Why does a monk avoid a stump?

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Why does a monk avoid a stump?

Postby mal4mac » Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:14 pm

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

"[5] And what are the fermentations to be abandoned by avoiding? There is the case where a monk, reflecting appropriately, avoids a wild elephant, a wild horse, a wild bull, a wild dog, a snake, a stump..."

Might it hide a snake? Is it because it's an unsuitable seat? If so, why is it unsuitable? What seats are unsuitable?
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Re: Why does a monk avoid a stump?

Postby daverupa » Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:27 pm

I think the only unsuitable seats in the Vinaya involve whether it's conducive to having lewd words or other such actions with someone in private. No reason why a stump falls into those categories.

Given that it's surrounded by a context of natural danger, I expect some measure of defense from creepy-crawlies being the motive. Perhaps sitting on stumps can kill plant life such as toadstools?
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Why does a monk avoid a stump?

Postby mal4mac » Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:59 pm

Might this be a "fermentation to be abandoned by seeing"?

"Avoid a snake? Save a toadstool?" Let it go... Then again, it is the word of the Buddha, so we should try hard to know!

I think I'll let it go... for now...
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Re: Why does a monk avoid a stump?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:30 pm

Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation is the same and there is no note to help, but the PTS dictionary explanation of Khāṇu-kaṇṭaka makes the reason clear:
Often used in description of uneven roads; together with kaṇṭaka, thorns

A bhikkhu walking barefoot or in thin sandals will avoid uneven roads with tree stumps or roots, thorns and sharp stones. If you have ever stubbed your toe in bare feet you will understand why you want to avoid such foot paths.
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Re: Why does a monk avoid a stump?

Postby gavesako » Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:14 pm

One could paraphrase and say that a bhikkhu should avoid unnecessary dangers which might damage his good health which is a necessary condition for a continued practice of the holy life.
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Re: Why does a monk avoid a stump?

Postby Doshin » Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:43 pm

mal4mac wrote:http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.002.than.html

"[5] And what are the fermentations to be abandoned by avoiding? There is the case where a monk, reflecting appropriately, avoids a wild elephant, a wild horse, a wild bull, a wild dog, a snake, a stump..."

Might it hide a snake? Is it because it's an unsuitable seat? If so, why is it unsuitable? What seats are unsuitable?


Remember to read on, after stumbling on things:
Sabbasava Sutta wrote:"... The fermentations, vexation, or fever that would arise if he were not to avoid these things do not arise for him when he avoids them."

_/\_
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