SN 22.100 Gaddula Sutta: The Leash (2)

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SN 22.100 Gaddula Sutta: The Leash (2)

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:59 pm

SN 22.100 PTS: S iii 151 CDB i 958
Gaddula Sutta: The Leash (2)
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu


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

At Savatthi. There the Blessed One said: "Monks, from an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, although beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on.

"It's just as when a dog is tied by a leash to a post or stake: If it walks, it walks right around that post or stake. If it stands, it stands right next to that post or stake. If it sits, it sits right next to that post or stake. If it lies down, it lies down right next to that post or stake.

"In the same way, an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person regards form as: 'This is mine, this is my self, this is what I am.' He regards feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness as: 'This is mine, this is my self, this is what I am.' If he walks, he walks right around these five clinging-aggregates. If he stands, he stands right next to these five clinging-aggregates. If he sits, he sits right next to these five clinging-aggregates. If he lies down, he lies down right next to these five clinging-aggregates. Thus one should reflect on one's mind with every moment: 'For a long time has this mind been defiled by passion, aversion, & delusion.' From the defilement of the mind are beings defiled. From the purification of the mind are beings purified.

"Monks, have you ever seen a moving contraption?"

"Yes, lord."

"That moving contraption was created by the mind. And this mind is even more variegated than a moving contraption. Thus one should reflect on one's mind with every moment: 'For a long time has this mind been defiled by passion, aversion, & delusion.' From the defilement of the mind are beings defiled. From the purification of the mind are beings purified.

"Monks, I can imagine no one group of beings more variegated than that of common animals. Common animals are created by mind. And the mind is even more variegated than common animals. Thus one should reflect on one's mind with every moment: 'For a long time has this mind been defiled by passion, aversion, & delusion.' From the defilement of the mind are beings defiled. From the purification of the mind are beings purified.

"It's just as when — there being dye, lac, yellow orpiment, indigo, or crimson — a dyer or painter would paint the picture of a woman or a man, complete in all its parts, on a well-polished panel or wall, or on a piece of cloth; in the same way, an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person, when creating, creates nothing but form... feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness.

"Now what do you think, monks — Is form constant or inconstant?" "Inconstant, lord." "And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?" "Stressful, lord." "And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: 'This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am'?"

"No, lord."

"...Is feeling constant or inconstant?" "Inconstant, lord."...

"...Is perception constant or inconstant?" "Inconstant, lord."...

"...Are fabrications constant or inconstant?" "Inconstant, lord."...

"What do you think, monks — Is consciousness constant or inconstant?" "Inconstant, lord." "And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?" "Stressful, lord." "And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: 'This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am'?"

"No, lord."

"Thus, monks, any form whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every form is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.'

"Any feeling whatsoever...

"Any perception whatsoever...

"Any fabrications whatsoever...

"Any consciousness whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every consciousness is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.'

"Seeing thus, the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones grows disenchanted with form, disenchanted with feeling, disenchanted with perception, disenchanted with fabrications, disenchanted with consciousness. 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.'"

See also: SN 22.99 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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SN 22.100 Gaddula Sutta: The Leash (2)

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:01 pm

SN 22.100 Gaddula Sutta
John D. Ireland


"Unimaginable, bhikkhus, is a beginning to the round of births [and deaths]. For beings obstructed by ignorance and fettered by craving, migrating and going the round of births, a starting point is not evident.

"Just as a dog, bhikkhus, tied with a leash to a strong stake or post; if he moves, he moves towards that stake or post; if he stands still, he stands close to that stake or post; if he sits down, he sits close to that stake or post; if he lies down, he lies close to that stake or post.

"Similarly, bhikkhus, the uninstructed ordinary person looks upon the body as, 'This is mine,' 'I am this,' 'This is myself,'... He looks upon feeling... perception... mental activities... consciousness as, 'This is mine,' 'I am this,' 'This is myself.' If he moves, he moves towards these five aggregates of grasping; if he stands still, he stands close to these five aggregates of grasping; if he sits down, he sits close to these five aggregates of grasping; if he lies down, he lies close to these five aggregates of grasping.

"Hence, bhikkhus, I say one should constantly reflect upon one's own mind thus: 'For a long time this mind has been corrupted by greed, aversion and delusion.' Through a corrupt mind, bhikkhus, beings are corrupted; from purity of mind beings become pure. Have you seen, bhikkhus, an elaborate painting?"

