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Aṅguttara Nikāya

Discourses of the Buddha
An Anthology
Part I

Selected and translated from the Pāli
by

Nyanaponika Thera
 
and
 
Bhikkhu Bodhi

Buddhist Publication Society
Kandy • Sri Lanka

The Wheel Publication No. 155–156

Copyright © Kandy, Buddhist Publication Society, (1970)
First edition: 1970.
Second edition: 1980.

BPS Online Edition © (2010)
Digital Transcription Source: BPS.

For this edition, the revised translations by Venerable Bodhi as given in the Numerical Discourses of the Buddha have been used with his kind permission.

For free distribution. This work may be republished, reformatted, reprinted and redistributed in any medium. However, any such republication and redistribution is to be made available to the public on a free and unrestricted basis and translations and other derivative works are to be clearly marked as such and the Buddhist Publication Society is to be acknowledged as the original publisher.


Contents

Key to Abbreviations
Introduction

Aṅguttara Nikāya

I. The Chapter of the Ones

1. The Mind–I
2. The Mind–II
3. Loving kindness
4. Mind Is the Forerunner
5. The Highest Gain
6. One Person
7. Impossible
8. Mindfulness Directed to the Body

II. The Chapter of the Twos

9. Unremitting Effort
10. Abandon Evil
11. Tranquillity and Insight
12. Repaying One’s Parents
13. Two Kinds of Happiness

III. The Chapter of the Threes

14. The Fool and the Wise Person
15. Dhamma, the Co-regent
16. Cause for Shame
17. Three Types of Patients
18. Three Mentalities
19. Free of “I”-making
20. Causes of Action
21. Good Sleep
22. The Divine Messengers
23. Threefold Pride
24. The Conditioned and the Unconditioned
25. An Island of Refuge
26. The Visible Nibbāna
27. To Whom Should Gifts Be Given?
28. Do Monks Benefit Others?
29. Three Sectarian Tenets
30. To the Kālāmas
31. Lust, Hatred, and Delusion
32. Becoming
33. The Threefold Training
34. The Refinement of the Mind–I
35. The Refinement of the Mind–II
36. Gratification, Danger and Escape–I
37. Gratification, Danger and Escape–II
38. Gratification, Danger and Escape–III
39. At the Gotamaka Shrine
40. The Three Characteristics of Existence
41. Happy Days

IV. The Chapter of the Fours

42. The Stream
43. Training for Enlightenment
44. Training in Determination and Insight
45. The Four Right Efforts
46. The Tathāgata
47. The Lion
48. The Best Kinds of Faith
49. Doṇa the Brahmin
50. Seeking the End of the World
51. Distortions of Perception
52. How to Be United in Future Lives
53. The Gift of Food
54. Respect for Parents
55. A Superior Person
56. The Four Unthinkables
57. One’s Own Good and Another’s
58. Four Thoroughbreds
59. Four Occasions for Diligence
60. For One’s Own Sake
61. Four Wonderful Things
62. The Nun
63. Four Ways of Behaviour
64. Ways to Arahantship
65. Volition
66. No Guarantee
67. Fear of Death
68. How to Judge a Person’s Character
69. The Growth of Wisdom


Key to Abbreviations

A Aṅguttara Nikāya
A-a Aṅguttara Aṭṭhakathā
A-ṭ Aṅguttara-ṭīkā
Be Burmese script edition (of AN)
BPS Buddhist Publication Society (Kandy, Sri Lanka)
Comy Commentary
Dhp Dhammapada (by verse)
DN Dīgha Nikāya (by sutta)
Ee European (PTS) edition (of AN)
It Itivuttaka (by sutta)
MN Majjhima Nikāya (by sutta)
Paṭis Paṭisambhidāmagga (by volume, page)
PTS Pāli Text Society (Oxford, England)
Pug Puggalapaññatti (page)
Skt Sanskrit
Sn Suttanipāta (by verse)
SN Saṃyutta Nikāya (by chapter and sutta)
Th Theragāthā (by verse)
Ud Udāna (by chapter and sutta)
Vibh Vibhaṅga (by page)
Vin Vinaya (by volume, page)
Vism Visuddhimagga

References to volume and page are to PTS editions. References to Vism are to chapter and paragraph in the English translation, The Path of Purification, by Ñāṇamoli Bhikkhu, BPS, 1999. Page references to Vibh are followed by the paragraph number in the PTS English translation, The Book of Analysis by Ashin Thittila, 1969.


Introduction

The Aṅguttara Nikāya is the largest among the four collections (nikāya) of the Buddha’s Discourses contained in the Sutta Piṭaka of the Pali Canon. The title of the work derives from the way of its arrangement. The Book of the Ones (Ekaka Nipāta) comprises items with single classification; the Book of the Twos (Duka Nipāta), items with a twofold classification and so forth up to the Book of the Elevens, The Pali title, Aṅguttara Nikāya, could be rendered literally by “Further-factored Collection” (aṅga factor, uttara, beyond, further), i.e., “discourses in progressive numerical order.” In the Pali Text Society’s translation of the complete work, it is called Gradual Sayings.

It is characteristic of this discourse collection that it mainly deals with the practical aspects of Buddhism; ethics (lay and monastic), mind training (meditation) and the community life of monks. Philosophical texts, however, are not absent entirely, as extracts in the present anthology show.

The present volume contains selections from the first four Books. A second volume comprising texts from the remaining Books, Five to Eleven, will follow in due course. An important text from the Book of the Threes has been printed elsewhere in this series and therefore is not repeated here: The Kālāma Sutta (AN 3:56), in The Wheel No. 8.

The present rendering has benefited from the complete English translation (Gradual Sayings, Pali Text Society) and from the German version by the late Venerable Nyanatiloka Mahāthera (recently re-issued). In some instances, however, the translator has deviated from both.

A few of the texts have been abridged, and in others the concluding verses have been omitted where they do not add anything new to the prose section of the Discourse. The Pali Commentaries to the work have been consulted and extracts from them reproduced in the Notes.

It is hoped that this Anthology will stimulate readers to study the complete translation of this Discourse Collection (Gradual Sayings, 5 vols., Pali Text Society, London).

Nyanaponika Thera
April 1970.


Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato
Sammā-sambuddhassa
 
 
Homage to the Blessed One, the Arahant,
the Fully Enlightened One
 
 
 

Aṅguttara Nikāya

I. The Chapter of the Ones

1. The Mind–I

No other thing do I know, O monks, that is so intractable as an undeveloped mind. [1] An undeveloped mind is truly intractable.

No other thing do I know, O monks, that is so tractable as a developed mind. A developed mind is truly tractable.

No other thing do I know, O monks, that brings so much suffering as an undeveloped and uncultivated mind. An undeveloped and uncultivated mind truly brings suffering.

No other thing do I know, O monks, that brings so much happiness as a developed and cultivated mind. A developed and cultivated mind truly brings happiness.

(1:3.1–10; selected)

No other thing do I know, O monks, that brings so much harm as a mind that is untamed, unguarded, unprotected and uncontrolled. Such a mind truly brings much harm.

No other thing do I know, O monks, that brings so much benefit as a mind that is tamed, guarded, protected and controlled. Such a mind truly brings great benefit.

(1:4.1–10; selected)

2. The Mind–II

No other thing do I know, O monks, that changes so quickly as the mind. It is not easy to give a simile for how quickly the mind changes. [2]

(1:5.8)

This mind, O monks, is luminous, but it is defiled by adventitious defilements. [3] The uninstructed worldling does not understand this as it really is; therefore for him there is no mental development.

This mind, O monks, is luminous, and it is freed from adventitious defilements. The instructed noble disciple understands this as it really is; therefore for him there is mental development.

(1:6.1–2)

3. Loving kindness

Monks, if for just the time of a finger-snap a monk produces a thought of loving kindness, develops it, gives attention to it, such a one is rightly called a monk. Not in vain does he meditate. He acts in accordance with the Master’s teaching, he follows his advice, and eats deservingly the country’s alms-food. [4] How much more so if he cultivates it!

(1:6.3–5)

4. Mind Is the Forerunner

Monks, whatsoever states are unwholesome, partake of the unwholesome, pertain to the unwholesome—all these have the mind as their forerunner. [5] Mind arises as the first of them, followed by the unwholesome states.

Monks, whatsoever states are wholesome, partake of the wholesome, pertain to the wholesome—all these have mind as their forerunner. Mind arises as the first of them, followed by the wholesome states.

No other thing do I know, O monks, which is so responsible for causing unarisen unwholesome states to arise and arisen wholesome states to wane as negligence. [6] In one who is negligent, unarisen unwholesome states will arise and arisen wholesome states will wane.

No other thing do I know, O monks, which is so responsible for causing unarisen wholesome states to arise and arisen unwholesome states to wane as diligence. In one who is diligent, wholesome states not yet arisen will arise and unwholesome states that have arisen will wane.

(1:6.6–9)

5. The Highest Gain

Insignificant, O monks, is the loss of relatives, wealth and fame; the loss of wisdom is the greatest loss.

Insignificant, O monks, is the increase of relatives, wealth and fame; the increase of wisdom is the highest gain.

Therefore, O monks, you should train yourselves thus: “We will grow in the increase of wisdom.” Thus, O monks, should you train yourselves.

(1:8.6–10)

6. One Person

Monks, there is one person whose arising in the world is for the welfare of the multitude, for the happiness of the multitude, who comes out of compassion for the world, for the good, welfare and happiness of devas and humans. Who is that one person? It is the Tathāgata, the Arahant, the Fully Enlightened One. This is that one person. [7]

Monks, there is one person arising in the world who is unique, without a peer, without counterpart, incomparable, unequalled, matchless, unrivalled, the best of humans. Who is that one person? It is the Tathāgata, the Arahant, the Fully Enlightened One. This is that one person.

Monks, the manifestation of one person is the manifestation of great vision, of great light, of great radiance; it is the manifestation of the six things unsurpassed; the realisation of the four analytical knowledges; the penetration of the various elements, of the diversity of elements; it is the realisation of the fruit of knowledge and liberation; the realisation of the fruits of stream-entry, once-returning, non-returning, and arahatship. [8] Who is that one person? It is the Tathāgata, the Arahant, the Fully Enlightened One. This is that one person.

(1:13.1, 5, 6)

7. Impossible

It is impossible, O monks, and it cannot be that a person possessed of right view should regard any formation as permanent. [9] But it is possible for an uninstructed worldling to regard a formation as permanent.

It is impossible, O monks, and it cannot be that a person possessed of right view should regard any formation as a source of happiness. But it is possible for an uninstructed worldling to regard a formation as a source of happiness.

It is impossible, O monks, and it cannot be that a person possessed of right view should regard anything as a self. [10] But it is possible for an uninstructed worldling to regard something as a self.

(1:15.1–3)

8. Mindfulness Directed to the Body

I.

Even as one who encompasses with his mind the mighty ocean includes thereby all the rivulets that run into the ocean; just so, O monks, whoever develops and cultivates mindfulness directed to the body includes thereby all the wholesome states that partake of supreme knowledge. [11]

One thing, O monks, if developed and cultivated, leads to a strong sense of urgency; to great benefit; to great security from bondage; to mindfulness and clear comprehension; to the attainment of vision and knowledge; to a pleasant dwelling in this very life; to the realisation of the fruit of knowledge and liberation. What is that one thing? It is mindfulness directed to the body….

If one thing, O monks, is developed and cultivated, the body is calmed, the mind is calmed, discursive thoughts are quietened, and all wholesome states that partake of supreme knowledge reach fullness of development. What is that one thing? It is mindfulness directed to the body….

If one thing, O monks, is developed and cultivated, ignorance is abandoned, supreme knowledge arises, delusion of self is given up, the underlying tendencies are eliminated, and the fetters are discarded. [12] What is that one thing? It is mindfulness directed to the body.

II.

They do not partake of the Deathless who do not partake of mindfulness directed to the body. They partake of the Deathless who partake of mindfulness directed to the body.

The Deathless is lost to those who have lost mindfulness directed to the body. Not lost is the Deathless to those who have not lost mindfulness directed to the body.

They will fail to reach the Deathless who fail in mindfulness directed to the body. They gain the Deathless who gain mindfulness directed to the body.

They neglect the quest for the Deathless who neglect mindfulness directed to the body. They do not neglect the quest for the Deathless who do not neglect mindfulness directed to the body.

They forget the Deathless who forget mindfulness directed to the body. They do not forget the Deathless who do not forget mindfulness directed to the body.

They are undeveloped in the quest for the Deathless who are undeveloped in mindfulness directed to the body. They are developed in the quest for the Deathless who are developed in mindfulness directed to the body.

They have not comprehended the Deathless who have not comprehended mindfulness directed to the body. They have comprehended the Deathless who have comprehended mindfulness directed to the body.

They have not realised the Deathless who have not realised mindfulness directed to the body. They have realised the Deathless who have realised mindfulness directed to the body.

(1:21; selected)


II. The Chapter of the Twos

9. Unremitting Effort

Two things, O monks, I came to know well: not to be content with good states of mind so far achieved, and to be unremitting in the struggle for the goal. [13] Unremittingly, indeed, did I struggle, and I resolved: “Let only my skin, sinews and bones remain; let the flesh and blood in my body dry up; yet there shall be no ceasing of energy till I have attained whatever can be won by manly strength, manly energy, manly effort!”

Through diligence have I won enlightenment, through diligence have I won the unsurpassed security from bondage.

If you too, O monks, will struggle unremittingly and resolve: “Let only my skin, sinews and bones remain; let the flesh and blood in my body dry up; yet there shall be no ceasing of energy till I have attained whatever can be won by manly strength, manly energy, manly effort!”—then you too will soon realise through your own direct knowledge, in this very life, that unsurpassed goal of the holy life for which sons of good family rightly go forth from home into homelessness, and entering into it you will dwell in it.

Therefore, O monks, you should train yourselves thus: “Unremittingly shall I struggle and resolve: ’Let only my skin, sinews and bones remain; let the flesh and blood in my body dry up; yet there shall be no ceasing of energy till I have attained whatever can be won by manly strength, manly energy, manly effort!’” Thus should you train yourselves.

(2:1.5)

10. Abandon Evil

Abandon evil, O monks! One can abandon evil, monks. If it were impossible to abandon evil, I would not ask you to do so. But as it can be done, therefore I say, “Abandon evil!”

If this abandoning of evil would bring harm and suffering, I would not ask you to abandon it. But as the abandoning of evil brings well-being and happiness, therefore I say, “Abandon evil!”

Cultivate the good, O monks! One can cultivate the good, monks. If it were impossible to cultivate the good, I would not ask you to do so. But as it can be done, therefore I say, “Cultivate the good!”

If this cultivation of the good would bring harm and suffering, I would not ask you to cultivate it. But as the cultivation of the good brings well-being and happiness, therefore I say, “Cultivate the good!” [14]

(2:2.9)

11. Tranquillity and Insight

Two things, O monks, partake of supreme knowledge. [15] What two? Tranquillity and insight. [16]

If tranquillity is developed, what benefit does it bring? The mind becomes developed. And what is the benefit of a developed mind? All lust is abandoned. [17]

If insight is developed, what benefit does it bring? Wisdom becomes developed. And what is the benefit of developed wisdom? All ignorance is abandoned. [18]

A mind defiled by lust is not freed; and wisdom defiled by ignorance cannot develop. Thus, monks, through the fading away of lust there is liberation of mind; and through the fading away of ignorance there is liberation by wisdom. [19]

(2:2.10)

12. Repaying One’s Parents

I declare, O monks, that there are two persons one can never repay. What two? One’s mother and father. Even if one should carry about one’s mother on one shoulder and one’s father on the other, and while doing so should live a hundred years, reach the age of a hundred years; and if one should attend to them by anointing them with salves, by massaging, bathing and rubbing their limbs, and they should even void their excrements there—even by that would one not do enough for one’s parents, one would not repay them. Even if one were to establish one’s parents as the supreme lords and rulers over this earth so rich in the seven treasures, one would not do enough for them, one would not repay them. What is the reason for this? Parents do much for their children: they bring them up, feed them, and guide them through this world.

But, O monks, one who encourages his unbelieving parents, settles and establishes them in faith; who encourages his immoral parents, settles and establishes them in virtue; who encourages his stingy parents, settles and establishes them in generosity; who encourages his ignorant parents, settles and establishes them in wisdom—such a one, O monks, does enough for his parents: he repays them and more than repays them for what they have done.

(2:4.2)

13. Two Kinds of Happiness

There are two kinds of happiness, O monks. The happiness of the home life and the happiness of monkhood. But the happiness of monkhood is the higher of the two.

The happiness of the senses and the happiness of renunciation. But the happiness of renunciation is the higher of the two.

Tainted happiness and taintless happiness. [20] But taintless happiness is the higher of the two.

Carnal and non-carnal happiness—the non-carnal is the higher. Noble and ignoble happiness—the noble is the higher. Bodily and mental happiness—the mental is the higher.

(2:7; selected)












III. The Chapter of the Threes

14. The Fool and the Wise Person

His action marks the fool, his action marks the wise person, O monks. Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.

By three things the fool can be known: by bad conduct of body, speech, and mind.

By three things the wise person can be known: by good conduct of body, speech, and mind.

(3:2)

15. Dhamma, the Co-regent

The Blessed One said: “Monks, even a world ruler, a just and righteous king, does not govern his realm without a co-regent.” [21]

When he had spoken, a certain monk addressed the Blessed One thus: “But who, Lord, is the co-regent of the world ruler, the just and righteous king?”

“It is the Dhamma, the law of righteousness, O monk,” replied the Blessed One. [22]

“In this case, the world ruler, the just and righteous king, relying on the law of righteousness (Dhamma), honouring it, regarding it highly and respecting it, with the law of righteousness as his standard, banner and sovereign, provides lawful protection, shelter and safety for his own dependants. He provides lawful protection, shelter, and safety for the warrior-nobles attending on him; for his army, for the brahmins and householders, for the inhabitants of town and countryside, for ascetics and brahmins, for the beasts and birds.

“A world ruler, a just and righteous king, who thus provides lawful protection, shelter, and safety for all, is the one who rules by righteousness only. And that rule cannot be overthrown by any hostile creature in human form.

“Even so, O monk, the Tathāgata, the Arahant, the Fully Enlightened One, the just and righteous King of the Dhamma, relying on the Dhamma, honouring the Dhamma, regarding it highly and respecting it, with the Dhamma as his standard, banner and sovereign, provides lawful protection, shelter and safety in regard to action by body, speech, and mind. (He teaches thus): ’Such bodily action should be undertaken and such should not be undertaken. Such verbal action should be undertaken and such should not be undertaken. Such mental action should be undertaken and such should not be undertaken.’

“The Tathāgata, the Arahant, the Fully Enlightened One, the just and righteous King of the Dhamma, who thus provides lawful protection, shelter and safety in regard to action by body, speech, and mind, is the one who turns the incomparable Wheel of the Dhamma in accordance with the Dhamma only. And that Wheel of the Dhamma cannot be turned back by any ascetic or brahmin, by any deva or Māra or Brahmā or by anyone in the world.” [23]

(3:14)

16. Cause for Shame

“If, monks, wandering ascetics of other beliefs should ask you: ’Is it, friend, for the sake of rebirth in a heavenly world that you live the holy life under the ascetic Gotama?’—would you not feel repelled, ashamed, and humiliated?”

“Certainly, Lord.”

“So then, monks, you say you feel hurt, ashamed and repelled by the idea of divine longevity, divine beauty, divine bliss, divine glory, and divine sovereignty. How much more then should you feel repelled, ashamed and humiliated by bad conduct of body, speech, and mind!”

(3:18)

17. Three Types of Patients

There are, O monks, three types of patients found in the world. What three?

There is one patient: whether or not he obtains proper nourishment, proper medicine, and adequate nursing, he will not recover from his illness.

There is another patient: whether or not he obtains all these things, he will recover from his illness.

There is still another patient who will recover from his illness only if he receives proper nourishment, proper medicine, and adequate nursing, but not if he lacks these. For him, O monks, a special diet, curative medicine, and good nursing are prescribed. But apart from him, also the other two types of patients should be attended to. [24]

These three types of patients are found in the world.

Similarly, monks, there are three other types of persons comparable to those three patients.

There is one type of person: whether or not he has the chance of seeing the Tathāgata and of listening to the Dhamma and Discipline proclaimed by him, he will not enter the path of assurance and will not reach perfection in wholesome states. [25]

There is another person: whether or not he has the chance of seeing the Tathāgata and of listening to the Dhamma and Discipline proclaimed by him, he will in any case enter upon the path of assurance and will reach perfection in wholesome states.

Again, there is one person who will enter upon the path of assurance and will reach perfection in wholesome states only if he has the chance of seeing the Tathāgata and of listening to the Dhamma and Discipline proclaimed by him, but not if he lacks this opportunity. It is for this person, O monks, that instruction in the Dhamma has been prescribed. But apart from him, the two others should also be instructed in the Dhamma. [26]

These are the three types of persons found in the world who are comparable to the three patients.

(3:22)

18. Three Mentalities

There are, O monks, three types of persons found in the world. What three? There is one with a mind like an open sore; one with a mind like lightning; one with a mind like a diamond.

Of what nature, monks, is the person with a mind like an open sore? He is one who is irascible and irritable. If he is criticised even slightly he loses his temper and becomes angry and upset; he is stubborn and displays anger, hatred, and resentment. Just as, for instance, a festering sore, if struck by a stick or a sherd, will discharge matter all the more, even so is the person who is irascible … and displays anger, hatred and resentment. Such a person is said to have a mind like an open sore.

And of what nature is the person with a mind like lightning? He is one who understands as it really is, “This is suffering”; he understands as it really is, “This is the origin of suffering”; he understands as it really is, “This is the cessation of suffering”; he understands as it really is, “This is the path leading to the cessation of suffering.” Just as a man with good sight can see objects in the darkness of night by a flash of lightning, even so a person understands these Four Noble Truths as they really are. Such a person is said to have a mind like lightning.

