4👑☸ Cattāri Ariya-saccaṃ 四聖諦

4👑☸🏛️DA‍ 📇 → DA-cp all, eng    🔝

TOC suttas

     DA-cp 1 - DA 1 The Great Legend
    DA-cp 2 - DA 2 The Final Journey
    DA-cp 3 - DA 3 Govinda
    DA-cp 4 - DA 4 Janavṛṣabha
    DA-cp 5 - DA 5 The Smaller Teaching on Origination
    DA-cp 6 - DA 6 The Noble Wheel-Turning King’s Cultivation
    DA-cp 7 - DA 7 Padāśva
    DA-cp 8 - DA 8 Sandhāna
    DA-cp 9 - DA 9 The Gathered Saṅgha
    DA-cp 10 - DA 10 Going Up to Ten
    DA-cp 11 - DA 11 Increasing One by One
    DA-cp 12 - DA 12 Three Categories
    DA-cp 13 - DA 13 The Great Method of Origination
    DA-cp 14 - DA 14 Questions Asked by Śakra the Lord of Gods
    DA-cp 15 - DA 15 Anomiya
    DA-cp 16 - DA 16 Sujata
    DA-cp 17 - DA 17 Purification
    DA-cp 18 - DA 18 Personal Gladness
    DA-cp 19 - DA 19 The Great Congregation
    DA-cp 20 - DA 20 Ambāṣṭha
    DA-cp 21 - DA 21 Brahmā’s Shaking
    DA-cp 22 - DA 22 Śroṇatāṇḍya
    DA-cp 23 - DA 23 Kūṭatāṇḍya
    DA-cp 24 - DA 24 Dhruva
    DA-cp 25 - DA 25 The Naked Wanderer
    DA-cp 26 - DA 26 Knowledge of the Three Vedas
    DA-cp 27 - DA 27 The Fruits of the Ascetics
    DA-cp 28 - DA 28 [Poṭṭhapāda]
    DA-cp 29 - DA 29 Lohitya
    DA-cp 30 - DA 30 Description of the World

TOC detailed

 DA-cp 0 – DA-cp Dīrgh'-āgama translations by Charles Patton
    DA-cp 1 - DA 1 The Great Legend
        DA-cp 1.2 - The Seven Buddhas
        DA-cp 1.3 - Their Life Spans
        DA-cp 1.4 - Their Clans and Surnames
        DA-cp 1.5 - Their Trees of Awakening
        DA-cp 1.6 - Their Congregations
        DA-cp 1.7 - Their Foremost Disciples
        DA-cp 1.8 - Their Attendants
        DA-cp 1.9 - Their Sons
        DA-cp 1.10 - Their Parents and Cities
        DA-cp 1.11 - Bodhisattva Vipaśyin
            DA-cp 1.11.1 - His Descent from the Tuṣita Heaven
        DA-cp 1.13 - The Four Heavenly Guards
            DA-cp 1.11.2 - His Mother Beheld Him in Her Womb
            DA-cp 1.11.3 - His Mother Had No Desire
            DA-cp 1.11.4 - His Mother Upheld the Five Precepts
            DA-cp 1.11.5 - The Bodhisattva’s Birth
        DA-cp 1.20 - The Bodhisattva’s Early Life
    DA-cp 2 - DA 2 The Final Journey
    DA-cp 3 - DA 3 Govinda
    DA-cp 4 - DA 4 Janavṛṣabha
    DA-cp 5 - DA 5 The Smaller Teaching on Origination
    DA-cp 6 - DA 6 The Noble Wheel-Turning King’s Cultivation
    DA-cp 7 - DA 7 Padāśva
    DA-cp 8 - DA 8 Sandhāna
    DA-cp 9 - DA 9 The Gathered Saṅgha
    DA-cp 10 - DA 10 Going Up to Ten
    DA-cp 11 - DA 11 Increasing One by One
    DA-cp 12 - DA 12 Three Categories
    DA-cp 13 - DA 13 The Great Method of Origination
    DA-cp 14 - DA 14 Questions Asked by Śakra the Lord of Gods
    DA-cp 15 - DA 15 Anomiya
    DA-cp 16 - DA 16 Sujata
    DA-cp 17 - DA 17 Purification
    DA-cp 18 - DA 18 Personal Gladness
    DA-cp 19 - DA 19 The Great Congregation
    DA-cp 20 - DA 20 Ambāṣṭha
    DA-cp 21 - DA 21 Brahmā’s Shaking
    DA-cp 22 - DA 22 Śroṇatāṇḍya
    DA-cp 23 - DA 23 Kūṭatāṇḍya
    DA-cp 24 - DA 24 Dhruva
    DA-cp 25 - DA 25 The Naked Wanderer
    DA-cp 26 - DA 26 Knowledge of the Three Vedas
    DA-cp 27 - DA 27 The Fruits of the Ascetics
    DA-cp 28 - DA 28 [Poṭṭhapāda]
    DA-cp 29 - DA 29 Lohitya
    DA-cp 30 - DA 30 Description of the World

0 – DA-cp Dīrgh'-āgama translations by Charles Patton

1 - DA 1 The Great Legend

hhh`Introduction
Thus I have heard:
One time, the Buddha was at the Flowering Grove Hut in Jeta’s Grove of Śrāvastī.
He was accompanied by a large assembly of 1,250 monks.

It was then that the monks gathered in the Flowering Grove Hall after soliciting alms.
They engaged in a discussion with each other:
“Venerable monks, only the unsurpassed sage is so extraordinary!
His miraculous powers are far-reaching, and his authority is tremendous.
He has come to know the countless buddhas of the past who have entered nirvāṇa, broken the bonds, and eliminated idle speculation.”

“He also knows how many eons ago those buddhas lived as well as their names, surnames, the clans to which they were born, the meals they had, the length of their lives, and what suffering and happiness they experienced.”

“He also knows that those buddhas possessed such precepts, such principles, such wisdom, such liberation, and such abodes.”

“What do you think, gentlemen?
Does the Tathāgata know this by discerning well the nature of things, or does he know these things because the gods come and tell him about them?”

The Bhagavān was in a quiet place at the time and clearly overheard the monks having that discussion with his heavenly ear.
He rose from his seat, went to the Flowering Grove Hall, prepared a seat, and sat down.

He knew the answer, but the Bhagavān still asked them, “Monks, what have you been discussing after gathering here?”
The monks then related to him what it had been.

The Bhagavān told the monks, “Good, good!
With correct faith, you’ve left home to cultivate the path, and you practice as you should.
All of you have two types of conduct:
The first is noble discussion of the teaching, and the second is noble silence.
This discussion of yours is as it should be:
‘The Tathāgata’s miraculous powers [are far-reaching,] and his authority are tremendous.
He fully knows the events of countless eons in the past.
He knows it because he understands well the nature of things and because the gods come and tell him.’


The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“Monks gathered in the Dharma hall
And held a noble discussion;

In a quiet place, the Tathāgata
Heard it all with his heavenly ear.

The Buddha sun’s light shines everywhere
As he discerns the Dharma realm’s meaning.

He also knows the past events of
The Completely Awakened and their nirvāṇa.

Their names, surnames, and families,
The births they received, I know, too.

The places where they had lived,
I recall them with clear vision.

Those gods of great authority,
Quite dignified in appearance,
Also come and tell me about
The Completely Awakened and their nirvāṇa.

Recounting their births, names, and surnames,
Their kalaviṅka voices fully knew them.

To the Unsurpassed Sage of Gods and Humans,
They describe the buddhas of the past.”

1.2 - The Seven Buddhas

He again asked the monks, “Would you like to hear about the circumstances of past buddhas that the Tathāgata knows with the knowledge of past lives?
I’ll tell you about them.”

The monks said, “Bhagavān, now would be a good time for it.”
“We’d be glad to hear it.”
“Excellent, Bhagavān!”
“If there’s time for a discourse, we’ll approve of it.”

The Buddha told the monks, “Listen closely!
Listen closely, and consider it well.
I’ll discern and explain it for you.”
The monks then accepted the teaching and listened.

The Buddha told the monks, “Ninety-one eons ago, there was a buddha named Vipaśyin who was the Tathāgata, the Arhat, that arose in the world.
Furthermore, monks, thirty-one eons ago, there was a buddha named Śikhin who was the Tathāgata, the Arhat, that arose in the world.
Furthermore, monks, thirty-one eons ago, there was another buddha named Viśvabhū who was the Tathāgata, the Arhat, that arose in the world.
Furthermore, monks, during this present eon of fortune, there was a buddha named Krakucchanda, another who was named Kanakamuni, and another who was named Kāśyapa.
Now, I’ve also achieved the supreme and complete awakening during this present eon of fortune.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“Ninety-one eons in the past,
There was the Buddha Vipaśyin.

Next, thirty-one eons ago,
There was the Buddha named Śikhin.

During that same eon,
Tathāgata Viśvabhū arose.

During the present eon of fortune,
There’ve been countless millions of years.

There were four great sages
Who arose because of their pity for beings:

Krakucchanda, Kanakamuni,
Kāśyapa, and Śākyamuni.

1.3 - Their Life Spans

“You should know that during the time of Buddha Vipaśyin, people lived for 80,000 years.
During the time of Buddha Śikhin, people lived for 70,000 years.
During the time of Buddha Viśvabhū, people lived for 60,000 years.
During the time of Buddha Krakucchanda, people lived for 40,000 years.
During the time of Buddha Kanakamuni, people lived for 30,000 years.
During the time of Buddha Kāśyapa, people lived for 20,000 years.
In the present time that I’ve arisen in the world, few people live more than a hundred years, and many live for less.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“During the time of Vipaśyin,
People lived for 84,000 years.

During the time of Buddha Śikhin,
People lived for 70,000 years.

During the time of Viśvabhū,
People lived for 60,000 years.

During the time of Krakucchanda,
People lived for 40,000 years.

During the time of Kanakamuni,
People lived for 30,000 years.

During the time of Buddha Kāśyapa,
People lived for 20,000 years.

During my present time,
People live for not more than a hundred.

1.4 - Their Clans and Surnames

“Buddha Vipaśyin arose from a warrior clan, and his surname was Kauṇḍinya.
Buddha Śikhin and Buddha Viśvabhū had the same type of clan and surname.
Buddha Krakucchanda arose from a priestly clan, and his surname was Kāśyapa.
Buddha Kanakamuni and Buddha Kāśyapa had the same type of clan and surname.
Now, I’m a Tathāgata, an Arhat, who arose from a warrior clan, and my surname is Gautama.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“The Tathāgatas Vipaśyin,
Śikhin, and Viśvabhū:

These Completely Awakened Ones
Arose from the Kauṇḍinya clan.

The next three Tathāgatas after that
Arose from the Kāśyapa clan.

Now, I am the unsurpassed sage,
The trainer of sentient beings,
And supreme among gods and humans
Who’s from the courageous Gautama clan.

The first three Completely Awakened Ones
Arose from warrior clans,
And the next three Tathāgatas
Arose from priestly clans.

Now, I’m the unsurpassed sage
Who courageously arose from warriors.

1.5 - Their Trees of Awakening

“Buddha Vipaśyin sat under a patala tree and achieved the supreme and complete awakening.
Buddha Śikhin sat under a mango tree and achieved the supreme and complete awakening.
Buddha Viśvabhū sat under a sal tree and achieved the supreme and complete awakening.
Buddha Krakucchanda sat under a sirisa tree and achieved the supreme and complete awakening.
Buddha Kanakamuni sat under an cluster fig tree and achieved the supreme and complete awakening.
Buddha Kāśyapa sat under a banyan tree and achieved the supreme and complete awakening.
Now, I am a Tathāgata, an Arhat, who sat under a sacred fig tree and achieved the supreme and complete awakening.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“The Tathāgata Vipaśyin
Went to a patala tree,
Made it his abode,
And achieved supreme and complete awakening.

Śikhin’s was a mango tree where he
Awakened and destroyed the source of existence.

The Tathāgata Viśvabhū
Sat under a sal tree.

Knowing and seeing liberation,
His miraculous abilities had no hindrance.

The Tathāgata Krakucchanda
Sat under a sirisa tree,
Purified the knowledge of everything,
And became undefiled and unattached.

Kanakamuni
Sat under an cluster fig tree.

He made it his dwelling place
And destroyed all craving and anguish.

Tathāgata Kāśyapa sat
Under a banyan tree.

He made it his dwelling place
And eradicated the source of all existences.

Now, I’m Śākyamuni
Who sat at a sacred fig tree;

The Tathāgata, the Ten-Powered Sage
Who broke the bonds.

I crushed the army of Māra
And explained great insight to the multitudes.

These seven buddhas with the power of effort
Radiated light and dispelled darkness.

They each sat under trees
Where they achieved the complete awakening.

1.6 - Their Congregations

“Tathāgata Vipaśyin taught Dharma to three congregations.
The first congregation had 168,000 disciples.
The second congregation had 100,000 disciples.
The third congregation had 80,000 disciples.
Tathāgata Śikhin taught Dharma to three congregations.
The first congregation had 100,000 disciples.
The second congregation had 80,000 disciples.
The third congregation had 70,000 disciples.
Tathāgata Viśvabhū taught Dharma to two congregations.
The first congregation had 70,000 disciples, and the next congregation had 60,000 disciples.
Tathāgata Krakucchanda taught Dharma to one congregation of 40,000 disciples.
Tathāgata Kanakamuni taught Dharma to one congregation of 30,000 disciples.
Tathāgata Kāśyapa taught Dharma to one congregation of 20,000 disciples.
Now, I teach Dharma to one congregation of 1,250 disciples.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“Vipaśyin was named for vision;

His wisdom was immeasurable.

He saw everything without fear
And had three congregations of disciples.

Śikhin’s light was undisturbed,
And he destroyed the bonds.

His measureless and great authority
Was impossible to fathom.

That Buddha also had three congregations
Of disciples who gathered from all around.

Viśvabhū broke the bonds
And gathered great sages together.

His name was heard in all directions,
And his wonderful teaching was famous.

To his two congregations of disciples,
He widely explained the profound meaning.

Krakucchanda had one congregation;

He took pity on them and healed their pains.

That teacher educated the sentient beings
In that single congregation of disciples.

Tathāgata Kanakamuni
Was likewise supreme.

His body was the color of purple gold,
And his appearance was perfect.

To his one congregation of disciples,
He widely proclaimed the subtle teaching.

Kāśyapa’s unified mind perceived
Each one of his hairs without distraction.

With a single discourse that wasn’t troubling,
He had a single congregation of disciples.

Śākyamuni’s thinking was tranquil,
That highest ascetic of the Śākya tribe.

Being the Supreme Sage, the God among Gods,
I have a single congregation of disciples.

To that congregation, I show the doctrine
And proclaim the pure teaching.

My mind always feels joyous
With contaminants gone and later lives ended.

Vipaśyin and Śikhin had three,
Buddha Viśvabhū had two,
And four buddhas each had one
Congregation of sages whom they taught.

1.7 - Their Foremost Disciples

“The Buddha Vipaśyin had two disciples who were foremost:
First was Khaṇḍa, and second was Tiṣya.
The Buddha Śikhin had two disciples who were foremost:
First was Abhibhū, and second was Sambhava.
The Buddha Viśvabhū had two disciples who were foremost:
First was Bhujiṣya, and second was Uttama.
The Buddha Krakucchanda had two disciples who were foremost:
First was Saṃjñin, and second was Vidhura.
The Buddha Kanakamuni had two disciple who were foremost:
First was Śrāvaṇa and second was Uttara.
The Buddha Kāśyapa had two disciples who were foremost:
First was Tiṣya, and second was Bharadvāja.
Now, I have two disciples who are foremost:
First is Śāriputra, and second is Maudgalyāyana.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“Khaṇḍa and Tiṣya
Were disciples of Vipaśyin.

Abhibhū and Sambhava
Were disciples of Śikhin.

Bhujiṣya and Uttama
Were foremost disciples
Who both defeated Māra.

They were Viśvabhū’s disciples.

Saṃjñin and Vidhura
Were disciples of Krakucchanda.

Śrāvaṇa and Uttara
Were disciples of Kanakamuni.

Tiṣya and Bharadvāja
Were disciples of Kāśyapa.

Śāriputra and Maudgalyāyana
Are my foremost disciples.

1.8 - Their Attendants

“Buddha Vipaśyin had an attendant disciple named *Aśoka.
The Buddha Śikhin has an attendant disciple named *Kṣāntikara.
The Buddha Viśvabhū had an attendant disciple named *Upaśānta.
The Buddha Krakucchanda had an attendant disciple named *Subuddhi.
The Buddha Kanakamuni had an attendant disciple named *Kṣema.
The Buddha Kāśyapa had an attendant disciple named *Sumitra.
I have an attendant disciple named Ānanda.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“*Aśoka and *Kṣāntikara,
*Upaśānta and *Subuddhi,
*Kṣema and *Sumitra,
And Ānanda is the seventh.

These attendants to those buddhas
Had perfected the gist of their doctrines.

Day and night, they were never remiss;

They benefited themselves and others.

These seven worthy disciples
Attended to those seven buddhas, right and left.

Joyous and supportive,
They returned to nirvāṇa in peace.

1.9 - Their Sons

“The Buddha Vipaśyin had a son named *Susaṃvṛttaskandha.
The Buddha Śikhin had a son named *Atula.
The Buddha Viśvabhū had a son named *Suprabuddha.
The Buddha Krakucchanda had a son named *Uttara.
The Buddha Kanakamuni had a son named *Sārthavāha.
The Buddha Kāśyapa had a son named *Vijitasena.
Now, I have a son named Rāhula.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“*Susaṃvṛttaskandha and *Atula,
*Suprabuddha and *Uttara,
*Sārthavāha and *Vijitasena,
And Rāhula is the seventh.

These noble sons
Continued the lineage of buddhas.

Loving Dharma and liking generosity,
They were confident in the noble Dharma.

1.10 - Their Parents and Cities

“The Buddha Vipaśyin’s father was named Bandhuma, and he was from a lineage of warrior kings.
His mother was named Bandhuvatī, and the king ruled from a city named Bandhuvatī.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“Universal Vision’s father was Bandhuma,
And his mother was Bandhuvatī.

His capitol was Bandhuvatī,
Where that Buddha taught Dharma.

“The Buddha Śikhin’s father was named *Aruṇa, and he was from a lineage of warrior kings.
His mother’s name was *Prabhāvātī.
The king ruled from a city named *Aruṇavātī.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“Śikhin’s father was *Aruṇa,
His mother’s name was *Prabhāvātī.

In the city of *Aruṇavātī,
His authority defeated foreign rivals.

“The Buddha Viśvabhū’s father was named *Supradīpa, and he was from a lineage of warrior kings.
His mother’s name was *Yaśovatī.
The King ruled from a city called *Anopamā.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“Buddha Viśvabhū’s father
Was *Supradīpa of a warrior lineage.

His mother was called *Yaśovatī,
And his capital was *Anopamā.

“The Buddha Krakucchanda’s father was named *Yajñadatta, and he was from a priestly clan.
His mother was named *Suśākhā.
The King was named *Kṣema and that king’s capitol was named *Kṣemāvatī after him.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“[His father was] the priest *Yajñadatta,
And his mother was named *Suśākhā.

The king was named *Kṣema,
And his city of residence was *Kṣemāvatī.

“The Buddha Kanakamuni’s father was named *Mahādatta, and he was from the priestly clan.
His mother’s name was *Sūttara, and at the time the king was named *Śubha.
His capitol was named *Śubhavatī after the king.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“[His father was] the priest *Mahādatta,
And his mother was named *Sūttara.

The king’s name was *Śubha,
And his city of residence was *Śubhavatī.

“The Buddha Kāśyapa’s father was named *Brahmadatta, and he was from a priestly clan.
His mother was named *Dhanavatī, and at the time the king was named Kṛpī.
The king ruled from a city called Bārāṇasī.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“[His father was] the priest *Brahmadatta,
And his mother was named *Dhanavatī.

The king’s name was Kṛpī,
And his city of residence was Bārāṇasī.

“My father is named Śuddhodana, and he is from a lineage of warrior kings.
My mother’s name is *Mahāmāyā, and the king rules from the city called Kapilavastu.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“My father is the warrior Śuddhodana,
And my mother’s name is *Mahāmāyā.

The land is wide and its people prosperous,
That place where I was born.

“These were the conditions, names, clan types, and birthplaces of those buddhas.
What wise person who hears these circumstances wouldn’t rejoice and feel delighted by it?”

1.11 - Bodhisattva Vipaśyin

The Bhagavān then told the monks, “Now, I’d like to give a talk on the events of past buddhas using the knowledge of past lives.
Would you like to hear it?”

The monks replied, “Now is the right time.
We’d be glad to hear it!”

The Buddha told the monks, “Listen closely!
Listen closely, and consider it well.
I will give you a discerning explanation.

1.11.1 - His Descent from the Tuṣita Heaven

“Monks, you should know the way it always is with buddhas.
When his spirit descended from the Tuṣita Heaven to his mother’s womb, Bodhisattva Vipaśyin entered her right side while properly mindful and undisturbed.

“At that moment, there was an earthquake, and a great radiance illuminated the whole world.
The sun and moon couldn’t compare to its brilliance.
Sentient beings that were in complete darkness saw each other and recognized where they were.
When this light illuminated Māra’s palace and the gods, Śakra, Brahmā, ascetics, priests, and other sentient beings, they were all outshined by its brilliance.
The radiance of those gods naturally disappeared.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“Dense clouds collect in the sky,
And lightning illuminates the earth.

When he descended into the womb,
Vipaśyin’s radiance was likewise.

The sun and moon couldn’t compare;

No light wasn’t outshined by it.

He dwelled in the womb, pure and undefiled:

This is the way it is with buddhas.

1.13 - The Four Heavenly Guards

“Monks, you should know the way it always is with buddhas.
While he was in his mother’s womb, Bodhisattva Vipaśyin was focused and undisturbed.
Four gods armed with spears stood guard over his mother so that no human nor non-human could do her harm.
This is the way it always is [with buddhas].”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“Those four gods from four directions,
They were famous and dignified.

The Lord of Gods Śakra sent them
To guard the Bodhisattva well.

Always with spears in hand,
They never left their posts.

Humans and non-humans did them no harm:

This is the way it always is with buddhas.

She was protected by these gods
Like a goddess guarded in heaven.

Her retinue felt joyous:

This is the way it always is with buddhas.”

1.11.2 - His Mother Beheld Him in Her Womb

He also told the monks, “This is the way it always is with buddhas.
When his spirit descended from the Tuṣita Heaven to his mother’s womb, Bodhisattva Vipaśyin was focused and undisturbed.
His mother’s body was at ease, she didn’t have any kind of illness, and her wisdom improved.

“His mother looked into her womb and saw the Bodhisattva’s body with fully formed faculties.
He was the color of purple gold and had no blemishes.
She was like a man with eyesight looking at a pure beryl that’s transparent and lacks any obstructions to his vision.
Monks, this is the way it always is with buddhas.”

The Bhagavān then spoke in verse:

“Like a pure beryl gemstone
That’s bright as the sun and moon,
That gentle sage dwelled in his mother’s womb,
And his mother had no illness.

Her wisdom was improved,
And she saw he was like a gold statue.

His mother’s pregnancy was comfortable:

This is the way it always is with buddhas.”

1.11.3 - His Mother Had No Desire

The Buddha told the monks, “[This is the way it always is with buddhas.
] When his spirit descended from the Tuṣita Heaven to his mother’s womb, Bodhisattva Vipaśyin was focused and undisturbed.
His mother’s heart was pure, without any notions of desire.
Nor was she burned by the fire of lust.
This is the way it always is with buddhas.”

The Bhagavān then spoke in verse:

“The Bodhisattva in his mother’s womb
Had died after achieving heavenly merit.

His mother’s heart was pure;

She didn’t have any notions of desire.

She abandoned lustful desires,
Neither defiled nor being intimate.

She wasn’t burned by the fire of desire:

The mothers of buddhas are always pure.”

1.11.4 - His Mother Upheld the Five Precepts

The Buddha told the monks, “This is the way it always is with buddhas.
When his spirit descended from the Tuṣita Heaven to his mother’s womb, Bodhisattva Vipaśyin was focused and undisturbed.
His mother upheld the five precepts, purified the religious practice, and was devoted and loving.
Having accomplished these virtues, she was happy and confident.
When her body broke up and her life ended, she was born in the Trāyastriṃśa Heaven.
This is the way it always is [with buddhas].”

The Bhagavān then spoke in verse:

“The woman who’s pregnant with the sage
Makes effort and perfects the precepts.

She’s sure to get a goddess’ body later:

This is the reason she’s called ‘buddha’s mother.’


1.11.5 - The Bodhisattva’s Birth

The Buddha told the monks, “This is the way it always is with buddhas.
When he was born, Bodhisattva Vipaśyin emerged from his mother’s right side.
There was an earthquake, and a radiance illuminated [the whole world], just as it did when he first entered her womb.
There was no place of darkness that wasn’t illuminated.
This is the way it always is [with buddhas].”

The Bhagavān then spoke in verse:

“When the prince was born, the earth shook,
And a great light shined everywhere
In this world and in other worlds,
Above, below, and in all directions.

He emitted a light that granted pure sight
Of his fully-formed heavenly body.

With joyous and pure voices,
The Bodhisattva’s name was announced.”

His Mother Gave Birth while Standing
The Buddha told the monks, “This is the way it always is with buddhas.
When he was born, Bodhisattva Vipaśyin emerged from his mother’s right side, and he was focused and undisturbed.
The Bodhisattva’s mother held onto a tree limb, neither sitting nor lying down.
Four gods stood in front his mother and presented fragrant water.
They said, ‘Oh, heavenly mother!
Now you’ve given birth to a holy son.
Don’t feel anguish over it!’
This is the way it always is [with buddhas].”

The Bhagavān then spoke in verse:

“A Buddha’s mother doesn’t sit or lie down,
Standing in precepts and the religious life.

Giving birth to the sage, she’s not indolent,
But gods and humans offer her their help.”

The Bodhisattva Was Born Clean
The Buddha told the monks, “This is the way it always is with buddhas.
When he was born, Bodhisattva Vipaśyin emerged from his mother’s right side, and he was focused and undisturbed.
His body was clean and not sullied by filth.
It was like a man with eyesight putting a pure, bright jewel on white silk.
Neither of them dirties the other because they are both pure.
The Bodhisattva emerged from the womb in the same way.
This is the way it always is [with buddhas].”

The Bhagavān then spoke in verse:

“He was like a pure and bright jewel
That isn’t defiled when placed on silk.

When he emerged from his mother’s womb,
The Bodhisattva was clean and undefiled.”

The Bodhisattva Walked Seven Paces at Birth
The Buddha told the monks, “This is the way it always is with buddhas.
When he was born, Bodhisattva Vipaśyin emerged from his mother’s right side, and he was focused and undisturbed.
Upon emerging from her right side, he fell to the ground and walked seven paces without anyone helping him.
He looked all around in the four directions, raised his hand, and said, ‘Only I am exalted by both Heaven and Earth, for I will save sentient beings from birth, old age, illness, and death.’
This is the way it always is [with buddhas].”

The Bhagavān then spoke in verse:

“He took his steps like a lion
And looked around in all four directions.

He fell to the ground and walked seven paces
Like a lion among humans.

He also walked like a great elephant
And looked around in all four directions.

He fell to the ground and walked seven paces
Like an elephant among humans.

When the most exalted of bipeds was born,
He walked seven paces, steady on his feet.

He looked in the four directions and said:

‘I will end the suffering of birth and death.’

Right when he was first born,
He was equal to the unequaled.

He himself saw the root of birth and death,
And that body was his very last.”

He Was Bathed in Warm and Cool Water
The Buddha told the monks, “This is the way it always is with buddhas.
When he was born, Bodhisattva Vipaśyin emerged from his mother’s right side, and he was focused and undisturbed.
Two streams of water sprang forth, one warm and one cool, which were provided for bathing him.
This is the way it always is [with buddhas].”

The Bhagavān then spoke in verse:

“When the most exalted of bipeds was born,
Two streams of water sprang forth.

They were provided to the Bodhisattva
To cleanse and purify Universal Vision.

Two streams sprang forth,
And their water was extremely pure.

One stream was warm, and the other was cool,
With which the Omniscient One was bathed.

The Fortune Tellers’ Prediction
“When the prince was first born, his father King Bandhuma summoned a group of fortune tellers and seers to examine the prince and determine his fortune or misfortune.

“The fortune tellers accepted his command and examined the prince.
Lifting his robe, they saw he had the full set of signs.
They predicted, ‘Someone possessing these signs will have [one of] two destinies, without a doubt.
If he remains at home, he’ll become a noble wheel-turning king.
He’ll be the king of the four continents, and his four armies will be complete.
He’ll rule with the correct Dharma without any tyranny, and he’ll be a blessing to the world.
The seven treasures will come naturally to him, and he’ll have a thousand courageous sons.
He’ll defeat foreign adversaries without using weapons, and there’ll be a great peace in the world.
If he leaves home to train on the path, then he’ll achieve complete awakening and be given the ten epithets.’

“The fortune tellers then said to the king, ‘This son born to the King has the thirty-two signs.
He’ll arrive at [one of] two places, without a doubt.
If he stays at home, he’ll become a noble wheel-turning king.
If he leaves home, he’ll achieve complete awakening and be given the ten epithets.’


The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“The prince was born with a hundred merits
Described by the fortune tellers
Like reading from a book they carried:

‘He’ll have [one of] two destinies, without doubt.

If he’s happy with the home life,
He’ll become a wheel-turning king.

Seven treasures that are hard to get
Will naturally come and make him a king.

The gold wheel is replete with a thousand spokes
That hold a golden rim all around them.

It turns and flies wherever he travels;

Therefore, it’s called the heavenly wheel.

Well-trained and standing with seven tusks,
Tall, broad, and white as snow.

It’s able to fly through the sky;

This is called the second elephant treasure.

A horse that travels all over the world;

It leaves in morning and returns to eat at sunset.

With a red mane and a peacock’s throat;

This is called the third treasure.

A pure beryl gemstone
Has a glow that illuminates a yojana.

It lights up the night like it’s daytime;

This is called the fourth treasure.

Her form, sound, fragrance, flavor, and touch
Isn’t equaled by anyone else.

She is the best of women,
Who is called the fifth treasure.

He presents beryl treasures to the king,
Jewels and myriad valuables, too.

He’s delighted to offer this tribute,
Who is called the sixth treasure.

As the wheel-turning king wishes,
His army quickly comes and goes.

Strong and swift, they do what the king wills;

[Their general is] called the seventh treasure.

These are called the seven treasures:

The wheel, elephant, and horse pure white,
Householder, jewel, and woman treasures,
And the general treasure makes seven.

He’ll look on them without tire
And enjoy himself with the five desires.

Like an elephant that breaks its bonds,
He’ll leave home to achieve perfect awakening.

Thus will the King’s son be
Exalted among two-legged people.

Dwelling in the world, he’ll turn the Dharma wheel
And achieve the path without negligence.’

The Thirty-Two Signs of a Great Man
“His father the king repeated himself three times, asking the physiognomists, ‘Look again at the prince’s thirty-two signs.
What are they called?’

“The fortune-tellers lifted the prince’s robe and described his thirty-two signs:
‘First, his feet are flat.
The soles of his feet are level and full, and they step on the ground securely.
Second, the soles of his feet are marked with wheels.
Complete with a thousand spokes, they shine with many lights.
Third, his hands and feet are webbed like the king of geese.
Fourth, his hands and feet are soft like heavenly cloth.
Fifth, his fingers and toes are unmatched in slenderness and length.
Sixth, his heels are so full one never tires of looking at them.
Seventh, his calves are straight up and down like a deer’s legs.
Eighth, his bones are a chain, and his joints hook together like chain links.
Ninth, his organ is hidden like that of a horse.
Tenth, his hands hang down beyond his knees.
Eleventh, each of his pores has a hair growing from it, the hairs curl to the right, and they’re the color of a dark blue beryl.
Twelfth, his hair curls to the right, is blue in color, and turns upward.
Thirteenth, his body is the color of gold.
Fourteenth, his skin is fine and soft, and dirt doesn’t cling to it.
Fifteenth, his shoulders are even, full, rounded, and attractive.
Sixteenth, he has the svastika symbol on his chest.
Seventeenth, his body is twice as long as a human.
Eighteenth, his seven points are equally full.
Nineteenth, his body’s length and breadth is like that of a banyan tree.
Twentieth, he has rounded cheeks like a lion.
Twenty-first, his breast is dignified like that of a lion.
Twenty-second, he has forty teeth in his mouth.
Twenty-third, he is dignified and symmetrical.
Twenty-fourth, the gaps between his teeth are hidden.
Twenty-fifth, his teeth are pure white and bright.
Twenty-sixth, his throat is clean.
Whatever food he eats, its flavor is always agreeable.
Twenty-seventh, his tongue is so long and broad, it can lick his left or right ear.
Twenty-eighth, his Brahmā voice is clear.
Twenty-ninth, his eyes are deep blue.
Thirtieth, he has eyes like a bull king that blink up and down together.
Thirty-first, he has a white tuft of soft and shiny hair between his brows.
It’s a fathom long when pulled, and it curls to the right when released, like a jeweled conch shell.
Thirty-second, he has a fleshy knot on his crown.
These are the thirty-two signs.’


The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“He stands well on soft feet
That don’t leave footprints on the ground;

They’re adorned with thousand-spoked signs,
All of which are lustrous.

He’s like a banyan tree
In circumference, straightness, and evenness.

The Tathāgata is unprecedented,
Whose organ is hidden like that of a horse.

His body is adorned with golden treasures
As his many signs reflect each other.

Though he travels conventionally,
Neither dust nor earth dirty him.

His heavenly form is so soft and gentle,
And a heavenly parasol naturally shades him.

His Brahma voice and purple-gold body
Are like a lotus when it first emerges from water.

The king asked the fortune-tellers,
And they respectfully answered him.

They praised the Bodhisattva’s signs,
As his whole body was glowing.

His hands, feet, limbs, and joints,
His center and extremities were all apparent.

The flavor of his food is entirely complete;

His body is straight and not crooked;

The wheels on the soles of his feet are clear;

His voice is like that of a kalaviṅka bird.

The shape of his thighs is full,
Being formed by his past actions.

His arms are full and well-rounded,
And his eyebrows are quite dignified.

He’s an exalted lion among humans;

His majestic power is supreme.

His rounded cheeks are dignified,
And he lies on his side like a lion.

His well-arranged teeth are forty,
And the gaps between them are hidden.

His Brahma voice is unprecedented,
And [people] come from far and near.

Standing straight, not leaning over,
Both his hands touch his knees.

His hands are even and soft,
And people honor his beautiful signs.

Each of his pores has a hair growing from it,
And his hands and feet have the sign of webbing.

He has a fleshy topknot and deep blue eyes,
Which both blink up and down.

Both his shoulders are full and well-rounded,
Completing his thirty-two signs.

His heels are neither high nor low,
And his calves are straight and slender like deer legs.

A god among gods has come to us
Like an elephant that broke its leg bonds.

He’ll free sentient beings from suffering
That dwell in birth, old age, illness, and death.

Out of kindness and compassion,
He’ll teach the four truths.

With plain Dharma expressions and meaning,
He’ll prompt many offerings and utmost honors.”

1.20 - The Bodhisattva’s Early Life

The Buddha told the monks, “When he was born, Bodhisattva Vipaśyin was sheltered from cold, heat, wind, rain, and dust by gods in the sky, who held white parasols and jeweled fans for him.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“Unprecedented among humans,
He was born the most exalted of bipeds.

The gods respected and supported him,
Offering jeweled parasols and fans.

“His father, the King, provided him with four wetnurses:
The first fed him milk, the second bathed him, and third rubbed him with incense, and the fourth entertained him.
They joyously nurtured him without any neglect.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“The wetnurses were kind and loving,
Entrusted to nurture the boy from birth.

One fed him milk, one bathed him,
Two applied incense and entertained him.

The fragrance was the world’s most superb
With which the exalted of humans was rubbed.

“When he was a youth, the whole country’s men and women watched him without tire.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“He was respected and liked by people
Like a freshly-made gold statue.

Men and women clearly observed him,
And they watched him tirelessly.

“While he was a youth, the whole country’s men and women would pass him around and hold him up as though they were looking at a jeweled flower.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“When the exalted of bipeds was born,
He was respected and loved by people.

They took turns holding him up
As though looking at a jeweled flower.

“When he was born, the Bodhisattva’s eyes were unblinking like those of a Trāyastriṃśa god.
He was named Vipaśyin because he didn’t blink.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“The god among gods didn’t blink
Just like a Trāyastriṃśa god.

Seeing a form, he rightly observed it;

Therefore, he was called Vipaśyin.

“When he was born, the Bodhisattva’s voice was clear, gentle, and harmonious like the voice of a kalaviṅka bird.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“He was like the bird of the Himalayas
That drinks flower nectar and sings.

The most exalted of bipeds
Had a voice that was just as clear.

“When he was born, the Bodhisattva’s vision could see clearly as far away as a yojana.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“As a result of practicing pure deeds,
He got the marvelous glow of a god.

The Bodhisattva’s eyes could see
At a range of a one yojana.

“When he was born, the Bodhisattva grew up to adulthood and was educated in the way [of governing] in the royal hall.
His favor reached the common people, and his reputation for virtue was heard far away.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“In the royal hall, that young man
Educated the world with the way.

He made a variety of decisions,
So he was called Vipaśyin.

His pure knowledge was vast
And deep like the ocean.

He delighted the mass of beings
And improved their wisdom.

“At that point, the Bodhisattva wanted to go out sight-seeing, so he ordered his driver to prepare a chariot and horses to go tour a forest park.
Once the chariot and horses were ready, the driver returned and said, ‘Now is a good time.’
The prince then rode in the precious chariot to the scenic park.
While they were on the road, they saw an elderly man.
His hair was white, his teeth had fallen out, and his wrinkled body was bent.
He walked wearily with a cane and was short of breath.

“The prince asked his aide, ‘What sort of man is that?’

“He answered, ‘This is an old man.’

“The prince also asked, ‘What is “old”?’

“He answered, ‘Old age happens as the end of one’s life approaches.
When there aren’t many years left, it’s called being old.’

“The prince asked, ‘Will I be likewise?
Will I not escape this hardship?’

“He answered, ‘Yes, anyone born is sure to become old.
It doesn’t matter if they are rich or poor.’

“The prince was disturbed and unhappy at that point.
He told his driver to turn the chariot around and go back to the palace.
He silently thought to himself, ‘To think I’ll also have to suffer being old!’


The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“Seeing an old man, his life about to end,
Walking weakly with a cane,
The Bodhisattva thought to himself,
‘I’ve yet to escape from this hardship!’

“His father, the King, then asked the driver, ‘Did the prince enjoy his excursion?’

“He answered, ‘He didn’t enjoy it.’

“The King asked him why, and the driver replied, ‘We happened upon an old man on the road, which made him unhappy.’

“His father, the king, then thought silently to himself, ‘The fortune-tellers foretold that the prince would leave home, and now he isn’t happy.
Is there nothing I can do?
I’ll devise a way to make him stay in the inner palace and entertain him with the five desires.
He’ll be delighted, which will prevent him from leaving home!’
He then decorated the palace’s guest quarters and selected some maidens to entertain the prince.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“His father, the King, heard this said
And decorated the palace guest quarters.

He gave him more of the five desires,
To prevent the prince from leaving home.

“On another occasion after that, the prince again ordered his driver to prepare a chariot and horses for an excursion, and they encountered a sick man on the road.
His body was limp, and his belly was huge.
His face and eyes were dark, and he was lying alone in his own waste without anyone to look after him.
His illness was so painful;
he couldn’t speak.

“The prince looked back at his driver and said, ‘What sort of man is that?’

“He answered, ‘That is a sick man.’

“The prince asked, ‘What is ‘sickness’?’

“He answered, ‘Sickness is being attacked by one of myriad diseases.
When a person is still alive and hasn’t died yet, they are called sick.’

“‘Will I be likewise?
Haven’t I escape this hardship yet?’

“‘Yes, anyone born becomes sick.
It doesn’t matter if they are rich or poor.’

“The prince was disturbed and unhappy.
He told the driver to turn the chariot around and return to the palace.
He thought silently to himself, ‘To think I’ll also have to suffer being sick!’


The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“Seeing that man who’d been sick a long time,
Whose countenance had wasted away,
The prince thought quietly to himself,
‘I’ve yet to escape from this hardship!’

“His father, the King, again asked the driver, ‘Did the prince enjoy his excursion?’

“He answered, ‘He didn’t enjoy it.’

“The king asked him why, and the driver answered, ‘We happened upon a sick man on the road, and he wasn’t happy about it.’

“His father, the King, thought, ‘The fortune-tellers foretold that the prince would leave home, and now he isn’t happy.
Is there nothing I can do?
I’ll devise a way to improve his entertainment.
He’ll be delighted, which will prevent him from leaving home!’
The King then decorated the palace guest quarters and selected maidens to entertain the prince.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“Sight, sound, odor, flavor, and touch,
Sublime and delightful were they,
As a result of the Bodhisattva’s merits;

Therefore, he was entertained by them.

“On another occasion, the prince ordered his driver to prepare a chariot and horses for an excursion, and they encountered a dead man on the road.
Multi-colored banners were posted in front and behind his corpse, and his relatives and family were lamenting and crying as they sent it out of the city.
The prince again asked, ‘What sort of man is that?’

“He answered, ‘That’s a dead man.’

“‘What exactly is “dead”?’

“‘Death is the end.
Breath goes first, warmth goes next, and then the faculties decay.
When a person dies, they go somewhere else and live in a separate family.
Therefore, it’s called death.’

“The prince also asked the driver, ‘Will I be likewise?
Haven’t I escaped this trouble?’

“He answered, ‘Yes, everyone born is sure to die.
It doesn’t matter if they are rich or poor.’

“The prince was disturbed and unhappy.
He told the driver to turn the chariot around and return to the palace.
He silently thought, ‘To think I too will have to suffer this death!’


The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“When he first saw a dead person,
The prince knew they would be reborn.

He silently thought to himself,
‘I haven’t escaped this hardship yet!’

“His father, the King, again asked the driver, ‘Did the prince enjoy his excursion?’

“He answered, ‘He didn’t enjoy it.’

“The King asked him why, and the driver answered, ‘We happened upon a dead man on the road, and he wasn’t happy about it.’

“His father, the King, thought to himself, ‘The fortune-tellers foretold that the prince would leave home, and now he isn’t happy.
Is there nothing I can do?
I’ll devise a way to improve his entertainment.
He’ll be delighted, which will prevent him from leaving home!’
The King then decorated the palace guest quarters and selected maidens to entertain the prince.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“The young man was famous
And surrounded by many maidens.

He enjoyed the five desires,
Like that Lord of Gods, Śakra.

“On another occasion, he ordered his driver to prepare a chariot and horses for an excursion, and they encountered an ascetic on the road.
He wore Dharma clothes and carried a bowl, looking at the ground as he walked.
The prince asked his driver, ‘What sort of man is that?’

“His driver replied, ‘That is an ascetic.’

“The prince also asked, ‘What is an ascetic?’

“He answered, ‘An ascetic renounces love, leaves home, and cultivates the path.
He controls his faculties so that he isn’t defiled by external desires.
He’s kind to everyone, and he doesn’t do any harm.
When he encounters suffering, he isn’t saddened.
When he meets with pleasure, he isn’t delighted.
He’s tolerant like the earth;
therefore, he’s called an ascetic.’

“The prince said, ‘Excellent!
This is the path is that truly severs worldly ties.
It’s subtle, pure, and clear.
This is the only way to happiness.’
He then ordered his driver to pull the chariot over [beside the ascetic].”

“The prince then asked the ascetic, ‘What’s the purpose of cutting off one’s hair and beard, putting on Dharma robes, and carrying a bowl?’

“The ascetic replied, ‘A person leaves home wanting to train their mind, forever part with dirtiness, kindly nurture living things, and do no harm.
They quiet vain thoughts;
their only work is the path.’

“The prince said, ‘Excellent!
This path is the truest!’
He immediately ordered his driver, ‘Take my precious clothes and carriage and return them to the great King.
I’m going to cut off my hair and beard, put on the three Dharma robes, and leave home to cultivate the path.
Why is that?
I want to train my mind, discard dirtiness, and purify my life in order to seek the methods of the path.’

“Thereupon, the driver drove the prince’s precious chariot and clothes back to his father, the King.
Afterward, the prince cut off his hair and beard, put on the three Dharma robes, and left home to cultivate the path.”

The Buddha told the monks, “When he saw the elderly man and the sick man, the prince recognized the suffering of the world.
When he saw the dead man, his feelings of attraction to the world ceased.
Then, he saw the ascetic and the vastness of the great awakening.
When he dismounted from his precious chariot, he walked away from bondage, step by step.
This was how he genuinely left home;
this was his genuine renunciation.

“The people of the country heard that the prince had cut off his hair and beard, put on Dharma robes, carried a bowl, and left home to cultivate the path.
They said to each other, ‘This path must be genuine for the prince to give up his position as the country’s heir.
That’s a serious thing to discard!’
Thereupon, 84,000 people in the country went to the prince wanting to become his disciples and leave home to cultivate the path.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“He choose the profound teaching;

They heard and left home with him.

Free of the prison of love,
They had none of the various bonds.

“The prince then accepted them [as disciples], and they traveled together, giving teachings in various places.
From town to town and country to country, he was paid respects everywhere with the four types of service and support.
The Bodhisattva thought, ‘The hustle and bustle of traveling the countries with a large assembly doesn’t suit me.
When will I be free of these crowds of people?
The genuine pursuit of the path is done in a secluded place;
then, someone can fulfill their aspirations.
In a quiet place, I could focus my efforts on cultivating the path.’

“He also thought, ‘Sentient beings are pitiable, always living in darkness and experiencing the physical frailties of birth, old age, illness, and death, that collection of myriad pains.
Dying here, they’re born there, and they’re born here from elsewhere.
As a result of this mass of suffering, they cycle around endlessly.
When will I comprehend this mass of suffering and extinguish birth, old age, and death?’

“Again, he thought, ‘Where does birth and death come from?
What’s the condition for their existence?’
He then wisely examined their source:
‘Old age and death comes from birth.
Birth is the condition for old age and death.
Birth arises from existence.
Existence is the condition for birth.
Existence arises from clinging.
Clinging is the condition for existence.
Clinging arises from craving.
Craving is the condition for clinging.
Craving arises from feeling.
Feeling is the condition for craving.
Feeling arises from contact.
Contact is the condition for feeling.
Contact arises from the six senses.
The six senses are the condition for contact.
The six senses arise from name and form.
Name and form are the condition for the six senses.
Name and form arise from consciousness.
Consciousness is the condition for name and form.
Consciousness arises from volition.
Volition is the condition for consciousness.
Volition arises from ignorance.
Ignorance is the condition for volition.

“‘From the condition of ignorance, there’s volition.
Volition is the condition for consciousness.
Consciousness is the condition for name and form.
Name and form is the condition for the six senses.
The six senses are the condition for contact.
Contact is the condition for feeling.
Feeling is the condition for craving.
Craving is the condition for clinging.
Clinging is the condition for existence.
Existence is the condition for birth.
Birth is the condition for old age, illness, death, grief, sorrow, pain, and trouble.
This whole mass of suffering exists based on the condition of birth.
This is the formation of suffering.’

“When the Bodhisattva contemplated the formation of this mass of suffering, knowledge arose, vision arose, awakening arose, insight arose, comprehension arose, wisdom arose, and realization arose.

“The Bodhisattva contemplated this as well:
‘The absence of what would cause the absence of old age and death?
The cessation of what would cause the cessation of old age and death?’

“He then wisely observed its origin:
‘Old age and death doesn’t exist because birth doesn’t exist.
Old age and death cease because birth ceases.
Birth doesn’t exist because existence doesn’t exist.
Birth ceases because existence ceases.
Existence doesn’t exist because clinging doesn’t exist.
Existence ceases because clinging ceases.
Clinging doesn’t exist because craving doesn’t exist.
Clinging ceases because craving ceases.
Craving doesn’t exist because feeling doesn’t exist.
Craving ceases because feeling ceases.
Feeling doesn’t exist because contact doesn’t exist.
Feeling ceases because contact ceases.
Contact doesn’t exist because the six senses don’t exist.
Contact ceases because the six senses cease.
The six senses don’t exist because name and form don’t exist.
The six senses cease because name and form cease.
Name and form don’t exist because consciousness doesn’t exist.
Name and form cease because consciousness ceases.
Consciousness doesn’t exist because volition doesn’t exist.
Consciousness ceases because volition ceases.
Volition doesn’t exist because ignorance doesn’t exist.
Volition ceases because ignorance ceases.

“‘It’s because ignorance ceases that volition ceases.
Consciousness ceases because volition ceases.
Name and form cease because consciousness ceases.
The six senses cease because name and form cease.
Contact ceases because the six senses cease.
Feeling ceases because contact ceases.
Craving ceases because feeling ceases.
Clinging ceases because craving ceases.
Existence ceases because clinging ceases.
Birth ceases because existence ceases.
Old age, death, grief, sorrow, pain, and trouble cease because birth ceases.’

When the Bodhisattva contemplated the cessation of this mass of suffering, knowledge arose, vision arose, awakening arose, insight arose, comprehension arose, wisdom arose, and realization arose.”

“The Bodhisattva then observed these twelve causal conditions in forward and reverse order.
When he truly knew and saw them, he achieved the supreme, correct, and complete awakening right there on his seat.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“These words I say to the assembly,
All of you should pay close attention to them.

That past bodhisattva contemplated
Principles he’d never heard before.

‘What’s the condition for old age and death?

What cause is there for them to exist?’

Having thus correctly observed them,
He knew the source from which they arose.

‘What condition is the root of birth?

What cause is there for it to exist?’

Having thus contemplated it,
He knew that birth arises from existence.

Having clung to this and clung to that,
One cycles through further existences.

Therefore, the Tathāgata teaches
That clinging is the condition for existence.

Like a pile of different kinds of filth
Blown all around by the wind,
Clinging thus causes clinging,
Which proliferates because of craving.

Craving arises from feeling
And then the snare of suffering takes root.

Conditioned by its obsession,
Pain and pleasure become associated.

‘What condition is the root of feeling?

What cause is there for feeling to exist?’

Having contemplated this,
He knew feeling arises from contact.

‘What condition is the root of contact?

What cause is there for contact to exist?’

Having contemplated this,
[He knew] contact arises from the six senses.

‘What is the root of the six senses?

What cause is there for six senses to exist?’

Having contemplated this,
[He knew] six senses arise from name and form.

‘What condition is the root of name and form?

What cause is there for name and form to exist?’

Having contemplated this,
[He knew] name and form arise from consciousness.

‘What condition is the root of consciousness?

What cause is there for consciousness to exist?’

Having contemplated this,
He knew consciousness arises from volition.

‘What condition is the root of volition?

What cause is there for volition to exist?’

Having contemplated this,
He knew that volition arises from ignorance.

Such causes and conditions
Are called the true meaning of causation.

With wise and skillful observation,
He saw the root of dependent origination.

Suffering is not a noble creation,
Nor does it exist without reason.

Therefore, the discomfort of change
Is what wise people eliminate.

If ignorance completely ceases,
Then there’s no volition.

If there isn’t any volition,
Then there isn’t any consciousness, either.

If consciousness is forever ceased,
There isn’t any name and form.

When name and form have ceased,
Then there aren’t any senses.

If the senses are forever ceased,
Then there isn’t any contact.

If contact is forever ceased,
Then there isn’t any feeling, either.

If feeling is forever ceased,
Then there isn’t any craving.

If craving is forever ceased,
Then there isn’t any clinging, either.

If clinging is forever ceased,
Then there isn’t any existence.

If existence is forever ceased,
Then there isn’t any birth, either.

If birth is forever ceased,
There’s no old age, illness, or mass of suffering.

The complete and eternal end of this,
That’s what’s taught by the wise.

These twelve conditions are profound,
Hard to see, and hard to recognize.

Only a buddha can fully realize:

‘Depending on that, this exists or doesn’t exist.’

If someone can examine this themselves,
Then they won’t have various senses.

Deeply seeing dependent origination,
They won’t seek teachers outside themselves.

Regarding the aggregates, elements, and senses,
They’re secluded from desire and undefiled.

They’re worthy of all gifts
And grace their benefactors with pure rewards.

Attaining four techniques of discernment,
They win the realization of certainty.

They free themselves from many bonds,
Eliminating them with carefulness.

Form, feeling, conception, volition, and consciousness
Are like a rotten, old cart.

Carefully observing this principle,
They achieve the correct and complete awakening.

He was like a bird flying through the sky
As it follows the wind east or west,
The Bodhisattva broke the many bonds;

He was like a light cloth flapping in the wind.

Vipaśyin in quietude
Examined these principles:

‘What’s the condition for old age and death to exist?

What would cause them to cease?’

After those investigations,
Pure wisdom arose in him.

He knew old age and death come from birth,
And old age and death cease when birth does.

“When Buddha Vipaśyin first achieved awakening, he often cultivated two contemplations:
First was contemplation of safety, and second was contemplation of escape.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“The Tathāgata, being equal to the unequaled,
Often cultivated two contemplations:

That of safety and escape.

He was a sage who crossed to the other shore.

His mind gained its freedom,
Having broken the many bonds.

He climbed the mountain and looked all around,
So he was called Vipaśyin.

The light of great wisdom dispels darkness
Like seeing oneself with a mirror.

He eliminated anguish for the world,
Ended the pains of birth, old age, and death.

“While in a quiet place, Buddha Vipaśyin also had this thought:
‘Now, I’ve attained this unsurpassed teaching that’s profound, subtle, hard to understand, hard to see, calming, pure, known by the wise, and not within the reach of ordinary fools.
This is because sentient beings of different tenets and different views who accept different things, and have different trainings.
Based on their different views, they each pursue their delights and work for their livelihood.
They therefore can’t understand this profound dependent origination, but Nirvāṇa’s end of craving is doubly hard to know.
If I were to teach it, they surely wouldn’t understand, and I’d be troubled by it.’
After having this thought, he remained silent and didn’t go on to teach the Dharma.

“Knowing what the Buddha Vipaśyin was thinking, the Brahma King thought to himself, ‘Now, it’ll be very sad when this world is destroyed.
Buddha Vipaśyin has attained knowledge of this profound and subtle teaching, but he doesn’t want to teach it!’
In the time it takes a strong man to flex his arm, Brahmā instantly came down from his Brahma Heaven palace to stand in front of the Buddha.
He bowed his head at the Buddha’s feet and withdrew to stand to one side.

“The Brahma King knelt on his right knee and saluted the Buddha with his palms together.
He said, ‘Please, Bhagavān, use this time to teach the Dharma!
These sentient beings today have weakened their defilements, their faculties are strong, they’re respectful, and they are readily educated.
Fearing the afterlife and having no salvation from misdeeds, they can desist from their evil ways and be born in good destinies.’

“That Buddha told the Brahma King, ‘So it is, so it is!
It’s as you say.
I just thought to myself while in a quiet place, “The correct Dharma that I’ve attained is profound and subtle.
If I taught it to others, they surely wouldn’t understand, and I’d be troubled by it.
So, I’ll remain silent, not wanting to teach the Dharma.
I’ve gone through countless eons of hardship without quitting and cultivated the unsurpassed practice.
Now, I’ve won this hard to get Dharma for the first time.
If I taught it to lustful, hateful, and ignorant sentient beings, they surely wouldn’t put it into practice.
It would be pointless and wearisome.
This teaching is subtle and contradicts the world.
Sentient beings who are defiled by desire and benighted by foolishness can’t be confident about it.
Brahma King, I observe this to be so.
That’s why I’ve remained silent and don’t want to teach the Dharma.’

“The Brahma King repeated his entreaty three times in earnest:
‘Bhagavān, if the Dharma isn’t taught now, then it’ll be very sad when the world is destroyed.
Please, Bhagavān, take this time to expound it.
Don’t let sentient beings fall to other destinies!’

“The Bhagavān listened to the Brahma King repeat his entreaty three times, and then he looked at the world with his buddha eye.
Sentient beings had weakened their defilements whether their faculties were sharp and dull, so teaching them would be hard with some and easy with others.
Those who easily accepted the teaching feared their misdeeds in the afterlife, so they could desist from their evil ways and be born in good destinies.
They were like utpala flowers, padma flowers, kumuda flowers, and puṇḍarīka flowers.
Whether they’re beginning to grow from the muck but haven’t emerged from the water, they’ve grown enough to emerged from the water, or they’ve emerged from the water but have yet to bloom, they’ll easily bloom once they don’t have the water’s [muck] clinging to them.
The world’s sentient beings were likewise.

“The Bhagavān told the Brahma King, ‘I do pity all of you.
I will disclose the Dharma entrance of ambrosia now.
This teaching is profound, subtle, and difficult to understand, but I will teach those who’ll believe, accept, and enjoy listening to it.
I won’t teach those who’ll be troublesome or gain nothing from it.’

“When the Brahma King recognized that that Buddha had accepted his request, he rejoiced and celebrated.
He circled the Buddha three times, bowed his head at the Buddha’s feet, and instantly disappeared.

“Not long after he was gone, the Tathāgata then thought to himself, ‘Now, who will be the first person I teach the Dharma?’
Then he thought, ‘I’ll go to Bandhuvatī.
The King’s son Tiṣya and the prime minister’s son Khaṇḍa will be the first to whom I’ll reveal the Dharma entrance of ambrosia.’

“Thereupon, in the time it takes a strong man to flex his arm, the Bhagavān instantly disappeared from that tree of awakening and went to King’s deer preserve near Bandhuvatī.
He prepared a seat there and sat down.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“Like a lion living in the forest,
Wandering wherever it pleases,
That Buddha was likewise:

His travels were unimpeded.

“The Buddha Vipaśyin addressed the park’s warden, ‘Please go to the city and tell the King’s son Tiṣya and the prime minister’s son Khaṇḍa, “Did you know?
The Buddha Vipaśyin is residing in the deer preserve.
He would like to see you.
It would be a good time for it.”

“The park’s warden accepted this instruction and left.
He went to those two men and told them both what the Buddha had said.
When the two had heard this, then went to the Buddha, bowed their heads at his feet, and withdrew to sit to one side.

“The Buddha gradually taught the Dharma, teaching, instructing, profiting, and delighting them.
He discussed generosity, precepts, how to be born in heaven, that desire was bad and impure, and the trouble of the higher contaminants.
He praised their escape as the most subtle, pure, and supreme.

“The Bhagavān then saw that those two men’s minds were softened, joyous, confident, and ready to accept the correct teaching.
He taught them the noble truth of suffering, expounding and disclosing it.
He discerned and interpreted the noble truth of suffering’s formation, the noble truth of suffering’s cessation, and the noble truth of suffering’s escape.

“The King’s son Tiṣya and the prime minister’s son Khaṇḍa were freed from dust and defilement right there on their seats, and their vision of the Dharma was purified.
They were like a white cloth ready to accept a dye.

“At that moment, the spirit of the earth announced, ‘In the deer preserve of Bandhuvatī, the Tathāgata Vipaśyin has turned the unsurpassed Dharma wheel that couldn’t be turned by ascetics or priests, gods such as Māra and Brahmā, or any other worldly person.’
Thus, as it made the rounds, its voice was clearly heard by the four god kings … the Paranirmitavaśavartin gods.
In an instant, its voice reached the Brahma heavens.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“Rejoicing and celebrating,
[The gods] praised the Tathāgata:

‘Vipaśyin became a buddha
And turned the unsurpassed Dharma wheel!’

First rising from the king of trees,
He went to Bandhuvatī.

For Khaṇḍa and Tiṣya,
He turned the Dharma wheel of four truths.

Khaṇḍa and Tiṣya
Accepted the Buddha’s teaching and converted.

From that pure Dharma wheel,
There was no higher religious life.

The host of the Trāyastriṃśa gods
And Śakra the Lord of Gods
Rejoiced at its turning and said,
‘There’s no god who hasn’t heard:

“A Buddha has arisen in the world
And turned the unsurpassed Dharma wheel!”

The host of gods will increase,
And that of asuras will diminish!’

His name went up to be heard everywhere;

His skillful wisdom left the limits of the world.

Having mastered the teachings,
He turned the Dharma wheel with wisdom.

Investigating the equal Dharma,
His calmed heart was unpolluted.

Free of the yoke of birth and death,
He turned the Dharma wheel with wisdom.

To cease pain and part with many evils,
He escaped desire and attained freedom.

Having left the prison of love,
He turned the Dharma wheel with wisdom.

Being a completely awakened sage among humans,
The exalted trainer of bipeds,
He freed himself from all bonds
And turned the Dharma wheel with wisdom.

He was a teacher and skilled guide
Who vanquished the Māra foe.

Having departed from all evils,
He turned the Dharma wheel with wisdom.

His uncontaminated power defeated Māra,
His faculties focused and not neglectful.

Contamination ended, Māra’s bonds gone,
He turned the Dharma wheel with wisdom.

He learned that certain principle,
Knowing that all things are not self.

With this the best of principles,
He turned the Dharma wheel with wisdom.

He didn’t do it for profit,
Nor was he looking for renown.

It was out of pity for other sentient beings,
That he turned the Dharma wheel with wisdom.

He saw sentient beings’ pain and disaster;

They were oppressed by old age, illness, and death.

Because of these three bad destinies,
He turned the Dharma wheel with wisdom.

Ending greed, anger, and delusion,
He pulled up the root of craving.

Unmoved and liberated,
He turned the Dharma wheel with wisdom.

He’d won the hard victory over self;

After that, he’d mastered himself.

Having won that and the hard victory over Māra,
He turned the Dharma wheel with wisdom.

This unsurpassed Dharma wheel
Can only be turned by a Buddha.

The gods like Māra, Śakra, and Brahmā
Are incapable of setting it in motion.

Being near when the Dharma wheel turns
Is a blessing to the host of gods and humans.

This Teacher of Gods and Humans
Discovered the way to cross to the other shore.

“At that point, the King’s son Tiṣya and the prime minister’s son Khaṇḍa saw the Dharma and obtained its fruit truly and without pretense, and they became confident.
They then said to Buddha Vipaśyin, ‘We’d like to cultivate the pure religious practice in the Tathāgata’s teaching!’

“The Buddha said, ‘Welcome, monks!
My Dharma is pure and free.
Cultivating it will bring an end to suffering.’

“Those two men then were given the full precepts.
They hadn’t had those precepts long before the Tathāgata taught them three subjects:
First was miraculous abilities, second was observing others’ minds, and third was admonishment.
They then attained the freedom of the uncontaminated heart, and unshakable knowledge arose in them.

“At the time, a great many people in the city of Bandhuvatī heard about those two men who had left home to train on the path, put on Dharma robes, carried bowls, and purely cultivated the religious life.
They said to each other, ‘That path must be genuine to make them both give up their stations of worldly prosperity.
That’s a serious thing to discard!’

“In that city, there were 84,000 people who visited Buddha Vipaśyin in the deer preserve.
They bowed their heads at his feet and withdrew to sit at one side.
The Buddha gradually taught the Dharma, teaching, instructing, profiting, and delighting them.
He discussed generosity, precepts, how to be born in heaven, that desire was bad and impure, and the trouble of the higher contaminants.
He praised their escape as the most subtle, pure, and supreme.

“That Bhagavān then saw that the minds of this great assembly were softened, joyous, confident, and ready to accept the correct teaching.
He then taught them the noble truth of suffering, expounding and disclosing it.
He discerned and interpreted the noble truth of suffering’s formation, the noble truth of suffering’s cessation, and the noble truth of suffering’s escape.

“Those 84,000 people then became free of dust and defilement right there on their seats, and their vision of the Dharma was purified.
They were like a white cloth ready to accept a dye.
They saw the Dharma and obtained its fruit truly and without pretense, and they became confident.
They said to the Buddha, ‘We’d like to cultivate the pure religious practice in the Tathāgata’s teaching!’

“The Buddha said, ‘Welcome, monks!
My Dharma is pure and free.
Cultivating it will bring an end to suffering.’

“Those 84,000 people then were given the full precepts.
They hadn’t had those precepts long before the Tathāgata taught them three subjects:
First was miraculous abilities, second was observing others’ minds, and third was admonishment.
They then attained the freedom of the uncontaminated heart, and unshakable knowledge arose in them.

“Another 84,000 people heard that the Buddha was in the deer preserve and had turned the unsurpassed Dharma wheel that couldn’t be turned by ascetics or priests, gods such as Māra and Brahmā, or any other worldly person.
They then went to Bandhuvatī to visit Buddha Vipaśyin, bowed their heads at his feet, and withdrew to sit to one side.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

To help someone whose head is on fire,
One looks quickly for a way to extinguish it.

Those people were likewise;

They went quickly to the Tathāgata.

“The Buddha taught the Dharma in the same way.
Then, there were 168,000 people in Bandhuvatī who formed a great assembly of monks.
The monks Tiṣya and Khaṇḍa rose up into the sky over that great assembly, and fire and water issued from their bodies.
They performed such miracles and then taught the subtle Dharma for the assembly.

“The Tathāgata then thought to himself, ‘Now, there’s a great assembly of 168,000 monks in this city.
They ought to travel from place to place in pairs for six years.
When they return to the city, I’ll teach them the full precepts.’

“The Śuddhāvāsa gods then knew what the Tathāgata was thinking.
In the time it takes a strong man to flex his arm, they disappeared from their heaven and instantly reappeared in front of the Bhagavān.
They bowed their heads at his feet and withdrew to stand to one side.
That instant, they said to the Buddha, ‘So it is, Bhagavān!
There’s a great assembly of monks in this city.
They ought to travel from place to place in pairs for six years.
When they return to the city, teach them the full precepts.
We will keep them safe and prevent anyone from taking advantage of them.’

“When he heard what the gods said, the Tathāgata silently accepted it.

“The Śuddhāvāsa gods saw the Buddha silently give his consent.
They bowed at the Buddha’s feet and instantly disappeared, returning to their heaven above.
Not long after they left, the Buddha told the monks, ‘Now, there’s a great assembly of monks in the city.
You ought to each go out traveling and teaching.
After six years, return and gather for the teaching of the precepts.’

“After accepting the Buddha’s teaching, the monks then took their robes and bowls, bowed to the Buddha, and departed.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“All that Buddha’s assembly was undisturbed,
Being without desire or attachments.

Majestic like garuḍa birds,
They took off like cranes from a lake.

“A year later, the Śuddhāvāsa gods told the monks, ‘Since you’ve been traveling a year has passed.
Five years remain.
Remember, after six years have passed, you are to return to the city for the teaching of the precepts.’

“In this way, the sixth year arrived, and the gods again told them, ‘A full six years have passed.
You should return for the teaching of the precepts.’

After hearing what the gods said, the monks gathered up their robes and bowls and returned to Bandhuvatī.
They went to Buddha Vipaśyin in the deer preserve, bowed their heads at his feet, and withdrew to sit to one side.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“Like well-trained elephants that do
Whatever the handler wishes,
That great assembly was likewise
As they returned as instructed.

“That Tathāgata then rose into the air above the great assembly in a cross-legged sitting posture and taught them the Precepts Sūtra:
‘Tolerance is best.
The Buddha teaches that Nirvāṇa is the highest.
One doesn’t become an ascetic by cutting off their hair and beard and then harming others.’

“They hadn’t gone far from the Buddha when the Śuddhāvāsa gods spoke these verses:

“‘The Tathāgata’s great wisdom
Is sublime and uniquely venerable.

He perfected calm observation
And achieved the supreme, complete awakening.

Out of pity for all beings,
He achieving awakening in the world.

Using the four truths,
He taught his disciples:

Suffering, suffering’s cause,
The truth of its cessation,
And the noble eightfold path
Arrive at the place of safety.

Buddha Vipaśyin
Appeared in the world;

In the midst of a great assembly,
He was as dazzling as the sun.’

“After reciting these verses, they instantly disappeared.”

The Bhagavān then told the monks, “I thought to myself, ‘Once, I was on Mount Gṛdhrakūṭa at Rājagṛha, and this thought occurred to me, “I’ve been born everywhere but the Śuddhāvāsa Heaven.
If I were born in that heaven, I wouldn’t return to this world.”


“Monks, I’ve also had this thought:
‘I want to go up to the Avṛha Heaven above.’
In the time it takes for a strong man to flex his arm, I then disappeared here and appeared in that heaven.

“When they saw me arrive, the gods there bowed their heads and stood to one side.
They said to me, ‘We were disciples of Tathāgata Vipaśyin.
We were reborn here because that Buddha’s instruction.
We recite the history of that buddha as well as that of Buddha Śikhin, Buddha Viśvabhū, Buddha Krakucchanda, Buddha Kanakamuni, Buddha Kāśyapa, and Buddha Śākyamuni.
They were our teachers.
We were reborn here because of their training.’

“They also recited the history of buddhas, those gods who were born … in the Akaniṣṭha Heaven.
It was the same there.”

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“In the time it takes a strong man
To flex his arm for a moment,
I used my miraculous abilities
To go to the Avṛha Heaven.

I was the seventh great sage
To defeat the two Māras;

When the Atapa gods saw me,
They saluted and venerated me.

Like the pārijāta tree,
The Śākya teacher was famous far and wide.

Having all the signs and excellencies,
I arrived at the Sudarśana Heaven.

I was like a lotus flower
With no water clinging to it.

The Bhagavān was undefiled
When he arrived at Mahāsudarśana.

I was like the sun at daybreak,
Clear, without specks or blurriness.

Bright like the autumn moon,
I visited Akaniṣṭha once.

These are the five dwelling places
Of purified sentient beings
Born there because of their hearts were pure;

I visited the unafflicted.

Those pure hearts who are born there
Were disciples of buddhas.

They discarded defiled clinging,
Were happy clinging to nothing.

Seeing the Dharma with certainty,
Those disciples of Vipaśyin
With pure hearts welcomed
A visit from the great sage of humans.

The disciples of Buddha Śikhin
Were unsullied and unconditioned.

They welcomed with pure hearts
A visit from the sage who left existence.

The disciples of Viśvabhū
Fully possessed the faculties.

With pure hearts, they visited me
Like the sun shining in the sky.

The disciples of Krakucchanda
Had renounced their desires.

With pure hearts, they visited me
Resplendent with sublime light.

The disciples of Kanakamuni
Were unsullied and unconditioned.

With pure hearts, they visited me
Bright like the full moon.

The disciples of Kāśyapa
Fully possessed the faculties.

With pure hearts, they visited me
As though thinking of the northern sky.

Those undisturbed great sages
Were supreme in miraculous abilities.

With steadfast minds,
They were disciples of those buddhas.

Those pure hearts reborn
Who were disciples of buddhas,
They venerated the Tathāgata
And fully informed the sage of humans:

‘Such were their births that achieved the path,
Their names, surnames, and types of tribes,
The profound teachings they saw and knew,
And their achievement of unsurpassed awakening.

Dwelling in quietude, their monks
Were freed from dust and defilement.

Earnest and not neglectful,
They broke the bonds of existence.’

These were the buddhas’
Histories from beginning to end.

The Tathāgata of the Śākyas
Has expounded them.”

After he had taught this Sūtra of the Great Legend, the monks who heard what the Buddha taught rejoiced and approved.

2 - DA 2 The Final Journey

Thus I have heard:
One time, the Buddha was staying on Mount Gṛdhrakūṭa at Rājagṛha.
He was accompanied by a large group of 1,250 monks.

Varṣākāra’s Visit
It was then that the king of Magadha, Ajātaśatru, wanted to attack Vṛji.
The King thought to himself, “Although their people may be brave and fierce, it won’t be enough to stop me from seizing that country.”

King Ajātaśatru then summoned his priestly great minister Varṣākāra and told him, “Go to the Bhagavān on Mount Gṛdhrakūṭa and bow at the Bhagavān’s feet in my name.
Ask about the Bhagavān’s health:
‘Are you getting around easily?
Have your travels been difficult?’
Then also say to the Bhagavān, ‘The people of Vṛji are independent and brave, and the population is fierce.
They won’t submit to me, so I want to attack them.
What instruction might the Bhagavān have?’
If he has some instruction, then remember it well.
Don’t forget any of it.
Report to me the Tathāgata’s words just as you heard them, for they are never false.’


The minister Varṣākāra accepted the King’s instructions and rode a precious chariot to Mount Gṛdhrakūṭa.
Reaching a place to stop, he dismounted and proceeded on foot until he reached the Bhagavān.
When they were done exchanging greetings, he sat to one side.
He said to the Bhagavān, “The king of Magadha, Ajātaśatru, bows his head at the Buddha’s feet and respectfully and politely asks, ‘Are you getting around easily?
Have your travels been difficult?’
He also says to the Bhagavān, ‘The people of Vṛji are independent and brave, and the population is fierce.
They won’t submit to me, so I want to attack them.
What instruction might the Bhagavān have?’


At the time, Ānanda was standing behind the Bhagavān fanning him.
The Buddha asked Ānanda, “Have you heard that the people of Vṛji frequently hold meetings and discussions on what’s proper?”

He replied, “I’ve heard that.”

The Buddha said to Ānanda, “If they do that, then the elders and the youth will be in accord, and that’ll make them flourish.
Their country will be safe for a long time.
They’ll be impossible to conquer.

“Ānanda, have you heard that the people of Vṛji are in accord with the nobility and ministers?
Do those in high and low stations respect each other?”

He replied, “I’ve heard that.”

“Ānanda, if they do that, then the elders and the youth will be in accord, and that’ll make them flourish.
Their country will be safe for a long time.
They’ll be impossible to conquer.

“Ānanda, have you heard that the people of Vṛji are respectful of the law, clear about what to avoid, and don’t violate the rules of propriety?”

He replied, “I’ve heard that.”

“Ānanda, if they do that, then the elders and the youth will be in accord, and that’ll make them flourish.
Their country will be safe for a long time.
They’ll be impossible to conquer.

“Ānanda, have you heard that the people of Vṛji are dutiful to their parents and respectfully follow their teachers and elders?”

He replied, “I’ve heard that.”

“Ānanda, if they do that, then the elders and the youth will be in accord, and that’ll make them flourish.
Their country will be safe for a long time.
They’ll be impossible to conquer.

“Ānanda, have you heard that the people of Vṛji venerate their ancestral shrines and pay their respects to the spirits?”

He replied, “I’ve heard that.”

“Ānanda, if they do that, then the elders and the youth will be in accord, and that’ll make them flourish.
Their country will be safe for a long time.
They’ll be impossible to conquer.

“Ānanda, have you heard that the people of Vṛji are honest, pure, and undefiled inside their households, and their words are never perverse even when joking?”

He replied, “I’ve heard that.”

“Ānanda, if they do that, then the elders and the youth will be in accord, and that’ll make them flourish.
Their country will be safe for a long time.
They’ll be impossible to conquer.

“Ānanda, have you heard that the people of Vṛji traditionally serve ascetics, respect those who observe the precepts, look up to them, protect them, and support them so that they are never negligent?”

He replied, “I’ve heard that.”

“Ānanda, if they do that, then the elders and the youth will be in accord, and that’ll make them flourish.
Their country will be safe for a long time.
They’ll be impossible to conquer.”

Varṣākāra then said to the Buddha, “If the people of that country were to practice just one of those principles, they couldn’t be schemed against.
How would it be if they have all seven?
I’d like to take my leave now;
I have many duties of state.”

The Buddha said, “It’s up to you to decide when to go.”

Varṣākāra then rose from his seat, circled the Buddha three times, saluted him, and departed.

How to Ensure the Teaching’s Growth
Not long after he left, the Buddha told Ānanda, “Go and tell all the monks here in Rājagṛha to assemble at the meeting hall.”

Ānanda replied, “Very well,” then he went to the city of Rājagṛha and called all the monks to assemble in the meeting hall.
He then [returned and] said to the Bhagavān, “The monks have assembled.
It’s up to the sage to decide when to go.”

The Bhagavān then rose from his seat and went to the Dharma meeting hall.
He prepared a seat there and sat down.
He then addressed the monks, “I will give a discourse on seven principles of not declining.
Listen closely!
Listen closely, and consider it well.”

The monks said to the Buddha, “Very well, Bhagavān!
We’d be glad to hear it.”

The Buddha told the monks, “These are seven principles of not declining:
First, if we frequently hold meetings and discuss the proper meaning, elders and juniors will be in accord, and the teaching will be indestructible.

“Second, if those in high and low positions are in harmony, respectful, and don’t contradict each other, elders and juniors will be in accord, and the teaching will be indestructible.

“Third, if we uphold the law, are clear about what to avoid, and don’t violate the rules, elders and juniors will be in accord, and the teaching will be indestructible.

“Fourth, if a monk has the ability to protect the community, has many associates, and pays his respects as he should, elders and juniors will be in accord, and the teaching will be indestructible.

“Fifth, if we are careful with our minds and dutiful to our leaders, elders and juniors will be in accord, and the teaching will be indestructible.

“Sixth, if we purely cultivate the religious life and avoid situations of desire, elders and juniors will be in accord, and the teaching will be indestructible.

“Seventh, if we put others first and ourselves after them and don’t covet fame or profit, elders and juniors will be in accord, and the teaching will be indestructible.”

The Buddha told the monks, “There’s another seven things that will make the teaching grow and not diminish.
[What are the seven?
] First, if we enjoy few duties and don’t like doing many things, the teaching will grow and not diminish.
Second, if we enjoy silence and don’t like much talk … Third, if we’re seldom sleepy and don’t have any gloominess … Fourth, if we don’t keep company or talk about pointless things … Fifth, if we don’t praise ourselves for virtues we don’t have … Sixth, if we don’t associate with bad people or make them our companions … Seventh, if we’re happy living alone in quiet places in mountains and forests… Thus, monks, the teaching then will grow and not diminish.”

The Buddha told the monks, “There’s another seven principles that will make the teaching grow and not diminish.
What are the seven?
First, have faith in the Tathāgata, Arhat, and Perfectly Awakened One who’s been given the ten epithets.
Second, be conscientious and ashamed of one’s failings.
Third, be modest and embarrassed by bad behavior.
Fourth, be well-versed in and remember what’s good in the beginning, middle, and end, that’s profound in content and expression, that’s pure and undefiled, and that perfects the religious life.
Fifth, diligently practice asceticism, cease doing what’s bad, cultivate what’s good, and don’t abandon that effort.
Sixth, remember and don’t forget what’s been learned in the past.
Seventh, cultivate wisdom, recognize the law of birth and cessation, head for the noble goal, and end the source of suffering.
Thus, the teaching will grow and not diminish with these seven principles.”

The Buddha told the monks, “There’s another seven principles that will make the teaching grow and not diminish.
What are the seven?
First, respect the Buddha.
Second, respect the Dharma.
Third, respect the Saṅgha.
Fourth, respect the precepts.
Fifth, respect samādhi.
Sixth, be in respectful accord with your father and mother.
Seventh, respect carefulness.
Thus, the teaching will grow and not diminish with these seven principles.”

The Buddha told the monks, “There’s another seven principles that will make the teaching grow and not diminish.
What are the seven?
First, observe the impurities of the body.
Second, observe the impurities of food.
Third, don’t be happy with the world.
Fourth, always be mindful of the idea of death.
Fifth, [be mindful of] the idea that what arises is impermanent.
Sixth, [be mindful of] the idea that impermanence is painful.
Seventh, [be mindful of] the idea that what’s painful is not self.
Thus, the teaching will grow and not diminish with these seven principles.”

The Buddha told the monks, “There’s another seven principles that will make the teaching grow and not diminish.
What are the seven?
First, cultivate the awakening factor of mindfulness in quietude, without desire, and escape to the unconditioned.
Second, cultivate the awakening factor of [discriminating] the teaching … Third, cultivate the awakening factor of effort … Fourth, cultivate the awakening factor of joy … Fifth, cultivate the awakening factor of mildness … Sixth, cultivate the awakening factor of samādhi … Seventh, cultivate the awakening factor of equanimity.
Thus, the teaching will grow and not diminish with these seven principles.

The Buddha told the monks, “There’s six principles of not declining that will make the teaching grow and not diminish.
What are the six?
First, always be kind with physical actions and don’t harm sentient beings.
Second, be benevolent when expressing oneself and don’t use harsh words.
Third, have mindful and kind thoughts and don’t harbor harmful ones.
Fourth, get support in pure ways and share it with the community equitably.
Fifth, observe the noble precepts without missing any of them and don’t have defilements, and one’s samādhi will sure be undisturbed.
Sixth, see the noble path as the way to reach the end of suffering.
Thus, the teaching will grow and not diminish with these six principles.”

The Buddha told the monks, “There’s another six principles of not declining that will make the teaching grow and not diminish.
[What are the six?
] First, remember the Buddha.
Second, remember the Dharma.
Third, remember the Saṅgha.
Fourth, remember the precepts.
Fifth, remember generosity.
Sixth, remember the gods.
Cultivating these six recollections, the teaching will grow and not diminish.”

At the Bamboo Park
After staying in Rājagṛha for as long as was fitting, the Bhagavān told Ānanda, “All of you, get ready.
I’m going to visit the Bamboo Park.”

Ānanda replied, “Very well,” prepared his robe and bowl, and followed the Bhagavān with the large assembly.
They took the road from Magadha and arrived at the Bamboo Park next.

He went up into the hall there and sat down with the monks, giving them a discourse on the precepts, samādhi, and wisdom:
“Cultivating precepts and obtaining samādhi wins a great reward.
Cultivating samādhi and obtaining wisdom wins a great reward.
Cultivating wisdom and purifying the mind wins complete liberation.
With the end of the three contaminants, which are the contaminants of desire, existence, and ignorance, the knowledge of liberation arises after one is liberated:
‘My births and deaths have been ended, the religious life has been established, and the task has been accomplished.
I won’t be subject to a later existence.’


At Pāṭaliputra
After staying at the Bamboo Park for as long as was fitting, the Bhagavān told Ānanda, “All of you, get ready.
I’m going to visit Pāṭaliputra.”

Ānanda replied, “Very well,” prepared his robe and bowl, and followed the Bhagavān with the large assembly.
They took the road from Magadha and arrived at the city Pāṭaliputra next.
They sat down under the pāṭali trees there.

The faithful laymen there noticed the Buddha and the large assembly approach from afar and sit under the pāṭali trees when they arrived.
The laymen came out of the city and spotted the Bhagavān there under the trees.
He looked handsome and upright with peaceful and settled faculties.
He was the most well-behaved [person they’d seen].
Like a great nāga in clear water without any dirt and was adorned with the thirty-two signs and eighty excellent features.
They rejoiced upon seeing him and made their way to the Buddha.
They bowed their heads at his feet and withdrew to sit to one side.

The Bhagavān then gradually taught them the Dharma, teaching, instructing, profiting, and delighting them.
Those pure laymen who listened to the Buddha teach the Dharma said, “I would like to take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and noble Saṅgha.
Please let the Bhagavān have compassion and permit us to become upāsakas.
From now on, we won’t kill, steal, engage in sex, lie, or drink alcohol.
We’ll uphold the precepts and won’t forget them.
We’d also like to provide support tomorrow.
Please let the Bhagavān and his large assembly have compassion and allow us to take care of you.”

The Bhagavān then silently gave his consent.
Seeing the Buddha remain silent, those laymen rose from their seats, circled the Buddha three times, bowed, and returned home.
They quickly set up a large residence hall for the Tathāgata and arranged the dwelling places, sweeping, washing, burning incense, and preparing precious seats.
Having arranged and provided this, they returned and said to the Bhagavān, “We’ve prepared everything.
It’s up to the noble ones to decide when to go.”

The Bhagavān then rose from his seat, put on his robe, picked up his bowl, and went to that meeting hall with the large assembly.
They washed their hands and feet, then they went into the building and sat down.
The monks sat to the right, and the laymen sat to the left.

The Bhagavān then addressed the laymen, “Ordinary people who break the precepts will decline in five ways.
What are the five?
First, they won’t get the wealth that they want.
Second, what they’ve managed to acquire will decline daily.
Third, the community where they go to live won’t respect them.
Fourth, a bad reputation and insults about them will be heard everywhere.
Fifth, they’ll go to Hell when their bodies break up and their lives end.”

He also told the pure laymen, “Ordinary people who observe the precepts have five virtues.
What are the five?
First, they easily acquire the things they seek as they wish.
Second, their property increases and doesn’t diminish.
Third, people respect and like them wherever they go.
Fourth, a good reputation and compliments about them are heard everywhere.
Fifth, they’ll be born up in heaven when their bodies break up and their lives end.”

Halfway through the night, he told the laymen that it would a good time for them return home.
The laymen accepted the Buddha’s instruction, circling him three times and bowing at his feet before leaving.

When the night ended and the first light of dawn appeared, the Bhagavān went to a quiet place.
With his clear and penetrating heavenly eye, he saw great heavenly spirits taking up individual residences on earth, and he saw middling and lesser spirits were taking up their residences, too.
The Bhagavān returned to the meeting hall, prepared a seat, and sat down.
Though he knew the answer, he asked Ānanda, “Who is building this city, Pāṭaliputra?”

Ānanda said to the Buddha, “The minister Varṣākāra is building it as a defense against the Vṛji.”

The Buddha told Ānanda, “The builders of this city have correctly ascertained what the gods want.
When the night ended and the first light of dawn appeared, I went to a quiet place.
With the heavenly eye, I saw great heavenly spirits taking individual residences on earth, and I saw that middling spirits and lesser spirits were taking up their residences, too.
Ānanda, you should know that the people who live where the great heavenly spirits take up residence on earth will be happy and prosperous.
Middling people will live where the middling spirits take up residence, and lesser people will live where the lesser spirits take up residence.
They each will live according to whether their virtues are many or few.

“Ānanda, noble people live here, and merchants gather here.
The country’s laws are true, and there isn’t any fraud.
This city is the greatest, while others in the region are in decline and can’t destroy it.
If it were to be destroyed in the future, it would require three conditions:
First is a great flood.
Second is a great fire.
Third, it would take both civilized and barbaric men to destroy this city.”

The laymen of Pāṭaliputra had prepared offerings during the night.
They then went to the Buddha and said, “Meals are fully prepared.
It’s up to the sage to decide when to go.”
The laymen then served the meals with their own hands, and they cleaned up when the meals were finished.
Afterward, they brought out small seats and sat in front of the Buddha.

The Bhagavān then instructed them.
“Today, you have venerable sages living here.
Many people observe precepts and purely cultivate the religious life.
They delight good spirits who then chant prayers for them.
They know to respect what’s respectable and serve who should be served.
They’re liberal in generosity and affectionate to all.
Their compassionate hearts are commended by the gods.
They are always with good people and don’t associate with evil.”

After he gave this teaching, the Bhagavān rose from his seat and was seen off by the laymen.
Surrounded by the large assembly, he returned to the grove.
As the minister Varṣākāra followed behind the Buddha, he thought, “Now, the gate through which the ascetic Gautama leaves the city shall be named Gautama’s Gate.
When we see where he crosses the river, it’ll also be named Gautama’s Ford.”

The Bhagavān then left the city of Pāṭaliputra and continued to the river’s bank.
A large crowd of people was on the shore, and some were being ferried across.
Some rode on boats and some on rafts to cross the river.
In the time it takes a strong man to flex his arm, the Bhagavān and his large assembly instantly crossed to the other side.

After contemplating the meaning of this, the Bhagavān spoke in verse:

“The Buddha is the ocean’s ship captain;

The Dharma is the bridge that crosses the river.

Guiding a great vehicle to carry them,
All the gods and people cross over.

Indeed, by untying his own bonds
He crossed to the shore and became a sage.

He helped all of his disciples
Who’re freed from bondage and will attain nirvāṇa.”

At Kuṭigrāmaka
The Bhagavān then toured Vṛji until he reached Kuṭigrāmaka.
There, he addressed the monks while they were in a grove:
“There are four profound principles:
First is the noble precepts.
Second is the noble samādhi.
Third is the noble wisdom.
Fourth is the noble liberation.
These principles are sublime and difficult to understand.
Because you and I didn’t comprehend them, we’ve been in birth and death for a long time, cycling around endlessly.”

After contemplating the meaning of this, the Bhagavān spoke in verse:

“Higher precepts, samādhi, wisdom, and liberation
Were discernible only to the Buddha.

Free of suffering, he teaches others
To end the habits of birth and death.”

At Nādikā
After he had stayed in Kuṭigrāmaka for as long as was fitting, the Bhagavān told Ānanda, “Let’s visit Nādikā.”
Ānanda accepted his instruction, put on his robe, took his bowl, and followed the Bhagavān with the large assembly.
They took the road from Vṛji to Nādikā and stopped at Kuñjikāvasatha when they arrived.

Ānanda then was in a quiet place and silently thought to himself, “Here in Nādikā, there are twelve laymen named Karkaṭaka, Kaḍaṅgara, Nikaṭa, Kātyarṣabha, Cāru, Upacāru, Bhadra, Subhadra, *Darśana, *Sudarśana, Yaśas, and Yaśottara.
Where will these men be born now that their lives have ended?
There’s another fifty people and another 500 people.
Where will they be born now that their lives have ended?”

After thinking this, he emerged from his quiet place and went to the Buddha.
Bowing his head at the Buddha’s feet, he sat to one side.
He said, “Bhagavān, I was in a quiet place and silently thought to myself, ‘There are twelve laymen here in Nādikā, Karkaṭaka and others, whose lives have ended.
There’s another fifty people whose lives have ended, and another 500 people whose lives have ended.
Where were they be born?’
Please explain this.”

The Buddha told Ānanda, “Those twelve people, Karkaṭaka and the others, had cut the five lower bonds and were born in heaven when their lives ended.
From there, they were completely extinguished and did not return to this world.
Those fifty people whose lives have ended had eliminated the three bonds of lust, anger, and delusion.
They became once-returners who’ll return to this world and then end the source of suffering.
Those 500 people whose lives have ended had eliminated the three bonds and become stream-enterers.
They didn’t fall to bad destinies and will surely achieve awakening.
They’ll be reborn seven times and reach the end of suffering.

“Ānanda, that someone born has died is the normal course of life.
What’s strange about it?
If you come and ask me about each person who dies, wouldn’t it be troublesome?”

Ānanda replied, “I trust it would be, Bhagavān.
It would really be troublesome.”

The Buddha told Ānanda, “Now, I’ll teach the Dharma mirror to you, which lets a noble disciple know about where they’ll be born.
‘The three bad destinies have ended, I’ve attained stream-entry, and I’ll surely reach the end of suffering in no more than seven births.’
They can tell other people about such matters.

“Ānanda, ‘Dharma mirror’ means a noble disciple attains unwavering faith.
They rejoice and believe in the Buddha, Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One who’s been given the ten epithets.

“They rejoice and believe in the Dharma as genuine, sublime, freely taught at any time, showing the path to Nirvāṇa, and practiced by the wise.

“They rejoice and believe in the Saṅgha as good together, in harmony, having genuine practices, having no deceptions, accomplishing the path’s reward, whose low and high stations are in accord, and the perfection of the Dharma body.
They head for stream-entry and become stream-enterers.
They head for once-returning and become once-returners.
They head for non-returning and become non-returners.
They head for becoming an arhat and become arhats.
These four pairs are the eight kinds of people called the Tathāgata’s noble Saṅgha.
They are the most respectable fields of merit in the world.

“He also believes in the noble precepts as pure, undefiled, and without defect or contamination.
They are practiced by intelligent people and obtain samādhi.

“Ānanda, this is the Dharma mirror.
It lets noble disciples know about where they’ll be born:
‘The three bad destinies have ended, I’ve attained stream-entry, and I’ll surely reach the end of suffering in no more than seven births.’
They can tell other people about such matters.”

At Vaiśālī
After the Bhagavān had stayed for as long as was fitting, he told Ānanda, “Let’s visit Vaiśālī.”
Ānanda accepted his instruction, put on his robe, took his bowl, and followed the Bhagavān with the large assembly.
They took the road from Vṛji to Vaiśālī and sad down under a tree.

There was a prostitute named Āmrapālī.
Hearing that the Buddha had led his disciples to Vaiśālī and was sitting under a tree, she prepared horses and a precious chariot to go honor and give offerings to him.
Before arriving, she saw from afar the Bhagavān’s handsome appearance, distinguished faculties, signs, and excellencies.
He looked like the moon among stars.
She rejoiced when she saw him.
Dismounting from her chariot, she made her way to the Buddha, bowed her head at his feet, and withdrew to sit to one side.

The Bhagavān then gradually taught her the Dharma, teaching, instructing, profiting, and delighting her.
After listening to the Buddha’s teaching, she rejoiced and said, “From this day forward, I take refuge in the three worthy things.
Please permit me to become a laywoman in the correct teaching.
For the rest of my life, I won’t kill, steal, commit sexual misconduct, speak falsely, or drink alcohol.”

She also said to the Buddha, “Please let the Bhagavān and his disciples clearly accept my invitation to stop at my grove this evening.”

The Bhagavān silently accepted her request.
Seeing that he had, she rose from her seat, bowed her head at his feet, circled the Buddha, and returned home.

Not long after she left, the Buddha told Ānanda, “Let’s all go visit her park.”

Ānanda replied, “Very well.”
The Buddha then rose from his seat, gathered his robes and bowl, and went to her park with the assembly of 1,250 disciples.

There was a group of Licchavi men who heard that the Buddha was going to stay at Āmrapālī’s Park.
They had five-colored precious chariots and horses.
Some rode on blue chariots with blue horses, and their clothes, parasols, banners, and retainers were all blue.
The same was true for the other four colors, too.

500 of these Licchavis dressed in entirely in the same color decided to visit the Buddha.
Āmrapālī was returning home after speaking with him and encountered those Licchavi chariots on the road.
They were traveling very fast and collided with each other.
Their banners and parasols were knocked down, but she didn’t move out of their path.
The Licchavis yelled at her, “Who do you think you are, not making way for us?
You’ve run into our chariots and knocked down our banners and parasols!”

She replied, “Gentlemen, I’ve invited the Buddha for a meal tomorrow, and now I’m going home to prepare it, so I was going fast.
There wasn’t enough room to avoid you.”

The Licchavis said to her, “Perhaps you could set aside your invitation and let us go first?
We’ll give you a 100,000 gold!”

She quickly replied, “My invitation has already been settled;
I can’t give it to you.”

The Licchavis again said to her, “We’ll give you 16 times 100,000 gold.
Surely, it can be arranged for us to go first?”

She still didn’t agree.
“My invitation has already been settled.
I can’t do that!”

The Licchavis again said to her, “We’ll give you the middle part of the country!
Couldn’t you let us go first?”

She also replied, “Even if it were all the wealth in the country, I still wouldn’t give it to you.
Why is that?
The Buddha is staying in my park, and he’s already accepted my invitation.
The matter is settled, and I’d never give it to someone else.”

The Licchavis each clapped their hands and sighed, “Now, my first bit of good fortune is lost because of this woman!”
They went on ahead, then, to visit her park.

The Bhagavān saw those 500 Licchavi chariots from afar, their horses were so numerous, filling the road as they approached.
He told the monks, “If you want to know how dignified-looking and decorated the Trāyastriṃśa gods are when they entertain themselves in their scenic parks, it’s no different than this.

“You monks, you should collect your thoughts and behave in a dignified manner.
How does a monk collect his thoughts?
Here, a monk observes body internally to be body.
Diligent and unflagging, he’s mindful and doesn’t forget it, setting aside worldly greed and sorrow.
He observes body externally to be body.
Diligent and unflagging, he’s mindful and doesn’t forget it, setting aside worldly greed and sorrow.
He observes body internally and externally to be body.
Diligent and unflagging, he’s mindful and doesn’t forget it, setting aside worldly greed and sorrow.
He also observes feelings, mind, and principles in the same way.

“How does a monk behave in a dignified manner?
Here, a monk knows to walk when he should walk and to stop when he should stop.
He looks left and right before bending and stretching, looking down and up, or gathering his robes and bowl.
When he eats, drinks, and takes medicine, he doesn’t forget what’s appropriate.
He skillfully prepares when relieving himself, taking away screens, while walking, standing, sitting, and lying down, and while awake, asleep, speaking, and being quiet.
He collects his thoughts and isn’t disturbed.
This is a monk who behaves in a dignified manner.”

Those 500 Licchavis arrived at Āmrapālī’s Park to visit the Buddha and then dismounted and proceeded on foot.
They bowed their heads at his feet and withdrew to sit to one side.
The Tathāgata glowed with a singular light there on his seat, outshining the great assemblies like the autumn moon.
He was also like the sun shining with a singular brilliance when the sky and earth are clear, bright, and pure, and there isn’t any dust to obscure it.

At that point, the Buddha glowed with a singular light in the middle of the assembly with the 500 Licchavis sitting around him.

There was an ascetic named Paiṅgika who rose from his seat, bared his right shoulder, and knelt on his right knee.
He saluted the Buddha with his palms together and praised him in verse:

“The kings of Magadha and Aṅga
Are delighted to obtain good profits.

They wear jeweled armor,
And the Bhagavān arose in their land.

His majesty moves three thousand [worlds],
His name plain as the Himalayas!

He’s like a blooming lotus flower
With perfume most sublime.

Looking at the Buddha’s glow now,
It’s like the sun at daybreak.

He’s like the moon roaming the sky
Without any clouds to obscure it.

The Bhagavān is likewise:

His light shines on the world.

Observing the Tathāgata’s wisdom
Is like seeing with a torch in the dark.

He gives sentient beings the clear vision
To settle their doubts and confusion.”

After they heard these verses, the 500 Licchavis again told Paiṅgika, “You can say that again!”

Paiṅgika then repeated what he said three times.
After listening to him repeat these verses, they each gave their precious clothing to Paiṅgika, and he then offered their clothing to the Tathāgata.
The Buddha accepted it out of compassion for them.

The Bhagavān then told the Licchavis of Vaiśālī, “The world has five treasures that are hard to find.
What are the five?
First, the arising of a Tathāgata, a Realized One, in the world is hard to find.
Second, a person who can be taught the correct teaching by a Tathāgata is hard to find.
Third, a person who’ll believe the Tathāgata’s teaching is hard to find.
Fourth, a person who can accomplish the Tathāgata’s teaching is hard to find.
Fifth, a person who’s saved from disaster, recognizes the danger, and returns [the favor] is hard to find.
These are five treasures that are hard to find.”

When they heard the Buddha teach, instruct, profit, and delight them, those 500 Licchavis said to the Buddha, “Please let the Bhagavān and his disciples accept our invitation!”

The Buddha told the Licchavis, “Now that you have invited me, I’ll let you give me your offerings after I’m finished with Āmrapālī’s prior invitation.”

When they heard that Āmrapālī had invited the Buddha first, those 500 Licchavis snapped their fingers and said, “We wanted to give offerings to the Tathāgata, but this woman beat us to it!”
They rose from their seats, bowed their heads to the Buddha, circled him three times, and returned to their homes.

That night, Āmrapālī prepared a variety of offerings.
When morning arrived, the Bhagavān went to the place of her invitation surrounded by 1,250 monks who had adjusted their robes and carried their bowls.
They prepared seats and sat down.

Lady Āmrapālī then brought out fine dishes and offered them to the Buddha and the Saṅgha.
When they were done with the meal, she took their bowls and cleared the table.
She held a gold jar for them to wash up.
When they were done, she went before the Buddha and said, “This city of Vaiśālī has scenic parks, but my park is the best of them.
Now, I donate this park to the Tathāgata.
Please let him accept this out of compassion for me.”

The Buddha told her, “You may donate this park to the Buddha and the Saṅgha of the four directions.
Why is that?
The Tathāgata possesses these six things:
parks, groves, quarters, buildings, robe, and bowl.
Even Māra, Śakra, Brahmā, and other gods of great miraculous power are incapable of accepting these offerings.”

She accepted his instruction and donated the park to the Buddha and the Saṅgha of the four directions.
The Buddha accepted it out of compassion for her.

He then spoke in verse:

“Building shrines and monasteries,
And fruitful parks give refreshment.

Bridges and boats to ferry people,
And open land are gifts of water and grass.

Raised halls, too, are gifts
With merits that increase day and night.

A disciplined and pure person
Surely will arrive in a good region.”

Āmrapālī fetched a small seat and sat in front of the Buddha.
He gradually taught her the Dharma, teaching, instructing, profiting, and delighting her.
He discussed generosity, precepts, how to be born in heaven, the great danger of desire that’s polluting and impure, and the obstacle of the higher contaminants.
[He praised] escaping it as the [most subtle, pure, and] supreme thing.

The Bhagavān then knew that her mind was softened, joyous, shaded, light, and easily educated.
As was the way of Buddhas, he then taught her the noble truth of suffering, suffering’s formation, suffering’s cessation, and the truth of suffering’s escape.

Āmrapālī’s belief was purified.
Like a white cloth that readily accepts a dye, she became removed from dust and free of defilement right there on her seat, and the Dharma eye arose in her.
She saw the Dharma, got the Dharma, and was certainly in the proper standpoint.
She wouldn’t fall to unpleasant destinies and had achieved fearlessness.
She said to the Buddha, “Now, I take refuge in the Buddha, take refuge in the Dharma, and take refuge in the Saṅgha.”
She repeated this three times.

“Please, Tathāgata, permit me to become a laywoman in the correct teaching.
From now on, I won’t kill, steal, commit sexual misconduct, lie, or drink alcohol.”

She then received the five precepts from the Buddha, discarded her previous lifestyle, and eliminated her defilements.
She rose from her seat, bowed to the Buddha, and departed.

At Veṇugrāmaka
The Bhagavān then stayed in Vaiśālī for as long as was appropriate.
Then he told Ānanda, “All of you, get ready.
I’m going to Veṇugrāmaka.”

