Sn 1.1: Uraga Sutta — The Snake

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Sn 1.1: Uraga Sutta — The Snake

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:56 am

Snp 1.1 PTS: vv. 1-17
Uraga Sutta: The Serpent
translated from the Pali by
Nyanaponika Thera

He who can curb his wrath
as soon as it arises,
as a timely antidote will check
snake's venom that so quickly spreads,
— such a monk gives up the here and the beyond,
just as a serpent sheds its worn-out skin.

He who entirely cuts off his lust
as entering a pond one uproots lotus plants,
— such a monk gives up the here and the beyond,
just as a serpent sheds its worn-out skin.

He who entirely cuts off his craving
by drying up its fierce and rapid flow,
— such a monk gives up the here and the beyond,
just as a serpent sheds its worn-out skin.

He who entirely blots out conceit
as the wind demolishes a fragile bamboo bridge,
— such a monk gives up the here and the beyond,
just as a serpent sheds its worn-out skin.

He who does not find core or substance
in any of the realms of being,
like flowers which are vainly sought
in fig trees that bear none,
— such a monk gives up the here and the beyond,
just as a serpent sheds its worn-out skin.

He who bears no grudges in his heart,
transcending all this "thus" and "otherwise,"
— such a monk gives up the here and the beyond,
just as a serpent sheds its worn-out skin.

He who has burned out his evil thoughts,
entirely cut them off within his heart,
— such a monk gives up the here and the beyond, just as the
serpent sheds its worn-out skin.

He who neither goes too far nor lags behind,
entirely transcending the diffuseness of the world,
— such a monk gives up the here and the beyond,
just as a serpent sheds its worn-out skin.

He who neither goes too far nor lags behind
and knows about the world: "This is all unreal,"
— such a monk gives up the here and the beyond,
just as a serpent sheds its worn-out skin.

He who neither goes too far nor lags behind,
greedless he knows: "This is all unreal,"
— such a monk gives up the here and the beyond,
just as a serpent sheds its worn-out skin.

He who neither goes too far nor lags behind,
lust-free he knows: "This is all unreal,"
— such a monk gives up the here and the beyond,
just as a serpent sheds its worn-out skin.

He who neither goes too far nor lags behind,
hate-free he knows: "This is all unreal,"
— such a monk gives up the here and the beyond,
just as a serpent sheds its worn-out skin.

He who neither goes too far nor lags behind,
delusion-free he knows: "This is all unreal,"
— such a monk gives up the here and the beyond,
just as a serpent sheds its worn-out skin.

He who has no dormant tendencies whatever,
whose unwholesome roots have been expunged,
— such a monk gives up the here and the beyond,
just as a serpent sheds its worn-out skin.

States born of anxiety he harbors none
which may condition his return to earth,
— such a monk gives up the here and the beyond,
just as a serpent sheds its worn-out skin.

States born of attachment he harbors none
which cause his bondage to existence,
— such a monk gives up the here and the beyond,
just as a serpent sheds its worn-out skin.

He who has the five hindrances discarded,
doubt-free and serene, and free of inner barbs,
— such a monk gives up the here and the beyond,
just as a serpent sheds its worn-out skin.
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: Sn 1.1: Uraga Sutta — The Snake

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:58 am

Alternate translation
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Translator's note: A comparative study among the records of various early Buddhist schools suggests that the verses here, like those in I.3, were originally separate poems, spoken on separate occasions, and that they have been gathered together because they share the same refrain.

The monk who subdues his arisen anger
as, with herbs, snake-venom once it has spread,
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin.

The monk who has cut off passion
without leaving a trace,
as he would plunging into a lake, a lotus,
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin.

The monk who has cut off craving
without leaving a trace,
as if he had dried up a swift-flowing stream,
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin.

The monk who has demolished conceit
without leaving a trace,
as a great flood, a very weak bridge made of reeds,
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin.

The monk seeing
in states of becoming
no essence,
as he would,
when surveying a fig tree,
no flowers,
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin.

The monk with no inner anger,
who has thus gone beyond
becoming & not-,
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin.

The monk whose discursive thoughts are dispersed,
well-dealt with inside
without leaving a trace,
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin.

The monk who hasn't slipped past or turned back,
transcending all
this complication,
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin.

The monk who hasn't slipped past or turned back,
knowing with regard to the world
that "All this is unreal,"
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin.

The monk who hasn't slipped past or turned back,
without greed, as "All this is unreal,"
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin.

The monk who hasn't slipped past or turned back,
without aversion, as "All this is unreal,"
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin.

The monk who hasn't slipped past or turned back,
without delusion, as "All this is unreal,"
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin.

The monk in whom there are no obsessions
— the roots of unskillfulness totally destroyed —
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin.

The monk in whom there's nothing born of distress
that would lead him back to this shore,
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin.

The monk in whom there's nothing born of desire
that would keep him bound to becoming,
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin.

The monk who's abandoned five hindrances,
who, untroubled, unwounded,
has crossed over doubt,
sloughs off the near shore & far —
as a snake, its decrepit old skin
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: Sn 1.1: Uraga Sutta — The Snake

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:24 am

Greetings,

An interesting thought from Venerable Nanananda in his Nibbana Sermon #5... (emphasis mine)

We could perhaps say that such a monk neither amasses or accumulates, nor diminishes. Since he is already diminished, presumably as regards the five aggregates, he neither abandons nor grasps anew. Since the giving up is complete, he neither binds together or enlists (note the word sena, army), nor disbands. Disbanding (if not ‘disarmament’), being complete, there is neither exorcizing or smoking out, nor proficiating or inviting. The coupling of these terms and their peculiar employment is suggestive of the arahant’s freedom from the dichotomy.

