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Fwd: Aranavibhanga Sutta Re: Maharahulovada Sutta update

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  • Ong Yong Peng
    Dear friends, here is a study file of the Aranavibhanga Sutta provided by Piya:
    Message 1 of 10 , Feb 3, 2003
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      Dear friends,

      here is a study file of the Aranavibhanga Sutta provided by Piya:

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Pali/files/thepalicentre/m139_Aranavibhanga_S_piya.doc

      metta,
      Yong Peng.

      --- Piya Tan <libris@...> wrote:
      > I'm enclosing a new translation of the Aranavibhanga Sutta which I
      completed today for you and the Group. This is am amazing sutta as
      reflected in my Introduction to it. I will be leading a study on it in
      the National University of Singapore Sutta Study Group coming Monday.
      >
      > Please post the sutta as you will (preferably in PDF).


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    • Ong Yong Peng <ypong001@yahoo.com>
      Dear Piya and friends, the filenames may have resulted in difficulties accessing the files, I have done some pruning:
      Message 2 of 10 , Feb 3, 2003
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        Dear Piya and friends,

        the filenames may have resulted in difficulties accessing the files,
        I have done some pruning:

        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Pali/files/palicentre/m139aranavibhanga.
        doc

        The file on Pali textual convention is now as:
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Pali/files/palicentre/Piyac2.doc

        metta,
        Yong Peng

        --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Ong Yong Peng wrote:
        > here is a study file of the Aranavibhanga Sutta provided by Piya:
        >
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Pali/files/thepalicentre/m139_Aranavibha
        nga_S_piya.doc
      • Frank Kuan
        In reference to Piya s translation of M139, some comments: 1) Doesn t the Buddha contradict his own teaching on nonconflict, non praising and non disparaging
        Message 3 of 10 , Feb 3, 2003
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          In reference to Piya's translation of M139, some
          comments:

          1) Doesn't the Buddha contradict his own teaching on
          nonconflict, non praising and non disparaging in
          teaching dhamma by explicitly calling out Subhuti at
          the end and praising him for being one who practices
          nonconflict? And at the beginning praises subhuti for
          being the foremost among his disciples among
          nonconflict? Rather high praise wouldn't you say?
          Imagine the other disciples who become jealous and
          resentful of Subhuti because of that praise :-)

          2) I like how Piya uses the translation "dung-like"
          for the description of sensual pleasures. Bhikhu Bodhi
          uses "filty". What is the pali phrase in question
          here? Is it literally "dung-like"? In light of how the
          Buddha talks about using conventional language to
          teach dhamma, I wonder how he would express the same
          teaching today. "Dudes, sense pleasures are like a
          shit sandwich."

          3) If by some gross misfortune, I am not enlightened
          by the time the next buddha appears in the world, I
          vow to be named, "the foremost in obnoxiousness among
          all of the buddha's disciples."

          -fk


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        • christine_forsyth <cforsyth@vtown.com.au>
          Hello Frank and All, Frank, I thought I recognised your forthright style. :-) With regard to point (2) of your post: I wonder if language in the Buddha s
          Message 4 of 10 , Feb 3, 2003
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            Hello Frank and All,

            Frank, I thought I recognised your 'forthright' style. :-)
            With regard to point (2) of your post:
            I wonder if language in the Buddha's time had a few local variants
            e.g. a usage acceptable to the majority of people of all age groups
            and levels in society, as well as one for the 'upper' and educated
            classes, and a more impermanent type of language (such as one sees
            every couple of years with high school age people) identifying one as
            rebelling against authority, or having particular interests such as
            surfing, styles of music and dancing, or the political 'cause' of the
            moment?
            I can understand the Buddha wishing his teachings to be conveyed in a
            language that would be understood by most people, but another
            consideration would be that it is actually 'listened' to.
            You mention "how the Buddha talks about using conventional language to
            teach dhamma" But , by this, did he mean not using something like
            Latin, which until recent years was the language of the Catholic
            clergy though all but unintelligible to Everyman? Did this really
            mean using language that the majority would consider vulgar? Would
            most people be willing and able to 'hear' a message phrased in
            language they wouldn't allow in their own home?
            [Is it possible that your idea of 'conventional' could mean someone
            else's 'slang' or 'unacceptable'].

            metta,
            Christine

            --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Frank Kuan <fcckuan@y...> wrote:
            > In reference to Piya's translation of M139, some
            > comments:
            >
            > 1) Doesn't the Buddha contradict his own teaching on
            > nonconflict, non praising and non disparaging in
            > teaching dhamma by explicitly calling out Subhuti at
            > the end and praising him for being one who practices
            > nonconflict? And at the beginning praises subhuti for
            > being the foremost among his disciples among
            > nonconflict? Rather high praise wouldn't you say?
            > Imagine the other disciples who become jealous and
            > resentful of Subhuti because of that praise :-)
            >
            > 2) I like how Piya uses the translation "dung-like"
            > for the description of sensual pleasures. Bhikhu Bodhi
            > uses "filty". What is the pali phrase in question
            > here? Is it literally "dung-like"? In light of how the
            > Buddha talks about using conventional language to
            > teach dhamma, I wonder how he would express the same
            > teaching today. "Dudes, sense pleasures are like a
            > shit sandwich."
            >
            > 3) If by some gross misfortune, I am not enlightened
            > by the time the next buddha appears in the world, I
            > vow to be named, "the foremost in obnoxiousness among
            > all of the buddha's disciples."
            >
            > -fk
          • Piya Tan
            Frank, ... If one speaks of the good qualities that is present in another, it is a wholesome truth, not praising. If one speaks of a negative quality in a
            Message 5 of 10 , Feb 3, 2003
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              Frank,

              > 1) Doesn't the Buddha contradict his own teaching on
              > nonconflict, non praising and non disparaging in
              > teaching dhamma by explicitly calling out Subhuti at
              > the end and praising him for being one who practices
              > nonconflict? And at the beginning praises subhuti for
              > being the foremost among his disciples among
              > nonconflict? Rather high praise wouldn't you say?
              > Imagine the other disciples who become jealous and
              > resentful of Subhuti because of that praise :-)

              If one speaks of the good qualities that is present in another, it is a
              wholesome truth, not praising. If one speaks of a negative quality in a
              person that he or she has, that is not blame. In either case, then it should
              be done at the right time. Anyway, the Buddha is relating to Subhuti's
              spiritual state of mind or spiritual accomplishment, not the him as a person
              (which is the crux of the sutta). Perhaps a close reflective reading of
              section 8 might help.

              > 2) I like how Piya uses the translation "dung-like"
              > for the description of sensual pleasures. Bhikhu Bodhi
              > uses "filty". What is the pali phrase in question
              > here? Is it literally "dung-like"? In light of how the
              > Buddha talks about using conventional language to
              > teach dhamma, I wonder how he would express the same
              > teaching today. "Dudes, sense pleasures are like a
              > shit sandwich."

              The pali word here is "mii.lha,sukha.m". PED gives only "excrement" (M 1:454
              = 2:230), but the Pali synonym appears to be "guutha" (same meaning) (Vv
              2.11, PvA 194, DhA 2:53 a truly "filthy" account this last one). Although
              Bodhi's "filthy" (or alternately "vile") is polite, I think "dung-like" or
              "turd-like" brings out the Pali sense more clearly here. (It might have been
              the Buddha's own word, or a redactor's, anyway.)

              As to the last part of your remark here: yes, I think the Buddha would
              communicate with people like those from the poorer Brooklyn side of NY or
              the black ghettos in Oakland & Berkeley on their level. Of course, the
              Buddha will do this in his own special way (exactly how I am ignorant of).

              > 3) If by some gross misfortune, I am not enlightened
              > by the time the next buddha appears in the world, I
              > vow to be named, "the foremost in obnoxiousness among
              > all of the buddha's disciples."

              If you are frank, then I am earnest.

              Sukhi.

