Ud 4.4: Juñha Sutta — Moonlit

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Ud 4.4: Juñha Sutta — Moonlit

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:12 am


Ud 4.4 PTS: Ud 39
Juñha Sutta: Moonlit
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu


A cantankerous yakkha hits Ven. Sariputta over the head, and pays the price for his stupidity.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Rājagaha at the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' Sanctuary. And on that occasion Ven. Sāriputta and Ven. Mahā Moggallāna were staying in Pigeon Cave. Then, on a moonlit night, Ven. Sāriputta — his head newly shaven — was sitting in the open air, having attained a certain level of concentration.

And on that occasion two yakkhas who were companions were flying from north to south on some business or other. They saw Ven. Sāriputta — his head newly shaven — sitting in the open air. Seeing him, the first yakkha said to the second, "I'm inspired to give this contemplative a blow on the head."

When this was said, the second yakkha said to the first, "Enough of that, my good friend. Don't lay a hand on the contemplative. He's an outstanding contemplative, of great power & great might."

A second time, the first yakkha said to the second, "I'm inspired to give this contemplative a blow on the head."

A second time, the second yakkha said to the first, "Enough of that, my good friend. Don't lay a hand on the contemplative. He's an outstanding contemplative, of great power & great might."

A third time, the first yakkha said to the second, "I'm inspired to give this contemplative a blow on the head."

A third time, the second yakkha said to the first, "Enough of that, my good friend. Don't lay a hand on the contemplative. He's an outstanding contemplative, of great power & great might."

Then the first yakkha, ignoring the second yakkha, gave Ven. Sāriputta a blow on the head. And with that blow he might have knocked over an elephant seven or eight cubits tall, or split a great rocky crag. But right there the yakkha — yelling, "I'm burning!" — fell into the Great Hell.

Now, Ven. Moggallāna — with his divine eye, pure and surpassing the human — saw the yakkha give Ven. Sāriputta a blow on the head. Seeing this, he went to Ven. Sāriputta and, on arrival, said to him, "I hope you are well, friend Sāriputta. I hope you are comfortable. I hope you are feeling no pain."

"I am well, friend Moggallāna. I am comfortable. But I do have a slight headache."

"How amazing, friend Sāriputta! How astounding! How great your power & might! Just now a yakkha gave you a blow on the head. So great was that blow that he might have knocked over an elephant seven or eight cubits tall, or split a great rocky crag. But all you say is this: 'I am well, friend Moggallāna. I am comfortable. But I do have a slight headache'!"

"How amazing, friend Moggallāna! How astounding! How great your power & might! Where you saw a yakkha just now, I didn't even see a dust devil!"

The Blessed One — with the divine ear-property, pure and surpassing the human — heard those two great beings conversing in this way. Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:


Whose mind, standing like rock,
doesn't shake,
dispassionate for things that spark passion,
unprovoked by things that spark provocation:
When one's mind is developed like this,
from where can there come to him
suffering & stress?[1]


Note

1. A variant of this verse is attributed to Ven. Khitaka at Thag 2.36 (verses 191-192 in the PTS edition):


Whose mind, standing like rock,
doesn't shake,
dispassionate for things that spark passion,
unprovoked by things that spark provocation?
When one's mind is developed like this,
from where can there come to him
suffering & stress?
My mind, standing like rock,
doesn't shake,
dispassionate for things that spark passion,
unprovoked by things that spark provocation.
When my mind is developed like this,
from where can there come to me
suffering & stress?
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Re: Ud 4.4: Juñha Sutta — Moonlit

Postby Sam Vara » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:17 am

"How amazing, friend Moggallāna! How astounding! How great your power & might! Where you saw a yakkha just now, I didn't even see a dust devil!"


