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An Arrow —Bhikkhu Sujato

Linked Discourses 36

1. With Verses

6. An Arrow

1.1“Mendicants, an uneducated ordinary person feels pleasant, painful, and neutral feelings. 1.2An educated noble disciple also feels pleasant, painful, and neutral feelings. 1.3What, then, is the difference between an ordinary uneducated person and an educated noble disciple?”

1.4“Our teachings are rooted in the Buddha. …”

1.5“When an uneducated ordinary person experiences painful physical feelings they sorrow and pine and lament, beating their breast and falling into confusion. 1.6They experience two feelings: 1.7physical and mental.

1.8It’s like a person who is struck with an arrow, 1.9only to be struck with a second arrow. 1.10That person experiences the feeling of two arrows.

1.11In the same way, when an uneducated ordinary person experiences painful physical feelings they sorrow and pine and lament, beating their breast and falling into confusion. 1.12They experience two feelings: 1.13physical and mental.

1.14When they’re touched by painful feeling, they resist it. 1.15The underlying tendency for repulsion towards painful feeling underlies that.

1.16When touched by painful feeling they look forward to enjoying sensual pleasures. 1.17Why is that? 1.18Because an uneducated ordinary person doesn’t understand any escape from painful feeling apart from sensual pleasures. 1.19Since they look forward to enjoying sensual pleasures, the underlying tendency to greed for pleasant feeling underlies that.

1.20They don’t truly understand feelings’ origin, ending, gratification, drawback, and escape. 1.21The underlying tendency to ignorance about neutral feeling underlies that.

1.22If they feel a pleasant feeling, they feel it attached. 1.23If they feel a painful feeling, they feel it attached. 1.24If they feel a neutral feeling, they feel it attached.

1.25They’re called an uneducated ordinary person who is attached to rebirth, old age, and death, to sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress, I say.

2.1When an educated noble disciple experiences painful physical feelings they don’t sorrow or pine or lament, beating their breast and falling into confusion. 2.2They experience one feeling: 2.3physical, not mental.

3.1It’s like a person who is struck with an arrow, 3.2but was not struck with a second arrow. 3.3That person would experience the feeling of one arrow.

3.4In the same way, when an educated noble disciple experiences painful physical feelings they don’t sorrow or pine or lament, beating their breast and falling into confusion. 3.5They experience one feeling: 3.6physical, not mental.

3.7When they’re touched by painful feeling, they don’t resist it. 3.8There’s no underlying tendency for repulsion towards painful feeling underlying that.

3.9When touched by painful feeling they don’t look forward to enjoying sensual pleasures. 3.10Why is that? 3.11Because an educated noble disciple understands an escape from painful feeling apart from sensual pleasures. 3.12Since they don’t look forward to enjoying sensual pleasures, there’s no underlying tendency to greed for pleasant feeling underlying that.

3.13They truly understand feelings’ origin, ending, gratification, drawback, and escape. 3.14There’s no underlying tendency to ignorance about neutral feeling underlying that.

3.15If they feel a pleasant feeling, they feel it detached. 3.16If they feel a painful feeling, they feel it detached. 3.17If they feel a neutral feeling, they feel it detached.

3.18They’re called an educated noble disciple who is detached from rebirth, old age, and death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress, I say.

3.19This is the difference between an educated noble disciple and an uneducated ordinary person.

4.1A wise and learned person isn’t affected
4.2by feelings of pleasure and pain.
4.3This is the great difference in skill
4.4between the wise and the ordinary.

5.1A learned person who has comprehended the teaching
5.2discerns this world and the next.
5.3Desirable things don’t disturb their mind,
5.4nor are they repelled by the undesirable.

6.1Both favoring and opposing
6.2are cleared and ended, they are no more.
6.3Knowing the stainless, sorrowless state,
6.4they understand rightly, going beyond rebirth.”