090 At Kaṇṇakatthala

MN 02-04-10 Kaṇṇakatthala Sutta

Ven Ajahn Appichato’s Exposition

§1. THUS HAVE I HEARD.
On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Ujuññā, in the Kaṇṇakatthala Deer Park.

§2. Now on that occasion King Pasenadi of Kosala had arrived at Ujuññā for some business or other. Then he told a man:
“Come, good man, 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, King Pasenadi of Kosala 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.’ And say this: ‘Venerable sir, today King Pasenadi of Kosala will come to see the Blessed One after he has had his breakfast.’”

“Yes, sire,” the man replied, and he went to the Blessed One, and after paying homage to him, he sat down at one side and delivered his message.

§3. The sisters Somā and Sakulā845 heard:
“Today [126] King Pasenadi of Kosala will go to see the Blessed One after he has had his breakfast.”
Then, while the meal was being served, the two sisters went to the king and said: “Sire, pay homage in our name with your head at the Blessed One’s feet, and ask whether he is free from illness…and abiding in comfort, saying:
‘Venerable sir, the sisters Somā and Sakulā pay homage with their heads at the Blessed One’s feet, and they ask whether he is free from illness…and abiding in comfort.’”

[845:- MA: These two sisters are the king’s wives (not his sisters!).]

§ 4.Then, when he had finished his breakfast, King Pasenadi of Kosala went to the Blessed One, and after paying homage to him, he sat down at one side and delivered the message of the sisters Somā and Sakulā.
“But, great king, could the sisters Somā and Sakulā find no other messenger?”
“Venerable sir, the sisters Somā and Sakulā heard: ‘Today King Pasenadi of Kosala will go to see the Blessed One after he has had his breakfast.’ Then, while the meal was being served, the sisters Somā and Sakulā came to me and said: ‘Sire, pay homage in our names with your head at the Blessed One’s feet, and ask whether he is free from illness…and abiding in comfort.’”
“May the sisters Somā and Sakulā be happy, great king.”

§5. Then King Pasenadi of Kosala said to the Blessed One:
“Venerable sir, I have heard this: ‘The recluse Gotama says: “There is no recluse or brahmin who is omniscient and all-seeing, who can claim to have complete knowledge and vision; that is not possible.”
’ Venerable sir, do those who speak thus [127] say what has been said by the Blessed One, and not misrepresent him with what is contrary to fact?

Do they explain in accordance with the Dhamma in such a way that nothing that provides a ground for censure can be legitimately deduced from their assertions?”
“Great King, those who speak thus do not say what has been said by me, but misrepresent me with what is untrue and contrary to fact.”

§6. Then King Pasenadi of Kosala addressed General Viḍūḍabha:
“General, who introduced this story into the palace?”
“It was Sañjaya, sire, the brahmin of the Ākāsa clan.”

§7.Then King Pasenadi of Kosala told a man:
“Come, good man, in my name tell Sañjaya, the brahmin of the Ākāsa clan: ‘Venerable sir, King Pasenadi of Kosala calls you.’”
“Yes, sire,” the man replied. He went to Sañjaya, the brahmin of the Ākāsa clan, and told him: “Venerable sir, King Pasenadi of Kosala calls you.”

§8. Meanwhile King Pasenadi of Kosala said to the Blessed One:
“Venerable sir, could something else have been said by the Blessed One referring to that, and the person understood it wrongly?
In what way does the Blessed One recall making that utterance?”

“I recall having actually made the utterance in this way, great king: ‘There is no recluse or brahmin who knows all, who sees all, simultaneously; that is not possible.’”846

[846:- MA: There is no one who can know and see all—past, present, and future— with one act of mental adverting, with one act of consciousness; thus this problem is discussed in terms of a single act of consciousness (ekacitta). On the question of the kind of omniscience the Theravāda tradition attributes to the Buddha,
MA explains that even though part of the statement is valid, the Buddha rejects the entire statement because of the portion that is invalid. The part of the statement that is valid is the assertion that the Buddha is omniscient and allseeing; the part that is excessive is the assertion that knowledge and vision are continuously present to him. According to the Theravāda exegetical tradition the Buddha is omniscient in the sense that all knowable things are potentially accessible to him. He cannot, however, know everything simultaneously and must advert to whatever he wishes to know. At MN 90.8 the Buddha says that it is possible to know and see all, though not simultaneously, and at AN 4:24/ii.24 he claims to know all that can be seen, heard, sensed, and cognized. This is understood by the Theravāda commentators as an assertion of omniscience in the qualified sense. See too in this connection Miln 102–7.]

“What the Blessed One has said appears reasonable, what the Blessed One has said appears to be supported by reason: ‘There is no recluse or brahmin [128] who knows all, who sees all, simultaneously; that is not possible.’”

§9.“There are these four castes, venerable sir: the nobles, the brahmins, the merchants, and the workers. Is there any distinction or difference among them?”
“There are these four castes, great king: the nobles, the brahmins, the merchants, and the workers. Two of them, that is, the nobles and the brahmins, are held to be superior since men pay homage to them, rise up for them, and accord them reverential salutation and polite services.”

§10.“Venerable sir, I was not asking about this present life; I was asking about the life to come.847 There are these four castes, venerable sir: the nobles, the brahmins, the merchants, and the workers. Is there any distinction or difference among them?”
“Great king, there are these five factors of striving.848

[847:- That is, he is not inquiring about their social status but about their prospects for spiritual progress and attainment]

[848:- As at MN 85.58 bdhirajakumara Sutta.]

What five?
(i) .Here a bhikkhu has faith, he places his faith in the Tathāgata’s enlightenment thus:
‘The 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.’

(ii) .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.

(iii). Then he is honest and sincere, and shows himself as he actually is to his teacher and his companions in the holy life.

(iv). 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.

(v). 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.

“There are these four castes, great king:
the nobles, the brahmins, the merchants, and the workers.
Now if they possessed these five factors of striving, it would lead to their welfare and happiness for a long time.”

§11.“Venerable sir, there are these four castes: the nobles, the brahmins, the merchants, [129] and the workers. Now if they possessed these five factors of striving, would there be any difference among them here in that respect?”

“Here, great king, I say that the difference among them would lie in the diversity of their striving. Suppose there were two tamable elephants or tamable horses or tamable oxen that were well tamed and well disciplined, and two tamable elephants or tamable horses or tamable oxen that were untamed and undisciplined.
What do you think, great king?
Would the two tamable elephants or tamable horses or tamable oxen that were well tamed and well disciplined, being tamed, acquire the behaviour of the tamed, would they arrive at the grade
of the tamed?”
“Yes, venerable sir.”

“And would the two tamable elephants or tamable horses or tamable oxen that were untamed and undisciplined, being untamed, acquire the behaviour of the tamed, would they arrive at the grade of the tamed, like the two elephants or horses or oxen that were well tamed and well disciplined?”
“No, venerable sir.”

“So too, great king, it is not possible that what can be achieved by one who has faith, who is free from illness, who is honest and sincere, who is energetic, and who is wise, can be achieved by one who has no faith, who has much illness, who is fraudulent and deceitful, who is lazy, and who is not wise.”

§12. “What the Blessed One has said appears reasonable, what the Blessed One has said appears to be supported by reason.
“There are these four castes, venerable sir: the nobles, the brahmins, the merchants, and the workers. Now if they possessed these five factors of striving, and if their striving was right, would there be any difference among them in that respect?”

“Here, great king, in this respect I say that among them there is no difference, that is, between the deliverance of one and the deliverance of the others.

Suppose a man took dry sāka wood, lit a fire, and produced heat; and then another man took dry sāla wood, lit a fire, and produced heat; [130] and then another man took dry mango wood, lit a fire, and produced heat; and then another man took dry fig wood, lit a fire, and produced heat. What do you think, great king?
Would there be any difference among these fires lit with different kinds of wood, that is, between the flame of one and the flames of the others, or between the colour of one and the colours of the others, or between the radiance of one and the radiances of the others?”
“No, venerable sir.”

“So too, great king, when [spiritual] fire is kindled by energy, lit by striving, there is, I say, no difference, that is, between the deliverance of one and the deliverance of the others.”

§13.“What the Blessed One has said appears reasonable, what the Blessed One has said appears to be supported by reason. But, venerable sir, how is it: are there gods?”

“Why do you ask that, great king?”
“Venerable sir, I was asking whether those gods come back to this [human] state or whether they do not.”

“Great king, those gods who are still subject to ill will come back to this [human] state, those gods who are no longer subject to ill will do not come back to this [human] state.”849

[849:- MA explains coming back and not coming back as referring to rebirth, thus suggesting that gods who do not come back are non-returners, while those who do come back are still “worldlings.” The same distinction would apply to the discussion on Brahmās in §15. The two key terms that here distinguish the two types of gods appear in the PTS ed. as savyāpajjhā and abyāpajjhā, “subject to ill will” and “free from ill will,” respectively; in SBJ, as sabyāpajjhā and abyāpajjhā (which is effectively the same in meaning): in BBS, they appear as sabyābajjhā and abyābajjhā, “subject to affliction” and “not subject to affliction.”

The latter reading has the support of MA, which explains the distinction by way of mental suffering. In earlier editions of this translation I translated in accordance with the BBS reading, but the PTS-SBJ reading now seems to me more probable. After all, it seems more likely that a prince would be concerned with the malevolence of the gods than with their experiences of suffering. Note that the word itthatta, which in the stock declaration of arahantship signifies any state of manifest existence, is here glossed by MA as manussaloka, the human world.

K.R. Norman, in an interesting paper, has proposed a radical re-editing of this portion of the sutta, which would entail important differences in translation, but as his proposals are not supported by any editions I hesitate to follow him. See Norman, Collected Papers, 2:162–71.]

§14.When this was said, General Viḍūḍabha asked the Blessed One:
“Venerable sir, can those gods who are still subject to ill will and who come back to this [human] state topple or banish from that place those gods who are no longer subject to ill will and who do not come back to this [human] state?”

Then the venerable Ānanda thought:
“This General Viḍūḍabha is the son of King Pasenadi of Kosala, and I am the son of the Blessed One. This is the time for one son to talk with the other.” He said to General Viḍūḍabha: “General, I shall ask you a question in return. Answer it as you choose.

General, what do you think?
There is the whole extent of King Pasenadi of Kosala’s realm, where [131] he exercises lordship and sovereignty; now can King Pasenadi of Kosala topple or banish from that place any recluse or brahmin, irrespective of whether that recluse or brahmin has merit or not and whether he leads the holy life or not?”
“He can do so, sir.”

“What do you think, general?
There is the whole extent that is not King Pasenadi of Kosala’s realm, where he does not exercise lordship and sovereignty; now can King Pasenadi of Kosala topple or banish from that place any recluse or brahmin, irrespective of whether that recluse or brahmin has merit or not and whether he leads the holy life or not?”
“He cannot do so, sir.”

“General, what do you think?
Have you heard of the gods of the Thirtythree?”
“Yes, sir, I have heard of them. And King Pasenadi of Kosala has heard of them too.”

“General, what do you think?
Can King Pasenadi of Kosala topple the gods of the Thirty-three or banish them from that place?”
“Sir, King Pasenadi of Kosala cannot even see the gods of the Thirty-three, so how could he topple them or banish them from that place?”

“So too, general, those gods who are still subject to ill will and who come back to this [human] state cannot even see those gods who are no longer subject to ill will and who do not come back to this [human] state; so how could they topple them or banish them from that place?”

§15, Then King Pasenadi of Kosala asked the Blessed One:
“Venerable sir, what is this bhikkhu’s name?”
“His name is Ānanda, great king.”

“Ānanda [joy] he is indeed, venerable sir, and Ānanda he appears.
What [132] the venerable Ānanda has said appears reasonable, what he has said appears to be supported by reason. But, venerable sir, is there Brahmā?”
“Why do you ask that, great king?”
“Venerable sir, I was asking whether that Brahmā comes back to this [human] state or whether he does not.”
“Great king, any Brahmā who is still subject to ill will comes back to this [human] state, any Brahmā who is no longer subject to ill will does not come back to this [human] state.”

§16Then a man announced to King Pasenadi of Kosala: “Great king, Sañjaya,
the brahmin of the Ākāsa clan, has come.”
King Pasenadi of Kosala asked Sañjaya, the brahmin of the Ākāsa clan:
“Brahmin, who introduced this story to the palace?”
“Sire, it was General Viḍūḍabha.”
General Viḍūḍabha said: “Sire, it was Sañjaya, the brahmin of the Ākāsa clan.”

§17.Then a man announced to King Pasenadi of Kosala: “Sire, it is time to depart.”
King Pasenadi of Kosala said to the Blessed One:

“Venerable sir, we have asked the Blessed One about omniscience, and the Blessed One has answered about omniscience; we approve of and accept that answer, and so we are satisfied.

We have asked the Blessed One about purification in the four castes, and the Blessed One has answered about purification in the four castes; we approve of and accept that answer, and so we are satisfied.

We have asked the Blessed One about the gods, and the Blessed One has answered about the gods; we approve of and accept that answer, and so we are satisfied.

We have asked the Blessed One about the Brahmās, and the Blessed One has answered about the Brahmās; we approve of and accept that answer, and so we are satisfied.

Whatever we asked the Blessed One, that the Blessed One has answered; we approve of and accept those answers, and so we are satisfied. [133]

And now, venerable sir, we depart. We are busy and have much to do.”
“You may go, great king, at your own convenience.”

§18. Then King Pasenadi of Kosala, having delighted and rejoiced in the Blessed One’s words, rose from his seat, and after paying homage to the Blessed One, keeping him on his right, he departed.

086 Angulimala The Bandit

Sutta Exposition by Vn Bhikku Bodhi Talk 1
Talk 2

§ 1. THUS HAVE I HEARD.
On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park.

§  2. Now on that occasion there was a bandit in the realm of King Pasenadi of Kosala named Angulimāla, who was murderous, bloody-handed, given to blows and violence, merciless to living beings. Villages, towns, [98] and districts were laid waste by him. He was constantly murdering people and he wore their fingers as a garland. 820

[820:- The name “Angulimāla” is an epithet meaning “garland (mālā) of fingers (anguli).” He was the son of the brahmin Bhaggava, a chaplain to King Pasenadi of Kosala. His given name was Ahiṁsaka, meaning “harmless one.” He studied at Takkasilā, where he became his teacher’s favourite. His fellow students, jealous of him, told the teacher that Ahinsaka had committed adultery with his wife. The teacher, intent on bringing Ahiṁsaka to ruin, commanded him to bring him a thousand human right-hand fingers as an honorarium. Ahiṁsaka lived in the Jālinı̄ forest, attacking travellers, cutting off a finger of each, and wearing them as a garland around his neck. At the time the sutta opens he was one short of a thousand and had made a determination to kill the next person to come along. The Buddha saw that Angulimāla’s mother was on her way to visit him, and aware that Angulimāla had the supporting conditions for arahantship, he intercepted him shortly before his mother was due to arrive. Matricide is one of the five terrible crimes that lead to immediate rebirth in hell. Thus the Buddha intercedes to prevent Angulimāla from committing this crime.]

§  3. Then, when it was morning, the Blessed One dressed, and taking his bowl and outer robe, went into Sāvatthī for alms. When he had wandered for alms in Sāvatthī and had returned from his almsround, after his meal he set his resting place in order, and taking his bowl and outer robe, set out on the road leading towards Angulimāla. Cowherds, shepherds, ploughmen, and travellers saw the Blessed One walking along the road leading towards Angulimāla and told him:

“Do not take this road, recluse. On this road is the bandit Angulimāla, who is murderous, bloody-handed, given to blows and violence, merciless to living beings. Villages, towns, and districts have been laid waste by him. He is constantly murdering people and he wears their fingers as a garland. Men have come along this road in groups of ten, twenty, thirty, and even forty, but still they have fallen into Angulimāla’s hands.”
When this was said the Blessed One went on in silence.
For the second time…For the third time the cowherds, shepherds, ploughmen, and travellers told this to the Blessed One, but still the Blessed One went on in silence.

§  4. The bandit Angulimāla saw the Blessed One coming in the distance. When he saw him, he thought: “It is wonderful, it is marvellous! Men have come along this road in groups of ten, twenty, [99] thirty, and even forty, but still they have fallen into my hands. But now this recluse comes alone, unaccompanied, as if forcing his way. Why shouldn’t I take this recluse’s life?” Angulimāla then took up his sword and shield, buckled on his bow and quiver, and followed close behind the Blessed One.

§ 5. Then the Blessed One performed such a feat of supernormal power that the bandit Angulimāla, though running as fast as he could, could not catch up with the Blessed One, who was walking at his normal pace. Then the bandit Angulimāla thought:

“It is wonderful, it is marvellous! Formerly I could catch up even with a swift elephant and seize it; I could catch up even with a swift horse and seize it; I could catch up even with a swift chariot and seize it; I could catch up even with a swift deer and seize it; but now, though I am running as fast as I can, I cannot catch up with this recluse who is walking at his normal pace!”

He stopped and called out to the Blessed One:
“Stop, recluse! Stop, recluse!”
“I have stopped, Angulimāla, you stop too.”
Then the bandit Angulimāla thought:
“These recluses, sons of the Sakyans, speak truth, assert truth; but though this recluse is still walking, he says: ‘I have stopped, Angulimāla, you stop too.’ Suppose I question this recluse.”

§ 6. Then the bandit Angulimāla addressed the Blessed One in stanzas thus:

“While you are walking, recluse, you tell me you have stopped;
But now, when I have stopped, you say I have not stopped.
I ask you now, O recluse, about the meaning:
How is it that you have stopped and I have not?”

“Angulimāla, I have stopped forever,
I abstain from violence towards living beings;
But you have no restraint towards things that live:
That is why I have stopped and you have not.” [100]

“Oh, at long last this recluse, a venerated sage,
Has come to this great forest for my sake.821
Having heard your stanza teaching me the Dhamma,
I will indeed renounce evil forever.”

[821:- MA explains that Angulimāla had just realised that the monk before him was the Buddha himself and that he had come to the forest for the express purpose of transforming him]

So saying, the bandit took his sword and weapons And flung them in a gaping chasm’s pit;
The bandit worshipped the Sublime One’s feet, And then and there asked for the going forth.

The Enlightened One, the Sage of Great Compassion,
The Teacher of the world with [all] its gods,
Addressed him with these words, “Come, bhikkhu.”
And that was how he came to be a bhikkhu.

§ 7. Then the Blessed One set out to wander back to Sāvatthī with Angulimāla as his attendant. Wandering by stages, he eventually arrived at Sāvatthī, and there he lived at Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park.

§ 8. Now on that occasion great crowds of people were gathering at the gates of King Pasenadi’s inner palace, very loud and noisy, crying: “Sire, the bandit Angulimāla is in your realm; he is murderous, bloody-handed, given to blows and violence, merciless to living beings! Villages, towns, and districts have been laid waste by him! He is constantly murdering people and he wears their fingers as a garland! The king must put him down!”

§ 9. Then in the middle of the day King Pasenadi of Kosala drove out of Sāvatthī with a cavalry of five hundred men and set out for the park. He drove thus as far as the road was passable for carriages, and then he dismounted from his carriage and went forward on foot to the Blessed One. [101]

After paying homage to the Blessed One, he sat down at one side, and the Blessed One said to him:
“What is it, great king?
Is King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha attacking you, or the Licchavis of Vesālī, or other hostile kings?”

§ 10. “Venerable sir, King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha is not attacking me, nor are the Licchavis of Vesālī, nor are other hostile kings. But there is a bandit in my realm named Angulimāla, who is murderous, bloody-handed, given to blows and violence, merciless to living beings. Villages, towns, and districts have been laid waste by him. He is constantly murdering people and he wears their fingers as a garland. I shall put him down, venerable sir.”

§ 11. “Great king, suppose you were to see that Angulimāla had shaved off his hair and beard, put on the yellow robe, and gone forth from the home life into homelessness; that he was abstaining from killing living beings, from taking what is not given and from false speech; that he was eating only one meal a day, and was celibate, virtuous, of good character. If you were to see him thus, how would you treat him?”

