🟧 With Sandha, AN 11.9 (Week of November 28, 2021)

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🟧 With Sandha, AN 11.9 (Week of November 28, 2021)

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:reading:


I've gotten the most out of the following discourse through a careful reading of how the two different horses approach the food in the trough, revealing a clear difference in their attitude and intention. The thoroughbred understands that there is something implied in being fed. That the trainer will ask something of him today, and since he regards the use of the goad (spiked stick) as a "a debt, a bond, a loss, and failure", the horse aims to satisfy him. So he doesn't just see the food and think about eating it; he sees it as a sign of something more. The wild colt only sees the food and nothing further - giving no thought to what will come after. These two directions are applied to the monk-gone-to-the-forest, and although the sutta comes to a bit of a mysterious end, I believe it is in simile that we can find the most meaning. Let's give it a shot.

Enjoy. :smile:
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📍 With Sandha, AN 11.9 (Week of November 28, 2021)

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:reading:


Aṅguttara Nikāya
Sandhasutta (With Sandha) AN 11.9 (PTS VI 323-326)
Translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi


  • “On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Nādika in the brick hall. Then the Venerable Sandha approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, and sat down to one side. The Blessed One then said to him:

    “Meditate like a thoroughbred, Sandha, not like a wild colt. And how does a wild colt meditate? When a wild colt is tied up near the feeding trough he meditates: ‘Fodder, fodder!’ For what reason? Because when a wild colt is tied up by the feeding trough, he does not ask himself: ‘Now what task will my trainer set for me today? What can I do to satisfy him?’ Tied up by the feeding trough, he just meditates: ‘Fodder, fodder!’ So too, Sandha, a person who is like a wild colt, when gone to the forest, to the foot of a tree, or to an empty hut, dwells with a mind obsessed and oppressed by sensual lust, and he does not understand as it really is the escape from arisen sensual lust. Harboring sensual lust within, he meditates, cogitates, ponders, and ruminates. He dwells with a mind obsessed and oppressed by ill will … by dullness and drowsiness … by restlessness and remorse … by doubt, and he does not understand as it really is the escape from arisen doubt. Harboring doubt within, he meditates, cogitates, ponders, and ruminates.”

    “He meditates (1) in dependence on earth, (2) in dependence on water, (3) in dependence on fire, (4) in dependence on air, (5) in dependence on the base of the infinity of space, (6) in dependence on the base of the infinity of consciousness, (7) in dependence on the base of nothingness, (8) in dependence on the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, (9) in dependence on this world, (10) in dependence on the other world, (11) in dependence on what is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, reached, sought after, and examined by the mind. Such is the meditation of a person who is like a wild colt.”

    “And how, Sandha, does a thoroughbred meditate? When an excellent thoroughbred horse is tied up near the feeding trough he does not meditate: ‘Fodder, fodder!’ For what reason? Because when an excellent thoroughbred horse is tied up by the feeding trough, he asks himself: ‘Now what task will my trainer set for me today? What can I do to satisfy him?’ Tied up by the feeding trough, he does not meditate: ‘Fodder, fodder!’ For that excellent thoroughbred horse regards the application of the goad as a debt, a bond, a loss, and failure. So too, an excellent thoroughbred person, when gone to the forest, to the foot of a tree, or to an empty hut, does not dwell with a mind obsessed and oppressed by sensual lust, and he understands as it really is the escape from arisen sensual lust. He does not dwell with a mind obsessed and oppressed by ill will … by dullness and drowsiness … by restlessness and remorse … by doubt, and he understands as it really is the escape from arisen doubt.”

    “He does not meditate (1) in dependence on earth, (2) in dependence on water, (3) in dependence on fire, (4) in dependence on air, (5) in dependence on the base of the infinity of space, (6) in dependence on the base of the infinity of consciousness, (7) in dependence on the base of nothingness, (8) in dependence on the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, (9) in dependence on this world, (10) in dependence on the other world, (11) in dependence on what is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, reached, sought after, or examined by the mind, and yet he meditates.”

    “When he meditates in such a way, the devas along with Indra, Brahmā, and Pajāpati worship the excellent thoroughbred person from afar, saying:

    “‘Homage to you, O thoroughbred person!
    Homage to you, O supreme person!
    We ourselves do not understand
    What you meditate in dependence on.”

    “When this was said, the Venerable Sandha said to the Blessed One: “But how, Bhante, does an excellent thoroughbred person meditate? If he does not meditate in dependence on earth … in dependence on what is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, reached, sought after, and examined by the mind, and yet he meditates, just how does he meditate so that the devas … worship the excellent thoroughbred person from afar, saying:”

    “Homage to you, O thoroughbred person! …
    What you meditate in dependence on’?”

