A quintessential poem from the Lute sutta, not the exact title? but you get the idea.
It is a treat to read Ven BB version of the sutta, with its foot notes, so I share it with you, on this passing weekend.
It is not only the lute that is a poor thing,
but like the so called lute,
whatever else is bound with strings ____
all that is just a poor thing
The lute is like the self, poor thing!
hung by the sensory chords, "it" thinks it is a self.
Take the aggregates apart, what do you
In the simile Buddha offers, how very
the king cannot find any sound in the broken lute, and therefore loses interest in the instrument.
Likewise the meditator, exploring the five aggregates (via jhana meditation)
does not see any graspable 'I' or 'mine'
and therefore loses interest, in the aggregates
, i.e. the appearance, the sensation, the relentless beeping radio signals (sanna)... and so on.
The terms "I' or 'mine' or 'I'm' in regard to form, feeling etc, give
rise to three 'GRIPS', to hold onto: of views, of craving, and of conceit
do not exist for the Arahant, his contacts are abolished, they do not lead to volitional formation.
Ven. BB in the foot notes says there is an important difference
between the king and the meditator, not conveyed by sutta or the comentator
In the simile, the king, is looking for the sound of music in the broken lute
, he comes across as a fool.
The meditator dissecting the aggregates to dispel the delusion of a 'self' is
coronated by wisdom
Purpose of jhana meditation is to, avoid the horrendous tom-foolery of 'I-making'
Excerpts from the sutta
So too bhikkhus, when one's mind has been secluded,
well subdued, regarding the six bases of contact, it then becomes inwardly steady, settled, unified, and concentrated
clearly the reference is to buddhist jhanas.
To bring the point home The Tathagata continues
Good man, what is making this sound---Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ---so tantalizing,
so lovely, so intoxicating,
Like the sounds of the lute that enticed the king, we are tantalized
by the sounds of 'I' and 'mine'
When we are engaged in jhana meditation however, we are not so enticed.
Commentary to the sutta ends with a quotation from the great commentary (no longer extant)
In the beginning integrity is discussed,
In the middle, development of concentration, (i.e. Samma samadhi)
And at the end, Nibbana;
The simile of the lute is thus composed
Thank you for listening to the sounds of a broken lute,
as a meditator would, and hence being coronated by