Compiled from various sources




Swami Venkatesananda


With foreword by

H.H. Geshe Rabten

H.H the Venerable Piyadassi Maha Thera

H.H. the Venerable Dr. Ellawala Nandisvara Nayake Thero






(The chapter numbers, where relevant, are given in brackets)

Prajnaparamita Hrdayam


Index of illustrations


Life of Lord Buddha

Scheme of Transliteration


Digha Nikaya

1-3Jan (14)

6-8Jan (19)

29-30Jan (28)

31Jan-1Feb (17)

2-10Feb (16)

15Feb (18)

26Feb-1Mar (1)

8Mar (20)

10-11Apr (13)

14-15Apr (15)

2-3May (24)

1-2June (3)

3-4June (9)

5-7June (22)

24June (4)

25June (5)

28June (6)

29June (11)

15July (25)

20-21July (31)

3Aug (12)

12-13Aug (8)

14-15Aug (2)

19Aug (30)

23Aug (26)

26- 27Aug (23)

13-15Sept (27)

16-17Sept (21)

18-19Sept (29)

25-31Dec (34)

Majjhima Nikaya….

4Jan (81)

5Jan (83)

16-17Jan (36)

18-19Jan (26)

20Jan (19)

21-22Jan (4)

26Jan (141)

28Jan (86)

11Feb (108)

12Feb (52)

14Feb (70)

16Feb (92)

17Feb (89)

18Feb (100)

19-23Feb (12)

24Feb (47)

25Feb (68)

2Mar (71)

3-6Mar (77)

5-7Apr (43)

8-9Apr (44)

12-13Apr (2)

16-20Apr (9)

21Apr (60)

22Apr (102)

23Apr (136)

24Apr (45)

25Apr (46)

26Apr (87)

27Apr (1)

28Apr (147)

29Apr (35)

30Apr (28)

1May (109)

4May (63)

5May (72)

6May (64)

7May (95)

8May (16)

9May (149)

10May (18)

12May (126)

13May (148)

14-15May (51)

16May (125)

17May (152)

18May (135)

I9May (131-134)

20May (144)

21May (143)

23May (79)

24-25May (82)

26May (76)

27May (105)

28May (97)

29May (142)

30May (74)

31May (59)

8June (119)

9June (118)

10June (62)

11-12June (10)

13June (8)

14June (138)

15June (73)

16June (20)

17June (38)

18June (111)

19June (122)

20June (151)

21June (121)

22June (117)

23June (115)

26June (114)

27June (112)

30June (101)

1July (24)

2-3July (140)

4July (146)

5July (110)

6July (113)

7July (129)

8July (90)

9July (99)

10July (96)

11July (93)

12July (91)

13July (150)

14July (67)

16July (29)

17July (6)

18July (65)

19July (53)

22July (58)

23July (21)

24July (27)

25July (66)

26July (11)

27July (107)

31July (145)

1Aug (139)

2Aug (137)

4Aug (15)

5Aug (39)

6Aug (78)

7Aug (85)

8Aug (7)

9Aug (31)

10Aug (17)

11Aug (69)

16Aug (48)

17Aug (33)

18Aug (32)

20-21Aug (22)

22Aug (3)

24Aug (130)

25Aug (41)

28-29Aug (56)

30Aug (61)

31Aug-1Sept (75)

2Sept (106)

3Sept (13)

4Sept (14)

5-6Sept (128)

7Sept (55)

8Sept (5)

9Sept (54)

10Sept (25)

11Sept (57)

12Sept (23)

Jataka Stories……….




Mah Sllava-11Jan








The First Discourse-23-25 Jan.

Fire Discourse-27Jan.

Enlightenment Sutra-13Feb.

Buddha Patience-7Mar.

Dhamma Pada………

9Mar (1)

10Mar (2)

11Mar (3)

12Mar (4)

13Mar (5)

14Mar (6)

15Mar (7)

16Mar (8)

17Mar (9)

18Mar (10)

19Mar (11)

20Mar (12)

21Mar (13)

22Mar (14)

23Mar (15)

24Mar (16)

25Mar (17)

26Mar (18)

27Mar (19)

28Mar (20)

29Mar (21)

30Mar (22)

31Mar (23)

1Apr (24)

2Apr (25)

3-4Apr (26)



Yogi Milarepa……



27-28 0ct.

Bodhipathapradipam.. 28,30July.


Visuddhi Magga…………



1-19 0ct.

22 sept. Abhidhammattha Sangaha

Maha Mudra-20-23 0ct.

Vajracchedika Sutra-24-26 0ct.

Prajna Paramita…………

29 0ct-2Nov (55)

3Nov (56)

4Nov (57)

5Nov (58)

6Nov (59)

7Nov (60,61)

8Nov (61,62)

9-10Nov (62)

11-17Nov (63)

18Nov (64,65)

19Nov (65,66)

20Nov (67,68,69)

21Nov (69,70)

22Nov (70,71)

23Nov (71)

24Nov (72)

25-28Nov (73)

29Nov (73,74)

30Nov (74)

1Dec (75);

2Dec (76,77)

3Dec (78)

4Dec (79)

5Dec (80,81)

6Dec (81,82)

Madhyamika Sastra-7Dec.

Mahayana Sangraha Sastra-8Dec.

Lankavatra Sutra-9Dec.

Surangama Sutra-10-20Dec.

Mustard Seed-21Dec.

Milinda Prasna-22Dec.

Zen Mondo-23Dec.

Zen Story and Koans-24Dec.

What Are They?-1









atta-dipa bhikkhave viharata

atta-sarana ananna sarana,

dhamma-dipa dhamma-sarana


O monks, live with your own self as the lamp and refuge, with no other refuge; live with the dhamma as your light and refuge, with no other refuge.

(Digha Nikaya 26)

na subhute margena bodhiḥ prapyate na amargena:

bodhir eva margo marga eva bodhiḥ

O Subhuti, enlightenment is not attained via a path, nor is it reached without the path: enlightenment itself is the path, and the path itself is enlightenment.

(Prajnaparamita Sutra)

If any one would speak of the non-existent as existent and of the existent as non-existent, then he would not be the all-knowing person. The buddha, the all-comprehensive in understanding, speaks of the existent as existent and of the non-existent as non-existent. He does not speak of the existent as non-existent, nor of the non-existent as existent; he just speaks of things as they are in their true nature...The sun for example does not make anything tall or short nor does it level all things down to the ground. It illumines all things equally. Even so is the case with the buddha. He does not make the non-existent existent nor the existent non-existent. He always speaks the truth; and by the light of his wisdom he illumines all things.



First Edition: 1982 (3000 copies)

ISBN o 620 05937 o

Published by

The Chiltern Yoga Trust,

P.O. ELGIN, 7180,

Cape Province,

Rep. of South Africa.


Grateful thanks are offered to:

H.H. Geshe Rabten, H.H. the venerable Piyadassi Maha Thera and H.H. the venerable Dr. Ellawala Nandisvara Nayake Thero for their gracious Forewords.

Amrita Appadoo, Shanti Etches. Patience Fitzjohn, Erica Leon, Bill Thomas, Doreen Black, Mavis Scott, Swamis Narayani Mata, Ananda. Sushila and Hamsa for thoroughly editing and typing the manuscript.

Kalyan McAlister for typing the whole text for the printers.

Les McAlister and Joyce Wilcock for proof-reading with meticulous care.

Ingrid Race for organising the audience with H.H. Geshe Rabten. and for the inspiring illustrations.

Heide Ruede, Rebin Featherstone and Sushila for the art work.

Padmavathy for her loving assistance.

Erica Leon for seeing the publication through all its stages.

The following friends of Swami Venkatesananda whose love and support throughout the years, and whose personal offering to Swamiji have helped to make this publication possible:

Mr Mustan Currimjer, Mr V Daya, Val Davidson, Douglas and Sarah February. J.L.G.. Tara Gthwala, Bhikku Kassen and family, Kaschen. Mr and Mrs Satilal Lala. Panos and Sally Lazanas, Bhagavandas Lodhia, Mr G Munsook. Yogeshwari and Irene. Derick and Neela Naidoo, B and Naik and family, the late Mr. Amratlal Naik. Gauri Narotam, Robert and Heima Owens. Mr CC Palsania. the late Mr S Patel, Mra Amboo Pather, Lakshmi and Sanah Pather, the late Chanden Ranchod, Lakshmi and Christie Reddy. Krishna and Sulochana Reddy, Mavis Scott, Fred Stegruhn, Jaya van Alphen, Chidananda-Jyotsnamata and Bharat van der Weeke. Joyce Wilcock and Wesley Zineski.





H.H. The Dalai Lama's visit to Perth on 20th August 1982 was a memorable one. His Holiness addressed two public meetings at St. George's Cathedral during which he delivered a brilliant exposition of the three aspects of Buddhist teaching: Sila (discipline or right conduct), samadhi (meditation), and prajna (wisdom). During an informal get-together with some of the religious leaders of Perth, he expressed his views on the fundamental issues of Religion strongly reminiscent for me of Gurudev Swami Sivananda's own. Some brilliant flashes are:-

(1) Basically, all religions aim at promoting humanity to make a human being a better human being.

(2) Religions differ in their approach to this aim. The criterion here is 'suitability. Some doctrines suit some people and others suit other people. Some need to believe in a soul, a creator and so on, and others need to believe in self-effort, the law of karma and Investigation.

(3) With the facilities for communication available in the modern world, it becomes urgent that there should be frequent meeting of religious leaders for exchanging of ideas. Common factors should be emphasised, but the differences should not be suppressed.


Swami shows the manuscript of "Buddha Daily Readings" to His Holiness The Dalai Lama



om namo bhagavatyai arya-prajnaparami tayai

arya-avalokitesvaro bodhisattvo gambhiram prajnaparamita-caryam caramano vyavalokayati sma panca-skandhan tam ca svabhavadunyan pasyati ama

iha sariputra rupan dunyata dunyataiva rupan rupan na prthak dunyata dunyataya na prthag rupan yad rupam sa sunyata ya sunyata tad rupam evam eva vedana namjna samskara vijnanam tha sariputra sarva dharmah dunyata laksana anut.panna aniruddha amala avimala anuna aparipurnaḥ

tasmac chariputra dunyatayam na rupai na vedana na samjna na samskarah na vijnanam na cakauh frotra ghrapa jihva kaya manamni na rupa fabda gandha rasa spardatavyadharmah na caksur dhatur yavan na manovijnana dhatuh na avidya na avidya kṣayo yavan na jara maranam na jaramarana kaayo na duḥkha namudaya nirodha marga na jnanam na praptir na apraptiḥ

tasmac chariputra apraptitvad bodhisattvasya prajnaparamitam aaritya viharaty acittavaranah cittavarana nastitvad atrasto viparyasa atikranto nistha nirvana praptah tryadhva vyavasthitab sarva-buddhaḥ prajnaparamitam afritya anuttaram samyaksambodhim abhisambuddhah

tasmaj jnatavyam prajnaparamita maha mantro maha vidya mantro 'nuttara mantro 'samasama mantraḥ sarva duḥkha pranamanaḥ satyam amithyatvat prajnaparami tayam ukto mantraḥ tadyatha gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi avaha iti prajnaparamita hrdayam samaptam


















Thus have 1 heard:

The Lord and a great assembly of monks were meditating on the vulture's peak in Rajagṛha.

The arya Avalokitesvara, the bodhisattva, treading the path of the perfection of wisdom which is profound and unfathomable, beheld only the five aggregates, which in themselves were empty of an independent self-existence.

Inwardly prompted by the Lord, the venerable Sariputra asked the bodhisattva: "How should we understand the prajnaparamita?"


O Sariputra, form is emptiness and the very emptiness is form; form is non-different (or non-separate) from emptiness and emptiness is non- different from form; that which is form is emptiness and that which is emptiness is form; even so are feelings, perceptions, psychological impressions or tendencies and consciousness.

Here, O Sariputra, all dharma (phenomena or elements) are characterised by emptiness; they are not given rise to nor are they restrained; they are neither impure nor immaculate; neither inadequate nor complete.

Thus, O Sariputra, in emptiness there is no form, no feeling, no perception, no mental impressions or tendencies, no consciousness; no eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind; no forms, sounds, smells, tastes, tactile sensations or psychological objects (thoughts and so on); nothing known as the element of sight and so on, up to the element of the mind. There is no ignorance and hence no cessation of ignorance, and so on. There is neither birth and death nor their cessation, no sorrow nor its arising nor its cessation nor a path to such cessation. There is no wisdom, attainment or non-attainment.

Thus, because there is no attainment, the bodhisattva dwells solely in perfect wisdom, without the least veil of mental activity. Because of the absence of this veil, nothing makes him tremble (fear), he has trans- cended whatever is capable of disturbing him and he attains nirvana in which he remains firmly established.

All the buddha in the three periods of time are established in the perfection of wisdom and are therefore fully awake to the right and perfect enlightenment.

