The Farmer

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arunam
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The Farmer

Post by arunam » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:06 am

:anjali: I respectfully wish to discuss the following sutta

[https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html]
At Savatthi. Now at that time the Blessed One was instructing, urging, rousing, & encouraging the monks with a Dhamma talk concerning Unbinding. The monks — attentive, interested, lending ear, focusing their entire awareness — were listening to the Dhamma.

Then the thought occurred to Mara, the Evil One: "Gotama the contemplative is instructing, urging, rousing, & encouraging the monks with a Dhamma talk concerning Unbinding. The monks — attentive, interested, lending ear, focusing their entire awareness — are listening to the Dhamma. What if I were to go to Gotama the contemplative to obscure his vision?"

Then Mara the Evil One, taking on the form of a farmer with a large plowshare over his shoulder, carrying a long goad stick — his hair disheveled, his clothes made of coarse hemp, his feet splattered with mud — went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, said, "Hey, contemplative. Have you seen my oxen?"

"And what are your oxen, Evil One?"

"Mine alone is the eye, contemplative. Mine are forms, mine is the sphere of consciousness & contact at the eye. Where can you go to escape me? Mine alone is the ear... the nose... the tongue... the body... Mine alone is the intellect, contemplative. Mine are ideas, mine is the sphere of consciousness & contact at the intellect. Where can you go to escape me?"

"Yours alone is the eye, Evil One. Yours are forms, yours is the sphere of consciousness of contact at the eye. Where no eye exists, no forms exist, no sphere of consciousness & contact at the eye exists: there, Evil One, you cannot go. Yours alone is the ear... the nose... the tongue... the body... Yours alone is the intellect, Evil One. Yours are ideas, yours is the sphere of consciousness & contact at the intellect. Where no intellect exists, no ideas exist, no sphere of consciousness of contact at the intellect exists: there, Evil One, you cannot go."


[Mara:]
Of what they say,
'This is mine';
and those who say,
'Mine':
If your intellect's here,
contemplative,
you can't escape
from me.

[The Buddha:]
What they speak of
isn't mine,
and I'm not one of those
who speak it.
Know this, Evil One:
you won't even see
my tracks.
Then Mara the Evil One — sad & dejected at realizing, "The Blessed One knows me; the One Well-gone knows me" — vanished right there.


For starters;
what is the significance(if there is any) of mara choosing the form of a farmer?
what is the significance of his particular appearance? i.e large plowshare, long goad stick........
In what way are eye(cakkhu), forms(rūpā), sphere-of-consciousness-&-contact-at-the-eye(cakkhusamphassaviññāṇāyatanaṃ) similar to oxen?
A path is made by walking on it

arunam
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Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:21 am

Re: The Farmer

Post by arunam » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:39 am

P.S :
From [https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dha ... /loka.html]
Paranimmita-vasavatti deva Devas Wielding Power over the Creation of Others . These devas enjoy sense pleasures created by others for them. Mara, the personification of delusion and desire, lives here.
A path is made by walking on it

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Sam Vara
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Re: The Farmer

Post by Sam Vara » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:46 am

arunam wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:06 am
what is the significance(if there is any) of mara choosing the form of a farmer?
what is the significance of his particular appearance? i.e large plowshare, long goad stick........
In what way are eye(cakkhu), forms(rūpā), sphere-of-consciousness-&-contact-at-the-eye(cakkhusamphassaviññāṇāyatanaṃ) similar to oxen?
My guess is that the form of a farmer is chosen because this role involves ownership or working of a particular domain; that he is described this way because that's pretty much what farmers looked like; that those phenomena are similar to oxen because they are owned or controlled by the farmer. There might be a resonance with other suttas (such as MN 19) but in many suttas cattle are used in figures of speech. Farmers herding cattle were one common type of economic activity that those listening to the Buddha would have been familiar with.

Richard Gombrich makes the point that the Buddha's teaching was contemporaneous with the rise of a more urbanised trading and administrative class, so it is just about credible that farmers were, in some contexts, seen as less sophisticated members of society.

arunam
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Re: The Farmer

Post by arunam » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:50 am

P.S.S :
what is mara the farmer harvesting?
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budo
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Re: The Farmer

Post by budo » Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:23 am

arunam wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:50 am
P.S.S :
what is mara the farmer harvesting?
Energy via movement. Sense desires are the carrot on the stick, sense pain is the slave driver behind you poking you in the butt with a sharp spear. Unbinding requires stilling of body and mind. Both craving and aversion require movement.

arunam
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Re: The Farmer

Post by arunam » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:09 am

:)
it seems the poor fellow mara is running about looking for his oxen.with disheveled hair, forgotten even to wash his feet
A path is made by walking on it

arunam
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Re: The Farmer

Post by arunam » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:21 pm

it is clear the following 18 covers the whole of the ordinary human experience

cakkhu, rūpā, cakkhusamphassaviññāṇāyatanaṃ.
sotaṃ, saddā, sotasamphassaviññāṇāyatanaṃ.
ghāṇaṃ, gandhā, ghāṇasamphassaviññāṇāyatanaṃ.
jivhā, rasā, jivhāsamphassaviññāṇāyatanaṃ.
kāyo, phoṭṭhabbā, kāyasamphassaviññāṇāyatanaṃ.
mano, dhammā, manosamphassaviññāṇāyatanaṃ.

according to the sutta these are the maras oxen. they are under his control.

ok that is fine. but what about some one absorbed in one of the arupa jhanas. does the obove eighteen cover that as well?
A path is made by walking on it

paul
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Re: The Farmer

Post by paul » Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:00 am

One aspect of SN 4:19 reinforces SN 47:6, and the concept of staying in your proper range is a practical help, for when a practitioner strays into the range of the defilements they lose their sense of seclusion and feel exposed:

"Wander, monks, in what is your proper range, your own ancestral territory. In one who wanders in what is his proper range, his own ancestral territory, Mara gains no opening, Mara gains no foothold. And what, for a monk, is his proper range, his own ancestral territory? The four frames of reference. Which four? There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. He remains focused on feelings in & of themselves... mind in & of itself... mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. This, for a monk, is his proper range, his own ancestral territory.”—-SN 47:6

"Yours alone is the eye, Evil One. Yours are forms, yours is the sphere of consciousness of contact at the eye. Where no eye exists, no forms exist, no sphere of consciousness & contact at the eye exists: there, Evil One, you cannot go. Yours alone is the ear... the nose... the tongue... the body... Yours alone is the intellect, Evil One. Yours are ideas, yours is the sphere of consciousness & contact at the intellect. Where no intellect exists, no ideas exist, no sphere of consciousness of contact at the intellect exists: there, Evil One, you cannot go.”—SN 4:19

arunam
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Re: The Farmer

Post by arunam » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:15 am

paul wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:00 am


"Wander, monks, in what is your proper range, your own ancestral territory. In one who wanders in what is his proper range, his own ancestral territory, Mara gains no opening, Mara gains no foothold. And what, for a monk, is his proper range, his own ancestral territory? The four frames of reference. Which four? There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. He remains focused on feelings in & of themselves... mind in & of itself... mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. This, for a monk, is his proper range, his own ancestral territory.”—-SN 47:6

two beautiful similes in the milindapanha that reinforce this point

THE SQUIRREL.

'Just as the squirrel, O king, when an enemy falls upon him, beats his tail on the ground till it swells, and then with his own tail as a cudgel drives off the foe; just so, O king, should the strenuous Bhikshu, earnest in effort, when his enemy, sin, falls upon him, beat the cudgel of his self-possession till it swells, and then by the cudgel of self-possession drive all evil inclinations off. This, O king, is the one quality of the squirrel which he ought to have. For it was said, O king, by Kulla Panthaka, the Elder:

"When sins, those fell destroyers of the gains
Gained by the life of recluse, fall on us,
They should be slain, again and yet again,
By resolute self-possession as a club ."'

THE ELEPHANT.

'And again, O king, as the elephant revels in the water, plunging into glorious lotus ponds full of clear pure cool water, and covered-over with lotuses yellow, and blue, and red, and white, sporting there in the games in which the mighty beast delights; just so, O king, should the strenuous Bhikshu, earnest in effort, plunge into the glorious pond of self-possession, covered with the flowers of emancipation, filled with the delicious waters of the pure and stainless clear and limpid Truth; there should he by knowledge shake off and drive away the Samkhâras , there should he revel in the sport that is the delight of the recluse. This, O king, is the fourth quality of the elephant he ought to have.

'And again, O king, as the elephant lifts up his foot with care, and puts it down with care; just so, O king, should the strenuous Bhikshu, earnest in effort, be mindful and self-possessed in lifting up his feet and in putting them down, in going or returning, in stretching his arm or drawing it back,--wherever he is he should be mindful and self-possessed. This, O king, is the fifth quality of the elephant he ought to have. For it was said, O king, by the Blessed One, the god over all gods, in the most excellent Samyutta Nikâya:

"Good is restraint in action,
And good restraint in speech,
Good is restraint in mind,
Restraint throughout is good.
Well guarded is he said to be
Who is ashamed of sin, in all things self-controlled ."'
A path is made by walking on it

arunam
Posts: 55
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:21 am

Re: The Farmer

Post by arunam » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:47 am

paul wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:00 am


"Wander, monks, in what is your proper range, your own ancestral territory. In one who wanders in what is his proper range, his own ancestral territory, Mara gains no opening, Mara gains no foothold. And what, for a monk, is his proper range, his own ancestral territory? The four frames of reference. Which four? There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. He remains focused on feelings in & of themselves... mind in & of itself... mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. This, for a monk, is his proper range, his own ancestral territory.”—-SN 47:6

Satipatthana Sutta

Ekāyano ayaṃ, bhikkhave, maggo sattānaṃ visuddhiyā
This is the direct path for the purification of beings
A path is made by walking on it

arunam
Posts: 55
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:21 am

Re: The Farmer

Post by arunam » Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:19 am

another simile:
SN 35.199

"Once upon a time, monks, a hard-shelled tortoise was foraging for food in the evening along the shore of a lake. And a jackal was also foraging for food in the evening along the shore of the lake. The tortoise saw the jackal from afar, foraging for food, and so — withdrawing its four legs, with its neck as a fifth, into its own shell — it remained perfectly quiet and still. But the jackal also saw the tortoise from afar, foraging for food, and so it went to the tortoise and, on arrival, hovered around it, [thinking,] "As soon as the tortoise stretches out one or another of its four limbs — or its neck as a fifth — I'll seize it right there, tear it off, and eat it." But when the tortoise didn't stretch out any of its four limbs — or its neck as a fifth — the jackal, not having gotten any opportunity, lost interest and left.

"In the same way, monks, Mara is continually, ceaselessly, hovering around you, [thinking,] 'Perhaps I'll get an opportunity by means of the eye... the ear... the nose... the tongue... the body. Perhaps I'll get an opportunity by means of the intellect.' Thus, monks, you should dwell with the doors to your senses well-guarded
A path is made by walking on it

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