What is meant by the term "human control"?

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
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DooDoot
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What is meant by the term "human control"?

Post by DooDoot » Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:48 am

Dear forum

Therigatha 3.4 says:
Divāvihārā nikkhamma,
gijjhakūṭamhi pabbate;
Nāgaṃ ogāhamuttiṇṇaṃ,
nadītīramhi addasaṃ.

Coming out from my day's abiding
on Vulture Peak Mountain,
I saw on the bank of a river
an elephant
emerged from its plunge.

Puriso aṅkusamādāya,
‘dehi pādan’ti yācati;
Nāgo pasārayī pādaṃ,
puriso nāgamāruhi.

A man holding a hook requested:
"Give me your foot."
The elephant
extended its foot.
The man
got up on the elephant.

Disvā adantaṃ damitaṃ,
manussānaṃ vasaṃ gataṃ;
Tato cittaṃ samādhesiṃ,
khalu tāya vanaṃ gatā”ti

Seeing what was untrained now tamed
brought under human control,
with that I centered my mind —
why I'd gone to the woods
in the first place.

https://suttacentral.net/thig3.4/en/thanissaro
What is meant by the term "human control"? :shrug:
Neither extolling nor disparaging but teaching only the Dhamma... one teaches only the Dhamma. MN 139

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pitakele
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Re: What is meant by the term "human control"?

Post by pitakele » Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:01 am

DooDoot wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:48 am

What is meant by the term "human control"?
Seems straightforward to me. Dantikā, having seen an elephant well trained by a mahout, reflects that she should be able to do likewise with her mind. There may be a similar verse in the Theragātha.

Dhammapada 326
"Formerly this mind wandered about as it liked, where it wished and according to its pleasure, but now I shall thoroughly master it with wisdom as a mahout controls with his ankus an elephant in rut."
https://suttacentral.net/dhp320-333/en/buddharakkhita
now here = nowhere

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DooDoot
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Re: What is meant by the term "human control"?

Post by DooDoot » Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:22 am

pitakele wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:01 am
Seems straightforward to me. Dantikā, having seen an elephant well trained by a mahout, reflects that she should be able to do likewise with her mind.
Is this saying every person can control an elephant or control the mind?
Neither extolling nor disparaging but teaching only the Dhamma... one teaches only the Dhamma. MN 139

https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/paticcasamuppada
https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati

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Sam Vara
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Re: What is meant by the term "human control"?

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:34 am

DooDoot wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:22 am
pitakele wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:01 am
Seems straightforward to me. Dantikā, having seen an elephant well trained by a mahout, reflects that she should be able to do likewise with her mind.
Is this saying every person can control an elephant or control the mind?
I would have thought neither. It doesn't seem to be framed as a universal or categorical statement about human capacities. It look more like a poetic expression of one woman's beautiful insight regarding her intentions.

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pitakele
Posts: 147
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Re: What is meant by the term "human control"?

Post by pitakele » Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:14 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:22 am
Is this saying every person can control an elephant or control the mind?
I think the most useful feature of Thag & Thig verses is the inspiration they provide for our practice. I don't see that anything extra needs to be read into this particular verse. As sometimes happens in verse, manussānam [pl.] may have been utilised for euphony rather than manussassa [sing.]. Either way, seeing that humans [or a human] can train & control an elephant has been the condition for wise reflection resulting in Dantikā's mind becoming focussed.
now here = nowhere

justindesilva
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Re: What is meant by the term "human control"?

Post by justindesilva » Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:48 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:34 am
DooDoot wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:22 am
pitakele wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:01 am
Seems straightforward to me. Dantikā, having seen an elephant well trained by a mahout, reflects that she should be able to do likewise with her mind.
Is this saying every person can control an elephant or control the mind?
I would have thought neither. It doesn't seem to be framed as a universal or categorical statement about human capacities. It look more like a poetic expression of one woman's beautiful insight regarding her intentions.
Though said between lines the elephant here is pancendriya . It is only with training ( meditation and sila) one can train ones own mind like the elephant. Once the pancendriya ( perceptions) are in control of the mind the life will obey its path.

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