No_Mind wrote: ↑
Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:00 am
I have a request .. let each contributor give their interpretation or answer once, and then remain silent. Edit it/add or subtract from your post as you need but do not engage with others on this post (do not quote others and challenge what they said).
OK. For me, this sutta is not particularly important; apart from possibly describing how a Tathagata relates to the non-Buddhist world of outsiders, such as Brahmans, Jains, Judaics, Taoists, Hindus, Xtians, Muslims & Theosophicans. The sutta, AN 4.24, begins:
Monks, whatever in the world — with its devas, Maras, & Brahmas, its generations with their contemplatives & brahmans royalty & common people — is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, attained, sought after, pondered by the intellect: That do I know. Whatever in the cosmos — with its devas, Maras, & Brahmas, its generations with their contemplatives & brahmans, their royalty & common people — is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, attained, sought after, pondered by the intellect: That I directly know. That has been realized by the Tathagata, but in the Tathagata it has not been established/ has not taken his stand upon it/did not become subservient to it.
The prior sutta, AN 4.23, appears to offer some context, which states:
Having directly known all the world—
all in the world just as it is—
he is detached from all the world,
disengaged from all the world.
The sutta, SN 4.24, ends, with the possibly vague translated verse:
Amid those who are self-constrained, the Stable One
would not posit as categorically true or false
anything seen, heard, or sensed,
clung to and considered truth by others.
Whatever is seen or heard or sensed
and fastened onto as true by others,
One who is Such — among the self-fettered —
wouldn't further claim to be true or even false.
Whatever is seen, heard, sensed or clung to,
is esteemed as truth by other folk,
Midst those who are entrenched in their own views
being 'Such' I hold none as true or false.
Thus, the sutta might be about the subject matter in MN 18, namely:
Dandapani ("Stick-in-hand") the Sakyan, out roaming & rambling for exercise, also went to the Great Wood. Plunging into the Great Wood, he went to where the Blessed One was under the bilva sapling. On arrival, he exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he stood to one side. As he was standing there, he said to the Blessed One, "What is the contemplative's doctrine? What does he proclaim?"
"The sort of doctrine, friend, where one does not keep quarreling with anyone in the world with its devas, Maras & Brahmas, with its contemplatives & brahmans, its royalty & commonfolk; the sort [of doctrine] where perceptions no longer obsess the brahman who remains dissociated from sensuality, free from perplexity, his uncertainty cut away, devoid of craving for becoming & non-becoming. Such is my doctrine, such is what I proclaim."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
In short, AN 4.24 appears to be simply saying the Tathagata does not obsessively argue with non-Buddhists because a Tathagata is free from clinging to Right View & free from delusions about the inherent ignorance of non-Buddhists.
As for the Zen-Taoist-like translations of Thanissaro & Nyanananda of the Pali word "maññati
", for me, these appear to be outside of the context of the sutta (which is about how to relate to non-Buddhists in a non-Buddhist environment) & also create another doctrine that would contradict the body of the Pali suttas because the Pali suttas often refer to arahants perceiving & even conceptualizing "sense objects". The word maññati
appears to mean "to imagine what is not real
" & also to 'construe selfhood'
(MN 1; MN 140). Also, the Pali suttas often report the Buddha declaring the truth & falsehood of various doctrines. Therefore, for me, Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation is the most authentic & consistent with the Dhamma because Bhikkhu Bodhi merely presents AN 4.24 as how the Buddha would not get into arguments about "true & false" with outsiders (rather than presents the Kalaka Sutta as some mysterious esoteric Zen-like secret teaching).
Alternately, the final verse might be saying (merely speculating
Not by one who is Such (na tesu tādī)
Is accepted the truths & falsehoods of others (saccaṃ musā vāpi paraṃ daheyya)
Who/that are self-fettered (sayasaṃvutesu)
Who/that cling to what they (others) believe is true (ajjhositaṃ saccamutaṃ paresaṃ)
About whatever they see, hear & sense (yaṃ kiñci diṭṭhaṃva sutaṃ mutaṃ vā).
From 23:04 in this video, where the bhikkhus do not argue or debate with the Xtians, might provide an example of my interpretation: