theravada

Theravada, Sanskrit: स्थविरवाद sthaviravāda; literally, “the Teaching of the Elders” or “the Ancient Teaching,” is the oldest surviving Buddhist branch. The Theravada school upholds the Pali Canon or Tipitaka as the most authoritative collection of texts on the teachings of Gautama Buddha.

Puttamansa Sutta: A Son’s Flesh

(The Buddha // Samyutta Nikaya, SN 12.63)

At Savatthi… “There are these four nutriments for the maintenance of beings who have come into being or for the support of those in search of a place to be born. Which four? Physical food, gross or refined; contact as the second, intellectual intention the third, and consciousness the fourth. These are the four nutriments for the maintenance of beings who have come into being or for the support of those in search of a place to be born.

“And how is physical food to be regarded? Suppose a couple, husband & wife, taking meager provisions, were to travel through a desert. With them would be their only baby son, dear & appealing. Then the meager provisions of the couple going through the desert would be used up & depleted while there was still a stretch of the desert yet to be crossed. The thought would occur to them, ‘Our meager provisions are used up & depleted while there is still a stretch of this desert yet to be crossed. What if we were to kill this only baby son of ours, dear & appealing, and make dried meat & jerky. That way — chewing on the flesh of our son — at least the two of us would make it through this desert. Otherwise, all three of us would perish.’ So they would kill their only baby son, loved & endearing, and make dried meat & jerky. Chewing on the flesh of their son, they would make it through the desert. While eating the flesh of their only son, they would beat their breasts, [crying,] ‘Where have you gone, our only baby son? Where have you gone, our only baby son?’ Now what do you think, monks: Would that couple eat that food playfully or for intoxication, or for putting on bulk, or for beautification?”

“No, lord.”

“Wouldn’t they eat that food simply for the sake of making it through that desert?”

“Yes, lord.”

“In the same way, I tell you, is the nutriment of physical food to be regarded. When physical food is comprehended, passion for the five strings of sensuality is comprehended. When passion for the five strings of sensuality is comprehended, there is no fetter bound by which a disciple of the noble ones would come back again to this world.

“And how is the nutriment of contact to be regarded? Suppose a flayed cow were to stand leaning against a wall. The creatures living in the wall would chew on it. If it were to stand leaning against a tree, the creatures living in the tree would chew on it. If it were to stand exposed to water, the creatures living in the water would chew on it. If it were to stand exposed to the air, the creatures living in the air would chew on it. For wherever the flayed cow were to stand exposed, the creatures living there would chew on it. In the same way, I tell you, is the nutriment of contact to be regarded. When the nutriment of contact is comprehended, the three feelings [pleasure, pain, neither pleasure nor pain] are comprehended. When the three feelings are comprehended, I tell you, there is nothing further for a disciple of the noble ones to do.

“And how is the nutriment of intellectual intention to be regarded? Suppose there were a pit of glowing embers, deeper than a man’s height, full of embers that were neither flaming nor smoking, and a man were to come along — loving life, hating death, loving pleasure, abhorring pain — and two strong men, having grabbed him by the arms, were to drag him to the pit of embers. To get far away would be that man’s intention, far away would be his wish, far away would be his aspiration. Why is that? Because he would realize, ‘If I fall into this pit of glowing embers, I will meet with death from that cause, or with death-like pain.’ In the same way, I tell you, is the nutriment of intellectual intention to be regarded. When the nutriment of intellectual intention is comprehended, the three forms of craving [for sensuality, for becoming, and for non-becoming] are comprehended. When the three forms of craving are comprehended, I tell you, there is nothing further for a disciple of the noble ones to do.

“And how is the nutriment of consciousness to be regarded? Suppose that, having arrested a thief, a criminal, they were to show him to the king: ‘This is a thief, a criminal for you, your majesty. Impose on him whatever punishment you like.’ So the king would say, ‘Go, men, and shoot him in the morning with a hundred spears.’ So they would shoot him in the morning with a hundred spears. Then the king would say at noon, ‘Men, how is that man?’ ‘Still alive, your majesty.’ So the king would say, ‘Go, men, and shoot him at noon with a hundred spears.’ So they would shoot him at noon with a hundred spears. Then the king would say in the evening, ‘Men, how is that man?’ ‘Still alive, your majesty.’ So the king would say, ‘Go, men, and shoot him in the evening with a hundred spears.’ So they would shoot him in the evening with a hundred spears. Now what do you think, monks: Would that man, being shot with three hundred spears a day, experience pain & distress from that cause?”

