Digha Nikaya


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Sacred Books of the Buddhists
Volume IV

Dīgha Nikāya

Dialogues of the Buddha
Part III

Sutta 28

Sampasādaniya Suttantaɱ

The Faith That Satisfied

Translated from the Pali by T.W. Rhys Davids and
C.A.F. Rhys Davids

Public Domain

Originally published under the patronage of
His Majesty King Chulālankarana,
King of Siam
by The Pali Text Society, Oxford

 


 

[1] THUS HAVE I HEARD.

1. At one time the Exalted One was staying near Nāḷandā in the Pāvārika Mango Wood[1]

Now the venerable Sāriputta came to the place where the Exalted One was,
and having saluted him,
took his seat respectfully at his side
and said:

"Lord! such faith have I in the Exalted One,
that methinks there never has been,
nor will there be,
nor is there now
any other,
whether recluse or Brahman,
who is greater
and wiser
than the Exalted One,
that is to say,
as regards the higher wisdom."[2]

"Grand and bold
are the words of thy mouth, Sāriputta!

Thou hast roared
a veritable lion's roar
in this that thou hast said.

Of course then
thou hast known all the Exalted Ones
who in the long ages of the past
have been Arahants,
Awakened Ones,
comprehending their minds
with thy mind,
and aware
what was their conduct,
what their doctrines,[3]
what their wisdom,
what their mode of life,
and the liberty
to which they attained?"

"Not so, lord."

"Of course then
thou hast perceived all the Exalted Ones
who in the long ages of the future
will be Arahants,
Awakened Ones,
comprehending their minds with thy mind,
and aware
what will be their conduct,
[96] what their doctrines,
what their wisdom,
what their mode of life,
and the liberty
to which they attain?"

"Not so, lord."

But at least then, Sāriputta,
thou knowest that I now am Arahant,
an Awakened One,
comprehending my mind
with thy mind,
and aware
that thus is the Exalted One's conduct,
such is his wisdom,
such his doctrine,
such his mode of life,
and such the liberty
to which he has attained?"

"Not so, lord."

"Lo! here, Sāriputta,
no knowledge hast thou
concerning Arahants,
Awakened Ones,
past,
future
or present.

Why then forsooth
are thy words so grand and bold?

Why hast thou roared
this all-comprehensive lion's roar?"

2. "Lord! no knowledge have I
concerning the minds of past,
future
and present Arahants,
Awakened Ones.

I only know, lord,
the lineage of the Norm.[4]

Just as a king, lord,
might have a border-city,
strong in its foundations,
strong in its ramparts and towers,
and with only one gate.

And there might be a warden of the gate,
discreet and clever and wise,
to stop all strangers
and admit only them that were known.

And he,
on patrolling in his sentry-walks
over the approaches all round the city,
might not so observe
all the joints and crevices
in the ramparts of that city
as to know where anything as small as a cat
could get past.

He would think:

Whatever bulkier creatures
either enter or leave this city,
they all pass only by this gate.

Only thus is it, lord,
that I know the lineage of the Norm.

They who in the long ages of the past
were Arahants,
Supremely Awakened Ones,
putting away the five Hindrances,
suppressing the corruptions of the mind by wisdom,
with hearts well established
in the four exercises for setting up mindfulness,
thoroughly exercising themselves
in the seven branches of enlightenment,
have wholly awaked to the uttermost awakening.

They who in the long ages of the future
will be Arahants,
[97] Supremely Awakened Ones,
will do likewise.

And the Exalted One too,
who now, lord,
is Arahant Supremely Awakened,
he too hath done likewise.

It[5] happened one day, lord,
that I had come to the Exalted One
to listen to the exposition of the Norm.

And the Exalted One taught me doctrine,
each point ever more excellent than the last,
with comparison of the things of light
and the things of darkness.

Now while the Exalted One
was teaching me the Norm, after this sort,
even so I,
understanding that Norm,
perfected among doctrines
one certain doctrine,
namely,
faith[6] in the Master.

And I confessed in my heart:

The Exalted One is supremely awakened;
well taught by him is the Norm;
blessed is the Order.

3. Moreover, lord, this too is unsurpassed:
the way namely in which the Exalted One
teaches the Norm concerning righteous doctrines;[7]
I mean
the Four Exercises in setting up Mindfulness,
the Four Supreme Efforts,
the Four Roads to Saintship,
the Five Moral Powers,
the Five Forces,
the Seven Branches of Enlightenment,
the Aryan Eightfold Path
[showing how] a bhikkhu
by destruction of the intoxicants may [98] know and realize for himself,
even in this life,
sane and immune emancipation
of intellect and intuition,
and so attaining may therein abide.

Unsurpassed, lord,
is this concerning righteous doctrines.

All this the Exalted One understands,
and beyond what he understands
there is nothing left to understand.

Nor is there any other,
whether he be recluse or brahmin,
who is greater and wiser than the Exalted One,
that is to say,
as regards righteous doctrines.

4. Moreover, lord, this too is unsurpassable,
the way namely in which the Exalted One
teaches the Norm concerning our sense-experience, —
how the six fields of sense
are subjective and objective:[8]
sight and visible things,
hearing and sounds,
smell and odours,
taste and sapid things,
touch and tangible things,
mind and mental objects.

