SN 55.40: Nandiya Sutta — To Nandiya

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SN 55.40: Nandiya Sutta — To Nandiya

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:13 am

SN 55.40 PTS: S v 397 CDB ii 1826
Nandiya Sutta: To Nandiya
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu


On what it means to live with heedfulness (appamada).
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

On one occasion the Blessed One was staying among the Sakyans near Kapilavatthu in Nigrodha's Park. Then Nandiya the Sakyan went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, "Lord, the disciple of the noble ones in whom the factors of stream entry are altogether & in every way lacking: Is he called a disciple of the noble ones who lives heedlessly?"

"Nandiya, the person in whom the factors of stream entry are altogether & in every way lacking I call an outsider, one who stands in the faction of the run-of-the-mill. But as to how a disciple of the noble ones lives heedlessly and heedfully, listen well and pay attention, I will speak"

"As you say, lord," Nandiya the Sakyan responded.

The Blessed One said, "And how, Nandiya, does a disciple of the noble ones live heedlessly? There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones is endowed with verified confidence in the Awakened One: 'Indeed, the Blessed One is worthy and rightly self-awakened, consummate in knowledge & conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the world, unexcelled as a trainer for those people fit to be tamed, the Teacher of divine & human beings, awakened, blessed.' Content with that verified confidence in the Awakened One, he does not exert himself further in solitude by day or seclusion by night. For him, living thus heedlessly, there is no joy. There being no joy, there is no rapture. There being no rapture, there is no serenity. There being no serenity, he dwells in pain. When pained, the mind does not become centered. When the mind is uncentered, phenomena do not become manifest. When phenomena are not manifest, he is reckoned simply as one who dwells heedlessly.

"Furthermore, the disciple of the noble ones is endowed with verified confidence in the Dhamma: 'The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One, to be seen here & now, timeless, inviting verification, pertinent, to be realized by the wise for themselves.' Content with that verified confidence in the Dhamma, he does not exert himself further in solitude by day or seclusion by night. For him, living thus heedlessly, there is no joy. There being no joy, there is no rapture. There being no rapture, there is no serenity. There being no serenity, he dwells in pain. When pained, the mind does not become centered. When the mind is uncentered, phenomena do not become manifest. When phenomena are not manifest, he is reckoned simply as one who dwells heedlessly.

"Furthermore, the disciple of the noble ones is endowed with verified confidence in the 'The Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples who have practiced well... who have practiced straight-forwardly... who have practiced methodically... who have practiced masterfully — in other words, the four types of noble disciples when taken as pairs, the eight when taken as individual types — they are the Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples: worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of respect, the incomparable field of merit for the world.' Content with that verified confidence in the Sangha, he does not exert himself further in solitude by day or seclusion by night. For him, living thus heedlessly, there is no joy. There being no joy, there is no rapture. There being no rapture, there is no serenity. There being no serenity, he dwells in pain. When pained, the mind does not become centered. When the mind is uncentered, phenomena do not become manifest. When phenomena are not manifest, he is reckoned simply as one who dwells heedlessly.

"Furthermore, the disciple of the noble ones is endowed with virtues that are appealing to the noble ones: untorn, unbroken, unspotted, unsplattered, liberating, praised by the wise, untarnished, leading to concentration. Content with those virtues pleasing to the noble ones, he does not exert himself further in solitude by day or seclusion by night. For him, living thus heedlessly, there is no joy. There being no joy, there is no rapture. There being no rapture, there is no serenity. There being no serenity, he dwells in pain. When pained, the mind does not become centered. When the mind is uncentered, phenomena do not become manifest. When phenomena are not manifest, he is reckoned simply as one who dwells heedlessly.

"This is how a disciple of the noble ones lives heedlessly.

"And how, Nandiya, does a disciple of the noble ones live heedfully? There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones is endowed with verified confidence in the Awakened One... Not content with that verified confidence in the Awakened One, he exerts himself further in solitude by day or seclusion by night. For him, living thus heedfully, joy arises. In one who has joy, rapture arises. In one who has rapture, the body becomes serene. When the body is serene, one feels pleasure. Feeling pleasure, the mind becomes centered. When the mind is centered, phenomena become manifest. When phenomena are manifest, he is reckoned as one who dwells heedfully.

