SN 46.54: Metta Sutta

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SN 46.54: Metta Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:53 am

SN 46.54 PTS: S v 115 CDB ii 1607
Metta Sutta: Good Will
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu


How to develop the four brahma-viharas.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

On one occasion the Blessed One was staying among the Koliyans. Now there is a Koliyan town named Haliddavasa. Then, early in the morning, a large number of monks adjusted their under robes and — carrying their bowls & robes — went into Haliddavasana for alms. Then the thought occurred to them, "It's still too early to go for alms in Haliddavasana. 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 — keep pervading the first direction [the east] with an awareness imbued with good will, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth. Thus above, below, & all around, everywhere, in its entirety, keep pervading the all-encompassing cosmos with an awareness imbued with good will — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, without hostility, without ill will.

"'Keep pervading the first direction with an awareness imbued with compassion...

"'Keep pervading the first direction with an awareness imbued with empathetic joy...

"'Keep pervading the first direction with an awareness imbued with equanimity, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth. Thus above, below, & all around, everywhere, in its entirety, keep pervading the all-encompassing cosmos with an awareness imbued with equanimity — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, without hostility, without ill will.'

"Now, friends, we too teach our disciples in this way: 'Come, you friends, — abandoning the five hindrances, the corruptions of awareness that weaken discernment — keep pervading the first direction [the east] with an awareness imbued with good will, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth. Thus above, below, & all around, everywhere, in its entirety, keep pervading the all-encompassing cosmos with an awareness imbued with good will — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, without hostility, without ill will.

"'Keep pervading the first direction with an awareness imbued with compassion...

"'Keep pervading the first direction with an awareness imbued with empathetic joy...

"'Keep pervading the first direction with an awareness imbued with equanimity, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth. Thus above, below, & all around, everywhere, in its entirety, keep pervading the all-encompassing cosmos with an awareness imbued with equanimity — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, without hostility, without ill will.'

"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 Haliddavasana, 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: 'But how, friends, is awareness-release [1] through good will developed, what is its destination, what is its excellence, its fruit, & its consummation? How is awareness-release through compassion developed, what is its destination, what is its excellence, its fruit, & its consummation? How is awareness-release through empathetic joy developed, what is its destination, what is its excellence, its fruit, & its consummation? How is awareness-release through equanimity developed, what is its destination, what is its excellence, its fruit, & its consummation?

"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, 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.

"And how, monks, is awareness-release through good will developed, what is its destination, what is its excellence, its fruit, & its consummation?

"There is the case where a monk develops mindfulness as a factor for awakening accompanied by good will, dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in letting go. He develops analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening... persistence as a factor for awakening... rapture as a factor for awakening... serenity as a factor for awakening... concentration as a factor for awakening... equanimity as a factor for awakening accompanied by good will, dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in letting go. If he wants, he remains percipient of loathsomeness in the presence of what is not loathsome. If he wants, he remains percipient of unloathsomeness in the presence of what is loathsome. If he wants, he remains percipient of loathsomeness in the presence of what is not loathsome & what is. If he wants, he remains percipient of unloathsomeness in the presence of what is loathsome & what is not. If he wants — in the presence of what is loathsome & what is not — cutting himself off from both, he remains equanimous, alert, & mindful. Or he may enter & remain in the beautiful liberation. I tell you, monks, awareness-release through good will has the beautiful as its excellence — in the case of one who has penetrated to no higher release. [2]

"And how is awareness-release through compassion developed, what is its destination, what is its excellence, its fruit, & its consummation?

"There is the case where a monk develops mindfulness as a factor for awakening accompanied by compassion, dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in letting go. He develops analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening... persistence as a factor for awakening... rapture as a factor for awakening... serenity as a factor for awakening... concentration as a factor for awakening... equanimity as a factor for awakening accompanied by compassion, dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in letting go. If he wants, he remains percipient of loathsomeness in the presence of what is not loathsome. If he wants, he remains percipient of unloathsomeness in the presence of what is loathsome. If he wants, he remains percipient of loathsomeness in the presence of what is not loathsome & what is. If he wants, he remains percipient of unloathsomeness in the presence of what is loathsome & what is not. If he wants — in the presence of what is loathsome & what is not — cutting himself off from both, he remains equanimous, alert, & mindful. Or, with the complete transcending of perceptions of [physical] form, with the disappearance of perceptions of resistance, and not heeding perceptions of diversity, (perceiving,) 'Infinite space,' he enters & remains in the sphere of the infinitude of space. I tell you, monks, awareness-release through compassion has the sphere of the infinitude of space as its excellence — in the case of one who has penetrated to no higher release. [3]

"And how is awareness-release through empathetic joy developed, what is its destination, what is its excellence, its fruit, & its consummation?

"There is the case where a monk develops mindfulness as a factor for awakening accompanied by empathetic joy, dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in letting go. He develops analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening... persistence as a factor for awakening... rapture as a factor for awakening... serenity as a factor for awakening... concentration as a factor for awakening... equanimity as a factor for awakening accompanied by empathetic joy, dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in letting go. If he wants, he remains percipient of loathsomeness in the presence of what is not loathsome. If he wants, he remains percipient of unloathsomeness in the presence of what is loathsome. If he wants, he remains percipient of loathsomeness in the presence of what is not loathsome & what is. If he wants, he remains percipient of unloathsomeness in the presence of what is loathsome & what is not. If he wants — in the presence of what is loathsome & what is not — cutting himself off from both, he remains equanimous, alert, & mindful. Or, with the complete transcending of the sphere of the infinitude of space, (perceiving,) 'Infinite consciousness,' he enters & remains in the sphere of the infinitude of consciousness. I tell you, monks, awareness-release through empathetic joy has the sphere of the infinitude of consciousness as its excellence — in the case of one who has penetrated to no higher release.

"And how is awareness-release through equanimity developed, what is its destination, what is its excellence, its fruit, & its consummation?

"There is the case where a monk develops mindfulness as a factor for awakening accompanied by equanimity, dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in letting go. He develops analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening... persistence as a factor for awakening... rapture as a factor for awakening... serenity as a factor for awakening... concentration as a factor for awakening... equanimity as a factor for awakening accompanied by equanimity, dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in letting go. If he wants, he remains percipient of loathsomeness in the presence of what is not loathsome. If he wants, he remains percipient of unloathsomeness in the presence of what is loathsome. If he wants, he remains percipient of loathsomeness in the presence of what is not loathsome & what is. If he wants, he remains percipient of unloathsomeness in the presence of what is loathsome & what is not. If he wants — in the presence of what is loathsome & what is not — cutting himself off from both, he remains equanimous, alert, & mindful. Or, with the complete transcending of the sphere of the infinitude of consciousness, (perceiving,) 'There is nothing,' he enters & remains in the sphere of nothingness. I tell you, monks, awareness-release through equanimity has the sphere of nothingness as its excellence — in the case of one who has penetrated to no higher release."

Notes

1. "Awareness-release" (ceto-vimutti) is a state of mind released from passion. This can either be the temporary release found in concentration (as here) or the arahant's full release from passion. See AN 2.30.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

2. The "beautiful" (subha) is a state of concentration that plays a role equivalent to that of the fourth jhana in leading to the formless jhanas. See MN 137 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html and SN 14.11 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html (also in The Wings to Awakening, passages §163 and §164).

3. AN 4.125, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html when read in conjunction with AN 4.123, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html gives the impression that the development of good will as an immeasurable state can lead only to the first jhana, and that the remaining immeasurable states can lead, respectively, only to the second, third, and fourth jhanas. AN 8.63, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html on the other hand, states that all four immeasurable states can lead all the way to the fourth jhana, without saying that they can go no farther. The difference between AN 4.125 on the one hand, and AN 8.63 and this discourse on the other, apparently lies in how the person practicing these immeasurable states relates to them. In AN 4.125, the person simply enjoys the immeasurable states as a pleasurable abiding. In AN 8.63, the person deliberately uses the states as a basis for developing all the jhanas. Similarly, in this sutta, the person develops these states in conjunction with all the factors for awakening.
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Re: SN 46.54: Metta Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:03 am

SN 46.54 PTS: S v 115 CDB ii 1607
Mettam Sutta: The Brahma-viharas (excerpt)
translated from the Pali by Maurice O'Connell Walshe


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

...

"And how, monks, does a monk cultivate the heart's release by loving-kindness?[1] What is its goal, its excellence, its fruit and its outcome?