Ānanda replied, “Very well,” prepared his robe and bowl, and followed the Bhagavān with the large assembly.
They took the road from Vṛji to Veṇugrāmaka.

There was then a priest named Viśvadāya who heard that the Buddha and the great assembly was visiting Veṇugrāmaka.
He thought to himself, “This ascetic Gautama’s reputation for virtue has gotten around.
It’s heard in all directions that he’s been given the ten epithets.
He’s self-realized among the gods such as Śakra and Brahmā, or Māra, spirits, ascetics, and priests.
He teaches the Dharma to others that’s genuine in the beginning, middle, and end.
It’s meaning and content is profound, and it perfects the religious life.
It would be fitting to meet such a true man as this!”

That priest then left Veṇugrāmaka and visited the Bhagavān.
After they exchanged greetings, he sat to one side.
The Bhagavān gradually taught him Dharma, teaching, instructing, profiting, and delighting him.
After listening to him, the priest rejoiced and invited the Bhagavān and the great assembly for a meal at his home the next day.
The Buddha silently accepted his invitation.
Recognizing that he had agreed, the priest rose from his seat, circled the Buddha, and returned home.
That night, the priest prepared offerings of food and drink.
It was up to noble one to decide when to go the next morning.

The Bhagavān put on his robe and took his bowl to the priest’s home while surrounded by the great assembly.
There, they prepared their seats and sat down.
The priest then provided a variety of sweet dishes as offerings to the Buddha and Saṅgha.
When they were done eating, he took their bowls.
When they were finished washing up, the priest got a small seat and sat in front of the Buddha.

The Bhagavān then spoke in verse for the priest:

“Whether it’s food and drink
Or clothes and sleeping arrangements;

A gift to those observing precepts
Will win a great reward.

It’ll be a true companion,
Following a person from beginning to end.

It’ll arrive at their destination
Like a shadow follows one’s body.

Therefore, plant what’s good
And you’ll reap its bounty in a later life.

With the foundation of their merits,
Sentient beings will find peace.

With merit as their heavenly protection,
They won’t run into disaster.

Their births won’t be difficult,
And they’ll ascend to heaven when they die.”

The Bhagavān then taught the subtle Dharma for the priest.
After he was taught, instructed, profited, and delighted by it, he rose from his seat and departed.

During that time that there was a crop failure and famine in the region, which made soliciting alms difficult.
The Buddha told Ānanda, “Order all the monks present in this country to assemble in the meeting hall.”

Ānanda replied, “Very well.”
Having received his instruction, he announced to those near and far to assemble at the meeting hall.

Once the great assembly in that country had gathered, Ānanda told the Buddha, “The great assembly has gathered.
It’s up to the noble one to decide when to go.”

The Bhagavān then rose from his seat and went to the meeting hall.
He prepared a seat and sat down.
He then told the monks, “There’s a famine in this region that’s making it difficult to solicit alms.
It would be best for all of you to split into groups and visit people you know in Vaiśālī and Vṛji where there’s no shortage of food.
I will stay here in this safe abode with Ānanda.
Why is that?
It’s dangerous when there’s such shortages.”
The monks accepted his instruction and did so.
The Buddha and Ānanda stayed there by themselves.

After the summer retreat, the Buddha became sick, and his whole body ached.
The Buddha thought to himself, “Now, I’ve become sick, and my whole body is in pain, but none of my disciples are present.
It wouldn’t be appropriate for me to obtain nirvāṇa.
I must make effort to extend my life with my own power for now.”

The Bhagavān then emerged from his quiet abode and sat in an open place.
When Ānanda saw him, he hurried over and said, “Now that I see the sage’s face, his sickness has made it worse!”

Ānanda also said, “When the Bhagavān was sick, I felt trepidation, and the bond of sorrow depressed me.
I didn’t know which way I was going.
But I’m still breathing.
I think to myself, ‘The Tathāgata isn’t completely extinguished yet.
the world’s eye hasn’t ceased yet.
The great teaching hasn’t declined yet.’
Does he not have instructions for the assembled monks now?”

The Buddha told Ānanda, “Does the Saṅgha need something from me?
If there were someone who said, ‘I maintain the Saṅgha’ or ‘I collect the Saṅgha,’ this person would have some instructions for the assembly.
The Tathāgata doesn’t say, ‘I maintain the Saṅgha’ or ‘I collect the Saṅgha.’
Why must he have some instructions for the Saṅgha?

“Ānanda, the Dharma that I’ve taught is complete inside and out, but I’ve never claimed to have mastered its view.
I’m elderly, fully eighty years old now.
Like an old chariot that can still reach a destination with skill and maintenance, my body is likewise.
With skill, I have the power to extend my life for a while longer, but it takes strength and effort to tolerate these pains.
It’s when I’m not mindful of any conceptions and enter the samādhi without conception that my body is peaceful and without any distress.

“Therefore, Ānanda, you must light yourself and light the Dharma.
Don’t light something else.
You must be your own refuge and take refuge in the Dharma.
Don’t take refuge in something else.
How does one light themselves, light the Dharma, and not light something else?
How does one take refuge in themselves, take refuge in the Dharma, and not take refuge in something else?

“Ānanda, a monk observes body internally [to be body.
] Diligent and unflagging, he’s mindful and doesn’t forget it, setting aside worldly greed and sorrow.
He observes body externally … observes body internally and externally … Diligent and unflagging, he’s mindful and doesn’t forget it, setting aside worldly greed and sorrow.
He also observes feelings, mind, and principles in the same way.
That’s how, Ānanda, one lights themselves, lights the Dharma, and doesn’t light something else.
One must take refuge in themselves, take refuge in the Dharma, and not take refuge in something else.”

The Buddha told Ānanda, “After my extinguishment, some will be capable of practicing this teaching.
They will truly be my disciples and the best students.”

At Cāpāla Shrine
The Buddha told Ānanda, “Let’s go to Cāpāla Shrine.”

“Very well.”

The Tathāgata then rose, put on his robe, took his bowl, and went to a tree there.
He told Ānanda, “Prepare a seat.
My back pain is troubling me.
I want to stop here.”

“Very well.”
Ānanda quickly prepared his seat.

After the Tathāgata was seated, Ānanda prepared a small seat and sat in front of the Buddha.
The Buddha told Ānanda, “There’s the cultivation of four miraculous abilities.
Someone who often cultivates and trains in them, who’s always mindful and doesn’t forget them, can live for an eon or more if they so desire.
Ānanda, the Buddha has often cultivated these four miraculous abilities, being mindful and not forgetting them.
The Tathāgata can remain for an eon or more if he so desires to eliminate the darkness of the world, for the gain of many, and to give peace to gods and humans.”

Ānanda was silent and didn’t reply.
The Buddha repeated this three times, but Ānanda was silent.
Under the influence of Māra, Ānanda had become drowsy and wasn’t alert.
Three times the Buddha gave this clear hint, but he didn’t realize his request.

The Buddha told Ānanda, “I’ll let you to decide when to go.”

Understanding what the Buddha meant, Ānanda rose from his seat, bowed to the Buddha, and departed.
He wasn’t far away when the Buddha quieted his mind and contemplated there under the tree.

It wasn’t long before Māra the Wicked One came to the Buddha and said, “The Buddha’s heart desires nothing.
He can parinirvāṇa.
Now would be a good time.
He ought to be extinguished soon.”

The Buddha told the Wicked One, “Stop!
Stop! I’ll decide when it’s time.
For now, the Tathāgata hasn’t decided on nirvāṇa yet.
My monks need to be assembled who can discipline themselves, overcome agitation without fear, and arrive at the place of safety.
They need to obtain their own reward, be teachers for other people, disseminate the sutra teachings, and make their words and meanings plain.
They need to defeat whatever other teachings there may be with the correct Dharma.
They’ll need to realize these miracles for themselves.
Such disciples haven’t assembled yet.
There also need to be nuns, laymen, and laywomen who are all like this, and they haven’t been assembled yet, either.
What’s essential now is to broadly lecture about the awakened heart in the religious life and let gods and humans all see these miracles.”

Māra the Wicked One again said to the Buddha, “Once, the Buddha was sitting under the goatherd’s nyagrodha tree on the bank of the Nairañjanā River in Uruvilvā when he first achieved the perfect awakening.
I went to the Bhagavān then and asked the Tathāgata to parinirvāṇa.
I said, ‘Now would be a good time!
You ought to be extinguished soon!’

“The Tathāgata replied to me, ‘Stop, Wicked One!
Stop! I’ll decide when it’s time.
For now, the Tathāgata hasn’t decided on nirvāṇa because I need to gather my disciples … let gods and humans see these miracles.
Then, I’ll choose extinguishment.’
Now, the Buddha has gathered his disciples … let gods and humans see these miracles.
Now would be a good time.
Why not extinguish yourself?”

The Buddha said, “Stop, Wicked One!
Stop! The Buddha will decide when it’s time.
He won’t remain for very long.
In three months’ time, I will choose extinguishment in my homeland of Kuśinagara between a pair of trees in a sal grove.”

Māra then thought, “The Buddha doesn’t speak falsely.
He surely will be extinguished now!”
He rejoiced and celebrated, then he instantly disappeared.

Not long after Māra had departed, the Buddha entered a samādhi of settled mind at the Cāpāla Shrine in which he discarded his remaining life.
There was a great earthquake at that moment, and there was no one in the whole country who wasn’t startled and frightened by it, who didn’t get goosebumps.
The Buddha then emitted a great radiance.
There was nowhere that it didn’t illuminate.
Even the darkest places were made bright, and the beings there saw each other.

The Bhagavān then spoke in verse:

“The two formations, being and non-being,
I reject those conditioned states now.

Focused in samādhi and settled,
I’m like a bird emerging from its egg.”

It was difficult for the venerable Ānanda to think, he was so startled and had goosebumps.
He hurried to the Buddha, bowed his head at his feet, and withdrew to stand to one side.
He said to the Buddha, “How strange, Bhagavān!
What was the reason for that earthquake?”

The Buddha told Ānanda, “An earthquake usually has eight causes.
What are the eight?
The earth rests on water.
Where the water stops, there’s air.
Where the air stops, there’s space.
Sometimes a great gale rises by itself in that empty space, which create a large wave in the water.
That large wave of water then makes the whole earth quake.
That’s one cause.

“Furthermore, Ānanda, sometimes a monk, nun, great spirit, sage, or exalted god achieves awakening.
They observe how much water there is and how little earth there is.
Wanting to test their power, they make the whole earth quake.
This is the second cause.

“Furthermore, Ānanda, when a bodhisattva’s spirit first descends from the Tuṣita Heaven to his mother’s womb while focused and undisturbed, there’s a great earthquake.
This is the third cause.

“Furthermore, Ānanda, when a bodhisattva first emerges from his mother’s womb, he’s born from her side while focused and undisturbed, and the whole earth quakes.
This is the fourth cause.

“Furthermore, Ānanda, at the moment a bodhisattva first achieves the unsurpassed and perfect awakening, there’s a great earthquake.
This is the fifth cause.

“Furthermore, Ānanda, when a buddha first achieves awakening and turns the unsurpassed Dharma wheel, which can’t be turned by [gods such as Śakra, Brahmā,] or Māra, demons and spirits, ascetics and priests, or worldly people and gods, then the whole earth quakes.
This is the sixth cause.

“Furthermore, Ānanda, when a Buddha’s teaching is nearing it’s end and he discards his life force while focused and undisturbed, the whole earth quakes.
This is the seventh cause.

“Furthermore, Ānanda, when the Tathāgata parinirvāṇa-s in the realm of nirvāṇa without remainder, there’s a great earthquake.
This is the eighth cause.
These are the eight reasons that lead to an earthquake.”

The Bhagavān then spoke in verse:

“The unsurpassed sage of bipeds,
He’s a great ascetic who lights up the world.

Ānanda asked the teacher of gods,
‘What’s the reason for this earthquake?’

The Tathāgata explained it in a kind voice
That sounded like a kalaviṅka.

‘I’ll tell you all, so listen:

There are these causes of earthquakes.

The earth depends on water, which remains.

Water depends on air, which abides.

If a wind rises in that space,
Then the earth is shaken greatly.

Sometimes, a monk or nun
Wants to test their miraculous power.

The mountains, oceans, grasses, and trees,
The whole earth is shaken.

Śakra, Brahmā, and the venerable gods
Sometimes want to shake the earth.

Demons and spirits of mountains and oceans
Also make the earth quake.

When bodhisattvas and sages of bipeds,
Replete with a hundred signs of merit,
First enter their mother’s womb,
Then the earth is shaken greatly.

They dwell in the womb for ten months
Like nāgas lying on a mat.

When they first emerge from her right side,
Then the earth is shaken greatly.

When the Buddha was a young man
He eliminated the conditions that fettered him,
Achieved awakening supreme and measureless,
Then the earth was shaken greatly.

Become a sage, he turned the Dharma wheel
There in the deer preserve.

When he defeated Māra with awakening’s strength,
Then the earth was shaken greatly.

The god Māra came to press his request,
Urging the Buddha to parinirvāṇa.

When the Buddha discarded his life force,
Then the earth was shaken greatly.

The human worthy, the great teacher,
The miraculous sage ended later existences.

He was hard to move but chose to go out,
And the earth was shaken greatly.

The pure eye explained these reasons,
These eight situations that cause earthquakes.

When there’s this, there’s also that;

These are the occasions of earthquakes.”

The Buddha told Ānanda, “The world has eight assemblies.
What are the eight?
First is the warrior assembly.
Second is the priestly assembly.
Third is the householder assembly.
Fourth is the ascetic assembly.
Fifth is the assembly of the four god kings.
Sixth is the assembly of the Trāyastriṃśa gods.
Seventh is the Māra assembly.
Eighth is the assembly of Brahma gods.

“I remember this about myself:
Once, I was reborn with an assembly of warriors, sitting, rising, and speaking with them.
I can’t say how many times.
With effort and the power of samādhi, I was able to appear among them.
They had excellent forms, and my form was better than theirs.
They had wonderful voices, and my voice was better than theirs.
They would concede to me and withdraw, but I didn’t concede to them.
What they could explain, I could explain, too.
I could also explain what they couldn’t.

“Ānanda, I broadly taught the Dharma, teaching, instructing, profiting, and delighting them, and then I would disappear from that place.
They didn’t know whether I was a god or a human.
So it was up to the assembly of Brahma gods.
I couldn’t count how many times I went there.
I broadly taught them the Dharma, but they didn’t know what I was.”

Ānanda said to the Buddha, “That’s amazing, Bhagavān!
It’s unprecedented to be able to achieve something like that.”

The Buddha said, “This is something that’s sublime and extraordinary, Ānanda!
It’s amazing, incredible, and unprecedented.
There’s only the Tathāgata who could achieve this.”

He also told Ānanda, “The Tathāgata is able to know the arising, duration, and cessation of feelings, the arising, duration, and cessation of conceptions, and the arising, duration, and cessation of contemplations.
This is how the Tathāgata is something amazing, incredible, and unprecedented.
You should remember this.”

At Fragrance Shrine
The Bhagavān told Ānanda, “Let’s go to Fragrance Shrine.”
… They prepared seats to sit under a tree there.

The Buddha told Ānanda, “Here at Fragrance Shrine, monks are present left and right.
Order all of them to gather in the meeting hall.”

Ānanda accepted this instruction and made the announcement for everyone to gather.
Ānanda then said to the Buddha, “The great assembly has gathered.
It’s up to the noble one to decide when to go.”

The Bhagavān then went to the meeting hall, prepared a seat, and sat down.
He told the monks, “All of you should know this teaching that I’ve realized for myself and which achieved the supreme and perfect awakening.
It’s this:
The four abodes of mindfulness, four mental disciplines, four miraculous abilities, four dhyānas, five faculties, five powers, seven factors of awakening, and the noble eightfold path.”

“All of you must to be in harmony and respectful in this teaching.
Don’t create conflicts;
accept the same teacher like water and milk in the same pot.
You ought to diligently accept and train in my teaching.
Light each other, and entertain each other.

“Monks, you should know this teaching that I’ve realized and widely demonstrate it to others.
It’s the sūtras, songs, assurances, verses, inspirations, past events, past births, histories, extensive sūtras, unprecedented things, parables, and explanations.
All of you must well remember them, weigh and discern them, and cultivate the practice as they dictate.
Why is that?
Not long from now, the Tathāgata will parinirvāṇa in three months’ time.”

When the monks heard him say this, they were all bewildered, cut short, perplexed, and agitated.
They fell to the ground, all of them crying loudly.
“How could it be so soon?
The Buddha has chosen to be extinguished!
How could it be so painful?
The world will go blind!
We’ll be left here in decline for a long time!”
Some of the monks cried and beat their breasts, some twisted and turned as they wailed.
They couldn’t control themselves.
They were like a cut snake that twists, turns, and writhes urgently, not knowing where to go.

The Buddha told the monks, “All of you, stop!
Don’t feel grief and sorrow.
Among the people and things in heaven and earth, there’s nothing born that doesn’t die.
The desire for this conditioned life to stop changing is impossible.
I’ve taught you in the past that love and affection is impermanent, too.
Things that come together also fall apart.
Your body is not your own, and life doesn’t last long.”

The Bhagavān then spoke in verse:

“Now, I am free,
I’ve arrived at the place of safety.

I brought together a great assembly
And taught them this meaning.

I’ve become elderly,
With nothing much left of my life.

I’ve accomplished the task,
So now I discard my life.

Mindful and without carelessness,
A monk perfects the precepts.

Collecting himself, his mind is settled,
And he guards his thoughts.

In this teaching of mine,
A person isn’t careless.

They can destroy the root of suffering
And end birth, old age, and death.”

He also told the monks, “Why have I admonished you in this way?
The god Māra the Wicked One made this request of me:
‘The Buddha’s heart desires nothing.
He can parinirvāṇa.
Now would be a good time.
He ought to be extinguished soon.”

“I said, ‘Stop, Wicked one!
Stop! The Buddha will decide when it’s time … My monks need to be assembled … let gods and men all see these miracles.’

“Māra the Wicked One again said, ‘Once, the Buddha was sitting under the goatherd’s nyagrodha tree on the bank of the Nairañjanā River in Uruvilvā when he first achieved the perfect awakening.
I went to the Bhagavān then and asked the Tathāgata to parinirvāṇa.
I said, “Now would be a good time!
You ought to be extinguished soon!”

“‘The Tathāgata replied to me, “Stop, Wicked One!
Stop! I’ll decide when it’s time.
For now, the Tathāgata hasn’t decided on nirvāṇa because I need to gather my disciples … let gods and humans see these miracles.
Then, I’ll choose extinguishment.”
Now, the Buddha has gathered his disciples … let gods and humans see these miracles.
Now would be a good time.
Why not extinguish yourself?’

“I said, ‘Stop, Wicked One!
Stop! The Buddha will decide when it’s time.
He won’t remain for very long.
In three months’ time, I will choose extinguishment …’

“Māra then thought, ‘The Buddha doesn’t speak falsely.
He surely will be extinguished now!’
He rejoiced and celebrated, then he instantly disappeared.

“Not long after Māra had departed, I entered a samādhi of settled mind at the Cāpāla Shrine in which I discarded my remaining life.
There was a great earthquake at that moment that startled and frightened both gods and humans, giving them goosebumps.
The Buddha then emitted a great radiance.
There was nowhere that it didn’t illuminate.
Even the darkest places were made bright, and the beings there saw each other.

“I then spoke in verse:

“‘Being and non-being, those two formations,
I reject those conditioned states now.

Focused in samādhi and settled,
I’m like a bird emerging from its egg.’


The venerable Ānanda then rose from his seat, bared his right shoulder, knelt on his right knee, and saluted the Buddha with his palms together.
He said, “Please, let the Bhagavān stay for an eon!
Choose not to be extinguished out of compassion for sentient beings and the benefit of gods and humans!”

The Bhagavān remained silent and didn’t respond.
Ānanda repeated this request three times, and then the Buddha told him, “Don’t you believe in the Tathāgata’s path of perfect awakening?”

He replied, “Indeed, I really do believe it!”

The Buddha said, “If you believe it, why have you harassed me three times?
You personally heard and received this from the Buddha:
‘There’s the cultivation of four miraculous abilities.
Often cultivating and training in them, always mindful and not forgetting them, one can live for an eon or more if they so desire.
The Buddha has often cultivated these four miraculous abilities, and he was mindful and didn’t forget them.
The Tathāgata can remain for an eon or more if he so desires to eliminate the darkness of the world, for the gain of many, and to give peace to gods and humans.’

“Why didn’t you make this solemn request for me not to be extinguished at that time?
You didn’t just hear this once.
You heard it three times, but you didn’t urge me to remain for an eon or more to eliminate the darkness of the world, for the gain of many, and give peace to gods and humans.

“It’s only now that you speak.
Are you an idiot?
I gave an obvious hint three times, and three times you were silent.
Why didn’t you say at the time, ‘May the Tathāgata remain for an eon or more to eliminate the darkness of the world and benefit many!’
?

“Just stop, Ānanda.
I’ve discarded my life force.
I’ve thrown it away and rejected it.
It’s impossible for a Tathāgata to go back on his word.
Suppose a wealthy nobleman spits food on the ground.
Would he pick it up and put it back in his mouth?”

“No.”

“The Tathāgata is likewise.
He has discarded and rejected his life force.
How could he put his words back into his mouth?”

At Āmragrāmaka
The Buddha told Ānanda, “Let’s go to Āmragrāmaka.”
Ānanda prepared his robe and bowl and followed the Bhagavān with the great assembly.
They took the road from Vṛji to Āmragrāmaka and stayed in a mountain forest there.

The Bhagavān then taught the great assembly about precepts, samādhi, and wisdom.
“Cultivating precepts and obtaining samādhi wins a great reward.
Cultivating samādhi and obtaining wisdom wins a great reward.
Cultivating wisdom and purifying the mind wins complete liberation.
With the end of the three contaminants, which are the contaminants of desire, existence, and ignorance, the knowledge of liberation arises after one is liberated:
‘My births and deaths have been ended, the religious life has been established, and the task has been accomplished.
I won’t be subject to a later existence.’


At Bhoga
After he had stayed at the town of Āmragrāmaka for as long as was appropriate, the Buddha told Ānanda, “All of you, get ready.
I will be going to Jambugrāmaka, Gaṇḍagrāmaka, Hastigrāmaka (?
), and then to the city Bhoga.”

Ānanda replied, “Very well,” prepared his robe and bowl, and followed the Bhagavān with the great assembly.
They took the road from Vṛji and made their way to that other city, stopping in the rosewood grove to the north of Bhoga.

The Buddha told the monks, “I will give you a discourse on the four great ways of teaching.
Listen closely!
Listen closely, and consider it well!”

The monks said, “Very well, Bhagavān.
We’d be glad to hear it.”

“What are the four?
Suppose a monk makes this statement:
‘Gentlemen, I personally heard and received this teaching from the Buddha in that town, city, or country.’
Those who hear his claim shouldn’t disbelieve or criticize it.
They must judge from the sutras whether it’s true or false.
Rely on the Vinaya and the Dharma to investigate whether it’s fundamental or superficial.

“If what he said isn’t in the sutras, the Vinaya, or the Dharma, they should say this to him:
‘The Buddha didn’t say this, so you must be mistaken.
Why is that so?
We rely on the sutras, the Vinaya, and the Dharma.
What you said earlier contradicts the Dharma.
Sir, you shouldn’t remember it or teach it to others.
You should discard it.’

“If what he said is based on the sutras, the Vinaya, and the Dharma, they should say to him, ‘What you say is really what the Buddha taught.
Why is that so?
We rely on the sutras, the Vinaya, and the Dharma.
What you said earlier matches the Dharma.
Sir, you should remember it and teach it widely to others.
Take care not to discard it.’
This is the first great way of teaching.

“Furthermore, suppose a monk makes this statement:
‘I personally heard and received this Dharma, Vinaya, and teaching from a unified Saṅgha or well-versed elder in that town, city, or country.’
Those who hear his claim shouldn’t disbelieve or criticize it.
They must judge from the sutras whether it’s true or false.
Rely on the Vinaya and the Dharma to investigate whether it’s fundamental or superficial.

“If what he said isn’t in the sutras, the Vinaya, or the Dharma, they should say this to him:
‘The Buddha didn’t say this, so that Saṅgha you’ve been listening to must be mistaken.
Why is that so?
We rely on the sutras, the Vinaya, and the Dharma.
What you said earlier contradicts the Dharma.
Sir, you shouldn’t remember it or teach it to others.
You should discard it.’

“If what he said is based on the sutras, the Vinaya, and the Dharma, they should say to him, ‘What you say is really what the Buddha taught.
Why is that so?
We rely on the sutras, the Vinaya, and the Dharma.
What you said earlier matches the Dharma.
Sir, you should remember it and teach it widely to others.
Take care not to discard it.’
This is the second great way of teaching.

“Furthermore, suppose a monk makes this statement:
‘I personally heard and received this Dharma, Vinaya, and teaching from a group of monks who maintain the Dharma, Vinaya, and observances in that town, city, or country.’
Those who hear his claim shouldn’t disbelieve or criticize it.
They must judge from the sutras whether it’s true or false.
Rely on the Vinaya and the Dharma to investigate whether it’s fundamental or superficial.

“If what he said isn’t in the sutras, the Vinaya, or the Dharma, they should say this to him:
‘The Buddha didn’t say this, so that group of monks you’ve been listening to must be mistaken.
Why is that so?
We rely on the sutras, the Vinaya, and the Dharma.
What you said earlier contradicts the Dharma.
Sir, you shouldn’t remember it or teach it to others.
You should discard it.’

“If what he said is based on the sutras, the Vinaya, and the Dharma, they should say to him, ‘What you say is really what the Buddha taught.
Why is that so?
We rely on the sutras, the Vinaya, and the Dharma.
What you said earlier matches the Dharma.
Sir, you should remember it and teach it widely to others.
Take care not to discard it.’
This is the third great way of teaching.

“Furthermore, suppose a monk makes this statement:
‘I personally heard and received this Dharma, Vinaya, and teaching from a monk who maintains the Dharma, Vinaya, and observances in that town, city, or country.’
Those who hear his claim shouldn’t disbelieve or criticize it.
They must judge from the sutras whether it’s true or false.
Rely on the Vinaya and the Dharma to investigate whether it’s fundamental or superficial.

“If what he said isn’t in the sutras, the Vinaya, or the Dharma, they should say this to him:
‘The Buddha didn’t say this, so that monk you’ve been listening to must be mistaken.
Why is that so?
We rely on the sutras, the Vinaya, and the Dharma.
What you said earlier contradicts the Dharma.
Sir, you shouldn’t remember it or teach it to others.
You should discard it.’

“If what he said is based on the sutras, the Vinaya, and the Dharma, they should say to him, ‘What you say is really what the Buddha taught.
Why is that so?
We rely on the sutras, the Vinaya, and the Dharma.
What you said earlier matches the Dharma.
Sir, you should remember it and teach it widely to others.
Take care not to discard it.’
This is the fourth great way of teaching.”

At Pāpā
The Bhagavān stayed in Bhoga for as long as was appropriate, then he told Venerable Ānanda, “Let’s go to the city of Pāpā.”

Ānanda replied, “Very well,” prepared his robe and bowl, and followed the Bhagavān with the great assembly.
They took the road from Malla to the city of Pāpā and stopped in Cunda’s Park.

There was a smith there named Cunda.
Hearing that the Buddha had arrived in the city from Malla, he got dressed up and went to the Bhagavān.
He bowed his head at the Buddha’s feet and sat to one side.

The Bhagavān gradually taught and properly edified Cunda, teaching, instructing, profiting, and delighting him.
Hearing the Buddha teach Dharma, Cunda believed it and rejoiced.
He then invited the Bhagavān to his home for a meal the next day.

When the Buddha silently accepted his invitation, Cunda knew that he had agreed.
He rose from his seat, bowed to the Buddha, and returned home.
He immediately prepared meals to offer them during the night.
When the next morning came, it was up to the noble one to decide when to go.

The Bhagavān then put on his robes, took his bowl, and went to Cunda’s home while surrounded by the great assembly.
Once there, they prepared seats and sat down.
Cunda immediately offered them the meals that he had prepared to the Buddha and Saṅgha.
He had specially cooked sandalwood tree ears, making them the most exquisite in the world, and offered the dish only to the Bhagavān.

The Buddha told Cunda, “Don’t serve these ears to the monks.”
Cunda accept this instruction and didn’t dare serve any of it to them.
There was then an elderly monk in the assembly who had left home during his sunset years.
He took the remainder of that dish from where he sat.

Seeing that the assembly had finished eating, Cunda took their bowls and washed them.
When this was done, he went before the Buddha and asked a question in verse:

“I would venture to ask the great sage,
The perfectly awakened sage of bipeds,
The skilled trainer, and supreme tamer:

How many ascetics are there in the world?”

The Bhagavān answered him in verse:

“To answer your question,
There are four kinds of ascetic in all.

Each has different inclinations;

You should know and discern them.

The first practices the most supreme path.

The second skillfully teaches the path’s meaning.

The third gets their livelihood from the path.

The fourth is defiled while on the path.

What’s considered the most supreme path,
Skillfully teaching the path’s meaning,
Getting livelihood from the path,
Or being defiled while on the path?

To cross over the thorns of love,
Enter Nirvāṇa without doubt,
And leap over the road of gods and humans,
I say this path is the most supreme.

Understanding well the supreme meaning,
Teaching the path that lacks defilement,
And kindly settling myriad doubts,
This is skillfully teaching the path.

Skillfully elaborating Dharma passages,
Basing one’s life on the path,
And seeing the immaculate state from afar,
This is called getting livelihood from the path.

Being perverted inside one’s heart,
Looking pure and clean on the outside,
And being fraudulent and dishonest,
This is being defiled while on the path.

How can one be both good and bad,
Mixing the pure with the impure?

They appear attractive on the outside
Like copper rubbed with gold.

Ordinary people who meet them
Call them noble and wise disciples.

Not all the rest are like that,
So they don’t lose their faith.

A person with a large assembly,
Who’s turbid inside and clear outside,
Keeps their perversions private,
But they’re self-indulgent at heart.

Don’t look at outward appearance,
And give your esteem automatically.

Some keep their perversions private,
But they’re self-indulgent at heart.”

Cunda then got a small seat and sat in front of the Buddha, and the Buddha gradually taught him the Dharma.
After teaching, instructing, profiting, and delighting him, the Buddha returned to the park with the great assembly surrounding him.

The Buddha stopped under a tree on the road and told Ānanda, “Could you prepare a seat?
My back is aching.”

Ānanda replied, “Very well,” and he prepared a seat right away so that the Bhagavān could take a break.
Ānanda also prepared a small seat for himself and sat in front of the Buddha.

The Buddha asked Ānanda, “Did Cunda have any regrets or resentments about what happened?
If he did, what was the reason for it?”

Ānanda said to the Buddha, “Cunda provided alms that didn’t bring any benefit.
Why is that?
The Buddha had the final meal before obtaining Nirvāṇa at his home.”

The Buddha told Ānanda, “Don’t say that.
Don’t say that.
Cunda will get a great reward in the present.
He’ll have a long life both in appearance and strength, and he’ll get a good reputation from it.
He’ll create many treasures, and he’ll be born in heaven when he dies.
He’ll naturally get what he desires.
Why is that?
The two virtues of providing a meal to a Buddha when he’s just achieved awakening and when he’s about to be extinguished are perfectly and completely without difference.
Now, you can go and tell Cunda, ‘I personally heard and received this from the Buddha:
‘The meal that Cunda provided will bring a great reward in the present.
It will obtain a great result.’


Ānanda got the point of Buddha’s instruction and went to Cunda.
He told him, “I personally heard and received this from the Buddha:
‘The meal that Cunda provided will bring a great reward in the present.
It will obtain a great result.
Why is that?
The two virtues of providing a meal to a Buddha when he’s just achieved awakening and when he’s about to be extinguished are perfectly and completely without difference.’


After the meal at Cunda’s home,
Such words were heard for the first time.

The Tathāgata’s discomfort was severe,
His life and practice coming to an end.

Although he only ate sandalwood ears,
His discomfort still increased.

He embraced it on the road
And made his way to Kuśinagara.

The Bhagavān then rose from his seat, walked for a while on the road, and then went to a tree again.
He said to Ānanda, “This backache is excruciating.
Could you prepare a seat for me?”

Ānanda replied, “Very well,” and he immediately prepared a seat for the Tathāgata to rest.
Ānanda then bowed at the Buddha’s feet and sat to one side.

There was an arhat disciple named Pukkaśa who was headed to Kuśinagara from Pāpā.
He saw the Buddha under a tree on the road.
He looked handsome and upright with peaceful and settled faculties.
He was the most well-behaved [person he’d seen], and his tranquility was supreme.
He was like a great nāga in clear water without any dirt [and adorned with the thirty-two signs and eighty excellent features.
] He rejoiced upon seeing him, and a good thought arose in him.

When he reached the Buddha, he bowed his head at his feet and withdrew to sit to one side.
He then said to the Buddha, “Bhagavān, it’s extraordinary for someone who’s left home to reside in a pure state and love being in a quiet place.
Just now, there were 500 carts passing by, but you didn’t hear or see them.
There was a time when my teacher was sitting quietly under a tree between Kuśinagara and Pāvā.
When 500 carts and chariots passed by him, he didn’t hear the noise and ruckus that they made.
Someone came and asked my teacher, ‘Didn’t you see that group of carts pass by?’

“He replied, ‘I didn’t.’

“They then asked, ‘Did you hear them?’

“He replied, ‘I didn’t.’

“They again asked, ‘Were you here or somewhere else?’

“He replied, ‘I was here.’

“They asked, ‘Were you awake?’

“He replied, ‘I was awake.’

“They asked, ‘Were you awake or asleep?’

“He replied, ‘I wasn’t asleep.’

“That person thought, ‘That’s amazing!
This homeless man was so focused that he didn’t notice or hear the noise and ruckus those carts made!’

“Then that person said to my teacher, ‘The noise of those 500 carts and chariots shook the ground as they passed by on the road, yet you still didn’t hear them.
How could you have heard any other sound?’
He then bowed to my teacher, rejoiced, and departed.”

The Buddha told Pukkaśa, “Now, I will ask you a question.
Answer it how you think.
Is it harder for someone to be awake when a group of carts shake the ground and not hear it or to be awake and not hear thunder shake heaven and earth?”

Pukkaśa said to the Buddha, “How could the noise a hundred thousand carts be equal to a thunderclap?
It wouldn’t be as hard to not hear the noise of the carts, but it’d be a difficult thing to be awake when thunder shakes heaven and earth and not hear it!”

The Buddha told Pukkaśa, “I once traveled to the village Ādumā (?
) and stayed in a thatched hut.
There was an unusually intense downpour with lightning and thunder.
Four oxen and two brothers tilling their field were killed.
A crowd of people had gathered together when I came out of my grass hut to pace back and forth.
Someone from the crowd came over to me, bowed their head at my feet, and followed along as I walked.
Knowing the answer, I asked, ‘Why has this large crowd gathered?’

“That person then asked, ‘Where was the Buddha when it happened?
Was he awake or asleep?’

“I answered, ‘I was here, and I wasn’t asleep at the time.’

“That person praised it as a rare thing to hear of a samādhi like the Buddha’s.
The lightning and thunder was a loud noise in heaven and earth, but I was the only awake person who didn’t hear it in my peaceful samādhi.

“Then he said to the Buddha, ‘There was an unusually intense downpour with lightning and thunder.
Four oxen and two brothers tilling their field were killed.
That’s what they are doing here.’
Glad and joyful to obtain the Dharma, that person bowed to the Buddha and departed.”

That Pukkaśa was at the time wearing two sheets of yellow cloth worth a hundred thousand [coins].
He rose from his seat, saluted the Buddha with his palms together, and said to the Buddha, “Now, I offer these sheets of cloth to the Bhagavān.
Please accept it.”

The Buddha told Pukkaśa, “Give one to me and one to Ānanda.”

Pukkaśa got the point of the Buddha’s instruction and offered one sheet to the Tathāgata and gave one to Ānanda.
The Buddha accepted them out of compassion for him.

After bowing at the Buddha’s feet, Pukkaśa then sat down to one side.
The Buddha then gradually taught him Dharma, teaching, instructing, profiting, and delighting him.
He discussed generosity, precepts, how to be born in heaven, the great danger of desire that’s polluting and impure, and the obstacle of the higher contaminants.
[He praised] escaping it as [the most subtle, pure, and] supreme thing.

The Buddha knew Pukkaśa’s mind was joyous and softened, didn’t have hindrances or entanglements, and easily educated.
As buddhas always do, the Buddha then taught Pukkaśa the noble truth of suffering … suffering’s formation … suffering’s cessation, and the noble truth of suffering’s escape.

Pukkaśa’s belief was purified.
Like a white cloth that readily accepts a dye, he became removed from dust and free of defilement right there on his seat, and the Dharma eye arose in him.
He saw the Dharma, got the Dharma, and was certain of the proper abode.
He wouldn’t fall to unpleasant destinies, and he achieved fearlessness.
He said to the Buddha, “Now, I take refuge in the Buddha, take refuge in the Dharma, and take refuge in the Saṅgha.
Please, Tathāgata, permit me to become a layman in the correct teaching.
From now on, I won’t kill, steal, commit sexual [misconduct], lie, or drink alcohol for the rest of my life.
Please, Bhagavān, permit me to become a layman in the correct teaching!”

He also said to the Buddha, “Bhagavān, if you happen to visit Pāpā during your teaching tours, please consider visiting our poor district.
Why is that?
All the households there will have meals, sleeping arrangements, clothing, and medicines to offer the Bhagavān.
After he accepts these offerings, those families will find peace.”

The Buddha said, “That sounds good!”

After the Bhagavān had taught Pukkaśa the Dharma, teaching, instructing, profiting, and delighting him, he rose from his seat, bowed his head at the Buddha’s feet, rejoiced, and departed.

Not long after he had left, Ānanda offered his sheet of yellow cloth to the Tathāgata, and the Tathāgata accepted it and put it on out of compassion for him.

The Bhagavān’s countenance was relaxed.
His majestic glow was brilliant, his faculties were pure, and his face was happy.
Seeing this, Ānanda thought to himself, “I’ve been his attendant for twenty-five years, but I’ve never seen the luster of the Buddha’s face be as bright as it is now!”

He rose from his seat, knelt on his right knee, saluted with his palms together, and said to the Buddha, “I’ve been his attendant for twenty-five years, but I’ve never seen the luster of the Buddha’s face as bright as it is now!
It’s unclear to me why that is.
I’d like to hear his thoughts.”

The Buddha told Ānanda, “There are two circumstances for the Tathāgata’s luster to be more exceptional than usual.
First is when the Buddha first attains the path and achieves the unsurpassed and perfect awakening.
Second is when a Buddha wants to be extinguished soon and discards his life force for parinirvāṇa.
Ānanda, a Tathāgata’s luster is exceptional because of these two circumstances.”

The Bhagavān then spoke in verse:

“His golden robe shined with happiness,
Fine, soft, immaculate, and pure.

Pukkaśa offered to the Bhagavān
Light like his snow white eyebrow tuft.”

The Buddha ordered Ānanda, “I’m thirsty;
I’d like something to drink.
Go and fetch some water.”

Ānanda said, “500 carts recently forded the river upstream.
The water is still muddy.
We could bathe in it but not drink from it.”

The Buddha ordered him three times, “Ānanda, go and fetch some water.”

Ānanda said, “It’s not far to go to Kukustā River.
It’s clear and cool to drink, and we could bathe in it.”

There was then a yakṣa spirit residing in the Himalayas that believed in the Buddha’s path.
It filled a bowl with water of eight kinds of purity and offered it to the Bhagavān.
The Buddha immediately accepted it out of compassion for it.
He then spoke in verse:

“With his eightfold voice, the Buddha
Ordered Ānanda to fetch water:

‘I’m thirsty.
I want a drink now.

After I drink, let’s go to Kuśinagara.’

With a gentle and peaceful voice,
His words made many hearts glad.

Serving the Buddha right and left,
He quickly said to the Buddha:

‘Earlier, 500 carts
Forded to the other side of the river.

They muddied the river’s waters;

I fear it’s not suitable to drink.

The Kukustā River is not far away;

Its water is delicious and refreshing.

If we go there, we could get a drink
And we could bathe ourselves, too.’

A yakṣa spirit in the Himalayas
Offered water to the Tathāgata.

His majestic strength restored,
He paced like a lion in the assembly.

The river was home to a spirit nāga;

It clarified the water of its muddiness.

His noble appearance like the Himalayas,
The Buddha calmly crossed the Kukustā.”

At Kukustā River
The Bhagavān then went to Kukustā River.
After drinking, he bathed and then departed with the assembly.
They stopped to rest under a tree on the road, and he told Cunda, “Take an outer robe, fold it four times, and lay it out.
My back is hurting, and I want to rest for a while.”

Cunda accepted this instruction.
He laid out the robe, and the Buddha sat on it.
Cunda then bowed to him and sat to one side.
He said to the Buddha, “I want to parinirvāṇa!
I want to parinirvāṇa!”

The Buddha told him, “It’s up to you to decide when it’s time.”
Cunda thereupon parinirvāṇa-ed right there in front of the Buddha.

The Buddha then spoke in verse:

“The Buddha headed for Kukustā River,
Cool, refreshing, and without muddiness.

The sage among humans entered the water,
Bathed, and crossed to the other side.

The founder of the great assembly
Gave his instruction to Cunda:

‘My body is wore out now.

Quickly, lay out a bed for me.’

Cunda accepted it at once,
Folding a robe and laying it out.

The Tathāgata then rested there
With Cunda sitting in front of him.

He said to the Bhagavān,
‘I want to obtain extinguishment.

That place without love or hate,
That’s where I will arrive now.’

That sea of measureless virtue,
The Supreme One told him,
‘You have accomplished the task;

It’s up to you to decide when it’s time.’

After recognizing the Buddha’s assent,
Cunda then redoubled his efforts.

Volition ceased without remainder,
Like a lamp’s flame going out completely.”

Ānanda then rose from his seat and went before the Buddha.
He said, “After a buddha is extinguished, how is he interred?”

The Buddha told Ānanda, “You, be quiet and think about your actions.
The faithful laymen would be happy to do it.”

Ānanda repeated his inquiry three times:
“After a buddha is extinguished, how is he interred?”

The Buddha said, “Someone wanting to know the way to inter a buddha should do it the way they would a noble wheel-turning king.”

Ānanda then asked, “What’s the way a noble wheel-turning king is interred?”

The Buddha told Ānanda, “This is the way a noble king is interred.
First, his body is bathed in fragrant water.
He’s wrapped all around with fresh cotton.
Next, he’s wrapped in 500 layers of cloth.
His body is placed in a gold coffin and sesame oil is poured onto it.
The gold coffin is lifted and placed in a second larger iron coffin.
Sandalwood incense is next layered outside of that coffin.
Firewood of many fragrances is piled on top of fine robes, and then he is cremated.
When it’s done, his remains are placed in a shrine built at a crossroads.
It’s exterior is hung with silks, and people from the country travel to see the Dharma king’s shrine.
They think longingly about the correct teaching that benefited many people.

“Ānanda, when you inter me, first bathe my body in fragrant water and then wrap it all around with fresh cotton.
Wrap it in 500 layers of cloth, place my body inside a gold coffin, and pour sesame oil on it.
Lift the gold coffin and place it in a second larger iron coffin.
Next, layer sandalwood incense on the outside of that coffin.
Pile firewood of many fragrances on top of fine robes, and then cremate me.
When it’s done, place my remains in a shrine built at a crossroads.
Hang its exterior with silks, and have people from the country travel to see the Buddha’s shrine.
They’ll think longingly about the Tathāgata, the Dharma king, and his awakened teaching.
While they’re alive, they will get merits and rewards, and they’ll be born up in heaven when they die.”

Thereupon, the Bhagavān restated this by speaking in verse:

“Ānanda rose from his seat
And said to the Bhagavān while kneeling:

‘After the Tathāgata’s extinguished,
What’s the way he should be interred?’

‘Ānanda, you stay quiet
And think about your actions.

The laypeople in this country
Will be happy to do it.’

After Ānanda asked this thrice,
The Buddha described interring a noble king.

‘When you inter the Tathāgata’s body,
Wrap it in cloth and put it in two coffins.

Build a shrine at a crossroads
For the benefit of sentient beings.

Those who come to venerate it
Will obtain measureless merit.”

The Buddha told Ānanda, “There are four kinds of people in the world who should be memorialized by building a shrine and providing incense, flowers, silk canopies, and music there.
Who are the four?
First, a tathāgata should have a shrine build for him.
Second is a pratyeka buddha.
Third is a disciple [of a buddha].
Fourth is a [noble] wheel-turning king.
Ānanda, these four kinds of people should be memorialized by building a shrine and providing incense, flowers, silk canopies, and music.”

The Bhagavān then spoke in verse:

“A buddha’s shrine is first,
Then a pratyeka buddha’s, disciple’s,
And noble wheel-turning king’s,
Who ruled over the four regions.

These four deserve memorials
As the Tathāgata has described,
At a buddha’s, pratyeka buddha’s, disciple’s,
And a noble wheel-turning king’s shrine.”

Between a Pair of Trees in Malla
The Bhagavān then told Ānanda, “Let’s go to Kuśinagara [and stop] between a pair of trees in Malla.”

Ānanda replied, “Very well.”
The Buddha was surrounded by the great assembly as he walked on the road.

There was an ascetic from Kuśinagara headed to Pāvā who saw the Bhagavān on the road from afar.
He looked handsome and upright with peaceful and settled faculties.
The ascetic rejoiced upon seeing him, and a good thought arose in him.
He went before the Buddha, exchanged greetings with him, and stood to one side.
He said to the Buddha, “The village where I live is not far to go.
Please stop there, Gautama.
After having a meal in the morning, you could continue on to your destination.”

The Buddha told the ascetic, “Stop!
Stop! You’ve already made an offering to me.”

The ascetic persisted in inviting him three times, and the Buddha’s answer was the same as the first time.
He then told the ascetic, “Ānanda will be here later;
you can tell him about your wishes then.”

After hearing the Buddha’s instruction, the ascetic went to Ānanda.
After exchanging greetings, he stood to one side.
He said, “The village where I live is not far to go.
I’d like Gautama to consider stopping there.
After having a meal in the morning, he could continue on to his destination.”

Ānanda replied, “Stop, stop!
Ascetic, you’ve already given offerings to him.”

The ascetic still persisted with his invitation three times.
Ānanda replied, “The weather is too hot right now, and your village is too far to go.
The Bhagavān is exhausted and not strong enough.”

After contemplating the meaning of this, the Bhagavān spoke in verse:

“The pure eye made progress on the road;

Exhausted, he stopped between a pair of trees.

An ascetic saw the Buddha from a distance,
Hurried over to him, and bowed his head.

‘My village is nearby now,
Have pity and stay there for a night.

I’ll provide alms in the morning;

Afterward, you can continue to that city.’

‘Ascetic, my body is wore out.

It’s too far to go, beyond what I can do.

The attendant is sitting over there;

You can tell him about your wishes.’

Getting the Buddha’s point,
He went to Ānanda:

‘Please go to my village.

You can depart after the morning meal.’

Ānanda said, ‘Stop, stop!

It’s too hot, he can’t go so far.’

Three invitations weren’t accepted,
He was dejected and unhappy.

Oh, how this conditioned state
flows, changes, and isn’t constant!

Here, between a pair of trees,
My uncontaminated body will pass away.

Buddhas, pratyeka buddhas, and disciples
All return to that same cessation.

They have no choice but be impermanent;

They’re like mountain forests on fire.”

The Bhagavān arrived in his homeland on the way to Kuśinagara and was between a pair of trees in Malla.
He told Ānanda, “Prepare a bed here between this pair of trees.
Arrange it so my head is to the north and I’m facing the west.
Why is that?
My Dharma will spread and remain for a long time in the north.”

Ānanda replied, “Very well!”
He prepared the bed so the Buddha’s head was to the north.

The Bhagavān folded his outer robe four times and laid down on his right side like a lion king, placing one foot on the other.

A yakṣa spirit was present between those two trees who believed in the Buddha.
It scattered out-of-season flowers on the ground.
The Bhagavān told Ānanda, “The spirit of these two trees has offered these out-of-season flowers to me.
These are not offerings to the Tathāgata.”

Ānanda said, “What would be called an offering to the Tathāgata?”

The Buddha said to Ānanda, “When someone can accept the teaching and practice the teaching, I call that an offering to the Tathāgata.”

After contemplating this meaning, the Buddha spoke in verse:

“The Buddha was between a pair of trees;

Lying there, his heart was undisturbed.

A tree spirit with a heart that was pure
Scattered flowers on the Buddha.

Ānanda said to the Buddha,
‘What would be called an offering?’

‘Accepting and practice the teaching;

The flower of awakening is an offering.’

Purple gold flowers like cartwheels
Had never been scattered on the Buddha.

Selfless aggregates, elements, and senses,
That’s what’s called the supreme offering.”

Upamāna was in front of the Buddha fanning him at the time.
The Buddha said, “You can retire;
don’t stand in front of me.”

Ānanda then thought to himself, “This Upamāna has always served the Buddha right and left, providing what he needs.
He would venerate the Tathāgata and gaze at him without tire.
Now, he’s looking after his needs for the final time, but he’s ordered to retire.
What was the cause of this?”

Ānanda then adjusted his robe and went before the Buddha.
He said, “This Upamāna has always served the Buddha right and left, providing what he needs.
He would venerate the Tathāgata and gaze on him without tire.
Now, he’s looking after the Buddha’s needs for the final time, but he was ordered to retire.
What was the cause of this?”

The Buddha told Ānanda, “For as far as twelve yojanas outside Kuśinagara, there are great spirits and gods that live here;
there’s no space empty of them.
Those great spirits were criticizing this monk who was standing in front of the Buddha.
‘Now, finally the Buddha is about to be extinguished, and we spirits have come to present offerings, but this monk is outshining us with his great majesty and glowing light.
He’s preventing us from approaching, venerating, and making offerings to the Buddha!’
Ānanda, this is the reason I ordered him to retire.”

Ānanda said to the Buddha, “This venerable monk has accumulated what virtue and cultivated when actions that he has such majesty today?”

The Buddha told Ānanda, “Long ago, ninety-one eons in the past, there was a Buddha named Vipaśyin.
At the time, this monk carried a grass torch with a joyous heart to illuminate his shrine.
He has this glowing majesty today that penetrates the twenty-eight heavens above because of this history.
The glow of these gods and spirits doesn’t compare to his.”

The Story of Mahāsudarśana
Ānanda then rose from his seat, bared his right shoulder, and saluted with his palms together.
He said to the Buddha, “Don’t be extinguished in this inferior, little city, in this barbaric land.
Why is that?
There are other great countries such as Campā, Vaiśālī, Rājagṛha, Vṛji, Śrāvastī, Kapilavastu, and Bārāṇasī.
There are many people among their populations who confidently believe the Buddha’s teaching.
After the Buddha’s extinguishment, they surely will pay respects and give offerings to his remains.”

The Buddha said, “Stop!
Stop! Don’t make such observations.
No one takes this land to be barbaric.
Why is that?
In the past, this country had a king named Mahāsudarśana.

“At that time, the city here was called Kuśavātī.
That great king’s capital city was 480 yojanas long and 280 yojanas wide.
Grain was bountiful there, and its people were prosperous.
The city had seven walls, and it was surrounded by seven balustrades that were carved, engraved, and hung with precious bells here and there.
The city’s foundation was twenty-four feet deep, and it was 160 feet tall.
Its lookout towers rose 160 feet above the city, and there were pillars that were twenty-four feet around.
Where the city wall was gold, the gates were silver.
The silver city walls had gold gates, the beryl city walls had crystal gates, and the crystal city walls had beryl gates.

“The perimeter of the city was also decorated with the four treasures.
The balustrades alternated between the four treasures, too.
There were gold towers with silver bells and silver towers with gold bells.
It had a sevenfold treasure moat with lotus flowers growing in it, such as utpala flowers, padma flowers, kumuda flowers, and puṇḍarīka flowers.
Its bottom was strewn with gold sand.
Tāla trees grew on both sides of the road.
Some had golden trunks with silver leaves, flowers, and fruit.
Others had silver trunks with gold leaves, flowers, and fruit, crystal trunks with beryl leaves, flowers, and fruit, and beryl trunks with crystal leaves, flowers, and fruit.

“There were many bathing pools between the tāla trees that were clear, flowing, deep, clean, and unpolluted.
They had stairs along their sides with bricks made of the four treasures.
The gold stairs had silver steps, the silver stairs had gold steps, the beryl stairs had crystal steps, and the crystal stairs had beryl steps.
Balustrades also encircled them in connected circles a distance away [from the pools].

“Tāla trees grew everywhere in the city.
Those with gold trunks had silver leaves, flowers, and fruit.
Those with silver trunks had gold leaves, flowers, and fruit.
Those with crystal trunks and beryl leaves, flowers, and fruit.
Those with beryl trunks had crystal leaves, flowers, and fruit.
There were also pools made of the four treasures between the trees where the four kinds of flowers grew.
The streets were orderly, arranged in grids of five [buildings to a side].
The breeze blew the myriad flowers and scattered them along the roadsides.
Light winds blew in all directions through the treasure trees, making gentle sounds like heavenly music.
The people of that country, male and female, adults and children, walked among the trees to entertain themselves.

“Ten kinds of sound were constantly heard in that country:
Conch sounds, drum sounds, small drum sounds, sounds of singing, sounds of dancing, sounds of flutes, sounds of elephants, sounds of horses, sounds of carts, and the sounds of eating, drinking, and making merry.

“King Mahāsudarśana had possession of the seven treasures then.
The King had four virtues and ruled the four continents.
What were the seven treasures?
First is the golden wheel treasure.
Second is the white elephant treasure.
Third is the dark blue horse treasure.
Fourth is the magic jewel treasure.
Fifth is the beautiful woman treasure.
Sixth is the householder treasure.
Seventh is the army general treasure.

“How did that great king Mahāsudarśana achieve the golden wheel treasure?
Every fifteenth-day full moon, the King bathed in fragrant water, went up into the high hall, and surrounded himself with maidens.
The wheel then spontaneously appeared before him.
It had a thousand spokes and possessed a glow.
It was something made by a heavenly artisan, not something made in this world.
It was made of pure gold, and it was about fourteen feet in diameter.

“King Mahāsudarśana thought to himself, ‘In the past, I’ve heard senior elders say this:
“A warrior king from a water anointed tribe bathes in fragrant water on the fifteenth-day full moon, go up into the high hall, and surround themselves with maidens.
The golden wheel then spontaneously appears before them.
It has a thousand spokes and possesses a glow.
It’s something made by a heavenly artisan, not something of this world.
It’s made of pure gold, and it’s fourteen feet in diameter.
He’s then called a noble wheel-turning king.”
Now, this wheel has appeared!
But is it that one?
I had better test this wheel treasure.”


“King Mahāsudarśana then summoned his four armies and faced the golden wheel treasure with his right shoulder bared.
He knelt on his right knee, touched the golden wheel with his right hand, and said:
‘Head east.
Turn according to the Dharma, and don’t go contrary to the eternal law.’
The wheel then turned east.

“The king then followed it, leading his four armies, and four spirits were ahead of the golden wheel, guiding it.
The king stopped his horses where the wheel stopped to dwell.
When the lesser kings in the east saw the great king arrive, they came to him with gold bowls holding silver grain and silver bowls holding gold grain.
They presented them to their chief, saying, ‘Welcome, Great King!
The lands in this eastern region are plentiful now, and the people are prosperous.
Their culture is gentle, loving, and loyal.
Please, Noble King, rule them properly!
We’ll serve you, right and left, and accept what’s appropriate.’

“King Mahāsudarśana told the lesser kings, ‘Stop, gentlemen!
Stop! You’ve given offerings to me, but I will simply rule with the correct Dharma.
Don’t go out of your way to serve me, and let no one in the country act contrary to the Dharma.
This is what I call my way of ruling.’

“When the lesser kings heard these instructions, they followed the Great King as he toured their countries.
He went east until the ocean was in sight, and next traveled south, west, and north, going wherever the wheel went.
The kings in those regions each presented their countries in the same way as the lesser kings in the east did.

“King Mahāsudarśana followed the golden wheel as it traveled around the four oceans, revealing the way and making the populace peaceful as he went.
He then returned to Kuśavātī in his home country.
When the golden wheel treasure hovered in the air while he was in his palace, King Mahāsudarśana celebrated.
‘This golden wheel treasure is a true sign to me that I really am a noble wheel-turning king.’
This was his accomplishment of the golden wheel treasure.

“How did the Great King Mahāsudarśana accomplish the white elephant treasure?
The Great King Mahāsudarśana was sitting up in his proper Dharma hall in the morning, and the elephant treasure suddenly appeared before him.
Its hair was all white, it stood flush in seven places, and it had the ability to fly.
Its head was mottled, and its six tusks were delicate and filled with pure gold.

“When he saw this, the King thought, ‘This elephant treasure is excellent!
If it’s well trained, I could ride it.’
He then tested its training, and it was capable of doing everything it should.
The Great King Mahāsudarśana wanted to further test the elephant, so he mounted it and rode it out of the city in the morning.
He traveled around the four oceans and returned after it was time to eat.

“King Mahāsudarśana celebrated.
‘This white elephant treasure is a true sign to me that I really am a noble wheel-turning king now!’
This was his accomplishment of the elephant treasure.

“How did the Great King Mahāsudarśana accomplish the horse treasure?
King Mahāsudarśana was sitting up in his correct Dharma hall in the morning, and the horse treasure suddenly appeared before him.
It was dark blue with a vermilion mane and tail.
It’s head and neck were like an elephant’s, and it had the ability to fly.

“When he saw this, the King thought, ‘This horse is excellent!
If it’s well trained, I could ride it.’
He then tested its training, and it was capable of doing everything it should.
King Mahāsudarśana wanted to test this horse treasure himself, so he mounted it and rode it out of the city in the morning.
He traveled around the four oceans and returned after it was time to eat.

“King Mahāsudarśana celebrated.
‘This dark blue horse treasure is a true sign to me that I really am a noble wheel-turning king now!’
This was his accomplishment of the blue horse treasure.

“How did the Great King Mahāsudarśana accomplish the magic jewel treasure?
King Mahāsudarśana was sitting up in his correct Dharma hall in the morning, and the magic jewel treasure suddenly appeared before him.
Its substance and color were transparent and without any flaw or defilement.

“When he saw this, the king thought, ‘This jewel is marvelous!
If it glows, it could light the inside of the palace!’
King Mahāsudarśana then tested it by summoning his four armies and placing the jewel treasure atop a tall banner.
He carried this banner out of the city during a dark night, and the jewel’s light illuminated the troops as though it was daytime.
The troops marched in a circuit outside the city, and it’s illumination had range of a yojana.
Inside the city, people could go about their business like they did during the day.

“King Mahāsudarśana celebrated.
‘This magic jewel is a true sign to me that I really am a noble wheel-turning king now!’
This was his accomplishment of the magic jewel treasure.

“How did that great king Mahāsudarśana accomplish the beautiful woman treasure?
The beautiful woman treasure suddenly appeared before him.
Her countenance was agreeable, and her appearance was handsome.
She wasn’t too tall or short, too crude or fine, too white or black, or too sharp or gentle.
In winter, her body was warm, and she was cool during summer.
The hair pores of her whole body exuded the scent of sandalwood, and her breath had a fragrance like an utpala flower.
Her words were gentle, stimulating, and calm.
She was the first to rise and the last to sit.
She didn’t do anything inappropriate.
King Mahāsudarśana was pure and detached, so he didn’t think about her for a moment, much less be intimate with her.

“King Mahāsudarśana celebrated.
‘This beautiful woman treasure is a true sign to me that I really am a noble wheel-turning king now!’
This was his accomplishment of the beautiful woman treasure.

“How did that great king Mahāsudarśana accomplish the householder treasure?
A householder man suddenly appeared with a natural storehouse of treasures and measureless wealth.
The householder had an eye from past merit that clearly saw hidden treasures in the earth and whether they had owners or not.
He saw and knew all this.
When the treasure had an owner, he would protect it for them.
When a treasure didn’t have an owner, he would collect it and provide it for the King’s use.
The householder treasure went to the King and said, ‘Great King, you don’t need to worry about giving me a salary.
I can take care of it myself.’

“King Mahāsudarśana wanted to test the householder treasure.
He ordered a boat prepared to go sailing on a river, then he told the householder, ‘I need a treasure of gold.
Quick, provide it to me.’

“The householder replied, ‘Wait just a moment, Great King, while I’ll go onto shore.’

“The King pressed him, ‘I need it immediately.
Get it right now.’

“The householder treasure accepted the King’s command and knelt down on the boat.
He put his right hand into the water, and a precious jar came out of the water after his hand.
Like a caterpillar climbing a tree, that householder treasure was likewise.
Putting his hand in the water, a treasure would climb his hand as he brought it out.
Filling the boat up [with treasures] and then told the king, ‘How much treasure does the king need?’

“King Mahāsudarśana said to the householder, ‘Stop, stop!
I didn’t need any treasure;
it was just a way to test you.
You’ve already given offerings to me.’

“Hearing what the king had said, that householder immediately threw the treasures back into the water.

“King Mahāsudarśana celebrated.
‘This householder treasure is a true sign to me that I really am a noble wheel-turning king now.’
This was his accomplishment of the householder treasure.

“How did Great King Mahāsudarśana accomplish the army general treasure?
The army general treasure suddenly appeared.
He was shrewd, courageous, and good at planning.
He went to the King and said, ‘Great King, if there’s anyone to be made to submit, don’t worry about it.
I can handle it for you.’

“Great King Mahāsudarśana wanted to test the army general treasure.
He assembled the four armies and told the general, ‘Now, take charge of the army.
Assemble those who haven’t yet assembled and disperse those who have assembled.
Equip those who haven’t yet been equipped, and dismiss those who’ve been equipped.
Let go those who haven’t yet been on leave, and have those who’ve been on leave remain.’

“Hearing what the King said, the army general treasure led the army.
He assembled those who hadn’t yet assembled and dispersed those who had assembled.
He equipped those who hadn’t yet been equipped, and dismissed those who’d been equipped.
He let go those who hadn’t yet been on leave, and made those who had been on leave remain.

“King Mahāsudarśana celebrated.
‘This army general treasure is a true sign to me that I really am a noble wheel-turning king now.’
Ānanda, this was how the Noble Wheel-Turning King Mahāsudarśana accomplished the seven treasures.

“What were his four miraculous virtues?
First was a long life that was incomparable and didn’t end early.
Second was physical vigor that was incomparable and tireless.
Third was a handsome appearance that was incomparable.
Fourth was a treasury that was incomparable and overflowing.
These were the seven treasures and four virtues accomplished by that noble wheel-turning king.

“Ānanda, after a long time, King Mahāsudarśana ordered his horses readied and went for a ride to visit a park.
He told the driver, ‘Be a good driver, and go at leisurely pace.
Why is that?
I want to closely observe the country and see that people are happy and untroubled.’

“Once he had observed the country’s people from the side of the road, he then told his driver, ‘Continue at a leisurely pace.
I want [them] to closely observe the Noble King’s majestic countenance.’

“Ānanda, King Mahāsudarśana kindly nurtured the people and cared for their needs like a father loving his children.
The people were fond of the King like children looking up to their father.
They all paid tribute to the King with precious things, hoping that he would accept their gifts.

“The king responded, ‘Stop, people!
I have my own treasures.
You can use these for yourselves.’

“At another time, the king had the thought, ‘Now, I’d better oversee the building of a palace.’

“When he made this decision, people came to King Mahāsudarśana, and they each said, ‘I would like to build a palace hall for the King!’

“The king replied, ‘Now, I’ve received your offerings, but I have treasure and materials enough to build it myself.’

“The people would then repeat their request, ‘I would like to contribute to building a palace hall for the King!’

“The king told the people, ‘You may do as you wish.’

“Accepting the King’s instruction, those people brought 84,000 carts laden with gold.
They went to Kuśavātī and built a Dharma hall there.
At the time, the wondrous craftsman god of the Trāyastriṃśa Heaven thought to himself, ‘I’m the only one capable of building a correct Dharma hall for King Mahāsudarśana.’

“Ānanda, that craftsman god built a Dharma hall that was sixty yojanas long and thirty yojanas wide.
It was decorated with the four treasures and had a level foundation beneath it.
Bricks made of the seven treasures were used to build its stairsteps.
That Dharma hall had 84,000 pillars.
The gold pillars had silver capitals.
The silver pillars had golden capitals.
There were also beryl and crystal pillars [with crystal and beryl] capitals.
Four balustrades made of the four treasures encircled the hall.
Four sets of stairs were also made of the four treasures.

“That Dharma hall had a tower above it made of 84,000 jewels.
Where the tower was gold, it had silver doors and windows.
Where it was silver, it had gold doors and windows.
Where it was beryl or crystal, it had [crystal or beryl] doors and windows.
The gold part of the tower had silver couches, and the silver part of the tower had gold couches.
Fine and soft cloth made of gold spun into thread was spread over the seats.
The beryl and crystal parts of the tower had [crystal and beryl] couches, too.
The radiance of that hall dazzled people’s eyes.
It was like the full radiance of the sun;
no one could look at it.

“King Mahāsudarśana then thought, ‘Now, I could build many parks and ponds in the area to the left and right of this hall.’
He then built those parks and ponds in a radius of one yojana.

“He also had this thought, ‘I’ll build a Dharma lake in front of the Dharma hall.’
He immediately set aside land for it a yojana in length and width.
That body of water was clear, pure, and unpolluted.
It had stairs going down into it that were built with bricks made of the four treasures.
A balustrade circled the lake on four sides that was made of the four treasures of gold, silver, crystal, and beryl.
A variety of water-born flowers grew in the lake, such as utpala flowers, padma flowers, kumuda flowers, and puṇḍarīka flowers.
They emitted a sublime fragrance that wafted in all four directions.

“That lake also had land-born flowers on its four shores, such as atimuktaka flowers, campaka flowers, pātala flowers, sumanā flowers, vārṣika flowers, and dhanuṣkarī flowers.
Workers maintained the lake, and passersby swam and bathed in it.
They would roam around in it, refreshing themselves as they liked.
Those needing a drink were given drinks.
Those needing food were given meals.
Clothing, carts, horses, fragrant flowers, and treasures weren’t denied to the people who wanted them.

“Ānanda, King Mahāsudarśana had 84,000 elephants that were decorated with gold and silver and wore jewels, but the king of the elephants was the best.
The King had 84,000 horses that were decorated with gold and silver and wore jewels, but the king of the horses was the best.
The King had 84,000 chariots covered with lion skins and adorned with the four treasures.
The chariot with golden wheels was the best.
The King had 84,000 jewels, but the magical jewel was the best.
The King had 84,000 beautiful women, but the beautiful woman treasure was the best.
The King had 84,000 householders, but the householder treasure was the best.
The King had 84,000 warriors, but the army general treasure was the best.
The King had 84,000 cities, but the city of Kuśavātī was the best.
The King had 84,000 halls, but the correct Dharma hall was the best.
The King had 84,000 towers, but the great, correct tower was the best.
The King had 84,000 couches made of gold, silver, and many treasures with fine and soft cushions and blankets spread over them.
The King had 84,000 million clothes, and the kṣauma cloth, Kāśi cloth, and karpāsa cloth were the best.
The King had 84,000 kinds of food that were prepared every day, and each meal tasted unique.

“Ānanda, King Mahāsudarśana rode the best elephant of his 84,000 elephants, leaving Kuśavātī at sunrise to travel the world and go around the four oceans.
In an instant, he returned to the city to eat.
Of his 84,000 horses, he rode his strong horse treasure, leaving [Kuśavātī] at sunrise to travel the world and go around the four oceans.
In an instant, he returned to the city to eat.
He rode the golden-wheeled chariot of his 84,000 chariots and harnessed the strong horse treasure to it.
He left [Kuśavātī] at sunrise to travel the world and go around the four oceans.
In an instant, he returned to the city to eat.
Of his 84,000 jewels, he used his magical jewel treasure to illuminate the inside of his palace, making it as bright as day at night.
Of his 84,000 beautiful women, the beautiful woman treasure well and nobly served him left and right.
Of his 84,000 householders, the householder treasure was capable of providing his income.
Of his 84,000 warriors, the army general treasure was capable of making enemies submit.
Of his 84,000 cities, Kuśavātī was always his capitol.
Of his 84,000 halls, the King always stayed in the correct Dharma hall.
Of his 84,000 towers, the King always stayed in the great, correct tower.
Of his 84,000 seats, the king always sat on a crystal seat in calm meditation.
Of his 84,000 million clothes, he wore whatever fine treasure ornaments he wished with modesty and conscientiousness.
Of his 84,000 kinds of food, the King always satisfied eating naturally cooked rice.

“When his 84,000 elephants came to the King, they trampled and crashed into untold numbers of sentient beings, injuring them.
The king then thought, ‘These elephants frequently come and injure many people.
From now on, I will permit one elephant to appear every hundred years.’
Thus, each elephant took turns appearing in subsequent centuries, and they started over when they had all appeared.”

The Buddha then told Ānanda, “The king then thought, ‘What virtues did I accumulate and what roots of goodness did I cultivate in the past to obtain these such glorious rewards in the present?’

“He then thought to himself, ‘There were three causes and conditions that brought about these fortunate rewards.
What are the three?
First was generosity, second was observing precepts, and third was meditation.
It was because of these causes and conditions that I’ve obtained these great rewards in the present.’

“The king also thought, ‘Now that I’ve received these fortunate rewards among humans, I should go further by cultivating the deeds of heavenly fortune.
It would be good to restrain myself, leave this hubbub, and live in a secluded place in order to revere the path.’

“The king then summoned his good and noble woman treasure and told her, ‘Now that I’ve received these fortunate rewards among humans, I should go further by cultivating the deeds of heavenly fortune.
It would be good to restrain myself, leave this hubbub, and live in a secluded place in order to revere the path.’

“She replied, ‘Very good!
I’ll do as the great king instructs.’
So, he ordered her to stop attending to him in public and private.

“The king then went up into the Dharma hall, entered his golden tower lookout, and sat on a silver bench.
He contemplated greed and lust as being bad and not good.
With perception and examination, this seclusion gave rise to joy and happiness, and he attained the first dhyāna.

“Perception and examination ceased, and he was joyous with an inner confidence.
He gathered his mind and unified it.
Without perception or examination, this samādhi gave rise to joy and happiness, and he attained the second dhyāna.

“He discarded joy and guarded against it.
Focusing his mindfulness, he was undisturbed.
He knew for himself the happiness that was sought by noble people.
Guarded, mindful, and happily practicing, he attained the third dhyāna.

“To abandon pain and pleasure, he first eliminated sorrow and joy.
Neither discomforted nor pleasured, his guarded mindfulness was purified, and he attained the fourth dhyāna.

“King Mahāsudarśana then rose from his silver bench, emerged from his golden lookout tower, and went to his great, correct tower.
He sat on an beryl seat there and cultivated kindness.
He pervaded one direction with it and then the other directions as well.
Everywhere, throughout, peerless, and measureless, he eliminated various resentments.
His heart having no ill will, he was quiescent, kind, and gentle and enjoyed himself.
He did likewise with compassion, joy, and equanimity.

“His beautiful woman treasure thought to herself, ‘It’s been a long time since I saw his face, and I’ve been thinking of going to look after him.
I’d better present myself to the Great King now.’

“The woman treasure nobly addressed his 84,000 maidens, ‘It would be good if each of you bathed in fragrant water and dress up in fine clothes.
Why is that?
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen the King’s face, so we ought to present ourselves to him.’
Hearing this, the women dressed up and put on ornaments after they bathed and were clean.

“The woman treasure also nobly told the army general treasure to assemble the four kinds of troops.
‘It’s been a long time since we’ve seen his face.
We ought to present ourselves to the King.’

“The army general treasure then assembled the four armies and said to the woman treasure, ‘The four armies have assembled.
Let us know when it’s time.’

“The woman treasure led the 84,000 maidens.
With the four armies in the front and rear, they went to a golden tāla tree park.
That great assembly shook the ground, and the sound reached the King.
He was sitting next to a window and looked out when he heard them.
The woman treasure came forward and stood at the door.

“Upon seeing her, the king immediately told her, ‘Stop, don’t go any further.
I’ll come out to see you.’
King Mahāsudarśana rose from his crystal seat, emerged from his great, correct tower, came down from the correct Dharma hall, and accompanied the beautiful woman treasure to the tāla tree park.
Once there, they prepared seats and sat down.

“King Mahāsudarśana’s countenance was more radiant than usual.
His noble woman treasure thought, ‘Now, the great king’s appearance is better than usual.
What does this portend?’

She then said to the Great King, ‘Your countenance is [better than] usual now.
Is this a sign of some change?
Are you going to discard your life?
Now, the white elephant treasure is the best of the 84,000 elephants that are decorated with gold and silver and wear jewels.
They are the King’s own possessions.
Please stop and consider this for a moment.
Enjoy being with them;
don’t be so ready to discard your life and forsake the people.

“There’s also the powerful horse king who is the best of 84,000 horses … the wheel treasure that’s the best of 84,000 chariots ….
the magic jewel treasure that’s the best of 84,000 jewels … the beautiful woman treasure who’s the best of 84,000 women … the householder treasure who’s the best of 84,000 householders … the army general treasure who’s the best of 84,000 warriors … Kuśavātī is the best of 84,000 cities … the correct Dharma hall is the best of 84,000 halls … the great, correct tower is the best of 84,000 towers … the treasure ornamented [seat] is the best of 84,000 seats … the softest [clothing] is the best of 84,000 garments … You have 84,000 kinds of food that have unique flavors.
All these many treasures are the King’s possessions.
Please stop and consider this for a moment.
Enjoy being with them;
don’t be so ready to discard your life and forsake the people.’

“King Mahāsudarśana answered the woman treasure, ‘Your service to me up until now has been kind and dutiful.
Your words were never crude.
Why is it now that you say this?’

“The woman treasure said to the King, ‘I don’t understand.
Did I say something disagreeable?’

“The king told the woman treasure, ‘You speak of such things as elephants, horses, jewels, chariots, golden wheels, halls, towers, names of garments, and delicious food.
These things are impermanent.
They don’t last that long, but you exhort me to stay.
How’s that agreeable?’

“The woman treasure said to the king, “I don’t understand.
What words would be kind and agreeable?’

“The king told her, ‘Suppose you were to say:
“Elephants, horses, jewels, chariots, golden wheels, halls, towers, names of garments, and delicious foods are all impermanent and not long-lasting.
Please don’t be attached to them.
It’s tiresome to the spirit.
Why is that?
There isn’t much left of the King’s life before he goes to the next life.
What’s born has its death, and those who come together have their separation.
How can something that’s born have an eternal life?
It’s best to cut off affections and live wishing for awakening.”
These words I would called agreeable.’

“Ānanda, when she heard the King’s instruction, the beautiful woman treasure cried and wept.
Wiping her tears, she said, ‘Elephants, horses, jewels, chariots, golden wheels, halls, towers, names of garments, and delicious foods are all impermanent and not long-lasting.
Please don’t be attached to them.
It’s tiresome to the spirit.
Why is that?
There isn’t much left of the King’s life before he goes to the next life.
What’s born has its death, and those who come together have their separation.
How can something that’s born have an eternal life?
It’s best to cut off affections and live wishing for awakening.’

“Ānanda, that beautiful woman treasure was touched by these words for a moment before King Mahāsudarśana suddenly died.
Like a young man taking a bite of a delicious meal, [he passed away] without any pain or hardship.
His spirit was born up in the seventh Brahma Heaven.
Seven days after King Mahāsudarśana died, the wheel treasure and jewel treasure spontaneously disappeared, and the lives of the elephant treasure, horse treasure, beautiful woman treasure, householder treasure, and army general treasure ended on the same day.
The city, lakes, Dharma hall, lookout tower, precious decorations, and tāla tree parks all became [ordinary] land and trees.”

The Buddha told Ānanda, “This conditioned state is impermanent and liable to change.
It’s certain to erode away, but greed and desire are tireless.
A man’s life is squandered on his attachments and affections, without any satisfaction.
Satisfaction comes only by attaining noble wisdom and truly seeing this path.

“Ānanda, I recall myself being in this situation in the past.
I became a noble wheel-turning king six times, and their bones were interred here when they died.
Now, I’ve achieved the unsurpassed, perfect awakening.
Once again, I’ve discarded my life, and my body will be interred here.
But from this time on, my births and deaths are forever ended.
There won’t be another place where my body will be interred.
This one being the very last, I won’t be subject to another existence.”

The Buddha Announces His Parinirvāṇa
The Bhagavān remained in his homeland of Kuśinagara between a pair of trees in the sal forest.
When his nirvāṇa was imminent, he told Ānanda, “Go to Kuśinagara and tell the Mallas, ‘Gentlemen, you should know that the Tathāgata will parinirvāṇa between a pair of trees in the sal forest in the middle of the night.
You may go and ask question about what doubts you have and receive personal instruction from him.
This is a good time to do it.
Those who don’t go may regret it later.’

Accepting the Buddha’s instructions, Ānanda rose from his seat, bowed to the Buddha, and departed.
Accompanied by another monk, they walked with tears streaming down their faces.
When they entered Kuśinagara, they saw 500 Mallas who had gathered in one place for some minor reason.

Seeing Ānanda approach, the Mallas rose, bowed to him, and stood to one side.
They said to Ānanda, “We don’t understand why venerables would come into the city at night.
What are you doing here?”

With tears streaming, Ānanda said, “I wanted to benefit all of you, so I’ve come to tell you this, ‘You should know that the Tathāgata will parinirvāṇa in the middle of the night.
You can go and ask about what doubts you have and receive personal instruction from him.
This is a good time to do it.
Those who don’t go may regret it later.’


When the Mallas heard what he said, they lamented loudly.
They twisted, turned, and fell to the ground.
Some fainted and revived again, like a large tree with its root pulled up and limbs chopped off.
They all shouted, “The Buddha has decided to be extinguished!
How can it happen so soon?
The Buddha has decided to be extinguished!
How can it happen so fast?
The multitude of beings will be in decline for a long time!
The world will go blind!”

Ānanda then consoled the Mallas, “Stop, stop!
Don’t lament!
There’s nothing born in heaven and earth and that doesn’t die.
The desire for this conditioned life to last forever is impossible.
Doesn’t the Buddha say, ‘What comes together also falls apart, and what’s born surely comes to an end?’


The Mallas said to each other, “Let’s go back home and bring our households and 500 bolts of white cloth to that pair of trees!”

After they had each returned home, they led their households carrying the white cloth to Kuśinagara.
Arriving at that place between a pair of trees, they went to Ānanda.
Ānanda saw them from afar and thought to himself, “That’s a lot of people.
If they meet the Buddha individually, I’m afraid they wouldn’t all get a hearing before the Buddha’s extinguishment.
Now, I’d better send them all at once to meet the Buddha early in the evening.”

He then led the 500 Mallas and their households to the Bhagavān.
They bowed their heads at his feet and stood to one side.
Ānanda then stood in front and introduced them to the Buddha:
“So-and-so the Malla and his family has come to greet the Bhagavān and ask whether he’s doing well or not.”

The Buddha replied, “It’s good that all of you came.
It will bring you long life without illness or pain.”
Ānanda then brought the Mallas and their households forward to meet the Bhagavān.

The Mallas bowed their heads at his feet and sat to one side.
The Bhagavān then taught them about impermanence, teaching, instructing, profiting, and delighting them.
The Mallas listened to the Dharma and rejoiced.
They then offered their 500 bolts of white cloth to the Bhagavān, and the Buddha accept them.
The Mallas then rose from their seats, bowed to the Buddha, and departed.

The Liberation of Subhadra
There was a wanderer in Kuśinagara at the time named Subhadra.
He was an 120-year-old elder with much wisdom.
He heard that the ascetic Gautama was between a pair of trees that night and had decided to be extinguished.
Subhadra thought, “I have some doubts about the Dharma that only Gautama could explain for me.
Now would be the time to muster my strength and walk there.”

That evening, he left Kuśinagara and arrived at that place between a pair of trees and went over to Ānanda.
After exchanging greetings, he stood to one side and said to Ānanda, “I heard that the ascetic Gautama has decided to be extinguished tonight, so I’ve come here to seek a meeting with him.
I have some doubts about the Dharma that I hope a meeting with Gautama will resolve for me.
Would he some time to see me?”

Ānanda replied, “Stop, Subhadra!
Stop! The Buddha is physically ill and can’t be troubled.”

Subhadra repeated his request three times, “I’ve heard that a Tathāgata appears in the world only as often as an udumbara flower does.
I have some doubts about the Dharma that I hope [meeting Gautama] will resolve for me.
Would he have some time to see me?”

Ānanda answered him as he did the first time:
“The Buddha is physically ill and can’t troubled.”

The Buddha then said to Ānanda, “Don’t stop him.
Allow him to approach.
His desire to settle his doubts is no trouble to me.
If he listens to my teaching, he’ll surely comprehend it.”

Ānanda told Subhadra, “If you want to meet the Buddha, it’s up to you when to go.”

Subhadra then approached.
After exchanging greetings, he sat to one side of the Buddha and said, “I have some doubts about the Dharma.
Would you have some time to settle a problem for me?”

The Buddha said, “You may ask your question.”

Subhadra asked, “How is it, Gautama, that there are these different groups who declare their teachers to be Pūraṇa Kāśyapa, Maskalī Gośālīputra, Ajita Keśakambala, Kakuda Kātyāyana, Saṃjayin Vairūṭīputra, and Nirgrantha Jñātiputra.
These teachers each have different teachings.
Does the ascetic Gautama know them all or not all of them?”

The Buddha said, “Stop, stop!
What’s the use of just discussing whether I know them all?
I will teach you the profound and sublime Dharma now.
Listen closely!
Listen closely and consider it well!”

Subhadra accepted his teaching.
The Buddha told him, “If the noble eightfold path is absent from a teaching, then the first fruit of the ascetic won’t exist, nor the second … third … fourth fruit of the ascetic.
Subhadra, when the noble eightfold path is present in a teaching, the first fruit of the ascetic will exist, as will the second … third … fourth fruit of the ascetic.
Subhadra, the noble eightfold path is present in my teaching, and it has the first fruit of the ascetic and the second … third … fourth fruit of the ascetic.
These other religious groups don’t have these fruits of the ascetic.”

The Bhagavān then spoke to Subhadra in verse:

“When I was twenty-nine,
I left home to pursue the good path.

Subhadra, since I became a Buddha,
It’s now been fifty years.

I practiced precepts, samādhi, and wisdom,
Living alone and contemplating.

Now, I teach the essential Dharma;

Those other teachings have no ascetics.”

The Buddha told Subhadra, “If the monks keep themselves collected, then this world won’t be empty of arhats.”

Subhadra said to Ānanda, “Those who have practiced the religious life under the ascetic Gautama, who are practicing it, and who will practice it obtain a great benefit from it.
Ānanda, you’ve practiced the religious life under the ascetic Gautama and obtained great benefit from it.
Having gotten a personal meeting with the Tathāgata to ask about my doubts, I’ve also obtained great benefit from it.
Now, the Tathāgata has given his assurance about his disciples in discerning this for me!”

He then said to the Buddha, “I’d better leave home now and accept the full precepts in the Tathāgata’s Dharma.”

The Buddha told Subhadra, “If a wanderer from another training [wishes to] cultivate the religious life in my Dharma, they are tested for four months to observe their conduct and scrutinize their temperament.
Someone whose observances are complete without omission is then given the full precepts in my Dharma.
Subhadra, it’s simply to know how a person acts.”

Subhadra again said, “Those from other religions and trainings will be tested for four months in the Buddha’s Dharma to observe their conduct and scrutinize their temperament.
Those whose observances are complete without omission are given the full precepts.
I would wait for four years in the Buddha’s Dharma with my observances complete and without any omissions to receive the full precepts.”

The Buddha told Subhadra, “As I said before, it’s simply to know how a person acts.”

That night, Subhadra left home, accepted the precepts, and purely cultivated the religious life.
In the present life, he personally realized:
“Birth and death have ended, the religious life has been established, and the task has been accomplished.
I’ve obtained true knowledge that I’ll not be subject to another existence.”
It wasn’t long after that night that he became an arhat.
He was the last of the Tathāgata’s disciples to be extinguished before the Buddha was.

The Consolation of Ānanda
Ānanda was leaning against his seat behind the Buddha and crying uncontrollably.
Weeping, he said, “How quick the Tathāgata’s extinguishment is!
How swift the Bhagavān’s extinguishment is!
How fast the great Dharma falls into obscurity!
The multitude of beings will decline for a long time!
The world will go blind!
Why is that?
I’ve benefited from the Buddha’s favor and obtained this ground of training, but I have yet to accomplish the task, and the Buddha is going to be extinguished!”

The Bhagavān knew this, so he asked, “Where is the monk Ānanda?”

The monks told the Tathāgata, “The monk Ānanda is leaning against his seat behind the Buddha and crying uncontrollably.
Weeping, he says, ‘How quick the Tathāgata’s extinguishment is!
How swift the Bhagavān’s extinguishment is!
How fast the great Dharma falls into obscurity!
The multitude of beings will decline for a long time!
The world will go blind!
Why is that?
I’ve benefited from the Buddha’s favor and obtained this ground of training, but I have yet to accomplish the task, and the Buddha is going to be extinguished!’


The Buddha told Ānanda, “Stop, stop!
Don’t be sad!
Don’t cry!
Since you’ve been serving me, your physical conduct has been kind, peerless, and measureless.
Your verbal conduct has been kind … Your mental conduct has been kind, peerless, and measureless.
Ānanda, you’ve given these offering to me, the merits of which are enormous.
The offerings given to gods like Māra and Brahmā or to ascetics and priests aren’t comparable to yours.
If you simply make an effort, it won’t be long before you achieve awakening.”

The Bhagavān told the monks, “Buddhas of the past were served by disciples like Ānanda, and Buddhas in the future will be served by disciples like Ānanda.
But the disciples who served Buddhas in the past understood them only after they were told.
Now, my Ānanda understands when I raise my gaze:
‘The Tathāgata needs this.
the Bhagavān needs that.’
This is Ānanda’s unprecedented quality.
All of you, remember that.

“A noble wheel-turning king has four exceptional and unprecedented qualities.
What are the four?
[1] When the noble king travels, he uplifts the multitude of people, who look up to him.
They rejoice when they see him, and they’re glad to hear his instruction.
They look up at his majestic countenance without tiring of seeing it.
When the noble wheel-turning king [2] stands … [3] sits … [4] lies down, the country’s ministers and people all come to the King.
They rejoice when they see him, they’re glad to hear his instruction.
They look at his majestic countenance without tiring of seeing it.
These are four exceptional qualities of a noble wheel-turning king.

“Now, my Ānanda also has these four exceptional qualities.
What are the four?
[1] Ānanda quietly enters a group of monks, and that assembly rejoices.
He teaches Dharma for that assembly, and they rejoice when they hear it.
They observe his composure and listen to his Dharma teaching without tiring of him.
Furthermore, Ānanda quietly goes to [2] an assembly of nuns … [3] assembly of laymen … [4] assembly of laywomen, and they rejoice when they see him.
If he gives them a Dharma teaching, they rejoice when they hear it.
They observe his composure and listen to his Dharma teaching without tiring of him.
These are Ānanda’s four unprecedented and exceptional qualities.”

Ānanda’s Questions
Ānanda then bared his right shoulder and knelt on his right knee.
He said to the Buddha, “Bhagavān, there are presently ascetic elders with much knowledge and who clearly understand the discourses and discipline.
When those of pure virtue and exceptional conduct come to meet with the Bhagavān, I receive their reverence and personally meet and exchange greetings with them.
After the Buddha’s extinguishment, they won’t come anymore, and I won’t have any meetings with his counterparts.
How will it be the same?”

The Buddha told Ānanda, “Don’t be sad!
Our kinsmen will always have four things they’ll remember.
What are the four?
First, they’ll remember the Buddha’s birthplace.
Rejoicing and wanting to see it, remembering and not forgetting it, they’ll think of it fondly.
Second, they’ll remember where the Buddha first awakened.
Rejoicing and wanting to see it, remembering and not forgetting it, they’ll think of it fondly.
Third, they’ll remember where the Buddha turned the Dharma wheel.
Rejoicing and wanting to see it, remembering and not forgetting it, they’ll think of it fondly.
Fourth, they’ll remember where the Buddha parinirvāṇa-ed.
Rejoicing and wanting to see it, remembering and not forgetting it, they’ll think of it fondly.

“Ānanda, after I parinirvāṇa, those kinsmen and kinswomen will remember, ‘The Buddha’s virtue was thus when he was born.’
‘His miraculous abilities were thus when the Buddha attained awakening.’
‘The people he liberated were thus when the Buddha turned the Dharma wheel.’
‘His bestowal of the Dharma was thus when the Buddha was about to be extinguished.’
After visiting each of those places and traveling to pay homage at those shrines, they’ll all be born in heaven when they die, aside from those who attain awakening.”

The Buddha told Ānanda, “After I parinirvāṇa, those of the Śākya tribe who come seeking awakening should be permitted to leave home.
Confer onto them the full precepts.
Don’t refuse them.
When wanderers from different trainings come seeking awakening, permit them to leave home, too.
Confer onto them the full precepts, and don’t test them for four months.
Why is that?
They have different theories.
If they are delayed a while, they’re old views will arise again.”

Ānanda then knelt with his palms together in front of the Buddha.
He said, “The monk Chanda is rude and obstinate.
How shall we handle it after the Buddha’s extinguishment?”

The Buddha told Ānanda, “After I parinirvāṇa, if that Chanda’s behavior isn’t agreeable and he doesn’t accept admonishment, then you all should give him the silent treatment.
Order the monks not to speak with him, visit him, teach him, or do chores with him.”

Ānanda again asked the Buddha, “After the Buddha parinirvāṇa-s, how should we handle women who come to receive instruction?”

The Buddha told Ānanda, “Don’t give them a [personal] meeting.”

Ānanda again asked, “Supposing we do meet with them, how should it be handled?”

The Buddha said, “Don’t talk with them [more than necessary].”

Ānanda again asked, “Supposing we do have a conversation with them, how should it be handled?”

The Buddha said, “You should restrain yourself.
Ānanda, are you saying that after the Buddha parinirvāṇa-s you won’t be guarded anymore?
That you’ll lose what you rely on?
Don’t form this view.
I became a Buddha to teach the discourses and precepts.
They will be your guardian and what you rely on.

“Ānanda, starting today, I permit the monks to dispense with the minor rules.
When the senior and junior monks call each other, they should follow the rules of propriety.
This way, those who’ve left home will be dutiful.”

The Buddha Parinirvāṇa-s
The Buddha told the monks, “If you have any doubts about the Buddha, Dharma, and Saṅgha or doubts about the path, you should be quick to ask about them.
Now is the time to do it.
Those who don’t may regret it later.
While I’m still here, I will explain these things for you.”

The monks remained silent and didn’t say anything.

The Buddha again told them, “If you have any doubts about the Buddha, Dharma, and Saṅgha or doubts about the path, you should be quick to ask about them.
Now is the time to do it.
Those who don’t may regret it later.
While I’m still here, I will explain these things for you.”

The monks again remained quiet.

The Buddha again said, “If you don’t dare ask questions because you’re embarrassed, you should have someone you know quickly come and ask for you.
Now is the time to do it.
Those who don’t may regret it later.”

Again, the monks remained quiet.

Ānanda said to the Buddha, “I believe this is an assembly of pure faith.
Not one of these monks doubts the Buddha, Dharma, and Saṅgha or the path.”

The Buddha told Ānanda, “I know it myself, too, that the most junior of monks in this assembly sees the path.
They aren’t headed for an unpleasant destiny, and they’re sure to reach the end of suffering in no more than seven rebirths.”
It was then that the Bhagavān gave his assurance to 1,200 disciples that they would attain the fruit of the path.

The Bhagavān then pulled down his upper garment to expose one of his golden arms.
He then told the monks, “You should observe that a tathāgata arises in the world only as often as the udumbara flower does!”

The Bhagavān then restated his meaning in verse:

“With his right arm’s purple gold,
The Buddha appears like the udumbara.

Past and future actions are impermanent,
They are ceased in the present with care.”

“Therefore, monks, don’t be careless!
Because I wasn’t careless, I brought about perfect awakening and measureless virtues myself.
It was also from carefulness that I realized the impermanent existence of all things.
This is the Tathāgata’s final teaching.”

The Bhagavān then entered the first dhyāna.
Emerging from the first dhyāna, he entered the second dhyāna.
Emerging from the second dhyāna, he entered the third dhyāna.
Emerging from the third dhyāna, he entered the fourth dhyāna.
Emerging from the fourth dhyāna, he entered the abode of space samādhi.
Emerging from the abode of space samādhi, he entered the abode of consciousness samādhi.
Emerging from the abode of consciousness samādhi, he entered the abode of nothingness samādhi.
Emerging from the abode of nothingness samādhi, he entered the abode with and without conception samādhi.
Emerging from the abode with and without conception samādhi, he entered the cessation of conception samādhi.

Ānanda then asked Aniruddha, “Has the Bhagavān parinirvāṇa-ed?”

Aniruddha said, “Not yet, Ānanda.
The Bhagavān is now in the samādhi of the cessation of conception.
I once heard it personally from the Buddha that one parinirvāṇa-s when emerging from the fourth dhyāna.”

The Bhagavān then emerged from the samādhi of the cessation of conception and entered the samādhi of the abode with and without conception.
Emerging from the samādhi of the abode with and without conception, he entered the samādhi of the abode of nothingness.
Emerging from the samādhi of the abode of nothingness, he entered the samādhi of the abode of consciousness.
Emerging from the samādhi of the abode of consciousness, he entered the samādhi of the abode of space.
Emerging from the samādhi of the abode of space, he entered the fourth dhyāna.
Emerging from the fourth dhyāna, he entered the third dhyāna.
Emerging from the third dhyāna, he entered the second dhyāna.
Emerging from the second dhyāna, he entered the first dhyāna.
Emerging from the first dhyāna, he entered the second dhyāna.
Emerging from the second dhyāna, he entered the third dhyāna.
Emerging from the third dhyāna, he entered the fourth dhyāna.
Emerging from the fourth dhyāna, the Buddha parinirvāṇa-ed.

At that moment, there was a great earthquake that terrified the gods and the world’s people.
A radiance brighter than sun or moon’s light lit up even places of complete darkness.
The beings there each saw each other in that great radiance.
They said, “Other people live here!
Other people live here!”
That light was everywhere and greater than the light of the gods.

The Trāyastriṃśa gods in the sky scattered mandara flowers and udumbara, padma, kumuda, and puṇḍarīka flowers on the Tathāgata and then on the assembly.
The gods also scattered sandalwood powder on the Buddha and on the great assembly.

Eulogies to the Buddha
After the Buddha parinirvāṇa-ed, the King of the Brahmā Heaven spoke in verse from up in the sky:

“All benighted living things
Will discard their aggregates.

The Buddha was the unsurpassed sage
Who had no equal in the world.

The Tathāgata, the great noble hero,
Had fearlessness and miraculous power.

The Bhagavān should’ve remained longer,
But now he has parinirvāṇa-ed.”

Śakra the Lord of Gods also composed a verse:

“Aggregates and actions aren’t permanent,
They’re simply things that arise and pass away.

There’s no one born who doesn’t die,
The Buddha’s cessation of this is happiness.”

King Vaiśravaṇa also composed a verse:

“Trees of fortune in a great forest,
Unsurpassed is the fortune of the sal.

The Excellent Field accepted offerings
And was extinguished between two trees.”

Aniruddha also composed a verse:

“Residing in the unconditioned,
The Buddha breathes no more.

Having come from quiescence,
His spiritual brilliance has disappeared.”

The monk Upamāna also composed a verse:

“It wasn’t with a negligent attitude
That he cultivated the higher wisdom.

Unattached and stained by nothing,
The unsurpassed sage renounced love.”

The monk Ānanda also composed a verse:

“Gods and humans felt fearful,
Had goosebumps under their clothes.

When all was accomplished,
The Perfectly Awakened was extinguished.”

The spirit Kumbhīra also composed a verse:

“The world has lost its guardian,
The masses left forever blind in the dark.

No more will they see the Perfectly Awakened,
The hero of humans, and lion of the Śākyas!”

Vajrapāṇi also composed a verse:

“In the present life and the next,
The Brahma world gods and humans
Will never again look upon
The hero of humans and lion of the Śākyas!”

The Buddha’s mother Māyā also composed a verse:

“The Buddha was born in Lumbini Park,
And his path was wide and flowing.

He returned to his homeland
And discarded this impermanent body forever.”

The spirit between that pair of trees also composed a verse:

“What season is this again?

Untimely flowers are scattered on the Buddha!

Possessing the virtue of the ten powers,
The Tathāgata chose extinguishment.”

The spirit of the sal forest also composed a verse:

“This is a land of marvelous delight,
For this is where the Buddha grew up.

Then, he turned the Dharma wheel
And went on to this extinguishment.”

The four god kings also composed a verse:

“The Tathāgata with unsurpassed wisdom
Always taught the theory of impermanence.

He freed the masses from their bonds of suffering,
And finally entered quiescence.”

The King of the Trāyastriṃśa Heaven also composed a verse:

“For hundreds of thousands of millions of eons,
He sought to achieve the unsurpassed path.

He freed the masses from their bonds of suffering,
And finally entered quiescence.”

The King of the Yama Heaven also composed a verse:

“This was the final robe
Wrapped around the Tathāgata’s body.

The Buddha has been extinguished,
So where will his robe be donated?”

The King of the Tuṣita Heaven also composed a verse:

“This was his final body,
His aggregates and elements have ceased.

Without sorrowful or joyful notions,
He’s no longer troubled by old age and death.”

The King of the Nirmāṇarati Heaven also composed a verse:

“This was the Buddha’s last night
Laying there on his right side.

Here in the sal tree forest,
The lion of the Śākyas is extinguished.”

The King of the Paranirmitavaśavartin also composed a verse:

“The world is forever decaying in darkness,
The king of stars, the moon, has suddenly set.

Obscured by impermanence,
The great wisdom sun is forever blotted out.”

A certain monk also composed verses:

“This body being like a foam bubble,
How will something so fragile be happy?

The Buddha had attained the vajra body,
Which still was impermanent and changing.

The vajra bodies of buddhas
All return to impermanence, too.

They cease quickly like a little snow;

Why hope for anything else to remain?”

Paying Last Respects
The Buddha had parinirvāṇa-ed.
The monks lamented his death.
They threw themselves to the ground, twisting and crying loudly.
They couldn’t control themselves.
Sobbing, they said, “How quick the Tathāgata’s extinguishment was!
How swift the Bhagavān’s extinguishment was!
How fast the great Dharma falls into obscurity!
The multitude of beings will decline for a long time!
The world will go blind!”

They were like a large tree pulled up by the roots with its branches chopped off.
They were like a cut snake that twists, turns, and writhes in a frenzy, not knowing where to go.
The monks were likewise as they lamented his death.
They threw themselves to the ground, twisting and crying loudly.
They couldn’t control themselves.
Sobbing, they said, “How quick the Tathāgata’s extinguishment was!
How swift the Bhagavān’s extinguishment was!
How fast the great Dharma falls into obscurity!
The multitude of beings will decline for a long time!
The world will go blind!”

The elder Aniruddha then told the monks, “Stop, stop!
Don’t cry!
There are gods above us.
They might consider it strange and fault you for it!”

The monks asked Aniruddha, “How many gods are there above us?”

Aniruddha said, “They fill the sky.
Who could count them all?
They are roaming around the sky, distraught, crying, and beating their breasts.
With tears streaming, they say, ‘How quick the Tathāgata’s extinguishment was!
How swift the Bhagavān’s extinguishment was!
How fast the great Dharma falls into obscurity!
The multitude of beings will decline for a long time!
The world will go blind!’

“They’re like a large tree pulled up by the roots with its branches chopped off.
They’re like a cut snake that twists, turns, and writhes in a frenzy, not knowing where to go.
The gods are likewise.
They’re roaming around the sky, distraught, crying, and beating their breasts.
With tears streaming, they say, ‘How quick the Tathāgata’s extinguishment was!
How swift the Bhagavān’s extinguishment was!
How fast the great Dharma falls into obscurity!
The multitude of beings will decline for a long time!
The world will go blind!’


The monks discussed the teaching throughout the night until daybreak.
Aniruddha told Ānanda, “Perhaps you should go to the city and tell the Mallas, ‘The Buddha has been extinguished.
If you’d like to give offerings, now would be a good time to do it.’


Ānanda got up, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and then led another monk to the city, crying as they went.
They saw a group of 500 Mallas gathered in one place for some minor reason.
The Mallas saw Ānanda coming and they got up to watch him approached.
After bowing at his feet and standing aside, they said to Ānanda, “Why have you come this morning?”

Ānanda replied, “Now, I’ve come here to benefit all of you.
You should know that the Tathāgata was extinguished last night.
If you’d like to give offerings, now is a good time to do it.”

After hearing him say this, all the Mallas lamented loudly.
Wiping their tears, they said, “The Buddha parinirvāṇa-ed so fast!
The world went blind so swiftly!”

Ānanda responded, “Stop, stop!
Gentlemen, don’t cry!
The desire for this conditioned life to not change is impossible.
As the Buddha said before, ‘What’s born has its death, and what comes together also falls apart.
All that we love is impermanent.’


