Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
II. Majjhima-Paṇṇāsa
1. Gahapati Vagga

The Middle Length Sayings
II. The Middle Fifty Discourses
1. The Division on Householders

Sutta 59

Bahu-Vedanīya Suttaɱ

Discourse on Much to Be Experienced

Translated from the Pali by I.B. Horner, M.A.
Associate of Newham College, Cambridge
First Published in 1954

Copyright The Pali Text Society
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[1][chlm][nyop][than][upal] THUS have I heard:

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

Then[1] Five-tools,[2] the carpenter,
approached the venerable Udāyin[3];
having approached,
having greeted the venerable Udāyin,
he sat down at a respectful distance.

As he was sitting down at a respectful distance,
Fivetools, the carpenter, spoke thus
to the venerable Udāyin:

[65] "Now, revered Udāyin,
how many feelings are spoken of by the Lord?"

"Three, householder,[4]
are the feelings
that are spoken of by the Lord:
pleasant feeling,
painful feeling,
feeling that is neither painful nor pleasant.

These, householder,
are the three feelings
spoken of by the Lord."

"Revered Udāyin,
three feelings are not spoken of by the Lord.

Two feelings are spoken of by the Lord:
pleasant feeling,
painful feeling.

Revered sir, that feeling which is neither painful nor pleasant,
that is spoken of by the Lord
as belonging to exquisite happiness."

And a second time the venerable Udāyin
spoke thus to Fivetools, the carpenter:

"Three, householder,
are the feelings
that are spoken of by the Lord:
pleasant feeling,
painful feeling,
feeling that is neither painful nor pleasant.

These, householder,
are the three feelings
spoken of by the Lord."

And a second time Fivetools the carpenter spoke thus to the venerable Udāyin:

Two feelings are spoken of by the Lord:
pleasant feeling,
painful feeling.

Revered sir, that feeling which is neither painful nor pleasant,
that is spoken of by the Lord
as belonging to exquisite happiness."

And a third time the venerable Udāyin
spoke thus to Fivetools, the carpenter:

"Three, householder,
are the feelings
that are spoken of by the Lord:
pleasant feeling,
painful feeling,
feeling that is neither painful nor pleasant.

These, householder,
are the three feelings
spoken of by the Lord."

And a third time Fivetools the carpenter spoke thus to the venerable Udāyin:

Two feelings are spoken of by the Lord:
pleasant feeling,
painful feeling.

Revered sir, that feeling which is neither painful nor pleasant,
that is spoken of by the Lord
as belonging to exquisite happiness."

So neither was the venerable Udāyin
able to convince Fivetools the carpenter,
nor was Fivetools the carpenter
able to convince the venerable Udāyin.

Now, the venerable Ānanda overheard this conversation
between the venerable Udāyin
and Fivetools the carpenter.

Then the venerable Ānanda approached the Lord;
having approached,
having greeted the Lord,
he sat down at a respectful distance.

Seated at a respectful distance,
the venerable Ānanda told the Lord
the whole of the conversation
between the venerable Udāyin
and Fivetools the [66] carpenter as far as it went.[5]

When this had been said,
the Lord spoke thus to the venerable Ānanda:

"Although, Ānanda, Udāyin's classification[6] was right,
Fivetools the carpenter disagreed;
and although Fivetools the carpenter's classification was right,
Udāyin disagreed.

Ānanda, two feelings[7] are spoken of by me
according to (one) classification,
and three feelings[8] are spoken of by me
according to (one) classification,
and five feelings[9] are spoken of by me
according to (one) classification,
and six feelings[10] are spoken of by me
according to (one) classification,
and eighteen feelings[11] are spoken of by me
according to (one) classification,
and thirty-six feelings[12] are spoken of by me
according to (one) classification,
and one hundred and eight feelings[13] are spoken of by me according to (one) classification.

Thus, Ānanda, is dhamma taught by me
according to classification.

