Ud 3.10 Loka Sutta: (Surveying) the World

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Ud 3.10 Loka Sutta: (Surveying) the World

Post by mikenz66 »

Ud 3.10 PTS: Ud 32
Loka Sutta: (Surveying) the World
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Following his Awakening, the Buddha surveys the world with his mind's eye and sees a world full of ignorance, craving, and suffering.

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

I have heard that on one occasion, when the Blessed One was newly Awakened — staying at Uruvela by the banks of the Nerañjara River in the shade of the Bodhi tree, the tree of Awakening — he sat in the shade of the Bodhi tree for seven days in one session, sensitive to the bliss of release. At the end of seven days, after emerging from that concentration, he surveyed the world with the eye of an Awakened One. As he did so, he saw living beings burning with the many fevers and aflame with the many fires born of passion, aversion, and delusion. Then, on realizing the significance of that, he on that occasion exclaimed:

This world is burning.
Afflicted by contact,
it calls disease a "self,"
for by whatever means it construes [anything],
that becomes otherwise from that.
Becoming otherwise,
the world is
held by becoming
afflicted by becoming
and yet delights
in that very becoming.
Where there's delight,
there is fear.
What one fears
is stressful.
This holy life is lived
for the abandoning of becoming.

"Whatever brahmans or contemplatives say that liberation from becoming is by means of becoming, all of them are not released from becoming, I say.

"And whatever brahmans or contemplatives say that escape from becoming is by means of non-becoming, all of them have not escaped from becoming, I say.

This stress comes into play
in dependence on all acquisitions.
With the ending of all clinging/sustenance,
there's no stress coming into play.
Look at this world:
Beings, afflicted with thick ignorance,
are unreleased
from delight in what has come to be.
All levels of becoming,
anywhere,
in any way,
are inconstant, stressful, subject to change.
Seeing this — as it has come to be —
with right discernment,
one abandons craving for becoming,
without delighting in non-becoming.
From the total ending of craving
comes fading & cessation without remainder:
Unbinding.
For the monk unbound,
through lack of clinging/sustenance,
there's no further becoming.
He has conquered Mara,
won the battle,
gone beyond all becomings —
Such.
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Sam Vara
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Re: Ud 3.10 Loka Sutta: (Surveying) the World

Post by Sam Vara »

Very complicated, this one. I'm interested in these lines:
"Whatever brahmans or contemplatives say that liberation from becoming is by means of becoming, all of them are not released from becoming, I say.

"And whatever brahmans or contemplatives say that escape from becoming is by means of non-becoming, all of them have not escaped from becoming, I say.
A familiar form that looks like a dilemma, yet apparently is not.

Is "becoming" the translation of bhava? If it means what we normally think of when we use the English word "becoming" (i.e. a caused change of something into something else, as per ancient Greek philosophy) then it is difficult to extricate ourselves from the dilemma. Things either change, or they do not, and I can't see any third option here.

Is the "becoming" (bhava?) something stronger, in the sense of being substantive existence? If so, then it is possible to see this as encouragement not to cling to the idea of getting something, nor to the idea of getting rid of something. Which then focuses us upon the form of words "by means of". Existence or non-existence, wanting or wanting rid of, becoming or not becoming: deploying either of the things that these two opposite terms refer to is the thing that is inimical to liberation or escape. The emphasis is on the use or deployment and the associated mind-state, rather than what is (or is not) deployed.

Well, that's the only sense I can make of those lines at the moment. I'll have a cup of tea and another look at the rest of it...
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Re: Ud 3.10 Loka Sutta: (Surveying) the World

Post by Sam Vara »

Next bit.
This world is burning.
Afflicted by contact,
it calls disease a "self,"
for by whatever means it construes [anything],
that becomes otherwise from that.
The "Afflicted by contact" bit seems straightforward. But then it seems to imply that this is the reason for calling disease a self. An odd form of words, and I would like to see another translation. It might mean that one aspect of Dukkha is, as a result of this affliction, labelled as a self. More strongly (but less obviously supported by this translation) it could mean that the process of forming a self is the disease. (Is this a translation of Dukkha, though? Wouldn't Thanissaro be more inclined to use "stress"?)

