MN 21. Kakacūpama Sutta

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MN 21. Kakacūpama Sutta

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:00 am

MN 21
Kakacupama Sutta
The Simile of the Saw
(excerpt)
Translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.021x.than.html
i could only find the excerpt version of this sutta... two different translations but both the excerpt version... :shrug: -jc
"Once, monks, in this same Savatthi, there was a lady of a household named Vedehika. This good report about Lady Vedehika had circulated: 'Lady Vedehika is gentle. Lady Vedehika is even-tempered. Lady Vedehika is calm.' Now, Lady Vedehika had a slave named Kali who was diligent, deft, & neat in her work. The thought occurred to Kali the slave: 'This good report about my Lady Vedehika has circulated: "Lady Vedehika is even-tempered. Lady Vedehika is gentle. Lady Vedehika is calm." Now, is anger present in my lady without showing, or is it absent? Or is it just because I'm diligent, deft, & neat in my work that the anger present in my lady doesn't show? Why don't I test her?'

"So Kali the slave got up after daybreak. Then Lady Vedehika said to her: 'Hey, Kali!'

"'Yes, madam?'

"'Why did you get up after daybreak?'

"'No reason, madam.'

"'No reason, you wicked slave, and yet you get up after daybreak?' Angered & displeased, she scowled.

"Then the thought occurred to Kali the slave: 'Anger is present in my lady without showing, and not absent. And it's just because I'm diligent, deft, & neat in my work that the anger present in my lady doesn't show. Why don't I test her some more?'

"So Kali the slave got up later in the day. Then Lady Vedehika said to her: 'Hey, Kali!'

"'Yes, madam?'

"'Why did you get up later in the day?'

"'No reason, madam.'

"'No reason, you wicked slave, and yet you get up later in the day?' Angered & displeased, she grumbled.

"Then the thought occurred to Kali the slave: 'Anger is present in my lady without showing, and not absent. And it's just because I'm diligent, deft, & neat in my work that the anger present in my lady doesn't show. Why don't I test her some more?'

"So Kali the slave got up even later in the day. Then Lady Vedehika said to her: 'Hey, Kali!'

"'Yes, madam?'

"'Why did you get up even later in the day?'

"'No reason, madam.'

"'No reason, you wicked slave, and yet you get up even later in the day?' Angered & displeased, she grabbed hold of a rolling pin and gave her a whack over the head, cutting it open.

"Then Kali the slave, with blood streaming from her cut-open head, went and denounced her mistress to the neighbors: 'See, ladies, the gentle one's handiwork? See the even-tempered one's handiwork? See the calm one's handiwork? How could she, angered & displeased with her only slave for getting up after daybreak, grab hold of a rolling pin and give her a whack over the head, cutting it open?'

"After that this evil report about Lady Vedehika circulated: 'Lady Vedehika is vicious. Lady Vedehika is foul-tempered. Lady Vedehika is violent.'

"In the same way, monks, a monk may be ever so gentle, ever so even-tempered, ever so calm, as long as he is not touched by disagreeable aspects of speech. But it is only when disagreeable aspects of speech touch him that he can truly be known as gentle, even-tempered, & calm. I don't call a monk easy to admonish if he is easy to admonish and makes himself easy to admonish only by reason of robes, almsfood, lodging, & medicinal requisites for curing the sick. Why is that? Because if he doesn't get robes, almsfood, lodging, & medicinal requisites for curing the sick, then he isn't easy to admonish and doesn't make himself easy to admonish. But if a monk is easy to admonish and makes himself easy to admonish purely out of esteem for the Dhamma, respect for the Dhamma, reverence for the Dhamma, then I call him easy to admonish. Thus, monks, you should train yourselves: 'We will be easy to admonish and make ourselves easy to admonish purely out of esteem for the Dhamma, respect for the Dhamma, reverence for the Dhamma.' That's how you should train yourselves.

