Salla Sutta

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Salla Sutta

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:03 am

Snp 3.8 PTS: Sn 574-593
Salla Sutta: The Arrow
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Without sign,
unknown
— the life here of mortals —
difficult,
short,
tied up with pain.
For there's no way
by which those who are born
will not die.
Beings are subject
to death
even when they attain
old age.

Like ripe fruits
whose downfall, whose danger
is falling,
so for mortals, once born,
the constant danger
is death.

As a potter's clay vessels
large & small
fired & unfired
all end up broken,
so too life
heads to death.
Young & old
wise & foolish
rich & poor:
all
come under the sway of death,
all
have death as their end.

For those overcome by death,
gone to the other world,
father cannot shelter son,
nor relatives a relative.
See: even while relatives are looking on,
wailing heavily,
mortals are
one
by
one
led away
like cows to the slaughter.

In this way is the world afflicted
with aging & death,
and so the enlightened don't grieve,
knowing the way of the world.

"You don't know the path
of his coming or going:
seeing neither end,
you lament in vain."

If, by lamenting,
— confused,
harming yourself —
any use could be gained
the prudent would do it as well.
But not by weeping & grief
do you gain peace of awareness.
Pain
arises all the more. Your body
is harmed.
You grow thin,
pale,
harming yourself
by yourself.
Not in that way
are the dead protected.
Lamentation's in vain.

Not abandoning grief, a person
suffers all the more pain.
Bewailing one whose time is done,
you fall under the sway of grief.

Look at others
going along,
people arriving
in line with their actions:
falling under the sway of death,
beings simply
shivering here.

For however they imagine it,
it always turns out
other than that.
That's the type of (their) separation.
See the way of the world.

Even if a person lives a century
— or more —
he's parted
from his community of relatives,
he abandons his life
right here.

So, having heard the arahant,
subduing lamentation,
seeing the dead one whose time is done,
[think,] "I can't fetch him back." 1
Just as one would put out
a burning refuge
with water,
so does the enlightened one —
discerning,
skillful,
& wise —
blow away any arisen grief,
like the wind, a bit of cotton fluff.

Seeking your own happiness,
you should pull out your own arrow:
your own lamentation,
longing,
& sorrow. 2
With arrow pulled out,
independent,
attaining peace of awareness,
all grief transcended,
griefless you are
unbound.




Notes

1.
These lines can also be translated as follows:

So, having heard the arahant,
subdue lamentation,
seeing the dead one whose time is done,
[and thinking,] "I can't fetch him back."


2.
These lines can also be translated as follows:

Just as one would put out
a burning refuge
with water,
so does the enlightened one —
discerning,
skillful,
& wise —
blow away any arisen grief,
his own lamentation, longing, & sorrow,
like the wind, a bit of cotton fluff.

Seeking your own happiness,
you should pull out your own arrow.

:buddha2:

Salla Sutta: The Arrow
translated from the Pali by
John D. Ireland
"Unindicated and unknown is the length of life of those subject to death. Life is difficult and brief and bound up with suffering. There is no means by which those who are born will not die. Having reached old age, there is death. This is the natural course for a living being. With ripe fruits there is the constant danger that they will fall. In the same way, for those born and subject to death, there is always the fear of dying. Just as the pots made by a potter all end by being broken, so death is (the breaking up) of life.

"The young and old, the foolish and the wise, all are stopped short by the power of death, all finally end in death. Of those overcome by death and passing to another world, a father cannot hold back his son, nor relatives a relation. See! While the relatives are looking on and weeping, one by one each mortal is led away like an ox to slaughter.

"In this manner the world is afflicted by death and decay. But the wise do not grieve, having realized the nature of the world. You do not know the path by which they came or departed. Not seeing either end you lament in vain. If any benefit is gained by lamenting, the wise would do it. Only a fool would harm himself. Yet through weeping and sorrowing the mind does not become calm, but still more suffering is produced, the body is harmed and one becomes lean and pale, one merely hurts oneself. One cannot protect a departed one (peta) by that means. To grieve is in vain.

