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Sacred Books of the Buddhists
The Book of the Discipline,
Volume IV Mahāvagga
Chapters 1-6.

Praise to the Lord, the Perfected One, the Fully Self-Awakened One.

Translated by I.B. Horner, M.A.,
Associate of Newham College, Cambridge

Copyright The Pali Text Society
Commercial Rights Reserved
Creative Commons Licence
For details see Terms of Use.

 


 

1.
The Talk on Awakening

1. At one time[1] the awakened one, the Lord, being recently fully awakened, was staying at Uruvelā on the bank of the river Nerañjarā at the foot of the Tree of Awakening.[2] Then the Lord sat cross-legged in one (posture)[3] for seven days at the foot of the Tree of Awakening[4] experiencing the bliss of freedom.[5]

2. Then the Lord during the first watch of the night paid attention to[6] causal uprising in direct and reverse order: conditioned by ignorance[7] are the habitual tendencies[8]; conditioned by the habitual tendencies is consciousness[9]; conditioned by consciousness is psycho-physicality[10]; conditioned by psycho-physicality are the six (sense-) spheres; conditioned by the six (sense-) spheres is awareness[11]; conditioned by awareness is feeling; conditioned by feeling[12] is craving; conditioned by craving is grasping; conditioned by grasping is becoming; conditioned by becoming is birth; conditioned by birth, old age and dying, grief, sorrow and lamentation, suffering, dejection and despair come into being. [2] Such is the arising of this entire mass of ill. But from the utter fading away and stopping of this very ignorance (comes) the stopping of habitual tendencies; from the stopping of habitual tendencies the stopping of consciousness; from the stopping of consciousness[13] the stopping of psycho-physicality; from the stopping of psycho-physicality the stopping of the six (sense-) spheres; from the stopping of the six (sense-) spheres the stopping of awareness; from the stopping of awareness the stopping of feeling; from the stopping of feeling the stopping of craving; from the stopping of craving the stopping of grasping; from the stopping of grasping the stopping of becoming; from the stopping of becoming the stopping of birth; from the stopping of birth, old age and dying, grief, sorrow and lamentation, suffering, dejection and despair are stopped. Such is the stopping of this entire mass of ill.

3. Then the Lord, having understood this matter, at that time uttered this (solemn) utterance:

"Truly, when things[14] grow plain to the ardent meditating Brahmān,
His doubts all vanish in that he comprehends thing-with-cause."

4. Then the Lord during the middle watch of the night paid attention to causal uprising in direct and reverse order: conditioned by ignorance are the habitual tendencies; con- ditioned by the habitual tendencies is consciousness ... Such is the arising ... Such is the stopping of this entire mass of ill.

5. Then the Lord, having understood this matter, at that time uttered this (solemn) utterance:

"Truly, when things grow plain to the ardent meditating Brahmān,
His doubts all vanish in that he discerns destruction of cause."

[3] 6. Then the Lord during the last watch of the night paid attention to causal uprising in direct and reverse order: conditioned by ignorance are the habitual tendencies; conditioned by the habitual tendencies is consciousness ... Such is the arising ... Such is the stopping of this entire mass of ill.

7. Then the Lord, having understood this matter, at that time uttered this (solemn) utterance:

"Truly, when things grow plain to the ardent meditating Brahmān, Routing the host of Māra does he stand
Like as the sun when lighting up the sky."

Told is the Talk on Awakening.[15]

 


 

2.
The Talk at the Goatherds Banyan

1. Then the Lord, having emerged from that contemplation at the end of seven days, approached the Goatherds' Banyan[16] from the foot of the Tree of Awakening; having approached, he sat cross-legged in one (posture) for seven days at the foot of the Goatherds' Banyan experiencing the bliss of freedom.

2. Then a certain Brahmān of the class uttering the sound huṃ[17] approached the Lord; having approached, he exchanged greetings with the Lord; having exchanged greetings of friendliness and courtesy, he stood at a respectful distance. As he was standing at a respectful distance, that Brahmān spoke thus to the Lord: "To what extent, good Gotama, does one become a Brahmān? And again, what are the things which make a Brahmān?"[18]

3. Then the Lord, having understood this matter, at that time uttered this (solemn) utterance:

[4] "That Brahmān who bars out evil things, not uttering the sound hum,[19] with no impurity, curbed-of-self,
Master of Vedas,[20] who lives the Brahma-faring — this is the Brahmān who may rightly speak the Brahmā-speech[21]
Who has no blemishes[22] anywhere in the world."[23]

Told is the Talk at the Goatherds.

 


 

3.
The Talk at the Mucalinda Tree

1. Then the Lord, at the end of seven days, having emerged from that contemplation, approached the Mucalinda (tree) from the foot of the Goatherds' Banyan; having approached, he sat cross-legged in one (posture) for seven days at the foot of the Mucalinda experiencing the bliss of freedom.

2. Now at that time[24] a great storm arose out of due season, for seven days there was rainy weather, cold winds and overcast skies. Then Mucalinda, the serpent king, having come forth from his own haunt, having encircled the Lord's body seven times with his coils, having spread a great hood over his head, stood saying: "Let no cold (annoy) the Lord, let no heat (annoy) the Lord, let not the touch of flies, mosquitoes, wind and heat or creeping things (annoy) the Lord."

3. Then Mucalinda, the serpent king, at the end of those[25] seven days, having known that the sky[26] was clear and without a cloud, having unwound his coils from the Lord's body, having given up his own form and assumed a youth's form, stood in front of the Lord honouring the Lord with joined palms.

4. Then the Lord, having understood this matter, at that time uttered this (solemn) utterance:

[5] "Happy his solitude who glad at heart
Hath dhamma learnt and doth the vision see!
Happy is that benignity towards
The world which on no creature worketh harm.
Happy the absence of all lust, th'ascent
Past and beyond the needs of sense-desires.
He who doth crush the great 'I am' conceit —
This, truly this, is happiness supreme."

Told is the Talk at the Mucalinda.

 


 

4.
The Talk at the Rājāyatana Tree

1. Then the Lord, at the end of seven days, having emerged from that contemplation, approached the Rājāyatana[27] from the foot of the Mucalinda; having approached, he sat cross-legged in one (posture) for seven days at the foot of the Rājāyatana experiencing the bliss of freedom.

