SN 3.13: Donapaka Sutta: King Pasenadi Goes on a Diet

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SN 3.13: Donapaka Sutta: King Pasenadi Goes on a Diet

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:26 am

SN 3.13 PTS: S i 81 CDB i 176 Donapaka Sutta: King Pasenadi Goes on a Diet
translated from the Pali by Andrew Olendzki


How King Pasenadi learns to use mindfulness to control his overeating

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .olen.html


Once when the Buddha was living at Savatthi, King Pasenadi of Kosala ate a whole bucketful of food, and then approached the Buddha, engorged and panting, and sat down to one side. The Buddha, discerning that King Pasenadi was engorged and panting, took the occasion to utter this verse:
  • When a person is constantly mindful,
    And knows when enough food has been taken,
    All their afflictions become more slender
    — They age more gradually, protecting their lives.
Now at that time the brahman youth Sudassana was standing nearby, and King Pasenadi of Kosala addressed him: "Come now, my dear Sudassana, and having thoroughly mastered this verse in the presence of the Buddha, recite it whenever food is brought to me. And I will set up for you a permanent offering of a hundred kahaapanas every day." "So be it, your majesty," the brahman youth Sudassana replied to the king.

Then King Pasenadi of Kosala gradually settled down to [eating] no more than a cup-full of rice. At a later time, when his body had become quite slim, King Pasenadi stroked his limbs with his hand and took the occasion to utter this utterance:
  • Indeed the Buddha has shown me
    Compassion in two different ways:
    For my welfare right here and now,
    and also for in the future.
Translator's note

Who would have thought weight-loss could be so easy! In this brief exchange the Buddha is suggesting that over-eating is the root of obesity, which hastens the aging process and threatens one's life, and that this only occurs when mindfulness is weak or absent. If we eat slowly and with a great deal of attention, it can more easily become apparent (if we are truthful with ourselves) when an adequate amount of food has been consumed. Interestingly, he seems to be saying that wisdom will provide what is needed to refrain from further eating, rather than the modern conventional view that it requires will-power or self restraint.

Always one to play on words, the Buddha says that all our afflictions (literally, all our unpleasant feelings), and not just our bodies, will "become more slender." Perhaps this is what Pasenadi is referring to when he says the Buddha's teaching has not only helped him slim down his body (the immediate benefit), but the general increase of mindfulness and diminishing of greed will help with all aspects of the spiritual life (and thus with his rebirth in the future).

The commentary to this text informs us that the king did not engage Sudassana to utter the verse throughout the entire meal, but only once he had started eating. The idea is not to cultivate an aversion to food, for food itself is not an evil. As with so much else in the Buddha's teaching, it is a matter of understanding cause and effect, and of using food skillfully as a tool for awakening rather than allowing oneself to be caught by the latent tendencies of attachment, aversion and confusion that might be evoked by our relationship to food.

Notice the language of the last line of the Buddha's verse. The word for life (aayu) is the same one as in the Indian medical tradition of Ayurveda (=knowledge of life), and is regarded as something that can be squandered or carefully guarded. When approached with care, the preservation of life also slows down the aging process. The image is not one of conquering illness or death (for this comes only from full awakening), but of treating the precious resource of one's own vitality with wisdom.

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Re: SN 3.13: Donapaka Sutta: King Pasenadi Goes on a Diet

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:28 am

SN 3.13 PTS: S i 81 CDB i 176 Do.napaaka Sutta: A Heavy Meal
translated from the Pali by Maurice O'Connell Walshe


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html

The King Pasenadi of Kosala dined off a tubful of rice.[1] Then the King, replete and puffing, went to see the Blessed One, saluted him and sat down to one side. And the Blessed One, observing how he was replete and puffing, at once uttered this verse:
  • Those who always dwell in mindfulness,
    Observing measure in the food they eat,
    Find that their discomfort[2] grows the less.
    Aging gently, life for them is long.
Now just then Prince Sudassana was standing behind the king. And the king said to him:

"Come, my dear Sudassana, learn this verse from the Blessed One and recite it to me when you bring me my dinner, and I will arrange for you to be paid a daily allowance of a hundred pence[3] in perpetuity."

