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Saɱyutta Nikāya
II. Nidāna Vagga
XII. Nidāna Saɱyutta
VII. Mahā Vagga

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
Part II. The Book Called the Nidāna-Vagga
Containing Kindred sayings on Cause
and Other Subjects
12. The Kindred Sayings on Cause
7. The Great Chapter

Sutta 65

Nagaram

The city

Translated by Mrs. Rhys Davids
Assisted by F. L. Woodward

Originally Published by
The Pali Text Society
Public Domain

 


 

[1][wp][ati][bd] While at Sāvatthī the Exalted One said: —

Before I was enlightened, brethren,
it came to me,
a Bodhisat yet unenlightened,
thus: —

Alas! this world has fallen upon trouble!

There is getting born
and growing old and dying
and falling and arising,
but there is not the knowing
of an escape from suffering,
from decay-and-death.

O when shall an escape be revealed from suffering,
from decay-and-death?

Then, brethren, this came to me: —

What now being,
does decay-and-death come to be?
What conditions decay and-death?

To me, brethren, thinking according to law
came grasp of insight: —

Where there is birth,
decay-and-death comes to be;
decay-and-death is conditioned by birth.

To me, brethren, came this: —

'What now being,
does birth come to be?
does becoming come to be?
does grasping come to be?[1]
does craving come to be?
does feeling come to be?
does contact come to be?
does sense come to be?
does name-and-shape come to be?
What conditions name-and-shape?

To me, brethren, thinking according to law
came grasp of insight: —

Where there is consciousness,
there is name-and-shape;
name-and-shape is conditioned by consciousness.

To me, brethren, came this: —

What now being,
does consciousness come to be?
what conditions consciousness?

To me, brethren, thinking ac- [73] cording to law
came grasp of insight: —

Where there is name-and-shape,
there is consciousness;
consciousness is conditioned by name-and-shape.

To me, brethren, came this: —

This consciousness turns back,
it goes no further than name-and-shape.
Thus far are ye born,
or grow old,
or die,
or fall,
or arise.

Consciousness, namely,
comes to pass conditioned by name-and-shape,
name-and-shape conditioned by consciousness,
sense conditioned by name-and-shape,
contact conditioned by sense,
whence come to pass
feeling,
craving,
grasping,
becoming,
birth,
decay-and-death,
with grief,
lamenting,
sufiering,
sorrow,
despair —
even such is the coming to be
of this entire mass of ill.

Coming to be, coming to be!
at the thought, brethren,
there arose in me
concerning things not taught before
vision,
knowledge arose,
insight arose,
wisdom arose,
light arose.

To me, brethren, came this: —

What now not being,
does decay-and-death not come to be?
From the ceasing of what
ceases decay-and-death?

To me, brethren, thinking according to law
came grasp of insight: —

Where there is not birth,
decay-and-death is not;
from the ceasing of birth
ceases decay-and-death.

To me, brethren, came this: —

What now not being,
does birth not come to be, ...
does becoming,
does grasping,
craving,
feeling,
contact,
sense,
name-and-shape not come to be?
From the ceasing of what,
does name-and-shape cease?

To me, brethren, thinking according to law
came grasp of insight: —

Where consciousness is not,
name-and-shape come not to be.
From the ceasing of consciousness
ceases name-and-shape.

To me, brethren, came this: —

Won have I
to the path of enlightenment,
to this,
that from the ceasing of name-and-shape
consciousness ceases;
from the ceasing of consciousness,
name-and-shape ceases;
from the ceasing of name-and-shape
sense ceases;
from the ceasing of sense
contact ceases
... yea, feeling,
craving,
grasping,
becoming,
birth,
decay-and-death,
with grief,
lamenting,
suffering,
sorrow,
despair
cease.

Even such is the ceasing
of this entire mass of ill.

Ceasing, ceasing!
At that thought, brethren,
concerning [74] things not taught before
there arose in me vision,
knowledge arose,
insight arose,
wisdom arose,
light arose.

Just as if, brethren,
a man faring through the forest
through the great wood
should see an ancient path,
an ancient road traversed by men of former days.
And he were to go along it,
and going along it he should see an ancient city,
an ancient prince's domain,
wherein dwelt men of former days,
having gardens,
groves,
pools,
foundations of walls,
a goodly spot.
And that man, brethren,
should bring word to the prince
or to the prince's minister: —

'Pardon, lord, know this.
I have seen as I fared through the forest,
through the great wood,
an ancient path,
an ancient road traversed by men of former days.
I have been along it,
and going along it
I have seen an ancient city,
an ancient prince's domain,
wherein dwelt men of former days,
having gardens,
groves,
pools,
foundations of walls,
a goodly spot.
Lord, restore that city.'
And, brethren,
the prince or his minister
should restore that city.
That city should thereafter
become prosperous and flourishing,
populous,
teeming with folk,
grown and thriven.[2]

Even so have I, brethren,
seen an ancient path,
an ancient road traversed
by the rightly enlightened ones
of former times.

And what, brethren,
is that ancient path,
that ancient road
traversed by the rightly enlightened ones
of former times?

Just this Ariyan eightfold path, to wit,
right views,
right aims,
right speech,
right action,
right livelihood,
right effort,
right mindfulness,
right concentration.

This, brethren, is that ancient path,
that ancient road,
traversed by the rightly enlightened ones
of former times.

Along that have I gone,
[75] and going along it
I have fully come to know decay-and-death,
I have fully come to know the uprising of decay-and-death,
I have fully come to know the ceasing of decay-and-death,
I have fully come to know the way going to the ceasing of decay-and-death.

Along that have I gone,
and going along it
I have fully come to know birth,
yea, and becoming and grasping,
and craving,
and feeling,
and contact,
and sense,
and name-and-shape,
and consciousness.

Along that have I gone,
and going along it
I have fully come to know activities,
I have fully come to know the uprising of activities,
I have fully come to know the ceasing of activities,
I have fully come to know the way going to the ceasing of activities.

This that I have fully come to know
I have declared to the brethren,
to the sisters,
to laymen,
to laywomen,
even this divine life, brethren,
that is prosperous and flourishing,
widespread,
and to be known by many,
and multiplied so far as it is well made manifest
by devas and men.[3]

 


[1] Each item in the text is dealt vith in full. See above Ī10.

[2] So is Nālandi described, Dialogues, i, 277. In this beautiful Sutta that has the stamp of an ipse dixit, stress, for a special purpose, is laid in my Buddhism. p. 33, on the Teacher not being unique, but in a series. As a whole the Sutta lays stress on the antiquity of the moral instinct, the 'ought,' the Path-law in human nature shown by teachers.
Here as in the Mahā-Nidāna Suttanta (Dialogues, ii, 51 f.) 'ignorance' and 'activities' are dropped. Why? asks the Comy. 'These belong to a third life.' ... This teaching is concerned with the present. These belong to the causes active in past lives. It is curious that no reference is made to the above-named Sutta, let alone to No. 10 above.

[3] The Comy. reads not yāvad-eva but yāva deva-. Its paraphrase is 'to be known by many (bahujana viññeyyaŋ) so far as there is the division as to devas and men (deva manussehi paricchedo atthi) in the ten-thousandfold-universe (cakkavā'e) ... well manifested by the Tathāgata' I do not hink for a moment that the Sutta would have omitted Tathāgatena, had this been meant. The Suttas never do so. The success of the divine life is precisely in proportion as devas and men lead it and so manifest it.


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