085 Bodhi rājakumāra Sutta

This Sutta is very simillar to few other suttas giving a historical cetails of Buddha’s life prior to the enlightenment. Ariya Pariyesana Sutta, Saccaka Sutta etc. In this sutta Buddha explained his leaving ome life and the search for the Ending of this circle of birth and death. You may notice that many incidents we take as true are just fictious additions or elaborations added later, like Prince Siddhartha leaving home in the middle of the night without telling anybody , riding on Kanthaka horses back with Channa etc. Buddha never said that as what he did in any of these four Suttas.

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§ 1. THUS HAVE I HEARD.
On one occasion the Blessed One was living in the Bhagga country at Suṁsumāragira in the Bhesakaḷā Grove, the Deer Park.

§ 2. Now on that occasion a palace named Kokanada had recently been built for Prince Bodhi, and it had not yet been inhabited by any recluse or brahmin or any human being at all.816

[816:-Prince Bodhi was the son of King Udena of Kosambı̄; his mother was the daughter of King Ca˚ḍappajjota of Avantı̄. The portion of the sutta from §2 through §8 is also found at Vin Cv Kh 5/ii.127–29, where it leads to the formulation of the rule mentioned in the following note]

§ 3. Then Prince Bodhi addressed the brahmin student Sañjikāputta thus:
“Come, my dear Sañjikāputta, go to the Blessed One and pay homage in my name with your head at his feet, and ask whether he is free from illness and affliction and is healthy, strong, and abiding in comfort, saying:
‘Venerable sir, Prince Bodhi pays homage with his head at the Blessed One’s feet, and he asks whether the Blessed One is free from illness…and abiding in comfort.’ Then say this: ‘Venerable sir, let the Blessed One together with the Sangha of bhikkhus consent to accept tomorrow’s meal from Prince Bodhi.’”
“Yes, sir,” Sañjikāputta replied, and he went to the Blessed One and exchanged greetings with him. When this courteous and amiable talk was finished, he sat down at one side and said: “Master Gotama, Prince Bodhi pays homage with his head at Master Gotama’s feet and asks whether he is free from illness…and abiding in comfort. And he says this: ‘Let Master Gotama together with the Sangha of bhikkhus consent to accept tomorrow’s meal from Prince Bodhi.’”

§ 4. The Blessed One consented in silence. Then, knowing that the Blessed One had consented, Sañjikāputta rose from his seat, went to Prince Bodhi, and told him what had happened [92], adding: “The recluse Gotama has consented.”

§ 5. Then, when the night had ended, Prince Bodhi had good food of various kinds prepared in his own residence, and he had the Kokanada Palace spread with white cloth down to the last step of the staircase. Then he addressed the brahmin student Sañjikāputta thus: “Come, my dear Sañjikāputta, go to the Blessed One and announce that it is time thus: ‘It is time, venerable sir, the meal is ready.’”
“Yes, sir,” Sañjikāputta replied, and he went to the Blessed One and announced that it was time thus: “It is time, Master Gotama, the meal is ready.”

§ 6. Then, it being morning, the Blessed One dressed, and taking his bowl and outer robe, went to Prince Bodhi’s residence.

§ 7 . Now on that occasion Prince Bodhi was standing in the outer porch waiting for the Blessed One. When he saw the Blessed One coming in the distance, he went out to meet him and paid homage to him; and then, allowing the Blessed One to precede him, he proceeded to the Kokanada Palace. But the Blessed One stopped at the lowest step of the staircase. Prince Bodhi said to him: “Venerable sir, let the Blessed One step on the cloth, let the Sublime One step on the cloth, that it may lead to my welfare and happiness for a long time.” When this was said, the Blessed One was silent.817

[817:- MA explains that Prince Bodhi was childless and desired a son. He had heard that people can fulfil their wishes by making special offerings to the Buddha, so he spread the white cloth with the idea: “If I am to have a son, the Buddha will step on the cloth; if I am not to have a son, he will not step on the cloth.” The Buddha knew that by reason of past evil kamma, he and his wife were destined to remain childless. Hence he did not step on the cloth. Later he laid down a disciplinary rule prohibiting the bhikkhus from stepping on a white cloth, but subsequently modified the rule to allow bhikkhus to step on a cloth as a blessing for householders.]

A second time…A third time Prince Bodhi said to him: “Venerable sir, let the Blessed One step on the cloth, let the Sublime One step on the cloth, that it may lead to my welfare and happiness for a long time.”
The Blessed One looked at the venerable Ānanda. [93] The venerable Ānanda said to Prince Bodhi: “Prince, let the cloth be removed. The Blessed One will not step on a strip of cloth; the Tathāgata has regard for future generations.”818

[818:- Pacchimaṁ janataṁ Tathāgato apaloketi. The Vin version here reads anukampati, “has compassion,” which is preferable. MA explains that Ven. Ānanda said this with the thought in mind: “In later times people will come to regard honour to the bhikkhus as a way of ensuring the fulfilment of their mundane wishes and will lose faith in the Sangha if their displays of honour do not bring the success they desire.”]

§ 8. So Prince Bodhi had the cloth removed, and he had seats prepared in the upper apartments of the Kokanada Palace. The Blessed One and the Sangha of bhikkhus ascended the Kokanada Palace and sat down on the seats that had been prepared.

§ 9. Then, with his own hands, Prince Bodhi served and satisfied the Sangha of bhikkhus headed by the Buddha with the various kinds of good food. When the Blessed One had eaten and had put his bowl aside, Prince Bodhi took a low seat, sat down at one side, and said to the Blessed One: “Venerable sir, we have thought thus: ‘Pleasure is not to be gained through pleasure; pleasure is to be gained through pain.’”819

[819:- This is the basic tenet of the Jains, as at MN 14.20.]

Exposition by Venerable Ajahn Brahmali – Track 1
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§ 10. “Prince, before my enlightenment, while I was still only an unenlightened Bodhisatta, I too thought thus: ‘Pleasure is not to be gained through pleasure; pleasure is to be gained through pain.’

