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   Buddhist Writings.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
II. The Doctrine
 
The Summum Bonum
 
Translated from the Majjhima-Nikya, and constituting Sutta 26
 
 
THUS have I heard.  1
  On a certain occasion The Blessed One was dwelling at Svatthi in Jetavana monastery in Anthapindika’s Park. Then The Blessed One, having put on his tunic in the morning, and taken his bowl and his robes, entered Svatthi for alms.  2
  Then a great number of priests drew near to where the venerable Ananda was; and having drawn near, they spoke to the venerable Ananda as follows:  3
  “It is a long time, brother Ananda, since we listened to a doctrinal discourse from the mouth of The Blessed One. Come, brother Ananda, let us obtain an opportunity to lIsten to a doctrinal discourse from the mouth of The Blessed One.”  4
  “Well, then, venerable sirs, draw near to the monastery of Ramaka the Brahman. Perchance you may obtain an opportunity to listen to a doctrinal discourse from the mouth of The Blessed One.”  5
  “Yes, brother,” said the priests to the venerable Ananda in assent.  6
  Then The Blessed One, when he had gone the rounds for alms in Svatthi, returned from his begging, and after breakfast, addressed the venerable Ananda:  7
  “Let us go hence, Ananda, and to Eastern Monastery, and to the storied mansion of Migra’s mother will we draw near for our noon-day rest.”  8
  “Yes, Reverend Sir,” said the venerable Ananda to The Blessed One in assent.  9
  Then The Blessed One, in company with the venerable Ananda, drew near to Eastern Monastery, and to the storied mansion of Migra’s mother, for his noon-day rest. Then The Blessed One, in the afternoon, rose from meditation, and addressed the venerable Ananda:  10
  “Let us go hence, Ananda, and to Eastern Tank will we draw near to bathe our limbs.”  11
  “Yes, Reverend Sir,” said the venerable Ananda to The Blessed One in assent.  12
  Then The Blessed One, in company with the venerable Ananda, drew near to Eastern Tank to bathe his limbs; and having bathed his limbs in Eastern Tank and come up out of the water, he stood with but a single garment on, drying his limbs.  13
  Then the venerable Ananda spoke to The Blessed One as follows:  14
  “Reverend Sir, here is the monastery of Rammaka the Brahman, but a short way off. Delightful, Reverend Sir, is the monastery of Rammaka the Brahman; enchanting, Reverend Sir, is the monastery of Rammaka the Brahman. Reverend Sir, pray let The Blessed One be so kind as to draw near to where the monastery of Rammaka the Brahman is.” And The Blessed One consented by his silence.  15
  Then The Blessed One drew near to where the monastery of Rammaka the Brahman was. Now at that time a great number of priests were seated in the monastery of Rammaka the Brahman, engaged in doctrinal discourse. Then The Blessed One stood outside in the entrance porch, and awaited the end of the discourse. Then The Blessed One, when he perceived that the discourse had come to an end, coughed, and rattled the bolt of the door. And the priests opened the door for The Blessed One. Then The Blessed One entered the monastery of Rammaka the Brahman, and sat on the seat that was spread for him. And when The Blessed One had sat down, he addressed the priests:  16
  “What O priests, was the subject of the present meeting? and what the discourse you were holding?”  17
  “Reverend Sir, our doctrinal discourse was concerning The Blessed One, and then The Blessed One arrived.”  18
  “Well said, O priests! This, O priests, is worthy of you as youths of good family, who have through faith retired from the household life to the houseless one, that ye sit together in doctrinal discourse. O priests, one of two things should you do when you meet together: either hold a doctrinal discourse, or maintain a noble silence.  19
  “There are two cravings, O priests; the noble one, and the ignoble one. And what, O priests, is the ignoble craving?  20
  “We may have, O priests, the case of one who, himself subject to birth, craves what is subject to birth; himself subject to old age, craves what is subject to old age; himself subject to disease, … death, … sorrow, … corruption, craves what is subject to corruption.  21
  “And what, O priests, should one consider as subject to birth?  22
  “Wife and child, O priests, are subject to birth; slaves, male and female, … goats and sheep … fowls and pigs … elephants, cattle, horses and mares … gold and silver are subject to birth. All the substrata of being, O priests, are subject to birth; and enveloped, besotted, and immersed in them, this person, himself subject to birth, craves what is subject to birth.  23
