Do the Suttas Sometimes Contain Hidden Meanings/Messages?

For example, I’ve heard that the Pali suttas sometimes use wordplay that perhaps yields double meanings, but I’m not sure. Is anyone aware if this is true and/or if there are other instances of double or hidden meanings in suttas that are not readily apparent?

Can Mr. Brook give an example please

I’m also hoping for an example, Ruben. I’ve heard about this before but haven’t heard of any specific examples.

Well I am surprised by the understanding sometimes of Modern Buddhism.

First off be warned of Buddha future danger warning.

And again, there will be in the course of the future monks undeveloped in body… virtue… mind… discernment. They — being undeveloped in body… virtue… mind… discernment — will not listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, profound, transcendent, connected with the Void — are being recited. They will not lend ear, will not set their hearts on knowing them, will not regard these teachings as worth grasping or mastering. But they will listen when discourses that are literary works — the works of poets, elegant in sound, elegant in rhetoric, the work of outsiders, words of disciples — are recited. They will lend ear and set their hearts on knowing them. They will regard these teachings as worth grasping and mastering. Thus from corrupt Dhamma comes corrupt discipline; from corrupt discipline, corrupt Dhamma.

I will try understand your question. I will get back to you. :pray:t4:

Well I’m not sure if this is what you mean

Let me try the first one. For example Brahma is used for Highest in Suttas.

That’s why the one like Brahma Sahampati was a monk in the past and mastered some teachings and was supposedly reborn as I understand in the highest Brahma world. That’s my understanding. But actually if you see the instance that they are former disciples as I remember. Or it looks like that’s what it’s portraying. What the tradition was doing is sending a message obviously, to me then. That disciples are reborn in highest heaven of Brahma World. And as I see it again. By using the epithet Brahma in front of the names of disciples that was born in the highest heaven. They are declaring the highest that can be achieved by just be a disciple and by doing the same mastery you get to be reborn also. Not that it’s the highest goal. It was used also by Buddha to mention the ones worthy to be said that they are AS Brahma. And here he says to the ones that understand. Meaning should then be THE HIGHEST in Indian Society. It’s like is said of Buddha that he god of gods. But Buddha himself said he is not a god but a Buddha. People also called him to be as Brahmā but there is early text he doesn’t say something back about that reaction. But in Nikāyas there is one sutta where he says he only accepts if he the person means there is some good qualities in him. As I remember

Something like that?

My apologies if I misunderstood your question. I think I might have better ones but I think I have to search again

There are many cases where a relatively straightforward passage gets a memorable twist in the commentary.

For example, Dhammapada Verse 1 comes to mind, where the verse is about suffering following a corrupt mind, but the commentary tells the story of an Arahant who (with a pure mind) accidentally leaves behind a vicious trail of insect carnage. Or the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta commentary which explains how not being mindful when stretching your limbs can lead a monk to disrobe! Etc etc

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Thanks, Bhante. The example I think I recall hearing about had to do with the use of Pali, wordplay, and possibly even humor.

That said, the reason I’m so interested in this topic is because it appears that in one particular sutta the use of 5 different but related similes seems to possibly convey a more subtle message.

Yeah the commentaries play that kind of game a lot from what I understand. What’s the specific sutta? Perhaps someone here can help out?

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This is something that Ajahn Thanissaro is really into. You may be able to search his pdf’s for the phrase “double meaning” or “word play”.

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AN 3.70 is the sutta I’m speaking of and the similes contained therein.

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Thanks! Do you know where I can find his pdfs?

This is used with double meaning in suttas

Buddha:
Know ignorance as “head”,
gnosis as that which “splits the head”,
with mindfulness, meditation, faith
by determination, effort too.

How much meaning can come out of this?

The seer has crossed the abyss,
with it’s one root, two whirlpools,
Three stains, five extensions,
An ocean with twelve eddies.