"In this case, monks, a monk cultivates the enlightenment-factor of mindfulness accompanied by loving-kindness and similarly the enlightenment-factors of investigation-of-states, energy, rapture, tranquillity, concentration, equanimity, accompanied by loving-kindness which is based on detachment, dispassion, leading to maturity of surrender. If he wishes to dwell perceiving the repulsive in what is not repulsive, he dwells thus perceiving the repulsive. If he wishes to dwell perceiving the unrepulsive in what is repulsive, he dwells thus perceiving the unrepulsive. If he wishes to dwell perceiving the repulsive both in what is repulsive and what is not repulsive, if he wishes to dwell perceiving the unrepulsive in both..., he dwells thus. If he wishes, avoiding both the repulsive and unrepulsive, to dwell equanimous,[2] mindful and clearly aware,[3] he dwells thus, equanimous, mindful and clearly aware, or, attaining the heart's release called 'beautiful'[4] he abides there. I declare that the heart's release by loving-kindness has the beautiful for its excellence. This is the attainment of a wise monk who penetrates to no higher release.[5]

"And how, monks, does a monk cultivate release by compassion? What is its goal, its excellence, its fruit and its outcome?

"In this, monks, a monk cultivates the enlightenment-factors of mindfulness... equanimity accompanied by compassion... [as above]... he dwells thus, equanimous, mindful, clearly aware or, by passing utterly beyond all perception of objects, by the going-down of perceptions of sensory reactions,[6] by disregarding perceptions of diversity, thinking 'space is infinite,' he attains and dwells in the sphere of infinite space.[7] I declare that the heart's release by compassion has the sphere of infinite space for its excellence. This is the attainment of a wise monk who penetrates to no higher release.

"And how, monks, does a monk cultivate the heart's release by sympathetic joy? What is its goal, its excellence, its fruit and its outcome?

"In this, monks, a monk cultivates the enlightenment-factors of mindfulness... equanimity accompanied by sympathetic joy... [as above]... he dwells thus, equanimous, mindful, clearly aware or, by passing utterly beyond the sphere of infinite space, thinking 'consciousness is infinite,' he attains and dwells in the sphere of infinite consciousness.[8] I declare that the heart's release by sympathetic joy has the sphere of infinite consciousness for its excellence. This is the attainment of a wise monk who penetrates to no higher release.

"And how, monks, does a monk cultivate the heart's release by equanimity? What is its goal, its excellence, its fruit and its outcome?

"In this case, monks, a monk cultivates the enlightenment-factors of mindfulness, investigation-of-states, energy, rapture, tranquillity, concentration, equanimity accompanied by equanimity[9] which is based on detachment, dispassion, leading to maturity of surrender. If he wishes to dwell... [as above]... he dwells thus, equanimous, mindful and clearly aware. Or by passing utterly beyond the sphere of infinite consciousness, thinking 'there is nothing,' he attains and dwells in the sphere of nothingness.[10] I declare that the heart's release by equanimity had the sphere of nothingness for its excellence. This is the attainment of a wise monk who penetrates to no higher release."

...

Notes

1. The four Brahma-vihaaras ("divine abidings"), also called the four "boundless (appamañña) states," are: 1. Loving-kindness (mettaa), 2. Compassion (karu.naa), 3. Sympathetic Joy (muditaa), 4. Equanimity (upekkhaa).

2. Upekha, the adjective from upekkhaa. "Equanimous" is a rare word in modern English, but is less misleading than "indifferent." It is used by the Ven. Ñanamoli in The Path of Purification (Visuddhimagga) (Colombo 1956).
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... index.html

3. Sato sampajaano. The old rendering (introduced by T. W. Rhys Davids) "mindful and self-possessed" dies hard, but is far too vague, if not positively misleading. The real meaning of sampajaana is "clearly aware": see BD [Buddhist Dictionary (2nd ed.), by Ven. Nyaa.natiloka, Ven. Nyaa.naponika (ed.) (Colombo 1972)] s v. sampajañña.
http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... %B1%C3%B1a

4. Subha. This is explained in MN 77 http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pit ... yi-e1.html
as being associated with the fourth (lower) jhaana (SN 40.9, n. 2).
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .html#fn-2

5. Cf. VM IX, 76: "If unable to reach higher than the attainment of loving-kindness and attain Arahantship, then when he falls from this life, he reappears in the Brahma world as one who wakes up from sleep."

6. Pa.tigha (here) "resistance" (as of solid objects). Another meaning of this word is "resentment."

7. The first of the higher (formless) jhaanas (SN 40.9, n. 2).
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .html#fn-2

8. The second of the higher (formless) jhaanas.

9. Equanimity (upekkhaa) as an enlightenment-factor (SN 46.53, n. 1 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn46/sn46.053.wlsh.html#fn-1) is here distinguished from equanimity as a Brahma-vihaara (n. 1). The difference lies in the mode of attainment.

