MN 130 Devaduta Sutta: The Deva Messengers

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MN 130 Devaduta Sutta: The Deva Messengers

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:32 am

MN 130 PTS: M iii 178
Devaduta Sutta: The Deva Messengers
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu


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


I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. There the Blessed One addressed the monks, "Monks."

"Yes, lord," the monks responded to him.

The Blessed One said, "Monks, it's as if there were two households with doors, and a man of good eyesight, standing there between them, would see people entering & leaving a house, wandering out & about. In the same way, I — by means of the divine eye, purified & surpassing the human — see beings passing away & re-appearing, and I discern how they are inferior & superior, beautiful & ugly, fortunate & unfortunate in accordance with their actions: 'O, how these beings — who were endowed with good conduct of body, speech, & mind, who did not revile noble ones, who held right views and undertook actions under the influence of right views — with the break-up of the body, after death, have re-appeared in a good destination, the heavenly world. Or how these beings — who were endowed with bad conduct of body, speech & mind, who reviled noble ones, held wrong views and undertook actions under the influence of wrong views — with the break-up of the body, after death, have re-appeared in the realm of the hungry ghosts. Or how these beings — who were endowed with bad conduct of body, speech & mind, who reviled noble ones, held wrong views and undertook actions under the influence of wrong views — with the break-up of the body, after death, have re-appeared in the animal womb. Or how these beings — who were endowed with bad conduct of body, speech & mind, who reviled noble ones, held wrong views and undertook actions under the influence of wrong views — with the break-up of the body, after death, have re-appeared in a plane of deprivation, a bad destination, a lower realm, hell.'

"Then the hell-wardens, seizing (such a being) by the arms, present him to King Yama: 'This is a man, your majesty, with no respect for mother, no respect for father [1], no reverence for contemplatives, no reverence for brahmans, no honor for the leaders of his clan. Let your majesty decree his punishment.'

"Then King Yama interrogates & interpellates & castigates the man regarding the first deva messenger: 'My good man, didn't you see the first deva messenger that has appeared among human beings?'

"'I didn't, lord,' he says.

Then King Yama says, 'My good man, didn't you see among human beings a tender baby boy lying prone in its own urine & excrement?'

"'I did, lord,' he says.

Then King Yama says, 'My good man, didn't the thought occur to you — observant & mature: "I, too, am subject to birth, have not gone beyond birth. I'd better do good with body, speech, & mind"?'

"'I couldn't, lord. I was heedless, lord.'

Then King Yama says, 'My good man, through heedlessness you did not do what is good with body, speech, & mind. And of course, my good man, they will deal with you in accordance with your heedlessness. For that evil kamma [2] of yours was neither done by your mother, nor done by your father, nor done by your brother, nor done by your sister, nor done by your friends & companions, nor done by your kinsmen & relatives, nor done by the devas. That evil kamma was done by you yourself, and you yourself will experience its result.'

"Then, having interrogated & interpellated & castigated the man regarding the first deva messenger, King Yama interrogates & interpellates & castigates him regarding the second: 'My good man, didn't you see the second deva messenger that has appeared among human beings?'

"'I didn't, lord,' he says.

"Then King Yama says, 'My good man, didn't you see among human beings a woman or man eighty, ninety, one hundred years old: aged, roof-rafter crooked, bent-over, supported by a cane, palsied, miserable, broken-toothed, gray-haired, scanty-haired, bald, wrinkled, with limbs all blotchy?'

"'I did, lord,' he says.

"Then King Yama says, 'My good man, didn't the thought occur to you — observant & mature: "I, too, am subject to aging, have not gone beyond aging. I'd better do good with body, speech, & mind"?'

"'I couldn't, lord. I was heedless, lord.'

"Then King Yama says, 'My good man, through heedlessness you did not do what is good with body, speech, & mind. And of course, my good man, they will deal with you in accordance with your heedlessness. For that evil kamma of yours was neither done by your mother, nor done by your father, nor done by your brother, nor done by your sister, nor done by your friends & companions, nor done by your kinsmen & relatives, nor done by the devas. That evil kamma was done by you yourself, and you yourself will experience its result.'

