Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammāsambuddhassa

Introduction to 3.5.7
Rūpādivaggo - The One Thing that Upsets the Mind

Kāmato jāyatī soko, kāmato jāyatī bhayaṃ;
kāmato vippamuttassa, natthi soko kuto bhayaṃ.
Taṇhāya jāyatī soko, taṇhāya jāyatī bhayaṃ;
taṇhāya vippamuttassa, natthi soko kuto bhayaṃ.
1

Grief springs from lust, lust results in fear,
Those who are free from lust, they will be free from grief and thus from fear.
Grief springs from craving, craving results in fear,
Those who are free from craving, they will be free from grief and thus from fear.

While the Methunasuttaṃ, introduced in the next lesson2 elaborates on possible mental engrossments and intricate thought processes that are involved with passion, this present Rūpādivaggo is a simple sutta! It is selected on the one hand because it is fun reading! Reciting the Rūpādivaggo presents excellent, simple practise of being learned by heart at leisure and is further a great training in memorizing.

But on the other hand the Rūpādivaggo proves the solid truth that passion – kāmacchanda - is not only the first of the five nīvaraṇa3 - but also one - if not the deepest – impurity, difficult to master. Today’s world indifferently verifies the strong attraction that any kind of reference to sexuality stirs by misusing it for stimulating advertisements, rousing media and it’s so called sexual freedom, where everything imaginable is within reach of a mouse click. By reading, reciting and learning this sutta a meditator gets reminded of the dangers sensual pleasures implicate. These are highlighted with various similes in the Potaliyasutta4: One of these compares sensual desires with a burning torch made of grass that is about to set the man holding it in flames, another with a pit filled with glowing charcoal: ‘‘Seyyathāpi, gahapati, puriso ādittaṃ5 tiṇukkaṃ ādāya paṭivātaṃ gaccheyya. Taṃ kiṃ maññasi, gahapati, sace so puriso taṃ ādittaṃ tiṇukkaṃ na khippameva paṭinissajjeyya6 tassa sā ādittā tiṇukkā hatthaṃ vā daheyya bāhuṃ vā daheyya aññataraṃ vā aññataraṃ vā aṅgapaccaṅgaṃ daheyya, so tatonidānaṃ7 maraṇaṃ vā nigaccheyya maraṇamattaṃ vā dukkha’’nti? - “Imagine, householder, a man who has taken up a torch made of burning grass and is walking against the wind. Now, what do you think, householder, if that man didn’t immediately let go of that burning grass wouldn’t it burn his hand, burn his arm, burn one or the other of his limbs, and subsequently death or deathly suffering may occur to him because of this?”

‘‘Evaṃ, bhante’’. - “Certainly, Bhante!”

‘‘Evameva kho, gahapati, ariyasāvako iti paṭisañcikkhati – ‘tiṇukkūpamā8 kāmā vuttā bhagavatā bahudukkhā bahupāyāsā, ādīnavo ettha bhiyyo’ti. – ”Householder, in the same way a noble disciple reflects in this way: ‘Sensual pleasures have been compared with a torch made of burning grass by the Bhagava, that prompts much suffering and immense despair, the danger therin is even more.’ - Evametaṃ yathābhūtaṃ sammappaññāya disvā yāyaṃ upekkhā nānattā nānattasitā taṃ abhinivajjetvā9, yāyaṃ upekkhā ekattā ekattasitā10 yattha sabbaso lokāmisūpādānā11 aparisesā nirujjhanti tamevūpekkhaṃ bhāveti.” – Having fathomed this in its real nature with proper wisdom he forestalls the equanimity that is diverse and based on diversity and establishes equanimity based on diversity, depending on diversity and establishes equanimity based in unity, depending on unity where all clinging to the worldly bait utterly ceases without any remainder”

‘‘Seyyathāpi, gahapati, aṅgārakāsu12 sādhikaporisā, pūrā aṅgārānaṃ vītaccikānaṃ vītadhūmānaṃ13. Atha puriso āgaccheyya jīvitukāmo amaritukāmo sukhakāmo dukkhappaṭikkūlo. Tamenaṃ dve balavanto purisā nānābāhāsu14 gahetvā aṅgārakāsuṃ upakaḍḍheyyuṃ15. Taṃ kiṃ maññasi, gahapati, api nu so puriso iticiticeva16 kāyaṃ sannāmeyyā17 ’’ti? - “Imagine, householder, a hole deeper than the height of a man filled with glowing smokeless charcoal. Imagine further a man approaching it who enjoys life, doesn’t desire death but yearns for happiness and loathes misery. Now, there were two strong men taking him by his arms and dragging him towards that pit filled with charcoal. Now what do you think, householder wouldn’t that man bend his body in this or that way?”

‘‘Evaṃ, bhante’’. - “Certainly, Bhante!”

‘‘Taṃ kissa hetu’’? - “And on what grounds?”