“Venerable sir, we would pay homage to him, or rise up for him, or invite him to be seated; or we would invite him to accept robes, almsfood, a resting place, or medicinal requisites; or we would arrange for him lawful guarding, defence, and protection. But, venerable sir, how could such an immoral man, one of evil character, ever have such virtue and restraint?”

§ 12. Now on that occasion the venerable Angulimāla was sitting not far from the Blessed One. Then the Blessed One extended his right arm and said to King Pasenadi of Kosala:
“Great king, this is Angulimāla.”

Then King Pasenadi was frightened, alarmed, and terrified. Knowing this, the Blessed One told him:
“Do not be afraid, great king, do not be afraid. There is nothing for you to fear from him.”
Then the king’s fear, [102] alarm, and terror subsided. He went over to the venerable Angulimāla and said:
“Venerable sir, is the noble lord really Angulimāla?”
“Yes, great king.”
“Venerable sir, of what family is the noble lord’s father? Of what family is his mother?”
“My father is a Gagga, great king; my mother is a Mantāṇi.”
“Let the noble lord Gagga Mantāṇiputta rest content. I shall provide robes, almsfood, resting place, and medicinal requisites for the noble lord Gagga Mantāṇiputta.”

§ 13. Now at that time the venerable Angulimāla was a forest dweller, an almsfood eater, a refuse-rag wearer, and restricted himself to three robes. He replied: “Enough, great king, my three robes are complete.”

King Pasenadi then returned to the Blessed One, and after paying homage to him, he sat down at one side and said:
“It is wonderful, venerable sir, it is marvellous how the Blessed One tames the untamed, brings peace to the unpeaceful, and leads to Nibbāna those who have not attained Nibbāna.
Venerable sir, we ourselves could not tame him with force and weapons, yet the Blessed One has tamed him without force or weapons.
And now, venerable sir, we depart. We are busy and have much to do.”
“You may go, great king, at your own convenience.”
Then King Pasenadi of Kosala rose from his seat, and after paying homage to the Blessed One, keeping him on his right, he departed.

§ 14. Then, when it was morning, the venerable Angulimāla dressed, and taking his bowl and outer robe, went into Sāvatthī for alms. As he was wandering for alms from house to house in Sāvatthī, he saw a certain woman in difficult labour, in painful labour. [103] When he saw this, he thought: “How beings are afflicted!
Indeed, how beings are afflicted!”822

[822:- MṬ explains the expression mūḷhagabbha to mean that the fetus had turned over only partly in the womb and was being expelled horizontally, so that its exit was blocked. MA says that although Angulimāla had killed almost a thousand
people, he had never given rise to a thought of compassion. But now, through the power of his ordination, compassion arose in him as soon as he saw the woman in painful labour]

When he had wandered for alms in Sāvatthī and had returned from his almsround, after his meal he went to the Blessed One, and after paying homage to him, he sat down at one side and said:

“Venerable sir, in the morning I dressed, and taking my bowl and outer robe, went into Sāvatthī for alms. As I was wandering for alms from house to house in Sāvatthī, I saw a certain woman in difficult labour, in painful labour. When I saw that, I thought: ‘How beings are afflicted! Indeed, how beings are afflicted!’”

§ 15. “In that case, Angulimāla, go into Sāvatthī and say to that woman: ‘Sister, since I was born, I do not recall that I have ever intentionally deprived a living being of life. By this truth, may you be well and may your infant be well!’”

“Venerable sir, wouldn’t I be telling a deliberate lie, for I have intentionally deprived many living beings of life?”
“Then, Angulimāla, go into Sāvatthī and say to that woman: ‘Sister, since I was born with the noble birth, I do not recall that I have ever intentionally deprived a living being of life. By this truth, may you be well and may your infant be well!’”823

[823:- Even today this utterance is often recited by Buddhist monks as a protective charm (paritta)for pregnant women close to their time of delivery]

“Yes, venerable sir,”
the venerable Angulimāla replied, and having gone into Sāvatthī, he told that woman:
“Sister, since I was born with the noble birth, I do not recall that I have ever intentionally deprived a living being of life. By this truth, may you be well and may your infant be well!”

Angulimala Paritta Chanting

Then the woman and the infant became well.

§ 16 . Before long, dwelling alone, withdrawn, diligent, ardent, and resolute, the venerable Angulimāla, by realising for himself 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.

He 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.” [104] And the venerable Angulimāla became one of the arahants.

§ 17. Then, when it was morning, the venerable Angulimāla dressed, and taking his bowl and outer robe, went into Sāvatthī for alms. Now on that occasion someone threw a clod and hit the venerable Angulimāla’s body, someone else threw a stick and hit his body, and someone else threw a potsherd and hit his body. Then, with blood running from his cut head, with his bowl broken, and with his outer robe torn, the venerable Angulimāla went to the Blessed One.

The Blessed One saw him coming in the distance and told him:
“Bear it, brahmin! Bear it, brahmin! You are experiencing here and now the result of deeds because of which you might have been tortured in hell for many years, for many hundreds of years, for many thousands of years.”824

[824:- MA explains that any volitional action (kamma) is capable of yielding three kinds of result: a result to be experienced here and now, i.e., in the same life in which the deed is committed; a result to be experienced in the next existence; and a result to be experienced in any life subsequent to the next, as long as one’s sojourn in saṁsāra continues. Because he had attained arahantship, Angulimāla had escaped the latter two types of result but not the first, since even arahants are susceptible to experiencing the present-life results of actions they performed before attaining arahantship. ]

§ 18. Then, while the venerable Angulimāla was alone in retreat experiencing the bliss of deliverance, he uttered this exclamation:825

[825:- Several of the verses to follow also appear in the Dhammapada. Angulimāla’s verses are found in full at Thag 866–91.]

“Who once did live in negligence
And then is negligent no more,
He illuminates this world
Like the moon freed from a cloud.

Who checks the evil deeds he did
By doing wholesome deeds instead,
He illuminates this world
Like the moon freed from a cloud.

The youthful bhikkhu who devotes
His efforts to the Buddha’s teaching,
He illuminates this world
Like the moon freed from a cloud.

Let my enemies hear discourse on the Dhamma,
Let them be devoted to the Buddha’s teaching,
Let my enemies wait on those good people
Who lead others to accept the Dhamma.

[105] Let my enemies give ear from time to time
And hear the Dhamma of those who preach forbearance,
Of those who speak as well in praise of kindness,
And let them follow up with kind deeds.

For surely then they would not wish to harm me,
Nor would they think of harming other beings,
So those who would protect all, frail or strong,
Let them attain the all-surpassing peace.

Conduit-makers guide the water,
Fletchers straighten out the arrow-shaft,
Carpenters straighten out the timber,
But wise men seek to tame themselves.

There are some that tame with beatings,
Some with goads and some with whips;
But I was tamed by such a one
Who has no rod nor any weapon.

‘Harmless’ is the name I bear,
Though I was dangerous in the past.826
The name I bear today is true:
I hurt no living being at all.

[826:- Although MA says that Ahiṁsaka, “Harmless,” was Angulimāla’s given name, the commentary to the Theragāthā says his original name was Hiṁsaka, meaning “dangerous.”]

And though I once lived as a bandit
Known to all as ‘Finger-garland,’
One whom the great flood swept along,
I went for refuge to the Buddha.

And though I once was bloody-handed
With the name of ‘Finger-garland,’
See the refuge I have found:
The bond of being has been cut.

While I did many deeds that lead
To rebirth in the evil realms,
Yet their result has reached me now,
And so I eat free from debt.827

[827 Whereas virtuous bhikkhus short of arahants are said to eat the country’s almsfood as an inheritance from the Buddha, the arahant eats “free from debt” because he has made himself fully worthy of receiving alms. See Vsm I, 125–27 ].

They are fools and have no sense
Who give themselves to negligence,
But those of wisdom guard diligence
And treat it as their greatest good.

Do not give way to negligence
Nor seek delight in sensual pleasures,
But meditate with diligence
So as to reach the perfect bliss.

So welcome to that choice of mine
And let it stand, it was not ill made;
Of all the teachings resorted to,
I have come to the very best.

So welcome to that choice of mine
And let it stand, it was not ill made;
I have attained the triple knowledge
And done all that the Buddha teaches.”

145 Advice to Punna

MN 03-05-03 Puṇṇovāda Sutta

Exposition by the Ven Bhikku Bodhi

§1. THUS HAVE I HEARD.
On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park. Then, when it was evening, the venerable Puṇṇa rose from meditation and went to the Blessed One.1315

[1315: This Pu˚˚a is a different person from Pu˚˚a Mantā˚iputta of MN 24. He was from a family of merchants residing in the port city of Suppāraka in the Sunāparanta country (present-day Maharashtra). On a business trip to Sāvatthı̄ he heard the Buddha give a discourse and renounced the home life to become a bhikkhu.]

After paying homage to the Blessed One, he sat down at one side and said to him:

§ 2. “Venerable sir, it would be good if the Blessed One would give me brief advice. Having heard the Dhamma from the Blessed One, I will abide alone, withdrawn, diligent, ardent, and resolute.”
“Well then, Puṇṇa, listen and attend carefully to what I shall say.”
“Yes, venerable sir,” the venerable Puṇṇa replied.
The Blessed One said this:

§ 3. “Puṇṇa, there are forms cognizable by the eye that are wished for, desired, agreeable, and likeable, connected with sensual desire and provocative of lust.
If a bhikkhu delights in them,
welcomes them, and
remains holding to them,
delight arises in him.
With the arising of delight, Puṇṇa, there is the arising of suffering, I say.1316

[1316 MA explains this instruction as a short teaching on the Four Noble Truths. Delight (nandı̄) is an aspect of craving. Through the arising of delight in regard to the eye and forms there arises the suffering of the five aggregates. Thus in this first part of the instruction the Buddha teaches the round of existence by way of the first two truths—suffering and its origin—as they occur through the six senses. In the second part (§4) he teaches the ending of the round by way of the second two truths—cessation and the path—expressed as the abandoning of delight in the six senses and their objects. ]

There are, Puṇṇa, sounds cognizable by the ear…
odours cognizable by the nose…
flavours cognizable by the tongue…
tangibles cognizable by the body…
mind-objects cognizable by the mind that are wished for, desired, agreeable, and likeable, connected with sensual desire [268] and provocative of lust. If a bhikkhu delights in them, welcomes them, and remains holding to them, delight arises in him. With the arising of delight, Puṇṇa, there is the arising of suffering, I say.

§ 4. “Puṇṇa, there are forms cognizable by the eye…
sounds cognizable by the ear…
odours cognizable by the nose…
flavours cognizable by the tongue…
tangibles cognizable by the body…
…..mind-objects cognizable by the mind that are wished for, desired, agreeable, and likeable, connected with sensual desire and provocative of lust.
If a bhikkhu does not delight in them, welcome them, and remain holding to them, 1316 delight ceases in him.
With the cessation of delight,
Puṇṇa, there is the cessation of suffering, I say.

[1316: anabhi nandathi, anabhiwadati, najosaya thitthathi ]

§ 5. “Now that I have given you this brief advice, Puṇṇa, in which country will you dwell?”
“Venerable sir, now that the Blessed One has given me this brief advice, I am going to dwell in the Sunāparanta country.”

“Puṇṇa, the people of Sunāparanta are fierce and rough. If they abuse and threaten you, what will you think then?”
“Venerable sir, if the people of Sun̄paranta abuse and threaten me, then I shall think: ‘These people of Sunāparanta are excellent, truly excellent, in that they did not give me a blow with the fist.’ Then I shall think thus, Blessed One; then I shall think thus, Sublime One.”

“But, Puṇṇa, if the people of Sunāparanta do give you a blow with the fist, what will you think then?”
“Venerable sir, if the people of Sunāparanta do give me a blow with the fist, then I shall think: ‘These people of Sunāparanta are excellent, truly excellent, in that they did not give me a blow with a clod.’ Then I shall think thus, Blessed One; then I shall think thus, Sublime One.”

“But, Puṇṇa, if the people of Sunāparanta do give you a blow with a clod, what will you think then?”
“Venerable sir, if the people of Sunāparanta do give me a blow with a clod, then I shall think: ‘These people of Sunāparanta are excellent, truly excellent, in that they did not give me a blow with a stick.’ Then I shall think thus, Blessed One; then I shall think thus, Sublime One.” [269]

“But, Puṇṇa, if the people of Sunāparanta do give you a blow with a stick, what will you think then?”
“Venerable sir, if the people of Sunāparanta do give me a blow with a stick, then I shall think: ‘These people of Sunāparanta are excellent, truly excellent, in that they did not give me a blow with a knife.’ Then I shall think thus, Blessed One; then I shall think thus, Sublime One.”


“But, Puṇṇa, if the people of Sunāparanta do give you a blow with a knife, what will you think then?”
“Venerable sir, if the people of Sunāparanta do give me a blow with a knife, then I shall think: ‘These people of Sunāparanta are excellent, truly excellent, in that they have not taken my life with a sharp knife.’ Then I shall think thus, Blessed One; then I shall think thus, Sublime One.”

“But, Puṇṇa, if the people of Sunāparanta do take your life with a sharp knife, what will you think then?”
“Venerable sir, if the people of Sunāparanta do take my life with a sharp knife, then I shall think thus: ‘There have been disciples of the Blessed One who, being repelled, humiliated, and disgusted by the body and by life, have sought an assailant. But I have obtained this assailant without even a search.’ Then I shall think thus, Blessed One; then I shall think thus, Sublime One.”

§ 6. “Good, good, Puṇṇa! Possessing such self-control and peacefulness, you will be able to dwell in the Sunāparanta country. Now, Puṇṇa, it is time to do as you think fit.”

§ 7. Then, having delighted and rejoiced in the Blessed One’s words, the venerable Puṇṇa rose from his seat, and after paying homage to the Blessed One, departed keeping him on his right. He then set his resting place in order, took his bowl and outer robe, and set out to wander towards the Sunāparanta country.


Wandering by stages, he eventually arrived in the Sunāparanta country, and there he lived. Then, during that Rains, the venerable Puṇṇa established five hundred men lay followers and five hundred women lay followers in the practice, and he himself realised the three true knowledges. On a later occasion, the venerable Puṇṇa attained final Nibb̄na.1317

[1317 That is, he expired. Since the Buddha still refers to Punna as a clansman (kulaputta), he must have died within a short time after returning to the Sunāparanta country. The texts leave no record of how he died. The version of this sutta at SN 35:88 (iv.60–63) says that he expired during his first rains retreat there.]

§ 8. Then a number of bhikkhus went to the Blessed One, and after paying homage to him, they sat down at one side and told him:

“Venerable sir, the clansman Puṇṇa, who [270] was given brief advice by the Blessed One, has died. What is his destination? What is his future course?”
“Bhikkhus, the clansman Puṇṇa was wise. He practised in accordance with the Dhamma and did not trouble me in the interpretation of the Dhamma. The clansman Puṇṇa has attained final Nibbāna.”

That is what the Blessed One said. The bhikkhus were satisfied and delighted in the Blessed One’s words.

144 Advice to Channa

Channovāda Sutta

§ 1. THUS HAVE I HEARD.
On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Rājagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels’ Sanctuary.

§ 2. Now on that occasion the venerable Sāriputta, the venerable Mahā Cunda, and the venerable Channa were living on the mountain Vulture Peak.

On that occasion the venerable Channa was afflicted, suffering, and gravely ill.
Then, when it was evening, the venerable Sāriputta rose from meditation, went to the venerable Mahā Cunda, and said to him:
“Friend Cunda, let us go to the venerable Channa and ask about his illness.”—
“Yes, friend,” the venerable Mahā Cunda replied.

Then the venerable Sāriputta and the venerable Mahā Cunda went to the venerable Channa and exchanged greetings with him. When [264] this courteous and amiable talk was finished, they sat down at one side and the venerable Sāriputta said to the venerable Channa:

“I hope you are getting well, friend Channa, I hope you are comfortable. I hope your painful feelings are subsiding and not increasing, and that their subsiding, not their increase, is apparent.”
“Friend Sāriputta, I am not getting well, I am not comfortable. My painful feelings are increasing, not subsiding; their increase and not their subsiding is apparent. Just as if a strong man were splitting my head open with a sharp sword, so too, violent winds cut through my head. I am not getting well…
Just as if a strong man were tightening a tough leather strap around my head as a headband, so too, there are violent pains in my head. I am not getting well…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, violent winds are carving up my belly. I am not getting well…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, there is a violent burning in my body. I am not getting well, I am not comfortable. My painful feelings are increasing, not subsiding; their increase and not their subsiding is apparent. I shall use the knife,1307 friend Sāriputta; I have no desire to live.”

[1307:- This is an elliptical expression for committing suicide.]

“Let the venerable Channa not use the knife.
Let the venerable Channa live.
We want the venerable Channa to live.
If he lacks suitable food, I will go in search of suitable food for him. If he lacks suitable medicine, I will go in search of suitable medicine for him. If he lacks a proper attendant, I will attend on him. Let the venerable Channa not use the knife. Let the venerable Channa live. We want the venerable Channa to live.”

“Friend Sāriputta, it is not that I have no suitable food and medicine or no proper attendant. But rather, friend Sāriputta, the Teacher has long been worshipped by me in an agreeable way , not with a disagreeable way; for it is proper for the disciple to worship the Teacher in an agreeable way , not in a disagreeable way..
Friend Sāriputta, remember this: the bhikkhu Channa will use the knife blamelessly.”1308

[1308 :- By making this statement he is implicitly claiming arahantship, as will be made clear at §13. Whether his claim at this point was valid or not is uncertain, the commentary regarding it as a case of self-overestimation. ]


“We would ask the venerable Channa certain questions, if the venerable Channa finds it opportune to reply.”
“Ask, friend Sāriputta. When I have heard, I shall know.”

“Friend Channa, do you regard the eye, eye-consciousness, and things cognizable [by the mind] through eye-consciousness thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, [265] this is my self’?

Do you regard the ear…
the nose…
the tongue…
the body…
the mind,
mind-consciousness, and things cognizable [by the mind] through mind-consciousness thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self’?”
“Friend Sāriputta, I regard the eye, eye-consciousness, and things cognizable [by the mind] through eye-consciousness thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’

I regard the ear…
the nose…
the tongue…
the body…
the mind, mind-consciousness, and things cognizable [by the mind] through mind-consciousness thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’”

“Friend Channa,
what have you seen and directly known in the eye, in eye-consciousness, and in things cognizable [by the mind] through eye-consciousness, that you regard them thus:
‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self’?

What have you seen and directly known in the ear…
in the nose…
in the tongue…
in the body…
in the mind, in mind-consciousness, and in things cognizable [by the mind] through mind-consciousness, that you regard them thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self’?”

“Friend Sāriputta, it is through seeing and directly knowing cessation in the eye, in eye-consciousness, and in things cognizable [by the mind] through eye-consciousness, that I regard them thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ It is through seeing and directly knowing cessation in the ear…in the nose…in the tongue…in the body…in the mind, in mind-consciousness, and in things cognizable [by the mind] through mind-consciousness, [266] that I regard them thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’”

When this was said, the venerable Mahā Cunda said to the venerable Channa:1309

[1309 :- MA says that Ven. Mahā Cunda gave him this instruction thinking that he must still be an ordinary person, since he could not endure the deadly pains and wanted to commit suicide ]

“Therefore, friend Channa, this instruction of the Blessed One’s is to be constantly given attention:

‘There is wavering in one who is dependent, (nissitassa)
there is no wavering in one who is independent;
when there is no wavering, there is tranquillity;
when there is tranquillity, there is no bias;
when there is no bias, there is no coming and going;
when there is no coming and going,
there is no passing away and reappearing;
when there is no passing away and reappearing,
there is no here nor beyond nor in between. This is the end of suffering.’”1310

[1310 The sense of this instruction might be explained with the help of MA thus:
One is dependent because of craving and views and becomes independent by abandoning them with the attainment of arahantship. Bias (nati, lit. bending) comes about through craving, and its absence means there is no inclination or desire for existence. There is no coming and going by the ending of rebirth and death, no here nor beyond nor in between by the transcendence of this world, the world beyond, and the passage between one and the other. This is the end of the suffering of defilements and the suffering of the round.]

