Notes

19 June 2524

1. See the two kinds of extremes, the ten kinds of lay people or enjoyers of sense-pleasure, and the three kinds of ascetics in the Rāsiya Sutta S.IV.330ff. Buddhist thought is characterized by several polarities that are often similarly misunderstood: for example, the mundane (lokiya) and the transmundane (lokuttara), the laity (gahaṭṭha) and the monks (pabbajita). Some might think of these so-called polarities as conflicting or incompatible, but in reality they are complementary parts making a complete whole. Some are natural necessities, and others are human designs intended to maintain consistency with the natural ones.

2. This is the meeting for a fortnightly recitation of the pātimokkha that is prescribed by a disciplinary rule: “I allow you, monks, to assemble together on the fourteenth, fifteenth and eighth days of the half-month.” And “I allow you, monks, having assembled together … to speak the dhamma.” And “I allow you, monks, to recite a pātimokkha” (Vin.I.l02). For some extraordinary cases see Vism.608f.

3. For example, S.V.2–30; A.I.l4–18; It.10. (The matter will be discussed more fully at a later point.)

4. Cf. the Nāthakaraṇadhamma (D.IlI.266, 290; A.V.23).

5. According to the Commentary on the Dhammapada, hundreds of people lived on the leftovers from the monks in the monastery in the Jeta’s Grove, where the Buddha most often stayed.

6. Two points should be noted here. First, this Thai traditional twelvefold set of the Cakkavattivatta is a later version found in the Commentary on the Dīghanikāya (D.A.III.46). Items 1 to 10 are simply reenumerations of the original teaching in the Cakkavatti-Sutta (see D.IlI.61), and items 11 and 12 are accretions based on other parts of the teaching in the same Sutta. Second, the original emphasis in the Sutta on the righteousness of the ruler seems to be slighted here. In the original version of the Sutta the ruler as dhammādhipateyya (one who holds the dhamma supreme or one relying on the supremacy of righteousness) is of great importance.

7. S.I.76; discussion of this set of virtues can be found in the Kūṭadanta-Sutta (D.I.l35). It is explained in some commentaries (S.A.I.l45; SnA.321).

8. D.III.152, 232; A.II.32, 248; A.IV.218, 363.

9. E.g., A.II.204; cf. the Cūḷakammavibhaṅga Sutta in M.III.

10. The personal name of this millionaire was Sudatta. He received his honorary name (Anāthapiṇḍika), which means “the provider of food to the destitute,” through his acts of charity. The Commentary on the Dhammapada and that on the Jātaka contain several stories on the taming of stingy millionaires.

11. S.IV.331; A.V.176. The distinction between the mundane and the transmundane is made here on the basis of the Buddhist principles of the Noble Disciples.

12. A large number of teachings and sayings stressing the importance of association and environment can be found scattered in the Pāli Canon. Many stories illustrating the same prescription can be found in the Jātaka.

13. Nd2 26. In older texts of the Pāli Canon only the first two of these three goals are usually mentioned, the third being included in the second one, e.g., S.I.82, 87; A.III.49; It.17; and the Brahmāyusutta in M.II.

14. Nd2 26; A.I.158, 216; A.III.63; A.IV.134.

15. The difference between the two sets is that the first four are mental qualities to be developed in the mind as part of individual perfection. Hence they belong to the category of samādhi or adhicitta-sikkhā (the training in the development of mental qualities). (The Visuddhimagga devotes twenty-six pages to the development of these four mental qualities [pp. 244–70], but there seems to be no traditional text dealing with the four counterpart virtues of social action.) They are virtues or qualities of the mind or character, not of outward or social action. We can act out of mettā, but we cannot perform or do mettā. The second four virtues, by contrast, are acts intended for outward or social expression. They belong to the category of sīla, or morality. The interrelationship or interdependence between the two sets is that the virtues for social action can be sincere, genuine, pure, resolute, and lasting only when they are based on the firm foundation of the four mental virtues. Loving-kindness, compassion, and sympathetic joy may lead to charity, kindly speech, and acts of service on various appropriate occasions, and equanimity (or neutrality) is essential for equality and impartiality.

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