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Saɱyutta Nikāya:
III. Khandha Vagga:
22: Khandha Saɱyutta
5. Attadīpa Vagga

Sutta 47

Samanupassanā Suttaɱ

Observations

Translated from the Pali by Michael Olds

 


 

[1-2][pts][than][bodh]I HEAR TELL:

Once Upon a Time, the Lucky Man, Sāvatthī-Town, Anathapindika Park, came-a ReVisiting.

There he addressed the beggars:

"Beggars!"

"Bhante!" they responded.

The Lucky Man said this to them:

"Whatsoever shamen or brahmin there are, beggars,
who lay out various observations[1] concerning self,
observe it as the five fuel-stockpiles,[2]
or observe it as one or another of them.

What five?

Here beggars, the uneducated commoner,
not seeing the Aristocratic,
untamed by the Aristocratic Dhamma,
untrained in the Aristocratic Dhamma,
not seeing the superior,
untamed by the superior Dhamma,
untrained in the superior Dhamma,
observes: 'Shape is self,' or
'Self has shape,' or
'Self is in shape,' or
'Shape is in self';

observes: 'Sense Experience is self,' or
'Self has sense experience,' or
'Self is in sense experience,' or
'Sense Experience is in self';

observes: 'Perception is self,' or
'Self has perception,' or
'Self is in perception,' or
'Perception is in self';

observes: 'Own-making is self,' or
'Self has own-making,' or
'Self is in own-making,' or
'Own-making is in self';

observes: 'Sense-consciousness is self,' or
'Self has sense-consciousness,' or
'Self is in sense-consciousness,' or
'Sense-consciousness is in self'.

Thus these observvations
as well as
'I am'
are not done away with.

Then further, beggars,
'I am' not done away with,
there comes descent into the five forces:[3]
eye-force,
ear-force,
nose-force,
tongue-force,
body-force.

There beggars, you have mind,
there you have things
there you have the data of blindness.

With contact with contact-born blindness, beggars,
in the uneducated commoner the experience of
just this very 'I am' is had,
just this very 'This I am' is had,
just this very 'Existence is'[4] is had,
just this very 'Shape exists' is had,
just this very 'Shapelessness exists' is had,
just this very 'Perception exists' is had,
just this very 'Non-perception exists' is had,
just this very 'Neither-perception-nor-non-perception exists' is had.

Right there then, beggars,
are established the five forces.

And it is right here then, beggars,
that in the well educated student of the aristocratic,
letting go of blindness,
vision arises.

With the disappearance of blindness,
the arising of of vision,
just this very 'I am' is not had,
just this very 'This I am' is not had,
just this very 'Existence is' is not had,
just this very 'Shape exists' is not had,
just this very 'Shapelessness exists' is not had,
just this very 'Perception exists' is not had,
just this very 'Non-perception exists,' is not had,
just this very 'Neither-perception-nor-non-perception exists' is not had.

 


[1] Samanupassa: saŋ+anupassati con-, co-, with- once- own- further-seeing. Observing. Bhk. Thanissaro translates 'assume' here but this causes him a problem when dealing with the sentence: "Iti ayañc'eva samanupassanā 'asmī' ti c'assa avigataṃ hoti." making him insert the term 'understanding' which is not there. Bhk. Bodhi has a similar problem translating the term as 'regarding'. He handles it thus: "Thus this way of regarding things and [the notion] 'I am' have not vanished in him. Woodward, also using 'regard' translates the sentence: "Thus this is the view: -- it has come to him (to think) "I am". My solution, uses the double meaning found in 'observe' (to see and to hold or state an opinion) solves the problem.

[2] Upādānakkhandha. The difficulty of understanding this term and the early translation as 'grasping' by the PTS translators has caused no end of difficuty in understanding this compound. The problem originates with the mental bias that attempts to make the Paticca Samuppada a straight-ling cause-and-effect progression which requires some sort of logical link between thirst and being. Bhk. Thanissaro's research into the term uncovers a more reasonable solution in the literal idea of 'fuel' and figurative understanding that this means that which supports. When we see how neatly 'fueling' mates up with 'stockpile' (for kkhandha) we can see the correctness of this understanding. It can be understood even more clearly if translating 'kkhandha' as 'trunk' where we can see a woodpile there. Stockpile of fuel.

[3] Indriyani. PED: Indriya (nt.) [Vedic indriya adj. only in meaning "belonging to Indra"; nt. strength, might (cp. inda), but in specific pāli sense "belonging to the ruler", i. e. governing, ruling nt. governing, ruling or controlling principle] A. On term: Indriya is one of the most comprehensive and important categories of Buddhist psychological philosophy and ethics, meaning "controlling principle, directive force, elan, du/namis" Using 'force' I am attempting to show how the senses, their objects and consciousness are objective entities divorced from the individual, like the tides of the oceans, or gravity. The common translation is 'faculties' which has the disadvantage of implying their derivation from the individual (the view: 'the sense spheres are in the self") rather than the fact that the sense-spheres descend upon, or enter the picture upon the establishment of the notion of self in connection with consciousness. Upon own-making (sankhara) consciousness arises. That consciousness is experienced as (has as it's object) awareness of sense-experience as personal experience.

[4] 'Will be' and 'will exist' but in the sense of 'There will be (will exist) such a thing as ...' The delusion that such things have a substantial reality. Bhks. Bodhi and Thanissaro insert "I" throughout the list: "I will be" etc. which is not in the Pali. Woodward has: "things will be" where again 'things' is not in the Pali. The idea is that this individual has created the basis for a generic belief in real existence right on up to the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception.

 


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