WARREN: BUDDHISM IN TRANSLATIONS

189

 

 


 

 

Ī 34. Attachment

Translated from the Visuddhi-Magga (chap. xiv.)

In looking upon Form and the other Groups as having a nature resembling bubbles of foam and the like, the meditative priest ceases to look upon the unsubstantial as substantiality. To particularize: --

In looking upon subjective Form as impure, he comes thoroughly to understand material food, abandons the perverse mistaking of the impure for the pure, crosses the torrent of sensual pleasure, breaks loose from the yoke of sensual pleasure, is freed from the depravity of sensual pleasure, [190] severs the myriad bonds of covetousness, and does not attach himself by the Attachment of Sensual Pleasure;

In looking upon Sensation as misery, he comes thoroughly to understand the nutriment called contact, abandons the perverse mistaking of misery for happiness, crosses the torrent of existence, breaks loose from the yoke of existence, is freed from the depravity of passion for existence, severs the myriad bonds of malevolence, and does not attach himself by the Attachment of Fanatical Conduct;

In looking upon Perception and the Predispositions as not an Ego, he comes thoroughly to understand the nutriment called karma, abandons the perverse mistaking of what is no Ego for an Ego, crosses the torrent of heresy, breaks loose from the yoke of heresy, is freed from the depravity of heresy, severs the myriad bonds of dogmatism, and does not attach himself by the Attachment of the Assertion of an Ego;

In looking upon Consciousness as transitory, he comes thoroughly to understand the nutriment called consciousness, abandons the perverse mistaking of the transitory for the permanent, crosses the torrent of ignorance, breaks loose from the yoke of ignorance, is freed from the depravity of ignorance, severs the myriad bonds of an affectation of fanatical conduct, and does not attach himself by the Attachment of Heresy.

 

Ī 34b. Attachment

Translated from the Visuddhi-Magga (chap. xvii.)

In the proposition, On desire depends attachment,

Attachments are in number four:
Whose definition various,
Their short description, and their long,
And sequence must one seek to show.

The following is the showing: --

The following are the four attachments; the attachment of sensual pleasure, the attachment of heresy, the attachment of fanatical conduct, the attachment of the assertion of an Ego.

[191] The following is the definition various.

The attachment of sensual pleasure is attachment with some form of sensual pleasure as its object. Or, again, it is the attachment of sensual pleasure because it is at the same time attachment and sensual pleasure. The word attachment[1] means a tenacious grasp. The syllables u-pa strengthen the word, just as in upāyāsa, upakkuttha, etc.

In like manner the attachment of heresy is heresy and attachment; or it is attachment to some form of heresy, whether concerning the past or the future, as when one says, "The Ego and the world are persistent," etc.

In like manner the attachment of fanatical conduct is attachment to some mode of fanatical conduct; or it is attachment and fanatical conduct. Cattle-conduct, cattle-behavior, and the like are attachments because they involve the belief that thus purity can be obtained.

In like manner assertion is what people assert; attachment is that by which they attach themselves. What do they assert? and to what do they attach themselves? The Ego. The attachment of the assertion of an Ego is the attachment to the assertion of an Ego, or it is the simple assertion of an Ego. The attachment of the assertion of an Ego is when people attach themselves by the assertion of an Ego.

The above, then, is the definition various.

Their short description, and their long.

First in regard to the attachment of sensual pleasure.

"What is the attachment of sensual pleasure? Sensual craving, sensual passion, sensual delight, sensual desire, sensual affection, sensual torment, sensual infatuation, sensual cleaving, this is called the attachment of sensual pleasure." In short, in this quotation, attachment is described as tenacity of desire. Tenacious desire is when an earlier desire has become tenacious by the proximate dependence. Some, however, say, "Desire is the quest of an object before it is obtained, as when a robber gropes about in the dark; attachment is the seizing hold of an object within reach, as when the robber gets [192] hold of his booty. And both are inimical to moderation and contentment and are the roots out of which grow seeking and guarding.

The short description of the other three attachments is that they are heresy.

In their long description, however, the attachment of sensual pleasure is tenacity of the aforesaid one-hundred-and-eight-fold desire for forms and other objects of sense.

