Therīgāthā, The Verses of the Elder Bhikkhunīs, Book One, Two, Three and Four (Week of May 2, 2021)

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Re: Therīgāthā, The Verses of the Elder Bhikkhunīs, Book One and Two (Week of May 2, 2021)

Post by Sam Vara »

sunnat wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 12:07 am Hair tips are minute.
'completely' means just that: in toto. ie in minute detail.
It is consistent with that, but not confirmatory. "Completely" or "totally" doesn't mean "in minute detail" even in English, let alone the Pali. For example, one can know that an adjective applies completely or totally to something by inference, without examination. "This weedkiller will kill the plant from roots to leaf-tips".

This formulation of "from the soles of the feet up...from the tips of the hair down" is often used in the suttas, where the meditator is shown examining the contents of their body and finding them to be unclean and unattractive. But this is not about sensations. Does the meditator get particular sensations from the spleen or the synovial fluid in the joints, or their snot? Can we get sensations from the hair tips down, or merely from the scalp? This seems, as SDC says, to be about a mental cataloguing and imagining of what is known to be in the body.
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Re: Therīgāthā, The Verses of the Elder Bhikkhunīs, Book One and Two (Week of May 2, 2021)

Post by skandha »

SDC wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 1:47 am
sunnat wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 1:26 am Sensations are phenomena that are sensed by means of the six sense organs, in other words feelings, including mind-feelings, like thoughts, ideas, memories. See chachakka sutta, six sets of six.
Yes that is a great sutta, but all I see is the six sense base (internal/external), consciousness, contact, feeling, craving, etc., but if sensation is only touch of the body then I’m not sure how it applies to all the other senses as well. There doesn’t seem to be a word for this idea of all of the senses uniting under the “sensations”. If anything that is more reminiscent of the usage of “dhamma”, which if we keep in mind dhammānupassanā of MN 10, all of these concepts are found as objects/phenomena within the scope of that reflection —— but it goes without saying that dhamma is far broader than mere sensation.
The word that comes to my mind for this idea of all of the senses uniting under "sensations" is phassa, which is commonly translated as contact. Other translations include sensations, sense impression.
Form is like a lump of foam, Feeling like a water bubble; Perception is like a mirage, Volitions like a plantain trunk, and consciousness like an illusion
- SN 22.95
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Re: Therīgāthā, The Verses of the Elder Bhikkhunīs, Book One and Two (Week of May 2, 2021)

Post by SDC »

skandha wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 9:50 pm
SDC wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 1:47 am
sunnat wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 1:26 am Sensations are phenomena that are sensed by means of the six sense organs, in other words feelings, including mind-feelings, like thoughts, ideas, memories. See chachakka sutta, six sets of six.
Yes that is a great sutta, but all I see is the six sense base (internal/external), consciousness, contact, feeling, craving, etc., but if sensation is only touch of the body then I’m not sure how it applies to all the other senses as well. There doesn’t seem to be a word for this idea of all of the senses uniting under the “sensations”. If anything that is more reminiscent of the usage of “dhamma”, which if we keep in mind dhammānupassanā of MN 10, all of these concepts are found as objects/phenomena within the scope of that reflection —— but it goes without saying that dhamma is far broader than mere sensation.
The word that comes to my mind for this idea of all of the senses uniting under "sensations" is phassa, which is commonly translated as contact. Other translations include sensations, sense impression.
Yes, that is often how it is used, but if we look at a very concise sutta about phassa (contact), it is described as something much different. According to the suttas, contact has more to do with taking the six sense base as mine:
SN 35.71 wrote:Bhikkhus, if a bhikkhu does not understand as they really are the origin and the passing away, the gratification, the danger, and the escape, in the case of these six bases for contact, then he has not lived the holy life; he is far away from this Dhamma and Discipline.”

When this was said, a certain bhikkhu said to the Blessed One: “Here, venerable sir, I am lost, for I do not understand as they really are the origin and the passing away, the gratification, the danger, and the escape, in the case of these six bases for contact.”

“What do you think, bhikkhu, do you regard the eye thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self’?”

“No, venerable sir.”

“Good, bhikkhu! And here, bhikkhu, you should clearly see the eye as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ This itself is the end of suffering.

“Do you regard the ear thus…? Do you regard the mind thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self’?”

“No, venerable sir.”

