AN 10.95: Uttiya Sutta — To Uttiya

Each week we study and discuss a different sutta or Dhamma text

Moderator: mikenz66

Locked
User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 15175
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

AN 10.95: Uttiya Sutta — To Uttiya

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:26 am

AN 10.95 PTS: A v 193 Uttiya Sutta: To Uttiya
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu


Is the goal of the Buddha's teachings to liberate all beings?

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



Then Uttiya the wanderer went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One,

"Master Gotama, is it the case that 'The cosmos is eternal: Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless'?"

"Uttiya, I haven't declared that 'The cosmos is eternal: Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless.'"

"Very well, then, Master Gotama, is it the case that: 'The cosmos is not eternal: Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless'?"

"Uttiya, I haven't declared that 'The cosmos is not eternal: Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless.'"

"Very well, then, Master Gotama, is it the case that 'The cosmos is finite... The cosmos is infinite... The soul & the body are the same... The soul is one thing and the body another... After death a Tathagata exists... After death a Tathagata does not exist... After death a Tathagata both does & does not exist... After death a Tathagata neither does nor does not exist. Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless'?"

"Uttiya, I haven't declared that 'After death a Tathagata neither does nor does not exist: Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless.'"

"But, Master Gotama, on being asked, 'Is it the case that "The cosmos is eternal: Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless"?' you inform me, 'Uttiya, I haven't declared that "The cosmos is eternal: Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless."' On being asked, 'Is it the case that "The cosmos is not eternal... The cosmos is finite... The cosmos is infinite... The soul & the body are the same... The soul is one thing and the body another... After death a Tathagata exists... After death a Tathagata does not exist... After death a Tathagata both does & does not exist... After death a Tathagata neither does nor does not exist. Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless"?' you inform me, 'Uttiya, I haven't declared that "After death a Tathagata neither does nor does not exist. Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless."' Now is there anything you have declared?"

"Uttiya, having directly known it, I teach the Dhamma to my disciples for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow & lamentation, for the disappearance of pain & distress, for the attainment of the right method, & for the realization of Unbinding."

"And, Master Gotama, when having directly known it, you teach the Dhamma to your disciples for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow & lamentation, for the disappearance of pain & distress, for the attainment of the right method, & for the realization of Unbinding, will all the cosmos be led [to release], or a half of it, or a third?"

When this was said, the Blessed One was silent.

Then the thought occurred to Ven. Ananda: "Don't let Uttiya the wanderer acquire the evil viewpoint that, 'When I asked him an all-encompassing question, Gotama the contemplative faltered and didn't reply. Perhaps he was unable to.' That would be for his long-term harm & suffering." So he said to Uttiya, "In that case, my friend, I will give you an analogy, for there are cases where it is through the use of analogy that intelligent people can understand the meaning of what is being said.

"Uttiya, suppose that there were a royal frontier fortress with strong ramparts, strong walls & arches, and a single gate. In it would be a wise, competent, & knowledgeable gatekeeper to keep out those he didn't know and to let in those he did. Patrolling the path around the city, he wouldn't see a crack or an opening in the walls big enough for even a cat to slip through. Although he wouldn't know that 'So-and-so many creatures enter or leave the city,' he would know this: 'Whatever large creatures enter or leave the city all enter or leave it through this gate.'

"In the same way, the Tathagata isn't concerned with whether all the cosmos or half of it or a third of it will be led to release by means of that [Dhamma]. But he does know this: 'All those who have been led, are being led, or will be led [to release] from the cosmos have done so, are doing so, or will do so after having abandoned the five hindrances — those defilements of awareness that weaken discernment — having well-established[1] their minds in the four frames of reference, and having developed, as they have come to be, the seven factors for Awakening. When you asked the Blessed One this question, you had already asked it in another way.[2] That's why he didn't respond."


Note

1. Well-tuned.

2. The question as to whether all the cosmos or only a part of it would be led to release is another way of asking whether the cosmos is eternal or not. Notice that Ven. Ananda mentions those who have been led to release from the cosmos. He doesn't mention the cosmos as being led to release. For his use of the word, "cosmos," here, see SN 35.82.

See also: AN 4.24.
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?t=19658" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 15175
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: AN 10.95: Uttiya Sutta — To Uttiya

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:33 am

Notes from Bhikkhu Bodhi:

“Uttiya, I also have not declared: ‘The Tathāgata neither
exists nor does not exist after death; this alone is true, anything
else is wrong.’” [2127]
  • [2127] Like AN 10.93, this sutta was probably included in the Tens because
    it deals with the ten speculative views.
When this was asked, the Blessed One remained silent. Then
it occurred to the Venerable Ānanda: “The wanderer Uttiya had
better not adopt the evil view: ‘When I ask the ascetic Gotama the
most elevated question of all, he falters and does not answer. [2128]
  • [2128] Mp: “The most elevated question of all: ‘Do not let him acquire the
    bad view: “When I ask the ascetic Gotama the ultimate question,
    he falters and does not reply. Is it the case that he isn’t up to the
    mark and cannot answer?”’”
“Friend Uttiya, you asked the Blessed One from a different
angle the same question that you had already asked him. [2129]
Therefore the Blessed One did not answer you.”
  • [2129] Mp: “The same question: He shows that Uttiya again asked the
    same invalid question that he had previously posed in terms
    of whether the world is eternal. He asks from a different angle
    about the entire world, taking a stand on the belief in a sentient
    being (sattūpaladdhiyaṃyeva ṭhatvā aññenākārena pucchati).”

