SN 35.127: Bharadvaja Sutta

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SN 35.127: Bharadvaja Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Thu May 26, 2011 10:31 am

SN 35.127 PTS: S iv 110 CDB ii 1197
Bharadvaja Sutta: About Bharadvaja
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu


Ven. Pindola Bharadvaja explains to a king how to maintain one's resolve towards celibacy.

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

On one occasion Ven. Pindola Bharadvaja was staying in Kosambi at Ghosita's monastery. Then King Udena went to him and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After this exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, the king sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to Ven. Pindola Bharadvaja: "What is the reason, master Bharadvaja, what is the cause why young monks — black-haired, endowed with the blessings of youth in the first stage of life — without having played with sensual pleasures nevertheless follow the lifelong chaste life, perfect & pure, and make it last their entire lives?"

"Great king, this was said by the Blessed One who knows & sees, worthy and rightly self-awakened: 'Come now, monks: with regard to women who are old enough to be your mother, establish the attitude you would have toward your mother. With regard to women who are old enough to be your sister, establish the attitude you'd have toward a sister. With regard to women who are young enough to be your daughter, establish the attitude you'd have toward a daughter.' This is one reason, this is one cause, great king, why young monks — black-haired, endowed with the blessings of youth in the first stage of life — without having played with sensual pleasures nevertheless follow the lifelong chaste life, perfect & pure, and make it last their entire lives."

"The mind is unruly, master Bharadvaja. Sometimes thoughts of greed arise even for women who are old enough to be your mother... your sister... young enough to be your daughter. Is there another reason, another cause, why young monks... without having played with sensual pleasures nevertheless follow the lifelong chaste life, perfect & pure, and make it last their entire lives?"

"Great king, this was said by the Blessed One who knows & sees, worthy and rightly self-awakened: 'Come now, monks: reflect on this very body, from the soles of the feet on up, from the crown of the head on down, surrounded by skin, full of all sorts of unclean things: "In this body there are head hairs, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, tendons, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, large intestines, small intestines, gorge, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, skin-oil, saliva, mucus, fluid in the joints, urine."' This too is a reason, this too is a cause, great king, why young monks — black-haired, endowed with the blessings of youth in the first stage of life — without having played with sensual pleasures nevertheless follow the lifelong chaste life, perfect & pure, and make it last their entire lives."

"For those who are developed in body,[1] developed in virtue, developed in mind, developed in discernment, master Bharadvaja, that isn't hard to do. But for those who are undeveloped in body, undeveloped in virtue, undeveloped in mind, undeveloped in discernment, that is hard to do. Sometimes when one thinks, 'Let's regard this as unattractive,' it actually comes to be attractive. Is there another reason, another cause, why young monks... without having played with sensual pleasures nevertheless follow the lifelong chaste life, perfect & pure, and make it last their entire lives?"

"Great king, this was said by the Blessed One who knows & sees, worthy and rightly self-awakened: 'Come now, monks: Keep guarding the doors to your sense faculties. On seeing a form with the eye, do not grasp at any theme or variations by which — if you were to dwell without restraint over the faculty of the eye — evil, unskillful qualities such as greed or distress might assail you. Practice with restraint. Guard the faculty of the eye. Achieve restraint with regard to the faculty of the eye.

"'On hearing a sound with the ear...

"'On smelling an aroma with the nose...

"'On tasting a flavor with the tongue...

"'On feeling a tactile sensation with the body...

"'On cognizing an idea with the intellect, do not grasp at any theme or variations by which — if you were to dwell without restraint over the faculty of the intellect — evil, unskillful qualities such as greed or distress might assail you. Practice with restraint. Guard the faculty of the intellect. Achieve restraint with regard to the faculty of the intellect.'

"This too is a reason, this too is a cause, great king, why young monks — black-haired, endowed with the blessings of youth in the first stage of life — without having played with sensual pleasures nevertheless follow the lifelong chaste life, perfect & pure, and make it last their entire lives."

"Amazing, master Bharadvaja! Stupendous! How well that has been said by the Blessed One who knows & sees, worthy and rightly self-awakened! This is the very reason, this the very cause, why young monks — black-haired, endowed with the blessings of youth in the first stage of life — without having played with sensual pleasures nevertheless follow the lifelong chaste life, perfect & pure, and make it last their entire lives. I myself, master Bharadvaja: whenever I enter the inner apartments of the palace unguarded in body, unguarded in speech, unguarded in mind, with mindfulness unestablished and my senses unrestrained, I'm overcome with thoughts of greed. But whenever I enter the inner apartments of the palace guarded in body, guarded in speech, guarded in mind, with mindfulness established and my senses restrained, then I'm not.

"Magnificent, master Bharadvaja! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to point out the way to one who was lost, or to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way has Master Bharadvaja — through many lines of reasoning — made the Dhamma clear. I go to the Blessed One for refuge, to the Dhamma, & to the community of monks. May master Bharadvaja remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge from this day forward, for life."

Note

1. According to MN 36 [http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.036.than.html]a person developed in body is one whose mind is not invaded by feelings of pleasure, and a person developed in mind is one whose mind is not invaded by feelings of pain.
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Re: SN 35.127: Bharadvaja Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Thu May 26, 2011 10:34 am

SN 35.127 PTS: S iv 110 CDB ii 1197
Bhaaradvaajo Sutta: Bhaaradvaaja Instructs a King
translated from the Pali by
Maurice O'Connell Walshe


[King Udena of Kosambi consults the Ven. Pi.n.dola-Bhaaradvaaja:] "How can it come about, Bhaaradvaaja, depending on what is it that these young monks, youthful, black-haired, with the bloom of youth, in the prime of life, never having enjoyed the pleasure of the senses, can practice the holy life fully and perfectly to the end of their days?"

"It has been said, sire, by the Blessed One who knows and sees, the Arahant, the Fully Self-enlightened One: 'Come, monks, whatever woman is a mother, think of her just as a mother; whatever woman is a sister, think of her just as a sister; whatever woman is a daughter, think of her just as a daughter.[1] That is how these young monks... can practice the holy life... to the end of their days.'"

"But, Bhaaradvaaja, the heart is fickle. It may well be that at times thoughts of desire arise towards those they think of just as mothers, just as sisters, just as daughters. Is there any other cause, any other reason whereby these young monks, youthful and black-haired... can practice the holy life to the end of their days?"

"It has been said, sire, by the Blessed One...: 'Come, monks, contemplate this body, upwards from the soles of the feet, downwards from the top of the head, bounded by the skin, full of manifold impurities. There are in this body: hair of the head, hair of the body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, intestines, mesentery, bowels, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, tallow, saliva, synovic fluid, urine.[2] That is how these young monks... can practice the holy life... to the end of their days.'"

"Well, Bhaaradvaaja, for those monks who train the body, morals, mind and insight, that is easy, but for those who do not, it is difficult. Sometimes when a man thinks, 'I will regard this as repulsive,' he comes to think of it as attractive. Is there any other cause, any other reason whereby those young monks... can practice the holy life... to the end of their days?"

"It has been said, sire, by the Exalted One...: 'Come, monks, guard the doors of your sense-faculties. Seeing an object with the eye, do not seize hold of either its general appearance or its details. Because anyone dwelling with the eye-faculty uncontrolled could be overwhelmed by cupidity and dejection, evil and unwholesome states of mind, therefore practice to control the eye-faculty, guard it and gain control over it. [Similarly with ear, nose, tongue, body (touch), mind.] That is how these young monks... can practice the holy life... to the end of their days.'"

"Wonderful, good Bhaaradvaaja, it is marvelous how well spoken are the words of the Blessed One... I myself, good Bhaaradvaaja, whenever I enter the inner parts of my palace[3] with body, speech and mind unguarded, with mindfulness unestablished, with sense-faculties uncontrolled, am at such times overcome with lustful thoughts. But when I do so with body, speech and mind guarded, with mindfulness established, with faculties controlled, then lustful thoughts do not overcome me."

[The king takes refuge in the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha as a lay-follower.]
Notes

1. Woodward's translation here is barely English: "In the case of those who are just mothers, sisters and daughters, do ye call up the mother-mind, the sister-mind, the daughter-mind."

2. The standard set of "parts of the body" for meditation purposes given in the Satipa.t.thaana Sutta (DN 22, MN 10 [http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.010.than.html]) and elsewhere in Canon. See also VM [Visuddhimagga] VIII, 83ff. for full details. Traditionally newly-ordained samaneras are give the first five of these to meditate on.

