SN 16.12 Tathāgata parammaraṇa sutta. After Death.

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mikenz66
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SN 16.12 Tathāgata parammaraṇa sutta. After Death.

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:08 am

SN 16.12 Tathāgata parammaraṇa sutta. After Death.
Translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi

https://suttacentral.net/sn16.12

On one occasion the Venerable Mahakassapa and the Venerable Sāriputta were dwelling at Baraṇasī in the Deer Park at Isipatana. Then, in the evening, the Venerable Sāriputta emerged from seclusion and approached the Venerable Mahakassapa. He exchanged greetings with the Venerable Mahakassapa and, when they had concluded their greetings and cordial talk, he sat down to one side and said to him:

“How is it, friend Kassapa, does the Tathagata exist after death?” [310]

“The Blessed One, friend, has not declared this: ‘The Tathagata exists after death.’”

“Then, friend, does the Tathagata not exist after death?”

“The Blessed One, friend, has not declared this either: ‘The Tathagata does not exist after death.’”

“How is it then, friend, does the Tathagata both exist and not exist after death?”

“The Blessed One, friend, has not declared this: ‘The Tathagata both exists and does not exist after death.’”

“Then, friend, does the Tathagata neither exist nor not exist after death?”

“The Blessed One, friend, has not declared this either: ‘The Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist after death.’”

“Why hasn’t the Blessed One declared this, friend?”

“Because this is unbeneficial, irrelevant to the fundamentals of the holy life, and does not lead to revulsion, to dispassion, to cessation, to peace, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna. Therefore the Blessed One has not declared this.”

“And what, friend, has the Blessed One declared?”

“The Blessed One, friend, has declared: ‘This is suffering,’ and ‘This is the origin of suffering,’ and ‘This is the cessation of suffering, ’ and ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’”

“And why, friend, has the Blessed One declared this?”

“Because, friend, this is beneficial, relevant to the fundamentals of the holy life, and leads to revulsion, to dispassion, to cessation, to peace, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna. Therefore the Blessed One has declared this.”

Note

[310] Spk glosses “Tathāgata” here as satta, a being, on which Spk-pṭ comments: “As in past aeons, in past births, one has come into being by way of kamma and defilements, so one has also come now (tathā etarahi pi āgato); hence it is said ‘tathāgata.’ Or else, according to the kamma one has done and accumulated, just so has one come, arrived, been reborn in this or that form of individual existence (tathā taṃ taṃ attabhāvaṃ āgato upagato upapanno).”

This explanation seems implausible, especially when other texts clearly show that the philosophical problem over the Tathāgata’s post-mortem state concerns “the Tathāgata, the highest type of person, the supreme person, the one who has attained the supreme attainment (tathāgato uttamapuriso paramapuriso paramapattipatto)” (22:86 (III 116,13-14) = 44:2 (IV 380,14-15)).

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Re: SN 16.12 Tathāgata parammaraṇa sutta. After Death.

Post by L.N. » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:36 am

The teachings are essential. The rest is chatter.
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。

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L.N.
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Re: SN 16.12 Tathāgata parammaraṇa sutta. After Death.

Post by L.N. » Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:11 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:08 am
“The Blessed One, friend, has declared: ‘This is suffering,’ and ‘This is the origin of suffering,’ and ‘This is the cessation of suffering, ’ and ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’”

“And why, friend, has the Blessed One declared this?”

“Because, friend, this is beneficial, relevant to the fundamentals of the holy life, and leads to revulsion, to dispassion, to cessation, to peace, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna. Therefore the Blessed One has declared this.”
Here is the real emphasis. I love this sutta because there's really nothing to say. We can try to squeeze the concept of the Tathagata into our limited perceptions of past and future, near and far, but ultimately what is important is that there is a way leading to the cessation of suffering. Mind-boggling. Much more so than mundane questions such as what happens after death.
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。

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