Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
III. Upari Paṇṇāsa
4. Vibhaŋga Vagga

The Middle Length Sayings
III. The Final Fifty Discourses
4. The Division on Analysis

Sutta 138

Uddesa Vibhaŋga Suttaɱ[1]

Discourse on an Exposition and Analysis

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
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[1][chlm][than][ntbb][upal] [223] THUS have I heard:

At one time the Lord was staying near Sāvatthī in the Jeta's Grove, 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, an exposition and (its) analysis.[ed.1]
Listen to it,
attend carefully,
and I will speak."

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

The Lord spoke thus:

[272] "Monks, a monk should so investigate[2] (things) that,
as he investigates,
his consciousness of what is external
be undistracted, not diffused,
and of what is internal
be unslackened
so that it[3] may not be disturbed by grasping;
monks, if consciousness of what is external
be undistracted, not diffused,
of what is internal
be unslackened,
then, for him who is (thus) undisturbed by grasping
there is in the future
no origin or rise
of birth, old age and dying
or of anguish."

Thus spoke the Lord.

When he had said this,
the Well-farer rose from his seat and entered a dwelling-place.

Soon after the Lord had gone, it occurred to these monks:
"Your reverences, the Lord, recited this exposition to us in brief:

"Monks, a monk should so investigate (things) that,
as he investigates,
his consciousness of what is external
be undistracted, not diffused,
and of what is internal
be unslackened
so that it may not be disturbed by grasping;
monks, if consciousness of what is external
be undistracted, not diffused,
of what is internal
be unslackened,
then, for him who is (thus) undisturbed by grasping
there is in the future
no origin or rise
of birth, old age and dying
or of anguish."

But without having explained the meaning in full
he rose from his seat and entered a dwelling-place.

Now, who can explain the meaning in full
of this exposition which was recited in brief by the Lord
but the meaning of which he did not explain in full?"

Then it occurred to these monks:
"Now, the venerable Kaccāna the Great
is both praised by the Teacher
and revered by intelligent Brahma-farers;[4]
[224, 225] and the venerable Kaccāna the Great is able to explain in full
the meaning of this exposition
that was recited in brief by the Lord
but the meaning of which was not explained in full.
Suppose we were to approach the venerable Kaccāna the Great,
and having approached,
were to question him on this meaning?"

Then these monks approached the venerable Kaccāna the Great;
having approached,
they exchanged greetings with him,
and when they had conversed in a friendly and courteous way,
they sat down at a respectful distance.
As they were sitting down at a respectful distance,
these monks spoke thus to the venerable Kaccāna the Great:

Reverend Kaccāna, the Lord,
having recited this exposition to us in brief
but not having explained its meaning in full,
rose from his seat and entered a dwelling-place:

"Monks, a monk should so investigate (things) that,
as he investigates,
his consciousness of what is external
be undistracted, not diffused,
and of what is internal
be unslackened
so that it may not be disturbed by grasping;
monks, if consciousness of what is external
be undistracted, not diffused,
of what is internal
be unslackened,
then, for him who is (thus) undisturbed by grasping
there is in the future
no origin or rise
of birth, old age and dying
or of anguish."

Soon after the Lord had departed,
it occurred to us, reverend Kaccāna:
'Your reverences, the Lord, having recited this exposition to us in brief,
but not having explained the meaning in full,
rose from his seat and entered a dwelling-place:

"Monks, a monk should so investigate (things) that,
as he investigates,
his consciousness of what is external
be undistracted, not diffused,
and of what is internal
be unslackened
so that it may not be disturbed by grasping;
monks, if consciousness of what is external
be undistracted, not diffused,
of what is internal
be unslackened,
then, for him who is (thus) undisturbed by grasping
there is in the future
no origin or rise
of birth, old age and dying
or of anguish."

Now, who can explain the meaning in full
of this exposition that was recited in brief by the Lord
but the meaning of which he did not explainin full?"

