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04/23/17
2207 Monn 24 Apr 2017 LESSONS Milinda Panha
Filed under: Sutta Pitaka, Tipiṭaka, ತಿಪಿಟಕ (ಮೂಲ)
Posted by: @ 8:53 am
2207 Monn 24 Apr 2017 LESSONS


Milinda Panha

The
RSSised Google has totally disabled My gmail account: It appears they
are totally opposed to Buddhism and the Techno-Politico-Social
Transformation and Economic Emancipation Movement. The Google supported
the fraud EVMs which selected the RSS/BJP in 2014 and te trend
continues. When E-filing to the Supreme Court is submitted on the
subject Google must also be included for punishment for their bias. Now I
am unable to create a new account:

Yahoomail and Outlook messages are more relied.

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http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/miln/miln.intro.kell.html



Milindapañha: The Questions of King Milinda


(excerpts)


translated from the Pali by
John Kelly



Alternate translations: Horner | Olendzki


The Milindapañha, the eighteenth book of the Khuddaka Nikaya
(according to the Burmese version of the Pali canon), consists of 7
parts as shown below. The conclusion to the Milindapañha states that it
contains 262 questions, though in the editions available today only 236
can be found. Although not included as a canonical text in the
traditions of all the Theravadin countries, this work is much revered
throughout and is one of the most popular and authoritative works of
Pali Buddhism.

Composed around the beginning of the Common Era, and of unknown
authorship, the Milindapañha is set up as a compilation of questions
posed by King Milinda to a revered senior monk named Nagasena. This
Milinda has been identified with considerable confidence by scholars as
the Greek king Menander of Bactria, in the dominion founded by Alexander
the Great, which corresponds with much of present day Afghanistan.
Menander’s realm thus would have included Gandhara, where Buddhism was
flourishing at that time.

What is most interesting about the Milindapañha is that it is the
product of the encounter of two great civilizations — Hellenistic Greece
and Buddhist India — and is thus of continuing relevance as the wisdom
of the East meets the modern Western world. King Milinda poses questions
about dilemmas raised by Buddhist philosophy that we might ask today.
And Nagasena’s responses are full of wisdom, wit, and helpful analogies.

Contents of the Milindapañha:  

  • I. Background History
  • II. Questions on Distinguishing Characteristics (excerpts)

    Miln II.1.8: Characteristics of Attention and Wisdom {Miln 32-33}  

    The king asked: “Venerable Nagasena, what is the distinguishing
    characteristic of attention, and what is the distinguishing
    characteristic of wisdom?”

    “Examination is the distinguishing characteristic of attention, and severing is the distinguishing characteristic of wisdom.”

    “How is examination the distinguishing characteristic of attention;
    and how is severing the distinguishing characteristic of wisdom? Give me
    an analogy.”

    “Do you know barley-reapers, your majesty?”

    “Yes, venerable sir, I know them.”

    “How, your majesty, do barley-reapers reap barley?”

    “Venerable sir, they take a sheaf of barley in the left hand, and
    take a sickle in the right hand, and they cut with the sickle.”

    Just as, your majesty, a
    barley-reaper takes a sheaf of barley in the left hand, takes a sickle
    in the right hand, and cuts the barley, even so, your majesty, does the
    spiritual aspirant take hold of the mind with attention, and cut off the
    defilements with wisdom. Indeed thus, your majesty, examination is the
    distinguishing characteristic of attention, and severing is the
    distinguishing characteristic of wisdom.”

    “You are clever, venerable Nagasena.”

    Miln II.1.14: Characteristic of Wisdom {Miln 39}  

    The king asked: “Venerable Nagasena, what is the distinguishing characteristic of wisdom?”

    “Previously, your majesty, I said ’severing is the distinguishing
    characteristic of wisdom,’ and now furthermore illuminating is the
    distinguishing characteristic of wisdom.”

    “How, venerable sir, is illuminating the distinguishing characteristic of wisdom?”

    “Wisdom arising, your majesty, dispels the darkness of ignorance,
    produces the illumination of insight, brings forth the light of
    knowledge, and makes manifest the noble truths; and further, the
    spiritual practitioner sees with complete understanding impermanence,
    unsatisfactoriness, and corelessness.”