10. The third of the higher (formless) jhaanas.
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Re: SN 46.54: Metta Sutta

Postby equilibrium » Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:54 pm

Notice the different words being used by the two readings:
Good will / loving kindness
Compassion
Empathetic joy / smpathetic joy
Equanimity

Good will leads to "beautiful liberation".
Compassion leads to "infinite space".
Smpathetic joy leads to "infinite consciousness".
Equanimity leads to "sphere of nothingness".
These are the excellence.

One cannot "enter and remain" in these excellence without awareness taking place.....ie, a gap cannot be jumped without understanding, once understood and fully comprehended, one can enter and remain.....there is something that links them all.....the target is the destination.

(edit: fruits have been replaced by "excellence" and added "the target is the destination".)
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Re: SN 46.54: Metta Sutta

Postby equilibrium » Wed Oct 17, 2012 11:11 am

keep pervading the first direction [the east] with an awareness imbued with good will, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth. Thus above, below, & all around, everywhere, in its entirety, keep pervading the all-encompassing cosmos with an awareness imbued with good will — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, without hostility, without ill will.

This is also known as the Ten directions.
This is of great importance for anyone who seeks progress.....one cannot advance alone based on personal abilities.

"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, 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.

The most important part is "Monks, don't see anyone in this cosmos".....it is beyond labels.....notice how people are titled "royalty & commonfolk".....no difference.....as they are all the SAME!
Saying and doing are two very different things, anyone can say but only those who understands can "do".
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Re: SN 46.54: Metta Sutta

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:52 pm

Ven Katukurunde Nanananda has just published a book called Metta Ceto Vimutti (liberation of mind by metta). It is a tour-de-force on the subject of metta, looking at every reference in the suttas and contrasting with modern and commentarial practice. Hopefully the English translation will be out soon.

With metta

M
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
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Re: SN 46.54: Metta Sutta

Postby equilibrium » Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:21 pm

Destination.....excellence.....its fruit and its consummation.

"Destination" is where we want to be.....ultimately.
At this level, there is only one aim, the very state we all want to be. Without this, the connection cannot be made hence excellence cannot be released.

"Excellence" is the awareness-released.
Excellence is released through Good-will, Compassion, Empathetic joy and Equanimity, the results of awareness.

"Its fruits and consummation" is the ultimate goal/end/fulfillment.
This is where the fruits of the effort made by comprehension as one is awakened to a higher level.....in fact the ultimate goal.....As ONE!
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Re: SN 46.54: Metta Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:09 am

Thanks Equilibrium and RWB for your thoughts.

Some comments from Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation:

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling among the Koliyans, where there was a town of the Koliyans named Haliddavasana.
    Quoted at Visuddhimagga 324,9-15 (Ppn 9:119), which calls it the Haliddavasana Sutta.

“We too, friends, teach the Dhamma to our disciples thus: ‘Come, friends, abandon the five hindrances … … dwell pervading the entire world with a mind imbued with lovingkindness … compassion ... altruistic joy ... equanimity … without ill will.’ So, friends, what here is the distinction, the disparity, the difference between the ascetic Gotama and us, that is, regarding the one Dhamma teaching and the other, regarding the one manner of instruction and the other?”
    Spk refers back to its comment recorded in the note on SN 46.53 http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=14239#p209832. The other sects, according to Spk, do not have any original teachings on the abandonment of the five hindrances or the development of the divine abodes but plagiarize them from the Buddha.
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Re: SN 46.54: Metta Sutta

Postby equilibrium » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:02 pm

Is this the gap we are talking about?....a leap of faith?
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Re: SN 46.54: Metta Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:07 pm

Hi equilibrium,
equilibrium wrote:Is this the gap we are talking about?....a leap of faith?

I don't understand what you are referring to. Can you elaborate a little?

:anjali:
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Re: SN 46.54: Metta Sutta

Postby equilibrium » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:13 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Hi equilibrium,
equilibrium wrote:Is this the gap we are talking about?....a leap of faith?

I don't understand what you are referring to. Can you elaborate a little?

:anjali:
Mike

2 teachings, exactly the same.....why does one work and the other cannot?.....is this it?
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Re: SN 46.54: Metta Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:18 am

Hi equilibrium,
equilibrium wrote:2 teachings, exactly the same.....why does one work and the other cannot?.....is this it?

