MN 19. Dvedhāvitakka Sutta

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MN 19. Dvedhāvitakka Sutta

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:04 am

MN 19
Dvedhavitakka Sutta
Two Sorts of Thinking
Translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying at Savatthi, in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. There he addressed the monks: "Monks!"

"Yes, lord," the monks replied.

The Blessed One said, "Monks, before my self-awakening, when I was still just an unawakened Bodhisatta, the thought occurred to me: 'Why don't I keep dividing my thinking into two sorts?' So I made thinking imbued with sensuality, thinking imbued with ill will, & thinking imbued with harmfulness one sort, and thinking imbued with renunciation, thinking imbued with non-ill will, & thinking imbued with harmlessness another sort.

"And as I remained thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, thinking imbued with sensuality arose. I discerned that 'Thinking imbued with sensuality has arisen in me; and that leads to my own affliction or to the affliction of others or to the affliction of both. It obstructs discernment, promotes vexation, & does not lead to Unbinding.'

"As I noticed that it leads to my own affliction, it subsided. As I noticed that it leads to the affliction of others... to the affliction of both... it obstructs discernment, promotes vexation, & does not lead to Unbinding, it subsided. Whenever thinking imbued with sensuality had arisen, I simply abandoned it, destroyed it, dispelled it, wiped it out of existence.

"And as I remained thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, thinking imbued with ill will arose. I discerned that 'Thinking imbued with ill will has arisen in me; and that leads to my own affliction or to the affliction of others or to the affliction of both. It obstructs discernment, promotes vexation, & does not lead to Unbinding.'

"As I noticed that it leads to my own affliction, it subsided. As I noticed that it leads to the affliction of others... to the affliction of both... it obstructs discernment, promotes vexation, & does not lead to Unbinding, it subsided. Whenever thinking imbued with ill will had arisen, I simply abandoned it, destroyed it, dispelled it, wiped it out of existence.

"And as I remained thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, thinking imbued with harmfulness arose. I discerned that 'Thinking imbued with harmfulness has arisen in me; and that leads to my own affliction or to the affliction of others or to the affliction of both. It obstructs discernment, promotes vexation, & does not lead to Unbinding.'

"As I noticed that it leads to my own affliction, it subsided. As I noticed that it leads to the affliction of others... to the affliction of both... it obstructs discernment, promotes vexation, & does not lead to Unbinding, it subsided. Whenever thinking imbued with harmfulness had arisen, I simply abandoned it, destroyed it, dispelled it, wiped it out of existence.

"Whatever a monk keeps pursuing with his thinking & pondering, that becomes the inclination of his awareness. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with sensuality, abandoning thinking imbued with renunciation, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with sensuality. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with ill will, abandoning thinking imbued with non-ill will, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with ill will. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with harmfulness, abandoning thinking imbued with harmlessness, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with harmfulness.

"Just as in the last month of the Rains, in the autumn season when the crops are ripening, a cowherd would look after his cows: He would tap & poke & check & curb them with a stick on this side & that. Why is that? Because he foresees flogging or imprisonment or a fine or public censure arising from that [if he let his cows wander into the crops]. In the same way I foresaw in unskillful qualities drawbacks, degradation, & defilement, and I foresaw in skillful qualities rewards related to renunciation & promoting cleansing.

"And as I remained thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, thinking imbued with renunciation arose. I discerned that 'Thinking imbued with renunciation has arisen in me; and that leads neither to my own affliction, nor to the affliction of others, nor to the affliction of both. It fosters discernment, promotes lack of vexation, & leads to Unbinding. If I were to think & ponder in line with that even for a night... even for a day... even for a day & night, I do not envision any danger that would come from it, except that thinking & pondering a long time would tire the body. When the body is tired, the mind is disturbed; and a disturbed mind is far from concentration.' So I steadied my mind right within, settled, unified, & concentrated it. Why is that? So that my mind would not be disturbed.