From Samyutta

Well here’s the commentary, in case anyone can read Pāli :joy:

Uposathasuttavaṇṇanā

Dasame tadahuposatheti tasmiṃ ahu uposathe taṃ divasaṃ uposathe, pannarasikauposathadivaseti vuttaṃ hoti. Upasaṅkamīti uposathaṅgāni adhiṭṭhāya gandhamālādihatthā upasaṅkami. Handāti vavassaggatthe nipāto. Divā divassāti divasassa divā nāma majjhanho, imasmiṃ ṭhite majjhanhike kāleti attho. Kuto nu tvaṃ āgacchasīti kiṃ karontī vicarasīti pucchati. Gopālakuposathoti gopālakehi saddhiṃ upavasanauposatho. Nigaṇṭhuposathoti nigaṇṭhānaṃ upavasanauposatho. Ariyuposathoti ariyānaṃ upavasanauposatho. Seyyathāpi visākheti yathā nāma, visākhe. Sāyanhasamayesāmikānaṃ gāvo niyyātetvāti gopālakā hi devasikavetanena vā pañcāhadasāhaaddhamāsamāsachamāsasaṃvaccharaparicchedena vā gāvo gahetvā rakkhanti. Idha pana devasikavetanena rakkhantaṃ sandhāyetaṃ vuttaṃ – niyyātetvāti paṭicchāpetvā ‘‘etā vo gāvo’’ti datvā. Itipaṭisañcikkhatīti attano gehaṃ gantvā bhuñjitvā mañce nipanno evaṃ paccavekkhati. Abhijjhāsahagatenāti taṇhāya sampayuttena. Evaṃ kho, visākhe, gopālakuposatho hotīti ariyuposathova ayaṃ, aparisuddhavitakkatāya pana gopālakauposathaṭṭhāne ṭhito. Na mahapphaloti vipākaphalena na mahapphalo. Na mahānisaṃsoti vipākānisaṃsena na mahānisaṃso. Na mahājutikoti vipākobhāsena na mahāobhāso. Na mahāvipphāroti vipākavipphārassa amahantatāya na mahāvipphāro.

Samaṇajātikāti samaṇāyeva. Paraṃ yojanasatanti yojanasataṃ atikkamitvā tato paraṃ. Tesu daṇḍaṃ nikkhipāhīti tesu yojanasatato parabhāgesu ṭhitesu sattesu daṇḍaṃ nikkhipa, nikkhittadaṇḍo hohi. Nāhaṃ kvacani kassaci kiñcanatasminti ahaṃ katthaci kassaci parassa kiñcanatasmiṃ na homi. Kiñcanaṃ vuccati palibodho, palibodho na homīti vuttaṃ hoti. Na ca mama kvacani katthaci kiñcanatatthīti mamāpi kvacani anto vā bahiddhā vā katthaci ekaparikkhārepi kiñcanatā natthi, palibodho natthi, chinnapalibodhohamasmīti vuttaṃ hoti. Bhogeti mañcapīṭhayāgubhattādayo. Adinnaṃyeva paribhuñjatīti punadivase mañce nipajjantopi pīṭhe nisīdantopi yāguṃ pivantopi bhattaṃ bhuñjantopi te bhoge adinneyeva paribhuñjati. Na mahapphaloti nipphalo. Byañjanameva hi ettha sāvasesaṃ, attho pana niravaseso. Evaṃ upavutthassa hi uposathassa appamattakampi vipākaphalaṃ iṭṭhaṃ kantaṃ manāpaṃ nāma natthi. Tasmā nipphalotveva veditabbo. Sesapadesupi eseva nayo.