It is difficult for a modern reader to see this line as not being ironic. The whole sutta can of course be read "straight", such that some astounding supernatural events are made light of by the victor with the greater supernatural powers. Alternatively, the sutta could be read as meaning that there is no need to invoke the supernatural when one is merely suffering from a headache in a setting occasionally plagued by dust-devils. When things are lit by the moon, they can often inspire fantastic thoughts...
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Re: Ud 4.4: Juñha Sutta — Moonlit

Postby Hanzze » Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:40 am

Never observed somebody going through something difficult, even hurtful still calm? One self touched but the other not touched at all.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Ud 4.4: Juñha Sutta — Moonlit

Postby rowyourboat » Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:21 pm

The 'dust devil' here is a lesser spirit. Ven Sariputta is (counter) complementing Ven Moggallana in this case, by being modest about his own abilities. Often in his dialogues you will see this pattern of behaviour. It is said Ven Sariputta is someone who has thoroughly gotten rid of any form of conceit (Ven Ananada complements him on this, in another sutta). The 'General of the dhamma' is said to go on the alms round like a 'child of the lowest caste, begging with a coconut shell'. Such was his lack of pride despite his immense wisdom and spiritual capabilities.

with metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
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Re: Ud 4.4: Juñha Sutta — Moonlit

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:54 am

From John Ireland's translation:

It happened that the Venerable Sariputta, on a moonlit night, was seated in the open air with his head newly shaved and had attained a certain (stage of) concentration.
JI: The divine abiding (brahmahvihara) of equanimity, according to the Commentary. Some teachers say the attainment of the cessation of feeling and perception (nirodhasamapatti), others the attainment of fruition (phalasamapatti), for only these three are capable of protecting the body.


It is wonderful, friend Moggallana! It is marvellous, friend Moggallana! How great is the supernormal potency and power of the vernarable Mahamoggallana in that he can actually see a yakkha. Now we could not even see a mud sprite.
Pamsupisacakam: Commentary: a small ghost or demon haunting swamps and dunghills. Commentary explains that Sariputta, who had reached the height of attainments and modesty, said this in the sense that he did not see them because, at the time he had not adverted to them, as the word "now" (earahi) suggests.
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Re: Ud 4.4: Juñha Sutta — Moonlit

Postby Sam Vara » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:37 pm

Interesting that Nanavira considers this story to support the view that Venerable Sariputta "had not developed the dibbacakkhu" and was unable to see strange creatures such as yakkhas. This is contrary to Ireland's view that he could see them, but had not on this occasion adverted to them. For Nanavira, the lack of this power is no barrier to wisdom or other useful progress.

The letter is 15th May 1963. Apologies for not locating this on line - if there are yakkhas, then one seems to have taken possession of my computer....
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Re: Ud 4.4: Juñha Sutta — Moonlit

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:16 pm

Thanks Sam,

One might argue that the commentary is pushing a particular view, but it's interesting to hear about the different perspectives on this sutta. I sometimes wonder if some of these suttas are meant to be taken so seriously as to be a basis for arguing tricky doctrinal points, or whether they are a message to not take some things too seriously...

:anjali:
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Re: Ud 4.4: Juñha Sutta — Moonlit

Postby Sam Vara » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:56 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Thanks Sam,

One might argue that the commentary is pushing a particular view, but it's interesting to hear about the different perspectives on this sutta. I sometimes wonder if some of these suttas are meant to be taken so seriously as to be a basis for arguing tricky doctrinal points, or whether they are a message to not take some things too seriously...

:anjali:
Mike


Indeed. The English scholar John Peacock goes so far as to claim that there is some quite broad humour in the canon, most of it studiously missed by serious-minded enthusiasts for the Dhamma...
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Re: Ud 4.4: Juñha Sutta — Moonlit

Postby Hanzze » Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:43 am

Maybe it is just that we mostly tend to grasp the wrong idea (thought) rather then the message which might not be that spectacular in our way of thinking. We love spectacular things even to reject spectacular things if not adoptable/agreeable.

There is enought humor when we take things seriously and I guess there is no need to interprate some homoric intention in the canon. It's just not so wet as we are used to when this "humor" arises.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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