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 28

Mahā Hatthi-Padopama Suttaɱ

Greater Discourse on the Simile of the Elephant's Footprint

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.

 


[230]

THUS have I heard:

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

There the venerable Sāriputta addressed the monks, saying:

"Reverend monks."

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

The venerable Sāriputta spoke thus:

"As, your reverences,
among all creatures that can walk[1]
all pedal quahties are combined in an elephant's foot,[2]
and as the elephant's foot is chief among these
in point of size,
so, your reverences,
all skilled states of mind
are included among the four ariyan truths.

Among what four?

Among the ariyan truth of anguish,
among the ariyan truth of the uprising of anguish,
among the ariyan truth of the stopping of anguish,
among the ariyan truth of the course
leading to the stopping of anguish.

 


 

[231] And what, your reverences,
is the ariyan truth of anguish?[3]

Birth is anguish
and ageing is anguish
and dying is anguish;
and grief,
lamentation,
sorrow,
tribulation
and despair are anguish,
and not getting what one wants,
that too is anguish.

In brief
the five groups of grasping are anguish.

 


 

And what, your reverences,
are the five groups of grasping?

Just these;
the group of grasping after material shape,
the group of grasping after feeling,
the group of grasping after perception,
the group of grasping after the habitual tendencies,
the group of grasping after consciousness.[4]

 


 

And what, your reverences,
is the group of grasping after material shapes?

The four great elements,
and the material shape that is derived
from the four great elements.

 


 

And what, your reverences,
are the four great elements?

The element of extension,
the liquid element,
the element of heat,
the element of motion.[5]

 


 

And what, your reverences,
is the element of extension?

The element of extension may be internal,
it may be external.

And what,[6] your reverences,
is the internal element of extension?

Whatever is[7] hard,
solid,
is internal,[8]
referable to an individual[88]
and derived therefrom,
that is to say:

the hair of the head,
the hair of the body,
nails,
teeth,
skin,
flesh,
sinews,
bones,
marrow of the bones,
kidney,
heart,
liver,
pleura,
spleen,
lungs,
intestines,
mesentary,
stomach,
excrement,
or whatever other thing is hard,
solid,
is internal,
referable to an individual
or derived therefrom -

this, your reverences,
is called the internal element of extension.

Whatever[9] is an internal element of extension
and whatever is an external element of extension,[10]
just these are the element of extension.

By means of perfect intuitive wisdom
it should be seen of this
as it really is, thus:

This is not mine,
this am I not,
this is not my self.

Having seen this thus
as it really is
by means of perfect intuitive wisdom,
he disregards the element of extension,
he cleanses his mind
of the element of extension.

[232] There comes to be a time, your reverences,
when the element of extension[11]
that is external
is agitated;
at that time the external element of extension disappears.

The impermanence
of this ancient external element of extension
can be shown, your reverences,
its liability to destruction can be shown,
its liability to decay can be shown,
its liability to change can be shown.

So what of this short-lived body
derived from craving?

There is not anything here for saying,
'I'
or 'mine'
or 'I am.'

Your reverences,
if others abuse,
revile,
annoy,[12]
vex this monk,
he comprehends:

'This painful feeling that has arisen in me
is born of sensory impingement on the ear,
it has a cause,
not no cause.

What is the cause?

Sensory impingement is the cause.'

He sees that sensory impingement[13] is impermanent,
he sees that feeling is impermanent,
he sees that perception is impermanent,
he sees that the habitual tendencies are impermanent,
he sees that consciousness is impermanent.

His mind rejoices,
is pleased,
composed
and is set on[14] the objects of the element.

If, your reverences,
others comport themselves in undesirable,
disagreeable,
unpleasant ways
towards that monk,
and he receives blows from their hands
and from clods of earth
and from sticks
and weapons,
he comprehends thus:

'This body is such
that blows from hands affect it
and blows from clods of earth affect it
and blows from sticks affect it
and blows from weapons affect it.

But this was said by the Lord
in the Parable of the Saw:[15]

"If, monks,
low-down thieves should carve you limb from limb
with a two-handled saw,
whoever sets his heart at enmity,
he, for this reason,
is not a doer of my teaching."

Unsluggish energy shall come to be stirred up by me,
unmuddled mindfulness set up,
the body tranquillised,
impassible,
the mind composed and one-pointed.

Now, willingly,
let blows from hands affect this body,
let blows from clods of earth this body,
let blows from sticks this body,
let blows from weapons affect it,
for this teaching of the Awakened Ones is being done.'

If, your reverences,
this monk recollects the Awakened One thus,
if he recollects dhamma thus,
if he recollects the Order thus,[16]
but there is not established (in him)
the equanimity that depends on [233] skill;[17]
he is strongly moved[18] because of this,
he comes to a strongly moved condition, and thinks:

'It is unprofitable for me,
it is not profitable for me,
it is ill gotten by me,
it is not well gotten by me
that, although I recollect the Awakened One thus,
although I recollect dhamma thus,
although I recollect the Order thus,
the equanimity that depends on skill
is not established (in me).'

Your reverences, as a daughter-in-law,
having seen her father-in-law,
is strongly moved
and comes to a strongly moved condition,
so, your reverences,
if while this monk is recollecting the Awakened One,
if while this monk is recollecting the dhamma,
if while this monk is recollecting the Order,
the equanimity that depends on skill
is not established (in him);
he is strongly moved because of this,
he comes to a strongly moved condition,
and thinks:

'It is unprofitable for me,
it is not profitable for me,
it is ill gotten by me,
it is not well gotten by me
that, although I recollect the Awakened One thus,
although I recollect dhamma thus,
although I recollect the Order thus,
the equanimity that depends on skill
is not established (in me).'

But if, your reverences,
while this monk is recollecting the Awakened One thus
while this monk is recollecting the dhamma thus
while this monk is recollecting the Order thus,
the equanimity that depends on skill
is established (in him),
he, because of this is pleased.

Up to this point, your reverences,
much has been done by the monk.

 


 

And what, your reverences, is the liquid element?

The liquid element[19] may be internal,
it may be external.

And what, your reverences,
is the internal liquid element?

Whatever is liquid,
fluid,
is internal,
referable to an individual
or derived therefrom,
that is to say:

bile,
phlegm,
pus,
blood,
sweat,
fat,
tears,
serum,
saliva,
mucus,
synovial fluid,
urine
or whatever other thing is liquid,
fluid,
is internal,
referable to an individual
or derived therefrom -
this, your reverences,
is called the internal liquid element.

Whatever is an internal liquid element
and whatever is an external liquid element,
just these are the liquid element.

By means of perfect intuitive wisdom
it should be seen of this
as it really is, thus:

This is not mine,
this am I not,
this is not my self.

Having seen this thus
as it really is
by means of perfect intuitive wisdom,
he disregards the liquid element,
he cleanses his mind
of the liquid element.

There comes to be a time, your reverences,
when the liquid element that is external is agitated;
it carries away villages
and it carries away little towns
and it carries away towns
and it carries away districts
and it carries away districts and regions.

There [234] comes to be a time, your reverences,
when the waters in the great ocean[20] go down[21] a hundred yojanas,
and when they go down two hundred yojanas,
and when they go down three hundred yojanas,
and when they go down four hundred yojanas,
and when they go down five hundred yojanas,
and when they go down six hundred yojanas
and when they go down seven hundred yojanas.

There comes to be a time, your reverences,
when the water in the great ocean
stands at (the height of) seven palm trees (in depth),
when the water stands at (the height of) six palm trees (in depth),
when the water stands at (the height of) five palm trees (in depth),
when the water stands at (the height of) four palm trees (in depth),
when the water stands at (the height of) three palm trees (in depth),
when the water stands at (the height of) two palm trees (in depth)
and when the water stands at (the height of) one palm tree (in depth).

There comes to be a time, your reverences,
when the water in the great ocean stands at (the depth of) seven men's stature,
when the water in the great ocean stands at (the depth of) six men's stature,
when the water in the great ocean stands at (the depth of) five men's stature,
when the water in the great ocean stands at (the depth of) four men's stature,
when the water in the great ocean stands at (the depth of) three men's stature,
when the water in the great ocean stands at (the depth of) two men's stature and when the water stands at (the depth of) merely one man's stature.

There comes to be a time, your reverences,
when the water in the great ocean stands at (the depth of) half a man's stature,
and when the water stands merely up to his hip,
and when the water stands merely up to his knee,
and when the water stands merely up to his ankle.

There comes to be a time, your reverences,
when the water in the great ocean
does not wet even a toe-joint.

The impermanence of this ancient liquid element
that is external
can be shown, your reverences,

its liability to destruction can be shown,
its liability to decay can be shown,
its liability to change can be shown.

So what of this short-lived body
derived from craving?

There is not anything here for saying,
'I'
or 'mine'
or 'I am.'

Your reverences,
if others abuse,
revile,
annoy,
vex this monk,
he comprehends:

'This painful feeling that has arisen in me
is born of sensory impingement on the ear,
it has a cause,
not no cause.

What is the cause?

Sensory impingement is the cause.'

He sees that sensory impingement is impermanent,
he sees that feeling is impermanent,
he sees that perception is impermanent,
he sees that the habitual tendencies are impermanent,
he sees that consciousness is impermanent.

His mind rejoices,
is pleased,
composed
and is set on the objects of the element.

If, your reverences,
others comport themselves in undesirable,
disagreeable,
unpleasant ways
towards that monk,
and he receives blows from their hands
and from clods of earth
and from sticks
and weapons,
he comprehends thus:

'This body is such
that blows from hands affect it
and blows from clods of earth affect it
and blows from sticks affect it
and blows from weapons affect it.

But this was said by the Lord
in the Parable of the Saw:

"If, monks,
low-down thieves should carve you limb from limb
with a two-handled saw,
whoever sets his heart at enmity,
he, for this reason,
is not a doer of my teaching."

Unsluggish energy shall come to be stirred up by me,
unmuddled mindfulness set up,
the body tranquillised,
impassible,
the mind composed and one-pointed.

Now, willingly,
let blows from hands affect this body,
let blows from clods of earth this body,
let blows from sticks this body,
let blows from weapons affect it,
for this teaching of the Awakened Ones is being done.'

