SN 46.53: Aggi Sutta — Fire

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SN 46.53: Aggi Sutta — Fire

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:04 am

SN 46.53 PTS: S v 112 CDB ii 1605
Aggi Sutta: Fire
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu


The right and wrong ways to respond to sluggishness or restlessness.

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



On one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Then, early in the morning, a large number of monks adjusted their under robes and — carrying their bowls & robes — went into Savatthi for alms. Then the thought occurred to them, "It's still too early to go for alms in Savatthi. Why don't we go to the park of the wanderers of other sects?"

So the monks went to the park of the wanderers of other sects. On arrival, they exchanged courteous greetings with the wanderers of other sects. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, they sat to one side.

As they were sitting there, the wanderers of other sects said to them, "Friends, Gotama the contemplative teaches the Dhamma to his disciples in this way: 'Come, monks — abandoning the five hindrances, the corruptions of awareness that weaken discernment — develop the seven factors for awakening as they have come to be.'

"Now, friends, we too teach our disciples in this way: 'Come, you friends, — abandoning the five hindrances, the corruptions of awareness that weaken discernment — develop the seven factors for awakening as they have come to be.'

"So, friends, what difference, what distinction, what distinguishing factor is there here between Gotama the contemplative and us, when comparing Dhamma teaching with Dhamma teaching, instruction with instruction?"

Then the monks neither delighted in the words of the wanderers of other sects, nor did they reject them. Without delighting or rejecting, they got up from their seats and left, (thinking,) "We will learn the meaning of these words in the presence of the Blessed One."

So, having gone for alms in Savatthi, after the meal, returning from their alms round, the monks went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there they [told him what had happened.]

"Monks, when wanderers of other sects speak in that way, they should be addressed in this way: 'Friends, on any occasion when the mind is sluggish, which of the factors of awakening is that the wrong time to develop? Which of the factors of awakening is that the right time to develop? And on any occasion when the mind is restless, which of the factors of awakening is that the wrong time to develop? Which of the factors of awakening is that the right time to develop?'

"Being asked in this way, the wanderers of other sects will be unable to respond and, on top of that, will fall into vexation. Why is that? Because it lies beyond their range. Monks, I don't see anyone in this cosmos — with its devas, Maras, and Brahmas, with its people with their contemplatives & brahmans, their royalty & commonfolk — who would satisfy the mind with their answer to these questions, aside from the Tathagata, a disciple of the Tathagata, or one who had heard it from them.

"Now, monks, on any occasion when the mind is sluggish, that is the wrong time to develop calm as a factor for awakening, concentration as a factor for awakening, equanimity as a factor for awakening. Why is that? The sluggish mind is hard to raise up by those mental qualities. Just as if a man, wanting to make a small fire blaze up, were to place wet grass in it, wet cow dung, & wet sticks; were to give it a spray of water and smother it with dust. Is it possible that he would make the small fire blaze up?"

"No, lord."

"In the same way, monks, on any occasion the mind is sluggish, that is the wrong time to develop calm as a factor for awakening, concentration as a factor for awakening, equanimity as a factor for awakening. Why is that? The sluggish mind is hard to raise up by those mental qualities.

"Now, on any occasion when the mind is sluggish, that is the right time to develop analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening, persistence as a factor for awakening, rapture as a factor for awakening. Why is that? The sluggish mind is easy to raise up by those mental qualities. Just as if a man, wanting to make a small fire blaze up, were to place dry grass in it, dry cow dung, & dry sticks; were to blow on it with his mouth and not smother it with dust. Is it possible that he would make the small fire blaze up?

"Yes, lord.

"In the same way, monks, on any occasion when the mind is sluggish, that is the right time to develop analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening, persistence as a factor for awakening, rapture as a factor for awakening. Why is that? The sluggish mind is easy to raise up by those mental qualities.

"Now, on any occasion when the mind is restless, that is the wrong time to develop analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening, persistence as a factor for awakening, rapture as a factor for awakening. Why is that? The restless mind is hard to still with those mental qualities. Just as if a man, wanting to put out a large fire, were to place dry grass in it, dry cow dung, & dry sticks; were to blow on it with his mouth and not smother it with dust. Is it possible that he would put it out?"

"No, lord."