"Yes, Sir."

"Now that elaborate painting, bhikkhus, was devised by mind. Therefore mind is even more intricate than that elaborate painting. Hence, bhikkhus, I say one should constantly reflect upon one's own mind thus: 'For a long time this mind has been corrupted by greed, aversion and delusion.' Through a corrupt mind, bhikkhus, beings are corrupted; from purity of mind beings become pure.

"I perceive no other single group, bhikkhus, so diverse as the creatures of the animal world. These creatures of the animal world are diversified by mind.[67] Therefore mind is even more diverse than the creatures of the animal world.

"Hence, bhikkhus, I say a bhikkhu should constantly reflect upon his own mind thus: 'For a long time this mind has been corrupted by greed, aversion and delusion.' Through a corrupt mind, bhikkhus, beings are corrupted; from purity of mind beings become pure.

"Just as a dyer or a painter, with dye or lac or turmeric or indigo or madder, and a well-smoothed wooden panel or wall or piece of cloth, can reproduce the form (ruupa) of a woman or a man complete in every detail — similarly, bhikkhus, the uninstructed ordinary person brings body (ruupa) into existence too... brings feeling... perception... mental activities... brings consciousness into existence too."[68]


Notes:

[67] They are diversified by the results of kamma, volitional acts of mind.

[68] The five aggregates are produced (and reproduced) by kamma.
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Re: SN 22.100 Gaddula Sutta: The Leash (2)

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:02 pm

Some Commentary from Bhikkhu Bodhi and Spk Commentary on passages common to both SN22.100 and SN 22.99 [Gaddula Sutta: The Leash (1)]
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
or only appear in 22.99. [It's not easy to figure out what is implied to be repeated by some of the ellipses...]


"Bhikkhus, this Samsara is without discoverable beginning. A first point is not discerned of beings roaming and wandering on, hindered ignorance and fettered by craving."

Spk: Even if it should be pursued by knowledge for a hundred or a thousand years, it would be unthought-of beginning with unknown beginning. It would not be possible to know its beginning from here or from there; the meaning is that it is without a delimiting first or last point. Samsara is the uninterruptedly occurring succession of the aggregates, etc.


"There comes a time, bhikkhus, when the great ocean dries up and evaporates and no longer exists, but still I say, there is no making and end of suffering for those beings roaming and wandering on, hindered ignorance and fettered by craving."

See Vissudimagga, XIII, 32-41 [Page 411 in Nanamoli translation.]
http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/bits/bits069.htm
"Sirs, after the lapse of a hundred thousand years the cycle is to be renewed: this world will be destroyed; also the mighty ocean will dry up; and this broad earth, and Sineru, the monarch of the mountains, will be burnt up and destroyed,--up to the Brahma-world will the destruction of the world extend. Therefore, sirs, cultivate friendliness; cultivate compassion, joy, and indifference; wait on your mothers; wait on your fathers; and honor your elders among your kinsfolk."

For other discussions of world cycles and so on see DN 27, Agganna Sutta: On Knowledge of Beginnings.
http://tipitaka.wikia.com/wiki/Agganna_Sutta


"Suppose, bhikkhus, a dog tied up on a leash was bound to a strong post or pillar: it would just keep running and revolving around that same post or pillar. So too, the uninstructed worldling, who is not a seer of the noble ones and is unskilled and undisciplined in their Dhamma, who is not a see of superior persons and is unskilled and undisciplined in their Dhamma, regards form as self ... feeling as self ... perception as self ... volitional formations as self ... conciousness as self ... He just keeps running and revolving around form, around feeling, around perception, around volitional formations, around conciousness."

