Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Dhp 137: error in Sujato translation here?

At least 3 translators are similar to mine:

♦ 137.
♦ yo daṇḍena a-daṇḍesu,
For those who do violence towards the non-violent,
ap-pa-duṭṭhesu dussati.
and offends those who are non-offensive,
♦ dasannamaññataraṃ ṭhānaṃ,
into one of ten bad states
khippameva nigacchati.
they swiftly fall into:


sujato has:

One who violently attacksthe peaceful and the innocentswiftly fallsto one of ten bad states:

somewhat similar to:

Dhp 129–145: Daṇḍavagga—Peter Feldmeier (

One who does violence to the innocent and
Will quickly encounter one of ten states:

Can someone explain the pali process they went through?  Are they in error, or multiple correct solutions here?

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Does this qualify for muditā brahmavihāra, even though it involves lying, deception, bribery?


3min. video, 105 yr. old man receiving honor and award

Forum discussion

Re: Does this qualify for muditā brahmavihāra, even though it involves, lying, deception, blackmail?

Post by frank k » Mon Dec 26, 2022 4:55 am
Here's a thought.
Someone asks you, "how are you?"

The truth is, most of us feel some mixture of good, bad, moody, indifference, whatever, but we just want to give a short answer to move the conversation along.

So if we say, "I feel good". That's partially true. Partially a lie.
if we say, "I feel lousy." That's partially true. Partially a lie.

Is that wrong speech?
Not a black and white clear cut choice on here whether that's a lie right?

Now if a nazi knocks on your door asking if you're hiding jewish children,
maybe the truth is, you're not 'hiding jewish children',
you're 'transporting them to their final destination, away from you murderous nazi bastards, and they're just temporarily stopping by my house.',
and the shortest answer to move the conversation along is, "no."

would that be a lie?

Now as for lying and bribing officials in other countries to convince them to allow those jewish children to emigrate there, I can't think of a kusala Dharma grey area at the moment.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Relationship between jhānas and stream entry, and ridiculous Vism. theory of 5 hindrances matching 5 jhāna factors


Re: Relationship between jhanas and stream entry

Post by frank k » 

dpcalder wrote: Fri Dec 23, 2022 8:53 amI’ve heard some conflicting opinions on this

Are the jhanas necessary for stream entry? Are there differing opinions on this?

I am also curious if anyone can help me better understand the relationship between the jhana factors and suppression of the five hindrances.

It is my understanding that each jhana factor suppresses a certain hindrance. Is this suppression total eradication or just temporary?
You're getting wrong ideas from Vism. and LBT Theravada.
The whole 5 jhāna factor matched up with a perfect soul mate in one of the 5 hindrances is idiotic and corrupt, doesn't come from the suttas.
Even in the Vism. where it talks about that, Buddhaghosa claims that hindrance soul mate matching comes from one of the KN treatises, and the translator Nanamoli adds a footnote ("no it doesn't"), meaning he can't find it in KN where Buddhaghosa says it comes from.

Just use some common sense. Ekaggata for example, would be enough to counter any of the 5 hindrances, not just one of them.

As to your real question on the relation between jhāna and stream entry, if you're following Vism. and LBT, then I have nothing to say, other than you're in for a world of pain and confusion.

But if you're interested in the EBT suttas, no need to worry about this question. Because jhāna is indispensable and absolutey necesssary for arahantship, and there's a quite a range of quality in both jhāna and stream entry. For example, there was the drunkard in SN 55 who other followers doubted being a stream enterer, but the Buddha said he was.

The only way you'd know for sure if you're a stream enterer anyway, is if you develop your jhāna and psychic powers to the extent that you could see how many lives left before you become an arahant.

Otherwise, whether you believe you're a stream enterer is mostly based on a flimsy checklist of indefinite qualities the suttas says are necessary, or faith in someone who you believe is an arahant claiming you're a stream enterer.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Want to hear a sick joke? the body is unambiguously physical, in 16aps breath meditation step 3


Re: Why is it the same term in the nikaya can means very different things?

Post by frank k » 

Sam Vara wrote: Sun Dec 18, 2022 5:06 am
form wrote: Sun Dec 18, 2022 3:40 am
Usually the same word used in a specific field should have the same meaning, unless the field is quite unprofessional.
This is going to muddy the waters even more, but I'm reminded of a joke that my children used to enjoy:

"Why did the farmer win the Nobel Prize?"

" - Because he was out standing in his field!"
Good one.