    “Here, Sandha, for an excellent thoroughbred person, the perception of earth has disappeared in relation to earth, the perception of water has disappeared in relation to water, the perception of fire has disappeared in relation to fire, the perception of air has disappeared in relation to air, the perception of the base of the infinity of space has disappeared in relation to the base of the infinity of space, the perception of the base of the infinity of consciousness has disappeared in relation to the base of the infinity of consciousness, the perception of the base of nothingness has disappeared in relation to the base of nothingness, the perception of the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception has disappeared in relation to the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, the perception of this world has disappeared in relation to this world, the perception of the other world has disappeared in relation to the other world; perception has disappeared in relation to whatever is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, reached, sought after, and examined by the mind.”

    “Meditating in such a way, Sandha, an excellent thoroughbred person does not meditate in dependence on earth, in dependence on water, in dependence on fire, in dependence on air, in dependence on the base of the infinity of space, in dependence on the base of the infinity of consciousness, in dependence on the base of nothingness, in dependence on the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, in dependence on this world, in dependence on the other world; in dependence on what is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, reached, sought after, or examined by the mind and yet he meditates. And as he meditates in such a way, the devas along with Indra, Brahmā, and Pajāpati worship the excellent thoroughbred person from afar, saying:”

    “Homage to you, O thoroughbred person!
    Homage to you, O supreme person!
    We ourselves do not understand
    What you meditate in dependence on.’”
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📍 With Sandha, AN 11.9 (Week of November 28, 2021)

Post by SDC »

Thoughts?

  • This idea of dependence is very fascinating, but what is listed even more so. The monk with a mind obsessed with the hindrances of sensual lust, ill will, dullness and drowsiness, restlessness and remorse, and doubt, meditates "dependent on":
    • earth
    • water
    • fire
    • air
    • infinity of space
    • infinity of consciousness
    • base of nothingness
    • base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception
    • on this world
    • the other this world
    • on what is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, reached, sought after, or examined by the mind
    What stands out the most to me is that meditating in dependence on what is "cognized, reached, sought after or examined by the mind" is the mark of a mind obsessed with hindrances. This does seem to shed some good light on what the wild colt is doing at the feeding trough. He's focused on one thing without trying to discern the bigger picture. Does this have anything to do with gratification (SN 35.17)? Not knowing the escape? To stay with an particular aspect rather than finding a bigger picture?

  • From AN 11.9: "Here, Sandha, for an excellent thoroughbred person, the perception of earth has disappeared in relation to earth, the perception of water has disappeared in relation to water, the perception of fire has disappeared in relation to fire, the perception of air has disappeared in relation to air, the perception of the base of the infinity of space has disappeared in relation to the base of the infinity of space, the perception of the base of the infinity of consciousness has disappeared in relation to the base of the infinity of consciousness, the perception of the base of nothingness has disappeared in relation to the base of nothingness, the perception of the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception has disappeared in relation to the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, the perception of this world has disappeared in relation to this world, the perception of the other world has disappeared in relation to the other world; perception has disappeared in relation to whatever is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, reached, sought after, and examined by the mind."

    Does the elusive MN 1 have something to offer us here?
    Here, bhikkhus, an untaught ordinary person, who has no regard for noble ones and is unskilled and undisciplined in their Dhamma, who has no regard for true men and is unskilled and undisciplined in their Dhamma, perceives earth as earth. Having perceived earth as earth, he conceives himself as earth, he conceives himself in earth, he conceives himself apart from earth, he conceives earth to be ‘mine,’ he delights in earth. Why is that? Because he has not fully understood it, I say.
    ...
    Bhikkhus, a bhikkhu who is an arahant with taints destroyed, who has lived the holy life, done what had to be done, laid down the burden, reached his own goal, destroyed the fetters of being, and is completely liberated through final knowledge, he too directly knows earth as earth. Having directly known earth as earth, he does not conceive himself as earth, he does not conceive himself in earth, he does not conceive himself apart from earth, he does not conceive earth to be ‘mine,’ he does not delight in earth. Why is that? Because he has fully understood it, I say.
    Note the difference. The ordinary person "perceives earth as earth" while the arahant "directly knows earth as earth". Bearing in mind the thoroughbred, is MN 1 describing this disappearance of "perception of earth in relation to earth"? Does it make any sense to say that "dependence on" would refer to conceiving in regards to perception? That not discerning that bigger picture one is bound to conceiving it? Am I reaching too far here?

    What about AN 10.7?
    "Friend Sāriputta, could a bhikkhu obtain such a state of concentration that (1) he would not be percipient of earth in relation to earth; (2) of water in relation to water; (3) of fire in relation to fire; (4) of air in relation to air; (5) of the base of the infinity of space in relation to the base of the infinity of space; (6) of the base of the infinity of consciousness in relation to the base of the infinity of consciousness; (7) of the base of nothingness in relation to the base of nothingness; (8) of the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception in relation to the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception; (9) of this world in relation to this world; (10) of the other world in relation to the other world, but he would still be percipient?”
  • How about that ending?! Just as mysterious as MN 1. :jumping:


Looking forward to the discussion. :smile:
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Re: 📍 With Sandha, AN 11.9 (Week of November 28, 2021)

Post by confusedlayman »

He cannot be discerened..

If there is no perxeption of anything then no knowingness of anything so personally he is out of everything
I may be slow learner but im at least learning...
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Re: 📍 With Sandha, AN 11.9 (Week of November 28, 2021)

Post by nirodh27 »

Very interesting and puzzling.

It seems to me that the problem is finding the true difference between:

abhijānāti that is directly knowing

and

sañjānāti that is perception

Here we have an usage:

SN35.80
“But, venerable sir, how should a bhikkhu know, how should he see, for ignorance to be abandoned by him and true knowledge to arise?”

“Here, bhikkhu, a bhikkhu has heard, ‘Nothing is worth adhering to.’ When a bhikkhu has heard, ‘Nothing is worth adhering to,’ he directly knows everything. Having directly known everything, he fully understands everything. Having fully understood everything, he sees all signs differently (alterative translation that I've found: as other / as alien). He sees the eye differently, he sees forms differently … whatever feeling arises with mind-contact as condition … that too he sees differently.

“When, bhikkhu, a bhikkhu knows and sees thus, ignorance is abandoned by him and true knowledge arises.”
Seems that the difference is linked to ignorance (and so view of self). When you don't adhere (so I think it is the same to say that you are disjoined) it seems that there's no more perception (non-arising of perception) and that is substituted with the arising of the directly knowing modality of knowning, which is a modality in which you find things as alien, as empty, as nonself, without conceiving a self or a mine inside that knowing. Perception, being linked to the self-view and ignorance, as a technical word is abandoned, but in our terms perceptions will simply be different.

Arahant

seen, heard, cognized, felt, examined, thought of > direct knowning (no contact, no feeling about the seen,heard,cognized,felt, no perception) > no craving > no conceiving (so no ideas of existence and non-existence too) > no birth, old-age, death, despair, grief, anxiety, etc. Every second dart is evaded.

Just like there's no contact for the Arahant, there is of course lacking of sensations regarding the seen, heard, cognized, felt and of course lacking of perceptions about it. There's only a lucid and intelligent direct knowning that seems a modality without conceiving, delight, adherence.

It would be a pain to let all this work with every canon passage, I dunno if it can be done.

MN37 too seems the same approach, but in reference not of as feeling alien, not-self and not-conceiving, but in regard to the world and the feelings that happens in regards to the world. So in that the response is reasoning about anicca and the drawbacks.
When I had spoken the Buddha said to me: ‘Lord of Gods, it’s when a mendicant has heard: “Nothing is worth insisting on” When a mendicant has heard that nothing is worth insisting on, they directly know all things. Directly knowing all things, they completely understand all things. Having completely understood all things, when they experience any kind of feeling—pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral—they meditate observing impermanence, dispassion, cessation, and letting go in those feelings. Meditating in this way, they don’t grasp at anything in the world. Not grasping, they’re not anxious. Not being anxious, they personally become extinguished. They understand: “jati :toast: is ended, the spiritual journey has been completed, what had to be done has been done, there is no return to any state of existence.” That’s how I briefly define a mendicant who is freed through the ending of craving, who has reached the ultimate end, the ultimate sanctuary, the ultimate spiritual life, the ultimate goal, and is best among gods and humans.’ That’s how the Buddha briefly explained freedom through the ending of craving to me.”
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Re: 📍 With Sandha, AN 11.9 (Week of November 28, 2021)

Post by SDC »

nirodh27 wrote: Mon Nov 29, 2021 11:14 am
Seems that the difference is linked to ignorance (and so view of self). When you don't adhere (so I think it is the same to say that you are disjoined) it seems that there's no more perception (non-arising of perception) and that is substituted with the arising of the directly knowing modality of knowning, which is a modality in which you find things as alien, as empty, as nonself, without conceiving a self or a mine inside that knowing. Perception, being linked to the self-view and ignorance, as a technical word is abandoned, but in our terms perceptions will simply be different.