"In the same way, monks, on any occasion when the mind is restless, that is the wrong time to develop analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening, persistence as a factor for awakening, rapture as a factor for awakening. Why is that? The restless mind is hard to still with those mental qualities.

"Now, on occasions when the mind is restless, that is the right time to develop calm as a factor for awakening, concentration as a factor for awakening, equanimity as a factor for awakening. Why is that? The restless mind is easy to still with those mental qualities. Just as if a man, wanting to put out a large fire, were to place wet grass in it, wet cow dung, & wet sticks; were to give it a spray of water and smother it with dust. Is it possible that he would put it out?"

"Yes, lord."

"In the same way, monks, when the mind is restless, that is the right time to develop calm as a factor for awakening, concentration as a factor for awakening, equanimity as a factor for awakening. Why is that? The restless mind is easy to still with those mental qualities.

"As for mindfulness, I tell you, that serves every purpose."
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Re: SN 46.53: Aggi Sutta — Fire

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:07 am

SN 46.53 PTS: S v 112 CDB ii 1605
Aggi Sutta: Fire
(excerpt)
Right and Wrong Times
translated from the Pali by Maurice O'Connell Walshe





"At such times, monks, as the mind is sluggish, that is the wrong time to cultivate the enlightenment-factor[1] of tranquillity, the enlightenment-factor of concentration, the enlightenment-factor of equanimity. What is the reason? A sluggish mind is hard to arouse by these factors.

"Suppose a man wants to make a small fire blaze. If he heaps wet grass, wet cow-dung and wet sticks on it, if he exposes it to wind and rain and sprinkles it with dust, can he make that small fire blaze?"

"No indeed, Lord."

"Just so, when the mind is sluggish it is the wrong time to cultivate the enlightenment-factors of tranquillity, concentration and equanimity, because a sluggish mind is hard to arouse through these factors.

"But, monks, when the mind is sluggish, that is the right time to cultivate the enlightenment-factor of investigation-of-states, the enlightenment-factor of energy, the enlightenment-factor of rapture.[2] What is the reason? A sluggish mind is easy to arouse by these factors.

"Suppose a man wants to make a small fire blaze. If he heaps dry grass, dry cow-dung and dry sticks on it, blows on it with his mouth, and does not sprinkle it with dust, can he make that fire blaze?"

"Yes indeed, Lord."

"... a sluggish mind is easy to arouse through these factors.

"Monks, when the mind is agitated,[3] that is the wrong time to cultivate the enlightenment-factors of investigation-of-states, of energy, of rapture. Why? An agitated mind is hard to calm through these factors.

"Suppose a man wants to put a big fire out. If he heaps dry cow-dung and dry sticks on it, blow on it with his mouth, and does not sprinkle it with dust, can he put that fire out?"

"No indeed, Lord."

"... an agitated mind is not easy to calm through these factors.

"When the mind is agitated, that is the right time to cultivate the enlightenment-factors of tranquillity, concentration, equanimity. Why? Because an agitated mind is easy to calm[4] through these factors.

"Suppose a man wants to put out a big fire. If he heaps wet grass, wet cow-dung, wet sticks on it and if he exposes it to wind and rain, if he sprinkles it with dust, can he put that big fire out?"

"Yes indeed, Lord."

"Just so, monks, when the mind is agitated, that is the right time to cultivate the enlightenment-factors of tranquillity, concentration, equanimity. An agitated mind is easy to calm through these factors.

"But as for mindfulness, monks, I declare that it is always useful."


Notes

1. Bojjhanga (=bodhi-anga, lit. "limb of enlightenment") or sambojjhanga. The seven bojjhangas are so called (SN 46.5) "because they lead to enlightenment" (bodhi). They are: 1. Mindfulness (sati-sambojjangha), 2. Investigation of (Mental and Physical) States (dhamma-vicaya-s.), 3. Energy (viriya-s.), 4. Rapture (piiti-s.), 5. Tranquillity (passaddhi-s.), 6. Concentration (samaadhi-s.), 7. Equanimity (upekkhaa-s.). The text makes it clear that of these the first, mindfulness, is the most important, since it is valuable in all circumstances, whereas the others are not always appropriate.

