Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
I. Mūlapaṇṇāsa
3. Tatiya Vagga

The Middle Length Sayings
I. The First Fifty Discourses
3. The Third Division

Sutta 26

Ariya Pariyesana Suttaɱ[1]

Discourse on the Ariyan Quest

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
For details see Terms of Use.

 


 

THUS have I heard:

[1][bit][chlm][than][ntbb][upal] At one time[2] the Lord was staying near Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery.

Then the Lord, having dressed early, taking his bowl and robe, entered Sāvatthī for almsfood.

Then a number of monks approached the venerable Ānanda; having approached, they spoke thus to the venerable Ānanda: "It is long since we, reverend Ānanda, hear a talk on dhamma face-to-face with the Lord. It is good if we, reverend Ānanda, got a chance of hearing a talk on dhamma face-to-face with the Lord."

"Well then, the venerable ones should go to the hermitage of the brahman Rāmaka, and probably you would get a chance of hearing a talk on dhamma face-to-face with the Lord."

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

Then the Lord, having walked for alms in Sāvatthī, returning from (the quest for) alms, after the meal, said to the venerable Ānanda:

"We will go along, Ānanda, and approach the Eastern Park, the palace of Migāra's mother, for the day sojourn."

"Very well, Lord," the venerable Ānanda answered the Lord in [204] assent.

[161] Then the Lord together with the venerable Ānanda approached the Eastern Park, the palace of Migāra's mother for the day-sojourn.

Then the Lord, emerging from seclusion towards evening, said to the venerable Ānanda:

"We will go along, Ānanda, and approach the Eastern Porch[3] to bathe our limbs."

"Very well, Lord," the venerable Ānanda answered the Lord in assent.

Then the Lord, together with the venerable Ānanda, approached the Eastern Porch to bathe their limbs.

When he had bathed his limbs at the Eastern Porch and had come out (of the water), he stood in a single robe drying his limbs.[4]

Then the venerable Ānanda spoke thus to the Lord:

"Lord, this hermitage of the brahman Rāmaka is not far; the hermitage of the brahman Rāmaka is lovely, Lord; the hermitage of the brahman Rāmaka is beautiful, Lord. It were good, Lord, if out of compassion[5] the Lord were to approach the hermitage of the brahman Rāmaka."

The Lord consented by becoming silent.

Then the Lord approached the hermitage of the brahman Rāmaka. At that time a number of monks came to be sitting down and talking dhamma in the hermitage of the brahman Rāmaka.

Then the Lord stood outside the porch waiting for the talk to finish. Then the Lord, knowing that the talk had finished, coughed and knocked on the bar of the door;[6] those monks opened the door to the Lord.[7] Then the Lord, having entered the hermitage [205] of the brahman Rāmaka, sat down on the appointed seat.[8] As he was sitting down, the Lord said to the monks:

"As you were sitting down just now, what was your talk about, monks? What was your talk that was interrupted?"

"Lord, our talk that was interrupted was about the Lord himself; then he arrived."

"It were good, monks, that when young men of family such as you who have gone forth from home into homelessness out of faith ate gathered together that you talk about dhamma. When you are gathered together, monks, there are two things to be done: either talk about dhamma or the Ariyan silence.[9]

These, monks, are the two quests: the Ariyan quest and the unAriyan quest.

And what, monks, is the unAriyan quest?[10]

As to this, monks, someone, liable to birth because of self, seeks what is likewise liable to birth;
being liable to ageing because of self, seeks what is likewise liable to ageing;
being liable to decay because of self ...
being liable to dying because of self ...
being liable to sorrow because of self ...
being liable to stain because of self, seeks what is likewise liable to stain.

And what, monks, would you say is liable to birth?

Sons and wife, monks, are liable to birth,
women-slaves and men-slaves are liable to birth,
goats and sheep are liable to birth,
cocks and swine are liable to birth,
elephants, cows, horses and mares are liable to birth,
gold and silver are liable to birth.

These attachments, monks, are liable to birth;
yet this (man), enslaved, infatuated, addicted,[11] being liable to birth because of self, seeks what is likewise liable to birth.

And what, monks, would you say is liable to ageing?

Sons and wife, monks, are liable to ageing,
women-slaves and men-slaves ...
[206] goats and sheep ...
cocks and swine ...
elephants, cows, horses and mares ...
gold and silver are liable to ageing.

These attachments, monks, are liable to ageing;
yet this (man), enslaved, infatuated, addicted, being liable to ageing because of self, seeks what is likewise liable to ageing.

And what, monks, would you say is liable to disease?

Sons and wife, monks, are liable to disease,
women-slaves and men-slaves ...
goats and sheep ...
cocks and swine ...
elephants, cows, horses and mares are liable to disease.[12]

These attachments, monks, are liable to disease ... seeks what is likewise liable to disease.

