Is MN 140 a fake sutta?

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
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DooDoot
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Is MN 140 a fake sutta?

Post by DooDoot » Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:27 am

Dear DW forum

MN 140, the poignant story about Pukkusati unknowingly meeting the Lord Buddha, is certainly an inspiring, lofty, deep, supramundane & often favourite sutta. But is it fake, i.e., a later addition? :shrug: MN 140 includes the following Pali sentence, including the words 'paraṃ maraṇā':
‘kāyassa bhedā paraṃ maraṇā uddhaṃ jīvitapariyādānā idheva sabbavedayitāni anabhinanditāni sītībhavissantī’ti pajānāti.

One discerns that 'With the break-up of the body, after the termination of life, all that is sensed, not being relished, will grow cold right here.' (Thanissaro)

They understand: ‘When my body breaks up and my life has come to an end, everything that’s felt, since I no longer take pleasure in it, will become cool right here.’ (Sujato)

MN 140 https://suttacentral.net/mn140/en/sujato
Compare with SN 12.51:
Kāyassa bhedā uddhaṃ jīvitapariyādānā idheva sabbavedayitāni anabhinanditāni sītībhavissanti, sarīrāni avasissantīti pajānāti.

They understand: ‘When my body breaks up and my life has come to an end, everything that’s felt, since I no longer take pleasure in it, will become cool right here. Only bodily remains will be left.’ (Sujato)

SN 12.51 https://suttacentral.net/sn12.51/en/sujato
Compare with Iti 44:
Tassa idheva, bhikkhave, sabbavedayitāni anabhinanditāni sīti bhavissanti

For him, here in this very life, all that is experienced, not being delighted in, will be extinguished. That, bhikkhus, is called the Nibbāna-element with no residue left.

https://suttacentral.net/iti44/en/ireland
Now the issue I have with MN 140 is the words "paraṃ maraṇā", which neither Bhikkhus Thanissaro, Bodhi or Sujato appear to have translated. I note how Bhikkhu Sujato's translations of MN 140 and SN 12.51 are identical yet the Pali in these two suttas is not identical, given SN 12.51 does not include the words "paraṃ maraṇā".

I have mentioned before how many suttas say arahants or a Tathagata do not experience "death" ("marana"). Also & importantly, the term "paraṃ maraṇā" appears to be found in suttas about kamma & the rebirth of non-arahants. Rebirth occurs with "paraṃ maraṇā" as a preceding cause.

While I think the translation of "termination of life" for "jīvitapariyādānā" is OK, how can Nibbana occur "paraṃ maraṇā" as described in MN 140? :shrug:

Any opinions? :candle:

pulga
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Re: Is MN 140 a fake sutta?

Post by pulga » Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:36 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:27 am



While I think the translation of "termination of life" for "jīvitapariyādānā" is OK, how can Nibbana occur "paraṃ maraṇā" as described in MN 140? :shrug:

Any opinions?
It's a variant reading that seems to have been preferred by the Burmese, at least it's in the Chattha Sangayana edition of the text. It's missing from the PTS edition. Venerable Ñanavira touches upon the point you referred to in his A Note on Paṭiccasamuppāda:
The puthujjana knows that people are born and die; and since he thinks 'my self exists' so he also thinks 'my self was born' and 'my self will die'. The puthujjana sees a 'self' to whom the words birth and death apply.[d] In contrast to the puthujjana, the arahat has altogether got rid of asmimāna (not to speak of attavāda—see MAMA), and does not even think 'I am'. This is bhavanirodha, cessation of being. And since he does not think 'I am' he also does not think 'I was born' or 'I shall die'. In other words, he sees no 'self' or even 'I' for the words birth and death to apply to. This is jātinirodha and jarāmarananirodha. (See, in Kosala Samy. i,3 <S.i,71>, how the words birth and death are avoided when the arahat is spoken of. Atthi nu kho bhante jātassa aññatra jarāmaranā ti. N'atthi kho mahārāja jātassa aññatra jarāmaranā. Ye pi te mahārāja khattiyamahāsālā... brāhmanamahāsālā... gahapatimahāsālā..., tesam pi jātānam n'atthi aññatra jarāmaranā. Ye pi te mahārāja bhikkhu arahanto khīnāsavā..., tesam pāyam kāyo bhedanadhammo nikkhepanadhammo ti. ('—For one who is born, lord, is there anything other than ageing-&-death?—For one who is born, great king, there is nothing other than ageing-&-death. Those, great king, who are wealthy warriors... wealthy divines... wealthy householders...,—for them, too, being born, there is nothing other than ageing-&-death. Those monks, great king, who are worthy ones, destroyers of the cankers...,—for them, too, it is the nature of this body to break up, to be laid down.')) The puthujjana, taking his apparent 'self' at face value, does not see that he is a victim of upādāna; he does not see that 'being a self' depends upon 'holding a belief in self' (upādānapaccayā bhavo); and he does not see that birth and death depend upon his 'being a self' (bhavapaccayā jāti, and so on). The ariyasāvaka, on the other hand, does see these things, and he sees also their cessation (even though he may not yet have fully realized it); and his seeing of these things is direct. Quite clearly, the idea of re-birth is totally irrelevant here.