§11 . “Later, prince, while still young, a black-haired young man endowed. with the blessing of youth, in the prime of life….

§ 12 .“Having gone forth, Prince, in search of what is wholesome, seeking the supreme state of sublime peace, I went to Āḷāra Kālāma and said to him:
‘Friend Kālāma, I want to lead the holy life in this Dhamma and Discipline.’
Āḷāra Kālāma replied: ‘The venerable one may stay here. This Dhamma is such that a wise man [164] can soon enter upon and abide in it, realising for himself through direct knowledge his own teacher’s doctrine.’ I soon quickly learned that Dhamma. As far as mere lip-reciting and rehearsal of his teaching went, I could speak with knowledge and assurance, and I claimed, ‘I know and see’—and there were others who did likewise .

“I considered: ‘It is not through mere faith alone that Āḷāra Kālāma declares:
“By realising for myself with direct knowledge, I enter upon and abide in this Dhamma.”
Certainly Āḷāra Kālāma abides knowing and seeing this Dhamma.’
Then I went to Āḷāra Kālāma and asked him:
‘Friend Kālāma, in what way do you declare that by realising for yourself with direct knowledge you enter upon and abide in this Dhamma?’ In reply he declared the base of nothingness.301 .

“I considered: ‘Not only Āḷāra Kālāma has faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom. I too have faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom. Suppose I endeavour to realise the Dhamma that Āḷāra Kālāma declares he enters upon and abides in by realising for himself with direct knowledge?’

“I soon quickly entered upon and abided in that Dhamma by realising for myself with direct knowledge. Then I went to Āḷāra Kālāma and asked him:
‘Friend Kālāma, is it in this way that you declare that you enter upon and abide in this Dhamma by realising for yourself with direct knowledge?’—
‘That is the way, friend.’—
‘It is in this way, friend, that I also enter upon and abide in this Dhamma by realising for myself with direct knowledge. ’—

‘It is a gain for us, friend, it is a great gain for us that we have such a venerable one for our companion in the holy life. So the Dhamma that I declare I enter upon and abide in by realising for myself with direct knowledge is the Dhamma that you enter upon and abide in by realising for yourself with direct knowledge. [165] And the Dhamma that you enter upon and abide in by realising for yourself with direct knowledge is the Dhamma that I declare I enter upon and abide in by realising for myself with direct knowledge. So you know the Dhamma that I know and I know the Dhamma that you know. As I am, so are you; as you are, so am I. Come, friend, let us now lead this community together.’

“Thus Āḷāra Kālāma, my teacher, placed me, his pupil, on an equal footing with himself and awarded me the highest honour. But it occurred to me: ‘This Dhamma does not lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to peace, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna, but only to reappearance in the base of nothingness. 302

Not being satisfied with that Dhamma, disappointed with it, I left.

[302:- That is, it leads to rebirth in the plane of existence called the base of nothingness, the objective counterpart of the seventh meditative attainment. Here the lifespan is supposed to be 60,000 aeons, but when that has elapsed one must pass away and return to a lower world. Thus one who attains this is still not free from birth and death but is caught in the trap of Māra (MA). Horner misses the point that rebirth is the issue by translating “only as far as reaching the plane of no-thing” (MLS 1:209).]

§ 13. “Still in search, Prince, of what is wholesome, seeking the supreme state of sublime peace, I went to Uddaka Rāmaputta and said to him: ‘Friend, I want to lead the holy life in this Dhamma and Discipline.ʹ303

[303:- Both Horner in MLS and Ñm in Ms err in their translations of the account of the Bodhisatta’s meeting with Uddaka Rāmaputta by assuming that Uddaka is identical with Rāma. However, as his name indicates, Uddaka was the son (putta) of Rāma, who must have already passed away before the Bodhisatta arrived on the scene. It should be noted that all references to Rāma are in the past tense and the third person, and that Uddaka in the end places the Bodhisatta in the position of teacher. Though the text does not allow for definite conclusions, this suggests that he himself had not yet reached the fourth immaterial attainment. ]

Uddaka Rāmaputta replied:
‘The venerable one may stay here. This Dhamma is such that a wise man can soon enter upon and abide in it, himself realising through direct knowledge his own teacher’s doctrine.’

I soon quickly learned that Dhamma. As far as mere lip-reciting and rehearsal of his teaching went, I could speak with knowledge and assurance, and I claimed, ‘I know and see’—and there were others who did likewise.
“I considered: ‘It was not through mere faith alone that Rāma declared: “By realising for myself with direct knowledge, I enter upon and abide in this Dhamma.” Certainly Rāma abided knowing and seeing this Dhamma.’ Then I went to Uddaka Rāmaputta and asked him: ‘Friend, in what way did Rāma declare that by realising for himself with direct knowledge he entered upon and abided in this Dhamma?ʹ In reply Uddaka Rāmaputta declared the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception.

“I considered: ‘Not only Rāma had faith, [166] energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom. I too have faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom. Suppose I endeavour to realise the Dhamma that Rāma declared he entered upon and abided in by realising for himself with direct knowledge.’

“I soon quickly entered upon and abided in that Dhamma by realising for myself with direct knowledge. Then I went to Uddaka Rāmaputta and asked him: ‘Friend, was it in this way that Rāma declared that he entered upon and abided in this Dhamma by realising for himself with direct knowledge?’—
‘That is the way, friend.’—
‘It is in this way, friend, that I also enter upon and abide in this Dhamma by realising for myself with direct knowledge.’—
‘It is a gain for us, friend, it is a great gain for us that we have such a venerable one for our companion in the holy life. So the Dhamma that Rāma declared he entered upon and abided in by realising for himself with direct knowledge is the Dhamma that you enter upon and abide in by realising for yourself with direct knowledge. And the Dhamma that you enter upon and abide in by realising for yourself with direct knowledge is the Dhamma that Rāma declared he entered upon and abided in by realising for himself with direct knowledge. So you know the Dhamma that Rāma knew and Rāma knew the Dhamma that you know. As Rāma was, so are you; as you are, so was Rāma. Come, friend, now lead this community.’

