Digha Nikaya


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Sacred Books of the Buddhists
Volume IV

Dīgha Nikāya

Dialogues of the Buddha
Part III

Sutta 33

Saŋgīti Suttantaɱ

The Recital

Eights

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

 


 

[237] There are 'Eights in the Doctrine,' friends, [similarly] set forth . ... Which are they?

[8.01][wp][bd] Eight wrong factors of character and conduct,[1] to wit, wrong views, intention,[2] speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, concentration.

[238] [255] [8.02][wp][bd] Eight right factors of character and conduct, to wit,
right views,
right intentions,
etc. ...
right concentration.

[8.03][wp][bd] Eight types of persons worthy of offerings, to wit,
one who has 'attained the strem' [or First Path].
One who has worked for the realizing of the Fruit of stream-attainment.
One who is a Once-returner.
One who has worked for the realizing of the Fruit of Once-returning.
One who is a Never-returner.
One who has worked for the realizing of the Fruit of Never-returning.
One who is Arahant.
One who has worked for the realizing of Arahantship.

[8.04][wp][bd] Eight bases of slackness.
Herein, friends,
(1) let a brother have some work to do.
He thinks:
'There's that work I have to do,
but the doing of it will tire me.
Well then, I shall lie down.'
He lies down;
he stirs up no energy to finish that which is not done,
to accomplish the unaccomplished,
to realize the unrealized.
(2) Or he has been working, and thinks:
'I have been working,
and the doing of my work has tired me.
Well then, I shall lie down.'
He lies down;
he stirs up no energy to finish that which is not done,
to accomplish the unaccomplished,
to realize the unrealized.
(3) Or he has to make a journey,
and he thinks:
'I have to make a journey,
and that will tire me.
Well then, I shall lie down.'
He lies down;
he stirs up no energy to finish that which is not done,
to accomplish the unaccomplished,
to realize the unrealized.
(4) Or he has gone on his journey,
and reflects:
'I have gone on a journey,
and that has tired me.
Well then, I shall lie down.'
He lies down;
he stirs up no energy to finish that which is not done,
to accomplish the unaccomplished,
to realize the unrealized.
(5) Or he tours about a village or township for alms
and does not obtain his fill
of poor or rich food, and thinks:
'I've gone about village,
about township for alms
[256]and have not obtained my fill
of poor or rich food.
This body of me is tired and good for naught.
Well then, I'll lie down.'
He lies down;
he stirs up no energy to finish that which is not done,
to accomplish the unaccomplished,
to realize the unrealized.
(6) Or he tours about a village or township for alms
and does obtain his fill
of poor or rich food and thinks:
'I've gone about a village or township for alms
and have obtained my fill
of poor or rich food.
This body of me is heavy and good for naught,
seems tome like a load of soaked beans.
Well then, I'll lie down'
He lies down;
he stirs up no energy to finish that which is not done,
to accomplish the unaccomplished,
to realize the unrealized.
(7) Or in him some slight ailment has arisen,
and he thinks:
In this state it is fit I lie down.
He lies down;
he stirs up no energy to finish that which is not done,
to accomplish the unaccomplished,
to realize the unrealized.
(8) Or he has recovered from illness,
has [239] recently arisen from some indisposition.
And he thinks his body is weak and good for naught
and lies down
nor stirs up energy to finish that which is not done,
to accomplish the unaccomplished,
to realize the unrealized.

[8.05][wp][bd] Eight bases of setting afoot an undertaking.
Herein, brethren,
(1) let a brother have some work to do.
He thinks:
'There is that work I have to do,
but in doing it,
I shall not find it easy to attend to the religion of the Buddhas.
Well then, I will stir up energy to finish that which is not done,
to accomplish the unaccomplished,
to realize the unrealized.'
(2) Or he has [257] done a task, and thinks:
'I have been working,
but I could not attend to the religion of the Buddhas.
Well then, I will stir up energy to finish that which is not done,
to accomplish the unaccomplished,
to realize the unrealized.'
(3) Or he has to go on a journey,
and thinks it will not be easy for him, on his way,
to attend to the religion of the Buddhas,
and resolves:
'Well then, I will stir up energy to finish that which is not done,
to accomplish the unaccomplished,
to realize the unrealized.'
(4) Or he has been on a journey,
but has not been able to attend to the religion of the Buddhas,
and resolves:
Well then, I will stir up energy to finish that which is not done,
to accomplish the unaccomplished,
to realize the unrealized.'
(5) Or he has toured about village or township for alms
and has not obtained his fill
of poor or rich food.
And he thinks that,
under the circumstances,
his body is light and fit for work
and resolves:
Well then, I will stir up energy to finish that which is not done,
to accomplish the unaccomplished,
to realize the unrealized.'
(6) Or he has toured and has obtained his fill and thinks that,
under the circumstances,
his body is strong and fit to work
and resolves:
Well then, I will stir up energy to finish that which is not done,
to accomplish the unaccomplished,
to realize the unrealized.'
(7) Or in him some slight ailment has arisen.
And he thinks it is possible that the ailment may grow worse,
so that he must stir up energy
to finish that which is not done,
to accomplish the unaccomplished,
to realize the unrealized.'
[258] (8) Or he has recovered from illness,
has recently arisen from some indisposition.
And he thinks:
I have recovered from illness,
I have recently arisen from my indisposition.
It is possible that the illness may recur.
Well then, I will stir up energy to finish that which is not done,
to accomplish the unaccomplished,
to realize the unrealized.'[ed1]