Unsurpassable, lord, is this
concerning our sense-experience.

All this the Exalted One understands,
and beyond what he understands
there is nothing left to understand.

Nor is there any other,
whether he be recluse or brahmin,
who is greater and wiser than the Exalted One,
that is to say,
as regards our sense-experience.[9]

 

§

 

5, Moreover, lord, this too is unsurpassable:
the way namely in which the Exalted One
teaches the Norm concerning descensions at rebirth: —

That there are four modes in descension, thus: —

One descends into the mother's womb unknowing,[10]
abides there unknowing,
departs thence unknowing.

This is the first mode.

Next, one descends into the mother's womb knowingly,
but persists there unknowing
and departs thence unknowing.

This [99] is the second mode.

Again, one descends and persists knowing,
but departs unknowing.

This is the third mode.

Again, one descends into the mother's womb, knowing,
persists there knowing
and departs thence knowing.

This is the fourth mode of descension.

Unsurpassable, lord, is this concerning descensions at rebirth.

All this the Exalted One understands,
and beyond what he understands
there is nothing left to understand.

Nor is there any other,
whether he be recluse or brahmin,
who is greater and wiser than the Exalted One,
that is to say,
as regards descensions at rebirth.

 

§

 

6. Moreover, lord, this too is unsurpassable,
the way namely in which the Exalted One
teaches the Norm concerning the modes of revealing
[the mind of another][11]: —
that there are four modes, thus: —

One reveals by a visible sign,
saying Thou art thinking thus,
thou hast so and so in thy mind,
thy thought is thus.

However much one reveals,
that is so and not otherwise.

This is the first mode of revealing
[the mind of another].

Again, one reveals thoughts
not by a visible sign,
but through hearing a sound
uttered by humans or non-humans
[Yakkhas, Pisācas], or devas,[12] -
and one says: —

Thou art thinking thus,
thou hast so and so in thy mind,
thy thought is thus.

However much one reveals, that is so and not otherwise.

This is the second mode.

Again, one reveals thoughts
neither by a visible sign,
nor through hearing a sound
made by humans or non-humans or devas,[12]
but through hearing a rational sound
made intelligently and deliberately.[13]

And one says:

Thou art thinking thus,
thou hast so and so in thy mind,
thy thought is thus.

However much one reveals, that is so and not otherwise.

This is the third mode of revealing.

"without attention applied on occasion of sense" is "api ca kho avitakkaṃ avicāraṃ" that is, 'without thinking, without pondering' or the second jhāna where, because one is, one's self, no longer thinking, the thoughts of others are perceptable without confusion. This is not really 'intuitive' knowledge, it is knowing as in the normal form of knowing and is described by those who have had the experience in terms of 'hearing'. "First comes muttering to one's self, then one utters speech." Thoughts formed with words, and the formation of words in the mind is accompanied by their formation as vibrations in the body and is a form of speech which can be over-heard. The first form of thought reading is closer to intuitive knowledge — the seeing of the formation of thought originating in sensation and mental state in the features of an individual and knowing the thought from recognizing the experience.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

Again one reveals thoughts
neither by a visible sign,
nor through hearing a sound
made by humans or non-humans or devas,
nor through hearing a rational sound
made intelligently and deliberately,
but when achieving concentration,
without attention applied on occasion of sense,
one then knows intuitively the thoughts of another.

And one says:

Just according to the aim of the mental activity of this good person even on such and such a [100] thought will he next be directing his mind.

And however much one reveals that is so and not otherwise.

This is the fourth mode.

Unsurpassable, lord, is this concerning the modes of revealing [the mind of another].[14]

All this the Exalted One understands,
and beyond what he understands
there is nothing left to understand.

Nor is there any other,
whether he be recluse or brahmin,
who is greater and wiser than the Exalted One,
that is to say,
as regards the modes of revealing [the mind of another].

 

§

 

7. Moreover, lord, unsurpassable is the way in which the Exalted One
teaches the Norm concerning decrees of discernment:[15] -
that there are four such degrees, namely:

Some[16] recluse or brahmin by means of ardour,
of effort,
of application,
of strenuous earnestness,
of careful concentration,
reaches up to such rapture of thought
that with rapt mind
he meditates introspectively
on just this bodily organism
from the sole of the foot
to the crown of the head,
as a hide-bound mass of manifold uncleanness,
thus: —

In this body[17] are hairs,
down,
nails,
teeth,
skin,
flesh,
sinews,
bone,
marrow,
kidney,
heart,
liver,
membrane,
spleen,
lungs,
bowels,
mesentery,
stomach,
faeces,
bile,
phlegm,
pus,
blood,
sweat,
fat,
tears,
saliva,
snot,
synovial fluid,
urine.

This is the first degree of discernment.

