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Attadipa sutta: Self Illuminated

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Saɱyutta Nikāya:
III. Khandhā Vagga:
22: Khandhāsaɱyutta
1. Mūlapaññāsa
V. Attadīpa-vagga
Sutta 43
Attadipa[1]
"Do ye abide, brethren,
islands unto yourselves, refuges unto yourselves:
taking refuge in none other;
islanded by the Norm, taking refuge in the Norm,
seeking refuge in none other."

— PTS: Kindred Sayings on Elements, V:43:
On Being an Island to Self, F.L. Woodward translation.



Evam Me Sutam

I HEAR TELL:

Ekam Samayam

Once upon a time, the Lucky Man, Savatthi Town, Anathapindika Park, came-a ReVisiting.

There he said:

Self-illuminated[2], beggars,
live self-protected,
by not else protected;
Dhamma-illuminated,
Dhamma-protected,
by not else protected.

Self-illuminated, beggars,
living self-protected,
by not else protected;
Dhamma-illuminated,
Dhamma-protected,
by not else protected
studiously examine things
to their point of origin (womb)[3]
this way:

"What is the birth,
what is the beginning
of grief and lamentation,
pain and misery,
and despair?"

What is the birth,
what is the beginning
of grief and lamentation,
pain and misery,
and despair?

Here, beggars, the common man,
not seeing Aristocrats,
unwise to the Aristocratic Dhamma,
untrained in the Aristocratic Dhamma,
not seeing real men,
unwise to the Dhamma of real men,
untrained in the Dhamma of real men[4],
holds the view:
material[5] is self,
or self has material,
or material is in self,
or self is in material.

For such a one
that material changes
and becomes something else.

For such a one,
that material changing
and becoming something else
is the appearance of the birth
of grief and lamentation,
pain and misery,
and despair.

Or he holds the view:
sensation is self,
or self has sensation,
or sensation is in self,
or self is in sensation.

For such a one
that sensation changes
and becomes something else.

For such a one,
that sensation changing
and becoming something else
is the appearance of the birth
of grief and lamentation,
pain and misery,
and despair.

Or he holds the view:
perception is self,
or self has perception,
or perception is in self,
or self is in perception.

For such a one
that perception changes
and becomes something else.

For such a one,
that perception changing
and becoming something else
is the appearance of the birth
of grief and lamentation,
pain and misery,
and despair.

Or he holds the view:
personalization is self,
or self has personalization,
or personalization is in self,
or self is in personalization.

For such a one
that personalization changes
and becomes something else.

For such a one,
that personalization changing
and becoming something else
is the appearance of the birth
of grief and lamentation,
pain and misery,
and despair."

Or he holds the view:
consciousness is self,
or self has consciousness,
or consciousness is in self,
or self is in consciousness.

For such a one
that consciousness changes
and becomes something else.

For such a one,
that consciousness changing
and becoming something else
is the appearance of the birth
of grief and lamentation,
pain and misery,
and despair."

But viewing material, beggars,
as changing,
corrupt,
dying out,
ending,
thinking:

"Before, as well as in the here and now,
material was a changeable,
painful phenomena
subject to dying out,"
and thus with penetrating knowledge
seeing it as it really is,
he lets go of grief and lamentation,
pain and misery,
and despair,
and letting go
is not dissatisfied,
and not dissatisfied,
lives pleasantly,
and living pleasantly,
they say "This beggar is cool."

Or viewing sensation, beggars,
as changing,
corrupt,
dying out,
ending,
thinking:

"Before, as well as in the here and now,
sensation was a changeable,
painful phenomena
subject to dying out,"
and thus with penetrating knowledge
seeing it as it really is,
he lets go of grief and lamentation,
pain and misery,
and despair,
and letting go is not dissatisfied,
and not dissatisfied,
lives pleasantly,
and living pleasantly,
they say "This beggar is cool."

Or viewing perception, beggars,
as changing,
corrupt,
dying out,
ending,
thinking:

"Before, as well as in the here and now,
perception was a changeable,
painful phenomena
subject to dying out,"
and thus with penetrating knowledge
seeing it as it really is,
he lets go of grief and lamentation,
pain and misery,
and despair,
and letting go is not dissatisfied,
and not dissatisfied,
lives pleasantly,
and living pleasantly,
they say "This beggar is cool."

Or viewing personalization, beggars, as changing,
corrupt,
dying out,
ending,
thinking:

"Before, as well as in the here and now,
personalization was a changeable, painful phenomena
painful phenomena
subject to dying out,"
and thus with penetrating knowledge
seeing it as it really is,
he lets go of grief and lamentation,
pain and misery,
and despair,
and letting go is not dissatisfied,
and not dissatisfied,
lives pleasantly,
and living pleasantly,
they say "This beggar is cool."

Or viewing consciousness, beggars, as changing,
corrupt,
dying out,
ending,
thinking:

"Before, as well as in the here and now,
consciousness was a changeable, painful phenomena
painful phenomena
subject to dying out,"
and thus with penetrating knowledge
seeing it as it really is,
he lets go of grief and lamentation,
pain and misery,
and despair,
and letting go is not dissatisfied,
and not dissatisfied,
lives pleasantly,
and living pleasantly,
they say "This beggar is cool."

