101 Devadaha Sutta

At Devadaha. The Buddha examines the Jain thesis that liberation is to be attained by self-mortification, proposing a different account of how striving becomes fruitful.

Ven Bhikku Bodhi (translator) Explains the Sutta
Ven Ajahn Brahmali’s Sutta Exposition


§ 1. THUS HAVE I HEARD.
On one occasion the Blessed One was living in the Sakyan country where there was a town of the Sakyans named Devadaha. There the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus: “Bhikkhus.”—“Venerable sir,” they replied. The Blessed One said this:

§2. “Bhikkhus, there are some recluses and brahmins who hold such a doctrine and view as this: ‘Whatever this person feels, whether pleasure or pain or neither-pain-nor-pleasure, all that is caused by what was done in the past.922

[922:-This doctrine, which is here ascribed to the Jains, is also taken up for criticism by the Buddha at SN 36:21/ iv.230–31 and AN 3:61/i.173–74. The Buddha’s teaching recognises the existence of feeling that is not the result of past action but a concomitant of present action, and also admits feeling that is neither kammically active nor kammic result

So by annihilating with asceticism past actions923 and by doing no fresh actions, there will be no consequence in the future. With no consequence in the future, there is the destruction of action. With the destruction of action, there is the destruction of suffering. With the destruction of suffering, there is the destruction of feeling. With the destruction of feeling, all suffering will be exhausted.’ So speak the Nigaṇṭhas, bhikkhus.

[923:- From here until §5, “That being so…,” also at MN 14.17–19. The statement of the Niga˚ṭha Nātaputta, which at MN 14.17 introduces the Niga˚ṭhas’ position, here comes afterwards, at §10, as the Niga˚ṭhas’ justification for their assertion ]

§ 3. “I go to the Nigaṇṭhas who speak thus and I say: ‘Friend Nigaṇṭhas, is it true that you hold such a doctrine and view as this:
“Whatever this person feels…all suffering will be exhausted”?’
If, when they are asked thus, the Nigaṇṭhas admit this and say ‘Yes,’ I say to them:

§ 4. “‘But, friends, do you know that you existed in the past, and that it is not the case that you did not exist?’—
‘No, friend.’—
‘But, friends, do you know that you did evil actions in the past and did not abstain from them?’—
‘No, friend.’—
‘But, friends, do you know that you did such and such evil actions?’—
‘No, friend.’—
‘But, friends, do you know that so much suffering has already been exhausted, or that so much suffering has still to be exhausted, or that when so much suffering has been exhausted all suffering will have been exhausted?’—[215]
‘No, friend.’—
‘But, friends, do you know what the abandoning of unwholesome states is and what the cultivation of wholesome states is here and now?’—
‘No, friend.’

§5. “‘So, friends, it seems that you do not know that you existed in the past and
that it is not the case that you did not exist; or
that you did evil actions in the past and did not abstain from them;
or that you did such and such evil actions;
or that so much suffering has already been exhausted,
or that so much suffering has still to be exhausted,
or that when so much suffering has been exhausted all suffering will have been exhausted;
or what the abandoning of unwholesome states is and what the cultivation of wholesome states is here and now.

That being so, it is not fitting for the venerable Nigaṇṭhas to declare:
“Whatever this person feels, whether pleasure or pain or neither-pain-nor-pleasure, all that is caused by what was done in the past. So by annihilating with asceticism past actions and by doing no fresh actions, there will be no consequence in the future. With no consequence in the future…all suffering will be exhausted.”

§ 6. “‘If, friend Nigaṇṭhas, you knew that you existed in the past and that it is not the case that you did not exist;
or that you did evil actions in the past and did not abstain from them;
or that you did such and such evil actions;
or that so much suffering has already been exhausted, or that so much suffering has still to be exhausted,
or that when so much suffering has been exhausted all suffering will have been exhausted;
or what the abandoning of unwholesome states is and
what the cultivation of wholesome states is here and now;

that being so, it would be fitting for the venerable Nigaṇṭhas to declare: “Whatever this person feels… [216]…all suffering will be exhausted.”

§7. “‘Friend Nigaṇṭhas, suppose a man were wounded by an arrow thickly smeared with poison, and because of this he felt painful, racking, piercing feelings.

Then his friends and companions, kinsmen and relatives, brought a surgeon. The surgeon would cut around the opening of the wound with a knife, probe for the arrow with a probe, pull out the arrow, and apply a medicinal powder to the opening of the wound, and at each step the man would feel painful, racking, piercing feelings.

Then on a later occasion, when the wound was healed and covered with skin, the man would be well and happy, independent, master of himself, able to go where he likes. He might think:

“Formerly I was pierced by an arrow thickly smeared with poison, and because of this I felt painful, racking, piercing feelings. Then my friends and companions, kinsmen and relatives, brought a surgeon. The surgeon cut around the opening of the wound with a knife, probed for the arrow with a probe, pulled out the arrow, and applied a medicinal powder to the opening of the wound, and at each step I felt painful, racking, piercing feelings. [217] But now that the wound is healed and covered with skin, I am well and happy, independent, my own master, able to go where I like.”

§ 8. “‘So too, friend Nigaṇṭhas, if you knew that you existed in the past and that it is not the case that you did not exist…or what the abandoning of unwholesome states is and what the cultivation of wholesome states is here and now; that being so, it would be fitting for the venerableNigaṇṭhas to declare: “Whatever this person feels…all suffering will be exhausted.”

§9. “‘But since, friend Nigaṇṭhas, you do not know that you existed in the past and that it is not the case that you did not exist…or what the abandoning of unwholesome states is and what the cultivation of wholesome states is here and now, it is not fitting for the venerable Nigaṇṭhas to declare: “Whatever this person feels…all suffering will be exhausted.”’

§ 10. “When this was said, the Nigaṇṭhas told me: [218] ‘Friend, the Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta is omniscient and all-seeing and claims to have complete knowledge and vision thus:
“Whether I am walking or standing or asleep or awake, knowledge and vision are continuously and uninterruptedly present to me.”

He says thus:
“Nigaṇṭhas, you have done evil actions in the past; exhaust them with the performance of piercing austerities. And when you are here and now restrained in body, speech, and mind, that is doing no evil actions for the future.

So by annihilating with asceticism past actions and by doing no fresh actions, there will be no consequence in the future. With no consequence in the future…all suffering will be exhausted.”
We approve of and accept this, and so we are satisfied.’

§ 11. “When this was said, I told the Nigaṇṭhas:924

[924:- “, 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 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.’”]


‘There are five things, friend Nigaṇṭhas, that may turn out in two different ways here and now. What five?
They are: faith, approval, oral tradition, reasoned cogitation, and reflective acceptance of a view.

These five things may turn out in two different ways here and now. Herein, what kind of faith do the venerable Nigaṇṭhas have in a teacher who speaks about the past?

What kind of approval, what kind of oral tradition, what kind of reasoned cogitation, what kind of reflective acceptance of a view?’

Speaking thus, bhikkhus, I did not see any legitimate defence of their position by the Nigaṇṭhas.

§ 12. “Again, bhikkhus, I said to the Nigaṇṭhas: ‘What do you think, friend Nigaṇṭhas?

When there is intense exertion, intense striving, do you then feel painful, racking, piercing feelings due to intense exertion? But when there is no intense exertion, no intense striving, do you then not feel any painful, racking, piercing feelings due to intense exertion?’—
‘When there is intense exertion,
friend Gotama, intense striving, then we feel painful, racking, piercing feelings due to intense exertion; [219] but when there is no intense exertion, no intense striving, then we do not feel any painful, racking, piercing feelings due to intense exertion.’

§ 13. “‘So it seems, friend Nigaṇṭhas, that when there is intense exertion…you feel painful, racking, piercing feelings due to intense exertion; but when there is no intense exertion…you do not feel any painful, racking, piercing feelings due to intense exertion. That being so, it is not fitting for the venerable Nigaṇṭhas to declare:925

[925:- It is not fitting for them to make that declaration because their “intense exertion,” i.e., their ascetic practice, is the cause for their painful feelings, as the Buddha states in §15. ]

“Whatever this person feels, whether pleasure or pain or neither-painnor- pleasure, all that is caused by what was done in the past. So by annihilating with asceticism past actions and by doing no fresh actions, there will be no consequence in the future. With no consequence…all suffering will be exhausted.”

§ 14. “‘If, friend Nigaṇṭhas, when there was intense exertion, intense striving, then painful, racking, piercing feelings due to intense exertion were present, and when there was no intense exertion, no intense striving, then painful, racking, piercing feelings due to intense exertion were still present; that being so, it would be fitting for the venerable Nigaṇṭhas to declare: “Whatever this person feels…all suffering will be exhausted.”

§15. “‘But since, friend Nigaṇṭhas, when there is intense exertion, intense striving, then you feel painful, racking, piercing feelings due to intense exertion, but when there is no intense exertion, no intense striving, then you do not feel painful, racking, piercing feelings due to intense exertion, you are therefore feeling only the painful, racking, piercing feelings of your self-imposed exertion, and it is through ignorance, unknowing, and delusion [220] that you mistakenly hold:

“Whatever this person feels…all suffering will be exhausted.”’ Speaking thus, bhikkhus, I did not see any legitimate defence of their position by the Nigaṇṭhas.

§ 16. “Again, bhikkhus, I said to the Nigaṇṭhas: ‘What do you think, friend Nigaṇṭhas? Is it possible that an action [whose result] is to be experienced here and now926 can, through exertion and striving, become one [whose result] is to be experienced in the next life?’—
‘No, friend.’—

[926:- This is a technical expression for an action that is to ripen in this present life.]

‘But is it possible that an action [whose result] is to be experienced in the next life can, through exertion and striving, become one [whose result] is to be experienced here and now?’—
‘No, friend.’

§ 17. “‘What do you think, friend Nigaṇṭhas? Is it possible that an action [whose result] is to be experienced as pleasant can, through exertion and striving, become one [whose result] is to be experienced as painful?’—
‘No, friend.’—

‘But is it possible that an action [whose result] is to be experienced as
painful can, through exertion and striving, become one [whose result] is to be experienced as pleasant?’—‘No, friend.’

§ 18. “‘What do you think, friend Nigaṇṭhas? Is it possible that an action [whose result] is to be experienced in a matured [personality] can, by exertion and striving, become one [whose result] is to be experienced in an unmatured [personality]?’927
‘No, friend.’—

[927:- MA: “An action [whose result] is to be experienced in a matured [personality]” is a synonym for an action [whose result] is to be experienced here and now. “An action [whose result] is to be experienced in an unmatured personality” is a synonym for action [whose result] is to be experienced in the next life. But a specification is made as follows: any action that yields its result in the same life is one to be experienced here and now, but only an action that produces its result within seven days is called one to be experienced in a matured personality. ]

‘But is it possible that an action [whose result] is to be experienced in an unmatured [personality] can, by exertion and striving, become one [whose result] is to be experienced in a matured personality?’—
‘No, friend.’

§ 19 . “‘What do you think, friend Nigaṇṭhas? [221] Is it possible that an action [whose result] is to be much experienced can, through exertion and striving, become one [whose result] is to be little experienced?’—
‘No, friend.’—

‘But is it possible that an action [whose result] is to be little experienced can, through exertion and striving, become one [whose result] is to be much experienced?’—
‘No, friend.’

§ 20. “‘What do you think, friend Nigaṇṭhas? Is it possible that an action [whose result] is to be experienced can, through exertion and striving, become one [whose result] is not to be experienced? ’928
‘No, friend.’—

[928:- This is an action that does not gain the opportunity to yield its result and thereby becomes defunct ]

‘But is it possible that an action [whose result] is not to be experienced can, through exertion and striving, become one [whose result] is to be experienced?’—
‘No, friend.’

§ 21. “‘So it seems, friend Nigaṇṭhas, that it is impossible that an action [whose result] is to be experienced here and now can, through exertion and striving, become one [whose result] is to be experienced in the next life, and

impossible that an action [whose result] is to be experienced in the next life can, through exertion and striving, become one [whose result] is to be experienced here and now;

impossible that an action [whose result] is to be experienced as pleasant can, through exertion and striving, become one [whose result] is to be experienced as painful, and

impossible that an action [whose result] is to be experienced as painful can, through exertion and striving, become one [whose result] is to be experienced as pleasant;

impossible that an action [whose result] is to be experienced in a matured [personality] can, by exertion and striving, become one [whose result] is to be experienced in an unmatured [personality], and

impossible that an action [whose result] is to be experienced in an unmatured [personality] can, through exertion and striving, become one [whose result] is to be experienced in a matured [personality];

impossible that an action [whose result] is to be much experienced can, through exertion and striving, become one [whose result] is to be little experienced, and

impossible that an action [whose result] is to be little experienced can, through exertion and striving, become one [whose result] is to be much experienced;

impossible that an action [whose result] is to be experienced can, through exertion and striving, become one [whose result] is not to be experienced, and

impossible that an action [whose result] is not to be experienced can, through exertion and striving, become one [whose result] is to be experienced.

That being so, the venerable Nigaṇṭhas’ exertion is fruitless, [222] their striving is fruitless.’

§ 22 . “So speak the Nigaṇṭhas, bhikkhus. And because the Nigaṇṭhas speak thus, there are ten legitimate deductions from their assertions that provide ground for censuring them:

(1) “If the pleasure and pain that beings feel are caused by what was done in the past, then the Nigaṇṭhas surely must have done bad deeds in the past, since they now feel such painful, racking, piercing feelings.

(2) “If the pleasure and pain that beings feel are caused by the creative act of a Supreme God,929 then the Nigaṇṭhas surely must have been created by an evil Supreme God, since they now feel such painful, racking, piercing feelings.

[929:- Issaranimmānahetu. This doctrine of the theists is criticised by the Buddha at AN 3:61/i.174.]


(3) “If the pleasure and pain that beings feel are caused by circumstance and nature,930 then the Nigaṇṭhas surely must have bad luck, since they now feel such painful, racking, piercing feelings.

[930:- Sangatibhāvahetu. This alludes to the doctrine of Makkhali Gosāla, criticised at length at MN 60.21 and AN 3:61/ i.175.]

(4) “If the pleasure and pain that beings feel are caused by class [among the six classes of birth],931 then the Nigaṇṭhas surely must belong to a bad class, since they now feel such painful, racking, piercing feelings.

[931 :- Abhijātihetu. This also refers to a tenet of Makkhali Gosāla.]

(5) “If the pleasure and pain that beings feel are caused by exertion here and now, then the Nigaṇṭhas surely must strive badly here and now, since they now feel such painful, racking, piercing feelings.

(6) “If the pleasure and pain that beings feel are caused by what was done in the past, then the Nigaṇṭhas are to be censured; if not, then the Nigaṇṭhas are still to be censured.

(7) “If the pleasure and pain that beings feel are caused by the creative act of a Supreme God, then the Nigaṇṭhas are to be censured; if not, they are still to be censured.

(8) “If the pleasure and pain that beings feel are caused by chance, then the Nigaṇṭhas are to be censured; if not, they are still to be censured.

(9) “If the pleasure and pain that beings feel are caused by class, then the Nigaṇṭhas are to be censured; if not, they are still to be censured.

(10) “If the pleasure and pain that beings feel are caused by exertion here and now, [223] then the Nigaṇṭhas are to be censured; if not, they are still to be censured.

§ 23. “And how is exertion fruitful, bhikkhus, how is striving fruitful?

“So speak the Nigaṇṭhas, bhikkhus. And because the Nigaṇṭhas speak thus, these ten legitimate deductions from their assertions provide grounds for censuring them. Thus their exertion is fruitless, their striving is fruitless.

Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu who is not overwhelmed with suffering does not overwhelm himself with suffering; and he does not give up the pleasure that accords with Dhamma, yet he is not infatuated with that pleasure. 932

[932:- This is a formulation of the Buddha’s Middle Way, which avoids the extreme of self-mortification without falling into the other extreme of infatuation with sensual pleasure]

He knows thus: ‘When I strive with determination, this particular source of suffering fades away in me because of that determined striving; and when I look on with equanimity, this particular source of suffering fades away in me while I develop equanimity.’933

[933:- MA explains the source of suffering to be craving, so called because it is the root of the suffering comprised in the five aggregates. The passage shows two alternative approaches toward overcoming craving—one employing energetic striving, the other detached equanimity. The “fading away” of the source is identified by MA with the supramundane path. The passage is said to illustrate the practice of one who progresses on a pleasant path with quick direct knowledge(sukhapaṭipadā khippābhiññā̄). ]

He strives with determination in regard to that particular source of suffering which fades away in him because of that determined striving; and he develops equanimity in regard to that particular source of suffering which fades away in him while he is developing equanimity.

When he strives with determination, such and such a source of suffering fades away in him because of that determined striving; thus that suffering is exhausted in him. When he looks on with equanimity, such and such a source of suffering fades away in him while he develops equanimity; thus that suffering is exhausted in him.

§ 24. “Suppose, bhikkhus, a man loved a woman with his mind bound to her by intense desire and passion. He might see that woman standing with another man, chatting, joking, and laughing.

What do you think, bhikkhus?
Would not sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair arise in that man when he sees that woman standing with another man, chatting, joking, and laughing?”
“Yes, venerable sir.

Why is that?
Because that man loves that woman with his mind bound to her by intense desire and passion; [224] that is why sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair would arise in him when he sees her standing with another man, chatting, joking, and laughing.”

