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SN 46.53: Aggi Sutta — Fire - Dhamma Wheel

SN 46.53: Aggi Sutta — Fire

Each week we study and discuss a different sutta or Dhamma text

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SN 46.53: Aggi Sutta — Fire

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:04 am

SN 46.53 PTS: S v 112 CDB ii 1605
Aggi Sutta: Fire
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu


The right and wrong ways to respond to sluggishness or restlessness.

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



On one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Then, early in the morning, a large number of monks adjusted their under robes and — carrying their bowls & robes — went into Savatthi for alms. Then the thought occurred to them, "It's still too early to go for alms in Savatthi. Why don't we go to the park of the wanderers of other sects?"

So the monks went to the park of the wanderers of other sects. On arrival, they exchanged courteous greetings with the wanderers of other sects. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, they sat to one side.

As they were sitting there, the wanderers of other sects said to them, "Friends, Gotama the contemplative teaches the Dhamma to his disciples in this way: 'Come, monks — abandoning the five hindrances, the corruptions of awareness that weaken discernment — develop the seven factors for awakening as they have come to be.'

"Now, friends, we too teach our disciples in this way: 'Come, you friends, — abandoning the five hindrances, the corruptions of awareness that weaken discernment — develop the seven factors for awakening as they have come to be.'

"So, friends, what difference, what distinction, what distinguishing factor is there here between Gotama the contemplative and us, when comparing Dhamma teaching with Dhamma teaching, instruction with instruction?"

Then the monks neither delighted in the words of the wanderers of other sects, nor did they reject them. Without delighting or rejecting, they got up from their seats and left, (thinking,) "We will learn the meaning of these words in the presence of the Blessed One."

So, having gone for alms in Savatthi, after the meal, returning from their alms round, the monks went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there they [told him what had happened.]

"Monks, when wanderers of other sects speak in that way, they should be addressed in this way: 'Friends, on any occasion when the mind is sluggish, which of the factors of awakening is that the wrong time to develop? Which of the factors of awakening is that the right time to develop? And on any occasion when the mind is restless, which of the factors of awakening is that the wrong time to develop? Which of the factors of awakening is that the right time to develop?'

"Being asked in this way, the wanderers of other sects will be unable to respond and, on top of that, will fall into vexation. Why is that? Because it lies beyond their range. Monks, I don't see anyone in this cosmos — with its devas, Maras, and Brahmas, with its people with their contemplatives & brahmans, their royalty & commonfolk — who would satisfy the mind with their answer to these questions, aside from the Tathagata, a disciple of the Tathagata, or one who had heard it from them.

"Now, monks, on any occasion when the mind is sluggish, that is the wrong time to develop calm as a factor for awakening, concentration as a factor for awakening, equanimity as a factor for awakening. Why is that? The sluggish mind is hard to raise up by those mental qualities. Just as if a man, wanting to make a small fire blaze up, were to place wet grass in it, wet cow dung, & wet sticks; were to give it a spray of water and smother it with dust. Is it possible that he would make the small fire blaze up?"

"No, lord."

"In the same way, monks, on any occasion the mind is sluggish, that is the wrong time to develop calm as a factor for awakening, concentration as a factor for awakening, equanimity as a factor for awakening. Why is that? The sluggish mind is hard to raise up by those mental qualities.

"Now, on any occasion when the mind is sluggish, that is the right time to develop analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening, persistence as a factor for awakening, rapture as a factor for awakening. Why is that? The sluggish mind is easy to raise up by those mental qualities. Just as if a man, wanting to make a small fire blaze up, were to place dry grass in it, dry cow dung, & dry sticks; were to blow on it with his mouth and not smother it with dust. Is it possible that he would make the small fire blaze up?

"Yes, lord.

"In the same way, monks, on any occasion when the mind is sluggish, that is the right time to develop analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening, persistence as a factor for awakening, rapture as a factor for awakening. Why is that? The sluggish mind is easy to raise up by those mental qualities.

"Now, on any occasion when the mind is restless, that is the wrong time to develop analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening, persistence as a factor for awakening, rapture as a factor for awakening. Why is that? The restless mind is hard to still with those mental qualities. Just as if a man, wanting to put out a large fire, were to place dry grass in it, dry cow dung, & dry sticks; were to blow on it with his mouth and not smother it with dust. Is it possible that he would put it out?"

"No, lord."

"In the same way, monks, on any occasion when the mind is restless, that is the wrong time to develop analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening, persistence as a factor for awakening, rapture as a factor for awakening. Why is that? The restless mind is hard to still with those mental qualities.

"Now, on occasions when the mind is restless, that is the right time to develop calm as a factor for awakening, concentration as a factor for awakening, equanimity as a factor for awakening. Why is that? The restless mind is easy to still with those mental qualities. Just as if a man, wanting to put out a large fire, were to place wet grass in it, wet cow dung, & wet sticks; were to give it a spray of water and smother it with dust. Is it possible that he would put it out?"