Therefore one should know the prajnaparamita mahamantra which is supreme knowledge, supreme mantra and which remedies all suffering and sorrow in truth, for it is true. Here is the mantra declared in prajna- Paramita: "Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone totally beyond, the awakening, svaha.



This compilation of the gospel of lord Buddha has been of great inspiration to me. I have read the pali text where available. I have consulted a few translations but have not always followed them. The translators differ in their interpretation and use of certain key words. This is natural. However much we strive to create uniformity in the use of words for certain concepts, the diversity will continue. Uniformity in this case might even give rise to false images in the minds of readers, thus blocking correct understanding. Hence I have used several words to translate a text which is repeated in different contexts, in the hope that when the buddha's teaching soaks through, the right meaning will emerge from within.

For instance, I read a learned article by a great buddhist scholar in which he declares that saddha is 'confidence rather than 'faith'. This seems to make sense, till we use 'confidence freely and reduce it to 'faith'. The solution seems to be to use several words, each appropriate to the context. This applies to words like viriya which could mean energy, vitality, zeal and so on; samma which can be translated into 'right' and 'perfect'; kusala which has the connotations of skilled, disciplined, good and so on. To help the reader, some words and their meanings gleaned from a standard dictionary as well as the "Manual of Abhidhamma" have been given in the glossary (What are They). Please refer to this before commencing your study of the text.

The teaching has been arranged with the student-seeker's practical needs in view. In addition to the Vipassi story which sounds like the biography of lord Buddha, a few interesting Jataka stories have been included. It is interesting to see that the Prajnaparamita reading for December 3rd mentions that buddha chooses to be born as animal for reasons different from past karma.

I have endeavoured to present the teaching without making it highly philosophical or intellectual, so that a true seeker belonging to any religion might find inspiration in his daily practice of the precepts of the Lord. With this wish and prayer this volume is offered as a flower at the feet of my Gurudev in your heart.

I am grateful to the great living embodiments of the buddha for their gracious Foreword.

Swami Venkatesananda August 1981

Gurudev Swami Sivananda and Swami Venkatesananda at the Kelaniya Budha Vihara (Sri Lanka) during Gurudev’s All India Tour in 1950




Lord Venkatesa





                                                                                                                         Facing Page

The bodhisattva Avalokitesvara who gazes upon this world of suffering with eyes of unlimited compassion.                                                                                i

The young prince Gautama realising the all-pervading suffering of which this world is woven: ageing, illness and death.                                             2 January

Sakyamuni attaining full enlightenment - buddhahood.                     3 January

Buddha teaching his close disciples.                                                       4 February

Entering the fourth meditation.                                                               7 April

Milarepa, the perfect yogi, who fully realised the dharmakaya in a single life-time.                                                                                                             10 June

Buddha Sakyamuni teaching.                                                                  13 August

Meditation on limitless space.                                                                16 October

Je Tsong Khapa, considered to have been an incarnation of Manjusri, the bodhisattva of wisdom, whose symbols are the sword and a text book.

                                                                                                                    18 November

The disciple Jinko.                                                                                    12 December
















The personal adviser to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and a great authority on Vajnayana in particular, and buddhism in general; head of TARPA CHOELING Centre for Higher Tibetan Studies in Switzerland.

First I must offer my respects to Swami Venkatesananda not just as a great scholar but as one genuinely engaged in working for the welfare of others. In addition to performing the altruistic task of propagating the teachings and practices of his own tradition, in this present work he has translated into English and explained some of the Buddhist scriptures. This in itself is a remarkable and worthwhile achievement. Moreover, the Buddhist teachings are of particular relevance today since they are presented in a way that is neither too complicated nor too simplistic. They are easy to practise, they are supported by logic and reasoning, and they produce results for each individual in accordance with his or her particular capacities. Therefore, this work should not be of interest merely to scholars of Buddhism, but should be of benefit to people in all walks of life.

I have the firm conviction that this book will help to lead beings into the supreme Mahayana path of the Vajrayana and thereby assist them in achieving the goal of Buddhahood.

May all mother and father sentient beings find happiness.

May all lower realms of existence cease to be,

And may the prayers of all Bodhisattvas

Everywhere be fulfilled.


Through the virtue of this work

May all beings complete the accumulation of merit and wisdom,


And attain the two holy bodies of Buddha

That arise from such merit and wisdom.


Geshe Rabten

Switzerland, 1980

(Translation of the Tibetan text which appears on the previous pages)









A senior elder Maha Thera- of the Theravada School of  Buddhism; the Abbott of the Forest Hermitage, Kandy, Sri Lanka; and the founder of Buddha Viharas throughout the world.

Swami Venkatesananda is known to me for a long period of time. He has his followers in many countries. With their assistance he is making an effort to spread the message of Ahimsa, non-violence, and peace. In recent times he has been translating some of the Hindu scriptures such as Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Vasistha etc., and presenting them as 'daily readings'.

Now the Swami has embarked on a new undertaking the printing of the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha. In this volume the reader will find a selection of the discourses from Digha and Majjhima Nikaya (the long and middle-length sayings of the Buddha). He also has included in this volume teachings of the Mahayana, Tibetan and other Buddhist schools.

Buddhism is the most psychological of religions and in Buddhism there is no coercion and compulsion, instead there is absolute freedom of thought and speech. It is interesting to note what the Buddha has said referring to his own discourses:

"Now this I say, Nigrodha, not wishing to win pupils, not wishing to make you fall from your religious studies, not wishing to make you give up your mode of living, not to establish you in things accepted by you and your teacher as evil and unwholesome, or to make you give up things regarded by you and your teacher as good and wholesome. NOT SO."

"But, Nigrodha, there are evil and unwholesome things not put away, things that have to do with defilements...it is for the rejection of these things that I teach the Dhamma (the doctrine); walking according to which things concerned with defilements shall be put away, and wholesome things that make for purity shall be brought to increase and one may attain, here and now, the realisation of full and abounding insight."

(Uḍumbarika-Sihanada Sutta, Digha-Nikaya, Sutta 25). Western interest in Indian thought, yoga and meditation is increas- ing at an amazing rate. The reason is not far to seek. There is a mounting feeling of restlessness among the people the world over. This feeling is prevalent mostly among the youth. They want a quick remedy for the turmoil of the materialistic world. They are in search of peace and tranquillity.

Here then is the universal lesson the Buddha taught all mankind: the lesson of virtuous conduct (sila) that leads gradually to tranquillity (samadhi) which step by step graduate into emancipating wisdom (panna) and culminates in deliverance (vimutti) which is Nibbana.

So here the perplexed will find clarity, the distraught solace, and the disheartened hope and courage. The discourses of the Buddha have exercised a deep and abiding influence on the course of human thought, and therefore, on the course of human conduct. They have shaped the minds and fashioned the lives of men and women for centuries. Verily it is a timeless message.




M.A., M.Litt., Ph.D.

Director, Maha Bodhi Society, Madras.

I have profound delight and pleasure in adding a foreword to Swami Venkatesananda's book of readings from the Lord Buddha's teachings, for daily perusal and study. The time-honoured teachings of the Lord, though more than two thousand years old, have the greatest appeal to the modern world deluded in torpor, misconception and gross materialism. Time does not wither nor custom stale the eternal truths of suffering, the enhancement of suffering, the cessation of suffering leading to the path of bliss of nibbana. The noble eightfold path is one of spiritual sublimation and perfection of vision to all worldlings seeking the realisation of the supreme truth of the reality of the ultimate goal of man. Man is a temporary sojourner on a rotating wheel of life, living in constant uncertainty of the past, fear of the present and anxiety of the future. Recurring doubt, restlessness, ambition unrealised, cares and distress, agony and travail pursue him like the shadow day and night. Sunk in the depths of utter ignorance he gropes in darkness unaware of the nature of suffering in the world of matter and mind.

The nature of consciousness that sparks the urge of life and goads the continuity of the flux of constant repetition of the desire to live, anchors the mind in the world of becoming. Man is a product of his mind alone. Mind alone creates the sum total of the five aggregates: form, sensation, perception, conception and consciousness. Mind cloisters, fortifies and dissolves the tendency of urge to become.

Birth is sorrow, living is distress, death is grievous pain. The born are subject to suffering and the unborn suffer not. One who is born is always maturing, ageing, decaying, and under the normal stress of daily living undergoes untold agony as a result of constant innovation. He is a victim to the eternal flux of change, not being the same for two consecutive seconds. All matter within him and without is subject to this nature of revolution and rotation. Where does man find happiness in the midst of such an environment of flux of elements?

Endurance or patience is the noblest form of ascetic practice. Restraint is the highest discipline. Craving is the greatest of all diseases in the life of man. Medicine is capable of remedying diseases that arise in him, but craving is the stark nature of his primordial heritage. It is not curable by external treatment but can be remedied by one's own effort to understand the reality of the world, and rise from its engrossment, realising the futility of attachment to changing phenomena.

The quest for the final goal of peace and sanctity where mortal strife ceases; the flutter of the heart and mind hankering after mundane pursuit (accompanied by greed, hatred and delusion) abruptly culminates in absolute harmony; the stream of consciousness that had interlinked the past with the present and had flowed into the future ever aspiring for repetition of the past experiences under fresh venues completely withered away has been the universal search of man from time immemorial in the history of evolution. Arisen in mortal form his quest for immortality has kindled the beams of light that illumine the pages of philosophical thought. However, the doctrine of the Buddha has not been for the embellishment of the lines of philosophy nor speculative adventure in the field of metaphysics.

The Buddha's main objective was to tackle the main problem of man. Man was born into this world with ignorance of his past conditions. What promoted the present saga of sorrow and reduced his joys and pleasures here, he is at a loss to comprehend. He fails to understand that the past has conditioned the present and the present modulates and determines the future. Lord Buddha endeavoured to dispel ignorance in man's conscious- ness, with his teachings and with rational approach to the law of dependent origination. All beings are products of their past action - the volition in the action determining the extent of preponderance of results He proclaimed. Man had the potentiality and latent power to discover the path of perfection for self-realisation, free from the whims and caprices of super-normal agencies. The Buddha dispelled by his doctrine of enlightenment the shroud of ignorance that veils man's vision from the realities beyond the world of matter. Craving was the cause of all arisings of mind and body in the world of travail. Immediately after enlightenment, in an ecstatic paean of joy, the Lord uttered: "In numerous lives in the ocean of life (samsara) have I been born, all the time seek- ing the creator of this tabernacle of life. I failed to detect the creator but now I have espied him. That creator is none other than the nature of gross craving in me. The mind, engrossed in sensual yearning, thirst- ing for existence and grasping for release from attachment, had for millenniums and millenniums enslaved me to this cycle of existence. Now have I completely and ruthlessly severed the links of the chain of dependent origination that kept me bound in suffering to life and states of woe. This is my last life in any abode of existence. Never more will this sinister nature of craving build the tabernacle of life for me. Shattered are the rafters and ridge-poles that bore it, and destroyed is the yearning or desire to be."

Craving is the root cause of all becoming. That attachment, with greed for repetition of form and mind, gives joy hither and thither in varying forms of life, urging the gratification of the senses, the fulfilment of the desire to exist and a constant yearning for the ultimate cessation of desire itself. Desire begets pain and sorrow in the inability and inadequacy of attainment. The urge in man is for the plenary perfection of life in the aspiration for bliss. Bliss is the state of total release from all desires (or desirelessness).

The teachings of the Buddha emphasise the latent power of man to redeem himself from the stream of becoming, unprejudiced by the whims and caprices of super-normal powers. "Within this fathom-long body is the arising of the world, and its cessation. You are your own guide and master upon the path; why look for external aid for your liberation? The Buddhas do not cleanse and purify you. They show you the path of perfection and liberation. Through their teachings purify thy mind and attain to the state of deathlessness, utilising thine latent powers."

Buddhism does not accept the theory of creation of the world by any super-normal power but ascribes the world to be in constant flux, constantly evolving or devolving with its geological nature, creativity and destructivity. Man and nature are subjected to the flux of change, therefore consistency is not a quality of any phenomenon.

The stream of life is a projection of the mind heavily loaded with the energies of the flux of consciousness. What is the universal factor in all emanations? The Buddha states: "Mind alone is the primeval factor in all emanations of form. Mind alone prevails and preponderates." Buddhism substitutes the mind in the place that soul occupies in other theistic religions. Mind alone makes or mars man.

The principles of simplicity, austerity and renunciation embodied in the teachings of the Lord Buddha exemplify that humility, chastity and poverty, though self-imposed, contribute towards the gross contentment of the mind of the aspirant for mental solace. The tattered robes of the monk with his begging bowl stands as the perfect symbol of complete renunciation of all worldly wealth. Happy is he with the humble food offered by the impoverished urchin and the robes he stitches together from the tatters he picks off the funeral disposals.

