Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
I. Mūlapaṇṇāsa
5. Cūḷa Yamaka Vagga

The Middle Length Sayings
I. The First Fifty Discourses
5. The Lesser Division of the Pairs

Sutta 43

Mahā Vedalla Suttaɱ

Greater Discourse of the Miscellany

Translated from the Pali by I.B. Horner, M.A.

Copyright The Pali Text Society
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[1][chlm][than][upal][olds] THUS have I heard.

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

Then the venerable Koṭṭhita the Great,[1] emerging from solitary meditation towards evening, approached the venerable Sāriputta[2]: having approached, he exchanged greetings with the venerable Sāriputta; having exchanged greetings of friendliness and courtesy, he sat down at a respectful distance.

As he was sitting down at a respectful distance,
the venerable Koṭṭhita the Great spoke thus to the venerable Sāriputta:

"Your reverence, one is called:

'Poor in intuitive wisdom,
poor in intuitive wisdom.'

Now what are the respects in which one is called
'Poor in intuitive wisdom,'
your reverence?"

"Your reverence, if it is said
'He does not comprehend,
he does not comprehend,'
therefore he is called
'Poor in intuitive wisdom.'

What does he not comprehend?

He does not comprehend
'This is anguish,'
he does not comprehend
'This is the arising of anguish,'
he does not comprehend
'This is the stopping of anguish,'[3]
he does not comprehend
'This is the course leading to the stopping of anguish.'

If it is said,
'He does not comprehend,
he does not comprehend,'
your reverence,
therefore he is called
'poor in intuitive wisdom.'"

[351] "It is good, your reverence,"
and the venerable Koṭṭhita the Great,
having rejoiced in what the venerable Sāriputta had said,
having thanked him,
asked the venerable Sāriputta a further question:

"Your reverence, one is called
'Intuitively wise,
intuitively wise.'

Now what are the respects
in which one is called
'intuitively wise,'
your reverence?"

"Your reverence, if it is said
'He comprehends,
he comprehends,'
he is therefore called
'Intuitively wise.'

And what does he comprehend?

He comprehends
'This is anguish,'
he comprehends
'This is the arising of anguish,'
he comprehends
'This is the stopping of anguish,'
he comprehends
'This is the course leading to the stopping of anguish.'

If it is said,
'He comprehends,
he comprehends,'
your reverence,
therefore he is called
'intuitively wise.'"

"Your reverence, it is called
'Discriminative consciousness,[4]
discriminative consciousness.'

Now in what respects, your reverence,
is it called
'discriminative consciousness'?"

"Your reverence, if it said
'It discriminates,[5]
it discriminates,'
it is therefore called discriminative consciousness.

And what does it discriminate?

It discriminates pleasure
and it discriminates pain
and it discriminates neither pain nor pleasure.[6]

If it is said
'It discriminates,
it discriminates,'
your reverence,
therefore it is called
'Discriminative consciousness.'"

"That which is intuitive wisdom,
your reverence,
and that which is discriminative consciousness,
are these states associated
or dissociated?

And is it possible to lay down a difference between these states,
having analysed them again and again?"

"That which is intuitive wisdom,
your reverence,
and that which is discriminative consciousness,
these states are associated,
not dissociated,
and it is not possible to lay down a difference between these states,
having analysed them again and again.

Whatever one comprehends,
your reverence,
that one discriminates;
whatever one discriminates
that one comprehends;
therefore these states are associated,
not dissociated,
and it is not possible to lay down a difference between these states,
having analysed them again and again."

"That which is intuitive wisdom,
your reverence,
and that which is discriminative consciousness,
what is the difference between these states
which are associated,
not dissociated?"

[352] "That which is intuitive wisdom,
your reverence,
and that which is discriminative consciousness
among these states that are associated,
not dissociated,
intuitive wisdom is to be developed,
discriminative consciousness is for apprehending.[7]

This is the difference between them."

