Majjhima Nikaya


[Site Map]  [Home]  [Sutta Indexes]  [Glossology]  [Site Sub-Sections]

The Pali is transliterated as IAST Unicode (āīūṃṅñṭḍṇḷ). Alternatives:
[ ASCII (aiumnntdnl) | Mobile (āīūŋńñţđņļ) | Velthuis (aaiiuu.m'n~n.t.d.n.l) ]

 

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 47

Vīmaɱsaka Suttaɱ

Discourse on Inquiring

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.

Scanned, digitized and proofread by Waiyin Chow.

 


 

[1][chlm][ntbb][upal][olds] Thus have I heard:

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

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

'Monks.'

'Revered one,' these monks answered the Lord in assent.

The Lord spoke thus:

'Monks, an inquiring monk[1], learning the range[2] of another's mind, should make a study[3] of the Tathāgata so as to distinguish whether he is a fully Self-awakened One or not.'

'For us,[4] Lord, things are rooted in the Lord, have the Lord for their conduit, the Lord for their arbiter.

Well for us, Lord, if the Lord would reveal the meaning of this saying; having heard the Lord, the monks will remember.'

'Very well, monks; listen, attend carefully and I will speak.'

'Yes, Lord,' these monks answered the Lord in assent.

The Lord spoke thus:

'Monks, an inquiring monk, learning the range of another's mind, should make a study of the Tathāgata in regard to two things: things cognisable through the eye and through the ear, thinking:

'Do those that are impure states cognisable through the eye and the ear[5] exist in a Tathāgata or not?'

While he is studying this he knows thus:

'Those impure states which are cognisable through the eye and the ear do not exist in a Tathāgata.'

After he has studied this and knows thus:

'Those impure states which are cognisable through the eye and the ear do not exist in a Tathāgata,'

he then studies further, thinking:

'Do those that are mixed states[6] cognisable through the eye and the ear exist in a Tathāgata or not?'

While he is studying this he knows thus:

'Those mixed states cognisable through the eye and the ear do not exist in a Tathāgata.'

[380] After he has studied this and knows thus:

'Those mixed states cognisable through the eye and the ear do not exist in a Tathāgata,'

he then studies further, thinking:

'Do those that are absolutely pure states cognisable through the eye and the ear exist in a Tathāgata or not?'

While he is studying this he knows thus:

'Those which are absolutely pure states cognisable through the eye and the ear exist in a Tathāgata.'

After he has studied this and knows thus:

'These absolutely pure states which are cognisable through the eye and the ear exist in the Tathāgata,'

he then studies further, thinking:

'Has this venerable one been possessed of this skilled state for a long time or only for a short time?'

While he is studying this he knows thus:

'This venerable one has been possessed of this skilled state for a long time, this venerable one has not been possessed of it for only a short time.'

After he has studied this and knows thus:

'This venerable one has been possessed of this skilled state for a long time, this venerable one has not been possessed of it for only a short time,'

he then studies further:

'Do there exist any perils for that venerable monk who has attained to fame and won renown?'

Monks, there are some perils that do not exist here for a monk until he has attained to fame and won renown.

It is, monks, after a monk has attained to fame and won renown that some perils exist for him here.

While he is studying this he knows thus:

'Although the venerable monk has attained to fame and won renown, some perils do not exist for him here.'

After he has studied this and knows thus:

'Although this venerable monk has attained to fame and won renown, some perils do not exist for him here,'

he then studies further:

'Does this venerable one refrain out of fearlessness, does not he refrain out of fear?[7]

Is it because, through the destruction of attachment, that, being without attachment, he does not follow pleasures of the senses?'

As he is studying this he knows thus:

'This venerable one refrains out of fearlessness, this venerable one refrains not out of fear; he does not follow pleasures of the senses because, through the destruction of attachment, he is without attachment.'

If, monks, others should question this monk thus:

'What are the venerable one's facts, what his evidence by reason of which the venerable one speaks thus:

'This venerable one refrains out of [381] fearlessness, this venerable one refrains not out of fear; he does not follow pleasures of the senses because, through the destruction of attachment, he is without attachment'?'

Monks, a monk answering properly would answer thus:

'This venerable one, whether staying in an Order or staying alone,[8] whether those near him are progressing well, whether they are progressing badly, whether they lead a group, whether they are engaged with any material things here or whether they are unstained by any material things here – this venerable one does not despise them because of this.[9]

This have I heard face to face with the Lord, this have I learnt face to face with him:

'I am restrained out of fearlessness, I am not restrained out of fear; without attachment because of the destruction of attachment, I do not follow pleasures of the senses.''

