What does this Sutta mean?

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Cittasanto
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What does this Sutta mean?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Mar 19, 2009 3:41 pm

I may just be reading this wrong, but it just doesn't make sense to me?

Mv 6.40.1 Vinaya-samukkamsa The Innate Principles of the Vinaya wrote:Now at that time uncertainty arose in the monks with regard to this and that item: "Now what is allowed by the Blessed One? What is not allowed?" They told this matter to the Blessed One, (who said):

"Bhikkhus, whatever I have not objected to, saying, 'This is not allowable,' if it fits in with what is not allowable, if it goes against what is allowable, this is not allowable for you.

"Whatever I have not objected to, saying, 'This is not allowable,' if it fits in with what is allowable, if it goes against what is not allowable, this is allowable for you.

"And whatever I have not permitted, saying, 'This is allowable,' if it fits in with what is not allowable, if it goes against what is allowable, this is not allowable for you.

"And whatever I have not permitted, saying, 'This is allowable,' if it fits in with what is allowable, if it goes against what is not allowable, this is allowable for you."


it is the three words after saying in each sentence which are confusing it for me, and making it hard to understand the id anyone else having difficulty with this?
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He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Re: What does this Sutta mean?

Postby Dhammanando » Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:23 pm

Manapa wrote:it is the three words after saying in each sentence which are confusing it for me, and making it hard to understand the id anyone else having difficulty with this?


Suppose we change the wording to, "Any item (or mode of conduct) that I haven't vetoed with the words, 'This is not allowable,', if it resembles something that is not allowable, and conflicts with the things that are allowable, then it is not allowable for you."

Is this intelligible to you?

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Re: What does this Sutta mean?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:31 pm

Thanks Bhante,
I don't know why but I just could not read it so it made sense, I think i had the same problem the last time I came across it.

Thanks again
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He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Re: What does this Sutta mean?

Postby Fede » Thu Mar 19, 2009 9:40 pm

If you come across something that I have not spoken about, and you examine it, and it feels acceptable, then go ahead.
If you come across something that I have not spoken about, and you examine it, and it feels unacceptable - then leave it alone.

In other words, what he's saying is:

If it feels ok, do it.
When in doubt - don't.

would I be getting it?

because I have to concur with Manapa here. Sometimes you have to read it five or six times...... and it still don't come easy...... :rolleye:

Thank you Bhante. :namaste:
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Re: What does this Sutta mean?

Postby Dhammanando » Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:14 am

Hi Fédé,

If it feels ok, do it.
When in doubt - don't.

would I be getting it?


Not really. I think you're missing the main point, which is that when a bhikkhu finds himself in vinayaic uncharted territory he is supposed to determine the appropriate course of action by looking for resemblances between that and the territory that is charted.

If he's offered an expensive, custom-made Persian carpet, for instance, then there's no rule prohibited him from accepting it, but he might decide to reject the offering on the grounds that the Buddha prohibited bhikkhus from having rugs made out of of pure black goat's wool (apparently a luxury item back then).

Best wishes,
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:spy:

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Re: What does this Sutta mean?

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:43 am

Hi Bhante,
how about this "rendering" :quote: I have added to the original sutta (in bold) to make it easier to read, and I think it follows what you have said? so is this accurate for understanding purposes?

Bhikkhus, whatever I have not objected to previously, say, 'This is not allowable,' if by discernment it fits in with what I have not made allowable, if it goes against what is allowable, this is not allowable for you.

"Whatever I have not objected to previously, saying, 'This is not allowable,' if by discernment it fits in with what I have made allowable, if it goes against what is not allowable, this is allowable for you.

"And whatever I have not permitted previously, saying, 'This is allowable,' if by discernment it fits in with what I have made not allowable, if it goes against what is allowable, this is not allowable for you.

"And whatever I have not permitted previously, saying, 'This is allowable,' if by discernment it fits in with what I have made allowable, if it goes against what is not allowable, this is allowable for you."
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Re: What does this Sutta mean?

Postby Dhammanando » Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:12 am

Hi Manapa,

Manapa wrote:so is this accurate for understanding purposes?


Not bad but I would leave out the phrase by discernment, for in the four mahapadesas themselves nothing at all is stipulated as to the means by which one is to judge whether something fits or doesn't fit.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
November 28th 2016: I will be offline for the foreseeable future.

:spy:

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Cittasanto
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Re: What does this Sutta mean?

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Mar 20, 2009 12:10 pm

Hi Bhante,
thanks think I get it fully now
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill


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