If, your reverences,
this monk recollects the Awakened One thus,
if he recollects dhamma thus,
if he recollects the Order thus,
but there is not established (in him)
the equanimity that depends on skill;
he is strongly moved because of this,
he comes to a strongly moved condition, and thinks:

'It is unprofitable for me,
it is not profitable for me,
it is ill gotten by me,
it is not well gotten by me
that, although I recollect the Awakened One thus,
although I recollect dhamma thus,
although I recollect the Order thus,
the equanimity that depends on skill
is not established (in me).'

Your reverences, as a daughter-in-law,
having seen her father-in-law,
is strongly moved
and comes to a strongly moved condition,
so, your reverences,
if while this monk is recollecting the Awakened One,
if while this monk is recollecting the dhamma,
if while this monk is recollecting the Order,
the equanimity that depends on skill
is not established (in him);
he is strongly moved because of this,
he comes to a strongly moved condition,
and thinks:

'It is unprofitable for me,
it is not profitable for me,
it is ill gotten by me,
it is not well gotten by me
that, although I recollect the Awakened One thus,
although I recollect dhamma thus,
although I recollect the Order thus,
the equanimity that depends on skill
is not established (in me).'

But if, your reverences,
while this monk is recollecting the Awakened One thus
while this monk is recollecting the dhamma thus
while this monk is recollecting the Order thus,
the equanimity that depends on skill
is established (in him),
he, because of this is pleased.

Up to this point, your reverences,
much has been done by the monk.

Your reverences,
if others abuse,
revile,
annoy,
vex this monk,
he comprehends:

'This painful feeling that has arisen in me
is born of sensory impingement on the ear,
it has a cause,
not no cause.

What is the cause?

Sensory impingement is the cause.'

He sees that sensory impingement is impermanent,
he sees that feeling is impermanent,
he sees that perception is impermanent,
he sees that the habitual tendencies are impermanent,
he sees that consciousness is impermanent.

His mind rejoices,
is pleased,
composed
and is set on the objects of the element.

If, your reverences,
others comport themselves in undesirable,
disagreeable,
unpleasant ways
towards that monk,
and he receives blows from their hands
and from clods of earth
and from sticks
and weapons,
he comprehends thus:

'This body is such
that blows from hands affect it
and blows from clods of earth affect it
and blows from sticks affect it
and blows from weapons affect it.

But this was said by the Lord
in the Parable of the Saw:

"If, monks,
low-down thieves should carve you limb from limb
with a two-handled saw,
whoever sets his heart at enmity,
he, for this reason,
is not a doer of my teaching."

Unsluggish energy shall come to be stirred up by me,
unmuddled mindfulness set up,
the body tranquillised,
impassible,
the mind composed and one-pointed.

Now, willingly,
let blows from hands affect this body,
let blows from clods of earth this body,
let blows from sticks this body,
let blows from weapons affect it,
for this teaching of the Awakened Ones is being done.'

If, your reverences,
this monk recollects the Awakened One thus,
if he recollects dhamma thus,
if he recollects the Order thus,
but there is not established (in him)
the equanimity that depends on skill;
he is strongly moved because of this,
he comes to a strongly moved condition, and thinks:

'It is unprofitable for me,
it is not profitable for me,
it is ill gotten by me,
it is not well gotten by me
that, although I recollect the Awakened One thus,
although I recollect dhamma thus,
although I recollect the Order thus,
the equanimity that depends on skill
is not established (in me).'

Your reverences, as a daughter-in-law,
having seen her father-in-law,
is strongly moved
and comes to a strongly moved condition,
so, your reverences,
if while this monk is recollecting the Awakened One,
if while this monk is recollecting the dhamma,
if while this monk is recollecting the Order,
the equanimity that depends on skill
is not established (in him);
he is strongly moved because of this,
he comes to a strongly moved condition,
and thinks:

'It is unprofitable for me,
it is not profitable for me,
it is ill gotten by me,
it is not well gotten by me
that, although I recollect the Awakened One thus,
although I recollect dhamma thus,
although I recollect the Order thus,
the equanimity that depends on skill
is not established (in me).'

But if, your reverences,
while this monk is recollecting the Awakened One thus
while this monk is recollecting the dhamma thus
while this monk is recollecting the Order thus,
the equanimity that depends on skill
is established (in him),
he, because of this is pleased.

Up to this point, your reverences,
much has been done by the monk.

 


 

And what, your reverences, is the element of heat?[22]

The heat element may be internal,
it may be external.

And what, your reverences,
is the internal heat element?

Whatever is heat,
warmth,
is internal,
referable to an individual
and derived therefrom,
such as by whatever one is vitalised,
by whatever one is consumed,
by whatever one is burnt up,
and by whatever one has munched,
drunk,
eaten
and tasted
that is properly transmuted (in digestion),
or whatever other thing is heat,
warmth,
is internal,
referable to an individual
or derived therefrom-this, your reverences,
is called the internal heat element.

Whatever is an internal element of heat
and whatever is an external element of heat,
just these are the element of heat.

By means of perfect intuitive [235] wisdom
it should be seen of this as it really is, thus:

This is not mine,
this am I not,
this is not myself.

Having seen this thus
as it really is
by means of perfect intuitive wisdom,
he disregards the heat element,
he cleanses his mind of the heat element.

There comes a time, your reverences,
when the element of heat that is external is agitated,
and it burns up villages
and it burns up little towns
and it burns up towns
and it burns up districts
and it burns up districts and regions.

