Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
III. Upari Paṇṇāsa
1. Devadaha Vagga

Sutta 107

Gaṇaka-Moggallāna Suttaɱ

Gaṇaka-Moggallāna

Translated from the Pali
by
Venerable Mahathera Madawela Punnaji

© Madawela Punnaji
Used with permission.

 


 

[1][chlm][pts][upal] Thus have I heard:

1. Once the Blessed One was sojourning at Savatthi in the eastern park, of the mansion of Migara's mother.

Then the Brahmin Ganaka Moggallana visited the Blessed One and exchanged greetings with him.

Having done so, he sat on a side before him and asked the Blessed One:

2. "Master Gotama, in this mansion of Migara's Mother there can be seen a gradual path, a gradual stepping, and a gradual progress, down to the last step of the staircase.

Among these Brahmins too there can be seen a gradual path, gradual practice, and gradual progress, in our studies.

Among archers too there can be seen a similar gradual training.

Also among accountants like us, who earn our living by accountancy, there is to be seen a gradual training in computation.

When we get an apprentice, we first teach him how to count.

Is it also possible, master Gotama, to describe a gradual path of training in this Dhamma and Discipline?"

3. "It is possible, Brahmin, to describe a gradual training, a gradual practice, and a gradual progress in this Dhamma and Discipline. … When the Tathagata obtains a person to be tamed he first disciplines him thus:

(1) 'Come, bhikkhu, be virtuous, resort, restrained with the restraint of the Patimokkha.

Be perfect in conduct, seeing fear in the slightest fault; meticulously undertake the training.

4."When, Brahmin, the bhikkhu is virtuous ... seeing fear in the slightest fault, meticulously undertakes the training, then the Tathagata disciplines him further:

'Come bhikkhu, (2) guard your senses.

On seeing an object with the eye, do not reflect on its features or anything associated with it.

If you leave your senses unguarded, evil unwholesome states of covetousness and grief might invade you.

So practice restraint, guard the eye faculty.

Undertake the restraint of the eye faculty. On hearing a sound with the ear ...

On smelling an odor with the nose ...

On tasting a flavor with the tongue ...

On touching a tangible with the body ...

On forming a concept in the mind, do not grasp its contents or any associations.

Since, if you were to leave the mind faculty unguarded, evil unwholesome states might invade you.

Follow the way of restraint.

Guard the mind faculty.

Undertake the restraint of the mind faculty.'

5."When, Brahmin, the bhikkhu guards the doors of his sense faculties, then the Tathagata disciplines him further:

'Come, bhikkhu, (3) be moderate in eating.

Reflecting wisely, you should take food neither for amusement, nor for intoxication, nor for the sake of physical beauty and attractiveness, but only for the endurance and continuance of this body, for ending discomfort, and for assisting the holy life, considering:

'Thus I shall terminate old feelings without arising new feelings, and I shall be healthy and blameless, and shall live in comfort.''

6. "When, Brahmin, the bhikkhu is moderate in eating, then the Tathagata disciplines him further:

'Come bhikkhu, (4) be devoted to wakefulness.

During the day, while walking back and forth and sitting, purify your mind of obstructive states.

In the first watch of the night, while walking back and forth and sitting, purify your mind of obstructive states.

In the middle watch of the night you should lie down on the right side in the lion's pose with one foot overlapping the other, mindful and fully aware, after noting in your mind the time for rising.

After rising, in the third watch of the night, while walking back and forth and sitting, purify your mind of obstructive states.'

7. "When, Brahmin, the bhikkhu is devoted to wakefulness, then the Tathagata disciplines him further:

'Come bhikkhu, (5) be possessed of introverted attention (sati) and observant (sampajañña).

Be introspective when going forward and returning; be introspective when looking ahead and looking away; be introspective when flexing and extending your limbs; be introspective when wearing your robes and carrying your outer robe and bowl; be introspective when eating, drinking, consuming food, and tasting; be introspective when defecating and urinating; be introspective when walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking up, talking, and keeping silent.

8. "When, Brahmin, the bhikkhu posses, introverted attention (sati) and introspection (sampajañña), then the Tathāgata disciplines him further:

'Come bhikkhu, (6) resort to a secluded resting place: the forest, the root of a tree, a mountain, a ravine, a hillside cave, a charnel ground, a jungle thicket, an open space, a heap of straw."

9. "He resorts to a secluded resting place: a forest, or empty hut, or root of a tree, a heap of straw.

On returning from his alms-round, after his meal he sits down, folding his legs crosswise, setting his body erect, withdrawing his attention from the surroundings and establishing attention within.

Abandoning lust for the world, he abides with a mind free from lust; he purifies his mind from lust.

Abandoning ill will and hatred, he abides with a mind free from ill will, compassionate for the welfare of all living beings; he purifies his mind from ill will and hatred.

Abandoning laziness and sleepiness, he abides free from sloth and torpor, percipient of light, with introverted attention and introspective, he purifies his mind from sloth and torpor.

Abandoning anxiety and worry, he abides undisturbed with a mind inwardly peaceful; he purifies his mind from worry and anxiety.

Abandoning mental confusion, he abides free from confusion, free from perplexity about wholesome states; he purifies his mind from confusion.

10. "Having thus abandoned these five hindrances, emotions that distort thinking, withdrawn from sensual pleasures, withdrawn from unwholesome thoughts, accompanied by inquiry and inference, with rapture and comfort born of relinquishment he enters upon and abides in the first ecstasy (jhana).

With the stilling of inquiry and inference, being internally purified with tranquil temper, he enters upon and abides in the second ecstasy (jhana), which is free from inquiry and inference, but with rapture and comfort born of tranquility (samadhi).

Then having relinquished rapture, he abides introspective, with attention introverted and observant, experiencing comfort in the body, thus entering the third ecstasy (jhana), about which the Supernormal-Ones proclaim: 'the introspective introvert lives in comfort.'

Having abandoned both comfort and discomfort, and with the previous disappearance of joy and grief, free from pleasure and pain, being purified by introspection and introverted attention, he enters the fourth ecstasy (jhana).

11. "This is my instruction, Brahmin, to those bhikkhus who are in the higher training, whose minds have not yet attained the goal, who abide aspiring to the supreme security from bondage.

But these things conduce both to a pleasant abiding here and now, and to introverted attention and observation for those bhikkhus who want to be Arahats with taints destroyed, who have lived the holy life, done what had to be done, laid down the burden, reached their special goal, destroyed the fetters of being, and are completely liberated through Super knowledge.''

12. When this was said, the Brahmin Ganaka Moggallana asked the Blessed One:

"When Master Gotama's disciples are thus advised and instructed by him, do they all attain Nibbāna, the ultimate goal, or do some not attain it?''

["Some of my disciples, Brahman, on being advised and instructed thus by me, attain Nibbāna, the ultimate goal; some do not attain it."] [missing]

13. "Master Gotama, since Nibbāna exist and the path leading to Nibbāna exist and Master Gotama is present as the guide, what is the cause and reason why, when Master Gotama's disciples are thus advised and instructed by him, some of them attain Nibbāna, the ultimate goal, and some do not attain it?''

14. "As to that, Brahmin, I will ask you a question in return.

Answer it as you choose.

What do you think, Brahmin? Are you familiar with the road leading to Rajagaha?''

"Yes, Master Gotama, I am familiar with the road leading to Rajagaha.''

"What do you think, Brahmin? Suppose a man who wanted to go to Rajagaha approached you and said:

'Dear sir, I want to go to Rajagaha.
Show me the road to Rajagaha.'

Then you told him:

'Good man, this is the road that goes to Rajagaha.
Follow it for awhile and you will see a certain village, go a little further and you will see a certain town, go a little further and you will see Rajagaha with its lovely parks, groves, meadows, and ponds.'

Then, having been thus advised and instructed by you, he would take a wrong road and would go to the west.

Then suppose a second man came, who wanted to go to Rajagaha, and he approached you and said:

'Dear sir, I want to go to Rajagaha.
Show me the road to Rajagaha.'

Then you told him the way similarly.

Then, having been thus advised and instructed by you, he would arrive safely in Rajagaha.

Now, Brahmin, since Rajagaha exists and the path leading to Rajagaha exists and you are present as the guide, what is the cause and reason why, when those men have been advised and instructed by you, one man takes a wrong road and goes to the west, and one arrives safely in Rajagaha?''

"What can I do about that, Master Gotama?
I am only one who shows the way.''

"So too, Brahmin, Nibbāna exists, and the path leading to Nibbāna exists, and I am present as the guide, yet, when my disciples have been thus advised and instructed by me, some of them attain Nibbāna, the ultimate goal, and some do not attain it.

What can I do about that, Brahmin?

The Tathāgata is only one who shows the way.''

15. "When this was said, the Brahmin Ganaka Moggallana said to the Blessed One.

"There are persons who are faithless, and have gone forth from the home life into homelessness not out of faith, but seeking a livelihood, who are fraudulent, deceitful, treacherous, haughty, hollow, personally vain, rough-tongued, loose-spoken, unguarded in their sense faculties, immoderate in eating, not devoted to wakefulness, unconcerned with hermit life, not greatly respectful of training, luxurious, careless, leaders in backsliding, neglectful of seclusion, lazy, wanting in energy, unmindful, not fully aware, not calm, with straying minds, devoid of wisdom, drivellers.

Master Gotama does not dwell together with these.

"But there are clansmen who have gone forth out of faith from the home life into homelessness, who are not fraudulent, deceitful, treacherous, haughty, hollow, personally vain, rough-tongued, and loose-spoken; who are guarded in their sense faculties, moderate in eating, devoted to wakefulness, concerned with hermit life, greatly respectful of training, not luxurious or careless, who are keen to avoid backsliding, leaders in seclusion, energetic, resolute, established in introspection and reflection, calm, with unified minds, possessing wisdom, not drivellers, Master Gotama dwells together with these.

16. "Just as black orrisroot is reckoned as the best of root perfumes, and red sandalwood is reckoned as the best of wood perfumes, and jasmine is reckoned as the best of flower perfumes, so too, Master Gotama's advice is supreme among the teachings of the world.

17. "Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent, Master Gotama! Master Gotama has made the Dhamma clear in many ways, as though we were turning upright what had been overturned, revealing what was hidden, showing the way to one who was lost, or holding up a lamp in the dark for those with eyesight to see.

I go to Master Gotama for refuge and to the Dhamma and to the Sangha.

Let Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has taken refuge for life.''


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