"Your reverence, it is said,
'Feeling, feeling.'

Now what are the respects
in which it is called 'feeling,' your reverence?"

"Your reverence, if it is said,
'He feels, he feels,'
it is therefore called 'feeling.'

And what does he feel?

He feels pleasure,
and he feels pain,
and he feels neither pain nor pleasure.

If it is said, 'He feels, he feels,' your reverence,
therefore it is called' feeling.'"[8]

"Your reverence, it is said,
'Perception, perception.'

Now what are the respects
in which it is called 'perception,' your reverence?"

"Your reverence, if it is said,
'He perceives, he perceives,'
it is therefore called 'perception.'

And what does he perceive?

He perceives what is dark green
and he perceives what is yellow
and he perceives what is red
and he perceives what is white.

If it is said
'He perceives, he perceives,' your reverence,
it is therefore called 'perception.'"

"That which is feeling, your reverence,
and that which is perception
and that which is discriminative consciousness —
are these states associated or dissociated?

And is it possible to lay down a difference between these states,
having analysed them again and again?"

"That which is feeling, your reverence,
and that which is perception
and that which is discriminative consciousness —
these states are associated,
not dissociated,
and it is not possible to lay down a difference between these states,
having analysed them again and again.

Your reverence, whatever one feels,
that one perceives;
whatever one perceives
that one discriminates;
therefore these states are associated,
not dissociated,
and it is not possible to lay down a difference between these states,
having analysed them again and again."

"What is knowable, your reverence,
by purified mental consciousness
isolated from the five sense-organs?"[9]

[353] "Your reverence, thinking,
'Ether is unending,'
the plane of infinite ether is knowable
by pure mental consciousness
isolated from the five sense-organs;

thinking,
'Consciousness is unending,'
the plane of infinite consciousness is knowable;

thinking,
'There is not anything,'
the plane of no-thing is knowable."

"By what means
does one comprehend a knowable mental object, your reverence?"

"One comprehends a knowable mental object, your reverence,
by means of the eye of intuitive wisdom."[10]

"But what is intuitive wisdom for, your reverence?"

"Your reverence, intuitive wisdom is for super-knowledge,
for apprehending,[11]
for getting rid of."

[294] "But how many conditions are there, your reverence,
for bringing right understanding[12] into existence?"

"There are two conditions, your reverence,
for bringing right understanding into existence:
the utterance of another (person)
and wise attention.[13]

Your reverence, these are the two conditions
for bringing right understanding into existence."

"If right understanding is forwarded,
by how many factors, your reverence,
does there come to be the fruit of freedom of mind
and the advantage of the fruit[14] of freedom of mind,
and the fruit of freedom through intuitive wisdom
and the advantage of the fruit of freedom through intuitive wisdom?"

"Your reverence, if right understanding is forwarded by five factors
there comes to be the fruit of freedom of mind
and the advantage of the fruit of freedom of mind,
and the fruit of freedom through intuitive wisdom
and the advantage of the fruit of freedom through intuitive wisdom:
in this case, your reverence,
right understanding is forwarded by moral habit,
and it is forwarded by hearing,[15]
and it is forwarded by discussion,
and it is forwarded by calm
and it is forwarded by vision.

Your reverence, if right understanding is forwarded by these five factors,
there comes to [354] be the fruit of freedom of mind
and the advantage of the fruit of freedom of mind,
and there comes to be the fruit of freedom through intuitive wisdom
and the advantage of the fruit of freedom through intuitive wisdom."[16]

"And how many becomings are there, your reverence?"

"These three are becomings, your reverence:
becoming of sense-pleasures,
becoming of fine-materiality,
becoming of immateriality."[17]

"How, your reverence,
is there the recurrence
of again-becoming in the future?"

"For those creatures who are hindered by ignorance,
fettered by craving,
delighting in this and that,
there thus comes to be recurrence of again-becoming in the future."[18]

"But how, your reverence,
is there not recurrence
of again-becoming in the future?"