"Then, having interrogated & interpellated & castigated the man regarding the second deva messenger, King Yama interrogates & interpellates & castigates him regarding the third: 'My good man, didn't you see the third deva messenger that has appeared among human beings?'

"'I didn't, lord,' he says.

"Then King Yama says, 'My good man, didn't you see among human beings a woman or man diseased, in pain, severely ill, lying in her/his own urine & excrement, lifted up by others, laid down by others?'

"'I did, lord,' he says.

"Then King Yama says, 'My good man, didn't the thought occur to you — observant & mature: "I, too, am subject to illness, have not gone beyond illness. I'd better do good with body, speech, & mind"?'

"'I couldn't, lord. I was heedless, lord.'

"Then King Yama says, 'My good man, through heedlessness you did not do what is good with body, speech, & mind. And of course, my good man, they will deal with you in accordance with your heedlessness. For that evil kamma of yours was neither done by your mother, nor done by your father, nor done by your brother, nor done by your sister, nor done by your friends & companions, nor done by your kinsmen & relatives, nor done by the devas. That evil kamma was done by you yourself, and you yourself will experience its result.'

"Then, having interrogated & interpellated & castigated the man regarding the third deva messenger, King Yama interrogates & interpellates & castigates him regarding the fourth: 'My good man, didn't you see the fourth deva messenger that has appeared among human beings?'

"'I didn't, lord,' he says.

"Then King Yama says, 'My good man, didn't you see among human beings kings — catching a thief, a criminal — having him tortured in many ways: flogging him with whips, beating him with canes, beating him with clubs; cutting off his hands, cutting off his feet, cut off his hands & feet; cutting off his ears, cutting off his nose, cutting off his ears & nose; subjecting him to the 'porridge pot,' the 'polished-shell shave,' the 'Rāhu's mouth,' the 'flaming garland,' the 'blazing hand,' the 'grass-duty (ascetic),' the 'bark-dress (ascetic),' the 'burning antelope,' the 'meat hooks,' the 'coin-gouging,' the 'lye pickling,' the 'pivot on a stake,' the 'rolled-up bed'; having him splashed with boiling oil, devoured by dogs, impaled alive on a stake; cutting off his head with a sword?'

"'I did, lord,' he says.

"Then King Yama says, 'My good man, didn't the thought occur to you — observant & mature: "It seems that those who do evil actions are tortured in these many ways in the here-&-now. And how much more in the hereafter? I'd better do good with body, speech, & mind"?'

"'I couldn't, lord. I was heedless, lord.'

"Then King Yama says, 'My good man, through heedlessness you did not do what is good with body, speech, & mind. And of course, my good man, they will deal with you in accordance with your heedlessness. For that evil kamma of yours was neither done by your mother, nor done by your father, nor done by your brother, nor done by your sister, nor done by your friends & companions, nor done by your kinsmen & relatives, nor done by the devas. That evil kamma was done by you yourself, and you yourself will experience its result.'

"Then, having interrogated & interpellated & castigated the man regarding the fourth deva messenger, King Yama interrogates & interpellates & castigates him regarding the fifth: 'My good man, didn't you see the fifth deva messenger that has appeared among human beings?'

"'I didn't, lord,' he says.

"Then King Yama says, 'My good man, didn't you see among human beings a woman or man, one day, two days, or three days dead: bloated, livid, oozing with lymph?'

"'I did, lord,' he says.

"Then King Yama says, 'My good man, didn't the thought occur to you — observant & mature: "I, too, am subject to death, have not gone beyond death. I'd better do good with body, speech, & mind"?'

"'I couldn't, lord. I was heedless, lord.'

"Then King Yama says, 'My good man, through heedlessness you did not do what is good with body, speech, & mind. And of course, my good man, they will deal with you in accordance with your heedlessness. For that evil kamma of yours was neither done by your mother, nor done by your father, nor done by your brother, nor done by your sister, nor done by your friends & companions, nor done by your kinsmen & relatives, nor done by the devas. That evil kamma was done by you yourself, and you yourself will experience its result.'

"Then, having interrogated & interpellated & castigated the man regarding the fifth deva messenger, King Yama falls silent. [3]

"Then the hell-wardens torture [the evil-doer] with what's called a five-fold imprisonment. They drive a red-hot iron stake through one hand, they drive a red-hot iron stake through the other hand, they drive a red-hot iron stake through one foot, they drive a red-hot iron stake through the other foot, they drive a red-hot iron stake through the middle of his chest. There he feels painful, racking, piercing feelings, yet he does not die as long as his evil kamma is not exhausted.

