[Buddha-l] Recreational swimming?

Joy Vriens joy.vriens at gmail.com
Sat Nov 12 09:02:14 MST 2011

Hi Dan,

Thanks for your added information, allowing me to further reconstitute a 
day of the Buddha's life à la Leroy-Ladurie.

    "They are taking a vacation day. And from what grueling workaday
    world are they vacationing? Dealing with eager and/or stupid monks.
    Ergo the ambush arranged by Ananda."

The continuous search for freedom. In stages. First from one's 
husband... (or wife and fetter of a son...)

*II.3 — Sumangala's Mother*So freed! So freed! So thoroughly freed am I 
— from my pestle, my shameless husband & his sun-shade making, my moldy 
old pot with its water-snake smell. Aversion & passion I cut with a 
/chop./ Having come to the foot of a tree, I meditate, absorbed in the 
bliss: "What bliss!"

Bu then a monk's or nun's life may have its own (social) obligations and 
routines. I guess the Buddha thinks his impressario (Ananda) is simply 
doing his networking job and accepts it patiently. Especially after 
having spent a nice afternoon. Perhaps Ananda knew exactly how to get 
things accepted by the Buddha. If he would have told him in the morning, 
Sir, we have an appointment with Rammaka this evening, The Buddha might 
have refused. But after such a lovely and restful afternoon, he didn't 
mind. A smooth mover Ananda! And he knew the Buddha would accept even 
before suggesting the visit to him.

    "Not only has Ananda maneuvered Buddha to a spot he has prearranged
    for the monks to be, he has let Buddha use the day to relax, refresh
    himself, so he will be up for the talk when he arrives. He's so
    relaxed that he shares some autobiographical details he presumably
    had neglected to spell out in precisely that way before (though we
    have alternate templates of most of the elements he recounts in
    other suttas). Ananda is the genius arranger and organizer of this
    part of the story, and I'm not sure why Lance wants to deny him his
    due. I can see how Lance chooses to read the story, but that seems a
    forced denial of what is clearly, if tacitly going on. I like this
    Buddha. This is the one who occasionally finds monks and noise
    annoying, who has backaches, who disavowed being omniscient, who
    gets sick, who dies because he didn't keep a kosher diet, and who
    was sharp as a whip, oratorically gifted, logically clearheaded, and
    very human, or the sort of human one is supposed to aspire to be.
    Tradition has buried him in gold-dust and fairy-dust, which, ever so
    often, it is nice to sweep away and glimpse the wise peripatetic who
    didn't suffer a cranial obtrusion."

A very endearing Buddha indeed.


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