Bậc trí bảo vệ thân, bảo vệ luôn lời nói, bảo vệ cả tâm tư, ba nghiệp khéo bảo vệ.Kinh Pháp Cú (Kệ số 234)
Ai sống quán bất tịnh, khéo hộ trì các căn, ăn uống có tiết độ, có lòng tin, tinh cần, ma không uy hiếp được, như núi đá, trước gió.Kinh Pháp Cú (Kệ số 8)
Của cải và sắc dục đến mà người chẳng chịu buông bỏ, cũng tỷ như lưỡi dao có dính chút mật, chẳng đủ thành bữa ăn ngon, trẻ con liếm vào phải chịu cái họa đứt lưỡi.Kinh Bốn mươi hai chương
Sự nguy hại của nóng giận còn hơn cả lửa dữ. Kinh Lời dạy cuối cùng
Dầu nói ra ngàn câu nhưng không lợi ích gì, tốt hơn nói một câu có nghĩa, nghe xong tâm ý được an tịnh vui thích.Kinh Pháp cú (Kệ số 101)
Dễ thay thấy lỗi người, lỗi mình thấy mới khó.Kinh Pháp cú (Kệ số 252)
Tìm lỗi của người khác rất dễ, tự thấy lỗi của mình rất khó. Kinh Pháp cú
Những người hay khuyên dạy, ngăn người khác làm ác, được người hiền kính yêu, bị kẻ ác không thích.Kinh Pháp cú (Kệ số 77)
Nên biết rằng tâm nóng giận còn hơn cả lửa dữ, phải thường phòng hộ không để cho nhập vào. Giặc cướp công đức không gì hơn tâm nóng giận.Kinh Lời dạy cuối cùng
Kẻ hung dữ hại người cũng như ngửa mặt lên trời mà phun nước bọt. Nước bọt ấy chẳng lên đến trời, lại rơi xuống chính mình.Kinh Bốn mươi hai chương

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Udāna

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6. Jaccandhavagga — Blind from Birth
I.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Vesālī at the Gabled Hall in the Great Forest. Then, early in the morning, he adjusted his under robe and — carrying his bowl & robes — went into Vesālī for alms. Then, having gone for alms in Vesālī, after the meal, returning from his alms round, he addressed Ven. Ānanda, "Get a sitting cloth, Ānanda. We will go to the Pāvāla shrine for the day's abiding."
Responding, "As you say, lord," to the Blessed One, Ven. Ānanda followed along behind the Blessed One, carrying the sitting cloth. Then the Blessed One went to the Pāvāla shrine and, on arrival, sat down on the seat laid out.
Seated, the Blessed One addressed Ven. Ānanda, "Vesālī is refreshing, Ānanda. Refreshing, too, are the Udena shrine, the Gotamaka shrine, the Sattamba shrine, the ManySon shrine, the Sāranda shrine, the Pāvāla shrine.[1]
"Anyone, Ānanda, in whom the four bases of power[2] are developed, pursued, given a means of transport, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, and well-undertaken, could — if he wanted — remain for an eon or the remainder of an eon.[3] In the Tathāgata, Ānanda, the four bases of power are developed, pursued, given a means of transport, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, and well-undertaken. He could — if he wanted — remain for an eon or the remainder of an eon."
But Ven. Ānanda — even when the Blessed One had given such a blatant sign, such a blatant hint — wasn't able to understand his meaning. He didn't request of him, "Lord, may the Blessed One remain for an eon. May the One-Well-Gone remain for an eon — for the benefit of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of sympathy for the world, for the welfare, benefit, & happiness of human and divine beings." It was as if his mind was possessed by Māra.
A second time... A third time, the Blessed One addressed Ven. Ānanda, "Vesālī is refreshing, Ānanda. Refreshing, too, are the Udena shrine, the Gotamaka shrine, the Sattamba shrine, the ManySon shrine, the Sāranda shrine, the Pāvāla shrine.
"Anyone, Ānanda, in whom the four bases of power are developed, pursued, given a means of transport, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, and well-undertaken, could — if he wanted — remain for an eon or the remainder of an eon. In the Tathāgata, Ānanda, the four bases of power are developed, pursued, given a means of transport, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, and well-undertaken. He could — if he wanted — remain for an eon or the remainder of an eon."
But Ven. Ānanda — even when the Blessed One had given such a blatant sign, such a blatant hint — wasn't able to understand his meaning. He didn't request of him, "Lord, may the Blessed One remain for an eon. May the One-Well-Gone remain for an eon — for the benefit of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of sympathy for the world, for the welfare, benefit, & happiness of human and divine beings." It was as if his mind was possessed by Māra.
Then the Blessed One addressed Ven. Ānanda, "Go, Ānanda. Do what you think it is now time to do."
Responding, "As you say, lord," to the Blessed One, Ven. Ānanda got up from his seat, bowed down to the Blessed One and — after circling him to the right — went to sit under a tree not far from the Blessed One.
Then, not long after Ven. Ānanda had left, Māra the Evil One went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, stood to one side. As he was standing there he said to the Blessed One, "May the Blessed One totally unbind now, lord. May the One-Well-Gone totally unbind now, lord. Now is the time for the Blessed One's total unbinding, lord. After all, these words were said by the Blessed One: 'Evil One, I will not totally unbind as long as my monk disciples are not yet experienced, trained, attained to confidence, desiring rest from the yoke, learned, maintaining the Dhamma, practicing the Dhamma in line with the Dhamma, practicing masterfully, living in line with the Dhamma; declaring the Dhamma — after having learned it from their own teachers — teaching it, describing it, setting it forth, revealing it, explaining it, making it plain; well-refuting, in line with the Dhamma, any opposing teachings that have arisen; teaching the Dhamma with its marvels.'[4]
"But now, lord, the Blessed One's monk disciples are experienced, trained, attained to confidence, desiring rest from the yoke, learned, maintaining the Dhamma, practicing the Dhamma in line with the Dhamma, practicing masterfully, living in line with the Dhamma; declaring the Dhamma — after having learned it from their own teachers — teaching it, describing it, setting it forth, revealing it, explaining it, making it plain; well-refuting, in line with the Dhamma, any opposing teachings that have arisen; teaching the Dhamma with its marvels.
"May the Blessed One totally unbind now, lord. May the One-Well-Gone totally unbind now, lord. Now is the time for the Blessed One's total unbinding, lord. After all, these words were said by the Blessed One: 'Evil One, I will not totally unbind as long as my nun disciples... my male lay-follower disciples... my female lay-follower disciples are not yet experienced, trained, attained to maturity, desiring rest from the yoke, learned, maintaining the Dhamma, practicing the Dhamma in line with the Dhamma, practicing masterfully, living in line with the Dhamma; declaring the Dhamma — after having learned it from their own teachers — teaching it, describing it, setting it forth, revealing it, explaining it, making it plain; well-refuting, in line with the Dhamma, any opposing teachings that have arisen; teaching the Dhamma with its marvels.'
"But now, lord, the Blessed One's female lay-follower disciples are experienced, trained, attained to maturity, desiring rest from the yoke, learned, maintaining the Dhamma, practicing the Dhamma in line with the Dhamma, practicing masterfully, living in line with the Dhamma; declaring the Dhamma — after having learned it from their own teachers — teaching it, describing it, setting it forth, revealing it, explaining it, making it plain; well-refuting, in line with the Dhamma, any opposing teachings that have arisen; teaching the Dhamma with its marvels.
"May the Blessed One totally unbind now, lord. May the One-Well-Gone totally unbind now, lord. Now is the time for the Blessed One's total unbinding, lord. After all, these words were said by the Blessed One: 'Evil One, I will not totally unbind as long as this holy life of mine is not powerful, prosperous, widely-spread, disseminated among many people, well-expounded as far as there are devas & human beings.' But now, lord, the Blessed One's holy life is powerful, prosperous, widely-spread, disseminated among many people, well-expounded as far as there are devas & human beings.
"May the Blessed One totally unbind now, lord. May the One-Well-Gone totally unbind now, lord. Now is the time for the Blessed One's total unbinding, lord."
When this was said, the Blessed One said to Māra, the Most Evil One: "Relax, Evil One. It won't be long until the Tathāgata's total unbinding. In three month's time from now, the Tathāgata will totally unbind."
Thus at the Pāvāla shrine — mindful & alert — the Blessed One relinquished the fabrications of life.[5] And as the Blessed One relinquished the fabrications of life, there was a great earthquake, frightening & hair-raising, along with cracks of thunder.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Comparing the incomparable[6]
with coming-into-being,
the sage relinquished
the fabrication of becoming.
Inwardly joyful,
centered,
he split his own
coming-into-being
like a coat of mail.[7]
Note
1.