“Even if he were to be shot with only one spear, lord, he would experience pain & distress from that cause, to say nothing of three hundred spears.”

“In the same way, I tell you, monks, is the nutriment of consciousness to be regarded. When the nutriment of consciousness is comprehended, name & form are comprehended. When name & form are comprehended, I tell you, there is nothing further for a disciple of the noble ones to do.”

5 Aggregates of Clinging


Buddha Quotes // Khandasaṃyutta, Saṃyutta Nikāya, Pali Canon

(5) Concentration, (6) Seclusion

(5) Wise ones, develop concentration. One who is concentrated understands things as they really are. (6) Wise
ones, make an exertion in seclusion. One who makes an exertion in seclusion understands things as they really are. What what does one understand as it really is? The origin and passing away of [the 5 aggregates: ] 1. form, 2. contact/consciousness, 3. perception, 4. feeling/sensations and 5. sankhara/volitional formations. And what, wise ones, is the origin of the 5 aggregates? One seeks delight in form, contact/consciousness with form, perception of form, feelings/sensations resulting from form, and sankharas/volitional formations reacting to form. One welcomes it, and remains holding to it. As a consequence of this, delight arises. Delight in form is clinging. With one’s clinging as condition, existence comes to be; with existence as condition, birth; with birth as condition, aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair come to be. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering. This is the origin of the 5 aggregates : 1. form, 2. contact/consciousness, 3. perception, 4. feeling/sensations, and 5. sankhara/volitional formations. What what is the passing away of the 5 aggregates? One does not seek delight in form, does not welcome it, does not remain holding to it. As a consequence of this, delight in form ceases. With the cessation of delight comes cessation of clinging, with cessation of clinging, cessation of existence… Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.

(7) Agitation through Clinging

How, wise ones, is there agitation through clinging? Here, the uninstructed worldling, who is not a seer of the noble ones and is unskilled and undisciplined in their Dharma, regards form as self, or self as possessing form, or form as in self, or self as in form. That form of one’s changes or alters. With the change and alteration of form, one’s consciousness becomes preoccupied with the change of form. Agitation and a constellation of mental states born of preoccupation with the change in form remain obsessing one’s mind. Because one’s mind is obsessed, one becomes frightened, distressed and anxious, and through clinging one becomes agitated. One regards [ the 5 aggregates: ] 1. form, 2. contact/consciousness, 3. perception, 4. feeling/sensations, and 5. sankhara/volitional formations, as self or self as possessing them, or them as in self or self as in them… Through clinging to the aggregates one becomes agitated. In such a way, there is agitation through clinging. And how, wise ones, is there non-agitation through non-clinging? Here, the instructed noble disciple, who is a seer of the noble ones, and is skilled and disciplined in their Dharma, does not regard form as self, or self as possessing form, or form as in self, or self as in form. That form changes and alters. Despite the change and alteration of form, one’s consciousness does not become preoccupied with the change in form. No agitation and constellation of mental states is born out of preoccupation with the change in form that remains obsessing one’s mind. Because one’s mind is not obsessed, one is not frightened, distressed of anxious, and through non-clinging one does not become agitated. Such a wise one does not regard the 5 aggregates as self, or self as possessing them, of them as in self or self as in them… and through non-clinging one
does not become agitated. It is in this way that there is non-agitation through non-clinging.

Where does the Tathāgata reappear after death?

BUDDHA QUOTES // Aggivacchagotta Sutta 72, Majjhima Nikāya

Vaccha :
When a Tathāgata’s mind is fully liberated, Master Gotama, where does it reappear after death? …

Buddha :
The term ‘reappear’ does not apply.
The term ‘does not reappear’ does not apply.
There term ‘both reappears and does not reappear’ does not apply.
The term ‘neither reappears nor does not reappear’ does not apply.

Vaccha :
Here I have fallen into bewilderment, here I have fallen into confusion, the measure of confidence I had gained through previous conversation with Master Gotama has now disappeared.

Buddha :
It is enough to cause you bewilderment, Vaccha, enough to cause you confusion. For this Dhamma is profound, hard to see and hard to understand, peaceful and sublime, unattainable by mere reasoning, subtle, to be experienced by the wise.

It is hard for you to understand it when you hold another view, accept another teaching, approve of another teaching, pursue a different training, and follow a different teacher. So I shall question you in return. Answer as you choose.

What do you think? Suppose a fire were burning before you. Would you know “this fire is burning before me?”

Vaccha :
Yes I would.

Buddha :
What does this fire before you burn in dependence on?

Vaccha :
This fire burns in dependence on fuel of grass and sticks.

Buddha :
If that fire before you were extinguished, would you know “this fire before me has been extinguished?”

Vaccha :
Yes I would.

Buddha :
When that fire before you was extinguished, to which direction did it go? To the east, the west, the north or the south?

Vaccha :
That does not apply, Master Gotama. The fire burned in dependence on it’s fuel of grass and sticks. When that is used up, if it does not get more fuel, being without fuel, it is seen to be extinguished.

Buddha :
So too Vaccha, the Tathāgata has abandoned the material form by which the Tathāgata might be described; this form has been cut it off at the root, made as a palm stump, done away with, so that the Tathāgata is no longer subject to future arising. The Tathāgata is liberated from reckoning in terms of material form; having become profound, immeasurable, hard to fathom like the ocean. Thus, the term ‘reappear’ does not apply;  ‘does not reappear’ does not apply…

The Origination of Identity

href="http://journal.phong.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/BUDDHA-VOID.jpg"> class="alignright size-medium wp-image-1791" title="BUDDHA-VOID"
src="http://journal.phong.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/BUDDHA-VOID-247x300.jpg"
alt="" width="247" height="300" />BUDDHA QUOTES //
href="http://www.palicanon.org/en/sutta-pitaka/transcribed-suttas/majjhima-nikaya/115-mn-148-chachakka-sutta-the-six-sets-of-six.html"
target="_blank">Chachakka Sutta, The Six Sets of Six, Pali
Canon “Now, wise ones, this is the way leading to the
origination of identity. (i) One regards the eye thus: ‘This is
mine, this I am, this is my self.’ One regards forms thus…One
regards eye-consciousness thus…One regards eye-contact thus…One
regards feeling thus…One regards craving thus: ‘This is mine, this
I am, this is my self.’ “One regards the ear thus: ‘This is mine,
this I am, this is my self.’…One regards the nose thus: ‘This is
mine, this I am, this is my self.’…One regards the tongue thus:
‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self.’…One regards the body
thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self.’…One regards the
mind thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self.’ One regards
mind-objects thus…One regards mind-consciousness thus…One regards
mind-contact thus…One regards feeling thus…One regards craving
thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self.’ (THE CESSATION OF
IDENTITY) “Now, wise ones, this is the way leading to the cessation
of identity. (i) One regards the eye thus: ‘This is not mine, this
I am not, this is not my self.’ One regards forms thus…One regards
eye-consciousness thus…One regards eye-contact thus…One regards
feeling thus…One regards craving thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am
not, this is not my self.’ “One regards the ear thus: ‘This is not
mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’…One regards the nose
thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’…One
regards the tongue thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is
not my self.’…One regards the body thus: ‘This is not mine, this I
am not, this is not my self.’…One regards the mind thus: ‘This is
not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ One regards
mind-objects thus…One regards mind-consciousness thus…One regards
mind-contact thus…One regards feeling thus…One regards craving
thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my
self.’

