Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
I. Mūlapaṇṇāsa
1. Mūlapariyāya Vagga

The Middle Length Sayings
I. The First Fifty Discourses
1. The Division of the Synopsis of Fundamentals

Sutta 3

Dhammadāyāda Suttaɱ[1]

Discourse on Heirs Of Dhamma

Translated from the Pali by I.B. Horner, M.A.
Associate of Newham College, Cambridge
First Published in 1954

Copyright The Pali Text Society
Commercial Rights Reserved
Creative Commons Licence
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[1][chlm][upal] THUS have I heard:

At one time the Lord was staying near Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery.

While he was there the Lord addressed the monks, saying:

"Monks."

"Revered One," these monks answered the Lord in assent.

The Lord spoke thus:

"Monks, become my heirs of Dhamma,
not heirs of material things.[2]

I have sympathy with you and think:

How may disciples become my heirs of Dhamma,
not heirs of material things?

If you, monks, should become heirs of material things,
not heirs of Dhamma,
not only may you become in consequence
those of whom it is said:

'The Teacher's disciples
are heirs of material things,
not heirs of [17] Dhamma,'

but I too may become in consequence
one of whom it is said:

'The Teacher's disciples
are heirs of material things,
not heirs of Dhamma,'

But if you, monks, should become my heirs of Dhamma,
not heirs of material things,
then you may become in consequence
those of whom it is said:

'The Teacher's disciples
are heirs of Dhamma,
not heirs of material things,'

and I too may become in consequence
one of whom it is said:

'The Teacher's disciples
are heirs of Dhamma,
not heirs of material things,'

Therefore, monks, become my heirs of Dhamma,,
not heirs of material things.

I have sympathy with you and think:

How may disciples become my heirs of Dhamma,,
not heirs of material things?

 


 

Take a case where I, monks,
may have eaten[3] and be satisfied,[4]
(the meal) ended, finished,
I having had enough,
as much as I pleased.

But it may be that some of my almsfood is over
and is to be thrown away,
when two monks may arrive
worn out with exhaustion and hunger.[5]

If I should speak to them thus:

'I, monks, have eaten and am satisfied
(the meal) ended, finished,
I having had enough,
as much as I pleased.

But some of my almsfood is over
and is to be thrown away.

Do eat it if you (so) desire;[6]
if you do not eat it
I will now throw it away
where there is no grass
or I will drop it into water
that has no living creatures in it.'[7]

Then it may occur to one monk:

'Now, the Lord having eaten and being satisfied
(the meal) ended, finished,
having had enough,
as much as he pleased.

But this almsfood of the Lord's is to be thrown away;
if we do not eat it,
the Lord will now throw it [18] away
where there is no grass
or he will drop it into water
that has no living creatures in it.

But this was said by the Lord:

Monks, become my heirs of Dhamma,
not heirs of material things.

But this is a material thing,
that is to say, almsfood.

Suppose that I,
not having eaten this almsfood,
in spite of this hunger and exhaustion,
should pass this night and day thus?'

He, not having eaten that almsfood,
in spite of that hunger and exhaustion,
may pass this night and day thus.

Then it occurs to the second monk, thus:

'Now, the Lord having eaten and being satisfied
(the meal) ended, finished,
having had enough,
as much as he pleased.

But this almsfood of the Lord's is to be thrown away;
if we do not eat it,
the Lord will now throw it away
where there is no grass
or he will drop it into water
that has no living creatures in it.

Suppose that I,
having eaten this alms-food,
having driven away this hunger and exhaustion,
should pass this night and day thus?

He, having eaten that almsfood,
having driven away that hunger and exhaustion,
may spend that night and day thus.

Although, monks, that monk,
having eaten that alms-food,
having driven away this hunger and exhaustion,
should pass this night and day thus,
he, having eaten that almsfood,
having driven away that hunger and exhaustion,
may spend that night and day thus,
yet that first monk is for me
the more to be honoured
and the more to be praised.[8]

What is the reason for this?