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Zom
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Re: Is MN 140 a fake sutta?

Post by Zom » Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:46 pm

On what grounds do you consider a sutta to be a not-fake? 8-)

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cappuccino
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Re: Is MN 140 a fake sutta?

Post by cappuccino » Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:46 pm

have faith

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DooDoot
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Re: Is MN 140 a fake sutta?

Post by DooDoot » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:50 am

pulga wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:36 pm
It's a variant reading that seems to have been preferred by the Burmese, at least it's in the Chattha Sangayana edition of the text. It's missing from the PTS edition. Venerable Ñanavira touches upon the point you referred to in his A Note on Paṭiccasamuppāda:
This is jātinirodha and jarāmarananirodha... how the words birth and death are avoided when the arahat is spoken of.
OK. Thanks. It appears Venerable Ñanavira would have agreed there is an issue here. One possible explanation (to overcome the fake impression) is the Buddha was speaking to a person (Pukkusati) that did not know the Buddhist teachings; thus the Buddha spoke in the conventional everyday language of his Indian society (although, in reality, the words paraṃ maraṇā used were unnecessary given the words uddhaṃ jīvitapariyādānā were sufficient).
Zom wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:46 pm
On what grounds do you consider a sutta to be a not-fake? 8-)
Possibly try following the topic discussion first. If a sutta says attachment brings liberation or Nirvana is True Self or murdering with hatred leads to heaven then obviously the sutta is fake. Similarly, a sutta saying a arahant is subject to "death" appears fake to students that study with care & have vipassana in meditation. Pulga had no problem with the straightforwardness of the topic & inquiry.

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Re: Is MN 140 a fake sutta?

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:24 am

Zom wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:46 pm
On what grounds do you consider a sutta to be a not-fake? 8-)
Agreeing with what it says? :tongue:
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Re: Is MN 140 a fake sutta?

Post by auto » Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:25 am

https://suttacentral.net/mn140/en/sujato

end of sutta
“The Realized Ones do not ordain those whose bowl and robes are incomplete.”

And then Venerable Pukkusāti approved and agreed with what the Buddha said. He got up from his seat, bowed, and respectfully circled the Buddha, keeping him on his right, before leaving.

But while he was wandering in search of a bowl and robes, a stray cow took his life. Then several mendicants went up to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and said to him: “Sir, the son of a good family named Pukkusāti, who was advised in brief by the Buddha, has passed away. Where has he been reborn in his next life?” “Mendicants, Pukkusāti was astute. He practiced in line with the teachings, and did not trouble me about the teachings. With the ending of the five lower fetters, he’s been reborn spontaneously and will become extinguished there, not liable to return from that world.”

That is what the Buddha said. Satisfied, the mendicants were happy with what the Buddha said.
So if you become arhant on earth world you won't return from it but stay there? makes sense to me. Nice
(if you are familiar with Xian's)

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Re: Is MN 140 a fake sutta?