The Mallas then said to each other, “We each should return home, pick out fragrant flowers and musical instruments, and then go quickly to that pair of trees to give offerings to the Buddha’s remains!
After a day, we’ll put his remains on a bed.
Young Malla men will carry the bed at each corner.
We’ll carry banners and parasols, burn incense, scatter flowers, and play music as offerings.
We’ll enter the city’s east gate and pass through neighborhood after neighborhood so that people can give offerings.
Afterward, we’ll exit through the west gate, take the bed to an elevated place, and cremate him there.”

Once they had had this discussion, the Mallas each returned to their homes and picked out fragrant flowers and musical instruments for their offerings.
They then went to that place between a pair of trees to give offerings to the Buddha’s remains.
After a day, his remains were placed on a bed, but when the Mallas [attempted to] lift the bed, none of them could manage it.

Aniruddha then said to the Mallas, “Stop, all of you!
Don’t exhaust yourselves needlessly.
The gods are going to lift the bed.”

The Mallas asked, “What do the gods have in mind?
They’re going to lift this bed?”

Aniruddha said, “You were going to give offerings of fragrant flowers and music to the Buddha’s remains.
After a day, you would place the remains on a bed and have young Malla men carry it at each corner.
You would carry banners and parasols, burn incense, scatter flowers, and play music as offerings.
You then would enter the city’s east gate and pass through neighborhood after neighborhood so that people can make offerings.
Afterward, you would exit through the west gate, take the bed to an elevated place, and cremate him there.

“But the gods wish to leave his remains here for seven days to give offerings of incense, flowers, and music and to pay our respects.
Afterward, the Buddha’s remains will be placed on a bed.
Young Malla men will carry the bed at each corner.
You’ll carry banners and parasols, scatter flowers, burn incense, and play music as offerings to his remains.
You’ll enter the city’s east gate and go through neighborhood after neighborhood so that people can give offerings.
Afterward, you’ll exit through the north gate, ford the Nairañjanā River, and go to the Heavenly Crown Temple.
He’ll be cremated there.
This is what gods above want, so they are not allowing the bed to be moved.”

The Mallas said, “Oh, that sounds good!
We’ll follow the wishes of the gods.”

The Mallas then said to each other, “We should go to the city first and put the streets in the neighborhoods in order.
We’ll sweep them and burn incense.
Then, we can come back here to give offerings to his remains for seven days.”

The Mallas then went together to the city and put the streets in order, going from neighborhood to neighborhood.
They swept up refuse and burned incense.
When they were finished, they left the city and returned to the place between a pair of trees.
They gave offerings of incense, flowers, and music to the Buddha’s remains.
When the sun set after seven days had passed, they placed the Buddha’s remains on a bed.
Young Malla men carried it at each corner.
A crowd of Mallas carried banners and parasols, burned incense, scattered flowers, and played music.
They followed the bed bearers in front and back, walking peacefully as they went.

The Trāyastriṃśa gods scattered mandara flowers, utpala flowers, padma flowers, kumuda flowers, puṇḍarīka flowers, and heavenly sandalwood powder onto the Buddha’s remains, such that it filled up the roadway.
The gods played music, and yakṣa spirits sang songs.

The Mallas said to each other, “Let’s set aside our human music in favor of the music the gods are playing as offerings to the Buddha’s remains.”

The Mallas carrying the bed made their way to the city and entered the east gate.
They stopped at intersections, where they burned incense, scattered flowers, and played music as offerings.
There was then the Malla woman *Royī who was a believer in the Buddha’s path.
She carried a gold flower in her hand as large as a cartwheel, which she gave as an offering to his remains.

There was an elderly grandmother who raised her voice in praise, “These Mallas will get a great reward!
For the whole nation delights in giving the final offerings to the Tathāgata after his extinguishment!”

Interment of the Buddha
After the Mallas had given their offerings, they left through the north gate, forded the Nairañjanā River, and went to Heavenly Crown Temple.
They placed the bed on the ground and told Ānanda, “What else should we give as an offering?”

Ānanda responded, “I personally heard this from the Buddha, personally received this instruction from the Buddha:
When we inter his remains, it should be as a noble wheel-turning king is interred.”

Again, they asked Ānanda, “How is a noble wheel-turning king interred?”

He replied, “‘This is the way of interring a noble [wheel-turning] king:
First, his body is bathed in fragrant water.
He’s wrapped all around with fresh cotton.
Next, he’s wrapped in 500 layers of cloth.
His body is placed in a gold coffin and sesame oil is poured onto it.
The gold coffin is lifted and placed in a second larger iron coffin.
Sandalwood incense is next layered outside of that coffin.
Firewood of many fragrances is piled on top of fine robes, and then he is cremated.
When it’s done, his remains are placed in a shrine built at a crossroads.
It’s exterior is hung with silks, and people from the country travel to see the Dharma king’s shrine.
They think longingly about the correct teaching that benefited many people.

“‘Ānanda, when you inter me, first bathe my body in fragrant water and then wrap it all around with fresh cotton.
Wrap it in 500 layers of cloth, place my body inside a gold coffin and pour sesame oil on it.
Lift the gold coffin and place it in a second larger iron coffin.
Next, layer sandalwood incense on the outside of that coffin.
Pile firewood of many fragrances on top of fine robes, and then cremate me.
When it’s done, place my remains in a shrine built at a crossroads.
Hang its exterior with silks, and have people from the country travel to see the Buddha’s shrine.
They’ll think longingly about the Tathāgata, the Dharma king, and his awakened teaching.
While they’re alive, they will get merits and rewards, and they’ll be born up in heaven when they die, aside from those who attain awakening.’


The Mallas then said to each other, “Let’s go back to the city and fetch the supplies for his interment, such as incense, flowers, cotton, coffins, fragrant oil, and white cloth.”

The Mallas then went to the city together, arranged the supplies for the interment, and returned to Heavenly Crown Temple.
They bathed the Buddha’s body in fragrant water and then wrapped it all around with fresh cotton.
They wrapped it in 500 layers of cloth, placed his body inside a gold coffin, and poured fragrant oil on it.
They lifted the gold coffin and placed it in a second larger iron coffin.
Next, they layered sandalwood on the outside of that coffin.
They piled firewood of many fragrances on top of it.

Cremation of the Buddha
The great minister of the Mallas named *Royī carried a large torch and tried to light the Buddha’s firewood, but the fire wouldn’t start.
Other prominent Mallas came forward to light the wood, but again the fire wouldn’t start.

Aniruddha then said to the Mallas, “Stop, stop!
Gentlemen, you won’t be able to light it.
The fire goes out and doesn’t burn because that’s what the gods want.”

The Mallas asked, “Why are the gods preventing the fire from lighting?”

Aniruddha said, “The gods would like Mahākāśyapa to bring 500 disciples from Pāvā.
At the moment, they are halfway here on the road.
Don’t cremate him yet.
They want to look at the Buddha’s body.
The gods know his wish, so they are preventing the fire from lighting.”

The Mallas again said, “Please let them get what they want.”

Mahākāśyapa then was leading those 500 disciples from Pāvā.
As they walked on the road, they encountered a Nirgrantha carrying a mandara flower in his hand.
When he saw the Nirgrantha, Mahākāśyapa stopped him and asked, “Where are you coming from?”

He replied, “I’m coming from Kuśinagara.”

Kāśyapa again asked, “Do you know about our teacher?”

“I do.”

“Do you know where he is?”

“It’s been seven days since his extinguishment.
I am going there to give this heavenly flower.”

When Kāśyapa heard this, he became depressed and unhappy.
When the other 500 monks heard the Buddha was extinguished, they cried loudly, twisting, turning, and wailing.
They couldn’t control themselves.
Wiping their tears, they said, “How quick the Tathāgata’s extinguishment was!
How swift the Bhagavān’s extinguishment was!
How fast the great Dharma falls into obscurity!
The multitude of beings will decline for a long time!
The world will go blind!”
They were like a large tree pull up by the roots with its branches chopped off.
They were like a cut snake that twists, turns, and writhes in a frenzy, not knowing where to go.

There was a Śākya man in his assembly named Upananda.
He stopped the monks by saying, “Don’t be sad!
The Bhagavān is extinguished.
We’re free now!
He was always saying, ‘You must do this;
you mustn’t do that.’
From now on, we can do as we like.”

When Kāśyapa heard that, he was depressed and unhappy.
He told the monks, “Quickly, get your robes and bowls.
We’ll need to get to that pair of trees before he is cremated if we are to see the Buddha.”

When they heard what he said, the monks rose from their seats and followed Kāśyapa as he went to Kuśinagara.
They forded the Nairañjanā River, arrived at Heavenly Crown Temple, and went to Ānanda.
After exchanging greetings, they stood to one side.
Kāśyapa said to Ānanda, “We would like to see the remains before he is cremated.
Would it be possible to see him?”

Ānanda answered, “Although he hasn’t been cremated yet, it’ll be difficult to see him.
Why is that?
The Buddha’s body was bathed in fragrant water and then wrapped all around with fresh cotton.
They wrapped it in 500 layers of cloth and placed his body inside a gold coffin, which was placed in an iron coffin.
They layered sandalwood on the outside of that coffin.
It’ll be difficult to view the Buddha’s body because of that.”

Kāśyapa made his request three times, and Ānanda answered as he did the first time:
“… It will be difficult to view the Buddha’s body because of that.”

Mahākāśyapa went over to the fragrant firewood.
He uncovered the Buddha’s feet inside the double casket, and they had changed color.
Seeing that, Kāśyapa was shocked.
He asked Ānanda, “The Buddha’s body is golden.
Why have his feet changed?”

Ānanda replied, “There was an elderly mother earlier who was lamenting and touched the Buddha’s feet with her hand, and her tears were on them.
That’s the only reason they changed color.”

Hearing this, Kāśyapa was even more unhappy.
He went to the fragrant firewood and bowed to the Buddha’s remains.
The fourfold assembly and the gods above also bowed together at the same time.
Thereupon, the Buddha’s feet suddenly disappeared.

Mahākāśyapa circled the firewood three times and composed these verses:

“Buddhas are unparalleled,
Their noble wisdom is inestimable.

To the unequalled noble wisdom,
I now bow my head.

The unparalleled ascetic
Was supreme and flawless.

The Muni who broke the branch of craving,
That great sage is honored by gods and humans.

To the supreme hero of humans,
I now bow my head.

His ascetic practice had no counterpart,
He taught people to part with attachment.

He was unstained and undirtied;

I bow my head to the Unsurpassed Sage.

The three defilements being ended,
He was happy practicing in tranquility.

To the Peerless and Companionless,
I bow my head to the Ten-Powered Sage.

The Well Gone One was the highest,
The sage honored among bipeds.

Awakened to the calm of the four truths,
I bow my head to the Peaceful Sage.

Unsurpassed among ascetics,
He led the perverse to what’s right.

The Bhagavān having been extinguished,
I bow my head to the profound path.

Without passion and flawless,
His mind was tranquil and settled.

He removed the contaminants,
So I bow my head to the Undefiled Sage.

The Wisdom Eye had no limit,
And the Immortal had power and fame.

He was extraordinarily hard to conceive;

I bow my head to the Unequalled One.

Roaring like a lion,
He lived in the forest fearlessly.

He defeated Māra and transcended the four clans,
Therefore, I bow my head to him.”

Mahākāśyapa possessed great majesty and had perfected the four kinds of eloquence.
After saying these verses, the Buddha’s firewood spontaneously ignited.
The Mallas said to each other, “Now, the fire is burning fiercely!
The fire grows so much, it’ll be difficult to stop;
it’ll cremate his remains until they disappear!
Perhaps we should douse it with water?”

Then, the spirit of the sal trees was in the firewood, and it believed in the Buddha’s path.
It immediately used it’s miraculous power to douse the fire burning the Buddha’s firewood.

The Mallas again said to each other, “There are fragrant flowers for twenty yojanas left and right of Kuśinagara.
We should collect all of them and offer them to the Buddha’s remains!”
They immediately went to the city and picked those fragrant flowers to use as offerings.

Division of the Buddha’s Remains
The Malla people of Pāvā heard that the Buddha had parinirvāṇa-ed between a pair of trees.
They thought to themselves, “Now, we ought to go and get a portion of his remains.
Ours was his homeland, after all!
We’ll build a shrine and give offerings to it.”

Those Mallas of Pāvā raised from their vassals a fourfold army consisting of elephant troops, horse troops, chariot troops, and foot troops.
They went to Kuśinagara and sent an envoy.
They said, “We’ve heard that the Buddha, the Bhagavān, stopped and has been extinguished.
He was our teacher, too, and dear to our hearts.
We are coming to request a portion of his bones.
We will build a shrine in his homeland and give offerings to it.”

The King of Kuśinagara replied, “Yes, yes!
Indeed, it’s as you say.
However, it was in this land that the Bhagavān fell ill, and it was here that he parinirvāṇa-ed.
The country’s officials and people gave their own offerings.
You gentlemen have come from far away, but you cannot have a portion of his remains.”

Then, an assembly of Bula people from Calakalpa, an assembly of Kraudya people from Rāmagrāma, an assembly of Brāhmaṇa people from Viṣṇudvīpa, an assembly of Śākya people from Kapilavastu, an assembly of Licchavi people from Vaiśālī, and King Ajātaśatru from Magadha heard that the Tathāgata had chosen to parinirvāṇa between a pair of trees near Kuśinagara.
They thought to themselves, “Now, we ought to go and seek a portion of his remains.”

The kings of these countries like Ajātaśatru then raised from their vassals fourfold armies consisting of elephant troops, horse troops, chariot troops, and foot troops, and they advanced to cross the Gaṅgā River.
They ordered the priest Dhūmragotra, “Go to Kuśinagara in my name and put this question to the Mallas:
‘Has life been easy?
Have your travels been difficult?
We extend every respect to you gentlemen.
We’re friendly neighbors who’re never in conflict.
We’ve heard that the Tathāgata chose to parinirvāṇa in your country, sir.
Only the unsurpassed sage was our true deity, so we’ve traveled from far away to request a portion of his bones.
We’ll take them back to our homelands and build shrines for giving offerings to them.
If you were to give this to us, it would enrich the whole country, and we’d share that with you, sir.’


Accepting the king’s instruction, the priest Dhūmragotra went to that city and said to the Mallas, “The great king of Magadha asks immeasurably:
‘Has life been easy?
Have your travels been difficult?
We extend every respect to you gentlemen.
We’re friendly neighbors who’re never in conflict.
We’ve heard that the Tathāgata chose to parinirvāṇa in your country, sir.
Only the unsurpassed sage was our true deity, so we’ve traveled from far away to request a portion of his bones.
We’ll take them back to our homelands and build shrines for giving offerings to them.
If you were to give this to us, it would enrich the whole country, and we’d share that with you, sir.’


The Mallas replied to Dhūmragotra, “Yes, yes!
Indeed, it’s as you say, sir.
However, it was in this land that the Bhagavān fell ill, and it was here that he parinirvāṇa-ed.
The country’s officials and people gave their own offerings.
You gentlemen have come from far away, but you cannot have a portion of his remains.”

The kings of those countries then assembled their ministers, and held a discussion.
They composed these verses:

“We’ve spoken peacefully,
Having traveled far and bowed.

We humbly asked for our portion,
But you won’t share them.

Our fourfold army is here;

They don’t begrudge their lives.

If we can’t get it with reason,
We’ll take it by force.”

The ministers of Kuśinagara assembled and held a discussion on the matter.
They composed these verses in answer:

“You gentleman have traveled far,
And you’ve bowed in humility.

The Tathāgata’s remains,
We can’t bring ourselves grant you.

Those armies that you’ve raised
Are possessed by us as well.

They’ll fight to the death
Before they’ll have any fear.”

The priest Dhūmragotra announced to the assembly, “Gentlemen, we’ve accepted the Buddha’s instruction for so long.
We’ve recited the Dharma’s words and our hearts follow his humane education.
All sentient beings are constantly mindful of him and desire peace.
Would they rather us fight over the Buddha’s remains and hurt each other?
They would want the Tathāgata’s remains to be of broad benefit.
We should simply divide his remains now.”

The assembly all hailed this as good, and they immediately discussed this:
“Who is qualified to divide them up?”

They said, “The priest Dhūmragotra is a humane sage and balanced.
We could have him divide them up.”

The kings then commanded Dhūmragotra, “You will divide up the Buddha’s remains equally into eight portions.”

Dhūmragotra heard the kings say this and went to the remains.
He bowed his head to them deeply, and then picked up the Buddha’s upper teeth.
He divided them and put them aside.
He sent someone to deliver the Buddha’s upper teeth to King Ajātaśatru.

He told the courier, “Using my name, go up to the great king and say, ‘Has life been easy?
Have your travels been difficult?
Is the wait for the Buddha’s remains taking forever?
Now, I’ve dispatched his courier to deliver the Tathāgata’s upper teeth.
They are worthy of offerings.
I hope that the dividing of the remains will be completed by the time the morning star rises.
I will present them myself.’


The messenger accepted Dhūmragotra’s statement and went to king Ajātaśatru.
He said, “The priest Dhūmragotra has sent me to ask immeasurably, ‘Has life been easy?
Have your travels been difficult?
Is the wait for the Buddha’s remains taking forever?
Now, I’ve been dispatched to deliver the Tathāgata’s upper teeth.
They are worthy of offerings.
I hope that the dividing of the remains will be completed by the time the morning star rises.
I will present them myself.’


Dhūmragotra then received one stone [weight of remains] and divided them with a jar.
Once the eight portions were equal, he told the assembled people, “Using this vase, please see that the remains are being given out fairly.
You can build your own shrines to house them and give offerings to them.”

They said, “That’s wise!
When the time comes, we’ll permit the distribution together.”

Someone from the village of Pippala said to the assembled people, “I beg to have the charcoal from the ground.
We’ll build a shrine and give offerings to it!”

“We’ll give it to you.”

The Eleven Shrines to the Buddha
The people of Kuśinagara received their share of the remains.
They then built a shrine in their land and gave offerings to it.

The people of Pāvā, Calakalpa, Rāmagrāma, Viṣṇudvīpa, Kapilavastu, Vaiśālī, and King Ajātaśatru of Magadha received their shares of the remains.
They each returned to their country, built a shrine, and gave offerings to it.
The priest Dhūmragotra brought the vase for building a shrine.
The person from Pippala took their portion to their land.
They built a shrine to the charcoal of the cremation.

At the time, eight shrines were built for the Tathāgata’s remains, a ninth shrine for the vase, a tenth shrine for the charcoal, and an eleventh shrine for hair from the Buddha’s birth.

Final Eulogy
On what day was the Buddha born?
On what day did he achieved awakening?
On what day did he parinirvāṇa?
He was born when the star Puṣya rose.
He left home when the star Puṣya rose.
He achieved awakening when the star Puṣya rose.
He parinirvāṇa-ed when the star Puṣya rose.

When was the sage of bipeds born?

When did he escape the jungle of suffering?

When did he find the unsurpassed path?

When did he enter the city of nirvāṇa?

The sage of bipeds was born when Puṣya rose.

He escaped the jungle when Puṣya rose.

He found the unsurpassed path when Puṣya rose.

He entered the city of Nirvāṇa when Puṣya rose.

On the eighth day, the Tathāgata was born.

On the eighth day, the Buddha left home.

On the eighth day, he achieved awakening.

On the eighth day, he chose to parinirvāṇa.

On the eighth day, the sage of bipeds was born.

On the eighth day, he escaped the jungle.

On the eighth day, he found the unsurpassed path.

On the eighth day, he entered the city of nirvāṇa.

In the second month, the Tathāgata was born.

In the second month, the Buddha left home.

In the second month, he achieved awakening.

On the eighth day, he chose to parinirvāṇa.

In the second month, the sage of bipeds was born.

In the second month, he escaped the jungle.

In the second month, he found the unsurpassed path.

On the eighth day, he entered the city of nirvāṇa.

The sal flowers were blooming,
Shining with a all sorts of light.

In his original birthplace,
The Tathāgata chose to parinirvāṇa.

The Great Compassionate One’s parinirvāṇa
Is praised and honored by many people.

Having entirely forded terrible things,
He decided to parinirvāṇa.

3 - DA 3 Govinda

Thus I have heard:
One time, the Buddha was staying on Mount Gṛdhrakūṭa near Rājagṛha.
He was accompanied by a large assembly of 1,250 monks.

Pañcaśikha Visits the Buddha
During the quiet of the night when there are no people, the gandharva Pañcaśikha came to the Buddha, illuminating Mount Gṛdhrakūṭa with his radiance.
After bowing his head at the Buddha’s feet, he stood to one side.
Pañcaśikha then said to the Buddha, “Yesterday, the king of the Brahma Heaven went to the Trāyastriṃśa Heaven and had a conversation with Lord Śakra.
I personally overheard them.
Shall I tell the Bhagavān what they said?”

The Buddha said, “You may tell me if you like.”

Pañcaśikha said, “One time, the Trāyastriṃśa gods gathered in the Dharma Meeting Hall and held a meeting.
The four god kings were each sitting in their places.
God king Dhṛtarāṣṭra sat to the east and faced west with Lord Śakra in front of him.
God king Virūḍhaka sat to the south and faced north with Lord Śakra in front of him.
God king Virūpākṣa sat to the west and faced east with Lord Śakra in front of him.
God king Vaiśravaṇa sat to the north and faced south with Lord Śakra in front of him.
The four god kings were seated first, and then I was seated after them.

“There were other great gods present who had purely cultivated the religious life with the Buddha.
They had been born in the Trāyastriṃśa Heaven when their lives ended, which caused the five virtues of those gods to increase.
These were 1. the lifespan of gods, 2. the form of gods, 3. the fame of gods, 4. the pleasure of gods, and 5. the majesty of gods.

“The Trāyastriṃśa gods danced and rejoiced, saying, ‘The host of gods increases, and the host of asuras decreases!’
Śakra the Lord of Gods noticed the Trāyastriṃśa gods were rejoicing, so he composed these verses:

“‘The gods of the Trāyastriṃśa
And Lord Śakra are celebrating!

Homage to the Tathāgata,
The king of the highest teaching!

The gods get their shape and fortunes
Of life, form, name, pleasure, and majesty.

They trained in the Buddha’s religious life,
So they’ve been reborn in this place.

Again, there are all these gods
With radiant forms so glorious.

The Buddha’s wise disciples
Born here are the most excellent.

The Trāyastriṃśa gods and their lord
Consider their own happiness here.

Homage to the Tathāgata,
The king of the highest teaching!’

The Buddha’s Eight Unequalled Qualities
“After the Trāyastriṃśa gods heard these verses, their rejoicing was redoubled.
They couldn’t control themselves.
‘The host of gods is increasing, and the host of asuras is decreasing!’
Śakra the Lord of Gods saw the Trāyastriṃśa gods rejoicing and being merry, so he addressed them, ‘Gentlemen, would you like to hear about the Tathāgata’s eight unequalled qualities?’

“The Trāyastriṃśa gods said, ‘We would like to hear it!’

“Lord Śakra replied, “Listen closely, listen closely!
Consider it well.

“‘Gentlemen, the Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One has perfected the ten epithets.
I’ve not seen a Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One in the past, future, or present perfect the ten epithets like the Buddha has.

“‘The Buddha’s Dharma is sublime and a good exposition of the wise person’s training.
I’ve not seen a Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One in the past, future, or present with a sublime teaching like that of the Buddha.

“‘The Buddha awakened himself as a result of this teaching.
Without any obstacle to his understanding, he enjoys himself.
I’ve not seen a Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One in the past, future, or present awaken themselves with this teaching and have no obstacle to their understanding like the Buddha has.

“‘Gentlemen, after awakening himself with this teaching, the Buddha reveals the way to Nirvāṇa and the gradual approach and entry into extinguishment.
It’s like the Gaṅgā River and the Yamunā River.
Those two rivers flow into each other and then enter the ocean.
The Buddha is likewise.
He reveals the way to Nirvāṇa and the gradual approach and entry into extinguishment.
I’ve not seen a Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One in the past, future, or present reveal the way to Nirvāṇa like the Buddha does.

“‘Gentlemen, the Tathāgata has achieved a following of warriors, priests, householders, and ascetics.
Wise is the following achieved by the Tathāgata.
I’ve not seen a Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One in the past, future, or present achieve a following like the Buddha has.

“‘Gentlemen, the Tathāgata has achieved a great assembly known as monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen.
I’ve not seen a Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One in the past, future, or present accomplish a great assembly like the Buddha has.

“‘Gentlemen, the Tathāgata’s words and actions correspond.
He does what he says, and he says what he does.
Thus, he has achieved one teaching and the next.
I’ve not seen a Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One in the past, future, or present whose words and actions correspond and achieve one teaching and the next like the Buddha.

“‘Gentlemen, the Tathāgata has benefited many and made many happy.
He bestows these blessings to gods and humans out of compassion.
I’ve not seen a Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One in the past, future, or present benefit many and made many happy like the Buddha has.

“‘Gentlemen, these are the Tathāgata’s eight unequalled qualities.’

“The Trāyastriṃśa gods then said, ‘Whenever there are eight Buddhas who arise in the world, the host of gods would increase greatly, and the host of asuras would diminish!’

“The Trāyastriṃśa gods also said, ‘Setting aside eight Buddhas, even if seven, six … two Buddhas were to arise in the world, the host of gods would increase greatly, and the host of asuras would diminish.
How would it be if there were eight Buddhas?’

“Śakra the Lord of Gods told the Trāyastriṃśa gods, ‘I’ve heard it from the Buddha, personally received it from him, that it’s impossible for two Buddhas to arise in the world at the same time.
If the Tathāgata simply remained in the world for a long time, he would have compassion for many and benefit many.
Gods and humans would win their peace.
The host of gods would increase greatly, and the host of asuras would diminish.’


Great Brahmā Kumāra Arrives
Pañcaśikha said to the Buddha, “Bhagavān, having gathered up in the Dharma Meeting Hall, the Trāyastriṃśa gods conversed, considered, weighed, and investigated what instructions to issue.
Afterward, the four god kings were given their orders.
When each accepted their instructions, four god kings took their seats.
Not long after they sat down, there was a very unusual light that shined in the four directions.

“The Trāyastriṃśa gods saw this light and were bewildered by it.
‘Now, this is an unusual light!
Isn’t this strange?’

“Those great spirits and gods who possessed majesty were also surprised.
‘Now, this is an unusual light!
Isn’t this strange?’

“‘King Great Brahmā then appeared in the form of a child.
His head had a five-pointed topknot, and he stood in the air above the assembly of gods.
His handsomeness was far beyond that of the assembly.
His body was purple gold in color, and his radiance outshined that of the gods.

“‘The Trāyastriṃśa gods didn’t get up to greet him, nor did they pay their respects.
They didn’t invite him to sit, either.
When Brahmā Kumāra went and took a seat, [the god at that] seat was delighted like a warrior of a water-anointed lineage celebrating and rejoicing when he ascends to the throne.
Soon after sitting, Brahmā again transformed himself into the shape of a child whose head was crowned with a five-pointed topknot, and he sat in the sky above the great assembly.
He was like a hero sitting securely on his throne, lofty and unmoving.

“‘Then he spoke in verse:

“‘The gods of the Trāyastriṃśa
And Lord Śakra are celebrating!

Homage to the Tathāgata,
The king of the highest teaching!

The gods get their shape and fortunes
Of life, form, name, pleasure, and majesty.

They trained in the Buddha’s religious life,
So they’ve been reborn in this place.

Again, there are all these gods
With radiant forms so glorious.

The Buddha’s wise disciples
Born here are still more excellent.

The Trāyastriṃśa gods and their lord
Consider their own happiness here.

Homage to the Tathāgata,
The king of the highest teaching!’

“The Trāyastriṃśa gods said to [Great Brahmā] Kumāra, ‘When we heard Lord Śakra declare the eight unequalled qualities of the Tathāgata, we rejoiced and danced.
We couldn’t control ourselves!’

“Brahmā Kumāra said to the Trāyastriṃśa gods, ‘What are the eight unequalled qualities of the Tathāgata?
I’d also like to hear it!’

“The gods and Lord Śakra then explained the eight unequalled qualities of the Tathāgata for Kumāra.
After the Trāyastriṃśa gods and Kumāra had listened to that teaching, their rejoicing was redoubled.
They couldn’t control themselves.
‘The host of gods increases, and the host of asuras decreases!’

The Legend of Great Govinda
“Kumāra then saw the gods’ rejoicing and merry-making increase.
He then told the Trāyastriṃśa gods, ‘Would you like to hear about one unequalled quality [of the Tathāgata]?’

“The gods said, ‘Excellent!
We’d like to hear it.’

“Kumāra told them, ‘Those of you who’d like to hear it:
Listen closely, Listen closely!
I’ll tell it to you.’

“He told the gods, ‘In the past when he was a bodhisattva, the Tathāgata was born intelligent and quite knowledgeable.
Gentlemen, you should know that long ago in the distant past, there was a king in the world named Diśāmpati, and his first prince was named Reṇu.
The king also had a minister named Govinda, and that minister had a son named Jyotipāla.
Prince Reṇu was his friend, and they were accompanied by six warrior ministers who were also friends.

“‘When King Diśāmpati wanted to retreat to his palace and have fun and frolic there, he entrusted the affairs of state to his minister Govinda.
He would then go into the palace and enjoy the festivities and partake of the five desires.

“‘Wanting to put the affairs of state in order, the minister Govinda would first consult his son about it, and afterward he’d make his decision.
He would also consult his son when there was a disciplinary matter.

“‘Later, Govinda’s life suddenly ended.
When King Diśāmpati heard that his life had ended, he felt sorry and saddened.
Upset, he said, “Oh!
How could I lose such a skilled administrator?”

“‘The prince Reṇu thought to himself, “The loss of Govinda has made the king miserable.
Now’s a good time for me to go and console the king.
I can’t let the funeral make him more depressed.
Why is that?
Govinda had a son named Jyotipāla who’s intelligence and learning go beyond his father’s.
He can take over managing the affairs of state now.”

“‘Prince Reṇu visited the king and presented the above idea to his father.
After listening to what the prince had to say, he entrusted [the affairs of state] to Jyotipāla.
“Now, I place you in your father’s stead and transfer his office to you.”
After that office was transferred to Jyotipāla, the king retired to the palace, again entrusting the affairs of state [to his minister].

“‘The indications of Jyotipāla’s governance were bright.
He knew what his father had known before, and he also knew things his father hadn’t known.
His renown spread until it was heard across the ocean.
Everyone under heaven called him “The Great Govinda.”

“‘Great Govinda thought afterward, “Now, King Diśāmpati is getting on in years.
There isn’t much left of his life.
If the prince succeeded the king, there wouldn’t be difficulties.
I’d better first go tell the six warrior ministers, ‘Now, King Diśāmpati is getting on in years.
There isn’t much left of his life.
If the prince were to succeed the king, there wouldn’t be difficulties.
The king’s land would also be divided between you gentlemen.
Don’t forget each other on the day of his ascension.’


“‘Great Govinda then went to the six warrior ministers and told them, ‘Gentlemen, you should know that King Diśāmpati is getting on in years.
There isn’t much left of his life.
If the prince succeeded the king, there wouldn’t be difficulties.
You noble men may go and tell the prince this plan.
“We’ve known Your Majesty since he was small.
When Your Majesty suffers, we suffer, and when he’s happy, we’re happy.
Now, the king is declining with old age.
There isn’t much left of his life.
If the prince were to succeed the king, there wouldn’t be difficulties.
Should Your Majesty ascend the throne, we’ll also be given his lands.”

“‘After they heard what he said, the six warrior ministers visited the prince and told him the above.
The prince replied, “If I were to ascend the throne, how will the kingdom’s lands be distributed?”

“‘Not long after that, the king suddenly passed away, and the ministers sought the prince to install a king on the throne.

“‘Once he was enthroned, the king quietly considered this:
“Now, it would be fitting to rule the way the previous king did.”
He also thought, “Who is capable of this promotion?
Great Govinda is the right person for it.”
King Reṇu then told Great Govinda, “Now, I assign you to manage the affairs of state in my place.
I place my trust in you.
Be diligent and serious about it.”

“‘After he heard the king’s instructions, Great Govinda accepted his trust, and the king retired to the palace.
Great Govinda was then entrusted with managing future affairs of state.

“‘Great Govinda again thought to himself, “Would it be fitting to visit those six warriors now and ask them what they remember of what we discussed before?”

“‘He immediately visited the warriors and said to them, “Now, do you remember about what we discussed before?
The prince has ascended the throne and hid himself deep in the palace to enjoy the five desires.
You could go and ask:
‘The king dwells on the heavenly throne and enjoys the five desires.
Do you recall what we discussed before?’


“‘Hearing this said, the six warriors then visited the king.
They said to the great king, “The king dwells on the heavenly throne and enjoys the five desires.
Do you recall what we discussed before?
How shall the land and cities be divided, and who shall rule where?”

“‘The king said, “I haven’t forgotten what we discussed before.
I’ll divide the lands and the cities.
If it were not you, then who [would it be to receive them]?”

“‘The king also thought to himself, “The lands of Jambudvīpa are wide internally and narrow externally.
Who could divide it into seven parts?”
Then he thought, “Only Great Govinda can divide it up.”

“‘The king then told Great Govinda, “You may divide the lands of Jambudvīpa.
Divide them into seven parts.”

“‘Great Govinda then quickly divided the continent.
The king ruled from a province containing the capital city, and the remainder was divided into provinces and given to the six warriors.

“‘The king was delighted and said, “It’s exactly as I wanted!”

“‘The six warriors were also delighted.
“It’s exactly as we wanted, achieved by the ability of Great Govinda!”

“‘The six warriors and the king also each thought to themselves, “Now that my kingdom is established, I need a prime minister, but who would be qualified?
Someone like Great Govinda!
I will employ him to manage the kingdom’s affairs.”

“‘The six warrior kings then summoned Govinda and told him, “My kingdom needs a prime minister.
You shall manage its affairs for me.”
The six kingdoms then each were given the prime minister’s seal.

“‘After Great Govinda received the prime minister’s seals, the six kings went to their palaces to enjoy their leisure time, and the affairs of their kingdoms were entrusted to him.
He managed the affairs of the seven kingdoms, and there was nothing he couldn’t handle.

“‘There were at the time seven great householders in the kingdom to whom Govinda delegated his duties.
He also instructed 700 priests who chanted the scriptures.
The seven kings regarded Prime Minister Great Govinda with respect, just as they would a god.
The seven householders in each kingdom regarded him like a great king, and the 700 priests regarded him like Brahmā.

“‘The seven kings, seven great householders, and 700 priests all thought to themselves, “Prime Minister Great Govinda often meets with Brahmā, talking, sitting, and getting up with him as friends.”

“‘Great Govinda was silently aware, “The seven kings, seven householders, and [700] priests think that I often meet with Brahmā, talking, sitting, and getting up with him as friends, but I don’t really see Brahmā, nor do I speak with him.
I shouldn’t feed this with silence;
it would be dishonest to accept this praise.
Also, I’ve heard from past generations that when someone dwells in a secluded place during the four months of summer and cultivates the four immeasurables, Brahmā will come down and meet with him.”

“‘Govinda then went to each of the seven kings and said, “Great king, please attend to the kingdom’s affairs.
I’m going to cultivate the four immeasurables during the four months of summer.”

“‘The seven kings told him, “Do what you think is fitting.”

“‘Great Govinda in turn told the seven householders, “You will each need to work on your own.
I’m going to cultivate the four immeasurables during the four months of summer.”

“‘The householders said, “Yes, do what you think is fitting.”

“‘He also told the 700 priests, “All of you must endeavor in your recitations and instruct one another.
I’m going to cultivate the four immeasurables during the four months of summer.”

“‘The priests said, “Yes, great teacher, do what you think is fitting today.”

“‘Great Govinda then had a secluded abode built near his city and retired there to cultivate the four immeasurables during the four months of summer.
Afterward, Brahmā didn’t come down to him.
Govinda thought to himself, “I’ve heard ancient sayings from previous generations that when someone cultivates the four immeasurables during the four months of summer, Brahmā comes down and appears.
It’s tranquil now, but there’s not even a momentary blur of him to be seen.”

“‘Great Govinda emerged from his quiet abode on the 15th-day full moon to sit on open ground.
Only a moment after sitting, a bright light appeared.
Govinda thought to himself, “Now, this is a strange light!
Perhaps this is a sign that Brahmā is going to come down?”

“‘King Brahmā then appeared as a child with a five-pointed topknot, sitting in the air above Govinda.
Seeing him, Govinda then spoke in verse:

“‘What form of god is this,
Sitting in the air and
Illuminating the four directions
Like a blazing wood fire?’

“‘Brahmā Kumāra then replied with a verse:

“‘Only the gods of the Brahma world
Know me as Brahmā Kumāra.

Everyone else call me ‘Self’
And make sacrifices to the great spirit.’

“‘Great Govinda replied with a verse:

“‘Now, I have a request to make;

Please accept my salute and instruct me!

I offer a variety of delicacies;

Please, god, know my thought.’

“‘Brahmā Kumāra replied with a verse:

“‘What did you intend to get from
What you’ve been cultivating, Govinda?

You provide these offerings now;

I will accept them from you.’

“‘He also told Great Govinda, “If you have a question, feel free to ask it.
I will explain it for you.”

“‘Great Govinda thought to himself, “Now, shall I ask about present matters, or do I ask about future matters?”
Then he thought, “What use would there be to ask about matters of the present life?
I will ask about mysterious matters yet to come.”

“‘He then asked Brahmā Kumāra with a verse:

“‘Now, I ask Brahmā Kumāra
To resolve my doubts, so I will have none.

What abode and what teaching
Attains birth in the Brahma Heaven?’

“‘Brahmā Kumāra replied with a verse:

“‘Discard concepts of self and person,
Dwell alone and cultivate kindness,
Remove desires, and be unpolluted,
Then you’ll be born in the Brahma Heaven.’

“‘After hearing this verse, Great Govinda then thought to himself, “Brahmā Kumāra said in verse that it’s fitting to remove pollutants, but I don’t understand it.
Now, it would be best to ask another question.”

“‘Great Govinda then asked in verse:

“‘Brahmā’s verse mentions pollution.

Please explain this for me now:

Who opens the worldly door,
Falls to evil, and isn’t born in heaven?’

“‘Brahmā Kumāra then replied with a verse:

“‘Deceitful and harboring jealousy,
Habitually proud and arrogant,
Greedy, angry, and deluded,
They freely hide their thoughts.’

This world is polluted,
I’ve now explained it for you.

This is what opens the worldly door,
Falls to evil, and isn’t born in heaven.’

“‘After hearing this verse, Great Govinda again thought to himself, “The meaning of pollution that Brahmā Kumāra has explained for me can’t be removed by someone living at home.
Now, I’d better renounce the world, leave home, cut off my hair and beard, put on the Dharma clothes, and cultivate the path!”

“‘Brahmā Kumāra then knew his intent and told him in verse:

“‘You are someone with courage,
For this intent is supreme.

Wise people who do that
Are surely born in the Brahma Heaven.’

“‘At that moment, Brahmā Kumāra instantly disappeared.

“‘Great Govinda returned to the seven kings and told each of them, “Great king, please do me the favor of well managing the kingdom’s affairs.
Now, I plan to leave home, renounce the world, put on Dharma clothes, and cultivate the path.
Why is that?
I met with Brahmā Kumāra and listened to his explanation of pollution.
My heart dislikes it very much.
If I remain at home, there’ll be no way to be rid of it.’

“‘Those seven kings then each thought to themselves, “All the priests are greedy for treasure.
I’d better open wide the treasury and let him take what he needs so he won’t leave home like this.”
The seven kings then summoned Govinda and told him, “Supposing we had what you need, we would give whatever would be sufficient for you not to leave home.”

“‘Great Govinda immediately replied, “Now, whatever the king might award to me, I have great wealth of my own.
Today, I would leave behind the great king’s offer above.
Please permit me to leave home and pursue my aspiration.”

“‘The seven kings again thought, “All the priests are greedy for beautiful forms.
Now, I’d better bring attractive women from the palace that will do his bidding.
That will keep him from leaving home.”
The kings then summoned Govinda and told him, “If you need an attractive woman, I will give you all my women if that would be enough for you not to leave home.”

“‘Govinda replied, “The king might grant that to me, but I have a harem of many attractive women of my own.
I will be divorcing all of them to pursue seclusion from passion, leaving home, and cultivating the path.
Why is that?
I met Brahmā Kumāra and heard his explanation of pollution.
My heart dislikes it very much.
If I remain at home, there’ll be no way to be rid of it.”

“‘Great Govinda then went to King Reṇu and spoke this verse:

“‘The king must listen to what I say:

The king is the most honored of people,
Who bestows wealth and beautiful women,
But these valuables aren’t what makes happiness.’

“‘King Reṇu replied in verse:

“‘The cities Dantapura and Kaliṅga,
Aśmaka, Potana,
Avanti, Māhiṣmatī,
Aṅga, Campā,
Sauvira, Śālva,
Daradas, Roruka,
Bārāṇasī, and Kāśi
Were all built by you, Govinda.

What little of the five desires I have,
I will grant all of them to you.

Stay and manage the kingdom’s affairs,
Or leave home and go if it’s not enough.’

“‘Great Govinda replied with verse:

“‘The five desires are not little to me,
I’m just not happy with the world.

I’ve heard what that god said
And think no more of remaining at home.’

“‘King Reṇu replied with verse:

“‘So Great Govinda has said,
But what did he hear from that god
That he renounces the five desires.

Now, I ask for you to answer me.’

“‘Govinda the great answered in verse:

“‘Before, I was in a quiet place
And sat alone in contemplation.

It was then that King Brahmā came;

He shined with a great radiance.

After hearing what he said,
I’m not happy with the worldly life.’

“‘King Reṇu then told him in verse:

“‘Wait a while, Great Govinda,
Share your good teaching with me.

Afterward, we’ll both leave home,
And you’ll be my teacher.

Just as the sky
Is full of pure lapis lazuli,
Now am I of pure faith,
Full of the Buddha’s teaching.’

“‘Great Govinda composed another verse:

“‘The gods and worldly people
Should all renounce the five desires.

Removing the pollutants,
They purely cultivate the religious life.’

“‘The seven kings said to Great Govinda, “You could stay for a period of seven years.
Enjoy the best of the world’s five desires, and share in their enjoyment.
Afterward, we’ll renounce the kingdom.
We’ll each be your disciple, and we’ll leave home together.
Wouldn’t that also be good?
You would get what you want, and we’ll also get something equal.”

“‘Great Govinda replied to the seven kings, “The world is impermanent, and people’s lives end quickly.
Even the span of a cough or a sigh is hard to safeguard.
Wouldn’t seven years be far away?”

“‘The seven kings also said, “Seven years is far away.
Wait in the quiet of the palace for six years … five years … one year.
Enjoy the best of the world’s five desires, and share in their enjoyment.
Afterward, we’ll renounce the kingdom.
We’ll each be your disciple, and we’ll leave home together.
Wouldn’t that also be good?
You would get what you want, and we’ll also get something equal.”

“‘Great Govinda again replied to the kings, “The world is impermanent, and people’s lives end quickly.
Even the span of a cough or a sigh is hard to safeguard.
Wouldn’t seven years be far away.
Thus, seven months … one month would still not be possible.”

“‘The kings said, “You could wait hidden in the palace for up to seven days.
Enjoy the best of the world’s five desires, and share in their enjoyment.
Afterward, renounce the world.
We’ll each become your disciple, and we’ll leave home together.
Wouldn’t that also be good?
…”

“‘Great Govinda answered, “Seven days isn’t far away.
One could wait that long.
Please, great king, don’t break your promise.
After seven days, if the king doesn’t leave, I will leave home by myself.”

“‘Great Govinda then went to the seven householders and said, “Each of you must manage your own work.
I’m going to leave home to cultivate the unconditioned path.
Why is that?
I met Brahmā and heard his explanation of pollution.
My heart dislikes it very much.
If I remain at home, there’ll be no way to be rid of it.”

“‘The seven householders replied to Govinda, “This intent is good!
Do so when you think is right.
We were also going to leave home together.
Whatever you obtain will be fitting for us, too.”

“‘Great Govinda then went to the 700 priests and told them, “Be diligent in your recitations, inquire into the meaning of the path, and pass on the teachings.
I’m going to leave home to cultivate the unconditioned path.
Why is that?
I met Brahmā and heard his explanation of pollution.
My heart dislikes it very much.
If I remain at home, there’ll be no way to be rid of it.”

“‘The 700 priests said to Govinda, “Great teacher, don’t leave home!
A man who lives at home can be happy and enjoy the five desires.
With many people serving him, his mind has no sorrow or suffering.
People who leave home live alone in the wilderness without anything that they desire and no way to get when they love.”

“‘Govinda replied, “If I would be happy staying at home and would suffer upon leaving home, then I would never leave home.
But staying at home is suffering, and leaving home is happiness, so I will be leaving home.”

“‘The priests answered, “If the great teacher leaves home, we will leave home, too.
Whatever the great teacher does, we’ll all do that.”

“‘Great Govinda went to his wives and told them, “Do what you think is fitting.
If it’s to stay here, then stay.
If it’s to take refuge, then take refuge.
I’m going to leave home to pursue the unconditioned path.
Having discussed higher matters, the idea of leaving home became clear to me.”

“‘His wives answered, “Great Govinda, stay here.
In one way, you are like our husband, and in other way you are like our father.
If you leave home now, we’ll follow you.
Whatever Govinda does, we’ll do it, too.”

“‘After seven days had passed, Great Govinda cut off his hair and beard, put on the three Dharma robes, renounced his home, and departed.
The seven kings, seven great householders, 700 priests, and his forty wives did the same in their turn.
84,000 people left home at the same time and followed Great Govinda.

“‘Great Govinda toured the kingdoms with these great assemblies and widely educated people about the path, benefiting many.’

“King Brahmā then addressed the host of gods, ‘Was this Prime Minister Govinda a different person?
Don’t make this observation.
Today, the Buddha Śākyamuni is his body.
After seven days, the Bhagavān left home to cultivate the path, leading a great assembly to tour the kingdoms and broadly educate people about the path, benefiting many.
If you have any other doubts for me, the Bhagavān is presently staying on Mount Gṛdhrakūṭa.
You may go and ask him.
Remember well what words the Buddha says.’


Teaching the Ultimate Path
Pañcaśikha said, “It was for this reason that I came here.
Indeed, Bhagavān!
Was that Great Govinda the Bhagavān?
Did the Bhagavān leave home to cultivate the path after seven days accompanied by seven kings … 84,000 people who left home at the same time, and they toured the kingdoms broadly educating people about the path, benefiting many?”

The Buddha asked Pañcaśikha, “Was Great Govinda a different person at that time?
Don’t make this observation.
It was me then.
At the time that I lifted up a kingdom, men and women walked towards me.
Whenever they were injured, they immediately raised their voices, saying, ‘Hail, Great Govinda, the prime minister of the seven kings!
Hail, Great Govinda, the prime minister of the seven kings!’
They would say this three times.

“Pañcaśikha, Great Govinda possessed the power of great virtue, but he couldn’t teach the ultimate path for his disciples, couldn’t make them attain the ultimate religious life, and couldn’t make them reach the abode of peace.
He taught the Dharma, and his disciples accepted and practiced it until their bodies broke up and their lives ended.
They were born in the Brahma Heaven.
Next, those whose practice was shallow were born in the Paranirmitavaśavartin Heaven.
Next were those born in the Nirmāṇarati Heaven … Tuṣita Heaven … Yama Heaven … Trāyastriṃśa Heaven … with the Four God Kings … into great families of warriors … priests … householders who could enjoy their desires freely.

“Pañcaśikha, that Great Govinda’s disciples left home without doubts, and their rewards and teachings were still not the ultimate path.
He couldn’t make them attain the ultimate religious life or reach the abode of peace.
The best of them were born as high as the Brahma Heaven.

“In the present, I teach the Dharma for my disciples, and I’m able to make them attain the ultimate path, ultimate religious life, and ultimate peace.
They end up in Nirvāṇa.
Of those disciples to whom I teach the Dharma and who accept its practice, those who discard the contaminants and become uncontaminated are liberated at heart and liberated in wisdom.
In the present life, they themselves realize:
‘Birth and death have been ended, the religious life has been established, and the task has been accomplished.
I’m not subject to another existence.’

“Next are those whose practice is shallow and end the five lower bonds.
They Parinirvāṇa in the heavens and don’t return here again.
Next are those who end the three bonds and weaken lust, hate, and delusion.
They’re reborn in the world once and Parinirvāṇa.
Next are those who end the three bonds and attain stream entry.
They don’t fall to bad destinies and are reborn not more than seven times.
They are sure to attain Nirvāṇa.

“Pañcaśikha, my disciples leave home without doubts, and they possess the rewards and teachings of the ultimate path, ultimate religious life, and ultimate peace.
They end up at Nirvāṇa.”

When Pañcaśikha heard what the Buddha taught, he rejoiced and approved.

4 - DA 4 Janavṛṣabha

Thus I have heard:
One time, the Buddha traveled to Giñjaka’s Residence of Nādikā.
He was accompanied by a large assembly of 1,250 monks.

Ānanda’s Request
At the time, the Venerable Ānanda was sitting in a quiet room and thought to himself, “It’s amazing!
Extraordinary! The Tathāgata gives his assurances to people that are beneficial to many.
When that minister Kakkhaṭa’s life ended, the Tathāgata described it:
‘This person’s life has ended.
Having cut the five lower bonds, he was born up in the heavens and obtained complete cessation.
He won’t return to this world.’
Second was Kaḍaṅgara, third was Vikaṭa, fourth was Kātyarṣabha, fifth was Cāru, sixth was Upacāru, seventh was Bhadra, eighth was Subhadra, ninth was Triśaṅku, tenth was Sutriśaṅku, eleventh was Yaśas, and twelfth was Yaśottara.
When those ministers’ lives ended, the Buddha also described them:
‘Having ended the five lower bonds, he was born up in the heavens and obtained complete cessation.
He didn’t return [to this world].’

“Again, there were another fifty people whose lives ended.
The Buddha described them:
‘They ended the three bonds of lust, anger, and delusion and became once-returners.
They returned once to this world and then reached the end of suffering.’

“Again, there were 500 people whose lives ended.
The Buddha described them:
‘They ended the three bonds and became stream entrants.
They won’t fall to bad destinies and will reach the end of suffering in no more than seven rebirths.’

“There were disciples of the Buddha in many places whose lives ended.
The Buddha described them all as having had ‘a certain birth in a certain place, a certain birth in a certain place.’
The Buddha described it of those whose lives ended in the sixteen countries, namely Aṅga, Magadha, Kasi, Kośala, Vṛji, Malla, Cedi, Vatsa, Kuru, Pañcāla, Aśvaka, Avanti, Maccha, Sūrasena, Gandhāra, and Kāmboja.
When people from Magadha died who were from the royal family or friends of the king, the Buddha didn’t describe [their birth places].”

Ānanda then emerged from his quiet room and went to the Bhagavān.
He bowed his head at his feet, sat to one side, and said, “I was in a quiet room and thought to myself, ‘It’s amazing!
Extraordinary! The Tathāgata gives his assurances to people that are beneficial to many.
… The Buddha described it of those whose lives ended in the sixteen countries … When people from Magadha died who were from the royal family or friends of the king, the Buddha didn’t describe [their birth places].

“Please describe them, Bhagavān!
Please describe them, Bhagavān!
It would be beneficial to all;
gods and humans would be put at ease.

“Moreover, the Buddha attained his awakening in Magadha, yet it’s only people there whose lives have ended that he hasn’t provided an account [of their rebirth].
Please describe them, Bhagavān!
Please describe them, Bhagavān!

“Moreover, King Bimbisāra of Magadha was a layman, a devotee of the Buddha who provided much support.
Since his life ended, many people are confident and support the three treasures because of the king, yet now the Tathāgata hasn’t provided a description [of his rebirth].
Please describe it, Bhagavān!
It would be beneficial to sentient beings, and gods and humans would be put at ease.”

After he had requested this of the Bhagavān on behalf of the people of Magadha, Ānanda rose from his seat, bowed to the Buddha, and departed.

The Buddha Encounters the Yakṣa Janavṛṣabha
The Bhagavān then put on his robes and took his bowl and went to Nādikā.
After soliciting alms, he went to a place in the Great Forest and sat under a tree.
There, he contemplated the birthplaces of people from Magadha whose lives had ended.
It was then that there was a yakṣa spirit not far away from the Buddha that announced its name, saying to the Bhagavān, “I am Janavṛṣabha!
I am Janavṛṣabha!”

The Buddha said, “What’s the reason you are announcing your name to be Janavṛṣabha?
What’s your reason for using this wondrous word that claims you see the steps of the path?”

Janavṛṣabha said, “I’m not from some other place.
I was once a human king, a layman in the Tathāgata’s teaching.
I whole-heartedly recollected the Buddha when my life ended, and I was born a prince of the god king Vaiśravaṇa as a result.
From then until now, I’ve always clearly known the teachings, attained stream entry, and haven’t fallen to a bad destiny.
For seven births, my name has always been Janavṛṣabha.”

Janavṛṣabha’s Story
After staying for as long as was fitting in the Great Forest, the Bhagavān then returned to Giñjaka’s Residence of Nādikā.
There, he prepared a seat, sat down, and addressed a monk, “Go tell Ānanda for me that I’ve summoned him.”

He replied, “Very well.”
He accepted the Buddha’s instruction and summoned Ānanda.

Ānanda quickly came to the Bhagavān.
He bowed his head at his feet, stood to one side, and said, “I see that the Bhagavān is looking better than usual.
His faculties are peaceful and settled.
What has he been contemplating for his appearance to be like this?”

The Bhagavān told Ānanda, “Shortly after you had come to me and requested a description of [the destinies] of people from Magadha, I put on my robe and took my bowl to Nādikā to solicit alms.
When I was done soliciting alms, I went to the Great Forest and sat under a tree to contemplate the birthplaces of people from Magadha whose lives have ended.
Not far from me, there was a yakṣa spirit that announced its name, saying to me, ‘I am Janavṛṣabha!
I am Janavṛṣabha!”
Ānanda, have you heard the name Janavṛṣabha before?”

Ānanda said to the Buddha, “I’ve never heard it before.
Now that I hear that name, it frightens me;
my hair is standing on end.
Bhagavān, this yakṣa spirit must have great majesty for it to be named Janavṛṣabha!”

The Buddha said, “I first asked it, ‘What’s the reason you’ve used this wondrous word that claims you see the steps of the path?’

“Janavṛṣabha said, ‘I’m not from somewhere else where there was some other teaching.
I was once a human king who was a disciple of the Bhagavān, a devoted layman.
I had whole-heartedly recollected the Buddha when my life ended, and afterward I became a son of god king Vaiśravaṇa.
I attained stream entry and didn’t fall to a bad destiny.
In no more than seven rebirths, I’ll reach the end of suffering, and I’ll always be named Janavṛṣabha during those seven births.

“‘Once, the Buddha was in the Great Forest sitting under a tree, and I was riding a heavenly thousand-spoked treasure chariot for some minor reason.
I was about to return to the god king Vaiśravaṇa when I spotted the Bhagavān under a tree in the distance.
He looked handsome, and his faculties were peaceful and settled like a deep pond that’s clear, tranquil, clean, and reflective.
Seeing him, I thought, ‘Now, I better go ask the Bhagavān about where the people of Magadha have been born after their lives ended.’

“‘There was another time when King Vaiśravaṇa spoke this verse to his assembly:

“‘We don’t remember ourselves
The things we’ve done in the past.

Now, go meet the Bhagavān,
And your lives will be lengthened.’

The Council of Gods
“‘Moreover, once the Trāyastriṃśa gods were gathered in one place for some minor reason.
The four god kings were each seated in their places.
Dhṛtarāṣṭra sat to the east and faced west with Lord Śakra in front of him.
Virūḍhaka sat to the south and faced north with Lord Śakra in front of him.
Virūpākṣa sat to the west and faced east with Lord Śakra in front of him.
Vaiśravaṇa sat to the north and faced south with Lord Śakra in front of him.
The four god kings had already been seated, and afterward I was seated.

“Again, there were other great spirits and gods who had purely cultivated the religious life with the Buddha and had been born in the Trāyastriṃśa Heaven when their lives ended.
The gods increased, and they received the five heavenly merits:
1. The lifespan of gods, 2. the form of gods, 3. the names of gods, 4. the pleasure of gods, and 5. the majesty of gods.

“The Trāyastriṃśa gods celebrated and rejoiced, saying, ‘The host of gods increases, and the host of asuras decreases!’
Śakra the Lord of Gods knew the Trāyastriṃśa gods were rejoicing, so he spoke in verse:

“‘The gods of the Trāyastriṃśa
And Lord Śakra are celebrating!

Homage to the Tathāgata,
For his is the highest teaching!

The gods get their shape and their merits:

Life, form, name, pleasure, and majesty.

They trained in the Buddha’s religious life,
So they’ve been reborn here with us.

Again, there are all these gods
With radiant forms so glorious;

That the Buddha’s wise disciples
Are born here is still more excellent.

The Trāyastriṃśa gods and their lord
Contemplate their own pleasure here.

Homage to the Tathāgata,
For his teaching is the highest!”


“The spirit Janavṛṣabha also said, ‘The Trāyastriṃśa gods had gathered in the Dharma Hall to discuss and contemplate together, making observations and determining what instructions to issue.
Afterward, they gave the four god kings their orders.
Accepting their instructions, the four god kings didn’t remain long in each of their positions.
The light that shined in the four directions changed, and when the Trāyastriṃśa gods saw it change, they were shocked.
“How strange that the light has changed!”
The other great spirits and gods that were majestic were also surprised:
“How strange that the light has changed!”

Great Brahmā Kumāra
“‘Great Brahmā then appeared in the form of a child.
His head had a five-pointed topknot, and he stood in the air above the assembly of gods.
His handsomeness was far beyond that of the assembly.
His body was purple gold in color, and his radiance outshined that of the gods.

“‘The Trāyastriṃśa gods didn’t get up or look, nor did they pay their respects.
They didn’t ask him to sit, either.
Brahmā Kumāra then went and took his seat.
[The god at that] seat was delighted like a warrior of a water-anointed lineage celebrating and rejoicing when he ascends to the throne.
Soon after he sat, Brahmā transformed into the shape of a child whose head was crowned with a five-pointed topknot sitting in the sky above that great assembly.
He was like a hero sitting on his secure throne, lofty and unmoving.

“‘Then he spoke in verse:

“‘The disciplined and unsurpassed sage
Instructs the world on birth here in radiance.

The Great Light declares the radiant teaching;

The religious life is an unequalled companion.

It purifies the sentient beings
Born in the pure and wondrous heavens!’

“‘After he spoke this verse, Brahmā Kumāra addressed the Trāyastriṃśa gods, “When someone’s voice is pure in five ways, it comes to be called Brahmā’s voice.
What are the five?
1. Their voice is genuine, 2. their voice is gentle, 3. their voice is clear, 4. their voice is sonorous, and 5. it’s heard all around and far away.
A voice that has these five qualities is called Brahmā’s voice.

“‘“Now, I will speak further.
All of you, listen well!
The Tathāgata’s disciples and laymen of Magadha who’ve become non-returners, once-returners, or stream-entrants when their lives ended have been born in the Paranirmitavaśavartin Heaven, Nirmāṇarati Heaven, Tuṣita Heaven, Yama Heaven, Trāyastriṃśa Heaven, and Heaven of the Four God Kings.
They’ve been born to great clans of warriors, priests, and householders to whom the five desires come naturally.”

“‘Brahmā Kumāra then spoke in verse:

“‘“Of those laymen of Magadha
Whose lives have ended,
Eighty-four thousand people,
I’ve heard, have attained the path.

They achieved stream entry,
Fell no more to bad destinies;

They rode on the even, straight road
And attained the path’s salvation.

All these crowds of people
Were sustained by virtue:

Wise, detached from affection,
Conscientious, and without deception.”

In that assembly of gods,
Brahmā Kumāra described them,
Saying they attained stream entry,
And all the gods rejoiced.

“‘Upon hearing these verses, King Vaiśravaṇa rejoiced and said, “The Bhagavān has appeared in the world and teaches the true Dharma.
It’s amazing, extraordinary, and unprecedented!
I didn’t know a Tathāgata arose in the world and taught such a Dharma in the past, and there will again be a Buddha in the future who teaches such a Dharma that will cause the Trāyastriṃśa gods to rejoice at heart.”

“‘Brahmā Kumāra told King Vaiśravaṇa, “Why do you say, ‘The Tathāgata appeared in the world and teaches such a Dharma.
It’s amazing, extraordinary, and unprecedented!’
?
The Tathāgata teaches what’s good and not good with the power of skillful means.
The fully expressed Dharma doesn’t attain anything, but the empty and pure Dharma does attain something.
This Dharma is sublime like ghee.”

The Abodes of Mindfulness
“‘Brahmā Kumāra then told the Trāyastriṃśa gods, “All of you, listen closely, and consider it well!
I will speak further for you.
The Tathāgata, the Arhat, skillfully discerns and teaches the four abodes of mindfulness.
What are the four?
1. Observe the body internally with diligence and not lazily, with focused attention that’s not lost, and by removing worldly greed and sorrow.
Observe the body externally with diligence and not lazily, with focused attention that’s not lost, and by removing worldly greed and sorrow.
[2-4.] Observe feelings, mind, and teachings in the same way with diligence and not lazily, with focused attention that’s not lost, and by removing worldly greed and sorrow.

“‘“After observing the body internally, the knowledge of other bodies arises.
After observing feelings internally, the knowledge of other feelings arises.
After observing the mind internally, knowledge of other minds arises.
After observing the teachings internally, the knowledge of other teachings arises.
This is how the Tathāgata skillfully discerns and teaches the four abodes of mindfulness.

The Seven Requisites of Samādhi
“‘“Furthermore, gods:
All of you, listen well!
I will speak further for you.
The Tathāgata skillfully discerns and teaches seven requisites for samādhi.
What are the seven?
Right view, right intent, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right method, and right mindfulness.
These are the seven requisites of samādhi that the Tathāgata skillfully discerns and teaches.

The Four Bases of Miraculous Power
“‘“Furthermore, gods, the Tathāgata skillfully discerns and teaches four bases of miraculous power.
What are the four?
1. The miraculous basis developed by accomplishing the samādhi of desire and cessation.
2. The miraculous basis developed by accomplishing the samādhi of effort and cessation.
3. The miraculous basis developed by accomplishing the samādhi of mind and cessation.
4. The miraculous basis developed by accomplishing the samādhi of contemplation and cessation.”

“‘He also told the gods, “Ascetics and priests in the past used countless methods and displayed measureless miraculous abilities that arose from these four bases of miraculous power.
Even future ascetics and priests will use countless methods and display measureless miraculous abilities that will also arise from these four bases of miraculous power.
They’re like ascetics and priests of the present who use countless methods and display measureless spiritual abilities that also arise from these four bases of miraculous power.”

“‘Brahmā Kumāra then transformed his shape into thirty-three bodies, which sat with each of the Trāyastriṃśa gods, and each said, “Now, do you see my powers of transformation?”

“‘The gods answered, “Yes, we see them.”

“‘Brahmā Kumāra said, “I’m capable of such countless transformations because I’ve cultivated these four bases of miraculous power, too.”

“‘The Trāyastriṃśa gods each thought, “Now, Brahmā Kumāra is only sitting with and saying this to me, yet as this single conjured body of Brahmā Kumāra speaks, the other conjured bodies speak, too.
When this one body is silent, the other conjured bodies are also silent.”

The Three Pathways
“‘That Brahmā Kumāra withdrew his miraculous ability and moved to where Lord Śakra was sitting.
He told the Trāyastriṃśa gods, “Now, I will speak.
All of you, listen well!
The Tathāgata, the Arhat, opens three pathways with his own power, which brought about his own right awakening.

“‘“What are the three?
Sometimes, there are sentient beings that are friends of greed and perform unskillful practices.
Later, those people are close to good friends, hear the words of the teachings, and accomplish each teaching.
Thereupon, they part with desire for those unskillful practices and abandon them.
They attain a joyous heart, peacefulness, and happiness.
In that happiness, they again feel great joy.

“‘“They are like someone who abandons crude food for food with a hundred flavors.
They’re satisfied after eating it, but they again seek something greater.
The practitioner is like this who parts with unskillful teachings.
They attain a joyous heart and happiness.
In that happiness, they again feel great joy.
This is the first pathway opened by the Tathāgata with his own power, which achieved the supreme and correct awakening.

“‘“There are also sentient beings with much anger.
They don’t abandon evil deeds of body, mouth, and mind.
Later, those people meet good friends, hear the words of the teachings, and accomplish each teaching.
They part with evil physical actions and evil verbal and mental actions.
They attain a joyous heart, peacefulness, and happiness.
In that happiness, they again feel great joy.

“‘“They are like someone who abandons crude food for food with a hundred flavors.
They’re satisfied after eating it, but they again seek something greater.
The practitioner is like this who parts with unskillful teachings.
They attain a joyous heart and happiness.
In that happiness, they again feel great joy.
This is the second pathway opened by the Tathāgata.

“‘“There are also sentient beings that are foolish, benighted, and uneducated.
They don’t recognize good and evil and aren’t able to truly know suffering, its formation, its cessation, and the path.
Later, those people meet good friends, hear the words of the teachings, and accomplish each teaching.
They recognize what’s good and not good, can truly know suffering, its formation, its cessation, and the path, and they abandon unskillful practices.
They attain a joyous heart, peacefulness, and happiness.
In that happiness, they again feel great joy.

“‘“They are like someone who abandons crude food for food with a hundred flavors.
They’re satisfied after eating it, but they again seek something greater.
The practitioner is like this who parts with unskillful teachings.
They attain a joyous heart and happiness.
In that happiness, they again feel great joy.
This is the third pathway opened by the Tathāgata.”
’”

Brahmā Kumāra then went up to the Trāyastriṃśa Heaven to teach this correct Dharma.
The god king Vaiśravaṇa and his followers also taught this correct Dharma.
The spirit Janavṛṣabha also taught this correct Dharma before the Buddha.
The Bhagavān also taught this correct Dharma for Ānanda.
Ānanda also taught this correct Dharma for the monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen.

When Ānanda heard what the Buddha taught, he rejoiced and approved.

5 - DA 5 The Smaller Teaching on Origination

Thus I have heard:
One time, the Buddha was staying at Mṛgāramātu Meeting Hall in the Believer’s Park of Śrāvastī.
He was accompanied by a large assembly of 1,250 monks.

Vāsiṣṭha and Bhāradvāja
It was then that there was a pair of priests who had gone to visit the Buddha with firm faith and left home for the path.
One was named Vāsiṣṭha, and the other was named Bhāradvāja.

The Buddha had emerged from his quiet abode and was walking back and forth up in the meeting hall, and Vāsiṣṭha saw him while out walking.
He quickly went to Bhāradvāja and said to him, “Did you know?
The Tathāgata has emerged from his quiet abode, and he’s walking about up in the meeting hall!
We could go together and pay the Bhagavān a visit.
Perhaps we could hear a teaching from the Tathāgata!”
When he heard this, Bhāradvāja went with Vāsiṣṭha to visit the Buddha.
They bowed their heads at his feet and then walked alongside the Buddha.

The Bhagavān then asked Vāsiṣṭha , “Didn’t the two of you abandon the priest caste and leave home to cultivate the path with firm faith in my teaching?”

He replied, “So it is!”

The Buddha asked, “Priest, now that you’ve left home to cultivate the path in my teaching, have the other priests not reproached you for doing so?”

He replied, “Indeed!
We left home to cultivate the path on account of our great love of the Buddha, but it’s true we’ve been reproached by the other priests who see us.”

The Buddha asked, “In what ways have they reproached you?”

He quickly replied, “They say, ‘Our caste of priests is the best;
the others are inferior.
Our caste is pure white;
the others are dark.
Our caste of priests came out of Brahmā’s own mouth.
Being born from Brahmā’s mouth, we can purify our understanding in the present, and it’ll also be pure in later [lives].
Why have you abandoned the pure caste and entered that other teaching of Gautama’s?’
Bhagavān, when they see that we’ve left home to cultivate the path in the Buddha’s teaching, they reproach us with these words.”

The Arrogance of the Priests
The Buddha told Vāsiṣṭha, “Observe these people who are ignorant and without awareness like animals.
They falsely claim of themselves, ‘The caste of priests is the best;
the others are inferior.
Our caste is pure white;
the others are dark.
Our caste of priests came out of Brahmā’s own mouth.
Being born from Brahmā’s mouth, we can be purified in the present and will be pure in later [lives], too.’

“Vāsiṣṭha, this unsurpassed and true path of mine doesn’t require a caste, nor does it rely on a feeling of self-conceitedness.
Worldly teachings require these things, but my teaching doesn’t.
If there’s an ascetic or priest who relies on his own caste and feels conceited about it, then they’ll never achieve the unsurpassed realization that’s in my teaching.
If they can abandon their caste and eliminate feelings of conceitedness, then they can achieve the realization of the path, being capable of accepting the correct teaching.
People dislike those below them, but my teaching isn’t like that.”

The Buddha told Vāsiṣṭha, “There are four castes that have good and bad people who are praised and criticized by the wise.
What are the four?
1. The warrior caste, 2. priest caste, 3. householder caste, and 4. worker caste.

“Vāsiṣṭha, if you pay attention to those in the warrior caste, some kill beings, some steal, some are lustful, some are deceptive, some are duplicitous, some speak harshly, some speak frivolously, some are greedy, some are jealous, and some have wrong views.
The priest caste, householder caste, and worker caste are also like this.
They practice mixtures of the ten bad deeds.

“Vāsiṣṭha, actions that aren’t good have rewards that aren’t good, and actions that are dark have dark results.
Suppose these results were only present in the warrior, householder, and worker castes and not present in the priest caste.
The priests then could say of themselves, ‘Our priest caste is the best;
the others are inferior.
Our caste is pure white;
the others are dark.
Our caste of priests came out of Brahmā’s own mouth.
Being born from Brahmā’s mouth, we can be purified in the present and will be pure in later [lives], too.’
If actions that aren’t good and have results that aren’t good and actions that are dark and have dark results are surely present in the priest caste and the warrior, householder, and worker castes, then the priests cannot be the only ones to declare:
‘Our caste is pure and the best!’

“Vāsiṣṭha, if there are some among the warrior caste who don’t kill and some who don’t steal, aren’t lustful, don’t speak falsely, aren’t duplicitous, don’t speak harshly, don’t speak frivolously, aren’t greedy, aren’t jealous, and don’t have wrong views, then it’s likewise for the priest caste and the householder and worker castes.
They equally cultivate the ten good actions.

“Actions that are good surely have good results.
Actions that are pure white surely have pure white results.
If these results were only present among priests and not among warriors, householders, and workers, then the priest caste could say of themselves, ‘Our caste is pure and the best!’
If the four castes equally have these results, then the priests cannot be the only ones to declare, ‘Our caste is pure and the best!’

The Buddha told Vāsiṣṭha, “Today, it’s obvious that those in the priest caste marry, are born from wombs like the rest of the world, and fraudulently declare, ‘We are the caste of Brahmā.
Being born from Brahmā’s mouth, we can be purified in the present and will be pure in later [lives], too.’

The Buddha’s Teaching Is Egalitarian
“Now, Vāsiṣṭha, you should know that my disciples are not all from the same caste but came from different castes before they left home to cultivate the path.
Suppose someone asked them, ‘To which caste do you belong?’
They would answer, ‘I am an ascetic son of the Śākya clan.’
They also can declare of themselves, ‘I am from the priest caste.
My kin were born from [Brahmā’s] mouth and spontaneously born from Dharma.
I can be purified in the present and will be pure in later [lives], too.’

“Why is that?
The name Mahā-Brahmā is an epithet of the Tathāgata.
The Tathāgata is eyes for worldly beings, wisdom for worldly beings, the teaching for worldly beings, Brahmā for worldly beings, the Dharma wheel for worldly beings, the nectar of immortality for worldly beings, and the Dharma lord for worldly beings.

“Vāsiṣṭha, suppose some among the warrior caste are devoted to the Buddha, the Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One, who has perfected the ten epithets.
Suppose they are devoted to the Dharma, believe the Tathāgata’s teaching that’s sublime and pure, that can be cultivated in the present, and that’s taught without occasion to make plain the goal of Nirvāṇa.
It’s known by the wise, but ordinary fools aren’t capable of being taught it.

“Suppose they are devoted to the Saṅgha whose nature is good and honest, who accomplish the fruits of the path, being accomplished followers, and accomplish the teachings of the Buddha and his true disciples.
That is, it’s an assembly that accomplishes its precepts and accomplishes its samādhi, wisdom, liberation, and knowledge and vision of liberation.

“Those headed for stream-entry, and those who attain stream-entry;
those headed for once-returning, and those who attain once-returning;
those headed for non-returning, and those who attain non-returning;
and those headed for becoming arhats, and those who become arhats:
These four pairs and eight ranks are the Tathāgata’s assembly of disciples.
They’re respectable and honorable fields of merit for the world that should get people’s offerings.
They’re devoted to the precepts and perfect the noble precepts without any defect or contamination.
Being without defect and immaculate, they are commended by the wise for perfecting what’s good and peaceful.

“Vāsiṣṭha, the priest, householder, and worker castes should thus devote themselves to the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Saṅgha and accomplish the noble precepts.

“Vāsiṣṭha, there are also some among the warrior caste who make offerings to the arhats, and they honor and venerate them.
The priests, householders, and workers should make offerings to the arhats and honor and venerate them, too.

The Buddha told Vāsiṣṭha, “My kin from the Śākya clan also serve King Prasenajit and honor tradition.
King Prasenajit also comes to give offerings and honors to me, but he doesn’t think, ‘The ascetic Gautama left his clan, and my clan is inferior.
The ascetic Gautama left a family of great wealth and majesty, and I was born to a poor and unimpressive family.
Therefore, I will give offerings and honors to the Tathāgata.’
King Prasenajit examined the principles of the teaching with a clear awareness of what’s genuine and fake.
As a result, he became a believer who respects the Tathāgata.

The Origin of Human Society
“Vāsiṣṭha, now I will explain the dependent origination of the four castes for you.

“When the eons from the beginning to the end of heaven and earth came to an end, the lives of sentient beings ended, and they were born in the Ābhāsvara Heaven.
They were born there spontaneously.
Thought served as their food, they were naturally radiant, and they had the miraculous ability of flying in the air.

“After that, the Earth was destroyed, changing into water which became ubiquitous.
At that point, there was no longer a sun, moon, or stars.
There were no days, nights, months, or years, only a great darkness.

“After that, the water formed into an Earth.
The merits of the Ābhāsvara gods came to an end, and they were born here when their lives ended.
Although they were born here, thought still served as their food, they had the miraculous ability to fly, and their bodies were naturally radiant.
After a long time, they called each other ‘sentient being, sentient being.’

“After that, a sweet spring welled up from the Earth, which was like yoghurt or honey in form.
Those gods who first arrived had shallow dispositions.
When they saw this spring, they thought to themselves, ‘What substance is this?
I’ll give it a taste.’
They dipped a finger into the spring and tasted it.
They did this three times until they realized that it was delicious.
They indulgently consumed it in this way, and thus became attached to enjoying it without tire.

“The other sentient beings emulated them by consuming it three times in this way, and they also realized it was delicious.
They didn’t stop consuming it, and their bodies became crude with skin, flesh, and hard parts.
They lost their sublime heavenly forms and no longer had miraculous abilities.
They walked on the ground, the radiance of their bodies gradually disappeared, and then heaven and the earth fell into total darkness.

“Vāsiṣṭha, you should know that heaven and earth was always dark after that, and a sun, moon, and stars appeared in the sky, as a rule.
Afterward, the regions [of the Earth] had day and night, gloom and brightness, and the days, months, and years could be counted.

“At that point, sentient beings only ate the Earth’s juice, and this continued in the world for a long time.
Those that ate a great deal of it became crude and ugly in appearance.
Those that ate a little of it were still delightful in appearance.
That was when attractiveness, ugliness, and handsomeness first came to be.
Those who were handsome became arrogant and slighted those who were ugly.
Those who were ugly became spiteful and hated those who were handsome.
Sentient beings became angry and fought with each other.
At that point, the sweet spring naturally dried up.

“After that, the Earth naturally grew earth fat, which was complete in appearance and flavor, fragrant, and edible.
Sentient beings also took this and ate it, and it continued in the world for a long time.
Those who ate a great deal of it had a crude and ugly appearance, and those who ate a little of it still had a delightful appearance.
Those who were handsome became arrogant and slighted those who were ugly.
Those who were ugly became spiteful and hated those who were handsome.
Sentient beings then fought with each other.
At that point, the earth fat didn’t grow anymore.

“After that, the Earth again grew a crude form of earth fat, which was also fragrant, delicious, and edible, but not as much as before.
The sentient beings again took and ate it, and it continued in the world for a long time.
Those who ate a great deal of it had a crude and ugly appearance, and those who ate a little of it still had a delightful appearance.
The handsome and the ugly beings disagreed with each other, which caused them to fight.
At that point, the earth fat didn’t grow anymore.

“After that, the Earth grew naturally polished rice that lacked any chaff.
It was perfect in appearance and flavor, fragrant, and edible.
Sentient beings again took and ate it, and it continued in the world for a long time.
Thereupon, male and female beings appeared who were mutually attracted to each other, and slowly their affection developed into intimacy.
The other sentient beings saw this and said, ‘You are wrongdoers!
You are wrongdoers!’
They then chased and drove those people away, but they returned after three months.”

The Buddha told Vāsiṣṭha, “Those wrongdoers in the past are like those today.
At the time, those sentient beings learned wrong customs, and felt strongly about doing what they wanted without any moderation.
They built homes because they were ashamed of it.
This was when homes first appeared in the world.
They learned wrong customs that increased lust, and then the womb appeared, which was the cause of impure birth.
This was when wombs first appeared in the world.

“Those sentient beings then ate the naturally polished rice, and it grew where they took it without any end.
The sentient beings who were lazy thought to themselves, ‘I work hard eating in the morning what I take in the morning and eating in the evening what I take in the evening.
Now, I’ll take enough to last a whole day.’

“They then would combine what they took [for the day].
Afterward, when a friend called them to go collect rice together, they replied, ‘I’ve already combined my takings to make provisions for the day.
If you want to take some, you can do as you like.’

“The friend again thought, ‘This person is smart!
They were the first to stock up on [rice].
Now, I’ll store up food, too, making provisions for three days!’

“That person then stored three days’ worth of food.
Other sentient beings again came and asked, ‘Can we go collect rice together?’

“They replied, ‘I’ve already stored three days’ worth of food.
You can go and collect some yourself if you want.’

“Those other people again thought, ‘This person is smart!
They were the first to store up food to make provisions for three days.
I’ll emulate them by storing food to make provisions for five days.’
They then went to collect [that much food].

“After those sentient beings emulated each other storing up food, the polished rice became wild and began to grow with chaff, and it stopped growing after it was harvested.

“When those sentient beings saw this, they weren’t pleased.
They became dejected, and they each thought, ‘When I was first born, thought served as my food, I had the miraculous ability to fly, and my body was naturally radiant.
That continued for a long time in the world.

“‘After that, a sweet spring welled up from the Earth that was like yoghurt or honey in form.
It was fragrant, delicious, and edible, and then we consumed it together.
We continued consuming it for a long time.
Those who ate a great deal of it became crude and ugly in appearance.
Those who ate a little of it were still delightful in appearance.
Because of this food, our appearances became different.
Sentient beings harbored disagreements about this, disliking and feeling jealous of each other.
At that point, the sweet spring naturally dried up.

“‘After that, the Earth naturally grew earth fat, which was complete in appearance and flavor, fragrant, and edible.
Again, we took this and ate it.
Those who ate a great deal of it had a crude and ugly appearance, and those who ate a little of it still had a delightful appearance.
Sentient beings each harbored disagreements about this, disliking and feeling jealous of each other.
At that point, the earth fat didn’t grow anymore.

“‘After that, a crude form of earth fat grew, which was also fragrant, delicious, and edible.
We again took and ate it.
Those who ate a great deal of it had a crude and ugly appearance, and those who ate a little of it had a delightful appearance.
Again, disagreements arose, and we felt dislike and jealousy for each other.
At that point, the earth fat didn’t grow anymore.

“‘Then, there was naturally polished rice grew that didn’t have any chaff.
We again took and ate it, and it continued in the world for a long time.
Those who were lazy emulated each other in storing it up.
As a result, the polished rice became wild and began to grow with chaff, and it stopped growing after it was harvested.
Now what will happen?’

“They also said to each other, ‘Let’s divide the land and establish different flags.’
Straightaway, they divided the land and established different flags.

“Vāsiṣṭha, the name ‘farmland’ first came to be as a result of these circumstances.
At the time, the sentient beings were allotted separate farmland, and they each established their boundaries.

The Origin of the Four Castes
“Eventually, the notion of stealing arose to rob another of their crop.
When the other sentient being saw this, they said, ‘You are a wrongdoer!
You are a wrongdoer!
You have your own farmland, but you took another’s property.
Don’t ever do that again!’

“Still, the sentient being didn’t stop stealing.
The other sentient being again rebuked them seriously, but they still didn’t stop.
The other sentient being then struck them with their hand and said, ‘This person has their own land and crops, but they stole another’s property.’

“The [thief] also said, ‘This person struck me!’

“The people who saw these two people fighting were saddened and displeased.
Aggrieved, they said, ‘Sentient beings have become evil, and the world as it has come to exist is not good.
It creates defilement, evil, and impurity.
This is the origin of birth, old age, illness, and death.
The affliction and pain results in falling to the three bad destinies.
As a result of there being farmland, this fighting has come to pass.
Now, we would rather designate one man as chief to govern properly, safeguard what should be safeguarded, and censure what should be censured.
Let everyone share a portion of rice to provide for this and manage to this fighting.’

“A man was then selected from that assembly who was physically large and appeared handsome.
Being someone with authority, he said to them, ‘Now, you have made me the chief of the peace to safeguard what should be safeguarded, censure what should be censured, and banish what should be banished.
We’ll collect rice together to provide for each other.’

“That man then listened to what people had to say, they provided for this chief to judge disputes, and they collected rice to provide for each other.

“That man again offered skillful words to console the people.
When the people heard him, they rejoiced and together praised him:
‘Good, great king!
Good, great king!’
This was when the title ‘king’ appeared in the world.
In order to govern the populace with the correct teaching, he was called a warrior.
This was when that the name ‘warrior’ first arose in the world.

“There then was a solitary man among the people who had this thought:
‘A family is such trouble.
A family is a poison thorn.
Now, I’d rather renounce this family life and live alone in the mountains and forests.
In the quiet tranquility there, I’ll cultivate the path.’
So, he renounced the family life and went to the mountains and forests where he quietly contemplated.
A time came when he took a bowl into a town to ask for food.

“When people saw him, they were happy to give him their support.
They praised him joyfully:
‘Excellent!
This person renounced family life and dwells alone in the mountains and forests where he quietly cultivates the path and abandons the myriad evils.’
This was the first time the title ‘priest’ arose in the world.

“Among those priests, there was one who wasn’t happy quietly sitting in meditation and contemplating, so he went among the people and chanted [scripture] as his profession.
He also declared of himself, ‘I am not a meditator!’
This was when worldly people claimed to be non-meditating priests.
As a result of being among people, they were called priests among people.
This was when the worldly priest caste came to be.

“Among those sentient beings, there were people skilled at conducting business from a home and accumulated many treasures.
As a result, these many people were called ‘householders.’
Among those sentient beings, some possessed many skills and could make many things.
This was when the name ‘artisan’ first appeared in the world.

The Fifth Caste of Ascetics
“Vāsiṣṭha, the world today has the names of these four castes.
The name of the fifth community is ‘ascetic.’
Why is that?
Vāsiṣṭha, at some point there was a person in the warrior assembly who was disillusioned with his own teaching.
He shaved his hair and beard and put on Dharma robes.
This was when the name ‘ascetic’ first appeared.
At some point, people from in the priest caste, householder caste, and worker caste had was disillusioned with their own teaching.
They shaved their hair and beard and put on the Dharma robe.
They were called ‘ascetics.’

“Vāsiṣṭha, there are those in the warrior caste whose physical conduct is unskillful, verbal conduct is unskillful, and mental conduct is unskillful.
When their bodies break up and their lives end, they’re surely subject to painful results.
There are those in the priest caste, householder caste, and worker caste whose physical conduct is unskillful, verbal conduct is unskillful, and mental conduct is unskillful.
When their bodies break up and their lives end, they’ll surely be subject to painful results.

“Vāsiṣṭha, there are those in the warrior caste whose physical conduct is skillful, verbal conduct is skillful, and mental conduct is skillful.
When their bodies break up and their lives end, they’ll surely be subject to pleasant results.
There are those in the priest caste, householder caste, and worker caste whose physical conduct is skillful, verbal conduct is skillful, and mental conduct is skillful.
When their bodies break up and their lives end, they’ll surely be subject to pleasant results.

“Vāsiṣṭha, there are those in the warrior caste whose physical conduct is of both kinds and whose verbal and mental conduct is of both kinds.
When their bodies break up and their lives end, they’ll be subject to painful and pleasant results.
There are those in priest caste, householder caste, and worker caste whose physical conduct is of both kinds and whose verbal and mental conduct of is both kinds.
When their bodies break up and their lives end, they’ll be subject to painful and pleasant results.

“Vāsiṣṭha, there are those in the warrior caste who some shave their hair and beard, wear the Dharma clothes, and cultivate the path.
They cultivate the seven factors of awakening and soon achieve the path.
Why is that?
The sons of those clans leave home wearing Dharma clothes and cultivate the unsurpassed religious practice.
In the present life, they realize for themselves, ‘Birth and death has been ended, the religious practice has been established, and the task has been accomplished.
I’m no longer subject to existence.’
There are those in the priest, householder, and worker castes who shave their hair and beard, wear the Dharma clothes, and cultivate the path.
They cultivate the seven factors of awakening and soon achieve the path.
Why is that?
The sons of those clans leave home wearing Dharma clothes and cultivate the unsurpassed religious practice.
In the present life, they realize for themselves, ‘Birth and death has been ended, the religious practice has been established, and the task has been accomplished.
I’m no longer subject to existence.’

“Vāsiṣṭha, there are those in these four castes who produce the accomplished wisdom and conduct of arhats, but those in the fifth caste are the best of them.”

Brahma’s Declaration
The Buddha told Vāsiṣṭha, “The Brahmā King spoke this verse:

“‘Among births, the warriors are best
At renouncing caste and departing.

Those accomplished in wisdom and conduct,
Are the best of the whole world.’


The Buddha told Vāsiṣṭha, “This was well said by Brahmā;
it wasn’t not well said.
It was well received by Brahmā;
it wasn’t not well received.
I endorsed his words at the time.
Why was that?
Today, I am the Tathāgata, the Arhat, and I also declare this meaning:

“Among births, the warriors are best
At renouncing caste and departing.

Those accomplished in wisdom and conduct,
Are the best of the whole world.”

When the Bhagavān spoke this sūtra, Vāsiṣṭha and Bhāradvāja’s uncontaminated minds were liberated.
Hearing what the Buddha taught, they rejoiced and approved.

6 - DA 6 The Noble Wheel-Turning King’s Cultivation

Thus I have heard:
One time, the Buddha was traveling among the people of [Magadha].
Accompanied by a large assembly of 1,250 monks, he eventually arrived in [Mātulā].

It was then that the Bhagavān addressed the monks, “You must light yourself and burn the Dharma.
Don’t burn something else.
You must take refuge in yourself and take refuge in the Dharma.
Don’t take refuge in something else.
How must a monk light himself, burn the Dharma, and not burn something else?
How must he take refuge in himself, take refuge in the Dharma, and not take refuge in something else?

“Here, a monk observes the internal body as body diligently and without negligence.
His attention to it isn’t lost, and he removes worldly craving and sorrow.
He observes the external body as body … observes internal and external body as body diligently and without negligence.
His attention to it isn’t lost, and he removes worldly craving and sorrow.
He likewise observes feeling, mind, and principles.

“This is a monk who lights himself, burns the Dharma, and doesn’t burn something else.
He takes refuge in himself, takes refuge in the Dharma, and doesn’t take refuge in something else.

The Correct Teaching of the Wheel-Turning King
“Such a practitioner can’t be harassed by Māra, and his virtue will increase daily.
Why is that?
There was time long ago when there was a king named Dṛdhasamādāna.
He was a water-anointed warrior who became a noble wheel-turning king and ruled the four continents under heaven.

“That king freely governed with the Dharma.
He was exceptional among people, replete with the seven treasures.
They were 1. the golden wheel treasure, 2. white elephant treasure, 3. blue horse treasure, 4. miraculous jewel treasure, 5. beautiful woman treasure, 6. householder treasure, and 7. general of the army treasure.
He also had a thousand sons who were courageous and powerful.
He defeated his adversaries without using weapons but with a natural peace.

“After King Dṛdhasamādāna ruled the world for a long time, the golden wheel treasure suddenly departed from its place in the sky.
The administrator of the wheel went to the king quickly and told him, ‘Great king, you should know that just now the wheel treasure departed from its place!’

“When he heard this, Dṛdhasamādāna thought, ‘I’ve heard from the elders in the past that if a noble wheel-turning king’s wheel treasure goes away, that king’s life won’t last much longer.
Now, I’ve experienced the pleasures of merit among humans.
It would be fitting to pursue the way to experience the pleasures of merit in heaven.
I’ll install a crown prince to oversee the four continents under heaven.
I’ll bestow a town to a barber and have him cut my hair and beard.
Then, I’ll put on the three Dharma robes and leave home to cultivate the path.’

“King Dṛdhasamādāna then summoned the crown prince and told him, ‘Did you know?
I’ve heard from the elders of the past that if a noble wheel-turning king’s golden wheel departs from its place, the king’s life won’t last much longer.
Now, I’ve experienced the pleasures of merit among humans, and I’ll pursue the way to experience the merits of heaven.
I’m going to cut off my hair and beard, put on the three Dharma robes, and leave home for the path.
I will bequeath the four continents under heaven to you.
You should apply yourself to caring for its people.’

“The crown prince accepted the king’s instruction, and King Dṛdhasamādāna then cut off his hair, put on the three Dharma robes, and left home to cultivate the path.

“Seven days after Dṛdhasamādāna left home, the king’s golden wheel treasure suddenly disappeared.
The administrator of the wheel went to the king and said, ‘Great king, you should know that the wheel treasure has suddenly disappeared!’

“The king was displeased and went to Dṛdhasamādāna.
After arriving, he said to [the former] king, ‘Father king, you should know that the wheel treasure has suddenly disappeared.’

“King Dṛdhasamādāna replied to his son, ‘Don’t feel sad or displeased by it.
The golden wheel treasure wasn’t your father’s property.
Simply endeavor to enact the correct teaching of a noble king.
After practicing that correct teaching, then bathe yourself in fragrant water surrounded by your concubines on the fifteenth-day full moon and ascend the Hall of the Correct Teaching.
The miraculous treasure of the golden wheel will spontaneously appear.
The wheel will have a thousand spokes and possess a radiant color.
It’s made by a heavenly craftsman.
It isn’t something that belongs to this world.’

“His son said to his father king, ‘What is the correct teaching of the noble wheel-turning king?
How do I enact it?’

“The king told his son, ‘You must rely on the teaching, establish the teaching, and complete the teaching.
Respect, honor, and investigate the teaching.
Consider the teaching your leader, and safeguard the correct teaching.
Moreover, you must instruct your concubines with the teaching.
You must protect, look after, and admonish the princes, ministers, officials, administrators, populace, ascetics, and priests, down to the animals with the teaching.
You must watch over them.’

“He also told his son, ‘Moreover, the ascetics and priests present in your domain should be pure and genuine in behavior.
They should perfect virtue, be diligent and not negligent, abandon arrogance, and be patient and humane.
They should cultivate themselves in quietude, calm themselves in seclusion, and reach Nirvāṇa in seclusion.
They should rid themselves of craving and teach others to rid themselves of craving.
They should rid themselves of anger and teach others to rid themselves of anger.
They should rid themselves of delusion and teach others to rid themselves of delusion.
They shouldn’t be defiled by defilements, made evil by evils, fooled by foolishness, attached to attachments, abide in abodes, or live in dwellings.

“Their physical conduct should be genuine, verbal [conduct] genuine, and mental [conduct] genuine.
Their physical conduct should be pure, verbal [conduct] pure, and mental [conduct] pure.
Their correct livelihood is purity.
They’re kind, wise, tireless, satisfied with their food, and take bowls to solicit alms for the merit of sentient beings.

“When such people exist, you should visit them often and inquire about all manner of cultivation at the appropriate time:
‘What’s good, and what’s evil?
What’s a transgression, and what’s not a transgression?
Who shall I befriend and who shouldn’t be befriended?
What’s appropriate to do, and what can’t be done?
Giving donations to what teaching will bring happiness for a long time?’
After you ask such questions, use your mind to investigate what ought to be practiced and practice it.
Abandon what ought to be abandoned.

“The elderly and orphans in the country should be provided aid.
Don’t turn away the impoverished who come begging.
The country has its ancient traditions;
don’t be quick to reform them.
This is the teaching that’s cultivated by a noble wheel-turning king.
You should put it into practice.’


How the Correct Teaching Is Lost
The Buddha told the monks, “The noble wheel-turning king accepted his father’s instruction and cultivated it as he’d explained.
On the fifteenth-day full moon, he bathed in incense water and ascended the high hall while surrounded by his concubines, and the wheel treasure spontaneously appeared before him.
The wheel had a thousand spokes and possessed a radiant color.
It was made by a heavenly craftsman and wasn’t something that belongs to this world.
It was made of pure gold and had a diameter of forty feet.

“The wheel-turning king then thought to himself, ‘I’ve heard from elders in the past that if a water-anointed warrior king bathes in incense water and ascends the treasure hall on the fifteenth-day full moon while surrounded by his concubines, then the golden wheel will suddenly appear before him.
The wheel will have a thousand spokes and possess a radiant color.
It’ll be made by a heavenly craftsman and won’t be something that belongs to this world.
It’ll be made of pure gold and have a diameter of forty feet.
He will then be called a noble wheel-turning king.
Now, this appears to be the wheel, but perhaps this isn’t it?
Now, I’d should like to test this wheel treasure.’

“The wheel-turning king then summoned the four armies and bared his right shoulder toward the golden wheel treasure.
He knelt on his right knee, touched the golden wheel with his right hand, and said:
‘Go east.
Turn according to the Dharma, and don’t go contrary to the eternal law.’
The wheel then turned east.

“The king then led his four armies and followed after it.
Ahead of the golden wheel, there were four spirits guiding it, and the king stopped his horses where the wheel dwelled.
At that point, the lesser kings of the east saw the great king arrive, and they came to the king with gold bowls holding silver barley and silver bowls holding gold barley.
They present them to their chief, saying, ‘Welcome, great king!
The lands in this eastern region are plentiful now.
Please, noble king, rule them properly!
We’ll serve you, right and left, and accept what you will.’

“The great wheel-turning king told the lesser kings, ‘Stop, stop!
Good men, you have made offerings to me, but I will simply rule with the correct Dharma.
Don’t bend yourselves to serve me.
Let none in the country act contrary to the Dharma.
This I call my way of ruling.’

“When the lesser kings heard this instruction, they then followed the great king, who toured their countries.
He went east until the ocean was in sight, and next traveled south, west, and north, following where the wheel went.
The kings there each presented their countries in comparable ways as the lesser countries in the east did.

“The wheel-turning king followed the golden wheel as it traveled around the four oceans, revealing the way and consoling the populace.
He then returned to his home country.
The golden wheel treasure hovered in the sky while he was in his palace.
The wheel-turning king celebrated, saying, ‘This golden wheel treasure is a true sign for me that I truly am a noble wheel-turning king who has accomplished this golden wheel treasure.’

“After that king had ruled the world for a long time, the golden wheel treasure then suddenly departed from its place in the sky.
The administrator of the wheel quickly went to the king and said, ‘Great king, you should know that the wheel treasure just left its place!’

“Upon hearing this, the king then thought to himself, ‘I’ve heard from the elders in the past that if the wheel treasure goes away, the king’s life won’t last much longer.
Now, I’ve experienced the pleasures of merit among humans.
It would be fitting to pursue the way to experience the pleasure of merits in heaven.
I’ll install a crowned prince to receive the four continents under heaven.
I’ll bestow a particular town to a barber and have him cut my hair and beard.
Then, I’ll put on the three Dharma robes, and leave home to cultivate the path.’

“The king then summoned the crown prince and told him, ‘Did you know?
I heard from the elders in the past that if a noble wheel-turning king’s golden wheel departs from its place, the king’s life won’t last much longer.
Now, I’ve experienced the pleasures of merit among humans, and I’ll pursue the way to experience the merits of heaven.
I’m going to cut my hair and beard, put on the three Dharma robes, and leave home to cultivate the path.
I will bequeath the four continents under heaven to you.
You should apply yourself to caring for its people.’

“The crown prince accepted the king’s instruction, and the king cut off his hair and beard, put on the three Dharma robes, and left home to cultivate the path.

“Seven days after he had left home, the golden wheel treasure suddenly disappeared.
The administrator of the wheel went to the king and said, ‘Great king, you should know that the wheel treasure has suddenly disappeared!’

“The king wasn’t saddened when he heard this, nor did he go to ask for his father king’s thoughts about it.
His father king’s life then suddenly ended.

“Before that time, six wheel-turning kings had successively accepted the signs and ruled with the correct teaching.
It was only this one king who enacted his own rule of the country and didn’t continue the ancient teaching.
This brought disharmony and there were recriminations under heaven.
His territory was reduced, and the people dwindled.

Poor Governance Causes Decline in Morality
“There was a priest minister at the time who went to the king and said, “Great king, you should know that your territory today is reduced, and the people have dwindled, but these changes are not permanent.
Now, the king has many friends inside the kingdom who are intelligent and learned and understand what’s ancient and what’s modern.
They fully know the teaching by which previous kings ruled.
Why don’t you summon them together and ask them about what they know?
They will give you their answers.’

“The king then called a meeting of ministers and asked them about the way that previous kings had ruled.
The wise ministers provided him with answers on the subject, and the king listened to what they said.
He put the ancient ways into practice.
He protected the world with the Dharma, but he couldn’t offer aid to the elderly and orphans or give donations to the poor.

“The kingdom’s people then became impoverished and began to steal from each other, and the thieves multiplied.
An officer searched for them and captured one.
He brought him to the king and said, ‘This man is a thief.
Please, King, deal with him.’

“The king asked the thief, ‘Is it true that you are a thief?’

“He answered, ‘It’s true.
I am destitute and starving.
I can’t provide for myself, so I just steal from others.’

“The king then took what the man needed from his storehouse and supplied it to him.
He said, ‘Use this to provide for your parents and care for your relatives.
Don’t steal from others again!’

“When other people heard about this and took up thievery, the king provided them with treasure.
At that point, they returned to robbing others of their possessions.
Again, an officer searched for them and captured one.
He brought him to the king and said, ‘This man is a thief.
Please, King, deal with him.’

“The king again asked the thief, ‘Is it true that you are a thief?’

“He answered, ‘It’s true.
I’m destitute and starving.
Being unable to support myself, so I just steal from others.’

“The king again took treasure from his storehouse and provided it, telling the thief, ‘Use this to provide for your parents and care for your relatives.
Don’t steal from others again.’

Again, people heard that someone had become a thief and the king provided him with treasure, so they continued robbing others of their possessions.
An officer searched for them again and captured one.
He brought him to the king and said, ‘This man is a thief.
Please, King, deal with him.’

The king again asked the thief, ‘Is it true that you are a thief?’

He answered, ‘It’s true.
I’m destitute and starving.
Being unable to support myself, so I just steal from others.’

“The king then thought, ‘I saw that the thief before was poor and provided him with treasure so that he would stop, but then other people heard about it and emulated him.
The thieves are multiplying, so nothing has come of it.
Now, I should like to display this man in chains on a thoroughfare.
Afterward, I’ll have him carried out of the city and executed in the wilderness.
Wouldn’t that be a warning to people after that?’

“The king then ordered his servants to his left and right, ‘Servants, bind him and take him throughout the city to the sound of drums.
When you’re done, carry him out of the city and execute him in the wilderness.’
Everyone in the kingdom knew that he was a thief and that the king had ordered him bound, taken throughout the city, and executed in the wilderness.

“People then in turn told each other, ‘Supposing that we were to become thieves, the same would happen to us that did to him!’
People in the kingdom then began protecting themselves.
They proceeded to make weapons like swords and bows and arrows, which they used to hurt each other as they looted, robbed, and cheated one another.

The Descent into Barbarism
“From the beginning of this king’s reign, there was poverty.
Once there was poverty, stealing began.
Once there was stealing, then weapons began.
Once there were weapons, then killing and hurting beings began.
Once there was killing and hurting beings, people’s appearance became emaciated, and their lifespans were shortened.

“People lived for exactly 40,000 years at that time, but their lifespans were gradually reduced to 20,000 years afterward.
Those sentient beings still had long lives, untimely deaths, suffering, and happiness.
Those who suffered had thoughts of sexual misconduct and greedy clinging.
They devised many methods to get another’s possessions.

“Sentient beings who were poor, thieves, had weapons, and injured others multiplied in turn.
A person’s life was gradually reduced to a lifespan of 10,000 years.

“When they lived for 10,000 years, sentient beings continued to rob each other.
An officer searched for them and captured one.
He brought him to the king and said, ‘This man is a thief.
Please, King, deal with him.’

“The king asked the thief, ‘Is it true that you are a thief?’