It is, monks, that it will conduce for a long time
to that monk's desirelessness,
to his contentment,
expunging (of evil),
to his being easily supported,
to his putting forth energy.[9]

Therefore, monks, become my heirs of Dhamma,
not heirs of material things.

I have sympathy with you and think:

How may disciples become my heirs of Dhamma,
and not heirs of material things?"

Thus spoke the Lord;
when the Well-farer had spoken thus,
rising from his seat,
he entered the dwelling-place.

 


 

Thereupon the venerable Sāriputta,
not long after the Lord had gone away,
addressed the monks, saying:

"Reverend monks."

"Your reverence,"
these monks answered the venerable Sāriputta in assent.

Then the venerable Sāriputta spoke thus:

"In what respects, your reverences,
while the Teacher is staying in seclusion,
do disciples not follow his example of aloofness?

And in what respects,
while the Teacher is staying in seclusion,
do disciples follow his example of aloofness?"

"We would come even from afar
to learn from the venerable Sāriputta
the meaning of this that is said.

It were good indeed
if the meaning of this that is said
should be spoken out by the venerable Sāriputta,
so that monks,
having heard the venerable Sāriputta,
might master it."

"Very well, your reverences,
listen,
attend carefully,
and I will speak."

"Yes, your reverence,"
these monks answered the venerable Sāriputta in assent.

Then the venerable Sāriputta spoke thus:

"This is a case, your reverences,
where, while the Teacher is staying in seclusion,
disciples do not follow his example as to aloofness,
they do not get rid of those things
of which the Teacher [19] has spoken of getting rid,
they are ones for abundance[10] and are lax,
taking the lead in backsliding,[11]
throwing off the yoke[12] of seclusion.[13]

Among them,[14] your reverences,
monks who are elders
become contemptible in three ways:

If, while the Teacher is staying in seclusion,
disciples do not follow his example as to aloofness -
this is the first way
in which monks who are elders
become contemptible.

If they do not get rid of those things
of which the Teacher has spoken of getting rid -
this is the second way
in which monks who are elders
become contemptible.

If they are ones for abundance and are lax,
taking the lead in backshding,
throwing off the yoke of seclusion -
this is the third way
in which monks who are elders
become contemptible.

So, your reverences,
monks who are elders become contemptible
in these three ways.

Among them, your reverences, monks who are of middle standing[15]
become contemptible in three ways:

If, while the Teacher is staying in seclusion,
disciples do not follow his example as to aloofness -
this is the first way
in which monks who are of middle standing
become contemptible.

If they do not get rid of those things
of which the Teacher has spoken of getting rid -
this is the second way
in which monks who are of middle standing
become contemptible.

If they are ones for abundance and are lax,
taking the lead in backshding,
throwing off the yoke of seclusion -
this is the third way
in which monks who are of middle standing
become contemptible.

So, your reverences,
monks who are of middle standing become contemptible
in these three ways.

Among them, your reverences, monks who are newly ordained monks[16] become contemptible in three ways:

If, while the Teacher is staying in seclusion,
disciples do not follow his example as to aloofness -
this is the first way
in which monks who are newly ordained monks
become contemptible.

If they do not get rid of those things
of which the Teacher has spoken of getting rid -
this is the second way
in which monks who are newly ordained monks
become contemptible.

If they are ones for abundance and are lax,
taking the lead in backshding,
throwing off the yoke of seclusion -
this is the third way
in which monks who are newly ordained monks
become contemptible.

So, your reverences,
monks who are newly ordained monks become contemptible
in these three ways.

In these respects, your reverences,
while the Teacher is staying in seclusion,
do disciples not follow his example as to aloofness.

But in what respects,
while the Teacher is staying in seclusion,
do disciples follow his example as to aloofness?

This is a case, your reverences,
where, while the Teacher is staying in seclusion,
disciples follow his example as to aloofness
and get rid of those things
of which the Teacher has spoken of getting rid,
they are not ones for abundance,
they are not lax,
they throw off the yoke of backsliding
and take the lead in seclusion.