The next line apparently gives a reason why this should be the case. Where construing takes place, something changes and becomes otherwise. But is this saying that it becomes otherwise from how it was (as a result of the construing? Would it not become otherwise even if it were not construed?) Or is it saying that it becomes otherwise from how it was initially construed (i.e. we grasp our label, but the labelled phenomenon evades us, and thereby causes stress)?
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Re: Ud 3.10 Loka Sutta: (Surveying) the World

Post by Sam Vara »

Commenting on my own question here:
Or is it saying that it becomes otherwise from how it was initially construed (i.e. we grasp our label, but the labelled phenomenon evades us, and thereby causes stress)?
Thanissaro himself seems to think it is this, according to a footnote in his Udana collection. Unsurprisingly, the translation is the same. I guess that means he feels it is a good one!
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Re: Ud 3.10 Loka Sutta: (Surveying) the World

Post by daverupa »

Sam Vega wrote:A familiar form that looks like a dilemma, yet apparently is not.
I was reminded of this:

Samyutta Nikaya 1.1
Ogha-tarana Sutta

"Tell me, dear sir, how you crossed over the flood."

"I crossed over the flood without pushing forward, without staying
in place."

"But how, dear sir, did you cross over the flood without pushing
forward, without staying in place?"

"When I pushed forward, I was whirled about. When I stayed in place,
I sank. And so I crossed over the flood without pushing forward,
without staying in place."

I think it points to the flawed yet common assumption that doing something with an atta is nonliberative on account of anatta.
  • "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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Re: Ud 3.10 Loka Sutta: (Surveying) the World

Post by mikenz66 »

John Ireland comments on this:
While examining the world with the Buddha-eye, the Lord saw beings tormented by various torments, and consumed by various feverish longings born or passion, hate, and delusion.
  • JI: Compare this with the famous Fire Sermon: "All is burning, bhikkhus, The eye is burning ... with the fire of passion, with the fire of hare, with the fire of delusion; it is burning iwth birth, ageing, and death, with sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair, I say".
    SN 35.28: http://www.bps.lk/olib/wh/wh017-u.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
    See also SN 22.61
SN 22.61 Burning (BB Translation)

At Sāvatthī. “Bhikkhus, form is burning, feeling is burning, perception is burning, volitional formations are burning, consciousness is burning. Seeing thus, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple experiences revulsion towards form, revulsion towards feeling, revulsion towards perception, revulsion towards volitional formations, revulsion towards consciousness. Experiencing revulsion, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion [his mind] is liberated. When it is liberated there comes the knowledge: ‘It’s liberated.’ He understands: ‘Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being.’”
  • BB: This is a compressed version of the fuller Āditta Sutta at 35:28, which applies the metaphor of burning to the twelve sense bases. Perhaps the present sutta was composed by simply replacing the sense bases with the aggregates, and was then compressed so that it would not “steal the show” from the more famous sutta, popularly known as the Fire Sermon, regarded by the Pāli tradition as the third formal discourse of the Buddha’s ministry.
It seems clear that "loka" in this sutta has a different meaning from suttas such as SN 12.44
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
perhaps more in the sense of SN 3:23
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:anjali:
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Re: Ud 3.10 Loka Sutta: (Surveying) the World

Post by Sam Vara »

It seems clear that "loka" in this sutta has a different meaning from suttas such as SN 12.44
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ... .than.html
perhaps more in the sense of SN 3:23
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ... .than.html
It seems to me that 3.23 could be either. It is possible that loka means something like "the reality which one has created for oneself", as in 12.44.

In English, the term "world" is more about objective reality, with extra bits having to be added on to indicate otherwise. "The end of her world", or "Living in a world of his own", etc. Recently, I saw someone (I think it was Retro) refer to "Tilt-loka", which was a minor joy in itself. I guess that the Pali requires us to use context, which is not easy.
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Re: Ud 3.10 Loka Sutta: (Surveying) the World

Post by Sam Vara »

Here it is:
Greetings Tilt,

Of course in Tilt-loka, Retro always looks bad. Isn't it fortunate those posts are still there so that anyone who may be interested can decide for themselves whether you were engaging me in good faith or not, and whether they might be subject to such engagement from you, now or in the future.

