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04/18/11
231 LESSON 18 04 2011 Cula Malunkyovada Sutta The Shorter Instructions to Malunkya FREE ONLINE eNālandā Research and Practice UNIVERSITY and BUDDHIST GOOD NEWS letter to VOTE for BSP ELEPHANT for Social Transformation and Economic Emancipation to attain Ultimate Bliss-Through http://sarvajan.ambedkar.org
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231
LESSON 18 04 2011
Cula Malunkyovada Sutta The Shorter
Instructions to Malunkya
FREE ONLINE eNālandā Research and
Practice UNIVERSITY and BUDDHIST GOOD NEWS letter
  to VOTE for BSP ELEPHANT for Social
Transformation and Economic Emancipation to attain Ultimate Bliss-Through
http://sarvajan.ambedkar.org

THE BUDDHIST

ONLINE
GOOD NEWS LETTER

LESSON
231

COURSE
PROGRAM

 

Cula-Malunkyovada Sutta: The Shorter
Instructions to Malunkya

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying
near Savatthi at Jeta’s Grove, Anathapindika’s
monastery. Then, as Ven. Malunkyaputta was alone in seclusion, this train of
thought arose in his awareness: “These positions that
are undeclared, set aside, discarded by the Blessed One — ‘The cosmos is
eternal,’ ‘The cosmos is not eternal,’ ‘The cosmos is finite,’ ‘The cosmos is
infinite,’ ‘The soul & the body are the same,’ ‘The soul is one thing and
the body another,’ ‘After death a Tathagata exists,’ ‘After death a Tathagata
does not exist,’ ‘After death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist,’
‘After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist’ — I don’t approve,
I don’t accept that the Blessed One has not declared them to me. I’ll go ask
the Blessed One about this matter. If he declares to me that ‘The cosmos is
eternal,’ that ‘The cosmos is not eternal,’ that ‘The cosmos is finite,’ that
‘The cosmos is infinite,’ that ‘The soul & the body are the same,’ that
‘The soul is one thing and the body another,’ that ‘After death a Tathagata
exists,’ that ‘After death a Tathagata does not exist,’ that ‘After death a Tathagata
both exists & does not exist,’ or that ‘After death a Tathagata neither
exists nor does not exist,’ then I will live the holy life under him. If he
does not declare to me that ‘The cosmos is eternal,’… or that ‘After death a
Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist,’ then I will renounce the training
and return to the lower life.”

Then, when it was evening, Ven. Malunkyaputta arose from
seclusion and went to the Blessed One. On arrival, having bowed down, he sat to
one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, “Lord, just
now, as I was alone in seclusion, this train of thought arose in my awareness:
‘These positions that are undeclared, set aside, discarded by the Blessed
One… I don’t approve, I don’t accept that the Blessed One has not declared
them to me. I’ll go ask the Blessed One about this matter. If he declares to me
that “The cosmos is eternal,”… or that “After death a
Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist,” then I will live the holy
life under him. If he does not declare to me that “The cosmos is
eternal,”… or that “After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does
not exist,” then I will renounce the training and return to the lower
life.’

“Lord, if the Blessed One knows that ‘The cosmos is
eternal,’ then may he declare to me that ‘The cosmos is eternal.’ If he knows
that ‘The cosmos is not eternal,’ then may he declare to me that ‘The cosmos is
not eternal.’ But if he doesn’t know or see whether the cosmos is eternal or
not eternal, then, in one who is unknowing & unseeing, the straightforward
thing is to admit, ‘I don’t know. I don’t see.’… If he doesn’t know or see
whether after death a Tathagata exists… does not exist… both exists &
does not exist… neither exists nor does not exist,’ then, in one who is unknowing
& unseeing, the straightforward thing is to admit, ‘I don’t know. I don’t
see.’”

“Malunkyaputta, did I ever say to you, ‘Come,
Malunkyaputta, live the holy life under me, and I will declare to you that ‘The
cosmos is eternal,’ or ‘The cosmos is not eternal,’ or ‘The cosmos is finite,’
or ‘The cosmos is infinite,’ or ‘The soul & the body are the same,’ or ‘The
soul is one thing and the body another,’ or ‘After death a Tathagata exists,’
or ‘After death a Tathagata does not exist,’ or ‘After death a Tathagata both
exists & does not exist,’ or ‘After death a Tathagata neither exists nor
does not exist’?”

“No, lord.”

“And did you ever say to me, ‘Lord, I will live the holy
life under the Blessed One and [in return] he will declare to me that ‘The
cosmos is eternal,’ or ‘The cosmos is not eternal,’ or ‘The cosmos is finite,’
or ‘The cosmos is infinite,’ or ‘The soul & the body are the same,’ or ‘The
soul is one thing and the body another,’ or ‘After death a Tathagata exists,’
or ‘After death a Tathagata does not exist,’ or ‘After death a Tathagata both
exists & does not exist,’ or ‘After death a Tathagata neither exists nor
does not exist’?”

“No, lord.”

“Then that being the case, foolish man, who are you to be
claiming grievances/making demands of anyone?

