Reading the suttas is fun!

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alan
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Reading the suttas is fun!

Post by alan » Sat Jun 25, 2011 6:30 am

I'd like to start a new topic about how reading the suttas can be enjoyable.
I posted this one on another thread: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Can you think of a sutta that you enjoyed reading, and would like to share?
The purpose of this thread is to get people interested in actually reading the suttas for themselves. I know, at first it seems like an impossible task. But you can do it! There are some long slogs, sure. But there are also some very nice passages. For those who have read the suttas, here is an opportunity to share your favorites. If you haven't, I hope this will inspire you to do so. Let's have fun!

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tiltbillings
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Re: Reading the suttas is fun!

Post by tiltbillings » Sat Jun 25, 2011 6:43 am

alan wrote:I'd like to start a new topic about how reading the suttas can be enjoyable.
I posted this one on another thread: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Can you think of a sutta that you enjoyed reading, and would like to share?
Best to read them outloud.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

Reductor
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Re: Reading the suttas is fun!

Post by Reductor » Sat Jun 25, 2011 6:44 am

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

This is one of my favorites. A faithful disciple spends the night in meditation with the buddha, unaware that his companion is in fact his teacher. The buddha is pleased and gives instruction to him as penetrating today as it was 2500 years ago.

Nyana
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Re: Reading the suttas is fun!

Post by Nyana » Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:11 am

alan wrote:Can you think of a sutta that you enjoyed reading, and would like to share?
A couple of my favorites....

AN 8.30 Anuruddha Sutta

Thag 18 Mahākassapattheragāthā

All the best,

Geoff

santa100
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Re: Reading the suttas is fun!

Post by santa100 » Sat Jun 25, 2011 2:48 pm

Here's another wonderful one:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

alan
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Re: Reading the suttas is fun!

Post by alan » Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:33 am

All nice choices. But--
I was looking for those you enjoyed particularly because they were fun to read. Suttas which make you smile, which you've enjoyed for the pleasure of the wordplay, or the memorable imagery. There are two purposes. One is to show people who shy away from reading, who may have convinced themselves that the suttas are just a pile of old bones, that it can actually be enjoyable as well as edifying. The second is because I delight in finding silliness.


For instance, this one struck me right off the top of my head:http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Last edited by alan on Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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DNS
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Re: Reading the suttas is fun!

Post by DNS » Sun Jun 26, 2011 3:10 am

alan wrote: The second is because I delight in finding silliness.
1. Dogs only have sex with other dogs, whereas brahmins, though formerly having sex only with other brahmins, nowadays will do it with women from any caste.
2. Dogs only have sex when the bitch is in season, whereas brahmins will do it at any time.
3. Dogs don't buy and sell bitches, but rather, will mate according to mutual affection. Brahmins do buy and sell lady brahmins.
4. Dogs don't hoard silver, gold, grain etc., but brahmins do.
5. Dogs go looking for their evening meal in the evening and their morning meal in the morning. Brahmins stuff themselves silly and then keep the leftovers for the next meal.

"Verily, bhikkhus, these are the five ancient brahmin dhammas that are nowadays practised by dogs but not by brahmins."

Soṇa Sutta (AN. iii. 221-2)

http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... =737#p8996" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

rowyourboat
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Re: Reading the suttas is fun!

Post by rowyourboat » Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:42 am

Hi Alan,

A worthwhile endeavour, my friend! Someone should write a book on the topic- a collection of interesting suttas!

I like the Thera-theri gatha- lots of aesthetic beauty and personal anecdotes. Dhammapada is a close second for it's profound wisdom, hidden in a few simple sentences..
:anjali:

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

frank k
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Re: Reading the suttas is fun!

Post by frank k » Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:04 pm

Wow, there's too many instances and too many suttas to name. I hardly know where to start. An interesting new thing I learned lately, in MN 23, where a non-returner Brahma being approaches Kumara Kassapa and gives him 10 riddles that only the Buddha can explain. It's not in the suttas itself, but there's a very fascinating story behind the connection between that Brahma and Kumara.

In the previous Buddha's dispensation ( Buddha Kassapa ), 5 monks got together and made a pact. Basically, "Nibbana or bust." So they ascended a remote mountain top, and then kicked away the ladder so no one could back out. 3 days later, one of the monks attained arahantship. Another 2 days later, one of the monks attained anagami (non-returner). 3 days later, the other monks died of starvation.
http://www.audtip.org" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; Audio Sutta Recordings

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Kare
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Re: Reading the suttas is fun!

Post by Kare » Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:36 pm

Which suttas are the best ones?

The question reminds me of a zen koan:

One day Banzan was walking through a market. He overheard a customer say to the butcher, "Give me the best piece of meat you have." "Everything in my shop is the best," replied the butcher. "You can not find any piece of meat that is not the best." At these words, Banzan was enlightened.

:anjali:
Mettāya,
Kåre

alan
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Re: Reading the suttas is fun!

Post by alan » Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:47 pm


Kenshou
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Re: Reading the suttas is fun!

Post by Kenshou » Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:18 pm

I was hoping to post something, but it seems that all the suttas I've noted as favorites are the informative but dry and boring kind. Oh well. Learning is fun, but it's not this kind of fun.

Reductor
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Re: Reading the suttas is fun!

Post by Reductor » Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:30 pm

My problem too, mostly. I can recall two suttas appropriate for the thread, which don't appear online. Tsk.

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daverupa
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Re: Reading the suttas is fun!

Post by daverupa » Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:45 pm

Aggi Sutta (SN 46.53).

This is the sort of delightful Sutta that comes of making a slog through the Samyutta Nikaya - helpfully encouraging advice that introduces the enlightenment factors as a foundation for ones daily practice.

:heart:
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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beeblebrox
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Re: Reading the suttas is fun!

Post by beeblebrox » Sun Jun 26, 2011 8:25 pm

I like this: (The Connected Discourses with Devatas is my favorite out of any books)
SN 1:

(Translated by Ven. Bodhi)


Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Sāvatthi in Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's Park. Then, when the night had advanced, a certain devatā of stunning beauty, illuminating the entire Jeta's Grove, approached the Blessed One. Having approached, he paid homage to the Blessed One, stood to one side, and said to him:

"How, dear sir, did you cross the flood?"

"By not halting, friend, and by not straining I crossed the flood."

"But how is it, dear sir, that by not halting and by not straining you crossed the flood?"

"When I came to a standstill, friend, then I sank; but when I struggled, then I got swept away. It is in this way, friend, that by not halting and by not straining I crossed the flood."

"After a long time at last I see
A brahmin who is fully quenched,
Who by not halting, not straining,
Has crossed over attachment to the world."

This is what that devatā said.

The Teacher approved. Then that devatā, thinking, "The Teacher has approved of me," paid homage to the Blessed One and, keeping him on the right, disappeared right there.
:anjali:

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