§ 25. “Then, bhikkhus, the man might think:
‘I love this woman with my mind bound to her by intense desire and passion; thus sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair arise in me when I see her standing with another man, chatting, joking, and laughing. What if I were to abandon my desire and lust for that woman?

’ He would abandon his desire and lust for that woman. On a later occasion he might see that woman standing with another man, chatting, joking, and laughing.

What do you think, bhikkhus?
Would sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair arise in that man when he sees that woman standing with another man…?”
“No, venerable sir.

Why is that?
Because that man no longer loves that woman; that is why sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair do not arise in him when he sees that woman standing with another man…”

§ 26. “So too, bhikkhus, when a bhikkhu who is not overwhelmed with suffering does not overwhelm himself with suffering Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu who is not overwhelmed with suffering does not overwhelm himself with suffering; and he does not give up the pleasure that accords with Dhamma, yet he is not infatuated with that pleasure. thus that suffering is exhausted in him. Thus, bhikkhus, the exertion is fruitful, the striving is fruitful.

§ 27. “Again, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu considers thus: ‘While I live according to my pleasure, unwholesome states increase in me and wholesome states diminish; but when I exert myself in what is painful, unwholesome states diminish in me and wholesome states increase. What if I exert myself in what is painful?’

He exerts himself in what is painful. When he does so, unwholesome states diminish in him and wholesome states increase.934

[934: This passage is brought forth to show the Buddha’s reason for permitting his monks to undertake the ascetic practices (dhutanga): the moderate use of austerities is conducive to overcoming the defilements; but they are not undertaken to wear away old kamma and to purify the soul, as the Jains and other ascetic sects believed. MA says that this passage illustrates the practice of one who progresses on a difficult path with sluggish direct knowledge dukkhapaṭipadā (̣̄ dandh̄bhiññā). ]

At a later time he does not exert himself in what is painful. Why is that? The purpose for which that bhikkhu exerted himself in what is painful has been achieved; that is why at a later time he does not exert himself in what is painful.

§ 28. “Suppose, bhikkhus, an arrowsmith were warming and heating an arrow shaft between two flames, making it straight and workable. When the arrow shaft had been warmed and heated between the two flames and had been made straight and workable, then at a later time he would not again warm and heat the arrow shaft and make it straight and workable. Why is that? The purpose for which that arrowsmith had warmed and heated the arrow and made it straight and workable has been achieved; that is why at a later time he would not again warm and heat the arrow shaft and make it straight and workable.

§ 29. “So too, a bhikkhu considers thus, While I live according to my pleasure, unwholesome states increase in me and wholesome states diminish; but when I exert myself in what is painful, unwholesome states diminish in me and wholesome states increase. What if I exert myself in what is painful?’

that is why at a later time he does not exert himself in what is painful. Thus too, bhikkhus, the exertion is fruitful, the striving is fruitful.

§30 . “Here, bhikkhus, a Tathāgata appears in the world, 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, its princes and its people, which he has himself realised by direct knowledge. He teaches the Dhamma 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.

§ 31 “A householder or householder’s son or one born in some other clan hears that Dhamma. On hearing the Dhamma he acquires faith in the Tathāgata.
Possessing that faith, he considers thus: ‘Household life is crowded and dusty;
life gone forth is wide open. It is not easy, while living in a home, to lead the holy life utterly perfect and pure as a polished shell. Suppose I shave off my hair and beard, put on the yellow robe, and go forth from the home life into homelessness.’ On a later occasion, abandoning a small or a large fortune, [345] abandoning a small or a large circle of relatives, he shaves off his hair and beard, puts on the yellow robe, and goes forth from the home life into homelessness.

§ 32 . “Having thus gone forth and possessing the bhikkhus’ training and way of life, abandoning the killing of living beings, he abstains from killing living beings; with rod and weapon laid aside, conscientious, merciful, he abides compassionate to all living beings.

Abandoning the taking of what is not given, he abstains from taking what is not given; taking only what is given, expecting only what is given, by not stealing he abides in purity. Abandoning incelibacy, he observes celibacy, living apart, abstaining from the vulgar practice of sexual intercourse.

“Abandoning false speech, he abstains from false speech; he speaks truth, adheres to truth, is trustworthy and reliable, one who is no deceiver of the world.

Abandoning malicious speech, he abstains from malicious speech; he does not repeat elsewhere what he has heard here in order to divide [those people] from these, nor does he repeat to these people what he has heard elsewhere in order to divide [these people] from those; thus he is one who reunites those who are divided, a promoter of friendships, who enjoys concord, rejoices in concord, delights in concord, a speaker of words that promote concord.

Abandoning harsh speech, he abstains from harsh speech; he speaks such words as are gentle, pleasing to the ear, and loveable, as go to the heart, are courteous, desired by many and agreeable to many.

Abandoning gossip, he abstains from gossip; he speaks at the right time, speaks what is fact, speaks on what is good, speaks on the Dhamma and the Discipline; at the right time he speaks such words as are worth recording, reasonable, moderate, and beneficial.

. “He abstains from injuring seeds and plants. He practises eating one meal a day, abstaining from eating at night and outside the proper time.
He abstains from dancing, singing, music, and theatrical shows.
He abstains from wearing garlands, smartening himself with scent, and embellishing himself with
unguents. He abstains from high and large couches. He abstains from accepting
gold and silver. He abstains from accepting raw grain.
He abstains from accepting raw meat.
He abstains from accepting women and girls.
He abstains from accepting men and women slaves.
He abstains from accepting goats and sheep.
He abstains from accepting fowl and pigs.
He abstains from accepting elephants, cattle, horses, and mares.
He abstains from accepting fields and land.
He abstains from going on errands and running messages.
He abstains from buying and selling.
He abstains from false weights, false metals, and false measures. [346]
He abstains from accepting bribes, deceiving, defrauding, and trickery.
He abstains from wounding, murdering, binding, brigandage, plunder, and violence.

§ 33 “He becomes content with robes to protect his body and with almsfood to maintain his stomach, and wherever he goes he sets out taking only these with him. Just as a bird, wherever it goes, flies with its wings as its only burden, so too, the bhikkhu becomes content with robes to protect his body and with almsfood to maintain his stomach, and wherever he goes he sets out taking only these with him. Possessing this aggregate of noble virtue, he experiences within himself a bliss that is blameless.

§ 34 “On seeing a form with the eye, he does not grasp at its signs and features. Since, if he left the eye faculty unguarded, evil unwholesome states of covetousness and grief might invade him, he practises the way of its restraint, he guards the eye faculty, he undertakes the restraint of the eye faculty.

On hearing a sound with the ear…
On smelling an odour with the nose…
On tasting a flavour
with the tongue…
On touching a tangible with the body…
On cognizing a mindobject with the mind, he does not grasp at its signs and features. Since, if he left the mind faculty unguarded, evil unwholesome states of covetousness and grief might invade him, he practises the way of its restraint, he guards the mind faculty, he undertakes the restraint of the mind faculty. Possessing this noble restraint of the faculties, he experiences within himself a bliss that is unsullied.

§ 35. “He becomes one who acts in full awareness when going forward and returning;
who acts in full awareness when looking ahead and looking away;
who acts in full awareness when flexing and extending his limbs;
who acts in full awareness when wearing his robes and carrying his outer robe and bowl;
who acts in full awareness when eating, drinking, consuming food, and tasting;
who acts in full awareness when defecating and urinating;
who acts in full awareness when walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking up, talking, and keeping silent.

§ 36 . “Possessing this aggregate of noble virtue, and this noble restraint of the faculties, and possessing this noble mindfulness and full awareness, he resorts to a secluded resting place: the forest, the root of a tree, a mountain, a ravine, a hillside cave, a charnel ground, a jungle thicket, an open space, a heap of straw.

§ 37 . “On returning from his almsround, after his meal he sits down, folding his legs crosswise, setting his body erect, and establishing mindfulness before him. [347]

Abandoning covetousness for the world, he abides with a mind free from covetousness; he purifies his mind from covetousness.
Abandoning ill will and hatred, he abides with a mind free from ill will, compassionate for the welfare of all living beings; he purifies his mind from ill will and hatred.
Abandoning sloth and torpor, he abides free from sloth and torpor, percipient of light, mindful and fully aware; he purifies his mind from sloth and torpor.
Abandoning restlessness and remorse, he abides unagitated with a mind inwardly peaceful; he purifies his mind from restlessness and remorse.
Abandoning doubt, he abides having gone beyond doubt, unperplexed about wholesome states; he purifies his mind from doubt.

§ 38. “Having thus abandoned these five hindrances, imperfections of the mind that weaken wisdom, quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, he enters upon and abides in the first jhāna, which is accompanied by applied and sustained thought, with rapture and pleasure born of seclusion. Thus too, bhikkhus, the exertion is fruitful, the striving is fruitful.

§ 39. “Again, bhikkhus, with the stilling of applied and sustained thought, a bhikkhu enters upon and abides in the second jhāna, which has self-confidence and singleness of mind without applied and sustained thought, with rapture and pleasure born of concentration. Thus too, bhikkhus, the exertion is fruitful, the striving is fruitful.

§ 40. “Again, bhikkhus, with the fading away as well of rapture, a bhikkhu abides in equanimity, and mindful and fully aware, still feeling pleasure with the body, he enters upon and abides in the third jhāna, on account of which noble ones announce:

‘He has a pleasant abiding who has equanimity and is mindful.’
Thus too, bhikkhus, the exertion is fruitful, the striving is fruitful.

§ 41. “Again, bhikkhus, with the abandoning of pleasure and pain, and with the previous disappearance of joy and grief, a bhikkhu enters upon and abides in the fourth jhāna, which has neither-pain-nor-pleasure and purity of mindfulness due to equanimity. Thus too, bhikkhus, the exertion is fruitful, the striving is fruitful.

§ 42. “When his concentrated mind is thus purified, bright, unblemished, rid of imperfection, malleable, wieldy, steady, and attained to imperturbability, he directs it to knowledge of the recollection of past lives.

He recollects his manifold past lives, that is, one birth, two births , three births, four births, five births, ten births, twenty births, thirty births, forty births, fifty births, a hundred births, a thousand births, a hundred thousand births, many aeons of world contraction, many aeons of world-expansion, many aeons of world-contraction and expansion:

‘There I was so named, of such a clan, with such an appearance, such was my nutriment, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such my lifeterm; and passing away from there, I reappeared elsewhere; and there too I was so named, of such a clan, with such an appearance, such was my nutriment, such my experience of pleasure and pain, [348] such my life-term; and passing away from there, I reappeared here.’ Thus with their aspects and particulars he recollects his manifold past lives.

Thus with their aspects and particulars he recollects his manifold past lives. Thus too, bhikkhus, the exertion is fruitful, the striving is fruitful.

§ 43. “When his concentrated mind is thus purified, bright, unblemished, rid of imperfection, malleable, wieldy, steady, and attained to imperturbability, he directs it to knowledge of the passing away and reappearance of beings…

With the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, he sees beings passing away and reappearing, inferior and superior, fair and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate. He understands how beings pass on according to their actions thus:

‘These worthy beings who were ill conducted in body, speech, and mind, revilers of noble ones, wrong in their views, giving effect to wrong view in their actions, on the dissolution of the body, after death, have reappeared in a state of deprivation, in a bad destination, in perdition, even in hell; but these worthy beings who were well conducted in body, speech, and mind, not revilers of noble ones, right in their views, giving effect to right view in their actions, on the dissolution of the body, after death, have reappeared in a good destination, even in the heavenly world.’ Thus with the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, he sees beings passing away and reappearing, inferior and superior, fair and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate, and he understands how beings pass on according to their actions.

Thus with the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, he sees beings passing away and reappearing, inferior and superior, fair and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate, and he understands how beings pass on according to their actions. Thus too, bhikkhus, the exertion is fruitful, the striving is fruitful. [227]

§ 44. “When his concentrated mind is thus purified, bright, unblemished, rid of imperfection, malleable, wieldy, steady, and attained to imperturbability, he directs it to knowledge of the destruction of the taints. He understands as it actually is: ‘This is suffering’;…‘This is the origin of suffering’;…‘This is the cessation of suffering’;…‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering’;
…‘These are the taints’;…‘This is the origin of the taints’;…‘This is the
cessation of the taints’;…‘This is the way leading to the cessation of the taints.’

§ 45. “When he knows and sees thus, his mind is liberated from the taint of sensual desire, from the taint of being, and from the taint of ignorance. When it is liberated there comes the knowledge: ‘It is liberated.’

He understands: ‘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.’ Thus too, bhikkhus, the exertion is fruitful, the striving is fruitful.

§ 46. “So the Tathāgata speaks, bhikkhus. And because the Tathāgata speaks thus, there are ten legitimate grounds for praising him:

(1) “If the pleasure and pain that beings feel are caused by what was done in the past, then the Tathāgata surely must have done good deeds in the past, since he now feels such taintless pleasant feelings.

(2) “If the pleasure and pain that beings feel are caused by the creative act of a Supreme God, then the Tathāgata surely must have been created by a good Supreme God, since he now feels such taintless pleasant feelings.

(3) “If the pleasure and pain that beings feel are caused by circumstance and nature, then the Tathāgata surely must have good luck, since he now feels such taintless pleasant feelings.

(4) “If the pleasure and pain that beings feel are caused by class [among the six classes of birth], then the Tathāgata surely must belong to a good class, since he now feels such taintless pleasant feelings.

(5) “If the pleasure and pain that beings feel are caused by exertion here and now, then the Tathāgata surely must strive well here and now, since he now feels such taintless pleasant feelings.

(6) “If the pleasure and pain that beings feel are caused by what was done in the past, then the Tathāgata is to be praised; if not, then the Tathāgata is still to be praised.

(7) “If the pleasure and pain that beings feel are caused by the creative act of a Supreme God, then the Tathāgata is to be praised; if not, then the Tathāgata is still to be praised.

(8) “If the pleasure and pain that beings feel are caused by chance, then the Tathāgata is to be praised; if not, then the Tathāgata is still to be praised.

(9) “If the pleasure and pain that beings feel are caused by class, then the Tathāgata is to be praised; if not, then the Tathāgata is still to be praised.

(10) “If the pleasure and pain that beings feel are caused by exertion here and now, then the Tathāgata is to be praised; if not, [228] then the Tathāgata is still to be praised.

“So the Tathāgata speaks, bhikkhus. And because the Tathāgata speaks thus, there are these ten legitimate grounds for praising him.”

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

088 the Cloack

Sutta Exposition by Ven Ajahn Brahmali

Bāhitika Sutta

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

§2. Then, when it was morning, the venerable Ānanda 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 went to the Eastern Park, to the Palace of Migāra’s Mother, for the day’s abiding.

§ 3. Now on that occasion King Pasenadi of Kosala had mounted the elephant Ekapuṇḍarīka and was riding out from Sāvatthī at midday. He saw the venerable Ānanda coming in the distance and asked the minister Sirivaḍḍha:
“That is the venerable Ānanda, is it not?”—
“Yes, sire, that is the venerable Ānanda.”

§4. Then King Pasenadi of Kosala told a man:
“Come, good man, go to the venerable Ānanda and pay homage in my name with your head at his feet, saying: ‘Venerable sir, King Pasenadi of Kosala pays homage with his head at the venerable Ānanda’s feet.’ Then say this: ‘Venerable sir, if the venerable Ānanda has no urgent business, perhaps the venerable Ānanda would wait [113] a moment, out of compassion.’”

§ 5. “Yes, sire,” the man replied, and he went to the venerable Ānanda, and after paying homage to him, he stood at one side and said to the venerable Ānanda:
“Venerable sir, King Pasenadi of Kosala pays homage with his head at the venerable Ānanda’s feet and he says this: ‘Venerable sir, if the venerable Ānanda has no urgent business, perhaps the venerable Ānanda would wait a moment, out of compassion.’”

§ 6. The venerable Ānanda consented in silence. Then King Pasenadi went by elephant as far as the elephant could go, and then he dismounted and went to the venerable Ānanda on foot. After paying homage to him, he stood at one side and said to the venerable Ānanda: “If, venerable sir, the venerable Ānanda has no urgent business, it would be good if he would go to the bank of the river Aciravatī, out of compassion.”

§ 7. The venerable Ānanda consented in silence. He went to the bank of the river Aciravatī and sat down at the root of a tree on a seat made ready. Then King Pasenadi went by elephant as far as the elephant could go, and then he dismounted and went to the venerable Ānanda on foot. After paying homage to him, he stood at one side and said to the venerable Ānanda:

“Here, venerable sir, is an elephant rug. Let the venerable Ānanda be seated on it.”
“There is no need, great king. Sit down. I am sitting on my own mat.”

§ 8. King Pasenadi of Kosala sat down on a seat made ready and said:
“Venerable Ānanda, would the Blessed One behave with the body in such a way that he could be censured by recluses and brahmins?”831

[831: MA explains that the king asked this question with reference to the case involving the female wanderer Sundarı̄, which was pending investigation at the time. Wishing to discredit the Buddha, some wandering ascetics persuaded Sundarı̄ to visit Jeta’s Grove at night and then let herself be seen returning at dawn, so people would become suspicious. After some time they had her murdered and buried near Jeta’s Grove, and when her body was discovered there, they pointed an accusing finger at the Buddha. After a week the false report was exposed when the king’s spies found out the real story behind the murder. See Ud 4:8/42–45.
I follow here BBS and SBJ, which add the qualification “wise” to the phrase “recluses and brahmins” (samaṇehi brāhmaṇehi viññūhi). Ānanda’s answer thus implies that it is their censure and not that of ordinary ascetics that should be avoided. That this reading is correct is supported by the king’s statement just below that Ānanda has done with his answer what he himself could not do with the question, namely, distinguish between the wise and the foolish.]


