Long Discourses

Pāṭika Chapter

29. The Delectable Discourse

Thus have I heard.

The Exalted One was at one time sojourning among the Sakyans, [at the technical college], in the Mango Grove of the Sakyan family named The Archers.

Now at that time Nāthaputta the Nigaṇṭha had just died at Pāvā.

And at his death the Nigaṇṭhas became disunited and divided into two parties, in mutual strife and conflict, quarrelling and wounding each other with wordy weapons:—

“Thou dost not understand this doctrine and discipline; but I do understand it.”

“How shouldst thou understand it?”

“Thou art in the wrong; I am in the right!”

“I am speaking to the point; thou art not!”

“Thou sayest last what should be said first, and first what ought to come last!”

“What thou hast so long excogitated is quite upset!”

“Thy challenge is taken up; thou’rt proved to be wrong!”

“Begone to get rid of thy opinion, or disentangle thyself if thou canst!”

Truly the Nigaṇṭhas, followers of Nāthaputta, were out methinks to kill.

Even the lay disciples of the white robe, who followed Nāthaputta, showed themselves shocked, repelled and indignant at the Nigaṇṭhas, so badly was their doctrine and discipline set forth and imparted, so ineffectual was it for guidance, so little conducive to peace, imparted as it had been by one who was not supremely enlightened, and now wrecked as it was of his support and without a protector.

Now Cunda the Novice, having passed the rainy season at Pāvā, came to see the venerable Ānanda at Sāmagāma, and coming, saluted him and sat down beside him.

So seated he said to the venerable Ānanda: “Nāthaputta, sir, the Nigaṇṭha, has just died at Pāvā.

And he being dead, the Nigaṇṭhas have become disunited and divided into two parties, in mutual strife and conflict, quarrelling and wounding each other with wordy weapons:—

‘Thou dost not understand this doctrine and discipline; but I do understand it.’

‘How shouldst thou understand it?’

‘Thou art in the wrong; I am in the right!’

‘I am speaking to the point; thou art not!’

‘Thou sayest last what should be said first, and first what ought to come last!’

‘What thou hast so long excogitated is quite upset!’

‘Thy challenge is taken up; thou’rt proved to be wrong!’

‘Begone to get rid of thy opinion, or disentangle thyself if thou canst!’

Truly the Nigaṇṭhas, followers of Nāthaputta, were out methinks to kill.

Even the lay disciples of the white robe, who followed Nāthaputta, showed themselves shocked, repelled and indignant at the Nigaṇṭhas, so badly was their doctrine and discipline set forth and imparted, so ineffectual was it for guidance, so little conducive to peace, imparted as it had been by one who was not supremely enlightened, now wrecked as it was of his support and without a protector.”

Then said the venerable Ānanda to Cunda the Novice: “Friend Cunda, this is a worthy subject to bring before the Exalted One.

Let’s go to him, and tell him about it.”

“Very good, sir”, replied Cunda the Novice.

So the venerable Ānanda and Cunda the Novice sought out the Exalted One and saluting him, and sitting down beside him, said this: “Nāthaputta, sir, the Nigaṇṭha, has just died at Pāvā.

And he being dead, the Nigaṇṭhas have become disunited and divided into two parties, in mutual strife and conflict, quarrelling and wounding each other with wordy weapons:—

‘Thou dost not understand this doctrine and discipline; but I do understand it.’

‘How shouldst thou understand it?’

‘Thou art in the wrong; I am in the right!’

‘I am speaking to the point; thou art not!’

‘Thou sayest last what should be said first, and first what ought to come last!’

‘What thou hast so long excogitated is quite upset!’

‘Thy challenge is taken up; thou’rt proved to be wrong!’

‘Begone to get rid of thy opinion, or disentangle thyself if thou canst!’

Truly the Nigaṇṭhas, followers of Nāthaputta, were out methinks to kill.

Even the lay disciples of the white robe, who followed Nāthaputta, showed themselves shocked, repelled and indignant at the Nigaṇṭhas, so badly was their doctrine and discipline set forth and imparted, so ineffectual was it for guidance, so little conducive to peace, imparted as it had been by one who was not supremely enlightened, now wrecked as it was of his support and without a protector.”

(The Buddha:) “Here, Cunda, we have a teacher who was not supremely enlightened, and a doctrine badly set forth, badly imparted, ineffectual to guide, not conducing to peace, imparted by one who was not supremely enlightened.

In such a doctrine, moreover, the disciple does not come to master the lesser corollaries that follow from the larger doctrine, nor to acquire correct conduct, nor to walk according to the precepts, but is perpetually evading that doctrine.

To him one might say: ‘Friend, thou hast got [thy gospel], and thou hast got thy opportunity.

Thy teacher is not supremely enlightened; his Norm is badly set forth, badly imparted, ineffectual for guidance, not conducive to peace, not imparted by one supremely enlightened.

Thou in that doctrine hast not mastered the lesser corollaries that follow from the larger doctrine, nor acquired correct conduct, nor walkest thou according to those corollaries, but thou dost perpetually evade that doctrine.’

Thus, Cunda, both that teacher and that doctrine are shown blame­worthy, but the disciple is praiseworthy.

Now he who should say to such a disciple: ‘Come, your reverence, practise even according to the doctrine taught and declared by your teacher!’

Both he who instigates, and he who is instigated, and he too who, being instigated, practises accordingly,—they all of them generate much demerit.

And why?

Because their doctrine and discipline are badly set forth, badly imparted, ineffectual for guidance, not conducive to peace, not imparted by one supremely enlightened.

But consider, Cunda, where, the teacher not being supremely enlightened, and the doctrine being badly set forth, badly imparted, ineffectual for guidance, not conducive to peace, not imparted by one supremely enlightened, the disciple abides in that doctrine, practising the lesser corollaries following on the larger doctrine, acquiring correct conduct and, walking according to the precepts, perpetually conforms to that doctrine.