Then, reverend Kaccāna, it occurred to us:
'Now the venerable Kaccāna the Great
is both praised by the Teacher
and revered by intelligent fellow-Brahma-farers;
and the venerable Kaccāna the Great
is able to explain in full
the meaning of this exposition
that was recited in brief by the Lord
but the meaning of which was not explained in full.

Supose we were to approach the venerable Kaccāna the Great,
and having approached,
were to question him on this meaning?

May the venerable Kaccāna the Great explain it."

"Your reverences, as a man walking about aiming at the pith,
searching for the pith,
looking about for the pith
of a great, stable and pithy tree,
might pass by the root,
pass by the trunk,
thinking that the pith was to be looked for
in the branches and foliage
— even so is this performance of the venerable ones,
for (although) you had the Teacher face-to-face,
yet you have ignored that Lord
and judge that it is I who should be quesioned on this meaning.

But, your reverences,
the Lord knows what should be known,
sees what should be seen,
he has become vision,
become knowledge,
become dhamma,
become Brahma,
he is the propounder,
the expounder,
the bringer of the goal,
the giver of the Deathless,
dhamma-lord,
Tathāgata.

This was the time
when you should have questioned the Lord on this meaning
so that you might have understood what the Lord explained to you."

Undoubtedly, reverend Kaccāna,
the Lord knows what should be known,
sees what should be seen,
he has become vision,
become knowledge,
become dhamma,
become Brahma,
he is the propounder,
the expounder,
the bringer of the goal,
the giver of the Deathless,
dhamma-lord,
Tathāgata.

This was the time
when we should have questioned the Lord on this meaning
so that we might have understood what the Lord explained to us.

But the venerable Kaccāna the Great
is both praised by the Teacher
and revered by intelligent fellow Brahma-farers;
and the venerable Kaccāna the Great
is able to explain in full
the meaning of this exposition
that was recited in brief by the Lord
but the meaning of which was not explained in full.

May the venerable Kaccāna explain it without finding it troublesome."

"Well then, your reverences,
listen,
pay careful attention
and I will speak."

"Yes, your reverence,"
these monks answered the venerable Kaccāna the Great in assent.

The venerable Kaccāna the Great spoke thus:

"In regard to that exposition, your reverences,
which was recited in brief by the Lord
but the meaning of which he had not explained in full
when he rose from his seat and entered a dwelling-place:

"Monks, a monk should so investigate (things) that,
as he investigates,
his consciousness of what is external
be undistracted, not diffused,
and of what is internal
be unslackened
so that it may not be disturbed by grasping;
monks, if consciousness of what is external
be undistracted, not diffused,
of what is internal
be unslackened,
then, for him who is (thus) undisturbed by grasping
there is in the future
no origin or rise
of birth, old age and dying
or of anguish."

— of this exposition which was recited in brief by the Lord
but the meaning of which he did not explain in full,
I, your reverences, understand the meaning in full thus:

And what, your reverences,
is called distracted, diffused consciousness
of what is external?

If, your reverences,
after a monk has seen a material shape with the eye,
his consciousness runs after signs of material shape,
is tied by satisfaction in signs of material [273] shapes,
is bound to satisfaction in signs of material shapes,
is fettered by the fetter of satisfaction in the signs of material shapes,
then the consciousness of what is external
is said to be distracted and diffused.

If, having heard a sound with the ear,
his consciousness runs after signs of sounds,
is tied by satisfaction in signs of sounds,
is bound to satisfaction in signs of sounds,
is fettered by the fetter of satisfaction in the signs of sounds,
then the consciousness of what is external
is said to be distracted and diffused.

If, having smelled a smell with the nose,
his consciousness runs after signs of smells,
is tied by satisfaction in signs of smells,
is bound to satisfaction in signs of smells,
is fettered by the fetter of satisfaction in the signs of smells,
then the consciousness of what is external
is said to be distracted and diffused.

If, having tasted a flavour with the tongue,
his consciousness runs after signs of flavours,
is tied by satisfaction in signs of flavours,
is bound to satisfaction in signs of flavours,
is fettered by the fetter of satisfaction in the signs of flavours,
then the consciousness of what is external
is said to be distracted and diffused.