And of what nature is a person with a mind like a diamond? He is one who, by the destruction of the taints, in this very life enters and dwells in the taintless liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, having realised it for himself by direct knowledge. Just as there is nothing that a diamond cannot cut, be it gem or rock, even so a certain person, by the destruction of the taints, in this very life enters and dwells in the taintless liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, having realised it for himself by direct knowledge. Such a person is said to have a mind like a diamond. [27]

These three types of persons are found in the world.

(3:25)

19. Free of “I”-making

On one occasion the Venerable Sāriputta approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him and sat down to one side. [28] The Blessed One then said to him:

“Sāriputta, whether I teach the Dhamma in brief, or whether I teach it in detail, or whether I teach it both in brief and in detail, those who understand are hard to find.”

“Now, O Blessed One, is the time for it! Now, Sublime One, is the time for the Blessed One to teach the Dhamma in brief, to teach it in detail, and to teach it both in brief and in detail. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.”

“Well then, Sāriputta, thus should one train oneself: ’We shall not entertain any I-making, mine-making or underlying tendency to conceit either in regard to this conscious body or in regard to all external objects; [29] and we shall enter and dwell in the liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, so that we are no longer subject to I-making, mine-making and the underlying tendency to conceit.’ That is how one should train oneself.

“When, Sāriputta, a monk has no more I-making, mine-making and underlying tendency to conceit either in regard to this conscious body or in regard to external objects, and when he thus enters and dwells in the liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, he is then called a monk who has cut off craving and removed the fetters, one who, by fully breaking through conceit, has made an end of suffering.

“About this, Sāriputta, I have spoken in ’The Questions of Udaya’ in ’The Way to the Far Shore’: [30]

“The abandoning of sensual desires
Along with the bitter touch of grief;
The dispelling of sloth, mental dullness,
The warding off of anxious worry;
Purified mindfulness and equipoise
Preceded by thinking on the Dhamma:
This, I declare, is release by knowledge,
The breaking apart of ignorance.” [31]

(3:32)

20. Causes of Action

There are, O monks, three causes for the origination of action. What three? Greed, hatred, and delusion. [32]

An action done in greed, born of greed, caused by greed, arisen from greed, will ripen wherever the individual is reborn; and wherever the action ripens, there the individual experiences the fruit of that action, be it in this life, or in the next life, or in subsequent future lives. [33]

An action done in hatred, born of hatred, caused by hatred, arisen from hatred, will ripen wherever the individual is reborn; and wherever the action ripens, there the individual experiences the fruit of that action, be it in this life, or in the next life, or in subsequent future lives.

An action done in delusion, born of delusion, caused by delusion, arisen from delusion, will ripen wherever the individual is reborn; and wherever the action ripens, there the individual experiences the fruit of that action, be it in this life, or in the next life, or in subsequent future lives.

It is, monks, as with seeds that are undamaged, not rotten, unspoiled by wind and sun, capable of sprouting and well embedded in a good field, sown in well-prepared soil: if there is plenty of rain, these seeds will grow, shoot up, and develop abundantly.

Similarly, monks, whatever action is done out of greed, hatred or delusion … will ripen wherever the individual is reborn; and wherever the action ripens, there the individual experiences the fruit, be it in this life, or in the next life, or in subsequent future lives.

These, monks, are three causes for the origination of action.

There are, O monks, three other causes for the origination of action. What three? Non-greed, non-hatred, and non-delusion.

If an action is done in non-greed, born of non-greed, caused by non-greed, arisen from non-greed. … If an action is done in non-hatred. … If an action is done in non-delusion, born of non-delusion, caused by non-delusion, arisen from non-delusion, once greed, hatred, and delusion have vanished that action is thus abandoned, cut off at the root, made barren like a palm-tree stump, obliterated so that it is no more subject to arise in the future. [34]

It is, monks, as with seeds that are undamaged, not rotten, unspoiled by wind and sun, capable of sprouting and well embedded: if a man were to burn them in fire and reduce them to ashes, then winnow the ashes in a strong wind or let them be carried away by a swiftly flowing stream, then those seeds would have been radically destroyed, fully eliminated, made unable to sprout, and would not be liable to arise in the future. [35]

Similarly it is, monks, with actions done in non-greed, non-hatred, and non-delusion. Once greed, hatred, and delusion have vanished, these actions are thus abandoned, cut off at the root, made barren like palm-tree stumps, obliterated so that they are no more subject to arise in the future.

These, monks, are the other three causes for the origination of action.

(3:33)

21. Good Sleep

Thus have I heard. On one occasion when the Blessed One was dwelling in the Āḷavi country, he rested on a heap of leaves spread on a cattle track in a siṃsapa forest.

At that time Hatthaka of Āḷavi [36] passed that way while taking a walk and there he saw the Blessed One seated on the heap of leaves. Having approached the Blessed One and paid homage to him, Hatthaka sat down to one side and said to the Blessed One:

“Venerable sir, has the Blessed One slept well?”

“Yes, prince, I slept well. Among those in the world who always sleep well, I am one.”

“But, Lord, the winter nights are cold and this is a week of frost. Hard is the ground trampled by the hoofs of cattle, thin is the spread of leaves, sparse are the leaves on the trees, thin are the tawny monk’s robes and cold blows the wind. Yet the Blessed One says that he has slept well and that he is one of those in the world who always sleep well.”

“Now, prince, I shall put a question to you about this and you may reply as you think fit. What do you think of this, prince? Suppose there is a householder or a householder’s son living in a house with a gabled roof, plastered inside and out, protected against the wind, with fastened door bolts and windows closed. And there is a couch in the house, covered with a long-fleeced, black woollen rug, with a bedspread of white wool, a coverlet decorated with flowers, spread over with an exquisite antelope skin, having a canopy overhead, and scarlet cushions at both ends. Also a lamp is burning there and his four wives attend on him pleasantly. What do you think, prince: would that person sleep well or not, or what is your opinion about this?”

“He will surely sleep well, Lord. He will be one of those in the world who sleep well.”

“What do you think, prince? Might there not arise in that householder or householder’s son vexations of body or mind caused by lust, hatred, and delusion, which torment him so that he would sleep badly?”

“That may well be so, Lord.”

“Now, prince, the lust, hatred, and delusion by which that householder is tormented, and which cause him to sleep badly, have been abandoned by the Tathāgata, cut off at the root, made barren like palm-tree stumps, obliterated so that they are no more subject to arise in the future. Therefore, prince, I have slept well.”

The brahmin who is quenched within
Always sleeps happily;
He does not cling to sensual desires,
Free from props, one cool in mind.
Having cut all straps of attachment,
Removed care deep within the heart,
The Peaceful One sleeps happily,
Attained to perfect peace of mind.

(3:34)

22. The Divine Messengers

There are three divine messengers, [37] O monks. What three?

There is a person of bad conduct in body, speech, and mind. Being of such bad conduct, on the dissolution of the body, after death, he is reborn in the plane of misery, in a bad destination, in a lower world, in hell. There the warders of hell seize him by both arms and take him before Yama, the Lord of Death, saying: “This man, your majesty, had no respect for father and mother, nor for ascetics and brahmins, nor did he honour the elders of the family. May your majesty inflict due punishment on him!”

Then, monks, King Yama questions that man, examines and addresses him concerning the first divine messenger: “Didn’t you ever see, my good man, the first divine messenger appearing among humankind?”

And he replies: “No, Lord, I did not see him.”

Then King Yama says to him: “But, my good man, didn’t you ever see a woman or a man, aged eighty, ninety or a hundred years, frail, bent like a roof bracket, crooked, leaning on a stick, shakily going along, ailing, youth and vigour gone, with broken teeth, with grey and scanty hair or none, wrinkled, with blotched limbs?”

And the man replies: “Yes, Lord, I have seen this.”

Then King Yama says to him: “My good man, didn’t it ever occur to you, an intelligent and mature person, ’I too am subject to old age and cannot escape it. Let me now do noble deeds by body, speech, and mind’?”

“No, Lord, I could not do it. I was negligent.”

Then King Yama says: “Through negligence, my good man, you have failed to do noble deeds by body, speech, and mind. Well, you will be treated as befits your negligence. That evil action of yours was not done by mother or father, brothers, sisters, friends or companions, nor by relatives, devas, ascetics or brahmins. But you alone have done that evil deed, and you will have to experience the fruit.”

When, monks, King Yama has questioned, examined and addressed him thus concerning the first divine messenger, he again questions, examines and addresses the man about the second one, saying: “Didn’t you ever see, my good man, the second divine messenger appearing among humankind?”

“No, Lord, I did not see him.”

“But, my good man, didn’t you ever see a woman or a man who was sick and in pain, seriously ill, lying in his own filth, having to be lifted up by some and put to bed by others?”

“Yes, Lord, I have seen this.”

“My good man, didn’t it ever occur to you, an intelligent and mature person, ’I too am subject to illness and cannot escape it. Let me now do noble deeds by body, speech, and mind’?”

“No, Lord, I could not do it. I was negligent.”

“Through negligence, my good man, you have failed to do noble deeds by body, speech, and mind. Well, you will be treated as befits your negligence. That evil action of yours was not done by mother or father, brothers, sisters, friends or companions, nor by relatives, devas, ascetics or brahmins. But you alone have done that evil deed, and you will have to experience the fruit.”

When, monks, King Yama has questioned, examined and addressed him thus concerning the second divine messenger, he again questions, examines and addresses the man about the third one, saying: “Didn’t you ever see, my good man, the third divine messenger appearing among humankind?”

“No, Lord, I did not see him.”

“But, my good man, didn’t you ever see a woman or a man one, two or three days dead, the corpse swollen, discoloured and festering?”

“Yes, Lord, I have seen this.”

“Then, my good man, didn’t it ever occur to you, an intelligent and mature person, ’I too am subject to death and cannot escape it. Let me now do noble deeds by body, speech, and mind’?”

“No, Lord, I could not do it. I was negligent.”

“Through negligence, my good man, you have failed to do noble deeds by body, speech, and mind. Well, you will be treated as befits your negligence. That evil action of yours was not done by mother or father, brothers, sisters, friends, or companions, nor by relatives, devas, ascetics, or brahmins. But you alone have done that evil deed, and you will have to experience the fruit.”

Then, having questioned, examined, and addressed the man concerning the third divine messenger, King Yama becomes silent.

Thereupon the warders of hell inflict many kinds of torment on him on account of which he suffers grievous, severe, sharp, and bitter pain. Yet he does not die until that evil deed of his has been worked out. [38]

(3:35)

23. Threefold Pride

I was delicately brought up, O monks; highly delicate, exceedingly delicate was my upbringing. At my father’s house lotus ponds were made: in one of them blue lotuses bloomed, in another white lotuses, and in a third red lotuses, just for my enjoyment. I used only sandal unguent from Benares and my head dress, my jacket, my undergarment, and my tunic were made of Benares muslin. By day and by night a white canopy was held over me, lest cold and heat, dust, chaff or dew should trouble me. I had three palaces: one for the summer, one for the winter and one for the rainy season. In the palace for the rainy season, during the four months of the rains, I was waited upon by female musicians only, and I did not come down from the palace during these months. While in other people’s homes servants and slaves receive a meal of broken rice together with sour gruel, in my father’s house they were given choice rice and meat.

Amidst such splendour and an entirely carefree life, O monks, this thought came to me: [39] “An uninstructed worldling, though sure to become old himself and unable to escape ageing, feels repelled, humiliated and disgusted when seeing an old and decrepit person, being forgetful of his own situation. Now I too am sure to become old and cannot escape ageing. If, when seeing an old and decrepit person, I were to feel repelled, humiliated or disgusted, that would not be proper for one like myself.” When I reflected thus, monks, all my pride in youthfulness vanished.

Again I reflected: “An uninstructed worldling, though sure to become ill himself and unable to escape illness, feels repelled, humiliated or disgusted when seeing a sick person, being forgetful of his own situation. Now I too am sure to become ill and cannot escape illness. If, when seeing a sick person, I were to feel repelled, humiliated or disgusted, that would not be proper for one like myself.”

When I thus reflected, monks, all my pride in health vanished.

Again I reflected: “An uninstructed worldling is sure to die himself and cannot escape death; yet when seeing a dead person, he feels repelled, humiliated or disgusted, being forgetful of his own situation. Now I too am sure to die and cannot escape death. If, when seeing a dead person, I were to feel repelled, humiliated or disgusted, that would not be proper for one like myself.” When I thus reflected, monks, all my pride in life vanished. [40]

(3:38)

24. The Conditioned and the Unconditioned

There are, O monks, three conditioned marks of the conditioned. What three? Its origination is discerned, its vanishing is discerned, its change while persisting is discerned. [41] These are the three conditioned marks of the conditioned.

There are, O monks, three unconditioned marks of the Unconditioned. What three? No origination is discerned, no vanishing is discerned, no change while persisting is discerned. These are the three unconditioned marks of the Unconditioned. [42]

(3:47)

25. An Island of Refuge

Once two frail and old brahmins, aged, advanced in years, at life’s end, one hundred and twenty years of age, approached the Blessed One and said to him:

“We are brahmins, Master Gotama, frail and old … one hundred and twenty years of age. But we have not done anything that is good and wholesome, we have not made a shelter for ourselves. [43] Let Master Gotama admonish us and exhort us, so that it may lead to our welfare and happiness for a long time!”

“Truly, brahmins, you are frail and old … and you have not done anything good and wholesome, you have not made a shelter for yourselves. Indeed, brahmins, this world is swept away by old age, illness and death. Though the world is thus swept away by old age, illness and death, for one who departs from this world self-control in deeds, words, and thoughts will provide shelter and safety, an island of refuge and succour.”

Life is swept away, brief is our span of years,
There are no shelters for one who has reached old age.
Perceiving the peril that lurks in death,
Perform good deeds that entail happiness.

When one is restrained in body,
Restrained by speech and by mind,
The deeds of merit one did while alive
Bring happiness when one departs.

When a house is burning, the goods removed from it,
Will be of use, but not what burns inside.
Thus, in this world aflame with age and death,
Save what you own by liberality—
Your goods given, are well removed and safe.

When one is restrained in body,
Restrained by speech and by mind,
The deeds of merit one did while alive
Bring happiness when one departs.

(3:51–52)

26. The Visible Nibbāna

Once the brahmin Jāṇussoṇi approached the Blessed One … and said to him: [44]

“It is said, Master Gotama, ’Nibbāna is directly visible.’ In what way, Master Gotama, is Nibbāna directly visible, immediate, inviting one to come and see, worthy of application, to be personally experienced by the wise?”

“When, brahmin, a person is impassioned with lust … depraved through hatred … bewildered through delusion, overwhelmed and infatuated by delusion, then he plans for his own harm, for the harm of others, for the harm of both; and he experiences in his mind suffering and grief. But when lust, hatred, and delusion have been abandoned, he neither plans for his own harm, nor for the harm of others, nor for the harm of both; and he does not experience in his mind suffering and grief. In this way, brahmin, Nibbāna is directly visible, immediate, inviting one to come and see, worthy of application, to be personally experienced by the wise.

“Since he experiences the complete destruction of lust, hatred, and delusion, in this way, brahmin, Nibbāna is directly visible, immediate, inviting one to come and see, worthy of application, to be personally experienced by the wise.” [45]

(3:55)

27. To Whom Should Gifts Be Given?

Once Vacchagotta the wanderer approached the Blessed One and said to him: [46]

“I have heard it said, Master Gotama, that the ascetic Gotama says: ’Gifts should be given only to me and not to others; they should be given only to my disciples and not to the disciples of others. Only what is given to me brings great fruit, not what is given to others; only what is given to my disciples brings great fruit, not what is given to the disciples of others.’ Now, Master Gotama, do those who say so report Master Gotama’s actual words and not misrepresent him? Do they declare this in accordance with your teachings and will their assertion give no grounds for reproach? We certainly do not wish to misrepresent Master Gotama.”

“Those who have said so, Vaccha, have not reported my words correctly, but misrepresent me. Their declarations do not accord with my teachings and their false assertion will certainly give cause for reproach.

“Vaccha, anyone who prevents another person from giving alms causes obstruction and impediment to three people: he obstructs the donor from doing a meritorious deed, he obstructs the recipient from getting the gift, and prior to that, he undermines and harms his own character. What I actually teach, Vaccha, is this: even if one throws away the rinsings from a pot or cup into a village pool or pond, wishing that the living beings there may feed on them—even this would be a source of merit, not to speak of giving a gift to human beings.

“However, I do declare that offerings made to the virtuous bring rich fruit, and not so much those made to the immoral. [47] The virtuous one has abandoned five qualities and possesses another five qualities. What are the five qualities he has abandoned? Sensual desire, ill will, sloth and torpor, restlessness and worry, and doubt: these are the five qualities he has abandoned. And what are the five qualities he possesses? He possesses the virtue, concentration, wisdom, liberation, and knowledge and vision of liberation of one perfect in training. These are the five qualities he possesses.

“What is given to one who has abandoned those five qualities and who possesses these five qualities—this, I declare, brings rich fruit.”

(3:57)

28. Do Monks Benefit Others?

Once Saṅgārava the brahmin approached the Blessed One and said to him: [48]

“We are brahmins, Master Gotama: we sacrifice and enjoin others to make sacrifices. Now one who himself sacrifices and one who enjoins others to do so both engage in a meritorious practice, the offering of sacrifice that extends to many persons. But one of this or that family who goes forth from home into the homeless life, he tames himself alone, calms himself alone, attains Nibbāna for himself alone. If this is so, he then engages in a meritorious practice involving only one person, namely, the act of going forth into the homeless life.”

“Well, brahmin, I shall ask you a question and you may answer as you think fit. Now, brahmin, what do you think of this: A Tathāgata arises in the world, an arahat, fully enlightened, accomplished in true knowledge and conduct, sublime, knower of the world, unsurpassed leader of persons to be tamed, teacher of devas and humans, the Enlightened One, the Blessed One. He speaks thus: ’Come! This is the way, this is the path treading which I have directly known and realised that highest consummation of the holy life which I now proclaim. Come! You too should practise thus, so that you too, by your own effort, may directly know and realise this highest consummation of the holy life and dwell in its attainment!’

“Thus this teacher shows the Dhamma and others too practise in that way. And of such who do so, there are many hundreds, many thousands, many hundreds of thousands. What do you think, brahmin: since this is so, is that act of going forth into homelessness a meritorious practice involving only one person or many people?”

“Since it is so, Master Gotama, the going forth is a meritorious practice extending to many people.”

When this was said, the Venerable Ānanda spoke to the brahmin Saṅgārava thus: [49] “Of these two practices, brahmin, which appeals to you more as being simpler and less harmful, and as giving richer fruit and greater benefit?”

Thereupon the brahmin Saṅgārava said to the Venerable Ānanda: “I must honour and praise those like Master Gotama and Master Ānanda.”

For a second time and third time, the Venerable Ānanda addressed the brahmin: “I do not ask you, brahmin, whom you honour and praise, but which of those two practices appeals to you more as being simpler and less harmful, and as giving richer fruit and greater benefit?”

But also for a second time and third time, the brahmin Saṅgārava replied: “I must honour and praise those like Master Gotama and Master Ānanda.”

Then the Blessed One thought: “Even for a third time this brahmin Saṅgārava, on being asked by Ānanda a pertinent question, makes evasions and does not reply to it. Should I not release him from that situation?” And he spoke to the brahmin: “What might have been the topic of conversation, brahmin, among the king’s courtiers when they sat together today in the royal palace?”

“The topic of conversation was this, Master Gotama: ’Formerly there were fewer monks, but there were more who displayed miracles of supernormal power transcending the human level. But now there are more monks, but fewer who display miracles of supernormal power transcending the human level.’ This was the topic of conversation.”

“There are three kinds of miracles, brahmin. What three? The miracle of supernormal power, the miracle of thought-reading, and the miracle of instruction.

“What now is the miracle of supernormal power? There is one who enjoys the various kinds of supernormal power: having been one, he becomes many; having been many, he becomes one; he appears and vanishes; he goes unhindered through a wall, through a rampart, through a mountain as if through space; he dives in and out of the earth as if it were water; he walks on water without sinking as if it were earth; while seated cross-legged he travels through the sky like a bird; with his hand he touches and strokes the sun and the moon, so powerful and mighty; he exercises mastery with his body even as far as the Brahma-world. This, brahmin, is called the miracle of psychic power.

“What now is the miracle of thought-reading? There is one who, by means of a sign,  [50] declares: ’Thus is your mind, such and such is your mind, thus is your thought.’ And however many such declarations he makes, they are exactly so and not otherwise.

“Another does not make his declarations by means of a sign, but after hearing voices of humans, of spirits or devas … or by hearing the sound of a person’s thought-vibrations … or by mentally penetrating the direction of his mental dispositions when he is in a thought-free state of meditation. [51] And however many such declarations he makes, they are exactly so and not otherwise. This is called the miracle of thought-reading.

“And what, brahmin, is the miracle of instruction? There is one who instructs thus: ’You should think in this way and should not think in that way! You should attend to this and not to that! You should give up this and should dwell in the attainment of that!’ This is called the miracle of instruction. [52]

“These, O brahmin, are the three kinds of miracles. Of these three miracles, which appeals to you as the most excellent and sublime?”

“As to the miracles of supernormal power and thought-reading, Master Gotama, only one who performs them will experience their outcome; they belong only to one who performs them. These two miracles, Master Gotama, appear to me as having the nature of a conjurer’s trick. But as to the miracle of instruction-this, Master Gotama, appeals to me as the most excellent and sublime among these three.