2. Now at that time[28] the merchants Tapussa and Bhallika[29] were going along the high-road from Ukkalā to that district.[30] Then a devatā who was a blood-relation of the merchants Tapussa and Bhallika spoke thus to the merchants Tapussa and Bhallika: "My good fellows, this Lord, having just (become) wholly awakened, is staying at the foot of the Rājāyatana, go and serve that Lord with barley-gruel[31] and honey-balls, and this will be a blessing and happiness for you for a long time."

3. Then the merchants Tapussa and Bhallika, taking barley-gruel and honey-balls, approached the Lord; having approached, having greeted the Lord, they stood at a respectful distance. As they were standing at a respectful distance, the merchants Tapussa and Bhallika spoke thus to the Lord: "Lord, let the Lord receive our barley-gruel and honey-balls, that this may be a blessing and happiness for us for a long time."

4. Then it occurred to the Lord: "Truth-finders[32] do not [6] receive with their hands. Now with what shall I receive the barley-gruel and honey-balls?" Then the four Great Kings, knowing with their minds the reasoning in the Lord's mind, from the four quarters presented the Lord with four bowls made of rock crystal, saying: "Lord, let the Lord receive the barley-gruel and honey-balls herein." The Lord received the barley-gruel and the honey-balls in a new[33] bowl made of rock crystal, and having received them he partook of them.

5. Then the merchants Tapussa and Bhallika, having found that the Lord had removed his hand from the bowl, having inclined their heads towards the Lord's feet, spoke thus to the Lord: "We, Lord, are those going to the Lord for refuge and to dhamma; let the Lord accept us as lay-disciples gone for refuge for life from this day forth." Thus these came to be the first lay-disciples in the world using the two-word formula.

Told is the Talk at the Rājāyatana.

 


 

5.
The Talk on Brahmā's Entreaty

1. Then the Lord, having emerged from that contemplation at the end of seven days, approached the Goatherds' Banyan from the foot of the Rājāyatana; having approached, the Lord stayed there at the foot of the Goatherds' Banyan.

2. Then as the Lord was meditating in seclusion a reasoning arose in his mind thus:[34] "This dhamma, won to by me, is deep, difficult to see, difficult to understand, peaceful, excellent, beyond dialectic, subtle, intelligible to the learned.[35] But this is a creation delighting in sensual pleasure,[36] delighted by sensual pleasure, rejoicing in sensual pleasure. So that for a creation delighting in sensual pleasure, delighted by sensual pleasure, rejoicing in sensual pleasure, this were a matter difficult to see, that is to say causal uprising by way of [7] cause. This too were a matter very difficult to see,[37] that is to say the calming of all the habitual tendencies, the renunciation of all attachment, the destruction of craving, dispassion, stopping, nirvana. And so if I were to teach dhamma and others were not to understand me, this would be a weariness to me, this would be a vexation to me."

3. And further, these verses not heard before in the past occurred spontaneously to the Lord:

This that through many toils I've won —
Enough! Why should I make it known?
By folk with lust and hate consumed
This dhamma is not understood.[38]
Leading on against the stream,[39]
Subtle, deep, difficult to see, delicate,
Unseen 'twill be by passion's slaves
Cloaked in the murk of ignorance."[40]

4. In such wise, as the Lord pondered, his mind inclined to little effort[41] and not to teaching dhamma. Then it occurred to Brahmā Sahampati,[42] knowing with his mind the reasoning in the Lord's mind: "Alas,[43] the world is lost,[44] alas, the world is destroyed, inasmuch as the mind of the Truth-finder, the perfected one, the fully awakened one, inclines to little effort and not to teaching dhamma."

5. Then as a strong man might stretch forth his bent arm or might bend back his outstretched arm, even so did Brahmā Sahampati, vanishing from the Brahmā-world, become manifest before the Lord.[45]

6. Then Brahmā Sahampati, having arranged his upper robe [8] over one shoulder, having stooped his right knee to the ground having saluted the Lord with joined palms, spoke thus to the Lord: "Lord, let the Lord teach dhamma, let the Well-farer teach dhamma; there are beings with little dust in their eyes who, not hearing dhamma, are decaying, (but if) they are learners of dhamma, they will grow."[46]

7. Thus spoke Brahmā Sahampati; having said this, he further spoke thus:[47]

There has appeared in Magadha before thee
An unclean dhamma by impure minds devised.
Open this door of deathlessness, let[48] them hear
Dhamma awakened to by the stainless one
As on a crag on crest of mountain standing
A man might watch the people far below,
E'en so do thou, O Wisdom fair, ascending,
O Seer of all, the terraced heights of truth,[49]
Look down, from grief released, upon the peoples
Sunken in grief, oppressed with birth and age.
Arise, thou hero! Conqueror in the battle!
Thou freed from debt! Man of the caravan!
Walk the world over, let the Blessed One
Teach dhamma. They who learn will grow."[50]

8. When he had spoken thus, the Lord spoke thus to Brahmā Sahampati: "Brahmā, it occurred to me: 'This dhamma penetrated by me is deep ... that would be a vexation to me.' And further, Brahmā, these verses not heard before in the past occurred spontaneously to me: 'This that through many toils I've won ... cloaked in the murk of ignorance.' In such wise, Brahmā, as I pondered, my mind inclined to little effort and not to teaching dhamma."

9. Then a second time did Brahmā Sahampati speak thus to the Lord: "Lord, let the Lord teach dhamma ... if they are [9] learners of dhamma, they will grow." Then a second time did the Lord speak thus to Brahmā Sahampati:" But, Brahmā, it occurred to me : ... my mind inclined to little effort and and not to teaching dhamma."

10. Then a third time did Brahmā Sahampati speak thus to the Lord: "Lord, let the Lord teach dhamma ... if they are learners of dhamma, they will grow." Then the Lord, having understood Brahmā's entreaty and, out of compassion for beings, surveyed the world with the eye of an awakened one. As the Lord was surveying the world with the eye of an awakened one, he saw beings with little dust in their eyes, with much dust in their eyes, with acute faculties, with dull faculties, of good dispositions, of bad dispositions, docile, indocile, few seeing fear in sins and the worlds beyond.[51]

11. Even as in[52] a pond of blue lotuses or in a pond of red lotuses or in a pond of white lotuses, a few blue or red or white lotuses are born in the water, grow in the water, do not rise above the water but thrive while altogether immersed; a few blue or red or white lotuses are born in the water, grow in the water and reach to the surface of the water; a few blue or red or white lotuses are born in the water, grow in the water, and stand up rising out of the water, undefiled by the water.

12. Even so, did the Lord, surveying the world with the eye of an awakened one, see beings with little dust in their eyes, with much dust in their eyes, with acute faculties, with dull faculties, of good dispositions, of bad dispositions, docile, indocile, few seeing fear in sins and the worlds beyond. Seeing Brahmā Sahampati, he addressed him with verses:

Open for those who hear are the doors of deathlessness;[53]
let them renounce their faith[54]
Thinking of useless fatigue, I have not preached, Brahmā,
the sublime and excellent dhamma to men."[55]

[] 13. Then Brahmā Sahampati, thinking: "The opportunity was made by me for the Lord to teach dhamma,"[56] greeting the Lord, keeping his right side towards him, vanished then and there.[57]

Told is the Talk on Brahmā's Entreaty.

 


 

6.
The First Discourse

1. Then it occurred to the Lord: "Now, to whom should I first teach dhamma? Who will understand this dhamma quickly?" Then it occurred to the Lord: "Indeed, this Āḷāra the Kālāma[58] is learned, experienced, wise, and for a long time has had little dust in his eyes. Suppose I were to teach dhamma first to Āḷāra the Kālāma? He will understand this dhamma quickly."

2. But then an invisible devatā announced to the Lord: "Lord, Āḷāra the Kālāma passed away seven days ago." And the knowledge arose to the Lord that Āḷāra the Kālāma had passed away seven days ago. Then it occurred to the Lord: "Āḷāra the Kālāma was of great intelligence. If he had heard this dhamma, he would have understood it quickly."

3. Then it occurred to the Lord: "Now, to whom should I first teach dhamma? Who will understand this dhamma quickly?" Then it occurred to the Lord: "Indeed, this Uddaka, Rāma's son,[59] is learned, experienced, wise, and for a long time has had little dust in his eyes. Suppose I were to teach dhamma first to Uddaka, Rāma's son? He will understand this dhamma quickly."

4. But then an invisible devatā announced to the Lord: "Lord, Uddaka, Rāma's son, passed away last night." And the knowledge arose to the Lord that Uddaka, Rāma's son, had passed away last night. Then it occurred to the Lord: "Uddaka, Rāma's son, was of great intelligence. If he had [11] heard this dhamma, he would have understood it quickly."

5. Then it occurred to the Lord: "Now, to whom should I first teach dhamma? Who will understand this dhamma quickly?" Then it occurred to the Lord: "That group of five monks[60] who waited on me when I was self-resolute in striving[61] were very helpful. Suppose I were to teach dhamma first to the group of five monks?"

6. Then it occurred to the Lord: "But where is this group of five monks staying at present?[62] Then the Lord with deva-vision, purified and surpassing that of men, saw the group of five monks staying near Benares at Isipatana in the deer-park. Then the Lord, having stayed at Uruvelā for as long as he found suiting, set out on tour for Benares.

7. Upaka, a Naked Ascetic,[63] saw the Lord going along the highroad between Gayā and
the (Tree of) Awakening; seeing him, he spoke thus to the Lord: "Your reverence, your sense-organs are quite pure, your complexion very bright, very clear. On account of whom have you, your reverence, gone forth, or who is your teacher, or whose dhamma do you profess?"

8. When this had been said, the Lord addressed Upaka, the Naked Ascetic, in verses:[64]

Victorious over all, omniscient am I,
Among all things undefiled,
Leaving all, through death of craving freed,
By knowing for myself, whom should I follow?[65]

For me there is no teacher,
One like me does not exist,
In the world with its devas No one equals me.[66]

[12] For I am perfected in the world, The teacher supreme am I,[67]
I alone am all-awakened,[68]
Become cool am I, nirvana-attained.

To turn the dhamma-wheel
I go to Kasi's city,
Beating the drum of deathlessness
In a world that's blind become."

9. "According to what you claim, your reverence, you ought to be[69] victor of the unending[70]" (Upaka said)

"Like me, they are victors indeed,
Who have won to destruction of the cankers;
Vanquished by me are evil things,
Therefore am I, Upaka, a victor."[71]

When this had been said, Upaka, the Naked Ascetic, having said, "It may be (so),[72] your reverence," having shaken his head,[73] went off taking a different road.

[13] 10. Then the Lord, walking on tour, in due course approached Benares, the deer-park of Isipatana, the group of five monks. The group of five monks saw the Lord coming in the distance; seeing him, they agreed among themselves, saying: "Your reverences, this recluse Gotama is coming, he lives in abundance, he is wavering in his striving, he has reverted to a life of abundance.[74] He should neither be greeted, nor stood up for, nor should his bowl and robe be received; all the same a seat may be put out, he can sit down if he wants to."

11. But as the Lord gradually approached this group of five monks, so this group of five monks, not adhering to their own agreement, having gone towards the Lord, one received his bowl and robe, one made ready a seat, one brought water for washing the feet, a foot-stool, a foot-stand.[75] The Lord sat down on the seat made ready, and the Lord, while he was sitting down, washed his feet.[76] Further, they addressed the Lord by name and with the epithet of 'your reverence.'[77]

12. When this had been said, the Lord spoke thus to the group of five monks: "Do not, monks, address a Truthfinder by name, and with the epithet 'your reverence'. A Truthfinder, monks, is a perfected one, a fully awakened one. Give ear, monks, the deathless has been found; I instruct, I teach dhamma. Going along in accordance with what has been enjoined, having soon realised here and now by your own super-knowledge that supreme goal of the Brahma-faring[78] for the sake of which young men of family rightly go forth from home into homelessness, you will abide in it."

[14] 13. When this had been said, the group of five monks spoke thus to the Lord: "But you, reverend Gotama, did not come to a state of further-men,[79] to the eminence of truly ariyan vision of knowledge, by this conduct, by this course, by this practice of austerities. So how can you now come to a state of further-men, to the eminence of the truly ariyan vision of knowledge, when you live in abundance, are wavering in striving, and have reverted to a life of abundance?"

