SN 12.61 Assutavā Sutta: The Spiritually-Unlearned

Each week we study and discuss a different sutta or Dhamma text

Moderator: mikenz66

SN 12.61 Assutavā Sutta: The Spiritually-Unlearned

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:20 pm

SN 12.61 PTS: S ii 94 CDB i 595
Assutavā Sutta: The Spiritually-Unlearned (1)
translated from the Pali by K. Nizamis


With a striking simile, the Buddha points out the folly of believing this fickle mind to be "self."

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

Thus it has been heard by me. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Sāvatthi in the Jeta Forest in the private park owned by Anāthapiṇḍika. There the Blessed one addressed the monks thus: ‘Monks!’ Those monks responded thus: ‘Blessed One!’ The Blessed One said this:

“Monks, the ordinary person, [1] unlearned in spiritual knowledge, [2] might grow weary of, might become detached from, might become released from this physical body made up of the four great elements. What is the reason for this? Because, monks, apparent are the increase and the decrease, the taking up and the putting down, [3] of this physical body made up of the four great elements. For that reason, the ordinary person, in every way unlearned in spiritual knowledge, might grow weary, might become detached, might become released.

“But, indeed, that which, monks, is called ‘mind’, or ‘thought’, or ‘consciousness’, [4] the ordinary person, in every way unlearned in spiritual knowledge, not enough to turn away, not enough to become detached, not enough to be released. What is the reason for this? Because for a long time, monks, that ‘mind’, or ‘thought’, or ‘consciousness’ of the ordinary person, in every way unlearned in spiritual knowledge, has been clung to, has been cherished, has been fondled: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self’. Because of that, the ordinary person, in every way unlearned in spiritual knowledge, not enough to turn away, not enough to become detached, not enough to be released.

“Better, monks, to let the ordinary person, in all ways unlearned in spiritual knowledge, proceed from the assumption that the self is this physical body made up of the four great elements, rather than mind. [5] What is the reason for this? This physical body, Monks, comprising the four great elements, is seen standing for one rainy season, standing for two rainy seasons,... for three... four... five... ten... twenty... thirty... forty... fifty... standing for a hundred or more rainy seasons.

“But, indeed, that which, monks, is called ‘mind’, or ‘thought’, or ‘consciousness’, that, by night and by day, as other, indeed, arises, as other ceases. [6] Just as, monks, a monkey in the mountain-side forests, moving itself, [7] grasps a branch, then releasing that, grasps another, then releasing that, grasps another; even so, indeed, monks, that which is called ‘mind’, or ‘thought’, or ‘consciousness’: that, by night and by day, as other, indeed, arises, as other ceases.

“Therein, monks, the noble disciple, learned in spiritual knowledge, properly and legitimately cognizes [8] just dependent co-arising, thus: ‘In the event of the being of this, there is (also) this; from the arising of this, this (also) arises. In the event of the non-being of this, there is (also) not this. From the cessation of this, this (also) ceases.’

“Which is this: ‘From ignorance as condition, the formative mental functions; [9] from the formative mental functions as condition, sensory consciousness; from sensory consciousness as condition, name-and-form; from name-and-form as condition, the six sense bases; from the six sense bases as condition, contact; from contact as condition, sensation; from sensation as condition, craving; from craving as condition, clinging; from clinging as condition, being; from being as condition, birth; from birth as condition, old age and death, grief, lamentation, suffering, distress and tribulation all together come to be. Thus there is the rise of this whole complex of suffering.

“‘But from the fading away and cessation, without any trace remaining, of ignorance, there is the cessation of the formative mental functions; from the cessation of the formative mental functions, the cessation of sensory consciousness; from the cessation of sensory consciousness, the cessation of name-and-form; from the cessation of name-and-form, the cessation of the six sense bases; from the cessation of the six sense bases, the cessation of contact; from the cessation of contact, the cessation of sensation; from the cessation of sensation, the cessation of craving; from the cessation of craving, the cessation of clinging; from the cessation of clinging, the cessation of being; from the cessation of being, the cessation of birth; from the cessation of birth, old age and death, grief, lamentation, suffering, distress and tribulation cease. Thus there is the cessation of this whole complex of suffering.’

“Seeing thus, monks, a noble disciple, learned in spiritual knowledge, grows weary and turns away [10] from material form; grows weary and turns away from feelings; grows weary and turns away from perceptions; grows weary and turns away from formative functions; grows weary and turns away from sensory consciousness. Having grown weary and having turned away, he detaches; from detachment, he is released; from being released, there is the knowledge: ‘Released.’ He understands: ‘Destroyed is birth; the holy life has been fulfilled; what had to be done has been done; no coming back again to being-here [11]’.”


Notes

1. Puthujjana. The term puthujjana may well have originally derived from the Vedic pṛthak, “separate, different”, and jana, “generated creature, being”: hence, a creature or being that, while it is part of a species, lives its own individual, separate life. The much later commentaries to the suttas prefer to derive the term from pṛthu, “broad, wide, abundant, manifold”, thus suggesting a creature or being belonging to “the masses”, one of “the many”. Both terms share the same verbal root, pṛth, “to extend”, and overlap in sense, because “expansion” requires multiplication, and multiplication requires division, hence differentiation. What is “spaced apart” is “differentiated” (this is the sense of pṛthak). Thus, we could say, combining these two senses, that the puthujjana is a “mass individual”: someone who is “just like everyone else”, naïvely accepting and living the received opinions and values of his or her culture in his or her own individual life. See also SN 22.22, notes 6 and 7.

2. Assutavā: literally, “one who has not heard; one who is ignorant”; that is to say, one who has not heard and intuited the meaning of genuine spiritual teachings from a genuine spiritual teacher, and who is therefore not learned in or not informed about spiritual truth.

3. Ādānam-pi nikkhepanam-pi. Ādāna means 'taking up, grasping'; nikkhepana means 'putting or laying down, discarding'. The meaning of these terms here becomes much clearer if one sees how the same contrasting pair of terms is used in the very important and somewhat controversial sutta, SN 22.22 Bhāra Sutta
[http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.022.niza.html]
(SN III.1.3.1; PTS SN III, 25), in which the Buddha defines the expressions bhāra-ādānaṃ, “taking up the burden”, and bhāra- nikkhepanaṃ, “putting down the burden”. In that sutta, the Buddha says that the bhāra, the “burden”, is the pañca-upādāna-khandhā, the “five clung-to aggregates”; and that the bhāra-hāra, the “burden-bearer”, is the puggala, the “person”. While the Buddha certainly denied the existence of any permanent, immutable entity such as a core “self” (attā), his teaching concerning the relationship between the continuity of consciousness and its various interrelated functions, modes and forms, was extremely subtle, sophisticated and complex. The process of consciousness continues from one embodiment to another. While it is not a separable “self” or “soul” (attā), neither can it be reduced merely to the “stream” of its momentary “contents” or “components” (which is how, in essence, the later scholastic Abhidhamma re-interpreted the teaching of the suttas): in a certain sense, “something” makes the “movement” of “consciousness” possible. That is to say, in order to be “ignorant”, to “crave”, to “grasp”, to “move”, “consciousness” must always already possess the inherent capacity to be conscious or aware. To interpret the Buddha’s teaching on “mind” or “consciousness” in a reductionist manner is to contradict its sense and thus to lose sight of its very deep and beautiful meaning. See also SN 22.22 notes 3, 5, and 7.
[http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.022.niza.html]

4. “Yañca kho etaṃ, bhikkhave, vuccati cittaṃ itipi, mano itipi, viññāṇaṃ itipi...” The quotation marks placed around each term in the translation are justified by the fact that the Pali has “vuccati cittaṃ iti pi, mano iti pi, viññāṇaṃ iti pi”, “It is called “citta” or “mano” or “viññāṇa””: the particle iti after each term functions as a “quotation marker”, corresponding to the verb vuccati, “it is called...”. These three terms demand a very detailed, comprehensive and lengthy analysis; which, of course, cannot possibly be provided in a footnote. If this sutta were presenting a more detailed technical and theoretical discussion, such as we do indeed find in many other suttas, then it would be more appropriate to translate these terms more precisely: for example, citta as “subjective mind”, mano as “cognitive faculty”, and viññāṇa as “sensory consciousness” (that is, consciousness when functioning in the mode of the six sense bases (saḷāyatana), although viññāṇa also has two further special technical senses and uses in the suttas). But the present sutta is very clearly not intended to be technically and theoretically precise about this particular subject. In fact, one of the points that the sutta seems to suggest is that for the ordinary, unlearned person these three terms are quite interchangeable: “six of one and half a dozen of the other”, as the English idiom goes. For this reason, it is much more appropriate to translate these three terms more loosely and ambiguously; but this is somewhat difficult to do in English because, unlike Sanskrit and Pali, English does not have a very extensive vocabulary with which to indicate the subtleties of “consciousness” or “mind”. We can see from the context in which these three terms are actually used in this sutta that what is in question here is the way in which the unlearned or uninformed person thinks of these terms: how he or she conflates them due to lack of analytical understanding, and how he or she relates to what he or she thinks of as his or her “own mind”: namely, identifying it and cherishing as the private, personal “self” (attā).

This partial statement, “cittaṃ itipi, mano itipi, viññāṇaṃ itipi”, is very frequently quoted — in isolation, out of context — by proponents and commentators of the Abhidhamma and of Abhidhamma-influenced schools, in support of the stereotypical Abhidhamma view that the terms citta, mano, and viññāṇa are somehow “synonymous”. Only one other similar passage can be found in the Suttanta Piṭaka, in DN 1 (Brahmajāla Sutta; PTS DN i.1),
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.01.0.bodh.html
at DN i.21, but this passage is rarely cited, for an obvious reason: “Yaṃ ca kho idaṃ vuccati cittanti vā mano’ti vā viññāṇanti vā...” “That which is called ‘citta’ or ‘mano’ or ‘viññāṇa’...” There, in DN 1, it is put into the mouth of the kind of “reasoner” (takkī) who wrongly argues that “mind” is a permanent, eternal, unchanging “self” (attā). It is therefore very interesting and very important to note that here, too, in SN 12.61, this same formula occurs in the context of a description of the way of thinking of the “tatrāssutavā puthujjano”, the “in every way spiritually-unlearned ordinary person”. This crucial matter is too detailed and complex to discuss here in a brief footnote, but it can hopefully be addressed in detail and in depth on a different occasion. Suffice it to say that I am not asserting that citta, mano, and viññāṇa are distinct and separate “things”, but that they refer to quite distinct and non-inter-reducible functions and properties of “mind” as such. To claim that they are “mere synonyms” is, very crudely speaking, rather like claiming that the words “steam”, “liquid”, and “ice” are all “mere synonyms”. To be sure, they may all refer to forms of “water”; but it would be plainly and simply wrong to claim that they are therefore merely “synonymous”.

5. Here, the sutta uses the term citta.

6. Aññadeva uppajjati aññaṃ nirujjhati.

7. Caramāno: the reflective present participle of carati, “to move, to live and move, to behave”.

8. This must serve as a provisional rendering of the phrase sādhukaṃ yoniso manasikaroti, which has to be discussed in much more detail elsewhere (forthcoming). The expression manasi-karoti is traditionally translated as “he or she attends”, while the noun form, manasi-kāra, is traditionally translated as “attention”. More literally, however, manasi-karoti means “to do or make in the mano (the cognitive faculty)”. It suggests not a merely passive turning of the attention toward some object, but a specific and fundamental kind of cognitive activity. Yoni means “womb, origin”; such that yoniso connotes something that is rightly or legitimately related to or derived from its source or origin. Unfortunately, it is just not possible to discuss these matters in any detail in a brief footnote.

9. Saṅkhārā.

10. Nibbindati.

11. Itthatta: literally, “here-ness”.
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10136
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 12.61 Assutavā Sutta: The Spiritually-Unlearned

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:21 pm

SN 12.61 PTS: S ii 94 CDB i 595
Assutavā Sutta: Uninstructed (1)
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 Savatthi in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. There he addressed the monks, "Monks, an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person might grow disenchanted with this body composed of the four great elements, might grow dispassionate toward it, might gain release from it. Why is that? Because the growth & decline, the taking up & putting down of this body composed of the four great elements are apparent. Thus the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person might grow disenchanted, might grow dispassionate, might gain release there.

