The Dhamma in Brief

A talk on the “Dhamma in Brief,” a theme that takes up 30 suttas in the Pali Canon.

https://archive.org/details/dhammainbrief

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The Way You Should Practice

atha kho bāhiyo dārucīriyo taramānarūpo jetavanā nikkhamitvā sāvatthiṃ pavisitvā addasa bhagavantaṃ sāvatthiyaṃ piṇḍāya carantaṃ pāsādikaṃ pasādanīyaṃ santindriyaṃ santamānasaṃ uttamadamathasamathamanuppattaṃ dantaṃ guttaṃ yatindriyaṃ nāgaṃ. disvāna yena bhagavā tenupasaṅkami; upasaṅkamitvā bhagavato pāde sirasā nipatitvā bhagavantaṃ etadavoca — “desetu me, bhante bhagavā, dhammaṃ; desetu, sugato, dhammaṃ, yaṃ mamassa dīgharattaṃ hitāya sukhāyā”ti. evaṃ vutte, bhagavā bāhiyaṃ dārucīriyaṃ etadavoca — “akālo kho tāva, bāhiya, antaragharaṃ paviṭṭhamhā piṇḍāyā”ti.

dutiyampi kho bāhiyo dārucīriyo bhagavantaṃ etadavoca — “dujjānaṃ kho panetaṃ, bhante, bhagavato vā jīvitantarāyānaṃ, mayhaṃ vā jīvitantarāyānaṃ. desetu me, bhante bhagavā, dhammaṃ; desetu, sugato, dhammaṃ, yaṃ mamassa dīgharattaṃ hitāya sukhāyā”ti. dutiyampi kho bhagavā bāhiyaṃ dārucīriyaṃ etadavoca — “akālo kho tāva, bāhiya, antaragharaṃ paviṭṭhamhā piṇḍāyā”ti. …

“tasmātiha te, bāhiya, evaṃ sikkhitabbaṃ — ‘diṭṭhe diṭṭhamattaṃ bhavissati, sute sutamattaṃ bhavissati, mute mutamattaṃ bhavissati, viññāte viññātamattaṃ bhavissatī’ti. evañhi te, bāhiya, sikkhitabbaṃ. yato kho te, bāhiya, diṭṭhe diṭṭhamattaṃ bhavissati, sute sutamattaṃ bhavissati, mute mutamattaṃ bhavissati, viññāte viññātamattaṃ bhavissati, tato tvaṃ, bāhiya, na tena; yato tvaṃ, bāhiya, na tena tato tvaṃ, bāhiya, na tattha; yato tvaṃ, bāhiya, na tattha, tato tvaṃ, bāhiya, nevidha na huraṃ na ubhayamantarena. esevanto dukkhassā”ti.

Then indeed Bahiya the bark-clothed left Jetavana, and having gone into Sāvatthi he saw the Blessed One in Sāvatthi walking on alms round, looking pleasant, happy, calmed in senses and tranquil in mind, having attained the highest mastery and greatest serenity, trained, mindful, controlled in senses, stately as an elephant. Seeing him, he approached the Blessed One, and having come up to him, he fell down at his feet and said this: “Teach me, venerable and blessed one, the Dhamma; teach the Dhamma well-gone one, for my enduring benefit and happiness!” When he had said this, the Blessed One replied to Bahiya the bark-clothed, “This isn’t a good time, Bahiya; we have entered the village on alms round.”

Then a second time Bahiya the bark-clothed said to the Blessed One, “But it’s hard to know what may cut short the life of the Blessed One, or what will cut short my own life!  Teach me, venerable and blessed one, the Dhamma; teach the Dhamma well-gone one, for my enduring benefit and happiness…”

[After the third request the Blessed One replies:] “Well, then, Bahiya, you should practice in this way: ‘Sights are just sights; sounds are just sounds; sensations are just sensations; thoughts are just thoughts.’ That’s the way you should practice, Bahiya. When sights are just sights, sounds are just sounds, sensations are just sensations, and thoughts are just thoughts, then there is no you, and because there is no you, there is no you there, and because there is no you and there is no you there, you are neither in this world nor the next world nor in between. Right there, suffering ends.”

Bāhiya Sutta, KN 3.10

Like a Pillar

Ye suppayuttā manasā daḷhena, nikkāmino gotamasāsanamhi.
Te pattipattā amataṃ vigayha, laddhā mudhā nibbutiṃ bhuñjamānā.
Idampi saṅghe ratanaṃ paṇītaṃ, etena saccena suvatthi hotu.

