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Outlining the Chachakka Sutta[1]

The thing you want to do with these sorts of stutas ... reading them isn't going to help very much ... is first to study them and see if you can picture the sequence involved (which is best done by understanding it) and then do the sequence in mind.

After the Nidana -- Savatthi town, Anathapindika's Park, Jeta Grove — this sutta begins:

Dhammaṃ vo, bhikkhave, desissāmi ādikalyāṇaṃ majjhe kalyāṇaṃ pariyosānakalyāṇaṃ sātthaṃ sabyañjanaṃ kevalaparipuṇṇaṃ parisuddhaṃ brahmacariyaṃ pakāsissāṃi, yad idaṃ cha chakkāni.

Vocabulary:

Bhikkhu Thanissaro translates: "Monks, I will teach you the Dhamma admirable in the beginning, admirable in the middle, admirable in the end; I will expound the holy life both in its particulars & in its essence, entirely complete, surpassingly pure — in other words, the six sextets."

Nanamoli/Bodhi: "Bhikkhus, I shall teach you the Dhamma that is good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end, with the right meaning and phrasing; I shall reveal a holy life that is utterly perfect and pure, that is, the six sets of six."

Horner: "I will teach you dhamma, monks, lovely in the beginning, lovely in the middle, lovely at the ending. With the spirit and the letter I will proclaim to you the Brahma-faring, utterly complete, quite purified, that is to say the Six Sixes."

ādikalyāṇa: adika: adi: from, ka: shit-1, from the get-"go"; from the beginning, initial, ādikena: in the beginning, at once, at the same time; kalyāṇa (note the way the two words were combined): beautiful, charming, auspicious, helpful, morally good. Synonyms are bhaddaka (lucky, auspicious) and kusala (skillful).

majjha: PED: [Latin: medius, Gothic: midjis, Old High German: mitti, English: middle, (MO: midst, mid-, medium, midget, magic)]: middle, middling 1. of space: of moderate height; 2. of time: of middle age; 3. majjhe in the middle (a) prep: in between, among (b) in special dogmatic sense "in the present state of existence," contrasted with past and future existences (current); 4. majjhang: The Middle.

pariyosāna: pari + osāna; pari: [Old Pali: PA=pass, A=to, RI=sun, ARI=around the sun] all around; osāna: ava + sa; ava: to go, out go; with, one, this, he

sāttha (sa=with; attha=goal, to reach, to attain, attainment, result, outcome, point, interest, advantage, gain, good, blessing, welfare; profit, prosperity, well being

sabyañjana (sa=with byañjana = sign, mark; PED: 2. the letter as compared with attha, the spirit or meaning. Old Pali: bya=via; jana=knowing, understanding

kevala-paripuñña (kevala=helpful) paripuñña = pari: all round; punna: (Latin: plenus, Gothic fulls, English: full; German: voll; (MO: pleny'nuf) full; paripuñña: 1. (quite) full, fulfilled, complete, finished, satisfied, 2. complete, not defective, perfect, sound, healthy

pakāsissāṃi to explain, make known, inform, make evident, publicize

The Outline

I will speak to you, beggars, of a Dhamma that is helpful from the get-go, helpful in the middle, helpful right up to the end, I will clearly explain to you the best of lives, true to the spirit and the letter, advantageous throughout, that is, The SixBySix K-ka.

This is what is being taught:

1. The Six internal sense spheres
2. The Six external sense spheres
3. The Six cases of consciousness (viññāṇa)
4. The Six cases of contact (phassa)
5. The Six cases of sense experience (vedana)
6. The six cases of hunger/thirst (taṇhā)

I. The Fundamentals

1. The Six internal Sense Spheres (the sense organ)

1. The Eye sense sphere
2. The Ear sense sphere
3. The Nose sense sphere
4. The Tongue sense sphere
5. The Body sense sphere
6. The Mind sense sphere

2. The Six external Sense Spheres (the object of sense)

1. The Material Shape sense sphere
2. The Sound sense sphere
3. The Scent sense sphere
4. The Flavor sense sphere
5. The Tangible sense sphere
6. The Mental Object (or 'Thing') (dhamma) sense sphere