“Thus Uddaka Rāmaputta, my companion in the holy life, placed me in the position of a teacher and accorded me the highest honour. But it occurred to me:
‘This Dhamma does not lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to peace, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna, but only to reappearance in the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception.’ Not being satisfied with that Dhamma, disappointed with it, I left.

§ 14. . “Still in search, prince , of what is wholesome, seeking the supreme state of sublime peace, I wandered by stages through the Magadhan country until eventually I arrived at Uruvelā, at Senānigama. [167] There I saw an agreeable piece of ground, a delightful grove with a clear-flowing river with pleasant, smooth banks and nearby a village for alms resort. I considered:

‘This is an agreeable piece of ground, this is a delightful grove with a clear-flowing river with pleasant, smooth banks and nearby a village for alms resort. This will serve for the striving of a clansman intent on striving.’ And I sat down there thinking:
‘This will serve for striving.ʹ304

[304:- MN 36, Maha Saccaka Sutta which includes the account of the Bodhisatta’s meetings with Ālāra Kālāma and Uddaka Rāmaputta, continues from this point with the story of the extreme ascetic practices that brought him to the verge of death and his subsequent discovery of the middle way that led to enlightenment]

§ 15. “Now three similes occurred to me spontaneously, never heard before.

Suppose there were a wet sappy piece of wood lying in water, and a man came with an upper fire-stick, thinking: ‘I shall light a fire, I shall produce heat.’
What do you think, prince?
Could the man light a fire and produce heat by taking the upper fire-stick and rubbing it against the wet sappy piece of wood lying in the water?”
“No, Master Gotama.
Why not? Because it is a wet sappy piece of wood, [241] and it is lying in water. Eventually the man would reap only weariness and disappointment.”

“So too, prince, as to those recluses and brahmins who still do not live bodily withdrawn from sensual pleasures, and whose sensual desire, affection, infatuation, thirst, and fever for sensual pleasures has not been fully abandoned and suppressed internally, even if those good recluses and brahmins feel painful, racking, piercing feelings due to exertion, they are incapable of knowledge and vision and supreme enlightenment; and even if those good recluses and brahmins do not feel painful, racking, piercing feelings due to exertion, they are incapable of knowledge and vision and supreme enlightenment. This was the first simile that occurred to me spontaneously, never heard before.

§ 16. “Again, prince, a second simile occurred to me spontaneously, never heard before. Suppose there were a wet sappy piece of wood lying on dry land far from water, and a man came with an upper fire-stick, thinking:
‘I shall light a fire, I shall produce heat.’

What do you think, prince ?
Could the man light a fire and produce heat by taking the upper fire-stick and rubbing it against the wet sappy piece of wood lying on dry land far from water?”
“No, Master Gotama.
Why not? Because it is a wet sappy piece of wood, even though it is lying on dry land far from water. Eventually the man would reap only weariness and disappointment.”

“So too, prince, as to those recluses and brahmins who live bodily withdrawn from sensual pleasures,386 but whose sensual desire, affection, infatuation, thirst, and fever for sensual pleasures has not been fully abandoned and suppressed internally, even if those good recluses and brahmins feel painful, racking, piercing feelings due to exertion, they are incapable of knowledge and vision and supreme enlightenment; and even if those good recluses and brahmins do not feel painful, racking, piercing feelings due to exertion, they are incapable of knowledge and vision and supreme enlightenment. This was the second simile that occurred to me spontaneously, never heard before.

[386:- PTS is certainly mistaken in reading here avūpakaṭṭho, “not withdrawn.” In the first edition I translated this passage on the basis of BBS, which has kāyena c’eva cittena ca. But PTS and SBJ omit cittena, and it seems difficult to understand how these ascetics can be described as “mentally withdrawn” from sensual pleasures when they have not stilled sensual desire within themselves. I therefore follow PTS and SBJ.]

§ 17. “Again, prince, a third simile occurred to me [242] spontaneously, never heard before.

Suppose there were a dry sapless piece of wood lying on dry land far from water, and a man came with an upper fire-stick, thinking: ‘I shall light a fire, I shall produce heat.

’ What do you think, prince? Could the man light a fire and produce heat by rubbing it against the dry sapless piece of wood lying on dry land far from water?”
“Yes, Master Gotama.
Why so?
Because it is a dry sapless piece of wood, and it is lying on dry land far from water.”

“So too, prince, as to those recluses and brahmins who live bodily withdrawn from sensual pleasures, and whose sensual desire, affection, infatuation, thirst, and fever for sensual pleasures has been fully abandoned and suppressed internally, even if those good recluses and brahmins feel painful, racking, piercing feelings due to exertion, they are capable of knowledge and vision and supreme enlightenment; and even if those good recluses and brahmins do not feel painful, racking, piercing feelings due to exertion, they are capable of knowledge and vision and supreme nlightenment.387

[387:- It is puzzling that in the following paragraphs the Bodhisatta is shown engaging in self-mortification after he had here come to the conclusion that such practices are useless for the attainment of enlightenment. This dissonant juxtaposition of ideas raises a suspicion that the narrative sequence of the sutta has become jumbled. The appropriate place for the simile of the fire-sticks, it seems, would be at the end of the Bodhisatta’s period of ascetic experimentation, when he has acquired a sound basis for rejecting self-mortification.
Nevertheless, MA accepts the sequence as given and raises the question why the Bodhisatta undertook the practice of austerities if he could have attained Buddhahood without doing so. It answers: He did so, first, in order to show his own exertion to the world, because the quality of invincible energy gave him joy; and second, out of compassion for later generations, by inspiring them to strive with the same determination that he applied to the attainment of enlightenment.]

This was the third simile that occurred to me spontaneously, never heard before. These are the three similes that occurred to me spontaneously, never heard before.

§ 18. “I thought: ‘Suppose, with my teeth clenched and my tongue pressed against the roof of my mouth, I beat down, constrain, and crush mind with mind.’
So, with my teeth clenched and my tongue pressed against the roof of my mouth, I beat down, constrained, and crushed mind with mind.

