Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
II. Majjhima Paṇṇāsa
1. Gahapati 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 59

Bahu-Vedaniya Suttaɱ[1]

Pleasant and Unpleasant

 


[396] [286]

[1][pts][nyop][than][upal] THUS have I heard:

Once when the Lord was staying at Sāvatthī in Jeta's grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's pleasaunce,
Pañcakanga the carpenter
came to the reverend Udāyi,
and, having seated himself after salutations, asked:

How many classes of feelings does the Lord specify?

Three, sir, -
pleasant,
unpleasant
and indifferent.

[397] No, Udāyi,
he specifies not three
but only two classes of feelings, -
the pleasant and the unpleasant; -
the indifferent he accounts as the supremely pleasant
in the case of him who has found peace.

For the second and for a third time
Udāyi affirmed there were the three classes;
and a second and a third time
the carpenter insisted there were only two;
neither could convince the other.

Their talk was heard by the reverend Ānanda,
who went off to the Lord and,
seating himself after salutations,
related the whole of the talk
Udāyi and the carpenter had had together.

Said the Lord to Ānanda:

It was a quite correct statement by Udāyi
which the carpenter rejected,
and it was a quite correct statement by the carpenter
which Udāyi rejected.

I have specified two classes Of feelings;
[398]
I have specified three,
five,
six,
eighteen,
thirty-six
and a hundred and eight.

Enuntiate = enunciate. [f.L. ēnuntiāt ppl. stem of ēnuntiāre, ē = here, nuntiāre = to announce.] = enounce. To give definite expression to. — O.E.D.,] but why? Spelling 'enunciate' existed as early as 1656.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

I have so enuntiated the Doctrine.

Those who refuse to accept,
receive
and welcome from others
correct statements of it
as enunciated by me,
must be expected to come to live together in quarrels,
strife
and contentions,
assailing one another with shafts of wounding speech;
whereas those who accept,
receive
and welcome from others
correct and accurate statements of it
as I have enuntiated it,
may be expected to live together in amity,
harmony
and concord,
without quarrelling,
in happy union,
viewing one another with eyes of affection.

[287] Five in number, Ānanda,
are the pleasures of sense,
namely,
material shapes apparent to the eye,
sounds,
smells,
taste
and touch, -
all of them pleasant and agreeable and delightful,
all of them bound up with passion and lust.

Every pleasant gratification
which arises from these five pleasures of sense
is called sensual pleasure.

But, I do not agree with him who should say
this is the highest pleasure creatures can experience.

Why do I not agree?

Because, beyond this,
there is a pleasure far choicer
and more excellent, -
which comes when,
divested of lusts
and of wrong dispositions,
an Almsman enters on
and dwells in
the First Ecstasy
in all its zest and satisfaction,
a state bred of inward aloofness
but not divorced from observation and reflection.

Nor do I agree with him who should say
that this latter is the highest pleasure.

[399] Why not?

Because, beyond this,
there is a pleasure far choicer
and more excellent, -
which comes when an Almsman,
rising above observation and reasoning,
enters on and dwells in the Second Ecstasy. ...

... in the Third Ecstasy. ...

... in the Fourth Ecstasy,
the state that knows naught pleasant or unpleasant,
the clarity that comes of poise and collectedness.

Nor do I agree with him who should say
that this last is the highest pleasure.

Why not?

Because, beyond this,
there is a pleasure far choicer
and more excellent, -
which comes when,
by passing altogether beyond perception of material objects,
by ceasing from perception of sense-reactions,
and by not heeding perception of differences,
an Almsman comes to hold space to be infinite
and so enters on
and dwells in
the plane of infinity and space.

... plane of infinity of consciousness.

... plane of Naught.

[400] ... plane of neither consciousness nor unconsciousness.

Nor yet do I agree with him who should say
this [288] last is the highest pleasure.

Why not?

Because, beyond this,
there is a pleasure far choicer
and more excellent, -
which comes when, by passing altogether beyond the plane of neither consciousness nor unconsciousness,
an Almsman enters on
and dwells in
the state in which feelings and perceptions are stilled
and laid to rest for ever.

It may be, Ānanda,
that Wanderers belonging to other schools will say:

The recluse Gotama speaks of the stilling of feelings and perceptions,
and accounts this pleasure.

Why? and how?

Your answer to such should be
that the Lord does not restrict pleasure
to pleasant feelings only;
the truth-finder ranks under pleasure
all that is pleasant
wheresoever he descries it.

Thus spake the Lord.

Glad at heart,
the reverend Ānanda rejoiced in what the Lord had said.

 


[1] Reproduced verbatim in the Saɱyutta Nikāya, IV, 223-8.


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