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Samyutta Nikaya
IV. Salayatana Vagga
35: Salayatana Samyutta
Pannasaka Tatiya
2. Lokakamaguna Vagga

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
IV. Kindred Sayings on the 'Six-Fold Sphere' of Sense and Other Subjects
35: Kindred Sayings the Sixfold Sphere of Sense The 'Third Fifty' Suttas
2. The Chapter on the Worldly Sensual Elements

Sutta 116

Pathama Loka-Kama-Guna Suttam

Worldly Sense-Pleasures (i)

Translated by F. L. Woodward
Edited by Mrs. Rhys Davids

Copyright The Pali Text Society
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[93] [57]

[1][bodh] Thus have I heard:[ed1]

Once the Exalted One addressed the brethren, saying:

"Brethren."

"Lord," responded those brethren to the Exalted One.

The Exalted One thus spake:

"I declare, Brethren,
that the end of the world
is not to be learned,
seen,
gone to,
by going to world's end.[1]

Nor do I declare, Brethren,
that the end of ill
can be made
without going to world's end."

So saying the Exalted One rose from his seat
and entered the residence.[2]

 


 

Now not long after the Exalted One had gone,
it occurred thus to those brethren:

"The Exalted One, having given us this pronouncement in brief,
without expounding its meaning in detail,
rose from his seat
and entered the residence,
having said this:[ed2]

'I declare, Brethren,
that the end of the world
is not to be learned,
seen,
gone to,
by going to world's end.

Nor do I declare, Brethren,
that the end of ill
can be made
without going to world's end.'

Pray who could expound to us in detail
the meaning of this pronouncement
made in brief by the Exalted One?"

 


 

Then it occurred to those brethren:[3]

"There is this venerable Ananda,
one praised by the Master
and honoured by intelligent co-mates of the righteous life.

The venerable Ananda is capable of expounding in detail
the meaning of this pronouncement
made in brief by the Exalted One.

Suppose we go to visit the venerable Ananda?

Suppose we come before the venerable Ananda
and question him as to the meaning of this thing?"

So those brethren went to visit the venerable Ananda,
came into his presence
and greeted him courteously,
and after the exchange of mutual courtesies,
sat down at one side.

So seated
those brethren said to the venerable Ananda:

"Friend Ananda, the Exalted One,
after giving us this pronouncement in brief,
without expounding its meaning in detail,
rose from his seat
and entered the residence.

He said:

'I declare, Brethren,
that the end of the world
is not to be learned,
seen,
gone to,
by going to world's end.

Nor do I declare, Brethren,
that the end of ill
can be made
without going to world's end.'[4]

Now not long after the Exalted One had gone,
it occurred thus to us:

'The Exalted One, having given us this pronouncement in brief,
without expounding its meaning in detail,
rose from his seat
and entered the residence,
having said this:

"I declare, Brethren,
that the end of the world
is not to be learned,
seen,
gone to,
by going to world's end.

Nor do I declare, Brethren,
that the end of ill
can be made
without going to world's end."

Pray who could expound to us in detail
the meaning of this pronouncement
made in brief by the Exalted One?'

Do you expound, venerable Ananda."

 


 

"Friends, suppose a man in need of sound timber,[5]
in quest of sound timber,
going about searching for sound timber,
should come upon a tree,
upstanding,
all sound timber:
but, leaving the root,
leaving the trunk,
should think that sound timber
was to be looked for
in leaves and branches.

This is just what has happened[6] to you venerable ones.

Though you had the Master face to face
you passed over that Exalted One,
and think that I am the one to be questioned on this matter.

Friends, that Exalted One
is one who, knowing, knoweth:
who, seeing, seeth:
who hath become the seer,
who hath become the knower,
who hath become the Norm,
who hath become the highest.

Proclaimer and expounder is he.

Dispenser of good,
giver of the immortal,
Lord of the [59] Norm, Tathagata, is he.[7]

Surely that was the time
for you to ask the Exalted One this question.

What the Exalted One should reply to you,
that should ye bear in mind."

"True it is, friend Ananda, that the Exalted One
is one who, knowing, knoweth:
who, seeing, seeth:
who hath become the seer,
who hath become the knower,
who hath become the Norm,
who hath become the highest.[8]

Proclaimer and expounder is he.

Dispenser of good,
giver of the immortal,
Lord of the Norm, Tathagata, is he.

Surely that was the time
for us to have asked the Exalted One this question
and that we should bear in mind
what the Exalted One might reply to us.

Still we thought:

'Here is this venerable Ananda,
one praised by the Master
and honoured by intelligent co-mates of the righteous life.

