Digha Nikaya


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Dīgha Nikāya

The Longs Basket

Sutta 1

The Brahma-Jāla Suttanta

BrahmaNet Spell

Partly translated from the Pali by Michael Olds, partly 'adapted/edited' from the Rhys Davids' translation

 


 

On Higher Dhamma III

Speculation about the Future

[74][pts][wp] There are shaman and Brahmans, Beggars, who speculate about the future, whose speculations are about the future, and who on forty-four grounds put forward various assertions regarding it.

What forty-four grounds?

Believers in Conscious Existence after Death

[75][pts][wp] There are, Beggars, some shaman and Brahmans who are Believers in a Conscious Existence after Death, and who, on sixteen grounds, state that the Self is conscious after death.

What sixteen grounds?

They say:

The Self has perception after Death, is whole and has material shape.
The Self has perception after Death, is whole and has no material shape.
The Self has perception after Death, is whole and both has and has not got material shape.
The Self has perception after Death, is whole and neither has nor has not got material shape.

The Self has perception after Death, is whole and has an end.
The Self has perception after Death, is whole and has no end.
The Self has perception after Death, is whole and both has an end and has no end.
The Self has perception after Death, is whole and neither has an end nor has no end.

The self has perception after Death, is whole and has one mode of perception.
The self has perception after Death, is whole and has diverse modes of perception.
The self has perception after Death, is whole and has limited perception.
The self has perception after Death, is whole and has unbounded perception.

The self has perception after Death, is whole and is primarily happy.
The self has perception after Death, is whole and is primarily in pain.
The self has perception after Death, is whole and is both happy and in pain.
The self has perception after Death, is whole and is neither happy nor in pain.

[76][pts][wp] These, beggars, are the shaman and Brahmans who are Believers in a Conscious Existence after Death, and who, on sixteen grounds state that the Self is conscious after death. Whatever shaman or Brahman, Beggars, are Believers in a Conscious Existence after Death, are such in one of these sixteen ways and no other.

[77][pts][wp] But of these, Beggars, the Tathagata knows that arriving at such views, holding such views, believing such views, trusting such views will have such and such a consequence in terms of rebirth in the hereafter. This and much more the Tathagata is able to see, for he knows as it really is the coming to be and the passing away of sense experience, the satisfaction of sense experience and the way of escape from sense experience. And because he does not cling to what he sees he is objectively detached and he experiences for himself the peace of utter freedom.

These are advanced things, Beggars, matters that are deep, difficult to see, difficult to grasp, subtle, leading one who follows to tranquility and the sublime; things not to be arrived at by mere logic and reasoning, comprehensible only by the wise. These, Beggars are the things the Tathagata teaches, having seen them for himself. These are the things which should be spoken of by one when he speaks in praise of the Tathagata.

Believers in an Unconscious Existence after Death

[78][pts][wp] [3.1] There are, Beggars, some shaman and Brahmans who are Believers in an Unconscious Existence after Death, and who, on eight grounds, state that the Self is not conscious after death.

What eight grounds?

[79][pts][wp] They say:

The Self has no perception after Death, is whole and has material shape.

The Self has no perception after Death, is whole and has no material shape.

The Self has no perception after Death, is whole and both has and has not got material shape.

The Self, has no perception after Death, is whole and neither has nor has not got material shape.

The Self has no perception after Death, is whole and has an end.

The Self has no perception after Death, is whole and has no end.

The Self has no perception after Death, is whole and both has an end and has no end.

The Self has no perception after Death, is whole and neither has an end nor has no end.

[80][pts][wp] These, beggars, are the shaman and Brahmans who are Believers in an Unconscious Existence after Death, and who, on eight grounds state that the Self is unconscious after death. Whatever shaman or Brahman, Beggars, are Believers in an Unconscious Existence after Death, are such in one of these eight ways and no other.

