Majjhima Nikaya

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Majjhima Nikāya
II. Majjhima Paṇṇāsa
3. Paribbājaka 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
Sometime Governor of Ceylon

Humphrey Milford
Oxford University Press
Public Domain

Sutta 74

Dīghanakha Suttaɱ[1]

Consistency In Outlook


[497] [351]

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

Once when the Lord was staying in Boar's Cave
on Vulture Peak
at Rājagaha
the Wanderer Dīghanakha came to him
and after salutations
took his stand to one side, saying:

All[2] fails to satisfy me;
that is what I say,
and that is the view I hold.

When you say, Aggivessana,
that all fails to satisfy you,
does your own view
as just expressed
also fail to satisfy you?

If it did satisfy me,
then all else would follow suit.

[498] In one class,
there are very many people in the world
who, admitting that all else should follow suit,
yet refuse to discard their old view
while adopting another.

In another class,
there are very few who,
admitting that all else should follow suit,
discard their old view
and do not tack on another.

There are some recluses and brahmins, Aggivessana,
who affirm and hold that all satisfies them,
while others take the contrary view,
and others again partly take the former
and partly the latter view.

Those who are satisfied with all,
hold a view which is allied to passion,
to bondage,
to pleasure,
to attachments
and to all that sustains continuing existence.

Those who are dissatisfied with all,
hold a view which is allied to passionlessness
and freedom,
aloof from pleasure and attachments,
and with nothing to keep existence continuing.

[352] Here Dīghanakha intervened to say:

The reverend Gotama is complimentary,
most complimentary to the view I hold!

Lastly, the Lord went on to say,
those who are partly satisfied
and partly dissatisfied,
hold a view which,
so far as it is one of satisfaction,
is allied to passion and so forth,
while, so far as it is one of dissatisfaction,
is allied to passionlessness and so forth.

In these circumstances
an intelligent person would say that,
if he whole-heartedly stuck to
and disseminated
the satisfied view
as wholly and exclusively true,
he would be at issue with both the other camps,
which would lead to disputes,
and so to vexation
and so to trouble.

Consequently, he discards this view
and takes up with no other.

And the same happens to an intelligent person
with regard to both the dissatisfied
and the partly-satisfied views,
so that in all three cases alike
there is a discarding
and a renouncing of these views
by the intelligent.

[500] This body -
which has visible shape,
which is made up of the four primary elements,
starts from parents,
is sustained by victuals,
is transitory
and subject to attrition,
and dispersal -,
this body is to be regarded as transitory,
as Ill,
as a disease,
as a pustulence,
as a pang,
as anguish,
as a malady,
as alien,
as a flux,
as void,
as non-self;
and he who so regards the body,
loses thereby all liking and affection for a body,
all subordination to a body.

There are the following three classes of feelings, -
and neutral.

While a man is experiencing a pleasant feeling,
he does not concomitantly experience the unpleasant
or the neutral,
but the pleasant alone.

Similarly, an unpleasant or a neutral feeling
is not concomitant with either of the two other classes.

All three classes alike
have this in common
that they are transitory,
that they are products and effects,
that they are perishable and evanescent,
and that they can be purged of passion and stilled.

When he sees this clearly,
a well-informed disciple of the Noble,
grows aweary of all feelings -
pleasant, [353] unpleasant
and neutral -
and, being aweary,
purges himself of passion
and by passionlessness finds Deliverance,
so that, being Delivered,
he comes to realize his Deliverance
in the conviction that -
Rebirth is no more;
I have lived the highest life;
my task is done;
and now for me
there is no more Of what I have been.

An Almsman whose heart is Delivered thus,
neither concurs nor disputes with anyone;
he employs the current phraseology of the world
without accepting its ideas.

At this point there came to the reverend Sāriputta,
who was [501] standing behind the Lord fanning him,
the thought:

These then are the several states of consciousness
which the Lord has bidden us realize and discard,
which the Blessed One has bidden us renounce.

And even as Sāriputta so reflected,
his heart was Delivered from Cankers
by leaving nothing to sustain them in being.

In the Wanderer Dīghanakha, on the other hand,
there arose the pure and stainless Eye of Truth,
whereby he saw that in whatsoever has a beginning,
cessation is also inherent.

Seeing and grasping the Doctrine,
comprehending and fathoming it,
Dīghanakha -
with doubts all gone,
freed from all questionings of heart,
strong now in confidence,
personally and independently assured of the Master's gospel -
said to the Lord:

Wonderful, Gotama;
quite wonderful!

Just as a man might set upright again ...
(etc. as at end of Sutta No. 72)
... as a disciple from this day forth while life lasts.


[1] This Sutta is referred to as Vedanā-pariggaha-suttanta at p. 96 of the first volume of the Commentary on the Dhamma-pada (P.T.S. 1906).

[2] Bu. explains sabbaɱ (all, everything) as meaning re-birth and transmigration, in the mouth of Dīghanakha, who, subsequently perceiving that Gotama is using the word in its literal sense, tries to safeguard his original contention.

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