  “And what, O priests, should one consider as subject to old age … disease … death … sorrow … corruption?  24
  “Wife and child, O priests, are subject to corruption; slaves, male and female, … goats and sheep … fowls and pigs … elephants, cattle, horses and mares … gold and silver are subject to corruption. All the substrata of being, O priests, are subject to corruption; and enveloped, besotted, and immersed in them, this person, himself subject to corruption, craves what is subject to corruption.  25
  “This, O priests, is the ignoble craving.  26
  “And what, O priests, is the noble craving?  27
  “We may have, O priests, the case of one who, himself subject to birth, perceives the wretchedness of what is subject to birth, and craves the incomparable security of a Nirvana free from birth; himself subject to old age, … disease, … death, … sorrow, … corruption, perceives the wretchedness of what is subject to corruption, and craves the incomparable security of a Nirvana free from corruption.  28
  “This, O priests, is the noble craving.  29
  “Now I, O priests, before my Buddhaship, being not yet a Buddha, but a Future Buddha, myself subject to birth, craved what was subject to birth; myself subject to old age, … disease, … death, … sorrow, … corruption, craved what was subject to corruption. And it occurred to me, O priests, as follows:  30
  “‘Why, myself subject to birth, do I crave what is subject to birth? myself subject to old age, … disease, … death, … sorrow, … corruption, do I crave what is subject to corruption? What if now, myself subject to birth, and perceiving the wretchedness of what is subject to birth, I were to crave the incomparable security of a Nirvana free from birth; myself subject to old age, … disease, … death, … sorrow, … corruption, I were to crave the incomparable security of a Nirvana free from corruption?’  31
  “Subsequently, O priests, although of tender age, with the black hair of a lad, and in the hey-day of my youth, and just entering on my prime, and although my mother and my father were unwilling, and tears streamed from their eyes, I had my hair and my beard shaved off, and put on yellow garments, and retired from the house-hold life to the houseless one. And having thus retired from the world, and craving the summum bonum, the incomparable peaceful state, I drew near to where Alra Klma was; and having drawn near, I spoke to Alra Klma as follows:  32
  “‘Brother Klma, I would like to lead the religious life under your doctrine and discipline.’  33
  “When I had thus spoken, O priests, Alra Klma spoke to me as follows:  34
  “‘Let your venerable worship do so. Such is this doctrine that in no long time an intelligent man can learn for himself, realize, and live in the possession of all that his master has to teach.’  35
  “Then I, O priests, in no long time, quickly acquired that doctrine. And I, O priests, and others with me, by a mere lip-profession, and a mere verbal assertion, claimed that we knew and had perceived the true knowledge and the orthodox doctrine. And it occurred to me, O priests, as follows:  36
  “‘It is not through mere faith in this doctrine that Alra Klma announces that he has learnt it for himself, realized it, and lives in the possession of it. Alra Klma surely knows and perceives this doctrine.’  37
  “Then, O priests, I drew near to where Alra Klma was; and having drawn near, I spoke to Alra Klma as follows:  38
  “‘Brother Klma, how far does this doctrine conduct, concerning which you announce that you have learnt it for yourself, realized it, and entered upon it?’  39
  “When I had thus spoken, O priests, Alra Klma announced that it conducted to the realm of nothingness. And it occurred to me, O priests, as follows:  40
  “‘Faith is not peculiar to Alra Klma: I also have faith. Hero ism … contemplation … concentration … wisdom is not peculiar to Alra Klma: I also have wisdom. What if now I were to strive for the realization of that doctrine, concerning which Alra Klma announces that he has learnt it for himself, realized it, and lives in the possession of it.’ Then I, O priests, in no long time, quickly learnt that doctrine for myself, realized it, and lived in the possession of it. Then, O priests, I drew near to where Alra Klma was; and having drawn near, I spoke to Alra Klma as follows:  41
  “‘Brother Klma, is this as far as the doctrine conducts, concerning which you announce that you have learnt it for yourself, realized it, and entered upon it?’  42
