As described in the Suttas: Why would a butcher sit at a crossroad to cut a cow into pieces?

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suriyopama
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As described in the Suttas: Why would a butcher sit at a crossroad to cut a cow into pieces?

Post by suriyopama » Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:49 am

MN 119 Kayagata-sati Sutta: Mindfulness Immersed in the Body
"Furthermore, the monk contemplates this very body — however it stands, however it is disposed — in terms of properties: 'In this body there is the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, & the wind property.' Just as a skilled butcher or his apprentice, having killed a cow, would sit at a crossroads cutting it up into pieces, the monk contemplates this very body — however it stands, however it is disposed — in terms of properties: 'In this body there is the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, & the wind property.' And as he remains thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, any memories & resolves related to the household life are abandoned, and with their abandoning his mind gathers & settles inwardly, grows unified & centered. This is how a monk develops mindfulness immersed in the body.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

Just out of cultural curiosity:

Why, in the old times, a butcher or his apprentice would sit at a crossroads to cut the cow?

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: As described in the Suttas: Why would a butcher sit at a crossroad to cut a cow into pieces?

Post by JamesTheGiant » Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:54 am

Because that's a high traffic area and he can sell to people going all four ways.

dharmacorps
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Re: As described in the Suttas: Why would a butcher sit at a crossroad to cut a cow into pieces?

Post by dharmacorps » Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:54 am

From my understanding, a "crossroads" was a common place of commerce at the time of the Buddha. So the butcher was probably going to sell the meat of the cow after he was done taking it apart.

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suriyopama
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Re: As described in the Suttas: Why would a butcher sit at a crossroad to cut a cow into pieces?

Post by suriyopama » Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:56 am

dharmacorps wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:54 am
From my understanding, a "crossroads" was a common place of commerce at the time of the Buddha. So the butcher was probably going to sell the meat of the cow after he was done taking it apart.
That makes sense. Thank you for the explanation

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: As described in the Suttas: Why would a butcher sit at a crossroad to cut a cow into pieces?

Post by JamesTheGiant » Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:07 am

It's the same reason why, more than 2500 years later, the corner shop has higher rent.

budo
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Re: As described in the Suttas: Why would a butcher sit at a crossroad to cut a cow into pieces?

Post by budo » Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:15 am

JamesTheGiant wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:07 am
It's the same reason why, more than 2500 years later, the corner shop has higher rent.
Location, Location, Location ;)

SarathW
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Re: As described in the Suttas: Why would a butcher sit at a crossroad to cut a cow into pieces?

Post by SarathW » Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:06 am

budo wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:15 am
JamesTheGiant wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:07 am
It's the same reason why, more than 2500 years later, the corner shop has higher rent.
Location, Location, Location ;)
:twothumbsup:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

BKh
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Re: As described in the Suttas: Why would a butcher sit at a crossroad to cut a cow into pieces?

Post by BKh » Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:25 pm

It's a great question. In my mind I always visualized him sitting in the middle of no where by himself, at an intersection. But that actually makes no sense. I think folks are quite right that it is probably more just a shop of some kind in a commercial area. In India today butchers are much more out in the open, not inside a glassed in shop. Kind of shocking to see, actually.
ReadingFaithfully.org Daily Practice with the Suttas | BuddhaRupa Images of the Buddha across time and space

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