"Monks, there are these five aspects of speech by which others may address you: timely or untimely, true or false, affectionate or harsh, beneficial or unbeneficial, with a mind of good-will or with inner hate. Others may address you in a timely way or an untimely way. They may address you with what is true or what is false. They may address you in an affectionate way or a harsh way. They may address you in a beneficial way or an unbeneficial way. They may address you with a mind of good-will or with inner hate. In any event, you should train yourselves: 'Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words. We will remain sympathetic to that person's welfare, with a mind of good will, and with no inner hate. We will keep pervading him with an awareness imbued with good will and, beginning with him, we will keep pervading the all-encompassing world with an awareness imbued with good will — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.' That's how you should train yourselves.

"Suppose that a man were to come along carrying a hoe & a basket, saying, 'I will make this great earth be without earth.' He would dig here & there, scatter soil here & there, spit here & there, urinate here & there, saying, 'Be without earth. Be without earth.' Now, what do you think — would he make this great earth be without earth?"

"No, lord. Why is that? Because this great earth is deep & enormous. It can't easily be made to be without earth. The man would reap only a share of weariness & disappointment."

"In the same way, monks, there are these five aspects of speech by which others may address you: timely or untimely, true or false, affectionate or harsh, beneficial or unbeneficial, with a mind of good-will or with inner hate. Others may address you in a timely way or an untimely way. They may address you with what is true or what is false. They may address you in an affectionate way or a harsh way. They may address you in a beneficial way or an unbeneficial way. They may address you with a mind of good-will or with inner hate. In any event, you should train yourselves: 'Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words. We will remain sympathetic to that person's welfare, with a mind of good will, and with no inner hate. We will keep pervading him with an awareness imbued with good will and, beginning with him, we will keep pervading the all-encompassing world with an awareness imbued with good will equal to the great earth — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.' That's how you should train yourselves.

"Suppose that a man were to come along carrying lac, yellow orpiment, indigo, or crimson, saying, 'I will draw pictures in space, I will make pictures appear.' Now, what do you think — would he draw pictures in space & make pictures appear?"

"No, lord. Why is that? Because space is formless & featureless. It's not easy to draw pictures there and to make them appear. The man would reap only a share of weariness & disappointment."

"In the same way, monks, there are these five aspects of speech by which others may address you: timely or untimely, true or false, affectionate or harsh, beneficial or unbeneficial, with a mind of good-will or with inner hate. Others may address you in a timely way or an untimely way. They may address you with what is true or what is false. They may address you in an affectionate way or a harsh way. They may address you in a beneficial way or an unbeneficial way. They may address you with a mind of good-will or with inner hate. In any event, you should train yourselves: 'Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words. We will remain sympathetic to that person's welfare, with a mind of good will, and with no inner hate. We will keep pervading him with an awareness imbued with good will and, beginning with him, we will keep pervading the all-encompassing world with an awareness imbued with good will equal to space — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.' That's how you should train yourselves.

"Suppose that a man were to come along carrying a burning grass torch and saying, 'With this burning grass torch I will heat up the river Ganges and make it boil.' Now, what do you think — would he, with that burning grass torch, heat up the river Ganges and make it boil?"

"No, lord. Why is that? Because the river Ganges is deep & enormous. It's not easy to heat it up and make it boil with a burning grass torch. The man would reap only a share of weariness & disappointment."

"In the same way, monks, there are these five aspects of speech by which others may address you: timely or untimely, true or false, affectionate or harsh, beneficial or unbeneficial, with a mind of good-will or with inner hate. Others may address you in a timely way or an untimely way. They may address you with what is true or what is false. They may address you in an affectionate way or a harsh way. They may address you in a beneficial way or an unbeneficial way. They may address you with a mind of good-will or with inner hate. In any event, you should train yourselves: 'Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words. We will remain sympathetic to that person's welfare, with a mind of good will, and with no inner hate. We will keep pervading him with an awareness imbued with good will and, beginning with him, we will keep pervading the all-encompassing world with an awareness imbued with good will equal to the river Ganges — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.' That's how you should train yourselves.