  “‘This, brother, is as far as the doctrine conducts, concerning which I announce that I have learnt it for myself, realized it, and entered upon it.’  43
  “‘I also, brother, have learnt this doctrine for myself, realized it, and live in the possession of it.’  44
  “‘How fortunate, brother, are we! What supreme good fortune, brother, is ours that we should light on such a co-religionist as is your venerable worship. Thus the doctrine concerning which I announce that I have learnt it for myself, realized it, and entered upon it, that doctrine you have learnt for yourself, realized, and live in the possession of; the doctrine which you have learnt for yourself, realized, and live in the possession of, concerning that doctrine I announce that I have learnt it for myself, realized it, and entered upon it. Thus you know this doctrine, and I know this doctrine. You are the same as I am, and I am the same as you are. Come, brother, let us lead this following in common.’  45
  “Thus, O priests, did Alra Klma, my teacher, take me, his pupil, and make me every whit the equal of himself, and honor me with very great honor. And it occurred to me, O priests, as follows:  46
  “‘This doctrine does not lead to aversion, absence of passion, cessation, quiescence, knowledge, supreme wisdom, and Nirvana, but only as far as the realm of nothingness.’  47
  “And I, O priests, did not honor that doctrine with my adhesion, and being averse to that doctrine, I departed on my journey.  48
  “And craving, O priests, the summum bonum, the incomparable peaceful state, I drew near to where Uddaka, the disciple of Rma, was; and having drawn near, I spoke to Uddaka, the disciple of Rma, as follows:  49
  “‘Brother, I would like to lead the religious life under your doctrine and discipline.’  50
  “When I had thus spoken, O priests, Uddaka, the disciple of Rma, spoke to me as follows:  51
  “‘Let your venerable worship do so. Such is this doctrine that in no long time an intelligent man can learn for himself, realize, and live in the possession of all that his master has to teach.’  52
  “Then I, O priests, in no long time, quickly acquired that doctrine. And I, O priests, and others with me, by a mere lip-profession, and a mere verbal assertion, claimed that we knew and had perceived the true knowledge and the orthodox doctrine. And it occurred to me, O priests, as follows:  53
  “‘It was not through mere faith in this doctrine that Rma announced that he had learnt it for himself, realized it, and lived in the possession of it. Rma surely knew and perceived this doctrine.’  54
  “Then, O priests, I drew near to where Uddaka, the disciple of Rma, was; and having drawn near, I spoke to Uddaka, the disciple of Rma, as follows:  55
  “‘Brother, how far does this doctrine conduct, concerning which Rma made known that he had learnt it for himself, realized it, and entered upon it?’  56
  “When I had thus spoken, O priests, Uddaka, the disciple of Rma, announced that it conducted to the realm of neither perception nor yet non-perception. And it occurred to me, O priests, as follows:  57
  “‘Faith is not peculiar to Rma: I also have faith. Heroism … contemplation … concentration … wisdom is not peculiar to Rma: I also have wisdom. What if now I were to strive for that doctrine, concerning which Rma announced that he had learnt it for himself, realized it, and lived in the possession of it.’ Then I, O priests, in no long time, quickly learnt that doctrine for myself, realized it, and lived in the possession of it. Then, O priests, I drew near to where Uddaka, the disciple of Rma, was; and having drawn near, I spoke to Uddaka, the disciple of Rma, as follows:  58
  “‘Brother, is this as far as the doctrine conducts, concerning which Rma announced that he had learnt it for himself, realized it, and entered upon it?  59
  “‘This, brother, is as far as the doctrine conducts, concerning which Rma announced that he had learnt it for himself, realized, and entered upon it.’  60
  “‘I also, brother, have learnt this doctrine for myself, realized it, and live in the possession of it.’  61
  “‘How fortunate, brother, are we! What supreme good fortune, brother, is ours that we should light on such a co-religionist as is your venerable worship. Thus the doctrine concerning which Rma announced that he had learnt it for himself, realized it, and entered upon it, that doctrine you have learnt for yourself, realized, and live in the possession of, the doctrine which you have learnt for yourself, realized, and live in the possession of; the doctrine which you have learnt for yourself, realized, and live in the possession of, concerning that doctrine Rma announced that he had learnt it for himself, realized it, and entered upon it. Thus you know this doctrine, and Rma knew this doctrine. You are the same as Rma was, and Rma was the same as you are. Come, brother, lead this following.’  62