Upakkiliṭṭhassa cittassāti idaṃ kasmā āha? Saṃkiliṭṭhena hi cittena upavuttho uposatho na mahapphalo hotīti dassitattā visuddhena cittena upavutthassa mahapphalatā anuññātā hoti. Tasmā yena kammaṭṭhānena cittaṃ visujjhati, taṃ cittavisodhanakammaṭṭhānaṃ dassetuṃ idamāha . Tattha upakkamenāti paccattapurisakārena, upāyena vā. Tathāgataṃ anussaratīti aṭṭhahi kāraṇehi tathāgataguṇe anussarati. Ettha hi itipi so bhagavāti so bhagavā itipi sīlena, itipi samādhināti sabbe lokiyalokuttarā buddhaguṇā saṅgahitā. Arahantiādīhi pāṭiyekkaguṇāva niddiṭṭhā. Tathāgataṃ anussarato cittaṃ pasīdatīti lokiyalokuttare tathāgataguṇe anussarantassa cittuppādo pasanno hoti.

Cittassa upakkilesāti pañca nīvaraṇā. Kakkanti āmalakakakkaṃ. Tajjaṃ vāyāmanti tajjātikaṃ tadanucchavikaṃ kakkena makkhanaghaṃsanadhovanavāyāmaṃ. Pariyodapanā hotīti suddhabhāvakaraṇaṃ hoti. Kiliṭṭhasmiṃ hi sīse pasādhanaṃ pasādhetvā nakkhattaṃ kīḷamāno na sobhati, parisuddhe pana tasmiṃ pasādhanaṃ pasādhetvā nakkhattaṃ kīḷamāno sobhati, evameva kiliṭṭhacittena uposathaṅgāni adhiṭṭhāya uposatho upavuttho na mahapphalo hoti, parisuddhena pana cittena uposathaṅgāni adhiṭṭhāya upavuttho uposatho mahapphalo hotīti adhippāyena evamāha. Brahmuposathaṃ upavasatīti brahmā vuccati sammāsambuddho, tassa guṇānussaraṇavasena ayaṃ uposatho brahmuposatho nāma, taṃ upavasati. Brahmunā saddhiṃ saṃvasatīti sammāsambuddhena saddhiṃ saṃvasati. Brahmañcassaārabbhāti sammāsambuddhaṃ ārabbha.

Dhammaṃ anussaratīti sahatantikaṃ lokuttaradhammaṃ anussarati. Sottinti kuruvindakasottiṃ. Kuruvindakapāsāṇacuṇṇena hi saddhiṃ lākhaṃ yojetvā maṇike katvā vijjhitvā suttena āvuṇitvā taṃ maṇi kalāpapantiṃ ubhato gahetvā piṭṭhiṃ ghaṃsenti, taṃ sandhāya vuttaṃ – ‘‘sottiñca paṭiccā’’ti. Cuṇṇanti nhānīyacuṇṇaṃ. Tajjaṃ vāyāmanti ubbaṭṭanaghaṃsanadhovanādikaṃ tadanurūpavāyāmaṃ. Dhammuposathanti sahatantikaṃ navalokuttaradhammaṃ ārabbha upavutthattā ayaṃ uposatho ‘‘dhammuposatho’’ti vutto. Idhāpi pariyodapanāti pade ṭhatvā purimanayeneva yojanā kātabbā.

Saṅghaṃ anussaratīti aṭṭhannaṃ ariyapuggalānaṃ guṇe anussarati. Usmañca paṭiccāti dve tayo vāre gāhāpitaṃ usumaṃ paṭicca. Usañcātipi pāṭho, ayamevattho . Khāranti chārikaṃ. Gomayanti gomuttaṃ vā ajalaṇḍikā vā. Pariyodapanāti idhāpi purimanayeneva yojanā kātabbā. Saṅghuposathanti aṭṭhannaṃ ariyapuggalānaṃ guṇe ārabbha upavutthattā ayaṃ uposatho ‘‘saṅghuposatho’’ti vutto.

