Mal wrote:AN 6.55 wrote:Then the Blessed One, as soon as he perceived with his awareness the train of thought in Ven. Sona's awareness — as a strong man might stretch out his bent arm or bend his outstretched arm — disappeared from Vulture Peak Mountain, appeared in the Cool Wood right in front of Ven. Sona, and sat down on a prepared seat.
Did this actually happen or is it an "effect" added by the storyteller to stress the Buddha's importance through adding a mythical/supernatural element? Did the historical Buddha have telepathic and telekinetic powers? If so, why can't modern monks read my thoughts or teleport?AN 6.5 wrote:
Ven. Sona, after bowing down to the Blessed One, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, the Blessed One said to him, "Just now, as you were meditating in seclusion, didn't this train of thought appear to your awareness: 'Of the Blessed One's disciples who have aroused their persistence, I am one, but my mind is not released from the fermentations... What if I were to disavow the training, return to the lower life, enjoy wealth, & make merit?'"
Isn't this something that most practitioners will think frequently? So is the Buddha really mind reading or using subtle clues, that an expert pyschologist might see, to guess Sona's state of mind?
Well, of course, these passages may or may not be added, and may or may not be meant to be taken literally. But perhaps they represent how the Buddha understood exactly what Sona needed, and how he appeared at just the right time.
Mal wrote:AN 6.5 wrote:"In the same way, Sona, over-aroused persistence leads to restlessness, overly slack persistence leads to laziness. Thus you should determine the right pitch for your persistence, attunethe pitch of the [five] faculties [to that], and there pick up your theme."
Is this persistence in everyday activities, or persistence in meditation? I'm guessing the latter, if so, I don't get "attune the pitch of the five faculties" metaphor. How do you tune your hearing? Isn't hearing just a given, you can't make yourself not-tone-deaf!
I think you answered this question for yourself later, that the faculties are faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration, wisdom, not the senses.
Mal wrote:AN 6.5 wrote:So after that, Ven. Sona determined the right pitch for his persistence...
OK that metaphor makes sense to me.AN 6.5 wrote:"When a monk is an arahant ... he is dedicated to six things: renunciation, seclusion, non-afflictiveness, the ending of craving, the ending of clinging/sustenance, & non-deludedness.
So can an arahant teach? If renuciation is "dedicated" then shouldn't everything go except the minimum basics for life - food, water, minimal shelter. Besides being something else "beyond the basics", teaching is obviously not a secluded activity, it's afflictive (!), and surely there's a great danger of desiring, and clinging to, the success of your pupils.mikenz66 wrote:The monk whose fermentations are ended, having fulfilled [the holy life], does not see in himself anything further to do, or anything further to add to what he has done. It is because of the ending of passion, because of his being free of passion, that he is dedicated to renunciation. It is because of the ending of aversion, because of his being free of aversion, that he is dedicated to renunciation. It is because of the ending of delusion, because of his being free of delusion, that he is dedicated to renunciation.
So he wouldn't see himself as having to teach, would have no passion to pass on the dhamma, and would be dedicated to renouncing his teaching activities?
This is like the monk in the film Black Narcissus - he sits on the mountain while the Catholic nuns and "action men" do their (good) works & suffer, lust & suffer, etc. He sits there, does nothing, he's beyond suffering... but he's also beyond teaching and helping the poverty stricken villagers.
I read it in a more positive way: There is nothing to add to the awakening. That is complete.