Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
I. Mūlapaṇṇāsa
2. Sīhanāda Vagga

Sutta 19

Dvedhā-Vitakka Suttaɱ

Splitting Up Thought

Translated from the Pali
by
Michael Olds

 


 

[1][chlm][pts][ntbb][upal][than] I HEAR TELL:

Once upon a time, The Lucky man, Sāvatthī-town revisiting, Jeta Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.

There then The Lucky Man addressed the beggars:

Beggars!

And: 'Broke-tooth!' the beggars responded.

The Lucky Man said this to them:

[2][wp][upal][ati] Prior, beggars, to my self-awakening,
not yet self-awakened,
just an awakening being,
this occurred to me:

What about if now I lived
splitting the sorts of thought
into two sorts?

So then, beggars,
of whatever there were of thoughts of sense-pleasures,
and deviant[1] thoughts,
and violent thoughts,
I made of these one part;
and whatever there were of thoughts of abandoning,
and non-deviant thoughts,
and non-violent thoughts,
I made of these a second part.

[3][wp][upal][ati] As I lived thus, beggars,
careful,
ardent,
self-resolute,
there arose thought of sense-pleasures
and thus I knew
that there had then arisen in me
this thought of sense pleasure.

And then also that
this just conduces to self-harm,
this just conduces to the harm of others,
this just conduces to the harm of both,
erodes wisdom,
leads to blows,
conduces to no unbinding.

Just reflecting to myself:
'this conduces to self-harm', beggars,
this thought came to be settled down.

Just reflecting to myself:
'this conduces to the harm of ohers', beggars,
this thought came to be settled down.

Just reflecting to myself:
'this conduces to the harm of both', beggars,
this thought came to be settled down.

Just reflecting to myself:
'this erodes wisdom,
leads to blows,
conduces to no unbinding', beggars,
this thought came to be settled down.

So then I beggars,
squelched upon arising
thought of sense-pleasure,
thus expelled,
thus rejected,
thus terminated this sort.

[4][wp][upal][ati] As I lived thus, beggars,
careful,
ardent,
self-resolute,
there arose deviant thought,
and thus I knew
that there had then arisen in me
this deviant thought.

And then also that
this just conduces to self-harm,
this just conduces to the harm of others,
this just conduces to the harm of both,
erodes wisdom,
leads to blows,
conduces to no unbinding.

Just reflecting to myself:
'this conduces to self-harm', beggars,
this thought came to be settled down.

Just reflecting to myself:
'this conduces to the harm of ohers', beggars,
this thought came to be settled down.

Just reflecting to myself:
'this conduces to the harm of both', beggars,
this thought came to be settled down.

Just reflecting to myself:
'this erodes wisdom,
leads to blows,
conduces to no unbinding', beggars,
this thought came to be settled down.

So then I beggars,
squelched upon arising
deviant thought,
thus expelled,
thus rejected,
thus terminated this sort.

[5][wp][upal][ati] As I lived thus, beggars,
careful,
ardent,
self-resolute,
there arose violent thought,
and thus I knew
that there had then arisen in me
this violent thought.

And then also that
this just conduces to self-harm,
this just conduces to the harm of others,
this just conduces to the harm of both,
erodes wisdom,
leads to blows,
conduces to no unbinding.

Just reflecting to myself:
'this conduces to self-harm', beggars,
this thought came to be settled down.

Just reflecting to myself:
'this conduces to the harm of ohers', beggars,
this thought came to be settled down.

Just reflecting to myself:
'this conduces to the harm of both', beggars,
this thought came to be settled down.

Just reflecting to myself:
'this erodes wisdom,
leads to blows,
conduces to no unbinding', beggars,
this thought came to be settled down.

So then I beggars,
squelched upon arising
violent thought —
thus expelled,
thus rejected,
thus terminated this sort.

[6][wp][upal][ati] Whatsoever is such as such as a beggar makes a big thing of, beggars,
furthers thought of,
furthers pondering of,
thus and so becomes the bent of his heart.

If beggars, a beggar give thought of sense-pleasure
much further thought,
further pondering,
thought of renunciation is struck down,
thought of sense-pleasure is made much of.

Thus and so it is to thought of sense-pleasure the heart is bent.

If beggars, a beggar give deviant thought
much further thought,
further pondering,
thought of non-deviance is struck down,
thought of deviance is made much of.

Thus and so it is to thought of deviance the heart is bent.

If beggars, a beggar give violent thought
much further thought,
further pondering,
thought of non-violence is struck down,
thought of violence is made much of.

Thus and so it is to thought of violence the heart is bent.

