Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
I. Mūlapaṇṇāsa
2. Sīhanāda Vagga

Sutta 14

Cūḷa Dukkhakkhandha Suttaɱ

The Minor Mass of Unpleasantness

Translated from the Pali by Sister Upalavanna

 


 

[1][chlm][pts][than][nttb] I heard thus:

At one time the Blessed One was living in Nigrodha's monastery in Kapilavatthu in the country of the Sakyas. Then the Sakya Mahānāma approached the Blessed One, worshipped, sat on a side, and said: 'I remember the Blessed One teaching some time ago that greed is a minor defilement of the mind, anger is a minor defilement of the mind, and delusion is a minor defilement of the mind. Venerable sir, I know this teaching well that greed, anger, and delusion are minor defilements of the mind, yet on some days greed takes hold of my mind and persists, anger takes hold of my mind and persists and delusion takes hold of my mind and persists. Then it occurs to me: 'Why are these things not dispelled from me internally, that on a day greed takes hold of me and persists, anger too takes hold of me and persists, and delusion too takes hold of me and persits?'

'Mahānāma, those things are not dispelled in you internally, so one day greed takes hold of your mind and persist, anger takes hold of your mind and persist, and delusion takes hold of your mind and persists.

'Mahānāma, if these things were dispelled in you internally, you would not live in a household and partake of sensuality.

'Mahānāma, by a noble disciple, with his right wisdom, it is clearly seen that sensuality has little satisfaction, much unpleasantness, much trouble and many dangers; and if he does not attain a joy and pleasantness away from sensual desires and away from demeritorious thoughts or something more appeasing than thatÞ until then he falls for sensuality. When the noble disciple sees as it really is, with right wisdom, there is little satisfaction in sensuality, much unpleasanness, much trouble and many dangers, he attains a joy and pleasantness away from sensual desires and away from demeritorious thoughts or something more appeasing than that. Then he falls no more for sensuality.'

'Mahānāama, I too, when a seeker of enlightenment, saw as it really is, with right wisdom, there is little satisfaction in sensuality, much unpleasantness, much trouble and many dangers; and when I did not attain a joy and pleasantness away from sensual desires and away from demeritorious thoughts or something more appeasing than that, I did not realize there is no fall for sensuality. When I saw as it really is, with right wisdom, there is little satisfaction in sensuality, much unpleasantness, much trouble and many danagers and attained a joy and pleasantness away from sensual desires and away from demeritorious thoughts or something more appeasing than that, I realized there is no fall for sensuality. Mahānāma, what is the satisfaction in sensuality?

'Fivefold are the strands of sensuality. What five? Exciting, agreeable, pleasant forms, arousing sensual desires, cognizable by eye consciousness. Exciting, agreeable, pleasant sounds, arousing sensual desires cognizable by ear consciousness. Exciting, agreeable, pleasant smells, arousing sensual desires cognizable by nose consciousness. Exciting, agreeable pleasant tastes, arousing sensual desires cognizable by tongue consciousness. Exciting agreeable pleasant touches, arousing sensual desires congizable by body consciousness Whatever pleasantness and pleasure arises on account of these five strands of sensuality, that is the satisfaction in sensuality.

'Mahānāma, what is the danger in sensuality? Whoever son of a clansman would have to make a living by some craft either handling money, or counting, or mathematics, or farming, or trading, or rearing cattle, or ruling the country, or serving the king, or doing any other craft would have to undergo cold and heat, the sting of gadflies and yellow flies, the heat of the air, the touch of creeping things, would have to bear hunger and thirst. This is the danger of sensuality here and now, the mass of unpleasantness owing to sensuality. This son of a clansman, strives and puts forth effort yet wealth would not accrue to him. He grieves and laments beats his breast and comes to bewilderment of mind. This son of a clansman strives and puts forth effort and wealth accrues to him, then he comes to unpleasantness and displeasure administrating ways and means to protect his wealth. 'What if the king carries away my wealth, or thieves run away with it, what if fire burns it, or it be carried away by water, or if unwelcome heirs carry it away?' Then his wealth is either carried away by the king or carried away by thieves, or burnt by fire, or carried away by water, or some unwelcome heirs would carry it away and he grieves and comes to much unpleasantness and displeasure. Mahānāma, this is the danger of sensuality here and now, the mass of unpleasantness owing to sensuality.

'Again, Mahānāma, kings dispute with kings, warriors with warriors, brahmins with brahmins, householders with householders, mother disputes with the son, the son with the mother, the father with the son, the son with the father, brother with brother, brother with sister, sister with brother, friend with friend, They dispute quarrel and approach each other with hands, clods, sticks, weapons, and even face death, or come to deadly unpleasantness. This is the danger of sensuality here and now, the mass of unpleasantness owing to sensuality.

'Again on account of sensuality the two parties, take swords and shields, bows and arrows, and other weapons and approach each other, throw slippery implements at each other, shoot arrows, swords flickering like lightening, boiling oil is sprinkled and each other is crushed with superior force, necks are cut and they face death or deathly unpleasantness. This too is the danger of sensuality here and now, the mass of unpleasantness owing to sensuality. .

'Again on account of sensuality, robbers break into houses, plunder, rob, stay in ambush, go to others' wives,. The king metes them punishment are caned and wipped, flogged with the jungle rope, flogged with the soiled stick, hands severed, legs severed, or both hands and legs severed, ears and nose severed, put in the boiling gruel pot, shell tonsured, put in Rāhu's mouth, garlanded with the blazing garland, hands are scorched, the bark dress is given, put with snakes, putting the flesh is hooked, pieces of flesh are cut from the body, a spike is driven from ear to ear, the body is made like straw beating, immersed in boiling oil, given to the dogs to be eaten, raised on a spike alive until death, and the neck is cut with the sword. This too is the danger of sensulaity here and now, the mass of unpleasantness owing to sensuality.

'Again, Mahānāma, on account of sensuality, misbehaving in body, in words and mentally, after death are born in loss, in decrease are born in hell. This is the danger of sensuality here after, the mass of unpleasantness.

'Mahānāma, at one time I lived in Rajagaha on vultures' peak at that time many Niganṭhas were standing errect, rejecting seats on the black rock on the Isigili side. They were feeling sharp rough unpleasant feelings. When I got up from my seclusion, I approached those Niganṭhas on the black rock on Isigili side and asked them, 'Friends, Niganṭhas, why do you stand errect rejecting seats and feel sharp rough unpleasant feelings?' When asked they said, 'Friend, Niganṭha Nāthaputta acknowledges remainderless knowledge and vision is all knowing and all seeing. He said, 'Walking or standing or lying or awake constantly my knowledge and vision is established. Niganṭhas, you have earlier done demerit, by this difficult performance finish them; when you are now restrained in body, words and mind, demerit is not done for the future, the earlier actions are with austerities destroyed. When new actions are not done, there are no tricklings for the future. When there are no tricklings for the future, there is destruction of action. With the destruction of action, there is the destruction of unpleasantness, with the destruction of unpleasantness there is the destruction of feelings. With the destruction of feelings all unpleasantness finishes.' We like this teaching and it appeals to us'.

'Then I asked the Niganṭhas, 'Niganṭhas, do you know, 'We were in the past or we were not in the past'?' 'No, friend' 'Niganṭhas, do you know, 'We did not do demerit in the past nor did we do demerit in the past'?' 'No friend.' 'Do you know, we did not do this demerit and this demerit'?' 'No, friend.' 'Niganṭhas, do you know, 'This much unpleasantness is finished, this much unpleasantness has to be finished, or when this much unpleasantness is finished all unpleasantness will finish'?' 'No, friend.' 'Niganṭhas, do you know the dispelling of demeritorious actions here and now, and the accumulation of meritorious actions?' "No, friend.' 'So then, friend Niganṭhas, you do not know, 'We were in the past, not we were not in the past'. You do not know 'We did not do demerit in the past, not we did not do demerit in the past'. You do not know, 'We did not do this demerit and this demerit'. You do not know, 'This much unpleasantness is finished, this much unpleasantness has to be finished, or when this unpleasantness is finished, or all unpleasantness will finish'. You do not know the dispelling of demeritorious actions here and now, and the accumulation of meritorious actions. When this is so, friend Niganṭhas, those bloody-handed with fierce actions born among humans go forth as Niganṭhas.' 'Friend Gotama, from pleasantness, pleasantaness could not be attained; from unpleasantness, pleasantness could be attained. If pleasantness could be attained from pleasantness, king Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha would attain more pleasantness than venerable Gotama.'

'Indeed the Niganṭhas have spoken unreflective words, 'From pleasantness, pleasantness could not be attained, from unpleasantness, pleasantness could be attained. If pleasantness could be attained from pleasantness, king Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha would attain more pleasanātness than venerable Gotama.' This question should have been asked from me, 'Who has a more pleasant abiding, king Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha or venerable Gotama?' 'Indeed Gotama, we have said those words unreflectively. Now we ask venerable Gotama this question: 'Of the two venerable ones who has a more pleasant abiding, king Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha or Gotama?'' 'Then Niganṭhas, I will cross-question you on this; as it pleases, you may reply. Can king Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha abide in only pleasantness for seven nights and days without moving the body and without uttering a word?' 'Friend, it is not possible.' 'Can king Ssniya Bimbisāra of Magadha abide in only pleasantness for six nights and days ... five nights and days ... four nights and days ... three nights and days ... two nights and days ... one night and day without moving the body and without uttering a word?' 'Friend, it is not possible.' 'Friend, I can abide in only pleasantness for one night and day ... two nights and days ... three ... four ... five ... six ... seven nights and seven days without moving the body and without uttering a word. Niganṭhas, when this is so, who has a more pleasant abiding, king Seniya Bimbisāra or I?' 'When this is so, venerable Gotama has a more pleasant abiding than king Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha'.'

The Blessed One said thus and the Sakya Mahānāma delighted in the words of the Blessed One.


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