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Buddhist Suttas

Translated from Pāli by T. W. Rhys Davids

Oxford, the Clarendon Press
1881
Vol. XI of The Sacred Books of the East
translated by various Oriental scholars and edited by F. Max Müller

Public Domain
This work has been reformatted for presentation on BuddhaDust
Thanks to J.B. Hare's Internet Sacred Text Archives for originally posting this material
Digitized and formatted for Internet Sacred Text Archives by Cristopher M. Weimer

I
The Book of the Great Decease


[23]

Mahā Parinibbāna Sutta
The Book of the Great Decease

Chapter II

Now the Blessed One addressed the venerable Ānanda, and said: 'Come, Ānanda, let us go on to Koṭigāma.'

'So be it, Lord!' said Ānanda, in assent, to the Blessed One.

The Blessed One proceeded with a great company of the brethren to Koṭigāma; and there he stayed in the village itself[1].

2. And at that place the Blessed One addressed the brethren, and said 'It is through not understanding and grasping four Noble Truths, O brethren, that we have had to run so long, to wander so long in this weary path of transmigration, both you and I!'

'And what are these four?'

'The noble truth about sorrow; the noble truth about the cause of sorrow; the noble truth about the cessation of sorrow; and the noble truth about the path that leads to that cessation. But when these noble truths are grasped and known the craving for existence is rooted out, that which leads to renewed existence is destroyed, and then there is no more birth!'

3. Thus spake the Blessed One; and when the Happy One had thus spoken, then again the Teacher said:

[24] 'By not seeing the four Noble Truths as they really are,
Long is the path that is traversed through many a birth;
When these are grasped, the cause of birth is then removed,
The root of sorrow rooted out, and there is no more birth.'

 


 

4. There too, while staying at Koṭigāma, the Blessed One held that comprehensive religious discourse with the brethren on the nature of upright conduct, and of earnest contemplation, and of intelligence. 'Great is the fruit, great the advantage of earnest contemplation when set round with upright conduct. Great is the fruit, great the advantage of intellect when set round with earnest contemplation. The mind set round with intelligence is freed from the great evils, — that is to say, from sensuality, from individuality, from delusion, and from ignorance.'

 


 

5. Now When the Blessed One had remained as long as was convenient at Koṭigāma, he addressed the venerable Ānanda, and said: 'Come, Ānanda, let us go on to the villages of Nādika.'

'So be it, Lord!' said Ānanda, in assent, to the Blessed One.

And the Blessed proceeded to the villages of Nādika with a great company of the brethren; and there, at Nādika, the Blessed One stayed at the Brick Hall[2].

[25] 6. And the venerable Ānanda went to the Blessed One and paid him reverence and took his seat beside him. And when he was seated, he addressed the Blessed One, and said: 'The brother named lha has died at Nādika, Lord. Where has he been reborn, and what is his destiny? The sister named Nandā has died, Lord, at Nādika. Where is she reborn, and what is her destiny?' And in the same terms he enquired concerning the devout Sudatta, and the devout lady Sujātā, the devout Kakudha, and Kālinga, and NikaĀa, and KaĀissabha, and Tuṭṭha, and Santuṭṭha, and Bhadda, and Subhadda.

7. 'The brother named lha, Ānanda, by the destruction of the great evils has by himself, and in this world, known and realised and attained to Arahatship, and to emancipation of heart and to emancipation of mind. The sister named Nandā, Ānanda, has, by the complete destruction of the five bonds that bind people to this world, become an inheritor of the highest heavens, there to pass entirely away, thence never to return. The devout Sudatta, Ānanda, by the complete destruction of the three bonds, and by the reduction to a minimum of lust, hatred, and delusion has become a Sakadāgāmin, who on his first return to this world will make an end of sorrow. The devout woman Sujātā, Ānanda, by the complete destruction of the three bonds, has become converted, is no longer liable to be reborn in a state of suffering, and is assured of final [26] salvation[3]. The devout Kakudha, Ānanda, by the complete destruction of the five bonds that bind people to these lower worlds of lust, has become an inheritor of the highest heavens, there to pass entirely away, thence never to return. So also is the case with Kālinga, NikaĀa, KaĀissabha, Tuṭṭha, Santuṭṭha, Bhadda, and Subhadda, and with more than fifty, devout men of Nādika. More than ninety devout men of Nādika, who have died, Ānanda, have by the complete destruction of the three bonds, and by the reduction of lust, hatred, and delusion, become Sakadāgāmins, who on their first return to this world will make an end of sorrow. More than five hundred devout men of Nādika who have died. Ānanda, have by the complete destruction of the three bonds become converted, are no longer liable to be reborn in a state of suffering, and are assured of final salvation.