    “Give me an analogy.”

    Just as, your majesty, a person might
    bring a lamp into a dark house, and with the lamp lit dispel the
    darkness, produce illumination, show the light, and make manifest forms,
    so too, your majesty, wisdom arising dispels the darkness of ignorance,
    produces the illumination of insight, brings forth the light of
    knowledge, and makes manifest the noble truths; and further, the
    spiritual practitioner sees with complete understanding impermanence,
    unsatisfactoriness, and corelessness.”

    “You are clever, venerable Nagasena.”

    Miln II.3.8: Characteristic of Contact {Miln 60}  

    The king asked: “Venerable Nagasena, when mind consciousness arises, do contact and feeling also arise?”

    “Yes, your majesty, when mind consciousness arises, contact arises,
    feeling arises, perception arises, volition arises, applied thought
    arises, and sustained thought arises. And all these mental states arise
    with contact in the lead.”

    “Venerable Nagasena, what is the distinguishing characteristic of contact?”

    “The distinguishing characteristic of contact, your majesty, is touching.”

    “Give me an analogy.”

    Just as if, your majesty, two rams are
    butting each other, one of these rams is to be understood as the eye,
    and the other as a visual object, and the coming together of the two of
    them is contact.”

    “Give me another analogy.”

    Just as if, your majesty, two hands
    are clapping together, one of these hands is to be understood as the
    eye, and the other as a visual object, and the coming together of the
    two of them is contact.”

    “Give me another analogy.”

    Just as if, your majesty, two
    cymbals are striking together, one of these cymbals is to be understood
    as the eye, and the other as a visual object, and the coming together of
    the two of them is contact.”

    “You are clever, venerable Nagasena.”

    Miln II.3.9: Characteristic of Feeling {Miln 60}  

    “Venerable Nagasena, what is the distinguishing characteristic of feeling?”

    “The distinguishing characteristic of feeling, your majesty, is sensing; experiencing is also a distinguishing characteristic.”

    “Give me an analogy.”

    Just as, your majesty, some man might
    render the king a service, and the king, being well pleased, might repay
    the service, such that the man on account of this service is provided
    and endowed with the five cords of sensual pleasure. Then the man might
    think to himself: ‘In the past I rendered a service to the king, and now
    he has repaid me, on account of which I am experiencing feelings of one
    kind and another.’

    “Or just as, your majesty, some man having performed good actions, on
    the dissolution of the body, after death, would reappear in a happy
    destination, in the heavenly world, and there he would be provided and
    endowed with the five cords of sensual pleasure. Then the man might
    think to himself: ‘In the past I performed good actions, and now on
    account of this I am experiencing feelings of one kind and another.’ So
    too, your majesty, the distinguishing characteristics of feeling are
    sensing and experiencing.”

    “You are clever, venerable Nagasena.”

    Miln II.3.10: Characteristic of Perception {Miln 61}  

    “Venerable Nagasena, what is the distinguishing characteristic of perception?”

    “The distinguishing characteristic of perception, your majesty, is
    perceiving. What does one perceive? One perceives blue, yellow, red,
    white, and crimson. Thus, your majesty, the distinguishing
    characteristic of perception is perceiving.”

    “Give me an analogy.”

    Just as, your majesty, the king’s
    store-keeper, having entered the storehouse, might see the goods
    belonging to the king and would perceive blue, yellow, red, white and
    crimson. So too, your majesty, the distinguishing characteristic of
    perception is perceiving.”

    “You are clever, venerable Nagasena.”

    Miln II.3.11: Characteristic of Volition {Miln 61}  

    “Venerable Nagasena, what is the distinguishing characteristic of volition?”

    “The distinguishing characteristic of volition, your majesty, is
    intending; preparation is also a distinguishing characteristic.”

    “Give me an analogy.”

    Just as, your majesty, some man or
    other might prepare a poison and drink it himself, and make others drink
    it, then he and the others would become ill. Even so, your majesty, if
    some man here through volition intended some unwholesome deed, then on
    the dissolution of the body, after death, he would reappear in a state
    of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, in hell. And
    those who follow his example would also on the dissolution of the body,
    after death, reappear in a state of deprivation, in an unhappy
    destination, in perdition, in hell.

