Ud 5.5: Uposatha Sutta — The Observance Day

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Ud 5.5: Uposatha Sutta — The Observance Day

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:05 am

Ud 5.5 PTS: Ud 51
Uposatha Sutta: The Observance Day
translated from the Pali by John D. Ireland

The Buddha compares the qualities of the Dhamma to those of the ocean.

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

Thus have I heard. At one time the Lord was staying near Savatthi in the Eastern Park at Migara's mother's mansion. On that occasion the Lord was sitting surrounded by the Order of bhikkhus, as it was the day of the Uposatha observance. Then, when the night was far advanced and the first watch had ended, the Venerable Ananda arose from his seat, arranged his robe over one shoulder, raised his folded hands, and said to the Lord: "The night is far advanced, revered sir, the first watch has ended and the bhikkhus have been sitting for a long time. Revered sir, let the Lord recite the Patimokkha to the bhikkhus." When this was said the Lord remained silent.

When the night was (still further) advanced and the middle watch had ended, a second time the Venerable Ananda arose from his seat... and said to the Lord: "The night is far advanced, revered sir, the middle watch has ended and the bhikkhus have been sitting for a long time. Revered sir, let the Lord recite the Patimokkha to the bhikkhus." A second time the Lord remained silent.

When the night was (yet further) advanced and the last watch had ended, as dawn was approaching and the night was drawing to a close, a third time the Venerable Ananda arose from his seat... and said to the Lord: "The night is far advanced, revered sir, the last watch has ended; dawn is approaching and the night is drawing to a close and the bhikkhus have been sitting for a long time. Revered sir, let the Lord recite the Patimokka to the bhikkhus."

"The gathering is not pure, Ananda."

Then the Venerable Mahamoggallana thought: "Concerning which person has the Lord said, 'The gathering is not pure, Ananda'?" And the Venerable Mahamoggallana, comprehending the minds of the whole Order of bhikkhus with his own mind, saw that person sitting in the midst of the Order of bhikkhus — immoral, wicked, of impure and suspect behavior, secretive in his acts, no recluse though pretending to be one, not practicing the holy life though pretending to do so, rotten within, lustful and corrupt. On seeing him he arose from his seat, approached that person, and said: "Get up, friend. You are seen by the Lord. You cannot live in communion with the bhikkhus." But that person remained silent.

A second time and a third time the Venerable Mahamoggallana told that person to get up, and a second time and a third time that person remained silent. Then the Venerable Mahamoggllana took that person by the arm, pulled him outside the gate, and bolted it. Then he approached the Lord and said: "Revered sir, I have ejected that person. The assembly is quite pure. Revered sir, let the Lord recite the Patimokkha to the bhikkhus."

"It is strange, Moggallana, it is remarkable, Moggallana, how that stupid person should have waited until he was taken by the arm."

Then the Lord addressed the bhikkhus: "From now on, bhikkhus, I shall not participate in the Uposatha observance or recite the Patimokkha. From now on you yourselves should participate in the Uposatha observance and recite the Patimokkha. It is impossible, bhikkhus, it cannot happen, that the Tathagata should participate in the Uposatha observance and recite the Patimokkha with a gathering that is not pure.

"Bhikkhus, there are these eight wonderful and marvellous qualities of the great ocean, seeing which the asuras delight in the great ocean. What are the eight?

(1) "The great ocean, bhikkhus, gradually shelves, slopes, and inclines, and there is no sudden precipice. Since the great ocean gradually shelves... this is the first wonderful and marvellous quality of the great ocean, seeing which the asuras delight in the great ocean.

(2) "Furthermore, the great ocean is stable and does not exceed the limits of the tide-line. This is the second wonderful and marvellous quality of the great ocean...

(3) "Furthermore, the great ocean does not tolerate a dead body; for when there is a dead body in the great ocean, it soon conveys it to the shore and casts it up on dry land. This is the third wonderful and marvellous quality of the great ocean...

(4) "Furthermore, whatever great rivers there are — the Ganges, the Yamuna, the Aciravati, the Sarabhu, and the Mahi — on reaching the great ocean lose their former names and identities and are just called 'the great ocean.' This is the fourth wonderful and marvellous quality of the great ocean...

(5) "Furthermore, although the rivers of the world flow into the great ocean and showers of rain fall from the sky, no lessening or filling up of the great ocean is evident. This is the fifth wonderful and marvellous quality of the great ocean...

(6) "Furthermore, the great ocean has one taste, the taste of salt. This is the sixth wonderful and marvellous quality of the great ocean...

(7) "Furthermore, the great ocean contains many precious substances, various precious substances, such as these: pearl, crystal, beryl, conch, quartz, coral, silver, gold, ruby, and cat's eye. This is the seventh wonderful and marvellous quality of the great ocean...

(8) "Furthermore, the great ocean is the abode of mighty creatures, of such creatures as these: the timi, timingala, timirapingala, asuras, nagas, and gandhabbas. There exist in the great ocean beings a hundred yojanas in size, beings two hundred, three hundred, four hundred, and five hundred yojanas in size. This is the eighth wonderful and marvellous quality of the great ocean...

"These, bhikkhus, are the eight wonderful and marvellous qualities of the great ocean, seeing which the asuras delight in the great ocean.

"Similarly, bhikkhus, there are eight wonderful and marvellous qualities in this Dhamma and Discipline, seeing which bhikkhus delight in this Dhamma and Discipline. What are the eight?

(1) "Just as the great ocean gradually shelves, slopes, and inclines, and there is no sudden precipice, so also in this Dhamma and Discipline there is a gradual training, a gradual course, a gradual progression, and there is no sudden penetration to final knowledge. Since, in this Dhamma and Discipline there is a gradual training,... this is the first wonderful and marvellous quality in this Dhamma and Discipline, seeing which bhikkhus delight in this Dhamma and Discipline.

(2) "Just as the great ocean is stable and does not exceed the limits of the tide-line, so also my disciples do not transgress a training rule laid down by me for disciples even for the sake of their lives. This is the second wonderful and marvellous quality in this Dhamma and Discipline...

(3) "Just as the great ocean does not tolerate a dead body... and casts it up on dry land, so also whatsoever person is immoral, wicked, of impure and suspect behavior, secretive in his acts, no recluse though pretending to be one, not practicing the holy life though pretending to do so, rotten within, lustful and corrupt, the Order does not associate with him, but when it has met together soon throws him out. Even though he may be sitting in the midst of the Order of bhikkhus, yet he is far from the Order and the Order is far from him. This is the third wonderful and marvellous quality in this Dhamma and Discipline...

(4) "Just as whatever great rivers there are... on reaching the great ocean lose their former names and identities and are just called 'the great ocean,' so also (those of) the four castes — nobles, brahmans, merchants, and workers — having gone forth from home to the homeless state in the Dhamma and Discipline made known by the Tathagata, abandon their former names and identities and are just called 'recluses, the followers of the Sakyan son.' This is the fourth wonderful and marvellous quality in this Dhamma and Discipline...

(5) "Just as, although the rivers of the world flow into the great ocean and showers of rain fall from the sky, no lessening or filling up of the great ocean is evident, so also, although many bhikkhus attain final Nibbana in the Nibbana-element with no residue left, no lessening or filling up of the Nibbana-element is evident. This is the fifth wonderful and marvellous quality in this Dhamma and Discipline...

(6) "Just as the great ocean has one taste, the taste of salt, so also this Dhamma and Discipline has one taste, the taste of liberation. This is the sixth wonderful and marvellous quality in this Dhamma and Discipline...

(7) "Just as the great ocean contains many precious substances, various precious substances... so also this Dhamma and Discipline contains many precious things, various precious things, such as these: the four foundations of mindfulness, the four right endeavors, the four bases for successful accomplishment, the five faculties, the five powers, the seven enlightenment factors, and the Noble Eightfold Path. This is the seventh wonderful and marvellous quality in this Dhamma and Discipline...

(8) "Just as the great ocean is the abode of mighty creatures... so also this Dhamma and Discipline is the abode of mighty creatures, such as these: the stream-enterer and the one who is on the way to realizing the fruit of stream-entry, the once-returner and the one who is on the way to realizing the fruit of once-returning, the non-returner and the one who is on the way to realizing the fruit of non-returning, the arahant and the one who is on the way to arahatship. This is the eighth wonderful and marvellous quality in this Dhamma and Discipline.

"These, bhikkhus, are the eight wonderful and marvellous qualities in this Dhamma and Discipline, seeing which bhikkhus delight in this Dhamma and Discipline."

Then, on realizing its significance, the Lord uttered on that occasion this inspired utterance:

    Rain soddens what is covered up,
    It does not sodden what is open.
    Therefore uncover what is covered
    That the rain will not sodden it.
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Re: Ud 5.5: Uposatha Sutta — The Observance Day

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:07 am

Ud 5.5 PTS: Ud 51
Uposatha Sutta: Uposatha
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 at the Eastern Monastery, the palace of Migāra's mother. And on that occasion, the Blessed One — it being the observance day — was sitting surrounded by the community of monks. Then Ven. Ānanda — when the night was far advanced, at the end of the first watch — got up from his seat, arranged his robe over one shoulder, stood facing the Blessed One, paying homage with his hands placed palm-to-palm over his heart, and said to him, "Lord, the night is far advanced. The first watch has ended. The community of monks has been sitting here long. May the Blessed One recite the Pāṭimokkha to them." When this was said, the Blessed One remained silent.

Then a second time, when the night was far advanced, at the end of the middle watch, Ven. Ānanda got up from his seat, arranged his robe over one shoulder, stood facing the Blessed One, paying homage with his hands placed palm-to-palm over his heart, and said to him, "Lord, the night is far advanced. The second watch has ended. The community of monks has been sitting here long. May the Blessed One recite the Pāṭimokkha to them." When this was said, the Blessed One remained silent.

Then a third time, when the night was far advanced, at the end of the last watch, as dawn was approaching and the face of the night was beaming, Ven. Ānanda got up from his seat, arranged his robe over one shoulder, stood facing the Blessed One, paying homage with his hands placed palm-to-palm over his heart, and said to him, "Lord, the night is far advanced. The last watch has ended. Dawn is approaching and the face of the night is beaming. The community of monks has been sitting here long. May the Blessed One recite the Pāṭimokkha to the community of monks."

"Ānanda, the gathering isn't pure."

Then the thought occurred to Ven. Mahā Moggallāna: "In reference to which individual did the Blessed One just now say, 'Ānanda, the gathering isn't pure'?" So he directed his mind, encompassing with his awareness the awareness of the entire community of monks. He saw that individual — unprincipled, evil, unclean and suspect in his undertakings, hidden in his actions, not a contemplative though claiming to be one, not leading the holy life though claiming to do so, inwardly rotten, oozing with desire, filthy by nature — sitting in the midst of the community of monks. On seeing him, he got up, went over to that individual, and on reaching him said, "Get up, friend. You have been seen by the Blessed One. You have no affiliation with the community of monks." Then the individual remained silent. A second time... A third time, Ven. Mahā Moggallāna said, "Get up, friend. You have been seen by the Blessed One. You have no affiliation with the community of monks." And for a third time the individual remained silent.

Then Ven. Mahā Moggallāna, grabbing that individual by the arm, having expelled him through the outside door of the porch and locking the bolt, approached the Blessed One and on arrival said, "I have expelled that individual, lord. The gathering is now pure. Let the Blessed One recite the Pāṭimokkha to the community of monks."

"Isn't it amazing, Moggallāna. Isn't it astounding, how that worthless man waited until he was grabbed by the arm." Then the Blessed One addressed the monks: "From now on I will no longer perform the observance or recite the Pāṭimokkha. From now on, you alone, monks, will perform the observance and recite the Pāṭimokkha. It is impossible, it cannot happen, that a Tathāgata would perform the observance or recite the Pāṭimokkha with an impure gathering.

"Monks, there are these eight amazing & astounding qualities of the ocean because of which, as they see them again & again, the asuras take great joy in the ocean. Which eight?

"[1] The ocean has a gradual shelf, a gradual slope, a gradual inclination, with a sudden drop-off only after a long stretch.[1] The fact that the ocean has a gradual shelf, a gradual slope, a gradual inclination, with a sudden drop-off only after a long stretch: This is the first amazing & astounding quality of the ocean because of which, as they see it again & again, the asuras take great joy in the ocean.