Sīlānīti gahaṭṭho gahaṭṭhasīlāni, pabbajito pabbajitasīlāni. Akhaṇḍānītiādīnaṃ attho visuddhimagge (visuddhi. 1.21) vitthāritova. Vālaṇḍupakanti assavālehi vā makacivālādīhi vā kataṃ aṇḍupakaṃ. Tajjaṃvāyāmanti telena temetvā malassa tintabhāvaṃ ñatvā chārikaṃ pakkhipitvā vālaṇḍupakena ghaṃsanavāyāmo. Idha pariyodapanāti pade ṭhatvā evaṃ yojanā kātabbā kiliṭṭhasmiñhi ādāse maṇḍitapasādhitopi attabhāvo olokiyamāno na sobhati, parisuddhe sobhati. Evameva kiliṭṭhena cittena upavuttho uposatho na mahapphalo hoti, parisuddhena pana mahapphalo hotīti. Sīluposathanti attano sīlānussaraṇavasena upavuttho uposatho sīluposatho nāma. Sīlena saddhinti attano pañcasīladasasīlena saddhiṃ. Sīlañcassa ārabbhāti pañcasīlaṃ dasasīlañca ārabbha.

Devatā anussaratīti devatā sakkhiṭṭhāne ṭhapetvā attano saddhādiguṇe anussarati. Ukkanti uddhanaṃ. Loṇanti loṇamattikā. Gerukanti gerukacuṇṇaṃ. Nāḷikasaṇḍāsanti dhamananāḷikañceva parivattanasaṇḍāsañca. Tajjaṃ vāyāmanti uddhane pakkhipanadhamanaparivattanādikaṃ anurūpaṃ vāyāmaṃ. Idha pariyodapanāti pade ṭhatvā evaṃ yojanā veditabbā – saṃkiliṭṭhasuvaṇṇamayena hi pasādhanabhaṇḍena pasādhitā nakkhattaṃ kīḷamānā na sobhanti, parisuddhasuvaṇṇamayena sobhanti. Evameva saṃkiliṭṭhacittassa uposatho na mahapphalo hoti, parisuddhacittassa mahapphalo. Devatuposathanti devatā sakkhiṭṭhāne ṭhapetvā attano guṇe anussarantena upavutthauposatho devatuposatho nāma. Sesaṃ imesu buddhānussatiādīsu kammaṭṭhānesu yaṃ vattabbaṃ siyā, taṃ sabbaṃ visuddhimagge (visuddhi. 1.123 ādayo) vuttameva.

Pāṇātipātanti pāṇavadhaṃ. Pahāyāti taṃ pāṇātipātacetanāsaṅkhātaṃ dussīlyaṃ pajahitvā. Paṭiviratāti pahīnakālato paṭṭhāya tato dussīlyato oratā viratāva. Nihitadaṇḍā nihitasatthāti parūpaghātatthāya daṇḍaṃ vā satthaṃ vā ādāya avattanato nikkhittadaṇḍā ceva nikkhittasatthā cāti attho. Ettha ca ṭhapetvā daṇḍaṃ sabbampi avasesaṃ upakaraṇaṃ sattānaṃ vihiṃsanabhāvato satthanti veditabbaṃ. Yaṃ pana bhikkhū kattaradaṇḍaṃ vā dantakaṭṭhavāsiṃ vā pipphalakaṃ vā gahetvā vicaranti, na taṃ parūpaghātatthāya. Tasmā nihitadaṇḍā nihitasatthātveva saṅkhaṃ gacchanti. Lajjīti pāpajigucchanalakkhaṇāya lajjāya samannāgatā. Dayāpannāti dayaṃ mettacittataṃ āpannā. Sabbapāṇabhūtahitānukampīti sabbe pāṇabhūte hitena anukampakā, tāya eva dayāpannatāya sabbesaṃ pāṇabhūtānaṃ hitacittakāti attho. Ahampajjāti ahampi ajja. Imināpi aṅgenāti imināpi guṇaṅgena. Arahataṃ anukaromīti yathā purato gacchantaṃ pacchato gacchanto anugacchati nāma, evaṃ ahampi arahantehi paṭhamaṃ kataṃ imaṃ guṇaṃ pacchā karonto tesaṃ arahantānaṃ anukaromi. Uposatho ca me upavuttho bhavissatīti evaṃ karontena mayā arahatañca anukataṃ bhavissati, uposatho ca upavuttho bhavissati.