While I did so, sweat ran from my armpits. Just as a strong man might seize a weaker man by the head or shoulders and beat him down, constrain him, and crush him, so too, with my teeth clenched and my tongue pressed against the roof of my mouth, I beat down, constrained, and crushed mind with mind, and sweat ran from my armpits.

But although tireless energy was aroused in me and unremitting mindfulness was established, my body was overwrought [243] and uncalm because I was exhausted by the painful striving. But such painful feeling that arose in me did not invade my mind and remain.388

[388:- This sentence, repeated at the end of each of the following sections as well, answers the second of the two questions posed by Saccaka in saccaka sutta.]

§ 19. “I thought: ‘Suppose I practise the breathingless meditation. ’

So I stopped the in-breaths and out-breaths through my mouth and nose. While I did so, there was a loud sound of winds coming out from my earholes. Just as there is a loud sound when a smith’s bellows are blown, so too, while I stopped the in-breaths and out-breaths through my nose and ears, there was a loud sound of winds coming out from my earholes. But although tireless energy was aroused in me and unremitting mindfulness was established, my body was overwrought and uncalm because I was exhausted by the painful striving. But such painful feeling that arose in me did not invade my mind and remain.

§ 20 . “I thought: ‘Suppose I practise further the breathingless meditation.

. ’ So I stopped the in-breaths and out-breaths through my mouth, nose, and ears. While I did so, violent winds cut through my head. Just as if a strong man were to crush my head with the tip of a sharp sword, so too, while I stopped the in-breaths and out-breaths through my mouth, nose, and ears, violent winds cut through my head. But although tireless energy was aroused in me and unremitting mindfulness was established, my body was overwrought and uncalm because I was exhausted by the painful striving. But such painful feeling that arose in me did not invade my mind and remain.

§ 21 . “I thought: ‘Suppose I practise further the breathingless meditation.’

. So I stopped the in-breaths and out-breaths through my mouth, nose, and ears. While I did so, there were violent pains in my head. Just as if a strong man [244] were tightening a tough leather strap around my head as a headband, so too, while I stopped the in-breaths and out-breaths through my mouth, nose, and ears, there were violent pains in my head. But although tireless energy was aroused in me and unremitting mindfulness was established, my body was overwrought and uncalm because I was exhausted by the painful striving. But such painful feeling that arose in me did not invade my mind and remain.

§ 22. “I thought: ‘Suppose I practise further the breathingless meditation.’

. So I stopped the in-breaths and out-breaths through my mouth, nose, and ears. While I did so, violent winds carved up my belly. Just as if a skilled butcher or his apprentice were to carve up an ox’s belly with a sharp butcher’s knife, so too, while I stopped the in-breaths and out-breaths through my mouth, nose, and ears, violent winds carved up my belly. But although tireless energy was aroused in me and unremitting mindfulness was established, my body was overwrought and uncalm because I was exhausted by the painful striving. But such painful feeling that arose in me did not invade my mind and remain.

§23 . “I thought: ‘Suppose I practise further the breathingless meditation.’

So I stopped the in-breaths and out-breaths through my mouth, nose, and ears. While I did so, there was a violent burning in my body. Just as if two strong men were to seize a weaker man by both arms and roast him over a pit of hot coals, so too, while I stopped the in-breaths and out-breaths through my mouth, nose, and ears, there was a violent burning in my body. But although tireless energy was aroused in me and unremitting mindfulness was established, my body was overwrought and uncalm because I was exhausted by the painful striving. But such painful feeling that arose in me did not invade my mind and remain.

§ 24 . “Now when [245] deities saw me, some said: ‘The recluse Gotama is dead.’
Other deities said: ‘The recluse Gotama is not dead, he is dying.’
And other deities said: ‘The recluse Gotama is not dead nor dying; he is an arahant, for such is the way arahants abide.’

§ 25 . “I thought: ‘Suppose I practise entirely cutting off food.’

Then deities came to me and said: ‘Good sir, do not practise entirely cutting off food. If you do so, we shall infuse heavenly food into the pores of your skin and you will live on that.’ I considered: ‘If I claim to be completely fasting while these deities infuse heavenly food into the pores of my skin and I live on that, then I shall be lying.’ So I dismissed those deities, saying: ‘There is no need.’

§26 . “I thought: ‘Suppose I take very little food, a handful each time, whether of bean soup or lentil soup or vetch soup or pea soup.’ So I took very little food, a handful each time, whether of bean soup or lentil soup or vetch soup or pea soup.

While I did so, my body reached a state of extreme emaciation. Because of eating so little my limbs became like the jointed segments of vine stems or bamboo stems. Because of eating so little my backside became like a camel’s hoof. Because of eating so little the projections on my spine stood forth like corded beads. Because of eating so little my ribs jutted out as gaunt as the crazy rafters of an old roofless barn. Because of eating so little the gleam of my eyes sank far down in their sockets, looking like the gleam of water that has sunk far down in a deep well. Because of eating so little my scalp shrivelled and withered as [246] a green bitter gourd shrivels and withers in the wind and sun.

Because of eating so little my belly skin adhered to my backbone; thus if I touched my belly skin I encountered my backbone and if I touched my backbone I encountered my belly skin. Because of eating so little, if I defecated or urinated, I fell over on my face there. Because of eating so little, if I tried to ease my body by rubbing my limbs with my hands, the hair, rotted at its roots, fell from my body as I rubbed.

§ 27 . “Now when people saw me, some said: ‘The recluse Gotama is black.’
Other people said: ‘The recluse Gotama is not black, he is brown.’
Other people said: ‘The recluse Gotama is neither black nor brown, he is golden-skinned.’ So much had the clear, bright colour of my skin deteriorated through eating so little.

§ 28 . “I thought: ‘Whatever recluses or brahmins in the past have experienced painful, racking, piercing feelings due to exertion, this is the utmost, there is none beyond this. And whatever recluses and brahmins in the future will experience painful, racking, piercing feelings due to exertion, this is the utmost, there is none beyond this. And whatever recluses and brahmins at present experience painful, racking, piercing feelings due to exertion, this is the utmost, there is none beyond this. But by this racking practice of austerities I have not attained any superhuman states, any distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones. Could there be another path to enlightenment?’

