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 141

Sacca-Vibhaŋga Suttaɱ

The Synopsis of Truth

 


[248] [296]

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

Once when the Lord was staying at Benares
in the Isipatana deerpark,
he addressed the Almsmen as follows: -

It was here in this very deerpark at Benares
that the Truth-finder,
arahat all-enlightened,
set a-rolling the supreme Wheel of the Doctrine -
which shall not be turned back from its onward course
by recluse or brahmin,
god or Māra or Brahmā
or by anyone in the universe, -
the announcement of the Four Noble Truths,
the teaching,
declaration
and establishment
of those Four Truths,
with their unfolding,
exposition and manifestation.

What are these four? -
The announcement,
teaching ... and manifestation
of the Noble Truth of Ill -
of the origin of Ill -
of the cessation of Ill -
of the path that leads to the cessation of Ill.

Follow, Almsmen,
Sāriputta and Moggallāna
and be guided by them;
they are wise helpers
unto their fellows in the higher life.

Like a mother is Sāriputta;
like a child's wet-nurse is Moggallāna. Sāriputta trains in the fruits of conversion;
Moggallāna trains in the highest good.

Sāriputta is able to announce,
teach ... and manifest the Four Noble Truths
in all their details.

Haying thus spoken,
the Blessed One arose and went into his own cell.

[249] The Lord had not been gone long
when the reverend Sāriputta
proceeded to the exposition of the Truth-finder's Four Noble Truths,
as follows: -

What, reverend sirs,
is the Noble Truth of Ill? -

Birth is an Ill;
decay is an Ill;
death is an Ill;
grief and lamentation,
pain,
misery and tribulation are Ills;
it is an Ill not to get what is desired; -
in brief all the factors of the fivefold grip on existence are Ills.

Birth is, for living creatures of each several class,
the being born or produced,
the issue,
the arising
or [297] the re-arising,
the appearance of the plastic forces,
the growth of faculties.

Decay, for living creatures of each several class,
is the decay and decaying,
loss of teeth,
grey hair,
wrinkles,
a dwindling term of life,
sere faculties.

Death, for living creatures of each several class,
is the passage and passing hence,
the dissolution,
disappearance,
dying,
death,
decease,
the dissolution of the plastic forces,
the discarding of the dead body.

Grief is the grief,
grieving and grievousness,
the inward grief and inward anguish
of anyone who suffers under some misfortune
or is in the grip of some type of Ill.

Lamentation is the lament and lamentation
[250] the wailing and the lamenting
of anyone who suffers under some misfortune
or is in the grip of some type of Ill.

Pain is any bodily Ill or bodily evil,
any Ill bred of bodily contact,
any evil feeling.

Misery is mental Ill and evil,
any evil feeling of the mind.

Tribulation is the tribulation of heart and mind,
the state to which tribulation brings them,
in anyone who suffers under some misfortune
or is in the grip of some type of Ill.

There remains not to get what is desired.

In creatures subject to birth -
or decay -
or death -
or grief and lamentation,
pain,
misery and tribulation -
the desire arises not to be subject thereto
but to escape them.

But escape is not to be won
merely by desiring it;
and failure to win it is another Ill.

What are in brief
all the factors of the fivefold grip on existence
which are Ills? -

They are:
The factors of form,
feeling,
perception,
plastic forces,
and consciousness.

The foregoing, sirs,
constitutes the Noble Truth of Ill.

What now is the Noble Truth of the Origin of Ill?

It is any craving
that makes for re-birth
and is tied up with passion's delights
and culls satisfaction now here now there; -
such as the craving for sensual pleasure,
the craving for continuing existence,
[251] and the craving for annihilation.

[298] Next, what is the Noble Truth of the Cessation of Ill? -

It is the utter and passionless cessation
of this same craving, -
the abandonment and rejection of craving,
Deliverance from craving,
and aversion from craving.

Lastly, what is the Noble Truth of the Path that leads to the Cessation of Ill? -

It is just the Noble Eightfold Path,
consisting of -
right outlook,
right resolves,
right speech,
right acts,
right livelihood,
right endeavour,
right mindfulness and
right rapture of concentration.

Right outlook is to know Ill,
the origin of III,
the cessation of Ill,
and the path that leads to the cessation of Ill.

Right resolves are
the resolve to renounce the world
and to do no hurt or harm.

Right speech is
to abstain from lies and slander,
from reviling,
and from tattle.

Right acts are
to abstain from taking life,
from stealing
and from lechery.

Right livelihood is
that by which the disciple of the Noble One supports himself,
to the exclusion of wrong modes of livelihood.

Right endeavour is
when an Almsman brings his will to bear,
puts forth endeavour and energy,
struggles and strives with all his heart,
to stop bad and wrong qualities
which have not yet arisen
from ever arising,
to renounce those which have already arisen,
to foster good qualities
which have not yet arisen,
[252],
and, finally, to establish,
clarify,
multiply,
enlarge,
develop,
and perfect those good qualities
which are there already.

Right mindfulness is
when realizing what the body is, -
what feelings are -
what the heart is -
and what the mental states are, -
an Almsman dwells ardent,
alert and mindful,
in freedom from the wants and discontents
attendant on any of these things.

Right rapture of concentration is
when, divested of lusts and divested of wrong dispositions,
an Almsman develops,
and dwells in,
the First Ecstasy
with all its zest and satisfaction,
a state bred of aloofness
and not [299] divorced from observation and reflection.

By laying to rest observation and reflection,
he develops and dwells in inward serenity,
in focussing of heart,
in the zest and satisfaction
of the Second Ecstasy,
which is divorced from observation and reflection
and is bred of concentration

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

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

This, sirs, constitutes the Noble Truth of the Path that leads to the Cessation of Ill.

Such, reverend sirs,
is the announcement ... and manifestation of the Four Noble Truths, -
the supreme Wheel of the Doctrine
set a-rolling in the deerpark at Benares by the Truth-finder,
arahat all-enlightened,
that Wheel which shall not be turned back from its onward course
by recluse or brahmin,
god,
Māra or Brahmā,
or by anyone in the whole universe.

Thus spoke the reverend Sāriputta.

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


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