Buddhism has often been called a pessimistic teaching, as the key note of the doctrine emphasises the truth of suffering, the enhancement of suffering. The universality of suffering in this world is apparent to the poet and the philosopher, but not to the worldling who constantly pursues the gratification of the carnal senses. Even to him, a reflection arises that inability to gratify himself in his urges is sorrowful. Not to attain what one desires is sorrow. The separation from loved ones is suffering and painful, to be with those who are undesirable again is regretful. These sorrows are stressed as there is a state free from suffer- ing that could endow the state of perfect peace. There is a state of peace where sorrows end, where birth and craving cease, where birth, decay and death end. This state can be attained within this mortal frame. Assiduously and earnestly endeavour to reach this state, O monks, and your sorrows shall end.

Quotations from the Pali text have been included in the selection of readings to enlighten the reader on the noble eightfold path: right under- standing, right thought, right word, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration. In the key note exposition of the dhamma to the first five disciples in the Deer park at Varanasi, the Lord Buddha expounded the middle path of ascetic practice, neither leaning to the extreme view of self mortification nor self indul- gence, both of which he declaimed as non-conducive to the final attain- ment of nirvanic bliss. This middle path is the noble eightfold path. The Tathagata, by following this middle path, attained to the highest liberation and enlightenment. It is with the clear perspective of super- normal vision into things mundane and supramundane that the Blessed One reveals the four noble truths and the noble eightfold path for the absolution of suffering here in order to attain the state of deathless emancipation.

The attainment of nirvana is no prerogative of a selected few. It is within the perspective of all who follow the middle path and assiduously practise the fourfold mindfulness. Swami Venkatesananda has brought out the salient features of the four Satipatthanas in his selections from the texts and this will be of enthralling delight to the peruser.

Nirvana is not a nihilistic negation of life. It is a positive state of attainment where the fires of desire that kindle the life-urge come to a peaceful cessation. It is not a state of merging with infinity of space or time, nor with infinity of divinity. It is a state of the con- ditioned mind attaining the unconditioned. The fires of material urge in the planes of mundane existence are chilled and the mind enters the bliss of release from the world of becoming. The continuity of the life-stream withers away as sensual desire, desire to continue and the inclination for satiation (kama tanha, bhava tanhã, and vibhava_tanha) no longer feed the flux of life. The purified one who enters nirvanic bliss negates the effect of all karma and results thereof arising in the future, but is still subject to the after effects of any residue remaining unspent in this life-time.

I am indeed deeply indebted to the efforts of Swami Venkatesananda who, with great patience and assiduity, has compiled the text of readings from the Pali Texts, adding a few selections from the mahayana and the sarvastivada schools. The bodhisattva ideal of mahayana thought has been of immense appeal to the world and the bhakti cult arising out of practices in China and Japan has motivated a sense of profound sacrifice and self-surrender both to the Buddha and the dhamma. The bodhicitta of the sarvastivada school of Tibet has awakened the ecstatic poetical utterances of Milarepa, who opens his mind and heart of absolute purity and innocence to the throbs of the deluded world of yearning consterna- tion and ego-centricity.

May the light of the dhamma be your guide each day of your reading, and may the path of enlightenment be within your reach in this life itself. May all beings in this world and all sentients in other realms of life attain the bliss of nirvana.


H.H. Swami Pranavananda of the Divine Life Society, Malaysia, H.H. the Venerable K Sri Dhammananda Thera, and Swami Venkatesananda


I have gone through your article concerning the life of Lord Buddha and found it to be suitable for publication.. I have nothing to add or delete. I am happy to enclose in this letter your article and trust it will reach you in good order.


Chief High Priest in Malaysia.

The historian has been able to determine that the Buddha was born in the year 563 B.C. Buddha (or, Gautama Siddhartha as he was known) was born of king Suddhodana and his queen Maya. King Suddhodana was then ruling over a kingdom in North India. One day the queen dreamt that the guardian angels of the earth lifted her and took her away to the Himalaya and there she was bathed in the Anotatta lake and laid down to rest on a heavenly couch within a golden mansion on Silver Hill. Then the bodhisattva destined to become the buddha entered her womb.

A bodhisattva is one who has almost reached perfection, who possesses all the qualifications necessary for attaining buddhahood. This was the last birth for this particular bodhisattva. Queen Maya related her dream to the king who consulted the learned men of his time, who predicted that the queen would give birth to one who, if he remained a householder would become the king of the earth, and, if he adopted the monastic life, would become the buddha.

These great ones are often born in unexpected environments. The buddha was born in a 'pleasure-grove of sal-trees', and it is said that "four brahma angels received the child in a golden net (as it was being delivered by the queen) and showed it to the mother, saying: 'Rejoice, O Lady! A great son is born to thee." It is added that he immediately stood up and took seven strides proclaiming that he was supreme in the world and that this was his last birth.

The child was named Siddhartha. The king eagerly sought the advice. of fortune tellers to avert the inevitable. The wise men predicted that Siddhartha would be reminded of the purpose of his life by the four signs: old age, sickness, death and a monk. It was easy, so the king thought, to avert destiny; he could ensure that the prince would never see any of these.

Seven days after the child's birth, queen Maya passed away. Freed from maya, the great power of illusion, the young prince grew up.

As was the custom the prince was sent to a teacher (acarya). Siddhartha excelled in all arts and crafts that were taught to him. At the same time, the worried monarch spread a net of pleasure, pastimes and prosperity around the prince to capture the bird destined to fly away! Several palaces with all manner of objects of pleasure beyond the reach of even others of the princely clan were built to imprison the future buddha who was born to liberate the spirit of all men. The king was even more thrilled when the prince consented to marry, and lost no time in securing for him the hand of one of the most eligible maidens of the time, Yasodhara. The prince lived what was outwardly a normal life with princess Yasodhara, and they had a son.

Even before the son was born, the mission for which Siddhartha was born had to be fulfilled. During his excursions from the palace, Siddhartha encountered, one after the other, an old man, a sick man and a funeral procession. Siddhartha questioned his charioteer: "Is this the common lot of all?" The charioteer in all honesty had to affirm it. When they met the bhikkhu (mendicant ascetic), Siddhartha asked the charioteer: "Who is this man clad in rags who radiates peace and bliss?" The charioteer had to answer: "This, O Prince, is a bhikkhu who has renounced the world." That was the answer the prince was waiting for. In the silent darkness of the night, the prince left the palace, and in the manner of the men of renunciation, Siddhartha cut off the locks of hair, discarded the princely attire and donned the robes of a mendicant. Siddhartha commenced his journey to the destination- nirvana.

For a time Siddhartha became the 'disciple' of Alara Kalama who, however, did not satisfy the disciple. Siddhartha left him and reached the Uruvela forest where he joined a company of five extremist ascetics. For six years he practised the severest form of austerities. His body wasted away. But where was the advantage of destroying the body which would fall one day without all this effort? Siddhartha Gautama realised the error just before it was too late, and resolved to take food. An angel appeared in a dream to Sujata, the daughter of a village chief, and commanded her to offer food to the bodhisattva. On the full moon day in the month of May, she made her offering of rice cooked in milk. Siddhartha's strength was revived. Sujata was blessed.

Siddhartha entered into deep meditation. "In the first watch of the night he reached the knowledge of former states of being. In the middle watch he obtained the heavenly eye of omniscient vision and in the third watch he grasped the perfect understanding of the chain of causation which is the origin of evil, and thus at the break of day he attained to perfect enlightenment. He proclaimed: 'Through many diverse births I passed seeking in vain the builder of the house. But, O builder of houses, thou art found never again shalt thou fashion a house for me! Broken are all thy beams, the king-post shattered! My mind has passed into the stillness of nibbana; the ending of desire has been attained at last.""

Siddhartha Gautama had become the buddha. The buddha's enlighten- ment lightened the burden of all mankind. For seven weeks thereafter Buddha enjoyed the bliss of nibbana. Afterwards he set out to teach the truth that he had realised.

The mission had begun. The buddha enlightened a thousand disciples. He went to his father's capital, Kapilavastu. The king became Buddha's follower and the royal household followed suit. Buddha's son, Rahula, became his disciple. The swelling congregation of Buddha's followers took the shape of the holy order, the sangha. The buddha continued to tour the country, preaching the dhamma and leading thousands along the noble eightfold path. Lord Buddha was perhaps the first Indian founder of a religious sect who organised his followers and established an order. He even formulated the rules and regulations of the order.

The mission was drawing to a close. The buddha had announced that soon he would be discarding the body. Some of his disciples were stricken with grief. To console them and to admonish them, the buddha instructed them thus: "Therefore, be ye lamps unto yourselves. Be ye a refuge to yourselves. Betake yourselves to no external refuge. Hold fast to the truth as a lamp. Hold fast as a refuge to the truth. Look not for refuge to anyone besides yourselves."

It is said that the buddha partook of a meal served by Cunda the smith which upset his digestion and eventually caused his death. There has always to be some reason. The buddha himself warned his disciples not to blame Cunda. He even compared Cunda's offering with Sujata's: the one immediately before the enlightenment and the other immediately before the final passing away. As he lay during the final hour of his last incarnation on the earth, he consoled everyone near him, and passed away with these words: "Decay is inherent in all component things. Work out your salvation with diligence."

Father Paul Bossard of the Swiss Catholic Mission, says:

"It is worth mentioning that Buddha was regarded a 'pre- christian saint'

in the Catholic church until the 12th century,

his name being listed in the 'Martyrologium',

an index of great men and women who gave special

witness to God and Christ through their life and teachings."

























The day-to-day style of this publication follows the same pattern as The Song of God (Bhagavad Gita), Bhagavatam (The Book of God), Valmiki's Ramayana and The Supreme Yoga (The Yoga Vasistha). Such a diarised presentation greatly facilitates study of these sacred texts.

The use of capital letters has been reduced to the absolute minimum. For the plural form of many of the pali and sanskrit nouns such as: asava, brahmana, buddha, deva, an accent has merely been added to the last vowel regardless of the proper form. We crave the indulgence of pali and sanskrit scholars for this.

On certain pages a pali or sanskrit quote has been selected and is given at the top of the page. The free translation of that quote can be found in bold face in the body of the text. The top left-hand side of the page indicates the source and the right-hand side the chapter number, where relevant. For example:

DIGHA NIKAYA                                31st DECEMBER                                       34


1. "Thus have 1 heard" is how the pali text commences every sutta. The narrator is Ananda.

2. Where the main text is short of a full page, 'fillers' have been used. These have been chosen at random and do not have a bearing on the text on that page.



buddham saranam gacchami

dhammam saranam gacchami

sangham saranam gacchami


dutiyampi buddham saranam gacchami

dutiyampi dhammam saranam gacchami

dutiyampi sanghan saranam gacchami


tatiyampi buddham saranam gacchami

tatiyampi dhammam saranam gacchami

tatiyampi sangham saranam gacchami


1 take refuge in the buddha,

1 take refuge in the dhamma,

I take refuge in the sangha.

For the second time,

I take refuge in the buddha, dhamma and sangha.

For the third time,

1 take refuge in the buddha, dhamma and sangha.








etena sacca vajjena sotti te hotu sabbada

etena sacca vajjena sabba rogo vinassatu

etena sacca vajjena hotu te jaya mangalam

sabbhitiyo vivajjantu sabba rogo vinassatu

ma te bhavatvantarayo sukhi digghayuko bhava

bhavatu sabba mangalam rakkhantu sabba devata 

sabba buddhanubhavena sabba dhammanubhavena

sabba sanghanubhavena sada sotti bhavantu te

nakkhatra yakka bhutanang papaggaha nivaranang

paritassanubhavena hantu te sang upaddave

devo vassatu kalena sassa sampatti hotu ca

pito bhavatu loko ca raja bhavatu dhammiko

1. By this avowal of truth, may you ever be well. By this avowal of truth, may all disease be destroyed. By this avowal of truth, may joyous victory be thine.

2. May all misfortunes be warded off, all diseases cured, and no danger befall you. May you live long in peace. May all blessings be yours. May all gods protect you. By the power of all the buddha, by the power of all dhamma, and by the power of all the sangha, may happiness ever be yours.

3. By the power of this protection may no misfortune result through stars, demons, evil spirits and evil planets. May your troubles come to an end.

4. May there be rain in due time. May there be a rich harvest. May this world be contented. May the kings be righteous.

vipatti patibahaya sabba sampatti siddhiya

sabba dukkha vinasaya parittam brutha mangalam

vipatti patibahaya sabba sampatti siddhiya

sabba bhaya vinasaya parittam brutha mangalam

vipatti patibahaya - sabba sampatti siddhiya

sabba roga vinasaya - parittam brutha mangalam

Chant this protection so that you may be freed from misfortune and all good fortune may come to you; so that all sorrow, fear and disease may come to an end.






















dhi-r-atthu kira bho jati nama yatra hi nama jatassa jara

pannayissati, vyadhi pannayissati, maranam pannayissatiti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying in Savatthi in the Jeta grove. One day, on the grounds nearby, the monks had come together after their alms gather-ing and meal. There arose among them a discussion concerning previous births. The Lord had heard this with his divine ear, and had arrived at the scene. The monks had told him what they were discussing and prayed that the Lord might discourse to them upon the subject.