When it has come to the end of the crops
or to the end of a highway
or to the end of a mountain
or to the end of water
or to a lovely stretch of level ground,
it is extinguished[23] through lack of fuel.

There comes to be a time, your reverences,
when people seek to light a fire
with a cock's feather
or with snippets of gristle.[24]

The impermanence of this ancient external element of heat can be shown, your reverences,
its liability to destruction can be shown,
its liability to decay can be shown,
its liability to change can be shown.

So what of this short-lived body
derived from craving?

There is not anything here for saying,
'I'
or 'mine'
or 'I am.'

Your reverences,
if others abuse,
revile,
annoy,
vex this monk,
he comprehends:

'This painful feeling that has arisen in me
is born of sensory impingement on the ear,
it has a cause,
not no cause.

What is the cause?

Sensory impingement is the cause.'

He sees that sensory impingement is impermanent,
he sees that feeling is impermanent,
he sees that perception is impermanent,
he sees that the habitual tendencies are impermanent,
he sees that consciousness is impermanent.

His mind rejoices,
is pleased,
composed
and is set on the objects of the element.

If, your reverences,
others comport themselves in undesirable,
disagreeable,
unpleasant ways
towards that monk,
and he receives blows from their hands
and from clods of earth
and from sticks
and weapons,
he comprehends thus:

'This body is such
that blows from hands affect it
and blows from clods of earth affect it
and blows from sticks affect it
and blows from weapons affect it.

But this was said by the Lord
in the Parable of the Saw:

"If, monks,
low-down thieves should carve you limb from limb
with a two-handled saw,
whoever sets his heart at enmity,
he, for this reason,
is not a doer of my teaching."

Unsluggish energy shall come to be stirred up by me,
unmuddled mindfulness set up,
the body tranquillised,
impassible,
the mind composed and one-pointed.

Now, willingly,
let blows from hands affect this body,
let blows from clods of earth this body,
let blows from sticks this body,
let blows from weapons affect it,
for this teaching of the Awakened Ones is being done.'

If, your reverences,
this monk recollects the Awakened One thus,
if he recollects dhamma thus,
if he recollects the Order thus,
but there is not established (in him)
the equanimity that depends on skill;
he is strongly moved because of this,
he comes to a strongly moved condition, and thinks:

'It is unprofitable for me,
it is not profitable for me,
it is ill gotten by me,
it is not well gotten by me
that, although I recollect the Awakened One thus,
although I recollect dhamma thus,
although I recollect the Order thus,
the equanimity that depends on skill
is not established (in me).'

Your reverences, as a daughter-in-law,
having seen her father-in-law,
is strongly moved
and comes to a strongly moved condition,
so, your reverences,
if while this monk is recollecting the Awakened One,
if while this monk is recollecting the dhamma,
if while this monk is recollecting the Order,
the equanimity that depends on skill
is not established (in him);
he is strongly moved because of this,
he comes to a strongly moved condition,
and thinks:

'It is unprofitable for me,
it is not profitable for me,
it is ill gotten by me,
it is not well gotten by me
that, although I recollect the Awakened One thus,
although I recollect dhamma thus,
although I recollect the Order thus,
the equanimity that depends on skill
is not established (in me).'

But if, your reverences,
while this monk is recollecting the Awakened One thus
while this monk is recollecting the dhamma thus
while this monk is recollecting the Order thus,
the equanimity that depends on skill
is established (in him),
he, because of this is pleased.

Up to this point, your reverences,
much has been done by the monk.

Your reverences,
if others abuse,
revile,
annoy,
vex this monk,
he comprehends:

'This painful feeling that has arisen in me
is born of sensory impingement on the ear,
it has a cause,
not no cause.

What is the cause?

Sensory impingement is the cause.'

He sees that sensory impingement is impermanent,
he sees that feeling is impermanent,
he sees that perception is impermanent,
he sees that the habitual tendencies are impermanent,
he sees that consciousness is impermanent.

His mind rejoices,
is pleased,
composed
and is set on the objects of the element.

If, your reverences,
others comport themselves in undesirable,
disagreeable,
unpleasant ways
towards that monk,
and he receives blows from their hands
and from clods of earth
and from sticks
and weapons,
he comprehends thus:

'This body is such
that blows from hands affect it
and blows from clods of earth affect it
and blows from sticks affect it
and blows from weapons affect it.

But this was said by the Lord
in the Parable of the Saw:

"If, monks,
low-down thieves should carve you limb from limb
with a two-handled saw,
whoever sets his heart at enmity,
he, for this reason,
is not a doer of my teaching."

Unsluggish energy shall come to be stirred up by me,
unmuddled mindfulness set up,
the body tranquillised,
impassible,
the mind composed and one-pointed.

Now, willingly,
let blows from hands affect this body,
let blows from clods of earth this body,
let blows from sticks this body,
let blows from weapons affect it,
for this teaching of the Awakened Ones is being done.'

If, your reverences,
this monk recollects the Awakened One thus,
if he recollects dhamma thus,
if he recollects the Order thus,
but there is not established (in him)
the equanimity that depends on skill;
he is strongly moved because of this,
he comes to a strongly moved condition, and thinks:

'It is unprofitable for me,
it is not profitable for me,
it is ill gotten by me,
it is not well gotten by me
that, although I recollect the Awakened One thus,
although I recollect dhamma thus,
although I recollect the Order thus,
the equanimity that depends on skill
is not established (in me).'

Your reverences, as a daughter-in-law,
having seen her father-in-law,
is strongly moved
and comes to a strongly moved condition,
so, your reverences,
if while this monk is recollecting the Awakened One,
if while this monk is recollecting the dhamma,
if while this monk is recollecting the Order,
the equanimity that depends on skill
is not established (in him);
he is strongly moved because of this,
he comes to a strongly moved condition,
and thinks:

'It is unprofitable for me,
it is not profitable for me,
it is ill gotten by me,
it is not well gotten by me
that, although I recollect the Awakened One thus,
although I recollect dhamma thus,
although I recollect the Order thus,
the equanimity that depends on skill
is not established (in me).'

But if, your reverences,
while this monk is recollecting the Awakened One thus
while this monk is recollecting the dhamma thus
while this monk is recollecting the Order thus,
the equanimity that depends on skill
is established (in him),
he, because of this is pleased.

Up to this point, your reverences,
much has been done by the monk.

 


 

And what, your reverences, is the element of motion?[25]

The element of motion may be internal,
it may be external.

And what, your reverences,
is the internal element of motion?

Whatever is motion,
wind,
is internal,
referable to an individual
and derived therefrom,
such as winds going upwards,
winds going downwards,
winds in the abdomen,
winds in the belly,
winds that shoot across the several hmbs,
in-breathing,
out-breathing,
or whatever other thing is motion,
wind,
is internal,
referable to an individual
and derived therefrom -
this, your reverences,
is called the internal element of motion.

Whatever is an internal element of motion
and whatever is an external element of motion,
just these are the element of motion.

By means of perfect intuitive wisdom
it should be seen of this
as it really is, thus:

This is not mine,
this am I not,
this is not myself.

Having seen this thus as it really is
by means of perfect intuitive wisdom,
he disregards the element of motion,
he cleanses his mind of the element of motion.

There comes a time, your reverences,
when the element of motion that is external is agitated,
and it carries away villages
and it carries away little towns
and it carries away towns
and it carries away districts
and it carries away districts and regions.

There comes to be a time, your reverences,
when in the last month of the hot weather
people are looking about for wind
by means [236] of a palm (leaf) fan[26]
and a fan for fanning the fire,[26]
and they do not expect grasses in the top of the thatch.[27]

The impermanence of this ancient external element of motion can be shown, your reverences,
its liability to destruction can be shown,
its liability to decay can be shown,
its liability to change can be shown.

So what of this short-lived body
derived from craving?

There is not anything here for saying,
'I'
or 'mine'
or 'I am.'

Your reverences,
if others abuse,
revile,
annoy,
vex this monk,
he comprehends:

'This painful feeling that has arisen in me
is born of sensory impingement on the ear,
it has a cause,
not no cause.

What is the cause?

Sensory impingement is the cause.'

He sees that sensory impingement is impermanent,
he sees that feeling is impermanent,
he sees that perception is impermanent,
he sees that the habitual tendencies are impermanent,
he sees that consciousness is impermanent.

His mind rejoices,
is pleased,
composed
and is set on the objects of the element.

If, your reverences,
others comport themselves in undesirable,
disagreeable,
unpleasant ways
towards that monk,
and he receives blows from their hands
and from clods of earth
and from sticks
and weapons,
he comprehends thus:

'This body is such
that blows from hands affect it
and blows from clods of earth affect it
and blows from sticks affect it
and blows from weapons affect it.

But this was said by the Lord
in the Parable of the Saw:

"If, monks,
low-down thieves should carve you limb from limb
with a two-handled saw,
whoever sets his heart at enmity,
he, for this reason,
is not a doer of my teaching."

Unsluggish energy shall come to be stirred up by me,
unmuddled mindfulness set up,
the body tranquillised,
impassible,
the mind composed and one-pointed.

Now, willingly,
let blows from hands affect this body,
let blows from clods of earth this body,
let blows from sticks this body,
let blows from weapons affect it,
for this teaching of the Awakened Ones is being done.'

If, your reverences,
this monk recollects the Awakened One thus,
if he recollects dhamma thus,
if he recollects the Order thus,
but there is not established (in him)
the equanimity that depends on skill;
he is strongly moved because of this,
he comes to a strongly moved condition, and thinks:

'It is unprofitable for me,
it is not profitable for me,
it is ill gotten by me,
it is not well gotten by me
that, although I recollect the Awakened One thus,
although I recollect dhamma thus,
although I recollect the Order thus,
the equanimity that depends on skill
is not established (in me).'

Your reverences, as a daughter-in-law,
having seen her father-in-law,
is strongly moved
and comes to a strongly moved condition,
so, your reverences,
if while this monk is recollecting the Awakened One,
if while this monk is recollecting the dhamma,
if while this monk is recollecting the Order,
the equanimity that depends on skill
is not established (in him);
he is strongly moved because of this,
he comes to a strongly moved condition,
and thinks:

'It is unprofitable for me,
it is not profitable for me,
it is ill gotten by me,
it is not well gotten by me
that, although I recollect the Awakened One thus,
although I recollect dhamma thus,
although I recollect the Order thus,
the equanimity that depends on skill
is not established (in me).'

