SN 15.3 Assu Sutta. Tears.

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SN 15.3 Assu Sutta. Tears.

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:45 am

SN 15.3 Assu Sutta. Tears.
Translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.


https://suttacentral.net/sn15.3

At Savatthi. There the Blessed One said: “From an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. What do you think, monks: Which is greater, the tears you have shed while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time—crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing—or the water in the four great oceans?”

“As we understand the Dhamma taught to us by the Blessed One, this is the greater: the tears we have shed while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time—crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing—not the water in the four great oceans.”

“Excellent, monks. Excellent. It is excellent that you thus understand the Dhamma taught by me.

“This is the greater: the tears you have shed while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time—crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing—not the water in the four great oceans.

“Long have you (repeatedly) experienced the death of a mother. The tears you have shed over the death of a mother while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time—crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing—are greater than the water in the four great oceans.

“Long have you (repeatedly) experienced the death of a father… the death of a brother… the death of a sister… the death of a son… the death of a daughter… loss with regard to relatives… loss with regard to wealth… loss with regard to disease. The tears you have shed over loss with regard to disease while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time—crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing—are greater than the water in the four great oceans.

“Why is that? From an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. Long have you thus experienced stress, experienced pain, experienced loss, swelling the cemeteries—enough to become disenchanted with all fabricated things, enough to become dispassionate, enough to be released.”

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Re: SN 15.3 Assu Sutta. Tears.

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:49 am

Notes from Bhikkhu Bodhi

“Bhikkhus, this saṃsāra is without discoverable beginning.
  • Anamataggo ’yaṃ bhikkhave saṃsāro. Spk resolves anamatagga into anu amatagga, explaining: “Even if it should be pursued by knowledge for a hundred or a thousand years, it would be with unthought-of beginning, with unknown beginning (vassasataṃ vassasahassaṃ ñāṇena anugantvā pi amataggo aviditaggo). It wouldn’t be possible to know its beginning from here or from there; the meaning is that it is without a delimiting first or last point. Saṃsāra is the uninterruptedly occurring succession of the aggregates, etc. (khandhādīnaṃ avicchinnappavattā paṭipāṭi).”

    The BHS (Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit) equivalent of anamatagga is anavarāgra (e.g., at Mvu I 34,7), “without lower or upper limit.” For various explanations, see CPD, s.v. an-amat’-agga.
What do you think, bhikkhus, which is more: the stream of tears that you have shed as you roamed and wandered on through this long course, weeping and wailing because of being united with the disagreeable and separated from the agreeable—this or the water in the four great oceans?”
  • Spk: The four great oceans delimited by the rays of Mount Sineru. For Sineru’s eastern slope is made of silver, its southern slope of jewels, its western slope of crystal, and its northern slope of gold. From the eastern and southern slopes rays of silver and jewels come forth, merge, traverse the surface of the ocean, and reach right up to the mountains that encircle the world-sphere; and so too with the rays coming forth from the other slopes. The four great oceans are situated between those rays.

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Re: SN 15.3 Assu Sutta. Tears.

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:50 am


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Re: SN 15.3 Assu Sutta. Tears.

Post by Coëmgenu » Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:00 pm

The English translation posted at SuttaCentral uses the word "transmigration" extensively, generally as a translation of the Pāli "samsara".

Is there any way to find who translated a given translation posted at SuttaCentral?

"Transmigration" is a perfectly fine word to use for "samsara" (wandering), since it reflects the word's original meaning, but often in English, we see "rebirth" rather than "reincarnation/transmigration", as a peculiarity of English-language Dhamma-dispensation. This is a good sutta to link in to the rebirth-reincarnation dichotomy, and how it is limited to the English-language dispensation (as far as I know). Do you (mikenz66) know any good resources dealing with the rebirth-reincarnation dichotomy that might be relevant here?
神足示現者,
世尊隨其所應,而示現入禪定正受,陵虛至東方,作四威儀,
行、住、坐、臥,入火三昧,出種種火光,青、黃、赤、白、
紅、頗梨色,水火俱現, 或身下出火,身上出水,身上出火,
身下出水,周圓四方亦復如是。

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Re: SN 15.3 Assu Sutta. Tears.

Post by Mkoll » Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:05 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:Is there any way to find who translated a given translation posted at SuttaCentral?
Go to sutta > Top left corner, 3 horizontal bars on greenish background > Metadata
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Re: SN 15.3 Assu Sutta. Tears.

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jan 22, 2017 7:12 am

It's Thanissaro's translation. I gave part of Bodhi's translation in a subsequent post Heres a fuller version. See the second post for the footnote to the first sentence.
“Bhikkhus, this saṃsāra is without discoverable beginning. A first point is not discerned of beings roaming and wandering on hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving.
I believe that "wandering" is the literal translation, but it's interesting to think about what it really means. Suggestions welcome!

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: SN 15.3 Assu Sutta. Tears.

Post by Dhammakid » Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:57 am

This is one of those teachings that my mind has held onto over the years, and I've managed to remember it. I think the most pertinent part for me is the emphasis on practice because of the truth of pain and suffering, and the necessity to overcome it. I think even without an understanding of rebirth, most of us can look back on our lives and just gauge how much pain and suffering we've endured, and consider that at the very least practice is a good idea.

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