3. Antepura.m: i.e., probably the women's quarters.
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Re: SN 35.127: Bharadvaja Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Fri May 27, 2011 11:27 pm

Some background about the protagonists from Bhikkhu Bodhi's Translation. See also the links to the Dictionary of Pali Names.

Ven Pindola Bharavaja is declared at AN I 23,25 to be the foremost of those who sound a lions roar. His declaration of arahantship is at 48:49; See also Vin II 111-12.
http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_n ... indola.htm

And he is also mentioned here: Ud 4.06 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
where he is also praised:
The Blessed One saw Ven. Pindola Bharadvaja sitting not far away, his legs crossed, his body held erect — a forest dweller, an alms-goer, a rag-robe wearer, an owner of only one set of three robes, modest, content, solitary, unentangled, his persistence aroused, an advocate of the ascetic practices, devoted to the heightened mind.


King Udena was the king of Kosambi; for details of his story, see Dhp-a 1 161-227; BL 1:247-93.
http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_names/u/udena.htm

Spk: On day the king had gone to his park and was lying down while some of his concubines massaged his feet and others entertained him with music and song. When he dozed off the women left him to take a walk around the park. They saw the Venerable Bharadvaja meditating under a tree and approached him to pay their respects. Meanwhile, the king awoke and, seeing his concubines sitting around the ascetic, he became furious and tried to attack the elder with a nest of biting ants. His plan backfired and the ants fell over him and bit him all over. The women reproached him for his rude conduct and he became repentant. On the next occasion when the elder came to the park, the king approached him and asked his questions.
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Re: SN 35.127: Bharadvaja Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Sat May 28, 2011 2:15 am

Though the story above may be fanciful, to me it fills out the character of the king, who, in the sutta, seems to be somewhat ashamed of his thoughts, as in:
"... I myself, good Bhaaradvaaja, whenever I enter the inner parts of my palace[3] with body, speech and mind unguarded, with mindfulness unestablished, with sense-faculties uncontrolled, am at such times overcome with lustful thoughts. But when I do so with body, speech and mind guarded, with mindfulness established, with faculties controlled, then lustful thoughts do not overcome me."

3. Walshe: Antepura.m: i.e., probably the women's quarters.
Bhikkhu Bodhi renders it as Harem, which begs the question: Isn't lust the point there?

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Re: SN 35.127: Bharadvaja Sutta

Postby Virgo » Sat May 28, 2011 2:41 am

A great sutta. I used it myself to maintain perfect and pure celibacy as a bhikkhu (during my short, temporary ordination) and before it. At least two separate women intentionally tried to turn me on in order to make me fall from the practice of brahmacharya. Both times I kept the eyes and mind, and other senses guarded and reflected on the soiled body. I did this daily as well, reflecting on the body first thing in the morning before even washing, and averting my gaze to not look at the shape of a woman as much as humanly possible. The slightest touch, scent, sight, or sound, can make the fire inside you boil. When the lust does arise to some degree those sights, sounds, etc, that automatically come to mind and act like a breeze fanning the fire (object-predominance condition). You must not feed it. This is the way of brahmacharya.

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Re: SN 35.127: Bharadvaja Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Sat May 28, 2011 3:17 am

Thanks Kevin,

At the suggestion of one of my teachers, I sometimes switch from my usual objects to:
"hair of the head, hair of the body, nails, teeth, skin" pentad (easy to remember that part, and I find it enough to be effective, so I haven't bothered with the rest...), especially on retreat.

I find this can be very effective, and can be as effective as metta, breath, elements, etc, for building up concentration.

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Re: SN 35.127: Bharadvaja Sutta

Postby Virgo » Sat May 28, 2011 3:29 am

That's great Mike. :)

I find that they condition wisdom.

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Re: SN 35.127: Bharadvaja Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Sat May 28, 2011 4:48 am

Hi Kevin,

I understood new monks are generally encouraged to do that asubha meditation. Was that the case for you? I remember some Dhamma talk (probably from Ajahn Brahm) where he said he felt sorry for the Catholic monks he met who were expected to be celibate without the tools (such as in this Sutta) that he and other Buddhist monks had at their disposal.