“Great king, the Blessed One would not behave with the body in such a way that he could be censured by wise recluses and brahmins.” [114]
“Would the Blessed One, venerable Ānanda, behave with speech…behave with the mind in such a way that he could be censured by recluses and brahmins?”
“Great king, the Blessed One would not behave with speech…behave with the mind in such a way that he could be censured by wise recluses and brahmins.”

§ 9. “It is wonderful, venerable sir, it is marvellous! For what we were unable to accomplish with a question has been accomplished by the venerable Ānanda with the answer to the question.

We do not recognise anything of value in the praise and blame of others spoken by foolish ignorant persons, who speak without having investigated and evaluated; but we recognise as valuable the praise and blame of others spoken by wise, intelligent, and sagacious persons who speak after having investigated and evaluated.

§ 10. “Now, venerable Ānanda, what kind of bodily behaviour is censured by wise recluses and brahmins?”
“Any bodily behaviour that is unwholesome, great king.”
“Now, venerable Ānanda, what kind of bodily behaviour is unwholesome?”
“Any bodily behaviour that is blameworthy, great king.”
“Now, venerable Ānanda, what kind of bodily behaviour is blameworthy?”
“Any bodily behaviour that brings affliction, great king.”
“Now, venerable Ānanda, what kind of bodily behaviour brings affliction?”
“Any bodily behaviour that has painful results, great king.”
“Now, venerable Ānanda, what kind of bodily behaviour has painful results?”
“Any bodily behaviour, great king, that leads to one’s own affliction, or to the affliction of others, or to the affliction of both, and on account of which unwholesome states increase and wholesome states diminish. Such bodily behaviour is censured by wise recluses and brahmins, great king.”832

[832:- Briefly, this passage offers five criteria of evil actions: unwholesomeness underscores the psychological quality of the action, its unhealthy effect upon the mind; its being blameworthy underscores its morally detrimental nature; its capacity to produce painful results calls attention to its undesirable kammic potential; and the last statement calls attention to both its evil motivation and the harmful long-range consequences such action entails for both oneself and others. The opposite explanation applies to good action, discussed in §14.]

§ 11. “Now, venerable Ānanda, what kind of verbal behaviour is censured by wise recluses and brahmins?”
“Any verbal behaviour that is unwholesome , great king.”
“Now, venerable Ānanda, what kind of verbal behaviour is unwholesome?”
“Any verbal behaviour that is blameworthy, great king.”
“Now, venerable Ānanda, what kind of verbal behaviour is blameworthy?”
“Any verbal behaviour that brings affliction, great king.”
“Now, venerable Ānanda, what kind of verbal behaviour brings affliction?”
“Any verbal behaviour that has painful results, great king.”
“Now, venerable Ānanda, what kind of verbal behaviour has painful results?”
“Any verbal behaviour, great king, that leads to one’s own affliction, or to the affliction of others, or to the affliction of both, and on account of which unwholesome states increase and wholesome states diminish. Such verbal behaviour is censured by wise recluses and brahmins, great king.”

§12. “Now, venerable Ānanda, what kind of mental behaviour is censured by wise recluses and brahmins?”
“Any mental behaviour that is unwholesome, great king.”
“Now, venerable Ānanda, what kind of mental behaviour is unwholesome?”
“Any mental behaviour that is blameworthy, great king.”
“Now, venerable Ānanda, what kind of mental behaviour is blameworthy?”
“Any mental behaviour that brings affliction, great king.”
“Now, venerable Ānanda, what kind of mental behaviour brings affliction?”
“Any mental behaviour that has painful results, great king.”
“Now, venerable Ānanda, what kind of mental behaviour has painful results?”
“Any mental behaviour, great king, that leads to one’s own affliction, or to the affliction of others, or to the affliction of both, and on account of which unwholesome states increase and wholesome states diminish. Such mental behaviour is censured by wise recluses and brahmins, great king.”

§13. “Now, venerable Ānanda, does the Blessed One praise only the abandoning of all unwholesome states?”
“The Tathāgata, great king, has abandoned all unwholesome states and he possesses wholesome states.”833

[833:- MA: Ven. Ānanda’s answer goes beyond the question, for he shows not only that the Buddha praises the abandoning of all unwholesome states, but that he acts in accordance with his word by having abandoned all unwholesome states as well.

§ 14. “Now, venerable Ānanda, what kind of bodily behaviour is uncensured by wise recluses and brahmins?”
“Any bodily behaviour that is wholesome, great king.”
“Now, venerable Ānanda, what kind of bodily behaviour is wholesome?”
“Any bodily behaviour that is blameless, great king.”
“Now, venerable Ānanda, what kind of bodily behaviour is blameless?”
“Any bodily behaviour that does not bring affliction, great king.”
“Now, venerable Ānanda, what kind of bodily behaviour does not bring affliction?”
“Any bodily behaviour that has pleasant results, great king.”
“Now, venerable Ānanda, what kind of bodily behaviour has pleasant results?”
“Any bodily behaviour, great king, that does not lead to one’s own affliction, or to the affliction of others, or to the affliction of both, and on account of which unwholesome states diminish and wholesome states increase. Such bodily behaviour, great king, is uncensured by wise recluses and brahmins.”

§ 15. “Now, venerable Ānanda, what kind of verbal behaviour is uncensured by wise recluses and brahmins?”
“Any verbal behaviour that is wholesome , great king.”
“Now, venerable Ānanda, what kind of verbal behaviour is wholesome?”
“Any verbal behaviour that is blameless, great king.”
“Now, venerable Ānanda, what kind of verbal behaviour is blameless?”
“Any verbal behaviour that does not bring affliction, great king.”
“Now, venerable Ānanda, what kind of verbal behaviour does not bring affliction?”
“Any verbal behaviour that has pleasant results, great king.”
“Now, venerable Ānanda, what kind of verbal behaviour has pleasant results?”
“Any verbal behaviour, great king, that does not lead to one’s own affliction, or to the affliction of others, or to the affliction of both, and on account of which unwholesome states diminish and wholesome states increase. Such verbal behaviour, great king, is uncensured by wise recluses and brahmins.”

§ 16. “Now, venerable Ānanda, what kind of mental behaviour is uncensured by wise recluses and brahmins?”
“Any mental behaviour that is wholesome , great king.”
“Now, venerable Ānanda, what kind of mental behaviour is wholesome?”
“Any mental behaviour that is blameless, great king.”
“Now, venerable Ānanda, what kind of mental behaviour is blameless?”
“Any mental behaviour that does not bring affliction, great king.”
“Now, venerable Ānanda, what kind of mental behaviour does not bring affliction?”
“Any mental behaviour that has pleasant results, great king.”
“Now, venerable Ānanda, what kind of mental behaviour has pleasant results?”
“Any mental behaviour, great king, that does not lead to one’s own affliction, or to the affliction of others, or to the affliction of both, and on account of which unwholesome states diminish and wholesome states increase. Such mental behaviour, great king, is uncensured by wise recluses and brahmins.” …

§ 17. “Now, venerable Ānanda, does the Blessed One praise only the undertaking of all wholesome states?”
“The Tathāgata, great king, has abandoned all unwholesome states and possesses wholesome states.”

§ 18. “It is wonderful, venerable sir, it is marvellous how well that has been expressed by the venerable Ānanda!

And we are satisfied and pleased by what has been so well expressed by him.

Venerable sir, we are so satisfied and pleased with what has been so well expressed by the venerable Ānanda that if the elephant-treasure were allowed to him, we would give it to him; if the horse treasure were allowed to him, we would give it to him; if the boon of a village were allowed to him, we would give it to him. But we know, venerable sir, that these are not allowable for the venerable Ānanda. But there is this cloak of mine,834 venerable sir, which was sent to me packed in a royal umbrella case by King Ajātasattu of Magadha, sixteen hands long and eight hands wide. Let the venerable Ānanda accept it out of compassion.”
“It is not necessary, great king. My triple robe is complete.” [117]

[834:- MA explains the word bāhitikā, after which the sutta is named, as a cloak produced in a foreign country.]

§ 19. “Venerable sir,
this river Aciravatī has been seen both by the venerable Ānanda and by ourselves when a great cloud has rained heavily on the mountains; then this river Aciravatī overflows both its banks. So too, venerable sir, the venerable Ānanda can make a triple robe for himself out of this cloak, and he can share out his old triple robe among his companions in the holy life. In this way, our offering will overflow. Venerable sir, let the venerable Ānanda accept the cloak.”

§ 20. The venerable Ānanda accepted the cloak. Then King Pasenadi of Kosala said: “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, having delighted and rejoiced in the venerable Ānanda’s words, rose from his seat, and after paying homage to the venerable Ānanda, keeping him on his right, he departed.

§ 21. Then soon after he had left, the venerable Ānanda went to the Blessed One, and after paying homage to him, he sat down at one side, related to him his entire conversation with King Pasenadi of Kosala, and presented the cloak to the Blessed One.

§ 22. Then the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus: “It is a gain, bhikkhus, for King Pasenadi of Kosala, it is a great gain for King Pasenadi of Kosala that he has had the opportunity of seeing and paying respect to Ānanda.”

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

036 To Saccaka

On Ascetic Practice

Ven Bhikku Bodhi.s Exposition

§ 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, when it was morning, the Blessed One had finished dressing and had taken his bowl and outer robe, desiring to go into Vesālī for alms.

§ 3. Then, as Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son was walking and wandering for exercise, he came to the Hall with the Peaked Roof in the Great Wood.380 The venerable Ānanda saw him coming in the distance and said to the Blessed One:
“Venerable sir, here comes Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son, a debater and a clever speaker regarded by many as a saint. He wants to discredit the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha. It would be good if the Blessed One would sit down for a while out of compassion.”381

[380:- MA: Saccaka approached with the intention of refuting the Buddha’s doctrine, which he failed to do in his earlier encounter with the Buddha (in MN 35 Cula Saccaka Sutta ). But this time he came alone, thinking that if he were to suffer defeat no one would know about it. He intended to refute the Buddha with his question about sleeping during the day, which he does not ask until close to the end of the sutta (§45).]

[381:- MA: Ānanda says this out of compassion for Saccaka, thinking that if he gets to see the Buddha and to hear the Dhamma, it will lead to his welfare and happiness for a long time.]

The Blessed One sat down on the seat made ready. Then Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son went up to the Blessed One and exchanged greetings with him. When this courteous and amiable talk was finished, he sat down at one side and said to the Blessed One:

§ 4. “Master Gotama, there are some recluses and brahmins who abide pursuing development of body, but not development of mind.382

They are touched by bodily painful feeling. In the past, when one was touched by bodily painful feeling, one’s thighs would become rigid, one’s heart would burst, hot blood would gush from one’s mouth, and one would go mad, go out of one’s mind. So then the mind was subservient to the body, the body wielded mastery over it.

[382:- It will become clear from §5 that Saccaka identifies “development of body” (kāyabhāvanā) with the practice of self-mortification. Because he does not see the Buddhist bhikkhus engaged in self-mortification, he maintains that they do not pursue development of the body. But the Buddha (according to MA) understands “development of body” as insight meditation, “development of mind” (cittabhāvanā ) as serenity meditation.]

Why is that? [238]
Because the mind was not developed. But there are some recluses and brahmins who abide pursuing development of mind, but not development of body.

They are touched by mental painful feeling. In the past, when one was touched by mental painful feeling, one’s thighs would become rigid, one’s heart would burst, hot blood would gush from one’s mouth, and one would go mad, go out of one’s mind. So then the body was subservient to the mind, the mind wielded mastery over it.

Why is that?
Because the body was not developed. Master Gotama, it has occurred to me: ‘Surely Master Gotama’s disciples abide pursuing development of mind, but not development of body.’”

§ 5 . “But, Aggivessana, what have you learned about development of body?”

“Well, there are, for example, Nanda Vaccha, Kisa Sankicca, Makkhali Gosāla.383

[383:- These are the three mentors of the Ājı̄vakas; the last was a contemporary of the Buddha, the former two are near legendary figures whose identities remain obscure. The Bodhisatta had adopted their practices during his period of asceticism—see MN 12.45—but subsequently rejected them as unconducive to enlightenment.]

They go naked, rejecting conventions, licking their hands, not coming when asked, not stopping when asked; they do not accept food brought or food specially made or an invitation to a meal; they receive nothing from a pot, from a bowl, across a threshold, across a stick, across a pestle, from two eating together, from a pregnant woman, from a woman giving suck, from a woman in the midst of men, from where food is advertised to be distributed, from where a dog is waiting, from where flies are buzzing; they accept no fish or meat, they drink no liquor, wine, or fermented brew. They keep to one house, to one morsel; they keep to two houses, to two morsels…they keep to seven houses, to seven morsels. They live on one saucerful a day, on two saucerfuls a day…on seven saucerfuls a day. They take food once a day, once every two days…once every seven days; thus even up to once every fortnight, they dwell pursuing the practice of taking food at stated intervals.”

§ 6. “But do they subsist on so little, Aggivessana?”

“No, Master Gotama, sometimes they consume excellent hard food, eat excellent soft food, taste excellent delicacies, drink excellent drinks. Thereby they again regain their strength, fortify themselves, and become fat.”
“What they earlier abandoned, Aggivessana, they later gather together again.
That is how there is increase and decrease of this body.
But what have you learned about development of mind?” [239]
When Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son was asked by the Blessed One about development of mind, he was unable to answer.

§ 7. Then the Blessed One told him:
“What you have just spoken of as development of body, Aggivessana, is not development of body according to the Dhamma in the Noble One’s Discipline. Since you do not know what development of body is, how could you know what development of mind is?

“Nevertheless, Aggivessana, as to how one is undeveloped in body and undeveloped in mind, and developed in body and developed in mind, listen and attend closely to what I shall say.”—“Yes, sir,” Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son replied.

The Blessed One said this:

§ 8. “How, Aggivessana, is one undeveloped in body and undeveloped in mind?

Here, Aggivessana, pleasant feeling arises in an untaught ordinary person.
Touched by that pleasant feeling, he lusts after pleasure and continues to lust after pleasure.
That pleasant feeling of his ceases.
With the cessation of the pleasant feeling, painful feeling arises.
Touched by that painful feeling, he sorrows, grieves, and laments, he weeps beating his breast and becomes distraught.
When that pleasant feeling has arisen in him, it invades his mind and remains because body is not developed.
And when that painful feeling has arisen in him, it invades his mind and remains because mind is not developed.
Anyone in whom, in this double manner, arisen pleasant feeling invades his mind and remains because body is not developed, and arisen painful feeling invades his mind and remains because mind is not developed, is thus undeveloped in body because mind is not developed, is thus undeveloped in body and undeveloped in mind.

§ 9 “And how, Aggivessana, is one developed in body and developed in mind?

Here, Aggivessana,
pleasant feeling arises in a well-taught noble disciple.
Touched by that pleasant feeling, he does not lust after pleasure or continue to lust after pleasure.
That pleasant feeling of his ceases.
With the cessation of the pleasant feeling, painful feeling arises.
Touched by that painful feeling, he does not sorrow, grieve, and lament, he does not weep beating his breast and become distraught.
When that pleasant feeling has arisen in him, it does not invade his mind and remain because body is developed.
And when that painful feeling has arisen in him, it does not invade his mind and remain because mind is developed.
Anyone in whom, in this double manner, arisen pleasant feeling [240] does not invade his mind and remain because body is developed, and arisen painful feeling does not invade his mind and remain because mind is developed, is thus developed in body and developed in mind.”304

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

§ 10. “I have confidence in Master Gotama thus: ‘Master Gotama is developed in body and developed in mind.’”
“Surely, Aggivessana, your words are offensive and discourteous, but still I will answer you.

Since I shaved off my hair and beard, put on the yellow robe, and went forth from the home life into homelessness, it has not been possible for arisen pleasant feeling to invade my mind and remain or for arisen painful feeling to invade my mind and remain.”

§ 11 “Has there never arisen in Master Gotama a feeling so pleasant that it could invade his mind and remain? Has there never arisen in Master Gotama a feeling so painful that it could invade his mind and remain?”

§12 “Why not, Aggivessana?385

[385:- Now the Buddha will answer Saccaka’s questions by showing first the extremely painful feelings he experienced during his course of ascetic practices,]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Uddaka Ramaputta replied:
‘The venerable one may stay here. This Dhamma is such that a wise man can soon enter upon and abide in it, himself realising through direct knowledge his own teacher’s doctrine.’ I soon quickly learned that Dhamma. As far as mere lip-reciting and rehearsal of his teaching went, I could speak with knowledge and assurance, and I claimed, ‘I know and see’ – and there were others who did likewise.

“I considered: ‘It was not through mere faith alone that Rama declared-. “By realising for myself with direct knowledge, I enter upon and abide in this Dhamma.” Certainly Rama abided knowing and seeing this Dhamma.’