14. When this had been said, the Lord spoke thus to the group of five monks: "A Truthfinder, monks, does not live in abundance, he does not waver in striving, he does not revert to a life of abundance. A Truthfinder, monks, is a perfected one, a fully awakened one. Give ear, monks, the deathless has been found; I instruct, I teach dhamma. Going along in accordance with what has been enjoined, having soon realised here and now by your own super-knowledge that supreme goal of the Brahma-faring for the sake of which young men of family rightly go forth from home into homelessness, you will abide in it."

15. And a second time did the group of five monks speak thus to the Lord ... And a second time did the Lord speak thus to the group of five monks ... And a third time did the group of five monks speak thus to the Lord: "But you, reverend Gotama, did not come to a state of further-men ... by this practice of austerities ... to a life of abundance?"

16. When this had been said, the Lord spoke thus to the group of five monks: "Do you allow, monks, that I have never spoken[80] to you like this before?"

You have not, Lord."

A Truthfinder, monks, is a perfected one, a fully awakened one. Give ear ... you will abide in it." And the Lord was able to convince the group of five monks.[81] Then the group of five monks listened to the Lord again, gave ear to him and aroused their minds for profound knowledge.[82]

[15] 17. Then[83] the Lord addressed the group of five monks, saying: "These[84] two (dead) ends,[85] monks, should not be followed by one who has gone forth. Which two? That which is, among sense-pleasures, addiction to attractive sense-pleasures, low, of the villager,[86] of the average man,[87] unariyan, not connected with the goal;[88] and that which is addiction to self-torment, ill, unariyan, not connected with the goal. Now, monks, without adopting either of these two (dead) ends, there is a middle course, fully awakened to by the Truthfinder, making for vision,[89] making for knowledge, which conduces to calming,[90] to super-knowledge,[91] to awakening,[92] to nirvana.

18. "And what, monks, is this middle course fully awakened to by the Truthfinder, making for vision, making for knowledge, which conduces to calming, to super-knowledge, to awakening, to nirvana? It is this ariyan eightfold Way itself, that is to say: right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right mode of living, right endeavour, right mindfulness, right concentration.[93] This, monks, is the middle course, fully awakened to by the Truthfinder, making for vision, making [16] for knowledge, which conduces to calming, to super-knowledge to awakening, to nirvana.

19. "And this, monks, is the ariyan truth of ill: birth is ill, and old age is ill and disease is ill and dying is ill, association with what is not dear is ill, separation from what is dear is ill, not getting what one wants is ill — in short the five groups of grasping are ill.

20. "And this, monks, is the ariyan truth of the uprising of ill:[94] that which is craving connected with again-becoming, accompanied by delight and passion, finding delight in this and that, that is to say: craving for sense-pleasures, craving for becoming, craving for de-becoming.[95]

21. "And this, monks, is the ariyan truth of the stopping of ill: the utter and passionless stopping of that very craving, its renunciation, surrender, release, the lack of pleasure in it.[96]

22. "And this, monks, is the ariyan truth of the course leading to the stopping of ill[97]: this aryan eightfold Way itself, that is to say: right view ... right concentration.

23. On thinking, 'This is the ariyan truth of ill', among things not heard before by me, monks, vision arose, knowledge[98] arose, wisdom[99] arose, higher knowledge[100] arose, light arose. On thinking, 'Now that which is the ariyan truth of ill must be completely known' ... 'Now that which is the ariyan truth of ill is completely known among things not heard before by me, monks, vision arose, knowledge arose, wisdom arose, higher knowledge arose, light arose.

24. "On thinking, 'This is the ariyan truth of the uprising of ill' ... light arose. On thinking, 'Now that which is this [17] ariyan truth of the uprising of ill must be given up'[101] ... ' ... is given up' ... light arose.

25. "On thinking, 'This is the ariyan truth of the stopping of ill' ... light arose. On thinking, 'Now that which is this ariyan truth of the stopping of ill must be realised' ... '. . . is realised' ... light arose.

26. "On thinking, 'This is the ariyan truth of the course going to the stopping of ill' ... light arose. On thinking, 'Now that which is this ariyan truth of the course leading to the stopping of ill must be made to become' ... '... is made to become' ... light arose.

27. "And so long, monks, the vision of knowledge of these four ariyan truths, with the three sections and twelve modes[102] as they really are, was not well purified by me, so long was I, monks, not thoroughly awakened with the supreme full awakening as to the world with its devas, with its Māras, with its Brahmās, with its recluses and Brahmāns, its creatures with devas and men. This I knew.

28. "But when, monks, the vision of knowledge of these four ariyan truths, with the three sections and twelve modes as they really are, was well purified by me, then was I, monks, thoroughly awakened with the supreme full awakening as to the world ... with its recluses and Brahmāns, its creatures with devas and men. This I knew.

29. "Moreover, the vision of knowledge arose in me: 'Freedom of mind is for me unshakeable, this the last birth, there is not now again-becoming.'"[103] Thus spoke the Lord; delighted, the group of five monks rejoiced in the Lord's utterance. Moreover, while this discourse[104] was being uttered, dhamma-vision, dustless, stainless, arose to the venerable Koṇḍañña that "whatever is of the nature to uprise, all that is of the nature to stop."

30. And when the Lord had rolled the dhamma-wheel, the earth devas made this sound heard:[105] "The supreme dhamma-wheel rolled thus by the Lord at Benares in the deer-park at [18] Isipatana cannot be rolled back by a recluse or brahmin or deva or by Māra or by Brahmā or by anyone in the world." Having heard the sound of the earth devas, the devas of the Four Great Kings[106] made this sound heard ... the Thirty devas ... Yama's devas ... the Happy devas ... the devas who delight in creation ... the devas who delight in the creation of others ... the devas of Brahmā's retinue made this sound heard: "The supreme dhamma-wheel rolled thus by the Lord at Benares in the deer-park at Isipatana cannot be rolled back by a recluse or brahmin or deva or by Māra or by Brahmā or by anyone in the world."