“Good, bhikkhu! And here, bhikkhu, you should clearly see the mind as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ This itself is the end of suffering.”
SN 35.72 wrote:Bhikkhus, if a bhikkhu does not understand as they really are the origin and the passing away, the gratification, the danger, and the escape, in the case of these six bases for contact, then he has not lived the holy life; he is far away from this Dhamma and Discipline.”

When this was said, a certain bhikkhu said to the Blessed One: “Here, venerable sir, I am lost, for I do not understand as they really are the origin and the passing away, the gratification, the danger, and the escape, in the case of these six bases for contact.”

“What do you think, bhikkhu, do you regard the eye thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self’?”

“Yes, venerable sir.”

“Good, bhikkhu! And here, bhikkhu, you should clearly see the eye as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ Thus this first base for contact will be abandoned by you for no future renewed existence.

“Do you regard the ear thus…? Thus this second base for contact will be abandoned by you for no future renewed existence….

“Do you regard the mind thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self’?”

“Yes, venerable sir.”

“Good, bhikkhu! And here, bhikkhu, you should clearly see the mind as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ Thus this sixth base for contact will be abandoned by you for no future renewed existence.”
Also saḷāyatanapaccayā phasso....the six sense base is the condition for contact, so even though there is clearly a relationship, they are different aspects. I don't think there is any justification for putting phassa in the middle of saḷāyatana, which is what this notion of sensations clearly does. That is what I meant earlier when I said that it always seems to be a mixture of perception, contact, and conceiving - sensations are everywhere and nowhere among terms that have distinct meanings and positions in the description of DO.

It does not appear as though this is what the Venerable Nun was speaking about in her verses. She uses the Pali word asuci meaning not pure. She doesn't need to examine touches of the body to know about the aspects of the body that are not pure.

I really don't mean to push my case so far, but I see no grounds for saying she was body sweeping for sensations to be equanimous towards. The whole notion of considering impurities is to be disgusted with the body to destroy lust - forcing equanimity upon this reflection would be misplaced, as it would put out the fire one is attempting to use purposefully.
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Re: Therīgāthā, The Verses of the Elder Bhikkhunīs, Book One and Two (Week of May 2, 2021)

Post by skandha »

SDC wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 10:46 pm
skandha wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 9:50 pm
SDC wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 1:47 am

Yes that is a great sutta, but all I see is the six sense base (internal/external), consciousness, contact, feeling, craving, etc., but if sensation is only touch of the body then I’m not sure how it applies to all the other senses as well. There doesn’t seem to be a word for this idea of all of the senses uniting under the “sensations”. If anything that is more reminiscent of the usage of “dhamma”, which if we keep in mind dhammānupassanā of MN 10, all of these concepts are found as objects/phenomena within the scope of that reflection —— but it goes without saying that dhamma is far broader than mere sensation.
The word that comes to my mind for this idea of all of the senses uniting under "sensations" is phassa, which is commonly translated as contact. Other translations include sensations, sense impression.
Yes, that is often how it is used, but if we look at a very concise sutta about phassa (contact), it is described as something much different. According to the suttas, contact has more to do with taking the six sense base as mine:
Looking at my previous message more precisely I realised that what I meant to say did not come out quite right, and it seems like I am saying that there is a hovering layer of sensations as a result of the activity of the senses, almost like that of feelings (vedana). However I don't mean that, I just meant that the word phassa comes to mind whenever I think of the stimulation of the cells of the eye for the experience of sight; stimulation of the cells in the ear for the the experience of sound; likewise for smell, taste, touch and thoughts. Six types of sense stimuli or sensations, but still under the term of phassa.

SDC wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 10:46 pm Also saḷāyatanapaccayā phasso....the six sense base is the condition for contact, so even though there is clearly a relationship, they are different aspects. I don't think there is any justification for putting phassa in the middle of saḷāyatana, which is what this notion of sensations clearly does. That is what I meant earlier when I said that it always seems to be a mixture of perception, contact, and conceiving - sensations are everywhere and nowhere among terms that have distinct meanings and positions in the description of DO.
Based on what I said above of how I understand the term sensation, I actually think that sensation (phassa) has a precise location, at the site of the senses where the physical cells are being stimulated. The way I see it the so called "external" sense base of sight, sound, smell, taste, touch and thoughts can only manifest within the sense organ themselves upon sense stimulation (phassa).
SDC wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 10:46 pm It does not appear as though this is what the Venerable Nun was speaking about in her verses. She uses the Pali word asuci meaning not pure. She doesn't need to examine touches of the body to know about the aspects of the body that are not pure.