"By the fading away of ignorance,
by the uprising of knowledge,[19]
by the stopping of craving,
there is thus no recurrence
of again-becoming in the future "

"And what, your reverence, is the first meditation?"

"As to this, your reverence, a monk,
aloof from pleasures of the senses,
aloof from unskilled states of mind,
enters on
and abides in
the first meditation
which is accompanied by initial thought
and discursive thought,
is born of aloofness,
and is rapturous and joyful.

This, your reverence, is called the first meditation."

"Of how many factors, your reverence,
is the first meditation?"

"Your reverence, the first meditation is five-factored:
if a monk has entered on the first meditation
there is initial thought
and discursive thought
and rapture
and joy
and one-pointedness of mind.

Thus, your reverence,
is the first meditation five-factored."

"Your reverence, in regard to the first meditation,
how many factors are abandoned,
how many factors are possessed?"

"Your reverence, in regard to the first meditation,
five factors are abandoned,
five are possessed:
if a monk has entered on the first meditation,
desire for sense-pleasure is abandoned,
malevolence is abandoned,
sloth and torpor are abandoned,
restlessness and worry are abandoned,
doubt is abandoned,
but there is initial thought
and discursive thought,
rapture
and joy
and one-pointedness of mind.

Thus, your reverence, in regard to the first [355] meditation,
five factors are abandoned,
five factors are possessed."

"Your reverence, these five sense-organs,[20]
different in range,
different in pasture,
do not react to the pasture and range of one another;
that is to say the organ of eye,
the organ of ear,
the organ of nose,
the organ of tongue,
the organ of body.

What is the repository[21] of these five sense-organs,
different in range,
different in pasture,
which do not react to the pasture and range of one another?

And what is it that reacts
to their pasture and range?"

"Your reverence, these five sense-organs,
different in range,
different in pasture,
do not react to the pasture and range of one another;
that is to say the organ of eye,
the organ of ear,
the organ of nose,
the organ of tongue,
the organ of body.

Of these five sense-organs, your reverence,
different in range,
different in pasture,
not reacting to the pasture and range of one another,
mind is the repository,
and mind reacts to their pasture and range."

"Your reverence, these are the five sense-organs,
that is to say,
the organ of eye,
the organ of ear,
the organ of nose,
the organ of tongue,
the organ of body.

On what do these five sense-organs depend, your reverence?"

"Your reverence, these are the five sense-organs,
that is to say,
the organ of eye,
the organ of ear,
the organ of nose,
the organ of tongue,
the organ of body.

Your reverence, these five sense-organs
depend on vitality."[22]

"And on what does vitality depend, your reverence?"

"Vitality depends on heat."

"And on what does heat depend, your reverence?"

"Heat depends on vitality."

"Your reverence, we now understand the words of the venerable Sāriputta thus:

'Vitality depends on heat';

we now understand the words of the venerable Sāriputta thus:

'Heat depends on vitality.'

What is the precise meaning to be attached to these words, your reverence?"

"Well then, your reverence, I will make a simile[23] for you.

For by a simile
some intelligent persons here
understand the meaning of what has been said:

As when an oil lamp is burning
the light is seen because of the flame
and the flame is seen because of the light,
so, your reverence,
vitality depends on heat
and heat on vitality."

[356] "Now, your reverence, are these properties of vitality[24]
states that are to be felt,
or are the properties of vitality one thing,
states that are to be felt another?"

"Your reverence, these properties of vitality are not themselves states to be felt.

If, your reverence, these properties of vitality
were themselves states to be felt,
no emergence[25] could be shown
for a monk who had won
to the stopping of perception and feeling.

But because, your reverence,
the properties of vitality are one thing
and states to be felt another,
therefore the emergence of a monk who has won
to the stopping of perception and feeling
can be shown."