"And as I remained thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, thinking imbued with non-ill will arose. I discerned that 'Thinking imbued with non-ill will has arisen in me; and that leads neither to my own affliction, nor to the affliction of others, nor to the affliction of both. It fosters discernment, promotes lack of vexation, & leads to Unbinding. If I were to think & ponder in line with that even for a night... even for a day... even for a day & night, I do not envision any danger that would come from it, except that thinking & pondering a long time would tire the body. When the body is tired, the mind is disturbed; and a disturbed mind is far from concentration.' So I steadied my mind right within, settled, unified, & concentrated it. Why is that? So that my mind would not be disturbed.

"And as I remained thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, thinking imbued with harmlessness arose. I discerned that 'Thinking imbued with harmlessness has arisen in me; and that leads neither to my own affliction, nor to the affliction of others, nor to the affliction of both. It fosters discernment, promotes lack of vexation, & leads to Unbinding. If I were to think & ponder in line with that even for a night... even for a day... even for a day & night, I do not envision any danger that would come from it, except that thinking & pondering a long time would tire the body. When the body is tired, the mind is disturbed; and a disturbed mind is far from concentration.' So I steadied my mind right within, settled, unified, & concentrated it. Why is that? So that my mind would not be disturbed.

"Whatever a monk keeps pursuing with his thinking & pondering, that becomes the inclination of his awareness. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with renunciation, abandoning thinking imbued with sensuality, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with renunciation. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with non-ill will, abandoning thinking imbued with ill will, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with non-ill will. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with harmlessness, abandoning thinking imbued with harmfulness, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with harmlessness.

"Just as in the last month of the hot season, when all the crops have been gathered into the village, a cowherd would look after his cows: While resting under the shade of a tree or out in the open, he simply keeps himself mindful of 'those cows.' In the same way, I simply kept myself mindful of 'those mental qualities.'

"Unflagging persistence was aroused in me, and unmuddled mindfulness established. My body was calm & unaroused, my mind concentrated & single. Quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, I entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, I entered & remained in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. With the fading of rapture I remained in equanimity, mindful & alert, and physically sensitive of pleasure. I entered & remained in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.' With the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — I entered & remained in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain.

"When the mind was thus concentrated, purified, bright, unblemished, rid of defilement, pliant, malleable, steady, & attained to imperturbability, I directed it to the knowledge of recollecting my past lives. I recollected my manifold past lives, i.e., one birth, two... five, ten... fifty, a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand, many eons of cosmic contraction, many eons of cosmic expansion, many eons of cosmic contraction & expansion: 'There I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose there. There too I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose here.' Thus I remembered my manifold past lives in their modes & details.

"This was the first knowledge I attained in the first watch of the night. Ignorance was destroyed; knowledge arose; darkness was destroyed; light arose — as happens in one who is heedful, ardent, & resolute.

"When the mind was thus concentrated, purified, bright, unblemished, rid of defilement, pliant, malleable, steady, & attained to imperturbability, I directed it to the knowledge of the passing away & reappearance of beings. I saw — by means of the divine eye, purified & surpassing the human — beings passing away & re-appearing, and I discerned how they are inferior & superior, beautiful & ugly, fortunate & unfortunate in accordance with their kamma: 'These beings — who were endowed with bad conduct of body, speech & mind, who reviled the Noble Ones, held wrong views and undertook actions under the influence of wrong views — with the break-up of the body, after death, have re-appeared in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in hell. But these beings — who were endowed with good conduct of body, speech, & mind, who did not revile the Noble Ones, who held right views and undertook actions under the influence of right views — with the break-up of the body, after death, have re-appeared in the good destinations, in the heavenly world.' Thus — by means of the divine eye, purified & surpassing the human — I saw beings passing away & re-appearing, and I discerned how they are inferior & superior, beautiful & ugly, fortunate & unfortunate in accordance with their kamma.

"This was the second knowledge I attained in the second watch of the night. Ignorance was destroyed; knowledge arose; darkness was destroyed; light arose — as happens in one who is heedful, ardent, & resolute.

"When the mind was thus concentrated, purified, bright, unblemished, rid of defilement, pliant, malleable, steady, & attained to imperturbability, I directed it to the knowledge of the ending of the mental fermentations. I discerned, as it had come to be, that 'This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the way leading to the cessation of stress... These are fermentations... This is the origination of fermentations... This is the cessation of fermentations... This is the way leading to the cessation of fermentations.' My heart, thus knowing, thus seeing, was released from the fermentation of sensuality, released from the fermentation of becoming, released from the fermentation of ignorance. With release, there was the knowledge, 'Released.' I discerned that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'

"This was the third knowledge I attained in the third watch of the night. Ignorance was destroyed; knowledge arose; darkness was destroyed; light arose — as happens in one who is heedful, ardent, & resolute.

"Suppose, monks, that in a forested wilderness there were a large low-lying marsh, in dependence on which there lived a large herd of deer; and a certain man were to appear, not desiring their benefit, not desiring their welfare, not desiring their rest from bondage. He would close off the safe, restful path that led to their rapture, and would open up a false path, set out a male decoy, place a female decoy, and thus the large herd of deer, at a later time, would fall into ruin & disaster. Then suppose that a certain man were to appear to that same large herd of deer, desiring their benefit, desiring their welfare, desiring their rest from bondage. He would open up the safe, restful path that led to their rapture, would close off the false path, take away the male decoy, destroy the female decoy, and thus the large herd of deer, at a later time, would come into growth, increase, & abundance.

"I have given this simile in order to convey a meaning. The meaning is this: 'The large, low-lying marsh' is a term for sensual pleasures. 'The large herd of deer' is a term for beings. 'The man not desiring their benefit, not desiring their welfare, not desiring their rest from bondage' is a term for Mara, the Evil One. 'The false path' is a term for the eightfold wrong path, i.e., wrong view, wrong resolve, wrong speech, wrong action, wrong livelihood, wrong effort, wrong mindfulness, & wrong concentration. 'The male decoy' is a term for passion & delight. 'The female decoy' is a term for ignorance. 'The man desiring their benefit, desiring their welfare, desiring their rest from bondage' is a term for the Tathagata, the Worthy One, the Rightly Self-awakened One. 'The safe, restful path that led to their rapture' is a term for the noble eightfold path, i.e., right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, & right concentration.

"So, monks, I have opened up the safe, restful path, closed off the false path, removed the male decoy, destroyed the female. Whatever a teacher should do — seeking the welfare of his disciples, out of sympathy for them — that have I done for you. Over there are the roots of trees; over there, empty dwellings. Practice jhana, monks. Don't be heedless. Don't later fall into regret. This is our message to you."

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the monks delighted in the Blessed One's words.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

