Sallatha Sutta SN 36.6 - The Arrow (or dart, thorn)

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Paccayata
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Sallatha Sutta SN 36.6 - The Arrow (or dart, thorn)

Post by Paccayata »

Sallatha Sutta mentions that in an untrained person, being hurt is like getting hit with two arrows, the bodily feeling (kayika vedana) and then the mental reaction (cetasika vedana). But in a trained person (a disciple of the Buddha), they only feel the bodily one (kayika vedana).


But it also goes on to say that a trained (but not untrained) person knows the following regarding a feeling (vedana):
• Origin
• Disappearance
• Appeal
• Drawback
• Escape

Can anyone clarify what those mean? The first two seem to mean knowing the arising and passing of the phenomenon. But the others are less certain for me.

Translations:
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .nypo.html
https://suttacentral.net/sn36.6/en/sujato
https://suttacentral.net/sn36.6/en/suddhaso
https://suttacentral.net/sn36.6/en/bodhi
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Sallatha Sutta SN 36.6 - The Arrow (or dart, thorn)

Post by Ceisiwr »

It’s not “physical feelings and mental feelings”. It’s more “experiential feelings” (kayika vedana) and “emotional reaction/feeling” (cetasika vedana). There are 6 senses in the Dhamma, not 5. To give an example a bad memory can be kayika vedana which, for an average person, leads to sorrow, lamentation etc (cetasika vedana). For the Buddha and Arahants they can still have the bad memory, and so the raw experience (kayika vedana) but they do not experience the emotional reaction through sorrow etc, the cetasika vedana.

Regarding your question, in very simple terms:

Appeal of pleasant vedana is that it is pleasant when remaining.

Drawback is that it changes and falls away, and so can be a condition for sorrow, annoyance etc

Escape means letting go. Detaching from it. Not craving or holding it.
“When serenity is developed, what purpose does it serve? The mind is developed. And when the mind is developed, what purpose does it serve? Lust is abandoned.”

“When insight is developed, what purpose does it serve? Wisdom is developed. And when wisdom is developed, what purpose does it serve? Ignorance is abandoned."


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mjaviem
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Re: Sallatha Sutta SN 36.6 - The Arrow (or dart, thorn)

Post by mjaviem »

The "drawback" is translated as "danger" by Bhikkhu Bhodi. I understand with this that feelings are dangerous because they can drive you to act out of greed and hatred and ignorance (MN13 for the danger of sensual pleasures).
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Re: Sallatha Sutta SN 36.6 - The Arrow (or dart, thorn)

Post by mikenz66 »

Ceisiwr wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 5:08 pm It’s not “physical feelings and mental feelings”. It’s more “experiential feelings” (kayika vedana) and “emotional reaction/feeling” (cetasika vedana). There are 6 senses in the Dhamma, not 5.
...
Great observation!

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Re: Sallatha Sutta SN 36.6 - The Arrow (or dart, thorn)

Post by ToVincent »

Paccayata wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 4:18 pm .......
Contacted by a painful feeling, he does not sorrow, grieve, or lament;... . He feels one feeling—a bodily one, not a citta one.
SN 36.6 (with parallel in SA 470 for that extract).

-------------

It is, friends, because I dwell with a mind (citta) well established in the four ways to attain sati (satipaṭṭhānā), that the arisen bodily (sārīra) feelings do not persist obsessing my citta. What four? Here, friend, I fetch distinctively the noticeable body (kāya) in the body … noticeable feeling in feelings … noticeable mind (citta) in mind … noticeable phenomena in phenomenas.

catūsu kho me, āvuso, satipaṭṭhānesu suppatiṭṭhitacittassa viharato uppannā sārīrikā dukkhā vedanā cittaṃ na pariyādāya tiṭṭhanti. katamesu catūsu? idhāhaṃ, āvuso, kāye kāyānupassī viharāmi ... pe ... vedanāsu ... pe ... citte ... pe ... dhammesu dhammānupassī viharāmi
SA 52.10 (Parallel for this part only, in SA 540- where both bodies = 身 (kāya or śarīra)

Here, sārīra is the physical body - and kāya is the ci in action, as breath.
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Re: Sallatha Sutta SN 36.6 - The Arrow (or dart, thorn)

Post by frank k »

And where is the sutta basis for that?
Kaya, especially when contrasted in a passage against mano, citta, cetasika, nama, etc., in the suttas always means kaya is the physical body that can experience physical pain.
The simile should give you a pretty good idea too.
You're getting shot by a physical rupa kaya arrow that causes rupa kaya based pain.
You're not being shot with a "body of mental factors" of memory, imaginary mental visualization of what it would feel like to be shot with an arrow.
That would be a stupid simile to make if the Buddha really just wanted to say a mental pain can be followed by more mental pains.
mikenz66 wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 6:41 pm
Ceisiwr wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 5:08 pm It’s not “physical feelings and mental feelings”. It’s more “experiential feelings” (kayika vedana) and “emotional reaction/feeling” (cetasika vedana). There are 6 senses in the Dhamma, not 5.
...
Great observation!

:heart:
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Re: Sallatha Sutta SN 36.6 - The Arrow (or dart, thorn)

Post by mikenz66 »

Hi Frank, I don't think there is a particularly clear differentiation between "mind" and "body" in the suttas, so really the question is yours. I think that there is a tendency to over-interpret descriptions of experience in terms of "body" and "mind", and so I think Ceisiwr raises a good point.

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Re: Sallatha Sutta SN 36.6 - The Arrow (or dart, thorn)

Post by asahi »

Ceisiwr wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 5:08 pm It’s not “physical feelings and mental feelings”. It’s more “experiential feelings” (kayika vedana) and “emotional reaction/feeling” (cetasika vedana). There are 6 senses in the Dhamma, not 5. To give an example a bad memory can be kayika vedana which, for an average person, leads to sorrow, lamentation etc (cetasika vedana). For the Buddha and Arahants they can still have the bad memory, and so the raw experience (kayika vedana) but they do not experience the emotional reaction through sorrow etc, the cetasika vedana.

Regarding your question, in very simple terms:

Appeal of pleasant vedana is that it is pleasant when remaining.

Drawback is that it changes and falls away, and so can be a condition for sorrow, annoyance etc

Escape means letting go. Detaching from it. Not craving or holding it.
What are the differences between mental feeling , experiential feeling and emotional feeling ? Sorry my english is not good . Give some example please .
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Re: Sallatha Sutta SN 36.6 - The Arrow (or dart, thorn)

Post by Dhammanando »

frank k wrote: Tue Apr 13, 2021 4:38 pm And where is the sutta basis for that?
Kaya, especially when contrasted in a passage against mano, citta, cetasika, nama, etc., in the suttas always means kaya is the physical body that can experience physical pain.
The simile should give you a pretty good idea too.
You're getting shot by a physical rupa kaya arrow that causes rupa kaya based pain.
The scope of what's comprehended under the first arrow cannot be limited to kāyasamphassajā vedanā alone, for feelings of this type are only sukha or dukkha, yet the sutta's account of the first arrow speaks also of adukkhamasukhā vedanā. This suggests that the said feelings may also be cakkhusamphassajā, sotasamphassajā, ghānasamphassajā or jivhāsamphassajā (which are always neutral), and manosamphassajā, which may be somanassa, domanassa or neutral.
Anabhirati kho, āvuso, imasmiṃ dhammavinaye dukkhā, abhirati sukhā.

