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SN 3.25 Pabbatopama Sutta: The Simile of the Mountains - Dhamma Wheel

SN 3.25 Pabbatopama Sutta: The Simile of the Mountains

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SN 3.25 Pabbatopama Sutta: The Simile of the Mountains

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:27 am

SN 3.25 PTS: S i 100 CDB i 192
Pabbatopama Sutta: The Simile of the Mountains
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
The Buddha offers a powerful simile to King Pasenadi to underscore the imminence of death and the urgency of Dhamma practice.


At Savatthi. Then King Pasenadi Kosala approached the Blessed One in the middle of the day and, on arrival, having bowed down, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, the Blessed One said to him: "Well now, great king, where are you coming from in the middle of the day?"

"Just now, lord, I was engaged in the sort of royal affairs typical of head-anointed noble-warrior kings intoxicated with the intoxication of sovereignty, obsessed by greed for sensual pleasures, who have attained stable control in their country, and who rule having conquered a great sphere of territory on earth."

"What do you think, great king? Suppose a man, trustworthy and reliable, were to come to you from the east and on arrival would say: 'If it please your majesty, you should know that I come from the east. There I saw a great mountain, as high as the clouds, coming this way, crushing all living beings [in its path]. Do whatever you think should be done.' Then a second man were to come to you from the west... Then a third man were to come to you from the north... Then a fourth man were to come to you from the south and on arrival would say: 'If it please your majesty, you should know that I come from the south. There I saw a great mountain, as high as the clouds, coming this way, crushing all living beings. Do whatever you think should be done.' If, great king, such a great peril should arise, such a terrible destruction of human life — the human state being so hard to obtain — what should be done?"

"If, lord, such a great peril should arise, such a terrible destruction of human life — the human state being so hard to obtain — what else should be done but Dhamma-conduct, right conduct, skillful deeds, meritorious deeds?"

"I inform you, great king, I announce to you, great king: aging and death are rolling in on you. When aging and death are rolling in on you, great king, what should be done?"

"As aging and death are rolling in on me, lord, what else should be done but Dhamma-conduct, right conduct, skillful deeds, meritorious deeds?

"There are, lord, elephant battles [fought by] head-anointed noble-warrior kings intoxicated with the intoxication of sovereignty, obsessed by greed for sensual pleasures, who have attained stable control in their country, and who rule having conquered a great sphere of territory on earth; but there is no use for those elephant battles, no scope for them, when aging and death are rolling in. There are cavalry battles... chariot battles... infantry battles... but there is no use for those infantry battles, no scope for them, when aging and death are rolling in. In this royal court there are counselors who, when the enemies arrive, are capable of dividing them by their wits; but there is no use for those battles of wits, no scope for them, when aging and death are rolling in. In this royal court there is abundant bullion and gold stored in vaults and depositories, and with such wealth we are capable of buying off enemies when they come; but there is no use for those battles of wealth, no scope for them, when aging and death are rolling in. As aging and death are rolling in on me, lord, what else should be done but Dhamma-conduct, right conduct, skillful deeds, meritorious deeds?"

"So it is, great king! So it is, great king! As aging and death are rolling in on you, what else should be done but Dhamma-conduct, right conduct, skillful deeds, meritorious deeds?"

That is what the Blessed One said. Having said that, the One Well-Gone, the Teacher, further said this:

Like massive boulders,
mountains pressing against the sky,
moving in from all sides,
crushing the four directions,
so aging and death come rolling over living beings:
noble warriors, brahmans, merchants,
workers, outcastes, & scavengers.
They spare nothing.
They trample everything.

Here elephant troops can hold no ground,
nor can chariots or infantry,
nor can a battle of wits or wealth win out.

So a wise person,
seeing his own good, steadfast, secures confidence
in the Buddha, Dhamma, & Sangha.

One who practices the Dhamma
in thought, word, & deed,
receives praise here on earth
and after death rejoices in heaven.

