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 147

Cūḷa Rāhul'ovāda Suttaɱ

Discourse on an Exhortation to Rāhula

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] THUS HAVE I HEARD:

At one time[1] the Lord was staying near Sāvatthī
in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery.

Then as the Lord was in solitary meditation
a reasoning arose in his mind thus:

"Mature now in Rāhula
are the things[2] that bring freedom to [329] maturity.[3]

Suppose I were to train Rahula further
in the destruction of the cankers?"

And having dressed in the early morning
the Lord, taking his bowl and robe,
entered Sāvatthī for almsfood.

When he had walked in Sāvatthī for almsfood,
on returning from the alms-gathering after the meal
he addressed the venerable Rāhula, saying:

"Take your piece of cloth for sitting on,[4] Rāhula;
we will go to the Blind Men's Grove[5]
for the day-sojoum."

"Yes, revered sir,"
answered the venerable Rāhula
in assent to the Lord
and, taking his piece of cloth for sitting on,
he followed closely after the Lord.

Now at that time
various thousands of devas were following the Lord,
thinking:

"Today the Lord will train the venerable Rāhula further
in the destruction of the cankers."

Then the Lord plunged into the Blind Men's Grove
and sat down on a seat made ready
at the root of a tree.

And the venerable Rāhula,
having greeted the Lord,
sat down at a respectful distance.

The Lord spoke thus
to the venerable Rahula
as he was sitting down at a respectful distance:

"What do you think about this, Rāhula?

Is the eye permanent or impermanent?

"Impermanent, revered sir."

"But is what is impermanent,
anguish or happiness?"

"Anguish, revered sir."

"But is it right to regard that which is impermanent,
anguish,
liable to alteration as,

'This is mine,
that am I,
this is my self'?"

"No, revered sir."

Are material shapes permanent or impermanent?

"Impermanent, revered sir."

"But is what is impermanent,
anguish or happiness?"

"Anguish, revered sir."

"But is it right to regard that which is impermanent,
anguish,
liable to alteration as,

'This is mine,
that am I,
this is my self'?"

"No, revered sir."

Is visual consciousness permanent or impermanent?

"Impermanent, revered sir."

"But is what is impermanent,
anguish or happiness?"

"Anguish, revered sir."

"But is it right to regard that which is impermanent,
anguish,
liable to alteration as,

'This is mine,
that am I,
this is my self'?"

"No, revered sir."

Is impact on the eye permanent or impermanent?

"Impermanent, revered sir."

"But is what is impermanent,
anguish or happiness?"

"Anguish, revered sir."

"But is it right to regard that which is impermanent,
anguish,
liable to alteration as,

'This is mine,
that am I,
this is my self'?"

"No, revered sir."

 


 

Is the ear permanent or impermanent?

"Impermanent, revered sir."

"But is what is impermanent,
anguish or happiness?"

"Anguish, revered sir."

"But is it right to regard that which is impermanent,
anguish,
liable to alteration as,

'This is mine,
that am I,
this is my self'?"

"No, revered sir."

Are sounds permanent or impermanent?

"Impermanent, revered sir."

"But is what is impermanent,
anguish or happiness?"

"Anguish, revered sir."

"But is it right to regard that which is impermanent,
anguish,
liable to alteration as,

'This is mine,
that am I,
this is my self'?"

"No, revered sir."

Is auditory consciousness permanent or impermanent?

"Impermanent, revered sir."

"But is what is impermanent,
anguish or happiness?"

"Anguish, revered sir."

"But is it right to regard that which is impermanent,
anguish,
liable to alteration as,

'This is mine,
that am I,
this is my self'?"

"No, revered sir."

Is impact on the ear permanent or impermanent?

"Impermanent, revered sir."

"But is what is impermanent,
anguish or happiness?"

"Anguish, revered sir."

"But is it right to regard that which is impermanent,
anguish,
liable to alteration as,

'This is mine,
that am I,
this is my self'?"

"No, revered sir."

 


 

Is the nose permanent or impermanent?

"Impermanent, revered sir."

"But is what is impermanent,
anguish or happiness?"

"Anguish, revered sir."

"But is it right to regard that which is impermanent,
anguish,
liable to alteration as,

'This is mine,
that am I,
this is my self'?"

"No, revered sir."

Are smells permanent or impermanent?

"Impermanent, revered sir."

"But is what is impermanent,
anguish or happiness?"

"Anguish, revered sir."

"But is it right to regard that which is impermanent,
anguish,
liable to alteration as,

'This is mine,
that am I,
this is my self'?"

"No, revered sir."

Is olfactory consciousness permanent or impermanent?

"Impermanent, revered sir."

"But is what is impermanent,
anguish or happiness?"

"Anguish, revered sir."

"But is it right to regard that which is impermanent,
anguish,
liable to alteration as,

'This is mine,
that am I,
this is my self'?"