3. The Six cases of Consciousness

1. Rebounding off Eye and Material shape Visual Consciousness appears[2]
2. Rebounding off Ear and Sounds Auditory Consciousness appears
3. Rebounding off Nose and Scents Consciousness of Scents appears
4. Rebounding off Tongue and Flavors Consciousness of Tastes appears
5. Rebounding off Body and Touches Consciousness of Touch appears
6. Rebounding off Mind and Mental Object Consciousness of Ideas appears

4. The Six cases of Contact

1. Rebounding off Eye and Material shape Visual Consciousness appears; the three joined up is Contact
2. Rebounding off Ear and Sounds Auditory Consciousness appears; the three joined up is Contact
3. Rebounding off Nose and Scents Consciousness of Scents appears; the three joined up is Contact
4. Rebounding off Tongue and Flavors Consciousness of Scents appears; the three joined up is Contact
5. Rebounding off Body and Touches Consciousness of Touch appears; the three joined up is Contact
6. Rebounding off Mind and Mental Object Consciousness of Ideas appears; the three joined up is Contact

5. The Six cases of Sense Experience (What is 3? pleasant, unpleasant, neither pleasant nor unpleasant sensation associated with the senses)

1. Rebounding off the Eye and Material shape Visual Consciousness appears; the three joined up is Contact; Rebounding off the contact is Sense Experience
2. Rebounding off Ear and Sounds Auditory Consciousness appears; the three joined up is Contact; Rebounding off the contact is Sense Experience
3. Rebounding off Nose and Scents Consciousness of Scents appears; the three joined up is Contact; Rebounding off the contact is Sense Experience
4. Rebounding off Tongue and Flavors Consciousness of Scents appears; the three joined up is Contact; Rebounding off the contact is Sense Experience
5. Rebounding off Body and Touches Consciousness of Touch appears; the three joined up is Contact; Rebounding off the contact is Sense Experience
6. Rebounding off Mind and Mental Object Consciousness of Ideas appears; the three joined up is Contact; Rebounding off the contact is Sense Experience

6. The Six cases of Hungar/Thirst

1. Rebounding off the Eye and Material shape Visual Consciousness appears; the three joined up is Contact; Rebounding off the contact is Sense Experience; Rebounding off Sense Experience is Hungar/Thirst
2. Rebounding off Ear and Sounds Auditory Consciousness appears; the three joined up is Contact; Rebounding off the contact is Sense Experience; Rebounding off Sense Experience is Hungar/Thirst
3. Rebounding off Nose and Scents Consciousness of Scents appears; the three joined up is Contact; Rebounding off the contact is Sense Experience; Rebounding off Sense Experience is Hungar/Thirst
4. Rebounding off Tongue and Flavors Consciousness of Scents appears; the three joined up is Contact; Rebounding off the contact is Sense Experience; Rebounding off Sense Experience is Hungar/Thirst
5. Rebounding off Body and Touches Consciousness of Touch appears; the three joined up is Contact; Rebounding off the contact is Sense Experience; Rebounding off Sense Experience is Hungar/Thirst
6. Rebounding off Mind and Mental Object Consciousness of Ideas appears; the three joined up is Contact; Rebounding off the contact is Sense Experience; Rebounding off Sense Experience is Hungar/Thirst

II. The Argument

1.1. To say that The Eye Sense Sphere is the self is absurd because the appearance and end of the eye can be seen. Since the appearance and end of the eye can be seen one would be forced to accept the proposition: "The self appears and ends in myself." This is why the Eye Sense Sphere is not to be understood as the self.
1.2-6: The same for Ear Sense through Mind Sense[3].

2.1. To say that The Material Shape [visual object] Sense Sphere is the self is absurd because the appearance and end of Material Shape can be seen. Since the appearance and end of material shape can be seen one would be forced to accept the proposition: "The self appears and ends in myself." This is why the Material Shape Sense Sphere is not to be understood as the self.
2.2-6: The same for Sound Sense Sphere through Mental Object Sense Sphere.