    “Also just as, your majesty, some man or other might mix together
    ghee, fresh butter, oil, honey and sugar and drink it himself, and make
    others drink it, then he and the others would be happy. Even so, your
    majesty, if some man here through volition intended some wholesome deed,
    then on the dissolution of the body, after death, he would reappear in a
    happy destination, in the heavenly world. And those who followed his
    example would also on the dissolution of the body, after death, reappear
    in a happy destination, in the heavenly world. So too, your majesty,
    the distinguishing characteristics of volition are intending and
    preparation.”

    “You are clever, venerable Nagasena.”

    Miln II.3.12: Characteristic of Consciousness {Miln 62}  

    The king asked: “Venerable Nagasena, what is the distinguishing characteristic of consciousness?”

    “The distinguishing characteristic of consciousness, your majesty, is cognizing.”

    “Give me an analogy.”

    Just as, your majesty, a
    city-superintendent sitting at the crossroads in the middle of the city
    could see a person coming from the eastern direction, could see a person
    coming from the southern direction, could see a person coming from the
    western direction, and could see a person coming from the northern
    direction, then indeed, your majesty, does a person cognize with
    consciousness a form he sees with the eye, cognize with consciousness a
    sound he hears with the ear, cognize with consciousness a scent he
    smells with the nose, cognize with consciousness a taste he savors with
    the tongue, cognize with consciousness a touch he feels with the body,
    and cognize with consciousness a mental state he cognizes with the mind.
    Indeed thus, your majesty, the distinguishing characteristic of
    consciousness is cognizing.”

    “You are clever, venerable Nagasena.”

    Miln II.3.13: Characteristic of Applied Thought {Miln 62}  

    “Venerable Nagasena, what is the distinguishing characteristic of applied thought?”

    “The distinguishing characteristic of applied thought, your majesty, is fixing one’s mind on an object.”

    “Give me an analogy.”

    Just as, your majesty, a carpenter
    might fix a well-prepared piece of wood into a joint, so too, your
    majesty, the distinguishing characteristic of applied thought is fixing
    one’s mind on an object.”

    “You are clever, venerable Nagasena.”

    Miln II.3.14: Characteristic of Sustained Thought {Miln 62}  

    “Venerable Nagasena, what is the distinguishing characteristic of sustained thought?”

    “The distinguishing characteristic of sustained thought, your majesty, is continual examination.”

    “Give me an analogy.”

    Just as, your majesty, when a gong is
    struck and continues resounding afterwards, indeed so the striking is to
    be understood as applied thought, and the continuance of the resounding
    as sustained thought.”

    “You are clever, venerable Nagasena.”

  • III. Questions for the Cutting Off of Perplexity (excerpts)

  • IV. Questions on Dilemmas
  • V. A Question Solved By Inference
  • VI. The Special Qualities of Asceticism
  • VII. Questions on Talk of Similes

Miln 3

Questions on Distinguishing Characteristics
(excerpt)
translated from the Pali by
John Kelly

Miln III.5.5: Transmigration and Rebirth   {Miln 71}

The king asked: “Venerable Nagasena, is it so that one does not transmigrate[1] and one is reborn?”[2]

“Yes, your majesty, one does not transmigrate and one is reborn.”

“How, venerable Nagasena, is it that one does not transmigrate and one is reborn? Give me an analogy.”

Just as, your majesty, if someone
kindled one lamp from another, is it indeed so, your majesty, that the
lamp would transmigrate from the other lamp?”

“Certainly not, venerable sir.”

“Indeed just so, your majesty, one does not transmigrate and one is reborn.”

“Give me another analogy.”

“Do you remember, your majesty, when you were a boy learning some verse from a teacher?”

“Yes, venerable sir.”

“Your majesty, did this verse transmigrate from the teacher?”

“Certainly not, venerable sir.”

“Indeed just so, your majesty, one does not transmigrate and one is reborn.”

“You are clever, venerable Nagasena.”

