Under the rose-apple tree

Under the rose-apple tree

Monday, 8 February 2016

The Emptiness of an Unencumbered Mind (3): Ādittapariyāyaṁ


The first discourse deals with the Four Noble Truths; the second with the constituent parts [five skandhas] and the doctrine of non-self; the third with the sense-spheres and the three main pollutants; and the fourth with insight into the phenomena of rising and ceasing and conditional origination. As can be seen in this short collection are found some of the most foundational and distinctive teachings of the Buddha. 
I have retained the narrative framework, albeit in a somewhat abbreviated form, because it seems to me important that these teachings were not given in abstraction, but were taught to meet and convince real individuals who were questing for the Truth. It is not an accident that the middle way was taught to the group-of-five former ascetics, as that answered their most important doubt, which they expressed when they first met the Buddha at Ṛṣipatana. 
Similarly, that the third discourse was addressed to fire-worshippers and showed what a real fire was is not coincidental, but was meeting them on common ground, and was intended to show how their fire-imagery can still lead them to the truth if correctly applied. The discourse on Causation to the self-made men of Rājagṛha is also right on target, appealing to their sense of dynamism.

In one sense, then, the order of the first four discourses reflects the Buddha's appropriate response to three audiences on four occasions: the first discourse was for the group-of-five as ascetics; the second discourse was for the group-of-five once they had gone forth as bhikkus; the third discourse was suited to fire-worshippers; and the fourth discourse was suited to self-made Magadhans.

At the same time, the first discourse can be heard as laying down the overall plan, centred on the teaching of a middle path or middle practice. The second, third, and fourth discourses go on to supply the vital detail, each being a variation on the theme of emptiness.

In the second discourse, the Buddha has taught that the five aggregates which we cling to as if they were our self, are in fact empty of self.

The third discourse, then, delivered to the fire-worshippers of Uruvelā, shows that the fire which is truly worthy of our attention is the burning in our hearts – the burning that is filled with the fire of passion, the fire of hatred, and the fire of delusion. Far from leading to release, these fires are keeping us suffering in saṁsāra. A mind that, through not clinging, is empty of these afflictions -- and empty, again, of the three kinds of polluting influences -- is liberated. So this is a second aspect of emptiness, and this is The Instruction about Burning, Ādittapariyāyaṁ:

“Sabbaṁ bhikkhave ādittaṁ.
“Everything, monks, is burning.

Cakkhuṁ bhikkhave ādittaṁ, rūpā ādittā,
The eye is burning, monks, forms are burning, 
cakkhuviññāṇaṁ ādittaṁ, cakkhusamphasso āditto,
eye-consciousness is burning, eye-contact is burning,
yam-pidaṁ cakkhusamphassapaccayā uppajjati vedayitaṁ,
and whatever feeling arises dependent on eye-contact,
sukhaṁ vā dukkhaṁ vā adukkhamasukhaṁ vā, tam-pi ādittaṁ.
whether pleasant, unpleasant, or neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant, that also is burning.
Kena ādittaṁ?
With what is it burning?
Rāgagginā dosagginā mohagginā ādittaṁ.
It is burning with the fire of passion, with the fire of hatred, with the fire of delusion.
Jātiyā jarāya maraṇena,
It is burning with birth, with old age and death,
sokehi paridevehi dukkhehi domanassehi upāyāsehi ādittan-ti vadāmi. 
with griefs, with lamentations, with pains, with sorrows, and with despairs, I say.

[Similarly for each of the other of six senses...]

Sotaṁ ādittaṁ, saddā ādittā,
The ear is burning, sounds are burning...

Ghānaṁ ādittaṁ, gandhā ādittā,
The nose is burning, scents are burning...

Jivhā ādittā, rasā ādittā,
The tongue is burning, tastes are burning...

Kāyo āditto, phoṭṭhabbā ādittā,
The body is burning, tangibles are burning...

