Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
III. Upari-Paṇṇāsa
2. Anupada 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 112

Chabbisodhana Suttaɱ

The Sixfold Scrutiny

 


[29] [173]

[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 as follows: -

Suppose an Almsman makes profession
of having risen to fullest Knowledge
in the words: -

Rebirth is now 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.

His words ought to be received
alike without rejoicing
and without scorn;
and, alike without rejoicing
and without scorn,
the following question should be asked of him; -

The Lord who knows and sees,
the arahat all enlightened,
has defined four categories of discoveries, -
namely,
the man who has discovered by vision
in the domain of vision,
the man who has discovered by hearing
in the domain of hearing,
the man who has discovered by sensing
in the domain of taste smell and touch,
and the man who has discovered by apprehending [80] in the domain of apprehending.

By what manner of ken and vision
under these four heads
has your reverence's heart
been absolutely Delivered from the Cankers?

The Almsman in whom the Cankers are dead and gone,
who' has greatly lived,
who has cast off his burthens,
who has won his weal,
whose bonds are no more,
who by utter Knowledge
has gained final Deliverance,-he,
consonantly with the Doctrine,
makes answer: -

In the domain of seeing,
and in each of the three other domains also,
I dwell,
without leanings
and without aversion,
without dependence
and without being enamoured,
but with heart untrammelled.

This [174] is the manner of ken and vision
whereby under these four heads
my heart has been absolutely Delivered from the Cankers.

Excellent, you will say to him, rejoicing
and thankful for what the Almsman has said;
and you will proceed to ask the following question: -

The Lord who knows and sees,
the arahat all-enlightened,
has revealed five factors of attachment,
namely
form,
feeling,
perception,
the constituents
and consciousness.

By what manner of ken and vision
under these five heads
has your reverence's heart
been absolutely Delivered from the Cankers?

The true arahat as aforesaid
makes answer consonantly with the Doctrine as follows: -

Having come to see that form
is a weak, evanescent and comfortless thing,
I know that my heart is delivered
from the heart's attraction
and attachment to forms,
[81] which implant obstinacy,
prejudice
and bias, -
is Delivered therefrom
by destroying them,
by losing all passion for them,
by laying them to rest,
by renouncing them
and by forsaking them altogether.

And the like Deliverance is mine
from the other four factors
of feeling,
perception,
the constituents
and consciousness.

This is the manner of ken and vision
whereby, in respect of these five factors of attachment,
I know my heart to be absolutely Delivered from Cankers.

Excellent, you will say to him, rejoicing
and thankful for what the Almsman has said;
and you will proceed to ask the following question: -

The Lord who knows and sees,
the arahat all-enlightened,
has revealed six elements,
namely
earth,
water,
fire,
air,
space
and mentality.

By what manner of ken and vision,
in respect of these six elements,
has your reverence's heart
been absolutely Delivered from the Cankers?

The true arahat makes answer
consonantly with the Doctrine
as follows: -

I approach the earth-element -
and in turn each of the five other elements -
as being non-Self,
with no basing of Self on the element,
so that I know that my heart
is Delivered from the heart's attractions
and attachments based on [175] an element,
which implant obstinacy,
prejudice and bias, -
is Delivered therefrom
by destroying them,
by losing all passion for them,
by laying them to rest,
by renouncing them
and by forsaking them altogether.

This is the manner of ken and vision
whereby, in respect of these six elements,
I know my heart to be absolutely Delivered from the Cankers.

Excellent, you will say to him, [82] rejoicing
and thankful for what the Almsman has said;
and you will proceed to ask the following question: -

The Lord who knows and sees,
the arahat all-enlightened,
has revealed six internal sense-organs
and six external sense-objects,
namely eye and forms,
ear and sounds,
nose and odours,
tongue and tastes,
body and tangible objects,
mind and mental objects.

By what manner of ken and vision,
in respect of these six pairs,
has your reverence's heart
been absolutely Delivered from the Cankers?

The true arahat makes answer
consonantly with the Doctrine as follows:

In respect of the eye and form,
of visual cognition and objects visually cognizable,
I know that my heart is Delivered from desire,
passion,
delight,
craving,
and from the heart's attractions
and attachments based on eye and form,
which implant obstinacy,
prejudice and bias, -
is Delivered therefrom by destroying them,
by losing all passion for them,
by laying them to rest,
by renouncing them
and by forsaking them altogether.

And the like holds good
of the five other pairs of sense-organs and sense-objects.

This is the manner of ken and vision
whereby, in respect of these six pairs,
I know my heart to be absolutely delivered from the Cankers.

Excellent, you will say to him, rejoicing
and thankful for what the Almsman has said;
and you will proceed to ask this further question: -

By what manner of ken and vision
has the bias of pride in 'I' and 'mine'
been extirpated
in respect both of this mind-informed body
and of all external phenomena?

[33] The true arahat makes answer
consonantly with the Doctrine as follows: -

[176] Aforetime, Almsmen,
when I had a house and home,
I dwelt in ignorance.

To me the Doctrine was expounded by the Truth-finder
or by a disciple of the Truth-finder;
and, by hearing it,
I came to faith in the Truth-finder,
and this awakened faith in him
led me to bethink myself that -
A hole and corner life
is all a home can give,
whereas the Pilgrim is free as the air of heaven.

It is hard for the home-keeping man
to follow the higher life
in all its completeness
and purity
and perfection.

Come, let me cut off hair and beard
and go forth from home to homelessness.

Thereafter, parting from my substance,
be it small or great,
parting too from my kith and kin,
be they few or many,
I cut off my hair and beard,
donned the yellow robes
and went forth from home to homelessness.

A Pilgrim now,
schooled as an Almsman in thought and conduct,
I put from me all killing,
I put from me all killing
and abstained from killing anything

Laying aside cudgel and sword,
I lived a life of innocence and mercy,
full of kindliness and compassion
for everything that lives.

Theft I put from me and eschewed;
taking only what was given to me by others,
and waiting till it is given,
I lived an honest and clean life.

Putting from me
all that does not belong to the higher life,
I lead the higher life in virtue,
abstaining from low sensuality.

Putting from me
and abstaining from all lying,
I spoke the truth,
cleaved to the truth,
and was staunch and leal,
never deceiving the world with my lips.

Calumny I put from me and eschewed,
not repeating elsewhere
to the harm of people here
what I heard there,
nor repeating here
to the harm of people elsewhere
what I heard elsewhere;
thus I healed divisions
and cemented friendship,
seeking peace
and ensuing it;
for in peace was my delight
and my words were ever the words of a peacemaker.

Reviling I put from me,
and abstained from reviling people;
my words were without gall,
pleasant,
friendly,
going home to the heart,
courteous,
agreeable
and welcome to all.

Tattle I put from me
and abstained therefrom,
I spoke, in season
and according to the facts,
words of help
concerning the Doctrine
and the Rule,
words to be stored in the heart,
words duly illustrated,
fraught with purpose,
and pithy.

I sedulously avoided hurting the seeds
or plants of a village.

I took but one meal a day,
never eating at night
or after hours.

I refrained from looking on at shows of dancing,
singing,
and music.

I eschewed all use and employment
of smart garlands,
scents
and perfumes.

I slept on no tall or broad beds.

I refuseed to accept gold
or coins of silver, -
uncooked grain or meat, -
women or girls, -
bondwomen or bondmen, -
sheep or goats, -
fowls or swine, -
elephants or cattle or horses or mares, -
fields or land.

I refrained from the practice
of sending or going on messages.

I neither bought nor sold.

I never cheated with weights,
coins,
or measures.

I took no part in bribery,
cozening,
cheating,
or other crooked ways.

I never joined in wounding,
murdering,
and manacling,
or in highway robbery,
brigandage,
and fraud.

Contented was I
with whatever robes were given me
as clothing,
and with whatever alms were given
for my belly's needs.

Wheresoever I went,
I took all my belongings with me.

Just as a winged bird,
wheresoever it goes,
carries with it its feathers and all, -
so, wheresoever he goes,
he takes all his belongings with him.

A master of this noble code of virtue,
I enjoyed unsullied well-being within.

When with my eye
I saw a visible shape,
I was not absorbed by either its general appearance
or its details;
but, since the eye uncontrolled
might lead to covetousness and discontent,
to evil and wrong states of mind,
I schooled myself to control it,
to keep watch and ward over it,
and to establish control.

And I did the like
with my five other faculties of sense.

A master of this noble control over my faculties,
I enjoyed unalloyed well-being within.

Purposeful was I in all my doings, -
whether in coming in or going out,
in looking ahead or around,
in stretching out my arm
or in drawing it back,
in wearing my clothes
or carrying my bowl,
in eating or drinking,
in chewing or savouring food,
in attending to the calls of nature,
in walking
or standing
or sitting,
in sleeping or waking,
in speech or in silence; -
I was always purposeful in all I did.

A master of this noble code of virtue,
a master of this noble code of control of my faculties of sense,
and a master of noble mindfulness and purpose in all I did,
I resorted to a lonely lodging, -
in the forest under a tree,
in the wilds in cave or grot,
in a charnel-ground,
in a thicket,
or on bracken in the open.

After my meal,
when I was back from my round for alms,
I sat myself cross-legged
and with body erect,
with my heart set on mindfulness.

My life was purged
(i.) of appetite for things of the world,
for I had put from me
all appetite therefor; -
(ii.) of all spiteful thoughts,
for I was filled only with loving-kindness
and compassion for all that lives; -
(iii.) of all torpor,
for all torpor had left me,
driven out by clarity of vision,
by mindfulness,
and by purpose in all I did; -
(iv.) of ail flurry and worry,
for I was serene,
and my heart within was at peace
and quit of all worries; - and
(v.) of all doubts,
for my life was unclouded by doubt,
I was troubled by no questionings,
right states of mind
had purged my heart of all doubting.

When I had put from me these Five Hindrances,
those defilements of the heart
which weaken a man's insight,
then, divested of pleasures of sense
and divested of wrong states of consciousness,
I entered on,
and abode in,
the First Ecstasy
with all its zest and satisfaction, -
a state bred of inward aloofness but not divorced from observation and reflection.

As I rose above reasoning and reflection,
I entered on,
and abode in,
the Second Ecstasy
with all its zest and satisfaction, -
a state bred of rapt concentration,
above all observation and reflection,
a state whereby the heart is focussed
and tranquillity reigns within.

By shedding the emotion of zest,
I entered on,
and abode in,
the Third Ecstasy,
with its poised equanimity,
mindful and self-possessed,
feeling in my frame
the satisfaction of which the Noble say
that poise and mindfulness bring abiding satisfaction.

By putting from me both satisfaction and dissatisfaction,
and by shedding the joys and sorrows I used to feel,
I entered on,
and abode in,
the Fourth Ecstasy, -
the state that,
knowing neither satisfaction nor dissatisfaction,
is the consummate purity
of poised equanimity and mindfulness.

With heart thus stedfast,
thus clarified and purified,
clean and cleansed of things impure,
tempered and apt to serve,
stablished and immutable, -
it was thus that I applied my heart to the knowledge which recalled my earlier existences.

I called to mind my divers existences in the past, -
a single birth,
then two ... [and so on to] ... a hundred thousand births,
many an aeon of disintegration of the world,
many an aeon of its redintegration,
and again many an aeon both of its disintegration
and of its redintegration.

In this or that former existence,
I remembered,
such and such was my name,
my sept,
my class,
my diet,
my joys and sorrows,
and my term of life.

When I passed thence,
I came by such and such subsequent existence,
wherein such and such was my name and so forth.

Thence I passed to my life here.

Thus did I call to mind my divers existences of the past
in all their details and features.

This, brahmin, was the first knowledge attained by me,
in the first watch of that night,-
ignorance dispelled and knowledge won,
darkness dispelled and illumination won,
as befitted my strenuous and ardent life,
purged of self.

That same stedfast heart
I now applied to knowledge of the passage hence,
and re-appearance elsewhere,
of other beings.

With the Eye Celestial,
which is pure
and far surpasses the human eye,
I saw beings in the act of passing hence
and of re-appearing elsewhere, -
beings high and low,
fair or foul to view,
in bliss or woe;
I saw them all faring according to their past.

Here were beings given over to evil
in act, word and thought,
who decried the Noble
and had a wrong outlook
and became what results from such wrong outlook -
these, at the body's dissolution after death,
made their appearance in states of suffering,
misery
and tribulation
and in purgatory.

Here again were beings given to good
in act, word and thought,
who did not decry the Noble,
who had the right outlook
and became what results from right outlook; -
these, at the body's dissolution after death,
made their appearance in states of bliss in heaven.

All this did I see with the Eye Celestial;
and this, brahmin, was the second knowledge attained by me,
in the second watch of that night, -
ignorance dispelled and knowledge won,
darkness dispelled and illumination won,
as befitted my strenuous and ardent life,
purged of self.

That same stedfast heart
I next applied to knowledge of the eradication of Cankers.

I comprehended,
aright and to the full,
I11,
the origin of Ill,
the cessation of Ill,
and the course that leads to the cessation of Ill.

I comprehended,
aright and to the full,
what the Cankers were,
with their origin,
cessation,
and the course that leads to their cessation.

[86] When I knew this
and when I saw this,
then my heart was delivered
from the Canker of sensuous pleasure,
from the Canker of continuing existence,
and from the Canker of ignorance;
and to me thus delivered
came the knowledge of my Deliverance
in the conviction -
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.

This is the manner of ken and vision
whereby the bias of 'I' and 'mine'
has been extirpated in respect
both of this mind-informed body
and of all external phenomena.

Excellent, you will say to him, rejoicing
and thankful for what the Almsman has said;
and you will proceed to tell him
how good it is,
how very good it is,
[37] for you all to see in him
so signal an example of the higher life.

Thus spoke the Lord.

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


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