Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
I. Mūlapaṇṇāsa
4. Mahā Yamaka Vagga

The Middle Length Sayings
I. The First Fifty Discourses
4. The Greater Division of the Pairs

Sutta 36

Mahā Saccaka Suttaɱ

Greater Discourse To Saccaka

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.

 


 

[1][chlm][than][ntbb][upal] THUS have I heard:

At one time the Lord was staying near Vesālī
in the Great Grove in the hall of the Gabled House.

Now at that time the Lord came to be fully clothed[1] in the morning
and, taking his bowl and robe,
wished to enter Vesālī for almsfood.

Then Saccaka, the son of Jains,
who was always pacing up and down,
always roaming about on foot,[2]
approached the Great Grove
and the hall of the Gabled House.

The venerable Ānanda saw Saccaka, the son of Jains,
coming in the distance;
having seen him,
he spoke thus to the Lord:

"Lord, this Saccaka, the son of Jains, is coming,
a controversialist,
giving himself out as learned,
much honoured by the manyfolk.[3]

He, Lord, desires dispraise of the Awakened One,
dispraise of dhamma,
dispraise of the Order.

It were good, Lord,
if the Lord were to sit down for a moment
out of compassion."[4]

The Lord sat down on an appointed seat.

Then Saccaka, the son of Jains, approached the Lord;
having approached,
he exchanged greetings with the Lord;
having exchanged greetings of friendliness and courtesy,
he sat down at a respectful distance.

As he was sitting down at a respectful distance,
Saccaka, the son of Jains, spoke thus to the Lord:

[292] There are, good Gotama, some recluses and brahmans,
who dwell intent on the development of body,[5]
not on the development of mind.[6]

They acquire, good Gotama,
a feeling of physical pain.

If once upon a time, good Gotama,
there had been acquired a feeling of physical pain,
there may be paralysis of the legs,
and the heart may burst,
and warm blood may issue from the mouth,
or one may come to madness,
to mind-tossing.[7]

This comes to be for one, good Gotama,
when the mind conforms to the body,
when it is under the rule of body.

What is the cause of this?

It is the non-development of the mind.

But there are, good Gotama, some recluses and brahmans
who live intent on the development of mind,
not on the development of body.

They acquire, good Gotama,
a feeling of mental pain.

If once upon a time, good Gotama,
there had been acquired a feeling of mental pain,
there may be a paralysis of the legs,
and the heart may burst,
and warm blood may issue from the mouth,
or one may come to madness,
to mind-tossing.

This comes to be for one, good Gotama,
whose body conforms to mind,
is under the rule of mind.

What is the cause of this?

It is the non-development of body."

"But what have you, Aggivessana,
heard about the development of body?"

"For example, Nanda Vaccha, Kisa Saŋkicca, Makkhali of the Cowpen[8] -
these, good Gotama, are unclothed,[9]
flouting life's decencies,
licking (their hands after meals),
not those to come
when asked to do so,
not those to stand still
when asked to do so.

They do not consent (to accept food)
offered to (them)
or specially prepared for (them),
nor to (accept) an invitation (to a meal).

They do not accept food
straight from the cooking pot or pan,
nor within the threshold,
nor among the faggots,
nor among the rice- [293] pounders,
nor when two people were eating,
nor from a pregnant woman,
nor from one giving suck,
nor from one co-habiting with a man,
nor from gleanings,
nor near where a dog is standing,
nor where flies are swarming,
nor fish,
nor meat.

They drink neither fermented liquor
nor spirits
nor rice-gruel.

They are one-house-men,
a one-piece-men,
or a two-house-men,
a two-piece-men
or a three-house-men,
a three-piece-men
or a four-house-men,
a four-piece-men
or a five-house-men,
a five-piece-men
or a six-house-men,
a six-piece-men
or a seven-house-men,
a seven-piece-men.

They subsist on one little offering,
they subsist on two little offerings
they subsist on three little offerings
they subsist on four little offerings
they subsist on five little offerings
they subsist on six little offerings
they subsist on seven little offerings.

They take food only once a day,
and they take food once in two days
and they take food once in three days
and they take food once in four days
and they take food once in five days
and they take food once in six days
and they take food once in seven days.

Then they live intent on the practice
of eating rice at regular fort-nightly intervals.

"But do they, Aggivessana, keep going on so little?"

"No, good Gotama.

Now and then they eat very good solid food,
partake of very good soft food,
savour very good savourings,
drink very good drinks.

They build up their bodily strength with these,
make their bodies grow and become fat."

"These, Aggivessana, attend later
to what they had eschewed earher;
thus there is increase and loss for that body.[10]

But what have you, Aggivessana,
heard about the development of mind?"

But, Saccaka, the son of Jains,
on being questioned by the Lord
on the development of mind,
did not succeed (in replying).

Then the Lord spoke thus to Saccaka, the son of Jains:

"That which was first spoken of by you, Aggivessana,
as the development of the body,
that, in the discipline for an ariyan,
is not the proper development of the body.

For you, Aggivessana,
do not know what is development of the body,
so how can you know
what is development of the mind?

