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Summary of Maha—Dukkhakkhandha Sutta: The Great Mass of Stress 1—3

Homage to the Blessed One, the Worthy One, the Highest Self Enlightened One!

Rasika Wijayaratne

Published: 2016-01-10

Form


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In this sutta the Lord Buddha explains the allure (asvada), drawback (adinava) and escape (nissarana) of various things, in this instace of form (rupa — i.e. the human form or body).

The Lord Buddha first explains to the monks the allure (asvada) of form (rupa or the human body) is. The Lord Buddha speaks of a young girl of 15—16 years of age, of noble, brahmin or householder caste, not too tall or short, not too thin or fat, not too dark or pale. He asks the monks, whether such a girl would be considered charming at that time, to which the monks reply in the positive by saying “Yes, Lord.”

The Lord Buddha then says that whatever pleasure and happiness that arises as a result of that beauty and charm is the allure (asvada) of form (rupa or the human body).

Then the Lord Buddha explains the drawback (adinava) of form (rupa). He asks the monks if they saw the same girl, when she had reached 80, 90 or 100 years of age; aged, crooked, bent—over, supported by a cane, diseased, miserable, broken—toothed, with grey and little hair left, balding, wrinkled, her body all blotchy and discoloured. He asks the monks whether her previous beauty and charm have disappeared and if the drawback (adinava) had appeared; to which the monks reply in the positive by saying “Yes, Lord.”

The Lord Buddha tells the monks that this is the drawback (adinava) of form (rupa).


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The Lord Buddha then asks the monks if they saw the same girl sick, in pain, seriously ill, lying in bed, soiled by her own urine and feaces, unable to move without the help of others; whether her previous charm and beauty had disappeared and the drawback (adinava) had appeared. The monks again reply in the positive as before by saying “Yes, Lord.”

The Lord Buddha tells the monks that this too is the drawback (adinava) of form (rupa).

The Lord Buddha then asks the monks if they saw the same girl cast away at a charnel ground (cemetary) as a 1, 2 or 3 day old corpse, bloated, livid and oozing; whether her previous charm and beauty had disappeared and the drawback (adinava) had appeared. The monks again reply in the positive as before by saying “Yes, Lord.”

The Lord Buddha then asks the monks if they saw the same girl cast away at a charnel ground (cemetary) eated by crows, vultures, hawks, dogs, hyenas, & various other creatures ... as a skeleton smeared with flesh & blood, connected by tendons ... as a fleshless skeleton smeared with blood, connected by tendons ... as a skeleton without flesh or blood, connected by tendons ... or with bones detached from their tendons, scattered in all directions ... the bones whitened, somewhat like the color of shells, piled up, more than a year old ... with bones decomposed into a powder; whether her previous charm and beauty had disappeared and the drawback (adinava) had appeared. The monks again reply in the positive as before by saying “Yes, Lord.”


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The Lord Buddha tells the monks that this too is the drawback (adinava) of form (rupa).

The Lord Buddha then tells the monks the escape (nissarana) from form (rupa) is the controlling and abandoning of all desire and passion for form (rupa).

The Lord Buddha then says that it is impossible for someone who does not know the allure (asvada), drawback (adinava) and escape (nissarana) from form (rupa) to help another to do the same. But someone who does know the allure (asvada), drawback (adinava) and escape (nissarana) from form (rupa) can also help another to do the same.

May all be happy and well!

Sutta: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.013.than.html#drawback-form

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