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 139

The Arana-vibhaŋga Suttaɱ

Discourse on the Analysis of the Undefiled[1]

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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[230]

[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:

"I will teach you, monks, the analysis of the undefiled.
Listen carefully to it, pay attention and I will speak."

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

The Lord spoke thus:

[278] "You should not be intent on the happiness of sense-pleasures
which is low,
of the villager,
of the average person,
unAriyan,
not connected with the goal;
nor should you be intent on the practice of self-mortification
which is sorrowful,
unAriyan,
not connected with the goal.

Not approaching either of these two dead-ends,
there is the Middle Course awakened to by the Tathāgata,
making for vision,
making for knowledge,
and conducing to calm,
superknowledge,
self-awakening and Nibbāna.

One should know approval and one should know disapproval,
and having known approval,
having known disapproval,
one should neither approve nor disapprove
— one should simply teach dhamma.

One should know how to judge what happiness is;
having known how to judge what happiness is,
one should be intent on inward happiness.

One should not utter a secret speech;[2]
face-to-face (with a man) one should not tell (him) a vexatious thing.[3]

One should speak quite slowly,
not hurriedly.

One should not affect the dialect of the countryside,
one should not deviate from recognised parlance.

This is the exposition of the analysis of the undefiled.

When it is said,
'You should not be intent on the happiness of sense-pleasures
which is low,
of the villager,
of the average person,
unAriyan,
not connected with the goal;
nor should you be intent on the practice of self-mortification
which is sorrowful,
unAriyan,
not connected with the goal
nor should you be intent on the practice of self-mortification
which is sorrowful,
unAriyan,
not connected with the goal,
in reference to what is it said?

Whatever is happiness in association with sense-pleasures
and intentness on a joy that is low,
of the villager,
of the average man,
unAriyan,
not connected with the goal
— this is a thing that has anguish,[4]
annoyance, trouble and fret;
it is a wrong course.

But whatever is happiness in association with sense-pleasures
but not intentness on a joy [231] that is low,
of the villager,
of the average man,
unAriyan,
not connected with the goal
— this is a thing without anguish,
annoyance, trouble or fret;
it is the right course.

Whatever is intentness on self-mortification which is sorrowful,
unAriyan,
not connected with the goal
— this is a thing that has anguish,
annoyance, trouble and fret;
it is a wrong course.

But whatever is non-intentness on self-mortification which is sorrowful,
unAriyan,
not connected with the goal
— this is a thing without anguish,
annoyance, trouble or fret;
it is the right course.

When it is said,
'You should not be intent on the happiness of sense-pleasures
which is low,
of the villager,
of the average person,
unAriyan,
not connected with the goal;
[279] nor should you be intent on the practice of self-mortification
which is sorrowful,
unAriyan,
not connected with the goal
nor should you be intent on the practice of self-mortification
which is sorrowful,
unAriyan,
not connected with the goal,
it is said in reference to this.

When it is said, 'Not approaching either of these two dead-ends,
there is the Middle Course awakened to by the Tathigata,
making for vision,
making for knowledge,
that conduces to calm,
superknowledge,
self-awakening and nibbana,'
in reference to what is it said?

It is the Ariyan Eightfold Way itself,
that is to say:
right view,
right aspiration,
right speech,
right action,
right mode of livelihood,
right endeavour,
right mindfulness,
right concentration.

When it is said,
'Not approaching either of these two dead-ends,
there is the Middle Course
making for vision,
making for knowledge,
and conducing to calm,
superknowledge,
self-awakening and Nibbāna.'
it is said in reference to this.

When it is said,
'One should know approval and one should know disapproval,
and having known approval,
having known disapproval,
one should neither approve nor disapprove
— one should simply teach dhamma,'
in reference to what is it said?

And what, monks, is approval
and what is disapproval
but not the teaching of dhamma?

He disapproves of some (people) here, saying:
'All those who find happiness in association with sense pleasures
and are intent on a joy that is low,
of the villager,
of the average man,
unAriyan,
not connected with the goal,
have anguish,
annoyance, trouble and fret;
they are faring along wrongly.'

He approves of some (people) here, saying:
'All those who find happiness in association with sense-pleasures
but are not intent on a joy that is low
of the villager,
of the average man,
unAriyan,
not connected with the goal,
are without anguish,
annoyance, trouble or fret;
they are faring along rightly.'

He disapproves of some (people) here, saying:
'All those who are intent on the practice of self-mortification,
which is sorrowful,
unaryian,
not connected with the goal, [232] have anguish,
annoyance, trouble and fret;
they are faring along wrongly.'