To him one might say: ‘Friend, thou hast been unlucky [in thy teacher], and in thy opportunity; thy teacher is not supremely enlightened; thy doctrine is badly set forth, badly imparted, ineffectual for guidance, not conducive to peace, not imparted by one supremely enlightened; and thou abide in that doctrine, practising the lesser corollaries following on the larger doctrine, acquiring correct conduct and, walking according to the precepts, perpetually conformest to that doctrine.’

By these words, Cunda, teacher and doctrine and disciple are all blameworthy.

And he who should say: ‘Verily his reverence mastering the system will carry it to a successful end!’ -

He thus commending and he who is commended and he who, thus commended, redoubles the energy he puts forth,—all they generate much demerit.

And why?

Because their doctrine and discipline have been badly set forth, badly imparted, ineffectual for guidance, not conducive to peace, not imparted by one supremely enlightened.

But consider, Cunda, where the teacher is supremely enlightened, and the doctrine well set forth, well imparted, effectual for guidance, conducive to peace, imparted by one supremely enlightened, but where the disciple in that norm has not mastered the lesser corollaries following on the larger doctrine, nor learnt to practise correct conduct, nor walks according to the precepts, but perpetually evades that doctrine.

To him one might say: -

‘Friend, thou hast not succeeded, thou hast missed thy opportunity.

Thy teacher is supremely enlightened, and his doctrine is well set forth, well imparted, effectual for guidance, conducive to peace, imparted by one who is supremely enlightened, but thou hast not mastered the lesser corollaries following on the larger doctrine, nor learnt to practise correct conduct, nor walk according to the precepts, but perpetually evade that doctrine.’

By these words, Cunda, teacher and doctrine are commended, but the disciple is held blameworthy.

Now if one were to say to such a disciple: -

‘Come, your reverence, practise in accordance with the doctrine taught and declared by your teacher!’—he who instigated, he who was instigated, and he who being instigated practised accordingly, would all of them generate much merit.

And why?

Because that doctrine and discipline were well set forth, well imparted, effectual for guidance, conducive to peace, imparted by one who is supremely enlightened.

But consider, Cunda, where the teacher is supremely enlightened, the doctrine well set forth, well imparted, effectual for guidance, conducive to peace, imparted by one who is supremely enlightened and where the disciple has mastered the lesser corollaries following on the larger doctrine, learnt to practise correct conduct, walks according to the precepts, and perpetually conformest to that doctrine.

To him one might say:­

‘Thou, friend, hast been successful in teacher and in opportunity thy teacher is supremely enlightened, the doctrine well set forth, well imparted, effectual for guidance, conducive to peace, imparted by one who is supremely enlightened and you have mastered the lesser corollaries following on the larger doctrine, learnt to practise correct conduct, walk according to the precepts, and perpetually conformest to that doctrine.’

By these words, Cunda, teacher and doctrine and disciple are all three deemed praiseworthy.

And if one should say to such a disciple: -

‘Verily his reverence has mastered the system and will carry it to a successful end, he who commends, he who is commended and he who, commended, redoubles the energy he is putting forth, do all of them generate much merit.’

And why?

Because, Cunda, that is so when a doctrine and discipline well set forth and well imparted, effectual for guidance, conducive to peace, have been imparted by one who is supremely enlightened.

But consider, Cunda, where a teacher hath arisen in the world, Arahant, supremely enlightened; where a doctrine hath been well set forth, well imparted, effectual for guidance, conducive to peace, imparted by one who is supremely en1ightened; but where his disciples have not become proficient in the good Norm, nor has the full scope of the higher life become manifest to them, evident, with all the stages in it co­ordinated, nor has it been made a thing of saving grace for them, well proclaimed among men, when their teacher passes away.

Now for such a teacher to die, Cunda, is a great affliction for his disciples.

And why?

‘Our teacher arose in the world for us, Arahant, supremely enlightened; and a Norm was well set forth, well imparted, effectual for guidance, conducive to peace, imparted by one who was supremely enlightened.

But we have not become proficient in the good Norm, nor has the full scope of the higher life become manifest to us, evident, with all the stages in it coordinated, nor has it been made a thing of saving grace for us, well proclaimed among men.

Now has our teacher passed away!’

For such a teacher to die, Cunda, is a great affliction for his disciples.

But consider, Cunda, where a Teacher has appeared in the world who is Arahant, supremely enlightened; where a Norm has been well set forth, well imparted, effectual for guidance, conducive to peace, imparted by one who is supremely enlightened; and where the disciples have become proficient in the good Norm, and where the full scope of the higher life has become manifest to them, evident, with all its stages coordinated, and made a thing of saving grace, well proclaimed among men, when that teacher passes away.

Now for such a teacher, Cunda, to die is not an affliction for his disciples.

And why?

‘A Teacher arose in the world for us, Arahant, supremely enlightened; and a Norm was well set forth, well imparted, effectual for guidance, conducive to peace, imparted by one who is supremely enlightened.

And we have become proficient in the good Norm, and the full scope of the higher life has become manifest to us, evident, with all its stages coordinated and made a thing of saving grace, well proclaimed among men.

‘Now is our Teacher passed away!’

For such a Teacher to die, Cunda, is not an affliction to his disciples.

If a religious system be placed in these circumstances, Cunda, and there be none to take the lead who is a senior brother, experienced, of long standing in the order, of ripe age, arrived at years of discretion, then is that system by this circumstance imperfect.

But if a religious system be placed in these circumstances, Cunda, and there be one to take the lead who is a senior brother, experienced, of long standing in the order, of ripe age, arrived at years of discretion, then is that system by this circumstance made perfect.

Again, if a religious system, Cunda, be placed in these circumstances, and there be one to take the lead who is a senior brother, experienced, of long standing in the order, of ripe age, arrived at years of discretion, but there be no senior bhikkhus who are disciples, wise and well trained, ready and learned, who have won the goal of religion, who are able to propagate the truth, who, having well confuted uprisen opposing schools with their doctrines, are able to teach the Norm with saving grace: then is that system by this circumstance imperfect.

