Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
III. Upari Paṇṇāsa
1. Devadaha Vagga

The Middle Length Sayings
III. The Final Fifty Discourses
1. The Devadaha Division

Sutta 103

Kinti Suttaɱ

Discourse on "What Then?"

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

At one time the Lord was staying near Kusinārā
in the Wood of the Offerings.[1]

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

"Monks."

"Revered One," these monks answered the Lord in assent.

The Lord spoke thus:

"What then is there for you, monks, in me?

Is it that the recluse Gotama teaches dhamma
for the sake of robe-material
or that the recluse Gotama teaches dhamma
for the sake of almsfood
or that the recluse Gotama teaches dhamma
for the sake of lodgings
or that the [25] recluse Gotama teaches dhamma
for the sake of success or decline[2] in this or that?"

"No, Lord; we do not think:
'The recluse Gotama teaches dhamma
for the sake of almsfood
or that the recluse Gotama teaches dhamma
for the sake of lodgings
or that the recluse Gotama teaches dhamma
for the sake of success or decline in this or that.'"

"Certainly, monks, there is not this for you in me:
that the recluse Gotama teaches dhamma
for the sake of almsfood
or that the recluse Gotama teaches dhamma
for the sake of lodgings
or that the recluse Gotama teaches dhamma
for the sake of success or decline in this or that.

So what then is there, monks, for you in me?"

"It is thus, Lord, in the Lord for us:

The Lord, compassionate,
seeking welfare,
tenches dhamma out of compassion."

"Certainly, monks, it is thus for you in me:

The Lord, compassionate,
seeking welfare,
teaches dhamma out of compassion.

Wherefore, monks, those things taught to you by me
out of superknowledge,[3]
that is to say
the four applications of mindfulness,
the four right efforts,
the four bases of psychic power,
the five controlling faculties,
the five powers,
the seven links in awakening,
the ariyan eightfold Way -
all together,
in harmony
and without contention
you should train yourselves in each and all of these.

 


 

But when you, monks, all together,
in harmony
and without contention
have trained yourselves in these,
there might be two monks speaking differently
about Further-dhamma.[4]

If it should occur to you concerning this:

'Between these venerable ones
there is a difference as to denotation
and a difference as to connotation,'

then, approaching that monk
whose speech you deem the more pleasing,
you should speak thus to him:

'Between the venerable ones
there is a difference as to denotation
and a difference as to connotation,
on account of which these venerable ones should know
that there is a difference as to denotation
and a difference as to connotation.

Do not let the venerable ones fall into contention.'

After this,
having approached whatever monk on the other side
of the factious monks
whose speech you deem the more pleasing,
you should speak thus to him:

'Between the venerable ones
there is a difference as to denotation
and a [26] difference as to connotation,
on acoount of which these venerable ones should know
that there is a difference as to denotation
and a difference as to connotation.

Do not let the venerable ones fall into contention.'

In this way what is hard to grasp
should be remembered as hard to grasp;
having remembered what is hard to grasp
as hard to grasp,
that which is dhamma,
that which is discipline
should be spoken.

If it should occur to you concerning this,[5]

'Although there is a difference between these venerable ones as to denotation,
there is agreement as to connotation,'

then having approached that monk
whose speech you deem to be the more pleasing,
you should speak to him thus:

'Although these venerable ones
differ as to denotation,
there is agreement as to connotation,
therefore these venerable ones should know
that although they differ as to denotation,
there is agreement as to connotation.

Do not let the venerable ones fall into contention.'

After this,
having approached whatever monk on the other side
of the factious monks
whose speech you deem the more pleasing,
you should speak thus to him:

'Although these venerable ones
differ as to denotation,
there is agreement as to connotation,
therefore these venerable ones should know
that although they differ as to denotation,
there is agreement as to connotation.

Do not let the venerable ones fall into contention.'

In this way what is hard to grasp
should be remembered as hard to grasp;
having remembered what is hard to grasp
as hard to grasp,
that which is dhamma,
that which is discipline
should be spoken.

If it should occur to you concerning this,

'Although there is agreement between these venerable ones as to denotation,
there is difference as to connotation,'

then having approached that monk
whose speech you deem to be the more pleasing,
you should speak thus to him:

'Between the venerable ones
there is agreement as to denotation,
there is difference as to connotation,
on account of which these venerable ones should know
that there is agreement as to denotation,
difference as to connotation.

