Rahula Sutta

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

Moderator: mikenz66

Rahula Sutta

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Mar 16, 2010 7:17 am

Snp 2.11 PTS: Sn 337-342
Rahula Sutta: Advice to Rahula
(excerpt)
translated from the Pali by
John D. Ireland

"Renouncing the five pleasures of sense that entrance and delight the mind, and in faith departing from home, become one who makes an end of suffering!

"Associate with good friends and choose a remote lodging, secluded, with little noise. Be moderate in eating. Robes, alms-food, remedies and a dwelling — do not have craving for these things; do not be one who returns to the world. [1] Practice restraint according to the Discipline, [2] and control the five sense-faculties.

"Practice mindfulness of the body and continually develop dispassion (towards it). Avoid the sign of the beautiful connected with passion; by meditating on the foul [3] cultivate a mind that is concentrated and collected.

"Meditate on the Signless [4] and get rid of the tendency to conceit. By thoroughly understanding and destroying conceit [5] you will live in the (highest) peace."

In this manner the Lord repeatedly exhorted the Venerable Rahula.


Notes
1.By being dragged back to it again by your craving for these things (Comy).
2.The Vinaya, or disciplinary code of the community of Bhikkhus.
3.The "foul," or asubha-kammatthana, refers to the practice of contemplating a corpse in various stages of decay and the contemplation on the thirty-two parts of the body, as a means of developing detachment from body and dispassion in regard to its beautiful (or, "the sign of the beautiful," subha-nimitta).
4.The Signless (animitta) is one of the three Deliverances (vimokkha) by which beings are liberated from the world. The other two are Desirelessness (appanihita) and Emptiness (sunnata). The Signless is connected with the idea of impermanence of all conditioned things (cf. Visuddhi Magga, XXI 67f).
5.The word "mana" means both conceit and misconceiving.
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
User avatar
jcsuperstar
 
Posts: 1915
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:15 am
Location: alaska

Re: Rahula Sutta

Postby Stephen » Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:05 pm

And...?
The "self", which is a construct of the mind, is non-self. It is not us, and we are not it. This self blinds us to reality; it is our Mara, our Satan, our Hades. Cast it out and behold the path to freedom.
(Visit http://www.BodhiBox.com for a free Buddhist e-mail account, while you're still attached to the 'net...)
Stephen
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:22 pm
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

Re: Rahula Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:38 pm

Stephen wrote:And...?

Hi Stephen,

This section of the Forum is the "Study Group". A Sutta is posted every week and members are encouraged to discuss it.

Now that we're having a meta-discussion, perhaps I could suggest to to jcsuperstar that it would be helpful to put in links to the Sutta texts. Sometimes I look at the posted Sutta and want to look at the neighbouring Suttas, so a link to where to read them would be helpful. Of course, I can easily find them, but it's all about convenience.

Metta
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10131
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Rahula Sutta

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:38 pm

Greetings,

I find this part interesting...

"Practice mindfulness of the body and continually develop dispassion (towards it). Avoid the sign of the beautiful connected with passion; by meditating on the foul [3] cultivate a mind that is concentrated and collected.

"Meditate on the Signless [4] and get rid of the tendency to conceit. By thoroughly understanding and destroying conceit [5] you will live in the (highest) peace."


Associated notes:

3.The "foul," or asubha-kammatthana, refers to the practice of contemplating a corpse in various stages of decay and the contemplation on the thirty-two parts of the body, as a means of developing detachment from body and dispassion in regard to its beautiful (or, "the sign of the beautiful," subha-nimitta).
4.The Signless (animitta) is one of the three Deliverances (vimokkha) by which beings are liberated from the world. The other two are Desirelessness (appanihita) and Emptiness (sunnata). The Signless is connected with the idea of impermanence of all conditioned things (cf. Visuddhi Magga, XXI 67f).
5.The word "mana" means both conceit and misconceiving.


The first paragraph doesn't seem to imply the necessity of any concurrent jhana cultivation.

Does "Meditate on the Signless" imply jhana cultivation, or could it be done outside of jhana simply through sense-restraint and mindfully not engaging with the signs or characterists of the "seen".

Or to use the Buddha's words...