But if a religious system be placed in these circumstances, Cunda, and there be one to take the lead who is a senior brother, experienced, of long standing in the order, of ripe age, arrived at years of discretion, and there be senior bhikkhus who are disciples, wise and well trained, ready and learned, who have won the goal of religion, who are able to propagate the truth, who, having well confuted uprisen opposing schools with their doctrines, are able to teach the Norm with saving grace: then is that system by this circumstance perfect.

Again, if a religious system, Cunda, be placed in these circumstances, and there be one to take the lead who is a senior brother, experienced, of long standing in the order, of ripe age, arrived at years of discretion, and there be senior bhikkhus who are disciples, wise and well trained, ready and learned, who have won the goal of religion, who are able to propagate the truth, who, having well confuted uprisen opposing schools with their doctrines, are able to teach the Norm with saving grace, but if there be no bhikkhus of middle age or standing who are disciples, then is the holy life by this circumstance imperfect.

But if a religious system be placed in these circumstances, Cunda, and there be one to take the lead who is a senior brother, experienced, of long standing in the order, of ripe age, arrived at years of discretion, and there be senior bhikkhus who are disciples, wise and well trained, ready and learned, who have won the goal of religion, who are able to propagate the truth, who, having well confuted uprisen opposing schools with their doctrines, are able to teach the Norm with saving grace, and if there be bhikkhus of middle age or standing who are disciples, then is the holy life by this circumstance perfect.

Again, if a religious system, Cunda, be placed in these circumstances, and there be one to take the lead who is a senior brother, experienced, of long standing in the order, of ripe age, arrived at years of discretion, and there be senior bhikkhus who are disciples, wise and well trained, ready and learned, who have won the goal of religion, who are able to propagate the truth, who, having well confuted uprisen opposing schools with their doctrines, are able to teach the Norm with saving grace, and if there be bhikkhus of middle age or standing who are disciples, but if there be no novices who are disciples, then is the holy life by this circumstance imperfect.

But if a religious system be placed in these circumstances, Cunda, and there be one to take the lead who is a senior brother, experienced, of long standing in the order, of ripe age, arrived at years of discretion, and there be senior bhikkhus who are disciples, wise and well trained, ready and learned, who have won the goal of religion, who are able to propagate the truth, who, having well confuted uprisen opposing schools with their doctrines, are able to teach the Norm with saving grace, and if there be bhikkhus of middle age or standing who are disciples, and if there be novices who are disciples, then is the holy life by this circumstance perfect.

Again, if a religious system, Cunda, be placed in these circumstances, and there be one to take the lead who is a senior brother, experienced, of long standing in the order, of ripe age, arrived at years of discretion, and there be senior bhikkhus who are disciples, wise and well trained, ready and learned, who have won the goal of religion, who are able to propagate the truth, who, having well confuted uprisen opposing schools with their doctrines, are able to teach the Norm with saving grace, and if there be bhikkhus of middle age or standing who are disciples, and if there be novices who are disciples, but if there be no senior Sisters who are disciples then is the holy life by this circumstance imperfect.

But if a religious system be placed in these circumstances, Cunda, and there be one to take the lead who is a senior brother, experienced, of long standing in the order, of ripe age, arrived at years of discretion, and there be senior bhikkhus who are disciples, wise and well trained, ready and learned, who have won the goal of religion, who are able to propagate the truth, who, having well confuted uprisen opposing schools with their doctrines, are able to teach the Norm with saving grace, and if there be bhikkhus of middle age or standing who are disciples, and if there be novices who are disciples, and if there be senior Sisters who are disciples then is the holy life by this circumstance perfect.

Again, if a religious system, Cunda, be placed in these circumstances, and there be one to take the lead who is a senior brother, experienced, of long standing in the order, of ripe age, arrived at years of discretion, and there be senior bhikkhus who are disciples, wise and well trained, ready and learned, who have won the goal of religion, who are able to propagate the truth, who, having well confuted uprisen opposing schools with their doctrines, are able to teach the Norm with saving grace, and if there be bhikkhus of middle age or standing who are disciples, and if there be novices who are disciples, and if there be senior Sisters who are disciples but if there be no Sister novices who are disciples then is the holy life by this circumstance imperfect.

But if a religious system be placed in these circumstances, Cunda, and there be one to take the lead who is a senior brother, experienced, of long standing in the order, of ripe age, arrived at years of discretion, and there be senior bhikkhus who are disciples, wise and well trained, ready and learned, who have won the goal of religion, who are able to propagate the truth, who, having well confuted uprisen opposing schools with their doctrines, are able to teach the Norm with saving grace, and if there be bhikkhus of middle age or standing who are disciples, and if there be novices who are disciples, and if there be senior Sisters who are disciples and if there be Sister novices who are disciples then is the holy life by this circumstance perfect.

Again, if a religious system, Cunda, be placed in these circumstances, and there be one to take the lead who is a senior brother, experienced, of long standing in the order, of ripe age, arrived at years of discretion, and there be senior bhikkhus who are disciples, wise and well trained, ready and learned, who have won the goal of religion, who are able to propagate the truth, who, having well confuted uprisen opposing schools with their doctrines, are able to teach the Norm with saving grace, and if there be bhikkhus of middle age or standing who are disciples, and if there be novices who are disciples, and if there be senior Sisters who are disciples and if there be Sister novices who are disciples but if there be no laymen who are disciples, householders of the white robe, holy livers, then is the holy life by this circumstance imperfect.

But if a religious system be placed in these circumstances, Cunda, and there be one to take the lead who is a senior brother, experienced, of long standing in the order, of ripe age, arrived at years of discretion, and there be senior bhikkhus who are disciples, wise and well trained, ready and learned, who have won the goal of religion, who are able to propagate the truth, who, having well confuted uprisen opposing schools with their doctrines, are able to teach the Norm with saving grace, and if there be bhikkhus of middle age or standing who are disciples, and if there be novices who are disciples, and if there be senior Sisters who are disciples and if there be Sister novices who are disciples and if there be laymen who are disciples, householders of the white robe, holy livers, then is the holy life by this circumstance perfect.