The simile of the dog is also at MN 102 (ii, 232). http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/M ... mn-102.htm
[Strangely, this translation, unlike the Nanamoli/Bodhi translation, omits the word "dog".]
The Thus Gone One knows. Those recluses and brahmins, who declare the annihilation, destruction and the non existence of the conscience, fear the self loathe it, and run round that same self. Like one bound to a wooden or iron post would run round and round the post. In the same manner those recluses and brahmins, who declare the annihilation, destruction and the non existence of the conscience of the person, fear the self, loathe it, and run round that same self. This is compounded and coarse, there is a cessation of determinations. The Thus Gone One seeing the escape, overcame it.
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Re: SN 22.100 Gaddula Sutta: The Leash (2)

Postby alan » Sat Jan 29, 2011 3:40 am

22.99 is also good and should be read.
If this is to be a proper study group we need to not only the suttas but also consider what the mean to us, which requires asking questions.
So...in what ways have you used the idea of dispassion in your life? Has it been beneficial? Are there some examples where you have recognized that we are all running around this post of sensuality, and have taken steps to get out of that trap?
Maybe the reason this short sutta begins with a description of the awesome timeline of samsara is to put the question into context and make it more pointed.
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Re: SN 22.100 Gaddula Sutta: The Leash (2)

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:28 am

Hi Alan,
alan wrote:22.99 is also good and should be read.
Maybe the reason this short sutta begins with a description of the awesome timeline of samsara is to put the question into context and make it more pointed.

Yes, that was my thought, and why I pointed out how those descriptions link to other Suttas that talk about oceans drying up and so on...

As Bhikkhu Bodhi says in the first chapter of "In the Buddha's Words" (the first chapter is available as a PDF here: http://www.wisdompubs.org/Pages/display.lasso?-KeyValue=104&-Token.Action=&image=1).

The Buddha’s teaching addresses a fourth aspect of the human condition
which, unlike the three we have so far examined, is not immediately
perceptible to us. This is our bondage to the round of rebirths.
From the selection of texts included in the final section in this chapter,
we see that the Buddha teaches our individual lifespan to be merely a
single phase within a series of rebirths that has been proceeding without
any discernible beginning in time. This series of rebirths is called
samsara, a Pali word which suggests the idea of directionless wandering.
No matter how far back in time we may seek a beginning to the
universe, we never find an initial moment of creation. No matter how
far back we may trace any given individual sequence of lives, we can
never arrive at a first point. According to Texts I,4(1) and I,4(2), [SN 15.1, 15.2 , similar to the Suttas here: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/index.html#sn15] even
if we were to trace the sequence of our mothers and fathers across
world systems, we would only come upon still more mothers and
fathers stretching back into the far horizons.

Moreover, the process is not only beginningless but is also potentially
endless. As long as ignorance and craving remain intact, the
process will continue indefinitely into the future with no end in sight.
For the Buddha and Early Buddhism, this is above all the defining crisis
at the heart of the human condition: we are bound to a chain of
rebirths, and bound to it by nothing other than our own ignorance and
craving. The pointless wandering on in samsara occurs against a cosmic
background of inconceivably vast dimensions.
The period of time
that it takes for a world system to evolve, reach its phase of maximum
expansion, contract, and then disintegrate is called a kappa (Skt: kalpa),
an eon. Text I,4(3) [SN 15.5] offers a vivid simile to suggest the eon’s duration;
Text I,4(4), [SN 15.8] another vivid simile to illustrate the incalculable number of
the eons through which we have wandered.

As beings wander and roam from life to life, shrouded in darkness,
they fall again and again into the chasm of birth, aging, sickness, and
death. But because their craving propels them forward in a relentless
quest for gratification, they seldom pause long enough to step back
and attend carefully to their existential plight. As Text I,4(5) [SN 22.99] states, they
instead just keep revolving around the “five aggregates” in the way a
dog on a leash might run around a post or pillar.
Since their ignorance
prevents them from recognizing the vicious nature of their condition,
they cannot discern even the tracks of a path to deliverance. Most
beings live immersed in the enjoyment of sensual pleasures. Others,
driven by the need for power, status, and esteem, pass their lives in
vain attempts to fill an unquenchable thirst. Many, fearful of annihilation
at death, construct belief systems that ascribe to their individual
selves, their souls, the prospect of eternal life. A few yearn for a path
to liberation but do not know where to find one. It was precisely to
offer such a path that the Buddha has appeared in our midst.


alan wrote:If this is to be a proper study group we need to not only the suttas but also consider what the mean to us, which requires asking questions.
So...in what ways have you used the idea of dispassion in your life? Has it been beneficial? Are there some examples where you have recognized that we are all running around this post of sensuality, and have taken steps to get out of that trap?

Yes, good questions!

:anjali:
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Re: SN 22.100 Gaddula Sutta: The Leash (2)

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:39 am

Some Comments on the Sutta from Bhikkhu Bodhi and Spk (Commentary).