Yet, Aggivessana, hear how there comes to be
one who is not developed as to body
and not developed as to mind,
developed as to body
and developed as to mind;
pay careful attention
and I will speak."

"Yes, sir," Saccaka, the son of Jains,
answered the Lord in assent.

The Lord spoke thus:

"And how, Aggivessana, does one come to be
not developed as to body
and not developed as to mind?

As to this, Aggivessana,
a pleasurable feeling arises in an uninstructed ordinary man;
he, being assailed by the pleasurable feeling,
becomes addicted to pleasure
and falls into addiction for pleasure.

If that pleasurable feeling of his is stopped,
a painful feeling arises from the stopping [294] of the pleasurable feeling;
he, being assailed by the painful feeling,
grieves,
mourns,
laments,
beats his breast
and falls into disillusion.

This pleasurable feeling, Aggivessana,
that has arisen in him,
impinging on the mind,
persists,
because of the non-development of body;
and the painful feeling that has arisen,
impinging on the mind,
persists,
because of the non-development of mind.

In anyone in whom, Aggivessana,
there are these two alternatives thus:
a pleasurable feeling that has arisen,
impinging on the mind,
persists,
because of the non-development of body;
and a painful feeling that has arisen,
impinging on the mind,
persists,
because of the non-development of mind -
he thus comes to be, Aggivessana,
not developed as to body
and not developed as to mind.

And how does there come to be, Aggivessana,
one who is both developed as to body
and developed as to mind?

As to this, Aggivessana, a pleasurable feeling arises
in an instructed disciple of the ariyans;
he, being assailed by the pleasurable feeling,
does not become addicted to pleasure
nor does he fall into addiction to pleasure.

If that pleasurable feeling of his is stopped
and a painful feeling arises
from the stopping of that pleasurable feeling,
he, being assailed by the painful feeling,
does not grieve,
mourn,
lament,
he does not beat his breast,
he does not fall into disillusion.

This pleasurable feeling, Aggivessana,
that has arisen in him,
impinging on his mind,
does not persist,
because of the development of the body;
and the painful feeling that has arisen,
impinging on the mind,
does not persist,
because of the development of mind.

In anyone in whom, Aggivessana,
there are these two alternatives thus:
a pleasurable feeling that has arisen,
impinging on the mind,
does not persist,
because of the development of body;
and a painful feeling that has arisen,
impinging on the mind,
does not persist,
because of the development of mind -
he thus comes to be, Aggivessana,
both developed as to body
and developed as to mind."

"A believer thus am I
in the revered Gotama.

For the revered Gotama
is both developed as to body
and developed as to mind."

"This speech spoken by you, Aggivessana,
is offensive and presumptuous,
but yet will I answer you.

When I, Aggivessana, had had the hair of my head and beard shaved,
and had clothed myself in saffron garments
and had gone forth from home into homelessness -
that a pleasurable feeling arisen in me,
impinging on my mind,
could persist,
or that a painful feeling arisen,
impinging on my mind,
could persist,
such a situation could not occur."

[295] "Is it then that a pleasurable feeling
has not arisen in the good Gotama
of such a nature that,
having arisen,
impinging on the mind,
it could not persist?

Is it then that a painful feeling
has not arisen in the good Gotama
of such a nature that,
having arisen,
impinging on the mind,
it could not persist?"

"How could this not be, Aggivessana?

Now, Aggivessana, before my Self-awakening
while I was still the bodhisatta,
not fully awakened,
it occurred to me:

Narrow is the household life,
a path of dust,
going forth is in the open,
nor is it easy while dwelling in a house
to lead the Brahma-faring completely fulfilled,
utterly purified,
pohshed like a conch-shell.

Suppose now that I,
having cut off hair and beard,
having clothed myself in saffron garments,
should go forth from home into homelessness?

So I, Aggivessana, alter a time,
being young,
my hair coal-black,
possessed of radiant 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, Aggivessana, Āḷāra the Kālāma 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, Aggivessana,
very soon,
very quickly,
mastered that dhamma.

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

Then I, Aggivessana, 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,
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, Aggivessana, 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, Aggivessana,
not getting enough from this dhamma,
disregarded and turned away from this dhamma.

Then I, monka, 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, Aggivessana, 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, Aggivessana, very soon,
very quickly,
mastered that dhamma.

I, Aggivessana, 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, Aggivessana, 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, Aggivessana,
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 [166] 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 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, Aggivessana, very soon,
very quickly,
having realised super-knowledge for myself,
entering on that dhamma,
abided therein.

Then I, Aggivessana, 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, Aggivessana, 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, Aggivessana, not getting enough from this dhamma,
disregarded and turned away from this dhamma.

Then I, Aggivessana, 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
with a delightful ford,
and a village for support nearby.

It occurred to me, Aggivessana:

'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, Aggivessana, sat down just there thinking:

Indeed this does well for striving.

Moreover,[11] Aggivessana,
three similes occurred to me spontaneously,
never heard before:

It is as if[12] there were a wet sappy stick placed in water;
then a man might come along
bringing an upper piece of fire-stick,[13]
and thinking:

'I will hght a fire,
I will get heat.'

What do you think about this, Aggivessana?