Māra the Hawk

THE HAWK //
Satipaṭṭhānasaṃyutta, Saṃyutta Nikāya
BUDDHA QUOTES –

Wise ones, once in the past a hawk suddenly swooped down and seized a quail. Then, while the quail was being carried off by the hawk, he lamented: ‘We were so unlucky, of so little merit! We strayed out of our own resort into the domain of others. If we had stayed in our own resort today, in our own ancestral domain, this hawk wouldn’t have stood a chance against me in a fight.’ — ‘But what is your own resort, quail, what is your own ancestral domain?’ — ‘The freshly ploughed field covered with clods of soil.’ Then the hawk, confident of her own strength, not boasting of her own strength, released the quail saying: ‘Go now, quail, but even there you won’t escape.’ Then the quail went to a freshly ploughed field covered with clods of soil. Having climbed up on a large clod, he stood there and addressed the hawk: ‘Come get me now, hawk! Come get me now!’ Then the hawk, confident of her strength, not boasting of her own strength, folded up both her wings and suddenly swooped down on the quail. But then the quail knew, ‘That hawk has come close,’ he slipped inside that clod, and the hawk shattered her breast right on the spot. So it is too, wise ones, when one strays outside one’s own resort into the domain of others.

Therefore, wise ones, do not stray outside of your own resort into the domain of others. Māra will gain access to those who stray outside their own resort into the domain of others; Māra will get a hold on them. And what is not a wise one’s own resort but the domain of others? It is the five cords of sensual pleasure (kāmguṇa). What five? Forms cognizable by the eye that are desirable, lovely, agreeable, pleasing, sensually enticing, tantalizing. Sounds cognizable by the ear… Odours cognizable by the nose… Tastes cognizable by the tongue… Tactile objects cognizable by the body which are desirable, lovely, agreeable, pleasing, sensually enticing, tantalizing. These are the five cords of sensual pleasure (kāmguṇa). This is what is not a wise one’s own resort but the domain of others. Move in your own resort, wise ones, in your own ancestral domain. Māra will not gain access to those who move in their own resort, in their own ancestral domain; Māra will not get a hold on them.

And what is a wise one’s resort, one’s own ancestral domain? It is the four foundations of mindfulness. What four? Here, one dwells contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. One dwells contemplating feelings in feelings… mind in mind… phenomenon in phenomenon, ardent, clearly comprehending,
mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure with regards to the world. This is a wise one’s resort, one’s own ancestral domain.

Underlying Tendencies of Lust and Aversion

href="http://journal.phong.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/2011.01.01.08.jpg"> class="alignright size-medium wp-image-1774" title="Buddha Foot"
src="http://journal.phong.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/2011.01.01.08-199x300.jpg"
alt="" width="199" height="300" />Chachakka Sutta,
Majjhima Nikāya // Pali Canon
BUDDHA
QUOTES
— Wise ones, dependent on the mind and
forms, mind-consciousness arises; the meeting of the three is
contact; with contact as a condition there arises [a feeling] felt
as pleasant, painful or neutral. When one is touched by a pleasant
feeling, if one delights in it, welcomes it, and remains holding to
it, then the underlying tendency to lust lies within one. When one
is touched by a painful feeling, if one sorrows, grieves and
laments, weeps beating one’s breast and becomes distraught, then
the underlying tendency to aversion lies within one. When one is
touched by a neutral feeling, if one does not understand as it
actually is the origination, the disappearance, the gratification,
the danger, and the escape in regards to feeling, then the
underlying tendency to ignorance lies within one. That one shall
here and now make the end of suffering without abandoning the
underlying tendency to lust for pleasant feeling, without
abolishing the underlying tendency to aversion towards painful
feeling, without extirpating the underlying tendency to ignorance
in regard to neutral feeling, without abandoning ignorance and
arousing true knowledge — this is impossible.

A Shipwreck of Fetters

The Buddha // Maggasaṃyutta, Pali Canon

BUDDHA QUOTE — Suppose there were a seafaring ship bound with rigging that had been worn out in the water for six months. It would be hauled up on the dry land during the cold season, and its rigging would be further attacked by wind and sun. Inundated by rain from a rain cloud, the rigging would easily collapse and rot away. So too, when a wise one developes and cultivates the Noble Eightfold Path, one’s fetters easily collapse and rot away.

And how is this so? Here, a wise one develops right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. It is in this way, that one develops and cultivates the Noble Eightfold Path so that one’s fetters easily collapse and rot away.

Seven Factors of Enlightenment

href="http://journal.phong.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/DHARMA-WHEEL.jpg"> class="wp-image-1741 alignleft" title="DHARMA-WHEEL"
src="http://journal.phong.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/DHARMA-WHEEL.jpg"
alt="" width="55" height="54" />The Buddha //
Bojjhaṅgasaṃyutta, Pali Canon
(Connected Discourses on The Factors of Enlightenment)
Based upon the Himalayas, the kind of the
mountains, the nāgas nurture their bodies and acquire strength.
When they have nurtured their bodies and acquired strength, they
then enter the pools. From the pools they enter the lakes, then the
streams, then the rivers, and finally they enter the ocean. There
they achieve greatness and expansiveness of body. So too, wise
ones, based upon virtue, established upon virtue, a wise one
develops and cultivates the seven factors of enlightenment, and
thereby achieves greatness and expansiveness. And how does a wise
one, based and established upon virtue, develop the seven factors
of enlightenment? Here, based upon seclusion, dispassion, and
cessation, and maturing in release, a wise one develops the
enlightenment factors : 1. mindfulness
(mindfulness of 1. body, 2.
sensations/feelings, 3. mind, 4. mental
phenomenon/thoughts
) 2.
discrimination (between
wholesome/unwholesome states,
blameable/blameless states,
inferior/superior states,
dark/bright states and their counterparts) 3.
energy (the elements of
arousal, endeavor, and
exertion) 4.
rapture
(arises with the arousal of
energy) 5.
tranquility (tranquility of
body, tranquility of
mind) 6.
concentration (the signs of
serenity, and
non-dispersal)
7. equanimity (arises with the
development of concentration)
In this way, a wise one, based upon virtue,
established upon virtue, develops the seven factors of
enlightenment, and thereby achieves greatness and
expansiveness.

Buddha on Feelings (Vedanāsamyutta)

( The Buddha // Vedanāsamyutta, Samyutta Nikāya, Pali Canon )

One who cannot endure
the arisen painful feelings [sensations],
Bodily feelings that sap one’s life,
Who trembled when they touch him,
A weakling of little strength
Who weeps out loud and wails:
This one has not risen up in the bottomless abyss,
Nor has this one even gained a foothold.

But one who is able to endure them –
The arisen painful feelings,
Bodily feelings that sap one’s life –
Who trembles not when they touch:
This one has risen up in the bottomless abyss,
And this one has also gained a foothold.

One who has seen the pleasant as painful
And the painful as a dart,
Seen as impermanent the peaceful feeling
Neither painful nor pleasant:
This is a wise one who sees rightly,
One who fully understands feelings.

Having fully understood feelings,
One is taintless in this very life.
Standing in the Dharma, with the body’s breakup
The knowledge master cannot be reckoned.

The wise one, learned, does not feel
The pleasant and painful mental feelings
[Only the pleasant and painful bodily feelings]
This is the great different between
The wise one and the worldling.

For the learned one who has comprehended Dharma,
Who clearly sees this world and the next,
Desirable things do not provoke one’s mind,
Towards the undesired one has no aversion.

For this one, attraction and repulsion no more exist;
Both have been extinguished, brought to an end.
Having known the dust-free, sorrowless state,
The transcender of existence rightly understands.

Killing Anger

( Sagāthāvagga / Devaputtasamyutta, Pali Canon )

At Sāvatthi, when the night had advanced, the young Deva Māgha, of stunning beauty, illuminating the entire Jeta’s Grove, approached the Buddha. Having approached, he paid homage to the Buddha, stood to one side, and addressed the Buddha in verse :

Deva Māgha :
Having slain what does one sleep soundly?
Having slain what does one not sorrow?
What is the one thing, O Buddha,
Whose killing you approve?

Buddha :
Having slain anger, one sleeps soundly;
Having slain anger, one does not sorrow;
The killing of anger, O Deva,
With it’s poisoned root and honeyed tip:
This is the killing the noble ones praise,
For having slain that, one does not sorrow.