2. Piiti: see SN 12.23, n. 4. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .html#fn-4

3. Uddhata.m: not "elated" as translated by Woodward.

4. Woodward has here, by an oversight, "is easily raised up." Below, he has correctly "is easily calmed."
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Re: SN 46.53: Aggi Sutta — Fire

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:09 am

“But mindfulness, bhikkhus, I say is always useful.”
Spk: It is desirable everywhere, like salt and a versatile prime minister. Just as salt enhances the flavour of all curries, and just as a versatile prime minister accomplishes all the tasks of state, so the restraining of the excited mind and the exerting of the sluggish mind are all achieved by mindfulness, and without mindfulness this could not be done.

BB: See too Vism 130,15-20 (Ppn 4:49).


In Visuddhimagga Chapter IV http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... index.html there is a discussion on balancing the five faculties (indriya):
Saddha (conviction, faith), Viriya (persistence, effort, energy), Sati (mindfulness), Samadhi (concentration), Pañña (discernment, wisdom). This is a different list from the seven factors of awakening, but one could think of the faculties and factors roughly as different ways of dividing up the necessary skills.

    The Seven Factors for Awakening (bojjhaṅga)
    Mindfulness as a factor for Awakening (sati-sambojjhaṅga).
    Analysis of qualities as a factor for Awakening (dhamma-vicaya-sambojjhaṅga).
    Persistence as a factor for Awakening (viriya-sambojjhaṅga).
    Rapture as a factor for Awakening (pīti-sambojjhaṅga).
    Serenity as a factor for Awakening (passaddhi-sambojjhaṅga).
    Concentration as a factor for Awakening (samādhi-sambojjhaṅga).
    Equanimity as a factor for Awakening (upekkhā-sambojjhaṅga).

    The Five Faculties (indrīya)
    The faculty of conviction (saddhindrīya).
    The faculty of persistence (viriyindrīya).
    The faculty of mindfulness (satindrīya).
    The faculty of concentration (samādhindrīya).
    The faculty of discernment (paññindrīya).

The balancing of energy and concentration is similar to what is described in the Sutta, and both the Sutta and the Visuddhimagga note that mindfulness is always useful. However, the Visuddhimagga also discusses the balancing of faith and wisdom, and so on.

That faith/wisdom and energy/concentration require balance, but that you can never have too much mindfulness, is often discussed by modern teachers.
Visuddhimagga IV wrote:
45. 2. Maintaining balanced faculties is equalizing the [five] faculties of faith and
the rest. For if his faith faculty is strong and the others weak, then the energy
faculty cannot perform its function of exerting, the mindfulness faculty its
function of establishing, the concentration faculty its function of not distracting,
and the understanding faculty its function of seeing. So in that case the faith
faculty should be modified either by reviewing the individual essences of the
states [concerned, that is, the objects of attention] or by not giving [them] attention in the way in which the faith faculty became too strong. And this is illustrated
by the story of the Elder Vakkali (S III 119).
    SN 22.87 Vakkali
    See: http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pit ... ggo-e.html
    (87) Vakkali

    This Sutta is famous for the "who sees the Dhamma sees me" statement.
    “Then, Vakkali, if you have nothing for which to reproach yourself in regard to virtue, why are you troubled by remorse and regret?”

    “For a long time, venerable sir, I have wanted to come to see the Blessed One, but I haven’t been fit enough to do so.”

    “Enough, Vakkali! Why do you want to see this foul body? One who sees the Dhamma sees me; one who sees me sees the Dhamma.168 For in seeing the Dhamma, Vakkali, one sees me; and in seeing me, one sees the Dhamma.

    However, the point that the Visuddhimagga seems to be making is that Vakkali is relying too much on faith and too little development of wisdom and so on, and the Buddha therefore instructs him in what is above referred to as "reviewing the individual essences of the states":
    “What do you think, Vakkali, is form permanent or impermanent?” - [121] “Impermanent, venerable sir.”… - “Therefore … Seeing thus … He understands: ‘… there is no more for this state of being.’”

46. Then if the energy faculty is too strong, the faith faculty cannot perform its
function of resolving, nor can the rest of the faculties perform their several
functions. So in that case the energy faculty should be modified by developing
tranquillity, and so on. And this should be illustrated by the story of the Elder
Sona (Vin I 179–85; A III 374–76). [AN 6.55]
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an06/an06.055.than.html
    "And what do you think: when the strings of your vina were neither too taut nor too loose, but tuned to be right on pitch, was your vina in tune & playable?"
    "Yes, lord."
    "In the same way, Sona, over-aroused persistence leads to restlessness, overly slack persistence leads to laziness.
So too with the rest; for it should be understood
that when anyone of them is too strong the others cannot perform their several
functions.

