Dutthatthaka Sutta

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Dutthatthaka Sutta

Post by jcsuperstar » Tue May 25, 2010 7:44 am

Snp 4.3 PTS: Sn 780-787
Dutthatthaka Sutta: Corrupted
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
There are some who dispute
corrupted at heart,
and those who dispute
their hearts set on truth,
but a sage doesn't enter
a dispute that's arisen,
which is why he is
nowhere constrained.

Now, how would one
led on by desire,
entrenched in his likes,
forming his own conclusions,
overcome his own views?
He'd dispute in line
with the way that he knows.

Whoever boasts to others, unasked,
of his practices, precepts,
is, say the skilled,
ignoble by nature —
he who speaks of himself
of his own accord.

But a monk at peace,
fully unbound in himself,
who doesn't boast of his precepts
— "That's how I am" —
he, say the skilled,
is noble by nature —
he with no vanity
with regard to the world.

One whose doctrines aren't clean —
fabricated, formed, given preference
when he sees it to his own advantage —
relies on a peace
on what can be shaken.

Because entrenchments [1] in views
aren't easily overcome
when considering what's grasped
among doctrines,
that's why
a person embraces or rejects a doctrine —
in light of these very

Now, one who is cleansed [2] has no preconceived view
about states of becoming
or not-
anywhere in the world.
Having abandoned conceit [3] & illusion,
by what means would he go? [4] He isn't involved.

For one who's involved
gets into disputes
over doctrines,
but how — in connection with what — [5]would you argue
with one uninvolved?
He has nothing
embraced or rejected, [6]has sloughed off every view
right here — every one.

1.Entrenchments: a rendering of the Pali term, nivesana, which can also be rendered as abode, situation, home, or establishment.
2.Nd.I: Cleansed through discernment.
3.Nd.I explains a variety of ways of understanding the word "conceit," the most comprehensive being a list of nine kinds of conceit: viewing people better than oneself as worse than oneself, on a par with oneself, or better than oneself; viewing people on a par with oneself as worse than oneself, on a par with oneself, or better than oneself; viewing people worse than oneself as worse than oneself, on a par with oneself, or better than oneself. In other words, the truth of the view is not the issue here; the issue is the tendency to compare oneself with others.
4.Nd.I: "By what means would he go" to any destination in any state of becoming.
5.In connection with what: a rendering of the instrumental case that attempts to cover several of its meanings, in particular "by what means" and "in terms of what." For a discussion of the use of the instrumental case in the Atthaka Vagga, see note 1 to Sn 4.9.
6.This reading follows the Thai, Sri Lankan, and PTS editions: atta,m niratta,m. The Burmese edition reads, attaa nirattaa: "He has no self, nor what's opposed to self." As K. R. Norman points out in the notes to his translation of this verse, the first reading is probably the correct one, as it relates to the poem's earlier reference to the unawakened person embracing or rejecting a doctrine. The fact that an awakened person is free from both embracing and rejecting is a recurring theme in this vagga and the next; the confusion in the various recensions as to whether similar lines should read atta,m/niratta,m or attaa/nirattaa is a recurring theme as well. (See Sn 4.4, note 4; Sn 4.10, note 7; Sn 4.14, note 2.)
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Re: Dutthatthaka Sutta

Post by Richard » Wed May 26, 2010 12:46 pm

As many here will know, the most detailed account of all the entrenched positions from which people in the Buddha's time were disputing is in DN 1, the Brahmajala Sutta. Those of us who have studied Western philosophy are also well acquainted with how much ego and prejudice is involved in all the endless arguments, even among those who are "set on truth." But didn't the Buddha also engage in argument? Perhaps someone can describe what the difference was.

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Re: Dutthatthaka Sutta

Post by Agent » Thu May 27, 2010 1:34 pm

That's an interesting question. I think the difference may have a lot to do with, as you said, how much ego and prejudice is involved. In the case of the Buddha, that would not be his motivation for debate. Another factor may be that people usually come to him with questions, he doesn't go out looking to prove a point.
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā.


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