But if, your reverences,
while this monk is recollecting the Awakened One thus
while this monk is recollecting the dhamma thus
while this monk is recollecting the Order thus,
the equanimity that depends on skill
is established (in him),
he, because of this is pleased.

Up to this point, your reverences,
much has been done by the monk.

Your reverences,
if others abuse,
revile,
annoy,
vex this monk,
he comprehends:

'This painful feeling that has arisen in me
is born of sensory impingement on the ear,
it has a cause,
not no cause.

What is the cause?

Sensory impingement is the cause.'

He sees that sensory impingement is impermanent,
he sees that feeling is impermanent,
he sees that perception is impermanent,
he sees that the habitual tendencies are impermanent,
he sees that consciousness is impermanent.

His mind rejoices,
is pleased,
composed
and is set on the objects of the element.

If, your reverences,
others comport themselves in undesirable,
disagreeable,
unpleasant ways
towards that monk,
and he receives blows from their hands
and from clods of earth
and from sticks
and weapons,
he comprehends thus:

'This body is such
that blows from hands affect it
and blows from clods of earth affect it
and blows from sticks affect it
and blows from weapons affect it.

But this was said by the Lord
in the Parable of the Saw:

"If, monks,
low-down thieves should carve you limb from limb
with a two-handled saw,
whoever sets his heart at enmity,
he, for this reason,
is not a doer of my teaching."

Unsluggish energy shall come to be stirred up by me,
unmuddled mindfulness set up,
the body tranquillised,
impassible,
the mind composed and one-pointed.

Now, willingly,
let blows from hands affect this body,
let blows from clods of earth this body,
let blows from sticks this body,
let blows from weapons affect it,
for this teaching of the Awakened Ones is being done.'

If, your reverences,
this monk recollects the Awakened One thus,
if he recollects dhamma thus,
if he recollects the Order thus,
but there is not established (in him)
the equanimity that depends on skill;
he is strongly moved because of this,
he comes to a strongly moved condition, and thinks:

'It is unprofitable for me,
it is not profitable for me,
it is ill gotten by me,
it is not well gotten by me
that, although I recollect the Awakened One thus,
although I recollect dhamma thus,
although I recollect the Order thus,
the equanimity that depends on skill
is not established (in me).'

Your reverences, as a daughter-in-law,
having seen her father-in-law,
is strongly moved
and comes to a strongly moved condition,
so, your reverences,
if while this monk is recollecting the Awakened One,
if while this monk is recollecting the dhamma,
if while this monk is recollecting the Order,
the equanimity that depends on skill
is not established (in him);
he is strongly moved because of this,
he comes to a strongly moved condition,
and thinks:

'It is unprofitable for me,
it is not profitable for me,
it is ill gotten by me,
it is not well gotten by me
that, although I recollect the Awakened One thus,
although I recollect dhamma thus,
although I recollect the Order thus,
the equanimity that depends on skill
is not established (in me).'

But if, your reverences,
while this monk is recollecting the Awakened One thus
while this monk is recollecting the dhamma thus
while this monk is recollecting the Order thus,
the equanimity that depends on skill
is established (in him),
he, because of this is pleased.

Up to this point, your reverences,
much has been done by the monk.

 


 

Your reverences, just as a space that is enclosed
by stakes
and creepers
and grass
and clay
is known as a dwelling,
so a space that is enclosed
by bones
and sinews
and flesh
and skin
is known as a material shape.

 


 

If, your reverences,
the eye that is internal is intact[28]
but external material shapes
do not come within its range
and there is no appropriate impact,
then there is no appearance
of the appropriate section[29] of consciousness.

If, your reverences,
the eye that is internal is intact
and external material shapes
come within its range
but without an appropriate impact,
then there is no appearance
of the appropriate section of consciousness.

But when, your reverences,
the eye that is internal is intact
and external material shapes
come within its range
and there is the appropriate impact,
then there is thus an appearance
of the appropriate section of consciousness.

Whatever is material shape
in what has thus come to be,
it is included in the group
of grasping after material shape.

Whatever is feeling
in what has thus come to be,
it is included in the group of grasping after feeling.

Whatever is perception
in what has thus come to be,
it is included in the group of grasping after perception.

Whatever are the habitual tendencies
in what has thus come to be,
they are included in the group of grasping after the habitual tendencies.

Whatever is consciousness
in what has thus come to be,
it is included in the group of grasping after consciousness.

He comprehends thus:

'Thus there is,
so it is said,
the including,
the collecting together,
the coming together
of these five groups of grasping,'

This was said by the Lord:

'Whoever sees conditioned genesis sees [237] dhamma,
whoever sees dhamma sees conditioned genesis.'[30]

These are generated by conditions:
that is to say the five groups of grasping.

Whatever among these five groups of grasping
is desire,
sensual pleasure,
affection,
catching at,
that is the uprising of anguish.

Whatever among these five groups of grasping
is the control of desire and attachment,[31]
the ejection of desire and attachment,[31]
that is the stopping of anguish.

Up to this point, your reverences,
much has been done by the monk.

 


 

If, your reverences,
the ear that is internal is intact
but external sounds
do not come within its range
and there is no appropriate impact,
then there is no appearance
of the appropriate section of consciousness.