              P
              >
              > -fk
              >
              >
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            • Ong Yong Peng <ypong001@yahoo.com>
              Dear Frank, Chrisine and friends, I would like to see the Indian people NOT as a homogenious people but one of varying languages and customs. It is like the
              Message 6 of 10 , Feb 3, 2003
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                Dear Frank, Chrisine and friends,

                I would like to see the Indian people NOT as a homogenious people but
                one of varying languages and customs. It is like the many African
                tribes in Africa or the many dialect groups in China. I do not know
                much of Africa except the fact that communication between the African
                countries is now made possible only because they use English as the
                medium. In China, besides the many minority ethnic group, the main
                Han people has many dozen of dialect groups, each with its own unique
                dialect and customs. I think it is the same among the Australian
                aboriginal people and in Europe.

                Most people agree that the Buddha speaks more than one language, due
                to the fine education he received when young. And since he was
                trained to inherit the small Shakyan kingdom from his father, it was
                both politically and culturally important that he knows to speak the
                languages of the more powerful neighbours such as Magadha and Kosala.

                The Buddha, according to the Tipitaka, studied the Vedas as a boy and
                that would mean he knows Vedic Sanskrit. However, he may not have
                used Sanskrit in his teaching as he belongs to a new religious
                movement, the Samana movement, that would rather not embrace anything
                Vedic.

                Pali, or even the hybrid Sanskrit used in Mahayana buddhist texts,
                should not be perceived as a liturgical language as Arabic is in
                Islam or Hebrew/Greek/Latin is in Judaism/Christianity. In fact, in
                at least one place in the Tipitaka, the Buddha has disagreed with one
                disciple who wanted to make the Buddha's teaching available in one
                language only. Instead, the Buddha wants his disciples to share the
                dhamma with others in the language of their audiences. This is why we
                see that long before the Bible is translated to English (the first
                language outside Hebrew/Greek/Latin), the Buddhadharma is already
                available in dozens of Asian languages.


                metta,
                Yong Peng

                --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, christine_forsyth wrote:
                I wonder if language in the Buddha's time had a few local variants
                e.g. a usage acceptable to the majority of people of all age groups
                and levels in society, as well as one for the 'upper' and educated
                classes, and a more impermanent type of language (such as one sees
                every couple of years with high school age people) identifying one as
                rebelling against authority, or having particular interests such as
                surfing, styles of music and dancing, or the political 'cause' of the
                moment?

                > I can understand the Buddha wishing his teachings to be conveyed in
                a language that would be understood by most people, but another
                consideration would be that it is actually 'listened' to.

                > You mention "how the Buddha talks about using conventional language
                to teach dhamma" But , by this, did he mean not using something
                like Latin, which until recent years was the language of the Catholic
                clergy though all but unintelligible to Everyman? Did this really
                mean using language that the majority would consider vulgar? Would
                most people be willing and able to 'hear' a message phrased in
                language they wouldn't allow in their own home?

                > [Is it possible that your idea of 'conventional' could mean someone
                else's 'slang' or 'unacceptable'].
              • Frank Kuan
                Hi Piya, ... I reread that section, both in your translation in B.Bodhi s, and I still have the same interpretation. The Buddha in many suttas calls out the
                Message 7 of 10 , Feb 4, 2003
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                  Hi Piya,
                  --- Piya Tan <libris@...> wrote:
                  > Perhaps a close
                  > reflective reading of
                  > section 8 might help. [of m139]

                  I reread that section, both in your translation in
                  B.Bodhi's, and I still have the same interpretation.
                  The Buddha in many suttas calls out the name of the
                  disciple when praising wholesome qualities. Stricly
                  speaking, the Buddha contradicts his own advice in
                  M139. Other examples from other suttas: when the
                  Buddha points out wrong views in his disciples by
                  calling them "misguided fools".

                  What I conclude from this is that the Buddha could
                  still use derogatory or complimentary phrases that
                  appears "personal", but only the speaker would know
                  whether they utter statements like that free of any
                  ego-grasping. My guess is that in M139, the Buddha is
                  probably cautioning his disciples to be prudent about
                  pointing out wrong religious views for example to
                  others who cling very dearly to them, rather than a
                  directive to carry out that instruction in every minor
                  situation, for example in the company of those noble
                  disciples who would not wrongly grasp on to
                  misperceptions of conventional language.