Again, lord, such a recluse or brahmin by means of ardour,
of effort,
of application,
of strenuous earnestness,
of careful concentration,
reaches up to such rapture of thought
that with rapt mind
he meditates introspectively
on just this bodily organism
from the sole of the foot
to the crown of the head,
as a hide-bound mass of manifold uncleanness,
thus: —

In this body are hairs,
down,
nails,
teeth,
skin,
flesh,
sinews,
bone,
marrow,
kidney,
heart,
liver,
membrane,
spleen,
lungs,
bowels,
mesentery,
stomach,
faeces,
bile,
phlegm,
pus,
blood,
sweat,
fat,
tears,
saliva,
snot,
synovial fluid,
urine,
and goes on to meditate
after that
on the human skeleton
[as covered by] skin,
flesh
and blood.

This is the second degree of discernment.

Again, lord, such a recluse or brahmin by means of ardour,
of effort,
of application,
of strenuous earnestness,
of careful concentration,
reaches up to such rapture of thought
that with rapt mind
he meditates introspectively
on just this bodily organism
from the sole of the foot
to the crown of the head,
as a hide-bound mass of manifold uncleanness,
thus: —

In this body are hairs,
down,
nails,
teeth,
skin,
flesh,
sinews,
bone,
marrow,
kidney,
heart,
liver,
membrane,
spleen,
lungs,
bowels,
mesentery,
stomach,
faeces,
bile,
phlegm,
pus,
blood,
sweat,
fat,
tears,
saliva,
snot,
synovial fluid,
urine,
and goes on to meditate
after that
on the human skeleton
[as covered by] skin,
flesh
and blood.
and he goes on after that
to discern the unbroken flux
of human consciousness[18]
established both in this world
and in another world.

This is the third degree of discernment.

Again, lord, such a recluse or brahmin by means of ardour,
of effort,
of application,
of strenuous earnestness,
of careful concentration,
reaches up to such rapture of thought
that with rapt mind
he meditates introspectively
on just this bodily organism
from the sole of the foot
to the crown of the head,
as a hide-bound mass of manifold uncleanness,
thus: —

In this body are hairs,
down,
nails,
teeth,
skin,
flesh,
sinews,
bone,
marrow,
kidney,
heart,
liver,
membrane,
spleen,
lungs,
bowels,
mesentery,
stomach,
faeces,
bile,
phlegm,
pus,
blood,
sweat,
fat,
tears,
saliva,
snot,
synovial fluid,
urine,
and goes on to meditate
after that
on the human skeleton
[as covered by] skin,
flesh
and blood.
and he goes on after that
to discern the unbroken flux
of human consciousness
established both in this world
and in another world
and he goes after that
to discern the unbroken flux
of human consciousness
as not established either in this world
or [101] in another world.[19]

This is the fourth degree of discernment.

Unsurpassable is this, lord,
concerning degrees of discernment.

All this the Exalted One understands,
and beyond what he understands
there is nothing left to understand.

Nor is there any other,
whether he be recluse or brahmin,
who is greater and wiser than the Exalted One,
that is to say,
as regards degrees of discernment.

 

§

 

8. Moreover, lord, unsurpassable is the way in which the Exalted One
teaches the Norm concerning the classification of individuals:[20]
that there are seven classes, to wit: —

freed-both-ways,
freed by insight,
having bodily testimony,
having gained the view,
freed by confidence,
follower of wisdom,
follower of confidence.

Unsurpassable, lord,
are these terms for classes of individuals.

All this the Exalted One understands,
and beyond what he understands
there is nothing left to understand.

Nor is there any other,
whether he be recluse or brahmin,
who is greater and wiser than the Exalted One,
that is to say,
as regards terms for classes of individuals.

 

§

 

9. Moreover, lord, unsurpassable is the way in which the Exalted One
teaches the Norm concerning endeavour: —
that there are these seven factors of enlightenment,
to wit: —

the factor of mindfulness,
the factor of examination of doctrine,
the factor of energy,
the factor of zest,
the factor of serenity,
the factor of concentration
the factor of equanimity.

Unsurpassable, lord, is this concerning endeavour.[21]

All this the Exalted One understands,
and beyond what he understands
there is nothing left to understand.

Nor is there any other,
whether he be recluse or brahmin,
who is greater and wiser than the Exalted One,
that is to say,
as regards endeavour.

 

§

 

10. Moreover, lord, unsurpassable is the way in which the Exalted One
teaches the norm concerning rates of progress: —
that there are four such rates of progress,
to wit: —

when progress is dificult
and intuition slow,
when progress is difficult
but intuition comes swiftly,[22]
when progress is easy
but intuition is slow,
when progress is easy
and intuition comes swiftly.

In the first case,
progress is reckoned as bad
both from difficulty and slowness.

In the second case,
progress is reckoned as bad
from its difficulty.

In the third case,
progress is reckoned as bad
from slowness.

In the fourth case,
progress is reckoned as excellent [102] because of both ease and swiftness.

Unsurpassable, lord, is this concerning rates of progress.

All this the Exalted One understands,
and beyond what he understands
there is nothing left to understand.

Nor is there any other,
whether he be recluse or brahmin,
who is greater and wiser than the Exalted One,
that is to say,
as regards rates of progress.