And, what, monks, would you say is liable to dying?

Sons and wife, monks, are liable to dying,
women-slaves and men-slaves ...
goats and sheep ...
cocks and swine ...
elephants, cows, horses and mares are liable to dying.

These attachments, monks, are liable to dying ... seeks what is likewise liable to dying.

And what, monks, would you say is liable to sorrow?

Sons and wife, monks, are liable to sorrow,
women-slaves and men-slaves ...
goats and sheep ...
cocks and swine ...
elephants, cows, horses and mares are liable to sorrow.

These attachments, monks, are liable to sorrow ... seeks what is likewise liable to sorrow.

And what, monks, do you say is liable to stain?

Sons and wife, monks, are liable to stain,
women-slaves and men-slaves ...
goats and sheep ...
cocks and swine ...
elephants, cows, horses and mares ...
gold and silver are liable to stain.

These attachments, monks, are liable to stain; yet this (man), enslaved, infatuated, addicted, being liable to stain because of self, seeks what is likewise liable to stain.

This, monks, is the unAriyan quest.

And what, monks, is the Ariyan quest?

As to this, monks, someone, being liable to birth because of self, having known the peril in what is likewise liable to birth, seeks the unborn, the uttermost security from the bonds — Nibbāna;
being liable to ageing because of self, having known the peril in what is likewise liable to ageing, seeks the unageing, the uttermost security from the bonds — Nibbāna;
being liable to decay because of self, having known the peril in what is likewise liable to decay, seeks the undecaying, the uttermost security from the bonds — Nibbāna;
being liable to dying because of self, having known the peril in what is likewise liable to dying, seeks the undying, the uttermost security from the bonds, [207] Nibbāna;
being liable to sorrow because of self, having known the peril in what is likewise liable to sorrow, seeks the unsorrowing, the uttermost security from the bonds — Nibbāna;
being liable to stain because of self, having known the peril in what is likewise liable to stain, seeks the stainless, the uttermost security from the bonds — Nibbāna.

This, monks, is the Ariyan quest.

And I too, monks, before awakening, while I was still the bodhisatta, not fully awakened, being liable to birth because of self, sought what was likewise liable to birth;
being liable to ageing because of self, sought what was likewise liable to ageing;
being liable to disease because of self ...
being liable to dying because of self ...
being liable to sorrow because of self ...
being liable to stain because ofself, sought what was likewise liable to stain.

Then it occurred to me, monks:
'Why do I, liable to birth because of self, seek what is likewise liable to birth;
being liable to ageing ...
being liable to stain because of self, seek what is likewise liable to stain?
Suppose that I, (although) being liable to birth because of self, having known the peril in what is likewise liable to birth, should seek the unborn, the uttermost secnrity from the bonds — Nibbāna?

Being liable to ageing becaue of self should seek the unageing. ...
Being liable decay because of self should seek the undecaying. ...
Being liable to dying because of self ...
should seek the undying. ...
Being liable to sorrow because of self ... should seek the unsorrowing. ...
Being liable to stain because of self, having known the peril in what is likewise liable to stain, should seek the stainless, the uttermost security from the bonds — Nibbāna?

Then I, monks, after a time,[13] being young, my hair coal-black, possessed of radiant[14] youth, in the prime of my life — although my unwilling parents wept and wailed — having cut off my hair and beard, having put on yellow robes, went forth from home into homelessness.

I, being gone forth thus, a quester for whatever is good, searching for the incomparable, matchless path to peace, approached Āḷāra the Kālāma;
having approached, I spoke thus to Āḷāra the Kālāma:

'I, reverend Kālāma, want to fare the Brahmā-faring in this dhamma and discipline.'

This said, monks, Āḷāra the Kālāma spoke thus to me:

'Let the venerable one proceed;[15] this dhamma is such that an intelligent man, having soon realised super- [208] knowledge for himself (as learnt from) his own teacher, may enter on and abide in it.'

So I, monks, very soon, very quickly, mastered that dhamma.

I, monks, as far as mere lip service, mere repetition were concerned, spoke the doctrine of knowledge,[16] and the doctrine of the elders,[17] and I claimed — I as well as others — that 'I know, I see.'

Then it occurred to me, monks:

'But Āḷāra the Kālāma does not merely proclaim this dhamma simply out of faith: Having realised super-knowledge for myself, entering on it, I am abiding therein.
For surely Āḷāra the Kālāma proceeds knowing, seeing this dhamma.'

Then did I, monks, approach Āḷāra the Kālāma; having approached, I spoke thus to Āḷāra the Kālāma:

'To what extent do you, reverend Kālāma, having realised super-knowledge for yourself, entering thereon, proclaim this dhamma?'