Among them, your reverences,
monks who are elders
become praiseworthy
in three ways:

If, while the Teacher is staying in seclusion,
disciples follow his example as to aloofness -
this is the first way
in which monks who are elders
become praiseworthy.

If they get rid of those things
of which the Teacher has spoken of getting rid -
this is the second way
in which monks who are elders
become praiseworthy.

[20] If they are not ones for abundance,
if they are not lax,
if they throw off the yoke of backsliding
and take the lead in seclusion -
this is the third way
in which monks who are elders
become praiseworthy.

So, your reverences,
monks who are elders
become praiseworthy
in these three ways.

Among them, your reverences,
monks who are of middle standing
become praiseworthy
in three ways:

If, while the Teacher is staying in seclusion,
disciples follow his example as to aloofness -
this is the first way
in which monks who are of middle standing
become praiseworthy.

If they get rid of those things
of which the Teacher has spoken of getting rid -
this is the second way
in which monks who are of middle standing
become praiseworthy.

If they are not ones for abundance,
if they are not lax,
if they throw off the yoke of backsliding
and take the lead in seclusion -
this is the third way
in which monks who are of middle standing
become praiseworthy.

So, your reverences,
monks who are of middle standing
become praiseworthy
in these three ways.

Among them, your reverences,
monks who are newly ordained monks
become praiseworthy
in three ways:

If, while the Teacher is staying in seclusion,
disciples follow his example as to aloofness -
this is the first way
in which monks who are newly ordained monks
become praiseworthy.

If they get rid of those things
of which the Teacher has spoken of getting rid -
this is the second way
in which monks who are newly ordained monks
become praiseworthy.

If they are not ones for abundance,
if they are not lax,
if they throw off the yoke of backsliding
and take the lead in seclusion -
this is the third way
in which monks who are newly ordained monks
become praiseworthy.

So, your reverences,
monks who are newly ordained monks
become praiseworthy
in these three ways.

In these respects, your reverences,
while the Teacher is staying m seclusion,
do disciples follow his example as to aloofness.

 


 

Herein,[17] your reverences,
greed is evil
and ill-will[18] is evil;
for getting rid of greed
and for getting rid of ill-will
there is the Middle Course[19] which,
making for vision,[20]
making for knowledge,[20]
conduces to tranquillity,[21]
to super-knowledge,
to awakening,[22] to Nibbāna.[23]

And what, your reverences,
is this Middle Course which,
making for vision,
making for knowledge,
conduces to tranquillity,
to super-knowledge,
to Nibbāna?

It is this ariyan Eightfold Way itself,[24]
that is to say,
perfect view,
perfect thought,
perfect speech,
perfect action,
perfect mode of livelihood,
perfect exertion,
perfect mindfulness,
perfect concentration.

It is this, your reverences,
that is the Middle Course which,
making for vision,
making for knowledge,
conduces to tranquillity,
to super-knowledge,
to Nibbāna.

 


 

Herein, your reverences,
anger[25] is evil
and malevolence is evil
for getting rid of greed
and for getting rid of ill-will
there is the Middle Course which,
making for vision,
making for knowledge,
conduces to tranquillity,
to super-knowledge,
to awakening, to Nibbāna.

And what, your reverences,
is this Middle Course which,
making for vision,
making for knowledge,
conduces to tranquillity,
to super-knowledge,
to Nibbāna?

It is this ariyan Eightfold Way itself,
that is to say,
perfect view,
perfect thought,
perfect speech,
perfect action,
perfect mode of livehhood,
perfect exertion,
perfect mindfulness,
perfect concentration.

It is this, your reverences,
that is the Middle Course which,
making for vision,
making for knowledge,
conduces to tranquillity,
to super-knowledge,
to Nibbāna.

 


 

Herein, your reverences,
hypocrisy is evil
and spite is evil
for getting rid of hypocrisy
and for getting rid of spite
there is the Middle Course which,
making for vision,
making for knowledge,
conduces to tranquillity,
to super-knowledge,
to awakening, to Nibbāna.

