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 144

Chann'ovāda Suttaɱ

Discourse on an Exhortation to Channa

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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[1][chlm][upal] Thus have I heard:

At one time[1] the Lord was staying near Rājagaha
in the Bamboo Grove,
at the Squirrels' Feeding-place.

Now at that time the venerable Sāriputta
and the venerable Cunda, the Great
and the venerable Channa
were staying on Mount Vulture Peak.

At that time the venerable Channa was a sick man,
in pain,
grievously ill.

And the venerable Sāriputta,
emerging from solitary meditation towards evening,
approached the venerable Cunda the Great;
having approached,
he spoke thus to the venerable Cunda the Great:

"Let us go on, reverend Cunda,
and approach the venerable Channa
so as to ask about his illness."[2]

"Yes, reverend sir,"
the venerable Cunda the Great answered the venerable Sāriputta in assent.

Then the venerable Sāriputta
and the venerable Cunda the Great
approached the venerable Channa;
having approached,
they exchanged greetings with the venerable Channa;
having conversed in a friendly and courteous way,
they sat down at a respectful distance.

As they were sitting down at a respectful distance,
the venerable Sāriputta spoke thus
to the venerable Channa:

"I hope that you, reverend Channa,
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?"

[316] "I am not getting better, reverend Sāriputta,
I am not keeping going;
my grievously painful feelings[3] are increasing,
not lessening,
an increasing in them is apparent,
not a lessening.

I will take a knife (to myself),
I do not desire life."[4]

"Do not let the venerable Channa
take a knife (to himself).

The venerable Channa must go on living.

We want the venerable Channa to go on living.

If the venerable Channa has no beneficial foods,
I will search for beneficial foods
for the venerable Channa.

If the venerable Channa has no beneficial medicines,
I will search for beneficial medicines
for the venerable Channa.

If the venerable Channa has no suitable attendant,
I will attend to the venerable Channa.

Do not let the venerable Channa take a knife (to himself).

The venerable Channa must go on living.

We want the venerable Channa to go on living."

"Reverend Sāriputta,
I am not without beneficial foods,
I am not without beneficial medicines,
nor am I without a suitable attendant.

Moreover, reverend Sariputta,
for a long time have I waited on[5] the Teacher
with satisfaction[6] (to him),
not with lack of satisfaction[6] (to him).

For this, reverend Sāriputta, is suitable in a disciple,
that he should wait on the Teacher
with satisfaction (to him),
not with lack of satisfaction (to him).

'Channa the monk will take a knife (to himself)
without incurring blame'[7] -

remember this thus, reverend Sariputta."

 


 

"We would question the venerable Channa
on a particular matter
if the venerable Channa grants us the opportunity
for setting forth the question."[8]

"Ask, reverend Sāriputta;
having heard (you)
we will know (what to say)."

[317] "Reverend Channa, do you regard the eye,
visual consciousness,
the things cognisable by visual consciousness as
'This is mine,
this am I,
this is my self'?

Do you regard the ear,
auditory consciousness,
the things cognisable by auditory consciousness as
'This is mine,
this am I,
this is my self'?

Do you regard the nose,
olfactory consciousness,
the things cognisable by olfactory consciousness as
'This is mine,
this am I,
this is my self'?

Do you regard the tongue,
gustatory consciousness,
the things cognisable by gustatory consciousness as
'This is mine,
this am I,
this is my self'?

Do you regard the body,
tactile consciousness,
the things cognisable by tactile consciousness as
'This is mine,
this am I,
this is my self'?

Do you regard the mind,
mental consciousness,
the things cognisable by mental consciousness as
'This is mine,
this am I,
this is my self'?

 


 

"Reverend Sāriputta, I regard the eye,
visual consciousness,
the things cognisable by visual consciousness as
'This is not mine,
this am I not,
this is not my self'.

I regard the ear,
auditory consciousness,
the things cognisable by auditory consciousness as
'This is not mine,
this am I not,
this is not my self'.

I regard the nose,
olfactory consciousness,
the things cognisable by olfactory consciousness as
'This is not mine,
this am I not,
this is not my self'.

