Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikaaya
I. Muulapa.n.naasa
5. Cuu.la Yamaka Vagga

The Middle Length Sayings
I. The First Fifty Discourses
5. The Lesser Division of the Pairs

Sutta 44

Cuu.la Vedalla Sutta.m

Lesser Discourse of the Miscellany

Translated from the Pali by I.B. Horner, M.A.

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[1][wrrn][chlm][than][upal] THUS have I heard.

At one time the Lord was staying near Raajagaha in the Bamboo Grove at the squirrels' feeding place.

Then the layfollower Visaakha
approached the nun Dhammadinnaa;;[1]
having approached,
having greeted the nun Dhammadinnaa,
he sat down at a respectful distance.

As he was sitting down at a respectful distance,
the lay follower Visaakha spoke thus
to the nun Dhammadinnaa:

"Lady, it is said,

'Own body,[2]
own body.'

Now, lady, what is called
'own body'
by the Lord?"

"Friend Visaakha,
these five groups of grasping
are called 'own body' by the Lord,
that is to say,
the group of grasping after material shape,
the group of grasping after feeling,
the group of grasping after perception,
the group of grasping after the habitual tendencies,
the group of grasping after consciousness.

These five groups of grasping, friend Visaakha,
are called 'own body' by the Lord."

[361] "It is good, lady,"
and the lay follower Visaakha,
having rejoiced in what the nun Dhammadinnaa had said,
having thanked her,
asked the nun Dhammadinnaa a further question:

"Lady, it is said,

'The uprising of own body,
the uprising of own body.'

Now, lady, what is called
'the uprising of own body'
by the Lord?"

"Whatever, friend Visaakha,
is the craving[3]
connected with again-becoming,
accompanied by delight and attachment,
finding delight in this and that,
namely the craving for sense-pleasures,
the craving for becoming,
the craving for annihilation,
this, friend Visaakha,
is called 'the uprising of own body' by the Lord."

"Lady, it is said,

'The stopping of own body,
the stopping of own body.'

Now, lady, what is called
'stopping of own body'
by the Lord?"

"Whatever, friend Visaakha,vis the stopping,
with no attachment remaining,
of that self-same craving,
the giving up of it,
the renunciation of it,
the release from it,
the doing away with it,
this, friend Visaakha,
is called 'The stopping of own body' by the Lord."

"Lady, it is said,

'The course leading to the stopping of own body,
the course leading to the stopping of own body.'

Now, lady, what is called
'the course leading to the stopping of own body'
by the Lord?"

"This ariyan eightfold Way itself, friend Visaakha,
is called 'the course leading to the stopping of own body' by the Lord,
that is to say perfect view,
perfect thought,
perfect speech,
perfect action,
perfect way of living,
perfect endeavour,
perfect mindfulness,
perfect concentration."

Note the difference here between Ms. Horner's translation and that of the others. Then check the Pali.

p.p. explains it all - p.p.

"Do those five groups of grasping, lady,
(comprise) the whole of grasping?

Or is there a grasping
apart from the five groups of grasping?"

"No, friend Visaakha,
these five groups of grasping
(comprise) the whole of grasping,
and there is no grasping
apart from the five groups of grasping.

Whatever, friend Visaakha,
is the attachment and desire
for the five groups of grasping,
that is grasping after them."

It was not necessary for Ms. Horner to add '(wrong)' here with regard to 'view': all 'views' are a mistake and are at least partially wrong.

p.p. explains it all - p.p.

"But how, lady,
does there come to be
(wrong) view as to own body?"

"In this case, friend Visaakha,
an uninstructed average person,
taking no count of the pure ones,
not skilled in the dhamma of the [362] pure ones,
untrained in the dhamma of the pure ones,
taking no count of the true men,
not skilled in the dhamma of the true men,
untrained in the dhamma of the true men,
regards material shape as self[4]
or self as having material shape[5]
or material shape as in self[6]
or self as in material shape;[7]

he regards feeling as self
or self as having feeling
or feeling as in self
or self as in feeling;

he regards perception as self
or self as having perception
or perception as in self
or self as in perception;

he regards the habitual tendencies as self
or self as having habitual tendencies
or habitual tendencies as in self
or self as in habitual tendencies;

he regards consciousness, as self
or self as having consciousness
or consciousness as in self
or self as in consciousness.

Thus, friend Visaakha, does there come to be
(wrong) view as to own body."

"But how, lady, does there not come to be
(wrong) view as to own body?"

"In this case, friend Visaakha,
an instructed disciple of the pure ones,
taking count of the pure ones,
skilled in the dhamma of the pure ones,
well trained in the dhamma of the pure ones,
taking count of the true men,
skilled in the dhamma of the true men,
well trained in the dhamma of the true men,
does not regard material shape as self
nor self as having material shape
nor material shape as in self
nor self as in material shape;

he does not regard feeling as self
nor self as having feeling
nor feeling as in self
nor self as in feeling;

he does not regard perception as self
nor self as having perception
nor perception as in self
nor self as in perception;

he does not regard the habitual tendencies as self
nor self as having habitual tendencies
nor habitual tendencies as in self
nor self as in habitual tendencies;

he does not regard consciousness as self
nor self as having consciousness
nor consciousness as in self
nor self as in consciousness.

Thus, friend Visaakha,
does there not come to be
(wrong) view as to own body."

"But what, lady, is the ariyan eightfold Way?"

"This, friend Visaakha, is the ariyan eightfold Way,
that is to say,
perfect view,
perfect thought,
perfect speech,
perfect action,
perfect way of living,
perfect endeavour,
perfect mindfulness,
perfect concentration."

"But, lady, is the ariyan eightfold Way composite[8]
or in-composite?"

"The ariyan eightfold Way, friend Visaakha,
is composite."

"Now, lady, are the three classes
arranged in accordance with [363] the ariyan eightfold Way
or is the ariyan eightfold Way
arranged in accordance with the three classes?"

"Friend Visaakha, the three classes
are not arranged in accordance with the ariyan eightfold Way,
but the ariyan eightfold Way
is arranged in accordance with the three classes.

Whatever, friend Visaakha,
is perfect speech
and whatever is perfect action
and whatever is perfect way of living -
these things are arranged
in the class of Moral Habit.

And whatever is perfect endeavour
and whatever is perfect mindfulness
and whatever is perfect concentration -
these things are arranged
in the class of Concentration.

And whatever is perfect view
and whatever is perfect thought -
these things are arranged
in the class of Intuitive Wisdom."[9]

"And what, lady, is concentration,
what are the distinguishing marks of concentration,
what are the requisites for concentration,
what is the development of concentration?"

"Whatever, friend Visaakha,
is one-pointedness of mind,
this is concentration;
the four arousings of mindfulness
are the distinguishing marks of concentration;
the four right efforts
are the requisites for concentration;
whatever is the practice,
the development,
the increase of
these very things,
this is herein the development of concentration."

"And how many activities[10] are there,[11] lady?"

"There are these three activities, friend Visaakha:
activities of body,
activities of speech,
activities of mind."

"And what, lady, is activity of body,
what activity of speech,
what activity of mind?"

"In-breathing and out-breathing, friend Visaakha,
is activity of body;
initial thought and discursive thought
is activity of speech;
perception and feeling is activity of mind."

"But why, lady, is in-breathing and out-breathing
activity of body,
why is initial thought and discursive thought
activity of speech,
why is perception and why is feeling
activity of mind?"

"In-breathing and out-breathing, friend Visaakha -
these are bodily things
dependent on the body,
therefore in-breathing and out-breathing
is activity of body.

Having first had initial thought and discursive thought,
one subsequently utters a speech,
therefore initial and discursive thought
is activity of speech.

Perception and feeling -
these are mental things,
dependent on mind,
therefore perception and feeling
is (each) activity of mind."

"And how, lady, does there come to be
the attainment of the stopping of perception and feeling?"

"Friend Visaakha,
it does not occur to a monk
who is attaining the stopping of perception and feeling:

'I will attain
the stopping of perception and feeling,'

or

'I am attaining
the stopping of perception and feeling,'

or

'I have attained
the stopping of perception and feeling.'

For, his mind has been previously so developed in that way[12]
that it leads him on to the state of being such."[13]

"But, lady, when a monk is attaining
the stopping of perception and feeling,
what things are stopped first:
activity of body
or activity of speech
or activity of mind?"

"Friend Visaakha, when a monk is attaining
the stopping of perception and feeling,
activity of speech is stopped first,[14]
then activity of body,[15]
then activity of mind."[16]

"And how, lady, does there come to be
emergence from the attainment
of the stopping of perception and feeling?"

"Friend Visaakha,
it does not occur to a monk
who is emerging from the attainment
of the stopping of perception and feeling:

'I will emerge
from the attainment of the stopping of perception and feeling,

or

'I am emerging
from the attainment of the stopping of perception and feeling,

or

I have emerged
from the attainment of the stopping of perception and feeling.'

For his mind has been previously so developed in that way
that it leads him on to the state of being such."

"But, lady, when a monk is emerging from the attainment
of the stopping of perception and feeling,
what things arise first:
activity of body
or activity of speech
or activity of mind?

"Friend Visaakha,
when a monk is emerging from the attainment
of the stopping of perception and feeling,
activity of mind arises first,
then activity of body,
then activity of speech."

"Lady, how many impingements[17] assail a monk
who has emerged from the attainment
of the stopping of perception and feeling?"

