Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
III. Upari-Paṇṇāsa
4. Vibhaŋga 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 138

Uddesa-Vibhaŋga Suttaɱ

A Summary Expanded

 


[223] [283]

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

Once when the Lord was staying at Sāvatthī in Jeta's grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's pleasaunce,
he announced to the Almsmen that he would expound to them a summary and exposition,
and thus began: -

An Almsman's thinking should always be so conducted
that, as he thinks,
his mind may not either be
externally diffused and dissipated
or be internally set,
and that through non-dependence
he may be imperturbed,
so that, with his mind thus secure,
birth, old-age and death
and the arising of all Ill
do not happen.

Having said this,
the Lord rose and withdrew to his cell.

He had not been gone long
when the Almsmen reflected that
the Lord had left them with this terse summary
without giving them the detailed exposition.

Wondering who would furnish the detailed exposition,
they decided [224] to go to the reverend Mahā-Kaccāna
and he ... (as in Sutta No. 133) ... [225] at last consented,
telling them that he took the detailed meaning
of the Lord's pregnant utterance to be as follows: -

The mind is said to be
externally diffused and dissipated
if, when his eye sees a form,
an Almsman's mind pursues the phenomena of form
with avid greed and passion for such phenomena.

And the same applies to things heard,
odours and savours, things touched and mental objects.

The mind that escapes being externally diffused and dissipated
on any such phenomena as aforesaid
is said to be undiflused and undissipated.

[284] [226] When, divested of lusts and of wrong dispositions,
the Almsman develops and dwells in the First Ecstasy
and all its zest and satisfaction,
a state bred of aloofness
but not divorced from observation and reflection,
then his mind,
pursuing the zest and satisfaction of such aloofness
with avid greed and passion,
is said to be set internally.

When, by shedding observation and reflection,
he develops and dwells in the Second Ecstasy
with all its zest and satisfaction, -
in that inward tranquillity and focussing of heart,
beyond observation and reflection,
which is bred of rapt concentration, -
then his mind,
pursuing rapt concentration's zest and satisfaction
with avid greed and passion therefor,
is said to be set internally.

When, losing all passion for zest,
he develops and dwells in the Third Ecstasy
in poised indifference,
mindful and alive to everything,
feeling in his frame
that ease which the Noble Ones mean when they say:
He that has poise and mindfulness lives at ease, -
then his mind,
pursuing with avid greed and passion
the heart's ease engendered by poise,
is said to be set internally.

Lastly, when, by discarding ease and un-ease
and by the disappearance of pleasant and unpleasant emotions,
the Almsman both develops and dwells in the Fourth Ecstasy
in perfect poise and mindfulness,-
then his mind,
pursuing poised indifference
with avid greed and passion,
is said to be set internally.

[227] The mind is said to be internally unset,
when, in each of the four successive Ecstasies,
there is no such pursuit
with avid greed and passion.

Next, what, sirs, is non-dependent perturbation? -

Take the case of an uninstructed average man -
who has no vision of the Noble
and is unversed and untrained in their Doctrine,
who has no vision of the Excellent
and is unversed and untrained in their Doctrine,
and consequently regards
form as Self,
or Self as having form,
or form as in Self,
or Self as in form.

The form alters and changes;
its alteration and change
engage his consciousness;
and from his mind being engaged
with the alteration and change
there [285] are bred perturbations and growths
of states of consciousness
which take possession of his heart,
so that he becomes frightened and upset,
and loth to be cut adrift,
and suffers perturbation
through losing the old dependence.

What applies to form
applies equally to feelings - [228] to perception -
to the plastic forces -
and to consciousness. -

This is how there arises non-dependent perturbation.

What is non-dependent non-perturbation? -

Take the case of an instructed disciple of the Noble
who has vision of the Noble
and is versed and trained in their Doctrine,
who has vision of the Excellent
and is versed and trained in their Doctrine; -
he does not regard
form as Self,
or Self as having form,
or form as in Self,
or Self as in form.

The form alters and changes;
its alteration and change
do not engage his consciousness;
and no perturbations or growths
of (wrong) dispositions
to take possession of his heart
are bred from his mind being engaged
with the alteration and change of the form;
and in consequence he does not become frightened or upset
or loth to be cut adrift;
he suffers no perturbations
through losing dependence.

What applies to form
applies equally to feelings -
to perception -
to the constituents
and to consciousness. -

This is how non-dependent non-perturbation comes about.

This, sirs, is what I take to be
the detailed meaning of the Lord's pregnant utterance.

[229] Should you so desire, however,
your reverences can go to the Lord himself and ask him,
treasuring up what he reveals.

After expressing their delight and thanks
to the venerable Mahā-Kaccāna,
those Almsmen went off to the Lord,
to whom they related what had passed
since he had left them with his pregnant utterance,
and to whom they repeated,
word for word and syllable for syllable,
the way in which Mahā-Kaccāna had expounded its meaning.

Learned, Almsmen, is Mahā-Kaccāna;
full of lore is he.

Had you asked me myself the meaning,
I should have explained it exactly as he has.

This is the meaning
and you should treasure it up accordingly.

[286] Thus spoke the Lord.

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


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