I really don't mean to push my case so far, but I see no grounds for saying she was body sweeping for sensations to be equanimous towards. The whole notion of considering impurities is to be disgusted with the body to destroy lust - forcing equanimity upon this reflection would be misplaced, as it would put out the fire one is attempting to use purposefully.
I agree with you that the verses were not meant to be about body sweeping for touch sensations, or affective feelings. It is the specific training to be perceptive of the signs of unattractiveness in the body.
Form is like a lump of foam, Feeling like a water bubble; Perception is like a mirage, Volitions like a plantain trunk, and consciousness like an illusion
- SN 22.95
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Re: Therīgāthā, The Verses of the Elder Bhikkhunīs, Book One and Two (Week of May 2, 2021)

Post by sunnat »

"Bhikkhus, dependent on the mind and mind-objects, mind-consciousness arises; the meeting of the three is mind-contact; with mind-contact as condition there arises [a mind-feeling] felt as pleasant or painful or neither-pleasant-not-painful. When one is touched by a pleasant mind-feeling, if one delights in it, welcomes it, and remains holding to it, then the underlying tendency to lust lies within one. When one is touched by a painful mind-feeling, if one sorrows, grieves and laments, weeps beating one’s breast and becomes distraught, then the underlying tendency to aversion lies within one. When one is touched by a neither-pleasant-nor-painful mind-feeling, if one does not understand as it actually is the origination, the disappearance, the gratification, the danger, and the escape in regard to that mind-feeling, then the underlying tendency to ignorance lies within one. Bhikkhus, that one should here and now make an end of suffering without abandoning the underlying tendency to lust for pleasant mind-feeling, without abolishing the underlying tendency to aversion towards mind-painful feeling, without extirpating the underlying tendency to ignorance in regard to neither-pleasant-nor-painful mind-feeling, without abandoning ignorance and arousing true knowledge - this is impossible."
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Re: Therīgāthā, The Verses of the Elder Bhikkhunīs, Book One and Two (Week of May 2, 2021)

Post by SDC »

skandha wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 10:45 am However I don't mean that, I just meant that the word phassa comes to mind whenever I think of the stimulation of the cells of the eye for the experience of sight; stimulation of the cells in the ear for the the experience of sound; likewise for smell, taste, touch and thoughts. Six types of sense stimuli or sensations, but still under the term of phassa.
sunnat wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 11:37 am Bhikkhus, dependent on the mind and mind-objects, mind-consciousness arises; the meeting of the three is mind-contact;
There is no doubt senses are a condition for contact and present along with it, but taking into account SN 35.71-72, and any sutta having to with DO, there is more than just an explanation of a physiological process; in the same manner that pleasant, painful or neutral feeling are more than just physical for the non-arahant. These have to be in reference to taking something as mine as the two above suttas make clear.

We’re straying a bit from the topic, but if people would like to continue this I’ll split the thread starting with this post. Otherwise let’s get back to this week’s verses.
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Re: Therīgāthā, The Verses of the Elder Bhikkhunīs, Book One and Two (Week of May 2, 2021)

Post by SDC »

:reading:

Therīgāthā (Verses of the Senior Nuns)
Tikanipāta (Book of Threes)
Translated by Bhikkhu Sujato and Jessica Walton




Aparāsāmātherīgāthā (Another Sāmā) Thig 3.1
  • In the twenty-five years
    since I went forth,
    I don’t know that I had ever found
    serenity in my mind.

    I had failed to find peace of heart,
    or any control over my mind.
    When I remembered the victor’s instructions,
    I was struck with a sense of urgency.

    Though subject to so many painful things,
    I have, through my love of diligence,
    reached the ending of craving,
    and fulfilled the Buddha’s instructions.
    This is the seventh day
    since my craving dried up.

Uttamātherīgāthā (Uttamā) Thig 3.2
  • Four or five times
    I left my dwelling.
    I had failed to find peace of heart,
    or any control over my mind.

    I approached a nun
    in whom I had faith.
    She taught me the Dhamma:
    the aggregates, sense fields, and elements.