“He replied, ‘I didn’t do it!’
As a result, false speech began among the people.

“Those sentient beings then practiced stealing because of poverty, possessed weapons because of stealing, were killed and injured because of weapons, were greedy and committed sexual misconduct because of killing and injuring, and spoke falsely because of greediness and sexual misconduct.
Their lifespans were gradually reduced because of false speech to a thousand years.

“When they lived a thousand years, the three bad verbal actions began to arise in the world, which were 1. duplicity, 2. harsh speech, and 3. frivolous speech.
These three bad actions developed and prospered, and people’s lifespans were reduced to five hundred years.

“When they lived five hundred years, sentient beings again produced three bad actions, which were 1. lust and 2. greed that go against Dharma and 3. wrong views.
As these three bad actions developed and prospered, people’s lifespans were reduced to three hundred and then two hundred years.
During our time, people reach a hundred years, with a few going beyond that and many living for less than that.
Thus they evolved, and their evils didn’t stop, so their lifespans were reduced until they reached ten years.

“When they lived for ten years, women were married five months after they were born.
In that time, the names of delicious flavors like ghee, rock honey, and black rock honey weren’t heard in the world any longer.
Rice plants changed into grass and weeds.
Present-day names of cloth like silk, brocades, twilled cloth, cotton, and white muslin clothing didn’t exist in that time.
The best clothing was woven from coarse wool thread.
During that time, many brambles, biting insects, flies, snakes, stinging insects, venomous insects, and other poisonous creatures arose.
The names of treasures like gold, silver, agate, and pearls disappeared from the Earth.
There was only clay, stone, sand, and rocks that covered the land.

“It was during that time that those sentient beings would never again hear the names of the ten good deeds.
The world was just filled with the ten evil deeds.
How could people cultivate good actions from the names of things that were devoid of goodness?
It was a time when sentient beings could do extreme evils, weren’t dutiful to their parents, didn’t respect their teachers, and weren’t sincere or righteous.
Wayward people who went against the path became respected as people are today who cultivate good conduct, are dutiful to their parents, respectfully follow their teachers, are sincere and righteous, and who follow the path of cultivation.

“Sentient beings often cultivated the ten evil deeds and often fell to the bad destinies.
Sentient beings would look at each other with a constant desire to kill each other like hunters looking at a herd of deer.
The land had many ditches, gullies, and deep valleys.
The lands were desolate and people sparse, so they were afraid of traveling.
At that point, a period of warfare arose.
Picking up grass and wood, they fashioned them into spears and lances and killed more and more each day for a week.

“Then, wise people fled into a forest and hid in pits, feeling terrified during those seven days.
They began to say kind and good things like ‘If you don’t hurt me, I won’t hurt you.’
They ate vegetation to sustain themselves.
After seven days passed, they emerged from the mountain forest.

The Return to Civilization
“Those who survived looked at each other and rejoiced and celebrated.
They said, ‘You didn’t die?
You didn’t die?’
They were like parents who see their only child after being separated from them for a long time.
Their joy was measureless.
Those people thus each felt joyful and celebrated together.
Afterward, they searched for their families, and there were many corpses among their families, friends, and followers.
They lamented, wept, and cried aloud for another seven days.

“After the second week, the people again congratulated each other for seven days.
Happy and joyous, they wondered to themselves, ‘We’ve piled up such extremely evil deeds that we’ve been beset with these troubles.
The corpses of our friends, relatives, families, and followers are gone.
We ought to cultivate a little good together now.
What good should we cultivate?
We should not kill beings.’

“At that point, sentient beings all felt kindness and didn’t hurt each other.
Thereupon, the form and lifespan of sentient beings improved from ten years to a lifespan of twenty years.

“When they lived for twenty years, the people again thought, ‘As a result of cultivating a little good conduct and not hurting each other, our lifespans have lengthened to twenty years.
Now, we should like to increase this little goodness.
What good shall we cultivate?
We’ve stopped killing beings, so let’s not steal from each other.’
After they cultivated not stealing, their lifespans lengthened to forty years.

“When they lived for forty years, the people again thought, ‘As a result of cultivating a little goodness, our lifespans have lengthened.
Now, we should like to increase this little goodness.
What good can we cultivate?
We should not commit sexual misconduct.’
Those people then stopped sexual misconduct, and their lifespans lengthened to eighty years.

“When they lived for eighty years, the people again thought, ‘As a result of cultivating a little goodness, our lifespans have lengthened.
Now, we should like to increase this little goodness.
What good can we cultivate?
We should not speak falsely.’
Those people then all stopped speaking falsely, and their lifespans lengthened to 160 years.

“When they lived for 160 years, the people again thought, ‘As a result of cultivating a little goodness, our lifespans have lengthened.
Now, we should like to increase this little goodness.
What good can we cultivate?
We should not be duplicitous.’
Those people then all stopped being duplicitous, and their lifespans lengthened to 320 years.

“When they lived for 320 years, the people again thought, ‘As a result of cultivating a little goodness, our lifespans have lengthened.
Now, we should like to increase this little goodness.
What good can we cultivate?
We should not speak harshly.’
Thereupon, those people all stopped speaking harshly, and their lifespans lengthened to 640 years.

“When they lived for 640 years, the people again thought, ‘As a result of cultivating a little goodness, our lifespans have lengthened.
Now, we should like to increase this little goodness.
What good can we cultivate?
We should not speak frivolously.’
Thereupon, those people all stopped speaking frivolously, and their lifespans lengthened to 2,000 years.

“When they lived for 2,000 years, the people again thought, ‘As a result of cultivating a little goodness, our lifespans have lengthened.
Now, we should like to increase this little goodness.
What good can we cultivate?
We should not be greedy.’
Thereupon, those people all stopped being greedy, and their lifespans lengthened to 5,000 years.

“When they lived for 5,000 years, the people again thought, ‘As a result of cultivating a little goodness, our lifespans have lengthened.
Now, we should like to increase this little goodness.
What good can we cultivate?
We should not be envious and cultivate the good of kindness.’
Thereupon, those people all stopped being envious and cultivated the good of kindness, and their lifespans lengthened to 10,000 years.

“When they lived for 10,000 years, the people again thought, ‘As a result of cultivating a little goodness, our lifespans have lengthened.
Now, we should like to increase this little goodness.
What good can we cultivate?
We should practice right view and not create delusion.’
Thereupon, those people all practiced right view and didn’t give rise to delusion, and their lifespans lengthened to 20,000 years.

“When they lived for 20,000 years, the people again thought, ‘As a result of cultivating a little goodness, our lifespans have lengthened.
Now, we should like to increase this little goodness.
What good can we cultivate?
We should desist from three unskillful qualities, which are 1. lust and 2. greed that go against Dharma and 3. wrong view.’
Thereupon, those people all desisted from these three unskillful qualities, and their lifespans lengthened to 40,000 years.

“When they lived for 40,000 years, the people again thought, ‘As a result of cultivating a little goodness, our lifespans have lengthened.
Now, we should like to increase this little goodness.
What good can we cultivate?
We should dutifully support our parents and respectfully serve our teachers.’
Thereupon, those people then dutifully supported their parents and respectfully served their teachers, and their lifespans lengthened to 80,000 years.

“When they lived for 80,000 years, women would go out to be married starting at 500 years of age.
During that time, people had nine types of illness:
1. chills, 2. fevers, 3. hunger, 4. thirst, 5. defecation, 6. urination, 7. desire, 8. greed, and 9. old age.
The Earth was relaxing and level.
There weren’t any ditches, wastelands, or brambles.
Nor were there biting insects, snakes, or other poisonous creatures.
Clay, stone, sand, and rocks changed into agate, the people were prosperous, and the five crops were consistently bountiful without end.

The Future Buddha Maitreya and Noble King Śaṅkha
“There will be a time when 80,000 great cities arise, and the sound of chickens can be heard in the neighboring towns and cities.
At that point, a Buddha will arise in the world named Maitreya, who will be a Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One.
He’ll perfect the ten epithets just as the present Tathāgata perfected the ten epithets.
Among the gods like Śakra, Brahmā, and Māra, demons, gods, ascetics, and priests, or spirits and worldly men, he will be self-realized, as I am self-realized today among those assemblies.

“He will teach the Dharma that’s good in the beginning and good in the middle and end.
It’ll be complete in content and expression and purify the religious practice.
His assembly of disciples will have countless hundreds of thousands just as my disciples today number in the hundreds.
The populace will call his disciples ‘sons of Maitreya’ in the same way my disciples are as known as ‘sons of the Śākya.’

“During his time, there will be a king named Śaṅkha who will be a water-anointed warrior caste noble wheel-turning king.
He’ll be the administrator for the four continents under heaven and rule with the correct Dharma.
There’ll be no enemy he doesn’t subjugate.
He’ll be replete with the seven treasures, which are the golden wheel treasure, white elephant treasure, blue horse treasure, miraculous jewel treasure, beautiful woman treasure, householder treasure, and general treasure.
That king will have a thousand sons who are courageous and fierce.
He’ll be able to drive out foreign adversaries and the four quarters will respectfully follow him without using weapons but with a natural peace.

“At that time, the noble king will raise a great treasure banner, which will be sixteen fathoms around and a thousand fathoms tall.
That banner will be decorated with a thousand different colors.
The banner will have a hundred corners, and the corners will have a hundred sticks made of a mixture of many embroidered jewels.

“Thereupon, after the noble king breaks this banner, he’ll give it to the ascetics, priests, and poor people of the country.
Afterward, he’ll cut off his hair and beard, put on the three Dharma robes, and leave home to cultivate the path.
He’ll cultivate the unsurpassed practice and realize for himself in the present life:
‘Birth and death have been ended, the religious life has been established, and the task has been accomplished.
I won’t be subject to a later existence.’


The Parable of the Noble King
The Buddha told the monks, “You must diligently cultivate good conduct.
By cultivating good conduct, your lifespan will be lengthened, your appearance will improve, and your well-being and happiness, wealth and prosperity, and power will be perfected, just like the kings who follow the noble wheel-turning king’s ancient teaching.
Their lifespans lengthened, their appearances improved, and they perfected their well-being and happiness, wealth and prosperity, and power.
A monk is likewise.
He must cultivate good conduct for his lifespan to lengthen, his appearance to improve, and to perfect his well-being and happiness, wealth and prosperity, and power.

“How is a monk’s lifespan lengthened?
Thus, a monk cultivates the samādhi of desire [for good conduct] diligently and not negligently.
He accomplishes the practice of cessation [of unskillful qualities] by cultivating the miraculous abilities.
He cultivates the samādhi of effort … samādhi of mind … samādhi of contemplation diligently and not negligently.
He accomplishes the practice of cessation by cultivating the spiritual abilities.
This lengthens his lifespan.

“How is a monk’s appearance improved?
Here, a monk perfects the discipline and accomplishes proper behavior.
He notices small misdeeds and fears them greatly.
He fully learns the precepts and puts all of them into practice.
This improves a monk’s appearance.

“What is a monk’s well-being and happiness?
Here, a monk abandons lust and departs from unskillful qualities.
With perception and examination, his seclusion gives rise to joy and happiness, and he practices the first dhyāna.
Without perception or examination, his samādhi gives rise to joy and happiness, and he practices the second dhyāna.
He abandons joy, remains mindful, focuses his mind, and isn’t distracted.
He knows his own happiness is what’s sought by noble people.
He’s mindful and lives happily, practicing the third dhyāna.
He abandons and ceases pain and pleasure, ridding himself of his earlier sadness and joy.
Not discomforted or pleased, he’s carefully mindful and pure and practices the fourth dhyāna.
This is a monk’s well-being and happiness.

“What is a monk’s wealth and prosperity?
Here, a monk cultivates kindness, filling one direction with it and the other directions as well.
It’s pervasive, universal, non-dual, and measureless.
He eliminates the many bonds of resentment, and his mind has no hatred.
He’s quiet, kind, and gentle.
He leisurely does the same with compassion, joy, and equanimity.
This is a monk’s wealth and prosperity.

“How does a monk perfect his power?
Here, a monk truly knows the noble truth of suffering … formation … cessation … and truly knows the noble truth of the path.
This is the monk’s perfection of his power.”

The Buddha told the monks, “Now, I’ve surveyed all those who possess power, and none surpass the power of Māra.
Still, the power of a monk who ends the contaminants can defeat him.”

The monks who heard what the Buddha taught rejoiced and approved.

7 - DA 7 Padāśva

Once, Kaumāra Kāśyapa traveled with five hundred monks to Kośala.
They made their way to the priest town of Śvetikā.
Kaumāra Kāśyapa then stopped at the rosewood grove to the north of town.

The Priest Padāśva’s Wrong Views
There was a priest named Padāśva who lived in Śvetikā.
The town was bountiful and happy, the people were numerous, and trees grew abundantly there.
King Prasenajit had awarded this town to the priest Padāśva as his priestly due.
This priest Padāśva constantly harbored unorthodox views, telling people, “There’s no other world, nor is their rebirth or the results of good and bad actions.”

When the people in Śvetikā heard that Kaumāra Kāśyapa had made his way with 500 monks from Kośala to the rosewood grove nearby, they said to each other, “This Kaumāra Kāśyapa is quite famous.
He’s a senior elder who became an arhat.
He’s widely educated, intelligent, and wise.
He’s as eloquent as the situation requires and skilled in holding discussions.
Wouldn’t it be good to meet him now?”

The townspeople visited Kāśyapa daily.
At the time, Padāśva was up in his high tower.
He saw droves of townspeople following each other but didn’t know where they were going.
He asked his parasol-holders, “Why are those crowds of people following each other?”

His servants answered, “We’ve heard that Kaumāra Kāśyapa has made his way with 500 monks from Kośala to the rosewood grove nearby.
We’ve also heard that he is quite famous.
He’s a senior elder who became an arhat.
He’s widely educated, intelligent, and wise.
He’s as eloquent as the situation requires and skilled in holding discussions.
Those people following each other in droves are going to see Kāśyapa.”

The priest Padāśva then gave a servant this order:
“Quick, go tell those people, ‘Wait a minute!
We’ll all go visit him together!’
Why is that?
Those people are foolish, and he tricks the world.
He says there’s another world, claims there’s rebirth, and says there are results of good and bad actions.
Really, there’s no other world, no rebirth, and no results of good and bad actions.”

Accepting his instructions, the servant went and told the people of Śvetikā:
‘The priest says, ‘Wait a minute!
We’ll all go visit him together!’


The townspeople replied, “Good, good!
If he’s coming, we’ll go with him!”

The servant returned quickly and said, “The people are waiting to go with you.”

The priest descended from his high tower and ordered his servant to ready horses.
He then accompanied the townspeople, who surrounded him in front and back, to the rosewood grove.
When they arrived, his dismounted from his chariot and proceeded on foot to Kāśyapa.
After they exchanged greetings, he sat to one side.
Some of the priests and householders of the town venerated Kāśyapa and sat down.
Some of them exchanged greetings with him and sat down.
Some of them told him their names and sat down.
Some of them saluted him and sat down.
Some of them remained silent and sat down.

Parable of the Sun and Moon
The priest Padāśva then said to Kaumāra Kāśyapa, “Now, if you have a moment, I’d like to ask a question.
May I?”

Kāśyapa replied, “I’ll listen to whatever questions you have and explain it.”

The priest asked, “Now, I have the position that there’s no other world, no rebirth, and no results of misdeeds and merits.
What’s your position on this?”

Kāśyapa answered, “I’ll ask you a question.
Tell me what you think.
Now, are the sun and moon of this world or another world?
Are they humans or gods?”

The priest answered, “The sun and moon are of another world, not this world.
They are gods, not humans.”

Kāśyapa said, “We know in this way there’s surely another world, there’s rebirth, and there’s good and bad results of actions.”

The priest said, “Although you say how there’s another world, rebirth, and good and bad results of actions, none of these exist in my way of thinking.”

Parable of the Thief
Kāśyapa asked, “Are there any causes and conditions by which we can know there isn’t another world, no rebirth, and no good and bad results of actions?”

The priest answered, “There is.”

Kāśyapa asked, “What’s the cause or condition for you say, ‘There isn’t another world’?

The priest said, “Kāśyapa, I had a relative who fell seriously ill.
I went and said to him, ‘Ascetics and priests each hold unorthodox views.
They say that someone who kills beings, steals, engages in wrong sex, speaks duplicitously, uses harsh words, speaks falsely, speaks frivolously, or is greedy, jealous, and has wrong views will go to Hell when their body breaks up and their life ends.
From the start, I haven’t believed this.
Why is that?
To begin with, I’ve never seen anyone return after dying, though it’s claimed they fall somewhere.
If someone were to come back and say where they fell, I would certainly believe it.
Now, you are a friend of mine who has done the ten bad deeds.
If it’s as the ascetics say, you’ll surely go to a great Hell when you die.
We trust each other, and I’d certainly accept what I heard from you.
If you discover there is a hell, you should return and tell me about it.
Then, I’ll believe it.’

“Kāśyapa, my relative hasn’t come back to me since their life ended.
They were my friend;
they wouldn’t have lied to me.
They agreed, but they didn’t come back.
Surely, there’s no afterlife.”

Kāśyapa responded, “Those who are wise explain things with parables.
Now, I’ll explain this for you with a story.
Once, there was a thief who was constantly making schemes and breaking the king’s laws.
He was hunted down, and an officer brought him to the king.
‘This man is a thief.
Please let the king judge him.’

“The king ordered his men, ‘Tie that man up and announce his crime throughout the city.
After that, carry him out of the city and execute him.’

“The thief spoke to his guards in a gentle voice, ‘You could let me go see my relatives and bid them farewell.
I’ll return after I’m done.’
How would it be, priest?
Would those guards let him go?”

The priest replied, “They couldn’t!”

Kāśyapa continued, “The same type of person exists in the present world, but they aren’t released.
How could your friend who had done the ten evil deeds return?
He surely went to Hell when his body broke up and his life ended.
The demons in Hell have no mercy.
They’re inhuman, and the dead are born in a different world.
Suppose someone spoke to those demons of Hell with gentle words, ‘Please let me go for a little while to return to the world and say farewell to my friend.
I’ll return after I’m done.’
Would they release him?”

The priest answered, “They couldn’t!”

Kāśyapa also said, “In this way, there’s enough for us to know [there’s another world].
How can you hold to this delusion and create these wrong views for yourself?”

The priest said, “Although you’ve told this story to show there’s another world, I still say there isn’t one.”

Parable of the Latrine
Kāśyapa again asked, “Do you have some other reason for knowing there isn’t another world?”

The priest responded, “I have another reason that I know there isn’t another world.”

Kāśyapa asked, “What’s the reason you know this?”

He answered, “Kāśyapa, I had a relative who fell seriously ill.
I went and said to him, ‘Ascetics and priests each hold unorthodox views.
They say that someone who doesn’t kill beings, steal, or engage in sex, doesn’t speak duplicitously, use harsh words, speak falsely, or speak frivolously, and isn’t greedy, jealous, or have wrong views will be born in Heaven when their body breaks up and their life ends.
From the start, I haven’t believed this.
Why is that?
To begin with, I’ve never seen anyone return after dying, though it’s claimed they fall somewhere.
If someone were to come back and say where they fell, I would certainly believe it.
Now, you are a friend of mine who has done the ten good deeds.
If it’s as the ascetics say, you’ll surely be born in Heaven when your life ends.
We trust each other, and I’d certainly accept what I heard from you.
If you discover there is a heaven, you should return and tell me about it.
Then, I’ll believe it.’

“Kāśyapa, my relative hasn’t come back to me since their life ended.
They were my friend;
they wouldn’t have lied to me.
They agreed, but they didn’t come back.
Surely, there isn’t another world.”

Kāśyapa also said, “Those who are wise explain things with parables.
Now, I’ll explain this for you with a story.
Once, there was a man who fell into a deep latrine, and he was submerged in it up to his head.
The king ordered his men, ‘Pull this man out.
Clean him off with bamboo, scrub his body three times, and cleanse him with beans and ash.
Once he’s been washed, anoint him with incense and bathe his body.
Then dust him with fine incense powder and order a barber to cut and wash his hair.’

“He also ordered his servants to take him to a bath.
They did this three times, washing him with incense water and dusting him with incense power.
They adorned him with fine clothes and fed him a sumptuous meal, letting him eat what he liked.
He was then led to a high hall where he could enjoy the five desires.
Would that man go back to the latrine?”

He answered, “He couldn’t!
That’s such a disgusting place, how could he reenter it?”

Kāśyapa said, “The gods are likewise.
The lands of Jambudvīpa are polluted and impure to those in the heavens above.
They can smell people’s bad odor from more than a hundred leagues away like it’s a horrible latrine.
Priest, that relative you knew who completed the ten good deeds was surely born in a heaven where they enjoy the five desires.
Their happiness is unsurpassable.
Would they return to this latrine of Jambudvīpa?”

He answered, “No.”

Kāśyapa also said, “In this way, there’s enough for us to know [there’s another world].
How can you hold to this delusion and create these wrong views for yourself?”

The priest said, “Although you’ve told this story to show there’s another world, I still say there isn’t one.”

The Life Span of Gods
Kāśyapa again asked, “Do you have some other reason for knowing there isn’t another world?”

The priest responded, “I have another reason that I know there isn’t another world.”

Kāśyapa asked, “What’s the reason you know this?”

He answered, “Kāśyapa, I had a relative who fell seriously ill.
I went and said to him, ‘Ascetics and priests each hold unorthodox views.
They say that someone who doesn’t kill beings, steal, engage in sex, lie, or drink alcohol will be born in Heaven when their body breaks up and their life ends.
I don’t believe this, either.
Why is that?
To begin with, I’ve never seen anyone return after dying, though it’s claimed they fall somewhere.
If someone were to come back and say where they fell, I would certainly believe it.
Now, you are a friend of mine who has completed the five precepts … you’d surely be born in Heaven when your body breaks up and your life ends.
We trust each other, and I’d certainly accept what I heard from you.
If you discover there is a heaven, you should return and tell me about it.
Then, I’ll believe it.’

“Kāśyapa, my relative hasn’t come back since their life ended.
They were my friend;
they wouldn’t have lied to me.
They agreed, but they didn’t come back.
Surely, there isn’t another world.”

Kāśyapa answered, “A century here is exactly one day and night in the Trāyastriṃśa Heaven.
Thirty days makes one month, and twelve months makes a year there.
Thus, those gods live for thousands of years.
How is it, priest?
That relative you knew who completed the five precepts was surely born up in the Trāyastriṃśa Heaven when their body broke up and their life ended.
After being born there, they would have thought, ‘It’s only been two or three days since I was born here.
I’ll enjoy it and entertain myself.
Afterward, I’ll go down and tell him about it.’
Would they see you?”

He answered, “No.
I would be long since dead.
How could we see each other again?”

Parable of Being Blind from Birth
The priest said, “But I don’t believe this.
Who came and told you that there was a Trāyastriṃśa Heaven and their life spans are like that there?”

Kāśyapa said, “Those who are wise explain things with parables.
Now, I’ll explain this for you with a story.
Once, there was a person who was blind from birth.
They didn’t know the five colors, such as blue, yellow, red, and white, or coarse, fine, long, and short.
They hadn’t seen the sun, moon, stars, hills, or valleys.
Someone asked them, ‘What are the five colors, such as blue, yellow, red, and white?’

“The blind person answered, ‘There are no five colors.’
It was the same with coarse, fine, long, and short or the moon, sun, stars, hills, and valleys.
The blind person said they didn’t exist.
How is it, priest?
Did that blind person answer correctly?”

He answered, “No.”

“Why is that?
The world obviously has five colors, such as blue, yellow, red, or white, coarse, fine, long, and short, and the sun, moon, stars, hills, and valleys, but that person said they don’t exist.
Priest, you are the same.
The life span of the Trāyastriṃśa gods is real and not false.
You haven’t witnessed it yourself, so you say it doesn’t exist.”

The priest said, “Although you say it exists, I still don’t believe it.”

Parable of Dreaming
Kāśyapa then said, “Do you have another reason for knowing it doesn’t exist?”

He answered, “Kāśyapa, there was a thief in the town that I was given.
He was hunted down, and an officer brought him to me.
He said, ‘This man is a thief.
Please judge him.’

“I answered, ‘Tie him up and put him in a large cauldron.
Cover it in leather and thick mud to seal him inside.
Don’t let him escape.
Have people surround the cauldron and heat it with a fire.’

“At the time, I wanted to watch his spirit escape from that container.
I directed my servants to surround the cauldron and watch it.
None of them saw his spirit leave that place.
Also, when we opened the cauldron and looked in, we didn’t see his spirit being reborn anywhere.
For this reason, I know there isn’t another world.”

Kāśyapa said, “Now, I’ll ask you a question.
If you can answer it, tell me what you think.
Priest, when you’re sleeping in a high tower, do you ever dream of mountains, forests, rivers, parks, lakes, cities, or streets?”

He answered, “I do dream of them.”

He then asked, “Priest, when you are dreaming of them, are your family and servants guarding you?”

He answered, “They guard me.”

He further asked, “Priest, do your servants see your spirit leaving and returning?”

He answered, “They don’t see it.”

Kāśyapa said, “Now, your spirit leaves and returns while you’re alive, but it can’t be seen.
Would it be different for someone who dies?
It isn’t possible to directly witness it with your eyes while watching a sentient being.

“Priest, suppose there’s a monk who doesn’t get sleepy from the beginning to the end of the night.
He’s diligent and not negligent, focusing on the factors of the path.
With the power of samādhi, he cultivates the pure heavenly eye.
With the power of the heavenly eye, he watches sentient beings.
They die here and are born there, and they’re born here from there.
Their life spans are long and short, and their appearances are beautiful and ugly.
According to the results of their actions, they arrive in good and bad destinations.
He fully knows and sees this.
You cannot witness the good and bad destinations of sentient beings with the polluted flesh eye, so you say they don’t exist.
Priest, we know in this way there’s surely another world.”

The priest said, “Although you’ve told this story showing that there’s another world, my view is still that it doesn’t exist.”

Parable of the Fire-Worshipper
Kāśyapa again asked, “Do you have another reason for knowing that there isn’t another world?”

The priest said, “I do.”

Kāśyapa said, “What’s the reason you know this?”

The priest said, “There was a thief in the town that I was given.
He was hunted down, and an officer brought him to me.
He said, ‘This man is a thief.
Please judge him.’

“I ordered my men, ‘Tie him up, peel off his skin, and look for his spirit.’
None of them saw it.
I instructed them to cut away his flesh and look for his spirit.
Again, they didn’t see it.
I instructed them to cut his sinews, arteries, and bones while looking for his spirit.
Again, they didn’t see it.
I instructed them to crush his bones, extract the marrow, and look for his spirit in the marrow.
Again, they didn’t see it.
Kāśyapa, I know there isn’t another world for this reason.”

Kāśyapa again said, “Those who are wise explain things with parables.
Now, I’ll explain this for you with a story.
Long, long ago, there was a country that was destroyed.
It had yet to recover from the devastation when a merchant caravan of five hundred carts passed through that land.

“There was a wanderer who worshipped the fire spirit who always stayed in the grove where those merchants stopped for the night.
When they departed the next morning, the fire-worshipping wanderer thought, ‘Those merchants who were staying in this grove may have left some effluent as they departed.
I’ll go check to see.’
He quickly went to where they had stayed, but he saw nothing but a one-year-old child sitting there by himself.

“The wanderer then thought, ‘Now, how could I bear to see this small child die in front of me?
It would be better to take the child to my home and nurture him!’
The wanderer picked up the child and took it to his abode where he raised him.
The child grew up and was over ten years old.

“It was then that the wanderer was going to travel to a community for some minor reason.
He said to the child, ‘I will be out traveling for a minor reason.
Guard this fire well.
Be careful not to let it go out!
If the fire goes out, rub wood together to rekindle it.’
After giving the child these instructions, he left the grove and went on his trip.

“After the wanderer was gone, the child spent his time playing and didn’t check the fire often, so the fire did go out.
When the child returned from playing, he saw that the fire had gone out and felt terrible.
He said, ‘I’ve made a mistake.
When my father left, he gave me instructions to guard this fire and not let it go out.
But I spent my time playing, and now the fire is out.
What shall I do?’

“The child blew on the ashes looking for the fire, but he couldn’t find it.
He chopped firewood looking for the fire, but again he couldn’t find it.
He also ground the firewood after cutting it up, pounding it in a mortar looking for the fire, but he still couldn’t find it.

“The wanderer returned from the community and arrived at his grove.
He asked the child, ‘Didn’t I instruct you before to guard the fire and keep it from going out?’

“The child responded, ‘I went out to play and didn’t spend the day watching over it.
Now, the fire has gone out.’

“He again asked the child, ‘What was your method of looking for the fire?’

“The child responded, ‘The fire came out of the wood, so I chopped wood looking for fire, but I didn’t find any.
I also chopped it up and ground it in a mortar looking for the fire.
I didn’t find any that way, either.’

“The wanderer then rubbed wood together to make a fire and set a pile of firewood alight.
He told the child, ‘Someone who’s looking for fire should use this method.
They shouldn’t chop or grind wood to find it.’

“Priest, you likewise didn’t use the right method when you peeled the skin off the dead man looking for his spirit.
It’s not something that can be seen directly with your eyes when you examine sentient beings.

“Priest, suppose there’s a monk who doesn’t become sleepy from the start to the end of the night.
He’s diligent and not negligent, focusing on the factors of the path.
He cultivates the pure heavenly eye with the power of samādhi, and he watches sentient beings with the power of the heavenly eye.
They die here and are born there, and they’re born here from there.
Their life spans are long and short, and their appearances are beautiful and ugly.
According to the results of their actions, they have good and bad destinations.
He fully knows and sees this.
You cannot witness the good and bad destinies of sentient beings with the polluted flesh eye, so you say they don’t exist.
Priest, we know in this way there’s surely another world.”

The priest said, “Although you’ve told this story showing that there’s another world, my view is still that there isn’t one.”

Parable of Iron
Kāśyapa again said, “Do you have another reason for knowing there isn’t another world?”

The priest said, “I do.”

Kāśyapa asked, “What’s the reason you know this?”

The priest said, “There was a thief in the town that I was given.
He was hunted down, and an officer brought him to me.
He said, ‘This man is a thief.
Please judge him.’

“I ordered my men, ‘Take this man and weigh him on a scale.’
My servants accepted this order and weighed him with a scale.

“I then told my servants, ‘Take this man and kill him in a non-violent way that won’t damage his skin or flesh.’
They accepted my instruction and killed him in a non-violent way.

“Again, I ordered my servants, ‘Weigh him again.’
They then weighed his body.

“Kāśyapa, when they initially weighed that man, his spirit was still present.
He looked relaxed, he could still talk, and his body was lighter.
After he was dead, he was weighed again when his spirit had passed away.
He had no expression, he couldn’t talk, and his body was heavier.
I know there isn’t another world for this reason.”

Kāśyapa said to the priest, “Now, I’ll ask you a question and you tell me what you think.
Suppose someone weighs iron.
First, they weigh it while it’s cold, and later they weigh it while it’s hot.
When would it be glowing with color, flexible, and lighter?
When would it not be glowing, solid, and heavier?”

The priest said, “Hot iron has color, and it’s soft and light.
Cold iron has no color, and it’s hard and heavy.”

Kāśyapa said, “A man is likewise.
While alive, he has color, and he’s soft and light.
When he’s dead, he has no color, and he’s hard and heavy.
In this way, we know there’s surely another world.”

The priest said, “Although you’ve used this analogy to show there’s another world, my view is still that there surely isn’t one.”

Parable of the Horn-Blower
Kāśyapa said, “Do you have another reason for knowing there isn’t another world?”

The priest answered, “I have a friend who fell seriously ill.
I went to him and said [to myself], ‘It would help this sick man to turn him onto his right side.’
He looked, turned, and spoke as usual.
I tried turning him onto his left side and moved him back again.
He turned, looked, and spoke as usual.
His life soon ended.
Again, I had someone help turn him onto his left and right side, and then we moved him back again.
He didn’t turn, look, or speak again.
For this reason, I know there surely isn’t another world.”

Kāśyapa again said, “Those who are wise explain things with parables.
Now, I’ll explain this for you with a story.
Once, there was a country where the sound of the conch hadn’t been heard before.
A man who was skilled at blowing conch horns traveled to that country.
The men and women of the town were shocked when they heard this sound.
They went and asked him, ‘What is that sound that’s so melancholic and clear?’

“The man pointed to his conch and said, ‘That’s the sound that this makes.’

“Those villagers touched the conch with their hands and said, ‘You may make that sound!
You may make that sound!’

“The conch didn’t make a sound.
Then its owner picked it up, blew it three times, and put it down.

“The villagers then said, ‘It wasn’t a power of the conch that made that beautiful sound before.
It was his hand, mouth, and breath blowing through it.
Then, it makes that sound!’

“People are likewise.
When they are alive, conscious, and breathing, then they can turn, look, and speak.
Without life, without consciousness, and without breathing, they don’t turn, look, or speak.”

He also said to the priest, “Now, it would be right for you to abandon this pernicious view.
Don’t increase your own suffering for a long time.”

Parable of the Wise Man and the Fool
The priest said, “I’m not going to abandon it.
Why is that?
I’ve been saying it for a long time, and I’ve become set in it ways.
How could I abandon it?’

Kāśyapa again said, “Those who are wise explain things with parables.
Now, I’ll explain this for you with a story.
Long ago, there was a country that was bordered by barbarians.
In that country, there were two people.
One was wise, and one was foolish.
They said to each other, ‘I’m your friend.
I’ll leave the city with you to look for riches.’

“They soon went together to an empty village.
Seeing the land there had hemp, the wise man said to the foolish one, ‘Let’s collect it and take it home.’

“They each took a bushel.
When they passed another village ahead of them, they saw hemp thread there.
The wise man said, ‘Hemp thread is a finished good that’s light and fine.
It’s worth taking.’

“The other man said, ‘I’ve already got this hemp tied up and secured.
I can’t discard it.’

The wise man then took the hemp thread and added it to his burden.
Again, they continued and saw some hemp cloth.
The wise man said, ‘Hemp cloth is a finished good that’s light and fine.
It’s worth taking.’

“The other man said, ‘I’ve already got this hemp tied up and secured.
I can’t discard it.’

“The wise man discarded the hemp thread and carried the hemp cloth himself.
Again, they continued and saw some cotton.
The wise man said, ‘Cotton is valuable, light, and fine.
It’s worth taking.’

“The other man said, ‘I’ve already got this hemp tied up and secured, and I’ve carried it a long distance on the road.
I can’t discard it.’

“The wise man then discarded the hemp cloth and took the cotton.
Thus, they continued and saw cotton thread … After that, they saw white muslin … they saw cupronickel … they saw silver … they saw gold.
The wise man said, “If there were no gold, then we should take the silver.
If there were no silver, we should take the cupronickel … If there were no hemp thread, we should just take the hemp.
Now, this village has a great deal of gold and many superior treasures.
It would be right for you to discard your hemp.
I’ll take the silver, and you take the gold.
We’ll carry it home ourselves.’

“That other man said, ‘I’ve already got this hemp tied up and secured, and I’ve carried it a long distance on the road.
I can’t discard it.
If you want to take those things, then do what you like.’

“The wise man discarded the silver and took the gold, carrying the burden back home to his family.
When his relatives saw him in the distance with a treasure of gold, they rejoiced and looked up to him.
When the man who brought the gold saw his relatives looking up to him, he rejoiced as well.
The ignorant man carried only hemp when he returned home.
His relatives weren’t happy or proud of him when they saw him.
The hemp he carried had doubled his sorrow and trouble.

“Priest, it would be right for you to abandon that pernicious view now.
Don’t increase your own suffering for a long time like the man who carried the hemp.
Attached to his stubborn thinking, he didn’t take the treasure of gold, and the hemp he carried home was a useless burden to him.
His relatives weren’t happy, and he remained poor for a long time.
It increased his own sorrow and suffering.”

Parable of the Two Caravans
The priest said, ‘I’ll never abandon this view.
Why is that?
I’ve taught this view to many people, and many have profited by it.
The kings in the four directions hear my name, and they all know I’m the philosopher of nihilism.”

Kāśyapa again said, “Those who are wise explain things with parables.
Now, I’ll explain this for you with a story.
Long ago, there was a country far away bordering a land of barbarians.
At the time, there was a merchant who traveled through that land with a caravan of a thousand carts.
They didn’t have enough water, grain, firewood, and grass.
The merchant owner thought, ‘We brought a great deal, but our water, grain, firewood, and grass aren’t enough to supply us.
Perhaps it would be best to split into two groups and for one group to head out first.’

“The leader of that first group saw a man with a huge body.
His eyes were red, his face was black, and his body was covered in mud.
Seeing him coming from a distance, the leader called, ‘Where have you come from?’

“The man replied, ‘I’ve come from a village that’s ahead.’

“The leader asked him, ‘Is there much water, grain, firewood, and grass where you’ve come from?’

“The man replied, ‘Water, grain, firewood, and grass are bountiful where I’ve come from.
There was a downpour while I was on the road.
That place has much water, and there’s plenty of firewood and grass.’

“He also said to the merchant owner, ‘If your carts are carrying grain and grass, they could discard all of it.
That place has plenty, so you don’t need to burden your carts with it.’

“The merchant leader said to his company of merchants, ‘Ahead of us, there’s a man whose eyes are red, his face is black, and his body is covered in mud.
We asked him from a distance, “Where have you come from?”

“‘He answered us, “I’ve come from a village that’s ahead.”

“‘We immediately asked, “Are water, grain, firewood, and grass bountiful where you came from?”

“‘He answered us, “There’s a huge bounty there.”

“‘He also told us, “While I was on the road, there was a downpour.
That place has much water, and there’s plenty of firewood and grass.”

“‘He again told us, “Gentlemen, if you have grain and grass on your carts, you can discard all of it.
That place has plenty, so you don’t need to burden your carts with it.”

“‘Each of you ought to discard your grain and grass.
We’ll make faster progress with lighter carts.’
They did as he said, each of them discarding their grain and grass, and they made faster progress with lighter carts.

“Thus, they didn’t see water or grass during the first day, nor did they see any on the second day … the third day … the seventh day.
At that point, the merchants met their end in the wasteland and were eaten by the demon.

“The group that was behind them went down that road, and the merchant leader saw a man ahead who had red eyes, a black face, and a body covered in mud.
He asked him from a distance, ‘Where did you come from?’

“The man answered, ‘I’ve come from a village that’s ahead.’

“He also asked, ‘Are water, grain, firewood, and grass bountiful where you came from?’

“That man answered, ‘There’s a huge bounty there.’

“He also told the merchant leader, ‘While I was on the road, there was a downpour.
That place has much water, and there’s plenty of firewood and grass.’

“Again, he told the merchant leader, ‘Gentlemen, if you have grain and grass on your carts, you can discard it.
That place has plenty, so you don’t need to burden your carts with it.’

“The merchant leader said to his company of merchants, ‘Ahead of us, there’s a man … [He said,] “Gentlemen, if you have grain and grass on your carts, you can discard all of it.
That place has plenty, so you don’t need to burden your carts with it.”

“The merchant leader said, ‘Take care not to discard your grain and grass.
We’ll discard them when we find fresh supplies.
Why is that?
Once we replace them with fresh supplies, we’ll be able to cross this wasteland.’

“Those merchants proceeded with heavy carts.
Thus, they didn’t see water or grass on the first day, nor did they see any on the second day … the third day … the seventh day.
All they saw of the people who had been eaten by the demon were their scattered bones.

“Priest, that red-eyed and black-faced man was a rākṣasa demon.
Those who follow your teaching will suffer for a long time.
They’ll be like that first group of merchants who followed what their leader said and lost their lives because they lacked wisdom.

“Priest, there are ascetics and priests who are diligent and wise.
Those who put into practice the teachings that they declare obtain peace for a long time.
They’re like the group of merchants who followed the first.
They escaped disaster because they were wise.
Priest, now you had best abandon this pernicious view.
Don’t increase your own suffering for a long time.”

Parable of the Dung-Carrier
The priest said, “I’ll never abandon that view.
If someone came to scold me about it, it would just make me resentful.
I’ll never abandon this view.”

Kāśyapa also said, “Those who are wise explain things with parables.
Now, I’ll explain this for you with a story.
Long ago, there was a country far away that was bordered by a land of barbarians.
A person there delighted in raising pigs.
They went to another empty village and saw dry dung there.
They immediately thought, ‘This place is rich in dung that my pigs could eat.
Now, I’ll wrap this dry dung in grass and carry it back home on my head.’

“They took grass, wrapped the dung in it, and carried it that way.
There was heavy rain while they were on the road, and the dung got wet and ran all the way down to the heels of their feet.
People who saw that person all said, ‘You’re crazy!
You’re covered in dung and reek of it!
Even if it stops raining, you shouldn’t continue carrying that.
Certainly don’t carry it while you’re walking in the rain!’

“That person was offended by this and yelled back at those people:
‘You’re all fools!
You don’t know that I have pigs at home to feed!
If you knew that, you wouldn’t say I’m foolish!’

“Priest, it would be best for you to abandon this pernicious view.
Don’t guard this delusion and subject yourself to suffering for a long time.
You’d be like that foolish person who carried dung as they walked and got offended by a ridiculing crowd, saying they don’t understand.”

Parable of the Two Wives
The priest said to Kāśyapa, “If all of you say someone who does good is born in Heaven, then dying would be better than being alive.
You ought to slit your throats with a knife or die in some other way.
Maybe tie up your arms and legs and toss yourselves off a high cliff.
Yet, you crave life and can’t kill yourselves, so I know that death isn’t better than birth.”

Kāśyapa again said, “Those who are wise explain things with parables.
Now, I’ll explain this for you with a story.
Once, this town of Śvetikā had an elder wanderer who was 120 years old.
He had two wives.
One already had a child, and the other had just become pregnant.

“Soon after that, the wanderer died.
His older wife’s son said to the younger wife, ‘I should inherit all the wealth that he had.
You’ll get no share of it.’

The younger wife said, ‘Wait a minute, I need a share for my unborn child.
If I give birth to a son, then he would inherit a share of the wealth.
If I give birth to a daughter, then you’ll marry her, and I’ll get some of his property.’

“The son demanded the father’s wealth politely three times, and the younger mother answered as before.
The son attempted to compel her, but he wasn’t successful.
The younger mother then used a sharp knife on her lower abdomen to see if she carried a boy or a girl.”

Kāśyapa told the priest, “That mother killed herself and hurt the child in her womb.
You, priest, are likewise.
You would kill yourself, and you’re going to kill others, too.
If an ascetic or priest is diligent, cultivates virtue, and perfects the virtue of the precepts, they’ll remain in the world for a long time.
They benefit many people, and gods and humans find peace.

Parable of the Jugglers
“Now, I’ll tell you one last story so that you’ll know the disaster of evil views.
Once, there were two entertainers here in the town of Śvetikā.
They were both skilled at juggling, but one was better than the other.

“The one who wasn’t as good said, ‘Let’s take a break today, but we should have a competition tomorrow.’

“The lesser juggler went home and picked up his juggling balls.
He coated them with a poisonous plant, then set them out to dry.
In the morning, he took these balls to the better juggler.
He said, ‘We can juggle with these.’

“Then they juggled in front of each other, but first he passed the poisoned balls to the better juggler, saying, ‘The better juggler swallows them.’
The lesser juggler passed the poison balls to him again, which the better juggler swallowed when he caught them.
The poison traveled throughout his body and caused a seizure.

“The lesser juggler then scolded him with this verse:

‘I coated the balls with poison,
But you swallowed them and didn’t notice.

When a lesser performer swallows it,
It takes a while for him to realize it.’


Padāśva Takes Refuge
Kāśyapa said to the priest, “Now, you should quickly abandon this evil view.
Don’t focus on this delusion and increase your own suffering like that entertainer who swallowed poison without noticing it.”

The priest said to Kāśyapa, “Venerable, I had understood you when we discussed that first parable about the moon.
I didn’t accept it at that point because I wanted to witness the eloquence and wisdom of Kāśyapa and solidify my belief.
Now, I believe and accept [that there’s another world].
I take refuge in Kāśyapa.”

Kāśyapa replied, “Don’t take refuge in me.
You should take refuge in the unsurpassed sage that’s my refuge.”

The priest said, “I’m not sure about that unsurpassed sage who’s your refuge.
Where is he now?”

Kāśyapa replied, “It hasn’t been long now since the final liberation of my teacher, the Bhagavān.”

The priest said, “If the Bhagavān still existed, I wouldn’t avoid him, whether he was far or near.
He would be a friend to visit.
I’d take refuge and venerate him.
Now that I hear Kāśyapa speak of the Tathāgata’s final liberation, I’ll take refuge in the completely liberated Tathāgata, Dharma, and Saṃgha.
Kāśyapa, permit me to become a layman in the correct teaching.
From this day forward, I won’t kill, steal, engage in sex, lie, or drink alcohol for my whole life, and right now I’ll make a large donation.”

Madhuka’s Pure Donation
Kāśyapa said, “If you slaughter sentient beings and beat your servants yet hold a [donor’s] meeting, this is not pure merit.
It’s like barren and meager land where weeds and brambles grow.
Nothing is gained by planting such land with seed.
If you slaughter sentient beings and beat your servants yet hold a meeting and give donations to assemblies with wrong views, this is not pure merit.
If you’re going to give a large donation, don’t harm sentient beings and don’t discipline your servants with the cane.
If you rejoice, arrange meetings, and give to a pure assembly, you’ll obtain great merit.
It’s like excellent farmland that’s sure to yield substantial fruit whenever seed is planted in it.”

“Kāśyapa, from now on, I’ll always give purely to the assembly, and I won’t allow the donations to be discontinued.”

There was a junior wanderer named Madhuka who was standing behind Padāśva.
Padāśva looked at him and said, “I want to arrange a large donation of everything.
You’ll plan and manage it for me.”

That junior wanderer heard what Padāśva said and planned it.
Once that large donation was planned, he said, “Please don’t let Padāśva obtain a meritorious reward for this in the present or the afterlife.”

Padāśva heard that that wanderer had planned the donation and then said, “Please don’t let Padāśva obtain a meritorious reward for this in the present or the afterlife.”
He summoned the wanderer and asked him, “Is that what you said?”

He answered, “Yes.
I really did say that.
Why was that?
Now, this food that’s been prepared as a gift to the Saṃgha is coarse and vile.
If it were shown to a king, the king wouldn’t touch it for a moment.
How could he eat it?
What’s presently arranged isn’t enjoyable.
How would it be possible to get a pure reward in a later life as a result of it?
The king gives the Saṃgha clothing that’s entirely made of hemp cloth.
If it were shown to the king, the king wouldn’t touch it with his foot for a moment.
How could he wear it?
This presently arranged gift isn’t enjoyable, so how could you get a pure reward in a later life as a result of it?”

The priest then told the wanderer, “From this day forward, give the Saṃgha the same food that I eat and the clothes that I wear.”

The wanderer accepted his instruction and provided royal food and clothing as offerings to the Saṃgha.
The priest arranged these pure gifts.
When his body broke up and his life ended, he was born in one of the lesser heavens.
The wanderer who planned the donations was born in the Trāyastriṃśa Heaven when his body broke up and his life ended.

The priest Padāśva, the junior wanderer, the priests of Śvetikā, and the householders who heard what Kaumāra Kāśyapa taught rejoiced and approved.

8 - DA 8 Sandhāna

Thus I have heard:
One time, the Buddha was staying at Saptaparṇa Cave near Mount Vaibhāra of Rājagṛha.
He was accompanied by a large assembly of 1,250 monks.

Sandhāna Visits Udumbarikā’s Grove
At the time, there was a householder of Rājagṛha named Sandhāna who liked to go for walks.
Every day, he would leave the city to visit the Bhagavān.
On this occasion, that householder looked up at the sun and thought to himself, “Now is not the time to go meet the Buddha.
The Bhagavān is surely in contemplative samādhi in a quiet place right now, and the assembly of monks will be meditating quietly as well.
It would be better to go to Udumbarikā’s Grove and wait until the right time of day.
Then, I’ll visit the Bhagavān, pay homage to him, exchange greetings with him, and do the same with the monks.”

There was a wanderer at Udumbarikā’s Grove named Nigrodha.
He was accompanied by 500 wanderers who were staying at that grove.
At the time, this assembly of wanderers had gathered in one place and were engaged in a loud and boisterous conversation using speech that obstructed the path with confusing words.
They would do this until the end of the day.
Sometimes, they discussed affairs of state.
Sometimes, it was warfare and weapons.
Sometimes, it was the harmony of countries.
Sometimes, it was ministers and common people.
Sometimes, it was riding chariots and horses through parks and forests.
Sometimes, it was sitting mats, clothing, meals, and women.
Sometimes, they discussed tortoises and sea turtles.
They would only discuss such things that obstructed the path until the end of the day.

When that wanderer saw the householder Sandhāna coming from a distance, he ordered his followers, “Be quiet!
What’s the reason?
A disciple of the ascetic Gautama is coming from outside.
He’s the best of the ascetic Gautama’s lay disciples.
He’ll surely come here, so you ought to be quiet!”
The wanderers then fell silent.

Sandhāna went to the wanderer and exchanged greetings with him.
He then sat to one side and said, “My teacher, the Bhagavān, always enjoys quiet solitude and doesn’t like noisy places.
He’s not like you and your disciples here who engage in loud and boisterous conversations and just discuss things that obstruct the path with useless words.”

The wanderer said to the householder, “Hasn’t the ascetic Gautama had conversations with people?
How else could his assembly know that the ascetic possesses great wisdom?
Your teacher always likes living alone in remote places.
He’s like the one-eyed cow that eats grass and chases what it sees in only one direction.
Your teacher Gautama is like that.
He prefers solitude and enjoys uninhabited places.
If your teacher were to come here, we would call him a one-eyed cow.
He always says that he possesses great wisdom, but I could finish him with a single word.
He’d fall silent like a turtle hiding in its shell.
It’d be no trouble to take away his escape with a single arrow.”

The Buddha Goes to Udumbarikā’s Grove
At that moment, the Bhagavān was in a quiet room and overheard the conversation between that wanderer and householder with his heavenly ear.
He emerged from the Saptaparṇa Cave and went to Udumbarikā’s Grove.
When that wanderer saw the Buddha coming from a distance, he ordered his disciples:
“All of you, be quiet!
The ascetic Gautama is coming here!
Please don’t rise, greet him, or respectfully worship him.
Don’t ask him to sit, either.
Choose a particular seat and set it aside for him.
Once he sits down, you should ask, ‘Ascetic Gautama, up until now, what teaching do you give your disciples so that they attain peaceful samādhi and purely cultivate the religious life?”

The Bhagavān gradually made his way to the park.
The wanderers inadvertently rose, and they eventually greeted the Bhagavān, saying, “Welcome, Gautama!
Welcome, ascetic!
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen you.
What has brought you here today?
You can have that small seat in the front.”

The Bhagavān then prepared his seat, delighted and smiling.
He thought to himself, “These fools aren’t capable of staying focused.
They were given a command, but they couldn’t follow it.
Why was that?
The Buddha’s miraculous power caused their bad thoughts to disintegrate naturally.”

The householder Sandhāna then bowed at the Bhagavān’s feet and sat to one side.
The wanderer Nigrodha exchanged greetings with the Buddha, and then he also sat to one side.
He said to the Buddha, “Ascetic Gautama, up until now, what teaching have you given your disciples so that they attain peaceful samādhi and purely cultivate the religious life?”

The Bhagavān told him, “Enough, wanderer!
My teaching is profound and broad.
Up until now, I’ve taught my disciples, and they dwell peacefully and purely cultivate the religious life.
It isn’t comparable to your [teaching].”

The Ascetic Practice
He also told the wanderer, “Even if your teacher and your disciples were to practice the path, some would be pure and some would be impure.
I could fully explain this for you.”

The wanderer’s 500 disciples all raised their voices, telling each other, “The ascetic Gautama possesses great might and great power!
When someone asks about his doctrine, he instead discusses their doctrine!”

The wanderer Nigrodha then said to the Buddha, “Excellent, Gautama!
Please explain it.”

The Buddha told the wanderer, “Listen closely, listen closely!
I’ll explain it for you.”

The wanderer replied, “I’d be glad to listen.”

The Buddha told the wanderer, “Your practices are crude.
You go naked without clothes and cover yourselves with your hands.
You don’t accept food in pots or bowls.
You don’t accept food while between two walls, between two people, between two blades, or between two bowls.
You don’t accept food when a family is eating together, when there’s a pregnancy in the household, when you see a dog at the door, or when a home has lots of flies.
You don’t accept invitations to meals or food from someone who says they know you.
You don’t eat fish or meat and don’t drink wine.
You don’t take two bowls of food, considering one swallow to be a meal … seven meals and stopping.
When you accept a person’s beneficial food, you don’t do so more than seven times.
Sometimes, you eat one meal a day or one every two days, three days, four days, five days, six days, or seven days.
Sometimes, you eat fruit or weeds and drink juice.
You eat flax seed, rice, long-grain rice, cow dung, deer dung, tree roots, branches, leaves, and fruit, or only fruit that has fallen naturally.

“Sometimes, you wear clothes, throw on sedge as clothes, wear tree bark, curtain yourselves in grass, or wear deerskin.
Sometimes, you fasten head hair to yourselves, wear plaited hair, or wear clothes from a charnel ground.

“Sometimes, you keep your arms raised all the time, don’t sit on couches or mats, or crouch all the time.
Sometimes, you cut your hair and fasten it to your beard, lie on thorns, lie on fruits and berries, or lie naked in cow dung.
Sometimes, you bath three times a day or three times a night.
You torment your bodies with these countless hardships.
How is it, Nigrodha?
Can such practices be called a pure teaching?”

The wanderer answered, “This teaching is pure.
It isn’t impure.”

Defilements in the Ascetic Practice
The Buddha told the wanderer, “You call it pure, but I will explain the defilements that are in your pure teaching.”

The wanderer said, “Good, Gautama!
Explain it now.
I’d be glad to listen.”

The Buddha told the ascetic, “Those practitioners of asceticism often think to themselves, ‘Practicing in this way, I’ll obtain offerings, respect, and veneration.’
This is a defilement.
After they obtain offerings, that practitioner’s attachment to pleasure is made firm, and the stains of craving aren’t abandoned.
They don’t realize how to distance themselves from it or know how to escape it.
This is a defilement.

“Those practitioners of asceticism see someone coming from a distance, and they all sit together in meditation.
When no one else is present, they sit and lie down as they like.
This is a defilement.

“Those practitioners of asceticism hear correct doctrines from others, but they refuse to accept them.
This is a defilement.

“When those practitioners of asceticism are asked correct questions by others, they are stingy and don’t answer.
This is a defilement.

“If those practitioners of asceticism see someone giving offerings to ascetics and priests, they rebuke them for it.
This is a defilement.

“If those practitioners of asceticism see ascetics and priests eating living things, they rebuke them.
This is a defilement.

“When those practitioners of asceticism have impure food, they refuse a pure meal from a donor.
If there’s pure food, they are attached to desire for their own food.
They don’t see this is a mistake and don’t know how to escape from it.
This is a defilement.

“Those practitioners of asceticism declare their own goodness and slander other people.
This is a defilement.

“Those practitioners of asceticism kill, steal, engage in sex, speak duplicitously, harshly, falsely, and frivolously.
They are greedy, jealous, have wrong views, and they are deluded.
This is a defilement.

“Those practitioners of asceticism are lazy, forgetful, and don’t train in meditative concentration.
They lack wisdom like animals.
This is a defilement.

“Those practitioners of asceticism are conceited, proud, and arrogant.
This is a defilement.

“Those practitioners of asceticism lack trustworthiness, nor do they repay favors.
They don’t observe pure precepts and aren’t able to diligently accept other’s instruction.
They associate with bad people, consider them comrades, and don’t stop doing bad things.
This is a defilement.

“Those practitioners of asceticism often harbor resentment, favor being deceitful, depend on their own views, look for the faults of others, and harbor long-standing wrong and extreme views.
This is a defilement.

“How is it, Nigrodha?
Can these practices be called pure and not wrong?”

He replied, “They are impure.
They aren’t pure.”

Undefiled Things in the Ascetic Practice
The Buddha said, “Now, I’ll explain the things that are pure and undefiled in your defiled teaching.”

The wanderer said, “Please explain them.”

The Buddha said, “Those ascetic practitioners don’t think to themselves, ‘Practicing in this way, I’ll obtain offerings, respect, and veneration.’
This is an ascetic practice that’s undefiled.

“Once those ascetic practitioners obtain offerings, their minds aren’t attached to desire for them.
They understand how to distance themselves from it and know how to escape it.
This is an ascetic practice that’s undefiled.

“Those ascetic practitioners are always meditating whether people are present or not.
It makes no difference to them.
This is an ascetic practice that’s undefiled.

“Those ascetic practitioners hear correct doctrines from others, and they are happy to accept them.
This is an ascetic practice that’s undefiled.

“When those ascetic practitioners are asked correct questions, they are happy to give explanations.
This is an ascetic practice that’s undefiled.

“If those ascetic practitioners see someone give offerings to ascetics and priests, they are happy for them and don’t tell rebuke the person.
This is an ascetic practice that’s undefiled.

“When those ascetic practitioners see ascetics and priests eat living things, they don’t rebuke them.
This is an ascetic practice that’s undefiled.

“When those ascetic practitioners have impure food, they don’t feel stingy.
If they have pure food, then they aren’t attached to it.
They can see their own defects and know how to escape them.
This is an ascetic practice that’s undefiled.

“Those ascetic practitioners don’t praise themselves and criticize other people.
This is an ascetic practice that’s undefiled.

“Those ascetic practitioners don’t kill, steal, engage in sex, speak duplicitously, harshly, or frivolously, nor are they greedy, jealous, or have wrong views.
This is an ascetic practice that’s undefiled.

“Those ascetic practitioners are diligent, not forgetful, prefer the practice of meditation, and often cultivate wisdom.
They aren’t foolish like animals.
This is an ascetic practice that’s undefiled.

“Those ascetic practitioners aren’t conceited, proud, or arrogant.
This is an ascetic practice that’s undefiled.

“Those ascetic practitioners are always trustworthy and cultivate the practice of repaying favors.
They can observe pure precepts and diligently accept instruction.
They associate with good people, consider them comrades, and don’t stop accumulating goodness.
This is an ascetic practice that’s undefiled.

“Those ascetic practitioners don’t harbor resentment, aren’t deceptive, don’t rely on their own views, don’t look for other people’s shortcomings, and don’t harbor wrong or extreme views.
This is an ascetic practice that’s undefiled.

“How is it, wanderer?
Is such an ascetic practice pure and undefiled?”

He answered, “So it is!
It really is pure and undefiled.”

The Best and Essential Ascetic Practices
The wanderer said to the Buddha, “That’s the extent of these ascetic practices, but are they called the best and essential practice?”

The Buddha said, “Not yet.
We’ve just begun with the bark.”

The wanderer said, “Please explain the tree’s knot!”

The Buddha told the wanderer, “You should listen well.
I will explain it now.”

The wanderer said, “Very well!
I’d be glad to listen.”

“Wanderer, those ascetic practitioners don’t themselves kill beings and don’t instruct others to kill.
They don’t themselves steal and don’t instruct others to steal.
They don’t themselves engage in wrong sex and don’t instruct others to engage in sex.
They don’t themselves speak falsely and don’t instruct others to do so.

“They completely fill one direction with kindness and the other directions as well.
Their kindness is vast, without duality, measureless, and lacking resentments.
They completely fill the world with compassion, joy, and equanimity in the same way.
That’s the extent of the ascetic practice that’s called the tree’s knot.”

The wanderer said to the Buddha, “Please explain the essential meaning of ascetic practice.”

The Buddha told the ascetic, “Listen closely, listen closely!
I will explain it.”

The ascetic said, “Very well, Bhagavān.
I’d be glad to listen.”

The Buddha said, “Those ascetic practitioners don’t themselves kill beings and don’t instruct others to kill.
They don’t themselves steal and don’t instruct others to steal.
They don’t themselves engage in wrong sex and don’t instruct others to engage in sex.
They don’t themselves speak falsely and don’t instruct others to speak falsely.

“They completely fill one direction with kindness and the other directions as well.
Their kindness is vast, without duality, measureless, and lacking resentments.
They completely fill the world with compassion, joy, and equanimity in the same way.

“Those ascetic practitioners are themselves aware of the events of countless eons in the past, whether it’s one, two … countless births, the formation and destruction of countries, or the numerous eons from beginning to end [of the world].
They fully see and fully know them.

“Furthermore, they themselves know, ‘I once was born in that clan with such a name, had such meals, such a life span, and such pleasant and painful experiences.
I was born there from and from there to here.’
They fully remember such events of countless eons.
This is the ascetic practice of wanderers that’s essential and undestroyed.”

The wanderer said to the Buddha, “What is the best?”

The Buddha said, “Wanderer, listen closely, listen closely!
I will explain it.”

The wanderer said, “Very well, Bhagavān.
I’d be glad to listen.”

The Buddha said, “Those ascetic practitioners don’t themselves kill beings and don’t instruct others to kill.
They don’t themselves steal and don’t instruct others to steal.
They don’t themselves engage in wrong sex and don’t instruct others to engage in sex.
They don’t themselves speak falsely and don’t instruct others to speak falsely.

“They completely fill one direction with kindness and the other directions as well.
Their kindness is vast, without duality, measureless, and lacking resentments.
They completely fill the world with compassion, joy, and equanimity in the same way.

“Those ascetic practitioners are themselves aware of the events of countless eons in the past, whether it’s one, two … countless births, the formation and destruction of countries, and the numerous eons from beginning to end [of the world].
They fully see and fully know them.

“Furthermore, they themselves see and know, ‘I once was born in that clan with such a name, had such meals, such a life span, and such pleasant and painful experiences.
I was born there from here and from there to here.’
They full remember such events of countless eons.

“They clearly observe sentient beings with the heavenly eye as they die here and are born there.
They appear beautiful and ugly and fall into good and bad destinations according to their deeds.
They fully see and fully know them.

‘Furthermore, they know the unskillful physical, verbal, and mental deeds of sentient beings who slander noble people, believe deluded views, and fall to the three bad destinies when their bodies break up and their lives end.
They also know the skillful physical, verbal, and mental deeds of sentient beings who don’t slander noble people, see what’s correct and practice it faithfully, and who are born in Heaven or among humans when their bodies break up and their lives end.
The practitioner’s heavenly eye is purified and observes sentient beings … falling into [good and bad] destinations according to their deeds.
There’s none whom they don’t see and know.
This is the supreme ascetic practice.”

The Superior Teaching of the Buddha
The Buddha told the wanderer, “Among these teachings, there is another that’s superior.
I always teach disciples this teaching, and they are able to cultivate the religious life with it.”

The wanderer’s 500 disciples all raised their voices, saying to each other, “Now look!
The Bhagavān is the Most Exalted One.
Our teacher doesn’t compare to him.”

The householder Sandhāna then said to the wanderer, “You yourself had said, ‘If Gautama were to come here, we would call him a one-eyed cow.’
The Bhagavān is here now.
Why don’t you call him that?
You also said, ‘I’d finish that Gautama with a single word.
He’d fall silent like a turtle hiding in its shell.
It’d be no trouble to take away his escape with a single arrow.’
Why don’t you finish the Tathāgata with a single word now?”

The Buddha asked the wanderer, “Do you recall saying that before?”

He replied, “It’s true, I did.”

The Buddha told the wanderer, “Haven’t you heard from wanderers in the past that buddhas and tathāgatas dwell alone in mountains and forests and enjoy quiet places?
They enjoyed seclusion just I do today.
How could they enjoy noisy discussions of useless subjects lasting until the end of the day the way you do?”

The wanderer said, “I have heard that buddhas in the past enjoyed peace and dwelled alone in mountains and forests as the Bhagavān does today.
How could they enjoy noisy discussions of useless subjects lasting until the end of the day the way we do?”

The Buddha told the wanderer, “Don’t you think, ‘The ascetic Gautama teaches awakening.
Having disciplined himself, he disciplines others.
He could stop his breath and makes it possible for others to stop their breath.
He crossed over to the other shore and makes it possible for others to cross over.
He attained liberation and makes it possible for others to attain liberation.
He attained extinguishment and makes it possible for others to attain extinguishment’?”

That wanderer then rose from his seat and bowed his head with his hands touching the Buddha’s feet.
He declared of himself, “I am Nigrodha the Wanderer!
I am Nigrodha the Wanderer!
I bow to the Bhagavān’s feet!”

The Buddha addressed the wanderer, “Stop, stop!
You ought to stand up.
You can bow to me when your mind is freed.”

The wanderer bowed deeply at the Buddha’s feet and sat to one side.

The Buddha told the wanderer, “Did you think the Buddha teaches the Dharma for no reason other than gain?
Don’t have such a thought.
If there’s gain, it’ll all be yours.
The Dharma I teach is sublime and supreme.
It ceases what’s unskillful and increases skillful qualities.”

He also told the wanderer, “Did you think the Buddha teaches the Dharma for no reason other than being honored … being a leader … having followers … having a great assembly?
Don’t have such a thought.
Now, your followers are all your own.
The Dharma I teach is for ceasing what’s unskillful and increasing skillful qualities.”

He also told the wanderer, “Did you think the Buddha would put you in the unskillful category or the category of darkness for no reason?
Don’t have such a thought.
You should simply abandon those categories of unskillfulness and darkness.
I’ll teach you the skillful and pure teaching.”

He also told the wanderer, “Were you thinking the Buddha would drive you away from the category of skillful things and the category of clean things for no reason?
Don’t have such a thought.
Simply cultivate the categories of skillful and clean things with diligence.
I’ll teach you the skillful and pure teaching that ceases unskillful practices and increases skillful qualities.”

The wanderer’s 500 disciples then rectified their hearts and corrected their thinking as they listened to what the Buddha taught.
Māra the Evil One then thought, “These 500 disciples of the wanderer have rectified their hearts and corrected their thinking as they listened to what the Buddha taught.
I better go destroy that thinking now!”

Evil Māra then confounded their thinking with his own power.

The Bhagavān then told Sandhāna, “These 500 disciples of the wanderer had rectified their hearts and corrected their thinking as they listened to what I taught, but Māra the Evil One has confounded their thinking.
Now, I’d like to go.
Let’s you and I leave together.”

The Bhagavān then offered his right hand to the householder Sandhāna, who took it in his palm, and they flew back through the sky.

The householder Sandhāna, the wanderer Nigrodha, and the 500 wanderer disciples who heard what the Buddha taught rejoiced and approved.

9 - DA 9 The Gathered Saṅgha

Thus I have heard:
One time, the Buddha was travelling among the Mallas.
Accompanied by a large assembly of 1,250 monks, he eventually arrived at Cunda’s Mango Grove of Pāpā.

It was the fifteenth-day full moon when the Bhagavān sat in an open area with the assembly of monks both in front and behind him.
After he had given them many discourses on the Dharma that evening, the Bhagavān addressed Śāriputra, “The monks have gathered today from the four directions to diligently apply themselves together.
They aren’t sleepy yet, but I’m suffering from back pain.
I’d like to take a break for a while.
Perhaps you can explain the Dharma for the monks now?”

Śāriputra replied, “Very well.
I’ll explain the noble teaching.”

The Bhagavān folded his outer robe four times and laid on his right side like a lion with his feet together.

Śāriputra then told the monks, “Now, here in this city of Pāpā, it hasn’t been long since Nirgrantha Jñātaputra’s life ended.
Since then, his disciples have split into two factions that constantly argue and look for shortcomings to reproach each other.
They contradict each other, saying:
‘I know this teaching.’
‘You don’t know this.’
‘You hold wrong views.’
‘I hold to the right teaching.’
Their words are confused and without proper order.
They consider statements praising themselves to be true, saying:
‘My statement is the winner;
your words are defeated.
I’m the one who gives discourses now.
Come and ask me when you have questions.’

“Monks, the people of the country who make offerings to the Nirgranthas are weary and troubled by the noise of their fighting.
As a result, they consider their teaching to be untrue.
A teaching that’s untrue has no way to escape, just as a ruined shrine cannot be repainted.
It’s not the teaching of a completely awakened one.
Monks, only we Śākyans have the unsurpassed, noble teaching that’s truest and can lead to the escape, just as a newly built shrine is easily decorated.
It’s the teaching of a completely awakened one.

“Monks, today, we ought to collect the Dharma and Vinaya to safeguard them from disputes, establish the religious life for a long time, and benefit many people so that gods and humans will obtain peace.

Sets of One
“Monks, the Tathāgata teaches one correct thing:
All sentient beings look to food for their sustenance.

“There’s another thing taught by the Tathāgata:
All sentient beings are reborn as a result of their actions.

“These are the single things taught by the Tathāgata that we ought to collect to safeguard them from dispute, establish the religious life for a long time, and benefit many people so that gods and people will obtain peace.

Sets of Two
“Monks, the Tathāgata has taught two correct things:
One is name, and the second is form.

“There are another two things:
One is delusion, and the second is craving.

“There are another two things:
The view of existence and view of non-existence.

“There are another two things:
One is lacking conscience, and the second is lacking modesty.

“There are another two things:
One is having conscience, and the second is having modesty.

“There are another two things:
One is knowledge of the end [of contaminants], and the second is knowledge of no more birth.

“There are another two things, which are two causes and two conditions that give rise to craving:
One is pure and sublime form, and the second is inattention.

“There are another two things, which are two causes and two conditions that give rise to anger:
One is hatred, and the second is inattention.

“There are another two things, which are two causes and two conditions that give rise to wrong view:
One is hearing it from others, and the second is wrong thought.

“There are another two things, which are two causes and two conditions that give rise to right view:
One is hearing it from others, and the second is right thought.

“There are another two things, which are two causes and two conditions:
One is learning about liberation, and the second is having nothing more to learn about liberation.

“There are another two things, which are two causes and two conditions:
One is the conditioned element, and the second is the unconditioned element.

“Monks, these are the sets of two taught by the Tathāgata that we ought to collect to safeguard them from dispute, establish the religious life for a long time, and benefit many people so that gods and people will obtain peace.

Sets of Three
“Monks, the Tathāgata has taught three correct things, which are known as three roots of what’s not good:
First is craving, second is anger, and third is delusion.

“There are another three things, which are known as three roots of goodness:
First is not craving, second is not being angry, and third is not being deluded.

“There are another three things, which are known as unskillful practices:
First is unskillful physical conduct, second is unskillful verbal conduct, and third is unskillful mental conduct.

“There are another three things, which are known as three unskillful practices:
First is physical unskillful conduct, second is verbal unskillful conduct, and third is mental unskillful conduct.

“There are another three things, which are three bad practices:
Physical bad conduct, verbal bad conduct, and mental bad conduct.

“There are another three things, which are three good practices:
Physical good conduct, verbal good conduct, and mental good conduct.

“There are another three things, which are three unskillful notions:
Notions of desire, Notions of anger, and notions of harmfulness.

“There are another three things, which are three good notions:
Notions without desire, notions without anger, and notions without harmfulness.

“There are another three things, which are three unskillful intentions:
Intentions of desire, intentions of anger, and intentions of harmfulness.

“There are another three things, which are three good intentions:
Intentions without desire, intentions without anger, and intentions without harmfulness.

“There are another three things, which are three meritorious acts:
The act of giving, act of impartiality, and act of contemplation.

“There are another three things, which are three feelings:
Pleasant feelings, painful feelings, and neither pleasant nor painful feelings.

“There are another three things, which are three cravings:
Craving for desires, craving for existence, and craving for non-existence.

“There are another three things, which are three contaminations:
Contaminants of desire, contaminants of existence, and contaminants of ignorance.

“There are another three things, which are three fires:
The fire of desire, fire of anger, and fire of delusion.

“There are another three things, which are three pursuits:
The pursuit of desire, pursuit of existence, and pursuit of the religious life.

“There are another three things, which are three growths:
The growth of self, growth of the world, and growth of Dharma.

“There are another three things, which are three elements:
The element of desire, element of anger, and element of harmfulness.

“There are another three things, which are three elements:
The element of escape, element lacking anger, and element lacking harmfulness.

“There are another three things, which are three elements:
The element of form, element of formlessness, and element of cessation.

“There are another three things, which are three categories:
The category of precepts, category of samādhi, and category of wisdom.

“There are another three things, which are three precepts:
The growth of precepts, growth of mind, and growth of wisdom.

“There are another three things, which are three samādhis:
The samādhi of emptiness, samādhi without aspirations, and samādhi without attributes.

“There are another three things, which are three attributes:
The attribute of calm, attribute of diligence, and attribute of equanimity.

“There are another three things, which are three insights:
The insight that’s the knowledge of one’s own past lives, the insight that’s the knowledge of the heavenly eye, and the insight that’s the knowledge of the contaminants being ended.

“There are another three things, which are three transformations:
First is the spiritual ability of transformation, second is knowing another’s mind and explaining the teaching as they wish, and third is teaching.

“There are another three things, which are three roots of desiring birth:
First is being born as a human or god as a result of present desire, second is being born in the Nirmāṇarati Heaven as a result of desiring transformation, and third is being born in the Paranirmitavaśavartin Heaven because of desiring the transformation of others.

“There are another three things, which are three things that create comfort:
First is happiness that arises from the natural accomplishments of sentient beings, such as when the Ābhāsvara gods are first born.
Second is that some sentient beings consider thought to be pleasant and declare it ‘Good!’
like the Ābhāsvara gods.
Third is the pleasure that’s attained from calmness like the Śubhakṛtsnā gods.

“There are another three things, which are three pains:
The pain of conditioning, pain of pain, and pain of change.

“There are another three things, which are three faculties:
The faculty of wanting to know what’s yet to be known, faculty of knowing, and faculty of having known.

“There are another three things, which are three temples:
The noble temple, heavenly temple, and Brahma temple.

“There are another three things, which are three issuances [of rebuke]:
Issuance regarding what’s seen, issuance regarding what’s heard, and issuance regarding doubts.

“There are another three things, which are three discussions:
There are discussions such as:
‘The past had such events as these.’
There are discussions such as:
‘The future will have such events as these.’
There are discussions such as:
‘The present has such events as these.’

“There are another three things, which are three categories:
The category of right samādhi, category of wrong samādhi, and the category of what’s not samādhi.

“There are another three things, which are three sorrows:
Physical sorrow, verbal sorrow, and mental sorrow.

“There are another three things, which are three seniorities:
Seniority in years, seniority in Dharma, and seniority in accomplishment.

“There are another three things, which are three eyes:
The flesh eye, heavenly eye, and wisdom eye.

“Monks, these are the correct teachings taught by the Tathāgata that we ought to compile together to safeguard them from dispute, establish the religious life for a long time, and benefit many people so that gods and people will obtain peace.

Sets of Four
“Monks, the Tathāgata has taught four correct things, which are four verbal bad practices:
First is false speech, second is duplicity, third is harsh speech, and fourth is frivolous speech.

“There are another four things, which are four verbal good practices:
First is truthful speech, second is gentle speech, third is speech that isn’t frivolous, and fourth is speech that isn’t duplicitous.

“There are another four things, which are four ignoble kinds of speech:
Claiming to have seen what wasn’t seen, claiming to have heard what wasn’t heard, claiming to have perceived what wasn’t perceived, and claiming to have known what wasn’t known.

“There are another four things, which are four noble kinds of speech:
Claiming to have seen what was seen, claiming to have heard what was heard, claiming to have perceived what was perceived, and claiming to have known what was known.

“There are another four things, which are four kinds of food:
physical food, food of contact, food of thought, and food of consciousness.

“There are another four things, which are four feelings:
Doing something painful in the present and later feeling pain as a result.
Doing something painful in the present and later feeling pleasure as a result.
Doing something pleasant in the present and later feeling pain as a result.
Doing something pleasant in the present and feeling pleasure as a result.

“There are another four things, which are four acquisitions:
Acquisition of desire, acquisition of self, acquisition of precepts, and acquisition of views.

“There are another four things, which are four fetters:
Fettering oneself with craving, fettering oneself with anger, fettering oneself with misapplied precepts, and fettering oneself with self view.

“There are another four things, which are four thorns:
The thorn of desire, thorn of anger, thorn of views, and thorn of arrogance.

“There are another four things, which are four births:
Birth from an egg, birth from a womb, birth from moisture, and spontaneous birth.

“There are another four things, which are four abodes of mindfulness:
[1] Here, a monk observes internal body as body diligently and not negligently.
He’s mindful, not forgetful, and casts off worldly craving and sadness … observes external body as body diligently and not negligently.
He’s mindful, not forgetful, and casts off worldly craving and sadness … observes internal and external body as body diligently and not negligently.
He’s mindful, not forgetful, and casts off worldly craving and sadness.
He observes [2] feelings, [3] mind, and [4] principles in the same way.

“There are another four things, which are four mental abandonments:
Here, a monk applies effort to make bad qualities that have yet to arise to not arise … applies effort to make bad qualities that have arisen to cease … applies effort to make good qualities that have yet to arise to arise … applies effort to make good qualities that have arisen to increase.

“There are another four things, which are four miraculous abilities:
[1] Here, a monk contemplates the samādhi of desire and accomplishes the practice of cessation.
[2] The samādhi of effort, [3] samādhi of mind, and [3] samādhi of contemplation are likewise.

“There are another four things, which are the four dhyānas:
Here, a monk rids himself of desire and bad and unskillful things.
With perception and examination, this seclusion gives rise to joy and happiness, and he enters the first dhyāna.
He ceases having perception and examination.
With inner belief and unified mind, he has no perception or examination.
His samādhi gives rise to joy and happiness, and he enters the second dhyāna.
Parting with joy, he cultivates equanimity, mindfulness, and effort, knowing his own happiness is what’s sought by the noble ones.
Mindful, detached, and happy, he enters the third dhyāna.
Parting with painful and pleasant formations, his previous sorrow and joy ceases.
Neither discomforted nor happy, he’s detached, mindful, and pure, and he enters the fourth dhyāna.

“There are another four things, which are four Brahma temples:
First is kindness, second is compassion, third is joy, and fourth is equanimity.

“There are another four things, which are four formless samādhis:
[1] Here, a monk goes beyond all notions of form, and all his previous notions of anger.
Not being mindful of different notions, he contemplates the abode of measureless space.
[2] Abandoning the abode of space, he enters the abode of consciousness.
[3] Abandoning the abode of consciousness, he enters the abode of nothingness.
[4] Abandoning the abode of nothingness, he enters the abode with and without conception.

“There are another four things, which are four foundations of Dharma:
The Dharma foundation of not craving, Dharma foundation of not being angry, Dharma foundation of right mindfulness, and Dharma foundation of right samādhi.

“There are another four things, which are four noble clans:
[1] Here, a monk is satisfied with his clothing.
He isn’t pleased with obtaining fine clothes and isn’t saddened when having ugly clothes.
He isn’t defiled or attached, knows what shouldn’t be done, and knows the way to the escape.
He’s diligent and not negligent about these rules and accomplishes these things without fault or loss.
He also teaches people to accomplish these things.
This is the first of the noble clan’s way of satisfied living.
From the past until the present, he’s never troubled.
It’s impossible for gods like Māra or Brahmā, ascetics and priests, or spirits and worldly people to reproach him.
He’s satisfied in the same way regarding [2] meals, [3] bedding, and [4] medicines for illness.

“There are another four things, which are four principles of cooperation:
Bestowing gifts, affectionate speech, benefiting others, and sharing benefits equally.

“There are another four things, which are four factors of stream entry:
[1] A monk attains an unbreakable faith in the Buddha … [2] in the Dharma … [3] in the Saṅgha … [4] attains an unbreakable faith in the precepts.

“There are another four things, which are four proofs:
The proof of seeing forms, proof of the body’s cessation, proof of recollecting past lives, and proof of knowing the contaminants are ended.

“There are another four things, which are four paths:
That obtained slowly with hardship, that obtained quickly with hardship, that obtained slowly and pleasantly, and that obtained quickly and pleasantly.

“There are another four things, which are four noble truths:
The noble truth of suffering, noble truth of suffering’s formation, noble truth of suffering’s cessation, and noble truth of the escape from suffering.

“There are another four things, which are four fruits of an ascetic:
The fruit of stream entry, fruit of once-returning, fruit of non-returning, and fruit of the arhat.

“There are another four things, which are four bases:
The basis of truth, basis of generosity, basis of knowledge, and basis of calm.

“There are another four things, which are four knowledges:
Dharma knowledge, knowledge not yet known, full knowledge, and knowledge of other people’s minds.

“There are another four things, which are four eloquences:
Dharma eloquence, eloquence of meaning, eloquence of admonishment, and eloquence of advice.

“There are another four things, which are four abiding places of consciousness:
[1] Consciousness abides in form, is conditioned by form, remains in form, and grows together with craving.
[2] Feeling, [3] conception, and [4] volition are likewise.

“There are another four things, which are four yokes:
The yoke of desire, yoke of existence, yoke of views, and yoke of ignorance.

“There are another four things, which are four absent yokes:
The absence of the yoke of desire, absence of the yoke of existence, absence of the yoke of views, and absence of the yoke of ignorance.

“There are another four things, which are four purities:
Purity of precepts, purity of mind, purity of views, and purity of going beyond doubt.

“There are another four things, which are four recognitions:
Recognizing what’s acceptable and accepting it, recognizing what’s practicable and practicing it, recognizing what’s enjoyable and enjoying it, and recognizing what’s rejectable and rejecting it.

“There are another four things, which are four postures:
Recognizing what’s walkable and walking, recognizing where one can stand and standing, recognizing what can be sat on and sitting, and recognizing what can be laid upon and lying down.

“There are another four things, which are four contemplations:
Contemplation of a little, contemplation of what’s broad, contemplation of what’s measureless, and contemplation of nothingness.

“There are another four things, which are four explanations:
Definite explanation, analytical explanation, explanation by questioning, and explanation by setting it aside.

“There are another four things, which are four things the Buddha doesn’t guard against:
[1] The Tathāgata’s physical conduct is pure and lacking any contamination he could guard himself against.
[2] His verbal conduct is pure, [3] mental conduct is pure, and [4] his livelihood is pure in the same way.

“Monks, these are the correct teachings taught by the Tathāgata that we ought to compile together to safeguard them from dispute, establish the religious life for a long time, and benefit many people so that gods and people will obtain peace.

Sets of Five
“Moreover, monks, the Tathāgata has taught five correct things, which are five senses:
The eye and images, ear and sounds, nose and odors, tongue and flavors, and body and touches.

“There are another five things, which are five acquired aggregates:
The acquired aggregate of form … feeling … conception … volition, and the acquired aggregate of consciousness.

“There are another five things, which are five hindrances:
The hindrance of desire, hindrance of anger, hindrance of sleepiness, hindrance of agitation, and hindrance of doubt.

“There are another five things, which are five lower bonds:
The bond of personality view, bond of misapplied precepts, bond of doubt, bond of desire, and bond of anger.

“There are another five things, which are five higher bonds:
Craving of form, craving of formlessness, ignorance, pride, and agitation.

“There are another five things, which are five faculties:
The faculty of faith, faculty of effort, faculty of mindfulness, faculty of samādhi, and faculty of wisdom.

“There are another five things, which are five powers:
Power of faith, power of effort, power of mindfulness, power of samādhi, and power of wisdom.

“There are another five things, which are the five factors of complete cessation:
First, a monk believes in the Buddha, Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One who perfected the ten epithets.
Second, he lacks illness and is physically healthy.
Third, he is honest, lacks any deception, and heads down the Tathāgata’s clear path to nirvāṇa.
Fourth, he focuses his mind so that he’s not confused, retains the recitations, and doesn’t forget them.
Fifth, he is skilled in observing the arising and perishing of things and ends the root of suffering with the noble practice.

“There are another five things, which are five issuances [of rebuke]:
Untimely issuance, false issuance, meaningless issuance, issuance of vain words, and unkind issuance.

“There are another five things, which are five skillful issuances [of rebuke]:
timely issuance, true issuance, meaningful issuance, issuance with gentle words, and kind issuance.

“There are another five things, which are five hatreds:
Hatred of a residence, hatred of a donor, hatred of profit, hatred of form, and hatred of teachings.

“There are another five things, which are five ways to head for liberation:
First is the concept that the body is impure, second is the concept that food is impure, third is the concept that all formations are impermanent, fourth is the concept that all worlds are unpleasing, and first is the concept of death.

“There are another five things, which are five spheres of escape:
[1] A monk doesn’t enjoy, isn’t moved by, and doesn’t stay near desires.
He’s only mindful of escaping them, enjoys seclusion, and befriends those who aren’t indolent.
His mind is flexible, leaving and parting with desire and what causes the desires that produce the web of contaminants.
He also ends, abandons, and ceases them to attain liberation.
This is the escape from desire.
[2] The escape from anger, [3] escape from jealousy, [4] escape from form, and [5] escape from personality view are likewise.

“There are another five things, which are five kinds of joy from entering liberation:
If a monk is diligent and not negligent, happily lives in seclusion, focuses his attention, and unifies his mind, he’ll understand what he doesn’t yet understand, end what he hasn’t yet ended, and become peaceful where he isn’t yet peaceful.
What are the five?
[1] Here, a monk hears the Tathāgata teach the Dharma, hears a religious practitioner teach it, or hears a senior teacher teach the Dharma.
He contemplates, investigates, and discerns the meaning of that Dharma, and his mind becomes joyous.
After his mind becomes joyous, he attains the love of Dharma.
After he attains the love of Dharma, he’s comfortable in body and mind.
After he’s comfortable in body and mind, then he attains the samādhi of dhyāna.
After he attains the samādhi of dhyāna, he attains true knowing and seeing.
This is the first way to enter liberation.

“[2] Here, after a monk hears Dharma and rejoices, he accepts, retains, and recites it, [3] rejoices and teaches it for other people, [4] rejoices, contemplates, and discerns it, [5] rejoices and attains samādhi regarding the Dharma in the same way.

“There are another five things, which are five people:
Those whose parinirvāṇa is in the interim, whose parinirvāṇa is at birth, whose parinirvāṇa is without practice, whose parinirvāṇa is with practice, and whose parinirvāṇa is upstream in Akaniṣṭha.

“Monks, these are the correct teachings taught by the Tathāgata that we ought to compile together to safeguard them from dispute, establish the religious life for a long time, and benefit many people so that gods and people will obtain peace.

Sets of Six
“Moreover, monks, the Tathāgata has taught six correct things, which are six internal senses:
The eye sense, ear sense, nose sense, tongue sense, body sense, and mind sense.

“There are another six things, which are six external senses:
The sense of images, sense of sounds, sense of odors, sense of flavors, sense of touches, and sense of notions.

“There are another six things, which are the six groups of consciousness:
The group of visual consciousness … auditory … olfactory … gustatory … somatic … group of mental consciousness.

“There are another six things, which are six groups of contact:
The group of visual contact … auditory … olfactory … gustatory … somatic … group of mental contact.

“There are another six things, which are six groups of feeling:
The group of visual feeling … auditory … olfactory … gustatory … somatic … group of mental feeling.

“There are another six things, which are six groups of conception:
[The group of] image conception … sound conception … odor conception … flavor conception … touch conception, and [group of] idea conception.

“There are another six things, which are six groups of intention:
[The group of] image intention … sound intention … odor intention … flavor intention … touch intention, and [group of] idea intention.

“There are another six things, which are six groups of craving:
The group of image craving … sound … odor … flavor … touch … group of notion craving.

“There are another six things, which are six sources of conflict:
[1] If a monk is extremely angry and doesn’t let it go, he doesn’t respect the Tathāgata, doesn’t respect the Dharma, and doesn’t respect the Saṅgha.
His precepts are breached, and he’s defiled and impure.
When he creates many conflicts in the Saṅgha, he’s disliked by people, disrupts the pure assembly, and gods and people don’t attain peace.

“Monks, you must look within yourselves.
If you find resentments like those that are disruptive, you must gather as a unified assembly and employ broad methods to root out these sources of conflict.
Moreover, you must focus your attention and observe yourselves.
If the bond of resentment has ceased, you should employ methods to restrain your minds.
Don’t let it arise again.

“Monks, [2] wayward dishonesty, [3] stingy jealousy, [4] fraud and falsehoods, [5] not abandoning mistakes because of one’s own views, and [6] being deluded by wrong and extreme views are likewise.

“There are another six things, which are six elements:
The earth element, fire element, water element, air element, space element, and consciousness element.

“There are another six things, which are six observations:
The eye observing forms, ear observing sounds, nose … odors … tongue … flavors … body … touches … mind observing notions.

“There are another six things, which are six spheres of escape:
[1] Suppose a monk says, ‘I’d cultivate kindness, but then I become angry.’
The other monks say, ‘Don’t say that!
Don’t misrepresent the Tathāgata.
The Tathāgata doesn’t say, “I’d like to cultivate the liberation of kindness, but then notions of anger arise.”
That’s impossible.
The Buddha says, “Once anger is gone, then one becomes kind afterward.”


“Suppose a monk says, [2] ‘I’d practice the liberation of compassion, but then I have hateful thoughts.’
… [3] ‘practice the liberation of joy, but then I have sorrowful thoughts.’
… [4] ‘practice the liberation of equanimity, but then I have thoughts of like or dislike.’
… [5] ‘cultivate the practice of non-self, but then I have suspicious thoughts’ … [6] ‘cultivate the practice without conception, but then I have many distracting notions.’
Those cases are likewise.

“There are another six things, which are six unsurpassed things:
Vision that’s unsurpassed, learning that’s unsurpassed, support that’s unsurpassed, precepts that are unsurpassed, respect that’s unsurpassed, and memory that’s unsurpassed.

“There are another six things, which are six recollections:
Recollection of the Buddha, recollection of the Dharma, recollection of the Saṅgha, recollection of precepts, recollection of generosity, and recollection of the gods.

“Monks, these are the correct teachings taught by the Tathāgata that we ought to compile together to safeguard them from dispute, establish the religious life for a long time, and benefit many people so that gods and people will obtain peace.

Sets of Seven
“Monks, the Tathāgata has taught seven correct things, which are seven things that aren’t Dharma:
Lack of faith, lack of conscience, lack of modesty, little learning, negligence, forgetfulness, and lack of knowledge.

“There are another seven things, which are seven correct Dharmas:
Having faith, having conscience, having modesty, being well-versed, making effort, good memory, and being knowledgeable.

“There are another seven things, which are seven abodes of consciousness:
[1] Sometimes, sentient beings have either diverse bodies or diverse notions.
These gods and humans are the first abode of consciousness.
[2] Sometimes, sentient beings might have diverse bodies but the same notions.
When the Brahmas of the Ābhāsvara Heaven are first born there, that’s the second abode of consciousness.
[3] Sometimes, sentient beings have the same bodies but might have diverse notions.
These Ābhāsvara gods are the third abode of consciousness.
[4] Sometimes, sentient beings have the same bodies and the same notions.
These Śubhakṛtsnā gods are the fourth abode of consciousness.
[5] Sometimes, sentient beings dwell in the abode of space … [6] dwell in the abode of consciousness … [7] dwell in the abode of nothingness …

“There are another seven things, which are seven ways of diligence:
First, a monk is diligent in practicing the precepts.
Second, he diligently ceases his desires.
Third, he diligently refutes wrong views.
Fourth, he diligently learns much.
Fifth, he diligently makes effort.
Sixth, he is diligent in correct mindfulness.
Seventh, he is diligent in meditation.

“There are another seven things, which are seven concepts:
The concept of impurity, concept that food is impure, concept that all the world is not pleasing, concept of death, concept of impermanence, concept of the pain of impermanence, and concept of the lack of self in pain.

“There are another seven things, which are seven requisites of samādhi:
Right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right method, and right mindfulness.

“There are another seven things, which are seven factors of awakening:
The awakening factor of mindfulness, awakening factor of teachings, awakening factor of effort, awakening factor of joy, awakening factor of calm, awakening factor of samādhi, and awakening factor of equanimity.

“Monks, these are the correct teachings taught by the Tathāgata that we ought to compile together to safeguard them from dispute, establish the religious life for a long time, and benefit many people so that gods and people will obtain peace.

Sets of Eight
“Monks, the Tathāgata has taught eight correct things, which are eight rules of the world:
Profit, decline, censure, praise, admiration, blame, pain, and pleasure.

“There are another eight things, which are the eight liberations:
Form observed as form is the first liberation.
Observing external form without internal perceptions of form is the second liberation.
The liberation of purity is the third liberation.
Going beyond notions of form, ceasing notions of anger, and abiding in the abode of space is the fourth liberation.
Going beyond the abode of space and abiding in the abode of consciousness is the fifth liberation.
Going beyond the abode of consciousness and abiding in the abode of nothingness is the sixth liberation.
Going beyond the abode of nothingness and abiding the abode with and without conception is the seventh liberation.
Going beyond the abode with and without conception and abiding in the cessation of concepts and perceptions is the eighth liberation.

“There are another eight things which are the noble eightfold path:
Right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right method, right mindfulness, and right samādhi.

“There are another eight things, which are the eight persons:
Those headed for stream entry and stream entrants, those headed for once-returning and once-returners, those headed for non-returning and non-returners, and those headed to becoming arhats and arhats.

“Monks, these are the correct teachings taught by the Tathāgata that we ought to compile together to safeguard them from dispute, establish the religious life for a long time, and benefit many people so that gods and people will obtain peace.

A Set of Nine
“There’s another nine things, which are nine abodes of sentient beings:
Some sentient beings have diverse bodies and diverse notions.
These gods and humans are the first abode of sentient beings.
Some sentient beings have diverse bodies but the same notions.
When the Brahmas of the Ābhāsvara Heaven are first born there, that’s the second abode of sentient beings.
Some sentient beings have the same bodies but diverse notions.
This Ābhāsvara Heaven is the third abode of sentient beings.
Some sentient beings have the same bodies and the same notions.
This Śubhakṛtsnā Heaven is the fourth abode of sentient beings.
Some sentient beings lack conception or anything to perceive.
This Asāṃjñika Heaven is the fifth abode of sentient beings.
Some sentient beings dwell in the abode of space, which is the sixth abode of sentient beings.
Some sentient beings dwell in the abode of consciousness, which is the seventh abode of sentient beings.
Some sentient beings dwell in the abode of nothingness, which is the eighth abode of sentient beings.
Some sentient beings dwell in the abode with and without conception, which is the ninth abode of sentient beings.

“Monks, these are the correct teachings taught by the Tathāgata that we ought to compile together to safeguard them from dispute, establish the religious life for a long time, and benefit many people so that gods and people will obtain peace.

A Set of Ten
“Monks, the Tathāgata has taught ten correct things, which are ten ways of having nothing more to learn:
Having nothing more to learn about right view … right intention … right speech … right action … right livelihood … right mindfulness … right method … right samādhi … right knowledge … right liberation.

“Monks, these are the correct teachings taught by the Tathāgata that we ought to compile together to safeguard them from dispute, establish the religious life for a long time, and benefit many people so that gods and people will obtain peace.

At that point, the Bhagavān gave his approval of what Śāriputra had taught.
When the monks heard what Śāriputra taught, they rejoiced and approved.

10 - DA 10 Going Up to Ten

Thus I have heard:
One time, the Buddha traveled to Aṅga accompanied by a large group of 1,250 monks.
They went to the city of Campā and stayed near Lake Gargarā.

On the fifteenth-day full moon, the Bhagavān sat in an open area with a large assembly surrounding him.
After teaching the Dharma all night, he addressed Śāriputra, “The monks have gathered today from the four directions.
They’ve all diligently shaken off their sleepiness and want to listen to a Dharma teaching, but I’m suffering from back pain.
I’m going to take a break.
You can teach the Dharma for the monks now.”

Śāriputra accepted the Buddha’s instruction.
The Bhagavān then folded his outer robe four times and laid on his right side like a lion with his feet together.

The senior Śāriputra then addressed the monks, “I will teach the Dharma now.
Its words are true in the beginning, middle, and end, its content and meaning are complete, and it purifies the religious life.
All of you, listen closely, and consider it well.
I will teach it for you.”

The monks accepted his instructions and listened.

Śāriputra told the monks, “There are teachings that go up to ten which remove the manifold bonds, reach Nirvāṇa, and completely end suffering.
They also perfect 550 things.
Now, I will discern them.
All of you, listen well!

The Ones
“Monks, there’s one thing to be achieved, one thing to be cultivated, one thing to be recognized, one thing to be ceased, one thing that retreats, one thing that advances, one thing that’s difficult to understand, one thing to produce, one thing to know, and one thing to be realized.

“What’s one thing to be achieved?
Not being careless about good qualities.
What’s one thing to be cultivated?
Constant mindfulness of oneself.
What’s one thing to be recognized?
Contaminated contact.
What’s one thing to be ceased?
The conceit of self.
What’s one thing that retreats?
Not contemplating the foul discharges.
What’s one thing that advances?
Contemplation of the foul discharges.
What’s one thing that’s difficult to understand?
Uninterrupted samādhi.
What’s one thing to produce?
Liberation from being contaminated.
What’s one thing to know?
Sentient beings look to food for their subsistence.
What’s one thing to be realized?
The freedom of an unobstructed mind.

The Twos
“Monks, there are two things to be achieved, two things to be cultivated, two things to be recognized, two things to be ceased, two things that retreat, two things that advance, two things that are difficult to understand, two things to produce, two things to know, and two things to be realized.

“What are two things to be achieved?
Knowing conscience and modesty.
What are two things to be cultivated?
Calm and contemplation.
What are two things to be recognized?
Name and form.
What are two things to be ceased?
Ignorance and craving.
What are two things that retreat?
Violating precepts and breaking with [right] view.
What are two things that advance?
Being complete in precepts and complete in view.
What are two things that are difficult to understand?
The causes and conditions for sentient beings to be defiled and the causes and conditions for sentient beings to be purified.
What are two things to produce?
Knowledge of ending [the contaminants] and knowledge of no birth.
What are two things to know?
What’s possible and what’s impossible.
What are two things to be realized?
Insight and liberation.

The Threes
“There are also three things to be achieved, three things to be cultivated, three things to be recognized, three things to be ceased, three things that retreat, three things that advance, three things that are difficult to understand, three things to produce, three things to know, and three things to be realized.

“What are three things to be achieved?
Making good friends, listening to the voice of Dharma, and accomplishing [consecutive] teachings.

“What are three things to be cultivated?
The three samādhis:
the samādhi of emptiness, the samādhi without attributes, and the samādhi without actions.

“What are three things to be recognized?
The three feelings:
painful feelings, pleasant feelings, and feelings that are neither painful nor pleasant.

“What are three things to be ceased?
The three cravings:
craving for desires, craving for existence, and craving to not exist.

“What are three things that retreat?
The three roots of unskillfulness:
the unskillful root of greed, unskillful root of anger, and the unskillful root of delusion.

“What are three things that advance?
The three roots of skillfulness:
the skillful root of having no greed, skillful root of having no anger, and the skillful root of having no delusion.

“What are three things that are difficult to understand?
Three difficult understandings:
Noble people are difficult to understand, learning teachings that are difficult to understand, and the Tathāgata is difficult to understand.

“What are three things to produce?
Three modes:
the mode of calm, mode of diligence, and mode of detachment.

“What are three things to know?
Three realms of escape:
escaping desire to the realm of form, escaping the realm of form to the formless realm, and detaching from all conditioned things, which is called the end [of realms].

“What are three things to be realized?
The three insights:
the knowledge of past lives, the knowledge of the heavenly eye, and the knowledge that the contaminants are ended.

“Monks, these thirty things are true and not false.
They’ve been known by the Tathāgata who teaches the Dharma equally.

The Fours
“There are also four things to be achieved, four things to be cultivated, four things to be recognized, four things to be ceased, four things that retreat, four things that advance, four things that are difficult to understand, four things to produce, four things to know, and four things to be realized.

“What are four things to be achieved?
The four wheels:
Living in a central country, being close to good friends, guarding oneself, and having planted roots of goodness in the past.

“What are four things to be cultivated?
The four abodes of mindfulness:
[1] A monk observes internal body as body, diligently and not negligently.
He doesn’t lose that recollection and abandons worldly greed and sorrow.
He observes external body as body, diligently and not negligently.
He doesn’t lose that recollection and abandons worldly greed and sorrow.
He observes internal and external body as body, diligently and not negligently.
He doesn’t lose that recollection and abandons worldly greed and sorrow.
He likewise observes [2] feelings, [3] mind, and [4] teachings.

“What are four things to be recognized?
The four foods:
physical food, food of contact, food of thought, and food of consciousness.

“What are four things to be ceased?
The four acquisitions:
the acquisition of desires, acquisition of self, acquisition of precepts, and acquisition of views.

“What are four things that retreat?
The four yokes:
The yoke of desire, yoke of existence, yoke of views, and yoke of ignorance.

“What are four things that advance?
The absence of four yokes:
The absence of the yoke of desire, yoke of existence, yoke of views, and yoke of ignorance.

“What are four things that are difficult to understand?
The four noble truths:
The truth of suffering, truth of its formation, truth of its cessation, and truth of the path.

“What are four things to produce?
The four knowledges:
Knowledge of principles, knowledge of what’s yet to be known, knowledge of equality, and knowledge of other minds.

“What are four things to know?
The four kinds of eloquence:
Eloquence of teachings, eloquence of meaning, eloquence of expression, and eloquence of responses.

“What are four things to be realized?
The four fruits of the ascetic:
The fruit of stream-entry, fruit of once-returning, fruit of non-returning, and fruit of the arhat.

“Monks, these forty things are true and not false.
They’ve been known by the Tathāgata who teaches the Dharma equally.

The Fives
“There are also five things to be achieved, five things to be cultivated, five things to be recognized, five things to be ceased, five things that retreat, five things that advance, five things that are difficult to understand, five things to produce, five things to know, and five things to be realized.