“To not delight in this dhammavinaya, friend, is painful; to delight in it is bliss.”
(Sukhasutta, AN 10:66)
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Re: Sallatha Sutta SN 36.6 - The Arrow (or dart, thorn)

Post by DooDoot »

Paccayata wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 4:18 pm
But it also goes on to say that a trained (but not untrained) person knows the following regarding a feeling (vedana):
• Origin
• Disappearance
• Appeal
• Drawback
• Escape

Can anyone clarify what those mean? The first two seem to mean knowing the arising and passing of the phenomenon. But the others are less certain for me.
SN 36.6 wrote:They don’t truly understand feelings’ origin, ending, gratification, drawback, and escape.

So tāsaṁ vedanānaṁ samudayañca atthaṅgamañca assādañca ādīnavañca nissaraṇañca yathābhūtaṁ nappajānāti.
samudaya (origination) & atthaṅga (settling) appear explicitly defined in SN 22.5, which refers to how feeling becomes an object of craving & attachment (called 'samudaya' or 'arising') and how feeling stops being an object of craving & attachment (called 'atthaṅga'). therefore, the word 'samudaya' does not appear to mean the arising of feeling itself but the arising of feeling with craving (which includes aversion)

• Appeal
• Drawback
• Escape

are discussed in MN 14, which mean attraction/bait; danger/drawback; and escape via the Dhamma. For example, pleasurable feelings attract/entice a person towards sex; however the danger/drawback of sex is heartbreak due to separation from the loved; and escape from the danger is to give up sex or, otherwise, get married in the right way to the right person (per AN 4.55).
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Re: Sallatha Sutta SN 36.6 - The Arrow (or dart, thorn)

Post by frank k »

mikenz66 wrote: Tue Apr 13, 2021 8:20 pm Hi Frank, I don't think there is a particularly clear differentiation between "mind" and "body" in the suttas, so really the question is yours. I think that there is a tendency to over-interpret descriptions of experience in terms of "body" and "mind", and so I think Ceisiwr raises a good point.

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I don't know what you mean by over interpret. There are contexts where body and mind blur, but this sutta, this passage it's unequivocally contrasting the physical body of the 4 elements against the mind. Look at all the suttas where this happens, even in the Abhidhamma passages. When they contrast kaya and citta, kaya and mano, rupa and nama, nama kaya and rupa kaya, they are making that relative body and mind contrast and distinction.

Look the sutta passages where vedana is broken into 5 types. Dukkha indriya is physical pain, domanassa is mental pain, and dukkha vedana includes both dukkha indriya and domanassa. And how do they make the distinction between physical and mental dukkha? Exactly how they do it in this passage, contrasting kaya against the mental factors.

If anything, you are over interpreting what kaya means and slipping in a body of mental factors to include under 'kaya'.
If you do that in the 5 fold vedana scheme and this passage, then words become meaningless and you can make it mean whatever you want.
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Re: Sallatha Sutta SN 36.6 - The Arrow (or dart, thorn)

Post by frank k »

But the Buddha isn't trying to make a comprehensive explanation of all the types of extraneous (unnecessary) suffering that can follow the arrow of the initial suffering.
He's just using the clearest example to show that mental suffering added to physical is completely extraneous.

In a similar vein, I've wondered why the 5 cords of sensual pleasure is not 6 cords, with mind and thoughts as the 6th. Because clearly there are beings who feed off of and are addicted to completely mentally created abstract theories and ideas, not having anything to do with the 5 senses. But this doesn't mean I should use an Abhdhamma mentality to try to explain every type of addictive pleasure and redefine body and eye so that it includes the mind.

If we don't stick to basic meaning of words, the suttas are totally ambiguous and one can force any interpretation one wants into it. That's not the buddha's style.

