Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mahasatipatthana Sutta (6)

IV. Dhammanupassana (Contemplation on Dhammas)

v. Sacca Pabba (Section on Noble Truths)

And again, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu dwells perceiving again and again the Four Noble Truths as just the Four Noble Truths (not mine, not I, not self, but just as phenomena). And how, bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu dwell perceiving again and again the Four Noble Truths as just the Four Noble Truths? Here, (in this teaching), bhikkhus, a bhikkhu knows as it really is, "This is dukkha"; he knows as it really is, "This is the cause of dukkha"; he knows as it really is, "This is the cessation of dukkha"; he knows as it really is, "This is the path leading to the cessation of dukkha.''

a. Dukkhasacca Pabba (Section on the Noble Truth of Dukkha)

And what, bhikkhus, is the Noble Truth of dukkha? Birth note93 is dukkha, ageing is also dukkha, death is also dukkha; sorrow, lamentation, physical pain, mental pain and anguish are also dukkha; to have to associate with those (persons or things) one dislikes is also dukkha; to be separated from those one loves or likes is also dukkha; wishing for what one cannot get is also dukkha; in short, the five aggregates of clinging are dukkha.note94

And what, bhikkhus, is birth (jati)? The birth, the being born, the origination, the conception, the springing into existence, the manifestation of the aggregates, and the acquisition of the sense-bases of beings in this or that class of beings - this, bhikkhus, is called birth.

And what, bhikkhus, is ageing (jara)? It is the ageing, the getting frail, the loss of teeth, the greying of hair, the wrinkling of skin; the failing of the vital force, the wearing out of the sense faculties of beings in this or that class of beings - this, bhikkhus, is called ageing.

And what, bhikkhus, is death (marana)? The departing and vanishing, the destruction, the disappearance, the death, the completion of the life span, the dissolution of the aggregates (khandha), the discarding of the body, and the destruction of the physical life-force of beings in this or that class of beings - this, bhikkhus, is called death.

And what, bhikkhus, is sorrow (soka)?note95 The sorrow, the act of sorrowing, the sorrowful state of mind, the inward sorrow and the inward overpowering sorrow that arise because of this or that loss (of relatives, or possessions) or this or that painful state that one experiences - this, bhikkhus, is called sorrow.

And what, bhikkhus is lamentation (parideva)? The crying and lamenting, the act of crying and lamenting, and the state of crying and lamentation that arises because of this or that loss (of relatives, or possessions) or this or that painful state that one experiences - this bhikkhus, is called lamentation.

And what, bhikkhus, is physical pain (dukkha)? The bodily pain and bodily unpleasantness, the painful and unpleasant feeling produced by bodily contact - this, bhikkhus, is called physical pain.

And what, bhikkhus, is mental pain (domanassa)? The pain in the mind and the unpleasantness in the mind, the painful and unpleasant feeling produced by mental contact - this, bhikkhus, is called mental pain.

And what, bhikkhus, is anguish (upayasa)? The distress and anguish and the state of distress and anguish that arises because of this or that loss (of relatives, or possessions) or this or that painful state that one experiences - this, bhikkhus, is called anguish.

And what, bhikkhus, is the dukkha of having to associate with those (persons or things) one dislikes (appiyehi sampayogo dukkho)?

Having to meet, remain with, be in close contact, or intermingle, with sights, sounds, odours, tastes, tactile objects, and dhammas in this world which are undesirable, unpleasant or unenjoyable, or with those who desire one's disadvantage, loss, discomfort, or association with danger - this, bhikkhus, is called the dukkha of having to associate with those (persons or things) one dislikes.

And, bhikkhus, what is the dukkha of being separated from those one loves or likes (piyehi vippayogo dukkho)? Not being able to meet, remain with, be in close contact, or intermingle, with sights, sounds, odours, tastes, tactile objects, and dhammas in this world which are desirable, pleasant or enjoyable, or with mother or father or brothers or sisters or friends or companions or maternal and paternal relatives who desire one's advantage, benefit, comfort or freedom from danger - this, bhikkhus, is called the dukkha of being separated from those one loves or likes.

And what, bhikkhus, is the dukkha of wishing for what one cannot get? Bhikkhus, in beings subject to birth and rebirth the wish arises: "Oh that we were not subject to birth and rebirth! Oh that birth and rebirth would not happen to us!" But this cannot happen by merely wishing. This is the dukkha of wishing for what one cannot get. Bhikkhus, in beings subject to ageing the wish arises: "Oh that we were not subject to ageing! Oh that ageing would not happen to us! " But this cannot happen merely by wishing. This also is the dukkha of wishing for what one cannot get. Bhikkhus, in beings subject to illness the wish arises: "Oh that we were not subject to illness! Oh that illness would not happen to us!" But this cannot happen merely by wishing. This also is the dukkha of wishing for what one cannot get. Bhikkhus, in beings subject to death the wish arises: "Oh that we were not subject to death! Oh that death would not happen to us!", But this cannot happen merely by wishing. This also is the dukkha of wishing for what one cannot get. Bhikkhus, in beings subject to sorrow, lamentation, physical pain, mental pain and anguish the wish arises: "Oh that we were not subject to sorrow, lamentation, physical pain, mental pain and anguish! Oh that sorrow, lamentation, physical pain, mental pain, and anguish would not happen to us!" But this cannot happen merely by wishing. This also is the dukkha of wishing for what one cannot get.note96

And what, bhikkhus, is (meant by) "In short, the five aggregates of clinging are dukkha"? They are the aggregate of corporeality, the aggregate of feeling, the aggregate of perception, the aggregate of mental formations, and the aggregate of consciousness. These, bhikkhus, are what is meant by "In short, the five aggregates of clinging are dukkha.''

Bhikkhus, this is called the Noble Truth of dukkha.

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Notes

93. Birth (jati) refers to both birth and repeated rebirth.

94. Here dukkha does not just refer to painful feelings but has a wide range of meaning. Birth, ageing and death are dukkha because they are painful. Pleasant feelings are dukkha because they are subject to change. The rest of the five aggregates of clinging are dukkha because they are oppressed by ceaseless arising and dissolution.

95. Sorrow, lamentation and anguish are different intensities of mental pain that arise due to loss or painful states such as loss of a good reputation, the passing away of relatives or the loss of possessions through fire, flood, or theft. Sorrow is the weakest and is felt internally with little outward expression. Lamentation is more intense and results in outbursts of wailing and crying. Anguish is the most intense and although one cries and wails there is still deep inexpressible pain that makes one look exhausted and hopeless.

96. These things cannot be gained by wishing or prayer. They can only be gained by attaining the Noble Paths.

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