The LORD said:

Ninety-one aeons ago the Buddha Vipassi arose in the world in a noble family, lived for eighty thousand years and had millions of disciples. Thirty-one aeons ago the Buddha Sikhi was born in a noble family. He lived for seventy thousand years and had a million disciples. In the same aeon the Buddha Vessabhu appeared in a noble family, lived for sixty thousand years and had over a million disciples. In this, our aeon (kalpa), there have been three other buddha Kakusundha, Konagamana and Kassapa who were all of brahmana parentage and who lived for forty, thirty and twenty thousand years respectively and had the same number of disciples. I have arisen as the buddha in this world, and through clear perception of the truth I have realised what the gods have revealed to me.

When a bodhisatta ceases to belong to the heaven of delight, he descends fully and mindfully into his mother's womb: this is the rule. There are other conditions which mark the descent of the bodhisatta. At that time an incomparable radiance fills the atmosphere, four guardian deities guard him in the four directions and the chosen mother is virtuous by nature. Though she enjoys the objects of the senses, she does not indulge in sensual pleasures with men. She is totally free from all ailments, she sees the bodhisatta in her womb, complete in all detail. She bears the child for ten full months and she delivers him standing. He is received first by the gods who present him to the mother. He is born pure, undefiled by the fluids of the womb. At his birth there is a shower of both warm and cold waters which bathe the babe and even at birth he stands up (with a white umbrella held over his head) and roars: "I am the foremost among beings and this is my last birth."_

Such was the birth of Vipassi. His father called upon the brahmana soothsayers to foretell his future. They saw the thirty-two marks of the superman on him and said: "If he remains a householder, he will be emperor; if he renounces the world, he will be a buddha." Since the baby could already see kamma clearly, he was called "Vipass" (vipassana clear sight). There was another reason. His father used to keep him on his lap while holding court, knowing that his judgements came from the baby who 'could see the truth'.

The father had Vipassi surrounded by objects of pleasure. But Vipassi went to the park on four occasions and encountered an old man, a sick man, a dead body and lastly a wandering mendicant. From the driver of the chariot he learnt that all beings were subject to old age, sickness and death. He said to himself: "Fie on this birth which is the source of old age, sickness and death."



nirodho nirodho ti kho bhikkhave vipassissa bodhisattassa

pubbe ananussutesu dhammesu cakkhum udapadi nanam

udapadi panna udapadi vijja udapadi aloko udapadi

The LORD continued:

After some days Vipassi went out in his chariot. He saw a shaven-headed man wearing a yellow robe and asked the driver: "Who is he? Why is his head shaven and why does he wear the yellow robe?" The driver replied: "My Lord, he is a wanderer who has gone forth from home to a homeless state and a religious life which is full of good and meritorious actions and loving kindness." Vipassi resolved then and there to enter the homeless life. He cut off his own hair and put on the yellow robe. Seeing this, thousands of members of the royal court also did so and followed him. But he resolved to live in seclusion and went away from them.

There Vipassi contemplated: "Surely this world is full of sorrow and there seems to be no escape from it. What is the condition ante- cedent to old age and death? Birth. What is the condition antecedent to birth? Becoming. Similarly, grasping (attachment) is the condition for becoming, craving for attachment, feeling for craving, sense-contact for feeling, the sixfold field for sense-contact, name-and-form for the sixfold field and cognition for name-and-form. These act upon each other and cease in the same order, but in reverse. If the cause is not present, the result will not arise."

In Vipassi there arose the realisation: "I have found the way to enlightenment through insight." (Vipassana - clear sight). Cessation! Cessation! At the very thought of cessation there arose in Vipassi, the bodhisatta, a clear vision, wisdom, awareness, knowledge and light, in regard to what had not been heard before.

Vipassi understood the five forms of grasping (attachment). He knew how form, feeling, perception, synthesis and cognition come into being and cease. He was free from the defilements (asava).

Vipassi contemplated: "Perhaps I should teach this truth to other beings. But then it is subtle, deep, beyond reason and logic and intelligible only to the wise. The people of the world are given to sense- pleasures and hence may find this truth hard to perceive. If I were to teach and the others were not to comprehend, it would be a wearisome task. I shall abandon the idea of teaching the slaves of passion."

But the great Brahma appeared before Vipassi and pleaded: "Let the Lord preach the truth. There are beings whose eyes are bedimmed with dust, but there are also people who will listen and become knowers of the truth. They are perishing because they have not heard the truth."

With the buddha vision, Vipassi gazed upon the world and beheld those whose eyes were not covered by dust. In response to Brahma's entreaty, Vipassi proclaimed: "Wide open are the gates to nibbana; they that hear, let them renounce empty faith."



Sakyamuni attaining full enlightenment-buddhahood.





abhikkantam bhante abhikkantam bhante. seyyatha pi

bhante nikkujjitam va ukkujjeyya paṭicchannam va vivareyya

mulhassa va maggam acikkheyya andhakare va tela-

pajjotam dhareyya cakkhuman to rupani dakkhintiti evam

eva bhagavata aneka-pariyayena dhammo pakasito

The LORD continued:

Having decided to teach the dhamma, Vipassi considered whom he should teach first. He chose Khanda (a king's son) and Tissa (the chaplain's son), for they had very little dust covering their eyes. He sent for them, and when they arrived they saluted the arahant buddha supreme.

Vipassi expounded the doctrine to them in due order. He spoke of generosity, right conduct, heaven, the danger of vanity and the defilement of cravings and the fruits of renunciation. When he discovered that they were free from prejudice and that they had faith in their hearts, he taught them the truth which buddha alone have realised: the doctrine of sorrow, its arising, its cessation and the means to its cessation. Even while he was thus discoursing, Khanda and Tissa gained the divine insight with which they directly realised the truth, and thus knew that whatever has a beginning must also have an end.

Having realised the truth and having been freed from doubt, they said: "Most excellent, Lord, most excellent, Lord. It is as if someone lifted up what had been thrown down, revealed what was hidden, pointed out the right road to one who had gone astray and brought light into darkness so that he could see. Permit us to go forth from the world under the guidance of the Lord. May we receive ordination from the Lord."

Vipassi ordained them and then exhorted them further. Soon they were freed from the asava. All the eighty-four thousand inhabitants of the city, seeing that their own king's son had gone forth from the world, followed his example. They realised that this was no ordinary religious rule and that it was an uncommon going forth into the homeless life. An equal number of recluses also followed their example. Vipassi taught and ordained all of them, and later he bade them to go out and teach humanity. "Go not singly; go in pairs," he told them. "Teach the truth which is excellent in the beginning, in the middle and in the end. After every six years, come back to Bandhumati to recite the patimokkha (the rules of the order)." Even before the first period of six years came to a close there were eighty-four thousand monasteries. When they returned to Bandhumati, Vipassi said to them:

"How can the flesh be subdued? By being patient and forbearing. What is the highest and what is the best? Nibbana, so say the buddha. He is not a recluse who harms fellowmen. Do not blame anyone. Be self- restrained. Live in seclusion. Let your thoughts be ever sublime."

At one time I was living at Ukkaṭṭha. I vanished from there and went to the Aviha heaven. The gods came up to me and told me that it was ninety-one aeons since the time of Vipassi, and also recounted the birth of the other buddha. I also met the cool gods, the fair gods and the wellseeing gods. From them I learnt the lives of the past buddha.























Sadhusammatam hi me tassa bhagavato dassanam arahato

samma sambuddhassati

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was sojourning in the Kosala country. He went into the village known as Vebhalinga, and said to Ananda: "Once upon a time, here in this village, there was an enlightened one known as lord Kassapa." Ananda prepared a seat for the Lord, saying: "Then surely this place has had the good fortune of being visited by two enlightened ones."

The LORD continued:

At that time, Ananda, in this very place lord Kassapa instructed a large group of monks. There lived here a potter named Ghatikara who was a great supporter of lord Kassapa. The potter had a brahmana friend named Jotipala. One day the potter tried to persuade the brahmana boy to go with him to meet lord Kassapa, but the brahmaņa boy was reluctant. The potter led him to the river to bathe and there once again suggested: "Let us go and meet lord Kassapa, for such a meeting with the Lord, who is perfectly enlightened, is an event of great merit.' But the brahmaṇa boy refused. The potter repeated the suggestion, and when the brahmaṇa boy consented to go, he grabbed him by the hair and introduced him to lord Kassapa. The potter prayed that lord Kassapa might instruct the boy in dhamma; lord Kassapa did so and both of them were greatly inspired. Now, the brahmaṇa boy asked the potter: "Why do you not receive ordination from lord Kassapa after hear- ing this?" The potter replied: "Because I am serving my aged parents." The brahmana boy, however, entered the homeless state as a follower of the Lord. Soon after that lord Kassapa left that place and journeyed to Varanasi.

In Varanasi, Kiki, the king of Kasi, was greatly inspired by lord Kassapa's teaching and invited him for a meal. Lord Kassapa consented. Then the king suggested that lord Kassapa might spend the rainy season in the palace but lord Kassapa replied that he had already agreed to spend the rainy season with the potter Ghaṭikara.

Lord KASSAPA said:

"Perhaps you feel depressed at the thought that I do not accede to your request, but such is not the case with the potter. He has complete- ly renounced all possessions. He makes pots and lets the people take what they will and leave what they will in return. Once I was staying in that village. I went to his house for alms, but only his parents were there. They asked me to help myself to the food that was in the house and I did so. The potter was delighted. On another occasion the roof of my hut leaked. I sent some monks to see if the potter had some grass with which to repair my hut. He did not. So I asked the monks to strip the potter's own roof and with that material repair my hut. They did so when the potter was not at home. When he learnt of this later, he was supremely delighted that he could thus be of service to me. It rained, but though his house had no roof, rain did not fall in his house."

Hearing this, the king had the requisite provisions sent to the potter's house. Ananda, at that time I was that brahmaṇa boy, Jotipala.



patubhuta kho me tata kumara devaduta; dissanti sirasmim

phalitani jatani. bhutta kho pana me manusaka kama,

samayo dibbe kame pariyesitum

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying in Mithila in Makhadeva's mango grove. When he came to a certain part of the grove, the Lord smiled. "Surely, there must be a reason for the Lord smiling thus," thought Ananda, and in response to his request, the LORD narrated the following legend:

Long ago, a king named Makhadeva ruled this very Mithila. He lived a very long life, observing all the religious rituals. One day he said to his barber: "When you see gray hairs on my head, tell me." After many thousands of years, the barber announced one day that gray hairs had indeed begun to appear on the the king's head. The king rewarded the barber and then summoned his son and said to him: "Son, messengers from the gods have appeared. There are gray hairs on my head. I have enjoyed human pleasures so far. Now it is time to enjoy the divine pleasures. I shall presently cut off my hair and beard, don ochre robes and enter the homeless life. Come, take charge of this king- dom. In the same way, when gray hairs appear on your head, hand the reins of the kingdom to your son and similarly retire. Let this tradition be honoured by your descendants too."

The king entered the homeless state in this very grove. Having cut off his hair and his beard and having donned the ochre robe, he radiated friendliness in the four directions. Thus freed of all violence, the king lived here for the last eighty-four thousand years of his life. His son, too, followed the father's example and came to this very grove to enter the homeless life. And so the tradition was preserved. The last king to thus enter the homeless life here was Nimi.

While Nimi was ruling Mithila, his name was mentioned in the assembly of the gods, and they were eager to see him. Their chief, Indra, personally went to Nimi and requested him to visit heaven in a special celestial vehicle. Nimi visited heaven but did not consent to stay there. He returned to Mithila, and after many years of righteously ruling the kingdom, Nimi entered the homeless state. His son, however, did not follow his example.

Ananda, I was that Makhadeva who established that good tradition. However, the kings who followed that tradition and practised brahmacariya only gained the world of the creator Brahma. But now I have established another tradition, tradition, which frees people completely from sorrow and leads them to nibbana. and Follow this tradition Ananda, and let it never be abandoned.

Digha Nikaya



yava c' assa so bhagava bahujana hitaya patipanno bahujana

sukhaya lokanukampakaya atthaya hitaya sukhaya devamanussanam

imina p' angena samannagatam sattaram n' eva atitamse

Samanupassama Na pan' etarahi annatra tena bhagavata

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying at Rajagaha. One day a celestial named Pancasikha approached him and said:

I would like to tell the Lord what happened in heaven. One day long ago all the gods assembled in the hall. Sakka, the king of heaven, addressed the gods: "If it is your wish, I shall enumerate the eight glories of lord Buddha. (1) The Lord has worked for the good of many, for the happiness of many, for the good and happiness of gods and men, out of compassion for the world: in this there is no one equal to him as a teacher in the past or in the present. (2) The Lord has proclaimed a doctrine for the life here and now, but this is not of a transient nature. It is welcomed by the wise who enshrine it in their hearts. (3) He has clearly enunciated that 'this is right' and 'this is wrong', 'this is of the light' and 'this is of the dark'. (4) He has revealed to his disciples the way to nibbana, and the way and nibbana are one and the same. (5) He has students and well trained disciples, whom he does not send away but whom he keeps with him and with whom he dwells in fellowship. (6) Kings admire him and make gifts to him and he is widely renowned; yet he is completely free from pride. (7) The Lord's actions conform to his speech and his speech conforms to his actions, and he has himself strictly adhered to the rules of the discipline. (8) He has crossed the sea of doubt; he has accomplished what has to be accomplished. We cannot find such a teacher in the present nor has there been one like unto him in the past. It is of course not possible that two buddha should arise in the same world- system at the same time."