Arahant

seen, heard, cognized, felt, examined, thought of > direct knowning (no contact, no feeling about the seen,heard,cognized,felt, no perception) > no craving > no conceiving (so no ideas of existence and non-existence too) > no birth, old-age, death, despair, grief, anxiety, etc. Every second dart is evaded.

Just like there's no contact for the Arahant, there is of course lacking of sensations regarding the seen, heard, cognized, felt and of course lacking of perceptions about it. There's only a lucid and intelligent direct knowning that seems a modality without conceiving, delight, adherence.

It would be a pain to let all this work with every canon passage, I dunno if it can be done.
Nice!

I think your emphasis on “about” and “regarding” provides a very accurate description of something [perhaps] excessive in the experience rooted in ignorance. In terms of MN 1 it looks to be the conceiving of something separate. I don’t think direct knowledge implies a lack of perception, but more of the discernment of unity, i.e. with earth does not necessitate the consideration of a redundant perception of it. It is known directly, not perceived directly. Discerned on account of what is perceived without the pressure of ownership.

That’s a bit high-level though, so I hope you’ll entertain a bit of a shift; and since this thread hasn’t really taken off, perhaps this can bring out a bit more of what is being described here in AN 11.9. On the matter of samādhinimitta, the “sign of concentration”:
MN 44 wrote:And what, lady, is concentration, what are the distinguishing signs of concentration, what are the requisites for concentration, what is the development of concentration?” “Whatever, friend Visākha, is one-pointedness of mind, this is concentration; the four arousings of mindfulness are the distinguishing signs of concentration; the four right efforts are the requisites for concentration; whatever is the practice, the development, the increase of these very things, this is herein the development of concentration.

Here samādhinimitta as “object of concentration”:
AN 4.14 wrote: And what is striving by protection? Here, a bhikkhu protects an arisen excellent object of concentration: the perception of a skeleton, the perception of a worm-infested corpse, the perception of a livid corpse, the perception of a festering corpse, the perception of a fissured corpse, the perception of a bloated corpse. This is called striving by protection.
Taking this “perception of bones” further:
Thag 1.18 wrote: There was an heir of the Buddha,
a monk in Bhesakaḷā forest,
who suffused the entire earth
with the perception of bones.
I think he will quickly
get rid of sensual desire.
SN 47.10 wrote:So it is, Ānanda, so it is! It may be expected of anyone, Ānanda—whether bhikkhu or bhikkhuni—who dwells with a mind well established in the four establishments of mindfulness, that such a one will perceive successively loftier stages of distinction.

What four? Here, Ānanda, a bhikkhu dwells contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. While he is contemplating the body in the body, there arises in him, based on the body, either a fever in the body or sluggishness of mind, or the mind is distracted outwardly. That bhikkhu should then direct his mind towards some inspiring sign. When he directs his mind towards some inspiring sign, gladness is born. When he is gladdened, rapture is born. When the mind is uplifted by rapture, the body becomes tranquil. One tranquil in body experiences happiness. The mind of one who is happy becomes concentrated.
Below the “nutriment” for concentration are the signs of both dispersal and serenity:
SN 46.2 wrote: And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of concentration and for the fulfilment by development of the arisen enlightenment factor of concentration? There are, bhikkhus, the sign of serenity, the sign of nondispersal: frequently giving careful attention to them is the nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of concentration and for the fulfilment by development of the arisen enlightenment factor of concentration.
Is the below pointing to samādhinimitta as a dwelling?
MN 36 wrote: Abhijānāmi kho panāhaṁ, aggivessana, anekasatāya parisāya dhammaṁ desetā. Apissu maṁ ekameko evaṁ maññati: ‘mamevārabbha samaṇo gotamo dhammaṁ desetī’ti. Na kho panetaṁ, aggivessana, evaṁ daṭṭhabbaṁ; yāvadeva viññāpanatthāya tathāgato paresaṁ dhammaṁ deseti. So kho ahaṁ, aggivessana, tassāyeva kathāya pariyosāne, tasmiṁyeva purimasmiṁ samādhinimitte ajjhattameva cittaṁ saṇṭhapemi sannisādemi ekodiṁ karomi samādahāmi, yena sudaṁ niccakappaṁ viharāmī”ti.