As DN 16 makes clear, there were several times in the past where the Buddha, at several different locations, had commented to Ven. Ānanda on how refreshing it was to be in the location where they were staying. This apparently was meant as a sign that living on would not be a burden, for in each case he had then given a broad hint — as he does here — for Ven. Ānanda to invite him to extend his life. As says in the narrative immediately following the events portrayed in this udāna, he would have refused the invitation if offered only twice, but would have accepted it on the third offer. But now that he has abandoned the will to live, he cannot take it on again, so Ven. Ānanda's final opportunity to make the invitation is lost.
2.
"And what is the base of power? Whatever path, whatever practice, leads to the attainment of power, the winning of power: That is called the base of power.
"And what is the development of the base of power? There is the case where a monk develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on desire & the fabrications of exertion. He develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on persistence... concentration founded on intent... concentration founded on discrimination & the fabrications of exertion. This is called the development of the base of power."
— SN 51.26
3.
An eon, in the Buddhist cosmology, is an immensely long stretch of time. According to the Commentary here, it can also mean the full lifespan of a human being in that particular period of the eon (Buddhist cosmology allows for a huge fluctuation in human lifespans over the course of an eon). The Commentary adopts this second meaning in this passage, and so takes the Buddha's statement here as meaning that a person who has developed the bases of power could live for a full lifespan or for a little bit more. In this case, the Pali for the last part of this compound, kappāvasesaṃ, would mean, "an eon plus a remainder."
4.
DN 11 defines the miracle of instruction as instruction in training the mind to the point of where it gains release from all suffering and stress.
5.
In other words, the Buddha relinquished the will to live longer. It was this relinquishment that led to his total Unbinding three months later.
6.
Reading tulaṃ as a present participle.
7.
The image is of splitting a coat of mail with an arrow.
II.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at the Eastern Monastery, the palace of Migāra's mother. And on that occasion the Blessed One, having emerged from his seclusion in the late afternoon, was sitting outside the doorway of the porch. Then King Pasenadi Kosala went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side.
Now on that occasion seven coiled-hair ascetics, seven Jain ascetics, seven cloth-less ascetics, seven one-cloth ascetics, & seven wanderers — their nails, armpit-hair, & body-hair grown long, carrying containers on poles [over their shoulders] — walked past, not far from the Blessed One. King Pasenadi Kosala saw the seven coiled-hair ascetics, seven Jain ascetics, seven cloth-less ascetics, seven one-cloth ascetics, & seven wanderers — their nails, armpit-hair, & body-hair grown long, carrying containers on poles [over their shoulders] — walking past, not far from the Blessed One. On seeing them, he got up from his seat, arranged his upper robe over one shoulder, knelt down with his right knee on the ground, paid homage to the seven coiled-hair ascetics, seven Jain ascetics, seven cloth-less ascetics, seven one-cloth ascetics, & seven wanderers with his hands palm-to-palm in front his heart, and announced his name three times: "I am the king, venerable sirs, Pasenadi Kosala. I am the king, venerable sirs, Pasenadi Kosala. I am the king, venerable sirs, Pasenadi Kosala."
Then not long after the seven coiled-hair ascetics, seven Jain ascetics, seven cloth-less ascetics, seven one-cloth ascetics, & seven wanderers had passed, King Pasenadi Kosala went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, "Of those in the world who are arahants or on the path to arahantship, are these among them?"[1]
"Great king, as a layman enjoying sensual pleasures; living confined with children; using Kāsī fabrics & sandalwood; wearing garlands, scents, & creams; handling gold & silver, it's hard for you to know whether these are arahants or on the path to arahantship.
"It's through living together that a person's virtue may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning.
"It's through trading with a person that his purity may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning.
"It's through adversity that a person's endurance may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning.
"It's through discussion that a person's discernment may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning."
"Amazing, lord! Astounding! — how well that was put by the Blessed One! 'Great king, as a layman enjoying sensual pleasures; living confined with children; using Kāsī fabrics & sandalwood; wearing garlands, scents, & creams; handling gold & silver, it's hard for you to know whether these are arahants or on the path to arahantship.
"'It's through living together that a person's virtue may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning.
"'It's through trading with a person that his purity may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning.
"'It's through adversity that a person's endurance may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning.
"'It's through discussion that a person's discernment may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning.'
"These men, lord, are my spies, my scouts, returning after going out through the countryside. They go out first, and then I go. Now, when they have scrubbed off the dirt & mud, are well-bathed & well-perfumed, have trimmed their hair and beards, and have put on white clothes, they will go about endowed and provided with the five strings of sensuality."
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
One should not make an effort everywhere,
should not be another's hireling,
should not live dependent on another,
should not go about
as a trader in the Dhamma.[2]
Notes
1.
In the parallel passage at SN 3.11, King Pasenadi states this, not as a questions, but as a fact: "Of those in the world who are arahants or on the path to arahantship, these are among them." The version presented here, however, seems psychologically more probable: The king, rather than trying to lie to the Buddha, wants to test the latter's ability to see through the disguise of his spies.
2.
In SN 3.11, this verse is replaced with the following:
Not by appearance
is a man rightly known,
nor should trust be based
on a quick glance,
— for, disguised as well-restrained,
the unrestrained go through this world.
A counterfeit earring made of clay,
a bronze half-dollar coated in gold:
They go about in this world
hidden all around:
impure inside,
beautiful out.
The verse in SN 3.11 may seem more immediately relevant to the situation than the verse given here, but the verse given here is a more interesting and original response to what is happening.
III.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion the Blessed One sat reflecting on the various evil, unskillful qualities that had been abandoned [in him] and on the various skillful qualities that had gone to the culmination of their development. Then as he realized the various evil, unskillful qualities that had been abandoned [in him] and the various skillful qualities that had gone to the culmination of their development, he on that occasion exclaimed:
Before, it was, then it wasn't.
Before, it wasn't, then it was.
It wasn't, won't be,
& now isn't to be found.[1]
Note
1.
1. The last half of this verse also appears as the last half a verse attributed to Ven. Kaṇhadinna at Thag 2.30 (verse 180 in the PTS edition).
IV.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion there were many contemplatives, brahmans, & wanderers of various sects living around Sāvatthī with differing views, differing opinions, differing beliefs, dependent for support on their differing views. Some of the contemplatives & brahmans held this doctrine, this view: "The cosmos is eternal. Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless."
Some of the contemplatives & brahmans held this doctrine, this view: "The cosmos is not eternal" ... "The cosmos is finite" ... "The cosmos is infinite" ... "The soul is the same thing as the body" ... "The soul is one thing and the body another" ... "After death a Tathāgata exists" ... "After death a Tathāgata does not exist" ... "After death a Tathāgata both exists & does not exist" ... "After death a Tathāgata neither exists nor does not exist. Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless."
And they kept on arguing, quarreling, & disputing, wounding one another with weapons of the mouth, saying, "The Dhamma is like this, it's not like that. The Dhamma's not like that, it's like this."
Then in the early morning, a large number of monks adjusted their under robes and — carrying their bowls & robes — went into Sāvatthī for alms. Having gone for alms in Sāvatthī, after the meal, returning from their alms round, they went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there, they said to the Blessed One, "Lord, there are many contemplatives, brahmans, & wanderers of various sects living around Sāvatthī with differing views, differing opinions, differing beliefs, dependent for support on their differing views... And they keep on arguing, quarreling, & disputing, wounding one another with weapons of the mouth, saying, 'The Dhamma is like this, it's not like that. The Dhamma's not like that, it's like this.'"
"Monks, the wanderers of other sects are blind & eyeless. They don't know what is beneficial and what is harmful. They don't know what is the Dhamma and what is non-Dhamma. Not knowing what is beneficial and what is harmful, not knowing what is Dhamma and what is non-Dhamma, they keep on arguing, quarreling, & disputing, wounding one another with weapons of the mouth, saying, 'The Dhamma is like this, it's not like that. The Dhamma's not like that, it's like this.'
"Once, monks, in this same Sāvatthī, there was a certain king, and the king said to a certain man, 'Come, my good man. Gather together all the people in Sāvatthī who have been blind from birth.'"
"Responding, 'As you say, your majesty,' to the king, the man — having rounded up all the people in Sāvatthī who had been blind from birth — went to the king and on arrival said, 'Your majesty, the people in Sāvatthī who have been blind from birth have been gathered together.'
"'Very well then, I say, show the blind people an elephant.'
"Responding, 'As you say, your majesty,' to the king, the man showed the blind people an elephant. To some of the blind people he showed the elephant's head, saying, 'This, blind people, is what an elephant is like.' To some of them he showed the elephant's ear, saying, 'This, blind people, is what an elephant is like.' To some of them he showed the elephant's tusk... the elephant's trunk... the elephant's body... the elephant's foot... the elephant's hindquarters... the elephant's tail... the tuft at the end of the elephant's tail, saying, 'This, blind people, is what an elephant is like.'