And here's a sick joke a large percentage of the Theravada population doesn't seem to have caught on to yet:
"Step 3 of the 16 steps of breath meditation, when it says 'breathe in experiencing the entire body', it actually means the 'body of breath that excludes the physical body."
Just as in English, where the 'body' can sometimes mean something other than a physical body, but you know from context it must mean the physical body, the same thing applied during the Buddha's time.

Here's the context for breath meditation:
... He sits down with his legs crossed, straightens up his BODY." (we're in a physical body context).
1. Breathing in Long...(breathing is a physical process, we're in a physical body context)
2. breathing in short...(breathing is a physical process, we're in a physical body context)
3. breathe in experiencing the entire BODY. (have we suddenly left the context of meditation that intimately involves the physical body?)
4. he breathes in pacifying bodily activities. (we're still in a physical body context)
So, step 3, the 'body' in question, is sandwiched in between a bunch of instructions that clearly and unambiguously refer to the physical body. Not a metaphorical body, and not a 'collection of things.'

Now, if reading that English, being a fluent and competent English reader, someone were to tell you, actually step three doesn't mean the physical body, would you not think the person making this assertion is gullible, or dull, or think they are trying to swindle you or sell you something, or have some kind of religious agenda where they've been blinded by dogma and can't see the truth?

It works that way in Pāḷi too.
Use some common sense people.

Sometimes 'body' isn't the physical body, but the context would make that clear.
And if the context is genuinely ambiguous, a founder of a great religion would have the intelligence and courtesy to point out the ambiguity somewhere in the tens of thousands of suttas in existence.

Related topics

Re: How can i establish sati on parimukham?

Post by frank k » 

kyj2002 wrote: Wed Dec 21, 2022 11:54 pmI tried to fix the awareness on the upperlip as instructed by VSM
At first i thought sati was well established in the upper lip
But what I was really doing was tighten my upperlip
I don't know how to fix sati in a particular place at the body
Sorry for my bad english
Your root problem is you have to decide whether you trust VSM or the Buddha's meditation instructions.
They aren't the same.
If you trust VSM, then you're in for a world of problems, well documented and researched, exactly like you've described above and it's going to get worse.
Not just your upper lip tightening but your entire body, entire mind also tensing and going the opposite direction of the Buddha's jhāna.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

What are internal, external, "both internal & external", kāya and Rūpa, Vedana, Citta, and Dhamma?

sarathw asked:

What are internal, external, internal external Rupa, Vedana, Citta, and Dhamma?
Unread post by SarathW » Sun Dec 18, 2022 2:15 am
What are internal, external internal-external Rupa, Vedana, Citta, and Dhamma? ... .soma.html ... ml#pts.055

I think we have had enough discussions on this subject, but I still am puzzled by its meaning.

Your answer should explain how this applies to all four Satipathana.

To me it is sound like this:
- External body, Internal body, external-internal body
-External feeling, Internal feeling, external-internal feelings
- External Citta (consciousness), External Citta, external-internal Citta
- External Dhamma, Internal Dhamma, external-internal Dhamma

Frankk response:

MN 148, which I quote here, and probably many suttas grouped under salaya-ayatana of MN and SN should clear this up.

‘Cha ajjhattikāni āyatanāni veditabbānī’ti—
‘The six interior sense fields should be understood.’
iti kho panetaṃ vuttaṃ.
That’s what I said,
Kiñcetaṃ paṭicca vuttaṃ?
but why did I say it?
There are the sense fields of the eye,
and mind.
‘Cha ajjhattikāni āyatanāni veditabbānī’ti—
‘The six interior sense fields should be understood.’
iti yaṃ taṃ vuttaṃ,
That’s what I said,
idametaṃ paṭicca vuttaṃ.
and this is why I said it.
Idaṃ paṭhamaṃ chakkaṃ.
This is the first set of six.
‘Cha bāhirāni āyatanāni veditabbānī’ti—
‘The six exterior sense fields should be understood.’
iti kho panetaṃ vuttaṃ.
That’s what I said,
Kiñcetaṃ paṭicca vuttaṃ?
but why did I say it?
There are the sense fields of sights,
and thoughts.
‘Cha bāhirāni āyatanāni veditabbānī’ti—
‘The six exterior sense fields should be understood.’
iti yaṃ taṃ vuttaṃ,
That’s what I said,
idametaṃ paṭicca vuttaṃ.
and this is why I said it.
Idaṃ dutiyaṃ chakkaṃ.
This is the second set of six.

