Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
III. Upari Paṇṇāsa
5. Saḷāyatana Vagga

The Middle Length Sayings
III. The Final Fifty Discourses
5. The Division of the Sixfold Sense(-field)

Sutta 143

Anāthapiṇḍik'ovāda Suttaɱ

Discourse on an Exhortation to Anāthapiṇḍika

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][than][upal] THUS HAVE I HEARD:

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

Now at that time the householder Anāthapiṇḍika was a sick man,
in pain,
grievously ill.

And the householder Anāthapiṇḍika
summoned a certain man and said to him:

"Come you, my good man,
approach the Lord;
having approached,
in my name salute the Lord's feet with your head
and say to him:

'Revered sir, the householder Anāthapiṇḍika is a sick man,
in pain,
grievously ill;
he salutes the Lord's feet with his head.'

And then approach the venerable Sāriputta;
having approached,
in my name salute the venerable Sāriputta's feet with your head
and say to him:

'Revered sir, the householder Anāthapiṇḍika is a sick man,
in pain,
grievously ill;
he salutes the venerable Sāriputta's feet with his head.'

And then say:

'Indeed, it would be good, revered sir,
if the venerable Sāriputta,
out of compassion,
would approach the dwelling of the householder Anāthapiṇḍika.'"

When that man had answered the householder Anāthapiṇḍika in assent,
saying,
"Very well, reverend sir,"[1]
he approached the Lord;
having approached and greeted the Lord,
he sat down at a respectful distance.

As he was sitting down at a respectful distance
that man spoke thus to the Lord:

'Revered sir, the householder Anāthapiṇḍika is a sick man,
in pain,
grievously ill;
he salutes the Lord's feet with his head.'

And he then approached the venerable Sāriputta;
having approached
and greeted the venerable Sāriputta,
he sat down at a respectful distance.

As he was sitting down at a respectful diatance
that man spoke thus to the venerable Sāriputta:

"Revered sir, the householder Anāthapiṇḍika is a sick man,
in pain,
grievously ill;
he salutes the venerable Sāriputta's feet with his head
and speaks to him thus:

'Indeed, it would be good, revered sir,
if the venerable Sāriputta,
out of compassion,
would approach the dwelling of the householder Anāthapiṇḍika.'"

The venerable Sāriputta consented by becoming silent.

Then [310] the venerable Sāriputta clothed himself and,
taking his bowl and robe,
approached the dwelling of the householder Anāthapiṇḍika
with the venerable Ānanda as his attendant;
having approached,
he sat down on the appointed seat.

As he was sitting down on the appointed seat
the venerable Sāriputta spoke thus to the householder Anāthapiṇḍika:

"I hope that you, householder,
are getting better,
I hope you are keeping going,
I hope the painful feelings are lessening,
not increasing,
that a lessening in them is apparent,
not an increase?"

"I am not getting better, revered Sāriputta,
I am not keeping going;
my painful feelings are increasing,
not lessening;
an increase in them is apparent,
not a lessening.

Revered Sāriputta[2]
as a strong man
might cleave one's head
with a sharp-edged sword,
even so, revered Sāriputta,
do exceedingly loud winds rend my head.

I am not better, revered Sāriputta,
I am not keeping going;
my grievously painful feelings are increasing,
not lessening;
an increase in them is apparent,
not a lessening.

As, revered Sāriputta, a strong man
might clamp a turban on one's head
with a tight leather strap,
even so, revered Sāriputta,
do I have very bad headaches.

I am not better, revered Sāriputta,
I am not keeping going;
my grievously painful feelings are increasing,
not lessening;
an increase in them is apparent,
not a lessening.

As, revered Sāriputta,
a skilled cattle-butcher
or his apprentice
might cut through the stomach
with a sharp butcher's knife,
even so, revered Sāriputta,
do very strong winds cut through my stomach.

I am not better, revered Sāriputta,
I am not keeping going;
my grievously painful feelings are increasing,
not lessening;
an increase in them is apparent,
not a lessening.

As, revered Sāriputta,
two strong men,
having taken hold of a weaker man by his limbs,
might set fire to him,
might make him sizzle up over a charcoal pit,
even so, revered Sāriputta,
there is a fierce heat in my body.

I am not better, revered Sāriputta,
I am not keeping going;
my grievously painful feelings are increasing,
not lessening;
an increase in them is apparent,
not a lessening.

"Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after vision
and so will have no consciousness dependent on vision.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

"Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after hearing
and so will have no consciousness dependent on hearing.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

"Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after smelling
and so will have no consciousness dependent on smelling.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

"Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after tasting
and so will have no consciousness dependent on tasting.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

"Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after body
and so will have no consciousness dependent on body.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

"Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after mind
and so will have no consciousness dependent on mind.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

 


 

"Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after material shapes
and so will have no consciousness dependent on material shapes.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

"Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after sounds
and so will have no consciousness dependent on sounds.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

"Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after smells
and so will have no consciousness dependent on smells.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

"Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after tastes
and so will have no consciousness dependent on tastes.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

"Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after touches
and so will have no consciousness dependent on touches.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

"Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after mental objects
and so will have no consciousness dependent on mental objects.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

 


 

[311] Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after visual consciousness
and so will have no consciousness dependent on visual consciousness.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after auditory consciousness
and so will have no consciousness dependent on auditory consciousness.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after olfactory consciousness
and so will have no consciousness dependent on olfactory consciousness.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after gustatory consciousness
and so will have no consciousness dependent on gustatory consciousness.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after bodily consciousness
and so will have no consciousness dependent on bodily consciousness.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after mental consciousness
and so will have no consciousness dependent on mental consciousness.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

 


 

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after visual impact
and so will have no consciousness dependent on visual impact.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after auditory impact
and so will have no consciousness dependent on auditory impact.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after olfactory impact
and so will have no consciousness dependent on olfactory impact.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after gustatory impact
and so will have no consciousness dependent on gustatory impact.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after bodily impact
and so will have no consciousness dependent on bodily impact.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after mental impact
and so will have no consciousness dependent on mental impact.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

 


 

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after feeling born of visual impact
and so will have no consciousness dependent on feeling born of visual impact.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after feeling born of auditory impact
and so will have no consciousness dependent on feeling born of auditory impact.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after feeling born of olfactory impact
and so will have no consciousness dependent on feeling born of olfactory impact.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after feeling born of gustatory impact
and so will have no consciousness dependent on feeling born of gustatory impact.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after feeling born of bodily impact
and so will have no consciousness dependent on feeling born of bodily impact.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after feeling born of mental impact
and so will have no consciousness dependent on feeling born of mental impact.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

 


 

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after the element of extension
and so will have no consciousness dependent on the element of extension.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after the liquid element
and so will have no consciousness dependent on the liquid element.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after the element of radiation
and so will have no consciousness dependent on the element of radiation.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after the element of motion
and so will have no consciousness dependent on the element of motion.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after the element of space
and so will have no consciousness dependent on the element of space.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after the element of consciousness
and so will have no consciousness dependent on the element of consciousness.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

 


 

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after material shape
and so will have no consciousness dependent on material shape.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after feeling
[312] and so will have no consciousness dependent on feeling.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after perception
and so will have no consciousness dependent on perception.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after the habitual tendencies
and so will have no consciousness dependent on the habitual tendencies.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after consciousness
and so will have no consciousness dependent on consciousness.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

 


 

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after the plane of infinite ether
and so will have no consciousness dependent on the plane of infinite ether.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after the plane of infinite consciousness
and so will have no consciousness dependent on the plane of infinite consciousness.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after the plane of no-thing
and so will have no consciousness dependent on the plane of no-thing.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after the plane of neither-pereeption-nor-non-perception
and so will have no consciousness dependent on the plane of neither-pereeption-nor-non-perception.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

 


 

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after this world
and so will have no consciousness dependent on this world.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after a world beyond
and so will have no consciousness dependent on a world beyond.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder.

 


 

Wherefore you, householder,
must train yourself thus:
(you must think),

'I will not grasp after that which is here seen,
heard,
sensed,
cognised,
sought after,
pondered over with the mind,
and so will have no consciousness dependent on that which is here seen,
heard,
sensed,
cognised,
sought after,
pondered over with the mind.'

This is how you must train yourself, householder."

When this had been said, the householder Anāthapiṇḍika
cried and shed tears.

Then the venerable Ānanda spoke thus
to the householder Anāthapiṇḍika:

"Householder, are you holding on
or are you sinking, householder?"

"I, revered Ānanda,
am not holding on,
I am sinking.[3]

Although the Teacher
and monks who were developing their minds[4] visited [313] me for a long time,
I have never yet heard reasoned talk such as this."

"Reasoned talk such as this, householder,
does not (usually) occur
for householders clad in white.[5]

It is for those
that have gone forth, householder,
that reasoned talk such as this
(usually) occurs."

"Well then, revered Sāriputta,
let there occur reasoned talk such as this
for householders clad in white.

There are, revered Sāriputta,
young men of family
with but little dust in their eyes
who, not hearing dhamma,
are declining,
but they could be learners of dhamma"[6]

And when the venerable Sāriputta
and the venerable Ānanda
had exhorted the householder Anāthapiṇḍika
with this exhortation,
they rose from their seats and departed.

Soon after the venerable Sāriputta
and the venerable Ānanda, had departed,
the householder Anāthapiṇḍika
at the breaking up of the body after dying
arose in the Tusita group (of devas).

And when the night was far spent
the young deva[7] Anāthapiṇḍika,
having illumined the whole of the Jeta Grove
with his radiant beauty,
approached the Lord;[8]
having approached and greeted the Lord,
he stood at a respectful distance.

As he was standing at a respectful distance,
the young deva Anāthapiṇḍika
addressed the Lord in verses:

"This[9] friendly Jeta Grove frequented by the Order of seers,[10]
Dwelt in by the King under dhamma, is the generator of my joy.
[314] Deed,[11] knowledge,[12] and dhamma,[13] the highest moral life[14] -
By these are mortals purified,[15] not by clan nor wealth.
Accordingly the wise man, beholding his own goal,
Seeking dhamma[16] judiciously, is thus purified therein.[17]
As Sāriputta in wisdom, in morality and calm,[18]
So let whatever monk has gone beyond be excellent in these."

Thus spoke the young deva Anāthapiṇḍika.

The Lord was approving.

And the young deva Anāthapiṇḍika thought:

"The Lord approves of me,"
and having greeted the Lord,
then and there he vanished
keeping his right side towards him.

Then the Lord
towards the end of that night
addressed the monks,
saying:

"Monks, when this night was far spent
a certain young deva,
having illumined the whole of the Jeta Grove
with bis radiant beauty,
approached me;
having approached and greeted me,
he stood at a respectful distance.

As he was standing at a respectful distance,
this young deva addressed me in verses:

"This friendly Jeta Grove frequented by the Order of seers,
Dwelt in by the King under dhamma, is the generator of my joy.
Deed, knowledge, and dhamma, the highest moral life -
By these are mortals purified, not by clan nor wealth.
Accordingly the wise man, beholding his own goal,
Seeking dhamma judiciously, is thus purified therein.
As Sāriputta in wisdom, in morality and calm,
So let whatever monk has gone beyond be excellent in these."

Thus spoke that young deva, monks.

Thinking,
'The Lord approves of me,'
and having greeted me,
then and there he vanished
keeping his right side towards me."

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

"Now, revered sir,
could that have been the young deva Anāthapiṇḍika?

Revered sir, the householder Anāthapiṇḍika
had unwavering confidence in the venerable Sāriputta."

[315] "It is good,
it is good, Ānanda.

All that could be obtained by reasoning, Ānanda,
has been obtained by you.

Ānanda, that young deva
was Anāthapiṇḍika,
no other."

Thus spoke the Lord.

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

Discourse on an Exhortation to Anāthapiṇḍika:
The First

 


[1] bhante.

[2] As at M. ii. 192-193.

[3] It seems necessary here to omit the na of Chalmers' text. For Anāthapiṇḍika was on the point of death and already failing or sinking. Otherwise one could translate, "I am not holding on (but) I am not sinking." Or as, "No, Ãnanda, I am holding on, I am not sinking." But this appears to be against the context and against grammatical usage, for the plain negative answer, our "No," is never expressed by the word na, not.

[4] manobhāvanīyo bhikkhū. Cf. manobhāvanīyo bhikkhu. at A. iii. 317, Vv. 34. 13; and the same expression, in the genitive plural, at A. v. 55, S. iii. 1, which SA. iii. 249-250 explains by mana-vaḍḍhanaka. It is possible that bhikkhū in the above M. passage should read bhikkhu, the reference then being to Sāriputta.

[5] This should not be taken to point to any esoteric element in the giving of the Teaching. Many passages could be adduced to show it was open to aü who wanted to hear it; see especially D. ii. 100 and S. iv. 314-316. But as MA. v. 80 says, talk on giving was (usually) addressed to householders. This is what they wanted to hear, so why should they receive a talk that did not please them? Paṭibhāti is a semi-technical term; it might be translated here as "vouchsafe": a talk such as this is not (usually) vouchsafed (by monks) for householders: because it is not appropriate, since their mental development is not as a rule sufficiently advanced for them to appreciate it.

[6] As at M. i. 168, Vin. i. 5, where these words form part of Brahmā Sahampati's plea to the Buddha to teach dhamma. Brahmā however says that there are beings, satta, with but little dust in their eyes, instead of "young men of family," kulaputtā; but it was of these that Anāthapiṇḍika was thinking.

[7] I think devaputta may sometimes be a young or new deva, one who has just become a deva.

[8] MA. v. 80 says he wanted to speak praise of "my Jeta Grove," the Order of monks, the Tathāgata, the ariyan Way, and Sāriputta.

[9] As at S. i. 33. See notes at K.S. i. 46.

[10] MA. v, 81 paraphrases "seers," isi, by monks, bhikkhu.

[11] "Here kamma is volition (striving) for the Way," maggacetanā, MA. v. 81. On cetanā as kamma see M. i. 301, A. iii. 415.

[12] vijjā is extra-sensory knowledge of the Way, maggapaññā, or it is right understanding and purpose (or thought), MA. v. 81.

[13] The dhamma belonging to concentration, samādhi-pakkhikadhamma. It therefore seems as if dhamma here, as sometimes elsewhere, is being used instead of citta or samādhi to represent the middle one of the three branches of the training: sīla, samādhi (or, citta), paññā. Or it means, as recognised at MA. v. 81, (right) endeavour, mindfulness and concentration.

[14] "The life of one established in moral conduct is the highest," Or, sīla is (right) speech, action and mode of livelihood, MA. v. 81.

[15] "Selves are purified by this eightfold Way," according to MA. v. 81 which, in its exegesis on vijjā, dhamma and sīla, has presented the factors of the Way.

[16] Either the dhamma belonging to concentration, or the dhamma of the five khandha on which the teaching of the four truths of anguish centres.

[17] In this ariyan Way, or in these four truths, MA. v. 81.

[18] "is the best," MA. v, 81.


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