The venerable Ananda is capable of expounding in detail
the meaning of this pronouncement
made in brief by the Exalted One.

Suppose we go to visit the venerable Ananda?

Suppose we come before the venerable Ananda
and question him as to the meaning of this thing?'

Let the venerable Ananda expound the meaning,
and not put us to further trouble."[9]

"Well, listen, friends.

Apply your minds.

I will speak."

"Very good, friend,"
replied those brethren
to the venerable Ananda,
who said: -

"As to that pronouncement
uttered in brief by the Exalted One,
but without expounding its meaning in detail:

'I declare, Brethren,
that the end of the world
is not to be learned,
seen,
gone to,
by going to world's end.

Nor do I declare, Brethren,
that the end of ill
can be made
without going to world's end.'

Thus do I understand it: -

That by which one is conscious of the world,
by which one has conceit of the world,[10] -
that is called
'world'
in the Ariyan discipline.

And through what is one conscious of the world?

Through what has one conceit of the world?

Through the eye, friends,
through the ear,
through the nose,
through the tongue,
through the body,
through the mind
one is conscious of the world,
has conceit of the world.

That is called
'world'
in the Ariyan discipline.

As to that pronouncement
uttered in brief by the Exalted One,
but without expounding its meaning in detail:

'I declare, Brethren,
that the end of the world
is not to be learned,
seen,
gone to,
by going to world's end.

Nor do I declare, Brethren,
that the end of ill
can be made
without going to world's end.'

Thus do I understand in detail
the meaning of what was not explained in detail.

But, if ye wish it, ye venerable ones
should approach the Exalted One
and question him on this matter,
and according as the Exalted One explains it to you
so do ye bear it in mind."

"Very good, friend," replied those brethren to the venerable [60] Ananda.

 


 

Then rising up
they went to the Exalted One,
saluted him
and sat down at one side.

So seated,
they thus addressed the Exalted One: -

"As to that pronouncement, lord
uttered in brief by the Exalted One,
but without expounding its meaning in detail:

'I declare, Brethren,
that the end of the world
is not to be learned,
seen,
gone to,
by going to world's end.

Nor do I declare, Brethren,
that the end of ill
can be made
without going to world's end.'

So saying the Exalted One rose from his seat
and entered the residence.

Now not long after the Exalted One had gone,
it occurred thus to us:

'The Exalted One, having given us this pronouncement in brief,
without expounding its meaning in detail,
rose from his seat
and entered the residence,
having said this:

"I declare, Brethren,
that the end of the world
is not to be learned,
seen,
gone to,
by going to world's end.

Nor do I declare, Brethren,
that the end of ill
can be made
without going to world's end."

Pray who could expound to us in detail
the meaning of this pronouncement
made in brief by the Exalted One?"

Then it occurred to us:

'There is this venerable Ananda,
one praised by the Master
and honoured by intelligent co-mates of the righteous life.

The venerable Ananda is capable of expounding in detail
the meaning of this pronouncement
made in brief by the Exalted One.

Suppose we go to visit the venerable Ananda?

Suppose we come before the venerable Ananda
and question him as to the meaning of this thing?'

So we went to visit the venerable Ananda,
came into his presence
and greeted him courteously,
and after the exchange of mutual courtesies,
sat down at one side.

So seated
we said to the venerable Ananda:

'Friend Ananda, the Exalted One,
after giving us this pronouncement in brief,
without expounding its meaning in detail,
rose from his seat
and entered the residence.

He said:

"I declare, Brethren,
that the end of the world
is not to be learned,
seen,
gone to,
by going to world's end.

Nor do I declare, Brethren,
that the end of ill
can be made
without going to world's end."

Now not long after the Exalted One had gone,
it occurred thus to us:

"The Exalted One, having given us this pronouncement in brief,
without expounding its meaning in detail,
rose from his seat
and entered the residence,
having said this:

'I declare, Brethren,
that the end of the world
is not to be learned,
seen,
gone to,
by going to world's end.

Nor do I declare, Brethren,
that the end of ill
can be made
without going to world's end.'

Pray who could expound to us in detail
the meaning of this pronouncement
made in brief by the Exalted One?"

Do you expound, venerable Ananda.'

[Then Ananda said:]

'Friends, suppose a man in need of sound timber,
in quest of sound timber,
going about searching for sound timber,
should come upon a tree,
upstanding,
all sound timber:
but, leaving the root,
leaving the trunk,
should think that sound timber
was to be looked for
in leaves and branches.

This is just what has happened to you venerable ones.