§ 29 . “I considered: ‘I recall that when my father the Sakyan was occupied, while I was sitting in the cool shade of a rose-apple tree, quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, I entered upon and abided in the first jhāna, which is accompanied by applied and sustained thought, with rapture and pleasure born of seclusion.389 Could that be the path to enlightenment?’ Then, following on that memory, came the realisation: ‘That is
indeed the path to enlightenment.’

[389:- MA: During the Bodhisatta’s boyhood as a prince, on one occasion his father led a ceremonial ploughing at a traditional festival of the Sakyans. The prince was brought to the festival and a place was prepared for him under a roseapple tree. When his attendants left him to watch the ploughing ceremony, the prince, finding himself all alone, spontaneously sat up in the meditation posture and attained the first jhāna through mindfulness of breathing. When the attendants returned and found the boy seated in meditation, they reported this to the king, who came and bowed down in veneration to his son.]

§30 . “I thought: ‘Why [247] am I afraid of that pleasure that has nothing to do with sensual pleasures and unwholesome states?’ I thought: ‘I am not afraid of that pleasure since it has nothing to do with sensual pleasures and unwholesome states.’390

[390:- This passage marks a change in the Bodhisatta’s evaluation of pleasure; now it is no longer regarded as something to be feared and banished by the practice of austerities, but, when born of seclusion and detachment, is seen as a valuable accompaniment of the higher stages along the path to enlightenment. See MN 139.9 on the twofold division of pleasure. ]

§ 31 . “I considered: ‘It is not easy to attain that pleasure with a body so excessively emaciated. Suppose I ate some solid food—some boiled rice and porridge.’ And I ate some solid food—some boiled rice and porridge. Now at that time five bhikkhus were waiting upon me, thinking: ‘If our recluse Gotama achieves some higher state, he will inform us.’ But when I ate the boiled rice and porridge, the five bhikkhus were disgusted and left me, thinking: ‘The recluse Gotama now lives luxuriously; he has given up his striving and reverted to luxury.’

§ 32 . “Now when I had eaten solid food and regained my strength, then quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, I entered upon and abided in the first jhāna, which is accompanied by applied and sustained thought, with rapture and pleasure born of seclusion. But such pleasant feeling that arose in me did not invade my mind and remain.391

[391:- This sentence answers the first of the two questions posed by Saccaka in saccaka sutta]

§33-. “With the stilling of applied and sustained thought, I entered upon and abided in the second jhāna…

§34 ..With the fading away as well of rapture…I entered upon and abided in the third jhāna…

§35 . With the abandoning of pleasure and pain…
I entered upon and abided in the fourth jhāna…But such pleasant feeling that arose in me did not invade my mind and remain.

§ 36 . “When my concentrated mind was thus purified, bright, unblemished, rid of imperfection, malleable, wieldy, steady, and attained to imperturbability, [248] I directed it to knowledge of the recollection of past lives. I recollected my manifold past lives, that is, one birth, two births…(as Sutta 4, §27)…Thus with their aspects and particulars I recollected my manifold past lives.

§37. “This was the first true knowledge attained by me in the first watch of the night. Ignorance was banished and true knowledge arose, darkness was banished and light arose, as happens in one who abides diligent, ardent, and resolute. But such pleasant feeling that arose in me did not invade my mind and remain.

§ 38 . “When my concentrated mind was thus purified, bright, unblemished, rid of imperfection, malleable, wieldy, steady, and attained to imperturbability, I directed it to knowledge of the passing away and reappearance of beings…(as Sutta 4, §29)… Thus with the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, I saw beings passing away and reappearing, inferior and superior, fair and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate, and I understood how beings pass on according to their actions.

§39 . “This was the second true knowledge attained by me in the middle watch of the night. Ignorance was banished and true knowledge arose, [249] darkness was banished and light arose, as happens in one who abides diligent, ardent, and resolute. But such pleasant feeling that arose in me did not invade my mind and remain.

§40 . “When my concentrated mind was thus purified, bright, unblemished, rid of imperfection, malleable, wieldy, steady, and attained to imperturbability, I directed it to knowledge of the destruction of the taints. I directly knew as it actually is: ‘This is suffering’;…‘This is the origin of suffering’;…‘This is the cessation of suffering’;…‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering’; …‘These are the taints’;…‘This is the origin of the taints’;…‘This is the cessation of the taints’;…‘This is the way leading to the cessation of the taints.’

§41. “When I knew and saw thus, my mind was liberated from the taint of sensual desire, from the taint of being, and from the taint of ignorance. When it was liberated there came the knowledge: ‘It is liberated.’ I directly knew: ‘Birth is destroyed, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more coming to any state of being.’

.§ 42 . “This was the third true knowledge attained by me in the last watch of the night. Ignorance was banished and true knowledge arose, darkness was banished and light arose, as happens in one who abides diligent, ardent, and resolute. “I considered:

§43 ‘This Dhamma that I have attained is profound, hard to see and hard to understand, peaceful and sublime, unattainable by mere reasoning, subtle, to be experienced by the wise.305 But this generation delights in attachment, takes delight in attachment, rejoices in attachment.306

[305:- MA identifies “this Dhamma” with the Four Noble Truths. The two truths or states (ṭhana) spoken of just below—dependent origination and Nibbāna—are the truths of the origin of suffering and the cessation of suffering, which respectively imply the truths of suffering and the path.]

[306:- Ālaya. It is difficult to find for this word a suitable English equivalent that has not already been assigned to a more frequently occurring Pali term. Horner renders it as “sensual pleasure,” which appropriates the usual rendering of kāma and may be too narrow. In Ms and in other published works Ñm translates it as “something to rely on,” which may draw upon a connotation of the word that is not the one intended here. MA explains ālaya as comprising both objective sense pleasures and the thoughts of craving concerned with them.]

