Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
III. Upari-Paṇṇāsa
1. Devadaha Vagga

Sacred Books of the Buddhists
Volume VI
Dialogues of the Buddha
Part V

Further Dialogues of the Buddha
Volume II

Translated from the Pali
by Lord Chalmers, G.C.B.
Sometime Governor of Ceylon

London
Humphrey Milford
Oxford University Press
1927
Public Domain

Sutta 106

Āneñja-Sappāya Suttaɱ

Real Permanence

 


[261] [151]

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

Once when the Lord was staying in the Kuru country, -
a township of theirs is Kammassadhamma -
he addressed the listening Almsmen as follows: -

Fleeting are pleasures of sense, -
empty,
false
and vain,
the creation of illusion
and the chatter of fools.

Pleasures of sense,
whether here and now or hereafter,
and the [262] perception of either kind of such pleasures
are both under Māra's sway;
they are his domain,
his pasturage,
his haunt
and his resort.

In them lurk those bad and wrong dispositions of heart
which breed covetise
and spite
and clamour,
and so hamper the progress in this creed
of the disciple of the Noble
that, he, recognizing all this,
addresses himself to the task
of developing his heart
so as to overcome the World
by concentrating his thought,
in the conviction
that thereby covetise
and spite
and temper
will not come into being
and that by their extermination
his heart will cease to be dwarfed
and will develop aright
and beyond measure.

Living up to this resolve to develop,
his heart is satisfied with its scope,
and therewithal he either now wins Permanence, -
or sets his heart on Understanding.

At the body's dissolution after death
it comes to pass
that this trend of an Almsman's consciousness
may get him to Permanence. -

This is deemed the first path to Permanence.

Again, the disciple of the Noble
reflects that all pleasures of sense,
both here and hereafter,
and the perception of either kind of pleasures, -
these and all visible Form,
all consist of the four primary Elements
or of derivatives therefrom.

Living up to this resolve to develop,
his heart is satisfied with its scope,
and therewithal he either now wins Permanence, -
or sets his heart on Understanding.

At the body's dissolution after death
it comes to pass
that this trend of an Almsman's consciousness
may get him to Permanence. -

This is deemed the second path to Permanence.

[263] Again, the disciple of the Noble reflects that fleeting and transient are all pleasures of sense, both [152] here and hereafter,
and the perception of either kind of pleasure,
together with all visible Form,
present or to be,
and also with all perception of Form,
present or to be.

But what is fleeting and transitory
may not evoke joy
nor claim a welcome
nor attract!

Living up to this resolve to develop,
his heart is satisfied with its scope,
and therewithal he either now wins Permanence, -
or sets his heart on Understanding.

At the body's dissolution after death
it comes to pass
that this trend of an Almsman's consciousness
may get him to Permanence. -

This is deemed the third path to Permanence.

Again, the disciple of the Noble reflects
that fleeting and transient
are the pleasures of sense,
both here and hereafter,
as also is the perception of either kind of pleasure, -
together with all visible Form,
present or to be,
and with all perception of Form,
present or to be,
and also with all perception of Permanence.

Yes, where all perceptions alike
pass away and leave no trace behind,
that is excellent and good,
to wit the Realm of Naught!

Living up to this resolve,
his heart is satisfied with its scope
and therewithal he either now wins the Realm of Naught, -
or sets his heart on Understanding.

At the body's dissolution after death
it comes to pass that the Almsman's mental trend
may get him to the Realm of Naught. -

This is deemed the first path to the Realm of Naught.

Again, in the wilds
or at the foot of a tree,
the disciple of the Noble
reflects that all this is void of a Self
or anything like a Self.

Living up to this thought,
his heart is satisfied,
and therewithal he now wins the Realm of Naught, -
or sets his heart on Understanding.

At the body's dissolution after death
it comes to pass
that the Almsman's mental trend
may get him to the Realm of Naught. -

This is deemed the second path to the Realm of Naught.

Again, the disciple of the Noble reflects
that not anywhere is he aught
of anything else
nor is [264] aught of him anywhere
in anything else.

Living up to this thought,
his heart is satisfied
and therewithal he now wins the Realm of Naught, -
or sets his heart on Understanding.

At the body's dissolution after death
it comes to pass
that this trend of the Almsman's consciousness
may get him to the Realm of Naught. -

This is deemed the third path to the Realm of Naught.

[153] Again, the disciple of the Noble reflects
that fleeting and transient
are all pleasures of sense,
both here and hereafter,
as also is the perception of every kind of pleasure, -
together with all visible Form,
present or to be,
and with all perception of Form,
present or to be,
and with all perception of Permanence,
and also with the Realm of Naught.

Yes, where all perception passes away
and leaves no trace behind,
that is excellent and good,
to wit Neither-Perception-nor-Non-Perception!

Living up to this thought,
his heart is satisfied
and therewithal he now wins Neither-Perception-nor-Non-Perception, -
or sets his heart on Understanding.

At the body's dissolution after death
it comes to pass
that the trend of this Almsman's consciousness
may get him to Neither-Perception-nor-Non-Perception. -

This is deemed to be the path that guides to Neither-Perception-nor-Non-Perception.

At this point the reverend Ānanda said to the Lord: -

Suppose the Almsman has reached
the stage of indifference and poise
which tells him that,
if the past had not been,
his present would not now be his,
and that, if the future were not to come about,
his future will not follow;
and suppose that consequently
he discards all that is
and all that has come about; -
has that Almsman won Nirvana?

It may or may not be his.

What is the cause
and what are the conditions
determining whether Nirvana is
or is not his?

The Almsman who has reached
this stage of indifference and poise
[265] may rejoice in
and welcome it
and be attracted thereby;
but if he does,
then his mind derives therefrom
support and sustentation.

Now, no Almsman who is dependent on sustentation wins Nirvana.

Where does he find his sustentation?

From the sphere of Neither-Perception-nor-Non-Perception, Ānanda.

The Almsman, it might be said,
derives his sustentation from the best source?

Yes, it is true that he does.

But, take an Alms- [154] man who,
having reached the same stage of indifference and poise,
rejoices not
nor welcomes
nor is attracted thereby.

Inasmuch as he does not feel like this,
his mind derives therefrom no support
nor sustentation.

It is the Almsman who is independent of sustentation
who has won Nirvana.

Wonderful, sir;
marvellous, sir!

Stage by stage
has the Lord revealed how to traverse the Flood.

And what, sir,
is Noble Deliverance?

Take the case, Ānanda,
of the disciple of the Noble
who reflects that all these pleasures of sense,
here or hereafter -
with all perceptions of them,
all Form,
here or hereafter,
with all perceptions of Form,
all perceptions of Permanence,
of the Realm of Naught,
and of Neither-Perception-nor-Non-Perception,
- all mean mere Individuality,
whereas one thing only is Deathless,
to wit,
the heart's Deliverance,
which knows no sustentation.

And now, Ānanda,
I have explained the several paths that guide to Permanence,
to the Realm of Naught,
to Neither-Perception-nor-Non-Perception,
to traversing the Flood stage by stage,
right up to Noble Deliverance.

All that a fond and compassionate teacher
can do for his disciples
out of his compassion,
[266] all that have I done for you.

Here, Ānanda, are trees under which to sit;
here are abodes of solitude.

Ponder deeply
and never flag;
lay not up remorse for yourself hereafter; -
this is my exhortation to you.

Thus spoke the Lord.

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


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