 

§

 

11. Moreover, lord, unsurpassable is the way in which the Exalted One
teaches the Norm concerning conduct in speech
to wit: —

how one should not only
use no speech associated with lying,
but should also,
in seeking to win his case,
avoid calumnious,[23]
abusive
and contentious speech,
speaking ever gently words of wisdom,
worth treasuring up,
and uttered in due season.

Unsurpassable, lord, is this concerning conduct in speech.

All this the Exalted One understands,
and beyond what he understands
there is nothing left to understand.

Nor is there any other,
whether he be recluse or brahmin,
who is greater and wiser than the Exalted One,
that is to say,
as regards conduct in speech.

 

§

 

12. Moreover, lord, unsurpassable is the way in which the Exalted One
teaches the Norm concerning the ethical conduct of man
to wit: —

how such a man should be
true and believing,
no trickster,[24]
no droner out [of holy words for pay],
no diviner,
no exorcist,
nor hungering to add gain to gain,
guarded as to the doors of his senses,
abstemious in diet,
a peacemaker,
devoted to keeping vigil,
unfaltering,
apt to apply effort,
contemplative,
mindful,
of seemly conversation,[25]
valiant to go,
to endure
and to think,
not greedy, besides,
for worldly pleasures,
but heedful and sagacious.

Unsurpassable, lord, is this concerning a man's ethical conduct.

All this the Exalted One understands,
and beyond what he understands
there is nothing left to understand.

Nor is there any other,
whether he be recluse or brahmin,
who is greater and wiser than the Exalted One,
that is to say,
as regards a man's ethical conduct.

 

§

 

13. Moreover, lord, unsurpassable is the way in which the Exalted One
teaches the Norm concerning modes of [receiving] instruction,
namely,
that there are four such modes
to wit: —

(1) The Exalted One knows
through his own [method of] systematic thought,[26]
that a given individual,
when carrying out what he has been taught,
by the complete destruction of Three Fetters,
will [103] become a Stream-winner,[27]
saved from disaster hereafter,
certain to attain enlightenment;

(2) by the complete destruction of Three Fetters,
will have so diminished passion
and hate
and illusion
that he will become a Once-Returner,
and returning but once to this world
will make an end of ill;

(3) by the complete destruction of the Five ulterior Fetters,
will be reborn in a deva-world,[28]
there to pass utterly away,
thence never to return;

(4) by the destruction of the Intoxicants
will come to know and realize for himself,
even in this life
emancipation of intellect
and emancipation of insight,
and will therein abide.

Unsurpassable, lord, is this concerning modes of receiving instruction.

All this the Exalted One understands,
and beyond what he understands
there is nothing left to understand.

Nor is there any other,
whether he be recluse or brahmin,
who is greater and wiser than the Exalted One,
that is to say,
as regards modes of receiving instruction.

 

§

 

14. Moreover, lord, unsurpassable is the way in which the Exalted One
teaches the Norm concerning
the knowledge of the [degree of] emancipation
to which any given individual will attain namely,
that:[29]

(1) The Exalted One knows
through his own [method of] systematic thought,
that a given individual,
when carrying out what he has been taught,
by the complete destruction of Three Fetters,
will become a Stream-winner,
saved from disaster hereafter,
certain to attain enlightenment;

(2) by the complete destruction of Three Fetters,
will have so diminished passion
and hate
and illusion
that he will become a Once-Returner,
and returning but once to this world
will make an end of ill;

(3) by the complete destruction of the Five ulterior Fetters,
will be reborn in a deva-world,
there to pass utterly away,
thence never to return;

(4) by the destruction of the Intoxicants
will come to know and realize for himself,
even in this life
emancipation of intellect
and emancipation of insight,
and will therein abide.

Unsurpassable, lord, is this concerning knowledge
of the degree of emancipation
to be attained by a given individual.

All this the Exalted One understands,
and beyond what he understands
there is nothing left to understand.

Nor is there any other,
whether he be recluse or brahmin,
who is greater and wiser than the Exalted One,
that is to say,
as regards knowledge
of the degree of emancipation
to be attained by a given individual.

 

§

 

15. Moreover, lord, unsurpassable is the way in which the Exalted One teaches the Norm concerning the doctrines of Eternalism,
namely,
that there are these three doctrines:[30]

(1) Some recluse or brahmin by means of ardour,
of exertion,
of application,
of earnestness,
of careful thought,
reaches up to such rapture of thought that,
rapt in heart,
he calls to mind his various [104] dwelling-places
(or birihs)
in times gone by —
in one birth,
or in two,
or three,
or four,
or five,
or ten,
or twenty,
or thirty,
or forty,
or fifty,
or a hundred,
or a thousand,
or a hundred thousand,
or in several hundred,
or several thousand,
or several hundred thousand births,
to the effect that
'There I had such and such a name,
was of such and such a lineage and class,
lived on such and such food,
experienced such and such pains and pleasures,
had such and such a span of years.

And when I fell from thence I was reborn here': —
thus does he recollect,
both as to the manner thereof and in detail,
his various dwelling-places in times gone by.

And he says to himself:

'The time that is gone by I know,
whether the world was in process of evolution
or of dissolution.

But I know not the time for to come,
whether the world will evolve or dissolve.

