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SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden - Dhamma Wheel

SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

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SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:52 am

SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

The Buddha describes the burdens we carry, and how to cast them off.

SN 22.22 Bhaara.m Sutta: The Burden
translated from the Pali by Maurice O'Connell Walshe
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html

The Pali title of this sutta is based on the PTS (Feer) edition.

"Monks, I will explain to you the burden,[1] the laying hold of the burden, the holding on to the burden,[2] the laying down of the burden. Listen.

"What, monks, is the burden?

"'The five groups of clinging'[3] is the answer. Which five? They are: the group of clinging to corporeality,... to feelings,... to perceptions,... to mental formations,... to consciousness. This, monks, is called 'the burden.'

"What is the laying hold of the burden? The answer is that it is the person,[4] the Venerable So-and-so, of such-and-such a family. This, monks, is called 'the laying hold of the burden.'

"What is the holding on to the burden? The answer is that it is that craving which gives rise to fresh rebirth and, bound up with lust and greed, now here now there finds ever fresh delight. It is sensual craving,[5] craving for existence,[6] craving for non-existence.[7] This, monks, is called 'the holding on to the burden.'[8]

"What is the laying down of the burden? It is the complete fading away and extinction of this craving, its forsaking and giving up, liberation and detachment from it. This, monks, is called 'the laying down of the burden.'"[9]

Thus said the Blessed One, the Well-farer[10] spoke thus; the Teacher then said:

The five groups are the heavy load,
The seizing of the load is man.
Holding it is misery,
Laying down the load is bliss.
Laying down this heavy load,
And no other taking up,
By uprooting all desire,
Hunger's stilled, Nibbaana's gained.[11]

Notes

1. This sutta, as E.J. Thomas (Early Buddhist Scriptures, London 1935, p. 123) says, "has been appealed to both by those who would find in Buddhism the doctrine of something permanent in addition to the five groups [i.e., the sankhaaras], and also by those who deny it." To the former party belong, e.g., H.C. Warren, who included it in his Buddhism in Translations (Harvard 1896, rep. 1963), and Erich Frauwallner, who prints in his Philosophie des Buddhismus ([East] Berlin 1956, p. 25f.) a German translation from the Chinese version of Tsa Ahan (Taisho 99, k. 3) which he entitles "Das Suutra vom Lastträger" ("The Suutra of the Burden-Bearer") with the Sanskrit heading (retranslated from the Chinese!) Bhaarahaarasuutram. But Woodward in KS [Book of the Kindred Sayings, trans. of the Sa.myutta Nikaaya, Vol. III, PTS 1924], countering a similar view expressed by A.B. Keith, says: "No bearer of the burden is mentioned at all, but a bearing. Haaro is 'a taking.' The puggalo ['person'] is the taking hold of the fivefold mass." (Woodward's italics). Woodward's view is expressly supported by Mrs Rhys Davids, as editor, in a note of her own, though she doubtless changed her mind about this later, having subsequently (as is well known) drifted into wrong views! The sutta is discussed briefly twice in EB [Encyclopaedia of Buddhism, Colombo 1961], and, curiously, different opinions are expressed on this point. Under Bhaara, U. K[arunaratana] says: "the burden-bearer (bhaarahaara) is the person (puggala)," while under Bhaara Sutta L[akshmi] R. G[oonesekere] writes: "the 'laying hold of the burden' [=bharahara] is the individual." Grammar would seem to be on the side of the latter view, and while I am unable to say whether Frauwallner has translated from the Chinese correctly or not, the same would apply to the Sanskrit title he quotes. It is further noteworthy that in Frauwallner's text the four things are given in a different order from the Pali as: "The Burden," "the taking up of the burden" (but see n. 2), "the laying down of the burden," and "the bearer of the burden" [=bhaarahaara.] The last of these three is said to be "the person," etc., but with a somewhat expanded description. The final verses are also somewhat different. In any case the Sanskrit text (on which the Chinese version is based) is clearly secondary.

It is easy to understand how this sutta could be misunderstood, both in ancient and in modern times, since (doctrinal issues apart!) one would expect the "person" to be described as the bearer rather than the "bearing." The explanation is that the "person" is in terms of relative truth what the khandhas are according to ultimate truth (cf. SN 1.20, n. 8 ).

One is tempted to think that this sutta was originally delivered for the benefit of one or other of the Bhaaradvaajas (see SN 7.1 , SN 7.2 , SN 35.127 ), whose name appears to mean "twice-born burden"!

2. Bhaaraadaana: generally translated as "taking up the burden," etc., but aadaana, like upaadaana, can also mean "clinging," which gives a more pregnant meaning.