[7][wp][upal][ati] In the same way, beggars,
as in the last month of the rains,
towards autumn when the corn is thick,
the cowherd guards the cows,
repeatedly beating those cows thus and so with a stick —
haulting, obstrucing.

How come?

Because, beggars,
that cow-herd sees the connection
to imprisonment and execution and fines and blame.

Even so, beggars, I saw
unskilful things
as dangerous, degrading, contaminated;
skillful things
as praiseworthy, on the side of puirty, renunciation.

[8][wp][upal][ati] As I lived thus, beggars,
careful,
ardent,
self-resolute,
there arose thought of renunciation,
and thus I knew
that there had then arisen in me
this thought of renunciation.

And then also that
this neither conduces to self-harm,
nor does it conduce to the harm of others,
nor does it conduce to the harm of both,
it sows wisdom,
does not lead to blows,
conduces to Nibbana.

Even if throughout the night, beggars,
thinking on, pondering on,
not fear did I see
in connection with that...

Even if throughout the day, beggars,
thinking on, pondering on,
not fear did I see
in connection with that...

Even if throughout the night and day, beggars,
thinking on, pondering on,
not fear did I see
in connection with that...

...but just that with my excessive periods
of thinking on, pondering on,
my body becomes agitated.

The agitated body soils the heart.

The soiled heart is far from the serene heart.

So I then beggars, stilled,
quieted,
composed
and thus made serene
this heart within.

How come?

'Let not soiled be my heart', thought I.

[9][wp][upal][ati] As I lived thus, beggars,
careful,
ardent,
self-resolute,
there arose straight thought,
and thus I knew
that there had then arisen in me
this straight thought.

And then also that
this neither conduces to self-harm,
nor does it conduce to the harm of others,
nor does it conduce to the harm of both,
it sows wisdom,
does not lead to blows,
conduces to Nibbana.

Even if throughout the night, beggars,
thinking on, pondering on,
not fear did I see
in connection with that...

Even if throughout the day, beggars,
thinking on, pondering on,
not fear did I see
in connection with that...

Even if throughout the night and day, beggars,
thinking on, pondering on,
not fear did I see
in connection with that...

...but just that with my excessive periods
of thinking on, pondering on,
my body becomes agitated.

The agitated body soils the heart.

The soiled heart is far from the serene heart.

So I then beggars, stilled,
quieted,
composed
and thus made serene
this heart within.

How come?

'Let not soiled be my heart', thought I.

[10][wp][upal][ati] As I lived thus, beggars,
careful,
ardent,
self-resolute,
there arose non-violent thought,
and thus I knew
that there had then arisen in me
this non-violent thought.

And then also that
this neither conduces to self-harm,
nor does it conduce to the harm of others,
nor does it conduce to the harm of both,
it sows wisdom,
does not lead to blows,
conduces to Nibbana.

Even if throughout the night, beggars,
thinking on, pondering on,
not fear did I see
in connection with that...

Even if throughout the day, beggars,
thinking on, pondering on,
not fear did I see
in connection with that...

Even if throughout the night and day, beggars,
thinking on, pondering on,
not fear did I see
in connection with that...

...but just that with my excessive periods
of thinking on, pondering on,
my body becomes agitated.

The agitated body soils the heart.

The soiled heart is far from the serene heart.

So I then beggars, stilled,
quieted,
composed
and thus made serene
this heart within.

How come?

'Let not soiled be my heart', thought I.

[11][wp][upal][ati] Whatsoever is such as such as a beggar makes a big thing of, beggars,
furthers thought of,
furthers pondering of,
thus and so becomes the bent of his heart.

If beggars, a beggar give thought of renunciation
much further thought,
further pondering,
thought of sense-pleasure is struck down,
thought of renunciation is made much of.

Thus and so it is to thought of renunciation the heart is bent.

If beggars, a beggar give straight thought
much further thought,
further pondering,
thought of deviance is struck down,
straight thought is made much of.

Thus and so it is to straight thought the heart is bent.

If beggars, a beggar give non-violent thought
much further thought,
further pondering,
thought of violence is struck down,
thought of non-violence is made much of.

Thus and so it is to thought of non-violence the heart is bent.

[12][wp][upal][ati] In the same way, beggars,
as the cow-herd guards the cows
in the last month of the summer
when all the corn has been harvested and stored —

Getting himself to such as a root of a tree,
or the open air,
and remembering what is needful,
thus has the thought:
'there are the cows'.

Even so, beggars, remembering what is needful thus think:
'these are things'[2].

[13][wp][upal][ati] And then, indeed, beggars,
with energy unsluggish,
memory established unconfused,
body impassive undisturbed,
I was at one with an even-going heart.

[14][wp][upal][ati] Then, separating myself from sense pleasures,
separating myself from unskillful things,
with rethinking, with pondering,
there came the pleasurable Enthusiasm born of solitude
inhabiting the first burning.

[15][wp][upal][ati] Then, rethinking and pondering calmed,
inwardly impassive,
become at one with an inwardly impassive heart,
without rethinking, without reminiscing,
there came the pleasurable enthusiasm born of serinity
inhabiting the second burning.

[16][wp][upal][ati] Then, enthusiasm fading,
living detached,
recollected and self-aware,
there came the experiencing of the bodily pleasure
inhabiting the third burning
of which the Aristocrats delcare:

'Detached, recollected, he lives happily.'

[17][wp][upal][ati] Then, letting go of pleasure,
letting go of pain,
their precursers in mental ease and discomfort
having found their own way home,
without pain or pleasure,
there came the utter purity of the detached mind
inhabiting the fourth burning.

[18][wp][upal][ati] And then thus settled in heart,
pure, utterly clear, sterile, without impurities,
being maliable, workable, standing still,
I bore down on, bent down my heart to
previous-inhabitations knowledge.

I called to mind not just one arrangement of previous inhabitation.

For example:

Just one birth,
just two births,
just three births,
just four births,
just five births,
just ten births,
just twenty births,
just thirty births,
just fourty births,
just fifty births,
one hundred births in all,
a thousand births in all,
a hundred-thousand births in all,
not just one evolution of a kappa,
not just one devolution of a kappa,
not just one evolution and devolution of a kappa.

That there:

Of such a name
of such a clan
of such color
of such food
of such experience of pleasure and pain,
of such coming to life's end.

Shifting away from that, re-appearing elsewhere.

In that habitation:

Of such a name
of such a clan
of such color
of such food
of such experience of pleasure and pain,
of such coming to life's end.

Shifting away from that reborn here."

Thus with it's makeup in detail,
I recollected not just one arrangement of previous inhabitations.

[19][wp][upal][ati] This then beggars, was the first vision
gained by me in the first watch of the night,
blindness struck down,
vision arose,
darkness struck down,
light arose,
as I lived,
careful,
ardent,
self-resolute.

[20][wp][upal][ati] And then thus settled in heart,
pure, utterly clear, sterile, without impurities,
being maliable, workable, standing still,
I bore down on, bent down my heart to
beings-shifting-round-n-round knowledge.

I saw beings with purified godlike sight
surpassing that of mankind.

I knew of beings
their shifting away,
re-appearance,
being left behind,
advancing,
their beauty,
their uglyness,
their experiencing of pleasure,
experiencing of pain,
according to their intentional deeds:

For sure these good beings were
committed to injurious bodily conduct,
committed to injurious verbal conduct,
committed to injurious mental conduct,
denegrated Aristocrats,
held low views,
were committed to behavior in accordance with low views,
for upon the break up of the body after death
they have arisen in states of woe,
pain,
punishment,
Niraya Hell.

For sure these good beings were
committed to beneficial bodily conduct,
committed to beneficial verbal conduct,
committed to beneficial mental conduct,
spoke well of Aristocrats,
were of high view,
were committed to behavior in accordance with high view,
for upon the break up of the body after death
they have arisen in worlds of heavenly pleasures.

Thus I saw beings with purified godlike sight
surpassing that of mankind.

And I knew of beings
their shifting away,
re-appearance,
being left behind,
advancing,
their beauty,
their uglyness,
their experiencing of pleasure,
experiencing of pain,
according to their intentional deeds.

[21][wp][upal][ati] This then beggars, was the second vision
gained by me in the middle watch of the night,
blindness struck down,
vision arose,
darkness struck down,
light arose,
as I lived,
careful,
ardent,
self-resolute.

[22][wp][upal][ati] And then thus settled in heart,
pure, utterly clear, sterile, without impurities,
being maliable, workable, standing still,
I bore down on, bent down my heart to
corrupting-influences-destruction-knowledge.

I, thinking: 'This is pain,' knew the essence thereof.

I, thinking: 'This is the origin of pain,' knew the essence thereof.

I, thinking: 'This is the eradication of pain,' knew the essence thereof.

I, thinking: 'This is the the way to go to eradicate pain,' knew the essence thereof.

I, thinking: 'These are the corrupting influences,' knew the essence thereof.

I, thinking: 'This is the origin of the corrupting influences,' knew the essence thereof.

I, thinking: 'This is the eradication of the corrupting influences,' knew the essence thereof.

I, thinking: 'This is the way to go to eradicate the corrupting influences,' knew the essence thereof.

[23][wp][upal][ati] Knowing this thus just so
my heart was released from the corrupting influence of sense pleasure.

Just so my heart was released from the corrupting influence of living.

Just so my heart was released from the corrupting influence of blindness.

In freedom was knowledge of being free.

And I knew:

'Behind: birth,
lived the Brahma carriage,
duty's doings done,
no further it'n-n-at'n for me!'

[24][wp][upal][ati] This then beggars, was the third vision
gained by me in the last watch of the night,
blindness struck down,
vision arose,
darkness struck down,
light arose,
as I lived,
careful,
ardent,
self-resolute.

[25][wp][upal][ati] In the same way, beggars,
as if in a remote mountain range
there were a vast low-lying marsh,
and a great herd of deer
living in reliance thereon.

And there comes along some person
not desiring their gain,
not desiring their benefit,
not devoted to their wellfare —
whatsoever way leads to their well-being
that way he closes off
and he opens up a dubious way,
staged as a domesticated male,
set up with a domesticated female.

And consequently, beggars,
after a time
that great herd of deer comes to loss,
thinning,
diminishment.

Then, later, beggars,
there comes to this great herd of deer some person
desiring their gain,
desiring their benefit,
devoted to their wellfare —
he closes down the dubious way,
opens up the Way leading to well-being
discharging the domesticated male,
expelling[3] the domesticated female.

And consequently, beggars,
after a time,
that great herd deer comes to gain,
expansion,
increase.

[26][wp][upal][ati] I have created this likeness for you, beggars, for your instruction.

And this is how it is to be got here:

'Vast low-lying marsh', this then beggars is a word for sense-pleasures.

'Great herd of deer', this then beggars is a word for beings.

'Some person not desiring their gain, not desiring their benefit, not devoted to their wellfare' this then beggars is a word for Mara, the Evil One.

'The Dubious way', this then beggars, is a word for the Contrary Way, that is:

Mixed-up views,
Mixed-up principles,
Mixed-up speech,
Mixed-up works,
Mixed-up lifestyle,
Mixed-up self-control,
Mixed-up memory,
Mixed-up serenity.

'Domesticated male', this then beggars, is a word for delighting in lust.

'Domesticated female', this then beggars, is a word for blindness.

'Some person desireing their gain, desiring their benefit, devoted to their wellfare',
this then beggars, is a word for the Tathagata, Aristocrat, the consummately self-awakened one.

'The Way leading to well-being', this then beggars, is a word for the Aristocratic Multi-dimensional Way, that is:

High view,
High principles,
High speech,
High works,
High lifestyle,
High self-control,
High Memory,
High Serenity.

[27][wp][upal][ati] So it is then, beggars, that I have opened up the Way leading to well-being
discharged the domesticated male,
expelled the domesticated female.

Whatever, beggars, a teacher should do,
out of compassion,
supported by compassion,
desiring gain for his students,
desiring their benefit,
that has been done for you.

Here, beggars, are the roots of trees,
here are empty places.

Meditate[4] beggars,
be not careless,
let not there be cause for regret hereafter.

This is my instruction to you.

This is what The Lucky Man said and the Beggars were greatly pleased in mind with the Bhagava.

 


[1] Byāpāda and abyāpāda BYA = via; PADA = path; and not via path. Usually translated 'ill will' 'malevolence'. The problem with that being that there is nothing in the word that speaks of ill-will or malevolance. I see Rhys Davids asking some Sri Lankan bhikkhu to explain the word and hearing 'Well it's whaever does not follow the path, ill-will, malevolance, anger, hate ..." Deviance, not following the path, and 'straight', following the path.

[2] Dhammā. Bhks.Nanamoli/Bodhi: states; Bhk. Thanissaro: 'those mental qualities'; Horner: mental statcs. While 'dhammas' are the objects of the Mind sense, translating this term as 'mind state' is too narrow and additionally transgresses on the territory covered by 'citta'. Dhammas are 'things' 'phenomena' and in this case the simile points to their meaning as 'thoughts'. The thoughts that at first needed to be checked and controlled but which at a time when there was no further danger from them only required the needful: that is to say cognizance thereof as being: 'Just things.'

[3] Nāseyya. PED has 'causitive of nassati'. To necrotize, to cause to be lost, perished, destroyed. I like the allusions connected with Mrs. Horner's 'expell' and further in English to the pallalel used above concering getting rid of unskillful thoughts.

[4] Jhāyati. Get fired up! Jhāyati: to light a fire. Burn with knowledge. Get learn'n.


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