(Original translation by Venerable Ñāṇamoli Thera from the manuscript of the Island Hermitage.) 1. Thus I heard: On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Ukkaṭṭhā at the root of a King Sāla Tree in the Subhaga grove. There he addressed the bhikkhus thus "Bhikkhus" "Venerable Sir" they replied. The Blessed One said this: 2. "Bhikkhus, I shall expound to you a discourse on the root of all ideas; Listen and attend closely to what I shall say." – "Yes, venerable sir" they replied. The Blessed One said this. THE ORDINARY MAN 3. " Here, bhikkhus, an untaught ordinary man who has no regard for Noble Ones and is unconversant with their True Idea and undisciplined in it, who has no regard for True Man and is unconversant with their True Idea and undisciplined in it: 4. From earth he has a percept of earth; having had from earth a percept of earth, he conceives (that to be) earth, he conceives (that to be) in earth, he conceives (that to be apart) from earth, he conceives earth to be 'Mine', he relishes earth. Why is that? He has not fully diagnosed it, I say. 5. From water he has a percept of water; having had from water a percept of water, he conceives (that to be) water, he conceives (that to be) in water, he conceives (that to be apart) from water, he conceives water to be 'Mine', he relishes water. Why is that? He has not fully diagnosed it, I say. 6. From fire he has a percept of fire; having had from fire a percept of fire, he conceives (that to be) fire, he conceives (that to be) in fire, he conceives (that to be apart) from fire, he conceives fire to be 'Mine', he relishes fire. Why is that? He has not fully diagnosed it, I say. 7. From air he has a percept of air; having had from air a percept of air, he conceives (that to be) air, he conceives (that to be) in air, he conceives (that to be apart) from air, he conceives air to be 'Mine', he relishes air. Why is that? He has not fully diagnosed it, I say. 8. From beings he has a percept of beings; having had from beings a percept of beings, he conceives (that to be) beings, he conceives (that to be) in beings, he conceives (that to be apart) from beings, he conceives beings to be 'Mine', he relishes beings. Why is that? He has not fully diagnosed it, I say. 9. From gods he has a percept of gods; having had from gods a percept of gods, he conceives (that to be) gods, he conceives (that to be) in gods, he conceives (that to be apart) from gods, he conceives gods to be 'Mine', he relishes gods. Why is that? He has not fully diagnosed it, I say. 10. From the Lord of the Race (Pajāpati) air he has a percept of the Lord of the Race; having had from the Lord of the Race a percept of the Lord of the Race, he conceives (that to be) the Lord of the Race, he conceives (that to be) in the Lord of the Race, he conceives (that to be apart) from the Lord of the Race, he conceives the Lord of the Race to be 'Mine', he relishes the Lord of the Race. Why is that? He has not fully diagnosed it, I say. 11. From the Divinity (Brahmā) air he has a percept of the Divinity; having had from the Divinity a percept of the Divinity, he conceives (that to be) the Divinity, he conceives (that to be) in the Divinity, he conceives (that to be apart) from the Divinity, he conceives the Divinity to be 'Mine', he relishes the Divinity. Why is that? He has not fully diagnosed it, I say. 12. From those of Streaming Radiance (Abhassarā) he has a percept of those of Streaming Radiance; having had from those of Streaming Radiance a percept of those of Streaming Radiance, he conceives (that to be) those of Streaming Radiance, he conceives (that to be) in those of Streaming Radiance, he conceives (that to be apart) from those of Streaming Radiance, he conceives those of Streaming Radiance to be 'Mine', he relishes those of Streaming Radiance. Why is that? He has not fully diagnosed it, I say. 13. From those of Refulgent Glory (Subhakiṇha) he has a percept of those of Refulgent Glory; having had from those of Refulgent Glory a percept of those of Refulgent Glory, he conceives (that to be) those of Refulgent Glory, he conceives (that to be) in those of Refulgent Glory, he conceives (that to be apart) from those of Refulgent Glory, he conceives those of Refulgent Glory to be 'Mine', he relishes those of Refulgent Glory. Why is that? He has not fully diagnosed it, I say. 14. From those of Great Fruit (Vehapphala) he has a percept of those of Great Fruit; having had from those of Great Fruit a percept of those of Great Fruit, he conceives (that to be) those of Great Fruit, he conceives (that to be) in those of Great Fruit, he conceives (that to be apart) from those of Great Fruit, he conceives those of Great Fruit to be 'Mine', he relishes those of Great Fruit. Why is that? He has not fully diagnosed it, I say. 15. From