When this had been said, monks, Āḷāra the Kālāma proclaimed the plane of no-thing.

Then it occurred to me, monks:

'It is not only Āḷāra the Kālāma who has faith, I too have faith.
It is not only Āḷāra the Kālāma who has energy, I too have energy.
It is not only Āḷāra the Kālāma who has mindfulness, I too have mindfulness.
It is not only Āḷāra the Kālāma who has concentration, I too have concentration.
It is not only Āḷāra the Kālāma who has intuitive wisdom, I too have intuitive wisdom.
Suppose now that I should strive for the realisation of that dhamma which Āḷāra the Kālāma proclaims:
'Having realised super-knowledge for myself, entering on it I am abiding therein?'

So I, monks, very soon, very quickly, having realised super-knowledge for myself, entering on that dhamma, abided therein.

Then I, monks, approached Āḷāra the Kālāma; having approached, I spoke thus to Āḷāra the Kālāma:

'Is it to this extent that you, reverend Kalama, proclaim this dhamma, entering on it, having realised it by your own super-knowledge?'

'It is to this extent that I, your reverence, proclaim this dhamma, entering on it, having realised it by my own super-knowledge.'

'I too, your reverence, having realised this dhamma by my own super-knowledge, entering on it am abiding in it.'

'It is profitable for us, it is well gotten for us, your reverence, that we see a fellow Brahmā-farer such as the venerable one.
This dhamma that I, entering on, proclaim, having realised it by my own super-knowledge, is the dhamma that you, entering on, are abiding in, [209] having realised it by your own super-knowledge;
the dhamma that you, entering on, are abiding in, having realised it by your own super-knowledge, is the dhamma that I, entering on, proclaim, having realised it by my own super-knowledge.
The dhamma that I know, this is the dhamma that you know.
The dhamma that you know, this is the dhamma that I know.
As I am, so are you;
as you are, so am I.
Come now, your reverence,
being just the two of us,
let us look after this group.'

In this way, monks, did Āḷāra the Kālāma, being my teacher, set me — the pupil — on the same level as himself and honoured me with the highest honour.

Then it occurred to me, monks:

'This dhamma does not conduce to disregard nor to dispassion nor to stopping nor to tranquillity nor to super-knowledge nor to awakening nor to Nibbāna, but only as far as reaching the plane of no-thing.'

So I, monks, not getting enough from this dhamma,
disregarded and turned away from this dhamma.

Then I, monks, a quester for whatever is good, searching for the incomparable, matchless path to peace, approached Uddaka, Rāma's son;
having approached, I spoke thus to Uddaka, Rāma's son:

'I, your reverence, want to fare the Brahmā-faring in this dhamma and discipline.'

This said, monks, Uddaka, Rāma's son, spoke thus to me:

'Let the venerable one proceed; this dhamma is such that an intelligent man, having soon realised super-knowledge for himself, (as learnt from) his own teacher, may enter on and abide in it.'

So I, monks, very soon, very quickly, mastered that dhamma. I, monks, as far as mere lip service, mere repetition were concerned, spoke the doctrine of knowledge and the doctrine of the elders, and I claimed — I as well as others — that 'I know, I see.'

Then it occurred to me, monks:

'But Uddahka, Rāma's son, does not merely proclaim this dhamma simply out of faith: Having realised super-knowledge for myself, entering on it, I am abiding in it.
For surely Uddaka, Rāma's son, proceeds knowing and seeing this dhamma.'

Then did I, monks, approach Uddaka, Rāma's; having approached, I spoke thus to Uddaka, Rāma's son:

'To what extent do you, reverend Rāma, having realised super-knowledge for yourself, entering thereon proclaim this dhamma?'

When this had been said, monks, Uddahka, Rāma's son, proclaimed the plane of neither-perception-nor-non-perception.

Then it occurred to me, monks:

'It is not only Rāma who has faith, I too have faith.
It is not only Rāma who has energy, I too have energy.
It is not only Rāma who has mindfulness, I too have mindfulness.
It is not only Rāma who has concentration, I too have concentration.
It is not [210] only Rāma who has intuitive wisdom, I too have intuitive wisdom.
Suppose now that I should strive for the realisation of that dhamma which Rāma proclaims:
'Having realised super-knowledge for myself, entering on it I am abiding in it?'

So I, monks, very soon, very quickly, having realised super-knowledge for myself, entering on that dhamma, abided therein.

Then I, monks, approached Uddaka, Rāma's son; having approached, I spoke thus to Uddaka, Rāma's son:

'Is it to this extent that you, reverend Rāma, proclaim this dhamma, entering on it, having realised it by your own super-knowledge?'