31. In this wise in that moment, in that second, in that instant, the sound reached as far as the Brahmā-world, and the ten thousandfold world-system[107] trembled, quaked, shook violently and a radiance, splendid, measureless, surpassing the devas' own glory,[108] was manifest in the world. Then the Lord uttered this solemn utterance: "Indeed, Koṇḍañña has understood, indeed, Koṇḍañña has understood." Thus it was that Aññata Koṇḍañña[109] became the venerable Koṇḍañña's name.[110]

32. Then the venerable Aññata Koṇḍañña, having seen dhamma,[110] attained dhamma,[111] known dhamma,[110] plunged into dhamma, having crossed over doubt, having put away uncertainty, having attained without another's help to full confidence in the teacher's instruction,[112] spoke thus to the Lord: "May I, Lord, receive the going forth[113] in the Lord's presence, may I receive ordination?"[114]

"Come, monk,"[115] the Lord said, "well taught is dhamma [19] fare the Brahma-faring for making an utter end of ill." So this came to be this venerable one's ordination.

33. Then the Lord exhorted, instructed those remaining monks with dhamma-talk. Then
while they were being exhorted, instructed by the Lord with dhamma-talk, dhamma-vision, dustless, stainless, arose to the venerable Vappa[116] and to the venerable Bhaddiya,[117] that "whatever is of the nature to uprise, all that is of the nature to stop."

34. These, having seen dhamma, attained dhamma, known dhamma . . . having attained
without another's help to full confidence in the teacher's instruction, spoke thus to the Lord:

May we, Lord, receive the going forth in the Lord's presence, may we receive ordination?" "Come, monks," the Lord said, "well taught is dhamma, fare the Brahma-faring for making an utter end of ill." So this came to be these venerable ones' ordination.

35. Then the Lord, eating the food brought back by these,[118] exhorted, instructed those remaining monks with dhamma-talk, saying: "Let the group of six[119] live on whatever the three monks[120] bring when they have walked for almsfood."

36. Then while they were being exhorted, instructed by the Lord with dhamma-talk, dhamma-vision, dustless, stainless, arose to the venerable Mahānāma[121] and to the venerable Assaji,[122] that "whatever is of the nature to uprise, all that is of the nature to stop."

37. These, having seen dhamma, attained dhamma ... having attained without another's help to full confidence in the teacher's instruction, spoke thus to the Lord: "May we, Lord, receive the going forth in the Lord's presence, may we receive ordination?"

Come, monks," the Lord said, "well taught is dhamma, fare the Brahma-faring for making an utter end of ill." So [20] this came to be these venerable ones' ordination.

38. Then the Lord addressed the group of five monks, saying: "Body, monks, is not self.[123] Now were this body self, monks this body would not tend to sickness, and one might get the chance of saying in regard to body, 'Let body become thus for me, let body not become thus for me'. But inasmuch, monks, as body is not self, therefore body tends to sickness, and one does not get the chance of saying in regard to body, 'Let body become thus for me, let body not become thus for me'.

39. Feeling is not self ... and one does not get the chance of saying in regard to feeling, 'Let feeling become thus for me, let feeling not become thus for me'.

40. "Perception[124] is not self ... The habitual tendencies are not self ... one does not get the chance of saying in regard to the habitual tendencies, 'Let the habitual tendencies become thus for me, let the habitual tendencies not become thus for me'.

41. "Consciousness is not self ... Inasmuch, monks, as consciousness is not self, therefore consciousness tends to sickness, and one does not get the chance to say in regard to consciousness, 'Let consciousness become such for me, let consciousness not become thus for me.'

What do you think about this, monks? Is body permanent or impermanent?"

"Impermanent, Lord."

"But is that which is impermanent painful or pleasurable?"[125]

"Painful, Lord."

42. "But is it fit to consider that which is impermanent, painful, of a nature to change, as 'This is mine, this am I, this is my self'?"

"It is not Lord."

43. "Is feeling ... perception ... are the habitual tendencies ... is consciousness permanent or impermanent?"

[21] "Impermanent, Lord."

But is that which is impermanent painful or pleasurable?"

"Painful, Lord."

But is it fit to consider that which is impermanent, painful of a nature to change, as 'This is mine, this am I, this is my self'?"

"It is not so, Lord." || 43 ||

44. "Wherefore, monks, whatever is body, past, future, present or internal or external, or gross or subtle, or low or excellent whether it is far or near — all body should, by means of right wisdom, be seen, as it really is, thus: This is not mine, this am I not, this is not my self.

45. "Whatever is feeling ... whatever is perception ... whatever are the habitual tendencies ... whatever is consciousness past, future, present, or internal or external, or gross or subtle, or low or excellent, whether far or near — all consciousness should, by means of right wisdom, be seen as it really is, thus: This is not mine, this am I not, this is not my self.

46. "Seeing in this way, monks, the instructed[126] disciple of the ariyans disregards[127] body and he disregards feeling and he disregards perception and he disregards the habitual tendencies and he disregards consciousness; disregarding he is dispassionate; through dispassion he is freed; in freedom the knowledge comes to be: 'I am freed',[128] and he knows: Destroyed is birth, lived is the Brahma-faring, done is what was to be done, there is no more of being such or such."

47. Thus spoke the Lord; delighted, the group of five monks rejoiced in what the Lord had said. Moreover while this discourse was being uttered, the minds of the group of five monks were freed from the cankers without grasping. At that time there were six perfected ones in the world.

The First Portion for Recital.

 


[1] From here to the end of 2.3 Cf. Ud. p. 1-3. I largely follow translation at Ver. Uplift, which also see for notes.

[2] bodhirukkha is the Bo-tree, ficus religioSA. VA. 952 says "bodhi is knowledge of the four ways; the lord attained that awakening here, so the tree acquired the name of the tree of awakening." Cf. MA. iii. 326 and i. 54.

[3] eka-pallaṅkena.

[4] bodhirukkhamūle; cf. bodhiyā mūle at Pṭs. i. 174 = Nd. i. 458; and bodhimūle at SnA. 32, 391.

[5] vimuttisukha

[6] manasākāsi, worked with the mind.

[7] The "causal chain" occurs, with explanations of its terms, at S. ii. 1 ff. See also Mrs. Rhys Davids, Manual, p. 76 ff.