                  > "turd-like" [describing sense-pleasures] brings out
                  the Pali sense more clearly
                  > here [than b.bodhi's translation "vile"]

                  It's wonderful that the Buddha [when talking to
                  disples who can handle the full truth] didn't pull any
                  punches. "Filthy" tones it down too much. A muddy
                  automobile is filthy. A dusty window is filthy. Sense
                  pleasures are a shit-sandwich.

                  For those of you in polite society, I should explain
                  the nuance of this expression. A prime example of this
                  occurs when for example, a boss passes down a very
                  unsavory task to his staff, all of whom must perform
                  the task rather than assign just one person to do the
                  entire job. One of wiser senior members might utter
                  the statement, "[The task] is a shit-sandwich, and
                  everyone has to take a bite." Meaning it is
                  unavoidable fate for everyone to partake in eating
                  that dungheap.

                  When applied to the context of sensual pleasures, it's
                  a brilliant metaphor. The worldly view on the matter
                  is that the only way to true happiness is to titillate
                  the 5 cords of sense pleasure. Conventional wisdom
                  holds that it is impossible to find happiness without
                  taking a bite out of that sandwich and taking the
                  negative side effects as a necessary consequence.

                  The enlightened view is very different. They recognize
                  shit as shit, and realize there is a sublime pleasure
                  apart from sense pleasures that can come only from
                  abandoning these pursuits that worldlings consider
                  indispensable and unavoidable.

                  -fk


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                • Frank Kuan
                  Hi Chris, ... Would ... Consider the simile the Buddha uses comparing sense pleasures to leprosy. Consider all the contemplations of foulness and impurities of
                  Message 8 of 10 , Feb 4, 2003
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                    Hi Chris,
                    --- "christine_forsyth <cforsyth@...>"
                    Would
                    > most people be willing and able to 'hear' a message
                    > phrased in
                    > language they wouldn't allow in their own home?
                    > [Is it possible that your idea of 'conventional'
                    > could mean someone
                    > else's 'slang' or 'unacceptable'].

                    Consider the simile the Buddha uses comparing sense
                    pleasures to leprosy. Consider all the contemplations
                    of foulness and impurities of the body. There's the
                    instruction to the disciples to eat food for
                    sustenance only, as parents crossing a desert would
                    eat the flesh of their only child, only to survive,
                    not for enjoyment or entertainment value. These are
                    pretty extreme similes that would shock the
                    sensibilities of most worldlings, no matter if the
                    language was cloaked in civility or used in a
                    colloquial way.
                    The Buddha and enlightened arahants would not
                    gratuitously give hard-to-swallow teachings or use
                    colloquialism carelessly, but I believe there would be
                    occasions where they would give the modern equivalent
                    of a sermon on the shit-sandwich.

                    Thus have I heard: At one time, the blessed one was
                    visiting the recluse Frank and some of his friends
                    from the Pali group. Encompassing their minds with his
                    own, he knew that most of them, except for Frank,
                    clung to erroneous notions of pure speech...

                    "Friends, sense pleasures are a shit-sandwich."
                    ...
                    Delighted by this rousing talk, 500 disciples attained
                    the stainless eye of dhamma.

                    -fk


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                  • Piya Tan
                    Frank, And now, you should read section 10. We agree on the essentials, that s great. I like to visualize the Buddha as a man of constant good humour, and hear
                    Message 9 of 10 , Feb 4, 2003
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                      Frank,

                      And now, you should read section 10. We agree on the essentials, that's
                      great.

                      I like to visualize the Buddha as a man of constant good humour, and hear
                      his words, even the strongest, in that light. It makes a lot of sense then
                      (to me anyway).

                      Sukhi.

                      P.
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: "Frank Kuan" <fcckuan@...>
                      To: <Pali@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Wednesday, February 05, 2003 12:08 AM
                      Subject: Take a bite out of that sandwich Re: [Pali] Fwd: Aranavibhanga
                      Sutta Re: Maharahulovada Sutta update