    When I had heard her teaching,
    in accordance with her instructions,
    I sat cross-legged for seven days without moving,
    given over to rapture and bliss.
    On the eighth day I stretched out my feet,
    having shattered the mass of darkness.

Aparāuttamātherīgāthā (Another Uttamā) Thig 3.3
  • Of the seven awakening factors,
    the path for attaining extinguishment,
    I have developed them all,
    just as the Buddha taught.

    I attain the meditations on emptiness
    and signlessness whenever I want.
    I am the Buddha’s rightful daughter,
    always delighting in quenching.

    All sensual pleasures are cut off,
    whether human or divine.
    Transmigration through births is finished,
    now there’ll be no more future lives.

Dantikātherīgāthā (Dantikā) Thig 3.4
  • Leaving my day’s meditation
    on Vulture’s Peak Mountain,
    I saw an elephant on the riverbank
    having just come up from his bath.

    A man, taking a pole with a hook,
    asked the elephant, “Give me your foot.”
    The elephant presented his foot,
    and the man mounted him.

    Seeing a wild beast so tamed,
    submitting to human control,
    my mind became serene:
    that is why I’ve gone to the forest!

Ubbiritherīgāthā (Ubbirī) Thig 3.5
  • “You cry ‘Please be living!’ in the forest.
    Ubbirī, get a hold of yourself!
    Eighty-four thousand people,
    all named ‘living being’,
    have been burnt in this funeral ground:
    which one do you grieve for?”

    “Oh! For you have plucked the dart from me,
    so hard to see, hidden in the heart.
    You’ve swept away the grief for my daughter
    in which I once was mired.

    Today I’ve plucked the dart,
    I’m hungerless, extinguished.
    I go for refuge to that sage, the Buddha,
    to his teaching, and to the Sangha.”

Sukkātherīgāthā (Sukkā) Thig 3.6
  • “What’s up with these people in Rājagaha?
    They sprawl like they’ve been drinking mead!
    They don’t attend on Sukkā
    as she teaches the Buddha’s instructions.

    But the wise—
    it’s as if they drink it up,
    so irresistible, delicious and nutritious,
    like travelers enjoying a cool cloud.”

    “She’s known as Sukkā because of her bright qualities,
    free of greed, serene.
    She bears her final body,
    having vanquished Māra and his mount.”

Selātherīgāthā (Selā) Thig 3.7
  • “There’s no escape in the world,
    so what will seclusion do for you?
    Enjoy the delights of sensual pleasure;
    don’t regret it later.”

    “Sensual pleasures are like swords and stakes
    the aggregates are their chopping block.
    What you call sensual delight
    is now no delight for me.

    Relishing is destroyed in every respect,
    and the mass of darkness is shattered.
    So know this, Wicked One:
    you’re beaten, terminator!”

Somātherīgāthā (Somā) Thig 3.8
  • “That state’s very challenging;
    it’s for the sages to attain.
    It’s not possible for a woman,
    with her two-fingered wisdom.”

    “What difference does womanhood make
    when the mind is serene,
    and knowledge is present
    as you rightly discern the Dhamma.

    Relishing is destroyed in every respect,
    and the mass of darkness is shattered.
    So know this, Wicked One:
    you’re beaten, terminator!”
    • End Book of Threes

Therīgāthā (Verses of the Senior Nuns)
Catukkanipāta (Book of Fours)
Translated by Bhikkhu Sujato and Jessica Walton




Bhaddākāpilānītherīgāthā (Bhaddā Kāpilānī) Thig 4.1
  • Kassapa is the son and heir of the Buddha,
    whose mind is immersed in samādhi.
    He knows his past lives,
    he sees heaven and places of loss,

    and has attained the end of rebirth:
    that sage has perfect insight.
    It’s because of these three knowledges
    that the brahmin is a master of the three knowledges.

    In exactly the same way, Bhaddā Kāpilānī
    is master of the three knowledges, destroyer of death.
    She bears her final body,
    having vanquished Māra and his mount.