“What are five things to be achieved?
The five factors of complete cessation:
First is faith in the Buddha, Tathāgata, and Arhat who perfected the ten epithets.
Second is having no illness and being at peace.
Third is being honest and not deceptive about heading straight down the Tathāgata’s road to Nirvāṇa.
Fourth is mental focus that’s not confused and doesn’t forget the recitations.
Fifth is skill in investigating the arising and cessation of things and ending the root of suffering with the noble practice.

“What are five things to be cultivated?
The five faculties:
the faculty of faith, faculty of effort, faculty of mindfulness, faculty of samādhi, and faculty of wisdom.

“What are five things to be recognized?
The five acquired aggregates:
the acquired aggregate of form … feeling … conception … volition … the acquired aggregate of consciousness.

“What are five things to be ceased?
The five hindrances:
The hindrance of greed, hindrance of anger, hindrance of drowsiness, hindrance of restlessness, and hindrance of doubt.

“What are five things that retreat?
The five mental obstructions:
First, a monk doubts the Buddha.
Doubting the Buddha, he doesn’t befriend him.
Not befriending him, he doesn’t respect him.
This is the first mental obstruction.
Second, a monk has practices that are penetrated by contaminants, practices that aren’t true, and practices that are defiled regarding the teaching … Third … saṃgha … Fourth … precepts … He doesn’t befriend the precepts and doesn’t respect them.
This is the fourth mental obstruction.
Fifth, a monk produces bad inclinations toward religious practitioners.
His mind doesn’t delight in them, his words are harsh, and he criticizes them.
This is the fifth mental obstruction.

“What are five things that advance?
The five roots of joy:
delight, mindfulness, calm, happiness, and samādhi.

“What are five things that are difficult to understand?
The five entries to liberation:
If a monk is diligent and not negligent, is happy living in seclusion, focus his attention, and unifies his mind, he’ll free what’s yet to be freed, end what’s yet to be ended, and calm what’s yet to be calmed.
What are the five?
[1] If a monk hears the Buddha teach Dharma, hears a teaching by a religious practitioner, or hears a teaching by a senior teacher, he considers, investigates, and discerns the teaching and its meaning, and his heart rejoices.
Once he rejoices, he gains a love of Dharma.
Once he gains a love of Dharma, his body and mind become peaceful.
Once his body and mind are peaceful, he attains samādhi.
Once he attains samādhi, he attains true knowledge.
This is the first entry to liberation.

“[2] Likewise, a monk who rejoices upon hearing the teaching does so when accepting, retaining, and reciting it.
[3] He rejoices when explaining it for other people.
[4] He rejoices when considering and discerning it.
[5] He also rejoices when he attains samādhi with the teaching.

“What are five things to produce?
The noble person’s five knowledges regarding samādhi:
The internal and external knowledge that arises from the present and future happiness of cultivating samādhi.
The internal and external knowledge that arises from the noble person’s lack of craving.
The internal and external knowledge that arises from the practices cultivated by Buddhas and noble people.
The internal and external knowledge that arises from the state of tranquility while alone and without a companion.
The internal and external knowledge that arises from entering and emerging from samādhi with a unified mind.

“What are five things to know?
The five spheres of escape:
[1] First, A monk doesn’t enjoy, give attention to, or befriend desires.
He’s only mindful of escaping them and enjoys being far from them.
He befriends non-negligence and disciplines his mind.
Escaping and being free of desires, the arising of contaminants caused by those desires is also entirely abandoned and ceased, and he becomes liberated.
This is the escape from desire.
[2] The escape from anger, [3] escape from jealousy, [4] escape from form, and [5] escape from belief in the individual are likewise.

“What are five things to be realized?
The five collections of the adept:
the adept’s collection of precepts, collection of samādhi, collection of wisdom, collection of liberation, and collection of knowing and seeing liberation.

“These fifty things are true and not false.
They’ve been known by the Tathāgata who teaches the Dharma equally.

The Sixes
“There are also six things to be achieved, six things to be cultivated, six things to be recognized, six things to be ceased, six things that retreat, six things that advance, six things that are difficult to understand, six things to produce, six things to know, and six things to be realized.

“What are six things to be achieved?
The six honored things:
If a monk cultivates six honored things that are respectable and honorable, he’ll be unified with the community without quarrels, and he’ll practice alone without mixing [with others].

“What are the six?
[1] A monk’s physical conduct is always kind, respecting religious practitioners and abiding with benevolence.
This is called an honored thing that’s respectable and honorable.
It unifies him with the community without any quarrels, and he practices alone without mixing with others.

“Furthermore, a monk is [2] verbally kind … [3] mentally kind … [4] shares with other people the leftover alms in his bowl that were gotten according to the Dharma.
He doesn’t favor certain people when doing so …

“Furthermore, [5] a monk doesn’t violate, criticize, or defile the precepts that are practiced by noble people.
He’s commended by wise people for skillfully perfecting the observance of precepts, and he achieves a settled mind …

“Furthermore, [6] a monk accomplishes the noble escape, completely ends suffering, and attains various religious practices with right view.
This is called an honored thing that’s respectable and honorable.
It unifies him with the community without any quarrels, and he practices alone without mixing with others.

“What are six things to be cultivated?
The six recollections:
recollection of the Buddha, recollection of the Dharma, recollection of the Saṅgha, recollection of the precepts, recollection of generosity, and recollection of the gods.

“What are six things to be recognized?
The six internal senses:
The eye sense, ear sense, nose sense, tongue sense, body sense, and mind sense.

“What are six things to be ceased?
The six cravings:
craving for sights, craving for sounds, craving for odors, craving for flavors, craving for touches, and craving for notions.

“What are six things that retreat?
The six disrespects:
disrespecting the Buddha, disrespecting the Dharma, disrespecting the Saṅgha, disrespecting the precepts, disrespecting samādhi, and disrespecting one’s parents.

“What are six things that advance?
The six respects:
respecting the Buddha, respecting the Dharma, respecting the Saṅgha, respecting the precepts, respecting samādhi, and respecting one’s parents.

“What are six things difficult to understand?
The six unsurpassed things:
unsurpassed view, unsurpassed learning, unsurpassed support, unsurpassed precepts, unsurpassed respect, and unsurpassed memory.

“What are six things to produce?
The six equanimities:
Here, a monk sees forms without sorrow or joy and abides detached with focused attention.
Hearing sounds … smelling odors … tasting flavors … cognizing notions, he’s neither joyous nor sorrowful and abides detached with focused attention.

“What are six things to know?
The six spheres of escape:
[1] Suppose a monk says, ‘I’d cultivate kindness, but then I become angry.’
The other monks say, ‘Don’t say that!
Don’t misrepresent the Tathāgata.
The Tathāgata doesn’t say, “I’d like to cultivate the liberation of kindness, but then notions of anger arise.”
That’s impossible.
The Buddha says, “Once anger is gone, then one becomes kind afterward.”


“Suppose a monk says, [2] ‘I’d practice the liberation of compassion, but then I have hateful thoughts.’
… [3] ‘practice the liberation of joy, but then I have sorrowful thoughts.’
… [4] ‘practice the liberation of equanimity, but then I have thoughts of like or dislike.’
… [5] ‘cultivate the practice of non-self, but then I have suspicious thoughts’ … [6] ‘cultivate the practice without conception, but then I have many distracting notions.’
Those cases are likewise.

“What are six things to be realized?
The six spiritual penetrations:
Realization of miraculous abilities, realization of the heavenly ear, realization of knowing others’ minds, realization of perceiving past lives, realization of the heavenly eye, and realization of perceiving the end of the contaminants.

“These sixty things, monks, are true and not false.
They’ve been known by the Tathāgata who teaches the Dharma equally.

The Sevens
“There are also seven things to be achieved, seven things to be cultivated, seven things to be recognized, seven things to be ceased, seven things that retreat, seven things that advance, seven things that are difficult to understand, seven things to produce, seven things to know, and seven things to be realized.

“What are seven things to be achieved?
The seven kinds of wealth:
wealth in faith, wealth in precepts, wealth in conscience, wealth in modesty, wealth in learning, wealth in generosity, and wealth in wisdom are the seven kinds of wealth.

“What are seven things to be cultivated?
The seven awakenings:
Here, a monk cultivates the awakening of mindfulness, which depends on being desireless, tranquil, and secluded.
He cultivates the teaching … cultivates effort … cultivates joy … cultivates mildness … cultivates samādhi … cultivates equanimity, which depends on being desireless, tranquil, and secluded.

“What are seven things to be recognized?
The seven dwelling places of consciousness:
There are sentient beings of diverse bodies and diverse notions.
These gods and humans are the first abode of consciousness.
Again, there are sentient beings of diverse bodies but the same notions.
When the Brahmas of the Ābhāsvara Heaven are first born there, that’s the second abode of consciousness.
Again, there are sentient beings of the same bodies but diverse notions.
These Ābhāsvara gods are the third abode of consciousness.
Again, there are sentient beings of the same bodies and the same notions.
These Śubhakṛtsnā gods are the fourth abode of consciousness.
Again, there are sentient beings that dwell in the abode of space.
This is the fifth abode of consciousness.
Some dwell in the abode of consciousness.
This is the sixth abode of consciousness.
Some are in the abode of nothingness.
This is the seventh abode of consciousness.

“What are seven things to be ceased?
The seven tendencies:
the tendency of craving desires, tendency of craving existence, tendency of views, tendency of pride, tendency of anger, tendency of ignorance, and tendency of doubt.

“What are seven things that retreat?
The seven wrong things:
Here, a monk has no faith, no conscience, no modesty, little learning, falls into laziness, and forgets much and lacks wisdom.

“What are seven things that advance?
The seven proper things:
Here, a monk has faith, conscience, modesty, much learning, doesn’t fall into laziness, and has a good memory and wisdom.

“What are seven things that are difficult to understand?
The seven right and skillful things:
Here, a monk likes meaning, likes Dharma, likes knowing the occasion, likes knowing what’s enough, likes being composed, likes gathering with assemblies, and likes discerning people.

“What are seven things to produce?
The seven concepts:
The concept of impurity, concept that food is impure, concept that nothing in the world is enjoyable, concept of death, concept of impermanence, concept of the pain of impermanence, and concept of the lack of self in pain.

“What are seven things to know?
The seven diligences:
diligence in practicing precepts, diligence in ceasing craving, diligence in destroying wrong views, diligence in learning much, diligence in effort, diligence in right mindfulness, and diligence in meditation.

“What are seven things to be realized?
The seven powers of ending the contaminants:
Here, a monk who has ended the contaminants [1] really knows and sees all kinds of suffering and their formation, cessation, enjoyment, defect, and escape.
[2] He observes desire to be like a fire pit or a sword.
He knows desire and sees desire.
He isn’t greedy for desires, and his mind doesn’t dwell on desire.
[3] Again, skillfully examining it, having really known and really seen it, worldly lust and bad and unskillful things don’t arise and defile him.
[4] He cultivates the four abodes of mindfulness, often cultivating and practicing them … [5] the five faculties and five powers … [6] the seven awakenings … [7] the noble eightfold path, often cultivating and practicing it.

“Monks, these seventy things are true and not false.
They’ve been known by the Tathāgata who teaches the Dharma equally.

The Eights
“There are also eight things to be achieved, eight things to be cultivated, eight things to be recognized, eight things to be ceased, eight things that retreat, eight things that advance, eight things that are difficult to understand, eight things to produce, eight things to know, and eight things to be realized.

“What are eight things to be achieved?
The eight causes and conditions that gain knowledge before the religious life is attained and that increase knowledge once it has been attained.

“What are the eight?
Here, a monk lives according to the Bhagavān, or he might live according to a teacher, elder, or a wise religious practitioner.
He becomes conscientious and modest, and he possesses affection and respect for them.
This is the first cause and condition that gains knowledge before the religious life is attained and that increases knowledge once it has been attained.

“Furthermore, living according to the Bhagavān … he asks questions at the appropriate time:
‘What does this teaching mean?
What’s the aim of it?’
The venerable elders immediately disclose its profound meaning.
This is the second cause and condition …

“Once he has heard this, both his body and mind are pleasant and calm.
This is the third cause and condition …

“He doesn’t engage in unbeneficial discussions that obstruct the path.
When he goes into a community, he either discusses the teaching himself or asks another to discuss it, but he doesn’t otherwise abandon the noble silence.
This is the fourth cause and condition …

“His learning becomes extensive, and he retains and doesn’t lose the profundities of the teaching.
It’s good in the beginning, middle, and end, genuine in content and expression, and perfects the religious life.
Having heard it, it enters his mind, and his [right] view doesn’t waver.
This is the fifth cause and condition …

“He trains diligently, desisting from unskillful conduct and increasing daily his skillful conduct.
He exerts himself to be worthy and doesn’t abandon this teaching.
This is the sixth cause and condition …

“Also, he recognizes the law of arising and cessation with wisdom and heads for the noble end of suffering.
This is the seventh cause and condition …

“Also, he observes the arising and ceasing nature of the five acquired aggregates:
‘This is form, form’s coming together, and form’s cessation.
This is feeling … conception … volition … consciousness, consciousness’s coming together, and consciousness’s cessation.’
This is the eighth cause and condition that gains knowledge before the religious life is attained and that increases knowledge once it has been attained.

“What are eight things to be cultivated?
The noble eightfold path:
right view, right intent, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right method, right mindfulness, and right samādhi.

“What are eight things to be recognized?
The eight ways of the world:
profit and decline, criticism and praise, admiration and censure, and pain and pleasure.

“What are eight things to be ceased?
The eightfold wrong [path]:
wrong view, wrong intent, wrong speech, wrong action, wrong livelihood, wrong method, wrong mindfulness, and wrong samādhi.

“What are eight things that retreat?
The eight kinds of indolence:
What are the eight kinds of indolence?
A monk soliciting alms doesn’t get alms.
He then thinks, ‘Today, I went to town to solicit alms and didn’t get any.
My body feels weak and incapable of sitting in meditation or walking back and forth.
Now, I ought to lie down and rest.’
That indolent monk then lies down to rest, refusing to diligently attempt to attain what he has yet to attain, obtain what he has yet to obtain, and realize what he has yet to realize.
This is the first indolence.

“An indolent monk gets too much food.
Again, he thinks, ‘This morning, I went to town to solicit alms, and I got too much food.
My body feels heavy and incapable of sitting in meditation or walking back and forth.
Now, I ought to lie down to rest.’
That indolent monk then lies down to rest.
He can’t diligently attempt to attain what he has yet to attain, obtain what he has yet to obtain, and realize what he has yet to realize.
[This is the second indolence.
]

“An indolent monk thinks about some minor attachment, ‘Today, I’m attached to something.
My body is weak and incapable of sitting in meditation or walking back and forth.
Now, I ought to lie down to rest.’
That indolent monk lies down to rest … [This is the third indolence.
]

“An indolent monk thinks about some attachment he’s going to have, ‘Clearly, I’ll be attached to this.
Surely, I’ll be weak, so I won’t be able sit in meditation or walk back and forth.
I’ll lie down to rest.’
That indolent monk then lies down to rest … [This is the fourth indolence.
]

“An indolent monk thinks about some minor trip, ‘In the morning, I’ll be traveling.
My body will be weak and incapable of sitting in meditation or walking back and forth.
Now, I ought to lie down and rest.’
That indolent monk then lies down to rest … [This is the fifth indolence.
]

“An indolent monk thinks about some trip he’s going to take, ‘Clearly, I will be traveling.
Surely, I’ll be weak, so I can’t sit in meditation or walk back and forth now.
I’ll lie down to rest.’
That indolent monk lies down to rest.
He can’t diligently attempt to attain what he has yet to attain, obtain what he has yet to obtain, and realize what he has yet to realize.
This is the sixth indolence.

“[An indolent monk] encounters some minor pain, and then he thinks, ‘I’ve become seriously ill.
I’m feeble and weak, incapable of sitting in meditation or walking back and forth.
I need to lie down and rest.’
That indolent monk then lies down to rest.
He can’t diligently attempt to attain what he has yet to attain, obtain what he has yet to obtain, and realize what he has yet to realize.
[This is the seventh indolence.
]

“An indolent monk recovers from some pain and then he thinks, ‘I’ve only recently recovered from that illness.
My body is weak, and I can’t sit in meditation or walk back and forth.
I ought to lie down and rest.’
That indolent monk then lies down to rest.
He can’t diligently attempt to attain what he has yet to attain, obtain what he has yet to obtain, and realize what he has yet to realize.
[This is the eighth indolence.
]

“What are eight things that advance?
The eight ways of not being indolent.
What are these eight efforts?
A monk goes to town to solicit alms, doesn’t get any food, and returns.
He then thinks, ‘Today, my body is weak, and I’m a little sleepy.
Now, I ought to make effort by sitting in meditation and walking back and forth.’
He attains what he has yet to attain, obtains what he has yet to obtain, and realizes what he has yet to realize.
That monk then immediately makes effort.
This is the first effort.

“[A monk] solicits alms and gets enough.
He then thinks, ‘Now, I went to town to solicit alms, and the food I got was filling.
My strength is restored, so I ought to make effort by sitting in meditation and walking back and forth.’
He attains what he has yet to attain, obtains what he has yet to obtain, and realizes what he has yet to realize.
That monk then immediately makes effort.
[This is the second effort.
]

“If a diligent monk has a task to do, he thinks, ‘I have this task to do that will interrupt my practice.
I ought to make effort by sitting in meditation and walking back and forth now.’
He will attain what he has yet to attain, obtain what he has yet to obtain, and realize what he has yet to realize.
That monk then immediately makes effort.
[This is the third effort.
]

“If a diligent monk has a task to do, he thinks, ‘I have this task to do tomorrow that will interrupt my practice.
I ought to make effort by sitting in meditation and walking back and forth now.’
He will attain what he has yet to attain, obtain what he has yet to obtain, and realize what he has yet to realize.
That monk then immediately makes effort.
[This is the fourth effort.
]

“If a diligent monk has somewhere to go, he thinks, ‘I have somewhere to go this morning, which will interrupt my practice.
I ought to make effort by sitting in meditation and walking back and forth now.’
He will attain what he has yet to attain, obtain what he has yet to obtain, and realize what he has yet to realize.
That monk then immediately makes effort.
[This is the fifth effort.
]

“If a diligent monk has somewhere to go, he thinks, ‘I will be traveling tomorrow, which will interrupt my practice.
I ought to make effort by sitting in meditation and walking back and forth.’
He will attain what he has yet to attain, obtain what he has yet to obtain, and realize what he has yet to realize.
That monk then immediately makes effort.
[This is the sixth effort.
]

“When a diligent monk becomes ill, he thinks, ‘I’ve become seriously ill.
Maybe my life will end!
I ought to make effort [by sitting in meditation and walking back and forth now.
]’ He will attain what he has yet to attain, obtain what he has yet to obtain, and realize what he has yet to realize.
That monk then immediately makes effort.
[This is the seventh effort.
]

“If a diligent monk recovers a little from an illness, he thinks, ‘I’ve begun to recover from that illness.
It might get worse, which would interrupt my practice.
I ought to make effort by sitting in meditation and walking back and forth now.’
He will attain what he has yet to attain, obtain what he has yet to obtain, and realize what he has yet to realize.
Thereupon, that monk then immediately makes effort by sitting in meditation and walking.
[This is the eighth effort.
]

“What are eight things that are difficult to understand?
The eight cases of having no opportunity to cultivate the religious practice.
What are the eight?
[1] The Tathāgata, the Arhat, arises in the world and teaches the sublime teaching that’s quiescent, unconditioned, and leads to the path of awakening.
A person who’s born in Hell has no opportunity there to cultivate the religious practice.

“[2] The Tathāgata, the Arhat, arises in the world and teaches the sublime teaching that’s quiescent, unconditioned, and leads to the path of awakening.
There are sentient beings born among animals … [3] among hungry ghosts … [4] among long-lived gods … [5] in border lands where they are unaware of it.
The Buddha’s teaching doesn’t exist in such places, so there’s no opportunity to cultivate the religious practice.

“[6] The Tathāgata, the Arhat, arises in the world and teaches the sublime teaching that’s quiescent, unconditioned, and leads to the path of awakening.
Some sentient beings are born in a central country, but they have wrong views, harbor deluded thoughts, and commit evil deeds.
They’ll surely go to Hell where there’s no opportunity to cultivate the religious practice.

“[7] The Tathāgata, the Arhat, arises in the world and teaches the sublime teaching that’s quiescent, unconditioned, and leads to the path of awakening.
Some sentient beings are born in a central country, but they’re deaf, blind, or mute and can’t learn the teaching.
They have no opportunity to cultivate the religious practice.

“[8] The Tathāgata, the Arhat, doesn’t arise in the world, and no one teaches the sublime teaching that’s quiescent, unconditioned, and leads to the path of awakening.
Some sentient beings are born in a central country, and their faculties are complete.
They are worthy of the noble teaching, but they don’t meet a buddha, so they can’t cultivate the religious practice.
This is the eighth case of having no opportunity.

“What are eight things to produce?
The eight awakenings of the great person:
The path should have few desires;
having many desires is not the path.
The path should be satisfying;
being unsatisfied is not the path.
The path should be secluded;
enjoying company is not the path.
The path should be to restrain oneself;
playing around is not the path.
The path should be diligent;
indolence is not the path.
The path should be focused attention;
forgetfulness is not the path.
The path should be a focused mind;
a distracted mind is not the path.
The path should be wise;
foolishness is not the path.

“What are eight things to know?
The eight changes to the senses.
Having an inner perception of form, one observes external form to be small.
Whether it’s beautiful or ugly, they continuously observe and attend to it.
This is the first change to the senses.

“Having an inner perception of form, one observes external form to be measureless.
Whether it’s beautiful or ugly, they continuously observe and attend to it.
This is the second change to the senses.

“Without an inner perception of form, one observes external form to be small.
Whether it’s beautiful or ugly, they continuously observe and attend to it.
This is the third change to the senses.

“Without an inner perception of form, one observes external form to be measureless.
Whether it’s beautiful or ugly, they continuously observe and attend to it.
This is the fourth change to the senses.

“Without an inner perception of form, one observes external form to be blue.
The blue form, blue reflection, and blue sight are like a blue lotus flower or a blue Vārāṇasī cloth.
They are completely blue forms, blue reflections, and blue sights.
Creating such a perception, one continuously observes and attends to it.
This is the fifth change to the senses.

“Without an inner perception of form, one observes external form to be yellow.
The yellow form, yellow reflection, and yellow sight are like a yellow flower or a yellow Vārāṇasī cloth.
They are completely yellow forms, yellow reflections, and yellow sights.
Creating such a perception, one continuously observes and attends to it.
This is the sixth change to the senses.

“Without an inner perception of form, one observes external form that’s red.
The red form, red reflection, and red sight are like a red flower or a red Vārāṇasī cloth.
They are completely red forms, red reflections, and red sights.
Creating such a perception, one continuously observes and attends to it.
This is the seventh change to the senses.

“Without an inner perception of form, one observes external form to be white.
The white form, white reflection, and white sight are like a white flower or a white Vārāṇasī cloth.
They are completely white forms, white reflections, and white sights.
Creating such a perception, one continuously observes and attends to it.
This is the eighth change to the senses.

“What are eight things to be realized?
The eight liberations:
Form observed to be form is the first liberation.
Observing external form without an internal perception of form is the second liberation.
The liberation of purity is the third liberation.
Going beyond notions of form, ceasing notions of anger, and abiding in the abode of space is the fourth liberation.
Going beyond the abode of space and abiding in the abode of consciousness is the fifth liberation.
Going beyond the abode of consciousness and abiding in the abode of nothingness is the sixth liberation.
Going beyond the abode of nothingness and abiding in the abode with and without conception is the seventh liberation.
Going beyond the abode with and without conception and abiding in the cessation of concepts and perceptions is the eighth liberation.

“Monks, these eighty things are true and not false.
They’ve been known by the Tathāgata who teaches the Dharma equally.

The Nines
“There are also nine things to be achieved, nine things to be cultivated, nine things to be recognized, nine things to be ceased, nine things that retreat, nine things that advance, nine things that are difficult to understand, nine things to produce, nine things to know, and nine things to be realized.

“What are nine things to be achieved?
The nine factors of purified cessation:
the precepts as a factor of purified cessation, the mind as a factor of purified cessation, views as a factor of purified cessation, going beyond doubt as a factor of purified cessation, discernment as a factor of purified cessation, the path as a factor of purified cessation, elimination as a factor of purified cessation, lacking desire as a factor of purified cessation, and liberation as a factor of purified cessation.

“What are nine things to be cultivated?
The nine sources of joy:
First is joy, second is love, third is delight, fourth is pleasure, fifth is samādhi, sixth is real knowledge, seventh is indifference, eighth is lacking desire, and ninth is liberation.

“What are nine things to be recognized?
They are the nine abodes of sentient beings.
Some sentient beings have diverse bodies and diverse notions.
These gods and humans are the first abode of sentient beings.
Some sentient beings have diverse bodies but the same notions.
When the Brahmas of the Ābhāsvara Heaven are first born there, that’s the second abode of sentient beings.
Some sentient beings have the same bodies but diverse notions.
This Ābhāsvara Heaven is the third abode of sentient beings.
Some sentient beings have the same bodies and the same notions.
This Śubhakṛtsnā Heaven is the fourth abode of sentient beings.
Some sentient beings lack conception or anything to perceive.
This Asāṃjñika Heaven is the fifth abode of sentient beings.
Again, some sentient beings dwell in the abode of space, which is the sixth abode of sentient beings.
Again, some sentient beings dwell in the abode of consciousness, which is the seventh abode of sentient beings.
Again, some sentient beings dwell in the abode of nothingness, which is the eighth abode of sentient beings.
Again, some sentient beings dwell in the abode with and without conception, which is the ninth abode of sentient beings.

“What are nine things to be ceased?
The nine sources of craving:
Because of craving, there’s pursuit.
Because of pursuit, there’s gain.
Because of gain, there’s use.
Because of use, there’s desire.
Because of desire, there’s attachment.
Because of attachment, there’s jealousy.
Because of jealousy, there’s clinging.
Because of clinging, there’s guarding.

“What are nine things that retreat?
They are the nine vexations:
‘A person [1] once troubled me, [2] is troubling me, or [3] will trouble me.’
‘Someone dear to me [4] has been troubled, [5] is being troubled, or [6] will be troubled.’
‘Someone I dislike [7] has been loved and respected, [8] is being loved and respected, or [9] will be loved and respected.’

“What are nine things that advance?
They are the nine non-vexations:
‘That person has harassed me, but what benefit is there in being troubled by it?
[1] It didn’t trouble me then, [2] doesn’t trouble me now, and [3] won’t trouble me in the future.’
‘Someone dear to me has been harassed, but what benefit is there in my being troubled by it?
[4] It didn’t trouble me then, [5] doesn’t trouble me now, and [6] won’t trouble me in the future.’
‘Someone I dislike has been loved and respected, but what benefit is there in my being troubled by it?
[7] It didn’t trouble me then, [8] doesn’t trouble me now, and [9] won’t trouble me in the future.’

“What are nine things that are difficult to understand?
They are nine religious practices:
[1] If a monk has faith but doesn’t observe the precepts, then his religious practice is incomplete.
[2] When a monk has faith and the precepts, then his religious practice is complete.

“[3] If a monk has faith and precepts but doesn’t learn much, then his religious practice is incomplete.
When a monk has faith, precepts, and much learning, then his religious practice is complete.

“[4] If a monk has faith, precepts, and much learning but can’t teach Dharma, then his religious practice is incomplete.
When a monk has faith, precepts, much learning, and can teach Dharma, then his religious practice is complete.

“[5] If a monk has faith, precepts, much learning, and can teach Dharma but can’t train the assembly, then his religious practice is incomplete.
When a monk has faith, precepts, much learning, can teach Dharma, and can train the assembly, then his religious practice is complete.

“[6] If a monk has faith, precepts, much learning, can teach Dharma, and can train the assembly but can’t explain the Dharma’s words in detail to a large assembly, then his religious practice is incomplete.
When a monk has faith, precepts, much learning, can teach Dharma, can train the assembly, and can explain the Dharma’s words in detail to a large assembly, then his religious practice is complete.

“[7] If a monk has faith, precepts, much learning, can teach Dharma, can train the community, and can explain the Dharma’s words in detail to a large assembly but hasn’t attained the four dhyānas, then his religious practice is incomplete.
When a monk has faith, precepts, much learning, can teach Dharma, can train the assembly, can explain the Dharma’s words in detail to a large assembly, and has attained the four dhyānas, then his religious practice is complete.

“[8] If a monk has faith, precepts, much learning, can teach Dharma, can train the assembly, can explain the Dharma’s words in detail to a large assembly, and has attained the four dhyānas but hasn’t traversed the eight liberations forward and backward, then his religious practice is incomplete.
When a monk has faith, precepts, much learning, can teach Dharma, can train the assembly, can explain the Dharma’s words in detail to a large assembly, has attained the four dhyānas, and has traversed the eight liberations forward and backward, then his religious practice is complete.

“[9] Suppose a monk has faith, precepts, much learning, can teach Dharma, can train the assembly, can explain the Dharma’s words in detail to a large assembly, has attained the four dhyānas, and has traversed the eight liberations forward and backward.
Still, he can’t end being contaminated, become uncontaminated, liberate his mind and wisdom, and personally realize in the present life, ‘Birth has been ended, the religious practice has been established, and the task has been accomplished.
I won’t be subject to another existence.’
His religious practice is incomplete.
Suppose a monk has faith, precepts, much learning, can teach Dharma, can train the assembly, can explain the Dharma’s words in detail to a large assembly, has attained the four dhyānas, and has traversed the eight liberations forward and backward.
He also has abandoned being contaminated, become uncontaminated, liberated his mind and wisdom, and personally realized in the present life, ‘Birth has been ended, the religious practice has been established, and the task has been accomplished.
I won’t be subject to another existence.’
His religious practice is complete.

“What are nine things to produce?
Nine concepts:
The concept of impurity, concept that food is impure, concept that nothing in the world is enjoyable, concept of death, concept of impermanence, concept of the pain of impermanence, concept of the lack of self in pain, concept of the end [of suffering], and concept of lacking desire.

“What are nine things to know?
The nine various things:
[1] Various contacts arise because of [2] various [sensory] elements.
[3] Various feelings arise because of various contacts.
[4] Various concepts arise because of various feelings.
[5] Various formations arise because of various concepts.
[6] Various desires arise because of various formations.
[7] Various profits arise because of various desires.
[8] Various pursuits arise because of various profits.
[9] Various afflictions arise because of various pursuits.

“What are nine things to be realized?
The nine kinds of cessation:
When the first dhyāna is entered, the thorn of sound is ceased.
When the second dhyāna is entered, the thorns of perception and examination are ceased.
When the third dhyāna is entered, the thorn of joy is ceased.
When the fourth dhyāna is entered, the thorn of breathing is ceased.
When the abode of space is entered, the thorn of perceiving form is ceased.
When the abode of consciousness is entered, the thorn of perceiving space is ceased.
When the abode of nothingness is entered, the thorn of perceiving consciousness is ceased.
When the abode with and without conception is entered, the thorn of perceiving nothingness is ceased.
When the samādhi of complete cessation is entered, the thorns of conception and feeling are ceased.

“Monks, these ninety things are true and not false.
They’ve been known by the Tathāgata who teaches the Dharma equally.

The Tens
“There are also ten things to be achieved, ten things to be cultivated, ten things to be recognized, ten things to be ceased, ten things that retreat, ten things that advance, ten things that are difficult to understand, ten things to produce, ten things to know, and ten things to be realized.

“What are ten things to be achieved?
The ten ways of salvation:
First, a monk is perfect regarding the 250 precepts and perfect in his behavior.
He feels great anxiety when he sees a small infraction.
He fully learns the precepts, and he doesn’t have any inclination to corruption.
Second, he makes good friends.
Third, his language is proper, and he has a great deal of patience.
Fourth, he prefers to pursue the good teaching and disseminates it generously.
Fifth, when religious practitioners undertake a task, he immediately goes to help them.
He doesn’t regard it as troublesome, deals with difficulties, and instructs others to do the same.
Sixth, he’s well-versed, able to retain what he learns, and isn’t ever forgetful.
Seventh, he’s diligent in desisting from unskillful qualities and developing skillful qualities.
Eighth, he constantly focuses on his own mindfulness without any other ideas, recalling his previous good conduct as though it were right in front of his eyes.
Ninth, his wisdom is accomplished.
He observes the law of arising and cessation and stops the source of suffering with the noble discipline.
Tenth, he’s happy in a secluded dwelling focusing his attention and contemplating, and he isn’t agitated while he meditates.

“What are ten things to be cultivated?
The ten right practices:
right view, right intent, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right method, right samādhi, right liberation, and right knowledge.

“What are ten things to be recognized?
The ten physical senses:
the eye sense, ear sense, nose sense, tongue sense, body sense, sight sense, sound sense, odor sense, flavor sense, and touch sense.

“What are ten things to be ceased?
The ten wrong practices:
wrong view, wrong intent, wrong speech, wrong action, wrong livelihood, wrong method, wrong samādhi, wrong liberation, and wrong knowledge.

“What are ten things that retreat?
The path of ten unskillful actions:
Physically killing, stealing, and engaging in sex;
verbally being divisive, being abusive, speaking falsely, and speaking frivolously;
and mentally being greedy, being jealous, and having wrong view.

“What are ten things that advance?
The ten skillful actions:
Physically not killing, not stealing, and not engaging in sex;
verbally not being divisive, not being abusive, not speaking falsely, and not speaking frivolously;
and mentally not being greedy, not being jealous, and not having wrong view.

“What are ten things that are difficult to understand?
The ten noble dwellings:
First, a monk eliminates five limbs.
Second, he achieves six limbs.
Third, he guards one thing.
Fourth, he supports four things.
Fifth, he ceases heterodox truths.
Sixth, he has a surpassing and marvelous pursuit.
Seventh, he perceives the unmuddied.
Eighth, he has stopped physical conduct.
Ninth, his mind is liberated.
Tenth, his wisdom is liberated.

“What are ten things to produce?
The ten points of praise:
When a monk has himself attained faith, he teaches it to other people and commends those who’ve attained faith.
When he has himself observed precepts, he teaches them to other people and commends those who observe precepts.
When he has few desires himself, he teaches it to other people and commends those with few desires.
When he is himself satisfied, he teaches it to other people and commends those who are satisfied.
When he himself enjoys seclusion, he teaches it to other people and commends those who enjoy seclusion.
When he himself has learned much, he teaches it to other people and commends those who learn much.
When he has himself made effort, he teaches it to other people and commends those who make effort.
When he has himself focused his attention, he teaches it to other people and commends those who focus their attention.
When he has himself attained samādhi, he teaches it to other people and commends those who attain samādhi.
When he has himself attained wisdom, he teaches it to other people and commends those who attain wisdom.

“What are ten things to know?
The ten things to cease:
A person of right view ceases wrong view.
The numberless evils produced by the conditions of wrong view are all eliminated, and the numberless virtues produced by the causes of right view are all accomplished.
Right intent … right speech … right action … right livelihood … right method … right mindfulness … right samādhi … right liberation … right knowledge.
A person of right knowledge ceases wrong knowledge.
The numberless evils produced by the causes of wrong knowledge are all eliminated, and the numberless virtues produced by the causes of right knowledge are all accomplished.

“What are ten things to be realized?
The ten ways of an adept:
right view, right intent, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right method, right samādhi, right liberation, and right knowledge.

“Monks, these hundred things are true and not false.
They’ve been known by the Tathāgata who teaches the Dharma equally.”

The Buddha then approved of what Śāriputra said.
When the monks heard what Śāriputra taught, they rejoiced and approved.

11 - DA 11 Increasing One by One

Thus I have heard:
One time, the Buddha was staying at Anāthapiṇḍada’s Park in Jeta’s Grove of Śrāvastī.
He was accompanied by a large assembly of 1,250 monks.

It was then that the Bhagavān addressed the monks, “I will give you a discourse on the sublime teaching in which all the words in the beginning, middle, and end are true, the content and expression are pure, and the religious life is perfected.
It’s called the teaching that increases one by one.
All of you, listen closely and consider it well!
I will teach it for you.”

The monks then accepted the teaching and listened.

The Ones
The Buddha told the monks, “This is the teaching that increases one by one:
There’s one thing to be achieved, one thing to be cultivated, one thing to be recognized, one thing to be ceased, and one thing to be realized.

“What’s the one thing to be achieved?
It’s not abandoning the good Dharma.
What’s the one thing to be cultivated?
Constant mindfulness of oneself.
What’s the one thing to be recognized?
Contaminated contact.
What’s the one thing to be ceased?
The conceit of having self.
What’s the one thing to be realized?
It’s the freedom of an unobstructed mind.

The Twos
“There are also two things to be achieved, two things to be cultivated, two things to be recognized, two things to be ceased, and two things to be realized.

“What are two things to be achieved?
Knowing conscience and modesty.
What are two things to be cultivated?
Calm and contemplation.
What are two things to be recognized?
Name and form.
What are two things to be ceased?
Ignorance and craving for existence.
What are two things to be realized?
Insight and liberation.

The Threes
“There are also three things to be achieved, three things to be cultivated, three things to be recognized, three things to be ceased, and three things to be realized.

“What are three things to be achieved?
First is making good friends.
Second is listening to the voice of Dharma.
Third is accomplishing [consecutive] teachings.

“What are three things to be cultivated?
They are the three samādhis:
the samādhi of emptiness, the samādhi without attributes, and the samādhi without actions.

“What are three things to be recognized?
They are the three feelings:
painful feelings, pleasant feelings, and feelings that are neither painful or pleasant.

“What are three things to be ceased?
They are three cravings:
craving of desires, craving for existence, and craving to not exist.

“What are three things to be realized?
They are the three insights:
the knowledge of past lives, the knowledge of the heavenly eye, and the knowledge that the contaminants are ended.

The Fours
“There are also four things to be achieved, four things to be cultivated, four things to be recognized, four things to be ceased, and four things to be realized.

“What are four things to be achieved?
First is living in a central country.
Second is staying close to good friends.
Third is guarding oneself.
Fourth is having planted roots of goodness in the past.

“What are four things to be cultivated?
The four abodes of mindfulness:
[1] A monk observes internal body as body diligently and not negligently.
He doesn’t lose that recollection and abandons worldly greed and sorrow.
He observes internal and external body as body, diligently and not negligently.
He doesn’t lose that recollection and abandons worldly greed and sorrow.
He likewise observes [2] feelings, [3] mind, and [4] teachings.

“What are four things to be recognized?
The four foods:
physical food, food of contact, food of thought, and food of consciousness.

“What are four things to be ceased?
The four acquisitions:
the acquisition of desires, acquisition of self, acquisition of precepts, and acquisition of views.

“What are four things to be realized?
The four fruits of the ascetic:
The fruit of stream-entry, fruit of once-returning, fruit of non-returning, and fruit of the arhat.

The Fives
“There are also five things to be achieved, five things to be cultivated, five things to be recognized, five things to be ceased, and five things to be realized.

“What are five things to be achieved?
The five factors of complete cessation:
First is faith in the Buddha, Tathāgata, and Arhat who perfected the ten epithets.
Second is having no illness and being at peace.
Third is being honest and having no deception about heading straight down the Tathāgata’s road to Nirvāṇa.
Fourth is mental focus that’s not confused and doesn’t forget the recitations.
Fifth is skill in investigating the arising and cessation of things and ending the root of suffering with the noble practice.

“What are five things to be cultivated?
The five faculties:
faculty of faith, faculty of effort, faculty of mindfulness, faculty of samādhi, and faculty of wisdom.

“What are five things to be recognized?
The five acquired aggregates:
the acquired aggregate of form … feeling … conception … volition … the acquired aggregate of consciousness.

“What are five things to be ceased?
The five hindrances:
The hindrance of greed, hindrance of anger, hindrance of drowsiness, hindrance of restlessness, and hindrance of doubt.

“What are five things to be realized?
The five collections of the adept:
the adept’s collection of precepts, collection of samādhi, collection of wisdom, collection of liberation, and collection of the knowing and seeing of liberation.

The Sixes
“There are also six things to be achieved, six things to be cultivated, six things to be recognized, six things to be ceased, and six things to be realized.

“What are six things to be achieved?
The six honored things:
If a monk cultivates six honored things that are respectable and honorable, he’ll be unified with the community without quarrels, and he’ll practice alone without mixing [with others].

“What are the six?
[1] A monk’s physical conduct is always kind, respecting religious practitioners and abiding with benevolence.
This is called an honored thing that’s respectable and honorable.
It unifies him with the community without any quarrels, and he practices alone without mixing with others.

“Furthermore, a monk is [2] verbally kind … [3] mentally kind … [4] shares with other people the leftover alms in his bowl.
He doesn’t favor certain people when doing so …

“Furthermore, [5] a monk doesn’t violate, criticize, or defile the precepts that are practiced by noble people.
He’s commended by wise people for skillfully perfecting the observance of precepts, and he achieves a settled mind …

“[Furthermore, a monk] [6] accomplishes the noble escape, completely ends suffering, and attains various religious practices with right view.
This is called an honored thing that’s respectable and honorable.
It unifies him with the community without any quarrels, and he practices alone without mixing with others.

“What are six things to be cultivated?
The six recollections:
recollection of the Buddha, recollection of the Dharma, recollection of the Saṅgha, recollection of the precepts, recollection of generosity, and recollection of gods.

“What are six things to be recognized?
The six internal senses:
the eye sense, ear sense, nose sense, tongue sense, body sense, and mental sense.

“What are six things to be ceased?
The six cravings:
craving for sights, craving for sounds, craving for odors, craving for flavors, craving for touches, and craving for notions.

“What are six things to be realized?
The six spiritual penetrations:
First is the realization of miraculous abilities.
Second is realization of the heavenly ear.
Third is realization of knowing others’ minds.
Fourth is realization of perceiving past lives.
Fifth is realization of the heavenly eye.
Sixth is realization of perceiving the end of the contaminants.

The Sevens
“There are also seven things to be achieved, seven things to be cultivated, seven things to be recognized, seven things to be ceased, and seven things to be realized.

“What are seven things to be achieved?
The seven kinds of wealth:
wealth in faith, wealth in precepts, wealth in conscience, wealth in modesty, wealth in learning, wealth in generosity, and wealth in wisdom.
These are the seven kinds of wealth.

“What are seven things to be cultivated?
The seven awakenings.
Here, a monk cultivates the awakening of mindfulness, which depends on being desireless, tranquil, and secluded.
He cultivates the teaching … cultivates effort … cultivates joy … cultivates mildness … cultivates samādhi … cultivates equanimity, which depends on being desireless, tranquil, and secluded.

“What are seven things to be recognized?
The seven dwelling places of consciousness.
If there are sentient beings of diverse bodies and diverse notions, these gods and humans are the first abode of consciousness.
Again, there are sentient beings of diverse bodies but the same notions.
When the Brahmas of the Ābhāsvara Heaven are first born there, that’s the second abode of consciousness.
Again, there are sentient beings of the same bodies but diverse notions.
These Ābhāsvara gods are the third abode of consciousness.
Again, there are sentient beings of the same bodies and the same notions.
These Śubhakṛtsnā gods are the fourth abode of consciousness.
Again, there are sentient beings that dwell in the abode of space.
This is the fifth abode of consciousness.
Some dwell in the abode of consciousness.
This is the sixth abode of consciousness.
Some are in the abode of nothingness.
This is the seventh abode of consciousness.

“What are seven things to be ceased?
The seven tendencies:
the tendency of craving for desires, tendency of craving existence, tendency of views, tendency of pride, tendency of anger, tendency of ignorance, and tendency of doubt.

“What are seven things to be realized?
The seven powers of ending the contaminants:
Here, a monk who has ended the contaminants [1] really knows and sees all kinds of suffering and their formation, cessation, enjoyment, defect, and escape.
[2] He observes desire to be like a fire pit or a sword.
He knows desire and sees desire.
He isn’t greedy for desires, and his mind doesn’t dwell on desire.
[3] Again, skillfully examining it, having really known and really seen it, worldly lust and bad and unskillful things don’t arise and defile him.
[4] He cultivates the four abodes of mindfulness, often cultivating and practicing them … [5] the five faculties and five powers … [6] seven awakenings … [7] noble eightfold path, often cultivating and practicing it.

The Eights
“There are also eight things to be achieved, eight things to be cultivated, eight things to be recognized, eight things to be ceased, and eight things to be realized.

“What are eight things to be achieved?
The eight causes and conditions that gain knowledge before the religious life is attained and increase knowledge once it is attained.

“What are the eight?
Here, a monk lives according to the Bhagavān, or he might live according to a teacher, elder, or a wise religious practitioner.
He becomes conscientious and modest, and he possesses affection and respect for them.
This is the first cause and condition that gains knowledge before the religious life is attained and that increases knowledge once it has been attained.

“Furthermore, living according to the Bhagavān … he asks questions at the appropriate time:
‘What does this teaching mean?
What’s the aim of it?’
The Honored One … immediately discloses its profound meaning.
This is the second cause and condition …

“Once he has heard this, his body and mind are pleasant and calm.
This is the third cause and condition …

“He doesn’t engage in unbeneficial discussions that obstruct the path.
When he goes into a community, he either discusses the teaching himself or asks another to discuss it, but he doesn’t otherwise abandon the noble silence.
This is the fourth cause and condition …

“His learning becomes extensive, and he retains and doesn’t lose the profundities of the teaching.
It’s good in the beginning, middle, and end, genuine in content and expression, and perfects the religious life.
Having heard it, it enters his mind, and he doesn’t drift away.
This is the fifth cause and condition …

“He trains diligently, desisting from unskillful conduct and increasing daily his skillful conduct.
He exerts himself to be worthy and doesn’t abandon this teaching.
This is the sixth cause and condition …

“Also, he recognizes the law of arising and cessation with wisdom and heads for the noble’s end of suffering.
This is the seventh cause and condition …

“Also, he observes the arising and ceasing nature of the five acquired aggregates:
‘This is form, form’s coming together, and form’s cessation.
This is feeling … conception … volition … consciousness, consciousness’s coming together, and consciousness’s cessation.’
This is the eighth cause and condition that gains knowledge before the religious life is attained and that increases knowledge once it has been attained.

“What are eight things to be cultivated?
The noble eightfold path:
right view, right intent, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right method, right mindfulness, and right samādhi.

“What are eight things to be recognized?
The eight ways of the world:
profit and decline, criticism and praise, admiration and censure, and pain and pleasure.

“What are eight things to be ceased?
The eightfold wrong [path]:
wrong view, wrong intent, wrong speech, wrong action, wrong livelihood, wrong method, wrong mindfulness, and wrong samādhi.

“What are eight things to be realized?
The eight liberations:
Form observed to be form is the first liberation.
Observing external form without an internal perception of form is the second liberation.
The liberation of purity is the third liberation.
Going beyond notions of form, ceasing notions of anger, and abiding in the abode of space is the fourth liberation.
Going beyond the abode of space and abiding in the abode of consciousness is the fifth liberation.
Going beyond the abode of consciousness and abiding in the abode of nothingness is the sixth liberation.
Going beyond the abode of nothingness and abiding the abode with and without conception is the seventh liberation.
Going beyond the abode with and without conception and abiding in the cessation of concepts and perceptions is the eighth liberation.

The Nines
“There are also nine things to be achieved, nine things to be cultivated, nine things to be recognized, nine things to be ceased, and nine things to be realized.

“What are nine things to be achieved?
The nine factors of purified cessation:
the precepts as a factor of purified cessation, the mind as a factor of purified cessation, views as a factor of purified cessation, going beyond doubt as a factor of purified cessation, discernment as a factor of purified cessation, the path as a factor of purified cessation, elimination as a factor of purified cessation, lacking desire as a factor of purified cessation, and liberation as a factor of purified cessation.

“What are nine things to be cultivated?
The nine sources of joy:
First is joy, second is love, third is delight, fourth is pleasure, fifth is samādhi, sixth is real knowledge, seventh is indifference, eighth is lacking desire, and ninth is liberation.

“What are nine things to be recognized?
They are the nine abodes of sentient beings.
Some sentient beings have diverse bodies and diverse notions.
These gods and humans are the first abode of sentient beings.
Some sentient beings have diverse bodies but the same notions.
When the Brahmas of the Ābhāsvara Heaven are first born there, that’s the second abode of sentient beings.
Some sentient beings have the same bodies but diverse notions.
This Ābhāsvara Heaven is the third abode of sentient beings.
Some sentient beings have the same bodies and the same notions.
This Śubhakṛtsnā Heaven is the fourth abode of sentient beings.
Some sentient beings lack conception or anything to perceive.
This Asāṃjñika Heaven is the fifth abode of sentient beings.
Again, some sentient beings dwell in the abode of space, which is the sixth abode of sentient beings.
Again, some sentient beings dwell in the abode of consciousness, which is the seventh abode of sentient beings.
Again, some sentient beings dwell in the abode of nothingness, which is the eighth abode of sentient beings.
Again, some sentient beings dwell in the abode with and without conception, which is the ninth abode of sentient beings.

“What are nine things to be ceased?
The nine sources of craving:
Because of craving, there’s pursuit.
Because of pursuit, there’s gain.
Because of gain, there’s use.
Because of use, there’s desire.
Because of desire, there’s attachment.
Because of attachment, there’s jealousy.
Because of jealousy, there’s clinging.
Because of clinging, there’s guarding.

“What are nine things to be realized?
The nine kinds of cessation:
When the first dhyāna is entered, the thorn of sound is ceased.
When the second dhyāna is entered, the thorns of perception and examination are ceased.
When the third dhyāna is ceased, the thorn of joy is ceased.
When the fourth dhyāna is entered, then the thorn of breathing is ceased.
When the abode of space is entered, the thorn of perceiving form is ceased.
When the abode of consciousness is entered, then the thorn of perceiving space is ceased.
When the abode of nothingness is entered, the thorn of perceiving consciousness is ceased.
When the abode with and without conception is entered, the thorn of perceiving nothingness is ceased.
When the samādhi of complete cessation is entered, the thorns of conception and feeling are ceased.

The Tens
“There are also ten things to be achieved, ten things to be cultivated, ten things to be recognized, ten things to be ceased, and ten things to be realized.

“What are ten things to be achieved?
The ten ways of salvation:
First, a monk is perfect regarding the 250 precepts and perfect in his behavior.
He feels great anxiety when he sees a small infraction.
He fully learns the precepts, and he doesn’t have any inclination to corruption.
Second, he makes good friends.
Third, his language is proper, and he has a great deal of patience.
Fourth, he prefers to pursue the good teaching and disseminates it generously.
Fifth, when religious practitioners undertake a task, he immediately goes to help them.
He doesn’t regard it as troublesome, deals with difficulties, and instructs others to do the same.
Sixth, he’s well-versed, able to retain what he learns, and isn’t ever forgetful.
Seventh, he’s diligent in desisting from unskillful qualities and developing skillful qualities.
Eighth, he constantly focuses on his own mindfulness without any other ideas, recalling his previous good conduct as though it were right in front of his eyes.
Ninth, his wisdom is accomplished.
He observes the law of arising and cessation and stops the source of suffering with the noble discipline.
Tenth, he’s happy in a secluded dwelling focusing his attention and contemplating, and he isn’t agitated while he meditates.

“What are ten things to be cultivated?
The ten right practices:
right view, right intent, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right method, right samādhi, right liberation, and right knowledge.

“What are ten things to be recognized?
The ten physical senses:
the eye sense, ear sense, nose sense, tongue sense, body sense, sight sense, sound sense, odor sense, flavor sense, and touch sense.

“What are ten things to be ceased?
They are the ten wrong practices:
wrong view, wrong intent, wrong speech, wrong action, wrong livelihood, wrong method, wrong samādhi, wrong liberation, and wrong knowledge.

“What are ten things to be realized?
The ten teachings of the adept:
right view, right intent, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right method, right samādhi, right liberation, and right knowledge.

“Monks, this is called the teaching that increases one by one.
Now, I’ve explained that teaching for you in this way.
I’m the Tathāgata;
I’ve provided all that I should for you.
Having compassionately and courteously instructed you, you ought to endeavor to put it into practice.

“Monks, you should go to a quiet place under a tree or in an empty dwelling and diligently sit in meditation.
Don’t be self-indulgent.
What profit is there in not exerting yourself today and regretting it later?
This is my teaching;
be diligent in accepting and maintaining it.”

When the monks heard what the Buddha taught, they rejoiced and approved.

12 - DA 12 Three Categories

Thus I have heard:
One time, the Buddha was staying at Anāthapiṇḍada’s Park in Jeta’s Grove of Śrāvastī.
He was accompanied by a large group of 1,250 monks.

It was then that the Bhagavān addressed the monks, “I will give all of you a discourse on the sublime teaching, the content and expression of which is pure and perfects the religious life.
It’s the teaching in three categories.
All of you, listen closely and consider it.
I will teach this for you.”

The monks then accepted the teaching and listened.

The Buddha addressed the monks, “These three categories are one thing that leads to bad destinies, one thing that leads to good destinies, and one thing that leads to Nirvāṇa.

“What’s one thing that leads to bad destinies?
It’s the absence of kindness that harbors harmful thoughts.
This is one thing that leads to bad destinies.

“What’s one thing that leads to good destinies?
It’s not inflicting bad intent on sentient beings.
This is one thing that leads to good destinies.

“What’s one thing that leads to Nirvāṇa?
It’s making effort to cultivate the abodes of mindfulness.
This is one thing that leads to Nirvāṇa.

“Again, there are two things that lead to bad destinies, two things that lead to good destinies, and two things that lead to Nirvāṇa.

“What are two things that lead to bad destinies?
One is violating the precepts, and the second is breaking [right] view.

“What are two things that lead to good destinies?
One is perfecting the precepts, and the second is perfecting [right] view.

“What are the two things that lead to Nirvāṇa?
One is calmness, and the second in contemplation.

“Again, there are three things that lead to bad destinies, three things that lead to good destinies, and three things that lead to Nirvāṇa.

“What are three things that lead to bad destinies?
They are the three unskillful roots:
The unskillful root of greed, unskillful root of anger, and unskillful root of delusion.

“What are three things that lead to good destinies?
They are the three skillful roots:
The skillful root of having no greed, skillful root of having no anger, and skillful root of having no delusion.

“What are three things that lead to Nirvāṇa?
They are the three samādhis:
The samādhi of emptiness, the samādhi of no appearances, and the samādhi of no action.

“Again, there are four things that lead to bad destinies, four things that lead to good destinies, and four things that lead to Nirvāṇa.

“What are four things that lead to bad destinies?
They are lustful speech, angry speech, fearful speech, and deluded speech.

“What are four things that lead to good destinies?
Speech without lust, speech without anger, speech without fear, and speech without delusion.

“What are four things that lead to Nirvāṇa?
The mindful abode of body, mindful abode of feelings, mindful abode of mind, and mindful abode of teachings.

“Again, there are five things that lead to bad destinies, five things that lead to good destinies, and five things that lead to Nirvāṇa.

“What are five things that lead to bad destinies?
They are breaking the five precepts:
killing, stealing, adultery, lying, and drinking alcohol.

“What are five things that lead to good destinies?
They are observing the five precepts:
Not killing, not stealing, not committing adultery, not being deceptive, and not drinking alcohol.

“What are five things that lead to Nirvāṇa?
They are the five faculties:
the faculty of faith, faculty of effort, faculty of mindfulness, faculty of samādhi, and faculty of wisdom.

“Again, there are six things that lead to bad destinies, six things that lead to good destinies, and six things that lead to Nirvāṇa.

“What are six things that lead to bad destinies?
They are the six disrespects:
Disrespecting the Buddha, disrespecting the Dharma, disrespecting the Saṅgha, disrespecting the precepts, disrespecting samādhi, and disrespecting father and mother.

“What are six things that lead to good destinies?
They are the six respects:
Respecting the Buddha, respecting the Dharma, respecting the Saṅgha, respecting the precepts, respecting samādhi, and respecting father and mother.

“What are six things that lead to Nirvāṇa?
They are the six recollections:
Recollecting the Buddha, recollecting the Dharma, recollecting the Saṅgha, recollecting generosity, and recollecting the gods.

“Again, there are seven things that lead to bad destinies, seven things that lead to good destinies, and seven things that lead to Nirvāṇa.

“What are seven things that lead to bad destinies?
They are killing beings, taking what’s not given, adultery, lying, divisiveness, harsh speech, and flattery.

“What are seven things that lead to good destinies?
Not killing beings, not stealing, not committing adultery, not being deceptive, not being divisive, not speaking harshly, and not flattering.

“What are seven things that lead to Nirvāṇa?
They are the seven awakenings:
The awakening of mindfulness, awakening of discriminating teachings, awakening of effort, awakening of mildness, awakening of samādhi, awakening of joy, and awakening of equanimity.

“Again, there are eight things that lead to bad destinies, eight things that lead to good destinies, and eight things that lead to Nirvāṇa.

“What are eight things that lead to bad destinies?
They are the eight wrong practices:
wrong view, wrong intent, wrong speech, wrong action, wrong livelihood, wrong method, wrong mindfulness, and wrong samādhi.

“What are eight things that lead to good destinies?
They are the mundane right practices:
right view, right intent, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right method, right mindfulness, and right samādhi.

“What are eight things that lead to Nirvāṇa?
They are the noble eightfold path:
right view, right intent, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right method, right mindfulness, and right samādhi.

“Again, there are nine things that lead to bad destinies, nine things that lead to good destinies, and nine things that lead to Nirvāṇa.

“What are nine things that lead to bad destinies?
‘Someone has harassed me, is harassing me, and will harass me.’
‘My loved ones have been harassed, are being harassed, and will be harassed.’
‘My enemies have been respected, are being respected, and will be respected.’

“What are nine things that lead to good destinies?
‘What good is there to my being troubled by others who harass me?
The past won’t trouble me, the present won’t trouble me, and the future won’t trouble me.’
‘What good is there to my being troubled about my loved ones being harassed?
The past won’t trouble me, the present won’t trouble me, and the future won’t trouble me.’
‘What good is there to my being troubled about my enemies being respected?
The past won’t trouble me, the present won’t trouble me, and the future won’t trouble me.’

“What are nine things that lead to Nirvāṇa?
They are the nine good qualities:
1) joy, 2) love, 3) delight, 4) pleasure, 5) samādhi, 6) real knowledge, 7) indifference, 8) being without desire, and 9) liberation.

“Again, there are ten things that lead to bad destinies, ten things that lead to good destinies, and ten things that lead to Nirvāṇa.

“What are ten things that lead to bad destinies?
They are the ten unskillful [actions]:
Physically killing, stealing, and committing adultery, verbally being divisive, abusive, lying, and flattering, and mentally being covetous, jealous, and having wrong views.

“What are ten things that lead to good destinies?
They are the ten skillful actions:
Physically not killing, stealing, or committing adultery, verbally not being divisive, abusive, lying, or flattering, and mentally not being covetous, jealous, or having wrong views.

“What are ten things that lead to Nirvāṇa?
They are the ten straight paths:
right view, right intent, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right method, right mindfulness, right samādhi, right liberation, and right knowledge.

“Monks, thus are the ten things that make arriving at Nirvāṇa possible.
This is called the sublime and correct teaching in three categories.
I’m the Tathāgata;
I’ve provided all that I should for you.
Taking pity on you, I’ve lectured on the sutras and the path.
You should also take pity on yourselves and go to a quiet place under a tree or in an empty dwelling to contemplate.
Don’t be negligent.
Nothing’s gained by not exerting yourselves today and regretting it later.”

The monks who heard what the Buddha taught rejoiced and approved.

13 - DA 13 The Great Method of Origination

Thus I have heard:
One time, the Buddha was staying in Kuru at Kalmāṣa’s Residence.
He was accompanied by a large assembly of 1,250 monks.

Ānanda’s Question
It was then that Ānanda was staying in a quiet place and thought, “Amazing!
Extraordinary! The twelve dependent originations that are taught by the Bhagavān are the light of the teaching\!
They are profound and difficult to understand, but my mind observes them as though they were right in front of my eyes.
Why are they so profound?”

Ānanda then emerged from his quiet room, went to the Bhagavān, bowed his head at his feet, and sat to one side.
He said to the Bhagavān, “I was in a quiet room and thought to myself, ‘Amazing!
Extraordinary! The twelve dependent originations that are taught by the Bhagavān are the light of the teaching!
They are profound and difficult to understand, but my mind observes them as though they were right in front of my eyes.
Why are they so profound?’


The Bhagavān then told Ānanda, “Stop, stop!
Don’t say, ‘The twelve dependent originations are the light of the teaching.
They are profound and difficult to understand.’
Ānanda, these twelve dependent originations are difficult to see and difficult to know.
Dependent origination is unknown to the gods, Māra, Brahmā, ascetics, and priests.
If they were to ponder, investigate, and discern its meaning, they would become confused, being unable to see it.

The Dependent Origination of Suffering
“Ānanda, I’ll discuss it with you now.
There’s a condition for old age and death.
Suppose someone were to ask, ‘What’s the condition for old age and death?’
They should be answered, ‘Birth is the condition for old age and death.’

“Suppose they also ask, ‘What’s the condition for birth?’
They should be answered, ‘Existence is the condition for birth.’

“Suppose they also ask, ‘What’s the condition for existence?’
They should be answered, ‘Grasping is the condition for existence.’

“Suppose they also ask, ‘What’s the condition for grasping?’
They should be answered, ‘Craving is the condition for grasping.’

“Suppose they also ask, ‘What’s the condition for craving?’
They should be answered, ‘Feeling is the condition for craving.’

“Suppose they also asked, ‘What’s the condition for feeling?’
They should be answered, ‘Contact is the condition for feeling.’

“Suppose they also ask, ‘What’s the condition for contact?’
They should be answered, ‘The six sense fields are the condition for contact.’

“Suppose they also ask, ‘What’s the condition for the six sense fields?’
They should be answered, ‘Name and form are the condition for the six sense fields.’

“Suppose they also ask, ‘What’s the condition for name and form?’
They should be answered, ‘Consciousness is the condition for name and form.’

“Suppose they also ask, ‘What’s the condition for consciousness?’
They should be answered, ‘Action is the condition for consciousness.’

“Suppose they also ask, ‘What’s the condition for action?’
They should be answered, ‘Delusion is the condition for action.’

“Thus, Ānanda, action exists conditioned by delusion.
Consciousness exists conditioned by action.
Name and form exist conditioned by consciousness.
The six sense fields exist conditioned by name and form.
Contact exists conditioned by the six sense fields.
Feeling exists conditioned by contact.
Craving exists conditioned by feeling.
Grasping exists conditioned by craving.
Existence exists conditioned by grasping.
Birth exists conditioned by existence.
The formation of the great calamity of old age, death, grief, sorrow, pain, and trouble exists conditioned by birth.
These are the conditions for this great mass of suffering.”

The Dependent Origination of Old Age and Death
The Buddha told Ānanda, “‘Old age and death exist conditioned by birth.’
What does this mean?
Suppose that no sentient being was subject to birth.
Would there be old age and death?”

Ānanda replied, “There wouldn’t be.”

“Therefore, Ānanda, it’s for this reason that we know old age and death comes from birth.
‘Old age and death exist conditioned by birth.’
That’s the meaning of what I said.

He also told Ānanda, “‘Birth exists conditioned by existence.’
What does this mean?
Suppose that no sentient being had any existence in the desire realm or in the form or formless realms.
Would there be birth?”

“There wouldn’t be.”

“Ānanda, it’s for this reason that we know birth comes from existence.
‘Birth exists conditioned by existence.’
That’s the meaning of what I said.

He also told Ānanda, “‘Existence exists conditioned by grasping.’
What does this mean?
Suppose that no sentient being had any grasping of desires, views, precepts, or self.
Would there be existence?”

“There wouldn’t be.”

“Ānanda, it’s for this reason that we know existence comes from grasping.
‘Existence exists conditioned by grasping.’
That’s the meaning of what I said.

He also told Ānanda, “‘Grasping exists conditioned by craving.’
What does this mean?
Suppose that no sentient being had any craving for desires, existences, or non-existence.
Would there be clinging?”

“There wouldn’t be.”

“Ānanda, it’s for this reason that we know grasping comes from craving.
‘Grasping exists conditioned by craving.’
That’s the meaning of what I said.

He also told Ānanda, “‘Craving exists conditioned by feeling.’
What does this mean?
Suppose that no sentient being had any pleasant, painful, or neither pleasant nor painful feelings.
Would there be craving?”

“There wouldn’t be.”

“Ānanda, it’s for this reason that we know craving comes from feeling.
‘Craving exists conditioned by feeling.’
That’s the meaning of what I said.

Dependent Origination of Weapons and Fighting
“Ānanda, you should know that seeking exists because of craving.
Profit exists because of seeking.
Use exists because of profit.
Desire exists because of use.
Attachment exists because of desire.
Jealousy exists because of attachment.
Guarding exists because of jealousy.
Safeguards exist because of guarding.
Ānanda, weapons, fighting, and the making of countless evils come from the existence of safeguards.
That’s the meaning of what I said.

“Ānanda, what does this mean?
Suppose that no sentient being had any safeguards.
Would there be weapons, fighting, and the arising of countless evils?”

“There wouldn’t be.”

“Therefore, Ānanda, it’s for this reason that we know weapons and fighting are produced from safeguards.
‘Weapons and fighting exist conditioned by safeguards.’
Ānanda, that’s the meaning of what I said.

He also told Ānanda, “‘Safeguards exist conditioned by guarding.’
What does this mean?
Suppose that no sentient being had anything to guard.
Would there be safeguards?”

“There wouldn’t be.”

“Ānanda, it’s for this reason that we know safeguards come from guarding.
‘Safeguards exist conditioned by guarding.’
That’s the meaning of what I said.

“Ānanda, ‘guarding exists conditioned by jealousy.’
What does this mean?
Suppose that no sentient being had any jealousy.
Would there be guarding?”

“There wouldn’t be.”

“Ānanda, it’s for this reason that we know guarding comes from jealousy.
‘Guarding exists conditioned by jealousy.’
That’s the meaning of what I said.

“Ānanda, ‘jealousy exists conditioned by attachment.’
What does this mean?
Suppose that no sentient being had any attachments.
Would there be jealousy?”

“There wouldn’t be.”

“Ānanda, it’s for this reason that we know jealousy comes from attachment.
‘Jealousy exists conditioned by attachment.’
That’s the meaning of what I said.

“Ānanda, ‘attachment exists conditioned by desire.’
What does this mean?
Suppose that no sentient being had any desire.
Would there be attachment?”

“There wouldn’t be.”

“Ānanda, it’s for this reason that we know attachment comes from desire.
‘Attachment exists conditioned by desire.’
That’s the meaning of what I said.

“Ānanda, ‘desire exists conditioned by use.’
What does this mean?
Suppose that no sentient being had use [for anything].
Would there be desire?”

“There wouldn’t be.”

“Ānanda, it’s for this reason that we know desire comes from use.
‘Desire exists conditioned by use.’
That’s the meaning of what I said.

“Ānanda, ‘use exists conditioned by profit.’
What does this mean?
Suppose that no sentient being had any profit.
Would there be something to use?”

“There wouldn’t be.”

“Ānanda, it’s for this reason that we know use comes from profit.
‘Use exists conditioned by profit.’
That’s the meaning of what I said.

“Ānanda, ‘profit exists conditioned by seeking.’
What does this mean?
Suppose that no sentient being had [anything to] seeking.
Would there be profit?”

“There wouldn’t be.”

“Ānanda, it’s for this reason that we know profit comes from seeking.
‘Profit exists conditioned by seeking.’
That’s the meaning of what I said.

He also told Ānanda, “‘Seeking exists conditioned by craving.’
What does this mean?
Suppose that no sentient being had any craving.
Would there be seeking?”

“There wouldn’t be.”

“Ānanda, it’s for this reason that we know seeking comes from craving.
‘Seeking exists conditioned by craving.’
That’s the meaning of what I said.

He also told Ānanda, “Seeking exists conditioned by craving up to guarding and safeguards.
Feeling is likewise.
Seeking exists because of feeling up to guarding and safeguards.

Dependent Origination of Feeling
The Buddha told Ānanda, “‘Feeling exists conditioned by contact.’
What does this mean?
Suppose that there were no eye, form, and visual consciousness.
Would there be contact?”

“There wouldn’t be.”

“Suppose that there were no ear, sound, or auditory consciousness … no nose, odor, or olfactory consciousness … no tongue, flavor, or gustatory consciousness … no body, touch, or somatic consciousness … no mind, notion, or cognitive consciousness.
Would there be contact?”

“There wouldn’t be.”

“Ānanda, suppose that no sentient being had any contact.
Would there be feeling?”

“There wouldn’t be.”

“Ānanda, it’s for this reason that we know feeling comes from contact.
‘Feeling exists conditioned by contact.’
That’s the meaning of what I said.

“Ānanda, ‘contact exists conditioned by name and form.’
What does this mean?
Suppose that no sentient being had any name and form.
Would there be mental contact?”

“There wouldn’t be.”

“Suppose that no sentient being had any physical form or appearance.
Would there be physical contact?

“There wouldn’t be.”

“Ānanda, suppose that there were no name and form.
Would there be contact?

“There wouldn’t be.”

“Ānanda, it’s for this reason that we know contact comes from name and form.
‘Contact exists conditioned by name and form.’
That’s the meaning of what I said.

“Ānanda, ‘name and form exist conditioned by consciousness.’
What does this mean?
Suppose that consciousness didn’t enter the mother’s womb.
Would there be name and form?”

“There wouldn’t be.”

“Suppose that consciousness entered the womb but didn’t come out.
Would there be name and form?”

“There wouldn’t be.”

“Suppose that consciousness left the womb, but the infant perished.
Would name and form grow?”

“It wouldn’t.”

“Ānanda, suppose there was no consciousness.
Would there be name and form?”

“There wouldn’t be.”

“Ānanda, it’s for this reason that we know name and form comes from consciousness.
‘Name and form exist conditioned by consciousness.’
That’s the meaning of what I said.

“Ānanda, “‘Consciousness exists conditioned by name and form.’
What does this mean?
If consciousness didn’t abide in name and form, then consciousness would have nowhere to reside.
If it had nowhere to reside, would there be birth, old age, illness, death, grief, sorrow, pain, and trouble?”

“There wouldn’t be.”

“Ānanda, if there were no name and form, would there be consciousness?”

“There wouldn’t be.”

“Ānanda, it’s for this reason that we know consciousness comes from name and form.
‘Consciousness exists conditioned by name and form.’
That’s the meaning of what I said.

“Therefore, Ānanda, name and form conditions consciousness.
Consciousness conditions name and form.
Name and form conditions the six sense fields.
The six sense fields condition contact.
Contact conditions feeling.
Feeling conditions craving.
Craving conditions grasping.
Grasping conditions existence.
Existence conditions birth.
Birth conditions old age, death, grief, sorrow, pain, and trouble, which forms the great mass of suffering.

Liberation by Wisdom
“Ānanda, this is the extent of language, the extent of answers, the extent of limits, the extent of explanations, the extent of wise observation, and the extent of sentient beings.

“Ānanda, when monks truly and correctly observe this [series of] principles, their minds will be uncontaminated and liberated.
Ānanda, these monks should be called ‘those liberated by wisdom.’
Such a liberated monk also knows that the Tathāgata has an end, knows that the Tathāgata doesn’t have an end, knows that the Tathāgata has and doesn’t have an end, and knows that the Tathāgata neither has nor doesn’t have an end.
Why?

“Ānanda, this is the extent of language, the extent of answers, the extent of limits, the extent of explanations, the extent of wise observation, and the extent of sentient beings.
Thus, having fully known it, a liberated monk whose mind is uncontaminated doesn’t know or see such knowing and seeing [of those four alternatives].

The View That Feeling Is Self
“Ānanda, how many views are there that postulate a self?
Name and form and feeling are both taken to be the self.

“Some people say, ‘Feeling is not self, but the self is feeling.’
Others say, ‘Feeling is not self, the self is not feeling, but what feels is the self.’
Others say, ‘Feeling is not self, the self is not feeling, and what feels is not self.
Only craving [for feeling] is the self.’

“Ānanda, someone who has a view of self and says that feeling is self should be told, ‘The Tathāgata teaches that there are three feelings:
Pleasant feelings, painful feelings, and feelings that are neither pleasant nor painful.
When there’s pleasant feeling, there isn’t any feeling that’s painful or neither pleasant nor painful.
When there’s painful feeling, there isn’t any feeling that’s pleasant or neither pleasant nor painful.
When there’s feeling that’s neither pleasant nor painful, there isn’t any feeling that’s painful or pleasant.’

“Why is that?
Ānanda, pleasant contact is the condition that gives rise to pleasant feeling.
If pleasant contact ceases, the feeling also ceases.
Ānanda, painful contact is the condition that gives rise to painful feeling.
If painful contact ceases, the feeling also ceases.
Contact that’s neither pleasant nor painful is the condition that gives rise to feeling that’s neither pleasant nor painful.
If contact that’s neither pleasant nor painful ceases, the feeling also ceases.

“Ānanda, it’s like rubbing a pair of sticks together to start a fire.
When each stick is put in a different place, there won’t be any fire.
This is likewise.
Because of the condition of pleasant contact, pleasant feeling arises.
If pleasant contact ceases, both it and the feeling cease.
Because of the condition of painful contact, painful feeling arises.
If painful contact ceases, both it and the feeling cease.
Because of the condition of contact that’s neither pleasant nor painful, feeling that’s neither pleasant nor painful arises.
If contact that’s neither pleasant nor painful ceases, both it and the feeling cease.

“Ānanda, these three feelings are created and impermanent.
They are things that arise from causes and conditions, that end, that cease, and that disintegrate.
When truly examined with right knowledge, they are not possessed by self, and the self isn’t possessed by them.
Ānanda, the view that takes feeling to be the self is incorrect.

The View That Self Is Feeling
“Ānanda, some have a view of self and say feeling is not self, but self is feeling.
They should be told, ‘The Tathāgata teaches that there are three feelings:
Painful feeling, pleasant feeling, and feeling that’s neither pleasant nor painful.
If pleasant feeling were the self, then there would be a second self when that pleasant feeling ceases.
This then is in error.
If painful feeling were the self, then there would be a second self when that painful feeling ceases.
This then is in error.
If feeling that’s neither pleasant nor painful were the self, then there would be a second self when that feeling that’s neither pleasant nor painful ceases.
This then is in error.’
Ānanda, some have a view of a self that says feeling is not self, but self is feeling.
It’s not correct.

The View That Self Is What Feels
Ānanda, some who postulate a self make this statement:
‘Feeling is not self, and the self is not feeling, but what feels is the self.’
They should be told, ‘If everything is without feeling, how can you say there’s something that feels?
Are you the thing that feels?’
The answer would be, ‘No.’

“Therefore, Ānanda, some postulate a self and say feeling is not self, and self is not feeling, but what feels is self.
They are incorrect.

The View That Craving Is Self
“Ānanda, some postulate a self and make this claim, ‘Feel is not self, the self is not feeling, and what feels is not self.
Only the craving is the self.’
They should be told, ‘If everything is without feeling, how would there be craving?
Are you this craving?’
The answer would be, ‘No.’

“Therefore, Ānanda, some postulate a self and say feeling is not self, the self is not feeling, and what feels is not self, but craving is self.
They are incorrect.

“Ānanda, this is the extent of language, the extent of answers, the extent of limits, the extent of explanations, the extent of wise observation, and the extent of sentient beings.

“Ānanda, when monks truly and correctly observe this [series of] principles, their minds will be uncontaminated and liberated.
Ānanda, these monks should be called ‘those liberated by wisdom.’
Such a liberated monk will know the existence of the self, the non-existence of the self, both the existence and non-existence of the self, and neither the existence nor non-existence of the self.
Why?

“Ānanda, this is the extent of language, the extent of answers, the extent of limits, the extent of explanations, the extent of wise observation, and the extent of sentient beings.
Thus, having fully known it, a liberated monk whose mind is uncontaminated doesn’t know or see such knowing and seeing [of those four alternatives].”

Views That Self Is Form and Formless
The Buddha told Ānanda, “Some who postulate a self have reached the extent of certainty.
Postulating a self, they might say, ‘Self is a little bit of form.’
They might say, ‘Self is a large amount of form.’
They might say, ‘Self is something little and formless.’
They might say, ‘Self is something large and formless.’

“Ānanda, those who say self is a little bit of form are certain that the self is a little bit of form:
‘This is my view of it;
anything else is incorrect.’
[Those who say] the self is a large amount of form are certain that the self is a large amount of form:
‘This is my view of it;
anything else is incorrect.’
[Those who say] the self is something little and formless are certain the self is something little and formless:
‘This is my view of it;
anything else is incorrect.’
[Those who say] the self is something large and formless are certain the self is something large and formless:
‘This is my view of it;
anything else is incorrect.’


The Seven Abodes of Consciousness
The Buddha told Ānanda, “There are seven abodes of consciousness and two spheres.
Ascetics and priests say, ‘These abodes are peaceful, saving, protecting, sheltering, lamps, lights, refuges, not false, and not afflicting.’
What are the seven?

“Some sentient beings have diverse bodies and diverse notions.
These gods and humans are the first abode of consciousness.
Ascetics and priests say, ‘This abode is peaceful, saving, protecting, sheltering, a lamp, a light, a refuge, not false, and not afflicting.’

“Ānanda, suppose that a monk knows the first abode of consciousness and knows its formation, cessation, enjoyment, trouble, and escape.
Truly knowing it, Ānanda, that monk would say, ‘Truly knowing and seeing it, that’s not self, and the self isn’t that.’

“Some sentient beings have diverse bodies but the same notions.
They are Brahmas of the Ābhāsvara Heaven … Some sentient beings have the same body but diverse notions.
They are in the Ābhāsvara Heaven … Some sentient beings have the same body and the same notions.
They are in the Śubhakṛtsnā Heaven … Some sentient beings reside in the abode of space … Some sentient beings reside in the abode of consciousness … Some sentient beings reside in the abode of nothingness.
This is the seventh abode of consciousness.
Some ascetics and priests say, ‘This abode is peaceful, saving, protecting, sheltering, a lamp, a light, a refuge, not false, and not afflicting.’

“Ānanda, suppose that a monk knows the seventh abode of consciousness and knows its formation, cessation, enjoyment, trouble, and escape.
Truly knowing it, Ānanda, that monk would say, ‘Truly knowing and seeing it, that’s not self, and the self isn’t that.’
These are the seven abodes of consciousness.

The Two Sensory Abodes
“What are the two sensory abodes?
They are the sense that’s without conception and sense that’s neither with nor without conception … These are the two sensory abodes, Ānanda.
Some ascetics and priests say, ‘This abode is peaceful, saving, protecting, sheltering, a lamp, a light, a refuge, not false, and not afflicting.’

“Ānanda, suppose that a monk knows the two sensory abodes and knows their formation, cessation, enjoyment, trouble, and escape.
Truly knowing and seeing them, Ānanda, that monk would say, ‘Truly knowing and seeing it, that’s not self, and the self isn’t that.’
These are the two senses.

The Eight Liberations
“Ānanda, there are also eight liberations.
What are the eight?
Form observed as form is the first liberation.
Observing form externally without an internal perception of form is the second liberation.
The liberation of purity is the third liberation.
Going beyond notions of form, ceasing notions of resistance, not attending to diverse notions, and abiding in the abode of space is the fourth liberation.
Going beyond the abode of space and abiding in the abode of consciousness is the fifth liberation.
Going beyond the abode of consciousness and abiding in the abode of nothingness is the sixth liberation.
Going beyond the abode of nothingness and abiding in the abode of with and without conception is the seventh liberation.
The samādhi of complete cessation is the eighth liberation.

“Ānanda, monks who traverse these eight liberations forward and backward, entering and exiting them at will, are monks who’ve attained liberation in both ways.”

When Ānanda heard what the Buddha taught, he rejoiced and approved.

14 - DA 14 Questions Asked by Śakra the Lord of Gods

Thus I have heard:
One time, the Buddha was staying north of the village of Āmbara of Magadha in the Indrasāla cave on Mount Vaidehaka.

Lord Śakra Visits the Buddha
It was then that Śakra the Lord of Gods had a wonderful thought to come and see the Buddha:
“Now, I will go to the Bhagavān!”

When the Trāyastriṃśa gods heard that Śakra the Lord of Gods had a wonderful thought to visit the Buddha, they immediately went to Lord Śakra and said, “Excellent, Lord Śakra!
You’ve had a wonderful thought to visit the Tathāgata.
We’d also like to go with you to visit the Bhagavān.”

Śakra the Lord of Gods then told the gandharva Pañcaśikha, “Now, I’m going to visit the Bhagavān.
You can come with me and these Trāyastriṃśa gods to visit the Buddha.”

Pañcaśikha replied, “Very well.”
Then Pañcaśikha took his cymophane lute and strummed it at the front of that assembly of Trāyastriṃśa gods as an offering.

Śakra the Lord of Gods, the Trāyastriṃśa gods, and Pañcaśikha then suddenly disappeared from up in the Dharma [Meeting] Hall.
In the time it takes a strong man to flex his arm, they arrived on Mount Vaidehaka in the north of Magadha.

At the time, the Bhagavān had entered the samādhi of blazing fire, and Mount Vaidehaka looked like one giant flame.
The people in the countryside saw its appearance and said, “Mount Vaidehaka looks like one giant flame.
Is this due to the power of gods that are arriving?”

Śakra the Lord of Gods told Pañcaśikha, “The Tathāgata, the Arhat, is so hard to see, but we can go down to this place of seclusion that’s quiet without voices, where the animals gather.
There, the Bhagavān is constantly attended to by great spirits and gods.
You can take the lead and play music with your cymophane lute to delight the Bhagavān.
I and the gods will be right behind you!”

Pañcaśikha replied, “Very well.”
He did as he was instructed, going first to visit the Bhagavān with his cymophane lute in hand.
When he was not far away from the Buddha, he played his lute and sang these lyrics:

“Bhadrā, I bow to your father;

Your father is so dignified!

I’m so lucky you were born,
My heart desires you so much!

For some reason in the past,
The desire to be born here arose in you.

It developed and grew larger,
Like an offering to an arhat!

The Śākyan son focused on four dhyānas,
Always happy living in seclusion.

He pursued immortality with the right attitude;

My thoughts are focused in the same way!

Śākyamuni set his heart on enlightenment,
Sure he’d achieve correct awakening.

Now, if I were to pursue that woman,
I’d be sure to join with her, too!

My heart is stained by attachment;

I haven’t renounced the love of beauty.

I’d like to renounce it, but I can’t,
I’m like an elephant led by a hook.

It’s like a cool wind when it’s hot,
Like finding a cool spring when thirsty,
Like someone choosing Nirvāṇa,
Or like water dousing a fire.

It’s like someone sick finding a doctor
Or a starving person getting a fine meal.

They’re filled with happiness
Like an arhat enjoying the Dharma.

It’s like an elephant that’s hooked deeply
But still refuses to submit.

Charging around and hard to control,
The reckless don’t stop themselves.

It’s like a refreshing lake
Covered by assorted water lilies.

Hot and tired elephants bathe there,
Cooling off their whole bodies.

I’ll give gifts, one after another,
As support for the arhats.

This world’s rewards for such merit
Will all be given as gifts to her.

When you die, I’ll die with you.

How could I live on with you gone?

I would rather die myself;

It’s impossible to exist without you.

Lord of the Trāyastriṃśa Heaven!

Śakra, grant me my wish now!

You’ve an honorable character;

You’ll consider it well.”

The Bhagavān then roused from his samādhi and told Pañcaśikha, “Good, Pañcaśikha, good!
You’re able to praise the Tathāgata with your clear voice and harmonious cymophane lute.
The sound of both your lute and voice are neither long or short.
Their compassion and gracefulness moves people’s hearts.
Your song is replete with many meanings and explains the bonds of desire, the religious life, the ascetic, and Nirvāṇa!”

Pañcaśikha then said to the Buddha, “I remember when the Bhagavān became a Buddha sitting beneath the Ajapāla Nigrodha tree on the bank of the Nairañjanā River in Uruvilvā.
The great god general’s son Sikhaddi and the gandharva king’s daughter had a rendezvous just to enjoy themselves.
I saw the way they were feeling at the time and composed this song.
The lyrics explain the bond of desire, and they explain the religious life, the ascetic, and Nirvāṇa.

“After she heard my song, the goddess raised her eyes, smiled, and said to me, ‘Pañcaśikha, I’ve never seen a Tathāgata, but I heard the other gods in the Trāyastriṃśa Dharma Meeting Hall praising the virtues and abilities possessed by the Tathāgata.
You’ve always been faithful and close to the Tathāgata.
I think I’d like to be friends with you.’
Bhagavān, after speaking with her that one time, I never spoke with her again.”

Śakra the Lord of Gods then had this thought, “Now that Pañcaśikha has finished playing his music, I’d better keep him in mind.”
Lord Śakra then remembered him.

Pañcaśikha again thought, “Now Lord Śakra will remember me!”
He then took his cymophane lute and went to Lord Śakra.

Lord Śakra told him, “Praise the intent of the Trāyastriṃśa gods in my name.
Go exchange these greetings with the Bhagavān, ‘Has your daily life been easy?
Are you in good health?’


Pañcaśikha accepted Lord Śakra’s instructions and went to the Bhagavān.
He bowed his head at his feet and stood to one side.
He said to the Bhagavān, “Śakra the Lord of Gods and the Trāyastriṃśa gods have sent me to exchange greetings with the Bhagavān:
‘Has your daily life been easy?
Are you in good health?’


The Bhagavān replied, “May you, Lord Śakra, and the Trāyastriṃśa gods have long, happy, and untroubled lives.
Why is that?
The hosts of gods, worldly people, and asuras are all cherish their life spans, happiness, and lack of trouble.”

Lord Śakra again thought, “We ought to approach the Bhagavān and bow to him.”
He then went to the Bhagavān with the Trāyastriṃśa gods.
They bowed at the Buddha’s feet and withdrew to stand to one side.
Lord Śakra then said to the Buddha, “Don’t mind us, Bhagavān.
Should we sit nearby or at a distance?”

The Buddha told Lord Śakra, “Your host of gods is large, but they can sit nearby.”

The Bhagavān then made the Indrasāla Cave enlarge itself so that none of them were obstructed by it.
Lord Śakra, the Trāyastriṃśa gods, and Pañcaśikha all bowed at the Buddha’s feet and sat to one side.

The Story of Gopaka and the Disciples
Lord Śakra said to the Buddha, “One time, the Buddha was staying at a priest’s residence in Śrāvastī.
At the time, the Bhagavān had entered the samādhi of blazing fire.
For some reason, I was riding my thousand-spoked treasure chariot to visit Virūḍhaka.
As I went by in the sky, I saw a goddess standing with her palms together in front of the Bhagavān.
I immediately said to that goddess, ‘If the Bhagavān rouses from samādhi, you should exchange these greetings with the Bhagavān in my name:
“Has your daily life been easy?
Are you in good health?”
’ I wondered later if she had conveyed this thought for me.
Bhagavān, do you recall if she did?”

The Buddha said, “I do remember it.
That goddess immediately put the question to me with her goddess’s voice, and I roused from samādhi.
It was like the sound of a woman’s chariot.”

Lord Śakra said to the Buddha, “In the past, I held a meeting for some reason with the Trāyastriṃśa gods in the Dharma [Meeting] Hall.
Those gods back then had said, ‘If a Tathāgata arises in the world, the host of gods will increase and the host of asuras will diminish!’
Now that I see the Bhagavān in person, I personally see and know it myself.
I’ve realized it myself:
‘The Tathāgata, the Arhat, has arisen in the world, and the host of gods are increasing, and the host of asuras are diminishing!’

“Here, there was the Śākyan woman Gopikā who had purely cultivated the Bhagavān’s religious life.
She was born in the Trāyastriṃśa Heaven’s palace as my son after her body broke up and her life ended.
The Trāyastriṃśa gods all praised him, ‘The great godling Gopaka has great virtue and majesty!’

“There were another three monks who had purely cultivated the Bhagavān’s religious life.
They were born as inferior gandharva spirits after their bodies broke up and their lives ended.
Every day, they came to serve us as messengers.
When Gopaka saw them, he harassed them with these verses:

“‘Were you disciples of the Buddha
When I was living at home in the past?

I gave offerings of clothing and food,
Bowing, venerating, and paying respect.

What were your human names when you
Personally received the Buddha’s teaching?

Those teachings were of pure vision,
But there’s something you didn’t observe.

In the past, I paid respects to you
And heard the higher Dharma from the Buddha.

When born in the Trāyastriṃśa Heaven,
I became Lord Śakra’s son.

What didn’t you observe?

The virtues that I had possessed.

Formerly of a woman’s body,
Now I’m Lord Śakra’s son.

All of you were together in the past,
Cultivating the same religious life.

Now, you are alone in inferior places,
Serving all of us here as messengers.

In the past, you hid bad conduct,
So now you’ve gotten this reward.

You are alone in inferior places,
Serving all of us here as messengers.

You’re born in this impure place,
That for others is an insult.

Hearing that will trouble you,
For this place of yours is troublesome.

If you’re diligent from now on,
You won’t become servants again!’

Two of them diligently made effort,
Thinking of the Tathāgata’s Dharma.

Discarding their attachments,
They observed:
‘Desire is impure conduct.

The bond of desire isn’t real;

It tricks the people of the world.’

Like elephants free of leg bonds,
They leapt to the Trāyastriṃśa Heaven
While Śakra and the Trāyastriṃśa gods
Gathered up in the Dharma Meeting Hall.

They were courageous and strong,
Leaping to the Trāyastriṃśa Heaven.

Śakra lauded them as never before,
And the gods also saw them pass away:

‘These are the Śākya disciples
Who leapt to the Trāyastriṃśa Heaven!

They tired of being fettered by desire.’

[Gopaka] spoke these words:

‘There’s a Buddha in Magadha
Whose name is Śākyamuni.

Those disciples were disappointing,
But later regained their mindfulness.

One person out of these three
Therefore became a gandharva.

The other two saw the truth of the path
And leapt to the Trāyastriṃśa Heaven.

The Dharma the Bhagavān teaches
Isn’t doubted by these disciples.

They heard the same Dharma together,
But two of them were better than one.

Their vision being much better,
They were born as Ābhāsvara gods.

When I observed them,
They were going to the Buddha.’


The Origin of Enmity and Conflict
Lord Śakra said to the Buddha, “If you have a moment, I would like to clarify a doubt of mine.”

The Buddha said, “Go ahead and ask your questions.
I will explain them for you, one by one.”

Lord Śakra then asked the Buddha, “What bonds do gods, worldly men, gandharvas, asuras, and other sentient beings all associate with that they become enemies and take up arms against each other?”

The Buddha told Śakra, “The arising of the bond of enmity has its origin in greed and jealousy.
Therefore, it leads gods, worldly people, asuras, and other sentient beings to take up arms against one another.”

Lord Śakra then said to the Buddha, “Indeed, it is, Bhagavān!
The arising of the bond of enmity has its origin in greed and jealousy.
Therefore, it leads gods, worldly people, asuras, and other sentient beings to take up arms against one another.
Now that I’ve heard the Buddha’s explanation, a snare of doubt has been removed.
I won’t wonder about it anymore.

“But I don’t understand the arising of this greed and jealousy.
Where do they come from?
What are their causes and conditions?
What’s their source?
From what do they come to exist?
From what do they cease to exist?”

The Buddha told Lord Śakra, “The arising of greed and jealousy have their origin in love and hate.
Love and hate are their causes and conditions.
Love and hate are their source.
From them, they come to exist.
In their absence, they cease to exist.”

Lord Śakra then said to the Buddha, “Indeed, it is, Bhagavān!
The arising of greed and jealousy have their origin in love and hate.
Love and hate are their causes and conditions.
Love and hate are their source.
From them, they come to exist.
In their absence, they cease to exist.
Now that I’ve heard the Buddha’s explanation, my confusion is completely removed.
I won’t wonder about it anymore.

“But I don’t understand the arising of love and hate.
What are their causes and conditions?
What is their source?
From what do they come to exist?
From what do they cease to exist?”

The Buddha told Lord Śakra, “The arising of love and hate has its origin in desire.
Desire is their cause and condition.
Desire is their source.
From this, they come to exist.
In its absence, they cease to exist.”

Lord Śakra then said to the Buddha, “Indeed, it is, Bhagavān!
The arising of love and hate has its origin in desire.
Desire is their cause and condition.
Desire is their source.
From this, they come to exist.
In its absence, they cease to exist.
Now that I’ve heard the Buddha’s explanation, my confusion is completely removed.
I won’t wonder about it anymore.

“But I don’t understand the arising of desire.
What are its causes and conditions?
What is its source?
From what does it come to exist?
From what does it cease to exist?”

The Buddha told Lord Śakra, “Craving arises from conception.
Conception is its cause and condition.
Conception is its source.
From this, it comes to exist.
In its absence, it ceases to exist.”

Lord Śakra then said to the Buddha, “Indeed, it is, Bhagavān!
Craving arises from conception.
Conception is its cause and condition.
Conception is its source.
From this, it comes to exist.
In its absence, it ceases to exist.
Now that I’ve heard the Buddha’s explanation[, my confusion is completely removed.
] I won’t wonder about it anymore.

“But I don’t understand the arising of conception.
What is its cause and condition?
What it its source?
From what does it come to exist?
From what does it cease to exist?”

The Buddha told Lord Śakra, “The conception that gives rise to it has its origin in error.
Error is its cause and condition.
Error is its source.
From this, it comes to exist.
In its absence, it ceases to exist.

“Śakra, if there’s no error, then there’s no conception.
Without conception, there’s no desire.
Without desire, there’s no love or hate.
Without love or hate, there’s no greed or jealousy.
If there’s no greed and jealousy, then sentient beings wouldn’t hurt each other.

“Śakra, it’s only the condition of error that’s the root of this.
Error is its cause and condition.
Error is its source.
From this, there is conception.
From conception, there is desire.
From desire, there is love and hate.
From love and hate, there is greed and jealousy.
Because of greed and jealousy, sentient beings are led to hurt each other.”

Lord Śakra then said to the Buddha, “Indeed, it is, Bhagavān!
Error is the origin of conception.
Error is its cause and condition.
Error is its source.
From this, there is conception.
Error is the origin of its existence.
In the absence of error, it ceases to exist.

“If there were no error in the first place, then there wouldn’t be conception.
Without conception, there wouldn’t be desire.
Without desire, there wouldn’t be love and hate.
Without love and hate, there wouldn’t be greed and jealousy.
If there were no greed and jealousy, then sentient beings wouldn’t hurt each other.

“It’s only because of error that conception arises.
Error is its cause and condition.
Error is its source.
From this, there is conception.
From conception, there is desire.
From desire, there is love and hate.
From love and hate, there is greed and jealousy.
It’s because of greed and jealousy that all sentient beings are led to hurt each other.
Now that I’ve heard the Buddha’s explanation, my confusion is completely removed.
I won’t wonder about it anymore.”

The Nature of Error
Lord Śakra again asked the Buddha, “Do all the ascetics and priests on the path to cessation completely eliminate error, or is error not eliminated on the path to cessation?”

The Buddha addressed Lord Śakra, “Not all the ascetics and the priests on the path of cessation completely eliminate error.
Why is this?
Lord Śakra, the world has a variety of realms, and sentient beings depend on their own realms, firmly defending them.
They aren’t able to abandon them.
They say, ‘Mine is true;
the rest is false.’
Therefore, Lord Śakra, not all the ascetics and priests on the path to cessation entirely eliminate error.”

Lord Śakra then said to the Buddha, “Indeed, it is, Bhagavān!
The world has a variety of sentient beings, and each depends on their own realm, firmly defending it.
They aren’t able to abandon them.
They say, ‘Mine is true;
the rest is false.’
Therefore, not all the ascetics and priests on the path to cessation entirely eliminate error.
Hearing the Buddha’s words, my confusion is completely eliminated.
I won’t wonder about it anymore.”

Lord Śakra again asked the Buddha, “How many kinds of error are there on the path to cessation?”

The Buddha told Lord Śakra, “There are three kinds of error:
First is speech, second are concepts, and third are pursuits.
Speech is words that harm oneself, harm others, and harm both oneself and others.
When these words are abandoned, one’s words don’t harm oneself, don’t harm others, and don’t harm both oneself and others.
When that’s known, a monk’s words are such that he focuses his attention and isn’t distracted.

[Some] concepts also harm oneself, harm others, and harm both oneself and others.
Abandoning these concepts, one’s conception is such that it doesn’t harm oneself, don’t harm others, and don’t harm oneself and others.
When he knows this, the monk’s conception is such that he focuses his attention and isn’t distracted.

“Lord Śakra, pursuits also harm oneself, harm others, and harm both oneself and others.
Abandoning these pursuits, one’s pursuits are such that they don’t harm oneself, don’t harm others, and don’t harm both oneself and others.
When he knows this, the monk’s pursuits are such that he focuses his attention and isn’t distracted.”

Śakra the Lord of Gods then said, “Having heard the Buddha’s explanation, I won’t wonder about this anymore.”

Noble Detachment
He also asked the Buddha, “How many kinds of noble detachment are there?”

The Buddha addressed Lord Śakra, “There are three kinds of detachment.
One is the body of joy, second is the body of sorrow, and third is the body of equanimity.
Lord Śakra, that body of joy harms oneself, harms others, and harms both oneself and others.
After becoming detached from this joy, such joy as that doesn’t harm oneself, doesn’t harm others, and doesn’t harm both oneself and others.
When he knows this, the monk focuses his attention and doesn’t lose it.
That’s called accepting the complete precepts.

“Lord Śakra, that body of sorrow harms oneself, harms others, and harms both oneself and others.
After becoming detached from this sorrow, such sorrow as that doesn’t harm oneself, doesn’t harm others, and doesn’t harm oneself and others.
When he knows this, the monk focuses his attention and doesn’t lose it.
That’s called accepting the complete precepts.

“Furthermore, Lord Śakra, that body of equanimity harms oneself, harms others, and harms both oneself and others.
After becoming detached from this equanimity, such equanimity as that doesn’t harm oneself, doesn’t harm others, and doesn’t harm both oneself and others.
When he knows this, the monk focuses his attention and doesn’t lose it.
That’s called accepting the complete precepts.”

Lord Śakra said to the Buddha, “Having heard the Buddha’s explanation, I won’t wonder about this anymore.”

Perfection of the Sense Faculties
He also asked the Buddha, “How many things are called ‘the noble Vinaya’s perfection of the faculties’?”

The Buddha told Lord Śakra, “The eye perceives form, which I say are of two kinds:
approachable and unapproachable.
The ear … sounds … nose … odors … tongue … flavors … body … touches … mind … notions, which I say are of two kinds:
approachable and unapproachable.”

Lord Śakra said to the Buddha, “Bhagavān, without a detailed discernment of this concise statement by the Tathāgata, I don’t fully understand, ‘The eye perceives form, which I say are of two kinds:
approachable and unapproachable.
The ear … sounds … nose … odors … tongue … flavors … body … touches … mind … notions, which I say are of two kinds:
approachable and unapproachable.’

“Bhagavān, when skillful qualities decrease and unskillful qualities increase as the eye observes forms, I would say this is the same as the eye perceiving forms that are unapproachable.
When skillful qualities decrease and unskillful qualities increase as the ear … sounds … nose … odors … tongue … flavors … body … touches … mind … notions, I would say they are unapproachable.

“Bhagavān, when skillful qualities increase and unskillful qualities decrease as the eye sees form, I would say this is the same as the eye perceiving forms are that approachable.
When skillful qualities increase and unskillful qualities decrease as the ear … sounds … nose … odors … tongue … flavors … body … touches … mind … notions, I would say they are approachable.”

The Buddha told Lord Śakra, “Good, good!
This is called ‘the noble Vinaya’s perfection of the faculties’.”

Lord Śakra said to the Buddha, “Hearing the Buddha’s explanation, I won’t wonder about this anymore.”

The Ultimate Goal
Again, he asked the Buddha, “How many things does a monk call ‘the ultimate goal, the ultimate goal of the religious life, the ultimate goal of peace, and the ultimate goal that has no remainder’?”

The Buddha told Lord Śakra, “To personally extinguish the suffering caused by craving is the ultimate goal, the ultimate goal of the religious life, the ultimate goal peace, and the ultimate goal without remainder.”

Lord Śakra said to the Buddha, “In the long night of the past, I was caught in a snare of doubt.
Now, the Buddha has released me from that doubt.”

The Buddha Questions Lord Śakra
The Buddha told Lord Śakra, “Haven’t you visited ascetics and priests to ask about this subject?”

Lord Śakra said to the Buddha, “I remember that once I visited an ascetic or priest to inquire about this subject.
One time, I and the assembly of gods had gathered in the meeting hall and discussed ‘Will a Tathāgata arise in the world?
Has he arisen yet?’

“We looked for him, but we didn’t see a Tathāgata that had arisen in the world.
Each of us returned to the palace and entertained ourselves with the five desires.
Bhagavān, after that I watched the great spirits and gods freely partake of the five desires, and gradually each of their lives ended.

“At that point, Bhagavān, I felt great apprehension, and my hair stood on end.
Then I saw an ascetic or priest dwelling in quietude who had left home and parted with desire.
I went quickly to him and asked, ‘What is called the ultimate goal?’

“I asked about this subject, but he couldn’t answer me.
Since he didn’t know, he countered by asking me, ‘Who are you?’

“I immediately replied, ‘I am Śakra the Lord of Gods.’

“Again, he asked, ‘How are you Śakra?’