"Then, having shown the blind people the elephant, the man went to the king and on arrival said, 'Your majesty, the blind people have seen the elephant. May your majesty do what you think it is now time to do.'
"Then the king went to the blind people and on arrival asked them, 'Blind people, have you seen the elephant?'
"'Yes, your majesty. We have seen the elephant.'
"'Now tell me, blind people, what the elephant is like.'
"The blind people who had been shown the elephant's head said, 'The elephant, your majesty, is just like a jar.'
"Those who had been shown the elephant's ear said, 'The elephant, your majesty, is just like a winnowing basket.'
"Those who had been shown the elephant's tusk said, 'The elephant, your majesty, is just like plowshare.'[1]
"Those who had been shown the elephant's trunk said, 'The elephant, your majesty, is just like the pole of a plow.'
"Those who had been shown the elephant's body said, 'The elephant, your majesty, is just like a granary.'
"Those who had been shown the elephant's foot said, 'The elephant, your majesty, is just like a post.'
"Those who had been shown the elephant's hindquarters said, 'The elephant, your majesty, is just like a mortar.'
"Those who had been shown the elephant's tail said, 'The elephant, your majesty, is just like a pestle.'
"Those who had been shown the tuft at the end of the elephant's tail said, 'The elephant, your majesty, is just like a broom.'
"Saying, 'The elephant is like this, it's not like that. The elephant's not like that, it's like this,' they struck one another with their fists. That gratified the king.
"In the same way, monks, the wanderers of other sects are blind & eyeless. They don't know what is beneficial and what is harmful. They don't know what is the Dhamma and what is non-Dhamma. Not knowing what is beneficial and what is harmful, not knowing what is Dhamma and what is non-Dhamma, they keep on arguing, quarreling, & disputing, wounding one another with weapons of the mouth, saying, 'The Dhamma is like this, it's not like that. The Dhamma's not like that, it's like this.'"
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
With regard to these things
they're attached —
some contemplatives & brahmans.
They quarrel & fight —
people seeing one side.
Note
1.
Reading phālo with the Thai and Sri Lankan editions. According to the PTS dictionary, this word can also mean "iron rod." The Burmese edition reads, khīlo, "post" or "stake." The Thai edition also includes another variant reading: sallo, "arrow."
V.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion there were many contemplatives, brahmans, & wanderers of various sects living around Sāvatthī with differing views, differing opinions, differing beliefs, dependent for support on their differing views. Some of the contemplatives & brahmans held this doctrine, this view: "The self & the cosmos are eternal. Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless."
Some of the contemplatives & brahmans held this doctrine, this view: "The self & the cosmos are not eternal" ... "The self & the cosmos are both eternal and not eternal" ... "The self & the cosmos are neither eternal nor not eternal" ...
"The self & the cosmos are self-made" ... "The self & the cosmos are other-made" ... "The self & the cosmos are both self-made & other-made" ... "The self & the cosmos — without self-making, without other-making — are spontaneously arisen" ...
"Pleasure & pain, the self & the cosmos are self-made" ... "other-made" ... "both self-made & other-made" ... "Pleasure & pain, the self & the cosmos — without self-making, without other-making — are spontaneously arisen. Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless."
And they kept on arguing, quarreling, & disputing, wounding one another with weapons of the mouth, saying, "The Dhamma is like this, it's not like that. The Dhamma's not like that, it's like this."
Then in the early morning, a large number of monks adjusted their under robes and — carrying their bowls & robes — went into Sāvatthī for alms. Having gone for alms in Sāvatthī, after the meal, returning from their alms round, they went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there, they said to the Blessed One, "Lord, there are many contemplatives, brahmans, & wanderers of various sects living around Sāvatthī with differing views, differing opinions, differing beliefs, dependent for support on their differing views... And they keep on arguing, quarreling, & disputing, wounding one another with weapons of the mouth, saying, 'The Dhamma is like this, it's not like that. The Dhamma's not like that, it's like this.'"
"Monks, the wanderers of other sects are blind & eyeless. They don't know what is beneficial and what is harmful. They don't know what is the Dhamma and what is non-Dhamma. Not knowing what is beneficial and what is harmful, not knowing what is Dhamma and what is non-Dhamma, they keep on arguing, quarreling, & disputing, wounding one another with weapons of the mouth, saying, 'The Dhamma is like this, it's not like that. The Dhamma's not like that, it's like this.'"
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
With regard to these things
they're attached —
some contemplatives & brahmans.
Not reaching the footing,[1]
they sink in mid-stream.
Note
1.
This compound — tamogadhaṃ — is ambiguous in that it can be divided in two ways: tam-ogadhaṃ, "that footing"; or tamo-gadhaṃ, "a footing in darkness." The first is the meaning apparently intended here, with "that footing" referring to the deathless (the image is of the point, when crossing a river, where one comes close enough to the far shore that one can touch bottom — see AN 10:58). However, the Buddha was probably conscious that the compound could also be interpreted in the second way, which would have made the term memorable for its shock value. There are several other passages in Pali poetry where terms seem to have been intended to carry both positive and negative meanings for this reason. See, for example, Dhp 97, Sn 4.10, and Sn 4.13.
VI.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion there were many contemplatives, brahmans, & wanderers of various sects living around Sāvatthī with differing views, differing opinions, differing beliefs, dependent for support on their differing views. Some of the contemplatives & brahmans held this doctrine, this view: "The self & the cosmos are eternal. Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless."
Some of the contemplatives & brahmans held this doctrine, this view: "The self & the cosmos are not eternal" ... "The self & the cosmos are both eternal and not eternal" ... "The self & the cosmos are neither eternal nor not eternal" ...
"The self & the cosmos are self-made" ... "The self & the cosmos are other-made" ... "The self & the cosmos are both self-made & other-made" ... "The self & the cosmos — without self-making, without other-making — are spontaneously arisen" ...
"Pleasure & pain, the self & the cosmos are self-made" ... "other-made" ... "both self-made & other-made" ... "Pleasure & pain, the self & the cosmos — without self-making, without other-making — are spontaneously arisen. Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless."
And they kept on arguing, quarreling, & disputing, wounding one another with weapons of the mouth, saying, "The Dhamma is like this, it's not like that. The Dhamma's not like that, it's like this."
Then in the early morning, a large number of monks adjusted their under robes and — carrying their bowls & robes — went into Sāvatthī for alms. Having gone for alms in Sāvatthī, after the meal, returning from their alms round, they went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there, they said to the Blessed One, "Lord, there are many contemplatives, brahmans, & wanderers of various sects living around Sāvatthī with differing views, differing opinions, differing beliefs, dependent for support on their differing views... And they keep on arguing, quarreling, & disputing, wounding one another with weapons of the mouth, saying, 'The Dhamma is like this, it's not like that. The Dhamma's not like that, it's like this.'"
"Monks, the wanderers of other sects are blind & eyeless. They don't know what is beneficial and what is harmful. They don't know what is the Dhamma and what is non-Dhamma. Not knowing what is beneficial and what is harmful, not knowing what is Dhamma and what is non-Dhamma, they keep on arguing, quarreling, & disputing, wounding one another with weapons of the mouth, saying, 'The Dhamma is like this, it's not like that. The Dhamma's not like that, it's like this.'"
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
People are intent on the idea of
'I-making'
and attached to the idea of
'other-making.'
Some don't realize this,
nor do they see it as an arrow.
But to one who,
having extracted this arrow,
sees,
[the thought] 'I am doing,'[1]
doesn't occur;
'Another is doing,' doesn't occur.
This human race is possessed by conceit
bound by conceit,
tied down by conceit.
Speaking hurtfully because of their views
they don't go beyond
the wandering-on.
Note
1.
See Ud 1.1, note 3.
VII.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion Ven. Subhūti was sitting not far from the Blessed One, his legs crossed, his body held erect, having attained a concentration free from directed thought. The Blessed One saw Ven. Subhūti sitting not far away, his legs crossed, his body held erect, having attained a concentration free from directed thought.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Whose thoughts are
vaporized,
well-dealt-with
within,[1]
without trace —
going beyond that tie,
perceiving the formless,
overcoming
four yokes,[2]
one doesn't go
to birth.
Notes
1.
This part of the verse equals the first half of a verse in Sn 1.1 (verse 7 in the PTS edition).
2.
The four yokes are: sensuality, becoming, views, and ignorance. See AN 4.10.
VIII.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Rājagaha at the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' Sanctuary. And on that occasion two factions in Rājagaha were infatuated with a certain courtesan, their minds enthralled. Arguing, quarreling, & disputing, they attacked one another with fists, attacked one another with clods of dirt, attacked one another with sticks, attacked one another with knives, so that they fell into death or death-like pain.
