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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


[64]

Mahā Parinibbāna Sutta
The Book of the Great Decease

Chapter IV


 

Now the Blessed One early in the morning robed himself, and taking his bowl, entered Vesāli for alms: and when he had passed through Vesāli, and had eaten his meal and was returning from his alms-seeking he gazed at Vesāli with an elephant look[1] and addressed the venerable Ānanda, and said: 'This will be the last time, Ānanda, that the Tathāgata will behold Vesāli. Come, Ānanda, let us go on to Bhaṇṃa-gāma.'

'Even so, Lord!' said the venerable Ānanda, in assent, to the Blessed One.

And the Blessed One proceeded with a great company of the brethren to Bhaṇṃa-gāma; and there the Blessed One stayed in the village itself.

2. There the Blessed One addressed the brethren, and said: 'It is through not understanding and grasping four truths[2], 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 conduct of life, the noble earnestness in meditation, the noble kind of wisdom, and the noble salvation of freedom. But when noble conduct is realised and known, when noble meditation is realised and known, when noble wisdom is realised and known, when noble [65] freedom is realised and known — then is the craving for existence rooted out, that which leads to renewed existence is destroyed, and there is no more birth.'

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

'Righteousness, earnest thought, wisdom, and freedom sublime --
These are the truths realised by Gotama, far-renowned.
Knowing them, he, the knower, proclaimed the truth to the brethren.
The master with eye divine, the quencher of griefs, must die!'

 


 

4. There too, while staying at Bhaṇṃa-gāma, 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.

[66] 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 at Bhaṇṃa-gāma as long as he desired, he addressed the venerable Ānanda, and said: 'Come, Ānanda, let us go on to Hatthi-gāma.'

Even so, Lord!' said Ānanda, in assent, to the Blessed One.

Then the Blessed One proceeded with a great company of the brethren to Hatthi-gāma.

6. [And in similar words it is then related how the Blessed One went on to Amba-gāma, to Jambu-gāma, and to Bhoga-nagara.]

7. Now there at Bhoga-nagara the Blessed One stayed at the Ānanda Cetiya.

There the Blessed One addressed the brethren, and said: 'I will teach you, O brethren, these four Great References[4]. Listen thereto, and give good heed, and I will speak.'

'Even so, Lord!' said the brethren, in assent[5], to [67] the Blessed One, and the Blessed One spoke as follows:

8. 'In the first place, brethren, a brother may say thus: "From the mouth of the Blessed One himself have I heard, from his own mouth have I received it. This is the truth, this the law, this the teaching of the Master." The word spoken, brethren, by that brother should neither be received with praise nor treated with scorn. Without praise and without scorn every word and syllable should be carefully understood, and then put beside the scripture and compared with the rules of the order[6]. If when so compared they do not harmonise with the scripture, and do not fit in with the rules of the order, then you may come to the conclusion, "Verily, this is not the word of the Blessed One, and has been wrongly grasped by that brother?" Therefore, brethren, you should reject it. But if they harmonise with the scripture and fit in with the rules of the order, then you may come to the conclusion, "Verily, this is the word of the Blessed One, and has been well grasped by that brother." This, brethren, you should receive as the first Great Reference.

9. 'Again, brethren, a brother may say thus: "In such and such a dwelling-place there is a company of the brethren with their elders and leaders. From the mouth of that company have I heard, [68] face-to-face have I received it. This is the truth, this the law, this the teaching of the Master." The word spoken, brethren, by that brother should neither be received with praise nor treated with scorn. Without praise and without scorn every word and syllable should be carefully understood, and then put beside the scripture and compared with the rules of the order. If when so compared they do not harmonise with the scripture, and do not fit in with the rules of the order, then you may come to the conclusion, "Verily, this is not the word of the Blessed One, and has been wrongly grasped by that company of the brethren." Therefore, brethren, you should reject it. But if they harmonise with the scripture and fit in with the rules of the order, then you may come to the conclusion, "Verily, this is the word of the Blessed One, and has been well grasped by that company of the brethren." This, brethren, you should receive as the second Great Reference.