the Transcendent Beings (Abhibhū) he has a percept of the Transcendent Beings; having had from the Transcendent Beings a percept of the Transcendent Beings, he conceives (that to be) the Transcendent Beings, he conceives (that to be) in the Transcendent Beings, he conceives (that to be apart) from the Transcendent Beings, he conceives air to be 'Mine', he relishes the Transcendent Beings. Why is that? He has not fully diagnosed it, I say. 16. From the base consisting of boundless space he has a percept of the base consisting of boundless space; having had from the base consisting of boundless space a percept of the base consisting of boundless space, he conceives (that to be) the base consisting of boundless space, he conceives (that to be) in the base consisting of boundless space, he conceives (that to be apart) from the base consisting of boundless space, he conceives the base consisting of boundless space to be 'Mine', he relishes the base consisting of boundless space. Why is that? He has not fully diagnosed it, I say. 17. From the base consisting of boundless consciousness he has a percept of the base consisting of boundless consciousness; having had from the base consisting of boundless consciousness a percept of the base consisting of boundless consciousness, he conceives (that to be) the base consisting of boundless consciousness, he conceives (that to be) in the base consisting of boundless consciousness, he conceives (that to be apart) from the base consisting of boundless consciousness, he conceives the base consisting of boundless consciousness to be 'Mine', he relishes the base consisting of boundless consciousness. Why is that? He has not fully diagnosed it, I say. 18. From the base consisting of nothingness he has a percept of the base consisting of nothingness; having had from the base consisting of nothingness a percept of the base consisting of nothingness, he conceives (that to be) the base consisting of nothingness, he conceives (that to be) in the base consisting of nothingness, he conceives (that to be apart) from the base consisting of nothingness, he conceives the base consisting of nothingness to be 'Mine', he relishes the base consisting of nothingness. Why is that? He has not fully diagnosed it, I say. 19. From the base consisting of neither perception nor non-perception he has a percept of the base consisting of neither perception nor non-perception; having had from the base consisting of neither perception nor non-perception a percept of the base consisting of neither perception nor non-perception, he conceives (that to be) the base consisting of neither perception nor non-perception, he conceives (that to be) in the base consisting of neither perception nor non-perception, he conceives (that to be apart) from the base consisting of neither perception nor non-perception, he conceives the base consisting of neither perception nor non-perception to be 'Mine', he relishes the base consisting of neither perception nor non-perception. Why is that? He has not fully diagnosed it, I say. 20. From the seen he has a percept of the seen; having had from the seen a percept of the seen, he conceives (that to be) the seen, he conceives (that to be) in the seen, he conceives (that to be apart) from the seen, he conceives the seen to be 'Mine', he relishes the seen. Why is that? He has not fully diagnosed it, I say. 21. From the heard he has a percept of the heard; having had from the heard a percept of the heard, he conceives (that to be) the heard, he conceives (that to be) in the heard, he conceives (that to be apart) from the heard, he conceives the heard to be 'Mine', he relishes the heard. Why is that? He has not fully diagnosed it, I say. 22. From the sensed he has a percept of the sensed; having had from the sensed a percept of the sensed, he conceives (that to be) the sensed, he conceives (that to be) in the sensed, he conceives (that to be apart) from the sensed, he conceives the sensed to be 'Mine', he relishes the sensed. Why is that? He has not fully diagnosed it, I say. 23. From the cognized he has a percept of the cognized; having had from the cognized a percept of the cognized, he conceives (that to be) the cognized, he conceives (that to be) in the cognized, he conceives (that to be apart) from the cognized, he conceives the cognized to be 'Mine', he relishes the cognized. Why is that? He has not fully diagnosed it, I say. 24. From unity he has a percept of unity; having had from unity a percept of unity, he conceives (that to be) unity, he conceives (that to be) in unity, he conceives (that to be apart) from unity, he conceives unity to be 'Mine', he relishes unity. Why is that? He has not fully diagnosed it, I say. 25. From difference he has a percept of difference; having had from difference a percept