See also: AN 4.259



and from the study guide
19 Dvedhavitakka Sutta Two Kinds of Thought v
SUMMARY
The Buddha divides thought into two classes: thoughts of sensual desire, ill will
and cruelty; and thoughts of renunciation, nonill
will (mettā) and noncruelty
(karunā). This discourse states simply that unwholesome thought bring about
unhappiness, and wholesome thoughts bring about happiness. Unwholesome
thoughts can be replaced by wholesome thoughts (and, even better, a quiet,
concentrated mind). Knowing this, we can bring about happiness and freedom
from pain.
NOT ES
This is an important discourse, one that is at the base of what is taught today. It
is a training discourse based on the Buddha’s experience before enlightenment.
[35]
With mindfulness, aware that a thought of sensual desire has arisen,
one can reflect on the consequences of dwelling on that thought, noting the pain
it brings to oneself and to others, and how it obstructs wisdom and leads away
from Nibbāna. Reflecting in this way can make that thought subside. The
Buddha said, “Whenever a thought of sense desire arose in me, I abandoned it,
removed it, did away with it” (thereby showing the need to exert some effort and
energy, rather than simply letting such thoughts just subside on their own). This
also demonstrates the power of wise reflection. The same applies to thoughts of
ill will and cruelty.
Pressing Out Pure Ho ney 34
[6 and 11] QUOTE: “Whatever [one] frequently thinks and ponders upon, that
will become the inclination of [one’s] mind. If [one] frequently thinks and ponders
upon thoughts of sensual desire, [one] has abandoned the thought of
renunciation to cultivate the thought of sensual desire, and then [one’s] mind
inclines to thoughts of sensual desire.”
His instructions to us: Abandon the thought of desire to cultivate the thought
of renunciation. If one frequently thinks and ponders upon thoughts of nonill
will, then one should incline one’s mind to thoughts of mettā; if one frequently
thinks and ponders upon thoughts of noncruelty,
then one should incline one’s
mind to thoughts of karunā. Good SIMILES: [7] and [12].
[8] When thoughts of renunciation or mettā or karunā arise, we can see that
those thoughts do not lead to our pain, nor to others’ pain, and do not obscure
wisdom nor block the way to Nibbāna. At this point, nothing has to be done; one
only has to be mindful that these states are here.
[810]
A good instruction from the Buddha about thinking. He points out that
excessive thinking and pondering might tire the body, even in wise reflection. He
doesn’t say that it is wrong but that it disturbs the mind and interferes with
concentration. Better to steady the mind, quiet it, bring it to singleness and
concentrate it so that the mind is not disturbed.
[2526]
SIMILE for the path to happiness.
PRACT ICE
Notice when the mind is inclining toward negativity. Reflect on the pain that this
tendency brings to yourself and to others. Then, with conscious intention, incline
the mind to more wholesome thoughts of letting go, lovingkindness
or
compassion. What changes do you observe in yourself when you do this?
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: MN 19. Dvedhāvitakka Sutta

Postby Jechbi » Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:09 am

Whatever a monk keeps pursuing with his thinking & pondering, that becomes the inclination of his awareness.

That puts some of the discussions around here lately into an interesting light.

... thinking & pondering a long time would tire the body. When the body is tired, the mind is disturbed; and a disturbed mind is far from concentration.

Also interesting that pondering and thinking about wholesome things can disturb the mind and hinder concentration.
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: MN 19. Dvedhāvitakka Sutta

Postby Sher » Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:30 am

"Also interesting that pondering and thinking about wholesome things can disturb the mind and hinder concentration."

hello--did you mean to say "thinking about wholesome things" or thinking about unwholesome things "can disturb the mind and hinder concentration?".


Sher
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Re: MN 19. Dvedhāvitakka Sutta

Postby Sher » Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:39 am

mod--I am interested in asking a question about how to approach this sutta and suttas in general--should I ask here, or should I post over in Theravadin questions? Also is there any problem if I refer to another translation such as Bhikkhu Nanamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi's--_A Translation of the Majjhima Nikāya? Thanks for your help, Sher
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Re: MN 19. Dvedhāvitakka Sutta

Postby Jechbi » Wed Jun 10, 2009 5:38 am

Sher wrote:hello--did you mean to say "thinking about wholesome things" or thinking about unwholesome things "can disturb the mind and hinder concentration?".

Wholesome things.
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: MN 19. Dvedhāvitakka Sutta

Postby Dhammanando » Wed Jun 10, 2009 6:45 am

Hi Sher,

Sher wrote:mod--I am interested in asking a question about how to approach this sutta and suttas in general--should I ask here, or should I post over in Theravadin questions?


Either place. Though the questions forum might be better, given that these sutta threads are always closed after a week.

Also is there any problem if I refer to another translation such as Bhikkhu Nanamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi's--_A Translation of the Majjhima Nikāya?


No problem. In fact it's better to consult several translations.