Eternal is both soul and world,
giving birth to nothing new,
steadfast as a mountain-peak,
as a pillar firmly fixed;
and though these living creatures
transmigrate and pass away,
fall from one state of existence
and spring up in another,
yet there is only
that which is for ever and ever.'

This is the first Eternalist doctrine.

(2) Again, lord, some recluse or brahmin,
by means of ardour,
of exertion,
of application,
of earnestness,
of careful thought,
reaches up to such rapture of thought that,
rapt in heart,
he calls to mind his various dwelling-places in the past
for even greater periods,
such as one,
two,
three,
four,
five,
ten,
or twenty pairs
of world-evolution and dissolution
to the effect that
'There I had such and such a name,
was of such and such a lineage and class,
lived on such and such food,
experienced such and such pains and pleasures,
had such and such a span of years.

And when I fell from thence
I was reborn here': —
thus does he recollect,
both as to the manner thereof and in detail,
his various dwelling-places in times gone by.

And he too reflects:

'The time that is gone by I know,
both of the evolution
and dissolution of the world,
but I know not the time for to come,
whether the world will evolve or dissolve.

Eternal is both soul and world,
giving birth to nothing new,
steadfast as a mountain peak,
as a pillar firmly fixed;
and though these living creatures
transmigrate and pass away,
fall from one state of existence
and spring up in another,
yet there is only
that which is for ever and ever.'

This is the second Eternalist doctrine.

(3) Again, lord, some recluse or brahmin,
by means of ardour,
of exertion,
of application,
of earnestness,
of careful thought,
reaches up to such rapture of thought that,
rapt in heart,
calls to mind his dwelling-places in the past
for even greater periods still,
even up to forty world-systems
evolving and dissolving
to the effect that
'There I had such and such a name,
was of such and such a lineage and class,
lived on such and such food,
experienced such and such pains and pleasures,
had such and such a span of years.

And when I fell from thence
I was reborn here': —
thus does he recollect,
both as to the manner thereof and in detail,
his various dwelling- places
in times gone by.

And he too reflects:

'The time that is gone by I know,
both of the evolution and dissolution of the world,
but I know not the time for to come,
whether the world will evolve or dissolve.

Eternal is both soul and world,
giving birth to nothing new,
steadfast as a mountain peak,
as a pillar firmly fixed;
and though these living creatures
transmigrate and pass away,
fall from one state of existence
and spring up in another,
yet there is only
that which is for ever and ever.'

Unsurpassable, lord, is this
concerning Eternalist doctrines.

All this the Exalted One understands,
and beyond what he understands
there is nothing left to understand.

Nor is there any other,
whether he be recluse or brahmin,
who is greater and wiser than the Exalted One,
that is to say,
as regards Eternalist doctrines.

 

§

 

16. Moreover, lord, unsurpassable is the way in which the Exalted One
teaches the Norm concerning knowledge of former dwelling-places,
how some recluse or brahmin,
by means of ardour,
of exertion,
of application,
of earnestness,
of careful thought,
reaches up to such rapture of mind,
that rapt in thought
he calls to mind his various dwelling-places
in times gone by,
to wit:

in one birth,
or in two,
or three,
or four,
or five,
or ten,
or twenty,
or thirty,
or forty,
or fifty,
or a hundred,
or a thousand,
or a hundred thousand,
or in several hundred,
or several thousand,
or several hundred thousand births,
up to even several myriads
of world-evolutions and dissolutions: —

'There I had such and such a name,
was of such and such a lineage and class,
lived on such and such food,
experienced such and such pains and pleasures,
had such and such a span of years.'

Deceasing thence
I was reborn in such another place,
where I was of such and such a lineage and class,
lived on such and such food,
experienced such and such pains and pleasures,
had such and such a span of years.'

And when I fell from thence
I was reborn here'

Thus does he recollect,
both as to the manner thereof and in detail,
his various dwelling-places in times gone by.

There are devas, lord,
whose span of life is not to be reckoned
either by counting or by computation,[31]
and yet with whatever individuality
they have previously existed,
whether as corporeal or incorporeal,
whether as percipient,
non-percipient,
or neither,
there is reminiscence of former dwelling-place
both as to the manner thereof and in detail.

Unsurpassable, lord, is this
concerning knowledge as to such reminiscences.

All this the Exalted One understands,
and beyond what he understands
there is nothing left to understand.

Nor is there any other,
whether he be recluse or brahmin,
who is greater and wiser than the Exalted One,
that is to say,
as regards knowledge as to such reminiscences.

 

§

 

17. Moreover, lord, unsurpassable is the way in which the Exalted One
teaches the Norm concerning knowledge
of the decease and rebirth of creatures.

Thus some recluse or brahmin,
by means of ardour,
of exertion,
of application,
of earnestness,
of careful thought,
reaches up to such rapture of mind,
that rapt in thought
he sees with pure deva-eye,
surpassing the sight of men, [106] beings as they decease
and are reborn;
he recognizes beings as mean or noble,
as ill-favoured or well-favoured,
as blest or wretched,
passing on according to their deeds:

Such and such worthy folk,
ill-doers[32] in act,
word
and thought,
revilers of the noble ones,[33]
holding wrong views,
acquiring karma resulting from wrong views,
are reborn after death,
at the dissolution of the body,
in some unhappy state of suffering or woe.