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

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

“I soon quickly entered upon and abided in that Dhamma by realising for myself with direct knowledge. Then I went to Uddaka Ramaputta and asked him:
‘Friend, was it in this way that Rama declared that he entered upon and abided in this Dhamma by realising for himself with direct knowledge?’ –
‘That is the way friend.’ –
‘It is in this way, friend, that I also enter upon and abide in this Dhamma by realising for myself with direct knowledge.’ –

‘It is a gain for us, friend, it is a great gain for us that we have such a venerable one for our companion jn the holy life. So the Dhamma that Rama declared he entered upon and abided in by realising for himself with direct knowledge is the Dhamma that you enter upon and abide in by realising for yourself with direct knowledge.

And the Dhamma that you enter upon and abide in by realising for yourself with direct knowledge is the Dhamma that Rama declared he entered upon and abided in by realising for himself with direct knowledge. So you know the Dhamma that Rama knew and Rama knew the Dhamma that you know. As Rama was, so are you; as you are, so was Rama. Come, friend, now lead this community.’

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

§  16 . “Still in search, bhikkhus, of what is wholesome, seeking Q the supreme state of sublime peace, I wandered by stages ; through the Magadhan country until eventually I arrived at in Senanigama near Uruvela. [167]

There I saw an agreeable piece of ground, a delightful grove with a clear-flowing river with  pleasant, smooth banks and nearby a village for alms resort. I  considered: ‘This is an agreeable piece of ground, this is a delightful grove with a clear flowing river with pleasant smooth banks and nearby a village for alms resort. This will serve for the striving of a clansman intent on striving. And I sat down there thinking: ‘This will serve for striving. ‘ 384

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

§ 17. “Now these three similes occurred to me spontaneously, never heard before. Suppose there were a wet sappy piece of wood lying in water, and a man came with an upper fire-stick, thinking: ‘I shall light a fire, I shall produce heat.’

What do you think, Aggivessana? Could the man light a fire and produce heat by taking the upper fire-stick and rubbing it against the wet sappy piece of wood lying in the water?”
“No, Master Gotama. Why not? Because it is a wet sappy piece of wood, [241] and it is lying in water. Eventually the man would reap only weariness and disappointment.”

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

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

What do you think, Aggivessana? Could the man light a fire and produce heat by taking the upper fire-stick and rubbing it against the wet sappy piece of wood lying on dry land far from water?”
“No, Master Gotama.

Why not?
Because it is a wet sappy piece of wood, even though it is lying on dry land far from water. Eventually the man would reap only weariness and disappointment.”

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

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

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

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

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

Why so?
Because it is a dry sapless piece of wood, and it is lying on dry land far from water.”

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

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

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

“I thought: ‘Suppose, with my teeth clenched and my tongue pressed against the roof of my mouth, I beat down, constrain, and crush mind with mind.’ So, with my teeth clenched and my tongue pressed against the roof of my mouth, I beat down, constrained, and crushed mind with mind. While I did so, sweat ran from my armpits. Just as a strong man might seize a weaker man by the head or shoulders and beat him down, constrain him, and crush him, so too, with my teeth clenched and my tongue pressed against the roof of my mouth, I beat down, constrained, and crushed mind with mind, and sweat ran from my armpits. But although tireless energy was aroused in me and unremitting mindfulness was established, my body was overwrought [243] and uncalm because I was exhausted by the painful striving. But such painful feeling that arose in me did not invade my mind and remain.388

[388:- This sentence, repeated at the end of each of the following sections as well, answers the second of the two questions posed by Saccaka in §11.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I thought: ‘Suppose I practise entirely cutting off food.’
Then deities came to me and said: ‘Good sir, do not practise entirely cutting off food. If you do so, we shall infuse heavenly food into the pores of your skin and you will live on that.’

I considered: ‘If I claim to be completely fasting while these deities infuse heavenly food into the pores of my skin and I live on that, then I shall be lying.’ So I dismissed those deities, saying: ‘There is no need.’

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

So I took very little food, a handful each time, whether of bean soup or lentil soup or vetch soup or pea soup.


While I did so, my body reached a state of extreme emaciation. Because of eating so little my limbs became like the jointed segments of vine stems or bamboo stems. Because of eating so little my backside became like a camel’s hoof. Because of eating so little the projections on my spine stood forth like corded beads. Because of eating so little my ribs jutted out as gaunt as the crazy rafters of an old roofless barn. Because of eating so little the gleam of my eyes sank far down in their sockets, looking like the gleam of water that has sunk far down in a deep well. Because of eating so little my scalp shrivelled and withered as [246] a green bitter gourd shrivels and withers in the wind and sun. Because of eating so little my belly skin adhered to my backbone; thus if I touched my belly skin I encountered my backbone and if I touched my backbone I encountered my belly skin. Because of eating so little, if I defecated or urinated, I fell over on my face there. Because of eating so little, if I tried to ease my body by rubbing my limbs with my hands, the hair, rotted at its roots, fell from my body as I rubbed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


§35-§37. “With the stilling of applied and sustained thought, I entered upon and abided in the second jhāna…With the fading away as well of rapture…I entered upon and abided in the third jhāna…With the abandoning of pleasure and pain…
I entered upon and abided in the fourth jhāna…But such pleasant feeling that arose in me did not invade my mind and remain.

§ 38. “When my concentrated mind was thus purified, bright, unblemished, rid of imperfection, malleable, wieldy, steady, and attained to imperturbability, [248]
I directed it to knowledge of the recollection of past lives. I recollected my manifold past lives, that is, one birth, two , three births, four births, five births, ten births, twenty births, thirty births, forty births, fifty births, a hundred births, a thousand births, a hundred thousand births, many aeons of world contraction, many aeons of world-expansion, many aeons of world-contraction and expansion: ‘There I was so named, of such a clan, with such an appearance, such was my nutriment, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such my lifeterm; and passing away from there, I reappeared elsewhere; and there too I was so named, of such a clan, with such an appearance, such was my nutriment, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such my life-term; and passing away from there, I reappeared here.’ Thus with their aspects and particulars I recollected my manifold past lives.

…Thus with their aspects and particulars I recollected my manifold past lives.

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

“When my concentrated mind was thus purified, bright, unblemished, rid of imperfection, malleable, wieldy, steady, and attained to imperturbability, I directed it to knowledge of the passing away and reappearance of beings directed it to knowledge of the passing away and reappearance of beings.

With the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, I saw beings passing away and reappearing, inferior and superior, fair and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate. I understood how beings pass on according to their actions thus:
‘These worthy beings who were ill conducted in body, speech, and mind, revilers of noble ones, wrong in their views, giving effect to wrong view in their actions, on the dissolution of the body, after death, have reappeared in a state of deprivation, in a bad destination, in perdition, even in hell; but these worthy beings who were well conducted in body, [23] speech, and mind, not revilers of noble ones, right in their views, giving effect to right view in their actions, on the
dissolution of the body, after death, have reappeared in a good destination, even in the heavenly world.’

Thus with the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, I saw beings passing away and reappearing, inferior and superior, fair and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate, and I understood how beings pass on according to their actions.

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

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

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

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

“Aggivessana, I recall teaching the Dhamma to an assembly of many hundreds, and even then each person thinks of me: ‘The recluse Gotama is teaching the Dhamma especially for me.’ But it should not be so regarded; the Tathāgata teaches the Dhamma to others only to give them knowledge. When the talk is finished, Aggivessana, then I steady my mind internally, quieten it, bring it to singleness, and concentrate it on that same sign of concentration as before, in which I constantly abide.”392

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


“This is a matter about which Master Gotama can be trusted, as an accomplished and fully enlightened one should be. But does Master Gotama recall sleeping during the day?”393

[393:- This was the question that Saccaka originally intended to ask the Buddha. MA explains that though arahants have eliminated all sloth and torpor, they still need to sleep in order to dispel the physical tiredness intrinsic to the body]

I recall, Aggivessana, in the last month of the hot season, on returning from my almsround, after my meal I lay out my outer robe folded in four, and lying down on my right side, I fall asleep mindful and fully aware.”
“Some recluses and brahmins call that abiding in delusion, Master Gotama.” [250]

“It is not in such a way that one is deluded or undeluded, Aggivessana. As to how one is deluded or undeluded, listen and attend closely to what I shall say.”—“Yes, sir,” Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son replied.
The Blessed One said this:

§ 47. “Him I call deluded, Aggivessana, who has not abandoned the taints that defile, bring renewal of being, give trouble, ripen in suffering, and lead to future birth, ageing, and death; for it is with the non-abandoning of the taints that one is deluded.
Him I call undeluded who has abandoned the taints that defile, bring renewal of being, give trouble, ripen in suffering, and lead to future birth, ageing, and death; for it is with the abandoning of the taints that one is undeluded.

The Tathāgata, Aggivessana, has abandoned the taints that defile, bring renewal of being, give trouble, ripen in suffering, and lead to future birth, ageing, and death; he has cut them off at the root, made them like a palm stump, done away with them so that they are no longer subject to future arising. Just as a palm tree whose crown is cut off is incapable of further growth, so too, the Tathāgata has abandoned the taints that defile…done away with them so that they are no longer subject to future arising.”

When this was said, Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son said:
“It is wonderful, Master Gotama, it is marvellous how when Master Gotama is spoken to offensively again and again, assailed by discourteous courses of speech, the colour of his skin brightens and the colour of his face clears, as is to be expected of one who is accomplished and fully enlightened.

I recall, Master Gotama, engaging Pūraṇa Kassapa in debate, and then he prevaricated, led the talk aside, and showed anger, hate, and bitterness. But when Master Gotama is spoken to offensively again and again, assaulted by discourteous courses of speech, the colour of his skin brightens and the colour of his face clears, as is to be expected of one who is accomplished and fully enlightened.

I recall, Master Gotama, engaging Makkhali Gosāla…Ajita Kesakambalin…Pakudha Kaccāyana… Sañjaya Belaṭṭhiputta… the Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta in debate, [251] and then he prevaricated, led the talk aside, and showed anger, hate, and bitterness.

But when Master Gotama is spoken to offensively again and again, assailed by discourteous courses of speech, the colour of his skin brightens and the colour of his face clears, as is to be expected of one who is accomplished and fully enlightened. And now, Master Gotama, we depart. We are busy and have much to do.”

“Now is the time, Aggivessana, to do as you think fit.”
Then Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha’s son, having delighted and rejoiced in the Blessed One’s words, got up from his seat and departed.394

[394:- MA explains that even though Saccaka did not reach any attainment or even become established in the Three Refuges, the Buddha taught him two long suttas in order to deposit in him a mental impression (vāsānā) that would come to maturity in the future. For he foresaw that at a later time, after the Dispensation became established in Sri Lanka, Saccaka would be reborn there and would attain arahantship as the great arahant, Kāla Buddharakkhita Thera. ]

085 Bodhi rājakumāra Sutta

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

CLICK ABOVE FOR AUDIO EXPOSITIONS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exposition by Venerable Ajahn Brahmali – Track 1
Track 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rahulopawada

THE BUDDHA‘S ADVICE TO RĀHULA AND RĀHULA‘S LIFE

By Sayadaw Dr. Nandamālābhivaṃsa
Aggamahāganthavācakapaṇḍita Aggamahāpaṇḍita


§ 1. As recorded in the Tipiṭaka, among the 84000 dhammas, there are about 40 discourses or suttas about Venerable Rāhula.

(i) When Rāhula was seven years old, the Buddha gave him an advice. It is recorded as the Discourse of Advice to Rāhula in Mango Park (Ambalaṭṭhika Rāhulovāda Sutta.

(ii). Again when Rāhula was eighteen, at a time when youngsters start to have fun and enjoy themselves the Buddha gave suitable advice to him. This is recorded as the Greater Discourse of Advice to Rāhula (Mahārāhulovāda Sutta)
.
At the age of twenty, Rāhula had become a monk. Before the rainy retreat arrived, he practiced meditation and became an arahant. Today, I will explain what meditation was practiced at that time. This advice of the Buddha to Rāhula is named as the Shorter Discourse of Advice to Rāhula (Cūļarāhulovāda Sutta

(iii) and is recorded in the chapter of six sense bases in the third section of Middle Length Discourses.

There are 22 discourses collected as Rāhula-saṃyutta; and 2 discourses related to Rāhula in Khandha-saṃyutta in Connected Discourses of the Buddha (Saṃyutta Nikāya); and there are 2 discourses related to him in the Numerical Discourses of the Buddha (Aṅguttara Nikāya). I will also refer to Mahārāhulovāda Sutta and Cūļarāhulovāda Sutta. For the today Dhamma talk, I will extract the essence out of these 28 discourses and teach all of you accordingly.

As for Rāhulovāda Sutta, we can differentiate the Mahārāhulovāda Sutta and the Cūļarāhulovāda Sutta. The former is longer, that‘s why it is called Mahā (―Greater‖). The latter one is a little shorter, so it is called Cūļarāhulovāda Sutta. In the case of the names Mahā Panthaka and Cūļa Panthaka, these designate real persons; the former is the elder brother while the latter is the younger brother. But there is no such person called ‗Cūļa Rāhula‘ or ‗Mahā Rāhula‘.

When he was a novice (sāmaņera), Rāhula‘s preceptor was the Venerable Sāriputta. His Kammavācā recitation teacher was the Venerable Moggallāna. Kammavācā is the compilation of the rules and the ritual regarding admission into the community of monks (saṅgha).

Nowadays in Myanmar, novice ordination follows the procedure of Venerable Rāhula, who was the first novice in the Buddha‘s dispensation. How Rāhula received monk ordination is the same as today‘s monk ordination. When he reached 20 years old and became a monk (bhikkhu), he frequently practiced Insight Meditation (Vipassanā).

Sometimes, the Buddha would give him suitable advice. Even though he practiced hard in meditation and received suitable advice, he could not gain enlightenment. Similarly, those with immature pāramī could not become enlightened even if they tried hard in their meditation practice. Only the Buddha knew the right time, when their pāramī and faculties (indriya) would be mature for enlightenment.

The faculties are
faith (saddhā),
concentration (samādhi),
mindfulness(sati),
effort (viriya) and
wisdom (paññā).


You have all seen the lotuses in the lotus lake. Even though the lotus buds appear today, they will not bloom today. They bloom when the time is right. When they have sufficient sunlight and are mature, they will bloom. So also, it is important for the pāramī to be mature.

(i) When someone cannot attain enlightenment in this life, one of the causes may be immature pāramī.
(ii) Another reason is lack of strong faith.
(iii) The next reason is a lack of strong effort to strive hard in meditation regardless of one‘s own life and body. One must make the effort and be able to let go of everything.

One can check oneself by comparing the time one spend practicing meditation and the time one spend not practicing meditation.
Which is more?
Maybe one don‘t really wish for enlightenment, and one pāramī is not yet mature.
Look at a would-be traveler about to go on a long journey. He has not yet made a single step. So his destination is definitely very far away. If he makes a step, he will have 99 steps remaining on a journey of 100 steps. If he makes 50 steps, there would be a remaining 50 steps to go. If he finishes 75 steps, only 25 steps will be remaining.

In the same way, when one practices meditation one might not reach arahatship straightaway. However, one should gradually move towards one‘s final destination, which is liberation. One just has to take one step after another.

At the time [of the Cūļarāhulovāda Sutta], the Venerable Rāhula had become a monk and the rainy retreat had not yet begun. One day, he came to see the Buddha and requested him to teach a method of meditation. “May the Buddha teach a brief meditation method. Then I will go to a secluded place, and with mind inclined only towards Nibbāna I will try my “utmost to practice meditation.”

When we talk about meditation, we are not looking elsewhere for the dhammas, but looking for the ultimate truth within us. We should contemplate on our own mind and body. The Buddha always encourages his disciples to seek for the truth within, not outside. Even though having given many discourses to various people, he placed primary importance on the practice of Vipassanā.

Every dawn and evening, the Buddha would survey the whole universe, looking for sentient beings who would be able to attain higher dhammas or enlightenment. At dawn, by using his omniscience knowledge (sabbaññutañāņa), the Buddha surveyed the world. Starting from his fragrant chamber (gandhakuṭi), he pervaded as far as the farthest end of the universe with his net-like omniscient knowledge (―sabbaññutañāņajālaṃ pharitvā‖). The beings who could be helped to be enlightened appeared in the wisdom mind of the Buddha just as one sees images on television.

At that time, even though someone might be staying nearby, if his pāramī were immature and not yet ready for enlightenment, his image would not appear in the mind of the Buddha. In the evening also, the Buddha surveyed the universe in the different directions, starting from farthest end of the universe and coming to the nearest place (the monastery where he stayed).

One day as usual, just as one casts a net over the sea, the Buddha pervaded the universe with his omniscient power. He saw Rāhula, and was aware that in Rāhula‘s mentality, the vimutti-paripācanīyā, the dhamma for liberation and the fruit of arahantship (arahatta-phala) had matured. (“Paripakkato Rāhulassa vimuttaparipācanīya dhammā‖).

Then, he taught a suitable meditation subject for him to realise the cessation of all the taints (āsavakkhaya) and to attain the fruit of arahantship (arahatta-phala). In the same way, a meditation teacher nowadays gives suitable meditation instructions to the meditators.

FIFTEEN VIMUTTI PARIPĀCANĪYĀ


There are 15 vimuttiparipācanīyā dhammas, factors that can lead one to enlightenment. These are mentioned in Cūļa-rāhulovāda sutta and further explained in its commentary. We need to fully develop whichever factors we have in us, bringing them to perfection and maturity. In the case of nonexistent factors, we have to cultivate these and bring them to growth. Paripācanīya means to cause things to be matured. Vimuttī means liberation from defilements (kilesa) or taints (āsava).