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: MN 19. Dvedhāvitakka Sutta

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:18 am

Sher wrote:mod--I am interested in asking a question about how to approach this sutta and suttas in general--should I ask here, or should I post over in Theravadin questions? Also is there any problem if I refer to another translation such as Bhikkhu Nanamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi's--_A Translation of the Majjhima Nikāya? Thanks for your help, Sher

for this sutta post here (until it's closed) and use any translation you'd like
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: MN 19. Dvedhāvitakka Sutta

Postby Dmytro » Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:28 pm

Hello,

The great thing about this sutta is that it explains in detail the development of the Seven Awakening Factors (which are explained in Ahara sutta http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html ):

Invention of Dhamma-vicaya - discrimination of mental qualities:

The Blessed One said, "Monks, before my self-awakening, when I was still just an unawakened Bodhisatta, the thought occurred to me: 'Why don't I keep dividing my thinking into two sorts?' So I made thinking imbued with sensuality, thinking imbued with ill will, & thinking imbued with harmfulness one sort, and thinking imbued with renunciation, thinking imbued with non-ill will, & thinking imbued with harmlessness another sort.'


Sati with Dhamma-vicaya:

"And as I remained thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, thinking imbued with sensuality arose. I discerned that 'Thinking imbued with sensuality has arisen in me; and that leads to my own affliction or to the affliction of others or to the affliction of both. It obstructs discernment, promotes vexation, & does not lead to Unbinding.'


Viriya as four right efforts:

"As I noticed that it leads to my own affliction, it subsided. As I noticed that it leads to the affliction of others... to the affliction of both... it obstructs discernment, promotes vexation, & does not lead to Unbinding, it subsided. Whenever thinking imbued with sensuality had arisen, I simply abandoned it, destroyed it, dispelled it, wiped it out of existence.
...

"Just as in the last month of the Rains, in the autumn season when the crops are ripening, a cowherd would look after his cows: He would tap & poke & check & curb them with a stick on this side & that. Why is that? Because he foresees flogging or imprisonment or a fine or public censure arising from that [if he let his cows wander into the crops]. In the same way I foresaw in unskillful qualities drawbacks, degradation, & defilement, and I foresaw in skillful qualities rewards related to renunciation & promoting cleansing.
...

"Whatever a monk keeps pursuing with his thinking & pondering, that becomes the inclination of his awareness. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with renunciation, abandoning thinking imbued with sensuality, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with renunciation. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with non-ill will, abandoning thinking imbued with ill will, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with non-ill will. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with harmlessness, abandoning thinking imbued with harmfulness, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with harmlessness.

"Just as in the last month of the hot season, when all the crops have been gathered into the village, a cowherd would look after his cows: While resting under the shade of a tree or out in the open, he simply keeps himself mindful of 'those cows.' In the same way, I simply kept myself mindful of 'those mental qualities.'


Viriya, persistence, itself:

"Unflagging persistence was aroused in me, and unmuddled mindfulness established.


Piti, rapture:

My body was calm & unaroused, my mind concentrated & single. Quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, I entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation.


Passadhi, serenity (as said in Vinaya Mahavagga 1.293, "pamuditāya pīti jāyissati, pītimanāya kāyo passambhissati, passaddhakāyā sukhaṃ vediyissāmi"):

With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, I entered & remained in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance.


Samadhi (as said in Vinaya Mahavagga 1.293, "passaddhakāyā sukhaṃ vediyissāmi, sukhiniyā cittaṃ samādhiyissati")

With the fading of rapture I remained in equanimity, mindful & alert, and physically sensitive of pleasure. I entered & remained in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasurable abiding.'


Equanimity, upekkha:

With the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — I entered & remained in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain.


Full quotation from Mahavagga 1.293, with explanation that it is the the development of Awakening Factors (bojjhanga-bhavana) which is described:

Tassā me tadanussarantiyā pāmujjaṃ jāyissati, pamuditāya pīti jāyissati, pītimanāya kāyo passambhissati, passaddhakāyā sukhaṃ vediyissāmi, sukhiniyā cittaṃ samādhiyissati. Sā me bhavissati indriyabhāvanā balabhāvanā bojjhaṅgabhāvanā.