"But as for what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness,' the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is unable to grow disenchanted with it, unable to grow dispassionate toward it, unable to gain release from it. Why is that? For a long time this has been relished, appropriated, and grasped by the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person as, 'This is me, this is my self, this is what I am.' Thus the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is unable to grow disenchanted with it, unable to grow dispassionate toward it, unable to gain release from it.

"It would be better for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person to hold to the body composed of the four great elements, rather than the mind, as the self. Why is that? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. But what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Just as a monkey, swinging through a forest wilderness, grabs a branch. Letting go of it, it grabs another branch. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. In the same way, what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another.

"The instructed disciple of the noble ones, [however,] attends carefully & appropriately right there at the dependent co-arising:

"'When this is, that is.

"'From the arising of this comes the arising of that.

"'When this isn't, that isn't.

"'From the cessation of this comes the cessation of that.

"'In other words:

"'From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications.

"'From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness.

"'From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form.

"'From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media.

"'From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact.

"'From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling.

"'From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving.

"'From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance.

"'From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming.

"'From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth.

"'From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.

"'Now from the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications. From the cessation of fabrications comes the cessation of consciousness. From the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of the six sense media. From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling. From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of stress & suffering.'

"Seeing thus, the instructed disciple of the noble ones grows disenchanted with form, disenchanted with feeling, disenchanted with perception, disenchanted with fabrications, disenchanted with consciousness.[1] Disenchanted, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion, he is fully released. With full release, there is the knowledge, 'Fully released.' He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'"

Note

1. The discussion here shifts from the framework of dependent co-arising to that of the five aggregates. It's a useful exercise to relate the two teachings, and a good place to start this exercise is with SN 12.2.


See also:
SN 12.2; http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
SN 22.5. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10136
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 12.61 Assutavā Sutta: The Spiritually-Unlearned

Postby Sam Vara » Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:15 pm

Hi Mike,

Thanks as always for a very stimulating choice of Sutta.

It would be better for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person to hold to the body composed of the four great elements, rather than the mind, as the self. Why is that? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. But what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Just as a monkey, swinging through a forest wilderness, grabs a branch. Letting go of it, it grabs another branch. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. In the same way, what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another.


I find this bit very interesting. Many commentaries point out that the English term "mind" is insufficiently precise for the Pali terms citta, mano, and vinnana. (As an aside, it is worth noting how much of western "Philosophy of mind" consists of painfully pointing out which particular aspect of that woolly term is being discussed at the time...). But the Buddha presents these together, as if it is the case that uninstructed humans are essentially dualists, and need to reflect upon the different aspects of their mental processes in order to differentiate them.

The monkey simile has a tendency to mislead me if I am not careful. If mental states are like branches that are grasped (sometimes citta, sometimes mano, and sometimes vinnana; but always changing) then what is the monkey? The enduring thing that does the grasping - that's me, isn't it?! It makes more sense to me if I focus upon the "arising" metaphor.
User avatar
Sam Vara
 
Posts: 916
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm

Re: SN 12.61 Assutavā Sutta: The Spiritually-Unlearned

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:02 pm

Hi Sam,

Good observations. As Nizamis points out, since the Buddha, talking about an "unlearned" person...
the present sutta is very clearly not intended to be technically and theoretically precise about this particular subject. In fact, one of the points that the sutta seems to suggest is that for the ordinary, unlearned person these three terms are quite interchangeable: “six of one and half a dozen of the other”, as the English idiom goes.

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10136
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 12.61 Assutavā Sutta: The Spiritually-Unlearned

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:05 pm

“Bhikkhus, the uninstructed worldling [*] might experience revulsion towards this body composed of the four great elements; he might become dispassionate towards it and be liberated from it. For what reason? Because growth and decline is seen in this body composed of the four great elements, it is seen being taken up and laid aside. Therefore the uninstructed worldling might experience revulsion towards this body composed of the four great elements; he might become dispassionate towards it and be liberated from it.