In the commentary, these 15 dhammas are initially divided into two groups based on different inherent tendencies of beings.

In the first group, the five faculties are mentioned first.
These five faculties are the
(i) faculty of faith (saddha indriya),
(ii) the faculty of effort (viriya indriya),
(iii) .the faculty of mindfulness (sati indriya),
(iv) the faculty of concentration (samādhi indriya), and
(v) the faculty of wisdom (pañña indriya).


(i) SADDHA
Saddhā means faith or resolution and determination on something. On a basic level, the saddhā means belief in kamma and its result, and taking refuge in Triple Gem. The higher level of saddhā means to believe in impermanence (anicca), unsatisfactory or suffering (dukkha) and non-self (anattā) of all psychophysical phenomena.


Whoever has practiced Vipassanā will know this. When he notes any material and mental phenomena, he sees them quickly arise and quickly pass away. He knows this through his personal experience. He can make decision for himself that all phenomena are impermanent (anicca), unsatisfactory (dukkha) and non-self (anattā). This kind of determination or resolution is saddhā, faith or resolution.

(ii) VIRIYA
The second faculty is viriya. It means energy, or making effort. There are two types of effort, one that is applied to the wholesome (kusala) and the other to the unwholesome (akusala). Altogether these are as follows:


֍ One makes effort to develop the wholesome states of mind that exist already. One tries to bring them to perfection in practice until the attainment of path and fruition knowledge (magga-phala ñāņa).

֍ For non-existent wholesome states, one makes an effort to cultivate and bring them to growth.

֍ One makes an effort to eradicate existing unwholesome states of mind.

֍ One makes an effort to prevent non-existent unwholesome states from developing.

(iii) SATHI
The third faculty is that of mindfulness; this means the development of mindfulness which is the same as the practice in the Discourse of the Foundation of Mindfulness
(Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta). There are four foundations of mindfulness.

One makes effort to have continuous awareness and observation on his material phenomena, all feelings, all states of mind and mental objects (dhammas).

(iv) SAMADHI
The fourth is concentration (samādhi).
With the faculty of samādhi, the mind is free from hindrances (nīvaraṇa) which can disturb the concentration (such as sensual enjoyment, kāmaguņa). This high level of concentration is to have absorption concentration (appanā samādhi) such as first jhāna, second jhāna etc. It is very peaceful and blissful. If one cannot obtain it, what should one do? As long as one can keep the mind on the meditation object like breathing etc. for five minutes, ten minutes or thirty minutes, one hour and soon on, one can obtain neighborhood or access concentration (upacāra samādhi) which is in the vicinity of jhāna.

By Vipassanā practice, one can also have momentary concentration (khaņika samādhi) which observes and concentrates on the arising and passing of phenomena from moment to moment.


Whether it is absorption concentration, neighborhood concentration or momentary concentration, as long as one can observe the object, can keep the mind on the object, and the mind is not far away from the object, then one will have concentration (samādhi).

(v) PANNA
The fifth faculty, wisdom (paññā), does not refer to the worldly knowledge we can get from our surroundings. This wisdom actually means understanding the arising and passing away of physical and mental phenomena within oneself.

The indriya actually means ruling faculty or that which has the power to govern its own domain or sphere. The faculty of faith (saddhindriya) means to have ruling power over the domain of resolution or domain of determination, while viriyindriya means having ruling control over effort. Satindriya means to exercise control over those things that are to be noted and remembered. Samādhindriya has the power over the domain of stability and calm. Paññindriya has the power over the things to be known. In short, the faculty (indriya) have governing power over their respective spheres and domains.

To make these five faculties mature, what do we need?
These five faculties should be multiplied by three ways (to avoid, to associate, to develop) to give a total of 15 vimuttiparipācanīyā dhammas.
These fifteen factors will be explained here.

[i] To develop fully the faculty of faith (saddhindriya),
we should do as follows:

  1. Avoid those without faith.
  2. Associate and approach those with faith.
  3. Read, listen and contemplate on those discourses that can inspire confidence and raise faith.

So if we associate with those without faith, our own faith will be reduced and be ruined after some time. Some people might think it does not matter even if one associate with those people. But just as a Burmese proverb says: ―
If you associate with hunters, you will be a hunter;
if you associate with fishermen, you will become a fisherman‖.

Another example is leaves wrapping dead fish; the leaves will have foul smell. But leaves wrapping jasmine flowers etc. will have a fragrant smell. The smell from the fish or the flowers pervades the leaves as well.

Normally, people might not think about the influence of people around them. We should consider this as the condition of strong decisive support (upanissaya paccayo), which is one of the conditions in the 24 paṭṭhāna. When our associates are people without faith, and this is acting as strong decisive support, we will follow their behavior and thoughts. Soon, the good faith within ourselves will be disappeared.

On the other hand, if we associate with those with faith, and approach them frequently, then our faith will increase. We should also contemplate discourses that can inspire confidence in us, so the mind will be serene and pleased. Our faith will also be increased.

[ii]To develop fully the faculty of effort (viriyindriya), we should

  1. Avoid lazy people.
  2. Associate and approach people with effort.
  3. Develop right exertion (sammappadhāna).

[iii] To develop fully the faculty of mindfulness (satindriya), we should

(i) Avoid those people who are without mindfulness.
(ii) Associate and approach people who have mindfulness.
(iii) Develop the four foundations of mindfulness (satipaṭṭhāna).

[iv] To develop fully the faculty of concentration (samādhindriya),
we should

(i) Avoid those people who are without concentration.
(ii) Associate and approach people who have concentration.
(iii) Develop the dhammas that lead to concentration.

To develop fully the faculty of wisdom (paññindriya),
we should

(i) Avoid unwise people.
(ii). Associate and approach wise people.
(iii). Contemplate on dhamma (like aggregates, bases, elements, noble truths, dependent origination etc.) and develop it deeply and respectfully.


Sometimes, when listening to Dhamma, people listen carelessly and without paying attention. If one does not listen respectfully and with serious attention, one will not get to know the profound Dhamma. It is easy to listen to stories or vain talks. There is no need to make extra effort to remember such things. When there are jokes, people laugh; they can remember easily.


When I was young, I heard people say that they went to a Dhamma talk because it had jokes to be laughed at, and because staying at home was very boring. What a sad thing!
Those people who came to listen Dhamma talk because they wanted to laugh at the jokes have a completely wrong attitude. If one loves jokes, one should go to shows of famous comedians or go to a movie. Actually, people should have the right attitude that they must go to listen to Dhamma talks in order to acquire Dhamma knowledge, to gain knowledge and wisdom.

So by multiplying these five faculties with the three ways previously mentioned: to avoid, to associate, and to develop, then we get fifteen vimutti-paripācanīyā dhammas.

The commentary of this Cūļarāhulovāda Sutta also points out another set of 15 vimuttipari-pācanīyā dhammas.
Aparepi pannarasa dhammā vimuttiparipācanīyā
saddhādīni pañcimāni indriyāni, aniccasaññā, anicce
dukkhasaññā, dukkhe anattasaññā, pahānasaññā,
virāgasaññāti, imā pañca nibbedhabhāgiyā saññā,
meghiyattherassa kathitā kalyāṇamittatādayo
pañcadhammāti. ―


The first five refers to five faculties like faith etcetera and are same as mentioned above.
The next five are:

Aniccasaññā (the perception of the impermanence of all phenomena)
Dukkhasaññā (the perception of the suffering aspect of all phenomena)
Anattasaññā (the perception of the non-self nature of all phenomena)
Pahānasaññā (the perception of things to be abandoned)
Virāgasaññā (the perception of freedom from lust)

The remaining five (11 to 15) are the five dhammas the Buddha preached to Elder Meghiya.

Associate with kalyāṇamitta (a good friend).
If you want to have good business, you should associate with a suitable friend with good business. If you want to know dhamma and attain enlightenment, you should befriend and approach those who know and are interested in the Dhamma..
The term ―good friend‖ can also refer to any Dhamma teacher who can share the Dhamma properly, and who can teach you the meditation method.

12. Make effort in meditation
Even if you have good friends, if you don‘t make effort in meditation, you cannot achieve any higher dhamma.

13. Ten types of suitable speech
In brief, speak sweetly with words free from greed, hatred and delusion. It also includes speech concerning Dhamma and meditation, or speech that leads to reduction of defilements.

14 . Mindfulness (sati) means having awareness on the meditation object.

15. Wisdom (paññā) means knowing the arising and passing
away of all phenomena.

The stated fifteen dhammas are the second set of vimuttiparipācanīya.
These fifteen dhammas that could lead to liberation (vimuttiparipācanīya) were matured in Venerable Rāhula

INTERNAL CONTEMPLATION OF MENTAL AND PHYSICAL PHENOMENA

What is the meditation taught by the Buddha to the Venerable Rāhula so that he could gain arahatship and final liberation?

It is the contemplation of phenomena within oneself.
What are these?
When we look at ourselves, we find out the main things are our six sense doors: eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind.
Also the corresponding objects to these sense doors: visible object, sound, smell, taste, touch, mental objects.

Everyone has these mental and physical phenomena (nāma-rūpa).
When there is contact of the eye with visible object, eye-consciousness arises.
When the eye-consciousness arises, the contact (phassa) which connects with the eye-consciousness and the visible object arises.
When contact arises, feeling (vedanā) also arises.
Perception (saññā),
mental formation (saṅkhāra) and
consciousness (viññāņa ) also arise together with feeling.

In doctrine of dependent origination (paṭicca-samuppāda),
these six sense doors are called as six sense bases (saļayātana).
Because of six sense bases, contact arises
(―saļayātana paccayā phasso‖).
The contact comes after the six sense bases.
Then, because of contact, feeling arises
(―phassapaccayā vedanā‖).
Next, because of feeling, craving arises
(―vedanāpaccayā taņhā‖).
However, in the Cūļarāhulovāda sutta, it is said that contact comes together with eye consciousness.

There are 22 discourses (sutta) in Rāhula-saṃyutta in the Saṃyutta Pāļi.
Among those discourses, the eye, visible object to be seen, and eye consciousness (which arises due to the contact of visible object with the eye) are mentioned. With the combination of these three, together there will be contact (phassa), feeling (vedanā), perception (saññā), volition (cetanā) and craving (taņhā).

In other discourses, the meditation methods and phenomena mentioned by the Buddha are not the same.
For example, in Mahā-rāhulovāda Sutta, which was delivered when Rāhula was eighteen years old, the Buddha taught contemplation on the Four Great Elements (mahā bhūta), as well as other contemplations such as loving-kindness (mettā), compassion (karuņā), sympathetic joy (muditā), equanimity (upekkhā),
the perception of loathsomeness (asubhasaññā) and perception of impermanence (anicca-saññā).

Sometimes, the Buddha preached the six elements: earth (paṭhavī), water (āpo), fire (tejo), wind (vāyo), light (āloka) and consciousness (viññāņa).

Sometimes, the Buddha also preached five aggregates in detail.
They are
1) The aggregate of matter (rūpakkhandha);
2) The aggregate of feeling (vedanākkhandha);
3) The aggregate of perception (saññākkhandha);
4) The aggregate of mental-formation (saṅkhārakkhandha);
5) The aggregate of consciousness (viññāṇakkhandha)

However, in the Cūļarāhulovāda Sutta that we are discussing today, the Buddha mentioned 8 phenomena with regard to the eye door:
eye (cakkhu),
visible object (rūpa),
eye consciousness (cakkhu-viññāņa),
contact (phassa),
feeling (vedanā),
perception (saññā),
mental formations (saṅkhāra),
and consciousness (viññāņa).

The same can be said for the ear door: ear, sound, ear consciousness (which occurs due to combination of ear and sound), the contact that unites the ear and sound, the feeling that occurs due to contact; and the perception, mental formations and consciousness that come together with contact.

For the nose door, there are nose, smell, nose consciousness, the contact that unites the nose and smell, the feeling that occurs due to the contact. Due to pleasant smell, there will be pleasant feeling. Due to unpleasant smell, there will be unpleasant feeling. There is also the perception that notes the smell, and mental formations—including volition (cetanā) which is the leader. The consciousness that is only pure awareness of the smell also arises.

In short, there are 8 phenomena respectively with regard to six sense doors: eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind.
One should be aware of these phenomena in Vipassanā practice because the contemplation on them can let one become arahant. These phenomena occur in us every time and should be observed. As such, after listening to this Cūļarāhulovāda Sutta, Rāhula became an arahant. I have explained these factors earlier so that you may find such phenomena in yourselves.

All the phenomena have their own characteristics. For example, there is the natural characteristic of the eye. When the visible object strikes the eye, it also has its own natural characteristic.

To know and practice Vipassanā accurately, first we should look for the object to be observed. One should observe the natural characteristic (sabhāva-lakkhaņā) of these objects.
Sabhāva-lakkhaņā means that the object has its own natural and distinct characteristic which is not the same as that of other objects .

When we look at different persons, we start to note the distinct parts of body and facial features like the shape of hair, the clothes they wear, their height, the manner of their walking and so on. By noting these characteristics and details, we can remember and recognize who they are. Even if someone is coming from afar, we can recognize who he is. When his body shape changes, our previous perception of him does not match the current perception, and we may become confused.

So also, the four great elements in the body have their own individual characteristic which has nothing in common with the others.
The earth element has the characteristics of hardness and softness,
while the water element has fluidity and cohesion.
The heat element has the characteristics of heat and cold.
The wind element has supporting and motion as its characteristics.
These natural characteristics are called sabhāva-lakkhaņā in Pāļi.

The Vipassanā practice is the observation of these natural characteristic. If one cannot find it, one must make effort to discover it. When one is sitting on a cushion, one will discover that where the buttocks are touching the cushion has the nature of hardness. Sometimes, there is a feeling of softness at this touching point. This hardness and softness are the characteristic of the earth element.

Sometimes, there is heat or cold in the body. Sometimes,
sweat flows down, and sometimes there is motion and shaking in the body.
These are the natural characteristics of fire, water and wind.

At the time of these events, don‘t think of impermanence (anicca), suffering (dukkha) or non-self
(anatta). You should just be aware of the natural characteristics of the four great elements.

THE STAGES OF INSIGHT KNOWLEDGE


When one is really able to observe all these natural characteristics, then the general characteristic (sāmaññā lakkhaņa) will emerge. The general characteristic means the impermanent (anicca), unsatisfactory or suffering (dukkha) and non-self (anattā) characteristics of all phenomena.


How can one observe impermanence?

When one sees the arising and passing away of mental and physical phenomena, one understands that they are all impermanent. With the understanding of impermanence, one understands these phenomena are all unsatisfactory and suffering.

When one understands unsatisfactoriness, one also understands that there is no self, I, or any controller existing at all. So one will understand non-self (anattā).

By starting with the observation of the natural characteristics (sabhāva-lakkhaņa), then insight knowledge (Vipassanā ñāņa) increases gradually.


Then, when one sees that all arising phenomena will soon pass away, one will gain the knowledge of arising and passing away (udayabbaya-ñāņa). On seeing this arising and passing away again and again, one‘s mindfulness, concentration and insight knowledge gain strength. Then one will not see the arising of phenomena but only more clearly aware the dissolution and passing away of these phenomena. One has attained the knowledge of dissolution (bhaṅga-ñāņa).

One may feel fearful when seeing that things keep dissolving,
so one will gain knowledge of fearfulness (bhaya-ñāņa).
Earlier, one may think ‗this I is the one who sees the
phenomena‘ but at this time one will know that there is no “I‘ at all.
Now, one is clearly aware of the danger and faulty nature of all phenomena.
One then gains the knowledge of things as dangerous (ādīnava-ñāņa).

Later one feels disenchanted from one‘s own physical and mental phenomena. One will be no longer attached to them as before, and thus reaches the knowledge of disenchantment (nibbidā ñāņa).

Then, one does not want to dwell with these phenomena anymore and desires to escape from them. One will gain the knowledge of desire for deliverance (muñcitukamyatā ñāņa).

If one wishes to escape from these phenomena, one needs to reflect the phenomena. This is the insight knowledge of reflection (paṭisaṅkha ñāņa). When one observes them again and again, there is no desire or aversion towards the formation of these phenomena. One can keep the mind balanced, and equanimity arises towards them. One will obtain the knowledge of equanimity towards all formations (saṅkhārupekkhā ñāņa). This is how insight knowledge grows in stages.

When the knowledge of equanimity towards all formations (saṅkhārupekkhā ñāņa) is fully matured, the formations will cease and Nibbāna, the cessation of suffering will be realized by path knowledge (magga ñāņa). After this knowledge, fruition knowledge (phala ñāņa) will occur.

HOW THE VENERABLE RĀHULA GAINED ENLIGHTENMENT


We now go back to the story of the Venerable Rāhula.


As usual, the Buddha went for alms-round. After eating, he called Venerable Rāhula to bring own sitting-cloth and to follow him to the Andhavana Grove (the forest of blind men) which was near to Jetavana monastery. There were many devas and brahmas who had made wishes together with Rāhula in past lives. These celestial beings had known in advance that the Buddha would guide him up to arahatship on that day. They were very delighted because they could also listen to the Dhamma that would lead Venerable Rāhula to final liberation.