47. However, what is particularly recommended is balancing faith with
understanding, and concentration with energy. For one strong in faith and
weak in understanding has confidence uncritically and groundlessly. One
strong in understanding and weak in faith errs on the side of cunning and is as
hard to cure as one sick of a disease caused by medicine. With the balancing of
the two a man has confidence only when there are grounds for it.
Then idleness overpowers one strong in concentration and weak in energy, since
concentration favours idleness. Agitation overpowers one strong in energy
and weak in concentration, since energy favours agitation. But concentration
coupled with energy cannot lapse into idleness, and energy coupled with
concentration cannot lapse into agitation. So these two should be balanced; for
absorption comes with the balancing of the two.

48. Again, [concentration and faith should be balanced]. One working on
concentration needs strong faith, since it is with such faith and confidence that
he reaches absorption. Then there is [balancing of] concentration and
understanding. One working on concentration needs strong unification, since
that is how he reaches absorption; and one working on insight needs strong
understanding, since that is how he reaches penetration of characteristics; but
with the balancing of the two he reaches absorption as well.


49. Strong mindfulness, however, is needed in all instances; for mindfulness
protects the mind from lapsing into agitation through faith, energy and
understanding, which favour agitation, and from lapsing into idleness through
concentration, which favours idleness. So it is as desirable in all instances as a
seasoning of salt in all sauces, as a prime minister in all the king’s business.
Hence it is said [in the commentaries (D-a 788, M-a I 292, etc)]: “And mindfulness
has been called universal by the Blessed One. For what reason? Because the
mind has mindfulness as its refuge, and mindfulness is manifested as protection,
and there is no exertion and restraint of the mind without mindfulness.”

:anjali:
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Re: SN 46.53: Aggi Sutta — Fire

Postby Sam Vara » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:11 am

Hi Mike,

My first thought on the Sutta is that this bit:

"Monks, when wanderers of other sects speak in that way, they should be addressed in this way: 'Friends, on any occasion when the mind is sluggish, which of the factors of awakening is that the wrong time to develop? Which of the factors of awakening is that the right time to develop? And on any occasion when the mind is restless, which of the factors of awakening is that the wrong time to develop? Which of the factors of awakening is that the right time to develop?'

"Being asked in this way, the wanderers of other sects will be unable to respond and, on top of that, will fall into vexation. Why is that? Because it lies beyond their range. Monks, I don't see anyone in this cosmos — with its devas, Maras, and Brahmas, with its people with their contemplatives & brahmans, their royalty & commonfolk — who would satisfy the mind with their answer to these questions, aside from the Tathagata, a disciple of the Tathagata, or one who had heard it from them.


Looks very interesting. I believe I have seen similar formulations in other suttas (i.e. Bhikkhus challenged by other sectarians as to the differences, return to the Buddha, who offers the essential aspect...)

One would have thought that the other sects, being aware of the factors of awakening, would know the best way to deploy them. So maybe the Buddha is saying that they have different factors of awakening; or that the distinguishing characteristic of those known and taught by him is that they are to be deployed on the occasions of sluggishness and restlessness.
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Re: SN 46.53: Aggi Sutta — Fire

Postby Sam Vara » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:28 am

This is a different list from the seven factors of awakening, but one could think of the faculties and factors roughly as different ways of dividing up the necessary skills.


The Seven Factors for Awakening (bojjhaṅga)
Mindfulness as a factor for Awakening (sati-sambojjhaṅga).
Analysis of qualities as a factor for Awakening (dhamma-vicaya-sambojjhaṅga).
Persistence as a factor for Awakening (viriya-sambojjhaṅga).
Rapture as a factor for Awakening (pīti-sambojjhaṅga).
Serenity as a factor for Awakening (passaddhi-sambojjhaṅga).
Concentration as a factor for Awakening (samādhi-sambojjhaṅga).
Equanimity as a factor for Awakening (upekkhā-sambojjhaṅga).

The Five Faculties (indrīya)
The faculty of conviction (saddhindrīya).
The faculty of persistence (viriyindrīya).
The faculty of mindfulness (satindrīya).
The faculty of concentration (samādhindrīya).
The faculty of discernment (paññindrīya).

