100 Sangārava Sutta.

§ 1.  THUS HAVE I HEARD.
On one occasion the Blessed One was wandering in the Kosalan country with a large Sangha of bhikkhus.

§ 2.  Now on that occasion a brahmin woman named Dhānañjānī was staying at Caṇḍalakappa, having full confidence in the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha.917

[917:- Dhānañjānı̄ was a stream-enterer. MA says that Sangārava was her husband’s younger brother.]

One time she stumbled, and [on recovering her balance] exclaimed three times: “Honour to the Blessed One, accomplished and fully enlightened! Honour to the Blessed One, accomplished and fully enlightened! Honour to the Blessed One, accomplished [210] and fully enlightened!”

§ 3.  At the time there was a brahmin student named Sangārava staying at Caṇḍalakappa. He was a master of the Three Vedas, with their vocabularies, liturgy, phonology, and etymology, and the histories as the fifth; skilled in philology and grammar, he was fully versed in natural philosophy and in the marks of a Great Man.

Having heard the brahmin woman Dhānañjānī utter those words, he said to her:
“This brahmin woman Dhānañjānī must be disgraced and degraded, since when there are brahmins around she praises that bald-pated recluse.”

[She replied:] “My dear sir, you do not know the virtue and wisdom of the Blessed One. If you knew that Blessed One’s virtue and wisdom, my dear sir, you would never think of abusing and reviling him.”

Then, madam, inform me when the recluse Gotama comes to Caṇḍalakappa.”
“Yes, dear sir,
” the brahmin woman Dhānañjāni replied.

§ 4. Then, after wandering by stages in the Kosalan country, the Blessed One eventually arrived at Caṇḍalakappa. There in Cạ̣alakappa the Blessed One lived in the Mango Grove belonging to the brahmins of the Todeyya clan.

§  5 The brahmin woman Dhānañjānī heard that the Blessed One had arrived, so she went to the brahmin student Sangārava and told him:
“My dear sir, the Blessed One has arrived in Caṇḍalakappa and he is living here in Caṇḍalakappa in the Mango Grove belonging to the brahmins of the Todeyya clan. Now, dear Sir, you may go at your own convenience.”
“Yes, madam,” he replied. Then he went to the Blessed One and exchanged greetings with him. When this courteous [211] and amiable talk was finished, he sat down at one side and said:

§ 6.  “Master Gotama, there are some recluses and brahmins who claim [to teach] the fundamentals of the holy life after having reached the consummation and perfection of direct knowledge here and now.918

[918:- Diṭṭadhammābhiññāvosānapāramippattā ādibrahmacariyaṁ paṭijānanti. MA glosses: They claim to be the originators, creators, producers of a holy life, saying: “Having directly known here and now in this present existence and having reached the consummation, we have attained Nibbāna, called ‘perfection’ because it is the transcendence of everything.”]

Where among these recluses and brahmins does Master Gotama stand?”

§ 7 “Bhāradvāja, I say that there is a diversity among those recluses and brahmins who claim [to teach] the fundamentals of the holy life after having reached the consummation and perfection of direct knowledge here and now.

(a) There are some recluses and brahmins who are traditionalists, who on the basis of oral tradition claim [to teach] the fundamentals of the holy life after having reached the consummation and perfection of direct knowledge here and now; such are the brahmins of the Three Vedas.

(b) There are some recluses and brahmins who, entirely on the basis of mere faith, claim [to teach] the fundamentals of the holy life after having reached the consummation and perfection of direct knowledge here and now; such are the reasoners and investigators.919

[919:- It is puzzling that the reasoners and investigators (thakkı̄, vı̄mansı̄) are here said to rely on the basis of mere faith (saddhā-mattakena). Elsewhere faith and reasoning are contrasted as two different grounds of conviction (MN 95.14), and
“mere faith” seems more closely allied with reliance on oral tradition than with reasoning and investigation.]

(c) There are some recluses and brahmins who, having directly known the Dhamma for themselves920 among things not heard before, claim [to teach] the fundamentals of the holy life after having reached the consummation and perfection of direct knowledge here and now.

[920:- Sāmaṁ yeva dhammaṁ abhiññāya. This phrase emphasises direct personal realisation as the foundation for promulgating a holy life.]

§ 8. “I, Bhāradvāja, am one of those recluses and brahmins who, having directly known the Dhamma for themselves among things not heard before, claim [to teach] the fundamentals of the holy life after having reached the consummation and perfection of direct knowledge here and now. As to how I am one of those recluses and brahmins, that may be understood in the following way.

§ 9. “Here, Bhāradvāja, before my enlightenment, while I was still only an unenlightened Bodhisatta, I considered thus: ‘Household life is crowded and dusty; life gone forth is wide open. It is not easy while living in a home to lead the holy life utterly perfect and pure as a polished shell. Suppose I shave off my hair and beard, put on the yellow robe, and go forth from the home life into homelessness.’