The Buddha walked in front, and Venerable Rāhula followed. The celestial beings had gathered and were already waiting in the Andhavana Grove. When reaching there, The Buddha sat under a tree and the Venerable Rāhula sat in a suitable place.


Then the Buddha started to teach him meditation.
This meditation method is same as mentioned earlier. For the Venerable Rāhula to know how to become mature in wisdom, and for him to investigate the Dhammas within himself, the Buddha asked him several questions.

“What do you think, Rāhula?
In you, is the eye permanent or impermanent? ”

We can consider this way in ourselves.
When we are young, our eyes are good and sharp. Now, when we reach sixty years old, will our eye sensitivity (cakkhu-pasāda) also be as good and sharp? Certainly not. In this way, we can see the impermanence of our eyes in a general way.


For better understanding, let‘s look at a river. We think the river is the same all the time. But actually, the water is flowing all the time. The water in the morning is certainly not the same as the water in the evening. Even if we go to scoop out water in a barrel, and then take the next scoop, we cannot get the earlier water anymore. Not even the water, or the hand that holds the barrel are the same. The hand that earlier held the first scoop of water is not there anymore. As the next one is quite similar with the earlier one, we never see the passing away of the earlier hand.

In actual sense, the life-span of eye sensitivity is equivalent to 17 mind moments (cittakkhaņa).
After every 17 mindmoments (cittakkhaņa), new eye sensitivity will take place.
A mind-moment exists for a very short time.
So also new eye sensitivity exists for a very short time, and soon it disappears.
But we think our eyes are there all the time.

Actually, the eye sensitivity is impermanent in the sense of non-lasting and non-enduring. In Discourse of non-arising (Anuppada sutta), the Buddha said clearly,
Ahutvā sambhonti, hutvā paṭiventīti
‘. The nature of impermanence (anicca)”
means that phenomena have no core nature of their own but come to be when their conditions exist. After arising, they will totally fade away. When fading away, they do not move to another place.

To illustrate the impermanence, let‘s look at the flame of a candle.
How does it come to be?

First, there must be the wick and the wax of the candle.
Then we light the candle with matches, and flame comes to exist.
Due to existing conditions of wick, wax and matches, the flame appears.
It does not come on its own.

When we blow out the flame, where does this flame go?
It goes nowhere. It just extinguishes and disappears.

According to this Pāḷi sentence ―ahutvā sambhonti, hutvā paṭiventīti‘;
ahutvā means it never appeared in the past;
sambhonti means due to suitable conditions, it appears;
hutvā paṭiventi means after appearing, it will cease.

Hence, the meaning of anicca denotes things come where they never appeared before, and then disappear to where they never went before.

Due to arising and passing away, this impermanent nature is oppressive. This is the nature of unsatisfactoriness or suffering. That thing which is impermanent always disturbs or oppresses us, it comes and goes by its own course; so can it be called ‗belonging to us‘, or can we believe that this self exists? We cannot. These are the characteristics of non-self.

In the Discourse of Characteristics of Non-self (Anattalakkhaņa Sutta), there is the following sentence:
Evaṃ me rūpaṃ hotu, evaṃ me rūpaṃ mā ahosī‘ti.

It means,” may my form be such, my form not to be such.‘
Can we control the form or the shape of our body to be such and such?
We cannot.

Due to suitable conditions, it comes to be.
Then when conditions are no more, it will cease. That‘s how we can see the nature of impermanent (anicca), unsatisfactory (dukkha) and non-self (anattā) of all phenomena.

We now go back to the Cūļarāhulovāda Sutta. The Buddha asked Venerable Rāhula.
Taṃ kiṃ maññasi, Rāhula, cakkhu niccaṃ vā aniccaṃ vā‖ti?”
Rāhula, what do you think?
Is eye sensitivity permanent or impermanent?

‘Aniccaṁ, bhante”
He answered, ‖Impermanent, Venerable Sir.‖
“Yaṁ panāniccaṁ dukkhaṁ vā taṁ sukhaṁ vā‖ti? ―
Dukkhaṁ, bhante‖.

‘What is impermanent [referring to eye sensitivity], is this unsatisfactory or satisfactory?‖
Unsatisfactory, Venerable Sir‖.
Yaṁ panāniccaṃ dukkhaṃ vipariṇāmadhammaṃ, kallaṃ nu taṁ samanupassituṃ — ‗etaṃ mama, esohamasmi, eso me attā‘‖ti?
Is what is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change, it is proper to be regarded thus: ‗This is mine, this I, am, this is my self?‘
No hetaṃ, bhante.‖
No, venerable sir.

According to these statements above, the Buddha asked Venerable Rāhula to consider on the eye whether it has impermanent nature and so on. We also have to consider this too. For example, we see a flower, this object will be reflected in our eyes. The flower outside us is not same with the image of flower in our eye sensitivity. The shape of flower etc. is the visible object (rūpārammaņa) and it is the object for eye When one sees the impermanence of eye consciousness etc.,
what are the benefits?
As the eye consciousness fades away,
the feeling that comes with it will also pass away.
There is no pleasant or unpleasant feeling anymore.
At the moment of seeing, it is just seeing, there will not be craving for the form or visible object at all. One becomes disenchanted with this visible object and will not desire for it at all.
When asked by the Buddha, Venerable Rāhula reassured himself that the impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and nonself nature of the eight phenomena respectively in each of his six sense doors. From the knowledge of arising and passing away, his insight knowledges matured gradually until the knowledge of equanimity towards all formations (saṅkhārupekkhā ñāņa) comes to existence.

Then, at the ending part of the Cūlarāhulovāda Sutta,
…tasmimpi nibbindati. Nibbindaṃ virajjati, virāgā vimuccati.
Vimuttasmiṃ vimuttamiti ñāṇaṃ hoti. ―Khīṇā jāti, vusitaṃ
brahmacariyaṃ, kataṃ karaṇīyaṃ, nāparaṃ itthattāyā‘ti pajānātī‖ti.
Nibbindaṃ virājjati,

means when one is disenchanted from the visible object, one will be free from craving, and one will
not find pleasure in that object. When one does not find pleasure in the conditioned things (saṅkhāra) like eye sensitivity or visible object, one will incline the mind towards Nibbāna. This is the arising of path knowledge (magga ñāņa)

Virāgā vimuccati, means when the mind is free from craving, the mind will be free. Vimuccati refers to fruition knowledge (phala ñāņa).

Vimuttasmiṃ vimuttamiti ñāṇaṃ hoti.
When one is freed, one will aware that he is freed. This stage is the reviewing knowledge (paccavekkhaņa ñāņa).

When the Buddha preached the meditation method in detail, Rāhula‘s mind became deeply engrossed in the Dhamma. In a short moment, his insight knowledges matured in stages and he gained path and fruition knowledge of stream-entry (sotāpatti magga-phala).

Then, he again practised Vipassanā. His insight knowledge became mature, and he gained the path and fruition knowledge of once-returner (sakadāgāmi magga-phala).

Then again, he continued to practise Vipassanā and his insight knowledges gained momentum. He attained the path and fruition knowledge of non-returner (an āg ā mi maggaphala). Then he continued Vipassanā and his insight knowledges progressed.

At last, he gained path and fruition knowledge of arahant (arahatta magga-phala).
In brief, by means of the different levels of path and fruition knowledge that arose as his insight knowledges gradually grew, he attenuated his defilements little by little. Lastly, he became an arahant. As recorded in the Cūļarāhulovāda Sutta, as this sutta was being preached, the Venerable Rāhula was freed from taints and liberated forever.

“imasmiñca pana veyyākaraṇasmiṃ bhaññamāne āyasmato Rāhulassa
anupādāya āsavehi cittaṃ vimucci.”

At the same time as Venerable Rāhula was listening to the Dhamma, the thousands of devas and brahmas were listening too. These celestial beings were his previous companions.
During the dispensation of Padumuttara Buddha, they had made the same wishes to be liberated. While listening to the Dhamma, they gained different stages of enlightenment.
Some became stream-enterers (sotāpanna), some became once-returners (sakadāgāmī), and others became nonreturners (anāgāmī) or arahants. They were liberated from the defilements.

This comes to the end of this Cūļarāhulovāda Sutta.

END OF THE LIFE OF THE VENERABLE RĀHULA


How long was his monkhood? When did he pass away?
There is no record of the exact date of his death in the Tipiṭaka. We can only guess. After Mahāpajāpati Gotamī the queen mother attained the final passing away (parinibbāna) and before the Venerable Sāriputta had attained parinibbāna, the Venerable Rāhula attained parinibbāna.

Where did he pass away?
From the Realm of thirty-three gods (Tavatiṃsa). Why? It might be he had many companions
there and they had invited him to join them. Venerable Rāhula was a very special person as he did not attain parinibbāna in the human world. Maybe his relics are still in the Tavatiṃsa deva realm.

Before Mahāpajāpati passed away, she mentioned that she would not see the parinibbāna of the Buddha as well as Venerables Rāhula, Ānanda, Nanda, and Sāriputta. She would enter to the parinibbāna first.

To support this fact, when she had attained final passing away, the Venerable Rāhula and Venerable Nanda had already become arahants. However, Venerable Ānanda was still a stream-enterer. So he was very upset and cried when she passed away. With a very emotional voice, he urged others to come and pay respect to her remains.


Then, at another time, when the Buddha was eighty years old, the Venerable Sāriputta would be passing away around November (on the full moon of the Burmese month of Tazaungmon) and the Buddha would pass away in May (on the full moon the Burmese month of Kason). When Venerable Sāriputta considered his remaining life span (āyu-saṅkhāra), he realised that there were only seven days left. He further considered that Venerable Rāhula was no more already, as he had passed away into the realm of Thirty-three gods (Tavatiṃsa) while the Venerable Kondañña was at Chaddanta Lake.

That is why we could be certain that Venerable Rāhula had assed away before Venerable Sāriputta. These incidents are mentioned in the commentary.
In conclusion, the meditation method given by the Buddha to the Venerable Rāhula is the contemplation of eight phenomena respectively in the sense doors. May the virtuous audience practise as the Venerable Rāhula had.

And may you realise the Noble Dhamma soon.
Sādhu! Sādhu! Sādhu

Appendix I


The suttas and Pāḷi sentences used in this book are as follows:

iMajjhima Nikāya, majjhimapaṇṇāsapāḷi, 2. bhikkhuvagga , 1. ambalaṭṭhikarāhulovāda-sutta (MN 61)
ii Majjhima Nikāya,majjhimapaṇṇāsapāḷi, 2. bhikkhuvagga , 1. mahārāhulovāda-sutta (MN 62)
iii Majjhima Nikāya, Uparipaṇṇāsa Pāḷi, Saḷāyatanavagga, Cūḷar āhulovāda Sutta (MN 147)
iv Majjhima Nikāya Aṭṭhakathā, Uparipaṇṇāsa- Aṭṭhakathā PTS V,98; VRI 4.255 (uparipaṇṇāsa-aṭṭhakathā, 5. saḷāyatanavagga , 5. rāhulovādasuttavaṇṇanā )
v Majjhima-Nikāya, Uparipaṇṇāsapāḷi, 2. anupadavagga, 1.anupadasutta (MN 111), paragraph 94 to 96 (PTS III,24; VRI 3.73)
vii Khandha-vagga , 1. Khandha-saṃyutta, 6. Upaya-vagga, 7. anattalakkhaṇa sutta (SN 22.59) (PT)

147 Liberation of Rahula

MN 03-05-05 Cūla Rāhulovāda Sutta

§1. THUS HAVE I HEARD.
On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park.1323

[1323:- MA says that this discourse was spoken to Rāhula shortly after his higher ordination, presumably at the age of twenty. The sutta also occurs at SN 35:121/iv.105–7].

§2. Then, while the Blessed One was alone in meditation, a thought arose in his mind thus: “The states that ripen in deliverance have ripened in Rāhula.1324

[1324 :- Vimuttiparipācanı̄yā dhammā. MA interprets these as the fifteen qualities that purify the five faculties (faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom), namely, in regard to each faculty: avoiding people who lack the faculty, associating with those endowed with it, and reflecting on suttas that inspire its maturation. MA brings in another set of fifteen qualities: the five faculties again; the five perceptions partaking of penetration, namely, perception of impermanence, suffering, non-self, abandoning, and dispassion; and the five qualities taught to Meghiya, namely, noble friendship, the virtue of the monastic rules, suitable conversation, energy, and wisdom (see AN 9:3/iv.356; Ud 4:1/36).]


Suppose I were to lead him on further to the destruction of the taints.”
Then, when it was morning, the Blessed One dressed, and taking his bowl and outer robe, went into Sāvatthī for alms. When he had walked for alms in Sāvatthī and had returned from his almsround, after his meal he addressed the venerable Rāhula thus:

“Take your sitting cloth with you, Rāhula; let us go to the Blind Men’s Grove [278] to pass the day.”
“Yes, venerable sir,” the venerable Rāhula replied, and taking his sitting cloth with him, he followed close behind the Blessed One.

Now on that occasion many thousands of deities followed the Blessed One, thinking: “Today the Blessed One will lead the venerable Rāhula further to the destruction of the taints.”1325

[1325 ;- MA says that these deities, who came from various celestial realms, had been companions of Rāhula’s during the previous life in which he first made the aspiration to attain arahantship as the son of a Buddha.]

Then the Blessed One went into the Blind Men’s Grove and sat down at the root of a certain tree on a seat made ready. And the venerable Rāhula paid homage to the Blessed One and sat down at one side. The Blessed One then said to the venerable Rāhula:

§3. “Rāhula, what do you think?
Is the eye permanent or impermanent?”
—“Impermanent, venerable sir.”—
“Is what is impermanent suffering or happiness?”—
“Suffering, venerable sir.”—
“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, venerable sir.”
“Rāhula, what do you think?
Are forms…Is eye-consciousness …[279]…Is eye-contact…Is anything comprised within the feeling, perception, formations, and consciousness that arise with eye-contact as condition permanent or impermanent?”1326

[1326:- It should be noted that the last four items mentioned are the four mental aggregates. Thus this discourse covers not only the sense bases but also the five aggregates, the aggregate of material form being implied by the physical sense faculties and their objects.]

“Impermanent, venerable sir.”—
“Is what is impermanent suffering or happiness?”—
“Suffering, venerable sir.”—
“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, venerable sir.”

§4 = §8. “Rāhula, what do you think?
Is the ear permanent or impermanent?…
Is the nose permanent or impermanent?…
Is the tongue permanent or impermanent?…
Is the body permanent or impermanent?…
Is the mind permanent or impermanent?…
Are mind-objects…
Is mind-consciousness…
Is mind-contact…
Is anything comprised within the feeling, perception, formations, and consciousness that arise with mind-contact as condition permanent or impermanent?”—
“Impermanent, venerable sir.”—
“Is what is impermanent suffering or happiness?”—
“Suffering, venerable sir.”—“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, venerable sir.”

§4. “Seeing thus, Rāhula, a well-taught noble disciple becomes disenchanted with the eye, disenchanted with forms, disenchanted with eye-consciousness, disenchanted with eye-contact, and disenchanted with anything comprised within the feeling, perception, formations, and consciousness that arise with eye contact as condition.

“He becomes disenchanted with the ear…
He becomes disenchanted with the nose…
He becomes disenchanted with the tongue…
He becomes disenchanted with the body…
He becomes disenchanted with the mind, disenchanted with mind-objects, disenchanted with mind-consciousness, disenchanted with mind-contact, [280] and disenchanted with anything comprised within the feeling, perception, formations, and consciousness that arise with mind-contact as condition.

§ 5. “Being disenchanted, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion [his mind] is liberated. When it is liberated there comes the knowledge: ‘It is liberated.’ He understands: ‘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.’”

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

Now while this discourse was being spoken, through not clinging the venerable Rāhula’s mind was liberated from the taints. And in those many thousands of deities there arose the spotless immaculate vision of the Dhamma:

“All that is subject to arising is subject to cessation.”1327

[1327:- According to MA, stream-entry was the minimal attainment of those deities, but some attained the higher paths and fruits up to arahantship.]

071 Threefold True Knowledge

Audio Exposition by Ven Bhikku Bodhi

MN 02-03-01 Thevijja Vaccagoththa Sutta

§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 the wanderer Vacchagotta was staying in the Wanderers’ Park of the Single White-lotus Mango Tree.712.

[712:- This sutta and the following two seem to present a chronological account of Vacchagotta’s spiritual evolution. The Saṁyutta Nikāya contains a whole section of short discussions between the Buddha and Vacchagotta, SN 33/iii.257–62. See also SN 44:7–11/iv.391–402.]

§ 3. Then, when it was morning, the Blessed One dressed, and taking his bowl and outer robe, went into Vesālī for alms. Then the Blessed One thought: “It is still too early to wander for alms in Vesālī. Suppose I went to the wanderer Vacchagotta in the Wanderers’ Park of the Single White-lotus Mango Tree.”

§ 4. Then the Blessed One went to the wanderer Vacchagotta in the Wanderers’ Park of the Single White-lotus Mango Tree. The wanderer Vacchagotta saw the Blessed One coming in the distance and said to him: “Let the Blessed One come, venerable sir! Welcome to the Blessed One! It is long since the Blessed One
found an opportunity to come here. Let the Blessed One be seated; this seat is ready.”

