DN 31: Sigalovada Sutta — The Buddha's Advice to Sigalaka

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DN 31: Sigalovada Sutta — The Buddha's Advice to Sigalaka

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:52 am

DN 31: Sigalovada Sutta

The householder's code of discipline, as described by the Buddha to the layman Sigala. This sutta offers valuable practical advice for householders on how to conduct themselves skillfully in their relationships with parents, spouses, children, pupils, teachers, employers, employees, friends, and spiritual mentors so as to bring happiness to all concerned.

DN 31 PTS: D iii 180
Sigalovada Sutta: The Discourse to Sigala
The Layperson's Code of Discipline
translated from the Pali by Narada Thera

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

DN 31 PTS: D iii 180
Sigalovada Sutta: The Buddha's Advice to Sigalaka
translated from the Pali by John Kelly, Sue Sawyer, and Victoria Yareham

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .ksw0.html


The Digha Nikaya suttas are rather long, and it seems a little pointless to cut and paste the text here, since the formatting is much better if you read them on the Access to Insight site.

This particular Sutta collects together a huge amount of advice on how lay people should conduct themselves and finally re-defines worshipping the six directions in terms of the development of relationships.

I reall Bhikkhu Bodhi saying in some talk or other that it was suttas such as this one with practical advice about how one should conduct one's life, look after one's parents, and so on that really convinced him of the Buddha's wisdom, not the deep suttas on dependent origination and so on...

Unfortunately, I can't locate that particular talk right now. Perhaps someone else recalls it?

:anjali:
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Re: DN 31: Sigalovada Sutta — The Buddha's Advice to Sigalaka

Postby cooran » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:53 am

mike wrote:
DN 31: Sigalovada Sutta

The householder's code of discipline, as described by the Buddha to the layman Sigala. This sutta offers valuable practical advice for householders on how to conduct themselves skillfully in their relationships with parents, spouses, children, pupils, teachers, employers, employees, friends, and spiritual mentors so as to bring happiness to all concerned.

DN 31 PTS: D iii 180
Sigalovada Sutta: The Buddha's Advice to Sigalaka
translated from the Pali by John Kelly, Sue Sawyer, and Victoria Yareham

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .ksw0.html

The Digha Nikaya suttas are rather long, and it seems a little pointless to cut and paste the text here, since the formatting is much better if you read them on the Access to Insight site.


Hello Mike, all,

John Kelly attends Dhammagiri Forest Monastery in Brisbane, and assisted Bhikkhu Bodhi with his translations of the AN. Sue Sawyer, who was one of Patrick Kearneys' students sadly died last year.

with metta
Chris
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---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: DN 31: Sigalovada Sutta — The Buddha's Advice to Sigalaka

Postby daverupa » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:28 am

karuna
---

Some of the items, such as offering alms for departed parents, strike me as uncharacteristically cultural. The formatting of the Sutta also looks as though a lot was added after the Buddha gave the first 18 items. I'm not sure what to make of it, although it does seem to provide a lot of detail about Right Livelihood, which is often simply referred to as "abstain from wrong livelihood". Perhaps any additions are versions that applied to another region's particular features?
    "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: DN 31: Sigalovada Sutta — The Buddha's Advice to Sigalaka

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:39 pm

Hi Dave,
daverupa wrote:Some of the items, such as offering alms for departed parents, strike me as uncharacteristically cultural.

I'm not sure what you mean by "uncharacteristic" given that there are numerous suttas that talk about useful practices to do with devas, hungry ghosts, and so on.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... call-devas
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Certainly many practices, such as Uposotha, existed before the Buddha. Sometimes he gave them a new meaning. Sometimes he seemed to recommend simply continuing with them.

Making offerings for departed relatives is something that I personally find quite inspiring and humbling. A Sri Lankan family turned up at our Wat last week because it was the tenth anniversary of a grandparent's death and they wanted to pay their respects. To me it's a very useful way of stepping back from one's own selfish preoccupations and realising that one's life is just a small blip on a cosmic stage. It is surely a useful precursor for anyone aspiring to liberation from concoctions of self to start by recognising one's insignificance in this way.