  “Thus, O priests, did Uddaka, the disciple of Rma, my co-religionist, make me his teacher, and honor me with very great honor. And it occurred to me, O priests, as follows:  63
  “This doctrine does not lead to aversion, absence of passion, cessation, Quiescence, knowledge, supreme wisdom, and Nirvana, but only as far as the realm of neither perception nor yet non-perception.’  64
  “And I, O priests, did not honor that doctrine with my adhesion; and being averse to that doctrine, I departed on my journey.  65
  “And craving, O priests, the summum bonum, the incomparable peaceful state, I came in the course of my journeyings among the Magadhans to Uruvella, the General’s Town. There I perceived a delightful spot with an enchanting grove of trees, and a silvery flowing river, easy of approach and delightful, and a village near by in which to beg. And it occurred to me, O priests, as follows:  66
  “‘Truly, delightful is this spot, enchanting this grove of trees, and this silvery river flows by, easy of approach and delightful, and there is a village near by in which to beg. Truly, there is here everything necessary for a youth of good family who is desirous of struggling.’  67
  “And there I settled down, O priests, as everything was suitable for struggling.  68
  “And being, O priests, myself subject to birth, I perceived the wretchedness of what is subject to birth, and craving the incomparable security of a Nirvana free from birth, I attained the incomparable security of a Nirvana free from birth; myself subject to old age, … disease, … death, … sorrow, … corruption, I perceived the wretchedness of what is subject to corruption, and craving the incomparable security of a Nirvana free from corruption, I attained the incomparable security of Nirvana free from corruption. And the knowledge and the insight sprang up within me, ‘My deliverance is unshakable; this is my last existence; no more shall I be born again.’ And it occurred to me, O priests as follows:  69
  “‘This doctrine to which I have attained is profound, recondite, and difficult of comprehension, good, excellent, and not to be reached by mere reasoning, subtile, and intelligible only to wise. Man-kind, on the other hand, is captivated, entranced, held spell-bound by its lusts; and forasmuch as mankind is captivated, entranced, held spell-bound by its lusts; it is hard for them to understand the law of dependence on assignable reasons, the doctrine of Dependent Origination, and it is also hard for them to understand how all the constituents of being may be made to subside, all the substrata of being be relinquished, and desire be made to vanish, and absence of passion, cessation, and Nirvana be attained. If I were to teach the Doctrine, others would fail to understand me, and my vexation and trouble would be great.’  70
  “Then, O priests, the following stanzas occurred to me, not heard of before from any one else:
        “‘This Doctrine out of toil begot
I see ’ tis useless to proclaim:
Mankind’s by lusts and hates enthralled,
’Tis hopeless they should master it.
 
“‘Repugnant, abstruse would it prove,
Deep, subtile, and beyond their ken;
Th’ infatuates live in clouds of lusts,
And cannot for the darkness see.’
  71
  “Thus, O priests, did I ponder, and my mind was disinclined to action, and to any proclaiming of the Doctrine.  72
  “Then, O priests, Brahma Sahampati perceived what was in my mind, and it occurred to him as follows:  73
  “‘Lo, the world is lost, is ruined! For the mind of The Tathgata, The Saint, The Supreme Buddha, is disinclined to action, and to any proclaiming of the doctrine.’  74
  “Then, O priests, Brahma Sahampati, as quickly as a strong man might stretch out his bent arm, or might draw in his outstretched arm, even so, having vanished from the Brahma-world, appeared in my presence.  75
  “Then, O priests, Brahma Sahampati threw his upper garment over his shoulder and, stretching out to me his joined palms, spoke as follows:  76
  “‘Reverend Sir, let The Blessed One teach the Doctrine, let The Happy One teach the Doctrine. There are some beings having but little moral defilement, and through not hearing the Doctrine they perish. Some will be found to understand the Doctrine.’  77
  “Thus, O priests, spoke Brahma Sahampati, and having thus spoken, he continued as follows:
        “‘The Magadhans hold hitherto a doctrine
Impure, thought out by men themselves not spotless.