"In regard to this body, your reverence,
when how many things are got rid of,
does this body lie cast away,
flung aside like unto a senseless log of wood?"[26]

"In regard to this body, your reverence,
when three things are got rid of:
vitality,
heat
and consciousness,
then does this body lie cast away,
flung aside like unto a senseless log of wood."

"What is the difference, your reverence,
between that dead thing,
passed away,
and that monk who has attained to the stopping of perception and feeling?"

"Your reverence, the bodily activities[27] of that dead thing,
passed away,
have been stopped,
have subsided,
the vocal activities[28] have been stopped,
have subsided,
the mental activities[29] have been stopped,
have subsided,
the vitality is entirely destroyed,
the heat allayed,
the sense-organs are entirely broken asunder.

But that monk who has attained to the stopping of perception and feeling,
although his bodily activities have been stopped,
have subsided,
although his vocal activities have been stopped,
have subsided,
although his mental activities have been stopped,
have subsided,
his vitality is not entirely destroyed,
his heat is not allayed,
his sense-organs are purified.

This, your reverence, is the difference [357] between a dead thing,
passed away,
and that monk who has attained to the stopping of perception and feeling."

"And how many conditions are there, your reverence,
for the attainment of the freedom of mind
which has neither anguish nor joy?"

"There are four conditions, your reverence,
for the attainment of the freedom of mind
which has neither anguish nor joy.

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

These, your reverence, are the four conditions
for attaining the freedom of mind
which has neither anguish nor joy."

"How many conditions are there, your reverence,
for the attainment of the freedom of mind
that is signless?"

"There are two conditions, your reverence,
for the attainment of the freedom of mind
that is signless:
paying no attention to any signs,
and paying attention to the signless realm.[30]

These, your reverence, are the two conditions
for the attainment of the freedom of mind
that is signless."

"How many conditions are there, your reverence,
for the persistence of the freedom of mind
that is signless?"

"There are three conditions, your reverence,
for the persistence of the freedom of mind
that is signless:
paying no attention to any signs,
and paying attention to the signless realm,
and a preceding preparation.

These, your reverence, are the three conditions
for the persistence of the freedom of mind
that is signless."

"How many conditions are there, your reverence,
for emergence from the freedom of mind
that is signless?"

"There are the two conditions, your reverence,
for emerging from the freedom of mind
that is signless:
paying attention to all signs,
and not paying attention to the signless realm.

These, your reverence, are the two conditions
for emergence from the freedom of mind
that is signless."

"Your reverence, whatever is immeasurable freedom of mind[31]
and whatever is freedom of mind that is naught[32]
and whatever is freedom of mind that is void
and whatever is freedom of mind that [358] is signless —
are these states different in connotation
and different in denotation,
or are they identical in connotation
while being different only in denotation?"[33]

"Your reverence, whatever is immeasurable freedom of mind
and whatever is the freedom of mind that is naught
and whatever is freedom of mind that is void
and whatever is freedom of mind that is signless —
there is a method according to which these states are different in connotation
as well as being different in denotation;
and, your reverence, there is a method according to which these states are identical in connotation
while being different in denotation.

And what, your reverence, is the method according to which these states are different in connotation
as well as being different in denotation?

As to this, your reverence,
a monk abides having suffused the first quarter
with a mind of friendliness,
likewise the second,
likewise the third,
likewise the fourth;
just so above,
below,
across;
he dwells having suffused the whole world everywhere,
in every way
with a mind of friendliness,
that is far-reaching,
widespread,
immeasurable,
without enmity,
without malevolence.

He dwells having suffused the first quarter
with a mind of compassion,
likewise the second,
likewise the third,
likewise the fourth;
just so above,
below,
across;
he dwells having suffused the whole world everywhere,
in every way
with a mind of compassion,
that is far-reaching,
widespread,
immeasurable,
without enmity,
without malevolence.