'It is to this extent that I, your reverence, proclaim this dhamma, entering on it, having realised it by my own super-knowledge.'

'I too, your reverence, having realised this dhamma by my own super-knowledge, entering on it am abiding in it.'

'It is profitable for us, it is well gotten by us, your reverence, that we see a fellow-Brahmā-farer such as the venerable one.
This dhamma that I, entering on, proclaim, having realised it by my own super-knowledge, is the dhamma that you, entering on, are abiding in, having realised it by your own super-knowledge;
the dhamma that you, entering on, are abiding in, having realised it by your own super-knowledge, is the dhamma that I, entering on, proclaim, having realised it by my own super-knowledge.
The dhamma that I know, this is the dhamma that you know.
That dhamma that you know, this is the dhamma that I know.
As I am, so are you;
as you are, so am I.
Come now, your reverence,
being just the two of us,
let us look after this group.

In this way, monks, did Uddaka, Rāma's son, being my teacher, set me — the pupil — on the same level as himself and honoured me with the highest honour.

Then it occurred to me, monks:

'This dhamma does not conduce to disregard nor to dispassion nor to stopping nor to tranquillity nor to super-knowledge nor to awakening nor to Nibbāna, but only as far as reaching the plane of neither-perception-nor-non-perception.'

So I, monks, not getting enough from this dhamma,
disregarded and turned away from this dhamma.

Then I, monks, a quester for whatever is good, searching for the incomparable, matchless path to peace, walking on tour through Magadha in due course arrived at Uruvela, the camp township.

There I saw a delightful stretch of land and a lovely woodland grove, and a clear flowing river[18] with a delightful ford, and a village for support nearby.

It occurred to me, monks:

'Indeed it it is a delightful stretch of land, and the woodland grove is lovely, and the river flows clear with a delightful ford, and there is a village for support nearby.
Indeed this does well for the striving of a young man set on striving.'

So I, monks, sat down just there, thinking:
'Indeed this does well for striving.'

"I, monks, being liable to birth because of self, having known the peril in what is liable to birth, seeking the unborn, the uttermost security from the bonds — Nibbāna — won the unborn, the uttermost security from the bonds — Nibbāna;
being liable to ageing because of self, having known the peril in what is liable to ageing, seeking the unageing, the uttermost security from the bonds — Nibbāna — won the unageing, the uttermost security from the bonds — Nibbāna;
being liable to decay because of self, having known the peril in what is liable to decay, seeking the undecaying, the uttermost security from the bonds — Nibbāna — won the undecaying, the uttermost security from the bonds — Nibbāna;
being liable to dying because of self, having known the peril in what is liable to dying, seeking the undying, the uttermost security from the bonds — Nibbāna — won the undying, the uttermost security from the bonds — Nibbāna;
being liable to sorrow because of self, having known the peril in what is liable to sorrow, seeking the unsorrowing, the uttermost security from the bonds — Nibbāna — won the unsorrowing, the uttermost security from the bonds — Nibbāna;
being liable to stain because of self, having known the peril in what is liable to stain, seeking the stainless, the uttermost secutity from the bonds — Nibbāna — won the stainless, the uttermost security from the bonds — Nibbāna.

Knowledge and vision arose in me:
unshakable is freedom for me,
this is the last birth,
there is not now again-becoming.

It occurred to me, monks:

'This dhamma,[19] won to by me is deep, difficult to see, difficult to understand, tranquil, excellent, beyond dialectic, subtle, intelligible to the learned.
But this is a creation delighting in sensual pleasure, delighted by sensual pleasure, rejoicing in sensual pleasure.
So that for a creation delighting in sensual pleasure, delighted by sensual pleasure, rejoicing in sensual pleasure, this were a matter difficult to see,
that is to say causal uprising by way of condition.
This too were a matter difficult to see,
that is to say the tranquillising of all the activities,
the renunciation of all attachment,
the destruction of [212] craving,
dispassion,
stopping,
Nibbāna.

But if I were to teach dhamma and others were not to understand me, that would be a weariness to me, that would be a vexation to me.

Moreover, monks, these verses not heard before in the past spontaneously occurred to me:

This that through many toils I've won —
Enough! why should I make it known?
By folk with lust and hate consumed
This dhamma is not understood.

Leading on against the stream,
Deep, subtle, difficult to see, delicate,
Unseen 'twill be by passion's slaves
Cloaked in the murk of ignorance.

In such wise, as I was pondering, monks, my mind inclined to little effort and not teaching dhamma.

Then, monks, it occurred to Brahmā Sahampati who knew with his mind the reasoning in my mind:

'Alas, the world is lost,
alas, the world is destroyed,
inasmuch as the mind of the Tathāgata,
the perfected one, the fully awakened one,
inclines to little effort
and not to teaching dhamma.'