Adinnādānanti adinnassa parapariggahitassa ādānaṃ, theyyaṃ corikanti attho. Dinnameva ādiyantīti dinnādāyī. Cittenapi dinnameva paṭikaṅkhantīti dinnapāṭikaṅkhī. Thenetīti theno, na thenena athenena. Athenattāyeva sucibhūtena. Attanāti attabhāvena, athenaṃ sucibhūtaṃ attabhāvaṃ katvā viharantīti vuttaṃ hoti.

Abrahmacariyanti aseṭṭhacariyaṃ. Brahmaṃ seṭṭhaṃ ācāraṃ carantīti brahmacārī. Ārācārīti abrahmacariyato dūrācārī. Methunāti rāgapariyuṭṭhānavasena sadisattā methunakāti laddhavohārehi paṭisevitabbato methunoti saṅkhaṃ gatā asaddhammā. Gāmadhammāti gāmavāsīnaṃ dhammā.

Musāvādāti alikavacanā tucchavacanā. Saccaṃ vadantīti saccavādī. Saccena saccaṃ saṃdahanti ghaṭṭentīti saccasandhā, na antarantarā musā vadantīti attho . Yo hi puriso kadāci musāvādaṃ vadati, kadāci saccaṃ. Tassa musāvādena antaritattā saccaṃ saccena na ghaṭīyati. Tasmā na so saccasandho. Ime pana na tādisā, jīvitahetupi musā avatvā saccena saccaṃ saṃdahantiyevāti saccasandhā. Thetāti thirā, ṭhitakathāti attho. Eko puggalo haliddirāgo viya thusarāsimhi nikhātakhāṇu viya assapiṭṭhe ṭhapitakumbhaṇḍamiva ca na ṭhitakatho hoti. Eko pāsāṇalekhā viya indakhīlo viya ca ṭhitakatho hoti, asinā sīsaṃ chindantepi dve kathā na katheti. Ayaṃ vuccati theto. Paccayikāti pattiyāyitabbakā, saddhāyikāti attho. Ekacco hi puggalo na paccayiko hoti, ‘‘idaṃ kena vuttaṃ, asukena nāmā’’ti vutte ‘‘mā tassa vacanaṃ saddahathā’’ti vattabbataṃ āpajjati. Eko paccayiko hoti, ‘‘idaṃ kena vuttaṃ, asukenā’’ti vutte ‘‘yadi tena vuttaṃ, idameva pamāṇaṃ, idāni paṭikkhipitabbaṃ natthi, evamevaṃ ida’’nti vattabbataṃ āpajjati. Ayaṃ vuccati paccayiko. Avisaṃvādakālokassāti tāya saccavāditāya lokaṃ na visaṃvādentīti attho.

Surāmerayamajjapamādaṭṭhānanti surāmerayamajjānaṃ pānacetanāsaṅkhātaṃ pamādakāraṇaṃ. Ekabhattikāti pātarāsabhattaṃ sāyamāsabhattanti dve bhattāni. Tesu pātarāsabhattaṃ antomajjhanhikena paricchinnaṃ, itaraṃ majjhanhikato uddhaṃ antoaruṇena. Tasmā antomajjhanhike dasakkhattuṃ bhuñjamānāpi ekabhattikāva honti. Taṃ sandhāya vuttaṃ – ‘‘ekabhattikā’’ti. Rattibhojanaṃ ratti, tato uparatāti rattūparatā. Atikkante majjhanhike yāva sūriyatthaṅgamanā bhojanaṃ vikālabhojanaṃ nāma, tato viratattā viratā vikālabhojanā.