The gods contemplated what Sakka had said. While they were sitting there an extraordinary brilliance was seen in the north. Soon the Brahma Sanamkumara arrived. Remaining invisible, he expressed his admiration of the Lord and of the gods who were devoted to him. His voice had the eight characteristics of Brahma's voice ... fluent, intelligent, sweet, audible, sustained, distinct, deep and resonant. it was by these characteristics that they recognised that it was Brahma. At his request, Sakka recounted the eight glorious features of the Lord. Thereupon Brahma materialised himself and appeared to the gods as Pancasikha (five-headed). He remained suspended in space and sat cross-legged.


hitva mamattam manujesu brahme

ekodibhuto karunadhimutto…

pappoti macco amatam brahma-lokan ti

BRAHMA then narrated the following story:

Once upon a time there was a king named Disampati who had a wise brahmana minister named Govinda. Reņu was the king's son; Jotipala was Govinda's son. They and six other nobles were close friends.

In course of time Govinda died. The king was distressed, but Reņu said to his father: "Grieve not, father. Appoint Jotipala to his father's office, for he is even wiser than his father." The king did so, and soon Jotipala earned a very good reputation as a great administrator. He noticed that the king was getting old. One day he said to the six nobles: "Go to prince Reņu and tell him, 'The king is old and who knows when the end will come. When he dies, we pray that prince Renu should be king."" They did so. Prince Reņu responded: "Well, if I become king I shall share the kingdom with all of you."

Some time later the king died and Reņu was crowned king. But he was given to sensual pleasures. Maha-Govinda (Jotipala) went to the six nobles and persuaded them to remind Renu of his promise to share the kingdom with them. Renu readily agreed and with the help of Maha- Govinda divided the kingdom between himself and the six nobles. All the seven of them requested Maha-Govinda to be their minister and rule the kingdoms.

In the meantime, Maha-Govinda's reputation was spreading every- where. People were even saying that he had seen Brahma face to face and talked to him. This reached Maha-Govinda's ears. He felt: "These are rumours. But I myself have not seen Brahma face to face, though I would love to. I have heard it said that if one were to remain alone during the four rainy months and to practise the contemplation of compassion, he would see Brahma face to face. I will do so." Having decided thus he went to the king, to the nobles, to the brahmaņa and to his forty wives, and told them all of his decision to live alone, with- out seeing anyone except the one who brought him his meals. He had a rest-house built for this purpose and entered into seclusion.

But the four months passed without his seeing Brahma. When at last he was overcome by great anguish, Brahma appeared before him. Maha-Govinda's worship was acceptable to the Lord and Brahma asked him to choose a boon. Maha-Govinda said: "By what said: "By what means can a mortal realise immortality?" Brahma replied: "Only that mortal can reach immortality who abandons all sense of 'I' and 'mine', who loves seclusion, who is full of compassion, who has eradicated foul odours and who is established in celibacy." Maha-Govinda asked Brahma: "I understand all the rest of thy teaching, but what are 'foul odours'?" Brahma replied: "Anger, falsehood, deceit, selfishness, pride, jealousy, greed, doubt, violence, lust, hate and dullness. These are the foul odours, and under their influence man is doomed to hell and shut out from the realm of Brahma." Maha-Govinda responded: "If I understand the Lord aright, it is impossible to get rid of all these while living as a house- holder; this means I should enter the homeless state."


idam kho pana me pancasikha brahmacariyam ekanta-nibbidaya

viragaya nirodhaya upasamaya abhinnaya sambodhaya nibbanaya


BRAHMA continued:

Maha-Govinda went to see king Reņu and announced his decision to enter the homeless life. The king tried to persuade him not to do so, offering to fulfil all his wishes and to provide whatever he might need. "I need nothing for my happiness and there is no one that has hurt me. I have heard the call and I must go," said Maha-Govinda. The king decided to follow Maha-Govinda's example.

Maha-Govinda then went to see the six nobles. When they heard of his decision they took counsel among themselves and thought: "These brahmaṇa are greedy for money and they have a passion for women; let us offer him these and he might abandon his idea.' They made these offers. But Maha-Govinda replied: "I have all the wealth and possessions I need. I have forty wives already. I am giving all that up in order to enter the homeless state." The nobles, too, decided to follow him, but they needed time! They pleaded with him to wait seven years, but he declined, so they pleaded for a delay of six, five, four, three, two or one year, down to seven days. Maha-Govinda agreed to a delay of seven days.

Maha-Govinda then went to see the great brahmana and his students and exhorted them to seek another teacher, as he was entering the home- less life. They tried to dissuade him, but without success. They, too, decided to follow him. Maha-Govinda then went to his forty wives, announced his intention and gave them leave to marry someone else. But they decided to follow him.

By this time the seven days were over and Maha-Govinda cut off his hair, donned the yellow robes and went forth into the homeless state. The king, the nobles and all the others followed him; thousands of citizens also joined them. Wherever he went with his retinue he was welcomed and honoured like a king of kings, or a deity. Maha-Govinda radiated love, compassion, joy and equanimity to the four quarters of the world, and he taught his disciples the way to union with Brahma. After their death all of them were reborn in the world of Brahma.

Pancasikha, who was narrating all this to lord Buddha, asked the Lord: "Do you remember all this?" The Lord replied: "Yes, indeed I do. I was Maha-Govinda. It was then that I taught my disciples the way to union with Brahma. However, that religious life is not conducive to nibbana. But my religious system is conducive to detachment, to freedom from_passion, to cessation of craving, to peace, peace, to insight to insight and to nibbana. This is the noble eightfold path. Those of my disciples who are completely free from the asava are liberated. They who do not wholly understand, but who are free from the five fetters, will not return to this world. Some others will return just once. Many will not be reborn in a state of woe. My disciples' renunciation of the home- life is not in vain. In every case it has been fruitful.

Jataka Stories



The future buddha as bodhisatta was incarnate as a 'tree divinity' in the kingdom of Kasi when Brahmadatta was king. In that kingdom there were very many pious and religious brahmana. One of them resolved to perform a rite to propitiate his departed ancestors.

This brahmana said to his disciples: "Take this goat to the river, bathe it and adorn it with garlands. Then bring it back to me, to be sacrificed to propitiate my ancestors." They bowed to him in obedience and took the goat away to the river.

On account of some merit it had earned in a past lifetime, the goat  remembered what it had done then. Recollecting those events, it was filled with joy in the knowledge that its life of sorrow was soon to end. It laughed aloud. Then the goat thought of the brahmana and what he was about to do. Considering the consequences of the brahmana's deed, the goat began to weep aloud.

The young disciples were astonished at this and asked the goat: "Friend, why did you laugh, and now why do you weep?" By this time they had reached the master's house. And, the goat narrated the follow- ing story of its own past:

"In a previous lifetime I, too, was a brahmana. Like you, I too offered a sacrifice to propitiate departed ancestors, as enjoined in the veda. In that sacrifice I killed a goat. For that sinful action I had to suffer: four hundred and ninety-nine times my head has been cut off. This is the five hundredth and last time. When I have paid the penalty this time, I shall be freed from sorrow. Thinking of this I laughed. But, then, the thought occurred to me that you, who are taking my life in a similar way to propitiate your ancestors will similarly suffer an unhappy destiny. When this thought arose in me, I was filled with compassion and so I wept aloud."

Hearing this story, the brahmana was awakened and he declared: "I will not offer this goat in sacrifice." But the goat responded: "Even then I cannot but pay the penalty ordained for me, though by desisting from killing me, you will be saved from an evil destiny."

The goat was set free. It was grazing near the top of a rock. There was a storm, thunder and lightning. Struck by a thunderbolt the rock was shattered; a piece of rock knocked off the head of the goat.

The bodhisatța, who as the 'tree divinity' was observing all this, manifested himself as a celestial being and instructed all those present: "If only people understood what an evil destiny follows the taking of life, then they will surely desist from such cruelty." He discoursed at great length on the evil of killing. The people who heard him were so greatly inspired that they abandoned killing and cruelty, and resorted to loving kindness and charity.



Once upon a time the bodhisatta (future buddha) was born as a dog and lived in a cemetery, with a huge pack of dogs. One day the king of that region had returned from a ride to the pleasure garden, and his chariot had been left in the open courtyard unattended, with the harness and leather-work exposed. It had rained during the night and this had tempted some dogs to gnaw at the harness and ruin it.

This was duly reported to the king who ordered all the dogs in the region to be slaughtered. The news reached the bodhisatta who contemplated deeply and realised the truth: that it was the king's own pet dogs which had been responsible for the damage and that other dogs were being punished unjustly. So, he sought the presence of the king.

To the bodhisatta's questions, the king admitted that he indeed did not know for certain which dogs had committed the crime. The bodhisatta then asked the king: "Have you then ordered that all dogs should be killed?" "No," replied the king, "the palace dogs are spared." The bodhisatta quickly pointed out: "Then you are guilty of the evils of partiality, dislike, ignorance and fear. These four evils are unworthy of you, a king. The privileged dogs are safe; the poor are slaughtered."

The king then asked the bodhisatta: "Do you know which dogs committed the crime?" The bodhisatta replied: "Yes" and went on to prove his affirmation. He had a mixture of butter-milk and kusa grass prepared. He made the palace dogs drink of this mixture. This induced vomiting in the dogs, and the vomit contained pieces of leather proof that those dogs had indeed chewed the harness.

The king rejoiced that justice had been vindicated. He at once halted the slaughter of the dogs. He paid due homage to the bodhisatta who then taught the dhamma to the king and all his followers. The king commanded that no one should thenceforth harm any living creature in his domains. He himself adhered to the noble teachings of the bodhisatta and spent the remainder of his life in charity and righteousness.



In another era the bodhisatta was born as an ox who, with his younger brother, served a landlord. The brother-ox noticed that a pig named Munika was being feasted every day and that the oxen who did all the hard work were not so well looked after. The brother-ox bitterly complained about this to the bodhisatta who recommended patience. A few days later the family of a young man to whom the king's daughter had been betrothed arrived. There was a lavish banquet. The pig had been cooked. The bodhisatta pointed this out to his brother: "Poor Munika was eating his own death! Be contented with your poor fare which, however, signals your longevity."



In another era the bodhisatta was born as the only son of a royal couple. He was known as Maha Silava. Appropriately, he grew up to be a boy of excellent character and, later still, a king of personified goodness. His charity knew no bounds. Even when he himself had found out that a minister had behaved treacherously, he refused to punish him but requested the minister to leave the country with all his wealth and his family. This minister became the confidant of the ruler of the neighbouring kingdom and, knowing that Maha Silava was extremely soft-hearted advised him to invade, conquer and annex that kingdom, too. To prove his point the ex-minister advised the rival king to send a few brigands into Maha Silava's territory to murder and plunder.

The villains were caught and brought before Maha Silava. They said: "We did this because we did not have enough to eat." The king instantly pardoned them, loaded them with wealth and sent them back. This ruse was repeated_by several other parties. The rival king was convinced that Maha Silava was timid and weak. He invaded Maha Silava's kingdom. Informed of this, Maha Silava preferred defeat to destruction, and refused even to defend the palace. The rival usurped the throne and mercilessly captured Maha Silava and his ministers and had them buried up to the neck in a clearing in the forest.

Maha Silava was full of patience and perseverance. One night a pack of jackals rushed towards him and his ministers, who raised such a loud cry that they ran away. However, the leader of the jackals returned to try again. As the jackal came close to him, the king stretched his neck and with his jaw caught the neck of the jackal. The frightened jackal, in an attempt to free itself, thrashed about with his legs and thus loosened the earth around the king. The king let the jackal go, and soon freed himself and the others.

At the same moment, a couple of goblins nearby approached Maha Silava and, recognising his greatness, requested him to divide a dead body they had acquired, equally between them. The king, however, made use of their magical powers to bathe and dress himself, and even to retrieve the royal sword before dividing the body equally between the two goblins. Seeing that they were greatly pleased, he asked them to take him and leave him in the royal bedchamber, and similarly to take all his ministers and leave them in their former residences. This, too, was done.