As dhamma, is taught by me thus, Ānanda,
according to classification,
of those who will not accede to,
approve of
or accept
what has been well said,
well spoken by each other,
this is to be expected:
that they will live wrangling,
quarrelsome,
disputatious,
wounding one another
with the weapons of the tongue.[14]

Thus, Ānanda, is dhamma taught by me
according to classification.

As dhamma is taught by me thus, Ānanda,
according to classification,
of those who will accede to,
approve of
and accept
what has been well said,
well spoken by each other,
this is to be expected:
that they will live
all together on friendly terms
and harmonious as milk and water blend,
regarding one another with the eye of affection.[15]

Ānanda, there are these five strands of sense-pleasures.[16]

What are the five?

Material shapes cognisable by the eye,
agreeable,
pleasant,
liked,
enticing,
connected with sensual pleasures,
alluring.

Sounds cognisable by the ear,
agreeable,
pleasant,
liked,
enticing,
connected with sensual pleasures,
alluring.

Smells cognisable by the nose [67],
agreeable,
pleasant,
liked,
enticing,
connected with sensual pleasures,
alluring.

Tastes cognisable by the tongue,
agreeable,
pleasant,
liked,
enticing,
connected with sensual pleasures,
alluring.

Touches cognisable by the body,
agreeable,
pleasant,
liked,
enticing,
connected with sensual pleasures,
alluring.

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

Whatever happiness,
whatever joy, Ānanda,
arises in consequence
of these five strands of sense-pleasures,
it is called
happiness in sense-pleasures.

Whoever, Ānanda, should speak thus:

'This is the highest happiness and joy
that creatures experience' -
this I cannot allow on his part.

What is the reason for this?

There is, Ānanda, another happiness
more excellent and exquisite
than that happiness.[17]

And what, Ānanda, is this other happiness
more excellent and exquisite
than that happiness?

Here, Ānanda, a monk,
aloof from pleasures of the senses,
aloof from unskilled states of mind,
enters and abides in
the first meditation
that is accompanied by initial thought and discursive thought,
is born of aloofness
and is rapturous and joyful.

This, Ānanda, is the other happiness
that is more excellent and exquisite
than that happiness.

Whoever, Ānanda, should speak thus:

'This is the highest happiness and joy
that creatures experience' -
this I cannot allow on his part.

What is the reason for this?

There is, Ānanda, another happiness
more excellent and exquisite
than that happiness.

And what, Ānanda, is this other happiness
more excellent and exquisite
than that happiness?

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

This, Ānanda, is the other happiness
that is more excellent and exquisite
than that happiness.

Whoever, Ānanda, should speak thus:

'This is the highest happiness and joy
that creatures experience' -
this I cannot allow on his part.

What is the reason for this?

There is, Ānanda, another happiness
more excellent and exquisite
than that happiness.

And what, Ānanda, is this other happiness
more excellent and exquisite
than that happiness?

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

This, Ānanda, is the other happiness
that is more excellent and exquisite
than that happiness.

Whoever, Ānanda, should speak thus:

'This is the highest happiness and joy
that creatures experience' -
this I cannot allow on his part.

What is the reason for this?

There is, Ānanda, another happiness
more excellent and exquisite
than that happiness.

And what, Ānanda, is this other happiness
more excellent and exquisite
than that happiness?

Here, Ānanda, a monk,
by getting rid of happiness
and [68] 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.

This, Ānanda, is the other happiness
that is more excellent and exquisite
than that happiness.

Whoever, Ānanda, should speak thus:

'This is the highest happiness and joy
that creatures experience' -
this I cannot allow on his part.

What is the reason for this?

There is, Ānanda, another happiness
more excellent and exquisite
than that happiness.

And what, Ānanda, is this other happiness
more excellent and exquisite
than that happiness?

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

This, Ānanda, is the other happiness
that is more excellent and exquisite
than that happiness.

Whoever, Ānanda, should speak thus:

'This is the highest happiness and joy
that creatures experience' -
this I cannot allow on his part.

What is the reason for this?

