Samyutta Nikaya

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

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

Pali Text

Ocean of Tears

How long have you suffered? Long enough to know better, the Buddha says in today’s Pali exercise:

Etadeva, bhikkhave, bahutaraṃ yaṃ vo iminā dīghena addhunā sandhāvataṃ saṃsarataṃ amanāpasampayogā manāpavippayogā kandantānaṃ rodantānaṃ assu passannaṃ paggharitaṃ, na tveva catūsu mahāsamuddesu udakaṃ…

Taṃ kissa hetu? Anamataggoyaṃ, bhikkhave, saṃsāro. Pubbā koṭi na paññāyati avijjānīvaraṇānaṃ sattānaṃ taṇhāsaṃyojanānaṃ sandhāvataṃ saṃsarataṃ. Yāvañcidaṃ, bhikkhave, alameva sabbasaṅkhāresu nibbindituṃ, alaṃ virajjituṃ, alaṃ vimuccitun ti.

Indeed, bhikkhus, the tears you have shed in ages of passing through, wandering on, united to the awful, separated from the pleasing, weeping, lamenting, is greater than the water in the four great oceans…

Why? From an unknown beginning, bhikkhus, is this wandering on.  We cannot see when beings hindered by ignorance and attached to the fetters of craving began this passing through, this wandering on. Time enough, bhikkhus, to weary of every sort of conditioned thing, time enough to become detached, time enough to be released.

SN 15.3

The Power of Mindfulness

The Buddha describes the power of mindfulness (satindriya) in today’s Pali exercise:

“Katamañca, bhikkhave, satindriyaṃ? Idha, bhikkhave, ariyasāvako satimā hoti paramena satinepakkena samannāgato, cirakatampi cirabhāsitampi saritā anussaritā. So kāye kāyānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ; vedanāsu … Pe … Citte … Pe … Dhammesu dhammānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ — idaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, satindriyaṃ.”

And what, bhikkhus, is the power of mindfulness? Here, bhikkhus, a disciple of the noble ones is mindful, endowed with excellent, careful alertness, remembering things long since said and done. He abides as a body observing the body, ardent, attentive, contemplative, letting go of desire for and distress about the world. He abides as feeling tones observing feeling tones…He abides as heart and mind observing heart and mind…He abides as phenomena observing phenomena, ardent, attentive, contemplative, letting go of desire for and distress about the world. This, bhikkhus, is what I call the power of mindfulness.
SN 48.10