The usurper was surprised to see Maha Silava enter the bed- chamber, though the palace was heavily guarded. Maha Silava narrated all that had happened. The usurper was stricken with remorse and begged Maha Silava to pardon him. He said: "Though born of royal parents, I failed to recognise your greatness, whereas even goblins recognised it." He vowed to be Maha Silava's friend. Soon he summoned all his Own ministers, confessed his error before all, and restored the kingdom to Maha Silava. On that occasion, Maha Silava declared the profound truth: "If you do not abandon patience and right effort, your reward will be great and excellent."



Once upon a time, the bodhisatta was born as a hare in a forest. He cultivated the friendship of an otter, a jackal and a monkey who looked up to him as their spiritual leader. He taught them wholesome lessons in right living, in charity and in religious observances like fasting.

One evening the hare addressed his companions: "Tomorrow is a fasting day when it is good particularly to do charity and observe the rules of right living. Should a guest happen to come to you, please ensure that he is attended to." The otter, the jackal and the monkey thereupon went out out to find food with which to entertain the unexpected guest. Each one obtained something or the other. The hare in the meantime had nothing other than grass; but he reflected thus: "Surely, if a guest happens to come here, I cannot offer him grass. But, I shall offer him the flesh of my body." This great resolve was 'heard' in the heaven. Sakka, the lord of heaven, wanted to test the strength of the hare's resolve. He disguised himself as a brahmana and came to the forest.

The brahmana went to the otter, the jackal and the monkey, and each of them offered him the food that they had acquired that day. But, he walked on, without accepting the offer or rejecting it. Then he went to the hare who welcomed the honoured guest and offered hospitality. He said: "Holy one, I have nothing but grass to appease your hunger. But if you will be gracious enough to accept it, I offer you my own flesh. Please kindle the fire and I shall enter into it and you can eat my flesh which will give you the strength to carry on your religious practices." The lord of heaven was still not convinced. He raised the fire. The hare went round the sacred fire and then with great joy and eagerness leapt into it.

But the flames were cool. Surprised, the hare spoke to the lord of heaven disguised as a brahmana: "What does this mean, O brahmana?" The lord of heaven revealed his identity and glorified the self- sacrifice of the bodhisatta.


The bodhisatta was once born as a lion. One day a jackal approached him and asked to be admitted as a servant. The lion agreed and said: "Run up a hilltop and when you see a prey, shout aloud: 'Let your might shine, Lord' and it shall be a signal for me to attack the prey. You will have your share of the meat." Thus they lived for a time. One day the jackal thought: "After all, it is the charm of my words that enables the lion to kill! I am equally powerful. Why should I not kill, instead of having to live on others' leavings?" Though the lion cautioned him that only lions could kill elephants, the foolish jackal insisted on making the kill. The jackal leapt on an elephant, missed its head and landed at its feet. Trampled by the elephant, it lay dead, the victim of its own delusion and pride.



During another era the bodhisatta (future buddha) was born as a quail. He was the leader of a thousand quails that lived in a forest. A clever fowler often spread a net, caught very many quails and took them away.

One day the bodhisatta spoke as follows to the quails in his retinue: "If you live and work in harmony we can all escape the fowler's net. Please do as I tell you. When the fowler throws his net over you, stick your head through the mesh of the net and, at a pre-arranged signal, fly away with the net. Land on a thorn bush and then extricate yourself from the net. If all of you function in total harmony, no harm will befall you." And, the next day they did so; the fowler got nothing and even his net was damaged by the thorn bush. Day after day the same thing happened. But the fowler was still hopeful; for he knew that such unity may not endure for long and when the quails were disunited and quarrelled among themselves, they would be an easy prey.

And so it happened. One day one quail happened unwittingly to tread on another's head. The second one got angry. A bitter quarrel ensued. Noticing this the bodhisatta decided to leave that place along with his followers. He knew that there was no security in a house divided against itself.

The next day the fowler returned with his net. The birds began to argue amongst themselves: "Why should I lift the net? You better do the job today" and so on. Soon all of them ended in the fowler's basket: the fruit of disregarding the bodhisatta's call for unity and harmony.


Once upon a time, the bodhisatta was born as a pigeon. A wealthy jeweller adopted this pigeon and provided it with a basket in his kitchen where the pigeon lived happily. One day a crow smelt the rich food being cooked in the kitchen. It met the pigeon and tried to befriend it. The bodhisatta tried to dissuade the crow, saying: "Your food and my food are very different. My company may therefore not be very congenial to you. You will have to abandon all greed and be contented with simple fare." But the crow insisted that it would be content with whatever it got. The jeweller decided to accommodate the pigeon's friend, too.

One day the pigeon was getting ready to fly out in search of food. The crow pretended to have a stomach-ache, for it had seen a potful of fish in the kitchen! After the pigeon had gone away, the crow began to eat of the fish.   However, it was discovered by the cook who caught hold of the crow  and pulled out all its feathers. The greedy crow who did not heed the good friend's advice perished.



Once upon a time the bodhisatta incarnated in a tree. Near that  tree there was a pond. A short distance away there was another pond which was full of fish. The water-level in the second pond was low. A crane approached the pond, looked at the fish and wondered how he could eat them all! He thought of a clever plan. He approached the biggest of them and lovingly suggested: "Friend, this pond will soon dry up and you might all perish. Allow me to transport you to another pond which is full of water and which will therefore be safe for you all to dwell in." The big fish was suspicious but the crane was persuasive and said: "Do not doubt. If you will let me, I shall take you to the other pond and you can see for yourself and then tell the others." The big fish, agreed. The crane gently picked it up, went over to the other pond which he showed to the big fish who was then utterly convinced. The crane then returned the big fish to the original pond.

The big fish then pleaded with all the fish to agree to leave, assisted by the crane. The first to go was the big fish itself. But this time, the crane dashed it to the ground near the tree, ate the fish and left the bones there. It returned to the other pond and the gullible fish let themselves be picked up, one by one and transported to their death. Then came the turn of a crab who was very suspicious of the crane's intentions.

The crab expressed its doubts at the crane's ability to lift it and transport it to the other pond. Eventually they agreed that the only safe way was for the crab to hang on to the neck of the crane as it flew to the safe pond. As they neared the pond, the crane flew away from and not towards the pond. To the crab's enquiry, the crane laughingly revealed the truth and pointed out the pile of fish bones! The crab tightened its grip around the crane's neck in reply, saying: "I thought as much. But, friend, you cannot kill me.' The crane begged the crab to let go, promising to put it down by the pond. Before entering the pond, the crab snapped the crane's neck.

The bodhisatta, who was observing all this, proclaimed the lesson: "Trickery traps the trickster."


On another occasion, the bodhisatta was a trader. In the village where he lived, there were several carpenters. One day while an elderly carpenter was working, a mosquito, perched on top of his bald head, was stinging him. He called out to his son and asked him to drive it away. The young boy was quick to act. He picked up a sharp axe and aimed it at the mosquito. With it the old carpenter's head was shattered.

Observing this, the bodhisatta proclaimed the truth: "Better indeed is an enemy with some sense than a friend or helper who is devoid of sense."



In days of yore, there was a brahmana who was well versed in mystical rites and charms. In particular he knew a mystic rite which, if performed during the conjunction of certain stars and planets, could bring about a shower of precious stones! The bodhisatta was at that time a pupil of this brahmaņa.

One day the brahmana and his pupil were traversing a forest when they were waylaid by a band of robbers, who demanded ransom. The bodhisatta said to his master: "Master, please stay here while I go and fetch the ransom. However, I beg of you not to use your mystic powers even if you find that the stars are propitious. Other- wise, yourself and all these people will come to grief."

The master, however, did not heed this wise counsel. One night before the bodhisatta could return with the ransom, the brahmaṇa realised that the auspicious conjunction of planets had taken place. He reflected thus: "Why should I suffer this captivity, when I can easily produce the ransom with the help of the magic power I possess? Who knows when my pupil will find the money and return to rescue me?" He said to the robbers: "Leave me alone for a little while and I shall provide you with as much wealth as you want." They withdrew for a while. The brahmana uttered the charm and there was a shower of precious stones. At his request the robbers collected them all and bundled them up. They walked away, followed by the brahmaņa.

Soon they were surrounded by other robbers! The second band demanded the bundle of gems! But the first band of robbers told the second: "Get hold of this brahmaṇa who by merely gazing at the sky is able to produce a shower of these gems. Then you will also acquire great wealth." 11 They turned upon the brahmana who, however, pleaded his inability. He said: "I can only do it on an auspicious day which is not due for another year." They would not believe him and murdered him. Then they killed the first band of robbers and seized the bundle of jewels. A quarrel arose among them, too, and soon only two robbers were left with the bundle. By mutual agreement, one of them stood guard over it while the other went to a nearby village to fetch food for both of them. The robber who was on guard stood with his sword drawn, intent on killing the other one the moment he returned with the food. The robber who went for food thought: "I can have the whole wealth if I poison this food!" He ate his share and poisoned the rest. The moment he returned, the other robber surprised him and cut him down. Then he ate the food and fell dead.

In a couple of days the bodhisatta returned with the ransom. He found that his master had been murdered. He followed the trail of footsteps and found the robbers lying dead. Further still he came upon the two robbers, One murdered and the other poisoned. The bundle of gems was lying near them, untouched. He thought: "Alas, My master did not heed my advice and produced the jewels. My master's unwise use of his skill and the greed of these men brought about a terrible destruction of them all. The bodhisatta carried the treasure home and distributed it in charity.




idha aggivessana sutavato ariyasavakassa uppajjati

sukha vedana, so sukhaya vedanaya phuttho samano no

sukhasaragi hoti na sukhasaragitam apajjati, tassa sa

sukha vedana nirujjhati, sukhaya vedanaya nirodha

uppajjati dukkha vedana, so dukkhaya vedanaya phuttho

samano na socati na kilamati na paridevati, na urattalim

kandati, na sammoham apajjati

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Vesali. As he was about to enter Vesali for alms, the venerable Ananda saw the Jain Saccaka who was fond of polemics and who considered himself an invincible scholar. At Ananda's request the Lord sat down. Saccaka approached the Lord and spoke: "There are some who pay much attention to the training of the body and neglect the mind; there are others who pay much attention to the training of the mind and not of the body. In the former, the mind suffers when the body suffers and in the latter the body experiences pain when the mind suffers."

The Lord asked: "What is your view concerning training of the body?" Saccaka narrated the ascetic practices (nakedness and eating very little). "Can the trainees continue living on so little food?" asked the Lord. "No," replied Saccaka, "now and then they have good food and drink and grow fat."

The Lord asked again: "What is your view concerning training of the mind?" But the Jain could not answer. The Lord said: "What you described as training of the body is not proper training of the body in the ariya view. When you do not even know what right physical training is, how can you know what training of the mind is?"

"Who is a man of untrained body and untrained mind? In such a man a feeling of pleasure arises and he becomes addicted to it and pursues it. When that feeling stops, a painful feeling arises and he grieves and falls into delusion. His mind grasps the pleasurable and the painful feelings, and therefore they persist. Who is a person who is endowed with a trained body and a trained mind? He is a noble seeker in whom a feeling of pleasure may arise but who does not become addicted to it (he is not coloured by it) and does not pursue it. When that feel- ing stops and a painful feeling arises, he does not grieve nor lament. He is not deluded. Because of the trained body and mind, the feelings of pleasure and pain do not persist."

Saccaka taunted the Lord: "I suppose you have a trained body and mind?" The Lord said: "What you say is offensive but I shall answer." (Then follows a narration of the Lord's own austerities involving self- inflicted pain prior to enlightenment.) "Supposing a man comes with one stick in his hand and finds another in water: can he raise a fire by rubbing them together? No. Even so, if one lives in sense-pleasure the feeling of pain that may arise in one does not lead one to inner awakening. Again, if that stick be away from water but still wet, the man can- not raise a fire. Even so, if the monk has not inwardly renounced the pursuit of pleasure, the pain that he may experience cannot lead to inner awakening. But, if the stick is dry, the man will be able to raise a fire with it. Similarly, if the monk is away from the source of pleasure and has renounced the pursuit of pleasure inwardly, he is qualified for inner spiritual awakening whether he does or does not experience pain."



na kho aham tassa sukhassa bhayami yan-tam sukham

annatr' eva kamehi annatra akusalehi dhammehiti

The LORD continued:

(Before my awakening) I thought that I should bite my teeth, press my tongue against the palate, resolutely suppress the mind and try to control it. I did so. However, though there was great energy in me, the body was distressed and the mind was distracted by the very struggle that I made to restrain it. I then thought that I should hold my breath. When I did not breathe through the nose or through the mouth, there was a loud noise as though wind was passing through my ears. The body was still restless and the mind was distracted by that very striving to control it. I then stopped breathing through the ears, too. There arose a loud sound in my head. There was a surge of great energy and there was mindfulness, too; but the body was still restless and the mind was distracted by the very effort to calm it. When I continued in this manner there arose painful sensations in the head. After this there was violent and cutting pain in the abdomen. Then there was great heat in the body. There was great energy and mindfulness, too; but the body was rest- less and the effort to calm the mind only distracted it further.