Then, monks, as a strong man might stretch out his bent arm, or might bend back his outstretched arm, even so did Brahmā Sahampati, vanishing from the Brahmā-world, become manifest before me.

Then, monks, Brahmā Sahampati, having arranged his upper robe over one shoulder, having saluted me with joined palms, spoke thus to me:

'Lord, let the Lord teach dhamma,
let the well-farer teach dhamma;
there are beings with little dust in their eyes who;
not hearing dhamma, are decaying,
(but if) they are learners of dhamma they will grow.'

Thus spoke Brahmā Sahampati to me, monks; having said this, he further spoke thus:

'There has appeared in Magadha before thee
An unclean dhamma by (minds) with stains devised.
Open this door of deathlessness; let them hear
Dhamma awakened to by the stainless one.

As on a crag on crest of mountain standing
A man might watch the people all around,
E'en so do thou, O Wisdom fair, ascending,
O Seer of all, the terraced heights of truth,
Look down, from grief released, upon the peoples
Sunken in grief, oppressed with birth and age.

[213] Arise, thou hero! Conqueror in the battle!
Thou leader of the caravsn, without a debt!
Walk in the world. Let the Blessed One
Teach dhamma; they who learn will grow.'

And then I, monks, having understood Brahmā's entreaty, out of compassion surveyed the world with the eye of an Awakened One.
As I, monks, was surveying tbe world with the eye of an Awakened One,
I saw beings with little dust in their eyes,
with much dust in their eyes,
with acute faculties
with dull faculties,
of good dispositions,
of bad dispositions,
docile,
indocile,
few seeing from fear
sins and the world beyond.

Even as in a pond of blue lotuses
or in a pond of red lotuses
or in a pond of white lotuses,
a few red and blue and white lotuses
are born in the water,
grow in the water,
do not rise above the water
but thrive while alltogether immersed;
a few blue or red or white lotuses
are born in the water,
grow in the water
and reach the surface of the water;
a few blue or reel or white lotuses
are born in the water,
grow in the water
and stand rising out of the water,
undefiled by the water;
even so did I, monks,
surveying the world with the eye of an Awakened One,
see beings with little dust in their eyes,
with much dust in their eyes,
with acute faculties,
with dull faculties,
of good dispositions,
of bad dispositions,
docile,
indocile,
few seeing from fear
sins and the world beyond.

Then I, monks, addressed Brahmā Sahampati in verses:

Opened for those who hear are the doors of the Deathless, Brahmā,
Let them give forth their faith;
Thinking of useless fatigue, Brahmā, I have not preached dhamma
Sublime and excellent for men.

Then, monks, Brahmā Sahampati, thinking:
'The opportunity was made by me for the Lord to teach dhamma,'
having greeted me, keeping his right side towards me, vanshed then and there.

Then it occurred to me, monks:

'Now, to whom should I first teach this dhamma?
Who will understand this dhamma quickly?'

Then it occurred to me, monks:

'Indeed this Āḷāra the Kālāma is learned, experienced, wise, and for a long time has had little dust in his eyes.
Suppose that I were to teach dhamma first to Āḷāra the Kālāma he will understand this dhamma quickly.

Then devatās having approached me, spoke thus:

Lord, Āḷāra the Kālāma passed away seven days ago.'

So knowledge and vision arose in me that Āḷāra the Kālāma had passed away seven days ago.

[214] Then it occurred to me, monks:

'Āḷāra the Kālāma has suffered a great loss.[20]
For if he had heard this dhamma, he would have understood it quickly.'

Then it occurred to me, monks:

'Now, to whom could I first teach this dhamma?
Who will understand this dhamma quickly?

Then it occurred to me, monks:

'This Uddaka, Rāma's son, is learned, experienced, wise, and for a long time has had little dust in his eyes.
Suppose that I were to teach dhamma first to Uddaka, Rāma's son?
He will understand this dhamma quickly,'

Then, monks, devatas, having approached me, spoke thus:

'Lord, Uddaka, Rāma's son, passed away last night,'

So knowledge and vision arose in me that Uddaka, Rāma's son, had passed away last night.

Then it occurred to me, monks:

'Uddaka, Rāma's son, has suffered a great loss.
For if he had heard this dhamma, he would have understood it quickly.

Then it occured to me, monks:

'Now to whom could I first teach this dhamma?
Who will understand this dhamma quickly?

Then it occurred to me, monks:

'This group of five monks who waited on me when I was self-resolute in striving, were very helpful.
Suppose that I were to teach dhamma first to this group of five monks?