Obviously the six internal bases belong to the individual person, and the six external bases would the the contact stimuli of "external" people or insentient objects interacting with the individual "internal" person.

So for satipaṭṭhāna context of kāya, vedana, citta, dhamma

internal Kāya would the kāya-ayatana of the "internal" person, as well as the other internal ayatana (eyes, ears, nose...).

internal Vedana would the the 3 types of feelings, 18 types of feelings that can arise through those 6 internal ayatana. 

internal citta, you could say would be the internal  mano-ayatana, and perhaps also include some "dhamma". 

"dhamma" is interesting, because it's an  "external" mental data that is fed in as input into mano-ayatana (which is internal). 

Internal Dhamma then, would be the thoughts and mental activity of the internal person kāya/rūpa, whereas external Dhamma would be mental activity of external people. 

"both external and internal" is not some kind of strange siamese twin 

In satipaṭṭhāna, it's talking about after one examines internal kāya, and then external kāya, both internal and external share common charcteristics. For example, 'eye' is just made up of 4 elements, whether it was internal or external they're essentially made up from the same source material of 4 elements. We're all made up of recycled atoms. 

"internal and external" is meant to show throroughness of investigation, that there isn't something else that has been overlooked, for example, a soul, an 'atta' isn't hiding or residing in some other metaphysical category that exist outside of 'internal' or 'external'. 

Kāya usally refers to physical body of living being, whereas rūpa usually doesn't distinguish between living and inanimate object


apple = external rūpa, not external kāya. Kāya, in satipaṭṭhāna context, is going to be referring to living beings, not insentient objects like 'apples'.

in 6 sense base (salayatana) context, 'rūpa', is already 'external', so an 'apple' is simply rūpa, and external.

Here you can see Sujato often translating 'rūpa' as 'vision' is a problem here.
You can eat an apple that is made up of material form (rūpa), but you can't eat a 'vision' of an apple.

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Officer orders soldier to kill someone. Solider doesn't want to. Does officer bear all the karmic consequence?

If a boss orders someone to kill or do something unskillful, and that someone doesn't want to do it but still does it, they both have some share in the karmic consequence. 

It's not easy to determine what the proportion of karmic responsibility is,  but it's not zero, and it's definitely not 100% on the boss as someone else suggested. IMO In my opinion.

A much less extreme example, a boss orders John Doe to sign off on a business deal even though John already did the research and determined that the deal is unfavorable to the boss and their company. John is vehemently against completing the deal, but can't convince his boss and realizes the Boss will just get someone else to sign the papers and John doesn't want to quit the company over this. 

In this case, then the boss is closer to bearing 100% of the karmic consequence of John signing off on the deal. But John's karmic responsibility is still not zero. IMO In my opinion.


Saturday, December 10, 2022

Two ways in which sati ("mindfulness") is R.A.D.

Britannica Dictionary definition of RAD

rad /ˈræd/  adjective

radder; raddest

Britannica Dictionary definition of RAD

[also more rad; most rad] US slang

: very appealing or good

The party was totally rad. [=awesome, cool]

Two ways in which sati ("mindfulness") is R.A.D. 

Here's a mnemonic I came up with to help you remember a correct definition of "mindfulness", which is usually taught in a form that's watered down, distorted, or just completely wrong. 

Why is it taught wrong? 

1. 'sati' is a loaded word. No single word is going translate and convey the full meaning. You will only know the meaning from studying many suttas on the subject. Similar to how "be good" is a vague and not very helpful teaching on its own. "Mindfulness" is similarly vague and not helpful.

R.A.D.  =  (R)emembers to (A)pply the (D)harma.  

sati ("mindfulness") is R.A.D. 

What is the Dharma? The Buddha's teaching that leads to nirvana.

Unless a specific Dharma is given in context, the default value of "Dharma", is the 4 frames of satipaṭṭhāna, as defined in SN 47.2

🐘Sammā-Sati: right remembering [of Dharma]

kāye kāyā-(a)nu-passī viharati
He lives continuously seeing the body as a body [as it truly is].
vedanāsu vedanā-(a)nu-passī viharati
He lives continuously seeing sensations as sensations [as it truly is].
citte cittā-(a)nu-passī viharati
He lives continuously seeing a mind as a mind [as it truly is].
dhammesu dhammā-(a)nu-passī viharati
He lives continuously seeing ☸Dharma as ☸Dharma [as it truly is].
(… elided refrain from each way…)
[in each of the 4 ways of remembering]:
ātāpī sampajāno satimā,
he is ardent 🏹, he has lucid discerning 👁, he remembers 🐘 [to apply relevant ☸Dharma].
vineyya loke abhijjhā-do-manassaṃ;
he should remove greed and distress regarding the world.