If, having felt a touch with the body,
his consciousness runs after signs of touchs,
is tied by satisfaction in signs of touchs,
is bound to satisfaction in signs of touchs,
is fettered by the fetter of satisfaction in the signs of touchs,
then the consciousness of what is external
is said to be distracted and diffused.

If, having cognised a mental state with the mind,,
his consciousness runs after signs of mental states,
is tied by satisfaction in signs of mental states,
is bound to satisfaction in signs of mental states,
is fettered by the fetter of satisfaction in the signs of mental states,
then the consciousness of what is external
is said to be distracted and diffused.

It is thus, your reverences,
that consciousness of what is external
is called distracted and diffused.

And what, your reverences,
is called undistracted, undiffused consciousness
of what is external?

If, your reverences,
after a monk has seen a material shape with the eye,
his consciousness does not run after signs of material shape,
is not tied by satisfaction in signs of material shape,
is not bound to satisfaction in signs of material shapes,
is not fettered by the fetter of satisfaction in the signs of material shapes,
then the consciousness of what is external
is said to be undistracted and undiffused.

[226]If, having heard a sound with the ear,
his consciousness does not run after signs of sounds,
is not tied by satisfaction in signs of sounds,
is not bound to satisfaction in signs of sounds,
is not fettered by the fetter of satisfaction in the signs of sounds,
then the consciousness of what is external
is said to be undistracted and undiffused.

If, having smelled a smell with the nose,
his consciousness does not run after signs of smells,
is not tied by satisfaction in signs of smells,
is not bound to satisfaction in signs of smells,
is not fettered by the fetter of satisfaction in the signs of smells,
then the consciousness of what is external
is said to be undistracted and undiffused.

If, having tasted a flavour with the tongue,
his consciousness does not run after signs of flavours,
is not tied by satisfaction in signs of flavours,
is not bound to satisfaction in signs of flavours,
is not fettered by the fetter of satisfaction in the signs of flavours,
then the consciousness of what is external
is said to be undistracted and undiffused.

If, having felt a touch with the body,
his consciousness does not run after signs of touchs,
is not tied by satisfaction in signs of touchs,
is not bound to satisfaction in signs of touchs,
is not fettered by the fetter of satisfaction in the signs of touchs,
then the consciousness of what is external
is said to be undistracted and undiffused.

If, having cognised a mental state with the mind,,
his consciousness does not run after signs of mental states,
is not tied by satisfaction in signs of mental states,
is not bound to satisfaction in signs of mental states,
is not fettered by the fetter of satisfaction in the signs of mental states,
then the consciousness of what is external
is said to be undistracted and undiffused.

It is thus, your reverences,
that consciousness of what is external
is called undistracted and undiffused.

And what, your reverences, is called
slackened thought in regard to what is internal?

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

If his consciousness runs after the rapture and joy
that are born of aloofness,
if it is tied by satisfaction in signs of the rapture and joy
that are born of aloofness,
if it is bound to satisfaction in signs of the rapture and joy
that are born of aloofness,
if it is fettered by the fetter of satisfaction in the signs of the rapture and joy
that are born of aloofness,
then his thought is called slackened
in regard to what is internal.

And again, your reverences, a monk,
by allaying initial thought and discursive thought,
with the mind subjectively tranquillised
and fixed on one point,
enters into and abides in
the second meditation
which is devoid of initial thought and discursive thought,
is 274 born of concentration,
and is rapturous and joyful.

If his consciousness runs after the rapture and joy
that are born of concentration,
if it is tied by satisfaction in signs of the rapture and joy
that are born of concentration,
if it is bound to satisfaction in signs of the rapture and joy
that are born of concentration,
if it is fettered by the fetter of satisfaction in the signs of the rapture and joy
that are born of concentration,
then his thought is called slackened
in regard to what is internal.