Ope thou the door that to the deathless leadeth:
Him let them hear who is himself unspotted.
 
“‘As one who standeth on a rocky pinnacle,
Might thence with wide-extended view behold mankind,
Climb thou, Wise One, the top of Doctrine’s palace,
And thence gaze down serene on all the peoples,
Behold how all mankind is plunged in sorrow,
And how old age and death have overwhelmed them.
 
“‘Rise thou, O Hero, Victor in thE Battle!
O Leader, Guiltless One, go ’mongst the nations!
The Doctrine let The Buddha teach,
Some will be found to master it.’
  78
  “Then I, O priests, perceiving the desire of Brahma, and having compassion on living beings, gazed over the world with the eye of a Buddha. And as I gazed over the world with the eye of a Buddha, I saw people of every variety: some having but little moral defilement, and some having great moral defilement; some of keen faculties, and some of dull faculties; some of good disposition, and some of bad disposition; some that were docile, and some that were not docile; and also some who saw the terrors of the hereafter and of blameworthy actions. Just as in a pond of blue lotuses, of water-roses, or of white lotuses, some of the blossoms which have sprung up and grown in the water, do not reach the surface of the water but grow under water; some of the blossoms which have sprung up and grown in the water, are even with the surface of the water; and some of the blossoms which have sprung up and grown in the water, shoot up above the water and are not touched by the water; in exactly the same way, O priests, as I gazed over the world with the eye of a Buddha, I saw people of every variety: some having but little moral defilement, and some having great moral defilement; some of keen faculties, and some of dull faculties; some of good disposition, and some of bad disposition; some that were docile, and some that were not docile; and also some who saw the terrors of the hereafter and of blameworthy actions. And when I had seen this, O priests, I addressed Brahma Sahampati in the following stanza:
        “‘Let those with ears to hear come give me credence,
For lo! the door stands open to the deathless.
O Brahma, ’twas because I feared annoyance
That I was loath to tell mankind the Doctrine.’
  79
  “Then, O priests, thought Brahma Sahampati, ‘The Blessed One has granted my request that he should teach the Doctrine,’ and saluting me, he turned his right side towards me, and straightway disappeared.  80
  “Then, O priests, it occurred to me as follows:  81
  “‘To whom had I best teach the Doctrine first? Who would quickly comprehend this Doctrine?’  82
  “Then, O priests, it occurred to me as follows:  83
  “‘Here is this Alra Klma, who is learned, skilled, intelligent, and has long been a person having but little defilement. What if I teach the Doctrine to Alra Klma first? He would quickly comprehend this Doctrine.’  84
  “Then, O priests, a deity announced to me,  85
  “‘Reverend Sir, Alra Klma is dead these seven days.’  86
  “Also in me the knowledge sprang up, ‘Alra Klma is dead these seven days.’  87
  “Then, O priests, it occurred to me as follows:  88
  “‘A noble man was Alra Klma. Surely, if he could have heard this Doctrine, he would quickly have comprehended it.’  89
  “Then, O priests, it occurred to me as follows:  90
  “‘To whom had I best teach the Doctrine first? Who would quickly comprehend this Doctrine?’  91
  “Then, O priests, it occurred to me as follows:  92
  “‘Here is this Uddaka, the disciple of Rma, who is learned, skilled, intelligent, and has long been a person having but little defilement. What if I teach the Doctrine to Uddaka, the disciple of Rma, first? He would quickly comprehend this Doctrine.’  93
  “Then, O priests, a deity announced to me,  94
  “‘Reverend Sir, Uddaka, the disciple of Rma, died yesterday at night-fall.’  95
  “Also in me, O priests, the knowledge sprang up, ‘Uddaka, the disciple of Rma, died yesterday at night-fall.’  96
  “Then, O priests, it occurred to me as follows:  97
  “‘A noble man was Uddaka, the disciple of Rma. Surely, if he could have heard this Doctrine, he would quickly have comprehended it.’  98
  “Then, O priests, it occurred to me as follows:  99
  “‘To whom had I best teach the Doctrine first? Who would quickly comprehend this Doctrine?’  100
  “Then, O priests, it occurred to me as follows:  101
  “‘Of great service has this band of five priests been, who waited upon me while I devoted myself to the struggle. What if I teach the Doctrine to the band of five priests first?’  102
