SN 10.8: Sudatta Sutta — About Sudatta (Anathapindika)

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SN 10.8: Sudatta Sutta — About Sudatta (Anathapindika)

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:40 am

SN 10.8 PTS: S i 210 CDB i 311 Sudatta Sutta: About Sudatta (Anathapindika)
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu


Anathapindika, the wealthy benefactor who would later donate the famous Jeta's Grove monastery to the Sangha, meets the Buddha for the first time.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn10/sn10.008.than.html

    Translator's note

    Many discourses are set in Jeta's Grove, the monastery donated by Anathapindika. Here we learn how Anathapindika first met the Buddha. A dramatic point in the story revolves around the fact that most people knew of him by his epithet — Anathapindika means "Almsgiver to those without protection" — rather than by his given name. Thus he is surprised to hear the Buddha, at their first meeting, address him correctly.

    The Cullavagga (VI) gives this same story in greater detail and adds more incidents: After reciting the verse with which this discourse ends, the Buddha gives Anathapindika a step-by-step teaching, culminating in an explanation of the four noble truths. At the end of the teaching, Anathapindika attains stream-entry. He then returns home to Savatthi, purchases a grove from Prince Jeta at immense price, and establishes a monastery for the Buddha and the Sangha. There, according to the commentaries, the Buddha spent more rains retreats than at any other monastery.


I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Rajagaha in the Cool Grove. Now at that time Anathapindika the householder had arrived in Rajagaha on some business. He heard, "An Awakened One, they say, has appeared in the world," and he wanted to go right then to see the Blessed One. Then the thought occurred to him, "Today is not the proper time to go to see the Blessed One. Tomorrow I will go to see the Blessed One at the proper time." With his mindfulness immersed in the Awakened One he lay down to sleep. Three times he got up during the night, thinking it was light. Then he went to the gate to the charnel ground. Non-human beings opened the gate.

When Anathapindika the householder had left the city, the light vanished and darkness appeared. Fear, terror, & horripilation arose, and because of that he wanted to turn back. Then Sivaka the yakkha-spirit, invisible, proclaimed:

    A hundred elephants,
    a hundred horses,
    a hundred mule-drawn carts,
    a hundred-thousand maidens
    adorned with jewels & earrings
    aren't worth one-sixteenth
    of one step forward.

    Go forward, householder!
    Go forward, householder!
    Going forward is better for you,
    not back!
    The darkness then vanished for Anathapindika and the light appeared. The fear, terror, & horripilation he had felt subsided.
For a second time... a third time, the light vanished and darkness appeared. Fear, terror, & horripilation arose, and because of that Anathapindika wanted to turn back. Then for a third time, Sivaka the yakkha-spirit, invisible, proclaimed:

    A hundred elephants,
    a hundred horses,
    a hundred mule-drawn carts,
    a hundred-thousand maidens
    adorned with jewels & earrings
    aren't worth one-sixteenth
    of one step forward.

    Go forward, householder!
    Go forward, householder!
    Going forward is better for you,
    not back!
The darkness then vanished for Anathapindika and the light appeared. The fear, terror, & horripilation he had felt subsided.

So Anathapindika went to the Cool Grove. Now at that time, the Blessed One — having gotten up as the night was ending — was pacing back & forth in the open air. He saw Anathapindika the householder coming from afar. On seeing him, he got down from his meditation path and sat on a seat made ready. As he was sitting there he said to Anathapindika, "Come, Sudatta."

Then Anathapindika, [thinking,] "The Blessed One is calling me by my given name!" threw himself down right there at the Blessed One's feet and said to him, "Lord, I hope the Blessed One has slept in ease."


    [The Buddha:]
    Always, always,
    he sleeps in ease:
    the brahman totally unbound,
    who doesn't adhere
    to sensual pleasures,
    who's without acquisitions
    & cooled.

    Having cut all ties
    & subdued fear in the heart,
    calmed,
    he sleeps in ease,
    having reached peace
    of awareness.

See also: AN 3.34/35; Ud 2.10.

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mikenz66
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Re: SN 10.8: Sudatta Sutta — About Sudatta (Anathapindika)

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:48 am

Notes from Bhikkhu Bodhi:

    The story of Anāthapiṇḍika’s first meeting with the Buddha is told in greater detail at Vin II 154-59; see too Ñāṇamoli, Life of the Buddha, pp. 87-91. His given name was Sudatta, “Anāthapiṇḍika” being a nickname meaning “(giver) of alms to the helpless”; he was so called because of his generosity.

Then, as the householder Anāthapiṇḍika was leaving the city, the light disappeared and darkness appeared. Fear, trepidation, and terror arose in him and he wanted to turn back. But the yakkha Sīvaka, invisible, made the proclamation:
    Spk: After the first watch of the night had passed he woke up thinking of the Buddha, full of confidence and joy so intense that light became manifest and drove away the darkness. Hence he thought it was already dawn and set out for the monastery, realizing his error only when he went outside. The same thing happened at the end of the middle watch.