"Very well, Your Majesty," said Sudassana [and did as he was told.]

After that the king made it a rule to eat no more than a quarter of a tubful of rice.[4] Thus it came about that on a later occasion King Pasenadi, his body in good shape, stroked his healthy limbs and fervently exclaimed: "Truly the Blessed One has doubly shown compassion for my welfare, both in this life and in the life to come!"

Notes

1. Do.napaaka: a tub (as measure of capacity). The same story is told in greater detail in DhpA.

2. Vedanaa: "feeling," here obviously "unpleasant bodily feeling."

3. Kahaapa.na: the square copper coinage of the time.

4. One naa.lika (one-fourth of a do.na) was the standard amount offered to one bhikkhu. Being meant to last all day, it was probably a substantial amount.

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Re: SN 3.13: Donapaka Sutta: King Pasenadi Goes on a Diet

Post by lyndon taylor » Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:42 am

So were monks allowed to have copper coins, just not more valuable silver and gold ones????
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

http://trickleupeconomictheory.blogspot.com/

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Re: SN 3.13: Donapaka Sutta: King Pasenadi Goes on a Diet

Post by culaavuso » Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:53 am

lyndon taylor wrote:So were monks allowed to have copper coins, just not more valuable silver and gold ones????
The individuals in SN 3.13 handling copper coins are King Pasenadi and the brahmin youth Sudassana, neither of which are monks. The Vibhaṅga explicitly mentions the coin referenced by this sutta (kahāpaṇa) in the discussion of Nissaggiya Pācittiya 18.
[i]Nissaggiya Pācittiya[/i] 18 wrote: Whatever monk should take gold and silver, or should get another to take it (for him), or should consent to its being kept in deposit (for him), there is an offence of expiation involving forfeiture.
...
Silver means: the kahāpaṇa, the māsaka of copper, the māsaka of wood, the māsaka of lac, used in business.

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Re: SN 3.13: Donapaka Sutta: King Pasenadi Goes on a Diet

Post by lyndon taylor » Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:01 am

Sorry but that quote clearly refers to silver coins not copper, then in the addenda they try to say silver also covers wood and copper coins, that just doesn't make sense, if they want to say copper coins are forbidden why don't they just come right out and say it??
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

http://trickleupeconomictheory.blogspot.com/

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Re: SN 3.13: Donapaka Sutta: King Pasenadi Goes on a Diet

Post by culaavuso » Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:08 am

lyndon taylor wrote:Sorry but that quote clearly refers to silver coins not copper, then in the addenda they try to say silver also covers wood and copper coins, that just doesn't make sense, if they want to say copper coins are forbidden why don't they just come right out and say it??
The quote refers to jātarūpa or rajata.
Pāḷi-English Dictionary: Rajata wrote: Rajata (nt.) [Vedic rajata; see etym. under rajati] silver D i.5 (expld at DA i.78 as a general name for all coins except gold: kahāpaṇas etc.); S i.92; Sn 962 (in simile; expld at Nd1 478 as jātarūpa), J v.50; 416 (hema˚ gold & silver); Vv 351 (˚hema -- jāla); DhA ii.42 (˚paṭṭa silver tablet or salver); iv.105 (˚gabbha silver money box or cabinet for silver, alongside of kahāpaṇa -- gabbha and suvaṇṇa˚); VbhA 64 (expld as "kahāpaṇa"); PvA 95 (for rūpiya).

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Re: SN 3.13: Donapaka Sutta: King Pasenadi Goes on a Diet

Post by SarathW » Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:02 am

"Kahaapa.na: the square copper coinage of the time."

