Another Buddha Misquote

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Another Buddha Misquote

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Thu May 14, 2009 1:48 am

Hi all,

Can someone direct me to the actual sutta this is taken from?

"Be a lamp unto yourself."


Also, can you tell me whom he was talking to at the time and what the context of the situation?

Thanks! :namaste:
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Re: Another Buddha Misquote

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 14, 2009 1:53 am

Greetings Drolma,

I expect it's in reference to...

DN 16: Maha-parinibbana Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... html#chap5

As for the audience...

Then Ven. Ananda said to the Blessed One, "It's amazing, lord. It's marvelous. I'm confident that, in this community of monks, there is not even a single monk who has any doubt or perplexity concerning the Buddha, Dhamma, or Sangha, the path or the practice."

"You, Ananda, speak out of confidence, while there is knowledge in the Tathagata that, in this community of monks, there is not even a single monk who has any doubt or perplexity concerning the Buddha, Dhamma, or Sangha, the path or the practice. Of these 500 monks, the most backward is a stream-winner, not destined for the planes of deprivation, headed to self-awakening for sure."


Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Another Buddha Misquote

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Thu May 14, 2009 1:55 am

Hi Retro,

I'm confuzzled :rolleye:

Is this extraction any sort of evidence that the Buddha said we don't need spiritual friends on the path?
I've always sort of thought he said the opposite. That's my real question.

What just quoted seems like a comment about the value of confidence in the triple gem.

Thank you! :anjali:
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Re: Another Buddha Misquote

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 14, 2009 1:57 am

Greetings,

In that case, see this topic...

The Holy Life
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=291

and the sutta...

SN 45.2: Upaddha Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was living among the Sakyans. Now there is a Sakyan town named Sakkara. There Ven. Ananda went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, Ven. Ananda said to the Blessed One, "This is half of the holy life, lord: admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie."

"Don't say that, Ananda. Don't say that. Admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life. When a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, & comrades, he can be expected to develop & pursue the noble eightfold path.

"And how does a monk who has admirable people as friends, companions, & comrades, develop & pursue the noble eightfold path? There is the case where a monk develops right view dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in relinquishment. He develops right resolve ... right speech ... right action ... right livelihood ... right effort ... right mindfulness ... right concentration dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in relinquishment. This is how a monk who has admirable people as friends, companions, & colleagues, develops & pursues the noble eightfold path.

"And through this line of reasoning one may know how admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life: It is in dependence on me as an admirable friend that beings subject to birth have gained release from birth, that beings subject to aging have gained release from aging, that beings subject to death have gained release from death, that beings subject to sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair have gained release from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. It is through this line of reasoning that one may know how admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life."


Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Another Buddha Misquote

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Thu May 14, 2009 2:07 am

The Upaddha Sutta is one of my favorite suttas. :thumbsup:

But what's this lamp stuff? I'm sorry if I'm being unclear. You know how they have these little quotes at those "Wisdom sites" and "Daily Quote" and whatnot? The lamp one is there and it sounds like taking the Kalamma sutta out of context to justify practicing without guidance from a spiritual friend.

Was the Buddha telling this to Ananada when he was dying? To comfort him?

Thanks! Sorry if I'm being confusing :?
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Re: Another Buddha Misquote

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 14, 2009 2:10 am

Greetings Drolma,

Because they were all stream-entrants, destined for eventual arahantship, they had already "seen" the Dhamma, they just had to carry it through to final fruition. Thus, because they had already become ariyan Sangha, they merely needed to follow their own way to arahantship, being lamps upon themselves.

They did not need to take upon themselves a new teacher, or importantly given his upcoming parinibbana, a new formal leader of the Sangha.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Another Buddha Misquote

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Thu May 14, 2009 2:13 am

Perfect, thanks! :anjali:
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Re: Another Buddha Misquote

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu May 14, 2009 3:47 am

retrofuturist wrote:They did not need to take upon themselves a new teacher, or importantly given his upcoming parinibbana, a new formal leader of the Sangha.

Exactly, it had more to do with the context of the Sangha asking who would lead them after the Buddha was gone. The Buddha only mentioned being a lamp unto yourself to show that no leader or pope was necessary, the Dhamma is what is needed.