"Friend Visaakha,
when a monk has emerged from the attainment
of the stopping of perception and feeling
three impingements assail him:
impingement that is void,[18]
impingement that is signless,[19]
impingement that is undirected."[20]

"When, lady, the mind of a monk has emerged
from the attainment of the stopping of perception and feeling,
towards what does his mind tend,
slide
and gravitate?"

"Friend Visaakha, the mind of a monk who has emerged from the attainment
of the stopping of perception and feeling
tends,
slides
and gravitates towards aloofness."[21]

"How many feelings are there, lady?"

"There are these three feelings, friend Visaakha:
Feeling that is pleasant,
feeling that is painful,
feeling that is neither painful nor pleasant."[22]

"And what, lady, is feeling that is pleasant,
what feeling that is painful,
what feeling that is neither painful nor pleasant?"

"That, friend Visaakha, which is experienced,
whether by body or mind,
and is pleasant and agreeable,
this is a pleasant feeling.

That, friend Visaakha, which is experienced,
whether by body or mind,
and is painful and disagreeable,
this is a painful feeling.

That, friend Visaakha, which is experienced,
whether by body or mind,
and is neither agreeable nor disagreeable,
this is a feeling that is neither painful nor pleasant."

"But, lady, how is pleasant feeling pleasant,
how painful?

How is painful feeling painful,
how pleasant?

How is neutral feeling pleasant,
how painful?"

"Friend Visaakha,
pleasant feeling is that where pleasantness is lasting,
pain variable;
painful feeling is that where pain is lasting,
[366] pleasantness variable;
neutral feeling is pleasant as to knowing,
painful as to not knowing."

"But, lady, what tendency lies latent in pleasant feeling,
what tendency lies latent in painful feeling,
what tendency lies latent in neutral feeling?"

"Friend Visaakha,
a tendency to attachment
lies latent in pleasant feeling;
a tendency to repugnance
lies latent in painful feeling;
a tendency to ignorance
lies latent in a neutral feeling."[23]

"But, lady, does a tendency to attachment
lie latent in all pleasant feeling?

Does a tendency to repugnance
lie latent in all painful feeling?

Does a tendency to ignorance
lie latent in all neutral feeling?"

"Friend Visaakha,
a tendency to attachment
does not lie latent in all pleasant feeling,
a tendency to repugnance
does not lie latent in all painful feeilng,
a tendency to ignorance
does not lie latent in all neutral feeilng."

"But, lady, what is to be got rid of
in pleasant feeling?

What is to be got rid of
in painful feeling?

What is to be got rid of
in neutral feeling?"

"A tendency to attachment, friend Visaakha,
is to be got rid of
in pleasant feeling;
a tendency to repugnance
is to be got rid of
in painful feeling;
a tendency to ignorance
is to be got rid of
in neutral feeling."

"But, lady, is a tendency to attachment
to be got rid of
from every pleasant feeling?

Is a tendency to repugnance
to be got rid of
from every painful feeling?

Is a tendency to ignorance
to be got rid of
from every neutral feeling?"

"No, friend Visaakha,
a tendency to attachment
is not to be got rid of
from every pleasant feeling,
a tendency to repugnance
is not to be got rid of
from every painful feeling,
a tendency to ignorance
is not to be got rid of
from every neutral feeling.

In this case, friend Visaakha,
a monk,
aloof from pleasures of the senses,
aloof from unskilled states of mind,
enters on and abides in the first meditation
which is accompanied by
initial thought and discursive thought,
is born of aloofness,
and is rapturous and joyful.

It is by this means
that he gets rid of attachment,
no tendency to attachment
lies latent there.

In this case, friend Visaakha,
a monk reflects thus:

'Surely I,
entering on it,
will abide
in that plane which the ariyans,
entering on,
are now abiding in.'

From setting up a [367] yearning
for the incomparable Deliverances
there arises, as a result of the yearning,
distress;
it is by this means that he gets rid of repugnance,
no tendency to repugnance
lies latent there.

In this case, friend Visaakha,
a monk,
by getting rid of joy,
and by getting rid of anguish,
by the going down of his former pleasures and sorrows,
enters on and abides in
the fourth meditation
which has neither anguish nor joy
and which is entirely purified
by equanimity and mindfulness.

It is by this means
that he gets rid of ignorance,
no tendency to ignorance
lies latent there."

"But, lady,
what is the counterpart[24]
of pleasant feeling?"

"Friend Visaakha,
the counterpart of pleasant feeling
is painful feeling."

"And what, lady,
is the counterpart
of painful feeling?"

"Friend, Visaakha,
the counterpart of painful feeling
is pleasant feeling."

"And what, lady,
is the counterpart
of neutral feeling?"

"Ignorance, friend Visaakha,
is the counterpart
of neutral feeling."

"And what, lady,
is the counterpart
of ignorance?"

"Knowledge, friend Visaakha,
is the counterpart
of ignorance."