The attachment of heresy consists of heretical views regarding ten different subjects.

"What is the attachment of heresy? 'There is no such thing as a gift, a sacrifice, an offering, a fruition or result of good or evil deeds, a present life, a future life, a mother, a father, apparitional existence, or any monk or Brahman having found the right road and correct line of conduct who can proclaim of his own knowledge and perception either this world or the next!' any such heresy, heretical belief, heretical jungle, heretical wilderness, heretical puppet-show, heretical writhing, heretical fetter, figment, notion, persuasion, affectation, byway, false way, falsity, schismatic doctrine, or error is called the attachment of heresy."

The heresy of fanatical conduct is the affectation of the belief that purity is by fanatical conduct. As it is said:

"What is the attachment of fanatical conduct? Purity is by conduct; purity is by fanaticism; purity is by fanatical conduct, -- any such heresy, heretical belief, heretical jungle, heretical wilderness, heretical puppet-show, heretical writhing, heretical fetter, figment, notion, persuasion, affectation, byway, false way, falsity, schismatic doctrine, or error is called the attachment of fanatical conduct."

The attachment of the assertion of an Ego is the twenty-fold heresy of individuality. As it is said:

"What is the heresy of the assertion of an Ego? Here an ignorant, unconverted man, who is not a follower of noble disciples, not conversant with the Noble Doctrine, not disciplined in the Noble Doctrine, not a follower of good people, not conversant with the doctrine held by good people, not disciplined in the doctrine of good people, considers form in [193] the light of an Ego -- either the Ego as possessing form, or form as comprised in the Ego, or the Ego as comprised in form; considers sensation . . . perception . . . the predispositions . . . consciousness as the Ego, or the Ego as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as comprised in the Ego, or the Ego as comprised in consciousness, -- any such heresy, heretical belief, heretical jungle, heretical wilderness, heretical puppet-show, heretical writhing, heretical fetter, figment, notion, persuasion, affectation, byway, false way, falsity, schismatic doctrine, or error is called the attachment of the assertion of the Ego."[2]

The above is their short description, and their long.

And sequence: -- That sequence is threefold; sequence in originating, sequence in abandoning, sequence in teaching.

Now, as the round of rebirth is without known beginning and it is impossible to say which corruption first arises, no absolute order of sequence can be laid down; but in any particular existence the order most commonly followed is for the heresy of the assertion of an Ego to come first and be followed by a heretical belief either in the persistence of existences or in their annihilation. Then he who believes that the Ego is persistent adopts the attachment of the heresy of fanatical conduct to purify his Ego, and he who believes that the Ego is annihilated, being reckless of a future life, adopts the attachment of sensual pleasure. Thus the sequence of originating in any particular existence is for the attachment of the heresy of the assertion of an Ego to come first, and after it the attachments of heresy, fanatical conduct, and sensual pleasure.

The attachment of heresy, the attachment of fanatical conduct, and the attachment of the assertion of an Ego are first abandoned, as they are destroyed by the Path of Conversion; the attachment of sensual pleasure afterwards by the Path of Arhatship. This is the sequence in abandonment.

The attachment of sensual pleasure is first taught both on account of its extent and of its conspicuousness. For as it [194] occurs in conjunction with eight of the consciousnesses it has a large extent; the others have but little, being conjoined with only four. And as mankind is for the most part given over to its lusts, the attachment of sensual pleasure is conspicuous; not so the others. Or, the attachment of sensual pleasure is for the purpose of obtaining objects of lust, and the attachment of heresy in the form of belief in the persistence of the Ego comes next as being more a question of speculative curiosity and the like. This has two divisions, the attachment of fanatical conduct, and the attachment of the assertion of an Ego. Of these two, the attachment of fanatical conduct is first taught from its grossness as one can see cattle-practices and dog-practices with one's own eyes; the attachment of the assertion of an Ego comes last on account of its subtileness. This is the sequence in teaching.


[1]In Pāli upādāna, i.e. upa + ādāna.

[2]See Dhammasangani, ĪĪ 1214 to 1217.

 


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