‘‘Viditañhi, bhante, tassa purisassa imañcāhaṃ aṅgārakāsuṃ papatissāmi, tatonidānaṃ maraṇaṃ vā nigacchissāmi maraṇamattaṃ vā dukkha’’nti. - “Because that man knows, Bhante: ‘I will fall down in this hole filled with charcoals and I will subsequently undergo death or deathly suffering because of this.” ‘‘Evameva kho, gahapati, ariyasāvako iti paṭisañcikkhati – ‘aṅgārakāsūpamā kāmā vuttā bhagavatā bahudukkhā bahupāyāsā, ādīnavo ettha bhiyyo’ti.” – ”Householder, in the same way a noble disciple reflects in this way: ‘Sensual pleasures have been compared with a hole filled with charcoal by the Bhagava, that prompts much suffering and immense despair, the danger therein is even more’. - Evametaṃ yathābhūtaṃ sammappaññāya disvā yāyaṃ upekkhā nānattā nānattasitā taṃ abhinivajjetvā, yāyaṃ upekkhā ekattā ekattasitā yattha sabbaso lokāmisūpādānā aparisesā nirujjhanti tamevūpekkhaṃ bhāveti. - Having fathomed this in its real nature with proper wisdom he forestalls equanimity based on diversity, depending on diversity and establishes equanimity based in unity, depending on unity where all clinging to the worldly bait utterly ceases without any remainder.”
---
[1] Piyavaggo, Khuddakanikāye, Dhammapadapāḷi

[2] See lesson 3.5.11

[3] Nīvaraṇapabbaṃ - Mahāsatipaṭṭhānasuttaṃ; Dīghanikāyo, Mahāvaggapāḷi - see introduction to lesson 3.5.9.

[4] Kāmādīnavakathā, Potaliyasuttaṃ, Gahapativaggo, Majjhimapaṇṇāsapāḷi - see lesson 3.5.5 where the Buddha explains to the householder Potaliya how a mendicant should perform the holy life correctly.

[5] ādittaṃ- blazing, burning

[6] paṭinissajjeyya (opt.): forsake, renounce

[7] tatonidānaṃ: tato + nidānaṃ: subsequently + cause, source

[8] tiṇukkūpamā: tiṇukkā + upamā: torch made of grass + simile, comparison

[9] abhinivajjetvā (ger.): avoid, getting rid of

[10] upekkhā nānattā nānattasitā ……upekkhā ekattā ekattasitā: The commentary here refers to the Saḷāyatanavibhaṅgasutta which relates the first upekkhā to the organs of sensual contact: ‘‘Katamā ca, bhikkhave, upekkhā nānattā nānattasitā? Atthi, bhikkhave, upekkhā rūpesu, atthi saddesu, atthi gandhesu, atthi rasesu, atthi phoṭṭhabbesu – ayaṃ, bhikkhave, upekkhā nānattā nānattasitā. - What is equanimity that is diverse and based on diversity? This is, Bhikkhus, equanimity referring to material forms, to sounds, to smells, to tastes, to touch – this Bhikkhus is equanimity based on diversity, depending on diversity.”
The the second kind of upekkhā is explained as related to the states beyond the fourth jhāna: Katamā ca, bhikkhave, upekkhā ekattā ekattasitā? Atthi, bhikkhave, upekkhā ākāsānañcāyatananissitā, atthi viññāṇañcāyatananissitā, atthi ākiñcaññāyatananissitā, atthi nevasaññānāsaññāyatananissitā – ayaṃ, bhikkhave, upekkhā ekattā ekattasitā.” – “And, what, Bhikkhus, is equanimity that is of unity, based on unity? This is, Bhikkhus, equanimity resting on the sphere of infinity of space, resting on the sphere of infinity of consciousness, resting on the sphere of nothingness, resting on the sphere of perception or non-perception. This Bhikkhus, is equanimity based in unity, depending on unity.”

[11] lokāmisūpādānā: loka + āmisa +upādānā: world + gain, desire, bait + attachment, clinging

[12] aṅgārakāsu: aṅgāra + kāsu: charcoal + hole, pit

[13] vītaccikānaṃ vītadhūmānaṃ: vīta + acikānaṃ + vīta + dhūmānaṃ: without + flame: glowing + without + smoke

[14] nānābāhāsu: nānā +bāhāsu: many + by the arms

[15] upakaḍḍheyyuṃ: upakaḍḍhati (3. pl. opt.): drag, pull

[16] iticiticeva: iti + ca + iti + ca + eva: here + there + thus

[17] sannāmeyyā: (opt.) bend, contract
---
Pāli lesson (with audio) 3.5.7

Please download the PDF below to read and listen to this Pāli text. In order to be able to play the embedded audio you will need to use Adobe Reader (version 7 or greater).



Linux users: If you are not able to playback the embedded audio in the PDF, you may download the audio .
Last modified: Wednesday, 22 February 2017, 1:39 PM