"Suppose there were a catskin bag — beaten, well-beaten, beaten through & through, soft, silky, free of rustling & crackling — and a man were to come along carrying a stick or shard and saying, 'With this stick or shard I will take this catskin bag — beaten, well-beaten, beaten through & through, soft, silky, free of rustling & crackling — and I will make it rustle & crackle.' Now, what do you think — would he, with that stick or shard, take that catskin bag — beaten, well-beaten, beaten through & through, soft, silky, free of rustling & crackling — and make it rustle & crackle?"

"No, lord. Why is that? Because the catskin bag is beaten, well-beaten, beaten through & through, soft, silky, free of rustling & crackling. It's not easy to make it rustle & crackle with a stick or shard. The man would reap only a share of weariness & disappointment."

"In the same way, monks, there are these five aspects of speech by which others may address you: timely or untimely, true or false, affectionate or harsh, beneficial or unbeneficial, with a mind of good-will or with inner hate. Others may address you in a timely way or an untimely way. They may address you with what is true or what is false. They may address you in an affectionate way or a harsh way. They may address you in a beneficial way or an unbeneficial way. They may address you with a mind of good-will or with inner hate. In any event, you should train yourselves: 'Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words. We will remain sympathetic to that person's welfare, with a mind of good will, and with no inner hate. We will keep pervading him with an awareness imbued with good will and, beginning with him, we will keep pervading the all-encompassing world with an awareness imbued with good will equal to a catskin bag — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.' That's how you should train yourselves.

"Monks, even if bandits were to carve you up savagely, limb by limb, with a two-handled saw, he among you who let his heart get angered even at that would not be doing my bidding. Even then you should train yourselves: 'Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words. We will remain sympathetic, with a mind of good will, and with no inner hate. We will keep pervading these people with an awareness imbued with good will and, beginning with them, we will keep pervading the all-encompassing world with an awareness imbued with good will — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.' That's how you should train yourselves.

"Monks, if you attend constantly to this admonition on the simile of the saw, do you see any aspects of speech, slight or gross, that you could not endure?"

"No, lord."

"Then attend constantly to this admonition on the simile of the saw. That will be for your long-term welfare & happiness."

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the monks delighted in the Blessed One's words.



from the study guide

21 Kakacūpama Sutta The Simile of the Saw v
SUMMARY
This discourse is a challenging and relevant training on how to develop
compassion, lovingkindness, equanimity and patience when faced with
disagreeable speech, whether trivial or gross, even when we are physically
attacked or fatally wounded by someone.
NOTES
The SIMILE: of the saw [20] is this: If bandits were to sever you savagely limb by
limb with a twohandled
saw, you would train your mind thus: “My mind will be
unaffected, and I shall utter no evil words; I shall abide compassionate for their
welfare, with a mind of lovingkindness,
without inner hate.” This quality is what
makes mettā a “brahmavihāra,”
a divine abode. The power of mettā is that the
mind is steady and unflinching in the face of ill will, abuse, and even violence.
Whatever the course of speech or action, we first train our minds as quoted
above. We then send mettā to the person involved, and end by expanding the
mettā out to the allencompassing
world.
[11] Five courses of speech that others may use when addressing us. Their
speech may be:
1. timely or untimely
2. true or untrue
3. gentle or harsh
4. connected with good or with harm
5. spoken with a mind of mettā or with inner hate.
A good STORY [9] shows we can be peaceful if we are not confronted with
aggression but may not be steady in disagreeable situations. Kālī was clever,
nimble, and neat in her work, and gave Mistress Vedehikā no reason to be
upset, so word spread around the village what a kind and peaceful woman the
mistress was. Kālī wanted to find out whether the cause for Mistress Vedehikā’s
absence of anger was her own fine work or an actual lack of anger in Mistress
Vedehikā, so she tested her. She found out that the anger was lying dormant, for
after provoking her mistress slightly she got her head cracked open.
[1218]
The Buddha uses wonderful SIMILES to show how we should train
when affected by disagreeable speech:
1. Be like the earth, without hostility and ill will, even when someone tries to
destroy it
2. Be like empty space, formless and invisible
3. Be like the river Ganges, deep and immense, unable to be set on fire
4. Be like a catskin bag, rubbed and rid of crackling.
Each simile ends with: you “shall abide pervading the allencompassing
world
with a mind similar to the [earth, empty space, river Ganges, catskin bag],
abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility and ill will.” This is how you
should train.
PRACT ICE
1. The way to begin practicing with feelings of anger toward another is to pay
attention to your relationship to your anger. See if you are angry at yourself for
feeling angry, or if you have aversion to your anger. This is the place to soften
your resistance. Work with this. 2. What would it be like to have a mind like
the earth, empty space, the river Ganges, and a catskin bag? Using each
example, try to get a feltsense
for each. Reflect on whether there is value in
this

