SN 45.2: Upaddha Sutta — Half (of the Holy Life)

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SN 45.2: Upaddha Sutta — Half (of the Holy Life)

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:10 am

SN 45.2 PTS: S v 2 CDB ii 1524
Upaddha Sutta: Half (of the Holy Life)
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu


In this famous sutta the Buddha corrects Ven. Ananda, pointing out that having "admirable" friends, companions, and comrades is not half but the whole of the holy life. (For more about this special kind of friendship, see the page on kalyanamittata http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/sacca/sacca4/samma-ditthi/kalyanamittata.html.)

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."[1]

"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."


Notes

1. As AN 8.54 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an08/an08.054.than.htmlpoints out, this means not only associating with good people, but also learning from them and emulating their good qualities.

See also:
MN 95; http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
AN 4.192; http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
AN 8.54; http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
AN 9.1; http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Ud 4.1; http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Iti 17.http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#iti-017
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Re: SN 45.2: Upaddha Sutta — Half (of the Holy Life)

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:13 am

SN 45.2: Upaddha Sutta
Translated by John Ireland

Thus have I heard. At one time the Lord was staying amongst the Sakyas, at the Sakya market town of Sakkara. Then the venerable AAnanda approached the Lord, prostrated himself and sat down to one side. Sitting there the venerable AAnanda said to the Lord:

"Half of this holy life, Lord, is friendship with the good, companionship with the good, association with the good."

"Do not say that, AAnanda. Do not say that, AAnanda. It is the whole of this holy life, this friendship, companionship and association with the good. Of a bhikkhu, AAnanda, who is a friend, companion, and associate of the good it is to be expected that he will cultivate and seriously practice the Noble Eightfold Path. And how, AAnanda, does a bhikkhu... cultivate and seriously practice the Noble Eightfold Path? Herein, AAnanda, a bhikkhu cultivates right view centered on detachment, centered on dispassion, centered on cessation, ending in relinquishment [of all attachments]. He cultivates right thought... speech... action... livelihood... effort... mindfulness... right concentration centered on detachment, centered on dispassion, centered on cessation, ending in relinquishment.

"In this manner, AAnanda, a bhikkhu who is a friend, companion, associate of the good cultivates and seriously practices the Noble Eightfold Path.

"It is in this manner, AAnanda, it should be understood how the whole of this holy life is friendship, companionship, and association with the good.

"By taking me as a good friend, beings liable to birth are released from birth, beings liable to old age are released from old age, beings liable to death are released from death, beings liable to sorrow, lamentation, suffering, grief and despair are released there from.

"In this manner, AAnanda, it should be understood how the whole of this holy life is friendship with the good, companionship with the good, association with the good."
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Re: SN 45.2: Upaddha Sutta — Half (of the Holy Life)

Postby Sam Vara » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:02 am

Hi Mike,

Interesting how different translations, and the world-views that inform them, can send people in two very different directions. The first one is essentially about friendship, albeit of a special "spiritual" type. The extreme form of this view is found in people who value just "hanging out" with monks and nuns. If pushed, they would of course justify that in terms of the exemplary conduct of the monastics, but the starting point is the being with people.

The second is obviously about contact with something less personal: the Dhamma, or goodness itself, or ideas, etc. According to this view, the influence of a person - the Buddha, to take the obvious example - is something to be encountered in a far wider range of activities and phenomena. Monastics are, along with texts, DVDs, podcasts, and the actions of other good people in the world, one possible embodiment of a more diffuse goodness.

There is a possibly trivial but still interesting distinction between the two translations in terms of how we see the cultivation of qualities. Ireland has

centered on detachment, centered on dispassion, centered on cessation, ending in relinquishment


whereas Thanissaro and Bhikkhu Bodhi favour the qualities being "dependent" or "based" upon detachment, dispassion, and cessation. As this seems to be about formal meditation in most of the Samyutta Nikaya, it has some impact on how we actually settle down to practice.
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Re: SN 45.2: Upaddha Sutta — Half (of the Holy Life)

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:43 am

Hi Sam, here are some of Bhikkhu Bodhi's comments, which include this issue you point out with the different translations.

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling among the Sakyans where there was a town of the Sakyans named Nāgaraka.
BB: This entire sutta is quoted by the Buddha at 3:18, in a conversation with King Pasenadi. Spk has commented on the text there and thus passes over it here. I draw the excerpts below from Spk’s exegesis of the earlier text. In Be and Ee the name of the town is Sakkara.