10. 'Again, brethren, a brother may say thus: "In such and such a dwelling-place there are dwelling many elders of the order, deeply read, holding the faith as handed down by tradition, versed in the truths, versed in the regulations of the order, versed in the summaries of the doctrines and the law. From the mouth of those elders have I heard, from their mouth have I received it. This is the truth, this the law, this the teaching of the Master." The word spoken, brethren, by that brother should neither be received with praise nor treated with scorn. Without praise and without scorn every word and syllable should be carefully understood, and then put beside the scripture and [69] compared with the rules of the order. If when so compared they do not harmonise with the scripture, and do not fit in with the rules of the order, then you may come to the conclusion, "Verily, this is not the word of the Blessed One, and has been wrongly grasped by those elders." Therefore, brethren, you should reject it. But if they harmonise with the scripture and fit in with the rules of the order, then you may come to the conclusion, "Verily, this is the word of the Blessed One, and has been well grasped by those elders." This, brethren, you should receive as the third Great Reference.

11. 'Again, brethren, a brother may say, "In such and such a dwelling-place there is there living a brother, deeply read, holding the faith as handed down by tradition, versed in the truths, versed in the regulations of the order, versed in the summaries of the doctrines and the law. From the mouth of that elder have I heard, from his mouth have I received it. This is the truth, this the law, this the teaching of the Master." The word spoken, brethren, by that brother should neither be received with praise nor treated with scorn. Without praise and without scorn every word and syllable should be carefully understood, and then put beside the scripture and compared with the rules of the order. If when so compared they do not harmonise with the scripture, and do not fit in with the rules of the order, then you may come to the conclusion, "Verily, this is not the word of the Blessed One, and has been wrongly grasped by that brother." Therefore, brethren, you should reject it. But if they harmonise with the scripture [70] and fit in with the rules of the order, then you may come to the conclusion, "Verily, this is the word of the Blessed One, and has been well grasped by that brother." This, brethren, you should receive as the fourth Great Reference.'

'These, brethren, are the Four Great References.'

 


 

12. There, too, the Blessed One held that comprehensive religious talk 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.'

 


 

13. Now when the Blessed One had remained as long as he desired at Bhoga-gāma, he addressed the venerable Ānanda, and said: 'Come, Ānanda, let us go on to Pāvā.'

'Even so, Lord!' said the venerable Ānanda, in assent, to the Blessed One. And the Blessed One proceeded with a great company of the brethren to Pāvā.

And there at Pāvā the Blessed One stayed at the Mango Grove of Cunda, who was by family a smith.

 


 

14. Now Cunda, the worker in metals, heard that the Blessed One had come to Pāvā, and was staying there in his Mango Grove. [71] And Cunda, the worker in metals, went to the place where the Blessed One was, and saluting him took his seat respectfully on one side. And when he was thus seated, the Blessed One instructed, aroused, incited, and gladdened him with religious discourse.

15. Then he, instructed, aroused, incited, and gladdened by the religious discourse, 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 signified, by silence, his consent.

16. Then seeing that the Blessed One had consented, Cunda, the worker in metals, rose from his seat and bowed down before the Blessed One, and keeping him on his right hand as he past him, departed thence.

17. Now at the end of the night, Cunda, the worker in metals, made ready in his dwelling-place sweet rice and cakes, and a quantity of dried boar's flesh. And he announced the hour to the Blessed One, saying, 'The hour, Lord, has come, and the meal is ready.'

18. And the Blessed One robed himself early in the morning, and taking his bowl, went with the brethren to the dwelling-place of Cunda, the worker in metals. When he had come thither he seated himself on the seat prepared for him. And when he was seated he addressed Cunda, the worker in metals, and said: 'As to the dried boar's flesh you have made ready, serve me with it, Cunda; and as to the other food, the sweet rice and cakes, serve the brethren with it.'

[72]'Even so, Lord!' said Cunda, the worker in metals, in assent, to the Blessed One. And the dried boar's flesh he had made ready he served to the Blessed One; whilst the other food, the sweet rice and cakes, he served to the members of the order.