And what, your reverences,
is this Middle Course which,
making for vision,
making for knowledge,
conduces to tranquillity,
to super-knowledge,
to Nibbāna?

It is this ariyan Eightfold Way itself,
that is to say,
perfect view,
perfect thought,
perfect speech,
perfect action,
perfect mode of livehhood,
perfect exertion,
perfect mindfulness,
perfect concentration.

It is this, your reverences,
that is the Middle Course which,
making for vision,
making for knowledge,
conduces to tranquillity,
to super-knowledge,
to Nibbāna.

 


 

Herein, your reverences,
envy is evil
and stinginess is evil
for getting rid of envy
and for getting rid of stinginess
there is the Middle Course which,
making for vision,
making for knowledge,
conduces to tranquillity,
to super-knowledge,
to awakening, to Nibbāna.

And what, your reverences,
is this Middle Course which,
making for vision,
making for knowledge,
conduces to tranquillity,
to super-knowledge,
to Nibbāna?

It is this ariyan Eightfold Way itself,
that is to say,
perfect view,
perfect thought,
perfect speech,
perfect action,
perfect mode of livehhood,
perfect exertion,
perfect mindfulness,
perfect concentration.

It is this, your reverences,
that is the Middle Course which,
making for vision,
making for knowledge,
conduces to tranquillity,
to super-knowledge,
to Nibbāna.

 


 

Herein, your reverences,
deceit is evil
and treachery is evil
for getting rid of deceit
and for getting rid of treachery
there is the Middle Course which,
making for vision,
making for knowledge,
conduces to tranquillity,
to super-knowledge,
to awakening, to Nibbāna.

And what, your reverences,
is this Middle Course which,
making for vision,
making for knowledge,
conduces to tranquillity,
to super-knowledge,
to Nibbāna?

It is this ariyan Eightfold Way itself,
that is to say,
perfect view,
perfect thought,
perfect speech,
perfect action,
perfect mode of livehhood,
perfect exertion,
perfect mindfulness,
perfect concentration.

It is this, your reverences,
that is the Middle Course which,
making for vision,
making for knowledge,
conduces to tranquillity,
to super-knowledge,
to Nibbāna.

 


 

Herein, your reverences,
obstinacy is evil
and impetuosity is evil
for getting rid of obstinacy,
[21] for getting rid of impetuosity
there is the Middle Course which,
making for vision,
making for knowledge,
conduces to tranquillity,
to super-knowledge,
to awakening, to Nibbāna.

And what, your reverences,
is this Middle Course which,
making for vision,
making for knowledge,
conduces to tranquillity,
to super-knowledge,
to Nibbāna?

It is this ariyan Eightfold Way itself,
that is to say,
perfect view,
perfect thought,
perfect speech,
perfect action,
perfect mode of livehhood,
perfect exertion,
perfect mindfulness,
perfect concentration.

It is this, your reverences,
that is the Middle Course which,
making for vision,
making for knowledge,
conduces to tranquillity,
to super-knowledge,
to Nibbāna.

 


 

Herein, your reverences,
arrogance is evil
and pride is evil
for getting rid of arrogance
and for getting rid of pride
there is the Middle Course which,
making for vision,
making for knowledge,
conduces to tranquillity,
to super-knowledge,
to awakening, to Nibbāna.

And what, your reverences,
is this Middle Course which,
making for vision,
making for knowledge,
conduces to tranquillity,
to super-knowledge,
to Nibbāna?

It is this ariyan Eightfold Way itself,
that is to say,
perfect view,
perfect thought,
perfect speech,
perfect action,
perfect mode of livehhood,
perfect exertion,
perfect mindfulness,
perfect concentration.

It is this, your reverences,
that is the Middle Course which,
making for vision,
making for knowledge,
conduces to tranquillity,
to super-knowledge,
to Nibbāna.