Could that man, bringing an upper piece of fire-stick,
and rubbing that wet sappy stick
that had been placed in water (with it),
light a fire,
could he get heat?"

"No, good Gotama.

What is the cause of this?

It is, good Gotama,
that such a stick is wet and sappy
and that it was placed in water.

That man would only get fatigue and distress."

"In like manner, Aggivessana,
whatever recluses or brahmans dwell not aloof
from pleasures of the senses that are bodily,
then if that which is for them,
among the sense-pleasures,
desire for sense-pleasure,
affection for sense-pleasure,
infatuation with sense-pleasure,
thirst for sense-pleasure,
fever for sense-pleasure -
if that is not properly got rid of subjectively
nor properly allayed,
whether these worthy recluses and brahmans experience [296] feelings which are acute,
painful,
sharp,
severe,
they could not become those for knowledge,
for vision,
for the incomparable Self-awakening;[14]
and whether these worthy recluses and brahmans do not experience feelings which are acute,
painful,
sharp,
severe,
they could not become those for knowledge,
for vision,
for the incomparable Self-awakening.

This, Aggivessana, was the first parable
that occurred to me spontaneously,
never heard before.

Then, Aggivessana, a second parable
occurred to me spontaneously,
never heard before.

It is as if, Aggivessana, a wet, sappy stick
were placed on dry ground,
far from water.

Then a man might come along
bringing an upper piece of fire-stick,
and thinking:

'I will light a fire,
I will get heat.'

What do you think about this, Aggivessana?

Could that man,
bringing an upper piece of fire-stick,
and rubbing that wet sappy stick
that had been placed on the dry ground,
far from water,
light a fire,
could he get heat?"|| ||

"No, good Gotama.

What is the cause of this?

It is, good Gotama, that that stick is wet and sappy
although it had been placed on dry ground,
far from water.

So that man would only get fatigue and distress."

"In like manner, Aggivessana,
whatever recluses or brahmans dwell not aloof
from pleasures of the senses that are bodily,
then if that which is for them,
among the sense-pleasures,
desire for sense-pleasure,
affection for sense-pleasure,
infatuation with sense-pleasure,
thirst for sense-pleasure,
fever for sense-pleasure -
if that is not properly got rid of subjectively
nor properly allayed,
whether these worthy recluses and brahmans experience feelings which are acute,
painful,
sharp,
severe,
they could not become those for knowledge,
for vision,
for the incomparable Self-awakeningi;
and whether these worthy recluses and brahmans do not experience feelings which are acute,
painful,
sharp,
severe,
they could not become those for knowledge,
for vision,
for the incomparable Self-awakening.

This, Aggivessana, was the second parable
that occurred to me spontaneously,
never heard before.

Then, Aggivessana, a third parable
occurred to me spontaneously,
never heard before.

It is as if, Aggivessana, a dry sapless[15] stick
were placed on the dry ground,
far from water.

Then a man might come along
bringing an upper piece of fire-stick,
and thinking:

'I will light a fire,
I will get heat.'

What do you think about this, Aggivessana?

Could that man, bringing an upper piece of fire-stiek,
and rubbing that dry sapless stick
that had been placed on dry ground,
far from water,
light a fire,
could he get heat?"

"Yes, good Gotama.

What is the cause of this?

It is, good Gotama,
that that stick was dry and sapless
and had been placed on dry ground
far from water."

"In like manner, Aggivessana,
whatever recluses or brahmans dwell aloof
from pleasures of the senses that are bodily,
then if that which is for them,
among the sense-pleasures,
desire for sense-pleasure,
affection for sense-pleasure,
infatuation with sense- [297] pleasure,
thirst for sense-pleasure,
fever for sense-pleasure -
if this is well got rid of subjectively,
well allayed,
then whether these worthy recluses and brahmans experience feelings that are acute,
painful,
sharp,
severe,
indeed they become those for knowledge,
for vision,
for the incomparable Self-awakening;
and whether these worthy recluses and brahmans do not experience feelings that are acute,
painful,
sharp,
severe,
indeed they become those for knowledge,
for vision,
for the incomparable Self-awakening.

This, Aggivessana, was the third parable
that occurred to me spontaneously,
never heard before.

These, Aggivessana, were the three parables
that occurred to me spontaneously,
never heard before.

It occurred to me, Aggivessana:

'Suppose now that I,
with my teeth clenched,[16]
with my tongue pressed against the palate,
by mind should subdue,
restrain and dominate my mind?'

So I, Aggivessana, with my teeth clenched,
with my tongue pressed against the palate,
by mind subdued,
restrained
and dominated my mind.

While I was subduing,
restraining
and dominating my mind,
with the teeth clenched,
the tongue pressed against the palate,
sweat poured from my armpits.

It is as if, Aggivessana,
a strong man,
having taken hold of a weaker man
by his head or shoulders,
would subdue,
restrain
and dominate him.

Even so, while I, Aggivessana,
was subduing,
restraining
and dominating my mind by mind,
with my teeth clenched,
with my tongue pressed against the palate,
sweat poured from my armpits.