He dwells having suffused the first quarter
with a mind of sympathetic joy,
likewise the second,
likewise the third,
likewise the fourth;
just so above,
below,
across;
he dwells having suffused the whole world everywhere,
in every way
with a mind of sympathetic joy,
that is far-reaching,
widespread,
immeasurable,
without enmity,
without malevolence.

He dwells having suffused the first quarter
with a mind of equanimity,
likewise the second,
likewise the third,
likewise the fourth;
just so above,
below,
across;
he dwells having suffused the whole world everywhere,
in every way
with a mind of equanimity,
that is far-reaching,
widespread,
immeasurable,
without enmity,
without malevolence.

This, your reverence, is called
immeasurable freedom of mind.[34]

And what, your reverence,
is the freedom of mind that is naught?

As to this, your reverence,
a monk passing quite beyond the plane of infinite consciousness,
thinking,
'There is not anything,'
enters on and abides in the plane of no-thing.

This, your reverence, is called
the freedom of mind that is naught.

And what, your reverence,
is the freedom of mind that is void?

As to this, your reverence,
a monk forest-gone
or gone to the root of a tree
or gone to an empty place,
reflects thus:

'This is void of self[35]
or of what pertains to self.'[36]

[298] This, your reverence, is called
the freedom of mind that is void.

[359] And what, your reverence, is the freedom of mind that is signless?

As to this, your reverence, a monk,
by paying no attention to any signs,
entering on the concentration of mind that is signless,
abides therein.

This, your reverence, is called
the freedom of mind that is signless.

This, your reverence, is the method
according to which these states are different in connotation
as well as differing in denotation.

And what, your reverence, is the method according to which
these states are identical in connotation
while being different in denotation?

Attachment, your reverence,
is productive of the measurable,
hatred is productive of the measurable,
confusion is productive of the measurable.

For a monk whose cankers are destroyed,
these are got rid of,
cut off at the roots,
made like a palm-tree stump
so that they can come to no further existence in the future.

To the extent, your reverence,
that freedoms of mind are immeasurable,[37]
unshakahle freedom of mind
is shown to be their chief,
for that unshakable freedom of mind
is void of attachment,
void of hatred,
void of confusion.

Attachment, your reverence, is something (obstructive),[38]
hatred is something (obstructive),
confusion is something (obstructive).[39]

For a monk whose cankers are destroyed,
these are got rid of,
cut off at the roots,
made like a palm-tree stump
so that they can come to no further existence in the future.

To the extent, your reverence,
that freedoms of mind are naught,
unshakable freedom of mind
is shown to be their chief,
for that unshakable freedom of mind
is void of attachment,
void of hatred,
void of confusion.

Attachment, your reverence,
is productive of signs,
hatred is productive of signs,
confusion is productive of signs.

For a monk whose cankers are destroyed
these are got rid of,
cut off at the roots,
made like a palm-tree stump
so that they can come to no further existence in the future.

To the extent, your reverence,
that freedoms of mind are signless,[40]
unshakable freedom of mind
is shown to be their chief,
for that unshakable freedom of mind
is void of attachment,
[360] void of hatred,
void of confusion.[41]

This, your reverence, is the method
according to which these states
are identical in connotation
while being different in denotation."

Thus spoke the venerable Sāriputta.

Delighted, the venerable Koṭṭhita the Great rejoiced in what the venerable Sāriputta had said.

Greater Discourse of the Miscellany:
the Third

 


[1] At A. i. 24 he is called chief of those who have mastery in logical analysis; cited at MA. ii. 337.

[2] At A. i. 23 called chief of those of great intuitive wisdom; cited at MA. ii. 335.

[3] He does not comprehend that the third truth, of stopping, is nibbana. MA. ii. 338 points out that the first two truths are concerned with the "round "of rebirths, and the last two with what is not the "round" vivaṭṭa.

[4] viññāṇa.

[5] vijānāti.

[6] Cf. M. i. 59.