  “Then, O priests, it occurred to me as follows:  103
  “‘Where does the band of five priests dwell at present?’  104
  “And I, O priests, with my divinely clear vision surpassing that of men, saw the band of five priests dwelling at Benares, in the deerpark Isipatana.  105
  “Then, O priests, having dwelt at Uruvel as long as I wished, I proceeded on my wanderings in the direction of Benares. And Upaka, a naked ascetic, beheld me proceeding along the highway between the Bo-tree and Gay. And having seen me, he spoke to me as follows:  106
  “‘Placid, brother, are all your organs of sense; clear and bright is the color of your skin. To follow whom, brother, did you retire from the world? Who is your teacher? and whose doctrine do you approve?’  107
  “When, O priests, Upaka, the naked ascetic, had thus spoken, I addressed him in the following stanzas:
        “‘All-conquering have I now become, all-knowing;
Untainted by the elements of being.
I’ve left all things, am freed through thirst’s destruction
All wisdom’s mine; what teacher should I follow?
 
“‘I have no teacher anywhere;
My equal nowhere can be found;
In all the world with all its gods,
No one to rival me exists.
 
“‘The saintship, verily, I’ve gained,
I am The Teacher, unsurpassed;
I am The Buddha, sole, supreme;
Lust’s fire is quenched, Nirvana gained.
 
“‘To found the Doctrine’s reign I seek
Benares, chief of Ksi’s towns;
And for this blinded world I’ll cause
The drum of deathlessness to beat.’
  108
  “‘Which is as much as to say, brother, that you profess to be a saint, an immeasurable Conqueror.’
        “‘Yea, were The Conquerors like to me,
Well rid of all depravity.
I’ve conquered every evil trait;
Thus, Upaka, a Conqueror I.’
  109
  “‘You may be right, brother,’ replied Upaka, the naked ascetic; and shaking his head, he took another road and departed.  110
  “Then, O priests, I proceeded on my wanderings from place to place, and drew near to Benares, to the deer-park Isipatana, and to where the band of five priests was. And, O priests, the band of five priests saw me approaching from afar, and, when they had seen me, they made an agreement among themselves, saying:  111
  “‘Here, brethren, is the monk Gotama approaching, that luxurious fellow who gave up the struggle and devoted himself to a life of luxury. Let us not salute him, nor rise and go to meet him, nor relieve him of his bowl and his robe. We will merely spread a seat for him: he can then sit down, if he is so inclined.’  112
  “But, O priests, as I gradually approached, the band of five priests found themselves unable to hold to their agreement, and rising to meet me, one of them relieved me of my bowl and my robe, another spread a seat for me, and another brought water for washing my feet. But, O priests, they addressed me by my name, and by the title of ‘Brother.’  113
  “When, O priests, I noticed this, I spoke to the band of five priests as follows:  114
  “‘O, priests, address not The Tathgata by his name, nor by the title of “Brother.” A saint, O priests, is The Tathgata, a Supreme Buddha. Give ear, O priests! The deathless has been gained, and I will instruct you, and teach you the Doctrine. If ye will do according to my instructions, in no long time, and in the present life, ye shall learn for yourselves, and shall realize and live in the possession of that highest good to which the holy life conducts, and for the sake of which youths of good family so nobly retire from the household life to the houseless one.’  115
  “When I had thus spoken, O priests, the band of five priests said to me as follows:  116
  “‘Brother Gotama, those practices of yours, that method of procedure, those stern austerities did not enable you to transcend human limitations and attain to pre-eminence in full and sublime knowledge and insight. How, then, now that you are luxurious, and have given up the struggle and devoted yourself to a life of luxury, can you have transcended human limitations and attained to pre-eminence in full and sublime knowledge and insight?’  117
  “When they had thus spoken, O priests, I said to the band of five priests as follows:  118
  “‘O priests, The Tathgata is not luxurious, and has not given up the struggle and devoted himself to a life of luxury. A saint, O priests, is The Tathgata, a Supreme Buddha. Give ear, O priests! The deathless has been gained, and I will instruct you, and teach you the Doctrine. If ye will do according to my instructions, in no long time, and in the present life, ye shall learn for yourselves, and shall realize and live in the possession of that highest good to which the holy life conducts, and for the sake of which youths of good family so nobly retire from the household life to the houseless one.’  119