8. 'Now there is nothing strange in this, Ānanda, that a human being should die, but that as each one does so you should come to the Buddha, and enquire about them in this manner, that is wearisome to the Buddha. I will, therefore, teach you a way of truth, called the Mirror of Truth, which if an elect disciple possess he may himself predict of himself, "Hell is destroyed for me, and rebirth as an animal, or a ghost, or in any place of woe. I am converted, I am no longer liable to be reborn in a state of suffering, and am assured of final salvation."

9. 'What then, Ānanda, is this mirror of truth? It is the consciousness that the elect disciple is in this world possessed of faith in the Buddha — [27] believing the Blessed One to be the Holy One, the Fully-enlightened One, Wise, Upright, Happy, World-knowing, Supreme, the Bridler of men's wayward hearts, the Teacher of gods and men, the Blessed Buddha. And that he (the disciple) is possessed of faith in the Truth — believing the truth to have been proclaimed by the Blessed One, of advantage in this world, passing not away, welcoming all, leading to salvation, and to be attained to by the wise, each one for himself. And that he (the disciple) is possessed of faith in the Order — believing the multitude of the disciples of the Blessed One who are walking in the four stages of the noble eightfold path, the righteous, the upright, the just, the law-abiding — believing this church of the Buddha to be worthy of honour, of hospitality, of gifts, and of reverence; to be the supreme sowing ground of merit for the world; to be possessed of the virtues beloved by the good, virtues unbroken, intact, unspotted, unblemished, virtues which make men truly free, virtues which are praised by the wise, are untarnished by the desire of future life or by the belief in the efficacy of outward acts, and are conducive to high and holy thought[4].'

10. 'This, Ānanda, is the way, the mirror of truth, which if an elect disciple possess he may himself predict of himself: "Hell is destroyed for me; and rebirth as an animal, or a ghost, or in any place of woe. I am converted; I am no longer liable to be reborn in a state of suffering, and am assured of final salvation."'

11. There, too, at the Brick Hall at Nādika the [28] Blessed One addressed to the brethren that comprehensive religious discourse on the nature of upright conduct, and of earnest contemplation, and of intelligence.

'Great is the fruit, great the advantage of earnest contemplation when set round with upright conduct. Great is the fruit, great the advantage of intellect when set round with earnest contemplation. The mind set round with intelligence is freed from the great evils, that is to say, from sensuality, from individuality, from delusion, and from ignorance.'

 


 

12. Now when the Blessed One had remained as long as he wished at Nādika, he addressed Ānanda, and said: 'Come, Ānanda, let us go on to Vesāli.'

'So be it, Lord!' said Ānanda, in assent, to the Blessed One.

Then the Blessed One proceeded, with a great company of the brethren, to Vesāli; and there at Vesāli the Blessed One stayed at Ambapāli's grove.

13. Now there the Blessed One addressed the brethren, and said: 'Let a brother, O mendicants, be mindful and thoughtful; this is our instruction to you.'

14. 'And how does a brother become mindful?'

'Herein, O mendicants, let a brother, as he dwells in the body, so regard the body that he, being strenuous, thoughtful, and mindful, may, whilst in the world, overcome the grief which arises from bodily craving — while subject to sensations, let him continue so to regard the sensations that he, being strenuous, thoughtful, and mindful, may, whilst in the world, overcome the grief arising from the craving — which follows our sensation-and so also

[29] as he thinks or reasons or feels let him overcome the grief which arises from the craving due to ideas, or reasoning, or feeling.'

