The Book of Protection
Paritta
translated from the original Pali, with introductory essay and explanatory notes by
Piyadassi Thera
with a Foreword by
V.F. Gunaratna

May peace harmonious bless this land;
May it be ever free from maladies and war;
May there be harvest rich, and increased yield of grain;
May everyone delight in righteousness;
May no perverted thought find entry to your minds;
May all your thoughts e'er pious be and lead
to your success religiously.

— Tibetan Great Yogi, Milarepa

Most gratefully and most devotedly
dedicated to my departed parents

('Matapitaro pubbacariyati vuccare')

— Anguttara Nikaya, ii. p. 70

Contents

Be loving and be pitiful And well controlled in virtue's ways, Strenuous bent upon the goal, And onward ever bravely press. That danger does in dalliance lie — That earnestness is sure and safe — This when you see, then cultivate The Eight-fold Path so shall ye realize, So make your own, the Deathless Way.'

— Psalms of the Brethren, 979,980

Preface  

The Book of Protection which is an anthology of selected discourses of the Buddha compiled by the teachers of old, was originally meant as a handbook for the newly ordained novice. The idea was that those novices who are not capable of studying large portions of the "Discourse Collection" (sutta pitaka) should at least be conversant with the Book of Protection. Even today it is so. The twenty four discourses are selected from the five Nikayas or the original Collections in Pali containing the Buddha's discourses. The fact that the book was meant for the novice is clear from the prefatory paragraphs that precede the discourses.

The precepts are ten, and not five which are the basic principles of the lay follower. The novice is expected to observe the ten precepts. This is followed by the "Questions to be Answered by a Novice" and the "Thirty Two Parts of the Body" which is really a type of meditation on the constituent parts of one's body. Then comes the "Four-fold reflection of a Monk," and finally the "Ten Essentials (Dhammas)" to be reflected upon by one who has gone forth to live the holy life. The discourses come next. If one patiently and painstakingly studies these discourses, he could gather a good knowledge of the essentials and fundamental teachings of the Buddha.

The Maha-samaya sutta and the Atanatiya sutta ending the book may appear to some as pointless, but a careful reader will no doubt appreciate their relevance. In the essay on the Value of Paritta an attempt is made to show what paritta means to a Buddhist.

I have endeavored to keep as close as possible to the original wording of the text without making it too literal a translation on the one hand, and a word for word translation on the other, and have avoided translating the Pali stanzas into verse (except the stanzas of discourses No. 5, 11, 19) in order to give a very faithful, easy, and readable rendering. I have preserved the synonymous words and repetitions found in the suttas since they are the ipsissima verba of the Buddha handed down to us through oral tradition.

In all the suttas the word "Bhagava," the "Blessed One," an epithet of the Buddha, is frequently used. To avoid using the same word too often in the translation, I have, at times, used the word "the Buddha" for "Bhagava" or a personal pronoun to denote him.

The Pali words and names included in this work are lacking in diacritical marks. In some places however, the smaller type with such marks are used. But students of Pali may not find any difficulty in pronouncing them. The reader may refer to the Khandha-vatta Jātaka (No. 203) when studying the Khandha Paritta.

The Angulimala Paritta is a short discourse that does not appear in the Book of Protection (Paritta text), but as it is a paritta made use of by expectant mothers in Buddhist lands, I have included it in the Appendix. Other Pali stanzas, used by the Buddhists when reciting the Parittas, are also included in the Appendix with their English renderings.

I am indebted beyond measure to Mr. V.F. Gunaratna, retired public trustee of Sri Lanka, for his painstaking reading of the script, his careful and valuable suggestions, and for writing the Foreword. The Ven. Kheminda Maha Thera assisted me in finding the references, the Ven. Siridhamma Thera in reading the proofs, and Mr. K.G. Abeysinghe in typing the script. I am grateful to them. To Miss K. Jayawardana of Union printing Works and her staff who took a keen interest in the printing of this work, I am thankful. Last, but far from least, my thanks are due to Messrs D. Munidase and U.P. de Zoysa for all the help they have given me.

—Piyadassi
Vesakha-mase, 2519: May 1975
Vajirarama,
Colombo 5,
Sri Lanka (Ceylon).

Foreword  

by V.F. Gunaratna

The world of English Buddhist literature has been enriched by the publication of this book entitled "The Book of Protection." This is a translation by the Ven. Piyadassi Maha Thera of what is well known to every Sinhala Buddhist home as the Pirit Potha which means the book of protection. It contains a collection of suttas or discourses taken from the teaching of the Buddha and are meant to be recited in temples and homes for the purpose of obtaining protection from all harm. This is achieved by recalling with saddha or confidence the virtues of the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha referred to in these discourses. There are many who listen to the recitation of these discourses but who hardly understand the import of these discourses and therefore any benefit they may gain must be necessarily slight. This translation, therefore, supplies a long-felt need as it will help such persons to listen with understanding when pirith is being recited. The venerable translator is therefore to be congratulated as being the first to translate a book of this nature.

To translate a book is not so easy as to write a book. The work of translation calls for precision and concentrated thought. A translation that keeps too close to the original is apt to suffer from a failure to convey the spirit underlying the original text.

At the same time a translation that is too free runs the risk of expressing more than the author of the original composition had intended and thereby misrepresents him. The venerable translator has certainly done well by steering clear between these two extremes and therefore deserves special praise.

Further more, he has by the manner of his translation made it evident that he has been at pains to facilitate the purpose for which pirith is recited. By means of explanations in parenthesis and helpful foot notes he has striven to elucidate the meaning of words and phrases where their full significance appears to be obscure. If a further clarification is needed the reader is invited to refer to Ven. Piyadassi Maha Thera's book The Buddha's Ancient Path [Buddhist Publication Society, P.O. Box 61, Kandy, Sri Lanka] which deals with quite a number of points concerning the Buddha-dhamma.

There can be no doubt that this translation of the Pirith Potha by one such as the Ven. Piyadassi Maha Thera — a reputed author of several Buddhist books and a preacher whose sermons have gained great acceptance both in the East and the West — will be hailed with delight by those who desire to obtain a full understanding of the pirith that is recited in temples and homes — sometimes with marvelous effect.

Hitanukampa sambuddho-yadannamanusasati Anurodha virodhehi-vippamutto Tathagato Love and compassion does the Enlightened feel Towards another when he instructs him The Tathagata is fully released From attachment and resentment.

— Samyutta Nikaya i. p. iii.

The Value of Paritta  

'Recent research in medicine, in experimental psychology and what is still called parapsychology has thrown some light on the nature of mind and its position in the world. During the last forty years the conviction has steadily grown among medical men that very many causes of diseases organic as well as functional, are directly caused by mental states. The body becomes ill because the mind controlling it either secretly wants to make it ill, or else because it is in such a state of agitation that it cannot prevent the body from sickening. Whatever its physical nature, resistance to disease is unquestionably correlated with the physiological condition of the patient.'[1]

'Mind not only makes sick, it also cures. An optimistic patient has more chance of getting well than a patient who is worried and unhappy. The recorded instances of faith healing includes cases in which even organic diseases were cured almost instantaneously.'[2]

In this connection it is interesting to observe the prevalence, in Buddhist lands, of listening to the recital of the dhamma or the doctrine of the Buddha in order to avert illness or danger, to ward off the influence of malignant beings, to obtain protection and deliverance from evil, and to promote health, prosperity, welfare, and well-being. The selected discourses for recital are known as "paritta suttas," discourses for protection. But they are not "rakshana mantras" or protective incantations found in Brahmanic religion, nor are they magical rites. There is nothing mystical in them.

"Paritta" in Pali, "paritrana" in Sanskrit and "pirit" (pronounced pirith) in Sinhala[3] mean principally protection. Paritta suttas describe certain suttas or discourses delivered by the Buddha and regarded as affording protection. This protection is to be obtained by reciting or listening to the paritta suttas. The practice of reciting or listening to the paritta suttas began very early in the history of Buddhism. The word paritta, in this context, was used by the Buddha, for the first time, in a discourse known as Khandha Paritta [4] in the Culla Vagga of the Vinaya Pitaka (vol. ii, p. 109), and also in the Anguttara Nikaya under the title "Ahi (metta) Sutta" (vol. ii, p. 82). This discourse was recommended by the Buddha as guard or protection for the use of the members of the Order. The Buddha in this discourse exhorts the monks to cultivate metta or loving-kindness towards all beings.

It is certain that paritta recital produces mental well-being in those who listen to them with intelligence, and have confidence in the truth of the Buddha's words. Such mental well being can help those who are ill to recover, and can also help not only to induce the mental attitude that brings happiness but also to overcome its opposite. Originally, in India, those who listened to paritta sayings of the Buddha understood what was recited and the effect on them was correspondingly great. The Buddha himself had paritta recited to him, and he also requested others to recite paritta for his own disciples when they were ill. [5] This practice is still in vogue in Buddhist lands.

The Buddha and the arahants (the Consummate Ones) can concentrate on the paritta suttas without the aid of another. However, when they are ill, it is easier for them to listen to what others recite, and thus focus their minds on the dhamma that the suttas contain, rather than think of the dhamma by themselves. There are occasions, as in the case of illness, which weaken the mind (in the case of worldlings), when hetero-suggestion has been found to be more effective than autosuggestion.

According to the teachings of the Buddha the mind is so closely linked with the body that mental states affect the body's health and well being. Some doctors even say there is no such thing as purely physical disease. That even so grossly "physical" a complaint as dental caries may be due to mental causes was maintained in a paper read before the American Dental Congress in 1937. The author pointed out that children living on a perfectly satisfactory diet may still suffer dental decay. In such cases, investigation generally shows that the child's life at home or at school is in some way unsatisfactory. The teeth decay because their owner is under mental strain.'[6] Unless, according to the Buddhist doctrine of kamma (Sanskrit karma), [7] these bad mental states are caused as a result of one's own acts (akusala kamma-vipaka), and are therefore unalterable, it is possible so to change these mental states as to cause mental health and physical well-being to follow thereafter.

1. The Power of Truth

Several factors combine to contribute towards the efficacy of paritta recitals. Paritta recital is a form of saccakiriya, i.e., an asseveration of truth. Protection results by the power of such asseveration. This means establishing oneself in the power of truth to gain one's end. At the end of the recital of each sutta, the reciters bless the listeners with the words, etena sacca vajjena sotti te hotu sabbada which means "by the power of the truth of these words may you ever be well." The saying, "the power of the dhamma or Truth protects the follower of the dhamma" (dhammo have rakkhati dhammcarin) indicates the principle behind these sutta recitals.

"The belief in the effective power to heal, or protect, of the saccakiriya, or asseveration of something quite true, is but another aspect of the work ascribed to the paritta."[8]

2. The Power of Virtue

Several discourses of the Book of Protection describe the virtuous life. The starting point in Buddhism is sila (virtue). Standing on the firm ground of sila one should endeavor to achieve a collected mind. If it is true that virtue protects the virtuous, then a person who listens to the recital of paritta suttas intelligently, in a reflective mood, with complete confidence in the Buddha's words, uttered by one who has gained complete Enlightenment, will acquire so virtuous a state of mind as would enable him to dominate any evil influence, and to be protected from all harm.

3. The Power of Love

The utterances of the compassionate Buddha are never void of love. He walked the high-ways and by-ways of India enfolding all within the aura of his love and compassion, instructing, enlightening, and gladdening the many by his teaching. The reciters of the paritta are therefore expected to do so with a heart of love and compassion wishing the listeners and others weal and happiness and protection from all harm.

Love (metta) is an active force. Every act of one who truly loves is done with the pure mind to help, to cheer and to make the paths of others more easy, more smooth and more adapted to the conquest of sorrow, the winning of the Highest Bliss.

C. A. F. Rhys Davids commenting on amity (metta) writes: "The profession of amity, according to Buddhist doctrine, was no mere matter of pretty speech. It was to accompany and express a psychic suffusion of the hostile man or beast or spirit with benign, fraternal emotion — with metta. For strong was the conviction, from Sutta and Vinaya, to Buddhaghosa's Visuddhi Magga,[9] that "thoughts are things," that psychical action, emotional or intellectual, is capable of working like a force among forces. Europe may yet come round further to this Indian attitude."[10]

4. The Power of Sound

It is believed that the vibratory sounds produced by the sonorous and mellifluous recital of the paritta suttas in their Pali verses are soothing to the nerves and induce peace and calm of mind; they also bring about harmony to the physical system.

How can bad influences springing from evil beings be counteracted by recital of paritta suttas? Bad influences are the results of evil thinking. They can, therefore, be counteracted by wholesome states of mind. One sure way of inducing a wholesome state of mind is by listening and reflecting on paritta recitals with intelligence and confidence. So great is the power of concentration that by adverting whole-heartedly to the truth contained in the paritta recitals one is able to develop a wholesome state of mind.

The recital of paritta suttas can also bring material blessings in its wake through the wholesome states of mind induced by concentration and confidence in listening intelligently to the recital. According to the Buddha, right effort is a necessary factor in overcoming suffering.[11] Listening to these recitals in the proper way can also generate energy for the purpose of securing worldly progress while it also secures spiritual progress.

There is no better medicine than truth (Dhamma) for the mental and physical ills which are the causes of all suffering and misfortune. So the recital of paritta suttas in as much as they contain the dhamma, may, when they are listened to in the proper attitude, bring into being wholesome states of mind which conduce to health, material progress and spiritual progress. The effect of Pirit can also transcend distance however great.

It is true that the Buddhists consider the parittas as a never-failing, potent, and purifying force, a super-solvent. However, a question may arise whether recitals from the Book of Protection will, in every case, result in the protection and blessing sought for. In this connection the same reply given by the Venerable Nagasena to King Milinda's question why the recital of paritta does not in all cases protect one from death, is worth remembering: "Due to three causes recital of paritta may have no effect: kamma hindrances (kammavarana); hindrances from defilements (kilesavarana); lack of faith (asaddhanataya)." [12]

Kamma means action and not the result of action; therefore action can be counteracted by other action. Kamma is not something static, but is always changing, i.e., always in the making; that being so, action can be counteracted by other action. Hence bad actions on the part of the hearers of the recital may negative the beneficial effects of the recital.

If the mind of the hearer is contaminated with impure thoughts then also the intended beneficial effects of the recital may not materialize. But however impure the mind of the hearer may be if there is great confidence in the efficacy of the recital then this important factor may help to secure for him the beneficial effects of the recital.

Notes

1.
For the physical basis of resistance, see The Nature of Disease by J. E. R. McDonagh, F.R.C.S.
2.
Aldous Huxley. Ends and Means (London, 1946), p. 259.
3.
The state language of Sri Lanka (Ceylon).
4.
See below, discourse no. 5.
5.
See below Bojjhanga and Girimananda suttas, numbers 12, 13, 14 and 15.
6.
Aldous Huxley, Ends and Means, London 1946, p. 259.
7.
Karma in Buddhism means action brought about by volition.
8.
C. A. F. Rhys Davids, Dialogues of the Buddha, part 3, p. 186.
9.
Chapter ix. p. 313. According to the Sasamalankara quoted in Gray's Buddhaghosuppatti, p.15, Buddhaghosa was about to write a Commentary on the Paritta, when he was sent to greater work in Ceylon.
10.
Dialogues of the Buddha, part 3, p. 185.
11.
S. i. 214.
12.
Milinda Pañha, vol. I., p. 216.

The Book of Protection  

This collection of paritta discourses — in Sinhala, The Pirit Potha — is the most widely known Pali book in Sri Lanka. It is called The Buddhist Bible; it is given an important place in the Buddhist home, and is even treated with veneration. In most houses where there is a small shrine, this book is kept there so that the inmates may refer to it during their devotional hour. Some have committed to memory the three well known discourses — Mangala, Ratana and Karaniya-metta suttas. [1] Even children are familiar with these discourses; for they learn them from their parents and elders or from the "dhamma school."

The habit of listening to the recital of paritta suttas among the Westerners is growing slowly but steadily. The present writer, while on his missions in the European and American countries, has, at request of several residents there, tape-recorded the recital of paritta suttas for their benefit, and has air-mailed cassettes containing the sutta recitals to those who sent him such cassettes.

Now what does this book contain? It is a collection of twenty four suttas or discourses almost all delivered by the Buddha, and found scattered in the five original collections (nikayas) in Pali, which form the Sutta Pitaka, the "Canonical Discourses." These discourses are preceded by an enunciation of the Three Refuges; the Ten Precepts and the questions asked of a novice.

This collection of discourses, popularly known as Pirit Potha or The Book of Protection, has a less known title, Catubhanavara (in Sinhala Satara Banavara). A 13th century Commentary to this, written in Pali, by a pupil of the Venerable Rajaguru Vanaratana of Sri Lanka, is available under the title Catubhanavara Atthakatha or Sarattha Samuccaya.

What is a bhanavara? It is a collection of sermons or discourses. Four such collections are called Catubhanavara. As the teachers of old have said, a three-word line (pada) is made up of eight syllables (attha akkhara), four such padas make a stanza or a gatha. Thus stanzas consists of thirty-two syllables. 250 such stanzas is called a bhanavara which consists of 8,000 syllables. The Catunabhanavara was compiled by the Maha Theras, the teachers of yore (paranakacariya), of Sri Lanka, and today it is known among the Buddhists of Sri Lanka as the Pirit Potha The Book of Protection.

It is customary for Buddhist monks, when they are invited to the homes of the laity on occasions of domestic importance, such as birth days, house-warming, illness, and similar events, to recite the three popular discourses mentioned above. In the domestic and social life of the people of Sri Lanka pirit ceremony is of great significance. No festival or function, religious or social, is complete without the recital of the paritta. On special occasions monks are invited to recite the paritta suttas not for short periods but right through the night or for three or seven days, and at times, for weeks. On such occasions a pavilion (pirit mandapaya) is constructed for the purpose of accommodating the monks at the recital. Before the commencement of the recital the laity present at the ceremony makes a formal invitation to the monks by reciting in Pali three stanzas which explain the purpose of the recital.[2] Then the monks, generally about twelve or fourteen, who have been invited, will recite the three popular suttas. Thereafter a pair of monks will commence reciting the remaining suttas for two hours. They will then retire and will be followed by another pair for another two hours. Two monks must be constantly officiating. In this manner the recital will last till dawn.

