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 [Dhamma Talk]


 

The Three Characteristics

[AN 6.98] Impermanence, the E.M. Hare translation.
The Buddha points out how viewing everything own-made as impermanent leads to synchronization with the world and patience and that that results in the behavior and mental attitudes that produce Streamwinning, Once-returning, Non-Returning and Arahantship.
[AN 6.99] Ill, the E.M. Hare translation.
The Buddha points out how viewing everything own-made as pain leads to synchronization with the world and patience and that that results in the behavior and mental attitudes that produce Streamwinning, Once-returning, Non-Returning and Arahantship.
[AN 6.100] Not-self, the E.M. Hare translation.
The Buddha points out how viewing all things as not self leads to synchronization with the world and patience and that that results in the behavior and mental attitudes that produce Streamwinning, Once-returning, Non-Returning and Arahantship.

 

sabba saŋkhāraɱ aniccato sabba saŋkhāraɱ dukkhato sabba dhammaɱ anattato Sammattaniyāmaɱ

Olds

all own-made: not-stable all own-made: painful all things: not-self
not just what is own-made: all things.
delve into devine madness

Hare

phenomena/impermanence phenomena/ill all things/not-self enter the right way

Bhk. Bodhi

conditioned phenomena/impermanence conditioned phenomena/suffering all phenomena/non-self. the fixed course of rightness

Note well the distinction made in the construction between the first and the second and the third. It will become very important to understand when it comes to understanding the state of the Arahant and Nibbāna. Nibbāna is a dhamma, meaning a thing, with 'thing' being understood as just a place holder for an idea, not a concrete phenomena to be found somewhere in existence. If all things were unstable and painful, Nibbāna would not be Nirvana. If only own-made things were not-self, that would allow for the possibility of the not-own-made being the self. See the discussion: Is Nibbāna Conditioned Note there the reasons for objecting to the translation of saŋkhāra as conditioning. For discussion of the last term see:

[AN 5.151] The High Measure of Madness Method (1), Olds translation,
[AN 5.152] The High Measure of Madness Method (2), Olds translation,
[AN 5.153] The High Measure of Madness Method (3), Olds translation,
In each the Buddha describes five factors which assure good results from hearing Dhamma.

The reader will note that there is considerable difference between my translation and that of Hare or Bhk. Bodhi. The key word to understand is 'Sammatta' This is one of those words that I say comes down from the oldest forms of Pali and is a Manta, or magic charm. PED has it broken into two forms, one as SAṀ+MATTA, meaning 'with madness' or intoxicated, delighted, etc., but also (unmentioned) 'with measure'; and the other as abstracted from SAMMĀ meaning 'correctness,' 'righteousness' (I say 'High' or 'Consummate') and then defining that as the Magga. I suggest the meaning is derived from an earlier form incorporating all those meanings: extatic (ecstatic) intoxication: "A High Measure of Madness," "Devine madness." The thing is that this word here stands alone and is otherwise undefined in the suttas and the method I have found to be most productive of insight when trying to understand suttas is to take them at face value. To insert, without justification the idea that this word means (rather than is something that results from) the Eightfold Path, seems to me to be going too far. We have too many suttas {e.g. SN 5.46.52) which teach methods for attaining arahantship which do not rely on the formal Eightfold Path. I see no problem with the idea that what is being spoken of is religious extasy (ecstasy) or, if you would prefer a measured entheusiasm.


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