Then it occurred to me, monks:

'But where is the group of five monks staying at present? Then, monks I saw with deva-vision, purified and surpassing that of men, the group of five monks staying near Benares at Isipatana in the deer-park.
Then I, monks, having stayed at Uruvelā for as long as I found suiting, set out on tour for Benares.

Then, monks, Upaka, the Naked Ascetic,[21] saw me as I was going along the high road between Gayā and the (Tree of) Awakening;
having seen me, he spoke thus:

'Your reverence, your faculties are quite pure, your complexion is very bright, very clear.
On account of whom have you, your reverence, gone forth, or who is your teacher, or whose dhamma do you profess?'

When this had been said, I, monks, addressed Upaka, the Naked Ascetic, in verses:

'Victorious over all, omniscient am I,
Among all things undefiled,
Leaving all, through death of craving freed,
By knowing for myself, whom should I point to?[22]

For me there is no teacber,
One like me does not exist,
In the world with its devas
No one equals me.

For I am perfected in tbe world,
A teacher supreme am I,
I alone am all-awakened,
Become cool am I, Nibbāna-attained.

To turn the dhamma-wheel
I go to Kasi's city,
Beating the drum of deathlessness
In a world that's blind become.'

'According to what you claim, your reveraence, you ought to be victor of the unending.'

'Like me, they are victors indeed
Who have won destruciion of the cankers;
Vanquished by me are evil things,
Therefore am I, Upaka, a victor.'

When this had been said, monks, Upaka the Naked Ascetic, having said:
'May it be (so), your reverence"
having shaken his head, went off having taken a different road.

Then I, monks, walking on tour, in due course arrived at Benares, Isipatana, the deer-park and the group of five monks.

Monks, the group of five monks saw me coming in the distance, and seeing me they agreed among themselves, saying:

'Your reverences, this recluse Gotama is coming, he lives in abundance, he is wavering in his striving, he has reverted to a life of abundance.
He should be neither greeted, nor stood up for, nor should his bowl and robe be received;
all the same a seat may be put out, he can sit down if he wants to.'

But as I, monks, gradually approached this group of five monks, so this group of five monks were not able to adhere to their own agreement;
having approached me some received my bowl and robe,
some made a seat ready,
some brought water for washing the feet,
and they addressed me by my name and with the epithet 'your reverence.'

When this had been said, I, monks, spoke thus to the group of five monks:

'Do not, monks, address a Tathāgata by his name or by the epithet 'your reverence.'
Monks, the Tathāgata is one perfected, a fully Self-awakened One.
Give ear, monks, the deathless is found,
I instruct, I teach dhamma.
Going along [216] in accordance with what is enjoined,
having soon realised here and now by your own super-knowledge that supreme goal of the Brahmā-faring for the sake of which young men of family rightly go forth from home into homelessness,
you will abide in it.'

When this had been said, monks, the group of five monks addressed me thus:

'But you, reverend Gotama, did not come to a state of further-men, to knowledge and vision befitting the Ariyans by this conduct, by this course, by this practice of austerities.
So how can you now come to a state of further-men, to knowledge and vision befitting the Ariyans when you live in abundance and, wavering in your striving, revert to a life of abundance?'

When this had been said, monks, I spoke to the group of five monks thus:

'A Tathāgata, monks, does not live in abundance nor, wavering in striving, does he revert to a life of abundance.
The Tathāgata, monks, is one perfected, a fully Self-awakened One.
Give ear, monks, the deathless is found,
I instruct, I teach dhamma.
Going along in accordance with what is enjoined,
having soon realised here and now by your own super-knowledge that supreme goal of the Brahmā-faring for the sake of which young men of family rightly go forth from home into homelessness,
you will abide in it.'

And a second time, monks, the group of five monks spoke to me thus:

'But you, reverend Gotama ... ' ... ' ... you will abide in it.'

And a third time, monks, the group of five monks spoke to me thus:

'But you, reverend Gotama ... revert to a life of abundance?'

When this had been said, I, monks, spoke thus to the group of five monks:

'Do you allow, monks, that I have ever spoken[23] to you like this before?'

'You have not, Lord.'

'A Tathāgata, a monks, is a perfected one, a fully Self-awakened One.
Give ear, monks, the deathless is found,
I instruct, I teach dhamma.
Going along in accordance with what is enjoined,
having soon realised here and now by your own super-knowledge that supreme goal of the Brahmā-faring for the sake of which young men of family rightly go forth from home into homelessness,
you will abide in it.'

And I, monks, was able to convince the group of five monks.

Monks, I now exhorted two monks;
three monks walked for almsfood.[24]
Whatever the three monks who had walked for alms- [217] food brought back,
that the group of six[25] lived on.

And then, monks, I exhorted three monks;
two monks walked for almsfood.
Whatever the two monks who had walked for almsfood brought back,
that the group of six lived on.