Although, Aggivessana, unsluggish energy came to be stirred up in me,
unmuddled mindfulness set up,
yet my body was turbulent,
not calmed,
because I was harassed[17] in striving
by striving against that very pain.

But yet, Aggivessana,
that painful feeling,
arising in me,
persisted without impinging on my mind.|| ||

It occurred to me, Aggivessana:

'Suppose now that I should meditate
the non-breathing meditation?[18]

So I, Aggivessana,
stopped breathing in and breathing out
through the mouth
and through the nose.

When I, Aggivessana,
had stopped breathing in and breathing out
through the mouth
and through the nose,
there came to be an exceedingly loud noise
of winds escaping by the auditory passages.

As there comes to be an exceedingly loud noise
from the roaring of a smith's bellows,[19]
even so when I, Aggivessana, stopped breathing in and breathing out
through the mouth [298]
and through the nose,
there came to be an exceedingly loud noise
of wind escaping by the auditory passages.

Although, Aggivessana, unsluggish energy came to be stirred up in me,
unmuddled mindfulness set up,
yet my body was turbulent,
not calmed,
because I was harassed in striving
by striving against that very pain.

It was even in this wise, Aggivessana,
that a painful feeling that had arisen in me
persisted without impinging on my mind.

It occurred to me, Aggivessana:

'Suppose now that I should still meditate
the non-breathing meditation?'

So I, Aggivessana, stopped breathing in and breathing out
through the mouth
and through the nose
and through the ears.

When I, Aggivessana, had stopped breathing in and breathing out
through the mouth
and through the nose
and through the ears,
exceedingly loud winds rent my head.

As, Aggivessana, a strong man[20]
might cleave one's head
with a sharp-edged sword,
even so when I, Aggivessana, stopped breathing in and breathing out
through the mouth
and through the nose
and through the ears,
exceedingly loud winds rent my head.

Although, Aggivessana, unsluggish energy came to be stirred up in me,
unmuddled mindfulness set up,
yet my body was turbulent,
not calmed,
because I was harassed in striving
by striving against that very pain.

But yet, Aggivessana, that painful feeling,
arising in me,
persisted without impinging on my mind.

It occurred to me, Aggivessana:

'Suppose that I should still meditate
the non-breathing meditation?'

So I, Aggivessana, stopped breathing in and breathing out
through the mouth
and through the nose
and through the ears.

When I, Aggivessana, had stopped breathing in and breathing out
through the mouth
and through the nose
and through the ears,
I came to have very bad headaches.[21]

As, Aggivessana, a strong man
might clamp a turban on one's head
with a tight leather strap,
even so when I, Aggivessana, stopped breathing in and breathing out
through the mouth
and through the nose
and through the ears,
did I come to have very bad headaches.

Although, Aggivessana, unsluggish energy came to be stirred up in me,
unmuddled mindfulness set up,
yet my body was turbulent,
not calmed,
because I was harassed in striving
by striving against that very pain.

But yet, Aggivessana, that painful feeling,
arising in me,
persisted without impinging on my mind.

[299] It occurred to me, Aggivessana:

'Suppose now that I should still meditate
the non-breathing meditation?'

So I, Aggivessana, stopped breathing in and breathing out
through the mouth
and through the nose
and through the ears.

When I, Aggivessana, had stopped breathing in and breathing out
through the mouth
and through the nose
and through the ears,
very strong winds cut through my stomach.

As, Aggivessana, a skilled cattle-butcher
or his apprentice
might cut through the stomach
with a sharp butcher's knife,
even so, Aggivessana, did very strong winds
cut through my stomach.

Although, Aggivessana, unsluggish energy came to be stirred up in me,
unmuddled mindfulness set up,
yet my body was turbulent,
not calmed,
because I was harassed in striving
by striving against that very pain.

But yet, Aggivessana, that painful feeling,
arising in me,
persisted without impinging on my mind.

It occurred to me, Aggivessana:

'Suppose now that I should still meditate
the non-breathing meditation?'

So I, Aggivessana, stopped breathing in and breathing out
through the mouth
and through the nose
and through the ears.

When I, Aggivessana, had stopped breathing in and breathing out
through the mouth
and through the nose
and through the ears,
there came to be a fierce heat in my body.

As, Aggivessana, two strong men,
having taken hold of a weaker man by his limbs,
might set fire to him,
might make him sizzle up
over a charcoal pit,
even so, Aggivessana,
when I had stopped breathing in and breathing out
through the mouth
and through the nose
and through the ears,
did there come to be a fierce heat in my body.

Although, Aggivessana, unsluggish energy came to be stirred up in me,
unmuddled mindfulness set up,
yet my body was turbulent,
not calmed,
because I was harassed in striving
by striving against that very pain.

But yet, Aggivessana, that painful feeling,
arising in me,
persisted without impinging on my mind.

In addition to this, Aggivessana,
devatās, having seen me, spoke thus:

'The recluse Gotama has passed away.'

Other devatās spoke thus;

'The recluse Gotama has not passed away,
but he is passing away.'

Other devatās spoke thus:

'The recluse Gotama has not passed away,
nor is he passing away;
the recluse Gotama is a perfected one,[22] the mode of Hving of a perfected one is just like this.'

