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

Dhamma Wheel's study group, facilitated by SDC.

Moderator: SDC

User avatar
SDC
Posts: 7030
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:08 pm

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

Post by SDC »

Sam Vara wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 4:21 pm ...
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.
Ānanda was gangsta 8-) :
Thig 17.3 wrote: A learned person who, on account of their learning,
looks down on someone of little learning,
seems to me like
a blind man holding a lamp.
And there’s AN 4.6 as well.
"As fruits fall from the tree, so people too, both young and old, fall when this body breaks." - Raṭṭhapāla (MN 82)
Pārāpariya | Phussa | Subhā of Jīvaka’s Mango Grove | Kappa
User avatar
Ceisiwr
Posts: 12805
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am

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

Post by Ceisiwr »

Sam Vara wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 4:21 pm ...
You raise some excellent points. Online I think there is, as you say, a tendency to over analyse and to get bogged down in very specific technicalities and abstract theories.
“The mental and material are really here,
But here there is no human being to be found,
For it is void and merely fashioned like a doll—
Just suffering piled up like grass and sticks.”


Visuddhimagga
User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 8319
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

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

Post by Sam Vara »

Does the figure of speech "Shattering the mass of darkness" appear elsewhere, or is it restricted to the Therīgāthā? I can't recall seeing it anywhere else. Perhaps it is the result of Sujato's collaboration?
User avatar
SDC
Posts: 7030
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:08 pm

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

Post by SDC »

Sam Vara wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 6:11 pm Does the figure of speech "Shattering the mass of darkness" appear elsewhere, or is it restricted to the Therīgāthā? I can't recall seeing it anywhere else. Perhaps it is the result of Sujato's collaboration?
Ven. Thanissaro renders tamokhandhaṁ padālayā as “bursting the mass of darkness”. It appears in few verses of the Theragāthā as well, but more frequently here in the Thig. A very cool phrase.

EDIT: fascinating thing - tama + khandha (mass of darkness) does appear in SN 6.1, MN 26, DN 14 and MN 85, but only in verse portions, not prose as far as I can find. If memory serves, BB notes verse tends to lean in the direction of “elevated” speech. Paging the Pali gurus!
"As fruits fall from the tree, so people too, both young and old, fall when this body breaks." - Raṭṭhapāla (MN 82)
Pārāpariya | Phussa | Subhā of Jīvaka’s Mango Grove | Kappa
User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 18547
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

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

Post by mikenz66 »

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.
Yes, that's one of my favourite Therigatha suttas.

Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 18547
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

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

Post by mikenz66 »

This is my other favourite from the threes. Perhaps because it doesn't speak of ultimate attainments, so is a little easier to identify with... :tongue:
SDC wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 2:10 pm 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!
:heart:
Mike
User avatar
Ceisiwr
Posts: 12805
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am

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

Post by Ceisiwr »

Vulture's Peak
Attachments
Vultures Peak.jpg
“The mental and material are really here,
But here there is no human being to be found,
For it is void and merely fashioned like a doll—
Just suffering piled up like grass and sticks.”


Visuddhimagga
sunnat
Posts: 775
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2019 5:08 am

Post by sunnat »

Dhammapada 259 shows how true knowledge, wisdom, panna, comes not from remembering a lot of suttas but from understanding the true meaning of The Dhamma.
__________

The reference to 84,000 is interesting. It may do three things.

The person reciting the stanzas did so after The Buddha had died and after Ananda had said :

'82,000 (teachings) from the Buddha I have received; 2,000 more from his disciples; Now 84,000 teachings are familiar to me.'

Thus dating the recitation and lending credence to the tipitaka as is.

Further offers a different meaning to the first part where the living beings are in fact the 84000 dhammakkhandhas and refers to the cremation of Lord Buddha.
________

Also the person saying it took 24 years indicates it also may have been after the cremation if it is correct that Ananda encouraged the creation of the female order in the 26th year of Buddhas dispensation when Buddha was 60 thus dating it to at least 4 years after cremation and possibly suggesting a date for the whole collection.
pegembara
Posts: 2092
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 8:39 am

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

Post by pegembara »

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.
I like the way the syllabus is laid out-

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .nymo.html
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
Locked