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Saɱyutta Nikāya:
III. Khandhā Vagga:
23: Rādhasaɱyutta

Kindred Sayings on Rādha

Suttas 1-46

Translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi

Copyright Wisdom Publications.
Reproduced with permission.


 

I. The First Māra Subchapter


 

Sutta 1

Māra

[1.1][pts][olds] At Sāvatthī.

Then the Venerable Rādha approached the Blessed One,[239] paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and said to him: "Venerable sir, it is said, 'Māra, Māra.' In what way, venerable sir, might Māra be?"[240]

"When there is form, Rādha, there might be Māra, or the killer, or the one who is killed.[241] Therefore, Rādha, see form as Māra, see it as the killer, see it as the one who is killed. See it as a disease, as a tumour, as a dart, as misery, as real misery. Those who see it thus see rightly.

"When there is feeling ... When there is perception ... When there are volitional formations ... When there is consciousness, Rādha, there might be Māra, or the killer, or the one who is killed. Therefore, Rādha, see consciousness as Māra, see it as the killer, see it as the one who is killed. See it as a disease, as a tumour, as a dart, as misery, as real misery. Those who see it thus see rightly."

"What, venerable sir, is the purpose of seeing rightly?"

"The purpose of seeing rightly, Rādha, is revulsion."

"And what, venerable sir, is the purpose of revulsion?"

"The purpose of revulsion is dispassion."

"And what, venerable sir, is the purpose of dispassion?"

"The purpose of dispassion is liberation."

"And what, venerable sir, is the purpose of liberation?"

"The purpose of liberation is Nibbāna."[242]

"And what, venerable sir, is the purpose of Nibbāna?"

"You have gone beyond the range of questioning, Rādha.[243]

[ 985 ] You weren't able to grasp the limit to questioning. For, Rādha, the holy life is lived with Nibbāna as its ground, Nibbāna as its destination, Nibbāna as its final goal."[244]

 

§

 

Sutta 2

A Being

[2.1][pts] At Sāvatthī.

Sitting to one side, the Venerable Rādha said to the Blessed One: "Venerable sir, it is said, 'a being, a being.' In what way, venerable sir, is one called a being?"

"One is stuck, Rādha, tightly stuck, in desire, lust, delight, and craving for form; therefore one is called a being.[244a] One is stuck, tightly stuck, in desire, lust, delight, and craving for feeling... for perception ... for volitional formations ... for consciousness; therefore one is called a being.

"Suppose, Rādha, some little boys or girls are playing with sand castles. So long as they are not devoid of lust, desire, affection, thirst, passion, and craving for those sand castles, they cherish them, play with them, treasure them,[245] and treat them possessively. But when those little boys or girls lose their lust, desire, affection, thirst, passion, and craving for those sand castles, then they scatter them with their hands and feet, demolish them, shatter them, and put them out of play.

"So too, Rādha, scatter form, demolish it, shatter it, put it out of play; practise for the destruction of craving. Scatter feeling ... Scatter perception... Scatter volitional formations ... Scatter consciousness, demolish it, shatter it, put it out of play; practise for the destruction of craving. For the destruction of craving, Rādha, is Nibbāna."

 

§

 

Sutta 3

The Conduit to Existence

[3.1][pts] At Sāvatthī.

Sitting to one side, the Venerable Rādha said to the Blessed One: "Venerable sir, it is said, 'the conduit to existence, the conduit to existence.'[246] What, venerable sir, is the conduit to existence, and what is the cessation of the conduit to existence?"

"Rādha, the desire, lust, delight, craving, engagement and clinging, mental standpoints, adherences, and underlying tendencies regarding form:[247] this is called the conduit to existence. Their cessation is the cessation of the conduit to existence.

"The desire, lust, delight, craving, engagement and clinging, mental standpoints, adherences, and underlying tendencies regarding feeling... perception... volitional formations... consciousness: this is called the conduit to existence. Their cessation is the cessation of the conduit to existence."