Again, if a religious system, Cunda, be placed in these circumstances, and there be one to take the lead who is a senior brother, experienced, of long standing in the order, of ripe age, arrived at years of discretion, and there be senior bhikkhus who are disciples, wise and well trained, ready and learned, who have won the goal of religion, who are able to propagate the truth, who, having well confuted uprisen opposing schools with their doctrines, are able to teach the Norm with saving grace, and if there be bhikkhus of middle age or standing who are disciples, and if there be novices who are disciples, and if there be senior Sisters who are disciples and if there be Sister novices who are disciples and if there be laymen who are disciples, householders of the white robe, holy livers, but if there be none among those, laymen who are wealthy, then is the holy life by this circumstance imperfect.

But if a religious system be placed in these circumstances, Cunda, and there be one to take the lead who is a senior brother, experienced, of long standing in the order, of ripe age, arrived at years of discretion, and there be senior bhikkhus who are disciples, wise and well trained, ready and learned, who have won the goal of religion, who are able to propagate the truth, who, having well confuted uprisen opposing schools with their doctrines, are able to teach the Norm with saving grace, and if there be bhikkhus of middle age or standing who are disciples, and if there be novices who are disciples, and if there be senior Sisters who are disciples and if there be Sister novices who are disciples and if there be laymen who are disciples, householders of the white robe, holy livers, and if there be among those, laymen who are wealthy, then is the holy life by this circumstance perfect.

Again, if a religious system, Cunda, be placed in these circumstances, and there be one to take the lead who is a senior brother, experienced, of long standing in the order, of ripe age, arrived at years of discretion, and there be senior bhikkhus who are disciples, wise and well trained, ready and learned, who have won the goal of religion, who are able to propagate the truth, who, having well confuted uprisen opposing schools with their doctrines, are able to teach the Norm with saving grace, and if there be bhikkhus of middle age or standing who are disciples, and if there be novices who are disciples, and if there be senior Sisters who are disciples and if there be Sister novices who are disciples and if there be laymen who are disciples, householders of the white robe, holy livers, and if there be among those laymen who are wealthy, but if there be no lay­women who are disciples, householders of the white robe, holy livers, then is the holy life by this circumstance imperfect.

But if a religious system be placed in these circumstances, Cunda, and there be one to take the lead who is a senior brother, experienced, of long standing in the order, of ripe age, arrived at years of discretion, and there be senior bhikkhus who are disciples, wise and well trained, ready and learned, who have won the goal of religion, who are able to propagate the truth, who, having well confuted uprisen opposing schools with their doctrines, are able to teach the Norm with saving grace, and if there be bhikkhus of middle age or standing who are disciples, and if there be novices who are disciples, and if there be senior Sisters who are disciples and if there be Sister novices who are disciples and if there be laymen who are disciples, householders of the white robe, holy livers, and if there be among those, laymen who are wealthy, and if there be lay­women who are disciples, householders of the white robe, holy livers, then is the holy life by this circumstance perfect.

Again, if a religious system, Cunda, be placed in these circumstances, and there be one to take the lead who is a senior brother, experienced, of long standing in the order, of ripe age, arrived at years of discretion, and there be senior bhikkhus who are disciples, wise and well trained, ready and learned, who have won the goal of religion, who are able to propagate the truth, who, having well confuted uprisen opposing schools with their doctrines, are able to teach the Norm with saving grace, and if there be bhikkhus of middle age or standing who are disciples, and if there be novices who are disciples, and if there be senior Sisters who are disciples and if there be Sister novices who are disciples and if there be laymen who are disciples, householders of the white robe, holy livers, and if there be among those laymen who are wealthy, and if there be lay­women who are disciples, householders of the white robe, holy livers, but if there be none among those, lay­women who are wealthy, then is the holy life by this circumstance imperfect.

But if a religious system be placed in these circumstances, Cunda, and there be one to take the lead who is a senior brother, experienced, of long standing in the order, of ripe age, arrived at years of discretion, and there be senior bhikkhus who are disciples, wise and well trained, ready and learned, who have won the goal of religion, who are able to propagate the truth, who, having well confuted uprisen opposing schools with their doctrines, are able to teach the Norm with saving grace, and if there be bhikkhus of middle age or standing who are disciples, and if there be novices who are disciples, and if there be senior Sisters who are disciples and if there be Sister novices who are disciples and if there be no laymen who are disciples, householders of the white robe, holy livers, and if there be among those, laymen who are wealthy, and if there be lay­women who are disciples, householders of the white robe, holy livers, and if there be among those, lay­women who are wealthy, then is the holy life by this circumstance perfect.

Again, if a religious system, Cunda, be placed in these circumstances, and there be one to take the lead who is a senior brother, experienced, of long standing in the order, of ripe age, arrived at years of discretion, and there be senior bhikkhus who are disciples, wise and well trained, ready and learned, who have won the goal of religion, who are able to propagate the truth, who, having well confuted uprisen opposing schools with their doctrines, are able to teach the Norm with saving grace, and if there be bhikkhus of middle age or standing who are disciples, and if there be novices who are disciples, and if there be senior Sisters who are disciples and if there be Sister novices who are disciples and if there be laymen who are disciples, householders of the white robe, holy livers, and if there be among those laymen who are wealthy, and if there be lay­women who are disciples, householders of the white robe, holy livers, and if there be among those, lay­women who are wealthy, but if the system be not successful, prosperous, widespread and popular in its full extent, well proclaimed among men, then is the holy life by this circumstance imperfect.

But if a religious system be placed in these circumstances, Cunda, and there be one to take the lead who is a senior brother, experienced, of long standing in the order, of ripe age, arrived at years of discretion, and there be senior bhikkhus who are disciples, wise and well trained, ready and learned, who have won the goal of religion, who are able to propagate the truth, who, having well confuted uprisen opposing schools with their doctrines, are able to teach the Norm with saving grace, and if there be bhikkhus of middle age or standing who are disciples, and if there be novices who are disciples, and if there be senior Sisters who are disciples and if there be Sister novices who are disciples and if there be no laymen who are disciples, householders of the white robe, holy livers, and if there be among those, laymen who are wealthy, and if there be lay­women who are disciples, householders of the white robe, holy livers, and if there be among those, lay­women who are wealthy, and if the system be successful, prosperous, widespread and popular in its full extent, well proclaimed among men, then is the holy life by this circumstance perfect.