[300] It occurred to me, Aggivessana:

'Suppose now that I should take the line
of desisting from all food?'

Then, Aggivessana, devatās,
having approached me,
spoke thus:

'Do not, good sir,
take the line of desisting from all food.

If you, good sir,
take the line of desisting from all food,
then we will give you deva-like essences
to take in through the pores of the skin;
you will keep going by means of them.'

Then, Aggivessana, it occurred to me:

'Suppose that I should take the line
of not eating anything,
and these devatās were to give me deva-like essences
to take in through the pores of the skin,
and that I should keep going by means of them,
that would be an imposture in me.'

So I, Aggivessana, rejected those devatās[23]
I said,
'Enough.'

It occurred to me, Aggivessana:

'Suppose now that I were to take food
little by little,
drop by drop,
such as bean-soup
or vetoh-soup
or chick-pea-soup
or pea-soup?

So I, Aggivessana, took food
little by little,
drop by drop,
such as bean-soup
or veteh-soup
or chick-pea-soup
or pea-soup.

While I, Aggivessana, was taking food
little by little,
drop by drop,
such as bean-soup
or vetch-soup
or chick-pea-soup
or pea-soup,
my body became exceedingly emaciated.

Because I ate so little,[24]
all my limbs became like the joints of withered creepers;
because I ate so little,
my buttocks became like a bullock's hoof;
because I ate so little,
my protruding backbone
became like a string of balls;
because I ate so little,
my gaunt ribs
became like the crazy rafters
of a tumble-down shed;
because I ate so little,
the pupils of my eyes
appeared lying low and deep;
because I ate so little,
my scalp became shrivelled and shrunk
as a bitter white gourd
cut before it is ripe
becomes shrivelled and shrunk by a hot wind.

If I, Aggivessana, thought:

'I will touch the skin of my belly,'
it was my backbone that I took hold of.

If I thought:

'I will touch my backbone,'
it was the skin of my belly that I took hold of.

For because I ate so little,
the skin of my belly, Aggivessana,
came to be cleaving to my backbone.

If I, Aggivessana, thought:

'I will obey the calls of nature,'
I fell down on my face then and there,
because I ate so little.

If I, Aggivessana, soothing my body,
stroked my limbs with my hand,
the hairs,
rotted at the roots,
fell away from my body
as I stroked my limbs with my hand,
because I ate so little.

And further, Aggivessana, men,
having seen me,
spoke thus:

'The recluse Gotama is black.'

Other men spoke thus:

'The recluse Gotama is not black,
[301] the recluse Gotama is deep brown.'

Some men spoke thus:

'The recluse Gotama is not black,
he is not even deep brown,
the recluse Gotama is of a sallow colour.'[25]

To such an extent, Aggivessana,
was my clear pure complexion
spoilt because I ate so little.

This, Aggivessana, occurred to me:

'Some recluses and brahmans
in the past
have experienced feelings that were acute,
painful,
sharp,
severe;
but this is paramount,
nor is there worse than this.

And some recluses and brahmans
in the future
will experience feelings that are acute,
painful,
sharp,
severe;
but this is paramount,
nor is there worse than this.

And some recluses and brahmans
are now
experiencing feelings that are acute,
painful,
sharp,
severe;
but this is paramount,
nor is there worse than this.

But I,
by this severe austerity,
do not reach states of further-men,
the excellent knowledge and vision
befitting the ariyans.

Could there be another way to awakening?

This, Aggivessana, occurred to me:

This was no ordinary plowing! This was the spring plowing festival day, a fertility rite, and also the day of Gotama's reaching manhood. With the young Gotama sitting apart at peace under the apple tree, this becomes signficant symbolism of a state separated from pleasures of the senses.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

'I know that while my father, the Sakyan,
was ploughing,[26]
and I was sitting in the cool shade of a rose-apple tree,
aloof from pleasures of the senses,
aloof from unskilled states of mind,
entering on the first meditation,
which is accompanied by initial thought
and discursive thought,
is born of aloofness,
and is rapturous and joyful,
and while abiding therein,
I thought:

'Now could this be a way to awakening?'

Then, following on my mindfulness,[27] Aggivessana,
there was the consciousness:

'This is itself the Way to awakening.'

This occurred to me, Aggivessana:

'Now, am I afraid of that happiness
which is happiness
apart from sense-pleasures,
apart from unskilled states of mind?'

This occurred to me, Aggivessana:

'I am not afraid of that happiness
which is happiness
apart from sense-pleasures,
apart from unskilled states of mind.'

This occurred to me, Aggivessana:

'Now it is not easy to reach that happiness
by thus subjecting the body
to extreme emaciation.

Suppose I were to take material nourishment -
boiled rice
and sour milk?'

So I, Aggivessana, took material nourishment -
boiled rice
and sour milk.

Now at that time, Aggivessana,
five monks[28] were attending me
and (they thought):

'When the recluse [302] Gotama wins dhamma
he will announce it to us.'

But when I, Aggivessana, took material nourishment -
boiled rice
and sour milk -
then these five monks turned on me in disgust,
saying:

'The recluse Gotama lives in abundance,
he is wavering in his striving,
he has reverted to a life of abundance.'