“Venerable sir, this is half of the holy life, that is, good friendship, good companionship, good comradeship.”
BB: Kalyāṇamittatā kalyāṇasahāyatā kalyāṇasampavaṅkatā. The three are synonymous.

Spk: When he was in seclusion Ānanda thought, “This practice of an ascetic succeeds for one who relies on good friends and on his own manly effort, so half of it depends on good friends and half on one’s own manly effort.”


“Not so, Ānanda! Not so, Ānanda! This is the entire holy life, Ānanda, that is, good friendship, good companionship, good comradeship. When a bhikkhu has a good friend, a good companion, a good comrade, it is to be expected that he will develop and cultivate the Noble Eightfold Path.
BB: C.Rh.D renders kalyāṇamitto bhikkhu “a bhikkhu who is a friend of righteousness” (KS 1:113); Woodward, “a monk who is a friend of what is lovely” (KS 5:2); Ireland, “a bhikkhu who is a friend of the good” (SN-Anth 1:75).

These renderings all rest on a misunderstanding of the grammatical form of the expression. As an independent substantive, kalyāṇamitta means a good friend, i.e., a spiritual friend who gives advice, guidance, and encouragement. When used in apposition to bhikkhu, however, kalyāṇamitta becomes a bahubbbīhi compound, and the whole expression means “a bhikkhu who has a good friend.” To represent this formally: yassa bhikkhuno kalyāṇamittaṃ hoti (not yo bhikkhu kalyāṇassa mittaṃ hoti), so kalyāṇamitto bhikkhū ti vuccati (my own etymology).

On the importance of the good friend, see below
SN 45:49, http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pit ... alo-e.html
SN 45:63, http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pit ... alo-e.html
SN 45:77, http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pit ... alo-e.html
and also AN IV 351-53 (= Ud 34-37).
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .irel.html

Spk: With children, it isn’t possible to say, “So much comes from the mother, so much from the father”; the same is true in this case too. One cannot say, “So much of right view, etc., comes from good friends, so much from one’s own manly effort.” The Blessed One says in effect: “The four paths, the four fruits, etc., are all rooted in the good friend.”
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Re: SN 45.2: Upaddha Sutta — Half (of the Holy Life)

Postby Sam Vara » Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:53 am

Hi Mike,

Many thanks.

BB clearly favours the "good friend" rather than "friend of the good" interpretation, but this could still leave some wriggle-room for those who want to say that the "good friend" is in some sense a personification of the Dhamma. I can't provide a reference for this idea, but can recall meeting it several times.

BB's interpretation also fits very nicely with those Suttas where "hearing the true Dhamma" is dependent upon "associating with good people". In the Buddha's time, this would presumably have meant face-to-face contact. Today, we could be said to "associate" with those who have published their thoughts, or who we interact with via the internet.

I like to think that those whose thoughts I read here on DW are "good friends". Not in the sense of closeness or traditional ideas of friendship, but people whose thoughts are beneficial to engage with.
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Re: SN 45.2: Upaddha Sutta — Half (of the Holy Life)

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:53 am

“And how, Ānanda, does a bhikkhu who has a good friend, a good companion, a good comrade, develop and cultivate the Noble Eightfold Path? Here, Ānanda, a bhikkhu develops right view, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. [*] He develops right intention … right speech ... right action ... right livelihood … right effort … right mindfulness … right concentration, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. It is in this way, Ānanda, that a bhikkhu who has a good friend, a good companion, a good comrade, develops and cultivates the Noble Eightfold Path.
[*] BB: The vivekanissita formula is affixed to the path factors at Vibh 236. Spk explains seclusion (viveka) in the light of the commentarial notion of the fivefold seclusion: (i) “in a particular respect” (tadaṅga, temporarily, by the practice of insight); (ii) by suppression (vikkhambhana, temporarily, by attainment of jhāna); (iii) by eradication (samuccheda, permanently, by the supramundane path); (iv) by subsiding (paṭippassaddhi, permanently, in fruition); and (v) by escape (nissaraṇa, permanently, in Nibbāna). In the next two paragraphs I translate from Spk.

