Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
I. Mūlapaṇṇāsa
3. Tatiya Vagga

The Middle Length Sayings
I. The First Fifty Discourses
3. The Third Division

Sutta 22

Alagaddūpama Suttaɱ

The Snake Simile

Translated from the Pali by Nyanaponika Thera

From The Discourse on the Snake Simile (WH 48), by Nyanaponika Thera (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1974). Copyright © 1974 Buddhist Publication Society. Used with permission."

Copyright © 1974 Buddhist Publication Society. For free distribution. This work may be republished, reformatted, reprinted, and redistributed in any medium. It is the author's wish, however, that any such republication and redistribution be made available to the public on a free and unrestricted basis and that translations and other derivative works be clearly marked as such.

 


 

[1][chlm][pts][ntbb][upal][than] THUS have I heard:

Once the Blessed One lived at Sāvatthī, in Jeta's Grove, in Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery.

Arittha's Wrong View

2. Now on that occasion a monk called Arittha, formerly of the vulture killers, had conceived this pernicious view: "There are things called 'obstructions'[1] by the Blessed One. As I understand his teaching, those things are not necessarily obstructive for one who pursues them."

3. Several monks, hearing about it, went to the monk Arittha, formerly of the vulture killers, and asked him: "Is it true, friend Arittha, that you have conceived this pernicious view: "There are things called (obstructions) by the Blessed One. As I understand his teaching, those things are not necessarily obstructive for one who pursues them'?"

"Yes, indeed, friends, (I do hold that view)."

Then those monks, wishing to dissuade Arittha from that pernicious view, urged, admonished, questioned and exhorted him thus: "Do not say so, friend Arittha, do not say so! Do not misrepresent the Blessed One! It is not right to misrepresent him. Never would the Blessed One speak like that. For in many ways, indeed, has the Blessed One said of those obstructive things that they are obstructions, indeed, and that they necessarily obstruct him who pursues them. Sense desires, so he has said, bring little enjoyment and much suffering and disappointment. The perils in them are greater. Sense desires are like bare bones, has the Blessed One said; they are like a lump of flesh, like a torch of straw, like a pit of burning coals, like a dream, like borrowed goods, like a fruit-bearing tree, like a slaughter house, like a stake of swords, like a snake's head, are sense desires, has the Blessed One said.[2] They bring little enjoyment, and much suffering and disappointment. The perils in them are greater."

Yet, though the monk Arittha was thus urged, admonished, questioned and exhorted by those monks, he still clung tenaciously and obstinately to his pernicious view, saying: "There are things called 'obstructions' by the Blessed One. As I understand his teaching, those things are not necessarily obstructive for one who pursues them."

4. When those monks could not dissuade the monk Arittha, formerly of the vulture killers, from his pernicious view, they went to the Blessed One, and after respectfully saluting him, they sat down at one side. Being seated they told the Blessed One (all that had happened), and they said: "Since, O Lord, we could not dissuade the monk Arittha from his pernicious view, we have now reported this matter to the Blessed One."

5. Then the Blessed One addressed a certain monk thus: "Go, O monk, and tell the monk Arittha, formerly of the vulture killers, that the Master calls him." — "Yes, Lord," replied the monk. He went to the monk Arittha and spoke to him: "The Master calls you, friend Arittha." — "Yes, friend," replied Arittha and he went to meet the Blessed One. Having arrived, he saluted the Blessed One respectfully and sat down at one side. When he was seated the Blessed One addressed him thus:

"Is it true, Arittha, that you have conceived this pernicious view: 'There are things called "obstructions" by the Blessed One. As I understand his teaching those things are not necessarily obstructive for him who pursues them'?" — "Yes, indeed, Lord, I understand the teaching of the Blessed One in this way that those things called 'obstructions' by the Blessed One, are not necessarily obstructive for him who pursues them."

6. "Of whom do you know, foolish man, that I have taught to him the teaching in that manner? Did I not, foolish man, speak in many ways of those obstructive things that they are obstructions indeed, and that they necessarily obstruct him who pursues them? Sense desires, so I have said, bring little enjoyment, and much suffering and disappointment. The perils in them are greater. Sense desires are like bare bones, have I said; they are like a lump of flesh... they are like a snake's head, have I said. They bring much suffering and disappointment. The perils in them are greater. But you, O foolish man, have misrepresented us by what you personally have wrongly grasped. You have undermined your own (future) and have created much demerit. This, foolish man, will bring you much harm and suffering for a long time."[3]

7. Then the Blessed One addressed the monks thus: "What do you think, O monks: has that monk Arittha, formerly of the vulture killers, produced any spark (of understanding) in this teaching and discipline?"[4] — "How should that be, Lord? Certainly not, O Lord."

After these words the monk Arittha, formerly of the vulture killers, sat silent, confused, with his shoulders drooping and his head bent, brooding and incapable of making a rejoinder.

Then the Blessed One, knowing (his condition), spoke to him: "You will be known, foolish man, by what is your own pernicious view, I shall now question the monks about this."

8. Then the Blessed One addressed the monks: "Do you, O monks, also understand the teaching proclaimed by me, in the same manner as this monk Arittha does, who misrepresents us by what he personally has wrongly grasped; who has undermined his own (future) and created much demerit?"

"Certainly not, Lord. For in many ways has the Blessed One told us of those obstructive things that they are obstructions indeed, and that they necessarily obstruct him who pursues them..."

"Good, monks. It is good that you thus understand the teaching proclaimed by me.[5] For in many ways have I spoken of those obstructive things that they are obstructions, indeed, and that they necessarily obstruct him who pursues them. Sense desires, so have I said, bring little enjoyment, and much suffering and disappointment. The perils in them are greater. Sense desires are like bare bones, have I said; they are like a lump of flesh, like a torch of straw, like a pit of burning coals, like a dream, like borrowed goods, like a fruit-bearing tree, like a slaughter-house, like a stake of swords; like a snake's head are sense desires, have I said. They bring much suffering and disappointment. The perils in them are greater. But this monk Arittha, formerly of the vulture killers, misrepresents us by what he personally has wrongly grasped; he undermines his own (future) and creates much demerit. This will bring to this foolish man much harm and suffering for a long time.

9. "Monks, it is impossible indeed, that one can pursue sense gratification[6] without sensual desire,[7] without perceptions of sensual desire, without thoughts of sensual desire.

The Snake

10.[8] "There are here, O monks, some foolish men who study the Teaching;[9] having studied it, they do not wisely examine the purpose of those teachings. To those who do not wisely examine the purpose, these teachings will not yield insight.[10] They study the Teaching only to use it for criticizing or for refuting others in disputation. They do not experience the (true) purpose[11] for which they[12] (ought to) study the Teaching. To them these teachings wrongly grasped, will bring harm and suffering for a long time. And why? Because of their wrong grasp of the teachings.

"Suppose, monks, a man wants a snake, looks for a snake, goes in search of a snake. He then sees a large snake, and when he is grasping its body or its tail, the snake turns back on him and bites his hand or arm or some other limb of his. And because of that he suffers death or deadly pain. And why? Because of his wrong grasp of the snake.

"Similarly, O monks, there are here some foolish men who study the Teaching; having studied it, they do not wisely examine the purpose of those teachings. To those who do not wisely examine the purpose, these teachings will not yield insight. They study the Teaching only to use it for criticizing or for refuting others in disputation. They do not experience the (true) purpose for which they (ought to) study the Teaching. To them these teachings wrongly grasped, will bring harm and suffering for a long time. And why? Because of their wrong grasp of the teachings.

11. "But there are here, O monks, some noble sons who study the Teaching;[13] and having studied it, they examine wisely the purpose of those teachings. To those who wisely examine the purpose, these teachings will yield insight. They do not study the Teaching for the sake of criticizing nor for refuting others in disputation. They experience the purpose for which they study the Teaching; and to them these teachings being rightly grasped, will bring welfare and happiness for a long time. And why? Because of their right grasp of the teachings.

"Suppose, monks, a man wants a snake, looks for a snake, goes in search of a snake. He then sees a large snake, and with a forked stick he holds it firmly down. Having done so he catches it firmly by the neck. Then although the snake might entwine with (the coils of) its body that man's hand or arm or some other limb of his, still he does not on that account suffer death or deadly pain. And why not? Because of his right grasp of the snake.

"Similarly, O monks, there are here some noble sons who study the Teaching; and having learned it, they examine wisely the purpose of those teachings. To those who wisely examine the purpose, these teachings will yield insight. They do not study the Teaching for the sake of criticizing nor for refuting others in disputation. They experience the purpose for which they study the Teaching; and to them these teachings being rightly grasped, will bring welfare and happiness for a long time. And why? Because of their right grasp of the teachings.

12. "Therefore, O monks, if you know the purpose of what I have said, you should keep it in mind accordingly. But if you do not know the purpose of what I have said, you should question me about it, or else (ask) those monks who are wise.

The Raft

13. "I shall show you, monks, the Teaching's similitude to a raft: as having the purpose of crossing over, not the purpose of being clung to. Listen, monks, and heed well what I shall say" — "Yes, Lord," replied the monks. and the Blessed One spoke thus:

"Suppose, monks, there is a man journeying on a road and he sees a vast expanse of water of which this shore is perilous and fearful, while the other shore is safe and free from danger. But there is no boat for crossing nor is there a bridge for going over from this side to the other. So the man thinks: 'This is a vast expanse of water; and this shore is perilous and fearful, but the other shore is safe and free from danger. There is, however, no boat here for crossing, nor a bridge for going over from this side to the other. Suppose I gather reeds, sticks, branches and foliage, and bind them into a raft.' Now that man collects reeds, sticks, branches and foliage, and binds them into a raft. Carried by that raft, laboring with hands and feet, he safely crosses over to the other shore. Having crossed and arrived at the other shore, he thinks: 'This raft, indeed, has been very helpful to me. Carried by it, laboring with hands and feet, I got safely across to the other shore. Should I not lift this raft on my head or put it on my shoulders, and go where I like?'

"What do you think about it, O monks? Will this man by acting thus, do what should be done with a raft?" — "No, Lord" — "How then, monks, would he be doing what ought to be done with a raft? Here, monks, having got across and arrived at the other shore, the man thinks: 'This raft, indeed, has been very helpful to me. Carried by it, and laboring with hands and feet, I got safely across to the other shore. Should I not pull it up now to the dry land or let it float in the water, and then go as I please?' By acting thus, monks, would that man do what should be done with a raft.

"In the same way, monks, have I shown to you the Teaching's similitude to a raft: as having the purpose of crossing over, not the purpose of being clung to.

14. "You, O monks, who understand the Teaching's similitude to a raft, you should let go even (good) teachings,[14] how much more false ones!

Grounds for Views

15. "There are, monks, these six grounds for false views.[15] What are the six? There is here, monks, an uninstructed worldling who has no regard for Noble Ones, who is ignorant of their teaching and untrained in it; who has no regard for men of worth, who is ignorant of their teaching and untrained in it: he considers corporeality thus: 'This is mine, this I am, this is my self';[16] he considers feeling... perception... mental formations thus: 'This is mine, this I am, this is my self'; and what is seen, heard, sensed, and thought;[17] what is encountered, sought, pursued in mind,[18] this also he considers thus: 'This is mine, this I am, this is my self'; and also this ground for views (holding): 'The universe is the Self.[19] That I shall be after death;[20] permanent, stable, eternal, immutable; eternally the same,[21] shall I abide in that very condition' — that (view), too, he considers thus: 'This is mine, this I am, this is my self.'[22]

16. "But, monks, there is here a well-instructed noble disciple who has regard for Noble Ones, who knows their teaching and is well trained in it; who has regard for men of worth, who knows their teaching and is well trained in it: he does not consider corporeality in this way: 'This is mine, this I am, this is my self'; he does not consider feeling... perception... mental formations in this way: 'This is mine, this I am, this is my self'; and what is seen, heard, sensed, and thought; what is encountered, sought, pursued in mind, this also he does not consider in this way: 'This is mine, this I am, this is my self'; and also this ground for views (holding): 'The universe is the Self. That I shall be after death; permanent, stable, eternal, immutable, eternally the same shall I abide in that very condition' — that (view), too, he does not consider thus: 'This is mine, this I am, this is my self.'

17. "Considering thus, he is not anxious about unrealities."[23]

Anxiety about Unrealities

18. When this was said, a certain monk asked the Blessed One:

"Lord, can there be anxiety about unrealities, in the external?"[24]

"There can be, O monk," said the Blessed One. "In that case, monk, someone thinks: 'Oh, I had it! That, alas, I have no longer! Oh, may I have it again! But alas, I do not get it!' Hence he grieves, is depressed and laments; beating his breast, he weeps and dejection befalls him. Thus, monk, is there anxiety about unrealities, in the external."

19. "But, Lord, can there be absence of anxiety about unrealities, in the external?"

"There can be, O monk," said the Blessed One. "In that case, monk, someone does not think thus: 'Oh, I had it! That, alas, I have no longer! Oh, may I have it again! But, alas, I do not get it!' Hence he does not grieve, is not depressed, does not lament; he does not beat his breast nor does he weep, and no dejection befalls him. Thus, monk, is there absence of anxiety about unrealities, in the external."

20. "Lord, can there be anxiety about unrealities, in the internal?"

"There can be, monk," said the Blessed One. "In that case, monk, someone has this view: 'The universe is the Self. That I shall be after death; permanent, stable, eternal, immutable; eternally the same shall I abide in that very condition.' He then hears a Perfect One expounding the Teaching for the removal of all grounds for views, of all prejudices, obsessions, dogmas and biases; for the stilling of all (kamma-) processes, for the relinquishment of all substrata (of existence), for the extirpation of craving, for dispassion, cessation, Nibbaana. He then thinks: 'I shall be annihilated, I shall be destroyed! No longer shall I exist!' Hence he grieves, is depressed and laments; beating his breast, he weeps, and dejection befalls him. Thus, monk, is there anxiety about realities, in the internal."

21. "But, Lord, can there be absence of anxiety about unrealities, in the internal?"

"There can be, monk," said the Blessed One. "In that case, monk, someone does not have this view: 'The universe is the Self... eternally the same shall I abide in that very condition.' He then hears a Perfect One expounding the Teaching for the removal of all grounds for views, of all prejudices, obsessions, dogmas and biases; for the stilling of all (kamma-) processes, for the relinquishing of all substrata (of existence), for the extirpation of craving, for dispassion, cessation, Nibbaana. He then does not think: 'I shall be annihilated, I shall be destroyed! No longer shall I exist!' Hence he does not grieve, is not depressed, does not lament; he does not beat his breast nor does he weep, and no dejection befalls him. Thus, monk, is there absence of anxiety about unrealities, in the internal.[25]

Impermanence and Not-self

22. "You may well take hold of a possession,[26] O monks, that is permanent, stable, eternal, immutable, that abides eternally the same in its very condition. (But) do you see, monks, any such possession?" — "No, Lord." — "Well, monks, I, too, do not see any such possession that is permanent, stable, eternal, immutable, that abides eternally the same in its very condition."

23. "You may well accept, monks, the assumption of a self-theory[27] from the acceptance of which there would not arise sorrow and lamentation, pain, grief, and despair. (But) do you see, monks, any such assumption of a self-theory?" — "No, Lord." — "Well, monks, I, too, do not see any such assumption of a self-theory from the acceptance of which there would not arise sorrow and lamentation, pain, grief and despair."

24. "You may well rely, monks, on any supporting (argument) for views[28] from the reliance on which there would not arise sorrow and lamentation, pain, grief and despair. (But) do you see, monks, any such supporting (argument) for views?" — "No, Lord." — "Well, monks, I, too, do not see any such supporting (argument) for views from the reliance on which there would not arise sorrow and lamentation, pain, grief and despair."[29]

25. "If there were a self, monks, would there be my self's property?" — "So it is, Lord." — "Or if there is a self's property, would there by my self?" — "So it is, Lord." — "Since in truth and in fact, self and self's property do not obtain, O monks, then this ground for views, 'The universe is the Self. That I shall be after death; permanent, stable, eternal, immutable; eternally the same shall I abide, in that very condition' — is it not, monks, an entirely and perfectly foolish idea?" — "What else should it be, Lord? It is an entirely and perfectly foolish idea."[30]

The Three Characteristics

26. "What do you think, monks: is corporeality permanent or impermanent?" — "Impermanent, Lord." — "And what is impermanent, is it painful or pleasant?" — "Painful, Lord." — "What is impermanent, painful, subject to change, is it fit to be considered thus: 'This is mine, this I am, this is my self'?" — "Certainly not, Lord." — "What do you think, monks: Is feeling... is perception... are mental formations... is consciousness... permanent or impermanent?" — "Impermanent, Lord." — "And what is impermanent, is it painful or pleasant?" — "Painful, Lord." — "And what is impermanent, painful, subject to change, is it fit to be considered thus: 'This is mine, this I am, this is my self?" — "Certainly not, Lord."

27. "Therefore, monks, whatever corporeality, whether past, future, or present, in oneself or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near, — all corporeality should with right wisdom, thus be seen as it is: 'This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.'

"Whatever feeling... whatever perception... whatever mental formations... whatever consciousness, whether past, future or present, in oneself or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near — all... consciousness should, with right wisdom, thus be seen as it is: 'This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.'

28. "Seeing this, monks, the well-instructed noble disciple becomes disgusted[31] with corporeality, becomes disgusted with feeling, with perception, with mental formations, with consciousness.

29. "Through his being disgusted, his passion fades away.[32] His passion having faded, he is freed.[33] In him who is freed there is the knowledge of freedom:[34] "Ceased has rebirth, fulfilled is the holy life, the task is done, there is no more of this to come," thus he knows.

The Arahant[35]

30. "This monk is called one who has removed the crossbar, has filled the moat, has broken the pillar, has unbolted (his mind); a Noble One who has taken down the flag, put down the burden, become unfettered.

31. "And how, monks, is that monk one who has removed the cross-bar? Herein the monk has abandoned ignorance, has cut it off at the root, removed it from its soil like a palmyra tree, brought it to utter extinction, incapable of arising again. Thus has he removed the cross-bar.

32. "And how, monks, is that monk one who has filled the moat? Herein the monk has abandoned the round of rebirths, leading to renewed existence; he has cut it off at the root, removed it from its soil like a palmyra tree, brought it to utter extinction, incapable of arising again.

33. "And how has he broken the pillar? He has abandoned craving, has cut it off at the root, removed it from its soil like a palmyra tree, brought it to utter extinction, incapable of arising again.

34. "And how has he unbolted (his mind)? He has abandoned the five lower fetters, has cut them off at the root, removed them from their soil like a palmyra tree, brought them to utter extinction, incapable of arising again.

35. "And how is the monk a Noble One who has taken down the flag, put down the burden, become unfettered? He has abandoned the conceit of self, has cut it off at the root, removed it from is soil like a palmyra tree, brought it to utter extinction, incapable of arising again. Thus is the monk a Noble One who has taken down the flag, put down the burden, become unfettered.

36. "When a monk's mind is thus freed, O monks, neither the gods with Indra, nor the gods with Brahma, nor the gods with the Lord of Creatures (Pajaapati), when searching will find[36] on what the consciousness of one thus gone (tathaagata) is based. Why is that? One who has thus gone is no longer traceable here and now, so I say.[37]

Misrepresentation

37. "So teaching, so proclaiming, O monks, I have been baselessly, vainly, falsely and wrongly accused by some ascetics and brahmans: 'A nihilist[38] is the ascetic Gotama; He teaches the annihilation, the destruction, the non-being of an existing individual.'[39]

"As I am not as I do not teach, so have I been baselessly, vainly, falsely and wrongly accused by some ascetics and brahmans thus: 'A nihilist is the ascetic Gotama; He teaches the annihilation, the destruction, the non-being of an existing individual.'

"What I teach now as before, O monks, is suffering and the cessation of suffering.