When is Sati applied? All the time, all postures, all activities

If you don't have the 'sati' switch flipped on all the time, you're in grave danger.

● SN 47.6 - 🔗🔊 6m, Sakuṇagghi: 🐦 (the) quail:
always stay in 4sp🐘, to avoid death

● SN 47.7 - 🔗🔊 6m, Makkaṭa: 🐒 (the) monkey:
always stay in 4sp🐘, to avoid death

Another way in which sati ("mindfulness") is R.A.D.

sati ("mindfulness") is R.A.D

RAD definition  #1:  R.A.D. = (R)emembers to (A)pply the (D)harma. 
RAD definition  #2:  R.A.D. = (R)adical (A)lignment with the (D)harma

The second definition of RAD works in to the fourth frame of satipaṭṭhāna:
dhammesu dhammā-(a)nu-passī viharati
He lives continuously seeing ☸Dharma as ☸Dharma [as it truly is].
ātāpī sampajāno satimā,
he is ardent 🏹, he has lucid discerning 👁, he remembers 🐘 [to apply relevant ☸Dharma].
vineyya loke abhijjhā-do-manassaṃ;
he should remove greed and distress regarding the world.

This means you bring your behavior, how you see, think, act, speak, in radical alignment with Dharma, which leads to peace, happiness, nirvana.

Instead of doing what most people usually do, acting in ways in disharmony with Dharma that leads to fake happiness which is actually suffering,  the obvious kinds of suffering, and endless rounds of rebirth.

♦ 84.
♦ na atta-hetu na parassa hetu,
Not for your own sake or that of another
na puttam-icche na dhanaṃ na raṭṭhaṃ.
desiring children, wealth, or nation,
♦ na iccheyya VAR a-dhammena samiddhim-attano,
Never wish for success by non-Dharmic [unjust] means,
sa sīlavā paññavā dhammiko siyā.
rather, be virtuous, wise, and act [justly] in accordance with Dharma.

♦ 86.
♦ ye ca kho sammadakkhāte,
But those who act
dhamme dhammā-(a)nu-vattino.
according to the perfectly taught Dhamma
♦ te janā pāramessanti,
will cross the realm of Death,
maccudheyyaṃ suduttaraṃ.
so difficult to cross.

Forum discussion

Re: Is sati a saṅkhāra? Or 'pure consciousness'?

knotting wrote: Thu Dec 08, 2022 3:50 amHello friends,

I have been wondering about the development of sati.

It seems that many spiritual teachers (Buddhist or otherwise) refer to 'pure consciousness', 'pure awareness', 'knowing', 'original mind', etc., as the essence of meditation. They often identify this 'pure consciousness' with Nibbana itself. This seems to contradict the sutta teachings that all viññāṇa is conditioned.

On the other hand, if we accept that sati is simply a quality of mind which develops across time, then it seems to avoid the 'pure consciousness' dilemma. From this frame, sati has nothing to do with Nibbana in a metaphysical sense, it is only an expedient means to reach Nibbana.

Given that a sentient being is defined as a heap of the five aggregates, would it then be reasonable to say that sati is a type of saṅkhāra that one cultivates with practice? And, upon realization of arahantship, sati itself is no longer necessary, being the 'raft' which one leaves behind, having reached the goal beyond all the aggregates (including consciousness)?

Post by frank k » Sat Dec 10, 2022 9:30 am
Two ways in which sati ("mindfulness") is R.A.D. ... ss-is.html

pre buddhist meaning of sati is the memory faculty, the ability to remember what was said and done long ago accurately.
The Buddha redefined it as described in article above.

Arahants still have 'sati' faculty after they realize nirvana. They still go around teaching, quoting the Buddha's words, and that requires, 'sati'.

Friday, December 9, 2022

Dhp 79: wordling drinks wine to help sleep at night, wise person drinks Dharma and sleeps with jhānic pleasure

Dhp 79 contains a hidden jhāna reference, and reinforces some ideas about jhāna that are commonly misunderstood.

Pīti: rapture, a factor of jhāna and same as awakening factor pīti-sambojjhanga

'pīti' can mean drinking [something like water], and in Buddharakkhita's translation that's what he goes with.

Sujato sticks to the straightforward jhāna pīti & sukha context and renders pīti as 'joy' here.