“I then answered, ‘I am the Lord God Śakra.
I have a doubt in my mind, so I came here to ask you about it.’

“Then the two of us came to an understanding, discussing the meaning of being Śakra.
He would ask, I would answer, and then he would become my disciple.
But I’m a disciple of the Buddha, and I’ve attained the path of stream entry.
I won’t fall to other destinies, and I’ll surely achieve the fruit of the path in not more than seven rebirths.
Please, Bhagavān, describe to me how to become a once-returner!”

After describing this conversation, Śakra also spoke these verses:

“From that defiled notion,
My misgivings arose as a result.

During the long night with the gods,
We went looking for the Tathāgata.

Meeting the renunciants
Always dwelling in quietude,
I said, ‘This is the Buddha, the Bhagavān!’

Going and bowing to them, I asked:

‘I’ve come to ask a question,
“What is the ultimate goal?”

Asked that, they can’t answer
About the destination of the path.

This unequalled sage today
Is who I’ve been seeking for so long.

Already, I’ve investigated my conduct;

My mind is thinking correctly!

Indeed, the noble one already knew
The intentions in my mind;

I’ve cultivated them during the long night.

Please describe it with the pure eye!

Homage to the highest of humans,
The incomparable sage of three realms!

Cutting the thorns of attachment and craving,
I bow to the sunlight of the sage!”

The Buddha asked Lord Śakra, “Do you recall a time in the past when you felt joy and happiness?”

Lord Śakra answered, “Yes, Bhagavān, I recall a time in the past when I felt joy and happiness.
Bhagavān, it was when once I did battle with the asuras, and they retreated when I was victorious.
When I returned, I rejoiced and was happy.
I imagined that joy and happiness to be separate from the defiled joy and happiness of evil weapons or battle, but now I’ve attained joy and happiness from the Buddha, which lacks any of the pleasures of weaponry and conflict.”

The Buddha told Lord Śakra, “Now that you’ve experienced this joy and happiness, what fruits of virtue are you going to pursue?”

Lord Śakra said to the Buddha, “From that joy and happiness, I’m going to pursue five fruits of virtue.
What are the five?”

He then spoke in verse:

“After the end of my life
When I discard this life in heaven,
Dwelling in a womb untroubled
Will make me feel glad.

The Buddha saves those yet to be saved;

He teaches the correct and true path.

In the Completely Awakened One’s teaching,
I’ll need to cultivate the religious life.

I will personally live with wisdom;

My heart’s view will be the right truth.

I’ll comprehend what arose in the past;

Here, I’ll be liberated for a long time.

I’ll just cultivate the practice diligently;

I’ll develop the Buddha’s real knowledge.

Even if I don’t obtain realization of the path,
The virtue will still be of a higher heaven.

There are gods of sublime heavens
Such as those in Akaniṣṭha;

When I reach my last incarnation,
It’ll surely be in those places.

Now, I’m here in this place,
Having gotten a heavenly pure body.

But I’ll obtain a longer life,
I know it myself using the pure eye.”

After speaking these verses, he said to the Buddha, “I want to obtain the fruits of these five virtues from this joy and happiness.”

Conclusion
Lord Śakra then said to the Trāyastriṃśa gods, “You’ve venerated in front of Brahmā Kumāra above the Trāyastriṃśa heaven before.
Wouldn’t it be excellent to also venerate in front of the Buddha?”

Soon after he said this, Brahmā Kumāra instantly appeared standing in the sky above the host of gods.
He spoke this verse to Lord Śakra:

“The god king’s practice is pure;

It blesses many sentient beings.

Lord Śakra of Magadha
Asked the Tathāgata about his meaning.”

After saying this verse, Brahmā Kumāra instantly disappeared.
Lord Śakra then rose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, circled him three times, withdrew, and walked away.
The Trāyastriṃśa gods and Pañcaśikha also bowed at the Buddha’s feet, withdrew, and walked away.

After they walked a little while, Lord Śakra looked over to Pañcaśikha and said, “Good, good!
Earlier, you went to the Buddha first and played music by strumming your lute, then later I and the gods arrived behind you.
Now I know you will succeed your father’s place as the highest of gandharvas.
You shall marry Bhadrā, the gandharva king’s daughter!”

When the Bhagavān spoke this teaching, 84,000 gods had their dust and defilements removed, and the Dharma vision arose in them.

When Śakra the Lord of Gods, the Trāyastriṃśa gods, and Pañcaśikha heard what the Buddha taught, they rejoiced and approved.

15 - DA 15 Anomiya

Thus I have heard:
One time, the Buddha was staying in the land of Anomiya of Maineya.
He was accompanied by a large assembly of 1,250 monks.

Why Sunakṣatra Returned to the Lay Life
It was then that the Bhagavān put on his robe and took his bowl into the city of Anomiya to solicit alms.
The Bhagavān then silently thought, “It’s too early in the day to solicit alms now.
It would be better to visit the Wanderer Bhārgava’s park.
I’ll solicit alms when it’s the right time for a monk to do so.”

The Bhagavān then went to that park.
The wanderer there saw the Buddha coming from a distance, got up to meet him respectfully, and exchanged greetings with him.
“Welcome, Gautama!
It’s been a while since you’ve been here.
What brings you to visit me?
Please, Gautama, make yourself a seat here!”
The Bhagavān then prepared a seat for himself.

The wanderer sat to one side and said to the Bhagavān, “Last night, the Licchavi monk Sunakṣatra visited me.
He said, ‘Great teacher, I’m not practicing the religious life under the Buddha.
Why is that?
The Buddha is estranged from me.’
That man openly spoke of you as mistaken, though I didn’t accept it on his word.”

The Buddha told the wanderer, “I knew you wouldn’t accept what Sunakṣatra says.
Once when I was staying near Monkey Lake of Vaiśālī, there was a meeting in the Dharma hall.
This Sunakṣatra came to me and said, ‘The Tathāgata is estranged from me.
I won’t practice the religious life under Gautama.’

“I asked him, ‘Why do you say, “I won’t practice the religious life under the Tathāgata because the he is estranged from me”?’

“Sunakṣatra replied to me, ‘The Tathāgata hasn’t demonstrated miraculous abilities or miracles for me.’

“I said, ‘Did I ask that you to purely cultivate the religious life according to my teaching if I demonstrate my miraculous abilities for you?
Did you say to me, “I will practice the religious life after the Tathāgata demonstrates miraculous abilities and miracles for me”?’

“Sunakṣatra replied, ‘No, Bhagavān.’

“I told Sunakṣatra, ‘But I didn’t say to you, ‘You practice the religious life under my teaching, and I will demonstrate miraculous abilities and miracles for you.’
Nor did you say, ‘I’ll cultivate the religious life when you demonstrate miraculous abilities for me.’

“‘How is it, Sunakṣatra?
What do you think?
Can the Tathāgata demonstrate miraculous abilities, or can’t he?
Can one use the Dharma that I teach to escape and reach the end of suffering?’

“Sunakṣatra said to me, ‘Yes, Bhagavān.
The Tathāgata can demonstrate miraculous abilities.
It’s not that he can’t.
One can use the Dharma that he teaches to escape and reach the end of suffering.
It’s not that they can’t.’

“‘So, Sunakṣatra, someone who cultivates the religious life under my teaching can demonstrate miraculous abilities.
It’s not that they can’t.
They can escape from suffering.
It’s not that they can’t escape it.
What do you seek from this teaching?’

“‘Sunakṣatra said, ‘Bhagavān, you aren’t able to teach me the mystery of my father at the appropriate time.
The Bhagavān fully knows it, but he holds back and doesn’t teach it to me.’

“‘I said, ‘Sunakṣatra, did I say before, “If you practice the religious life under my teaching, I will teach you the mystery of your father?”
Did you say, “Teach me the mystery of my father, and I will practice the religious life under the Buddha.”


“He answered, ‘No.’

“‘Therefore, Sunakṣatra, I said none of these things before, and you said none of them.
Why are you saying this now?
How is it, Sunakṣatra?
Do you think the Tathāgata can teach you the mystery of your father, or can’t he?
Can one use the Dharma he teaches to escape and reach the end of suffering?’

“Sunakṣatra replied, ‘The Tathāgata can teach me the mystery of my father.
It’s not that he can’t.
One can use his Dharma to escape and reach the end of suffering.
It’s not that they can’t.’

“I asked Sunakṣatra, ‘If I can teach you the mystery of your father, and one can use the Dharma I teach to escape from suffering, then what more do you seek from my teaching?’

“I also told Sunakṣatra, ‘Back at Vaiśālī in the land of the Vṛji, you praised the Tathāgata, the correct Dharma, and the Saṅgha in countless ways.
It was like someone praising the eight ways that a clear pool delights people:
“It’s cool, light, gentle, clear, sweet, and clean.
One can drink it without tire, and it refreshes the body.’
You were likewise.
At Vaiśālī in the land of the Vṛji, you praised the Tathāgata, the correct Dharma, and the Saṅgha, which made people feel confident about them.

“Sunakṣatra, you should know that now you’ve reversed yourself, the world will again say, ‘The monk Sunakṣatra has many friends.
He’s close to the Bhagavān, and he’s the Bhagavān’s disciple, but he can’t purely practice the religious life his entire life.
He’ll abandon the precepts and return to the lay life and inferior practices.’


“Wanderer, you should know that after I had this talk with him, he didn’t follow my instruction.
He abandoned the precepts and returned to the lay life.

Sunakṣatra and the Nirgrantha Disciple Kalāra
“Wanderer, I was once at the Dharma meeting hall that’s beside Monkey Lake.
There was a Nirgrantha disciple named Kalāra who had stopped there.
He was respected by people, and his fame was far-reaching.
He had many friends who provided him with offerings.
At the time, the monk Sunakṣatra had put on his robe and took his bowl into Vaiśālī to solicit alms.
He made his way on the alms round until he met this Nirgrantha disciple.

“Sunakṣatra then asked the Nirgrantha disciple about a profound subject.
He couldn’t answer and became angry.
Sunakṣatra thought to himself, ‘I’ve bothered this man.
Won’t this lead to a result of suffering that will last a long time?’

“Wanderer, you should know that when the monk Sunakṣatra was finished soliciting alms, he took his robe and bowl and returned to me.
He bowed to my feet and sat to one side.
Sunakṣatra then told me about what had happened.
I said to him, ‘You fool!
Wouldn’t you rather call yourself an ascetic Śākyan disciple?’

“Sunakṣatra quickly replied, ‘Bhagavān, why call me a fool?
Shouldn’t I call myself a Śākyan disciple?’

“I told him, ‘Fool, you’ve already gone and questioned that Nirgrantha disciple about a profound subject.
He couldn’t answer it, so he became angry.
Then you thought to yourself, ‘Now, I’ve bothered this Nirgrantha disciple.
Won’t this lead to a result of suffering that will last a long time?’
You had that thought, didn’t you?”

“Sunakṣatra said to me, ‘He was an arhat.
What reason was there for him to feel hateful?’

“I then answered, ‘Fool, what reason is there for an arhat to feel hateful?
No arhat of mine has hateful feelings.
Now, you say yourself, ‘He is an arhat.’
He practices the seven kinds of asceticism, which he has upheld for a long time.
What are the seven?

“First, one doesn’t wear clothing for their entire life.
Second, one doesn’t drink alcohol, eat meat, or eat rice or wheat flour for their entire life.
Third, one doesn’t violate the religious life for their entire life.
Fourth [to seventh], one doesn’t go beyond the four shrines of Vaiśālī, which are the eastern stone shrine called Mourning Park, the southern stone shrine called Elephant, the western stone shrine called Many Children, and the northern stone shrine called Seven Copse.
They do this their entire life.
This makes four ascetic practices.
He’ll violate these seven ascetic practices and die while living outside of Vaiśālī.

“‘That Nirgrantha disciple will be like a jackal weakened by a skin disease when he dies on a burial mound in a cemetery.
He’ll violate all his own teaching’s rules.
He vowed to himself, ‘I won’t wear clothes for my entire life,’ but he’ll return to wearing clothes.
He vowed to himself, ‘I won’t drink alcohol, eat meat, or eat rice or wheat flour,’ but he’ll eat all of them.
He vowed to himself, ‘I won’t violate the religious life,’ but he’ll violate it.
He vowed, ‘I won’t go beyond the four shrines, the eastern Mourning Park shrine, the southern Elephant shrine, the western Many Children shrine, and the northern Seven Copse shrine.’
But far from them and doesn’t stay nearby.
That man will contradict his own seven vows, leave the city of Vaiśālī, and his life will end in a cemetery.’

“I told Sunakṣatra, ‘Fool, if you don’t believe what I say, go investigate it and realize it for yourself.’

The Buddha told the wanderer, “One day, the monk Sunakṣatra put on his robe and took his bowl into the city to solicit alms.
After soliciting alms, he left the city as he returned.
He saw the Nirgrantha disciple’s life had ended in an empty cemetery.
Seeing that, he came to me, bowed his head at my feet, and sat to one side, but that wasn’t what he spoke to me about.

“Wanderer, you should know, I said to Sunakṣatra, ‘How is it, Sunakṣatra?
Did my prediction about that Nirgrantha disciple turn out to be true?’

“He replied, ‘Yes, it was as the Bhagavān said.’

“Wanderer, you should know, I had demonstrated evidence of my miraculous abilities to Sunakṣatra, yet he said, ‘The Bhagavān didn’t demonstrate them for me.’

Sunakṣatra and the Nirgrantha Disciple Khoradattika
“Another time, I was at a town of the White Land in Maineya.
A Nirgrantha disciple named Khoradattika was living there at the time.
He was respected by people, his fame was far-reaching, and he received many offerings.
I put on my robe and took my bowl into town to solicit alms, and the monk Sunakṣatra followed me.
We saw the Nirgrantha disciple Khoradattika on a mound of refuse licking up coarse food.

“Wanderer, you should know that when the monk Sunakṣatra saw this Nirgrantha disciple doing that, he thought, ‘Whether or not there are arhats in the world who follow the arhat’s path, this Nirgrantha disciple’s path is supreme.
Why is that?
This man’s asceticism is such that he abandons his pride and squats on a mound of refuse licking up coarse food.”

“Wanderer, when he was walking on my right, I told Sunakṣatra, ‘You fool, wouldn’t you rather call yourself a Śākyan disciple?’

“Sunakṣatra said to me, ‘Why do you call me a fool, Bhagavān?
Shouldn’t I call myself a Śākyan disciple?’

“I told Sunakṣatra, ‘You fool, look at this Khoradattika squatting on a mound of refuse eating coarse food.
Seeing that, you thought, “Whether the world has arhats and those who follow the arhat’s path, this Khoradattika is supreme.
Why is that?
Now, this Khoradattika’s asceticism can abandon pride and squat on a mound of refuse licking up coarse food.”
Didn’t you have that thought?’

“He answered me, ‘That’s true.’

“Sunakṣatra also said, ‘Why does the Bhagavān feel jealous of an arhat?’

“I told that fool, ‘It’s not that I feel jealous of an arhat.
How could I be jealous of an arhat?
You’re a fool, taking that Khoradattika to be a real arhat.
In seven days, that man’s belly will swell up, and his life will end.
He’ll be born as a corporeal hungry ghost that constantly suffers from hunger and thirst.
After his life ends, he’ll be dragged to the cemetery with a reed cord.
If you don’t believe me, you can go and tell him beforehand.’

“Sunakṣatra then visited Khoradattika and told him, ‘The ascetic Gautama has predicted that in seven days your belly will swell up, and you’ll die.
You’ll be born as a corporeal hungry ghost, and you’ll be dragged to a cemetery with a reed cord after you die.’

“Sunakṣatra also said, ‘You should examine your food to prevent what he says from happening.’

“Wanderer, you should know that when seven days had passed, Khoradattika’s belly swelled up, and he died.
He was then born as a corporeal hungry ghost.
When that corpse died, he was dragged to the cemetery with a reed cord.

“After Sunakṣatra heard what I said, he counted the days on his fingers.
When the seventh days arrived, the monk Sunakṣatra went to the naked ascetic’s village.
Upon arriving, he asked the villagers, ‘Good men, where is Khoradattika?’

“They replied, ‘His life has ended.’

“He asked, ‘What trouble caused his life to end?’

“They answered, ‘His belly swelled up.’

“He asked, ‘How was his body moved?’

“They answered, ‘He was dragged to the cemetery with a reed cord.’

“Wanderer, when he learned that, Sunakṣatra went to the cemetery.
Before he reached it, that corpse moved its legs at the knee and suddenly squatted.
Sunakṣatra then approached the corpse and said, ‘Khoradattika, has your life ended?’

“The corpse said, ‘My life has ended.’

“He asked, ‘What trouble caused your life to end?’

“The corpse answered, ‘Gautama predicted that in seven days my belly would swell up, and my life would end.
It was as he said.
When the seventh day arrived, my belly swelled up, and my life ended.’

“Sunakṣatra also asked, ‘Where were you born?’

“The corpse replied, ‘Just as Gautama predicted that I would be born among corporeal hungry ghosts, I was born today as a corporeal hungry ghost.’

“Sunakṣatra asked, ‘When your life ended, how was your body moved?’

“The corpse answered, ‘Just as Gautama predicted, it was dragged to the cemetery with a reed cord.
It really was as he said.
I was dragged to the cemetery with a reed cord.’

“The corpse said to Sunakṣatra, ‘Even though you left home, you’ve gotten no good benefit from it.
The ascetic Gautama predicted these events, but you constantly disbelieve him.’
After saying that, the corpse laid back down.

“Wanderer, the monk Sunakṣatra then came to me, bowed his head at my feet, and sat to one side, but that wasn’t what he spoke to me about.
I quickly said, ‘My prediction about Khoradattika turned out to be true, didn’t it?’

“He answered, ‘It really was as the Bhagavān said.’

“Wanderer, thus did I demonstrate evidence of my miraculous abilities to the monk Sunakṣatra on numerous occasions, yet he still says, ‘The Bhagavān didn’t demonstrate miraculous abilities for me.’


Sunakṣatra and the Wanderer Pāṭiputra
The Buddha told the wanderer, “I was once in the Dharma meeting hall that’s beside Monkey Lake.
At the time, a wanderer named Pāṭiputra had stopped there.
He was respected by people, his fame was far-reaching, and he received many offerings.
In a large crowd of Vaiśālīs, he made this statement:
‘The ascetic Gautama says he is wise.
I am wise, too.
The ascetic Gautama says he has miraculous abilities.
I have miraculous abilities, too.
The ascetic Gautama has achieved the transcendental path.
I have achieved the transcendental path, too.
He and I will demonstrate miraculous abilities together.
The ascetic will demonstrate one ability, and then I will demonstrate two.
When the ascetic demonstrates two, I will demonstrate four.
When the ascetic demonstrates eight, I will demonstrate 16. When the ascetic demonstrates 16, I will demonstrate 32. When the ascetic demonstrates 32, I will demonstrate 64. However many that that ascetic demonstrates, I will demonstrate twice as many.’

“Wanderer, when the monk Sunakṣatra put on his robe and took his bowl into the city to solicit alms, he saw the wanderer Pāṭiputra in that large crowd making this statement, ‘The ascetic Gautama says he is wise.
I am wise, too.
The ascetic Gautama says he has miraculous abilities.
I have miraculous abilities, too.
The ascetic Gautama has achieved the transcendental path.
I have achieved the transcendental path, too.
He and I will demonstrate miraculous abilities together.
The ascetic will demonstrate one ability, and then I will demonstrate two … When the ascetic demonstrates four, I will demonstrate eight … However many that that ascetic demonstrates, I will demonstrate twice as many.’

“After Sunakṣatra had solicited alms, he came to me, bowed his head, and sat to one side.
He said to me, ‘In the early morning, I put on my robe and took my bowl into the city to solicit alms.
I heard the Vaiśālī Pāṭiputra make this statement in a large crowd:
“The ascetic Gautama has great wisdom.
I have great wisdom, too.
The ascetic Gautama has miraculous abilities.
I have miraculous abilities, too.
… If the ascetic demonstrates one ability, then I will demonstrate two … However many that that ascetic demonstrates, I will demonstrate twice as many.”


“He came to tell me about these events.
I said to Sunakṣatra, ‘That Pāṭiputra didn’t abandon this claim, didn’t abandon this view, and didn’t abandon this arrogance in a large crowd.
He will never come to me.
If he were to think, ‘I won’t abandon this claim, this view, or this arrogance, but I’ll go to the ascetic Gautama,’ his head would split into seven pieces.
It isn’t possible for such a person to come to me who doesn’t abandon such a claim, view, and arrogance.’

“Sunakṣatra said, ‘Bhagavān, watch what you say!
Tathāgata, watch what you say!’

“I asked Sunakṣatra, ‘Why do you say, “Bhagavān, watch what you say!
Tathāgata, watch what you say!”
?’

“Sunakṣatra said, ‘That Pāṭiputra has great power and great virtue.
If he were free to come here, mightn’t he demonstrate that the Bhagavān is false?’

“I told Sunakṣatra, ‘Has the Tathāgata said that there could be two [Buddhas]?’

“He responded, ‘He hasn’t.’

“I told Sunakṣatra, ‘If there couldn’t be two [Buddhas], why are you saying, “Bhagavān, watch what you say!
Tathāgata, watch what you say!”
?’

“Sunakṣatra said to the Buddha, ‘The Bhagavān knows and sees himself that the gods come and talk to Pāṭiputra.’

“I said, ‘I know for myself, and I also know because gods come and talk to me.
When the great Vaiśālī general Ajita’s body broke up and his life ended, he was born in the Trāyastriṃśa Heaven.
He came to me and said, “The wanderer Pāṭiputra knows no modesty and violates the precept against false speech.
In a large crowd at Vaiśālī, he thus slandered me, ‘When the great general Ajita’s body broke up and his life ended, he was born as a corporeal demon.’
But when my body broke up and my life ended, I was actually born in the Trāyastriṃśa Heaven.”
I already knew about Pāṭiputra, and I knew because the gods came to tell me about him.’

“I told the fool Sunakṣatra, ‘If you don’t believe me, then go to Vaiśālī and make an announcement to them that I’ll visit Pāṭiputra after I’ve eaten.’

The Buddha told the wanderer, “After the night had passed, Sunakṣatra put on his robe and took his bowl into the city to solicit alms.
When Sunakṣatra reached the center of Vaiśālī, there were many priests, ascetics, and wanderers.
He told them all this, ‘The wanderer Pāṭiputra has made this claim in a large crowd:
“The ascetic Gautama has great wisdom.
I have great wisdom, too.
The ascetic Gautama has great power.
I have great power, too.
The ascetic Gautama has great miraculous abilities.
I have great miraculous abilities, too … The ascetic will demonstrate one ability, and then I will demonstrate two … However many abilities that ascetic demonstrates, I will always demonstrate twice as many.”
Now, the ascetic Gautama is going visit Pāṭiputra.
Everyone here can visit him, too!’

“The wanderer Pāṭiputra was walking on the road.
When Sunakṣatra saw him, he hurried to Pāṭiputra and said, ‘You made this claim in a large crowd at Vaiśālī:
“The ascetic Gautama has great wisdom … However many abilities that ascetic demonstrates, I will always demonstrate twice as many.”
Gautama has heard about it, and now he’s coming visit you.
You ought to quickly return home.’

“He responded, ‘I’ll return!
I’ll return!’
After saying that, he suddenly felt afraid for himself, and his hair stood on end, so he didn’t go back to his home.
Instead, he went to the Wanderer Pāṭiputra’s Malabar Ebony Grove.
There, he sat on a rope seat, feeling miserable and distraught.”

The Buddha told the wanderer, “After eating, I went to Pāṭiputra’s dwelling, accompanied by many Licchavi ascetics, priests, wanderers, and householders.
We prepared seats and sat down.
There was a wanderer in the assembly named Cāla.

“A group of people called Cāla over to them and told him, ‘Go to Malabar Ebony Grove and tell Pāṭiputra this:
‘An assembly of many Licchavi ascetics, priests, wanderers, and householders has gathered at your grove.
People in that assembly are telling each other, “The wanderer Pāṭiputra had announced in a crowd:
‘The ascetic Gautama has great wisdom.
I have great wisdom, too … However many miraculous abilities that Gautama demonstrates, I will always demonstrate twice as many.’
” The ascetic Gautama has come to your grove as a result.
You can come and face him.’

“Hearing what they said, Cāla went to Malabar Ebony Grove and said to Pāṭiputra, ‘An assembly of many Licchavi ascetics, priests, wanderers, and householders has gathered at your grove.
People in that assembly are telling each other, “The wanderer Pāṭiputra had announced in a crowd:
‘The ascetic Gautama has great wisdom.
I have great wisdom, too … However many miraculous abilities that Gautama demonstrates, I will always demonstrate twice as many.’
” The ascetic Gautama has come now to your grove as a result.
Pāṭiputra, it would be best that you returned.’

“The wanderer Pāṭiputra replied to Cāla, ‘I’ll return!
I’ll return!’
After saying this, he fidgeted uneasily on his rope seat.
His foot became ensnared in the rope seat, and he couldn’t free it.
How could he have gone to the Bhagavān?

“Cāla then said to Pāṭiputra, ‘You are ignorant, just saying these empty words, ‘I’ll return!
I’ll return!’
Still, you can’t free yourself from this rope seat.
How can you go to that large assembly?’

“After chastising Pāṭiputra, Cāla returned to the large assembly and reported, ‘I carried the assembly’s message to Pāṭiputra and told him.
His response to me was ‘I’ll return!
I’ll return!’
” Then, he turned his body on that rope seat, and his foot was snared in the seat.
He couldn’t free himself from it.
He couldn’t free himself from the rope seat, so how will he come to this assembly?’

“There was then a Licchavi son named Dhūma in the assembly.
He rose from his seat, adjusted his robe to bare his right shoulder, and knelt on his knee.
With his palms together, he addressed the assembly, ‘I’m an insignificant servant to this great assembly.
I’ll go and bring that man here.’


The Buddha said, “I told that Licchavi son Dhūma, ‘That man has made such statements, held such views, and created such pride.
It isn’t possible to make this man come to the Buddha.
Dhūma, even if you tied him tightly with a leather cord and pulled him with a herd of cattle, his body would be torn apart.
He’ll never abandon such statements, such views, and such pride to come to me.
If you don’t believe what I say, go and find out for yourself.’

“The Licchavi son Dhūma went to Pāṭiputra and said to him, ‘An assembly of many Licchavi ascetics, priests, wanderers, and householders has gathered at your grove.
People in that assembly are telling each other, “The wanderer Pāṭiputra had announced in a crowd:
‘The ascetic Gautama has great wisdom.
I have great wisdom, too … However many miraculous abilities that Gautama demonstrates, I will always demonstrate twice as many.’
” The ascetic Gautama has come now to your grove.
You can return home.’

“The wanderer Pāṭiputra replied, ‘I’ll return!
I’ll return!’
After saying this, he turned uneasily on his rope seat, and it snared his foot.
He couldn’t free himself from the rope seat, so how could he travel on foot to the Bhagavān?

“Dhūma then said to Pāṭiputra, ‘You are ignorant, just saying these empty words, ‘I’ll return!
I’ll return!’
Still, you can’t free yourself from this rope seat.
How can you go to that large assembly?’

Dhūma also said to Pāṭiputra, ‘Some wise people use parables to understand things.
Far away, there was a lion, a king of beasts, that lived in a deep forest.
It came out of its cave at daybreak, surveyed the four directions, and boldly roared three times.
Afterward, it would go wandering in search of meat to eat.

“‘Pāṭiputra, when that lion, that king of beasts, returned to its forest after eating, there would usually be a jackal that followed it to eat the leftovers.
When the jackal was at full strength, it would say to itself, “What kind of animal is that forest lion, really?
Could it best me?
Now, I’d like to find my own forest.
I’ll emerge from my cave at daybreak, survey the four directions, and roar three times.
Afterward, I’ll go wandering in search of meat to eat.”

“‘It immediately went to live in a forest.
It emerged from its cave at daybreak … boldly roared three times.
Afterward, it went wandering, but it’s lion’s roar was a jackal’s bark.

“‘Pāṭiputra, you are likewise now.
As a result of the Buddha’s magnanimity arising in the world, you’ve received people’s offerings, but now you compete with the Tathāgata.’

“That Licchavi son Dhūma then chastised him in verse:

“‘A jackal called itself a lion,
Saying it’s a king of beasts.

Wanting to roar the lion’s roar,
It could only bark like a jackal.

Living alone in an empty forest,
It said it was a king of beasts.

Wanting to roar the lion’s roar,
It could only bark like a jackal.

It crouched looking for rat holes,
Dug up graves searching for corpses.

Wanting to roar the lion’s roar,
It could only bark like a jackal.’

“That Licchavi son Dhūma told him, ‘You are likewise.
As a result of the Buddha’s magnanimity arising in the world, you receive people’s offerings, but now you compete with the Tathāgata.’

“After chastising him with those four kinds of metaphor, the Licchavi son Dhūma returned to the large assembly and reported, ‘I carried the assembly’s message to Pāṭiputra and told him.
His response to me was ‘I’ll return!
I’ll return!’
” Then, he turned his body on that rope seat, and his foot was snared in the seat.
He couldn’t free himself from it.
He couldn’t free himself from the rope seat, so how will he come to this assembly?’

“I told Dhūma’s son, ‘I told you before, it isn’t possible to make this man come to the Buddha.
Even if you tied a leather cord to him tightly and pulled him with a herd of cattle, his body would be torn apart.
He’ll never abandon such statements, such views, and pride to come to me.’

“Wanderer, I then explained a variety of teachings for that large assembly, instructing, benefiting, and making them rejoice.
In that assembly, I roared the lion’s roar three times.
I then ascended into the sky and returned home.”

The Origin of the World and Beings
The Buddha told the wanderer, “Sometimes ascetics and priests say, ‘The whole world was created by Brahmā, the Sovereign God.’

“I ask them, ‘Was the whole world really created by Brahmā, the Sovereign God?’

“They can’t answer, so they ask me a counter question:
‘Gautama, how is it, then?’

“I reply to them, ‘Sometimes, soon after this world is destroyed, there are other sentient beings whose life and actions come to an end.
Their lives end in the Ābhāsvara Heaven, and then they are born in some empty Brahma abode.
Craving arises in them there, and they become addicted to it.
Again, they want other sentient beings to be reborn in that abode.
When those other sentient beings’ lives and actions come to an end, they are reborn there.

“‘That sentient being then thinks to itself, “Now I am King Great Brahmā.
I suddenly came into existence without a creator.
I completely comprehend the meaning of everything.
I am the supreme sovereign of a thousand worlds.
What I make and create is sublime and supreme.
I am both father and mother to people.
I was the first to arrive here;
I was alone without a companion.
These sentient beings are here because of my power.
I made these sentient beings.
Those other sentient beings also followed them, and they call me:
‘King Brahmā who suddenly came into existence.
He completely comprehends the meaning of everything.
He’s the supreme sovereign of a thousand worlds.
What he makes and creates is sublime and supreme.
He’s both father and mother to people.
At first, he was alone, then later there was us.
This King Great Brahmā created us.’


“‘When these sentient beings die, they are reborn here in the world.
They slowly grow up, cut off their hair and beards, put on the three Dharma robes, and leave home for the path.
They enter a samādhi of mind through which they recall their past births, and then they make the claim, “This god Great Brahmā suddenly came into existence without a creator.
He completely comprehends the meaning of everything.
He’s the supreme sovereign of a thousand worlds.
What he makes and creates is sublime and supreme.
He’s both father and mother to people.
That god Great Brahmā always abides unperturbed, and he isn’t subject to change.
We were created by that god Brahmā, but now we’re impermanent, don’t last long, and are subject to change.”

“Thus, wanderer, as a result of these events, those ascetics and priests each say, ‘That Brahmā, that Sovereign God, created this world.’
Wanderer, a creator of this world is something that’s only known to a Buddha and not by others.
The Buddha also entirely knows what’s beyond this subject.
Although he knows, he’s not attached to it.
He truly knows suffering and its formation, cessation, enjoyment, danger, and escape.
He’s called ‘Tathāgata’ because he was liberated without remainder by his equal observation.”

The Buddha told the wanderer, “Some ascetics and priests make this claim, ‘Frivolity and laziness are the source of sentient beings.’

“I say to them, ‘Do you really say that frivolity and laziness are the source of sentient beings?’

“They aren’t able to answer, so they ask me a counter question, ‘Gautama, how is it, then?’

“I reply to them, ‘Sometimes, the sentient beings of the Ābhāsvara Heaven are frivolous and lazy.
When their bodies break up and their lives end, they’re reborn here.
They slowly grow up, cut off their hair and beard, put on the three Dharma robes, and leave home for the path.
They enter a samādhi of mind through which they recall their past births, and then they make the claim, “Those other sentient beings didn’t delight in frivolity, so they always reside in that abode, abiding forever and unchanging.
We’ve come to this impermanence and are subject to change because we often delighted in frivolity.”
’”

“Thus, wanderer, as a result of these events, those ascetics and priests say that frivolity is the source of sentient beings.
The Buddha thus entirely knows this, and he also knows about what’s beyond it.
He knows it but isn’t attached to it.
He truly knows suffering and its formation, cessation, enjoyment, danger, and escape.
He’s called ‘Tathāgata’ because he was liberated without remainder by his equal observation.”

The Buddha told the wanderer, “Some ascetics and priests say, ‘Losing mindfulness is the source of sentient beings.’

“I say to them, ‘Do you really say, ‘Losing mindfulness is the source of sentient beings?’

“They aren’t able to answer, so they ask me a counter question, ‘Gautama, how is it, then?’

“I say to them, ‘Some sentient beings lose their mindfulness after watching each other, one after the other.
As a result, they’re born here when their lives end.
They slowly grow up, cut off their hair and beards, put on the three Dharma robes, and leave home to cultivate the path.
They enter a samādhi of mind through which they became aware of their past births, and then they say, “Those sentient beings that don’t lose their mindfulness while watching each other, one after the other, always abide unchanging.
We frequently watched each other and lost our mindfulness after doing so.
As a result, we’ve come to this impermanence and are subject to change.”


“Thus, wanderer, as a result of these events, those ascetics and priests say that losing mindfulness is the source of sentient beings.
Only a Buddha thus knows it, and he knows what’s beyond it.
He knows it, but he isn’t attached to it.
He truly knows suffering and its formation, cessation, enjoyment, danger, and escape.
He’s called ‘Tathāgata’ because he was liberated without remainder by his equal observation.”

The Buddha told the wanderer, “Some ascetics and priests say, ‘I arose without cause.’

“I say to them, ‘Do you really say, “I arose without cause”?’

“They aren’t able to answer, so they ask me a counter question[, ‘Gautama, how is it, then?’
]

“Then I reply, ‘Some sentient beings lack conception or perception.
If those sentient beings give rise to concepts, then they’re reborn here when their lives end.
They slowly grow up, cut off their hair and beards, put on the three Dharma robes, and leave home to cultivate the path.
They enter a samādhi of mind through which they became aware of their past births, and then they say, “I didn’t exist in the past, but now I suddenly exist.
This world didn’t exist in the past, but now it exists.
This is true;
the rest is false.”


“Thus, wanderer, as a result of these events, ascetics and priests say that they arose without cause.
Only the Buddha knows it, and he knows what’s beyond it.
He knows it, but he isn’t attached to it.
He truly knows suffering and its formation, cessation, enjoyment, danger, and escape.
He’s called ‘Tathāgata’ because he was liberated without remainder by his equal observation.”

The Buddha told the wanderer, “I’ve explained such things, but some ascetics and priests slander me in private.
They say, ‘The ascetic Gautama himself claims, “My disciples enter pure liberation and accomplish pure practice.
They know purity, but they don’t completely know purity.”


“But I don’t make the claim, ‘My disciples enter pure liberation and accomplish pure practice.
They know purity, but they don’t completely know purity.’

“Wanderer, I myself say, ‘My disciples enter pure liberation and accomplish the pure practice.
They know purity, being entirely and completely pure.’

The wanderer then said to the Buddha, “They can’t obtain good benefits, so they slander the ascetic Gautama by saying, ‘The ascetic himself says, ‘My disciples enter pure liberation and accomplish pure practice.
They know purity, but they don’t completely know purity.’

“But the Bhagavān doesn’t say that.
The Bhagavān himself says, ‘My disciples enter pure liberation and accomplish the pure practice.
They know purity, being entirely and completely pure.’


He also said to the Buddha, “I’ll also enter this pure liberation and accomplish pure practice.
I’ll entirely and completely know it!”

The Buddha told the wanderer, “It would be very difficult for you to enter it.
Your views are different, your patience is different, and your practice is different.
It’s very difficult to enter pure liberation while relying on other views.
If you keep delighting in the Buddha in your heart, then you’ll always be happy for a long time.”

When the wanderer Bhārgava heard what the Buddha taught, he rejoiced and approved.

16 - DA 16 Sujata

Thus I have heard:
One time, the Buddha was staying on Mount Gṛdhrakūṭa of Rājagṛha.
He was accompanied by a large assembly of 1,250 monks.

It was then that the Bhagavān put on his robe and took his bowl into the city to solicit alms.
At the time, there was a prominent man’s son named Sujata in Rājagṛha.
Early in the morning, he left the city to go for a walk in a park.
He bathed first, wetting his entire body.
He then bowed in all directions around him:
To the east, west, south, north, above, and below.

The Bhagavān then saw Sujata bathing before going for his walk in a park, wetting his entire body, and bowing in all directions.
Upon seeing this, the Bhagavān went to Sujata and asked him:
“Why did you leave the city in the early morning to go to a park, wet your entire body, and bow in all directions?”

Sujata then said to the Buddha, “My father’s death is imminent, and he gave me this instruction:
‘When you go to bow, you should first bow to the east, south, west, north, above, and below.’
I don’t dare not carry out my father’s instruction, so after I’ve bathed, I first salute while facing east and then bow to the east.
I do this for all the directions to the south, west, north, above, and below.”

The Bhagavān then told Sujata, “Prominent man’s son, these directions are just names.
It’s not that we don’t have this practice, but we don’t bow to these six directions to pay respect to them in my noble teaching.”

Sujata said to the Buddha, “Please, Bhagavān!
It would be good if you explained for me the way you bow to the six directions in the noble teaching!”

The Buddha told the prominent man’s son, “Listen closely, listen closely!
Consider it well, for I will explain this for you.”

Sujata replied, “Very well.
I’d be glad to hear it.”

The Buddha told Sujata, “Suppose a prominent man or his son knows four binding actions and doesn’t do bad actions on four grounds.
Moreover, he’s able to know six actions that squander wealth.
That’s to say, Sujata, this prominent man or his son parts with four bad actions and pays homage to the six directions.
It will be good for his present life, and he’ll obtain good results in later lives.
It will be the source for this in his present life and later lives.
In the present life, he be commended by wise people and gain this one worldly reward:
When his body breaks up and his life ends, he’ll be born in a heavenly good place.

“Sujata, you should know, the four binding actions are 1. killing beings, 2. stealing, 3. engaging in sex, and 4. false speech.
These are the four binding actions.
What are the four grounds?
They are 1. desire, 2. anger, 3. fear, and 4. delusion.
If a prominent man or his son does bad actions on these four grounds, then he will decline [in reputation].”

After saying this, the Buddha restated it in verse:

“Desire, anger, fear, and delusion:

Someone who has these four qualities
Sees their reputation decline daily,
Like the moon approaching its last day.”

The Buddha told Sujata, “If a prominent man or his son doesn’t do bad actions on these four grounds, then he’ll improve [in reputation].”

The Bhagavān then restated this in verse:

“One who doesn’t do bad actions
In desire, anger, fear, and delusion
Will improve in reputation daily,
Like the moon approaching fullness.”

The Buddha told Sujata, “The six actions that squander wealth are 1. indulging in alcohol, 2. gambling, 3. self-indulgence, 4. getting carried away at musical performances, 5. associating with bad friends, and 6. idleness.
These are the six acts that squander wealth.

“Sujata, suppose a prominent man or his son understands these four binding actions, doesn’t do evil actions on these four grounds, and knows the six actions that squander wealth.
Doing this, Sujata, he can part with these four grounds and make offerings to the six directions.
It will be good for his present life and good in later lives.
It’ll be the source for this in the present life and in later lives.
In the present, he’ll be praised by wise people and gain this one worldly reward:
When his body breaks up and his life ends, he’ll be born in a heavenly good place.

“Sujata, you should know that drinking alcohol has six defects:
1. Loss of wealth, 2. becoming ill, 3. fighting, 4. circulation of a bad reputation, 5. sudden outbursts of anger, and 6. a daily loss in wisdom.
Sujata, if they drink alcohol, that prominent man or his son’s family and property with decrease day by day.

“Sujata, gambling has six defects.
What are the six?
1. Daily loss of wealth, 2. enemies are made by winning, 3. being rebuked by wise people, 4. not being trusted by people, 5. estrangement from people, and 6. it causes thoughts of stealing.
Sujata, engaging in gambling has these six defects.
If they gamble, that prominent man or his son’s family and property will decrease day by day.

“Self-indulgence has six defects:
1. Not protecting oneself, 2. not protecting one’s property, 3. not protecting one’s children, 4. being in constant fear, 5. being constantly trapped in painful and bad qualities, and 6. delighting in falsehoods.
These are the six defects of self-indulgence.
If a prominent man or his son engages in self-indulgence, his family and property will decrease day by day.

“Sujata, getting carried away at musical performances also has six defects:
1. Seeking singing, 2. seeking dancing and 3. seeking musical instruments, 4. panica, 5. talava, and 6. suhana.
These are the six defects of music.
If a prominent man or his son doesn’t stop indulging in music, his family and property will decrease day by day.

“Associating with bad friends also has six defects:
1. One’s ways become deceitful, 2. preferring private places, 3. tempting people from other households, 4. scheming to get others’ possessions, 5. directing profits to oneself, and 6. liking to publicize the faults of others.
These are the six defects of bad friends.
If a prominent man or his son doesn’t stop associating with bad friends, his family and property will decrease day by day.

Idleness has six defects:
1. One doesn’t make much effort to cultivate when they’re fortunate and happy, 2. not making much effort to cultivate when in poverty, 3. not making much effort to cultivate when it’s cold, 4. not making much effort to cultivate when it’s hot, 5. not making much effort to cultivate in the morning, and 6. not make much effort to cultivate in the evening.
If a prominent man or his son don’t stop being idle, his family and property will decrease day by day.”

After saying this, the Buddha restated it in verse:

“Someone deluded by alcohol
Will return to his drinking companion.

His rightly accumulated property
Will be squandered selfishly.

Drinking alcohol excessively,
He regularly delights in song and dance.

Come morning, he wanders to another’s house,
Which causes his own downfall.

Following bad friends and not changing,
He slanders those who leave home.

The world laughs at his wrong views,
And people reject his defiled actions.

Favoring bad attachments to external form,
He only discusses winning and losing things.

With bad [friends], he doesn’t return [to the good],
And people reject his defiled actions.

Being intoxicated by alcohol,
A poor man doesn’t take stock of himself.

With a little wealth, he favors extravagance,
Which breaks the home and brings disaster.

Gambling, drinking alcohol with crowds,
And pursuing another’s attractive woman:

Studying such vulgar practices,
He’s like the moon approaching its last day.

Doing evil, accepting evil,
And associating with bad friends,
In the present life and next life,
One gains nothing from start to finish.

Preferring to sleep during the day,
One is awake at night with many longings.

Alone in the dark without good friends,
They can’t cultivate their household’s affairs.

Not working in the morning or evening,
And idle when it’s cold or hot as well,
What one does, they don’t do to completion,
And they ruin what they do complete, too.

Whether the weather seems cold or hot,
Work diligently from morning to night.

When work isn’t left incomplete,
You’ll never have anything to lament.”

The Buddha told Sujata, “There are four enemies who resemble friends that you should know and recognize.
What are the four?
1. Those who submit out of fear, 2. who use beautiful words, 3. who follow out of respect, and 4. who are bad friends.”

The Buddha told Sujata, “There are four things about those who submit out of fear.
What are the four?
1. They take back when they’ve given, 2. they give little expecting more [in return], 3. their friendship is forced because of fear, and 4. they make friends for their own gain.
These are the four things about those who submit out of fear.

The Buddha told Sujata, “There are also four things about friends who use beautiful words.
What are the four?
1. They follow others whether they are good or bad, 2. abandon them when there are difficulties, 3. are welcoming in public but stop in private, and 4. refuse to help when misfortune strikes.
These are the four things about friends who use beautiful words.

“There are four things about friends who follow out of respect.
What are the four?
1. They’re deceptive at first, 2. they’re deceptive later, 3. they’re openly deceptive, and 4. they hit you with a cane when they notice a minor fault.
These are the four things about friends who follow out of respect.

“There are four things about bad friends.
What are the four?
1. They’re friends when drinking alcohol, 2. they’re friends when gambling, 3. they’re friends when engaging in sex, and 4. they’re friends when singing and dancing.
These are the four things about bad friends.”

After saying this, the Bhagavān restated it in verse:

“One who submits out of fear is a forced friend;

The friend who uses beautiful words is likewise.

Followers out of respect are false friends,
And bad companions make bad friends.

These friends aren’t reliable;

The wise should know and recognize them.

They ought to be abandoned quickly,
Like avoiding a dangerous road.”

The Buddha addressed Sujata, “There are four friends who bring many benefits when befriended and who will help and protect a person.
What are the four?
1. Those who stop what’s wrong, 2. who are merciful, 3. who are beneficial, and 4. who are cooperative.
These four friends bring many benefits when befriended and will help and protect a person.
They should be befriended.

“Sujata, there are four things about those who stop what’s wrong, which bring many benefits and help and protect a person.
What are the four?
1. They can stop someone who they see are doing evil, 2. they show people what’s honest and correct, 3. they’re kind, sympathetic, and mindful, and 4. they show a person the road to heaven.
These are the four things about those who stop what’s wrong, which bring many benefits and help and protect a person.

“Furthermore, there are four things about those who are merciful:
1. They are delighted to see another’s gain, 2. they are saddened to see a person do evil, 3. they praise others’ virtues, and 4. they can restrain others when seeing them speak badly.
These are the four things about those who are merciful, which bring many benefits and help and protect a person.

“There are four things about those who are beneficial.
What are the four?
1. They protect others by preventing them from being self-indulgent, 2. they protect others from squandering their wealth, 3. they protect others by allaying their fears, and 4. they admonish others in private.
These are the four things about those who are beneficial, which bring many benefits and help and protect people.

“There are four things about those who are cooperative.
What are the four?
1. They don’t begrudge their own lives for others, 2. they don’t begrudge wealth and treasure for others, 3. they allay the fears of others, and 4. they admonish others in private.
These are the four things about those who are cooperative, which bring many benefits and help and protect people.”

After saying this, the Bhagavān restated it in verse:

“Those who stop what’s wrong defend friends from evil,
The merciful put themselves in others’ places,
The beneficial person benefits their friends,
And the cooperative treat friends like themselves.

These are the people to befriend;

Wise people keep them close at hand.

Among friends, they are unparalleled,
Just as a kind mother is her child’s friend.

If someone wants people to befriend,
He’ll be friends with substantial friends.

The friend who perfects the precepts
Is like a torch-bearer lighting the way.”

The Buddha told Sujata, “You should know the six directions.
What are the six directions?
Parents are to the east, teachers and elders are to the south, wives are to the west, relatives are to the north, servants are below, and ascetics, priests, and noble practitioners are above.

“Sujata, someone with parents should respect and follow them in five ways.
What are the five?
1. They should provide support, so they are without want, 2. always offer to do things for their parents first, 3. respect and follow their parents without going against them, 4. don’t dare to contradict a proper instruction from their parents, and 5. don’t end a proper profession pursued by their parents.

“Sujata, when someone with parents respects and follows them in these five ways, their parents are respectful friends to their child in five ways, too.
What are the five?
1. They govern their child and don’t permit them to do evil, 2. they teach and show them what’s good, 3. their love for their child goes to the marrow of their bones, 4. they look for an excellent spouse for their child, and 5. they provide support to their child when it’s needed.

“Sujata, when a child respectfully follows and serves their parents, then that [eastern] direction will be peaceful, without any sorrow or fear.

“Sujata, a disciple respectfully serves his teacher in five ways.
What are the five?
1. They supply the teacher with their needs, 2. pay homage and offer support to them, 3. honor and look up to their teacher, 4. honor and don’t go against their teacher’s instructions, and 5. remember and don’t forget what their teacher teaches them.

“Sujata, when a disciple respectfully serves their teacher in these five ways, their teacher respectfully looks after the disciple in five ways, too.
What are the five?
1. They train their disciple to follow their teaching, 2. instruct their disciple in what they’ve yet to hear, 3. give their disciple sufficient answers when they have questions, 4. demonstrate what a good friend is, and 5. teach their disciple all that they know without holding back.

“Sujata, when a disciple respectfully serves their teacher, then that [southern] direction will be peaceful, without sorrow or fear.

“Sujata, a husband also respects his wife in five ways.
What are the five?
1. He treats her with respect, 2. he’s dignified and not indecent, 3. he provides her with clothing and food when it’s needed, 4. he provides her with ornaments according to the occasion, and 5. he entrusts the affairs of the household to her.

“Sujata, when a husband respects his wife in these five ways, his wife honors her husband in five ways, too.
What are the five?
1. She rises before him, 2. sits after him, 3. speaks peacefully, 4. respects and follows him, and 5. anticipates his wishes and accepts them.

“Sujata, when a husband treats his wife with respect, then that [western] direction will be peaceful, without sorrow or fear.

“Sujata a person is friendly and respectful to their relatives in five ways.
What are the five?
1. They give them gifts, 2. Speak to them skillfully, 3. benefit them, 4. benefit them equally, and 5. don’t deceive them.

“Sujata, when a person is friendly and respectful to their relatives, their relatives are friendly and respectful to them in five ways, too.
What are the five?
1. They keep a person from being self-indulgence, 2. keep them from self-indulgently wasting their wealth, 3. keep them from becoming fearful, 4. admonish them in private, and 5. always praise their qualities.

“Sujata, when someone is friendly and respectful to their relatives, then that [northern] direction will be peaceful, without sorrow or fear.

“Sujata, a master directs his servants in five ways.
What are the five?
1. He assigns tasks according to their abilities, 2. provides meals at appropriate times, 3. provides compensation at appropriate times, 4. provides medical care for their illnesses, and 5. permits them to have leisure time.

“Sujata, when a master directs his servants in these five ways, his servants perform their duties in five ways, too.
What are the five?
1. They rise early in the morning, 2. do their work meticulously, 3. don’t take what’s not given, 4. do their duties in order, and 5. praise their master’s name.
When a master treats his servants in this way, then that direction [below] will be peaceful, without sorrow or fear.

“Sujata, a benefactor should support and serve ascetics and priests in five ways.
What are the five?
1. Their physical conduct is kind, 2. their verbal conduct is kind, 3. their mental conduct is kind, 4. they give according to the occasion, and 5. they don’t stop them at the gate.

“Sujata, when a benefactor supports and serves ascetics and priests in these five ways, then ascetics and priests also give them instruction in six ways, too.
What are the six?
1. They prevent their benefactor from doing evil, 2. guide them to a good place, 3. teach them to harbor good thoughts, 4. ensure that they hear what they haven’t heard yet, 5. ensure that they understand well what they have heard, and 6. make the path to heaven clear to them.

“Sujata, when a benefactor who thus respects and serves ascetics and priests, then that direction [above] will be peaceful, without any sorrow or fear.”

After saying this, the Bhagavān restated it in verse:

“Parents are to the east,
Teachers are to the south,
Wives are to the west,
Relatives are to the north,
Servants are below,
And ascetics are above.

When sons of prominent men
Pay homage to these directions
By respecting them at all times,
They’ll be born in heaven when they die.

Focused on giving and soft words,
A person is beneficial to many.

Equally benefiting themselves and others,
They share what they have with people.

These four things carry much
Like a cartwheel does heavy loads.

Without these four things, the world
Would be devoid filial support.

This teaching exists in the world,
And it’s chosen by wise people.

Practicing it has such great results,
One’s name spreads far and wide.

Whether lovely beds or chairs,
Or being served excellent meals,
He provides whatever he obtains,
And his name spreads far and wide.

Not forgetting relatives and old friends,
He explains to them beneficial subjects.

Those high and low always in harmony,
He obtains a good reputation from it.

First, he should develop his skills,
Then he obtains wealth afterward.

Once he comes to possess wealth,
He should safeguard it himself.

To produce wealth with frugality,
He should personally select his recipients.

When grifters and scoundrels solicit him,
He shouldn’t offer donations to them.

He produces wealth in small amounts
Like a bee collecting from many flowers.

His treasury accrues interest day by day
Until finally it never decreases.

First, he knows when to stop eating.

Second, he cultivates his work and isn’t idle.

Third, he first builds his savings
And sets it aside for times of want.

Fourth, he cultivates his fields and business,
Selecting pastures to place his cattle.

Fifth, he constructs relic shrines.

Sixth, he establishes Saṅgha dwellings
Where residents pursue the six tasks
And skillfully cultivate without lost time.

When he thus cultivates these tasks,
His household won’t decline.

His treasury will accrue interest daily
Like the ocean swelled by many rivers.”

At that point, Sujata said to the Bhagavān, “Very good, Bhagavān!
That was what I hoped to do before, but it goes beyond my father’s instruction.
The Tathāgata’s explanation is like turning upright what’s overturned, opening up something closed, bringing understanding to what’s confused, and a lamp in a dark room to those with eyes to see.
He awakens the fool who’s in the dark with countless methods that make the clean teaching plain.

“Why is that?
The Buddha is a Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One, so he’s able to reveal clear instruction to the world.
Now, I take refuge in the Buddha, take refuge in the Dharma, and take refuge in the Saṅgha.
Bhagavān, please permit me to become a layman in the correct teaching!
Starting today, I will not kill, steal, commit adultery, lie, or drink alcohol for the rest of my life.”

Once Sujata had heard what the Buddha taught, he rejoiced and approved.

17 - DA 17 Purification

Thus I have heard:
One time, the Buddha was staying at Layman [Vedhañña]’s Grove in the country of Kapilavastu.
He was accompanied by a large assembly of 1,250 monks.

News of Nigranthaputra’s Death
The novice monk Cunda was staying in Pāpā at the time for the summer retreat.
When it was finished, he took his robe and bowl and made his way to Layman [Vedhañña]’s Grove near Kapilavastu.
He went to Ānanda, bowed his head at his feet, and stood to one side.
He then said to Ānanda, “In the city of Pāpā, Nigranthaputra’s life ended not long ago, and his disciples are divided into two factions.
They fight with each other, scolding each other to their faces.
They have no hierarchy and look for each other’s shortcomings.
They argue about what they know and see:
‘I can understand this, but you cannot.’
‘My practices are true and correct;
yours are wrong views.’
‘You put what’s first last and what’s last first, getting things reversed and confused, and then there isn’t any order.’
‘What I do is sublime;
what you say is wrong.’
‘If you have any doubts, feel free to ask me.’
Virtuous Ānanda, the people of that country who served Nirgrantha are disgusted when they hear their fighting.”

Ānanda said to the novice monk Cunda, “We were going to inform the Bhagavān about something.
You can come with us.
You ought to tell him about these events.
If the Bhagavān has some instructions about it, we’ll accept them together.”

After hearing what Ānanda said, the novice monk Cunda went with him to visit the Bhagavān.
He bowed his head at the Buddha’s feet and then stood to one side.

Ānanda said to the Bhagavān, “When this novice monk Cunda finished the summer retreat in Pāpā, he took his robe and bowl and made his way here.
He bowed at my feet and said to me:
‘In the city of Pāpā, Nigranthaputra’s life ended not long ago, and his disciples are divided into two factions.
They fight with each other, scolding each other to their faces.
They have no hierarchy and look for each other’s shortcomings.
They argue about what they know and see:
“I can understand this, but you cannot.”
“My practices are true and correct;
yours are wrong views.”
“You put what’s first last and what’s last first, getting things reversed and confused, and then there isn’t any order.”
“What I do is sublime;
what you say is wrong.”
“If you have any doubts, feel free to ask me.”
The people of that country who served Nirgrantha are disgusted when they hear their fighting.’


Disciples Who Don’t Follow a Teaching
The Bhagavān told Cunda, “So it is, Cunda.
That’s not a teaching that’s worth hearing, nor is it the teaching of a Completely Awakened One.
It’s like a crumbling shrine that’s difficult to paint.
Although they had a teacher, the views he held were all wrong.
Although they also have a teaching, none of it is true.
It isn’t worth hearing and can’t escape [suffering].
This isn’t the teaching of a Completely Awakened One.
It’s like an ancient shine that can’t be painted.
The disciples who didn’t follow his teaching and abandoned his different views practiced right view.

“Cunda, suppose someone came and said to those disciples, ‘Good men, your teacher’s Dharma was correct.
You ought to put it into practice.
Why did you abandon it?’
Those disciples who believe it and the speaker will both lose the path and get measureless misdeeds.
Why is that?
Although they have a teaching, it isn’t true.

“Cunda, suppose the teacher doesn’t have wrong views.
His teaching is true, good to hear, and can reach the escape.
That’s the teaching of a Completely Awakened One.
It’s like a newly built shrine that’s easy to paint.
Still, disciples who don’t diligently cultivate his teaching can’t accomplish it.
They abandon the equal path and take up wrong views.

“Suppose someone came and said to those disciples, ‘Good men, your teacher’s Dharma was correct.
You ought to put it into practice.
Why did you abandon it and take up wrong views?’
Those disciples who believe it and the speaker will both see correctly and get measureless merits.
Why is that?
Their teaching is true.”

Disciples Who Accomplish a Teaching
The Buddha told Cunda, “Although they had a teacher, he held wrong views.
Although they also have a teaching, none of it is true.
It isn’t worth hearing and can’t escape.
This isn’t the teaching of a Completely Awakened One.
It’s like a crumbling shine that can’t be painted.
Those disciples who accomplished his teachings and followed his practice produced wrong views.

“Cunda, suppose someone came and said to those disciples, ‘Good men, your teacher’s Dharma was correct.
It’s something you ought to practice.
Now, your cultivation of asceticism being diligent, you should accomplish the fruit of the path in the present life.’
Those disciples who believe it and the speaker will both lose the path and get measureless misdeeds.
Why is that?
Because the teaching isn’t true.

“Cunda, suppose the teacher doesn’t have wrong views.
His teaching is true, good to hear, and can reach the escape.
That’s the teaching of a Completely Awakened One.
It’s like a newly built shrine that’s easy to paint.
Those disciples who accomplish his teachings and follow the cultivation of his practice will produce right view.

“Suppose someone said to those disciples, ‘Good men, your teacher’s Dharma was correct.
It’s something you ought to practice.
Now, your cultivation of asceticism being diligent, you should accomplish the fruit of the path in the present life.’
Those disciples who believe it and the speaker will both have right view and obtain measureless merits.
Why is that?
Because the teaching is true.”

Teachers Who Are Grieved and Not Grieved
“Cunda, when some teachers leave the world, it makes their disciples grieve.
Some teachers leave the world, and it doesn’t make their disciples grieve.

“How does a teacher leaving the world make his disciples grieve?
Cunda, suppose a teacher has recently left the world, and it wasn’t long after he achieved awakening.
His teaching was complete, his religious practice was pure, and his essentials were true, but these things weren’t widely known.
The teacher’s final liberation was so soon that his disciples can’t cultivate his practice.
They lament, saying, ‘The teacher was first to leave the world, not long after achieving awakening.
His teaching was pure, his religious practice was complete, and his essentials were true, but they weren’t widely known.
Now, the teacher’s final liberation was so soon, we disciples can’t cultivate his practice!’
This is a teacher who leaves the world, and his disciple grieve over it.

“How does a teacher leaving the world not make his disciples grieve?
Suppose when a teacher leaves the world, his teaching is pure, his religious practice is complete, and his essentials are true.
These things are widely known.
After the teacher’s final liberation, his disciples can cultivate his practice.
They don’t lament, saying, ‘The teacher was first to leave the world, not long after achieving awakening.
His teaching was pure, his religious practice was complete, and his essentials were true, but they weren’t widely known.
Now, the teacher’s final liberation was so soon, we disciples can’t cultivate his practice!’
Thus, Cunda, a teacher leaves the world, and his disciples have no grief over it.”

Factors of a Religious Practice
The Buddha told Cunda, “These factors achieve the religious life.
That is, a teacher leaves the world not long after leaving home.
His fame hasn’t spread widely.
This is a factor of the religious practice being incomplete.

“Cunda, a teacher leaves the world a long time after he left home, and his fame has become far-reaching.
This is a factor of the religious life being fulfilled.

“Cunda, a teacher leaves the world a long time after he left home, and his fame has become far-reaching, but his disciples have yet to receive his instruction or possess his religious practice.
They’ve yet to reach a state of peace, obtain their own reward, or accept his teaching and widely promulgate it.
When different interpretations arise, they can’t eliminate them according to the teaching.
They still can’t transform themselves or realize miraculous abilities, either.
This is a factor of the religious practice being incomplete.

“Cunda, a teacher leaves the world long after he left home, and his fame has become far-reaching.
All his disciples receive his instruction and the complete religious practice.
They reach a state of peace, obtain their own reward, and accept, discern, and promulgate his teaching.
When different interpretations arise, they can eliminate them according to the teaching.
They perfect transforming themselves and realize miraculous abilities.
This is a factor of the religious practice being fulfilled.

“Cunda, a teacher leaves the world long after he left home, and his fame has become far-reaching, but his nuns have yet to receive his instructions.
They’ve yet to reach a state of peace, obtain their own reward, or accept, discern, and promulgate his teaching.
When different interpretations arise, they can’t eliminate them with the teaching.
They still can’t transform themselves or realize miraculous abilities, either.
This is a factor of the religious life being incomplete.

“Cunda, a teacher leaves the world long after he left home, and his fame has become far-reaching.
All his nuns receive his instruction and the complete religious practice.
They reach a state of peace, obtain their own reward, and accept, discern, and promulgate his teaching.
When different interpretations arise, they can eliminate them according to the teaching.
They perfect transforming themselves and realize miraculous abilities.
This is a factor of the religious practice being completely fulfilled.

“Cunda, laymen and laywomen widely cultivate his religious practice … transform themselves and realize miraculous abilities in the same way.

“Cunda, suppose a teacher isn’t present in the world, they don’t have any fame, and offerings are limited.
This is a factor of the religious practice being unfulfilled.

“Suppose a teacher is present in the world, they’re famous, and offerings are fully provided without any limitations.
This is a factor of the religious practice being fulfilled.

“Suppose a teacher is present in the world, they’re famous, and offerings are fully provided, but the monks don’t possess fame or offerings.
This is a factor of the religious practice being incomplete.

“Suppose a teacher is present in the world, they’re famous, and offerings are fully provided without limitations, and the assembly of monks also possesses these things.
This is a factor of the religious practice being fulfilled.
It’s the same with the assembly of nuns.

“Cunda, I left home long ago, and my fame is widespread.
My monks have received my instruction, reached a state of peace, obtained their own reward, and can accept and explain the teaching for other people.
When different interpretations arise, they can eliminate them according to the teaching.
They transform themselves and fully realize miraculous abilities.
The monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen are the same.

“Cunda, I’ve widely promulgated the religious practice in each way … transforming myself and fully realizing miraculous abilities.
Cunda, of all the teachers in the world, I don’t see any of them who have attained fame and offerings like myself, the Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakening One.

“Cunda, of the followers in the world, I don’t see any with fame and offerings like my assembly.

“Cunda, to tell the truth, I should say that I see what can’t be seen.
How do I see what can’t be seen?
All whose religious practice is pure, complete, plainly explained, and widely known are said to see what can’t be seen.”

The Bhagavān then told the monks, “Udraka Rāmaputra made this statement to a large assembly:
‘There is what’s seen and not seen.
What is called the seen and not seen?
It’s like a knife that can be seen, and a sword that cannot be seen.’
Monks, Rāmaputra made that metaphor with the ignorant words of ordinary people.

“Thus, Cunda, to tell the truth, I should say I see what’s not seen.
What is seen and not seen?
You should correctly say, ‘All whose religious practice is pure, complete, plainly explained, and widely known see what can’t be seen.’

“Cunda, a continuous teaching that’s incomplete can be found, but a discontinued teaching that’s complete can’t be found.
Cunda, among teachings, the religious practice is like the ghee that’s in butter.”

Staying Unified and Resolving Disputes
The Bhagavān then told the monks, “I’ve personally realized this teaching, namely the four abodes of mindfulness, four miraculous abilities, four mental disciplines, four dhyānas, five faculties, five powers, seven factors of awakening, and the noble eightfold path.
All of you are united and don’t start disputes.
You have the same teacher and teaching, the same water and milk.
You must light yourselves with the Tathāgata’s correct teaching and delight in becoming peaceful.

“Once you’ve become peaceful, suppose some monk is teaching Dharma, and another says, ‘That statement isn’t correct, and his meaning isn’t correct.’

“A monk who hears him can’t say he’s right or wrong.
He should say to that monk, ‘How is it, good man?
I would say it this way, and you say it that way.
My meaning is this, and your meaning is that.
Which is better?
Which is worse?’

“Suppose that monk replies, ‘I say it this way, and my meaning is this.
You say it that way, and your meaning is that.
Your statement is better, and your meaning is better, too.’

“The monk who says this also can’t be found to be right or wrong.
You should admonish, rebuke, and stop that monk.
You should then investigate the matter together.
Thus, all of you will be united without starting disputes.
You have the same teacher and teaching, the same water and milk.
You should light yourselves with the correct teaching of the Tathāgata and delight in becoming peaceful.

“Once you’ve become peaceful, suppose a monk is teaching Dharma, and another says, ‘That statement isn’t correct, but his meaning is correct.’

“A monk who hears him can’t say he’s right or wrong.
He should say to that monk, ‘How is it, monk?
I say it this way, and you say it that way.
Which is correct, and which is wrong?’

“Suppose that monk replies, ‘I say it this way, and you say it that way.
Your statement is better.’

“A monk who says this also can’t be said to be right or wrong.
You should admonish, rebuke, and stop that monk.
You should investigate the matter together.
Thus, all of you will be united without starting disputes.
You have the same teacher and teaching, the same water and milk.
You should light yourselves with the correct teaching of the Tathāgata and delight in becoming peaceful.

“Once you’ve become peaceful, suppose a monk is teaching Dharma, and another monk makes the statement, ‘That statement is correct, but his meaning isn’t correct.’

“A monk who hears him can’t say that he’s right or wrong.
You should say to him, ‘How is it, monk?
My meaning is this, and your meaning is that.
Which is right, and which is wrong?’

“Suppose he replies, ‘My meaning is this, and your meaning is that.
Your meaning is better.’

“When a monk says that, he can’t be said to be right or wrong.
You should admonish, rebuke, and stop that monk.
You should investigate the matter together.
Thus, all of you will be united without starting disputes.
You have the same teacher and teaching, the same water and milk.
You should light yourselves with the correct teaching of the Tathāgata and delight in becoming peaceful.

“Once you’ve become peaceful, suppose a monk is teaching Dharma, and another monks makes the statement, ‘That statement is correct, and his meaning is correct.’

“A monk who hears him can’t say that he’s right or wrong.
You should commend him by saying, ‘What you say is right!
What you say is right!’

“Therefore, monks, realize for yourself what’s in the twelve divisions of the sutras, and widely promulgate it.
They are the sutras, songs, assurances, verses, inspirations, past events, past births, histories, extensive sutras, unprecedented things, parables, and explanations.
You should skillfully preserve, assess, investigate, and widely promulgate them.

The Allowance of Requisites
“Monks, the robes that I allow are robes from cemeteries, robes from prominent people, or crude robes.
These robes are sufficient for warding off cold, heat, and biting insects, and they’re enough to cover your four limbs.

“Monks, the food that I allow is solicited food or a householder’s food.
This food is sufficient for your body or troubles.
When the myriad ailments become severe, they become a source of anxiety until death, so I permit you this food.
Be satisfied with that.

“Monks, the abodes that I allow are under a tree, out in the open, in a room, in a hall, or in a cave.
If you live in these various abodes, be satisfied with them.
They ward off the cold, heat, wind, rain, and biting insects.
Abide under them in quiet repose.

“Monks, the medicines that I allow are urine, feces, cream, oil, honey, or rock honey.
Be satisfied with these medicines.
If your body is troubled by pains, then I permit these medicines when the myriad ailments become severe and cause anxiety until death.”

Pleasures the Buddha Doesn’t Approve
The Buddha said, “Some wanderers of other religions come and say, ‘The ascetic Śākyans themselves enjoy many pleasures.’

“When they say this, you should thus reply, ‘You shouldn’t say that the ascetic Śākyans themselves enjoy many pleasures.
Why is that?
When someone enjoys pleasures, the Tathāgata rebukes them.
When someone enjoys pleasures, the Tathāgata commends them.’

“Suppose that wanderer from another religion asks, ‘The enjoyment of which pleasures does Gautama rebuke?’

“If they were to ask that, you should reply, ‘The qualities of the five desires are lovely and enjoyable, so people are addicted to them.
What are the five?
The eye perceives form that’s lovely and enjoyable, so people are addicted to it.
The ear hears sound … nose smells odor … tongue tastes flavor … body feels contact that’s lovely and enjoyable, so people are addicted to it.

“‘Good men, even though these five desires are conditions for joy and happiness, they are rebuked by the Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One.
Even though people enjoy killing sentient beings, it’s rebuked by the Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One.
Even though people enjoy robbing and stealing from others, it’s rebuked by the Tathāgata.
Even though people enjoy violating the religious life, it’s rebuked by the Tathāgata.
Even though people enjoy making false statements, it’s rebuked by the Tathāgata.
Even though people are unrestrained and self-indulgent, it’s rebuked by the Tathāgata.
Even though people enjoy practicing the ascetic practices of other religions and not the correct practices taught by the Tathāgata, it’s rebuked by the Tathāgata.’

“Monks, I rebuke the qualities of the five desires that make people addicted to them.
What are the five?
The eye perceives form that’s lovely and enjoyable, so people are addicted to it.
The ear hears sound … nose smells odor … tongue tastes flavor … body feels contact that’s lovely and enjoyable, so people are addicted to it.

“The ascetic Śākyans take no pleasures like these.
Even though some people enjoy killing sentient beings, the ascetic Śākyans take no such pleasure.
Even though some people enjoy stealing from others, the ascetic Śākyans take no such pleasure.
Even though some people enjoy violating the religious life, the ascetic Śākyans take no such pleasure.
Even though some people enjoy making false statements, the ascetic Śākyans take no such pleasure.
Even though some people are unrestrained and self-indulgent, the ascetic Śākyans take no such pleasure.
Even though some people enjoy practicing the ascetic practices of other religions, the ascetic Śākyans take no such pleasure.

Pleasures the Buddha Does Approve
“Suppose that wanderer of another religion asks this question, ‘The enjoyment of which pleasures does the ascetic Gautama commend?’

“Monks, if they were to ask this, you should answer them:
‘Good men, there are the qualities of the five desires that are lovely and enjoyable, so people are addicted to them.
What are the five?
The eye perceives form … body feels contact that’s lovely and enjoyable, so people are addicted to it.

“‘Good men, the five desires are conditions that give rise to pleasure and must be quickly eliminated.
Even though some people enjoy killing sentient beings, such pleasure should be quickly eliminated.
Even though some people enjoy stealing, such pleasure should be quickly eliminated.
Even though some people enjoy violating the religious life, such pleasure should be quickly eliminated.
Even though some people enjoy making false statements, such pleasure should be quickly eliminated.
Even though some people are unrestrained and self-indulgent, such pleasure should be quickly eliminated.
Even though some people enjoy practicing the ascetic practices of other religions, such pleasure should be quickly eliminated.

“‘Some people seclude themselves from desire and aren’t subject to any more evil things.
With perception and examination, seclusion gives rise to joy and happiness, and they enter the first dhyāna.
Such pleasure is commended by the Buddha.

“‘Some people cease their perception and examination.
With inner joy, unified mind, and no perception or examination, samādhi gives rise to joy and happiness, and they enter the second dhyāna.
Such pleasure is commended by the Buddha.

“‘Some people discard joy and enter equanimity.
They personally know their own happiness that’s sought by noble people.
With equanimity, mindfulness, and unified mind, they enter the third dhyāna.
Such pleasure is commended by the Buddha.

“‘Some people’s pleasure and pain ends, and their prior sorrow and joy subsides.
Not discomforted or happy, they are equanimous, mindful, and pure, and they enter the fourth dhyāna.
Such pleasure is commended by the Buddha.’

The Benefits of the Pleasures the Buddha Approves
“Suppose that wanderer of another religion asks this question, ‘How many fruits and virtues do you seek from these pleasures?’

“You should answer them, ‘These pleasures will have seven fruits and virtues.
What are the seven?
In the present life, one achieves the realization of awakening.
Even if one doesn’t achieve it, they will achieve it right before their life ends.
If they don’t achieve it before their life ends, then they will end the five lower bonds and Parinirvāṇa in the interim, Parinirvāṇa at birth, Parinirvāṇa with practice, Parinirvāṇa without practice, or Parinirvāṇa upstream in Akaniṣṭha.
Good men, these are the seven virtues of these pleasures.

“‘Good men, if a monk in training desires to do the above, he’ll look for a peaceful place before eliminating five hindrances.
What are the five?
The hindrances of desire, anger, sleepiness, agitation, and doubt.
If a trainee monk seeks the above place of safety before ceasing the five hindrances, he won’t be capable of diligently cultivating the four abodes of mindfulness or the seven factors of awakening.
Attaining the state of the superior man and developing noble wisdom will be impossible for someone seeking to know and see them.

“‘Good men, suppose a trainee monk seeks the above place of peace and can cease the five hindrances, which are the hindrances of desire, anger, sleepiness, agitation, and doubt.
He can also diligently cultivate the four abodes of mindfulness and seven factors of awakening.
Attaining the state of the superior man and developing noble wisdom will then be possible for someone seeking to know and see them.

“‘Good men, suppose there’s a monk, an arhat who’s ended the contaminants.
He has accomplished the task, put down the heavy burden, won his own reward, and ended the bonds of existence.
He’s liberated by right knowledge and doesn’t do nine things.
What are the nine?
He doesn’t kill, steal, engage in sex, make false statements, abandon the path, follow desire, follow anger, follow fear, or follow delusion.

“‘Good men, this is an arhat who has ended the contaminants, accomplished the task, put down the heavy burden, won his own reward, and ended the bonds of existence.
He’s liberated by right knowledge and avoids nine things.’

The Śākyan Teaching Is Always Steady
“Some wanderers of other religions make the statement, ‘The ascetic Śākyans have an unsteady teaching.’

“You should respond to them, ‘Good men, don’t say that the ascetic Śākyans have a teaching that’s unsteady.
Why is that?
The teaching of ascetic Śākyans is always steady and immovable.
It’s like a gate’s threshold that’s always steady and unmoved.
The ascetic Śākyans are likewise.
Their teaching is always steady without any movement.’

The Buddha’s Knowledge of the Future
“Some wanderers of other religions make the statement, ‘The ascetic Gautama entirely knows about past lives, but he doesn’t know the future.’

“Monks, the knowledge of those wanderers of different trainings is different, and their examination of knowledge is also different.
That statement is false.
There’s nothing in the past that the Tathāgata doesn’t know and see like seeing it with his own eyes.
His knowledge about future lives arose with the knowledge of awakening.

“When past lives are false, unreal, not worth enjoying, or aren’t beneficial, the Buddha doesn’t relate them.
If past lives are real but aren’t worth enjoying or beneficial, the Buddha doesn’t relate them.
If past lives are real and worth enjoying but aren’t beneficial, the Buddha doesn’t relate them, either.
If past lives are real, worth enjoying, and beneficial, the Tathāgata entirely knows them and relates them afterward.
The future and present are likewise.

“The Tathāgata’s discourses about the past, future, and present are timely, truthful, meaningful, profitable, about Dharma, about discipline, and without any falsehood.
From the first night after the Buddha achieved complete awakening to the last night, everything he says in the meantime is true.
That’s why he’s called the Tathāgata.

“Furthermore, what the Tathāgata says is according to the subject, and the subject is as he describes it.
Therefore, he’s called the Tathāgata.
What’s the meaning of his being called the Completely Awakened One?
The Buddha entirely comprehends what he knows and sees, what he ceased, and what he realized.
Therefore, he’s called the Completely Awakened One.

Views about the Past and Future
“Some wanderers of other religions make the statement, ‘The world is eternal.
Only this is true;
the rest is false.’
Others say, ‘The world is impermanent.
Only this is true;
the rest is false.’
Others say, ‘The world is eternal and impermanent.
Only this is true;
the rest is false.’
Others say, ‘The world is neither eternal nor impermanent.
Only this is true;
the rest is false.’

“Others say, ‘The world is limited.
Only this is true;
the rest is false.’
Others say, ‘The world is limitless.
Only this is true;
the rest is false.’
Others say, ‘The world is limited and limitless.
Only this is true;
the rest is false.’
Others say, ‘The world is neither limited nor limitless.
Only this is true;
the rest is false.’

“Others say, ‘The soul is the body.
This is true;
the rest is false.’
Others say, ‘This is neither the soul nor the body.
This is true;
the rest is false.’
Others say, ‘The soul is different than the body.
This is true;
the rest is false.’
Others say, ‘This isn’t different than the soul or the body.
This is true;
the rest is false.’

“Others say, ‘The Tathāgata has an end.
This is true;
the rest is false.’
Others say, ‘The Tathāgata doesn’t end.
This is true;
the rest is false.’
Others say, ‘The Tathāgata ends and doesn’t end.
This is true;
the rest is false.’
Others say, ‘The Tathāgata neither ends nor doesn’t end.
This is true;
the rest is false.’

“Those views are called ‘views about the past.’
Now, I’ll explain this for you:
‘This world is eternal … the Tathāgata neither ends nor doesn’t end.
Only this is true;
the rest is false.’
These are views about the past.
I will explain it for you.

“There are views about the future that I also explain.
Which of these views about the future do I explain?
‘The self is form.
Its end comes from conception.
This is true;
the rest is false.’
‘The self is formless.
Its end comes from conception …’ ‘The self is form and formless.
Its end comes from conception …’ ‘Self is neither form nor formless.
Its end comes from conception …’

“‘The self is limited …’ ‘The self is limitless …’ ‘The self is limited and limitless …’ ‘The self is neither limited nor limitless.
Its end comes from conception …’

“‘The self is pleasure.
Its end comes from conception …’ ‘The self is without pleasure.
Its end comes from conception …’ ‘The self has pain and pleasure.
Its end comes from conception …’ The self has no pain or pleasure.
Its end comes from conception …’

“‘The self is a single concept.
Its end comes from conception …’ ‘The self is diverse concepts.
Its end comes from conception …’ ‘The self is conceived as little.
Its end comes from conception …’ ‘The self is conceived as measureless.
Its end comes from conception.
This is true;
the rest is false.’
These are the wrong views that are views about the future, which I have explained them.

“Some ascetics and priests have such theories and such views:
‘This world is eternal.
This is true;
the rest is false … Self is conceived as measureless.
This is true;
the rest is false.’
Those ascetics and priests also make such statements and such views:
‘This is true;
the rest is false.’

“The response to that should be, ‘You really have made this theory?
How is this world eternal?
How is this true, and the rest is false?
Such statements as these aren’t permitted by the Buddha.’
Why is that?
In each of these views, there is bondage.
It’s reasonable to conclude there are no ascetics or priests that are our equals.
How could they surpass us?
These wrong views are just words that I don’t discuss with you.
Each one up to ‘Self is conceived as measureless,’ is likewise.

Views about the World’s Creation
“Some ascetics and priests make this statement, ‘The world created itself.’
Other ascetics and priests say, ‘The world was created by another.’
Others say, ‘It was created by itself and another.’
Others say, ‘It was neither created by itself nor by another.
It spontaneously came into existence.’

“There are those ascetics and priests who say, ‘The world created itself.’
These ascetics and priests do so as a result of the dependent origination of contact.
If they were separated from the causes of contact, saying that would be impossible.
Why is that?
Contact arises from the body of six senses.
Feeling arises from contact.
Craving arises from feeling.
Grasping arises from craving.
Existence arises from grasping.
Birth arises from existence.
Old, death, grief, sorrow, pain, and trouble arise from birth.
This is the formation of the great mass of suffering.

“If the body of six senses doesn’t exist, then there’s no contact.
If there’s no contact, there’s no feeling.
If there’s no feeling, there’s no craving.
If there’s no craving, there’s no grasping.
If there’s no grasping, there’s no existence.
If there’s no existence, there’s no birth.
If there’s no birth, there are no old age, death, grief, sorrow, pain, and trouble, or the formation of that great mass of suffering.

“They also say, ‘This world is created by another.’
They also say, ‘This world is created by itself and by another.’
They also say, ‘This world is neither created by itself nor by another.
It comes into existence spontaneously.’
These views are the same.
They exist because of contact.
Without contact, they wouldn’t exist.”

How to Cease Such Wrong Views
The Buddha told the monks, “If you want to cease these wrong and evil views, you should cultivate the four abodes of mindfulness in three ways.
In which three ways should a monk cultivate the four abodes of mindfulness to cease these evil things?

“A monk observes internal body as body.
He’s diligent and not negligent.
His attention to it isn’t lost, and he removes worldly craving and sorrow.
He observes external body as body.
He’s diligent and not negligent.
His attention to it isn’t lost, and he removes worldly craving and sorrow.
He observes internal and external body as body.
He’s diligent and not negligent.
His attention to it isn’t lost, and he removes worldly craving and sorrow.
He observes feeling, mind, and principles in the same way.
This is ceasing the myriad evil things by cultivating the four abodes of mindfulness in three ways.

“There are eight liberations.
What are the eight?
He observes form as form.
This is the first liberation.
He observes external form without an internal perception of form.
This is the second liberation.
He’s liberated by purity.
This is the third liberation.
He goes beyond notions of form, ceases notions of resistance, and abides in the abode of space.
This is the fourth liberation.
He discards the abode of space and abides in the abode of consciousness.
This is the fifth liberation.
He discards the abode of consciousness and abides in the abode of nothingness.
This is the sixth liberation.
He discards the abode of nothingness and abides in the abode with and without conception.
This is the seventh liberation.
The samādhi of complete cessation is the eighth liberation.”

Ānanda was at the time standing behind the Bhagavān holding a fan.
He adjusted his robes to bare his right shoulder and knelt on his right knee.
With his palms together, he said to the Buddha, “Amazing, Bhagavān!
This teaching is pure, sublime, and supreme!
What shall be its name?
How shall we uphold it?”

The Buddha told Ānanda, ‘This sutra’s name is ‘Purity.’
You should uphold it as ‘Purification.’


When Ānanda heard what the Buddha taught, he rejoiced and approved.

18 - DA 18 Personal Gladness

Thus I have heard:
One time, the Buddha was staying at the city of Nālanda in Prāvārika’s mango grove.
He was accompanied by a large assembly of 1,250 monks.

It was then that the elder Śāriputra was in a quiet dwelling and thought to himself, “I know with certainty that there’s no ascetic or priest in the past, future, or present whose powers of wisdom, miraculous ability, virtue, or awakening match those of the Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One.”

Śāriputra then emerged from his quiet dwelling and went to the Bhagavān.
After bowing his head at the Buddha’s feet, he sat to one side and said, “I was in a quiet dwelling and thought to myself, ‘There’s no ascetic or priest in the past, future, or present whose powers of wisdom, miraculous ability, virtue, or awakening match those of the Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakening One.’


The Buddha told Śāriputra, “Good!
It’s good that you can make such a statement in front of the Buddha.
By exclusively upholding the correct lion’s roar, no other ascetic or priest will match you.
How is it, Śāriputra?
Do you know the thoughts that were in the minds of Buddhas in the past?
Did those Buddhas have such precepts, such teachings, such wisdom, such liberation, and such a hall of liberation?”

He replied, “I don’t know them.”

“How is it, Śāriputra?
Do you know the thoughts that will be in the minds of Buddhas in the future?
Will those Buddhas have such precepts, such teachings, such wisdom, such liberation, and such halls of liberation?”

He replied, “I don’t know them.”

“How is it, Śāriputra?
What about the thoughts that are in my mind as the present Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One?
Do I have such precepts, such a teaching, such wisdom, such liberation, and such a hall of liberation?”

He replied, “I don’t know them.”

The Buddha again asked Śāriputra, “You aren’t able to know the thoughts in the minds of past, future, or present Tathāgatas, Arhats, and Completely Awakened Ones, so why are you so certain about this thought you’ve had?
What caused you to have this thought?
You’ve exclusively upheld the lion’s roar.
If other ascetics and priests hear you say, ‘I know with certainty that there’s no ascetic or priest of the past, future, or present whose powers of wisdom, miraculous ability, virtue, or awakening match those of the Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One,’ they won’t believe you.”

Śāriputra said to the Buddha, “I can’t know the thoughts in the minds of past, future, or present Buddhas, but I do know the general character of the Buddha’s teaching.
The Tathāgata has taught me the Dharma that becomes loftier and more sublime.
He taught me the things that are dark and light, things that are conditioned and unconditioned, and things that are illuminating and unilluminating.

“The Tathāgata’s teaching becomes loftier and more sublime.
Having heard the Dharma, I know each of its teachings to its endpoint.
I believe in the Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One.
I believe in the Tathāgata’s skilled discernment of Dharma.
I believe in the Tathāgata’s success in ceasing the myriad forms of suffering.
Among good teachings, this one is the highest.
The Bhagavān’s wisdom is complete, and his miraculous ability is complete.
None of the world’s ascetics and priests can match the Tathāgata.
How could any arise who surpass him?

“The Dharma that the Bhagavān teaches has another superiority, which is his definition of the teaching.
That definition of the teaching is the four abodes of mindfulness, four right efforts, four miraculous abilities, four dhyānas, five faculties, five powers, seven factors of awakening, and the noble eightfold path.

“This is an unsurpassed definition.
His wisdom is complete, and his miraculous ability is complete.
None of the world’s ascetics and priests can match the Tathāgata.
How could any arise who surpass him?

“The Dharma that the Bhagavān teaches has another superiority, which is his definition of the senses.
The senses refer to the eye and images, ear and sounds, nose and odors, tongue and flavors, body and touches, and mind and notions.
The Tathāgatas, Arhats, and Completely Awakened Ones in the past also defined the senses in this way, as the eye and images … mind and notions.
Supposing there will be Tathāgatas, Arhats, and Completely Awakened Ones in the future, they’ll define the senses in this way, as the eye and images … mind and notions.
Our present Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One defines the senses as the eye and images … mind and notions.

“This teaching is unsurpassed, and nothing goes beyond it.
His wisdom is complete, and his miraculous ability is complete.
None of the world’s ascetics and priests can match the Tathāgata.
How could any arise who surpass him?

“The Dharma that the Bhagavān teaches has another superiority, which is the way consciousness enters the womb.
Entering the womb refers to this:
The first entry into the womb is when [consciousness] enters the womb confused, remains there confused, and emerges confused.
The second is when it enters unconfused but remains there confused and emerges confused.
The third is when it enters unconfused, remains there unconfused, and emerges unconfused.
When it enters unconfused, remains there unconfused, and emerges unconfused, that entry into the womb is the best.

“This teaching is unsurpassed, and nothing goes beyond it.
His wisdom is complete, and his miraculous ability is complete.
None of the world’s ascetics and priests can match the Tathāgata.
How could any arise who surpass him?

“The Dharma that the Tathāgata teaches has another superiority, which is the path.
The path refers to this:
Ascetics and priests use the various methods to enter a fixed samādhi of mind.
Following that samādhi of mind, they cultivate the awakening factor of mindfulness, which relies on [the lack of] desire, relies on seclusion [from desire], relies on extinguishment [of desire], and relies on the escape [from desire] … they cultivate the awakening factor of the teachings … effort … joy … calm … samādhi … equanimity, which relies on [the lack of] desire, relies on seclusion, relies on extinguishment, and relies on the escape.

“This teaching is unsurpassed, and nothing goes beyond it.
His wisdom is complete, and his miraculous ability is complete.
None of the world’s ascetics and priests can match the Tathāgata.
How could any arise who surpass him?

“The Dharma that the Tathāgata teaches has another superiority, which is cessation.
Cessation refers to this:
The painful cessation that’s gradually attained and inferior in both ways, painful cessation that’s quickly attained and only inferior in that it’s painful, pleasant cessation that’s gradually attained and only inferior in that it’s gradual, pleasant cessation that’s quickly attained but doesn’t extend far and called inferior because of that.
When the present Tathāgata quickly attained the pleasant cessation, it did extend far.
Even the gods and humans saw his miracles.”

Śāriputra told the Buddha, “The Bhagavān’s teaching is sublime and supreme.
Down to the women, people can retain it, end the contaminants, and become uncontaminated.
Their minds are liberated, and their wisdom is liberated.
In the present life, they realize for themselves:
‘Birth and death has been ended, the religious life has been established, and the task has been accomplished.
I won’t be subject to later existence.’

“This is the Tathāgata’s teaching of the unsurpassed cessation.
This Dharma is unsurpassed, his wisdom is complete, and his miraculous ability is complete.
None of the world’s ascetics and priests can match the Tathāgata.
How could they surpass him?

“The Dharma that the Tathāgata teaches has another superiority, which is the purity of his words.
The purity of his words means the Bhagavān doesn’t speak to ascetics and priests with words that are without benefit or pointless.
He doesn’t speak to be superior and isn’t partisan.
His words are gentle and don’t become immoderate.
His words don’t miss the target.
This is the purity of his words.

“This Dharma is unsurpassed, his wisdom is complete, and his miraculous ability is complete.
None of the world’s ascetics and priests can match the Tathāgata.
How could they surpass him?

“The Dharma that the Tathāgata teaches has another superiority, which is his attainments of vision.
The attainments of vision refer to this:
Ascetics and priests use various methods to enter a fixed samādhi of mind.
Following that samādhi of mind, they visualize their head to their toes and observe their toes to their head.
Inside and outside of their skin, there’s only impure hair, nails, the five organs of liver, lungs, stomach, spleen, and kidneys, sweat, fat, marrow, brain, feces, urine, tears, and foul-smelling places of impurity.
Not one of them is desirable.
This is the first attainment of vision.

“Ascetics and priests use various methods to enter a fixed samādhi of mind.
Following that samādhi of mind, they visualize the removal of the external impurities of skin and muscle and only visualize white bones and teeth.
This is the second attainment of vision.

“Ascetics and priests use various methods to enter a fixed samādhi of mind.
Following that samādhi of mind, they visualize the removal of the external impurities of skin, muscle, and white bones.
They only visualize where their mind and consciousness dwell.
Where does it exist in the present life?
Where will it exist in a later life?
If it’s not ended in the present life and not ended in the later life, then it’s not freed in the present life and not freed in the later life.
This is the third attainment of vision.

“Ascetics and priests use various methods to enter a fixed samādhi of mind.
Following that samādhi of mind, they visualize the removal of the external impurities of skin, muscle, and white bones.
Once again, they investigate consciousness.
Consciousness will be in a later life and not exist in the present life.
The present life ended, but the later life won’t have ended.
It’ll be freed from the present life but not freed from the later life.
This is the fourth attainment of vision.

“Ascetics and priests use various methods to enter a fixed samādhi of mind.
Following that samādhi of mind, they visualize the removal of the external impurities of skin and muscle and then remove the white bones.
Once again, they investigate consciousness.
It doesn’t exist in the present life and doesn’t exist in the later life.
When both are ended, then it’s freed from both.
This is the fifth attainment of vision.

“This Dharma is unsurpassed, his wisdom is complete, and his miraculous ability is complete.
None of the world’s ascetics and priests can match the Tathāgata.
How could they surpass him?

“The Dharma that the Tathāgata teaches has another superiority, which is his explanation of eternalism.
Eternalism refers to this:
Ascetics and priests use various methods to enter a fixed samādhi of mind.
Following that samādhi of mind, they recollect twenty eons of formation and destruction.
They say, ‘The world is eternal.
This is true;
anything else is false.
Why is that?
From my recollection, I know there have been these eons of formation and destruction.
I don’t know about anything further in the past, nor do I know about future eons of formation and destruction.’
This person speaks without knowledge morning and night, ‘The world is eternal.
Only this is true;
anything else is false.’
This is the first form of eternalism.

“Ascetics and priests use various methods to enter a fixed samādhi of mind.
Following that samādhi of mind, they recollect forty eons of formation and destruction.
They then say, ‘The world is eternal.
This is true;
anything else is false.
Why is that?
From my recollection, I know there have been these eons of formation and destruction.
I could go beyond this knowledge of past eons of formation and destruction, but don’t I know about future eons of formation and destruction.’
This person speaks without knowledge morning and night, ‘The world is eternal.
Only this is true;
anything else is false.’
This is the second form of eternalism.

“Ascetics and priests use various methods to enter a fixed samādhi of mind.
Following that samādhi of mind, they recollect eighty eons of formation and destruction.
They say, ‘The world is eternal.
[This is true;
] anything else is false.
Why is that?
From my recollection, I know there have been these eons of formation and destruction.
I could go beyond this knowledge of past eons of formation and destruction, and I fully know about future eons of formation and destruction.’
This person speaks without knowledge morning and night, ‘The world is eternal.
Only this is true;
anything else is false.’
This is the third form of eternalism.

“This Dharma is unsurpassed, his wisdom is complete, and his miraculous ability is complete.
None of the world’s ascetics and priests can match the Tathāgata.
How could they surpass him?

“The Dharma that the Tathāgata teaches has another superiority, which is examination.
Examination refers to when ascetics and priests examine it using their perceptions:
‘That other mind has such a tendency, and this mind has such a tendency.’
When these perceptions arise in their minds, they’re sometimes true and sometimes false.
This is the first examination.

“Ascetics and priests examine it not using perception.
They might listen to gods or non-humans and claim that they say, ‘Thus is your mind;
thus is your mind.’
This is also sometimes true and sometimes false.
This is the second examination.

“Some ascetics and priests examine it not using their perceptions, nor do they listen to gods or non-humans.
They examine themselves, or they listen to someone else, and they claim, ‘Thus is your mind;
thus is your mind.’
This is also sometimes true and sometimes false.
This is the third examination.

“Some ascetics and priests examine it not using perception, don’t listen to gods or non-humans, nor is it their own or another’s examination themselves.
After eliminating perception and examination, they attain a fixed state of samādhi.
Examining another’s mind, they say, ‘Thus is your mind;
thus is your mind.’
Such examination is true.
This is the fourth examination.

“This Dharma is unsurpassed, his wisdom is complete, and his miraculous ability is complete.
None of the world’s ascetics and priests can match the Tathāgata.
How could they surpass him?

“The Dharma that the Tathāgata teaches has another superiority, which is his instruction.
Instruction refers to this:
Sometimes there’s a person who doesn’t go contrary to his instructions.
They end the contaminants and become uncontaminated.
Their mind is liberated, and their wisdom is liberated.
In the present life, they realize for themselves:
‘Birth and death has been ended, the religious life has been established, and the task has been accomplished.
I won’t be subject to another existence.’
This is the first instruction.

“Sometimes, a person doesn’t go contrary to his instructions.
They end the five lower bonds.
They don’t return to this world when they attain Nirvāṇa.
This is the second instruction.

“Sometimes, a person doesn’t go contrary to his instructions.
They end the three bonds, weaken lust, anger, and delusion, and become a once-returner.
They return to this world and then attain Nirvāṇa.
This is the third instruction.

“Sometimes, a person doesn’t go contrary to his instructions.
They end the three bonds and attain stream-entry.
They are reborn seven times at most, surely achieve the fruit of the path, and won’t fall to bad destinations.
This is the fourth instruction.

“This Dharma is unsurpassed, his wisdom is complete, and his miraculous ability is complete.
None of the world’s ascetics and priests can match the Tathāgata.
How could they surpass him?

“The Tathāgata’s teaching of Dharma has another superiority, which is his teaching Dharma for others and leading them to the purity of the precepts.
The purity of the precepts refers to this:
There are ascetics and priests whose speech is honest.
They lack duplicity and are always respectful.
They eliminate sleepiness, don’t harbor wrong deceit, don’t speak falsehoods, and don’t predict the fortunes and misfortunes of worldly people.
Nor do they praise themselves or claim to have attained things from others.
They make themselves plain to others, seek the benefit of others, meditate, and cultivate knowledge.
Their eloquence is unobstructed, their attention is focused and undistracted, and they are diligent and not negligent.

“This Dharma is unsurpassed, his wisdom is complete, and his miraculous ability is complete.
None of the world’s ascetics and priests can match the Tathāgata.
How could they surpass him?

“The Dharma that the Tathāgata teaches has another superiority, which is the knowledge of liberation.
The knowledge of liberation refers to this:
The Bhagavān contemplated in his mind about the dependent origination of others:
‘This person is a stream-entrant.
This one is a once-returner.
This one is a non-returner.
This one is an arhat.’

“This Dharma is unsurpassed, his wisdom is complete, and his miraculous ability is complete.
None of the world’s ascetics and priests can match the Tathāgata.
How could they surpass him?

“The Dharma that the Tathāgata teaches has another superiority, which is the direct knowledge of one’s own past lives.
Ascetics and priests use various methods to enter a fixed samādhi of mind.
Following that samādhi, they recollect innumerable events of their own past lives:
One birth, two births … a hundred thousand births, an eon of formation, or an eon of destruction.
‘Thus were my innumerable birth places.
My names were thus.
My castes and clans were thus.
My life spans were thus.
My meals were thus.
My pains and pleasures were thus.
I was born there from here, and I was born here from there .’
Whatever various aspects there were, they recollect their own past lives and the events of innumerable eons.
Day and night, they’re constantly aware of past times they’ve passed through.
‘Here was form.
Here was formlessness.
Here was conception.
Here was no conception.
Here there was neither [conception nor] no conception.’
They fully recollect and fully know it.

“This Dharma is unsurpassed, his wisdom is complete, and his miraculous ability is complete.
None of the world’s ascetics and priests can match the Tathāgata.
How could they surpass him?

“The Dharma that the Tathāgata teaches has another superiority, which is the knowledge of the heavenly eye.
The knowledge of the heavenly eye refers to this:
Ascetics and priests use various methods to enter a fixed samādhi of mind.
Following that samādhi of mind, they observe sentient beings as they die and are born.
These beings have good forms and bad forms, good destinations and bad destinations, and are beautiful or ugly depending on their actions.
They fully see and fully know them.

“Some sentient beings do bad physical actions, bad verbal actions, and bad mental actions.
They slander the noble ones, believe wrong and mistaken views, and fall to the three bad destinies when their bodies break up and their lives end.

“Some sentient beings do good physical actions, good verbal actions, and good mental actions.
They don’t slander the noble ones, believe the practice of right view, and are born among gods or humans when their bodies break up and their lives end.
With the purity of the heavenly eye, ascetics and priests observe sentient beings and truly know and see them.

“This Dharma is unsurpassed, his wisdom is complete, and his miraculous ability is complete.
None of the world’s ascetics and priests can match the Tathāgata.
How could they surpass him?

“The Dharma that the Tathāgata teaches has another superiority, which is the realization of his miraculous abilities.
The realization of miraculous abilities refers to this:
Ascetics and priests use various methods to enter a fixed samādhi of mind.
Following that samādhi of mind, they perform innumerable miraculous powers.
They can make one body become innumerable bodies and combine innumerable bodies into one body.
Stone walls are no obstacle to them, and they can sit cross-legged in the sky like a bird flying.
They enter and exit the earth as though it were water and walk on water as though it were land.
Their bodies produce smoke and fire like flames burning timber.
They touch the sun and moon with their hand and stand as high as the Brahma Heaven.

“If ascetics and priests declare these miraculous abilities, the response to them should be:
‘There are these miraculous abilities;
it’s not that they don’t exist.
These miraculous abilities are crude and inferior, something practiced by ordinary men.
They aren’t cultivated by noble people.

“If a monk isn’t defiled by forms that are craved by the world, then he would practice in this fashion after secluding himself from them.
This is what’s called the noble person’s miraculous ability.
Without delighting in forms or being disgusted by them, he then would practice in this fashion after secluding himself from them.
This is what’s called a noble person’s miraculous ability.
Giving up both the forms that the world craves and that it doesn’t crave, he cultivates complete equanimity, focusing his attention and not losing it.
This is what’s called the noble person’s miraculous ability.

“He’s like the Bhagavān who strived courageously, possesses great wisdom, knowledge, and awareness, and attained the supreme awakening.
Therefore, he’s called the Completely Awakened One.

“The Bhagavān isn’t pleased by desires, either.
He isn’t pleased by the practices of crude and ordinary men, nor does he toil in mortifications.
If he wishes to eliminate bad qualities, then the Bhagavān’s seclusion gives rise to joy and happiness with perception and examination, and he traverses the first dhyāna.
The second, third, and fourth dhyānas are likewise.
He strived courageously, possesses great wisdom, knowledge, awareness, and attained the supreme awakening.
Therefore, he’s called the Completely Awakened One.”

The Buddha told Śāriputra, “Suppose someone from another religion and a different training comes and asks you, ‘Weren’t the ascetics and priests of the past equals of the ascetic Gautama?’
What would be your answer?
Again, they ask, ‘Won’t the ascetics and priests of the future be equals of the ascetic Gautama?’
What would be your answer?
Again, they ask, ‘Aren’t the ascetics and priests of the present equals of the ascetic Gautama?’
What would be your answer?”

