Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
III. Upari Paṇṇāsa
2. Anupada Vagga

The Middle Length Sayings
III. The Final Fifty Discourses
2. The Division of the Uninterrupted

Sutta 117

Mahā Cattārīsaka Suttaɱ

Discourse Pertaining to the Great Forty

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 I have heard:

At one time the Lord was staying near Sāvatthī
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:

"I will teach you, monks, the ariyan[1] right concentra- [114] tion[2]
with the causal associations,[3]
with the accompaniments.[4]

Listen to it,
attend carefully
and I will speak."

"Yes, revered sir,"
these monks answered the Lord in assent.

The Lord spoke thus:

"And what, monks, is the ariyan right concentration
with the causal associations,
with the accompaniments?

It is right view,
right purpose,
right speech,
right action,
right mode of livelihood,
right endeavour,
right mindfulness.

Whatever one-pointedness of mind, monks,
is accompanied by these seven components,
this, monks, is called
the ariyan right concentration
with the causal associations
and the accompaniments.

As to this, monks, right view comes first.[5]

And how, monks, does right view come first?

If one comprehends that wrong view is wrong view
and comprehends that right view is right view,
that is his right view.[6]

And what, monks, is wrong view?

'There is no (result of) gift,[7]
there is no (result of) offering,
there is no (result of) sacrifice;
there is no fruit or ripening of deeds
well done or ill done;
there is not this world,
there is not a world beyond;
there is no (benefit from serving) mother,
no (benefit from serving) father;
there are no spontaneously arising beings;
there are not in the world
recluses and brahmans who are faring rightly,
proceeding rightly,
and who proclaim this world
and the world beyond,
having realised them by their own super-knowledge.'

This, monks, is a wrong view.

And what, monks, is right view?

Now, I, monks, say that right view is twofold.

There is, monks, the right view that has cankers,
that is on the side of merit,
that ripens unto cleaving
(to new [115] birth).[8]

There is, monks, the right view that is ariyan,
cankerless,
supermundane,
a component of the Way.

And what, monks, is the right view
that has cankers,
that is on the side of merit,
that ripens unto cleaving
(to new birth)?

'There is (result of) gift,
there is (result of) offering,
there is (result of) sacrifice;
there is fruit or ripening of deeds
well done or ill done;
there is this world,
there is a world beyond;
there is (benefit from serving) mother,
(benefit from serving) father;
there are spontaneously arising beings;
there are in the world
recluses and brahmans who are faring rightly,
proceeding rightly,
and who proclaim this world
and the world beyond,
having realised them by their own super-knowledge.'[9]

This, monks, is a right view
that has cankers,
is on the side of merit,
that ripens unto cleaving
(to new birth).

And what, monks is the right view
that is ariyan,
cankerless,
supermundane,
a component of the Way?

Whatever, monks, is wisdom,
the cardinal faculty of wisdom,[10]
the power of wisdom,[11]
the component of enlightenment
that is investigation into things,[12]
the right view that is a component of the Way
in one who, by developing the ariyan Way,
is of ariyan thought,
cankerless thought,
conversant with the ariyan Way[13] -
this, monks, is a right view
that is ariyan,
cankerless,
supermundane,
a component of the Way.

Whoever makes endeavour
for the riddance of wrong view,
for the attainment of right view,
that is his right endeavour.

Mindful, he gets rid of wrong view;
mindful, entering on right view,
he abides in it.

This is his right mindfulness.

Thus these three things circle round
and follow after right view,
that is to say:

right view,
right endeavour,
right mindfulness.

As to this, monks, right view comes first.

And how, monks, does right view come first?

If one comprehends
that wrong purpose is wrong purpose
and comprehends
that right purpose is right purpose,
that is his right view.

And what, monks, is wrong purpose?

Purpose for sense-pleasures,
purpose for ill-will,
purpose for harming.

This, monks, is wrong purpose.

And what, monks, is right purpose?

Now I, monks, say that right purpose is twofold.

[116]

There is, monks, the right purpose
that has cankers,
is on the side of merit,
and ripens unto cleaving
(to new birth).

There is, monks, the right purpose
that is ariyan,
cankerless,
supermundane,
a factor of the Way.

And what, monks, is the right purpose
that has cankers,
is on the side of merit,
and ripens unto cleaving?

Purpose for renunciation,
purpose for non-ill-will,
purpose for non-harming.

