SN 3.4: Piya Sutta — Dear

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mikenz66
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SN 3.4: Piya Sutta — Dear

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Nov 05, 2014 7:35 am

SN 3.4 PTS: S i 71 CDB i 167 Piya Sutta: Dear
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu


If you truly care about your own and others' welfare, then choose your actions with care.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

At Savatthi. As he was sitting to one side, King Pasenadi Kosala said to the Blessed One: "Just now, lord, while I was alone in seclusion, this train of thought arose in my awareness: 'Who are dear to themselves, and who are not dear to themselves?' Then it occurred to me: 'Those who engage in bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, & mental misconduct are not dear to themselves. Even though they may say, "We are dear to ourselves," still they aren't dear to themselves. Why is that? Of their own accord, they act toward themselves as an enemy would act toward an enemy; thus they aren't dear to themselves. But those who engage in good bodily conduct, good verbal conduct, & good mental conduct are dear to themselves. Even though they may say, "We aren't dear to ourselves," still they are dear to themselves. Why is that? Of their own accord, they act toward themselves as a dear one would act toward a dear one; thus they are dear to themselves.'"

"That's the way it is, great king! That's the way it is! Those who engage in bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, & mental misconduct are not dear to themselves. Even though they may say, 'We are dear to ourselves,' still they aren't dear to themselves. Why is that? Of their own accord, they act toward themselves as an enemy would act toward an enemy; thus they aren't dear to themselves. But those who engage in good bodily conduct, good verbal conduct, & good mental conduct are dear to themselves. Even though they may say, 'We aren't dear to ourselves,' still they are dear to themselves. Why is that? Of their own accord, they act toward themselves as a dear one would act toward a dear one; thus they are dear to themselves."

That is what the Blessed One said. Having said that, the One Well-Gone, the Teacher, said further:
  • If you hold yourself dear
    then don't fetter yourself
    with evil,
    for happiness isn't easily gained
    by one who commits
    a wrong-doing.

    When seized by the End-maker
    as you abandon the human state,
    what's truly your own?
    What do you take along when you go?
    What follows behind you
    like a shadow
    that never leaves?

    Both the merit & evil
    that you as a mortal
    perform here:
    that's what's truly your own,
    what you take along when you go;
    that's what follows behind you
    like a shadow
    that never leaves.

    So do what is admirable,
    as an accumulation
    for the future life.
    Deeds of merit are the support for beings
    when they arise
    in the other world.

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phil
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Re: SN 3.4: Piya Sutta — Dear

Post by phil » Wed Nov 05, 2014 12:43 pm

Hi all

Thanks Mike for all your work in this study corner
If you hold yourself dear
then don't fetter yourself
with evil,
for happiness isn't easily gained
by one who commits
a wrong-doing.
There's a lot to be said for that happiness which comes from blamelessness. I have friends who when reminded of simple teachings like this say "that's something other people teach/taught, it's not specific to the Buddha" so it's kind of quickly passed by in favour of deeper, subtler teachings. It's a blessing to be open to those deeper teachings but it has to be within the context of simple straightforward morality stuck to without much to talk about. (For example see how little activity there is in the "ethical" corner of Dhammawheel even though sila is at the forefront of all of our lives ...there is just not that much to say about it, we know what to do and what not to do, and we do it or we don't. )

Phil
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

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mikenz66
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Re: SN 3.4: Piya Sutta — Dear

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Nov 05, 2014 6:30 pm

Very true Phil. There also seems to often be a resistance to teachings on kamma and its results such as what we see here: 
Both the merit & evil
that you as a mortal
perform here:
that's what's truly your own,
what you take along when you go;
that's what follows behind you
like a shadow
that never leaves.
:anjali:
Mike

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Re: SN 3.4: Piya Sutta — Dear

Post by Coyote » Tue Nov 11, 2014 4:14 pm

I very much appreciate this kind of teaching, because it reminds us that what we are doing is really for our own benefit, even if on the surface it may be interpreted as being about denial. This applies across the board, from the basic precepts to the refined sīla of monks and nuns.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
Iti 26

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phil
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Re: SN 3.4: Piya Sutta — Dear

Post by phil » Wed Nov 12, 2014 12:30 am

Coyote wrote:I very much appreciate this kind of teaching, because it reminds us that what we are doing is really for our own benefit, even if on the surface it may be interpreted as being about denial. This applies across the board, from the basic precepts to the refined sīla of monks and nuns.
Yes well said. I guess there's a kind of thin line between the benefiting from mindfulness and so on that is going on as a social trend (cover of TIME Magazine etc) and benefiting from the Dhamma in a correctly understood way. I guess that's where the precepts come in. If people aren't willing to make sacrifices there they will not benefit from the Dhamma in the way this sutta promises.

Btw, I'm reminded of the sutta where there is an exchange between the king and queen in which they concede that there is no one that they hold more dearly than themselves. I wonder if that discourse also contains an encouragement towards holding oneself dearly in a proper way through morality and the benefits that come from that. I can't recall...