"Then the hell-wardens lay him down and slice him with axes. Then they hold him feet up & head down and slice him with adzes. Then they harness him to a chariot and drive him back & forth over ground that is burning, blazing, & glowing. Then they make him climb up & down a vast mountain of embers that is burning, blazing, & glowing. Then they hold him feet up & head down and plunge him into a red-hot copper cauldron that is burning, blazing, & glowing. There he boils with bubbles foaming. And as he is boiling there with bubbles foaming, he goes now up, he goes now down, he goes now around. There he feels painful, racking, piercing feelings, yet he does not die as long as his evil kamma is not exhausted. [4]

"Then the hell-wardens throw him into the Great Hell. And as to the Great Hell, monks:

It's four-cornered & has four gates
set in the middle of each side.
It's surrounded by an iron fortress wall
and roofed with iron.
Its floor is made of red-hot iron,
heated, fully blazing.
It stands always, spreading 100 leagues all around.

"The flame that leaps from the eastern wall of the Great Hell strikes the western wall. The flame that leaps from the western wall strikes the eastern wall. The flame that leaps from the northern wall strikes the southern wall. The flame that leaps from the southern wall strikes the northern wall. The flame that leaps from the bottom strikes the top. The flame that leaps from the top strikes the bottom. There he feels painful, racking, piercing feelings, yet he does not die as long as his evil kamma is not exhausted.

"There comes a time when, ultimately, with the passing of a long stretch of time, the eastern gate of the Great Hell opens. He runs there, rushing quickly. As he runs there, rushing quickly, his outer skin burns, his inner skin burns, his flesh burns, his tendons burn, even his bones turn to smoke. When [his foot] is lifted, he is the just same. [5] But when he finally arrives, the door slams shut. There he feels painful, racking, piercing feelings, yet he does not die as long as his evil kamma is not exhausted.

"There comes a time when, ultimately, with the passing of a long stretch of time, the western gate of the Great Hell opens... the northern gate... the southern gate of the Great Hell opens. He runs there, rushing quickly. As he runs there, rushing quickly, his outer skin burns, his inner skin burns, his flesh burns, his tendons burn, even his bones turn to smoke. When [his foot] is lifted, he is the just same. But when he finally arrives, the door slams shut. There he feels painful, racking, piercing feelings, yet he does not die as long as his evil kamma is not exhausted.

"There comes a time when, ultimately, with the passing of a long stretch of time, the eastern gate of the Great Hell opens. He runs there, rushing quickly. As he runs there, rushing quickly, his outer skin burns, his inner skin burns, his flesh burns, his tendons burn, even his bones turn to smoke. When [his foot] is lifted, he is the just same. He gets out through the gate. But right next to the Great Hell is a vast Excrement Hell. He falls into that. And in that Excrement Hell needle-mouth beings bore into his outer skin. Having bored into his outer skin, they bore into his inner skin... his flesh... his tendons... the bone. Having bored into the bone, they feed on the marrow. There he feels painful, racking, piercing feelings, yet he does not die as long as his evil kamma is not exhausted.

"Right next to the Excrement Hell is the vast Hot Ashes Hell. He falls into that. There he feels painful, racking, piercing feelings, yet he does not die as long as his evil kamma is not exhausted.

"Right next to the Hot Ashes Hell is the vast Simbali Forest, [with trees] reaching up a league, covered with thorns sixteen fingerbreadths long — burning, blazing, & glowing. He enters that and is made to climb up & down them. There he feels painful, racking, piercing feelings, yet he does not die as long as his evil kamma is not exhausted.

"Right next to the Simbali Forest is the vast Sword-leaf Forest. He enters that. There the leaves, stirred by the wind, cut off his hand, cut off his foot, cut off his hand & foot, cut off his ear, cut off his nose, cut off his ear & nose. There he feels painful, racking, piercing feelings, yet he does not die as long as his evil kamma is not exhausted.