But such and such worthy folk,
well-doers in act
and word
and thought,
not revilers of the noble ones,
holding right views,
acquiring karma resulting from right views,
are reborn after death,
at the dissolution of the body,
in some happy state in heaven.

Thus with the pure deva-eye,
surpassing the sight of men,
does he see beings deceasing and being reborn.

Unsurpassable, lord, is this
concerning knowledge of decease and rebirth.

All this the Exalted One understands,
and beyond what he understands
there is nothing left to understand.

Nor is there any other,
whether he be recluse or brahmin,
who is greater and wiser than the Exalted One,
that is to say,
as regards knowledge of decease and rebirth.

 

§

 

18. Moreover, lord, unsurpassable is the way in which the Exalted One
teaches the Norm concerning modes of supernormal power,
that there are two modes, to wit: —

(1) Supernormal power
which is concomitant with the mental intoxicants
and with worldly aims.

This is called ignoble [power].

(2) Supernormal power
which is not concomitant with the mental intoxicants
and with worldly aims.

This is called noble [power].

And what, lord, is Supernormal power
which is concomitant with the mental intoxicants
and with worldly aims
the ignoble supernormal power?

When, lord, some recluse or brahmin,
by means of ardour,
of exertion,
of application,
of earnestness,
of careful thought,
reaches up to such rapture of mind,
that rapt in thought
he becomes able to enjoy
divers modes of supernormal power:[34]

From being one
he becomes multiform,
from being multiform,
he becomes one;
from being visible
he becomes invisible;
he passes without hindrance
to the further [107] side of a wall,
or a battlement,
or a mountain,
as if through air;
he penetrates up and down
through solid ground
as if through water;
he walks on water
without dividing it
as if on solid ground;
he travels cross-legged through the sky,
like a bird on the wing;
he touches and feels with the hand
even the moon and the sun,
of mystic power and potency though they be;
he reaches even in the body
up to the heaven of Brahma.

This, lord, is the supernormal power,
concomitant with the mental Intoxicants
and with worldly aims,
that is called ignoble.

And what, lord, is the Supernormal power
which is not concomitant with the mental intoxicants
and with worldly aims
that is called noble?

This is when a bhikkhu can,
if he so desire,
remain unconscious of disgust
amid what is disgusting;
or conscious of disgust
amid what is not disgusting;
or unconscious of disgust
amid what is both disgusting
and what is not disgusting;
or conscious of disgust
amid what is both disgusting
and what is not disgusting;
or, avoiding both that which is disgusting
and what is not disgusting,
should remain indifferent to them as such,
mindful and understanding.

This, lord, is the supernormal power,
incompatible with mental intoxicants
or with worldly aims,
which is called noble.

Unsurpassable, lord, is this concerning modes of supernormal power.

These things the Exalted One understands
from beginning to end.

And beyond what he understands
there is nothing left to understand.

Nor is there any other,
whether he be recluse or brahmin,
who is greater and wiser than the Exalted One,
that is to say,
as regards modes of supernormal power.

19. Whatsoever, lord, may be achieved
by a clansman who has faith,
summons up energy
and is steadfast, —
by human steadfastness,
energy,
progress,
and patience, —
that has been achieved by the Exalted One.

For, lord, the Exalted One
neither follows the habitual practice
of those things which attract
through worldly desires,
especially sensuality —
a low and pagan way,
unworthy,
unprofitable,
belonging to the worldly majority; —
nor does he follow the habitual practice
of self-mortification,
which [108] is painful,
unworthy,
unprofitable.[35]

The Exalted One is able
to obtain at will,
with ease
and in full measure,
that earthly happiness
of a loftier kind[36]
which the Four Stages of Ecstasy afford.

If, lord, anyone were to ask me:

What then, friend Sāriputta,
has there ever been in times gone by
other recluses or brahmins
greater and wiser
as to enlightenment
than the Exalted One?

I should say No.

What then, friend Sāriputta,
will there come in future times
other recluses or brahmins
greater and wiser
as to enlightenment
than the Exalted One?

Thus asked, I should say No.

What then, friend Sāriputta, is there now any
other recluse or brahmin
greater and wiser
as to enlightenment
than the Exalted One?

Thus asked, I should say No.

Again, lord, if I were asked:

What then, friend Sāriputta,
have there been in times gone by
other recluse or brahmin
equal to the Exalted One
in the matter of enlightenment?

Thus asked, I should say Yea.

Again, lord, if I were asked:

What then, friend Sāriputta,
will there be in future times
other recluse or brahmin
equal to the Exalted One
in the matter of enlightenment?

Thus asked, I should say Yea.

But if I were asked:

Is there now any recluse or brahmin
equal to the Exalted One
in the matter of Enlightenment?

Thus asked, I should say No.

Again, lord, if I were asked:

Why does the venerable Sāriputta
thus acknowledge the superiority of one teacher,
and not that of another?

