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 9

Sammā-Diṭṭhi Suttaɱ

Right Ideas

 


 

[1][pts][ntbb][wp][than][upal] THUS have I heard:

Once when the Lord was staying at Sāvatthī in Jeta's grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's pleasaunce,
the reverend Sāriputta addressed the Almsmen as follows:

"The man of right ideas is hailed as such.

Now, in what respects does the disciple of the Noble become right in his ideas?

In what respects are his ideas impeccable?

In what respects has he gained absolute clarity in the doctrine
and mastered its truth?"

"We would have journeyed from afar, reverend sir,
to learn the meaning of this utterance
from the reverend Sāriputta's lips.

Pray, vouchsafe to set forth its meaning for us
to treasure up in our memories.

Then listen, reverend sirs,
and pay attention;
and I will speak.

Yes, reverend sir, said they in response,
and Sāriputta spoke as follows:

When the disciple of the Noble
comprehends that which is wrong
and the root from which it springs,
when he comprehends that which is right
and the root from which it springs,
thereby he becomes right in his ideas,
his ideas are impeccable,
he has gained absolute clarity in the Doctrine
and mastered its truth.

Now what is the wrong and the right?
and what are their respective roots?

Killing is wrong,
theft is wrong,
sensuality is wrong,
lying is wrong,
calumny is wrong,
reviling is wrong,
chattering is wrong,
covetise is wrong,
harmfulness is wrong,
and wrong ideas are wrong.

All this is called
that which is wrong;
and its roots are -
greed,
hate
and delusion.

And what is that which is right?

To keep from killing,
theft,
sensuality,
lying,
calumny,
reviling,
and chattering;
to be void of covetise
and harmful- [34] ness,
and to hold right views.

This is what is called right;
and its roots are freedom from greed,
freedom from hate,
and freedom from delusion.

When the disciple of the Noble
has this understanding
of what is wrong
and of what is right,
and of their respective roots,
then - by putting from him
every tendency to passion,
by dispelling every tendency to repugnance,
by venting every tendency
to the idea and conceit
'I am,'
by shedding ignorance,
and by developing knowledge -
he makes an end of Ill here and now.

That is how he is right in his ideas,
that is how his ideas are impeccable,
that is how he gains absolute clarity in the Doctrine
and masters its truth."

After expressing their satisfaction and gratitude to Sāriputta,
those Almsmen put to him the further question
whether there was yet another way
by which the disciple became right in his ideas.

"Yes," answered Sāriputta.

"When he understands Sustenance,
its origin,
its cessation,
and the course which leads to its cessation.

Now what are these?

There are four Sustenances
which either maintain existing creatures
or help those yet to be.

First of these is material sustenance,
coarse or delicate;
contact is the second;
intention is the third;
and the fourth is consciousness.

From the rise of craving
comes the rise of Sustenance,
and with the cessation of craving
comes also the cessation of Sustenance,
the course to which is the Noble Eightfold Path, - namely
right outlook,
right aims,
right speech,
right action,
right mode of livelihood,
right effort,
right mindfulness
and right concentration.

When the disciple thus understands Sustenance,
its origin,
its cessation,
and the course which leads to its cessation,
that is how he is right in his ideas,
that is how his ideas are impeccable,
that is how he gains absolute clarity in the Doctrine
and masters its truth."

After expressing their satisfaction and gratitude to Sāriputta,
those Almsmen put to him the further question
whether there was yet another way
by which the disciple became right in his ideas.

"Yes", answered Sāriputta.

When he understands [35]
Ill,
its origin,
its cessation,
and the course which leads to its cessation.

Now what are these?

Ill is birth,
decay,
sickness,
and death;
sorrow,
wailing,
depression of body and mind;
also not getting what one desires;
together with, in brief,
the fivefold attachments to existence.

That is what Ill is.

Now, first, what is the origin of Ill?

This denotes every craving that leads to rebirth,
that has to do with delight and passion,
delighting now in this object and now in that, - namely,
cravings for pleasures of sense,
for continuing existence,
or for annihilation.

Next, what is the cessation of Ill?

This denotes the absolute and passionless cessation
of the self-same cravings,
their abandonment and renunciation,
deliverance from them,
and aversion for them.

Lastly, what is the course that leads to the cessation of Ill?

It is precisely the Noble Eightfold Path, namely,
right outlook,
right aims,
right speech,
right action,
right mode of livelihood,
right effort,
right mindfulness
and right concentration.

When the disciple thus understands Ill,
its origin,
its cessation,
and the course which leads to the cessation of Ill,
that is how he is right in his ideas,
that is how his ideas are impeccable,
that is how he gains absolute clarity in the Doctrine
and masters its truth."