It is hard for such a generation to see this truth, namely, specific conditionality, dependent origination. And it is hard to see this truth, namely, the stilling of all formations, the relinquishing of all acquisitions, the destruction of craving, dispassion, cessation, Nibbāna. [168] If I were to teach the Dhamma, others would not understand me, and that would be wearying and troublesome for me.’ Thereupon there came to me spontaneously these stanzas never heard before:

‘Enough with teaching the Dhamma
That even I found hard to reach;
For it will never be perceived
By those who live in lust and hate.


Those dyed in lust, wrapped in darkness
Will never discern this abstruse Dhamma
Which goes against the worldly stream,
Subtle, deep, and difficult to see.

Considering thus, my mind inclined to inaction rather than to teaching the Dhamma.307

[307:- MA raises the question why, when the Bodhisatta had long ago made an aspiration to reach Buddhahood in order to liberate others, his mind now inclined towards inaction. The reason, the commentator says, is that only now, after reaching enlightenment, did he become fully cognizant of the strength of the defilements in people’s minds and of the profundity of the Dhamma. Also, he wanted Brahmā to entreat him to teach so that beings who venerated Brahmā would recognise the precious value of the Dhamma and desire to listen to it.]

§ 44. “Then, bhikkhus, the Brahmā Sahampati knew with his mind the thought in my mind and he considered:
‘The world will be lost, the world will perish, since the mind of the Tathāgata, accomplished and fully enlightened, inclines to inaction rather than to teaching the Dhamma.’

Then, just as quickly as a strong man might extend his flexed arm or flex his extended arm, the Brahmā Sahampati vanished in the Brahma-world and appeared before me. He arranged his upper robe on one shoulder, and extending his hands in reverential salutation towards me, said: ‘Venerable sir, let the Blessed One teach the Dhamma, let the Sublime One teach the Dhamma. There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are wasting through not hearing the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.’

The Brahmā Sahampati spoke thus, and then he said further:

In Magadha there have appeared till now
Impure teachings devised by those still stained.
Open the doors to the Deathless! Let them hear
The Dhamma that the Stainless One has found
.

Just as one who stands on a mountain peak
Can see below the people all around,
So, O Wise One, All-seeing Sage,
Ascend the palace of the Dhamma.
Let the Sorrowless One survey this human breed,
Engulfed in sorrow, overcome by birth and old age
. [169]


Arise, victorious hero, caravan leader,
Debtless one, and wander in the world.
Let the Blessed One teach the Dhamma,
There will be those who will understand
.’

§  45 . “Then I listened to the Brahmā’s pleading, and out of compassion for beings I surveyed the world with the eye of a Buddha. Surveying the world with the eye of a Buddha, I saw beings with little dust in their eyes and with much dust in their eyes, with keen faculties and with dull faculties, with good qualities and with bad qualities, easy to teach and hard to teach, and some who dwelt seeing fear and blame in the other world. Just as in a pond of blue or red or white lotuses, some lotuses that are born and grow in the water thrive immersed in the water without rising out of it, and some other lotuses that are born and grow in the water rest on the water’s surface, and some other lotuses that are born and grow in the water rise out of the water and stand clear, unwetted by it; so too, surveying the world with the eye of a Buddha, I saw beings with little dust in their eyes and with much dust in their eyes, with keen faculties and with dull faculties, with good qualities and with bad qualities, easy to teach and hard to teach, and some who dwelt seeing fear and blame in the other world. Then I replied to the Brahmā Sahampati in stanzas:
Open for them are the doors to the Deathless,
Let those with ears now show their faith.
Thinking it would be troublesome, O Brahmā, I did not
speak the Dhamma subtle and sublim
e.’

Then the Brahmā Sahampati thought: ‘The Blessed One has consented to my request that he teach the Dhamma.’ And after paying homage to me, keeping me on the right, he thereupon departed at once.

§  46. “I considered thus: ‘To whom should I first teach the Dhamma?
Who will understand this Dhamma quickly?’

It then occurred to me:
‘Āḷāra Kālāma is wise, intelligent, and discerning; he has long had little dust in his eyes. Suppose I [170] taught the Dhamma first to Āḷāra Kālāma. He will understand it quickly.’
Then deities approached me and said:
‘Venerable sir, Āḷāra Kālāma died seven days ago.’
And the knowledge and vision arose in me:
‘Āḷāra Kālāma died seven days ago.’
I thought: ‘Āḷāra Kālāmaʹs loss is a great one. If he had heard this Dhamma, he would have understood it quickly.’

§ 47. “I considered thus: ‘To whom should I first teach the Dhamma?
Who will understand this Dhamma quickly?’

It then occurred to me: ‘Uddaka Rāmaputta is wise, intelligent, and discerning; he has long had little dust in his eyes. Suppose I taught the Dhamma first to Uddaka Rāmaputta. He will understand it quickly.’
Then deities approached me and said:
‘Venerable sir, Uddaka Rāmaputta died last night.’ And the knowledge and vision arose in me: ‘Uddaka Rāmaputta died last night.’ I thought: ‘Uddaka Rāmaputta’s loss is a great one. If he had heard this Dhamma, he would have understood it quickly.’

§  48.. “I considered thus: ‘To whom should I first teach the Dhamma?
Who will understand this Dhamma quickly?’

It then occurred to me: ‘The bhikkhus of the group of five who attended upon me while I was engaged in my striving were very helpful.308 Suppose I taught the Dhamma first to them.’ Then I thought:
‘Where are the bhikkhus of the group of five now living?’

[308:- These five monks attended on the Bodhisatta during his period of self-mortification, convinced that he would attain enlightenment and teach them the Dhamma. However, when he abandoned his austerities and resumed taking solid food, they lost faith in him, accused him of reverting to luxury, and deserted him.
See MN 36.33.]

And with the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, I saw that they were living at Benares in the Deer Park at Isipatana.

§  49.. “Then, bhikkhus, when I had stayed at Uruvelā as long as I chose, I set out to wander by stages to Benares. Between Gayā and the Place of Enlightenment the Ājīvaka Upaka saw me on the road and said:

‘Friend, your faculties are clear, the colour of your skin is pure and bright. Under whom have you gone forth, friend?
Who is your teacher?
Whose Dhamma do you [171] profess? ’
I replied to the Ājīvaka Upaka in stanzas:

I am one who has transcended all, a knower of all,
Unsullied among all things, renouncing all,
By craving’s ceasing freed. Having known this all
For myself, to whom should I point as teache
r?