 

§

 

Sutta 4

To Be Fully Understood

[4.1][pts] At Sāvatthī.

"Rādha, I will teach you things that should be fully understood, full understanding, and the person who has fully understood.[218] Listen to that....

"And what, Rādha, are the things that should be fully understood? Form, Rādha, is something that should be fully understood. Feeling ... Perception ... Volitional formations ... Consciousness is something that should be fully understood. These are called the things that should be fully understood.

"And what, Rādha, is full understanding? The destruction of lust, the destruction of hatred, the destruction of delusion: this is called full understanding.[219]

"And who, Rādha, is the person that has fully understood? It should be said: the arahant, the venerable one of such a name and clan. This is called the person that has fully understood."

 

§

 

Sutta 5

Ascetics (1)

[5.1][pts] At Sāvatthī.

"Rādha, there are these five aggregates subject to clinging. What five? The form aggregate subject to clinging... the [ 965 ] consciousness aggregate subject to clinging.

"Rādha, those ascetics and brahmins who do not understand as they really are the gratification, the danger, and the escape in the case of these five aggregates subject to clinging: these I do not consider to be ascetics among ascetics or brahmins among brahmins, and these venerable ones do not, by realizing it for themselves with direct knowledge, in this very life enter and dwell in the goal of asceticism or the goal of brahminhood.

"But, Rādha, those ascetics and brahmins who understand these things as they really are: these I consider to be ascetics among ascetics and brahmins among brahmins, and these venerable ones, by realizing it for themselves with direct knowledge, in this very life enter and dwell in the goal of asceticism and the goal of brahminhood."

 

§

 

Sutta 6

Ascetics (2)

[6.1][pts] At Sāvatthī.

At Sāvatthī [220]

"Rādha, there are these five aggregates subject to clinging. What five? The form aggregate subject to clinging... the consciousness aggregate subject to clinging.

"Rādha, those ascetics and brahmins who do not understand as they really are the origin and the passing away, the gratification, the danger, and the escape in the case of these five aggregates subject to clinging: these I do not consider to be ascetics among ascetics or brahmins among brahmins....

"But, Rādha, those ascetics and brahmins who understand these things as they really are... in this very life enter and dwell in the goal of asceticism and the goal of brahminhood."

 

§

 

Sutta 7

Stream-Enterer

[7.1][pts] At Sāvatthī.

"Rādha, there are these five aggregates subject to clinging. What five? The form aggregate subject to clinging... the consciousness aggregate subject to clinging.

"When, Rādha, a noble disciple understands as they really are the origin and the passing away, the gratification, the danger, and the escape in the case of these five aggregates subject to clinging, then he is called a noble disciple who is a stream-enterer, no longer bound to the nether world, fixed in destiny, with enlightenment as his destination."

 

§

 

Sutta 8

Arahant

[8.1][pts] At Sāvatthī.

... "When, Rādha, having understood as they really are the origin and the passing away, the gratification, the danger, and the escape in the case of these five aggregates subject to clinging, a bhikkhu is liberated by nonclinging,[221] then he is called a bhikkhu who is an arahant, one whose taints are destroyed, who has lived the holy life, done what had to be done, laid down the burden, reached his own goal, utterly destroyed the fetters of existence, one completely liberated through final knowledge."

 

§

 

Sutta 9

Abandoning Desire (1)

[9.1][pts] At Sāvatthī.

"Rādha, whatever desire there is for form, whatever lust, delight, craving -- abandon it. Thus that form will be abandoned, cut off at the root, made like a palm stump, obliterated so that it is no more subject to future arising. So too in the case of feeling, perception, volitional formations, and consciousness."

 

§

 

Sutta 10

Abandoning Desire (2)

[10.1][pts] At Sāvatthī.