But this is a mere trifle,
that is to say connotation.

Do not let the venerable ones fall into contention over a mere trifle.'

After this,
having approached whatever monk on the other side
of the factious monks
whose speech you deem the more pleasing,
you should speak thus to him:

'Between these venerable ones
there is agreement as to denotation,
there is difference as to connotation,
on account of which these venerable ones should know
that there is agreement as to denotation,
difference as to connotation.

But this is a mere trifle,
that is to say connotation.

Do not let the venerable ones fall [27] into contention over a mere trifle.'

In this way what is easy to grasp
should be remembered as easy to grasp;
what is hard to grasp snould be remembered as hard to grasp;
having remembered what is easy to grasp
as easy to grasp,
having remembered what is hard to grasp
as hard to grasp,
that which is dhamma,
that which is discipline
should be spoken.

If it should occur to you concerning this:

'Between these venerable ones
there is agreement as to denotation
and there is agreement as to connotation,'

then having approached that monk
whose speech you deem the more pleasing,
you should speak thus to him:

'Between the venerable ones
there is agreement as to denotation
and there is agreement as to connotation,
on account of which
these venerable ones should know
that there is agreement as to denotation
and agreement as to connotation.

Do not let the venerable ones fall into contention.'

After this,
having approached whatever monk on the other side
of the factious monks
whose speech you deem the more pleasing,
you should speak thus to him:

'Between the venerable ones
there is agreement as to denotation
and there is agreement as to connotation,
on account of which
these venerable ones should know
that there is agreement as to denotation
and agreement as to connotation.

Do not let the venerable ones fall into contention.'

In this way what is easy to grasp
should be remembered as easy to grasp;
what is hard to grasp snould be remembered as hard to grasp;
having remembered what is easy to grasp
as easy to grasp,
having remembered what is hard to grasp
as hard to grasp,
that which is dhamma,
that which is discipline
should be spoken.

 


 

And when you, monks,
all together,
in harmony
and without contention
are trained in these,
a certain monk might have an offence,
might have a transgression.

As to this, monks,
one should not hasten with reproof -
the individual must be examined.

(You may think):

'There will be no vexation for me
nor annoyance for the other individual;
for if the other individual is without wrath,
without rancour,
is of quick view
and easy to convince,
I have the power
to raise this individual from unskill
and establish him in what is skill.'

If it occurs to you thus, monks,
it is right to speak.

But if you think, monks,

'There will be no vexation for me
but (there will be) annoyance for the other individual;
for though the other individual is wrathful,
rancorous,
of slow view
(but) easy to convince,
I have the power
to raise this individual from unskill
and establish him in what is skill.

For this is a mere trifle,
that is to say
the other individual's annoyance.

And this is of the greater moment,
that I have the power
to raise this individual from unskill
and establish him in what is skill.'

If it occurs to you thus, monks,
it is right to speak.

But if you think, monks:

'There will be vexation for me
but no annoyance for the other individual;
for if the other individual is [28] without wrath,
without rancour,
is of quick view
though hard to convince,
I have the power
to raise this individual from unskill
and establish him in what is skill.

For this is a mere trifle,
that is to say my vexation.

And this is of the greater moment,
that I have the power
to raise this individual from unskill
and establish him in what is skill.'

If it occurs to you thus, monks,
it is right to speak.

But if you think, monks:

'There will be vexation for me
and annoyance for the other individual;
yet though the other individual is wrathful,
rancorous,
of slow view
and hard to convince,
I have the power
to raise this individual from unskill
and establish him in what is skill.

For this is a mere trifle,
that is to say
my vexation
and the other individual's annoyance.

And this is of the greater moment,
that I have the power
to raise this individual from unskill
and establish him in what is skill.'

If it occurs to you thus, monks,
it is right to speak.

But if you think, monks:

'There will be vexation for me
and annoyance for the other individual;
for the other individual is wrathful,
rancorous,
of slow view
and hard to convince,
and I have not the power
to raise this individual from unskill
and establish him in what is skill'
-equanimity, monks,
should not be disdained
for such an individual.