[8] sankhāra

[9] viññāṇa. See Mrs. Rhys Davids, Manual, pp. 77, 150; Indian Religion and Survival, p. 66; Original Gospel, pp. 63, 112, 114; Dial. ii, 2nd edn., Preface, p. ix. for the view that viññāṇa has a meaning of "man as surviving."

[10] nāmarūpa, name and shape.

[11] phassa, perhaps contact. It is the known or realised impingement of a sense-datum on its appropriate sense-organ.

[12] From here to "dejection and despair come into being", Cf. D. i. 45.

[13] From here to the end of the paragraph Cf. D. ii. 35.

[14] dhammā. According to VA. 954-5 the (thirty-seven) things helpful to awakening and the four ariyan true things. These last are not necessarily the four truths of ill, for see A. v. 56 (the four stations of mindfulness) and Min. Anth. 1, Intr. p. 1i ff. But see also Pts. Contr., p. 118, n. 1. This verse and the two following occur at Kvu. 186.

[15] This is probably an abbreviation for "Told is the Talk at the Tree of Awakening": see titles of 2, 3 and 4.

[16] Although UdA. 51 gives two more possible explanations for this name than VA. 957, both agree that goatherds used to come and sit in the shade of this tree.

[17] huhuṅkajātiko brāhmaṇo. See J.P.T.S, 1901, p. 42, and Ver. Uplift, p. 3, n. VA. 957 calls him one who believes in omens that are seen, diṭṭhamangalika, and who walks about making: (the sound) huṃ from arrogance and in anger.

[18] brāhmaṇa-karaṇā. Ud. 3 reads -kārakā.

[19] nihuhuṅka. He is to give up having confidence in his superstitious omens and formulae, and to believe instead in the new teaching. "Brahmān" came to mean, in this, the best and highest kind of man.

[20] vedāntagū, as at Sn. 463. VA. 958 says there has been a going either to the end by means of the "lores" (vedas), those called the knowledge of the four ways, or to the end of the three Vedas.

[21] dhammena so brāhmaṇo Brahmāvādaṃ vadeyya. VA. 958 = UdA. 55 take this to mean he can rightly say "I am a Brahmān". Mrs. Rhys Davids, Manual, p. 85, translates Brahmāvāda by "Brahmā-faith", with a note, p. 84, that vāda is equally to be rendered by -cult or -teaching.

[22] ussāda, prominence, excresence; conceit, arrogance. VA. 958 = UdA. 55 give five: passion, hatred, stupidity, pride, false view. SnA. ii. gives seven, enumerated at SnA. ii. 425 as the five of VA. and UdA. with the addition of the obstructions and wrong conduct. See my Early Buddhist Theory of Man Perfected, p. 262 and p. 265, n. 2.

[23] This verse occurs at Ud. p. 3, Netti. 150. Last line = last line of Sn. 783.

[24] 2 to 4 = Ud. II. 1, Mucalindavagga; verses quoted Kvu. 212, see Pts. Contr., 129, n. 3. for further references.

[25] tassa, omitted at Vin. i. 3, but found at Ud. 10.

[26] deva.

[27] Name of a tree. Called by Mrs. Rhys Davids, Manual, p. 8o, "Kingstead tree." See Vin. Texts, 1. 81, n.

[28] Cf. Jāt. i. 8o f.

[29] Chief of the disciples who first came for refuge, A. i. 26; included in a list of eminent householders and upāsakas at A. iii. 450-1. Bhalliy(k)a has a verse at Thag. 7, while ThagA. 50 gives in outline the story of their ministering to the Lord.

[30] According to VA. 959, the Middle District (or Country) where the Lord was staying.

[31] mantha, defined at Vin. iv. 80, see B.D. ii. 324.

[32] Fur. Dial. i. 118, n. 4, claims that "the first use of the term Tathāgata in the Buddha's life-history" occurs at M. i. 168.

[33] paccagghe. VA. 960 says this usually means very costly; but it can mean, as here, quite new and quite hot (abbhuṇha), produced at that very moment.

[34] dvevācikā, i.e. bhagavā (and not, as at some time became usual, buddha) and dhamma, there being at that time no saŋgha.

[35] For the Great Hesitation, Cf. S. i. 136, D. ii. 36, M. i. 167, and see K.S. i. 171, Dial. ii. 29 f. and Fur. Dial. i. 118 for notes. See also Mrs. Rhys Davids, Manual, p. 73 ff.

[36] Quoted at BudvA. 9.

[37] ālaya, what is clung to, "habit." But VA. 961 = MA. ii. 174 explain by the five strands of sense-pleasure.

[38] sududdasa, as at Dh. 36.

[39] Cf. Sn. 764.

[40] paṭisotagāmin, against the stream up to the source (nibbāna), not with the stream, for that leads to dangerous whirlpools and waves in a pool (here in an unfavourable sense) lower down. VA. 962 says that paṭisota is called nibbāna. A stream can be a River of Life or a River of Death, according as to whether one goes against the current, striving with hands and feet, or with the current. Cf. Lamotte, vol. I, p. 59, n. 1.

[41] This translation follows that at Dial. ii. 30, with the important exception that paṭisotagāmin is not "against the stream of common thought." Verse also found at M. i. 168, D. ii. 38, S. i. 136; Mahāvastu iii. 314, Lalitavistara, ed. Lefmann, p. 397.

[42] appossukkatā, indifference, "rest quiet" (Fur. Dial, i. 118), "to be averse from exertion" (K.S. i.173), "to remain quiet" (Vin. Texts, i.85).

[43] A Great Brahmā.

[44] vata bho.

[45] Quoted BudvA. 10.

[46] For this paragraph and the beginning of the next, see A. ii. 21.

[47] Quoted BudvA. 10. See Mrs. Rhys Davids, Dial. ii. 2nd edn, Preface, xii. Also her Note to Gotama the Man (added in 1938) where she says, "The only rational translation (of aññātāro bhavissanti) is that 'they who come to know (i.e. the dhamma you should teach), will come to be, will become', that is will grow. Thus rendered the last clause balances the opposed clause, that men are in a decline."