                      > Hi Piya,
                      > --- Piya Tan <libris@...> wrote:
                      > > Perhaps a close
                      > > reflective reading of
                      > > section 8 might help. [of m139]
                      >
                      > I reread that section, both in your translation in
                      > B.Bodhi's, and I still have the same interpretation.
                      > The Buddha in many suttas calls out the name of the
                      > disciple when praising wholesome qualities. Stricly
                      > speaking, the Buddha contradicts his own advice in
                      > M139. Other examples from other suttas: when the
                      > Buddha points out wrong views in his disciples by
                      > calling them "misguided fools".
                      >
                      > What I conclude from this is that the Buddha could
                      > still use derogatory or complimentary phrases that
                      > appears "personal", but only the speaker would know
                      > whether they utter statements like that free of any
                      > ego-grasping. My guess is that in M139, the Buddha is
                      > probably cautioning his disciples to be prudent about
                      > pointing out wrong religious views for example to
                      > others who cling very dearly to them, rather than a
                      > directive to carry out that instruction in every minor
                      > situation, for example in the company of those noble
                      > disciples who would not wrongly grasp on to
                      > misperceptions of conventional language.
                      >
                      >
                      > > "turd-like" [describing sense-pleasures] brings out
                      > the Pali sense more clearly
                      > > here [than b.bodhi's translation "vile"]
                      >
                      > It's wonderful that the Buddha [when talking to
                      > disples who can handle the full truth] didn't pull any
                      > punches. "Filthy" tones it down too much. A muddy
                      > automobile is filthy. A dusty window is filthy. Sense
                      > pleasures are a shit-sandwich.
                      >
                      > For those of you in polite society, I should explain
                      > the nuance of this expression. A prime example of this
                      > occurs when for example, a boss passes down a very
                      > unsavory task to his staff, all of whom must perform
                      > the task rather than assign just one person to do the
                      > entire job. One of wiser senior members might utter
                      > the statement, "[The task] is a shit-sandwich, and
                      > everyone has to take a bite." Meaning it is
                      > unavoidable fate for everyone to partake in eating
                      > that dungheap.
                      >
                      > When applied to the context of sensual pleasures, it's
                      > a brilliant metaphor. The worldly view on the matter
                      > is that the only way to true happiness is to titillate
                      > the 5 cords of sense pleasure. Conventional wisdom
                      > holds that it is impossible to find happiness without
                      > taking a bite out of that sandwich and taking the
                      > negative side effects as a necessary consequence.
                      >
                      > The enlightened view is very different. They recognize
                      > shit as shit, and realize there is a sublime pleasure
                      > apart from sense pleasures that can come only from
                      > abandoning these pursuits that worldlings consider
                      > indispensable and unavoidable.
                      >
                      > -fk
                      >
                      >
                      > __________________________________________________
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                      > Yahoo! Mail Plus - Powerful. Affordable. Sign up now.
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                    • Frank Kuan
                      ... Ok, I re-read it. We seem to disagree. What you are implying here as strong word , I consider clinging to regional language and rejecting common usage.
                      Message 10 of 10 , Feb 5, 2003
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                        --- Piya Tan <libris@...> wrote:
                        > Frank,
                        >
                        > And now, you should read section 10.

                        Ok, I re-read it. We seem to disagree. What you are
                        implying here as "strong word", I consider "clinging
                        to regional language and rejecting common usage." I'd
                        be very curious to know exactly the "strength" of the
                        pali regional term the buddha uses in the sutta.
                        Perhaps the pali term was equivalent to my regional
                        version. Also note that "strength" is a completely
                        relative concept. In the company of the Queen of
                        England, even the regional terms you may consider
                        acceptable might be to her "too strong".

                        In the context of this company, meaning the Pali
                        group, I would hope that we are all cultivators. As
                        such, my operating assumption has been that there is
                        little if any clinging to "regional
                        language/colloquialism" among the people here.
                        However, if I am too presumptuous, then I heartily
                        apologize.

                        I'd especially like to apologize to the fecal matter
                        that I had insensitively referred to in the tongue of
                        my regional language, which Mr. fecal matter has
                        informed me the politically correct term for his
                        people is "turd". It should be noted that as a result
                        of the great Turd war of 1850, the rival "Poo-poo"
                        clan had their regional title stripped, and is no
                        longer "recognized" by most other countries with the
                        notable exception of the Nation of Crap. In diplomatic
                        relations, the Queen of England refer to the
                        ambassador of Turd respectfully as "Number Two".

                        -fk


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