Sāsanassa ananulomattā visūkaṃ paṭāṇibhūtaṃ dassananti visūkadassanaṃ, attanā naccananaccāpanādivasena naccañca gītañca vāditañca, antamaso mayūranaccanādivasenāpi pavattānaṃ naccādīnaṃ visūkabhūtaṃ dassanañcāti naccagītavāditavisūkadassanaṃ. Naccādīni hi attanā payojetuṃ vā parehi payojāpetuṃ vā payuttāni passituṃ vā neva bhikkhūnaṃ, na bhikkhunīnaṃ vaṭṭanti.

Mālādīsu mālāti yaṃkiñci pupphaṃ. Gandhanti yaṃkiñci gandhajātaṃ. Vilepananti chavirāgakaraṇaṃ. Tattha piḷandhanto dhāreti nāma, ūnaṭṭhānaṃ pūrento maṇḍeti nāma, gandhavasena chavirāgavasena ca sādiyanto vibhūseti nāma. Ṭhānaṃ vuccati kāraṇaṃ, tasmā yāya dussīlyacetanāya tāni mālādhāraṇādīni mahājano karoti, tato paṭiviratāti attho. Uccāsayanaṃ vuccati pamāṇātikkantaṃ, mahāsayanaṃ akappiyattharaṇaṃ, tato paṭiviratāti attho.

Kīvamahapphaloti kittakaṃ mahapphalo. Sesapadesupi eseva nayo. Pahūtarattaratanānanti pahūtena rattasaṅkhātena ratanena samannāgatānaṃ, sakalajambudīpatalaṃ bheritalasadisaṃ katvā kaṭippamāṇehi sattahi ratanehi pūritānanti attho. Issariyādhipaccanti issarabhāvena vā issariyameva vā ādhipaccaṃ, na ettha sāhasikakammantipi issariyādhipaccaṃ. Rajjaṃ kāreyyāti evarūpaṃ cakkavattirajjaṃ kāreyya. Aṅgānantiādīni tesaṃ janapadānaṃ nāmāni. Kalaṃ nāgghati soḷasinti ekaṃ ahorattaṃ upavutthauposathe puññaṃ soḷasabhāge katvā tato ekaṃ bhāgañca na agghati. Ekarattuposathassa soḷasiyā kalāya yaṃ vipākaphalaṃ, taṃyeva tato bahutaraṃ hotīti attho. Kapaṇanti parittakaṃ.

Abrahmacariyāti aseṭṭhacariyato. Rattiṃ na bhuñjeyya vikālabhojananti uposathaṃ upavasanto rattibhojanañca divāvikālabhojanañca na bhuñjeyya. Mañce chamāyaṃva sayetha santhateti muṭṭhihatthapādake kappiyamañce vā sudhādiparikammakatāya bhūmiyaṃ vā tiṇapaṇṇapalālādīni santharitvā kate santhate vā sayethāti attho. Etaṃ hi aṭṭhaṅgikamāhuposathanti evaṃ pāṇātipātādīni asamācarantena upavutthaṃ uposathaṃ aṭṭhahi aṅgehi samannāgatattā aṭṭhaṅgikanti vadanti. Taṃ pana upavasantena ‘‘sve uposathiko bhavissāmī’’ti ajjeva ‘‘idañca idañca kareyyāthā’’ti āhārādividhānaṃ vicāretabbaṃ. Uposathadivase pātova bhikkhussa vā bhikkhuniyā vā dasasīlalakkhaṇaññuno upāsakassa vā upāsikāya vā santike vācaṃ bhinditvā uposathaṅgāni samādātabbāni. Pāḷiṃ ajānantena pana ‘‘buddhapaññattaṃ uposathaṃ adhiṭṭhāmī’’ti adhiṭṭhātabbaṃ. Aññaṃ alabhantena attanāpi adhiṭṭhātabbaṃ, vacībhedo pana kātabboyeva . Uposathaṃ upavasantena parūparodhapaṭisaṃyuttā kammantā na vicāretabbā, āyavayagaṇanaṃ karontena na vītināmetabbaṃ, gehe pana āhāraṃ labhitvā niccabhattikabhikkhunā viya paribhuñjitvā vihāraṃ gantvā dhammo vā sotabbo, aṭṭhatiṃsāya ārammaṇesu aññataraṃ vā manasikātabbaṃ.