    Seeing the danger of the world,
    both of us went forth.
    Now we are tamed, our defilements have ended;
    we’ve become cooled and quenched.
    • End Book of Fours
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Re: Therīgāthā, The Verses of the Elder Bhikkhunīs, Book One and Two (Week of May 2, 2021)

Post by SDC »

Books Three and Four will be the last selections of the week.
  • Any that jump out at you? I really like Thig 3.2 and how Uttamā emphasizes the aggregates, sense fields and elements as the most significant instructions she received from an elder nun.
  • Thig 4.1: for those who not know, Bhaddā Kāpilānī and Mahākassapa were married prior to ordaining. Really wonderful to see how she speaks on the accomplishments of both in her verses.
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Re: Therīgāthā, The Verses of the Elder Bhikkhunīs, Book One and Two (Week of May 2, 2021)

Post by Ceisiwr »

Somātherīgāthā (Somā) Thig 3.8

“That state’s very challenging;
it’s for the sages to attain.
It’s not possible for a woman,
with her two-fingered wisdom.”

“What difference does womanhood make
when the mind is serene,
and knowledge is present
as you rightly discern the Dhamma.


Relishing is destroyed in every respect,
and the mass of darkness is shattered.
So know this, Wicked One:
you’re beaten, terminator!”
:heart:

:anjali:
“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."


AN 2.31
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Re: Therīgāthā, The Verses of the Elder Bhikkhunīs, Book One and Two (Week of May 2, 2021)

Post by Ceisiwr »

Aparāsāmātherīgāthā (Another Sāmā) Thig 3.1

In the twenty-five years
since I went forth,
I don’t know that I had ever found
serenity in my mind.

I had failed to find peace of heart,
or any control over my mind.
When I remembered the victor’s instructions,
I was struck with a sense of urgency.

Though subject to so many painful things,
I have, through my love of diligence,
reached the ending of craving,
and fulfilled the Buddha’s instructions.
This is the seventh day
since my craving dried up.
I also like this, as it shows that even back then for some people it could take years before awakening. I think it can inspire people to keep on practicing when they feel they are getting nowhere.
“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."


AN 2.31
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Re: Therīgāthā, The Verses of the Elder Bhikkhunīs, Book One and Two (Week of May 2, 2021)

Post by SDC »

Ceisiwr wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 2:18 pm
Aparāsāmātherīgāthā (Another Sāmā) Thig 3.1

In the twenty-five years
since I went forth,
I don’t know that I had ever found
serenity in my mind.

I had failed to find peace of heart,
or any control over my mind.
When I remembered the victor’s instructions,
I was struck with a sense of urgency.

Though subject to so many painful things,
I have, through my love of diligence,
reached the ending of craving,
and fulfilled the Buddha’s instructions.
This is the seventh day
since my craving dried up.
I also like this, as it shows that even back then for some people it could take years before awakening. I think it can inspire people to keep on practicing when they feel they are getting nowhere.
Absolutely, C. So great that these accounts were preserved to remind us just how much work may have to be done to make strides.
"As fruits fall from the tree, so people too, both young and old, fall when this body breaks." - Raṭṭhapāla (MN 82)
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Re: Therīgāthā, The Verses of the Elder Bhikkhunīs, Book One and Two (Week of May 2, 2021)

Post by JohnK »

SDC wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 2:10 pm
“You cry ‘Please be living!’ in the forest.
Ubbirī, get a hold of yourself!
Eighty-four thousand people,
all named ‘living being’,
have been burnt in this funeral ground:
which one do you grieve for?”

“Oh! For you have plucked the dart from me,
so hard to see, hidden in the heart.
You’ve swept away the grief for my daughter
in which I once was mired.

Today I’ve plucked the dart,
I’m hungerless, extinguished.
I go for refuge to that sage, the Buddha,
to his teaching, and to the Sangha.”
Noticing the change in "agency."
Perhaps the first instance recalls what the Buddha taught her (first verse) that freed her from the specific mire of grief, a state where one's own agency is weakened. The second instance reflects that it is one's own diligence/agency that leads to ultimate freedom. In both cases it seems that the result is from the combination of the Buddha's teaching and one's own capacity -- but it can be perceived or characterized as primarily one or the other.
Those who grasp at perceptions & views wander the internet creating friction. [based on Sn4:9,v.847]
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Re: Therīgāthā, The Verses of the Elder Bhikkhunīs, Book One and Two (Week of May 2, 2021)

Post by SDC »

JohnK wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 3:12 pm
SDC wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 2:10 pm
“You cry ‘Please be living!’ in the forest.
Ubbirī, get a hold of yourself!
Eighty-four thousand people,
all named ‘living being’,
have been burnt in this funeral ground:
which one do you grieve for?”