Aggivessana, I recall teaching the Dhamma to an assembly of many hundreds, and even then each person thinks of me: ‘The recluse Gotama is teaching the Dhamma especially for me.’ But it should not be so regarded; the Tathāgata teaches the Dhamma to others only to give them knowledge. When the talk is finished, Aggivessana, then I steady my mind internally, quieten it, bring it to singleness, and concentrate it on that same sign of concentration as before, in which I constantly abide.”
And in MN 121 we see perception described as a “field” (saññāgata):
He understands thus: 'Whatever disturbances there might be dependent on the perception of the village, those are not present here; whatever disturbances there might be dependent on the perception of the people, those are not present here. There is present only this amount of disturbance, namely, the singleness dependent on the perception of the forest.' He understands; 'This field of perception is void of perception of the village; this field of perception is void of the perception of people. There is present only this non-voidness, namely the singleness dependent upon the perception of the forest'. Thus he regards it as void of what is not there, but as to what remains there he understands that which is present thus: 'This is present.' Thus, Ananda, this is his genuine, undistorted, pure descent into voidness.
And a nice compliment is found in MN 122 as well. Here samādhinimitta as “meditation subject”. Also, this notion of being “aware of the situation” is really fascinating:
Tenānanda, bhikkhunā tasmiṁyeva purimasmiṁ samādhinimitte ajjhattameva cittaṁ saṇṭhapetabbaṁ sannisādetabbaṁ ekodi kātabbaṁ samādahātabbaṁ. So ajjhattaṁ suññataṁ manasi karoti. Tassa ajjhattaṁ suññataṁ manasikaroto ajjhattaṁ suññatāya cittaṁ pakkhandati pasīdati santiṭṭhati vimuccati. Evaṁ santametaṁ, ānanda, bhikkhu evaṁ pajānāti: ‘ajjhattaṁ suññataṁ kho me manasikaroto ajjhattaṁ suññatāya cittaṁ pakkhandati pasīdati santiṭṭhati vimuccatī’ti. Itiha tattha sampajāno hoti.

Then that mendicant should still, settle, unify, and immerse their mind in samādhi internally using the same meditation subject as a basis of immersion that they used before. They focus on emptiness internally, and their mind is eager, confident, settled, and decided. In that case, they understand: ‘I am focusing on emptiness internally, and my mind is eager, confident, settled, and decided.’ In this way they are aware of the situation.
The central theme that these suttas seem to be describing is that of discerning features/signs that indicate context/situation. In AN 11.9 the thoroughbred looks for what the food is indicating, namely that his trainer is going to expect something. That the food is part of something more. It appears that it is in the direction of the situation; the situation within which the extent of samadhi is discerned.

Any chance this can help with “dependent on”? How far out on a limb am I? :D
“By breaking the root of unknowing, it smashes the mechanism of deeds, and drops the thunderbolt of knowledge on the taking up of consciousnesses.” Thag 6.8
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Re: 📍 With Sandha, AN 11.9 (Week of November 28, 2021)

Post by Ceisiwr »

One of the parallels is interesting
This is what I heard.

At that time, the Buddha was in the Nātika kingdom, in the sangha of Solidar. Then the World Honored One said to the Great Jagannan, "Do not be confused in your mind, but be like a good horse, tuning in to your roots, not like a bad horse, whose roots are scattered. Like an evil horse tied to a trough, he thinks only of water and grass, but knows nothing else. If it is not fed, its protection is cut off. Also, just as a person who is often in contact with lust, because of his lust, he has much resentment, and much desire, and because of this desire, all kinds of troubles arise, and all kinds of bad feelings arise. In this way, if one does not know the way out, one will not be able to recognize the physical appearance of desire. If there is someone who sleeps well, and because he sleeps a lot, he has many confused thoughts, from which all kinds of troubles arise. For this reason, he does not know the way out and the way to cure it. If there is someone who has much remorse, because he is always remorseful, he is unable to distinguish between all dharmas. He knows that remorse is the cause of disorder, and because of this, he does not know the way out and the remedy. If there is someone who has many doubts, and because of them, hesitates in all dharmas. In this sense, he does not know the way out and the remedy. Like a horse that rides well and is tied to the toch, his mind does not think of the water and grass, and he never stops protecting himself. For example, if one's mind is free from desire, but has pure thoughts, and is not tainted with desire, and does not have the cover of sleep, such as regret and doubt, because of the power of the cause of the mind that does not have the five covers, then he knows the way out and the cure. If a bhikkhu does not rely on his earth, water, fire, and wind, and does not rely on the Four Colorless Meditations, does not rely on this world, does not rely on other worlds, does not rely on the sun, moon, and stars, does not rely on seeing and hearing, does not rely on awareness, does not rely on wisdom, does not rely on seeking the realm of mindfulness, and does not rely on awareness, he attains the unsupported meditation. If there is a bhikkhu who does not follow these grounded meditations and attains deep meditation, Shakyamuni, the Thirty-three Heavens, and all the Brahmanas all join their palms in respect and reverence and follow him. We do not know by what rule we shall attain meditation?