"Yes, lord."

"In the same way, monks, when the mind is restless, that is the right time to develop calm as a factor for awakening, concentration as a factor for awakening, equanimity as a factor for awakening. Why is that? The restless mind is easy to still with those mental qualities.

"As for mindfulness, I tell you, that serves every purpose."

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Re: SN 46.53: Aggi Sutta — Fire

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:07 am

SN 46.53 PTS: S v 112 CDB ii 1605
Aggi Sutta: Fire
(excerpt)
Right and Wrong Times
translated from the Pali by Maurice O'Connell Walshe





"At such times, monks, as the mind is sluggish, that is the wrong time to cultivate the enlightenment-factor[1] of tranquillity, the enlightenment-factor of concentration, the enlightenment-factor of equanimity. What is the reason? A sluggish mind is hard to arouse by these factors.

"Suppose a man wants to make a small fire blaze. If he heaps wet grass, wet cow-dung and wet sticks on it, if he exposes it to wind and rain and sprinkles it with dust, can he make that small fire blaze?"

"No indeed, Lord."

"Just so, when the mind is sluggish it is the wrong time to cultivate the enlightenment-factors of tranquillity, concentration and equanimity, because a sluggish mind is hard to arouse through these factors.

"But, monks, when the mind is sluggish, that is the right time to cultivate the enlightenment-factor of investigation-of-states, the enlightenment-factor of energy, the enlightenment-factor of rapture.[2] What is the reason? A sluggish mind is easy to arouse by these factors.

"Suppose a man wants to make a small fire blaze. If he heaps dry grass, dry cow-dung and dry sticks on it, blows on it with his mouth, and does not sprinkle it with dust, can he make that fire blaze?"

"Yes indeed, Lord."

"... a sluggish mind is easy to arouse through these factors.

"Monks, when the mind is agitated,[3] that is the wrong time to cultivate the enlightenment-factors of investigation-of-states, of energy, of rapture. Why? An agitated mind is hard to calm through these factors.

"Suppose a man wants to put a big fire out. If he heaps dry cow-dung and dry sticks on it, blow on it with his mouth, and does not sprinkle it with dust, can he put that fire out?"

"No indeed, Lord."

"... an agitated mind is not easy to calm through these factors.

"When the mind is agitated, that is the right time to cultivate the enlightenment-factors of tranquillity, concentration, equanimity. Why? Because an agitated mind is easy to calm[4] through these factors.

"Suppose a man wants to put out a big fire. If he heaps wet grass, wet cow-dung, wet sticks on it and if he exposes it to wind and rain, if he sprinkles it with dust, can he put that big fire out?"

"Yes indeed, Lord."

"Just so, monks, when the mind is agitated, that is the right time to cultivate the enlightenment-factors of tranquillity, concentration, equanimity. An agitated mind is easy to calm through these factors.

"But as for mindfulness, monks, I declare that it is always useful."


Notes

1. Bojjhanga (=bodhi-anga, lit. "limb of enlightenment") or sambojjhanga. The seven bojjhangas are so called (SN 46.5) "because they lead to enlightenment" (bodhi). They are: 1. Mindfulness (sati-sambojjangha), 2. Investigation of (Mental and Physical) States (dhamma-vicaya-s.), 3. Energy (viriya-s.), 4. Rapture (piiti-s.), 5. Tranquillity (passaddhi-s.), 6. Concentration (samaadhi-s.), 7. Equanimity (upekkhaa-s.). The text makes it clear that of these the first, mindfulness, is the most important, since it is valuable in all circumstances, whereas the others are not always appropriate.

2. Piiti: see SN 12.23, n. 4. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .html#fn-4

3. Uddhata.m: not "elated" as translated by Woodward.

4. Woodward has here, by an oversight, "is easily raised up." Below, he has correctly "is easily calmed."

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Re: SN 46.53: Aggi Sutta — Fire

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:09 am


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Re: SN 46.53: Aggi Sutta — Fire

Postby Sam Vara » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:11 am


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Re: SN 46.53: Aggi Sutta — Fire

Postby Sam Vara » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:28 am


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Re: SN 46.53: Aggi Sutta — Fire

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:57 am


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Re: SN 46.53: Aggi Sutta — Fire

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:26 am


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Re: SN 46.53: Aggi Sutta — Fire

Postby Sam Vara » Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:33 am


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Re: SN 46.53: Aggi Sutta — Fire

Postby Sam Vara » Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:42 am


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Re: SN 46.53: Aggi Sutta — Fire

Postby Mal » Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:39 am

Doesn't concentration lead to Jhana, which includes rapture, an energising factor, as well as calm & equanimity, the calming factors?

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Re: SN 46.53: Aggi Sutta — Fire

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:44 pm


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Re: SN 46.53: Aggi Sutta — Fire

Postby Mal » Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:35 pm


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Re: SN 46.53: Aggi Sutta — Fire

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:11 pm



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