SN 35.135: Khana Sutta — The Opportunity

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SN 35.135: Khana Sutta — The Opportunity

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:16 am

SN 35.135 PTS: S iv 126 CDB ii 1207
Khana Sutta: The Opportunity
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu


This human realm — neither too pleasurable nor too painful — is the best place to practice Dhamma.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


"It's a gain for you, monks, a great gain, that you've gained the opportunity to live the holy life. I have seen a hell named 'Six Spheres of Contact.' Whatever form one sees there with the eye is undesirable, never desirable; displeasing, never pleasing; disagreeable, never agreeable. Whatever sound one hears there with the ear... Whatever aroma one smells there with the nose... Whatever flavor one tastes there with the tongue... Whatever tactile sensation one touches there with the body... Whatever idea one cognizes there with the intellect is undesirable, never desirable; displeasing, never pleasing; disagreeable, never agreeable.

"It's a gain for you, monks, a great gain, that you've gained the opportunity to live the holy life. I have seen a heaven named 'Six Spheres of Contact.' Whatever form one sees there with the eye is desirable, never undesirable; pleasing, never displeasing; agreeable, never disagreeable. Whatever sound one hears there with the ear... Whatever aroma one smells there with the nose... Whatever flavor one tastes there with the tongue ... Whatever tactile sensation one touches there with the body... Whatever idea one cognizes there with the intellect is desirable, never undesirable; pleasing, never displeasing; agreeable, never disagreeable.

"It's a gain for you, monks, a great gain, that you've gained the opportunity to live the holy life." [1]

Note

1. The message here is that in realms where sense objects are totally disagreeable or totally agreeable it is very difficult to practice the holy life, for in the former, one is too distracted by pain; in the latter, too distracted by pleasure.
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Re: SN 35.135: Khana Sutta — The Opportunity

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:20 am

SN 35.135: Khana Sutta
Translated by John D. Ireland


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ml#vagga-4

"It is a gain for you, bhikkhus, it is a great gain for you, to have found the opportunity for living the holy life.

"I have seen bhikkhus, the hells called the 'six bases of contacts.' There whatever visible object one sees with the eye, one sees only the unpleasant, never the pleasant, one sees only the disagreeable, never the agreeable, one sees only the unattractive, never the attractive. Whatever sound one hears with the ear... Whatever odor one smells with the nose... Whatever flavor one tastes with the tongue... Whatever tangible object one touches with the body... Whatever mind-object one cognizes with the mind, one cognizes only the unpleasant, never the pleasant, one cognizes only the disagreeable, never the agreeable, one cognizes the unattractive, never the attractive. It is a gain for you, bhikkhus, it is a great gain for you, to have found the opportunity for living the holy life.

"I have seen, bhikkhus, the heavens, called the 'six bases of contact.' There whatever visible object one sees with the eye, one sees only the pleasant, never the unpleasant, one sees only the agreeable, never the disagreeable, one sees only the attractive, never the unattractive. Whatever sound one hears with the ear...

"Whatever mind-object one cognizes with the mind, one only cognizes the pleasant, never the unpleasant, one cognizes only the agreeable, never the disagreeable, one cognizes only the attractive, never the unattractive.

"It is a gain for you, bhikkhus, it is a great gain for you, to have found the opportunity for living the holy life."[73]

Note

[73] In this discourse heaven and hell are presented as two extremes of experience, partial and incomplete. It is only as a human being when both pleasure and pain are known, that existence can be viewed objectively and wholly. Hence only in a human birth can the religious or "holy" life (brahmacariya) be lived it and is a great "opportunity" for spiritual progress.
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Re: SN 35.135: Khana Sutta — The Opportunity

Postby phil » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:15 am

Wonderful sutta to get at how precious human birth is.

Also a good sutta to help get rid of the commonly held wrong view that in Buddhism hells are just states of mind that arise in the human realm etc. Well, I suppose this sutta won't sort that out on its own and truth be told I still suffer from it.
I hope that every time I post it will be accompanied by a wish for the wellbeing of everyone in this sangha and all beings.
(so I don't have to write "metta" every time!)