[48] As at M. i, 168, S. i. 137; quoted BudvA. 10. For references to parallel Sanskrit, Chinese and Tibetan Texts, see Lamotte, Traité de la Grande Vertu de Sagesse, vol. I, p. 57, n. 1.

[49] To end of this verse = Sn. 384.

[50] dhammamaya pāsāda; cf. paññāpāsāda at Dhp. 28.

[51] Second part of verses taken from Mrs. Rhys Davids, Manual, p. 82. The Dīgha version omits the first four lines. Last four lines at S. i. 234.

[52] paralokavajjabhayadassāvino, VA. 963 saying that these are those who see by fear (bhayato) the world(s) beyond and sin.

[53] Cf. D. i. 75, M. iii. 93, S. i. 138.

[54] VA. 963 calls this "the noble Way", ariyamagga. The "quest" in folklore and in the great religious traditions alike is for immortality, the undying. Early Buddhism is in line with these traditions.

Saddhā. It could also indicate a transition from reliance on ideas that require faith, rather than on the Dhamma which is to be seen for one's self. The Buddha at this point is thinking primarily of those capable of attaining the goal.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[55] saddhā must refer to their (own, VA. 963) present wrong beliefs.

[56] Verse also at D. ii. 39, M. i. 169, S. i 138; and Cf. Mahāvastu. iii. 319; Lalitavistara, p. 400. See discussion on some of the expressions found in the verse by Lamotte, vol. I, p. 60, n. 1.

[57] From the beginning of the verses to here is quoted at BudvA. 18.

[58] tatth'eva can mean "as before"; if it does so here, it would mean by the same method of vanishing from the Brahmā-world as in Ī 5 above.

[59] The teacher to whom, according to the biographical record (also preserved in the Ariyapariyesanā Sutta, M. Sta. 26), Gotama first went for instruction after he had gone forth (from home into homelessness).

[60] According to the same account, the teacher to whom Gotama wen next when he had mastered Āḷāra's teaching. See Mrs. Rhys Davids, Manual. 57 ff. for some remarks on both these teachers, and E.J. Thomas, Life of Buddha, 184. Miln. 236 says that Āḷāra and Uddaka were Gotama's fourth and fifth teachers; and ThigA. 2 that he went first to Bhaggava (not mentioned at Miln. 236).

[61] Añña-Koṇḍañña, Bhaddiya, Vappa, Mahānāma, Assaji, as below 6, 31 ff. See DPPN; Mrs. Rhys Davids, Manual, 62 f.; and "Unknown Co-founders of Buddhism", JRAS. 1927.

[62] padhānapahitattaṃ.

[63] Quoted at BudvA. 18.

[64] ājivika, "man of the livelihood", Bud. Ind., p. 143. At Divy. 393 Upaka appears to be called Upaganena.

[65] Verses also at M. i. 171; quoted at Kvu. 289; ThigA. 220.

[66] This verse = Dh. 353.

[67] This verse is quoted at Miln. 235. Cf. also Mahāvastu iii. 326.

[68] Cf. Sn. 179.

[69] Or, "I am unique, the all-awakened."

[70] arah'asi, also meaning "you deserve to be, are worthy or fit to be". There is also the reading arahā asi, as at Kvu. 289, and see Pss. Sisters, 129 f.

[71] anantajina. VA. 964 merely says "You are set on becoming a victor of the unending." Ananta, the unending, may refer to dhamma, also to nibbāna.

[72] This verse and Upaka's remarks are quoted at Kvu. 289.

[73] hupeyya. M. i. 171, SnA. 258, ThigA. 220 read huveyya (which is interchangeable with hupeyya). It is a dialectical form of bhaveyya. According to B.M. Barua, The Ājīvikas, p. 50, it is an expression found in the "Ājīvika language" and "is not a recognised Pali word." He translates "perhaps it may be so," Oldenberg "it may be so," Chalmers, preserving the patois, "mebbe" E.J. Thomas, The Life of Buddha, p. 83, "would that it might be so", DPPN (under Upaka) "it may be so"; while Mrs. Rhys Davids, To Become or not to Become, p. 85, would prefer "may he become", the "he" referring to the man, every man, to whom Gotama was prepared to teach his message. She suggests that he will have rehearsed this message to Upaka, and maintains that what has survived — "a glaringly imperfect misrepresentation" — makes omission and glossing all but certain.

[74] I think that as the text stands, had Upaka been convinced or event interested he would not have departed by a different road (ummagga, also meaning the wrong road). It is perhaps odd that this episode, if it snows disagreement, is presumed to have occurred at the beginning of Gotama ministry. But it may be included to emphasize his determination to preach first of all to the "five" in accordance with his decision; or to show that Upaka spoke somewhat as a prophet — in the "key", below, p. 127, he is called Upako isi, Upaka the seer. According to ThigA. 220 f., when Upaka was an old man, tormented by his wife's gibes, he sought Gotama and went forth into homelessness; he then soon attained the stage of non-returning and died. From this account it does not appear that he had had any great urge earlier to become one of Gotama's disciples.

In the translation above I have put a slight bias on three words, each of which admits of more than one rendering, so as to mark consistently what seems to me to be Upaka's apparent failure to be convinced: (1) arahasi = (a) you ought to be (slightly contemptuous), (b) you are worthy to be (respectful); (2) huveyya, discussed in preceding note; (3) sīsam okampetvā, having shaken his head. Okampeti may mean, according to PED, both to wag and to shake. Indians shake their heads from side to side to show disagreement, but wag them up and down to show agreement.

[75] bahulla. As Mrs. Rhys Davids observes. Manual, 69, this means literally "muchness", VA. 964 taking it to mean abundance of robes, etc.

[76] Cf. Vin. iv. 231, 310; see B.D. iii. 191.

[77] As at M. ii. 139.

[78] āvusovādena.

[79] At M. i. 197, 201, this goal is said to be unshakeable freedom of mind.

[80] Cf. Defeat IV (and see B.D. i. Intr. xxiv).

[81] bhāsitaṃ. M. i. 172 reads vabbhācitaṃ. VA. 965 and MA. ii. 191 explain by vākyabhedaṃ.

[82] From here the Majjhima version diverges.

[83] aññācittaṃ upaṭṭhāpesuṃ; cf. D. i, 230, 231.