"Therefore, Bhikkhus, one should often reflect upon one's own mind thus: 'For a long time this mind has been defiled by lust, hatred, and delusion.' Through the defilements of the mind beings are defiled; with the cleansing of the mind beings are purified.

"Bhikkhus, have you seed the picture called 'Faring On'"?


BB: Caranam nama cittam. Citta here is the equivalent of Skt citra, picture. The exact meaning of the picture's title is obscure. Spk glosses vicaranacitta, "the wandering picture" [Spk-pt: because they take it and wander about with it], but carana here possibly means conduct, as in other contexts.

Spk: The Sankha were a sect of heretical brahmins. having taken a canvas, they had various pictures painted on it of the good and bad destinations to illustrate success and failure, and they took it around on their wanderings. They would show it to people, explaining, "If one does this deed one gets this result' if one does that, one gets that."


"Even that picture called 'Faring On' has been designed in its diversity by the mind, yet the mind is even more diverse than that picture called 'Faring On'."

BB: Tam pi ... caranam nama cittam citten' eva cittitam, ena pi ...caranena cittena cittanneva cittataram.
There are several puns here that cannot be successfully conveyed in translation (nor even in Sanskrit for that matter). Citta is both mind (as in Skt) and picture (Skt: citra). Cittava is "thought out" (related to citta, mind) and "diversified" (related to citra, picture). I have used "designed in its diversity" to capture both nuances. Atthasalini 64-65 quotes this passage in its discussion of how mind designs the world.
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Re: SN 22.100 Gaddula Sutta: The Leash (2)

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:01 pm

Hi, Mikezen and all. Thank you for this study session. Learned somethings about dyes with which I was not familiar. Particularly concerned about "orpiment" mentioned in the first version of this sutta being studied:

or·pi·ment   
[awr-puh-muhnt] Show IPA
–noun
a mineral, arsenic trisulfide, As 2 S 3 , found usually in soft, yellow, foliated masses, used as a pigment.

source: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/orpiment


Hope Bhikkhus were not using this dye to color their robes. My understanding was that they used the bark of certain trees for that purpose.

With regard to the questions which alan proposed:

1. In what ways have you used the idea of dispassion in your life?

It is my understanding that the first step is to regard all physical and mental forms which arise, especially those to which we have attached, with disgust, then later with dispassion. The idea, according to my understanding, is to first realize and accept that all of these impermanent, conditioned, arising forms: aggregates, hindrances, fetters, shackles, and fermentations are to be held in disgust because they only lead to dukkha, and the rejection of them outright due to our disgust will relieve us of this suffering if done so in accordance with the principles taught in The Noble Eight Fold Path. Once we have thereby ceased clinging, and negated our attachments, dispassion is possible, even equanimity with regard to form in any of its variegations (another good word from the first sutta).



2. Has it been beneficial?

My experience has been that first comes pain (physical and mental) of withdrawal, mostly due to fear of loss of something to which we have become addicted. Then, once we see that the attachment was causing more pain than the fear of its loss, fear leaves, as do all emotions, and as with all other transient mental phenomena. The primary ones of which I am currently aware, and haven't beat as yet , are my addictions to snack foods, Baked Cheetos(R) in particular.


3. Are there some examples where you have recognized that we are all running around this post of sensuality, and have taken steps to get out of that trap?

Ha, ha! Yep! The two primary examples of which I can think are: My escape from The Practice of Catholicism, and my retirement after thirty-five years of employment as an engineer with a large international corporation. :jumping: Painfully, I can see my wife going through the exact same process of withdrawal now as she contemplates discontinuing her almost forty year career as a Clinical Psychologist. Somehow, our professions become a hindering leash, keeping us in never ending rounds of dukkha.
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
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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Re: SN 22.100 Gaddula Sutta: The Leash (2)

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:57 am

Thanks Ron!

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Re: SN 22.100 Gaddula Sutta: The Leash (2)

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:23 am

"Bhikkhus, I do not see any other order of living beings so diversified as those from the animal realm [*]. Even those beings in the animal realm have been diversified by the mind, yet the mind is even more diverse than those beings in the animal realm."

BB: [*] Te pi ... tiracchanagata pana citten esa cittita tehi pi ... tiracchanagatehi pnehi cittanneva cittataram.
Another series of puns. The point is that the diversity of the creatures in the animal realm reflects the diversity of the past kamma that causes rebirth as an animal, and this diversity of kamma in turn stems from the diversity of volition (cetana), a mental factor. Atthasalini 64-65 discusses this passage at length.

Spk: Quails and partidges, etc, do not accumulate diverse kamma thinking, "We will become diversified in such and such a way," but the kamma arrives at the appropriate species (yoni), and the diversity is rooted in the species. For beings that arise in a particular species become diversified in the way appropriate to that species. Thus the diversity is achieved through the species, and the species reflect kamma.


"Suppose, bhikkhus, an artist or painter, using dye or lac or tueric or indigo or crimson, would create the figure of a man or a woman complete in all its features on a well-polished plank or wall or canvas. So too, when the uninstructed worldling produces anything, it is only form that he produces; only feeling ..., only perception..., only volitional formations..., only conciousness that he produces."

This simile is also at SN 12.64 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nypo.html
Comy: "This is the application of the simile: the dyer or painter is the kamma with its adjuncts. The wooden tablets, the wall or the piece of cloth, correspond to the three planes of existence in the cycle of rebirths. As the painter produces a figure on a clean surface, so kamma with its adjuncts produces forms (ruupa) in various existences. If the painter is unskilled, the figures he paints will be ugly, misshapen and not pleasing; similarly, if a person performs a kamma with mind devoid of knowledge (ñaa.na-vippayuttena cittena), then that kamma will produce a (bodily) form that does not lend beauty to the eye, etc., but will be ugly, misshapen and not pleasing even to father and mother. But if the painter is skillful, the figures he produces will be beautiful, of attractive shape and pleasing; similarly if a person performs kamma in a state of mind imbued with knowledge (ñaa.nasampayutta), then the bodily form produced by that kamma, will give beauty to the eye, etc., will be attractive and well-shapen, like a finished work of art.

"Here, taking nutriment together with consciousness, there is one link (of cause and fruit) between nutriment and mind-and-body. Including mind-and-body in the section of the resultants there is one link (of fruit and cause) between mind-and-body and kamma-formations. Finally, there is one link (of cause and fruit) between kamma-formations and the future existence."
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Re: SN 22.100 Gaddula Sutta: The Leash (2)

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:32 am

Bhikkhu Nanananda, Nibbana Sermon 5.
http://lirs.ru/do/sutra/Nibbana_Sermons,Nanananda.pdf

"`Monks, have you seen a picture called a movie (caraṇa)?'
`Yes, Lord.' `Monks, even that picture called a movie is some-
thing thought out by the mind. But this mind, monks, is more
picturesque than that picture called a movie. Therefore, monks,
you should reflect moment to moment on your own mind with
the thought: For a long time has this mind been defiled by lust,
hate, and delusion. By the defilement of the mind, monks, are
beings defiled. By the purification of the mind, are beings pu-
rified.

Monks, I do not see any other class of beings as picturesque
as beings in the animal realm. But those beings in the animal
realm, monks, are also thought out by the mind. And the mind,
monks, is far more picturesque than those beings in the ani-
mal realm. Therefore, monks, should a monk reflect moment
to moment on one's own mind with the thought: For a long
time has this mind been defiled by lust, hate, and delusion. By
the defilement of the mind, monks, are beings defiled. By the
purification of the mind, are beings purified."

Here the Buddha gives two illustrations to show how mar-
vellous this mind is. First he asks the monks whether they have
seen a picture called caraṇa. Though the word may be rendered
by movie, it is not a motion picture of the sort we have today.
According to the commentary, it is some kind of variegated
painting done on a mobile canvas-chamber, illustrative of the
results of good and evil karma. Whatever it may be, it seems
to have been something marvellous. But far more marvellous,
according to the Buddha, is this mind. The reason given is that
even such a picture is something thought out by the mind.

Then, by way of an advice to the monks, says the Buddha:
`Therefore, monks, you should reflect on your mind moment to
moment with the thought: For a long time this mind has been
defiled by lust, hate, and delusion.' The moral drawn is that be-
ings are defiled by the defilement of their minds and that they
are purified by the purification of their minds. This is the illus-
tration by the simile of the picture.

