SN 20.6 Dhanuggaha Sutta. The Archers.

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SN 20.6 Dhanuggaha Sutta. The Archers.

Post by mikenz66 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:46 pm

SN 20.6 Dhanuggaha Sutta. The Archers.
Translated by Bhikkhu Sujato


Only a speedster could catch arrows in flight, yet conditioned phenomena perish faster than that.
https://suttacentral.net/sn20.6

At Sāvatthī. “Mendicants, suppose there were four well-trained expert archers with strong bows standing in the four directions. And a man came along and thought: ‘When these four well-trained expert archers shoot arrows in four directions, I’ll catch them before they reach the ground, and then I’ll bring them back.’ What do you think, mendicants? Are they qualified to be called ‘a speedster, with ultimate speed’?”

“If he could catch an arrow shot by just one well-trained expert archer before it reaches the ground and bring it back, he’d be qualified to be called ‘a speedster, with ultimate speed’. How much more so arrows shot by four archers!”

“As fast as that man is, the sun and moon are faster. As fast as that man is, as fast as the sun and moon are, and as fast as the deities that run before the sun and moon are, the waning of the life forces is faster. So you should train like this: ‘We will stay diligent.’ That’s how you should train.”

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Re: SN 20.6 Dhanuggaha Sutta. The Archers.

Post by mikenz66 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:50 pm

Bhikkhu Bodhi's notes:
  • “Bhikkhus, suppose there were four firm-bowed archers, [266] trained, dexterous, experienced, standing in each of the four directions.
    • This sutta also appears in the introduction to Ja No. 476, which turns upon the same theme. In this story the Bodhisatta, in his incarnation as the swift goose Javanahaṃsa, performs the remarkable feat to be described just below.
  • “Bhikkhus, as swift as that man is, still swifter are the sun and moon. As swift as that man is, and as swift as are the sun and moon, and as swift as are the deities that run before the sun and moon, the vital formations * perish even more swiftly than that. Therefore, bhikkhus, you should train yourselves thus: ‘We will dwell diligently.’ Thus should you train yourselves.”
    • * Āyusaṅkhārā. Spk: This is said with reference to the physical life faculty (rūpajīvitindriya); for this perishes even faster than that. But it is not possible to describe the breakup of formless phenomena (i.e., of mental states, because according to the Abhidhamma they break up sixteen times faster than material phenomena).

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Re: SN 20.6 Dhanuggaha Sutta. The Archers.

Post by rightviewftw » Sat Jul 21, 2018 12:01 am

thanks for posting friend.
It is amazing how impressive, informative, rousing and instructive such a short discourse can be :o
i wonder if the speed of sun and moon was mentioned in regards to something akin to a helical model of planetary movement

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Re: SN 20.6 Dhanuggaha Sutta. The Archers.

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:37 am

Interesting that similes of archers and arrows appears a number of times in the suttas:

Archer: {brevity of life; heedfulness} SN 20.6; archer's apprentice {jhāna} AN 9.36. See also Arrow, Fletcher.
Arrow: {dukkha} Sn 3.8; poisoned {speculative views} MN 63, {craving} MN 105, {contagiousness of evil} Iti 76; person shot with two ~ {physical and mental pain} SN 36.6; in the heart {sensuality} Sn 4.15; piercing a horsehair {subtlety of Dhamma} SN 56.45; Thag 1.26; removed {greed} SN 1.5; shot into the night {bad people} Dhp 304; straightened by a fletcher (see Fletcher). See also Doctor, Fletcher.
Fletcher straightening an arrow:
{exertion} MN 101; {training the mind} Dhp 33, Thag 1.29; {restraint} Dhp 145, Dhp 80. See also Arrow.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-similes.html#a
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Re: SN 20.6 Dhanuggaha Sutta. The Archers.

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:05 am

Here are some related suttas suggested by Thanissaro Bhikkhu: https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/SN/SN20_6.html

SN2.19; AN4.113; AN5.78; AN6.19; AN6.20; AN7.74 (7.70); AN10.15; Iti23; Snp4.6

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