The balancing of energy and concentration is similar to what is described in the Sutta,


I don't see this, I'm afraid. The Enlightenment Factors are used in the Sutta as a means of either energising a sluggish mind, or calming an agitated one. Three of each, and mindfulness as the balancing and monitoring factor.

But in the case of the Indriya, the pairings do not seem to have the same function. Conviction seems to energise, and discernment to steady - again with mindfulness as the monitoring faculty. But persistence is obviously energising, whereas the pairing with concentration makes it a pair that both energise, rather than a complementary pair of opposites as far as energy and calm are concerned.

I might be wrong, but I tend to see the Bojjhanga as referring to the mind during meditation (they are frequently said to be rooted in mindfulness of the body), whereas the Indriya seem to work better as something more akin to the western concept of virtue. So two ways of dividing up of desirable qualities, but along different lines.
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Re: SN 46.53: Aggi Sutta — Fire

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:57 am

Hi Sam,
Sam Vara wrote:Hi Mike,

My first thought on the Sutta is that this bit:

"Monks, when wanderers of other sects speak in that way, they should be addressed in this way: 'Friends, on any occasion when the mind is sluggish, which of the factors of awakening is that the wrong time to develop? Which of the factors of awakening is that the right time to develop? And on any occasion when the mind is restless, which of the factors of awakening is that the wrong time to develop? Which of the factors of awakening is that the right time to develop?'

"Being asked in this way, the wanderers of other sects will be unable to respond and, on top of that, will fall into vexation. Why is that? Because it lies beyond their range. Monks, I don't see anyone in this cosmos — with its devas, Maras, and Brahmas, with its people with their contemplatives & brahmans, their royalty & commonfolk — who would satisfy the mind with their answer to these questions, aside from the Tathagata, a disciple of the Tathagata, or one who had heard it from them.


Looks very interesting. I believe I have seen similar formulations in other suttas (i.e. Bhikkhus challenged by other sectarians as to the differences, return to the Buddha, who offers the essential aspect...)

One would have thought that the other sects, being aware of the factors of awakening, would know the best way to deploy them. So maybe the Buddha is saying that they have different factors of awakening; or that the distinguishing characteristic of those known and taught by him is that they are to be deployed on the occasions of sluggishness and restlessness.


The previous Sutta: SN 46.52, starts out in the same way. Here is some commentary to:

Then those bhikkhus went to the park of the wanderers of other sects. They exchanged greetings with those wanderers and, when they had concluded their greetings and cordial talk, sat down to one side. The wanderers then said to them: “Friends, the ascetic Gotama teaches the Dhamma to his disciples thus: ‘Come, bhikkhus, abandon the five hindrances, the corruptions of the mind that weaken wisdom, and develop correctly the seven factors of enlightenment.’ We too teach the Dhamma to our disciples thus: ‘Come, friends, abandon the five hindrances, the corruptions of the mind that weaken wisdom, and develop correctly the seven factors of enlightenment.’ So, friends, what here is the distinction, the disparity, the difference between the ascetic Gotama and us, that is, regarding the one Dhamma teaching and the other, regarding the one manner of instruction and the other?”

Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:Spk says that the teachers of other sects do not have any original teachings on the five hindrances and the seven enlightenment factors. When they teach their own disciples they plagiarize the Buddha’s teachings on these topics. Gethin points out, however, that the sutta itself does not go as far as the commentary but only stresses the differences between the two modes of teaching (Buddhist Path to Awakening, p. 180).


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Re: SN 46.53: Aggi Sutta — Fire

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:26 am

Hi Sam,
Sam Vara wrote:
This is a different list from the seven factors of awakening, but one could think of the faculties and factors roughly as different ways of dividing up the necessary skills.


The Seven Factors for Awakening (bojjhaṅga)
Mindfulness as a factor for Awakening (sati-sambojjhaṅga).
Analysis of qualities as a factor for Awakening (dhamma-vicaya-sambojjhaṅga).
Persistence as a factor for Awakening (viriya-sambojjhaṅga).
Rapture as a factor for Awakening (pīti-sambojjhaṅga).
Serenity as a factor for Awakening (passaddhi-sambojjhaṅga).
Concentration as a factor for Awakening (samādhi-sambojjhaṅga).
Equanimity as a factor for Awakening (upekkhā-sambojjhaṅga).