Again, if a religious system, Cunda, be placed in these circumstances, and there be one to take the lead who is a senior brother, experienced, of long standing in the order, of ripe age, arrived at years of discretion, and there be senior bhikkhus who are disciples, wise and well trained, ready and learned, who have won the goal of religion, who are able to propagate the truth, who, having well confuted uprisen opposing schools with their doctrines, are able to teach the Norm with saving grace, and if there be bhikkhus of middle age or standing who are disciples, and if there be novices who are disciples, and if there be senior Sisters who are disciples and if there be Sister novices who are disciples and if there be laymen who are disciples, householders of the white robe, holy livers, and if there be among those laymen who are wealthy, and if there be lay­women who are disciples, householders of the white robe, holy livers, and if there be among those, lay­women who are wealthy, and if the system be successful, prosperous, widespread and popular in its full extent, well proclaimed among men, but if the system be all this but have not attained the foremost place in public fame and support then is the holy life by this circumstance imperfect.

But if a religious system be placed in these circumstances, Cunda, and there be one to take the lead who is a senior brother, experienced, of long standing in the order, of ripe age, arrived at years of discretion, and there be senior bhikkhus who are disciples, wise and well trained, ready and learned, who have won the goal of religion, who are able to propagate the truth, who, having well confuted uprisen opposing schools with their doctrines, are able to teach the Norm with saving grace, and if there be bhikkhus of middle age or standing who are disciples, and if there be novices who are disciples, and if there be senior Sisters who are disciples and if there be Sister novices who are disciples and if there be no laymen who are disciples, householders of the white robe, holy livers, and if there be among those, laymen who are wealthy, and if there be lay­women who are disciples, householders of the white robe, holy livers, and if there be among those, lay­women who are wealthy, and if the system be successful, prosperous, widespread and popular in its full extent, well proclaimed among men, and if the system be all this and have attained the foremost place in public fame and support then is the holy life by this circumstance perfect.

But I, Cunda, have now arisen as a teacher in the world who am Arahant, supremely enlightened.

And the Norm is well set forth, well imparted, effectual for guidance, conducive to peace, imparted by one who is supremely enlightened.

And my true hearers are proficient in the good Norm, and the full scope of the holy life has become manifest to them, evident, with all its stages coordinated, and made a thing of saving grace for them, well proclaimed among men.

But I, Cunda, the teacher am now grown old, many are the nights I have known, long is it since I went forth, I have reached full age, l have come to my journey’s end.

Yet senior bhikkhus of mine are there, Cunda, who are disciples, wise and well trained, ready and learned, who have won the peace of the Arahant, who are able to propagate the good Norm, who when others start opposed doctrine, easy to confute by the truth, will be able in confuting it to teach the Norm and its saving grace.

And bhikkhus of middle age and standing now are there, Cunda; disciples of mine and wise.

And novices now are there, Cunda, disciples of mine.

And senior Sisters now are there, Cunda, disciples of mine.

And Sisters of middle age and standing now are there, Cunda, and novices also, disciples of mine.

And lay­men now are there, Cunda, householders of the white robe, men of holy life, disciples of mine; and among these are men of wealth.

Laywomen now are there, Cunda, householders of the white robe, disciples of mine; and among these are women of wealth.

And my religion, Cunda, is successful, prosperous, widespread and popular in all its full extent, well proclaimed among men.

To what extent, Cunda, there now are teachers arisen in the world, I cannot discern any teacher, who has attained to such a leading position in renown and support as I have.

To what extent, Cunda, there now are Orders and companies arisen in the world, I cannot discern any one that has attained to such a leading position in renown and support as the Order of Bhikkhus.

If anyone, in describing a religion as in every way successful, in every respect complete, neither defective nor redundant, well set forth in all its full extent, were to be speaking rightly, it is this religion that he would be describing.

Uddaka the son of Rama, Cunda, used to say: ‘Seeing he seeth not.’

And on seeing what does one not see?

Of a well sharpened razor one sees the blade, but one does not see the edge.

This is what he meant.

And a low pagan thing was this that he spoke, unworthy, unprofitable, suitable to the worldly majority, about a razor forsooth.

Now were one to wish to use rightly that phrase, ‘Seeing he does not see,’ it is thus that he should say: ‘Seeing he seeth not.’

But what is it that seeing he does not see?

A religion that is in every way successful, in every respect complete, neither defective nor redundant, well set forth in all its full extent: ­ this is what he sees.

Were he to abstract some feature at a given point, thinking to make it clearer, then he does not see it.

Were he to fill in some feature at a given point, thinking to make it more complete then he does not see it, and thus seeing he seeth not.

Hence, Cunda, if anyone wishing to describe a religion in every way successful, in every respect complete, neither defective nor redundant, well set forth in all its full extent, were to be speaking rightly, it is this religion of which he should speak.

Wherefore, Cunda, do ye, to whom I have made known the truths that I have perceived, come together in company and rehearse all of you together those doctrines and quarrel not over them, but compare meaning with meaning, and phrase with phrase, in order that this pure religion may last long and be perpetuated, in order that it may continue to be for the good and happiness of the great multitudes, out of love for the world, to the good and the gain and the weal of devas and men!

Which then, Cunda, are the truths which, when I had perceived, I made known to you?

Which when ye have come together and have associated yourselves, ye are to rehearse, all of you, and not quarrel over, comparing meaning with meaning, and phrase with phrase, in order that this pure religion may last long and be perpetuated, in order that it may continue to be for the good and happiness of the great multitudes, out of love for the world, to the good and the gain and the weal of devas and men?