§ Then when the venerable Sāriputta and the venerable Mahā Cunda had advised the venerable Channa thus, they rose from their seats and went away. Then, soon after they had gone, the venerable Channa used the knife.1311

[1311 MA: He cut his throat, and just at that moment the fear of death descended on him and the sign of future rebirth appeared. Recognising that he was still an ordinary person, he was aroused and developed insight. Comprehending the formations, he attained arahantship just before he expired.]

§ Then the venerable Sāriputta went to the Blessed One, and after paying homage to him, he sat down at one side and said to the Blessed One: “Venerable sir, the venerable Channa has used the knife. What is his destination, what is his future course?”

“Sāriputta, didn’t the bhikkhu Channa declare to you his blamelessness?”1312

[1312 :- MA: Although this declaration (of blamelessness) was made while Channa was still a worldling, as his attainment of final Nibbāna followed immediately, the Buddha answered by referring to that very declaration.
It should be noted that this commentarial interpretation is imposed on the text from the outside, as it were. If one sticks to the actual wording of the text it seems that Channa was already an arahant when he made his declaration, the dramatic punch being delivered by the failure of his two brother-monks to recognise this. The implication, of course, is that excruciating pain might motivate even an arahant to take his own life—not from aversion but simply from a wish to be free from unbearable pain.]

“Venerable sir, there is a Vajjian village called Pubbajira. There the venerable Channa had friendly families, intimate families, approachable families [as his supporters].”1313

[1313:- The terms used to describe the lay families which supported the Venerable Channa—mittakulāni suhajjakulāni upavajjakulāni—are obviously synonymous. The third term gives the opportunity for a word play. MA glosses it upasankamitabbakulāni, “families to be approached” (that is, for his requisites).
According to CPD, upavajja here represents Skt upavrajya; the word in this sense is not in PED, though this may be the only instance where it bears such a meaning. The word is homonymous with another word meaning “blameworthy,” representing Skt upavadya, thus linking up with Channa’s earlier avowal that he would kill himself blamelessly (anupavajja). See the following note.

“Indeed, Sāriputta, the bhikkhu Channa had friendly families, intimate families, approachable families [as his supporters]; but I do not say that to this extent he was blameworthy. Sāriputta, when one lays down this body and takes up a new body, then I say one is blameworthy. This did not happen in the case of the bhikkhu Channa; the bhikkhu Channa used the knife blamelessly.”1314

[1314 This statement seems to imply that Channa was an arahant at the time he committed suicide, though the commentary explains otherwise.
When the Buddha speaks about the conditions under which one is blameworthy (sa-upavajja), upavajja represents upavadya. Though earlier MA
explained the correct sense of upavajjakulāni, here the commentator seems oblivious to the pun and comments as if Channa had actually been at fault for associating too closely with lay people: “The Elder Sāriputta, showing the fault of intimacy with families (kulasaṁsaggadosa) in the preliminary stage of practice, asks: ‘When that bhikkhu had such supporters, could he have attained final Nibbāna?’ The Blessed One answers showing that he was not intimate with families.”

That is what the Blessed One said. The venerable Sāriputta was satisfied and delighted in the Blessed One’s words.

103 What Do You Think About Me?

MN 03-01-03 KINCI SUTTA

§ 1. THUS HAVE I HEARD. On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Kusinārā, in the Grove of Offerings. There he addressed the bhikkhus thus:
“Bhikkhus.”—“Venerable sir,” they replied.
The Blessed One said this:

§ 2. “What do you think about me, bhikkhus?
That the recluse Gotama teaches the Dhamma for the sake of robes?
Or that the recluse Gotama teaches the Dhamma for the sake of almsfood?
Or that the recluse Gotama teaches the Dhamma for the sake of a resting place?
Or that the recluse Gotama teaches the Dhamma for the sake of some better state of being?”969

[969: Bhavābhavahetu. MA: “Do you think that he teaches the Dhamma as a means of gaining merit so that he can experience happiness in this or that [higher] state of being?”]


“We do not think thus about the Blessed One:
‘The recluse Gotama teaches the Dhamma for the sake of robes, or for the sake of almsfood, or for the sake of a resting place, or for the sake of some better state of being.’”

“So, bhikkhus, you do not think thus about me:
‘The recluse Gotama teaches the Dhamma
for the sake of robes
ෆොර් තේ සකේ ඔෆ් …or for the sake of some better state of being.’

Then what do you think about me?”
“Venerable sir, we think thus about the Blessed One: ‘The Blessed One is compassionate and seeks our welfare; he teaches the Dhamma out of compassion.’”

“So, bhikkhus, you think thus about me: ‘The Blessed One is compassionate
and seeks our welfare; he teaches the Dhamma out of compassion.’

§3. “So, bhikkhus, these things that I have taught you after directly knowing them—
that is,
the four foundations of mindfulness,
the four right kinds of striving,
the four bases for spiritual power,
the five faculties,
the five powers,
the seven [239] enlightenment factors,
the Noble Eightfold Path

in these things you should all train in concord,
with mutual appreciation, without disputing.

§ 4. “While you are training in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, two bhikkhus might make different assertions about the higher Dhamma.970

[970:- Abhidhamma. MA says that this refers to the thirty-seven aids to enlightenment mentioned in the previous paragraph. Abhidhamma. Though the word cannot refer here to the Piṭaka of that name
—obviously the product of a phase of Buddhist thought later than the Nikāyas—
it may well indicate a systematic and analytical approach to the doctrine that served as the original nucleus of the Abhidhamma Piṭaka. In a careful study of the contexts in which the word “Abhidhamma” occurs in the Sutta Piṭakas of several early recensions, the Japanese Pali scholar Fumimaro Watanabe concludes that the Buddha’s own disciples formed the conception of Abhidhamma as an elementary philosophical study that attempted to define, analyse, and classify dhammas and to explore their mutual relations. See his Philosophy and its Development in the Nikāyas and Abhidhamma, pp. 34–36.]

§ 5. “Now if you should think thus:
‘These venerable ones differ about both the meaning and the phrasing,’971 then whichever bhikkhu you think is the more reasonable should be approached and addressed thus:

[971:- Meaning (attha) and phrasing (byañjana) are the two aspects of the Dhamma taught by the Buddha. The following passage, §§5–8, should be compared with DN 29.18–21/iii.128–29, which also expresses a concern for the preservation of the correct meaning and phrasing of the Dhamma.]

‘The venerable ones differ about both the meaning and the phrasing. The venerable ones should know that it is for this reason that there is difference about the meaning and difference about the phrasing; let them not fall into a dispute.’

Then whichever bhikkhu you think is the most reasonable of those who side together on the opposite part should be approached and addressed thus:
‘The venerable ones differ about the meaning and the phrasing. The venerable ones should know that it is for this reason that there is difference about the meaning and difference about the phrasing; let them not fall into a dispute.

So what has been wrongly grasped should be borne in mind as wrongly grasped. Bearing in mind what has been wrongly grasped as wrongly grasped, what is Dhamma and what is Discipline should be expounded.

§ 6. “Now if you should think thus:
‘These venerable ones differ about the meaning but agree about the phrasing,’
then whichever bhikkhu you think is the more reasonable should be approached and addressed thus:
The venerable ones differ about the meaning but agree about the phrasing. The venerable ones should know that it is for this reason that there is difference about the meaning but agreement about the phrasing; let them not fall into a dispute.

Then whichever bhikkhu you think is the most reasonable of those who side together on the opposite part should be approached and addressed thus:
‘The venerable ones differ about the meaning but agree about the phrasing. The venerable ones should know that it is for this reason that there is difference about the meaning but agreement about the phrasing; let them not fall into a dispute.’ [240]

So what has been wrongly grasped should be borne in mind as wrongly grasped and what has been rightly grasped should be borne in mind as rightly grasped. Bearing in mind what has been wrongly grasped as wrongly grasped, and bearing in mind what has been rightly grasped as rightly grasped, what is Dhamma and what is Discipline should be expounded.

§ 7. “Now if you think thus:
‘These venerable ones agree about the meaning but differ about the phrasing,’ then whichever bhikkhu you think is the more reasonable should be approached and addressed thus: ‘The venerable ones agree about the meaning but differ about the phrasing. The venerable ones should know that it is for this reason that there is agreement about the meaning but difference about the phrasing. But the phrasing is a mere trifle. Let the venerable ones not fall into a dispute over a mere trifle.’972

[972:- This statement is made because slight deviations from the correct phrasing are not necessarily an obstacle to a proper understanding of the meaning. But elsewhere (e.g., AN 2:20/i.59) the Buddha points out that the wrong expression of the letter and the wrong interpretation of the meaning are two factors responsible for the distortion and disappearance of the true Dhamma.]

Then whichever bhikkhu you think is the most reasonable of those who side together on the opposite part should be approached and addressed thus:
The venerable ones agree about the meaning but differ about the phrasing. The venerable ones should know that it is for this reason that there is agreement about the meaning but difference about the phrasing. But the phrasing is a mere trifle. Let the venerable ones not fall into a dispute over a mere trifle.’

So what has been rightly grasped should be borne in mind as rightly grasped and what has been wrongly grasped should be borne in mind as wrongly grasped. Bearing in mind what has been rightly grasped as rightly grasped, and bearing in mind what has been wrongly grasped as wrongly grasped, what is Dhamma and what is Discipline should be expounded.

§ 8. “Now if you should think thus: ‘These venerable ones agree about both the meaning and the phrasing,’ then whichever bhikkhu you think is the more reasonable should be approached and addressed thus:
‘The venerable ones agree about both the meaning and the phrasing. The venerable ones should know that it is for this reason that there is agreement about both the meaning and the phrasing; let the venerable ones not fall into a dispute.’

Then whichever bhikkhu you think is the most reasonable of those who side together on the opposite part should be approached and addressed thus:
The venerable ones agree about both the meaning and the phrasing. The venerable ones should know that it is for this reason that there is agreement about both the meaning and the phrasing; let the venerable ones not [241] fall into a dispute.’

So what has been rightly grasped should be borne in mind as rightly grasped. Bearing in mind what has been rightly grasped as rightly grasped, what is Dhamma and what is Discipline should be expounded.

§ 9. “While you are training in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, some bhikkhu might commit an offence or a transgression.973

[973:- The general principle underlying §§10–14 is this:
If the offending bhikkhu can be rehabilitated, then despite the hurt to him and the trouble to oneself, one should try to correct him. But if he is not susceptible to being rehabilitated, one should just maintain one’s own equanimity]

§ 10. “Now, bhikkhus, you should not hurry to reprove him; rather, the person should be examined thus:
‘I shall not be troubled and the other person will not be hurt; for the other person is not given to anger and resentment, he is not firmly attached to his view and he relinquishes easily, and I can make that person emerge from the unwholesome and establish him in the wholesome. ’
If such occurs to you, bhikkhus, it is proper to speak.

§ 11. “Then it may occur to you, bhikkhus:
I shall not be troubled, but the other person will be hurt, for the other person is given to anger and resentment.
However, he is not firmly attached to his view and he relinquishes easily, and I can make that person emerge from the unwholesome and establish him in the wholesome. It is a mere trifle that the other person will be hurt, but it is a much greater thing that I can make that person emerge from the unwholesome and establish him in the wholesome. ’ If such occurs to you, bhikkhus, it is proper to speak.

§ 12 . “Then it may occur to you, bhikkhus:
‘I shall be troubled, but the other person will not be hurt; for the other person is not given to anger and resentment, though he is firmly attached to his view and he relinquishes with difficulty; yet I can make that person emerge from the unwholesome and establish him in the wholesome. It is a mere trifle that I shall be troubled, but it is a much greater thing that I can make that person emerge from the unwholesome and establish him in the wholesome.’
If such occurs to you, bhikkhus, it is proper to speak.

§ 13. “Then it may occur to you, bhikkhus:
‘I shall be troubled and the other person will be hurt; [242] for the other person is given to anger and resentment, and he is firmly attached to his view and he relinquishes with difficulty; yet I can make that person emerge from the unwholesome and establish him in the wholesome. It is a mere trifle that I shall be troubled and the other person hurt, but it is a much greater thing that I can make that person emerge from the unwholesome and establish him in the wholesome.’
If such occurs to you, bhikkhus, it is proper to speak.

§ 14. “Then it may occur to you, bhikkhus:
‘I shall be troubled and the other person will be hurt; for the other person is given to anger and resentment, and he is firmly attached to his view and he relinquishes with difficulty; and I cannot make that person emerge from the unwholesome and establish him in the wholesome.’
One should not underrate equanimity towards such a person.

§ 15 . “While you are training in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, there might arise mutual verbal friction, insolence in views, mental annoyance, bitterness, and dejection. Then whichever bhikkhu you think is the most reasonable of those who side together on the one part should be approached and addressed thus:
‘While we were training in concord, friend, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, there arose mutual verbal friction, insolence in views, mental annoyance, bitterness, and dejection. If the Recluse knew, would he censure that?974

[974:- “The Recluse” (samaṇa) is glossed by MA with satthā, the Teacher, referring to the Buddha. A similar use of the term is found at MN 105.18, 21.]

Answering rightly, the bhikkhu would answer thus: ‘While we were training…If the Recluse knew, he would censure that.’ “
But, friend, without abandoning that thing, can one realise Nibbāna?’
Answering rightly, the bhikkhu would answer thus: ‘Friend, without abandoning that thing, one cannot realise Nibb̄na.’975

[975:- The “thing” (dhamma) intended, MA says, is quarrelling]

§ 16. “Then whichever bhikkhu you think is the most reasonable of those who side together on the opposite part should be approached and addressed thus:
While we were training in concord, friend, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, there arose mutual verbal friction, insolence in views, mental annoyance, bitterness, and dejection. If the Recluse knew, would he censure that?’

Answering rightly, the bhikkhu would answer thus:
‘While we were training…If the Recluse knew, he would censure that.’
“‘But, friend, without abandoning that thing, can one realise Nibbāna?’
Answering rightly, the bhikkhu would answer thus: [243]
‘Friend, without abandoning that thing, one cannot realise Nibbāna.’

§ 17. “If others should ask that bhikkhu thus:
‘Was it the venerable one who made those bhikkhus emerge from the unwholesome and established them in the wholesome?
answering rightly, the bhikkhu would answer thus:
‘Here, friends, I went to the Blessed One. The Blessed One taught me the Dhamma. Having heard that Dhamma, I spoke to those bhikkhus. The bhikkhus heard that Dhamma, and they emerged from the unwholesome and became established in the wholesome.

Answering thus, the bhikkhu neither exalts himself nor disparages others; he answers in accordance with the Dhamma in such a way that nothing which provides a ground for censure can be legitimately deduced from his assertion.”

That is what the Blessed One said.
The bhikkhus were satisfied and delighted in the Blessed One’s words.

127 Anuruddha Sutta

Listen to Sutta Reading by Ven Bhikku Candana

§ 1. THUS HAVE I HEARD.
On one occasion the Blessed One was living at S̄avatth in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park.

§ 2. Then the carpenter Pañcakanga addressed a certain man thus:
“Come, good man, go to the venerable Anuruddha, [145] pay homage in my name with your head at his feet, and say:

‘Venerable sir, the carpenter Pañcakanga pays homage with his head at the venerable Anuruddha’s feet and says: “Venerable sir, let the venerable Anuruddha with three others consent to accept tomorrow’s meal from the carpenter Pañcakanga; and let the venerable Anuruddha arrive punctually as the carpenter Pañcakanga is very busy and has much work to do for the king.”’”
“Yes, sir,” that man replied, and he went to the venerable Anuruddha. After paying homage to the venerable Anuruddha, he sat down at one side and delivered his message. The venerable Anuruddha consented in silence.

§ 3. Then, when the night had ended, it being morning, the venerable Anuruddha dressed, and taking his bowl and outer robe, he went to the carpenter Pañcakanga’s house and sat down on a seat made ready. Then, with his own hands, the carpenter Pañcakanga served and satisfied the venerable Anuruddha with the various kinds of good food. Then, when the venerable Anuruddha had eaten and had put his bowl aside, the carpenter Pañcakanga took a low seat, sat down at one side, and said to the venerable Anuruddha:

§ 4 . “Here, venerable sir, elder bhikkhus have come to me and said:
‘Householder, develop the immeasurable deliverance of mind’; and some elders have said: ‘Householder, develop the exalted deliverance of mind.’

Venerable sir, the immeasurable deliverance of mind and the exalted deliverance of mind1180— are these states different in meaning and [146] different in name, or are they one in meaning and different only in name?”

[1180:- Appamāṇā cetovimutti, mahaggatā cetovimutti. At MN 43.31, as here, the immeasurable deliverance of mind is explained as the four brahmavihāras. Since the formula for each brahmavihāra includes the word “exalted,” Pañcakanga was apparently misled into supposing that the two deliverances were the same in meaning.]

From MN 43.31 …… “What, friend, is the way in which these states are different in meaning and different in name?
Here a bhikkhu abides pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with loving-kindness, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth; so above, below, around, and everywhere, and to all as to himself, he abides pervading the all-encompassing world with a mind imbued with lovingkindness, abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility and without ill will.
He abides pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with compassion…He abides pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with altruistic joy…He abides pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with equanimity, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth; so above, below, around, and everywhere, and to all as to himself, he abides pervading the all-encompassing world with a mind imbued with equanimity, abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility and without ill will. This is called the immeasurable deliverance of mind.]

§ 5 .“Explain it as you see it, householder. Afterwards it will be cleared up for you.”
“Venerable sir, I think thus: the immeasurable deliverance of mind and the exalted deliverance of mind—these states are one in meaning and different only in name.”

§ 6 . “Householder, the immeasurable deliverance of mind and the exalted deliverance of mind—these states are different in meaning and different in name. And it should be understood as follows how these states are different in meaning and different in name.

§ 7. “What, householder, is the immeasurable deliverance of mind?

Here a bhikkhu abides pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with loving-kindness, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth; so above, below, around, and everywhere, and to all as to himself, he abides pervading the all encompassing world with a mind imbued with loving-kindness, abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility and without ill will.

He abides pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with compassion…

He abides pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with altruistic joy…

He abides pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with equanimity…abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility and without ill will. This is called the immeasurable deliverance of mind.

§ 8. “And what, householder, is the exalted deliverance of mind?

Here a bhikkhu abides resolved upon an area the size of the root of one tree, pervading it as exalted: this is called the exalted deliverance of mind.1181

[1181:- MA: He covers an area the size of one tree root with his kasina sign, and he abides resolved upon that kasi˚a sign, pervading it with the exalted jhāna. The same method of explanation applies to the following cases.]

Here a bhikkhu abides resolved upon an area the size of the roots of two or three trees, pervading it as exalted: this too is called the exalted deliverance of mind. Here a bhikkhu abides resolved upon an area the size of one village, pervading it as exalted… [147]…
an area the size of two or three villages…
an area the size of one major kingdom…
an area the size of two or three major kingdoms…
an area the size of the earth bounded by the ocean, pervading it as exalted: this too is called the exalted deliverance of mind. It is in this way, householder, that it can be understood how these states are different in meaning and different in name.

§ 9. “There are, householder, these four kinds of reappearance [in a future state of] being.1182 What four?

[1182:- MA: This teaching is undertaken to show the kinds of rebirth that result from the attainment of the exalted deliverance ]

(a) Here someone abides resolved upon and pervading ‘limited radiance’; on the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of the gods of Limited Radiance.

(b) Here someone abides resolved upon and pervading ‘immeasurable radiance’; on the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of the gods of Immeasurable Radiance.

(c) Here someone abides resolved upon and pervading ‘defiled radiance’; on the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of the gods of Defiled Radiance.

(d) Here someone abides resolved upon and pervading ‘pure radiance’; on the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of the gods of Pure Radiance.