If, your reverences,
the ear that is internal is intact
and external sounds
come within its range
but without an appropriate impact,
then there is no appearance
of the appropriate section of consciousness.

But when, your reverences,
the ear that is internal is intact
and external sounds
come within its range
and there is the appropriate impact,
then there is thus an appearance
of the appropriate section of consciousness.

Whatever is material shape
in what has thus come to be,
it is included in the group
of grasping after material shape.

Whatever is feeling
in what has thus come to be,
it is included in the group of grasping after feeling.

Whatever is perception
in what has thus come to be,
it is included in the group of grasping after perception.

Whatever are the habitual tendencies
in what has thus come to be,
they are included in the group of grasping after the habitual tendencies.

Whatever is consciousness
in what has thus come to be,
it is included in the group of grasping after consciousness.

He comprehends thus:

'Thus there is,
so it is said,
the including,
the collecting together,
the coming together
of these five groups of grasping,'

This was said by the Lord:

'Whoever sees conditioned genesis sees dhamma,
whoever sees dhamma sees conditioned genesis.'

These are generated by conditions:
that is to say the five groups of grasping.

Whatever among these five groups of grasping
is desire,
sensual pleasure,
affection,
catching at,
that is the uprising of anguish.

Whatever among these five groups of grasping
is the control of desire and attachment,
the ejection of desire and attachment,
that is the stopping of anguish.

Up to this point, your reverences,
much has been done by the monk.

 


 

If, your reverences,
the nose that is internal is intact
but external scents
do not come within its range
and there is no appropriate impact,
then there is no appearance
of the appropriate section of consciousness.

If, your reverences,
the nose that is internal is intact
and external scents
come within its range
but without an appropriate impact,
then there is no appearance
of the appropriate section of consciousness.

But when, your reverences,
the nose that is internal is intact
and external scents
come within its range
and there is the appropriate impact,
then there is thus an appearance
of the appropriate section of consciousness.

Whatever is material shape
in what has thus come to be,
it is included in the group
of grasping after material shape.

Whatever is feeling
in what has thus come to be,
it is included in the group of grasping after feeling.

Whatever is perception
in what has thus come to be,
it is included in the group of grasping after perception.

Whatever are the habitual tendencies
in what has thus come to be,
they are included in the group of grasping after the habitual tendencies.

Whatever is consciousness
in what has thus come to be,
it is included in the group of grasping after consciousness.

He comprehends thus:

'Thus there is,
so it is said,
the including,
the collecting together,
the coming together
of these five groups of grasping,'

This was said by the Lord:

'Whoever sees conditioned genesis sees dhamma,
whoever sees dhamma sees conditioned genesis.'

These are generated by conditions:
that is to say the five groups of grasping.

Whatever among these five groups of grasping
is desire,
sensual pleasure,
affection,
catching at,
that is the uprising of anguish.

Whatever among these five groups of grasping
is the control of desire and attachment,
the ejection of desire and attachment,
that is the stopping of anguish.

Up to this point, your reverences,
much has been done by the monk.

 


 

If, your reverences,
the tongue that is internal is intact
but external tastes
do not come within its range
and there is no appropriate impact,
then there is no appearance
of the appropriate section of consciousness.

If, your reverences,
the tongue that is internal is intact
and external tastes
come within its range
but without an appropriate impact,
then there is no appearance
of the appropriate section of consciousness.

But when, your reverences,
the tongue that is internal is intact
and external tastes
come within its range
and there is the appropriate impact,
then there is thus an appearance
of the appropriate section of consciousness.

Whatever is material shape
in what has thus come to be,
it is included in the group
of grasping after material shape.

Whatever is feeling
in what has thus come to be,
it is included in the group of grasping after feeling.

Whatever is perception
in what has thus come to be,
it is included in the group of grasping after perception.

Whatever are the habitual tendencies
in what has thus come to be,
they are included in the group of grasping after the habitual tendencies.

Whatever is consciousness
in what has thus come to be,
it is included in the group of grasping after consciousness.

He comprehends thus:

'Thus there is,
so it is said,
the including,
the collecting together,
the coming together
of these five groups of grasping,'

This was said by the Lord:

'Whoever sees conditioned genesis sees dhamma,
whoever sees dhamma sees conditioned genesis.'

These are generated by conditions:
that is to say the five groups of grasping.

Whatever among these five groups of grasping
is desire,
sensual pleasure,
affection,
catching at,
that is the uprising of anguish.

Whatever among these five groups of grasping
is the control of desire and attachment,
the ejection of desire and attachment,
that is the stopping of anguish.

Up to this point, your reverences,
much has been done by the monk.

 


 

If, your reverences,
the body that is internal is intact
but external contact
do not come within its range
and there is no appropriate impact,
then there is no appearance
of the appropriate section of consciousness.

If, your reverences,
the body that is internal is intact
and external contact
come within its range
but without an appropriate impact,
then there is no appearance
of the appropriate section of consciousness.

But when, your reverences,
the body that is internal is intact
and external contact
come within its range
and there is the appropriate impact,
then there is thus an appearance
of the appropriate section of consciousness.

Whatever is material shape
in what has thus come to be,
it is included in the group
of grasping after material shape.

Whatever is feeling
in what has thus come to be,
it is included in the group of grasping after feeling.