But when I, Aggivessana, had taken some material nourishment,
having picked up strength,
aloof from pleasures of the senses,
aloof from unskilled states of mind,
I entered on
and abided in
the first meditation
which is accompanied by initial thought
and discursive thought,
is born of aloofness,
and is rapturous and joyful.

But yet, Aggivessana, the pleasurable feeling, arising in me,
persisted without impinging on my mind.

By allaying initial thought
and discursive thought,
with the mind subjectively tranquillised
and fixed on one point,
I entered on
and abided in
the second meditation
which is devoid of initial and discursive thought,
is born of concentration,
and is rapturous and joyful.

But yet, Aggivessana, the pleasurable feeling, arising in me,
persisted without impinging on my mind.

By the fading out of rapture
I dwelt with equanimity,
attentive and clearly conscious,
and I experienced in my person
that joy of which the ariyans say:
'Joyful lives he who has equanimity and is mindful,'
and I entered on
and abided in
the third meditation.

But yet, Aggivessana, the pleasurable feeling, arising in me,
persisted without impinging on my mind.

By getting rid of joy
and by getting rid of anguish,
by the going down of former pleasures and sorrows,
I entered into
and abided in
the fourth meditation
which has neither anguish nor joy
and which is entirely purified
by equanimity and mindfulness.

But yet, Aggivessana, the pleasurable feeling, arising in me,
persisted without impinging on my mind.

With the mind composed thus,
quite purified,
quite clarified,
without blemish,
without defilement,
grown soft and workable,
fixed,
immovable,
I directed my mind
to the knowledge and recollection
of former habitations:

I remembered a variety of former habitations, thus:
one birth,
two births,
three births,
four births,
five births,
ten births,
twenty births,
thirty births,
forty births,
fifty births,
a hundred births,
a thousand births,
a hundred thousand births,
and many an eon of integration
and many an eon of disintegration
and many an eon of integration-disintegration;
such a one was I by name,
having such and such a clan,
such and such a colour,
so was I nourished,
such and such pleasant and painful experiences were mine,
so did the span of life end.

Passing from this,
I came to be in another state
where such a one was I by name,
having such and such a clan,
such and such a colour,
so was I nourished,
such and such pleasant and painful experiences were mine,
so did the span of life end.

Passing from this,
I arose here.

Thus I remember divers former habitations
in all their modes and detail.

This, Aggivessana,
was the first knowledge attained by me
in the first watch of the night;
ignorance was dispelled,
knowledge arose,
darkness was dispelled,
light arose,
even as I abided diligent,
ardent,
self-resolute.

Then with the mind composed,
quite purified,
quite clarified,
without blemish,
without defilement,
grown soft and workable,
fixed,
immovable,
I directed my mind
to the knowledge of the passing hence
and the arising of beings.

With the purified deva-vision
surpassing that of men
I see beings as they pass hence
or come to be;
I comprehend that beings are mean,
excellent,
comely,
ugly,
well-going,
ill-going,
according to the consequences of their deeds,
and I think:

Indeed these worthy beings
who were possessed of wrong conduct in body,
who were possessed of wrong conduct of speech,
who were possessed of wrong conduct of thought,
scoffers at the ariyans,
holding a wrong view,
incurring deeds consequent on a wrong view -
these, at the breaking up of the body after dying,
have arisen in a sorrowful state,
a bad bourn,
the abyss,
Niraya Hell.

But these worthy beings
who were possessed of good conduct in body,
who were possessed of good conduct in speech,
who were possessed of good conduct in thought,
who did not scoff at the ariyans,
holding a right view,
incurring deeds consequent on a right view -
these, at the breaking up of the body after dying,
have arisen in a good bourn,
a heaven world.

Thus with the purified deva-vision
surpassing that of men
do I see beings as they pass hence,
as they arise;
I comprehend that beings are mean,
excellent,
comely,
ugly,
well-going,
ill-going
according to the consequences of their deeds.

This, Aggivessana,
was the second knowledge attained by me
in the middle watch of the night;
ignorance was dispelled,
knowledge arose,
darkness was dispelled,
light arose,
even as I abided diligent,
ardent,
self-resolute.

Then with the mind composed
quite purified,
quite clarified,
without blemish,
without defilement,
grown soft and workable,
fixed,
immovable,
I directed my mind
to the knowledge of the destruction of the cankers.

I understood as it really is:

This is anguish,
this is the arising of anguish,
this is the stopping of anguish,
this is the course leading to the stopping of anguish.

I understood as it really is:

These are the cankers,
this is the arising of the cankers,
this is the stopping of the cankers,
this is the course leading to the stopping of the cankers.

Knowing this thus,
seeing thus,
my mind was freed
from the canker of sense-pleasures,
and my mind was freed
from the canker of becoming,
and my mind was freed
from the canker of ignorance.

In freedom
the knowledge came to be:

I am freed;

and I comprehended:

Destroyed is birth,
brought to a close is the Brahma-faring,
done is what was to be done,
there is no more of being such or such.