I have no teacher, and one like me
Exists nowhere in all the world
With all its gods, because I have
No person for my counterpart.

I am the Accomplished One in the world,
I am the Teacher Supreme.
I alone am a Fully Enlightened One
Whose fires are quenched and extinguished.

I go now to the city of Kāsi
To set in motion the Wheel of Dhamma.
In a world that has become blind
I go to beat the drum of the Deathless.’

‘By your claims, friend, you ought to be the Universal Victor.ʹ309
‘The victors are those like me
Who have won to destruction of taints.
I have vanquished all evil states,
Therefore, Upaka, I am a victor.

[309:- Anantajina: perhaps this was an Ājı̄vakan epithet for the spiritually perfected individual.]

“When this was said, the Ājīvaka Upaka said:
‘May it be so, friend.’
Shaking his head, he took a bypath and departed.310

[310:- According to MA, Upaka thereafter fell in love with a hunter’s daughter and married her. When his marriage turned out to be an unhappy one, he returned to the Buddha, entered the Sangha, and became a non-returner. He was reborn in the Avı̄ha heaven, where he attained arahantship.

§ 50. “Then, bhikkhus, wandering by stages, I eventually came to Benares, to the Deer Park at Isipatana, and I approached the bhikkhus of the group of five. The bhikkhus saw me coming in the distance, and they agreed among themselves thus:
‘Friends, here comes the recluse Gotama who lives luxuriously, who gave up his striving, and reverted to luxury. We should not pay homage to him or rise up for him or receive his bowl and outer robe. But a seat may be prepared for him. If he likes, he may sit down.’

However, as I approached, those bhikkhus found themselves unable to keep their pact. One came to meet me and took my bowl and outer robe, another prepared a seat, and another set out water for my feet; however, they addressed me by name and as ‘friend.ʹ311

[311:- Āvuso: a familiar term of address used among equals]

§ 51 “Thereupon I told them:
‘Bhikkhus, do not address the Tathāgata by name and as “friend.” The Tathāgata is an Accomplished One, [172] a Fully Enlightened One. Listen, bhikkhus, the Deathless has been attained. I shall instruct you, I shall teach you the Dhamma. Practising as you are instructed, by realising for yourselves here and now through direct knowledge you will soon enter upon and abide in that supreme goal of the holy life for the sake of which clansmen rightly go forth from the home life into homelessness.’

“When this was said, the bhikkhus of the group of five answered me thus:
‘Friend Gotama, by the conduct, the practice, and the performance of austerities that you undertook, you did not achieve any superhuman states, any distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones.312

[312:- Superhuman states (uttari manussadhammā) are states, virtues, or attainments higher than the ordinary human virtues comprised in the ten wholesome courses of action (see MN 9.6); they include the jhānas, the kinds of direct knowledge, and the paths and fruits. “Distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones” (alamariyañāṇadassanavisesa ), a frequently occurring expression in the suttas, signifies all higher degrees of meditative knowledge characteristic of the noble individual. Here, according to MA, it means specifically the supramundane path, which Sunakkhatta is denying of the Buddha. ]

Since you now live luxuriously, having given up your striving and reverted to luxury, how will you have achieved any superhuman states, any distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones?’

When this was said, I told them: ‘The Tathāgata does not live luxuriously, nor has he given up his striving and reverted to luxury. The Tathāgata is an Accomplished One, a Fully Enlightened One. Listen, bhikkhus, the Deathless has been attained…from the home life into homelessness.’
“A second time the bhikkhus of the group of five said to me:
‘FriendGotama…how will you have achieved any superhuman states, any distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones?’

A second time I told them:
‘The Tathāgata does not live luxuriously…from the home life into homelessness.’

A third time the bhikkhus of the group of five said to me:
‘Friend Gotama…how will you have achieved any superhuman states, any distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones?’

§  52. “When this was said I asked them:
‘Bhikkhus, have you ever known me to speak like this before?’—
‘No, venerable sir’313

[313:- The change in address from “friend” to “venerable sir” (bhante) indicates that they have now accepted the Buddha’s claim and are prepared to regard him as their superior.]


‘Bhikkhus, the Tathāgata is an Accomplished One, a Fully Enlightened One. Listen, bhikkhus, the Deathless has been attained. I shall instruct you, I shall teach you the Dhamma. Practising as you are instructed, by realising for yourselves here and now through direct knowledge you will soon enter upon and abide in that supreme goal of the holy life for the sake of which clansmen rightly go forth from the home life into homelessness. ’ [173]

§ 53. “I was able to convince the bhikkhus of the group of five.314

Then I sometimes instructed two bhikkhus while the other three went for alms, and the six of us lived on what those three bhikkhus brought back from their almsround.
Sometimes I instructed three bhikkhus while the other two went for alms, and the six of us lived on what those two bhikkhus brought back from their almsround.

[314:- At this point the Buddha preached to them his first sermon, the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, The Setting in Motion of the Wheel of
Dhamma, on the Four Noble Truths. Several days later, after they had all become stream-enterers, he taught them the Anattalakkhaṇa Sutta, The Characteristic of Non-self, upon hearing which they all attained arahantship. The complete narrative, found in the Mahāvagga (Vin i.7–14), is included in Ñā˚amoli, The Life of the Buddha, pp. 42–47. ]

§ 54. “Then the bhikkhus of the group of five, not long after being thus taught and instructed by me, by realising for themselves with direct knowledge, here and now entered upon and abided in that supreme goal of the holy life for the sake of which clansmen rightly go forth from the home life into homelessness.”

§ 55. When this was said, Prince Bodhi said to the Blessed One:
“Venerable sir, when a bhikkhu finds the Tathāgata to discipline him, how long is it until by realising for himself with direct knowledge, he here and now enters upon and abides in that supreme goal of the holy life for the sake of which clansmen rightly go forth from the home life into homelessness?”