And again, your reverences, a monk,
by the fading out of rapture
abides with equanimity,
mindful and clearly conscious
and experiences in his person
that joy of which the Ariyans say:
'Joyful lives he who has equanimity and is mindful,'
entering into the third meditation,
he abides in it.

If his consciousness runs after the joy of equanimity,[5]
if it is tied by satisfaction in signs of the joy of equanimity
if it is bound to satisfaction in signs of the the joy of equanimity
if it is fettered by the fetter of satisfaction in the signs of the joy of equanimity
then his thought is called slackened
in regard to what is internal.

And again, your reverences, a monk,
by getting rid of joy,
by getting rid of anguish,
by the going down of his former pleasures and sorrows,
entering into
abides in the fourth meditation
which has neither anguish nor joy,
and which is entirely purified
by equanimity and mindfulness.

If his consciousness runs after equanimity and mindfulness,
if it is tied by satisfaction in signs of equanimity and mindfulness
if it is bound to satisfaction in signs of equanimity and mindfulness
if it is fettered by the fetter of satisfaction in the signs of equanimity and mindfulness
then his thought is called slackened
in regard to what is internal.

It is thus, your reverences,
that thought is called slackened
in regard to what is internal.

[227] And what, your reverences, is called unslackened thought in regard to what is internal?

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

If his consciousness does not run after the rapture and joy
that are born of aloofness,
if it is not tied by satisfaction in signs of the rapture and joy
that are born of aloofness,
if it is not bound to satisfaction in signs of the rapture and joy
that are born of aloofness,
if it is not fettered by the fetter of satisfaction in the signs of the rapture and joy
that are born of aloofness,
then his thought is called unslackened
in regard to what is internal.

And again, your reverences, a monk,
by allaying initial thought and discursive thought,
with the mind subjectively tranquillised
and fixed on one point,
enters into and abides in
the second meditation
which is devoid of initial thought and discursive thought,
is 274 born of concentration,
and is rapturous and joyful.

If his consciousness does not run after the rapture and joy
that are born of concentration,
if it is not tied by satisfaction in signs of the rapture and joy
that are born of concentration,
if it is not bound to satisfaction in signs of the rapture and joy
that are born of concentration,
if it is not fettered by the fetter of satisfaction in the signs of the rapture and joy
that are born of concentration,
then his thought is called unslackened
in regard to what is internal.

And again, your reverences, a monk,
by the fading out of rapture
abides with equanimity,
mindful and clearly conscious
and experiences in his person
that joy of which the Ariyans say:
'Joyful lives he who has equanimity and is mindful,'
entering into the third meditation,
he abides in it.

If his consciousness does not run after the joy of equanimity,
if it is not tied by satisfaction in signs of the joy of equanimity
if it is not bound to satisfaction in signs of the the joy of equanimity
if it is not fettered by the fetter of satisfaction in the signs of the joy of equanimity
then his thought is called unslackened
in regard to what is internal.

And again, your reverences, a monk,
by getting rid of joy,
by getting rid of anguish,
by the going down of his former pleasures and sorrows,
entering into
abides in the fourth meditation
which has neither anguish nor joy,
and which is entirely purified
by equanimity and mindfulness.

If his consciousness does not run after equanimity and mindfulness,
if it is not tied by satisfaction in signs of equanimity and mindfulness
if it is not bound to satisfaction in signs of equanimity and mindfulness
if it is not fettered by the fetter of satisfaction in the signs of equanimity and mindfulness
then his thought is called unslackened
in regard to what is internal.

It is thus, your reverences, that thought is called unslackened in regard to what is internal.

And what, your reverences, is being disturbed by grasping?[6]

As to this, your reverences,
an uninstructed average person,
taking no count of the pure ones,
unskilled in the dhamma of the pure ones,
untrained in the dhamma of the pure ones,
taking no count of the true men,
unskilled in the dhamma of the true men,
untrained in the dhamma of the true men,
regards material shape as self
or self as having material shape
or material shape as in self
or self as in material shape.

His material shape alters and becomes otherwise;
with the alteration and otherwiseness in his material shape,
his consciousness is occupied with the alteration in the material shape;[7]
there is disturbance for him
born of his occupation
with the alteration in the material shape;
mental objects, arising,
persist in obsessing his thought;
because of this obsession of his thought
he is afraid and annoyed and full of 1onging[8]
and he is disturbed by grasping.[9] [228]

He regards feeling as self
or self as having feeling
or feeling as in self
or self as in feeling.

His feeling alters and becomes otherwise;
with the alteration and otherwiseness in his feeling,
his consciousness is occupied with the alteration in the feeling;
there is disturbance for him
born of his occupation
with the alteration in the feeling;
mental objects, arising,
persist in obsessing his thought;
because of this obsession of his thought
he is afraid and annoyed and full of 1onging
and he is disturbed by grasping.

He regards perception as self
or self as having perception
or perception as in self
or self as in perception.

His perception alters and becomes otherwise;
with the alteration and otherwiseness in his perception,
his consciousness is occupied with the alteration in the perception;
there is disturbance for him
born of his occupation
with the alteration in the perception;
mental objects, arising,
persist in obsessing his thought;
because of this obsession of his thought
he is afraid and annoyed and full of 1onging
and he is disturbed by grasping.

He regards the habitual tendencies as self
or self as having the habitual tendencies
or the habitual tendencies as in self
or self as in the habitual tendencies.

His habitual tendencies alter and become otherwise;
with the alteration and otherwiseness in his habitual tendencies,
his consciousness is occupied with the alteration in the habitual tendencies;
there is disturbance for him
born of his occupation
with the alteration in the habitual tendencies;
mental objects, arising,
persist in obsessing his thought;
because of this obsession of his thought
he is afraid and annoyed and full of 1onging
and he is disturbed by grasping.

He regards consciousness as self
or self as having consciousness
or consciousness as in self
or self as in consciousness.

His consciousness alters and becomes otherwise;
with the alteration and otherwiseness in his consciousness,
his consciousness is occupied with the alteration in his consciousness;
mental objects, arising,
persist in obsessing his thought;
because of this obsession of his thought
he is afraid and annoyed and full of longing
and he is disturbed by grasping.

This, your reverences, is what is being disturbed by grasping.

And what, your reverences, is not being disturbed by grasping?

As to this, your reverences,
an instructed disciple of the Ariyans,
taking count of the pure ones,
skilled in the dhamma of the pure ones,
well trained in the dhamma of the pure ones,
taking count of the true men,
skilled in the dhamma of the true men,
well trained in the dhamma of the true men,
does not regard material shape as self
or self as having material shape
or material shape as in self
or self as in material shape.

His material shape alters and becomes otherwise;
but with the alteration and otherwiseness in his material shape,
his consciousness is not occupied with the alteration in his material shape;
no disturbance for him is born
of his occupation
with the alteration in the material shape;
mental objects, arising,
do not persist in obsessing his thought;
because of this non-obsession of his thought
he is neither afraid nor annoyed or full of longing
and he is not disturbed by grasping.

He does not regard feeling as self
or self as having feeling
or feeling as in self
or self as in feeling.

His feeling alters and becomes otherwise;
but with the alteration and otherwiseness in his feeling,
his consciousness is not occupied with the alteration in the feeling;
no disturbance for him is born
of his occupation
with the alteration in the feeling;
mental objects, arising,
do not persist in obsessing his thought;
because of this non-obsession of his thought
he is neither afraid nor annoyed or full of 1onging
and he is not disturbed by grasping.

He does not regard perception as self
or self as having perception
or perception as in self
or self as in perception.

His perception alters and becomes otherwise;
but with the alteration and otherwiseness in his perception,
his consciousness is occupied with the alteration in the perception;
no disturbance for him is born
of his occupation
with the alteration in the perception;
mental objects, arising,
do not persist in obsessing his thought;
because of this non-obsession of his thought
he is neither afraid nor annoyed or full of 1onging
and he is not disturbed by grasping.

He does not regard the habitual tendencies as self
or self as having the habitual tendencies
or the habitual tendencies as in self
or self as in the habitual tendencies.

His habitual tendencies alter and become otherwise;
but with the alteration and otherwiseness in his habitual tendencies,
his consciousness is occupied with the alteration in the habitual tendencies;
no disturbance for him is born
of his occupation
with the alteration in the habitual tendencies;
mental objects, arising,
do not persist in obsessing his thought;
because of this non-obsession of his thought
he is neither afraid nor annoyed or full of 1onging
and he is not disturbed by grasping.

He does not regard regard consciousness as self
or self as having consciousness
or consciousness as in self
or self as in consciousness.

His consciousness alters and becomes otherwise;
but with the alteration and otherwiseness in his consciousness,
his consciousness is occupied with the alteration in his consciousness;
no disturbance for him is born
of his occupation
with the alteration in his consciousness
mental objects, arising,
do not persist in obsessing his thought;
because of this non-obsession of his thought
he is neither afraid nor annoyed or full of 1onging
and he is not disturbed by grasping.

This, your reverences, is what is not being disturbed by grasping.

In regard to that exposition, your reverences,
which the Lord recited in brief but the meaning of which he had not explained in full
when he rose from his seat and entered a dwelling-place:

"Monks, a monk should so investigate (things) that,
as he investigates,
his consciousness of what is external
be undistracted, not diffused,
and of what is internal
be unslackened
so that it may not be disturbed by grasping;
monks, if consciousness of what is external
be undistracted, not diffused,
of what is internal
be unslackened,
then, for him who is (thus) undisturbed by grasping
there is in the future
no origin or rise
of birth, old age and dying
or of anguish."

— Of this exposition which was recited by the Lord in brief
but the meaning of which he did not explain in full,
I, your reverences [229] understand the meaning in full thus.

But if you, venerable ones, so desire,
you can approach the Lord
and question him as to the meaning
so that as the Lord explains it to you
so may you understand it."

[277] Then these monks ... (as at M. iii. 198-199, above, p. 243, reading Monks, a monk should so investigate (things) that ... there is in the future no origin or rise of birth, old age and dying and of anguish instead of The past should not be followed after, the future not desired ... He is indeed, 'Auspicious' called, described as a sage at peace) ...

"Learned, monks, is Kaccāna the Great,
of great wisdom, monks, is Kaccana the Great.
For if you, monks, bad questioned me as to this meaning,
I too would have explained it precisely as it was explained by Kaccāna the Great.
Indeed, this is the exact meaning of that,
and thus should you remember it."

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

Discourse on an Exposition and Analysis:
The Eighth

 


[Ed.1] Evidence of later [erroneous] editing in that what the Buddha actually does here is to teach the exposition, not both the exposition and analysis.

[1] MA. v. 28 says uddesañ ca vibhaŋgañ ca mātikañ ca vibhajanañ cā ti. So uddesa is the statement of the headings (mātikā) which will be analysed in this Discourse.

[2]upaparikkheyya. should weigh, measure, explore, mark out. MA. v. 28. Cf. Iti., p. 94. where this "heading" also occurs.

[3]Consciousness, MA. v. 28.

[4]As at M. iii. 194-195. [re-inserted by ed.]

[5]Text here reads upekhānsārī; but I think it necessary to insert sukha into this compound as in the negative clause below: upekhāsukhānsārī.

[6]For the rest of Maha-Kaccāna's explanation, cf. S. iii. 15 ff.

[7]In Chalmers' text a sentence is here inserted, presumably in error as it has no counterpart in the repetitions below or in the S. version: tassa rūpam vipariṇāmānuparivatti viññāṇaɱ hoti should therefore be deleted.

[8]upekhavā of Chalmers' text should probably read, with S. apekhavā. MA. v. 3O, reading apekkhavā, explains by sā1ayo sapiho, with pleasure and affection.

[9]'anupādāya. The reading at S. iii. 16, which I follow, is upādāya.

 


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