He approves of some (people) here, saying:
'All those who are not intent on the practice of self-mortification,
which is sorrowful,
unAriyan,
not connected with the goal,
are without anguish,
annoyance, trouble or fret;
they are faring along rightly.'

He disapproves of some (people) here, saying:
'All those in whom the fetter of becoming[5] is not got rid of have anguish,
annoyance, troble and fret;
they are faring along wrongly.'

He approves of some (people) here, saying:
'All those in whom the fetter [280] of becoming[6] is got rid of are without anguish,
annoyance, trouble or fret;
they are faring along rightly.'

This, monks, is what is approval and disapproval
but not the teaching of dhamma.

And what, monks, is neither approval nor disapproval,
but the teaching of dhamma?

He does not speak thus:

'All those who find happiness in association with sense-pleasures
and are intent on a joy that is low,
of the villager,
of the average man,
unAriyan,
not connected with the goal,
have anguish,
annoyance, trouble and fret;
they are faring along wrongly.'

He simply teaches dhamma, saying:

'Intentness is a thing that has anguish,
annoyance, trouble and fret;
it is a wrong course.'

He does not speak thus:

'All those who find happiness in association with sense-pleasures but are not intent on a joy that is low,
of the villager,
of the average man,
unAriyan,
not connected with the goal,
are without anguish,
annoyance, trouble or fret;
they are faring along rightly.'

He simply teaches dhamma, saying:

'Non-intentness is a thing that is without anguish,
annoyance, trouble or fret;
it is the right course.'

He does not speak thus:

'All those who are intent on the practice of self-mortification
which is sorrowful,
unAriyan,
not connected with the goal,
have anguish,
annoyance, trouble and fret;
they are faring along wrongly.'

He simply teaches dhamma, saying:

'Intentness is a thing that has anguish
annoyance, trouble and fret;
it is a wrong course.'

He does not speak thus:

'All those who are not intent on the practice of self-mortificationbr,
which is sorrowful,
unAriyan,
not connected with the goal,
are without anguish,
annoyance, trouble and fret;
they are faring along rightly.'

He simply teaches dhamma, saying:

'Non-intentness is a thing that is without anguish
annoyance, trouble and fret;
it is the right course.'

He does not speak thus:

'All those in whom the fetter of becoming is not got rid of
have anguish,
annoyance, trouble and fret;
they are faring along wrongly.'

[233] He simply teaches dhamma, saying:

'While the fetter of becoming is not got rid of,
becoming is not got rid of.'

He does not speak thus:

'All those in whom the fetter of becoming is got rid of are without anguish
annoyance, trouble and fret;
they are faring along rightly.'

He simply teaches dhamma, saying:

'If the fetter of becoming is got rid of,
becoming is got rid of.'

This, monks, is what is neither approval nor disapproval, but the teaching of dhamma.

When it is said:
'One should know approval and one should know disapproval,
and having known approval,
having known disapproval,
one should neither approve nor disapprove
one should simply teach dhamma,'
it is said in reference to this.

[281]When it is said:
'One should know how to judge what happiness is;
having known how to judge what happiness is,
one should be intent on inward happines,'
in reference to what is it said?

These five, monks, are the strands of sense-pleasures.
What five?

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

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

Smells cognisable by the nose
agreeable, pleasant, liked, enticing, connected with, sensual pleasure, alluring

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

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

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

Whatever happiness or joy, monks,
arises in consequence of these five strands of sense-pleasures
is said to be a happiness of sense-pleasures,
a vile happiness,
the happiness of an average person,
an unAriyan happiness.

I say of this happiness
that it is not to be pursued,
developed or made much of
— it is to be feared.

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

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.

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.

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.

This is said to be the happiness of renunciation,
the happiness of aloofness,
the happiness of tranquillity,
the happiness of self-awakening.

I say of this happiness
that it is to be pursued,
developed and made much of
— it is not to be feared.

[234] When it is said:
'One should know how to judge what happiness is;
having known how to judge what happiness is,
one should be intent on inward happiness,'
it is said in reference to this.

When it is said:
'One should not utter a secret speech;
face-to-face (with a man)
one should not tell (him) a vexatious thing,'
in reference to what is it said?

As to this, monks,
knowing a secret speech is not fact, untrue,
not connected with the goal,
one should not, if possible,
utter that secret speech;
and if, knowing that secret speech is fact,
true,
but not conneCted with the goal,
he should train himself not to speak it.

But if one knows that secret speech is fact, true,
and connected with the goal,
then he will know the right time to speak
that secret speech
to that (other person).