Notes

1.
Sa”nkamati: to transmigrate, pass over.
2.
Pa.tisandahati: to be reborn, reincarnate, undergo reunion.

Miln III.5.6: Soul   [1] {Miln 71}

The king asked: “Venerable Nagasena, is a soul to be found?”

The elder replied: “According to ultimate reality, your majesty, a soul is not to be found.”

“You are clever, venerable Nagasena.”

Note

1.
Vedaguu: a “knower,” permanent subject of experience, soul. Vedaguu
is an interesting word, originally a brahmanical term related to
mastery of the Vedas. The Buddha appropriated it to mean “one who has
attained highest knowledge,” i.e., synonymous with “arahant.” However,
as the PED notes: “A peculiar meaning of vedaguu is that of ’soul’ (lit. attainer of wisdom) at Miln 54 & 71.”

Miln III.5.7: Non-Release From Evil Deeds  {Miln 72}

The king asked: “Venerable Nagasena, is there any being which transmigrates from one body to another?”

“Certainly not, your majesty.”

“If, venerable Nagasena, there is no-one who transmigrates from one
body to another, then would not one be released from evil deeds?”

“Yes, your majesty. If one is not reborn, then one would be released
from evil deeds. But indeed because one is reborn, your majesty, then
one is not fully released from evil deeds.”

“Give me an analogy.”

“Just as, your majesty, if some man were to steal the mangos of another, would this be an offense worthy of punishment?”

“Yes, venerable sir, it would be an offense worthy of punishment.”

“But, your majesty, since these mangos that he stole were not the
same mangos that the other had planted, why would it be punishable?”

“Venerable sir, they came into existence by means of those mangos that were planted, therefore it would be punishable.”

“Indeed just so, your majesty, it is by the deeds that one does in
this mind-and-body, lovely or unlovely, that one is reborn in another
mind-and-body, therefore one would not be fully released from evil deeds
.”

“You are clever, venerable Nagasena.”

Miln III.7.5: Simultaneous Arising in Different Places  {Miln 82-83}

The king asked: “Venerable Nagasena, if someone passes away and is
reborn in the Brahma world, and if another passes away and is reborn in
Kashmir, which one takes the longer time, and which the shorter?”

“They are the same, your majesty.”

“Give me an analogy.”

“Your majesty, where is your town of birth?”

“There is a place called Kalasigama, there I was born.”

“How far away, your majesty, is Kalasigama from here?”

“About 200 yojana,[1] venerable sir.”

“How far away, your majesty, is Kashmir from here?”

“About 12 yojana, venerable sir.”

“Go on then, your majesty, think about Kalasigama.”

“I have thought about it, venerable sir.”

“Go on then, your majesty, think about Kashmir.”

“I have thought about it, venerable sir.”

“Which thinking took a long time, your majesty, and which a short time?”

“They were the same, venerable sir.”

“Just so, your majesty, if someone passes away and is reborn in the
Brahma world, and if another passes away and is reborn in Kashmir, they
happen in the same time.”

“Give me another analogy.”

“What do you think, your majesty, if two birds fly in the sky and one
sits in a high tree, and the other in a low tree; if these happen at
the same time, the shadow of which one would settle on the ground first,
and which one later?”

“They are the same, venerable sir.”

“Just so, your majesty, if someone passes away and is reborn in the
Brahma world, and if another passes away and is reborn in Kashmir, they
happen in the same time.”

“You are clever, venerable Nagasena.”

Note

1.
One yojana is approximately 12 kilometers (7 miles).

Miln III.7.8: Doing Evil Knowingly and Unknowingly  {Miln 84}

The king asked: “Venerable Nagasena, for whom is the greater demerit,
one who knowingly does evil, or one who does evil unknowingly?”

The elder replied: “Indeed, your majesty, for him who does evil not knowing is the greater demerit.”

“In that case, venerable Nagasena, would we doubly punish one who is
our prince or king’s chief minister who not knowing does evil?”

“What do you think, your majesty, who would get burned more, one who
knowing picks up a hot iron ball, ablaze and glowing, or one who not
knowing picks it up?”

“Indeed, venerable sir, he who not knowing picks it up would get burned more.”

“Indeed, your majesty, in the same way the greater demerit is for him who does evil not knowing.”

“You are clever, venerable Nagasena.”

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