This, Aggivessana,
was the third knowledge attained by me
in the last watch of the night;
ignorance was dispelled,
knowledge arose,
darkness was dispelled,
light arose
even as I abided diligent,
ardent,
self-resolute.

But yet, Aggivessana, the pleasurable feeling, arising in me,
persisted without impinging on my mind.

Now I, Aggivessana, am aware
that when I am teaching dhamma
to companies consisting of many hundreds,
each person thinks thus about me:

'The recluse Gotama is teaching dhamma especially for me.'

But this, Aggivessana, should not be understood thus.

For when a Tathāgata is teaching dhamma to others
it is for the sake of general instruction.

And I, Aggivessana, at the close of such a talk,
steady,
calm,
make one-pointed
and concentrate my mind subjectively
in that first characteristic of concentration[29]
in which I ever constantly abide."

"This is to believed of the good Gotama,
for he is a perfected one,
a fully Self-awakened One.

But does the good Gotama allow
that he sleeps during the day?"

[304] "I allow, Aggivessana, that
during the last month of the hot weather,
returning from alms-gathering after the meal,
having laid down the outer cloak (folded) into four,
mindful and clearly conscious,
I fall asleep on my right side."

"But this, good Gotama,
is what some recluses and brahmans call
'abiding in confusion.'"

"So far, Aggivessana,
there is neither bewilderment
nor non-bewilderment.

But, Aggivessana,
how there is bewilderment and non-bewilderment -
listen to it,
pay careful attention,
and I will speak."

"Yes, sir," Saccaka, the son of Jains,
answered the Lord in assent.

The Lord spoke thus:

"In whoever, Aggivessana,
those cankers are not got rid of
that have to do with the defilements,
with again-becoming,
that are fearful,
whose result is anguish,
making for birth,
ageing
and dying
in the future[30] -
him I call bewildered.

In whoever, Aggivessana,
those cankers are got rid of
which are connected with the defilements,
with again-becoming,
that are fearful,
whose result is anguish,
making for birth,
ageing
and dying
in the future -
him I call unbewildered.

Those cankers of the Tathāgata, Aggivessana,
that are connected with the defilements,
with again-becoming,
that are fearful,
whose result is anguish,
making for birth,
ageing
and dying
in the future,
these are got rid of,
cut off at the root,
made like a palm-tree stump
so that they can come
to no further existence in the future.

Even as, Aggivessana,
a palm-tree whose crown is cut off
cannot come to further growth,
even so, Aggivessana,
got rid of,
cut off at the root,
made like a palm-tree stump
so that they can come
to no further existence in the future
are those cankers of the Tathāgata
that have to do with the defilements,
with again-becoming,
that are fearful,
whose result is anguish,
making for birth,
ageing
and dying
in the future."

When this had been said, Saccaka, the son of Jains,
spoke thus to the Lord:

"It is wonderful, good Gotama,
it is marvellous, good Gotama,
that while this was being said so mockingly[31] to the good Gotama,
while he was being assailed
by accusing ways of speech,
his colour was clear
and his countenance happy
like that of a perfected one,
a fully Self-awakened One.

I allow that I, good Gotama,
took [305] Pūraṇa Kassapa in hand
speech by speech,
but he, when taken in hand by me,
speech by speech,
shelved the question by (asking) another,
answered off the point
and evinced anger
and ill-will
and discontent.[32]

But while the good Gotama
was being spoken to thus so mockingly
and was being assailed by accusing ways of speech,
his colour was clear
and his countenance happy
like that of a perfected one,
a fully Self-awakened One.

I allow that I, good Gotama,
took Makkhali of the Cow-pen in hand
speech by speech,
but he, when taken in hand by me,
speech by speech,
shelved the question by (asking) another,
answered off the point
and evinced anger
and ill-will
and discontent.

But while the good Gotama
was being spoken to thus so mockingly
and was being assailed by accusing ways of speech,
his colour was clear
and his countenance happy
like that of a perfected one,
a fully Self-awakened One.

I allow that I, good Gotama,
took Ajita of the hair-blanket in hand
speech by speech,
but he, when taken in hand by me,
speech by speech,
shelved the question by (asking) another,
answered off the point
and evinced anger
and ill-will
and discontent.

But while the good Gotama
was being spoken to thus so mockingly
and was being assailed by accusing ways of speech,
his colour was clear
and his countenance happy
like that of a perfected one,
a fully Self-awakened One.

I allow that I, good Gotama,
took Pakudha Kaccāyana in hand
speech by speech,
but he, when taken in hand by me,
speech by speech,
shelved the question by (asking) another,
answered off the point
and evinced anger
and ill-will
and discontent.

But while the good Gotama
was being spoken to thus so mockingly
and was being assailed by accusing ways of speech,
his colour was clear
and his countenance happy
like that of a perfected one,
a fully Self-awakened One.

I allow that I, good Gotama,
took Sañjaya Belaṭṭha's son in hand
speech by speech,
but he, when taken in hand by me,
speech by speech,
shelved the question by (asking) another,
answered off the point
and evinced anger
and ill-will
and discontent.