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 35.135: Khana Sutta — The Opportunity

Postby manas » Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:31 am

Thank you for bringing this sutta to my attention. I get so complacent sometimes, as if I've got plenty of time, and can afford to 'take it easy' a bit as regards practice. This is a fallacy, of course. There isn't any time to waste. We are blessed beyond measure with an incredibly rare human birth, in an Era where the Buddha's teachings are still practiced and taught. We really owe it to ourselves to rouse our energy and not be waylaid by sense-desires.

Sometimes I wonder how many virtuous actions it must have taken, or how much cultivation of wisdom it took, all that effort perhaps over successive lifetimes, to have come even this far (a human body)...we should honour the efforts of those beings we were back then, and continue to strive. How many more tears do we want to shed wandering in Samsara?
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Re: SN 35.135: Khana Sutta — The Opportunity

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:21 am

I have seen, bhikkhus, the hell named 'Contact's Sixfold Base'. There whatever form one sees with the eye is undesirable...

BB: Chaphassayatanika. Spk: There is no separate hell named 'Contact's Sixfold Base', for this designation applies to all thirty-one great hells; but this is said with reference to the great hell Avici At SN 56.43, a hell so described is referred to as mahaparilaha niraya, the Hell of the Great Conflagration.


I have seen, bhikkhus, the heaven named 'Contact's Sixfold Base'. There whatever form one sees with the eye is desirable...

BB: Spk: Here the Tavatimsa city is intended. What does he show by this? "It isn't possible to live the holy life of the path either in hell, because of extreme suffering, or in heaven, because of extreme pleasure, on account of which negligence arises through continuous amusements and delights. But the human world is a combination of pleasure and pain, so this is the field of action for the holy life of the path. The human state gained by you is the opportunity, the occasion for living the holy life."
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Re: SN 35.135: Khana Sutta — The Opportunity

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:42 am

phil wrote:Wonderful sutta to get at how precious human birth is.


See also: SN 56.48 Chiggala Sutta: The Hole http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

“Hard is birth as a human being,
hard is the life of mortals.
Hard is the hearing of the sublime truth,
hard is the appearance of the Buddhas.”
(Dhammapada v 182) http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Pesala/Pre ... cious.html

SN 15: Anamatagga-samyutta — The unimaginable beginnings of samsara
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .html#sn15

:anjali:
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Re: SN 35.135: Khana Sutta — The Opportunity

Postby paul » Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:27 pm

Of the 11 planes of the sensuous realm, human beings inhabit level 5, above the 4 lower realms of woe and the first of the 7 happy sensuous planes: all planes lower and higher (31 in all) can be accessed here and now through mental states: jhana in its widest sense denotes any, even momentary, concentration of mind. Although the worlds are substantial, entrance to them is through mind, not via the physical plane (rockets etc.- it is probable extra-terrestrial higher life will never be found and every decade will make that more obvious: Earth is the centre of life on this plane).
On the lower 4 planes, little progress can be made as suffering is gross and unrelenting and the opportunities to perform deeds of merit is rarely gained. The bliss of the higher planes does not provide the motivation to seek full liberation. Only on the human plane with its admixture of pleasure and pain is the unreliable nature of happiness apparent, giving rise to a sense of urgency about the need to win deliverance from suffering.
Nibbana means letting go of everything- relinquishing every state of being anywhere in the cosmos: that does not mean however, that ultimate reality, non-self, the unconditioned element etc. should not be discussed in words, provided their limitation is understood, as the Buddha says (D.9, S. 1,25).
(Adapted from "Teacher of the Devas").
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Re: SN 35.135: Khana Sutta — The Opportunity

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:39 pm

HI Paul,

It's useful to give links if you can.

Teacher of the Devas by Susan Elbaum Jootla http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el414.html
The Thirty-one Planes of Existence http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... /loka.html

:anjali:
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