Monks, the Tathāgata should himself be further questioned hereon:

'Do those impure states cognisable through the eye and through the ear exist in the Tathāgata or not?'

Monks, in answering,[10] a Tathāgata would answer thus,

'Those impure states cognisable through the eye and through the ear do not exist in a Tathāgata.'

'Do those mixed states cognisable through the eye and through the ear exist in a Tathāgata or not?'

Monks, in answering, a Tathāgata would answer thus:

'Those mixed states cognisable through the eye and through the ear do not exist in a Tathāgata.'

'Do those absolutely pure states cognisable through the eye and through the ear exist in a Tathāgata or not?'

Monks, in answering, a Tathāgata would answer thus:

'Those absolutely pure states cognisable through the eye and through the ear exist in a Tathāgata.

This is my path, this is my pasture[11] and no one is like (me) in this.'[12]

Monks, a disciple should draw near a teacher who speaks like this so as to hear dhamma.

From further to further, from excellence to excellence, the Teacher teaches him dhamma, what is dark and what is bright, with their counterparts.[13]

As, monks, the Teacher gradually teaches [382] dhamma to the monk, from further to further, from excellence to excellence, what is dark and what is bright with their counterparts, so does he gradually by his superknowledge of point after point of dhamma come to fulfilment in dhamma.

He has confidence in the Teacher, that:

'The Lord is a fully Self-awakened One, well taught is dhamma by the Lord, the Order fares along well.'

Monks, if others should ask that monk:

'But what are the venerable one's facts, what the evidence by reason of which he speaks thus:

'The Lord is a fully Self-awakened one, well taught is dhamma by the Lord, the Order fares along well?''

that monk, monks, answering rightly would answer thus:

'I, your reverences, drew near the Lord so as to hear dhamma.

The Lord taught me dhamma from further to further, from excellence to excellence, what is dark and what is bright with their counterparts.

As the Lord gradually taught me dhamma from further to further, from excellence to excellence, what is dark and what is bright with their counterparts, so did I gradually by my superknowledge of point after point in dhamma come to fulfilment in dhamma.

I have confidence in the Teacher, that:

'The Lord is a fully Self-awakened One, well taught is dhamma by the Lord, the Order fares along well.''

'Monks, in anyone in whom faith in the Teacher is established, rooted, supported by these methods,[14] by these sentences, by these words,[15] that faith is called reasoned, based on vision,[16] strong; it is indestructible by a recluse or brahman or deva or Māra or a Brahmā or by anyone in the world.

Thus, monks, does there come to be study of the Tathāgata's dhamma, and thus does the Tathāgata come to be well studied in the proper manner.'

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

 


[1] MA. ii. 378 distinguishes three kinds of inquiring; here inquiring about the Teacher is meant.

[2] Here pariyāya is explained by vāra, track, and pariccheda, range or limit, MA. ii. 378.

[3] samannesanā, search, quest.

[4] As at M. i. 309, etc.

[5] MA. ii. 380, the Teacher’s bodily conduct is cognisable through the eye, his speech through the ear.

[6] MA. ii. 381, those which are sometimes "dark" and sometimes "bright."

[7] The worldling has four fears, the "learner" (sekha) three, so he is restrained out of fear. But there is not even one fear for him whose cankers are destroyed, MA. ii. 385.

[8] Temporarily (half a month or three months), for solitary meditation, as implied by the references given (to S. v. 320, 325) at MA. ii. 386.

[9] All are alike to the muni (sage). The verse stating this is found at MA. ii. 387; DhA. i. 146, and cf. Miln. 410.

[10] There is no "aright" (sammā) as at Fur. Dial. i. 229, for a Truth-finder could not do otherwise than speak aright, as noticed at MA. ii. 387.

[11] etapatho'ham asmi etagocaro. MA. ii. 387 gives etapātha as another reading, and explains by "utter purity of living and morality."

[12] In purity of moral habit without craving, MA. ii. 387.

[13] sappaṭibhāga appears to mean savipāka, with their results, fruits.

[14] MA. ii. 388, by his inquiries as to the Teacher

[15] As at M. i. 114; cf. S. v. 219.

[16] MA. ii. 388 here says: based on the way of stream-attainment; it is the basis of faith; the faith of a stream-attainer cannot be destroyed by Māra.


Contact:
E-mail
Copyright Statement   Webmaster's Page