 


 

And when you, monks,
all together,
in harmony
and without contention
have trained yourselves in these
there might arise between you
an activity of speech,[6]
an offensive view,
malice in thought,
discontent,
dissatisfaction.

In that case,
having approached that monk
whom you deem the more easy
of the factious monks
to speak to,
you should speak to him thus:

'Although, your reverence,
we were trained all together,
in harmony
and without contention,
there has arisen between us
an activity of speech,
an offensive view,
malice in thought,
discontent,
dissatisfaction
for which the Recluse,[7]
knowing of it,
would blame us.'

Answering aright, monks,
the monk would answer thus:

'Although, your reverence,
we were trained all together,
in harmony
and without contention,
there has arisen between us
an activity of speech,
an offensive view,
malice in thought,
discontent,
dissatisfaction
for which the Recluse,
knowing of it,
would blame us.

But without getting rid of this condition,[8] your reverence,
could nibbāna be realised?'

Answering aright, monks,
the monk would answer thus:

'Without getting rid of this condition,
your reverence,
nibbāna could not be realised.'

After this,
having approached whatever monk on the other side
of the factious monks
whose speech you deem the more pleasing,
you should speak thus [29] to him:

'Although, your reverence,
we were trained all together,
in harmony
and without contention,
there has arisen between us
an activity of speech,
an offensive view,
malice in thought,
discontent,
dissatisfaction
for which the Recluse,
knowing of it,
would blame us.'

Answering aright, monks,
the monk would answer thus:

'Although, your reverence,
we were trained all together,
in harmony
and without contention,
there has arisen between us
an activity of speech,
an offensive view,
malice in thought,
discontent,
dissatisfaction
for which the Recluse,
knowing of it,
would blame us.

But without getting rid of this condition, your reverence,
could nibbāna[9] be realised?'

Answering aright, monks,
the monk in answering[10]
would answer thus:

'Without getting rid of this condition,
your reverence,
nibbāna could not be realised.'

If, monks, others should ask that monk,
saying:

'Were these monks raised up from unskill
and established in skill
by the venerable one?

answering aright, monks,
the monk would answer thus:

'I, your reverences,
approached the Lord;
the Lord taught me his dhamma;
when I had heard that dhamma,
I spoke it to those monks;
when those monks had heard that dhamma
they rose up from unskill
and established themselves in what is skill.'

Answering thus, monks,
the monk neither exalts himself
nor disparages another,
he is explaining in accordance with dhamma,
and no one of his fellow dhamma-men,
of his way of speaking,
gives grounds for reproach."

Thus spoke the Lord.

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

Discourse on "What then?"
The Third

 


[1] Baliharaṇa, so called because they bring oblations here for creatures. Mentioned also at A. i. 174, v. 79. See G.S. i. 251, v. 55 for notes.

[2] iti bhavābhava. MA. iv. 28 says "depending on the working of good puñña, according to this teaching, I will experience happiness in this or that becoming." DA. Iti. 1021, AA. Iti. 12 give bhavābhava as oil, honey, ghee, etc.; these would thus take the place of the fourth requisite, medicines for the sick, which normally would have been expected here; see Dial. Iti. 220, n. 3 and G.S. ii. 11, n. 1. But at ItA. ii. 256, and other Comys., bhava is given as growth or success, and abhava as failure or decline. At D. Iti. 228, A. ii. 10, 248 and Iti. p. lO9 these four items are called the production of craving.

[3] M. ii. 245. Cf. M. ii. 9.

[4] abhidhamma, here meaning the 37 things helpful to awakening, MA. iv. 29.

[5] tatra, this too refers to the 37 things helpful to awakening, MA. iv. 20.

[6] vacīsaṁkhāra, speech activity, see Vism. 531, and also cf. A. iii. 350.

[7] The Teacher, so MA. iv. 31.

[8] I.e. of quarrelling.

[9] Here however two MSS. include na, reading na nibbāaṁ sacchikareyya, while above in the same passage only one MS. adds na. Taking it that na should not be there, it seems necessary to turn the sentence into a question; by so doing it is shown that the monks were still seeking harmony and obtaining it.

[10] vyākaramāno, added here, is absent above.


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