They are these: -

The Four Onsets of Mindfulness, the Four Supreme Efforts, the Four Paths to Efficacy, the Five Powers, the Five Forces, the Seven Factors of Enlightenment, the Ariyan Eightfold Path.

These, O Cunda, are the truths which when I had perceived, I made known to you, and which, when ye have come together and have associated yourselves, ye are to rehearse, all of you, and not quarrel over, comparing meaning with meaning and phrase with phrase, in order that this pure religion may last long, and be perpetuated, in order that it may continue to be for the good and the happiness of the great multitudes, out of love for the world, to the good and the gain and the weal of devas and men.

You, Cunda, thus met together in concord and in courtesy, suppose that a co-religionist expresses an opinion before the Chapter.

Then if you judge that this honourable member has laid hold of the meaning wrongly, or is proposing a wrong form of words, ye are neither to approve of, nor to blame him.

Unapproving, unblaming, ye are to address him thus: ­

Of this meaning, brother, either this is the phraseology or that: which fits it better?

Or of these phrases either this is the meaning, or that: which fits them better?

If he reply: Of this meaning, brother, just that phraseology is the more fitting, or, Of these phrases, brother, just that meaning fits them better, he is neither to be set aside nor upbraided.

Neither setting him aside nor upbraiding him, ye are with careful attention to explain to him both meaning and phraseology.

Again, Cunda, suppose that a co-religionist expresses an opinion before the Chapter.

Then if you judge that if this honourable member has laid hold of the meaning wrongly, but propagates a right form of words, ye are neither to approve of, nor to blame him.

Unapproving, unblaming, ye are to address him thus: Of these different phrases, brother, either this is the meaning or that: which fits them better?

If he reply: Of these phrases, brother, just this meaning is the more fitting, he is neither to be set aside, nor to be upbraided.

Neither setting him aside, nor upbraiding him, ye are thoroughly to explain to him, with careful attention, the right meaning.

So also must ye act, if ye judge that such a speaker has laid hold of the right meaning, but is propagating a wrong form of words; ye are thoroughly to explain to him, with careful attention, the right phraseology.

But if, Cunda, such a speaker say and mean what ye judge to be right, then saying

‘Weil said!’ ye should approve of and congratulate him.

And so saying and doing, ye should thus address him: ‘We are fortunate, brother, this is most fortunate for us that in your reverence we see a co-religionist so expert in the spirit and in the letter!

A new doctrine, Cunda, do I teach for subduing the mental intoxicants that are generated even in this present life.

I teach not a doctrine for the extirpating of intoxicants in the future life only, but one for subduing them now and also for extirpating them in the after-life.

Wherefore, Cunda, the raiment sanctioned by me for you, let it suffice for the purpose of warding off cold, for warding off heat, for warding off the touch of gadfly and mosquito, of wind and sun and snakes.

The alms which are sanctioned by me for you, let that suffice to sustain the body in life, to keep it going, to prevent injury, to aid you in living the holy life, you taking thought that: ‘Thus shall I overcome the former sensation, nor cause new sensation to arise.

So far shall I both be at ease and incur no blame.’

The lodging which is sanctioned by me for you, let that suffice for you to ward off cold, to ward off heat, to ward off the touch of gadfly and mosquito, of wind and sun and snakes, just for the purpose of avoiding the dangers of the climate and of enjoying seclusion.

The provision in drugs and other necessaries for sickness which is sanctioned by me for you, let that suffice you so far as it may ward off sensations of illness that have arisen and preserve your health.

It may happen, Cunda, that wanderers holding other views than ours may say: -

‘Those recluses who follow the Sakyan are addicted and devoted to a life of pleasure.’

Teachers alleging this, Cunda, should be answered thus: ‘What, brother, is it to be addicted and devoted to pleasure?’

For there are many and manifold modes in which one may be so addicted and devoted.

There are four such modes, Cunda, which are low and pagan, belonging to the average majority, un­worthy, not associated with good, not conducing to unworldliness, to passionlessness, to cessation, to peace, to higher knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna.

What are the four?

Firstly, there is the case of the fool who takes his pleasure and finds gratification in slaying living creatures.

Secondly, there is the case of one who takes his pleasure and finds gratification in taking what is not given.

Thirdly, there is the case of one who takes his pleasure and finds gratification in false statements.

Fourthly, there is the case of one who dwells surrounded by, and in the enjoyment of the five kinds of sensuous pleasures.

These, Cunda, are the four modes of being addicted and devoted to pleasure which are low and pagan, belonging to the average majority, unworthy, disconnected with good, not conducive to unworldliness, to passionlessness, to cessation, to peace, to insight, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna.

It may happen, Cunda, that other teachers may ask: ‘Are those recluses who follow the Sakyan addicted and devoted to these four modes?’

They should be answered: ‘Nay, that is not so!’

They would not be speaking rightly; they would be misrepresenting you by what is not fact, by what is not so.

These are the four modes of being addicted and devoted to pleasure, Cunda, which conduce absolutely to unworldliness, to passionlessness, to cessation, to peace, to higher knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna.

What are the four?

Firstly, Cunda, when a brother, aloof from sensuous appetites, aloof from evil ideas, enters into and abides in the First Jhāna, wherein there is initiative and sustained thought which is born of solitude and is full of zest and ease.

Secondly, when suppressing initiative and sustained thought, he enters into and abides in the Second Jhāna, which is self-evoked, born of concentration, full of zest and ease, in that, set free from initial and sustained thought, the mind grows calm and sure, dwelling on high.

Thirdly, when a brother, no longer fired with zest, abides calmly contemplative, while mindful and self-possessed he feels in his body that ease where of Ariyans declare: ‘He that is calmly contemplative and aware, he dwelleth at ease,’ so does he enter into and abide in the Third Jhāna.

Fourthly, by putting aside ease and by putting aside malaise, by the passing away of the joy and the sorrow he used to feel, he enters into and abides in the Fourth Jhāna, rapture of utter purity of mindfulness and equanimity, wherein neither ease is felt nor any ill.

