Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
I. Mūlapaṇṇāsa
3. Tatiya Vagga

Sutta 30

Cūla Sāropama Suttaɱ

The Shorter Discourse on the Simile of the Heartwood

Translated from the Pali by Sister Upalavanna

 


 

[1][chlm][pts][than] I heard thus.

At one time the Blessed One was living in the monastery offered by Anathapindika in Jeta's grove in Savatthi. Then the brahmin Pingālakoccha approached the Blessed One exchanged friendly greetings and sat on a side. Seated, the brahmin said to the Blessed One: Good Gotama, these recluses and brahmins, with followers and teachers of followers are famous ford makers They are the highly considered Purāna Kassapa, Makkhali Gosāla, Ajita Kesakambali, Pakudha Kaccayana, Saññjaya Belaṭṭhaputta and Niganṭha Nātaputta. Venerable sir, did they all realise their view completely or didn't they. Or is it that some realised and some did not realise? Brahmin, whether they all realised their view completely or did not realise their view completely, or some realised and some did not realise, leave it alone. I will teach it listen carefully and attentively. The brahmin Pingālakoccha agreed and the Blessed One said:

Brahmin, like a man wandering in search of heartwood, would come to a standing huge tree with heartwood and he would ignore, the heartwood, sapwood, bark and shoots and would cut the branches and leaves, and go away with it thinking it is the heartwood. A wise man seeing him would say, this good man does not know the heartwood, sapwood, bark, shoots, branches and leaves. He wandering in search of heartwood, come to a huge standing tree with heartwood ignoring the heartwood, sapwood, bark and shoots, has cut the branches and leaves and is carrying them away thinking it is heartwood. The purpose for which he sought heartwood will not be served.

Brahmin, like a man wandering in search of heartwood would come to a standing huge tree with heartwood. He would ignore, the heartwood, sapwood and bark and cutting the shoots would go away with it thinking it is the heartwood. A wise man seeing him would say, this good man does not know the heartwood, sapwood, bark, shoots, branches and leaves. He wandering in search of heartwood, come to a standing huge tree with heartwood ignoring the heartwood, sapwood and bark has cut the shoots and is carrying them away thinking it is heartwood the purpose for which he sought the heartwood will not be served.

Brahmin, like a man wandering in search of heartwood would come to a standing huge tree with heartwood. He would ignore the heartwood and sapwood, and cutting the bark would go away with it thinking it is heartwood. A wise man seeing him would say. This good man does not know the heartwood, sapwood, bark, shoots, branches and leaves. He wandering in search of heartwood, come to a standing huge tree with heartwood has ignored the heartwood and sapwood, has cut the bark and is carrying it away thinking it is the heartwood. The purpose for which he sought heartwood will not be served.

Brahmin, like a man wandering in search of heartwood would come to a standing huge tree with heartwood. He would ignore the heartwood and cutting the sapwood would go away with it thinking it is the heartwood. A wise man seeing him would say, this good man does not know the heartwood, sapwood, bark, shoots, branches and leaves. He wandering in search of heartwood, come to a standing huge tree with heartwood ignoring the heartwood has cut the sapwood and is carrying it away thinking it is the heartwood. The purpose for which he sought heartwood will not be served.

Brahmin, like a man wandering in search of heartwood would come to a standing huge tree with heartwood and he would cut the heartwood itself and go away with it knowing it is the heartwood. A wise man seeing him would say. This good man knows the heartwood, sapwood, bark, shoots, branches and leaves. He wandering in search of heartwood, come to a standing huge tree with heartwood has cut the heartwood and is carrying it away knowing it is the heartwood the purpose for which he sought heartwood will be served.

Brahmin, a certain person leaving his household would go forth as a homeless, out of faith thinking I am submerged in birth, decay, death, grief lament unpleasantness and distress. It is only a few that declare the complete ending of unpleasanatness. Gone forth thus, he is reborn in gain, honour and fame. Satisfied with it and his desires fulfilled, he would praise himself and disparages others. I am a gainer of hospitality, these other bhikkhus are impotent and not wise. He does not arouse interest or effort to realise something more exalted than gain, honour and fame and abides infatuated and lethargic.

Like a man wandering in search of heartwood would come to a standing huge tree with heartwood. He would ignore its heartwood, sapwood, bark and shoots, cutting the branches and leaves and would carry them away thinking it is the heartwood. For whatever purpose he needs the heartwood, to that purpose he would not come. Brahmin, I say, this person is comparable to that.

Brahmin, a certain person leaving his household would go forth as a homeless out of faith thinking I am submerged in birth, decay, death, grief lament unpleasantness and distress. It is only a few that declare the complete ending of unpleasanatness. Gone forth thus, he is reborn in gain, honour and fame. He neither satisfied with it nor his desires fulfilled, does not praise himself nor disparage others. He arouses interest and makes effort to realise something more exalted than gain, honour and fame. Not infatuated nor lethargic takes upon himself the endowment of virtues. Satisfied with it and his desires fulfilled praises himself and disparages others. I'm virtuous these other bhikkhus are with evil demerit. He does not arouse interest nor make effort to realise something more exalted than the endowment of virtues.

Like a man wandering in search of heartwood would come to a standing huge tree with heartwood. He would ignore its heartwood, sapwood and bark. Would cut the shoots and carry them away thinking it is the heartwood. For whatever purpose he needs the heartwood, to that he would not come. Brahmin, I say, this person is comparable to that.

Brahmin, a certain person leaving his household would go forth as a homeless out of faith. Thinking I am submerged in birth, decay, death, grief lament unpleasantness and distress. Would think, it's only a few that declare the complete ending of unpleasanatness. Gone forth thus, he is reborn in gain, honour and fame. Neither satisfied with it nor his desires fulfilled, does not praise himself nor disparage others He arouses interest and makes effort to realise something more exalted than gain, honour and fame. Not infatuated nor lethargic takes upon himself the endowment of virtues. Satisfied with it and his desires not fulfilled does not praise himself nor disparage others. He arouses interest and makes effort to realise something more exalted than the endowment of virtues and takes upon himself the endowment of concentration. Satisfied with it and his desires fulfilled with the endowment of concentration, praises himself and disparages others. I am concentrated with the mind in one point. These other bhikkhus are not concentrated, are distracted. He does not arouse interest or make effort to realise something more exalted than the endowment of concentration, and abides infatuated and lethargic. Like a man wandering in search of heartwood would come to a standing huge tree with heartwood. He ignoring its heartwood and sapwood would cut the bark and carry it away thinking it is the heartwood. For whatever purpose he needs the heartwood, to that purpose he would not come. Brahmin, I say, this person is comparable to that.

Brahmin, a certain person leaving the household would go forth as a homeless out of faith thinking I am submerged in birth, decay, death, grief lament unpleasantness and distress. Would think it's only a few that declare the complete ending of unpleasanatness. Gone forth thus, he is reborn in gain, honour and fame. Neither satisfied with it nor his desires fulfilled, does not praise himself nor disparage others Arouses interest makes effort to realise something more exalted than gain, honour and fame and not infatuated nor lethargic takes upon himself the endowment of virtues. Satisfied with it and his desires not fulfilled does not praise himself nor disparage others. Arouses interest and makes effort to realise something more exalted than the endowment of virtues. He takes upon himself the endowment of concentration. Satisfied with it and his desires not fulfilled with the endowment of concentration does not praise himself nor disparage others. Arouses interest and makes effort to realise something more exalted than the endowment of concentration. Not infatuated nor lethargic takes upon himself the endowment of knowledges and vision. Satisfied with it and desires not fulfilled does not praise himself nor disparage others. Arouses interest and makes effort to realise something more exalted than the endowment of knowledges and vision and abides not infatuated nor lethargic.

Brahmin, what thing is more noble and exalted than knowledges and vision. Here brahmin, the bhikkhu, secluded from sensual desires and secluded from demerit, with thoughts and thought processes and with joy and pleasantness born of seclusion attained to abides in the first jhāna. Brahmin, this thing is more noble and exalted than knowledges and vision

Again, brahmin, the bhikkhu overcoming thoughts and thought processes, the self internally appeased, the mind in one point, with joy and pleasantness born of concentration attained to abides in the second jhāna. Brahmin, this thing is more noble and exalted than knowledges and vision.

Again, brahmin, the bhikkhu with equanimity to joy and detachment abides mindful and aware, experiencing pleasantness with the body, attained to the third jhāna. The noble ones call this, abiding mindfully in pleasantness . with equanimity. This thing is more noble and exalted than knowledges and vision.

Again, brahmin, the bhikkhu dispelling pleasantness and unpleasantness, earlier having dispelled pleasure and displeasure, without unpleasantness and pleasantness and with mindfulness purified with equanimity, attained to abides in the fourth jhāna. Brahmin, this thing is more noble and exalted than knowledges and vision.

Again, brahmin, overcoming all perceptions of matter and all perceptions of anger not attending to various perceptions, with space is boundless attained to abides in the sphere of space. Brahmin, this too is more noble and exalted than knowledges and vision.

Again, brahmin, the bhikkhu overcoming all the sphere of space, with consciousness is boundless attained to abides in the sphere of consciousness. Brahmin, this too is more noble and exalted than knowledges and vision.

Again the bhikikhu overcoming all the sphere of consciousness, with there is no-thing attained to abides in the sphere of no-thingness. Brahmin, this too is more noble and exalted than knoweldges and vision.

Again the bhikkhu overcoming all the sphere of no-thingness attained to abides in the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception. Brahmin, this is more noble and exalted than knowledges and vision.

Again the bhikkhu overcoming all the sphere of neither-perception -nor non-perception attained to abides in the cessation of perceptions and feelings. Seeing this with wisdom, desires are also destroyed. Brahmin, this too is more noble and exalted than knowledges and vision.

Brahmin, like a man wandering in search of heartwood come to a huge standing tree with heartwood would cut the heartwood and would carry it away knowing it is the heartwood, for whatever purpose he sought that heartwood, to that purpose he would come. I say, this person is comparable to that.

Brahmin, this holy is led not for, gain honour and fame, not for endowment of virtues, not for endowment of concentration, and not for the endowment of knowledges and vision. Brahmin, it is for the unshakeable release of mind. This is the essence of the holy life, it is the heartwood and the end of the holy life.

When this was said the brahmin Pingālakocca said to the Blessed One, I understand good Gotama, it is as though, something overturned is reinstated something covered is made manifest. As though the path is told to someone who had lost his way . Or as lighting an oil lamp for those who have eyes to see forms in the dark. Thus good Gotama has explained the Teaching in many ways. Now I take refuge in good Gotāma, in the Teaching, and the Community of bhikkhus. May good Gotama bear me as a lay disciple who has taken refuge from today until life lasts.


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