What I like about suttas such as this (and what Bhikhu Bodhi expresses much better than I can in his talks and in his "In the Buddha's words" collection (the first chapter of which can be read here: http://www.wisdompubs.org/pages/display.lasso?-KeyValue=104&-Token.Action=&image=1) is that they demonstrate that the Buddha established a multilayered way of life for his followers. A way of life that contributed to stability and harmony that enabled various levels of practice.

:anjali:
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Re: DN 31: Sigalovada Sutta — The Buddha's Advice to Sigalaka

Postby khaaan » Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:03 am

Lots of great advice there.

"Sleeping till sunrise, adultery, irascibility, malevolence, evil companions, avarice — these six causes ruin a man." It would seem that I'm on the road to ruin, due to the first item on the list if nothing else. Thomas Jefferson is reported to have said, "The sun has not caught me in bed in fifty years," but I didn't realize the Buddha also said this.

Is poker gambling? A 2009 article in a legal journal (mentioned in this Reason article) argues that it is not. I wonder if the Buddha would have agreed. Gambling consequences #4, #5, and #6 for poker seem unlikely today.

(iv) his word is not relied upon in a court of law,
(v) he is despised by his friends and associates,
(vi) he is not sought after for matrimony; for people would say he is a gambler and is not fit to look after a wife.
Last edited by khaaan on Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: DN 31: Sigalovada Sutta — The Buddha's Advice to Sigalaka

Postby Ben » Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:23 am

mikenz66 wrote:realising that one's life is just a small blip on a cosmic stage.


Our time is just a point along a line
That runs forever with no end
I never thought we would come to find
Ourselves upon these rocks again, oh no


-- Lord Grenville by Al Stewart
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: DN 31: Sigalovada Sutta — The Buddha's Advice to Sigalaka

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:53 pm

The east loves this type of advice and follows it- but forgets the meditation. Vice versa in the west I suspect.

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Re: DN 31: Sigalovada Sutta — The Buddha's Advice to Sigalaka

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:55 am

From Bhikkhu Bodhi, In the Buddha's Words, Chapter IV, The Happiness Visible in the Present Life.

The Pali commentaries demonstrate the broad scope of the Dhamma by distinguishing three types of benefit that the Buddha's teaching is intended to promote, graded hierarchically according to their relative merit:
    1. welfare and happiness directly visible in this present life, attained by fulfilling one's morel commitments and social responsibilities;
    2. welfare and happiness pertaining to the next life, attained by engaging in meritorious deeds;
    3. the ultimate good or supreme goal, Nibbana, final release from the cycle of rebirths, attained by developing the Noble Eightfold Path.

While many Western writers on Early Buddhism have focussed on this last aspect as almost exclusively representing the Buddha's original teaching, a balanced presentation should give consideration to all three aspects. Therefore, in this chapter and those to follow, we will be exploring texts from the Nikayas that illustrate each of these three facets of the Dhamma.

The present chapter includes a wide variety of texts on the Buddha's teachings that pertain to the happiness directly visible in this present life. The most comprehensive Nikaya text in this genre is the Sigalaka Sutta (DN 31) sometimes called "The Layperson's Code of Discipline". The heart of this sutta is the section on "worshipping the six directions" in which the Buddha freely reinterprets an ancient Indian ritual, infusing it with a new ethical meaning. The practice of "worshipping the six directions", as explained by the Buddha, presupposes that society is sustained by a network of interlocking relationships that bring coherence to the social order when its members fulfil their reciprocal duties and responsibilities in a spirit of kindness, sympathy, and good will.

The six basic social relationship that the Buddha draws upon to fill out his metaphor are:
parents and children, teacher and pupils, husband and wife, friend and friend, employer and workers, lay followers and religious guides.
Each is considered one of the six directions in relation to the counterpart. For a young man like Sigalaka, his parents are the east, his teachers the south, his wife and children the west, his friends the north, his workers the nadir, and religious guides the zenith. With his customary sense of systematic concision, the Buddha ascribes to each member of each pair five obligations with respect to his or her counterpart; when each member fulfils these obligations, the corresponding "direction" comes to be "at peace and free from fear".

Thus, for early Buddhism, the social stability and security necessary for human happiness and fulfilment are achieve, not through aggressive and potentially disruptive demands for "rights" posed by competing groups, but by the renunciation of self-interest and the development of a sincere, large-hearted concern for the welfare of others and the good of the greater whole.
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