  “And a second time, O priests, the band of five priests spoke to me as follows:  120
 
  “And a second time, O priests, I replied to the band of five priests as follows:  121
 
  “And a third time, O priests, the band of five priests spoke to me as follows:  122
 
  “When they had thus spoken, O priests, I replied to the band of five priests as follows:  123
  “‘Confess, O priests, have I ever before spoken to you as I have done this day?’  124
  “‘Nay, verily, Reverend Sir.’  125
  “‘A saint, O priests, is The Tathgata, a Supreme Buddha. Give ear, O priests! The deathless has been gained, and I will instruct you, and teach you the Doctrine. If ye will do according to my instructions, in no long time, and in the present life, ye shall learn for yourselves, and shall realize and live in the possession of that highest good to which the holy life conducts, and for the sake of which youths of good family so nobly retire from the household life to the houseless one.’  126
  “And I, O priests, succeeded in winning over the band of five priests.  127
  “And I, O priests, exhorted two priests, while three priests went for alms; and the food which the three priests brought back from their begging-rounds furnished subsistence for all us six. And I, O priests, exhorted three priests, while two priests went for alms; and the food which the two priests brought back from their begging-rounds furnished subsistence for all us six.  128
  “Then, O priests, the band of five priests, thus exhorted and instructed by me, themselves subject to birth, perceived the wretchedness of what is subject to birth, attained the incomparable security of a Nirvana free from birth; themselves subject to old age, … disease, … death, … sorrow, … corruption, … perceived the wretchedness of what is subject to corruption, and craving the incomparable security of a Nirvana free from corruption, attained the incomparable security of a Nirvana free from corruption. And the knowledge and the insight sprang up within them, ‘Our deliverance is unshakable; this is our last existence; no more shall we be born again.’  129
  “There are five sensual pleasures, O priests. And what are the five? Forms perceivable by the eye, delightful, pleasant, charming, lovely, accompanied with sensual pleasure, and exciting passion; sounds perceivable by the ear, … odors perceivable by the nose, … tastes perceivable by the tongue, … things tangible perceivable by the body, delightful, pleasant, charming, lovely, accompanied with sensual pleasure, and exciting passion. These, O priests, are the five sensual pleasures.  130
  “All monks and Brahmans, O priests, who partake of these sensual pleasures, and are enveloped, besotted, immersed in them, and perceive not their wretchedness, and know not the way of escape, of them is it to be understood as follows: ‘They have lighted on misfortune, have lighted on destruction, and are in the power of the Wicked One.’  131
  “Just as if, O priests, a deer of the forest were to step into a snare, and were to be caught by it. Concerning this deer it is to be understood as follows: ‘It has lighted on misfortune, has lighted on destruction, and is in the power of the hunter. When the hunter shall come, it will not be able to make its escape.’ In exactly the same way, O priests, all monks and Brahmans who partake of these sensual pleasures, and enveloped, besotted, and immersed on them, perceive not their wretchedness, and know not the way of escape, of them is it to be understood as follows: “They have lighted on misfortune, have lighted on destruction, and are in the power of the Wicked One.’  132
  “On the other hand, O priests, all monks and Brahmans who partake of these sensual pleasures, and are not enveloped, besotted, and immersed in them, but perceive their wretchedness, and know the way of escape, of them is it to be understood as follows: ‘They have not lighted on misfortune, have not lighted on destruction, and are not in the power of the Wicked One.’  133
