Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
III. Upari Paṇṇāsa
5. Saḷāyatana Vagga

Cūḷa-Rāhul'ovāda Suttaɱ

The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha

Sutta 147

The Shorter Discourse of Advice to Rāhula

Translated from the Pali by Ñanamoli Thera.
edited and revised by Bhikkhu Bodhi.

© 1995 Bhikkhu Bodhi
Published by
Wisdom Publications
Boston, MA 02115

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

Also: (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1993).
Copyright ©1993 Buddhist Publication Society.

Also: Used here based on the conditions for publication on Access to Insight for which see: Provenance, terms and conditons

 


 

[1][chlm][pts][than][upal] THUS HAVE I HEARD. On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Sāvatthī in Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.[1323]

2. Then, while the Blessed One was alone in meditation, a thought arose in his mind thus: "The states that ripen in deliverance have ripened in Rāhula.[1324] Suppose I were to lead him on further to the destruction of the taints." Then, when it was morning, the Blessed One dressed, and taking his bowl and outer robe, went into Sāvatthī for alms. When he had walked for alms in Sāvatthī and had returned from his almsround, after his meal he addressed the venerable Rāhula thus:
"Take your sitting cloth with you, Rāhula; let us go to the Blind Men's Grove to pass the day."
"Yes, venerable sir," the venerable Rahula replied, and taking his sitting cloth with him, he followed close behind the Blessed One. Now on that occasion many thousands of deities followed the Blessed One, thinking: "Today the Blessed One will lead the venerable Rāhula further to the destruction of the taints."1325 Then the Blessed One went into the Blind Men's Grove and sat down at the root of a certain tree on a seat made ready. And the venerable Rāhula paid homage to the Blessed One and sat down at one side. The Blessed One then said to the venerable Rāhula:

3. "Rāhula, what do you think? Is the eye permanent or impermanent?" - "Impermanent, venerable sir." - "Is what is impermanent suffering or happiness?" - "Suffering, venerable sir." ­ "Is what is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change fit to be regarded thus: 'This is mine, this I am, this is my self'?" ­ "No, venerable sir."
"Rāhula, what do you think? Are forms ...Is eye-consciousness ... Is eye-contact ... Is anything comprised within the feeling, perception, formations, and consciousness that arise with eye-contact as condition permanent or impermanent?"[1326] ­ "Impermanent, venerable sir." - "Is what is impermanent suffering or happiness?" - "Suffering, venerable sir." - "Is what is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change fit to be regarded thus: 'This is mine, this I am, this is my self'?" ­ "No, venerable sir."

4. "Rāhula, what do you think? Is the ear permanent or impermanent?" ...

5. "Rāhula, what do you think? Is the nose permanent or impermanent?" ...

6. "Rāhula, what do you think? Is the tongue permanent or impermanent?" ...

7. "Rāhula, what do you think? Is the body permanent or impermanent?" ...

8. "Rāhula, what do you think?Is the mind permanent or impermanent?" ... Are mind-objects ... Is mind-consciousness ... Is mind-contact ... Is anything comprised within the feeling, perception, formations, and consciousness that arise with mind-contact as condition permanent or impermanent?" - "Impermanent, venerable sir." - "Is what is impermanent suffering or happiness?" - "Suffering, venerable sir." - "Is what is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change fit to be regarded thus: 'This is mine, this I am, this is my self'?" - "No, venerable sir."

9. "Seeing thus, Rāhula, a well-taught noble disciple becomes disenchanted with the eye, disenchanted with forms, disenchanted with eye-consciousness, disenchanted with eye-contact, and disenchanted with anything comprised within the feeling, perception, formations, and consciousness that arise with eye­contact as condition.
"He becomes disenchanted with the ear ... He becomes disenchanted with the nose ... He becomes disenchanted with the tongue ... He becomes disenchanted with the body ... He becomes disenchanted with the mind, disenchanted with mind-objects, disenchanted with mind-consciousness, disenchanted with mind-contact, and disenchanted with anything comprised within the feeling, perception, formations, and consciousness that arise with mind-contact as condition.

That is what the Blessed One said. The venerable Rāhula was satisfied and delighted in the Blessed One's words. Now while this discourse was being spoken, through not clinging the venerable Rahula's mind was liberated from the taints.
And in those many thousands of deities there arose the spotless immaculate vision of the Dhamma: "All that is subject to arising is subject to cessation."[1327]

 


 

[1323] MA says that this discourse was spoken to Rāhula shortly after his higher ordination, presumably at the age of twenty.

[1324] Vimuttiparipācaniyā dhammā. MA interprets these as the fifteen qualities that purify the five faculties (faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom), namely, in regard to each faculty: avoiding people who lack the faculty, associating with those endowed with it, and reflecting on suttas that inspire its maturation. MA brings in another set of fifteen qualities: the five faculties again; the five perceptions partaking of penetration, namely, perception of impermanence, suffering, non-self, abandoning, and dispassion; and the five qualities taught to Meghiya, namely, noble friendship, the virtue of the monastic rules, suitable conversation, energy, and wisdom (see AN 9:3/iv.356; Ud 4:1/36).

[1325] MA says that these deities, who came from various celestial realms, had been companions of Rāhula's during the previous life in which he first made the aspiration to attain arahantship as the son of a Buddha.

[1326] It should be noted that the last four items mentioned are the four mental aggregates. Thus this discourse covers not only the sense bases but also the five aggregates, the aggregate of material form being implied by the physical sense faculties and their objects.

[1327] According to MA, stream-entry was the minimal attainment of those deities, but some attained the higher paths and fruits up to arahantship.


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