of difference, he conceives (that to be) difference, he conceives (that to be) in difference, he conceives (that to be apart) from difference, he conceives difference to be 'Mine', he relishes difference. Why is that? He has not fully diagnosed it, I say. 26. From all he has a percept of all; having had from all a percept of all, he conceives (that to be) all, he conceives (that to be) in all, he conceives (that to be apart) from all, he conceives all to be 'Mine', he relishes all. Why is that? He has not fully diagnosed it, I say. 27. From extinction he has a percept of extinction; having had from extinction a percept of extinction, he conceives (that to be) extinction, he conceives (that to be) in extinction, he conceives (that to be apart) from extinction, he conceives extinction to be 'Mine', he relishes extinction. Why is that? He has not fully diagnosed it, I say. THE INITIATE 28. Bhikkhus, a bhikkhu who is an Initiate, whose mind has not yet reached (the goal), and who is still aspiring to the supreme surcease of bondage: 29. From earth he has direct-knowledge of earth; having had from earth direct-knowledge of earth, he ought not to conceive (that to be) earth, he ought not to conceive (that to be) in earth, he ought not to conceive (that to be apart) from earth, he ought not to conceive earth to be 'Mine', he ought not to relish earth. Why is that? He ought to diagnosed it fully, I say. 30.-51 From water……….from all………. 52. From extinction he has direct-knowledge of extinction; having had from extinction direct-knowledge of extinction, he ought not to conceive (that to be) extinction, he ought not to conceive (that to be) in extinction, he ought not to conceive (that to be apart) from extinction, he ought not to conceive extinction to be 'Mine', he ought not to relish extinction. Why is that? He ought to diagnosed it fully, I say. THE ARAHANT – I 53. Bhikkhus, a bhikkhu who is accomplished with cankers destroyed, who has lived out the life, done what was to be done, laid down the burden, reached the True goal, destroyed the fetters of being, and rightly liberated through final knowledge: 54. From earth he has direct-knowledge of earth; having had from earth direct-knowledge of earth, he does not conceive (that to be) earth, he does not conceive (that to be) in earth, he does not conceive (that to be apart) from earth, he does not conceive earth to be 'Mine', he does not relish earth. Why is that? He has fully diagnosed it, I say. 55.-76. From water……….from all………. 55. From extinction he has direct-knowledge of extinction; having had from extinction direct-knowledge of extinction, he does not conceive (that to be) extinction, he does not conceive (that to be) in extinction, he does not conceive (that to be apart) from extinction, he does not conceive extinction to be 'Mine', he does not relish extinction. Why is that? He has fully diagnosed it, I say. II 78. Bhikkhus, a bhikkhu who is an Arahat … rightly liberated through final knowledge: 79. From earth he has direct-knowledge of earth; having had from earth direct-knowledge of earth, he does not conceive (that to be) earth, he does not conceive (that to be) in earth, he does not conceive (that to be apart) from earth, he does not conceive earth to be 'Mine', he does not relish earth. Why is that? Because of lustlessness with the exhaustion of lust. 80.-102. From water……….from all……….from extinction………. Why is that? Because of lustlessness with the exhaustion of lust. III 103. Bhikkhus, a bhikkhu who is an Arahat … rightly liberated through final knowledge: 104. From earth he has direct-knowledge of earth; having had from earth direct-knowledge of earth, he does not conceive (that to be) earth, he does not conceive (that to be) in earth, he does not conceive (that to be apart) from earth, he does not conceive earth to be 'Mine', he does not relish earth. Why is that? Because of hatelessness with the exhaustion of hate. 105.-127. From water……….from all……….from extinction………. Why is that? Because of hatelessness with the exhaustion of hate. IV 128. Bhikkhus, a bhikkhu who is an Arahat … rightly liberated through final knowledge: 129. From earth he has direct-knowledge of earth; having had from earth direct-knowledge of earth, he does not conceive (that to be) earth, he does not conceive (that to be) in earth, he does not conceive (that to be apart) from earth, he does not conceive earth to be 'Mine', he does not relish earth. Why is that? Because of delusionlessness with the exhaustion of delusion. 130.