These four modes of being addicted and devoted to pleasure, Cunda, conduce to utter unworldliness, to passionlessness, to cessation, to peace, to insight, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna.

If then it happen, Cunda, that wanderers teaching other doctrines should declare: ‘The Sakyan recluses live addicted and devoted to these four modes of pleasure, to them ye should answer: ‘Yea.’

Rightly would they be speaking of you, nor would they be misrepresenting you by what is not fact, by what does not exist.

It may happen, Cunda, that Teachers teaching other doctrines than ours may declare: ‘For those who live addicted and devoted to these four modes of pleasure, brother, how much fruit, how many advantages are to be expected?’

Them ye should answer thus: ‘Four kinds of fruit, brother, four advantages are to be expected.

What are the four?

Firstly, the case of a brother who by the complete destruction of the three fetters becomes a Stream-winner, saved from disaster hereafter, certain to attain Enlightenment.

Secondly, the case of a brother who by the complete destruction of three fetters has so diminished passion and hate and illusion that he has become a Once Returner, and returning but once to this world will make an end of Ill.

Thirdly, the case of a brother who, by the complete destruction of the five last fetters, will be reborn in another world, thence never to return, there to pass away.

Fourthly, the case of the brother who, by the destruction of the mental intoxicants, has come to know and realize for himself, even in this life, emancipation of intellect and emancipation of insight, and therein abides.

These, brother, are the four kinds of fruit, the four advantages to be expected by those who are addicted and devoted to those four modes of pleasure.’

It may happen, Cunda, that wanderers teaching other views than ours may declare: ‘The Sakyan recluses are inconsistent in the doctrines they hold.’

To them thus declaring, this might be replied:-

‘Brother, the Exalted One who knows, who sees, Arahant, supremely enlightened, hath taught and made known to his disciples doctrines not to be trans­gressed so long as life shall last.

Just as a pillar of stone or iron, with base deep planted, well fixed, unshaking, unquivering, even so are those doctrines.

The brother who is arahant, in whom the intoxicants are destroyed, who has lived the life, who has done his task, who has laid low his burden, who has attained salvation, who has utterly destroyed the fetter of rebirth, who is emancipated by the true gnosis, he is incapable of perpetrating nine things: ­

  1. He is incapable of deliberately depriving a living creature of life.
  2. He is incapable of taking what is not given so that it constitutes theft.
  3. He is incapable of sexual impurity.
  4. He is incapable of deliberately telling lies.
  5. He is incapable of laying up treasure for indulgence in worldly pleasure as he used to do in the life of the house.
  6. He is incapable of taking a wrong course through partiality.
  7. He is incapable of taking a wrong course through hate.
  8. He is incapable of taking a wrong course through stupidity.
  9. He is incapable of taking a wrong course through fear.

These nine things the arahant in whom the mental intoxicants arc destroyed, who has lived the life, whose task is clone, whose burden is laid low, who has attained salvation, who has utterly destroyed the fetter of becoming, who is emancipated by the true gnosis is incapable of perpetrating.’

It may happen, Cunda, that Wanderers who hold other views than ours mav declare: ‘Concerning the past Gotama the Recluse reveals an infinite knowledge and insight, but not so concerning the future, as to the what and the why of it.’

[If they were to say so], then those wanderers would fancy, like so many silly fools, that knowledge and insight concerning one kind of thing are to be revealed by knowledge and insight engaged upon another kind of thing.

Concerning the past, Cunda, the Tathāgata has cognition reminiscent of existences.

He can remember as far back as he desires.

And concerning the future there arises in him knowledge born of Enlightenment to this effect: This is the last birth; now is there no more coming to be.

If, O Cunda, the past mean what is not true, what is not fact, what does not redound to your good, concerning that the Tathāgata reveals nothing.

If the past mean what is true, what is fact, but what does not redound to your good, concerning that the Tathāgata reveals nothing.

If the past mean what is true, what is fact, and what does redound to your good, concerning that the Tathāgata knows well the time when to reveal it.

If, O Cunda, the future mean what is not true, what is not fact, what does not redound to your good, concerning that the Tathāgata reveals nothing.

If the future mean what is true, what is fact, but what does not redound to your good, concerning that the Tathāgata reveals nothing.

If the future mean what is true, what is fact, and what does redound to your good, concerning that the Tathāgata knows well the time when to reveal it.

If, O Cunda, the present mean what is not true, what is not fact, what does not redound to your good, concerning that the Tathāgata reveals nothing.

If the present mean what is true, what is fact, but what does not redound to your good, concerning that the Tathāgata reveals nothing.

If the present mean what is true, what is fact, and what does redound to your good, concerning that the Tathāgata knows well the time when to reveal it.

And so, O Cunda, concerning things past, future and present the Tathāgata is a prophet of the hour, a prophet of fact, a prophet of good, a prophet of the Norm, a prophet of the Discipline.

For this is he called Tathāgata.

Whatever, O Cunda, in this world with its devas and Māras and Brahmās, is by the folk thereof, gods or men, recluses or brahmins, seen, heard, felt, discerned, accomplished, striven for, or devised in mind,—all is understood by the Tathāgata.

For this is he called Tathāgata.

And all that in the interval between the night, O Cunda, wherein the Tathāgata was enlightened in the supreme enlightenment, and the night wherein he passed away without any condition of rebirth remaining,—all that, in that interval, he speaks in discourse or conversation or exposition:—all that is so, and not otherwise.

For that is he called Tathāgata.

As the Tathāgata says, O Cunda so he does; as he does, so he says.

Inasmuch as he goeth even according to his word, and his word is according to his going, for that is he called Tathāgata.

As to the world, O Cunda, with its Māras and its Brahmās, of all its folk, divine or human, recluses or brahmins, the Tathāgata hath surpassed them, hath not by them been surpassed, surveys them with sure vision, disposer of things.

For that is he called Tathāgata.

It may happen, Cunda, that wanderers teaching other doctrines than ours may say: ‘How is it, brother, does a Tathāgata exist after death?