15. 'And how does a brother become thoughtful?'

'He acts, O mendicants, in full presence of mind whatever he may do, in coming out and coming in, in looking and watching, in bending in his arm or stretching it forth, in wearing his robes or carrying his bowl, in eating and drinking, in consuming or tasting, in walking or standing or sitting, in sleeping or waking, in talking and in being silent.

'Thus let a brother, O mendicants, be mindful and thoughtful; this is our instruction to you[5].'

[30] 16. [6] Now the courtezan Ambapāli heard that the Blessed One had arrived at Vesāli, and was staying at her mango grove. And ordering a number of magnificent vehicles to be made ready, she mounted one of them, and proceeded with her train towards her garden. She went in the carriage as far as the ground was passable for carriages; there she alighted; and she proceeded on foot to the place where the Blessed One was, and took her seat respectfully on one side. And when she was thus seated the Blessed One instructed, aroused, incited, and gladdened her with religious discourse.

17. Then she — instructed, aroused, incited, and gladdened with his words — addressed the Blessed One, and said:

'May the Blessed One do me the honour of taking his meal, together with the brethren, at my house to-morrow.'

And the Blessed One gave, by silence, his consent. Then when Ambapāli the courtezan saw that the Blessed One had consented, she rose from her seat and bowed down before him, and keeping him on her right hand as she past him, she departed thence.

[31]18. Now the Likkhavis of Vesāli heard that the Blessed One had arrived at Vesāli, and was staying at Ambapāli's grove. And ordering a number of magnificent carriages to be made ready, they mounted one of them and proceeded with their train to Vesāli. Some of them were dark, dark in colour, and wearing dark clothes and ornaments: some of them were fair, fair in colour, and wearing light clothes and ornaments: some of them were red, ruddy in colour, and wearing red clothes and ornaments: some of them were white, pale in colour, and wearing white clothes and ornaments.

19. And Ambapāli drove up against the young Likkhavis, axle to axle, wheel to wheel, and yoke to yoke, and the Likkhavis said to Ambapāli the courtezan, 'How is it, Ambapāli, that thou drivest up against us thus?'

'My Lords, I have just invited the Blessed One and his brethren for their morrow's meal,' said she.

'Ambapāli! give up this meal to us for a hundred thousand,' said they.

'My Lords, were you to offer all Vesāli with its subject territory', I would not give up so honourable a feast!'

Then the Likkhavis cast up their hands[7], exclaiming, 'We are outdone by this mango girl! we are out-reached by this mango girl[8]!' and they went on to Ambapāli's grove.

20. When the Blessed One saw the Likkhavis [32] approaching in the distance, he addressed the brethren, and said:

'O brethren, let those of the brethren who have never seen the Tāvatiṃsa gods, gaze upon this company of the Likkhavis, behold this company of the Likkhavis, compare this company of the Likkhavis — even as a company of Tāvatiṃsa gods[9].'

21. And when they had ridden as far as the ground was passable for carriages, the Likkhavis alighted there, and then went on on foot to the place where the Blessed One was, and took their seats respectfully by his side. And when they were thus seated the Blessed One instructed and roused and incited and gladdened them with religious discourse[10].

22. Then they instructed and roused and incited and gladdened with his words, addressed the Blessed One, and said, 'May the Blessed One do us the honour of taking his meal, together with the brethren, at our house to-morrow?'

'O Likkhavis, I have promised to dine to-morrow with Ambapāli the courtezan,' was the reply.

[33] Then the Likkhavis cast up their hands, exclaiming, 'We are outdone by this mango girl! we are outreached by this mango girl!' And expressing their thanks and approval of the words of the Blessed One, they rose from their seats and bowed down before the Blessed One, and keeping him on their right hand as they past him, they departed thence.

23. And at the end of the night Ambapāli the courtezan made ready in her mansion sweet rice and cakes, and announced the time to the Blessed One, saying, 'The hour, Lord, has come, and the meal is ready!'