“It is outstanding and remarkable how well this was spoken by Master Gotama. We shall remember Master Gotama as one endowed with these three miracles. For Master Gotama enjoys the various kinds of supernormal power. He mentally penetrates and knows the minds of others. And Master Gotama instructs others thus: ’You should think in this way and not in that way! You should attend to this and not to that! You should give up this and should dwell in the attainment of that! ’“

“Indeed, brahmin, you have spoken strikingly befitting words. Hence I too shall confirm that I enjoy the various kinds of supernormal power … that I mentally penetrate and know the minds of others … and that I instruct others how to direct their minds.”

“But is there, apart from Master Gotama, any other monk who is endowed with these three miracles?”

“Yes, brahmin. The monks endowed with these three miracles are not just one hundred, or two, three, four or five hundred, but even more monks than that are thus endowed.”

“And where are these monks now dwelling, Master Gotama?”

“In this very Sangha of monks, brahmin.”

“Excellent, Master Gotama! Excellent, Master Gotama! It is just as if one were to set upright what was overturned, or to reveal what was hidden, or to point out the way to one gone astray, or to hold a lamp in the darkness so that those who have eyes might see forms. Even so has the Dhamma been set forth in various ways by Master Gotama. I now go for refuge to Master Gotama, to the Dhamma, and to the Sangha of monks. Let Master Gotama accept me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge from today until life’s end.”

(3:60)

29. Three Sectarian Tenets

There are, O monks, three sectarian tenets which, if they are fully examined, investigated, and discussed, will end in a doctrine of inaction, even if adopted because of tradition. [53] What are these three tenets?

There are, monks, some ascetics and brahmins who teach and hold this view: “Whatever a person experiences, be it pleasure, pain or a neutral feeling, all that is caused by past action.” There are others who teach and hold this view: “Whatever a person experiences … all that is caused by God’s creation.” And there are still other ascetics and brahmins who teach and hold this view: “Whatever a person experiences … is uncaused and unconditioned.” [54]

(1) Now, monks, I approached those ascetics and brahmins (holding the first view) and said to them: “Is it true, as they say, that you venerable ones teach and hold the view that whatever a person experiences … all that is caused by past action?” When they affirmed it, I said to them: “If that is so, venerable sirs, then it is due to past action (done in a former life) that people kill, steal and engage in sexual misconduct; that they speak falsehood, utter malicious words, speak harshly and indulge in idle talk; that they are covetous and malevolent and hold false views. [55] But those who have recourse to past action as the decisive factor will lack the impulse and effort for doing this or not doing that. Since they have no real valid ground for asserting that this or that ought to be done or ought not to be done, the term ’ascetics’ does not rightly apply to them, living without mindfulness and self-control.”

This, monks, is my first justified rebuke to those ascetics and brahmins who teach and hold such a view.

(2) Again, monks, I approached those ascetics and brahmins (holding the second view) and said to them: “Is it true, as they say, that you venerable ones teach and hold the view that whatever a person experiences … all that is caused by God’s creation?” When they affirmed it, I said to them: “If that is so, venerable sirs, then it is due to God’s creation that people kill … and hold false views. But those who have recourse to God’s creation as the decisive factor will lack the impulse and effort for doing this or not doing that. Since they have no real valid ground for asserting that this or that ought to be done or ought not to be done, the term ’ascetics’ does not rightly apply to them, living without mindfulness and self-control.”

This, monks, is my second justified rebuke to those ascetics and brahmins who teach and hold such a view.

(3) Again, monks, I approached those ascetics and brahmins (holding the third view) and said to them: “Is it true, as they say, that you venerable ones teach and hold the view that whatever a person experiences … all that is uncaused and unconditioned?” When they affirmed it, I said to them: “If that is so, venerable sirs, then it is without cause and condition that people kill … and hold false views. But those who have recourse to an uncaused and unconditioned (order of events) as the decisive factor will lack the impulse and effort for doing this or not doing that. Since they have no real valid ground for asserting that this or that ought to be done or ought not to be done, the term ’ascetics’ does not rightly apply to them, living without mindfulness and self-control.”

This, monks, is my third justified rebuke to those ascetics and brahmins who teach and hold such a view.

These, monks, are the three sectarian tenets which, if fully examined, investigated, and discussed, will end in a doctrine of inaction, even if adopted because of tradition.

Now, monks, this Dhamma taught by me is unrefuted, untarnished, unblamed, and uncensored by intelligent ascetics and brahmins. [56] And what is that Dhamma?

“These are the six elements”—that is the Dhamma taught by me, which is unrefuted … by intelligent ascetics and brahmins

“These are the six bases of contact” … “These are the eighteen mental examinations” … “These are the Four Noble Truths”—that is the Dhamma taught by me, which is unrefuted, untarnished, unblamed, and uncensured by intelligent ascetics and brahmins.

Now on account of what was it said that the six elements are the Dhamma taught by me? These are the six elements: the elements of earth, water, heat, air, space, and consciousness. [57]

Now on account of what was it said that the six bases of contact are the Dhamma taught by me? These are the six bases of contact: the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind as bases of contact.

Now on account of what was it said that the eighteen mental examinations are the Dhamma taught by me? [58] These are the eighteen mental examinations: Seeing a form with the eye, one examines a form that may give rise either to joy, sadness, or indifference. Hearing a sound with the ear … Smelling an odour with the nose … Tasting a flavour with the tongue … Feeling a tactile object with the body … Cognizing a mental object with the mind, one examines an object that may give rise either to joy, sadness or indifference. These are the eighteen mental examinations.

Now, on account of what was it said that the Four Noble Truths are the Dhamma taught by me? Based on the six elements there is descent into the womb. [59] Such descent taking place, there is name-and-form. [60] With name-and-form as condition there are the six sense bases; with the six sense bases as condition there is contact; with contact as condition there is feeling. Now it is for one who feels that I make known, “This is suffering,” “This is the origin of suffering,” “This is the cessation of suffering,” “This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.” [61]

What now, monks, is the noble truth of suffering? Birth is suffering; ageing is suffering; illness is suffering; death is suffering; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair are suffering; association with the unloved is suffering; separation from the loved is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering; in brief, the five aggregates subject to clinging are suffering. [62]

And what, monks, is the noble truth of the origin of suffering? With ignorance as condition volitional formations come to be. [63] With the volitional formations as condition, consciousness; with consciousness as condition, name-and-form; with name-and-form as condition, the six sense bases; with the six sense bases as condition, contact; with contact as condition, feeling; with feeling as condition, craving; with craving as condition, clinging; with clinging as condition, the process of becoming; with the process of becoming as condition, birth; with birth as condition, ageing and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair come to be. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering. This, monks, is called the noble truth of the origin of suffering.

And what, monks, is the noble truth of the cessation of suffering? With the entire fading away and cessation of this ignorance, the volitional formations cease. With the cessation of the volitional formations, consciousness ceases. With the cessation of consciousness, name-and-form ceases. With the cessation of name-and-form, the six sense bases cease. With the cessation of the six sense bases, contact ceases. With the cessation of contact, feeling ceases. With the cessation of feeling, craving ceases. With the cessation of craving, clinging ceases. With the cessation of clinging, the process of becoming ceases. With the cessation of the process of becoming, birth ceases. With the cessation of birth, ageing and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair cease. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering. This, monks, is called the noble truth of the cessation of suffering.

And what, monks, is the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering? It is just this Noble Eightfold Path, namely, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. This, monks, is called the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering.

These Four Noble Truths are the Dhamma taught by me, which is unrefuted, untarnished, unblamed, and uncensured by intelligent ascetics and brahmins.

(3:61)

30. To the Kālāmas

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was wandering on tour together with a large Sangha of monks when he arrived at a town of the Kālāmas named Kesaputta. [64] Now the Kālāmas of Kesaputta heard: “It is said that the ascetic Gotama, the Sakyan son who went forth from a Sakyan family, has arrived at Kesaputta. Now a good report about that master Gotama has been circulating thus: “That Blessed One is an arahat, fully enlightened, accomplished in true knowledge and conduct, sublime, knower of the world, unsurpassed leader of persons to be tamed, teacher of devas and humans, the Enlightened One, the Blessed One. He makes known this world with its devas, with Māra, with Brahmā, this generation with its ascetics and brahmins, with its devas and humans, having realised it through his own direct knowledge. He teaches a Dhamma that is good in the beginning, good in the middle and good in the end, with the right meaning and expression; he reveals a holy life that is perfectly complete and purified.’ Now it is good to see arahats such as this.”

Then the Kālāmas of Kesaputta approached the Blessed One. Some paid homage to him and sat down to one side; some exchanged greetings with him and, after their greetings and cordial talk, sat down to one side; some saluted him reverentially and sat down to one side; some remained silent and sat down to one side. Then the Kālāmas said to the Blessed One:

“There are, Lord, some ascetics and brahmins who come to Kesaputta. They explain and elucidate their own doctrines, but disparage, debunk, revile and vilify the doctrines of others. But then some other ascetics and brahmins come to Kesaputta, and they too explain and elucidate their own doctrines, but disparage, debunk, revile and vilify the doctrines of the others. For us, Lord, there is perplexity and doubt as to which of these good ascetics speak truth and which speak falsehood.”

“It is fitting for you to be perplexed, O Kālāmas, it is fitting for you to be in doubt. Doubt has arisen in you about a perplexing matter. Come, Kālāmas. Do not go by oral tradition, by lineage of teaching, by hearsay, by a collection of scriptures, by logical reasoning, by inferential reasoning, by reflection on reasons, by the acceptance of a view after pondering it, by the seeming competence of a speaker, or because you think, ’The ascetic is our teacher.’ [65] But when you know for yourselves, ’These things are unwholesome, these things are blamable; these things are censured by the wise; these things, if undertaken and practised, lead to harm and suffering,’ then you should abandon them.

“What do you think, Kālāmas? When greed, hatred, and delusion arise in a person, is it for his welfare or harm?” [66] —“For his harm, Lord.”—“Kālāmas, a person who is greedy, hating and deluded, overpowered by greed, hatred, and delusion, his thoughts controlled by them, will destroy life, take what is not given, engage in sexual misconduct and tell lies; he will also prompt others to do likewise. Will that conduce to his harm and suffering for a long time?”—“Yes, Lord.”

“What do you think, Kālāmas? Are these things wholesome or unwholesome?“Unwholesome, Lord.”—“Blamable or blameless?”—“Blamable, Lord.”—“Censured or praised by the wise?”—“Censured, Lord.”—“Undertaken and practised, do they lead to harm and suffering or not, or how is it in this case?”—“Undertaken and practised, these things lead to harm and suffering. So it appears to us in this case.”

“It was for this reason, Kālāmas, that we said: Do not go by oral tradition.…

“Come, Kālāmas. Do not go by oral tradition, by lineage of teaching, by hearsay, by a collection of scriptures, by logical reasoning, by inferential reasoning, by reflection on reasons, by the acceptance of a view after pondering it, by the seeming competence of a speaker, or because you think, “The ascetic is our teacher.’ But when you know for yourselves, “These things are wholesome, these things are blameless; these things are praised by the wise; these things, if undertaken and practised, lead to welfare and happiness,’ then you should engage in them.

“What do you think, Kālāmas? When non-greed, non-hatred, and non-delusion arise in a person, is it for his welfare or harm?”—“For his welfare, Lord.”—“Kālāmas, a person who is without greed, without hatred, without delusion, not overpowered by greed, hatred, and delusion, his thoughts not controlled by them, will abstain from the destruction of life, from taking what is not given, from sexual misconduct and from false speech; he will also prompt others to do likewise. Will that conduce to his welfare and happiness for a long time?”—“Yes, Lord.”

“What do you think, Kālāmas? Are these things wholesome or unwholesome?“Wholesome, Lord.”—“Blamable or blameless?”—“Blameless, Lord.”—“Censured or praised by the wise?”—“Praised, Lord.”—“Undertaken and practised, do they lead to welfare and happiness or not, or how is it in this case?”—“Undertaken and practised, these things lead to welfare and happiness. So it appears to us in this case.”

“It was for this reason, Kālāmas, that we said: Do not go upon oral tradition….

“Then, Kālāmas, that noble disciple—devoid of covetousness, devoid of ill will, unconfused, clearly comprehending, ever mindful—dwells pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with loving kindness, likewise the second quarter, the third and the fourth. [67] Thus above, below, across and everywhere, and to all as to himself, he dwells pervading the entire world with a mind imbued with loving kindness, vast, exalted, measureless, without hostility, and without ill will.

“He dwells pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with compassion … with altruistic joy … with equanimity, likewise the second quarter, the third and the fourth. Thus above, below, across and everywhere, and to all as to himself, he dwells pervading the entire world with a mind imbued with equanimity, vast, exalted, measureless, without hostility, and without ill will.

“When, Kālāmas, this noble disciple has thus made his mind free of enmity, free of ill will, uncorrupted and pure, he has won four assurances in this very life.

“The first assurance he has won is this: “If there is another world, and if good and bad deeds bear fruit and yield results, it is possible that with the breakup of the body, after death, I shall arise in a good destination, in a heavenly world.’

“The second assurance he has won is this: “If there is no other world, and if good and bad deeds do not bear fruit and yield results, still right here, in this very life, I live happily, free of enmity and ill will.

“The third assurance he has won is this: “Suppose evil befalls the evil-doer. Then, as I do not intend evil for anyone, how can suffering afflict me, one who does no evil deed?’

“The fourth assurance he has won is this: “Suppose evil does not befall the evil-doer. Then right here I see myself purified in both respects.’ [68]

“When, Kālāmas, this noble disciple has thus made his mind free of enmity, free of ill will, uncorrupted and pure, he has won these four assurances in this very life.”

“So it is, Blessed One! So it is, Sublime One! When this noble disciple has thus made his mind free of enmity, free of ill will, uncorrupted, and pure, he has won these four assurances in this very life.

“Excellent, Lord!… (as in Text 28) … Let the Blessed One accept us as lay followers who have gone for refuge from today until life’s end.”

(3:65)

31. Lust, Hatred, and Delusion

“O monks, wandering ascetics of other sects might question you thus: ’Friends, there are these three qualities: lust, [69] hatred, and delusion. Now, friends, what is the distinction between these three qualities, what are their disparity and their difference?’ If questioned thus, monks, how would you answer those wandering ascetics of other sects?”

“For us, Lord, the teachings are rooted in the Blessed One and have the Blessed One as guide and resort. It would be good, Lord, if the Blessed One himself would clarify the meaning of this statement. Having listened to the Blessed One, the monks will keep it in mind.”

“Listen then, monks, pay careful attention. I will speak.”

“Yes, Lord,” the monks replied. The Blessed One said this:

“If those wandering ascetics of other sects should ask you about the distinction, disparity, and difference between these three qualities, you should answer them thus: ’Lust is less blamable but hard to remove. Hatred is more blamable but easier to remove. Delusion is very blamable and hard to remove.’ [70]

“If they ask: ’Now, friends, what is the cause and reason for the arising of unarisen lust, and for the increase and strengthening of arisen lust?’ you should reply: ’A beautiful object: for one who attends improperly to a beautiful object, unarisen lust will arise and arisen lust will increase and become strong.’ [71]

“If they ask: ’And what, friends, is the cause and reason for the arising of unarisen hatred, and for the increase and strengthening of arisen hatred?’ you should reply: ’A repulsive object: for one who attends improperly to a repulsive object, unarisen hatred will arise and arisen hatred will increase and become strong.’

“If they ask: ’And what, friends, is the cause and reason for the arising of unarisen delusion, and for the increase and strengthening of arisen delusion?’ you should reply: ’Improper attention: for one who attends improperly to things, unarisen delusion will arise and arisen delusion will increase and become strong.’

“If they ask: ’But what, friends, is the cause and reason for the non-arising of unarisen lust, and for the abandoning of arisen lust?’ you should reply: ’A foul object: for one who attends properly to a foul object, unarisen lust will not arise and arisen lust will be abandoned.’

“If they ask: ’And what, friends, is the cause and reason for the non-arising of unarisen hatred, and for the abandoning of arisen hatred?’ you should reply: ’The liberation of the mind by loving kindness: for one who attends properly to the liberation of the mind by loving kindness, unarisen hatred will not arise and arisen hatred will be abandoned.’

“If they ask: ’And what, friends, is the cause and reason for the non-arising of unarisen delusion, and for the abandoning of arisen delusion?’ you should reply: ’Proper attention: for one who attends properly to things, unarisen delusion will not arise and arisen delusion will be abandoned.’“

(3:68)

32. Becoming

Once the Venerable Ānanda came to see the Blessed One and said to him: “One speaks, Lord, of ’becoming, becoming.’ How does becoming taking place?” [72]

“If, Ānanda, there were no kamma ripening in the sense-sphere realm, would there appear any sense-sphere becoming?” [73]

“Surely not, Lord.”

“Therefore, Ānanda, kamma is the field, consciousness the seed and craving the moisture for the consciousness of beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving to become established in a lower realm. Thus there is re-becoming in the future. [74]

“If, Ānanda, there were no kamma ripening in the form realm, would there appear any form-sphere becoming?” [75]

“Surely not, Lord.”

“Therefore, Ānanda, kamma is the field, consciousness the seed and craving the moisture for the consciousness of beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving to become established in an intermediate realm. Thus there is re-becoming in the future.

“If, Ānanda, there were no kamma ripening in the formless realm, would there appear any formless-sphere becoming?” [76]

“Surely not, Lord.”

“Therefore, Ānanda, kamma is the field, consciousness the seed and craving the moisture for the consciousness of beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving to become established in a lofty realm. Thus there is re-becoming in the future.

“It is in this way, Ānanda, that there is becoming.”

(3:76)

33. The Threefold Training

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Vesālī in the Great Wood in the Hall with the Peaked Roof. Then a certain monk from the Vajjian clan approached him … and said to him:

“Lord, I am unable to train in the more than a hundred and fifty training rules that come for recitation every forthnight.” [77]

“Then, monk, there are these three trainings: the training in the higher virtue, the training in the higher mind, and the training in the higher wisdom. [78]

“And what is the training in the higher virtue? Here, a monk is virtuous, restrained by the restraint of the Pātimokkha, perfect in conduct and resort, seeing danger in the slightest faults. Having undertaken the training rules, he trains himself in them. This is called the training in the higher virtue.

“And what is the training in the higher mind? Here, secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, a monk enters and dwells in the first jhāna, which is accompanied by thought and examination, with rapture and happiness born of seclusion. With the subsiding of thought and examination, he enters and dwells in the second jhāna, which has internal confidence and unification of the mind, is without thought and examination, and has rapture and happiness born of concentration. With the fading away as well of rapture, he dwells equanimous and, mindful and clearly comprehending, he experiences happiness with the body; he enters and dwells in the third jhāna of which the noble ones declare: ’He is equanimous, mindful, one who dwells happily,’ With the abandoning of pleasure and pain, and with the previous passing away of joy and sadness, he enters and dwells in the fourth jhāna, which is neither painful nor pleasant and includes the purification of mindfulness by equanimity. This is the training in the higher mind.

“And what is the training in the higher wisdom? Here, a monk understands as it really is: ’This is suffering. This is the origin of suffering. This is the cessation of suffering. This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’ This is the higher wisdom. [79]

“Are you able, monk, to train in these three trainings?”

“I am, Lord.”

“Well then, monk, train in these three trainings: the higher virtue, the higher mind and the higher wisdom. When you train thus you will abandon lust, hatred, and delusion. With their abandoning you will not do anything unwholesome or resort to anything evil.”

Then afterwards that monk trained in the training in the higher virtue, in the training in the higher mind, and in the training in the higher wisdom. As he so trained, he abandoned lust, hatred, and delusion. With their abandoning he did not do anything unwholesome or resort to anything evil.

(3:83 & 88; combined)

34. The Refinement of the Mind–I

There are, O monks, gross impurities in gold, such as earth and sand, gravel and grit. Now the goldsmith or his apprentice first pours the gold into a trough and washes, rinses and cleans it thoroughly. When he has done this, there still remain moderate impurities in the gold, such as fine grit and coarse sand. Then the goldsmith or his apprentice washes, rinses and cleans it again. When he has done this, there still remain minute impurities in the gold, such as fine sand and black dust. Now the goldsmith or his apprentice repeats the washing, and thereafter only the gold dust remains.

He now pours the gold into a melting pot, smelts it and melts it together. But he does not yet take it out from the vessel, as the dross has not yet been entirely removed [80] and the gold is not yet quite pliant, workable, and bright; it is still brittle and does not yet lend itself easily to moulding. But a time comes when the goldsmith or his apprentice repeats the melting thoroughly, so that the flaws are entirely removed. The gold is now quite pliant, workable, and bright, and it lends itself easily to moulding. Whatever ornament the goldsmith now wishes to make of it, be it a diadem, earrings, a necklace or a golden chain, the gold can now be used for that purpose.

It is similar, monks, with a monk devoted to the training in the higher mind: there are in him gross impurities, namely, bad conduct of body, speech, and mind. Such conduct an earnest, capable monk abandons, dispels, eliminates, and abolishes.

When he has abandoned these, there are still impurities of a moderate degree that cling to him, namely, sensual thoughts, thoughts of ill will, and violent thoughts. [81] Such thoughts an earnest, capable monk abandons, dispels, eliminates, and abolishes.

When he has abandoned these, there are still some subtle impurities that cling to him, namely, thoughts about his relatives, his home country, and his reputation. Such thoughts an earnest, capable monk abandons dispels, eliminates, and abolishes.

When he has abandoned these, there still remain thoughts about higher mental states experienced in meditation. [82] That concentration is not yet peaceful and sublime; it has not attained to full tranquillity, nor has it achieved mental unification; it is maintained by strenuous suppression of the defilements.

But there comes a time when his mind becomes inwardly steadied, composed, unified, and concentrated. That concentration is then calm and refined; it has attained to full tranquillity and achieved mental unification; it is not maintained by strenuous suppression of the defilements.