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Re: SN 35.127: Bharadvaja Sutta

Postby Virgo » Sat May 28, 2011 8:42 pm

Hello Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Kevin,

I understood new monks are generally encouraged to do that asubha meditation. Was that the case for you? I remember some Dhamma talk (probably from Ajahn Brahm) where he said he felt sorry for the Catholic monks he met who were expected to be celibate without the tools (such as in this Sutta) that he and other Buddhist monks had at their disposal.

:anjali:
Mike


Yes, Mike. All bhikkhus must recite "Kesa, Loma, Nakkha, Danta, Taco. Taco, Danta, Nakkha, Loma, Kesa." during the ordination ceremony.

Translation: hair of the head, hair of the body, nails, teeth, skin. Skin, teeth, nails, hair of the body, hair of the head.

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Re: SN 35.127: Bharadvaja Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Sat May 28, 2011 9:09 pm

Thanks for that Kevin. :group:

Let's get back to the earlier part of the Sutta.

"... what is the cause and reason why these young bhikkhus, lads with black hair, endowed with the blessing of youth, in the prime of life, who have not dallied with sensual pleasures, lead the complete and pure holy life all their lives and maintain it continuously?"

BB: Spk glosses: "they extend it continuously, they pursue it for a long time."

This question from the King comes across to me as somewhat humorous, and very human, in light of the Commetarial gloss of the story, and the later statements by the King that he has trouble keeping his lust under control.


"Great King, this was said by the Blessed One ...
"Come Bhikkhus, towards women old enough to be your mother set up the idea that they are your mother; towards those of an age to be your sisters set up the idea that they are your sisters; towards those young enough to be your daughters set up the idea that they are your daughters."


BB: Literally, "Set up a mother-mind towards those of a mother-measure", etc.
Spk says that one's mother, sisters, and daughters are the three "respected objects" (garukarammana) who are not to be transgressed against.
Interestingly, this saying, though ascribed to the Buddha as if it were a common piece of advice, is not found elsewhere in the Nikayas.


The latter is an interesting observation, since this is certainly a technique that I've heard mentioned by monastic teachers. I don't have daughters, but it's natural, and I think useful, to view my students as if they were daughters (or sons!).

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Re: SN 35.127: Bharadvaja Sutta

Postby daverupa » Sat May 28, 2011 11:41 pm

mikenz66 wrote:"Great King, this was said by the Blessed One ...
"Come Bhikkhus, towards women old enough to be your mother set up the idea that they are your mother; towards those of an age to be your sisters set up the idea that they are your sisters; towards those young enough to be your daughters set up the idea that they are your daughters."


BB: Literally, "Set up a mother-mind towards those of a mother-measure", etc.
Spk says that one's mother, sisters, and daughters are the three "respected objects" (garukarammana) who are not to be transgressed against.
Interestingly, this saying, though ascribed to the Buddha as if it were a common piece of advice, is not found elsewhere in the Nikayas.


The latter is an interesting observation, since this is certainly a technique that I've heard mentioned by monastic teachers. I don't have daughters, but it's natural, and I think useful, to view my students as if they were daughters (or sons!).

:anjali:
Mike


This contrasts greatly with the infamous advice to Ananda ending with "...be mindful, Ananda," known to consist of late additions. This seems to be better advice, and "be mindful" therefore a simple corrective if this approach is forgotten in a moment of unguarded sense-contact.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: SN 35.127: Bharadvaja Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Sun May 29, 2011 3:07 am

Thanks Dave,

I guess you mean DN16, Mahaparinibbana Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .vaji.html
23. Then the Venerable Ananda said to the Blessed One: "How, Lord, should we conduct ourselves towards women?"
"Do not see them, Ananda."
"But, Lord, if we do see them?"
"Do not speak, Ananda."
"But, Lord, if they should speak to us?"
"Then, Ananda, you should establish mindfulness."

I always thought that this was a bit of gentle kidding around... :tongue:
But the approach of "not seeing them" is basically what is being said in this Sutta (and countless others):
On seeing a form with the eye, do not grasp at any theme or variations by which — if you were to dwell without restraint over the faculty of the eye — evil, unskillful qualities such as greed or distress might assail you.