These are the four kinds of reappearance [in a future state of] being.1183

[1183:- MA explains that there are no separate realms of gods called those of “Defiled Radiance” and those of “Pure Radiance.” Both are subdivisions within the two realms—the gods of Limited Radiance and the gods of Immeasurable Radiance. Rebirth among the gods of Limited Radiance is determined by the attainment of the (second) jhāna with a limited kasi˚asign, rebirth among the gods of Immeasurable Radiance by the attainment of the same jhāna with an extended kasi˚a sign. Rebirth with defiled radiance is for those who have not mastered the jhāna and purified it of obstructive states; rebirth with pure radiance is for those who have acquired this mastery and purification.]

§ 10. “There is an occasion, householder, when those deities assemble in one place. When they have assembled in one place, a difference in their colour can be discerned but no difference in their radiance.

Just as, if a man were to bring several oil-lamps into a house, a difference in the flames of the lamps might be discerned but no difference in their radiance;
so too, there is an occasion when those deities assemble in one place [148]…
but no difference in their radiance.

§ 11. “There is an occasion, householder, when those deities disperse from there.
When they have dispersed, a difference in their colours can be discerned and also a difference in their radiance. Just as, if the man were to remove those several oil-lamps from that house, a difference might be discerned in the flames of the lamps and also a difference in their radiance; so too, there is an occasion when those deities disperse from there…and also a difference in their radiance.

§ 12. “It does not occur to those deities: ‘This [life] of ours is permanent, everlasting, and eternal,’ yet wherever those deities settle down, there they find delight. Just as, when flies are being carried along on a carrying-pole or on a basket, it does not occur to them: ‘This [life] of ours is permanent, everlasting, or eternal,’ yet wherever those flies settle down, there they find delight; so too, it does not occur to those deities…yet wherever they settle down, there they find delight.”

§ 13. When this was said, the venerable Abhiya Kaccāna said to the venerable Anuruddha: “Good, venerable Anuruddha, yet I have something further to ask:
Are all those radiant ones deities of Limited Radiance, or are some of them deities of Immeasurable Radiance?”

§ 14. “By reason of the factor [responsible for rebirth], friend Kaccāna, some are deities of Limited Radiance, some deities of Immeasurable Radiance.”

“Venerable Anuruddha, what is the cause and reason why among those deities that have reappeared in a single order of gods, [149] some are deities of Limited Radiance, some deities of Immeasurable Radiance?”

“As to that, friend Kaccāna, I shall ask you a question in return. Answer it as you choose.
What do you think, friend Kaccāna?
When one bhikkhu abides resolved upon an area the size of the root of one tree, pervading it as exalted, and another bhikkhu abides resolved upon the area the size of the roots of two or three trees, pervading it as exalted—which of these types of mental development is more exalted?”—
“The second, venerable sir.”

“What do you think, friend Kaccāna?
When one bhikkhu abides resolved upon an area the size of the roots of two or three trees, pervading it as exalted, and another bhikkhu abides resolved upon an area the size of one village, pervading it as exalted…
an area the size of one village and an area the size of two or three villages…
an area the size of two or three villages [150] and an area the size of one major kingdom…
an area the size of one major kingdom and an area the size of two or three major kingdoms…
an area the size of two or three major kingdoms and an area the size of the earth bounded by the ocean, pervading it as exalted—
which of these two types of mental development is more exalted?”—
“The second, venerable sir.”
“This is the cause and reason, friend Kaccāna, why among those deities that have reappeared in a single order of gods, some are deities of Limited Radiance, some deities of Immeasurable Radiance.”

§ “Good, venerable Anuruddha, yet I have something further to ask:
Are all those radiant ones deities of Defiled Radiance, or are some of them deities of Pure Radiance?” [151]
“By reason of the factor [responsible for rebirth], friend Kaccāna, some are deities of Defiled Radiance, some deities of Pure Radiance.”

§ 16. “Venerable Anuruddha, what is the cause and reason why among those deities that have reappeared in a single order of gods, some are deities of Defiled Radiance, some deities of Pure Radiance?”
“As to that, friend Kaccāna, I shall give a simile, for some wise men here understand the meaning of a statement by means of a simile.

Suppose an oil lamp is burning with impure oil and an impure wick;
because of the impurity of its oil and its wick it burns dimly.
So too, here a bhikkhu abides resolved upon and pervading [an area with] a defiled radiance. His bodily inertia has not fully subsided, his sloth and torpor have not been fully eliminated, his restlessness and remorse have not been fully removed; because of this he meditates, as it were, dimly.1184 On the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of the gods of Defiled Radiance.

[1184:- A pun is involved here. In Pali the verb jhāyati means both to burn and to meditate, though the two meanings are derived from different Sanskrit verbs: kshāyati is to burn, dhyāyati to meditate.]


“Suppose an oil-lamp is burning with pure oil and a pure wick; because of the purity of its oil and its wick it does not burn dimly.
So too, here a bhikkhu abides resolved upon and pervading [an area with] a pure radiance.
His bodily inertia has fully subsided, his sloth and torpor have been fully eliminated, his restlessness and remorse have been fully removed; because of this he meditates, as it were, brightly. On the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of the gods of Pure Radiance. [152]
“This is the cause and reason, friend Kaccāna, why among those deities that have reappeared in the same order of gods, some are deities of Defiled Radiance, some deities of Pure Radiance.”

§ 17. When this was said, the venerable Abhiya Kaccāna said to the venerable Anuruddha:
“Good, venerable Anuruddha. The venerable Anuruddha does not say: ‘Thus have I heard’ or ‘It should be thus.’ Rather, the venerable Anuruddha says: ‘These gods are thus and those gods are such.’ It occurs to me, venerable sir, that the venerable Anuruddha certainly has previously associated with those deities and talked with them and held conversations with them.”
“Certainly, friend Kaccāna, your words are offensive and discourteous, but still I will answer you. Over a long time I have previously associated with those deities and talked with them and held conversations with them.”1185

[1185:- Abhiya’s words, it seems, are discourteous because they inquire very bluntly into the personal experience of Ven. Anuruddha. MA says that while fulfilling the perfections (pāramı̄s) in past lives, Anuruddha had gone forth as a recluse, reached the meditative attainments, and passed three hundred existences without interruption in the Brahma-world. Hence his reply.]

§ 18. When this was said, the venerable Abhiya Kaccāna said to the carpenter Pañcakanga: “It is a gain for you, householder, it is a great gain for you that you have abandoned your state of doubt and have had the opportunity to hear this discourse on the Dhamma.”

095 Cankī Sutta

Sutta Exposition by Ven Bhikku Bodhi- Part 1
Sutta Exposition Part 2

164] § 1. THUS HAVE I HEARD.880
On one occasion the Blessed One was wandering in the Kosalan country with a large Sangha of bhikkhus, and eventually he arrived at a Kosalan brahmin village named Opasāda. There the Blessed One stayed in the Gods’ Grove,881 the Sāla-tree Grove to the north of Opasāda.

[880: The opening passage of this sutta, down to §10, is virtually identical with the opening of the Soṇadaṇḍa Sutta (DN 4).]

[ 881:- MA: It was called thus because offerings were made there to the gods.]

§ 2. Now on that occasion the brahmin Cankī was ruling over Opasāda, a crown property abounding in living beings, rich in grasslands, woodlands, waterways, and grain, a royal endowment, a sacred grant given to him by King Pasenadi of Kosala.

§ 3. The brahmin householders of Opasāda heard:
“The recluse Gotama , the son of the Sakyans who went forth from a Sakyan clan, has been wandering in the Oposada with a large Sangha of bhikkhus, with five hundred bhikkhus. Now a good report of Master Gotama has been spread to this effect:

‘The 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.

He declares this world with its gods, its Māras, and its Brahmās, this generation with its recluses and brahmins, with its princes and its people, which he has himself realised with direct knowledge.

He teaches the Dhamma that is good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end, with the right meaning and phrasing, and he reveals a holy life that is utterly perfect and pure.’ Now it is good to see such arahants.”

§ 4. Then the brahmin householders of Opasāda set forth from Opasāda in groups and bands and headed northwards to the Gods’ Grove, the Sāla-tree Grove.

§ 5 . Now on that occasion the brahmin Cankī had retired to the upper storey of his palace for his midday rest. Then he saw the brahmin householders of Opasāda setting forth from Opasāda in groups and bands and heading northwards to the Gods’ Grove, the Sāla-tree Grove.

When he saw them, he asked his minister:
“Good minister, why are the brahmin householders of Opasāda setting forth from Opasāda in groups and bands and heading northwards to the Gods’ Grove, the Sāla-tree Grove?”

§ 6. “Sir, there is the recluse Gotama, the son of the Sakyans who went forth from a Sakyan clan, who has been wandering in the Kosalan country…

They heard:

“The recluse Gotama, the son of the Sakyans who went forth from a Sakyan clan, has been wandering in the country of the Videhans with a large Sangha of bhikkhus, with five hundred bhikkhus.
Now a good report of Master Gotama has been spread to this effect: ‘The 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. He declares this world with its gods, its Māras, and its Brahmās, this generation with its recluses and brahmins, with its princes and its people, which he has himself realised with direct knowledge. He teaches the Dhamma that is good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end, with the right meaning and phrasing, and he reveals a holy life that is utterly perfect and pure.’ Now it is good to see such arahants.” [134] …They are going to see that Master Gotama.”

“Then, good minister, go to the brahmin householders of Opasāda and tell them: ‘Sirs, the brahmin Cankī says this:
“Please wait, sirs. The brahmin Cankī will also go to see the recluse Gotama.”’”
“Yes, sir,” the minister replied, [165] and he went to the brahmin householders of Opasāda and gave them the message.

§ 7. Now on that occasion five hundred brahmins from various states were staying at Opasāda for some business or other. They heard: “The brahmin Cankī, it is said, is going to see the recluse Gotama.”

Then they went to the brahmin Cankī and asked him:
“Sir, is it true that you are going to see the recluse Gotama?”
“So it is, sirs. I am going to see the recluse Gotama.”

§ 8. “Sir, do not go to see the recluse Gotama.
It is not proper, Master Cankī, for you to go to see the recluse Gotama;
rather, it is proper for the recluse Gotama to come to see you.

For you, sir, are well born on both sides, of pure maternal and paternal descent seven generations back, unassailable and impeccable in respect of birth. Since that is so, Master Cankī, it is not proper for you to go to see the recluse Gotama; rather, it is proper for the recluse Gotama to come to see you.

You, sir, are rich, with great wealth and great possessions. You, sir, are a master of the Three Vedas with their vocabularies, liturgy, phonology, and etymology, and the histories as a fifth; skilled in philology and grammar, you are fully versed in natural philosophy and in the marks of a Great Man.

You, sir, are handsome, comely, and graceful, possessing supreme beauty of complexion, with sublime beauty and sublime presence, remarkable to behold. You, sir, are virtuous, mature in virtue, possessing mature virtue. You, sir, are a good speaker with a good delivery; [166] you speak words that are courteous, distinct, flawless, and communicate the meaning. You, sir, teach the teachers of many, and you teach the recitation of the hymns to three hundred brahmin students.

You, sir, are honoured, respected, revered, venerated, and esteemed by King Pasenadi of Kosala. You, sir, are honoured, respected, revered, venerated, and esteemed by the brahmin Pokkharasāti.882

[882:- Another wealthy brahmin who resided in Ukkaṭṭhā, a crown property given to him by King Pasenadi. At DN 2.21/i.110 he hears a discourse from the Buddha, attains stream-entry, and goes for refuge along with his family and retinue. ]

You, sir, rule over Opasāda, a crown property abounding in living beings…a sacred grant given to you by King Pasenadi of Kosala. Since this is so, Master Cankī, it is not proper for you to go to see the recluse Gotama; rather, it is proper for the recluse Gotama to come to see you.”

§ 9. When this was said, the brahmin Cankī told those brahmins:
“Now, sirs, hear from me why it is proper for me to go to see Master Gotama, and why it is not proper for Master Gotama to come to see me.

Sirs, the recluse Gotama is well born on both sides, of pure maternal and paternal descent seven generations back, unassailable and impeccable in respect of birth. Since this is so, sirs, it is not proper for Master Gotama to come to see me; rather, it is proper for me to go to see Master Gotama.

Sirs, the recluse Gotama went forth abandoning much gold and bullion stored away in vaults and in lofts. Sirs, the recluse Gotama went forth from the home life into homelessness while still young, a black-haired young man endowed with the blessing of youth, in the prime of life. Sirs, the recluse Gotama shaved off his hair and beard, put on the yellow robe, and went forth from the home life into homelessness though his mother and father wished otherwise and wept with tearful faces.

Sirs, the recluse Gotama is handsome, comely, and graceful, possessing supreme beauty of complexion, [167] with sublime beauty and sublime presence, remarkable to behold. Sirs, the recluse Gotama is virtuous, with noble virtue, with wholesome virtue, possessing wholesome virtue. Sirs, the recluse Gotama is a good speaker with a good delivery; he speaks words that are courteous, distinct, flawless, and communicate the meaning.

Sirs, the recluse Gotama is a teacher of the teachers of many. Sirs, the recluse Gotama is free from sensual lust and without personal vanity. Sirs, the recluse Gotama holds the doctrine of the moral efficacy of action, the doctrine of the moral efficacy of deeds; he does not seek any harm for the line of brahmins.

Sirs, the recluse Gotama went forth from an aristocratic family, from one of the original noble families. Sirs, the recluse Gotama went forth from a rich family, from a family of great wealth and great possessions.

Sirs, people come from remote kingdoms and remote districts to question the recluse Gotama. Sirs, many thousands of deities have gone for refuge for life to the recluse Gotama.

Sirs, a good report of the recluse Gotama has been spread to this effect: ‘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.’

Sirs, the recluse Gotama possesses the thirty-two marks of a Great Man. Sirs, King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha and his wife and children have gone for refuge for life to the recluse Gotama.

Sirs, King Pasenadi of Kosala and his wife and children have gone for refuge for life to the recluse Gotama. Sirs, the brahmin Pokkharasāti and his wife and children have gone for refuge for life to the recluse Gotama. Sirs, the recluse Gotama has arrived at Opasāda and is living at Opasāda in the Gods’ Grove, the Sāla-tree Grove to the north of Opasāda.

Now any recluses or brahmins that come to our town are our guests, and guests should be honoured, respected, revered, and venerated by us. Since the recluse Gotama has arrived at Opasāda, he is our guest, and as our guest should be honoured, respected, revered, and venerated by us. [168] Since this is so, sirs, it is not proper for Master Gotama to come to see me; rather, it is proper for me to go to see Master Gotama.

“Sirs, this much is the praise of Master Gotama that I have learned, but the praise of Master Gotama is not limited to that, for the praise of Master Gotama is immeasurable. Since Master Gotama possesses each one of these factors, it is not proper for him to come to see me; rather, it is proper for me to go to see Master Gotama. Therefore, sirs, let all of us go to see the recluse Gotama.”

§ 10. Then the brahmin Cankī, together with a large company of brahmins, went to the Blessed One and exchanged greetings with him. When this courteous and amiable talk was finished, he sat down at one side.

§ 11 .Now on that occasion the Blessed One was seated finishing some amiable talk with some very senior brahmins. At the time, sitting in the assembly, was a brahmin student named Kāpaṭhika. Young, shaven-headed, sixteen years old, he was a master of the Three Vedas with their vocabularies, liturgy, phonology, and etymology, and the histories as a fifth; skilled in philology and grammar, he was fully versed in natural philosophy and in the marks of a Great Man. While the very senior brahmins were conversing with the Blessed One, he repeatedly broke
in and interrupted their talk.

Then the Blessed One rebuked the brahmin student Kāpaṭhika thus: “Let not the venerable Bhāradvāja break in and interrupt the talk of the very senior brahmins while they are conversing. Let the venerable Bhāradvāja wait until the talk is finished.”
When this was said, the brahmin Cankī said to the Blessed One:
“Let not Master Gotama rebuke the brahmin student Kāpaṭhika. The brahmin student Kāpaṭhika is a clansman, he is very learned, he has a good delivery, he is wise; he is capable of taking part in this discussion with Master Gotama.”

§ 12 . Then the Blessed One thought: “Surely, [169] since the brahmins honour him thus, the brahmin student Kāpaṭhika must be accomplished in the scriptures of the Three Vedas.”
Then the brahmin student Kāpaṭhika thought: “When the recluse Gotama catches my eye, I shall ask him a question.”
Then, knowing with his own mind the thought in the brahmin student Kāpaṭhika’s mind, the Blessed One turned his eye towards him. Then the brahmin student Kāpaṭhika thought: “The recluse Gotama has turned towards me. Suppose I ask him a question.”

Then he said to the Blessed One:
“Master Gotama, in regard to the ancient brahmanic hymns that have come down through oral transmission, preserved in the collections, the brahmins come to the definite conclusion: ‘Only this is true, anything else is wrong.’ What does Master Gotama say about this?”

“How then, Bhāradvāja, among the brahmins is there even a single brahmin who says thus: ‘I know this, I see this: only this is true, anything else is wrong’?”—
“No, Master Gotama.”

“How then, Bhāradvāja, among the brahmins is there even a single teacher or a single teacher’s teacher back to the seventh generation of teachers who says thus: ‘I know this, I see this: only this is true, anything else is wrong’?”—
“No, Master Gotama.”

§ 13.“How then, Bhāradvāja, the ancient brahmin seers, the creators of the hymns, the composers of the hymns, whose ancient hymns that were formerly chanted, uttered, and compiled, the brahmins nowadays still chant and repeat, repeating what was spoken and reciting what was recited—
that is, Ạ̣haka, Vāmaka, Vāmadeva, Vessāmitta, Yamataggi, Angirasa, Bhāradvāja, Vāseṭṭha, Kassapa, and Bhagu883— did even these ancient brahmin seers say thus: ‘We know this, we see this: only this is true, anything else is wrong’?”—[170]
“No, Master Gotama.”

[883:- These are the ancient rishis whom the brahmins regarded as the divinely inspired authors of the Vedic hymns]

“So, Bhāradvāja, it seems that among the brahmins there is not even a single brahmin who says thus: ‘I know this, I see this: only this is true, anything else is wrong.’

And among the brahmins there is not even a single teacher or a single teacher’s teacher back to the seventh generation of teachers, who says thus:
‘I know this, I see this: only this is true, anything else is wrong.’ And the ancient brahmin seers, the creators of the hymns, the composers of the hymns…even these ancient brahmin seers did not say thus:

‘We know this, we see this: only this is true, anything else is wrong.’ Suppose there were a file of blind men each in touch with the next: the first one does not see, the middle one does not see, and the last one does not see.

So too, Bhāradvāja, in regard to their statement the brahmins seem to be like a file of blind men: the first one does not see, the middle one does not see, and the last one does not see. What do you think, Bhāradvāja, that being so, does not the faith of the brahmins turn out to be groundless?”

§ 14. “The brahmins honour this not only out of faith, Master Gotama. They also honour it as oral tradition.”
“Bhāradvāja, first you took your stand on faith, now you speak of oral tradition. There are five things, Bhāradvāja, that may turn out in two different ways here and now.

What five?
Faith,
approval,
oral tradition,
reasoned cogitation, and
reflective acceptance of a view.884

[884:- In Pali: saddhā, ruci, anussava, ākāraparivitakka, diṭṭhinijjhānakkhanti .
Of these five grounds for arriving at a conviction, the first two seem to be primarily emotive, the third to be a blind acceptance of tradition, and the last two primarily rational or cognitive. The “two different ways” each may turn out are true and false.]

These five things may turn out in two different ways here and now.
Now something may be fully accepted out of faith, yet it may be empty, hollow, and false;
but something else may not be fully accepted out of faith, yet it may be factual, true, and unmistaken.

Again, [171] something may be fully approved of…well transmitted…well cogitated… well reflected upon, yet it may be empty, hollow, and false; but something else may not be well reflected upon, yet it may be factual, true, and unmistaken.