3. See Vol. I, n. 49. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... html#fn-49

4. Puggala. A term of relative truth, as pointed out in n. 1.

5. Kaamata.nhaa: "sensual craving," the first and crudest of three kinds of craving.

6. Bhavata.nhaa, the desire for continued existence connected with "Eternalism" (see SN 12.15, n. 2 ).

7. Vibhavata.nhaa, the desire for non-existence or the "death-wish," connected with "Annihilationism" (see SN 12.15, n. 3 ). In older works sometimes mistranslated as "desire for wealth" (also vibhava but a different word).

8. The formula is that for the Second Noble Truth.

9. The formula is that for the Third Noble Truth.

10. Sugato lit. "well-gone." All three designations refer, of course, to the Buddha. It is difficult to render the whole phrase into English without awkwardness.

11. Lit. "he is sated and brought to peace (or 'cooled')."

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Re: SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:56 am

SN 22.22 Bhara Sutta: The Burden
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

At Savatthi. "Monks, I will teach you the burden, the carrier of the burden, the taking up of the burden, and the casting off of the burden. [1] Listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

"As you say, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said, "And which is the burden? 'The five clinging-aggregates,' it should be said. Which five? Form as a clinging-aggregate, feeling as a clinging-aggregate, perception as a clinging-aggregate, fabrications as a clinging-aggregate, consciousness as a clinging-aggregate. This, monks, is called the burden.

"And which is the carrier of the burden? 'The person,' it should be said. This venerable one with such a name, such a clan-name. This is called the carrier of the burden.

"And which is the taking up of the burden? The craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming. This is called the taking up of the burden.

"And which is the casting off of the burden? The remainderless fading & cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, & letting go of that very craving. This is called the casting off of the burden."

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

A burden indeed are the five aggregates,
and the carrier of the burden is the person.
Taking up the burden in the world is stressful.
Casting off the burden is bliss.
Having cast off the heavy burden
and not taking on another,
pulling up craving,
along with its root,
one is free from hunger,
totally unbound.

Note
1. This discourse parallels the teaching on the four noble truths, but with a twist. The "burden" is defined in the same terms as the first noble truth, the truth of suffering & stress. The taking on of the burden is defined in the same terms as the second noble truth, the origination of stress; and the casting off of the burden, in the same terms as the third noble truth, the cessation of stress. The fourth factor, however — the carrier of the burden — has no parallel in the four noble truths, and has proven to be one of the most controversial terms in the history of Buddhist philosophy. When defining this factor as the person (or individual, puggala), the Buddha drops the abstract form of the other factors, and uses the ordinary, everyday language of narrative: the person with such-and-such a name. And how would this person translate into more abstract factors? He doesn't say. After his passing away, however, Buddhist scholastics attempted to provide an answer for him, and divided into two major camps over the issue. One camp refused to rank the concept of person as a truth on the ultimate level. This group inspired what eventually became the classic Theravada position on this issue: that the "person" was simply a conventional designation for the five aggregates. However, the other camp — who developed into the Pudgalavadin (Personalist) school — said that the person was neither a ultimate truth nor a mere conventional designation, neither identical with nor totally separate from the five aggregates. This special meaning of person, they said, was required to account for three things: the cohesion of a person's identity in this lifetime (one person's memories, for instance, cannot become another person's memories); the unitary nature of rebirth (one person cannot be reborn in several places at once); and the fact that, with the cessation of the khandhas at the death of an arahant, he/she is said to attain the Further Shore. However, after that moment, they said, nothing further could be said about the person, for that was as far as the concept's descriptive powers could go.

As might be imagined, the first group accused the second group of denying the concept of anatta, or not-self; whereas the second group accused the first of being unable to account for the truths that they said their concept of person explained. Both groups, however, found that their positions entangled them in philosophical difficulties that have never been successfully resolved.

Perhaps the most useful lesson to draw from the history of this controversy is the one that accords with the Buddha's statements in MN 72 , where he refuses to get involved in questions of whether a person has a live essence separate from or identical to his/her body, or of whether after death there is something of an arahant that exists or not. In other words, the questions aren't worth asking. Nothing is accomplished by assuming or denying an ultimate reality behind what we think of as a person. Instead, the strategy of the practice is to comprehend the burden that we each are carrying and to throw it off. As SN 22.36 points out, when one stops trying to define oneself in any way, one is free from all limitations — and that settles all questions.

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Re: SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby Ben » Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:21 am

Nice choice, Mike.
What is interesting is that the Buddha designated the 'person' as the carrier of the burden and that the burden itself was the five aggregates. Given the primacy of the doctrine of Anatta, I guess it is no wonder that some people used the play of ideas as support for a self.
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:24 am

Yes, it's a really interesting Sutta and Walshe's and Ven Thanissaro's notes and references are worth studying in detail. As are the notes in Bhikkhu Bohdhi's translation. I'll add some of them later.

Mike

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Re: SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby Ben » Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:32 am

Hi Mike,
Yes, I was reading Ven Bodhi's translation and notes.
Actually, I was thinking it would be interesting to read the Atthakattha with regards to this sutta.
I don't suppose anyone has a copy???
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Re: SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:24 am

See also: by the Mahāsi Sayādaw.
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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Re: SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby Ben » Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:43 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Re: SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby Individual » Thu Oct 07, 2010 7:48 pm

The best things in life aren't things.


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Re: SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:44 pm


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Re: SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby Individual » Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:25 pm

The best things in life aren't things.


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Re: SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:58 am


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Re: SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby Individual » Fri Oct 08, 2010 2:31 pm

The best things in life aren't things.


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Re: SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:50 pm


Adriano was Element

Re: SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby Adriano was Element » Sat Oct 09, 2010 2:40 am


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Re: SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Oct 09, 2010 9:10 am

Perhaps we can compare the translations of Maurice Walshe (MW), Thanissaro Bhikkhu (TB) and Bhikkhu Bodhi (TB).

MW: The burden: aggregates.
TB: The burden: aggregates.
BB: The burden: aggregates.

MW: Laying hold: the person.
TB: Carrier: The person
BB: Carrier: The person

MW: Holding on: craving
TB: Taking up: craving
BB: Taking up: craving

MW: Laying down: extinction of craving.
TB: Casting off: cessation of craving
BB: Laying down: cessation of craving

MW:
The five groups are the heavy load,
The seizing of the load is man.
Holding it is misery,
Laying down the load is bliss.
Laying down this heavy load,
And no other taking up,
By uprooting all desire,
Hunger's stilled, Nibbaana's gained.

TB:
A burden indeed are the five aggregates,
and the carrier of the burden is the person.
Taking up the burden in the world is stressful.
Casting off the burden is bliss.
Having cast off the heavy burden
and not taking on another,
pulling up craving,
along with its root,
one is free from hunger,
totally unbound.

BB:
The five aggregates are truly burdens,
The burden-carrier is the person.
Taking up the burden is suffering in the world,
Laying the burden down is blissful.

Having laid the heavy burden down
Without taking up another burden,
Having drawn out craving with its root,
One is free from hunger, fully quenched.

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:51 am

Here are Bhikkhu Bodhi's extracts from the Commentary (Spk), and some of his own comments.

The burden: aggregates.
Spk: In what sense are these "five aggregates subject to clinging" called the burden? In the sense of having to be borne through maintenance. For their maintenance - by being lifted up, moved about, seated, ... fed, nourished - is something to be borne; thus they are called a burden in the sense of having to be borne through maintenance.

Carrier: The person
BB: The puggalavada, or "personalist" school of Buddhism appealed to this passage as proof for the existence of a person as a real entity ...
[the Theravada disagreed:]
Spk: Thus by the expression "the carrier of the burden", he shows the person to be a mere convention. For the person is called the carrier of the burden because it "picks up" the burden of the aggregates at the moment of rebirth, maintains the burden by bathing, ... during the course of life, and then discards them at the moment of death, only to take up another burden of aggregates at the moment of rebirth.

Taking up: craving
BB: This formula is identical with the definition of the second noble truth. So too, the explanation of the laying down of the burden is identical with the definition of the third truth.
Spk: Seeking delight here and there: having the habit of seeking delight in the place of rebirth or among the various objects such as forms. Lust of the five cords of sensual pleasure is craving for sensual pleasures. Lust for form-sphere or formless-sphere conciousness, attachment to jhana, and lust accompanied by the eternalist view: this is called craving for existence. Lust accompanied by the annihilationsist view is craving from extermination.
BB: This explanation of the last two kinds of craving seems to me too narrow. Most likely, craving for existence should be understood as the primordial desire to continue in existence (whether supported by a view or not), craving for extermination as the desire for a complete end to existenc, based on the underlying assumption (not necessarily formulated as a view) that such extermination brings and end to a real "I".

Laying down: cessation of craving
Spk: All these terms are designations for Nibbana. For it is contingent on this that craving fades away without remainder, ceases, is given up, is relinquished, and released; and hence there is no reliance on sensual pleasures of views. For such a reason Nibbana gains these names.

The five aggregates are truly burdens,
The burden-carrier is the person.
Taking up the burden is suffering in the world,
Laying the burden down is blissful.

Having laid the heavy burden down
Without taking up another burden,
Having drawn out craving with its root,
One is free from hunger, fully quenched.

Spk: The root of craving is ignorance. One draws out craving along with its root by the path of Arahantship.

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: SN 22.22: Bhaara.m Sutta/Bhara Sutta — The Burden

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:14 am



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