The Blessed One sat down on the seat made ready, and the wanderer Vacchagotta [482] took a low seat, sat down at one side, and said to the Blessed One:

§ 5. “Venerable sir, I have heard this: ‘The recluse Gotama claims to be omniscient and all-seeing, to have complete knowledge and vision thus:
“Whether I am walking or standing or sleeping or awake, knowledge and vision are continuously and uninterruptedly present to me.”’713

[713:- This is the type of omniscience that the Jain teacher the Niganṭha Nātaputta claims at MN 14.17.]

Venerable sir, do those who speak thus 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 which provides a ground for censure can be legitimately deduced from their assertion?”
“Vaccha, those who say thus do not say what has been said by me, but misrepresent me with what is untrue and contrary to fact.”714

[714:- 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.]

§ 5. “Venerable sir, how should I answer that I may say what has been said by the Blessed One and not misrepresent him with what is contrary to fact?

How may I explain in accordance with the Dhamma in such a way that nothing which provides a ground for censure can be legitimately deduced from my assertion?”
“Vaccha, if you answer thus:
‘The recluse Gotama has the threefold true knowledge,’ you will be saying what has been said by me and will not misrepresent me with what is contrary to fact. You will explain in accordance with the Dhamma in such a way that nothing which provides a ground for censure can be legitimately deduced from your assertion.

§ 6. “For in so far as I wish, I recollect my manifold past lives, that is, one birth, two births…(as Sutta 51, §24)…Thus with their aspects and particulars I recollect my manifold past lives.

§ 7. “And in so far as I wish, with the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, I see beings passing away and reappearing, inferior and superior, fair and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate, and I understand how beings pass on according to their actions…(as Sutta 51, §25)…

§ 8. “And by realising for myself with direct knowledge, I here and now enter upon and abide in the deliverance of mind and deliverance by wisdom that are taintless with the destruction of the taints.

§ 9.“If you answer thus: ‘The recluse Gotama has the threefold true knowledge,’ [483] you will be saying what has been said by me and will not misrepresent me with what is contrary to fact. You will explain in accordance with the Dhamma in such a way that nothing which provides a ground for censure can be legitimately deduced from your assertion.”

§ 10. When this was said, the wanderer Vacchagotta asked the Blessed One:
“Master Gotama, is there any householder who, without abandoning the fetter of householdership, on the dissolution of the body has made an end of suffering?”715
“Vaccha, there is no householder who, without abandoning the fetter of householdership, on the dissolution of the body has made an end of suffering.”

[715:- MA explains “the fetter of householdership” (gihisȧyojana ) as attachment to the requisites of a householder, which Ṃ details as land, ornaments, wealth, grain, etc. MA says that even though the texts mention some individuals who attained arahantship as laymen, by the path of arahantship they destroyed all attachment to worldly things and thus either went forth as monks or passed away immediately after their attainment. The question of lay arahants is discussed at Miln 264.]

§ 11. “Master Gotama, is there any householder who, without abandoning the fetter of householdership, on the dissolution of the body has gone to heaven?”
“Vaccha, there are not only one hundred or two or three or four or five hundred, but far more householders who, without abandoning the fetter of householdership, on the dissolution of the body have gone to heaven.”

§ 12. “Master Gotama, is there any Ājīvaka who, on the dissolution of the body, has made an end of suffering?”716

[716: The Ājı̄vakas, or Ājı̄vikas, were a rival sect whose teaching emphasised severe austerities based on a philosophy bordering on fatalism. See Basham, History and Doctrines of the Ājı̄vikas.]

“Vaccha, there is no Ājīvaka who, on the dissolution of the body, has made an end of suffering.”

§ 13. “Master Gotama, is there any Ājīvaka who, on the dissolution of the body,
has gone to heaven?”
“When I recollect the past ninety-one aeons, Vaccha, I do not recall any Ājīvaka who, on the dissolution of the body, went to heaven, with one exception, and he held the doctrine of the moral efficacy of action, the doctrine of the moral efficacy of deeds.”717

[717:- Since this Ājı̄vaka believed in the moral efficacy of action, he could not have subscribed to the orthodox philosophical fatalism of the Ājı̄vakas, which denied the effective role of kamma and volitional deeds in modifying human destiny. MA identifies this Ājı̄vaka with the Bodhisatta in a previous birth.]

§ 14. “That being so, Master Gotama, that sectarian fold is empty even of one who goes to heaven.”

“That being so, Vaccha, that sectarian fold is empty even of one who goes to heaven.”
That is what the Blessed One said.
The wanderer Vacchagotta was satisfied and delighted in the Blessed One’s words.

067 At Catuma ( Catuma Sutta )

Sutta Exposition by Ven Ajahn Brahmavamso

FOUR DANGERS FOR BHIKKUS

§1. THUS HAVE I HEARD.
On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Cātumā in a myrobalan681 grove.

[681:- Myrobalan is a small fruit that has a sweet bitter taste and causes laxation, the small shrubs are abundant in the bushes near the Catuma woods]

§ 2. Now on that occasion five hundred bhikkhus headed by the venerable Sāriputta and the venerable Mahā Moggallāna had come to Cātumā to see the Blessed One. While the visiting bhikkhus were exchanging greetings with the resident bhikkhus, and were preparing resting places and putting away their
bowls and outer robes, they were very loud and noisy.

§3. Then the Blessed One addressed the venerable Ānanda thus: “Ānanda, who are these loud and noisy people? One would think they were fishermen hawking fish.”682

[682:- Kevaṭṭā maññe macchavilope. MA gives two explanations: one favours this rendering, the other suggests “fisherman hauling in fish.”]


“Venerable sir, they are five hundred bhikkhus headed by Sāriputta and Moggallāna who have come to Cātumā to see the Blessed One. And while the visiting bhikkhus were exchanging greetings with the resident bhikkhus, and were preparing resting places and putting away their bowls and outer robes, they have been very loud and noisy.”

§4. “Then, Ānanda, tell those bhikkhus in my name that the Teacher calls the venerable ones.”
“Yes, venerable sir,” he replied, and he went to those bhikkhus and told them:
“The Teacher calls the venerable ones.”
“Yes, friend,” they [457] replied, and they went to the Blessed One, and after paying homage to him, sat down at one side. When they had done so, the Blessed One asked them:

“Bhikkhus, why are you so loud and noisy? One would think you were fishermen hawking fish.”
“Venerable sir, we are five hundred bhikkhus headed by Sāriputta and Moggallāna who have come to Cātumā to see the Blessed One. And it was while we visiting bhikkhus were exchanging greetings with the resident bhikkhus, and were preparing resting places and putting away our bowls and outer robes, that we were very loud and noisy.”

§5. “Go, bhikkhus, I dismiss you. You should not live near me.”

“Yes, venerable sir,” they replied, and they rose from their seats, and after paying homage to the Blessed One, keeping him on their right, they put away the things in their resting places, and taking their bowls and outer robes, they departed.

§6. Now on that occasion the Sakyans of Cātumā had met together in their assembly hall for some business or other. Seeing the bhikkhus coming in the distance, they went to them and asked: “Where are you going, venerable sirs?”
“Friends, the Sangha of bhikkhus has been dismissed by the Blessed One.”
“Then let the venerable ones be seated awhile. Perhaps we shall be able to restore his confidence.”
“Yes, friends,” they replied.

§7. Then the Sakyans of Cātumā went to the Blessed One, and after paying homage to him, they sat down at one side and said :
“Venerable sir, let the Blessed One delight in the Sangha of bhikkhus;
venerable sir, let the Blessed One welcome the Sangha of bhikkhus;
venerable sir, let the Blessed One help the Sangha of bhikkhus now as he used to help it in the past. Venerable sir, there are new bhikkhus here, just gone forth, recently come to this Dhamma and Discipline. If they get no opportunity to see the
Blessed One, there may take place in them some change or alteration.

Venerable sir, just as when young seedlings get no water there may take place in them some change or alteration, so too, venerable sir, there are [458] new bhikkhus here, just gone forth, recently come to this Dhamma and Discipline. If they get no opportunity to see the Blessed One, there may take place in them some change or alteration.

Venerable sir, just as when a young calf does not see its mother there may take place in it some change or alteration, so too, venerable sir, there are new bhikkhus here, just gone forth, recently come to this Dhamma and Discipline. If they get no opportunity to see the Blessed One, there may take place in them some change or alteration.

Venerable sir, let the Blessed One delight in the Sangha of the bhikkhus;
venerable sir, let the Blessed One welcome the Sangha of bhikkhus;
venerable sir, let the Blessed One help the Sangha of bhikkhus now as he used to help it in the past.”

§ 8. Then the Brahmā Sahampati683 knew with his mind the thought in the Blessed One’s mind, so just as quickly as a strong man might extend his flexed arm or flex his extended arm, he vanished in the Brahma-world and appeared before the Blessed One. Then he arranged his upper robe on one shoulder, and extending his hands in reverential salutation towards the Blessed One, he said:

[683:- though it was not mentioned in the written sutta that blessed one did not head their request, it can be assumed that the bleased one did not want to teach the noisy novices . That may be the reason why Brahma Sahampati has to come and plead to Buddha to forgive the novices and accept the. It was the Brahmā Sahampati who entreated the newly enlightened Buddha to teach the Dhamma to the world. See MN 26.20.. He is a collegue of the blessed one while both were bhikkus under the Buddha Kassapa]

§ 9. “Venerable sir, let the Blessed One delight in the Sangha of bhikkhus;
venerable sir, let the Blessed One welcome the Sangha of bhikkhus;…(as in §7)…[459] now as he used to help it in the past.”

§10. . The Sakyans of Cātumā and the Brahmā Sahampati were able to restore the Blessed One’s confidence with the similes of the seedlings and the young calf.

§11. Then the venerable Mahā Moggallāna addressed the bhikkhus thus:
“Get up, friends, take your bowls and outer robes. The Blessed One’s confidence has been restored by the Sakyans of Cātumā and the Brahmā Sahampati with the similes of the seedlings and the young calf.”

§12. “Yes, friend,” they replied and, getting up from their seats, taking their bowls and outer robes, went to the Blessed One, and after paying homage to him, sat down at one side. The Blessed One then asked the venerable Sāriputta:
“What did you think, Sāriputta, when the Sangha of bhikkhus was dismissed by me?”
“Venerable sir, I thought thus: ‘The Sangha of bhikkhus has been dismissed by the Blessed One. The Blessed One will now abide inactive, devoted to pleasant abiding here and now; and we too shall now abide inactive, devoted to pleasant abiding here and now.’”
“Stop, Sāriputta, stop! Such a thought should not be entertained by you again.”684

[684:- MA: In this case Ven. Sāriputta erred in not recognising his responsibility, of teaching the novices as the senior monk, for the Sangha is the responsibility of the two great elders. Thus the Buddha rebuked him but commended Ven. Moggall̄na, who recognised his responsibility in §13.]

§ 13. Then the Blessed One addressed the venerable Mahā Moggallāna:
“What did you think, Moggallāna, when the Sangha of bhikkhus was dismissed by me?”

“Venerable sir, I thought thus: ‘The Sangha of bhikkhus has been dismissed by the Blessed One. The Blessed One will now abide inactive, devoted to pleasant abiding here and now. Now the venerable Sāriputta and I shall look after the Sangha of bhikkhus.’”
“Good, good, Moggallāna! Either I shall look after the Sangha of bhikkhus or Sāriputta and Moggallāna shall do so.”

§14. Then the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus:
“Bhikkhus, there are these four kinds of fears to be expected by those who go down to the water.685

[685:- MA: The Buddha undertook this teaching to show that there are four Dangers ( bhaya) in his Dispensation. Those who can overcome these four fears will become established in the Dispensation, the others will not become established.

What are the four?
They are:

  1. fear of waves,
  2. fear of crocodiles,
  3. fear of whirlpools, and
  4. fear of sharks.

These are the four kinds of fears to be expected by those who go down to the water.

§15. “So too, bhikkhus, there are four kinds of fears to be expected by certain persons who have gone forth from the home life into homelessness in this Dhamma and Discipline.

What are [460] the four?
They are:
fear of waves,
fear of crocodiles,
fear of whirlpools, and
fear of sharks.

§16. “What, bhikkhus, is Danger of waves?

Here some clansman goes forth out of faith from the home life into homelessness, considering:
‘I am a victim of birth, ageing, and death, of sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair;
I am a victim of suffering, a prey to suffering.
Surely an ending of this whole mass of suffering can be known.’

Then, after he has gone forth thus, his companions in the holy life advise and instruct him thus: ‘You should move to and fro thus; you should look ahead and look away thus; you should flex and extend the limbs thus; you should wear the patched cloak, bowl, and robes thus.’

Then he thinks: ‘Formerly, when we were in the home life, we advised and instructed others, and now these [bhikkhus], who seem like they might be our sons or our grandsons, think that they can advise and instruct us.’ And so he forsakes the training and reverts to the low life. He is called one who has forsaken the training and reverted to the low life because he was frightened by the fear of waves. Now ‘fear of waves’ is a designation for anger and irritation.

§17. “What, bhikkhus, is Danger of crocodiles?

Here some clansman goes forth out of faith from the home life into homelessness, considering: ‘I am a victim of birth, ageing, and death, of sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair; I am a victim of suffering, a prey to suffering. Surely an ending of this whole mass of suffering can be known.’

Then, after he has gone forth thus, his companions in the holy life advise and instruct him thus: ‘This can be consumed by you, this cannot be consumed by you; this can be eaten by you, this cannot be eaten by you; this can be tasted by you, this cannot be tasted by you; this can be drunk by you, this cannot be drunk by you.686

[686:- Pali uses two distinct words signifying different types of food: khādaniya, “food to be consumed,” includes all varieties of vegetables, nuts, fruits, yams, etc.; bhojanı̄ya, “food to be eaten,” includes food made of grain, meat, and fish.Things to be tasted (ssāyitabba) would include light refreshments.]

You can consume what is allowable, you cannot consume what is not allowable; you can eat what is allowable, you cannot eat what is not allowable; you can taste what is allowable, you cannot taste what is not allowable; you can drink what is allowable, you cannot drink what is not allowable. You can consume food within the proper time, you cannot consume food outside the proper time; you can eat within the proper time, you cannot eat outside the proper time; you can taste food within the proper time, you cannot
taste food outside the proper time; you can drink within the proper time, you cannot drink outside the proper time.’687 [461]

[687:- The proper time is from dawn to noon, beyond which only liquids may be drunk.]

“Then he thinks:
‘Formerly, when we were in the home life, we consumed what we liked and did not consume what we did not like; we ate what we liked and did not eat what we did not like; we tasted what we liked and did not taste what we did not like; we drank what we liked and did not drink what we did not like. We consumed what was allowable and what was not allowable; we ate what was allowable and what was not allowable; we tasted what was allowable and what was not allowable; we drank what was allowable and what was not allowable. We consumed food within the proper time and outside the proper time; we ate within the proper time and outside the proper time; we tasted food within the proper time and outside the proper time; we drank within the proper time and outside the proper time.

Now, when faithful householders give us good food of various kinds during the day outside the proper time, it seems these [bhikkhus] put a muzzle on our mouths.’ And so he forsakes the training and reverts to the low life. He is called one who has forsaken the training and reverted to the low life because he was frightened by the fear of crocodiles. Now ‘Danger of crocodiles’ is a designation for gluttony.

§ 18. “What, bhikkhus, is Danger of whirlpools?

Here some clansman goes forth out of faith from the home life into homelessness, considering: ‘I am a victim of birth, ageing, and death, of sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair; I am a victim of suffering, a prey to suffering. Surely an ending of this whole mass of suffering can be known.’

Then, after he has gone forth thus, when it is morning he dresses, and taking his bowl and outer robe, he goes into a village or town for alms with his body unguarded, with his speech unguarded, with mindfulness unestablished, and with sense faculties unrestrained.

He sees some householder there or householder’s son furnished and endowed with the five cords of sensual pleasure enjoying himself with them. He considers thus: ‘Formerly, when we were in the home life, we were furnished and endowed with the five cords of sensual pleasure and we enjoyed ourselves with them. My family has wealth; I can both enjoy wealth and make merit.’ And so he forsakes the training and reverts to the low life. He is called one who has forsaken the training and reverted to the low life because he was frightened by the fear of whirlpools. Now ‘fear of whirlpools’ is a designation for the five cords of sensual pleasure.

§19. “What, bhikkhus, is Danger of sharks?

Here [462] some clansman goes forth out of faith from the home life into homelessness, considering: ‘I am a victim of birth, ageing, and death, of sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair; I am a victim of suffering, a prey to suffering. Surely an ending of this whole mass of suffering can be known.’

Then, after he has gone forth thus, when it is morning he dresses, and taking his bowl and outer robe, he goes into a village or town for alms with his body unguarded, with his speech unguarded, with mindfulness unestablished, and with sense faculties unrestrained.

He sees a woman there lightly clothed, lightly dressed. When he sees such a woman, lust infects his mind. Because his mind has been infected by lust, he forsakes the training and reverts to the low life. He is called one who has forsaken the training and reverted to the low life because he was frightened by the fear of sharks. Now ‘fear of sharks’ is a designation for women.

§20. “Bhikkhus, these are the four kinds of Dangers to be expected by certain persons who have gone forth from the home life into homelessness in this Dhamma and Discipline.”