After expressing their satisfaction and gratitude to Sāriputta,
those Almsmen put to him the further question
whether there was yet another way
by which the disciple became right in his ideas.

"Yes", answered Sāriputta.

When the disciple understands decay and death,
their origin,
their cessation,
and the course that leads to their cessation.

Now what are these?

Decay is when in any creature in its class
decay and decadence set in
with broken teeth,
grey hair,
and wrinkles,
when the term of life is drawing to a close
and the faculties are spent.

Death is when any creature deceases from its class,
goes hence,
breaks up,
departs,
expires and dies,
when the elements break up
and the corpse is buried.

From the arising of birth
comes the arising of decay and death;
from the cessation of birth
comes the cessation of decay and death,
the course whereto is just the Noble Eightfold Path, - namely
right outlook,
right aims,
right speech,
right action,
right mode of livelihood,
right effort,
right mindfulness
and right concentration.

When the disciple thus understands decay and death,
[36] their origin,
their cessation,
and the course that leads to their cessation,
then, - by putting from him every tendency,
that is how he is right in his ideas,
that is how his ideas are impeccable,
that is how he gains absolute clarity in the Doctrine
and masters its truth."

After expressing their satisfaction and gratitude to Sāriputta,
those Almsmen put to him the further question
whether there was yet another way
by which the disciple became right in his ideas.

"Yes", answered Sāriputta.

When the disciple understands birth,
its origin,
its cessation,
and the course that leads to its cessation.

Now what are these?

Birth is when any creature comes to be born[1]
or produced,
to issue
or appear
in this or that class,
when the factors of existence make their appearance
and senses are acquired.

From the arising of existence
comes the arising of birth;
from the cessation of existence
comes the cessation of birth;
and the course which leads to the cessation of birth
is precisely the Noble Eightfold Path,
namely
right outlook,
right aims,
right speech,
right action,
right mode of livelihood,
right effort,
right mindfulness
and right concentration.

When the disciple thus understands birth,
its origin,
its cessation,
and the course which leads to its cessation,
that is how he is right in his ideas,
that is how his ideas are impeccable,
that is how he gains absolute clarity in the Doctrine
and masters its truth."

After expressing their satisfaction and gratitude to Sāriputta,
those Almsmen put to him the further question
whether there was yet another way
by which the disciple became right in his ideas.

"Yes", answered Sāriputta.

When the disciple understands existence,
its origin,
its cessation,
and the course which leads to its cessation.

Now what are these?

There are three planes of existence, -
sensuous,
corporeal,
and incorporeal.

It is from the arising of attachment[2]
that their existence takes its rise,
and from attachment's cessation
comes the cessation of existence,
the course whereto is just the Noble Eightfold Path, - namely
right outlook,
right aims,
right speech,
right action,
right mode of livelihood,
right effort,
right mindfulness
and right concentration.

When the disciple thus understands existence,
its origin,
its cessation
and the course which leads to its cessation,
that is how he is right in his ideas,
that is how his ideas are impeccable,
that is how he gains absolute clarity in the Doctrine
and masters its truth."

After expressing their satisfaction and gratitude to Sāriputta,
those Almsmen put to him the further question
whether there was yet another way
by which the disciple became right in his ideas.

"Yes", answered Sāriputta.

When the disciple understands attachment,
its origin,
its cessation,
and the course which leads to its cessation.

Now what are these?

There are four [37] attachments, -
to sensuous pleasure,
to speculative ideas,
to 'good works'
and to soul-theories.

It is from the arising of craving
that attachment takes its rise,
and from the cessation of craving
comes the cessation of attachment,
the course whereto is just the Noble Eightfold Path, namely
right outlook,
right aims,
right speech,
right action,
right mode of livelihood,
right effort,
right mindfulness
and right concentration.

When the disciple thus understands attachment,
that is how he is right in his ideas,
that is how his ideas are impeccable,
that is how he gains absolute clarity in the Doctrine
and masters its truth."

After expressing their satisfaction and gratitude to Sāriputta,
those Almsmen put to him the further question
whether there was yet another way
by which the disciple became right in his ideas.

"Yes", answered Sāriputta.

When the disciple understands craving,
its origin,
its cessation,
and the course which leads to its cessation.

Now what are these?

There are six kinds of craving, -
for forms,
sounds,
smells,
tastes,
touch,
and mental objects.

It is from the arising of feeling
that craving takes its rise,
and from feeling's cessation
comes the cessation of craving,
the course whereto is just the Noble Eightfold Path, namely
right outlook,
right aims,
right speech,
right action,
right mode of livelihood,
right effort,
right mindfulness
and right concentration.

When the disciple thus understands craving,
that is how he is right in his ideas,
that is how his ideas are impeccable,
that is how he gains absolute clarity in the Doctrine
and masters its truth."

After expressing their satisfaction and gratitude to Sāriputta,
those Almsmen put to him the further question
whether there was yet another way
by which the disciple became right in his ideas.

"Yes", answered Sāriputta.

When the disciple understands feeling,
its origin,
its cessation,
and the course which leads to its cessation.

Now what are these?

There are six kinds of feelings, -
ocular,
auditory,
olfactory,
gustatory,
tactile,
and mental.

It is from the arising of contact
that feelings take their rise,
and from contact's cessation
that there comes the cessation of feeling,
the course whereto is just the Noble Eightfold Path, namely
right outlook,
right aims,
right speech,
right action,
right mode of livelihood,
right effort,
right mindfulness
and right concentration.

When the disciple thus understands feelings,
that is how he is right in his ideas,
that is how his ideas are impeccable,
that is how he gains absolute clarity in the Doctrine
and masters its truth."

After expressing their satisfaction and gratitude to Sāriputta,
those Almsmen put to him the further question
whether there was yet another way
by which the disciple became right in his ideas.

"Yes", answered Sāriputta.

When the disciple understands contact,
its origin,
its cessation,
and the course which leads to its cessation.

Now, what are these?

There are six kinds of contact, -
ocular,
auditory,
olfactory,
gustatory,
tactile,
and mental.

It is from the arising of the six spheres of sense
that contact arises
and from their cessation
that there comes the cessation of contact,
the course whereto is just the Noble Eightfold Path, namely
right outlook,
right aims,
right speech,
right action,
right mode of livelihood,
right effort,
right mindfulness
and right concentration.

When the disciple thus understands contact,
that is how he is right in his ideas,
that is how his ideas are impeccable,
that is how he gains absolute clarity in the Doctrine
and masters its truth."

After expressing their satisfaction and gratitude to Sāriputta,
those Almsmen put to him the further question
whether there was yet another way
by which the disciple became right in his ideas.

"Yes", answered Sāriputta.

When the disciple understands the six spheres of sense,
their origin,
their cessation,
and the course which leads to their cessation.

Now, what are these?

There are six spheres, -
vision,
hearing,
smell,
taste,
touch,
and cognition.

It is from the arising of name-and-shape
that these six spheres arise
and from the cessation of name-and-shape
that there comes the cessation of the six spheres,
the course whereto is just the Noble Eightfold Path, namely
right outlook,
right aims,
right speech,
right action,
right mode of livelihood,
right effort,
right mindfulness
and right concentration.

When the disciple thus understands the six spheres,
that is how he is right in his ideas,
that is how his ideas are impeccable,
that is how he gains absolute clarity in the Doctrine
and masters its truth."

After expressing their satisfaction and gratitude to Sāriputta,
those Almsmen put to him the further question
whether there was yet another way
by which the disciple became right in his ideas.

"Yes", answered Sāriputta.

When the disciple understands name-and-shape,
their origin,
their cessation,
and the course which leads to their cessation.

Now, what are these?

Name denotes feeling,
perception,
volition,
contact,
and attention;
shape denotes the four great elements
and any material form derived therefrom;
and name-and-shape is these two together.

It is from the arising of consciousness
that name-and-shape arise,
and from the cessation of consciousness
that there comes the cessation of name-and-shape,
the course whereto is just the Noble Eightfold Path, namely
right outlook,
right aims,
right speech,
right action,
right mode of livelihood,
right effort,
right mindfulness
and right concentration.

When the disciple thus understands name-and-shape,
that is how he is right in his ideas,
that is how his ideas are impeccable,
that is how he gains absolute clarity in the Doctrine
and masters its truth."

After expressing their satisfaction and gratitude to Sāriputta,
those Almsmen put to him the further question
whether there was yet another way
by which the disciple became right in his ideas.

"Yes", answered Sāriputta.

When the disciple understands consciousness,
its origin,
its cessation,
and the course which leads to its cessation.

Now, what are these?

There are six kinds of consciousness, -
ocular,
auditory,
olfactory,
gustatory,
tactile,
and mental.

It is from the arising of the plastic forces (sankhārā)[3]
that consciousness [39] arises,
and from their cessation
comes the cessation of consciousness,
the course whereto is just the Noble Eightfold Path, namely
right outlook,
right aims,
right speech,
right action,
right mode of livelihood,
right effort,
right mindfulness
and right concentration.

When the disciple thus understands consciousness,
that is how he is right in his ideas,
that is how his ideas are impeccable,
that is how he gains absolute clarity in the Doctrine
and masters its truth."

After expressing their satisfaction and gratitude to Sāriputta,
those Almsmen put to him the further question
whether there was yet another way
by which the disciple became right in his ideas.

"Yes", answered Sāriputta.

When the disciple understands the plastic forces,
their origin,
their cessation,
and the course which leads to their cessation.

Now, what are these?

There are three kinds of plastic forces, -
namely,
of the body,
of speech,
and of the heart.

It is from the arising of ignorance
that these forces arise,
and from the cessation of ignorance
that there comes the cessation of plastic forces,
the course whereto is just the Noble Eightfold Path, namely
right outlook,
right aims,
right speech,
right action,
right mode of livelihood,
right effort,
right mindfulness
and right concentration.

When the disciple thus understands plastic forces,
that is how he is right in his ideas,
that is how his ideas are impeccable,
that is how he gains absolute clarity in the Doctrine
and masters its truth."

After expressing their satisfaction and gratitude to Sāriputta,
those Almsmen put to him the further question
whether there was yet another way
by which the disciple became right in his ideas.

"Yes", answered Sāriputta.

When the disciple understands ignorance,
its origin,
its cessation,
and the course which leads to its cessation.

Now what are these?

Ignorance denotes lack of knowledge of Ill,
of its origin,
its cessation,
and of the course which leads to its cessation.

It is from the arising of the Cankers
that ignorance arises,
and from their cessation
comes the cessation of ignorance,
the course whereto is just the Noble Eightfold Path, namely
right outlook,
right aims,
right speech,
right action,
right mode of livelihood,
right effort,
right mindfulness
and right concentration.

When the disciple thus understands ignorance,
that is how he is right in his ideas,
that is how his ideas are impeccable,
that is how he gains absolute clarity in the Doctrine
and masters its truth."

After expressing their satisfaction and gratitude to Sāriputta,
those Almsmen put to him the further question
whether there was yet another way
by which the disciple became right in his ideas.

"Yes", answered Sāriputta.

When the disciple understands a Canker,
its origin,
its cessation,
and the course leading to its cessation.

Now what are these?

There are three Cankers, -
the Canker of sensuous pleasure,
the Canker of continuing existence,
and the Canker of ignorance.

[40] It is from the arising of ignorance
that Cankers arise,
and from its cessation
comes their cessation,
the course whereto is just the Noble Eightfold Path, namely
right outlook,
right aims,
right speech,
right action,
right mode of livelihood,
right effort,
right mindfulness
and right concentration.

When the disciple of the Noble has this understanding of Cankers,
of their origin,
of their cessation,
and of the course which leads to their cessation,
then - by putting from him
every tendency to passion,
by dispelling every tendency to repugnance,
by venting every tendency to the idea and conceit
'I am'
by shedding ignorance,
and by developing knowledge -
he makes an end of Ill here and now.

That is how he is right in his ideas,
that is how his ideas are impeccable,
that is how he gains absolute clarity in the Doctrine
and masters its truth."

Thus spoke the reverend Sāriputta.

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

Note. - On this scholastic compilation, here attributed to Sāriputta, see the 14th and 15th Suttas (attributed to Gotama himself) of the Dīgha Nikāya and the Introductions to the translations of those Suttas at the beginning of the second volume of the Dialogues. It will be noted that avijja figures both as a cause and as a result of the āsavas; according to Bu. it is equivalent to moha (or illusion) supra, where it is defined as lack of knowledge.

 


[1] Bu. takes jātī here as conception and the next term (sañjātī) as parturition; he limits issue to emerging from egg and womb, and understands 'appear' as birth either from moisture (saɱseda-yoni) or without ostensible parents (opapātika-yoni). See Dialogues I, 201, II, 338.

[2] Upādāna.

[3] On this 'elusive' term sankhāra (variously rendered syntheses, conditions, confections and conditions precedent in the Dialogues; and elsewhere as activities and synergies), see Buddhist Psych. Ethics, 2nd edition, p. x. Bu. here observes as follows: - abhisankharaṇa-lakkhaṇo sankhāro. At Dīgha III, 211, occurs the passage: sabbe sattā āhāra-ṭṭhitikā, sabbe sattā sankhāra-ṭṭhitikā, - on which Bu. observes: imasmim pi visajjane heṭṭhā vutta-paccayo va attano phalassa sankharaṇato sankhāro ti vutto; iti heṭṭhā āhāra-paccao kathito, idha sankhāra-paccayo ti ayam ettha heṭṭhimato viseso; heṭṭhā nippariyāy-āhāro gahito, idha pariyāy-āhāro ti evaɱ gahito (i.e. the second clause in the Dīgha quotation is a particularized version of the preceding general expression that all creatures persist through food). I take sankhāra therefore to be the subsequent elaboration or digestion of the Sustenance till it becomes an integral part of the organism; by metabolism, occasioned by plastic forces.


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