Are these coins discovered by any archaeologists?
:thinking:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: SN 3.13: Donapaka Sutta: King Pasenadi Goes on a Diet

Post by daverupa » Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:08 am

  • "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: SN 3.13: Donapaka Sutta: King Pasenadi Goes on a Diet

Post by chownah » Thu Nov 20, 2014 12:10 pm

culaavuso wrote:
lyndon taylor wrote:Sorry but that quote clearly refers to silver coins not copper, then in the addenda they try to say silver also covers wood and copper coins, that just doesn't make sense, if they want to say copper coins are forbidden why don't they just come right out and say it??
The quote refers to jātarūpa or rajata.
Pāḷi-English Dictionary: Rajata wrote: Rajata (nt.) [Vedic rajata; see etym. under rajati] silver D i.5 (expld at DA i.78 as a general name for all coins except gold: kahāpaṇas etc.); S i.92; Sn 962 (in simile; expld at Nd1 478 as jātarūpa), J v.50; 416 (hema˚ gold & silver); Vv 351 (˚hema -- jāla); DhA ii.42 (˚paṭṭa silver tablet or salver); iv.105 (˚gabbha silver money box or cabinet for silver, alongside of kahāpaṇa -- gabbha and suvaṇṇa˚); VbhA 64 (expld as "kahāpaṇa"); PvA 95 (for rūpiya).
In Thailand today, the word for money in the Thai language is the same word as the word for silver....which meaning is determined by context usually.
chownah

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Re: SN 3.13: Donapaka Sutta: King Pasenadi Goes on a Diet

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Nov 20, 2014 6:18 pm

See also this section of the Morning Chant, on page 10 of this chanting book: http://www.dhammatalks.org/ebook_index.html#chanting, and commonly chanted before meals:
Considering it thoughtfully, I use alms food:
not playfully, nor for intoxication, nor for putting on bulk, nor for
beautification,
but simply for the survival & continuance of this body, for ending its
afflictions, for the support of the holy life,
[thinking,] ‘Thus will I destroy old feelings [of hunger] and not create new
feelings [from overeating].
I will maintain myself, be blameless, & live in comfort.’
:anjali:
Mike

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Re: SN 3.13: Donapaka Sutta: King Pasenadi Goes on a Diet

Post by culaavuso » Thu Nov 20, 2014 6:28 pm

mikenz66 wrote:See also this section of the Morning Chant, on page 10 of this chanting book: http://www.dhammatalks.org/ebook_index.html#chanting, and commonly chanted before meals:
Considering it thoughtfully, I use alms food:
not playfully, nor for intoxication, nor for putting on bulk, nor for
beautification,
but simply for the survival & continuance of this body, for ending its
afflictions, for the support of the holy life,
[thinking,] ‘Thus will I destroy old feelings [of hunger] and not create new
feelings [from overeating].
I will maintain myself, be blameless, & live in comfort.’
This can also be found in MN 2:
MN 2: Sabbāsava Sutta wrote: And what are the fermentations to be abandoned by using?
...
Reflecting appropriately, he uses almsfood, not playfully, nor for intoxication, nor for putting on bulk, nor for beautification; but simply for the survival & continuance of this body, for ending its afflictions, for the support of the holy life, thinking, 'Thus will I destroy old feelings [of hunger] and not create new feelings [from overeating]. I will maintain myself, be blameless, & live in comfort.'
...
The fermentations, vexation, or fever that would arise if he were not to use these things [in this way] do not arise for him when he uses them [in this way]. These are called the fermentations to be abandoned by using.
A similar discussion to that from MN 2 can be found in AN 6.58.