Metta, Dmytro
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Re: MN 19. Dvedhāvitakka Sutta

Postby Sher » Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:20 pm

. Practice jhana, monks. Don't be heedless. Don't later fall into regret. This is our message to you."

When the Buddha says "This is our message to you" what does he mean by using the plural possessive? Is he referring to all the Buddhas of the past and all the Buddhas yet to come?

Interestingly, all the questions I had written down upon reading the Nanamoli and Bodhi translation were cleared up for me when I reread this Thanissaro translation. :smile:


PRACT ICE
Notice when the mind is inclining toward negativity. Reflect on the pain that this
tendency brings to yourself and to others. Then, with conscious intention, incline
the mind to more wholesome thoughts of letting go, lovingkindness
or
compassion. What changes do you observe in yourself when you do this?


To me this reminds of the importance of right energy/right view and even the joy one can feel when you naturally have the right energy to to practice day in and day out. To arise in the morning and have the energy to sit, to practice is wonderful; it may not always be this way for one reason or another. You may get ill or not be able to practice or some other surprise may undercut ...I say this from experience, so practice with diligence while you can.

Speaking with a non-Buddhist family member yesterday we were noting how tight and small you feel when you are projecting negative, critical thoughts, and how spacious all seems when you are open, positive, and accepting of others. There's a real psychic difference. The Buddha so aptly points out, I believe, that when one type of the thought dominates in the mind, there is no room for the other type. I hope it is acceptable to make a personal comment when it seems to relate in some way to the sutta, because it seems to me to be beneficial as the teaching needs to have impact and relevance in one's daily life. Sher
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Re: MN 19. Dvedhāvitakka Sutta

Postby Dhammanando » Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:07 pm

Hi Sher,

Sher wrote:When the Buddha says "This is our message to you" what does he mean by using the plural possessive? Is he referring to all the Buddhas of the past and all the Buddhas yet to come?


No. It is an honorific plural, like that used by Queen Elizabeth when delivering formal speeches. In Pali texts kings say 'we', 'us', 'our' etc. when issuing commands and the Buddha does so when speaking in an exhortatory or homiletic mode. When speaking in other modes they will both use the first person singular.

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: MN 19. Dvedhāvitakka Sutta

Postby Sher » Thu Jun 11, 2009 3:02 pm

Dhammanando wrote:Hi Sher,

Sher wrote:When the Buddha says "This is our message to you" what does he mean by using the plural possessive? Is he referring to all the Buddhas of the past and all the Buddhas yet to come?


No. It is an honorific plural, like that used by Queen Elizabeth when delivering formal speeches. In Pali texts kings say 'we', 'us', 'our' etc. when issuing commands and the Buddha does so when speaking in an exhortatory or homiletic mode. When speaking in other modes they will both use the first person singular.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu


Thank you Dhammanando--that's helpful. Sher
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Re: MN 19. Dvedhāvitakka Sutta

Postby Sher » Thu Jun 11, 2009 3:37 pm

Dmytro
Thanks for posting the link to the Ahara Sutta SN 46.51, and at the bottom of that sutta I noted a link to Avarana Sutta AN 5.51--I was able to read both of these today, and as you noted they are complementary to MN 19 Dvedhhāvitakka that we are looking at this week. A helpful connection. Sher
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Re: MN 19. Dvedhāvitakka Sutta

Postby Sher » Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:05 am

Hello:
I sometimes listen to the Sutta Study podcasts from BSWA (Ajahn Brahm) --The sutta we are reading and studying this week has a podcast , and some of you may find listening helpful. I sure did. Here is the link for the podcasts and scroll down to Sutta Study , once you click on the link, you will see a list of all the suttas available.

http://www.bswa.org/modules/mydownloads ... php?cid=28
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