"Rādha, whatever desire there is for form, whatever lust, delight, craving, whatever engagement and clinging, mental standpoints, adherences, and underlying tendencies abandon them. Thus that form will be abandoned, cut off at the root, made like a palm stump, obliterated so that it is no more subject to future arising. So too in the case of feeling, perception, volitional formations, and consciousness."

 

§

 

Sutta 11

Māra

[11.1][pts] At Sāvatthī.

Sitting to one side, the Venerable Rādha said to the Blessed One: "Venerable sir, it is said, 'Māra, Māra.' What now, venerable sir, is Māra?"

"Form, Rādha, is Māra. Feeling... Perception... Volitional formations ... Consciousness is Māra. Seeing thus ... He understands: '... there is no more for this state of being.'"

 

§

 

Sutta 12

Subject to Māra

[12.1][pts] At Sāvatthī.

Sitting to one side, the Venerable Rādha said to the Blessed One: "Venerable sir, it is said, 'subject to Māra, subject to Māra.'[248] What now, venerable sir, is subject to Māra?"

"Form, Rādha, is subject to Māra. Feeling ... Perception ... Volitional formations... Consciousness is subject to Māra. Seeing thus ... He understands: '... there is no more for this state of being.'"

 

§

 

Sutta 13

Impermanent

[13.1][pts] At Sāvatthī.

Sitting to one side, the Venerable Rādha said to the Blessed One: "Venerable sir, it is said, 'impermanent, impermanent.' What now, venerable sir; is impermanent?"

"Form, Rādha, is impermanent. Feeling ... Perception ... Volitional formations ... Consciousness is impermanent. Seeing thus .. . He understands: '... there is no more for this state of being.'"

 

§

 

Sutta 14

Of Impermanent Nature

[14.1][pts] At Sāvatthī.

Sitting to one side, the Venerable Rādha said to the Blessed One: "Venerable sir, it is said, 'of an impermanent nature, of an impermanent nature.' What now, venerable sir, is of an impermanent nature?"

"Form, Rādha, is of an impermanent nature. Feeling ... Perception ... Volitional formations ... Consciousness is of an impermanent nature. Seeing thus... He understands: '... there is no more for this state of being.'"

 

§

 

Sutta 15

Suffering

[15.1][pts] At Sāvatthī.

Sitting to one side, the Venerable Rādha said to the Blessed One: "Venerable sir, it is said, 'suffering, suffering.' What now, venerable sir, is suffering?"

"Form, Rādha, is suffering, feeling is suffering, perception is suffering, volitional formations are suffering, consciousness is suffering. Seeing thus... He understands: ' ... there is no more for this state of being.'"

 

§

 

Sutta 16

Of Painful Nature

[16.1][pts] At Sāvatthī.

Sitting to one side, the Venerable Rādha said to the Blessed One: "Venerable sir, it is said, 'of a painful nature, of a painful nature: What now, venerable sir, is of a painful nature?"

"Form, Rādha, is of a painful nature. Feeling ... Perception ... Volitional formations ... Consciousness is of a painful nature. Seeing thus ... He understands: '... there is no more for this state of being.'"

 

§

 

Sutta 17

Nonself

[17.1][pts] At Sāvatthī.

Sitting to one side, the Venerable Rādha said to the Blessed One: "Venerable sir, it is said, 'nonself, nonself.' What now, venerable sir, is nonself?"

"Form, Rādha, is nonself, feeling is nonself, perception is nonself, volitional formations are nonself, consciousness is nonself. Seeing thus ... He understands: '... there is no more for this state of being.'"

 

§

 

Sutta 18

Of Selfless Nature

[18.1][pts] At Sāvatthī.

Sitting to one side, the Venerable Rādha said to the Blessed One: "Venerable sir, it is said, 'of a selfless nature, of a selfless nature.' What now, venerable sir, is of a selfless nature?"

"Form, Rādha, is of a selfless nature. Feeling ... [197] Perception... Volitional formations... Consciousness is of a selfless nature. Seeing thus... He understands: '... there is no more for this state of being.'"