Post by pulga » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:02 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:50 am
It appears Venerable Ñanavira would have agreed there is an issue here. One possible explanation (to overcome the fake impression) is the Buddha was speaking to a person (Pukkusati) that did not know the Buddhist teachings; thus the Buddha spoke in the conventional everyday language of his Indian society (although, in reality, the words paraṃ maraṇā used were unnecessary given the words uddhaṃ jīvitapariyādānā were sufficient).
"Kāyassa bhedā paraṃ maraṇā" appears repeatedly throughout the Suttas, but as far as I know it is invariably associated with rebirth. Because it is such a common expression, I think "paraṃ maraṇā" was inadvertently added to the Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta in its chanting and thus preserved in some manuscripts.

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Re: Is MN 140 a fake sutta?

Post by James Tan » Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:59 pm

kāyassa bhedā param maraṇā: 從身壞死後

([kāyassa身(陽單屬格)] body

[bhedā破壞(陽單從格)] break up

[param maraṇā從死後(adv.)]) after death
:reading:

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rightviewftw
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Re: Is MN 140 a fake sutta?

Post by rightviewftw » Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:21 pm

I see no reason to think that it is no.
He goes to Niraya, the one who asserts what didn't take place, as does the one who, having done, says, 'I didn't.' Both — low-acting people — there become equal: after death, in the world beyond.
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DooDoot
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Re: Is MN 140 a fake sutta?

Post by DooDoot » Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:45 pm

rightviewftw wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:21 pm
I see no reason to think that it is no.
Thank you friend for your effort but my question was satisfactorily answered by Pulga. Kind regards :)

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Re: Is MN 140 a fake sutta?

Post by justindesilva » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:48 am

DooDoot wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:45 pm
rightviewftw wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:21 pm
I see no reason to think that it is no.
Thank you friend for your effort but my question was satisfactorily answered by Pulga. Kind regards :)
I am acquainted with the word jara marana( DO). But not param marana. May I know the proper english translation for param marana, please.

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Re: Is MN 140 a fake sutta?

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:49 pm

justindesilva wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:48 am
I am acquainted with the word jara marana( DO). But not param marana. May I know the proper english translation for param marana, please.
Beyond, or after, death.

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Re: Is MN 140 a fake sutta?

Post by sphairos » Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:23 pm

I dont see any problem with MN 140. The pattern is regular : Iti has the shortest phrase-block, SN has somewhat longer, MN has yet longer. This pattern is common to all of the Sutta-piTaka.

"kāyassa bhedā paraṃ maraṇā uddhaṃ jīvitapariyādānā"

these are all synonymical phrases, meaning the death.

What does the commentary say :

nothing, It ignores the phrase, being just a synonym of dying.

These words go together many hundreds of times throuhgout the PAlI canon

(BrahmajAla)

85. ‘‘Idha, bhikkhave, ekacco samaṇo vā brāhmaṇo vā evaṃvādī hoti evaṃdiṭṭhi [evaṃdiṭṭhī (ka. pī.)] – ‘yato kho, bho, ayaṃ attā rūpī cātumahābhūtiko mātāpettikasambhavo kāyassa bhedā ucchijjati vinassati, na hoti paraṃ maraṇā, ettāvatā kho, bho, ayaṃ attā sammā samucchinno hotī’ti. Ittheke sato sattassa ucchedaṃ vināsaṃ vibhavaṃ paññapenti.

(MahAparinibbAnaM)
150

‘‘Puna caparaṃ, gahapatayo, sīlavā sīlasampanno kāyassa bhedā paraṃ maraṇā sugatiṃ saggaṃ lokaṃ upapajjati. Ayaṃ pañcamo ānisaṃso sīlavato sīlasampadāya. Ime kho, gahapatayo, pañca ānisaṃsā sīlavato sīlasampadāyā’’ti.

So I see no problem that the building block was used here as in other hundreds times in PC.
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DooDoot
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Re: Is MN 140 a fake sutta?

Post by DooDoot » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:10 am

sphairos wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:23 pm
So I see no problem that the building block was used here as in other hundreds times in PC.
Hi Sphairos

The building block above is generally in relation to the puthujjhana and not the Arahant. MN 140 is about the Arahant & Nibbana-without-residue.

Regards :)

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