The Five Faculties (indrīya)
The faculty of conviction (saddhindrīya).
The faculty of persistence (viriyindrīya).
The faculty of mindfulness (satindrīya).
The faculty of concentration (samādhindrīya).
The faculty of discernment (paññindrīya).

The balancing of energy and concentration is similar to what is described in the Sutta,


I don't see this, I'm afraid. The Enlightenment Factors are used in the Sutta as a means of either energising a sluggish mind, or calming an agitated one. Three of each, and mindfulness as the balancing and monitoring factor.

But in the case of the Indriya, the pairings do not seem to have the same function. Conviction seems to energise, and discernment to steady - again with mindfulness as the monitoring faculty. But persistence is obviously energising, whereas the pairing with concentration makes it a pair that both energise, rather than a complementary pair of opposites as far as energy and calm are concerned.

I might be wrong, but I tend to see the Bojjhanga as referring to the mind during meditation (they are frequently said to be rooted in mindfulness of the body), whereas the Indriya seem to work better as something more akin to the western concept of virtue. So two ways of dividing up of desirable qualities, but along different lines.

OK, perhaps I'll look at it in more detail.

In the current Sutta we have:
    Energizing Factors: (bojjhaṅga)
    analysis, persistence, rapture (dhamma-vicaya, viriya, piti)
    Calming Factors:
    calm, concentration, equanimity (passaddhi, samadhi, upekkha)
In the Visuddhimagga advice on meditation we have:
However, what is particularly recommended is balancing faith with
understanding, and concentration with energy.

So here we have:
    Energising Faculty: (indrīya)
    energy (viriya)
    Calming Factor:
    concentration (samadhi)
So those two are just as in the Factors.

The other balanced pair are:
    understanding (panna)
    faith (sadhha)
I tend to think of those as separate from the other two, however, from the Vakkali suttta, quoted above, it seems that the understanding faculty is somewhat energising, as the analysis factor, with the faith faculty leading to more calm.


Here's something from Bhikkhu Bodhi:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ay_22.html
Just as much as the five faculties, considered individually, each perform their own unique tasks in their respective domains, as a group they accomplish the collective task of establishing inner balance and harmony. To achieve this balanced striving the faculties are divided into two pairs in each of which each member must counter the undesirable tendency inherent in the other, thus enabling it to actualize its fullest potential. The faculties of faith and wisdom form one pair, aimed at balancing the capacities for devotion and comprehension; the faculties of energy and concentration form a second pair aimed at balancing the capacities for active exertion and calm recollection. Above the complementary pairs stands the faculty of mindfulness, which protects the mind from extremes and ensures that the members of each pair hold one another in a mutually restraining, mutually enriching tension.


And
http://www.vipassana.com/meditation/khe ... ulties.php
Ayya Khema wrote:The first pair that has to be balanced is faith and wisdom. There is an analogy that the Buddha gave for these two qualities: he compared faith to a blind giant who meets up with a small, very sharp-eyed cripple, called wisdom. The blind giant, named faith, says to the small, sharp-eyed cripple named wisdom: "I'm strong and can go very fast, but I can't see where I'm going. You're small and weak, but have sharp eyes. If you will ride on my shoulders, together we could go very far." This tells us that faith without wisdom, while being a strong faculty, is yet unable to find the right direction. We say "faith can move mountains," but being blind, faith doesn't know which mountain needs moving. However coupled with wisdom, there is enormous potential. The reason for such strength, is that heart and mind are brought into harmony. The mind can have wisdom and the heart can have faith. When heart and mind are brought to a point of co-existence, of no separation, the power which develops, is far greater than just 1 + 1 = 2. It is more like 2 to the power of 2.

Unfortunately I can't locate a Sutta with this story...

Ayya Khema wrote:The other pair is energy and concentration. It's not physical energy that's needed, but rather mental energy, which has little to do with the capacities of the body. We need unwavering determination for this practice, which is transformed energy. The Buddha compared us with the man who's wearing a turban that is on fire. http://www.vipassana.com/canon/anguttara/an6-20.php Obviously, if a man is wearing a turban that is on fire, he is most anxious to get rid of it. That same kind of determination is needed to practice diligently. Energy is also dependent upon one-pointed direction. We realize what is most important and don't vacillate between social life, social action, practice, entertainment and the many other options open to us. Everybody has more energy for those things they like. We have to be very careful that we don't use up our energy searching for pleasant sense contacts because we like them. We have to be attentive to the fact that pleasant sense contacts are so short-lived they will never give us complete satisfaction, and that we're using up our energy without getting any real fulfillment. So it turns into a waste of our energy.


