SN 12.70: Susima Sutta — About Susima

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Re: SN 12.70: Susima Sutta — About Susima

Postby Sam Vara » Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:08 pm

“What do you think, Susı̄ma, is form permanent or impermanent?”
–“Impermanent, venerable sir.”
–“Is what is impermanent suffering or happiness?”
–“Suffering, venerable sir.”
–“Is what is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change fit to be regarded thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self’?”
–“No, venerable sir.”


For any commentator (either a revered near-contemporary of the Buddha, BB, or someone here on DW) to know that Susima had achieved "insight knowledge" or "knowledge of the stability of the Dhamma", then either they are aware of some unexplicated textual detail, or they know something of Susima from another source.

If we held a poll here on DW with the above questions, many of us would give the same answers as Susima, wouldn't we? I can't see from the text alone that Susima "knows" any more than I would appear to know, notwithstanding any commentarial traditions to the contrary...
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Re: SN 12.70: Susima Sutta — About Susima

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:27 pm

That's an interesting point, Sam. The pattern here is the same as many other suttas, which go on to explicitly say... "and X was now an arahant..." or similar.

However, if we read the suttas as intellectual pondering then, of course, anyone here could answer yes to all of those questions, which conclude with:
"Do you see that from the cessation of ignorance there is the cessation of fabrications?"

"Yes, lord."

Perhaps the key is to unpack what exactly is meant by:
Do you see...?


:anjali:
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Re: SN 12.70: Susima Sutta — About Susima

Postby Sam Vara » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:13 pm

Agreed. I think a lot of suttas with this format bring us back to what we were discussing a couple of weeks ago:

Then Ven. Pavittha said to Ven. Musila, "Musila, my friend, putting aside conviction, putting aside preference, putting aside tradition, putting aside reasoning through analogies, putting aside an agreement through pondering views: Do you have truly personal knowledge that, 'From birth as a requisite condition come aging & death'?"


Most of us are doing no more than running through the alternatives to "truly personal knowledge". And as you rightly point out, the third-person account of Susima's liberation or breakthrough is lacking here. And to this we can add our knowledge that he is at the outset a thief of the Dhamma...
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Re: SN 12.70: Susima Sutta — About Susima

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:47 pm

Then the Venerable Susı̄ma prostrated himself with his head at the Blessed One’s feet and said: “Venerable sir, I have committed a transgression in that I was so foolish, so confused, so inept that I went forth as a thief of the Dhamma in such a well-expounded Dhamma and Discipline as this. Venerable sir, may the Blessed One pardon me for my transgression seen as a transgression for the sake of future restraint.”

“Surely, Susı̄ma, you have committed a transgression in that you were so foolish, so confused, so inept that you went forth as a thief of the Dhamma in such a well-expounded Dhamma and Discipline as this. ...
BB: Dhammatthenaka. The formula for confession and pardon is also at 16:6 (II 205,10-16).
See:
http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pit ... ggo-e.html
(6) Ovàdo: Advice
Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation:
    “Surely, bhikkhus, you have committed a transgression—so foolish, so confused, so inept were you—in that, having gone forth in such a well-expounded Dhamma and Discipline, you competed with each other in regard to your learning….
    But since you see your transgression as a transgression and make amends for it in accordance with the Dhamma, we pardon you for it. For it is growth in the Noble One’s Discipline when one sees one’s transgression as a transgression, makes amends for it in accordance with the Dhamma, and undertakes future restraint.”
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