Otherwise, we still need Kalyana Mittas (spiritual friends) and the Sangha, just no pope.
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Re: Another Buddha Misquote

Postby piotr » Thu May 14, 2009 7:05 am

Hi,

Ngawang Drolma wrote:Can someone direct me to the actual sutta this is taken from?

"Be a lamp unto yourself."


Also, can you tell me whom he was talking to at the time and what the context of the situation?


"Being island/lamp unto oneself" means developing four establishments of mindfulness:

    "And how, Ānanda, does a bhikkhu dwell with himself as his own island, with himself as his own refuge, with no other refuge; with the Dhamma as his island, with the Dhamma as his refuge, with no other refuge? Here, Ānanda, a bhikkhu dwells contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. He dwells contemplating feelings in feelings... mind in mind... phenomena in phenomena, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world." — Gilāna-sutta (SN 47.9)

I think that an idea that this sentence is carte blanche for following one's own sense of right and wrong is theosophical concept.
Bhagavaṃmūlakā no, bhante, dhammā...
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Re: Another Buddha Misquote

Postby cooran » Thu May 14, 2009 7:55 am

Hello all,

The Pali and Sanscrit words can mean both 'island' and 'lamp'. The meaning depends on the pronunciation and context.

"Therefore Ananda, you should live as islands unto yourselves, being your own refuge, with no one else as your refuge, with the Dhamma as an island, with the Dhamma as your refuge , with no other refuge." DN 16.2.26

In Skt. it is dvipa 'island' rather than Sky. dipa 'lamp'. But we do not really know whether the Buddha pronounced the two words alike or not! In the absence of such knowledge, it is perhaps best not to be too dogmatic about the meaning. In any case, it is just 'oneself' that one has to have as one's 'island' (or lamp), not some 'great self' which the Buddha did not teach.
p. 569 note 395 The Long Discourses of the Buddha A translation of the Digha Nikaya by Maurice Walshe.

Dīpa
Dīpa1 [Ved. dīpa to Ved. dī, dīpyate; Idg. *dei̯ā to shine (see dibba, deva); cp. Gr. di/alos, dh_los; see also jotati] a lamp J ii.104 (˚ŋ jāleti to light a l.); DhA ii.49 (id.), 94 (id.)
-- acci the flame of a lamp ThA 154; -- āloka light of a l. J i.266; vi.391; DhA i.359; VvA 51; -- (˚ŋ)kara making light, shining, illuminating Nd2 399 (=pabhaŋ kara Sn 1136; but cp. Dh 236 under dīpa2); Vism 203. -- tittira a decoy partridge (cp. dīpaka˚) J iii.64; -- rukkha lit. lamp -- tree, the stand of a lamp, candlestick DhA iv.120; -- sikhā the flame (lit. crest) of a l. Vism 171; DhA ii.49.
Dīpa
Dīpa2 (m. & nt.) [Ved. dvīpa=dvi+ap (*sp.) of āpa water, lit. "double -- watered," between (two) waters] an island, continent (mahā˚, always as 4); terra firma, solid foundation, resting -- place, shelter, refuge (in this sense freq. combd w. tāṇa lena & saraṇa & expl. in Com. by patiṭṭhā) -- (a) lit. island: S v.219; J iii.187; VvA 19; Mhvs vii.7, 41. -- continent: cattāro mahādīpā S v.343; Vv 2010 (=VvA 104); VvA 19; PvA 74
http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philol ... li.1769870

metta
Chris

metta
Chris
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Re: Another Buddha Misquote

Postby Dhammanando » Thu May 14, 2009 11:48 am

Hi Drolma,

Is this extraction any sort of evidence that the Buddha said we don't need spiritual friends on the path?


No, quite the contrary.

    “Therefore, Ananda, you should live as islands unto yourselves, being your own refuge, with no one else as your refuge, with the Dhamma as an island, with the Dhamma as your refuge, with no other refuge.”

Having yourself (and the Dhamma) as an island and refuge means developing the four satipatthanas. Since two of the conditions for the arising of satipatthana are hearing the Good Dhamma and discussing it with kalyanamittas, the Sutta implicitly affirms the necessity of “spiritual friends on the path.”

As for having “no one else as your refuge,” this is explained in the Digha Nikaya commentary in terms of not expecting others to do the work for you.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: Another Buddha Misquote

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Thu May 14, 2009 3:07 pm

Thanks so much :anjali:
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