 

§

 

Sutta 19

Subject to Destruction

[19.1][pts] At Sāvatthī.

Sitting to one side, the Venerable Rādha said to the Blessed One: "Venerable sir, it is said, 'subject to destruction, subject to destruction.' What now, venerable sir, is subject to destruction?"

"Form, Rādha, is subject to destruction. Feeling ... Perception . .. Volitional formations ... Consciousness is subject to destruction. Seeing thus ... He understands: '... there is no more for this state of being.'"

 

§

 

Sutta 20

Subject to Vanishing

[20.1][pts] At Sāvatthī.

Sitting to one side, the Venerable Rādha said to the Blessed One: "Venerable sir, it is said, 'subject to vanishing, subject to vanishing.' What now, venerable sir, is subject to vanishing?"

"Form, Rādha, is subject to vanishing. Feeling... Perception... Volitional formations ... Consciousness is subject to vanishing. Seeing thus ... He understands: '... there is no more for this state of being.'"

 

§

 

Sutta 21

Subject to Arising

[21.1][pts] At Sāvatthī.

Sitting to one side, the Venerable Rādha said to the Blessed One: "Venerable sir, it is said, 'subject to arising, subject to arising.' What now, venerable sir, is subject to arising?"

"Form, Rādha, is subject to arising. Feeling .;. Perception ... Volitional formations ... Consciousness is subject to arising. Seeing thus ... He understands: '... there is no more Jor this state of being.'"

 

§

 

Sutta 22

Subject to Cessation

[22.1][pts] At Sāvatthī.

Sitting to one side, the Venerable Rādha said to the Blessed One: "Venerable sir, it is said, 'subject to cessation, subject to cessation.' What now, venerable sir, is subject to cessation?"

"Form, Rādha, is subject to cessation. Feeling... Perception... Volitional formations ... Consciousness is subject to cessation. Seeing thus ... He understands: '... there is no more for this state of being.'"

 


III. Request


 

Sutta 23

Māra

[23.1][pts] At Sāvatthī.

Sitting to one side, the Venerable Rādha said to the Blessed One: "Venerable sir, it would be good if the Blessed One would teach me the Dhamma in brief, so that, having heard the Dhamma from the Blessed One, I might dwell alone, withdrawn, diligent, ardent, and resolute."

"Rādha, you should abandon desire, you should abandon lust, you should abandon desire and lust, for whatever is Māra. And what, Rādha, is Māra? Form is Māra. Feeling ... Perception ... Volitional formations ... Consciousness is Māra. Seeing thus ... He understands: '... there is no more for this state of being.'"

 

§

 

Suttas 24-34

Subject to Māra, Etc.

[24.1][pts] At Sāvatthī.

... "Rādha, you should abandon desire, you should abandon lust, you should abandon desire and lust, for whatever is subject to Māra ... for whatever is impermanent ... for whatever is of an impermanent nature... for whatever is suffering... for whatever is of a painful nature ... for whatever is nonself ... for whatever is of a selfless nature ... for whatever is subject to destruction ... for whatever is subject to vanishing... for whatever is subject to arising ... for whatever is subject to cessation. And what, Rādha, is subject to cessation? Form is subject to cessation. Feeling ... Perception ... Volitional formations ... Consciousness is subject to cessation. Seeing thus ... He understands: '... there is no more for this state of being.'"

 


IV. Sitting Nearby


 

Sutta 35

Māra

[35.1][pts] At Sāvatthī.

The Blessed One said to the Venerable Rādha as he was sitting to one side: Rādha, you should abandon desire, you should abandon lust, you should abandon desire and lust, for whatever is Māra. And what, Rādha, is Māra?"... (Complete as in §23.)

 

§

 

Sutta 36-46

Subject to Māra, Etc.

[36.1][pts] At Sāvatthī.

(Identical with §§24-34, but opening as in the preceding sutta.)