There is, Ānanda, another happiness
more excellent and exquisite
than that happiness.

And what, Ānanda, is this other happiness
more excellent and exquisite
than that happiness?

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

This, Ānanda, is the other happiness
that is more excellent and exquisite
than that happiness.

Whoever, Ānanda, should speak thus:

'This is the highest happiness and joy
that creatures experience' -
this I cannot allow on his part.

What is the reason for this?

There is, Ānanda, another happiness
more excellent and exquisite
than that happiness.

And what, Ānanda, is this other happiness
more excellent and exquisite
than that happiness?

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

This, Ānanda, is the other happiness
that is more excellent and exquisite
than that happiness.

Whoever, Ānanda, should speak thus:

'This is the highest happiness and joy
that creatures experience' -
this I cannot allow on his part.

What is the reason for this?

There is, Ānanda, another happiness
more excellent and exquisite
than that happiness.

And what, Ānanda, is this other happiness
more excellent and exquisite
than that happiness?

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

This, Ānanda, is the other happiness
that is more excellent and exquisite
than that happiness.

Whoever, Ānanda, should speak thus:

'This is the highest happiness and joy
that creatures experience' -
this I cannot allow on his part.

What is the reason for this?

There is, Ānanda, another happiness
more excellent and exquisite
than that happiness.

And what, Ānanda, is this other happiness
more excellent and exquisite
than that happiness?

Here, Ānanda, a monk,
by passing quite beyond the plane of neither-perception-nor-non-perception,
enters on
and abides in
the stopping of perception and feeling.

This, [69] Ānanda, is the other happiness
that is more excellent and exquisite
than that happiness.

But the situation occurs, Ānanda,
when wanderers belonging to other sects
may speak thus:

'The recluse Gotama speaks of the stopping of perceiving and feeling,
and lays down that this belongs to happiness.

Now what is this,
now how is this?'

Ānanda, wanderers belonging to other sects
who speak thus
should be spoken to thus:

'Your reverences, the Lord does not lay down that it is only pleasant feeling
that belongs to happiness;
for, your reverences, the Tathāgata lays down
that whenever,
wherever,
whatever
happiness is found
it belongs to happiness.'

Thus spoke the Lord.

Delighted, the venerable Ānanda rejoiced in what the Lord had said.

Discourse on Much to be Experienced:
The Ninth

 


[1] As at S. iv. 223 ff.

[2] See K.S. iv. 149, n. 2. Pañcakaŋga also found at M. ii. 23, iii. 144. His five tools are enumerated at MA. iii. 114 and SA. iii. 79.

[3] MA. iii. 114 calls him paṇḍita-Udāyitthera, the learned Elder Udāyin.

[4] S. iv. 223 f. reads thapati, carpenter, for Majjhima's gahapati, householder.

[5] yāvatako, cf. M. i. 374.

[6] pariyāya, explained by kāraṇa at MA. iii. 114.

[7] Bodily and mental, MA. iii. 114 quoting S. iv. 231.

[8] The three beginning with pleasant (feeling), MA. iii. 114 quoting S. iv. 232.

[9] The five indriyas, beginning with that which is pleasant, MA. iii. 114 quoting S. iv. 232; cf. also S. v. 207.

[10] Six sensory impingements, by way of the doors (of the senses), beginning with the eye, MA. iii. 114 quoting S. iv. 232.

[11] The six ways of attending to material shape founded on happiness, the six founded on grief, the six founded on indifference (or, equanimity).

[12] The six forms of happiness connected with the household life, the six connected with renunciation; the six forms of misery connected with the household life, the six with renunciation; the six "indifferences" of a householder, the six of renunciation, MA. iii. 114 quoting S. iv. 232.

[13] In the past, the future and in the present: each thirty-six feelings. Cf. the 18, 30 and 108 "thoughts" at A.

[14] Cf. Ud. 67, etc.

[15] As at M. i. 206.

[16] As at M. i. 85, 92, 454.

[17] Cf. M. i. 247.

 


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