Then the Venerable Bhagavad-gītā stood behind the Buddha, and, fanning him with his fan, he said to him, "Your Holiness! What kind of bhikkhus practice meditation that does not depend on the four great and the four colorless, or even on the thought of awareness and contemplation? If so, how do the bhikkhus and others attain such meditation? Then Shakyamuni and all the people put their palms together in respect and admiration for the one who has attained this meditation and said, "What does this good man, the superior of husbands, practice meditation on?

The Buddha said to Bhagavad-gītā: "If any bhikkhu has practiced meditation, and sees that the earth is all false, and there is no real earth thought, or water, or fire, or wind, or the four colorless, or this world, or any other world, or the sun, or the moon, or the stars, or knowledge, or seeing, or perception, or the realm of the mind, or any other place beyond the reach of his wisdom, all are false, and there is no real dharma, but by false names, and by cause and effect, there are all kinds of names, and there is no dharma, or non-dharma.

Then the World Honored One spoke the verse, saying

"Now thou, Bhagavad-gītā, know thus.
Practice meditation, and see that there is nothing.
The Lord of the heavens, the Marriage, and the Thirty-three Heavens
The Lord of the World, the Lord of the World, the King of the Great Brahma, etc.
With palms joined in respectful salutation, they bowed their heads among men.
They all said, "Namo, good husband!
We do not know by what law thou hast attained
We do not know by what law Thou hast attained such deep meditation, which all men do not know.


When this was said, the great Jagannath was free from dust and dirt, and attained purity of vision. The Bhagavad-gītā bhikkhus had their worries destroyed forever, and were free from future births, and had no more knots.

At that time the bhikkhus heard the Buddha's words and joyfully followed them.

The evil horses, the obedient horses, the virtuous horses, the three and four
The whip and the shadows, and the eight evils
Jagannath is free from dirt, and all the ten things are finished.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
https://suttacentral.net/sa-2.151/lzh/taisho

The other parallel says pretty much the same as the Pāli, although this is based on the DeepL translation. Based on the above the meditation being referred to seems to be Nothingness, which is also part of the 3 concentrations/aspects of nibbāna; Emptiness, Nothingness (sometimes changed to "intentionless" in some texts) and signless. I'm reminded of the Pārāyanavagga, which somewhat emphasises liberation via Nothingness via relying upon the perception of "there is nothing".
"For that is false, bhikkhu, which has a deceptive nature, and that is true which has an non-deceptive nature—Nibbāna. Therefore a bhikkhu possessing this truth possesses the supreme foundation of truth. For this, bhikkhu, is the supreme noble truth, namely, Nibbāna, which has an non-deceptive nature."

- Dhātuvibhaṅga sutta
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Re: 📍 With Sandha, AN 11.9 (Week of November 28, 2021)

Post by Ceisiwr »

The other parallel
"Cheonta! If a real horse is tied to the steed and does not think about the water and grass, but thinks, 'The thing to drive. If a husband does not think about craving, he lives in detachment and does not seek righteousness with craving, nor does he angrily, sleep, regret, or doubt, but lives in detachment.

"That's it. A bhikkhu who meditates like this does not practice meditation according to the earth, not according to water, fire, wind, emptiness, consciousness, nothingness, non-thought and non-thought. He does not practice meditation according to this world, not according to other worlds, not to the sun, not to the moon, not to the sight, not to the smell, not to the consciousness, not to the awareness, not to the observation.

"The sibirantes! When the bhikkhus practice meditation in this way, the lords of heaven, Ishpala and Pochabodhi put their hands together, bowed and said

"Namaste, Namaste, Namaste, Namaste.
  By what do I meditate that I cannot know?

At that time, there lived behind the Buddha a venerable Tulkali, holding a fan and fanning the Buddha. At that time, he said to the Buddha, "Your Holiness! If a bhikkhu enters meditation, how does he meditate without relying on earth, water, fire, wind, or even awareness? When a bhikkhu meditates, the lords of the heavens, Ishpala, and Pochabodhi put their palms together in respect, salute, and say the following verse

"Namo mahasiddhas, Namo mahasiddhas, Namo mahasiddhas.
  By what do I meditate that I cannot know?

