Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
I. Mūlapaṇṇāsa
1. Mūlapariyāya Vagga

Sacred Books of the Buddhists
Volume V
Dialogues of the Buddha
Part IV

Further Dialogues of the Buddha
Volume I

Translated from the Pali
by Lord Chalmers, G.C.B.
Sometime Governor of Ceylon

London
Humphrey Milford
Oxford University Press
1926
Public Domain

Sutta 1

Mūla-Pariyā'ya Suttaɱ

How States of Consciousness Originate

 


 

[1][ntbb][than][olds][upal] THUS have I heard:

Once when the Lord was staying at Ukkaṭṭhā in the Subhaga grove under the great sāl-tree, he addressed the Almsmen, saying:

Almsmen!

Lord, said they in answer.

Then said the Lord:

I will expound to you how all states of consciousness originate;
listen with attention and I will speak.

Yes, sir,
said they in response to the Lord,
who then spoke as follows:

Take the case of an uninstructed every-day man,
who takes no count of the Noble
and is unversed and untrained in Noble Doctrine;
who takes no count of the Excellent[1]
and is unversed and untrained in Excellent Doctrine.

Such a man (simply) perceives earth as earth and,
so perceiving it,
conceives ideas of earth,
ideas of -
in earth,
from earth,
my earth; -
and is content with 'earth.'

And why?

I say it is because he does not comprehend it.

So too he perceives water as water,
and, so perceiving it,
conceives ideas of water,
ideas of -
in water,
from water,
my water; -
and is content with 'water.'

And why?

I say it is because he does not comprehend it.

In just the same way originate his ideas about
(i) fire,
(2) air,
(3) creatures,
(4) gods,
(5) Pajāpati,[2]
(6) Brahmā,
(7) Ābhassara deities,
(8) Subhakiṇṇa deities,
(9) Vehapphala deities,
(10) Abhibhū,
(11) the Realm of Infinite Space,
(12) the Realm of Infinite [2] Mind,
(13) the Realm of Naught,
(14) the Realm of neither perception nor non-perception,
(15) what is seen,
(16) what is heard,
(17) what is sensed,[3]
(18) what is discerned,[4]
(19) unity,
(20) multiplicity,
(21) universality, and
(22) Nirvana.

Then too there is the Almsman who is still under training and has not yet won Arahatship,
but lives in earnest yearning for utter immunity from the four Attachments.

He recognizes earth as earth;
but, having so recognized it, -
ah! let him not conceive ideas of earth,
ideas of -
in earth,
from earth,
my earth;
let him not rest content with 'earth.'

And why?

I say it is because he must bring himself to comprehend it.

[Here follow similar paragraphs about water, fire, air ... etc. . . ., and (22) Nirvana.]

Then there is the Almsman who is an Arahat,[5]
in whom the Cankers[6] are no more,
who has greatly lived,
whose task is done,
who has shed his burthens
and has won his weal,
whose bonds to life are now no more,
who by utter knowledge
has found final Deliverance.

He too recognizes earth as earth;
but, having so recognized it,
he conceives no ideas of earth,
in earth,
from earth,
my earth;
nor does he rest content with 'earth.'

And why?

I say it is because he has come to comprehend it.

So too he recognizes water and the rest of these [3] things;
he recognizes Nirvana as Nirvana,
but, having so recognized it,
he conceives no ideas of Nirvana,
no ideas of -
in Nirvana,
from Nirvana,
my Nirvana;
nor does he rest content with 'Nirvana.'

And why?

I say it is because he has come to comprehend it.

The Almsman who is an Arahat,
in whom ... (etc., as in preceding paragraph, down to) ... nor does he rest content with 'earth,'
or 'water'
and so forth.

And why?

Because, say I,
by the extirpation of lusts
he is freed from lusts;
because by the extirpation of hate
he is freed from hate;
because by the extirpation of delusion
he is freed from delusion.

The Truth-finder[7] too,
the Arahat all-enlightened,
also recognizes earth as earth;
but, having so recognized it,
he conceives no ideas of earth,
no ideas of -
in earth,
from earth,
my earth;
nor is he content with 'earth,'
or with 'water'
and so forth.

And why?

Because, say I,
he has comprehended it to the full.[8]

The Truth-finder too ... (etc., as in preceding paragraph, down to) ...

And why?

Because, having seen pleasure
to be the root of Ill,
he sees how continuing existence entails rebirths
and that whatever has continuing existence
is dogged by decay and death.

Therefore it is, say I,
that by extirpating all cravings,
by lusting not after them,
but by destroying
and abandoning
and renouncing them all,
the Truth-finder has become all-enlightened,
with utter enlightenment.

Thus spoke the Lord.

Glad at heart,
those Almsmen rejoiced in what the Lord had said.

 


[1] The Noble and the Excellent (synonymous terms according to Buddhaghosa) are simply Arahats (M. I, 280, 402, etc.), and are not to be restricted (as Bu. ) to Buddhas, Pacceka Buddhas, and the (chief) disciples of Buddhas.

[2] Identified by Bu. as Māra. For the following classes of beings, see the 33rd Sutta of the Dīgha Nikāya, and cf. Sutta No. 49 infra.

[3] Interpreted as representing the three other senses of smell, taste and touch. Cf. Dialogues of the Buddha III, 127, n. 2.

[4] I.e., grasped by the mind (manasā) as a sixth sense.

[5] Lit. worshipful. See Dial. III, 3, et seq., for the history of this word, - used of non-Buddhists in Sutta 84 (II. 86). Cf. infra p. 175.

[6] For the four āsavas (of pleasure, continuing existence, and ignorance, with error superadded), see e.g. D. II, 84. (In our 2nd Sutta, as at the end of Suttas Nos. 4 and 9, the āsavas are three in number, i.e. without the outlook of error superadded.)
The āsavas, so called (says Bu. ) because they flow, would seem to be running sores, or neoplasms of character, with their metastases of evil, like physical cancers. I have called them 'cankers,' because of the metaphorical connotation which attaches to this word, though not to 'cancer.'

S.B.E. XLV, p.320. n.1: According to the commentators, Gaina teachers, inclusive of the schismatical ones, are intended. Tathâgata is a synonym of Tîrthakara and Buddha; but it is less frequently used by the Gainas than by the Bauddhas with whom it is of very common occurrence.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[7] For this rendering of tathāgata see J.R.A.S., 1898, Buddhist Psychological Ethics (2nd edit., p. 270, n. 6), and Dialogues I, 40, 263, etc. Just as Jina is a title of the Buddha, so Tathāgata is a synonym of the Jain titthākāra, or ford-maker (S.B.E. XLV, p. 320), - both terms being pre-buddhistic, like arahant, bhagavant, etc.
At e.g. M. I, 140 Tathāgata is used as a synonym of arahat. Cf. D. I, 27 (hoti tathāgato param maranā), on which Bu. says 'satto tathāgato ti adhippeto'.

[8] Reading pariṇṇāt-antaṁ, with Bu. (M.A. I, 52).

 


 

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