"Right next to the Sword-leaf Forest is the vast Lye-water River. He falls into that. There he is swept downstream, he is swept upstream, he is swept downstream & upstream. There he feels painful, racking, piercing feelings, yet he does not die as long as his evil kamma is not exhausted.

"Then the hell-wardens pull him out with a hook and, placing him on the ground, say to him, 'Well, good man, what do you want?' He replies, 'I'm hungry, venerable sirs.' So the hell-wardens pry open his mouth with red-hot iron tongs — burning, blazing, & glowing — and throw into it a copper ball, burning, blazing, & glowing. It burns his lips, it burns his mouth, it burns his stomach and comes out the lower side, carrying along his bowels & intestines. There he feels painful, racking, piercing feelings, yet he does not die as long as his evil kamma is not exhausted.

"Then the hell-wardens say to him, 'Well, good man, what do you want?' He replies, 'I'm thirsty, venerable sirs.' So the hell-wardens pry open his mouth with red-hot iron tongs — burning, blazing, & glowing — and pour into it molten copper, burning, blazing, & glowing. It burns his lips, it burns his mouth, it burns his stomach and comes out the lower side, carrying along his bowels & intestines. There he feels painful, racking, piercing feelings, yet he does not die as long as his evil kamma is not exhausted.

"Then the hell-wardens throw him back into the Great Hell once more. [6]

"Once, monks, the thought occurred to King Yama: 'Those who did evil actions in the world are tortured in these many ways. O that I might gain the human state! And that a Tathāgata — worthy & rightly self-awakened — might arise in the world! And that I might attend to that Tathāgata! And that he might teach me the Dhamma! And that I might understand his Dhamma!'

"I tell you this, monks, not from having heard it from another contemplative or brahman. On the contrary, I tell you this just as I have known for myself, seen for myself, understood for myself."

That is what the Blessed One said. Having said that, the One Well-gone, the Teacher, said further:

Warned by the deva messengers,
those youths who are heedless
grieve for a long, long time —
people entering a lower state.
But those here who are good,
people of integrity,
when warned by the deva messengers
aren't heedless
of the noble Dhamma — ever.
Seeing danger in clinging,
in the coming-into-play
of birth & death,
they are released from lack of clinging,
in the ending
of birth & death.
They, happy, arriving at safety,
fully unbound in the here-&-now,
having gone beyond
all animosity & danger
have escaped
all suffering & stress.

Notes

1. The word "no respect for father" (apetteyyo) does not appear in the Thai edition, but does appear in the Sri Lankan, Burmese, and PTS editions.

2. The Pali uses the word "kamma" in the singular here, as if it were an uncountable noun (like "water" or "information"). In other words, though singular in form, it could mean any number of actions. Because English does not have an equivalent uncountable noun for action, I have — in the translation of this discourse — kept the word "kamma" when it is in the singular in the Pali, and have used the word "actions" when "kamma" is in the plural or part of a compound where it could be either singular or plural.

3. In Asian Buddhist kingdoms, there was a custom that when a king was sentencing a criminal to death or to be tortured, he would not actually express the sentence, but would simply fall silent. The Commentary counsels that if a student asks not to hear the description of hell (which follows from this point), a teacher should teach the student meditation and then wait until the student has reached stream-entry before returning to the description of hell.

4. In the Sri Lankan, Burmese, and PTS editions, the sentence, "There he feels painful, racking, piercing feelings, yet he does not die as long as his evil kamma is not exhausted," appears after each of the punishments listed in this paragraph. In the Thai edition, which I have chosen to follow here, it appears only at the end of the paragraph.

5. The Commentary does not explain the meaning of this ambiguous sentence. It could mean that when the hell-being's foot is lifted from the hot, burning floor, either (1) his skin, etc., continues burning or (2) his body returns to its original form. Either arrangement would be gruesome.