[Under these conditions] it is not proper for a wise man who preserves truth to come to the definite conclusion: ‘Only this is true, anything else is wrong.’”885

[885:- It is not proper for him to come to this conclusion because he has not personally ascertained the truth of his conviction but only accepts it on a ground that is not capable of yielding certainty.]

§ 15. “But, Master Gotama, in what way is there the preservation of truth?886

[886:- Saccānurakkhana: or, the safeguarding of truth, the protection of truth]

How does one preserve truth?
We ask Master Gotama about the preservation of truth.”

“If a person has faith, Bhāradvāja, he preserves truth when he says: ‘My faith is thus’; but he does not yet come to the definite conclusion: ‘Only this is true, anything else is wrong.’

In this way, Bhāradvāja, there is the preservation of truth; in this way he preserves truth; in this way we describe the preservation of truth. But as yet there is no discovery of truth.887

“If a person approves of something…
if he receives an oral tradition…
if he [reaches a conclusion based on] reasoned cogitation…
if he gains a reflective acceptance of a view, he preserves truth when he says:
‘My reflective acceptance of a view is thus’; but he does not yet come to the definite conclusion: ‘Only this is true, anything else is wrong.’ In this way too, Bhāradvāja, there is the preservation of truth; in this way he preserves truth; in this way we describe the preservation of truth. But as yet there is no discovery of truth.”887

[887:- Saccānubodha: or, the awakening to truth.]

§ 16. “In that way, Master Gotama, there is the preservation of truth; in that way one preserves truth; in that way we recognise the preservation of truth. But in what way, Master Gotama, is there the discovery of truth? In what way does one discover truth? We ask Master Gotama about the discovery of truth.”

§ 17. “Here, Bhāradvāja, a bhikkhu may be living in dependence on some village or town.888

[888:- The procedure for the discovery of truth recommended in this sutta appears to be an elaboration of the approach described in MN 47.]

Then a householder or a householder’s son goes to him and
investigates him in regard to three kinds of states: [172] in regard to states based on greed, in regard to states based on hate, and in regard to states based on delusion:

‘Are there in this venerable one any states based on greed such that, with his mind obsessed by those states, while not knowing he might say,
“I know,” or while not seeing he might say,
“I see,” or he might urge others to act in a way that would lead to their harm and suffering for a long time?’

As he investigates him he comes to know:
‘There are no such states based on greed in this venerable one. The bodily behaviour and the verbal behaviour of this venerable one are not those of one affected by greed. And the Dhamma that this venerable one teaches is profound, hard to see and hard to understand, peaceful and sublime, unattainable by mere reasoning, subtle, to be experienced by the wise. This Dhamma cannot easily be taught by one affected by greed.’

§ 18. “When he has investigated him and has seen that he is purified from states based on greed, he next investigates him in regard to states based on hate:
‘Are there in this venerable one any states based on hate such that, with his mind obsessed by those states…he might urge others to act in a way that would lead to their harm and suffering for a long time?’

As he investigates him, he comes to know:
‘There are no such states based on hate in this venerable one. The bodily behaviour and the verbal behaviour of this venerable one are not those of one affected by hate. And the Dhamma that this venerable one teaches is profound… to be experienced by the wise. This Dhamma cannot easily be taught by one affected by hate.’

§ 19. .“When he has investigated him and has seen that he is purified from states based on hate, [173] he next investigates him in regard to states based on delusion:

‘Are there in this venerable one any states based on delusion such that, with his mind obsessed by those states…he might urge others to act in a way that would lead to their harm and suffering for a long time?’

As he investigates him, he comes to know:
‘There are no such states based on delusion in this venerable one. The bodily behaviour and the verbal behaviour of this venerable one are not those of one affected by delusion.

And the Dhamma that this venerable one teaches is profound…to be experienced by the wise. This Dhamma cannot easily be taught by one affected by delusion.’

§ 20. “When he has investigated him and has seen that he is purified from states based on delusion, then he places faith in him; filled with faith he visits him and pays respect to him; having paid respect to him, he gives ear; when he gives ear, he hears the Dhamma; having heard the Dhamma, he memorises it and examines the meaning of the teachings he has memorised; when he examines their meaning, he gains a reflective acceptance of those teachings; when he has gained a reflective acceptance of those teachings, zeal springs up; when zeal has sprung up, he applies his will; having applied his will, he scrutinises;889 having scrutinised, he strives;890 resolutely striving, he realises with the body the supreme truth and sees it by penetrating it with wisdom.891 In this way, Bhāradvāja, there is the discovery of truth; in this way one discovers truth; in this way we describe the discovery of truth. But as yet there is no final arrival at truth.”892

[889: Tūleti. MA: He investigates things in terms of impermanence, and so forth.This stage thus seems to be that of insight contemplation.]

[890 Although applying the will (ussahati) appears similar to striving (padahati), the former may be understood as the exertion undertaken prior to insight contemplation, the latter as the exertion that brings insight up to the level of the supramundane path.]

[891 MA: He realises Nibbāna with the mental body (of the path of stream-entry), and having penetrated the defilements, he sees Nibbāna with wisdom, making it clear and evident.]

[892:- Tūleti. MA: He investigates things in terms of impermanence, and so forth. This stage thus seems to be that of insight contemplation.
890 Although applying the will (ussahati) appears similar to striving (padahati), the former may be understood as the exertion undertaken prior to insight contemplation, the latter as the exertion that brings insight up to the level of the supramundane path. ]

[891 MA: He realises Nibbāna with the mental body (of the path of stream-entry), and having penetrated the defilements, he sees Nibbāna with wisdom, making it clear and evident.

[892:- While the discovery of truth in this context appears to signify the attainment of stream-entry, the final arrival at truth (saccānuppatti) seems to mean the full attainment of arahantship]

§21. “In that way, Master Gotama, there is the discovery of truth; in that way one discovers truth; in that way we recognise the discovery of truth.

But in what way, Master Gotama, is there the final arrival at truth?
In what way does one finally arrive at truth?
We ask Master Gotama about the final arrival at truth.”

[174] “The final arrival at truth, Bhāradvāja, lies in
the repetition,
development, and
cultivation of those same things.

In this way, Bhāradvāja, there is the final arrival at truth; in this way one finally arrives at truth; in this way we describe the final arrival at truth.”

§ 22 .“In that way, Master Gotama, there is the final arrival at truth; in that way one finally arrives at truth; in that way we recognise the final arrival at truth.

But what, Master Gotama, is most helpful for the final arrival at truth?
We ask Master Gotama about the thing most helpful for the final arrival at truth.”

“Striving is most helpful for the final arrival at truth, Bhāradvāja. If one does not strive, one will not finally arrive at truth; but because one strives, one does finally arrive at truth. That is why striving is most helpful for the final arrival at truth.”

§ 23 . “But what, Master Gotama, is most helpful for striving?
We ask Master Gotama about the thing most helpful for striving.”

“Scrutiny is most helpful for striving, Bhāradvāja.
If one does not scrutinise, one will not strive; but because one scrutinises, one strives. That is why scrutiny is most helpful for striving.”

§ 24 . “But what, Master Gotama, is most helpful for scrutiny?
We ask Master Gotama about the thing most helpful for scrutiny.”

“Application of the will is most helpful for scrutiny, Bhāradvāja.
If one does not apply one’s will, one will not scrutinise; but because one applies one’s will, one scrutinises. That is why application of the will is most helpful for scrutiny.”

§ 25 . “But what, Master Gotama, is most helpful for application of the will?
We ask Master Gotama about the thing most helpful for application of the will.”

“Zeal is most helpful for application of the will, Bhāradvāja. If one does not arouse zeal, one will not apply one’s will; but because one arouses zeal, one applies one’s will. That is why zeal is most helpful for application of the will.”

§ 26 . “But what, Master Gotama, is most helpful for zeal? [175]
We ask Master Gotama about the thing most helpful for zeal.”

“A reflective acceptance of the teachings is most helpful for zeal, Bhāradvāja.
If one does not gain a reflective acceptance of the teachings, zeal will not spring up; but because one gains a reflective acceptance of the teachings, zeal springs up. That is why a reflective acceptance of the teachings is most helpful for zeal.”

§ 27. “But what, Master Gotama, is most helpful for a reflective acceptance of the teachings?
We ask Master Gotama about the thing most helpful for a reflective acceptance of the teachings.”

“Examination of the meaning is most helpful for a reflective acceptance of the teachings, Bhāradvāja.
If one does not examine their meaning, one will not gain a reflective acceptance of the teachings; but because one examines their meaning, one gains a reflective acceptance of the teachings. That is why examination of the meaning is most helpful for a reflective acceptance of the teachings.”

§ 28 . “But what, Master Gotama, is most helpful for examination of the meaning?
We ask Master Gotama about the thing most helpful for examination of meaning.”

“Memorising the teachings is most helpful for examining the meaning, Bhāradvāja.
If one does not memorise a teaching, one will not examine its meaning; but because one memorises a teaching, one examines its meaning.”

§ 29. “But what, Master Gotama, is most helpful for memorising the teachings?
We ask Master Gotama about the thing most helpful for memorising the teachings.”

“Hearing the Dhamma is most helpful for memorising the teachings, Bhāradvāja.
If one does not hear the Dhamma, one will not memorise the teachings; but because one hears the Dhamma, one memorises the teachings. That is why hearing the Dhamma is most helpful for memorising the teachings.”

§ 30. “But what, Master Gotama, is most helpful for hearing the Dhamma?
We ask Master Gotama about the thing most helpful for hearing the Dhamma.”

“Giving ear is most helpful for hearing the Dhamma, Bhāradvāja.
[176] If one does not give ear, one will not hear the Dhamma; but because one gives ear, one hears the Dhamma. That is why giving ear is most helpful for hearing the Dhamma.”

§ 31. “But what, Master Gotama, is most helpful for giving ear?
We ask Master Gotama about the thing most helpful for giving ear.”

“Paying respect is most helpful for giving ear, Bhāradvāja.
If one does not pay respect, one will not give ear; but because one pays respect, one gives ear. That is why paying respect is most helpful for giving ear.”

§ 32. “But what, Master Gotama, is most helpful for paying respect? We ask Master Gotama about the thing most helpful for paying respect.”

“Visiting is most helpful for paying respect, Bhāradvāja.
If one does not visit [a teacher], one will not pay respect to him; but because one visits [a teacher], one pays respect to him. That is why visiting is most helpful for paying respect.”

§ 33. “But what, Master Gotama, is most helpful for visiting? We ask Master Gotama about the thing most helpful for visiting.”

“Faith is most helpful for visiting, Bhāradvāja. If faith [in a teacher] does not arise, one will not visit him; but because faith [in a teacher] arises, one visits him. That is why faith is most helpful for visiting.”

§ 34 . “We asked Master Gotama about the preservation of truth, and Master Gotama answered about the preservation of truth; we approve of and accept that answer, and so we are satisfied.

We asked Master Gotama about the discovery of truth, and Master Gotama answered about the discovery of truth; we approve of and accept that answer, and so we are satisfied. We asked Master Gotama about the final arrival at truth, and Master Gotama answered about the final arrival at truth; we approve of and accept that answer, and so we are satisfied. [177]

We asked Master Gotama about the thing most helpful for the final arrival at truth, and Master Gotama answered about the thing most helpful for the final arrival at truth; we approve of and accept that answer, and so we are satisfied.

Whatever we asked Master Gotama about, that he has answered us; we approve of and accept that answer, and so we are satisfied. Formerly, Master Gotama, we used to think: ‘Who are these bald-pated recluses, these swarthy menial offspring of the Kinsman’s feet, that they would understand the Dhamma?’893

[893:- “The Kinsman” (bandhu) is Brahmā, who was called thus by the brahmins because they regarded him as their primal ancestor. MA explains that it was a belief among the brahmins that they themselves were the offspring of Brahmā’s mouth, the khattiyas of his breast, the vessas of his belly, the suddas of his legs, and samaṇas of the soles of his feet.]

But Master Gotama has indeed inspired in me love for recluses, confidence in recluses, reverence for recluses.

§ 35 . “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 overthrown, 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 forms.

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

102 The Five and Three

This sutta is a “middle length” counterpart of the longer Brahmajāla Sutta, included in the Dı̄gha Nikāya and published in translation with its commentaries in Bodhi, Discourse on the All-Embracing Net of Views. Detailed explanations for almost all the views mentioned in this sutta will be found in the Introduction and Part Two of that work. There exists a Tibetan translation of the Pan̄catraya Sūtra, the counterpart of this text belonging to the Mūlasarvāstivāda school, whose collections were preserved in Sanskrit. This text is discussed by Peter Skilling at Mahāsūtras II, pp. 469–511. Skilling highlights the interesting contrasts between this version of the text and the Pali version.

Exposition by Ven Bhikku Yuttadhammo
MN 03-01-02 PANNATHTHAYA SUTTA

§ 1. THUS HAVE I HEARD.935
On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Sā̄vatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park. There he addressed the bhikkhus thus: “Bhikkhus.”—“Venerable sir,” they replied. The Blessed One said this

SPECULATIONS ABOUT THE FUTURE

§ 2. “Bhikkhus, there are some recluses and brahmins who speculate about the future and hold views about the future, who assert various doctrinal propositions concerning the future.

(I) Some assert thus: ‘The self is percipient and unimpaired after death.’
(II) Some assert thus: ‘The self is non-percipient and unimpaired after death.’
(III) Some assert thus: ‘The self is neither percipient nor non-percipient and unimpaired after death.’
(IV) Or they describe the annihilation, destruction, and extermination of an existing being [at death].
(V) Or some assert Nibbāna here and now.936

[936: Skilling points out that in the Tibetan Pan̄catraya, assertions of Nirvā˚a here and now are not comprised under views about the future but constitute a separate category. The Brahmajāla Sutta places assertions of supreme Nibb̄ana here and now among views about the future, but the arrangement in the Tibetan counterpart seems to be more logical.]

“Thus
(a) they either describe an existing self that is unimpaired after death;
(b) or they describe the annihilation, destruction, and extermination of an existing being [at death];
(c) or they assert Nibbāna here and now.

Thus these [views] being five become three, and being three become five. This is the summary of the ‘five and three.’

§ 3 . (I) “Therein, bhikkhus, those recluses and brahmins [229] who describe the self as percipient and unimpaired after death describe such a self, percipient and unimpaired after death, to be either:
material;
or immaterial;
or both material and immaterial;
or neither material nor immaterial;
or percipient of unity;
or percipient of diversity;
or percipient of the limited;
or percipient of the immeasurable.937
Or else, among those few who go beyond this, some make assertions about the consciousness-kasiṇa, immeasurable and imperturbable. 938

[937:- In the Brahmajāla Sutta sixteen varieties of this view are mentioned, the eight given here and two other tetrads: the self as finite, infinite, both, and neither; and the self as experiencing exclusively pleasure, exclusively pain, a mixture of both, and neither. In the present sutta these two tetrads are incorporated under speculations about the past in §14 , but at SN 24:37- 44/iii.219-20 they describe the self after death ]

[938:- Evidently, in the above list the views of the self as immaterial, percipient of unity, and percipient of the immeasurable are based on attainment of the base of infinite space. MṬ explains the consciousness-kasi˚a as the base of infinite consciousness, stating that these theorists declare that base to be the self.]

§ 4. “The Tathāgata, bhikkhus, understands this thus: ‘Those good recluses and brahmins who describe the self as percipient and unimpaired after death describe such a self to be either material… or they describe it to be percipient of the immeasurable. Or else, [230] some make assertions about the base of nothingness, immeasurable and imperturbable; [for them] “there is nothing” is declared to be the purest, supreme, best, and unsurpassed of those perceptions—
whether perceptions of form or of the formless, of unity or diversity.939

[939:- The perception within the third immaterial meditation—the base of nothingness—is the subtlest and most refined of all mundane perceptions. Although there is still a kind of perception in the fourth immaterial attainment, it is so subtle that it is no longer appropriate to designate it perception.]

That is conditioned and gross, but there is cessation of formations.’ Having known ‘There is this,’ seeing the escape from that, the Tathāgata has gone beyond that.940

[940:- MA paraphrases thus: “All those types of perceptions together with the views are conditioned, and because they are conditioned, they are gross. But there is Nibbāna, called the cessation of formations, that is, of the conditioned. Having known ‘There is this,’ that there is Nibbāna, seeing the escape from the conditioned, the Tathāgata has gone beyond the conditioned.”]

§ 5 . (II) “Therein, bhikkhus, those recluses and brahmins who describe the self as non-percipient and unimpaired after death describe such a self, non-percipient and unimpaired after death, to be either:
material;
or immaterial;
or both material and immaterial;
or neither material nor immaterial.941

[941:- The second tetrad of §3 is dropped here since the self is conceived as nonpercipient. In the Brahmajāla Sutta eight varieties of this view are mentioned, these four plus the finite-infinite tetrad.]

§ 6 . “Therein, bhikkhus, these criticise those recluses and brahmins who describe the self as percipient and unimpaired after death. Why is that? Because they say: ‘Perception is a disease, perception is a tumour, perception is a dart;
this is peaceful, this is sublime, that is, non-perception.’

§ 7 . “The Tathāgata, bhikkhus, understands this thus:
‘Those good recluses and brahmins who describe the self as non-percipient and unimpaired after death describe such a self, non-percipient and unimpaired after death, to be either material…or neither material nor immaterial. That any recluse or brahmin could say:
“Apart from material form, apart from feeling, apart from perception, apart from formations, I shall describe the coming and going of consciousness, its passing away and reappearance, its growth, increase, and maturation”—
that is impossible.942

[942:- MA points out that this statement is made with reference to those planes of existence where all five aggregates exist. In the immaterial planes consciousness occurs without the aggregate of material form, and in the non-percipient plane there is material form without consciousness. But consciousness never occurs without the three other mental aggregates.]

That is conditioned and gross, but there is [231] cessation of formations.’ Having known ‘There is this,’ seeing the escape from that, the Tathāgata has gone beyond that.

§ 8 . (III) “Therein, bhikkhus, those recluses and brahmins who describe the self as neither percipient nor non-percipient and unimpaired after death describe such a self, neither percipient nor non-percipient and unimpaired after death, to be either:
material;
or immaterial;
or both material and immaterial;
or neither material nor immaterial.943

[943:- The Brahmajāla Sutta mentions eight varieties of this view, these four plus the finite-infinite tetrad.]

§ 9 . “Therein, bhikkhus, these criticise those good recluses and brahmins who describe the self as percipient and unimpaired after death, and they criticise those good recluses and brahmins who describe the self as non-percipient and unimpaired after death.

Why is that?
Because they say: ‘Perception is a disease, perception is a tumour, perception is a dart, and non-perception is stupefaction;944 this is peaceful, this is sublime, that is, neither-perception-nornon- perception. ’

[944:- Sammoha, here obviously having a different meaning than the usual “confusion” or “delusion]

§ 10 . “The Tathāgata, bhikkhus, understands this thus:
‘Those good recluses and brahmins who describe the self as neither percipient nor non-percipient and unimpaired after death describe such a self, neither percipient nor non-percipient and unimpaired after death, to be either material…or neither material nor immaterial.

If any recluses or brahmins describe the entering upon this base to come about through a measure of formations regarding what is seen, heard, sensed, and cognized, that is declared to be a disaster for entering upon this base.945 [232]

That is conditioned and gross, but there is cessation of formations.’ Having known ‘There is this,’ seeing the escape from that, the Tathāgata has gone beyond that.

[945:- MA explains the compound diṭṭhasutamutaviññātabba as meaning “what is to be cognized as the seen, heard, and sensed” and takes it to refer to sense-door cognitions. However, it can also comprise all grosser mind-door cognitions as well. To enter the fourth immaterial attainment, all the ordinary “mental formations” involved in other cognitive processes must be overcome, for their persistence is an obstacle to entering this attainment. Hence it is called “not percipient” (n’eva saññı̄).]