  “Just as if, O priests, a deer of the forest were to step into a snare, and were not to be caught by it. Concerning this deer it is to be understood as follows: ‘It has not lighted on misfortune, has not lighted on destruction, and is not in the power of the hunter. When the hunter shall come, it will be able to make its escape.’ In exactly the same way, O priests, all monks and Brahmans who do not partake of these sensual pleasures, and not enveloped, nor besotted, nor immersed in them, perceive their wretchedness, and know the way of escape, of them is it to be understood as follows: ‘They have not lighted on misfortune, have not lighted on destruction, and are not in the power of the Wicked One.’  134
  “Just as if, O priests, a deer of the forest were to roam the woods and mountain slopes; he can walk, stand, squat, and lie down in confident security. And why? Because, O priests, he is out of the reach of the hunter. In exactly the same way, O priests, a priest, having isolated himself from sensual pleasures, having isolated himself from demeritorious traits, and still exercising reasoning, still exercising reflection, enters upon the first trance which is produced by isolation, and characterized by joy and happiness. Of such a priest, O priests, is it said, ‘He has blinded Mra, made useless the eye of Mra, gone out of sight of the Wicked One.’  135
  “But again, O priests, a priest, through the subsidence of reasoning and reflection, and still retaining joy and happiness, enters upon the second trance, which is an interior tranquilization and intentness of the thoughts, and is produced by concentration. Of such a priest, O priests, is it said, ‘He has blinded Mra, made useless the eye of Mra, gone out of sight of the Wicked One.’  136
  “But again, O priests, a priest through the paling of joy, indifferent, contemplative, conscious, and in the experience of bodily happiness—that state which eminent men describe when they say, ‘Indifferent, contemplative, and living happily’—enters upon the third trance. Of such a priest, O priests, is it said, ‘He has blinded Mra, made useless the eye of Mra, gone out of sight of the Wicked One.’  137
  “But again, O priests, a priest through the abandonment of happiness, through the abandonment of misery, through the disappearance of all antecedent gladness or grief, enters upon the fourth trance, which has neither misery nor happiness but is contemplation as refined by indifference. Of such a priest, O priests, is it said, ‘He has blinded Mra, made useless the eye of Mra, gone out of sight of the Wicked One.’  138
  “But again, O priests, a priest through having completely overpassed all perceptions of form, through the perishing of perceptions of inertia, and through ceasing to dwell on perceptions of diversity, says to himself, ‘Space is infinite,’ and dwells in the realm of the infinity of space. Of such a priest, O priests, is it said, ‘He has blinded Mra, made useless the eye of Mra, gone out of sight of the Wicked One.’  139
  “But again, O priests, a priest through having completely overpassed the realm of the infinity of space, says to himself, ‘Consciousness is infinite,’ and dwells in the realm of the infinity of consciousness. Of such a priest, O priests, is it said, ‘He has blinded Mra, made useless the eye of Mra, gone out of sight of the Wicked One.’  140
  “But again, O priests, a priests through having completely overpassed the realm of the infinity of consciousness, says to himself, ‘Nothing exists,’ and dwells in the realm of nothingness. Of such a priest, O priests, is it said, ‘He has blinded Mra, made useless the eye of Mra, gone out of sight of the Wicked One.’  141
  “But again, O priests, a priest through having completely overpassed the realm of nothingness, dwells in the realm of neither perception nor yet non-perception. Of such a priest, O priests, is it said, ‘He has blinded Mra, made useless the eye of Mra, gone out of sight of the Wicked One.’  142
  “But again, O priests, a priest through having completely overpassed the realm of neither perception nor yet non-perception, arrives at the cessation of perception and sensation, and before the clear vision of wisdom all his depravity wastes away. Of such a priest, O priests, is it said, ‘He has blinded Mra, made useless the eye of Mra, gone out of sight of the Wicked One, and passed beyond all adhesion to the world.’ He walks, stands, squats, and lies down in confident security. And why? Because, O priests, he is out of the reach of Mra.”  143
  Thus spake The Blessed One; and the delighted priests applauded the speech of The Blessed One.
The Noble-craving Sermon.
  144
 

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