This, monks, is right purpose
that has cankers,
is on the side of merit,
and ripens unto cleaving

And what, monks, is the right purpose
that is ariyan,
cankerless,
supermundane,
a component of the Way?

Whatever, monks, is reasoning,[14]
initial thought,[15] purpose,
an activity of speech
through the complete focussing[16]
and application of the mind
in one who, by developing the ariyan Way,
is of ariyan thought,
of cankerless thought,
and is conversant with the ariyan Way -
this, monks, is right purpose
that is ariyan,
cankerless,
supermundane,
a component of the Way.

Whoever makes endeavour
for the riddance of wrong purpose,
for the attainment of right purpose,
that is his right endeavour.

Mindful, he gets rid of wrong purpose;
mindful, entering on right purpose
he abides in it.

That is his right mindfulness.

Thus these three things circle round
and follow after right purpose,
that is to say:

right view,
right endeavour,
right mindfulness.

As to this, monks, right view comes first.

And how, monks, does right view come first?

If one comprehends
that wrong speech is wrong speech
and comprehends
that right speech is right speech,
that is his right view.

And what, monks, is wrong speech?

Lying,
slanderous speech,
harsh speech,
gossiping.

This, monks, is wrong speech.

And what, monks, is right speech?

Now, I, monks, say that right speech is twofold.

There is, monks, the right speech
that has cankers,
is on the side of merit,
that ripens unto cleaving
(to new birth).

There is, monks, the right speech
that is ariyan,
cankerless,
supermundane,
a component of the Way.

And what, monks, is the right speech
that has cankers,
is on the side of merit,
that ripens unto cleaving
(to new birth)?

Abstaining from lying,
abstaining from slanderous speech,
abstaining from harsh speech,
abstaining from gossiping.

This, monks, is the right speech
that has cankers,
is on the side of merit,
that ripens unto cleaving
(to new birth).

And what, monks, is the right speech
that is ariyan,
cankerless,
supermundane,
a component of the Way?

Whatever, monks, is [117] abstention from,
refraining from,
avoidance of,
restraint from[17]
the four ways of bad conduct in speech[18]
in one who, by developing the ariyan Way
is of ariyan thought,
of cankerless thought,
and is conversant with the Way -
this, monks, is right speech
that is ariyan,
cankerless,
supermundane,
a component of the Way.

Whoever makes endeavour
for the riddance of wrong speech,
for the attainment of right speech,
that is his right endeavour.

Mindful, he gets rid of wrong speech;
mindful, entering on right speech,
he abides in it.

That is his right mindfulness.

Thus these three things circle round
and follow after right speech,
that is to say:

right view,
right endeavour,
right mindfulness.

As to this, monks, right view comes first.

And how, monks, does right view come first?

If one comprehends
that wrong action is wrong action
and comprehends
that right action is right action,
that is his right view.

And what, monks, is wrong action?

Onslaught on creatures,
taking what has not been given,
wrong enjoyment among the sense-pleasures.[18]

This, monks, is wrong action.

And what, monks, is right action?

Now, I, monks, say that right action is twofold.

There is, monks, the right action
that has cankers,
is on the side of merit,
that ripens unto cleaving
(to new birth).

There is, monks, the right action
that is ariyan,
cankerless,
supermundane,
a component of the Way.

And what, monks, is the right action
that has cankers,
is on the side of merit,
that ripens unto cleaving
(to new birth)?

It is, monks, abstaining from onslaught on creatures,
abstaining from taking what has not been given,
abstaining from wrong enjoyment among the sense-pleasures.

This, monks, is the right action
that has cankers,
is on the side of merit,
and ripens unto cleaving.

And what, monks, is the right action
that is ariyan,
cankerless,
supermundane,
a component of the way?

Whatever, monks, is abstention from,
refraining from,
avoidance of,
restraint from
the three ways of bad conduct in body[18]
in one who, by developing the ariyan Way
is of ariyan thought,
of cankerless thought,
and is conversant with the Way -
this, monks, is right action that is ariyan,
cankerless,
supermundane,
a component of the Way.

Whoever makes endeavour
for the riddance of wrong action,
for the attainment of right action,
that is his right endeavour.

Mindful, he gets rid of wrong action;
mindful, entering on right action,
he abides in it.

That is his right mindfulness.