[8.06][wp][bd] Eight bases of giving gifts:--One gives (1) because [an object of hospitality] has approached; (2) from fear;[3] (3) because 'he gave to me'; (4) because [240] 'he will give to me'; (5) because one thinks 'giving is blessed'; (6) because one thinks 'I cook; these do not cook; it is not fit that I who cook should give nothing to those who do not cook'; (7) because one thinks: 'from the giving of this gift by me an excellent report will spread abroad'; (8) because one wishes to adorn and equip one's heart.[14]

[8.07][wp][bd] Eight rebirths due to giving gifts. Herein, friends, (1) a certain person gives a gift to a recluse or brahmin in the shape of food, drink, raiment, vehicle, wreaths,perfumes and ointments, bedding, dwelling and lights. That which he gives, he hopes to receive in his turn. He sees a wealthy noble or brahmin or householder surrounded and attended by, and enjoying the five forms of sensuous pleasures. And he thinks: 'Ah! if only I may be reborn at the dissolution of the body after death as one amongst wealthy nobles, or brahmins, or householders!" This thought he holds fixed, firmly established, and expands it. This thought set free in a lower range, and not expanded to anything higher, conduces to rebirth within that range. [259] And this, I affirm, only in the case of a moral person, not of one who is vicious. The mental aspiration, friends, of a moral person succeeds because of its purity.[5]
(2) Another person giving similar gifts, and similarly hoping, may have learnt thus: 'Devas in the realm of the four kings of the firmament[6] are long-lived, splendid in appearance and lead a blissful existence.' He aspires to be reborn among them, and holds the thought fixed....This...conduces to rebirth within that [lower] range. And this, I affirm, only in the case of a moral person. ... The mental aspiration, brethren, of a moral person[7] succeeds because of its purity.
[241] (3-7) Or one so giving may have learnt similar lore about other heavens:--the Three-and Thirty gods, the Yāma, the Tusita, the Nimmānarati, the Paranimmita-vasavatti gods, or (8) about the gods of the Brahma world he may have learnt in similar terms. He thinks: 'Ah! would that after death I might be reborn as one among them!' That thought he holds fixed, that thought he firmly establishes, that thought he expands. That thought set free in a lower range,[8] and not expanded to anything higher, conduces to rebirth within that range. And this, [260] I affirm, only in the case of a moral person, not of one who is vicious, in the case of one who has got rid of the passions, not of one still beset by them. The mental aspiration, friends, of a moral person succeeds because it is void of lustful passion.[9]

[8.08][wp][bd] Eight assemblies, to wit, those of nobles, brahmins, householders, religious orders, four-king devas, Three-and-Thirty devas, Māra devas and Brahma devas.[10]

[8.09][wp][bd] Eight matters of worldly concern, to wit, gains and losses, fame and obscurity, blame and praise, pleasures and pains.