Sudassanāti sundaradassanā. Obhāsayanti obhāsayamānā. Anupariyantīti vicaranti. Yāvatāti yattakaṃ ṭhānaṃ. Antalikkhagāti ākāsaṅgamā. Pabhāsantīti jotanti pabhā muñcanti. Disāvirocanāti sabbadisāsu virocamānā. Atha vā pabhāsantīti disāhi disā obhāsanti. Virocanāti virocamānā. Veḷuriyanti maṇīti vatvāpi iminā jātimaṇibhāvaṃ dasseti. Ekavassikaveḷuvaṇṇañhi veḷuriyaṃ jātimaṇi nāma. Taṃ sandhāyevamāha. Bhaddakanti laddhakaṃ. Siṅgīsuvaṇṇanti gosiṅgasadisaṃ hutvā uppannattā evaṃ nāmakaṃ suvaṇṇaṃ. Kañcananti pabbateyyaṃ pabbate jātasuvaṇṇaṃ. Jātarūpanti satthuvaṇṇasuvaṇṇaṃ. Haṭakanti kipillikāhi nīhaṭasuvaṇṇaṃ. Nānubhavantīti na pāpuṇanti. Candappabhāti sāmiatthe paccattaṃ, candappabhāyāti attho. Upavassuposathanti upavasitvā uposathaṃ. Sukhudrayānīti sukhaphalāni sukhavedanīyāni. Saggamupenti ṭhānanti saggasaṅkhātaṃ ṭhānaṃ upagacchanti, kenaci aninditā hutvā devaloke uppajjantīti attho. Sesamettha yaṃ antarantarā na vuttaṃ, taṃ vuttānusāreneva veditabbanti.

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I can’t read, Pali, although I plan on starting with Bikkhu Bodhi’s online Pali course that starts tonight. And thanks for the suggestion. The commentaries may help!

Didn’t Buddha say that his Teaching was neither aloof, nor exclusive?

Blockquote
"I’ve taught the Dhamma, having hold the Teaching neither aloof, nor exclusive. The Realized One doesn’t have the closed fist of a teacher when it comes to the teachings.
Desito mayā dhammo anantaraṃ abāhiraṃ karitvā. Natthānanda, tathāgatassa dhammesu ācariyamuṭṭhi. "
SN 47.9

-Antara = aloof
(antaraṁ karoti = to keep away from, or at a distance - to hold aloof. PTS)
-Bāhira, from Sankrit: bahis (bahí s) = expel , banish , exclude.
.

Also, if there are different meanings, shouldn’t one look for them?

For instance, anicca (a-nitya) has two meanings: 1. impermanent, and 2. not one’s own (nitya, opp. to araṇa).
So for instance, the khandhas are both impermanent and not one’s own (a.k.a. natumhāka).

There are some other words in the sutta that have these interesting double meanings.
And there are also words, whose other meanings are far more appropriate.

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That’s on Zoom right?

Yes, it sure is: Pali Course

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Yes. We are recommended to search the deep meaning of a discourse. As was said Ananda was good in that. Many disciples for that reason found their own way to explain Dhamma.

This is a good one

Herein, monks, some foolish men master Dhamma : the Discourses in prose, in prose and verse, the Expositions, the Verses, the Uplifting Verses, the ‘As it was Saids,’ the Birth Stories, the Wonders, the Miscellanies. These, having mastered that Dhamma , do not test the meaning of these things by intuitive wisdom; and these things whose meaning is untested by intuitive wisdom do not become clear; they master this Dhamma simply for the advantage of reproaching others and for the advantage of gossiping, and they do not arrive at that goal for the sake of which they mastered Dhamma . These things, badly grasped by them conduce for a long time to their woe and sorrow. What is the reason for this? Monks, it is because of a wrong grasp of things.