Yathindakhīlo pathavissito var siyā, catubbhi vātehi asampakampiyo.
Tathūpamaṃ sappurisaṃ vadāmi, yo ariyasaccāni avecca passati.
Idampi saṅghe ratanaṃ paṇītaṃ, etena saccena suvatthi hotu.

Ye ariyasaccāni vibhāvayanti, gambhīrapaññena sudesitāni.
Kiñcāpi te honti bhusaṃ pamattā, na te bhavaṃ aṭṭhamamādiyanti.
Idampi saṅghe ratanaṃ paṇītaṃ, etena saccena suvatthi hotu.

Those who apply themselves with firm, non-craving mind, to Gotama’s teachings
They plunge into the deathless, enjoying the freedom of liberation.
This is the priceless gem of the Sangha; hail to this truth!

Just like a pillar at the city gate, planted alongside the roadway
Unshaken by the four winds:
I say a wise one is like that, one who knows the Noble Truths with certainty.
This is the priceless gem of the Sangha; hail to this truth!

Those who to dwell in the Noble Truths, that well-expounded, profound wisdom,
Though they may often be heedless, will not be reborn an eighth time.
This is the priceless gem of the Sangha; hail to this truth!

Ratana Sutta (KN 1.6)

To See the Buddha

“yojanasate cepi so, bhikkhave, bhikkhu vihareyya. so ca hoti anabhijjhālu kāmesu na tibbasārāgo abyāpannacitto apaduṭṭhamanasaṅkappo upaṭṭhitassati sampajāno samāhito ekaggacitto saṃvutindriyo; atha kho so santikeva mayhaṃ, ahañca tassa. taṃ kissa hetu? dhammaṃ hi so, bhikkhave, bhikkhu passati; dhammaṃ passanto maṃ passatī”ti. etamatthaṃ bhagavā avoca. tatthetaṃ iti vuccati —
“anubandhopi ce assa, mahiccho ca vighātavā.
ejānugo anejassa, nibbutassa anibbuto.
giddho so vītagedhassa, passa yāvañca ārakā.
“yo ca dhammamabhiññāya, dhammamaññāya paṇḍito.
rahadova nivāte ca, anejo vūpasammati.
“anejo so anejassa, nibbutassa ca nibbuto.
agiddho vītagedhassa, passa yāvañca santike”ti.

Even if a bhikkhus lives seven hundred miles away, if he is not greedy for physical pleasure, if his mind has not sunken into strong infatuations,  if he does not grow angry or foster evil intentions, but has developed mindfulness, is thoughtful, composed, has a tranquil heart and controlled senses – that one is close to me, right next to me.  And why is this? Because that bhikkhu sees the Dhamma. One who sees the Dhamma sees me.

One who is in bondage is greedy and distressed.
How far away is the one plagued by craving from the one freed from craving;
The liberated one from the one still burning,
The greedy one from the one freed from greed!
But the wise one who understands the Dhamma, who ponders the Dhamma,
The one free of lust is tranquil, like a lake sheltered from the wind.
How near is the desireless to the one freed from craving,
The liberated one to the liberated,
The greedless one to the one freed from greed!

Saṅghāṭikaṇṇa Suttaṃ (KN 4.92)

Like Your Head Is On Fire

Evaṃ me sutaṃ — ekaṃ samayaṃ bhagavā rājagahe viharati veḷuvane kalandakanivāpe. Tatra kho bhagavā bhikkhū āmantesi — “bhikkhavo”ti. “bhadante”ti te bhikkhū bhagavato paccassosuṃ. Bhagavā etadavoca —

“Appamidaṃ, bhikkhave, manussānaṃ āyu. Gamanīyo samparāyo, kattabbaṃ kusalaṃ, caritabbaṃ brahmacariyaṃ. Natthi jātassa amaraṇaṃ. Yo, bhikkhave, ciraṃ jīvati, so vassasataṃ appaṃ vā bhiyyo”ti.

Atha kho māro pāpimā yena bhagavā tenupasaṅkami; upasaṅkamitvā bhagavantaṃ gāthāya ajjhabhāsi —

“Dīghamāyu manussānaṃ, na naṃ hīḷe suporiso.
Careyya khīramattova, natthi maccussa āgamo”ti.

“Appamāyu manussānaṃ, hīḷeyya naṃ suporiso.
Careyyādittasīsova, natthi maccussa nāgamo”ti.

Atha kho māro … Pe … Tatthevantaradhāyīti.