In the Brāhmaõavagga of the Dhammapada too, we come across a similar enigmatic verse:

Yassa pāraü apāraü vā,
pārāpāraü na vijjati,
vītaddaraü visaüyuttaü,
tam ahaü brūmi brāhmaõaü.cxliv[14]
"For whom there is neither a farther shore,
Nor a hither shore, nor both,
Who is undistressed and unfettered,
Him I call a Brahmin."

In this context the word brāhmaõa refers to the arahant. Here too, it is said that the arahant has neither a farther shore, nor a hither shore, nor both. This might sometimes appear as a problem. Our usual concept of an arahant is of one who has crossed over the ocean of saüsāra and is standing on the other shore. But here is something enigmatic.

We come across a similar sutta in the Sutta Nipāta also, namely its very first, the Uragasutta. The extraordinary feature of this sutta is the recurrence of the same refrain throughout its seventeen verses. The refrain is:

So bhikkhu jahāti orapāraü,
urago jiõõamiva tacaü purāõaü.cxlv[15]
"That monk forsakes the hither and the tither,
Like a snake its slough that doth wither".

This simile of the slough, or the worn-out skin of the snake, is highly significant. To quote one instance:
Yo nājjhagamā bhavesu sāraü,
vicinaü pupphamiva udumbaresu,
so bhikkhu jahāti orapāraü,
urago jiõõamiva tacaü purāõaü.cxlvi[16]

"That monk who sees no essence in existence,
Like one seeking flowers in Udumbara trees,
Will give up the hither as well as the thither,
Like the snake its slough that doth wither".

The arahant has abandoned his attachment to existence. As such, he is free from the bondage of those conjoined terms in worldly usage. So the arahant looks at the worldly usage in the same way as a snake would turn back and look at the worn-out skin he has sloughed off. Sometimes we see a snake moving about with a remnant of its slough hanging on. We might even think that the snake is carrying its slough around. It is the same in the case of the arahants.


Thus, in general, I think this sutta is about seeing the duality between existence and non-existence, such as that detailed in SN 12.15.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Sn 1.1: Uraga Sutta — The Snake

Postby BlackBird » Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:17 am

"He who neither goes too far nor lags behinds."

Is this a reference to the middle way?

Ven. Thanissaro's version of this line further perplexes me.

Do we have the pali text?

:anjali:
Last edited by BlackBird on Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Sn 1.1: Uraga Sutta — The Snake

Postby Waterearth » Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:07 am

Such a person would have to feel really well all the time. He/she would be without inner conflicts and at peace with him/herself.
I do recognise the qualities described within myself but i can't say that i can manifest them all the time or always perfectly.
So i guess there is still work to be done!
When the mind only minds the mind,
reality stands alone and shines,
this is wisdom in action,
its expression is compassion...
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Re: Sn 1.1: Uraga Sutta — The Snake

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:07 pm

Ven nananda is an amazing monastic. His insight and knowledge is incomparable. The nibbana sermons are a true gift to humanity from someone leaving it behind. I hope we are fortunate enough to see it's true value.
With Metta

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Mudita
& Upekkha
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Re: Sn 1.1: Uraga Sutta — The Snake

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:27 pm

Greetings RYB,

I agree whole-heartedly. It is good that his Nibbana Sermons are now available online in English, but also rather unfortunate that they have seemingly not been published in book form, because they deserve to be!

Given that I prefer reading off paper so that I can read on public transport, I had to resort to printing them out, hole punching them, and putting them in a ring-binder. Even now if they were printed properly in book form, I wouldn't hesitate to purchase them. They are truly excellent, and venerable Nanananda's teachings are a shining beacon of light.

:reading:

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Sn 1.1: Uraga Sutta — The Snake

Postby BlackBird » Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:07 am

Hi RYB, Retro.

I thought about making a similar point on several occasions. In any case, you have said all that I wanted to say anyway, so I'll leave it at: I concur wholeheartedly.

:anjali:
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Sn 1.1: Uraga Sutta — The Snake

Postby Ben » Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:38 am

This would have to rate as one of my favourite suttas.
Though I would have to say I prefer Nyanaponika Thera's rendering than Ven Thanissaro's.
metta

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in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: Sn 1.1: Uraga Sutta — The Snake

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:40 am

Greetings Ben,

Ben wrote:I prefer Nyanaponika Thera's rendering than Ven Thanissaro's.


Likewise, in this instance.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Sn 1.1: Uraga Sutta — The Snake

Postby 8fold » Thu Nov 12, 2009 3:35 am

...perhaps a monk can live such a life.

Can a lay person who has to earn a living live such a life?
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Re: Sn 1.1: Uraga Sutta — The Snake

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Nov 12, 2009 3:47 am

Greetings 8fold,

8fold wrote:Can a lay person who has to earn a living live such a life?


A lay person can attain aryan nobility, which puts them in the stream towards such enlightenment.

Whether they can achieve arahantship as a lay person is a matter of debate. I think the only thing necessarily preventing it, is the engagement in 'wordly' activities, which are conducive to and may even necessitate a degree of 'worldly engagement'.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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