Then, to whatever mental state realisable by direct knowledge he directs his mind, he achieves the capacity of realising that state by direct knowledge, whenever the necessary conditions obtain. [83]

“If he wishes: ’May I wield the various kinds of spiritual power: having been one, may I become many; having been many, may I become one; may I appear and vanish; go unhindered through a wall, through a rampart, through a mountain as if through space; dive in and out of the earth as if it were water; walk on water without sinking as if it were earth; travel through the sky like a bird while seated cross-legged; touch and stroke with my hand the moon and sun, so powerful and mighty; exercise mastery with my body even as far as the Brahma-world’—he achieves the capacity of realising that state by direct knowledge, whenever the necessary conditions obtain.

“If he wishes: ’With the divine ear element, which is purified and surpasses the human, may I hear both kinds of sounds, the divine and human, those that are far as well as near’—he achieves the capacity of realising that state by direct knowledge, whenever the necessary conditions obtain.

If he wishes: “May I understand the minds of other beings, of other persons, having encompassed them with my own mind. May I understand a mind with lust as a mind with lust; a mind without lust as a mind without lust; a mind with hatred as a mind with hatred; a mind without hatred as a mind without hatred; a mind with delusion as a mind with delusion; a mind without delusion as a mind without delusion; a contracted mind as contracted and a distracted mind as distracted; an exalted mind as exalted and an unexalted mind as unexalted; a surpassable mind as surpassable and an unsurpassable mind as unsurpassable; a concentrated mind as concentrated and an unconcentrated mind as unconcentrated; a liberated mind as liberated and an unliberated mind as unliberated”—he achieves the capacity of realising that state by direct knowledge, whenever the necessary conditions obtain.

If he wishes, “May I recollect my manifold past abodes, that is, one birth, two births, three births, four births, five births, ten births, twenty births, thirty births, forty births, fifty births, a hundred births, a thousand births, a hundred thousand births, many aeons of world-contraction, many aeons of world-expansion, many aeons of world-contraction and expansion thus: ’There I was so named, of such a clan, with such an appearance, such was my food, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such my lifespan; passing away from there, I was reborn elsewhere, and there too I was so named, of such a clan, with such an appearance, such was my food, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such my lifespan; passing away from there, I was reborn here.’ May I thus recollect my manifold past abodes with their modes and details”—he achieves the capacity of realising that state by direct knowledge, whenever the necessary conditions obtain.

If he wishes, “With the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, may I see beings passing away and being reborn, inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate, and understand how beings fare on in accordance with their kamma thus: ’These beings who engaged in misconduct of body, speech, and mind, who reviled the noble ones, held wrong view, and undertook actions based on wrong view, with the breakup of the body, after death, have been reborn in the plane of misery, in a bad destination, in the lower world, in hell; but these beings who engaged in good conduct of body, speech, and mind, who did not revile the noble ones, who held right view, and undertook action based on right view, with the breakup of the body, after death, have been reborn in a good destination, in the heavenly world.’ Thus with the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, may I see beings passing away and being reborn, inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate, and understand how beings fare on in accordance with their kamma”—he achieves the capacity of realising that state by direct knowledge, whenever the necessary conditions obtain.

If he wishes, “By the destruction of the taints, may I in this very life enter and dwell in the taintless liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, realising it for myself with direct knowledge”—he achieves the capacity of realising that state by direct knowledge, whenever the necessary conditions obtain.

(3:100.1–10)

35. The Refinement of the Mind–II

A monk devoted to the training in the higher mind should from time to time give attention to three items. [84] He should from time to time give attention to the item of concentration, from time to time to the item of energetic effort, from time to time to the item of equanimity. [85]

If a monk devoted to the training in the higher mind should give exclusive attention to the item of concentration, it is possible that his mind may fall into indolence. If he should give exclusive attention to the item of energetic effort, it is possible that his mind may fall into restlessness. If he should give exclusive attention to the item of equanimity, it is possible that his mind will not be well concentrated for the destruction of the taints.

But if, from time to time, he gives attention to each of these three items, then his mind will be pliant, workable, lucid, and not unwieldy, and it will be well concentrated for the destruction of the taints.

Suppose a goldsmith or his apprentice builds a furnace, lights a fire in its opening, takes the gold with a pair of tongs, and puts it into the furnace. From time to time he blows on it, from time to time he sprinkles water on it, from time to time he just looks on. [86] If the goldsmith were to blow on the gold continuously it might be heated too much. If he continuously sprinkled water on it, it would be cooled. If he were only to look at it, the gold would not come to perfect refinement. But if, from time to time, the goldsmith attends to each of these three functions, the gold will become pliant, workable, and bright, and it can easily be moulded. Whatever ornaments the goldsmith wishes to make of it, be it a diadem, earrings, a necklace, or a golden chain, the gold can now be used for that purpose.

Similarly there are those three items to which a monk devoted to the training in the higher mind should give attention from time to time, namely, the items of concentration, energetic effort, and equanimity. If he gives regular attention to each of them, then his mind will become pliant, workable, lucid, and not unwieldy, and it will be well concentrated for the destruction of the taints.

To whatever mental state realisable by direct knowledge he directs his mind, he achieves the capacity of realising that state by direct knowledge, whenever the necessary conditions obtain.

(3:100.11–15)

36. Gratification, Danger and Escape–I

Before my enlightenment, O monks, when I was still a bodhisatta, this thought occurred to me: “What is the gratification in the world, what is the danger in the world, and what is the escape from the world?” [87] Then I thought: “Whatever joy and happiness there is in the world, that is the gratification in the world; that the world is impermanent, pervaded by suffering and subject to change, that is the danger in the world; the removal and abandoning of desire and lust for the world, that is the escape from the world.”

So long, monks, as I did not fully understand, as they really are, the world’s gratification as gratification, its danger as danger, and the escape from the world as escape, for so long I did not claim that I had awakened to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment in this world with its devas, Māra and Brahmā, in this generation with its ascetics and brahmins, its devas and humans.

But when I had fully understood all this, then I claimed that I had awakened to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment in this world with … its devas and humans. The knowledge and vision arose in me: “Unshakeable is the liberation of my mind; this is my last birth; there is now no further re-becoming.”

(3:101.1–2)

37. Gratification, Danger and Escape–II

I went in search of the gratification in the world, O monks. Whatever gratification there is in the world, that I have found; and in how far there is gratification in the world, that I have clearly seen by wisdom.

I went in search of the danger in the world. Whatever danger there is in the world, that I have found; and in how far there is danger in the world, that I have clearly seen by wisdom.

I went in search of an escape from the world. That escape from the world I have found; and in how far there is an escape from the world, that I have clearly seen by wisdom.

(3:101.3)

38. Gratification, Danger and Escape–III

If, monks, there were no gratification in the world, beings would not become attached to the world. But as there is gratification in the world, beings become attached to it.

If there were no danger in the world, beings would not become disenchanted with the world. But as there is danger in the world, beings become disenchanted with it.

If there were no escape from the world, beings could not escape from the world. But as there is an escape from the world, beings can escape from it.

(3:102)

39. At the Gotamaka Shrine

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at the Gotamaka Shrine, near Vesālī. There the Blessed One addressed the monks thus:

“On the basis of direct knowledge I teach the Dhamma, O monks, not without direct knowledge. On good grounds I teach the Dhamma, not without good grounds. Convincingly I teach the Dhamma, not unconvincingly. Therefore, monks, my advice should be followed and my instruction accepted. This, monks, is sufficient for your satisfaction, sufficient for your gladness, sufficient for your joy: fully enlightened is the Blessed One; well proclaimed is the Blessed One’s Dhamma; well conducted is the Sangha.”

Thus spoke the Blessed One. Gladdened, those monks approved the Blessed One’s words. While this discourse was being spoken, the thousandfold world system shook. [88]

(3:123)

40. The Three Characteristics of Existence

Whether Tathāgatas arise in the world or not, it still remains a fact, a firm and necessary condition of existence, that all formations are impermanent … that all formations are subject to suffering … that all things are non-self. [89]

A Tathāgata fully awakens to this fact and penetrates it. Having fully awakened to it and penetrated it, he announces it, teaches it, makes it known, presents it, discloses it, analyses it and explains it: that all formations are impermanent, that all formations are subject to suffering, that all things are non-self.

(3:134)

41. Happy Days

Whatever beings, O monks, behave righteously by body, speech, and mind during the morning, a happy morning will be theirs.

Whatever beings behave righteously by body, speech, and mind at noon, a happy noon will be theirs.

Whatever beings behave righteously by body, speech, and mind during the evening, a happy evening will be theirs.

Truly auspicious and a festive time,
A happy morning and a joyful rising,
A precious moment and a blissful hour
Will come for those who offer alms
To the ones who lead the holy life.

On such a day, right acts in words and deeds,
Right thoughts and noble aspirations,
Bring gain to those who practise them;
Happy are those who reap such gain,
For they have grown in the Buddha’s Teaching.
May you and all your relatives
Be happy and enjoy good health!

(3:150)

IV. The Chapter of the Fours

42. The Stream

These four kinds of persons, O monks, are to be found in the world. What four? The person who goes with the stream; one who goes against the stream; one who stands firm; and one who has crossed over and gone to the far shore, a brahmin who stands on dry land. [90]

Of what nature is the person going with the stream? It is one who indulges his sensual desire and commits wrong deeds. [91]

Of what nature is one who goes against the stream? It is one who does not indulge sensual desire and commit wrong deeds. He lives the holy life, though in painful struggle, with difficulty, sighing and in tears. [92]

Of what nature is one who stands firm? It is one who, with the utter destruction of the five lower fetters, is due to be reborn spontaneously (in a celestial realm) and there attain final Nibbāna, without ever returning from that world. [93]

Of what nature is one who has crossed over and gone to the far shore, a brahmin who stands on dry land? It is one who, with the destruction of the taints, in this very life enters and dwells in the taintless liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, having realised it for himself by direct knowledge. [94]

These, monks, are the four kinds of persons to be found in the world.

(4:5)

43. Training for Enlightenment

If while walking, standing, sitting or reclining when awake, a sensual thought, a thought of ill will, or a violent thought arises in a monk, and he tolerates it, does not abandon it, dispel it, eliminate it and abolish it, that monk—who in such a manner is ever and again lacking in earnest endeavour and moral shame —is called indolent and devoid of energy.

If while a monk is walking, standing, sitting or reclining while awake, a sensual thought, a thought of ill will, or a violent thought arises in him, and he does not tolerate it but abandons it, dispels it, eliminates it and abolishes it, that monk—who in such a manner ever and again shows earnest endeavour and moral shame—is called energetic and resolute.

Whether walking or standing,
Whether sitting or lying down,
One who cherishes evil thoughts
Connected with the worldly life
Is travelling down a treacherous path,
Beguiled by delusive things.
Such a monk cannot attain
Enlightenment, the supreme goal.

Whether walking or standing,
Whether sitting or lying down,
One who overcomes these thoughts
Finds delight in stilling the mind.
Such a monk may well attain
Enlightenment, the supreme goal.

(4:11)

44. Training in Determination and Insight

You should dwell, O monks, devoted to virtue, restrained by the restraint of the Pātimokkha, perfect in conduct and resort, seeing danger in the slightest faults. Having undertaken the training rules, you should train yourselves in them. But if a monk lives like that, what further should he do?

If while he is walking, standing, sitting, or reclining, a monk is free from greed and ill will, from sloth and torpor, from restlessness and worry, and has discarded doubt, [95] then his will has become strong and impregnable; his mindfulness is alert and unclouded; his body is calm and unexcited; his mind is concentrated and collected.

A monk who in such a manner ever and again shows earnest endeavour and moral shame is called energetic and resolute.

Controlled when walking, controlled when standing,
Controlled when sitting and lying down,
Controlled when drawing in the limbs,
Controlled when stretching out the limbs:
Above, across and below,
As far as the world extends,
A monk observes how things occur,
How aggregates arise and fall. [96]

When one thus lives ardently
Calm and quiet in demeanour,
Ever mindful, training oneself
In the practice of calming the mind,
They call a monk of such behaviour
“One who is ever resolute.”

(4:12)

45. The Four Right Efforts

There are four right efforts, O monk. [97] What four?

Herein a monk rouses his will not to permit the arising of evil, unwholesome states that have not arisen—to abandon evil, unwholesome states already arisen—to arouse wholesome states that have not yet arisen—to maintain wholesome states already arisen and not allow them to disappear; he makes an effort (for it), stirs up his energy exerts his mind and strives.

(4:13)

46. The Tathāgata

Monks, the world is fully understood by the Tathāgata; the Tathāgata is released from the world. [98]

The origin of the world is fully understood by the Tathāgata; the origin of the world is abandoned by the Tathāgata.

The cessation of the world is fully understood by the Tathāgata; the cessation of the world has been realised by the Tathāgata.

The path to the cessation of the world is fully understood by the Tathāgata; the path to the cessation of the world has been developed by the Tathāgata.

Monks, in the world with its devas, Māra and Brahmā, in this generation with its ascetics and brahmins, devas and humans, whatever is seen, heard, sensed and cognized, attained, searched into, pondered over by the mind—all that is fully understood by the Tathāgata. That is why he is called the Tathāgata.

Moreover, monks, whatever the Tathāgata speaks, utters, and proclaims from the day of his perfect enlightenment up to the day when he utterly passes away into the Nibbāna-element without residue left [99] —all that is just so and not otherwise. Therefore he is called the Tathāgata.

Monks, as the Tathāgata speaks, so he acts; as he acts, so he speaks. Therefore he is called the Tathāgata.

Monks, in the whole world with its devas, Māra and Brahmā, in this generation with its ascetics and brahmins, devas and humans, the Tathāgata is the conqueror, unconquered, one who sees-at-will, the wielder of power. Therefore he is called the Tathāgata.

By comprehending all the world,
All in the world just as it is,
From all the world he is released;
In all the world he clings to nothing.

He is the all-victorious sage,
The liberator from all bonds,
By him the highest peace was won:
Nibbāna that is free of fear.

A taintless Enlightened One,
Free from all woe, with doubt destroyed,
Has made an end to all kamma,
Set free in the destruction of life’s props.

Exalted One, he is the Buddha,
The lion without compare;
For the divine and human worlds
He has set rolling the Supreme Wheel.

Therefore devas and human beings
Who go for refuge to the Buddha,
Meet him full of reverence,
The mighty one free from self-doubt.

“Tamed, of the tamed he is the best;
Calmed, of the calm he is the first;
Freed, of the free he is supreme;
Crossed over, the best of those who cross.”

So saying, they pay him reverence,
The mighty one free from self-doubt;
In all the worlds of devas and humans
There is none who ever equals you!

(4:23)

47. The Lion

Monks, the lion, the king of beasts, comes forth from his lair in the evening. Then he stretches himself, surveys the four directions all around, and roars three times his lion’s roar, after which he sets out in search of prey.

Now whatever animals hear the lion’s roar are for the most part gripped by fear, excitement and terror. Those animals which live in holes hide in their holes; those which live in the forest resort to the forest; and the birds rise into the sky. All the royal elephants living in villages, towns or capital cities, tethered with strong leather thongs, burst and break those thongs and, voiding urine and excrement, they run here and there full of fear. So much power, O monks, has the lion, the king of beasts, over the animals, so mighty is his influence and majesty.

Just so, monks, the Tathāgata arises in the world, an arahat, fully enlightened, accomplished in true knowledge and conduct, sublime, knower of the world, unsurpassed leader of persons to be tamed, teacher of devas and humans, the Enlightened One, the Blessed One. He teaches the Dhamma thus: “Such is personality, such is the origin of personality, such is the cessation of personality, such is the path leading to the cessation of personality.” [100]

Then, monks, whatever devas there be—long-lived, lovely, full of happiness, living for a long time in their lofty celestial abodes—they too, when hearing the Tathāgata’s teaching of the Dhamma, are for the most part [101] gripped by fear, excitement and terror, and exclaim: “Oh, we who thought ourselves to be permanent are really impermanent. We who thought ourselves to be secure are really insecure. We who thought ourselves to be eternal are really non-eternal. So indeed we are impermanent, insecure, and non-eternal, and are within the sphere of personality.” [102]

So much power, O monks, has the Tathāgata over the world with its devas, so mighty is his influence and majesty.

(4:33)

48. The Best Kinds of Faith

Monks, there are four best kinds of faith. What four?

Monks, among all living beings—be they footless or two-footed, with four feet or many feet, with form or formless, percipient, non-percipient or neither-percipient-nor-non-percipient [103] —the Tathāgata, the Arahant, the Fully Enlightened One, is reckoned the best of them all. Those who have faith in the Buddha have faith in the best; and for those who have faith in the best, the best result will be theirs. [104]

Monks, among all things conditioned, the Noble Eightfold Path is reckoned to be the best of them all. [105] Those who have faith in the Noble Eightfold Path have faith in the best; and for those who have faith in the best, the best result will be theirs.

Monks, among things conditioned and unconditioned, dispassion is reckoned to be the best of them all: the crushing of all infatuation, the removal of thirst, the uprooting of attachment, the cutting off of the round (of rebirth), the destruction of craving, dispassion, Nibbāna. [106] Those who have faith in the Dhamma of dispassion have faith in the best; and for those who have faith in the best, the best result will be theirs.

Monks, among all (religious) orders or communities, the Sangha of the Tathāgata’s disciples is reckoned to be the best, that it to say, the four pairs of noble persons, the eight noble individuals; this Sangha of the Blessed One’s disciples is worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of reverential salutation, an unsurpassed field of merit for the world. [107] Those who have faith in the Sangha have faith in the best; and for those who have faith in the best, the best result will be theirs.

These, O monks, are the four best kinds of faith.

(4:34)

49. Doṇa the Brahmin

On one occasion the Blessed One was walking on the highway between Ukkaṭṭhā and Setavyā. And it happened that the brahmin Doṇa was also walking along that road. Doṇa the brahmin saw on the footprints of the Blessed One the wheel marks with their thousand spokes, with felly and hub, perfect in every respect. [108] Seeing these marks, he thought to himself: “It is truly wonderful, it is astonishing! These certainly cannot be the footprints of a human being!”

Meanwhile the Blessed One had left the highway and had sat down under a tree not far off, with legs crossed, keeping his body erect, having set up mindfulness before him. Then Doṇa the brahmin, following the Blessed One’s footprints, saw him seated under a tree, of pleasing appearance, inspiring confidence, with calm features and calm mind, in perfect composure and equipoise, controlled and restrained (like) a well-trained bull elephant.

Seeing the Blessed One, Doṇa approached him and said:

“Will your reverence become a deva?” [109]

“No, brahmin, I shall not become a deva.”

“Then your reverence might become a gandhabba?” [110]

“No, brahmin, I shall not become a gandhabba.”

“Then will your reverence become a yakkha?”

“No, brahmin, I shall not become a yakkha.”

“Then will your reverence become a human being?”

“No, brahmin, I shall not become a human being.”

“Now when I asked whether your reverence will become a deva or a gandhabba or a yakkha or a human being, you replied, ’I shall not.’ What, then, will your reverence become?”

“Brahmin, those taints whereby, if they were not abandoned, I might become a deva—these taints are abandoned by me, cut off at the root, made barren like palm-tree stumps, obliterated so that they are no more subject to arise in the future.

“Those taints whereby, if they were not abandoned, I might become a gandhabba, a yakkha or a human being—these taints are abandoned by me, cut off at the root, made barren like palm-tree stumps, obliterated so that they are no more subject to arise in the future.

“Just as, brahmin, a blue, red or white lotus, though born and grown in the water, rises up and stands unsoiled by the water, so, brahmin, though born and grown in the world, I have overcome the world and dwell unsoiled by the world. Consider me, O brahmin, a Buddha.” [111]

(4:36)

50. Seeking the End of the World

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Sāvatthī, in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. At an advanced hour of the night Rohitassa, a son of the devas, [112] approached the Blessed One, and in resplendent beauty shed his brilliant light over the entire Jeta Grove. Having come to the Blessed One, he paid homage to him, stood at one side, and said:

“Is it possible, O Lord, that by going one can know, see, or reach the end of the world, where one is not born, does not age, does not die, does not pass away, and is not reborn?”

“I declare, O friend, that by going it is not possible to know, see or reach the end of the world, where one is not born, does not age, does not die, does not pass away, and is not reborn.” [113]

“It is wonderful, Lord! It is amazing, Lord, how well it was said by the Blessed One that by going it is not possible to know, see or reach the end of the world, where one is not born, does not age, does not die, does not pass away, and is not reborn. Once in a former life I was a seer named Rohitassa, Bhoja’s son. Endowed with supernormal power I could walk through the sky. Such, Lord, was my speed that in the time needed for a strong, skilled, experienced and trained archer to shoot easily, with a swift arrow, across the shadow of a palm tree—in such time I could take a step as long as the distance between the eastern and the western sea. Endowed with such speed and such a stride, I wanted to reach the end of the world by walking. And with my lifespan of a hundred years, except the time needed to eat and drink, to urinate and defecate, to sleep and rest, I walked for a hundred years, and without reaching the world’s end I died along the way.

“It is wonderful, Lord! It is amazing, Lord, how well it was said by the Blessed One that by going it is not possible to know, see or reach the end of the world, where one is not born, does not age, does not die, does not pass away, and is not reborn.”

“Indeed, friend, so do I declare. But I do not say that one can make an end to suffering without having reached the end of the world. And I further proclaim, friend, that it is in this fathom-long body with its perceptions and thoughts that there is the world, the origin of the world, the cessation of the world, and the path leading to the cessation of the world.” [114]

By walking one can never reach
The end and limit of the world,
Yet there is no release from suffering
Without reaching the world’s end.

Hence the wise one who knows the world,
The one who has lived the holy life,
Will reach the end of the world,
Knowing the world’s end, at peace.
He no more longs for this world
Nor for any other.

(4:45)

51. Distortions of Perception

Monks, there are these four distortions of perception, four distortions of thought and four distortions of views. [115] What four?

To hold that in the impermanent there is permanence: this is a distortion of perception, thought and views.

To hold that in suffering there is happiness: this is a distortion of perception, thought and views.

To hold that in what is non-self there is a self: this is a distortion of perception, thought and views.

To hold that in the foul there is beauty: this is a distortion of perception, thought and views.

These, monks, are the four distortions of perception, thought and views.

Monks, there are four non-distortions of perception, thought and views. What four?

To hold that in the impermanent there is impermanence … that in suffering there is suffering … that in what is non-self there is no self … that in the foul there is foulness—these are the four non-distortions of perception, thought and views.

Those who perceive the changeful to be permanent,
Suffering as bliss, a self in the selfless,
And who see in the foul the mark of beauty—
Such folk resort to distorted views,
Mentally deranged, subject to illusions.
Caught by Māra, not free from bonds,
They are still far from the secure state.
Such beings wander through the painful round
And go repeatedly from birth to death.

But when the Buddhas appear in the world,
The makers of light in a mass of darkness,
They reveal this Teaching, the noble Dhamma,
That leads to the end of suffering.
When people with wisdom listen to them,
They at last regain their sanity.
They see the impermanent as impermanent,
And they see suffering just as suffering.
They see the selfless as void of self,
And in the foul they see the foul.
By this acceptance of right view,
They overcome all suffering.

(4:49)

52. How to Be United in Future Lives

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling among the Bhagga people, near Suṃsumāragiri, in the Deer Park of the Bhesakalā Grove. One morning the Blessed One dressed, took his upper robe and bowl, and went to the dwelling of the householder Nakulapitā. [116] Having arrived there, he sat down on the seat prepared for him. Then the householder Nakulapitā and the housewife Nakulamātā approached the Blessed One and, after paying homage to him, sat down to one side. So seated, the householder Nakulapitā said to the Blessed One:

“Lord, ever since the young housewife Nakulamātā was brought home to me when I too was still young, I am not aware of having wronged her even in my thoughts, still less in my deeds. Lord, our wish is to be in one another’s sight so long as this life lasts and in the future life as well.”

Then Nakulamātā the housewife, addressed the Blessed One thus: “Lord, ever since I was taken to the home of my young husband Nakulapitā, while being a young girl myself, I am not aware of having wronged him even in my thoughts, still less in my deeds. Lord, our wish is to be in one another’s sight so long as this life lasts and in the future life as well.”

Then the Blessed One spoke thus: “If householders, both wife and husband wish to be in one another’s sight so long as this life lasts and in the future life as well, they should have the same faith, the same virtue, the same generosity, the same wisdom; then they will be in one another’s sight so long as this life lasts and in the future life as well.”

When both are faithful and bountiful,
Self-restrained, of righteous living,
They come together as husband and wife
Full of love for each other.

Many blessings come their way,
They dwell together in happiness,
Their enemies are left dejected,
When both are equal in virtue.

Having lived by Dhamma in this world,
The same in virtue and observance,
They rejoice after death in the deva-world,
Enjoying abundant happiness.

(4:55)

53. The Gift of Food

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling among the Koliyans, at a town called Sajjanela. One morning the Blessed One dressed, took his upper robe and bowl, and went to the dwelling of Suppavāsā, a Koliyan lady. [117] Having arrived there, he sat down on the seat prepared for him. Suppavāsā the Koliyan lady attended to the Blessed One personally and served him with various kinds of delicious food. When the Blessed One had finished his meal and had withdrawn his hand from the bowl, Suppavāsā the Koliyan lady sat down to one side and the Blessed One addressed her as follows:

“Suppavāsā, a noble woman-disciple, by giving food, gives four things to those who receive it. What four? She gives long life, beauty, happiness, and strength. By giving long life, she herself will be endowed with long life, human or divine. By giving beauty, she herself will be endowed with beauty, human or divine. By giving happiness, she herself will be endowed with happiness, human or divine. By giving strength, she herself will be endowed with strength, human or divine. A noble woman-disciple, by giving food, gives those four things to those who receive it.”

(4:57)

54. Respect for Parents

Those families, O monks, dwell with Brahmā where at home the parents are respected by their children. Those families dwell with the ancient teachers where at home the parents are respected by their children. Those families dwell with the ancient deities where at home the parents are respected by the children. Those families dwell with those worthy of worship where at home the parents are respected by their children. [118]

“Brahmā ,” monks, is a term for father and mother. “The early teachers” is a term for father and mother. “The early deities” is a term for father and mother. “Those worthy of worship” is a term for father and mother. And why? Parents are of great help to their children, they bring them up, feed them and show them the world.

(4:63)

55. A Superior Person

Monks, one who has four qualities should be considered an inferior person. What are these four?

Even unasked, an inferior person reveals the faults of others, how much more so when he is asked. When asked, however, and led on by questions, he speaks of others’ faults without omitting anything, without holding back, fully and in detail. He should be considered an inferior person.

Further: even when asked, an inferior person does not reveal what is praiseworthy in others, and still less so when not asked. When asked, however, and obliged to reply to questions, he speaks of what is praiseworthy in others with omissions and hesitatingly, incompletely and not in detail. He should be considered an inferior person.

Further: an inferior person does not reveal his own faults even when asked, still less so when not asked. When asked, however, and obliged to reply to questions, he speaks of his own faults with omissions and hesitatingly, incompletely and not in detail. He should be considered an inferior person.

Further: an inferior person reveals his own praiseworthy qualities even unasked, how much more so when asked. When asked, however, and led on by questions, he speaks of his own praiseworthy qualities without omissions and without hesitation, fully and in detail. He should be considered an inferior person.

One who has these four qualities should be considered an inferior person.

Monks, one who has four qualities should be considered a superior person. [119] What are these four?

Even when asked, a superior person does not reveal the faults of others, and still less so when not asked. When asked, however, and led on by questions, he speaks of others’ faults with omissions and hesitatingly, incompletely and not in detail. He should be considered a superior person.

Further: even unasked, a superior person reveals what is praiseworthy in others, how much more so when he is asked. When asked, however, and obliged to reply to questions, he speaks of what is praiseworthy in others without omitting anything, without holding back, fully and in detail. He should be considered a superior person.

Further: even unasked, a superior person reveals his own faults, how much more so when he is asked. When asked, however, and obliged to reply to questions, he speaks of his own faults without omitting anything, without holding back, fully and in detail. He should be considered a superior person.

Further: even when asked, a superior person does not reveal his own praiseworthy qualities, still less so when not asked. When asked, however, and obliged to reply to questions, he speaks of his own praiseworthy qualities with omissions and hesitatingly, incompletely and not in detail. He should be considered a superior person.

One who has these four qualities should be considered a superior person.

(4:73)

56. The Four Unthinkables

Monks, there are these four unthinkables, [120] not to be pondered upon; which if pondered upon, would lead one to insanity and distress. What are the four?

The range of a Buddha, [121] O monk, is an unthinkable, not to be pondered upon; which, if pondered upon, would lead one to insanity and distress.

The range of the meditative absorptions … the results of Kamma … speculations about the world [122] are unthinkables, not to be pondered upon, which if pondered upon, would lead to insanity and distress.

(4:77)

57. One’s Own Good and Another’s

These four kinds of persons, O monks, are found existing in the world. What four? There is one who lives for his own good but not for the good of others; one who lives for the good of others but not for his own good; one who lives neither for his own good nor for the good of others; and one who lives for both his own good and for the good of others.

(1) (AN 4:96) And how, monks, does a person live for his own good and not for the good of others? He practises for the removal of lust, hatred, and delusion in himself, but does not encourage others in the removal of lust, hatred, and delusion.

(AN 4:99) He himself abstains from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, false speech, and intoxicants, but he does not encourage others in such restraint.

(2) (AN 4:96) And how, monks, does a person live for the good of others but not for his own? He encourages others in the removal of lust, hatred, and delusion, but he himself does not practise for their removal.

(AN 4:99) He encourages others in abstention from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, false speech and intoxicants, but he himself does not practise such restraint.

(3) (AN 4:96) And how, monks, does a person live neither for his own good nor for the good of others? He neither practises for the removal of lust, hatred, and delusion himself, nor does he encourage others to do so.

(AN 4:99) He neither practises abstention from killing and so forth himself, nor does he encourage others in such restraint.

(4) (AN 4:96) And how, monks, does a person live both for his own good and for the good of others? He himself practises for the removal of lust, hatred, and delusion, and also encourages others to do so.

(AN 4:99) He himself practises abstention from killing and so forth, and also encourages others in such restraint. [123]

(4:96, 99)

58. Four Thoroughbreds

Four good, thoroughbred horses, O monks, are found existing in the world. What four?

There is one good, thoroughbred horse which just on seeing the shadow of the goad is alerted and feels stirred, thinking, “What task will my trainer set me today? Shouldn’t I obey him?” This is the first good, thoroughbred horse found in the world.

Again, monks, there is one good, thoroughbred horse that is not alerted and stirred by merely seeing the shadow of the goad, but when his hair is touched with the goad he is alerted and stirred, thinking, “What task will my trainer set me today?…” This is the second good, thoroughbred horse found in the world.

Again, monks, there is one good, thoroughbred horse that is not yet alerted and stirred by seeing the shadow of the goad nor when his hair is touched by it, but when his skin is pricked by the goad he becomes alerted and stirred, thinking, “What task will my trainer set me today?…” This is the third good, thoroughbred horse found in the world.

Again, monks, there is one good, thoroughbred horse that is not yet alerted and stirred by seeing the shadow of the goad nor when his hair is touched or his skin pricked by it; but when pierced by the goad to the very bone, he is alerted and stirred, thinking, “What task will my trainer set me today?…” This is the fourth good, thoroughbred horse found in the world.

These, monks, are the four good, thoroughbred horses found existing in the world.

Similarly, O monks, four good, thoroughbred persons can be found existing in the world. What four?

In this case, monks, there is a good, thoroughbred person who hears it said, “In such a village or town, a woman or man is ailing or has died.” Thereby he is moved and stirred. Being moved, he strives earnestly. With his mind fully dedicated, he realises in his own person the supreme truth (Nibbāna) and sees it by penetrating it with wisdom. This good, thoroughbred person, I say, is similar to the good, thoroughbred horse that is alerted and stirred when he sees the shadow of the goad. This is the first good, thoroughbred person found in the world.

Again, monks, there is another good, thoroughbred person who does not hear it said, but who sees for himself that in such a village or town a woman or man is ailing or has died. Thereby he is moved and stirred … he realises in his own person the supreme truth and sees it by penetrating it with wisdom. This good, thoroughbred person, I say, is similar to the good, thoroughbred horse that is alerted and stirred only when his hair is touched. This is the second good, thoroughbred person found in the world.

Again, monks, there is another good, thoroughbred person who neither hears nor sees that some woman or man is ailing or has died; but a kinsman of his, a close relation, is ailing or has died. Thereby he is moved and stirred … he realises in his own person the supreme truth and sees it by penetrating it with wisdom. This good, thoroughbred person, I say, is similar to the good, thoroughbred horse that is alerted and stirred only when his skin is pricked. This is the third good, thoroughbred person found in the world.

Again, monks, there is another good, thoroughbred person who neither hears it said nor sees that some woman or man is ailing or has died, nor did this happen to a kinsman of his, a close relation; but he himself becomes afflicted with great bodily pains that are severe, sharp, piercing, utterly unpleasant and disagreeable, endangering his life. Thereby he is moved and stirred. Being moved, he strives earnestly. With his mind fully dedicated, he realises in his own person the supreme truth and sees it by penetrating it with wisdom. This good, thoroughbred person, I say, is similar to the good, thoroughbred horse that is alerted and stirred only when he is pierced by the goad to the very bone. This, is the fourth good, thoroughbred person found in the world.

These, monks, are the four good, thoroughbred persons found existing in the world.

(4:113)

59. Four Occasions for Diligence

To four matters, O monks, diligence should be applied. [124] What four?

You should give up bad conduct in deeds and cultivate good conduct in deeds. Do not be negligent in that.

You should give up bad conduct in speech and cultivate good conduct in speech. Do not be negligent in that.

You should give up bad conduct in thought and cultivate good conduct in thought. Do not be negligent in that.

You should give up wrong view and cultivate right view. Do not be negligent in that.

If a monk has given up bad conduct in deeds, speech and thought, and has cultivated good conduct in deeds, speech and thought; if he has given up wrong view and cultivated right view, he need not fear death in a future existence.

(4:116)

60. For One’s Own Sake

For one’s own sake, O monks, digilent mindfulness should be made the mind’s guard, and this for four reasons:

“May my mind not harbour lust for anything inducing lust!”—for this reason diligent mindfulness should be made the mind’s guard, for one’s own sake.

“May my mind not harbour hatred towards anything inducing hatred!”—for this reason diligent mindfulness should be made the mind’s guard, for one’s own sake.

“May my mind not harbour delusion concerning anything inducing delusion!”—for this reason diligent mindfulness should be made the mind’s guard, for one’s own sake.

“May my mind not be infatuated by anything inducing infatuation!” [125] —for this reason diligent mindfulness should be made the mind’s guard, for one’s own sake.

When, monks, a monk’s mind does not harbour lust for lust-inducing objects, because he is free from lust; when his mind does not harbour hatred towards hate-inducing objects, because he is free from hatred; when his mind does not harbour delusion concerning anything inducing delusion, because he is free from delusion; when his mind is not infatuated by anything inducing infatuation, because he is free from infatuation—then such a monk will not waver, shake or tremble, he will not succumb to fear, nor will he adopt the views of other ascetics. [126]

(4:117)

61. Four Wonderful Things

Monks, on the manifestation of a Tathāgata, an Arahant, a Fully Enlightened One, four wonderful and marvellous things are manifested. What four?

People generally find pleasure in attachments, take delight in attachments and enjoy attachments. But when the Dhamma of non-attachment is taught by the Tathāgata, people wish to listen to it, give ear, and try to understand it. This is the first wonderful and marvellous thing that appears on the manifestation of a Tathāgata, an Arahant, a Fully Enlightened One.

People generally find pleasure in conceit, take delight in conceit and enjoy conceit. But when the Dhamma is taught by the Tathāgata for the abolition of conceit, people wish to listen to it, give ear, and try to understand it. This is the second wonderful and marvellous thing that appears on the manifestation of a Tathāgata, an Arahant, a Fully Enlightened One.

People generally find pleasure in a life of excitement, take delight in excitement and enjoy excitement. But when the peaceful Dhamma is taught by the Tathāgata, people wish to listen to it, give ear, and try to understand it. This is the third wonderful and marvellous thing that appears on the manifestation of a Tathāgata, an Arahant, a Fully Enlightened One.

People generally live in ignorance, are blinded by ignorance, and fettered by ignorance. But when the Dhamma is taught by the Tathāgata for the abolition of ignorance, people wish to listen to it, give ear, and try to understand it. This is the fourth wonderful and marvellous thing that appears on the manifestation of a Tathāgata, an Arahant, a Fully Enlightened One.

On the manifestation of a Tathāgata, an Arahant, a Fully Enlightened One, these four wonderful and marvellous things become manifest.

(4:128)

62. The Nun

On one occasion the Venerable Ānanda was dwelling at Kosambī in Ghosita’s monastery. Now on that occasion a certain nun summoned a man and told him: “Go, my good man, and meet the Venerable Ānanda. Salute him on my behalf and speak to him thus: ’Venerable sir, a nun of such and such a name has fallen sick, she is in pain and gravely ill. She pays her homage at the feet of the Venerable Ānanda.’ And you may add: ’It would be good, sir, if the Venerable Ānanda would visit the nunnery and meet that nun, out of compassion.’“ [127]

“Yes, venerable sister,” that man replied, and he went to the Venerable Ānanda and delivered his message. The Venerable Ānanda consented in silence. In the early morning he dressed, took his bowl and robe, and went to the nunnery where that nun lived. When the nun saw the Venerable Ānanda approaching in the distance, she lay down on her couch, and drew her covering over her head.

When the Venerable Ānanda arrived at the nun’s place, he sat down on a prepared seat and spoke to her thus: [128] “Sister, this body has come into being through food; yet based on food, food can be abandoned. This body has come into being through craving; yet based on craving, craving can be abandoned. This body has come into being through conceit; yet based on conceit, conceit can be abandoned. This body has come into being through the sexual act; but in regard to the sexual act the Blessed One has advised the destruction of the bridge. [129]

“It has been said: ’Sister, this body has come into being through food; yet based on food, food can be abandoned.’ With reference to what was this said? Here, sister, a monk or nun, reflecting wisely, takes food neither for enjoyment, nor for indulgence, nor for physical beauty and attractiveness, but only for the upkeep and sustenance of this body, for avoiding harm to it and for supporting the holy life, thinking: ’Thus I shall put a stop to old feelings (of hunger) and shall not arouse new feelings, and I shall be healthy and blameless and live in comfort.’ Then some time later, based on food, he abandons food. [130] It is on account of this that it was said: ’This body has come into being through food; yet based on food, food can be abandoned.’

“It has been said: ’Sister, this body has come into being through craving; yet based on craving, craving can be abandoned.’ With reference to what was this said? In this case, a monk hears it said: ’They say that a monk of such and such a name, by the destruction of the taints, in this very life enters and dwells in the taintless liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, having realised it for himself by direct knowledge.’ Then he thinks, ’Oh, when shall I too realise the taintless liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom?’ Then, some time later, based on that craving, he abandons craving. [131] It is on account of this that it was said: ’This body has come into being through craving; yet based on craving, craving can be abandoned.’

“It has been said: ’Sister, this body has come into being through conceit; yet based on conceit, conceit can be abandoned.’ With reference to what was this said? In this case, a monk hears it said: ’They say that a monk of such and such a name, by the destruction of the taints, in this very life enters and dwells in the taintless liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, having realised it for himself by direct knowledge.’ Then he thinks, ’Oh, when shall I too realise the taintless liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom?’ Then, some time later, based on that conceit, he abandons conceit. It is on account of this that it was said: ’This body has come into being through conceit; yet based on conceit, conceit can be abandoned.’

“This body, sister, has come into being through the sexual act; but in regard to the sexual act the Blessed One has advised the destruction of the bridge.”

Thereupon that nun rose from her couch, arranged her upper robe on one shoulder, fell at the feet of the Venerable Ānanda, and said:

“Oh, venerable sir, I committed an offence when I behaved so foolishly, stupidly and unskilfully! Let the Venerable Ānanda accept my admission of the offence and pardon me, and I shall practise restraint in the future.” [132]

“Truly, sister, you committed an offence when you behaved so foolishly, stupidly and unskilfully. But as you have recognised your offence as such and make amends for it according to the rule, we pardon you. For it is a sign of growth in the Discipline of the Noble One that one recognises one’s offence, makes amends for it according to the rule, and in future practises restraint.”

(4:159)

63. Four Ways of Behaviour

There are, O monks, four ways of behaviour. What four? The way of impatience, the way of patience, the way of taming, and the way of calming.

And what, monks, is the way of impatience? If scolded, one scolds in return; if insulted, one insults in return; if abused, one abuses in return.

And what, monks, is the way of patience? If scolded, one does not scold in return; if insulted, one does not insult in return; if abused, one does not abuse in return.

And what is the way of taming? Here, on seeing a visible form with the eye, or hearing a sound with the ear, or smelling an odour with the nose, or tasting a flavour with the tongue, or touching a tactile object with the body, or cognizing a mental object with the mind, a monk does not seize upon the object’s general appearance or its details. Since, if he left his sense faculties unguarded, evil and unwholesome states of covetousness and grief might invade him, he applies himself to the restraint of the sense faculties, he guards them and achieves control over them.

And what is the way of calming? Here, a monk does not tolerate in himself any sensual thoughts, or thoughts of ill will, or thoughts of violence, nor any other evil, unwholesome states that may have arisen in him. He abandons them, dispels them, eliminates them, and abolishes them.

These, monks, are the four ways of behaviour.

(4:165)

64. Ways to Arahantship

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Venerable Ānanda was dwelling at Kosambī in Ghosita’s monastery. There the Venerable Ānanda addressed the monks thus:

“Friends!”

“Yes, friend,” the monks replied. Thereupon the Venerable Ānanda said:

“Friends, whatever monks or nuns declare before me that they have attained the final knowledge of arahatship, all these do so in one of four ways. What four?

“Here, friends, a monk develops insight preceded by tranquillity. [133] While he thus develops insight preceded by tranquillity, the path arises in him. He now pursues, develops, and cultivates that path, and while he is doing so the fetters are abandoned and the underlying tendencies eliminated. [134]

“Or again, friends, a monk develops tranquillity preceded by insight. [135] While he thus develops tranquillity preceded by insight, the path arises in him. He now pursues, develops, and cultivates that path, and while he is doing so the fetters are abandoned and the underlying tendencies eliminated.

“Or again, friends, a monk develops tranquillity and insight joined in pairs. [136] While he thus develops tranquillity and insight joined in pairs, the path arises in him. He now pursues, develops, and cultivates that path, and while he is doing so the fetters are abandoned and the underlying tendencies eliminated.

“Or again, friends, a monk’s mind is seized by agitation caused by higher states of mind. [137] But there comes a time when his mind becomes internally steadied, composed, unified and concentrated; then the path arises in him. He now pursues, develops, and cultivates that path, and while he is doing so the fetters are abandoned and the underlying tendencies eliminated.

“Friends, whatever monks or nuns declare before me that they have attained the final knowledge of arahatship, all these do so in one of these four ways.”

(4:170)

65. Volition

Monks, when there is the body, there arise in oneself pleasure and pain caused by bodily volition. [138] When there is speech, there arise in oneself pleasure and pain caused by verbal volition. When there is mind, there arise in oneself pleasure and pain caused by mental volition. And all this is conditioned by ignorance. [139]

Monks, either on one’s own accord one constructs that bodily volitional formation whereby pleasure and pain arise in oneself; or one does so when induced by others. Either clearly knowing one constructs that bodily volitional formation whereby pleasure and pain arise in oneself; or one does so not clearly knowing. [140]

Either on one’s own accord one constructs that verbal volitional formation whereby pleasure and pain arise in oneself; or one does so when induced by others. Either clearly knowing one constructs that verbal volitional formation whereby pleasure and pain arise in oneself; or one does so not clearly knowing.

Either on one’s own accord one constructs that mental volitional formation whereby pleasure and pain arise in oneself; or one does so when induced by others. Either clearly knowing one constructs that mental volitional formation whereby pleasure and pain arise in oneself; or one does so not clearly knowing.

In all these states, monks, ignorance is involved. [141] But with the complete fading away and cessation of ignorance, there is no longer that body, speech or mind conditioned by which pleasure and pain may arise in oneself. There is no longer a field, a site, a base or a foundation conditioned by which pleasure and pain may arise in oneself. [142]

(4:171)

66. No Guarantee

Against four things, O monks, there can be no guarantee, whether from an ascetic, a brahmin, a deva or Māra or Brahmā, or anyone else in the world. What are those four things?

That what is liable to decay should not decay; that what is liable to illness should not fall ill; that what is liable to die should not die; and that no fruit should come forth from one’s own evil deeds, which are defiling, productive of re-becoming, fearful, having painful results, leading to future birth, decay, and death.

Against these four things there can be no guarantee, whether from an ascetic, a brahmin, a deva or Māra or Brahmā, or anyone else in the world.

(4:182)

67. Fear of Death

Once the brahmin Jāṇussoṇi approached the Blessed One and addressed him thus:

“I maintain, Master Gotama, and hold the view that there is no mortal who does not fear death, who is not afraid of death.”

“There is indeed, brahmin, such a mortal who fears death, who is afraid of death. But there is also a mortal who has no fear of death, who is not afraid of death. And who is the one who fears death and the other who does not fear death?

“There is, brahmin, a person who is not free from lust for sensual pleasures, not free from the desire and affection for them, not free from thirsting and fevering after them, not free from craving for sensual pleasures. Then it happens that a grave illness befalls him. Thus afflicted by a grave illness, he thinks: ’Oh, those beloved sensual pleasures will leave me, and I shall have to leave them!’ Thereupon he grieves, moans, laments, weeps beating his breast, and becomes deranged. This mortal is one who fears death, who is afraid of death.

“Further, brahmin, there is a person who is not free from lust for this body, not free from desire and affection for it, not free from thirsting and fevering after it, not free from craving for the body. Then it happens that a grave illness befalls him. Thus afflicted by a grave illness, he thinks: ’Oh, this beloved body will leave me, and I shall have to leave it.’ Thereupon he grieves … and becomes deranged. This mortal too is one who fears death, who is afraid of death.

“Further, brahmin, there is a person who has not done anything good and wholesome, who has not made a shelter for himself; but he has done what is evil, cruel and wicked. Then it happens that a grave illness befalls him. Thus afflicted by a grave illness, he thinks: ’Oh, I have not done anything good and wholesome, I have not made a shelter for myself; but I have done what is evil, cruel and wicked. I shall go hereafter to the destiny of those who do such deeds.’ Thereupon he grieves … and becomes deranged. This mortal too is one who fears death, who is afraid of death.

“Further, brahmin, there is a person who has doubts and perplexity about the good Dhamma and has not come to certainty in it. Then it happens that a grave illness befalls him. Thus afflicted by a grave illness, he thinks: ’Oh, I am full of doubts and perplexity about the good Dhamma and have not come to certainty in it!’ Thereupon he grieves, moans, laments, weeps beating his breast and becomes deranged. This mortal too is one who fears death, who is afraid of death.

“These, brahmin, are the four mortals who fear death and are afraid of death.

“But which mortal, brahmin, does not fear death?

“There is, brahmin, a person who is free from lust for sensual pleasures, free from desire and affection for them, free from thirsting and fevering after them, free from craving for sensual pleasures. When a grave illness befalls him, no such thoughts come to him: ’Oh, these beloved sensual pleasures will leave me and I shall have to leave them!’ Hence he does not grieve or moan, lament or weep beating his breast, nor does he become deranged. This mortal is one who does not fear death, who is not afraid of death.

“Further, brahmin, there is a person who is free from lust for this body …. When a grave illness befalls him, no such thoughts come to him: ’Oh, this beloved body will leave me and I shall have to leave it!’ Hence he does not grieve … nor does he become deranged. This mortal too is one who does not fear death, who is not afraid of death.

“Further, brahmin, there is a person who has not done anything evil, cruel or wicked, but has done what is good and wholesome, who has made a shelter for himself. When a grave illness befalls him, these thoughts come to him ’I have not done anything evil, cruel, or wicked, but have done what is good and wholesome, I have made a shelter for myself. I shall go hereafter to the destiny of those who do such deeds.’ Hence he does not grieve … nor does he become deranged. This mortal too is one who does not fear death, who is not afraid of death.

“Further, brahmin, there is a person who has no doubts and perplexity about the good Dhamma and has gained certainty in it. When a grave illness befalls him, this thought comes to him: ’I am free of doubt and perplexity about the good Dhamma and have gained certainty in it.’ Hence he does not grieve or moan, lament or weep beating his breast, nor does he become deranged. This mortal too is one who does not fear death, who is not afraid of death.

“These, brahmin, are the four mortals who do not fear death and are not afraid of death.” [143]

“Excellent, Master Gotama! … Let Master Gotama accept me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge from today until life’s end.”

(4:184)

68. How to Judge a Person’s Character

Four facts about a person, O monks, can be known from four circumstances. What are these four?

By living together with a person his virtue can be known, and this too only after a long time, not casually; by close attention, not without attention; by one who is wise, not by one who is stupid.

By having dealings with a person his integrity can be known, and this too only after a long time, not casually; by close attention, not without attention; by one who is wise, not by one who is stupid.

In misfortune a person’s fortitude can be known, and this too only after a long time, not casually; by close attention, not without attention; by one who is wise, not by one who is stupid.

By conversation a person’s wisdom can be known, and this too only after a long time, not casually; by close attention, not without attention; by one who is wise, not by one who is stupid.

(1) It was said: “By living together with a person, his virtue can be known.” On account of what was this said?

Living together with a person, one comes to know him thus: “For a long time the actions of this fellow have shown weaknesses, defects, taints and blemishes as to his morals; and he was morally inconsistent in his actions and conduct. This fellow is an immoral person; he is not virtuous.”

In another case, when living together with a person, one comes to know him thus: “For a long time the actions of this fellow have shown no weaknesses, defects, taints, or blemishes as to his morals; and he is morally consistent in his actions and conduct. This fellow is virtuous; he is not an immoral person.”

It was on account of this that it was said: “By living together with a person, his virtue can be known.”

(2) Further it was said: “By having dealings with a person, his integrity can be known.” On account of what was this said?

Having dealings with a person, one comes to know him thus: “This fellow behaves in one way if he has to do with one person and in different ways with two, three, or more persons. [144] His earlier behaviour deviates from his later behaviour. The behaviour of this fellow is dishonest; he is not of honest behaviour.”

In another case, when dealing with a person, one comes to know him thus: “In the same way as he behaves towards one, he behaves towards two, three, or more people. His earlier behaviour does not deviate from his later behaviour. The behaviour of this fellow is honest; he is not a dishonest man.”

It was on account of this that it was said: “By having dealings with a person, his integrity can be known.”

(3) Further it was said: “In misfortune a person’s fortitude can be known.” On account of what was this said?

There is a person afflicted with the loss of relatives, wealth or health, but he does not reflect thus: “Of such nature is life in this world, of such nature is the uptake of individual existence, that the eight worldly conditions keep the world turning around, and the world turns around these eight worldly conditions, namely: gain and loss, fame and disrepute, praise and blame, pleasure and pain.” [145] Not considering this, he is grieved and worried, he laments and beats his breast, and is deeply perturbed when afflicted with loss of relatives, wealth or health.

In another case, a person when afflicted with the loss of relatives, wealth or health, reflects thus: “Of such nature is life in this world … and the world turns around these eight worldly conditions, namely: gain and loss, fame and disrepute, praise and blame, pleasure and pain.” Considering this, he neither grieves nor worries, nor does he lament or beat his breast, nor is he perturbed when afflicted with the loss of relatives, wealth, or health.

It was on account of this that it was said: “In misfortune a person’s fortitude can be known.”

(4) Further it was said: “By conversation a person’s wisdom can be known.” On account of what was this said?

When conversing with a person, one comes to know: “Judging from the way this fellow examines, formulates and brings up a problem, [146] he is a stupid person, not a wise one. And why? He does not utter words that are profound, calming, sublime, beyond ordinary reasoning, subtle, intelligible to the wise. When he speaks of the Dhamma, he is not able to explain its meaning, be it briefly or in detail. He is a stupid person, not a wise one.”

Just as if, monks, a man with good sight, standing on the bank of a pond, were to see a small fish emerging and would think: “Judging from its emergence, [147] from the ripples caused by it and from its speed, this is a small fish, not a big one”—similarly, when conversing with a person, one comes to know: “This is a stupid person, not a wise one.”

In another case, when conversing with a person, one comes to know: “Judging from the way this fellow examines, formulates, and brings up a problem, he is a wise person, not a stupid one. He utters words that are profound, calming, sublime, beyond ordinary reasoning, subtle, intelligible to the wise. When he speaks of the Dhamma, he is able to explain its meaning, be it briefly or in detail. He is a wise person, not a stupid one.”

Just as if, monks, a man with good sight, standing on the bank of a pond, were to see a big fish emerging and would think: “Judging from its emergence, from the ripples caused by it and from its speed, this is not a small fish but a big one”—similarly, when conversing with a person, one comes to know: “He is a wise person, not a stupid one.”

It was on account of this that it was said: “By conversation a person’s wisdom can be known.”

These, monks, are the four facts about a person that can be known from the above four circumstances.

(4:192)

69. The Growth of Wisdom

These four things, O monks, are conducive to the growth of wisdom. What four?

Association with superior persons, hearing the good Dhamma, proper attention, and practice in accordance with the Dhamma. These four things are conducive to the growth of wisdom. [148]

These four things are also a great help to a human being. [149]

(4:246)


Notes

  1. Undeveloped (abhāvitaṃ). A-a: A mind not grown, not progressing in mental development (bhāvanā). [Back]
  2. A-a explains this as meaning that the mind (i.e. a moment of consciousness) arises and vanishes very rapidly, but the same expression is used elsewhere in the canon in a context that suggests the intended meaning is the mind’s vulnerability to quick changes in intentions and preferences. See e.g. Vin I 150, where the Buddha permits a monk to break his rains residence prematurely when he is being lured by a seductive woman “because the mind is said to be quickly changing.” [Back]
  3. Luminous (pabhassaraṃ). A-a states that here “the mind” (citta) refers to the bhavaṅga-citta, the “life-continuum” or underlying stream of consciousness which supervenes whenever active consciousness lapses, most notably in deep sleep. The adventitious defilements are greed, hatred, and delusion, which appear at a stage of the cognitive process which, in later Buddhist literature, is called javana, “impulsion.” A-a says that the defilements do not arise simultaneously with the bhavaṅga, but they “arrive” later, at the phase of javana. The fact that this expression “luminous mind” does not signify any “eternal and pure mind-essence” is evident from the preceding text, in which the mind is said to be extremely fleeting and transitory. The “uninstructed worldling” (assutavā puthujjana) is one who lacks adequate knowledge of the Dhamma and training in its practice. [Back]
  4. Since monks and nuns depend for sustenance upon the generosity of householders, they must make themselves worthy of their offerings by devoting their efforts to the development of the mind. A-a distinguishes four modes in which monks might use the offerings they receive: (i) an immoral monk uses them as a thief; (ii) a virtuous worldling who does not reflect uses them as a debtor; (iii) a trainee (one at the lower three stages of awakening) uses them as an inheritance; and (iv) the arahant uses them as a proper owner. [Back]
  5. Manopubbaṅgamā. This phrase also occurs at Dhp 1, 2. Unwholesome states (akusalā dhammā) are mental states born of greed, hatred and delusion. The wholesome states (kusalā dhammā) mentioned just below are mental states arisen from non-greed, non-hatred, and non-delusion. Mind (mano) here refers to the intention. While mind does not actually precede the wholesome and unwholesome states in a temporal sense, it is said to arise first because it is the volition or intention that determines the ethical quality of the deeds that issue from the mind. [Back]
  6. Pamāda is moral laxity, heedlessness, lack of constancy and persistence in the pursuit of self-purification. It is often explained as lack of mindfulness and energy in the development of wholesome qualities. For a formal definition, see Vibh 350 (§846). Its opposite is appamāda, diligence, heedfulness, or earnestness, sometimes defined as constancy of mindfulness. For the contrast of the two, see Dhp 21–32, and for a eulogy of diligence, AN 10:15. [Back]
  7. Tathāgata is the designation by which the Buddha usually speaks of himself. The commentaries offer a number of explanations, e.g. “one who has come thus” (tathā āgata), i.e. through the same path of practice that the Buddhas of the past came; “one who has gone thus” (tathā gata), i.e. gone to enlightenment along the same path that all Enlightened Ones have gone, etc. See Text 46 and Bodhi, All Embracing Net of Views, BPS, 2007, Part V. [Back]
  8. On the six things unsurpassed (anuttariyā) see Text 89. The four analytical knowledges (paṭisambhidā) are four special types of knowledge concerning the meaning, doctrines, and linguistic formulations of the Dhamma, and the way to utilize this knowledge in expounding the Dhamma to others. By elements (dhātu) are meant here in particular the eighteen elements (the six sense faculties, six sense objects and the corresponding six kinds of consciousness). For other groups of elements see MN 115, MN 140 and SN Ch. 14. The four fruits of stream-entry, etc., are the four stages of awakening, on which see Bodhi, Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, Boston 2006, p. 41. [Back]
  9. A person possessed of right view (diṭṭhi-sampanna) is a stream-enterer or one at a higher stage of awakening. Saṅkhārā—“formations” or formations—include everything produced by conditions. [Back]
  10. In this passage saṅkhārā is replaced by dhammā, which includes all phenomena whatever, whether conditioned or unconditioned. This passage is commonly held to be applicable to the unconditioned element (asaṅkhata-dhātu), Nibbāna. Thus, even though Nibbāna, being imperishable and the highest bliss, is not impermanent or suffering, it still cannot be identified as a self. See Dhp 277–79. [Back]
  11. “Mindfulness directed to the body” (kāyagatā-sati) comprises all fourteen exercises described under contemplation of the body in the Kāyagatā-sati Sutta (MN 119) and the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta (DN 22, MN 10): mindfulness of breathing, attention to the postures, clear comprehension of activities, reflection on foulness (on the thirty-one parts of the body), analysis into the four elements, and the nine cemetery contemplations (on decaying corpses). The great stress laid on contemplation of the body derives from the fact that meditative comprehension of the impermanent, painful, and selfless nature of bodily processes forms the indispensable basis for a corresponding comprehension of mental processes; and it is only the comprehension of both that will lead to liberating insight and the noble path. [Back]
  12. The three fetters (saṃyojana) eliminated by the stream-enterer are: personality view, i.e. the view of a self in relation to the five aggregates; doubt about the Buddha, his Teaching and the path of training; and clinging to rules and vows, i.e. penitential and ritualistic practices adopted in the belief that they are conducive to liberation.

    The non-returner breaks all five lower fetters (orambhāgiyāni saṃyojanāni)—the first three fetters (see preceding paragraph) as well as the next two fetters, sensual desire and ill will. Since these fetters bind beings to the sensual realm of becoming (see Text 33), the non-returner can never again be reborn in the sense sphere but takes rebirth in the form realm (generally in one of the Pure Abodes), where he attains final Nibbāna.

    The arahant destroys the five “higher fetters” (uddhambhāgiyāni saṃyojanāni): desire for the form realm, desire for the formless realm, conceit, restlessness, and ignorance. The fetters partly overlap with the taints (āsava): the first two are included under the taint of desire for becoming; the last is identical with the taint of ignorance.

    The underlying tendencies (anusaya) are seven mental defilements deeply engrained in the mind through past habituation: sensual desire, aversion, conceit, views, doubt, attachment to becoming and ignorance. Views and doubt are eliminated at the stage of stream-entry; sensual desire and aversion, at the stage of non-returning; conceit, attachment to becoming and ignorance only at the stage of arahantship. [Back]

  13. Here the Buddha refers to the time when he was still a bodhisatta striving for enlightenment. A-a mentions, as “good states achieved,” the jhānas and the “inner light” seen in meditative vision. [Back]
  14. This text proclaims, in simple and memorable words, the human potential for achieving the good, thus invalidating the common charge that Buddhism is pessimistic. But since human beings have, as we know only too well, also a strong potential for evil, there is as little ground for unreserved optimism. Which of our potentialities, that for good or for evil, becomes actual, depends on our own choice. What makes a human being, is to have choices and to make use of them. The range of our choices and our prior awareness of them will expand with the growth of mindfulness and wisdom. And along with the growth of these two qualities, those forces that seem to “condition” and even compel our choices into the wrong direction will become weakened. It is, indeed, a bold and heartening assurance of the Buddha—a veritable “lion’s roar”—when he said, in such a wide and deep sense, that the good can be attained and the evil can be conquered. [Back]
  15. Vijjābhāgiyā; that is, they are constituents of supreme knowledge (vijjā). This may refer either to the three true knowledges (tevijjā), often mentioned in the discourses: (1) the knowledge of recollection of former births; (2) the knowledge of the passing away and rebirth of beings; and (3) the knowledge of the destruction of the taints, i.e. the attainment of arahantship; or it may refer to an eightfold division: (1) insight knowledge (vipassanā-ñāṇa), (2) the power of creating a mind-made body (manomayā iddhi); (3)–(8) the six direct knowledges (abhiññā). For the latter (which include the three true knowledges) see Text 34. [Back]
  16. Tranquillity (samatha) is concentration culminating in the jhānas, being supremely tranquil and peaceful states; insight (vipassanā), according to A-a, is “the knowledge comprehending the formations” (saṅkhāra-pariggāhaka-ñāṇa) as impermanent, suffering and non-self. [Back]
  17. When tranquillity is developed independently of insight, it brings about the suppression of the five hindrances, the first of which is sensual lust, and issues in the “higher mind” of the jhānas, characterized by the absence of lust. But it is only when tranquillity is developed in conjunction with insight that it can give rise to the noble path, which eradicates the underlying tendency to sensual lust (by the path of non-returning) and attachment to becoming (by the path of arahantship). A-a interprets tranquillity here in this second sense—presumably on account of the last sentence of the sutta—and explains: “The mind becomes developed into the path-consciousness (magga-citta). Lust (rāga) becomes abandoned because it is opposed to (incompatible with) path-consciousness, and the path is incompatible with lust. At a moment of lust there is no path-consciousness; and at the path-moment there is no lust. When lust arises, it obstructs the arising of the path-moment, cutting off its basis; but when the path arises it uproots and eradicates lust.” [Back]
  18. A-a: “It is path-wisdom (magga-paññā) that becomes developed, i.e. it is expanded and augmented. The “ignorance abandoned’ is the great ignorance at the root of the cycle of existence. Ignorance is incompatible with path-wisdom, and path-wisdom is incompatible with ignorance. At a moment of ignorance there is no path-wisdom, and at a moment of path-wisdom there cannot be ignorance. When ignorance arises, it obstructs the arising of path-wisdom and cuts off its basis; but when path-wisdom arises it uproots and eradicates ignorance. In this way, two coexistent phenomena have been dealt with here: path-consciousness (magga-citta) and path-wisdom (magga-paññā).” [Back]
  19. Arahantship is often described as “taintless liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom” (anāsava-cetovimutti-paññāvimutti); see Text 18, etc. A-a explains “liberation of mind” as the concentration connected with the fruit (of arahantship; phala-samādhi), “liberation by wisdom” (paññāvimutti) as the wisdom connected with the fruit. [Back]
  20. Sāsavañca sukhaṃ anāsavañca sukhaṃ. This refers to the three taints: sensual desire, craving for existence and ignorance. See Text 99. One whose taints are destroyed (khīṇāsava) is an arahant. [Back]
  21. The rājā cakkavatti is the ideal ruler of Buddhist legend. He conquers the world by righteousness (dhamma) rather than by force and establishes a reign of universal virtue and prosperity. The epithet means literally “wheel-turning king,” because the symbol of his stature as universal monarch is the mystical “gem of the wheel” (cakkaratana) which becomes manifest before him through the power of his virtue as testimony to his right to rule the world. For details see in particular DN 17 and 26, and MN 129. [Back]
  22. In connection with the world ruler, Dhamma does not signify the Buddha’s Teaching (as in the following section) but the moral law of justice and righteousness applied to governing a country. [Back]
  23. In Indian iconography the wheel (cakka) is the symbol of sovereignty in both temporal and spiritual domains. The world ruler, as explained above, rules under the standard of his “gem of the wheel,” which represents his entitlement to universal sovereignty. The Dhamma too is symbolized by a wheel, which according to the commentaries represents the Buddha’s perfect realization of truth and his entitlement to serve as a world teacher. See too Ch. X, n.20.

    Māra is the Tempter or Evil One, depicted as an evil deity who tries to divert aspirants from the path to liberation. Unlike Satan he is not particularly concerned with inducing people to commit deeds that will lead them to hell, but remains content with keeping them trapped in the snare of sensuality and thereby preventing them from escaping the round of rebirths. Brahmā is the old brahmanical creator God, who appears in Buddhism as the temporal governor of the world system, powerful and long-lived but still a transient being enveloped in ignorance and bound to the wheel of becoming (see Text 139). [Back]

  24. A-a: “The first type of patient, who is incurable, should nevertheless receive nursing because he might think that, with proper care, he may yet recover. If he is neglected, he will feel resentment and harbour thoughts of ill will, which may bring him an unhappy rebirth. But if he is looked after well, he will see that everything needful and possible has been done for him, and he will ascribe his affliction to the unavoidable results of his own kamma. He will be friendly towards those who nurse him and because of these thoughts of friendliness he will have a happy rebirth. The second type—one who is sure to recover—and one only slightly ill should also be nursed, so that their recovery may be quickened.” [Back]
  25. “Enter the path of assurance” (okkamati niyāmaṃ), i.e. the assurance of final liberation, by entering upon the path of stream-entry, or one of the higher stages of awakening. [Back]
  26. According to A-a, the first of the three is called pada-paramo, i.e. “one for whom the mere words (of the Teaching) are the most he can achieve”; he will not attain the stages of awakening in his present life. The second is called ugghaṭitaññu, i.e. one who penetrates the truth at once when a brief instruction is given. The third type is called vipacitaññu, i.e. one who will penetrate the truth after receiving detailed and repeated instruction; this category also includes the type called neyya, who can penetrate the truth after a period of training. These types are explained at Pug 41. A-a says further that the instruction given to the first type may help him in a future existence. If the second type is instructed, it will quicken his progress towards final attainment. But the third type is definitely in need of repeated instruction and guidance. [Back]
  27. The person with “a mind like lightning” (vijjūpamacitto) is a trainee (sekha), one who has penetrated the truth of the Teaching but not yet fully realized the truth. The one with “a mind like a diamond” (vajirūpamacitto) is the arahant, who has destroyed all taints. [Back]
  28. Sāriputta was the chief disciple of the Buddha and the disciple most distinguished in wisdom. See Text 130, where he sounds his “lion’s roar.” [Back]
  29. A-a explains “I-making” (ahaṅkāra) as wrong view, and “mine-making” (mamaṅkāra) as craving; “conceit” (māna) includes all deluded imaginings based on the notion of a real “I.” The term “this conscious body” (saviññāṇake kāye) comprises both one’s own conscious body and those of others. “All external objects” (bahiddhā sabbanimittesu): all sense objects, persons and phenomena. [Back]
  30. Sn 1106–7. The Pārāyana, “The Way to the Far Shore,” is the last chapter of Sn, containing sixteen sub-sections in each of which a different brahmin inquirer asks profound questions of the Buddha. “The Questions of Udaya” is the fourteenth (vv.1105–11). The fact that this work is quoted several times in the Nikāyas testifies to its antiquity. See too AN 4:59. [Back]
  31. The first four lines of the stanza allude to four of the five hindrances: sensual desire, ill will, sloth and torpor, and restlessness and worry. In line 5 “purified mindfulness and equipoise” (upekkhā-sati-saṃsuddhaṃ) is an allusion to the fourth jhāna (see the standard formula for the jhānas, Text 33). According to A-a “preceded by thinking on the Dhamma” (dhammatakka-purejavaṃ) refers to right intention (sammā-saṅkappa), the second factor of the Noble Eightfold Path, which comprises thoughts free from sensuality, ill will and violence. The breaking apart of ignorance is the fruit of arahantship, which arises when ignorance has been broken apart by the path of arahantship. [Back]
  32. Lobha, dosa, moha. These three are generally called “roots of the unwholesome” (akusala-mūla). The term “greed” comprises all degrees of attraction, from the slightest trace of attachment up to the crassest form of greed and egotism; “hatred,” all degrees of aversion, from the slightest touch of ill-humour up to the extreme forms of violent wrath and vengefulness; “delusion” is identical with ignorance (avijjā), but with an emphasis on its psychological and ethical implications. For a fuller treatment, see Nyanaponika Thera, The Roots of Good and Evil, BPS, Wheel Publication No. 251–53. [Back]
  33. The Buddha refers here to a threefold division in the ripening of kamma. A kamma can bring results either in the present life (diṭṭhadhamma-vedanīya), or in the immediately following life (upapajja-vedanīya), or in any life subsequent to the next one (aparapariyāya-vedanīya). See Vism XIX,14. [Back]
  34. The positive aspects of the three wholesome roots are: dispassion (renunciation, detachment), loving-kindness, and wisdom. Here the action arisen from non-greed, non-hatred, and non-delusion should be understood, not as an ordinary wholesome action, but as the “kamma that is neither dark nor bright, with neither dark nor bright results, which leads to the destruction of kamma” (AN 4:232), that is, the volition in the development of the Noble Eightfold Path. Mundane actions arising from the three wholesome roots could not be described as “no more subject to arise in the future.” Such actions, rather, being “bright kamma with bright result” (AN 4:232), will bring agreeable fruits and generate a fortunate rebirth. [Back]
  35. A-a explains the simile thus: The seeds here represent the wholesome and unwholesome kammas. The man who burns them with fire represents the meditator. The fire represents the knowledge of the noble path. The time when the man burns up the seeds is like the time when the meditator burns up the defilements with path-knowledge. Like the time when the seeds have been reduced to ashes is the time when the five aggregates stand cut off at the root (i.e. during the arahant’s life, when they are no longer sustained by craving). Like the time when the ashes have been winnowed in the wind or carried away by a stream and can no longer grow is the time when the five aggregates utterly cease (with the arahant’s parinibbāna) and never again become manifest in the round of becoming. [Back]
  36. Hatthaka was a son of the king of Āḷavi and became a non-returner (anāgāmi). He was praised by the Buddha as a model for lay followers and declared the foremost lay disciple among those who win a following through the four bases of beneficence (saṅgaha-vatthu; see Text 129). [Back]
  37. Devadūta. In the traditional account of the Buddha’s early life it was the shocking initial encounter with an old man, a sick man, and a corpse that destroyed his worldly complacency and set him searching for a path to enlightenment. According to the traditional story these beings were actually devadūta, gods in disguise who had descended to earth in order to awaken him from his slumber of delusion. [Back]
  38. This section of the text, describing the torments, has been abridged. In Buddhism, life in hell is not eternal. Such a painful form of existence is the lawful consequence of evil deeds and will come to an end when the causal force conditioning it is exhausted. Good causes of the past may then have a chance to operate and bring about a happier rebirth. [Back]
  39. The following passage describes, in psychologically realistic terms, the same experience represented symbolically in the traditional legend of the future Buddha’s encounter with the three divine messengers. See n.17 above. [Back]
  40. The three types of pride (mada) described here, which are more akin to intoxication than to arrogance, are: (1) pride in one’s youthfulness (yobbana-mada); (2) pride in one’s health (ārogya-mada); (3) pride in life (jīvita-mada); cp. Text 79. [0]Pride in the sense of conceit appears in Buddhist texts under the name māna. On the three modes of māna, see Text 95. [Back]
  41. The present sutta draws a fundamental ontological distinction between conditioned reality and the unconditioned. Conditioned reality includes everything arisen through causes and conditions, i.e. the entire world of physical and mental phenomena, extending through all the three realms of becoming. The “conditioned marks of the conditioned” (saṅkhatassa saṅkhata-lakkhaṇāni) are, according to A-a, the grounds for being perceived or recognized as conditioned.

    The Pāli terms for these three marks are: uppādo, vayo, ṭhitassa aññathattaṃ. This passage is the source of the later Abhidhamma division of a single moment of experience into the three sub-moments of arising, subsistence and dissolution (uppāda, thiti, bhaṅga). A-a identifies “change while persisting” with decay (jarā), which A-ṭ here takes to be the sub-moment of subsistence, when for a fleeting instant the arisen phenomenon “faces its own dissolution” (bhaṅgābhimukha) before actually dissolving. [Back]

  42. Asaṅkhatassa asaṅkhata-lakkhaṇāni. The Unconditioned is Nibbāna, which does not exhibit any arising, change or disappearance. [Back]
  43. Akatabhīruttāṇā. That is, by doing meritorious deeds which give protection in the next life. [Back]
  44. This brahmin was a chaplain of King Pasenadi; he frequently asked questions of the Buddha, as in Text 67, 97, and AN 7:47. [Back]
  45. This refers to the “Nibbāna element with residue left” (sa-upādisesanibbāna-dhātu). See It 44: “Here a monk is an arahant, one whose taints are destroyed.… His five sense faculties remain unimpaired, by which he still experiences what is agreeable and disagreeable and feels pleasure and pain. It is the extinction in him of lust, hatred, and delusion that is called the Nibbāna-element with residue left.” See too Ch. IV, n.99. [Back]
  46. The wanderer Vacchagotta often appears in the Suttas engaging the Buddha in anxious queries about points of speculative metaphysics, which the Buddha refuses to answer; see MN 72, SN Ch. 33, SN 44:7–11. According to MN 73 he eventually became a monk under the Buddha and attained arahantship. [Back]
  47. This refers to the kammic merit acquired by making offerings to brahmins and ascetics. According to the Buddha the “fruitfulness” of an act of giving, i.e. its capacity to bring desired benefits to the donor, depends upon the interaction of two factors: the intention of the donor and the moral purity of the recipient. A gift given with faith, humility and respect by a wise and virtuous donor is more fruitful than one given casually by an immoral person; and a gift given to a virtuous and upright ascetic is more fruitful than one given to a spiritually undeveloped person. Gifts to the arahants, the supreme field of merit, are the most meritorious, as the Buddha will explain. For a more detailed treatment of this theme see MN 142.

    The qualities abandoned are the five hindrances. The qualities possessed are the five “dhamma-aggregates” of “one perfect in training” (asekha), an arahant. [Back]

  48. The brahmin Saṅgārava also appears in AN 5:193. His criticism of the Buddha succinctly expresses the differences in perspective that separated the brahmins from the non-brahmanical ascetics, the samaṇa. While the brahmins led settled household lives as priests, dedicated to earning merits through ritual and sacrifice, the ascetics stressed the importance of renunciation and self-mastery through meditation. The brahmins aimed at rebirth in the heavens or in the Brahma-world, while the ascetics sought liberation from the entire cycle of repeated birth and death. Generally the ascetics did not recognize the authority of the Vedas (see Text 30), and the Buddha specifically criticized the brahmanical practice of animal sacrifice, which he declared a source of demerit rather than of merit. [Back]
  49. Ānanda was the Buddha’s personal attendant. He had memorized virtually all the Buddha’s discourses and was responsible for the codification of the Sutta Piṭaka at the council held after the Buddha’s parinibbāna. [Back]
  50. Nimitta. As explained in A-a, this refers to external indications, which are interpreted as referring to the state of mind of the person concerned. [Back]
  51. This passage has been abridged. A-a explains the first of these to mean revelations from deities who have supernormal knowledge of others’ minds. The second indication are subtle sounds produced by thoughts themselves, to be penetrated by the divine-ear faculty. The third refers to a person in a thought-free meditative absorption; in this case the thought-reader cannot read the meditator’s thoughts but predicts, on the basis of his mental dispositions, the thoughts he will think on emerging from absorption. [Back]
  52. Anusāsanīpāṭihāriya. A-a gives as examples of such instruction: “You should think thoughts of renunciation, not thoughts of sensuality. You should contemplate the idea of impermanence, not the idea of permanence. You should give up lust for the five cords of sensual pleasure and acquire the supramundane Dhamma of the four paths and fruits.” For examples of the Buddha’s miraculous pedagogical powers see Text 61. [Back]
  53. The expression titthāyatana is a figurative term for the speculative views of non-Buddhists thinkers. The doctrine of inaction (akiriyavāda) teaches the moral inefficacy of actions and involves a denial of kamma, which undermines the motivation for purposeful moral action. [Back]
  54. The first view, that all experience is the result of past kamma, is ascribed by the Buddhists to the Jains. The third view, which denies the role of human effort, was taught by Makkhali Gosāla, a contemporary of the Buddha, who held that all events were governed by fate (see DN 2; MN 76). This doctrine, as well as that of inaction, belongs to the “wrong views with fixed destiny” (niyata-micchā-diṭṭhi), i.e. views leading to a bad rebirth. [Back]
  55. These are the ten courses of unwholesome action. In the Devadaha Sutta (MN 101), the Buddha confronts the Jains with other arguments against their theory that everything we experience is caused by past action. [Back]
  56. A-a: “Having shown that these three views, as leading to inaction (in the moral sense), are empty, unsubstantiated and not conducive to liberation, the Blessed One now begins to expound his own teaching, which is well substantiated and leads to liberation. As there is no end of what unintelligent people may say without proper understanding, the intelligent ones only are specified here.” [Back]
  57. A-a: “Hereby reference is made to the meditation subject of the elements (dhātu-kammaṭṭhāna). Taking it by way of the six elements, a brief explanation as follows: The elements of earth, water, fire and air are the four primary material elements (mahā-bhūta). The element of space represents “derived’ or secondary form (upādā-rūpa). When this single item of derived form is mentioned, the other types of derived form (i.e. the sense faculties and their objects, etc.) are thereby implied. The element of consciousness (viññāṇa-dhātu) is mind (citta) or the aggregate of consciousness (viññāṇa-khandha). The coexistent feeling is the aggregate of feeling; the coexistent perception, the aggregate of perception; the coexistent contact and volition, the aggregate of volitional formations. These are the four mental aggregates; the four primaries and the form derived from them are the aggregate of form. The four mental aggregates are “name” (or “mentality,” nāma) and the aggregate of form is “form” (or matter, rūpa). Thus there are only these two things: name and form (nāmarūpa). Beyond that, there is neither a substantial being (satta) nor a soul (jīva). In this way one should understand in brief the meditation subject of the six elements that leads up to arahantship.” In a similar way, the other classifications given in the sutta are elaborated in A-a, as a preparation for the practice of analytical insight. [Back]
  58. The technical term used here, manopavicāra; denotes intentional mental activity, as capable of engendering particular types of affective experience. [Back]
  59. Gabbhassāvakkanti. The figurative term avakkanti (or okkanti; descent) stands, according to A-a, for origination or manifestation. What is being designated by this expression is the process of rebirth, or more precisely, “reconception.” The four material elements (and space) are the material foundation for rebirth, supplied by the fertilized ovum. However, for rebirth to occur, a non-material component is necessary, namely, the stream of consciousness contributed by a being who had expired in a previous life. This stream of consciousness is the sixth element, the “element of consciousness.” In MN 38 the consciousness component is referred to as the gandhabba, and it is there said that for conception to take place three factors are necessary: the sexual union of the parents, the fertility of the woman, and the gandhabba or consciousness of the being to be reborn. [Back]
  60. Okkantiyā sati nāmarūpaṃ. This is a variant of the link of “dependent origination” (see n.43) usually expressed thus: “with consciousness as condition, name-and-form comes to be.” The link “consciousness” is here replaced by “descent into the womb” (i.e. the descending of consciousness into the womb, where it infuses life into the fertilized ovum, thus activating the sentient organism, referred to as “name-and-form”). This is one of the canonical sources justifying the commentarial explanation of the link “consciousness” as rebirth-consciousness (paṭisandhi-viññāṇa). At this point the formula of dependent origination is given only as far as the link “feeling,” but just below the formula is stated in its entirety. [Back]
  61. Vediyamānassa kho pan’āhaṃ bhikkhave ‘idaṃ dukkhan’ … ti paññāpemi. A-a says that by feeling is meant here not mere sensation (anubhavanto), but a feeling linked with understanding (jānanto), for which it quotes the contemplation of feeling of the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta as an example. That is to say, the Four Noble Truths are chiefly addressed to those who comprehend the true nature of feeling as it reveals itself in actual experience and to mindful observation. [Back]
  62. The “five aggregates subject to clinging” (pañc’upādānakkhandhā) is the principal classification scheme the Buddha used for analysing the nature of experience. Between them, these five factors constitute experience in its entirety: material form, feeling, perception, volitional formations, and consciousness. They are also the “fuel” or sustenance for clinging (upādāna), the sustenance taken up at the commencement of each existence. According to the Buddha’s teachings, there is no substantial self above and beyond these five aggregates to serve as the nucleus of personal identity. The five aggregates are included in the truth of suffering because they are all impermanent and the basis of pain and suffering. [Back]
  63. The usual analysis of the Four Truths mentions only craving (taṇhā) as the origin of suffering, but here the entire formula of dependent origination (paṭicca-samuppāda ) is brought in to provide a fuller explanation. Similarly just below, instead of explaining the cessation of suffering simply as a consequence of the cessation of craving, here the full formula for the reversal of dependent origination is given. [Back]
  64. According to A-a, this town was situated at the edge of a forest and thus served as a way station for various groups of wanderers and ascetics. Their visits gave the townsfolk exposure to a wide range of philosophical theories, but the conflicting systems of thought to which they were exposed caused doubt and confusion. This sutta is often described as “the Buddha’s charter of free inquiry,” but while it certainly discourages blind belief it does not quite advocate the supremacy of personal opinion in the spiritual domain. One important criterion for sound judgement the Buddha will propose is, as we shall see, the opinion of the wise, and to apply this criterion implies that one is prepared to recognize others as wiser than oneself and to accept their recommendations in the confidence they will lead to one’s long-range benefit. [Back]
  65. These ten inadequate criteria of truth may be grouped into three categories: (1) The first are propositions based on tradition, which includes the first four criteria. Of these “oral tradition” (anussava) is generally understood to refer to the Vedic tradition, which, according to the Brahmins, had originated with the Primal Deity and had been handed down orally through successive generations. “Lineage” (paramarā) signifies tradition in general, an unbroken succession of teachings or teachers. “Hearsay” (or “report”; itikarā) may mean popular opinion or general consensus. And “a collection of scriptures” (piṭaka-sampadā) signifies any collection of religious texts regarded as infallible. (2) The second set, which comprises the next four terms, refers to four types of reasoning recognized by thinkers in the Buddha’s age; their differences need not detain us here. (3) The third set, consisting of the last two items, comprises two of personal authority: the first is the personal charisma of the speaker (perhaps including too his external qualifications, e.g. that he is highly educated, has a large following, is respected by the king, etc.); the second is the authority stemming from the speaker’s relationship to oneself, i.e. that he is one’s own personal teacher (the Pāli word garu used here is identical with the Sanskrit guru). For a detailed analysis, see Jayatilleke, Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge, London, 1963, pp. 175–202, 271–75. [Back]
  66. These, according to the Buddha, are the three unwholesome roots, which underlie all immoral conduct and all defiled states of mind; see Texts 20, 31. As the aim of the Buddha’s Teaching is the destruction of greed, hatred and delusion, the Buddha has subtly led the Kālāmas to affirm his teaching simply by reflecting on their own experience, without any need for him to impose his authority on them. [Back]
  67. At this point the Buddha introduces the practice of the four “divine abidings” (brahmavihāra), the development of universal loving-kindness, compassion, altruistic joy and equanimity. Loving-kindness (mettā) is formally defined as the wish for the welfare and happiness of all beings; compassion (karuṇā), as empathy with those afflicted by suffering; altruistic joy (muditā), as rejoicing in the success and good fortune of others; and equanimity (upekkhā), as an attitude of neutrality or impartiality towards beings. For a detailed discussion of these qualities, both as general virtues and as meditation objects, see Vism Ch. IX. [Back]
  68. A-a: “’In both respects’ (ubhayen’eva): because he does no evil and because no evil will befall him.” [Back]
  69. Lust (rāga). Often the synonymous term greed (lobha ) is used where, as here, the three roots of unwholesome action (akusala-mūla) are treated. [Back]
  70. To show that lust is “less blamable,” A-a offers as an example that no social stigma attaches to marriage, though it is rooted in sexual desire; and if, in such a case, lust remains within the limits of the basic moral law, such lust will not by itself lead to an unhappy rebirth in lower states. Hence it is less blamable in regard to its kammic consequences. But as lust has very deep roots in human nature, it is “as hard to remove as oily soot, and a particular attachment might follow a person even through two or three lives.”

    Hatred and delusion are both regarded as blamable in society and have dire kammic consequences, because both may lead to rebirth in states of misery. Hatred, however, is an unpleasant state of mind, and as beings naturally wish for happiness they will generally wish to be rid of it. Also by asking pardon from those whom one has wronged through anger, it is easier to nullify the effects of anger in oneself and in others. Delusive ideas, however, if deeply rooted in craving, wrong views or conceit, will be as hard to remove as lust. [Back]

  71. The present passage corresponds to AN 1:2.1–10, with “ill will” represented here by “hatred,” of which it is a synonym, and “doubt” replaced by “delusion,” its underlying root. For clarification of the technical terms, see the following notes.

    On improper attention: AA quotes the definition of improper attention (ayoniso manasikāra) from the Abhidhamma Vibh 373, § 936): “Therein, what is ‘improper attention’? There is improper attention thus, ‘In the impermanent there is permanence’ ... ‘In pain there is pleasure’ ... ‘In what is non-self there is self’ ... ‘In what is foul there is beauty’; or, turning of the mind, repeated turning, cognition, advertence, attention to what is contrary to truth. This is called improper attention” (trans. Ashin Thittila, slightly modified). Although improper attention is mentioned at AN 1:2.1–10 as the main cause for doubt, it is elsewhere said to contribute to the arising of all five hindrances. See SN 46:2, 46:51.

    On proper attention: Proper attention (yoniso manasikāra) is attention to the impermanent as impermanent to what is suffering as suffering, to what is non-self as non-self, and to what is foul as foul. In AN 3:53–54 it is mentioned as the main cause for the non-arising of unarisen delusion and for the abandoning of arisen delusion. In. MN 2.10 it is mentioned as the cause for non-arising of unarisen taints (āsavas) and for the abandoning of arisen taints.

    On foul object: A foul object (asubhanimitta) is a theme for meditation which reveals the inherent unattractiveness of the body. The commentaries mention ten types of corpses, in different stages of decay (see Vism Ch. IV), but in the Nikāyas the chief object of foulness meditation is the thirty-one parts of the body (increased to thirty-two in the later literature by the addition of the brain). See the treatment of “the perception of foulness” in Texts AN 4:49, AN 5:30, AN 9:30 and AN 7:46, AN 10:60 (see Wheel Publication 177), and MN 10.10. To be fully effective as an antidote against lust, AA holds, the contemplation of foulness should be developed to the level of the first jhāna.

    On the liberation of the mind by loving-kindness: Mettācetovimutti. Loving-kindness (mettā) is the wish for the welfare and happiness of all living being. It is called a “liberation of the mind” when it is developed to the level of the jhānas, since it then effectively liberates the mind from such oppressive states as ill will, anger and aversion. [Back]

  72. Bhava: personal existence, which is always conceived by Buddhism as a dynamic process of becoming. The commentaries distinguish between two constantly oscillating phases of becoming—kammabhava, “kammically active becoming,” the occasions when we engage in volitional activity (= kamma), which sows the “seeds” of rebirth and future experience; and upapattibhava, “rebirth becoming,” the occasions of experience that result from the maturation of past kamma and within which kamma bears its fruits. The present sutta offers an explanation of how kammabhava generates upapattibhava. [Back]
  73. Kāmabhava: “sense-sphere becoming” is existence in the sense-sphere realm, the lowest of the three realms of existence, comprising the hells, the animal realm, the sphere of ghosts, the human world and the six lower heavens. (See Sunthorn Na-Rangsi, The Four Planes of Existence, BPS, Wheel Publication No. 462.) [Back]
  74. Just as a seed has the potential to develop into the kind of plant that corresponds to its nature, so the consciousness with which one performs a volitional action functions as a seed with the potential to generate a new form of existence corresponding to the ethical quality of the action. The statement is a capsule summary of the principle of dependent origination: consciousness accompanied by ignorance and craving is driven by kamma (= “volitional formations”) into a new existence (= consciousness and name-and-form) bounded by birth at one end and death at the other. [Back]
  75. Rūpabhava: the realm of subtle form, the intermediate realm of the Buddhist cosmos; here the grosser levels of sensory experience are absent and the beings pass most of their time in meditative bliss. Rebirth into this realm comes about through mastery over the jhānas (see AN 4:123). Within this realm are the five Pure Abodes into which non-returners are reborn. [Back]
  76. Arūpabhava: the highest cosmological realm, where matter has completely disappeared and only mind exists. This realm consists of four extremely subtle planes, into which rebirth is gained by mastery over the four formless or non-material meditations (Āruppa; see AN 4:190). [Back]
  77. This is said with reference to the Pātimokha, the code of monastic rules, which in its Pāli version actually contains 227 rules. Perhaps at this time the Pātimokha had not yet reached its final shape. [Back]
  78. Adhisila-sikkhā, adhicitta-sikkhā, adhipaññā-sikkhā. These three divisions of the Buddhist training are often correlated with the eight factors of the Noble Eightfold Path. [Back]
  79. This, of course, is the penetration of the Four Noble Truths. The full penetration of the Four Truths comes with the attainment of the supramundane path, but the higher wisdom can also include the wisdom of insight which leads up to the supramundane path. [Back]
  80. The editions of the Pāli text show here various and uncertain readings, but as the meaning is clear enough a simplified, free rendering has been given. [Back]
  81. Kāmavitakka, byāpādavitakka, vihiṃsāvitakka. These are identical with the three wrong thoughts or wrong intentions, to be overcome by right intention, the second factor of the Noble Eightfold Path. See too Texts 43, 128, AN 10:20. [Back]
  82. Dhammavitakka. This translation is based on the explanation of A-a, which takes this expression to refer to the ten corruptions of insight meditation (dasa vipassanūpakkilesā); see Vism XX, 105–28. A similar explanation is given of dhammuddhacca, “agitation about higher states,” in Text 64. It may, however, be possible to understand dhammavitakka simply as reflections about the Teaching. [Back]
  83. Sati sati āyatane. This refers to the preliminary conditions required for the attainments to follow, namely, the six “super-knowledges” (abhiññā). Five of these are mundane; the sixth is the supramundane attainment of arahantship, here called the destruction of the taints (āsavakkhaya). The necessary condition for the five super-knowledges is mastery over the fourth jhāna; the foundation for arahantship is the development of insight based on concentration. For a detailed explanation of the five mundane super-knowledges, see Vism Ch. XII and XIII. [Back]
  84. In Ee this discourse is included in Sutta No. 100, i.e. linked to our preceding Text 34. There is, however, little doubt that it is a separate sutta, and it appears as such in Be as well as in A-a. [Back]
  85. Upekkhānimitta. This refers to the detached observation and examination of the meditative state of mind. A-a: He examines the speed or velocity of knowledge (ñāṇajavaṃ upekkheyya), i.e. the penetrative intensity of insight. [Back]
  86. Ajjhupekkhati. This refers to the third item, upekkhā, equanimity, which literally means “onlooking,” i.e. detached observation or examination. [Back]
  87. These three terms, which often appear together in the texts, are in Pāli: assāda, ādīnava, nissaraṇa. The commentaries relate them to the Four Noble Truths thus: “danger” indicates the truth of suffering; “gratification,” the truth of the origin (for pleasure is the stimulus for craving, the true origin of suffering); and “escape,” the truth of the cessation of suffering, or Nibbāna. Although the fourth truth, the truth of the path, is not explicitly mentioned in the triad, it is implied as the means of escape. [Back]
  88. According to A-a, these monks were the same as those to whom the Buddha had earlier taught the Mūlapariyāya Sutta (MN 1). They had been proud and arrogant, but the Buddha had humbled them with the Mūla Sutta and later preached the present sutta to them when he knew that their attitude had changed and that their understanding had matured. This time the monks gave their approval and, while seated, attained to arahantship together with the four analytical knowledges (paṭisambhidā—see Ch. I, n.8). If we consider that it was this Gotamaka Sutta which brought the impact of the great Mūlapariyāya Sutta to fulfilment, we shall better understand why it is said that this short text had such great power that it could cause the world system to shake. [Back]
  89. Sabbe saṅkhārā aniccā, sabbe saṅkhārā dukkhā, sabbe dhammā anattā. On the distinction between the saṅkhārā or “formations” and the dhammā, “things” in general, see Ch. I, n.10. [Back]
  90. The stream signifies the world (saṃsāra) and worldliness. The dry land or secure ground is Nibbāna. The word “brahmin” is used here in the sense of one foremost in purity and holiness. [Back]
  91. He violates the Five Precepts. [Back]
  92. According to A-a, this refers to stream-enterers and once-returners (particularly to those whose path of progress is difficult) and to virtuous persons who are still unliberated worldlings (puthujjana). [Back]
  93. This passage refers to the non-returner (anāgāmi), whose character is firm because he has unshakeable faith and other steadfast qualities; and because, his mind being free from sensual desire and hatred, he is not liable to return from the celestial world to a lower plane. [Back]
  94. The Buddha here identifies the true brahmin with the arahant. See in this connection Dhp 383–423. [Back]
  95. These are the five hindrances. [Back]
  96. Khandhānaṃ udayabbayaṃ. This alludes to the practice of insight meditation on the arising and passing away of the five aggregates; see AN 4:41, on “the concentration that leads to the destruction of the taints.” [Back]
  97. Sammappadhāna. These four occur frequently in the texts as the standard explanation of the 6th factor of the Noble Eightfold Path, i.e. Right Effort (sammā-vāyāma). These four are also called the Effort of Avoiding, of Overcoming, of Developing and Maintaining, respectively. [Back]
  98. On the designation “Tathāgata,” see Ch. I, n.7. [Back]
  99. Anupādisesāya nibbānadhātuyā (missing in Ee). The “residue” is the five aggregates. This remains as long as the Buddha or the arahant lives, in which case he is said to abide in the “Nibbāna-element with residue left,” i.e. the permanent destruction of all defilements headed by greed, hatred and delusion (see Text 26 and Ch. III, n.45). With his physical demise, the last residue of the five aggregates is discarded and he attains the Nibbāna-element with no residue left; see It 44. [Back]
  100. Sakkāya, “personality,” is a collective designation for the five aggregates (see Ch. III, n.42). The word is derived from sat in the sense of existing and kāya in the sense of a mass, i.e. a mass of bodily and mental processes which are impermanent and without an abiding self. Since, in the explanation of the first noble truth, the Buddha states that the five aggregates are suffering, this implies that “personality” can be used to represent the first noble truth, as is done in the present exposition. [Back]
  101. A-a: Who are those excepted here (by the word “mostly”)? Those devas who are noble disciples. As they have destroyed the taints, fear and terror do not arise in their minds. [Back]
  102. A-a: Thus when the Fully Enlightened One teaches them the Dhamma showing the faults in the round of becoming, stamped with the three characteristics (impermanence, suffering, non-self), the “fear arisen through knowledge” (ñāṇa-bhaya) descends on them. [Back]
  103. Those beings “with form” (rūpino) are those that have material bodies; those “without form” (arūpino) are the beings of the four formless realms, who lack material bodies. The “non-percipient” beings (asaññino) are a class of beings in the form realm bereft of conscious experience; those “neither-percipient-nor-non-percipient” (nevasaññī-nāsaññino) are the denizens of the fourth formless realm. The word saññā, translated as “perception,” here stands for the entirety of consciousness and its concomitant mental factors. [Back]
  104. Aggo vipāko, i.e. the fruit of wholesome kamma at its best. [Back]
  105. The Eightfold Path consists of eight mental factors which arise from causes and conditions and are thus conditioned phenomena (saṅkhata). Though the path is the best of all conditioned states, being conditioned it is in that respect defective. It is contrasted just below with Nibbāna, which is unconditioned (asaṅkhata) and thus the best of everything that exists. [Back]
  106. All these terms are synonyms for Nibbāna, the sole unconditioned state. [Back]
  107. On the eight noble individuals:

    The Buddha often speaks of four principal stages of awakening culminating in unshakeable liberation of mind. Each of these stages is in turn divided into two phases: a phase of the path (magga), when the disciple is practising for the realization of a particular fruit; and a phase of the fruit (phala), the actual attainment of the corresponding stage. From these four pairs we obtain the eight types of persons who make up the Sangha of the Blessed One's noble disciples, “the unsurpassed field of merit for the world.”

    The four stages are distinguished by their ability to eliminate particular clusters of fetters (saṃyojana), mental defilements that keep living beings bound to the round of existence (see Ch. I, n.12). The first stage of awakening is called stream-entry (sotāpatti). With this attainment the disciple clearly sees the Four Noble Truths for the very first time, and thereby enters irreversibly upon the “stream of the Dhamma” that leads to Nibbāna (see Text 103). Stream-entry is marked by the eradication of the coarsest three fetters: personality view; doubt in the Buddha and his Teaching; and wrong grasp of rules and vows. With the attainment of stream-entry the disciple is freed from the prospect of rebirth in the plane of misery and is certain to reach final liberation in a maximum of seven more lives passed either in the human world or in the heavens.

    The next major stage of awakening is that of the once-returner (sakadāgāmī), who will be reborn only one more time in the human realm or in the sense-sphere heavens and there reach the goal. The path of once-returning does not eradicate any additional fetters, but it attenuates greed, hatred, and delusion so that they arise only sporadically and mildly. The third path, that of the non-returner (anāgāmī), cuts off two additional fetters, sensual lust and ill will, the principal ties that keep beings bound to the sense-sphere realm. For this reason the non-returner, as the name implies, never returns to the sensuous realm but is spontaneously reborn in one of the exalted form-realm heavens called the Pure Abodes (suddhāvāsa), and there attains final Nibbāna. The fourth and final stage of the path is that of arahantship (arahatta), which is attained by the elimination of the five subtle fetters that remain unabandoned even in the non-returner: desire for existence in the form realm and formless realm, conceit, restlessness and ignorance. See also AN 3:85, AN 8:19, AN 8:59. [Back]

  108. Sabbākāraparipūrāni . The wheel marks on the soles of the feet are one of the thirty-two marks of a great man (mahāpurisalakkhaṇa) attributed to the Buddha (see DN 30, MN 91). [Back]
  109. The brahmin’s question uses the future tense bhavissati, but it is difficult to tell whether he actually intended the question to refer to the Buddha’s future (as A-a supposes) or used the future form simply as a polite mannerism. Possibly there is a word play going on, the brahmin using the future in the polite sense, the Buddha deliberately speaking as if the future was literally intended. A-a: “The brahmin could also have asked whether he is at present a deva, but thinking that the Buddha could in future become a powerful king of the devas, he formulated his question with reference to the future.” [Back]
  110. Gandhabba: a class of demi-gods belonging to the heaven of the Four Great Kings, said to be celestial musicians; they also dwell in trees and flowers and inhabit the ocean. The yakkha (mentioned just below) were demonic beings depicted as inhabiting forests and hillsides. [Back]
  111. According to A-a, at the end of the discourse Doṇa reached the first three paths and fruits and composed a long poem in praise of the Buddha, called “Doṇa’s Thunder” (doṇa-gajjita). He is said to be identical with the brahmin Doṇa who, after the passing away of the Buddha, distributed his relics, as described at the end of the Mahā Parinibbāna Sutta (DN 16.6.25). [Back]
  112. Devaputta: a youthful celestial being. [Back]
  113. No earthly travel or space travel, no peregrinations through the endless possibilities of human or divine experience, can terminate the world with its suffering, can stop the migrations and transmigrations of beings who are beckoned again and again by the illusory promises of an ever-receding horizon. [Back]
  114. The Buddha explains the “origination of the world” as a constant re-creation of worldly existence through the craving arisen in response to pleasant objects at the six sense doors. Thus the cessation of the world, or liberation from the round of existence, has to be achieved by removing craving; see in this connection SN 12:44. The process of becoming itself, i.e. the round of rebirths, is without discoverable beginning, as Text 145 affirms. [Back]
  115. Vipallāsa: distortion, or perversion, of reality. Distortion of perception (saññā-vipallāsa) is the most fundamental; distortion of thought (citta-vipallāsa) introduces a more reflective note to the distorted perception; and distortion of view (diṭṭhi-vipallāsa) transforms the thought into a definitive thesis. To give an analogy: A man spontaneously perceives a coiled up piece of rope in the dark as a snake (= distortion of perception); he assumes that what he has seen is a snake (= distortion of thought); he fashions the view that the coiled up object he saw in the dark was a snake (= distortion of view). [Back]
  116. Nakulapitā and Nakulamātā are said to have been foremost among the Buddha’s male and female lay disciples with regard to their mutual trust and harmony (vissāsaka). According to A-a, they had been the Buddha’s parents and relatives in more than five hundred past births. [Back]
  117. Suppavāsā is said to have been foremost among those female lay disciples who offer choice alms-food to monks. She was the mother of the arahant Sīvali. [Back]
  118. Parents are said to be similar to the ancient teachers and ancient deities (pubbācariyā, pubbadevatā) because they are the first teachers and spiritual guides of their children. Those “worthy of worship” are saints and sages. Cp. Text 12. [Back]
  119. Sappurisa; a person of good character, a worthy person. The word is sometimes, though not always, used as a near-synonym for ariya, noble one, in the technical sense. See AN 5:148, AN 8:38. [Back]
  120. Acinteyyāni. Com.: not fir to be thought about; not fit subjects of speculative thoughts. [Back]
  121. Buddhavisayo. Com.: the specific qualities of the Buddhas and their range of influence. [Back]
  122. Jhāna-visayo … kamma-vipāko … loka-cintā [Back]
  123. For more on how a lay follower practises for his own good and the good of others, see Text 119. [Back]
  124. On diligence (appamāda), see Ch I, n.6. [Back]
  125. Madanīyesu dhammesu. Mada: intoxication, pride. In Text 23 pride in one’s youth, health and life are mentioned. Vibh 350 (§§843–44) lists twenty-seven types of infatuated pride, among them: the pride of birth, clan, beauty, success, fame, ability, skill, virtue, meditative attainments, etc. This fourth item is missing in the PTS translation. [Back]
  126. A-a: The arahant is indicated here. [Back]
  127. A-a says that this nun sent for the Venerable Ānanda because she was in love with him. [Back]
  128. A-a: Perceiving the nun’s state of mind, Ānanda spoke to her gently on the foulness of the body in order to free her from her passion. [Back]
  129. Setughāta. This seems to be a metaphorical way of saying that a monk or nun should totally uproot sexual desire. The point of Ānanda’s discourse is that even food, craving and conceit, which are normally factors of bondage, can be skilfully employed to attain arahantship; but with sexuality there is absolutely no skilful way it can be used for the goal of the holy life. [Back]
  130. The formula is one of the four prescribed reflections on the monk’s basic requisites—robes, food, lodging and medicine. A-a: “Based on the present intake of material food, of which he partakes wisely, he abandons that “food’ which consists in previous kamma; but also the longing and craving for the present material food has to be abandoned.” [Back]
  131. Taṇhaṃ nissāya taṇhaṃ pajahati. A-a: “Based on the present craving (i.e. to become an arahant), he gives up the previous craving that was the root-cause of the cycle of rebirth.” Similarly in the next case, based on his wounded conceit in learning that another monk has outdone him by becoming an arahant, he strives for arahantship and, precisely by overcoming conceit, fulfils his aim. [Back]
  132. The statement of confession, and Ānanda’s response, are stock formulas; see Text 130 (end). [Back]
  133. Samatha-pubbaṅgamaṃ vipassanaṃ. This refers to a meditator who makes tranquillity the vehicle of his practice (samatha-yānika), i.e. one who first develops access concentration, the jhānas or the formless attainments and then takes up insight meditation (vipassanā). [Back]
  134. “The path” (magga) is the first supramundane path, that of stream-entry. To “develop that path,” according to A-a, means to practise for the attainment of the three higher paths. On the ten fetters and the seven underlying tendencies, see Ch. I, n.12. [Back]
  135. Vipassanā-pubbaṅgamaṃ samathaṃ. A-a: “This refers to one who by his natural bent first attains to insight and then, based on insight, produces concentration (samādhi).” A-ṭ: “This is one who makes insight the vehicle (vipassanā-yānika).” [Back]
  136. Samatha-vipassanaṃ yuganaddhaṃ. In this mode of practice, one enters the first jhāna and then, after emerging from it, applies insight to that experience, i.e. one sees the five aggregates within the jhāna (form, feeling, perception, etc.) as impermanent, liable to suffering, and non-self. Then one enters the second jhāna and contemplates it with insight; and applies the same pairwise procedure to the other jhānas as well, until the path of stream-entry, etc., is realized. [Back]
  137. Dhammuddhacca-viggahitaṃ mānasaṃ hoti. According to A-a, the “agitation” (uddhacca) meant here is a reaction to the arising of the ten “corruptions of insight” (vipassanūpakkilesa) when they are wrongly taken as indicating path-attainment. The term dhammavitakka, “thoughts about higher states” (see Text 34 and Ch. III, n.62) is taken to refer to the same ten corruptions. It is plausible, however, that the “agitation caused by higher states of mind” is mental distress brought on by eagerness to realize the Dhamma, a state of spiritual anxiety that sometimes can precipitate an instantaneous enlightenment experience. For an example, see the story of Bāhiya Dārucīriya at Ud 1.10. [Back]
  138. A-a: “When there is the body”: When there is the “door” of bodily action, or “bodily intimation” (of intention; kāyaviññatti). The same explanation applies to speech; in the case of mind, however, intimation does not apply. “Bodily volition” (kāyasañcetanā): the volition at the bodily door which accompanies and directs bodily action. Similar explanations apply to speech and mind. Pleasure arises as a kamma-result of wholesome volition, pain as a result of unwholesome volition. [Back]
  139. Avijjā-paccayā va. A-a says that it is ignorance that is at the root of all these kammic volitions. [Back]
  140. It is probable that the Abhidhamma division of wholesome and unwholesome consciousness into “unprompted” (asaṅkhārika) and “prompted” (sasaṅkhārika) was derived from the first pair of terms in this passage. The other division, into being associated with knowledge or dissociated from knowledge, may have been derived from the second pair. [Back]
  141. Ignorance is a direct, simultaneous condition for unwholesome volitional activity, but also an indirect condition for wholesome activity, for it is the underlying presence of ignorance in the mind which makes wholesome action kammically productive. [Back]
  142. This refers to an arahant. Though he too engages in bodily, verbal, and mental activity, the volition responsible for these activities does not produce any kamma-result. [Back]
  143. For more of the same theme, fear of death, see Sāriputta’s two discourses of the ailing lay disciple Anāthapiṇḍika at SN 55.26, 27. [Back]
  144. The idea is that he speaks or behaves in one manner in private (when he may be frank) and differently in contact with others (when he may have ulterior motives). [Back]
  145. On the eight worldly conditions, see Text 114. [Back]
  146. (1) yathā ummaggo, (2) yathā ca abhinīhāro, (3) yathā ca pañhā-samudāhāro. (1) The translation of this difficult expression follows A-ṭ which, in this context, explains it by pañhā-gavesana, research into a problem or a question, and adds that it refers to the capacity of knowing how to examine the subject inquired into (see n.58). (2) A-a: pañhābhisaṅkharaṇa-vasena cittassa abhinīhāro, “the mind’s application to the forming (or formulating) of a problem.” (3) A-a: pañhā-pucchana, “asking a question or posing a problem”; this may refer to the ability to ask pertinent questions or to see a problem. [Back]
  147. Ummajjamānaṃ, ummaggo. The use of these words in this simile, in the sense of emerging, rising up, is probably an allusion to the earlier figurative use of the term; see the preceding note. [Back]
  148. These are the four conditioning factors for the attainment of stream-entry (sotāpattiyaṅga). [Back]
  149. In Be, this forms a separate discourse, elaborated as in the preceding. It is significant that these four conditions of stream-entry are here regarded as helpful in the preservation of a truly human status [Back]