Praise and Blame

38. "If for that (reason)[40] others revile, abuse, scold and insult the Perfect One, on that account, O monks, the Perfect One will not feel annoyance, nor dejection, nor displeasure in his heart. And if for that (reason) others respect, revere, honor and venerate the Perfect One, on that account the Perfect One will not feel delight, nor joy, nor elation in his heart. If for that (reason) others respect, revere, honor and venerate the Perfect One, He will think: 'It is towards this (mind-body aggregate) which was formerly[41] fully comprehended, that they perform such acts.'[42]

39. "Therefore, O monks, if you, too, are reviled, abused, scolded and insulted by others, you should on that account not entertain annoyance, nor dejection, nor displeasure in your hearts. And if others respect, revere, honor and venerate you, on that account you should not entertain delight nor joy nor elation in your hearts. If others respect, revere, honor and venerate you, you should think: 'It is towards this (mind-body aggregate) which was formerly comprehended, that they perform such acts.'[43]

Not Yours[44]

40. "Therefore, monks, give up whatever is not yours.[45] Your giving it up will for a long time bring you welfare and happiness. What is it that is not yours? Corporeality is not yours. Give it up! Your giving it up will for a long time bring you welfare and happiness. Feeling is not yours. Give it up! Your giving it up will for a long bring you welfare and happiness. Perception is not yours. Give it up! Your giving it up will for a long time bring you welfare and happiness. Mental formations are not yours. Give them up! Your giving them up will for a long time bring you welfare and happiness. Consciousness is not yours. Give it up! Your giving it up will for a long time bring you welfare and happiness.[46]

41. "What do you think, monks: if people were to carry away the grass, sticks, branches and leaves in this Jeta Grove, or burnt them or did with them what they pleased, would you think: These people carry us away, or burn us, or do with us as they please?" — "No, Lord." — "Why not?" Because, Lord, that is neither our self nor the property of our self." — "So, too, monks, give up what is not yours! Your giving it up will for a long time bring you welfare and happiness. What is it that is not yours? Corporeality... feeling... perception... mental formations... consciousness are not yours. Give them up! Your giving them up will for a long time bring you welfare and happiness."

The Explicit Teaching and Its Fruit

42. "Monks, this Teaching[47] so well proclaimed by me, is plain, open, explicit, free of patchwork.[48] In this Teaching that is so well proclaimed by me and is plain, open, explicit and free of patchwork; for those who are arahants, free of taints, who have accomplished and completed their task, have laid down the burden, achieved their aim, severed the fetters binding to existence, who are liberated by full knowledge, there is no (future) round of existence that can be ascribed to them.

43. "Monks, in this Teaching that is so well proclaimed by me and is plain, open, explicit and free of patchwork, those monks who have abandoned the five lower fetters will all be reborn spontaneously (in the Pure Abodes) and there they will pass away finally, no more returning from that world.

44. "Monks, in this Teaching that is so well proclaimed by me and is plain, open, explicit and free of patchwork, those monks who have abandoned three fetters and have reduced greed, hatred and delusion, are all once-returners, and, returning only once to this world, will then make an end of suffering.

45. "Monks, in this Teaching that is so well proclaimed by me and is plain, open, explicit and free of patchwork, those monks who have abandoned three fetters, are all stream-enterers, no more liable to downfall, assured, and headed for full Enlightenment.

46. "Monks, in this Teaching that is so well proclaimed by me and is plain, open, explicit, and free of patchwork, those monks who are mature in Dhamma, mature in faith,[49] are all headed for full Enlightenment.

47. "Monks, in this Teaching that is so well proclaimed by me and is plain, open, explicit and free of patchwork, those who have simply faith in me, simply love for me,[50] are all destined for heaven."

48. This said the Blessed One. Satisfied, the monks rejoiced in the words of the Blessed One.

 


[1] Things called "obstructions" (antaraayikaa dhammaa). Comy gives here a list of ideas and actions that obstruct either heavenly rebirth or final deliverance or both. Arittha, so says Comy being a learned exponent of the Teaching, was quite familiar with most of these "obstructions"; but, being unfamiliar with the Code of Discipline (Vinaya), he conceived the view that sex indulgence was not necessarily an obstruction for a monk. Arittha is said to have used a rather sophistic argument, saying, "If some of the five sense enjoyments are permissible even for lay adherents who are stream-enterers (sotaapanna), etc., why is an exception made as to the visible shape, voice, touch, etc., of women?" According to Comy, Arittha goes so far as to charge the Buddha with exaggerating the importance of the first grave offence (paaraajikaa) for a monk (i.e., sexual intercourse), saying that the emphasis given to it is like the effort of one who tries to chain the ocean.

The similes about sense-desires, given in the following section of the discourse, seem to support the commentarial reference to sexual intercourse.

[2] The similes about sense-desires. Of the ten similes, the first seven were explained in detail in the Potaliya Sutta, (MN 54; see The Wheel No. 79). A summary of these explanations follows here; and after each of these, and also for the remaining three similes, and expansion is given of the one-word explanation found in the Comy to our present text:

(1) Bare bones, fleshless, blood-smeared, are thrown to a starving dog but cannot satisfy the animal's hunger. Similarly, sense-desires give no lasting satisfaction (Comy: appasaadatthena).

(2) A lump of flesh for which birds of prey fight each other; if the bird that has seized the lump of flesh, does not yield it, it may meet death or deadly pain from the beaks and claws of the other birds. Similarly, the sense-desires are common to many (bahusaadhaarana), i.e., the same sense objects may be claimed by many and may become the cause of deadly conflict.

(3) A torch of straw carried against the wind may cause severe burns to the careless man if not quickly discarded. Similarly, sense-desires will severely burn (anudahana) i.e., greatly harm him who thoughtlessly, and unaware of the great danger, partakes of them in the belief that they will bring light and joy to his life.

(4) A pit of burning coals towards which a man is dragged by others; if he cannot free himself from the grip, he will be thrown into the fire and consumed by it. Similarly, sense-desires are like a vast conflagration (maha-bhitaapa) into which the victim is dragged by bad company, or by his own deeds, causing his rebirth in miserable states of woe.

(5) A dream of a beautiful landscape that vanishes on awakening. Similarly, sense-desires are a brief illusion (ittara-paccupatthaana) like a dream, and disappointing after one awakens from infatuation to reality.

(6) Borrowed goods on which the borrower foolishly prides himself in public; but which are withdrawn by the owners when they see the boastful man. Similarly, sense-desires are temporary (taavakaalika) and not a true and lasting possession of him who enjoys them, filled with vain glory.

(7) A fruit tree climbed by one who craves for the fruits; but another man, likewise greedy for them but unable to climb, chooses another method and fells the tree; and unless the first man quickly descends, he will break his limbs. Similarly, in the blind pursuit of sense pleasures one may "break all one's limbs" (sabbanga paccanga bhañjana), may suffer severe injury of body and mind. The Sub-Comy refers also to punishment and torture incurred by reckless deeds to which people are driven by sense infatuation.

(8) A slaughter house (or place of execution): because sense-desires are like a butcher's (or executioner's) block (adhikuttana). This may mean that sense-desires kill much that is noble in man and cut off his higher development.

(9) A stake of swords: sense-desires are piercing (vinivijjhana) penetrating deep within, causing wounds where there had been none. Unfulfilled or frustrated desire, or the pains of jealousy, are, indeed, like that ancient torture of the state of swords.

(10) A snake's head: sense-desires are a grave risk and peril (sasanka-sappatibhaya) for the present and future welfare, if one walks unwarily.

[3] This first part of the Arittha episode occurs twice in the Vinaya Pitaka. In the Cuula Vagga (Kammakkhanda) it is followed by announcing the Sangha act of suspension (ukkhepaniya-kamma) against Arittha as he did not give up his wrong views. In the Paacittiya section of the Vinaya, Arittha's refusal to renounce his wrong view is defined as the monastic offence called "paacittiya."

[4] ...produced any spark (of understanding) in this teaching and discipline (usmiikato pi imasmi.m dhammavinaye). This is a stock phrase in similar contexts — e.g., in MN 38, where Saa' ti. misconceptions are rejected. Our rendering follows Comy: "This refers to one who has (not) produced the 'warmth of understanding' (ñaan'usmaa) that can bring the 'seed of wisdom' (paññaa-biijaa; Sub-Comy) to the maturity required for attaining to the paths and fruitions of sanctity."

[5] Comy says that by questioning the other monks the Master wanted to clarify the opinion held by the community of monks; and, on the other hand, leave no doubt in Arittha that through obstinately clinging to his views, he had separated himself from the community.

[6] Can pursue sense gratification (kaame patisevissati). Kaama is here vatthukaama, the objective aspect of kaama, "sensuality," the sense experience. Comy adds: methunasamaacaara.m samaacarissati, "It is impossible that he can commit the sexual act (without perceptions and thoughts of sense-desire)." Sub-Comy says that also other physical acts expressive of sexual desire, are to be included, as embracing, stroking, etc.

[7] Aññatra kaamehi: this refers to kilesa-kaama, "sensuality as a defilement of mind," i.e., sense desire, the subjective aspect of kaama.

[8] Comy: After the Master had pointed out Arittha's wrong views, he continues now by showing the grievous fault that lies in a wrong grasp of what has been learned (i.e., the serious danger inherent in misconceiving and misinterpreting the Teaching).

[9] The text inserts here the ninefold division of the codified teaching: "Discourses, mixed prose and verse, prose expositions, verses, solemn utterances, sayings, birth stories, marvels, and replies to questions." Since this enumeration interrupts the flow of the sentence, it has been shifted from the text to the Notes.

[10] Dhammaa na ni jjhaanam khamanti. Comy: The teachings do not become clear, do not come into the range (of understanding); so that one cannot discern whether in the respective place of the exposition, morality is spoken of, or concentration, insight, the paths, the fruits, the round of existence or its ending. Sub-Comy: "That is, once cannot understand that the purpose of morality is the attaining of concentration, the purpose of concentration the winning of insight, etc."

Nijjhaana has here the meaning of "insight" or "comprehension" (Sub-Comy: nijjhaana-pañña-kkhamaa na honti). This phrase appears with the same meaning and in the same context, in the Kiitaagiri Sutta (MN 70) and the Cankii Sutta (MN 95), that is, likewise preceded by an "examination of purpose (or meaning)." Also SN 25.1 confirms our rendering: Yassa khobhikkhave imedhammaa evam paññaaya mattaso nijjhaana.m khamanti aya.m vuccati dhammaanusaarii.

[11] Comy: That is, the attainment of the paths and fruitions of sanctity.

[12] Comy refers this to "the noble sons" mentioned in Ī11.

[13] The three ways of studying the teaching. Comy: "They, the noble sons, study the Teaching for the sake of crossing (the ocean of sa.msaric suffering). There are to wit, three manners of studying the Teaching: studying it in the manner of the Snake-simile (alagadda-pariyatti); studying it for the sake of crossing over (nittharana-pariyatti); and studying in a treasurer's (or store-keeper's) position (bhandaa-gaarika-pariyatti).

(1) He who studies the Buddha's word for getting robes and other requisites, or for becoming widely known; that is, he who learns for the sake of fame and gain, his study is that of the Snake-simile (i.e., the wrong grasp); but better than such a study would be for him to sleep and not to study at all.

(2) But there is one who studies the Buddha's word, and when morality is the subject, he fulfills morality; when concentration is the subject, he lets it take deep root; when insight is the subject, he establishes himself well in insight; when the paths and fruitions are the subject, he studies with the intention, "I shall develop the path, I shall realize the fruition." Only the studying of such a one is "studying for the sake of crossing over" (as expressed in the simile of the raft; Ī13).

(3) But the studying by one who (as an arahant, a saint) has extinguished the taints (khiinaasavo), is "studying in the Treasurer's position." For him, indeed, there remains nothing unpenetrated, nothing unrelinquished, nothing undeveloped, and nothing unrealized. [This refers to the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 3rd Truths, respectively.] He is one who has penetrated the aggregates of existence (khandha), who has relinquished the defilements, developed the path and realized the fruition. Hence, in studying the Buddha's Word, he studies it as a keeper of the scriptures, as a guardian of the tradition, as a preserver of the continuity. Thus his study is like (the activity of) a treasurer (or store keeper).

"Now, when those proficient in the books cannot live at one place, being afraid of starvation, etc., if (in such a situation) there is one who, while himself going the alms round with very great fatigue, as an unliberated worlding takes up studies with the thought: 'Lest the exceedingly sweet Buddha-word may perish, I shall keep the scriptures (in mind), shall preserve the continuity and guard the tradition,' in that case, is his study of the Treasurer's type or is it not? — It is not. And why not? Because his study is not applied to his own situation (na attano thaane thatvaa pariyaapunattaa; Sub-Comy: that of (having to) cross over. An unliberated worldling's study [be he a monk or a lay follower] will either be of the type of the Snake-simile, or for the sake of crossing over; while for the seven (noble persons; ariya-puggala) who have entered the higher training (sekha), the study is only for the sake of crossing over; for the saint (arahat) it is only of the Treasurer's type."

[14] Comy: "The teachings" (dhammaa) are tranquility (samatha) and insight (vipassanaa). The Blessed One, indeed, enjoins us to abandon desire and attachment (chanda-raaga) concerning tranquility and insight. Where, then, has he enjoined the abandonment of desire and attachment in the case of tranquility? He did so in the following saying: "Thus, Udaayi, do I teach the abandoning even of the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception. Do you see Udaayi, any fetter fine or coarse, that I did not tell you to discard?" (MN 66). And in the case of insight, the abandoning was enjoined by him as follows: "And to that view thus purified and cleansed, you should not be attached, should not be enamored of it, should not treasure it." But here, in this present text, he enjoined the abandoning of desire and attachment concerning both (tranquility and insight), by saying: "You should let go even (good) teachings, how much more false ones!" The meaning is this: "I teach, O monks, the abandoning of desire and attachment even for such peaceful and sublime states (as tranquility and insight); how much more so in regard to that ignoble, low, contemptible, coarse and impure thing in which this foolish Arittha does not see any harm, saying that desire and attachment for the five sense-objects is not necessarily an obstruction! But you, O monks, unlike that Arittha, should not fling mud and refuse into my dispensation!" In this way, the Blessed One again rebuked Arittha by this admonition.

[15] Grounds for false views (ditthi-tthaana). Comy: By the words "There are, monks, these six grounds for false views," the Master wishes to show this: "He who takes the five aggregates of existence as 'I' and 'Mine', by way of a threefold wrong grasp (tividha-gaaha), he flings mud and refuse into my dispensation, like this Arittha."

Comy and Sub-Comy: False views themselves are "grounds" (or bases, starting-points) for subsequently arising false views, like personality belief, eternalism, etc. (Comy: ditthiipi ditthi-tthaana.m). Further, the "grounds" are the subject-matter (aarammana, "object") of the views, i.e., the five aggregates, the visual objects, etc. Finally, they are also the conditioning factors (paccaya) of the false views, e.g., ignorance, sense-impression (phassa), (faulty) perceptions and thoughts, unwisely directed attention (ayoniso manasikaara), bad company, others' speech, etc. [These, with the aggregates as the first, are the eight "grounds for false views," as mentioned in the Patisambhidaa Magga (Ditthi-kathaa). The term ditthi-tthaana also occurs in the Brahmajaala Sutta (DN 1) and in the commentary to it.

[16] "He considers corporeality thus: 'This is mine'." Comy: This is wrong grasp (or wrong approach) induced by craving (tanhaa-gaaha). "This I am": this is wrong grasp induced by conceit (maana-gaaha). "This is my self": this is wrong grasp induced by false views (ditthi-gaaha). Here, reference is to craving, conceit, and false views which have corporeality as object; but corporeality cannot be said to be a self. The same holds true for feeling, perception and mental formations.

[17] "What is seen": (Comy) the visual sense-object base (ruupaayatana); "heard": the sound-base; "sensed" (muta.m): the sense-object bases of smell, taste, and touch-sensations; "what is thought": the remaining seven bases, i.e., the mind-object base (dhammaayatana) and the six sense-organ bases.

[18] "Encountered": (Comy) after having been sought for, or not sought for; "sought": encountered or not encountered (before); "mentally pursued" (anuvicarita.m manasaa): resorted to by consciousness (cittena anusañcarita.m) — what was encountered or not encountered without being sought for.

The terms "thought," "encountered," etc., refer to the fifth aggregate, i.e., consciousness (viññaanakkhandha), which was not mentioned in the first part of Ī15.

[19] "The universe is the Self," lit.: "This (is) the world, this (is) the self" (so loko so attaa). That, in fact, an identification of the two terms is intended here, will be shown in the following comments. The best explanation of the passage is furnished in the Brahmajaala Sutta (DN 1) where a similar phraseology is used: "There are, monks, some ascetics and brahmans who are eternalists and who proclaim self and world to be eternal" (sassatavaadaa sassata.m attañca lokañca paññapenti); subsequently the theorist is introduced as stating his view in similar terms: "Eternal are self and world... they exist as eternally the same" (sassato attaa ca loko ca... atthi iveva sassata-samaɱ.m). The last term appears likewise in our text; see Note 21. From this we may safely conclude that it is the identity, or unity, of the Self (or soul; mahaatman, paramaatman) with the universe (or the Universal Spirit, Brahman) which is conveyed by our text.

In the Commentary specific to our text, this eternalistic view is rendered and classified in the terminology of the Dhamma. The Commentary says:

"This statement ('The universe is the Self') refers to the (wrong) view 'He considers corporeality, etc., as the self (ruupa.m attato samanupassatii' ti aadinaa nayena).'"

The canonical quotation (e.g., in MN 44), included here in the Commentary, has two implications which are of importance for understanding the reason why it was cited in this context:

(1) As very often in the commentaries (e.g., to Satipatthaana Sutta), the term "world" (loko) is explained as truly referring to the five aggregates (khanda, i.e., corporeality, feeling, etc.), singly or in toto.

(2) This quotation is the formula for the first of the twenty types of personality-belief (sakkaaya-ditthi; e.g., in MN 44). In the first five of these twenty, the self is said to be identical with each of the five aggregates (as in the earlier part of Ī15 of our text). Hence the application of this quote to our textual passage signifies that the theorist conceives the "world" (i.e., corporeality, feeling, etc.) as identical with the self.

The double "So (loko) so (attaa)" in our text, should therefore, be taken as standing for "yo (loko) so (attaa)," lit.: what is the world that is the self. In the Comy to MN 44 we find a similar phrase: "Someone considers corporeality as self: what is corporeality that is 'I'; what is 'I' that is corporeality. Thus he considers corporeality and self as non-dual' (... ya.m ruupa.m so aha.m, yo aha.m ta.m ruupan' ti ruupañca advaya.m samanupassati)." According to this interpretation the phrase has been translated here by "This universe is the Self."

Mostly, the first five types of personality-belief are explained as referring to the wrong view of annihilationism (uccheda-ditthi). [See, e.g., Patisambhidaa-Magga, Ditthikathaa, Ucchedaditthi-niddesa; further Comy to MN 44.]

But their being quoted in our context, shows that they may also apply to eternalism (sassata-ditthi). We have come to this conclusion since it is improbable that, in our textual passage two mutually exclusive views should have been combined in a single statement formulating the sixth "ground for false views"; that is, in the first part of that statement, annihilationism, and in the second, eternalism.

[20] "That I shall be after death..." (so pecca bhavissaami). Comy explains by "so aha.m," a Paali idiom, meaning literally "this I." Pecca: lit. having gone, i.e., to the other world.

[21] "Eternally the same" (sassati-sama.m): an Upanishadic term; see Brhadaranyaka-Upanisad, 5, 10: saasvatiih samaah.

This entire statement of the sixth 'ground for views' may well have been the original creed of an eternalistic doctrine. The phrasing appears rather vague in the first part, and in general it is rather loosely worded (so for so aham). To contemporaries, however, the meaning may have been quite clear since it was perhaps the stock formula for teachings that were well known. Hence, in this translation, we have left the first part of the statement in its rather cryptic and ambiguous original form, while giving the interpretations in the notes only.

[22] He identifies himself entirely (Sub-Comy: attaana.m viya ganhaati) with that eternalistic misconception (gaaha), induced by craving (for self-perpetuation), by false views (tenaciously maintained) and by conceit (deeply ingrained ego-centricity). Here one view serves as subject-matter for another view (Comy, Sub-Comy).

[23] "He is not anxious about unrealities" (asati na paritassati); or "about the non-existing" ("I" and "Mine"). The verb paritassati has, according to Comy the twofold connotation of fear (bhaya) and craving (tanhaa). Hence this passage may also be rendered: "he has no fears nor cravings concerning the non-existent." Comy and Sub-Comy to the Brahmaajala Sutta have a long disquisition about the corresponding noun paritassana, occurring also in MN 138, SN 22.7, SN 22.8, SN 22.53, and SN 22.55.

Comy: "By showing herewith the taint-free saint who has no anxiety at the destruction of his own (lit.: internal) aggregates, the Blessed One concludes his exposition.

[24] "In the external" (bahiddhaa): concerning external property which includes also animate possessions, like wife and child, friends, etc.

[25] This section deals, according to Comy, with a "four-fold voidness" (catukotikaa suññataa), i.e., absence of self and mine, referring to one who, at the destruction of his own aggregates (i.e., his personality), (1) feels anguish, (2) feels none; and to one who, at the destruction of external property (3) feels anguish, (4) feels none. For another classification of the "four-fold voidness," see Visuddhi Magga (translated by Ñanamoli), p. 762 f; and SN 22.5, where likewise reference to "anxiety" or "anguish" (taaso) is made.

[26] Pariggaha.m parigganheyyaatha. This links up with Ī19: the anxiety about external possessions.

[27] Attavaadupaadaanam upadiyetha. While in most translations the term upaadaana has been rendered by "clinging," we have followed here a suggestion of the late Bhikkhu Ñanamoli, rendering it by "assumption" [see The Wheel No. 17: Three Cardinal Discourses of the Buddha, p. 19 (Buddhist Publication Society, Kandy)]. In this context, the word "assumption" should be understood: (1) in the sense of a supposition, (2) in the literal sense of its Latin source: adsumere, "to take up," which closely parallels the derivation of our Paali term: upa-aadaana, "taking up strongly." In this sense we have used it when translating the derivative verb upaadiyetha by "you may accept." Attavaadupaadaana is one of the four types of clinging (see Nyanatiloka's Buddhist Dictionary), conditioned by craving (tanhaa). This term comprises, according to Comy, the twenty types of personality-belief (sakkaaya-ditthi).

Quoting this passage of our text, the Ven. Dr. Walpola Rahula remarks: "If there had been any soul-theory which the Buddha had accepted, he would certainly have explained it here, because he asked the monks to accept that soul-theory which did not produce suffering. But in the Buddha's view, there is no such soul-theory..." (What the Buddha Taught, London, 1959; p.58).

[28] Ditthinissaya.m nissayetha. Nissaya, lit.: support basis. Comy explains this phrase as the sixty-two false views headed by personality-belief (see DN 1, Brahmajaala Sutta). They form the theoretical or ideological basis, or support, for the various creeds and speculative doctrines derived from them. Sub-Comy: "The view itself is a support for views; because for one with incorrect conceptions, the view will serve as a prop for his firm adherence to, and the propagation of, his ideas." Alternative renderings: You may well place reliance on a view, or may derive conviction from it.

See Satipatthaana Sutta where, in explanation of anissito the Comy mentions tanhaanissaya and ditthi-nissaya, "dependence on craving and views."

[29] In this section, according to Comy, a "three-fold voidness is shown," i.e., referring to external possessions, self-theory and reliance on speculative views.

[30] The two supplementary statements in this section suggest the following implications: The concepts of "I" and "Mine" are inseparably linked; so also, in philosophical terms, are substance and attribute. If there is personality-belief or self-theory, there will be necessarily acquisitiveness or possessiveness in some form or other; at least these views themselves will be held with strong tenacity and be regarded as an "inalienable property" (see Note 22). There is no pure, abstract self or substance without its determination, property or attribute. On the other hand, acquisitiveness and possessiveness — even if of a quite unphilosophical character — cannot be without at least a tacit assumption of a proprietary self; this applies also to materialistic doctrines (annihilationism). Since in truth and fact neither an abiding property (or attribute) can be established nor an abiding self (or substance), either of these terms is left without its essential referent. Hence the conception of individual immortality as formulated in the sixth ground for views, is found to be devoid of any basis and is, therefore, rejected by the Buddha as a fool's doctrine, being outside of serious consideration.

Comy: Here a "two-fold voidness" is shown, that of self (atta) and of property (or properties) belonging to a self (attaniya).

[31] "He becomes disgusted" (nibbindati). Comy: he is dissatisfied, repelled. This disgust (or "turning away," revulsion; nibbidaa) signifies the stage of "insight leading to emergence" (vutthaanagaamini vipassanaa; Vsm, p. 722 f.), which is the culmination of insight, immediately preceding the attainment of the supramundane path (of stream-entry, etc.).

[32] "His passion fades away" (virajjati). This signifies, according to Comy, the attainment of the supramundane path (magga); that is the single "moment of entering into one of the four stages of holiness produced by intuitional insight (vipassanaa) into the impermanency, misery and impersonality of existence, flashing forth and forever transforming one's life and nature" (Nyanatiloka, B. Dict.). It is at that moment that the fetters are finally eliminated.

[33] "He is freed" (vimuccati). This points to the attainment of the supramundane fruition (phala), that is "those moments of consciousness which follow immediately after the path-moment as its result, and which under given circumstances may repeat for innumerable times during a life-time" (B. Dict.).

[34] "Knowledge of freedom" refers to the stage of reviewing (paccavekhana) the preceding experience of path and fruition, the defilements abandoned, etc. See Vsm p. 789.

[35] This section appears also in the Anguttara Nikaaya, The Fives, No. 71 and 72 (PTS III, 84). Comy explains the metaphorical expressions as follows:

"There are two cities: one is a city of brigands, the other a city of peace. Now to a great warrior of the city of peace (i.e., a meditator) the following thought occurs: 'As long as this city of brigands (the self-delusion) exists, we shall never be free from danger.' So he dons his armor (of virtue) and goes to the city of brigands. With his sword (of wisdom) he breaks the gate pillar (of craving) together with the door wings, he removes the bolt (of the five lower fetters), lifts the cross-bar (of ignorance), fills in the moat (of sa.msaara), and lowers the (enemy's) flag (of self-conceit). Such a saint (a Noble One) has put down for good the burden of the five aggregates (khandha), of kamma-producing volitions (kammaabhisankhaara) and of the defilements (kilesa); has fully liberated himself from the round of existence."