19. Now the Blessed One addressed Kunda, the worker in metals, and said: 'Whatever dried boar's flesh, Cunda, is left over to thee, that bury in a hole. I see no one, Cunda, on earth nor in Māra's heaven, nor in Brahma's heaven, no one among Samaṇas and Brāhmaṇas, among gods and men, by whom, when he has eaten it, that food can be assimilated, save by the Tathāgata.'

'Even so, Lord!' said Cunda, the worker in metals, in assent, to the Blessed One. And whatever dried boar's flesh remained over, that he buried in a hole.

20. And he went to the place where the Blessed One was; and when he had come there, took his seat respectfully on one side. And when he was seated, the Blessed One instructed and aroused and incited and gladdened Cunda, the worker in metals, with religious discourse. And the Blessed One then rose from his seat and departed thence.

21. Now when the Blessed One had eaten the food prepared by Cunda, the worker in metal, there fell upon him a dire sickness, the disease of dysentery, and sharp pain came upon him, even unto death. But the Blessed One, mindful and self-possessed, bore it without complaint.

22. And the Blessed One addressed the venerable Ānanda, and said: 'Come, Ānanda, let us go on to Kusinārā.'

[73]'Even so, Lord!' said the venerable Ānanda, in assent, to the Blessed One.

 


 

23. When he had eaten Cunda's food,
The copper-smith's — thus have I heard --
He bore with fortitude the pain,
The sharp pain even unto death!
 
And from the dried flesh of the boar, as soon as he had eaten it,
There fell upon the teacher sickness dire,
Then after nature was relieved the Blessed One announced and said:
I now am going on to Kusinārā[7].'

24. Now the Blessed One went aside from the path to the foot of a certain tree; and when he had come there he addressed the venerable Ānanda, and said: 'Fold, I pray you, Ānanda, the robe; and spread it out for me. I am weary, Ānanda, and must rest awhile!'

'Even so, Lord!' said the venerable Ānanda, in assent, to the Blessed One, and spread out the robe folded fourfold.

25. And the Blessed One seated himself on the seat prepared for him; and when he was seated, he addressed the venerable Ānanda, and said: 'Fetch me, I pray you, Ānanda, some water. I am thirsty, Ānanda, and would drink.'

26. When he had thus spoken, the venerable Ānanda said to the Blessed One: 'But just now, [74]Lord, about five hundred carts have gone over. That water stirred up by the wheels has become shallow and flows fouled and turbid. This river Kakutthā, Lord, not far off, is clear and pleasant, cool and transparent, easy to get down into, and delightful. There the Blessed One may both drink the water, and cool his limbs[8].'

27. Again the second time the Blessed One addressed the venerable Ānanda, and said: 'Fetch me, I pray you, Ānanda, some water. I am thirsty, Ānanda, and would drink.'

28. And again the second time the venerable Ānanda said to the Blessed One: 'But just now, Lord, about five hundred carts have gone over. That water stirred up by the wheels has become shallow and flows fouled and turbid. This river Kakutthā, Lord, not far off, is clear and pleasant, cool and transparent, easy to get down into, and delightful. There the Blessed One may both drink the water, and cool his limbs.'

29. Again the third time the Blessed One addressed the venerable Ānanda, and said: 'Fetch me, I pray you, Ānanda, some water. I am thirsty, Ānanda, and would drink.'

30. 'Even so, Lord!' said the venerable Ānanda, in assent, to the Blessed One; and taking a bowl he went down to the streamlet. And lo! the streamlet which, stirred up by the wheels, was but just now become shallow, and was flowing fouled and turbid, had begun, when the venerable Ānanda came up to it, to flow clear and bright and free from all turbidity.

[75]31. Then Ānanda thought: 'How wonderful, how marvellous is the great might and power of the Tathāgata! For this Streamlet which, stirred up by the wheels, was but just now become shallow and flowing foul and turbid, now, as I come up to it, is flowing clear and bright and free from all turbidity.'

32. And taking water in the bowl he returned towards the Blessed One; and when he had come where the Blessed One was he said to him: 'How wonderful, how marvellous is the great might and power of the Tathāgata! For this streamlet which, stirred up by the wheels, was but just now become shallow and flowing foul and turbid, now, as I come up to it, is flowing clear and bright and free from all turbidity. Let the Blessed One drink the water! Let the Happy One drink the water!'

Then the Blessed One drank of the water.

 


 

33. Now at that time a man named Pukkusa[9] a young Mallian, a disciple of Ā'āra Kālāma's, was passing along the high road from Kusinārā to Pāvā.

34. And Pukkusa, the young Mallian, saw the Blessed One seated at the foot of a tree. On seeing him, he went up to the place where the Blessed One was, and when he had come there he saluted the Blessed One, and took his rest respectfully on one side. And when he was seated [76]Pukkusa, the young Mallian, said to the Blessed One: 'How wonderful a thing is it, Lord! and how marvellous, that those who have gone forth out of the world should pass their time in a state of mind so calm!'

35. 'Formerly, Lord, Ā'āra Kālāma a was once walking along the high road; and leaving the road he sat himself down under a certain tree to rest during the heat of the day. Now, Lord, five hundred carts passed by one after the other, each close to Ā'āra Kālāma. And a certain man, who was following close behind that caravan of carts, went up to the place where Ā'āra Kālāma, was, and when he was come there he spake as follows to Ā'āra Kālāma:

'"But, Lord, did you see those five hundred carts go by?"

'"No, indeed, sir, I saw them not."

'"But, Lord, did you hear the sound of them?"

'"No, indeed, sir, I heard not their sound."

'"But, Lord, were you then asleep?"

'"No, sir, I was not asleep."

'"But, Lord, were you then conscious?"

'"Yes, I was conscious, sir."

'"So that you, Lord, though you were both conscious and awake, neither saw, nor heard the sound of five hundred carts passing by, one after the other, and each close to you. Why, Lord, even your robe was sprinkled over with the dust of them!"

'"It is even so, sir."

36. 'Then thought that man: "How wonderful a thing is it, and how marvellous, that those who have gone forth out of the world should pass their time in a state of mind so calm! So much so that a man though being both conscious and awake, [77] neither sees, nor hears the sound of five hundred carts passing by, one after the other, and each close to him."

'And after giving utterance to his deep faith in Ā'āra Kālāma, he departed thence.'

37. 'Now what think you, Pukkusa, which is the more difficult thing either to do or to meet with — that a man being conscious and awake should neither see, nor hear the sound of five hundred carts passing by, one after the other, close to him, — or that a man, being conscious and awake, should neither see, nor hear the sound thereof when the falling rain goes on beating and splashing, and the lightnings are flashing forth, and the thunderbolts are crashing?'

38. 'What in comparison, Lord, can these five hundred carts do, or six or seven or eight or nine or ten hundred, yea, even hundreds and thousands of carts. That certainly is more difficult, both to do and to meet with, that a man being conscious and awake should neither see, nor hear the sound thereof when the falling rain goes on beating and splashing, and the lightnings are flashing forth, and the thunderbolts are crashing.'

39. 'Now on one occasion, Pukkusa, I was dwelling at Ātumā, and was at the Threshing-floor[10]. And at that time the falling rain begun to beat and to splash, and the lightnings to flash forth, and the thunderbolts to crash; and two peasants, brothers, and four oxen were killed. Then, Pukkusa, a great multitude of people went forth from Ātumā, and went up to the place where the two peasants, brothers, and the four oxen, lay killed.

[78]40. 'Now at that time, Pukkusa, I had gone forth from the Threshing-floor, and was walking up and down thinking at the entrance to the Threshing-floor. And a certain man came, Pukkusa, out of that great multitude of people, up to the place where I was; and when he came up he saluted me, and took his place respectfully on one side.

41. 'And as he stood there, Pukkusa, I said to the man:

'"Why then, sir, is this great multitude of people assembled together?"

'"But just now, the falling rain began to beat and to splash, and the lightnings to flash forth, and the thunderbolts to crash; and two peasants, brothers, were killed, and four oxen. Therefore is this great multitude of people gathered together. But where, Lord, were you?"

'"I, sir, have been here all the while."

'"But, Lord, did you see it?"

'"I, sir, saw nothing."

'"But, Lord, did you hear it?"

'"I, sir, heard nothing."

'"Were you then, Lord, asleep?"

'"I, sir, was not asleep."

'"Were you then conscious, Lord?"

'"Even so, sir."

'"So that you, Lord, being conscious and awake, neither saw, nor heard the sound thereof when the falling rain went on beating and splashing, and the lightnings were flashing forth, and the thunderbolts were crashing."

'"That is so, sir."

42. 'Then, Pukkusa, the thought occurred to that man:

[79]'"How wonderful a thing is it, and marvellous, that those who have gone forth out of the world should pass their time in a state of mind so calm! — so that a man being conscious and awake neither sees nor hears the sound thereof when the falling rain is beating and splashing, and the lightnings are flashing forth, and the thunderbolts are crashing." And after giving utterance to his deep faith in me, he departed from me with the customary demonstrations of respect.'

43. And when he had thus spoken Pukkusa, the young Mallian, addressed the Blessed One in these words: 'Now I, Lord, as to the faith that I had in Ā'āra Kālāma, that I winnow away as in a mighty wind, and wash it away as in a swiftly running stream. Most excellent, Lord, are the words of thy mouth, most excellent! Just as if a man were to set up that which is thrown down, or were to reveal that which is hidden away, or were to point out the right road to him who has gone astray, or were to bring a lamp into the darkness, so that those who have eyes can see external forms-just even so, Lord, has the truth been made known to me, in many a figure, by the Blessed One. And I, even I, betake myself, Lord, to the Blessed One as my refuge, to the Truth, and to the Brotherhood. May the Blessed One accept me as a disciple, as a true believer, from this day forth, as long as life endures[11]!'

[80]44. Now Pukkusa, the young Mallian, addressed a certain man, and said: 'Fetch me, I pray you, my good man, a pair of robes of cloth of gold, burnished and ready for wear.'

'So be it, sir!' said that man, in assent, to Pukkusa, the young Mallian; and he brought a pair of robes of cloth of gold, burnished and ready for wear.

45. And the Mallian Pukkusa presented the pair of robes of cloth of gold, burnished and ready for wear, to the Blessed One, saying, 'Lord, this pair of robes of burnished cloth of gold is ready for wear. May the Blessed One show me favour and accept it at my hands!'

'In that case, Pukkusa, robe me in one, and Ānanda in one.'

'Even so, Lord!' said Pukkusa, in assent, to the Blessed One; and in one he robed the Blessed One, and in one, Ānanda.

46. Then the Blessed One instructed and aroused and incited and gladdened Pukkusa, the young Mallian, with religious discourse. And Pukkusa, the young Mallian, when he had been instructed and aroused and incited and gladdened by the Blessed One with religious discourse, arose from his seat, and bowed down before the Blessed One; and keeping him on his right hand as he past him, departed thence.

 


 

47. Now not long after the Mallian Pukkusa had Ānanda placed that pair of robes of cloth of gold, burnished and ready for wear, on the body of the Blessed One, and when it was so [81] placed on the body of the Blessed One it appeared to have lost its splendour[12]!

48. And the venerable Ānanda said to the Blessed One: 'How wonderful a thing is it, Lord, and how marvellous, that the colour of the skin of the Blessed One should be so clear, so exceeding bright! For when I placed even this pair of robes of burnished cloth of gold and ready for wear on the body of the Blessed One, lo! it seemed as if it had lost its splendour!'

49. 'It is even so, Ānanda. Ānanda, there: are two occasions on which the colour of the skin of a Tathāgata becomes clear and exceeding bright. What are the two?'

50. 'On the night, Ānanda, on which a Tathāgata attains to the supreme and perfect insight, and on the night in which he passes finally away in that utter passing away which leaves nothing whatever to remain — on these two occasions the colour of the skin of the Tathāgata becomes clear and exceeding bright.

51. 'And now this day, Ānanda, at the third watch of the night, in the Upavattana of Kusinārā, in the Sāla Grove of the Mallians, between the twin Sāla[82] trees, the utter passing away of the Tathāgata will take place. Come, Ānanda! let us go on to the river Kakutthā.'

'Even so, Lord!' said the venerable Ānanda, in assent, to the Blessed One.

52. The pair of robes of cloth of gold,
All burnished, Pukkusa had brought,
Clad on with them the Master then
Shone forth in colour like to gold[13]!

 


 

53. Now the Blessed One with a great company of the brethren went on to the river Kakutthā; and when he had come there, he went down into the water, and bathed, and drank. And coming up out again on the other side he went on to the Mango Grove.

54. And when he was come there he addressed the venerable Cundaka, and said: 'Fold, I pray you, Cundaka, a robe in four and spread it out. I am weary, Cundaka, and would lie down.'

'Even so, Lord!' said the venerable Cundaka, in assent, to the Blessed One. And he folded a robe in four, and spread it out.

[84]55. And the Blessed One laid himself down on his right side, with one foot resting on the other; and calm and self-possessed, he meditated on the idea of rising up again in due time. And the venerable Kundaka seated himself there in front of the Blessed One.

56. The Buddha to Kakutthā's river came,
Whose clear and pleasant waters limpid flow,
He plunged beneath the stream wearied and worn,
The Buddha without equal in the world!
When he had bathed and drunk, the teacher then
Crossed o'er, the brethren thronging round his steps;
The Blessed Master, preaching the while the truth,
The Mighty Sage came to the Mango Grove.
There spake he to the brother Cundaka:
'Spread me the fourfold robe out as a couch.'
Cheered by the Holy One, he quickly spread
The fourfold robe in order on the ground.
The Master laid him down, wearied and worn;
And there, before him, Cunda took his seat.

 


 

57. And the Blessed One addressed the venerable Ānanda, and said: 'Now it may happen, Ānanda, that some one should stir up remorse in Cunda the smith, by saying, "This is evil to thee, Cunda, and loss to thee in that when the Tathāgata had eaten his last meal from thy provision, then he died."[mo4.2] Any such remorse, Ānanda, in Cunda the smith should be checked by saying, "This is good to thee, Cunda, and gain to thee, in that when [85] the Tathāgata had eaten his last meal from thy provision, then he died. From the very mouth of the Blessed One, Cunda, have I heard, from his own mouth have I received this saying, 'These two offerings of food are of equal fruit, and of equal profit, and of much greater fruit and much greater profit than any other — and which are the two? The offering of food which, when a Tathāgata has eaten, he attains to supreme and perfect insight; and the offering of food which, when a Tathāgata has eaten, he passes away by that utter passing away in which nothing whatever remains behind — these two offerings of food are of equal fruit and of equal profit, and of much greater fruit and much greater profit than any others. There has been laid up by Cunda the smith a karma redounding to length of life, redounding to good birth, redounding to good fortune, redounding to good fame, redounding to the inheritance of heaven, and of sovereign power.'" In this way, Ānanda, should be checked any remorse in Cunda the smith.'

58. Then the Blessed One perceiving how the matter stood, uttered, even at that time, this hymn of exultation:

To him who gives shall virtue be increased;
In him who curbs himself, no anger can arise;
The righteous man casts off all sinfulness,
And by the rooting out of lust, and bitterness,
And all delusion, doth to Nirvāṇa reach!'

 


 

END OF THE FOURTH PORTION FOR RECITATION

 


 

 


[1]Nāgapalokitaṃ Vesāliyaṃ apaloketvā. The Buddhas were accustomed, says Buddhaghosa, on looking backwards to turn the whole body round as an elephant does; because the bones in their neck were firmly fixed, more so than those of ordinary men![edfn4.1]

[2]Or Conditions (Dhammā). They must, of course, be carefully distinguished from the better known Four Noble Truths (Saccāni) above, Chap. II, Ī 2.

[3]This is merely a stock phrase for introducing verses which repeat the idea of the preceding phrase (see above, paragraph 32). It is an instructive sign of the state of mind in which such records are put together, that these verses could be ascribed to Gotama himself without any feeling of the incongruity involved. The last word means, completely gone out; and here refers to the extinction of kilesa and taṇhā, which will bring about, inevitably, the extinction of being. Compare the passage quoted by Burnouf in Lotus de la Bonne Loi, p. 376. Probably the whole stanza formerly stood in some other connection, where the word parinibbuto had its more usual sense. See Buddhaghosa's note on IV, 23.

[4]The meaning of mahāpadesa is not quite clear. Perhaps it should be rendered true authorities. I have followed Buddhaghosa in taking apadesa as the last part of the compound. He says, mahāpadesā ti mahā-okāse mahā-apadese vā. Buddhādayo mahante mahante apadisitvā vuttāni mahākaraṇānī ti attho, 'the causes (authorities) alleged when referring to Buddha and other great men.'

[5]I ought perhaps to have explained why I have ventured to differ from Childers in the rendering of the common word paĀi-suṇāti. The root sru seems to have meant 'to sound' before it meant 'to hear;' and, whether this be so or not, paĀi-suṇāti means not simply 'to consent,' but 'to answer (assentingly).' it {footnote p. 67} has been pointed out to me that answer was formerly 'and-swerian,' where swerian is probably not unrelated to the root svar, 'to sound.'

[6]Sutte otāretabbāni vinaye sandassetabbāni, where one would expect to find the word Piṭaka if it had been in use when this passage was first written or composed.

[7]'It should be understood,' says Buddhaghosa, 'that these are verses by the Theras who held the council.' And he repeats this at ĪĪ 52, 56.

[8]Akkhodikā ti pasannodikā: sātodikā ti madhurodhikā sītitodika ti tanu-sītala-salilā: setakā ti nikkaddamā: supatitthā ti sundara-titthā. (S.V. thri.) Comp. IV, 56.

[9]The Pukkusa caste was one of the lower castes of Sūdras. Compare Assālāyana Sutta (Pischel), pp. 13, 35; Burnouf's 'Introduction,' &c., pp. 144, 208; Lalita Vistara XXI, 17. But Buddhaghosa says Pukkusa must here be simply a name, as the Mallas were of the Khattiya caste. He adds that this Pukkusa was the owner of the five hundred carts that had just passed by; and that Ā'āra Kālāma was called Ā'āra because he was Dīgha-piŋgalo, Kālāma being his family name.]

[10]Bhusāgāre ti kha'u-sālāyaṃ. (S. V. thri.)

[11]This is a stock phrase constituting the final answer of a hitherto unconverted man at the end of one of those argumentative dialogues by which Gotama overcame opposition or expounded the truth. After a discussion of exalted themes it fits in very appropriately; here and elsewhere it is incongruous and strained. See below, V, 50.]

[12]'The commentator says, Bhagavato kāyam upanāmitan ti nivāsana-pārūpana-vasena alliyāpitaṃ: Bhagavā pi tato ekaṃ nivāsesi ekaṃ pārūpi. Vītaccikaṃ ('MS. kkh) viyā ti yathā (MS. tathā) vitacciko aŋgāro antanten' eva gotīti bahi pan' assa pabhā n' atthi, evam bahi pakkhinna- (MS. pakkhiñña-) pabhā hutvā khāyatī ti. My MS. of the text reads vitāsikaṃ (as did Yātrāmulle's MS. here, and one MS. of Fausböll's at Jātaka I, 153, 154). There the word is used of embers in which food is cooked, without flame,' = glowing, smoldering.' Vitakkhikā, 'an eruption on the skin,' belongs to the root carc.]

[13]We have here the commencement of the legend which afterwards grew into an account of an actual 'transfiguration' of the Buddha. It is very curious that it should have taken place soon after the Buddha had announced to Ānanda his approaching death, and that in the Buddhist Sutta it should be connected so closely with that event; for a similar remark applies also to the Transfiguration mentioned in the Gospels. The Mālāŋkāra-vatthu, for instance, says, 'His body appeared shining like a flame. Ānanda was exceedingly surprised. Nothing of this kind had, as yet, happened. "Your exterior appearance," said he to Budha, "is all at once white, shining, and beautiful above all expression." "What you say, O Ānanda, is perfectly true. There are two occasions [&c., much as above]. The shining light emanating from my body is a certain forerunner of this great event [his Parinibbāna]."]

 


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