And then the Buddha goes on to make another significant
declaration: `Monks, I do not see any other class of beings as
picturesque as beings in the animal realm.' But since those be-
ings also are thought out by the mind, he declares that the mind
is far more picturesque than them. Based on this conclusion, he
repeats the same advice as before.

At first sight the sutta, when it refers to a picture, seems
to be speaking about the man who drew it. But there is some-
thing deeper than that. When the Buddha says that the picture
called caraṇa is also something thought out by the mind, he is
not simply stating the fact that the artist drew it after thinking
it out with his mind. The reference is rather to the mind of the
one who sees it. He, who sees it, regards it as something mar-
vellous. He creates a picture out of it. He imagines something
picturesque in it.

In fact, the allusion is not to the artist's mind, but to the
spectator's mind. It is on account of the three defilements lust,
hate, and delusion, nurtured in his mind for a long time, that he
is able to appreciate and enjoy that picture. Such is the nature
of those influxes.

That is why the Buddha declared that this mind is far more
picturesque than the picture in question. So if one turns back
to look at one's own mind, in accordance with the Buddha's ad-
vice, it will be a wonderful experience, like watching a movie.
Why? Because reflection reveals the most marvellous sight in
the world.

But usually one does not like to reflect, because one has to
turn back to do so. One is generally inclined to look at the thing
in front. However, the Buddha advises us to turn back and look
at one's own mind every moment. Why? Because the mind is
more marvellous than that picture called caraṇa, or movie.

It is the same declaration that he makes with reference to
the beings in the animal realm. When one comes to think about
it, there is even less room for doubt here, than in the case of the
picture. First of all, the Buddha declares that there is no class
of beings more picturesque than those in the animal realm. But
he follows it up with the statement that even those beings are
thought out by the mind, to draw the conclusion that as such
the mind is more picturesque than those beings of the animal
realm.

Let us try to sort out the point of this declaration. Gener-
ally, we may agree that beings in the animal realm are the most
picturesque. We sometimes say that the butterfly is beautiful.
But we might hesitate to call a blue fly beautiful. The tiger is
fierce, but the cat is not. Here one's personal attitude accounts
much for the concepts of beauty, ugliness, fierceness, and in-
nocence of animals. It is because of the defiling influence of
influxes, such as ignorance, that the world around us appears
so picturesque.

Based on this particular sutta, with its reference to the
caraṇa picture as a prototype, we may take a peep at the mod-
ern day's movie film, by way of an analogy. It might facilitate
the understanding of the teachings on paṭicca samuppāda and
Nibbāna in a way that is closer to our everyday life. The prin-
ciples governing the film and the drama are part and parcel of
the life outside cinema and the theatre. But since it is generally
difficult to grasp them in the context of the life outside, we shall
now try to elucidate them with reference to the cinema and the
theatre.

Usually a film or a drama is shown at night. The reason for
it is the presence of darkness. This darkness helps to bring out
the darkness of ignorance that dwells in the minds of beings. So
the film as well as the drama is presented to the public within
a framework of darkness. If a film is shown at day time, as a
matinee show, it necessitates closed windows and dark curtains.
In this way, films and dramas are shown within a curtained en-
closure.

There is another strange thing about these films and dramas.
One goes to the cinema or the theatre saying: "I am going to
see a film show, I am going to see a drama". And one returns
saying: "I have seen a film show, I have seen a drama". But
while the film show or the drama is going on, one forgets that
one is seeing a show or a drama.

Such a strange spell of delusion takes over. This is due to
the intoxicating influence of influxes. If one wishes to enjoy a
film show or a drama, one should be prepared to get intoxicated
by it. Otherwise it will cease to be a film show or a drama for
him.

What do the film producers and dramatists do? They pre-
pare the background for eliciting the influxes of ignorance, la-
tent in the minds of the audience. That is why such shows and
performances are held at night, or else dark curtains are em-
ployed. They have an intricate job to do. Within the framework
of darkness, they have to create a delusion in the minds of their
audience, so as to enact some story in a realistic manner.

To be successful, a film or a drama has to be given a touch of
realism. Though fictitious, it should be apparently real for the
audience. There is an element of deception involved, a hood-
wink. For this touch of realism, quite a lot of make-up on the
part of actors and actresses is necessary. As a matter of fact,
in the ancient Indian society, one of the primary senses of the
word saṅkhāra was the make-up done by actors and actresses.