“Malunkyaputta, if anyone were to say, ‘I won’t live the
holy life under the Blessed One as long as he does not declare to me that
“The cosmos is eternal,”… or that “After death a Tathagata
neither exists nor does not exist,”‘ the man would die and those things
would still remain undeclared by the Tathagata.

“It’s just as if a man were wounded with
an arrow thickly smeared with poison. His friends & companions, kinsmen
& relatives would provide him with a surgeon, and the man would say, ‘I
won’t have this arrow removed until I know whether the man who wounded me was a
noble warrior, a priest, a merchant, or a worker.’ He would say, ‘I won’t have
this arrow removed until I know the given name & clan name of the man who
wounded me… until I know whether he was tall, medium, or short… until I
know whether he was dark, ruddy-brown, or golden-colored… until I know his
home village, town, or city… until I know whether the bow with which I was
wounded was a long bow or a crossbow… until I know whether the bowstring with
which I was wounded was fiber, bamboo threads, sinew, hemp, or bark… until I
know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was wild or cultivated… until
I know whether the feathers of the shaft with which I was wounded were those of
a vulture, a stork, a hawk, a peacock, or another bird… until I know whether
the shaft with which I was wounded was bound with the sinew of an ox, a water
buffalo, a langur, or a monkey.’ He would say, ‘I won’t have this arrow removed
until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was that of a common
arrow, a curved arrow, a barbed, a calf-toothed, or an oleander arrow.’ The man
would die and those things would still remain unknown to him.

“In the same way, if anyone were to say, ‘I won’t live the
holy life under the Blessed One as long as he does not declare to me that ‘The
cosmos is eternal,’… or that ‘After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does
not exist,’ the man would die and those things would still remain undeclared by
the Tathagata.

“Malunkyaputta, it’s not the case that when there is the
view, ‘The cosmos is eternal,’ there is the living of the holy life. And it’s
not the case that when there is the view, ‘The cosmos is not eternal,’ there is
the living of the holy life. When there is the view, ‘The cosmos is eternal,’
and when there is the view, ‘The cosmos is not eternal,’ there is still the
birth, there is the aging, there is the death, there is the sorrow,
lamentation, pain, despair, & distress whose destruction I make known right
in the here & now.

“It’s not the case that when there is the view, ‘The cosmos
is finite,’ there is the living of the holy life. And it’s not the case that
when there is the view, ‘The cosmos is infinite,’ there is the living of the
holy life. When there is the view, ‘The cosmos is finite,’ and when there is
the view, ‘The cosmos is infinite,’ there is still the birth, there is the
aging, there is the death, there is the sorrow, lamentation, pain, despair,
& distress whose destruction I make known right in the here & now.

“It’s not the case that when there is the view, ‘The soul
& the body are the same,’ there is the living of the holy life. And it’s
not the case that when there is the view, ‘The soul is one thing and the body
another,’ there is the living of the holy life. When there is the view, ‘The
soul & the body are the same,’ and when there is the view, ‘The soul is one
thing and the body another,’ there is still the birth, there is the aging,
there is the death, there is the sorrow, lamentation, pain, despair, &
distress whose destruction I make known right in the here & now.

“It’s not the case that when there is the view, ‘After
death a Tathagata exists,’ there is the living of the holy life. And it’s not
the case that when there is the view, ‘After death a Tathagata does not exist,’
there is the living of the holy life. And it’s not the case that when there is
the view, ‘After death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist,’ there is
the living of the holy life. And it’s not the case that when there is the view,
‘After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist’ there is the living
of the holy life. When there is the view, ‘After death a Tathagata exists’…
‘After death a Tathagata does not exist’… ‘After death a Tathagata both
exists & does not exist’… ‘After death a Tathagata neither exists nor
does not exist,’ there is still the birth, there is the aging, there is the
death, there is the sorrow, lamentation, pain, despair, & distress whose
destruction I make known right in the here & now.

“So, Malunkyaputta, remember what is undeclared by me as
undeclared, and what is declared by me as declared. And what is undeclared by
me? ‘The cosmos is eternal,’ is undeclared by me. ‘The cosmos is not eternal,’
is undeclared by me. ‘The cosmos is finite’… ‘The cosmos is infinite’… ‘The
soul & the body are the same’… ‘The soul is one thing and the body
another’… ‘After death a Tathagata exists’… ‘After death a Tathagata does
not exist’… ‘After death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist’…
‘After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist,’ is undeclared by
me.

“And why are they undeclared by me? Because they are not
connected with the goal, are not fundamental to the holy life. They do not lead
to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calming, direct knowledge,
self-awakening, Unbinding. That’s why they are undeclared by me.

“And what is declared by me? ‘This is stress,’ is declared
by me. ‘This is the origination of stress,’ is declared by me. ‘This is the
cessation of stress,’ is declared by me. ‘This is the path of practice leading
to the cessation of stress,’ is declared by me. And why are they declared by
me? Because they are connected with the goal, are fundamental to the holy life.
They lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calming, direct knowledge,
self-awakening, Unbinding. That’s why they are declared by me.

“So, Malunkyaputta, remember what is undeclared by me as
undeclared, and what is declared by me as declared.”

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, Ven. Malunkyaputta
delighted in the Blessed One’s words.



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