Phil
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

culaavuso
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Re: SN 3.4: Piya Sutta — Dear

Post by culaavuso » Wed Nov 12, 2014 2:03 am

phil wrote: Btw, I'm reminded of the sutta where there is an exchange between the king and queen in which they concede that there is no one that they hold more dearly than themselves. I wonder if that discourse also contains an encouragement towards holding oneself dearly in a proper way through morality and the benefits that come from that. I can't recall...
Ud 5.1: Piyatara Sutta wrote: I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion King Pasenadi Kosala had gone with Queen Mallikā to the upper palace. Then he said to her, "Mallikā, is there anyone dearer to you than yourself?"

"No, great king. There is no one dearer to me than myself. And what about you, great king? Is there anyone dearer to you than yourself?"

"No, Mallikā. There is no one dearer to me than myself."
...
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:

Searching all directions
with your awareness,
you find no one dearer
than yourself.
In the same way, others
are thickly dear to themselves.
So you shouldn't hurt others
if you love yourself.

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phil
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Re: SN 3.4: Piya Sutta — Dear

Post by phil » Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:24 am

Thank you, culaavuso.

I see it is the same king. Is there one king in particular who appears in the discourses as a representative of lay followers? I remember another king who had a habit of eating a bucket full of food and could hardly get himself up off the floor and the Buddha's advice led him to eat in moderation. Same king, perhaps.

Phil
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

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mikenz66
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Re: SN 3.4: Piya Sutta — Dear

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:47 am

phil wrote: I see it is the same king.
Yes, and that sutta is also in Samutta 3. Kosala-samyutta — King Pasenadi of Kosala. Specifically: Mallikaa Sutta: Mallikaa.

:anjali:
Mike

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Kim OHara
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Re: SN 3.4: Piya Sutta — Dear

Post by Kim OHara » Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:37 am

phil wrote: Is there one king in particular who appears in the discourses as a representative of lay followers?
The law of averages (and a bit of wild guessing :tongue: ) suggests that the Buddha couldn't have come into contact with many kings. He taught for 40 years around 2 or 3 kingdoms, so if the average length of reign was 20 years (some managed 40 or more, others only managed to survive a few months) so that's only half a dozen kings, and not all of them would have taken much interest.
But I'm sure one of you learned people can replace my guesses with facts. :smile:

:namaste:
Kim

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phil
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Re: SN 3.4: Piya Sutta — Dear

Post by phil » Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:10 pm

Kim OHara wrote:
phil wrote: Is there one king in particular who appears in the discourses as a representative of lay followers?
The law of averages (and a bit of wild guessing :tongue: ) suggests that the Buddha couldn't have come into contact with many kings. He taught for 40 years around 2 or 3 kingdoms, so if the average length of reign was 20 years (some managed 40 or more, others only managed to survive a few months) so that's only half a dozen kings, and not all of them would have taken much interest.
But I'm sure one of you learned people can replace my guesses with facts. :smile:

:namaste:
Kim
Hi Kim

The reason I wondered about all the kings is because I remembered there was a chapter of Samyutta Nikaya devoted to one king but I see SN 3 is devoted to this same King Pasenadi. The introduction to the chapter explains that when the Buddha praises appamada to this king it does not mean as it would in a monastic context devotion to meditation but rather diligence about the performance of meritorious deeds and that for a man like this king a happy rebirth rather than Nibbana is the immediate goal. (Count me in on that point.)


I see there is another chapter (SN 11) devoted to a kind of king, Sakka a ruler of devas. I think there is a discourse in MN (?) in which one of the great disciples comes to visit him in his kingdom to see what progress he has made in weakening the pull of sensual pleasures and gets a kind of show off tour of the pleasure palace before straightening out the foolish monarch. Maybe these kings are easy to relate to for us in a way because although we are not kings ourselves we have such a comfortable lifestyle with abundant access to so many easy sensual pleasures compared to the average lay follower in the Buddha's day. Especially those of us in the West.
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

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mikenz66
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Re: SN 3.4: Piya Sutta — Dear

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:29 pm

Here's some background on King Pasenadi of Kosala. As has been noted, all of the Suttas in the third Samyutta involve him:
http://www.aimwell.org/DPPN/pasenadi.htm

See also:
MN 87: From One Who Is Dear
MN 89: Monuments to the teaching

:anjali:
Mike

chownah
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Re: SN 3.4: Piya Sutta — Dear

Post by chownah » Thu Nov 13, 2014 2:31 am

Does anyone know of any historical mention of King Pasenadi of Kosala aside from the suttas?
chownah

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Re: SN 3.4: Piya Sutta — Dear

Post by santa100 » Thu Nov 13, 2014 3:20 am

chownah wrote:Does anyone know of any historical mention of King Pasenadi of Kosala aside from the suttas?
The wiki page provided a few sources. The first one, "Political History of Ancient India" is available here

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