Saturday, September 10, 2016

Worldly or Noble Happiness (sutra)

John D. Ireland (Sn 3.12), Ven. Nyanaponika (trans.) (SN 36.2); Eds. Wisdom Quarterly
"There are, O meditators, these three feelings: pleasant feelings, painful feelings, and (neutral) neither-painful-nor-pleasant feelings."

"Be it a pleasant feeling, be it a painful feeling, be it neutral, one's own or others', feelings of all kinds (see SN 36.22) -- one knows them all as ill (disappointing, unsatisfactory, woeful), deceitful (not as they seem), evanescent (transient, in flux, radically impermanent). 

Doi Inthanon, Thailand (Binbagger/flickr)
"Seeing how they impinge again, again, and disappear, one wins release* (detachment, letting go, being unbound) from the feelings and is passion-free [as a result of enlightenment, i.e., seeing things as they really are).
  • *Phussa phussa vayam disva: The Commentary explains differently, paraphrasing these words by ├▒anena phusitva phusitva, "repeatedly experiencing (them) by way of the knowledge (of rise and fall)." These verses occur also in the Sutta Nipata, Verse 739, with an additional line.
The Noble Ones' Happiness
John D. Ireland (trans.), Dvayatanupassana Sutra (Sn 3.12 excerpt) see also Olendzki (excerpt) edited by Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson, Crystal Quintero, Wisdom Quarterly

..."See how the world together with the devas ["shining ones," angelic beings, radiant beings on earth and in space] has self-conceit for what is not-self.

"Enclosed by mind-and-body it imagines, 'This is real.' Whatever they imagine it to be, it is quite different from that.

"It is unreal, of a false nature and perishable. Nirvana, not false in nature, that the noble ones (the ariya are those at any of the stages of enlightenment, from stream entry to full awakening) know as true. Indeed, by the penetration of the true, they are completely stilled and realize final deliverance.
Gold-clad Buddha on a lotus pedestal
"Forms, sounds, tastes, scents, bodily contacts, and ideas [mind objects] which are agreeable, pleasant, and charming, all of these, while they last, are deemed to be happiness by the world with its devas.

"But when they cease, that is agreed by all to be unsatisfactory [disappointing, woeful]. By the noble ones, the cessation of the [transient, incessantly arising and falling away] body (sakkaya, a term for the Five Aggregates as objects of grasping) is seen as happiness. This is the reverse of the outlook of the whole world.

Give up lesser for greater happiness.
"What others call happiness, that the noble ones declare to be unsatisfactory (disappointing, dukkha). What others call unsatisfactory [boring, pointless, dull, perplexing], that the noble ones have found to be happiness.

"See how difficult it is to understand the Dharma! Herein [within this teaching, the doctrine, this Dharma] those without insight have completely gone astray. For those under the veil (of ignorance) it is obscured; for those who cannot see, it is utter darkness.

"But for the good and the wise, it is as obvious as the light for those capable of seeing. Even though close to it, the witless who do not know the Dharma and do not comprehend it.
"By those overcome by attachment to [the Five Aggregates of Clinging], those who drift with the stream of being, those in the realm of Mara [lust, craving, clinging, cupidity], this Dharma is improperly understood.

"Who other than the noble ones are fit to fully understand that state, by perfect knowledge of which they realize final deliverance, free from defilements?"...
  • Anusava: the defilements or asava, literally "out-flows," are dissipations of energy in the form of sensual desire, becoming (clinging to the Five Aggregates), views, and ignorance and are the same as the four "floods" (ogha). One who has destroyed the defilements (khinasava) is another name for a noble one, an enlightened person, an arahat or perfected person.

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