Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
II. Majjhima Paṇṇāsa
2. Bhikkhu 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 70

Kīṭāgiri Suttaɱ

Of Implicit Obedience

 


[473] [334]

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

Once when the Lord was on an alms-pilgrimage in Kāsī
with a large train of Almsmen,
he addressed them as follows:

I go without a meal at night
and find that on this regimen[1]
I am healthy and well,
buoyant, hale and hearty.

Do like me,
and you too will benefit in the same way.

Yes, sir, said those Almsmen dutifully.

In the course of that alms-pilgrimage through Kāsī,
the Lord came to a township of theirs called Kīṭāgiri,
where he stayed.

Resident there, were two Almsmen
Assaji and Punabbasuka,[2]
to whom there came a number of Almsmen
to say that the Lord himself ate no meal at night
and that the Confraternity were doing the same
and were hale and well on it;
and they urged the two to conform to a regimen
which would suit them too. [474] Thereupon Assaji and Punabbasuka made answer
that they took meals in the evening
and early in the morning
and at noon,
outside prescribed hours,
and found that on this regimen
they were healthy and [335] well,
buoyant,
hale and hearty.

Why should they sacrifice to-day for hereafter?

They would continue to take meals
in the evening
and early in the morning
and at noon
outside prescribed hours.

Failing to win the two over,
the Almsmen went to the Lord
and after salutations
took their seats to one side,
narrated all that had passed,
ending up by saying that,
as they could not prevail with the two,
they had come to inform the Lord.

He thereupon bade an Almsman to go to the two
with the message that the Lord desired their presence.

On receipt of this message,
the two dutifully appeared
and after salutations
took their seats to one side,
to be asked by him [475] whether what was reported to him was true.

Quite true, sir; was their answer.

Is it in your knowledge, Almsmen,
that I ever taught that -
no matter what the feelings a man experiences,
whether agreeable or disagreeable or neutral -
his wrong states of consciousness wane
while his right states wax apace?

No, sir.

Is it not in your knowledge
that my teaching has been that
right and wrong states of consciousness
depend on the particular feeling experienced;
that according to the nature of the specific feelings -
be they agreeable or disagreeable or neutral -
wrong states of consciousness wax apace
while right states wane,
or vice versa?

Yes, sir.

Quite right.

If I had not known,
seen,
discerned,
realized,
and apprehended by comprehension
that, with a given agreeable feeling experienced by a man,
wrong states of consciousness wax apace
and right states wane, -
if I had not this knowledge,
should I say,
would it beseem me to say,
that you should eschew that agreeable feeling?

No, sir.

It is just because I have that knowledge
that I [476] bid you eschew it.

Also, if I had not known,
seen,
discerned,
realized
and apprehended by comprehension
that, with a given [336] agreeable feeling experienced by a man,
wrong states wane
and right states wax apace, -
if I had not this knowledge,
should I say,
would it beseem me to say,
that you should develop
and abide in that agreeable feeling?

No, sir.

It is just because I have that knowledge
that I bid you develop it
and abide therein.

[Similar paragraphs about (a) disagreeable and (ö) neutral feelings.]

[477] I do not aver
that all Almsmen alike
need to toil on with diligence;
nor do I aver that all Almsmen alike
have no such need.

Those Almsmen who are Arahats,
in whom the Cankers are dead,
who have greatly lived,
whose task is done,
who have shed their burthen,
who have won their weal,
whose bonds are no more,
who by utter knowledge
have won Deliverance, -
of such Almsmen as these
I do not aver that they need to toil on with diligence.

And why?

Because they have already achieved
all that toil can achieve
and now are incapable of slackness.

But of those Almsmen who are still under training
and have not won their hearts' desire
but live in earnest yearning
for that utter peace, -
of such Almsmen as these
I do aver that they need to toil on with diligence.

And why?

I do so because the fruit of diligence
which I can see for such Almsmen
is that -, in suitable surroundings,
with a picked circle of good friends,
and with faculties duly regulated -
they will surely win
that for the sake of which young men go forth
from home to homelessness as Pilgrims
and will surely reach the goal of the higher life,
discerning it of and by themselves here and now,
realizing it,
developing it
and abiding therein.

Here are seven types found in the world:|| ||

(1) he that is Delivered both ways,
(2) he that is Delivered by intellect,
(3) he that has fathomed the corporeal,
(4) he that has come to see,
(5) he that is Delivered by faith,
(6) he that lives up to the Doctrine, and
(7) he that lives up to faith.

[337]
(i) Delivered both ways is he who
(a) has reached through the medium of his physical senses
those tranquil Deliverances which are immaterial
and transcend all that is material, and
(b) has destroyed Cankers
through intellectual vision.

Of such an Almsman I do not say
that he needs still to toil on with diligence, -
because he has already achieved
all that toil can achieve
and now is incapable of slackness.

(ii) Delivered by the intellect is he who,
though he has not reached
through the medium of his physical senses
those tranquil Deliverances
which are immaterial
and transcend all that is material,
has destroyed Cankers
through intellectual vision.

[478] Of such an Almsman, too, I do not say
that he needs still ...
incapable of slackness.

(iii) He has fathomed the corporeal who
(a) has reached through the medium of his physical senses
those tranquil Deliverances
which are immaterial
and transcend all that is material, and
(b) has destroyed some Cankers
by intellectual vision.

Of such an Almsman I do say
that he needs still to toil on with diligence, -
because the fruit of diligence
which I can see for such an Almsman is that,
in suitable surroundings,
with a picked circle of good friends,
and with faculties duly regulated,
he will surely win ...
and abiding therein.

(iv) He has come to see
who, not having reached these Deliverances
through the medium of his physical senses,
has destroyed some Cankers
by intellectual vision,
and by intellect has plumbed and fathomed
those states of consciousness
which the Truth-finder has preached.

Of such an Almsman, too, I do aver
that he needs still to toil on ...
and abiding therein.

(v) Delivered by faith is he who,
not having reached these Deliverances
through the medium of his physical senses,
has destroyed some Cankers
by intellectual vision,
but has his faith in the Truth-finder fixed,
rooted and stablished.

Of such an Almsman, too, I do aver
that he needs still to toil on ...
[479] and abiding therein.

[338] (vi) He lives up to the Doctrine
who, having neither reached these Deliverances
through the medium of his physical senses
nor destroyed the Cankers,
has through the intellect
a message of delight in the states of consciousness
which the Truth-finder preaches, -
possessing faith,
effort,
mindfulness,
rapt concentration
and understanding.

Of such an Almsman, too, I do aver
that he needs still to toil on ...
and abiding therein.

(vii) Lastly, he lives up to faith
who, having neither reached these states of Deliverance
through the medium of his physical senses
nor destroyed the Cankers,
just reposes faith and affection in the Truth-finder, -
possessing faith,
effort,
mindfulness,
rapt concentration
and understanding.

Of such an Almsman, too, I do aver
that he needs still to toil on ...
and abiding therein.

I do not say that the plenitude of knowledge
comes straightaway; -
it comes by gradual training,
by gradual attainment
and by gradual progress.

[480] Take the case of a man with faith
who first draws near,
then attends constantly,
then pays attention,
then hears the Doctrine,
then carries it away with him,
then examines the import
of the ideas he has carried away,
then is in an ecstasy of delight over those ideas,
then grows to ardour,
is emboldened by his ardour,
becoming emboldened,
weighs it all,
and, weighing it,
strives,
till, void of self,
he, through the medium of his bodily senses,
realizes the truth sublime
and by his intellect penetrates it
and sees it clear.

Had that faith not been there,
he would not have drawn near,
nor come again,
nor would any of the other things have happened,
nor would he have striven at all.

Almsmen, ye have gone far astray;
ye have erred grievously.

Ah, how very far have these foolish persons departed
from this Doctrine and Rule!

There is a fourfold exposition,
the import of which,
when it is propounded,
can speedily be mastered
by the intellect of a man of intelligence.

This I will propound to you
and you shall understand it from me.

[339] Who, sir, are we?

And who are they who know the Doctrine?

Why, Almsmen,
even a master who put store on things material
who made them his heritage
and cherished them, -
even he is not met by higgling and haggling stipulations
that, if they like a thing,
his followers will do it,
but will not do it if they do not like it.

How can this chaffering beseem the Truth-flnder
who dwells wholly apart from things material?

To the follower with faith
and in unison with his Master's teachings,
it is a principle that the Lord is his Master,
and he his disciple;
that the Lord knows
and he does not.

To the follower with faith,
in unison with his Master's teachings,
those teachings impart strength and affection.

To the follower with faith,
in unison with his Master's teachings,
[481] it is a principle that -
let only skin and sinews and bone persist
and let flesh and blood dry up,
there still shall be no slackening of effort
till what a man's strength
and a man's perseverance
and a man's energy
can win for him,
has been won.

From the follower with faith,
in unison with his Master's teachings,
one of two fruits may be looked for, -
either Knowledge here and now or -
if the stuff of life be not wholly spent -
no return to life on earth.

Thus spoke the Lord.

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

 


[1] Cf. Suttas No. 21 and 65.

[2] Two leaders, says the Commentator, of the six recalcitrants of the Vinaya.


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