I thought I should refrain from eating food, even the food offered by the deva (celestials) which nourishes the body through the skin. I ate so little that the body was greatly emaciated and grew black and thin. I reflected thus: "Surely some ascetics have endured great pain, but this pain that I experience is the greatest that there is. If by such austerity I do not reach the goal of human birth, perfect knowledge and vision, there must be some other way to enlightenment."

I remembered how I used to sit meditating in the shade of a tree, undistracted by sense-pleasure and free from unskilled (evil) states of the mind. I felt that that was the way to enlightenment. I reflected: "I am not afraid of that happiness that arises when there is no craving and when the mind is not undisciplined. Such happiness can- not be reached by starving the body."

I then partook of normal nourishment and the body gained strength. The ascetics who saw this thought that I had fallen. Free from craving for sense-pleasure and free from undisciplined mental states, I entered into the first, then the second and the third meditation. The feeling of delight that arose in me persisted, without leaving a trace on the mind. There was knowledge of the destruction of the obstacles and of psychological conditioning. Ignorance had been dispelled. There was freedom. Now I am established in the first characteristic of concentration (void of self) in which I always dwell, though I know that I teach dhamma and that everyone feels that I am teaching him especially.




aham hi araha loke, aham sattha anuttaro,

eko 'mhi sammasambuddho, sitibhuto 'smi nibbuto.

dhammacakkam pavattetum gacchami kasinam puram

andhabhutasmim lokasmim ahancham amatadundubhin ti

Thus have I heard:

Lord Buddha was staying in the Jeta grove. On one occasion he spoke to a number of monks.

The LORD said:    

It is good that you should discuss dhamma or remain silent. In this world, there are two quests - the noble (ariya) quest and the ignoble (anariya) quest. What is the anariya quest? One who is himself (because of the self) liable to birth, ageing, decay, death, sorrow and psychological disturbance, seeks others that are similarly liable to birth and so on. What are these others? Sons, wife, servants, sheep, fowl, elephants, cattle and horses, as also wealth. These have a birth, a beginning and so on. Yet one who considers himself a self, a personality, seeks them and is attached to them. This is the ignoble (anariya) quest. What is the ariya (noble) quest? One who is liable to birth, etc., on account of the self seeks that which is not liable to these, which is nibbana.

Before I attained enlightenment, while I was still a bodhisatta, I too, considering the self to be real though liable to birth, sought those that were also liable to these. Then I reflected thus: "I am subject to birth, etc. Why do I seek others who are also subject to these? Why should I not seek that which is not so subject to them, which is nibbana?"

I was young and strong. Against the wish of my parents I cut off my hair and donned the yellow robe and went out in quest of nibbana. I approached the Kalama Alara. He accepted me and taught me the doctrine of no-thing, which he had evolved out of his own mind. He considered me his equal and wished, with my co-operation, to teach others. I was not satisfied and left him. Similarly, I learnt the doctrine of neither-perception-nor-non-perception from Uddaka. I was dissatisfied with this too.

It was then that I retired alone to the Uruvela forest. Until then I was subject to birth and death because of the notion of self. But, here I won the unborn nibbana, which is beyond birth and death. Knowledge and the vision of the reality arose in me. My freedom was total. But I realised that that knowledge is so subtle that the people rooted in sense- indulgence could not understand it. It would be frustrating if I taught that which no one understood. But Brahma Sahampati descended from his world and pleaded that I should teach. He said that there would be those of little ignorance who would understand. I thought of instructing Alara Then I and Uddaka but they had just passed away from this world. thought of the five monks who had first waited upon me. I saw that they were in Kasi. On the way to Kasi someone asked me who I was, and I answered him: "I am the Lord over all, omniscient, uncontaminated by anything, freed from craving. I have no teacher. There is no one like me. I am the adorable in the world and I am the unexcelled instructor. I am fully enlightened, perfectly tranquil and freed. In order to set the wheel of dhamma in motion I am going to Kasi, beating the drum of immortality, awakening this blind world."



SO vissattho gacchati vissattho titthati vissattho

nisidati vissattho seyyam kappeti tam kissa hetu;

anapathagato bhikkhave papimato ti

The LORD continued:

The five monks saw me approach them. They spoke among themselves, "The recluse Gotama has strayed from the path and lives a life of abundance. We shall show neither respect nor disrespect but merely offer him a seat." However, when I did approach them they greeted me and behaved respectfully, though they addressed me by name. I said to them: "Do not address the tathagata by name, for he is a perfectly liberated and enlightened one. Listen, monks. Immortality has been attained. I now instruct, teach the dhamma. If you realise it, you will also abide in the ultimate goal of brahmacariya for which young men abandon their homes and resort to the homeless life."

The monks said: "But, you, reverend Gotama, have not attained the supreme goal in the practice of asceticism; on the contrary, you have wavered in your determination and you live in abundance. How could you have reached the ultimate goal of a human being?" I replied: "O monks, a tathagata does not live a life of abundance. A tathagata is a perfectly awakened, perfectly enlightened one. Listen. Immortality has been attained. I now instruct, teach the dhamma. If you tread the path thus indicated you will also realise the ultimate goal of brahmacariya!" I asked them: "Have I ever spoken to you in this manner before?" They replied: "No." I was then able to persuade them to listen.

Then I began to instruct them. I taught two, while the other three went out to gather alms for us all. On another day I taught three while two gathered alms. And these five monks, though they were liable to birth, realised the perils of birth and attained the unborn, the ultimate and supreme welfare of nibbana. Though they were subject to ageing, decay, death, sorrow and impurity, they reached the unageing, decayless, deathless, sorrowless and pure, supreme welfare of nibbana. They realised Eternal freedom supreme knowledge. The highest vision arose in them. was gained.

O monks, fivefold is craving: forms which attract the sense of sight, sounds which attract the sense of hearing, smells that attract the sense of smell, touch which attracts the sense of touch, and tastes that attract the sense of taste. They who are entrapped by these ought to be told: "You are in great danger and you are in the grip of the evil one." They who may enjoy these five experiences without being entrapped by them, ought to be told: "You are not in danger and you will not be caught by the evil one." A A monk who avoids the pursuit of pleasure and the undisciplined states of mind is able to enter into the first meditation, accompanied by reasoning and enquiry (observation), and then into the second meditation, accompanied by concentration and ecstasy, and then into the third meditation, characterised by equanimity and the great bliss born of it, and then into the fourth meditation which is beyond joy and sorrow and characterised by mindfulness. He goes beyond perception of material shapes, realises infinite space and then infinite consciousness. He goes beyond that, and rests in the plane of no-thing, and then beyond that into the plane of neither-perception-nor-non-perception. Finally all   experience and perception come to an end. He has gone beyond the reach of the evil one. He lives confidently, stands and sits fearlessly and sleeps well. Why? Because he is beyond the reach of sin or evil.




yannad eva bhikkhave bhikkhu bahulam anuvitakketi

anivicareti tatha tatha nati hoti cetaso

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying in the Jeta grove near Savatthi. He spoke to the monks one day:

O monks, this happened before my full awakening. I thought: "I should live a life governed by dualism in which the mind divides every- thing into the two opposites." Accordingly, I conceived of pursuit of pleasure, ill-will and violence as one part and I conceived of renunciation of pleasure, goodwill and non-violence as the other.

When the thought of sense-pleasure arose, I reflected within myself: "This is the thought of sense-pleasure. It will lead to painful consequences both to me and to others. It is an obstacle to wisdom. It leads away from nibbana." Even as I was reflecting thus, the thought of sense- pleasure subsided. I used such reflection to avoid all thought of sense- pleasure. (Even so with thoughts of ill-will and violence.)

O monks, the mind is moulded by the way in which one repeatedly contemplates and reasons within oneself. If one contemplates sense- pleasure, the mind inclines towards sense-pleasure and moves away from renunciation. Even so with ill-will and violence. Knowing this, I saw the danger in undisciplined and unruly states of mind and the blessing of good states. I was vigilant.

While I was thus living, O monks, thoughts of renunciation arose in me. I realised: "This is a thought of renunciation. It will cause no harm either to me or to others. It is conducive to wisdom and it leads towards nibbana. From this thought, therefore, I see nothing to be afraid of." However, I saw that such continued contemplation produced weariness of mind and hence lack of concentration. (Even so with thoughts of good- will and non-violence.) I calmed the mind and made it one-pointed. Ι realised: "These are mental states." Immediately, there was a surge of energy in me and mindfulness was restored. I entered into deep meditation. Ignorance was dispelled. Knowledge arose.

I give you a parable:

A herd of deer lives in a forest. A man comes there who does not wish for the good of the deer. He leads them out of the forest along a treacherous road, having blocked the safer road; he lures them along that dangerous road with the help of a male decoy and a female lure. The deer are led to their destruction. Another herd lives in a forest. A man who has their safety at heart leads them out of that forest along a safe road, having blocked the dangerous paths. Following him, the deer reach safety and growth.

This is the meaning:

The forest is the forest of sense-pleasures. The deer represent human beings. The man who leads them into danger is Mara, the evil one. The male decoy is passion and the female lure is ignorance. The man who leads them to safety is the tathagata. The safe way is the noble eight- fold path.

Meditate, O monks. Do not be indolent.




tassa mayham brahmana cankamantassa tam bhayabheravam

agacchati. so kho aham brahmana n'eva tava tiṭṭhami

Na nisidami na nipajjami yava cankamanto va tam

bhayabheravam pativinemi

Thus have I heard:

When lord Buddha was living in the Jeta grove he was approached by a brahmana Jaņussoni, who asked the Lord: "Good Gotama, you are indeed the honoured leader of many wise men who have taken to the home- less life. But surely life in seclusion in forests is hazardous, wisdom is hard to attain and solitude is unpleasant. I think a forest-life is psychologically harmful to one who is not established in samadhi."

The LORD replied:

It is quite true, O brahmana. It is as you have just said. Previously, before perfect inner awakening, when I was a bodhisatta, I too thought that a recluse (samaņa) or a brahmana who was not free from impure physical actions, impure speech, impure thoughts and impure life-style, would experience fear and dread if he resorted to the forest-life. But, my physical actions were utterly pure and hence the forest-life was conducive to peace and security.

If a recluse (samaņa) or brahmana resorts to the forest-life while he remains and full of passionate desires, he experiences fear and dread. But I was free from them and therefore I gained peace and security in seclusion. Similar is the fate of one whose heart is corrupt, whose thoughts are wicked and motives impure. But since I was free from these, I gained peace and security in seclusion. Even so in the case of one who is easily overcome by laziness or inertia. But I was not lazy; I was an ariya who had got rid of laziness, and therefore I derived peace and security in seclusion. My energy had been fully awakened and stirred up.

Similarly, if a recluse (samaņa) or brahmana is of an unbalanced mind or of a doubting disposition, if he is given to boasting or self-praise and to disparaging others, he experiences fear and dread in seclusion. I had overcome these. If a recluse or brahmana is fearful, he experiences fear and dread; but I had overcome fear. If a recluse or brahmana seeks gain, honour and prestige, seclusion produces fear; but I had no desire for gain, honour and prestige. If a recluse or brahmaṇa has a muddled or wavering mind or lacks intuitive wisdom, seclusion causes dread in him. But I was free from a wavering mind and I was endowed with intuitive wisdom. Hence I derived security and peace.

I exposed myself to situations in which fear and dread might arise, so that I could recognise them. I would then reflect: "When, where and in what manner did this fear arise? In the same time, place and in the same manner I should put an end to it." If fear or dread arose while I was moving about, I did not stand nor did I He or sit down. I drove out that fear while pacing up and down. If the fear arose while I was sitting, standing, lying or whatever, I drove out that fear then and there, with- out abandoning what I was doing.



ayam kho me brahmana rattiya pacchime yame tatiya vijja

adhigata, avijja vihata vijja uppanna, tamo vihato

aloko uppanno, yatha tam appamattassa atapino pahitat-tassa viharato.

Lord BUDDHA continued:

There are some samaņa and brahmaṇa who think night is like day and day is like night. They are deluded and confused. I know that night is night and day is day; that is, the truth as truth and the false as the false. Then wise people can truthfully say: "Here is one who removes our ignorance and delusion, thus bringing happiness to all."

During the first quarter of the night, when I was endowed as I was with awakened inner energy and was free from dullness and distraction, I entered into the first meditation. This was accompanied by reasoning (savitakka) and by direct observation (savicara) and was born of wisdom (viveka). Joy and rapture were also associated with it. Then I entered into the second meditation in which the reasoning and observation came to an end, but concentration, rapture and joy continued. The rapture came to an end and I entered the third meditation; there was the pure joy of equanimity and mindfulness. After directly becoming aware of the impressions left by past experiences of joy and sorrow, I abandoned both and entered into the fourth meditation, which is purified awareness.