Śāriputra then said to the Buddha, “If I were asked, ‘Weren’t the ascetics and priests of the past equals of the Buddha?’
I would answer, ‘They were.’
If I was asked, ‘Won’t the ascetics and priests of the future be equals of the Buddha?’
I would answer, ‘They will be.’
If I was asked, ‘Aren’t the ascetics and priests of the present equals of the Buddha?’
I would answer, ‘They aren’t.’


The Buddha told Śāriputra, “What if that ascetic from another religion again asks, ‘Why do you say some are and some aren’t?’
What would be your answer?”

Śāriputra said, “My response to them would be, ‘The complete and correct Buddhas of the past were equals of the Tathāgata, and the complete and correct Buddhas of the future will be equals of the Tathāgata.
I myself have heard from the Buddha that it’s impossible for there to be other complete and correct Buddhas of the present who are equals of the Tathāgata.’
Bhagavān, just as I’ve heard it, I would thus answer them, relying on and aligning with the Dharma.
Would there be any error in that?

The Buddha said, “Such an answer would rely on and align with the Dharma;
you wouldn’t contradict it.
Why is that so?
The complete and correct Buddhas of the past were my equals, and the complete and correct Buddhas of the future will be my equals, but it isn’t possible for there to be two Buddhas who arise in the world in the present.”

Venerable Udāyin was standing behind the Bhagavān fanning him.
The Buddha said to him, “Udāyin, you should observe that the Bhagavān is satisfied with little desire.
Now, I have great miraculous power and great majestic virtue but also satisfied with little desire.
I’m not pleased to be among desires.
Udāyin, if other ascetics and priests would endeavor in this teaching through hardship to attain one thing, they should erect a banner and announce to the four quarters, ‘Today, the Tathāgata is satisfied with little desire.
Now, observe that the Tathāgata is satisfied with little desire.
The Tathāgata has great miraculous power and great majestic virtue, but he doesn’t make use of desires.’


Venerable Udāyin then adjusted his robes to bare his right shoulder, knelt on his right knee, and saluted the Buddha was his hands together.
“Extraordinary, Bhagavān!
Few have as satisfied with little desire as the Bhagavān!
The Bhagavān has great miraculous power and great majestic virtue, but he doesn’t make use of desires.
If again some other ascetic or priest endeavored in this teaching through hardship to attain one thing, they could erect a banner and announce to the four quarters, ‘Today, the Bhagavān is satisfied with little desire …’

“Śāriputra, you should teach this Dharma frequently for the monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen.
If they should have any doubts about the Buddha, Dharma, Saṅgha, or path, they won’t be tangled in doubt after hearing this teaching.”

The Bhagavān then told Śāriputra, “You should frequently teach this Dharma for the monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen.
Why is that?
Those who have doubts about the Buddha, Dharma, Saṅgha, or path will have them resolved when they hear you give this teaching.”

Śāriputra responded, “Very well, Bhagavān!”

After that, Śāriputra frequently taught this Dharma for the monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen.
Because they purified themselves, it was called the “Purification Sūtra.”

When Śāriputra heard what the Buddha taught, he rejoiced and approved.

19 - DA 19 The Great Congregation

Thus I have heard:
One time, the Buddha was staying at Kapilavastu in the country of the Śākyans.
He was accompanied by a large assembly of five hundred monks, all of whom were arhats.
Marvelous gods had also gathered from the ten directions to honor the Tathāgata and the saṅgha of monks.

It was then that four Śuddhâvāsa gods up in heaven each thought to themselves, “Today, the Bhagavān is staying at Kapilavastu in the country of the Śākyans.
He’s accompanied by a large assembly of five hundred monks, all of whom are arhats.
Marvelous gods have also gathered from the ten directions to honor the Tathāgata and the saṅgha of monks.
Now, let’s go visit the Bhagavān as well.
We’ll each praise the Tathāgata with a verse.”

Those four Śuddhâvāsa gods then disappeared from their heaven and arrived at Kapilavastu of the Śākyans in the time it takes a strong man to flex his arm.
Once they had arrived, those four Śuddhâvāsa gods bowed their heads at the Buddha’s feet and stood to one side.

The first Śuddhâvāsa god went before the Buddha and praised him with this verse:

“Today, a great congregation
Of gods and spirits has gathered.

They’ve come for the Dharma
And to bow to the supreme assembly.”

After speaking this verse, that god withdrew and stood to one side.
Another Śuddhâvāsa god then composed a verse:

“Monks see the many defilements;

Their upright minds guard against them.

Desire is like the sea swallowing rivers;

The wise guard their faculties against it.”

Having spoken this verse, that god withdrew and stood to one side.
Another Śuddhâvāsa god then composed a verse:

“Remove thorns, level craving’s chasm,
And fill the trench of ignorance.

Trek alone to the site of purity
Like excellent, well-trained elephants.”

Having spoken this verse, that god withdrew and stood to one side.
Another Śuddhâvāsa god composed a verse:

“Taking refuge in the Buddha,
One never falls to a bad destiny.

They abandon their human forms
And receive the pure bodies of gods.”

After those four Śuddhâvāsa gods had presented these verses, the Bhagavān approved of them.
They bowed at the Buddha’s feet, circled him three times, and suddenly disappeared.

Not long after they left, the Buddha told the monks, “There’s a great congregation of gods today!
There’s a great gathering of gods today!
Marvelous gods from the ten directions have come to honor and look upon the Tathāgata and saṅgha of monks.
Monks, the Tathāgatas, Arhats, and Completely Awakened Ones of the past also had great congregations of gods, just as I do today.
The Tathāgatas, Arhats, and Completely Awakened Ones in the future will have great congregations of gods, just as I do today.

“Monks, this great congregation of gods today consists of spirits and sublime gods from the ten directions who’ve come to honor and look upon the Tathāgata and saṅgha of monks.
They also praise their names in verses that they speak for you.

“Monks, you should know:

“Living in the Earth’s mountains and valleys,
They hide when they see terrible things.

Those wearing all white clothes
Are pure and immaculate.

When the gods and people hear this,
They take refuge in the god Brahmā.

“Now, I will praise their names
In order, without any missing.

This assembly of gods has come today;

You monks should know them.

“All the worldly people’s knowledge
Doesn’t see a hundredth of them.

How then could they see
The assembly of 70,000 demon spirits?

If they saw 100,000 demons,
They haven’t seen all of them on one side.

How could they see the demon spirits
That are everywhere under heaven?

“Among the earth spirits, there are 7,000 yakṣas of various kinds that possess miraculous powers, appearances, forms, and names.
With delighted thoughts, they’ve come to the assembly of monks in this grove.

“The spirit of Mount Haimavata leads 6,000 demons and yakṣas of various kinds that possess miraculous powers, appearances, forms, and names.
With delighted thoughts, they’ve come to the assembly of monks in this grove.

“The spirit Śātā leads 3,000 demons and yakṣas of various kinds that possess miraculous abilities, appearances, forms, and names.
With delighted thoughts, they’ve come to the assembly of monks in this grove.

“These 16,000 demon spirits and yakṣas of various kinds possess miraculous abilities, appearances, forms, and names.
With delighted thoughts, they’ve come to the assembly of monks in this grove.

“There’s also the spirit Viśvamitra who lives in Aśvaka and leads 500 demons.
They possess miraculous abilities and majestic virtue.

“There’s also the spirit Kumbhīra who lives on Mount Vepula of Rājagṛha.
He leads countless demon spirits who respectfully surround him.

“There’s also the Eastern God King Dhṛtarāṣṭra who leads gandharva spirits that possess great majestic virtue.
He has ninety-one sons who are all named ‘Indra’ and possess great miraculous power.

“There’s the Southern God King Virūḍhaka who leads nāga kings that possess great majestic virtue.
He has ninety-one sons who are also named ‘Indra’ and possess great miraculous power.

“There’s the Western God King Virūpākṣa who leads kumbhāṇḍa demons that possess great majestic virtue.
He has ninety-one sons who are also named ‘Indra’ and possess great miraculous power.

“There’s the Northern God King named Vaiśravaṇa who leads yakṣa demons that possess great majestic virtue.
He has ninety-one sons who are also named ‘Indra’ and possess great miraculous power.

“These four god kings are the protectors of the world and possess great majestic virtue.
Their bodies shine as they come to visit Kapilavastu.”

The Bhagavān then wanted to vanquish their illusory and deluded thoughts, so he composed this incantation:
“Deceptive (māyā) is [Kiṭi];
deceptive is [Kiṭi]!
[So is Vikiṭi;
so is Vikiṭi]!
Candana, Kāmaśreṣtha, Kunikaṇṭha, Nikaṇṭha, Praṇāda, Upapañcaka, the charioteer of gods Mātali, the gandharva Citrasena, Nara, Janavṛṣabha, Sīva, Mucalinda, Viśvamitra, Yugandhara, [Pañcaśikha], Tumburu, and Sūryavarcasā.

“God kings, gandharvas, and rākṣasas such as these all possess miraculous abilities, appearances, and forms.
With delighted thoughts, they have come to visit the assembly of monks in this grove.”

The Bhagavān then created another incantation:

“Then, the nāga Nāgasā came from Vaiśāla with Takṣaka.

The Yamunā dhṛtarāṣṭras came, as did [Tiva] with their kin.

Kambalas, aśvataras, and nāgas of great miraculous ability have come.

The great nāga Airāvaṇa and the nāga [Vima] have come.

“Of the clear-eyed heavenly birds that hunt the nāga kings,
The colorful Suparṇa came to the grove from the sky.

The nāga kings are unafraid, for the Buddha [makes them safe from Suparṇa].

Greeting them with gentle words, Suparṇa took refuge in the Buddha.”

The Bhagavān then created an incantation for the asuras:

“Defeated by Vajrahastena, the asuras fled to the ocean;

Vāsavassi frightened them with his great miraculous power.

The asuras were Kālakañja, Mahābhīmṣa, [Dānaveghasā],
Vemacitra, Sucitra, Prahlāda, Mucilinda, and [Nava].

A hundred of [Asi-?
] Bali’s children, all named Vairocana,
[prepared Bali’s army and approached] the fortunate Rāhu:

‘Now is the time, sir.
The monks have gathered in a grove.’


The Bhagavān again created an incantation for the gods:

“The gods of water, earth, fire, and air have come.

Varuṇā, goddesses Vāruṇī, Soma, and Yaśas have come.

Maitrā and Varuṇā’s host of gods with great miraculous power have come.

These ten groups of gods have a variety of colors.

With great miraculous power, authority, and appearances, they were glorious.

They’re delighted to come to the assembled monks in this grove.

The gods Viṣṇu, Sahalī, Āgataś, and Yama [have come.
]
The Mandavavalāhakā [gods] came with the constellations leading them.

The gods who lived on the moon have come with the moon leading them.

The gods who lived on the sun have come with the sun leading them.

The munificent Indra, [known as] Vāsava, Śakra, and the fortress-breaker, has come.

Śukla and Kaḍambā Karuṇā have come.

[Vemaniva?], supreme Avadātagrāhyā, and [Vepalana?
] have come.

Sadāmattā, Hāritakā, and Miśarikāś have come.

Parjanya came with a thunderclap, who brings rain in the four directions.

The gods corrupted by play, Śyāmā, Mahāśyāmā, Mānuṣā, and Amānuṣottamā, have come.

The gods corrupted in spirit, too.

Again, the Haraya gods have come as well as the gods clothed in red.

The gods of great miraculous power, Varāhā and Mahāvarāhā, have come.

The gods Kṣemakā, Tuṣita, and Yāmā and countless kṛṣṇakas (black ones),
Lambī[takā] and Lambaśreṣṭha, gods of brilliant names, and [Iṣa?
],
The Nirmanaratayah have come, and the Paranirmita[vaśavartin], too.

The gods Agniśikhopamā and Sabhikā [have come] with goddesses who burn brightly.

Ariṣṭhakā, [Royā], gods like the flax flower, [Cabadharma?
], Acyutā, and Aneka,
[Śuddhaka Rucika] has come, and Vāsavanesī has arrived, too.

These are the sixty kinds of gods.”

The Bhagavān again created an incantation for sixty-eight priests of the five penetrations:

“The sage kings are approaching the forest of Kapilavastu.

Beidiiʒiăt‘o is coming.

Ts‘amosatdei, Anggiĕ, and Beidimɪəuṇḍɪi are coming.

Peik‘enyiăts‘ak‘ie, ʃɪilɪiṣă, and Buahaniakt‘o are coming.

The god Brahmā, Deinabua, and Beidimɪəuṇḍɪi are coming.

King Kɪusatlɪi, ɪiṇḍɪilomuaʒɪăla, and Anggie and Puănʒɪă are coming.

Great King Oɦɪuʌndəu and Akɪudeiləuyiəkt‘o are coming.

Lɪukpei and Kɪusatlɪi are coming.

K‘ielɪəŋiĕ, K‘ieyiiladanhei, Dzuəibɪuibɪuyiă, and Pɪuktololɪiṣasendabo are coming.

King Deinak‘ie and Bɪuibuahayiĕk‘ieyiă thus are coming.

Kings Buala and Mɪuʌndat‘okiemɪuk are coming.

Iĕndalaləumeikie, Bɪudalomo, Muak‘iehei Aṭ‘ɪəkʃɪaŋkɪupiĕyio are coming.

Heilanniakk‘ie and Pɪəubeilɪimɪuəiyiolɪi are thus coming, and then King Buahau and Miĕtolo are thus coming.

King Buasiĕbɪuətlɪĕ and ʃɪəudala thus are coming.

Great King ɪilɪiyiăṭṣ‘a and Senabo thus are coming.

King Puănʒɪăbuayio and Bualɪidiiʃɪĕa thus are coming.

Great King ɪuətalan, Bɪɛnbɪĕbualɪimualɪi, ʃɪubuaheidanamua, and Abuandii,
King K‘omualɪi, Agɪu, and Siĕlɪidanabuadii are coming.

King ʃɪĕbei and Great King ʃɪiɪiṇɪətmiĕṇɪət and Bɪəubualəu thus are coming.

Great King Buatdabualɪi, Kɪusatlɪi, Muadeiʃɪu, and ʃɪihandei,
King ʃɪɛmbualɪi and Siəudalaləu thus are coming.

Aha Iĕndəuləu is coming.

Mualayio, Yiosolɪiyiot‘a, Beidiideibo, and Ahabeilɪisii are coming.

ɦəŋayiăləu, Bualamɪuktʃɪăyiămo, and Ayiit’o are coming.

King Iĕtmuayiăʃɪĕ, Biina, and Buaṭṣ‘amua,
King ɦolɪikando, Yiobiidopuattʃɪĕ, and Yioʒɪĕṣïupuanalomuaso,
King Yiăsiĕtayiəu, Heilanniak, Sobuanna, Piiḍẓïəudoṭɪiyiăṣïu, Laʃɪĕpuala, Beidaɪuətda, Buahabuaṣa, Buahabuabuamɪəu, Sahaṣă, T‘əmp‘ɪukʃɪăda, ʃɪăpɪuʌpʒɪăṣă, Aladanamua, Puăngiĕṣïeutatʃ‘ɪăla, Kandəpbua, Ṣăha, Buasattadeisobei are approaching
Where the monks have gathered in this grove Diibuaṇḍɪi.”

There was then another 1,000 five-powered priests for whom the Tathāgata also compiled an incantation.

The first Brahma king of this world and the gods of the Brahma heavens possessed miraculous abilities.
There was a Brahma prince named Tiṣya who possessed great miraculous power.

There was also the other Brahma kings of the ten directions, each of whom was surrounded by their followers as they came.
There was a great Brahma king from beyond 1,000 worlds who saw the great congregations of the Bhagavān.
He came quickly with his followers surrounding him.

King Māra saw the great congregation around the Bhagavān and had a cruel thought.
He thought to himself, “I’ll lead an army of demons to go and destroy that entire congregation.
I won’t let any of them escape!”

He then commanded his fourfold army to beat their chariots with their hands, which sounded like crashing thunder.
None who saw them weren’t frightened by it.
He sent a great storm of wind, rain, lightning, and thunder at that great congregation that surrounded Kapila Grove.

The Buddha addressed the monks who were delighted with this assembly:
“You should know that today Māra’s host is coming with evil intent!”

He then said in verse:

“Now, you should be respectful
And establish the Buddha’s Dharma.

You must destroy this host of Māra
Like elephants trampling flowers and grass.

Focus your attention without carelessness
And perfect the pure precepts.

Still your minds, think naturally,
And guard your intentions well.

If in the correct teaching
You can not be careless,
You’ll be freed from old age and death
And forever end the source of suffering.

After disciples hear this,
They diligently make effort.

Transcending the myriad desires,
Not a single hair of theirs is disturbed.

This assembly is the greatest;

It possesses great knowledge and renown.

It’s disciples are courageous
And respected by the community.”

The gods, spirits, yakṣas, and sages of five powers who surrounded the Buddha saw what Māra was doing and were shocked like never before.
When the Buddha taught this Dharma, 84,000 gods became removed from dust and free of defilement, and their vision of the Dharma was purified.

The gods, nāgas, yakṣas, spirits, asuras, garuḍas, kiṃnara, mahoragas, humans, and non-humans who heard what the Buddha taught rejoiced and approved.

20 - DA 20 Ambāṣṭha

Thus I have heard:
One time, the Buddha traveled to Kośala accompanied by a large assembly of 1,250 monks.
They went to the Kośala priest village of Icchānaṅgala and stopped to rest in a citron grove.

Puṣkarasārin Sends Ambāṣṭha to Meet the Buddha
The priest Puṣkarasārin had stopped in the village of Utkaṭa, which was bountiful and thriving.
King Prasenajit had bestowed this village to Puṣkarasārin as the priest’s due.
This priest was descended from seven generations of fathers and mothers who were genuine [priests], so he wasn’t slighted by others.
He had mastered the three Vedas and could discern all the various kinds of scriptures.
He was also skilled in the techniques of [recognizing] the great man’s signs and [performing] sacrifices and rituals.
He had 500 disciples whom he taught without exception.

His best student disciple, named Ambāṣṭha, was descended from seven generations of fathers and mothers who were genuine [priests], so he wasn’t slighted by others.
He had mastered the three Vedas and could discern all the various kinds of scriptures.
He was also skilled in the techniques of [recognizing] the great man’s signs and [performing] sacrifices and rituals.
He had 500 student disciples as well whom he taught without exception, the same as his teacher.

The priest Puṣkarasārin heard:
“The ascetic Gautama of the Śākya clan, who had left home and achieved awakening, has arrived at the Kośala priest village of Icchānaṅgala and stopped to rest in a citron grove.
He’s accompanied by a large assembly of 1,250 monks and possesses a great reputation that’s heard throughout the world:
‘He’s a Tathāgata, an Arhat, and a Completely Awakened One who has perfected the ten epithets.
Among gods, worldly men, and demons, whether they’re Māra and the gods or ascetics and priests, he’s self-realized and teaches the Dharma for others.
It’s good in the beginning, middle, and end, complete in content and expression, and purifies the religious life.’


[Puṣkarasārin said:
] “Since he’s a realized person, I should go and meet him!
Now, I’d like to examine that ascetic Gautama to be certain he has the 32 signs.
His name is heard everywhere, but is what they say about him true?
Is there some way I could see the Buddha’s signs?’

Again, he thought, “Now, my disciple Ambāṣṭha is descended from seven generations of fathers and mothers who were genuine [priests], so he’s not slighted by others.
He has mastered the three Vedas and can discern all the various kinds of scriptures.
He’s also skilled in the techniques of [recognizing] the great man’s signs and [performing] sacrifices and rituals.
I can just send this man to examine the Buddha;
he’ll recognize if he possesses the signs or not.”

The priest then summoned Ambāṣṭha and told him, “Go examine that ascetic Gautama and determine if he has the 32 signs or if he is a fake.”

Ambāṣṭha then asked his teacher, “How will I examine Gautama’s signs and know if he is a fake?”

His teacher replied, “Now, I’ll tell you:
If he has perfected the 32 signs of a great man, he’s certain to arrive at [one of] two places, without a doubt.

“If he stays at home, he’ll become a wheel-turning noble king, a king who rules over the world’s four quarters, educating the people and managing the affairs of state with the Dharma.
He’ll be endowed with seven treasures:
1. The golden wheel treasure, 2. the white elephant treasure, 3. the blue horse treasure, 4. the magic jewel treasure, 5. the beautiful woman treasure, 6. the householder treasure, and 7. the general treasure.
That king will have a thousand sons who are courageous and knowledgeable.
He’ll defeat his enemies without the use of military weapons.
He’ll make the world peaceful, and the people won’t have anything to fear.

“If he’s unhappy with the world and leaves home to pursue the path, then he’ll become a Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One who perfects the ten epithets.
This is how you’ll know if Gautama is fake or genuine.”

Ambāṣṭha Behaves Badly
After he accepted his teacher’s instruction, Ambāṣṭha prepared horses and a treasure chariot.
At daybreak, he led his five hundred student disciples to the citron grove.
Arriving there, he dismounted his chariot and proceeded on foot to the Bhagavān.
He stood when the Bhagavān sat and sat when the Bhagavān stood while they were discussing a topic.

The Buddha asked the student, “Have you talked with elder, senior, and great priests like this in the past?”

The student asked the Buddha, “Why do you ask that?”

The Buddha told the student, “When I’m sitting, you stand, and you sit when I’m standing while we have this discussion.
Is this the way you and your teacher discuss a teaching?”

The student said to the Buddha, “We priests discuss a teaching while both are sitting, both are standing, or both are laying down.
Now, ascetics are disfigured and single.
They’re despicable, inferior, and practice a dark teaching.
I don’t ever sit or get up when I’m discussing something with such people.”

The Bhagavān then said to him, “You, student, aren’t disciplined yet.”

When the student heard the Bhagavān call him “you” but before he heard “aren’t disciplined yet,” he became angry and disparaged the Buddha:
“These Śākyans are so envious, evil, and lacking in courtesy!”

The Buddha asked the student, “What did the Śākyans do to you?”

The student said, “There was a time once when my teacher was in Kapilavastu of the Śākyas for some minor reason.
There was a group of Śākyans who had gathered in a meeting hall for some minor reason, too.
When they saw us coming from a distance, they slighted and teased us.
They didn’t follow the rules of courtesy nor treat each other with respect.”

The Buddha told the student, “When they return to their own country, the Śākyans amuse themselves as they want like birds flying to their tree nests, coming and going freely.
Śākyans amuse themselves freely in their own country in the same way.”

The student said to the Buddha, “There are four castes in the world:
The warriors, the priests, the householders, and the workers.
The other three castes always honor, respect, and support the priests.
The customs of the Śākyans should be the same.
Those Śākyans are low class, despicable, and inferior people, yet they disrespected us priests.”

Ambāṣṭha Is Brought to Heel
The Bhagavān then silently thought to himself, “This youth has repeatedly spoken insultingly and [acted like someone of] low class.
Perhaps I’ll tell him about his history to discipline him.”
The Buddha asked the student, “What is your clan?”

The student replied, “My clan is Svararāja.”

The Buddha told the student, “That clan of yours is from the servant class of the Śākyas.”

His 500 student disciples raised an uproar, saying to the Buddha, “Don’t say such things as ‘This student is from the servant class of the Śākyas’!
Why is that?
This great student is a legitimate son of his clan.
He’s handsome looking, eloquent, accommodating, and broadly learned.
It’s enough to converse with Gautama.”

The Buddha then told the 500 students, “If your teacher is not entirely as you say, I’ll set aside your teacher and discuss the matter with you.
If your teacher is superior in the ways you say, then you ought to be quiet, and I’ll discuss it with your teacher.”

The 500 students said to the Buddha, “We’ll be quiet and listen to you discuss it with our teacher.”
The 500 students all fell silent.

The Bhagavān then told Ambāṣṭha, “Going back to a time in the distant past, there was a king named Ikṣvāku.
This king had four sons.
One was named Ulkāmukha, the second was named Hastikaśīrṣa, the third was name Karakaṇḍa, and the fourth was named Opura.

“The king’s four sons were young and committed offenses.
The king banished them from the country, and they went south of the Himalaya Mountains to live in a teak tree grove.
The mothers and family members of those four sons missed them, so they held a meeting and went to King Ikṣvāku.
They said, ‘Great king, you should know that we’ve been separated from your four sons for a long time.
We would like to go see them.’

“The king replied, ‘If you want to go, do as you like.’

“After the mothers and their relatives heard the king’s instruction, they went to the teak tree grove south of the Himalaya Mountains where the four sons lived.
Then the mothers said [to each other], ‘I’ll give my daughter to your son, and you give your daughter to my son.
Match them up to be married as husband and wife.
They’ll have handsome-looking sons.’

“King Ikṣvāku then heard that the mothers of his four sons had given their daughters to be their wives, and they had given birth to handsome sons.
The king was delighted and exclaimed, ‘They are true Śākyans!
True Śākyan boys!’
They were able to stand and survived on their own, so they were called Śākya as a result.

“King Ikṣvāku was the first of the Śākya lineage.
The king had a servant named Diśa who was good-looking.
She had a relationship with a priest and became pregnant as a result.
She gave birth to a boy who fell to the ground able to speak.
He would look for his parents and say, ‘You must bathe me!
Remove this filth!
I’ll love you when I’m older!’
Because he could speak, her first-born son was called Svararāja.

“Just as present-day people are frightened when a first-born son can speak and call him ‘Terrible,’ he was likewise.
Being born able to speak, they called him Svararāja.
From that time to today, his priest clan’s name has been Svararāja.”

The Buddha asked the student:
“Haven’t you heard this history of your clan before when you visited senior, elder, and great priests?”

The student remained silent and didn’t reply.
The Buddha asked him again, but he still didn’t reply.
The Buddha asked him a third time, and then said to the student:
“I’ve asked you a question three times.
You ought to answer promptly, for when someone doesn’t answer me, their head is smashed into seven pieces by the guhyaka warriors who are standing at my side armed with metal hammers.”

The guhyaka warriors armed with metal hammers hovered in the air over the student’s head.
If he didn’t answer the question right then, their iron hammers would’ve come down and smashed the student’s head.
The Buddha told the student, “Look for yourself.”

The student looked, and he saw the guhyaka warriors hovering in the air with their metal hammers.
When he saw that, he was frightened, and his hair stood on end.
He got up and moved closer to the Bhagavān, hoping the Bhagavān would protect him.
He said, “Ask me again, Bhagavān.
I will answer you now.”

The Buddha then asked the student:
“Haven’t you heard this history of your clan before when you visited senior, elder, and great priests?”

The student answered, “I believe that what I’ve heard before really did happen.”

His five hundred student disciples raised their voices, saying to each other, “This Ambāṣṭha really is descended from a Śākyan servant family!”
“The ascetic Gautama speaks the truth!”
“We’ve been acting badly, feeling so proud!”

The Bhagavān then thought, “These five hundred students will surely be arrogant after this and call him a servant.
Now, I’ll do something to dismiss that servant reputation.”
He then told the five hundred students, “You students, take care not to call him someone descended from a servant family.
Why is that?
He was once a priest who was a great and powerful sage.
He attacked King Ikṣvāku to get his daughter, and the king gave her to him out of fear.”
The Buddha dismissed that slave reputation with these words.

The Superiority of the Warrior Caste
The Bhagavān then told Ambāṣṭha, “How is it, student?
Suppose a warrior woman is descended from seven generations of fathers and mothers who were genuine [warriors], and she isn’t slighted by other people.
If she’s married to a priest and bears him a son who’s handsome, would that son enter the warrior caste, be given a seat and water, and recite the warrior’s law?”

He replied, “He wouldn’t.”

“Would he get his father’s property and business?”

“He wouldn’t.”

“Would he inherit his father’s office?”

“He wouldn’t.”

“How is it, student?
Suppose a priest woman is descended from seven generations of fathers and mothers who were genuine [priests], and she isn’t slighted by other people.
She’s married to a warrior and bears him a son who’s handsome.
When he enters that priest’s community, would he be given a seat and be offered water when he rises?”

He replied, “He would.”

“Would he get to recite the priest’s law, get his father’s property, or inherit his father’s office?”

“He would.”

“How is it, student?
If a priest rejects the priesthood and joins the warrior caste, would he be given a seat, be offered water when rising, and recite the warrior’s law?”

He replied, “He wouldn’t.”

“Would he get his father’s property or inherit his father’s office?”

He replied, “He wouldn’t.”

“If a warrior rejects the warriors and joins the priests, would he be given a seat, be offered water when rising, and recite the priest’s law?
… Would he get his father’s property or inherit his father’s office?”

He replied, “He would.”

“Therefore, student, the warrior woman is the best of women, and the warrior man is the best of men.
It’s not the priests.

“The god Brahmā himself spoke this verse:

‘Those born among warriors are best,
Whose families and clans are genuine.

Accomplished in insight and conduct,
They are supreme among gods and people.’


The Buddha told the student, “Brahmā spoke this verse, and it truly is well spoken and not unskillful.
I agree with it.
Why is that?
Now, I am a Tathāgata, an Arhat, and a Completely Awakened One.
I also spoke this meaning:

“‘Those born among warriors are best,
Whose families and clans are genuine.

Accomplished in insight and conduct,
They are supreme among gods and people.’


Leaving Home and Perfecting Precepts
The student said to the Buddha, “Gautama, what is this unsurpassed man like, who is accomplished in insight and conduct?”

The Buddha told the student, “Listen closely, listen closely!
Consider it well.
I’ll explain this for you.”

He replied, “Very well.
I’d be glad to hear it.”

The Buddha told the student, “If the Tathāgata arises in the world who is an Arhat, Completely Awakened One, Accomplished in Insight and Conduct, Well Gone, Understander of the World, Unsurpassed Man, Trainer of Men, Teacher to Gods and People, Buddha, and Bhagavān, he alone is awakened and self-realized among all the gods, and worldly people, whether ascetics and priests, or the gods, Māra, and King Brahmā.
He explains the teaching for people that’s good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end.
It’s content and expression are complete and reveal the pure practice.

“Suppose a householder, a householder’s son, or someone from the other castes hears the right teaching, and they believe it.
With that belief, they think, ‘Now, I live at home bound to my wife and children.
I’m not able to purely cultivate the religious life.
I would rather shave my hair, put on the three Dharma robes, and leave home to cultivate the path.’
At some other time, they renounce home and property, abandon their friends and family, shave their hair, put on the three Dharma robes, and leave home to cultivate the path.
They live with renunciants who equally abandon ornaments, and their practice of precepts is complete.

“They don’t harm sentient beings.
They renounce weapons, are conscientious and modest, and have kind thoughts for all beings.
This is not killing.

“They abandon thoughts of stealing.
They don’t take what’s not given, their minds are pure, and they don’t think about personal profit.
This is not stealing.

“They abandon sexual desire.
They purely cultivate the religious life, are careful and energetic, aren’t defiled by desire, and live purely.
This is not engaging in sex.

“They abandon false speech, are sincere and not deceptive, and don’t fool other people.
This is not speaking falsely.

“They abandon duplicity.
What they hear said here they don’t convey to others there.
What they hear said there they don’t convey to others here.
They skillfully bring together those who are alienated, and they work for mutual friendship and respect.
All their speech is harmonious and aware of the occasion.
This is not being duplicitous.

“They abandon harsh speech, which is words that are crude or fierce, that delight in troubling other people, and that cause the bonds of resentment to arise.
They abandon such words.
Their words are gentle and don’t cause harm.
They’re beneficial to many people.
The community has respect and affection for them, gladly listening to their words.
This is not speaking harshly.

They abandon frivolous speech.
Their words are aware of the occasion, sincere, and accord with the teaching.
They settle disputes according to the discipline.
When there’s reason to speak, their speech doesn’t miss the point.
This is abandoning frivolous speech.

“They abandon drinking alcohol, part with carelessness, and aren’t attached to fragrances, flowers, and jewelry.
They don’t watch or listen to songs and dances.
They don’t sit on high seats, eat at the wrong time, or accept and use gold, silver, or the seven treasures.
They don’t marry wives or concubines and don’t take care of servants, workers, elephants, horses, carts, cattle, chickens, dogs, pigs, sheep, farmland, or pleasure parks.
Nor do they fool other people with fraudulent weights and measures and then carry away the profit in their hands.
They don’t put others in debt to trap them.
This is not being fraudulent.

“They abandon such evils, ceasing disputes and unskillful affairs.
When they conduct themselves, they’re aware of the time and don’t act at the wrong time.
They eat the amount of food their stomach holds and don’t accumulate anything more than what they need.
Their robes are sufficient for their bodies.
Their Dharma clothes and bowl are their constant companions like a flying bird’s wings.
A monk has nothing more in the same way.

Criticisms of Other Ascetics and Priests
“Student, take the example of other ascetics and priests who accept the faithful gifts of others and then seek what another has saved.
They are never satisfied with their robes and meals.
No one who enters my teaching does such things.

“Student, take the example of other ascetics and priests who eat another’s faithful alms and pursue their own occupation.
They plant trees that are refuges for demons and spirits.
No one who enters my teaching does such things.

“Student, take the example of other ascetics and priests who eat another’s faithful alms and still pursue ways of seeking benefits like high and large beds [made of] elephant ivory and various treasures, various embroideries, carpets, blankets, and cushions.
No one who enters my teaching does such things.

“Student, take the example of other ascetics and priests who accept another’s faithful gifts and still pursue ways of adorning themselves.
They rub their bodies with ghee and oil, wash with fragrant water, smear themselves with fragrant powder, and comb their hair with fragrant oil.
They wear beautiful flower garlands, color their eyes dark blue, put makeup on their faces, and attach rings and thread to themselves.
They look at themselves with mirrors, wear leather shoes of various colors, and wear pure white over their clothes.
They keep weapons, followers, valuable parasols, valuable fans, and decorated, valuable chariots.
No one who enters my teaching does such things.

“Student, take the example of other ascetics and priests who eat another’s faithful alms and focus on entertaining themselves by playing games like chess on boards with eight squares, ten squares, a hundred squares … [a thousand] squares.
They have fun in various ways.
No one who enters my teaching does such things.

“Student, take the example of other ascetics and priests who eat another’s faithful alms but only teach obstructions to the path.
They discuss unbeneficial things such as kings, battles, events involving chariots and horses, friends, comrades, and officials.
They ride horses and chariots here and there, walk in pleasure gardens, and have conversations while lying, rising, and walking about women, clothing, eating, and family matters.
They also discuss the subject of diving in the ocean to hunt for treasures.
No one who enters my teaching does such things.

“Student, take the example of other ascetics and priests who eat another’s faithful alms but only pursue countless ways of wrong livelihood.
They flatter others with pretty expressions or appear to criticize them in order to pursue benefits.
No one who enters my teaching does such things.

“Student, take the example of other ascetics and priests who eat another’s faithful alms but only debate with each other.
They might visit parks or go to lakes and meeting halls and refute each other.
They say, ‘I know the teachings and discipline;
you know nothing.’
‘I’ve arrived at the correct path;
you are going down the wrong road.’
‘You put what’s first last or put what’s last first.’
‘I’m tolerant of you, but you don’t tolerate me.’
‘The words that you say aren’t true or correct.’
‘If you have any doubts, you should come and ask me, and I’ll answer it completely.’
No one who enters my teaching does such things.

“Student, take the example of other ascetics and priests who eat another’s faithful alms and still pursue their livelihoods on other ways.
They serve as messengers for kings, royal officials, priests, or householders, traveling from here to there and there to here.
They take messages from here and deliver them there and take messages from there and deliver them here.
They might do this personally or instruct others to do it.
No one who enters my teaching does such things.

“Student, take the example of other ascetics and priests who eat another’s faithful alms but only practice battle tactics and martial arts.
They might practice wielding melee weapons or bow and arrow.
They might fight animals like chickens, dogs, pigs, sheep, elephants, horses, cattle, and camels.
They might fight with men and women and make many sounds with conchs, drums, while singing and dancing.
They might climb poles, perform handstands, and practice various acrobatics.
No one who enters my teaching does such things.

“Student, take the example of other ascetics and priests who eat another’s faithful alms and practice teachings that obstruct the path.
They make their living with wrong livelihoods such as telling the signs of men and women’s good and bad fortune, their beauty and ugliness, or the signs of livestock.
They do this seeking profit.
No one who enters my teaching does such things.

“Student, take the example of other ascetics and priests who eat another’s faithful alms and practice teachings that obstruct the path.
They make their living with wrong livelihoods.
They summon demons and spirits or drive them away with various rites and prayers.
In countless ways, they frighten and afflict people.
They gather and scatter [people] and cause them pain and pleasure.
They can also prevent miscarriages, produce clothing, and make people act like donkeys with spells, or make people blind, deaf, and dumb.
They demonstrate these arts with their palms together raised to the sun and moon, and they practice asceticism in pursuit of profit.
No one who enters my teaching does such things.

“Student, take the example of other ascetics and priests who eat another’s faithful alms and practice teachings that obstruct the path.
They make their living with wrong livelihoods.
They might perform spells for people [that cause] illness or chant spells for good and evil.
They practice medicine with acupuncture, cauterization, and herbs and minerals to cure various ailments.
No one who enters my teaching does such things.

“Student, take the example of other ascetics and priests who eat another’s faithful alms and practice teachings that obstruct the path.
They make their living with wrong livelihoods.
They might perform spells of water and fire, spells for demons, chant warrior spells, bird spells, and spells for limbs.
They might perform spells or make charms for making households peaceful, or they might perform spells to understand [things] burnt by fire or chewed by mice.
They might chant from books of discerning death and life, chant from books about dreams, tell fortunes using people’s hands and faces, chant from books of gods, or chant from language books.
No one who enters my teaching does such things.

“Student, take the example of other ascetics and priests who eat another’s faithful alms and practice teachings that obstruct the path.
They make their living with wrong livelihoods.
They make predictions based on the heavens and seasons:
‘It will rain … it won’t rain … the harvest will be bountiful … the harvest will be poor … many people will fall ill … few will be ill … there’ll be terrible [events] … there’ll be peace.’
They might discuss earthquakes, comets, solar and lunar eclipses, and stellar occultations and non-occultations, saying:
‘This is a good omen;
this is a bad omen.’
No one who enters my teaching does such things.

“Student, take the example of other ascetics and priests who eat another’s faithful alms and practice teachings that obstruct the path, making their living from wrong livelihoods.
They might say, ‘This country will win;
that country is not their equal … that country will win;
this country is not their equal.’
They divine their fortune and misfortune and discuss the flourishing and demise [of different countries].
No one who enters my teaching does such things.

Noble Precepts and Faculties
“[Those who follow my teaching] only cultivate the noble precepts without the stain of mental attachments.
They harbor inner joy and happiness.
Even though their eyes see forms, they don’t grasp at their appearances.
Their eyes aren’t seized by forms and tied to them.
Their peacefulness is stable, they lack greediness, and they don’t have sadness and troubled feelings.
Bad things don’t flow from them.

“They resolutely keep the various precepts and guard well their eye sense … ear … nose … tongue … body … and mind sense.
They guide well their six contacts, guarding and disciplining themselves to become peaceful.
They are like a team of four horses on level ground and well-driven by holding whip and reins.
They don’t leave the road.
A monk thus drives the horses of the six senses to become peaceful and not lose it.

“They possess such noble precepts and attain the noble’s eye sense.
When eating, they stop once they’re satisfied, and they aren’t greedy for flavors.
They eat food to support their body and make it free of pain and distress, not out of pride.
They harmonize their body to cease old pains, ensure new pains don’t arise, have strength without issues, and make the body comfortable.
It’s like someone applying a salve to a sore in order to be rid of it, not to decorate oneself out of pride.

“Student, a monk thus eats enough for his limbs and body and doesn’t harbor a lazy attitude.
It’s like greasing a chariot to make it function well when carrying cargo wherever it needs to go.
A monk is thus.
He eats enough for his limbs and body because he’s going to walk on the road.

“Student, a monk thus accomplishes the noble precepts and attains noble faculties.
When eating, they stop once they’re satisfied.
In the early evening and late at night, they’re diligent and awake.
During the daytime, they’re always mindful and unified in mind whether walking or sitting, and they rid themselves of the various hindrances.
In the early evening, they’re always mindful and unified in mind whether walking or sitting, and they rid themselves of the various hindrances.
When the middle of the night arrives, they lie down on their right side to sleep, remembering the time to wake up.
Fixing their thoughts on the morning, their minds are undisturbed.
When the last of the night arrives, they get up and contemplate.
Whether walking or sitting, they are constantly mindful and unified in mind, ridding themselves of the various hindrances.

“A monk perfects such noble precepts and attains noble faculties.
When eating, they stop once they’re satisfied.
In the early evening and late at night, they’re diligent and awake.
They’re always mindful, unified in mind, and undisturbed.

“How is a monk mindful and undisturbed?
Such a monk observes his internal body as body with diligence and not negligence.
Giving it attention and not losing it, he removes worldly greed and sadness.
He observes external body as body … observes the internal and external body as body with diligence and not negligence.
Giving it attention and not losing it, he removes worldly greed and sadness.
He observes feelings, mind, and principles the same way.
This is how a monk is mindful and undisturbed.

“How is he unified in mind?
Suppose such a monk walks back and forth, looks right and left, turns, bends, and looks around.
He holds his robe and bowl and takes the meal he receives.
He urinates and defecates.
He sleeps, wakes, sits, stands, speaks, and remains silent.
He’s mindful and unified in mind at all times, and he doesn’t lose his composure.
This is being unified in mind.

“It’s like someone walking with a large assembly.
Whether they walk in front, in the middle, or in the back, they’re always at ease and without any anxiety.
Student, when a monk thus walks back and forth … speaks, and remains silent, he’s always mindful and unified in mind without any sorrow or fear.

“A monk has such noble precepts and attains noble faculties.
When eating, they stop when satisfied.
In the early evening and late at night, they’re diligent and awake.
[During the daytime,] they’re always mindful, unified in mind, and undisturbed.
They happily reside in a quiet place, under a tree, or in a charnel ground.
Whether they stay in a mountain cave, on open ground, or in a refuse heap, when it’s time to solicit alms, they wash their hands and feet and put their robe and bowl in a safe place when they return.
They sit cross-legged with their body erect and correctly mindful.
They then fix their attention to what’s in front of them.

“They remove stinginess and greed, and their thoughts aren’t accompanied by them.
They cease anger.
Not having resentments, their mind abides in purity and always feels compassion.
They dispel sleepiness.
Visualizing something bright, they remain mindful and undisturbed.
They stop restlessness, and their thoughts aren’t accompanied by it.
They stop doubtfulness.
Freeing themselves from the net of doubts, their mind is focused solely on good qualities.

“It’s like slaves of a large household who are given the family’s name and peacefully set free.
Escaping that menial labor, they feel joyous, and they aren’t sorrowful and fearful any longer.

“It’s also like someone who takes on debt to make his living and makes a large profit from it.
He returns the original sum to its owner, and the remainder is enough for himself.
He thinks to himself, ‘When I took this loan, I feared it wouldn’t go as I wanted.
Now that I’ve made this profit, I returned the original sum to its owner, and the remainder is enough for myself.
I’m so happy I won’t return to sorrow and fear.’

“It’s like someone who was ill for a long time and recovers from that illness.
They digest what they eat and drink, and their complexion and strength is restored.
They think, ‘I was ill before, but now I’ve recovered.
I digest what I eat and drink, and my complexion and strength is restored.
I’m so happy I won’t return to sorrow and fear.’

“It’s also like someone who’s been imprisoned for a long time, and they are safely released.
They think to themselves, ‘I was taken and imprisoned before, but now I’ve been released!
I’ll so happy I won’t return to sorrow and fear.’

“It’s also like someone who carries many treasures across a wasteland, and they safely make it across without encountering bandits.
They think to themselves, ‘I’ve brought these treasures across that dangerous region.
I’m so happy I won’t return to sorrow and fear.’
Their mind is peaceful and happy.

“Student, a monk who is covered by the five hindrances always feels sorrow and fear like a slave, a debtor, a person who’s ill for a long time, a prisoner, and a traveler crossing a great wasteland.
Seeing that they aren’t free of them yet, their mind is obscured, covered in darkness, and their wisdom eye is dim.

Meditative Attainments
“They diligently detach themselves from desires and bad and unskillful things.
Accompanied with perception and examination, their seclusion gives rise to joy and happiness, and they enter the first dhyāna.
They soak themselves in joy and happiness so that it’s everywhere and overflowing.
No part of them isn’t filled with it.

“It’s like someone skilled in filling bath containers with a variety of herbs.
They soak it in water, and it becomes wet both inside and out.
No part of it isn’t filled with water.
A monk thus enters the first dhyāna.
He’s thoroughly joyous and happy.
No part of him isn’t filled with it.

“Thus, student, this is the start of the direct attainment of personal happiness.
Why is that?
These things come from diligence, mindfulness, and being undisturbed, which are gained from happily living in a quiet place.

“They then give rise to faith, focused attention, and unified mind by detaching from perception and examination.
Without perception or examination, their samādhi gives rise to joy and happiness, and they enter the second dhyāna.
They soak themselves in unified mind, joy, and happiness so that it’s everywhere and overflowing.
No part of them isn’t filled with it.

“It’s like cool water that wells up from a spring on a mountain top.
It doesn’t come from an outside source.
Instead, clear water comes out of this pool, which returns, sinks, and becomes soaked.
No part of it isn’t pervaded with the water.
Student, a monk thus enters the second dhyāna, and samādhi gives rise to joy and happiness.
No part of him isn’t filled with it.
This is the second direct attainment of personal happiness.

“They detach from that joy and its abode.
Being equanimous, mindful, and undisturbed, they personally experience the happiness that’s taught by noble people.
Giving rise to equanimity, mindfulness, and happiness, they enter the third dhyāna.
They aren’t joyous, but they’re soaked with happiness so that it’s everywhere and overflowing.
No part of him isn’t filled with it.

“It’s like blue lotus, red lotus, white lily, and white lotus flowers.
When they first emerge from the mud but haven’t emerged from the water yet, their roots, stems, branches, and leaves are soaked by the water.
No part of them isn’t covered by it.

“Student, a monk thus enters the third dhyāna.
Free of joy and abiding in happiness, they soak themselves with it.
No part of them isn’t covered by it.
This is the third direct attainment of personal happiness.

“They detach from joy and happiness, and their previous sorrow and delight cease.
Without pain or pleasure, their equanimity and mindfulness are purified, and they enter the fourth dhyāna.
In body and mind, their purity is full and overflowing.
No part of them isn’t covered by it.

“It’s like when a person bathes and washes themselves.
They then put on fresh, white cloth to cover their body and make themselves pure.

“Student, a monk thus enters the fourth dhyāna.
His mental purity fills up his body.
No part of him isn’t covered by it.
Again, his mind has no increase or decrease when he enters the fourth dhyāna, and it’s motionless.
He stands unmoved, without like or dislike.

“It’s like a secret room that’s plastered inside and out, and the door is tightly shut.
There isn’t any wind or dust, so a lamp burning inside isn’t disturbed by anything.
The flame of this lamp is peaceful and unmoving.

“Student, a monk thus enters the fourth dhyāna.
Their mind has no increase or decrease, and it’s motionless.
They stand unmoved, without like or dislike.
This is the fourth direct attainment of personal happiness.
Why is that?
These things come from diligence, not being negligent, mindfulness, and being undisturbed, which are gained from happily living in a quiet place.

The Five Excellent Attainments
“They attain a concentrated mind that’s pure, undefiled, gentle, and disciplined.
They stand unmoved, conjuring themselves or someone else in their mind with all its limbs and organs without flaw.
They then contemplate this, ‘This body’s form made of the four elements has created that body.
This body is one thing, and that body is another.
The thought arose from this body to create that body with all its limbs and organs without flaw.’

“It’s like someone who draws a sword from its scabbard and thinks, ‘The scabbard is one thing, and the sword is another, but the sword came from the scabbard.’

“It’s also like someone who spins hemp [threads] to make rope and thinks, ‘The hemp is one thing, and the rope is another, but the rope came from the hemp.’

“It’s also like someone who takes a snake out of a basket and thinks, ‘The basket is one thing, and the snake is another, but the snake came from the basket.’

“It’s also like someone who takes a robe out of a hamper and thinks, ‘The hamper is one thing, and the robe is another, but the robe came from the hamper.’

“Student, a monk is likewise.
This is the first excellent attainment.
Why is that?
These things come from diligence, mindfulness, and being undisturbed, which are gained from happily living in a quiet place.

“After their mind is concentrated, pure, undefiled, gentle, and disciplined, they stand unmoved.
They create their own or someone else’s body that’s made of the four elements in their mind, which has all its limbs and organs [without flaw].
They then contemplate this:
‘This body is made of the four elements, and that body has come from conjuration.
This body is one thing, and that body is another.
That created body has this mind residing in this body as its supporting basis.’

“It’s like beryl or maṇi gems that are polished, very bright, pure, and undefiled.
Whether they are blue, yellow, or red, someone with eyes holding them in their hand can see that when they’re threaded together the gems are one thing, and the thread is another.
Still, the thread supports the gems and goes from gem to gem.

“Student, a monk contemplates mind as the supporting basis of this body.
It goes to that created body in the same way.
This is the monk’s second excellent attainment.
Why is that?
These things come from diligence, mindfulness, and being undisturbed, which are gained from happily living in a quiet place.

“With a concentrated mind, they’re pure, undefiled, gentle, and disciplined, and they stand unmoved.
Unified in mind, they cultivate the realization of the knowledge of miraculous abilities.
They’re can work various miracles.
They miraculously make one body into countless bodies and combines countless bodies into one.
They can travel by flying.
Stone walls are no obstacle to them.
They travel through the sky like a bird and walk on water like the earth.
Their body smokes and blazes like a large bonfire.
They touch the sun and moon with their hand and stand as high as the Brahma Heaven.

“They’re like a potter who’s good at mixing wet clay and shaping it into whatever useful container he wants.
They’re also like a carpenter that’s good at handling wood, making whatever useful thing he wants from it.
They’re also like an ivory worker who’s good at handling elephant tusks, or a goldsmith who’s good at refining pure gold.
They make whatever useful things that they want.

“Student, this monk is like that.
With a concentrated mind, they’re pure … and they stand unmoved … They perform whatever miracles they like … touch the sun and moon with their hand and stand as high as the Brahma Heaven.
This is the monk’s third excellent attainment.

“With a concentrated mind, they’re pure, undefiled, gentle, and disciplined, and they stand unmoved.
Unified in mind, they cultivate the realization of the knowledge of the heavenly ear.
Their heavenly ear is purified, which goes beyond human ears.
It hears two sounds:
Heavenly sounds and human sounds.

“It’s like a city that has a great meeting hall, which is tall, wide, and spacious.
A person in this hall who has a keen sense of hearing wouldn’t need to strain to hear a sound.
He hears all sorts of things.
This monk is like that.
Because their mind is concentrated, they purify the heavenly ear and hear these two kinds of sounds.
Student, this is the monk’s fourth excellent attainment.

“With a concentrated mind, they’re pure, undefiled, gentle, and disciplined, and they stand unmoved.
Unified in mind, they cultivate the realization of the knowledge of other minds.
They know that other people’s minds have desires or no desires, are defiled or undefiled, are deluded or not deluded, are open-minded or narrow-minded, are small-minded or broad-minded, concentrated or distracted, bound or liberated, superior or inferior, or have attained the unsurpassed mind.
They fully know this.

“It’s like someone’s reflection in clear water.
A person can surely observe that they are beautiful or ugly.
This monk is like that.
They can know other people’s minds because their mind is purified.
Student, this is a monk’s fifth excellent attainment.

The Three Insights
“With a concentrated mind, they’re pure, undefiled, gentle, and disciplined, and they stand unmoved.
Unified in mind, they cultivate the realization of the knowledge of past lives.
They then can recollect countless, diverse events of their past lives.
They can remember from one birth … countless births, or numerous eons of formation and destruction:
‘Dying here, I was born there with that name, surname, caste, and clan.
The meals were delicious or disgusting.
My life span was long or short, I experienced those pains or pleasures, and such was my form and appearance.’
They remember all of this.

“It’s like someone who goes from their own village or town to a city in another country.
They live there walking, standing, speaking, or remaining silent, then they go from that country to another country.
Thus, they travel in a circuit until they return to their native land, and they can entirely remember the countries they had traveled without any trouble:
‘From here, I went there.
From there, I went here.
I walked, stood, spoke, and remained silent.’
They remember all of this.

“Student, a monk is thus.
With a concentrated mind that’s pure and undefiled, they stand unmoved and recollect the countless events of their past lives with the knowledge of past lives.

“This is the monk’s attainment of the first insight.
Their ignorance is forever destroyed, and the state of great insight arises.
The darkness is dispelled, and the state of illumination arises.
This is the monk’s understanding of the knowledge of past lives.
Why is that?
These things come from diligence, mindfulness, and being undisturbed, which are gained from happily living in a quiet place.

“With a concentrated mind, they’re pure, undefiled, gentle, and disciplined, and they stand unmoved.
Unified in mind, they cultivate the realization of the knowledge of seeing birth and death.
Their heavenly eye is purified, and they see sentient beings dying here, being born there, and being born here from there.
Their forms are beautiful or ugly, their fruits are good or evil, and they’re noble or mean according to the results of the actions they’ve performed.
He knows all of this.

“‘This person’s physical conduct was bad, their verbal conduct was bad, and their mental conduct was bad.
They slandered the noble ones and believed wrong views.
When their body broke up and their life ended, they fell to the three bad destinies.’
‘This person’s physical conduct was good, their verbal conduct was good, and their mental conduct was good.
They didn’t slander the noble ones and believed correct views.
When their body broke up and their life ended, they were born in heaven or among humans.’
With their purified heavenly eye, they see sentient beings leaving and arriving in the five destinies according to their actions.

“It’s like a high, broad, and level area inside a city.
At the head of a four-way intersection, a large and tall tower in built there from which someone with clear vision can keep watch.
They see people traveling east, west, south, and north as they go.
They can see all of them.

“Student, a monk is thus.
With a concentrated mind, they’re pure and stand unmoved.
They can realize the knowledge of seeing birth and death.
With their purified heavenly eye, they fully see sentient beings that are good and bad being born according to their actions, going and arriving in the five destinies.
He sees all of them.

This is the monk’s attainment of the second insight.
Eliminating their ignorance, wise insight arises.
The darkness is dispelled, and the light of wisdom shines.
This is the realization of the insight into seeing sentient beings being born and dying.
Why is that?
These things come from diligence, mindfulness, and being undisturbed, which are gained from happily living in a quiet place.

“With a concentrated mind, they’re pure, undefiled, gentle, and disciplined, and they stand unmoved.
Unified in mind, they cultivate realization of the knowledge of having no contaminants.
They truly know the noble truth of suffering … They truly know the contaminants, the formation of the contaminants, the ending of the contaminants, and the path that leads to the end of the contaminants.
They thus know and see the contaminants of desire, existence, and ignorance.
Their mind is freed, and their knowledge is freed:
‘My births and deaths have been ended, the religious life has been established, and the task has been accomplished.
I won’t be subject to a later existence.’

“It’s like wood, stones, fish, turtles, and other water-born things in a clear stream flowing from east to west.
A person with eyes clearly sees them:
‘That’s wood and stones … that’s fish and turtles.’

“Student, a monk is thus.
With a concentrated mind, they’re pure and stand unmoved.
They realize the knowledge of having no contaminants .
.. ‘I won’t be subject to a later existence.’

“This is the monk’s attainment of the third insight.
Eliminating their ignorance, wise insight arises.
The darkness is dispelled, and the light of wisdom shines.
This is the insight of the knowledge of having no contaminants.
Why is that?
These things come from diligence, mindfulness, and being undisturbed, which are gained from happily living in a quiet place.

“Student, this is the perfection of the unsurpassed insight and conduct.
What do you think?
Does this agree with insight and conduct or not?”

The Four Superficial Methods
The Buddha told the student, “Someone who can’t perfect the unsurpassed insight and conduct instead practices four methods.
What are the four?

“Student, perhaps someone can’t perfect the unsurpassed insight and conduct.
Instead, they take a spade and carry a pack into the mountains in search of herbs, and they eat tree roots.
Doing so, student, they can’t perfect the unsurpassed insight and conduct.
Instead, they practice this first method.
How is it, student?
Do you or your teacher practice this first method?”

He answered, “No.”

The Buddha told the student, “Your own pettiness makes you unaware of what’s true or false, yet you slander and belittle the Śākyans while your own lineage is rooted in misdeeds that grow the source of Hell.

“Furthermore, student, someone can’t perfect the unsurpassed insight and conduct.
Instead, they take a water bottle and a walking staff into a mountain forest, and they eat fallen fruit.
Doing so, student, they can’t perfect the unsurpassed insight and conduct but instead practice this second method.
How is it, student?
Do you or your teacher practice this method?”

He answered, “No.”

The Buddha told the student, “Your own pettiness makes you unaware of what’s true or false, yet you slander and belittle the Śākyans while your own lineage is rooted in misdeeds that grow the source of Hell.

“Furthermore, student, [someone] can’t perfect the unsurpassed insight and conduct.
Instead, they give up picking herbs and fallen fruit.
They return to their town and rejoin the people there, building a thatched hut and eating grass or tree leaves.
Doing so, student, they can’t perfect the [unsurpassed] insight and conduct.
Instead, they practice this third method.
How is it, student?
Do you or your teacher practice this method?”

He answered, “No.”

The Buddha told the student, “Your own pettiness makes you unaware of what’s true or false, yet you slander and belittle the Śākyans while your own lineage is rooted in misdeeds that grow the source of Hell.

“Furthermore, student, [someone] can’t perfect the unsurpassed insight and conduct, but they don’t eat herbs and grass, fallen fruit, or grass and leaves.
Instead, they build a large raised hall in a town or city, and people come from the east, west, south, and north to offer the donations that they can.
Doing so, they can’t perfect the unsurpassed insight and conduct.
Instead, they practice this fourth method.
How is it, student?
Do you or your teacher practice this method?”

He answered, “No.”

The Buddha told the student, “Your own pettiness makes you unaware of what’s true or false, yet you slander and belittle the Śākyans while your own lineage is rooted in misdeeds and grows from the source of Hell.

The Ancient Priests
“How is it, student?
The priests and sages of antiquity had many arts.
They praised and commended the hymns of the past.
Present-day priests recite and commend them as 1. Aṣṭaka, 2. Vāmaka, 3. Vāmadeva, 4. Viśvāmitra, 5. Aṅgiras, 6. [Yamataggi], 7. Vasiṣṭha, 8. Kāśyapa, 9. Aruṇa, 10. Gautama, 11. [Suyiva], and 12. Sundara.
Such great sages and priests dug moats and erected raised halls.
Do you and your teacher’s followers today live like they did?”

He answered, “No.”

“Those great sages would have built a walled city where they lived and surrounded it with houses.
Do you and your teacher’s followers today live like they did?”

He answered, “No.”

“Didn’t those great sages sit on high seats with layered cushions and carpets that were fine and soft?
Do you and your teacher’s followers today live like they did?”

He answered, “No.”

“Didn’t those great sages enjoy gold, silver, jewelry, colorful flower garlands, and beautiful women?
Do you and your teacher’s followers do the same?
… Didn’t those great sages have treasure chariots pulled by horses whose drivers were armed with lances, that were covered with white canopies?
… Didn’t they have precious fans and wear colorful and valuable sandals as well as all-white cotton cloth?
Do you and your teacher’s followers wear those things?”

He answered, “No.”

“Student, your own pettiness makes you unaware of what’s true or false, yet you slander and belittle the Śākyans while your own lineage is rooted in misdeeds that grow the source of Hell.

“How is it, student?
Just as those great sages and priests of antiquity praised and commended reciting the hymns, the priests today commend and recitation of Aṣṭaka and the others.
They hand down their teachings and teach them to others hoping to be born in the Brahma Heaven, but it’s impossible.

“Student, it’s like when King Prasenajit holds a meeting with others.
He might be meeting with kings, officials, priests, or householders.
A low-ranking person hears them, goes into Śrāvastī, and tells the people they meet, ‘King Prasenajit had this to say.’
How is it, student?
Would the king have a meeting with such a person?”

He answered, “No.”

“Student, that person recited the king’s words and told them to other people.
Would he be made a high official by the king?”

He answered, “That would be impossible.”

“Student, today your tradition recites the teachings of former generations, great sages, and ancient priests.
You want to be born in the Brahma Heaven, but it’s impossible.
How is it, student?
Do all of you accept the offerings of others while following that method of practice?”

He answered, “Yes, Gautama.
We accept the offerings of others and practice that method.”

“Student, you and your teacher Puṣkarasārin accepted a fiefdom from the king, but when you have a meeting with King Prasenajit, you teach the king nonessential treatises and unbeneficial words, so there’s no way to admonish him to do the right things.

Ambāṣṭha Sees the Thirty-Two Signs
“Now you see for yourself you and your teacher’s errors.
Setting those things aside, there’s just the circumstances that brought you here.”

Thereupon, the student examined the Tathāgata’s body searching for the signs and excellencies.
He saw all the signs except for the two that weren’t visible.
This caused him to feel doubtful.

The Bhagavān then silently thought to himself, “Now, this student doesn’t see two of the signs, and that has made him doubtful.”
He then stuck out his long and broad tongue sign and covered his ear with it.

The student was still doubtful about the other sign, and the Bhagavān again thought, “Now, this student is still doubtful about this one sign.”
He then used his miraculous ability to privately show him his hidden horse-like penis.

After seeing all his signs, the student no longer doubted the Tathāgata.
He rose from his seat, circled the Buddha, and departed.

Ambāṣṭha Returns to His Teacher
While standing outside his door looking into the distance, the priest Puṣkarasārin saw his disciple approaching from far away.
He met him and asked, “Did you examine Gautama to see if his signs were real?
Are his virtues and miraculous abilities really as we’ve heard?”

The student then said to his teacher, “The ascetic Gautama is replete with all 32 signs.
His virtues and miraculous abilities are really as we’ve heard.”

His teacher again asked, “Did you talk a little with Gautama?”

He answered, “I did in fact exchange words with Gautama.”

The teacher again asked, “What did you discuss with Gautama?”

The student told his teacher about the words he exchanged with the Buddha.

His teacher said, “I had an intelligent disciple to send as my messenger, but we’ll soon end up in Hell.
Why is that?
You spoke as a superior and criticized Gautama.
When my messenger is displeasing, it comes back to me.
You and the other intelligent disciples were sent with this errand, but I’ll soon end up in Hell [on your account].”

Under the influence of the bond of resentment, the teacher kicked his student, making him fall from the chariot they were riding.
After he fell from the chariot, the student developed vitiligo.

Puṣkarasārin Visits the Buddha
Examining the position of the sun, the priest Puṣkarasārin thought, “I’d pay a visit to the ascetic Gautama, but it’s not the right time now.
I’ll need to wait until tomorrow, then I’ll go and visit him.”
When the sun rose the next day, he prepared his treasure chariot and horses and proceeded to the citron grove surrounded by five hundred disciples.
He then dismounted and continued on foot until he reached the Bhagavān.
After they exchanged greetings, he sat to one side.
Looking closely at the Tathāgata’s body, he saw that he had the signs, but he didn’t see two of them.

The priest was doubtful about those two signs.
Knowing his thoughts, the Buddha then stuck out his long and broad tongue and covered his ear with it.

The priest was still doubtful about the other sign.
Knowing his thoughts, the Buddha used his miraculous abilities to allow him to see his hidden horse-like penis.

When the priest saw the Tathāgata’s 32 signs, his mind was opened, and he had no more misgivings.
Quickly, he said to the Buddha, “If I meet the Buddha on the road while traveling, I’ll stop my chariot for a brief rest.
You should consider it as though I’m bowing respectfully to the Bhagavān.
Why is that?
I’ve received another’s fiefdom.
If I were to dismount from my chariot, I would lose this fiefdom and a bad reputation would be circulated about me.”

He also said to the Buddha, “If I dismount, untie my sword, close my parasol, and remove my banner, water bottle, and sandals, you should consider it as though I’m venerating the Tathāgata.
Why is that?
I’ve received another’s fiefdom.
If I were to dismount from my chariot, I would lose this fiefdom and a bad reputation would be circulated about me.”

He also said to the Buddha, “Suppose I’m with my assembly and see the Buddha rise.
If I bare my right shoulder and declare my clan’s name, you should consider it as though I’m venerating the Tathāgata.
Why is that?
I’ve received another’s fiefdom.
If I were to dismount from my chariot, I would lose this fiefdom and a bad reputation would be circulated about me.”

He also said to the Buddha, “I take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Saṅgha.
Permit me to be a layman of the correct teaching!
Hereafter, I won’t kill, steal, commit adultery, lie, or drink alcohol.
Please let the Bhagavān and those in this large assembly accept my invitation.”

The Buddha Visits Puṣkarasārin
The priest saw that the Buddha remained silent and knew that he had given his consent.
He then rose from his seat and departed, bowing to the Buddha and circling him three times without thinking about it.
He went back and prepared meals of fine delicacies.
When they were ready, he returned and said, “It’s time.”

The Bhagavān then put on his robe and took his bowl to the priest’s house with that large assembly of 1,250 monks.
Arriving, they prepared their seats and sat down.

The priest then personally served the meals, giving a variety of sweet delicacies to the Buddha and the Saṅgha.
When they finished eating and washing their bowls, the priest took his disciple Ambāṣṭha to the Buddha with his right hand and said, “Please let the Tathāgata permit us to repent for our wrongdoing!
Please let the Tathāgata permit us to repent for our wrongdoing!”
He repeated this three times.

He also said to the Buddha, “Like a well-trained elephant or horse that returns again to the correct path when it goes astray, this man is thus.
Although he was contaminated, it’s gone now.
Please permit him to repent for his wrongdoing!”

The Buddha told the priest, “It will lengthen your life to do so, and you’ll find peace in the present life.
It will also rid your disciple of his vitiligo.”
After the Buddha agreed, that disciple’s vitiligo was cured.

Puṣkarasārin Attains Stream-Entry
The priest then fetched a small chair for the Buddha to sit in front of the assembly, and the Bhagavān explained the teaching for them.
With plain instruction that’s gainful and joyous, he discussed generosity, precepts, birth in the heavens, the defilement of desire, the trouble of the contaminants, the transcendence of escape, and the declaration of purity.
When he knew that the priest’s mind was gentle, pure, undefiled, and capable of accepting instruction about the path, the Bhagavān taught him the eternal teaching of Buddhas.
He explained the noble truth of suffering, the noble truth of suffering’s formation, the noble truth of suffering’s cessation, and the noble truth of suffering’s escape.

Sitting right there on his seat, the priest had his dust and defilements removed and his Dharma eye was purified.
It was like a pure and clean white cloth that’s easily stained.
The priest Puṣkarasārin was likewise.
He saw the teaching, attained the teaching, became certain about the fruits of the path, didn’t believe other paths, and attained fearlessness.

He then said to the Buddha, “Now, I take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Saṅgha of monks three times.
Permit me to become a layman of the correct teaching!
For the rest of my life, I won’t kill, steal, commit adultery, lie, or drink alcohol.
Please let the Bhagavān and the great assembly have pity on me and accept my invitation for the next seven days.”
The Bhagavān then silently consented to this.

During the next seven days, the priest gave a variety of offerings to the Buddha and his large assembly.
After that, the Bhagavān traveled among the people.

Not long after the Buddha departed, the priest Puṣkarasārin fell sick, and his life ended.
When the monks heard that this priest had given offerings to the Buddha for seven days before his life ended, they each thought, “Where was he born after his life ended?”

A group of monks went to the Buddha.
After bowing to him, they sat to one side of the Buddha and said, “That priest had given offerings to the Buddha for seven days before his body broke up and his life ended.
Where was he reborn?”

The Buddha told the monks, “This clansman had broadly collected virtues, perfected one teaching and the next, and didn’t go contrary to the teaching.
He ended the five lower bonds and will reach parinirvāṇa without returning to this world.”

When the monks heard what the Buddha had taught, they rejoiced and approved.

21 - DA 21 Brahmā’s Shaking

Thus I have heard:
One time, the Buddha traveled to Magadha accompanied by an assembly of 1,250 great monks.
Wandering among the people, they reached the bamboo grove and stopped to stay at the royal palace.

At the time, there was an ascetic named Supriya who had a disciple named Brahmadatta.
This teacher and student were always following the Buddha.
The ascetic Supriya criticized the Buddha, Dharma, and Saṅgha of monks in countless ways, and his disciple Brahmadatta praised the Buddha, Dharma, and Saṅgha of monks in countless ways.
The teacher and his student both felt differently and contradicted each other.
Why is that?
It was because of their different customs, different views, and different friends.

It was then that a group of monks assembled in the meeting hall after soliciting alms to have this discussion:
“Amazing and rare are the great miraculous power and majestic virtue possessed by the Bhagavān.
He fully knows the intentions and destinations of sentient beings, but the ascetic Supriya and his disciple follow the Tathāgata and the Saṅgha of monks.
The ascetic Supriya criticizes the Buddha, Dharma, and Saṅgha in countless ways, and his disciple Brahmadatta praises the Tathāgata, Dharma, and Saṅgha in countless ways.
The teacher and his student both feel differently as a result of their different customs, different views, and different friends.”

It was then that the Bhagavān overheard the monks having that discussion with his heavenly ear that surpasses the human ear.
The Bhagavān emerged from his quiet abode, went to the meeting hall, and sat in front of that large assembly.
Although he knew, he still asked them, “Monks, what’s the reason you’ve gathered here in the meeting hall?
What are you discussing?”

The monks then said to the Buddha, “After soliciting alms, we gathered here in the meeting hall to have this discussion:
‘Amazing and rare are the great miraculous power and majestic virtue possessed by the Bhagavān.
He fully knows the intentions and destinations of sentient beings, but the ascetic Supriya and his disciple always follow the Tathāgata and the Sangha of monks.
The ascetic Supriya criticizes the Tathāgata, Dharma, and Saṅgha in countless ways, and his disciple Brahmadatta praises the Tathāgata, Dharma, and Saṅgha in countless ways.
The teacher and his student both feel differently as a result of their different customs, different views, and different friends.’
We gathered here in the meeting hall to discuss this situation.”

The Bhagavān then told the monks, “If someone criticizes the Tathāgata, Dharma, and the Saṅgha in some way, don’t allow yourselves to feel angry and have harmful intent toward them.
Why is that?
If they criticize me, the Dharma, and Saṅgha of monks and you feel angry and have harmful intent, it’ll result in your own downfall;
therefore, don’t allow yourself to feel angry and have harmful intent toward them.

“Monks, if someone praises the Buddha, Dharma, and Saṅgha, that isn’t enough for you to feel delighted and rejoice.
Why is that?
If you feel delighted, then it will be your downfall;
therefore, you shouldn’t feel delighted.
Why is that?
These are minor matters of deportment and observing precepts.
Ordinary, uneducated people don’t penetrate the [Dharma’s] profound meaning, so they praise only what they see [with their eyes].

Minor Matters of Conduct
“What are the minor matters of deportment and observing precepts that ordinary, uneducated people only praise when they see them?

“There’s this praise:
‘The ascetic Gautama has ceased killing, desisted from killing, and discarded swords and staves.
He feels remorse [for wrongdoing] and compassion for all [living things].’
This is a minor matter of deportment and observing precepts for which ordinary, uneducated people praise the Buddha.

“There’s also this praise:
‘The ascetic Gautama has discarded taking what’s not given, ceased taking what’s not given, and doesn’t have any thoughts of stealing.’

“There’s also this praise:
‘The ascetic Gautama has discarded lustful desire and purely cultivates the religious life.
He simply guards the precepts and doesn’t engage in sexual intercourse.
His conduct is pure and clean.’

“There’s also this praise:
‘The ascetic Gautama has discarded and ceased false speech.
His words being sincere and his statements being true, he doesn’t deceive worldly people.’
… ‘The ascetic Gautama discarded and ceased duplicity.
He doesn’t say things here to cause misunderstandings there or say things there to cause misunderstandings here.
When there’s conflict, he brings people together.
Once they are united, he increases their joy.
His words and statements don’t divide those who are unified.
His heart is sincere, and he speaks when it’s appropriate.’
… ‘The ascetic Gautama has discarded and ceased harsh speech.
If there are crude words that hurt people, increase feelings of resentment, and nurture hatred, he doesn’t use any of those crude words.
He always delights people’s mind with skillful words that are desired by many, and people don’t grow tired of hearing them.
He only speaks these words.’
… ‘The ascetic Gautama has discarded and ceased fancy speech.
He speaks when it’s appropriate, speaks truly, speaks beneficially, speaks about principles, speaks about discipline, and stops speaking otherwise.
He only speaks these words.’

“‘The ascetic Gautama has discarded and parted with drinking alcohol.
He isn’t attached to fragrant flowers, doesn’t watch performances, doesn’t sit on high seats, doesn’t eat at the wrong time, and doesn’t take gold or silver.
He doesn’t take care of wives, children, workers, or servants.
He doesn’t take care of elephants, horses, pigs, sheep, chickens, dogs, or other birds and animals.
He doesn’t take care of war elephants, cavalry, charioteers, or infantry.
He doesn’t take care of farmland or plant the five grains.
He doesn’t bully people with his fists.
He doesn’t trick people with weights and scales.
He doesn’t buy and sell agreements or negotiate them.
He doesn’t take on or touch debts that grow without end.
He doesn’t engage in secret plots, doesn’t act differently to people’s faces and behind their backs, and doesn’t act at the wrong time.
He takes care of his body and eats as much as fills his stomach.
Wherever he goes, his robe and bowl follow him, just as a flying bird’s body has a pair of wings.’
These are minor matters of observing the precepts for which ordinary, uneducated people praise the Buddha.

Wrong Livelihoods
“‘There are other ascetics and priests who accept the faithful gifts of others and try to hoard robes, food, and drinks insatiably.
The ascetic Gautama doesn’t do such things.’

“‘There are other ascetics and priests who eat the faithful alms of others and work in their own occupations, like planting trees to serve as shelters for demons and spirits.
The ascetic Gautama doesn’t do such things.’

“‘There are other ascetics and priests who eat the faithful alms of others and pursue ways of getting benefits like high and wide beds made of ivory and assorted jewels and various embroidered carpets, blankets, and cushions.
The ascetic Gautama doesn’t do such things.’

“‘There are other ascetics and priests who eat the faithful alms of others and pursue ways of adorning themselves.
They rub their bodies with ghee, wash with perfume, apply fragrant powders, comb their hair with fragrant liquids, wear beautiful flower garlands, dye their eyes dark blue, and paint their faces.
They wear metal rings and strings that are clean, look at themselves in mirrors, wear valuable leather shoes, wear pure white over their clothes, and carry parasols, fans, flags, and banners as ornaments.
The ascetic Gautama doesn’t do such things.’

“‘There are other ascetics and priests who focus on entertainment.
They play games on boards with eight squares, ten squares, and a hundred or a thousand squares, entertaining themselves in various ways.
The ascetic Gautama doesn’t do such things.’

“‘There are other ascetics and priests who eat the faithful alms of others and just talk about pointless things that obstruct the path.
[They discuss] subjects like kings, battles, warhorses, officials, ministers, riding chariots and horses, and enjoying themselves in parks.
They have conversations while they lie down, rise, and walk about women’s affairs, clothing, food and drink, and relatives.
They discuss the subject of finding treasures in the ocean, too.
The ascetic Gautama doesn’t do such things.’

“‘There are other ascetics and priests who eat the faithful alms of others and just pursue wrong livelihoods.
They flatter people with beautiful expressions or appear to criticize them, and they pursue profit with profit.
The ascetic Gautama doesn’t do such things.’

“‘There are other ascetics and priests who eat the faithful alms of others and just argue with each other.
Whether in parks, near ponds, or in halls, they blame each other:
‘I know the sūtras and discipline;
you know nothing.’
‘I’m on the correct path;
you’re going down the wrong road.’
‘Either you put what’s first last, or you put what’s last first.’
‘I can endure [this];
you aren’t able to endure it.’
‘Your words aren’t correct.’
‘If you have any doubts, you should come and ask me;
I can answer everything.’
The ascetic Gautama doesn’t do such things.’

“‘There are other ascetics and priests who eat the faithful alms of others and pursue a messenger’s livelihood.
Whether it’s for kings, the king’s ministers, priests, or gentlemen, they relay their messages.
They travel from here to there and there to here.
They take a message here and deliver it there or take a message there and deliver it here.
They might do this themselves or instruct others to do it.
The ascetic Gautama doesn’t do such things.’

“‘There are other ascetics and priests who eat the faithful alms of others and just study military strategy and combat.
They might train in the use of swords and staves or the bow and arrow.
They might fight animals like chickens, dogs, pigs, sheep, elephants, horses, cattle, and camels or fight men and women.
They might make different kinds of music using horns and drums, singing and dancing.
They might climb poles, perform handstands, and practice various acrobatics.
The ascetic Gautama doesn’t do such things.’

“‘There are other ascetics and priests who eat the faithful alms of others and practice teachings that obstruct the path.
They make their living with wrong livelihoods such as telling the signs of men and women’s good and bad fortune, their beauty and ugliness, or the signs of livestock.
They do this seeking to profit by it.
The ascetic Gautama doesn’t do such things.’

“‘There are other ascetics and priests who eat the faithful alms of others and practice teachings that obstruct the path.
They make their living with wrong livelihoods.
They summon demons and spirits or drive them away with various rites and prayers.
In countless ways, they frighten and afflict people.
They gather and scatter [people] and cause them pain and pleasure.
They can also prevent miscarriages, produce clothing, and make people act like donkeys with spells, or make people blind, deaf, and dumb.
They demonstrate these arts with their palms together raised to the sun and moon, and they practice asceticism in pursuit of profit.
The ascetic Gautama doesn’t do such things.’

“‘There are other ascetics and priests who eat the faithful alms of others and practice teachings that obstruct the path.
They make their living with wrong livelihoods.
They might perform spells for people [that cause] illness, chant evil and good spells, and practice medicine with acupuncture, cauterization, and herbs and minerals to cure various ailments.
The ascetic Gautama doesn’t do such things.’

“‘There are other ascetics and priests who eat the faithful alms of others and practice teachings that obstruct the path.
They make their living with wrong livelihoods.
They might perform spells of water and fire, spells for demons, chant warrior spells, elephant spells, and spells for limbs.
They might perform spells or make charms for making households peaceful, or they might perform spells to understand [things] burnt by fire or chewed by mice.
They might chant from books of discerning death and life, chant from books about dreams, tell fortunes using people’s hands and faces, chant from books of gods, or chant from language books.
The ascetic Gautama doesn’t do such things.’

“‘There are other ascetics and priests who eat the faithful alms of others and practice teachings that obstruct the path.
They make their living with wrong livelihoods.
They make predictions based on the heavens and seasons:
“It will rain … it won’t rain … the harvest will be bountiful … the harvest will be poor … many people will fall ill … few will be ill … there’ll be terrible [events] … there’ll be peace.”
They might discuss earthquakes, comets, solar and lunar eclipses, stellar occultations and non-occultations and where they will happen, and they’re able to predict them.
The ascetic Gautama doesn’t do such things.’

“‘There are other ascetics and priests who eat the faithful alms of others and practice teachings that obstruct the path, making their living from wrong livelihoods.
They might say, “This country will win;
that country is not their equal … that country will win;
this country is not their equal.”
They divine the fortune and misfortune and discuss the flourishing and demise [of different countries].
The ascetic Gautama doesn’t do such things.’

“Monks, these are the minor matters of observing the precepts for which ordinary, uneducated people praise the Buddha.

Views about Past Eons
The Buddha told the monks, “Moreover, there’s another teaching that illuminates what’s profound, subtle, and great, but it’s only the noble disciples who praise this teaching of the Tathāgata’s.
What is that profound, subtle, great, and illuminating teaching for which the noble disciples praise the Tathāgata?

“Ascetics and priests make diverse and countless statements as they like about past and future eons, and they all enter 62 views by doing so.
Making these diverse and countless statements about past and future eons, none of them can go beyond these 62 views.

“What are the reasons those ascetics and priests make diverse and countless statements as they like about past and future eons and enter these 62 views that they don’t go beyond?

“Ascetics and priests each make diverse and countless statements as they like about past eons, and they all enter 18 views.
Making these diverse and countless statements about past eons, none of them can go beyond these 18 views.

“What are the reasons those ascetics and priests make diverse and countless statements as they like about past eons, and enter these 18 views that they don’t go beyond?

Self and World Are Eternal
“Ascetics and priests create this eternalist theory about past eons:
‘Self and the world always exists.’
They all enter four views.
Regarding past eons, they say that self and the world always exists and don’t go beyond these four views that they enter.

“What are the reasons those ascetics and priests create eternalist theories about past eons, saying that self and the world always exist, and they don’t go beyond these four views that they enter?

“Some ascetics and priests use various methods to enter a samādhi of mind through which they remember 20 eons of [world] formation and destruction.
They say, ‘Self and the world are eternal.
This is true, the rest is false.
Why is that?
Using various methods, I entered a samādhi of mind through which I remembered 20 eons of [world] formation and destruction.
During that time, sentient beings neither increased nor decreased.
They always came together and didn’t scatter.
By this, I know:
“Self and the world are eternal.
This is true;
the rest is false.”
’ This is the first view.
As a result of this assertion about past eons that self and world are eternal, ascetics and priests don’t go beyond these four views.

“Some ascetics and priests use various methods to enter a samādhi of mind through which they remember 40 eons of [world] formation and destruction.
They say, ‘Self and the world are eternal.
This is true;
the rest is false.
Why is that?
Using various methods, I entered a samādhi of mind through which I remembered 40 eons of [world] formation and destruction.
During that time, sentient beings neither increased nor decreased.
They always came together and didn’t scatter.
By this, I know:
“Self and the world are eternal.
This is true;
the rest is false.”
’ This is the second view.
As a result of this assertion about past eons that self and world are eternal, ascetics and priests don’t go beyond these four views.

“Some ascetics and priests use various methods to enter a samādhi of mind through which they remember 80 eons of [world] formation and destruction.
They say, ‘Self and the world are eternal.
This is true;
the rest is false.
Why is that?
Using various methods, I entered a samādhi of mind through which I remembered 80 eons of [world] formation and destruction.
During that time, sentient beings neither increased nor decreased.
They always came together and didn’t scatter.
By this, I know:
“Self and the world are eternal.
This is true;
the rest is false.”
’ This is the third view.
As a result of this assertion about past eons that self and world are eternal, ascetics and priests don’t go beyond these four views.

“Some ascetics and priests possess quick intelligence and are skilled observers.
Using the methods of quick intelligence and observation, they investigate the truth as they see it themselves.
Using their own eloquence, they say, ‘Self and the world are eternal.’
This is the fourth view.
As a result of this assertion about past eons that self and world are eternal, ascetics and priests don’t go beyond these four views.

“These ascetics and priests make assertion about past eons that self and the world are eternal, and they all enter these four views.
[Saying that] self and the world are eternal, they don’t go beyond these four views that they enter.

“There’s only the Tathāgata that knows this ground of views thus maintained and thus adhered to, and he also knows its results.
The Tathāgata’s knowledge goes beyond this.
Although his knowledge is unattached, he attained complete cessation through this detachment.
He knows the assembly, cessation, enjoyment, fault, and escape [of this ground of views].
Because of his equal observation and liberation without remainder, he’s called a Tathāgata.

“This is that other teaching that illuminates what’s profound, subtle, and great and which causes the noble disciples to truly and equally praise the Tathāgata.

Self and World Are Half Eternal and Half Impermanent
“Again, what’s the other teaching that illuminates what’s profound, subtle, and great and which causes the noble disciples to truly and equally praise the Tathāgata?

“Ascetics and priests create this theory about past eons:
‘Self and the world are half eternal and half impermanent.’
As a result of this assertion about past eons that self and the world are half eternal and half impermanent, those ascetics and priests don’t go beyond these four views.

“At the beginning of this eon of formation, there was a sentient being whose merits ended, whose life ended, and whose practice ended.
When their life ended in the Ābhāsvara Heaven, they were born in an empty Brahma Heaven.
This being’s mind craved that birthplace and so was born there.
It also wished for other sentient beings to be born there, too.

“After this sentient being was born according to its craving and wish, there were other sentient beings whose lives, practices, and merits were exhausted.
When their lives ended in the Ābhāsvara Heaven, they were reborn in that empty Brahma Heaven.
The sentient being who was born there first thought, ‘Here, I am Brahma, Great Brahmā!
I appeared spontaneously;
it’s impossible that another created me.
I know all meanings and scriptures, and I’m sovereign over a thousand worlds.
I am the most honored who’s able to transform himself and who’s sublime, supreme, and the father of sentient beings.
I was here first by myself, and those other sentient beings came later.
I created those sentient beings who came later.’

“Those later sentient beings also thought, ‘He is Great Brahmā.
He was able to create himself;
no other could create him.
He knows all meanings and scriptures, and he’s sovereign over a thousand worlds.
He’s the most honored who’s able to transform himself and who’s, sublime, supreme, and the father of sentient beings.
He was here first by himself, and it was later than we arrived.
We sentient beings are his creations.’

“After the lives and practices of those brahma sentient beings are exhausted, they are born in the world and gradually grow up.
They shave their hair, put on the three Dharma robes, and leave home to cultivate the path.
They enter a samādhi of mind and become aware of their past births as a result of that samādhi.
They say, ‘That Great Brahmā was able to create himself;
no other could create him.
He knows all meanings and scriptures, and he’s sovereign over a thousand worlds.
He’s the most honored who’s able to transform himself and who’s sublime, supreme, and the father of sentient beings.
Everlasting and unchanging is that Brahmā who created us, but we are impermanent, changing, and unable to last long.
Therefore, it should be known:
“Self and the world are half eternal and half impermanent.
This is true;
the rest is false.”
’ This is called the first view.
As a result of creating this theory about past eons [that self and world are] half eternal and half impermanent, ascetics and priests don’t go beyond these four views.

“Some sentient beings are playful and lazy.
Countless are the games with which they entertain themselves.
While they enjoy their games, their bodies are exhausted, and they forget themselves.
As they forget themselves, their lives end, and they are reborn in the world.
They gradually grow up, shave their hair, put on the three Dharma robes, leave home, and cultivate the path.
They enter a samādhi of mind through which they become aware of their past births.
They say, ‘Those other sentient beings who didn’t frequently entertain themselves with games exist eternally in their abodes, everlasting unchanging.
As a result of my frequent games, I came to this impermanent state that’s subject to change.
Therefore, I know:
“Self and the world are half eternal and half impermanent.
This is true;
the rest is false.”
’ This is the second view.
As a result of creating this theory about past eons [that self and world are] half eternal and half impermanent, ascetics and priests don’t go beyond these four views.

“Some sentient beings forget themselves after watching each other one after the other.
As a result, they’re born in the world when their lives end.
They gradually grow up, shave their hair, put on the three Dharma robes, leave home, and cultivate the path.
They enter a samādhi of mind through which they became aware of their past births.
Then they say, ‘Those sentient beings that don’t forget themselves while watching each other one after the other are everlasting and unchanging.
We frequently watched each other and forgot ourselves after doing so.
As a result, we’ve come to this impermanent state that’s subject to change.
Therefore, I know:
“Self and the world is half eternal and half impermanent.
This is true;
the rest is false.”
’ This is the third view.
As a result of creating this theory about past eons [that self and world are] half eternal and half impermanent, ascetics and priests don’t go beyond these four views.

“Some ascetics and priests possess quick intelligence and are skilled observers.
With their quick intelligence and observation, they use their own eloquence to say, ‘Self and the world are half eternal and half impermanent.
This is true;
the rest is false.’
This is the fourth view.
As a result of creating this theory about past eons [that self and world are] half eternal and half impermanent, ascetics and priests don’t go beyond these four views.

“These ascetics and priests create the theory about past eons that self and the world are half eternal and half impermanent.
They all enter these four views and don’t go beyond them.

“There’s only the Tathāgata that knows this ground of views thus maintained and thus adhered to, and he also knows its results.
The Tathāgata’s knowledge goes beyond this.
Although his knowledge is unattached, he attained complete cessation through this detachment.
He knows the assembly, cessation, enjoyment, fault, and escape [of this ground of views].
Because of his equal observation and liberation without remainder, he’s called a Tathāgata.

“This is that other teaching that illuminates what’s profound, subtle, and great and which causes the noble disciples to truly and equally praise the Tathāgata.

Self and the World Are Limited and Limitless
“Again, what’s the other teaching that illuminates what’s profound, subtle, and great and which causes the noble disciples to truly and equally praise the Tathāgata?

“Ascetics and priests create this theory about past eons:
‘Self and the world are limited and limitless.’
As a result of creating this theory about past eons that self and the world are limited and limitless, those ascetics and priests don’t go beyond these four views.

“Some ascetics and priests use various methods to enter a samādhi mind through which they examine the world and perceive that it has limits.
They then say, ‘This world has limits.
This is true;
the rest is false.
Why is that?
Using various methods, I entered a samādhi of mind through which I examined the world and its limits.
Therefore, I know:
“The world has limits.
This is true;
the rest is false.”
’ This is the first view.
As a result of creating this theory about past eons that self and world have limits, ascetics and priests don’t go beyond these four views.

“Some ascetics and priests use various methods to enter a samādhi of mind through which they examine the world and perceive that it’s limitlessness.
They then say, ‘This world is limitless.
This is true;
the rest is false.
Why is that?
Using various methods, I’ve entered a samādhi of mind through which I examined the world and its limitlessness.
Therefore, I know:
“This world is limitless.
This is true;
the rest is false.”
’ This is the second view.
As a result of creating this theory about past eons that self and world are limitless, ascetics and priests don’t go beyond these four views.

“Some ascetics and priests use various methods to enter a samādhi of mind through which they examine the world.
They take the upward direction to have a limit and the four directions to be limitless.
They then say, ‘This world has a limit, and it’s limitless.
This is true;
the rest is false.
Why is that?
Using various methods, I’ve entered a samādhi of mind through which I examined the world.
I observed that the upward direction has a limit and that the four directions are limitless.
Therefore, I know:
“The world has a limit, and it’s limitless.
This is true;
the rest is false.”
’ This is the third view.
As a result of creating this theory about past eons that self and world are limited and limitless, ascetics and priests don’t go beyond these four views.

“Some ascetics and priests possess quick intelligence and are skilled observers.
With their quick intelligence and observation, they use their own eloquence to say, ‘Self and the world are neither limited nor limitless.
This is true;
the rest is false.’
This is the fourth view.
As a result of creating this theory about past eons that self and world are neither limited nor limitless, ascetics and priests don’t go beyond these four views.

“These ascetics and priests create the theory regarding past eons that self and the world are limited and limitless.
They all enter these four views and don’t go beyond them.

“There’s only the Tathāgata that knows this ground of views thus maintained and thus adhered to, and he also knows its results.
The Tathāgata’s knowledge goes beyond this.
Although his knowledge is unattached, he attained complete cessation through this detachment.
He knows the assembly, cessation, enjoyment, fault, and escape [of this ground of views].
Because of his equal observation and liberation without remainder, he’s called a Tathāgata.

“This is that other teaching that illuminates what’s profound, subtle, and great and which causes the noble disciples to truly and equally praise the Tathāgata.

Equivocations
“Again, what’s the other teaching that illuminates what’s profound, subtle, and great and which causes the noble disciples to truly and equally praise the Tathāgata?

“Ascetics and priests equivocate about past eons.
When asked at different times, they have different answers, and they enter four views.
As a result of equivocating about past eons, ascetics and priests don’t go beyond these four views.

“Some ascetics and priests create theories such as this and form views like this:
‘I don’t see or know that there are good and bad results or that there aren’t results [to actions].
Not seeing or knowing it, I would say, “Are there results that are good and bad, or are there no results?”
The world has ascetics and priests who are broadly learned, clever, and wise.
They always enjoy quietude, eloquence, and subtlety.
They’re honored by the world and skillfully discern views with wisdom.
Suppose they were to question me about this profound subject;
I wouldn’t be able to answer them.
I’d be ashamed of that.
Fearing that happening, I’ll use this answer as my refuge, island, home, and ultimate path.’

“When they’re questioned, they will answer, ‘This matter is thus … this matter is true … this matter is different … this matter isn’t different … this matter is neither different nor not different.’
This is the first view.
As a result of this type of equivocation, ascetics and priests don’t go beyond these four views.

“Some ascetics and priests create theories such as this and form views like this:
‘I don’t see or know that there is another world or that there isn’t another world.
The world’s ascetics and priests perceive it with their heavenly eye and use the knowledge of other minds to see distant things as though they were nearby, which other people don’t see.
They might know if there’s another world or isn’t another world, but I don’t know or see that there’s another world or that there’s no other world.
If I were to say either, that would be false speech.
I dislike and fear false speech, so I’ll make that [answer] my refuge, island, home, and ultimate path.’

“When they’re questioned, they will answer, ‘This matter is thus … this matter is true … this matter is different … this matter isn’t different … this matter is neither different nor not different.’
This is the second view.
As a result of this type of equivocation, ascetics and priests don’t go beyond these four views.

“Some ascetics and priests form views like this and create theories such as this:
‘I don’t know or see what’s skillful and what’s unskillful.
How can I thus say “this is skillful” or “this is unskillful” when I don’t know or see it?
Craving arises in me regarding this, and anger arises from the craving.
Having craving and anger, then I’d be subject to birth.
I wanted to cease being subject [to birth], so I left home to cultivate myself.
To be subject to that is terrible, so I’ll take this [answer] to be my refuge, island, home, and ultimate path.’

“When they’re questioned, they will answer, ‘This matter is thus … this matter is true … this matter is different … this matter isn’t different … this matter is neither different nor not different.’
This is the third view.
As a result of this type of equivocation, ascetics and priests don’t go beyond these four views.

“Some ascetics and priests are foolish and dull-witted.
When others question them, they answer according to what others say.
‘This matter is thus … this matter is true … this matter is different … this matter isn’t different … this matter is neither different nor not different.’
This is the fourth view.
As a result of this type of equivocation, ascetics and priests don’t go beyond these four views.

“These ascetics and priests equivocate regarding past eons.
They all enter these four views and don’t go beyond them.

“There’s only the Tathāgata that knows this ground of views thus maintained and thus adhered to, and he also knows its results.
The Tathāgata’s knowledge goes beyond this.
Although his knowledge is unattached, he attained complete cessation through this detachment.
He knows the assembly, cessation, enjoyment, fault, and escape [of this ground of views].
Because of his equal observation and liberation without remainder, he’s called a Tathāgata.

“This is that other teaching that illuminates what’s profound, subtle, and great and which causes the noble disciples to truly and equally praise the Tathāgata.

The World Has No Cause
“Again, what’s the other teaching that illuminates what’s profound, subtle, and great and which causes the noble disciples to truly and equally praise the Tathāgata?

“Some ascetics and priests say about past eons that this world arose without cause, and they all enter two views.
As a result of saying about past eons that this world arose without cause, they don’t go beyond these two views.

What are the reasons those ascetics and priests say about past eons that [the world] exists without cause and don’t go beyond these two views?

“Some sentient beings lack conception or perception.
If those sentient beings give rise to concepts, then they’re reborn in the world when their lives end.
They gradually grow up, shave their hair, put on the three Dharma robes, leave home, and cultivate the path.
They enter a samādhi of mind through which they become aware of their past births.
They say, ‘I didn’t exist in the past, but now suddenly I exist.
This world didn’t exist before, but now it does.
This is true;
the rest is false.’
This is the first view.
As a result of saying about past eons that [the world] exists without cause, ascetics and priests don’t go beyond these two views.

“Some ascetics and priests possess quick intelligence and are skilled observers.
With their quick intelligence and observation, they use their own eloquence to say:
‘This world exists without a cause.
This is true;
the rest is false.’
This is the second view.
As a result of saying about past eons that [the world] exists without cause, ascetics and priests don’t go beyond these two views.

“These ascetics and priests [say] about past eons [that the world] exists without a cause.
They all enter these two views and don’t go beyond them.
There’s only the Tathāgata that knows this … same as before.

“Ascetics and priests make diverse and countless statements as they like about past eons, and they all enter these 18 views.
Making these diverse and countless statements that they make as they like about past eons, none of them go beyond these 18 views.
There’s only the Tathāgata that knows this … same as before.

Views about Future Eons
“Again, what’s the other teaching that illuminates what’s profound, subtle, and great?
Ascetics and priests make countless and diverse statements as they like about the future eons, and they all enter 44 views by doing so.
Making these diverse and countless statements about future eons, they don’t go beyond these 44 views.

“What are the reasons those ascetics and priests make countless and diverse as they like about future eons, entering 44 views that they don’t go beyond?

“Some ascetics and priests create theories about having conception in future eons, claiming that the world will have conceptions.
They enter a total of sixteen views about future eons in doing so.
Theorizing about future eons and claiming that the world will have conception, they don’t go beyond these sixteen views.

“What are the reasons those ascetics and priests create theories about conception in future eons, claim that the world will have conceptions, and don’t go beyond these sixteen views?

The World Will Have Conceptions
“Some ascetics and priests create such theories and such views as this:
‘After this life ends, I’ll be born with form and conceptions.
This is true;
the rest is false.’
This is the first view.
As a result of creating theories about conception in future eons and claiming that the world will have conceptions, those ascetics and priests don’t go beyond these sixteen views.

“Some say, ‘After this life ends, I’ll be born without form and with conceptions.
This is true;
the rest is false.’

“Some say, ‘After this life ends, I’ll be born with and without form and with conceptions.
This is true;
the rest is false.’

“Some say, ‘After this life ends, I’ll be born neither with nor without form and with conceptions.
This is true;
the rest is false.’

“Some say, ‘After this life ends, I’ll be born with limits and conceptions.
This is true;
the rest is false.’

“Some say, ‘After this life ends, I’ll be born without limits and with conceptions.
This is true;
the rest is false.’

“Some say, ‘After this life ends, I’ll be born with and without limits and with conceptions.
This is true;
the rest is false.’

“Some say, ‘After this life ends, I’ll be born neither with nor without limits and with conceptions.
This is true;
the rest is false.’

“Some say, ‘After this life ends, I’ll be born only with happiness and conceptions.
This is true;
the rest is false.’

“Some say, ‘After this life ends, I’ll be born only with suffering and conceptions.
This is true;
the rest is false.’

“Some say, ‘After this life ends, I’ll be born with both happiness and suffering and conceptions.
This is true;
the rest is false.’

“Some say, ‘After this life ends, I’ll be born with neither happiness nor suffering and with conceptions.
This is true;
the rest is false.’

“Some say, ‘After this life ends, I’ll be born with a single concept.
This is true;
the rest is false.’

“Some say, ‘After this life ends, I’ll be born with diverse concepts.
This is true;
the rest is false.’

“Some say, ‘After this life ends, I’ll be born with a few conceptions.
This is true;
the rest is false.’

“Some say, ‘After this life ends, I’ll be born with measureless conceptions.
This is true;
the rest is false.’
This is the sixteenth view.

“Some ascetics and priests create theories about conception in future eons and claim that the world will have conceptions.
They don’t go beyond these sixteen views.
There’s only the Buddha who can know this … as before.

The World Won’t Have Conceptions
“Again, what’s the other teaching that illuminates what’s profound, subtle, and great?
Ascetics and priests create theories about lacking conception in future eons and claim that the world will lack conceptions.
They enter a total of eight views about future eons in doing so.
Creating theories about lacking conception [and claiming that the world won’t have conceptions, those ascetics and priests] they don’t go beyond these eight views.

“What are the reasons those ascetics and priests create theories about lacking conception in future eons, claim the world won’t have conceptions, and don’t go beyond these eight views?

“Some ascetics and priests create this view and this theory:
‘After this life ends, I’ll be born with form and without conceptions.
This is true;
the rest is false.’

“Some say, ‘After this life ends, I’ll be born without form or conceptions.
This is true;
the rest is false.’

“Some say, ‘After this life ends, I’ll be born with and without form and without conceptions.
This is true;
the rest is false.’

“Some say, ‘After this life ends, I’ll be born neither with nor without form and without conceptions.
This is true;
the rest is false.’

“Some say, ‘After this life ends, I’ll be born with limits and without conceptions.
This is true;
the rest is false.’

“Some say, ‘After this life ends, I’ll be born without limits or conceptions.
This is true;
the rest is false.’

“Some say, ‘After this life ends, I’ll be born with and without limits and without conceptions.
This is true;
the rest is false.’

“Some say, ‘After this life ends, I’ll be born neither with nor without limits and without conceptions.
This is true;
the rest is false.’
This is the eighth view.

“If ascetics and priests create theories about lacking conception in future eons and claim that the world won’t have conceptions, then as a result they enter a total of eight views and don’t go beyond them.
There’s only the Buddha who can know this … as before.

The World Will Have Neither Conceptions Nor No Conceptions
“Again, what’s the other teaching that illuminates what’s profound, subtle, and great?
Some ascetics and priests create theories about there being neither conception nor no conception in future eons and claim that the world will have neither conceptions nor no conceptions.
They enter a total eight views about future eons in doing so.
Creating theories about there being neither conception nor no conception in future eons and claiming that the world will have neither conceptions nor no conceptions, they don’t go beyond these eight views.

“What are the reasons those ascetics and priests create theories about there being neither conception nor no conception in future eons, claim that the world will have neither conceptions nor no conceptions, and don’t go beyond these eight views?

“Ascetics and priests create such theory and such a view as this:
‘When this life ends, I’ll be born with form and neither conceptions nor no conceptions.
This is true;
the rest is false.’

“Some say, ‘When this life ends, I’ll be born without form and with neither conceptions nor no conceptions.
This is true;
the rest is false.’

“Some say, ‘When this life ends, I’ll be born with and without form and with neither conceptions nor no conceptions.
This is true;
the rest is false.’

“Some say, ‘When this life ends, I’ll be born neither with nor without form and with neither conceptions nor no conceptions.
This is true;
the rest is false.’