[81][pts][wp] But of these, Beggars, the Tathagata knows that arriving at such views, holding such views, believing such views, trusting such views will have such and such a consequence in terms of rebirth in the hereafter. This and much more the Tathagata is able to see, for he knows as it really is the coming to be and the passing away of sense experience, the satisfaction of sense experience and the way of escape from sense experience. And because he does not cling to what he sees he is objectively detached and he experiences for himself the peace of utter freedom.

These are advanced things, Beggars, matters that are deep, difficult to see, difficult to grasp, subtle, leading one who follows to tranquility and the sublime; things not to be arrived at by mere logic and reasoning, comprehensible only by the wise. These, Beggars are the things the Tathagata teaches, having seen them for himself. These are the things which should be spoken of by one when he speaks in praise of the Tathagata.

Believers in an Existence after Death that is Neither Conscious nor Unconscious

[82][pts][wp] There are, Beggars, some shaman and Brahmans who are Believers in an Existance after Death that is Neither Conscious nor Unconscious and who, on eight grounds, state that the Self is neither conscious nor unconscious after death.

What eight grounds?

[83][pts][wp] They say:

The Self neither has nor has not got perception after Death, is whole and has material shape.

The Self neither has nor has not got perception after Death, is whole and has no material shape.

The Self neither has nor has not got perception after Death, is whole and both has and has not got material shape.

The Self neither has nor has not got perception after Death, is whole and neither has nor has not got material shape.

The Self neither has nor has not got perception after Death, is whole and has an end.

The Self neither has nor has not got perception after Death, is whole and has no end.

The Self neither has nor has not got perception after Death, is whole and both has an end and has no end.

The Self neither has nor has not got perception after Death, is whole and neither has an end nor has no end.

[84][pts][wp] These, beggars, are the shaman and Brahmans who are Believers in an Existence after Death that is Neither Conscious nor Unconscious, and who, on eight grounds state that the Self is neither conscious nor unconscious after death. Whatever shaman or Brahman, Beggars, are Believers in an Existence after Death which is neither conscious nor unconscious, are such in one of these eight ways and no other.

[85][pts][wp] But of these, Beggars, the Tathagata knows that arriving at such views, holding such views, believing such views, trusting such views will have such and such a consequence in terms of rebirth in the hereafter. This and much more the Tathagata is able to see, for he knows as it really is the coming to be and the passing away of sense experience, the satisfaction of sense experience and the way of escape from sense experience. And because he does not cling to what he sees he is objectively detached and he experiences for himself the peace of utter freedom.

These are advanced things, Beggars, matters that are deep, difficult to see, difficult to grasp, subtle, leading one who follows to tranquility and the sublime; things not to be arrived at by mere logic and reasoning, comprehensible only by the wise. These, Beggars are the things the Tathagata teaches, having seen them for himself. These are the things which should be spoken of by one when he speaks in praise of the Tathagata.

Annihilationist

[86][pts][wp] There are, Beggars, shaman and Brahmans who are Annihilationist, who in seven ways maintain the annihilation, the destruction, the cessation of a living being.

What seven?

[87][pts][wp] In the case of the first case, Beggars, some shaman or Brahman holds the view: "This self is material of the four great elements and comes from a mother and father; at the break up and destruction of the body at death it is completely annihilated."

This is the first way.

[89][pts][wp] Another replies to this: "This far, the Self is such as this, this I do not deny; however the Self is not yet, at this point, completely annihilated. There is another self, of godlike material, living in pleasure, feeding on material food[3]. Although this Self you neither know nor see, I know it and see it. This Self at the break up and destruction of the body at death comes to be completely annihilated."

This is the second way.

[89][pts][wp] Another replies to this: "This far, the Self is such as this, this I do not deny; however the Self is not yet, at this point, completely annihilated. There is another self, of godlike material, mind-made, complete in every detail and faculty. Although this Self you neither know nor see, I know it and see it. This Self, at the break up and destruction of the body at death comes to be completely annihilated."

This is the third way.

[90][pts][wp] Another replies to this: "This far, the Self is such as this, this I do not deny; however the Self is not yet, at this point, completely annihilated. There is another Self, which having passed past all perception of materiality, by the ending of perception of limit[4], by the settling down of perception of diversity, thinking 'Space is endless!", arises in the Sphere of Endless Space. This Self, at the break up and destruction of the body at death comes to be completely annihilated."

This is the fourth way.

[91][pts][wp] Another replies to this: "This far, the Self is such as this, this I do not deny; however the Self is not yet, at this point, completely annihilated. There is another Self, which having passed past the Sphere of Endless Space, thinking 'Consciousness is endless!', arises in the Sphere of Endless Consciousness. This Self, at the break up and destruction of the body at death comes to be completely annihilated.

This is the fifth way.

[92][pts][wp] Another replies to this: "This far, the Self is such as this, this I do not deny; however the Self is not yet, at this point, completely annihilated. There is another Self, which having passed past the Sphere of Consciousness, thinking 'There is No Thing There!' arises in the Sphere of No Thing There. This Self, at the break up and destruction of the body at death comes to be completely annihilated.

This is the sixth way.

[93][pts][wp] Another replies to this: "This far, the Self is such as this, this I do not deny; however the Self is not yet, at this point, completely annihilated. There is another Self, which having passed past the Sphere of No Thing There, thinking 'This is for real, this is very high' arises in the Sphere of Not Even Perceiving Non-Perception. This Self, at the break up and destruction of the body at death comes to be completely annihilated.

This is the seventh way.

[94][pts][wp] These are the shaman and Brahmans, Beggars, who are Annihilationists, who in seven ways maintain the annihilation, the destruction, the cessation of a living being. Whatever shaman or Brahman, Beggars, are Believers in the Annihilation of the Self after Death, are such in one of these seven ways and no other.

[95][pts][wp] But of these, Beggars, the Tathagata knows that arriving at such views, holding such views, believing such views, trusting such views will have such and such a consequence in terms of rebirth in the hereafter. This and much more the Tathagata is able to see, for he knows as it really is the coming to be and the passing away of sense experience, the satisfaction of sense experience and the way of escape from sense experience. And because he does not cling to what he sees he is objectively detached and he experiences for himself the peace of utter freedom.

These are advanced things, Beggars, matters that are deep, difficult to see, difficult to grasp, subtle, leading one who follows to tranquility and the sublime; things not to be arrived at by mere logic and reasoning, comprehensible only by the wise. These, Beggars are the things the Tathagata teaches, having seen them for himself. These are the things which should be spoken of by one when he speaks in praise of the Tathagata.

Nibbana-Amidst-Visible-Things

[96][pts][wp] There are, Beggars, shaman and Brahmans who hold that Nibbana is to be had Here Amidst Visible Things, who in five ways maintain that Nibbana is to be had by living beings Here Amidst Visible Things.

What five?

[97][pts][wp] Here some shaman or Brahman holds the view: "The Self is in the highest Nibbana Here Amidst Visible Things when it is fully indulging the five senses with which it is endowed."

This is the first.

[98][pts][wp] Another replies to this: "This far, the Self enjoys Nibbana Here Amidst Visible Things, this I do not deny; however the Self is not yet, at this point, enjoying the highest Nibbana Here Amidst Visible Things.
How come?
Because sense pleasures are impermanent, subject to change and the upshot of that is pain, grief and lamentation, misery and upset. But when this Self apart from pleasure-seeking and unskillful things, in full enjoyment of the sense of ease resulting from solitude, with thinking and reflection, arrives at and stays in the First Burning, then The Self is in the highest Nibbana Here Amidst Visible Things."

This is the second.

[99][pts][wp] Another replies to this: "This far, the Self enjoys Nibbana Here Amidst Visible Things, this I do not deny; however the Self is not yet, at this point, enjoying the highest Nibbana Here Amidst Visible Things.
How come?
Because the thinking and reflection associated with this state is considered excessive. But when this Self has got rid of the thinking and reflection associated with this state, in full enjoyment of the sense of ease and enthusiasm resulting from getting high apart from thinking and reflection, with the mind subjectively tranquilized and concentrated, arrives at and stays in the Second Burning, then The Self is in the highest Nibbana Here Amidst Visible Things."

This is the third.

[100][pts][wp] Another replies to this: "This far, the Self enjoys Nibbana Here Amidst Visible Things, this I do not deny; however the Self is not yet, at this point, enjoying the highest Nibbana Here Amidst Visible Things.
How come?
Because the mind is excited by enthusiasm associated with this state and this is considered excessive. But when this Self has got rid of the excitement of enthusiasm, lives objectively detached, alert, and experiencing for himself that pleasant ease described by the Aristocrats as 'detached in mind, he lives at ease", arrives at and stays in the Third Burning, then The Self is in the highest Nibbana Here Amidst Visible Things.

This is the fourth.

[101][pts][wp] Another replies to this: "this far, the Self enjoys Nibbana Here Amidst Visible Things, this I do not deny; however the Self is not yet, at this point, enjoying the highest Nibbana Here Amidst Visible Things.
How come?
Because the mind's obsession with ease is considered excessive. But when this Self has let go of both pain and pleasure; has let mental ease and mental pain subside, and while alert and experiencing the state of utterly purified detachment enters on and stays in the Fourth Burning, then The self is in the highest Nibbana Here Amidst Visible Things.

This is the fifth.

[102][pts][wp] These are the shaman and Brahmans, Beggars, who hold that Nibbana is to be had Here Amidst Visible Things, who in five ways maintain that Nibbana is to be had by living beings Here Amidst Visible Things. Whatever shaman or Brahman, Beggars, hold that Nibbana is to be had the Here Amidst Visible Things, are such in one of these five ways and no other.

[103][pts][wp] But of these, Beggars, the Tathagata knows that arriving at such views, holding such views, believing such views, trusting such views will have such and such a consequence in terms of rebirth in the hereafter. This and much more the Tathagata is able to see, for he knows as it really is the coming to be and the passing away of sense experience, the satisfaction of sense experience and the way of escape from sense experience. And because he does not cling to what he sees he is objectively detached and he experiences for himself the peace of utter freedom.

These are advanced things, Beggars, matters that are deep, difficult to see, difficult to grasp, subtle, leading one who follows to tranquility and the sublime; things not to be arrived at by mere logic and reasoning, comprehensible only by the wise. These, Beggars are the things the Tathagata teaches, having seen them for himself. These are the things which should be spoken of by one when he speaks in praise of the Tathagata.

[104][pts][wp] These are the shaman and Brahmans, Beggars, who speculate about the future, whose speculations are about the future, and who on forty-four grounds put forward various assertions regarding it. Whatever shaman or Brahman, Beggars, speculate about the future, whose speculations are about the future, are such in one of these forty-four grounds and no other.

[105][pts][wp] But of these, Beggars, the Tathagata knows that arriving at such views, holding such views, believing such views, trusting such views will have such and such a consequence in terms of rebirth in the hereafter. This and much more the Tathagata is able to see, for he knows as it really is the coming to be and the passing away of sense experience, the satisfaction of sense experience and the way of escape from sense experience. And because he does not cling to what he sees he is objectively detached and he experiences for himself the peace of utter freedom.


[ Next: Conclusion ]


 [Notes]  [Nidana]  [Basic Ethics I]  [Basic Ethics II]  [On Earning a Living]  [On Higher Dhamma]  [About the Past]  [Eternalists]  [Partial Eternalists]  [End'n'o-Enders]  [Eel-Wrigglers]  [Caused-by-Chancers]  [About the Future]  [Conscious after Death]  [Unconscious after Death]  [Neither Conscious nor Unconscious]  [Annihilationist]  [Nibbana-Now]  [Conclusion]


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