Thus these three things [118] circle round
and follow after right action,
that is to say:

right view,
right endeavour,
right mindfulness.

As to this, monks, right view comes first.

And how, monks, does right view come first?

If one comprehends
that wrong mode of livelihood is wrong mode of livelihood
and comprehends
that right mode of livelihood is right mode of livelihood,
that is his right view.

And what, monks, is wrong mode of livelihood?

Trickery,[19]
cajolery,[20]
insinuating,[21]
dissembling,[22]
rapacity for gain upon gain.[23]

This, monks, is wrong mode of livelihood.

And what, monks, is right mode of livelihood?

Now, I, monks, say that right mode of livelihood is twofold.

There is, monks, the right mode of livelihood
that has cankers,
is on the side of merit,
that ripens unto cleaving
(to new birth).

There is, monks, the right mode of livelihood
that is ariyan,
cankerless,
supermundane,
a component of the Way.

And what, monks, is the right mode of livelihood
that has cankers,
is on the side of merit,
that ripens unto cleaving
(to new birth)?

Herein, monks, an ariyan disciple,
by getting rid of wrong mode of livelihood,vearns his living by right mode of livelihood.

This, monks, is right mode of livelihood
that has cankers,
is on the side of merit,
and ripens unto cleaving.

And what, monks, is the right mode of livelihood
that is ariyan, [119]
cankerless,
supermundane,
a component of the Way?

Whatever, monks, is abstention from,
refraining from,
avoidance of,
restraint from,
wrong mode of livelihood
in one who, by developing the ariyan Way
is of ariyan thought,
of cankerless thought,
and is conversant with the Way[24] -
this, monks, is right mode of livelihood
that is ariyan,
cankerless,
supermundane,
a component of the Way.

Whoever makes endeavour
for the riddance of wrong mode of livelihood,
for the attainment of right mode of livelihood,
that is his right endeavour.

Mindful, he gets rid of wrong mode of livelihood;
mindful, entering on right mode of livelihood,
he abides in it.

This is his right mindfulness.

Thus these three things circle round
and follow after right mode of livelihood,
that is to say:

right view,
right endeavour,
right mindfulness.

As to this, monks, right view comes first.

And how, monks, docs right view come first?

Right purpose, monks, proceeds[25] from right view;[26]
right speech proceeds from right purpose;
right action proceeds from right speech;
right mode of livelihood proceeds from right action;
right endeavour proceeds from right mode of livelihood;
right mindfulness proceeds from right endeavour;
right concentration proceeds from right mindfulness;
right knowledge procceds[27] from right concentration;
right freedom proceeds from right knowledge.

In this way, monks,
the learner's course is possessed of eight components,
the perfected one's of ten components.

As to this, monks, right view comes first.

And how, monks, does right view come first?

Wrong view, monks, is worn away
in one of right view;[28]
and those various evil unskilled things
that arise conditioned by wrong view
are worn away in him;
and various skilled things
conditioned by right view
come to development and fulfilment.

Wrong purpose, monks, is worn away
in one of right purpose;
and those various evil unskilled things
that arise conditioned [120] by wrong purpose
are worn away in him;
and various skilled things
conditioned by right purpose
come to development and fulfilment.

Wrong speech, monks,
is worn away in one of right speech;
and those various evil unskilled things
that arise conditioned by wrong speech
are worn away in him;
and various skilled things
conditioned by right speech
come to development and fulfilment.

Wrong action, monks,
is worn away in one of right action;
and those various evil unskilled things
that arise conditioned by wrong action
are worn away in him;
and various skilled things
conditioned by right action
come to development and fulfilment.

Wrong mode of livelihood, monks,
is worn away in one of right mode of livelihood;
and those various evil unskilled things
that arise conditioned by wrong mode of livelihood
are worn away in him;
and various skilled things
conditioned by right mode of livelihood
come to development and fulfilment.

Wrong endeavour, monks,
is worn away in one of right endeavour;
and those various evil unskilled things
that arise conditioned by wrong endeavour
are worn away in him;
and various skilled things
conditioned by right endeavour
come to development and fulfilment.

Wrong mindfulness, monks,
is worn away in one of right mindfulness;
and those various evil unskilled things
that arise conditioned by wrong mindfulness
are worn away in him;
and various skilled things
conditioned by right mindfulness
come to development and fulfilment.