"No, revered sir."

Is impact on the nose permanent or impermanent?

"Impermanent, revered sir."

"But is what is impermanent,
anguish or happiness?"

"Anguish, revered sir."

"But is it right to regard that which is impermanent,
anguish,
liable to alteration as,

'This is mine,
that am I,
this is my self'?"

"No, revered sir."

 


 

Is the tongue permanent or impermanent?

"Impermanent, revered sir."

"But is what is impermanent,
anguish or happiness?"

"Anguish, revered sir."

"But is it right to regard that which is impermanent,
anguish,
liable to alteration as,

'This is mine,
that am I,
this is my self'?"

"No, revered sir."

Are tastes permanent or impermanent?

"Impermanent, revered sir."

"But is what is impermanent,
anguish or happiness?"

"Anguish, revered sir."

"But is it right to regard that which is impermanent,
anguish,
liable to alteration as,

'This is mine,
that am I,
this is my self'?"

"No, revered sir."

Is gustatory consciousness permanent or impermanent?

"Impermanent, revered sir."

"But is what is impermanent,
anguish or happiness?"

"Anguish, revered sir."

"But is it right to regard that which is impermanent,
anguish,
liable to alteration as,

'This is mine,
that am I,
this is my self'?"

"No, revered sir."

Is impact on the tongue permanent or impermanent?

"Impermanent, revered sir."

"But is what is impermanent,
anguish or happiness?"

"Anguish, revered sir."

"But is it right to regard that which is impermanent,
anguish,
liable to alteration as,

'This is mine,
that am I,
this is my self'?"

"No, revered sir."

 


 

Is the body permanent or impermanent?

"Impermanent, revered sir."

"But is what is impermanent,
anguish or happiness?"

"Anguish, revered sir."

"But is it right to regard that which is impermanent,
anguish,
liable to alteration as,

'This is mine,
that am I,
this is my self'?"

"No, revered sir."

Are tactile objects permanent or impermanent?

"Impermanent, revered sir."

"But is what is impermanent,
anguish or happiness?"

"Anguish, revered sir."

"But is it right to regard that which is impermanent,
anguish,
liable to alteration as,

'This is mine,
that am I,
this is my self'?"

"No, revered sir."

Is bodily consciousness permanent or impermanent?

"Impermanent, revered sir."

"But is what is impermanent,
anguish or happiness?"

"Anguish, revered sir."

"But is it right to regard that which is impermanent,
anguish,
liable to alteration as,

'This is mine,
that am I,
this is my self'?"

"No, revered sir."

Is impact on the body permanent or impermanent?

"Impermanent, revered sir."

"But is what is impermanent,
anguish or happiness?"

"Anguish, revered sir."

"But is it right to regard that which is impermanent,
anguish,
liable to alteration as,

'This is mine,
that am I,
this is my self'?"

"No, revered sir."

 


 

Is the mind permanent or impermanent?

"Impermanent, revered sir."

"But is what is impermanent,
anguish or happiness?"

"Anguish, revered sir."

"But is it right to regard that which is impermanent,
anguish,
liable to alteration as,

'This is mine,
that am I,
this is my self'?"

"No, revered sir."

Is are mental states permanent or impermanent?

"Impermanent, revered sir."

"But is what is impermanent,
anguish or happiness?"

"Anguish, revered sir."

"But is it right to regard that which is impermanent,
anguish,
liable to alteration as,

'This is mine,
that am I,
this is my self'?"

"No, revered sir."

Is mental consciousness permanent or impermanent?

"Impermanent, revered sir."

"But is what is impermanent,
anguish or happiness?"

"Anguish, revered sir."

"But is it right to regard that which is impermanent,
anguish,
liable to alteration as,

'This is mine,
that am I,
this is my self'?"

"No, revered sir."

Is impact on the mind permanent or impermanent?"

"Impermanent, revered sir."

"But is what is impermanent,
anguish or happiness?"

"Anguish, revered sir."

"But is it right to regard that which is impermanent,
anguish,
liable to alteration as,

'This is mine,
that am I,
this is my self'?"

"No, revered sir."

 

§

 

"What do you think about this, Rāhula?

Is that which arises as feeling,
perception,
the habitual tendencies,
consciousness
because of impact on the eye permanent or impermanent?

"Impermanent, revered sir."

"But is what is impermanent,
anguish or happiness?"

"Anguish, revered sir."

"But is it right to regard that which is impermanent,
anguish,
liable to alteration as,

'This is mine,
that am I,
this is my self'?"

"No, revered sir."

Is that which arises as feeling,
perception,
the habitual tendencies,
consciousness
because of impact on the ear permanent or impermanent?

"Impermanent, revered sir."

"But is what is impermanent,
anguish or happiness?"

"Anguish, revered sir."

"But is it right to regard that which is impermanent,
anguish,
liable to alteration as,

'This is mine,
that am I,
this is my self'?"

"No, revered sir."

Is that which arises as feeling,
perception,
the habitual tendencies,
consciousness
because of impact on the nose permanent or impermanent?

"Impermanent, revered sir."

"But is what is impermanent,
anguish or happiness?"

"Anguish, revered sir."

"But is it right to regard that which is impermanent,
anguish,
liable to alteration as,

'This is mine,
that am I,
this is my self'?"

"No, revered sir."

Is that which arises as feeling,
perception,
the habitual tendencies,
consciousness
because of impact on the tongue permanent or impermanent?

"Impermanent, revered sir."

"But is what is impermanent,
anguish or happiness?"

"Anguish, revered sir."

"But is it right to regard that which is impermanent,
anguish,
liable to alteration as,

'This is mine,
that am I,
this is my self'?"

"No, revered sir."

Is that which arises as feeling,
perception,
the habitual tendencies,
consciousness
because of impact on the body permanent or impermanent?

"Impermanent, revered sir."

"But is what is impermanent,
anguish or happiness?"

"Anguish, revered sir."

"But is it right to regard that which is impermanent,
anguish,
liable to alteration as,

'This is mine,
that am I,
this is my self'?"

"No, revered sir."

Is that which arises as feeling,
perception,
the habitual tendencies,
consciousness
because of impact on the mind permanent or impermanent?

"Impermanent, revered sir."

"But is what is impermanent,
anguish or happiness?"

"Anguish, revered sir."

[330] "But is it right to regard that which is impermanent,
anguish,
liable to alteration as,

'This is mine,
that am I,
this is my self'?"

"No, revered sir."

 

§

 

Seeing thus, Rāhula,
the instructed disciple of the ariyans
turns away from the eye,
he turns away from material shapes,
he turns away from visual consciousness,
he turns away from impact on the eye;
and likewise he turns away
from that which arises because of impact on the eye
as feeling,
perception,
the habitual tendencies,
consciousness.

He turns away from the ear,
he turns away from sounds;
he turns away from auditory consciousness,
he turns away from impact on the ear;
and likewise he turns away
from that which arises because of impact on the ear
as feeling,
perception,
the habitual tendencies,
consciousness.

He turns away from the nose,
he turns away from smells;
he turns away from olfactory consciousness,
he turns away from impact on the nose;
and likewise he turns away
from that which arises because of impact on the nose
as feeling,
perception,
the habitual tendencies,
consciousness.

He turns away from the tongue,
he turns away from tastes;
he turns away from gustatory consciousness,
he turns away from impact on the tongue;
and likewise he turns away
from that which arises because of impact on the tongue
as feeling,
perception,
the habitual tendencies,
consciousness.

He turns away from the body,
he turns away from touches;
he turns away from tactile consciousness,
he turns away from impact on the body;
and likewise he turns away
from that which arises because of impact on the body
as feeling,
perception,
the habitual tendencies,
consciousness.

He turns away from the mind,
he turns away from mental states,
he turns away from mental consciousness,
he turns away from impact on the mind;
and likewise he turns away
from that which arises because of impact on the mind
as feeling,
perception,
the habitual tendencies,
consciousness.

 

§

 

In turning away he is dispassionate;
by dispassion he is freed;
in freedom is the knowledge that he is freed,
and he comprehends:

Destroyed is birth,
brought to a close the Brahma-faring,
done is what was to be done,
there is no more of being such or so."

Thus spoke the Lord.

The venerable Rāhula rejoiced in what the Lord had said.

While this exposition was being given
the venerable Rāhula's mind was freed from the cankers without grasping.

And to those various thousands of devas
there arose the dustless,
stainless vision of dhamma[6] that,

'whatever is liable to uprising
all that is liable to stopping.'

Lesser Discourse on an Exhortation to Rāhula:
The Fifth

 


[1] This Discourse also occurs at S. iv. 105-107.

[2] dhamma. Fifteen of them, i.e. the five indriyas, beginning with saddha, are each purified in three ways; or five faculties of perception, MA. v. 98.

[3] vimuttiparipācaniyā. Mentioned at MA. iii. 126. These two sentences are quoted at DA. 60. The text should at least have a hyphen between vimutti and paripācaniyā.

[4] nisīdana, defined at Vin. iii. 232; sec B.D. ii. 87, n. 2.

[5] Andhavana. See B.D. ii. 36, n. 3.

[6] MA. v. 99 states that in the Exhortation to Upāli and the Dīghanakha Sutta this means the first Way; in the Brahmāyu Sutta the three fruits; but here the four Ways and the four fruits are to be understood, for some of these devas were stream-attainers, some once-returners, non-returners and those whose cankers were destroyed.


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