"[2] And furthermore, the ocean is stable and does not overstep its tideline... This is the second amazing & astounding quality of the ocean because of which, as they see it again & again, the asuras take great joy in the ocean.

"[3] And furthermore, the ocean does not tolerate a dead body. Any dead body in the ocean gets quickly washed to the shore and thrown up on dry land... This is the third amazing & astounding quality of the ocean because of which, as they see it again & again, the asuras take great joy in the ocean.

"[4] And furthermore, whatever great rivers there are — such as the Ganges, the Yamunā, the Aciravatī, the Sarabhū, the Mahī — on reaching the ocean, give up their former names and are classed simply as 'ocean'... This is the fourth amazing & astounding quality of the ocean because of which, as they see it again & again, the asuras take great joy in the ocean.

"[5] And furthermore, though the rivers of the world pour into the ocean, and rains fall from the sky, no swelling or diminishing in the ocean for that reason can be discerned... This is the fifth amazing & astounding quality of the ocean because of which, as they see it again & again, the asuras take great joy in the ocean.

"[6] And furthermore, the ocean has a single taste: that of salt... This is the sixth amazing & astounding quality of the ocean because of which, as they see it again & again, the asuras take great joy in the ocean.

"[7] And furthermore, the ocean has these many treasures of various kinds: pearls, sapphires, lapis lazuli, shells, quartz, coral, silver, gold, rubies, & cat's eyes... This is the seventh amazing & astounding quality of the ocean because of which, as they see it again & again, the asuras take great joy in the ocean.

"[8] And furthermore, the ocean is the abode of such mighty beings as these: whales, whale-eaters, & whale-eater-eaters; asuras, nāgas, & gandhabbas. There are in the ocean beings one hundred leagues long, two hundred... three hundred... four hundred... five hundred leagues long. The fact that the ocean is the abode of such mighty beings as these: whales, whale-eaters, & whale-eater-eaters; asuras, nāgas, & gandhabbas; and there are in the ocean beings one hundred leagues long, two hundred... three hundred... four hundred... five hundred leagues long: This is the eighth amazing & astounding quality of the ocean because of which, as they see it again & again, the asuras take great joy in the ocean.

"These are the eight amazing & astounding qualities of the ocean because of which, as they see them again & again, the asuras take great joy in the ocean.

"In the same way, monks, there are eight amazing & astounding qualities of this Dhamma & Vinaya because of which, as they see them again & again, the monks take great joy in this Dhamma & Vinaya. Which eight?

"[1] Just as the ocean has a gradual shelf, a gradual slope, a gradual inclination, with a sudden drop-off only after a long stretch; in the same way this Dhamma & Vinaya has a gradual training, a gradual performance, a gradual practice, with a penetration to gnosis only after a long stretch. The fact that this Dhamma & Vinaya has a gradual training, a gradual performance, a gradual practice, with a penetration to gnosis only after a long stretch: This is the first amazing & astounding quality of this Dhamma & Vinaya because of which, as they see it again & again, the monks take great joy in this Dhamma & Vinaya.

"[2] And furthermore, just as the ocean is stable and does not overstep its tideline; in the same way my disciples do not — even for the sake of their lives — overstep the training rules I have formulated for them... This is the second amazing & astounding quality of this Dhamma & Vinaya because of which, as they see it again & again, the monks take great joy in this Dhamma & Vinaya.

"[3] And furthermore, just as the ocean does not tolerate a dead body — any dead body in the ocean getting quickly washed to the shore and thrown up on dry land — in the same way, if an individual is unprincipled, evil, unclean & suspect in his undertakings, hidden in his actions — not a contemplative though claiming to be one, not leading the holy life though claiming to do so, inwardly rotten, oozing with desire, filthy by nature — the community has no affiliation with him. Having quickly gathered together, they suspend him from the community. Even though he may be sitting in the midst of the community of monks, he is far from the community, and the community far from him... This is the third amazing & astounding quality of this Dhamma & Vinaya because of which, as they see it again & again, the monks take great joy in this Dhamma & Vinaya.

