Digha Nikaya

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Dīgha Nikāya

The Longs Basket

Sutta 33

Saṅgīti Suttanta

The Compilation

Ones and Twos

Translated from the Pali by Michael Olds



[Nidana][pts][wp] I HEAR TELL:

Once Upon a Time, Bhagava,
roaming around Malla-country
with some 500 Bhikkhus,
arrived at Pava the capital of the Mallas
where he revisted Cunda the smith.

At this time a new meeting hall had just been built
and had not yet been formally used,
and the Mallas of Pava thought that it would be an auspicious thing
if it were to have first been used by the Bhagava,
so they invited him to do so,
and he consented.

Then the Malas prepared the hall
by spreading it with carpets and seats and water for washing the feet,
and when the hall had been properly prepared
they informed the Lucky Man,
who prepared his bowl and robes and,
with that large company of Bhikkhus,
went to the newly built and prepared meeting hall.

Then, after washing his feet,
Bhaggava sat down next to the center pole,
facing East.

The Bhikkhus arranged themselves
with their backs to the western wall,
facing east, behind Bhagava.

The Mallas of Pava sat down
with their backs to the Eastern wall,
facing West, Bhagava and the Bhikkhus.

Then Bhagava instructed and inspired
the Mallas of Pava with dhamma talk,
and when the night was far gone,
he indicated to them
that they should take leave.

After that,
noticing that the company of Bhikkhus
was especially alert,
he arranged his robes,
assumed the lion posture,
and instructed Sāriputta
to discourse on Dhamma
especially for the Bhikkhus.

And this is the talk,
so we are told,
given at that time by Sāriputta:

The Nigantha, Nathason, friends
has recently deceased,
and since his death
the Niganthas have fallen apart
and live quarreling amongst each other,
using a variety of wounding words
and wrangling phrases such as:

"You don't understand this Dhamma, I do."
"How could someone like you know about this Dhamma?"
"You hold wrong view.
It is I who have right view."
"I am speaking to the point, you are not."
"You are putting last what ought to come first,
and first what ought to come last."
"What you've been expounding so long,
is completely disproved."
"Your challenge has been met."
"You are proved to be wrong."
"Straighten up your act."
"Get out of this one if you can."

The ruckus is such that even the lay followers are fed up.

And what is the reason for this? It is because the Dhamma of the Niganthas was Poorly Taught, being Taught by one who was not a Fully Englightened One. And now that Nathason has gone, the group is without cohesion and has no leadership.

But here, friends, Dhamma has been well taught by one who is supremely enlightened, and about this dhamma we should all speak in agreement that the Dhamma will last for many a long day.

To that end, friends, I will set forth this compilation of Dhammas taught by the Bhaggava about which we should all speak in agreement:


There are, friends, one-part Dhammas consummately taught by the Bhagava, that #1-Consummately-Awakened-One, an Arahant who knows and sees. In this situation, let us all gather together as one, undivided, so that this Best of Lives will stay on track and stand for a long time as a benefit to the many, as a pleasure for the many, out of compassion for the world, for the benefit and pleasure of gods and man.
What are these ones?

[1.01][pts][wp] What is the One Dhamma?

All beings are maintained by food.[1]

[1.02][pts][wp] All beings are maintained by confounding[2]

These then, friends, are those one-part Dhammas consummately taught by the Bhagava, that #1-Consummately-Awakened-One, an Arahant who knows and sees. In this situation, let us all gather to gether as one, undivided, so that this Best of Lives will stay on track and stand for a long time as a benefit to the many, as a pleasure for the many, out of compassion for the world, for the benefit and pleasure of gods and man.





There are, friends, two-part Dhammas consummately taught by the Bhagava, that #1-Consummately-Awakened-One, an Arahant who knows and sees. In this situation, let us allgather together as one, undivided, so that this Best of Lives will stay on track and stand for a long time as a benefit to the many, as a pleasure for the many, out of compassion for the world, for the benefit and pleasure of gods and man.
What are these twos?

[2.01][pts][wp] Name and Thingness.

[2.02][pts][wp] Blindness and Thirst for Living.

[2.03][pts][wp] Theories about becoming, theories about non-becoming.

[2.04][pts][wp] No sense of shame and no fear of blame.

[2.05][pts][wp] Sense of shame and fear of blame.

[2.06][pts][wp] Rough Going and Bad Company.[3]

[2.07][pts][wp] Smooth Going and Good Company.

[2.08][pts][wp] Skill in the rules regarding offenses and skill in rehabilitation from offenses.

[2.09][pts][wp] Skill in attaining and skill at emerging from attainment[4]

[2.10][pts][wp] Skill in knowledge of The Elements[5]; and skill in applying the mind to them

[2.11][pts][wp] Skill in knowledge of the spheres[6]; and skill in Downbound Confounded Rebounding Conjuration

[2.12][pts][wp] Skill in knowledge of what supports and what does not support.

[2.13][pts][wp] Straight forwardness and diffidence[7]

[2.14][pts][wp] Patience and gentleness

[2.15][pts][wp] Friendliness and a kindly reception

[2.16][pts][wp] Non-injury and being unsoiled

[2.17][pts][wp] Forgetfulness and lack of self-knowledge

[2.18][pts][wp] Remembering and self-knowledge[8]

[2.19][pts][wp] Lack of authority[9] over and guarding of the sense doors and immoderate eating

[2.20][pts][wp] Authority over and guarding of the sense doors and moderate eating

[2.21][pts][wp] The power (balañ) of examining details[10] and the power of development

[2.22][pts][wp] The Power of mind and the power of focus[11]

[2.23][pts][wp] Calm and Review.

[2.24][pts][wp] The Sign of Calm and The Sign of Exertion

[2.25][pts][wp] Exertion and equanimity[12]

[2.26][pts][wp] Complete[13] Ethical Culture and Complete View

[2.27][pts][wp] Incomplete[14] Ethical Culture and Incomplete View

[2.28][pts][wp] Purified[15] Ethical Culture and Purified View

[2.29][pts][wp] The Purity of one's View and the purity of the path taken in accordance with that view[16]

[2.30][pts][wp] Anxiety and the urgency of the stand taken to get back on track by the experiencer thereof.[17]

[2.31][pts][wp] Not taking one's stand on skillful dhamma, and non-turning away and making exertion[18]

[2.32][pts][wp] Vision and Freedom.

[2.33][pts][wp] Knowledge of destruction, knowledge of non-reproduction[19]

These then, friends, are those two-part Dhammas consummately taught by the Bhagava, that #1-Consummately-Awakened-One, an Arahant who knows and sees. In this situation, let us all gather to gether as one, undivided, so that this Best of Lives will stay on track and stand for a long time as a benefit to the many, as a pleasure for the many, out of compassion for the world, for the benefit and pleasure of gods and man.


[1] Āhāra. See The First Lesson and The Four Foods
"What is one?
All animals subsist on food.
There are these four nutriments for the establishing of beings who have taken birth or for the support of those in search of a place to be born. Which four? Physical food, gross or refined; contact as the second, intellectual intention the third, and consciousness the fourth. — The Novice's Questions, Thanissaro Bhikkhu trans

[2] Saŋkhāra. Walshe notes that this second "one" is not found in all versions of this sutta. see also: Glossology: Sankhara
and The Pali Line, The 10th Question: Sankhara

[3] see: Bad Company AN.1.126 and following AN.1.70 and following

[4] Most often translated and described as attaining and emerging from jhana, but it is not so specified here, and I would understand that to mean that the concept had broader application...say for the special state of being able to fly through the air which would be more complex (involved) than just attaining the jhana that allowed such an attainment to be possible...or for any special state even including that of being focused on the needs of one to whom one was teaching dhamma, where initially one would "enter" the mind set of the student in order to comprehend where to begin, but where the final step should always end in detachment.

[5] Dhātu. Rhys Davids notes, and Walshe translates "The 18 Elements" (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind, visible objects, sounds, scents, tastes, touches, ideas, visual consciousness, auditory consciousness, consciousness of smells, consciousness of tastes, consciousness of touch, consciousness of thought). But this is not indicated in the text, so I would keep in mind the other classes of elements (the 4 or 6 great elements, etc).

[6] Āyatana. Again Rhys Davids and Walshe assume the reference is to the sense-spheres, but this is not dictated by the text. Walshe does not footnote and Rhys Davids does not see a connection.
How this would work is certainly most easily seen through the sense spheres, because Paticca Samuppada works (and must be brought to a halt) within each of the six sense spheres: The Eye comes into contact with a visual object and pleasant sensation arises, downbound pleasant sensation rebounds bound up in wanting...and so forth for each of the senses. But with a little work it could be made to apply in the other categories of spheres: downbound to the practice of cultivating friendly vibrations rebounds bound up in the brahma realm...and so forth.

[7] ajjavañ ca lajjavañ ca The usual meaning for lajjava given in PED is shame, lajin is one who feels shame or who possesses hiri and ottappa (sense of shame and fear of blame). Walshe hears this as modesty, Rhys Davids as shamefacedness

[8] (Notes to #s 17 and 18 muṭṭhasaccañ ca asampajaññañ ca and sati ca sampajaññañ ca Walshe has lack of mindfulness and of clear awareness, and footnotes: "RD's 'absense of mind' may just do for this, but 'want of intelligence' is quite wrong for asampajanna, which is quite simply failure to comply with the injunction at DN.22.4 (which he notes there: sampajana-kara hoti: "Is acting in a clearly conscious way — Horner) So we get three translators views in one. PED says Muttha is the past participle of musati, to betray, beguile, bewilder, dazzle, and defines the word as forgetfulness. Then it goes on to say that the compound mutthasacca is the combination of muttha+sati+ya. Forgetfulness+Mind+Whatsoever.
PED gives Sampajanna as attention, consideration, discriminiation, comprehension.
see: Glossology: sati
In my version of Ones ( AN 1.68 ) I have "not thinking things over" for asampajanna, and I am tempted to stubbornly cling to this probably erroneous interpretation and translate these pairs by: "Forgetting the truth (or the real, or true) and not thinking things over." and "recollection and thinking things over."

[9] Indriyesu gutta Rhys Davids, Walshe and others just translate 'guarded', which to my eyes is covered by gutta and ignores: PED: Vedic indriya adj. only in meaning "belonging to Indra"; nt. strength, might, but in specific Pali sense "belonging to the ruler", i.e. governing, ruling, nt. governing, ruling or controlling principle. A. on term: Indriya is one of the most comprehensive and important categories of Buddhist psychological philosophy and ethics, meaning "controlling principle, directive force, elan...(a) with reference to sense-perceptibility "faculty, function", often wrongly interpreted as "organ"; (b) w. ref. to objective aspects of form and matter "kind, characteristic, determinating principle, sign, mark" (cp. woman-hood, hood, kind, form); (c) w.ref. to moods of sensation and (d) to moral powers or motives controlling action, "principle, controlling" force; (e) w. ref. to cognition and insight "category" -gutta: one who restrains and watches his senses. So I say some sense of this word needs to be incorporated here, rule, authority, controlling and guarding, etc.

[10] paṭisaṇkhāna-balañ: [pati+sankha] paṭi=idea of rebound, bounce; sankha=PED: 1. enumeration, calculation, estimating; 2. number; 3. denomination, definition, word, name; (sankhaŋ gacchati to be styled, called or defined; to be put into words; sankhaŋ na upeti cannot be called by a name, does not count, cannot be defined). Rhys Davids has "judging"; Walshe has reflection. The idea is that without being able to see and comprehend the meaning of and interrelationship between the details, an advanced picture is not possible, and the reverse, that it is by understanding the details that a thing is made into a building-block for advancement of understanding.
If one is having difficulties with an issue and one cannot state the problem in words (enumerate the details), the probability of resolution is not very high.

[11] sati-balañ: see: sati) and samādhi)

[12] In #24: samatha-nimittañ ca paggaha-nimittañ ca W: The sign of calm and grasping the sign; RD: The causes (or signs) of calm and mental grasp
PED: Paggaṇhāti: 1. to stretch forth, hold out or up, take up; ger. paggayha: taking up, raising up, stretching forth...Often in phrase baha paggayha kandati to wail or lament with outstretched arms (a special pose of mourning); 2. to take up, take care of, favour, support, befriend; 3. to put to, exert, strain, apply vigorously.
Paggah: 1. exertion, energy; 2. favour, kindness, patronage
and in #25 paggaho ca avikkhepo ca W: Exertion and non-distraction, RD: mental grasp and balance. PED: avikkhepa: calmness, balance, equanimity

[13] Sampadā. Sam=Com(plete)+pada=path, PED has attainment, success, accomplishment; I take it to mean having, for one's self (com) walked the path to it's end-pletion, one 'has' complete- (encompassing, flawless, faultless, total) whatever, see also and contrast with vipatti in next note.

[14] Vipatti. Vi=un, patti: PED: Obtaining, acquiring, getting, entering into, state of, 2. attainment, acquisition, 3. gaining, gain, profit, advantage

[15] Visuddhi.

[16] Diṭṭhi-visuddhi kho pana yathā diṭṭhissa ca padhānaɱ. purified view indeed but according his-view and path.

[17] Saŋvego ca saŋvejaniyesu ṭhānesu saŋviggassa ca yoniso padhānaɱ samvega PED: agitation, fear, anxiety, thrill, religious emotion (caused by contemplation of the miseries of this world) (eight objects inducing (this) emotion: birth, old age, illness, death, misery in the apayas, and the misery caused by saŋsara in past, future and present stages); Walshe uses "urgency" noting that it is Nanamoli's translation. "No more fool'n roun." "Time to get down to buisness...get serious."

[18] Asantuṭṭhitā (ms. spells this asantutthitā) ca kusalesu dhammesu appaṭivāṇitā ca padhānasmiɱ (not taking one's stand on, or discontent with) (skillful) (dhamma) (non-turning-away) and, and then (making exertion)
PED: Asantuṭṭhita (fr. asantu.t.tha= a+santussati) dis-satisfaction appa.tivaa.nitaa: not being hindered, non-obstruction, free effort
Walshe has: Not being content with wholesome acts and not shrinking from exertion.
Rhys Davids: Discontent in meritorius acts and perserverance in exertion.
I have accepted unquestioned this translation in "Resolve:" where what I have done is taken this idea and used my personal experience to interpret:

I have realized two things:
Not to be content when things are going well, and
not to give up when it is a struggle.

where the context is clear, given the next stanza:

And how does one not give up when it is a struggle?

By resolving:
"Let my skin and flesh and blood dry up while I wither to the bone if only I can hang on long enough
to win what may be won by the strength of a man
by the energy of a man
by the effort of a man."

Alternatively, I do not recall where "not being content with good conditions" or "not being content when things are going well" was defined in context.

see: Resolve

But here, under the microscope, I do not see a justification for "acts" in kusalesu dhammesu, and if "wholesome" or "meritorious" is the correct translation here for kusalesu, then "skillful" elsewhere is slightly incorrect (and given my understanding of the full extent of the meaning of this term, where it is the ability to make quick decisions concerning one's course or direction, I do not think this is the case) for it does not fit at all here.
PED under kusala1 (adj) clever, skilful, expert; good, right, meritorious...Esp. appl. in moral sense (=punna), wheras akusala is practically equivalent to papa (bad). With kamma = a meritorious action. All good qualities (dhammā) which constitute right and meritorious conduct are comprised in the phrase "kusala-dhammā"
Using "skillful dhamma's" here, and leaving the latter half as is, we would need to translate:
"Non-satisfaction with skillful things and not giving up in exertion."
To make this acceptable in the Pali, "skillful things" would have to be restricted to those included in silabbataparamaso (good works, ethical culture); they could not include The Dhamma...
or there is the radically different translation I have given above...making this a pair of opposites.

[19] khaye ñāṇaɱ anuppāde ñāṇaɱ withering (waste, destruction, consumption, decay, ruin, loss...mostly in applied meaning with ref. to the extinction of passions and such elements as condition, life, and rebirth) knowing following-after-step knowing


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