Mano āditto, dhammā ādittā,
The proprioceptive inner sense is burning, its objects are burning,
manoviññāṇaṁ ādittaṁ, manosamphasso āditto,
proprioceptive consciousness is burning, proprioceptive contact is burning,
yam-pidaṁ manosamphassapaccayā uppajjati vedayitaṁ,
and whatever feeling arises dependent on proprioceptive contact,
sukhaṁ vā dukkhaṁ vā adukkhamasukhaṁ vā, tam-pi ādittaṁ.
whether pleasant, unpleasant, or neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant, that also is burning.
Kena ādittaṁ?
With what is it burning?
Rāgagginā dosagginā mohagginā ādittaṁ.
It is burning with the fire of passion, with the fire of hatred, with the fire of delusion.
Jātiyā jarāya maraṇena,
It is burning with birth, with old age and death,
sokehi paridevehi dukkhehi domanassehi upāyāsehi ādittan-ti vadāmi. 
with griefs, with lamentations, with pains, with sorrows, and with despairs, I say.

Evaṁ passaṁ bhikkhave sutavā ariyasāvako 
Seeing this, monks, the learned noble disciple
cakkhusmiṁ pi nibbindati, rūpesu pi nibbindati, 
grows weary of the eye, grows weary of forms,
cakkhuviññāṇe pi nibbindati, cakkhusamphasse pi nibbindati, 
grows weary of eye-consciousness, grows weary of eye-contact,
yam-pidaṁ cakkhusamphassapaccayā uppajjati vedayitaṁ,
and whatever feeling that arises dependent on eye-contact,
sukhaṁ vā dukkhaṁ vā adukkhamasukhaṁ vā, tasmiṁ pi nibbindati.
whether pleasant, unpleasant, or neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant, he also grows weary of that.

[Similarly for each of the other of six senses...]

Sotasmiṁ pi nibbindati, saddesu pi nibbindati, 
He grows weary of the ear, grows weary of sounds...

Ghānasmiṁ pi nibbindati, gandhesu pi nibbindati, 
He grows weary of the nose, grows weary of scents...

Jivhāya pi nibbindati, rasesu pi nibbindati, 
He grows weary of the tongue, grows weary of tastes...

Kāyasmiṁ pi nibbindati, phoṭṭhabbesu pi nibbindati, 
He grows weary of the body, grows weary of tangibles...

Manasmiṁ pi nibbindati, dhammesu pi nibbindati, 
He grows weary of the proprioceptive inner sense, grows weary of its objects,
manoviññāṇe pi nibbindati, manosamphasse pi nibbindati, 
grows weary of proprioceptive consciousness, grows weary of proprioceptive contact,
yam-pidaṁ manosamphassapaccayā uppajjati vedayitaṁ,
and whatever feeling that arises dependent on proprioceptive contact,
sukhaṁ vā dukkhaṁ vā adukkhamasukhaṁ vā, tasmiṁ pi nibbindati,
whether pleasant, unpleasant, or neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant, he also grows weary of that;
nibbindaṁ virajjati, virāgā vimuccati,
through weariness he becomes dispassionate; through dispassion he is liberated;
vimuttasmiṁ vimuttam-iti ñāṇaṁ hoti:
in liberation, there is the knowledge that such is liberation:

‘Khīṇā jāti
Destroyed is (re)birth
vusitaṁ brahmacariyaṁ
accomplished is the spiritual life
kataṁ karaṇīyaṁ
done is what was to be done
nāparaṁ itthattāyā ti pajānātī’ ti.
there is no more of this mundane state - this he knows.’ "

Imasmiñ-ca pana veyyākaraṇasmiṁ bhaññamāne,
Moreover, as this sermon was being given,
tassa bhikkhusahassassa anupādāya āsavehi cittāni vimucciṁsu.
those one thousand monks' minds, through not clinging, were freed from the polluting influences.



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