These verses were spoken by Mara
those engaged in austerity and scrupulousness,
those protecting their solitude, and those settled on form,
delighting in the world of devas:
Indeed these mortals instruct rightly in regard to the other world.”
Bodhi page 162 Sagathavagga Devaputtasamyutta 370
Then the Blessed One, having understood, “This is Mara the Evil
One,” replied to Mara the Evil One in verse:
“Whatever forms exist here or beyond,
And those of luminous beauty in the sky,
All these, indeed, you praise, Namuci,
Like bait thrown out for catching fish.”
*Bhikkhu Bodhi (trans.), The Connected Discourses of the Buddha : a
new translation of the Samyutta Nikaya, p. 163
More quotes from Vis. Ch XVII:
Text Vis. 62: Herein, it might be [asked]: How can it be known that
formations have ignorance as their condition? By the fact that they
exist when ignorance exists.
N: So long as ignorance has not been eradicated, kusala kamma,
akusala kamma and imperturbable kamma are committed through body,
speech and mind.
Text Vis.: For when unknowing–in other words, ignorance–of
suffering, etc., is unabandoned in a man,
owing firstly to his unknowing about suffering and about the past,
etc., then he believes the suffering of the round of rebirths to be
All kinds of practice that do not lead out of the cycle of birth and
death are wrong practice: micchaa pa.tipadaa. Kusala kamma without
any understanding of realities does not lead to the end of
defilements and is thus wrong practice.
As the Tiika states about pu๑๑a: Because of his desire for happiness
he performs kusala, and thus fulfills this desire; he performs what
is honourable and that is merit.
And as it also states: Pu๑๑a, merit, in the sense of preparing or
forming up fruit for oneself, is abhisa”nkhaara, and this is
One may perform kaamaavacara kusala, ruupaavacaara kusala or
aruupaavacaara kusala with the desire to have rebirth in happy
planes. Then one is still attached to the cycle.
As we read in the Vis. text:
We should apply this to the present moment, to daily life. On account
of what is seen, heard or experienced through the other senses,
kusala citta or akusala citta arises and these can motivate kamma
through body, speech or mind. Kamma, sankhaara, is conditioned by
Because of our wrong perception of what happines is, we take the
cycle of birth and death for happiness, we cling to life. As we read,
eyesense, the other senses and the objects experienced through these
are the basis of clinging.
The Dependent Origination deals with our daily life. We can notice
that we cling to seeing, hearing, the experience of sense objects.
We lost our way for such a long time because of ignorance, also in
past lives. Therefore it is difficult to understand that the cycle of
birth and death is dukkha.
This text reminds us that we are misleading ourselves all the time.
taking for happiness what is dukkha. Only pa๑๑aa that sees realities
as they are can put an end to our wrong interpretation of the cycle
of birth and death.
The Tiika states that the formation of merit is similar to falling
down steeply (maruppapaata) because it produces birth, etc. which is
the dukkha of falling down steeply.
Kusala kamma produces a happy rebirth, but this is followed by old
age, sickness and death.
Text Vis.: Also, not seeing how that fruit of merit reckoned as
pleasure eventually breeds great distress owing to the suffering in
N: As to the expression great distress, mahaapari.laaha, this is
compared to a fire, a burning grass torch.
Text Vis.: and that it gives little satisfaction,
N: As to little satisfaction (appassaada), here, the fruit of merit
is compared to an executioner’s block where the big and small limbs
of a being are broken up.
Text Vis.: he embarks upon the formation of merit of the kinds
already stated, which is the condition for that very [suffering in
change], like a moth that falls into a lamp’s flame, and like the man
who wants the drop of honey and licks the honey-smeared knife-edge.
N: The fruit of merit is taken for agreeable and pleasant, but in
order to show its danger it is compared to the falling into a lamp’s
flame and the licking of honey from the knife’s edge.
Ignorance is not knowing paramattha dhammas, being deluded about
them. When one perceives people and things and believes them to be
lasting, one does not see them as elements that are devoid of self.
At the moment of ignorance we do not know that there is ignorance, it
is treacherous, dark, covering up the truth. It yokes us to the cycle
of birth and death. It is a latent tendency so powerful, only to be
eradicated at the attainment of arahatship.
When we reflect on ignorance, the greatest danger, we are reminded
not to neglect the development of right understanding of any dhamma
N: I think you will like the following text. A sutta passage is
quoted and it is asked why:
< For therein it is said: “Three, bhikkhus are the formations. Which three? The bodily formation, the verbal formation and the mental formation.” 648. But why are these taken in accordance with these suttas? This Abhidhamma is not newly made; nor is it spoken by sages outside [the dispensation], nor by disciples, nor by deities. But this is spoken by the Omniscient Conquerer. It is in order to illustrate this meaning that a single textual passage is set forth in like manner in the Abhidhamma and in the suttas....>
Some people think that the Abhidhamma is more modern, they have
theories about its history. This Abhidhamma is not newly made.