Wrong concentration, monks,
is worn away in one of right concentration;
and those various evil unskilled things
that arise conditioned by wrong concentration
are worn away in him;
and various skilled things
conditioned by right concentration
come to development and fulfilment.

Wrong knowledge, monks,
is worn away in one of right knowledge;
and those various evil unskilled things
that arise conditioned by wrong knowledge
are worn away in him;
and various skilled things
conditioned by right knowledge
come to development and fulfilment.

Wrong freedom, monks,
is worn away in one of right freedom;
and those various evil unskilled things
that arise conditioned by wrong freedom
are worn away in him;
and various skilled things
conditioned by right freedom
come to development and fulfilment.

So, monks, there are twenty (components) on the side of skill,[29]
twenty on the side of unskill.

 


 

The disquisition on dhamma
pertaining to the Great Forty
that has been rolled on
is not to be rolled back
by a recluse or brahman
or a deva
or a Māra
or a Brahmā
or by anyone in the world.

Monks, whatever recluse or brahman
should think that this disquisition on dhamma
pertaining to the Great Forty
should be censured,
should be scorned,
ten ways of speaking
from the standpoint of dhamma[30]
give grounds for censuring him here and now:[31]
if the worthy one censures right view
then those recluses and brahmans who are of wrong view
are the worthies to be honoured,
the worthies to be extolled;
if the worthy one censures right thought
then those recluses and brahmans who are of wrong thought
are the worthies to be honoured,
to be extolled;
if the worthy one censures right speech
then those recluses and brahmans who are of wrong speech
are the worthies to be honoured,
to be extolled;
if the worthy one censures right action
then those recluses and brahmans who are of wrong action
are the worthies to be honoured,
to be extolled;
if the worthy one censures right mode of livelihood
then those recluses and brahmans who are of wrong mode of livelihood
are the worthies to be honoured,
to be extolled;
if the worthy one censures right endeavour
then those recluses and brahmans who are of wrong endeavour
are the worthies to be honoured,
to be extolled;
if the worthy one censures right mindfulness
then those recluses and brahmans who are of wrong mindfulness
are the worthies to be honoured,
to be extolled;
if the worthy one censures right concentration
then those recluses and brahmans who are of wrong concentration
are the worthies to be honoured,
to be extolled;
if the worthy one censures right knowledge
then those recluses and brahmans who are of wrong knowledge
are the worthies to be honoured,
to be extolled;
if the worthy one censures right freedom
then those recluses and brahmans who are of wrong freedom
are the worthies to be honoured,
to be extolled.

Monks, whatever recluse or brahman
should think that this disquisition on dhamma
pertaining to the Great Forty
should be censured,
should be scorned,
these ten ways of speaking
from the standpoint of dhamma
give grounds for censuring him here and now.

Monks, even those who were the people of Ukkala[32]
and the Vassas
[121] and Bhaññas,[33]
deniers of cause,
deniers of the effecting (by cause),
affirmers of 'There is not'[34] -
even these would think that the disquisition on dhamma
pertaining to the Great Forty
should not be censured,
should not be scorned.

What is the reason for this?

The fear of blame,
of attack
and reproach."

Thus spoke the Lord.

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

Discourse pertaining to the Great Forty:
The Seventh

 


[1] MA. iv. 130 says that the meaning of ariyan is flawless, supermundane.

[2] Cf. D. ii. 216 f. for the following. Right concentration is concentration on the Way, MA. iv. 130.

[3] sa-upanisā. Cf. S. ii. 29 ff. "The history of this word has yet to be written," P.E.D. s.v. upanisā. MA. iv. 130 gives it the meaning of paccaya, condition.

[4] saparikkhāra, with the requisites, called sa-parivāra at MA. iv. 130, "with the surroundings," concomitants.

[5] pubbaŋgama, it is the fore-goer, purecārika, MA. iv. 131. Right view is twofold: that of insight, vipassanā, and that of the Way. The former examines the three kinds of activities (saŋkhāra: of body, speech and thought) in respect of impermanence, etc. But the latter arises at the end of the examination while rooting out and allaying the stage that has been attained, MA. iv. 130. At MA. iv. 135 it is said, "In this Discourse there are five kinds of right view: through insight, of specific kamma (cf. Dhs. 1366, Vbh. 328, MA. v. 10), of the Way, of the fruits, through reflection on."

[6] This is right view through insight, MA. iv. 135.

[7] As at M. i. 287, etc.

