānaṃ udānesi. Purimāya kathāya purimavesārajjadvayameva kathitaṃ, pacchimadvayaṃ sammāsambodhiyā pakāsitattā pakāsitameva hotīti.

I will have to leave you to puzzle over that until Ven. Dhammānando or someone else who knows Pāli well passes by.
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Re: Ahu Sutta - It Was

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:45 pm

Greetings,

    ahu pubbe tadā nāhu
    nāhu pubbe tadā ahu
    na cāhu na ca bhavissati
    na cetarahi vijjati

    Formerly it was; then it was not.
    Formerly it was not; then it was.
    It was not, it will not be,
    And now it is not to be found.

Here's a translation of Dhammapāla's commentary (except the last paragraph, which is only a paraphrase):

    Therein, the phrase formerly it was (ahu pubbe) means “before the arising of knowledge of the path of arahantship the whole set of defilements, starting with lust, was present in my continuum. Within this set of defilements there was no defilement whatsoever that was not present in me.”

    Then it was not (tadā nāhu) means “then, at the time of the noble path-moment, this set of defilements was not; it did not exist at all. Within this set of defilements there was not even the least significant of defilements that had not been abandoned by me the moment of the highest path [i.e. the arahantship path-moment].”

    But certain bhāṇakas recite this line as subsequently it was not (tato nāhu). The meaning in this case is that from the arahantship path-moment onwards the set of defilements did not exist at all.

    Formerly it was not (nāhu pubbe) means “prior to the noble path-moment, whatever immeasurable, faultless dhamma is now mine, attained through my perfection of cultivation, was not; it did not exist at all.”

    Then it was means “when the highest path-knowledge arose in me, then the whole of the faultless dhamma was mine.” For in the case of Buddhas, attainment of the highest path means that all the qualities associated with omniscience come into their hands.

    It was not, it will not be, and now is not to be found means “just as the faultless dhamma, the noble path, which arose in me at the place of enlightenment and by which the entire set of defilements was abandoned without remainder, was not and did not exist in me before the path-moment, even so, it will not exist, it will not arise again in the future. Since there are no more defilements to be abandoned by me, there is no further duty to be done and so no arising of the path [for the abandoning of the defilements] in the present or future.”

    As it is said [in the Nālaka Sutta]: “They go not twice to the Farther Shore.”

So, an expansive translation according to the commentarial understanding would be something like this:

    Formerly there were defilements; later there were none.
    Formerly there was no faultless dhamma; later there was.
    Just as the noble path moment formerly did not arise in me,
    Even so, it will not arise again in the future and does not arise now.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
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Re: Ahu Sutta - It Was

Postby kc2dpt » Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:02 pm

Huh. Not what I expected. Thank you, Bhante.
It seems then then whole sutta is a specific reflection on the noble path-moment.
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Re: Ahu Sutta - It Was

Postby clw_uk » Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:16 pm

Thank you very much Bhante



:anjali:
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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