"And what, lady,
is the counterpart
of knowledge?"

"Freedom, friend Visaakha,
is the counterpart
of knowledge."

"And what, lady,
is the counterpart
of freedom?"

"Nibbaana, friend Visaakha,
is the counterpart
of freedom."

"And what, lady,
is the counterpart
of nibbaana?"[25]

"This question goes too far, friend Visaakha,
it is beyond the compass of an answer.

Friend Visaakha,
the Brahma-faring is for immergence in nibbaana,
for going beyond to nibbaana,
for culminating in nibbaana.[26]

Friend Visaakha,
if you so desire,
having drawn near the Lord,
ask him about this matter.

As the Lord explains,
so will you remember."

Then the layfollower Visaakha,
having rejoiced in what the nun Dhammadinnaa had said,
having thanked her,
rising from his seat,
having greeted her,
keeping his right side towards her,
drew near the Lord;
having drawn near,
having greeted the Lord,
he sat down at a respectful distance.

As he was sitting down at a respectful distance,
the layfollower Visaakha told the Lord
the whole of the conversation he had had
with the nun Dhammadinnaa.

When he [368] had been told,
the Lord spoke thus to the layfollower Visaakha:

"Clever, Visaakha,
is the nun Dhammadinnaa,
of great wisdom, Visaakha,
is the nun Dhammadinnaa.

If you had asked me, Visaakha,
about this matter,
I too would have answered
exactly as the nun Dhammadinnaa answered;[27]
and this is indeed the meaning of that;
thus do you remember it."[28]

Thus spoke the Lord.

Delighted, the layfollower Visaakha
rejoiced in what the Lord had said.

Lesser Discourse of the Miscellany: the Fourth

 


[1] In his time as a householder Visaakha had been Dhammadinnaa's husband, MA. ii. 355; PvA. 21; KhpA. 204; DhA. iv. 229. She is called the chief teacher of dhamma among the women disciples, A. i. 25. A verse is ascribed to her at Thiig. 12 (cf. Dh. 218).

[2] sakkaaya. MA. ii. 358 makes Dhammadinnaa say, "I have not long gone forth. How should I know about 'own body' or 'other's body'?"

[3] Cf. M. i. 48-9.

[4] MA. ii. 360 quotes a passage from Pts. i. 143 where such a person regards material shape and self as identical (not two, advaya) like the flame and hue of a lighted lamp.

[5] As a tree has a shadow, cf. Pts. i. 144.

[6] As a scent is in a flower, cf. Pts. i. 145.

[7] As a jewel is in a casket, cf. Pts. i. 145.

[8] sa'nkhata. MA. ii. 361 explains by cetito kappito pakappito aayuuhito nibbattito samapajjantena samaapajjitabbo, thought out, arranged, fixed, cultivated, produced, to be entered on by entering it.

[9] Quoted Asl. 305.

[10] sa'nkhaara-, here with a different sense from sa'nkhaara as one of the khandhas, and meaning function or formation. "Being dependent on body it is put together (sa'nkhariiyati) by the body, produced by it," MA. ii. 364; and similarly for speech and thought.

[11] Cf. the following with S. iv. 294.

[12] He thinks "At that time I will become (or, I must be) without mind, (acittaka, unconscious)," MA. ii. 365.

[13] So a mind developed in this way leads the man on to a state of suchness, lathattaaya, a state of unconsciousness, MA. ii. 365.

[14] In the second jhaana.

[15] In the fourth jhaana.

[16] In the inner stopping, antonirodhe, cf. MA. ii. 349.

[17] phassa is the awareness, cognition or reaction dependent on the impingement or impact of sense-data on their appropriate sense-organ; see M. i. 111.

[18] It is seen to be not-self, MA. ii. 367. Cf. MA. ii. 113 where anattaa is su~n~nata, empty.

[19] Impermanent, MA. ii. 367.

[20] Not directed to ill, for he understands ill to be raaga, dosa and moka. In fact, in meditation, he realises that nibbaana is void of attachment, hatred and confusion, unmarked or not "signed" by them, not directed towards them, MA. ii. 367. On the three terms of the text, see Vin. iii. 93, and B.D i. 161, n. 3 for further references.

[21] I,e. nibbaana, MA. ii. 367.

[22] Cf. S. iv. 205.

[23] Cf. S. iv. 208.

[24] pa.tibhaaga, analogy, equal, comparable to.

[25] Cf. Miln. 316; appa.tibhaaga nibbaana; and MA. ii. 370, nibbaanam naam'eta.m appa.tibhaaga.m.

[26] Cf. S. v. 218.

[27] This Sutta therefore ranks as the Conqueror's speech, not as the disciple's speech, MA. ii. 371.

[28] Cf. S. iv. 374 where the Lord explains certain matters exactly as the nun Khemaa had done.


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