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 47

Vīmaɱsaka Suttaɱ

Study of the Truth-Finder

 


[227]

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

Once when the Lord was staying at Sāvatthī in Jeta's grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's pleasaunce, the Lord addressed the Almsmen, saying:

Almsmen!

Lord, said they in answer.

Then the Lord spoke these words:

The enquiring Almsman
who searches the hearts of others,
ought to study the truth-finder.

The Lord is the root
and the guide
and the basis of all our ideas.

We beg that the Lord may be moved to expound the meaning of his utterance,
so that we may treasure up what we hear from him.

Then listen and pay attention,
and I will [228] speak, said the Lord,
who then went on to address the listening Almsmen, as follows:

The enquiring Almsman
who searches the hearts of others
ought to study the truth-finder
in respect of the two states of consciousness
which come through eye and ear,
so as to ascertain whether
in the truth-finder
they occur in a corrupt form or not.

As he studies,
he comes to know
that no corrupt forms of these occur.

Pursuing his study,
he comes to know
that in the truth-finder
such states do not occur in a mixed form.

By pursuing his study still further,
he comes to know
that in the truth-finder
these states of consciousness alone occur
which are wholly pure.

He proceeds to examine
whether this reverend man[1] has risen long since
or only recently to this excellence;
and he comes to know
that he rose thereto long ago.

Thence he goes on to examine
whether this reverend man
has grown popular
and is famous,
and whether certain perils beset him.

For, Almsmen, such perils do not beset an Almsman,
so long as he has not grown popular
and so long as he is not famous;
they beset him only after he has grown popular
and is famous.

Examination shows that this reverend man
is popular and famous,
but that these perils do not beset him.

Then comes the further examination
to settle whether the reverend man
refrains in fearlessness
or through fear,
or whether it is solely by reason of passionlessness
that he eschews pleasures of sense,
having eradicated all passion;
and this examination shows
that the eradication of passion
is the reason why he eschews pleasures of sense.

Should the enquiring Almsman be asked by others
what facts and evidence lead him to aver
that this reverend man eschews pleasures of sense
in fearlessness
and not from motives of fear,
but because of the eradication of passion,
then he would give the right answer
by replying that,
whether living [229] in the Confraternity or alone,
this reverend man -
alike in dealing with rich and poor,
with teachers of confraternities,
with those patently covetous
or with those by covetise undefiled -
never looks down on a man for that.

Face to face,
and from the Lord's own lips,
have I been assured
that he refrains in fearlessness,
and not through fears,
and that it is solely by reason of passionlessness
that he eschews pleasures of sense,
having eradicated all passion.

Moreover, the truth-finder himself
should be asked the direct questions
whether in him the states of consciousness
which come through sight and hearing occur
(a) in a corrupt form,
(b) in a mixed form, or
(c) in entire purity.

And, answering aright,
the truth-finder will answer
that these states occur
never in a corrupt or mixed form
but always in entire purity; -
this is the track I tread,
this is the realm in which I move,
and therewithal I harbour no cravings.

When such are a teachers words,
a disciple is right to go to him
for instruction in his Doctrine.

That teacher expounds the Doctrine, -
more and more,
higher still and higher,
until at last it embraces
all that is foul
and all that is fair,
with all their mutual antagonism.

And as the teacher gradually thus expounds the Doctrine,
so gradually therein does that Almsman,
by insight into this or that state of consciousness,
reach perfection in them all,
and win the belief in his teacher that -
the Lord is all-enlightened;
right well has he made his Doctrine known;
his Confraternity walks in righteousness.

If others should ask him
on what facts and evidence he bases this belief,
then, if he gives the right answer,
he would reply that,
as the teacher gradually expounded the Doctrine,
so gradually therein had he,
by insight into this or that state of consciousness,
reached perfection in them all
and won the belief in his teacher
which made him say that the Lord was all-enlightened,
that right well had he made his Doctrine known,
and that his Confraternity walked in righteousness.

If any man's faith in the truth-finder is planted,
rooted,
and [230] established by the foregoing researches
and in the foregoing sentences
and in the foregoing words,
then such faith is styled reasoned,
based on insight,
assured, -
impregnable to recluse or brahmin,
god,
Māra,
Brahmā
or anyone else in the universe.

This, Almsmen, is the way
to study a truth-finder's states of consciousness;
and it is thus that the truth-finder is studied aright
in the laws of his being.

Thus spoke the Lord.

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

 


[1] It will be noted that the general style of āyasmā is here given to him who has previously been recognized as tathāgata, but is subsequently referred to as merely a bhikkhu - i.e. to an Arahat. Cf. supra, p. 98.


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