Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikaya
II. Majjhima-Pannasa
2. Bhikkhu Vagga

The Middle Length Sayings
II. The Middle Fifty Discourses
2. The Division on Monks

Sutta 62

Maha-Rahul'ovada Suttam

Greater Discourse on An Exhortation to Rahula

Translated from the Pali by I.B. Horner, M.A.
Associate of Newham College, Cambridge
First Published in 1954

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[1][chlm][than][upal] THUS have I heard:

At one time the Lord was staying near Savatthi in the Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery.

Then the Lord, having dressed in the morning, taking his bowl and robe, entered Savatthi for almsfood.

The venerable Rahula, [421] having also dressed in the morning, taking his bowl and robe followed close after the Lord.

Then the Lord, having looked round, addressed the venerable Rahula, saying:

"Whatever, Rahula, is material shape, past, future, present, subjective or objective, gross or subtle, low or excellent, distant or near,
all material shape should be seen as it really is by means of perfect intuitive wisdom thus:
'This is not mine,
this am I not,
this is not my self.'"

"Only material shape, Lord,
only material shape, Wellfarer?"

"Material shape, Rahula,
and feeling, Rahula,
and perception, Rahula,
and the habitual tendencies, Rahula,
and consciousness, Rahula."

Then the venerable Rahula thought:

"Who indeed today, when he has been exhorted with an exhortation face-to-face with the Lord, could enter a village for almsfood?"

And turning back from there,
he sat down cross-legged at the root of a tree,
holding his back erect
and arousing mindfulness in front of him.

Then the venerable Sariputta saw the venerable Rahula sitting down cross-legged at the root of the tree, holding his back erect and arousing mindfulness in front of him;
and seeing him, he addressed the venerable Rahula, saying:

"Develop the (mind-) development[1] that is mindfulness on in-breathing and out-breathing, Rahula.

Mindfulness on in-breathing and out-breathing, Rahula,
if developed and made much of
is of great fruit, of great advantage."

Then the venerable [92] Rahula, emerging from solitary meditation towards evening, approached the Lord;
having approached, having greeted the Lord,
he sat down at a respectful distance.
As he was sitting down at a respectful distance,
the venerable Rahula spoke thus to the Lord:

"Revered sir, how if mindfulness on in-breathing and out-breathing is developed and made much of is it of great fruit, of great advantage?"

"Whatever,[2] Rahula, is hard, solid, is internal, referable to an individual and derived therefrom, that is to say:
the hair of the head, the hair of the body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, marrow of the bones, kidney, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, intestines, mesentery, stomach, excrement,
or whatever other thing is hard, solid, is internal, referable to an individual and derived therefrom,
this, Rahula, is called the internal element of extension.

Whatever is an internal element of extension
and whatever is an external element of extension,
just these are the element of extension.

By means of perfect intuitive wisdom it should be seen of this as it really is, thus:
This is not mine,
this am I not,
this is not my self.

[422] Having seen it thus as it really is by means of perfect intuitive wisdom,
he disregards the element of extension,
he cleanses his thought of the element of extension.

And what, Rahula, is the liquid element?

The liquid element may be internal, it may be external.

And what, Rahula, is the internal liquid element?

Whatever is liquid, fluid, is internal, referable to an individual and derived therefrom, that is to say:
bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, serum, saliva, mucus, synovial fluid, urine
or whatever other thing is liquid, fluid, is internal, referable to an individual and derived therefrom,
this, Rahula, is called the internal liquid element.

Whatever is an internal liquid element and whatever is an external liquid element, just these are the liquid element.

By means of perfect intuitive wisdom it should be seen of this as it really is, thus:
This is not mine,
this am I not,
this is not my self.

Having seen this thus as it really is by means of perfect intuitive wisdom,
he disregards the liquid element,
he cleanses his thought of the liquid element.

And what, Rahula, is the element of heat?

The heat element may be internal, it may be external.

And what, Rahula, is the [93] internal heat element?

Whatever is heat, warmth, is internal, referable to an individual and derived therefrom,
such as by whatever one is vitalised, by whatever one is consumed, by whatever one is burnt up, and by whatever one has munched, drunk, eaten and tasted that is properly transformed (in digestion),
or whatever other thing is heat, warmth, is internal, referable to an individual and derived therefrom,
this, Rahula, is called the internal heat element.

Whatever is an internal element of heat and whatever is an external element of heat,
just these are the element of heat.

By means of perfect intuitive wisdom it should be seen of this as it really is, thus:
This is not mine,
this am I not,
this is not my self.

Having seen this thus as it really is by means of perfect intuitive wisdom,
he disregards the heat element,
he cleanses his thought of the heat element.