Then in the early morning, a large number of monks adjusted their under robes and — carrying their bowls & robes — went into Sāvatthī for alms. Having gone for alms in Sāvatthī, after the meal, returning from their alms round, they went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there, they said to the Blessed One, "At present, two factions in Rājagaha are infatuated with a certain courtesan, their minds enthralled. Arguing, quarreling, & disputing, they attack one another with fists, attack one another with clods of dirt, attack one another with sticks, attack one another with knives, so that they fall into death or death-like pain."
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
What's been attained, what's to be attained,
are both strewn with dust
by one who trains
in line with the afflicted.
Any precept & practice life whose essence is training,
and the holy life whose essence is service:
This is one extreme.
Any who say, "There's no harm in sensual desires":
This, the second extreme.
Both of these extremes cause the growth of cemeteries,
and cemeteries cause views to grow.
Not directly knowing these two extremes,
some fall short,
some run too far.[1]
But those who, directly knowing them,
didn't exist there,
didn't construe
by means of them:[2]
For them
there's no whirling through the cycle
to be described.
Notes
1.
See Iti 49, and the discussion of this point in The Paradox of Becoming, chapters 2 and 6.
2.
For an example of "not existing there," see the Buddha's instructions to Bāhiya in Ud 1.10. For an example of freeing oneself from construing, see the description of a sage at peace near the conclusion of MN 140.
IX.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. Now on that occasion, in the pitch-black darkness of the night, the Blessed One was sitting in the open air while oil lamps were burning. And on that occasion, many flying insects, flying into & around those lamps, were meeting their downfall, meeting their misfortune, meeting their downfall & misfortune in those oil lamps. The Blessed One saw those flying insects, flying into & around those lamps, meeting their downfall, meeting their misfortune, meeting their downfall & misfortune in those oil lamps.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Rushing headlong,
missing what's essential,
bringing on one new bond
after another,
they fall, like insects into a flame:
those intent
on things seen,
things heard.
X.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. Then Ven. Ānanda went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, "Lord, as long as Tathāgatas — worthy & rightly self-awakened — do not appear in the world, that's when the wanderers of other sects are worshipped, revered, honored, venerated, and given homage — recipients of robes, alms food, lodgings, & medicinal requisites for the sick. But when Tathāgatas — worthy & rightly self-awakened — appear in the world, that's when the wanderers of other sects are not worshipped, revered, honored, venerated, or given homage; nor are they recipients of robes, alms food, lodgings, & medicinal requisites for the sick. Now only the Blessed One is worshipped, revered, honored, venerated, and given homage — a recipient of robes, alms food, lodgings, & medicinal requisites for the sick — along with the community of monks."
"That's how it is, Ānanda. That's how it is. As long as Tathāgatas — worthy & rightly self-awakened — do not appear in the world, that's when the wanderers of other sects are worshipped, revered, honored, venerated, and given homage — recipients of robes, alms food, lodgings, & medicinal requisites for the sick. But when Tathāgatas — worthy & rightly self-awakened — appear in the world, that's when the wanderers of other sects are not worshipped, revered, honored, venerated, or given homage; nor are they recipients of robes, alms food, lodgings, & medicinal requisites for the sick. Now only the Tathāgata is worshipped, revered, honored, venerated, and given homage — a recipient of robes, alms food, lodgings, & medicinal requisites for the sick — along with the community of monks."
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
The glowworm shines
as long as the sun hasn't risen.
But when that splendor rises,
the glowworm's light is destroyed.
It no longer shines.
Likewise, sectarians[1] shine
as long as those rightly awakened
don't appear in the world.
Those logicians[2] aren't purified,
nor are their disciples.
Those of bad views
aren't released
from stress.
Note
1.
In DN 1, the Buddha criticizes the philosophies of many of his contemporaries for having been "hammered out by logic."
2.
Reading titthiyānaṃ with the Thai edition. The Sri Lankan and Burmese editions read, takkikānaṃ, "logicians." The parallel passage in the Udānavarga (29.2) agrees with this latter version.
7. Culavagga — The Minor Chapter
I.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. At that time Ven. Sāriputta was — with a variety of approaches — instructing, urging, rousing, & encouraging Ven. Bhaddiya the Dwarf with Dhamma-talk. As Ven. Bhaddiya the Dwarf was — with a variety of approaches — being instructed, urged, roused, & encouraged by Ven. Sāriputta with Dhamma-talk, his mind, through lack of clinging/sustenance, was released from the effluents.
The Blessed One saw that as Ven. Bhaddiya the Dwarf was — with a variety of approaches — being instructed, urged, roused, & encouraged by Ven. Sāriputta with Dhamma-talk, his mind, through lack of clinging/sustenance, was released from the effluents.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Above, below, everywhere released,
he doesn't focus on "I am this."[1]
Thus released, he crosses the flood
not crossed before,
for the sake of no further becoming.
Note
1.
See Ud 1.1, note 3.
II.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. At that time Ven. Sāriputta was — with a variety of approaches — instructing, urging, rousing, & encouraging Ven. Bhaddiya the Dwarf with Dhamma-talk to an even greater extent, as he thought that Bhaddiya was still just a learner.
The Blessed One saw that Ven. Sāriputta was — with a variety of approaches — instructing, urging, rousing, & encouraging Ven. Bhaddiya the Dwarf with Dhamma-talk to an even greater extent, as he thought that Bhaddiya was still just a learner.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
He has cut the cycle,
has gone away
to freedom from longing.
The dried-up stream
no longer flows.
The cycle, cut,
no longer turns.
This, just this,
is the end of stress.
III.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion, most of the people in Sāvatthī were excessively attached to sensual pleasures. They lived infatuated with, greedy for, addicted to, fastened to, absorbed in sensual pleasures. Then in the early morning, a large number of monks adjusted their under robes and — carrying their bowls & robes — went into Sāvatthī for alms. Having gone for alms in Sāvatthī, after the meal, returning from their alms round, they went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there, they said to the Blessed One, "Most of the people in Sāvatthī are excessively attached to sensual pleasures. They live infatuated with, greedy for, addicted to, fastened to, absorbed in sensual pleasures."
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Attached to sensual pleasures,
attached to sensual ties,
seeing no blame in the fetter,
never will those attached to the fetter, the tie,
cross over the flood
so great & wide.
VI.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion, most of the people in Sāvatthī were excessively attached to sensual pleasures. They lived infatuated with, greedy for, addicted to, fastened to, absorbed in sensual pleasures. Then early in the morning the Blessed One adjusted his under robe and — carrying his bowl & robes — went into Sāvatthī for alms. He saw that most of the people in Sāvatthī were excessively attached to sensual pleasures, that they live infatuated with, greedy for, addicted to, fastened to, absorbed in sensual pleasures.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Blinded by sensuality
covered by the net,
veiled with the veil of craving,
bound by the Kinsman of the heedless,[1]
like fish in the mouth of a trap,[2]
they go to aging & death,
like a milk-drinking calf to its mother.
Notes
1.
Māra. There is an alliterative play here between the word "bound" (bandhā) and "by the Kinsman" (bandhunā).
2.
This verse, up to this point, is identical with a verse attributed to Ven. Rāhula in Thag 4.8 (verse 297 in the PTS edition),
V.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion Ven. Bhaddiya the Dwarf, following behind a large number of monks, was going to the Blessed One. From afar, the Blessed One saw Ven. Bhaddiya the Dwarf coming, following behind a large number of monks: ugly, unsightly, stunted, treated with condescension[1] by most of the monks. On seeing him, the Blessed One addressed the monks, "Monks, do you see that monk coming from afar, following behind a large number of monks: ugly, unsightly, stunted, treated with condescension by most of the monks?"
"Yes, lord."
"That, monks, is a monk of great power, great might. The attainment already attained by that monk is not of a sort easily attained. And by means of it he has reached & remains in the supreme goal of the holy life for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself right in the here-&-now."
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Faultless,
canopied in white,
the single-spoked chariot rolls along.
See him coming, untroubled:
one whose stream is cut,
free from bonds.[2]
Notes
1.
The Commentary notes that misbehaving monks liked to stroke his hands and catch hold of his ears.
2.
In SN 41.5, Citta the householder explains this verse as follows:
"Faultless stands for virtues.
"Canopied in white stands for release.
"Single-spoked stands for mindfulness.
"Rolls along stands for coming and going.
"Chariot stands for this body composed of the four elements...
"Passion is a trouble; aversion is a trouble; delusion is a trouble. These have been abandoned by a monk whose effluents have ended — their root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. That's why the monk whose effluents have ended is said to be untroubled.
"Him coming stands for the arahant.
"Stream stands for craving. That has been abandoned by a monk whose effluents have ended — its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. That's why the monk whose effluents have ended is said to be one whose stream is cut.
"Passion is a bond; aversion is a bond; delusion is a bond. These have been abandoned by a monk whose effluents have ended — their root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. That's why the monk whose effluents have ended is said to be free from bonds."
