In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Craving and Emancipation 85 in changing the basis of our motivation from greed, hatred and ignorance to selfless service, compassion and 23 understanding." A careful reading of the Sutta Pitaka supports these opinions and declares that the Buddha did not hold up as an example of emancipation an individual totally disengaged from all volitional response and certain human needs. Nor was the way to enlightenment said to be a way of repression. Unwholesome desires are to be understood and then eradicated, but the energy of desire is not to be expurgated. It is, rather, to be redirected towards higher, more positive ethical and intellectual intentions, thus contributing to the attainment of enlightenment. 5. Development of the Senses (Indriyani) The Sutta Pitaka urges that, as volition is purged of its moral impurities and redirected to higher purposes, the senses should not be led to atrophy but brought under control and developed. The teaching also urges the cultivation of a new attitude towards the senses, a recognition of how they may contribute to the nature of volitional response. When the operation of the senses has been understood, one attempts to master the stimulation of the senses and regulate the quality of volition. Initially the individual must understand how the senses provoke unwholesome craving. The Sutta Pitaka is explicit about the close relation between the senses and craving. There is an example of this in A.I.I., where lust (kamatanha), built upon excitation of all the senses, is said to affect the whole "personality" (aitta): The Blessed One said: monks, I know not of any other single body by which the citta of a man is attracted as it is by that of a woman. I know not of any other single sound by which the citta is so attracted as it is by the voice of a woman. I know of no 86 Craving and Salvation other single smell...flavour... touch by which the aitta is attracted as it is by the smell, flavour, and touch of a woman. Many other passages in the Sutta Pitaka point up the grip that the senses can have over the mind (D.I.26, S.4.15, M.I.15, 85, 2.253). Once the senses have been analyzed and their dangers marked out (Dhm. 362f.) the seeker has a responsibility to recognize the need to struggle against the forceful but ill-directed current of craving which has been excited by the senses. The bond that exists between the senses and craving, and the necessity of reducing their controlling power over the individual, is clearly set out in the celebrated Parable of the Man in the River (Itv. 114): Suppose a man is carried along in a river by a current which looks delightful and charming. Then a sharpsighted man standing on the bank seeing him calls out: "Good man, though you are carried along in the river by a current which looks delightful and charming, yet further down here is a pool with waves and whirlpools , with monsters and demons. When you get there you will come to your death or painfulness." Then, that man, hearing the other's call, struggles against the stream with hands and feet. This figure, I use to explain my meaning. And in this case the meaning is: "a river current" is a name for craving; "looking delightful and charming" is a name of one's own sphere of perception; "the pool lower down" is a name for the five fetters (samyojananam) belonging to this lower world. "With waves" is a name for the five pleasures of sense. "With monsters and demons" is a name for women (matugamassetam). Monks, "against the stream" is a name for freedom from craving. "Struggle (viriyarambhassetam) with hands and feet" is a name for the exercise of energy. And "the sharp-sighted man standing_on the bank" is a name for the Tathagata, the arahant, the perfectly Enlightened One. Here the emphasis centers on the struggle of energy 24 (viriya) needed to overcome craving and its reliance Craving and Emancipation 87 upon the senses. This terminology seems to indicate the need for a right volitional attitude in coming to grips with the senses. It is important to point out that in this text there is no suggestion that the aim of the struggle is to deaden the senses. The very analogy of a struggle has to do with cultivation and development rather than neutralization. Above all the individual learns to separate cognition from thirst...

pdf

Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.