The discussion of not using food playfully, or for intoxication, or for putting on bulk, or for beautification can also be found in other locations as well:
AN 4.159: Bhikkhuni Sutta wrote: 'This body, sister, comes into being through food. And yet it is by relying on food that food is to be abandoned.' Thus was it said. And in reference to what was it said? There is the case, sister, where a monk, considering it thoughtfully, takes food — not playfully, nor for intoxication, nor for putting on bulk, nor for beautification — but simply for the survival & continuance of this body, for ending its afflictions, for the support of the holy life, [thinking,] 'Thus will I destroy old feelings [of hunger] and not create new feelings [from overeating]. I will maintain myself, be blameless, & live in comfort.' Then he eventually abandons food, having relied on food. 'This body, sister, comes into being through food. And yet it is by relying on food that food is to be abandoned.' Thus was it said, and in reference to this was it said.
AN 4.37: Aparihāniya Sutta wrote: And how does a bhikkhu observe moderation in eating? Here, reflecting carefully, a bhikkhu consumes food neither for amusement nor for intoxication nor for the sake of physical beauty and attractiveness, but only for the support and maintenance of this body, for avoiding harm, and for assisting the spiritual life, considering: ‘Thus I shall terminate the old feeling and not arouse a new feeling, and I shall be healthy and blameless and dwell at ease.’ It is in this way that a bhikkhu observes moderation in eating.
This same passage from AN 4.37 appears in AN 3.16 as well and in slightly modified form in AN 8.9 and MN 53.
[url=http://suttacentral.net/mn91]MN 91.14: Brahmāyu Sutta[/url] (MLDB translation) wrote: When he receives rice, he does not raise or lower the bowl or tip it forwards or backwards. He receives neither too little rice nor too much rice. He adds sauces in the right proportion; he does not exceed the amount of sauce in the mouthful. He turns the mouthful over two or three times in his mouth and then swallows it, and no rice kernel enters his body unchewed, and no rice kernel remains in his mouth; then he takes another mouthful. He takes his food experiencing the taste, though not experiencing greed for the taste. The food he takes has eight factors: it is neither for amusement nor for intoxication nor for the sake of physical beauty and attractiveness, but only for the endurance and continuance of his body, for the ending of discomfort, and for assisting in the holy life; he considers: "Thus I shall terminate old feelings without arousing new feelings and I shall be healthy and blameless and shall live in comfort"
SN 12.63: Puttamaṃsa Sutta wrote: "And how is physical food to be regarded? Suppose a couple, husband & wife, taking meager provisions, were to travel through a desert. With them would be their only baby son, dear & appealing. Then the meager provisions of the couple going through the desert would be used up & depleted while there was still a stretch of the desert yet to be crossed. The thought would occur to them, 'Our meager provisions are used up & depleted while there is still a stretch of this desert yet to be crossed. What if we were to kill this only baby son of ours, dear & appealing, and make dried meat & jerky. That way — chewing on the flesh of our son — at least the two of us would make it through this desert. Otherwise, all three of us would perish.' So they would kill their only baby son, loved & endearing, and make dried meat & jerky. Chewing on the flesh of their son, they would make it through the desert. While eating the flesh of their only son, they would beat their breasts, [crying,] 'Where have you gone, our only baby son? Where have you gone, our only baby son?' Now what do you think, monks: Would that couple eat that food playfully or for intoxication, or for putting on bulk, or for beautification?"

"No, lord."

"Wouldn't they eat that food simply for the sake of making it through that desert?"

"Yes, lord."

"In the same way, I tell you, is the nutriment of physical food to be regarded. When physical food is comprehended, passion for the five strings of sensuality is comprehended. When passion for the five strings of sensuality is comprehended, there is no fetter bound by which a disciple of the noble ones would come back again to this world."

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Re: SN 3.13: Donapaka Sutta: King Pasenadi Goes on a Diet

Post by phil » Mon Nov 24, 2014 1:10 am

Hi all

I always find the following interesting and helfpul:
Thus will I destroy old feelings [of hunger] and not create new
feelings [from overeating]
This structure only appears in the texts related to eating, doesn't it? I think some people (me in the past) have the idea that this might work for the playing out of other defilements, but no, it doesn't apply as with eating.

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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