For this base, it is declared, is not to be attained as an attainment with formations; this base, it is declared, is to be attained as an attainment with a residue of formations.946

[946:- Sasankhārāvasesasamāpatti. Within the fourth immaterial attainment a residue of extremely subtle mental formations remains. Hence it is called “not non-percipient” (n̄saññı̄).]

§ 11 . (IV) “Therein, bhikkhus, those recluses and brahmins who describe the annihilation, destruction, and extermination of an existing being [at death]947 criticise those good recluses and brahmins who describe the self as percipient and unimpaired after death, and they criticise those good recluses and brahmins who describe the self as non-percipient and unimpaired after death, and they criticise those good recluses and brahmins who describe the self as neither percipient nor non-percipient and unimpaired after death.

[947:- The Brahmajāla explains seven types of annihilationism, here all collected together as one]

Why is that?
All these good recluses and brahmins, rushing onwards, assert their attachment thus: ‘We shall be thus after death, we shall be thus after death.’ Just as a merchant going to market thinks: ‘Through this, that will be mine; with this, I will get that’; so too, these good recluses and brahmins seem like merchants when they declare:
‘We shall be thus after death, we shall be thus after death.’

§ 12 . “The Tathāgata, bhikkhus, understands this thus:
‘Those good recluses and brahmins who describe the annihilation, destruction, and extermination of an existing being [at death], through fear of identity and disgust with identity, keep running and circling around that same identity.948

[948:- The “fear and disgust with identity” is an aspect of vibhavataṇhā , the craving for non-existence. The annihilationist view to which it gives rise still involves an identification with self—a self that is annihilated at death—and thus, despite his denial, it binds the theorist to the round of existence.]

Just as a dog bound by a leash tied to a firm post or pillar [233] keeps on running and circling around that same post or pillar; so too, these good recluses and brahmins, through fear of identity and disgust with identity, keep running and circling around that same identity.

That is conditioned and gross, but there is cessation of formations.’ Having known ‘There is this,’ seeing the escape from that, the Tathāgata has gone beyond that.

§ 13 . “Bhikkhus, any recluses or brahmins who speculate about the future and
hold views about the future, who assert various doctrinal propositions
concerning the future, all assert these five bases or a certain one among them.949

[949:- So far only four of the original five classes of speculations about the future have been analysed, yet the Buddha speaks as if they were all explicated. MA tries to resolve the problem by explaining that assertions of “Nibbāna here and now” were comprised by the terms “percipient of unity” and “percipient of diversity” in §3. This explanation, however, is not convincing. Ñm, in Ms, had added the heading “Nibbāna Here and Now” over §17, and §§17–21 do seem to correspond with the last four of the five doctrines of Nibb̄na here and now in the Brahmajāla. However, this interpretation seems contradicted by §13 and by the phrase used in §17, §19, and §21, “with the relinquishing of views about the past and the future,” which would exclude the doctrines of Nibb̄na here and now from views about the future (though it is placed among such views in the preamble).

The problem seems insoluble, and raises the suspicion that the text was to some degree corrupted in the course of its oral transmission. The insertion of the views about the past just below is also problematic. Not only are such views not mentioned in the preamble, but the placing of the past after the future inverts the normal time sequence. Skilling suggests this passage may have been part of an oral commentary on the sutta which, at some point, was absorbed into the text.]

SPECULATIONS ABOUT THE PAST

§ 14 . “Bhikkhus, there are some recluses and brahmins who speculate about the past and hold views about the past, who assert various doctrinal propositions concerning the past.

(1) Some assert thus:
‘The self and the world are eternal:
only this is true, anything else is wrong.’950

[950:- This view includes all four of the eternalists who speculate about the past mentioned in the Brahmajāla.]


(2) Some assert thus:
‘The self and the world are not eternal:
only this is true, anything else is wrong.’951

[951:-Since this is a view referring to the past, it may be taken to imply that at some point in the past the self and the world arose spontaneously out of nothing. Thus it would comprise the two doctrines of fortuitous origination of the Brahmajāla, as MA maintains.]

(3) Some assert thus:
‘The self and the world are both eternal and not eternal:
only this is true, anything else is wrong.’952

[952:- This includes the four types of partial eternalism]

(4) Some assert thus:
‘The self and the world are neither eternal nor not eternal:
only this is true, anything else is wrong.’953

[953:-This may include the four types of endless equivocation or “eel-wriggling” of the Brahmajāla.]

(5) Some assert thus:
‘The self and the world are finite: only this is true,
anything else is wrong.’954

[954:-Views 5–8 correspond exactly to the four extensionists of the Brahmajāla]

(6) Some assert thus: ‘The self and the world are infinite: only this is true,
anything else is wrong.’
(7) Some assert thus:
‘The self and the world are both finite and infinite:
only this is true, anything else is wrong.’
(8) Some assert thus:
‘The self and the world are neither finite nor infinite:
only this is true, anything else is wrong.’
(9) Some assert thus:
‘The self and the world are percipient of unity:
only this is true, anything else is wrong.’955

[955:- The eight views (9–16) are, in the Brahmajāla, included among the doctrines of percipient immortality comprised under speculations about the future.]

(10) Some assert thus:
‘The self and the world are percipient of diversity:
only this is true, anything else is wrong.’
(11) Some assert thus:
‘The self and the world are percipient of the limited:
only this is true, anything else is wrong.’
(12) Some assert thus: ‘The self and the world are percipient of the
immeasurable: only this is true, anything else is wrong.’
(13) Some assert thus:
‘The self and the world [experience] exclusively pleasure:
only this is true, anything else is wrong.’
(14) Some assert thus:
‘The self and the world [experience] exclusively pain:
only this is true, anything else is wrong.’ [234]
(15) Some assert thus:
‘The self and the world [experience] both pleasure and pain:
only this is true, anything else is wrong.’
(16) Some assert thus:
‘The self and the world [experience] neither pleasure nor pain:
only this is true, anything else is wrong.’

§ 15 . (1) “Therein, bhikkhus, as to those recluses and brahmins who hold such a doctrine and view as this: ‘The self and the world are eternal: only this is true, anything else is wrong,’ that apart from faith, apart from approval, apart from oral tradition, apart from reasoned cogitation, apart from reflective acceptance of a view, they will have any pure and clear personal knowledge of this—that is impossible.956

[956:- That is, they must accept their doctrine on some ground other than knowledge, one involving belief or reasoning. At MN 95.14, it is said that these five grounds of conviction yield conclusions that can turn out to be either true or false. ]

Since they have no pure and clear personal knowledge, even the mere fragmentary knowledge that those good recluses and brahmins clarify [about their view] is declared to be clinging on their part.957 That is conditioned and gross, but there is cessation of formations. Having known‘There is this,’ seeing the escape from that, the Tathāgata has gone beyond that.

[957:- MA: That is not really knowledge but wrong understanding; thus it is declared to be clinging to views]

§ 16. (2–16) “Therein, bhikkhus, as to those recluses and brahmins who hold such a doctrine and view as this:
‘The self and the world are not eternal…
both eternal and not eternal…
neither eternal nor not eternal…
finite…
infinite…
both finite and infinite…
neither finite nor infinite…
percipient of unity…
percipient of diversity…
percipient of the limited…
percipient of the immeasurable…
[experience] exclusively pleasure…
[experience] exclusively pain…
[experience] both pleasure and pain…
[experience] neither pleasure nor pain:
only this is true, anything else is wrong,
’ that apart from faith, apart from approval, apart from oral tradition, apart from reasoned cogitation, apart from reflective acceptance of a view, they will have any pure and clear personal knowledge of this—that is impossible. [235] Since they have no pure and clear personal knowledge, even the mere fragmentary knowledge that those good recluses and brahmins clarify [about their view] is declared to be clinging on their part.

That is conditioned and gross, but there is cessation of formations. Having known ‘There is this,’ seeing the escape from that, the Tathāgata has gone beyond that.958

[958:-MA says that at this point all sixty-two of the views set forth in the Brahmajāla Sutta have been incorporated, yet this sutta has an even wider range since it includes an exposition of identity view (most notably implied by §24). ]

NIBBANA HERE AND NOW

[959:- This section title, and the following Roman numeral “V”, were inserted by Ñm on the supposition that this passage presents the doctrines of Nibbāna here and now, mentioned but not explicated earlier.]

§ 17. (V) “Here, bhikkhus,960 some recluse or brahmin, with the relinquishing of views about the past and the future and through complete lack of resolve upon the fetters of sensual pleasure, enters upon and abides in the rapture of seclusion.961 He thinks: ‘This is the peaceful, this is the sublime, that I enter upon and abide in the rapture of seclusion.’ That rapture of seclusion ceases in him. With the cessation of the rapture of seclusion, grief arises, and with the cessation of grief, the rapture of seclusion arises.962

[960:- MA: This section is intended to show how all sixty-two speculative views arise predominated over by identity view. ]

[961 Pavivekaṁ pı̄tiṁ. This refers to the first two jhānas, which include pı̄ti.]

[962 MA explains that this is the grief caused by the loss of the jhāna. The grief does not arise immediately upon the cessation of the jhāna, but only after reflection upon its disappearance.]

Just as the sunlight pervades the area that the shadow leaves, and the shadow pervades the area that the sunlight leaves, so too, with the cessation of the rapture of seclusion, grief arises,
and with the cessation of grief, the rapture of seclusion arises.

§ 18. “The Tathāgata, bhikkhus, understands this thus: ‘This good recluse or brahmin, with the relinquishing of views about the past and the future…
and with the cessation of grief, the rapture of seclusion arises.

That is conditioned and gross, but there is cessation of formations.’ Having known ‘There is this,’ seeing the escape from that, the Tathāgata has gone beyond that.

§ 19 . “Here, bhikkhus, some recluse or brahmin, with the relinquishing of views about the past and the future, through complete lack of resolve upon the fetters of sensual pleasure, and with the surmounting of the rapture of seclusion, enters upon and abides in unworldly pleasure.963

[963:-Nirāmisaṁ sukhaṁ. This is the pleasure of the third jhāna]

He thinks: ‘This is the peaceful, this is the sublime, that I enter upon and abide in unworldly pleasure.’ That unworldly pleasure ceases in him. With the cessation of unworldly pleasure, the rapture of seclusion arises, and with the cessation of the rapture of seclusion, unworldly pleasure arises. [236]

Just as the sunlight pervades the area that the shadow leaves, and the shadow pervades the area that the sunlight leaves, so too, with the cessation of unworldly pleasure, the rapture of seclusion arises and with the cessation of the rapture of seclusion, unworldly pleasure arises.

§ 20. “The Tathāgata, bhikkhus, understands this thus:
‘This good recluse or brahmin, with the relinquishing of views about the past and the future…
and with the cessation of the rapture of seclusion, unworldly pleasure arises.

That is conditioned and gross, but there is cessation of formations.’
Having known ‘There is this,’ seeing the escape from that, the Tathāgata has gone beyond that.

§ 21. “Here, bhikkhus, some recluse or brahmin, with the relinquishing of views about the past and the future, through complete lack of resolve upon the fetters of sensual pleasure, and with the surmounting of the rapture of seclusion and unworldly pleasure, enters upon and abides in neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling.964

[964:- The fourth jhāna.]

He thinks: ‘This is the peaceful, this is the sublime, that I enter upon and abide in neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling. ’ That neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling ceases in him. With the cessation of neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, unworldly pleasure arises, and with the cessation of unworldly pleasure, neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling arises.

Just as the sunlight pervades the area that the shadow leaves, and the shadow pervades the area that the sunlight leaves, so too, with the cessation of neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, unworldly pleasure arises, and with the cessation of unworldly pleasure, neither-painful- nor-pleasant feeling arises.

§ 22 . “The Tathāgata, bhikkhus, understands this thus: ‘This good recluse or brahmin, with the relinquishing of views about the past and the future… [237]…and with the cessation of unworldly pleasure, neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling arises. That is conditioned and gross, but there is cessation of formations.
’ Having known ‘There is this,’ seeing the escape from that, the Tathāgata has gone beyond that.

§ 23 . “Here, bhikkhus, some recluse or brahmin, with the relinquishing of views about the past and the future, through complete lack of resolve upon the fetters of sensual pleasure, and with the surmounting of the rapture of seclusion, unworldly pleasure, and neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, regards himself thus: ‘I am at peace, I have attained Nibbāna, I am without clinging.’965

[965:- Santo’ham asmi, nibbuto’ham asmi, anupādāno’ham asmi. In the Pali the expression aham asmi, “I am,” reveals that he is still involved with clinging, as the Buddha will point out.]

§ 24 . “The Tathāgata, bhikkhus, understands this thus: ‘This good recluse or brahmin, with the relinquishing of views about the past and the future…regards himself thus: “I am at peace, I have attained Nibbāna, I am without clinging.”

Certainly this venerable one asserts the way directed to Nibbāna. Yet this good recluse or brahmin still clings, clinging either to a view about the past or to a view about the future or to a fetter of sensual pleasure or to the rapture of seclusion or to unworldly pleasure or to neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling.

And when this venerable one regards himself thus: “I am at peace, I have attained Nibbāna, I am without clinging,” that too is declared to be clinging on the part of
this good recluse or brahmin.966 That is conditioned and gross, but there is cessation of formations.’ Having understood ‘There is this,’ seeing the escape from that, the Tathāgata has gone beyond that.

[966:- MA takes this to be an allusion to identity view. Thus he is still clinging to a view.]

§ 25. “Bhikkhus, this supreme state of sublime peace has been discovered by the Tathāgata, that is, liberation through not clinging, 967 by understanding as they actually are the origination, the disappearance, the gratification, the danger, and the escape in the case of the six bases of contact.

Bhikkhus, that is the supreme state of sublime peace discovered by the Tathāgata, [238], that is, liberation through not clinging, by understanding as they actually are the origination, the
disappearance, the gratification, the danger, and the escape in the case of the six bases of contact.”968

[967:- MA states that elsewhere the expression “liberation through not clinging”]
[968:- The Brahmajāla Sutta too points to the understanding of the origination, etc., of the six bases of contact as the way to transcend all views.]

That is what the Blessed One said.
The bhikkhus were satisfied and delighted in the Blessed One’s words.

091 Brahmayu Sutta

32 Noble Marks of A Buddha
Part 1 of Sutta Exposition by Ven Bhikku Bodhi
Part 2 of Sutta Exposition by Ven Bhikku Bpdhi

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

§ 2. Now on that occasion the brahmin Brahmāyu was living at Mithilā. He was old, aged, burdened with years, advanced in life, and come to the last stage; he was in his hundred and twentieth year. He was a master of the Three Vedas with their vocabularies, liturgy, phonology, and etymology, and the histories as a fifth; skilled in philology and grammar, he was fully versed in natural philosophy and in the marks of a Great Man.850

[850: This is a stock description of a learned brahmin. According to MA, the Three Vedas are the Iru, Yaju, and Sāma (= Rig, Yajur, and Sāman). The fourth Veda, the Atharva, is not mentioned, but MA says its existence is implied when the histories (Itihāsa) are called “the fifth,” i.e., of the works regarded as authoritative by the brahmins. It is more likely, however, that the histories are called “the fifth” in connection with the four branches of study auxiliary to the Vedas that precede them in the description. The translation of technical terms here follows MA, with the help of Monier-William’s Sanskrit-English Dictionary (Oxford, 1899). On the marks of a Great Man, MA says that this was a science based on 12,000 works explaining the characteristics of great men, such as Buddhas, paccekabuddhas, chief disciples, great disciples, Wheel-turning Monarchs, etc. These works included 16,000 verses called “The Buddha Mantra.”]

§3. The brahmin Brahmāyu heard: “The recluse Gotama, the son of the Sakyans who went forth from a Sakyan clan, has been wandering in the country of the Videhans with a large Sangha of bhikkhus, with five hundred bhikkhus.

Now a good report of Master Gotama has been spread to this effect: ‘The 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. He declares this world with its gods, its Māras, and its Brahmās, this generation with its recluses and brahmins, with its princes and its people, which he has himself realised with direct knowledge. He teaches the Dhamma that is good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end, with the right meaning and phrasing, and he reveals a holy life that is utterly perfect and pure.’ Now it is good to see such arahants.” [134]

§ 4 . Now at that time the brahmin Brahmāyu had a young brahmin student named Uttara who was a master of the Three Vedas…fully versed in natural philosophy and in the marks of a Great Man.

He told his student:
“My dear Uttara, the recluse Gotama, the son of the Sakyans who went forth from a Sakyan clan, has been wandering in the country of the Videhans with a large Sangha of bhikkhus, with five hundred bhikkhus…Now it is good to see such arahants. Come, my dear Uttara, go to the recluse Gotama and find out whether the report spread about him is true or not, and whether Master Gotama is one such as this or not. Thus we shall know about Master Gotama through you.”

§ 5. “But how shall I find out, sir, whether the report spread about Master Gotama is true or not, and whether Master Gotama is one such as this or not?”

“My dear Uttara, the thirty-two marks of a Great Man have been handed down in our hymns, and the Great Man who is endowed with them has only two possible destinies, no other.851

[851:- The thirty-two marks, enumerated in §9 below, are the subject of an entire sutta in the Dı̄gha Nikāya, DN 30, Lakkhaṇa Sutta. There each of the marks is explained as the kammic consequence of a particular virtue perfected by the Buddha during his earlier existences as a bodhisatta.

If he lives the home life, he becomes a Wheel-turning Monarch, a righteous king who rules by the Dhamma, master of the four quarters, all-victorious, who has stabilised his country and possesses the seven treasures. He has these seven treasures: the wheel-treasure, the elephant-treasure, the horse-treasure, the jewel-treasure, the woman-treasure, the steward-treasure, and the counsellor-treasure as the seventh.852

[852:- The seven treasures are discussed in MN 129.34–41. The acquisition of the wheel-treasure explains why he is called a “Wheel-turning Monarch.”]

His children, who exceed a thousand, are brave and heroic, and crush the armies of others; over this earth bounded by the ocean, he rules without a rod, without a weapon, by means of the Dhamma.

But if he goes forth from the home life into homelessness, he becomes an Accomplished One, a Fully Enlightened One, who draws aside the veil in the world.853

[853:- Loke vivattacchaddo. For hypotheses about the original form and meaning of this expression, see Norman, Group of Discourses II, n. to 372, pp. 217–18.
MA: The world, enveloped in the darkness of the defilements, is covered by seven veils: lust, hate, delusion, conceit, views, ignorance, and immoral conduct. Having removed these veils, the Buddha abides generating light all around. Thus he is one who draws aside the veil in the world. Or else vivattacchado can be resolved into vivatto and vicchaddo ; that is, he is devoid of the round vaṭṭarahito) and devoid of veils (chadanarahito). By the absence of the round (i.e., saṁsāra) he is an arahant; by the absence of veils, a Fully Enlightened One.]

But I, my dear Uttara, am the giver of the hymns; you are the receiver of them.”


§ 6. “Yes, sir,” he replied. He rose from his seat, and after paying homage to the brahmin Brahmāyu, keeping him on his right, he left for the country of the Videhans, where the Blessed One was wandering. [135] Travelling by stages, he came to the Blessed One and exchanged greetings with him. When this courteous and amiable talk was finished, he sat down at one side and looked for the thirty-two marks of a Great Man on the Blessed One’s body. He saw, more or less, the thirty-two marks of a Great Man on the Blessed One’s body, except two; he was doubtful and uncertain about two of the marks, and he could not decide and make up his mind about them: about the male organ being enclosed in a sheath and about the largeness of the tongue.

Then it occurred to the Blessed One: “This brahmin student Uttara sees, more or less, the thirty-two marks of a Great Man on me, except two; he is doubtful and uncertain about two of the marks, and he cannot decide and make up his mind about them: about the male organ being enclosed in a sheath and about the largeness of the tongue.”

§ 7. Then the Blessed One worked such a feat of supernormal power that the brahmin student Uttara saw that the Blessed One’s male organ was enclosed in a sheath.854

[ 854:- MA explains that the Buddha worked this feat after first ascertaining that Uttara’s teacher, Brahmāyu, had the potential for achieving the fruit of non-returning, and that his attainment of this fruit depended upon the dispelling of Uttara’s doubts.]

