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08/19/11
351 LESSON 20 08 2011 Aggi Vacchagotta Sutta To Vacchagotta on Fire FREE ONLINE eNālandā Research and Practice UNIVERSITY and BUDDHIST GOOD NEWS letter to VOTE for BSP ELEPHANT to attain Ultimate Bliss-Through http://sarvajan.ambedkar.org- Free Buddhist Studies for the students- SELECTED BUDDHA’S TEACHINGS -TEXTS FROM THE BOOK OF PROTECTION- Hon’ble Chief Minister ji to tour entire state again by September end- Hon’ble Chief Minister ji directs officers to take immediate action on feedback received from in-charge officers of three zones, directs to solve problems cited by them- Pre-10th scholarship of old students of SC/ST should be transferred in their accounts by 31 August and that of new students should be transferred by 30 October — Hon’ble Chief Minister ji
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351 LESSON 20 08 2011 Aggi
Vacchagotta Sutta To Vacchagotta on Fire
FREE ONLINE eNālandā Research and Practice
UNIVERSITY and BUDDHIST GOOD NEWS letter to VOTE for BSP ELEPHANT to attain
Ultimate Bliss-Through
http://sarvajan.ambedkar.org-
Free Buddhist
Studies for the students-
SELECTED BUDDHA’S
TEACHINGS -TEXTS FROM THE BOOK OF PROTECTION-
Hon’ble Chief Minister ji to tour entire state
again by September end- Hon’ble Chief Minister ji directs officers to take immediate
action on feedback received from in-charge officers of three zones, directs to
solve problems cited by them- Pre-10th scholarship of old students of SC/ST
should be transferred in their accounts by 31 August and that of new students
should be transferred by 30 October
— Hon’ble Chief Minister ji


revolving globeDove-02-june.gif (38556 bytes)THE BUDDHIST ONLINE GOOD NEWS LETTER COURSE PROGRAM LESSON 348 PRACTICE A SUTTA A DAY KEEPS DUKKHA AWAY

thre









MN 72

PTS: M i 483

Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta:
To Vacchagotta on Fire

translated from the Pali
by

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

© 1997–2011

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying in
Savatthi, at Jeta’s Grove, Anathapindika’s
monastery
. Then the wanderer Vacchagotta went to
the Blessed One and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After
an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he
was sitting there he asked the Blessed One: “How is it, Master Gotama,
does Master Gotama hold the view: ‘The cosmos is eternal: only this is true,
anything otherwise is worthless’?”

“…no…”

“Then does Master Gotama hold the view: ‘The cosmos is not
eternal: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless’?”

“…no…”

“Then does Master Gotama hold the view: ‘The cosmos is
finite: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless’?”

“…no…”

“Then does Master Gotama hold the view: ‘The cosmos is
infinite: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless’?”

“…no…”

“Then does Master Gotama hold the view: ‘The soul & the
body are the same: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless’?”

“…no…”

“Then does Master Gotama hold the view: ‘The soul is one
thing and the body another: only this is true, anything otherwise is
worthless’?”

“…no…”

“Then does Master Gotama hold the view: ‘After death a
Tathagata exists: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless’?”

“…no…”

“Then does Master Gotama hold the view: ‘After death a
Tathagata does not exist: only this is true, anything otherwise is
worthless’?”

“…no…”

“Then does Master Gotama hold the view: ‘After death a
Tathagata both exists & does not exist: only this is true, anything
otherwise is worthless’?”

“…no…”

“Then does Master Gotama hold the view: ‘After death a Tathagata
neither exists nor does not exist: only this is true, anything otherwise is
worthless’?”

“…no…”

“How is it, Master Gotama, when Master Gotama is asked if
he holds the view ‘the cosmos is eternal…’… ‘after death a Tathagata
neither exists nor does not exist: only this is true, anything otherwise is
worthless,’ he says ‘…no…’ in each case. Seeing what drawback, then, is
Master Gotama thus entirely dissociated from each of these ten positions?”

Vaccha, the position that ‘the cosmos
is eternal’ is a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of
views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. It is accompanied by suffering,
distress, despair, & fever, and it does not lead to disenchantment,
dispassion, cessation; to calm, direct knowledge, full Awakening, Unbinding.

“The position that ‘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’… does not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation; to calm,
direct knowledge, full Awakening, Unbinding.”

“Does Master Gotama have any position at all?”

“A ‘position,’ Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has
done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: ‘Such is form, such its origin,
such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origin, such its
disappearance; such is perception… such are mental fabrications… such is
consciousness, such its origin, such its disappearance.’ Because of this, I
say, a Tathagata — with the ending, fading out, cessation, renunciation, &
relinquishment of all construings, all excogitations, all I-making &
mine-making & obsession with conceit — is, through lack of
clinging/sustenance, released.”

“But, Master Gotama, the monk whose mind is thus released:
Where does he reappear?”