6. The Commentary notes that not everyone who falls into hell is tortured with all of these punishments: some of the tortures are skipped; in some cases the hell-being's kamma is exhausted before the full round of tortures is completed, so that he dies and is reborn elsewhere; and not everyone goes for repeated rounds. Also, we should note that punishment in hell is not for an eternity. As the discourse implies, when the hell-being's bad kamma is exhausted, he dies and is reborn elsewhere, in accordance with his remaining kamma.
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Re: MN 130 Devaduta Sutta: The Deva Messengers

Postby cooran » Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:06 am

Hello Mike, all,

I find this an unusual sutta - a place of punishment - like the Christian hell.
I wonder what vipaka those doing the torturing are storing up for themselves?
I would be interested to read any further information or scholarly comments about this sutta.

with metta
Chris
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Re: MN 130 Devaduta Sutta: The Deva Messengers

Postby daverupa » Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:31 am

"For that evil kamma of yours was neither done by your mother, nor done by your father, nor done by your brother, nor done by your sister, nor done by your friends & companions, nor done by your kinsmen & relatives, nor done by the devas. That evil kamma was done by you yourself, and you yourself will experience its result.'"

:thinking:

SN 12.17 wrote:"'He who performs the act also experiences [the result]' — what you, Kassapa, first called 'suffering caused by oneself' — this amounts to the Eternalist theory. 'One person performs the act, another experiences,' — which to the person affected seems like "suffering caused by another" — this amounts to the Annihilationist theory. Avoiding both extremes, Kassapa, the Tathaagata teaches a doctrine of the middle: Conditioned by ignorance are the (Kamma-) formations... [as SN 12.15]... so there comes about the cessation of this entire mass of suffering."


:shrug:


(SN v. MN? :jedi: )
    "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: MN 130 Devaduta Sutta: The Deva Messengers

Postby Sam Vara » Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:14 pm

daverupa

(SN v. MN?)


I'm hoping SN wins...
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Re: MN 130 Devaduta Sutta: The Deva Messengers

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:34 pm

Dear All,

My aim here is to bring out the range of the Sutta Pitaka, and to that end this Sutta is an interesting contrast to the technical, "ultimate reality", approach of the SN 12 suttas.

I therefore don't see any problem with the wording, especially if it is addressed to an audience who are most likely clinging strongly to a sense of self.

Here are two translations of a commonly-quoted passage:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .piya.html
7. "'Of kamma I am constituted. Kamma is my inheritance; kamma is the matrix; kamma is my kinsman; kamma is my refuge. Whatever kamma I perform, be it good or bad, to that I shall be heir.' This must be reflected upon again and again by one who has gone forth.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"'I am the owner of my actions (kamma), heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir'...

Which also appears here:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
and in every Pali chanting book...

One might, of course, reflect on what one is to do with such teachings, and with the teachings of MN130, Devaduta Sutta.

:anjali:
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Re: MN 130 Devaduta Sutta: The Deva Messengers

Postby Zom » Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:10 pm

I find this an unusual sutta - a place of punishment - like the Christian hell.


Vica versa. Christian hell is like a buddhist's ,)

I wonder what vipaka those doing the torturing are storing up for themselves?


I pondered about that too. I think that hell warders periodically change places with those who are being tortured. So this is a punishment for both - to be born in a hell realm.


By the way, these 2 suttas (plus MN 129) are quite unique in presenting this kind of information. However - I met mentions and variations of this passage elsewhere in other suttas, for example, in Itivuttaka:

It's four-cornered & has four gates
set in the middle of each side.
It's surrounded by an iron fortress wall
and roofed with iron.


However, still this is hard to interpret. I don't think it should be taken literally. Perhaps this is just a figurative description of the place. Likewise Buddha explains the reasons for earthquakes - that earth is based on water, water is provoked by wind and is located in space. If we take it literally, that is foolish. But if we take it figuratively (where earth is hard matter, water is a fluid matter, wind is movements and space is just a space) then everything is fine and coincedes with modern discoveries concerning tectonic activity. Just as a speculative idea - if hells are far below the earth (like Commentaries say), then, for example, this place may be the center of the earth with iron earth core. This very core could be that "red-hot 4-cornered iron fortress - Its floor is made of red-hot iron, heated, fully blazing, It stands always, spreading 100 leagues all around" - and perhaps some kind of beings may live there with bodies made of some non-fleshy substance (just like in since fiction books about silicon-based life forms :D ). Btw, Milinda Panha says that hell fire is so hot that it can burn a stone house within a second - but beings in hell don't burn up within a second - but exist in this fire for quite a long time, experiencing extreme sufferings from it.
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Re: MN 130 Devaduta Sutta: The Deva Messengers

Postby Samvega » Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:05 pm

This is one of those sutta's that I would love a historical comparative analysis of. I wonder if it has a corresponding Sutta in a Chinese Agama or other early Buddhist canon.

