The Fire Sermon: now with flying!

So in my ongoing quest to learn everything I have finally been upgewisen to SuttaCentral, an "online sutta correspondence project" that lets you, for example, find sutras in the Chinese canon corresponding to a known sutra X in the Pali canon.

The correspondences aren't exact, of course, because it wasn't a case of hauling the Pali canon north and translating it: the relationship isn't parent-and-child, it's more like cousinhood (at a remove or two, at that). So there's lots of surprises lurking in there.

For example, searching for the Fire Sermon, I found that there is a sutra that corresponds to it in the Taisho canon, except somewhere along the line someone prepended a totally awesome introduction. Here's a quick and dirty translation; the terminology is probably very nonstandard, but I'm fairly confident that the meaning is basically right (not least because Jeffrey Kotyk was good enough to explain to me the most difficult parts; remaining errors are my own, but anything I got right is probably thanks to him).

Thus I heard. At one time the Buddha was staying at Gayāsīsa 迦闍尸利沙支提 with one thousand monks who were all former tangle-haired Brahmins 舊縈髮婆羅門 [?]. At that time the Buddha, for the benefit of the thousand monks, manifested three aspects 三種示現 to convert 教化 them. What three aspects? The aspects of omnipresence and transformation 神足變化示現, of mind-reading 他心示現, and of persuasion 教誡示現.

The aspect of omnipresence: right on the spot, the Buddha entered dhyana-samadhi 禪定正受. He rose into the air 陵虚 and moved to the east. There he demonstrated the four modes of walking, standing, sitting, and reclining before entering fire samadhi and emitting all kinds of fire and light. Both water and fire appeared, in the colors blue, yellow, red, white, crimson, and crystal. Fire emerged from his lower half, and water emerged from his upper half; fire emerged from his upper half, and water emerged from his lower half. He repeated this for each of the four cardinal directions. Having thus performed these various transformations, he sat back down among the crowd. This is called the aspect of omnipresence 神足示現.

The aspect of mind-reading: according to the minds of others, the wills of others, the consciousness of others, [he was able to say], "He must think thus, and not think thus"; "He must have equanimity like so"; "He must abide thus in bodily realization". This is called the aspect of mind-reading.

The aspect of persuasion: the Buddha taught as follows. 'Monks, all is aflame 一切燒然. In what way is all aflame? I tell you that the eye is aflame. So too are forms, eye-consciousness, eye-contact, and sensations that arise dependent on eye-contact 眼觸因緣生受: pain, pleasure, the absence of pain and the absence of pleasure; these too are aflame. So too are the ear, the nose, the tongue, the body, and the mind aflame. So too are entities 法 [eye:forms::mind:entities], mind-consciousness, mind-contact, and sensations that arise dependent on mind-contact: pain, pleasure, the absence of pain and the absence of pleasure; these too are aflame. With what are they aflame? With the fires of greed 貪火 are they aflame. With the fires of hate 恚火 are they aflame. With the fires of ignorance 癡火 are they aflame. With the fires of birth, aging, sickness, death, grief, pity, worry, and pain are they aflame.

At this time the thousand monks, having heard the Buddha's sermon, were liberated at heart from the arising of any fault 不起諸漏心得解脫. Here the Buddha finished his sermon, and all of the monks, having heard the Buddha's sermon, rejoiced in devotion 歡喜奉行.

Apart from the awesome introduction, one difference from the Pali equivalent (English translations: one, two) that interests me is the handling of repetition. In Pali, as I understand it, repeated paragraphs are either written out in full or with the equivalent of ditto marks (and then at least read in full). But the Chinese version has a different summarizing technique: the first and last in the series are written out ("eye ... forms, eye-consciousness, etc." and then "mind ... entities, mind-consciousness, etc."), and everything else is provided as a list in between. That is, we are to understand that it is not just the ear that is aflame, but also smells, ear-consciousness, etc., and so on for all the sense organs.

I do not believe that lists of this sort in Chinese scripture were intended to be expanded upon reading, either. There is an example of the technique in the Heart Sutra: "無眼界、乃至無意識界" is often translated something like "no realm of vision and no realm of thought," but what it really means is "no realm of vision through to no realm of thought" — a comprehensive dismissal of all of the eighteen realms. But I've never heard of someone reciting the sutra actually filling in the missing sixteen realms.

Popularity factor: 4


So it's like saying 'xxx and all the rest', but it does so by closing off with the last member of the series?


So too are the ear, yadda yadda and the mind aflame.


Bathrobe: Yeah, it's basically the same as saying "the previous also applies to the folllowing: ear, nose, tongue, body, mind" but then also writes the formula out for the final item in tull. (For literary/rhetorical effect? To enable error-correction via redundancy? Not sure.) The 乃至 version is one step beyond and actually requires that the "domain" of the formula he shared ahead of time: "this applies to the set of realms beginning with the realm of vision and ending with the realm of thought". "Got it, the eighteen realms."

vibram fivefingers uk:

Her products, brand and work have been featured in hundreds of media outlets including O! The Oprah Magazine, Redbook, People, US Weekly, SUCCESS and Entrepreneur, to name a few..

Aime la vérité, mais pardonne à l'erreur

LU d'R
Mail d'E

All fields optional. E-mail address will never be displayed, resold, etc. -- it's just a quick way to give me your e-mail address along with your comment, if you should feel the need. URL will be published, though, so don't enter it if it's a secret. You can use <a href>, but most other tags will be filtered out. (I'll fix it in post-production for you if it seems necessary.)