You mean the Buddha's teachings and the teachings of other sects? Sorry, I'm still struggling to understand your question.

:anjali:
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Re: SN 46.54: Metta Sutta

Postby equilibrium » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:46 am

You mean the Buddha's teachings and the teachings of other sects?

Yes, according to this sutta (SN 46.54: Metta Sutta), the text are exactly the same between them.....agree?.....if yes, then you post the followings:
mikenz66 wrote:Some comments from Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation:

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling among the Koliyans, where there was a town of the Koliyans named Haliddavasana.
    Quoted at Visuddhimagga 324,9-15 (Ppn 9:119), which calls it the Haliddavasana Sutta.

“We too, friends, teach the Dhamma to our disciples thus: ‘Come, friends, abandon the five hindrances … … dwell pervading the entire world with a mind imbued with lovingkindness … compassion ... altruistic joy ... equanimity … without ill will.’ So, friends, what here is the distinction, the disparity, the difference between the ascetic Gotama and us, that is, regarding the one Dhamma teaching and the other, regarding the one manner of instruction and the other?”
    Spk refers back to its comment recorded in the note on SN 46.53 http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=14239#p209832. The other sects, according to Spk, do not have any original teachings on the abandonment of the five hindrances or the development of the divine abodes but plagiarize them from the Buddha.

And the point of the above is.....?
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Re: SN 46.54: Metta Sutta

Postby daverupa » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:57 am

The first description goes only as far as describing a practice, but not the goal for which the practice is undertaken. Other sects were likely trying to develop their Selves; here, recalling awareness-release as the goal correctly distinguishes the Dhamma, while the factors for awakening are what makes trans-sect brahmavihara practices applicable in a Buddhist context.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: SN 46.54: Metta Sutta

Postby FatDaddy » Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:07 pm

Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!
:goodpost:
Happy, at rest,
may all beings be happy at heart.
Whatever beings there may be,
weak or strong, without exception,
long, large,
middling, short,
subtle, blatant,
seen & unseen,
near & far, born & seeking birth: May all beings be happy at heart.

Let no one deceive another
or despise anyone anywhere,
or through anger or irritation
wish for another to suffer.
— Sn 1.8
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Re: SN 46.54: Metta Sutta

Postby equilibrium » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:34 pm

daverupa wrote:,while the factors for awakening are what makes trans-sect brahmavihara practices applicable in a Buddhist context.

Can you describe in your own words what this means before my full considered response to your post.....especially the "tran-sect brahmavihara practices" bit.
Last edited by equilibrium on Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SN 46.54: Metta Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:49 pm

Hi Equilibrium,

I'm not Dave, but I think what he means is that the practice of the brahmaviharas are not limited to Buddhists. Every (sensible) religion promotes kindness, etc in various ways.
See Tolerance and Diversityby Bhikkhu Bodhi:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ay_24.html
To the extent that a religion proposes sound ethical principles and can promote to some degree the development of wholesome qualities such as love, generosity, detachment and compassion, it will merit in this respect the approbation of Buddhists. These principles advocated by outside religious systems will also conduce to rebirth in the realms of bliss — the heavens and the divine abodes. Buddhism by no means claims to have unique access to these realms, but holds that the paths that lead to them have been articulated, with varying degrees of clarity, in many of the great spiritual traditions of humanity. While the Buddhist will disagree with the belief structures of other religions to the extent that they deviate from the Buddha's Dhamma, he will respect them to the extent that they enjoin virtues and standards of conduct that promote spiritual development and the harmonious integration of human beings with each other and with the world.

So other paths will be conducive to many aspects of the eightfold path. However, the crucial insights into not-self are required for complete liberation:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .ntbb.html
12. "Though certain recluses and brahmans claim to propound the full understanding of all kinds of clinging... they describe the full understanding of clinging to sensual pleasures, clinging to views, and clinging to rules and observances without describing the full understanding of clinging to a doctrine of self. They do not understand one instance... therefore they describe only the full understanding of clinging to sensual pleasures, clinging to views, and clinging to rules and observances without describing the full understanding of clinging to a doctrine of self.

    BB: This passage clearly indicates that the critical differentiating factor of the Buddha's Dhamma is its "full understanding of clinging to a doctrine of self." This means, in effect, that the Buddha alone is able to show how to overcome all views of self by developing penetration into the truth of non-self (anatta).

