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 8

Sallekha Suttaɱ

Of Expunging

 


 

[1][pts][ntbb][nypo][olds][upal] THUS have I heard:

Once when the Lord was staying at Sāvatthī in Jeta's grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's pleasaunce,
the reverend Mahā-Cunda, rising towards evening from his meditations,
came to the Lord,
saluted him,
and took his seat to one side, saying:

In order to get quit and rid of the various false views current about self and the universe,[1]
should an Almsman start by taking thought of them?

The way, Cunda, to get quit and rid
of those false views
and of the domains in which they arise
and crop up
and obtain,
is by seeing with right comprehension
that there is no 'mine,'
no 'this is I,'
no 'this is my self.'

The case may arise of an Almsman
who, divested of pleasures of sense,
divested of wrong states of con- [30] sciousness,
has entered on,
and abides in,
the First Ecstasy
with all its zest and satisfaction, -
a state bred of inward solitude
but not divorced from observation and reflection.

He may think that expunging is his.

But, in the Rule of him that is Noble,
the Ecstasies are called not expungings
but states of satisfaction here and now.

The case may arise of an Almsman
who, rising above observation and reasoning,
has entered on,
and abides in,
the Second Ecstasy
with all its zest and satisfaction, -
a state bred of rapt concentration
above all observation and reflection,
a state whereby the heart is focussed
and tranquillity reigns within.

He may think that expunging is his.

But, in the Rule of him that is Noble,
the Ecstasies are called not expungings
but states of satisfaction here and now.

The case may arise of an Almsman
who, by shedding the emotion of zest,
has entered on,
and abides in,
the Third Ecstasy,
with its poised equanimity,
mindful and alive to everything,
feeling in his frame the satisfaction
of which the Noble say
that poise and mindfulness bring abiding satisfaction.

He may think that expunging is his.

But, in the Rule of him that is Noble,
the Ecstasies are called not expungings
but states of satisfaction here and now.

The case may arise of an Almsman
who, putting from him both satisfaction and dissatisfaction,
and by shedding the joys and sorrows he used to feel,
has entered on,
and abides in,
the Fourth Ecstasy, -
the state that knows neither the pleasant nor the unpleasant,
the clarity that comes of poised equanimity
and alert mindfulness.

He may think that expunging is his.

But, in the Rule of him that is Noble,
the Ecstasies are called not expungings
but states of satisfaction here and now.

The case may arise of a Brother
who - by passing altogether beyond perception of things visible
and by ceasing to perceive sense-reactions
and by not taking thought of distinctions -
has attained to the idea of Infinity of Space
and has entered on
and abides in
that plane of thought.

He may think that expunging is his.

But, in the Rule of him that is Noble,
the Ecstasies are called not expungings
but states of satisfaction here and now.

The like thought may come too
at each stage to the Almsman
who, passing altogether beyond that plane,
has successively come to the ideas of Infinity of Mind -
of Naught -
of Neither-perception-nor imperception;
he may successively think that expunging is now his.

But, in the Rule of him that is Noble,
each of these planes is called not an expunging
but an excellent state.

[31] Here is the way to expunge.

You are to expunge by resolving
that, though others may be harmful,
you will be harmless;
that, though others may kill,
you will never kill;
that, though others may steal,
you will not;
that, though others may not lead the higher life,
you will;
that, though others may lie,
traduce,
denounce,
or prattle,
you will not;
that, though others may be covetous,
you will covet not;
that, though others may be malignant,
you will be benignant,
that, though others may be given over to wrong views,
wrong aims,
wrong speech,
wrong actions,
wrong modes of livelihood,
wrong effort,
wrong mindfulness,
and wrong concentration,
you must follow
(the Noble Eightfold Path in)
right outlook,
right aims,
right speech,
right actions,
right mode of livelihood,
right effort,
right mindfulness
and right concentration;
that, though others are wrong about the truth
and wrong about Deliverance,
you will be right about truth
and right about Deliverance;
that, though others may be possessed by sloth and torpor,
you will free yourselves therefrom;
that, though others may be puffed up,
you will be humble-minded;
that, though others may be perplexed by doubts,
you will be free from them;
that, though others may harbour wrath,
malevolence,
envy,
jealousy,
niggardliness,
avarice,
hypocrisy,
deceit,
imperviousness,
arrogance,
frowardness,
association with bad friends,
slackness,
unbelief,
shamelessness,
unscrupulousness,
lack of instruction,
inertness,
bewilderment,
and unwisdom, -
you will be the reverse of all these things;
and that, though others may clutch at
and hug the temporal
nor loose their hold thereon,
you will clutch and hug
the things that are not temporal,
and will ensue Renunciation.

That is the way to expunge.

I say it is the development of the will
which is so efficacious
for right states of consciousness,
not to speak of act and speech.

And therefore, Cunda,
there must be developed
the will to all the foregoing resolves I have detailed.

It is just as if there were both a rough, uneven [32] road
and also a smooth, level road
as an alternative route;
or as if there were the choice
of a rough and a smooth ford; -
even so the harmful man
has harmlessness as his alternative,
he who kills
has his alternative in innocence of blood,
he who steals has his alternative in honesty
[and so forth through the whole of the foregoing list].

As all wrong states of consciousness
must lead downwards
and all right states must lead upwards,
so the harmful man
has harmlessness for the higher state,
the man who kills
has innocence of blood for the higher state
[and so forth through the whole of the foregoing list].

Now it is impossible for a man
who is bogged himself
to extricate another who is bogged too;
but it is possible for a man
who is himself not bogged,
to extricate another who is.

It is impossible for a man
who is himself not broken-in,
schooled
and emancipated
to break-in,
school
and emancipate another.

But the converse is possible.

So the hurtful individual
has harmlessness for his emancipation,
he who slays has innocence of blood for his emancipation,
the thief has honesty
[and so forth through the whole of the foregoing list].

So I have taught how to expunge,
how to develop the will,
how to effect the alternative approach,
how to rise upwards,
and how to find emancipation.

All that a fond
and compassionate teacher
can do for his disciples
in his compassion,
that have I done for you.

Here, Cunda, are trees under which to lodge;
here are solitude's abodes;
plunge into deepest thought and never flag;
lay not up for yourself remorse hereafter; -
this is my injunction to you.

Thus spoke the Lord.

Glad at heart, the reverend Mahā-Cunda rejoiced in what the Lord had said.

 


[1] For a detailed list of these speculative views see Dialogues I, 26 and III, 129.


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