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Re: SN 46.53: Aggi Sutta — Fire

Postby Sam Vara » Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:33 am

Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:Spk says that the teachers of other sects do not have any original teachings on the five hindrances and the seven enlightenment factors. When they teach their own disciples they plagiarize the Buddha’s teachings on these topics. Gethin points out, however, that the sutta itself does not go as far as the commentary but only stresses the differences between the two modes of teaching (Buddhist Path to Awakening, p. 180).


:anjali:
Mike[/quote]

Hi Mike,

Yes, the plagiarising issue makes a lot of sense. I tend to think of the Buddha's Dhamma as the newest and best version among a lot of older Samana traditions. But it is equally likely that the monks would have been approached by people who had got hold of a garbled version of what the Buddha was teaching.

Just like today, in fact, except that the Buddha was around to set things straight.
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Re: SN 46.53: Aggi Sutta — Fire

Postby Sam Vara » Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:42 am

So here we have:

Energising Faculty: (indrīya)
energy (viriya)
Calming Factor:
concentration (samadhi)
So those two are just as in the Factors.

The other balanced pair are:

understanding (panna)
faith (sadhha)

I tend to think of those as separate from the other two, however, from the Vakkali suttta, quoted above, it seems that the understanding faculty is somewhat energising, as the analysis factor, with the faith faculty leading to more calm.


Hi Mike,

Sorry - I misrepresented concentration as energising, and thereby sent you off on a wild goose chase! But I do have to say that you have brought me back some very nice wild geese, and so I thank you for giving us the extra stuff here.

Interesting point about the lack of Sutta containing the blind man teaming up with his disabled friend. I would have sworn it was canonical - I can almost see it on the page! It is certainly how I would describe it to people. But like you, I can find no sign of it. Several people other than Ayya Khema mention it. I have noticed this before with Ayya Khema. I mentioned a beautiful analogy she used about Kamma, and was asked by a monk which Sutta it came from. We both searched, but drew a blank. It all makes me doubt my memory...
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Re: SN 46.53: Aggi Sutta — Fire

Postby Mal » Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:39 am

Doesn't concentration lead to Jhana, which includes rapture, an energising factor, as well as calm & equanimity, the calming factors?
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Re: SN 46.53: Aggi Sutta — Fire

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:44 pm

Hi Mal,
Mal wrote:Doesn't concentration lead to Jhana, which includes rapture, an energising factor, as well as calm & equanimity, the calming factors?

Yes, but I think that's over a longer time scale.

I suspect the sutta is talking about short time scales:
"If you are sluggish right now do this, if you're restless do that..."

With the factors sorted out and balanced, one can develop the concentration to jhana level...

Does that make sense?

:anjali:
Mike
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Re: SN 46.53: Aggi Sutta — Fire

Postby Mal » Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:35 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Mal,
Mal wrote:Doesn't concentration lead to Jhana, which includes rapture, an energising factor, as well as calm & equanimity, the calming factors?

Yes, but I think that's over a longer time scale.

I suspect the sutta is talking about short time scales:
"If you are sluggish right now do this, if you're restless do that..."

With the factors sorted out and balanced, one can develop the concentration to jhana level...

Does that make sense?

:anjali:
Mike


This does make sense. I can see that sorting out the factors to develop the concentration is a worthy aim, but I think the other direction is just as valid. I find that in trying to develop the concentration, through anapanasati, and well before Jhana (!), I begin to sort out the factors somewhat - if I'm sluggish I get a bit more energised, if restless I get calmer.
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Re: SN 46.53: Aggi Sutta — Fire

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:11 pm

Hi Mal,
Mal wrote: I find that in trying to develop the concentration, through anapanasati, and well before Jhana (!), I begin to sort out the factors somewhat - if I'm sluggish I get a bit more energised, if restless I get calmer.

That's exactly what I interpret the suttas, commentaries, and modern teachers, to be saying. If you're sluggish you need more energy, if restless you need more calm. There are various techniques to achieve that balance, which depend on what objects you are using, and so on...

:anjali:
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