And what, Rahula, is the element of motion?

The element of motion may be internal, it may be external.

And what, Rahula, is the internal element of motion?

Whatever is motion, wind, is internal, referable to an individual and derived therefrom,
such as winds going upwards, winds going downwards, winds in the abdomen, winds in the belly, winds that shoot across the several limbs, in-breathing, out-breathing,
or whatever other thing is motion, wind, is internal, referable to an individual and derived therefrom,
this, Rahula, is called the internal element of motion.

Whatever is an internal element of motion and whatever is an external element of motion, just these are the element of motion.

By means of perfect ihtuitive wisdom it should be seen of this as it really is, thus:
This is not mine,
this am I not,
this is not my self.

Having seen this thus as it really is [423] by means of perfect intuitive wisdom,
he disregards the element of motion,
he cleanses his thought of the element of motion.

And what, Rahlda, is the element of space?[3]

The element of space may be internal, it may be external.

And what, Rahula, is the internal element of space?

Whatever is space, spacious, is internal, referable to an individual and derived therefrom,
such as the auditory and nasal orifices, the door of the mouth and that by which one swallows what is munched, drunk, eaten and tasted, and where this remains, and where it passes out of (the body) lower down,
or whatever other thing is space, spacious, is internal, referable to an [94] individual and derived therefrom,
this, Rahula, is called the internal element of space.

Whatever is an internal element of space and whatever is an external element of space, just these are the element of space.

By means of perfect intuitive wisdom it should be seen of this as it really is, thus:
This is not mine,
this am I not,
this is not my self.

Having seen this thus as it really is by means of perfect intuitive wisdom,
he disregards the element of space,
he cleanses his thought of the element of space.

Develop the (mind-) development that is like the earth,[4] Rahula.

For, from developing the (mind-) development that is like the earth, Rahula,
agreeable and disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen,
taking hold of your thought,
will not persist.

As, Rahula, people cast what is clean on to the earth and what is unclean and, ordure and urine and spittle and pus and blood,
and yet the earth is not troubled thereby nor worried or disgusted,
even so do you, Rahula, develop the (mind-) development that is like the earth.
For, from developing the (mind-) development that is like the earth, Rahula,
agreeable and disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen,
taking hold of your thought,
will not persist.

Develop the (mind-) development that is like water, Rahula.

For, from developing the (mind-) development that is like water, Rahula,
agreeable and disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen,
taking hold of your thought,
will not persist.

As, Rahula, people wash what is clean in water and what is unclean and wash away ordure and urine and spittle and pus and blood,
and yet the water is not troubled thereby nor worried or disgusted,
[424] even so do you, Rahula, develop the (mind-) development that is like water.

For, from developing ...
will not persist.

Develop the (mind-) development that is like fire,[5] Rahula.

For, from developing the (mind-) development that is like fire, Rahula,
agreeable and disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen,
taking hold of your thought,
will not persist.

As, Rahula, fire burns what is clean and what is unclean and ordure and urine and spittle and pus and blood,
and yet the fire is not troubled thereby nor [95] worried or disgusted,
even so do you, Rahula, develop the (mind-) development that is like fire.

For, from developing ...
will not persist.

Develop the (mind-) development that is like wind, Rahula.

For, from developing the (mind-) development that is like wind, Rahula,
agreeable and disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen,
taking hold of your thought,
will not persist.

As, Rahula, the wind blows upon what is clean and what is unclean and upon ordure and urine and spittle and pus and blood,
and yet the wind is not troubled thereby nor worried or disgusted,
even so do you, Rahula, develop the (mind-) development that is like wind.

For from developing ...
will not persist.

Develop the (mind-) development that is like air, Rahula.

For, from developing the (mind-) development that is like air, Rahula, agreeable and disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen,
taking hold of your thought,
will not persist.

As, Rahula, the air does not repose anywhere,
even so do you, Rahula, develop the (mind-) development that is like air.

For, from developing the (mind-) development that is like air, Rahula,
agreeable and disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen,
taking hold of your thought,
will not persist.[6]

Develop the (mind-) development that is friendliness,[7] Rahula.

For, from developing the (mind-) development that is friendliness, Rahula,
that which is malevolence will be got rid of.

Develop the (mind-) development that is compassion, Rahula.

For, from developing the (mind-) development that is compassion, Rahula,
that which is harming will be got rid of.

Develop the (mind-) development that is sympathetic joy, Rahula.

For, from developing the (mind-) development that is sympathetic joy, Rahula,
that which is dislike[8] will be got rid of.

Develop the (mind-) development that is equanimity, Rahula.