[36] When searching will (not) find out (anvesa.m naadhigacchanti). The same phrase is used in the Godhika Sutta (SN 4.23; PTS I, 122) by Maara: anvesa.m naadhigacchaami, "Searching I cannot find" — i.e., the consciousness of the monk, Godhika who, at the moment of committing suicide, had attained sainthood (arahatta). About him the Buddha declares that he "has passed away finally with a consciousness that no longer gives a footing" (for a rebirth; apatitthena viññaanena parinibbuto).

[37] Ditth'ev'aaha.m bhikkhave dhamme Tathaagata.m ananuve jjo'ti vadaami. Comy: The term tathaagato (lit.: "thus-gone") may refer either to a being (satto) or to the greatest man (uttamo puriso; the Buddha) and a taint-free saint (khiinaasavo). Ananuve jjo means either "non-existing" (asa.mvijjamaano) or "not traceable" (avindeyyo). If tathaagato is taken as "a being" (in the sense of an abiding personality), the meaning "non-existing" applies; if in the sense of a taint-free saint, the meaning "not traceable" is apt. The intention implied in the first case, is: "O bhikkhus, even of a taint-free saint during his lifetime, here and now, I do not declare that he is 'a being, a personality' (in the sense of an abiding entity); how, then, should I declare it of a taint-free saint who has finally passed away, without any future rebirth? One thus-gone is untraceable; because in the ultimate sense (paramatthato), there is no such thing as 'a being' (satto). Searching for the basis of consciousness of such a non-existing (being) how can they find it, how can they obtain it?" In the case of the second explanation, the intention is this: "I say that Indra and other gods cannot trace a taint-free saint by way of consciousness (viññaanavasena). For the gods who are with Indra and other deities, even if they make a search, cannot know about the consciousness of insight or that of the supramundane path or fruition (of sainthood; arahatta) that 'it proceeds based on such or such an object.' How, then, could they know it in the case of one who has finally passed away (parinibbuto), and has not been born again?" [Sub-Comy: "The consciousness of insight (vipassanaa-citta) that aims at the attainment of the highest fruition (i.e., arahatta) leaps forward to the unconditioned element (Nibbaana) in the thought: "Non-origination is safety. Non-origination is safety!"]

[38] "A nihilist" (venayiko). Comy: satta-vinaasako, "destroyer of a being's (personality)"; a denier of individuality.

[39] "The annihilation of an existing creature" (sato sattassa ucchedam). Sub-Comy: "One who speaks of doing away with a being that has existence in the ultimate sense (paramatthato), would actually be one who teaches the destruction of a being. But I am speaking of what does not exist in the ultimate sense. I am using that (term 'being') only in the conventional sense as done in common parlance (yathaa loke voharati)."

[40] "For that" i.e., for proclaiming the Four Truths (Comy).

[41] Comy: "Formerly, that is when still in the environ of the Bodhi tree before turning the Wheel of the Dhamma; and also from the time of turning the Wheel when teaching Dhamma, it was only the Four Truths that I proclaimed." In our sentence, the term 'suffering' includes also its roots, the origination; and the term 'cessation' also the path that leads to the cessation."

Sub-Comy: "There is no teaching of the Master that is unrelated to the Four Truths. By saying, 'What I teach now as before, is suffering and the cessation of suffering,' the Blessed One indicates this: 'Never do I teach a self that is annihilated or destroyed, nor do I teach that there is any kind of self'."

[42] Evaruupaa kaaraa kariiyanti. Some Burmese texts and the paraphrase in Comy have sakkaaraa; then to be translated: "that they pay such respect."

[43] In the ultimate sense, praise and blame do not refer to a self or ego, but to that five-fold aggregate (pañcakkhandhaka.m) which was comprehended by the Buddha as an evanescent combination of material and mental processes, void of an ego-entity. Hence there is no reason for elation or dejection. A passage similar to Sections 38-39 is found at the beginning of DN 1.

[44] "Not yours" (na tumhaakam) is also the title of a section of suttas in the Sa.myutta Nikaaya (Khandha Sa.myutta, No. 33 ff.).

[45] Comy stresses that it is the attachment to the five aggregates, the desire for them (chanda-raaga) which should be given up; it is not so that the five aggregates themselves should be, as it were, "torn to pieces or pulled out" (na uppaatetvaa luñcitvaa vaa).

[46] Sub-Comy: "Only corporeality, feeling and the other aggregates are the basis for the wrong concept of a self, since apart from them there is nothing else to be craved for."

[47] "This Teaching": these words refer, according to Comy, to the entire exposition beginning with Ī26.

[48] "Free of patchwork" (chinna-pilotika); lit., devoid of the nature of a patched cloth. Comy: Pilotika is a torn rag cloth patched up with stitches and knots which are similar to hypocrisy and other deceptions. Sub-Comy: substituting assumed attitudes (iriyapatha-santhapana) for an actually, in that individual, non-existing practice of meditation and insight. Pilotika means also "refuse," referring to false and unworthy monks who do not have any footing in the Buddha's dispensation.

This phrase chinna-pilotika seems, however, to point to the inner consistency of the Teaching which, like a new cloth (Comy: ahata-saataka), is of one piece and is not in need of patching up contradictions, by artificial attempts of reconciling inconsistencies. Hence the term may freely be rendered by the single word "consistent."

[49] Dhammaanusaarino saddhaanusaarino. These two terms refer to those whose minds are in the process of ripening towards stream-entry (sotaapatti), either by way of strengthening the wisdom-faculty (paññindriya) through the contemplation of no-self (in the case of the dhammaanusaari); or by way of strengthening the faith-faculty (saddhindriya) through the contemplation of impermanence (in the case of the saddhaanusaari). When they actually reach the path of stream-entry (sotaapattimagga), they are called "mature in Dhamma" and "mature in faith."

[50] Those who have simply faith in me. Comy: This refers to persons devoted to the practice of insight-meditation (vipassaka-puggalaa). When monks are seated after having got a firm footing in insight-meditation, there arises in them a unique and fully absorbing faith in, and love for, the Master of the Ten Powers (i.e., the Buddha). (Sub-Comy: because in pursuance of their insight-meditation they have received proof that "the Dhamma is well-proclaimed.") Through that faith and love they are as if taken by the hand and transported to heaven. They are said to be of assured destiny, (niyatagatika) i.e., of the final attainment of Nibbaana. The Elder Monks of old say that such bhikkhus are lesser stream-enterers (cuula- or baala-sotaapanna; Vsm 703).


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