“‘Reappear,’ Vaccha, doesn’t apply.”

“In that case, Master Gotama, he does not reappear.”

“‘Does not reappear,’ Vaccha, doesn’t apply.”

“…both does & does not reappear.”

“…doesn’t apply.”

“…neither does nor does not reappear.”

“…doesn’t apply.”

“How is it, Master Gotama, when Master Gotama is asked if
the monk reappears… does not reappear… both does & does not reappear…
neither does nor does not reappear, he says, ‘…doesn’t apply’ in each case.
At this point, Master Gotama, I am befuddled; at this point, confused. The
modicum of clarity coming to me from your earlier conversation is now
obscured.”

“Of course you’re befuddled, Vaccha. Of course you’re
confused. Deep, Vaccha, is this phenomenon, hard to see, hard to realize, tranquil,
refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise.
For those with other views, other practices, other satisfactions, other aims,
other teachers, it is difficult to know. That being the case, I will now put
some questions to you. Answer as you see fit. What do you
think, Vaccha: If a fire were burning in front of you, would you know that,
‘This fire is burning in front of me’?”

“…yes…”

“And suppose someone were to ask you, Vaccha, ‘This fire
burning in front of you, dependent on what is it burning?’ Thus asked, how
would you reply?”

“…I would reply, ‘This fire burning in front of me is
burning dependent on grass & timber as its sustenance.’”

“If the fire burning in front of you were to go out, would
you know that, ‘This fire burning in front of me has gone out’?”

“…yes…”

“And suppose someone were to ask you, ‘This fire that has
gone out in front of you, in which direction from here has it gone? East? West?
North? Or south?’ Thus asked, how would you reply?”

“That doesn’t apply, Master Gotama. Any fire burning
dependent on a sustenance of grass and timber, being unnourished — from having
consumed that sustenance and not being offered any other — is classified simply
as ‘out’ (unbound).”

“Even so, Vaccha, any physical form by which one describing
the Tathagata would describe him: That the Tathagata has abandoned, its root
destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of
development, not destined for future arising. Freed from the classification of
form, Vaccha, the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the sea.
‘Reappears’ doesn’t apply. ‘Does not reappear’ doesn’t apply. ‘Both does &
does not reappear’ doesn’t apply. ‘Neither reappears nor does not reappear’
doesn’t apply.

“Any feeling… Any perception… Any mental fabrication…

“Any consciousness by which one describing the Tathagata
would describe him: That the Tathagata has abandoned, its root destroyed, made
like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined
for future arising. Freed from the classification of consciousness, Vaccha, the
Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the sea. ‘Reappears’ doesn’t
apply. ‘Does not reappear’ doesn’t apply. ‘Both does & does not reappear’
doesn’t apply. ‘Neither reappears nor does not reappear’ doesn’t apply.”

When this was said, the wanderer Vacchagotta said to the Blessed
One: “Master Gotama, it is as if there were a great sala tree not far from
a village or town: From inconstancy, its branches and leaves would wear away,
its bark would wear away, its sapwood would wear away, so that on a later
occasion — divested of branches, leaves, bark, & sapwood — it would stand
as pure heartwood. In the same way, Master Gotama’s words are divested of branches,
leaves, bark, & sapwood and stand as pure heartwood.

“Magnificent,
Master Gotama! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was
overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to show the way to one who was lost, or
were to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in
the same way has Master Gotama — through many lines of reasoning — made the
Dhamma clear. I go to Master Gotama for refuge, to the Dhamma, and to the
Sangha of monks. May Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone
to him for refuge, from this day forward, for life.”

SELECTED BUDDHA’S TEACHINGS -TEXTS FROM
THE BOOK OF PROTECTION

Translated from the original
Pali texts

by Piyadassi Thera

86

Namo Tassa
Bhagavato Arahato Samma Sambuddhassa

Homage to the Blessed One,
the Consummate One,

the Supremely Enlightened One

I

Going for Refuge

(Sarana-gamana [1])

Buddham saranam
gacchami

Dhammam saranam
gacchami

Sangham saranam
gacchami

Dutiyampi Buddham
saranam gacchami

Dutiyampi Dhammam
saranam gacchami

Dutiyampi Sangham
saranam gacchami

Tatiyampi Buddham
saranam gacchami

Tatiyampi Dhammam
saranam gacchami

Tatiyampi Sangham
saranam gacchami

I go for refuge to the Buddha
(Teacher)

I go for refuge to the Dhamma
(the Teaching)

I go for refuge to the Sangha
(the Taught)

For the second time I go for
refuge to the Buddha

For the second time I go for
refuge to the Dhamma

For the second time I go for
refuge to the Sangha

For the third time I go for
refuge to the Buddha

For the third time I go for
refuge to the Dhamma

For the third time I go for
refuge to the Sangha

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