Thus asked, I should say:

In the presence of the Exalted One
have I heard him say
and from him have received,
that,
whereas in times gone by
and in future times
there have been,
and will be
other Supreme Buddhas equal to himself
in the matter of Enlightenment,
yet that in one and the same world-system[37]
there should arise two [109] Arahants Buddhas Supreme,
the one neither before nor after the other: —
that is impossible and unprecedented.[38]

That cannot be.

Should I, lord,
answering my questioners thus,
be stating the doctrine of the Exalted One,
and not misrepresenting him by what is not fact?

Should I be stating doctrine
in conformity with the Norm,
and would no orthodox disputant
find occasion for blame herein?"

"Of a truth, Sāriputta, hadst thou been asked such questions
and thus hadst answered,
thou hadst stated my doctrine,
and hadst not misrepresented me
by what is not fact.

Thou hast stated doctrine
in conformity with the Norm,
and no orthodox disputant
could have found occasion for blame therein."

20. When they had thus spoken,
the venerable Udayin[39] said to the Exalted One:

"Wonderful, lord,
marvellous, lord,
is it to behold how self-contained,
serene,
and resigned
is the Tathagata,
when he who is so mighty and powerful
will not proclaim himself![40]

If any Wanderers of independent doctrines
were to discern in themselves
even one of such matters,
they would flourish around a banner because of it.

Wonderful, marvellous is it
to behold how self-contained,
serene
and resigned
is the Tathagata,
when he who is so mighty and powerful
will not proclaim his own virtues!"

"Take note of this then, Udayin,
that this is so;
and that if Wanderers teaching independent doctrines
were to discern in themselves
even one such quality,
they would flourish around a banner about it.

Take note of this."

21. Then the Exalted One addressed the venerable Sāriputta: —

"Wherefore thou, Sāriputta,
shouldst often discourse on this matter
to both brethren and sisters,
laymen and lay sisters.

Whatever foolish ones there be
who will feel doubt and hesitation concerning the Tathagata,
when they have heard such discourse,
even they too will banish their hesitation and their doubt.

On this wise did the venerable Sāriputta make known his faith before the Exalted One.

Hence the title The Faith that Satisfied is another name for his confession.

Here ends the Fifth Suttanta[ed1] The Faith that Satisfied.

 


[1] Cf. Vol. I, 276; II, p. 87; Saṃyutta IV, 23, 110, 311; V, 159; Jāt. V, 443. The present Suttanta repeats the conversation of the second citation and gives a long sequel. Pāvārika, according to the Comy., was a rich burgess (seṭṭhi) who had presented vihāra and park (uyyāna) to the Buddha. He is not identified with Pāvāriya, the (seṭṭhi) who presented the mango-grove at Kosambi (Comy. I, 318; Dhp. Comy. I, 203 f.

[2] Enlightenment, sambodhi.

[3] Evaṃ dhamma; omitted in the previous translation. Cf. II, 6; 88.

[4] Dhamm'anvayo. Or of the faith (II, 88. Cf. Saṃyutta II, 58). I.e., lit. what is in conformity with the Dhamma.

[5] According to Buddhaghosa on this passage Sāriputta is here alluding to the conversation between the Buddha and Sāriputta's nephew, Dīgha-nakha, recorded in Majjhima I, 497 foll. Dhammapala in his commentary on Th. I, 995 says the same (see Psalms of the Brethren, pp. 341, 345). It was then that Sāriputta, listening to the talk, reached emancipation.

[6] Pasidi. There is no English word that quite fits this or its variants pasādo, pasanno. They are expressions of the satisfaction akin to aesthetic gratification (Cf. B.P.E 174, n. 3) felt by the believer in whom faith, confidence, amounts to a passion, akin to religious love.

[7] Kusalesu dhammesu, afterwards called the thirty-seven bodhipakkhiyā dhamma (Cf. C. Rh. D. in Preface to Vibhanga; Compendium of Philosophy, 179, supra. Vol. II, 128). Buddhaghosa distinguishes under kusala the Jātaka meaning of that which makes for well-being (ārogya), as taught by common sense, the Suttanta meaning or what is ethically right (anavajja), as here; and the Ahhidhamma meaning, as that which is efficient (kosa11a), makes for absence of pain (niddaratha), for happy results (sukha vipāka). Cf. The Expositor, pp. 48 f.; 83.

[8] Literally, of the self, and external. The former term includes more than our subjective. Bud. Psy., 141; B.P.E., 207, n. I; Expositor, 60.

[9] This refrain is to be understood as repeated in full after each of the remaining fifteen sections of unsurpassables. [Ed.: These refrains have been added back in this edition. However they do not appear in full in the PTS, BJT, or CSCD editions of the Pali. These have only the first line and no indication that an abbreviations has been made.]

[10] Comy.: Asampajāno ti ajānanto sammūḷho. These four modes are held by Buddhaghosa to be the mental evolution at rebirth of (1) human beings generally; (2) the eighty great theras; (3) the two chief disciples of any Buddha, Pacceka Buddhas, and Bodhisats; (4) omniscient Bodhisats (i.e., Bodhisats in their last rebirth) respectively.