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Re: SN 3.25 Pabbatopama Sutta: The Simile of the Mountains

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:30 am

SN 3.25 PTS: S i 100 CDB i 192
Pabbatopama Sutta: Irresistible Force
translated from the Pali by Andrew Olendzki


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .olen.html

Just as a mighty mountain range,
Scraping the sky with rocky crags,
Might advance from four directions,
Crushing everything before it —

So also do old age and death
Roll over all living beings.

Nobles, brahmans and working folk,
Peasants, outcastes and garbage men —
None of them can escape [this end]:
Everybody surely gets crushed.

Nothing on earth can defeat them:
Not elephants, chariots or troops;
Nor the use of a magic spell;
Nor [can you buy safety] with gold.

So the person who's firm and wise,
Seeing what is best for themselves,
Will place their faith in the Buddha,
The Dhamma and the Sangha too.

One who practices the teaching,
With body and speech and with mind —
That one is praised here in this world,
And after enjoys the pure realms.

Translator's note

This verse emerges from a discussion between the Buddha and the Kosala king Pasenadi, who generally feels secure behind his four-fold army (elephant, chariot, cavalry and infantry divisions), his conjurers and his treasury. The Buddha asks him to imagine a situation — the fantastic closing-in of four mountain ranges — where all his royal resources will not help him meet the foe.

Such is the situation in which we actually all find ourselves — rich or poor, aristocrat or laborer — though we are reluctant to face it. How do we respond to the inevitable onslaught of aging and death? The answer given in the body of the sutta is "What else is there to do, save to live righteously and justly and to work good and meritorious deeds?" The verse summarizes this phrase by saying one should have confidence (another way of translating the word saddham ) in the triple gem and practice the Buddha's teaching.

Ever practical, the Buddha often points out that in this way we are covering our bets: there are immediate benefits in this life, and in the next our chances are better of emerging well-off.

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Re: SN 3.25 Pabbatopama Sutta: The Simile of the Mountains

Postby Sam Vara » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:15 am


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Re: SN 3.25 Pabbatopama Sutta: The Simile of the Mountains

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:00 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Re: SN 3.25 Pabbatopama Sutta: The Simile of the Mountains

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:42 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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mikenz66
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Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 3.25 Pabbatopama Sutta: The Simile of the Mountains

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:51 am


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Re: SN 3.25 Pabbatopama Sutta: The Simile of the Mountains

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:43 am

“If, venerable sir, such a great peril should arise, such a terrible destruction of human life, the human state being so difficult to obtain, what else should be done but to live by the Dhamma, to live righteously, and to do wholesome and meritorious deeds?”

BB: Spk explains dhammacariyā as the ten wholesome courses of kamma and says that samacariyā, righteous conduct, means the same.




“There are, venerable sir, elephant battles [fought by] head-anointed khattiya kings, who are intoxicated with the intoxication of sovereignty, who are obsessed by greed for sensual pleasures, who have attained stable control in their country, and who rule having conquered a great sphere of territory on earth; but there is no place for those elephant battles, no scope for them, when aging and death are rolling in."

Commentary and sub-commentary: The point is that there is no success to be achieved by battle for it is not possible to ward off aging and death by these battles.

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Re: SN 3.25 Pabbatopama Sutta: The Simile of the Mountains

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:44 am

Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation of the verses:

“Just as mountains of solid rock,
Massive, reaching to the sky,
Might draw together from all sides,
Crushing all in the four quarters—
So aging and death come
Rolling over living beings—
Khattiyas, brahmins, vessas, suddas,
Caṇḍālas and scavengers:
They spare none along the way
But come crushing everything.

“There’s no ground there for elephant troops,
For chariot troops and infantry.
One can’t defeat them by subterfuge,
Or buy them off by means of wealth.

“Therefore a person of wisdom here,
Out of regard for his own good,
Steadfast, should settle faith
In the Buddha, Dhamma, and Saṅgha.

“When one conducts oneself by Dhamma
With body, speech, and mind,
They praise one here in the present life,
And after death one rejoices in heaven.”


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