The Buddha said to Trikali, "A bhikkhu can think of the earth, think of water, fire and wind, think of the infinite void, think of the consciousness, think of the unconsciousness, and think of the non-thought and non-thought. In this world and in other worlds, the sun, the moon, sight, sound, consciousness, and awareness, if obtained or sought, if perceived or observed, are all subdued to their thoughts. Trekali! A bhikkhu who meditates in this way does not practice meditation according to earth, water, fire, wind, or even according to awareness and observation. Vikali! When a bhikkhu is thus meditating, the lords of heaven, Ishpala, and Pochabodhi respectfully join their hands, bow down, and say the following verse

"Namo mahasiddhas, Namo mahasiddhas.
  I don't know, where do I meditate?

When the Buddha said this sutra, the great Buddhist monk, Tirtha Jagannan, was far away from the dust and dirt and attained the purity of the Dharma eye. And Tulkali Bhikkhu was free from all omissions and attained liberation.

After the Buddha said this sutra, the bhikkhu was happy to hear what the Buddha said.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
https://suttacentral.net/sa926/lzh/taisho
"For that is false, bhikkhu, which has a deceptive nature, and that is true which has an non-deceptive nature—Nibbāna. Therefore a bhikkhu possessing this truth possesses the supreme foundation of truth. For this, bhikkhu, is the supreme noble truth, namely, Nibbāna, which has an non-deceptive nature."

- Dhātuvibhaṅga sutta
Pulsar
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Re: 📍 With Sandha, AN 11.9 (Week of November 28, 2021)

Post by Pulsar »

nirodh27 wrote
  • Just like there's no contact for the Arahant,
there is of course lacking of sensations regarding the seen, heard, cognized, felt and of course lacking of perceptions about it. There's only a lucid and intelligent direct knowning that seems a modality without conceiving, delight, adherence.
A wise analysis of the situation dear nirodh27.
To keep it brief I use a small excerpt of your comment.
Many fail to see this crucial difference between the Arahant and the unawakened.
Arahant has nothing in him to be contacted, the "I" is removed, there is no ground. He is removed from the sensory world. But that does not mean he lost his eyesight, hearing etc.
Think of contact (phassa) in relation to Dependent Origination, a contact related to "I" is absent in him.
Thus there is no origination of Dukkha related to "I". This does not mean Arahant suddenly went blind and deaf. He has gone beyond the sensory world, meaning he did not lose the sensitivity to the sensory world, but objects of the sensory world hold no importance to him.
He is not swayed by such. In place of the consciousness that harbored ill will, desire, and delusion, (worldly consciousness), a special type of cognition emerges in the form of Awakened non-conceptual knowledge.
Some call it immeasurable! Nothing can be used to measure it.
What is it like? it is hard to describe it to the worldling. Those who have practiced Establishment of mindfulness according to SN 47.42. might know what I mean.
Dear SDC, I have not read the other comments, I have a brief window of time right now to spare. Will join the discussion again tomorrow. This is one of my fav. suttas. Thanks for introducing it.
Entire doctrine locked within this one short sutta, might one say?
With love :candle:
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Re: 📍 With Sandha, AN 11.9 (Week of November 28, 2021)

Post by nirodh27 »

You've put a lot more on the table SDC, I will think about that :tongue:

Only one remark:
He's focused on one thing without trying to discern the bigger picture.
This attitude expressed in this thoroughbred/wild colt distinction recalls me the cook simile in the SN47. It's not the same message, but there are similarities. The bad cook simply cooks what thinks is good following his desires, while the good cook makes some more questions, analysing what the master (the mind) wants and prefer so to serve better and better dishes. This is the attitude of the Dhamma and it is shared by both the similes, the thoroughbred looks at meditation not as simply food, but to get something more from it and understanding what is the bigger meaning, the cook by observations tries to get something more from his work that simply to appease the hunger of the master. They both reason on long term and on how the cooking/food must be used/understood.

Also both the good cook and the thoroughbred attitude obtain the same result: to avoid the hindrances and to get praised and rewarded (the jhanas or even more).
A wise analysis of the situation dear nirodh27.
Thank you, even the only wise thing is to do it to the maximum extend one can.