    * Spk: Uninstructed (assutavā): devoid of learning, interrogation, and discrimination regarding the aggregates, elements, sense bases, conditionality, the establishments of mindfulness, etc. Worldling (puthujjana) is a “many-being,” so called because of generating many diverse defilements, etc. (puthūnaṃ nānappakārānaṃ kilesādīnaṃ jananādikāraṇehi puthujjano); and also because he is included among the many people (puthūnaṃ janānaṃ antogadhattā), in number beyond reckoning, who are engaged in a low Dhamma contrary to the Dhamma of the noble ones. Or else puthu means “reckoned as separate”; the worldling is a person separated from the noble ones, who possess such qualities as virtue, learning, etc. (puthu vā ayaṃ visuṃ yeva saṅkhaṃ gato; visaṃsaṭṭho sīlasutādiguṇayuttehi ariyehi jano ti puthujjano).

    BB: This twofold etymology stems from a twofold understanding of Pāli puthu: as representing either Vedic pṛthu = numerous, many; or pṛthak = separate, distinct. The BHS form pṛthagjana indicates a preference for the latter derivation, though the Pāli commentators tend to take the former as primary.
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10136
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 12.61 Assutavā Sutta: The Spiritually-Unlearned

Postby Sam Vara » Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:22 pm

“Bhikkhus, the uninstructed worldling [*] might experience revulsion towards this body composed of the four great elements; he might become dispassionate towards it and be liberated from it. For what reason? Because growth and decline is seen in this body composed of the four great elements, it is seen being taken up and laid aside. Therefore the uninstructed worldling might experience revulsion towards this body composed of the four great elements; he might become dispassionate towards it and be liberated from it.


Is there anywhere an account of what separates a putthujana from someone of more advanced practice? Is there a simple dichotomy between putthujana and the noble ones, and if so, are the noble ones defined in terms of stream entry?

Interesting that the dispassion towards the body is on account of the putthujana seeing how the body is subject to change, yet the far more rapid change of the mental aspects does not have the same effect. I can see how my body is ageing and losing what strength and vitality and beauty it once had, so I know that attachment to it is futile. But the changes in my mind have been much more radical. Why do I/we (as putthujana) not realise without instruction that a similar clinging to mental phenomena is even more futile? We see mental phenomena "being taken up and laid aside" far more frequently....
User avatar
Sam Vara
 
Posts: 916
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm

Re: SN 12.61 Assutavā Sutta: The Spiritually-Unlearned

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:27 pm

Hi Sam,

Yes, it does sound a bit contradictory, doesn't it. Perhaps the sutta is saying that the ordinary person doesn't realise that the mind is subject to change. Many teachers will tell you (as in this sutta) that mind is the trickiest thing to let go of a sense of self about. It's easy to see that thoughts are rising and falling, but harder to see that there is not a stable "mind" underneath.

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10136
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 12.61 Assutavā Sutta: The Spiritually-Unlearned

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:16 pm

“But, bhikkhus, as to that which is called ‘mind’ and ‘mentality’ and ‘consciousness’ [*] —the uninstructed worldling is unable to experience revulsion towards it, unable to become dispassionate towards it and be liberated from it. For what reason? Because for a long time this has been held to by him, appropriated, and grasped thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self.’ [**] Therefore the uninstructed worldling is unable to experience revulsion towards it, unable to become dispassionate towards it and be liberated from it.

    * BB: Cittaṃ iti pi mano iti pi viññāṇaṃ iti pi. Cp. DN I 21,21: Yaṃ ... idaṃ vuccati cittan ti vā mano ti vā viññāṇan ti vā.
      http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .bodh.html
      49. "In the fourth case, owing to what, with reference to what, are some honorable recluses and brahmins eternalists in regard to some things and non-eternalists in regard to other things, proclaiming the self and the world to be partly eternal and partly non-eternal?

