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Saɱyutta Nikāya:
III. Khandha Vagga:
22: Khandha Saɱyutta
2.1. Upāya Vagga

Sutta 53

Upāyo Suttaɱ

Taking Up

Translated from the Pali by Michael Olds

 


 

Translator's Introduction

The Pali has been completely re-worked to reconcile it with the PTS version. This is one of the few cases where I have seen a difference in versions of the Pali that could make a significant difference in understanding the message of a sutta. My new translation is my statement as to how I think it should be. There is a little bit of comedy here at the end where the various translators struggle with the fact that in the Pali there is a sequence using 'attā' or 'self': vimuttattā ṭhitaṃ ṭhitattā santusitaṃ, santusitattā na paritassati where they have used 'it' for 'self', so they have consciousness walking around liberated, steady, content, not troubled, and become cool. This is not technically wrong, but there needs to be some relaxation in the use of conventional speech in such cases. The beggar is being told about how to attain liberation, so there is no real problem about speaking of him, or his self, as having attained it. I have my own suggested solution as to how to handle this. This is really a sutta that deals with The First Lesson; food. Here consciousness is shown as being dependent on a person's attachment to and taking up of form, sensation, perception, own-making and consciousness, and when that attachment is let go, how that takes the rug out from under consciousness and results in liberation.

 


 

[1][pts][than][wrrn][bodh] I HEAR TELL:

Once upon a time the Lucky Man Sāvatthī-town residing,
Jeta Grove,
Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.

There the The Lucky Man said this to the beggars:

'Beggars!'

'Bhante!' they replied, and the Lucky Man said:

3. Taking up, beggars:
not freedom,
not taking up:
freedom.

The Four Sticking-Points of Consciousness

4.1 Taking up form, beggars,
consciousness having got standing,
might stand —
with a foothold in form,
standing on form,
watered by pleasure,
it might flourish,
grow,
increase.[1]

4.2 Taking up sensation, beggars,
consciousness having got stuck,
might stand —
planted in sensation,
standing on sensation,
watered by pleasure,
it might flourish,
grow,
increase.

4.3 Taking up perception, beggars,
consciousness having got stuck,
might stand —
planted in perception,
standing on perception,
watered by pleasure,
it might flourish,
grow,
increase.

4.4 Taking up own-making, beggars,
consciousness having got stuck,
might stand —
planted in own-making,
standing on own-making,
watered by pleasure,
it might flourish,
grow,
increase.

5. He who, beggars, would say:

'I will point out —
other than through form
other than through sensation
other than through perception
other than through own-making —
the getting or
the going or
the ceasing or
the flourishing or
the growth or
the increase of consciousness —
this is not anywhere to be seen.

6. If beggars, a beggar has let go of
lust for the characteristic of form
with lust let go,
there is no foothold for the sticking of consciousness.

7. If beggars, a beggar has let go of
lust for the characteristic of sensation
with lust let go,
there is no foothold for the sticking of consciousness.

8. If beggars, a beggar has let go of
lust for the characteristic of perception
with lust let go,
there is no foothold for the sticking of consciousness.

9. If beggars, a beggar has let go of
lust for the characteristic of own-making
with lust let go,
there is no foothold for the sticking of consciousness.

10. If beggars, a beggar has let go of
lust for the characteristic of consciousness
with lust let go,
there is no foothold for the sticking of consciousness.

11. This consciousness,
without even a miniscule foothold for sticking,
without growth,
without on-going own-making and free,
stuck on it's own-freedom,
stuck on it's own self-contentment,
with it's own self-contentment not unsatisfied,
in and of itself thoroughly cool:

Knows:
'Left behind is rebirth,
lived the godly life,
done is duty's doing,
there is no further it'n-n-at'n.'

 


[1] At this point The Burmese has ||la|| meaning 'etcetera' and indicating that what should be inserted is a similar passage for both 'vedana, and sannā. Woodward and the PTS Pali omit the repetition.

 


 

References:

MN 37
MN 37 Woodward

 


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