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[30 April 1998] One last April shower of suttas:
Bhumija Sutta (MN 126) — To Bhumija. Does the desire for Awakening get in the way of Awakening? According to this discourse, the question of desiring or not desiring is irrelevant as long as one develops the appropriate qualities that constitute the path to Awakening. The discourse is also very clear on the point that there are right and wrong paths of practice: as a geographer might say, not every river flows to the sea.
[28 April 1998] More suttas from the Bhikkhuni-samyutta: In these suttas Mara, the personification of doubt and evil, tries in vain to lure the nuns away from their meditation spots in the forest by asking them provocative questions. Without exception, these wise women conquer Mara decisively.
Maha-parinibbana Sutta (DN 16) — The Great Discourse on the Total Unbinding(excerpt). This excerpt (the last one-third) from the longest sutta in the Pali canon, describes the events that transpired in the last hours of Buddha's life. This colorful narrative contains the inspiration for several Buddhist devotional practices that survive to this day (e.g., relic-worship and veneration of stupas) as well as the Buddha's final teachings to those who had gathered at his deathbed. But this sutta also tells, in simple language, the complex human drama that unfolded among the Buddha's many beloved followers during the death and funeral of their great teacher.
[25 April 1998] Suttas from the Vedana-samyutta of the Samyutta Nikaya. These 18 sutta translations, which concern the nature of feeling (vedana), were made by the late Ven. Nyanaponika Thera and originally appeared in a Wheel anthology from the BPS. They are now available here individually. Some highlights include:
Sammaditthi Sutta (MN 9) — The Discourse on Right View [Ñanamoli Thera and Bhikkhu Bodhi, trs.]. A long and important discourse by Ven. Sariputta, with separate sections on the wholesome and the unwholesome, nutriment, the Four Noble Truths, the twelve factors of dependent origination, and the taints.
Salha Sutta (AN 3.66) — To Salha [Ñanamoli Thera, trans.]. Ven. Nandaka, an arahant, engages the layman Salha in a dialogue that begins with elementary principles and leads all the way up to a discussion of the nature of arahantship.
Puggala Sutta (AN 4.125) — Persons [Ñanamoli Thera, trans.]. The Buddha explains the course of rebirths that can be expected by those who cultivate a heart of loving-kindness.
[2 April 1998] Access to Insight's third birthday! Some new offerings:
The Demons of Defilement (Kilesa Mara), by Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo. Ajaan Lee explains how the secret of developing wisdom lies in learning to use our defilements to our advantage. "An outstanding person," says Ajaan Lee, "takes bad things and makes them good."
Mulapariyaya Sutta (MN 1) — The Root Sequence. In this difficult but important sutta the Buddha reviews in depth one of the most fundamental principles of Buddhist thought and practice: namely, that there is no thing — not even Nibbana itself — that can rightly be regarded as the source from which all phenomena and experience emerge.
Sunakkhatta Sutta (MN 105) — To Sunakkhatta. The Buddha addresses the problem of meditators who overestimate their progress in meditation. The sutta ends with a warning: anyone who claims enlightenment as license for unrestrained behavior is like someone who fails to follow the doctor's orders after surgery, who knowingly drinks a cup of poison, or who deliberately extends a hand toward a deadly snake.