      "Herein, bhikkhus, recluse or a certain brahmin is a rationalist, an investigator. He declares his view — hammered out by reason, deduced from his investigations, following his own flight of thought — thus: 'That which is called "the eye," "the ear," "the nose," "the tongue," and "the body" — that self is impermanent, unstable, non-eternal, subject to change. But that which is called "mind" (citta) or "mentality" (mano) or "consciousness" (viññāṇa) — that self is permanent, stable, eternal, not subject to change, and it will remain the same just like eternity itself.'
    Spk says these are all names for the mind base (manāyatana). Normally I render both citta and mano as “mind,” but since English has only two words of common usage to denote the faculty of cognition—“mind” and “consciousness”—here I am compelled to use “mentality” as a makeshift for mano. While technically the three terms have the same denotation, in the Nikāyas they are generally used in distinct contexts. As a rough generalization, viññāṇa signifies the particularizing awareness through a sense faculty (as in the standard sixfold division of viññāṇa into eye-consciousness, etc.) as well as the underlying stream of consciousness, which sustains personal continuity through a single life and threads together successive lives
    (emphasized at 12:38-40). http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html
    Mano serves as the third door of action (along with body and speech) and as the sixth internal sense base (along with the five physical sense bases); as the mind base it coordinates the data of the other five senses and also cognizes mental phenomena (dhammā), its own special class of objects. Citta signifies mind as the centre of personal experience, as the subject of thought, volition, and emotion. It is citta that needs to be understood, trained, and liberated. For a more detailed discussion, see Hamilton, Identity and Experience, chap. 5.


    ** Spk: It is held to (ajjhosita) by being swallowed up by craving; appropriated (mamāyita) by being appropriated by craving; and grasped (parāmaṭṭha) by being grasped through views.

    “This is mine” (etaṃ mama): the grip of craving (taṇhāgāha); by this the 108 thoughts of craving are included
    (see AN II 212,31-213,2). http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

    “This I am” (eso ’ham asmi): the grip of conceit (mānagāha); by this the nine kinds of conceit are included
    (see I, n. 37):
      The “three discriminations” (tayo vidhā) are the three modes of conceit: the conceit “I am better” (seyyo ’ham asmimāna), the conceit “I am equal” (sadiso ’ham asmimāna), and the conceit “I am worse” (hīno ’ham asmimāna).
      See 22:49 (III 48-49), http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html
      45:162, 46:41.
      At Vibh 389-90 it is shown that these three become ninefold in so far as each triad may be entertained by one who is truly better, truly equal, or truly worse. One “not shaken in the three discriminations” is the arahant, who alone has completely eradicated the fetter of conceit. Spk points out that the first couplet shows how sensual pleasures are time-consuming, while the second couplet discusses the supramundane Dhamma.

    “This is my self” (eso me attā): the grip of views (diṭṭhigāha); by this the sixty-two views are included
    (see DN I 12-38). http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .bodh.html
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10136
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 12.61 Assutavā Sutta: The Spiritually-Unlearned

Postby Sam Vara » Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:50 pm

Citta signifies mind as the centre of personal experience, as the subject of thought, volition, and emotion. It is citta that needs to be understood, trained, and liberated. For a more detailed discussion, see Hamilton, Identity and Experience, chap. 5.


Or if you can't get hold of the Hamilton tome, you could do worse than Ajahn Sucitto's marvellous Kamma and the end of Kamma:

The way that mind-base and mind-organ operate is that
when citta is affected, its organ, mano, may then produce a
verbal concept to fit, so having recognized an object we can
then say, ‘This is a dog; this is a bell.’ The mind-organ may
also scan the affective mind-base and define its states. All
this is the action of mano. The problem is that people can
think just about anything, based on seeing, hearing and
ideas, without necessarily reflecting on how the heart has
been affected. There are plenty of quarrels over truth, peace,
love and freedom and other great ideals, because passions or
fears get mixed up with those notions. However, up there in
the mano faculty you don’t feel a thing. Therefore this nonacknowledgement of subjective bias is called ‘objective
truth.’(!) But to know fully, not just think or have somebody
tell you, but to really feel the quality of goodness, love and
so on, you have to enter into and purify this heart. Hence the
most important kamma for deepening our truth, peace and
freedom begins with turning the mind around; with having
mano scan the citta.


(p. 26)
User avatar
Sam Vara
 
Posts: 916
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm

Re: SN 12.61 Assutavā Sutta: The Spiritually-Unlearned

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:13 pm

Thanks Sam, PDF is available here: http://forestsanghapublications.org/vie ... ection.php

I thought that the cross-references that Bhikkhu Bodhi gave to DN1 and other SN suttas were helpful in understanding how much deeply this sutta speaks regarding the taking of mind to be self.