3.1. To say that Visual Consciousness is the self is absurd because the appearance and end of Visual Consciousness can be seen. Since the appearance and end of Visual Consciousness can be seen one would be forced to accept the proposition: "The self appears and ends in myself." This is why Visual Consciousness is not to be understood as the self.
3.2-6: The same for Auditory Consciousness through Mental Consciousness.

4.1. To say that Visual Contact is the self is absurd because the appearance and end of Visual Contact can be seen. Since the appearance and end of Visual Contact can be seen one would be forced to accept the proposition: "The self appears and ends in myself." This is why Visual Contact is not to be understood as the self.
4.2-6: The same for Auditory Contact through Mental Contact.

5.1. To say that Visual Sense Experience is the self is absurd because the appearance and end of Visual Sense Experience can be seen. Since the appearance and end of Visual Sense Experience can be seen one would be forced to accept the proposition: "The self appears and ends in myself." This is why Visual Sense Experience is not to be understood as the self.
5.2-6: The same for Auditory Sense Experience through Mental Sense Experience.

6.1. To say that Visual Hungar/Thirst is the self is absurd because the appearance and end of Visual Hungar/Thirst can be seen. Since the appearance and end of Visual Sense Experience can be seen one would be forced to accept the proposition: "The self appears and ends in myself." This is why Visual Hungar/Thirst is not to be understood as the self.
6.2-6: The same for Auditory Hungar/Thirst through Mental Hungar/Thirst.

III. The ways of going which rebound in holding it to be true that there can be that which can be called "My Own"

1.1. One sees it like this: "The Eye Sense Sphere is me, my self, mine."
1.2-6: The same for Ear Sense through Mind Sense.
2.1. One sees it like this: "The Material Shape Sense Sphere is me, my self, mine."
2.2-6: The same for Sound Sense Sphere through Mental Object Sense Sphere.
3.1. One sees it like this: "Visual Consciousness is me, my self, mine."
3.2-6: The same for Auditory Consciousness through Mental Consciousness.
4.1. One sees it like this: "Visual Contact is me, my self, mine."
4.2-6: The same for Auditory Contact through Mental Contact.
5.1. One sees it like this: "Visual Sense Experience is me, my self, mine."
5.2-6: The same for Auditory Sense Experience through Mental Sense Experience.
6.1. One sees it like this: "Visual Hungar/Thirst is me, my self, mine."
6.2-6: The same for Auditory Hungar/Thirst through Mental Hungar/Thirst.

IV. The ways of going which rebound in the Ending of holding it to be true that there can be that which can be called "My Own"

1.1. One sees it like this: "The Eye Sense Sphere is not me, not my self, not mine."
1.2-6: The same for Ear Sense through Mind Sense.
2.1. One sees it like this: "The Material Shape Sense Sphere is not me, not my self, not mine."
2.2-6: The same for Sound Sense Sphere through Mental Object Sense Sphere.
3.1. One sees it like this: "Visual Consciousness is not me, not my self, not mine."
3.2-6: The same for Auditory Consciousness through Mental Consciousness.
4.1. One sees it like this: "Visual Contact is not me, not my self, not mine."
4.2-6: The same for Auditory Contact through Mental Contact.
5.1. One sees it like this: "Visual Sense Experience is not me, not my self, not mine."
5.2-6: The same for Auditory Sense Experience through Mental Sense Experience.
6.1. One sees it like this: "Visual Hungar/Thirst is not me, not my self, not mine."
6.2-6: The same for Auditory Hungar/Thirst through Mental Hungar/Thirst.

V. The Bias that is possible based on contact

1. Rebounding off the Eye and Material shape, Visual Consciousness appears; the three joined up is Contact; Rebounding off the contact is Sense Experience which is either Pleasant, Unpleasant, or Not Pleasant but Not Unpleasant. In contact with the Pleasant Sense Experience, delighting in it, welcoming it, becoming attached to it, standing firm thus, there is bias towards lust. In contact with the Unpleasant Sense Experience, grieving, irritated, lamenting, beating the breast, wailing and going mad, there is a bias towards repulsion. In contact with the Not Pleasant but Not Unpleasant Sense Experience, not understanding as it really is the basis for its appearance, not understanding the basis for its termination, or it's sweetness, or it's wretchedness, or it's being left, there is a bias towards blindness.