    “He develops right view dependent on seclusion (vivekanissitaṃ ): dependent on seclusion in a particular respect, dependent on seclusion by eradication, dependent on seclusion by escape. For at the moment of insight this meditator, devoted to the development of the noble path, develops right view dependent on seclusion in a particular respect by way of function and dependent on seclusion by escape as inclination (since he inclines to Nibbāna); at the time of the path, he develops it dependent on seclusion by eradication as function and dependent on seclusion by escape as object (since the path takes Nibbāna as object). The same method of explanation is also extended to the terms ‘dependent on dispassion’ (virāganissita) and ‘dependent on cessation’ (nirodhanissita).

    “Release (vossagga) is twofold, release as giving up (pariccāga ) and release as entering into (pakkhandana). ‘Release as giving up’ is the abandoning (pahāna) of defilements: in a particular respect (tadaṅgavasena) on the occasion of insight, by eradication (samucchedavasena) at the moment of the supramundane path. ‘Release as entering into’ is the entering into Nibbāna: by way of inclination towards that (tadninnabhāvena) on the occasion of insight, and by making it the object (ārammaṇakaraṇena) at the moment of the path. Both methods are suitable in this exposition, which combines the mundane (insight) and the supramundane (the path). The path is maturing in release (vossaggapariṇāmi) because it is maturing towards or has matured in release, meaning that it is ripening towards or has ripened (in release). The bhikkhu engaged in developing the path is ‘ripening’ the path for the sake of giving up defilements and entering into Nibbāna, and he develops it so that it has ‘ripened’ thus.”
When I translate vossagga as “release,” this should be understood as the act of releasing or the state of having released rather than as the experience of being released. Vossagga and paṭinissagga are closely related, both etymologically and in meaning, but as used in the Nikāyas a subtle difference seems to separate them. Paṭinissagga, here translated “relinquishment,” pertains primarily to the phase of insight and thus might be understood as the active elimination of defilements through insight into the impermanence of all conditioned things. Vossagga, as that in which the path matures, probably signifies the final state in which all attachment is utterly given up, and thus comes close in meaning to Nibbāna as the goal of the path. Paṭinissagga occurs as a distinct contemplation, the last, in the sixteen steps in the development of mindfulness of breathing (see SN 54:1[The Samyutta is here:http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/index.html#sn54]). Though Spk glosses it in the same way as it does vossagga (see n. 293 below), in the suttas themselves the two terms are used with different nuances.
    From SN 45.1
    “He trains thus: ‘Contemplating impermanence, I will breathe in’; he trains thus: ‘Contemplating impermanence, I will breathe out.’ He trains thus: ‘Contemplating fading away, I will breathe in’; he trains thus: ‘Contemplating fading away, I will breathe out.’ He trains thus: ‘Contemplating cessation, I will breathe in’; he trains thus: ‘Contemplating cessation, I will breathe out.’ He trains thus: ‘Contemplating relinquishment, I will breathe in’; he trains thus: ‘Contemplating relinquishment, I will breathe out.’
      Note: 293 “Contemplating impermanence” (aniccānupassī) is contemplation of the five aggregates as impermanent because they undergo rise and fall and change, or because they undergo momentary dissolution. This tetrad deals entirely with insight, unlike the other three, which can be interpreted by way of both serenity and insight. “Contemplating fading away” (virāgānupassī) and “contemplating cessation” (nirodhānupassī) can be understood both as the insight into the momentary destruction and cessation of phenomena and as the supramundane path, which realizes Nibbāna as the fading away of lust (virāga, dispassion) and the cessation of formations. “Contemplating relinquishment” (paṭinissaggānupassī) is the giving up (pariccāga) or abandoning (pahāna) of defilements through insight and the entering into (pakkhandana) Nibbāna by attainment of the path. See n. 7 (the above note)
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Re: SN 45.2: Upaddha Sutta — Half (of the Holy Life)

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jul 14, 2012 8:49 pm

In the next Sutta, 45.3, Sariputta states:
    “Venerable sir, this is the entire holy life, that is, good friendship, good companionship, good comradeship.”
The rest of the sutta is similar to 45.2:
    “Good, good, Sāriputta! This is the entire holy life, Sāriputta, that is, good friendship, good companionship, good comradeship. When a bhikkhu has a good friend, a good companion, a good comrade, it is to be expected that he will develop and cultivate the Noble Eightfold Path. ...
The Commentary notes:
Spk: Because Ānanda had not reached the peak in the knowledge of a disciple’s perfections he did not know that the entire holy life of the path depends on a good friend, but since the General of the Dhamma (Sāriputta) had reached the peak in the knowledge of a disciple’s perfections he knew this; therefore he spoke thus and the Blessed One applauded him.
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