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10136
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 12.61 Assutavā Sutta: The Spiritually-Unlearned

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:30 am

“It would be better, bhikkhus, for the uninstructed worldling to take as self this body composed of the four great elements rather than the mind. For what reason? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for one year, for two years, for three, four, five, or ten years, for twenty, thirty, forty, or fifty years, for a hundred years, or even longer.[*] But that which is called ‘mind’ and ‘mentality’ and ‘consciousness’ arises as one thing and ceases as another by day and by night. Just as a monkey roaming through a forest grabs hold of one branch, lets that go and grabs another, then lets that go and grabs still another, so too that which is called ‘mind’ and ‘mentality’ and ‘consciousness’ arises as one thing and ceases as another by day and by night. [**}

    * Spk: (Query:) Why does the Blessed One say this? Isn’t it true that the physical form present in the first period of life does not last through to the middle period, and the form present in the middle period does not last through to the last period?... Isn’t it true that formations break up right on the spot, stage by stage, section by section, just as sesamum seeds pop when thrown on a hot pan? (Reply:) This is true, but the body is said to endure for a long time in continuous sequence (paveṇivasena), just as a lamp is said to burn all night as a connected continuity (paveṇisambandhavasena) even though the flame ceases right where it burns without passing over to the next section of the wick.

    ** Spk: By day and by night (rattiyā ca divasassa ca): This is a genitive in the locative sense, i.e., during the night and during the day. Arises as one thing and ceases as another (aññadeva uppajjati, aññaṃ nirujjhati): The meaning is that (the mind) that arises and ceases during the day is other than (the mind) that arises and ceases during the night. The statement should not be taken to mean that one thing arises and something altogether different, which had not arisen, ceases. “Day and night” is said by way of continuity, taking a continuity of lesser duration than the previous one (i.e., the one stated for the body). But one citta is not able to endure for a whole day or a whole night. Even in the time of a fingersnap many hundred thousand of koṭis of cittas arise and cease (1 koṭi = 10 million). The simile of the monkey should be understood thus: The “grove of objects” is like the forest grove. The mind arising in the grove of objects is like the monkey wandering in the forest grove. The mind’s taking hold of an object is like the monkey grabbing hold of a branch. Just as the monkey, roaming through the forest, leaves behind one branch and grabs hold of another, so the mind, roaming through the grove of objects, arises sometimes grasping hold of a visible object, sometimes a sound, sometimes the past, sometimes the present or future, sometimes an internal object, sometimes an external object. When the monkey does not find a (new) branch it does not descend and sit on the ground, but sits holding to a single leafy branch. So too, when the mind is roaming through the grove of objects, it cannot be said that it arises without holding to an object; rather, it arises holding to an object of a single kind.

    BB: It should be noted that neither the sutta nor the commentary interprets the monkey simile here as saying that the untrained mind is as restless as a monkey; the point, rather, is that the mind is always dependent on an object.
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10136
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 12.61 Assutavā Sutta: The Spiritually-Unlearned

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:58 pm

“Therein, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple attends closely and carefully to dependent origination itself thus:[*] ‘When this exists, that comes to be; with the arising of this, that arises. When this does not exist, that does not come to be; with the cessation of this, that ceases. That is, with ignorance as condition, volitional formations [come to be]; with volitional formations as condition, consciousness…. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering. But with the remainderless fading away and cessation of ignorance comes cessation of volitional formations; with the cessation of volitional formations, cessation of consciousness…. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.

    * BB: Spk explains the order of this discourse thus:
    First, because these bhikkhus were excessively obsessed with form, the Buddha spoke as if it were improper to grasp form (because its growth and decline are seen) but not improper to grasp mind.
    Next (in the passage beginning, “It would be better to take as self the body”) he speaks as if it were proper to grasp the body but improper to grasp the mind (because of its incessant change).
    Now, in the present passage, he speaks with the aim of removing their obsession with both body and mind.
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10136
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand


Return to Study Group

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests