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 117

Mahā Cattārīsaka Suttaɱ

Right Views Rank First

 


[71] [194]

[1][pts][than][ntbb] [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, saying:

I will expound to you Noble Right Concentration,
with the means thereto
and with its concomitants.

Listen and pay attention
and I will speak.

Then to the attentive Almsmen
the Lord thus began: -

What is Noble Right Concentration,
with the means thereto
and its concomitants? -

It means the focussing of the heart
with a sevenfold equipment
of Right Views,
Right Thoughts,
Right Speech,
Right Action,
Right Occupation,
Right Effort
and Right Mindfulness.|| ||

First and foremost come Right Views,
which consist in a man's conviction
that such and such views are wrong,
and that such and such views are right.

Now what are wrong views? -

They are views that -
there is no such thing
as alms
or sacrifice
or oblations;
that there is no such thing
as the fruit and harvest
of deeds good and bad;
that there are no such things
as this world or the next;
that there are no such things
as either parents
or a spontaneous generation elsewhere;
[72] that there are no such things
as recluses and brahmins
who tread the right path
and walk aright,
who have,
of and by themselves,
comprehended and realized this
and other worlds
and make it all known to others.|| ||

What are right views? -|| ||

They are twofold, say I.

On the one hand there are right views
which are, however, accompanied by Cankers,
are mixed up with good works,
and lead to attachments.

On the other hand
there are Right Views which are Noble,
freed from Cankers,
transcending mundane things,
and included in the Path.

Those right views
which are accompanied by Cankers,
are mixed up with good works,
and lead to attachments,
recognize that there are such things
as alms and sacrifice and oblations;
that there is indeed such a thing
as the fruit and harvest
of deeds good and bad;
that there are really such things
as this world and the next;
that there are really such things
as parents
and spontaneous generation elsewhere;
and that there are really such things
as recluses and brahmins who tread the right path
and walk aright,
who have,
of and by themselves,
comprehended and realized
this and other worlds
and make it all known to others.|| ||

On the other hand,
the Noble Right Views which are of the Path -
embracing comprehension,
the faculty of comprehension,
the might of comprehension,
the factor of enlightenment
which comes from a critical study of the Doctrine,
in the man whose heart is noble
and free of Cankers,
who is of the Noble Path
and who is imbued with it
and has developed it within him -
these Right Views are styled
Right Views that are Noble,
freed from Cankers,
transcending mundane things
and included in the Path.

Right Effort is his
whose aim is to eschew wrong views
and to foster right views.

Right Mindfulness is his
as, in mindfulness,
he eschews wrong views
and fosters right views. -

These three qualities of right views,
right effort
and right mindfulness
revolve round Right Views
and move them on and on.

[196] In thought too
Right Views come first,
with their conviction
that such and such a thought is wrong
and that such and such a thought is right.

[73] Now, what are wrong thoughts? -

They are lustful thoughts,
spiteful thoughts
and cruel thoughts.

What are right thoughts? -

They too are twofold, say I.

On the one hand,
there are right thoughts
which are, however, accompanied by Cankers,
are mixed up with good works,
and lead to attachments.

On the other hand,
there are Right Thoughts,
which are Noble,
freed from Cankers,
transcending mundane things,
and included in the Path.

Those right thoughts
which are accompanied by Cankers,
are mixed up with good works
and tend to attachments,
include thoughts of Renunciation,
thoughts void of spite
and thoughts void of cruelty.

On the other hand,
Noble Right Thoughts
which are of the Path -
embracing reason and reasoning;
thought with its conceivings and conceptions,
application of the mind
and utterance of speech,
in the man whose heart is noble
and free of Cankers,
who is of the Noble Path
and who is imbued with it
and has developed it within him -,
these Right Thoughts are styled
Right Thoughts that are Noble,
freed from Cankers,
transcending mundane things
and included in the Path.

To him whose aim is to eschew wrong thoughts
and to foster right thoughts, -
unto him comes Right Effort.

As in mindfulness he eschews wrong thoughts
and fosters right thoughts,
unto him comes Right Mindfulness. -

These three qualities
of right views,
right effort
and right mindfulness
revolve round Right Thoughts
and move them on and on.

In speech too
Right Views come first,
with their conviction
that such and such speech is wrong
and that such and such speech is right.

Now, what is wrong speech? -

It is lying,
a spiteful tongue,
a savage tongue,
and chatter.

What is right speech? -

It too is twofold, say I.

On the one hand,
there is right speech
which is, however, accompanied by Cankers,
is mixed up with good works,
[197] and leads to attachments.

[74] On the other hand,
there is Right Speech which is Noble,
freed from Cankers,
transcending mundane things
and included in the Path.

That right speech
which is accompanied by Cankers,
is mixed up with good works,
and leads to attachments,
includes avoidance
of lying,
of spiteful words,
of savage words
and of chatter.

On the other hand,
Noble Right Speech which is of the Path -
embracing abstinence
and abstention
and abstaining
and avoidance
in the matter of the four forms
of misconduct of speech,
on the part of the man
whose heart is noble and free of Cankers,
who is of the Noble Path
and who is imbued with it
and has developed it within him -
this Right Speech is styled
Right Speech that is Noble,
freed from Cankers,
transcending mundane things
and included in the Path.

Right Effort is his
whose aim is to eschew wrong speech
and to foster right speech.

Right Mindfulness is his
as in mindfulness
he eschews wrong speech
and fosters right speech. -

These three qualities
of right views,
right effort
and right mindfulness
revolve round Right Speech
and move it on and on.

In deeds too
Right Views come first,
with their conviction
that such and such an action is wrong
and that such and such an action is right.

Now, what is a wrong action? -

It is taking life,
not giving alms,
sensuality.

What is a right action? -

It is twofold, say I.

On the one hand,
there is right action
which is, however, accompanied by Cankers,
is mixed up with good works,
and leads to attachments.

On the other hand,
there is Right Action which is Noble,
freed from Cankers,
transcending mundane things
and included in the Path.

That right action
which is accompanied by Cankers,
is mixed up with good works,
and leads to attachments,
includes abstaining from taking life,
giving alms,
abstaining from sensuality.

On the other hand,
Noble Right Action which is of the Path -
embracing abstinence
and abstention
and abstaining
and avoidance
in the matter of the three forms
of misconduct of action,
on the part of the man
whose heart is noble and free of Cankers,
who is of the Noble Path
and who is imbued with it
and has developed it within him -
this Right Action is styled
Right Action that is Noble,
freed from Cankers,
transcending mundane things
and included in the Path.

Right Effort is his
whose aim is to eschew wrong action
and to foster right action.

Right Mindfulness is his
as in mindfulness
he eschews wrong action
and fosters right action. -

These three qualities
of right views,
right effort
and right mindfulness
[75] revolve round Right Action
and move it on and on.

In livelihoods too
Right Views come first,
with their conviction
that such an occupation is wrong
and that such and such an occupation is right.

Now, what is a wrong occupation? -

It is cozening
and cajoling people,
playing on their dispositions
and bamboozling them,
it is insatiate greed.

What is a right occupation? -

It is twofold, say I.

On the one hand,
there is right occupation
which is, however, accompanied by Cankers,
is mixed up with good works,
and leads to attachments.

On the other hand,
there is Right Occupation which is Noble,
freed from Cankers,
transcending mundane things
and included in the Path.

That right occupation
which is accompanied by Cankers,
is mixed up with good works,
and leads to attachments,
includes abstaining from cozening
and cajoling people,
playing on their dispositions
and bamboozling them,
it is without insatiate greed.

On the other hand,
Noble Right Occupation which is of the Path -
embracing abstinence
and abstention
and abstaining
and avoidance
in the matter of the five forms
of misconduct of occupation,
on the part of the man
whose heart is noble and free of Cankers,
who is of the Noble Path
and who is imbued with it
and has developed it within him -
this Right Occupation is styled
Right Occupation that is Noble,
freed from Cankers,
transcending mundane things
and included in the Path.

Right Effort is his
whose aim is to eschew wrong occupation
and to foster right occupation.

Right Mindfulness is his
as in mindfulness
he eschews wrong occupation
and fosters right occupation. -

These three qualities
of right views,
right effort
and right mindfulness
revolve round Right Occupation
and move it on and on.

Right Views come first.

[76] If a. man has really [198] Right Views,
Right Thoughts are operative;
if he has really Right Thoughts,
Right Speech is operative;
if he has really Right Speech,
Right Action is operative;
if he has really Right Action,
Right Occupation is operative;
if he has really Right Occupation,
Right Mindfulness is operative;
if he has really Right Mindfulness,
Right Concentration is operative;
if he has really Right Concentration,
Right Knowledge is operative;
and if he has really Right Knowledge,
then Right Deliverance is effectual.

Thus the Almsman under training
has eight stages to go
and the arahat ten.

Right Views come first.

If a man has really Right Views,
for him wrong views are ended;
ended too for him
are the hosts of bad and wrong dispositions
which grow up in the train of wrong views,
while, as the train of right views,
hosts of right dispositions
march on to perfected development.

If a man has really Right Thoughts,
for him wrong thoughts are ended;
ended too for him
are the hosts of bad and wrong dispositions
which grow up as the train of wrong thoughts,
while hosts of right dispositions
march on to perfected development.

If a man has really Right Speech -
Right Action -
Right Occupation -
[77] Right Effort -
Right Mindfulness -
Right Concentration -
Right Knowledge -
Right Deliverance -
for him in each case the converse is ended;
ended too for him
are the hosts of bad and wrong dispositions
which respectively grow up
as the train of that converse,
while hosts of right dispositions
march on to perfected development.

Thus, if we add its train
to each of the preceding tens
there are a score arrayed for the right
and a score for the wrong;
and so there has been set afoot
the Exposition of the Great Forty,
which could never be set afoot
by any recluse or brahmin,
by any god or Māra or Brahmā,
or in any universe whatsoever.

If any recluse or brahmin
thinks this Exposition of the Great Forty
matter for contumely and scorn,
the result to him is that,
here and now,
he relegates to the [199] sphere of the erroneous
ten utterances,
major and minor,
of the Doctrine. -

If the good man rejects Right Views,
he reveres and extols
the recluses and brahmins with wrong views.

If he rejects Right Thoughts,
[78] he reveres and extols
the recluses and brahmins with wrong thoughts.

And the same holds good for right and wrong
speech,
action,
occupation,
effort,
mindfulness,
concentration,
Knowledge
and Deliverance.

Such is the result to him.

Not so the men of Ukkala,
Vassa and Bhañña.

Albeit these two believed
in neither cause nor consequence
and were nihilists,
they would not regard with contumely and scorn
the Exposition of the Great Forty.

And why not? -

Through their fear of blame,
reproach and censure.

Thus spoke the Lord.

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


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