§ 10. “Later, Bhāradvāja, [212] while still young, a black-haired young man endowed with the blessing of youth, in the prime of life, though my mother and father wished otherwise and wept with tearful faces, I shaved off my hair and beard, put on the yellow robe, and went forth from the home life into homelessness.

§ 11. “Having gong forth, Bhāradvāja, in search of what is wholesome, seeking the supreme state of sublime peace, I went to Alara Kalamajand said to him:
Friend Kalama, I want to lead the holy life in this Dhamma and Discipline.”
Alara Kalama 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 Alara Kalama declares: “By realising for myself with direct knowledge, I enter upon and abide in this Dhamma.” Certainly Alara Kalama abides knowing and seeing this Dhamma.’ Then I went to Alara Kalama and asked him: ‘Friend Kalama, 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

[301 MA: He taught me the seven attainments (of serenity meditation) ending in the base of nothingness, the third of the four immaterial attainments. Though these attainments are spiritually exalted, they are still mundane and not in themselves directly conducive to Nibbana.]

“I considered:
Not only Alara Kalama has faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom. I too have faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom. Suppose I endeavour to realise the Dhamma that Alara Kalama 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 Alara Kalama and asked him:
‘Friend Kalama, 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 Alara Kalama, 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 Nibbana, but only to reappearance in the base of nothingness.’302

[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 Mara (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).]

§  12. “Still in search, Bharadvaja, of what is wholesome, seeking the supreme state of sublime peace, I went to Uddaka Ramaputta and said to him: ‘Friend, I want to lead the holy life in this Dhamma and Discipline.’303

[303:-Both Horner in MLS and Nm in Ms err in their translations of the account of the Bodhisatta’s meeting with Uddaka Ramaputta by assuming that Uddaka is identical with Rama. However, as his name indicates, Uddaka was the son (putta) of Rama, either biological or spiritual. Rama himself must have already passed away before the Bodhisatta arrived on the scene. It should be noted that all references to Rama 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 Ramaputta 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 Rama declared-. “By realising for myself with direct knowledge, I enter upon and abide in this Dhamma.” Certainly Rama abided knowing and seeing this Dhamma.’

Then I went to Uddaka Ramaputta and asked him: ‘Friend, in what way did Rama declare that by realising for himself with direct knowledge he entered upon and abided in this Dhamma?’ In reply Uddaka Ramaputta declared the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception.

“I considered:
‘Not only Rama 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 Rama 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 Ramaputta and asked him:
Friend, was it in this way that Rama 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 jn the holy life. So the Dhamma that Rama 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 Rama declared he entered upon and abided in by realising for himself with direct knowledge.

So you know the Dhamma that Rama knew and Rama knew the Dhamma that you know. As Rama was, so are you; as you are, so was Rama. Come, friend, now lead this community.’

“Thus Uddaka Ramaputta, 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 Nibbana, but only to reappearance in the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception.’

Not being satisfied with that Dhamma, I left it and went away.

§  13. “Still in search, Bharadvaja , of what is wholesome, seeking  the supreme state of sublime peace, I wandered by stages ; through the Magadhan country until eventually I arrived at in Senanigama near Uruvela. [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. ‘ 304

[304:-MN 36, which includes the account of the Bodhisatta’s meetings with Alara Kalama and U ddaka Ramaputta,continues from this point with the story of the extreme ascetic practices that brought him to the verge of death and of his subsequent discovery of the Middle Way that led to enlightenment.]

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

(i) 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, Bharadvaja?
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, Bharadvaja, 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.

§15 . “Again, Bharadvaja, a second simile occurred to me spontaneously, never heard before.
(ii). 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, Bharadvaja?
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, Bharadvaja, 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.]

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

(iii) . 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, Bharadvaja?
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, Bharadvaja, 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:- MA explains that “development of body” here is insight, and “development of mind” concentration. When the noble disciple experiences pleasant feeling, he does not become overwhelmed by it because, through his development of insight, he understands the feeling to be impermanent, unsatisfactory, and not self; and when he experiences painful feeling, he does not become overwhelmed by it because, through his development of concentration, he is able to escape from it by entering into one of the meditative absorptions]

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.

§17 “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 agitated because I was exhausted by the painful striving.“

§18 . 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 agitated because I was exhausted by the painful striving.

§19. “I thought: ‘Suppose I practise further the breathing-less 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 agitated because I was exhausted by the painful striving.

§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, 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 agitated because I was exhausted by the painful striving.

§ 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, 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 agitated because I was exhausted by the painful striving.

§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, 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 agitated because I was exhausted by the painful striving.