I recall once a story of a near death experience from a woman who died and was resusitated. Most NDE's a pleasant, but this particular woman had a very scary one in which she described being dragged into hell. He description of the experience is very close to the description in the sutta. She was not religious at the time buy became a Christian as a result of the experience. This could also just be Christian conversion propaganda, but it was interesting anyways (and effective because I still remember it!).
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Re: MN 130 Devaduta Sutta: The Deva Messengers

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:10 pm

Parallels from Sutta Central:

MN 129:
http://suttacentral.net/disp_correspond ... tta_id=163

MN 130:
http://suttacentral.net/disp_correspond ... tta_id=164

Perhaps someone can point to some translations...

Mike
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Re: MN 130 Devaduta Sutta: The Deva Messengers

Postby Lazy_eye » Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:01 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
I therefore don't see any problem with the wording, especially if it is addressed to an audience who are most likely clinging strongly to a sense of self.


What I see here is a vivid elaboration of the "second watch of the night" segment of the Buddha's awakening. Can the sequencing of these three watches help us resolve the apparent paradox which Daverupa raises? I.e., during the first and second watches, the Buddha had not attained the transcendent insights which brought awakening and release. The knowledge gained during these earlier stages is still constrained by a notion of self.
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Re: MN 130 Devaduta Sutta: The Deva Messengers

Postby kirk5a » Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:51 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:
I therefore don't see any problem with the wording, especially if it is addressed to an audience who are most likely clinging strongly to a sense of self.


What I see here is a vivid elaboration of the "second watch of the night" segment of the Buddha's awakening. Can the sequencing of these three watches help us resolve the apparent paradox which Daverupa raises? I.e., during the first and second watches, the Buddha had not attained the transcendent insights which brought awakening and release. The knowledge gained during these earlier stages is still constrained by a notion of self.

He spoke of hell many times after his awakening, so that doesn't work. Also, there is no paradox. Mike has already pointed out the language there is not to be taken as conveying a notion of self.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: MN 130 Devaduta Sutta: The Deva Messengers

Postby daverupa » Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:26 pm

kirk5a wrote:
Lazy_eye wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:
I therefore don't see any problem with the wording, especially if it is addressed to an audience who are most likely clinging strongly to a sense of self.


What I see here is a vivid elaboration of the "second watch of the night" segment of the Buddha's awakening. Can the sequencing of these three watches help us resolve the apparent paradox which Daverupa raises? I.e., during the first and second watches, the Buddha had not attained the transcendent insights which brought awakening and release. The knowledge gained during these earlier stages is still constrained by a notion of self.

He spoke of hell many times after his awakening, so that doesn't work. Also, there is no paradox. Mike has already pointed out the language there is not to be taken as conveying a notion of self.


It is possible to see a contextual stratification in the texts, as opposed to resolving this problem with an apologetic. These starkly different approaches do not appear to be compatible.

:toast:
    "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: MN 130 Devaduta Sutta: The Deva Messengers

Postby Lazy_eye » Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:22 pm

kirk5a wrote:He spoke of hell many times after his awakening, so that doesn't work.


Likewise, the Buddha's awakening didn't stop him from giving detailed teachings to laypeople on how to have a happy marriage and be a good custodian of one's wealth. Does that mean anyone intent on completing the Buddha's path must get married and accumulate money? I don't quite see the point you are making.

Also, there is no paradox. Mike has already pointed out the language there is not to be taken as conveying a notion of self.


Mike suggested it is "addressed to an audience who are most likely clinging strongly to a sense of self".
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Re: MN 130 Devaduta Sutta: The Deva Messengers

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:11 am

The Thirty-one Planes of Existence
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... /loka.html

The suttas describe thirty-one distinct "planes" or "realms" of existence into which beings can be reborn during this long wandering through samsara. These range from the extraordinarily dark, grim, and painful hell realms all the way up to the most sublime, refined, and exquisitely blissful heaven realms. Existence in every realm is impermanent; in Buddhist cosmology there is no eternal heaven or hell. Beings are born into a particular realm according to both their past kamma and their kamma at the moment of death. When the kammic force that propelled them to that realm is finally exhausted, they pass away, taking rebirth once again elsewhere according to their kamma. And so the wearisome cycle continues.