I regard the tongue,
gustatory consciousness,
the things cognisable by gustatory consciousness as
'This is not mine,
this am I not,
this is not my self'.

I regard the body,
tactile consciousness,
the things cognisable by tactile consciousness as
'This is not mine,
this am I not,
this is not my self'.

I regard the mind,
mental consciousness,
the things cognisable by mental consciousness as
'This is not mine,
this am I not,
this is not my self'.

 


 

"Reverend Channa, what do you see,
what do you understand there is in the eye,
in visual consciousness,
in the things cognisable by visual consciousness as
'This is not mine,
this am I not,
this is not my self'?

What do you see,
what do you understand there is in the ear,
auditory consciousness,
the things cognisable by auditory consciousness as
'This is not mine,
this am I not,
this is not my self'?

What do you see,
what do you understand there is in the nose,
olfactory consciousness,
the things cognisable by olfactory consciousness as
'This is not mine,
this am I not,
this is not my self'?

What do you see,
what do you understand there is in the tongue,
gustatory consciousness,
the things cognisable by gustatory consciousness as
'This is not mine,
this am I not,
this is not my self'?

What do you see,
what do you understand there is in the body,
tactile consciousness,
the things cognisable by tactile consciousness as
'This is not mine,
this am I not,
this is not my self'?

What do you see,
what do you understand there is in the mind,
mental consciousness,
the things cognisable by mental consciousness as
'This is not mine,
this am I not,
this is not my self'?

 


 

"It is because I see cessation,[8]
understand that there is cessation
in the eye, reverend Sāriputta,,
in visual consciousness,
in the things cognisable by visual consciousness||
that I, reverend Sāriputta, regard
the eye,
visual consciousness,
the things cognisable by visual consciousness as
'This is not mine,
this am I not,
this is not my self'.

It is because I see cessation,
understand that there is cessation
in the ear,
auditory consciousness,
the things cognisable by auditory consciousness||
that I regard
the ear,
auditory consciousness,
the things cognisable by auditory consciousness as
'This is not mine,
this am I not,
this is not my self'.

It is because I see cessation,
understand that there is cessation
in the nose,
olfactory consciousness,
the things cognisable by olfactory consciousness||
that I regard
the nose,
olfactory consciousness,
the things cognisable by olfactory consciousness as
'This is not mine,
this am I not,
this is not my self'.

It is because I see cessation,
understand that there is cessation
in the tongue,
gustatory consciousness,
the things cognisable by gustatory consciousness||
that I regard
the tongue,
gustatory consciousness,
the things cognisable by gustatory consciousness as
'This is not mine,
this am I not,
this is not my self'.

It is because I see cessation,
understand that there is cessation
in the body,
tactile consciousness,
the things cognisable by tactile consciousness||
that I regard
the body,
tactile consciousness,
the things cognisable by tactile consciousness as
'This is not mine,
this am I not,
this is not my self'.

It is because I see cessation,
understand that there is cessation
in the mind,
mental consciousness,
the things cognisable by mental consciousness||
that I regard
the mind,
mental consciousness,
the things cognisable by mental consciousness as
'This is not mine,
this am I not,
this is not my self'."

 


 

When this had been said,
the venerable Cunda the Great spoke thus
to the venerable Channa:[10]

"Wherefore, reverend Channa,
this teaching of the Lord
should always be attended to:

'For[11] him who clings there is wavering;
for him who clings not there is no wavering;
if there is no wavering [318] there is impassibility;[12]
if there is impassibility there is no yearning;[13]
if there is no yearning,[14] there is no coming and going;[15]
if there is no coming and going, there is no deceasing and uprising;
if there is no deceasing and uprising,
there is no "here" itself
nor "yonder"
nor "in between the two."
This is itself the end of anguish.'

Then the venerable Sāriputta
and the venerable Cunda the Great,
having exhorted the venerable Channa
with this exhortation,
rose from their seats and departed.

And not long after the departure of the venerable Sāriputta
and the venerable Cunda the Great,
the venerable Channa took a knife (to himself).[16]

Then the venerable Sāriputta 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,
the venerable Sāriputta spoke thus to the Lord:

"Revered sir, a knife has been taken
by the venerable Channa to himself.

What is his bourn,
what his future state?"

"Was it not face to face with you, Sāriputta,
that the monk Channa declared (his) blamelessness?"[17]

"There is, revered sir, a village of the Vajjis called Pubbajira.[18]

There are families there
who were friends of the venerable Channa,
families which sustained[19] him,
families to be visited."[20]

"Indeed, Sāriputta,
these families were friends of the monk Channa,
families who sustained him,
families to be visited.

As far as this, Sāriputta,
I do not say he was to be blamed.[21]

But whoever, [319] Sāriputta,
lays down this body
and grasps after another body,
of him I say he is to be blamed.[22]

The monk Channa did not do this;[23]
the monk Channa took the knife (to himself) without incurring blame."

Thus spoke the Lord.

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

Discourse on an Exhortation to Channa;
The Second

 


[1] This episode is also recorded at S. iv. 55 ff.

[2] MA. v. 82 says he said this as attending to the sick had been praised by the Lord (Vin. i. 302).

[3] As at M. iii. 259, above, p. 310.

[4] MA. v. 82 says that as he could not endure the deadly pains and thought of taking a knife (with which to stab himself or cut this throat ?), he was an ordinary person, puthujjana.

[5] pariciṇṇa, as at M. i. 497 (M.L.S. ii. 176).

[6] manāpena ... no amanāpena. According to the Comys. (e.g. A A. iii. 287, SA i. 78) derived from appeti, to flow into, or appāyati, to make full, to satisfy.

[7] anupavajjaṁ ... sattham āharissati, lit. he will take an irreproachable, unblamed knife, i.e. in the karmic sense. According to MA. v. 82 his deed would be anupapattika, non-rebirthing, appaṭisandhika, not re-linking (as to consciousness). SA. ii. 371 reads anupavattika, not rolling on (in renewed births).

[8] As at M. iii. 15.

[9] nirodha, explained at MA. v. 82 = SA. ii. 372 as khayavayaṁ, destruction and waning.

[10] SA. ii. 372 says that Sāriputta, knowing Channa to be at the puthujjana stage, was silent and neither said "You are an average person" nor "You are cankerless," Cunda spoke so as to test Channa.

[11] This passage recurs at Ud. 81, UdA. 398, Netti, 65; cf. also S. ii. 67.

[12] Of body and mind, and in respect of the obstructions, MA. v. 83.

[13] nati, as at M. i. 115. MA. v. 83, SA. ii. 372 say taṇhā.

[14] I.e. for becoming, MA. v. 82 = SA. ii. 372.

[15] āgaligati, some vv. ll. giving agatigati. The Comys. says "what is called 'coming,' agati, because of re-linking, what is called 'going,' gati, because of decease, these are not." Cf. āgati gati cuti upapatti at D. i. 162, etc.

[16] He cut his windpipe, but at that moment fell into the fear of dying. Knowing he was a puthujjana, he hastily applied insight and, mastering the saṁkhārā, attained arahantship and final nibbāna. See K.S. iv. 33, n. 1.

[17] anupavajjatā.

[18] S. iv. 50 reads Pubbavijjhana, v.l. Pubbavicira.

[19] suhajjakulāni. Suhajja would appear to be from Skrt. suhyati, to satisfy, gladden; rejoice; sustain, support.

[20] upavajjakulāni. Comys. explain as families to be approached or visited, upasaṁkamitabbakulāni. According to C.P.D., s.v. anupavajja, it was Sariputta who mistook upavajja for upasaṁkamitabba. He wondered whether, MA. v. 83, as Channa had these lay supporters ho would have attained final nibbāna in the Lord's teaching. The Lord however said there was no gregariousness (which was not allowed to monks) between Channa and these families. Therefore there was no blame.

[21] sa-upavajja.

[22] sa-upavajja.

[23] taṁ Channassa bhikkhuno n'atthi, lit. "this was not (there was not this) for the monk Channa."

 


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