Though you had the Master face to face
you passed over that Exalted One,
and think that I am the one to be questioned on this matter.

Friends, that Exalted One
is one who, knowing, knoweth:
who, seeing, seeth:
who hath become the seer,
who hath become the knower,
who hath become the Norm,
who hath become the highest.

Proclaimer and expounder is he.

Dispenser of good,
giver of the immortal,
Lord of the Norm, Tathagata, is he.

Surely that was the time
for you to ask the Exalted One this question.

What the Exalted One should reply to you,
that should ye bear in mind.'

[We replied:]

'True it is, friend Ananda, that the Exalted One
is one who, knowing, knoweth:
who, seeing, seeth:
who hath become the seer,
who hath become the knower,
who hath become the Norm,
who hath become the highest.

Proclaimer and expounder is he.

Dispenser of good,
giver of the immortal,
Lord of the Norm, Tathagata, is he.

Surely that was the time
for us to have asked the Exalted One this question
and that we should bear in mind
what the Exalted One might reply to us.

Still we thought:

"Here is this venerable Ananda,
one praised by the Master
and honoured by intelligent co-mates of the righteous life.

The venerable Ananda is capable of expounding in detail
the meaning of this pronouncement
made in brief by the Exalted One.

Suppose we go to visit the venerable Ananda?

Suppose we come before the venerable Ananda
and question him as to the meaning of this thing?"

Let the venerable Ananda expound the meaning,
and not put us to further trouble.'

Then the meaning was explained to us by the venerable Ananda,
with these reasons,
in these words,
in these particulars:'[11]

'Well, listen, friends.

Apply your minds.

I will speak.'

'Very good, friend,'
we replied
to the venerable Ananda,
who said: -

'As to that pronouncement
uttered in brief by the Exalted One,
but without expounding its meaning in detail:

"I declare, Brethren,
that the end of the world
is not to be learned,
seen,
gone to,
by going to world's end.

Nor do I declare, Brethren,
that the end of ill
can be made
without going to world's end."

Thus do I understand it: -

That by which one is conscious of the world,
by which one has conceit of the world, -
that is called
'world'
in the Ariyan discipline.

And through what is one conscious of the world?

Through what has one conceit of the world?

Through the eye, friends,
through the ear,
through the nose,
through the tongue,
through the body,
through the mind
one is conscious of the world,
has conceit of the world.

That is called
'world'
in the Ariyan discipline.

As to that pronouncement
uttered in brief by the Exalted One,
but without expounding its meaning in detail:

"I declare, Brethren,
that the end of the world
is not to be learned,
seen,
gone to,
by going to world's end.

Nor do I declare, Brethren,
that the end of ill
can be made
without going to world's end."

Thus do I understand in detail
the meaning of what was not explained in detail.

But, if ye wish it, ye venerable ones
should approach the Exalted One
and question him on this matter,
and according as the Exalted One explains it to you
so do ye bear it in mind.'

Very good, friend,' we replied to the venerable Ananda.

Then rising up
we came to the Exalted One."

"A sage, Brethren, is Ananda;
of great wisdom, Brethren, is Ananda.|| ||

If you were to put me this question,
I should explain it even as Ananda explained it to you.

This is the meaning of that thing,
and so do ye bear it in mind."

 


[1] Cf. K.S. i, 85 f.; A. ii, 48.

[2] Comy. thinks he went away so that the brethren might hear his praises from Ananda and so have renewed confidence in their Master.

[3] Cf. K.S. iii, 112, Dial. ii. 159, Further Dial, i, 155, etc.

[4] K.S. i, 85 f.; A. ii, 47 f.

[5] Cf. M. i, 111, 194, 233; K.S. iii, 119.

[6] Evan sampadan idan. = sampattikan Comy.

[7] The word 'Tathagata,' is thus explained by Comy.

[8] Cakkhu-, nana-, dhamma-, brahma-bhuta. Cf. K.S. ii, 170 (S. ii, 255).

[9] Agarun karitva generally means 'doing a discourtesy.' Comy. says 'by making us ask again and again.'

[10] Loka-sanni, loka-mani.

[11] Imehi akarehi, padehi, vyanjanehi. Comy. 'karanehi, akkhara-sampindakehi, patiyekka-akkharehi.'

 


[ed1] This sutta has no nidana.

[ed2] Woodward has 'saying', but the Buddha did not "rise up from his seat and enter his residence saying" what he said. He said what he said and then rose up...; further Woodward alters the wording of his translation slightly where the Pali is (and always is) identical. I have changed things accordingly, but have retained Woodward's vocabulary.


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