Sutra Collection (TU)
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Buddhist
9:05 h
Sutra (Sanskrit: सूत्र, romanized: sūtra, lit. 'string, thread') in Indian literary traditions refers to an aphorism or a collection of aphorisms in the form of a manual or, more broadly, a condensed manual or text. In Buddhism, sutras, also known as suttas, are canonical scriptures, many of which are regarded as records of the oral teachings of Gautama Buddha. They are not aphoristic, but are quite detailed, sometimes with repetition.
Sutra Collection
-TU-

Talaputa Sutta
To Talaputa the Actor

On one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrel’s Sanctuary.

Then Talaputa, the head of an acting troupe, went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: “Venerable sir, I have heard that it has been passed down by the ancient teaching lineage of actors that ‘When an actor on the stage, in the midst of a festival, makes people laugh and gives them delight with his imitation of reality, then with the breakup of the body, after death, he is reborn in the company of the laughing devas.’ What does the Blessed One have to say about that?”

“Enough, headman, put that aside. Don’t ask me that.”

A second time… A third time Talaputa, the head of an acting troupe, said: “Venerable sir, I have heard that it has been passed down by the ancient teaching lineage of actors that ‘When an actor on the stage, in the midst of a festival, makes people laugh and gives them delight with his imitation of reality, then with the breakup of the body, after death, he is reborn in the company of the laughing devas.’ What does the Blessed One have to say about that?”

“Apparently, headman, I haven’t been able to get past you by saying, ‘enough, headman, put that aside. Don’t ask me that.’ So I will simply answer you. Any beings who are not devoid of passion to begin with, who are bound by the bond of passion, focus with even more passion on things inspiring passion presented by an actor on stage in the midst of a festival. Any beings who are not devoid of aversion to begin with, who are bound by the bond of aversion, focus with even more aversion on things inspiring aversion presented by an actor on stage in the midst of a festival. Any beings who are not devoid of delusion to begin with, who are bound by the bond of delusion, focus with even more delusion on things inspiring delusion presented by an actor on stage in the midst of a festival. Thus the actor— himself intoxicated and heedless, having made others intoxicated and heedless— with the breakup of the body, after death, is reborn in what is called the hell of laughter. But if he holds such a view as this: ‘When an actor on the stage, in the midst of a festival, makes people laugh and gives them delight with his imitation of reality, then with the breakup of the body, after death, he is reborn in the company of the laughing devas,’ that is his wrong view. Now, there are two destinations for a person with wrong view, I tell you: either hell or the animal womb.”

When this was said, Talaputa, the head of an acting troupe, sobbed and burst into tears. The Blessed One said: “That is what I couldn’t get past you by saying, ‘enough, headman, put that aside. Don’t ask me that.’”

“I’m not crying, venerable sir, because of what the Blessed One said to me, but simply because I have been deceived, cheated, and fooled for a long time by that ancient teaching lineage of actors who said: ‘When an actor on the stage, in the midst of a festival, makes people laugh and gives them delight with his imitation of reality, then with the breakup of the body, after death, he is reborn in the company of the laughing devas.’”

“Magnificent, venerable sir! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to show the way to one who was lost, or to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way has the Blessed One— through many lines of reasoning— made the Dhamma clear. I go to the Blessed One for refuge, to the Dhamma, and to the Community of monks. May the Blessed One remember me as a lay follower who has gone to him for refuge, from this day forward, for life.”


Tamonata Sutta
Darkness

“There are these four types of people to be found existing in the world. Which four? One in darkness who is headed for darkness, one in darkness who is headed for light, one in light who is headed for darkness, and one in light who is headed for light.”

“And how is one the type of person in darkness who is headed for darkness? There is the case where a person is born into a lowly family— the family of a scavenger, a hunter, a basket-weaver, a wheelwright, or a sweeper— a family that is poor, with little food or drink, living in hardship, where food and clothing are hard to come by. And he is ugly, misshapen, stunted, and sickly: half-blind or deformed or lame or crippled. He doesn’t receive any [gifts of] food, drink, clothing, or vehicles; garlands, perfumes, or ointments; bedding, shelter, or lamps. He engages in bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, and mental misconduct. Having engaged in bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, and mental misconduct, he— on the break-up of the body, after death— reappears in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in hell. This is the type of person in darkness who is headed for darkness.”

“And how is one the type of person in darkness who is headed for light? There is the case where a person is born into a lower class family— the family of a scavenger, a hunter, a basket-weaver, a wheelwright, or a sweeper— a family that is poor, with little food or drink, living in hardship, where food and clothing are hard to come by. And he is ugly, misshapen, stunted, and sickly: half-blind or deformed or lame or crippled. He doesn’t receive any [gifts of] food, drink, clothing, or vehicles; garlands, perfumes, or ointments; bedding, shelter, or lamps. He engages in good bodily conduct, good verbal conduct, and good mental conduct. Having engaged in good bodily conduct, good verbal conduct, and good mental conduct, he— on the break-up of the body, after death— reappears in the good destination, the heavenly world. This is the type of person in darkness who is headed for light.”

“And how is one the type of person in light who is headed for darkness? There is the case where a person is born into an upper class family— a noble warrior family, a priestly family, a prosperous householder family— a family that is rich, with much wealth, with many possessions, with a great deal of money, a great many accoutrements of wealth, a great many commodities. And he is well-built, handsome, extremely inspiring, endowed with a lotus-like complexion. He receives [gifts of] food, drink, clothing, and vehicles; garlands, perfumes, and ointments; bedding, shelter, and lamps. He engages in bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, and mental misconduct. Having engaged in bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, and mental misconduct, he— on the break-up of the body, after death— reappears in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in hell. This is the type of person in light who is headed for darkness.”