States of Deprivation (apaya)

(1) Hell (niraya) These are realms of unimaginable suffering and anguish (described in graphic detail in MN 129 and 130). Should not be confused with the eternal hell proposed by other religions, since one's time here is — as it is in every realm — temporary.

Cause of rebirth here
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Re: MN 130 Devaduta Sutta: The Deva Messengers

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:25 pm

“Now the wardens of hell seize such a being by the arms and present him to King Yama, saying: ‘Sire, this man has ill-treated his mother, ill-treated his father, ill-treated recluses, ill-treated brahmins; he has had no respect for the elders of his clan. Let the king order his punishment.’

BB: Yama is the god of death. MA says that he is a king of spirits possessing a celestial mansion. Sometimes he lives in his celestial mansion enjoying celestial pleasures, sometimes he experiences the result of kamma; he is a righteous king. MA adds that there are in fact four Yamas, one at each of four gates (of hell?).
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Re: MN 130 Devaduta Sutta: The Deva Messengers

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Mar 17, 2012 8:58 am

“Then King Yama presses and questions and cross-questions him about the first divine messenger: ‘Good man, did you not see the first divine messenger to appear in the world?’ He says: ‘I did not, venerable sir.’ Then King Yama says: ‘Good man, have you never seen in the world a young tender infant lying prone, fouled in his own excrement and urine?’ He says: ‘I have, venerable sir.’

“Then King Yama says: ‘Good man, did it never occur to you—an intelligent and mature man—“I too am subject to birth, I am not exempt from birth: surely I had better do good by body, speech, and mind”?’ He says: ‘I was unable, venerable sir, I was negligent.
...


BB: According to Buddhist legend, three of the divine messengers—the old man, the sick man, and the dead man—appeared to the Bodhisatta while he was living in the palace, destroying his enchantment with the worldly life and awakening in him a desire to seek the way to deliverance. See AN 3:38/i.145–46 for the psychological nucleus out of which the legend must have developed.

As Bhikkhu Bodhi observes, AN 3.38 Sukhamala Sutta doesn't include the infant (birth), only old age, sickness, and death.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"Even though I was endowed with such fortune, such total refinement, the thought occurred to me: 'When an untaught, run-of-the-mill person, himself subject to aging, not beyond aging, sees another who is aged, he is horrified, humiliated, & disgusted, oblivious to himself that he too is subject to aging, not beyond aging. If I — who am subject to aging, not beyond aging — were to be horrified, humiliated, & disgusted on seeing another person who is aged, that would not be fitting for me.' As I noticed this, the [typical] young person's intoxication with youth entirely dropped away.
...


So one of the resonances of the Devaduta Sutta is that the Buddha did pay attention to the divine messengers, unlike the unfortunate character here...

:anjali:
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Re: MN 130 Devaduta Sutta: The Deva Messengers

Postby Alex123 » Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:56 pm

daverupa wrote:(SN v. MN? :jedi: )


Maybe in MN the Buddha was talking "conventionally" using common concepts while in SN He was talking "Ultimately" (using more precise and technical language). Both are correct, and differ only in way of expression.
"dust to dust...."
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Re: MN 130 Devaduta Sutta: The Deva Messengers

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:06 am

A modern update: Hell for pot smokers at Wat Muang.
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Wat+Muang ... 05558&z=18

drug_hell.jpg
drug_hell.jpg (85.71 KiB) Viewed 1346 times
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Re: MN 130 Devaduta Sutta: The Deva Messengers

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:54 am

cooran wrote:Hello Mike, all,

I find this an unusual sutta - a place of punishment - like the Christian hell.
I wonder what vipaka those doing the torturing are storing up for themselves?
I would be interested to read any further information or scholarly comments about this sutta.

with metta
Chris


I don't see this as a place of punishment so much as a place where the consequences of our own actions can be demonstrated for us to study. Buddha in this dissertation explains and warns by vivid example how we must take great pains to reflect upon the consequences of our intentional actions "before" taking them. :coffee:

Thanks to those who initiated and are participating in this study group. :anjali:

_/\_Ron
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But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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