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Saɱyutta Nikāya
I. Sagātha Vagga
6. Brahmā Saɱyutta

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
I. Kindred Sayings with Verses
6. The Brahmā Suttas

Translated by Mrs. Rhys Davids
Assisted by Sūriyagoḍa Sumangala Thera
Public Domain



II: The Quintuplet


Sutta 15

Parinibbāṇa Suttaɱ

The Utter Passing Away



[15.1][than] THUS HAVE I HEARD:

The Exalted One was once staying at Kusinārā,
in the Upavattana sālatree grove,
among the Mallas,
between the Twin Sāla trees,
and it was the occasion of his passing utterly away.

Then[1] the Exalted One addressed the brethren:

"Lo now, [197] bhikkhus, I exhort you: —
earnestly accomplish!

Transient are all the things of life!"

This was the last word of the Tathāgata.[2]

Then the Exalted One attained First Jhāna,[ed1]
and thence the Second,
Fourth Jhānas;
thence in succession to the four spheres: —
infinity of space,
infinity of consciousness,
neither consciousness nor unconsciousness;
thence in reverse order back to First Jhāna;
thence once more in forward order to Fourth Jhāna.

And emerging from Fourth Jhana he at once passed utterly away.

Now when the Exalted One was utterly passed away, Brahmā Sahampati spake this verse: —

"All creatures in the world shall lay aside
The aggregate [as which they lived] as now
Even the Master, even such as he,
Person without a rival in the world,
Tathāgata, who won and wielded powers,[3]
Buddha Supreme, hath wholly passed away."

Now when the Exalted One had utterly passed away, Sakka, ruler of the gods, spake this verse: —

"Alas! impermanent is everything in life!
Growth is its very nature, and decay.
They spring to being and again they cease.
Happy the mastery of them and the peace."

Now when the Exalted One had passed away, the venerable Ānanda spake this verse: —

"0 then was terror, then was mighty dread,
Then stiffened hair and quivered creeping nerve,
When he, endowed with every crowning grace,
The All-Enlightened Buddha passed away!"

[198] Now when the Exalted One had utterly passed away,
the venerable Anuruddha spake these verses: —

"No heaving breath left as he lay,
The mind in Jhana's steadfast stay.
With thought from every craving free,
Fixed on the Peace incessantly,
So passed the Man-who-saw away.[4]
With mind unshaken as they came,
He suffered pangs of death in peace;
Stole o'er his heart the last release:
Nibbāna of the unfed flame."


[1] This account is verbatim that given in the Mahā-Parinibbāna- Suttanta (Dialogues, ii, 173 f.), down to 'passed utterly away,' with this one discrepancy, that the Sayyutta does not represent the dying Master as reaching, in his successive 'sphere' consciousnesses, to that of trance, [Ed. Saññāvedayitanirodhā] before proceeding to the reversed succession. Our narrative omits the allusion, after the passing, to an earthquake, and resumes its parallelism with the Suttanta at the four solemn pronouncements by the two gods and the two Theras. In these there are, again, two discrepancies: — Ānanda here speaks before Anuruddha; in the latter's verse, the fifth line here is substituted for

So made the Sage an end of life.

[2] B. assigns this sentence to the Recensionists.

[3] Cf. iv, 2, § 2.

[4] The phrase here, parinibbuto, is much more canonical and orthodox usage than the kālam akāri (or akāsi) of the parallel account. The latter phrase is not, as a rule, used for an Arahant.


[ed1] The Pali reads for each step: Arising from the x he entered into the y. Since Mrs. Rhys Davids has not provided a complete pattern, the text has been left abbreviated.

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