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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

V
Cetokhila Sutta
Barreness And Bondage


[221]

Introduction

The following translation has been made from a text, based on the Turnour and Phayre MSS. in the India Office, of which Dr. Morris was kind enough to allow me the use. The Suttas in the Majjhima Nikāya are usually distinguished by the way in which a single thought or one or two allied thoughts are stated shortly at the commencement, and are then elaborated and repeated through a number of consecutive and carefully-balanced paragraphs arranged in a literary form that would now be considered monotonous and tiresome in the extreme. The repetitions in the Suttas of the Dīgha Nikāya are no doubt equally artificial, but the train of reasoning being longer and more varied, there is always the hope of a change in the form, or of a new departure in the thought, to sustain the reader's flagging interest.

The argument of this Sutta may be shortly stated thus. The means by which freedom from barrenness and bondage of heart can be reached are zeal and determined effort. But that zeal will be crippled in its struggle against barrenness by want of confidence in the teacher, his doctrine, his order, or his system of self-culture, and by want of concord with the brethren. And that zeal will be crippled in its struggle against bondage by sensuality, by sloth, or by a craving after a future life in any of its various forms. If the disciple be strenuously diligent in the struggle against these things he need not fear or doubt, he will never fail, but will assuredly reach even to the supreme security of Arahatship.

When I first read this Sutta I was irresistibly reminded of that passage in the New Testament where the exhortation to the disciple, 'giving all diligence' to add to his faith [222] virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, and brotherly kindness, is followed by the figure that these things will make him to be 'neither barren nor unfruitful;' and closes with the promise that if be do these things, giving diligence to make his calling and election sure, he shall never fall, but shall enter into that everlasting kingdom which is the supreme goal of the Christian life.

The analogy is sufficiently close to throw considerable light upon our Sutta, but it touches only the barrenness. The bondage is specially Buddhistic, and is allied with the doctrine of the Sanyojanas, or fetters, which the pilgrim along the Noble Path has to break before he can reach the full fruit of Arahatship. It should be compared also with the fivefold bond mentioned in the Tevijja Sutta, Chap. I, ĪĪ 26-28, the word there used being bandhanaṃ, as against vinibandhanaṃ here, and the fivefold bond being a fivefold division of our first bondage.

The ten fetters are —

1. The delusion of self (sakkāya-diṭṭhi).
2. Doubt (vicikikkhā).
3. Reliance on the efficacy of rites and ceremonies (sīlabbata-parāmāsa).
4. The bodily lusts or passions (kāma).
5. Hatred, ill-feeling (patigha).
6. Desire for a future life in the worlds of form (rūparāga).
7. Desire for a future life in the formless worlds (arūparāga).
8. Pride (māno).
9. Self-righteousness (uddhacca).
10. Ignorance (avijjā).

Here the 4th fetter is correlative to our first bondage; the 6th fetter to our 2nd and 3rd bondage; and part of the 3rd fetter to our 5th bondage.

The 2nd, 3rd, and 5th bondage are in fact but a new way of stating the fundamental Buddhist doctrine that good must be pursued without any ulterior motive; and that that man is not spiritually free in whom there is still the least hankering after any future life beyond the grave.

[223]

Barrenness and Bondage
Cetokhila-Sutta

[1][chlm][pts][upal] THUS HAVE I HEARD.

The Blessed One was once dwelling at Sāvatthi, in the park of Anāthapiṇḍika.

There the Blessed One addressed the brethren, saying, 'Brethren!'

'Yea, Lord!' said those brethren, in assent, to the Blessed One.

Then the Blessed One spake:

2. 'Whatsoever brother, O Bhikkhus, has not quite become free from the five kinds of spiritual barrenness[1], has not altogether broken through the five kinds of mental bondage[2] — that such a one should reach up to the full advantage of, should attain to the full growth in, to full breadth in, this doctrine and discipline[3] — that can in no wise be!'

 


 

3. 'And who has not become free from the five kinds of spiritual barrenness?'

'In the first place, O Bhikkhus, when a brother [224] doubts in the Teacher (Satthā), is uncertain regarding him, has not confidence in him, and has not faith in him; then is his mind not inclined towards zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle.

'But whosesoever mind inclineth not towards zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle, he has not become free from this first spiritual barrenness.

4. 'And further, O Bhikkhus, when a brother doubts in the System of Belief (Dhamma), is uncertain regarding it, has not confidence in it, has not faith in it; then is his mind not inclined towards zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle.

'But whosesoever mind inclineth not towards zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle, he has not become free from this second spiritual barrenness.