Next the Blessed One extruded his tongue, and he repeatedly touched both ear holes and both nostrils, and he covered the whole of his forehead with his tongue.

§ 8. Then the brahmin student Uttara thought: “The recluse Gotama is endowed with the thirty-two marks of a Great Man. Suppose I were to follow the recluse Gotama and observe his behaviour?”

Then he followed the Blessed One for seven months like a shadow, never leaving him. At the end of the seven months in the country of the Videhans, he set out to journey to Mithilā where the brahmin Brahmāyu was. When he arrived, he paid homage to him and sat down at one side. Thereupon, the brahmin Brahmāyu asked him:
“Well, my dear Uttara, is the report that has been spread about Master Gotama [136] true or not? And is Master Gotama one such as this or not?”

§9.  “The report that has been spread about Master Gotama is true, sir, and not otherwise; and Master Gotama is one such as this and not otherwise. He possesses the thirty-two marks of a Great Man.

Master Gotama sets his foot down squarely—this is a mark of a Great Man in Master Gotama.
On the soles of his feet there are wheels with a thousand spokes and ribs and hubs all complete…
He has projecting heels…
He has long fingers and toes…
His hands and feet are soft and tender…
He has netted hands and feet…
His feet are arched…
He has legs like an antelope’s…
When he stands without stooping, the palms of both his hands touch and rub against his knees…
His male organ is enclosed in a sheath…
He is the colour of gold, his skin has a golden sheen…
He is fine-skinned, and because of the fineness of his skin, dust and dirt do not stick on his body…
His body-hairs grow singly, each body-hair growing alone in a hair socket…
The tips of his body-hairs turn up; the up-turned body-hairs are blue-black, the colour of collyrium, curled and turned to the right…
He has the straight limbs of a Brahmā…
He has seven convexities…855
He has the torso of a lion…
The furrow between his shoulders is filled in…
He has the spread of a banyan tree; the span of his arms equals the height of his body, and the height of his body equals the span of his arms…
His neck and his shoulders are even…
His taste is supremely acute…856
He is lion-jawed…[137]
He has forty teeth…
His teeth are even…
His teeth are without gaps…
His teeth are quite white…
He has a large tongue…
He has a divine voice, like the call of the Karavīka bird…
His eyes are deep blue…
He has the eyelashes of an ox…
He has hair growing in the space between his eyebrows, which is white with the sheen of soft cotton…
His head is shaped like a turban—this is a mark of a Great Man in Master Gotama.857
Master Gotama is endowed with these thirty-two marks of a Great Man.

[855:- The seven are the backs of the four limbs, the two shoulders, and the trunk.]

[856:- Rasaggasaggı̄. The Lakkhaṇa Sutta expands (DN 30.2.7/ iii.166):
“Whatever he touches with the tip of his tongue he tastes in his throat, and the taste is dispersed everywhere.” It is difficult, however, to understand either how this quality could be considered a physical characteristic or how it could be perceived by others.]

[857:- This mark, the uṇhı̄sa, accounts for the protuberance commonly seen on the top of the head of Buddha images.]

§ 10. “When he walks, he steps out with the right foot first. He does not extend his foot too far or put it down too near. He walks neither too quickly nor too slowly. He walks without his knees knocking together. He walks without his ankles knocking together. He walks without raising or lowering his thighs, or bringing them together or keeping them apart. When he walks, only the lower part of his body oscillates, and he does not walk with bodily effort.

When he turns to look, he does so with his whole body. He does not look straight up; he does not look straight down. He does not walk looking about. He looks a plough yoke’s length before him; beyond that he has unhindered knowledge and vision.

§11. “When he goes indoors, he does not raise or lower his body, or bend it forward or back. [138] He turns round neither too far from the seat nor too near it. He does not lean on the seat with his hand. He does not throw his body onto the seat.

§ 12 . “When seated indoors, he does not fidget with his hands. He does not fidget with his feet. He does not sit with his knees crossed. He does not sit with his ankles crossed. He does not sit with his hand holding his chin. When seated indoors he is not afraid, he does not shiver and tremble, he is not nervous. Being unafraid, not shivering or trembling or nervous, his hair does not stand up and he is intent on seclusion.

§ 13. “When he receives the water for the bowl, he does not raise or lower the bowl or tip it forwards or backwards. He receives neither too little nor too much water for the bowl. He washes the bowl without making a splashing noise. He washes the bowl without turning it round. He does not put the bowl on the floor to wash his hands: when his hands are washed, the bowl is washed; and when the bowl is washed, his hands are washed. He pours the water for the bowl neither too far nor too near and he does not pour it about.

§ 14. “When he receives rice, he does not raise or lower the bowl or tip it forwards or backwards. He receives neither too little rice nor too much rice. He adds sauces in the right proportion; he does not exceed the right amount of sauce in the mouthful. He turns the mouthful over two or three times in his mouth and then swallows it, and no rice kernel enters his body unchewed, and no rice kernel remains in his mouth; then he takes another mouthful. He takes his food experiencing the taste, though not experiencing greed for the taste. The food he takes has eight factors: it is neither for amusement nor for intoxication nor for the sake of physical beauty and attractiveness, but only for the endurance and continuance of his body, for the ending of discomfort, and for assisting the holy life; [139] he considers: ‘Thus I shall terminate old feelings without arousing new feelings and I shall be healthy and blameless and shall live in comfort.’858

[858:- This is the standard reflection on the proper use of almsfood, as at MN 2.14.]

§ 15. “When he has eaten and receives water for the bowl, he does not raise or lower the bowl or tip it forwards or backwards. He receives neither too little nor too much water for the bowl. He washes the bowl without making a splashing noise. He washes the bowl without turning it round. He does not put the bowl on the floor to wash his hands: when his hands are washed, the bowl is washed; and when the bowl is washed, his hands are washed. He pours the water for the bowl neither too far nor too near and he does not pour it about.

§ 16 . “When he has eaten, he puts the bowl on the floor neither too far nor too near; and he is neither careless of the bowl nor over-solicitous about it.
“When he has eaten, he sits in silence for a while, but he does not let the time for the blessing go by.859

[859:- The blessing (anumodanā) is a short talk following the meal, instructing the donors in some aspect of the Dhamma and expressing the wish that their meritorious kamma will bring them abundant fruit.]

When he has eaten and gives the blessing, he does not do so criticising the meal or expecting another meal; he instructs, urges, rouses, and gladdens that audience with talk purely on the Dhamma. When he has done so, he rises from his seat and departs.

§ 18. “He walks neither too fast nor too slow, and he does not go as one who wants to get away.

§ 19. “His robe is worn neither too high nor too low on his body, nor too tight against his body, nor too loose on his body, nor does the wind blow his robe away from his body. Dust and dirt do not soil his body.

§ 20. “When he has gone to the monastery, he sits down on a seat made ready. Having sat down, he washes his feet, though he does not concern himself with grooming his feet. Having washed his feet, he seats himself cross-legged, sets his body erect, and establishes mindfulness in front of him. He does not occupy his mind with self-affliction, or the affliction of others, or the affliction of both; he sits with his mind set on his own welfare, on the welfare of others, and on the welfare of both, even on the welfare of the whole world. [140]

§ 21. “When he has gone to the monastery, he teaches the Dhamma to an audience. He neither flatters nor berates that audience; he instructs, urges, rouses, and encourages it with talk purely on the Dhamma. The speech that issues from his mouth has eight qualities: it is distinct, intelligible, melodious, audible, ringing, euphonious, deep, and sonorous. But while his voice is intelligible as far as the audience extends, his speech does not issue out beyond the audience. When the people have been instructed, urged, roused, and gladdened by him, they rise from their seats and depart looking only at him and concerned with nothing else.

§ 22. “We have seen Master Gotama walking, sir, we have seen him standing, we have seen him entering indoors, we have seen him indoors seated in silence, we have seen him eating indoors, we have seen him seated in silence after eating, we have seen him giving the blessing after eating, we have seen him going to the monastery, we have seen him in the monastery seated in silence, we have seen him in the monastery teaching the Dhamma to an audience. Such is the Master Gotama; such he is, and more than that.”860

[860: I here follow BBS, which is fuller than SBJ and PTS. MA: This is the intention: “The excellent qualities I have not described are far more numerous than those I have described. The excellent qualities of Master Gotama are like the great earth and the great ocean; expounded in detail they are infinite and immeasurable, like space.]

§ 23. When this was said, the brahmin Brahmāyu rose from his seat, and after arranging his upper robe on one shoulder, he extended his hands in reverential salutation towards the Blessed One and uttered this exclamation 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 and fully enlightened! Perhaps sometime or other we might meet Master Gotama, perhaps we might have some conversation with him.”

§ 24. Then, in the course of his wandering, the Blessed One eventually arrived at Mithilā. There the Blessed One lived in Makh̄deva’s Mango Grove. The brahmin householders of Mithil̄ heard: [141]

“The recluse Gotama, the son of the Sakyans who went forth from a Sakyan clan, has been wandering in the country of the Videhans with a large Sangha of bhikkhus, with five hundred bhikkhus, and he has now come to Mithilā and is living in Makhādeva’s Mango Grove. Now a good report of Master Gotama has been spread to this effect…(as in §3 above)…Now it is good to see such arahants.”

§ 25 .Then the brahmin householders of Mithilā went to the Blessed One. Some paid homage to the Blessed One and sat down at one side; some exchanged greetings with him, and when this courteous and amiable talk was finished, sat down at one side; some extended their hands in reverential salutation towards him and sat down at one side; some pronounced their name and clan in the Blessed One’s presence and sat down at one side; some kept silent and sat down at one side.

§ 26. The brahmin Brahmāyu heard: “The recluse Gotama, the son of the Sakyans who went forth from the Sakyan clan, has arrived in Mithilā and is living in Makhādeva’s Mango Grove in Mithilā.”

Then the brahmin Brahmāyu went to Makhādeva’s Mango Grove with a number of brahmin students. When he came to the Mango Grove, he thought:
“It is not proper that I should go to the recluse Gotama without first being announced.”

Then he addressed a certain brahmin student: “Come, brahmin student, go to the recluse Gotama and ask in my name whether the recluse Gotama is free from illness and affliction, and is healthy, strong, and abiding in comfort, saying: ‘Master Gotama, the brahmin Brahmāyu asks whether Master Gotama is free from illness…abiding in comfort,’ and say this: ‘The brahmin
Brahm̄yu, Master Gotama, is old, aged, burdened with years, advanced in life, and come to the last stage; he is in his hundred and twentieth year. He is a master of the Three Vedas with their vocabularies, liturgy, phonology, and etymology, and the histories as a fifth; skilled in philology and grammar, he is fully versed in natural philosophy and in the marks of a Great Man. Of all the brahmin householders who live in Mithilā, the brahmin Brahmāyu is pronounced the foremost of them in wealth, in knowledge of the hymns, [142] and in age and fame. He wants to see Master Gotama.’”

“Yes, sir,” the brahmin student replied. He went to the Blessed One and exchanged greetings with him, and when this courteous and amiable talk was finished, he stood at one side and delivered his message. [The Blessed One said:]
“Student, let the brahmin Brahmāyu come at his own convenience.”

§ 27. Then the brahmin student went to the brahmin Brahmāyu and said:
“Permission has been granted by the recluse Gotama. You may come, sir, at your own convenience.”
So the brahmin Brahmāyu went to the Blessed One. The assembly saw him coming in the distance, and they at once made way for him as for one who was well known and famous. Then the brahmin Brahmāyu said to the assembly:
“Enough, sirs, let each sit down in his own seat. I shall sit here next to the recluse Gotama.”

§ 28. Then he went to the Blessed One and exchanged greetings with him, and when this courteous and amiable talk was finished, he sat down at one side and looked for the thirty-two marks of a Great Man on the Blessed One’s body. [143] He saw, more or less, the thirty-two marks of a Great Man on the Blessed One’s body, except two; he was doubtful about two of the marks, and he could not decide and make up his mind about them: about the male organ being enclosed in a sheath and about the largeness of the tongue.

§ 29. Then the brahmin Brahmāyu addressed the Blessed One in stanzas:

“The two-and-thirty marks I learned
That are the signs of a Great Man—
I still do not see two of these
Upon your body, Gotama.
Is what should be concealed by cloth
Hid in a sheath, greatest of men?
Though called by a word of feminine gender,861
Perhaps your tongue is a manly one?
Perhaps your tongue is large as well,
According to what we have been taught?
Please put it out a little bit
And so, O Seer, cure our doubt
For welfare in this very life
And happiness in lives to come.
And now we crave for leave to ask
Something that we aspire to know.

[861- The Pali word for the tongue, jivhā, is of the feminine gender.]

§ 30 . Then it occurred to the Blessed One: “This brahmin Brahmāyu sees, more or less, the thirty-two marks of a Great Man on me, except two; he is doubtful and uncertain about two of the marks, and he cannot decide and make up his mind about them: about the male organ being enclosed in a sheath and about the largeness of the tongue.”

Then the Blessed One worked such a feat of supernormal power that the brahmin Brahmāyu saw that the Blessed One’s male organ was enclosed in a sheath. Next the Blessed One extruded his tongue, and he repeatedly touched both ear holes and both nostrils, and he covered the whole of his forehead with his tongue.

§ 31. Then the Blessed One spoke these stanzas in reply to the brahmin Brahmāyu:

The two-and-thirty marks you learned
That are the signs of a Great Man—
All on my body can be found:
So, brahmin, doubt no more on that.


What must be known I’ve directly known,
What must be developed I have developed,
What must be abandoned I have abandoned,
Therefore, brahmin, I am a Buddha
.862 [144]

[862:- What must be directly known (abhiññeyya) are the Four Noble Truths, what must be developed (bhāvetabba) is the Noble Eightfold Path, and what must be abandoned (pahātabba) are the defilements headed by craving. Here the context requires that the word “Buddha” be understood in the specific sense of a Fully Enlightened One (sammāsambuddha).]

For welfare in this very life
And happiness in lives to come,
Since leave is given you, please ask
Whatever you aspire to know
.”

§ 32. Then the brahmin Brahmāyu thought: “Permission has been granted me by the recluse Gotama. Which should I ask him about: good in this life or good in the lives to come?” Then he thought: “I am skilled in the good of this life, and others too ask me about good in this life. Why shouldn’t I ask him only about good in the lives to come?” Then he addressed the Blessed One in stanzas:


How does one become a brahmin?
And how does one attain to knowledge?863
How has one the triple knowledge?
And how is one called a holy scholar?
How does one become an arahant?
And how does one attain completeness?
How is one a silent sage?

And how is one called a Buddha?”864

[863:- Vedagū. This term and the following two—tevijja and sotthiya —seem to have represented ideal types among the brahmins; see too MN 39.24, 26, and 27.
The sixth and seventh terms—kevalı̄ and muni—were probably ideal types among the non-Vedic ascetic orders. By his reply, the Buddha endows these terms with new meanings derived from his own spiritual system.

[864:- Here and in the reply the word “Buddha” may signify simply one who is enlightened or awakened, in a sense applicable to any arahant, though Brahmāyu’s response also suggests it may be intended in the narrower sense of a Fully Enlightened One.]

§ 33 . Then the Blessed One spoke these stanzas in reply:

“Who knows about his former lives,
Sees heaven and states of deprivation,
And has arrived at birth’s destruction—
A sage who knows by direct knowledge,
Who knows his mind is purified,
Entirely freed from every lust,
Who has abandoned birth and death,
Who is complete in the holy life,
Who has transcended everything—
One such as this is called a Buddha.865 

[865:- MA offers an involved explanation of how the Buddha’s reply answers all eight of Brahmāyu’s questions.]

§ 34. When this was said, the brahmin Brahmāyu rose from his seat, and after arranging his upper robe on one shoulder, he prostrated himself with his head at the Blessed One’s feet, and he covered the Blessed One’s feet with kisses and caressed them with his hands, pronouncing his name: “I am the brahmin Brahmāyu, Master Gotama; I am the brahmin Brahmāyu, Master Gotama.”

§ 35. Those in the assembly wondered and marvelled, and they said:
“It is wonderful, sirs, it is marvellous, what great power and great might the recluse Gotama has, for the well-known and famous brahmin Brahmāyu to make such a
display of humility!”


Then the Blessed One said to the brahmin Brahmāyu: [145] “Enough, brahmin, arise; sit down in your own seat since your mind has confidence in me.”

The brahmin Brahmāyu then rose and sat down in his own seat.

§ 36. The Blessed One then gave him progressive instruction,866 that is, talk on giving, talk on virtue, talk on the heavens; he explained the danger, degradation, and defilement in sensual pleasures and the blessing of renunciation. When he knew that the brahmin Brahmāyu’s mind was ready, receptive, free from hindrances, elated, and confident, he expounded to him the teaching special to the Buddhas: suffering, its origin, its cessation, and the path. Just as a clean cloth with all marks removed would take dye evenly, so too, while the brahmin Brahmāyu sat there, the spotless immaculate vision of the Dhamma arose in him: “All that is subject to arising is subject to cessation.” Then the brahmin Brahmāyu saw the Dhamma, attained the Dhamma, understood the Dhamma, fathomed the Dhamma; he crossed beyond doubt, did away with perplexity, gained intrepidity, and became independent of others in the Teacher’s Dispensation.

[866: As at MN 56.18. Then the Blessed One gave Brahmin Brahmayu progressive instruction,
that is, talk on giving, talk on virtue, talk on the heavens; he explained the danger, degradation, and defilement in sensual pleasures and the blessing of renunciation. When he knew that the Brahmin Brahmayu’s mind [380] was ready, receptive, free from hindrances, elated, and confident, he expounded to him the teaching special to the Buddhas: suffering, its origin, its cessation, and the path.
Just as a clean cloth with all marks removed would take dye evenly, so too, while the Brahmin Brahmayu sat there, the spotless immaculate vision of the Dhamma arose in him: “All that is subject to arising is subject to cessation.”

Then the Brahmin Brahmayu saw the Dhamma, attained the Dhamma, understood the Dhamma, fathomed the Dhamma; he crossed beyond doubt, did away with perplexity, gained intrepidity, and became independent of others in the Teacher’s Dispensation.”]

§ 37. Then he 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 overthrown, 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 forms.

I go to Master Gotama for refuge and to the Dhamma and to the Sangha of bhikkhus. From today let Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone to him for refuge for life. Let the Blessed One, together with the Sangha of bhikkhus, consent to accept tomorrow’s meal from me.”

The Blessed One consented in silence. Then, knowing that the Blessed One had consented, the brahmin Brahmāyu rose from his seat, and after paying homage to the Blessed One, keeping him on his right, he departed.

§ 38. Then, when the night had ended, the brahmin Brahmāyu had good food of various kinds prepared in his residence, and he had the time announced to the Blessed One: “It is time, Master Gotama, the meal is ready.” [146]

Then, it being morning, the Blessed One dressed, and taking his bowl and outer robe, he went with the Sangha of bhikkhus to the brahmin Brahmāyu’s residence and sat down on the seat made ready. Then, for a week, with his own hands, the brahmin Brahmāyu served and satisfied the Sangha of bhikkhus headed by the Buddha with various kinds of good food.

§ 39. At the end of that week, the Blessed One set out to wander in the country of the Videhans. Soon after he had gone, the brahmin Brahmāyu died. Then a number of bhikkhus went to the Blessed One, and after paying homage to him, they sat down at one side and said:
“Venerable sir, the brahmin Brahmāyu has died. What is his destination? What is his future course?”

“Bhikkhus, the brahmin Brahmāyu was wise, he entered into the way of the Dhamma, and he did not trouble me in the interpretation of the Dhamma. With the destruction of the five lower fetters, he has reappeared spontaneously [in the Pure Abodes] and will there attain final Nibbāna, without ever returning from that world.”

That is what the Blessed One said. The bhikkhus were satisfied and delighted in the Blessed One’s words.