[84] Cf. S. v. 420.

[85] See Mrs. Rhys Davids, Manual, p. 109 for a literal translation of the First Utterance, and a discussion of many of its terms; also E.J. Thomas, Life of Buddha, p. 87. This Utterance given at S. iv. 330, v. 420, and the "middle course" part of it at M. i. 15, to whose Comy. (MA. i. 104 f.) VA. 965 refers.

[86] anta is end, then contrast, extreme, opposite, side. See Manual, p. 118, for discussion of the meaning. SA. iii. 297 explains by koṭṭhāsā, parts, divisions. MA. i. 104 says "the Way does not lead to, does not approach these sides, it is freed from these sides, therefore it is called the middle course." The "mean" between two extremes also found at S. ii. 17, 20, 61, iii. 135.

[87] gammo. Another debatable term. I follow SA. iii. 297 (cf. AA. iii. 360) whose explanation is gāma-vāsīnaṃ santako, belonging to village dwellers; meaning I think more "common" than "pagan", by both of which it has been rendered. "Boorish" would be better.

[88] pothujjaniko, ordinary, of the many-folk, the "blind" and fools.

[89] anatthasaṃhita, defined at MA. iii. 110 as na vuḍḍhinissita, not bent on growth.

[90] According to MA. i. 104 vision of the knowledge of the truths.

[91] Of passion, etc., MA. 1. 104, AA. iii. 360; of the corruptions, SA. iii. 297.

[92] abhiññā, of the four truths, MA. and SA.

[93] MA. i. 104 says that awakening is the Way, sambodho ti maggo.

[94] A.K. Coomaraswamy, Hinduism and Buddhism, p. 69 uses "composure" for samādhi, and elsewhere "synthesis." MA. i. 105 gives the interpretations which the Ancients, poraṇa, used to put upon the eight "fitnesses" of the Way: "the way of insight is right view, the way of thorough furthering, abhiniropana, is right thought, the way of equanimity is right concentration." The gaps may be filled up from what follows at MA. i. 105.

[95] This paragraph is debated at Kvu. 488-489.

[96] vi-bhava, meanings ascribed: (1) wealth, property, prosperity; (2) non-becoming, ceasing (although there is the word a-bhava); (3) more becoming, more births. Fur. Dial. i. 214 "annihilation." See also Dial. ii. 340, n. I think it means, with taṇhā, craving or thirst, the longing for sensations to come and go, rise and fall. Et. Lamotte, Le Traité de la Grande Vertu de Sagesse, vol. I, p. 3, n. 4, translates these three cravings (taṇhā) as cravings for plaisir, existence, impermanence.

[97] anālaya. On ālaya, pleasure (clinging, abode, habit) see above, p. Fur. Dial. i. 214 "ejection", iii. 298 "aversion from." SA. iii. 112 defines it in connection with kāma.

[98] The "four truths of ill" are cited at Kvu. 290.

[99] ñāṇa.

[100] paññā.

[101] vijjā. We have nothing in English corresponding to the number of Pali words for "knowledge."

[102] I.e. the craving or thirst (taṇhā) which leads to the uprising of ill must be given up.

[103] Each of the four truths is treated as (1) a truth which (2) must be in some way responded to, and which (3) has been in that way responded to.

[104] One of the formulae of arahanship.

[105] veyyāharaṇa, called at DA. 130 a sutta (discourse) without verses.

[106] Cf. Vin. iii. 18-19 (B.D. i. 33).

[107] I.e. the Regents of the four quarters. A longer list of devas is to be found at M. i. 289.

[108] Cf. A. i. 227.

[109] devānaṃ devānubhāvaṃ, cf. D. ii. 12, M. iii. 120.

[110] aññāta meaning "who has understood". He is often called Añña Koṇḍañña. At A. i. 23 he is called "foremost of the disciples of long standing." Verses at Thag. 673-88. For view that Añña was his personal name, see Mrs. Rhys Davids, Gotama the Man, p. 102, G.S. i. 16, n. 2, Verses of Uplift (S.B.B. VIII), p. 93, n. 1. See too UdA. 371, Pss. Breth., p. 284.

[111] Saṃyutta account breaks off here.

[112] Quoted BudvA. 13, the last two in reverse order.

[113] Cf. D. i. 110, 148; A. iv. 186; M. 1. 234, 501.

[114] pabbajjā.

[115] upasampadā.

[116] The first time that this, thought to be the oldest formula for leave to become a disciple of Gotama's, is used in the Vinaya. The Order was not as yet in existence, and the ordination regulations were neither appointed nor was ordination separated by a period of probation from the time of a disciple's "going forth", pabbajjā, from home, or the household life, into homelessness.

[117] Verses at Thag. 61, see also ThagA. 150, VA. 965, MA. ii. 192, AA. i. 147, Jāt. i. 82; Mrs. Rhys Davids, Manual, p. 63.

[118] No verses ascribed to him. See VA. 965, MA. ii. 192, AA. i. 147, Jāt. i. 82. Omitted from D.P.P.N.

[119] Koṇḍañña, Vappa and Bhaddiya.

[120] I.e. Gotama and the group of five.

[121] References as under n. above. See also DhA. ii. 74. Included in D.P.P.N.

[122] The disciple through whom Sāriputta and so Moggallāna became followers of Gotama, see Vin. i. 39 ff. (below, p. 52); also M. i. 227 (Cūḷasaccaka Sutta), S. iii. 124 ff., MA. ii. 270, 271, and p. 52, n. 3 below.

[123] This famous Second Utterance given also at S. iii. 66, where called "The Five", doubtless referring to the five disciples who heard it, and to the five topics, body ... consciousness (or mind) which it covered; Cf. M. iii. 19. Translated at K.S. iii. 59, Fur. Dial., ii, 165 f., Mrs. Rhys Davids, Manual, p. 150, E.J. Thomas, Life of Buddha, p. 88.

[124] saññā.

[125] sukha, happiness, mental and physical ease; used in opposition to dukkha.

[126] sutavant, one who has heard, hence learn (the oral teaching).

[127] nibbindati, turns away from, is disgusted by. He "disregards" because he refuses to know.

[128] See B.D. i. 10 and its n. 2, 3.


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