Snp 5.2 Tissa-metteyya-manava-puccha

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Snp 5.2 Tissa-metteyya-manava-puccha

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:28 am

Snp 5.2 Tissa-metteyya-manava-puccha: Tissa-metteyya's Questions
Sn 1040-1042

translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

[Tissa-metteyya:]
Who here in the world is contented?
Who has no agitations?
What thinker knowing both sides,
doesn't adhere in between?
Whom do you call a great person?
Who here has gone past the seamstress:
craving.

[The Buddha:]
He who in the midst of sensualities,
follows the holy life,
always mindful, craving-free;
the monk who is
— through fathoming things —
Unbound:
he has no agitations.
He, the thinker knowing both sides,
doesn't adhere in between.
He I call a great person.
He here has gone past the seamstress:
craving.

Note

AN 6.61 reports a discussion among several elder monks as to what is meant in this poem by "both sides" and "in between." Six of the elders express the following separate opinions:

* Contact is the first side, the origination of contact the second side, and the cessation of contact is in between.
* The past is the first side, the future the second, and the present is in between.
* Pleasant feeling is the first side, painful feeling the second, and neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling is in between.
* Name (mental phenomena) is the first side, form (physical phenomena) the second, and consciousness is in between.
* The six external sense media (sights, sounds, aromas, flavors, tactile sensations, ideas) are the first side, the six internal sense media (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, intellect) the second side, and consciousness is in between.
* Self-identity is the first side, the origination of self-identity the second, and the cessation of self-identity is in between.

The issue is then taken to the Buddha, who states that all six interpretations are well-spoken, but the interpretation he had in mind when speaking the poem was the first.
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AN 6.61 Majjhesuttam -In the middle

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:32 am

AN 6.61 Majjhesuttam -In the middle.

At one time The Blessed One was living in the deer park in Isipatana in Benares. At that time many elder bhikkhus after the meal and returning from the alms round were seated and conversing in the circular hall about this answer given by The Blessed One to Metteyya's question in the Parayana Vagga:

`He who knows both ends and has no secret plans in the middle,

Is a Great Man. He has gone beyond the seamstress.'

Friends, what is one end, what is the second end, what is the middle and who is the seamstress?

When this was said a certain bhikkhu said to the elder bhikkhus.

Friends, contact is one end, the arising of contact is the second end, the cessation of contact is the middle. Craving is the seamstress. Craving weaves for him to be reborn here and there. Friends, with this much the bhikkhu thoroughly knows what should be thoroughly known and experiencing what should be experienced here and now makes an end of unpleasantness.

When this was said a certain bhikkhu said to the elder bhikkhus.

Friends, the past is one end, the future is the second end, the present is the middle. Craving is the seamstress. Craving weaves for him to be reborn here and there. Friends, with this much the bhikkhu thoroughly knows what should be thoroughly known and experiencing what should be experienced, here and now makes an end of unpleasantness.

When this was said a certain bhikkhu said to the elder bhikkhus.

Friends, pleasant feeling is one end, unpleasant feeling is the second end, neither unpleasant nor pleasant feeling is the middle. Craving is the seamstress. Craving weaves for him to be reborn here and there. Friends, with this much the bhikkhu thoroughly knows what should be thoroughly known and experiencing what should be experienced, here and now makes an end of unpleasantness.

When this was said a certain bhikkhu said to the elder bhikkhus.

Friends, name is one end, matter is the second end, consciousness is the middle. Craving is the seamstress. Craving weaves for him to be reborn here and there. Friends, with this much the bhikkhu thoroughly knows what should be thoroughly known and experiencing what should be experienced, here and now makes an end of unpleasantness.

When this was said a certain bhikkhu said to the elder bhikkhus.

Friends, the internal spheres is one end, the external spheres is the second end, consciousness is the middle. Craving is the seamstress. Craving weaves for him to be reborn here and there. Friends, with this much the bhikkhu thoroughly knows what should be thoroughly known and experiencing what should be experienced, here and now makes an end of unpleasantness.

When this was said a certain bhikkhu said to the elder bhikkhus.

Friends, self is one end, the arising of self is the second end, the cessation of self is the middle. Craving is the seamstress. Craving weaves for him to be reborn here and there. Friends, with this much the bhikkhu thoroughly knows what should be thoroughly known and experiencing what should be experienced, here and now makes an end of unpleasantness.

When this was said a certain bhikkhu said to the elder bhikkhus.

Friends, we have all declared according to our understanding. Let us now approach The Blessed One, and declare all this and according to what The Blessed One declares about it let us bear in mind. The elder bhikkhus agreed and they approached The Blessed One, worshipped, sat on a side and informed The Blessed One all the conversation that took place. Venerable sir, whose words are the good words? Bhikkhus, all your words are good words. Yet listen for what reason this was told by me to Metteyya's question in the Parayana Vagga.

`He who knows both ends and has no secret plans in the middle,

Is a Great Man. He has gone beyond the seamstress.'

I will tell attend carefully. Those bhikkhus said. Yes, venerable sir and The Blessed One said:

Bhikkhus, contact is one end, the arising of contact is the second end, the cessation of contact is the middle. Craving is the seamstress. Craving weaves for him to be reborn here and there. Friends, with this much the bhikkhu thoroughly knows what should be thoroughly known and experiencing what should be experienced, here and now makes an end of unpleasantness.
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Re: Snp 5.2 Tissa-metteyya-manava-puccha

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:36 am

Questions of the young man Tissametteyya
http://awake.kiev.ua/dhamma/tipitaka/2S ... gga-e.html

1040. Venerable Tissametteyya said:
"In this world, who is contented, and has no inhibitions
Who will not be soiled in the middle as well as at the two ends.
And who is said to be the Great Man that has gone beyond the streamstress. "

1041. The Blessed One said:
"The bhikkhu leads the holy life, free of greed and always mindful,
When his estimations cease, he has no inhibitions
1042. He knowing both ends is not soiled in the middle.
He is the Great Man gone beyond the streamstress. "
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Re: Snp 5.2 Tissa-metteyya-manava-puccha

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:07 am

Greetings Mike,

Thanks for sharing this sutta and related suttas which explain the simile.

As for the following part of Snp 5.2

the monk who is
— through fathoming things —
Unbound:
he has no agitations.

I'm interested to know what this particular section means to members.

To me, "fathoming things" refers to the formation of sankhata dhammas, conditioned by ignorance.

To quote from Bhikkhu Bodhi's introduction to the Samyutta Nikaya...

Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:In the Pali, we can clearly see the connection: the sankharas, the active constructive forces instigated by volition, create and shape conditioned reality, especially the conditioned factors classified into the five aggregates and the six internal sense bases, and this conditioned reality itself consists of sankharas in the passive sense, called in the commentaries sankhata-sankhara.

Further, it is not only this connection that is lost to view, but also the connection to Nibbana. For Nibbana is the asankhata, the unconditioned, which is called thus precisely because it is neither made up by sankharas nor itself a sankhara in either the active or passive sense. So, when the texts are taken up in the Pali we arrive at a clear picture in fine focus: the active sankharas generated by volition perpetually create passive sankharas, the sankhata dhammas or conditioned phenomena of the five aggregates (and, indirectly, of the objective world); and then, through the practice of the Buddha’s path, the practitioner arrives at the true knowledge of conditioned phenomena, which disables the generation of active sankharas, putting an end to the constructing of conditioned reality and opening the door to the Deathless, the asankhata, the unconditioned, which is Nibbana, the final liberation from impermanence and suffering.

Hence the last part of the quotation above, "Unbound: he has no agitations". Arguably it could read "Unbound by things/dhammas: he has no agitations"

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: Snp 5.2 Tissa-metteyya-manava-puccha

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:12 am

Hi Retro,

Interesting question. In
the monk who is
— through fathoming things —
Unbound:
he has no agitations.

I had read "fathoming" as "understanding".

The other places Ven Thanissaro uses "fathom" in his translations include:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"Even so, Vaccha, any physical form by which one describing the Tathagata would describe him: That the Tathagata has abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Freed from the classification of form, Vaccha, the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the sea. 'Reappears' doesn't apply. 'Does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Both does & does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Neither reappears nor does not reappear' doesn't apply.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
He shouldn't engage in lying, shouldn't create a sense of allure in form, should fully fathom conceit, and live refraining from impulsiveness;

Perhaps someone could tell us what the Pali actually says...

Mike
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Re: Snp 5.2 Tissa-metteyya-manava-puccha

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Oct 14, 2010 7:55 am

Greetings Mike,

On re-reading it, I think you're right... I read it originally as "through with fathoming things", which would be different in meaning.

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: Snp 5.2 Tissa-metteyya-manava-puccha

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:57 am

I must admit I'm a little puzzled about the explanation given by the Buddha in AN 6.61.

In Snp 5.2 we have, from the two translations.
He, the thinker knowing both sides,
doesn't adhere in between.

or
He knowing both ends is not soiled in the middle.

From An 6.61 we have:
Bhikkhus, contact is one end, the arising of contact is the second end, the cessation of contact is the middle. Craving is the seamstress.

How is one "not adhered" or "not soiled" by the cessation of contact?

Mike
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Re: Snp 5.2 Tissa-metteyya-manava-puccha

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 8:41 pm

Translation by F. Max Müller:
http://books.google.com.au/books?id=uho ... &q&f=false
P304

'Who is contented in the world,' -- so said the venerable Tissametteyya, -- 'who is without commotions? Who after knowing both ends does not stick to the middle, as far as his understanding is concerned? Whom dost thou call a great man? Who has overcome desire in this world?'

'The Bhikkhu who abstains from sensual pleasures, O Metteyya,' - so said Bhagavat, -- 'who is free from desire, always thoughtful, happy by reflection, he is without commotions, he after knowing both ends does not stick to the middle, as far as his understanding is concerned; him I call a great man; he has overcome desire in this world.'
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Re: Snp 5.2 Tissa-metteyya-manava-puccha

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:20 pm

I found recordings of Anandajoti Bhikkhu reading these texts here:
http://www.archive.org/details/The-Way-to-the-Beyond

Here is his translation:
http://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/T ... avaggo.pdf

The Young Man Tissa Metteyya's Questions

Who is satisfied here in the world?
said venerable Tissa Metteyya,
For whom is there no turmoil?
Who is the wise man, who has known both ends, and is undefiled in the middle?
Who do you say is a Great Man? Who has gone beyond the seamstress[1] here?

He who is chaste in regard to sense pleasures, Metteyya,
said the Gracious One,
free from craving, always mindful,
having discernment [2] the monk is emancipated, for him there is no turmoil.
He is the wise man, who has known both ends, and is undefiled in the middle.
He, I say, is a Great Man, he has gone beyond the seamstress here.

Notes
[1] The seamstress = craving, personified as one who ties one into continued existence.
[2] Having discerned the truth of impermanence, etc.

A study of the metre of the verses is here:
http://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/T ... /index.htm
http://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/T ... -Metre.pdf

Mike
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Re: Snp 5.2 Tissa-metteyya-manava-puccha

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:52 am

Well, I'm still waiting for someone to explain the simile to me...

:coffee:
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Re: Snp 5.2 Tissa-metteyya-manava-puccha

Postby Vepacitta » Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:13 am

Well, if contact has ceased, then there won't be craving (as there needs to be contact for craving to occur)
so, if there's no craving - one isn't soiled, one isn't adhering (due to craving)
one is stainless in the absence of craving - because it's craving that'll 'getcha' every time ... once you crave - you're sucked in and start to cling - leading to becoming and birth - the whole merry go round ...

Did that make sense?

From Mt. Meru,

V.

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Re: Snp 5.2 Tissa-metteyya-manava-puccha

Postby Nyana » Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:16 am

Hi Mike & all,

I took a look at what Ven. Ñāṇananda has to say about this sutta. In Seeing Through: A Guide to Insight Meditation he offers the following:

    So actually what we have here is just a bit of bare experience. That too comes about by giving recognition to the two ends - the internal base and the external base. By recognizing them, by separating them, by discriminating between them, there arises a certain measuring. So the concept of two things striking together also follows as a matter of course. Given two things, there is a possibility of a contact between them. And this is 'contact' as the world understands it. Given this contact, there arise dependent on it, feeling, perception and all the rest of it. It goes as far as thinking and logic.

    Now, this is the delusion. This is the ignorance. What, then, is the insight that helps one to unravel this state of affairs? It is the understanding of the conditioned nature of consciousness - that consciousness arises dependent on conditions. Even that insight emerges through a refined way of attending. That is, by accelerating the mental noting in such a way as not to get caught in the net of perception or saññā. In other words, to stop short at bare awareness. It is by such a technique that one can get an insight into the back stage workings of consciousness. For instance, the insight that the eye consciousness arises dependent on eye and forms and that the very discrimination between the two ends is eye-consciousness, which is the middle. This story of the two ends and the middle is beautifully presented in the Pārāyaṇa Sutta found in the Section of the Sixes in the Aṅguttara Nikāya. What forms the nucleus of that sutta is the following verse quoted from the Pārāyaṇa Vagga of the Sutta Nipāta:

    'Yo ubhante viditvāna - majjhe mantā na lippati,
    Taṁ brūmi mahāpurisoti - so'dha sibbanimaccagā'

    This verse preached by the Buddha in reply to a question put by Brahmin Tissa Metteyya, is quoted here for comment. In a sort of a 'seminar' on the significance of this verse, six monks put forward their individual opinions thereby drawing out the deeper implications of the verse in question. The meaning of the verse, as it stands, would be something like this:

    'Yo ubhante viditvāna' - He who having understood both ends
    'Majjhe mantā na lippati' - Does not get attached to the middle through wisdom
    'Taṁ brūmi mahāpurisoti' - Him I call a great man
    'So idha sibbaniṁ accagā' - It is he who has bypassed or escaped the seamstress in this world.

    'Sibbanī' or 'seamstress' is a term for craving. The function of craving is conceived here as a process of stitching or weaving. The underlying idea is the accumulation of knots. It is craving that is responsible for the knotty nature of this existence. The two ends and the middle referred to in this verse are just the things necessary for making a knot. The significance of the two ends and the middle has been variously interpreted in this sutta. According to one interpretation that came up at this symposium, the one-end means the six internal bases and the second end means the six external bases and the middle is consciousness.

    By consciousness is meant the six kinds of sense-consciousness. So according to this interpretation too, we find at consciousness becomes the middle as a result of reckoning the sense and its object as two ends. It is as if two pegs have been driven as eye and forms for the measuring that is implicit in sense-perception.

    The arising of this basic discrimination is called the arising of the sense-bases- 'āyatanuppāda'. And the insight into this basic discrimination is called the seeing of the arising of sense-bases. In the Soṇa Sutta, among the Sixes of the Aṅguttara Nikāya, we find the following significant verse:

    'Taṇhakkhayādhimuttassa
    Asammohañca cetaso
    Disvā āyatanuppādaṁ
    Sammā cittaṁ vimuccati'

    'In one who is intent upon the destruction of craving
    and the non-delusion of the mind,
    on seeing the arising of sense-bases,
    the mind is well released.'

    One may well infer from this verse that it is by the not-seeing of the arising of the bases that one remains bound - that the mind remains bound to saṁsāra. As we mentioned above, so long as there is no proper understanding of the two-ends, a middle creeps in. So long as one grasps eye and forms as the two ends, eye-consciousness comes in. That is because what is called eye-consciousness is the very discrimination of eye and form as two things. Now, in the case of the mirage, the deer thinks: 'I am here, the water is out there.' It is with this presumption that the deer runs towards the mirage. But from the very outset, this discrimination, this consciousness of water, is wrong. Therefore the deer keeps on running after the mirage. It is a vain pursuit. The more it approaches the more its object recedes. This is the nature of a mirage. But what impels the deer in its pursuit is its eye consciousness. This consciousness acts like two pegs. So the deer thinks: 'Here is my eye and there is that water. If only I can go there, I can see that real water and drink it.'

    Similarly, when we grasp eye and forms as the two ends, we have driven the two pegs down to the earth, as it were. We have taken eye and forms as real. That very discrimination is eye-consciousness.

    The best revelation of this state of affairs comes when one has accelerated one's speed of mental-noting to such an extent that when a thought comes to one's mind, one summarily dismisses it as a mere thinking without being carried away by it. Thereby one does not allow that thought to crystallize itself as an object. Normally, an object is something that one clings to or hangs on to. The mind which has been in the habit of clinging throughout saṁsāra, always seeks to hang on to something or the other, however frail it may be. That is because of the craving for existence. Just as a man falling down a precipice would hang on even to the frail straw for fear of the fall, the ever-new regenerator, craving - 'taṇhā ponobhavikā' - prompts one to hang on to this that or the other. But the crux of the problem lies where the mind meets its object.

    Mind has the habit of hanging on to its object. Even when the five external senses do not grasp their respective objects, mind would grasp the thought as its object. One tends to think: 'Here am I, the thinker, and this is my mind-object.' So long as this bifurcation, this duality, is there, there will also be a place for mind-consciousness. In the magic-show of consciousness, mind-consciousness is the subtlest trick of all. Now in the verse quoted above, it is said that the mind is well released on seeing the arising of bases. How does this come about? When the meditator attends to the objects of the six senses rapidly and in a more refined way, without clinging to them, summarily dismissing them, in the course of his meditative attention - all of a sudden - he discovers the mind-object as soon as it strikes the mind. The relativity involved in the process of sense-contact is thereby understood and the delusion regarding the magic-show of consciousness is dispelled. Strange as it may appear, this very insight into the dependent arising of sense bases has dismantled those very sense-bases-as it were.

    Of course, the process of cessation was going on all the time. But due to the regenerator, - craving - which had a partiality for the arising aspect, the fact of cessation was not seen. As it is said in Dvayatānupassanā Sutta of the Sutta Nipāta:

    'Ye ca rūpūpagā sattā
    Ye ca arūpaṭṭhāyino
    Nirodhaṁ appajānantā
    Āgantāro punabbhavaṁ'

    'Those beings who approach realms of form
    and those that are in formless realms,
    not understanding well the fact of cessation,
    come again and again to existence.'

    What is meant is that impelled by craving, beings are always keen on ever- new arisings to the neglect of the fact of cessation. As soon as a thing breaks up, craving prompts: "Don't worry about this thing that is lost. Take hold of that thing out there." This renewing process goes on so rapidly in the mind, that the process of mental-noting is something like a battle with Māra. One has to speed up the process of mental-noting in such a way as to eliminate the possibilities of attachment and clinging. In fact, it would be at a totally unexpected moment that the releasing insight breaks forth. But once that insight dawns, one understands for the first time the delusion one has been in, all this time. Consciousness arises dependent on conditions. There is no 'I' in it. This way, one sees the law of Paṭiccasamuppāda with the help of the six sense-bases. This is the significance of the phrase: 'Cakkhuñca paṭicca rūpe ca uppajjati cakkhuviññāṇaṁ' quoted above.

    Eye-consciousness arises dependent on eye and forms. And likewise, mind- consciousness arises dependent on mind and mind-objects. So long as this fact is not seen, there is a tendency to imagine three things in this situation - 'tiṇṇaṁ saṅgati phasso', 'the concurrence of the three is contact.' This concurrence or the going-together is actually a going-together of the delusion of the three. So this insight may be called the understanding of contact or the understanding of consciousness or the understanding of perception.

All the best,

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Re: Snp 5.2 Tissa-metteyya-manava-puccha

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 19, 2010 2:45 am

Hi Geoff,

Thank you very much for the quote. Let me try to follow it up. Ven Nanananada writes:
According to one interpretation that came up at this symposium, the one-end means the six internal bases and the second end means the six external bases and the middle is consciousness.

By consciousness is meant the six kinds of sense-consciousness. So according to this interpretation too, we find at consciousness becomes the middle as a result of reckoning the sense and its object as two ends. It is as if two pegs have been driven as eye and forms for the measuring that is implicit in sense-perception.

That makes perfect sense to me. However, at the end of AN 6.61 the Buddha says:
Bhikkhus, contact is one end, the arising of contact is the second end, the cessation of contact is the middle. Craving is the seamstress.

This is an interesting idea from Vepacitta:
Vepacitta wrote:Well, if contact has ceased, then there won't be craving (as there needs to be contact for craving to occur) so, if there's no craving - one isn't soiled, one isn't adhering (due to craving)
one is stainless in the absence of craving - because it's craving that'll 'getcha' every time ... once you crave - you're sucked in and start to cling - leading to becoming and birth - the whole merry go round ...

I did not initially warm to this idea, but perhaps if combined with Ven Nanananda's exposition of the other possible interpretation it makes some sense. Unfortunately, I don't have a good way of expressing the inkling of sense that I am getting. Perhaps something along the lines that if there is no craving then contact, the arising of contact, and the cessation of contact just "roll on". With craving one makes a knot out of them.

I'm not completely satisfied with my understanding, so I'd be very happy to have my explanation demolished and replaced by something more coherent...

:anjali:
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Re: Snp 5.2 Tissa-metteyya-manava-puccha

Postby Sobeh » Tue Oct 19, 2010 3:03 am

If:

Object <--- Subject

is avijja; then

Object <-- (thinker) --> Subject

(to use the phrase in the passage) is undefiled in the middle.

In other words:

seen <-- seer

is avijja; therefore

seen <-- (seeing) --> seer

is undefiled in the middle (referring here to the phrase "in the seen is only the seen"; perhaps "...is only seeing"?)
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