Footnotes

  1. This Sutta [instruction, teaching, story, spell, literally 'yarn', 'string' or 'thread'; always more than a story, it must be educational as well] discusses one of the handful of central ideas which are absolutely unique to the teachings of Gotama: the idea of anatta: not-self.
    Please carefully register the idea that this is not the idea of 'No Self'.
    This is one of the most difficult of Buddhist concepts to grasp, but it is essential for making any sense of the system, so give it your best shot:
    The idea is that there is no thing there that can accurately be called the self of one. (And 'thing' includes everything conceivable.) And yet there is no denial of Self.
    The notion of "self" is dependent on point of view: One man holds that the self is there based on conventional common sense — he calls what he sees the self;
    another looks at the atomic structure and dig as he might can find no atom that is the self and concludes that there is no self. The Buddha avoids this debate as fruitless.
    The Buddha's instruction is that whether or not the self exists, Pain exists, and it does so dependent upon the holding of any view of self — because we "personalize" the world, we identify with one thing or another as the self, and suffer with it; completely unnecessary — so let go of the view.
  2. Is it a light or is it an island? The word "dipa" means both.
    attadipa can mean Self-Island, or Self-lit so: "Live as a light unto yourself" is, at the least, heard.
    attasarana Self surrounded, in the sense of "protected" and, also, self-recollected
    anaññasarana (añña>an=not; ya=whatsoever; Latin alius, Gothic aljis, Old Anglo Saxon elles>English else] Not Other-Surrounded or protected
    So we can contrast atta with anañña and be relatively sure the idea is Self/Not Other or Else
    So we can contrast attasarana with anaññasarana and be relatively sure the idea isn't Self-recollected and Other-recollected.
    On the other hand, there is an old link in the word "sarana" to sarangsa, The Sun's Rays. "Bathed in Light" comes to mind as a root idea of surrounded and protected.
    And then we have the second set of three terms:
    DhammaDipa which would mean Dhamma-Islanded as with Woodward, or Dhamma-lit or illuminated
    DhammaSarana taking refuge in the Dhamma or Surrounded by or Protected by Dhamma
    And anaññasarana again.
    So I am saying: While 'Be an Island unto one's self' is nice, 'be the Dhamma unto one's self' doesn't fit, and there is the underlying theme of light, so mine.
  3. Yoni yeva upaparikkhitabbo. (see also: Yonisomanasikāro) A phrase which seems to have undergone some 'reconstruction.' It means "thoroughly examine to the womb." However it's use broadened out into 'studious examination' period, and even out into just 'giving thorough attention'. The reader should note the difference which is made to the mental picture when translating "yoni" (womb) as "origin" versus leaving it as "womb." [indicated by square brackets below]:
    Pali [with apologies for the lack of diacritical marks]:

    Attadipanam bhikkhave viharatam attasarananam anannasarananam dhammadipanam dhammasarananam anannasarananam (yoni) yeva upaparikkhitabbo . . . kiṃjatika sokaparidevadukkhadomanassupayasa kimpahotika ti . . .

    Woodward:
    By them who are islands unto themselves, brethren, who are a refuge unto themselves, who take refuge in none other who are islanded by the Norm, take refuge in the Norm, seek refuge in none other — by them the very [source] of things is to be searched for: thus — "What is the source of sorrow and grief, of woe, lamentation and despair? What is their origin?"
  4. Please note the way this is translated compared to the way it is usually presented here:
    Here, beggars, the common man, not seeing Aristocrats, unwise to the Aristocratic Dhamma, untrained in the Aristocratic Dhamma, not seeing real men, unwise to the Dhamma of real men, untrained in the Dhamma of real men
    Vs:
    In the case of this case, beggars, we have the case of the untamed, untrained, uneducated common man. Untamed to the discipline of the aristocrats, untrained in the manners of the aristocrats, uneducated in the teachings of the aristocrats; untamed to the ways of the sappurisa, untrained in the craft of the sappurisa, uneducated to the lore of the sappurisa,
    The first adheres closely to the Pali, the second shows the variety of meanings of Dhamma. We could use a good translation for the term "Sappurisa." Some others are "puremen" "superman" "worthy ones."

    "purisa" is a term meaning "male" [pass up sun one], and "sapp-" means "clairified" as in butter, or gold. Interesting that our culture does not have a good word for a good man.
  5. Rupa is translated by Woodward as "Body", which is a fairly standard interpretation. Here "material" is used because the meaning is broader and because there is another closer Pali word for body in "kaya" The broader meaning was likely intended because the discussion is of that which individuals consider their own or themselves. Some individuals conception of what material constitutes the self of them extends beyond (some beings out there think the whole world is their own!), or is less than the body [while it is in you, does excrement constitute a part of your idea of yourself or not? Is it a part of the body or not?].

Source

obo.genaud.net