Metta,
Retro.
It made me laugh.
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Re: Ud 3.10 Loka Sutta: (Surveying) the World

Post by mikenz66 »

Some more from John Ireland's translation:
The world is subject to torment;
Afflicted by contact, it calls a disease "self";
For however it is conceived
It is ever otherwise than that.
  • JI: The five aggregates --- form, feeling, perception, mental formations, and consciousness --- are referred to as "disease" since they are fundamentally unsatisfactory, the basis of suffering. But because of ignorance, wrong views and craving, ordinary people, "the world" (mis) conceive them as permanent, eternal, and pleasurable, as a "self", as "I", and "mine". However, whatever they conceive --- being impermanent, unsatisfactory, and not-self --- is different from the deluded way in which it is misconceived.
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Re: Ud 3.10 Loka Sutta: (Surveying) the World

Post by mikenz66 »

Becoming something other,
The world is held be being,
Is afflicted by being yet delight in being.

But what it delights in brings fear,
And what it fears is suffering.
Now this holy life is lived
In order to abandon being.

Whatever recluses and brahmins have said that freedom from being comes about through some kind of being, none of them, I say, are freed from being. And whatever recluses and brahmins have said that escape from being comes about through non-being, none of them, I say, have escaped from being.
  • JI: These two sentences can be understood to refer, respectively, to the eternalists and the annihilationists, the former affirming the permanence of a self, the latter accepting a temporary self bound for eventually annihilation. The "middle way" of dependent arising and conditionality avoids these two extremes.
These extremes of eternalism and annihilationism also arise in SN 12.15 Kaccaayanagotto Sutta
http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 69#p170101" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"The world, Kaccana, for the most part depends upon a duality - upon the notion of existence and the notion of non-existence."
:anjali:
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Re: Ud 3.10 Loka Sutta: (Surveying) the World

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Whatever recluses and brahmins have said that freedom from being comes about through some kind of being, none of them, I say, are freed from being. And whatever recluses and brahmins have said that escape from being comes about through non-being, none of them, I say, have escaped from being.

JI: These two sentences can be understood to refer, respectively, to the eternalists and the annihilationists, the former affirming the permanence of a self, the latter accepting a temporary self bound for eventually annihilation. The "middle way" of dependent arising and conditionality avoids these two extremes.
This is quite illuminating. Translating the term as "existence" allows one to escape from the horns of the dilemma via the "middle way". "Existence" is seen as existence of the atta or some eternal component. It is harder to apply this to the western concept of "becoming".
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Re: Ud 3.10 Loka Sutta: (Surveying) the World

Post by mikenz66 »

Thanks Sam. I agree that "becoming" is a bit difficult to interpret.

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Re: Ud 3.10 Loka Sutta: (Surveying) the World

Post by mikenz66 »

This suffering arises dependent upon clinging. With the ending of all grasping, no suffering is produced.
  • JI: Here upadhi is rendered as "clinging", upadana (equivalent in meaning but from a different root) as "grasping".
Look at people in the world, afflicted by ignorance,
Come into being, delighting in being, not freed.
Whatever forms of being exist in any way, anywhere,
All these forms of being are impermanent,
Subject to suffering, of a nature to change.

On seeing this as it actually is with perfect wisdom
The craving for being is abandoned,
Yet one does not delight in non-being.
Nibbana is total dispassion and cessation
(Attained) with the complete destruction of cravings.

A bhikkhu whose cravings are extinguished
By not grasping has no renewal of being.
Mara is vanquished, the battle is won:
The stable one has passed beyond all forms of being.
  • JI: The key words of this udana --- being, craving, grasping, etc. --- are all to be found in the formula of dependent arising, of which this discourse is an exposition centred upon the aspect of the suffering inherent in "being".
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Re: Ud 3.10 Loka Sutta: (Surveying) the World

Post by vinasp »

Hi mike,

I have the PTS translation by Peter Masefield (1994) if you think it is worth
posting to compare with the others.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: Ud 3.10 Loka Sutta: (Surveying) the World

Post by mikenz66 »

Hi Vincent,

Sure, if you think it's useful.

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