-152. From water……….from all……….from extinction………. Why is that? Because of delusionlessness with the exhaustion of delusion. PERFECT ONE – I 153. Bhikkhus, a Perfect One, accomplished and fully enlightened: 154. From earth he has direct-knowledge of earth; having had from earth direct-knowledge of earth, he does not conceive (that to be) earth, he does not conceive (that to be) in earth, he does not conceive (that to be apart) from earth, he does not conceive earth to be 'Mine', he does not relish earth. Why is that? A Perfect One has fully diagnosed it to the end, I say. 155.-177. From water……….from all……….from extinction………. Why is that? A Perfect One has fully diagnosed it to the end, I say. II 178. Bhikkhus, a Perfect One, accomplished and fully enlightened: 179. From earth he has direct-knowledge of earth; having had from earth direct-knowledge of earth, he does not conceive (that to be) earth, he does not conceive (that to be) in earth, he does not conceive (that to be apart) from earth, he does not conceive earth to be 'Mine', he does not relish earth. Why is that? A Perfect One knows that relishing is the root of suffering and that with being there is birth, and the ageing and death of whatever is; and therefore it is with cravings' exhaustion, fading out, cessation, being given up, and relinquished in all ways that he has discovered the supreme Full enlightenment, I say. 180.-202. From water……….from all……….from extinction………. Why is that? A Perfect One knows … the supreme Full enlightenment, I say. 203. That is what the Blessed One said. The bhikkhus did not delight in his words. – end – Notes: Ī2. According to the comy.: the rendering could be 'a discourse on the root of all ideas', and no connection is made between the word Sabba (all) in Sabba Dhamma and sabba in Ī26, which has a special emphasis in sutta 49. cf. syntax of sutta 2, Ī2. For dhamma as 'idea' see introduction. Ī3f. The following scheme shows the differences between the four kinds of Persons. The Ordinary man (Pothujjana) has a percept (saÑjānati) conceives (that to be) (maÑÑati) has not fully diagnosed (apariÑÑātaṃ) The Initiate (Sekha) has direct knowledge (abhijānāti) ought not to conceive (māmaÑÑati) ought to fully diagnose (pariÑÑeyya) The Arahant (Arahant) " does not conceive (namaÑÑati) has fully diagnosed (pariÑÑāyaṃ) The Perfect One (Tathāgata) " " has fully diagnosed to the end (pariÑÑātantaṃ) Ī4. Paṭhaviṃ pathavito saÑjānāti – from earth he has a percept of earth': This presents the first of the many problems, most of which seems to be ontological. This ablative construction would normally be freely renderable by 'he perceives earth as earth' (ie. perceives it 'for what it really is'); but that takes the ablative in a different sense to the one that follows (pathavito maÑÑati – he conceives (that to be apart) from earth), which seems hard to justify, and perhaps not necessary. The strongest argument against this is that 'perceives' (saÑjānāti) is used only of the ordinary man. Consequently it must be taken that in the act of perceiving a basic slight distortion takes place (cf. definition of saÑÑā = perception in Vis: ch 14 and abhinivesa = interpretation), which is absent in abhiÑÑā = direct-knowledge. The perceiving has already made an interpretation from the bare object of viÑÑāṇa (bahiddhāyatana). Perceiving has the utraquistic sense of the act of perceiving and the percept, and that is deliberately implied here, apparently. 'MaÑÑati – Conceives': whatever the etymology maÑÑati is semantically inseparable from māna (conceit) as well as manati (to measure) for other contexts see 'Yena yena hi maÑÑati tato taṃ hoti aÑÑathā' (M. sutta __), maÑÑussava (M. sutta 140,ĪĪ25-6), Yena kho āvuso lokasmiṃ lokasaÑÑi hoti lokamāni ayaṃ vuccati ariyassa vinaye loko. kena c'āvuso lokasmiṃ lokasaÑÑi hoti lokamāni? cakkhunā… (s. vol.4, 95=xxxv,116 – This closely concerns the present sutta), and 'cakkhuṃ na maÑÑeyya, cakkhusmiṃ na maÑÑeyya, cakkhuto na maÑÑeyya, cakkhu 'me' ti na maÑÑeyya; rūpe na maÑÑeyya… (etc. with the 4 modes up to vedanā) …sabbaṃ na maÑÑeyya. so evam amaÑÑamāne na kinci loke upādiyati… (s. vol.IV, 65=xxxv,90) See Vbh 355-6 and s.III,130 as to Ī29, etc. The prohibitive mā maÑÑati can only signify that, in The Initiates case, he can, but ought not to, indulge in conceiving: he can still do so because he still has asmimanā, which is only eliminated by Arahantship. This should show that, in spite of what the commentary says, the fourfold sakkāyadi??hi of sutta 44, is not directly connectable; for a sekha does not have sakkāyadi??hi at all. In rendering the 4 maÑÑati phrases, the first difficulty is the use of the transitive maÑÑati with no object except in the first phrase (pathaviṃ maÑÑati) (The same difficulty arises in sutta 49 where nāpahosiṃ is substituted for na maÑÑati). The commentary suggests a rendering such 'he conceives (self as) earth, he conceives (self as) in earth, he conceives (self as) apart from earth, he conceives earth as 'Mine',…, and it attempts an equation with the 4 modes of the sakkāyadi??hi