“Some say, ‘When this life ends, I’ll be born with limits and neither conceptions nor no conceptions.
This is true;
the rest is false.’

“Some say, ‘When this life ends, I’ll be born without limits and with neither conceptions nor no conceptions.
This is true;
the rest is false.’

“Some say, ‘When this life ends, I’ll be born with and without limits and with neither conceptions nor no conceptions.
This is true;
the rest is false.’

“Some say, ‘When this life ends, I’ll be born neither with nor without limits and with neither conceptions nor no conceptions.
This is true;
the rest is false.’
This is the eighth view.

“If ascetics and priests create theories about there being neither conception nor no conception in future eons and claim that the world will have neither conceptions nor no conceptions, then as a result they enter a total of eight views and don’t go beyond them.
There’s only the Buddha who can know this … as before.

Annihilationist Theories
“Again, what’s the other teaching that illuminates what’s profound, subtle, and great…?
Some ascetics and priests create annihilationist theories about future eons and claim sentient beings will be annihilated without remainder.
They all enter seven views about future eons by doing so.
Creating annihilationist theories about future eons and claiming that sentient beings will be annihilated without remainder, they don’t go beyond these seven views.

“What are the reasons that those ascetics and priests create annihilationist theories about future eons and claim that sentient beings will be annihilated without remainder, entering seven views that they don’t go beyond?

“Some ascetics and priests create such a theory and form such a view as this:
‘My body of four elements and six senses was born from parents, fed milk, and raised, grew larger with clothes and food, and it’s caressed, hugged, and protected.
Still, it’s impermanent and sure to decay and die.
That’s precisely what’s called “annihilated.”
’ This is the first view.

“Some ascetics and priests say this:
‘Here, I won’t be called annihilated.
In the desire realm heavens, I’ll be annihilated without remainder.
That’s precisely what’s called “annihilated.”
’ This is the second view.

“Some ascetics and priests say this:
‘I won’t be annihilated here;
my body will be conjured in the form realm with faculties that are perfect, and it’ll be annihilated without remainder.
This is “annihilation.”


“Some say, ‘I won’t be annihilated here;
I’ll be annihilated in the formless abode of space.’

“Some say, ‘I won’t be annihilated here;
I’ll be annihilated in the formless abode of consciousness.’

“Some say, ‘I won’t be annihilated here;
I’ll be annihilated in the formless abode of nothingness.’

“Some say, ‘I won’t be annihilated here;
I’ll be annihilated in the formless abode of neither conception nor no conception.’
This is the seventh annihilation and the seventh view.

“As a result of saying about future eons that these sentient beings will be annihilated without remainder, ascetics and priests enter seven views and don’t go beyond them.
There’s only the Buddha who can know this … likewise as before.

Nirvāṇa in the Present Life
“Again, what’s the other teaching that illuminates what’s profound, subtle, and great…?
Some ascetics and priests create theories about future eons and Nirvāṇa in the present life, saying that sentient beings will have Nirvāṇa in the present.
They all enter five views about future eons by doing so.
Creating theories about future eons and Nirvāṇa in the present life, they don’t go beyond these five views.

“What are the reasons that ascetics and priests claim about future eons that sentient beings will have Nirvāṇa in the present life, entering five views that they don’t go beyond?

“Some ascetics and priests form this view and this theory:
‘Here in the present life, I partake of the five desires and indulge myself.
This is the Nirvāṇa that I’ve attained in the present.’
This is the first view.

“Again, some ascetics and priests say this:
‘This is Nirvāṇa in the present, nothing else is.
Again, there’s Nirvāṇa in the present life that’s sublime and supreme.
You don’t know of it;
only I know it.
I’ve departed from desire and bad and unskillful things.
With perception and examination, that seclusion gave rise to joy and happiness, and I entered the first dhyāna.
This is called Nirvāṇa in the present life.’
This is the second view.

“Again, some ascetics and priests say this:
‘This is Nirvāṇa in the present, nothing else is.
Again, there’s Nirvāṇa in the present life that’s sublime and supreme.
You don’t know of it;
only I know it.
I ceased perception and examination.
With inner joy, unified mind, and the absence of perception and examination, samādhi gave rise to joy and happiness, and I entered the second dhyāna.
This is called Nirvāṇa in the present life.’
This is the third view.

“Again, some ascetics and priests say this:
‘This is Nirvāṇa in the present, nothing else is.
Again, there’s Nirvāṇa in the present life that’s sublime and supreme.
You don’t know of it;
only I know it.
I eliminated thought, discarded joy, and abided in happiness, equanimity, mindfulness, and a unified mind.
I personally knew happiness as it’s declared by noble people and entered the third dhyāna.
This is called Nirvāṇa in the present life.’
This is the fourth view.

“Again, some ascetics and priests say this:
‘This is Nirvāṇa in the present, nothing else is.
Again, there’s Nirvāṇa in the present life that’s sublime and supreme.
You don’t know of it;
only I know it.
As my happiness and suffering ceased, it eliminated my prior sorrow and joy.
Feeling neither pain nor pleasure, I was equanimous, mindful, and pure, and I entered the fourth dhyāna.
This is called the supreme Nirvāṇa.’
This is the fifth view.

“If ascetics and priests create these theories about future eons and Nirvāṇa in the present life, they don’t go beyond these five views.
There’s only the Buddha who can know this … same as before.

“Some ascetics and priests make countless and diverse statements as they like about future eons, and they all enter these 44 views and don’t go beyond them.
There’s only the Buddha who can know this … same as before.

“Some ascetics and priests make countless and diverse statements as they like about past and future eons, and they all enter these 62 views by doing so.
Making these diverse and countless statements about past and future eons, they don’t go beyond these 62 views.
There’s only the Buddha who can know this … same as before.

The Net of Views
“Some ascetics and priests create eternalist theories and say that self and the world are eternal.
Those ascetics and priests regarding this possess the knowledge of [past] births, which is caused by a different faith, different desire, different learning, different relations, different understanding, different view, different samādhi, and different tolerance.
Because it rarely occurs, it’s called an attainment … each ground of views is the same up to Nirvāṇa in the present life.

“Ascetics and priests create eternalist theories and say that the world is eternal.
As a result of being conditioned by that ascertainment, they produce and give rise to craving, but they aren’t aware of it themselves.
Being defiled and attached to craving, they submit to those cravings… each ground of views is the same up to Nirvāṇa in the present life.

“Some ascetics and priests create eternalist theories about past eons and say that the world is eternal.
They do so as a result of being conditioned by contact.
It would be impossible for them to establish their theories unless they were conditioned by contact… each ground of views is the same up to Nirvāṇa in the present.

“Some ascetics and priests each speak according to their views about past and future eons.
They all enter these 62 views by doing so.
They each speak according to their views, and they all depend on those views, which they don’t go beyond.

“It’s like a fisherman who covers the top of a small pond with a fine-meshed net.
He knows that whatever kind of aquatic life in the pond that enters his net won’t have a way to escape and won’t go beyond it.

“Ascetics and priests are likewise.
They make diverse statements about past and future eons, and they all enter these 62 views and don’t go beyond them.

“If monks really know the accumulation, cessation, enjoyment, fault, and escape of the six contacts, that’s the supreme escape from those views.
The Tathāgata himself knows that his birth and death has ended.
Those who have bodies do so because they desire the merits to be liberated as gods or humans.
If they have no body, then gods and worldly people have no basis for that.
They then are like a palm tree that’s been cut at its root;
it doesn’t grow anymore.
The Buddha is likewise;
he has ended birth and death and won’t be born again.”

The Sūtra’s Title
When the Buddha spoke this teaching, this great realm of a thousand worlds quaked and shook in six ways.
At that moment, Ānanda was behind the Buddha fanning him.
He bared his right shoulder and knelt with his palms together.
He said, “This teaching is profound!
What’s its name?
How should it be accepted and remembered?”

The Buddha told Ānanda, “This sūtra should be called the ‘Shaking of Meaning,’ ‘Shaking of the Teaching,’ ‘Shaking of Views,’ ‘Shaking of Māra,’ and ‘Shaking of Brahmā.’


When Ānanda heard what the Buddha taught, he rejoiced and approved.

22 - DA 22 Śroṇatāṇḍya

Thus I have heard:
One time, the Buddha was staying in Aṅga accompanied by a large assembly of 1,250 monks.
They traveled among the people, stopping to stay at the city of Campā by the side of Gargā Pond.

At the time, there was a priest named Śroṇatāṇḍya who was residing in Campā, a city that was populous, thriving, and bountiful.
King Prasenajit had bestowed the city to the priest Śroṇatāṇḍya as his priestly due.

This priest was descended from seven generations of fathers and mothers who were genuine [priests], so he wasn’t slighted by others.
He had mastered the three Vedas and could discern all the various kinds of scriptures.
He was learned about all the subtleties of the world’s scriptures.
He was also skilled in the techniques of [recognizing] the great man’s signs, divining fortune and misfortune, and [performing] sacrifices and rituals.
He had 500 disciples whom he taught without exception.

The priests, prominent people, and householders in Campā heard:
“The ascetic Gautama of the Śākya clan, who had left the home life [113a] and achieved awakening, is touring among the people of Aṅga and has arrived by the side of Gargā Pond.
He possesses a great reputation that’s heard throughout the world.
He’s a Tathāgata, an Arhat, and a Completely Awakened One who has perfected the ten epithets.
Among gods, worldly men, and demons, whether they’re in the assemblies of Māra, gods, ascetics, or priests, he is self-realized and teaches the Dharma for others.
His words are all genuine in the beginning, middle, and end, complete in content and expression, and purify the religious life.”

They said, “It would be fitting to go and have an audience with such a realized man as this.
We should go and pay him a visit now!”
After they said that, they followed each other as they left the city.
Crowds of people headed out to visit the Buddha.

The priest Śroṇatāṇḍya was up in his tower and saw those crowds of people from a distance.
He asked his attendant, “What’s the reason those crowds of people are following each other?
Where are they going?”

His attendant said, “I heard this:
‘The ascetic Gautama of the Śākya clan, who had left the home life and achieved awakening, is touring among the people of Aṅga and has arrived by the side of Gargā Pond.
He possesses a great reputation that’s heard throughout the world.
He’s a Tathāgata, an Arhat, and a Completely Awakened One who has perfected the ten epithets.
Among gods, worldly men, and demons, whether they’re in the assemblies of Māra, gods, ascetics, or priests, he is self-realized and teaches the Dharma for others.
His words are all genuine in the beginning, middle, and end, complete in content and expression, and purify the religious life.’
Those crowds of priests, prominent people, and householders of Campā are going to pay a visit to the ascetic Gautama.”

The priest Śroṇatāṇḍya then instructed his attendant:
“Quickly, memorize my words and go tell those people this:
‘All of you, wait a little while for me.
We’ll go pay a visit to that Gautama together.’


His attendant then went and told those people Śroṇatāṇḍya’s message:
‘Everyone, wait a little while for me.
We’ll go pay a visit to that Gautama together.”

The people replied to his attendant, “Quickly return to the priest and tell him, ‘Now is a good time.
We should go together.’


The attendant returned and said, “The people are waiting.
They say, ‘Now is a good time.
We should go together.’
” The priest Śroṇatāṇḍya then came down from his tower and stood at its entrance.

At the time, another five hundred priests had already first assembled under the entrance for some minor reason.
When they saw the priest Śroṇatāṇḍya coming, they all looked up and asked, “Great priest, where are you going?”

Śroṇatāṇḍya replied, “The ascetic Gautama of the Śākya clan, who had left the home life and achieved awakening, is touring among the people of Aṅga and has arrived by the side of Gargā Pond.
He possesses a great reputation that’s heard throughout the world.
He’s a Tathāgata, an Arhat, and a Completely Awakened One who has perfected the ten epithets.
Among gods, worldly men, and demons, whether they’re in the assemblies of Māra, gods, ascetics, or priests, he is self-realized and teaches the Dharma for others.
His words are all genuine in the beginning, middle, and end, complete in content and expression, and purify the religious life.
It would be fitting to go and have an audience with such a true man as this.
I’m going to visit him and have a look at his [bodily] signs.”

Those five hundred priests said to Śroṇatāṇḍya, “Don’t go and look at his signs.
Why not?
He should visit you here;
you shouldn’t go there to visit him.
Now, great priest, you’re descended from fathers and mothers who were genuine [priests] for seven generations, and other people don’t slight you.
You have achieved such status, so he should come here to visit you;
you shouldn’t go there to visit him.

“Moreover, great priest, you’ve mastered the three Vedas and can discern all the various scriptures.
You’re learned about all the subtleties of the world’s scriptures.
You’re also skilled at [recognizing] the great man’s signs, divining fortune and misfortune, and [performing] sacrifices and rituals.
You have achieved such status, so he should come here to visit you;
you shouldn’t go there to visit him.

“Moreover, great priest, you’re handsome looking, having attained the appearance of Brahma.
You have achieved such status, so he should come here to visit you;
you shouldn’t go there to visit him.

“Moreover, great priest, your precepts and virtue are surpassing, and your wisdom is accomplished.
You have achieved such status, so he should come here to visit you;
you shouldn’t go there to visit him.

“Moreover, great priest, your words are gentle, complete in eloquence, and their content and expression are pure.
You have achieved such status, so he should come here to visit you;
you shouldn’t go there to visit him.

“Moreover, great priest, you have numerous disciples.
You have achieved such status, so he should come here to visit you;
you shouldn’t go there to visit him.

“Moreover, great priest, you’re the instructor of five hundred priests.
You have achieved such status, so he should come here to visit you;
you shouldn’t go there to visit him.

“Moreover, great priest, students come from the four directions to request [your instruction], asking about the technique of sacrifices and rituals.
You have achieved such status, so he should come here to visit you;
you shouldn’t go there to visit him.

“Moreover, great priest, King Prasenajit and King Bimbisāra respect and support you.
You have achieved such status, so he should come here to visit you;
you shouldn’t go there to visit him.

“Moreover, great priest, you’re rich, possess treasures, and your treasury is overflowing.
You have achieved such status, so he should come here to visit you;
you shouldn’t go there to visit him.

“Moreover, great priest, your wisdom is insightful, your words are learned, and you lack timidity.
You have achieved such status, so he should come here to visit you;
you shouldn’t go there to visit him.

Śroṇatāṇḍya then told the priests, “So it is, so it is!
As you’ve said, I’m endowed with these virtues;
there are none I don’t possess.
Now, listen to what I say:
These virtues are possessed by the ascetic Gautama, so we should go there to him;
he shouldn’t come here to us.
The ascetic Gautama is descended from fathers and mothers who were genuine for seven generations, so he’s not slighted by other people.
He has achieved such status, so we should go there to him;
he shouldn’t come here to us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama is handsome looking, having come from the warrior caste.
He has achieved such status, so we should go there to him;
he shouldn’t come here to us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama was born to a noble station and left home for the path.
He has achieved such status, so we should go there to him;
he shouldn’t come here to us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama is endowed with a glowing form, his caste and clan are genuine, and he left home to cultivate the path.
He has achieved such status, so we should go there to him;
he shouldn’t come here to us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama was born to a wealthy family that possessed great majesty, and he left home for the path.
He has achieved such status, so we should go there to him;
he shouldn’t come here to us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama has perfected noble precepts and accomplished wisdom.
He has achieved such status, so we should go there to him;
he shouldn’t come here to us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama’s words are gentle and refined.
He has achieved such status, so we should go there to him;
he shouldn’t come here to us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama is a teacher to a multitude, and his disciples are numerous.
He has achieved such status, so we should go there to him;
he shouldn’t come here to us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama has forever destroyed craving without any fickleness.
He has eliminated sorrow and fear, and his hair doesn’t stand on end.
He rejoices and is glad to see people commend what’s good, skillfully teaches the results of conduct, and doesn’t criticize other religions.
He has achieved such status, so we should go there to him;
he shouldn’t come here to us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama is always respected and supported by King Prasenajit and King Bimbisāra.
He has achieved such status, so we should go there to him;
he shouldn’t come here to us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama is respected and supported by the priest Puṣkarasārin, and the priests Brahmāyu, [Tārukkha], [Kūṭadanta], Śukamāṇava Taudeyaputra support him, too.
Having achieved such a state, I should go to him;
he shouldn’t come here.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama is honored, respected, and supported by his disciples, and gods, demons, and other spirits respect him, too.
The Śākya clan and the Kuru … Vṛji, Malla, and Soma honor him, too.
Having achieved such a state, I should go to him;
he shouldn’t come here.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama conferred the three refuges and five precepts to King Prasenajit and King Bimbisāra.
He has achieved such status, so we should go there to him;
he shouldn’t come here to us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama conferred the three refuges and five precepts to the priest Puṣkarasārin.
He has achieved such status, so we should go there to him;
he shouldn’t come here to us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama’s disciples received the three refuges and five precepts, and so have gods, the Śākya clan, the Kuru, and others.
He has achieved such status, so we should go there to him;
he shouldn’t come here to us.

“Moreover, wherever the ascetic Gautama travels, all the people respect and support him.
He has achieved such status, so we should go there to him;
he shouldn’t come here to us.

“Moreover, when the ascetic Gautama arrives as a city or village, he’s supported by its people.
He has achieved such status, so we should go there to him;
he shouldn’t come here to us.

“Moreover, wherever the ascetic Gautama goes, non-humans, demons, and spirits don’t dare harass him.
He has achieved such status, so we should go there to him;
he shouldn’t come here to us.

“Moreover, wherever the ascetic Gautama goes, the people living there see his light and hear heavenly music.
He has achieved such status, so we should go there to him;
he shouldn’t come here to us.

“Moreover, wherever the ascetic Gautama goes, many people feel such longing that they cry as they watch him leave.
He has achieved such status, so we should go there to him;
he shouldn’t come here to us.

“Moreover, when he first left home, the ascetic Gautama’s parent cried and felt disappointed and heart-broken.
He has achieved such status, so we should go there to him;
he shouldn’t come here to us.

“Moreover, when he was still young after leaving home, the ascetic Gautama discarded decorations, elephants and horses, valuable chariots, the five desires, and jewelry.
He has achieved such status, so we should go there to him;
he shouldn’t come here to us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama renounced his place as a wheel-turning king and left home for the path.
If he’d stayed home, he would have ruled the peoples of the whole world, and we would’ve been his subordinates.
He has achieved such status, so we should go there to him;
he shouldn’t come here to us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama clearly understands the teachings of Brahmā, he’s able to explain them for others, and he pays visits to Brahmā to speak with him.
He has achieved such status, so we should go there to him;
he shouldn’t come here to us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama is endowed all 32 signs [of a great man].
He has achieved such status, so we should go there to him;
he shouldn’t come here to us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama is wise and insightful, and he lacks timidity.
He has achieved such status, so we should go there to him;
he shouldn’t come here to us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama is here at Campā by the side of Gargā Pond right now.
It would be an honor for me to be his guest and fitting to go and have an audience with him.”

Those five hundred priests then said to Śroṇatāṇḍya, “Amazing!
Extraordinary! Does he have such virtues?
If he were to achieve just one of these virtues, he still shouldn’t come [here to us].
How would it be if he were endowed with all of them?
It would be fitting for us to come along and greet him.”

Śroṇatāṇḍya replied, “If you want to go, it’s a good time to do so.”

Śroṇatāṇḍya then prepared horses and a treasure chariot, and he went to Gargā Pond surrounded by those five hundred priests and the priests, prominent people, and householders of Campā.
He stopped not far from the pond and thought to himself, “Suppose I question Gautama, and maybe it’s not to his liking?
That ascetic Gautama will rebuke me, ‘You should ask this question and not ask that question.’
The crowd will overhear him and take me for a fool, and my reputation will be damaged.
Suppose the ascetic Gautama asks me about a topic, and maybe my answer won’t be to his liking.
That ascetic Gautama will rebuke me, ‘You should answer this way and not that way.’
The crowd will overhear him and take me for a fool, and my reputation will be damaged.
Suppose I remain silent.
When I return, the people will say, ‘This priest knows nothing!’
No matter what I do, visiting the ascetic Gautama will damage my reputation.
If the ascetic Gautama asked me about the priest’s teaching, that would be the only topic I could answer well enough to suit him!”

Once he finished thinking that beside of Gargā Pond, Śroṇatāṇḍya dismounted from his chariot and walked on foot to the Bhagavān.
After they had exchanged greetings, he sat down to one side.

Some of the priests, prominent people, and householders of Campā bowed to the Buddha and sat.
Some of them exchanged greetings with him and sat.
Some of them praised him and sat.
Some of their saluted him with their hands together and sat.
Some remained quiet and sat.
When the crowd was seated and settled, the Buddha knew that thought the priest Śroṇatāṇḍya had in his mind, so he told him, “Regarding that thought you had, you should do as you wish.”

The Buddha then asked Śroṇatāṇḍya, “How many qualities of a priest have you accomplished?
Be honest;
don’t speak falsely.”

Śroṇatāṇḍya then silently thought to himself, “Amazing!
Extraordinary! The ascetic Gautama has that great miraculous power to read people’s minds.
He asked about the topic that I had thought about!”

The priest Śroṇatāṇḍya sat up straight, surveyed the audience around them, and smiled happily.
He then answered the Buddha, “I’ve accomplished five qualities of a priest, speaking honestly and not falsely.
What are the five?
One is that I’m a priest who is descended from seven generations of fathers and mothers who are genuine so that other people don’t slight me.
Two is that I’ve mastered and chant the three Vedas, discern all the various scriptures, and I’m learned about all the subtleties of the world’s scriptures.
I’m also skilled at [recognizing] the great man’s signs, divining fortune and misfortune, and [performing] sacrifices and rituals.
Three is that I’m handsome looking.
Four is that I’ve perfected the observance of precepts.
Five is that I’m wise and insightful.
These are the five.
Gautama, I’ve accomplished these five qualities of a priest, speaking truthfully and not falsely.”

The Buddha said, “Good, Śroṇatāṇḍya!
Could it be that a priest who discards one of those five qualities and achieves four of them could also be called a priest, speaking truthfully and not falsely?”

Śroṇatāṇḍya said to the Buddha, “He could.
Why is that?
Gautama, what purpose does his birth serve?
Suppose a priest masters and chants the three Vedas, discerns all the various scriptures, and he’s learned about all the subtleties of the world’s scriptures.
He’s also skilled at [recognizing] the great man’s signs, divining fortune and misfortune, and [performing] sacrifices and rituals.
He’s handsome looking.
He perfects the observance of precepts, and he’s wise and insightful.
Having these four qualities, he could be called a priest, speaking truthfully and not falsely.”

The Buddha told Śroṇatāṇḍya, “Good, good!
If he were to lack one of those four qualities and achieve three of them, would he still be called a priest, speak truthfully and not falsely?”

Śroṇatāṇḍya replied, “He would.
Why is that?
What purpose does his birth and the Vedas serve?
Suppose a priest is handsome looking, has perfected the observance of precepts, and is wise and insightful.
Achieving these three qualities, he could be called a priest, speaking truthfully and not falsely.”

The Buddha said, “Good, good!
How is it?
If he were to lack one of those three qualities and achieve two of them, would he be called a priest, speaking truthfully and not falsely?”

Śroṇatāṇḍya answered, “He would.
Why is that?
What purpose does his birth, the Vedas, and being handsome serve?”

Each of the five hundred priests then spoke up and said to the priest Śroṇatāṇḍya:
“Why do you disrespect [a priest’s] birth, the Vedas, and being handsome, saying that they serve no purpose?”

The Bhagavān then told the five hundred priests, “If this priest Śroṇatāṇḍya were ugly, lacked [a respectable] caste and clan, hadn’t mastered the Vedas, and lacked eloquence, wisdom, and good answers, he wouldn’t be the one speaking with me, and you could speak.
Since the priest Śroṇatāṇḍya is handsome, perfect in caste and clan, has mastered the Vedas, and is wise, eloquent, and good at answering questions, he’s qualified to have a discussion with me.
The rest of you, remain silent and let this man speak.”

The priest Śroṇatāṇḍya then said to the Buddha, “Please, Gautama, stop for a moment.
I’ll instruct them about the teaching.”

Śroṇatāṇḍya then told the five hundred priests, “Now, don’t you see my nephew who’s a student here in this assembly?
Of everyone assembled here, only Gautama’s appearance is as handsome as his, but that student does evil things like killing, stealing, engaging in sex, lacking courtesy, lying, deceiving, burning people with fire, and cutting them off from the path.
Priests, this student from Aṅga has done all these evil things, so what purpose do the Vedas and being handsome serve in the end?”

The five hundred priests remained silent and didn’t respond.
Śroṇatāṇḍya then said to the Buddha, “If he perfects the observance of precepts, and he’s wise and insightful, then he could be called a priest, speaking truthfully and not falsely.”

The Buddha said, “Good, good!
How is it, Śroṇatāṇḍya?
If he lacks one of these two qualities and accomplishes one of them, would he be called a priest, speaking truthfully and not falsely?”

He answered, “He cannot.
Why is that?
The precepts are wise, and wisdom is the precepts.
Having both precepts and wisdom, then as a result I would say that he is called a priest, speaking truthfully and not falsely.”

The Buddha said, “Good, good!
As you’ve said, having precepts is having wisdom, and having wisdom is having precepts.
Precepts purify wisdom, and wisdom purifies precepts.
Śroṇatāṇḍya, it’s like when someone washes their hands:
The right and left hand need each other.
The left hand washes the right hand, and the right hand washes the left hand.
These things are likewise.
Having wisdom is having precepts, and having precepts is having wisdom.
Precepts purify wisdom, and wisdom purifies precepts.
Priest, I say someone endowed with precepts and wisdom is called a monk.”

Śroṇatāṇḍya then said to the Buddha, “What are the precepts?”

The Buddha replied, “Listen closely, listen closely;
consider it well!
I will discern them one by one for you.”

He responded, “Very well!
I’d be glad to hear it.”

The Bhagavān then told Śroṇatāṇḍya, “Suppose a Tathāgata appears in the world who’s Worthy of Alms, Completely Awakened, Accomplished in Insight and Conduct, Well Gone, Understands the World, an Unsurpassed Man, Trainer of Men, Teacher to Gods and Humans, a Buddha, and a Bhagavān.
Among gods, worldly people, ascetics, and priests, he’s self-realized, and he teaches for others.
His words are all genuine in the beginning, middle, and end, complete in content and expression, and purify the religious life.

“Suppose prominent people or the children of prominent people hear this teaching.
Once their belief is pure, they thus observe:
‘The household life is difficult;
it’s like being in handcuffs and bond.
I’d like to cultivate the religious life, but I can’t free myself from it.
I’d rather cut off my hair, put on the three Dharma robes, leave home, and cultivate the path.’

“At some different time, they renounce their home, property, and occupation, part with family and friends, put on the three Dharma robes, and leave ornaments behind.
They recite the Vinaya and perfect the discipline of precepts.
They renounce killing and don’t kill beings … and so forth up to … He attains the rapture of the four dhyānas in the present life.
Why is that?
These things are a result of diligence, focused attention that’s not lost, and attainment of a pleasant and solitary dwelling.
Priest, this is perfecting the precepts.”

The priest asked, “What is wisdom?”

The Buddha said, “If a monk’s mind is purified and undefiled as a result of samādhi, is flexible and gentle, dwells in imperturbability … and so forth up to … attains the three insights.
He eliminates ignorance and gives rise to wise insight.
He produces the great light of Dharma and ceases being in darkness, and the knowledge that the contaminants have ended arises in him.
Why is that?
These things are a result of diligence, focused attention that’s not lost, and attainment of a pleasant and solitary dwelling.
Priest, this is perfecting wisdom.”

The priest Śroṇatāṇḍya then said to the Buddha, “Now, I take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and Noble Saṅgha.
Please permit me to become a layman in the correct teaching!
From now until the end of my life, I won’t kill, steal, commit adultery, lie, or drink alcohol.”

When the priest Śroṇatāṇḍya heard what the Buddha taught, he rejoiced and approved.

23 - DA 23 Kūṭatāṇḍya

Thus I have heard:
One time, the Buddha was in the country of Kośala accompanied by a large assembly of 1,250 monks.
Touring among the people, they arrived north of the priest town of [Khānumata] in Kośala and stopped to stay in a rosewood grove.

The Priest Kūṭatāṇḍya
There was a priest named Kūṭatāṇḍya who lived in [Khānumata].
The town was bountiful, and the people were flourishing.
It had scenic parks, bathing ponds, and refreshing trees.
King Prasenajit had granted this town to the priest Kūṭatāṇḍya as his priestly due.
This priest was descended from seven generations of fathers and mothers who were genuine, so he wasn’t slighted by others.
He had mastered the three Vedas, could discern all the various kinds of scriptures, and was learned about all the subtleties of worldly literature.
He was also skilled in the way of the great man’s signs, divining fortune and misfortune, and ritual sacrifices and etiquette.
He had 500 disciples whom he taught without exception.

That priest was about to arrange a large sacrifice at the time.
He had acquired 500 bulls, 500 cows, 500 bull calves, 500 heifer calves, 500 ewes, and 500 wethers to offer as sacrifices.

The priests, prominent men, and householders of [Khānumata] heard:
“The ascetic Gautama of the Śākyans who left home and achieved awakening has been touring among the people of Kośala.
He arrived north of [Khānumata] and stopped to stay in the rosewood grove there.
His great fame is heard throughout the world:
‘He’s a Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One who has perfected the ten epithets!’
Among gods and worldly people, be they Māras, Brahmās, ascetics, or priests, he teaches for others what he himself has realized.
His words are all genuine in the beginning, middle, and end, complete in content and expression, and purify the religious life.
It’s fitting to have an audience with such a realized person.”

They then said, “We’d better go and pay him a visit now!”
After they said that, they followed each other as they left [Khānumata].
Crowds of people headed out to visit the Buddha.

The priest Kūṭatāṇḍya was up in the upper story of his house and saw the crowds of people following each other from a distance.
He asked his attendant, “What’s the reason those crowds of people are following each other?
Where are they going?”

His attendant said, “I heard this:
‘The ascetic Gautama of the Śākyans who had left the home life and achieved awakening has been touring among the people of Kośala.
He arrived north of [Khānumata] and stopped to stay in the rosewood grove there.
His great fame is heard throughout the world:
“He’s a Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One who has perfected the ten epithets!”
Among gods and worldly people, be they Māras, Brahmās, ascetics, or priests, he teaches for others what he himself has realized.
His words are all genuine in the beginning, middle, and end, complete in content and expression, and purify the religious life.’
Those crowds of priests, prominent people, and householders from the town are going to pay a visit to the ascetic Gautama.”

The priest Kūṭatāṇḍya then instructed his attendant:
“Quickly, remember what I say.
Go tell those people this:
‘Everyone, wait a little while for me.
We’ll go pay a visit to that ascetic Gautama together.’


His attendant then went and told those people Kūṭatāṇḍya’s message:
“‘Everyone, wait a little while for me.
We’ll go pay a visit to that Gautama together.’


The people replied to his attendant, “Quickly, return to the priest and tell him:
‘Now is a good time.
We should go together.’


The attendant returned and said, “The people are waiting.
They say:
‘Now is a good time.
We should go together.’
” The priest Kūṭatāṇḍya then came down from the upper story and stood at his home’s entrance.

The Priests Object to Visiting the Buddha
At the time, another five hundred priests were already seated outside his door, waiting to help Kūṭatāṇḍya prepare his large sacrifice.
When they saw the priest Kūṭatāṇḍya coming, they all rose and greeted him.
They said, “Great priest, where are you going?”

Kūṭatāṇḍya replied, “I’ve heard this:
‘The ascetic Gautama of the Śākyans who had left the home life and achieved awakening has been touring among the people of Kośala.
He arrived north of [Khānumata], and stopped to stay in the rosewood grove there.
His great fame is heard throughout the world:
“He’s a Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One who has perfected the ten epithets!”
Among gods and worldly people, be they Māras, Brahmās, ascetics, or priests, he teaches for others what he himself has realized.
His words are all genuine in the beginning, middle, and end, complete in content and expression, and purify the religious life.
It’s fitting to have an audience with such a realized person.’

“Priests, I’ve also heard that Gautama knows the three kinds of ritual sacrifice and sixteen ritual requisites.
Now, previous generations and elders in our assembly haven’t known these things, but I want to make a great sacrifice and have prepared the cattle and sheep for it.
I’m going to visit Gautama to ask him about the three kinds of ritual sacrifice and sixteen ritual requisites.
Once we’ve acquired these ways of ritual sacrifice, we’ll perfect their virtues, and our fame will be heard far and wide.”

Those five hundred priests said to Kūṭatāṇḍya, “Don’t go visit him.
Why not?
He should come visit you;
you shouldn’t go visit him.
Now, great priest, you are descended from seven generations of fathers and mothers who were genuine, so you aren’t slighted by others.
You have achieved such status, so he should come visit you;
you shouldn’t go visit him.”

They continued:
“Great priest, you’ve mastered the three Vedas, can discern all the various scriptures, and have learned about the subtleties of worldly literature.
You’re also skilled in the way of the great man’s signs, divining fortune and misfortune, and ritual sacrifices and etiquette.
You have achieved such status, so he should come visit you;
you shouldn’t go visit him.

“Moreover, great priest, you’re handsome looking, having attained the appearance of Brahmā.
You have achieved such status, so he should come visit you;
you shouldn’t go visit him.

“Moreover, great priest, your precepts and virtue are surpassing, and your wisdom is accomplished.
You have achieved such status, so he should come visit you;
you shouldn’t go visit him.

“Moreover, great priest, your words are gentle and eloquent, and their content and expression are pure.
You have achieved such status, so he should come visit you;
you shouldn’t go visit him.

“Moreover, great priest, you are the leader of this assembly and have numerous disciples.
You have achieved such status, so he should come visit you;
you shouldn’t go visit him.

“Moreover, great priest, you’re the usual instructor of five hundred priests.
You have achieved such status, so he should come visit you;
you shouldn’t go visit him.

“Moreover, great priest, scholars come from the four directions with requests [for instruction], asking about the techniques of ritual sacrifice.
You have achieved such status, so he should come visit you;
you shouldn’t go visit him.

“Moreover, great priest, King Prasenajit and King Bimbisāra respect and support you.
You have achieved such status, so he should come visit you;
you shouldn’t go visit him.

“Moreover, great priest, you’re rich, possess treasures, and your treasury is overflowing.
You have achieved such status, so he should come visit you;
you shouldn’t go visit him.

“Moreover, great priest, your wisdom is insightful, your words are learned, and you aren’t timid.
You have achieved such status, so he should come visit you;
you shouldn’t go visit him.

“Great teacher, you’ve perfected these eleven qualities.
He should come visit you;
you shouldn’t go visit him.”

Kūṭatāṇḍya Explains Why It’s Fitting to Visit the Buddha
Kūṭatāṇḍya then told the priests, “So it is, so it is!
As you’ve said, I truly am endowed with these virtues;
there are none that I don’t possess.
Now, listen to what I say:
These virtues have been achieved by the ascetic Gautama, so we should go visit him;
he shouldn’t come visit us.

“The ascetic Gautama is descended from seven generations of fathers and mothers who were genuine, so he isn’t slighted by others.
He has achieved such status, so we should go visit him;
he shouldn’t come visit us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama is handsome looking, having come from the warrior caste.
He has achieved such status, so we should go visit him;
he shouldn’t come visit us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama was born to a noble house and left home for the path.
He has achieved such status, so we should go visit him;
he shouldn’t come visit us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama is endowed with radiance, his caste and clan are proper, and he left home to cultivate the path.
He has achieved such status, so we should go visit him;
he shouldn’t come visit us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama was born to a wealthy family that possessed great majesty, and he left home for the path.
He has achieved such status, so we should go visit him;
he shouldn’t come visit us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama possesses noble precepts and has accomplished wisdom.
He has achieved such status, so we should go visit him;
he shouldn’t come visit us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama’s speech is skillful, being gentle and refined.
He has achieved such status, so we should go visit him;
he shouldn’t come visit us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama is the leader of an assembly, and his disciples are numerous.
He has achieved such status, so we should go visit him;
he shouldn’t come visit us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama has forever destroyed craving without any intemperance.
He has eliminated sorrow and fear, and his hair doesn’t stand on end.
He’s joyous and cheerful.
When he sees people, he commends their goodness.
He skillfully teaches the results of conduct and doesn’t criticize other religions.
He has achieved such status, so we should go visit him;
he shouldn’t come visit us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama is always respected and given offerings by King Prasenajit and King Bimbisāra.
He has achieved such status, so we should go visit him;
he shouldn’t come visit us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama is respected and given offerings by the priest Puṣkarasārin, and the priests Brahmāyu, [Tārukkha], Śroṇatāṇḍya, Śukamāṇava Taudeyaputra respect and give offerings to him, too.
He has achieved such status, so we should go visit him;
he shouldn’t come visit us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama is honored, respected, and given offerings by his disciples, and he’s respected by gods, demons, and other spirits, too.
The Śākya, Kuru, Maineya, Vṛji, Malla, and Soma peoples also honor him.
Having achieved such status, we should go visit him;
he shouldn’t come visit us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama conferred the three refuges and five precepts to King Prasenajit and King Bimbisāra.
He has achieved such status, so we should go visit him;
he shouldn’t come visit us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama conferred the three refuges and five precepts to the priest Puṣkarasārin.
He has achieved such status, so we should go visit him;
he shouldn’t come visit us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama conferred the three refuges and five precepts to his disciples, and he conferred them to gods and the Śākya, Kuru, and other peoples.
He has achieved such status, so we should go visit him;
he shouldn’t come visit us.

“Moreover, wherever the ascetic Gautama travels, all the people respect and give offerings to him.
He has achieved such status, so we should go visit him;
he shouldn’t come visit us.

“Moreover, when the ascetic Gautama arrives at a city or village, the inhabitants are undisturbed, and they respect and give offerings to him.
He has achieved such status, so we should go visit him;
he shouldn’t come visit us.

“Moreover, wherever the ascetic Gautama goes, non-humans, demons, and spirits don’t dare to harass him.
He has achieved such status, so we should go visit him;
he shouldn’t come visit us.

“Moreover, wherever the ascetic Gautama goes, the people living there see lights and hear heavenly music.
He has achieved such status, so we should go visit him;
he shouldn’t come visit us.

“Moreover, wherever the ascetic Gautama goes, crowds of people miss him and cry when they watch him leave.
He has achieved such status, so we should go visit him;
he shouldn’t come visit us.

“Moreover, when he first left home, the ascetic Gautama’s parents and relatives cried and felt heart-broken.
He has achieved such status, so we should go visit him;
he shouldn’t come visit us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama was still young when he left home, and he renounced decorations, elephants, horses, valuable chariots, the five desires, and jewelry.
He has achieved such status, so we should go visit him;
he shouldn’t come visit us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama renounced his position as a wheel-turning king and left home for the path.
If he’d stayed home, he would have been king of the world’s four quarters, the ruler of everyone, and we would’ve been his subjects.
He has achieved such status, so we should go visit him;
he shouldn’t come visit us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama clearly understands the teachings of Brahmā, he explains them for others, and he pays visits to Brahmā to speak with him.
He has achieved such status, so we should go visit him;
he shouldn’t come visit us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama clearly understands the three types of ritual sacrifice and sixteen ritual requisites, but our previous generations and elders aren’t able to know them.
He has achieved such status, so we should go visit him;
he shouldn’t come visit us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama is endowed with all thirty-two signs [of a great man].
He has achieved such status, so we should go visit him;
he shouldn’t come visit us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama is wise and insightful, and he isn’t timid.
He has achieved such status, so we should go visit him;
he shouldn’t come visit us.

“Moreover, the ascetic Gautama is here at [Khānumata] right now.
He is a worthy to me.
It would be an honor to be his guest and fitting to go have an audience with him.”

Those five hundred priests then said to Kūṭatāṇḍya, “Amazing!
Extraordinary! He has such virtues?
If he were to achieve just one of these virtues, he still shouldn’t come visit us.
How would it be if he were endowed with all of them?
It would be fitting for us all to come along and greet him.”

Kūṭatāṇḍya replied, “If you want to go, you should know that this is the time to do it.”

Kūṭatāṇḍya Visits the Buddha
Kūṭatāṇḍya then prepared horses and a treasure chariot, and he went to the rosewood grove while surrounded by those five hundred priests as well as the priests, prominent people, and householders of [Khānumata].
When he arrived, he dismounted from his chariot and proceeded on foot to the Bhagavān.
After they had exchanged greetings, he sat to one side.

Some of the priests, prominent people, and householders bowed to the Buddha and sat down.
Some of them exchanged greetings with him and sat down.
Some of them told him their name and sat down.
Some of them saluted the Buddha with their palms together and sat down.
Some of them remained quiet and sat down.
Once the assembly was seated and settled, Kūṭatāṇḍya said to the Buddha, “I have a question I’d like to ask if you have a moment and would permit me.”

The Buddha said, “You may ask your question.”

The priest then said to the Buddha, “I’ve heard that Gautama clearly understands the three types of ritual sacrifice and sixteen kinds of ritual requisites.
Our previous generations and elders aren’t able to know them, but now we are going to perform a large sacrifice.
I’ve prepared 500 bulls, 500 cows, 500 bull calves, 500 heifer calves, 500 ewes, and 500 wethers to offer as sacrifices.
Today, I’ve come to ask about the way of the three ritual sacrifices and sixteen ritual requisites.
If we could accomplish this sacrifice, we would obtain a great reward, the fame would be far-reaching, and both gods and people would respect us.”

The Bhagavān then told Kūṭatāṇḍya, “Now, listen closely.
Listen closely and consider it well.
I’ll explain this for you.”

The priest said, “Of course, Gautama!
I’d be glad to listen.”

The Story of a Past King’s Large Sacrifice
The Buddha told Kūṭatāṇḍya, “A long time ago, there was a warrior king from a water-anointed clan who wanted to arrange a large sacrifice.
He met with his priestly great minister and told him, ‘I possess a great fortune, and I freely enjoy the five pleasures, but I’m an old man now.
My warriors are powerful;
none is weak, and the treasury is overflowing.
Now, I want to arrange a large sacrifice.
Tell me about the way of sacrifices.
What will be needed?’

“His great minister said, ‘So it is, great king!
As the king has said, the country is wealthy, the army is strong, and the treasury is overflowing.
However, the people harbor many evil thoughts, and they don’t practice the proper way.
If a sacrifice is performed at this time, it wouldn’t accomplish the way of sacrifices, just as a thief sent to chase a thief wouldn’t become a messenger.

“‘Great king, don’t think, “These are my people.
I can attack, kill, rebuke, and stop them.”
Those who approach the king should be provided with what they require.
Those managing businesses should be provided wealth.
Those cultivating farmland should be provided cattle and seed.
Putting these things to use, they will each take care of their business.
When the king doesn’t oppress the people, the people will be peaceful.
They’ll raise their children and be happy together.’


The Buddha told Kūṭatāṇḍya, “Hearing what the ministers said, the king provided clothes and food to those close to him, wealth to merchants, and cattle and seed to farmers.
The people each took care of their business, and they didn’t trouble each other.
They raised their children and were happy together.”

The Buddha said, “The king summoned the ministers again and told them, ‘My country is wealthy, the army is strong, and the treasury is overflowing.
I’ve provided for the people so that they want for nothing.
They raise their children and are happy together.
Now, I want to arrange a large sacrifice.
Tell me about the way of sacrifices.
What will be needed?’

“The ministers told the king, ‘So it is, so it is!
It’s as the king says.
The country is fortunate, the army is strong, and the treasury is overflowing.
You’ve provided for the people so that they want for nothing.
They raise their children and are happy together.
If the king wants a sacrifice, he may speak with his palace wives and let them know about it.’

“The king then did as the minister said.
He went into the palace and said to his wives, ‘My country is wealthy, the army is strong, and the treasury is overflowing.
I possess many treasures.
I want to arrange a large sacrifice.’

“Then the wives said to the king, ‘So it is, so it is!
It’s as the king says.
The country is wealthy, the army is strong, and the treasure is overflowing.
He possesses many treasures.
If he wants to arrange a large sacrifice, now would be the right time for it.’

“The king returned and told the ministers, ‘My country is wealthy, the army is strong, and the treasury is overflowing.
I’ve provided for the people so that they want for nothing.
They raise their children and are happy together.
Now, I want a large sacrifice.
I’ve told the palace wives.
All of you, tell me what things will be needed for this.’

“The ministers then said to the king, ‘So it is, so it is!
It’s as the king says.
He wants to arrange a large sacrifice and has told the palace wives about it, but he hasn’t told the prince, crown prince, great minister, and the officers.
The king should tell them.’

“Hearing what the ministers said, the king then told the princes, crown prince, ministers, and officers, ‘My country is wealthy, the army is strong, and the treasury is overflowing.
I want to arrange a large sacrifice.’

“The princes, crown prince, ministers, and officers then said to the king, ‘So it is, so it is!
Great king, the country is now wealthy, the army is strong, and the treasury is overflowing.
If you want to arrange a sacrifice, now would be the right time for it.’

“The king again told the great minister, ‘My country is wealthy, the army is strong, and I possess many treasures.
I’ve talked to my palace wives, the princes, crown prince, and even the officers.
Now, I want to arrange a large sacrifice.
What will be needed for this?’

“The ministers said, ‘It’s as the great king says.
If he wants to arrange a sacrifice, now would be the right time for it.’

“Hearing them say this, he had a new palace built to the east of the city.
Entering that new palace, the king put on a deerskin garment and rubbed incensed ghee onto his body.
He also wore deer antlers on his head and had cow dung spread on the ground, which he sat and laid on.
His first wife and priestly great minister selected a yellow cow.
It was milked once for the king to drink, once for his wife to drink, once for the minister to drink, and once to give to the great assembly.
The rest was given to its calf.

“The king then accomplished eight things, and his great minister accomplished four things.
What were the eight things that the king accomplished?
That warrior king was descended from seven generations of fathers and mothers who were genuine, so he wasn’t slighted by others.
This was the first thing he had achieved.
That king was a handsome-looking member of a warrior tribe.
This was the second thing.
The virtue of that king’s precepts was higher, and his wisdom was complete.
This was the third thing.
That king practiced a variety of skills such as riding elephants, horses, and chariots, swordsmanship, archery, and other martial arts.
There was nothing that he didn’t fully know.
This was the fourth thing.
That king possessed great authority that brought together the lesser kings.
There were none who didn’t submit to him.
This was the fifth thing.
That king was well-spoken.
What he said was gentle, and his meaning and content were complete.
This was the sixth thing.
That king possessed many treasures, and his treasury was overflowing.
This was the seventh thing.
That king was shrewd, bold, and had no weaknesses.
This was the eighth thing.
That warrior king accomplished these eight things.

“What were the four things accomplished by that great minister?
That priestly great minister was descended from seven generations of fathers and mothers who were genuine, so he wasn’t slighted by other people.
This was the first thing.

“Furthermore, that great minister had mastered the three Vedas, could discern all the various kinds of scriptures, and was learned about all the subtleties of worldly literature.
He was also skilled in the way of the great man’s signs, divining fortune and misfortune, and ritual sacrifices and etiquette.
This was the second thing.

“Furthermore, that great minister was well-spoken.
What he said was gentle, and his meaning and content were complete.
This was the third thing.

“Furthermore, that prime minister was shrewd, bold, and had no weaknesses.
There were no matters of ritual sacrifice he didn’t understand.
This was the fourth thing.

“That king had accomplished these eight things, and his priestly great minister had accomplished these four things.
That king then had four aids, three ways of ritual sacrifice, and sixteen ritual requisites.

“The priestly great minister went to the king’s newly built house and disclosed to him sixteen things, which dispelled the king’s doubts.
What were the sixteen?

“The great minister said to the king, ‘Some people say, “Now, the warrior king wants a large sacrifice, but he’s descended from seven generations of fathers and mothers who weren’t genuine, so he’s constantly slighted by other people.’
Supposing this were said, it wouldn’t besmirch the king.
Why is that?
The king is descended from seven generations of fathers and mothers who were genuine, so he isn’t slighted by other people.

“‘Sometimes, people say, “Now, the warrior king wants a large sacrifice, but he’s ugly-looking and not a member of a warrior tribe.”
Supposing this were said, it wouldn’t besmirch the king.
Why is that?
The king is handsome-looking and a member of a warrior tribe.

“Sometimes, people say, ‘Now, the warrior king wants a large sacrifice, but he doesn’t have higher precepts, nor does he possess wisdom.’
Supposing this were said, it wouldn’t besmirch the king.
Why is that?
The virtue of the king’s precepts is higher, and his wisdom is complete.

“Sometimes, people say, ‘Now, the warrior king wants a large sacrifice, but he hasn’t developed skills such as riding elephants, horses, and chariots, nor does he understand the various martial arts.’
Supposing this were said, it wouldn’t besmirch the king.
Why is that?
The king has developed these skills and the arts of war and martial techniques.
There’s none he doesn’t understand.

“Sometimes, people say, ‘The king wants a large sacrifice, but he doesn’t have the authority to bring lesser kings together.’
Supposing this were said, it wouldn’t besmirch the king.
Why is that?
The king does have great authority that brings lesser kings together.

“Sometimes, people say, ‘The king wants a large sacrifice, but he isn’t well-spoken.
His speech is harsh, and its content and meaning are incomplete.’
Supposing this were said, it wouldn’t besmirch the king.
Why is that?
The king is well-spoken.
His speech is gentle, and its content and meaning are complete.

“Sometimes, people say, ‘The king wants a large sacrifice, but he doesn’t have much treasure.’
Supposing this were said, it wouldn’t besmirch the king.
Why is that?
The king’s treasury is overflowing with much treasure.

“Sometimes, people say, ‘The king wants a large sacrifice, but he lacks shrewdness, and his temperament is timid.’
Supposing this were said, it wouldn’t besmirch the king.
Why is that?
The king is shrewd, courageous, and lacks any timidity.

“Sometimes, people say, ‘The king wants a large sacrifice, but he hasn’t consulted the women in the palace.’
Supposing this were said, it wouldn’t besmirch the king.
Why is that?
The king wants a sacrifice, and he consulted the women in the palace beforehand.

“Sometimes, people say, ‘The king wants a large sacrifice, but he hasn’t consulted the princes or crown prince.’
Supposing this were said, it wouldn’t besmirch the king.
Why is that?
The king wants a sacrifice, and he consulted the princes and crown prince beforehand.

“Sometimes, people say, ‘The king wants a large sacrifice, but he hasn’t consulted his ministers.’
Supposing this were said, it wouldn’t besmirch the king.
Why is that?
The king wants a sacrifice, and he consulted his ministers beforehand.

“Sometimes, people say, ‘The king wants a large sacrifice, but he hasn’t consulted his officers and men.’
Supposing this were said, it wouldn’t besmirch the king.
Why is that?
The king wants a sacrifice, and he consulted his officers and men beforehand.

“Sometimes, people say, ‘The king wants a large sacrifice, but his priestly great minister is descended from seven generations of fathers and mothers who weren’t genuine, so he’s always slighted by other people.’
Supposing this were said, it wouldn’t besmirch the king.
Why is that?
I’m descended from seven generations of fathers and mothers who were genuine, so I’m not slighted by other people.

“Sometimes, people say, ‘The king wants a large sacrifice, but his great minister hasn’t mastered the three Vedas, nor can he discern the various scriptures or learn about the subtleties of worldly literature.
He isn’t skilled in the way of the great man’s signs, divining fortune and misfortune, or ritual sacrifices and etiquette.’
Supposing this were said, it wouldn’t besmirch the king.
Why is that?
I’ve mastered the three Vedas, can discern the various scriptures, and have learned about the subtleties of worldly literature.
I’m skilled in the way of the great man’s signs, divining fortune and misfortune, and ritual sacrifices and etiquette.

“Sometimes, people say, ‘The king wants a large sacrifice, but his great minister isn’t well-spoken.
His speech is harsh, and its content and meaning are incomplete.’
Supposing this were said, it wouldn’t besmirch the king.
Why is that?
I’m well-spoken.
My speech is gentle, and its content and meaning are complete.

“Sometimes, people say, ‘The king wants a large sacrifice, but his priestly great minister isn’t shrewd, his temperament is timid, and he doesn’t understand the way of ritual sacrifice.’
Supposing this were said, it wouldn’t besmirch the king.
Why is that?
I’m shrewd and courageous, lack any timidity, and there’s nothing about the way of ritual sacrifice that I don’t understand.”

The Buddha told Kūṭatāṇḍya, “The king had some doubts about those sixteen points, but the great minister disclosed these sixteen things to him.”

The Buddha said, “In that new palace, the great minister plainly instructed, benefited, and gladdened the king by performing ten things.
What were the ten?
The great minister said, ‘During the king’s ritual sacrifice, there will be a gathering of people who are and aren’t killers.
Provide for them all equally.
If someone comes who has killed beings, provide for them.
The king himself should know, “Should someone come who hasn’t killed beings, I’ll be providing for them, too.”
The reason for giving is to think of generosity in this way.

“‘If again there are thieves, adulterers, those who speak duplicitously, falsely, harshly, and frivolously, or those who are greedy, hateful, and have wrong views in the gathering, provide for them.
The king himself should know, “Should some who don’t steal … and have right views come, I’ll be providing for them, too.”
The reason for giving is to think of generosity in this way.’


The Buddha told the priest, “That great minister instructed him plainly, benefiting and gladdening the king with these ten practices.”

The Buddha also told the priest, “That warrior king then had three thoughts of regret in his new home, which the great minister dispelled.
What were the three?
The king had this regret, ‘Now, this is a large sacrifice of mine.
My large sacrifices in the past, my large sacrifices in the future, and my large sacrifices in the present have cost much treasure.’
When these three thoughts occurred to him, he felt regret.

“The great minister said, ‘The king has made large sacrifices, and his generosity in the past, future, and present has brought the merits of these sacrifices.
You shouldn’t feel regretful about it.’
The king went to his new home feeling these three regrets, and the great minister dispelled them.”

The Buddha told the priest, “That water-anointed warrior king left his new home on the fifteenth-day full moon and lit a large bonfire on open ground in front of it.
He held up a vessel of oil, poured it into the fire, and called out, ‘I offer this!
I offer this!’

“The king’s wife heard that the king had left his new home on the fifteenth-day full moon, lit a large bonfire in front of it, held up a vessel of oil, poured it on the fire, and called out, ‘I offer this!
I offer this!’
His wife and concubines brought many treasures to the king and told him, ‘These assorted treasures are to help the king conduct his sacrifice.’

“Priest, that king immediately told his wife and concubines, ‘Stop, stop!
You have supported it, and my own treasure is great.
It’ll be sufficient for the ritual sacrifice.’

“His wife and concubines then thought to themselves, ‘It wouldn’t be right for us to take these treasures back to the palace.
If the king holds a large sacrifice to the east, then we’ll go and contribute to it.’

“Priest, later the king prepared a large sacrifice to the east, and his wife and concubines then provided these treasures to it.

“The prince and crown prince heard that the king had left the new palace on the fifteenth-day full moon, lit a large bonfire in front of it, held up a vessel of oil, poured it on the fire, and called out, ‘I offer this!
I offer this!’
The prince and crown prince brought treasures to the king and told him, ‘These treasures are to help the king conduct his large sacrifice.’

“The king said, ‘Stop, stop!
You have supported it, and my own wealth is great.
It’ll be sufficient for the ritual sacrifice.’

“The prince and crown prince then thought to themselves, ‘It wouldn’t be right for us to take these treasures back.
If the king holds a large sacrifice to the south, then we’ll go and contribute to it.’

“Thus, the great minister brought a treasure and said, ‘I wanted to help the king with the ritual sacrifice to the west.’


“The officers and men brought treasures and said, ‘We wanted to help the king with the ritual sacrifice to the north.’
…”

The Buddha told the priest, “When the king held the large sacrifice, he didn’t kill cattle, sheep, or other sentient beings.
He only sacrificed butter, milk, sesame oil, honey, black sweets, and rock sweets.”

The Buddha told the priest, “When that warrior king held the large sacrifice, it was joyous in the beginning, middle, and end.
This is the way to accomplish a ritual sacrifice.”

The Buddha told the priest, “After that warrior king’s large sacrifice, he cut off his hair and beard, put on the three Dharma robes, and left home for the path.
He cultivated the four measureless mental states until his body broke up and his life ended, and he was born in the Brahma Heaven.

“After she had made her great gift, the king’s wife also cut off her hair, put on the three Dharma robes, and left home to cultivate the path.
She practiced the four Brahma practices until her body broke up and her life ended, and she was born in the Brahma Heaven.
After teaching the king the four methods of ritual sacrifice, the priestly great minister also made a great gift.
Afterward, he cut off his hair and beard, put on the three Dharma robes, and left home to cultivate the path.
He practiced the four Brahma practices until his body broke up and his life ended, and he was born in the Brahma Heaven.”

The Conversion of Kūṭatāṇḍya
The Buddha told the priest, “The king had followed the three ways of ritual sacrifice, possessed the sixteen ritual requisites, and performed that large sacrifice.
What do you think about it?”

After hearing what the Buddha had said, Kūṭatāṇḍya was silent and didn’t respond.
The five hundred priests who were there said to Kūṭatāṇḍya, “The ascetic Gautama’s words are wonderful.
Why does the great teacher remain silent and not answer him?”

Kūṭatāṇḍya replied, “What the ascetic Gautama has taught is wonderful.
It’s not that I don’t accept it.
The reason I was silent was because I was thinking about it.
The ascetic Gautama has explained this subject, but he didn’t say he heard it from someone else, so I was silently thinking, ‘Was the ascetic Gautama that warrior king at the time?
Or was he that priestly great minister?’


The Bhagavān then told Kūṭatāṇḍya , “Good, good!
You’ve examined the Tathāgata and correctly ascertained that he is proper.
When that warrior king performed his large sacrifice, was he a different person?
Don’t imagine that, for he was myself.
That was when I reached the utmost wisdom of great generosity.”

Kūṭatāṇḍya said to the Buddha, “Precisely these three ways of ritual sacrifice and possession of sixteen ritual requisites obtain a great reward, but is there something else that’s greater?”

The Buddha said, “There is.”

The priest asked, “What is it?”

The Buddha said, “If someone can always provide support to the Saṅgha and doesn’t discontinue it, their virtue is greater than that of the three ways of ritual sacrifice and possession of sixteen ritual requisites.”

“Is there something else that’s greater than this virtue of always providing support to the Saṅgha and not discontinuing it, which is itself greater than that of the three ways of ritual sacrifice and possession of sixteen ritual requisites?”

The Buddha said, “There is.”

“What is it?”

The Buddha said, “Erecting monasteries and raised halls for the Saṅgha of the four directions is a gift that’s much greater than that of the three ways of ritual sacrifice and possession of sixteen ritual requisites or supporting the Saṅgha and not discontinuing it.”

“Is there something else that’s greater than this virtue of erecting monasteries and raised halls for the saṃgha in the four directions, which is itself greater than that of the three ways of ritual sacrifice and possession of sixteen ritual requisites or supporting the Saṅgha and not discontinuing it?”

The Buddha said, “There is.”

“What is it?”

The Buddha said, “Suppose someone performs the three ways of ritual sacrifice and possesses sixteen ritual requisites, supports the Saṅgha and doesn’t discontinue it, and they erect monasteries and raised halls for the Saṅgha in the four directions.
Those things aren’t equal to producing a joyous mind and declaring, ‘I take refuge in the Buddha, take refuge in the Dharma, and take refuge in the Saṅgha.’
The merit of this is greater.”

“Is there something else that’s greater than the reward that’s obtained by these three refuges?”

The Buddha said, “There is.”

“What is it?”

The Buddha said, “Suppose someone were to accept and practice the five precepts with a joyous heart for their whole life, not killing, stealing, engaging in sex, lying, or drinking alcohol.
This merit is greater.”

“Is there something else that’s greater than the great reward obtained from these three ways of ritual sacrifice … five precepts?”

The Buddha said, “There is.”

“What is it?”

The Buddha said, “Suppose someone is able to be compassionately mindful of all sentient beings for as long as it takes to pull a squirt of milk from a cow.
The merit of that is much greater.”

“Is there something else that’s greater than the great reward obtained by these three ways of ritual sacrifice … compassion?”

The Buddha said, “There is.”

“What is it?”

The Buddha said, “Suppose a Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One appears in the world, and someone leaves home to cultivate the path of that Buddha’s teaching.
This equips him with a variety of virtues … they perfect the three insights, destroy the darkness of ignorance, and possess the illumination of wisdom.
Why is that?
The merit of this is much greater because they aren’t negligent and happily dwell in seclusion.”

Kūṭatāṇḍya again said to the Buddha, “Gautama, I was going to perform a ritual sacrifice that requires five hundred head of cattle and sheep each.
Now, I will let them all go so that they can find their own water and grass.
I take refuge in the Buddha, take refuge in the Dharma, and take refuge in the Saṅgha.
Permit me to become a layman in the correct teaching.
From now on, I won’t kill, steal, engage in sex, lie, or drink alcohol for my whole life.
Please let the Bhagavān and the great assembly accept my request!”
The Bhagavān silently accepted it.

The priest then saw that the Buddha had silently accepted his request.
He got up, bowed to the Buddha, and circled him three times before leaving.
He went home and prepared a variety of delicious foods.

The next day, the Bhagavān put on his robe and took his bowl.
Accompanied by a large assembly of 1,250 monks, he went to the priest’s home where they prepared seats and sat down.
The priest then personally served them food, offering it to the Buddha and Saṅgha.
When they were finished eating, they left with their bowls.
When they were done washing them, the Buddha composed verses for the priest:

“Fire is the best of sacrifices;

Poetry is the best for chanting;

The king is the best among people;

The ocean is best among rivers;

The moon is the best among stars;

And the sun is best among lights.

Up, down, and in the four directions,
Among all living things that exist,
Whether gods or worldly people,
Only the Buddha is supreme.

Someone looking for great fortune
Should support the three jewels.”

The Liberation of Kūṭatāṇḍya
The priest Kūṭatāṇḍya then fetched a small chair and sat in front of the Buddha.
The Bhagavān gradually taught him the Dharma.
He instructed him plainly, benefiting and making him glad.
He discoursed on generosity, precepts, birth in heaven, the great danger of desire, the obstacle to going upstream, and the superiority of escape.
He discerned and made clear the pure practices.
Then, the Bhagavān saw that the priest’s mind had become flexible, his hindrances were reduced, and he was easily trained.
He taught him the truth of suffering according to the eternal teaching of Buddhas, discerning and making it clear.
He taught the noble truth of formation, the noble truth of cessation, and the noble truth of escape.

The priest Kūṭatāṇḍya became far removed from dirt and separated from defilement right where he sat, and he attained purification of the Dharma vision.
Like a pristine white muslin that’s easily stained, Kūṭatāṇḍya was likewise.
He saw the Dharma and attained the Dharma.
Obtaining its fruit, he stood in certainty not because of belief in someone else and attained fearlessness.
He said to the Buddha, “Now, I seriously take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and noble Saṅgha three times.
Please let the Buddha permit me to become a layman in the correct teaching.
From now on, I won’t kill, steal, engage in sex, lie, or drink alcohol for my whole life.”

He also seriously said to the Buddha, “Please let the Bhagavān accept my invitation to stay for seven days.”
The Bhagavān silently accepted it.
The priest personally served meals to the Buddha and Saṅgha for seven days.
After the week had passed, the Buddha continued travelling among the people.

It wasn’t long after the Buddha departed that Kūṭatāṇḍya became ill, and his life ended.

A group of monks heard that Kūṭatāṇḍya had supported the Buddha for seven days and then fell ill and died not long afterward.
They thought to themselves, “That man’s life has ended, but where did he go?”

Those monks went to the Buddha, bowed their heads at his feet, and sat to one side.
They asked, “Now that Kūṭatāṇḍya ’s life has ended, where will he be born?”

The Buddha told the monks, “That man purely cultivated the religious practice and accomplished one state after the next, and he wasn’t disturbed by anything in the teaching.
Because he ended the five lower fetters, his Parinirvāṇa was in the present.
He didn’t return to this world.”

When the monks heard what the Buddha taught, they rejoiced and approved.

24 - DA 24 Dhruva

Thus I have heard:
One time, the Buddha was staying at the city of Nālanda in Prāvārika’s mango grove.
He was accompanied by a large assembly of 1,250 monks.

At the time, there was a prominent man’s son named Dhruva who came to the Buddha, bowed his head at his feet, and sat down to one side.
That prominent man’s son said to the Buddha, “It would be excellent, Bhagavān, if you could please tell the monks, ‘If a priest, a prominent man’s son, or a householder comes, show them the superhuman state with a display of miraculous abilities.’


The Buddha told Dhruva, “I never instruct the monks to show the superhuman state with a display of miraculous abilities.
I simply teach my disciples to peacefully contemplate the path in an empty and quiet place.
If they have virtues, they should keep them to themselves.
If they have defects, they should disclose them.”

The prominent man’s son Dhruva again said to the Buddha, “Please, Bhagavān, tell the monks:
‘If a priest, a prominent man’s son, or a householder comes, show them the superhuman state with a display of miraculous abilities.’


The Buddha again told Dhruva, “I never instruct the monks to show the superhuman state with a display of miraculous abilities.
I simply teach my disciples to peacefully contemplate the path in an empty and quiet place.
If they have virtues, they should keep them to themselves.
If they have defects, they should disclose them.”

The prominent man’s son Dhruva said to the Buddha, “I don’t have doubts about the superhuman state.
It’s only that the region of Nālanda is bountiful, and the population is thriving.
If someone were to display miraculous abilities, they would profit greatly by it, and the Buddha and his large assembly are skilled at converting others and spreading the path.”

The Buddha once again told Dhruva, “I never instruct the monks to show the superhuman state with a display of miraculous abilities.
I simply teach my disciples to peacefully contemplate the path in an empty and quiet place.
If they have virtues, they should keep them to themselves.
If they have defects, they should disclose them.

“Why is that?
There are three miraculous abilities.
What are three?
One is miraculous abilities, the second is observing other minds, and third is instruction.

“What are the miraculous abilities?
Prominent man’s son, a monk learns measureless miraculous abilities.
They’re able to form countless [bodies] from a single body and recombine those countless bodies into one [body].
Whether near or far, [they can move through] mountains, rivers, and stone walls freely and without obstruction like walking through air.
They fly in the air like birds while sitting cross-legged.
They go in and out of the earth as though it were water.
They walk on water as though it were dry land.
Their bodies smoke and burn like a large fire.
They touch the sun and moon with their hands and stand as high as the Brahma Heaven.

“If a faithful prominent man or householder were to see monks displaying these measureless miraculous abilities … standing as high as the Brahma heaven, he would visit other prominent men and householders who haven’t become believers and tell them, ‘I saw a monk display measureless miraculous abilities … standing as high as the Brahma Heaven.’
Those prominent men and householders who aren’t believers yet will say to that believer, ‘I’ve heard that there’s the spell of Gola that can display such measureless miraculous abilities … standing as high as the Brahma Heaven.’


The Buddha again told Dhruva, “Those non-believers would have this to say.
Wouldn’t this be an insult?”

Dhruva said to the Buddha, “It really would be insulting.”

The Buddha said, “This is why I don’t tell the monks to display miracles to convert people.
I simply teach my disciples to peacefully contemplate the path in an empty and quiet place.
If they have virtues, they should keep them to themselves.
If they have defects, they should make them known.
Thus, prominent man’s son, this is the miraculous ability displayed by my monks.

“What’s called the miraculous ability of observing other minds?
Here, a monk displays measureless miraculous abilities of observation, observing the thoughts in the minds of sentient beings and becoming aware of what they’ve done in private.

“Suppose a faithful prominent man or householder sees monks displaying measureless miraculous abilities of observation, observing the thoughts in the minds of sentient beings and becoming aware of what they’ve done in private.
He would visit some other prominent men or householders who haven’t become believers and tell them, ‘I saw a monk display measureless miraculous abilities of observation, observing the thoughts in the minds of sentient beings and knowing what they had done in private.’
Those prominent men or householders who aren’t believers yet would produce this insult upon hearing that:
‘There’s the spell of Gandhārī that can observe other minds … and knowing what they’ve done in private.’

“How is it, prominent man’s son?
Wouldn’t this be an insult?”

Dhruva said to the Buddha, “It really would be insulting.”

The Buddha said, “This is why I don’t tell the monks to display miracles to convert people.
I simply teach my disciples to peacefully contemplate the path in an empty and quiet place.
If they have virtues, they should keep them to themselves.
If they have defects, they should disclose them.
Thus, prominent man’s son, this is the miraculous ability of observation displayed by my monks.

“What is the miraculous ability of instruction?
Prominent man’s son, suppose a Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One arises in the world, and he perfects the ten epithets.
Among gods, worldly men, and demons, whether they’re in the assemblies of Māra, gods, ascetics, or priests, he realizes the Dharma for himself and teaches it for others.
His words are all genuine in the beginning, middle, and end.
Their content and expression are pure, and they perfect the religious life.

“After hearing it, a prominent man or a householder believes it.
They investigate it and think:
‘It’s not fitting for me to remain at home.
If I remain at home, it’ll be like being bound in chains, unable to purely cultivate the religious life.
Now, I’d better shave my hair, put on the three Dharma robes, leave home, and cultivate the path.
Equipped with virtues … I’ll accomplish the three insights that produce the great radiance of knowledge that dispels darkness.
Why is that?
These things are a result of diligence, enjoyment of a solitary and quiet dwelling, and focused attention that’s not lost.’
Prominent man’s son, this is the miraculous ability of instruction displayed by my monks.”

The prominent man’s son Dhruva then asked the Buddha, “Are there any monks who’ve accomplished these three miraculous abilities?”

The Buddha told the prominent man’s son, “I wouldn’t say they are numerous, but there are several monks who’ve achieved these three miraculous abilities.
Prominent man’s son, there was a monk in this assembly who thought to himself, ‘How are the four elements of this body made to cease forever, which are earth, water, fire, and air?’
That monk instantly headed for the heavenly road.
He went to the Heaven of the Four God Kings and asked the four god kings, ‘How are the four elements of this body made to cease forever, which are earth, water, fire, and air?’

“Prominent man’s son, those four god kings replied to that monk, ‘We don’t know.
How are the four elements made to cease forever?
There’s a heaven above us called the Trāyastriṃśa, which is sublime and supreme.
The gods there have great wisdom.
Perhaps they know how to make the four elements cease?’

“Hearing this, the monk then instantly headed for the heavenly road.
He went up to the Trāyastriṃśa Heaven and asked those gods, ‘How are the four elements of this body made to cease forever, which are earth, water, fire, and air?’

Those Trāyastriṃśa gods replied to the monk, ‘We don’t know.
How are the four elements made to cease forever?
There’s a heaven above us called Yama which is sublime and supreme.
Having great wisdom, the gods there may know.’
He went there and asked, but they said they didn’t know.

“Thus, he went to the Tuṣita Heaven … the Nirmāṇarati Heaven … the Paranirmitavaśavartin Heaven.
They said, ‘We don’t know.
How are the four elements made to cease forever?
There’s yet another heaven above us that’s sublime and supreme, and they have great wisdom.
It’s called the Brahmakāyika.
Those gods may know how the four elements are ceased forever.’

“That monk then instantly headed for the Brahma road.
He went to that Brahma Heaven above and asked, ‘How are the four elements of this body made to cease forever, which are earth, water, fire, and air?’

“Those Brahma gods replied to the monk, ‘We don’t know.
How are the four elements made to cease forever?
Now, there’s the heaven of King Great Brahmā the Undefeatable, Ruler of a Thousand Worlds, the Noble Lord, Highest Attainer of Sovereignty, Creator of Everything, and Parent to Sentient Beings.
He may know how the four elements are ceased forever.’

“Prominent man’s son, that monk immediately asked, ‘Now, where would King Great Brahmā be?’

“Those gods replied, ‘We don’t know where Great Brahmā is, but judging by what we see, he’ll appear soon.’
Soon after, the Brahma King suddenly appeared.

“Prominent man’s son, that monk went to the Brahma King and asked him, ‘How are the four elements of this body made to cease forever, which are earth, water, fire, and air?’

“That King Great Brahmā told the monk, ‘I am the king of Brahmas, the Undefeatable, Ruler of a Thousand Worlds, the Noble Lord, Highest Attainer of Sovereignty, Creator of Everything, and Parent to Sentient Beings.’

“That monk then told the Brahma King, ‘I didn’t ask about that.
My question is:
How are the four elements made to cease forever, which are earth, water, fire, and air?’

“Prominent man’s son, that Brahma King again answered the monk, ‘I am the king of Brahmas, the Undefeatable, Ruler of a Thousand Worlds, the Noble Lord, Highest Attainer of Sovereignty, Creator of Everything, and Parent to Sentient Beings.’

“The monk again told him, ‘I didn’t ask about that.
My question is:
How are the four elements made to cease forever?’

“Prominent man’s son, that Brahma King said the same thing for a third time.
He wasn’t able to answer that monk’s question about how the four elements are made to cease forever.
King Great Brahmā then took the monk aside with his right hand and led him to private place.
He said to him, ‘Now, monk, I’m the wisest of the Brahma kings;
there’s nothing I don’t know and see, which is why I didn’t answer you [honestly]:
“I don’t know or see how these four elements are made to cease forever.”


“He also told the monk, ‘You are quite a fool!
You set aside the Tathāgata and put your question about this to us in the heavens.
You should ask the Bhagavān about this and remember well what he tells you about it.’

“He also told the monk, ‘The Buddha is in Anāthapiṇḍada’s Park of Śrāvastī.
You can go and ask him there.’

“Prominent man’s son, the monk then suddenly disappeared from the Brahma Heaven.
In the time it takes a strong man to flex his arm, he arrived in Anāthapiṇḍada’s Park of Śrāvastī.
He came to me, bowed his head at my feet, and sat to one side.
He said, ‘Bhagavān, how are the four elements of this body made to cease forever, which are earth, water, fire, and air?’

“I then told him, ‘Monk, it’s like a merchant who takes a hawk with him when he goes out to sea.
The bird flies to the east, west, south, and north.
When it finds dry land, it stops there [and circles].
If there’s no land, then it returns to the ship.
Monk, you’re likewise.
You went up to the Brahma heavens asking about this.
Not achieving anything, you’ve returned to me.
Now, I will help you accomplish this goal.’

“I then spoke in verse:

“‘What causes the four elements to not exist,
Ceasing earth, water, fire, and air?

What causes what’s coarse and fine to not exist,
What’s long, short, beautiful, and ugly?

What causes name and form to not exist,
To be forever ceased without remainder?

The answer is that consciousness is formless,
Measureless, and has its own radiance.

When it ceases, the four elements cease;

What’s coarse, fine, beautiful, and ugly ceases.

When these names and forms cease,
Consciousness ceases, and the rest ceases, too.’


The prominent man’s son Dhruva said to the Buddha, “Bhagavān, what was this monk’s name?
How is he remembered?”

The Buddha told the prominent man’s son, “This monk’s name was Aśvajit.
That’s how he should be remembered.”

When the prominent man’s son Dhruva heard what the Buddha taught, he rejoiced and approved.

25 - DA 25 The Naked Wanderer

Thus I have heard:
One time, the Buddha was staying at the deer preserve near Karṇakāṣṭha of [Ujuññā].
He was accompanied by a large assembly of 1,250 monks.

A naked wanderer from the Kāśyapa clan visited the Bhagavān.
After they exchanged greetings, he sat to one side.
That naked Kāśyapa said to the Buddha, “I hear that the ascetic Gautama criticizes all ritual practices and rebukes other ascetics, considering them corrupt.
Gautama, suppose someone said, ‘The ascetic Gautama criticizes all the ritual practices and rebukes other ascetics, considering them corrupt.’
If someone says this is Dharma speech that accomplishes the teachings, would they not be slandering the ascetic Gautama?”

The Buddha replied, “Kāśyapa, suppose someone said, ‘The ascetic Gautama criticizes all ritual practices and rebukes other ascetics, considering them corrupt.’
That wouldn’t be Dharma speech that accomplishes the teachings.
They would be slandering me, for it’s not a true statement.
Why is that?

“Kāśyapa, I’ve seen those ascetics fall into hell when their bodies broke up and their lives ended.
I’ve also seen ascetics born in a heavenly good place when their bodies broke up and their lives ended.
Sometimes, I’ve seen ascetics who enjoyed the ascetic practices born in hell when their bodies broke up and their lives ended.
Sometimes, I’ve seen ascetics who enjoyed the ascetic practices born in a heavenly good place.

“Kāśyapa, I fully know and fully see these two destinies that are places gotten as rewards.
Why would I want to rebuke all those ascetics and consider them corrupt?
When I correctly say ‘Yes,’ they then say ‘No.’
When I correctly say ‘No,’ they say ‘Yes.’
Kāśyapa, there are ascetics and priests who equally possess the way, and there are ascetics and priest who don’t equally possess the way.
Kāśyapa, those who aren’t equal are the ones that I set aside because their teaching isn’t shared with ascetics and priests equally.

“Kāśyapa, those who are wise make this observation:
‘When the ascetic Gautama had unskillful qualities, quite defiled, dark, and ignoble and when other teachers had the same qualities, which of them was capable of destroying these qualities?’
Kāśyapa, when the wise make this observation, they thus know and see that only the ascetic Gautama was able to destroy these qualities.
Kāśyapa, when those who are wise make this observation, inquire into this, and discuss this, I’m the one who they name as being so.

“Furthermore, Kāśyapa, those who are wise make this observation:
‘When the ascetic Gautama’s disciples have unskillful qualities, quite defiled, dark, and ignoble and the disciple of other teachers have the same qualities, which of them is capable of destroying these qualities?
Kāśyapa, when those who are wise make this observation, they thus know and see:
‘The ascetic Gautama’s disciples are able to destroy these qualities.’
Kāśyapa, when the wise make this observation, inquire into this, and discuss this, my disciples are who they name.

“Furthermore, Kāśyapa, those who are wise make this observation, ‘The ascetic Gautama has skillful qualities, pristine, sublime, and noble and other teachers have the same qualities.
Which of them is capable of cultivating and making them grow?’
Kāśyapa, when the wise make this observation, they thus know and see:
‘Only the ascetic Gautama is capable of cultivating these qualities and making them grow.’
Kāśyapa, when the wise make this observation, inquire into this, and discuss this, I’m the one who they name as being so.

“Kāśyapa, those who are wise make this observation:
‘When the ascetic Gautama’s disciples have skillful qualities, pristine, sublime, and noble, and the disciples of other teachers have the same qualities, which of them is capable of cultivating them and making them grow?’
Kāśyapa, when the wise make this observation, they thus know and see, ‘Only the ascetic Gautama’s disciples are capable of cultivating these qualities and making them grow.’
Kāśyapa, when the wise make this observation, inquire into this, and discuss this, my disciples are who they name.

“Kāśyapa, there’s a path and a way that a monk cultivates, and then he himself will know and see:
‘The ascetic Gautama’s speech is timely, genuine, meaningful, the teaching, and the discipline.’
Kāśyapa, what is the path and what are the way that a monk cultivates, and then he himself will know and see:
‘The ascetic Gautama’s speech is timely, genuine, meaningful, the teaching, and the discipline’?

“Kāśyapa, a monk cultivates the awakening factor of mindfulness based on stopping, lack of desire, and escape.
He cultivates the awakening factor of the teaching … effort … joy … calm … samādhi … equanimity based on stopping, lack of desire, and escape.
Kāśyapa, this is the path and the way that a monk cultivates, and then he himself will know and see:
‘The ascetic Gautama’s speech is timely, genuine, meaningful, the teaching, and the discipline.”

Kāśyapa said, “Gautama, there’s only this path and this way that a monk cultivates, and then he himself knows and sees:
‘The ascetic Gautama’s speech is timely, genuine, meaningful, the teaching, and the discipline.’
It’s only the dirty ascetic practices that make it possible to be named a priest or an ascetic.
What dirty ascetic practices make it possible to be named a priest or an ascetic?

“Gautama, they part with clothing and go naked, covering themselves with their hands.
They don’t accept food in pots or bowls.
They don’t accept food while between two walls, between two people, between two blades, or between two bowls.
They don’t accept food when a family is eating together, when there’s a pregnancy in the household, when they see a dog at the door, or when a home has many flies.

“They don’t accept invitations to meals or food from someone who says they know them.
They don’t eat fish or meat and don’t drink wine.
They don’t take two bowls of food, considering one swallow to be a meal up to seven meals and stopping.
When they accept a person’s beneficial food, they don’t do so more than seven times.
Sometimes, they eat one meal a day or one every two days, three days, four days, five days, six days, or seven days.

“Sometimes, they eat fruit or weeds and drink juice.
They eat flax seed, rice, long-grain rice, cow dung, deer dung, tree roots, branches, leaves, and fruit, or fruit that has fallen naturally.

“Sometimes, they wear clothes, throw on sedge as clothes, wear tree bark, curtain yourselves in grass, or wear deerskin.
Sometimes, they fasten head hair to themselves, wear plaited hair, or wear clothes from a charnel ground.

“Sometimes, they keep your arms raised all the time, don’t sit on couches or mats, or crouch all the time.
Sometimes, they cut their hair and fasten it to their beard, lie on thorns, lie on fruits and berries, or lie naked on cow dung.
Sometimes, they bath three times a day or three times a night.
They torment their bodies with these countless hardships.
Gautama, these are the dirty practices that make it possible to be named a priest or ascetic.”

The Buddha said, “Kāśyapa, parting with clothes and going naked … tormenting one’s body with these countless hardships, their precepts aren’t complete, and their views aren’t complete.
They aren’t able to diligently cultivate, and their [teachings] aren’t broad and open.”

Kāśyapa said to the Buddha, “What are the completion of precepts and completion of views that go beyond the ascetic practices and that are fine and supreme?”

The Buddha told Kāśyapa, “Listen closely, and well consider it.
I’ll explain it for you.”

Kāśyapa said, “Very well, Gautama.
I’d be glad to hear it.”

The Buddha addressed Kāśyapa, “If a Tathāgata, an Arhat, arises in the world … the four dhyānas, then he attains happiness in the present life.
Why is that?
These things are a result of diligence, focused attention, unified mind, delighting in quiet seclusion, and not being self-indulgent.
Kāśyapa, this is the completion of precepts and completion of views that surpasses the ascetic practices, that’s fine and supreme.”

Kāśyapa said, “Gautama, although you say this completion of precepts and completion of views surpasses the ascetic practices and is fine and supreme, it’s only being an ascetic or priest that’s difficult.”

The Buddha said, “Kāśyapa, this is world’s special teaching, that the teachings of ascetics and priests are difficult.
Kāśyapa, even a laywoman can understand these teachings.
Parting with clothing and going naked … tormenting one’s body with these countless hardships, a person still doesn’t understand their mind:
‘Am I angry or not … resentful or not … harmful or not?’
If someone knows these mental states, they aren’t named ascetics or priests.
It’s because they don’t understand themselves that being an ascetic or priest is difficult.”

Kāśyapa then said to the Buddha, “What’s an ascetic or a priest like whose precepts and views are complete and who’s higher, superior, fine, and supreme?”

The Buddha told Kāśyapa, “Listen closely, listen closely!
Consider it well.
I will explain this for you.”

Kāśyapa said, “Very well, Gautama.
I’d be glad to hear it.”

The Buddha said, “Kāśyapa, with samādhi of mind, a monk … attains the three insights, destroys the darkness of delusions, and produces the light of wisdom.
This is called producing the knowledge that the contaminants have ended.
Why is that?
These things are a result of diligence, focused attention, not being forgetful, delighting in quiet seclusion, and not being self-indulgent.
Kāśyapa, this is called an ascetic or priest whose precepts and views are complete, and who’s superior, higher, fine, and supreme.

Kāśyapa said, “Gautama, although you say this is an ascetic or priest whose views and precepts are complete and who’s higher, superior, fine, and supreme, it’s only being an ascetic or priest that’s exceedingly difficult.
It’s exceedingly difficult!
An ascetic is also hard to know, and a priest is also hard to know.”

The Buddha told Kāśyapa, “A layman can cultivate this teaching, too.
Someone who says ‘From this day forward, I will part with clothing and go naked … and torment my body with these countless hardships’ can’t be called an ascetic or a priest on account of these practices.
If they were called an ascetic or priest because of these practices, it couldn’t be said, ‘Being an ascetic is exceedingly difficult!
Being a priest is exceedingly difficult!’
That isn’t possible to say on account of these practices of ascetics and priests, ‘Being an ascetic is exceedingly difficult!
Being a priest is exceedingly difficult!’


The Buddha told Kāśyapa, “There was once a time I was in Rājagṛha, staying at Saptaparṇa Cave near Mount Vaibhāra.
There, I explained to that wanderer Nigrodha the pure ascetic practices.
That wanderer rejoiced, attained pure faith, gave offerings to me, praised me, and gave his best offerings and praise to me.”

Kāśyapa said, “Gautama, who hasn’t Gautama made rejoice greatly, attain pure faith, make offerings, and praise him?
Now, Gautama has made me rejoice, attain pure faith, make offerings, and praise him.
I take refuge in Gautama.”

The Buddha told Kāśyapa, “Those precepts possessed by the world don’t possess or accompany the higher precepts, and the rest.
How could they want to produce anything higher?
They possess samādhi, wisdom, and liberation, and have seen the liberation of wisdom, but they don’t possess or accompany these higher samādhi, wisdom, liberation, and seeing the liberation of wisdom.
How could they want to produce anything higher?

“Kāśyapa, the Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One is a lion.
When he teachings Dharma in detail in a great assembly, he’s sovereign and fearless, so he’s called a lion.

“How is it, Kāśyapa?
Would you say that Tathāgata isn’t courageous when he roars the lion’s roar?
Don’t imagine this.
The Tathāgata’s lion’s roar is courageous and fearless.

“Kāśyapa, would you say the Tathāgata’s courageous and fearless lion’s roar isn’t done in a large assembly?
Don’t imagine this.
The Tathāgata courageously roars the lion’s roar in a large assembly.

“Kāśyapa, would you say that the Tathāgata doesn’t teach the Dharma when he courageously roars the lion’s roar in a large assembly?
Don’t imagine this.
Why is that?
The Tathāgata skillfully teaches the Dharma when he courageously and fearlessly roars the lion’s roar in a large assembly.

“How is it, Kāśyapa?
Would you say that the audience isn’t unified in mind when the Tathāgata courageously and fearlessly roars the lion’s roar in a large assembly and skillfully teaches the Dharma?
Don’t imagine this.
Why is that?
When the Tathāgata courageously and fearlessly roars the lion’s roar in a large assembly and skillfully teaches the Dharma, the audience is unified in mind.

“How is it, Kāśyapa?
Would you say that the audience doesn’t rejoice, believe, and accept it when the Tathāgata courageously and fearlessly roars the lion’s roar in a large assembly, skillfully teaches the Dharma, and those present listen with unified minds?
Don’t imagine this.
Why is that?
When the Tathāgata courageously and fearlessly roars the lion’s roar in a large assembly, skillfully teaches the Dharma, and the audience that’s present listens with unified minds, they rejoice, believe, and accept it.

“Kāśyapa, would you say that the audience doesn’t make offerings when the Tathāgata courageously and fearlessly roars the lion’s roar in a large assembly, skillfully teaches the Dharma, and the audience rejoices, believes, and accepts it?
Don’t imagine this.
[Why is that?
] When the Tathāgata courageously and fearlessly roars the lion’s roar in a large assembly, skillfully teaches the Dharma, and the audience rejoices, believes, and accepts it, they make offerings to him.

“Kāśyapa, would you say that the audience doesn’t shave their hair and beard, put on the three Dharma robes, leave home, and cultivate the path when the Tathāgata courageously and fearlessly roars the lion’s roar in a large assembly … and they believe, respect, and make offerings?
Don’t imagine this.
Why is that?
When the Tathāgata courageously and fearlessly roars the lion’s roar in a large assembly … and they believe, respect, and make offerings, the audience shaves their hair and beard, put on the three Dharma robes, leave home, and cultivate the path.

“Kāśyapa, would you say that the audience doesn’t practice the ultimate religious practice and reach the peaceful abode, which is Nirvāṇa without remainder, when the Tathāgata courageously and fearlessly roars the lion’s roar in a large assembly … and they leave home and cultivate the path?
Don’t imagine this.
Why is that?
When the Tathāgata courageously and fearlessly roars the lion’s roar in a large assembly … and they leave home and cultivate the path, the audience does practice the ultimate religious practice and reach a peaceful abode, which is Nirvāṇa without remainder.”

Kāśyapa then said to the Buddha, “How, Gautama, do I leave home and accept the full precepts in this teaching?”

The Buddha told Kāśyapa, “If someone from another training wishes to enter my teaching, leave home, and cultivate the path, they will wait and be observed for four months and receive the Saṅgha’s assent.
Afterward, they can leave home and accept the precepts.
Kāśyapa, this is simply because, while there is this teaching, we also observe the person.”

Kāśyapa said, “If someone from another training wishes to enter the Buddha’s teaching and cultivate the religious life, they will wait to be observed for four months to assess their many ideas.
Afterward, they can leave home and receive the Saṅgha’s assent.
Now, I would be willing to wait for four years of observation to enter the Buddha’s teaching to receive the Saṅgha’s assent.
Afterward, I’ll leave home and accept the precepts.”

The Buddha told Kāśyapa, “I would give you my assent, but it’s simply that we observe the person [first].”

Kāśyapa then left home and accepted the full precepts in the Buddha’s teaching.
It wasn’t long after Kāśyapa had accepted the precepts that he was cultivating the unsurpassed religious practice with pure faith.
In the present life, he himself realized:
“My births have been ended, the religious practice has been established, and the task has been accomplished.
I won’t be subject to a later existence.”
He had become an arhat.

When Kāśyapa heard what the Buddha taught, he rejoiced and approved.

26 - DA 26 Knowledge of the Three Vedas

Thus I have heard:
One time, the Buddha was travelling among the people of Kośala accompanied by a large assembly of 1,250 monks.
He went to the Kośala priest village of Icchānaṅgala and stopped to rest in a citron grove.

A priest named Puṣkarasārin and another named [Tārukkha] had gone to the village of Icchānaṅgala for some minor reason.

This priest Puṣkarasārin was descended from seven generations of fathers and mothers who were genuine [priests], so he wasn’t slighted by others.
He had mastered the three Vedas and could discern all the various kinds of scriptures.
He was also skilled in the techniques of [recognizing] the great man’s signs, divining fortune and misfortune, and [performing] sacrifices and rituals.
He had 500 disciples whom he taught without exception.

He had a disciple named Vasiṣṭha who was descended from seven generations of fathers and mothers who were genuine [priests], so he wasn’t slighted by others.
He had mastered the three Vedas and could discern all the various kinds of scriptures.
He was also skilled in the techniques of [recognizing] the great man’s signs, divining fortune and misfortune, and [performing] sacrifices and rituals.
He also had 500 disciples whom he taught without exception.

The priest [Tārukkha] was descended from seven generations of fathers and mothers who were genuine [priests], so he wasn’t slighted by others.
He had mastered the three Vedas and could discern all the various kinds of scriptures.
He was also skilled in the techniques of [recognizing] the great man’s signs, divining fortune and misfortune, and [performing] sacrifices and rituals.
He had 500 disciples whom he taught without exception.

He had a disciple named Bhāradvāja who was descended from seven generations of fathers and mothers who were genuine [priests], so he wasn’t slighted by others.
He had mastered the three Vedas and could discern all the various kinds of scriptures.
He was also skilled in the techniques of [recognizing] the great man’s signs, divining fortune and misfortune, and [performing] sacrifices and rituals.
He also had 500 disciples whom he taught without exception.

These two men, Vasiṣṭha and Bhāradvāja went to a park in the early morning.
When they discussed doctrines, they contradicted one another.
Vasiṣṭha said to Bhāradvāja, “My path is true.
It can attain escape and arrive in Brahmā’s Heaven.
This is the teaching of the priest Puṣkarasārin.”

Bhāradvāja also said, “My path is true.
It can attain escape and arrive in Brahmā’s Heaven.
This is the teaching of the priest [Tārukkha].”

Vasiṣṭha thus praised his own path as true three times, and Bhāradvāja also praised his own path as true three times.
They continued their discussion, but neither was able to be decisive.

Vasiṣṭha then said to Bhāradvāja, “I heard that the ascetic Gautama of the Śākya clan, who had left the home life and achieved awakening, was travelling among the people of Kośala and now is staying in the grove at Icchānaṅgala.
He possesses a great reputation that’s heard throughout the world:
‘He’s a Tathāgata, an Arhat, and a Completely Awakened One who has perfected the ten epithets.
Among gods, worldly men, and demons, whether they’re in the assemblies of Māra and gods or ascetics and priests, he is self-realized and teaches the Dharma for others.
It’s good in the beginning, middle, and end, complete in content and expression, and purifies the religious life.’

“Since he’s a realized person, we should go and meet him!
I’ve heard that Gautama knows the way to Brahmā’s Heaven and teaches it for others.
He frequently visits Brahmā’s Heaven to speak with him.
We should go together to visit Gautama.
He’ll settle this matter.
If the ascetic Gautama has something to tell us, we should uphold it together, too.”

Vasiṣṭha and Bhāradvāja both went to the citron grove to visit the Bhagavān.
After exchanging greetings, they sat to one side.

Knowing the thoughts in their minds, the Bhagavān then told Vasiṣṭha, “Both of you went to a grove in the early morning.
When you had a discussion, you contradicted each other.
One of you said, ‘My path is true.
It can attain escape and arrive in Brahmā’s Heaven.
This is the teaching of the priest Puṣkarasārin.’

“The other said, ‘My path is true.
It can attain escape and arrive in Brahmā’s Heaven.
This is the teaching of the priest [Tārukkha].’

“Thus, you contradicted each other three times.
Is that what happened?”

Vasiṣṭha and Bhāradvāja were shocked when they heard the Buddha say this, and their hair stood up.
They thought, “The ascetic Gautama possesses great miraculous virtue.
He knows a person’s thoughts beforehand.
The ascetic Gautama was the first to mention what we came wanting to discuss!”

Vasiṣṭha said to the Buddha, “My path and his path are both praised as true, achieving the escape and arriving at Brahmā’s Heaven.
Is what’s taught by the priest Puṣkarasārin correct, or is it what’s taught by the priest [Tārukkha] that’s correct?”

The Buddha said, “Vasiṣṭha, even if it were this path or that path which is truly the escape and arrives at Brahmā’s Heaven, why did you contradict each other three times while you were in a grove this morning?”

Vasiṣṭha then said to the Buddha, “The priests possessing the three Vedas teach various paths, such as the path of free desires, the self-realized path, and the path to Brahmā’s Heaven.
All three paths lead to Brahmā’s heaven.
Gautama, it’s like a village that has many roads that lead to its citadel.
Although the priests teach various paths, they all lead to Brahmā’s Heaven.”

The Buddha asked Vasiṣṭha, “Do all of those paths arrive at Brahmā’s Heaven?”

He replied, “All of them arrive there.”

The Buddha asked him three times, “Do those various paths all arrive at Brahmā’s Heaven?”

He replied, “They all arrive there.”

After being certain of what he was saying, the Bhagavān asked Vasiṣṭha, “Is there anyone among those priests who possess the three Vedas who have seen Brahmā’s Heaven?”

He replied, “None of them have seen it.”

“How is it, Vasiṣṭha?
Did any previous teacher of those priests who possess the three Vedas see Brahmā’s Heaven?”

He replied, “None of them saw it.”

“How is it, Vasiṣṭha?
Going back to the priests of antiquity, there were sages who possessed the three insights who recited and mastered [the Vedas], taught the recitations for others, and chanted the hymns.
Their names were the priests Aṣṭaka, [Vāmaka], Vāmadeva, Viśvāmitra, Aṅgiras, [Yamataggi], Vasiṣṭha, Kāśyapa, Aruṇa, Gautama, [Suyiva], and Sundara.
Did any of them see Brahmā’s Heaven?”

He answered, “None of them saw it.”

The Buddha said, “If not one of the priests who possess the three insights have seen Brahmā’s Heaven, none of the previous teachers of the priests who possess the three Vedas have seen Brahmā’s Heaven, and even the great sages of antiquity like the priest Aṣṭaka didn’t see Brahmā’s Heaven, we should know that the teachings of the priests who possess the three Vedas are untrue.”

He also told Vāsiṣṭha, “It’s like a lustful man who says, ‘I have a relationship with that beautiful woman.
Praise the way of lust!’

“Someone else says, ‘Do you know that woman?
Where is she?
To the east, west, south, or north?’

“The man replied, ‘I don’t know.’

“He’s again asked, ‘Don’t you know the region, city, town, or village where that woman lives?’

“He replies, ‘I don’t know.’

“He’s again asked, ‘Do you know the family name of that woman’s parents?’

“He replies, ‘I don’t know.’

“Again, he’s asked, ‘Do you know if that woman is a warrior woman or a priest, householder, or worker woman?’

“He replies, ‘I don’t know.’

“Again, he’s asked, ‘Do you know if that woman is tall or short, crude or fine, dark or light, and beautiful or ugly?’

“He replies, ‘I don’t know.’

“How is it, Vāsiṣṭha?
Does that man praise something that’s true?”

Vāsiṣṭha replied, “It’s not true.”

“So it is, Vāsiṣṭha.
The teachings of these priests who possess the three Vedas are the same.
They have no reality.
How is it, Vāsiṣṭha?
Do your priests who possess the three Vedas watch the sun and moon travel between the places where they rise and set?
Do they salute them with their hands together, make offerings, and say, ‘This path is true that attains the escape to the sun and moon’?”

He replied, “Yes, the priests who possess the three Vedas do see the sun and moon travel between the places where they rise and set.
They salute them with their hands together and make offerings, but they can’t say, ‘This path is true that will attain the escape to the sun and moon.’


“So it is, Vāsiṣṭha.
The priests who possess the three Vedas watch the sun and moon travel between the places where they rise and set.
They salute them with their hands together and make offerings, but they can’t say, ‘This path is true that will attain the escape to the sun and moon.’
Still, they routinely salute them with their hands together and make offerings.
Isn’t that done in vain?”

He answered, “Yes, Gautama.
That’s actually done in vain.”

The Buddha said, “They are like a man who builds a ladder in an empty place.
Someone else asks him, ‘What’s the purpose of building a ladder here?’

“The man answers, ‘I want to ascend the hall.’

“Again, he’s asked, ‘Where is this hall?
Is it east, west, south or north of here?’

“He answers, ‘I don’t know.’

“How is it, Vāsiṣṭha?
Didn’t this man who built a ladder to ascend a hall do so in vain?”

He replied, “Yes, it’s actually done in vain.”

The Buddha said, “The priests who possess the three Vedas are likewise.
They are deceptive and untrue.

“Vāsiṣṭha, the five desires are pure and extremely delightful.
What are the five?
Images seen by the eye are extremely delightful … ear … sounds … nose … odors … tongue … flavors … body … touches … are extremely delightful.
In my noble teaching, they are attachments, fetters, and binding chains.
Those priests who possess the three Vedas are defiled by these five desires, and their addiction to them is strong.
They don’t see their drawback and don’t know their escape, so they are bound by these five desires.
Even if they worshipped the sun and moon or water and fire and declared, ‘Support my rebirth in Brahmā’s Heaven!’
it would be impossible.

“It’s like the Ajiravatī River when its current is as high as its banks and a crow could drink from it.
Suppose a person on the near shore who’s been tightly bound called in vain to the other shore, ‘Cross over to me!’
Would the other shore cross over to this person?”

He replied, “No.”

“Vāsiṣṭha, the five desires are pure and extremely delightful, but they are still binding chains in my noble teaching.
Those priests who possess the three Vedas are defiled by these five desires, and their addiction to them is strong.
They don’t see their drawback and don’t know their escape, so they are bound by these five desires.
Even if they worshipped the sun and moon or water and fire and declared, ‘Support my rebirth in Brahmā’s Heaven!’
it would likewise never be possible.

“Vāsiṣṭha, it’s like the Ajiravatī River when its current is as high as its banks and a crow could drink from it.
Could someone without a boat or the strength to swim cross it if they wanted?”

He answered, “They couldn’t.”

“Vāsiṣṭha, the priests who possess the three Vedas are likewise.
They don’t cultivate the ascetic’s pure religious life, instead cultivating other paths that are impure practices.
Their goal of being born in Brahmā’s Heaven isn’t possible.

“Vāsiṣṭha, it’s like many people caught in a flash flood in the mountains without boats or a bridge.
A traveler comes upon it and wants to cross over to the other shore.
Seeing the mountain river’s torrent and the people floating in it, they realize they also lack a boat or bridge.
That person thinks, ‘Now, I’d better collect many reeds and branches and bind them into a raft.
Perhaps I could then cross to the other shore using my own power?’
They then bind a raft and use their own power to cross over to safety.

“Vāsiṣṭha, this is likewise.
If a monk abandons the impure practices of non-ascetics and practices the ascetic’s pure religious practice, then his desire to be born in Brahmā’s Heaven is possible.
How is it, Vāsiṣṭha?
Does Brahmā have resentment, or does he not?”

He answered, “He doesn’t have resentment.”

Again, the Buddha asked, “Do the priests who possess the three Vedas have resentment, or do they not?”

He answered, “They have resentment.”

“Vāsiṣṭha, Brahmā has no resentment, but the priests who possess the three Vedas have resentment.
They don’t equally have or have no resentment.
They aren’t both free of it and headed the same way.
Therefore, Brahmā and the priests aren’t equals.
How is it, Vāsiṣṭha?
Does Brahmā have anger, o