I believe the Buddha is making a pun here and both meanings are intended and need to be translated, otherwise you couldn't pick up the double meaning from the target English translation, which is exactly what happens when you read Buddharakkhita and Sujato's translation. 

The former doesn't make the jhāna context clear, the latter misses the pun on drinking, and perhaps contrasting what worldlings often do, drinking fermented liquor as an intoxicant to help sleep at night.

vip-pasanna citta: pure and confident mind

The second line's 'vip-pasanna citta' is a reference to second jhāna's adhi-attam sam-pasādanam, internal purity and self confidence [in one's ability to do a solid jhāna samādhi].

♦ 79.
♦ dhamma-pīti sukhaṃ seti,
He who drinks the Dharma [and is enraptured by that] sleeps in pleasure,
vippasannena cetasā.
with pure and confident mind.
♦ ariya-p-pavedite dhamme,
The Dharma proclaimed by the Noble one, [the Buddha,]
sadā ramati paṇḍito.
a wise pundit always delights in that.

Pīti is mental, not physical

A common misunderstanding is that pīti in jhāna is physical. 

Dhp 79 confirms the correct understanding, that pīti (and the closely related pāmojja) are mental, they are the joy and rejoicing that comes from mentally inspecting, understanding and appreciating the power of the Dharma, the Buddha's teaching that lead to nirvana.

Of course physical pleasure often  follows mental pleasure, but that would go under 'sukha', which followed the passaddhi pacification/relaxation enlightenment factor.

(see 7 awakening factors)

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

soup = sūpa: Pāḷi word you didn't even know you already know

 Perhaps same indo euro root there.

From Digital Pāḷi Dictionary

sūpa 1

masc. dahl; lentil curry; sauce ●

sūpa 2

masc. soup ●


'ū' is pronounced the same as pāḷi 'u', except timing is held twice as long.

so 'soup' is pronounced same as 'sūp'.

♦ 64.
♦ yāvajīvampi ce bālo,
Though all his life a fool
paṇḍitaṃ payirupāsati.
associates with a wise man,
♦ na so dhammaṃ vijānāti,
he no more comprehends the Truth
dabbī sūpa-rasaṃ yathā.
than a spoon tastes the flavor of the soup.

Saturday, December 3, 2022

why isn't Sammā-sam-buddha-sāvako "a disciple who also happens to be a Buddha"?

 If an ariya-sāvako is supposedly a "noble-disciple" (enlightened), rather than "disciple of enlightened noble one", 

then why is Sammā-sam-buddha-sāvako a "disciple of a Buddha"
rather than "a disciple who also happens to be a Buddha"? 

(these two Dhp verses are lightly modifed version of Sujato's translations)

Related topic

🔗📝what does ariya savaka and sekha actually mean?

Forum discussion

why isn't Sammā-sam-buddha-sāvako "a disciple who also happens to be a Buddha"?
Post by frank k » Sat Dec 03, 2022 10:44 am

So why do B. Bodhi and Sujato translate and interpret ariya-savako as (stream enterer at least) "noble disciple" everywhere in all the suttas as far as I can tell, instead of "disciple of the noble ones", which works in every single instance of the suttas, since an enlighted disciple of the ariya is also a disciple, but a disciple is not necessarily a stream enterer.

Dhp 352: arahants who teach well are the best of the disciples

 Sujato translation: Dhp 352

  • Minor CollectionKhuddakanikāya
  • Sayings of the DhammaDhammapada


Rid of craving, free of grasping,Vītataṇho anādāno,expert in the interpretation of terms,Niruttipadakovido;knowing the correctAkkharānaṁ sannipātaṁ,structure and sequence of syllables,Jaññā pubbāparāni ca;they are said to be one who bears their final body,Sa ve “antimasārīro,one of great wisdom, a great person.Mahāpañño mahāpuriso”ti vuccati.


Someone asked about the line with niruttipadakovida:

niruttipadakovida adj. skilled in language; (comm) accomplished in the grammar and the verse [nirutti + pada + kovida] ●

the first part of Dhp 352 is a coded way of saying they are an arahant, fully englightened. The second part is saying they are also expert in language and communication skills, able to teach others and lead them to awakening.

This echoes other suttas in the canon where the Buddha praises those who are fully enlightened who also possess excellent teaching skills as the best and most praiseworthy of his disciples.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Dhp 40, 42: warrior builds fortress, attacks Māra with sword of wisdom and gives no quarter

The last four verses of the citta chapter from Dhammapada are especially good.