VI.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion Ven. Aññāta Koṇḍañña[1] was sitting not far from the Blessed One, his legs crossed, his body held erect, reflecting on [his] release through the total ending of craving. The Blessed One saw Ven. Aññāta Koṇḍañña sitting not far away, his legs crossed, his body held erect, reflecting on [his] release through the total ending of craving.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
For someone with no root, no soil, no leaves
— how creepers?
Who's fit to criticize him? —
the enlightened one freed
from bonds.
Even devas praise him.
Even by Brahmā he's praised.
Note
1.
See SN 56.11.
VII.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion the Blessed One was sitting, contemplating his own abandoning of the perceptions & categories of objectification.
Then the Blessed One, realizing his own abandoning of the perceptions & categories of objectification, on that occasion exclaimed:
One who
has no objectifications,[1]
no standing-place,[2]
who has gone beyond
the tether & cross-bar:
The world, even with its devas,
doesn't look down on him —
he, going about without craving,
a sage.
Notes
1.
Papañca: A mode of thought that begins with the assumption, "I am the thinker," and develops its categories and perceptions — about self and world, about existence and non-existence — from there. For more on this topic, see the introduction to MN 18 and Skill in Questions, chapters 3 and 8.
2.
On the teaching that the awakened person has no location, see The Paradox of Becoming, chapter 7.
VIII.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. Now at that time Ven. Mahā Kaccāyana was sitting not far from the Blessed One, his legs crossed, his body held erect, having mindfulness immersed in the body well-established to the fore within. The Blessed One saw Ven. Mahā Kaccāyana sitting not far away, his legs crossed, his body held erect, having mindfulness immersed in the body well-established to the fore within.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
If one were to have
mindfulness always
established, continually
immersed in the body,
(thinking,)
"It should not be,
it should not be mine;
it will not be,
it will not be mine"[1] —
there,
in that step-by-step dwelling,
one in no long time
would cross over
attachment.
Note
1.
This passage can also be translated as:
It should not be,
it should not occur to me;
it will not be,
it will not occur to me.
In AN 10.29, the Buddha recommends this view as conducive to developing dispassion for becoming. However, in MN 106 he warns that it can lead to the refined equanimity of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, which can become an object of clinging. Only if that subtle clinging is detected can all clinging be abandoned.
The Canon's most extended discussion of this theme of meditation is in SN 22.55. See Appendix Two [of the print edition of this book].
For more on this topic, see The Paradox of Becoming, chapter 5.
IX.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was wandering among the Mallans, together with a large community of monks, and came to a brahman village of the Mallans named Thūna. The brahman householders of Thūna heard that "Gotama the Sakyan contemplative, gone forth from the Sakyan clan, is wandering among the Mallans together with a large community of monks, and has arrived at Thūna." So they filled the well all the way to the brim with grass & chaff, [thinking], "Don't let these shaven-headed contemplatives draw drinking water."
Then the Blessed One, going down from the road, went to a certain tree, and on arrival sat down on a seat laid out. Seated, he said to Ven. Ānanda: "Please, Ānanda, fetch me some drinking water from that well."
When this was said, Ven. Ānanda replied, "Just now, lord, the brahman householders of Thūna filled that well all the way to the brim with grass & chaff, [thinking], 'Don't let these shaven-headed contemplatives draw drinking water.'"
A second time, the Blessed One said to Ven. Ānanda: "Please, Ānanda, fetch me some drinking water from that well."
A second time, Ven. Ānanda replied, "Just now, lord, the brahman householders of Thūna filled that well all the way to the brim with grass & chaff, [thinking], 'Don't let these shaven-headed contemplatives draw drinking water.'"
A third time, the Blessed One said to Ven. Ānanda: "Please, Ānanda, fetch me some drinking water from that well."
Responding, "As you say, lord," to the Blessed One, Ven. Ānanda — taking a bowl — went to the well. As he was approaching the well, it expelled all the grass & chaff from its mouth and stood filled to the brim — streaming, as it were — with pristine water, undisturbed & clear. The thought occurred to him, "How amazing! How astounding! — the great power & great might of the Tathāgata! — in that, while I was approaching the well, it expelled all the grass & chaff from its mouth and stood filled to the brim — streaming, as it were — with pristine water, undisturbed & clear."
Taking drinking water in his bowl, he went to the Blessed One and on arrival said, "How amazing, lord! How astounding! — the great power & great might of the Tathāgata! — in that, while I was approaching the well, it expelled all the grass & chaff from its mouth and stood filled to the brim — streaming, as it were — with pristine water, undisturbed & clear. Drink the water, O Blessed One! Drink the water, O One-Well-Gone!"
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
What need for a well
if there were waters always?
Having cut craving
by the root,
one would go about searching
for what?
X.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Kosambī at Ghosita's monastery. And on that occasion the inner quarters of King Udena's royal park had burned down, and 500 women, headed by Sāmāvatī, had died.
Then in the early morning, a large number of monks adjusted their under robes and — carrying their bowls & robes — went into Kosambī for alms. Having gone for alms in Kosambī, after the meal, returning from their alms round, they went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there, they said to the Blessed One, "Lord, the inner quarters of King Udena's royal park have burned down, and 500 women, headed by Sāmāvatī, have died. What is the destination of those female lay followers? What is their future course?"
"Monks, among those female lay followers are stream-winners, once-returners, & non-returners. All of those female lay followers, monks, died not without [noble] fruit."
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Bound round with delusion, the world
only appears to be competent.
Bound with acquisitions, foolish,
surrounded by darkness,
it seems eternal,
but for one who sees,
there is nothing.
8. Pataligamiyavagga — The Chapter About Patali Village
I.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion the Blessed One was instructing, urging, rousing, & encouraging the monks with Dhamma-talk concerned with unbinding. The monks — receptive, attentive, focusing their entire awareness, lending ear — listened to the Dhamma.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
There is that dimension, monks, where there is neither earth, nor water, nor fire, nor wind; neither dimension of the infinitude of space, nor dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, nor dimension of nothingness, nor dimension of neither perception nor non-perception; neither this world, nor the next world, nor sun, nor moon. And there, I say, there is neither coming, nor going, nor staying; neither passing away nor arising: unestablished,[1] unevolving, without support [mental object].[2] This, just this, is the end of stress.
Notes
1.
On unestablished consciousness, see SN 22.87 and the discussion in The Paradox of Becoming, chapter 7.
2.
See SN 22.53.
See also: DN 11; MN 49; SN 35.117; Ud 8.2; Ud 8.3; Ud 8.4.
II.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion the Blessed One was instructing, urging, rousing, & encouraging the monks with Dhamma-talk concerned with unbinding. The monks — receptive, attentive, focusing their entire awareness, lending ear — listened to the Dhamma.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
It's hard to see the unaffected,
for the truth is not easily seen.
Craving is pierced
in one who knows;
For one who sees,
there is nothing.
III.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion the Blessed One was instructing, urging, rousing, & encouraging the monks with Dhamma-talk concerned with unbinding. The monks — receptive, attentive, focusing their entire awareness, lending ear — listened to the Dhamma.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
There is, monks, an unborn[1] — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated. If there were not that unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, there would not be the case that escape from the born — become — made — fabricated would be discerned. But precisely because there is an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, escape from the born — become — made — fabricated is discerned.[2]
Note
1.
Some scholars have argued that the term "unborn" cannot be used to distinguish unbinding from transmigration, as there are discourses (such as SN 15.3) stating that transmigration itself has no beginning point, implying that it too is unborn. Thus they argue that in this passage the term ajātaṃ, although a past participle, should be translated as, "without birth." However, this argument is based on two questionable premises. First, it assumes that unbinding is here being contrasted with transmigration, even though the passage simply contrasts it with the fabricated. Secondly, even assuming that the phrase "the born — the become," etc., is a reference to transmigration, the scholars' argument is based on a misreading of SN 15.3. There, transmigration is said to have an "inconceivable" or "undiscoverable" beginning point. This is very different from saying that it is unborn. If transmigration were unborn, it would be unfabricated (see AN 3.47), which is obviously not the case. Thus, in translating this term to describe unbinding, I have maintained the straight grammatical reading, "unborn."
2.
Iti 43 gives this exclamation as the synopsis of a Dhamma talk, followed by this verse:
The born, become, produced,
made, fabricated, impermanent,
fabricated of aging & death,
a nest of illnesses, perishing,
come-into-being through nourishment
and the guide [that is craving] —
is unfit for delight.
The escape from that
is
calm, permanent,
a sphere beyond conjecture,
unborn, unproduced,
the sorrowless, stainless state,
the cessation of stressful qualities,
stilling-of-fabrications bliss.
IV.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion the Blessed One was instructing, urging, rousing, & encouraging the monks with Dhamma-talk concerned with unbinding. The monks — receptive, attentive, focusing their entire awareness, lending ear — listened to the Dhamma.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
One who is dependent has wavering. One who is independent has no wavering. There being no wavering, there is calm. There being calm, there is no yearning. There being no yearning, there is no coming or going. There being no coming or going, there is no passing away or arising. There being no passing away or arising, there is neither a here nor a there nor a between-the-two. This, just this, is the end of stress.[1]
Note
1.
In MN 144 and SN 35.87, Ven. Cunda quotes this passage as a teaching of the Buddha and tells Ven. Channa to keep it firmly in mind.
V.
I have heard that on one occasion, while the Blessed One was wandering among the Mallans with a large community of monks, he arrived at Pāvā. There he stayed near Pāvā in the mango grove of Cunda the silversmith.
Cunda the silversmith heard, "The Blessed One, they say, while wandering among the Mallans with a large community of monks and reaching Pāvā, is staying near Pāvā in my mango grove."
So Cunda went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, the Blessed One instructed, urged, roused, & encouraged him with Dhamma-talk. Then Cunda — instructed, urged, roused, & encouraged by the Blessed One's Dhamma-talk — said to him, "Lord, may the Blessed One acquiesce to my meal tomorrow, together with the community of monks."
The Blessed One acquiesced with silence.
Then Cunda, understanding the Blessed One's acquiescence, got up from his seat, bowed down to the Blessed One, and left, circling him to the right. Then, at the end of the night, after having exquisite staple & non-staple food — including a large amount of pig-delicacy[1] — prepared in his own home, he announced the time to the Blessed One: "It's time, lord. The meal is ready."
Then the Blessed One, early in the morning, adjusted his under robe and — carrying his bowl & robes — went together with the community of monks to Cunda's home. On arrival, he sat down on the seat laid out. Seated, he said to Cunda, "Cunda, serve me with the pig-delicacy you have had prepared, and the community of monks with the other staple & non-staple food you have had prepared."
Responding, "As you say, lord," to the Blessed One, Cunda served the Blessed One with the pig-delicacy he had had prepared, and the community of monks with the other staple & non-staple food he had had prepared. Then the Blessed One said to him, "Cunda, bury the remaining pig-delicacy in a pit. I don't see anyone in the world — together with its devas, Māras, & Brahmas, with its people with their contemplatives & brahmans, their royalty & commonfolk — in whom, when it was ingested, it would go to a healthy change, aside from the Tathāgata."
Responding, "As you say, lord," to the Blessed One, Cunda buried the remaining pig-delicacy in a pit, went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, after bowing down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, the Blessed One — after instructing, urging, rousing, & encouraging him with Dhamma-talk — got up from his seat and left.
Then in the Blessed One, after he had eaten Cunda's meal, there arose a severe illness accompanied with (the passing of) blood, with intense pains & deadly. But the Blessed One endured it — mindful, alert, & not struck down by it.
Then he addressed Ven. Ānanda, "Ānanda, we will go to Kusinarā."
"As you say, lord," Ven. Ānanda responded to the Blessed One.
I have heard that,
on eating Cunda the silversmith's meal,
the enlightened one was touched by illness —
fierce, deadly.
After he had eaten the pig-delicacy,
a fierce sickness arose in the Teacher.
After being purged of it,
the Blessed One said,
"To the city of Kusinarā
I will go."[2]
Then the Blessed One, going down from the road, went to a certain tree and, on arrival, said to Ven. Ānanda, "Ānanda, please arrange my outer robe folded in four. I am tired. I will sit down."
Responding, "As you say, lord," to the Blessed One, Ven. Ānanda arranged the outer robe folded in four. The Blessed One sat down on the seat laid out.
Seated, he said to Ven. Ānanda, "Ānanda, please fetch me some water. I am thirsty. I will drink."
When this was said, Ven. Ānanda said to the Blessed One, "Lord, just now 500 carts have passed through. The meager river — cut by the wheels — flows turbid & disturbed. But the Kukuṭa river is not far away, with pristine water, pleasing water, cool water, pellucid water,[3] with restful banks, refreshing. There the Blessed One will drink potable water and cool his limbs."
A second time, the Blessed One said to Ven. Ānanda, "Ānanda, please fetch me some water. I am thirsty. I will drink."
A second time, Ven. Ānanda said to the Blessed One, "Lord, just now 500 carts have passed through. The meager water — cut by the wheels — flows turbid & disturbed. But the Kukuṭa River is not far away, with pristine water, pleasing water, cool water, pellucid water, with restful banks, refreshing. There the Blessed One will drink potable water and cool his limbs."
A third time, the Blessed One said to Ven. Ānanda, "Ānanda, please fetch me some water. I am thirsty. I will drink."
Responding, "As you say, lord," to the Blessed One, Ven. Ānanda — taking a bowl — went to the river. And the meager river that, cut by the wheels, had been flowing turbid & disturbed, on his approach flowed pristine, clear, & undisturbed. The thought occurred to him, "How amazing! How astounding! — the great power & great might of the Tathāgata! — in that this meager river that, cut by the wheels, was flowing turbid & disturbed, on my approach flowed pristine, clear, & undisturbed!" Fetching water with the bowl, he went to the Blessed One and on arrival said, "How amazing! How astounding! — the great power & great might of the Tathāgata! — in that this meager river that, cut by the wheels, was flowing turbid & disturbed, on my approach flowed pristine, clear, & undisturbed! Drink the water, O Blessed One! Drink the water, O One-Well-Gone!"
Then the Blessed One drank the water. [4]
Then the Blessed One, together with the community of monks, went to the Kukuṭa River and, after arriving at the Kukuṭa River, going down, bathing, drinking, & coming back out, went to a mango grove. On arrival, the Blessed One said to Ven. Cundaka, "Cundaka, please arrange my outer robe folded in four. I am tired. I will lie down."
Responding, "As you say, lord," to the Blessed One, Ven. Cundaka arranged the outer robe folded in four. The Blessed One, lying on his right side, took up the lion's posture, placing one foot on top of the other — mindful, alert, and attending to the perception of getting up. Ven. Cundaka sat in front of him.
The awakened one,
— having gone to the little Kukuṭa river
with its pristine, pleasing water, clear —
the Teacher, seeming very tired,
the Tathāgata, unequalled in the world
went down, bathed, drank, & came out.
Honored, surrounded,
in the midst of the group of monks,
the Blessed One, Teacher,
proceeding here in the Dhamma,
the great seer,
went to the mango grove.
He addressed the monk named Cundaka,
"Spread it out, folded in four
for me to lie down."
Ordered by the One of developed mind,
Cundaka quickly set it out, folded in four.
The Teacher lay down, seeming very tired,
and Cundaka sat down there before him.
Then the Blessed One addressed Ven. Ānanda, "Ānanda, if anyone tries to incite remorse in Cunda the silversmith, saying, 'It's no gain for you, friend Cunda, it's ill-done by you, that the Tathāgata, having eaten your last alms, was totally unbound,' then Cunda's remorse should be allayed (in this way): 'It's a gain for you, friend Cunda, it's well-done by you, that the Tathāgata, having eaten your last alms, was totally unbound. Face to face with the Blessed One have I heard it, face to face have I learned it, "These two alms are equal to each other in fruit, equal to each other in result, of much greater fruit & reward than any other alms. Which two? The alms that, after having eaten it, the Tathāgata awakens to the unexcelled right self-awakening. And the alms that, after having eaten it, the Tathāgata is unbound by means of the unbinding property with no fuel remaining. [5]These are the two alms that are equal to each other in fruit, equal to each other in result, of much greater fruit & reward than any other alms. Venerable[6] Cunda the silversmith has accumulated kamma that leads to long life. Venerable Cunda the silversmith has accumulated kamma that leads to beauty. Venerable Cunda the silversmith has accumulated kamma that leads to happiness. Venerable Cunda the silversmith has accumulated kamma that leads to heaven. Venerable Cunda the silversmith has accumulated kamma that leads to rank. Venerable Cunda the silversmith has accumulated kamma that leads to sovereignty."' In this way, Ānanda, Cunda the silversmith's remorse should be allayed."
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
For a person giving,
merit increases.
For one self-restraining,
no animosity is amassed.
One who is skillful
leaves evil behind
and
— from the ending of passion,
aversion,
delusion —
is totally unbound.
Notes
1.
The Commentary notes a wide range of opinions on what "pig-delicacy" means. The opinion given in the Mahā Aṭṭhakathā — the primary source for the Commentary we now have — is that pig-delicacy is tender pork. Other opinions include soft bamboo shoots or mushrooms that pigs like to nibble on, or a special elixir. Given that India has long had a history of giving fanciful names to its foods and elixirs, it's hard to say for sure what the Buddha ate for his last meal.
2.
This style of narrative — in which prose passages alternate with verses retelling parts of what was narrated in the prose — is called a campū. This sutta is one of the few instances of this type of narrative in the Pali Canon. Another is the Kuṇāla Jātaka (J 5.416-456). There are also some Vedic examples of this form in the Brāhmaṇas, texts that apparently dated from around the same time as the Pali Canon. When the incidents portrayed in this sutta were included in DN 16, these alternating narrative verses were included. Aside from the Buddha's conversation with Pukkusa the Mallan (see note 4), these are the only incidents that DN 16 narrates in this style. This suggests that perhaps the version of the narrative given here was composed first as a separate piece and then later was incorporated into DN 16.
3.
Ven. Ānanda's description of the water is alliterative in the Pali: sātodakā sītodakā setodakā.
4.
At this point in the narrative, DN 16 inserts the account of the Buddha's encounter with Pukkusa the Mallan. There's no way of knowing which version of the events is earlier, as the focus of this sutta is not on telling everything that happened to the Buddha on his final day, but on recounting all the events related to Cunda's meal.
5.
Unbinding as experienced by an arahant at death. The image is of a fire so thoroughly out that the embers are totally cold. This is distinguished from the unbinding property with fuel remaining — unbinding as experienced in this lifetime — which is like a fire that has gone out but whose embers are still glowing. See Iti 44, Thag 15.2, and the discussion in The Mind Like Fire Unbound, chapter 1.
6.
Āyasmant: This is a term of respect usually reserved for senior monks. The Buddha's using it here was probably meant to emphasize the point that Cunda's gift of the Buddha's last meal should be treated as a very honorable thing.
VI.
I have heard that on one occasion, while the Blessed One was wandering among the Magadhans with a large community of monks, he arrived at Pāṭali Village. The lay followers of Pāṭali Village heard, "The Blessed One, they say, while wandering among the Magadhans with a large community of monks, has reached Pāṭali Village." So they went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were was sitting there, they said to him, "Lord, may the Blessed One acquiesce to (the use of) the rest-house hall."
The Blessed One acquiesced with silence. Sensing his acquiescence, the lay followers of Pāṭali Village got up from their seats, bowed down to him, circled him to the right, and then went to the rest-house hall. On arrival, they spread it all over with felt rugs, arranged seats, set out a water vessel, and raised an oil lamp. Then they went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down, stood to one side. As they were standing there they said to him, "Lord, the rest-house hall has been covered all over with felt rugs, seats have been arranged, a water vessel has been set out, and an oil lamp raised. May the Blessed One do what you think it is now time to do."
So the Blessed One, adjusting his under robe and — carrying his bowl & robes[1] — went together with a community of monks to the rest-house hall. On arrival he washed his feet, entered the hall, and sat with his back to the central post, facing east. The community of monks washed their feet, entered the hall, and sat with their backs to the western wall, facing east, ranged around the Blessed One.
The lay followers of Pāṭali Village washed their feet, entered the hall, and sat with their backs to the eastern wall, facing west, ranged around the Blessed One.
Then the Blessed One addressed the lay followers of Pāṭali Village, "Householders, there are these five drawbacks coming from an unvirtuous person's failure in virtue. Which five?
"There is the case where an unvirtuous person, by reason of heedlessness, undergoes the loss/confiscation of great wealth. This is the first drawback coming from an unvirtuous person's failure in virtue.
"Furthermore, the bad reputation of the unvirtuous person, failing in virtue, gets spread about. This is the second drawback coming from an unvirtuous person's failure in virtue.
"Furthermore, whatever assembly the unvirtuous person, failing in virtue, approaches — whether of noble warriors, brahmans, householders, or contemplatives — he/she does so without confidence & abashed. This is the third drawback coming from an unvirtuous person's failure in virtue.
"Furthermore, the unvirtuous person, failing in virtue, dies confused. This is the fourth drawback coming from an unvirtuous person's failure in virtue.
"Furthermore, the unvirtuous person, failing in virtue — on the break-up of the body, after death — reappears in a plane of deprivation, a bad destination, a lower realm, a hell. This is the fifth drawback coming from an unvirtuous person's failure in virtue.
"These, householders, are the five drawbacks coming from an unvirtuous person's failure in virtue.
"Householders, there are these five rewards coming from a virtuous person's consummation in virtue. Which five?
"There is the case where a virtuous person, by reason of heedfulness, acquires a great mass of wealth. This is the first reward coming from a virtuous person's consummation in virtue.
"Furthermore, the fine reputation of the virtuous person, consummate in virtue, gets spread about. This is the second reward coming from a virtuous person's consummation in virtue.
"Furthermore, whatever assembly the virtuous person, consummate in virtue, approaches — whether of noble warriors, brahmans, householders, or contemplatives — he/she does so with confidence & unabashed. This is the third reward coming from a virtuous person's consummation in virtue.
"Furthermore, the virtuous person, consummate in virtue, dies unconfused. This is the fourth reward coming from a virtuous person's consummation in virtue.
"Furthermore, the virtuous person, consummate in virtue — on the break-up of the body, after death — reappears in a good destination, a heavenly world. This is the fifth reward coming from a virtuous person's consummation in virtue.
"These, householders, are the five rewards coming from a virtuous person's consummation in virtue."
Then the Blessed One — having instructed, urged, roused, & encouraged the lay followers of Pāṭali Village for a large part of the night with Dhamma-talk — dismissed them, saying, "The night is far gone, householders. Do what you think it is now time to do."
So the lay followers of Pāṭali Village, delighting in & approving of the Blessed One's words, got up from their seats, bowed down to him, and left, circling him to the right. Then the Blessed One, not long after they had left, entered an empty building.
Now, on that occasion, Sunīdha & Vassakāra, the chief ministers of Magadha, were building a city at Pāṭali Village to preempt the Vajjians. And on that occasion many devas by the thousands were occupying sites in Pāṭali Village. In the area where devas of great influence occupied sites, there the minds of the king's royal ministers of great influence were inclined to build their homes. In the area where devas of middling influence occupied sites, there the minds of the king's royal ministers of middling influence were inclined to build their homes. In the area where devas of low influence occupied sites, there the minds of the king's royal ministers of low influence were inclined to build their homes.
The Blessed One, with the divine eye — purified and surpassing the human — saw many devas by the thousands occupying sites in Pāṭali Village. In the area where devas of great influence occupied sites, there the minds of the king's royal ministers of great influence were inclined to build their homes. In the area where devas of middling influence occupied sites, there the minds of the king's royal ministers of middling influence were inclined to build their homes. In the area where devas of low influence occupied sites, there the minds of the king's royal ministers of low influence were inclined to build their homes.
Then, getting up in the last watch of the night, the Blessed One addressed Ven. Ānanda, "Ānanda, who is building a city at Pāṭali Village?"
"Sunīdha & Vassakāra, the chief ministers of Magadha, lord, are building a city at Pāṭali Village to preempt the Vajjians."
"Ānanda, it's as if they had consulted the devas of the Thirty-three: That's how Sunīdha & Vassakāra, the chief ministers of Magadha, are building a city at Pāṭali Village to preempt the Vajjians.
"Just now, Ānanda — with the divine eye — purified and surpassing the human — I saw many devas by the thousands occupying sites in Pāṭali Village. In the area where devas of great influence occupy sites, there the minds of the king's royal ministers of great influence are inclined to build their homes. In the area where devas of middling influence occupy sites, there the minds of the king's royal ministers of middling influence are inclined to build their homes. In the area where devas of low influence occupy sites, there the minds of the king's royal ministers of low influence are inclined to build their homes.
"Ānanda, as far as the sphere of the Ariyans extends, as far as merchants' roads extend, this will be the supreme city: Pāṭaliputta,[2] where the seedpods of the Pāṭali plant break open. There will be three dangers for Pāṭaliputta: from fire, from water, and from the breaking of alliances."
Then Sunīdha & Vassakāra, the chief ministers of Magadha, went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, they stood to one side. As they were standing there, they said to him, "May Master Gotama acquiesce to our meal today, together with the community of monks." The Blessed One acquiesced with silence.
Then Sunīdha & Vassakāra, the chief ministers of Magadha, understanding the Blessed One's acquiescence, went to their rest-house. On arrival, after having exquisite staple & non-staple food prepared in their rest-house, they announced the time to the Blessed One: "It's time, Master Gotama. The meal is ready."
Then the Blessed One, early in the morning, adjusted his under robe and — carrying his bowl & robes — went together with the community of monks to the rest-house of Sunīdha & Vassakāra, the chief ministers of Magadha. On arrival, he sat down on the seat laid out. Sunīdha & Vassakāra, with their own hands, served & satisfied the community of monks, with the Buddha at its head, with exquisite staple & non-staple food. Then, when the Blessed One had finished his meal and withdrawn his hand from the bowl, Sunīdha & Vassakāra, taking a low seat, sat to one side. As they were sitting there, the Blessed One gave his approval with these verses:
In whatever place
a wise person makes his dwelling,
— there providing food
for the virtuous,
the restrained,
leaders of the holy life —
he should dedicate that offering
to the devas there.
They, receiving honor, will honor him;
being respected, will show him respect.
As a result, they will feel sympathy for him,
like that of a mother for her child, her son.
A person with whom the devas sympathize
always meets with auspicious things.
Then the Blessed One, having given his approval to Sunīdha & Vassakāra with these verses, got up from his seat and left. And on that occasion, Sunīdha & Vassakāra followed right after the Blessed One, (thinking,) "By whichever gate Gotama the contemplative departs today, that will be called the Gotama Gate. And by whichever ford he crosses over the Ganges River, that will be called the Gotama Ford."
So the gate by which the Blessed One departed was called the Gotama Gate. Then he went to the Ganges River. Now on that occasion the Ganges River was full up to the banks, so that a crow could drink from it. Some people were searching for boats, some were searching for floats, some were binding rafts in hopes of going from this shore to the other. So the Blessed One — just as a strong man might extend his flexed arm or flex his extended arm — disappeared from the near bank of the Ganges River and reappeared on the far bank together with the community of monks. He saw that some people were searching for boats, some were searching for floats, some were binding rafts in hopes of going from this shore to the other.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Those
who cross the foaming flood,
having made a bridge, avoiding the swamps
— while people are binding rafts —
have already crossed
: the wise.
Notes
1.
The translation here follows the Burmese and Sri Lankan editions of the text. The PTS and Thai editions state that the Buddha went to the rest-house hall in the morning — which, given the events that follow, doesn't seem right, for he would have spent the entire day teaching the lay followers of Pāṭali Village. The Burmese and Sri Lankan editions of the account of these events given in DN 16 state explicitly that the Buddha went to the rest-house hall in the late afternoon, which seems more reasonable. The PTS edition of that passage doesn't state the time of day, while the Thai edition states that he went in the morning.
2.
Pāṭaliputta later became the capital of King Asoka's empire. The "breaking open of the seed-pods (pūṭa-bhedana)" is a wordplay on the last part of the city's name.
Archeological evidence from what may have been part of Asoka's palace in Pāṭaliputta shows burnt wooden posts buried in mud — perhaps a sign that the palace burned and then was buried in a flood.
VII.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was journeying along a road in the Kosalan country with Ven. Nāgasamāla as his junior companion. Ven. Nāgasamāla, while going along the road, saw a fork in the path. On seeing it, he said to the Blessed One, "That, lord Blessed One,[1] is the route. We go that way." When this was said, the Blessed One said, "This, Nāgasamāla, is the route. We go this way."
A second time... A third time, Ven. Nāgasamāla said to the Blessed One, "That, lord Blessed One, is the route. We go that way." And for a third time, the Blessed One said, "This, Nāgasamāla, is the route. We go this way."
Then Ven. Nāgasamāla, placing the Blessed One's bowl & robes right there on the ground, left, saying, "This, lord Blessed One, is the bowl & robes."
Then as Ven. Nāgasamāla was going along that route, thieves — jumping out in the middle of the road — pummeled him with their fists & feet, broke his bowl, and ripped his outer robe to shreds.
So Ven. Nāgasamāla — with his bowl broken, his outer robe ripped to shreds — went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, bowed down to him and sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, "Just now, lord, as I was going along that route, thieves jumped out in the middle of the road, pummeled me with their fists & feet, broke my bowl, and ripped my outer robe to shreds."
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
When traveling together,
mixed together
with a person who doesn't know,
an attainer-of-wisdom,
on realizing that the person is evil,
abandons him
as a milk-feeding[2] heron,
a bog.
Notes
1.
Throughout the first part of this story, Ven. Nāgasamāla refers to the Buddha with this exaggerated form of address. Perhaps the compilers meant this as a linguistic hint of how inappropriate an attendant he was for the Buddha. At the point in the narrative where he puts the Buddha's bowl and robes on the ground, the Sri Lankan and Burmese editions correct his statement to the more appropriate: "This, lord, is the Blessed One's bowl & robes." However, to be in keeping with his normal way of addressing the Buddha, and to stress the rudeness of the gesture, I felt it better to keep the sentence as it is in the Thai edition. Only after Ven. Nāgasamāla is chastened by his experience with the thieves does he revert to the using the simpler and more standard address: "lord."
2.
Milk-feeding = khīrapaka. This is a poetic way of saying "young and unweaned" — the "milk" here being the regurgitated food with which the mother heron feeds her young. Also — in the conventions of Indian literature — the reference to milk suggests that the heron is white. The Commentary has a fanciful way of explaining this term, saying that it refers to a special type of heron so sensitive that, when fed milk mixed with water, it drinks just the milk.
VIII.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at the Eastern Monastery, the palace of Migāra's mother. And on that occasion a dear and beloved grandson of Visākhā, Migāra's mother, had died. So Visākhā, Migāra's mother — her clothes wet, her hair wet — went to the Blessed One in the middle of the day and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As she was sitting there the Blessed One said to her: "Why have you come here, Visākhā — your clothes wet, your hair wet — in the middle of the day?"
When this was said, she said to the Blessed One, "My dear and beloved grandson has died. This is why I have come here — my clothes wet, my hair wet — in the middle of the day."
"Visākhā, would you like to have as many children & grandchildren as there are people in Sāvatthī?"
"Yes, lord, I would like to have as many children & grandchildren as there are people in Sāvatthī."
"But how many people in Sāvatthī die in the course of a day?"
"Sometimes ten people die in Sāvatthī in the course of a day, sometimes nine... eight... seven... six... five... four... three... two... Sometimes one person dies in Sāvatthī in the course of a day. Sāvatthī is never free from people dying."
"So what do you think, Visākhā? Would you ever be free of wet clothes & wet hair?"
"No, lord. Enough of my having so many children & grandchildren."
"Visākhā, those who have a hundred dear ones have a hundred sufferings. Those who have ninety dear ones have ninety sufferings. Those who have eighty... seventy... sixty... fifty... forty... thirty... twenty... ten... nine... eight... seven... six... five... four... three... two... Those who have one dear one have one suffering. Those who have no dear ones have no sufferings. They are free from sorrow, free from stain, free from lamentation, I tell you."
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
The sorrows, lamentations,
the many kinds of suffering in the world,
exist dependent on something dear.
They don't exist
when there's nothing dear.
And thus blissful & sorrowless
are those for whom nothing
in the world is anywhere dear.
So one who aspires
to the stainless & sorrowless
shouldn't make anything
dear
in the world
anywhere.
IX.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. Then Ven. Dabba Mallaputta went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, "Now is the time for my total unbinding, O One-Well-Gone!"
"Then do, Dabba, what you think it is now time to do."
Then Ven. Dabba Mallaputta, rising from his seat, bowed down to the Blessed One and, circling him on the right, rose up into the air and sat cross-legged in the sky, in space. Entering & emerging from the fire property, he was totally unbound. Now, when Dabba Mallaputta rose up into the air and, sitting cross-legged in the sky, in space, entered & emerged from the fire property and was totally unbound, his body burned and was consumed so that neither ashes nor soot could be discerned. Just as when ghee or oil is burned and consumed, neither ashes nor soot can be discerned, in the same way, when Dabba Mallaputta rose up into the air and, sitting cross-legged in the sky, in space, entered & emerged from the fire property and was totally unbound, his body burned and was consumed so that neither ashes nor soot could be discerned.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
The body broke up,
perception ceased,
feelings went cold[1]
— all —
fabrications were stilled,
consciousness
has come to an end.
Note
1.
Following the reading vedanā sītibhaviṃsu from the Burmese and Sri Lankan editions. In support of this reading, see MN 140 and Iti 44. The Thai edition reads, vedanā-pīti-dahaṃsu: feeling & rapture were burned away.
X.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. There he addressed the monks, "Monks!"
"Yes, lord," the monks responded to him.
The Blessed One said, "When Dabba Mallaputta rose up into the air and, sitting cross-legged in the sky, in space, entered & emerged from the fire property and was totally unbound, his body burned and was consumed so that neither ashes nor soot could be discerned. Just as when ghee or oil is burned and consumed, neither ashes nor soot can be discerned, in the same way, when Dabba Mallaputta rose up into the air and, sitting cross-legged in the sky, in space, entered & emerged from the fire property and was totally unbound, his body burned and was consumed so that neither ashes nor soot could be discerned."
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Just as the destination of a glowing fire
struck with a [blacksmith's] iron hammer,
gradually growing calm,
isn't known:[1]
Even so, there's no destination to describe
for those rightly released
— having crossed over the flood
of sensuality's bond —
for those who've attained
unwavering bliss.
Note
1.
For a discussion of the ancient Buddhist view of what happened to an extinguished fire, see The Mind Like Fire Unbound, Chapters 1 and 2.
Hết phần Kinh Phật Tự Thuyết (Chương 6 đến chương 8) (Udāna)

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