As to this, monks,
knowing a vexatious speech
(made) face-to-face (with a man)
is not fact, untrue,
not connected with the goal,
one should not, if possible,
utter that vexatious speech face-to-face (with a man);
and if, knowing that vexatious speech
(made) face-to-face (with a man)
is fact, true,
hut not connected with the goal,
he should train himst:llf not to speak it.

But if one knows that vexatious speech
(made) face-to-face (with a man)
is fact, true,
and connected with the goal,
then he will know the right time to speak
that vexatious speech
face-to-face with that (other person).

'When it is said:
'One should not [282] utter a secret speech;
face-to-face (with a man)
one should not tell (him) a vexatious thing,'
it is said in reference to this.

When it is said:
'One should speak quite slowly, not hurriedly,'
in reference to what is it said?

As to this, monks,
if one speak hurriedly
the body tires
and thought suffers
and the sound suffers
and the throat is affected;
the speech of one in a hurry
is not clear or comprehensible.

As to this, monks,
if one speak slowly
the body does not tire
and thought does not suffer
and the sound does not suffer
and the throat is not affected;
the speech of one not in a hurry
is clear and comprehensible.

When it is said:
'One should speak quite slowly,
not hurriedly,'
it is said in reference to this.

When it is said:
'One should not affect the dialect of the countryside,
one should not deviate from recognised parlance,'
in reference to what is it said?

And what, monks,
is affectation of the dialect of the countryside
and what is departure from recognised parlance?

In this case, monks,
in different districts they know (the different words):
Pāti[7] [235] ... Patta ... Vittha ... Sarāva ... Dhāropa ... Poṇa ... Pisīla.

Thus as they know the word as this or that
in these various districts
so does a person,
obstinately clinging to it
and adhering to it, explain:
'This indeed is the truth,
all else is falsehood.'[8]

Thus, monks, is affectation of the dialect of the countryside
and departure from recognised parlance.

And what, monks, is non-affectation of the dialect of the countryside
and nondeparture from recognised parlance?

In this case, monks,
in different districts they know (the different words):
Pāti ... Patta ... Vittha ... Sarāva ... Dhāropa ... Poṇa ... Pisīla,
yet although they know the word as this or that
in these various districts
a person does not cling to it but explains:
'These venerable ones definitely express it thus.'

Thus, monks, is non-affectation of the dialect of the countryside
and non-departure from recognised parlance.

When it is said:
'One should not affect the dialect of the countryside,
one should not deviate from recognised parlance,'
it is said in reference to this.

Wherefore, monks,
whatever is happiness in association with sense-pleasures
and intentness on a joy that is low,
of the villager,
of the average man,
not connected with the goal,
this is a thing that has anguish,
annoyance, trouble and fret;
it is a wrong course.

Therefore this thing is defiled.

Wherefore, monks,
whatever is [283] happiness in association with sense-pleasures
but non-intentness on a joy that is low,
of the villager,
of the average man,
unAriyan,
not connected with the goal,
this is a thing without anguish,
annoyance, trouble and fret;
fret; it is a right course.

Therefore this thing is undefiled.

Wherefore, monks,
whatever is intentness on self-mortification
which is sorrowful,
unAriyan,
not connected with the goal,
this is a thing that has anguish,
annoyance, trouble and fret;
it is a wrong course.

Therefore this thing is defiled.

Wherefore, monks,
whatever is non-intentness on the practice of self-mortification
which is sorrowful,
unAriyan,
not connected with the goal,
this is a thing without anguish,
annoyance, trouble and fret;
fret; it is the right course.

[236] Therefore this thing is undefiled.

Wherefore, monks,
that Middle Course awakened to by the Tathagata,
making for vision,
making for knowledge,
and conducive to calm,
super-knowledge,
self-awakening
and nibbana,
this is a thing without anguish,
annoyance, trouble and fret;
it is the right course.

Therefore this thing is undefiled.

Wherefore, monks,
whatever is approval and disapproval
and not the teaching of dhamma,
this is a thing that has anguish,
annoyance, trouble and fret;
it is a wrong course.

Therefore this thing is defiled.

Wherefore, monks,
whatever is neither approval nor disapproval
but is the teaching of dhamma,
this is a thing without anguish,
annoyance, trouble and fret;
it is the right course.

Therefore this thing is undefiled.

Wherefore, monks,
that happiness in sense-pleasures,
a vile happiness,
the happiness of an average person,
an unAriyan happiness,
this is a thing that has anguish,
annoyance, trouble and fret;
it is a wrong course.

Therefore this thing is defiled.

Wherefore, monks,
that happiness in renunciation,
the happiness of aloofness,
the happiness of tranquillity,
the happiness of selfawakening,
this is a thing without anguish,
annoyance, trouble and fret;
it is the right course.

Therefore this thing is undefiled.

Wherefore, monks,
that secret speech that is not fact, untrue,
not connected with the goal,
this is a thing that has anguish,
annoyance, trouble and fret;
it is a wrong course.

Therefore this thing is defiled.

Wherefore, monks,
that secret speech that is fact, true,
but not connected with the goal,
this is a thing that has anguish,
annoyance, trouble and fret;
it is a wrong course.

Therefore this thing is defiled.

Wherefore, monks,
that secret speech that is fact, true,
and connected with the goal,
this is a thing without anguish,
annoyance, trouble and fret;
it is the right course.

Therefore this thing is undefiled.

Wherefore, monks,
that vexatious speech
(made) face-to-face (with a man)
that is not fact, untrue,
not connected with the goal,
this is a thing that has anguish,
annoyance, trouble and fret;
it is a wrong course.

Therefore this thing is defiled.

Wherefore, monks,
that vexatious speech
(made) face-to-face (with a man)
that is fact, true,
but not connected with the goal,
this too is a thing that has anguish,
annoyance, trouble and fret;
it is a [284] wrong course.

Therefore this thing is defiled.

Wherefore, monks,
that [237] vexatious speech
(made) face-to-face (with a man)
that is fact, true,
and connected with the goal,
this is a thing without anguish,
annoyance, trouble and fret;
it is the right course.

Therefore this thing is undefiled.

Wherefore, monks,
that which is spoken by one in a hurry,
this is a thing that has anguish,
annoyance, trouble and fret;
it is a wrong course.

Therefore this thing is defiled.

Wherefore, monks,
that which is spoken by one not in a hurry,
this is a thing without anguish,
annoyance, trouble and fret;
it is the right course.

Therefore this thing is undefiled.

Wheretore, monks,
affectation of the dialect of the countryside
and departure from recognised parlance,
this is a thing that has anguish,
annoyance, trouble and fret;
it is a wrong course.

Therefore this thing is defiled.

Wherefore, monks,
non-affectation of the dialect of the countryside
and non-departure from recognised parlance,
this is a thing without anguish,
annoyance, trouble or fret;
it is the right course.

Therefore this thing is undefiled.

Wherefore, monks,
this is how you must train yourselves:

'I will know the defiled thing
and I will know the undefiled thing,
and knowing the defiled thing
and knowing the undefiled thing,
I will fare along the undefiled course.'

Thus, monks, must you train yourselves.

But Subhūti,[9] monks,
the young man of family,
is (already?) faring along the undefiled course."

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

Discourse on the Analysis of the Undefiled:
The Ninth

 


[1] Araṇa might also be translated as peace and saraṇa as disturbance: the peace that comes from absence of the defilements and the disturbance due to their presence. At MA. v. 32 it is said that Araṇa means free from passion or the defilements, kilesa; cf. AA. i. 220, SA. i. 101, nikkilesa. At Vbh. 19 f. the khandha of feeling is twofold, saraṇa and Araṇa. Saraṇ = sa + raṇa, concomitant with war, stain or defilement. See B.H.S.D. under Araṇa and raṇa. At A. i. 24 Subhūti is chief of abiders in non-defilement or peace, referred to at MA. v. 31 f.

[2] One should not defame, i.e. carry tales to another person.

[3] khīṇa, explained at MA. v. 30 as ākiṇṇa, confused, troubled, and as kiliṭṭha, soiled. It means that one should not say what is detrimental, annoying or improper.

[4] That is, as to its ripening and as to the defilements, MA. v. 31.

[5] That is, thirst, taṇhā, MA. v. 31 which also says that when Subhūti was teachimg dhamma he was not intereated in the differences among individuals but simply laid down, "This is a wrong course, this the right one."

[6] vibhava here. It should perhaps read bhava as at the end of the next paragraph.

[7] This and the following six words are all words for bowl."

[8] As this phrase is of fairly frequent occurrence in M. and I have throughout translated it thus, I leave it thus here. Here however it clearly means: This is the true word, every other word is false.

[9] MA. v. 32 points out that he was among the Etad Aggas on two counts; and that when he went for alms with Sāriputta, Sāriputta stood at the doors of the houses attaining nirodha (the final meditative stage) while Subhūti attained mettajhāna, the meditation on friendliness. Cf. AA. i. 220, ThagA. i. 20, UdA. 348. See also B.H.S.D. under araṇa where Edgerton very tentatively puts the question of whether araṇa was not originally an adjective with a fem. noun: samāpatti or maitri, Pall mettā.

 


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