 


 

Herein, your reverences,
conceit is evil
and indolence is evil
for getting rid of conceit
and for getting rid of indolence
there is the Middle Course which,
making for vision,
making for knowledge,
conduces to tranquillity,
to super-knowledge,
to awakening, to Nibbāna.

And what, your reverences,
is this Middle Course which,
making for vision,
making for knowledge,
conduces to tranquillity,
to super-knowledge,
to Nibbāna?

It is this ariyan Eightfold Way itself,
that is to say,
perfect view,
perfect thought,
perfect speech,
perfect action,
perfect mode of livehhood,
perfect exertion,
perfect mindfulness,
perfect concentration.

It is this, your reverences,
that is the Middle Course which,
making for vision,
making for knowledge,
conduces to tranquillity,
to super-knowledge,
to Nibbāna.

 


 

Thus spoke the venerable Sāriputta.

Delighted, these monks rejoiced in what the venerable Sāriputta had said.

Discourse on Heirs of Dhamma
the Third.

 


[1] Referred to at M.A. ii. 246.

[2] Cf. It., p. 101. Āmisa is material goods or gains, such as the four types of requisites, which, however, MA. i. 89-90 says are only figuratively āmisa.

[3] bhuttāvin.

[4] pavārita, see B.D. ii. 326, n, 2; MA. i. 93 distinguishes four kinds of pavāraṇā, "invitation " to take and therefore "satisfying."

[5] Cf. M. i. 114, 364.

[6] At Pāc. 35 (Vin. iv. 81 ff.) monks may eat food that is left over.

[7] For this sentence cf. Vin. i. 157, 225, ii. 216; S. i. 169; M. i. 207, iii. 157; Sn. p, 15. At Pāc. 20 and 62 it is made an offence for monks knowingly to make use of water that contains life (Vin. iv. 48 f., 125).

[8] Quoted at Miln. 242.

[9] Cf. Vin. iii. 21, and see B.D. i. 37, n. 6.

[10] I.e. of robes, etc., MA. i. 101. Cf. A. i. 71 (where monks such as these are put among the unariyan company), A. ii. 148, iii. 108, 179 f.; M. i. 32.

[11] okkamana, in regard to the five hindrances, MA. i. 101.

[12] nikkhittadhura, throwing off responsibility. Cf. dhuraɱ nikkhipati at Vin. iii. 50, and dhuraɱ nikkhittamatte at Vin. iv. 128, 280, 291, 297, 302.

[13] Aloofness from attachment, Nibbāna, MA. i. 101.

[14] tatra, explained at MA. i. 102 to mean among these disciples.

[15] Those, as MA. i. 102 remarks, who have been ordained from five to nine years.

[16] Those who have been ordained for less than five years.

[17] I.e. in tbe foregoing teaching, MA. i. 103.

[18] I.e. ill-will or anger or resentment at not getting the foods you were greedy to get. Following terms occur at A. i. 299; cf. also A. i. 95, 100.

[19] MA. i. 104 says that it is the Way, called "Middle," because the two ends (or, dead-ends) of greed and ill-will do not touch it, it is free from them.

[20] Of the Truths, MA. i. 104.

[21] By the allaying of attachment, rāga, and so on.

[22] sambodho ti maggo, awakening is called the Way; because it conduces to this it conduces to awakening, MA. i. 104.

[23] Because it conduces to the realisation of the deathlessness of Nibbāna, by making it clear (or, present), it is said that it conduces to Nibbāna, MA. i. 104.

[24] MA. i. 105 quotes Dhp. 274: "This itself is the Way -there is not another - for the purification of vision (dassanā)." The (Way) goes slaying the corruptions, or it tracks out Nibbāna,, or it is followed by one seeking Nibbāna,. Each factor of the Way - and each is the Way - gets rid of its opposite, and Nibbāna, is made a mental object, MA. i. 105-106. Taken together the eight factors constitute a process (see M. iii. 76) with right or perfect view (understanding or knowledge, vijjā) as the forerunner (M. iii. 71; A. v. 214).

[25] The following terms down to sātheyya, treachery, are defined at Vbh. 357.


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