Samyutta Nikaya Masthead


[Site Map]  [Home]  [Sutta Indexes]  [Glossology]  [Site Sub-Sections]

The Pali is transliterated as ASCII (aiumnntdnl). Alternatives:
[ IAST Unicode (āīūṃṅñṭḍṇḷ) | Velthuis (aaiiuu.m'n~n.t.d.n.l) ]

 

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 117

Devadaha Sutta

Worldly Sensual Elements (ii)

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

Copyright The Pali Text Society
Commercial Rights Reserved
Creative Commons Licence
For details see Terms of Use.

 


[97] [60]

[1][olds][bodh] [No Nidana]

2. 'Before I was enlightened, brethren,
with higher enlightenment,
when I was yet a Bodhisat,
I thought thus:

Those worldly sensual elements,
formerly experienced by my thought,
are past,
perished
and altered.

Therein my thought might run riot[1]
when they are present,
or shrink away
when they are not yet arisen.

Then, brethren, I thought thus:

Bhk. Bodhi's translation is much clearer:
'My mind may often stray towards those five cords of sensual pleasure that have already left their impression on the heart but which have passed, ceased, and changed, or towards those are present, or slightly towards those in the future.'

p.p. explains it all - p.p.

3. As to those worldly sensual elements,
therein I ought,
for my own sake,[2]
to practise watchfulness
and concentration of mind.

Wherefore, brethren,
as to those worldly sensual elements
experienced by thought,
which are passed,
perished
and altered,
therein your thoughts may run riot
when they are present,
or shrink away
when they are not yet arisen.

Wherefore, brethren,
in your case also,
as to these worldly sensual elements,
ye ought,
for your own sakes,
to practise watchfulness
and concentration of mind.

Bhk. Bodhi has translated:
'...that base should be understood where the eye ceases and perception of forms fades away.
That base should be understood ... ear and sounds ... mind and mental phenomena fades away.
That base should be understood.'
The problem is an 'extra' ye ayatane veditabbe.
Woodward's: 'what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere', or Bhk. Bodhi's: 'that base should be understood'.
In the Pali the 'extra' phrase comes at the beginning which sounds strange to us and has been placed at the end by Bhk. Bodhi as a sort of summary. In fact, what it looks like is that the summary coming at the beginning, was the teaching in brief and that the individual sense spheres were mistakenly added in there, and where the Buddha is being quoted, by the editors rendering the whole idea of why this statement was not obvious to the bhikkhus a mystery
as Ananda's explanation is nothing more than this expansion.

p.p. explains it all - p.p.

[61] 4. Wherefore, brethren, as to those worldly sensual elements
experienced by thought,
which are passed,
perished
and altered,
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein eye and perception of objects fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein ear and perception of sounds fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein nose and perception of scents fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein tongue and perception of savours fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein mind and perception of mind-states fade away[3]-

in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere,
ye ought,
for your own sakes,
to practise watchfulness
and concentration of mind.

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

6. 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, saying this:

"Wherefore, brethren, as to those worldly sensual elements
experienced by thought,
which are passed,
perished
and altered,
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein eye and perception of objects fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein ear and perception of sounds fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein nose and perception of scents fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein tongue and perception of savours fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein mind and perception of mind-states fade away-

in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere,
ye ought,
for your own sakes,
to practise watchfulness
and concentration of mind."

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

7. Then it occurred to those brethren:

'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.'

8. 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.

9. 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:

"Wherefore, brethren, as to those worldly sensual elements
experienced by thought,
which are passed,
perished
and altered,
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein eye and perception of objects fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein ear and perception of sounds fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein nose and perception of scents fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein tongue and perception of savours fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein mind and perception of mind-states fade away-

in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere,
ye ought,
for your own sakes,
to practise watchfulness
and concentration of mind."

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,
saying this:

"Wherefore, brethren, as to those worldly sensual elements
experienced by thought,
which are passed,
perished
and altered,
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein eye and perception of objects fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein ear and perception of sounds fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein nose and perception of scents fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein tongue and perception of savours fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein mind and perception of mind-states fade away-

in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere,
ye ought,
for your own sakes,
to practise watchfulness
and concentration of mind,"

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.'

Do you expound, venerable Ananda.'

The venerable Ananda said: -

10. '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.'

11. '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 ask the Exalted One this question.

What the Exalted One should reply,
that we should bear in mind.

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.'

12. 'Well, listen, friends.

Apply your minds.

I will speak.'