Then, monks, the group of five monks, being thus exhorted, thus instructed by me,
being liable to birth because of self,
having known the peril in what is liable to birth, seeking the unborn, the uttermost security from the bonds — Nibbāna — won the unborn, the uttermost security from the bonds — Nibbāna;
being liable to ageing because of self ... won the unageing ...
being liable to decay becaue of self ... won the undecaying ...
being liable to dying hecause or self ... won the undying ...
being liable tc sorrow because of self ... won the unsorrowing ...
being liahle to stain because of self, having known the peril in what is liable to stain, seeking the stainless, the uttermost security from the bonds — Nibbāna — won the stainless, the uttermost security from the bonds — Nibbāna.

Knowledge and vision arose in them:
Unshakable is freedom for us,
this is the last birth,
there is not now again-becoming.

Monks, there are these five strands of sense-pleasures.[26]

What are the five?

Material shapes cognisable by the eye,
alluring, agreeable, pleasant, liked,
connected with sense-pleasures, enticing;
sounds cognisahle by the ear ...
smells cognisable by the nose ...
tastes cognisable by the tongue ...
touchables cognisable by the body,
alluring, agreeable, pleasant, liked,
connected with sense-plesures, enticing.

These, monks, are the five strands of sense-pleasures.

Monks, those recluses or brahmans who enjoy these five strands of sense-pleasures enslaved and infatuated by them, addicted to them, not seeing the peril in them, not aware of the escape from them — these should be told:
'You have come to calamity, you have come to misfortune and are ones to be done to by the Evil One as he wills.

Monks, it is like a deer living in a forest who might be lying caught on a heap of snares — this may be said of it:
It has come to calamity, it has come to misfortune, it is one to be done to by the trapper as he wills,
for when the trapper comes it will not be able to go away as it wishes.

Even so, monks, those recluses or brahmans ... are ones to be done to by the Evil One as he wills.

Monks, those recluses or brahmans who enjoy these five strands of sense-pleasures,
not enslaved, not infatuated by them,
not [218] addicted to them,
seeing the peril in them,
aware of the escape from them
— these should be told:
You have not come to calamity,
you have not come to misfortune,
you are not ones to be done to by the Evil One as he wills.

Monks, it is like a deer living in a forest who might lie down on a heap of snares but is not caught by it — this may be said of it:
It has not come to calamity, it has not come to misfortune, it is not one to be done to by the trapper as he wills,
for when the trapper comes it will be able to go away as it wishes.

Even so, monks, those recluses or brahmans ... are not ones to be done to by the Evil One as he wills.

Monks, it is like a deer living in a forest, roaming the forest slopes, who walks confidently, stands confidently, sits down confidently, goes to sleep confidently.
What is the reason for this?
Monks, it is out of the trapper's reach.

Even so, monks, a monk,
aloof from pleasures of the senses,
aloof from unskilled states of mind,
enters on and abides in the first meditation
which is accompanied by initial thought and discursive thought,
is born of aloofness,
and is rapturous and joyful.

Monks, this monk is called one[27] who has put a darkness round Mara,
and having blotted out Mara's vision so that it has no range,
goes unseen by the Evil One.

And again, monks, a monk,
by allaying initial and discursive thought,
his mind subjectively tranquillised and fixed on one point,
enters on and abides in the second meditation
which is devoid of initial and discursive thought,
is born of concentration
and is rapturous and joyful.

Monks, this monk is called one ... by the Evil One.

And again, monks, a monk,
by the fading out of rapture,
dwells with equanimity,
attentive and clearly conscious,
and experiences in his person that joy of which the Ariyans say:
'Joyful lives he who has 'equanimity and is mindful';
and he enters on and abides in the third meditation.

Monks, this monk is called one ... by the Evil One.

And again, monks, a monk,
by getting rid of joy,
by getting rid of anguish,
by the going down of his former pleasures and sorrows,
enters on and abides in the fourth meditation
which has neither anguish nor joy,
and which is entirely purified by equanimity and mindfulness.

Monks, this monk is called one ... by the Evil One.

And again, monks, a monk,
by passing quite beyond perception of material shapes,
by the going down of perception of sensory reactions,
by not attending to perceptions of variety,
thinking:
'Ether is unending,'
enters on and abides in the plane of infinite ether.

Monks, this monk is called one ... by the Evil One.

And again, monks, a monk,
by passing quite beyond the plane of infinite ether,
thinking:
'Consciousness is unending,'
enters on and abides in the plane of infinite consciousness.

Monks, this monk is called one ... by the Evil One.

And again, monks, a monk,
by passing quite beyond the plane of infinite consciousness,
thinking:
'There is not anything,'
enters on and abides in the plane of no-thing.