I have heard this: one time the Blessed One was living at Rajagaha, in Veluvana, where they feed the squirrels. There the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus: “Bhikkhus!”

“Yes, Bhanante,” they replied. Then the Blessed One said this:

“Bhikkhus, a human life is very short. One moves on to future states, so one should do what is virtuous, and live a life of goodness. Nothing that is born avoids death.  The longer one has lived, the fewer years one has left.”

Then Mara the Sinner approached the Blessed One; having come near to the Blessed One he said this:

“Long is human life; a wise one doesn’t scorn it.
Live complacently as a suckling baby,
As if death isn’t drawing near.”

[The Blessed One replied]
“Short is human life; a wise one scorns it.
Practice like your head is on fire,
Not as if death isn’t drawing near.”

Then Mara the Sinner, thinking “The Blessed One has recognized me; the Well-Come One has recognized me,” sad and dejected, disappeared on the spot.

Paṭhamāayu Sutta, SN 4.9

A Sea of Troubles

“Yaṃ pubbe taṃ visosehi, pacchā te māhu kiñcanaṃ.
Majjhe ce no gahessasi, upasanto carissasi.

“Sabbaso nāmarūpasmiṃ, yassa natthi mamāyitaṃ.
Asatā ca na socati, sa ve loke na jīyati.

“Yassa natthi idaṃ meti, paresaṃ vāpi kiñcanaṃ.
Mamattaṃ so asaṃvindaṃ, natthi meti na socati.”

 

What has passed, let it wither
What comes after, treat it as trifling
If you don’t get lost in what’s in the middle
You will live and move in peace.

One who does not see as “mine”
Anything having name and form,
Doesn’t taste grief
Is not of the decaying world

Whoever doesn’t think, “this is mine”
Has passed over a sea of troubles
One who knows nothing of my-making
Is not grieved by having nothing.

Sn 4.25. 955-957

The Unafflicted Heart

“Evametaṃ, gahapati, evametaṃ, gahapati! Āturo hāyaṃ, gahapati, kāyo aṇḍabhūto pariyonaddho. Yo hi, gahapati, imaṃ kāyaṃ pariharanto muhuttampi ārogyaṃ paṭijāneyya, kimaññatra bālyā? Tasmātiha te, gahapati, evaṃ sikkhitabbaṃ — ‘āturakāyassa me sato cittaṃ anāturaṃ bhavissatī’ti. Evañhi te, gahapati, sikkhitabban”ti…

“Kathañca, gahapati, āturakāyo hi kho hoti no ca āturacitto? Idha, gahapati, sutavā ariyasāvako ariyānaṃ dassāvī ariyadhammassa kovido ariyadhamme suvinīto sappurisānaṃ dassāvī sappurisadhammassa kovido sappurisadhamme suvinīto na rūpaṃ attato samanupassati, na rūpavantaṃ vā attānaṃ; na attani vā rūpaṃ, na rūpasmiṃ vā attānaṃ. ‘ahaṃ rūpaṃ, mama rūpan’ti na pariyuṭṭhaṭṭhāyī hoti. Tassa ‘ahaṃ rūpaṃ, mama rūpan’ti apariyuṭṭhaṭṭhāyino, taṃ rūpaṃ vipariṇamati aññathā hoti. Tassa rūpavipariṇāmaññathābhāvā nuppajjanti sokaparidevadukkhadomanassupāyāsā.”

[Buddha:]

So it is, Gahapati, so it is! I’d say your body has become overwhelmed by disease. Who, carrying around a body like that, would think for a second that it was healthy, other than out of foolishness? Therefore, Gahapati, you should practice this way: “Though afflicted in body, mindful, my heart will dwell unafflicted.”  That’s the way you should train yourself, Gahapati…

[Sariputta:]

How, Gahapati, can one be afflicted in body but unafflicted in heart? It happens when  a learned disciple of the noble ones, one with noble vision, practicing the noble Dhamma, well versed in the teachings of the noble ones,  a well-trained righteous one, one with the vision of the righteous, practicing the Dhamma of the righteous, well versed in the teachings of the righteous, does not perceive the body as the self, does not see the self has having bodily form, does not locate the self in the body, does not locate the self in bodily form.  [The thought]“This is my body, I have a body” does not arise.  Because “This is my body, I have a body” does not arise, when that body changes for the worse, the fact that it is changing for the worse does not cause grief, sobbing, suffering, sadness, and despair.

Nakulapitu Sutta, SN 22.1