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

084 Madhura Sutta

Caste System

§ 1. THUS HAVE I HEARD.
On one occasion the venerable Mahā Kaccāna was living at Madhurā in the Gundā Grove.814

[814:- Ven. Mahā Kaccāna was declared by the Buddha to be the most eminent disciple in expounding the detailed meaning of a brief saying. MN 133 and MN 138 were also spoken by him under similar circumstances.]

§ 2 . King Avantiputta of Madhurā heard: “The recluse Kaccāna is living at Madhurā in the Gundā Grove. Now a good report of Master Kaccāna has been spread to this effect: ‘He is wise, discerning, sagacious, learned, articulate, and perspicacious; he is aged and he is an arahant. It is good to see such arahants.’”

§ 3.Then King Avantiputta of Madhurā had a number of state carriages made ready, and mounting a state carriage, he drove out from Madhurā with the full pomp of royalty in order to see the venerable Mahā Kaccāna. He went thus as far as the road was passable for carriages, and then he got down from his carriage and went forward on foot to the venerable Mahā Kaccāna. [84] He exchanged greetings with him, and when this courteous and amiable talk was finished, he sat down at one side and said:

§ 4. “Master Kaccāna, the brahmins say thus:
Brahmins are the highest caste, those of any other caste are inferior;
brahmins are the fairest caste, those of any other caste are dark;
only brahmins are purified, not non-brahmins;
brahmins alone are the sons of Brahmā,
the offspring of Brahmā, born of his mouth, born of Brahmā,
created by Brahmā, heirs of Brahmā.’

What does Master Kaccāna say about that?”

§ 5. “It is just a saying in the world, great king, that ‘Brahmins are the highest caste…heirs of Brahmā.’ And there is a way whereby it can be understood how that statement of the brahmins is just a saying in the world.
“What do you think, great king?
If a noble prospers in wealth, grain, silver, or gold, will there be nobles who rise before him and retire after him, who are eager to serve him, who seek to please him and speak sweetly to him, and will there also be brahmins, merchants, and workers who do likewise?”
“There will be, Master Kaccāna.”

“What do you think, great king?
If a brahmin prospers in wealth, grain, silver, or gold, will there be brahmins who rise before him and retire after him, who are eager to serve him, who seek to please him and speak sweetly to him, and will there also be merchants, workers, and nobles [85] who do likewise?”
“There will be, Master Kaccāna.”

“What do you think, great king?
If a merchant prospers in wealth, grain, silver, or gold, will there be merchants who rise before him and retire after him, who are eager to serve him, who seek to please him and speak sweetly to him, and will there also be workers, nobles, and brahmins who do likewise?”
“There will be, Master Kaccāna.”

“What do you think, great king?
If a worker prospers in wealth, grain, silver, or gold, will there be workers who rise before him and retire after him, who are eager to serve him, who seek to please him and speak sweetly to him, and will there also be nobles, brahmins, and merchants who do likewise?”815
“There will be, Master Kaccāna.”

[815: From this passage it seems that despite a tendency to rigidification, the Indian class system was at the time considerably more elastic than the later caste system that evolved from it.]


“What do you think, great king?
If that is so, then are these four castes all the same, or are they not, or how does it appear to you in this case?” [86]

“Surely if that is so, Master Kaccāna, then these four castes are all the same:
there is no difference between them at all that I see.”
“That is a way, great king, whereby it can be understood how that statement of the brahmins is just a saying in the world.

§ 6. “What do you think, great king?
Suppose a noble were to kill living beings, take what is not given, misconduct himself in sensual pleasures, speak falsely, speak maliciously, speak harshly, gossip, be covetous, have a mind of ill will, and hold wrong view. On the dissolution of the body, after death, would he [be likely to] reappear in a state of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, even in hell, or not, or how does it appear to you in this case?”

“If a noble were such, Master Kaccāna, he would [be likely to] reappear in a state of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, even in hell. That is how it appears to me in this case, and thus I have heard from the arahants.”


“Good, good, great king! What you think is good, great king, and what you have heard from the arahants is good. What do you think, great king?
Suppose a brahmin…
a merchant…
a worker were to kill living beings…and hold wrong view. On the dissolution of the body, after death, would he [be likely to] reappear in a state of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, even in hell, or not, or how does it appear to you in this case?”
“If a brahmin…a merchant…a worker were such, Master Kaccāna, he would [be likely to] reappear in a state of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, even in hell. That is how it appears to me in this case, and thus I have heard from the arahants.”


“Good, good, great king! What you think is good, great king, and what you have heard from the arahants is good. What do you think, great king? If that is so, then are these four castes all the same, or are they not, or how does it appear to you in this case?” [87]
“Surely if that is so, Master Kaccāna, then these four castes are all the same:
there is no difference between them at all that I see.”
“That is also a way, great king, whereby it can be understood how that statement of the brahmins is just a saying in the world.

§ 7. “What do you think, great king?
Suppose a noble were to abstain from killing living beings, from taking what is not given, from misconduct in sensual pleasures, from false speech, from malicious speech, from harsh speech, and from gossip, and were to be uncovetous, to have a mind without ill will, and to hold right view. On the dissolution of the body, ill after death, would he [be likely to] reappear in a happy destination, even in the heavenly world, or not, or how does it appear to you in this case?”

“If a noble were such, Master Kaccāna, he would [be likely to] reappear in a happy destination, even in the heavenly world. That is how it appears to me in this case, and thus I have heard from the arahants.”

“Good, good, great king! What you think is good, great king, and what you have heard from the arahants is good. What do you think, great king?

Suppose a brahmin…a merchant…a worker were to abstain from killing living beings…
and to hold right view. On the dissolution of the body, after death, would he [be likely to] reappear in a happy destination, even in the heavenly world, or not, or how does it appear to you in this case?”
“If a brahmin…a merchant…a worker were such, Master Kaccāna, he would [be likely to] reappear in a happy destination, even in the heavenly world. That is how it appears to me in this case, and thus I have heard from the arahants.”

“Good, good, great king! What you think is good, great king, and what you have heard from the arahants is good. What do you think, great king? If that is so, then are these four castes all the same, or are they not, or how does it appear to you in this case?” [88]
“Surely if that is so, Master Kaccāna, then these four castes are all the same:
there is no difference between them at all that I see.”

“That is also a way, great king, whereby it can be understood how that statement of the brahmins is just a saying in the world.

§ 8. “What do you think, great king? Suppose a noble were to break into houses, plunder wealth, commit banditry, ambush highways, or seduce another’s wife, and if your men arrested him and produced him, saying: ‘Sire, this is the culprit; command what punishment for him you wish,’ how would you treat him?”
“We would have him executed, Master Kaccāna, or we would have him fined, or we would have him exiled, or we would do with him as he deserved. Why is that? Because he has lost his former status of a noble, and is simply reckoned as a robber.”

“What do you think, great king?
Suppose a brahmin…a merchant…a worker were to break into houses…or seduce another’s wife, and if your men arrested him and produced him, saying: ‘Sire, this is the culprit; command what punishment for him you wish,’ how would you treat him?”
“We would have him executed, Master Kaccāna, or we would have him fined, or we would have him exiled, or we would do with him as he deserved. Why is that? Because he has lost his former status of a brahmin…a merchant…a worker, and is simply reckoned as a robber.”

“What do you think, great king?
If that is so, then are these four castes all the same, or are they not, or how does it appear to you in this case?”
“Surely if that is so, Master Kaccāna, then these four castes are all the same;
there is no difference between them at all that I see.”

“That is also a way, great king, whereby it can be understood how that statement of the brahmins is just a saying in the world. [89]

§ 9. “What do you think, great king? Suppose a noble, having shaved off his hair and beard, put on the yellow robe, and gone forth from the home life into homelessness, were to abstain from killing living beings, from taking what is not given, and from false speech. Refraining from eating at night, he would eat only in one part of the day, and would be celibate, virtuous, of good character. How would you treat him?”

“We would pay homage to him, Master Kaccāna, or we would rise up for him, or invite him to be seated; or we would invite him to accept robes, almsfood, resting place, and medicinal requisites; or we would arrange for him lawful guarding, defence, and protection. Why is that? Because he has lost his former status of a noble, and is simply reckoned as a recluse.”

“What do you think, great king? Suppose a brahmin…a merchant… a worker, having shaved off his hair and beard…and would be celibate, virtuous, of good character. How would you treat him?”
“We would pay homage to him, Master Kaccāna, or rise up for him, or invite him to be seated; or we would invite him to accept robes, almsfood, resting place, and medicinal requisites; or we would arrange for him lawful guarding, defence, and protection.

Why is that?
Because he has lost his former status of a brahmin…a merchant…a worker, and is simply reckoned as a recluse.”
“What do you think, great king? If that is so, then are these four castes all the same, or are they not, or how does it appear to you in this case?”
“Surely if that is so, Master Kaccāna, then these four castes are all the same;
there is no difference between them at all that I see.”
“That is also a way, great king, whereby it can be understood how that
statement of the brahmins is just a saying in the world.” [90]

§ 10. When this was said, King Avantiputta of Madhurā said to the venerable Mahā Kaccāna:

“Magnificent, Master Kaccāna! Magnificent, Master Kaccāna!
Master Kaccāna 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 is lost, or holding up a lamp in the dark for those with eyesight to see forms. I go to Master Kaccāna for refuge and to the Dhamma and to the Sangha of bhikkhus. From today let Master Kaccāna remember me as a lay follower who has gone to him for refuge for life.”
“Do not go to me for refuge, great king. Go for refuge to that same Blessed One to whom I have gone for refuge.”
“Where is he living now, Master Kaccāna, that Blessed One, accomplished and fully enlightened?”
“That Blessed One, accomplished and fully enlightened, has attained to final Nibbāna, great king.”

§ 11. “If we heard that that Blessed One was within ten leagues, we would go ten leagues in order to see that Blessed One, accomplished and fully enlightened.

If we heard that that Blessed One was within twenty leagues…thirty leagues… forty leagues…fifty leagues…a hundred leagues, we would go a hundred leagues in order to see that Blessed One, accomplished and fully enlightened. But since that Blessed One has attained to final Nibbāna, we go to that Blessed One for refuge and to the Dhamma and to the Sangha of bhikkhus. From today let Master Kaccāna remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge for life.”

087 Born from Those Who Are Dear

Exposition and Discussion with Bhikku Bodhi

MN 02-04-07 Piya Jathaka Sutta

[106]§  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 a certain householder’s dear and beloved only son had died. After his son’s death, he had no more desire to work or to eat. He kept going to the charnel ground and crying: “My only son, where are you? My only son, where are you?”

§  3. Then that householder went to the Blessed One, and after paying homage to him, sat down at one side. The Blessed One said to him:
“Householder, your faculties are not those of one in control of his own mind. Your faculties are deranged.”

“How could my faculties not be deranged, venerable sir? For my dear and beloved only son has died. Since he died I have no more desire to work or to eat. I keep going to the charnel ground and crying: ‘My only son, where are you? My only son, where are you?’”

“So it is, householder, so it is!
Sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair are born from those who are dear, arise from those who are dear.”
“Venerable sir, who would ever think that sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair are born from those who are dear, arise from those who are dear? ‘
Venerable sir, happiness and joy are born from those who are dear, arise from those who are dear.”

Then, displeased with the Blessed One’s words, disapproving of them, the householder rose from his seat and left.

§  4. Now on that occasion some gamblers were playing with dice not far from the Blessed One. Then the householder went to those gamblers and said: “Just now, sirs, [107] I went to the recluse Gotama, and after paying homage to him, I sat down at one side. When I had done so, the recluse Gotama said to me:
‘Householder, your faculties are not those of one in control of his own mind.’…
(repeat the entire conversation as above)…
‘Venerable sir, happiness and joy are born from those who are dear, arise from those who are dear.’ Then, displeased with the recluse Gotama’s words, disapproving of them, I rose from my seat and left.”
“So it is, householder, so it is! Happiness and joy are born from those who are dear, arise from those who are dear.”
Then the householder left thinking: “I agree with the gamblers.”

§  5. Eventually this story reached the king’s palace. Then King Pasenadi of Kosala told Queen Mallikā: “This is what has been said by the recluse Gotama, Mallikā: ‘Sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair are born from those who are dear, arise from those who are dear.’”
“If that has been said by the Blessed One, sire, then it is so.”
“No matter what the recluse Gotama says, Mallikā applauds it thus: ‘If that has been said by the Blessed One, sire, then it is so.’ Just as a pupil applauds whatever his teacher says to him, saying: ‘So it is, teacher, so it is!’; so too, Mallikā, no matter what the recluse Gotama says, you applaud it thus: ‘If that [108] has been said by the Blessed One, sire, then it is so.’ Be off, Mallikā, away with you!”

§  6. Then Queen Mallikā addressed the brahmin Nāḷijangha: “Come, brahmin, 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, Queen Mallikā pays homage with her
head at the Blessed One’s feet and asks whether the Blessed One is free from illness…and abiding in comfort.’ Then say this: ‘Venerable sir, have these words been uttered by the Blessed One: “Sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair are born from those who are dear, arise from those who are dear”?’ Learn well what the Blessed One replies and report it to me; for Tathāgatas do not speak untruth.”

“Yes, madam,” he replied, and he went to the Blessed One and exchanged greetings with him. When this courteous and amiable talk was finished, he sat down at one side and said: “Master Gotama, Queen Mallikā pays homage with her head at Master Gotama’s feet and asks whether he is free from illness…and
abiding in comfort. And she says this: ‘Venerable sir, have these words been spoken by the Blessed One: “Sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair are born from those who are dear, arise from those who are dear”?’”

§  7. “So it is, brahmin, so it is! Sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair are born from those who are dear, arise from those who are dear.

§  8. “It can be understood from this, brahmin, how sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair are born from those who are dear, arise from those who are dear. Once in this same Sāvatthī there was a certain woman whose mother died. Owing to her mother’s death, she went mad, lost her mind, and wandered from street to street and from crossroad to crossroad, saying: ‘Have you seen my mother? Have you seen my mother?’ [109]


§  9– § 14. “And it can also be understood from this how sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair are born from those who are dear, arise from those who are dear. Once in this same Sāvatthī there was a certain woman whose father died…
whose brother died…
whose sister died…
whose son died…
whose daughter died…
whose husband died. Owing to her husband’s death, she went mad, lost her mind, and wandered from street to street and from crossroad to crossroad, saying: ‘Have you seen my husband? Have you seen my husband?’

§ 15– §  21. “And it can also be understood from this how sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair are born from those who are dear, arise from those who are dear. Once in this same Sāvatthī there was a certain man whose mother died
…whose father died
…whose brother died
…whose sister died.
…whose son died
…whose daughter died
…whose wife died. Owing to his wife’s death, he went mad, lost his mind, and wandered from street to street and from crossroad to crossroad, saying: ‘Have you seen my wife? Have you seen my wife?’

§ 22.   “And it can also be understood from this how sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair are born from those who are dear, arise from those who are dear. Once in this same Sāvatthī there was a certain woman who went to live with her relatives’ family. Her relatives wanted to divorce her from her husband
and give her to another whom she did not want. Then the woman said to her husband: ‘Lord, these relatives of mine want to divorce me from you and give me to another whom I do not want.’ Then the man cut the woman in two and [110] disemboweled himself, thinking:
‘We shall be together in the after-life. ’ It can also be understood from this how sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair are born from those who are dear, arise from those who are dear.”

§ 23.   Then, delighting and rejoicing in the Blessed One’s words, the brahmin Nāḷijangha rose from his seat, went to Queen Mallikā, and reported to her his entire conversation with the Blessed One.

§  24. Then Queen Mallikā went to King Pasenadi of Kosala and asked him:
“What do you think, sire? Is Princess Vajīrī dear to you?”
“Yes, Mallikā, Princess Vajīrī is dear to me.”
“What do you think, sire?
If change and alteration828 took place in Princess Vajīrī, would sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair arise in you?”

[+828:- The expression is often used to mean serious illness and death.]

§  25. “Change and alteration in Princess Vajīrī would mean an alteration in my life. How could sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair not arise in me?”
“It was with reference to this, sire, that the Blessed One who knows and sees, accomplished and fully enlightened, said: ‘Sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair are born from those who are dear, arise from those who are dear.’

§ 25– § 28. “What do you think, sire?
Is the noble Queen Vāsabhā dear to you?…
Is General Viḍūḍabha dear to you?…[111]…
Am I dear to you?…
Are Kāsi and Kosala dear to you?”829

[829:- Viḍūḍabha was the king’s son, who eventually overthrew him. Kāsi and Kosala are lands over which the king ruled.]


“Yes, Mallikā, Kāsi and Kosala are dear to me. We owe it to Kāsi and Kosala that we use Kāsi sandalwood and wear garlands, scents, and unguents.”
“What do you think, sire? If change and alteration took place in Kāsi and Kosala, would sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair arise in you?”
“Change and alteration in Kāsi and Kosala would mean an alteration in my life. How could sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair not arise in me?”
“It was with reference to this, sire, that the Blessed One who knows and sees, accomplished and fully enlightened, said: ‘Sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair are born from those who are dear, arise from those who are dear.’”

§  29. “It is wonderful, Mallikā, it is marvellous how far [112] the Blessed One penetrates with wisdom and sees with wisdom! Come, Mallikā, give me the ablution water.”830

[830:- MA: He used this to wash his hands and feet and clean his mouth before saluting the Buddha.]


Then King Pasenadi of Kosala rose from his seat, and 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!”