The Sattadhatu Sutta just blew my mind...

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The Sattadhatu Sutta just blew my mind...

Postby mettafuture » Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:58 pm

"Monk, the property of light is discerned in dependence on darkness. The property of beauty is discerned in dependence on the unattractive. The property of the dimension of the infinitude of space is discerned in dependence on form. The property of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness is discerned in dependence on the dimension of the infinitude of space. The property of the dimension of nothingness is discerned in dependence on the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness. The property of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception is discerned in dependence on the dimension of nothingness. The property of the cessation of feeling & perception is discerned in dependence on cessation."
-- Sattadhatu Sutta (SN 14.11)

:jawdrop:

It's absolutely brilliant how simple the sutta starts, establishing that what follows will be a series of comparisons between opposites: light / darkness, beauty / unattractive. And then it takes a nose dive into some of the most profound thoughts I've ever read.

Is this a teaching on dependent origination?
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Re: The Sattadhatu Sutta just blew my mind...

Postby santa100 » Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:24 pm

Ven. Thanissaro's description of SN 14.11 as a way of looking at the stages of concentration practice. You can combine Ven. T's notes on accesstoinsight with Ven. Bodhi's notes below for further clarifications..

At Sāvatthı̄. “Bhikkhus, there are these seven elements. What seven? The light element, the beauty element, the base of the infinity of space element, the base of the infinity of consciousness element, the base of nothingness element, the base of neither-perception-nor-nonperception element, the cessation of perception and feeling element. These are the seven elements.”[231]

When this was said, a certain bhikkhu asked the Blessed One: “Venerable sir, as to the light element ... the cessation of perception and feeling element: in dependence on what are these elements discerned?”

“Bhikkhu, the light element is discerned in dependence on darkness. The beauty element is discerned in dependence on foulness. The base of the infinity of space element is discerned in dependence on form. The base of the infinity of consciousness element is discerned in dependence on the base of the infinity of space. The base of nothingness element is discerned in dependence on the base of the infinity of consciousness. The base of neither-perception-nor-nonperception element is discerned in dependence on the base of nothingness. The cessation of perception and feeling element is discerned in dependence on cessation.”[232]“But, venerable sir, as to the light element ... the cessation of perception and feeling element: how is the attainment of these elements to be attained?”

“The light element, the beauty element, the base of the infinity of space element, the base of the infinity of consciousness element, and the base of nothingness element: these elements are to be attained as attainments with perception. The base of neither-perception-nor-nonperception element: this element is to be attained as an attainment with a residue of formations.[233] The cessation of perception and feeling element: this element is to be attained as an attainment of cessation.”


And notes:

[231] Spk: The light element (ābhādhātu) is a name for the jhāna together with its object, that is, light (āloka) and the jhāna arisen after doing the preparatory work on the light-kasiṇa. The beauty element (subhadhātu) is just the jhāna together with its object, namely, the jhāna arisen on the basis of a beautiful kasiṇa. The others are self-explanatory.

[232] Spk: The light element is discerned in dependence on darkness: for darkness is delimited by (contrasted with) light, and light by darkness. Similarly, foulness is delimited by (contrasted with) beauty, and beauty by foulness. In dependence on form: in dependence on a form-sphere meditative attainment. For when one has a form-sphere attainment one can overcome form or attain the base of the infinity of space. In dependence on cessation (nirodhaṃ paṭicca): in dependence on the reflectively induced nonoccurrence (paṭisaṅkhā-appavatti) of the four (mental) aggregates. For the attainment of cessation is discerned in dependence on the cessation of the aggregates, not on their occurrence. And here it is just the cessation of the four aggregates that should be understood as “the attainment of cessation.”

[233] Spk: An attainment with a residue of formations (saṅkhārā-vasesasamāpatti ): because of a residue of subtle formations. According to Vism 337-38 (Ppn 10:47-54), in this attainment perception and the other mental factors are present merely in a subtle residual mode and thus cannot perform their decisive functions; hence the ambivalence in the name.
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Re: The Sattadhatu Sutta just blew my mind...

Postby mettafuture » Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:17 am

Thanks, santa100.
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