“Now when [245] deities saw me, some said:
‘The recluse Gothama 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.’

§23 .“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.’

§ 24. . “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.

“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.

“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 awakening ?’

§ 24 . “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 thinking and pondering, with joy and pleasure born of seclusion.389 Could that be the path to awakening ?’ Then, following on that memory, came the realisation: ‘That is indeed the path to awakening.

[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.]

§ 25 “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.]

§ 26 “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.’

§ 27. “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 thinking and pondering., with joy and pleasure born of seclusion.

§ 28 .“With the stilling of thinking and pondering, I entered upon and abided in the second jhāna, which has self confidence and singleness of mind, without thinking and pondering., with joy and pleasure born of collectedness of mind.…With the fading away of joy and abiding in equanimity and mindfully , fully aware still feeling pleasure with the body.

§ 29 . I entered upon and abided in the third jhāna, on account of which noble ones announce, he has a pleasant abiding who has equanimity, and is mindful. …

§ 30 . With the abandoning of pleasure and pain, and with the previous disappearance of joy and grief I entered upon and abided in the fourth jhāna, which has neither pain nor pleasure and purity of mindfulness due to equanimity …

§ 32 . “When my stilled 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 , three births, four births, five births, ten births, twenty births, thirty births, forty births, fifty births, a hundred births, a thousand births, a hundred thousand births, many aeons of world contraction, many aeons of world-expansion, many aeons of world-contraction and expansion:

‘There I was so named, of such a clan, with such an appearance, such was my nutriment, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such my life term; and passing away from there, I reappeared elsewhere; and there too I was so named, of such a clan, with such an appearance, such was my nutriment, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such my life-term; and passing away from there, I reappeared here.’ Thus with their aspects and particulars I recollected my manifold past lives.

§ 33. “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. when my stilled mind was thus purified, bright and light rid of all imperfections, malleable, wieldy, steady, and attained to imperturbability, I directed it to knowledge of the passing away and reappearance of beings.

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. I understood how beings pass on according to their actions thus:
‘These worthy beings who were ill conducted in body, speech, and mind, revilers of noble ones, wrong in their views, giving effect to wrong view in their actions, on the dissolution of the body, after death, have reappeared in a state of deprivation, in a bad destination, in perdition, even in hell;
but these worthy beings who were well conducted in body, [23] speech, and mind, not revilers of noble ones, right in their views, giving effect to right view in their actions, on the dissolution of the body, after death, have reappeared in a good destination, even in the heavenly world.’

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.

§ 34 .“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.

§ 35 – § 42 .“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 contaminants’;…
‘This is the origin of the contaminants’;…
‘This is the cessation of the contaminants’;…
‘This is the way leading to the cessation of the contaminants.’

§ 43. “When I knew and saw thus, my mind was liberated from the contaminants of sensual desire, from the contaminants 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.’

§ 41 “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.

[392:- MA explains the “sign of concentration” (sam̄dhi-nimitta) here as the fruition attainment of emptiness (suññataphalasamāpatti ). See also MN 122.6 ]

§ 42. When this was said, the brahmin student Sangārava said to the Blessed One: “Master Gotama’s striving was unfaltering, Master Gotama’s striving was that of a true man, as it should be for an Accomplished One, a Fully Awakened One.

But how is it, Master Gotama, are there gods?”
“It is known to me to be the case, Bhāradvāja, that there are gods.”
“But how is this, Master Gotama, that when you are asked, ‘Are there gods?’
you say: ‘It is known to me to be the case, Bhāradvāja, that there are gods’? If that is so, isn’t what you say empty and false?”921

[921:- MA says that Sangārava had the idea that the Buddha spoke thus without actual knowledge, and he therefore accuses the Buddha of false speech. The sequence of ideas in this passage is difficult to follow and it is likely that the text is corrupt. K.R. Norman has proposed a reconstruction of this portion of the dialogue, but it is hard to follow him in details. See Norman, Collected Papers, 2:1–8.]

“Bhāradvāja, when one is asked, ‘Are there gods?’ [213] whether one answers, ‘There are gods,’ or ‘It is known to me to be the case [that there are gods],’ a wise man can draw the definite conclusion that there are gods.”
“But why didn’t Master Gotama answer me in the first way?”
“It is widely accepted in the world, Bhāradvāja, that there are gods.”

§ 43 When this was said, the brahmin student Sangārava said to the Blessed One:
“Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent, Master Gotama!
Master Gotama has made the Dhamma clear in many ways, as though he were turning upright what had been overturned, revealing what was hidden, showing the way to one who was lost, or holding up a lamp in the dark for those with eyesight to see.

I go to Master Gotama for refuge and to the Dhamma and to the Sangha of bhikkhus. Let Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone to him for refuge for life.”

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