Monday, January 1, 2018

The Fire Sermon (sutra)

Ven. √Ďanamoli (trans.) Adittapariyaya Sutra (SN 35.28), Amber Larson, Dhr. Seven, CC Liu (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly; G. P. Malalasekera (Dictionary of Pali Proper Names)

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The way to liberation is sacred fire worship.
Thus have I heard. On one occasion the [Buddha] Blessed One was living in Gaya, at Gaya Head, together with 1,000 ascetics. There he addressed them.
 
"Meditators, ALL is burning! And what is the 'all' that is burning?
 
"The eye is burning, forms are burning, eye-consciousness is burning, eye-contact is burning, and whatever is felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with eye-contact for its indispensable condition, that too is burning.

"Burning with what? Burning with the fire of lust (craving), with the fire of hatred (aversion/fear), with the fire of delusion (wrong view). I say it is burning with birth, aging and death, with sorrow, with lamentation, with pain, with grief, with despair.
  • "The ear is burning, sounds are burning...
  • "The nose is burning, fragrances are burning...
  • "The tongue is burning, flavors are burning...
  • "The body is burning, tangibles are burning...
I used to worship fire.
"The mind is burning, mind-objects are burning, mind-consciousness is burning, mind-contact is burning, and whatever is felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with mind-contact for its indispensable condition, that too is burning.

"Burning with what? Burning with the fire of lust, with the fire of hatred, with the fire of delusion. I say it is burning with birth, aging and death, with sorrow, with lamentation, with pain, with grief, with despair.
 
"Meditators, when a noble follower who has heard (the truth) sees thus, that person finds estrangement in the eye, finds estrangement in visible forms, finds estrangement in eye-consciousness, finds estrangement in eye-contact, and whatever is felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful- nor-pleasant that arises with eye-contact for its indispensable condition, in that too one finds estrangement.
  • "One finds estrangement in the ear... in sounds...
  • "One finds estrangement in the nose... in fragrances...
  • "One finds estrangement in the tongue... in flavors...
  • "One finds estrangement in the body... in tangibles...
The devas remained distracted.
"One finds estrangement in the mind, finds estrangement in mind-objects, finds estrangement in mind-consciousness, finds estrangement in mind-contact, and whatever is felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with mind-contact for its indispensable condition, in that too one finds estrangement.

"When one finds estrangement, passion fades out. With the fading of passion, one is liberated. When liberated, there arises knowledge that one is liberated. One understands: 'Birth is exhausted, the pure life has been lived out, what can be done has been done, of this there is no more beyond [to come].'"
 
That is what the Blessed One said. The ascetics were glad, and they approved of his words.
 
Now during the Blessed One's utterance, the hearts of those 1,000 meditators were liberated from taints through letting go (clinging no more).

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