Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
I. Mūlapaṇṇāsa
5. Cūḷa Yamaka 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 43

Mahā Vedalla Suttaɱ

The Long Miscellany

 


[202]

[1][pts][than][ntbb][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-Koṭṭhita, rising up at eventide from his meditations,
went to the reverend Sāriputta
and, after greetings,
took his seat to one side
and spoke thus:

We speak of a man as lacking understanding.

Now, in what respects does he lack understanding?

It is because he does not understand,
that he is said to lack understanding.

He does not understand what Ill is,
or its origin,
or its cessation,
or the way that leads to its cessation.

That is why he is said to lack [208] understanding, -
because he does not understand these things.

With an expression of his grateful thanks to Sāriputta,
Mahā-Koṭṭhita put this further question:

We speak of a man as having understanding (paññā).

Now, in what respects has he got understanding?

It is because he understands,
that he is said to have got understanding.

He understands what Ill is,
and its origin,
and its cessation,
and the way that leads to its cessation.

That is why he is said to have got understanding, -
because he understands these things.

We speak of consciousness (viññāṇa).

Why is it so called?

It is because he is conscious,
that we speak of consciousness.

He is conscious that a thing is pleasant,
or unpleasant,
or neither.

It is because he is conscious,
that consciousness is so called.

Are understanding and consciousness associated or dissociated?

Can a differentia between the two states be shewn by persistent analysis?

They are associated,
not dissociated;
a differentia between them cannot be shewn by persistent analysis.

For, what a man understands,
he is conscious of;
and what he is conscious of,
he understands.

Therefore these two states are associated,
not dissociated;
analysis cannot shew their differentia.

What is the differentia?

In understanding we have to develop;
in consciousness we have to apprehend; -
that is what differentiates them.

We speak of feeling. -
In what sense?

A man feels and therefore it is called feeling, -
of the pleasant or unpleasant or indifferent.

We speak of perception. -
In what sense?

He perceives and therefore it is called perception, -
of blue,
or yellow,
or red,
or white.

Are feeling, perception, and consciousness associated or dissociated?

Can a differentia between these states be shewn by persistent analysis?

[209]

They are associated,
not dissociated;
a differentia between them
cannot be shewn by persistent analysis.

What is felt is perceived,
and there is consciousness of what is perceived;
consequently these states are associated,
not dissociated;
analysis cannot shew their differentia.

What is knowable by pure mental consciousness (mano-viññāṇa),
isolated from the five faculties of bodily sense?

The ideas of Infinity of Space,
of Infinity of Mind,
and of the Realm of Naught,
are knowable by pure mental consciousness,
isolated from the five faculties of bodily sense.

By what are these knowable ideas known?

By the eye of understanding (paññā-cakkhu).

What does understanding promote?

The higher and precise knowledges
and Renunciation.

How many conditions are required
to create a right outlook?

Two, - instruction imparted,
and systematized thought.

How many factors help a right outlook to win the fruit,
and the guerdon of the fruit,
of Deliverance alike of heart and mind?

Five, -
virtue,
study,
converse,
tranquillization,
and discernment.

How many types of re-birth are there?

Three, -
sensuous,
corporeal,
and incorporeal.

How does re-birth come to pass hereafter
in a subsequent existence?

By creatures -
hampered by ignorance
and clogged by cravings -
revelling now in this object,
now in that.

And how does re-birth not come to pass?

By the disappearance of the passion that Ignorance brings,
by the uprising of knowledge,
and by the cessation of cravings.

What is the First Ecstasy?

When, divested of pleasures of sense,
divested of wrong states of mind,
an Almsman enters on,
and abides [210] in,
the First Ecstasy
with all its zest and satisfaction, -
a state bred of inward aloofness
but not divorced from observation and reflection, -
that is called the First Ecstasy.

How many factors are there in it?

Five, -
observation,
reflection,
zest,
satisfaction,
and a focussed heart.

How many factors has the First Ecstasy put from it,
and how many does it retain?

Five of each.

Gone are lusts,
malevolence,
torpor,
worry,
and doubt.

Observation,
reflection,
zest,
satisfaction,
and a focussed heart persist.

Take the five senses
of sight,
sound,
smell,
taste,
and touch, -
each with its own particular province
and range of function
separate and mutually distinct.

What ultimate base have they?

Who enjoys all their five provinces and ranges?

Mind (mano).[1]

On what do these five faculties of sense depend?

On vitality.

On what does vitality depend?

On heat.

On what does heat depend?

On vitality.

You say that vitality depends on heat;
you say that heat depends on vitality.

What precisely is the meaning to be attached to this?

I will give you an illustration;
an illustration oftentimes serves to bring home the meaning of a remark to persons of intelligence.

Just as in the case of a lighted lamp
the light reveals the flame
and the flame the light, -
so vitality depends on heat
and heat on vitality.

Now, as to plastic forces of vitality, -
are they simply objects of sense?

Or are they different from them?

They are not sensible objects.

Were they sensible,
then the emergence of an Almsman who had [211] passed into trance without perception and without feeling,
could never be witnessed;
it can be witnessed just because the plastic forces of vitality are different from sensible objects.

How many things must quit the body
before it is flung aside
and cast away like a senseless log?

Three, -
vitality,
heat,
and consciousness.

What is the difference between a lifeless corpse
and an Almsman in trance,
in whom perception and feeling are stilled?

In the corpse
not only are the plastic forces
of the body and speech and mind[2]
stilled and quiescent
but also vitality is exhausted,
heat is quenched,
and the faculties of sense broken up; -
whereas in the Almsman in trance
vitality persists,
heat abides,
and the faculties are clear,
although respiration,
observation
and perception
are stilled and quiescent.

How many conditions are needed
to produce that ecstatic state of the heart's Deliverance
wherein there is neither satisfaction nor dissatisfaction?

Four. -
By putting from him both satisfaction and dissatisfaction,
and by shedding the joys and sorrows he used to feel,
the Almsman enters on,
and abides in,
the Fourth Ecstasy, -
the state that,
knowing neither satisfaction nor dissatisfaction,
is the consummate purity
of poised equanimity and mindfulness.

How many conditions are needed
for that ecstatic state of the hearts Deliverance
which is void of phenomenal relations?

Two, -
(1) Keeping the mind off all that is phenomenal, and
(2) fixing it on what is not phenomenal.

How many conditions make this Deliverance persist?

Three, -
(1) Keeping the mind off all that is phenomenal,
(2) fixing it on what is not phenomenal, and
(3) precedent preparation.

How many conditions are needed
for emerging from this Deliverance?

[212]

Two, -
(1) fixing the mind on the phenomenal and
(2) keeping the mind off the non-phenomenal.

As touching those Deliverances of the heart
which are boundless (appamāṇa),
Naught (ākiñcañña),
emptied (suññata),
and non-phenomenal (animitta), -
do all these states of consciousness
differ both in connotation and in denotation,
or are they identical in connotation
while differing in denotation?

In one sense their connotation is different,
in another sense identical.

In what sense do these four states of consciousness
differ in connotation
as well as in denotation?

It is called boundless Deliverance of heart
when an Almsman dwells with radiant good-will
pervading first one quarter of the world -
then the second -
then the third -
and then the fourth quarter;
when he dwells with radiant good-will
pervading the whole length and breadth of the world,
above,
below,
around,
and everywhere,
with radiant good-will
all-embracing,
vast,
boundless,
wherein no hate or malice finds a place.

And as with good-will,
so, in turn, with radiant compassion,
and sympathy,
and poised equanimity
does he pervade the whole length and breadth of the world.

It is called Naught Deliverance when,
wholly transcending the realm of consciousness,
the Almsman enters on,
and abides in,
the Realm of Naught.

It is called emptied Deliverance when,
in the wilds
or under a tree
or in an empty dwelling,
he reflects that Emptiness is here, -
no Self
nor anything appertaining to a Self.

It is called non-phenomenal Deliverance
when by keeping his mind off all that is phenomenal,
an Almsman enters on,
and dwells in,
the serenity of heart
which is beyond the phenomenal.

The foregoing is the sense
in which both the connotation
and the denotation
of these several Deliverances
differ from one another.

In what sense, now,
is their connotation identical
while their denotation differs?

It is passion,
it is malevolence,
it is illusion,
which [213] impose bounds;
in the Arahat who has extirpated the Cankers
these three have been put away,
have been grubbed and stubbed,
like the bare cleared site
where once a palm-tree grew, -
they have been
and now can be no more.

In so far as boundless Deliverances are sure,
the Deliverance they bring is unsurpassed, -
sure because empty of passion,
of malevolence,
and of illusion.

It is passion,
it is malevolence,
it is illusion,
which harbour aught which clogs;
in the Arahat who ... be no more.

In so far as Naught Deliverances are sure ...
and of illusion.

It is passion,
it is malevolence,
it is illusion,
which create the phenomenal;
in the Arahat ...
be no more.

In so far as non-phenomenal Deliverances are sure,
the Deliverance they bring is unsurpassed, -
sure because void of passion,
of malevolence,
and of illusion.

This is the sense in which these several Deliverances are identical in their connotation,
while differing in denotation.

Thus spoke the reverend Sāriputta.

Glad at heart,
the reverend Mahā-Koṭṭhita rejoiced in what the reverend Sāriputta had said.

 


[1] See hereon Mrs. Rhys Davids' Buddhist Psychology, pp. 68-73.

[2] Defined in the next Sutta as respiration, etc.


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