given for each of the 5 aggregates in sutta 44, Ī7). But this is perhaps rather procrustean. It may do for the ordinary man, who has sakkāyadi??hi (embodiment view – see sutta 44), but that is abandoned by the Initiate, who, however still has asmi-māna (the conceit I am), which is only abandoned by the arahant. He shall secure of 'being' with 'being self'. In sutta 44 the modes in which ideas of self (attā) already clearly formed are treatable is handled; but in the present sutta (and in sutta 49) the treatment is on a more general level and there is no specific mention of attā – The conceiving is simply done on the basis of the percept. Attā is no doubt implied here but not yet explicitly stated. Since, however, a subject is necessary in the rendering the only safe one seems to be one drawn from the sutta itself without introducing outside ideas, namely, the percept (also it makes sense not only here but throughout). The conceiving can also be taken as showing the grammatical behaviour of the mind towards what it has (mis-)perceived: it conceives its earth-percept in the accusative, locative, or ablative relation, or as a possession (or as an object to take interest, positive or negative in). But the most important aspect of this structure is the ontological one. The general question of ontology as desirable from the suttas is dealt with in the introduction. How it is relevant in this sutta appears more clearly from the use of nāpahosiṃ in sutta 49 instead of namaÑÑati; for it indicates that one of the functions of maÑÑanā is to endow percepts with being. When compressed, the commentary's explanation is: the ordinary man perceives with some degree of error by taking 'earth' according to common usage. On the basis of that he then first of all conceives 'earth' with the habitual diversification (papaÑca) effected by craving, conceit and view, taking it as respectively, 'I am earth' or 'my earth' or 'another's earth', or another's earth; or else he respectively likes the object, has the conceit that it is better or worse than another, and equates it with or differentiates it from, the soul. Next he 'conceives' that he, or another, is 'in earth', or 'there is the impediment of owning in earth', or else he conceives that his self is 'in earth'. Next he 'conceives' that his or another's self is different 'from earth'. Lastly he 'conceives' earth as 'Mine' simply out of craving. Ī8. bhūte bhūtato saÑjānāti…bhūtate maÑÑati: The use of the ablative suffix -to in a plural sense is unusual, but it cannot be taken in other way. Such a rendering as 'recognizes the beings from nature (ie. from the fact of being nature)' (P.T.S. Dict. under bhūto) is quite untenable. This emphasises the use of the ablative in -to rather than the more usual -ā, -amhā, -asmā (plu.-ehi), and seems a further indication in favour of the view that the two occurrences in each clause – here bhūto saÑjānāti…bhūtato maÑÑati have the same significance (ie. 'from'?) rather than 'as' in the first case and 'apart from' in the second for abhiÑÑeyyatā & pariÑÑeyyatā see Vbh. 426 and Vbh. A. 522., for asmi see s.III,46 and 128-30 (The latter confirms the differences between the pothujjana, sekha, asekha, with attā and asmimāna). for conceiving & being see Etre et le Néant, p. 122. Ī26. For 'sabba-all' see sutta 49. Ī28. For 'Sekha-Initiate' see sutta 53. The term (lit. one still with training to do) applies to the first seven of the 'Eight Persons'. They have all no sakkāyadi??hi but still have asmi–māna. Ī29. NB 'abhijānāti-has direct knowledge' instead of 'saÑjānāti-has perception of'. 'Mā-maÑÑi-cannot conceive': the form is the normal negative imperative or prohibitive. cf. Another unusual use of the 'mā' construction of sutta 65, Ī27. Ī154. reading pariÑÑātantaṃ (fully diagnosed to the end) with comy., etc. Ī155. emphasises the ontological aspect. Ī203. So all editions, apparently except the P.T.S. edition. Alternative renderings (less good): He perceives earth as (or from) earth, Having perceived earth as earth, he conceives (self or himself) to be earth, he conceives (self or himself) to be in earth, he conceives (self or himself) to be apart from earth, he conceives earth as 'Mine', he delights, in earth. (This introduction of 'self' (attā) is not justified in view of the sekha section). He perceives earth from (or as) earth, having perceived earth from (or as earth, he conceives earth (as such), he conceives earth as inclusive, he conceives earth as exclusive, he conceives earth as his possession, he conceives himself with earth. He perceives earth as (or from) earth, having perceived earth as (or from) earth, he conceives (the concept ) 'earth', he conceives (the concept) 'in earth', he conceives (the concept) 'from earth', he conceives earth as 'mine', he delights in earth.