[7] pariññeyyaṇɱ; cf. pariññeyya dhamma at S. iii. 36. MA. ii. 342 keeps the view that there is no difference. For it says that discriminative consciousness being joined to intuitive wisdom should be developed with it, and that intuitive wisdom being joined to discriminative consciousness should be apprehended with it.

[8] Cf. S. iii. 69.

[9] That is, in the fourth jhāna. [Ed.: See AN 9.37 for this same idea stated another way.]

[10] Wisdom that has become vision. MA. ii. 345 gives two kinds of wisdom, that of concentration and that of vision.

[11] Wisdom that has become vision. MA. ii. 345 gives two kinds of wisdom, that of concentration and that of vision.

abhiññatthaɱ and pariññatthaɱ also at It. p. 29. But cf. p. 352, above, where consciousness is for apprehending, pariññeyya.

[12] MA. ii. 346, the right understanding through vision, the right understanding of the Way.

[13] MA. ii. 346 cites Sāriputta as having heard a verse (Vin. i. 40) spoken by Assaji, as an example of hearing from another; and paccekabuddhas as coming to omniscience through their own wise attention.

[14] Sn. 256.

[15] I.e. hearing from others, learning.

[16] For, the Way to arahantship coming into being as a result of practising these five factors, gives the fruit, MA. ii. 346.

[17] Cf. A. i. 223; S. ii. 3, 65, 101; Vin. iii. 3.

[18] Cf. A. i. 223.

[19] As at M. i. 67; S. ii. 82.

[20] Cf. the following passage with S. v. 217 f.

[21] paṭisaraṇa also resort, arbiter, as at M. i. 310, iii. 9, or underlying principle.

[22] āyu MA. ii. 349 says jīivitindriya. Cf. Chānd. Up. 6. 8. 4, 6.

[23] As at M. i. 148.

[24] āyusaŋkhāra. MA. ii. 350 āyum eva. Cf. D. ii. 106; Ud. 64; A. iv. 311; S. ii. 266

[25] I.e. from this (ninth) attainment, that of the stopping of perception and feeling.

[26] Cf. S. iii. 143, quoted MA. ii. 351; cf. Dh. 41; Thag. 468; M. Sta. 66.

[27] Defined in next Discourse, M. i. 301, and similarly at MA. ii. 351: in-breathing and out-breathing. Cf. S. iv. 294-97.

[28] Thought-conception and discursive thought. The "ariyan silence" ensues when these are stopped.

[29] Feeling and perception.

[30] This is Nibbāna, MA. ii. 352. Nimitta (signs) and animitta refer to experiential phenomena (i.e. to conditioned existence), and their absence.

[31] This appears to refer to the brahrnavihāra, see below.

[32] Cf. Sn. 1113-1115. "Naught because of the non-existence of any (kiñcana) basis for meditation," MA. ii. 353.

[33] Cf. M. iii. 145 f. in conncction with immeasurable and widespread freedom of mind.

[34] Cf. M. ill. 146.

[35] MA. ii. 353, the self that composes an individual or man.

[36] I.e. the requisits of robe-material and so on, MA. ii. 353. Cf. S. iv. 54, 296; Kvu. 67, 579.

[37] MA. ii. 354 gives twelve: four brahmavihāras, the ways and fruits — and also Nibbāna.

[38] kiñcana. MA. ii. 354 says that when passion has uprisen it does something (kiñcati) to a man, it crushes him, or obstructs him.

[39] Cf. D. iii. 217, tayo kiñcanā.

[40] These number thirteen: vision, the four (concentrations) which are formless, the four ways, the four fruits. Vision is signless because it removes the signs of permanence, joy and self. The next four are signless because of the non-existence (in them) of the sign of form. The ways and fruits are signless through the non-existence of the defilements which produce signs. Nibbāna too is simply signless," MA. ii. 355.

[41] MA. iii. 355 notes that void freedom of mind is not treated separately, for "void of attachment" and so on has come in everywhere.


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