Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Samma Sambuddhassa !
Homage to the Blessed One, the Worthy One, the Supremely Enlightened One !
BACK GROUND STORY OF THINSAMATTA SUTTA.
Once upon a time when the Buddha was alive, thirty princes wanted to have fun in camping in a forest. Hunting, fishing, making barbeques, swimming in the river, playing water sports, drinking, singing dancing so on. They had 29 princesses except one. So they wanted to hire a woman for the prince who didn't have a girl. She was a beautiful woman but she was a prostitute. To play everybody jumped into the river keeping their golden royal ornaments on the river bank. While they were playing in the river, the prostitute stole all the jewellery and fled away. The princes sent all the princesses back to the palace and started looking for the thief.
By now you probably know the Buddha gets up early in the morning and looks at the world opening his divine eye to see the lucky ones who need the help understand the Dharma. That day he noticed all these 30 princes are really fortunate to realize the noble Dharma. But they are still negligent. Buddha went to the forest and sat down under a shade of a tree the princes were running in search of the thief. They found the Buddha under the tree and went closer. And asked "Dear sir, did you see a women running away this way? She has stolen our ornaments. We are looking for her." Buddha looked really calm and peaceful and mindful. Buddha opened his eyes and in a peaceful way, And then he questioned back. ‘Dear Princes, .... Which is more important, Which is better...? Being curious about yourself? Or Being curious about others?’
All those princes were amazed by the question. That sounds intelligent they thought. For sure there must be something intellectual with this sage. We better listen to his wisdom. They gave up the inquiry of the women. They gave up their valuable golden jewels.
They sat on the ground and were excited to listen to the Buddha. Buddha preached His profound Dharma about noble truths. About noble eight path. About mindfulness. Mindfulness about the body. Mindfulness about feelings. Mindfulness about the mind and Mindfulness about the Dharma. They were very clever to follow the instructions of the Buddha. Buddha opened their eyes. They opened their minds. They reflected. The understood. All of them were lucky to achieve the first stage of enlightenment. Sothapanna. The stream entry.
They didn't want to get back to the palace again. They wanted to fulfill the complete achievement of the path. The Nirvana. They begged the ordination, the monkhood. Buddha accepted the request and granted the opportunity to live their holy life as monks. They stayed in the same forest, lived in caves, begged alms in the village, had only 3 ragged robes. And they were diligent in the Dharma. They developed mindfulness. They meditated. They were able to develop concentration. But they were not fully liberated. One day they wanted to visit the Buddha, to worship the lotus feet of the Buddha. Buddha wanted them to complete their realization in the very place they were sitting. And preached a very profound discourse. That is an amazing exposition. An unbelievable discourse. About their lives. About our lives you and me. That is the lesson we are going to talk today. The Tinsamatta Sutta.
THE CONNECTED DISCOURSES OF THE BUDDHA.
Tinsamatta Sutta – A Discourse to Thirty Monks.
Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove. Then thirty monks from Pava approached the Blessed One. They were all forest dwellers, alms food eaters, rag-robe wearers, triple-robe users, yet all were still with fetters. Having approached, they paid homage to the Blessed One and sat down to one side.
Then it occurred to the Blessed One: "These thirty monks from Pava are all forest dwellers, alms food eaters, rag-robe wearers, triple-robe users, yet all are still with fetters. Let me teach them the Dharma in such a way that while they are sitting in these very seats their minds will be liberated from the taints by non-clinging."
Then the Blessed One addressed those monks thus: "Monks!" "Venerable sir!" those monks replied. The Blessed One said this:
"Monks, this samsara ( the cycle of birth, death and rebirth ) is without discoverable beginning. A first point is not discerned of beings roaming and wandering on hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving. "
"What do you think, monks, which is more: the stream of blood that you have shed when you were beheaded as you roamed and wandered on through this long course—this or the water in the four great oceans?"
"As we understand the Dharma taught by the Blessed One, venerable sir, the stream of blood that we have shed when we were beheaded as we roamed and wandered on through this long course—this alone is more than the water in the four great oceans."
"Excellent monks, excellent! It is excellent that you understand the Dharma taught by me in such a way. The stream of blood that you have shed when you were beheaded as you roamed and wandered on through this long course—this alone is more than the waters in the four great oceans.
"For a long time, monks, you have been cows, and when as cows you were beheaded, the stream of blood that you shed is greater than the waters in the four great oceans. "
"For a long time you have been buffalo, sheep, goats, deer, chickens, and pigs and when you were beheaded, the stream of blood that you shed is greater than the waters in the four great oceans. "
"For a long time you have been arrested as burglars, highwaymen, and adulterers, and when you were beheaded, the stream of blood that you shed is greater than the waters in the four great oceans. "
"For what reason? Because, monks, this samsara is without discoverable beginning. A first point is not discerned of beings roaming and wandering on hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving. "
"For such a long time, monks, you have experienced suffering, anguish, and disaster, and swelled the earth as the cemetery. "
"So impermanent are all formations monks, (everything formed and conditioned / all things whatever in the world, / all phenomena of existence) so unstable are all formations monks, so unreliable are all formations monks."
"It is enough to experience revulsion towards all formations, enough to become dispassionate towards them, enough to be liberated from them."
This is what the Blessed One said. Elated, those monks delighted in the Blessed One's statement. And while this exposition was being spoken, the minds of the thirty monks from Pava were liberated from the taints by non-clinging.
So the Buddha preached this beautiful verse to the monks.
“Though a wise person
associates with a wise person only for a moment,
he quickly realizes this Dharma,
like the tongue
that tastes the flavour of the soup.”
Sādhu ! Sādhu !! Sādhu !!! ( Excellent )
( The Connected Discourses of the Buddha, (658 p.) Translated by Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, Wisdom Publications )
Date and Time in Saskatoon