User avatar
kirk5a
Posts: 1959
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: AN 10.95: Uttiya Sutta — To Uttiya

Post by kirk5a » Mon Dec 29, 2014 1:33 pm

This part is a nice summary of practice. Useful to remember, I think, so I've detailed the list below.
having abandoned the five hindrances — those defilements of awareness that weaken discernment — having well-established[1] their minds in the four frames of reference, and having developed, as they have come to be, the seven factors for Awakening
The five hindrances:
1) sensual desire
2) ill will
3) sloth and torpor
4) restlessness and remorse
5) doubt

The four frames of reference:
1) body
2) feelings
3) mind
4) mental qualities

The seven factors for awakening:
1) mindfulness
2) investigation of the dhamma
3) energy
4) rapture or happiness
5) calm
6) concentration
7) equanimity

(to myself: there will be a pop quiz later ;) )
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 2334
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm

Re: AN 10.95: Uttiya Sutta — To Uttiya

Post by Sam Vara » Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:20 pm

Many thanks Mike.

Ajahn Thanissaro's point
The question as to whether all the cosmos or only a part of it would be led to release is another way of asking whether the cosmos is eternal or not.
looks ingenious, but I don't think it is true. We could envisage an eternal cosmos where some beings were inherently incapable of release. I don't know what the "other way" in which Uttiya phrased the question was.

culaavuso
Posts: 1363
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:27 pm

Re: AN 10.95: Uttiya Sutta — To Uttiya

Post by culaavuso » Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:10 pm

Sam Vara wrote: Ajahn Thanissaro's point
The question as to whether all the cosmos or only a part of it would be led to release is another way of asking whether the cosmos is eternal or not.
looks ingenious, but I don't think it is true. We could envisage an eternal cosmos where some beings were inherently incapable of release. I don't know what the "other way" in which Uttiya phrased the question was.
This appears to be what Ajahn Thanissaro is suggesting in the note. If some beings are inherently incapable of release, then the cosmos is eternal. The first questions of whether the cosmos is eternal or not are undeclared. The second question of whether all the cosmos will be led to release would entail an answer to the first questions.

The first way of asking the question is at the start of the sutta:
AN 10.95: Uttiya Sutta wrote: "Master Gotama, is it the case that 'The cosmos is eternal: Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless'?"

"Uttiya, I haven't declared that 'The cosmos is eternal: Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless.'"

"Very well, then, Master Gotama, is it the case that: 'The cosmos is not eternal: Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless'?"

"Uttiya, I haven't declared that 'The cosmos is not eternal: Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless.'"
The second way of asking the question is later:
AN 10.95: Uttiya Sutta wrote: Master Gotama, when having directly known it, you teach the Dhamma to your disciples for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow & lamentation, for the disappearance of pain & distress, for the attainment of the right method, & for the realization of Unbinding, will all the cosmos be led [to release], or a half of it, or a third?

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 2334
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm

Re: AN 10.95: Uttiya Sutta — To Uttiya

Post by Sam Vara » Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:17 pm

culaavuso wrote:
This appears to be what Ajahn Thanissaro is suggesting in the note. If some beings are inherently incapable of release, then the cosmos is eternal.
Not necessarily. The cosmos could end without those beings being released.

culaavuso
Posts: 1363
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:27 pm

Re: AN 10.95: Uttiya Sutta — To Uttiya

Post by culaavuso » Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:30 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
culaavuso wrote:
This appears to be what Ajahn Thanissaro is suggesting in the note. If some beings are inherently incapable of release, then the cosmos is eternal.
Not necessarily. The cosmos could end without those beings being released.
It may be helpful to note that the sutta does not actually ask about the release of beings (satta), but specifically asks about whether the cosmos (loka) will be led to release/Unbinding (nibbāna, also translatable as extinction). So the first question is whether the cosmos (loka) is eternal or not, and the second question is whether all of the cosmos will be led to cessation or not.

It may also be informative to read this sutta in conjunction with SN 12.44 which explains the origination and ending of the cosmos (loka, translated as "world" in that link). In SN 12.44, the third noble truth is explained to be the ending of the loka.

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 2334
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm

Re: AN 10.95: Uttiya Sutta — To Uttiya

Post by Sam Vara » Mon Dec 29, 2014 11:12 pm

culaavuso wrote:
It may be helpful to note that the sutta does not actually ask about the release of beings (satta), but specifically asks about whether the cosmos (loka) will be led to release/Unbinding (nibbāna, also translatable as extinction). So the first question is whether the cosmos (loka) is eternal or not, and the second question is whether all of the cosmos will be led to cessation or not.
Agreed, but unless the beings are separate from the cosmos, then the release of the cosmos is the release of the beings. If "cosmos" is here read as the individual's subjective experience, then the question
will all the cosmos be led [to release], or a half of it, or a third?"
seems distinctly odd.

vinasp
Posts: 1675
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Bristol. United Kingdom.

Re: AN 10.95: Uttiya Sutta — To Uttiya

Post by vinasp » Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:56 pm

Hi everyone,

Another intesting feature is the reference to 'direct knowledge.'

Thanissaro: "Uttiya, having directly known it, I teach Dhamma to my disciples for the purification of beings, ..."

Bhikkhu Bodhi:- "Through direct knowledge, Uttiya, I teach the Dhamma to my disciples for the purification of beings, ..."

BB's translation can be read as meaning that noble disciples progress through their own direct knowledge, this is the method of teaching.

[The Buddha.] "Do you speak only of what you have known, seen, and understood for yourselves?" -- "Yes, venerable sir." [BB, MLDB, MN 38.24]

Regards, Vincent.

Locked

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests