Beginning study of Majjhima Nikaya

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Beginning study of Majjhima Nikaya

Postby Stephen K » Wed May 30, 2012 3:02 pm

So I just finished the Digha Nikaya and am about to start the Majjhima Nikaya. I came across Bhikkhu Bodhi's lectures on the MN ( http://bodhimonastery.org/a-systematic- ... ikaya.html ) but the suttas there are arranged thematically and not in their proper order.

My question is: should I read the suttas in their true order or should I follow BB's thematic order?

Thanks!
With metta,
Upāsaka Sumana
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Re: Beginning study of Majjhima Nikaya

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Wed May 30, 2012 3:11 pm

I may be wrong but I don't think they are arranged in a particularly essential order. It's better to group them thematically.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: Beginning study of Majjhima Nikaya

Postby Hickersonia » Wed May 30, 2012 3:24 pm

I'm simply reading it through in the way it is presented. :) I'll end up having to read the whole thing more than once for it to sink in, anyway. Your results may vary, of course.
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Re: Beginning study of Majjhima Nikaya

Postby BKh » Wed May 30, 2012 4:03 pm

If you are already familiar with the Dhamma and suttas (as you must be if you have finished the DN) it doesn't matter so much what order you read them in. I don't think Bhante's order includes every single sutta, so you would want to make sure you picked up any that you had missed at the end.

On this page
http://readingfaithfully.org/majjhima-n ... -practice/
There is a slightly modified beginning-to-end order that starts you in the section with similies and puts off reading MN 1 till you have a few under your belt. But this is only necessary if you have never read suttas before.

As Hickersonia said, reading more than once is necessary. For simplicity sake, reading one to 152 is easiest. The traditional order is not completely random so you will see some affinity between suttas that are located together.

But if your plan is to listen to all of Bhante's lectures, then you would want to take them in order.

Because I believe there are few problems that can't be solved by forms, I created a simple checklist a while ago for each of the suttas in the MN. I guess I was thinking it would be useful if someone was reading them out of order. But it could be a case of a solution in search of a problem. :smile: Any way, I have attached it. Let me know if it is helpful.
Attachments
MajjhimaNikayaChecklist.pdf
(23.31 KiB) Downloaded 66 times
http://www.readingfaithfully.org Daily Practice with the Suttas
http://www.audtip.org Audio Sutta Recordings
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Re: Beginning study of Majjhima Nikaya

Postby Cittasanto » Wed May 30, 2012 7:40 pm

Hi,
I havn't listened to the lectures, but may I sugest you read the Nikaya before listening to it, it may help you understand what is being said in the wider context of the both the texts and the talks?

I usually find reading cover to cover then by subject is better than the other way round as you have a grasp of the wider scope and pieces can be linked together on occasion for a finer and finer understanding.
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Re: Beginning study of Majjhima Nikaya

Postby mikenz66 » Wed May 30, 2012 7:51 pm

Stefan wrote:My question is: should I read the suttas in their true order or should I follow BB's thematic order?

By all means read through the suttas in collection order (or random order, I don't see much significance in the ordering of the MN...)
But to really study them, listen to Bhikkhu Bodhi's lectures. They are brilliant.

You can also find a variety of talks on the MN at the BSWA site:
http://www.dhammaloka.org.au/component/ ... study.html
and here:
http://www.dhammasukha.org/Study/recent.htm
When I was working through Bhikkhu Bodhi's talks I also listened to talks from those sites on each sutta, which gave some good perspectives.
I also tried to listen to a reading of the sutta, if available:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/outsourc ... tml#suttas
since suttas are an oral, not written medium...

:anjali:
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Re: Beginning study of Majjhima Nikaya

Postby Stephen K » Thu May 31, 2012 6:46 am

Thank you all! I will be reading it in its proper order then. :anjali:
With metta,
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Re: Beginning study of Majjhima Nikaya

Postby Cittasanto » Thu May 31, 2012 6:56 am

Stefan wrote:Thank you all! I will be reading it in its proper order then. :anjali:

I will join you in reading the Majjhima :)
maybe we could exchange notes on each sutta, when relevant.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Beginning study of Majjhima Nikaya

Postby Cittasanto » Thu May 31, 2012 6:59 am

P.s. I will read MN1 today :)

EDIT - one on its own and a second time including foot notes
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Beginning study of Majjhima Nikaya

Postby Stephen K » Thu May 31, 2012 8:21 am

Cool. I was thinking of starting tomorrow (MN 1 - June 1), but if you're starting today then I am too. 1 sutta per day, right? :smile:
With metta,
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Re: Beginning study of Majjhima Nikaya

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 31, 2012 9:53 am

Greetings,

Pleased to hear you're starting with MN 1... it's a very important sutta.

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)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Beginning study of Majjhima Nikaya

Postby Ben » Thu May 31, 2012 9:57 am

they're all good!
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: Beginning study of Majjhima Nikaya

Postby Cittasanto » Thu May 31, 2012 2:14 pm

Stefan wrote:Cool. I was thinking of starting tomorrow (MN 1 - June 1), but if you're starting today then I am too. 1 sutta per day, right? :smile:


After reading the sutta then notes individually, I thought every few days, give time to write something about each text and reflect a little on it. and get input from eachother and the group (if that is what you would like to do, as I wouldn't mind that)
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Beginning study of Majjhima Nikaya

Postby Kare » Thu May 31, 2012 7:53 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Pleased to hear you're starting with MN 1... it's a very important sutta.

Metta,
Retro. :)


I agree. I remember talking to a Western monk in Bangkok many years ago. He said that in his opinion the two most important suttas in the Tipitaka were the Mahasatipatthanasutta and MN 1. The first describes the way, and the second describes the result. I tend to agree with him.

MN 1 is not among the easiest text to read and to understand, however. Some background from other suttas may be of use. But the most important factor for understanding MN 1 is meditative experience.
Mettāya,
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Re: Beginning study of Majjhima Nikaya

Postby pulga » Thu May 31, 2012 10:18 pm

Path Press has a link to Ven. Ñanamoli's draft translantion of the Mulapariyayasutta.

http://pathpress.wordpress.com/2012/05/ ... sutta-111/

While I think Ven. Bodhi has done an admirable job in revising Ñanamoli's work to make it accessible to those with a more conventional approach to the Dhamma, I suspect a lot of the phenomenological nuance was lost.
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Re: Beginning study of Majjhima Nikaya

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 31, 2012 11:11 pm

Kare wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Pleased to hear you're starting with MN 1... it's a very important sutta.

Metta,
Retro. :)


I agree. I remember talking to a Western monk in Bangkok many years ago. He said that in his opinion the two most important suttas in the Tipitaka were the Mahasatipatthanasutta and MN 1. The first describes the way, and the second describes the result. I tend to agree with him.

MN 1 is not among the easiest text to read and to understand, however. Some background from other suttas may be of use. But the most important factor for understanding MN 1 is meditative experience.
And for those who are not afraid of commentaries:

http://store.pariyatti.org/Discourse-on ... _1472.html
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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People live in one another’s shelter.

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