[8] upadhivepakka.

[9] This is the right view of specific kamma (see p. 114, n. 5 above), MA. iv. 135, Vbh. 328, VbhA. 415.

[10] paññindriya, see S. v. 200.

[11] Cf. MA. iv. 131: one does not tremble on account of ignorance.

[12] MA. iv. 132 says that having attained the factor of enlightenment one investigates the four truths.

[13] ariyamaggassa samaŋgino, also at M. iii. 73. G.P.D. says this is a wrong reading. A variant here and the reading at M. iii. 74, 75 is ariyamaggasa-maŋgino. Cf. Pug. p. 10, 73: maggasamaŋgino: those on the four Ways.

[14] takka.

[15] vitakka. Cf. M. i. 301, vitakkavicārā vacīsaṁkhāro.

[16] Cf. Dhs. 7.

[17] The four words of this sequence occur also at Dhs. 200, Nd. II. 462 in connection with right speech.

[18] See M. i. 280.

[19] Cf. D. i. 8, Vism. 6 ff. for these five words. The first, kuhanā, means according to MA. iv. 134, DA. 91, that these people trick (deceive or delude, kuhayanti) the world and astonish it with three kinds of tricks. These are referred to at Jā. iv. 297. These five words also occur at A. iii. Ill, and the actions (trickery, etc.) are explained at Vbh. 352 f., Vism. 23; cf. VbhA. 471. On kuhanā and lapanā cf. the phrases janakuhanattha janalapanattha at M. i. 465, A. ii. 26, Iti. pp. 28, 29.

[20] lapanā. Cf. Vism. 26 f.; also Iti. Ī99 = A. i. 165, 168. Lapakā, translated at Dial. i. 15 "droners out (of holy words for pay)"; at G.S. iii. 88 "ranter"; at Min.Anth. ii. 186 (lapita-lāpa) "mere mutterings"; at Path Purity i. 27 "boasters." I follow G.S. ii. 28 and Min.Anth. ii. 136. MA. iv. 134: "they cajole for the sake of gains and honour."

[21] nemittakatā; cf. nimittikatā at Vin. i. 254 where, if a monk hints or insinuates that he wants kaṭhina cloth, then it cannot be said to be properly made. Dial. i. 16 translates nemittikā as diviners with note that these are interpreters of signs and omens. This it may easily mean. But in the above context the whole stress is on deceitful ways, unspecified, of obtaining gains and honours.

[22] nippesikatā. I follow translation at G.S. iii. 88. For nippesika Dial. i. 16 gives exorcists, and P.E.D. juggler. But I see no need to be so definite. MA. iv. 134 says: nippeso sīlam etesan ti nippesikā, tesaṁ bhāvo nippesikatā. AA. iii. 273 says: nippesiko ti nippiṁsanakathāya samannāgato.

[23] Cf. definition of lābha at Vin. iii. 266, iv. 154, 156: the requisites, even a lump of chunam, a toothpick and unwoven thread.

[24] Cf. Dhs. 301.

[25] pahoti, cf. D. ii. 217.

[26] sammādiṭṭhissa; MA. iv. 134 explains this as meaning "of the man, puggalassa, who is established in the right view of the Way." So the meaning may bo more literally: "proceeds for one of right view," etc. MA. iv. 135 says that here "right view of the Way and right view of the fruits" are both being spoken of; see above, p. 114, n. 5.

[27] MA. iv. 135 says here "right view through reflection on" is being spoken of.

[28] MA. iv. 135 says that the repeaters of the remaining Nikāyas say the "fruit" is being spoken of, but the M. repeaters say the "Way" is being spoken of in the ten items to be worn away.

[29] MA. iv. 135: ten beginning with right view and ten come under "various skilled things conditioned by right view."

[30] vādānuvādā; cf. A. iii. 4. Reading at M. ii. 127 is vādānupātā.

[31] Cf. A. iii. 4; also A. i. 161, S. ii. 33, 36, iii. 6, etc.

[32] MA. iv. 136, "dwellers in the country of Okkala." Ukkala at Vin. i. 4.

[33] MA. iv. 136, "two peoples."

[34] For these same three types of views attributed to these same three peoples, see A. ii. 31, S. iii. 73, Kvu. 141; also K.S. iii. 63, n. 3; G.S. ii. 10; Pts. Contr. p. 95, n. 2.


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