While the recital continues there will be found a pot of water placed on a table before the monks. On this table there is also a sacred thread (pirit nula). For an all night pirit ceremony the casket containing a relic of the Buddha, and the Pirit Potha or The Book of Protection written on ola leaves, are also brought into the pavilion. The relic represents the Buddha, the "Pirit Potha" represents the Dhamma or the teachings of the Buddha, and the reciting Bhikkhu-Sangha represent the Ariya-Sangha, the arahant disciples of the Buddha.

The thread is drawn round the interior of the pavilion, and its end twisted round the casket, the neck of the pot of water, and tied to the cord of the ola-leaf book. While the special discourses are being recited the monks hold the thread. The purpose is to maintain an unbroken communication from the water to the relic, to the Pirit Potha and to the officiating monks, (Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha, the Ti-ratana, the three jewels.) A ball of thread connected to "The Three Jewels" and the water, is unloosened and passed on to the listeners (seated on the ground on mats), who hold the thread while the recital goes on.

When the recital in Pali of the entire book is over at dawn, the thread sanctified by the recital is divided into pieces and distributed among the devotees to be tied round their wrists or necks. At the same time the sanctified water is sprinkled on all, who even drink a little of it and sprinkle it on their heads. These are to be regarded as symbols of the protective power of the paritta that was recited. It is a service of inducing blessings. It has its psychological effects.

Dr. Bernard Grad of McGill University in Montreal painstakingly proved that if a psychic healer held water in a flask and this water was later poured on barley seeds, the plants significantly outgrew untreated seeds. But — and this is the intriguing part — if depressed psychiatric patients held the flasks of water, the growth of seeds was retarded.

'Dr. Grad suggests, that there appeared to be some "x factor" or energy that flows from the human body to affect growth of plants and animals. A person's mood affected this energy. This previously unacknowledged "energy" has the widest implications for medical science, from healing to lab tests, Grad says.'[3]

As experimentally discovered by Dr. Grad mind can influence matter. If that be so, not much thinking is necessary to draw the logical inference that mind can influence mind. Further if the human mind can influence lower animals, then by a parity of reasoning the human mind can influence the minds of beings higher than animals.

Notes

1.
See below nos. 2, 3, 4.
2.
See Invitation (aradhana) below.
3.
Psychic Dicoveries Behind the Iron Curtain, Sheila Ostrander & Lynn Schroeder, Bantam Books, U.S.A., p. 224; also read chapter on "Healing with Thought," p. 293.

Invitation (aradhana)  

Vipatti patibahaya -sabba sampatti siddhiya
Sabba dukkha vinasaya — parittam bratha mangalam
Vipatti patibahaya -sabba sampatti siddhiya
Sabba bhhya vinasaya — parittam bratha mangalam
Vipatti patibahaya -sabba sampatti siddhiya
Sabba roga vinasaya — parittam bratha mangalam
That from misfortune I may be free
That all good luck should come to me
And also from anguish to be free
Chant "THE PROTECTION" I invite thee.

That from misfortune I may be free
That all good luck should come to me
Also from all fear to be free
Chant "THE PROTECTION" I invite thee.[1] 

That from misfortune I may be free
That all good luck should come to me
And also from sickness to be free
Chant "THE PROTECTION" I invite thee.

Note

1.
See above section on The Book of Protection.

I. Going for Refuge (Sarana-gamana [1])  

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

Homage to the Blessed One, the Consummate One,
the supremely Enlightened One

Buddham saranam gacchami
Dhammam saranam gacchami
Sangham saranam gacchami

Dutiyampi Buddham saranam gacchami
Dutiyampi Dhammam saranam gacchami
Dutiyampi Sangham saranam gacchami

Tatiyampi Buddham saranam gacchami
Tatiyampi Dhammam saranam gacchami
Tatiyampi Sangham saranam gacchami
I go for refuge to the Buddha (Teacher)
I go for refuge to the Dhamma (the Teaching)
I go for refuge to the Sangha (the Taught)

For the second time I go for refuge to the Buddha
For the second time I go for refuge to the Dhamma
For the second time I go for refuge to the Sangha

For the third time I go for refuge to the Buddha
For the third time I go for refuge to the Dhamma
For the third time I go for refuge to the Sangha

Note

1.
Vin. I, 22 (cf. M. i. 24); Khp. No. 1.

II. The Ten Training Precepts (Dasa-sikkhapada)   [1]

1. I undertake to abide by the precept to abstain from killing.

2. I undertake to abide by the precept to abstain from stealing.

3. I undertake to abide by the precept to abstain from sexual misconduct.

4. I undertake to abide by the precept to abstain from lying.

5. I undertake to abide by the precept to abstain from liquor that causes intoxication and heedlessness.

6. I undertake to abide by the precept to abstain from untimely eating.

7. I undertake to abide by the precept to abstain from dancing, singing, music, and visiting unseemly shows.

8. I undertake to abide by the precept to abstain from the use of garlands, perfumes, cosmetics, and embellishments.

9. I undertake to abide by the precept to abstain from the use of high and luxurious beds.

10. I undertake to abide by the precept to abstain from accepting gold and silver.

Note

1.
Khp. No. 2; cf. Vin. I, 83-84; Vbh. 285 ff.

III. Questions to be Answered by a Novice (Samanera Pañha [1])  

One is what? All beings subsist on food.[2]

Two is what? Name and form (mind and matter).

Three is what? Three kinds of feeling.

Four is what? Four Noble Truths.

Five is what? Five aggregates subject to grasping.

Six is what? Internal six-fold base.

Seven is what? Seven Factors of Enlightenment.

Eight is what? The Noble Eightfold Path.

Nine is what? Nine abodes of beings.

Ten is what? He that is endowed with ten attributes is called an arahant.

Notes

1.
Also known as "Kumaro Pañha," Questions to be answered by the Young One. Khp. No. 4; cf. A. v. 50 ff; 55 ff. The novice referred to here is the seven-year old Sopaka. He was questioned by the Buddha. It is not a matter for surprise that a child of such tender years can give profound answers to these questions. One has heard of infant prodigies. (See Encyclopaedia Britannica. Inc., 1955, II. p. 389. Also read The Case for Rebirth, Francis Story, Wheel 12-13, Buddhist Publication Society, Kandy, Sri Lanka.)
2.
See notes at the end of the book.

IV. The Thirty-two Parts of the Body (Dvattimsakara [1])  

There are in this body head-hairs, body-hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, intestines, intestinal tract, stomach, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, saliva, nasal mucus, synovium (oil lubricating the joints), urine, and brain in the skull.

Note

1.
Khp. No. 3; cf. D. ii, 293; M. I, 57; iii, 90. Also see below Girimananda sutta 15.

V. The Fourfold Reflection of a Monk (Paccavekkhana [1])  

1. Wisely reflecting do I wear the robe, only in order to protect myself from cold, heat, gadflies, mosquitoes, wind, and sun and from snakes; and also as a constant covering for my modesty.

2. Wisely reflecting I will partake of food not for pleasure of it, not for the pride (resulting from physical strength obtainable), not for adornment, not for beautifying the body, but merely to maintain this body, to still the hunger, and to enable the practice of the holy life; also to resist the pangs of hunger (due to previous want of food), and to resist the pain (resulting from excess of food). Thus will my life be maintained free from wrong doing and free from discomfort.

3. Wisely reflecting I will make use of lodgings only in order to protect myself from cold and heat, from gadflies and mosquitoes; from wind and sun, from snakes, and also as a constant protection against the rigours of climate, and in order to realize that ardent desire for seclusion (which begets mental concentration).

4. Wisely reflecting I will make use of medicine only as an aid to eliminate bodily pains that have arisen, and also to maintain that important condition, freedom from disease.

Note

1.
M. i. p. 10; cf. A. ii. 40; M. 53.

Discourses

1. Discourse on the Ten Dhammas (Dasa-dhamma sutta [1])  

Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living near Savatthi at Jetavana at the monastery of Anathapindika.

Then the Blessed One addressed the monks, saying: "Monks." — "Venerable Sir," they said by way of reply. The Blessed One then spoke as follows:

"These ten essentials (dhammas) must be reflected upon again and again by one who has gone forth (to live the holy life). What are these ten?

1. "'I am now changed into a different mode of life (from that of a layman).' This must be reflected upon again and again by one who has gone forth.

2. "'My life depends on others.'

3. "'I must now behave in a different manner.' This must be reflected upon again and again by one who has gone forth.

4. "'Does my mind upbraid me regarding the state of my virtue (sila)?' This must be reflected upon again and again by one who has gone forth.

5. "'Do my discerning fellow-monks having tested me, reproach me regarding the state of my virtue?' This must be reflected upon again and again by one who has gone forth.

6. "'There will be a parting (some day) from all those who are dear and loving to me. Death brings this separation to me.' This must be reflected upon again and again by one who has gone forth.

7. "'Of kamma[2] I am constituted. Kamma is my inheritance; kamma is the matrix; kamma is my kinsman; kamma is my refuge. Whatever kamma I perform, be it good or bad, to that I shall be heir.' This must be reflected upon again and again by one who has gone forth.

8. "'How do I spend my nights and days?' This must be reflected upon again and again by one who has gone forth.

9. "'Do I take delight in solitude?' This must be reflected upon again and again by one who has gone forth.

10. "'Have I gained superhuman faculties? Have I gained that higher wisdom so that when I am questioned (on this point) by fellow-monks at the last moment (when death is approaching) I will have no occasion to be depressed and downcast?' This must be reflected upon again and again by one who has gone forth.

"These, monks, are the essentials that should be reflected again and again by one who has gone forth (to live the holy life)."

So spoke the Blessed One. Those monks rejoiced at the words of the Blessed One.

Notes

1.
A. v. 87.
2.
Literally action — mental, verbal, and physical.
* * *

2. Discourse on Blessings (Maha-mangala Sutta [1])  

Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living near Savatthi at Jetavana at Anathapindika's monastery. Now when the night was far advanced, a certain deity, whose surpassing radiance illuminated the whole of Jetavana, approached the Blessed One, respectfully saluted him, and stood beside him. Standing thus, he addressed the Blessed One in verse:

1. "Many deities and men longing for happiness have pondered on (the question of) blessings. Pray tell me what the highest blessings are.

2. "Not to associate with the foolish, but to associate with the wise, and to honor those worthy of honor — this is the highest blessing.

3. "To reside in a suitable locality, to have performed meritorious actions in the past, and to set oneself in the right direction — this is the highest blessing.

4. "Vast learning, skill in handicrafts, well grounded in discipline, and pleasant speech — this is the highest blessing.

5. "To support one's father and mother; to cherish one's wife and children, and to be engaged in peaceful occupations — this is the highest blessing.

6. "Liberality, righteous conduct, rendering assistance to relatives, and performance of blameless deeds — this is the highest blessing.

7. "To cease and abstain from evil, to abstain from intoxicating drinks, and diligent in performing righteous acts — this is the highest blessing.

8. "Reverence, humility, contentment, gratitude, and the timely hearing of the Dhamma, the teaching of the Buddha — this is the highest blessing.

9. "Patience, obedience, meeting the Samanas (holy men), and timely discussions on the Dhamma — this is the highest blessing.

10. "Self-control, chastity, comprehension of the Noble Truths, and the realization of Nibbana — this is the highest blessing.

11. "The mind that is not touched by the vicissitudes of life,[2] the mind that is free from sorrow, stainless, and secure — this is the highest blessing.

12. "Those who have fulfilled the conditions (for such blessings) are victorious everywhere, and attain happiness everywhere — To them these are the highest blessings."

Notes

1.
Khp. No. 5; Sn. 46 under the title Mangala sutta; cf. Mahamangala Jātaka No. 452.
2.
The vicissitudes are eight in number: gain and loss, good-repute and ill-repute, praise and blame, joy and sorrow. This stanza is a reference to the state of mind of an arahant, the Consummate One.
* * *

3. The Jewel Discourse (Ratana Sutta [1])  

The occasion for this discourse, in brief, according to the commentary, is as follows: The city of Vesali was afflicted by a famine, causing death, especially to the poor folk. Due to the presence of decaying corpses the evil spirits began to haunt the city; this was followed by a pestilence. Plagued by these three fears of famine, non-human beings and pestilence, the citizens sought the help of the Buddha who was then living at Rajagaha.

Followed by a large number of monks including the Venerable Ananda, his attendant disciple, the Buddha came to the city of Vesali. With the arrival of the Master, there were torrential rains which swept away the putrefying corpses. The atmosphere became purified, the city was clean.

Thereupon the Buddha delivered this Jewel Discourse (Ratana sutta[2]) to the Venerable Ananda, and gave him instructions as to how he should tour the city with the Licchavi citizens reciting the discourse as a mark of protection to the people of Vesali. The Venerable Ananda followed the instructions, and sprinkled the sanctified water from the Buddha's own alms bowl. As a consequence the evil spirits were exorcised, the pestilence subsided. Thereafter the Venerable Ananda returned with the citizens of Vesali to the Public hall where the Buddha and his disciples had assembled awaiting his arrival. There the Buddha recited the same Jewel Discourse to the gathering: [3]

1. "Whatever beings (non-humans) are assembled here, terrestrial or celestial, may they all have peace of mind, and may they listen attentively to these words:

2. "O beings, listen closely. May you all radiate loving-kindness to those human beings who, by day and night, bring offerings to you (offer merit to you). Wherefore, protect them with diligence.

3. "Whatever treasure there be either in the world beyond, whatever precious jewel there be in the heavenly worlds, there is nought comparable to the Tathagata (the perfect One). This precious jewel is the Buddha.[4] By this (asseveration of the) truth may there be happiness.

4. "That Cessation, that Detachment, that Deathlessness (Nibbana) supreme, the calm and collected Sakyan Sage (the Buddha) had realized. There is nought comparable to this (Nibbana) Dhamma. This precious jewel is the Dhamma.[5] By this (asseveration of the) truth may there be happiness.

5. "The Supreme Buddha extolled a path of purity (the Noble Eightfold Path) calling it the path which unfailingly brings concentration. There is nought comparable to this concentration. This precious jewel is the Dhamma. By this (asseveration of the) truth may there be happiness.

6. "The eight persons extolled by virtuous men constitute four pairs. They are the disciples of the Buddha and are worthy of offerings. Gifts given to them yield rich results. This precious jewel is the Sangha.[6] By this (asseveration of the) truth may there be happiness.

7. "With a steadfast mind, and applying themselves well in the dispensation of the Buddha Gotama, free from (defilements), they have attained to that which should be attained (arahantship) encountering the Deathless. They enjoy the Peace of Nibbana freely obtained.[7] This precious jewel is the Sangha. By this (asseveration of the) truth may there be happiness.

8. "As a post deep-planted in the earth stands unshaken by the winds from the four quarters, so, too, I declare is the righteous man who comprehends with wisdom the Noble Truths. This precious jewel is the Sangha. By this (asseveration of the) truth may there be happiness.

9. "Those who realized the Noble Truths well taught by him who is profound in wisdom (the Buddha), even though they may be exceedingly heedless, they will not take an eighth existence (in the realm of sense spheres).[8] This precious jewel is the Sangha. By this (asseveration of the) truth may there be happiness.

10. "With his gaining of insight he abandons three states of mind, namely self-illusion, doubt, and indulgence in meaningless rites and rituals, should there be any. He is also fully freed from the four states of woe, and therefore, incapable of committing the six major wrongdoings.[9] This precious jewel is the Sangha. By this (asseveration of the) truth may there be happiness.

11. "Any evil action he may still do by deed, word or thought, he is incapable of concealing it; since it has been proclaimed that such concealing is impossible for one who has seen the Path (of Nibbana).[10] This precious jewel is the Sangha. By this (asseveration of the) truth may there be happiness.

12. "As the woodland groves though in the early heat of the summer month are crowned with blossoming flowers even so is the sublime Dhamma leading to the (calm) of Nibbana which is taught (by the Buddha) for the highest good. This precious jewel is the Buddha. By this (asseveration of the) truth may there be happiness.

13. "The Peerless Excellent one (the Buddha) the Knower (of Nibbana), the Giver (of Nibbana), the Bringer (of the Noble Path), taught the excellent Dhamma. This precious jewel is the Buddha. By this (asseveration of the) truth may there be happiness.

14. "Their past (kamma) is spent, their new (kamma) no more arises, their mind to future becoming is unattached. Their germ (of rebirth-consciousness) has died, they have no more desire for re-living. Those wise men fade out (of existence) as the flame of this lamp (which has just faded away). This precious jewel is the Sangha. By this (asseveration of the) truth may there be happiness.

15. "Whatever beings (non-human) are assembled here, terrestrial or celestial, come let us salute the Buddha, the Tathagata (the perfect One), honored by gods and men. May there be happiness.[11]

16. "Whatever beings are assembled here terrestrial or celestial, come let us salute the perfect Dhamma, honored by gods and men. May there be happiness.

17. "Whatever beings are assembled here terrestrial or celestial, come let us salute the perfect Sangha, honored by gods and men. May there be happiness."

Notes

1.
Khp. No. 6; Sn. 39
2.
Ratana means precious jewel. Here the term is applied to the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha.
3.
KhpA. 161.
4.
Literally, in the Buddha is this precious jewel.
5.
Literally, in the Dhamma is this precious jewel.
6.
Literally, in the Sangha is this precious jewel.
7.
Obtained without payment; "avyayena," KhpA. I., 185.
8.
The reason why it is stated that there will be no eighth existence for a person who has attained the stage of sotapatti or the first stage of sanctity is that such a being can live at the most for only a period of seven existences in the realm of sense spheres.
9.
Abhithanani; i. matricide, ii. patricide, iii. the murder of arahants (the Consummate Ones), iv. the shedding of the Buddha's blood, v. causing schism in the Sangha, and vi. pernicious false beliefs (niyata micca ditthi).
10.
He is a sotapanna, stream-enterer, one who has attained the first stage of sanctity. Also see Notes at the end of the book.
11.
The last three stanzas were recited by Sakka, the chief of Devas (gods), KhpA. 195.
* * *

4. Discourse on Loving-kindness (Karaniya Metta Sutta [1])  

While the Buddha was staying at Savatthi, a band of monks, having received subjects of meditation from the master, proceeded to a forest to spend the rainy season (vassana). The tree deities inhabiting this forest were worried by their arrival, as they had to descend from tree abodes and dwell on the ground. They hoped, however, the monks would leave soon; but finding that the monks would stay the vassana period of three months, harassed them in diverse ways, during the night with the intention of scaring them away.

Living under such conditions being impossible, the monks went to the Master and informed him of their difficulties. Thereon the Buddha instructed them in the Metta sutta and advised their return equipped with this sutta for their protection.

The monks went back to the forest, and practicing the instruction conveyed, permeated the whole atmosphere with their radiant thoughts of metta or loving-kindness. The deities so affected by this power of love, henceforth allowed them to meditate in peace.

The discourse gets divided into two parts. The first detailing the standard of moral conduct required by one who wishes to attain Purity and Peace, and the second the method of practice of metta. [2]

1. "He who is skilled in (working out his own) well being, and who wishes to attain that state of Calm (Nibbana) should act thus: he should be dexterous, upright, exceedingly upright, obedient, gentle, and humble.

2. "Contented, easily supportable, with but few responsibilities, of simple livelihood, controlled in the senses, prudent, courteous, and not hanker after association with families.

3. "Let him not perform the slightest wrong for which wise men may rebuke him. (Let him think:) 'May all beings be happy and safe. May they have happy minds.'

4.& 5. "Whatever living beings there may be — feeble or strong (or the seekers and the attained) long, stout, or of medium size, short, small, large, those seen or those unseen, those dwelling far or near, those who are born as well as those yet to be born — may all beings have happy minds.

6. "Let him not deceive another nor despise anyone anywhere. In anger or ill will let him not wish another ill.

7. "Just as a mother would protect her only child with her life even so let one cultivate a boundless love towards all beings.

8. "Let him radiate boundless love towards the entire world — above, below, and across — unhindered, without ill will, without enmity.

9. "Standing, walking, sitting or reclining, as long as he is awake, let him develop this mindfulness. This, they say, is 'Noble Living' here.

10. "Not falling into wrong views — being virtuous, endowed with insight, lust in the senses discarded — verily never again will he return to conceive in a womb."

Notes

1.
Khp. No. 9.; Sn. 25, under the title Metta-sutta.
2.
KhpA. 232.
* * *

5. Protection of the Aggregates (Khandha Paritta [1])  

Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living near Savatthi at Jetavana at Anathapindika's monastery. At that time at Savatthi a certain monk had died bitten by a snake. Thereupon many monks approached the Buddha and having saluted him sat beside him. So seated those monks spoke thus to the Blessed One:

"Bhante (Venerable Sir), a certain monk at Savatthi had died bitten by a snake."

"Assuredly, monks," said the Buddha. "That monk has not suffused with thoughts of loving-kindness (metta) the four royal tribes of snakes. Had he done so, that monk would not have died of snake-bite. What are the four royal tribes of snakes? The royal tribe of snakes called Virupakkha, Erapatha, Chabyaputta, and Kanhagotamaka. Monks, that monk, did not suffuse with thoughts of loving-kindness these four royal tribes of snakes, had not done so he would not have died of snake-bite. Monks, I enjoin you to suffuse with thoughts of loving-kindness these four royal tribes of snakes for your safety, for your preservation and for your protection." So said the Blessed One. Having thus spoken, the Buddha, the "Welcome One" (Sugata), further said (suggesting how they should express themselves:)

1. May I have metta towards Virupakkhas Towards Erapathas may I have metta May my metta be towards Chabyaputtas Towards Kanha-gotamakas also metta may I have. 2. May I have metta towards the footless And towards bipeds too, my metta may I have May I have metta towards the quadrupeds And towards the many footed also, metta may I have. 3. Let not the footless do me harm Nor those that have two feet Let not quadrupeds do me harm Nor those endowed with many feet. 4. All beings, all living creatures, May good fortune befall them all May not the least harm on them befall.

"Infinite (in virtue) is the Buddha, infinite is the Dhamma, infinite is the Sangha. Finite are creeping creatures — snakes, scorpions, centipedes, spiders, lizards, and rats. I have guarded myself, I have made my protection. Depart from me, ye beings. I bow down to the Blessed One; and to the seven Supreme Buddhas." [2]

Notes

1.
Culla Vagga, ii. p. 110; also in the Anguttara under the title Ahi (metta) sutta, ii.72; Khandha-Vatta Jātaka, 203.
2.
Vipassi, Sikhi, Vessabhu, Kakusanda, Konagama, Kassapa, Gotama.
* * *

6. Discourse on Advantages of Loving-kindness (Mettanisamsa Sutta [1])  

Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living near Savatthi at Jetavana at Anathapindika's monastery. Then he addressed the monks saying, "Monks." — "Venerable Sir," said the monks, by way of reply. The Blessed One then spoke as follows:

"Monks, eleven advantages are to be expected from the release (deliverance) of heart by familiarizing oneself with thoughts of loving-kindness (metta), by the cultivation of loving-kindness, by constantly increasing these thoughts, by regarding loving-kindness as a vehicle (of expression), and also as something to be treasured, by living in conformity with these thoughts, by putting these ideas into practice, and by establishing them. What are the eleven?

1. "He sleeps in comfort. 2. He awakes in comfort. 3. He sees no evil dreams. 4. He is dear to human beings. 5. He is dear to non-human beings. 6. Devas (gods) protect him. 7. Fire, poison, and sword cannot touch him. 8. His mind can concentrate quickly. 9. His countenance is serene. 10. He dies without being confused in mind. 11. If he fails to attain arahantship (the highest sanctity here and now, he will be reborn in the brahma-world.

"These eleven advantages, monks, are to be expected from the release of heart by familiarizing oneself with thoughts of loving-kindness, by cultivation of loving-kindness, by constantly increasing these thoughts, by regarding loving-kindness as a vehicle (of expression), and also as something to be treasured, by living in conformity with these thoughts, by putting these ideas into practice and by establishing them."

So said the Blessed One. Those monks rejoiced at the words of the Blessed One.

Note

1.
The paritta text has puttanam phalamasnati, which means, "blessed with offspring." This is hardly compatible in the context of the stanza concerned. The original Jātaka text has vuttanam phalamasnati which means, "the fruit of what is sown he enjoys," a meaning which harmonizes with the rest of the stanza.
* * *

7. The Advantages of Friendship (Mittanisamsa)  

These ten gathas (stanzas) recounting the beneficial effects of friendship, are found in the Magapakkha (Temiya) Jātaka, vol. vii. No. 538.

1. He who maintains genuine friendship (who is not treacherous towards friends) will, whenever he goes far out of his home, receive abundance of hospitality. Many will obtain their living through him.

2. He who maintains genuine friendship will, whatever country, village or town he visits, be honored.

3. He who maintains genuine friendship — robbers will not overpower him. Royalty will not look down upon him. He will triumph over all his enemies.

4. He who maintains genuine friendship, returns home with feeling of amity, rejoices in the assemblies of people, and becomes the chief among his kinsmen.

5. He who maintains genuine friendship, being hospitable to others, in turn, receives hospitality. Being respectful to others, in turn, receives respect. He enjoys both praise and fame.

6. He who maintains genuine friendship, being a giver, in turn, receives gifts himself. Being worshipful to others, in turn, himself is worshipped. He attains prosperity and fame.

7. He who maintains genuine friendship, shines (in glory) like the fire, and is radiant as a deity. Never will prosperity forsake him.

8. He who maintains genuine friendship, to him there will be many breeding cattle. What is sown in the field will flourish. The fruit of that which is sown he enjoys.[1]

9. He who maintains genuine friendship, should he fall from a precipice or mountain or tree, he will be protected (will not be harmed).

10. He who maintains genuine friendship cannot be overthrown by enemies even as the deep-rooted banyan tree cannot be overthrown by the wind.

Note

1.
A. v. 342.
* * *

8. The Peacock's Prayer for Protection (Mora Paritta [1])  

1. There rises the golden hued one, the one who has sight, the one who is sole monarch, the one who illuminates the earth (it is the sun that is being addressed). I adore thee, the golden hued one who illuminates the earth (it is the sun that is being addressed). I adore thee, the golden hued one who illuminates the earth. Protected by thee we live this day safe and secure.

2. May my adoration be to those Brahmanas[2] (the Buddhas) who have attained Enlightenment by comprehending all dhammas. May they protect me. May my adoration be to the Buddhas (of the past), to their Enlightenment (the Four Paths and the Four Fruits). May my adoration be to those supremely secured from bondage (the Buddhas) and to their Deliverance. Having made this protection, the peacock goes about seeking (food).

3. There descends the golden hued one, the one who has sight, the one who is sole monarch, the one who illuminates the earth. I adore thee, the golden hued one who illuminates the earth. Protected by thee we live this night safe and secure.

4. May my adoration be to those Brahmanas (the Buddhas) who have attained Enlightenment by comprehending all dhammas. May they protect me. May my adoration be to the Buddhas (of the past), to their Enlightenment. May my adoration be to those supremely secured from bondage (the Buddhas) and to their Deliverance. Having made this protection the peacock spent his life happily.

Notes

1.
Jātaka, ii. 23; No. 159.
2.
The word "Brahmana" is used in the literal sense of one who has unloaded the burden of evil (bahita papoti brahmano), i.e., the Buddha, or an arahant, the Consummate One. The word Brahmana in the Brahmana Vagga (last chapter of the Dhammapada, refers to the arahant.
* * *

9. The Moon Deity's Prayer for Protection (Canda Paritta [1])  

In Indian cosmology the major planets are regarded as deities or gods. This view, at times, extends to the common parlance of today, e.g., "rain god," "sun god," etc. The Buddha was not disposed to comment on these views, and so he contented himself with merely expressing the message of the Dhamma through the medium of these views.

Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living near Savatthi, at Jetavana at Anathpindika's monastery. At that time Candima, the moon deity, was seized by Rahu, lord of Asura. Thereupon calling to mind the Blessed One, Candima, the moon deity, recited this stanza:

i. "O Buddha, the Hero, thou art wholly free from all evil. My adoration to thee. I have fallen into distress. Be thou my refuge."

Thereupon the Blessed One addressed a stanza to Rahu, Lord of Asuras, on behalf of Candima, thus:

ii. "O Rahu, Candima has gone for refuge to the Tathagata, the Consummate One. Release Candima. The Buddhas radiate compassion on the world (of beings)."

Thereupon Rahu, Lord of Asuras, released Candima, the deity, and immediately came to the presence of Vepacitta, Lord of Asuras, and stood beside him trembling with fear and with hair standing on end. Then Vepacitta addressed Rahu in this stanza.

iii. "Rahu. Why did you suddenly release Candima? Why have you come trembling, and why are you standing here terrified?"

iv. "I have been spoken to by the Buddha in a stanza (requesting me to release Candima). If I had not released Candima my head would have split into seven pieces. While yet I live, I should have had no happiness. (Therefore I released Candima)."

Note

1.
S. i. 50.
* * *

10. The Sun Deity's Prayer for Protection (Suriya Paritta [1])  

Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living near Savatthi at Jetavana at Anathapindika's monastery. At that time Suriya, the sun deity, was seized by Rahu, Lord of Asuras. Thereupon calling to mind the Blessed One, Suriya, the Sun deity, recited this stanza:

i. "O Buddha, the Hero, thou art wholly free from all evil. My adoration to thee. I have fallen into distress. Be thou my refuge."

Thereupon the Blessed One addressed a stanza to Rahu, Lord of Asuras, on behalf of Suriya thus:

ii. "O Rahu, Suriya has gone for refuge to the Tathagata, the Consummate One. Release Suriya. The Buddhas radiate compassion on the world (of beings).

iii. "O Rahu, swallow not the dispeller of darkness, the shining one, the radiant and effulgent traveler through the sky. Rahu, release Suriya, my son."

Thereupon Rahu, Lord of Asuras, released Suriya, and immediately came to the presence of Vepacitta, Lord of Asuras, and stood beside him trembling with fear and with hair standing on end. Then Vepacitta addressed Rahu in this stanza:

iv. "Rahu, why did you suddenly release Suriya? Why have you come trembling, and why are you standing here terrified?"

"I have been spoken to by the Buddha in a stanza (requesting me release Suriya). If I had not released Suriya my head would have split into seven pieces. While yet I live, I should have had no happiness. (Therefore I released Suriya)."

Note

1.
S. i. 51.
* * *

11. Banner Protection (Dhajagga Paritta [1])  

Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living near Savatthi at Jetavana at the monastery of Anathapindika. Then he addressed the monks saying, "O monks." — "Venerable Sir," said the monks by way of reply to the Blessed One. Thereupon he spoke as follows:

"Monks, I shall relate a former incident. There arose a battle between the Devas (gods) and Asuras. Then Sakka, the Lord of the devas, addressed the devas of the Tavatimsa heaven thus:

"'Happy ones, if the devas who have gone to the battle should experience fear or terror or suffer from hair standing on end, let them behold the crest of my own banner. If you do so, any fear, terror or hair standing on end arising in you will pass away.

"'If you fail to look up to the crest of my banner, look at the crest of the banner of Pajapati, King of gods. If you do so, any fear, terror or hair standing on end arising in you will pass away.

"'If you fail to look up to the crest of Pajapati, King of the gods, look at the crest of the banner of Varuna, King of the gods. If you do so, any fear, terror or hair standing on end arising in you will pass away.'

"Monks, any fear, terror or hair standing on end arising in them who look at the crest of the banner of Sakka... The Lord of the gods, of Pajapati... of Varuna... of Isana, the King of the gods, any fear terror or hair standing on end, may pass away, or may not pass away. What is the reason for this?

"Sakka, the Lord of gods, O monks, is not free from lust, not free from hate, not free from delusion, and is therefore liable to fear, terror, fright, and flight. I also say unto you O monks — if any fear, terror or hair standing on end should arise in you when you have gone to the forest or to the foot of a tree, or to an empty house (lonely place), then think only of me thus:

"'Such Indeed is the Blessed One, arahant (Consummate One), supremely enlightened, endowed with knowledge and virtue, welcome being, knower of worlds, the peerless trainer of persons, teacher of gods and men, the Buddha, the Blessed One.' Monks, if you think of me, any fear, terror, or standing of hair on end, that may arise in you, will pass away.

"If you fail to think of me, then think of the Dhamma (the Doctrine) thus: 'Well expounded is the Dhamma by the Blessed One, a Dhamma to be realized by oneself and gives immediate results, a Dhamma which invites investigation and leads up to Nibbana, a Dhamma to be understood by the wise each for himself.' Monks, if you think of the Dhamma, any fear, terror or hair standing on end, that may arise in you, will pass away.

"If you fail to think of the Dhamma, then think of the Sangha (the Order) thus: 'Of good conduct is the Order of Disciples of the Blessed One, of upright conduct is the Order of Disciples of the Blessed One, of wise conduct is the Order of Disciples of the Blessed One, of dutiful conduct is the Order of Disciples of the Blessed One. This Order of Disciples of the Blessed One — namely those four pairs of persons,[2] the eight kinds of individuals[3] — is worthy of offerings, is worthy of hospitality, is worthy of gifts, is worthy of reverential salutations, is an incomparable field of merit for the world.' Monks, if you think of the Sangha, any fear, terror or hair standing on end, that may arise in you, will pass away. What is the reason for this? The Tathagata, O monks, who is arahant, supremely enlightened, is free from lust, free from hate, is free from delusion, and is not liable to fear, terror, fright or flight."

So said the Blessed One. Having thus spoken, the teacher, the "Welcome Being" (Sugata), further said:

i. Whether in forest or at foot of tree, Or in some secluded spot, O monks, Do call to mind that Buddha Supreme; Then will there be no fear to you at all. ii. If you think not of the Buddha, O monks, That Lord of the world and Chief of men, Then do think, O monks, of that Dhamma; So well preached and leading to Nibbana. iii. If you think not of the Dhamma, O monks Well preached and leading to Nibbana; Then do think, O monks, of that Sangha, That wonderful field of merit to all. iv. To those recalling the Buddha supreme, To those recalling the Dhamma sublime, And to those recalling the Sangha, No fear, no terror will make them quiver.

Notes

1.
S. i. 218.
2.
The four pairs of persons constitute the four kinds of aryan disciples who have attained the four paths and four fruits of sanctity (magga and phala), namely: sotapatti, "stream-entry"; sakadagami, "once-return"; anagami, "non-return"; and arahattha, arahantship, the fourth and the last stage at which all fetters are severed and taints rooted out.
3.
The above four pairs become eight when the Paths and Fruits are regarded separately.
* * *

12. Factors of Enlightenment (Maha Kassapa Thera Bojjhanga [1])  

Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living near Rajagaha, in the bamboo grove, in the Squirrels' feeding ground. At that time the Venerable Maha Kassapa who was living in the Pipphali Cave, was afflicted with a disease, was suffering therefrom, and was gravely ill.

Then the Blessed One arising from his solitude at eventide visited the Venerable Maha Kassapa and sat down on a seat made ready (for him). Thus seated the Blessed One spoke to the Venerable Maha Kassapa:

"Well Kassapa, how is it with you? Are you bearing up, are you enduring (your suffering)? Do your pains decrease or increase? Are there signs of your pains decreasing and not of increasing?"

"No, Ven. Sir, I am not bearing up, I am not enduring, the pain is very great. There is a sign not of pains decreasing but of their increasing."

"Kassapa, these seven factors of enlightenment are well expounded by me and are cultivated and fully developed by me. They conduce to perfect understanding, to full realization (of the four Noble Truths) and to Nibbana. What are the seven?

i. "Mindfulness, the factor of enlightenment, Kassapa, is well expounded by me, and is cultivated and fully developed by me. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

ii. "Investigation of the Dhamma, the factor of enlightenment, Kassapa, is well expounded by me, and is cultivated and fully developed by me. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

iii. "Persevering effort, the factor of enlightenment, Kassapa, is well expounded by me and is cultivated and fully developed by me. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

iv. "Rapture, the factor of enlightenment, Kassapa, is well expounded by me, and is cultivated and fully developed by me. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

v. "Calm, the factor of enlightenment, Kassapa, is well expounded by me, and is cultivated and fully developed by me. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

vi. "Concentration, the factor of enlightenment, Kassapa, is well expounded by me, and is cultivated and fully developed by me. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

vii. "Equanimity, the factor of enlightenment, Kassapa, is well expounded by me, and is cultivated and fully developed by me. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

"These seven factors of enlightenment, Kassapa, are well expounded by me and are cultivated and fully developed by me. They conduce to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana."

"Most assuredly, O Blessed One, they are factor of enlightenment. Most assuredly, O Welcome Being (Sugata), they are factors of enlightenment."

Thus said the Buddha, and the Venerable Maha Kassapa glad at heart approved the utterances of the Buddha. Thereupon the Venerable Kassapa recovered from that affliction, and that affliction, of the Venerable Kassapa disappeared.

Note

1.
S. v. 79.
* * *

13. Factors of Enlightenment (Maha Moggallana Thera Bojjhanga [1])  

Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living near Rajagaha in the bamboo grove, in the squirrels' feeding ground. At that time the Venerable Maha Moggallana who was living on the Gijjhakuta Hill (Vultures' Peak) was afflicted with a disease, was suffering therefrom, and was gravely ill. Then the Blessed One arising from his solitude at eventide visited the Venerable Maha Moggallana and sat down on a seat made ready for him. (Exactly the same as in previous discourse changing "Maha Kassapa" into "Maha Moggallana.")

Note

1.
S. v. 80.
* * *

14. Factors of Enlightenment (Maha Cunda Thera Bojjhanga[1])  

Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living near Rajagaha in the bamboo grove in the squirrels' feeding ground. At that time, he was afflicted with a disease, was suffering therefrom, and was gravely ill.

Then the Venerable Maha Cunda[2] 'arising from his solitude at eventide'[3] approached the Blessed One, saluted him, and sat down beside him.

To the Venerable Maha Cunda thus seated, the Blessed One said:

"O Cunda, let the factors of enlightenment occur to your mind."

"These seven factors of enlightenment, bhante (Ven. Sir), are well expounded and are cultivated and fully developed by the Blessed One. They conduce to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana. What are the seven?

i. "Mindfulness, the factor of enlightenment, bhante, is well expounded by the Blessed One, and is cultivated and fully developed by the Blessed One. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

ii. "Investigation of the Dhamma, the factor of enlightenment, bhante, is well expounded by the Blessed One and is cultivated and fully developed by the Blessed One. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

iii. "Persevering effort, the factor of enlightenment, bhante, is well expounded by the Blessed One and is cultivated and fully developed by the Blessed One. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

iv. "Rapture, the factor of enlightenment, bhante, is well expounded by the Blessed One and is cultivated and fully developed by the Blessed One. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

v. "Calm, the factor of enlightenment, bhante, is well expounded by the Blessed One and is cultivated and fully developed by the Blessed One. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

vi. "Concentration, the factor of enlightenment, bhante, is well expounded by the Blessed One and is cultivated and fully developed by the Blessed One. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

vii. "Equanimity, the factor of enlightenment, bhante, is well expounded by the Blessed One, and is cultivated and fully developed by the Blessed One. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

These seven factors of enlightenment, bhante, are well expounded and cultivated and fully developed by the Blessed One. They conduce to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana."

"Most assuredly Cunda, they are factors of enlightenment. Most assuredly, Cunda, they are factors of enlightenment."

Thus said the Venerable Maha Cunda, and the Master approved of it. Then the Blessed One recovered from his affliction, and thus disappeared his affliction.

Notes

1.
S. v. 81.
2.
Younger brother of the Venerable Sariputta. [Is this an error? According to Nyanaponika in Great Disciples of the Buddha (Somerville, Massachusetts: Wisdom Publications, 1997), p. 33, Cunda's monastic name was Samanuddesa, to distinguish him from the elder Ven. Mahacunda. — ATI ed.]
3.
"Sayanha samayam patisallana vutthito," not found in the original Samyutta text.
* * *

15. Discourse to Girimananda Thera (Girimananda Sutta[1])  

Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living near Savatthi at Jetavana at the monastery of Anathapindika. Now at that time, the Venerable Girimananda was afflicted with a disease, was suffering therefrom, and was gravely ill. Thereupon the Venerable Ananda approached the Buddha and having saluted him sat beside him. So seated the Venerable Ananda said this to the Blessed One:

"Bhante (Venerable Sir,) the Venerable Girimananda is afflicted with disease, is suffering therefrom, and is gravely ill. It were well, bhante, if the Blessed One would visit the Venerable Girimananda out of compassion for him." (Thereupon the Buddha said):

"Should you, Ananda, visit the monk Girimananda and recite to him the ten contemplations, then that monk Girimananda having heard them, will be immediately cured of his disease.

"What are the ten?

Contemplation of impermanence. Contemplation of anatta (absence of a permanent self or soul). Contemplation of foulness (asubha). Contemplation of disadvantage (danger). Contemplation of abandonment. Contemplation of detachment. Contemplation of cessation. Contemplation of distaste for the whole world. Contemplation of impermanence of all component things. Mindfulness of in-breathing and out-breathing.

i. "And what, Ananda, is contemplation of impermanence? Herein, Ananda, a monk having gone to the forest or to the foot of a tree or to an empty house (lonely place) contemplates thus: 'Matter (visible objects) is impermanent; feeling or sensation is impermanent; perception is impermanent; formations are impermanent; consciousness is impermanent. Thus he dwells contemplating impermanence in these five aggregates.' This, Ananda, is called contemplation of impermanence.

ii. "And what Ananda is contemplation of anatta? Herein, Ananda, a monk having gone to the forest or to the foot of a tree or to a lonely place contemplates thus: 'The eye is not the self; visible objects are not the self; the ear is not the self; sounds are not the self; the nose is not the self; smells are not the self; the tongue is not the self; tastes are not the self; the body is not the self; bodily contacts (tangible objects) are not the self; the mind is not the self; mental objects are not the self.' Thus he dwells contemplating not self in these internal and external bases. This, Ananda, is called contemplation of anatta.

iii. "And what, Ananda, is contemplation of foulness? Herein, Ananda, a monk contemplates this body upwards from the soles of the feet, downwards from the top of the hair, enclosed in skin, as being full of many impurities. In this body there are head-hairs, body-hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, intestines, intestinal tract, stomach, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, saliva, nasal mucous, synovium (oil lubricating the joints), and urine. Thus he dwells contemplating foulness in this body. This, Ananda, is called contemplation of foulness.

iv. "What, Ananda, is contemplation of disadvantage (danger)? Herein, Ananda, a monk having gone to the forest, or to the foot of a tree, or to a lonely place, contemplates thus: 'Many are the sufferings, many are the disadvantages (dangers) of this body since diverse diseases are engendered in this body, such as the following: Eye-disease, ear-disease, nose-disease, tongue-disease, body-disease, headache, mumps, mouth-disease, tooth-ache, cough, asthma, catarrh, heart-burn, fever, stomach ailment, fainting, dysentry, swelling, gripes, leprosy, boils, scrofula, consumption, epilepsy, ringworm, itch, eruption, tetter, pustule, plethora, diabetes, piles, cancer, fistula, and diseases originating from bile, from phlegm, from wind, from conflict of the humors, from changes of weather, from adverse condition (faulty deportment), from devices (practiced by others), from kamma-vipaka (results of kamma); and cold, heat, hunger, thirst, excrement, and urine.' Thus he dwells contemplating disadvantage (danger) in this body. This Ananda, is called contemplation of disadvantage (danger).

v. "And what, Ananda, is contemplation of abandonment? Herein, Ananda, a monk does not tolerate a thought of sensual desire that has arisen in him, dispels it, makes an end of it, and annihilates it. He does not tolerate a thought of ill-will that has arisen in him, but abandons, dispels it, makes an end of it, and annihilates it. He does not tolerate a thought of cruelty that has arisen in him but abandons it, dispels it, makes an end of it, and annihilates it. He does not tolerate evil, unprofitable states that arise in him from time to time, but abandons them, dispels them, makes an end of them, and annihilates them. This, Ananda, is called contemplation of abandonment.

vi. "And what, Ananda, is contemplation of detachment? Herein, Ananda, a monk having gone to the forest, or to the foot of a tree, or to a lonely place, contemplates thus: 'This is peaceful, this is sublime, namely, the stilling of all conditioned things, the giving up of all substratum of becoming, the extinction of craving, detachment, Nibbana.' This, Ananda, is called contemplation of detachment.

vii. "And what, Ananda, is contemplation of cessation? Herein, Ananda, a monk having gone to the forest, or to the foot of a tree, or to a lonely place, contemplates thus: 'This is peaceful, this is sublime, namely, the stilling of all component things, the extinction of craving, cessation, Nibbana.' This, Ananda, is called contemplation of cessation.

viii. "And what, Ananda, is contemplation of distaste for the whole world? Herein, Ananda, (a monk) by abandoning any concern and clinging to this world, by abandoning mental prejudices, wrong beliefs, and latent tendencies concerning this world, by not grasping them, but by giving them up, becomes detached. This, Ananda, Is called contemplation of distaste for the whole world.

ix. "And what, Ananda, is contemplation of impermanence of all component things? Herein, Ananda, a monk is wearied, humiliated, and disgusted with all conditioned things. This, Ananda, is called contemplation of impermanence of all component things.

x. "And what, Ananda, is mindfulness of in-breathing and out-breathing? Herein, Ananda, a monk having gone to the forest, or to the foot of a tree, or to a lonely place, sits down, having folded his legs crosswise, keeping the body erect, and his mindfulness alive, mindful he breathes in, mindful he breathes out.

"When he is breathing in a long breath, he knows: 'I am breathing in a long breath'; when he is breathing out a long breath, he knows: 'I am breathing out a long breath'; when he is breathing in a short breath, he knows: 'I am breathing in a short breath'; when he is breathing out a short breath, he knows: 'I am breathing out a short breath.' 'Conscious of the entire process[2] I shall breathe in,' thus he trains himself. 'Conscious of the entire process I shall breathe out,' thus he trains himself.

"'Calming the entire process, I shall breathe in,' thus he trains himself; 'calming the entire process I shall breathe out,' thus he trains himself.

"'Experiencing rapture, I shall breathe in,' thus he trains himself; 'experiencing rapture, I shall breathe out,' thus he trains himself.

"'Experiencing bliss, I shall breathe in,' thus he trains himself; 'experiencing bliss, I shall breathe out,' thus he trains himself.

"'Experiencing the mental formations (feeling and perception), I shall breathe in,' thus he trains himself; 'experiencing the mental formations, I shall breathe out,' thus he trains himself.

"'Calming the mental formations, I shall breathe in,' thus he trains himself; 'calming the mental formations, I shall breathe out,' thus he trains himself.

"'Experiencing the mind (according to the fourfold absorptions, or jhanas), I shall breathe in,' thus he trains himself; 'experiencing the mind, I shall breathe out,' thus he trains himself.

"'Exceedingly gladdening the mind (by samatha, calming, as well as by vipassana, insight), I shall breathe in,' thus he trains himself; 'exceedingly gladdening the mind, I shall breathe out,' thus he trains himself.

"'Concentrating the mind (on the breath), I shall breathe in,' thus he trains himself; concentrating the mind I shall breathe out,' thus he trains himself.

"'Liberating the mind (from the nivaranas, or hindrances), I shall breathe in,' thus he trains himself, 'liberating the mind I shall breathe out,' thus he trains himself; 'contemplating impermanence (in body, feelings, perceptions, volitional formations, consciousness), I shall breathe in,' thus he trains himself; 'contemplating impermanence, I shall breathe out,' thus he trains himself; 'contemplating detachment, I shall breathe in,' thus he trains himself; 'contemplating detachment, I shall breathe out,' thus he trains himself; 'contemplating cessation, I shall breathe in,' thus he trains himself, 'contemplating cessation, I shall breathe out,' thus he trains himself; 'contemplating abandonment, I shall breathe in,' thus he trains himself; 'contemplating abandonment, I shall breathe out,' thus he trains himself.

"This, Ananda, is called mindfulness of in-breathing and out-breathing. If, Ananda, you visit the monk Girimananda and recite to him these ten contemplations, then that monk, Girimananda, having heard them, will be immediately cured of his affliction."

Thereupon the Venerable Ananda, having learned these ten contemplations from the Blessed One, visited the Venerable Girimananda, and recited to him the ten contemplations. When the Venerable Girimananda had heard them, his affliction was immediately cured. He recovered from that affliction, and thus disappeared the affliction of the Venerable Girimananda.

Notes

1.
A. v. 108.
2.
Sabba-kaya. Literally, "the whole (breath) body." According to the Visuddhi Magga, "kaya" here does not mean the physical body, but the whole mass of in-breathing and out-breathing.
* * *

16. The Discourse at Isigili (Isigili Sutta[1])  

Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living on Isigili mountain near Rajagaha. Then he addressed the monks saying, "O monks." "Bhante (Venerable Sir)," replied those monks in assent to the Blessed One. Thereupon he said this:

"Do you, monks, see this Vebhara mountain?"

"Yes, bhante."

"There was another name, monks, for this Vebhara mountain, another designation. Do you, monks, see this Pandava mountain?"

"Yes, bhante."

"There was another name, monks, for this Pandava mountain, another designation. Do you, monks, see this Vepulla mountain?"

"Yes, bhante."

"There was another name, monks, for this Vepulla mountain, another designation. Do you, monks, see this Gijjhakuta mountain?"

"Yes, bhante."

"There was another name, monks, for this Gijjhakuta mountain, another designation. Do you, monks, see this Isigili mountain?"

"Yes, bhante."

"This has been the very name, monks, the very designation for this Isigili mountain. In the past, monks, five hundred paccekabuddhas[2] lived for a long time on this Isigili mountain. As they were entering the mountain they were visible, but once they have entered, they were invisible. People seeing this remarked: 'This mountain swallows these seers (isigilati)'; hence the name Isigili came into being.

"I will tell you, monks, the names of the paccekabuddhas. I will reveal, monks, the names of the paccekabuddhas. Listen, pay close attention, I will speak."

"Yes, bhante," replied the monks.

The blessed One said:

"Arittha,[3] monks, was a paccekabuddha who lived for a long time on this Isigili mountain, Uparittha... Tagarasikhi... Yasassi... Sudassana... Piyadassi... Gandhara... Pindola... Upasabha... Nitha... Tatha... Sutava... Bhavitatta, monks, was a paccekabuddha who lived for a long time on this Isigili mountain.

i. "The names of those supreme beings[4] who are free from sorrow and desire, who have overcome their passions,[5] and have individually attained enlightenment, noble among men. I make known. Listen to me:

ii. "Arittha, Uparittha, Tagarasikhi, Yasassi, Sudassana, Piyadassi the enlightened.[6]
Gandhara, Pindola and Upasabha, Nitha, Tatha, Sutava, Bhavitatta.

iii. "Sumbha, Subha, Methula, Atthama, and then Megha, Anigha, Sudatha are paccekabuddhas whose desire for becoming (re-living) is destroyed.
Hingu and Hinga of great power.

iv. "The two sages Jali[7] and Atthaka, then Kosala, the enlightened one, then Subahu,
Upanemisa, Nemisa, Santacitta, Sacca, Tatha, Viraja, and Pandita.

v. "Kala, Upakala, Vijita and Jita, Anga and Panga and Gutijjita. Passi removed defilements, the root of suffering.
Aparajita, conqueror of Mara's might.

vi. "Sattha, Pavatta, Sarabhanga, Lomahamsa, Uccangamaya, Asita, Anasava.
Manomaya and Bandhuma, the destroyers of pride; Tadadhimutta, Vimala, and Ketuma.

vii. "Ketumbaraga and Matanga, Ariya. Then Accuta and Accutagamabyamaka.
Sumangala, Dabbila, Suppatitthita, Asayha, Khemabhirata, and Sorata.

viii. "Durannaya, Sangha, and Uccaya, and then the sage Sayha of sublime energy.
Ananda, Nanda, Upananda, the twelve paccekabuddhas,[8] Bharadvaja bearing his last body.[9]

ix. "Bodhi, Mahanama, and then Uttara; Kesi, Sikhi, Sundara, and Bharadvaja.
Tissa, Upatissa, Upasidari, the destroyer of the bonds of becoming, and Sidari, the destroyer of craving.

x. "Mangala was the lust-free paccekabuddha, Usabha who cut away the ensnaring root of suffering.
Upanita who attained state of Calm (Nibbana), Uposatha, Sundara, and Saccanama.

xi. "Jeta, Jayanta, Paduma, and Uppala; Padumuttara, Rakkhita, and Pabbata.
Manatthaddha, Sobhita, Vataraga, and the paccekabuddha Kanha well freed in mind.

xii. "These and others are paccekabuddhas of great power whose desires for becoming (re-living) are destroyed.
Do salute these great sages of immeasurable (virtue) who have gone beyond all attachment[10] and attained Parinibbana."

Notes

1.
M. 116.
2.
They are Buddhas, who have attained enlightenment independent of another's aid, but lack the faculty of convincing others.
3.
For stories connected with these thirteen names see Dictionary of Pali Proper Names, G. P. Malalasekera.
4.
Literally those essences of beings, MA. iv. 129. Having declared the names of these thirteen paccekabuddhas, the names of those others who are the essences of beings, are now revealed in verse.
5.
Literally removed the spike of passions (visalla).
6.
It would appear that the reason why in the Pali stanzas attributes are mentioned in respect of some paccekabuddhas, and not all, is for metrical purposes.
7.
Culla Jali and Maha Jali.
8.
Four Anandas, four Nandas and four Upanandas, MA., iv. 129.
9.
The five aggregates of: body; feelings or sensations; perceptions; formations and consciousness.
10.
Sangha, attachment or grasping, they are: lust, hate, delusion, pride, and false views.
* * *

17. Setting In Motion the Wheel of Truth (Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta [1])  

The First Sermon of the Buddha

For seven weeks immediately following the enlightenment, the Buddha spent his time in lonely retreat. At the close of this period he decided to proclaim the doctrine (dhamma), he had realized, to those five ascetics who were once struggling with him for enlightenment. Knowing that they were living at Isipatana (modern Sarnath), still steeped in the unmeaning rigours of extreme asceticism, the master left Gaya, where he attained enlightenment, for distant Varanasi, India's holy city. There at the Deer Park he rejoined them.

Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living in the Deer Park at Isipatana (the Resort of Seers) near Varanasi (Benares). Then he addressed the group of five monks (bhikkhus):

"Monks, these two extremes ought not to be practiced by one who has gone forth from the household life. (What are the two?) There is addiction to indulgence of sense-pleasures, which is low, coarse, the way of ordinary people, unworthy, and unprofitable; and there is addiction to self-mortification, which is painful, unworthy, and unprofitable.

"Avoiding both these extremes, the Tathagata (The Perfect One)[2] has realized the Middle Path; it gives vision, gives knowledge, and leads to calm, to insight, to enlightenment and to Nibbana. And what is that Middle Path realized by the Tathagata...? It is the Noble Eightfold path, and nothing else, namely: right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration. This is the Middle Path realized by the Tathagata which gives vision, which gives knowledge, and leads to calm, to insight, to enlightenment, and to Nibbana.

"The Noble Truth of Suffering (dukkha), monks, is this: Birth is suffering, aging is suffering, sickness is suffering, death is suffering, association with the unpleasant is suffering, dissociation from the pleasant is suffering, not to receive what one desires is suffering — in brief the five aggregates subject to grasping are suffering.

"The Noble Truth of the Origin (cause) of Suffering is this: It is this craving (thirst) which produces re-becoming (rebirth) accompanied by passionate greed, and finding fresh delight now here, and now there, namely craving for sense pleasure, craving for existence and craving for non-existence (self-annihilation).

"The Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering is this: It is the complete cessation of that very craving, giving it up, relinquishing it, liberating oneself from it, and detaching oneself from it.

"The Noble Truth of the Path Leading to the Cessation of Suffering is this: It is the Noble Eightfold Path, and nothing else, namely: right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.[3]

"'This is the Noble Truth of Suffering': such was the vision, the knowledge, the wisdom, the science, the light that arose in me concerning things not heard before. 'This suffering, as a noble truth, should be fully realized': such was the vision, the knowledge, the wisdom, the science, the light that arose in me concerning things not heard before. 'This suffering, as a noble truth has been fully realized': such was the vision, the knowledge, the wisdom, the science, the light that arose in me concerning things not heard before.

"'This is the Noble Truth of the Origin (cause) of Suffering': such was the vision, the knowledge, the wisdom, the science, the light that arose in me concerning things not heard before. 'This Origin of Suffering as a noble truth should be eradicated': such was the vision, the knowledge, the wisdom, the science, the light that arose in me concerning things not heard before. 'This Origin of suffering as a noble truth has been eradicated': such was the vision, the knowledge, the wisdom, the science, the light that arose in me concerning things not heard before.

"'This is the Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering': such was the vision, the knowledge, the wisdom, the science, the light that arose in me concerning things not heard before. 'This Cessation of suffering, as a noble truth, should be realized': such was the vision, the knowledge, the wisdom, the science, the light that arose in me concerning things not heard before. 'This Cessation of suffering, as a noble truth has been realized': such was the vision, the knowledge, the wisdom, the science, the light that arose in me concerning things not heard before.

"'This is the Noble Truth of the Path leading to the cessation of suffering': such was the vision, the knowledge, the wisdom, the science, the light that arose in me concerning things not heard before. 'This Path leading to the cessation of suffering, as a noble truth, should be developed': such was the vision, the knowledge, the wisdom, the science, the light that arose in me concerning things not heard before. 'This Path leading to the cessation of suffering, as a noble truth has been developed': such was the vision, the knowledge, the wisdom, the science, the light that arose in me concerning things not heard before.

"As long as my knowledge of seeing things as they really are, was not quite clear in these three aspects, in these twelve ways, concerning the Four Noble Truths,[4] I did not claim to have realized the matchless, supreme Enlightenment, in this world with its gods, with its Maras and Brahmas, in this generation with its recluses and brahmanas, with its Devas and humans. But when my knowledge of seeing things as they really are was quite clear in these three aspects, in these twelve ways, concerning the Four Noble Truths, then I claimed to have realized the matchless, supreme Enlightenment in this world with its gods, with its Maras and Brahmas, in this generation with its recluses and brahmanas, with its Devas and humans. And a vision of insight arose in me thus: 'Unshakable is the deliverance of my heart. This is the last birth. Now there is no more re-becoming (rebirth).'"

This the Blessed One said. The group of five monks was glad, and they rejoiced at the words of the Blessed One.

When this discourse was thus expounded there arose in the Venerable Kondañña the passion-free, stainless vision of Truth (dhamma-cakkhu; in other words, he attained sotapatti, the first stage of sanctity, and realized: "Whatever has the nature of arising, has the nature of ceasing."

Now when the Blessed One set in motion the Wheel of Truth, the Bhummattha devas (the earth deities) proclaimed: "The Matchless Wheel of Truth that cannot be set in motion by recluse, brahmana, deva, Mara, Brahma, or any one in the world, is set in motion by the Blessed One in the Deer Park at Isipatana near Varanasi."

Hearing these words of the earth deities, all the Catummaharajika devas proclaimed: "The Matchless Wheel of Truth that cannot be set in motion by recluse, brahmana, deva, Mara, Brahma, or any one in the world, is set in motion by the Blessed One in the Deer Park at Isipatana near Varanasi." These words were heard in the upper deva realms, and from Catummaharajika it was proclaimed in Tavatimsa... Yama... Tusita... Nimmanarati... Paranimmita-vasavatti... and the Brahmas of Brahma Parisajja... Brahma Purohita... Maha Brahma... Parittabha... Appamanabha... Abhassara... Parittasubha... Appamana subha... Subhakinna... Vehapphala... Aviha... Atappa... Sudassa... Sudassi... and in Akanittha: "The Matchless Wheel of Truth that cannot be set in motion by recluse, brahmana, deva, Mara, Brahma, or any one in the world, is set in motion by the Blessed One in the Deer Park at Isipatana near Varanasi."

Thus at that very moment, at that instant, the cry (that the Wheel of Truth is set in motion) spread as far as Brahma realm, the system of ten thousand worlds trembled and quaked and shook. A boundless sublime radiance surpassing the effulgence (power) of devas appeared in the world.

Then the Blessed One uttered this paeon of joy: "Verily Kondañña has realized; verily Kondañña has realized (the Four Noble Truths)." Thus it was that the Venerable Kondañña received the name, "Añña Knondañña' — Kondañña who realizes."

With the proclamation of the Dhamma, for the first time, and with the conversion of the five ascetics, the Deer Park at Isipatana became the birth place of the Buddha's Dispensation (Buddha-sasana), and the Sangha, the community of monks, the ordained disciples.

Emperor Asoka, 281 years after the event, came on pilgrimage to this holy spot and caused a series of monuments and a commemorative pillar with the lion capital to be erected. This capital with its four magnificent lions upholding the "Dharma Cakra," the "Wheel of Dharma," now stands in the museum of Sarnath, and is today the official crest of India. The "Dharma-Cakra" festival is still maintained in Sri Lanka (Ceylon).

Jawaharlal Nehru, the late prime Minister of India, writes: "At Sarnath near Benares, I would almost see the Buddha preaching his first sermon, and some of his recorded words would come like a distant echo to me through two-thousand five hundred years. Asoka's pillars of stone with their inscriptions would speak to me in their magnificent language and tell me of a man who, though an emperor, was greater than any king or emperor." — The Discovery of India (The Signet Press, Calcutta), p. 44.

Notes

1.
S. v. 420; Vinaya (Mahavagga, i. 10. No. 17).
2.
The Perfect One, one attained to Truth. The Buddha used it when referring to himself. For details, see The Buddha's Ancient Path, Piyadassi Thera, Buddhist Publication Society, Kandy, Sri Lanka, p 17, n.4.
3.
For a very comprehensive account of the Four Noble Truths read The Buddha's Ancient Path, Piyadassi Thera, Buddhist Publication Society. Kandy, Sri Lanka (Ceylon).
4.
As the previous paragraphs indicate, there are three aspects of knowledge with regard to each of the Four Noble Truths: 1. The knowledge that it is the Truth (sacca-ñana). 2. The knowledge that a certain function with regard to this Truth should be performed (kicca-ñana). 3. The knowledge that the function with regard to this Truth has been performed (kata-ñana). The twelve ways or modes are obtained by applying these three aspects to each of the Four Noble Truths.
* * *

18. The Great Assembly (Maha-samaya Sutta[1])  

Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living in the Maha-vana (great wood) near the city of Kapilavatthu in the province of the Sakyans together with a great retinue of monks, all of them arahants, and five hundred in number. Devas (gods) from ten thousand world-systems frequently assembled for the purpose of seeing the Blessed One and the bhikkhu-sangha (ordained monks).

Then to four devas of the Suddhavasa (pure Abodes) brahma world, this thought occurred: "The Blessed One is living in the Mahavana near the city of Kapilavatthu in the province of the Sakyans with a great retinue of monks, all of them arahants, and five hundred in number. Devas are frequently assembling there for the purpose of seeing the Blessed One and the bhikkhu-sangha. It is well if we were also to repair to the place where the Blessed One is, and each of us recite a stanza in his presence."

Then those devas as quickly as a strong man might stretch out his arm, or bend his out-stretched arm, vanished from the pure abodes, and appeared before the Blessed One, saluted him, and stood beside him. So standing one of the devas recited this stanza in his presence:

1. "There is a great assembly in the forest. A host of devas has assembled. We have come to this dhamma-assembly to see the invincible[2] sangha."

Then another deva recited this stanza in the presence of the Blessed One:

2. "The monks in this (assembly[3]) have collected their thoughts, and made their minds upright. The wise (monks) guard their senses even as a charioteer holds the reins."

Then another deva recited this stanza in the presence of the Blessed One:

3. "Having cut off the stake, having dug up the cross-bar (of lust, hate, and delusion), devoid of desire, they go their way, pure, stainless, with vision clear, and well tamed, these young arahants move about like elephants."[4]

Then another deva recited this stanza in the presence of the Blessed One:

4. "They who go for refuge to the Buddha shall not go to evil state of existence; but will quit the human body and fill the ranks of the devas."

The Blessed One then addressed the monks: "Often, monks, devas from the ten world-systems foregather to see the Tathagata (the Buddha) and the monks, the community of bhikkhus. Devas have assembled before the consummate (arahanto), supreme Buddhas of the past; devas will appear before the consummate, supreme Buddhas of the future as they do assemble now before me. I will tell you, monks, the names of the host of devas, I will reveal the names of the host of devas. Listen, pay attention. I will speak." "Yes, Venerable Sir," said the monks by way of assent. The Blessed One said this:[5]

5-6. "In measured speech[6] I will give utterance. The terrestrial devas remain in their realm. Those bent on meditation frequent rocky clefts. Well composed they (arahants) live like solitary lions overcoming the fear that causes hair to stand on end, with immaculate minds, pure, serene, and undefiled."

7. Knowing that there were in the forest, near the city of Kapilavatthu, five hundred and more disciples, delighted in the word of the Buddha, the Master thereupon addressed them:

8. "Monks, hosts of devas have assembled. Do know them well." And they (the monks) hearing the word (sasanam) of the Buddha, strove ardently (to see and know them).

9. There arose in them knowledge of perceiving the non-humans. Some saw one hundred, some thousand non-humans (devas and brahmas), and others seventy thousand non-humans.

10. Some saw one hundred thousand non-humans, others saw countless numbers, every quarter being filled with them.

11. Thereupon the seeing One (the Buddha) knowing all things through super knowledge, addressed the disciples delighted in the word of the Buddha:

12. "Monks, host of devas have assembled. I will announce them to you in words, and in due order. Know ye them.

13. "Seven thousand terrestrial yakkhas[7] of Kapilavatthu possessed of iddhi (super normal) power, radiant, comely, and followed by a retinue of attendants,[8] have come rejoicing to the forest to see[9] the assembly of (arahant) monks.

14. "Six thousand Yakkhas from the Himalayan mountain, diverse in hue, possessed of iddhi power, radiant, comely, and followed by a retinue of attendants, have come rejoicing to this forest to see the assembly of monks.

15. "Three thousand Yakkhas from the Sata's mountain (satagira), diverse in hue, possessed of iddhi power, radiant, comely, and followed by a retinue of attendants, have come rejoicing to the forest to see the assembly of monks.

16. "Thus sixteen thousand Yakkhas, diverse in hue, possessed of iddhi power, radiant, comely, and followed by a retinue of attendants, have come rejoicing to the forest to see the assembly of monks.

17. "Five hundred Yakkhas from the Vessamitta mountain, diverse in hue, possessed of iddhi power, radiant, comely, and followed by a retinue of attendants, have come rejoicing to the forest to see the assembly of monks.

18. "Kumbhira of Rajagala town, having his dwelling on Vepulla's Mountain, with more than a hundred thousand Yakkhas in his train, has come to the forest to see the assembly of monks.

19-20. "Dhatarattha, King of the East, adviser to the Eastern clime, and Chief of the Gandhabbas, followed by a retinue of attendants, and with his many mighty sons (devaputtas), Inda their names, possessed of iddhi power, radiant, comely, and with a retinue, has come rejoicing to the forest to see the assembly of monks.

21-22. "Virulha, King of the South, adviser to the Southern clime, and Chief of the Kumbhandas, followed by a retinue of attendants, and with his many mighty sons, Inda their names, possessed of iddhi power, radiant, comely, and with a retinue of attendants, has come rejoicing to the forest to see the assembly of monks.

23-24. "Virupakkha, King of the West, adviser to the Western clime, and Chief of the Nagas, followed by a retinue of attendants, and with his many mighty sons, Inda their names, possessed of iddhi power, radiant, comely, and with a retinue of attendants, has come rejoicing to the forest to see the assembly of monks.

25-26. "Kuvera, King of the North, adviser to the Northern clime, and Chief of the Yakkhas, followed by a retinue of attendants, and with his many mighty sons, Inda their names, possessed of iddhi power, radiant, comely, and with a retinue of attendants, has come rejoicing to the forest to see the assembly of monks.

27-28. "Dhatarattha over the East, to the South Virulhaka, Westward Virupakkha, Kuvera over the North — these four great Kings stood illuminating the four quarters of the forest in the vicinity of Kapilavatthu.

29. "With them came their crafty, deceitful, cunning slaves: enticing Kutendu, Vetendu, Vitucca, and Vituda.

30. "And (also the slaves) Candana, Kamasettha, Kinnughandu, and Nighandu. There also came Panada and Opamanna and Matali charioteer of the Devas.

31. "Citta and Sena, the Ghandhabbas, Nala (kara), Janesabha (Janavasabha, Pañcasikha, the Devas, Timbaru, the Gandhabba, and Suriyavaccasa (the daughter of Timbaru) also came.

32. "Along with these (Gandhabba) kings, other Gandhabba kings too, have come rejoicing with each other to the forest to see the assembly of monks.

33. "Then came the (divine) Nagas of the (lake Nabhasa), those of the Naga realm Visali together with the Nagas named Tacchaka. Also came Nagas of Kambala and Assatara and Payaga accompanied by their relatives.

34. "Nagas from Yamuna, and those of the race of Dhatarattha came with their retinue of attendants, and Eravana, the great Naga too, came to the forest to see the assembly of monks.

35. "Those birds (harpies, garula or suppana) who carry away Nagas by force, endowed with divine power, and twice born,[10] with clear eyes (keen of sight), have flown into the middle of the forest from the sky — Citra and Supanna are their names.

36. "At that time the Naga king (with other Nagas) were free from fear. The Buddha vouchsafed his protection to the Nagas from the harpies (suppana). Entreating one another with gentle words, the Nagas and Suppanas (harpies) took refuge in the Buddha.

37. "The Asuras dwelling in the ocean were defeated by Vajirahattha (Sakka). They are brethren of Vasavassa (Sakka)[11] possessed of iddhi power, and are followed by a retinue of attendants.

38. "The terrible Kalakanjas, the Danaveghasas, Vepacitti, Sucitti, and Paharada — all Asuras have also come with Namuci (the Vasavatti Mara, the Evil One).

39. "Hundreds of the sons of Bali, all of them named after Veroca (that is their uncle Rahu), with an armed host of warriors, approached Rahu (Asurendra, the lord of Asuras), and said: 'Lord, it is time to go to the forest to see the assembly of monks.'

40. "The Devas Apo and Pathavi, Tejo, and Vayo[12] have also come to the forest, and the Devas Varuna, Varuna, and Soma with Yasa.

41-42. "There also came the Devas Metta-kayika and Karunakayika[13] followed by their attendants. These ten groups of Devas of diverse hue, possessed of iddhi power, radiant, comely, and with a retinue of attendants, have come rejoicing to the forest to see the assembly of monks.

43. "The Devas Venhu, Sahali, Asama, the two Yama, (ka), and those who attend on the Moon god came preceded by him.

44. "Those Devas attending on the Sun god too, came preceded by him. Those Devas attending the Planets came preceded by them. The Devas of the rain clouds too, came.

45. "Also came Sakka, the chief of gods, who is also called Vasava and Purindada. Also those ten groups of Devas of diverse hue, possessed of iddhi power, radiant, comely, and with a retinue of attendants, have come rejoicing to the forest to see the assembly of monks.

47. "Then too, came the Deva Sahabhu, shining like unto a flame of fire, the Devas Aritthaka, Roja, and Ummapupphanibha.

48-49. "There came also the Devas Varuna Sahadhamma, Accuta and Anojaka, Suleyya, Rucira, and Vasavanesi. All those ten groups of Devas of diverse hue, possessed of iddhi power, radiant, comely, and with a retinue of attendants, have come rejoicing to the forest to see the assembly of monks.

50. "The Devas Samana, Mahasamana, Manusa, Manusuttama, Khiddapadusika, and Manopadusika all have come.

51. "Then came the Devas Hari, those of Lohita, Paraga, and Maha-paraga with their retinue of attendants.

52. "All those ten groups of Devas of diverse hue, possessed of iddhi power, radiant, comely, and with a retinue of attendants, have come rejoicing to the forest to see the assembly of monks.

53. "There also came the Devas Sukha, Karumha, Aruna with Veghanasa. The Deva Odatagayha, Pamokkha, and Vicakkhana alos came.

54. "Sadamatta, Haragaja, mighty Missaka and Pajjuna, who causes rain to pour in every direction, came thundering.

55. "All these ten groups of Devas of diverse hue, possessed of iddhi power, radiant, comely, and with a retinue of attendants, have come rejoicing to the forest to see the assembly of monks.

56. "The Devas Khemiya, Tusita, Yama, the mighty Katthaka, Lambhitaka, Lamasettha, Joti, and Asava also came.

57-58. "There also came the Devas Nimmanarati, and Paranimmita (Vasavatthi). All these ten groups of Devas of diverse hue, possessed of iddhi power, radiant, comely, and with a retinue of attendants, have come rejoicing to the forest to see the assembly of monks.

59. "These sixty (six of ten groups, indicated in the order of Apo Deva, etc.) Devas of diverse hue, according to their name and class, have come with others (similar in name and class).

60. (These Devas came saying:) "'Let us see (the Sangha, the arahant monks), who have outlived birth, who have removed the stake (of lust, hate, and delusion), who have crossed the four currents or streams (of sense-pleasures, becoming, wrong views and ignorance),[14] free from taints. (Let us also see the Buddha) who has crossed the streams, who is called Naga (in the sense of one who commits no evil)[15] and shining like the unclouded moon.'

61. "The Brahmas Subrahma and Paramatta, came (with other Brahmas) who are possessed of iddhi power, and sons (disciples of the Buddha). The Brahmas Sanankumara and Tissa also came to the forest (to see the assembly of monks).

62-63. "There is born a Mahabrahma (for every Brahma world) excelling other Brahmas, mighty in power, with a formidable stature, and of great glory. Among them, ten chief Brahmas, lords over their retinues have come, and in the midst of them with all his attendants came Brahma Harita.

64. "When all the Devas headed by Inda (Sakka), and all Brahmas headed by Haritta had come, there came the host of Mara. Lo! The folly of Mara, the Murky One, (Kanha).[16]

65. "'Come on, seize them, bind them, let them all be bound by lust, surrounded on every side, suffer not anybody to escape' (Thus Vasavatti Mara gave order).

66-67. "Mara thus striking the earth with his palm and thereby producing a dreadful sound as when a storm cloud thunders and causes lightning during rainy season, sent his black army to the midst of the Devas. Nevertheless, unable to bring the Devas under his sway, he filled with anger. He recoiled.

68. "Then the Seeing One (the Buddha) knowing perfectly well what had transpired, addressed his disciples who take delight in the word of the Buddha.

69. "'Monks, the host of Mara have come (and gone). Know them (beware of them).' And they (non-arahants) hearing the word of the Buddha, strove (to gain Deliverance) from their defilements. (From the passion-free arahants) the army of Mara has departed; even so much as a hair in them (arahants) was not affected.

70. "All those disciples (monks) are victors in the war of passions; they are free from fear, glorious, and renowned among mankind. They live rejoicing with Aryan disciples." (Praising thus Mara departed.)

Notes

1.
D. No. 20.
2.
Aparajita, because they are arahants, the Consummate Ones, who have overcome all defilements.
3.
Tatra in the text means "there," but the preceding stanza has "imam" this (assembly), and the devas are already in the presence of the Blessed One; so the rendering "in this."
4.
The word "naga" admits of dual meaning. It can mean an elephant, or it can mean an arahant. An elephant is physically steadfast, an arahant can be referred to as one who is mentally steadfast. He is faultless: he does no evil. "Na hi agum karoti so" see Theragatha, No. 692, cf. Sutta-nipata, stanza 522.
5.
In most of the Paritta books the numbering of stanzas is not consecutive. I have adopted a consecutive method.
6.
Akkhara pada niyamitam vacanam (Comy).
7.
Yakkha here used in the sense of Devas.
8.
Parivara sampanna (Comy).
9.
Bhikkhu das anatthaya agata (Comy). This meaning is clear from the words dakkhitaya (to see) stanza No.1, dakkhema (shall see) No. 60.
10.
Twice-born is a reference to birds since they first come out as an egg, and when hatched a complete bird is born.
11.
Vajirahattha and Vasavassa are other names for Sakka, the chief of Devas.
12.
The Devas born in brahma-loka by practicing the kasina, or devices for concentration, namely: the water (apo) kasina; the earth (pathavi) kasina; the fire (tejo) kasina; and the air (vayo) kasina.
13.
The Devas who have developed jhana, or mental absorption by practicing metta and karuna, loving-kindness and compassion, two of the four sublime states (brahma-vihara).
14.
Kama-ogha, bhava-o., ditthi-o., avijja-o.
15.
See above comment No. 4.
16.
Kanha, is a name for Mara.
* * *

19. Discourse to Alavaka (Alavaka Sutta[1])  

Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living in the abode of Alavaka, the Yakkha (demon), at Alavi. Then Alavaka approached the Blessed One and said: "Get out, recluse (samana)." — "Very well, friend," so saying the Blessed One went out.

"Come in, recluse." — "Very well, friend," so saying the Blessed One entered.

"Get out, recluse," said Alavaka to the Blessed One a second time. — "Very well, friend," so saying the Blessed One went out.

"Come in, recluse." — "Very well, friend," so saying the Blessed One entered.

"Get out, recluse," said Alavaka to the Blessed One a third time. — "Very well, friend," so saying the Blessed One went out.

"Come in, recluse." — "Very well, friend," so saying the Blessed One entered.

"Get out recluse," said Alavaka to the Blessed One a fourth time. — "No, O friend, I will not get out. Do what you will."

"I will ask you a question, recluse. If you do not answer me, I will confound your mind (thoughts), or cleave your heart, or take you by your feet and fling you over to the further shore of the ocean (para gangaya).

"Well, friend, I do not see anyone in the world of Devas, Maras, Brahmas, or among the generation of recluses, brahmanas, deities, and humans, who could either confound my mind or cleave my heart, or take me by the feet and fling me over to the further shore of the ocean; nevertheless, friend, ask what you will."

Then Alavaka addressed the Blessed One in verse:

1. What wealth here is best for man? What well practiced will happiness bring? What taste excels all other tastes? How lived is the life they say is best?

[The Buddha:]

2. Faith is the wealth here best for man;
Dhamma well practiced shall happiness bring;
Truth indeed all other tastes excels;
Life wisely lived they say is best.

[Alavaka:]

3. How does one the currents[1] cross?
How is ocean's[2] existence crossed?
How is one's suffering quelled?
How is one purified?

[The Buddha:]

4. By faith are currents crossed;
By diligence is the ocean crossed;
By effort is one's suffering quelled;
By wisdom is one purified;

[Alavaka:]

5. How does one wisdom win?
How does one wealth obtain?
How does one come to fame?
How does one friendship win?
How does one without sorrow fare
When from this world to another he's gone?

[The Buddha:]

6. The mindful and discerning one,
Who in the Dhamma plead his faith;
By his will to hear that Dhamma
Wins the wisdom of Nibbana.

7. Who is tactful and energetic,
And gains wealth by his own effort;
Fame will he acquire by truth,
And friendship by his giving.

8. He who has faith and is also truthful,
virtuous, firm, and fond of giving;
By virtue of these four conditions
Will never in the hereafter grieve.

9. Truth and Restraint,
Charity and Forbearance,
Are the great reformers of man;
If there be any better
Ask of other samanas and brahmanas.

[Alavaka:]

10. Why should I now try to ask
From other samanas and brahmanas
When this day I came to learn
What weal is here and hereafter?

11. This for my weal indeed
The Buddha to Alavi came;
A gift always bears a fruit;
This too I learned today.

12. From village to village and town to town
I shall now wander along
Praising that Supreme Buddha
And the Dhamma well preached by him.

Having thus spoken, Alavaka said to the Blessed One:

"Most excellent, O Gotama, is thy teaching, most excellent. Just as a man would set upright what is overturned, reveal what is concealed, point out the way to one gone astray, bring an oil lamp into the darkness so that those with eyes could see objects; even so the Dhamma (doctrine) has been declared in many a manner by the Venerable Gotama. I take refuge in the Venerable Gotama (the Buddha), in the Dhamma and in the Sangha (the Order). May the Venerable Gotama accept me as a disciple who has taken refuge, from this day forth while life lasts."

Notes

1.
Sn. p. 31.
2.
"Current" stands for the Pali word "ogha" which is fourfold — sense pleasures, becoming, wrong views and ignorance (kama-ogha, bhava-o., ditthi-o., avijja-o).
3.
"Ocean" stands for the Pali word "annavam" which is metaphorically used to signify repeated existence, or samsara.
* * *

20. Discourse to Bharadvaja, the Farmer (Kasibharadvaja Sutta[1])  

Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Dakkhinagiri (monastery), in the brahmana village Ekanala, in Magadha. Now at that time, it being the sowing season, five hundred plows of the brahman Kasibharadvaja were put to use. Then in the forenoon the Blessed One having dressed himself, took bowl and (double) robe, and went to the place where brahman Kasibharadvaja's work was going on. It was the time of food distribution by the brahman, and the Blessed One drew near, and stood at one side. Bharadvaja seeing the Blessed One standing there for alms said to him:

"Recluse, I do plow, and do sow, and having plowed and sown I eat. You also, recluse should plow and sow; having plowed and sown you should eat."

"I, too, brahman, plow and sow; having plowed and sown, I eat."

"We do not see the Venerable Gotama's yoke, or plow, or plowshare, or goad or oxen. Nevertheless the Venerable Gotama says: 'I, too, brahman, plow and sow; having plowed and sown, I eat.'"

Thereupon the brahman addressed the Blessed One in a stanza:

1. "You profess to be a plowman, yet your plow we do not see; asked about your plow and the rest, tell us of them that we may know."

[The Buddha:]

2. "Faith is my seed, austerity the rain, wisdom my yoke and plow, modesty is the pole, mind the strap, mindfulness is my plowshare and goad.

3. "Controlled in speech and conduct, guarded in deed and speech, abstemious in food,[1] I make truth my weed cutter; arahantship, my deliverance complete.

4. "Exertion, my team in yoke, draws me to Nibbana's security, and on it goes without stopping, wither gone one does not suffer.

5. "Thuswise is this plowing plowed which bears the fruit of Deathlessness; having plowed this plowing one is freed from every ill."

Then brahman Kasibharadvaja filling a golden bowl with milk-rice offered it to the Blessed One saying: "May the Venerable Gotama partake of this milk rice; a plowman, indeed, is Venerable Gotama who plows a plow for the fruit of Deathlessness (Nibbana)."

[The Buddha:]

6. "What I receive by reciting verses, O brahman, I should not eat. It is not the tradition of those who practice right livelihood. The Buddhas reject what is received by reciting verses. This, brahman, is the conduct (of the Buddhas) as long as Dhamma reigns.

7. "To those wholly consummate, taintless, and well-disciplined great sages, should thou offer other food and drink; sure field is that for merit-seeking men."

"To whom, then Venerable Gotama, shall I give this milk rice?"

"Brahman, in the world of Devas, Maras, and Brahmas or among the generation of recluses, brahmanas, deities, and humans, there is no one by whom this milk rice, if eaten, could be wholly digested except by the Tathagata (the Buddha), or the disciple of a Tathagata. Therefore, brahman, either cast this milk rice where there is no grass, or into water where there are no living creatures."

Thereupon the brahman flung that milk rice into water where there were no living creatures, and the milk rice thrown into the water smoked and steamed making the noise "cicchita, citicita," just like a plowshare heated during the day, when thrown into water, smokes, and steams making the noise "cicchita, citicita."

Then the brahman Kasibharadvaja, alarmed, with hair standing on end, approached, and fell with his head at the Blessed One's feet and said as follows.

"Most excellent, O Gotama, is thy teaching, most excellent. Just as a man would set upright what is overturned, reveal what is concealed, point out the way to one gone astray, bring an oil lamp into the darkness so that those with eyes could see objects, even so the Dhamma (doctrine) has been declared in many a manner by the Venerable Gotama. I take refuge in the Venerable Gotama (the Buddha), in the Dhamma and in the Sangha (the Order). I wish to receive the novice's ordination (pabbajja) and higher ordination (upasampada)."

Brahman Kasibharadvaja duly received both the pabbajja and upasampada from the Blessed One. Not long after his upasampada the Venrable Bharadvaja dwelling alone and aloof, diligent, strenuous, and resolute, ere long, by his own insight, here and now, realized and attained the highest perfection (arahantship), the end of the Noble Life — for the sake of which men of good family go forth from home to live the homeless life. Birth is destroyed, lived is the noble life, done is what has to be done, there is no more of this state. The Venerable Bharadvaja became one of the arahants.

Notes

1.
Sn. 12; S. i. 172.
2.
In the use of the four requisites: robes, food, lodging, medicine (Comy).
* * *

21. Discourse on Downfall (Parabhava Sutta[1])  

Having heard the discourse on Blessings (Mangala sutta, see above) which deals with things that tend to man's weal and prosperity, the deities thought to themselves: "The Buddha has told us about the blessings but not about the downfall and decline of man; what if we were to approach the Buddha and question him about the things that tend to downfall." So the day after the teaching of the Blessings by the Buddha, the deities came up to the Master and asked these questions. (Comy)

Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living near Savatthi, at Jetavana, at Anathapindika's monastery. Now when the night was far advanced, a certain deity, whose surpassing radiance illuminated the whole of Jetavana, came to the presence of the Blessed One, respectfully saluted him, and stood beside him. Standing thus he addressed the Blessed One in verse:

1. "About the declining man we question thee, Gotama. We have come to ask the Blessed One: What is the cause of his downfall?

2. "Easily known is the progressive one, easily known is the declining one. The lover of the Dhamma prospers. The hater of the Dhamma declines.

3. "We understand this as explained (by thee); this is the first cause of his downfall. Tell us the second, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?

4. "The vicious are dear to him. He likes not the virtuous; he approves the teachings of the ill-natured — this is the cause of his downfall.

5. "We understand this as explained by thee; this is the second cause of his downfall. Tell us the third, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?

6. "The man who is fond of sleep and company, inactive and lazy, and manifesting anger- this is the cause of his downfall.

7. "We understand this as explained by thee; this is the third cause of his downfall. Tell us the fourth, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?

8. "Whoever being affluent, does not support his mother and father who are old, and past their prime — this is the cause of his downfall.

9. "We understand this as explained by thee; this is the fourth cause of his downfall. Tell us the fifth, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?

10. "Whoever by falsehood deceives either a brahmana, or a samana (a holy man), or any other mendicant — this is the cause of his downfall.

11. "We understand this as explained by thee; this is the fifth cause of his downfall. Tell us the six, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?

12. "The person who is possessed of much wealth, who has gold, and who has an abundance of food, but enjoys his delicacies all by himself — this is the cause of his downfall.

13. "We understand this as explained by thee; this is the sixth cause of his downfall. Tell us the seventh, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?

14. "The man who, proud of his birth, of his wealth, and of his clan, despises his relations — this is the cause of his downfall.

15. "We understand this as explained by thee; this is the seventh cause of his downfall. Tell us the eighth, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?

16. "The man who is addicted to women (given to a life of debauchery), is a drunkard, a gambler, and a squanderer of his earnings — this is the cause of his downfall.

17. "We understand this as explained by thee; this is the eighth cause of his downfall. Tell us the ninth, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?

18. "Not satisfied with one's own wives,[2] he is seen among the whores and the wives of others — this is the cause of his downfall.

19. "We understand this as explained by thee; this is the ninth cause of his downfall. Tell us the tenth, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?

20. "A person past his youth takes as wife, a girl in her teens, and sleeps not being jealous of her[3] — this is the cause of his downfall.

21. "We understand this as explained by thee; this is the tenth cause of his downfall. Tell us the eleventh, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?

22. "He who places in authority a woman given to drink and squandering, or a man of similar nature — this is the cause of his downfall.

23. "We understand this as explained by thee; this is the eleventh cause of his downfall. Tell us the twelfth, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?

24. "He who having but little possessions but great ambition (greed), is of warrior birth and aspires selfishly to (an unattainable) sovereignty — this is the cause of his downfall.

25. "Fully realizing these (twelve) causes of downfall in the world, the sage, endowed with ariyan insight, shares a realm of security (Nibbana)."

Notes

1.
Sn. p. 18.
2.
Apparently during the Buddha's time, in Indian society, a man could legally have more than one wife if he could maintain them. Kings had harems. What was prohibited was illegal sexual relations.
3.
By reason of his anxiety as to whether she would long for young men in preference to him. (Comy)
* * *

22. Discourse on Outcasts (Vasala Sutta[1])  

Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living near Savatthi at Jetavana at Anathapindika's monastery. Then in the forenoon the Blessed One having dressed himself, took bowl and (double) robe, and entered the city of Savatthi for alms. Now at that time a fire was burning, and an offering was being prepared in the house of the brahman Aggikabharadvaja. Then the Blessed One, while on his alms round, came to the brahman's residence. The brahman seeing the Blessed One some way off, said this: "Stay there, you shaveling, stay there you wretched monk, stay there you outcast." When he spoke thus the Blessed One said to the brahman: "Do you know, brahman, who an outcast is and what the conditions are that make an outcast?" "No, indeed, Venerable Gotama, I do not know who an outcast is nor the conditions that make an outcast. It is good if Venerable Gotama were to explain the Dhamma to me so that I may know who an outcast is and what the conditions are that make an outcast."[1]

"Listen then, brahman, and pay attention, I will speak."

"Yes, Venerable Sir," replied the brahman.

1. "Whosoever is angry, harbors hatred, and is reluctant to speak well of others (discredits the good of others), perverted in views, deceitful — know him as an outcast.

2. "Whosoever in this world kills living beings, once born or twice born,[2] in whom there is no sympathy for living beings — know him as an outcast.

3. "Whosoever destroys and besieges villages and hamlets and becomes notorious as an oppressor — know him as an outcast.

4. "Be it in the village, or in the forest, whosoever steals what belongs to others, what is not given to him — know him as an outcast.

5. "Whosoever having actually incurred a debt runs away when he is pressed to pay, saying, 'I owe no debt to you' — know him as an outcast.

6. "Whosoever coveting anything, kills a person going along the road, and grabs whatever that person has — know him as an outcast.

7. "He who for his own sake or for the sake of others or for the sake of wealth, utters lies when questioned as a witness — know him as an outcast.

8. "Whosoever by force or with consent associates with the wives of relatives or friends — know him as an outcast.

9. "Whosoever being wealthy supports not his mother and father who have grown old — know him as an outcast.

10. "Whosoever strikes and annoys by (harsh) speech, mother, father, brother, sister or mother-in-law or father-in-law — know him as an outcast.

11. "Whosoever when questioned about what is good, says what is detrimental, and talks in an evasive manner- know him as an outcast.

12. "Whosoever having committed an evil deed, wishes that it may not be known to others, and commits evil in secret — know him as an outcast.

13. "Whosoever having gone to another's house, and partaken of choice food, does not honor that host by offering food when he repays the visit — know him as an outcast.

14. "Whosoever deceives by uttering lies, a brahman or an ascetic, or any other mendicant — know him as an outcast.

15. "Whosoever when a brahman or ascetic appears during mealtime angers him by harsh speech, and does not offer him (any alms) — know him as an outcast.

16. "Whosoever in this world, shrouded in ignorance, speaks harsh words (asatam) or falsehood[3] expecting to gain something — know him as an outcast.

17. "Whosoever debased by his pride, exalts himself and belittles other — know him as an outcast.

18. "Whosoever is given to anger, is miserly, has base desires, and is selfish, deceitful, shameless and fearless (in doing evil) — know him as an outcast.

19. "Whosoever reviles the Enlightened One (the Buddha), or a disciple of the Buddha, recluse or a householder — know him as an outcast.

20. "Whosoever not being an arahant, a Consummate One, pretends to be so, is a thief in the whole universe — he is the lowest of outcasts.

21. "Not by birth is one an outcast; not by birth is one a brahman. By deed one becomes an outcast, by deed one becomes a brahman.

22. "Know ye by the example I now cite (the fact that by birth one is not an outcast). There was an outcast's son, Sopaka, who became known as Matanga.

23. "This Matanga attained the highest fame so difficult to gain. Many were the warriors (kshatriyas) and brahmans who went to attend on him.

24. "Mounting the celestial chariot (the Noble Eightfold path, and driving) along the passion-free high road, (Sopaka, now a monk), reached the Brahma realm having given up sense desires.

25. "His (lowly) birth did not prevent him from being reborn in the Brahma realm. There are brahmans born in the family of preceptors, kinsmen of (veda) hymns.

26. "They are often seen committing evil deeds. In this life itself they are despised, in the next they are born in an evil state of existence. High birth does not prevent them from falling into a woeful state, or from censure.

27. "Not by birth is one an outcast; not by birth is one a brahman. By deed one becomes an outcast, by deed one becomes an brahman."

When the Buddha had thus spoken, the Brahman Aggikabharadvaja said to the Blessed One: "Excellent, O Venerable Gotama, excellent! Just as, O Venerable Gotama, a man were to set upright what had been overturned, or were to reveal what had been hidden, or were to point the way to one who had gone astray, or were to hold an oil lamp in the dark so that those with eyes may see things, even so in many ways has the Venerable Gotama expounded the Dhamma, the doctrine. I take refuge in the Venerable Gotama, the Dhamma, and the Sangha, the Order. May the Venerable Gotama accept me as a lay follower who has taken refuge from this day onwards while life lasts."

Notes

1.
Sn. p. 21. Also known as aggikabharadvaja sutta.
2.
The abusive terms used by the brahman and the respectful address that follows need a word of explanation. The brahman had just prepared his offering to the great Brahma, his God, when his eyes fell on Buddha. To the brahman the sight of a samana, a shaven-headed recluse, was an unlucky sign. Hence he burst into angry words. The Buddha, however, was unruffled and spoke to him quietly in words of soft cadence. The brahman apparently was ashamed, and repenting of his folly, addressed the Buddha courteously (Comy). It is interesting to note the Buddha's stress on anger and hatred in his very first stanza.
3.
dvijam, birds. Twice-born is a reference to birds since they first come out as an egg, and when hatched a complete bird is born.
4.
asantamtipi patho, SnA.
* * *

23. Discourse on The Analysis of the Truths (Saccavibhanga Sutta[1])  

Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living in the Deer Park at Isipatana (the Resort of Saints) near Varanasi (Benares). Then he addressed the monks saying: "O Monks." "Venerable Sir," replied those monks in assent to the Blessed One. Thereupon he said:

"The matchless Wheel of Dhamma set in motion by the Tathagata,[2] the Consummate One, the supremely Enlightened One, in the Deer Park at Isipatana near Varanasi, cannot be set in motion by a recluse or brahmana or Deva or Mara or Brahma or by anyone in the world. That is to say, it was a proclamation of the Four Noble Truths, by way of teaching, laying down, establishing, opening up, analyzing, and elucidating them.

"Of what four: It was a proclamation of the Noble Truth of suffering (dukkha), by way of teaching... (as before) and elucidating it; of the Noble Truth of the arising (cause) of suffering... of the Noble Truth of the cessation of suffering... of the Noble Truth of the Path leading to the cessation of suffering. This matchless Wheel of Dhamma, monks, set in motion by the Tathagata, the Consummate One, the supremely Enlightened One, in the Deer Park at Isipatana near Varanasi, cannot be set in motion by a recluse... or by anyone in the world. That is to say, it was a proclamation of the Four Noble Truths, by way of teaching, laying down, establishing, opening up, analyzing, and elucidating them.

"Monks, follow Sariputta and Moggallana; associate with Sariputta and Moggallana. Wise monks do help (materially and spiritually) those who live the holy life. Monks, Sariputta is like unto a mother, Moggallana is like unto a foster-mother to a child. Sariputta, monks, trains (beings) in the path[3] of stream-attainment. Moggallana in the highest goal (arahantship).[4] Sariputta, monks, is able to proclaim, teach, lay down, establish, open up, analyze, and elucidate the Four Noble Truths."

This the Blessed One said, and having said so, the Welcome Being (sugata)[5] rose from his seat and entered (his) abode. Not long after the Blessed One had departed, the Venerable Sariputta addressed the monks, saying: "Reverend friends." "Your reverence," the monks replied the Venerable Sariputta in assent.

This the Venerable Sariputta said:

"Your reverence, the matchless Wheel of Dhamma set in motion by the Tathagata, the Consummate One, the supremely Enlightened One, in the Deer Park, at Isipatana near Varanasi, cannot be set in motion by a recluse or brahmana... (as before) in the world. That is to say, it was a proclamation of the Four Noble Truths, by way of teaching, laying down, establishing, opening up, analyzing, and elucidating them.

"Of what four? It was a proclamation of the Noble Truth of suffering (dukkha) by way of teaching... elucidating it; of the Noble Truth of the arising of suffering... of the Noble Truth of the cessation of suffering... of the Noble Truth of the Path leading to the cessation of suffering.

"What, your reverence, is the Noble Truth of suffering? Birth is suffering; aging is suffering; death is suffering; grief, lamentation, bodily pain, mental pain and despair are suffering; not getting what one desires, that too is suffering: In brief the five aggregates subject to grasping are suffering.

"What is birth? It is the birth of beings in the various classes (planes) of beings; the production, their conception, coming into existence (re-birth), the appearance of the aggregates, acquiring of the sense-bases. This is called birth.

"What is aging? It is the aging of beings in the various classes of beings, their decay, broken teeth, graying hair, wrinkled skin, the dwindling of the life-span, the wearing out of the sense-organs. This is called aging.

"What is death? It is the passing away of beings in the various classes of beings; the falling away, the breaking up, the disappearance, the death, making end of life, the breaking up of the aggregates, the laying down of the body. This is called death.

"What is grief? It is the grief, sorrow, sorrowfulness, the state of being sorry, inward sorrow, inward intense sorrow visited by some calamity or other, smitten by some kind of ill or other. This is called grief.

"What is lamentation? It is the crying, the wailing, the act of crying, the act of wailing, the state of crying, the state of wailing of one visited by some calamity or other, smitten by some kind of ill or other. This is called lamentation.

"What is suffering? It is bodily suffering, bodily unpleasantness, the painful and unpleasant feeling produced by bodily contact. This is called suffering.

"What is misery? It is mental suffering, unpleasantness, the painful and unpleasant feeling produced by mental contact. This is called misery.

"What is despair? It is despondency, despair, the state of despondency, the state of despair of one visited by some calamity or other. This is called despair.

"What is meant by not getting what one desires, that too is suffering? To beings subject to birth there comes desire: 'O might we not be subject to birth, and birth not come to us.' But this cannot be attained by mere desiring. So not getting what one desires, that too, is suffering. To beings subject to aging there comes the desire: 'O might we not be subject to aging, and aging not come to us...' (as before). To beings subject to disease there comes the desire: 'O might we not be subject to disease and disease not come to us...' To beings subject to death there comes the desire: 'O might we not be subject to death and death not come to us...' To beings subject to sorrow, lamentation, suffering, misery, and despair there comes the desire: 'O might we not be subject to sorrow, lamentation, suffering, misery, and despair, and sorrow, lamentation, suffering, misery, and despair not come to us.' But this cannot be attained by merely desiring. So not getting what one desires that too is suffering.

"What, in brief, are the five aggregates subject to grasping that are suffering? These are the aggregate of matter subject to grasping, the aggregate of feeling..., the aggregate of perception..., the aggregate of mental (volitional) formations..., the aggregate of consciousness subject to grasping. These are called, in brief, the five aggregates subject to grasping that are suffering. This is called the Noble Truth of suffering.

"What is the Noble Truth of the arising of suffering? It is this craving which produces re-becoming (re-birth) accompanied by passionate greed, and finding delight now here now there, namely the craving for sense pleasures, craving for existence and craving for non-existence (self-annihilation). This is called the Noble Truth of the arising of suffering.

"What is the Noble Truth of the cessation of suffering? It is the complete cessation of that very craving, giving it up, relinquishing it, liberating oneself from it, and detaching oneself from it. This is called the Noble Truth of the cessation of suffering.

"And what is the Noble Truth of the Path leading to the cessation of suffering? It is this Noble Eightfold Path itself, namely: right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.

"What is right understanding? It is this knowledge of suffering, knowledge of the arising of suffering, knowledge of the cessation of suffering, knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of suffering — this is called right understanding.

"What is right thought? Thought of renunciation, thought of goodwill, thought of not harming — this is called right thought.

"What is right speech? Abstention from false speech, abstention from tale-bearing, abstention from harsh (abusive) speech, abstention from idle chatter (gossip), this is called right speech.

"What is right action? Abstention from killing, abstention from stealing, abstention from illicit sexual indulgence, this is called right action.

"What is right livelihood? Herein (in this dispensation) the ariyan disciple avoiding wrong livelihood, makes his living by right livelihood, this is called right livelihood.

"What is right effort? Herein a monk puts forth will, strives, stirs up energy, strengthens his mind, exerts himself to prevent the arising of evil, of unwholesome thoughts that have not yet arisen; puts forth will... (as before) to banish the evil, unwholesome thoughts that have already arisen; puts forth will... to develop wholesome thoughts that have not yet arisen; and puts forth will, strives, stirs up energy, strengthens his mind, exerts himself to maintain, to preserve, increase, to bring them to maturity, development, and to complete the wholesome thoughts that have arisen. This is called right effort.

"What is right mindfulness? Herein a monk lives practicing body contemplation on the body, ardent, clearly comprehending and mindful (of it), having overcome covetousness and dejection concerning the world (of the body).

"He lives practicing feeling-contemplation on the feelings, ardent, clearly comprehending and mindful (of it) having overcome covetousness and dejection concerning the world (of feelings).

"He lives practicing mind-contemplation on the mind, ardent, clearly comprehending and mindful (of it) having overcome covetousness and dejection concerning the world (of the mind).

"He lives practicing mind-object contemplation on the mind objects, ardent, clearly comprehending and mindful (of it) having overcome covetousness and dejection concerning the world (of mental objects). This is called right mindfulness.

"And what is right concentration? Herein a monk aloof from sense desires, aloof from unwholesome thoughts, attains to and abides in the first meditative absorption (jhana) which is detachment-born and accompanied by applied thought, sustained thought, joy, and bliss.

"By allaying applied and sustained thought he attains to, and abides in the second jhana which is inner tranquillity, which is unification (of the mind), devoid of applied and sustained thought, and which has joy and bliss.

"By detachment from joy he dwells in equanimity, mindful, and with clear comprehension and enjoys bliss in body, and attains to and abides in the third jhana which the noble ones (ariyas) call: 'Dwelling in equanimity, mindfulness, and bliss.'

"By giving up of bliss and suffering, by the disappearance already of joy and sorrow, he attains to, and abides in the fourth jhana, which is neither suffering nor bliss, and which is the purity of equanimity-mindfulness. This is called right concentration.

"This is called the Noble Truth of the Path leading to the cessation of suffering.

"Your reverence, the matchless Wheel of Dhamma set in motion by the Tathagata, the Consumate One, the supremely Enlightened One, in the Deer Park, at Isipatana near Varanasi, cannot be set in motion by a recluse or brahmana or deva or Brahma or by anyone in the world. That is to say, it was a proclamation of the Four Noble Truths, by way of teaching, laying down, establishing, opening up, analyzing, and elucidating them."

This the Venerable Sariputta said. Those monks glad at heart rejoiced at the words of the Venerable Sariputta.

Notes

1.
M. 141.
2.
For a very comprehensive account of the Four Noble Truths read The Buddha's Ancient Path, Piyadassi Thera, Buddhist Publication Society. Kandy, Sri Lanka (Ceylon).
3.
Literally "fruit," "sotapatti phale."
4.
To train in the path of stream-attainment is more difficult than to train in the path of arahantship for the reason that in the former case one has to deal with undeveloped beings, and in the latter case with those who are already developed, and who are, by virtue of their development, not destined to fall back.
5.
This is another epithet of the Buddha.

24. Discourse on Atanatiya (Atanatiya Sutta[1])  

Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living on the Vulture's Peak near Rajagaha (Rajagir).

Then four great kings[2] having placed a guard over the four quarters, with a large army of Yakkhas, of Gandhabbas, of Kumbhandas, of Nagas; having placed troops; having placed a barricade of soldiers on four sides, came to the presence of the Blessed One, when the night was far advanced, illuminating the entire Vulture's Peak with their surpassing radiance, saluted the Blessed One and sat on one side. From among the (attendant) Yakkhas, some saluted the Blessed One, and sat on one side; some exchanged greetings with the Blessed One conversing in a friendly and courteous manner, and sat on one side; some saluted him with clasped hands, and sat on one side; some announced their name and lineage, and sat on one side; some sat on one side in silence.

Then the great King Vessavana (Skt. Vaisravana[3]), who was seated on one side, said to the Blessed One:

"Venerable Sir (bhante), there are eminent Yakkhas who are not pleased with the Blessed One, there are also eminent Yakkhas pleased with the Blessed One. There are Yakkhas of middle rank who are not pleased with the Blessed One, and there are those who are pleased with the Blessed One. There are Yakkhas of inferior rank who are not pleased with the Blessed One, and there are those who are pleased with the Blessed One. The Yakkhas, bhante, as a rule, are not pleased with the Blessed One. What is the reason for this?"

"Well, the Blessed One teaches the Dhamma to establish abstention from killing, from stealing, from sexual misconduct, from false speech, and from liquor that causes intoxication and negligence. To them such teaching is unpleasant and unpalatable."

"Surely bhante, there are disciples of the Blessed One. They frequent the remote recesses of forest and woodland wilderness where there is no sound, no tumult, where breezes are void of human contact, and suitable for man's seclusion and quiet contemplation. There are eminent Yakkhas who haunt these forests, who have no faith in the word of the Blessed One.

"Bhante, may the Blessed One learn the Atanata[4] protection so that the displeased Yakkhas may be pleased, so that the monks and nuns, laymen and laywomen, may be at ease, guarded, protected and unharmed."

The Blessed One gave consent by his silence. Then the great King Vessavana, knowing that the Blessed One had consented, recited the Atanatiya protection:

1. "Homage to Vipassi (the Buddha) possessed of the eye (of wisdom) and splendor. Homage to Sikhi (the Buddha) compassionate towards all beings.

2. "Homage to Vessabhu (the Buddha) free from all defilements and possessed of ascetic energy. Homage to Kakusanda (the Buddha), the conqueror of (the five-fold) host of Mara.

3. "Homage to Konagamana (the Buddha) who has shed all defilements, and had lived the holy life. Homage to Kassapa (the Buddha) who is fully freed from all defilements.

4. "Homage to Angirasa (the Buddha Gotama), the son of the Sakyas, who is full of radiance, and who proclaimed the Dhamma that dispels all suffering.

5. "Those in the world, who have extinguished (the flames of passion), and have perceived through insight (meditation), things as they really are, they never slander anyone; they are mighty men who are free from fear.

6. "Gotama (the Buddha) dear to gods and men, endowed with knowledge and virtue,[5] mighty and fearless, all do homage to him (homage be to him).

7-8. "When the resplendent sun — offspring of Aditi — with its full orb, arises, then the night ceases, and it is called the day. The direction from which the sun rises (is the East). There exists the ocean deep and vast.

9. "This — a spreading sheet of water — they know as the ocean. Where there is East (to the East of Mount Meru) they say that quarter is East.

10. "Custodian of this quarter is a great king named Dhatarattha who has a retinue of attendants, and is sovereign lord of the Gandhabbas.

11. "Attended by Ghandhabbas he enjoys their song and dance. Many are his (Datharatta's) sons, all of one name, so have I heard.

12-13. "Eighty and ten and one are they, Inda their name, and mighty are they. They too, beholding the Buddha — Kinsman of the sun, mighty and fearless — salute him from afar: "Homage to thee, who art unique among mankind; glory to thee, the noblest among men."[6]

14-15. "As by thy omniscience,[7] thou hast looked on (mankind with a knowing eye), even the non-humans pay reverence to thee. This we have often heard. We, therefore, request the Yakkhas to pay homage to Gotama, the Conqueror (the Buddha). They too say: 'We reverence Gotama, the Conqueror, we reverence Gotama who is endowed with knowledge and virtue.'"

16-18. "The direction from where the petas (corpses), backbiters, murderers, the fierce brigands, and the deceitful are removed, is the direction (to the right of Mount Meru), and is called the quarter of the South. The custodian of this quarter is a great king named Virulha who has a retinue of attendants, and is the sovereign lord of Kumbhandas. Attended by the Kumbhandas he enjoys their song and dance.

19. "Many are his (Virulha's) sons, all of one name, so have I heard. Eighty and ten and one are they, Inda their names, and mighty are they.

20. "They too, beholding the Buddha — Kinsman of the sun, mighty and fearless — salute him from afar: 'Homage to thee, who art unique among mankind; glory to thee, the highest among men.'

21-22. "As by thy omniscience, thou hast looked on (mankind with a knowing eye), even the non-humans pay reverence to thee. This we have often heard. We, therefore, request the Yakkhas to pay homage to Gotama, the Conqueror (the Buddha). They too say: 'We reverence, Gotama, the Conqueror, we reverence Gotama who is endowed with knowledge and virtue.'

23-24. "When the resplendent sun — offspring of Aditi — with its full orb, sets, then the day ceases, and it is called night. The direction where the sun sets (is the West). There exists the ocean deep and vast.

25. "This — a spreading sheet of water — they know as the ocean. Where there is West (to the West of Mount Meru) they say that quarter is West.

26. "Custodians of this quarter is a great king named Virupakkha who has a retinue of attendants, and is sovereign lord of the Nagas.

27. "Attended by Nagas he enjoys their song and dance. Many are his (Virupakkha's) sons, all of one name, so have I heard.

28-29. "Eighty and ten and one are they, Inda their name, and mighty are they. They too, beholding the Buddha — Kinsman of the sun, mighty and fearless — salute him from afar: 'Homage to thee, who art unique among mankind; glory to thee, the noblest among men.'

30-31. "As by thy omniscience, thou hast looked on (mankind with a knowing eye), even the non-humans pay reverence to thee. This we have often heard. We, therefore, request the Yakkhas to pay homage to Gotama, the Conqueror (the Buddha). They too say: 'We reverence, Gotama, the Conqueror, we reverence Gotama who is endowed with knowledge and virtue.'

32. "Where lies delightful Uttarakuru (the Northern continent), where towers beautiful Mount Meru, there are born men who are selfless and unattached.

33. "They neither sow the seed nor use[8] the plow. Spontaneously grown corn is there for them to enjoy.

34. "The rice, purged of the red powder and of husk, clean and sweet-scented, is boiled in golden vessels; it is this that they partake of.

35. "They make of cows a single-seated mount (like mounting on horseback)[9] and ride about from place to place.

36-37. "They make use of women and men, girls and boys as vehicles, and travel from place to place in them.

38. "Mounting on vehicles (on elephants and horses) they (the Yakkhas of King Vessavana) travel in every direction.

39. "This king who has a retinue of attendants, is possessed of elephants and horses on which he rides. He also has celestial chariots, palaces, and palanquins. He has cities well built in the celestial regions.

"Their names are Atanata, Kusinata, Parakusinata, Natapuriya, Parakusitanata. To the North, the city of Kapilavata, to the South[10] Janogha, and cities named Navanavati, Ambara-ambaravati and the kingdom of Alakamanda. Happy one (addressing the Buddha), this Kuvera (another name for Vessavana) has a kingdom named Visna, therefore, the great king Kuvera is called Vessavana. There are Yakkhas (of this king) who hold investigations and make them known. They are Tatola, Tattala, Tatotala, Ojasi, Tejasi, Tatojasi, Suro, Raja (Sura-raja) Arittho, Nemi (Arittha-nemi). There (in Visana kingdom) lies the lake Dharani whence rain-clouds (drawing water) pour them forth. And there is also the hall named Bhagalavati where the Yakkhas assemble.

40. "There (round about the hall) are trees bearing perpetual fruit. (On these trees) there are multitudes of birds. There also is heard the cry of peacocks and herons, and the melodious song of kokilas (the Indian cuckoo).

41. "There (near the lake) the cry of the birds, who call 'Live ye! Live ye!' (jivamjivaka) is heard. The bird Otthavacittaka ('O lift your hearts!'), the jungle fowls, the crabs and the Pokkharasataka birds roam the woods.

42. "There the cry of the parrot, the myna-birds and the dandamanavaka birds is heard. And Kuvera's lotus-lake ever lies in her beauty in all seasons.

43-44. "That direction (to the North of Mount Meru) is called by people the quarter of the North. The custodian of this quarter is a great king named Kuvera who has a retinue of attendants, and is sovereign lord of the Yakkhas. Attended by the Yakkhas he enjoys their songs and dance.

45. "Many are his (Kuvera's) sons, all of one name, so have I heard. Eighty and ten and one are they, Inda their names, and mighty are they.

46. "They too, beholding the Buddha, kinsman of the sun, mighty and fearless, salute him from afar: 'Homage to thee, who art unique among mankind! Glory to thee, the noblest among men.'

47-48. "As by thy pure omniscience thou hast looked on (mankind); even the non-humans pay reverence to thee, this we have heard. We, therefore, request the Yakkhas to pay homage to Gotama, the Conqueror (the Buddha). They, too, say, 'We reverence Gotama, the Conqueror, we reverence Gotama who is endowed with knowledge and virtue.'

"Happy One, this is the Atanata protection whereby both the monks and nuns, laymen and laywomen may live at ease, guarded, protected, and unharmed.

"If any monk or nun, layman or laywoman learns by heart this Atanata protection, and be word-perfect in repeating it, and if any non-human male or female Yakkha, youth or maiden Yakkha, Yakkha Minister or any Yakkha, or Yakkha attendant; male or female Gandhabba... (as before); male or female Kumbhanda... male or female Naga... were to walk with him or her, or stand or sit or lie down with him or her with malevolent intent, such a non-human, Happy One, will not obtain hospitality from any town or township, will not obtain a place to dwell, nor could live in the Kingdom of Alakamanda. He will not be able to attend the meetings of the Yakkhas. Further he would not be accepted or given in marriage, he would be reproached (by casting remarks on his deformed teeth or eyes or any part of the body), and the non-humans would put an empty bowl over his head and split it (head) in seven pieces.

"Happy One, there are non-humans who are fierce, violent, given to retaliation; those non-humans heed neither the (four) great kings, nor their ministers nor their attendants. They are called rebels against the (four) great kings. Even as in the kingdom of Magadha, the thieves heed neither the king of Magadha, nor the ministers, nor their attendants, and are called rebels against the king of Magadha, so there are non-humans who are fierce... (as before). They are called rebels against the (four) great kings.

"Happy One, if any non-human — male or female Yakkha, youth or maiden Yakkha, yakkha minister or any Yakkha, or Yakkha attendant; male or female Gandhabba... (as before); male or female Kumbhanda... male or female Naga... were to walk with a monk or nun, or a layman or laywoman, or stand, or sit, or lie down with him or her with malevolent intent, then should (the molested one) inform, cry aloud and shout to those Yakkhas, to the mighty Yakkhas, their commanders and chief commanders saying: 'This Yakkha is seizing me, takes possession of me, is harassing me, assailing me, is harming me, harming me intensely and would not let me go!'

"Who are the Yakkhas, mighty Yakkhas and commanders, and chief commanders (to whom such appeal should be made)?

49. Inda, Soma, and Varuna, Bharadvaja, Pajapati, Candana, Kamasettha too, Kinnughandu, Nigahandu, 50. Panada, Opamanna too, Devasata and Matali, Cittasena and Gandhabba, Nala, Raja, Janesabha, 51. Satagira, Hemavata, Punnaka, Karatiya, Gula, Sivaka, Mucalinda too, Vessamitta, Yugandhara, 52. Gopala, Suppagedha too, Hiri, Netti, and Mandiya, Pañcalacanda, Alavaka, Pajjunna, Sumana, Sumukha, Dadamukkha, With these Serisakka.

"These are the Yakkhas, mighty Yakkhas, the commanders, the chief commanders to whom (the molested one) should inform, cry aloud and shout saying: 'This Yakkha is seizing me, takes possession of me, is harassing me, assailing me, is harming me, and harming me intensely, and this Yakkha would not let me go!'

"This, Happy One, is the Atanata protection whereby monks and nuns, laymen and laywomen may live at ease, guarded, protected, and unharmed.

"Happy One, we now take our leave of you; for we have many duties to attend to (so said the four Great Kings)."

"Great Kings, it is time for your departure" (replied the Buddha).

The four great kings arose from their seats, and saluting the Blessed One, circled round him on his right side, and there and then vanished. From among the (attendant) Yakkhas some arose from their seats, and saluted the Blessed One, circled round him on his right side, and there and then vanished; some exchanged greetings with the Blessed One conversing in a friendly and courteous manner, and there and then vanished; some saluted the Blessed One with clasped hands, and there and then vanished; some announced their name and lineage, and there and then vanished; some in silence there and then vanished.

When the night had passed the Blessed One addressed the monks: (The Buddha related to the monks word for word what has been said by the great King Vessavana, see above.) "Learn by heart, monks, the Atanata protection, constantly make use of it, bear it in mind. This Atanata protection, monks, pertains to your welfare, and by virtue of it, monks and nuns, laymen and laywomen may live at ease, guarded, protected, and unharmed."

This the Blessed One said. Those monks glad at heart rejoiced at the words of the Blessed One.

Notes

1.
D. No. 32.
2.
They are Dhatarattha, Virulha, Virupakkha, and Vessavana, presiding over the four quarters in the celestial regions.
3.
Vessavana, king of the Northern quarter, according to the Commentary, was familiar with the Buddha, expert in conversation and well-disciplined, and thus he became the spokesman. Kuvera is another name for Vessavana. See above, p. 75, stanza 27.
4.
According to Dighanikaya-attakatha-tika (vol iii, p. 194), King Vessavana had a town by the name of Atanata (cf. below, stanza 39), where the four kings assembled and recited this Paritta which speaks of the virtues of the seven Buddhas: Vipassi, Sikhi, Vessabhu, Kakusanda, Konagama, Kassapa, Gotama.

They approached the Buddha with the intention of obtaining his approval in which event, they felt, that this Paritta will attain a revered position: "satthu kathite imam parittam garu bhavissatiti pi aha" (Comy).

Learn, ugganhatha: There is nothing for the Buddha to learn afresh. As the Commentary says, it was to create an opportunity for the Buddha to listen to the discourse, "Imam parittam savetum okasam karonto evamha."

5.
Vijja-carana: literally science and conduct.
6.
From the 13th stanza I have adopted the method of numbering the stanzas in consecutive order.
7.
Kusalena, an unusual phrase: "omniscience," "pure wisdom," "sublime wisdom" (Comy).
8.
Na piniyanti, literally they do not carry the plough.
9.
Tam pittim abhiruyha, mounting on the back (Comy).
10.
Etassa aparabhage (Comy).

Here Ends the Book of Protection

Appendix  

Protective Discourse to Angulimala (Angulimala Paritta)

The Venerable Angulimala while on his rounds for alms in Savatthi saw a woman in travail. After his meal he approached the Buddha and told him what he had seen. Thereupon the master taught him this paritta. He then went to the presence of the suffering sister, sat on a seat separated from her by a screen, and made this asseveration of the Truth. Instantly she gave birth to the child with great ease. The efficacy of the Angulimala paritta persists to this day.

This sutta is not included in the "Book of Protection." The words, uttered by the Buddha by way of protection, and learned by the Venerable Angulimala, are found in the Angulimala sutta (Majjhima nikaya, sutta no. 86).

The very water that washed the seat of him who recited this paritta has put an end to all danger. At that very moment this paritta effected a safe delivery of the infant.

Now we shall recite that very efficacious paritta uttered by the Protector of the world (Buddha) which holds good for an aeon.[1]

"Since I was born of Aryan birth,[2] O sister, I am not aware of having intentionally deprived any living being of his life. By this asseveration of Truth may you be well! May thy unborn child be well!"

Notes

1.
Majjhima Comy.
2.
I.e., since Angulimala joined the Sangha, the Order.
* * *

Invitation to Deities (Devaradhana)

May devas (deities) of all world systems assemble here, and listen to that sublime Dhamma of the Great Sage (Buddha) which confers the bliss of heaven and deliverance (Nibbana).

Good friends, now is time for listening to the Dhamma.

At the end of the recital of each discourse the reciters bless the listeners thus:

By the asseveration of this truth may you ever be well.
By the asseveration of this truth may you be free from illness.
By the asseveration of this truth may all blessings be upon you.
By the (protective) power of all Buddhas, Pacceka Buddhas and all arahants I secure my (your) protection in every way.

(The preceding stanza is recited at the moment the thread is being tied round the arm.)

May all misfortunes be warded off, may all ailments cease; may no calamities befall you; may you live long in peace.

May all blessings be upon you. May all devas (deities) protect you.

By the protective power of all the Buddhas may safety ever be yours.

By the protective power of all the Dhamma may safety ever be yours.

By the protective power of all the Sangha may safety ever be yours.

By the power of this paritta (protection) may you be free from all dangers arising from malign influences of the planets, demons, and spirits. May thy misfortunes vanish.

By the power of the Buddha may all evil omens and untoward circumstances, the ominous cry of birds, the malign conjunctions of the stars, and evil dreams be rendered nugatory.

By the power of the Dhamma... (as before) be rendered nugatory.

By the power of the Sangha... (as before) be rendered nugatory.

May those beings who suffer be free from suffering.

May those beings who are in fear be free from fear.

May those beings who are in grief be free from grief.

May the rains fall in due season; may there be a rich harvest; may the world prosper; may the ruler be righteous.

May beings, celestial and terrestrial, Devas and Nagas of mighty power, share this merit of ours. May they long protect the Dispensation.

May all beings share this merit which we have thus acquired. May it redound to their happiness.

Let this (merit) accrue to my relatives; may they be well and happy.

From the highest realm of existence to avici hell, whatever beings that are born — those with form and the formless ones, those with or without consciousness — may they all be free from suffering! May they attain Nibbana!

By the power of the immense merit I have acquired by paying homage to the "Triple Gem" (the Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha) which is eminently worthy of reverence, may all dangers cease!

End Notes  

  • ahara, Food or nutriment is of four kinds: 1. ordinary material food (kabalinkarahara); 2. contact (of sense organs with sense objects, phassahara); 3. consciousness (viññanahara); and 4. mental volition (manasañcetanahara). See The Four Nutriments of Life by Nyanaponika Thera, Wheel No. 105/106, Buddhist Publication Society, (BPS) Kandy, Sri Lanka.
  • Asubha, Non-attractiveness, foulness; (literally non-beautifulness).
  • Vedana, Feeling or sensation is of three kinds: pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral feeling.
  • Pañca-upadanakkhandha, The five aggregates subject to grasping: matter, feeling or sensation, perceptions, mental (volitional) formations, and consciousness.
  • Salayatana, The internal six-fold base: the five physical sense organs (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and the mind base (see Dependent Origination or Paticca samuppada, by Piyadassi Thera, Wheel No. 15, BPS).
  • Satta Bojjhanga, Seven Factors of Enlightenment: 1. Mindfulness; 2. Investigation of the dhamma; 3. Energy; 4. Rapture or happiness; 5. Calm; 6. Concentration; and 7. Equanimity (see Seven Factors of Enlightenment, by Piyadassi Thera, Wheel No. 1, BPS).
  • The Noble Eightfold Path: see Discourse on the Analysis of the Truths.
  • The four pairs of persons constitute the four kinds of aryan disciples who have attained the four paths (or stages) and four fruits of sanctity (magga and phala). The four stages are: sotapatti ('stream-entry') where self-illusion, doubt, and ritualism are ended, sakadagami ('once-return') where sensuality and ill will are weakened, anagami ('non-return') where sensuality and ill will are ended, and arahattha ('arahantship') where craving for form, craving for formless phenomena, conceit, restlessness, and ignorance are ended. (Ten bonds or fetters (sanyojanas) that bind the mind to the cycle of rebirths are in Pali: sakkaya ditti, vicikiccha, silabbata-paramasa, kama-raga, vyapada, rupa-raga, arupa-raga, mana, uddhacca and avijja, respectively. See Maha-parinibbana Sutta, D. 16; Three Cardinal Discourses by Bhikkhu Ñanamoli Thera, Wheel Publ. No.17.)
  • Navasattavasa, Nine abodes of beings: the abodes where beings such as humans, animals, devas, ghosts, and brahmas are born, and the realms of the infinity of space, infinity of consciousness, of nothiness, and of neither perception and non-perception (see Minor Readings and Illustrator, by Bhikkha Ñanamoli, Pali Text Society, London, p.92).
  • The ten attributes of an arahant, or Asekha, one who has completed his moral and spiritual training, i.e., the Consummate One: 1. Right Understanding, 2. Right Thought, 3. Right Speech, 4. Right Action, 5. Right Livelihood, 6. Right Effort, 7. Right Mindfulness, 8. Right Concentration, 9. Right Knowledge (Sammañana), 10. Right Deliverance (Samma vimutti) which is the fruit of arahantship.

Abbreviations  

A. Books

All references to Pali texts are to the editions of the PTS.

AAnguttara-nikaya (number of the volume and page marked against).
DDigha-nikaya (number of the sutta marked against).
DADigha-nikayatthakatha, i.e., Sumangalavilasini.
KhpKhuddaka-patha.
KhpAKhuddaka-patha Atthakatha, i.e., Paramatthajotika.
MMajjhima-nikaya (number of the sutta marked against).
MAMajjhima-nikayatthakatha, i.e., Papañcasadani.
SSamyutta-nikaya (number of the volume and page marked against).
SnSutta-nipata.
SnASutta-nipatatthakatha, i.e., Paramatthajotika II.

B. Terms

ComyCommentary.
NikayaA collection of suttas in Pali.
nNote.
SktSanskrit.
SuttaA sermon or discourse of the Buddha or his disciples recorded in the Canonical Texts.