5. 'And further, O Bhikkhus, when a brother has doubt in the Brotherhood (Saŋgha), is uncertain about it, has no confidence in it, has no faith in it; then is his mind not inclined towards zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle.

'But whosesoever mind inclineth not towards zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle, he has not become free from this third spiritual barrenness.

6. 'And further, O Bhikkhus, when a brother has doubt in the System of Self-culture (Sikkhā), is uncertain about it, has no confidence in it, has no faith in it; then is his mind not inclined towards zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle.

'But whosesoever mind inclineth not towards zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle, he has not become free from this fourth spiritual barrenness.

7. 'And further, O Bhikkhus, when a brother is angry with his fellow-disciples, discontented with [225] them, excited against them, barren towards them, the mind of the brother, O Bhikkhus, thus angry with his fellow-disciples, discontented with them, excited against them, barren towards them does not incline towards zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle.

'But whosesoever mind inclineth not towards zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle, he has not become free from this fifth spiritual barrenness.

'It is such a one, O Bhikkhus, who is not free from the five kinds of spiritual barrenness.'

 


 

8. 'And who has not broken through the five kinds of spiritual bondage?'

'In the first place, O Bhikkhus, when a brother has not got rid of the passion for lusts (kāme), has not got rid of the desire after lusts, has not got rid of the attraction to lusts, has not got rid of the thirst for lusts, has not got rid of the fever of lust, has not got rid of the craving after lusts. —

'Whatsoever brother, O Bhikkhus, has not got rid of the passion for lusts, has not got rid of the desire after lusts, has not got rid of the attraction to lusts, has not got rid of the thirst for lusts, has not got rid of the fever of lust, has not got rid of the craving after lusts, his mind does not incline to zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle.

'But whosesoever mind inclineth not toward zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle, he has not broken through this first spiritual bondage.

9. 'And further, O Bhikkhus, when a brother has not got rid of the passion for a body[4] (kāye), [226] has not got rid of the desire after a body, has not got rid of the attraction to a body, has not got rid of the thirst for a body, has not got rid of the fever of a body, has not got rid of the craving after a body. —

'Whatsoever brother, O Bhikkhus, has not got rid of the passion for a body, has not got rid of the desire after a body, has not got rid of the attraction to a body, has not got rid of the thirst for a body, has not got rid of the fever of a body, has not got rid of the craving after a body, his mind does not incline to zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle.

'But whosesoever mind inclineth not toward zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle, he has not broken through this second spiritual bondage.

10. 'And further, O Bhikkhus, when a brother has not got rid of the passion for a form (rūpe), has not got rid of the desire after a form, has not got rid of the attraction to a form, has not got rid of the thirst for a form, has not got rid of the fever of a form, has not got rid of the craving after a form. —

'Whatsoever brother, O Bhikkhus, has not got rid of the passion for a form, has not got rid of the desire after a form, has not got rid of the attraction to a form, has not got rid of the thirst for a form, has not got rid of the fever of a form, has not got rid of the craving after a form, his mind does not incline to zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle.

'But whosesoever mind inclineth not toward zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle, he has not broken through this third spiritual bondage.

[227] 11. 'And further, O Bhikkhus, a brother may have eaten enough and to satiety, and begins to follow after the case of sleep, the ease of softness, the ease of sloth.

'Whatsoever brother, O Bhikkhus, when he has eaten enough and to satiety, begins to follow after the ease of sleep, the ease of softness, the ease of sloth, his mind does not incline to zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle.

'But whosesoever mind inclineth not toward zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle, he has not broken through this fourth spiritual bondage.

12. 'And further, O Bhikkhus, a brother may have adopted the religious life in the aspiration of belonging to some one or other of the angel hosts', and thinking to himself: "By this morality, or by this observance, or by this austerity, or by this religious life, I shall become an angel, or one of the angels!" —

'Whatsoever brother, O Bhikkhus, may have adopted the religious life in the aspiration of belonging to some one or other of the angel hosts, and thinking to himself: "By this morality, or by this observance, or by this austerity, or by this religious life, I shall become an angel, or one of the angels!" his mind does not incline to zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle.

'But whosesoever mind inclineth not toward zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle, he has not broken through this fifth spiritual bondage.

'It is such a one, O Bhikkhus, who has not broken through the five kinds of mental bondage.

[228] 13. 'And whatsoever brother, O Bhikkhus, has not quite become free from the five kinds of spiritual barrenness, has not altogether broken through the five kinds of mental bondage — that such a one should reach up to the full advantage of, should attain to the full growth in, to full breadth in, this doctrine and discipline — that can in no wise be!

 


 

14. 'But whatsoever brother, O Bhikkhus, has become quite free from the five kinds of mental barrenness, has altogether broken through the five kinds of spiritual bondage — that such a one should reach up to the full advantage of, should attain to full growth in, to full breadth in, this doctrine and discipline — that can well be!'

15. 'And who has become free from the five kinds of spiritual barrenness?'

'In the first place, O Bhikkhus, when a brother does not doubt in the Teacher (Satthā), is not uncertain regarding him, has confidence in him, and has faith in him; then his mind does incline to zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle.

'But whosesoever mind inclineth towards zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle, he has become free from this first spiritual barrenness.

16. 'And further, O Bhikkhus, when a brother does not doubt in the System of Belief (Dhamma), is not uncertain regarding it, has confidence in it, and has faith in it; then his mind does incline to zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle.

'But whosesoever mind inclineth towards zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle, he has become free from this second spiritual barrenness.

17. 'And further, O Bhikkhus, when a brother

[229]

does not doubt in the Brotherhood (Saŋgha), is not uncertain about it, has confidence in it, and has faith in it; then his mind does incline to zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle.

'But whosesoever mind inclineth towards zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle, he has become free from this third spiritual barrenness.

18. 'And further, O Bhikkhus, when a brother does not doubt in the System of Self-culture (Sikkhā), is not uncertain about it, has confidence in it, and has faith in it; then his mind does incline to zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle.

'But whosesoever mind inclineth towards zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle, he has become free from this fourth spiritual barrenness.

19. 'And further, O Bhikkhus, when a brother is not angry with his fellow-disciples, is not discontented with them, is not excited against them, is not barren towards them, the mind of the brother, O Bhikkhus, who is thus not angry with his fellow-disciples, not discontented with them, not excited against them, not barren towards them, does incline toward zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle.

But whosesoever mind inclineth towards zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle, he has become free from this fifth spiritual barrenness.'

 


 

20. 'And who has broken through the five kinds of spiritual bondage?'

'In the first place, O Bhikkhus, when a brother has got rid of the passion after lusts (kāme), has got rid of the desire after lusts, has got rid of the attraction to lusts, has got rid of the thirst for

[230]

lusts, has got rid of the fever of lust, has got rid of the craving after lusts. —

'Whatsoever brother, O Bhikkhus, has got rid of the passion after lusts, has got rid of the desire after lusts, has got rid of the attraction to lusts, has got rid of the thirst for lusts, has got rid of the fever of lust, has got rid of the craving after lusts, his mind does incline to zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle.

'But whosesoever mind inclineth towards zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle, he has become free from this first spiritual bondage.

21. 'And further, O Bhikkhus, when a brother has got rid of the passion after a body (kāye), has got rid of the desire after a body, has got rid of the attraction to a body, has got rid of the thirst for a body, has got rid of the fever of a body, has got rid of the craving after a body. —

'Whatsoever brother, O Bhikkhus, has got rid of the passion after a body, has got rid of the desire after a body, has got rid of the attraction to a body, has got rid of the thirst for a body, has got rid of the fever of a body, has got rid of the craving after a body, his mind does incline to zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle.

'But whosesoever mind inclineth towards zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle, he has become free from this second spiritual bondage.

22. 'And further, O Bhikkhus, when a brother has got rid of the passion for a form (rūpe), has got rid of the desire after a form, has got rid of the attraction to a form, has got rid of the thirst for a form, has got rid of the fever of a form, has got rid of the craving after a form. —

[231] 'Whatsoever brother, O Bhikkhus, has got rid of the passion for a form, has got rid of the desire after a form, has got rid of the attraction to a form, has got rid of the thirst for a form, has got rid of the fever of a form, has got rid of the craving after a form, his mind does incline to zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle.

'But whosesoever mind inclineth towards zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle, he has become free from this third spiritual bondage.

23. 'And further, O Bhikkhus, when a brother does not, having eaten enough and to satiety, begin to follow after the ease of sleep, the ease of softness, the ease of sloth.

'Whatsoever brother, O Bhikkhus, does not, having eaten enough and to satiety, begin to follow after the ease of sleep, the ease of softness, the ease of sloth, his mind does incline to zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle.

'But whosesoever mind inclineth towards zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle, he has become free from this fourth spiritual bondage[5].

24. 'And further, O Bhikkhus, when a brother has not adopted the religious life in the aspiration of belonging to some one or other of the angel hosts, thinking to himself: "By this morality, or by this observance, or by this austerity, or by this religious life, I shall become an angel, or one of the angels!" —

'Whatsoever brother, O Bhikkhus, has not [232] adopted the religious life in the aspiration of belonging to some one or other of the angel hosts, thinking to himself: "By this morality, or by this observance, or by this austerity, or by this religious life, I shall become an angel, or one of the angels!" his mind does incline to zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle.

'But whosesoever mind inclineth towards zeal, exertion, perseverance, and struggle, he has become free from this fifth spiritual bondage.[6]

'It is such a one, O Bhikkhus, who has broken through the five kinds of spiritual bondage.

25. 'Whatsoever brother, O Bhikkhus, has become quite free from the five kinds of mental barrenness, has altogether broken through the five kinds of spiritual bondage — that such a one should reach up to the full advantage of, should attain to full growth in, to full breadth in, this doctrine and discipline — that can well be!

 


 

26. 'He practises the (first) road to saintship'[7], which is accompanied by the union of the will to acquire it with earnest contemplation, and with the struggle against sin. He practises the (second) road to saintship, which is accompanied by the union of exertion with earnest contemplation, and with the struggle against sin. He practises the (third) road to saintship, which is accompanied by the union of thought with earnest contemplation, and with the struggle against sin. He practises the (fourth) road to saintship, which is accompanied by the union of investigation with earnest contemplation [233] and the struggle against sin, — and strong determination too as a fifth.

27. 'The brother, O Bhikkhus, thus endowed with fifteenfold determination[8] becomes destined to come forth into the light, capable of the higher wisdom, sure of attaining to the supreme security[9].

28. 'Just, O Bhikkhus, as when a hen has eight or ten or twelve eggs, and the hen has properly brooded over them, properly sat upon them, properly sat herself round them, however much such a wish may arise on her heart as this, "O would that my little chickens should break open the eggshell with the points of their claws, or with their beaks, and come forth into the light in safety!" yet all the while those little chickens are sure to break the egg-shell with the points of their claws, or with their beaks, and to come forth into the light in safety.

29. 'Just even so, a brother thus endowed with fifteenfold determination is sure to come forth into the light, sure to reach up to the higher wisdom, sure to attain to the supreme security[10]!'

[234] 30. Thus spake the Blessed One. And those Brethren, delighted in heart, exalted the word of the Blessed One.

 


 

END OF THE CETOKHILA SUTTA

 


 


[1]Pañka cetokhilā.

[2]Pañka cetaso vinibandhā.

[3]Dhamma-vinaye. On the disputed question as to whether this compound is a Dvanda or not, see Dr. Oldenberg, Mahā Vagga, p. x. M. Léon Feer ('Études Bouddhiques,' p. 203) has taken it as Tatpurusha; and it would be hazardous to say that it is never used as such. Here I think it is a Dvandva.

[4]It is possible that kāya may be used here in a technical sense, as the group or aggregate of qualities, apart from form, which go {footnote p. 226} to make up an individual. This paragraph would then correspond to the 7th Saṃyogana.]

[5]In this section, and in section 11, I have rendered sukha by ease, and not by happiness, as I think the former is always its more exact meaning in such passages.

[6]Aññataraṃ deva-nikāyaṃ. Compare Mahāparinibbāna Sutta, Chap. I, Ī 11, Chap. II, Ī 9.]

[7][edfnV.1]Iddhipādaṃ. Here Iddhi must be (spiritual) welfare.]

[8]That is, the four Iddhipādas, and Usso'hi, each multiplied by three.

[9]The text of this section, so far, will be found in Childers's dictionary, sub voce Iddhipādo.

[10]Anuttarassa Yogakkhemassa; that is, Nirvāna. Compare Dhammapada, ver. 23 and p. 180.
The tertium quid of the parable is the absolute certainty of the event which will follow on the hen having duly and diligently followed the law of her instinct, even though she, meanwhile, in her ignorance, be full of doubt and desire. The certainty of the delivery of a woman with child is not unfrequently used as a symbol of what can be absolutely depended upon. So of 'the word of the glorious Buddhas,' which endureth for ever, in 'Buddhist Birth Stories,' p. 18. I have attempted to imitate the play in the text upon the two words for the 'coming forth into the light,' {footnote p. 235} figuratively and literally, of the disciple and of the little chicken. The first is in Pāli bhabbo abhinibbidāya (from vid), the latter is aho vata ... sotthinā abhinibbhijjeyyan (from bhid). On sammā-paribhavitāni, here applied to the aṇḍāni, see above, Mahāparinibbāna Sutta, Chap. I, Ī 12, note.]

 


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