To get that insight requires development of all the factors of the Buddha's Path...

:anjali:
Mike
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Re: SN 46.54: Metta Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:02 pm

“And how, bhikkhus, is the liberation of the mind by lovingkindness developed? What does it have as its destination, its culmination, its fruit, its final goal? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of mindfulness accompanied by lovingkindness … the enlightenment factor of equanimity accompanied by lovingkindness, based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release.
    BB: This conjunction of the enlightenment factors with the four divine abodes is unusual. On their own momentum the divine abodes lead to rebirth in the brahmā world rather than to Nibbāna. See:
    MN II 82,24-27 http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pit ... va-e1.html
    MN II 207-8 http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pit ... ha-e1.html
    AN II 128-29 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

    When integrated into the structure of the Buddha’s path, however, they can be used to generate concentration of sufficient strength to serve as a basis for insight, which in turn brings enlightenment. A striking instance is at MN I 351,18-352,2.
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
      "Then again, a monk keeps pervading the first direction with an awareness imbued with good will, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth. Thus above, below, & all around, everywhere, in its entirety, he keeps pervading the all-encompassing cosmos with an awareness imbued with good will — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, without hostility, without ill will. He reflects on this and discerns, 'This awareness-release through good will is fabricated & intended. Now whatever is fabricated & intended is inconstant & subject to cessation.' Staying right there, he reaches the ending of the mental fermentations. Or, if not, then — through this very Dhamma-passion, this Dhamma-delight, and from the total wasting away of the first five Fetters — he is due to be reborn [in the Pure Abodes], there to be totally unbound, never again to return from that world.
    Spk: The monk develops the three jhānas based on lovingkindness, then takes this as a basis for developing insight and attains arahantship. The enlightenment factors are developed by insight and the path.

    [And see also: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.126.nymo.html]
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Re: SN 46.54: Metta Sutta

Postby daverupa » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:11 pm

equilibrium wrote:
daverupa wrote:,while the factors for awakening are what makes trans-sect brahmavihara practices applicable in a Buddhist context.

Can you describe in your own words what this means before my full considered respose to your post.....especially the "tran-sect brahmavihara practices" bit.


So, Buddhism arose amongst wanderer sects of various sorts; not really a group of schools, it was something like the Wild West meets the School of Athens. These were the 'sects' which were performing all manner of practices, and of course there were brahmins as well.

In this Sutta, we have a group of these wanderers asking some Buddhists "what's the difference between us" because they've got some practices which seem an awful lot like the Buddhist practices. On the face of it, these practices in and of themselves (brahmaviharas) were apparently not specifically housed in Buddhist doctrine, but were a shared domain (trans-sect), and it is the factors for awakening which are the efficacious teaching here.

Now, the Sutta which comes right before this one (SN 46.53) suggests that even the factors were a shared feature, and that Buddhists were distinguished only by their skill in appropriately developing them.

In both cases, ultimately, the wanderers are depicted as having (access to (some of)) the ingredients, yet lacking the (knowledge of the) correct recipe. As Mike has said, it's a common enough sort of teaching worldwide - and yet arahants are not a common result. So there must be something else going on, which is what these Suttas are discussing, and this is why making reference to the Buddhist goal is important.

{I think all the wanderers lacked the four jhanas, and therefore they could never make the recipe work (jhana, in this increasingly cumbersome analogy, is like an oven which bakes what the recipe has rendered).}
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: SN 46.54: Metta Sutta

Postby equilibrium » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:08 pm

daverupa wrote:In both cases, ultimately, the wanderers are depicted as having (access to (some of)) the ingredients, yet lacking the (knowledge of the) correct recipe. As Mike has said, it's a common enough sort of teaching worldwide - and yet arahants are not a common result. So there must be something else going on, which is what these Suttas are discussing, and this is why making reference to the Buddhist goal is important.

For this sutta to work the person must be at arahant level already, if not, one will not have the necessary "fire" or so called good will, compassion, empathetic joy and equanimity as a source of "fire" so they can be used to generate the so called "excellence" and "the fruits and consummation".

As mentioned already "one is awakened to a higher level" in my previous post.....let me know your thoughts.
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Re: SN 46.54: Metta Sutta

Postby daverupa » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:42 pm

equilibrium wrote:For this sutta to work the person must be at arahant level already, if not, one will not have the necessary "fire"


I don't really understand; the awareness-release here in the Sutta isn't nibbana, it's basically talking around and about jhana.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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