"[4] And furthermore, just as whatever great rivers there are — such as the Ganges, the Yamunā, the Aciravatī, the Sarabhū, the Mahī — on reaching the ocean, give up their former names and are classed simply as 'ocean'; in the same way, when members of the four castes — noble warriors, brahmans, merchants, & workers — go forth from home to the homeless life in this Dhamma & Vinaya declared by the Tathāgata, they give up their former names and clans and are classed simply as 'contemplatives, sons of the Sakyan'... This is the fourth amazing & astounding quality of this Dhamma & Vinaya because of which, as they see it again & again, the monks take great joy in this Dhamma & Vinaya.

"[5] And furthermore, just as the rivers of the world pour into the ocean, and rains fall from the sky, but no swelling or diminishing in the ocean for that reason can be discerned; in the same way, although many monks are totally unbound into the property of unbinding with no fuel remaining, no swelling or diminishing in the property of unbinding for that reason can be discerned... This is the fifth amazing & astounding quality of this Dhamma & Vinaya because of which, as they see it again & again, the monks take great joy in this Dhamma & Vinaya.

"[6] And furthermore, just as the ocean has a single taste — that of salt — in the same way, this Dhamma & Vinaya has a single taste: that of release... This is the sixth amazing & astounding quality of this Dhamma & Vinaya because of which, as they see it again & again, the monks take great joy in this Dhamma & Vinaya.

"[7] And furthermore, just as the ocean has these many treasures of various kinds — pearls, sapphires, lapis lazuli, shells, quartz, coral, silver, gold, rubies, & cat's eyes — in the same way, this Dhamma & Vinaya has these many treasures of various kinds: the four establishings of mindfulness, the four right exertions, the four bases of power, the five faculties, the five strengths, the seven factors for awakening, the noble eightfold path... This is the seventh amazing & astounding quality of this Dhamma & Vinaya because of which, as they see it again & again, the monks take great joy in this Dhamma & Vinaya.

"[8] And furthermore, just as the ocean is the abode of such mighty beings as these: whales, whale-eaters, & whale-eater-eaters; asuras, nāgas, & gandhabbas, and there are in the ocean beings one hundred leagues long, two hundred... three hundred... four hundred... five hundred leagues long; in the same way, this Dhamma & Vinaya is the abode of such mighty beings as these: stream-winners & those practicing to realize the fruit of stream-entry; once-returners & those practicing to realize the fruit of once-returning; non-returners & those practicing to realize the fruit of non-returning; arahants & those practicing for arahantship. The fact that this Dhamma & Vinaya is the abode of such mighty beings as these — stream-winners & those practicing to realize the fruit of stream-entry; once-returners & those practicing to realize the fruit of once-returning; non-returners & those practicing to realize the fruit of non-returning; arahants & those practicing for arahantship: This is the eighth amazing & astounding quality of this Dhamma & Vinaya because of which, as they see it again & again, the monks take great joy in this Dhamma & Vinaya.

"These are the eight amazing & astounding qualities of this Dhamma & Vinaya because of which, as they see them again & again, the monks take great joy in this Dhamma & Vinaya."

Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:

    Rain soddens what's covered
    & doesn't sodden what's open.
    So open up what's covered up,
    so that it won't get soddened by the rain.[2]

Note

1. The Pali here reads, na āyataken'eva papāto. The Commentary insists that this phrase means, "with no abrupt drop-off." There are three reasons for not accepting the Commentary's interpretation here. (a) The first is grammatical. The word āyataka means "long, drawn out; lasting a long time." To interpret āyatakena, the instrumental of a word meaning "long, drawn out," to mean "abrupt" makes little sense. (b) The second reason is geographical. The continental shelf off the east coast of India does have a sudden drop-off after a long gradual slope. (c) The third reason is doctrinal. As noted in the interpretation of the simile, the shape of the ocean floor corresponds to the course of the practice. If there were no sudden drop-off, there would be no sudden penetration to awakening. However, there are many cases of sudden penetration in the Canon, Exhibit A being Bāhiya's attainment of arahantship in Ud 1.10. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

2. This verse also appears among the verses attributed to Ven. Sirimaṇḍa at Thag 6.13 (verse 447 in the PTS edition).

See also: AN 3.129
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