Dhammanando wrote: Wed Apr 14, 2021 12:05 pm
frank k wrote: Tue Apr 13, 2021 4:38 pm And where is the sutta basis for that?
Kaya, especially when contrasted in a passage against mano, citta, cetasika, nama, etc., in the suttas always means kaya is the physical body that can experience physical pain.
The simile should give you a pretty good idea too.
You're getting shot by a physical rupa kaya arrow that causes rupa kaya based pain.
The scope of what's comprehended under the first arrow cannot be limited to kāyasamphassajā vedanā alone, for feelings of this type are only sukha or dukkha, yet the sutta's account of the first arrow speaks also of adukkhamasukhā vedanā. This suggests that the said feelings may also be cakkhusamphassajā, sotasamphassajā, ghānasamphassajā or jivhāsamphassajā (which are always neutral), and manosamphassajā, which may be somanassa, domanassa or neutral.
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Re: Sallatha Sutta SN 36.6 - The Arrow (or dart, thorn)

Post by sphairos »

frank k wrote: Wed Apr 14, 2021 3:46 pm In a similar vein, I've wondered why the 5 cords of sensual pleasure is not 6 cords, with mind and thoughts as the 6th.
I am also interested in that.
Because clearly there are beings who feed off of and are addicted to completely mentally created abstract theories and ideas, not having anything to do with the 5 senses.
It's me.
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Re: Sallatha Sutta SN 36.6 - The Arrow (or dart, thorn)

Post by Ceisiwr »

frank k wrote: Wed Apr 14, 2021 3:46 pm But the Buddha isn't trying to make a comprehensive explanation of all the types of extraneous (unnecessary) suffering that can follow the arrow of the initial suffering.
He's just using the clearest example to show that mental suffering added to physical is completely extraneous
Not that you have shown. A strength of the other interpretation is that it accounts for any painful mental dhammas the Buddha or Arahants would have/do experienced/experience. A purely physical reading lacks that explanatory power, thus being rather unsatisfactory.
In a similar vein, I've wondered why the 5 cords of sensual pleasure is not 6 cords, with mind and thoughts as the 6th. Because clearly there are beings who feed off of and are addicted to completely mentally created abstract theories and ideas, not having anything to do with the 5 senses. But this doesn't mean I should use an Abhdhamma mentality to try to explain every type of addictive pleasure and redefine body and eye so that it includes the mind.
Views, spun via induction or the synthetic a priori, are a fetter but the 5 chords are a specific teaching given to monks and nuns relating to how to enter Jhana.
If we don't stick to basic meaning of words, the suttas are totally ambiguous and one can force any interpretation one wants into it. That's not the buddha's style.
Sounds circular. We also know that “kaya” can mean a range of different things depending on the context. A simple reading would be, well, simple.
“When serenity is developed, what purpose does it serve? The mind is developed. And when the mind is developed, what purpose does it serve? Lust is abandoned.”

“When insight is developed, what purpose does it serve? Wisdom is developed. And when wisdom is developed, what purpose does it serve? Ignorance is abandoned."


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Re: Sallatha Sutta SN 36.6 - The Arrow (or dart, thorn)

Post by chownah »

frank k wrote: Wed Apr 14, 2021 3:46 pm But the Buddha isn't trying to make a comprehensive explanation of all the types of extraneous (unnecessary) suffering that can follow the arrow of the initial suffering.
He's just using the clearest example to show that mental suffering added to physical is completely extraneous.
I like what you are saying here but I think that it should be extended to say that the Buddha isn't trying to make a comprehensive explanation of all the types of extraneous (unnecessary) suffering that can follow the arrow of the initial suffering nor is the buddha giving a comprehensive presentation of all the ways that the arrow of the initial suffering can occur.

Simply put, the buddha is not trying to absolutely and completely nail down all possible instance of initial suffering nor that of the following suffering......the buddha is teaching a kind of process which can happan and he presents a scenario which clearly demonstrates the process he is teaching (in my view). Simply put, the arising of suffering can spawn the arising of further suffering....you can call this "proliferation" of suffering. I think that for some people the take away from this teaching is that one should watch out for this dynamic so that you don't create more suffering than what is necessary.....I think that other people might see this as a lesson in not-self which is probably very much more valuable of a lesson then stopping the proliferation of suffering in particular instances in that it leads one to the end of suffering in general.
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