:buddha1:
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: MN 21. Kakacūpama Sutta

Postby Branko » Sat Mar 28, 2009 5:19 pm

I'm not quite sure I understand this passage:
"I don't call a monk easy to admonish if he is easy to admonish and makes himself easy to admonish only by reason of robes, almsfood, lodging, & medicinal requisites for curing the sick. Why is that? Because if he doesn't get robes, almsfood, lodging, & medicinal requisites for curing the sick, then he isn't easy to admonish and doesn't make himself easy to admonish. But if a monk is easy to admonish and makes himself easy to admonish purely out of esteem for the Dhamma, respect for the Dhamma, reverence for the Dhamma, then I call him easy to admonish. Thus, monks, you should train yourselves: 'We will be easy to admonish and make ourselves easy to admonish purely out of esteem for the Dhamma, respect for the Dhamma, reverence for the Dhamma.' That's how you should train yourselves."

Key term is admonish, which I understand as warn, advise, counsel, criticize. But still can't extract the meaning in the context of the sutta.
Any hint?

:anjali:
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Re: MN 21. Kakacūpama Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Mar 28, 2009 7:31 pm

I presume it's talking about someone who becomes a monk just to get fed, etc, so is only agreeing with his teachers to keep up the pretence, out of fear of losing his free meals, rather than because he really respects the Dhamma.

Mike
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Re: MN 21. Kakacūpama Sutta

Postby Branko » Sat Mar 28, 2009 10:08 pm

mikenz66 wrote:I presume it's talking about someone who becomes a monk just to get fed, etc, so is only agreeing with his teachers to keep up the pretence, out of fear of losing his free meals, rather than because he really respects the Dhamma.

Mike


Many thanks Mike, it makes sense.
Especially if "easy to admonish" I read as "easy to be instructed".
Earlier I took it as "easy to be criticized" and had a problem...
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Re: MN 21. Kakacūpama Sutta

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Mar 28, 2009 10:10 pm

Suvaco = easy to admonish (meek, humble) can be understood by contrast to the opposite dubacco = difficult to admonish as described in Sanghādisesa Sikkhāpada 12
The Commentary defines difficult to admonish as "impossible to speak to" and adds that a bhikkhu difficult to admonish is one who cannot stand being criticized or who does not mend his ways after his faults are pointed out to him. It quotes from the Anumāna Sutta (MN 15) a list of traits, any one of which makes a bhikkhu difficult to admonish: He has evil desires; exalts himself and degrades others; is easily angered; because of this he harbors ill will, holds a grudge, utters angry words; accused, he throws a tantrum (literally, "explodes"); accused, he is insulting; accused, he returns the accusation; he evades back and forth; he does not respond; he is mean and spiteful; jealous and possessive; scheming and deceitful; stubborn and proud; attached to his own views, obstinate, unable to let them go.
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