Whatever is perception
in what has thus come to be,
it is included in the group of grasping after perception.

Whatever are the habitual tendencies
in what has thus come to be,
they are included in the group of grasping after the habitual tendencies.

Whatever is consciousness
in what has thus come to be,
it is included in the group of grasping after consciousness.

He comprehends thus:

'Thus there is,
so it is said,
the including,
the collecting together,
the coming together
of these five groups of grasping,'

This was said by the Lord:

'Whoever sees conditioned genesis sees dhamma,
whoever sees dhamma sees conditioned genesis.'

These are generated by conditions:
that is to say the five groups of grasping.

Whatever among these five groups of grasping
is desire,
sensual pleasure,
affection,
catching at,
that is the uprising of anguish.

Whatever among these five groups of grasping
is the control of desire and attachment,
the ejection of desire and attachment,
that is the stopping of anguish.

Up to this point, your reverences,
much has been done by the monk.

 


 

If, your reverences,
the mind that is internal is intact
but external mental objects
do not come within its range
and there is no appropriate impact,
then there is no appearance
of the appropriate section of consciousness.

If, your reverences,
the mind that is internal is intact
and external mental objects
come within its range
but without an appropriate impact,
then there is no appearance
of the appropriate section of consciousness.

But when, your reverences,
the mind that is internal is intact
and external mental objects
come within its range
and there is the appropriate impact,
then there is thus an appearance
of the appropriate section of consciousness.

Whatever is material shape
in what has thus come to be,
it is included in the group
of grasping after material shape.

Whatever is feeling
in what has thus come to be,
it is included in the group of grasping after feeling.

Whatever is perception
in what has thus come to be,
it is included in the group of grasping after perception.

Whatever are the habitual tendencies
in what has thus come to be,
they are included in the group of grasping after the habitual tendencies.

Whatever is consciousness
in what has thus come to be,
it is included in the group of grasping after consciousness.

He comprehends thus:

'Thus there is,
so it is said,
the including,
the collecting together,
the coming together
of these five groups of grasping,'

This was said by the Lord:

'Whoever sees conditioned genesis sees dhamma,
whoever sees dhamma sees conditioned genesis.'

These are generated by conditions:
that is to say the five groups of grasping.

Whatever among these five groups of grasping
is desire,
sensual pleasure,
affection,
catching at,
that is the uprising of anguish.

Whatever among these five groups of grasping
is the control of [238] desire and attachment,
the ejection of desire and attachment,
that is the stopping of anguish.

Up to this point, your reverences,
much has been done by the monk.

Thus spoke the venerable Sāriputta.

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

The Greater Discourse
on
the Simile of the Elephant's Footprint
the Eighth

 


[1] Simile as at S. i. 86.

[2] Cf. A. iii. 364.

[3] MA. ii. 218 says the teaching on the whole of anguish is meant here, but it has been set out in the Vism. (p. 494 ff.).

[4] As at S. iii. 58-59.

[5] See M. Sta. 1 for these elements.

[6] Quoted at MA. i. 25.

[7] As at M. i. 421, iii. 240 (six elements given). Vism. 348 says the four elements are treated briefly in the Mahā Satipaṭṭhāna, and at length in the Mahā-Hatthipadopama, the Rāhulovāda (M. i. 421) and the Dhātu Vibhaŋga (M. iii. 237).

[8] MA. ii. 222 says both these are synonyms for "one's own," niyaka.

[9] As at A. ii. 164.

[10] MA. ii. 223 refers to Vbh., ayo lohaɱ tipu sīsaɱ (Vbh. 82), with which passage compare above.

[11] Text wrongly reads āpodhātu here instead of paṭhavīdhatu.

[12] As at M. i. 140.

[13] Here phassa. instead of, as is more usual in this sequence, rūpa. Just below, the word translated as "blows" is also phassa. It means a contact, something that impinges.

[14] Cf. M. i. 435, where instead of adhimuccati, is set on, the reading is vimuccati, is freed.

[15] M. i. 129.

[16] As in the formulae, see e.g. D. ii. 93; S. i. 219 f.

[17] upekhā kusalanissitā here means the equanimity or indifference due to vipassanā, insight or vision.

[18] saɱvijjati.

[19] As at M. i. 422. Cf. Vism. 360.

[20] Cf. A. iv. 101-2 [AN 7.62] as far as "ankle," and where all this is said to happen to the waters when a fifth sun appears.

[21] ogacchanti. G.S. iv. 66 "recede"; MA. ii. 227 gives heṭṭhā gacchanti.

[22] As at M. i. 422.

[23] nibbāyati.

[24] As at A. iv. 47.

[25] As at M. i. 422.

[26] tālavaṇṭena pi vidhūpanena pi. On vidhūpana see B.D. iii. 253, n. 3. MA. ii. 229 calls this aggivījanakena.

[27] ossavne. MA. ii. 229, reading ossāvane, explains by chadanagge, and says "because the water flows out therefrom it is called ossāvana." This means an outflow, running water, making tbe growth of grass possible.

[28] This passage is quoted at Kvu. 620.

[29] bhāga, but Kvu. reads bhāva. Cf. Miln. 56 ff.

[30] Untraced. "Conditioned genesis" is paṭiccasamuppāda.

[31] Synonyms for nibbāna, MA. ii. 230.v


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