Of course if you take "do not see" too literally, it sounds silly...

And, as you say, the Buddha often gives a hierarchy of things to do to solve a problem...

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Re: SN 35.127: Bharadvaja Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Sun May 29, 2011 5:03 am

"... come bhikkhus, review this very body upwards from the soles of the feet and downwards from the tips of the hairs, enclosed in skin, as full of all kinds of impurities..."

BB: This is the meditation subject called asubhassnna, perception of foulness, (e.g. at AN V109,18-27 [AN 10.20 [url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an10/an10.060.than.html][/url]) or kayagatasati, explained in detail Visiddhimagga P239-66 (8:42-144).


"That is easy, Master Bharadvaja, for those bhikkhus who are developed in body, developed in virtue, developed in mind, developed in wisdom. But is is difficult for those bhikkhus who are undeveloped in body, undeveloped in virtue, undeveloped in mind, undeveloped in wisdom. Sometimes, though one thinks. 'I will attend to the body as foul', one beholds it as beautiful...."

Abhavitakaya : undeveloped in body.
Spk: Undeveloped in the "body" of the five (sense) doors, i.e. lacking sense restraint.
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Re: SN 35.127: Bharadvaja Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Mon May 30, 2011 10:41 am

A few of the many Suttas about sense restraint and mindfulness:

AN 4.37 Aparihani Sutta: No Falling Away
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

AN 11.18 Gopalaka Sutta: The Cowherd
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

SN 35.199 Kumma Sutta: The Tortoise
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

AN 10.20 Ariyavasa Sutta: Dwellings of the Noble Ones
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

SN 35.202 Avassuta Sutta: Soggy
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Ven. Maha Moggallana said, "And how is one soggy? There is the case where a monk, when seeing a form via the eye, is, in the case of pleasing forms, committed to forms and, in the case of displeasing forms, afflicted by forms. He remains with body-mindfulness not present, and with limited awareness. And he does not discern, as it actually is present, the awareness-release & discernment-release where those evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen cease without trace.


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Re: SN 35.127: Bharadvaja Sutta

Postby paul » Tue May 31, 2011 11:33 pm

I have found the recognition of the difference between conventional and ultimate realities to be helpful in maintaining celibacy.
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Re: SN 35.127: Bharadvaja Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Tue May 31, 2011 11:38 pm

Hi Paul,

Welcome to DhammaWheel.

Do you see a relative/ultimate message in this particular Sutta?

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Re: SN 35.127: Bharadvaja Sutta

Postby paul » Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:37 pm

Thanks Mike,
The Buddha's suggestion regarding seeing women like mothers and daughters draws the mind away from the conventional ego-centered reality to the path of expansive ultimate reality. That understanding must be gradually learnt as the Dhammapada says, like refining the dross from silver.
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Re: SN 35.127: Bharadvaja Sutta

Postby daverupa » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:03 am

I fundamentally agree that seeing the attractive gender in a 'bio-relational' way is helpful in this respect.

I would like to use this opportunity to emphasize that the Dhamma is a pro-active process of applying wholesome feeling (the four immeasurables, ultimately) to the Path; when this done, Dhamma practice greatly benefits.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: SN 35.127: Bharadvaja Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jun 03, 2011 2:26 am

Hi Paul,
paul wrote: The Buddha's suggestion regarding seeing women like mothers and daughters draws the mind away from the conventional ego-centered reality to the path of expansive ultimate reality. That understanding must be gradually learnt as the Dhammapada says, like refining the dross from silver.

That's certainly a good thing. I was wondering if you were thinking of the switch that often happens in such Suttas, where we go from talking about people, etc, to talking about khandhas or sense bases:
On seeing a form with the eye, do not grasp at any theme or variations by which — if you were to dwell without restraint over the faculty of the eye — evil, unskillful qualities such as greed or distress might assail you.

:anjali:
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Re: SN 35.127: Bharadvaja Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jun 03, 2011 2:26 am

daverupa wrote:I fundamentally agree that seeing the attractive gender in a 'bio-relational' way is helpful in this respect.

I would like to use this opportunity to emphasize that the Dhamma is a pro-active process of applying wholesome feeling (the four immeasurables, ultimately) to the Path; when this done, Dhamma practice greatly benefits.

Sadhu!

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