[11] This is the second of the so-called three wonders. See Vol. I, 276 f. = Anguttara I, 170 f.

[12] Devatā.

[13] In the first two modes, the sign and the sound, or noise, have no direct bearing on the thought that is divined, but are applied in the same way as a modern gambler stakes on a number he sees or hears accidentally. In the third mode, the sound is some remark overheard, made by persons chattering or drowsy with sleep. Comy., cf. Points of Controversy, 239, Ī 9.

[14] I.e., says the Comy., we divine, by the start made by practising jhāna, or other exercise for insight, how far in the four stages, and how far in the Four Paths, such and such a one will eventually attain to.

[15] Dassana-samāpatti.

[16] Cf. Vol. I, p. 27.

"This formula omits..." and also, I believe changes the order of some of the items and which amounts to the omition of a very important memonic device which is the joke of locating the head/brain in the pelvic area where it is also located in other cases, such as the meditation on the skelleton and the simile of the small bird torn apart by the hurricain-like winds of the upper atmosphere.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[17] This formula omits the last two of the equally classic formula in the Khuddakapātha: the Thirty-two-fold Mode — matthakaṃ, matthalungaṃ: head, brains.

[18] Viññāṇasotan ti viññāṇam eva. In this and the next degree, he distinguishes between the disposition of the worldling and the learner, on the one hand, and that of the Arahant on the other. Comy.

[19] The consciousness namely of the Arahant, whom Karma and its consequences no longer affect. Comy.

[20] Puggala-paññattīsu — as differing from the terms conventionally applied — viz., satto, puggalo, naro, poso. The seven qualifying terms are defined in the Puggala-paññatti, p. 14 f, and in the Visuddhi Magga, Paṭipadāñaṇadassana visuddhi-niddesa; cf. also Anguttara I, 73 f., and above, II, 68, 70.

[21] It is most unusual to find the seven Bojjhangas called padhānas or efforts. Cf. p. 97, Ī 3.

[22] Cf. Dhamma-Sangaṇi, Ī 176 f; Expositor, 243 f.

[23] Vebhūtiyaṃ [vācaṃ], paraphrased as bhedakāra-kavacaṃ, speech causing rupture, schism, division. Cf. Childers's Dict., s.v. and below, XXX, 2, 21.

[24] Cf. Dialogues, I, 15, Ī 20. These expressions are discussed in the Comy., ibid., and in Visuddhi Magga, 23 f.

[25] Kaḷyānapaṭibhāno, paraphrased as one who is proficient not only in utterance and in converse (vākkaraṇa-, paṭibhana-sampanno), but also in relevant or suitable (yutta-) converse, as was Thera Vangīsa, concerning whom see Psalms of the Brethren, 395 f.

[26] Paccattaṃ yoniso manasikārā.

[27] These and the following technical phrases of Buddhist belief are explained in a previous similar passage in Vol. I, 200.

[28] Opapātikoi.e., having attained rebirth in deva-world he there gets Parinibbāna. Puggala-Paññatti Comy. I, Ī40 (J.P.T.S., 1913, p. 197).

[29] These — the Four Paths and Fruits — are characterized in exactly the same terms as in the preceding paragraph.

[30] All three are similarly stated in the Brahmajala Suttanta, Vol. 1, p. 27 f.

[31] Explained in the Comy. as by addition [of units of time], or by mental estimate without division [of time].

[32] This passage occurs in Vol. I, 91, where, by the way, 'ill-doers' has been accidentally omitted. Worthy folk: bhonto sattā. English idiom cannot reproduce the courteous Messieurs [ces] êtres of the Pali. Dr. Neumann uses the colloquial lieben, dear or good creatures. Cf. above [p. 47, n. i].

[33] Ariyā: Buddhas and their leading disciples.

[34] This, the accepted description of iddhi, occurs in the Kevaddha Suttanta, Vol. I, 277, and in all the Nikāyas.

[35] The two extremes of conduct as stated in the Buddha's First Sermon (Vin. Texts, I, 94; Saṃyutta, V, 421; cf. IV, 330; Buddhist Suttas (S.B.E., XI), 146 f.).

[36] Abhicetasikānaṃ, paraphrased as kāmāvacaracittāni atikkamitvā ṭhitānaṃ (jhānānaṃ): (ecstasies) persisting when thoughts belonging to sense-experience have been transcended. Lit., ultra-thoughtish.

[37] Loka-dhātu. On the extent of a lokadhātu cf. Buddhaghosa here and on Vol. II, 263. On the doctrine cf. Vol. II, 263: Milinda II, 47 f., a discussion referred to and re-discussed in our Comy.

[38] Anguttara I, 27, Ī 10; Vibhanga, 336.

[39] Of the three Theras so-called Lāḷudāyin, Kāḷudayin, and the Great Udāyin this is the last named. Comy. Cf. Psalms of the Brethren, p. 228, with Jāt. I, 123, 446.

[40] Attano guṇe na āvikarissati: will not reveal his own virtues. Comy.

 


[ed1] The Fifth Sutta of the Third division of the Dīgha Nikāya, the Pāthika-vagga-pāḷi.


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