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Sedaka Sutta

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Title: Sedaka Sutta: At Sedaka

Summary: Is meditation a selfish endeavor? Using a famous simile of two acrobats, the Buddha resolves this question decisively.

SN 47.19

PTS: S v 168

CDB ii 1648

Sedaka Sutta: At Sedaka

1: The Acrobat

translated from the Pali by

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Alternate translation: Olendzki

Alternate format: <a href=“http://www.suttareadings.net/audio/index.html#sn47.019” title=“Hear this sutta read aloud at SuttaReadings.net”><img src=“./../../../img/listen_16x16.gif” alt='[SuttaReadings.net icon]' class='suttaReadings' /></a>

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<p>I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was living among the Sumbhas. Now there is a Sumbhan town named Sedaka. There the Blessed One addressed the monks, “Monks!”

“Yes, lord,” the monks responded.

The Blessed One said, “Once upon a time, monks, a bamboo acrobat, having erected a bamboo pole, addressed his assistant, Frying Pan: 'Come, my dear Frying Pan. Climb up the bamboo pole and stand on my shoulders.'

”'As you say, Master,' Frying Pan answered the bamboo acrobat and, climbing the bamboo pole, stood on his shoulders.

“So then the bamboo acrobat said to his assistant, 'Now you watch after me, my dear Frying Pan, and I'll watch after you. Thus, protecting one another, watching after one another, we'll show off our skill, receive our reward, and come down safely from the bamboo pole.'

“When he had said this, Frying Pan said to him, 'But that won't do at all, Master. You watch after yourself, and I'll watch after myself, and thus with each of us protecting ourselves, watching after ourselves, we'll show off our skill, receive our reward, and come down safely from the bamboo pole.'

“What Frying Pan, the assistant, said to her Master was the right way in that case.

“Monks, a frame of reference is to be practiced with the thought, 'I'll watch after myself.' A frame of reference is to be practiced with the thought, 'I'll watch after others.' When watching after oneself, one watches after others. When watching after others, one watches after oneself.

“And how does one, when watching after oneself, watch after others? Through pursuing [the practice], through developing it, through devoting oneself to it. This is how one, when watching after oneself, watches after others.

“And how does one, when watching after others, watch after oneself? Through endurance, through harmlessness, and through a mind of kindness & sympathy. This is how one, when watching after others, watches after oneself.

“A frame of reference is to be practiced with the thought, 'I'll watch after myself.' A frame of reference is to be practiced with the thought, 'I'll watch after others.' When watching after oneself, one watches after others. When watching after others, one watches after oneself.”</p>

See also: AN 5.20; AN 4.95; AN 4.96; AN 4.99.

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<b>Provenance:</b>

	<div id="F_sourceCopy">The source of this work is the gift within Access to Insight "Offline Edition 2012.09.10.14", last replication 12. March 2013, generously given by John Bullitt and mentioned as: ©1997 Thanissaro Bhikkhu.</div>
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	<div id="F_sourceTitle">Transcribed from a file provided by the translator.</div>
	<div id="F_atiCopy">This Zugang zur Einsicht edition is <img width="8" src="./../../../img/d2.png" alt="[dana/©]" class='cd'/>2013 (ATI 1997-2012).</div>
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<div id="F_citation"><b>How to cite this document</b> (one suggested style): "Sedaka Sutta: At Sedaka" (SN 47.19), translated from the Pali by  Thanissaro Bhikkhu. <i>Access to Insight</i>, 2 July 2010, [[http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn47/sn47.019.than.html|http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn47/sn47.019.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/sn/sn47/sn47.019.than.txt · Last modified: 2018/11/14 04:27 by Johann