"Furthermore, the disciple of the noble ones is endowed with verified confidence in the Dhamma... verified confidence in the Sangha... virtues that are appealing to the noble ones: untorn, unbroken, unspotted, unsplattered, liberating, praised by the wise, untarnished, leading to concentration. Not content with those virtues pleasing to the noble ones, he exerts himself further in solitude by day or seclusion by night. For him, living thus heedfully, joy arises. In one who has joy, rapture arises. In one who has rapture, the body becomes serene. When the body is serene, one feels pleasure. Feeling pleasure, the mind becomes centered. When the mind is centered, phenomena become manifest. When phenomena are manifest, he is reckoned as one who dwells heedfully.

"This is how a disciple of the noble ones lives heedfully."

See also:
SN 3.17: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
SN 48.56: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: SN 55.40: Nandiya Sutta — To Nandiya

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:48 pm

Recall that in the Sotapatti-samyutta the four factors of stream entry are:

    Confirmed confidence in the Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha, and being "endowed with virtues that are appealing to the noble ones: untorn, unbroken, unspotted, unsplattered, liberating, praised by the wise, untarnished, leading to concentration."
See also: viewtopic.php?f=25&t=17340

:anjali:
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Re: SN 55.40: Nandiya Sutta — To Nandiya

Postby seaturtle » Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:19 pm

When I read this sutta I am left with the question of what is meant by exerting oneself in solitude by day and seclusion by night. Knowing the importance of sangha and spiritual friendship, and knowing that the Buddha had many lay devotees still engaged in household life I am tempted to think these terms refer to mental states and not literal solitude and seclusion. SN 48.56 seems to support this interpretation.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Are there any other suttas that might elaborate what the Buddha was telling us?
To be born human and encounter the great joy
of the good Dharma is a chance rarer than
a turtle thrusting its neck through a yoke
floating freely in the great ocean.
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Re: SN 55.40: Nandiya Sutta — To Nandiya

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:39 pm

Hi Seaturtle,

It certainly seems that "solitude" does not always means physical solitude. However, in the suttas about the "gradual training" there is a point where the bhikkhu is advised to pursue jhana in physical solitude:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .horn.html
Overcoming of the five hindrances
"As soon, brahman, as he is possessed of mindfulness and clear consciousness, the Tathagata disciplines him further, saying: 'Come you, monk, choose a remote lodging in a forest, at the root of a tree, on a mountain slope, in a glen, a hill cave, a cemetery, a woodland grove, in the open, or on a heap of straw.' On returning from alms-gathering after the meal, the monk sits down crosslegged, holding the back erect, having made mindfulness rise up in front of him. He, getting rid of covetousness for the world, dwells with a mind devoid of covetousness, he cleanses the mind of covetousness. Getting rid of the taint of ill-will, he dwells benevolent in mind; compassionate and merciful towards all creatures and beings, he cleanses the mind of ill-will. Getting rid of sloth and torpor, he dwells without sloth or torpor; perceiving the light, mindful and clearly conscious he cleanses the mind of sloth and torpor. Getting rid of restlessness and worry, he dwells calmly; the mind inward tranquil, he cleanses the mind of restlessness and worry. Getting rid of doubt, he dwells doubt-crossed; unperplexed as to the states that are skilled,[5] he cleanses his mind of doubt.

Jhana
"He, by getting rid of these five hindrances,[6] which are defilements of the mind and deleterious to intuitive wisdom, aloof from pleasures of the senses, aloof from unskilled states of mind, enters and abides in the first meditation which is accompanied by initial thought and discursive thought, is born of aloofness and is rapturous and joyful. ....

:anjali:
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Re: SN 55.40: Nandiya Sutta — To Nandiya

Postby seaturtle » Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:02 pm

That passage sounds directed specifically to monastics. Do you think in the context of SN 55.40 seclusion carries the same meaning? More broadly, how do we know which of the Buddha's words are to be taken literally and which need to be interpreted? Or do we always assume we should take the Buddha's words literally?
To be born human and encounter the great joy
of the good Dharma is a chance rarer than
a turtle thrusting its neck through a yoke
floating freely in the great ocean.
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Re: SN 55.40: Nandiya Sutta — To Nandiya

Postby santa100 » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:25 pm

Seclusion (viveka) refers to the three seclusions (of body through physical solitude, of mind through serenity and insight meditation, and seclusion from the acquisitions by destruction of all defilements). Monkhood provides more favorable environment for viveka. For lay people, it's kind of tough to implement the physical solitude. However, one can always practice mental seclusion by observing the precepts, meditation, and mindfulness training. Refer to the link below for more info.. http://www.buddhismuskunde.uni-hamburg. ... Viveka.pdf
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