“Oh! For you have plucked the dart from me,
so hard to see, hidden in the heart.
You’ve swept away the grief for my daughter
in which I once was mired.

Today I’ve plucked the dart,
I’m hungerless, extinguished.
I go for refuge to that sage, the Buddha,
to his teaching, and to the Sangha.”
Noticing the change in "agency."
Perhaps the first instance recalls what the Buddha taught her (first verse) that freed her from the specific mire of grief, a state where one's own agency is weakened. The second instance reflects that it is one's own diligence/agency that leads to ultimate freedom. In both cases it seems that the result is from the combination of the Buddha's teaching and one's own capacity -- but it can be perceived or characterized as primarily one or the other.
Yes, it sort of sounds like a two-fold release. First, the removal of grief, which seems more based in reason (keeping in mind AN 5.48), and the second the removal of any further darts seems to be a reference to nibbana. Thoughts?

There are multiple references to the dart (salla), most notably AN 5.48, SN 36.5 SN 36.6, SN 35.91.
"As fruits fall from the tree, so people too, both young and old, fall when this body breaks." - Raṭṭhapāla (MN 82)
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Re: Therīgāthā, The Verses of the Elder Bhikkhunīs, Book One and Two (Week of May 2, 2021)

Post by Sam Vara »

I was immediately struck by 3.1:
In the twenty-five years
since I went forth,
I don’t know that I had ever found
serenity in my mind.

I had failed to find peace of heart,
or any control over my mind.
When I remembered the victor’s instructions,
I was struck with a sense of urgency.

Though subject to so many painful things,
I have, through my love of diligence,
reached the ending of craving,
and fulfilled the Buddha’s instructions.
This is the seventh day
since my craving dried up.
Not just the sense of diligence and persistence which eventually pays off, which is obviously inspiring for the rest of us. It can often feel as if one is making no progress, so it's good to be reminded that other people went through something similar but nevertheless succeeded. Mainly, though, because it highlights the simplicity of the practice and the complete lack of doctrinal wrangling in these suttas. Sāmā doesn't get given the missing piece of the intellectual jigsaw by the Buddha or another senior practitioner. She doesn't even have a sudden realisation as to what something she has heard really means. She just uses the everyday faculties of memory, urgency, and diligence, and applies herself to what she already knows.

Often, especially online, it can seem as if people want to convict one another of doctrinal errors; to show that they have got insight into what the Buddha said, and that someone else has not. There is no end of discussion as to the correct meaning of a term. But these women just get on with it. Of course, they had the inestimable gift of having met the Buddha or his close disciples, and of sharing a culture and language. But how much of the teaching did they actuallyfemember use in the course of their practice? Aggregates, sense-fields and elements are mentioned by one; the 7 enlightenment factors by another. It reminds me of the Dhammapada verse:
A (wo)man is not versed in Dhamma because (S)he speaks much. (S)He who, after hearing a little Dhamma, realizes its truth directly and is not heedless of it, is truly versed in the Dhamma.
JohnK
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Re: Therīgāthā, The Verses of the Elder Bhikkhunīs, Book One and Two (Week of May 2, 2021)

Post by JohnK »

SDC wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 4:18 pm
JohnK wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 3:12 pm ...
Yes, it sort of sounds like a two-fold release. First, the removal of grief, which seems more based in reason (keeping in mind AN 5.48), and the second the removal of any further darts seems to be a reference to nibbana. Thoughts?
I'm hearing this as:
Verse 1 -- Refers back to a Time 1 -- The Buddha offers a teaching primarily to relieve her immediate grief.
Verse 2 -- Refers back to Time 1 -- She acknowledges the efficacy of that teaching.
Verse 3 -- Refers to Time 2 ("Today") -- "extinguished"/nibbana.
Seen this way, the poem is a declaration of arahantship, reflecting back (as many of these poems do), in this case, to her initial mire of grief and its compassionate relief -- her "first teaching" so to speak.
(But verse 3 speaks of going for refuge, which typically comes earlier.)
Edit: I think hungerless and extinguished trump going for refuge in interpreting Verse 3 -- So I'll stick with nibbana for now.
Last edited by JohnK on Wed May 05, 2021 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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