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Saŋyutta Nikāya,
V: MahāVagga
51. Iddhipāda Saŋyutta

Sutta 15

Brahmin Uṇṇābha

Translated from the Pali by Michael Olds

 


 

[1][pts][than] I HEAR TELL:

Once upon a time the Elder Ānanda, Kosambi residing, Ghosita Park.

2. There then the brahmin Uṇṇābha approached the Elder Ānanda.

Having drawn near the Elder Ānanda
he exchanged with him friendly greetings.

Having exchanged friendly greetings
he took a seat to one side.

Seated to one side then,
the brahmin Uṇṇābha said this to the Elder Ānanda:

3. For what purpose then, good Ānanda,
does the shaman Gotama teach the Godly life?

It is for the letting go of wishing[1], brahmin,
that the Lucky Man teaches the Godly life.

4. Is there then, good Ānanda,
a way, a path to follow
to attain the letting go of wishing?

There is, brahmin,
such a way, such a path to follow
to attain the letting go of wishing.

5. What then, good Ānanda,
is that way, that path to follow
to attain the letting go of wishing?[2]

Here brahmin, a beggar develops the power-path
that is wish-serenity-connected-exertion-own-making,

develops the power-path
that is energy-serenity-connected-exertion-own-making,

develops the power-path
that is heart-serenity-connected-exertion-own-making,

develops the power-path
that is investigation-serenity-connected-exertion-own-making.

This is that way,
this is that path to follow
to attain the letting go of wishing.

6. Such being the case, Ananda,
then this is an ending having no ending
for to say that wishing could by wishing be dropped
is not a wise position.

Well then brahmin,
I will put questions to you about this —
as you see fit,
so you should make response.

7. What think you, brahmin,
earlier was there wishing involved at the thought:
'I will go to the park'?
And then later, after having got to the park,
was not that wish desolved?

Thus it was, goodman.

Earlier was there energy involved at the thought:
'I will go to the park'?
And then later, after having got to the park,
was not that energy desolved?

Thus it was, goodman.

Earlier was there heart for it involved at the thought:
'I will go to the park'?
And then later, after having got to the park,
was not that heart desolved?

Thus it was, goodman.

Earlier was there investigation involved at the thought:
'I will go to the park'?
And then later, after having got to the park,
was not that investigating desolved?

Thus it was, goodman.[3]

8. Even such is the case, brahmin,
of that Arahant who has destroyed the corrupting influences,
who is un-ocupied,
duty's doing done,
load laid down,
his own good gained,
yokes to living thoroughly broken,
by highest answer-knowledge freed.

That earlier wish he had for the attaining of arahantship;
after attaining arahantship,
that wish was desolved.

That earlier energy he had for the attaining of arahantship;
after attaining arahantship,
that energy was desolved.

That earlier heart for it he had for the attaining of arahantship;
after attaining arahanthip,
that heart for it was desolved.

That earlier investigaing he did for the attaining of arahanthips;
after attaining arahantship,
that investigating was desolved.

9. So then what think you, brahmin,
such being the case,
is this an ending having an ending or no?

Indeed goodman Ananda,
such is an ending having an ending not no ending.

Superbly done, good Ananda!
Superbly done, good Ananda!

It is as though, good Ananda,
that which was upside-down were set right-side up,
the covered were uncovered,
the lost were told the way,
an oil-lamp were brought into the darkness
so that those with eyes in their heads could see shapes.

Thus thusly the Elder Ananda has shown Dhamma with not simply one exposition.

I go to Gotama for refuge
and to the Dhamma
and to the Order of Beggars.

Having been given life this day,
remember me, Venerable Ananda
as a follower who has taken refuge.

 


[1] Chando. Wishing, desire, wanting, including wanting sense pleasures, wanting to avoid pain, even wanting to do good. A synonym for taṇhā, hungar/thirst. The source of Pain. Knowledge of this is the knowledge of the Second Truth of the Magga.

[2] This statement again says that in effect the four power-paths are the equivalent of the Aristocratic Multi-Dimensional Way. See: SN 5.51.2 for a similar statement.

[3] This whole sequence is awkward in English. Was there desire involved in the thought you had of going to the park? Was there energy involved in doing it? Was there the will or intent to do it? There is a distinction made in this system between the wish to do a thing and the will or intent to do it. You can want to eat a huge meal but knowing the consequences in heartburn (so to speak), you can have no will to do it. And was there know-how involved? Piecing together in mind the steps needed to be taken to accomplsh the deed.


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