035 Cula Saccaka Sutta

Sutta Exposition by Venerable Bhikku Kassapa at BSWA

§ 1. THUS HAVE I HEARD.
On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Vesālī in the Great Wood in the Hall with the Peaked Roof.

§ 2. Now on that occasion Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son was staying at Vesālī, a debater and a clever speaker regarded by many as a saint.369

[369:- According to MA, Saccaka was the son of Niga˚ṭha (Jain) parents who were both skilled in philosophical debate. He had learned a thousand doctrines from his parents and many more philosophical systems from others. In the discussion below he is referred to by his clan name, Aggivessana.]

He was making this statement before the Vesālī assembly:
I see no recluse or brahmin, the head of an order, the head of a group, the teacher of a group, even one claiming to be accomplished and fully enlightened, who would not shake, shiver, and tremble, and sweat under the armpits if he were to engage in debate with me. Even if I were to engage a senseless post in debate, it would shake, shiver, and tremble if it were to engage in debate with me, so what shall I say of a human being?”

§ 3. Then, when it was morning, the venerable Assaji dressed, and taking his bowl and outer robe, went into Vesālī for alms.370

[370:- Ven. Assaji was one of the first five disciples of the Buddha.]

As Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son was walking and wandering for exercise in Vesālī, [228] he saw the venerable Assaji coming in the distance and went up to him and exchanged greetings with him. When this courteous and amiable talk was finished, Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son stood at one side and said to him: “

§ 4. “Master Assaji, how does the recluse Gotama’s instruction usually presented to his disciples?”

“This is how the Blessed One disciplines his disciples, Aggivessana, and this is how the Blessed One’s instruction is usually presented to his disciples:
‘Bhikkhus, material form is impermanent,
feeling is impermanent,
perception is impermanent,
formations are impermanent,
consciousness is impermanent.

Bhikkhus, material form is not self,
feeling is not self,
perception is not self,
formations are not self,
consciousness is not self.
All formations are impermanent;
all things are not self.’371

[371:- This summary of the doctrine omits the second of the three characteristics, dukkha or suffering. MA explains that Assaji omitted this in order to avoid giving Saccaka the opportunity to attempt a refutation of the Buddha’s doctrine]

That is how the Blessed One disciplines his disciples, and that is how the Blessed One’s instruction is usually presented to his disciples.”


“If we have heard what the recluse Gotama asserts, we have indeed heard what is disagreeable. Perhaps sometime or other we might meet Master Gotama and have some conversation with him. Perhaps we might detach him from that evil view.”

§ 5. Now at that time five hundred Licchavis had met together in an assembly hall for some business or other. Then Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son went to them and said:

“Come forth, good Licchavis, come forth! Today there will be some conversation between me and the recluse Gotama. If the recluse Gotama maintains before me what was maintained before me by one of his famous disciples, the bhikkhu named Assaji, then just as a strong man might seize a long-haired ram by the hair and drag him to and drag him fro and drag him round about, so in debate I will drag the recluse Gotama to and drag him fro and drag him round about. Just as a strong brewer’s workman might throw a big brewer’s sieve into a deep water tank, and taking it by the corners, drag it to and drag it fro and drag it round about, so in debate I will drag the recluse Gotama to and drag him fro and drag him round about. Just as a strong brewer’s mixer [229] might take a strainer by the corners and shake it down and shake it up and thump it about, so in debate I will shake the recluse Gotama down and shake him up and thump him about. And just as a sixty-year-old elephant might plunge into a deep pond and enjoy playing the game of hemp-washing, so I shall enjoy playing the game of hemp-washing with the recluse Gotama.372

[372:- MA explains that men play this game when preparing hemp cloth. They bind up handfuls of rough hemp, immerse them in the water, and beat them on planks to the left, right, and middle. A royal elephant saw this game, and plunging into the water, he took up water in his trunk and sprayed it on his belly, his body, both sides, and his groin.]

Come forth, good Licchavis, come forth! Today there will be some conversation between me and the recluse Gotama.”

§ 6 . Thereupon some Licchavis said:
“Who is the recluse Gotama that he could refute Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son’s assertions?
On the contrary, Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son will refute the recluse Gotama’s assertions.”

And some Licchavis said:
“Who is Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son that he could refute the Blessed One’s assertions?
On the contrary, the Blessed One will refute Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son’s assertions.”

Then Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son went with five hundred Licchavis to the Hall with the Peaked Roof in the Great Wood.

§ 7. Now on that occasion a number of bhikkhus were walking up and down in the open. Then Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son went up to them and asked:
“Where is Master Gotama staying now, sirs? We want to see Master Gotama.”
“The Blessed One has entered the Great Wood, Aggivessana, and is sitting at the root of a tree for the day’s abiding.”

§ 8. Then Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son, together with a large following of Licchavis, entered the Great Wood and went to the Blessed One.

He exchanged greetings with the Blessed One, and after this courteous and amiable talk was finished, sat down at one side. Some of the Licchavis paid homage to the Blessed One and sat down at one side; some exchanged greetings with him, and when this courteous and amiable talk was finished, sat down at one side; some extended their hands in reverential salutation towards the Blessed One and sat down at one side; some pronounced their name and clan in the Blessed One’s presence and sat down at one side; some kept silent and sat down at one side.

§ 9. When Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son had sat down, he said to the Blessed One:
“I would like to question Master Gotama on a certain point, if Master Gotama would grant me the favour of an answer to the question.”
“Ask what you like, Aggivessana.” [230]
“How does Master Gotama discipline his disciples?
And how is Master Gotama’s instruction usually presented to his disciples?”
“This is how I discipline my disciples, Aggivessana, and this is how my instruction is usually presented to my disciples:

‘Bhikkhus, material form is impermanent,
feeling is impermanent,
perception is impermanent,
formations are impermanent,
consciousness is impermanent.
Bhikkhus, material form is not self,
feeling is not self,
perception is not self,
formations are not self,
consciousness is not self.
All formations are impermanent;
all things are not self.’

That is the way I discipline my disciples, and that is how my instruction is usually presented to my disciples.”

§ 10. “A simile occurs to me, Master Gotama.”
“Explain how it occurs to you, Aggivessana,” the Blessed One said.

“Just as when seeds and plants, whatever their kind, reach growth, increase, and maturation, all do so in dependence upon the earth, based upon the earth; and just as when strenuous works, whatever their kind, are done, all are done in dependence upon the earth, based upon the earth—so too, Master Gotama,
A person has material form as self, and based upon material form he produces merit or demerit.
A person has feeling as self, and based upon feeling he produces merit or demerit.
A person has perception as self, and based upon perception he produces merit or demerit.
A person has formations as self, and based upon formations he produces merit or demerit.
A person has consciousness as self, and based upon consciousness he produces merit or demerit.”

§ 11. “Aggivessana, are you not asserting thus: ‘Material form is my self, feeling is my self, perception is my self, formations are my self, consciousness is my self’?”

“I assert thus, Master Gotama: ‘Material form is my self, feeling is my self, perception is my self, formations are my self, consciousness is my self.’ And so does this great multitude.”373

[373:- In asserting the five aggregates to be self he is, of course, directly contradicting the Buddha’s teaching of anattā. He ascribes this view to the “great multitude” with the thought that “the majority cannot be wrong.”]


“What has this great multitude to do with you, Aggivessana? Please confine yourself to your own assertion alone.”

“Then, Master Gotama, I assert thus: ‘Material form is my self, feeling is my self, perception is my self, formations are my self, consciousness is my self.’”

“In that case, Aggivessana, I shall ask you a question in return.
Answer it as you choose. [231] What do you think, Aggivessana?

“Would a head-anointed noble king—for example, King Pasenadi of Kosala or King Ajātasattu Vedehiputta of Magadha—exercise the power in his own realm to execute those who should be executed, to fine those who should be fined, and to banish those who should be banished?”

“Master Gotama, a head-anointed noble king—for example, King Pasenadi of Kosala or King Ajātasattu Vedehiputta of Magadha—would exercise the power in his own realm to execute those who should be executed, to fine those who should be fined, and to banish those who should be banished.

For even these [oligarchic] communities and societies such as the Vajjians and the Mallians exercise the power in their own realm to execute those who should be executed, to fine those who should be fined, and to banish those who should be banished;
so all the more so should a head-anointed noble king such as King Pasenadi of Kosala or King Ajātasattu Vedehiputta of Magadha. He would exercise it, Master Gotama, and he would be worthy to exercise it.”

§ 13. “What do you think, Aggivessana? When you say thus: ‘Material form is my self,’ do you exercise any such power over that material form as to say: ‘Let my form be thus; let my form not be thus’?”374

[374:- The Buddha is here suggesting that the aggregates are not self because they lack one of the essential characteristics of selfhood—being susceptible to the exercise of mastery. What cannot come under my mastery or perfect control cannot be identified as “my self.”]

When this was said, Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son was silent.

A second time the Blessed One asked the same question, and a second time Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son was silent. Then the Blessed One said to him:
“Aggivessana, answer now. Now is not the time to be silent. If anyone, when asked a reasonable question up to the third time by the Tathāgata, still does not answer, his head splits into seven pieces there and then.”

§ 14. Now on that occasion a thunderbolt-wielding spirit holding an iron thunderbolt that burned, blazed, and glowed, appeared in the air above Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son, thinking: “If this Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son, when asked a reasonable question up to the third time by the Blessed One, still does not answer, I shall split his head into seven pieces here and now.”375

[375: MA identifies this spirit (yakkha) as Sakka, ruler of the gods]

The Blessed One saw the thunderbolt-wielding spirit and so did Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son. Then Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son was frightened, alarmed, and terrified. [232] Seeking his shelter, asylum, and refuge in the Blessed One himself, he said:
“Ask me, Master Gotama, I will answer.”

§ 15. “What do you think, Aggivessana? When you say thus: ‘Material form is my self,’ do you exercise any such power over that material form as to say: ‘Let my form be thus; let my form not be thus’?”—
“No, Master Gotama.”

§ 16. “Pay attention, Aggivessana, pay attention how you reply! What you said afterwards does not agree with what you said before, nor does what you said before agree with what you said afterwards. What do you think, Aggivessana?
When you say thus: ‘Feeling is my self,’ do you exercise any power over that feeling as to say: ‘Let my feeling be thus; let my feeling not be thus’?”—
“No, Master Gotama.”

§ 17. “Pay attention, Aggivessana, pay attention how you reply! What you said afterwards does not agree with what you said before, nor does what you said before agree with what you said afterwards. What do you think, Aggivessana?
When you say thus: ‘Perception is my self,’ do you exercise any power over that perception as to say: ‘Let my perception be thus; let my perception not be thus’?”—
“No, Master Gotama.”

§ 18. “Pay attention, Aggivessana, pay attention how you reply! What you said afterwards does not agree with what you said before, nor does what you said before agree with what you said afterwards. What do you think, Aggivessana?
When you say thus: ‘Formations are my self,’ do you exercise any such power over those formations as to say: ‘Let my formations be thus; let my formations not be thus’?”—
“No, Master Gotama.”

§ 19. “Pay attention, Aggivessana, pay attention how you reply! What you said afterwards does not agree with what you said before, nor does what you said before agree with what you said afterwards. What do you think, Aggivessana?
When you say thus: ‘Consciousness is my self,’ do you exercise any such power over that consciousness as to say: ‘Let my consciousness be thus; let my consciousness not be thus’?”—
“No, Master Gotama.”

§ 20. “Pay attention, Aggivessana, pay attention how you reply! What you said afterwards does not agree with what you said before, nor does what you said before agree with what you said afterwards. What do you think, Aggivessana, is material form permanent or impermanent?”—
“Impermanent, Master Gotama.”—
“Is what is impermanent suffering or happiness?”—
“Suffering, Master Gotama.”—
“Is what is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change fit to be regarded thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, [233] this is my self’?”—
“No, Master Gotama.”
“What do you think, Aggivessana? Is feeling permanent or impermanent?…Is perception permanent or impermanent?…
Are formations permanent or impermanent?…
Is consciousness permanent or impermanent?”—
“Impermanent, Master Gotama.”—
“Is what is impermanent suffering or happiness?”—
“Suffering, Master Gotama.”—
“Is what is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change fit to be regarded thus: ‘This is mine, this I am,
this is my self’?”—“No, Master Gotama.”

§ 21. “What do you think, Aggivessana? When one adheres to suffering, resorts to suffering, holds to suffering, and regards what is suffering thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self,’ could one ever fully understand suffering oneself or abide with suffering utterly destroyed?”
“How could one, Master Gotama? No, Master Gotama.”
“What do you think, Aggivessana? That being so, do you not adhere to suffering, resort to suffering, hold to suffering, and regard what is suffering thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self’?” “How could I not, Master Gotama? Yes, Master Gotama.”376

[376:- The text between the asterisks is absent from the PTS ed. but is supplied from BBS and SBJ. The five aggregates are here called suffering because they are impermanent and not susceptible to the exercise of mastery.]

§ 22. “It is as though a man needing heartwood, seeking heartwood, wandering in search of heartwood, were to take a sharp axe and enter the wood, and there he would see a large plantain trunk, straight, young, with no fruit-bud core. Then he would cut it down at the root, cut off the crown, and unroll the leaf-sheaths; but as he went on unrolling the leaf sheaths, he would never come even to any sapwood, let alone heartwood.

So too, Aggivessana, when you are pressed, questioned, and cross-questioned by me about your own assertion, you turn out to be empty, vacant, and mistaken. But it was you who made this statement before the Vesālī assembly:

‘I see no recluse or brahmin, the head of an order, the head of a group, the teacher of a group, even one claiming to be accomplished and fully enlightened, who would not shake, shiver, and tremble and sweat under the armpits if he were to engage in debate with me. Even if I were to engage a senseless post in debate, it would shake, shiver, and tremble if it were to engage in debate with me, so what shall I say of a human being?’

Now there are drops of sweat on your forehead and they have soaked through your upper robe and fallen to the ground. But there is no sweat on my body now.”
And the Blessed One uncovered his golden-coloured body before the assembly.
[234] When this was said, Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son sat silent, dismayed, with shoulders drooping and head down, glum, and without response.

§ 23. Then Dummukha, the son of the Licchavis, seeing Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son in such a condition, said to the Blessed One: “A simile occurs to me, Master Gotama.”
“Explain how it occurs to you, Dummukha.”

“Suppose, venerable sir, not far from a village or town there was a pond with a crab in it. And then a party of boys or girls went out from the town or village to the pond, went into the water, and pulled the crab out of the water and put it on dry land. And whenever the crab extended a leg, they cut it off, broke it, and smashed it with sticks and stones, so that the crab with all its legs cut off, broken, and smashed, would be unable to get back to the pond as before. So too, all Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son’s contortions, writhings, and vacillations have been cut off, broken, and smashed by the Blessed One, and now he cannot get near the Blessed One again for the purpose of debate.”

§ 24. When this was said, Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son told him:

“Wait, Dummukha, wait! We are not speaking with you, here we are speaking with Master Gotama.”

[Then he said]: “Let be, Master Gotama, that talk of ours and of other ordinary recluses and brahmins. It was mere prattle, I think. But in what way is a disciple of the Master Gotama one who carries out his instruction, who responds to his advice, who has crossed beyond doubt, become free from perplexity, gained intrepidity, and become independent of others in the Teacher’s Dispensation?”377

[377:- These are the characteristics of a sekha. The arahant, in contrast, not only possesses the right view of non-self, but has used it to eradicate all clinging, as the Buddha will explain in §2]

“Here, Aggivessana, any kind of material form whatever, whether past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near— a disciple of mine sees all material form as it actually is with proper wisdom thus:

‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ [235]
Any kind of feeling whatever…
Any kind of perception whatever…
Any kind of formations whatever…
Any kind of consciousness whatever, whether past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near—a disciple of mine sees all consciousness as it actually is with proper wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ It is in this way that a disciple of mine is one who carries out my instruction, who responds to my advice, who has crossed beyond doubt, become free from perplexity, gained intrepidity, and become independent of others in the Teacher’s Dispensation.”

§ 25. “Master Gotama, in what way is a bhikkhu an arahant with taints destroyed, one who has lived the holy life, done what had to be done, laid down the burden, reached his own goal, destroyed the fetters of being, and is
completely liberated through final knowledge?”

“Here, Aggivessana, any kind of material form whatever, whether past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near— a bhikkhu has seen all material form as it actually is with proper wisdom thus:
‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self,’ and through not clinging he is liberated.

Any kind of feeling whatever…
Any kind of perception whatever…
Any kind of formations whatever …
Any kind of consciousness whatever,
whether past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near—a bhikkhu has seen all consciousness as it actually is with proper wisdom thus:
‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self,’ and through not clinging he is liberated.
It is in this way that a bhikkhu is an arahant with taints destroyed, one who has lived the holy life, done what had to be done, laid down the burden, reached his own goal, destroyed the fetters of being, and is completely liberated through final knowledge.

§ 26. “When a bhikkhu’s mind is thus liberated, he possesses three unsurpassable qualities: unsurpassable vision, unsurpassable practice, and unsurpassable deliverance.378

[378:- MA gives several alternative explanations of these three terms. They are mundane and supramundane wisdom, practice, and deliverance. Or they are entirely supramundane: the first is the right view of the path of arahantship, the second the remaining seven path factors, the third the supreme fruit (of arahantship). Or the first is the vision of Nibb̄na, the second the path factors, the third the supreme fruit.]

When a bhikkhu is thus liberated, he still honours, respects, reveres, and venerates the Tathāgata thus:

‘The Blessed One is enlightened and he teaches the Dhamma for the sake of enlightenment.
The Blessed One is tamed and he teaches the Dhamma for taming oneself.
The Blessed One is at peace and he teaches the Dhamma for the sake of peace.
The Blessed One has crossed over and he teaches the Dhamma for crossing over.
The Blessed One has attained Nibbāna and he teaches the Dhamma for attaining Nibbāna.’

§ 27. ”When this was said, Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son [236] replied:

“Master Gotama, we were bold and impudent in thinking we could attack Master Gotama in debate.
A man might attack a mad elephant and find safety, yet he could not attack Master Gotama and find safety. A man might attack a blazing mass of fire and find safety, yet he could not attack Master Gotama and find safety. A man might attack a terrible poisonous snake and find safety, yet he could not attack Master Gotama and find safety. We were bold and impudent in thinking we could attack Master Gotama in debate.

“Let the Blessed One together with the Sangha of bhikkhus consent to accept tomorrow’s meal from me.” The Blessed One consented in silence.

§ 28. Then, knowing that the Blessed One had consented, Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son addressed the Licchavis: “Hear me, Licchavis. The recluse Gotama together with the Sangha of good bhikkhus has been invited by me for tomorrow’s meal. You may bring to me whatever you think would be suitable for him.”

§ 29. Then, when the night had ended, the Licchavis brought five hundred ceremonial dishes of milk rice as gifts of food. Then Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son had good food of various kinds prepared in his own park and had the time announced to the Blessed One: “It is time, Master Gotama, the meal is ready.”

§ 30. Then, it being morning, the Blessed One dressed, and taking his bowl and outer robe, he went with the Sangha of bhikkhus to the park of Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son and sat down on the seat made ready. Then, with his own hands, Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son 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, Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son took a low seat, sat down at one side, and said to the Blessed One: “Master Gotama, may the merit and the great meritorious fruits of this act of giving be for the happiness of the givers.”

“Aggivessana, whatever comes about from giving to a recipient such as yourself—one who is not free from lust, not free from hate, not free from delusion—[237] that will be for the givers. And whatever comes about from giving to a recipient such as myself—one who is free from lust, free from hate, free from delusion—that will be for you.”379

[379:- Though Saccaka admitted defeat in debate, he must have still considered himself a saint, and thus did not feel impelled to go for refuge to the Triple Gem. Also, because he continued to regard himself as a saint, he must have felt that it was not proper for him to dedicate the merit of the alms offering to himself, and thus he wished to dedicate the merit to the Licchavis. But the Buddha replies that the Licchavis will gain the merit of providing Saccaka with food to offer to the Buddha, while Saccaka himself will gain the merit of offering the food to the Buddha. The merit of giving alms differs in quality according to the purity of the recipient, as explained at MN 142.6.]