"'In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized.' That is how you should train yourself. When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bahiya, there is no you in connection with that. When there is no you in connection with that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress."

Source: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/nirvanaverb.html

Could we be doing this (either the instructions to Rahula or Bahiya) now, or do we need to be seated with our eyes closed? (Which would in turn raise questions about what is actually "seen")

What do you think?

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14624
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Rahula Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:41 am

Hi Retro,
retrofuturist wrote:Could we be doing this (either the instructions to Rahula or Bahiya) now, or do we need to be seated with our eyes closed? (Which would in turn raise questions about what is actually "seen")

Good point. I think the idea is to be doing it continuously, not just the "formal meditation exercise" part. Besides, since half my "formal meditation exercises" time is walking, it's not all done with eyes closed...

Metta
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10131
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Rahula Sutta

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:18 am

Greetings Mike,

Yes, personally I think you're probably right.

The reason I ask is that once the word nimitta or animitta comes into play, the Visuddhimagga would tend to have you a hair's breadth away from discussions on kasina meditations and the fifth jhana. Which is all fine and well, because I'm sure they provide good conditions in order to follow such instruction, but it would be interesting to know whether they were inherently necessarily, and whether these instructions can still be profitably followed by us here-and-now, in the absence of deep jhana.

Can they be cultivated amidst everyday living? Could you do them walking around the block?

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14624
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Rahula Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:43 am

Hi Retro,
retrofuturist wrote:The reason I ask is that once the word nimitta or animitta comes into play, the Visuddhimagga would tend to have you a hair's breadth away from discussions on kasina meditations and the fifth jhana.

Nimitta just means something like "sign". It's used in a lot of Suttas with no connection with the meditation nimttas,

See Ven Nyanatiloka's discussion here:
http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... tm#nimitta
Nimitta: mark, sign; image; target, object; cause, condition. These meanings are used in, and adapted to, many contexts of which only the doctrinal ones are mentioned here.

1. 'Mental reflex-image', obtained in meditation. In full clarity, it will appear in the mind by successful practice of certain concentration-exercises and will then appear as vividly as if seen by the eye. The object perceived at the very beginning of concentration is called the preparatory image parikamma-nimitta The still unsteady and unclear image, which arises when the mind has reached a weak degree of concentration, is called the acquired image uggaha-nimitta An entirely clear and immovable image arising at a higher degree of concentration is the counter-image patibhāga-nimitta As soon as this image arises, the stage of neighbourhood or access concentration upacāra-samādhi is reached. For further details, see: kasina, samādhi.

2. 'Sign of previous kamma' kamma-nimitta and 'sign of the future destiny' gati-nimitta these arise as mental objects of the last kammic consciousness before death maranāsanna-kamma see: kamma, III, 3.

Usages 1 and 2 are commentarial see: App.. In sutta usage, the term occurs, e.g. as:

3. 'Outward appearance': of one who has sense-control it is said that he does not seize upon the general appearance' of an object na nimittaggāhī M. 38, D. 2; expl. Vis I, 54f; see sīla.

4. 'Object': the six objects, i.e. visual, etc. rūpa-nimitta a href=dic2-abbrev.htm#S. S. XXII, 3. Also, when in explanation of animitta-ceto-vimutti signless deliverance of mind see: ceto-vimutti vimokkha it is said, sabba-nimittānam amanasikārā it refers to the 6 sense-objects Com. to M. 43, and has therefore to be rendered;by paying no attention to any object or object-ideas.; - A pleasant or beautiful object subha-nimitta is a condition to the arising of the hindrance of sense-desire; a 'repellent object' patigha-nimitta for the hindrance of ill-will; contemplation on the impurity of an object asubha-nimitta see: asubha is an antidote to sense-desire.

5. In Pts.M. II, in a repetitive series of terms, nimitta appears together with uppādo origin of existence, pavattam continuity of existence, and may then be rendered by 'condition of existence' see: path, 194f..



Metta
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10131
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Rahula Sutta

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:48 am

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:Nimitta just means something like "sign". It's used in a lot of Suttas with no connection with the meditation nimttas


Yes, I understand and agree.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14624
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia


Return to Study Group

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests