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 [Dhamma Talk]


 

Seen in This Life

In SN 4.35.70 the venerable Upavana inquires about the description of the Dhamma as being within view, timeless, come-see-able, leading-on, individually to be experienced by the cognizant.

This is a frequently-appearing description of the Dhamma. Here the meaning is shown to be that with this Dhamma one becomes aware of one's experiences at the senses, the lust that one has for sense experience, and the point when that lust no longer appears. This is, in a sequence that leads on, the experience in the individual of the problem, the solution, the method for it's solution, and the realization of the goal.

It is not a Teaching that asks one to believe or behave and wait for the result in some future life.

It just needs to be said that what is intended here is not that one look at the Dhamma and snap fingers one is awakened. The idea is that at each step in the practice of what the Dhamma teaches (intellectual understanding, insight, letting go, freedom, realization of freedom) that degree of the Dhamma has been personally fulfilled and results to that degree in a freedom from pain (the achievement of the goal) right there.

Each step forward is a step into further freedom.

It is this phenomena of visible progress that so often leads the newcomer to believe that he has achieved the end when he has only just begun. Avoid grasping the snake in the wrong way! This Dhamma teaches absolute freedom. If you can see that there is still in your life some degree of captivity, you are not there yet.

 


 

In SN 4.35.71 The Buddha explains to a bhikkhu that seeing the six sense realms as not-self or belonging to the self is the end of pain.

A bhikkhu is thrown into doubt when the Buddha tells the bhikkhus that those who do not see the appearance, the retirement, the satisfaction and misery, and the escape from the sixfold sphere of contact do not understand the Dhamma or follow the Discipline, for he perceives himself as not yet seeing these things as they really are. Then when the Buddha asks him if he sees the eye as 'me', 'mine' 'my self' the bhikkhu answers he does not. And the Buddha says that there you have it, that seeing the eye in this way is the method for seeiing the the appearance, the retirement, the satisfaction and misery, and the escape from the eye, etc.

This is a good example of what was described as Dhamma being within view, timeless, come-see-able, leading-on, individually to be experienced by the wise. At that time that the bhikkhu sees the eye, etc. as 'Not me, not mine, not my self' he has entered the path and sees the appearance, the retirement, the satisfaction, the misery and the escape from the eye, etc. When he doesn't, he isn't and doesn't. Time to get busy and make such perception uninterupted.

 


 

[AN 3.53] The Buddha explains the meaning of 'Seen in this life is Dhamma'. Something so transparent it is invisible to many.

[AN 3.54] The Buddha explains the meaning of 'Seen in this life is Dhamma'. This Dhamma is not a 'wait-and-see' thing, not a system promising benefits for following it's rules only at some future time. When you eliminate some low way of behaving the fear and dread of the consequences of that deed is let go right there. This is not to say that the results are not long lasting, or that some of the promised benefits of following the system do not take working at or arrive later in Time, but the sage will see in the mechanism of action that there is benefit in the beginning, benefit in the middle and benefit at the end and that even the benefit at the beginning is worth the effort.

[AN 3.55] The Buddha explains the meaning of 'Seen in this life is Nibbāna'. Except for the change to Nibbāna from 'Dhamma', identical with the previous sutta, but the meaning is on an entirely different level. The previous question points out the immediate advantage of acts of not-doing. Here what must be seen is that Nibbāna is the perception of the not-happening of the consequences of those deeds.


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