And the Blessed One robed himself early in the morning, and took his bowl, and went with the brethren to the place where Ambapāli's dwelling house was: and when he had come there he seated himself on the seat prepared for him. And Ambapāli the courtezan set the sweet rice and cakes before the order, with the Buddha at their head, and waited upon them till they refused any more.

24. And when the Blessed One had quite finished his meal, the courtezan had a low stool brought, and sat down at his side, and addressed the Blessed One, and said: 'Lord, I present this mansion to the order of mendicants, of which the Buddha is the chief.' And the Blessed One accepted the gift; and after instructing, and rousing, and inciting, and gladdening her with religious discourse, he rose from his seat and departed thence[11].

[34] 25. While at Ambapāli's mango grove the Blessed One held that comprehensive religious discourse with the disciples on the nature of upright conduct, and of earnest contemplation, and of intelligence.

'Great is the fruit, great the advantage of earnest contemplation when set round with upright conduct. Great is the fruit, great the advantage of intellect when set round with earnest contemplation. The mind set round with intelligence is freed from the great evils, that is to say, from sensuality, from individuality, from delusion, and from ignorance.'

 


 

26. Now when the Blessed One had remained as long as he wished at Ambapāli's grove, he addressed Ānanda, and said: 'Come, Ānanda, let us go on to Beluva[12].'

'So be it, Lord,' said Ānanda, in assent, to the Blessed One.

Then the Blessed One proceeded, with a great company of the brethren, to Beluva, and there the Blessed One stayed in the village itself.

 


 

27. Now the Blessed One there addressed the brethren, and said: 'O mendicants, do you take up your abode round about Vesāli, each according to the place where his friends, intimates, and close companions may live, for the rainy season of vassa. I shall enter upon the rainy season here at Beluva.'

[35]So be it, Lord!' said those brethren, in assent, to the Blessed One. And they entered upon the rainy season round about Vesāli, each according to the place where his friends or intimates or close companions lived: whilst the Blessed One stayed even there at Beluva.

 


 

28. Now when the Blessed One had thus entered upon the rainy season, there fell upon him a dire sickness, and sharp pains came upon him, even unto death. But the Blessed One, mindful and self-possessed, bore them without complaint.

29. Then this thought occurred to the Blessed One, 'It would not be right for me to pass away from existence without addressing the disciples, without taking leave of the order. Let me now, by a strong effort of the will, bend this sickness down again, and keep my hold on life till the allotted time be come[13].'

30. And the Blessed One, by a strong effort of the will, bent that sickness down again, and kept his hold on life till the time he fixed upon should come. And the sickness abated upon him.

 


 

31. Now very soon after the Blessed One began to recover; when he had quite got rid of the sickness, he went out from the monastery, and sat down behind the monastery on a seat spread out there. And the venerable Ānanda went to the place where the Blessed One was, and saluted him, and took a seat respectfully on one side, and addressed the [36] Blessed One, and said: 'I have beheld, Lord, how the Blessed One was in health, and I have beheld how the Blessed One had to suffer. And though at the sight of the sickness of the Blessed One my body became weak as a creeper, and the horizon became dim to me, and my faculties were no longer clear[14], yet notwithstanding I took some little comfort from the thought that the Blessed One would not pass away from existence until at least he had left instructions as touching the order.'

32. 'What, then, Ānanda? Does the order expect that of me? I have preached the truth without making any distinction between exoteric and esoteric doctrine: for in respect of the truths, Ānanda, the Tathāgata has no such thing as the closed fist of a teacher, who keeps some things back[15]. Surely, Ānanda, should there be any one who harbours the thought, "It is I who will lead the brotherhood," or, "The order is dependent upon me," it is he who [37] should lay down instructions in any matter concerning the order. Now the Tathāgata, Ānanda, thinks not that it is he who should lead the brotherhood, or that the order is dependent upon him. Why then should he leave instructions in any matter concerning the order? I too, O Ānanda, am now grown old, and full of years, my journey is drawing to its close, I have reached my sum of days, I am turning eighty years of age; and just as a worn-out cart, Ānanda, can only with much additional care be made to move along, so, methinks, the body of the Tathāgata can only be kept going with much additional care[16]. It is only, Ānanda, when [38] the Tathāgata, ceasing to attend to any outward thing, or to experience any sensation, becomes plunged in that devout meditation of heart which is concerned with no material object — it is only then that the body of the Tathāgata is at ease.

33. 'Therefore, O Ānanda, be ye lamps unto yourselves. Be ye a refuge to yourselves. Betake yourselves to no external refuge. Hold fast to the Truth as a lamp. Hold fast as a refuge to the Truth. Look not for refuge to any one besides yourselves. And how, Ānanda, is a brother to be a lamp unto himself, a refuge to himself, betaking himself to no external refuge, holding fast to the Truth as a lamp, holding fast as a refuge to the Truth, looking not for refuge to any one besides himself?

34. 'Herein, O Ānanda, let a brother, as he dwells in the body, so regard the body that he, being strenuous, thoughtful, and mindful, may, whilst in the world, overcome the grief which arises from bodily craving — while subject to sensations let him continue so to regard the sensations that he, being strenuous, thoughtful, and mindful, may, whilst in the world, overcome the grief which arises from the sensations — and so, also, as he thinks, or reasons, or feels, let him overcome the grief which arises from the craving due to ideas, or to reasoning, or to feeling.

35. 'And whosoever, Ānanda, either now or after I am dead, shall be a lamp unto themselves, and a refuge unto themselves, shall betake themselves to no external refuge, but holding fast to the Truth as their lamp, and holding fast as their refuge to the Truth, shall look not for refuge to any one besides themselves — it is they, Ānanda, among my [39] bhikkhus, who shall reach the very topmost Height!-but they must be anxious to learn[17].'

 


 

END OF THE SECOND PORTION FOR RECITATION

 


 

 


[1]As will be observed from the similar passages that follow, there is a regular sequence of clauses in the set descriptions of the Buddha's movements. The last clause should specify the particular grove or house where the Blessed One stayed; but it is also (in this and one or two other cases) inserted with due regularity even when it adds nothing positive to the sense.

[2]At first Nādika is (twice) spoken of in the plural number; but then, thirdly, in the last clause, in the singular. Buddhaghosa {footnote p. 25} explains this by saying that there were two villages of the same name on the shore of the same piece of water. On the public resting-place for travellers, which in this instance bore the proud title of Brick Hall, see 'Buddhist Birth Stories,' pp. 280-285.

[3]See 'Buddhism,' pp. 108-110, and below, VI, 9.

[4]See above, ĪI, 11.

[5]This doctrine of being 'mindful and thoughtful' — sato sampajāno — is one of the lessons most frequently inculcated in the Pāli Piṭakas, and is one of the 'Seven jewels of the Law.' It is fully treated of in each of the Nikāyas, forming the subject of the Mahā Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta in the Dīgha Nikāya, and the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta of the Majjhima Nikāya, and the Satipaṭṭhāna Vaggo of the Saṃyutta Nikāya, as well as of various passages in the Aŋguttara Nikāya and of the work called Vibhaŋga in the Abhidhamma Piṭaka. I am glad to learn that Dr. Morris intends to collect and compare all these passages in his forthcoming work on the 'Seven jewels of the Law.' These sections of the Mahā-parinibbāna Sutta and the treatment in the Vibhaŋga have preserved, in Dr. Morris's opinion, the oldest form of the doctrine. Compare Chap. II, Ī 34.
Buddhaghosa has no comment here on the subject itself, reserving what he has to say for the comment on the Suttas devoted entirely to it; but he observes in passing that the reason why the Blessed One laid stress, at this particular time and place, on the necessity of being 'mindful and thoughtful,' was because of the imminent approach of the beautiful courtezan in whose grove they were staying. The use of the phrase sati upaṭṭhāpetabbā below, Chap. V, Ī 13 (text. p. 51), in reference to the way in which women should be treated, is quite in accordance with this explanation. But see the next note.

[6]From this point down to the words 'he rose from his seat,' in Ī II, 24, is, with a few unimportant variations, word for word the same as Mahā Vagga VI, 30, 1, to VI, 30, 6. But the passage there follows immediately after the verses translated above, Ī I, 34, so that the events here (in ĪĪ 16-22) localised at Vesāli, are there localised at Koṭigāma. Our section II, 5 is then inserted between our sections II, 22 and II, 23; and our section II, 12 does not occur at all, the Blessed One only reaching Ambapāli's grove when he goes there (as in our section II, 23) to partake of the meal to which he had been invited. Buddhaghosa passes over this discrepancy in silence.

[7]Sahāran ti sa-janapadan. (S. V. Āau.)

[8]Aŋgulī poṭhesuṃ. Childers translates this phrase 'to snap the fingers as a token of pleasure;' but Buddhaghosa says, aŋgulī poṭhesun ti aŋgulī cālesum. (S. V. Āau.)
Ambapāli means mango grower, one who looks after mangoes.

[9]The Tāvatiṃsa-devā are the gods in the heaven of the Great Thirty-Three, the principal deities of the Vedic Pantheon. Buddhaghosa says, 'Imaṃ Likkhavi-parisaṃ tumhākaṃ cittena Tāvatiṃsa-parisaṃ upasaṃharatha upanetha alliyāpetha: Yath' eva hi Tāvatiṃsā abhirūpa pāsādikā nīlādi-nāna-vaññā evañ k' ime Likkhavi-rājāno pīti. Tāvatiṃsehi samake katvā passathā ti attho.'

[10]The Mālālaŋkāra-vatthu gives the substance of the discourse on this occasion. 'The princes had come in their finest and richest dress; in their appearance they vied in beauty with the nats (or angels). But foreseeing the ruin and misery that was soon to come upon them all, the Buddha exhorted his disciples to entertain a thorough contempt for things that are dazzling to the eyes, but essentially perishable and unreal in their nature.' — Bigandet, 2nd ed. p. 260.

[11]Bishop Bigandet says: 'In recording the conversion of a courtezan named Apapalika, her liberality and gifts to Budha and his disciples, and the preference designedly given to her over princes and nobles, who, humanely speaking, seemed in every respect better entitled to attentions — one is almost reminded of {footnote p. 34} the conversion of "a woman that was a sinner," mentioned in the Gospels' (Legend of the Burmese Budha, 2nd ed. p. 258).

[12]Beluva-gāmako ti Vesāli-samīpe pāda-gāmako, 'a village on a slope at the foot of a hill near Vesāli,' says Buddhaghosa. (S. V. Āau.)

[13]The commentary on jīvita-saŋkhāraṃ adhitthāya vihareyyan is not quite clear, but the general meaning of the words cannot be very different from the version given in the text.

[14]Madhuraka-jāto viyā ti sañgāta-garubhāvo sañgātaṭṭhabhāvo (sic) sūle uttāsita-sadiso: na pakkhāyantī ti na pakāsenti nānākāraṇā na upaṭṭhahanti: Dhammā pi maṃ na ppaĀibhantī ti sati-ppaṭṭhānā dhammā mayhaṃ pākaĀā na honti. (S. V. fol. Āām.) As the first clause is corrupt, I have translated madhuraka-gāĀo independently of it. Childers's reading naṃ na ppaĀibhanti is clearly incorrect. My own MS. of the Dīgha Nikāya and the Turnour MS. of the Samyutta Nikāya agree with Buddhaghosa.

[15]Na tatth' Ānanda Tathāgatassa dhammesu ācariya-muṭṭhi; on which Buddhaghosa says, Ācariya-muṭṭhī (MS. vuṭṭhī) ti yathā bāhirakānaṃ ācariya-muṭṭhi nāma hoti: daharakāle kassaci akathetvā pakkhima-kāle maraṇa-mañke nipannā piya-manāpassa antevāsikassa kathenti: evam Tathāgatassa idaṃ mahallaka-kāle pakkhima-ṭṭhāne kathessāmī ti muṭṭhiṃ (MS. vuṭṭhiṃ) katvā pariharitvā ṭhapitaṃ kiñki n'atthī ti. (S. V, Āām.) Comp. Jātaka II, 221, 250.]