Now in the present context, saṅkhāra can include not only
this make-up in personal appearance, but also the acting itself,
the delineation of character, stage-craft etc.. In this way, the
film producers and dramatists create a suitable environment,
making use of the darkness and the make-up contrivances.
These are the saṅkhāras, or the `preparations'.

However, to be more precise, it is the audience that make
preparations, in the last analysis. Here too, as before, we are
compelled to make a statement that might appear strange: So
far not a single cinema has held a film show and not a single
theatre has staged a drama.

And yet, those who had gone to the cinema and the theatre
had seen film shows and dramas. Now, how can that be? Usu-
ally, we think that it is the film producer who produced the film
and that it is the dramatist who made the drama.

But if we are to understand the deeper implications of what
the Buddha declared, with reference to the picture caraṇa, a
film show or drama is produced, in the last analysis, by the spec-
tator himself. When he goes to the cinema and the theatre, he
takes with him the spices needed to concoct a film or a drama,
and that is: the influxes, or āsavas. Whatever technical defects
and shortcomings there are in them, he makes good with his
influxes.

As we know, in a drama there is a certain interval between
two scenes. But the average audience is able to appreciate even
such a drama, because they are influenced by the influxes of
sense desire, existence, and ignorance.
With the progress in science and technology, scenes are
made to fall on the screen with extreme rapidity. All the same,
the element of delusion is still there. The purpose is to create
the necessary environment for arousing delusion in the minds
of the audience. Whatever preparations others may make, if the
audience does not respond with their own preparations along
the same lines, the drama will not be a success. But in general,
the worldlings have a tendency to prepare and concoct, so they
would make up for any short comings in the film or the drama
with their own preparations and enjoy them.

Now, for instance, let us think of an occasion when a film
show is going on within the framework of darkness. In the
case of a matinee show, doors and windows will have to be
closed. Supposing the doors are suddenly flung open, while a
vivid technicolour scene is flashing on the screen, what happens
then? The spectators will find themselves suddenly thrown out
of the cinema world they had created for themselves. Why?
Because the scene in technicolour has now lost its colour. It
has faded away. The result is dejection, disenchantment. The
film show loses its significance.

That film show owed its existence to the dark framework
of ignorance and the force of preparations. But now that the
framework has broken down, such a vast change has come over,
resulting in a disenchantment. Now the word rāga has a nuance
suggestive of colour, so virāga, dispassion, can also literally
mean a fading away or a decolouration. Here we have a possible
instance of nibbidā virāga, disenchantment, dispassion, at least
in a limited sense.

A door suddenly flung open can push aside the delusion,
at least temporarily. Let us consider the implications of this
little event. The film show, in this case, ceases to be a film
show because of a flash of light coming from outside. Now,
what would have happened if this flash of light had come from
within - from within one's mind? Then also something similar
would have happened. If the light of wisdom dawns on one's
mind while watching a film show or a drama, one would even
wonder whether it is actually a film or a drama, while others are
enjoying it.

Speaking about the film show, we mentioned above that the
spectator has entered into a world of his own creation. If we
are to analyse this situation according to the law of dependent
origination, we may add that in fact he has a consciousness and
a name-and-form in line with the events of the story, based on
the preparations in the midst of the darkness of ignorance. With
all his experiences in seeing the film show, he is building up his
five aggregates.

Therefore, when the light of wisdom comes and dispels the
darkness of ignorance, a similar event can occur. One will come
out of that plane of existence. One will step out of the world of
sense desires, at least temporarily.
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Re: SN 22.100 Gaddula Sutta: The Leash (2)

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:36 am

Nibbana Sermon 6

In our last sermon, we happened to discuss how the con-
cept of existence built up with the help of ignorance and in-
fluxes, comes to cease with the cessation of ignorance and in-
fluxes. We explained it by means of similes and illustrations,
based on the film show and the drama. As the starting point,
we took up the simile of the picture called caraṇa, which the
Buddha had made use of in the Gaddulasutta of the Saṃyutta
Nikāya. With reference to a picture called caraṇa, popular
in contemporary India, the Buddha has declared that the mind
is more picturesque than that caraṇa picture. As an adaptation
of that caraṇa picture for the modern day, we referred to the
movie film and the drama in connection with our discussion
of saṅkhāras in particular and paṭicca samuppāda in general.
Today, let us try to move a little forward in the same direction.

