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Pema Sutta

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Title: Pema Sutta: Affection

Summary: The opinions of our friends and enemies often influence our own thoughts and feelings about others. This kind of thinking is rooted in craving, and the Buddha offers a cure.

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AN 4.200

PTS: A ii 213

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Pema Sutta: Affection

translated from the Pali by

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

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<p>“Monks, these four things are born. Which four? Affection is born of affection. Aversion is born of affection. Affection is born of aversion. Aversion is born of aversion.

“And how is affection born of affection? There is the case where an individual is pleasing, appealing, & charming to (another) individual. Others treat that individual as pleasing, appealing, & charming, and the other one thinks, 'This individual is pleasing, appealing, & charming to me. Others treat this individual as pleasing, appealing, & charming.' He gives rise to affection for them. This is how affection is born of affection.

“And how is aversion born of affection? There is the case where an individual is pleasing, appealing, & charming to (another) individual. Others treat that individual as displeasing, unappealing, & not charming, and the other one thinks, 'This individual is pleasing, appealing, & charming to me. Others treat this individual as displeasing, unappealing, & not charming.' He gives rise to aversion for them. This is how aversion is born of affection.

“And how is affection born of aversion? There is the case where an individual is displeasing, unappealing, & not charming to (another) individual. Others treat that individual as displeasing, unappealing, & not charming, and the other one thinks, 'This individual is displeasing, unappealing, & not charming to me. Others treat this individual as displeasing, unappealing, & not charming.' He gives rise to affection for them. This is how affection is born of aversion.

“And how is aversion born of aversion? There is the case where an individual is displeasing, unappealing, & not charming to (another) individual. Others treat that individual as pleasing, appealing, & charming, and the other one thinks, 'This individual is displeasing, unappealing, & not charming to me. Others treat this individual as pleasing, appealing, & charming.' He gives rise to aversion for them. This is how aversion is born of aversion.</p> <!– jtb 020511 & 20100529: To clarify these four paragraphs: 1) Alice likes Bob; Carol also like Bob; therefore Alice likes Carol (i.e., affection gives rise to affection). 2) Alice likes Bob; Carol dislikes Bob; therefore Alice dislikes Carol (i.e., affection gives rise to aversion). 3) Alice dislikes Bob; Carol dislikes Bob; therefore Alice likes Carol (i.e., aversion gives rise to affection). 4) Alice dislikes Bob; Carol likes Bob; therefore Alice dislikes Carol (i.e., aversion gives rise to aversion).

This calls to mind an article in Scientific American's “Mathematical Recreations” column from many years ago (1970s? 80s?) involving the application of simple mathematical operations to human relations. Some human relationships are transitive (A likes B; B likes C; therefore A (probably) likes C), while others are not (A hates B; B hates C; therefore A (probably) doesn't hate C). Some are commutative: A likes B, therefore B likes A. Alas, life's not so simple! –> <p>“Monks, these are the four things that are born.

“Now, on the occasion when a monk, quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful (mental) qualities, enters & remains in the first jhana — rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation — then any affection of his that is born of affection does not come about. Any aversion of his that is born of affection… any affection of his that is born of aversion… any aversion of his that is born of aversion does not come about.

“On the occasion when a monk… enters & remains in the second jhana… enters & remains in the third jhana… enters & remains in the fourth jhana, then any affection of his that is born of affection does not come about. Any aversion of his that is born of affection… any affection of his that is born of aversion… any aversion of his that is born of aversion does not come about.

“On the occasion when a monk, through the ending of the mental fermentations, enters & remains in the fermentation-free awareness-release & discernment-release, having known & verified them for himself right in the here & now, then any affection of his that is born of affection is abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Any aversion of his that is born of affection… any affection of his that is born of aversion… any aversion of his that is born of aversion is abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising.

“This is said to be a monk who doesn't pull in, doesn't push away, doesn't smolder, doesn't flare up, and doesn't burn.

“And how does a monk pull in? There is the case where a monk assumes form to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form. He assumes feeling to be the self, or the self as possessing feeling, or feeling as in the self, or the self as in feeling. He assumes perception to be the self, or the self as possessing perception, or perception as in the self, or the self as in perception. He assumes (mental) fabrications to be the self, or the self as possessing fabrications, or fabrications as in the self, or the self as in fabrications. He assumes consciousness to be the self, or the self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in the self, or the self as in consciousness. This is how a monk pulls in.

“And how does a monk not pull in? There is the case where a monk doesn't assume form to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form. He doesn't assume feeling to be the self… doesn't assume perception to be the self… doesn't assume fabrications to be the self… doesn't assume consciousness to be the self, or the self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in the self, or the self as in consciousness. This is how a monk doesn't pull in.

“And how does a monk push away? There is the case where a monk returns insult to one who has insulted him, returns anger to one who is angry at him, quarrels with one who is quarreling. This is how a monk pushes away.

“And how does a monk not push away? There is the case where a monk doesn't return insult to one who has insulted him, doesn't return anger to one who is angry at him, doesn't quarrel with one who is quarreling. This is how a monk doesn't push away.

“And how does a monk smolder? There is the case where, there being 'I am,' there comes to be 'I am here,' there comes to be 'I am like this' … 'I am otherwise' … 'I am bad' … 'I am good' … 'I might be' … 'I might be here' … 'I might be like this' … 'I might be otherwise' … 'May I be' … 'May I be here' … 'May I be like this' … 'May I be otherwise' … 'I will be' … 'I will be here' … 'I will be like this' … 'I will be otherwise.'

“And how does a monk not smolder? There is the case where, there not being 'I am,' there doesn't come to be 'I am here,' there doesn't come to be 'I am like this' … 'I am otherwise' … 'I am bad' … 'I am good' … 'I might be' … 'I might be here' … 'I might be like this' … 'I might be otherwise' … 'May I be' … 'May I be here' … 'May I be like this' … 'May I be otherwise' … 'I will be' … 'I will be here' … 'I will be like this' … 'I will be otherwise.'

“And how does a monk flare up? There is the case where, there being 'I am because of this (or: by means of this),' there comes to be 'I am here because of this,' there comes to be 'I am like this because of this' … 'I am otherwise because of this' … 'I am bad because of this' … 'I am good because of this' … 'I might be because of this' … 'I might be here because of this' … 'I might be like this because of this' … 'I might be otherwise because of this' … 'May I be because of this' … 'May I be here because of this' … 'May I be like this because of this' … 'May I be otherwise because of this' … 'I will be because of this' … 'I will be here because of this' … 'I will be like this because of this' … 'I will be otherwise because of this.'

“And how does a monk not flare up? There is the case where, there not being 'I am because of this (or: by means of this),' there doesn't come to be 'I am here because of this,' there doesn't come to be 'I am like this because of this' … 'I am otherwise because of this' … 'I am bad because of this' … 'I am good because of this' … 'I might be because of this' … 'I might be here because of this' … 'I might be like this because of this' … 'I might be otherwise because of this' … 'May I be because of this' … 'May I be here because of this' … 'May I be like this because of this' … 'May I be otherwise because of this' … 'I will be because of this' … 'I will be here because of this' … 'I will be like this because of this' … 'I will be otherwise because of this.'

“And how does a monk burn? There is the case where a monk's conceit of 'I am' is <i>not</i> abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. This is how a monk burns.

“And how does a monk not burn? There is the case where a monk's conceit of 'I am' <i>is</i> abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. This is how a monk doesn't burn.”</p>

<p>See also: AN 4.199.</p>

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<div id="F_citation"><b>How to cite this document</b> (one suggested style): "Pema Sutta: Affection" (AN 4.200), translated from the Pali by  Thanissaro Bhikkhu. <i>Access to Insight</i>, 9 July 2010, [[http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.200.than.html|http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.200.than.html]] . Retrieved on 10 September 2012 (Offline Edition 2012.09.10.14), republished by <i>Zugang zur Einsicht</i> on &nbsp;

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en/tipitaka/sut/an/an04/an04.200.than.txt · Last modified: 2018/11/14 04:26 by Johann