[16]Vegha-missakena, the meaning of which is not clear. The Mālālaŋkāra-vatthu, as rendered by Bigandet, has 'repairs.' The Sumangala Vilāsinī says, Veghamissakenā ti bāha-bandhanacakka-bandhanādinā paĀisaŋkharaṇena veghamissakena; thus giving the same meaning, but in such a way as to throw no light on the derivation of the word. The whole episode from Ī II, 27 to the end of the chapter occurs also word for word in the Satipaṭṭhāna Vagga of the Saŋyutta Nikāya, and the Burmese Phayre MS. there reads vekhamissakena, as the Burmese MS. does here. My Dīgha Nikāya confirms Childers's reading, which no doubt correctly represents the uniform tradition of the Ceylon MSS. The Sumangala Vilāsinī goes on, maññe ti jara-sakaĀaṃ viya meghamissakena maññe yāpeti arahatta-phalaveghanena catu-iriyāpatha-kappanaṃ Tathāgatassa hoti nidasseti. Here the reading megha of the Turnour MS. must be a copyist's slip of the pen for vegha, and veghanena is no clearer than veghamissakena. On the use of the word missaka at the end of a compound see Jātaka II, 8, 420, 433. I have translated on what seems to me the only solution at present possible, namely, that an initial a has been dropt, and that veghā or vekhā = avekshā, 'attention, foresight, care.' In the same way though avalañgeti does occur (Jātaka I, 111), the more usual form in Pāli, and the only one given by Childers, is valañgeti.]

[17]Tamatagge me te Ānanda bhikkhūbhavissanti yekeci sikkhākāmā. The Burmese MSS. for me te read p'ete, which is a little easier. Buddhaghosa says, Tamatagge ti tamagge. Majjhe takāro padasandhivasena vutto. Idaṃ vuttaṃ hoti ime aggatamā ime aggamā ti: evaṃ sabbaṃ tamayogaṃ khinditvā ativiya agge uttama-bhāve te Ānanda mamaṃ bhikkhū bhavissanti. Kesaṃ ati-agge bhavissanti? Ye keci sikkhākāmā sabbesaṃ te catu-sati-ppaṭṭhāna-gocarā ka bhikkhū agge bhavissantī ti. Arahatta-tikūĀena desaṇam gaṇhati, 'Tamatagge is for tamagge. The t in the middle is used for euphony. This word means, "these are the most pre-eminent, the very chief." Having, as above stated, broken every bond of darkness (tama) those bhikkhus of mine, Ānanda, will be at the very top, in the highest condition. They will be at the very top of whom? Those bhikkhus who are willing to learn, and those who exercise themselves in the four ways of being mindful and thoughtful, they shall be at the top of all (the rest). Thus does he make Arahatship the three-peaked height of his discourse' (compare on this last phrase Nibbānena desanākūĀaṃ gaṇhati, Jātaka I, 275, 393, 401; and see also I, 114). Uttama, the highest (scil. bhāva, condition), is used absolutely of Arahatship or Nirvāṇa at Jātaka I, 96; Aggaphala occurs in the same sense at Jātaka I, 114; and even Phalagga at Mah. 102. The last words, 'but they must be anxious to learn,' seem to me to be an after thought. It is only those who are thoroughly determined to work out their own salvation, without looking for safety to any one else, even to the Buddha himself, who will, whilst in the world, enter into and experience Nirvāṇa. But, of course, let there be no mistake, merely to reject the vain baubles of the current superstitious beliefs is not enough. There is plenty to learn and to acquire, of which enough discourse is elsewhere. For aggamā in the comment we must read aggatamā. If one could read amatagge in the text, all difficulty would vanish; but this would be too bold, and neither do I see how the use of anamatagge can help us.]

 


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