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

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

"Wherefore, brethren, as to those worldly sensual elements
experienced by thought,
which are passed,
perished
and altered,
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein eye and perception of objects fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein ear and perception of sounds fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein nose and perception of scents fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein tongue and perception of savours fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein mind and perception of mind-states fade away-

in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere,
ye ought,
for your own sakes,
to practise watchfulness
and concentration of mind",

thus do I understand it, friends:

It was uttered, friends,
by the Exalted One concerning the sixfold sphere of sense,
thus:

"Wherefore, brethren, as to those worldly sensual elements
experienced by thought,
which are passed,
perished
and altered,
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein eye and perception of objects fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein ear and perception of sounds fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein nose and perception of scents fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein tongue and perception of savours fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein mind and perception of mind-states fade away-

in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere,
ye ought,
for your own sakes,
to practise watchfulness
and concentration of mind
- so do I understand the meaning.

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

'Very good, friend,' replied those brethren to the venerable Ananda.

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

15. 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:

"Wherefore, brethren, as to those worldly sensual elements
experienced by thought,
which are passed,
perished
and altered,
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein eye and perception of objects fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein ear and perception of sounds fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein nose and perception of scents fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein tongue and perception of savours fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein mind and perception of mind-states fade away-

in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere,
ye ought,
for your own sakes,
to practise watchfulness
and concentration of mind",

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,
saying this:

"Wherefore, brethren, as to those worldly sensual elements
experienced by thought,
which are passed,
perished
and altered,
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein eye and perception of objects fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein ear and perception of sounds fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein nose and perception of scents fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein tongue and perception of savours fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein mind and perception of mind-states fade away-

in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere,
ye ought,
for your own sakes,
to practise watchfulness
and concentration of mind,"

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.'

16. So then 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:

"Wherefore, brethren, as to those worldly sensual elements
experienced by thought,
which are passed,
perished
and altered,
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein eye and perception of objects fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein ear and perception of sounds fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein nose and perception of scents fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein tongue and perception of savours fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein mind and perception of mind-states fade away-

in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere,
ye ought,
for your own sakes,
to practise watchfulness
and concentration of mind."

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,
saying this:

"Wherefore, brethren, as to those worldly sensual elements
experienced by thought,
which are passed,
perished
and altered,
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein eye and perception of objects fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein ear and perception of sounds fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein nose and perception of scents fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein tongue and perception of savours fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein mind and perception of mind-states fade away-

in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere,
ye ought,
for your own sakes,
to practise watchfulness
and concentration of mind,"

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.'

Do you expound, venerable Ananda'

17. The venerable 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.'

'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 ask the Exalted One this question.

What the Exalted One should reply,
that we should bear in mind.

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.'

'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:

"Wherefore, brethren, as to those worldly sensual elements
experienced by thought,
which are passed,
perished
and altered,
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein eye and perception of objects fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein ear and perception of sounds fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein nose and perception of scents fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein tongue and perception of savours fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein mind and perception of mind-states fade away-

in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere,
ye ought,
for your own sakes,
to practise watchfulness
and concentration of mind.

thus do I understand it, friends:

It was uttered, friends,
by the Exalted One concerning the sixfold sphere of sense,
thus:

"Wherefore, brethren, as to those worldly sensual elements
experienced by thought,
which are passed,
perished
and altered,
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein eye and perception of objects fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein ear and perception of sounds fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein nose and perception of scents fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein tongue and perception of savours fade away, -
in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere: -
wherein mind and perception of mind-states fade away-

in what is to be regarded as a sense-sphere,
ye ought,
for your own sakes,
to practise watchfulness
and concentration of mind
- so do I understand the meaning.

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

'Very good, friend,' we replied to the venerable Ananda and then rising up we came to the Exalted One.

And the Exalted One replied: -

'A sage, brethren, is Ananda.

Of great wisdom, brethren, is Ananda.

If ye 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] Bahulam ... appam gaccheyya. Comy. says 'in the future, when Metteyya Buddha shall arise, these passions will be of diminished force.'

[2] Atta-rupena. Cf. A. ii, 120, the Comy. on which has attano anurupena, anucchavikena, hitakamenati: 'by (what is) suitable, befitting for the self, by desire for (one's) good.'

[3] Comy. Salayatana-nirodho vuccati nibbanam, in which state all sinks to rest. Cf. D. i, 222; S. iii, 188; Udana, chap. viii.


Contact:
E-mail
Copyright Statement