 


[239] DPPN 2:730 explains that he was a brahmin of Rājagaha who had become a monk in his old age. The Buddha declared him the foremost of those who could inspire ingenuity in others (etadaggaɱ paṭibhāṇakeyyānaɱ; AN I 25,15). He has two verses at Th 133-34 (= Dhp 13-14).
Spk: Whenever the Tathagata saw this elder, a subtle topic occurred to him. Thus the Blessed One taught him the Dhamma in various ways. In this Saɱyutta, two vaggas have come down by way of questions, a third by way of request, and a fourth by way of intimate discourse (upanisinnakakathā, lit. "sitting nearby talk").

[240] Spk: Here "Mara" is a metaphor for death and the aggregates (maraṇa-māra, khandha-māra).

[241] Māro vā assa māretā vā yo vii pana miyati. Spk glosses māretā with māretabbo, but the word is clearly an agent noun with an active sense.

[242] Vimutti kho Rādha nibbānatthā. Spk: This "liberation of the fruit" is for the purpose of Nibbāna without clinging (phalavimutti nām'esā anupādānibbānatthā).

[243] This paragraph is also at 48:42 (V 218,19-21) and MN I 304,20-22. Be consistently reads the verb as accayāsi (aorist of atiyāti), Se as accasarā (aorist of atisarati). Ee's assa here and ajjhaparam below must stem from faulty manuscripts.
The last sentence is: Nibbānogadhaɱ hi Rādha brahmacariyaɱ vussati nibbānaparāyanaɱ nibbānapariyosānaɱ. Many translators take nibbānogadha to mean "the plunge into Nibbāna" or "merging with Nibbāna," which the commentaries encourage by connecting ogadha with ogāha, a plunge (from the verb ogāhati, to plunge into). But ogadha is actually a by-form of ogādha, from the verb ogādhati, which the commentaries treat as synonymous with patiṭṭhahati, "to be established." They confirm this link by consistently glossing ogadha with patiṭṭhā, support; hence my rendering "ground." For the references, see CPD, s.v. ogadha, ogādhati, ogāha, and the use of the word gādha, both literal and metaphorical, in I, v. 263. MW defines gādha (from the root gādh, to stand firmly) as a ground for standing on in water, a shallow place, a ford.

[244][244a] This reply hinges on a pun between satta as the Pali equivalent of Skt sattva, "a being," and as the past participle of sajjati (= Skt sakta), "attached."

[245] I read dhanāyanti with Be and Se, glossed dhanaɱ viya maññanti by Spk.

[246] I follow Se. Be reads bhavanetti-nirodho twice, Ee bhavanetti bhavanetti-nirodho. Bhavanetti, lit. "what leads to existence," is glossed bhavarajju, "rope of existence," by Spk. The expression is a synonym of bhavataṇhā, craving for existence, and often occurs in verse.

[247] A partly similar series of terms is met at 12:15. See II, nn. 31, 32.

[248] Māradhamma. Spk glosses with maraṇadhamma, "subject to death." In some of the suttas that follow (namely, in relation to impermanence, suffering, and nonself), I translate the suffix -dhamma as "nature" rather than "subject to."

[218] Spk glosses pariññeyya with samatikkamitabbil and pariññā with samatikkama; see n. 41. The "person who has fully understood" (pariññātāvī) is a conventional expression; see n.37.

[219] Spk: By this, Nibbana is shown.

[220] Woodward, at KS 3:136, says that this sutta is the same as the preceding one, but that is not the case; this one adds samudayañ ca atthangamañ ca.

[221] The stream-enterer (in the preceding sutta) and the arahant share the same understanding of the five aggregates. They differ in that the arahant has used this understanding to extricate all defilements, while the stream-enterer (and higher trainees) have yet to complete this task. Note too that whereas the stream-enterer is explained in terms of a noble disciple, the arahant is always defined as a bhikkhu.


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