In the latter part of the same Second Gaddulasutta of the
Saṃyutta Nikāya, Khandhasaṃyutta, the Buddha gives a simile
of a painter. Translated it would read as follows: "Just as a
dyer or a painter would fashion the likeness of a woman or of a
man, complete in all its major and minor parts, on a well planed
board, or a wall, or on a strip of cloth, with dye or lac or turmeric
or indigo or madder, even so the untaught worldling creates, as
it were, his own form, feelings, perceptions, preparations, and
consciousness."

What the Buddha wants to convey to us by this comparison
of the five grasping groups to an artefact done by a painter, is
the insubstantiality and the vanity of those five groups. It brings
out their compound and made-up nature. This essencelessness
and emptiness is more clearly expressed in the Pheṇapiṇḍūpa-
masutta of the Khandhasaṃyutta.
viewtopic.php?f=25&t=6864
The summary verse at the end of that discourse would suffice for the present:

Pheṇapiṇḍūpamaṃ rūpaṃ,
vedanā bubbuḷūpamā,
marīcikūpamā saññā,
saṅkhārā kadalūpamā,
māyūpamañca viññāṇaṃ,
dīpitādiccabandhunā.

It says that the Buddha, the kinsman of the sun, has com-
pared form to a mass of foam, feeling to a water bubble, per-
ception to a mirage, preparations to a banana trunk, and con-
sciousness to a magic show. These five similes bring out the
insubstantiality of the five grasping groups. Their simulating
and deceptive nature is indicated by the similes. Not only the
magic show, but even the other similes, like the mass of foam,
are suggestive of simulation, in giving a false notion of com-
pactness. They all convey the idea of insubstantiality and de-
ceptiveness. Consciousness in particular, is described in that
context as a conjurer's trick.
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Re: SN 22.100 Gaddula Sutta: The Leash (2)

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:39 am

Nibbana Sermon 24

In a number of sermons we had to bring up the simile of the
motion picture. The simile is not our own, but only a modern-
ization of a canonical simile used by the Buddha himself. The
point of divergence was the question the Buddha had addressed
to the monks in the Gaddulasutta.

Diṭṭhaṃ vo, bhikkhave, caraṇaṃ nāma cittaṃ? "Monks,
have you seen a picture called a movie?" The monks answer in
the affirmative, and so the Buddha proceeds:

Tampi kho, bhikkhave, caraṇaṃ nāma cittaṃ citteneva cin-
titaṃ. Tena pi kho, bhikkhave, caraṇena cittena cittaññeva
cittataraṃ. "Monks, that picture called a movie is something
thought out by the mind. But the thought itself, monks, is even
more picturesque than that picture."

To say that it is more picturesque is to suggest its variegated
character. Thought is intrinsically variegated. We have no idea
what sort of a motion picture was there at that time, but the
modern day movie has a way of concealing impermanence by
the rapidity of projections of the series of pictures on the screen.
The rapidity itself gives an impression of permanence, which is
a perversion, vipallāsa.

The movie is enjoyable because of this perversion. Due to
the perception of permanence, there is a grasping of signs, and
in the wake of it influxes flow in, giving rise to proliferation,
due to which one is overwhelmed by reckonings born of prolific
conceptualization, papañcasaññāsaṅkhā. That is how one en-
joys a film show. All this comes about as a result of ignorance,
or lack of awareness of the cinematographic tricks concealing
the fleeting, vibrating and evanescent nature of the scenes on
the screen.

Though we resort to such artificial illustrations, by way of a
simile, the Buddha declares that actually it is impossible to give
a fitting simile to illustrate the rapidity of a thought process.
Once he proclaimed: Upamā pi na sukarā yāva lahuparivattaṃ
cittaṃ, "it is not easy even to give a simile to show how
rapidly thought changes".
AN 1.48 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Sometimes the Buddha resorts to double entendre to bring
out pi-quantly some deep idea. He puns on the word citta,
"thought" or "picture", in order to suggest the `picturesque' or
variegated nature of thought, when he asserts that thought is
more picturesque, cittatara, than the picture. We can see that
it is quite reasonable in the light of the Dvayamsutta. It is this
series of picturesque formations that gives us a perception of
permanence, which in turn is instrumental in creating a world
before our eyes.
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