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Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path? - Dhamma Wheel

Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
DorjePhurba
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Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

Postby DorjePhurba » Sat Feb 06, 2010 10:35 pm

I've been listening recently to Joseph Goldstein's talks on the Satipatthana Sutta and I decided to read it. Now, it starts off:

Thus have I heard.

At one time the Blessed One was living in the Kurus, at Kammasadamma, a market-town of the Kuru people.

Then the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus as follows: "This is the only (bold comes from me not the text) way, O bhikkhus, for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation, for the destruction of suffering and grief, for reaching the right path, for the attainment of Nibbana, namely, the Four Arousings of Mindfulness."

Now, there are three translations on accesstoinsight.com. Two have this translation and the other says the direct way. Which one is more accurate? Perhaps one of our helpful bhante's could help?

With metta,
Chris

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appicchato
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Re: Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

Postby appicchato » Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:00 pm

Not as a monk, but just as one who reads (suttas), my interpretation, to answer the topic question is: both...

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Re: Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

Postby Kenshou » Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:07 pm

I always figured that referred more to the necessity of the development of mindfulness in general, and it is a vital component of course, but not that this sutta itself is the only way.

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Modus.Ponens
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Re: Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:29 pm

Hi

Bhikkhu Bodhi, in his "In the Buddha's words", translates this passage as "a one way road" and not as "the only way". He says that in the Vinaya there is the exact same pali words, clearly meaning "a one way road". I would nevertheless like that someone with the refered book to confirm this, please, because I don't have it with me.

This means that someone practicing satipatthana has a fixed destiny: to achieve Nibbana. But it also means that it is possible that satipatthana is not the only way.

Metta
Last edited by Modus.Ponens on Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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Re: Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:54 pm

It is referring to the eightfold path, so both are correct.
but it does depend on the dictionary/understanding of the meaning the translator uses/has.


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Re: Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:04 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Modus.Ponens
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Re: Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:13 am

He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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Re: Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

Postby baratgab » Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:19 am

"Just as in the great ocean there is but one taste — the taste of salt — so in this Doctrine and Discipline there is but one taste — the taste of freedom"

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Re: Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:39 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Ben
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Re: Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

Postby Ben » Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:42 am

Hi baratgab

How is your post relevant to the question posed by the original poster in this thread?
Thanks

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:48 am

And see also Bhante Analayo's book Satipatthana for the meaning of "one way" / "direct path", over an over-zealous "only way". Bhantes Bodhi and Analayo agree, and from the uses of the term elsewhere in the canon, it is obvious that it really can't mean "only way".
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

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Re: Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

Postby appicchato » Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:56 am


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Re: Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

Postby appicchato » Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:59 am


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Re: Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Feb 07, 2010 1:17 am

Hi Ven,
I prefer "only means" personally.
It seams to me, like I said above, the phrase does refer to the Eightfold path, but looking through the suttas there are references to gaining enlightenment by other means such as via the Brahma-viharas, which aren't necessarily outside the scope of the eightfold path.


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Ben
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Re: Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

Postby Ben » Sun Feb 07, 2010 1:47 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Modus.Ponens
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Re: Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sun Feb 07, 2010 2:02 am

Thank you Ben :smile:
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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appicchato
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Re: Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

Postby appicchato » Sun Feb 07, 2010 2:49 am

The closest thing we have to the Buddha's actual words are the suttas, period...all these translations (if you're not happy with a translation, pick one you are, and if you can't decide, learn the language), interpretations, commentaries, and whatever else, are just those...(some) people tend to trump one contemporary (or otherwise) person's version (and the suttas as well) over another, sometimes with a completely different take on what is said in those suttas...if I were asked, I would say read, and reflect, on those suttas, then assemble your own evaluation, interpretation, understanding...you decide...not another...

Okay, end of... :soap:

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Re: Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

Postby zavk » Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:23 am

With metta,
zavk

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Re: Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:19 am

Thanks Ben.

I would have cited it myself, but I'm at home today, and yesterday I gave my copy of Analayo's book to a colleague.
Bodhi, in In the Buddha's Words, also gives reference to Analayo's statement there, if I recall.
He shows clearly that not only could it be "direct" or "one way", but also why it is not "only way".
And in that passage, it clearly and explicitly refers to Satipatthana and not the 8FP.
Elsewhere there are similar but different terms wrt to the 8FP, but that is not the topic of this thread, according to the OP.
Last edited by Paññāsikhara on Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is the Satipatthana Sutta the direct path or the only path?

Postby bodom » Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:49 am

Analayo is the man. :thumbsup:

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


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