    From Spk’s account, it seems that the Cool Grove was located near the cremation ground (sīvathikā) and thus Anāthapiṇḍika had to pass through the cemetery to reach the monastery. It was for this reason that he became frightened. The fluctuation in the intensity of the light, Spk says, reflects his inward battle between faith and fear.
“A hundred [thousand] elephants,
A hundred [thousand] horses,
A hundred [thousand] mule-drawn chariots,
A hundred thousand maidens
Adorned with jewellery and earrings,
Are not worth a sixteenth part
Of a single step forward.
    Spk: The word sahassa (thousand), found only in conjunction with kaññā, should be conjoined with each of the preceding three terms as well. All this is “not worth a sixteenth part of a single step forward” because, when he arrives at the monastery, he will be established in the fruit of stream-entry.
Then the householder Anāthapiṇḍika approached the Blessed One in the Cool Grove. Now on that occasion the Blessed One, having risen at the first flush of dawn, was walking back and forth in the open. The Blessed One saw the householder Anāthapiṇḍika coming in the distance. He descended from the walkway, sat down in the seat that was prepared, and said to the householder Anāthapiṇḍika: “Come, Sudatta.”
    Spk: While he was approaching, Anāthapiṇḍika wondered how he could determine for himself whether or not the Teacher was a genuine Buddha. He then resolved that if the Teacher was a Buddha he would address him by his given name, Sudatta, known only to himself.

    In the Vinaya version, after the last verse given in this sutta, the Buddha next delivers a graduated sermon to Anāthapiṇḍika at the conclusion of which he attains stream-entry.

Cormac Brown
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Re: SN 10.8: Sudatta Sutta — About Sudatta (Anathapindika)

Postby Cormac Brown » Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:12 am

To me, this shows the importance of overcoming the fears and attachments that hold us back from following the path wholeheartedly. Maybe we need to open our ears to our own guardian yakkha-spirits who are encouraging us to pursue through our darkest moments. I still to this day, at 29 years old, notice fear and anxiety arise in me when I am alone in the dark, and most often I retreat into slumber, which is unfortunate and somewhat ironic.

Light seems to appear for Anathapindika in conjunction with the arising of saddha, faith or conviction. The commentary also relates it to joy. Darkness descends along with "fear, terror & horripilation," and perhaps a lack of conviction, either in his own abilities/strength or in the existence of a Tathagata. If the Vinaya version of the story is correct, and if my understanding of stream-entry is also not mistaken, this would be the last time he was to experience such mental states.

We can all be very happy and joyous for Anathapindika, who it seems is well on his way to full awakening and release.
“I in the present who am a worthy one, rightly self-awakened, am a
teacher of action, a teacher of activity, a teacher of persistence. But the
worthless man Makkhali contradicts even me, (saying,) ‘There is no
action. There is no activity. There is no persistence.’ "
AN 3.138, trans. Ven. Thanissaro

Sylvester
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Re: SN 10.8: Sudatta Sutta — About Sudatta (Anathapindika)

Postby Sylvester » Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:52 am

It's quite interesting that the SA parallels to this (SA 592 and SA2 186) don't have the Buddha calling him by his personal name at the first meeting, as if the Buddha had used His psychic powers. Nevertheless, they both furnish the same light and dark drama of the journey. More interestingly, Anāthapiṇḍika's stream entry is described explicitly, using the pericope very similar to the one we find in the suttas.

佛為種種說法,示教利喜,施論、戒論、生天之論,欲為不淨,出要為樂。佛知須達多心意專正,踊躍歡喜,佛為說四真諦,即於座上見四真諦,...

The Buddha gave a progressive talk, instructing in an uplifting manner, a discourse on generosity, a discourse on virtue, a discourse on heavenly rebirth, the impurity of kāmā/kāma (?), the happiness of renouncing it. When the Buddha knew that Sudatta's mind was ready, uplifted and joyful, the Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths, whereupon at that very seat (Sudatta) understood the Four Noble Truths...


I wonder why the Stream Entry bit was omitted in the sutta?

Cormac Brown
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Re: SN 10.8: Sudatta Sutta — About Sudatta (Anathapindika)

Postby Cormac Brown » Sun Feb 21, 2016 6:11 pm

The Buddha has "cut all ties," which allows him to sleep at ease. Why do we find it so difficult to cut the same ties? He must have seen much more clearly the drawbacks in the ties and the things he was tied to. Once we see these, we'll be set free. Ties to pleasures, ties to our family and loved ones, ties to our bodies, ties to our views. In order to attain peace and ease, we need to give them all up. Then our minds will be able to rest, freed from wandering on, freed from desiring, from clinging.

Clinging is suffering,
Desiring its cause.
Stopping's not easy,
But will lead us to peace.
“I in the present who am a worthy one, rightly self-awakened, am a
teacher of action, a teacher of activity, a teacher of persistence. But the
worthless man Makkhali contradicts even me, (saying,) ‘There is no
action. There is no activity. There is no persistence.’ "
AN 3.138, trans. Ven. Thanissaro

Kelvyn79
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Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:02 am

Re: SN 10.8: Sudatta Sutta — About Sudatta (Anathapindika)

Postby Kelvyn79 » Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:22 am

The buddha gave insights and noble truths teaching and its acts as a weapon to cut off ties. Buddha has psychic powers to see light years and distances that no one ever reach true enough. Eventually when sudatta learns about this wisdom so extraordinary. He must be so touched and rejoice the buddha is the blessed one and teachings is the universal truth. Sudatta has been charitable and even more to the buddha and Sangha for a couple of reasons.

1. Sudatta is kind when gives to the unprotected ones. That's his nature and hope to bring happiness to those in need of his help. That's what kept him going and he gain happiness in return.

2. He placed his faith to the buddha and Sangha. By offering to them. In return, the dharma is preached. It benefits even more.


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