Teaching Buddha Teaching Buddha

The Way to the Far Shore
Sutta Nipatta Book Five

 [Leigh's commentary in brackets]

Snp 5.1 - Ajita

 [Summary not possible - just read the whole sutta]
 [re cessation of consciousness - see DN 11 & SN 22.53 -- Viññana literally means "divided knowing"]
 [see also SN 12.31]

Snp 5.2 - Tissametteyya

 Q: Who has succeeded on the spiritual path?
 A: Those leading the spiritual life among sensual pleasures, rid of craving, ever mindful
 [see also AN 6.61]

Snp 5.3 - Puṇṇaka

 Q: Why do people perform sacrifices?
 A: Hope of escaping old age and death
 Q: Does it work?
 A: No
 Q: What does work?
 A: Wisdom, Calm, Freedom from greed, hatred & delusion

 [see also AN 3.32 and AN 4.41 ]

Snp 5.4 - Mettagū

 Q: What is the source of dukkha?
 A: Creating an attachment
 Q: How do the wise cross the flood  [of dukkha]
 A: Expel delight and dogmatism; uproot consciousness; forego becoming

 [re cessation of consciousness - see DN 11 & SN 22.53 -- Viññana literally means "divided knowing"]

Snp 5.5 - Dhotaka

 Q: Teach me
 A: Be keen, alert, mindful
 Q: Release me from my doubts
 A: I cannot release anyone from their doubts
 Q: Teach me the principle of seclusion
 A: Everything is a snare, don't crave for becoming this or that

Snp 5.6 - Upasīva

 Q: Tell me an object (of meditation), supported by which I may cross over this flood
 A: Having regard for no-thingness, possessing mindfulness, supported by (the belief) “it does not exist,” then abandon sensual pleasures, abstain from (wrong) conversations, look for the destruction of craving
 Q: Would one who has done this, remain in this state?
 A: Yes
 Q: What can we say about the consciousness of one in that state who then dies?
 A: The question is invalid, nothing can be said.  [see MN 72 - "To Vacchagotta on Fire"]

 [no-thingness = atammayatā (non-concocting; non-fashioning)]
 [no-thingness is not the State of Nothingness (Jhana 7)]
 [from K.R. Norman: The Buddha is referring to the no-thingness of atammayatā (non-concocting; non-fashioning) but Upasiva (in 1072), and Alexander Wynne in "The Origin of Buddhist Meditation" (in his summary of 1071-72), think he is referring to the Realm of Nothingness (the 7th Jhana)]
 [the Niddesa (ancient commentary) makes the same mistake in regarding no-thingness as 7th Jhana)]

Snp 5.7 - Nanda

 Q: Is someone a sage because of their knowledge, or because of their way of life?
 A: Not knowledge, sages live far from crowds, untroubled, with no need for hope
 Q: Do those who live self-controlled crossed over birth & old age?
 A: No, not necessarily
 Q: Then who has crossed over birth & old age?
 A: Those who have fully understood craving, and are free of defilements

Snp 5.8 - Hemaka

 Q: Explain to me the teaching that destroys craving, so that one who lives mindfully may cross over clinging in the world.
 A: The removal of desire and lust for what is seen, heard, thought, or cognized; for anything liked or disliked

Snp 5.9 - Todeyya

 Q: In whom sensual pleasures do not dwell and for whom there is no craving, and who has crossed over doubts -- of what kind is their liberation?
 A: That is their liberation
 Q: Are they free of hope; Do they possess wisdom?
 A: They are free of hope; They possess wisdom

 [when I 1st met Ruth Dennison, she had a bumper sticker on her car that said, "I feel so much better now that I've given up all hope."]

Snp 5.10 - Kappa

 Q: Tell me an island as the terrifying flood arises
 A: Having nothing, taking nothing: this is the matchless island

Snp 5.11 - Jatukaṇṇī

 Q: Tell me the state of peace, so that I may understand the giving up of birth and old age
 A: Dispel sensual desire, see renunciation as sanctuary; don't hanker after the past, future, or present; get rid of greed

Snp 5.12 - Bhadrāvudha

 Q:  [unclear!] Please teach Dhamma
 A: Dispel all craving for attachments

Snp 5.13 - Udaya

 Q: Proclaim the release through understanding, the destruction of ignorance
 A: abandon both desire and depression, dispel sloth, ward off perplexities. investigate mental phenomena, then purify by equanimity and mindfulness
 Q: What is the world’s fetter?
 A: Delight (nandi)
 Q: What is its doubt?
 A: Thinking
 Q: Abandon what to reach Nibbana?
 A: Abandon craving; do not take pleasure in vedana; live mindfully - thus consciousness ceases

 [re cessation of consciousness - see DN 11 & SN 22.53 -- Viññana literally means "divided knowing"]
 [see also AN 3.33]

Snp 5.14 - Posala

 Q: For one who perceives the disappearance of form, entirely given up the body  [entirely considers the body as a trifling thing?], sees no-thing at all, how should one like that be guided?
 A: Knowing the origin of no-thingness and that delight is a fetter, one then sees the matter clearly. That is the knowledge of reality for that one.

 [this is a very cryptic sutta!]
 [again, I don't think Jhana 7 is being referenced here]

Snp 5.15 - Mogharāja

 Q: How should you look upon the world so the King of Death won’t see you?
 A: Look upon the world as empty, ever mindful. Uproot the view of self, then King of Death won’t see you.

 [the Deathless is a synonym for Nibbana]
 [see SN 35.85 ("the world is empty of self and of what belongs to self")]

Snp 5.16 - Piṅgiya

 Q: Teach me the Dhamma so that I may abandon birth and decay.
 A: Be diligent and give up form so there is no further becoming.
 Q: (same as above)
 A: Be diligent and give up craving so there is no further becoming.

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