Is that true, and is any other view absurd?’

They so asking are thus to be answered: ‘Brother, this hath not been revealed by the Exalted One.’

Or they may say: ‘Does a Tathāgata not exist after death?’

Is that true, and is any other view absurd?’

They so asking are thus to be answered: ‘Brother, this hath not been revealed by the Exalted One.’

Or they may say: ‘Does a Tathāgata neither exist nor not exist after death?’

Is that true, and is any other view absurd?’

They so asking are thus to be answered: ‘Brother, this hath not been revealed by the Exalted One.’

Or they may say: ‘Does he both exist and not exist after death?

Is that true, and is any other view absurd?’

They so asking are thus to be answered: ‘Brother, this hath not been revealed by the Exalted One.’

But it may happen, Cunda, that they may ask: ‘But why, brother, is this not revealed by Gotama the Recluse?’

They are thus to be answered: ‘Because, brother, it is not conducive to good, nor to true doctrine, nor to the fundamentals of religion, nor to unworldliness, nor to passionlessness, nor to tranquillity, nor to peace, nor to insight, nor to enlightenment, nor to Nibbāna.

Therefore is it not revealed by the Exalted One.’

It may happen, Cunda, that they may ask: ‘But what, brother, is revealed by Gotama the Recluse?’

They are thus to be addressed: -

‘This is Ill:—that, brother, is revealed by the Exalted One.

This is the Cause of Ill:—that, brother, is revealed by the Exalted One.

This is the Cessation of Ill:—that, brother, is revealed by the Exalted One.

This is the Path leading to the Cessation of Ill:—that, brother, is revealed by the Exalted One.’

It may happen, Cunda, that those wanderers may ask: ‘But why, brother, is just that revealed by the Exalted One?’

They so asking are to be thus addressed: -

‘Because that, brother, is fraught with Good, that belongs to the Norm, that is fundamental to religion, and conduces to absolute unworldliness, to passionlessness, to cessation [of ill], to peace, to insight, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna.

Therefore is it revealed by the Exalted One.’

Those comments on views concerning the beginning of things, Cunda, which have been revealed by me to you even as they should be revealed:—as they should not be revealed shall I thus reveal them unto you?

And those comments on views concerning the end or the beginnings of things, which have been revealed by me to you even as they should be revealed: ­ as they should not be revealed shall I thus reveal them unto you?

There are, Cunda, some recluses and brahmins who believe and profess one or another of the following views; saying: ‘This alone is true, any other opinion is absurd’: ­

‘The soul and the world are eternal.’

‘The soul and the world are not eternal.’

‘The soul and the world are neither.’

‘The soul and the world are both.’

‘The soul and the world are self-made.’

‘The soul and the world are made by another.’

‘The soul and the world are both self-made and made by another.’

‘The soul and the world are neither, having come into being fortuitously.’

Or they believe and profess one or other of these same views concerning pleasure and pain.

Now, Cunda, to those recluses and brahmins who believe and profess any one of these views I go and say thus: ‘Is this so, friend?’

And if they reply: ‘Yes!

This alone is true, any other view is absurd’

I do not admit their claim.

Why is this?

Because persons hold different opinions on such questions.

Nor do I consider this [or that] view on a level with my own, let alone higher.

‘Tis I who am higher, that is with regard to exposition.

And thus I say regarding each of these opinions aforesaid.

Concerning all these comments concerning the beginning of things, I have revealed to you what should be revealed; shall I then reveal to you what should not be revealed?

And what, Cunda, are the comments concerning the things after this life, both which should be revealed and which should not be revealed?

There are, Cunda, certain recluses and brahmins who believe and profess one or other of the following views and say regarding it: ‘That alone is true, any other view is absurd’: ­

‘The soul becomes after death of visible shape free from infirmity.’

‘It becomes invisible.’

‘It becomes both visible and invisible.’

‘It becomes neither visible nor invisible.’

‘It becomes conscious.’

‘It becomes unconscious.’

‘It becomes both.’

‘It becomes neither.’

‘The soul is abolished, destroyed, does not come to be after death.’

Now, Cunda, to those recluses and brahmins who believe and profess any one of these views, I go and say, as before: -

‘Is this even as you say, friend?’

And if they reply: ‘Yes!

This alone is true, any other view is absurd,’

I do not admit that.

And why is this?

Because persons hold different views on such questions.

Nor do I consider this or that view on a level with mine own, let alone higher.

‘Tis I who am higher, that is with regard to exposition.

And thus I say regarding all those opinions aforesaid.

Concerning all these comments concerning the things after this life, I have revealed to you what should be revealed; shall I then reveal to you what should not be revealed?

For the expungeing of all these comments on opinions concerning the beginning and the hereafter of things, and for getting beyond them, Cunda, I have taught and laid down the Four Onsets of Mindfulness.

What are the Four?

Herein, let a brother, as to the body, continue so to look upon the body that he remains ardent, self-possessed and mindful, that he may overcome both the hankering and the dejection common in the world.

Herein, let a brother, as to feeling, continue so to look upon the feelings that he remains ardent, self-possessed and mindful, that he may overcome both the hankering and the dejection common in the world.

Herein, let a brother, as to thought, continue so to look upon the thoughts that he remains ardent, self-possessed and mindful, that he may overcome both the hankering and the dejection common in the world.

Herein, let a brother, as to ideas, continue so to look upon ideas that he remains ardent, self-possessed and mindful, that he may overcome both the hankering and the dejection common in the world.

These have I taught and laid down for the expungeing of and the getting beyond all those comments on opinions.

Now at that time the venerable Upavāna was standing behind the Exalted One fanning him.

Thereupon he said to the Exalted One: Wonderfully, lord, and marvellously delectable is this exposition of the Norm; exceeding great is the charm thereof.

How, lord, is this exposition named?

“Well then, Upavāna, bear it in mind as the Delectable Discourse.

Thus spake the Exalted One.

And pleased and delighted was the venerable Upavāna at his words.

Here ends the Pāsādika Suttanta.