“As to that, prince, I shall ask you a question in return. Answer it as you choose.
What do you think, prince?
Are you skilled in the art of wielding a goad while riding an elephant?”
“Yes, venerable sir, I am.”

Goad :- This is a weapon used to inflict pain on the elephant forcing him to obay the orders of the rider

§ 56. “What do you think, prince?
Suppose a man came here thinking: ‘Prince Bodhi knows the art of wielding a goad while riding an elephant; I shall train in that art under him.’ If he had no faith, he could not achieve what can be achieved by one who has faith; if he had much illness, he could not achieve what can be achieved by one who is free from illness; if he was fraudulent and deceitful, he could not achieve what can be achieved by one who is honest and sincere; if he was lazy, he could not achieve what can be achieved by one who is energetic; if he was not wise, he could not achieve what can be achieved by one who is wise.
What do you think, prince?
Could that man train under you in the art of wielding a goad while riding an elephant?”

Prince Bodhi knows the art of wielding a goad while riding an elephant; I shall train in that art under him.’ If he had no faith, he could not achieve what can be achieved by one who has faith; if he had much illness, he could not achieve what can be achieved by one who is free from illness; if he was fraudulent and deceitful, he could not achieve what can be achieved by one who is honest and sincere; if he was lazy, he could not achieve what can be achieved by one who is energetic; if he was not wise, he could not achieve what can be achieved by one who is wise.

What do you think, prince?
Could that man train under you in the art of wielding a goad while riding an elephant?” “Venerable sir, even if he had one of those deficiencies, he could not train under me, so what of the five?”

§ 57. “What do you think, prince?
Suppose a man came here thinking: [95] ‘Prince Bodhi knows the art of wielding a goad while riding an elephant; I shall train in that art under him.’
If he had faith, he could achieve what can be achieved by one who has faith;
if he was free from illness, he could achieve what can be achieved by one who is free from illness; if he was honest and sincere, he could achieve what can be achieved by one who is honest and sincere;
if he was energetic, he could achieve what can be achieved by one who is energetic;
if he was wise, he could achieve what can be achieved by one who is wise.

. What do you think, prince?
Could that man train under you in the art of wielding a goad while riding an elephant?” “Venerable sir, even if he had one of those qualities he could train under me, so what of the five?”

§ 58 . “So too, prince, there are these five factors of striving.

What five?
Here a bhikkhu has faith, he places his faith in the Tathāgata’s enlightenment thus:
That Blessed One is accomplished, fully enlightened, perfect in true knowledge and conduct, sublime, knower of worlds, incomparable leader of persons to be tamed, teacher of gods and humans, enlightened, blessed.’

“Then he is free from illness and affliction, possessing a good digestion that is neither too cool nor too warm but medium and able to bear the strain of striving.

“Then he is honest and sincere, and shows himself as he actually is to the Teacher and his companions in the holy life.

“Then he is energetic in abandoning unwholesome states and in undertaking wholesome states, steadfast, launching his effort with firmness and persevering in cultivating wholesome states.

“Then he is wise; he possesses wisdom regarding rise and disappearance that is noble and penetrative and leads to the complete destruction of suffering. These are the five factors of striving.

§ 59. “Prince, when a bhikkhu who possesses these five factors of striving finds a Tathāgata to discipline him, he might dwell seven years until by realising for himself with direct knowledge, he here and now enters upon and abides in that supreme goal of the holy life for the sake of which clansmen rightly go forth from the home life into homelessness. [96]

“Let alone seven years, prince. When a bhikkhu who possesses these five factors of striving finds a Tathāgata to discipline him, he might dwell six years…five years…four years…three years…two years…one year…Let alone one year, prince,…he might dwell seven months…six months…five months…four months…three months…two months…one month…half a month…Let alone half a month, prince,…he might dwell seven days and nights…six days and nights…five days and nights… four days and nights…three days and nights…two days and nights…one day and night.

“Let alone one day and night, prince. When a bhikkhu who possesses these five factors of striving finds a Tathāgata to discipline him, then being instructed in the evening, he might arrive at distinction in the morning; being instructed in the morning, he might arrive at distinction in the evening.”

§ 60. When this was said, Prince Bodhi said to the Blessed One:
Oh the Buddha! Oh the Dhamma! Oh, how well proclaimed is the Dhamma! For one instructed in the evening might arrive at distinction in the morning, and one instructed in the morning might arrive at distinction in the evening.”

§ 61. When this was said, the brahmin student Sañjikāputta said to Prince Bodhi: “Master Bodhi says: ‘Oh the Buddha! Oh the Dhamma! Oh, how well proclaimed is the Dhamma!’ But he does not say: ‘I go to Master Gotama for refuge and to the Dhamma and to the Sangha of bhikkhus.’”
“Do not say that, my dear Sañjikāputta, do not say that. I heard and learned this from my mother’s lips: [97] There was an occasion when the Blessed One was living at Kosambī in Ghosita’s Park. Then my mother, who was pregnant, went to the Blessed One, and after paying homage to him, she sat down at one side and said to him:

‘Venerable sir, the prince or princess in my womb, whichever it may be, goes to the Blessed One for refuge and to the Dhamma and to the Sangha of bhikkhus. Let the Blessed One remember [the child] as a lay follower who has gone to him for refuge for life.’

There was also an occasion when the Blessed One was living here in the country of the Bhaggas at Suṁsumāragira in the Bhesakaḷā Grove, the Deer Park. Then my nurse, carrying me on her hip, went to the Blessed One, and after paying homage to him, she stood at one side and said to him: ‘Venerable sir, this Prince Bodhi goes to the Blessed One for refuge and to the Dhamma and to the Sangha of bhikkhus. Let the Blessed One remember him as a lay follower who has gone to him for refuge for life.’

Now, my dear Sañjikāputta, for the third time I go to the Blessed One for refuge and to the Dhamma and to the Sangha of bhikkhus. Let the Blessed One remember me as a lay follower who has gone to him for refuge for life.”

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