"By not abandoning sorrow a being simply undergoes more suffering. Bewailing the dead he comes under the sway of sorrow. See other men faring according to their deeds! Hence beings tremble here with fear when they come into the power of death. Whatever they imagine, it (turns out) quite different from that. This is the sort of disappointment that exists. Look at the nature of the world! If a man lives for a hundred years, or even more, finally, he is separated from his circle of relatives and gives up his life in the end. Therefore, having listened to the arahant,1 one should give up lamenting. Seeing a dead body, one should know, "He will not be met by me again." As the fire in a burning house is extinguished with water, so a wise, discriminating, learned and sensible man should quickly drive away the sorrow that arises, as the wind (blows off) a piece of cotton. He who seeks happiness should withdraw the arrow: his own lamentations, longings and grief.

"With the arrow withdrawn, unattached, he would attain to peace of mind; and when all sorrow has been transcended he is sorrow-free and has realized Nibbana.



Note

1.
The Perfect One, i.e., the Buddha.
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: Salla Sutta

Postby Freawaru » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:24 am

jcsuperstar wrote:Snp 3.8 PTS: Sn 574-593
Salla Sutta: The Arrow
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
For those overcome by death,
gone to the other world,


I am confused. What exactly is the "other world" ? I thought in Theravada rebirth was instantaneous, no Bardo (intermediate state) like in Tibetan Buddhism.
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Re: Salla Sutta

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:41 am

Greetings Freawaru,

I'm not sure how you come to the conclusion that "other world" must mean "intermediate world"?

All it means is not-this-world. Only when you conceive of a this-ness, can there be other-ness.

As for the sutta itself, this is one of my favourites - I prefer the Ireland translation. I've said it before, but if there was ever a sutta worth reading at a Buddhist funeral service, it would be this one.

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: Salla Sutta

Postby Freawaru » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:06 pm

Hi retro,

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Freawaru,

I'm not sure how you come to the conclusion that "other world" must mean "intermediate world"?


What else could it be? If "other world" would refer to another loka such as hell or deva world the phrase would be a plural "other worlds". It also cannot refer to Nibbana cause Nibbana is not a "world". Where do we go when overcome by death but not yet reborn ?

For those overcome by death,
gone to the other world,


As for the sutta itself, this is one of my favourites - I prefer the Ireland translation. I've said it before, but if there was ever a sutta worth reading at a Buddhist funeral service, it would be this one.


I like it, too. :smile:
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Re: Salla Sutta

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:47 pm

Freawaru wrote:Hi retro,

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Freawaru,

I'm not sure how you come to the conclusion that "other world" must mean "intermediate world"?


What else could it be? If "other world" would refer to another loka such as hell or deva world the phrase would be a plural "other worlds". It also cannot refer to Nibbana cause Nibbana is not a "world". Where do we go when overcome by death but not yet reborn ?

:

the other translation says
Of those overcome by death and passing to another world
is that more helpful?
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: Salla Sutta

Postby Tex » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:24 pm

One of my favorite suttas as well.

:buddha1:
"The serene and peaceful mind is the true epitome of human achievement."-- Ajahn Chah, Living Dhamma

"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi
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Re: Salla Sutta

Postby Freawaru » Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:46 am

Hi jcsuperstar,

jcsuperstar wrote:
the other translation says
Of those overcome by death and passing to another world
is that more helpful?


Yes. "passing to another world" could mean anything. Thank you for alerting me to the difference in translation :smile:

Still, the Buddha should have used the phrase "reborn into another world (loka)" if he wanted to be precise and clear. (pout)
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Re: Salla Sutta

Postby ReadyFeet » Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:09 pm

Still relatively new to Buddhism. What a beautiful and poignant Sutta.
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Re: Salla Sutta

Postby jcsuperstar » Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:53 pm

Freawaru wrote:Hi jcsuperstar,

jcsuperstar wrote:
the other translation says
Of those overcome by death and passing to another world
is that more helpful?


Yes. "passing to another world" could mean anything. Thank you for alerting me to the difference in translation :smile:

Still, the Buddha should have used the phrase "reborn into another world (loka)" if he wanted to be precise and clear. (pout)

well he didnt use english so these are what the translators thought sounded/read best i guess?
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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