[8.10][wp][bd] Eight positions of mastery.[11]
(1) When anyone pictures to himself some material feature of his person [242] and sees [corresponding] features in others,
lovely or ugly,
as small,
transcending this [object] he is aware of doing so,
[thinks] 'I know, I see!'
(2) Or when he has the same experience,
but sees those features not as small,
but as infinitely great,
and nevertheless transcending this [object],
and is aware of doing so [thinks]:
'I know, I see!'
(3) Or when he sees the features in others
lovely or ugly,
as small,
without first picturing any material feature of his own
transcending this [object] he is aware of doing so,
[thinks] 'I know, I see!'
(4) Or when he sees the features in others
but sees those features not as small,
but as infinitely great,
and nevertheless transcending this [object],
and is aware of doing so [thinks]:
'I know, I see!'
(5) Or when without the personal preliminary,
he sees external shapes of indigo,
[261] indigo in colour,
indigo in visible expanse,
indigo in lustre,
as is the ummā flower,
or a Benares muslin delicately finished on both sides
transcending this [object] he is aware of doing so,
[thinks] 'I know, I see!'
(6) or shapes of yellow
yellow in colour,
yellow in visible expanse,
yellow in lustre,
as is the kaṇikāra flower,
or Benares muslin delicately finished on both sides
transcending this [object] he is aware of doing so,
[thinks] 'I know, I see!'
(7) or shapes of red
red in colour,
red in visible expanse,
red in lustre,
as is the bandhujīvaka flower,
or Benares muslin delicately finished on both sides
transcending this [object] he is aware of doing so,
[thinks] 'I know, I see!'
(8) or shapes of white,
white in color,
white in visible expanse,
white in lustre
as is the morning star,
or Benares muslin delicately finished on both sides
transcends this [object] and is aware of doing so,
[thinks]: 'I know, I see!'

[8.11][wp][bd] Eight deliverances,[12] to wit,
(1) He, picturing any material feature of himself,
sees such material features [as they really are].
(2) Not picturing any such,
[262] he sees material features external to his own.
(3) He decides that it is beautiful.[13]
(4) By passing wholly beyond all consciousness of material qualities,
by the dying out of the awareness of sensory reaction,
by the unheeding of any awareness of difference,
he enters into and abides
in that rapt ecstasy
which is a consciousness of infinite space.
(5) By passing wholly beyond such a sphere of consciousness,
he enters into and abides
in that rapt ecstasy
which is a consciousness of infinitude of consciousness itself.
(6) By passing wholly beyond such a sphere of consciousness,
he enters into and abides
in that rapt [243] ecstasy
which regards consciousness itself as nothing whatever,
a sphere of nothingness.
(7) By passing wholly beyond such a sphere,
he enters into and abides
in that rapt consciousness
which neither is,
nor yet is not
to be called conscious.
(8) By passing wholly beyond such a sphere,
he enters into and abides
in a state of unconsciousness,
wherein awareness and feeling cease.

These, Eights in the Doctrine, friends, have been perfectly set forth by the Exalted One who knows, who sees. ... Hereon should there be chanting by all in concord ...

 


[1] Lit. 'wrongnesses' and in (ii.) 'rightnesses' (the 'Ariyan Eightfold Path'), elsewhere called magga, kummagga (wrong path), paṭipadā and paṭipatti. Cf. S., V, 18,23: Vibh. 373, etc., etc.

[2] Sometimes rendered 'aspiration'; a synonym of vitakka. Application of the mind to an object or mental 'contriving' must be understood.

[ed1] RD has 'unrealizable.' which must be a typo.

[3] Either from fear of blame, or of future retribution. Comy.

[4] Namely, in studying for calm and insight, for giving softens the heart in both donor and recipient. Comy.

[5] I.e., its being unmixed, single-minded.

[6] Cf. preceding Suttanta passim.

[7] Omitted in the text.

[8] All rebirth in other worlds, from the Nibbāna or Arahant point of view, was low in range. But the Brahma world was also lowest in the Rūpa heavens. Only in the upper Rūpa worlds could Parinibbāna be obtained, when not accomplished on earth.

[9] Got rid of, remarks B., either by the Paths or by the Attainments (Jhāna). Charitable giving alone cannot secure rebirth in Brahma world. But as an adornment to the mind studying calm and insight, they make thought tender, and then, exercise in the Brahma-vihāara emotions (I, 317, f., § 76) can lead to such a rebirth.

[10] There is no comment on the absence of parisā's in other worlds. Presumably it is because no such assemblies are recorded in the Suttas, nor mention of any hierarchy or government, as e.g., in Dial. I, 282; II, 242 f., 293 (21), etc.

[11] See II, 118. The 'positions' refer to induction of the Jhāna consciousness. Cf. Bud. Psy. Eth., §§ 204-246; Expositor, ch. xi.

[12] Or releases, or emancipations (cf. Bud. Psy. Eth., p. 63), or 'stages' of the same (Dial. II, 119). These are also jhāna-incidents. Cf. above, p. 216, vā.

[13] Namely, the kasina, or abstracted bare colour or lustre in the object selected, wherewith to induce self-hypnosis.

 


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