Monks, this monk is called one ... by the Evil One.

And again, monks, a monk,
by passing quite beyond the plane of no-thing,
enters on and abides in the plane of neither-perception-nor-non-perception.

Monks, this monk is called one who has put a darkness round Māra, and who,
having blotted out Māra's vision so that it has no range,
goes unseen by the Evil One.

And again, monks, a monk,
by passing quite beyond the plane of neither-perception-nor-non-perception,
enters on and abides in the stopping of perception and feeling;
and having seen by intuitive wisdom,
his cankers are utterly destroyed.

Monks, this monk is called one who has put a darkness round Māra, and who,
having blotted out Māra's vision so that it has no range,
goes unseen by the Evil One;
he has crossed over the entanglement in the world.
He walks confidently,
stands confidently,
sits down confidently,
goes to sleep confidently.

What is the reason for this?

Monks, he is out of reach of the Evil One."

Thus spoke tbe Lord. Delighted, these monks rejoiced in what the Lord had said.

Discourse on the Ariyan Quest:
The Sixth.

 


More
First Sutta Resources

 


[1] Called Pāsarāsi Sutta in the Comy.

[2] Cf. A. iii. 344.

[3] MA. ii. 166: When Kassapa was the Buddha there was a gate to the East, now known as the Eastern Porch, the river Aciravatī surrounded the town and made a great tank at the Eastern Porch. There were different fords (or bathing places): one for the king, one for the townspeople, one for the Order of monks, one for the Buddhas. Pubbakoṭṭhaka mentioned also at S. v. 220; A. iii. 345. See notes at K.S. v. 195. G.S. iii. 243.

[4] Besides A. iii. 345, cf. A. iii. 402, S. i. 8. MA. ii. 167 says the Lord went into the water in a bathing cloth, and when he came out the Elder handed him a dyed double cloth, which he put on, fastening it with his waistband; and having folded his large robe (mahācīvara; perhaps a reference to the sugatacīvara of Vin. iv. 173) end to end, making it like the heart of a lotus. he stood holding it at the comers. For if one puts on a robe while the limbs are still wet, the comers of the robe turn up. and the requisite is spoiled.

[5] MA. ii. 168, for the five hundred monks who wished to hear the Lord, and who had gone to the hermitage.

[6] As at Vin. i. 248; A. iv. 358 f. MA. ii. 168 says that agga'am ākoṭesi means: with the tip of his nail he gave a sign on the door.

[7] The moment they heard the sound, MA. ii. 168.

[8] MA. ii. 168 says that in the time of a Buddha, everywhere where even one monk is staying a Buddha-seat comes to be appointed. For the Buddha may know that the monk is not thinking in the right way; and the monks think he will come and stand near them, showing himself. It is difficult to look about for a seat that moment, so the monks keep one ready. If there is a chair they appoint that. If not, they use a couch or a board of some wood or a stone on a heap of sand. Failing all this, having collected some dry leaves, they arrange a seat having spread rags from a dust-heap over them.

[9] Cf. Ud. 31; also Sn. 722. Here the Ariyan silence is the second jhāna, MA. ii. 169.

[10] MA. ii. 169 says the Lord spoke about this first path as a man skilled in the way, when showing the way to go, would first exclude one path and say: Leaving the left-hand one alone, take the right-hand one (as at S. iii. 108).

[11] Stock, as at D. i. 245, iii. 43; S. ii. 270; A. v. 178, etc.

[12] MA. ii. 170 points out that gold and silver are not liable to dying or sorrow; but iron. etc. becomes stained with stains, and ages because it takes up dust and dirt.

[13] "The following passage occurs at M. i. 240, ii. 93, 212.

[14] bhadra. Bhaddaka at A. iv. 255 is one of the ingredients of the moon and sun.

[15] viharatu.

[16] ñāṇavada; cf. A. v. 42 ff.; D. iii. 13. MA. ii. 171, jānāmī ti vādaɱ the doctrine (or theory) that "I know."

[17] theravāda. MA. ii. 171 says, thirabhāvavādaɱ; thero aham atthā ti etaɱ vacanaɱ,, a profession of strength.

[18] The Nerañjarā.

[19] As at Vin. i.4 ff. See B.D. iv. 6 ff. for notes, etc.

[20] mahājāniyo. I am indebted to the Ven. A. P. Buddhadatta for this interpretation of jāni = hāri, loss.

[21] ājīvika

[22] I.e. as my teacher.

[23] vabbhācitaɱ.

[24] As at Vin. i. 13.

[25] I.e. Gotama and the group of five monks

[26] According to M.A.. ii. 193 this is part of the unAriyan quest.

[27] As at M. i. 159, where, in the Nivāpasutta, the four herds of deer may be compared with the four deer above.


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