I of course agree with what you have written. This explains why the sage at peace is untraceable and immeasurable even here-and-now, is disjoined even if the skin is leaned to the muscles, is invisible to death, is death-less, is not a servant or bound to Mara (death), he doesn't tremble, is not agitated by what is not-existent for him (the conceit I am, death, a view of self), about his future (becoming or non-becoming), is estinguished right within, leaves no track, the devas can't see him.
From whose heart
there is no provocation,
& for whom becoming & non-becoming
are overcome,
he — beyond fear,
blissful,
with no grief —
is one the devas can't see.
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Re: 📍 With Sandha, AN 11.9 (Week of November 28, 2021)

Post by SDC »

confusedlayman wrote: Sun Nov 28, 2021 7:39 am He cannot be discerened..
Well said.
“By breaking the root of unknowing, it smashes the mechanism of deeds, and drops the thunderbolt of knowledge on the taking up of consciousnesses.” Thag 6.8
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Re: 📍 With Sandha, AN 11.9 (Week of November 28, 2021)

Post by SDC »

Ceisiwr wrote: Tue Nov 30, 2021 7:04 pm
Thank you for those parallels. :thumbsup:
“By breaking the root of unknowing, it smashes the mechanism of deeds, and drops the thunderbolt of knowledge on the taking up of consciousnesses.” Thag 6.8
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Re: 📍 With Sandha, AN 11.9 (Week of November 28, 2021)

Post by SDC »

Pulsar wrote: Tue Nov 30, 2021 7:55 pm Dear SDC, I have not read the other comments, I have a brief window of time right now to spare. Will join the discussion again tomorrow. This is one of my fav. suttas. Thanks for introducing it.
Entire doctrine locked within this one short sutta, might one say?
With love :candle:
Glad you made it!
“By breaking the root of unknowing, it smashes the mechanism of deeds, and drops the thunderbolt of knowledge on the taking up of consciousnesses.” Thag 6.8
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Re: 📍 With Sandha, AN 11.9 (Week of November 28, 2021)

Post by Pulsar »

Based on the intro you wrote dear SDC
the way I see it, the food is a metaphor for the attractions of the sensory world. Wid Colt sees the attraction of the sensual strands and becomes intoxicated by it, without understanding the price he has to pay for that enjoyment, just mumbles
"Barley grain! Barley grain!"
Sensual passion overwhelms him.
“He dwells with his awareness overcome by ill will, sloth & drowsiness, restlessness & anxiety uncertainty, obsessed with uncertainty"
To take it one step further the fodder or what fuels desire, reminds me of Putramansa sutta, Sn 12.63.
  • Food, contact, intention, consciousness feed us propelling us on to the next becoming, an endless cycle of samsara.
The wise colt sees the danger of attractions, he is not amused by grass and water, he is protecting his mind, wisely established in the 4 stations of mindfulness, he never stops protecting himself. The agama version does a better job at pointing this out.
The rightly established mind has nothing to fear, no defilements to drag him back into the sensory world.
The wise colt is a reference to the wise meditator, guarding his mind.
Again I like the presentation in the agama version, or at least it complements the Pali version. The translation is not perfect but conveys the ideas adequately.
The wild cold is a reference to the unwise meditator, chasing after objects.
Thanks Ceisiwr for taking the trouble to bring us the Samyukta agama version. Do you know why some translation in Anguttara Nikaya are called Ekottara agama, and some are called Samyukta agama?
With love :candle:

PS OP, regarding your question on earth, water, air, fire etc, I will try to answer it tomorrow.
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Re: 📍 With Sandha, AN 11.9 (Week of November 28, 2021)

Post by Ceisiwr »

Pulsar wrote: Wed Dec 01, 2021 9:04 pm
Thanks Ceisiwr for taking the trouble to bring us the Samyukta agama version. Do you know why some translation in Anguttara Nikaya are called Ekottara agama, and some are called Samyukta agama?
Ven. Dhammanando gave his views on this some time ago
I don’t know. Perhaps it was out of a wish to put a distance between themselves and those non-Buddhists who also used āgama; e.g., the Jains who used it (in the plural) as the name for their canonical texts and the brahmins who used it (in the singular) interchangeably with śruti. By contrast, no non-Buddhists were using nikāya in this sense.

Or perhaps they wished for a greater degree of specificity than was offered by āgama, which in its earliest usage (in the singular) was rather vague and might, for all we know, have included the vinaya too.

The Theravādins, by the way, were not the only school that used nikāya. Though their texts are no longer extant, there’s epigraphic evidence that the Aparaśailas/Aparaseliyas (a southern Indian Mahāsaṅghika school) used it too.
https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/ar ... /17033/132
"For that is false, bhikkhu, which has a deceptive nature, and that is true which has an non-deceptive nature—Nibbāna. Therefore a bhikkhu possessing this truth possesses the supreme foundation of truth. For this, bhikkhu, is the supreme noble truth, namely, Nibbāna, which has an non-deceptive nature."

- Dhātuvibhaṅga sutta
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