Essence of Buddhism – In the First Sutta

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    • #18997
      upekkha100
      Participant

      Essence of Buddhism – In the First Sutta

      I’m curious about the following terms.

      1) Is icca another word for tanha?

      2) Is saṃkhittena a form of sankhara dukkha? Is the “sam” in saṃkhittena same as san?

      3) What does na ā­gami mean?

      4) What does sandhi mean?

    • #19002
      y not
      Participant

      October 23, 2018 at 2:31

      y not

      “…..and notified their higher-lying main realm. Section 11 lists how the news progressively propagated to higher-lying realms and eventually devas from all those 21 realms came to listen to the desana.”

      Elsewhere it is stated that, AS A GENERAL RULE, beings in a lower realm cannot communicate with those in higher ones – I cannot remember whether they are also even as much as aware of those higher realms. And – do not beings in higher realms see (IF THEY SO WISH TO) the realms below them? what need is there of them being informed by those from lower realms? In the latter case, although they CAN see, i.e they have the ability to see, but were ‘caught unaware’ – I can only assume that they (the lower devas) were ‘assisted’ by the Buddha himself in this extraordinary and supremely important event.. But I’d better not assume anything.

      Can you please clarify this?

      Excellent post, Lal. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Thank you.

      ever so grateful

    • #19006
      Lal
      Keymaster

      upekkha100: Good questions. I revised the post to address three of them. Also, I will soon publish a post on how tanha actually grows with one’s upadana via vaci sankhara.

      ” Is saṃkhittena a form of sankhara dukkha? Is the “sam” in saṃkhittena same as san?”

      Yes. It could be connected to “san”. It is “san” + “khittena”, where is “san” is what we accumulate for sansaric journey; see, “What is “San”? Meaning of Sansāra (or Samsāra)“. “Khitta” is actions; see, “Does the First Noble Truth Describe only Suffering?“.

      So, we create our own dukkha by doing things to accumulate “san” (with icca and tanha).

      This is what is also meant by “panca upadanakkhandha” willingly embracing the pancakkhandha. We do this by generating vaci and kaya sankhara.

      In most translations, though, “samkhittena” is taken to mean “in brief” or “in summary”.

      So, both could be valid.

    • #19007
      Lal
      Keymaster

      y not: It is said that there were millions of devas and brahmas there to listen to that discourse, and many of them attained various stages of magga phala. Of course, a human would have seen only the five ascetics there.
      – And it is said that (I cannot give a reference offhand. It is probably in the Vinaya Piṭaka) many devas can fit into a space of a hole in a needle. It is not possible for us to comprehend these things.

      Those higher beings are not visible to us, but if they want they can show themselves (they can even take the form of humans).

      The Buddha did not have to assist them, even though he was of course aware of them (but probably not the five ascetics).

      In a related story in the Tipitaka is the following account: One of those “unseen beings” explained the Dhamma that he learned from the Buddha to another who had not heard it. Their discussion took place over a house where a woman by the name of Kali was feeding her baby at night. She “heard” their whole conversation and attained the Sotapanna stage. She is supposed to be the second human who attained the Sotapanna stage that night (Ven. Kondanna was the first).
      – Now it was not the case that those two beings conversed in a human language. It the the “sanna” that she was able to perceive; basically the ideas. Again, I am not sure exactly how that happens. The closest analogy I can think about is how we “know” what people in our dreams say.

      More details at: HEMAVATA SUTTA by Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw.

    • #19016
      Tobias G
      Participant

      There is a contradiction to the post Does the First Noble Truth Describe only Suffering?, where it is said:

      In the first part it says, “jathi pi dukkha, jara pi dukkha, vyadhi’pi dukkha, maranan pi dukkha…….”. Most people translate this incorrectly as, “birth is suffering, getting old is suffering, sickness is suffering, death is suffering”.

      Does one suffer when a baby is born to the family? Do we not celebrate births (of loved ones), and even celebrate birthdays? So it is incorrect to interpret “jathi pi dukkha” literally as “birth is suffering”.

      But in the post Essence of Buddhism – In the First Sutta it is said:

      jātipi dukkhā, jarāpi dukkhā, byādhipi dukkho, maraṇampi dukkhāṃ, appiyehi sampayogo dukkho, piyehi vippayogo dukkho, yampicchaṃ na labhati tampi dukkhāṃ—saṃkhittena pañcu­pādā­nak­khan­dhā dukkhā.

      Translated: Bhikkhus, What is the Noble Truth of Suffering?

      “Birth is suffering, getting old is suffering, getting sick is suffering, dying is suffering. …”

      …We may not remember, but birth is a traumatic event, just like the dying moment. Coming out of the birth canal is a traumatic event for both the mother and the baby.

      Thus my question: “birth is suffering” or “birth of something not liked is suffering”?

    • #19018
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Yes. Thank you. I just revised the earlier post a bit. I was not referring to the baby being born in that first post.

      When a baby is born, only the baby and the mother really suffer. Everyone else is happy.

      Even the mother’s suffering is overcome by the mentally made-up “assada”: the fact that now she has her own child.
      – Also, the release from the pain gives rise to happiness too. But during child birth it is suffering that she experiences.

    • #19032
      y not
      Participant

      How has birth been taken in the sense of’ Does one suffer when a baby is born to the family?’ etc. and the suffering taken in regard to those not experiencing birth? The sutta just says ‘birth’, the event, the occurrence of birth,i,e. in relation to, or from the standpoint of, those who experience it.

      For, by the same reasoning(that suffering is also happiness for the enemies of those experiencing suffering, and the other way round), every quality will have its opposite included in its definition, and a quality and its opposite will in fact become interchangeable:

      Famine is suffering. Can famine then be said to be also happiness just because across the border a rival people are happy that famine is reducing the population of their enemy? Clearly, by ‘famine is suffering’ is meant famine is suffering to those who experience it. Likewise, birth is suffering to those who experience it.

      True, birth in NOT suffering to the other members of that family, and famine or epidemics or wholesale extinction is NOT suffering to a rival people or tribe across the border. But why has this implication of the opposite quality existing AWAY from the experiencer(s) been brought in? And ‘birth’ of something liked etc . . . . ‘birth’ in the sense of something coming to be?

      …We may not remember, but birth is a traumatic event, just like the dying moment. Coming out of the birth canal is a traumatic event for both the mother and the baby.- Birth is suffering.

      metta to all

    • #19033
      y not
      Participant

      Lal:

      Many thanks for the link HEMAVATA SUTTA. I just opened it. Looks very absorbing

    • #19052
      Lal
      Keymaster

      y not asked: “How has birth been taken in the sense of’ Does one suffer when a baby is born to the family?’ etc. and the suffering taken in regard to those not experiencing birth?”

      All jati eventually lead to suffering. That is the deeper message in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta.

      I was just explaining the verse, “yampicchaṃ na labhati tampi dukkhāṃ” in that older post: “If one does not get what one likes, that is suffering”.
      – That older post, “Does the First Noble Truth Describe only Suffering?“ focused on the concept embedded in that verse in a mundane sense, i.e., to covey the basic idea: “If one does not get what one likes, that is suffering”.
      – In the LONG RUN all jati lead to suffering.

      However, with the birth of a baby, eventual net result is suffering. This may not be obvious to many. But it will become clear as one proceeds on the Path. In fact, it becomes clear when one gets close to the Anagami stage.

      This is why the Buddha said, “This Dhamma is difficult to understand”. However, things will become clear as we proceed. The three posts that I published in recent days are an attempt to get to some key concepts. I am planning to publish two more. Please read them over and over as needed (especially after reading the next post, which may be out today).

    • #19113
      y not
      Participant

      Re Lal’s and my own post Oct 23 about how news reached the other realms,
      “…..and notified their higher-lying main realm….the news progressively propagated to higher-lying realms” . “The Buddha did not have to assist them”

      From: Great Chronicle of Buddhas: Mahabuddhavamsa by Ven. Mingun Sayadaw,
      link forwarded by SengKiat (October 28, 2018 at 3:20 am) in the post:
      -What is the significance of these 4 moon days in Buddha Dhamma?- Chp.9, p.359:

      “No sooner had the Buddha uttered this sentence of “Dve’me bhikkhave ante” than the sound that had appeared spread all over the ten-thousand world systems reaching Bhavagga,the highest of the arupa worlds above and avici, the lowest of the hells below.” So this must be how the beings in the other realms were ‘alerted’ – and yet not ‘violating’ the general rule that beings from a lower realm cannot of themselves communicate with those of a higher one.

      This makes for consistency throughout.

      I thank SengKiat heartily for the link. Immensely interesting book. It will take me weeks to just read through it.

      Metta to all beings

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