But while the good Gotama
was being spoken to thus so mockingly
and was being assailed by accusing ways of speech,
his colour was clear
and his countenance happy
like that of a perfected one,
a fully Self-awakened One.

I allow that I, good Gotama,
took Nātha's son, the Jain in hand
speech by speech,
but he, when taken in hand by me,
speech by speech,
shelved the question by (asking) another,
answered off the point
and evinced anger
and ill-will
and discontent.

But while the good Gotama
was being spoken to thus so mockingly
and was being assailed by accusing ways of speech,
his colour was clear
and his countenance happy
like that of a perfected one,
a fully Self-awakened One.

And if you please, we, good Gotama, are going now,
for there is much to do,
much to be done by us."

"Do now whatever you think it is the right time for, Aggivessana."

Then Saccaka, the son of Jains,
having rejoiced in what the Lord had said,
having given thanks,[33] rising from his seat, departed.

Greater Discourse to Saccaka:
the Sixth

 


[1] I.e. he had clothed himself in a dyed double-cloth, rattadupaṭṭa, (cf. Jā. iv. 379, VvA. 4), had fastened on his girdle, and had put his rag-robe over one shoulder, MA. ii. 284. It remained to take his outer cloak to put on when he entered Vesālī.

[2] Stock, as at M. i. 108, 227-28.

[3] As at M. i. 227.

[4] For Saccaka, for he would see the Lord and hear dhamma, MA. ii. 284.

[5] bhāvanā, "development," more precisely mental development. MA. ii. 285 says kāya-bhaāvanā is called vipassanā, insight. Achieving this there is no mental disturbance.

[6] citta-bhāvanā, is called samatha, calm. There is no paralysis for the person intent on concentration. What the Jain says is not true; see MA. ii. 285.

[7] Cf. S. i. 125-6, and last phrase at A. iii. 119, 219; and "mind-tossing," cittakkhepa, at Dh. 138.

[8] These three "shining lights," niyyātāro, are mentioned at M. i. 524; A. iii. 384. All were ājīvikas, and are said at MA. ii. 285 to have achieved leadership over the extreme ascetics.

[9] Following passage also at M. i. 77.

[10] Cf. S. ii. 94.

[11] From bere to M. i. 249 = M. ii. 212 ff. Cf. Mhvu. ii. 121ff.

[12] As at M. iii. 95.

[13] uttarāṇī, opposite adharāṇī, MA. ii. 91, SA. iii. 241. The former word occurs at M. ii. 93 (a repetition of the above passage), M. ii. 152, iii. 95; Miln. 53.

[14] As at A. ii. 200.

[15] Cf. M. iii. 95; S. iv. 161.

[16] M. i. 120; Jā. i. 67.

[17] padhānābhitunnassa.

[18] appānaka jhāna; cf. M. ii. 212; Jā. i. 67.

[19] S. i. 106.

[20] This and the following similes at M. ii. 193, iii. 259; A. iii. 380; S. iv. 56.

Sīse sīsavedanā honti. ? Leaden head-sensations

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[21] sīse sīsavedanā honti, there were head-feelings in the head.

[22] arahaɱ. Either the devatās were mistaken, for at this time Gotama was not an arahant in its meaning of one who had done all there was to be done, or the term is here being used in a pre-Buddhist sense. Cf. Jā. i. 67.

[23] Cf. Jā. i. 67.

[24] As at M. i. 80.

[25] maŋguracchavi, as at M. i. 429, ii. 33; D. i. 193, 242.

[26] According to MA. ii. 290 this was a ritual sowing, vappamaŋgala. See my art., Early Buddhism and the Taking of Life, B.C. Law Volume, Part I; also Jā. i. 57.

satānusāri. recollection. Following this recollection.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[27] I.e. of in-breathing and out-breathing, MA. ii. 291.

[28] Cf. Vin. i. 8 ff.; M. i. 171 ff.

Samādhi-nimitta. But he has just finished relating what that first sign of samādhi was: that perception that he had while sitting under the apple tree. Elsewhere, it is true the Buddha speaks of habitually abiding in Suññata, Emptiness, but this is in no way a contradiction. Emptiness is not a jhāna, it is the state of living empty of lust, anger and blindness. After the turbulance, or disturbance of having to give a talk, he returns to his perception of the peace and calm of that first perception of the way and then attains his abiding in emptiness.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[29] samādhi-nimitta, explained at MA. ii 292 as concentration on the fruit of voidness, suññata-phala-samādhi.

[30] Cf. M. i. 464; A. ii. 172.

[31] āsajja āsajja, as at D. i. 107; cf. also A. i. 172 and G.S. i. 156, n. Used not in an offensive sense at M. iii. 152.

[32] As at M. i. 442.

[33] MA. ii. 293 points out that although the Lord spoke two discourses to Saccaka he neither gained understanding (of the truths) nor went forth nor was established in the Refuges. But the Lord taught him dhamma for the sake of his future dwelling (vāsana, or, mental impressions). He saw that two hundred years after his own parinibbāna his teaching would be established in Ceylon. The Jain, having been reborn there, having gone forth and learnt the three Piṭakas, having made vision (vipassanā) grow, and having won arahantship, would be one whose cankers were destroyed.

 


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