For, from developing the (mind-) development that is equanimity, Rahula,
that which is sensory reaction will be got rid of.

Develop the (mind-) development that is [96] on the foul, Rahula.

For, from developing the (mind-)development that is on the foul, Rahula,
that which is attachment will be got rid of.[9]

Develop the (mind-) development that is perception of impermanence, Rahula.

[425] For, from developing the (mind-) development that is perception of impermanence, Rahula,
that which is the conceit, 'I am'[10] will be got rid of.

Develop the (mind-) development that is mindfulness of in-breathing and out-breathing, Rahula.

Mindfulness of in-breathing and out-breathing, Rahula,
is of great fruit, of great advantage.

And how, Rahula, if mindfulness of in-breathing and out-breathing is developed,
how, if it is made much of,
is it of great fruit, of great advantage?

As to this, Rahula, a monk who is-forest-gone[11]
or gone to the root of a tree
or gone to an empty place,
sits down cross-legged,
holding his back erect,
arousing mindfulness in front of him.

Mindful he breathes in,
mindful he breathes out.

Breathing in a long (breath) he comprehends,
'I am breathing in a long (breath)';
or breathing out a long (breath) he comprehends,
'I am breathing out a long (breath)';
or breathing in a short (breath) he comprehends,
'I am breathing in a short (breath)';
or breathing out a short (breath) he comprehends,
'I am breathing out a short (breath).'

He trains himself thinking:
'I shall breathe in experiencing the whole body';
he trains himself thinking:
'I shall breathe out experiencing the whole body.'
He trains himself thinking:
'I shall breathe in tranquillising the activity of the body';
he trains himself thinking:
'I shall breathe out tranquillising the activity of the body.'

He trains himself thinking:
'I shall breathe in experiencing rapture';
he trains himself thinking:
'I shall breathe out experiencing rapture.'
He trains himself thinking:
'I shall breathe in ... out experiencing happines
... shall breathe in ... out experiencing the activity of thought ...
tranquillising the activity of thought ...
experiencing thought ...
rejoicing in thought ...
concentrating thought ...
freeing thought.'

He trains himself thinking:
'I shall breathe in ... out beholding impermanence
... beholding dispassion
... beholding stopping
... beholding casting away.'

[97] Mindfulness of in-breathing and out-breathing if developed thus, Rahula,
if made much of thus,
is of great fruit, of great advantage.

When, Rahula, mindfulness of in-breathing and out-breathing has been developed thus,
[426] has been made much of thus,
then those which are the last in-breaths and out-breaths are also stopped
only when they are known,
not when they are unknown."[12]

Thus spoke the Lord. Delighted, the venerable Rahula rejoiced in what the Lord had said.

Greater Discourse on an Exhortation to Rahula: The Second

 


[1] bhavanam bhavehi.

[2] Down to the end of "the element of motion," cf. M. Sta. 28. For notes, see M.L.S. i. 231 ff. Cf. A. ii. 164, and see G.S. ii. 171, n. 1.

[3] akasadhatu does not occur in Sta. 28, but in Stas. 112, 115, 140 vinnanadhatu is added to the five mentioned above, as also at D. iii. 247, A. i. 176. See also Dhs. 638.

[4] Earth, water, fire, wind, akasa are in Pali the same for the words rendered above respectively: extension, liquid (or cohesion), heat, motion, space. For a note on akasa, see above, p. 17, n. 1. Cf. Thag. 1014 where Sariputta says of himself that he is like earth, water, fire in that he is neither attachcd to nor revolted by (sensory impingements); and A. iv. 394 f. where he tells the Lord that he abides with his mind like the first four of these elements.

[5] Cf. Miln. 385.

[6] These last two sentences are quoted at Miln. 388.

[7] For this and the following five kinds of mental development, cf. the six nissaraniya dhatuyo (elements from which there is escape) at D. iii. 247-250, a passage which shows interesting similarities as well as variations in respect of the six "developments" of the M. passage above.

[8] arati. aversion, fretting. MA. iii. 140 explains arati as arati pantasenasanesu c'eva adkikusalesu dhammesu ca ukkanthita (aversion from, or dislike of, remote lodgings as well as longing for (fretting after) highly skilled dhamma (items, mental states?).

[9] Cf. A. iv. 46.

[10] asmimana; cf. M. i. 139. It is the pride due to thinking, 'I am in material shapes, and so on.'

[11] With the following cf. M. i. 56. All the terms, to the end of this Discourse, are explained in Vism., Ch. VIII.

[12] Vism. 291 f. gives some explanation of the meaning of ye pi te carimaka assasapassasa te pi vidita va nirujjhanti no avidita.


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