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Saŋyutta Nikaya
Nidāna Vagga
14. Dhatu Saɱyutta

Sutta 31

Pubba Suttaṃ

U-N-A-B-R-I-D-G-E-D

Before

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

Originally Published by
The Pali Text Society
Public Domain

 


 

[1] THUS have I heard.

On a certain occasion the Exalted One was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta Grove, the Anāthapiṇḍika Park.

Then the Exalted One addressed the brethren, saying:

"Brethren."

"Yes, lord," replied those brethren to the Exalted One.

The Exalted One said:

"Before my enlightenment, brethren,
to me,
being unenlightened and Bodhisat only,
this occurred: -

What is the satisfaction,
what the misery,
what the escape
that comes to us
in connection with the earth-element?

What is the satisfaction,
what the misery,
what the escape
that comes to us
in connection with the water-element?

What is the satisfaction,
what the misery,
what the escape
that comes to us
in connection with the heat-element?

What is the satisfaction,
what the misery,
what the escape
that comes to us
in connection with the air-element?[1]

To me it occurred
that the pleasure,
the happiness
arising [114] through the earth-element
is the satisfaction that comes
in connection with the earth-element.

To me it occurred
that the transience,
the suffering,
the changeful nature
arising through the earth-element
is the misery that comes
in connection with the earth-element.

To me it occurred
that the suppression of passion and desire,
the elimination thereof
in connection with the earth-element
is the escape that comes
in connection with the earth-element.

To me it occurred
that the pleasure,
the happiness
arising through the water-element
is the satisfaction that comes
in connection with the water-element.

To me it occurred
that the transience,
the suffering,
the changeful nature
arising through the water-element
is the misery that comes
in connection with the water-element.

To me it occurred
that the suppression of passion and desire,
the elimination thereof
in connection with the water-element
is the escape that comes
in connection with the water-element.

To me it occurred
that the pleasure,
the happiness
arising through the heat-element
is the satisfaction that comes
in connection with the earth-element.

To me it occurred
that the transience,
the suffering,
the changeful nature
arising through the heat-element
is the misery that comes
in connection with the heat-element.

To me it occurred
that the suppression of passion and desire,
the elimination thereof
in connection with the heat-element
is the escape that comes
in connection with the heat-element.

To me it occurred
that the pleasure,
the happiness
arising through the air-element
is the satisfaction that comes
in connection with the air-element.

To me it occurred
that the transience,
the suffering,
the changeful nature
arising through the earth-element
is the misery that comes
in connection with the air-element.

To me it occurred
that the suppression of passion and desire,
the elimination thereof
in connection with the earth-element
is the escape that comes
in connection with the air-element.

So long as I, brethren,
had not fully come to know
even as it really is
the satisfaction as such,
the misery as such,
the escape as such
that there is in the four elements,
so long did I not discern
what it was to be enlightened
with supreme enlightenment
with regard to the world and its deities -
its Maras,
its Brahmas -
and to the generations of recluses and brahmins,
devas[2] and men.

But when I, brethren,
had fully come to know
even as it really is
the satisfaction as such,
the misery as such,
the escape as such
that there is in the four elements,
then did I discern
what it is to be enlightened
with supreme enlightenment
with regard to the world and its deities,
its Maras,
its Brahmas,
and to the generations of recluses and brahmins,
devas and men.

And knowledge, insight arose in me
that sure is my emancipation of mind.

This is the last birth!

Now is there no more rebecoming!

 


[1] In his comments B. reads into these four the more abstract meanings - extension, cohesion, calorific property, mobility - that they came to have in later Abhidhamma. He refers throughout to their presence in the human body. The three characteristics here discerned in the four elements are also discerned in the senses, S. iv, 7-13; v, 194, 203 f.; in the bodily and mental factors in general, ib. iii, 81, 160 etc.; in feeling in particular, ib. iv, 208, 234; in sense-desires, M. i, 85, 92. Suttas 31, 32 occur in A. i, 258 f. and 33 in A. i, 260, where 'the elements' are replaced by 'the world.'

[2] Deities and devas are in the text both deva: - sa-devake, sa-deva-manussāya. We have no word that does not mislead, for to the Buddhist devas were not gods in the Vedic or the Greek or Christian sense, nor were they 'spirits,' since they were not 'discarnate.'


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