2-6: The same for the Pleasant, Unpleasant, or Not Pleasant but Not Unpleasant Sense Experience arising from the contact of the Ear and Sounds, The Nose and Scents, the Tongue and Tastes, the body and touches, and the Mind and Mental Objects.

VI. Avoiding the Bias

1. Rebounding off the Eye and Material shape, Visual Consciousness appears; the three joined up is Contact; Rebounding off the contact is Sense Experience which is either Pleasant, Unpleasant, or Not Pleasant but Not Unpleasant. In contact with the Pleasant Sense Experience, not delighting in it, not welcoming it, not becoming attached to it, standing firm thus, there is no bias towards lust. In contact with the Unpleasant Sense Experience, not grieving, not irritated, not lamentaing, not beating the breast, not wailing and going mad, there is no bias towards repulsion. In contact with the Not Pleasant but Not Unpleasant Sense Experience, understanding as it really is the basis for its appearance, understanding the basis for its termination, and it's sweetness, and it's wretchedness, and it's being left, there is no bias towards blindness.

2-6: The same for the Pleasant, Unpleasant, or Not Pleasant but Not Unpleasant Sense Experience arising from the contact of the Ear and sounds, the Nose and Scents, the Tongue and Tastes, the body and touches, and the Mind and Mental Objects.

So Seeing, the well-taught student of the Aristocrats has had enough of The Eye, has had enough of Material Shape, has had enough of Eye Consciousness, has had enough of Eye Contact, has had enough of Eye Sense Experience, has had enough of Eye hungar/thirst.

He has had enough of The Ear and Sounds.

He has had enough of The Nose and Scents.

He has had enough of The Tongue and Tastes.

He has had enough of The Body and Touches.

He has had enough of The Mind and Mental Objects.

Having had enough he becomes dispassionate; being dispassionate is freedom; in freedom seeing freedom is knowledge of freedom and the knowledge comes: "Left Behind is Rebirth, Lived was the Best of Lives, Done is Duty's Doing, no more hither and yon nor it'n-n-at'n me!"

 


[1] The full unfolding of this sutta is available at: mn.148.olds ... "unfolding" is the word used for giving the full, unabbreviated version of a sutta, but I think we should use "spinning out" ... this is the web, and here, at least these suttas are being considered "spells" and spells are woven after spinning threads (sutta) and webs are spun out as well as woven. Note the difference between this sort of sutta and the sort called a "wheel" (see: SN.III.xiii for an example of this) In an "unfolding" the development is linear. One set of concepts is being fully developed. In a wheel two or more fundamentally different concepts are developed against each other.

[2a] What we have here is the Paticca Samuppada in one of it's lesser-recognized forms. The idea 'rebounding' is usually presented as 'cause' or 'dependance'. Of the two 'dependance' is accurate, cause is not. Consciousness is an independant element and is not caused by eye and visual object coming into contact. Contact is a name for the coming together of eye, visual object, and consciousness. Consciousness appears when there is eye and object and eye-consciousness appears when it 'bounces off' the two. This is someting that must be seen in meditation and is very important for getting the perspective needed to see how nama/rupa and consciousness interact in the formation of the being, and how breaking off the interaction is the key to Nibbana. If the idea is held in mind that eye and visual object etc. 'cause' consciousness, it will not be possible to see how consciousness can be separate from nama/rupa.

[3]This group and the ones that follow might also be developed going through the complete sequence for the one organ and then repeating the complete sequence for each of the other five.

 


 

References:

Majjhima Nikaya III: #148: Chachakkasuttam, PTS:pp280
PTS: The Middle Length Sayings III: #148: Discourse on the Six Sixes, Horner, trans., pp.331
WP: The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, #148: The Six Sets of Six, Bhikkhu Nanamoli/Bhikkhu Bodhi, trans., pp.1129
ATI: ../dhamma-vinaya/ati/mn/mn.148.than.ati.htm The Six Sextets, Bhikkhu Thanissaro, trans.


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