With this purified awareness I scanned the previous embodiments: one, two, three, four, a hundred, a thousand and more, in past ages (kalpa) of creation and dissolution. I beheld, 'I was such and such,' and I knew, 'I had such and such experiences then', and 'Having been through all these births, I am here now.' Thus, during the first part of the night, the first knowledge arose and ignorance was dispelled.

I then directed the pure awareness to 'the future' of all beings. With the divine vision I beheld the truth that the future of such beings was dependent upon the consequences of their present deeds. They who were evil in thought, word and deed, were born in hell or in evil genes. They who were good were born in heaven or in good genes. I realised this during the middle part of the night.

Then I directed my awareness to the destruction of the evil. The knowledge of the following arose in me: 'This is sorrow, this is the arising of sorrow, this is the cessation of sorrow and this is the path to the cessation of sorrow.' I also saw: 'This is evil (obstacle); this is cessation of evil.' When I realised this my mind was freed from the evils of desire, of becoming and of ignorance. I realised: 'I am freed from birth, I have done what has to be done and reached the goal of brahmacariya (movement towards the infinite or a holy, religious life)." Thus, during the last part of the night, the third knowledge arose in me. Ignorance was dispelled. Darkness was dispelled and the vision of truth arose. I move about without delusion but full of zeal. However, even now I frequent forests and other places of seclusion out of compassion for others and also because I rest in peace everywhere.

Hearing this, the brahmana became a follower of the buddha.





ete te bhikkhave ubho ante anupagamma majjhima patipada

tathagatena abhisambuddha - cakkhukarani, nanakarani,

upasamaya, abhinnaya, sambodhaya, nibbanaya samvattati

Thus have I heard:

While staying at Varanasi at the hermitage called Migadaya, the Lord addressed the group of the five monks thus:

There are two extremes, O monks, which the man who has entered the homeless state ought not to follow. On the one hand, the habitual practice of those things whose attraction depends upon the passions, especially sensuality, and on the other hand, the habitual practice of asceticism which is painful, unworthy and unprofitable.

There is a middle path, O monks, which was discovered by the tathagata and which avoids these two extremes. It is a path which opens the eyes and bestows understanding, which leads to peace of mind, to the higher wisdom, to full enlightenment, to nibbana.

What is the middle path? It is the noble eightfold path; that is to say: right view, right aspiration, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right contemplation.

Now this, O monks, is the noble truth concerning sorrow. Birth is attended by sorrow, senility is sorrow, disease is sorrow, death is sorrow. Being subjected to the unpleasant is sorrow, being deprived of the pleasant is sorrow and any craving that is unsatisfied is sorrow. In short, the five aggregates which spring from attachment (the conditions of individuality and their cause) are sorrow.

Now this is the noble truth concerning the origin of sorrow. It is craving which causes repeated existence, which is accompanied by sensual pleasure and seeks satisfaction now here and now there. It is the craving for the gratification of the passions, for success here, or for a future life.

Now this is the noble truth concerning the ending of sorrow. It is the destruction of all passion without a residue. It is the laying aside of craving, being free from it and no longer harbouring it.

Now this is the noble truth concerning the way which leads to the ending of sorrow. It is the noble eightfold path.

The doctrines that have been handed down so far do not declare these four noble truths, nor do they envision that I should comprehend them. But there arose within me the eye, the knowledge, the understanding and the wisdom; there arose the light, that 'this' was the noble truth concerning sorrow, its origin, its ending and the means to such ending. Now that this knowledge has arisen in me and I have attained perfect insight into that which is unsurpassed in the heavens or on earth, total and unshakeable is the emancipation of my heart. This is my last existence. There will be no further birth for me now.



The LORD said:

The tathagata does not seek salvation in austerities, but for that reason you must not think that he indulges in worldly pleasures, or that he lives in abundance. The tathagata has found the middle path.

Neither abstinence from fish nor meat, nor going naked, nor shaving the head, nor wearing matted hair, nor dressing in a rough garment, nor covering oneself with dirt, nor sacrificing to the fire-god will cleanse a man who is not free from delusions.

Reading the veda, making offerings to priests or sacrificing to the gods, self-mortification by heat or cold and many such penances performed for the sake of immortality do not cleanse the man who is not free from delusions.

Anger, drunkenness, obstinacy, bigotry, deception, envy, self-praise, disparaging others, superciliousness and evil intentions constitute uncleanness; not just the eating of meat.

Let me teach you, O monks, the middle path which avoids both the extremes. By self-inflicted suffering, the emaciated monk produces confusion and sickly thoughts in his mind. Mortification is not conducive even to worldly knowledge; how much less to a triumph over the senses.

He who fills his lamp with water will not dispel the darkness and he who tries to light a fire with rotten weed will fail.

Mortifications are painful, vain and profitless. How can anyone be free from self by leading a wretched life, if he has not succeeded in quenching the fires of lust?

All mortification is vain so long as self remains, so long as self continues to lust after either worldly or heavenly pleasures. But he in whom self has become extinct is free from lust; he will desire neither worldly nor heavenly pleasures and the satisfaction of his natural wants will not defile him. Let him eat and drink according to the needs of the body.

Water surrounds the lotus-flower, but does not wet its petals.

On the other hand, sensuality of all kinds is enervating. The sensual man is a slave of his passions and pleasure-seeking is degrading and vulgar.

But to satisfy the necessities of life is not evil. To keep the body in good health is a duty, for otherwise we shall not be able to trim the lamp of wisdom, and keep the mind strong and clear.

This is the middle path, O monks, that avoids both the extremes.



Thus have I heard:

When the Blessed One spoke kindly to the monks, the ice of ill-will that chilled their hearts melted away under the gentle warmth of the Lord's persuasion.

Now the Lord set the wheel of the most excellent dhamma in motion. When the Lord began his sermon, all the universes were thrilled with rapture. The gods, the saints and even the animals of the earth felt the bliss. All the creatures - gods, men and beasts - hearing the message of deliverance, received and understood it in their own language.

The LORD said:

The rules of pure conduct are the spokes of the wheel of dhamma; justice is the uniformity of their length; wisdom is the tyre; modesty and thoughtfulness are the hub in which the immovable axle of truth is fixed.

He who recognises the existence of suffering, its cause, its remedy and its cessation, has fathomed the four noble truths. He will walk in the right path.

Right view will be the torch to light his way. Right goal will be his guide. Right words will be his dwelling-place on the road. His gait will be straight, for it is right behaviour. He will be sustained by the right way of earning his livelihood. Right efforts will be his steps, right thoughts his breath and peace will follow in his footprints.

Whatsoever has a beginning will come to an end. All worry about the self is vain. The ego is like a mirage. All the tribulations that touch it will pass away. They will vanish like a nightmare when the sleeper awakes.

He who has awakened is free from fear. He has become buddha. He knows the vanity of all his cares and ambitions, and also of his pains.

It easily happens that a man, when taking a bath, steps upon a wet rope and imagines that it is a snake. Horror seizes him and he shakes from fear, anticipating in his mind all the agonies caused by the serpent's venomous bite. What a relief this man experiences when he sees that the rope is no snake! The cause of his fright lies in his error, his ignorance, his illusion. If the true nature of the rope is recognised, his tranquillity of mind will come back to him; he will feel relieved; he will be joyful and happy.

This is the state of mind of one who has recognised that there is no self, that the cause of all his troubles, cares and vanities is a mirage, a shadow, a dream.

Self is a fever, a transient vision, a dream. But truth is wholesome, sublime and everlasting. There is no immortality except in truth. There is no saviour except the truth.

Hearing this, the venerable Kondanna realised the truth and the Lord acknowledged this by declaring: "Truly Kondanna has understood."




yo tassa yeva tanhaya asesaviraginarodho cago patinis- saggo

mutti analayo; idam vuccat', avuso dukkhanirodham ariyasaccam

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Varanasi in the deer-park at Isipatana. One day he said to the assembled monks: "The incomparable wheel of dhamma, which was set rolling by the tathagata in the deer-park at Isipatana, cannot be arrested by anyone. It was the proclamation of the four ariya truths. O monks, follow Sariputta and Moggallana, they are wise helpers." Having said this the Lord retired.

Then SARIPUTTA expounded the sutta in the following words:

Birth, old age, death, grief, suffering, misery, despair and not getting what one desires - all these constitute sorrow. Birth is the coming forth, an appearance of the aggregates (to which one is attached) and the acquiring of the sense-bases. The ebbing of the life-span and the collapse of the sense-functions is old age. Breaking up and laying down of the body is death. Grief arises when one is visited by some calamity. Suffering is physical disagreeableness. A wish may arise: "May we be free from grief, sorrow and despair", but this does not happen by mere wishing. When the wish is unfulfilled there is sorrow. The five aggregates of grasping - form, feeling, perception, habitual tendencies and consciousness - are all sorrow.

What is the truth concerning the arising of sorrow? Craving associated with 'becoming', craving for sense-pleasure which is accompanied by delight and attachment and even the craving for annihilation- this is the cause for the arising of sorrow. The abandonment of that craving without any attachment whatsoever, is the ariya truth concerning the stopping of sorrow.

The ariya truth concerning the means to the stopping of sorrow consists of the eightfold way: right view, right aspiration, right speech, right action, right mode of livelihood, right endeavour, right mindfulness and concentration. The knowledge of sorrow, of the arising of sorrow, of the stopping of that sorrow and of the course leading to its cessation - this is the right view. Aspiration for renunciation, non-hate and harmless- ness is right aspiration. Refraining from falsehood, slander, harsh speech and gossip is right speech. Refraining from violence towards all creatures, from stealth, and from immorality is called right action. Right livelihood is adopting the right mode of livelihood, in accordance with dhamma. To generate resolve, effort and energy and to strive for the non- arising of evil states that have not arisen and to get rid of those evil states that have already arisen, as also to promote the arising of holy states and to protect them when they have arisen, is right endeavour. To live contemplating the body in the body, feelings in the feelings, mind in the mind and mental states in the mental states, clearly conscious of them so as to control covetousness and dejection, is right mindfulness. Free from states of mind, entering by stages into the first, the second, the third and the fourth meditations, is right concentration. This is the means for the cessation of sorrow.

These are the four noble truths proclaimed by the tathagata. This is the wheel set in motion by the tathagata which no one can stop.




Thus have I heard:

The Lord, having dwelt in the Uruvela for some time, proceeded on his wanderings in the direction of Gaya, accompanied by a great congrega- tion of a thousand disciples, who had all been monks with matted hair. There, the Lord dwelt together with them.

One day the LORD addressed the monks:

All things, O monks, are on fire. And what, O monks, are these things which are on fire? The eye is on fire, forms are on fire, eye- consciousness is on fire, impressions received by the eye are on fire. Whatever the sensation - pleasant, unpleasant or neutral - which arises on account of the impressions received by the eye, it is on fire.

And with what are these on fire? With the fire of passion, I say, with the fire of hatred, with the fire of infatuation; with birth, old age, death, sorrow, lamentation, misery, grief and despair, are they on fire.

The ear is on fire, sounds are on fire, the nose is on fire, odours are on fire, the tongue is on fire, tastes are on fire, the body is on fire, things tangible are on fire, the mind is on fire, ideas are on fire, mind- consciousness is on fire, impressions received by the mind are on fire, and whatever the sensation, pleasant, unpleasant or neutral, which arises on account of the impressions received by the mind, it is on fire.

And with what are these on fire? With the fire of passion, I say, with the fire of hatred, with the fire of infatuation; with birth, old age, death, sorrow, lamentation, misery, grief and despair, are they on fire.

Perceiving this, O monks, the learned and noble disciple conceives an aversion for the eye, conceives an aversion for forms, conceives an aversion for eye-consciousness, conceives an aversion for the impressions received by the eye; and whatever the sensation, pleasant, unpleasant or neutral which arises due to the impressions received by the eye, for that also he conceives an aversion. He conceives an aversion for the ear. He conceives an aversion for sounds. He conceives an aversion for the nose. He conceives an aversion for odours. He conceives an aversion for the tongue. He conceives an aversion for tastes. He conceives an aversion for the body. He conceives an aversion for things tangible. He conceives an aversion for the mind. He conceives an aversion for ideas. He conceives an aversion for mind-consciousness. He conceives an aversion for the impressions received by the mind, and for whatever sensation, pleasant, unpleasant or neutral which arises on account of the impressions received by the mind. And in conceiving this aversion, he becomes divested of passion, and by the absence of passion he becomes free. When he is free he becomes aware that he is free; he knows that rebirth is exhausted, that he has fulfilled the holy life, that he has done what he had to do, and that he will return no more to this world.

When the Lord was discoursing, the minds of the thousand monks became free from attachment and from depravities.



yam hi mayam bhante nasakkhimha dandena pi satthena pi dametum,

so bhagavata adandena asatthen' eva danto

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was then staying near Savatthi in the Jeta grove. At that time there was a robber named Angulimala, who was so named because he had killed many people and strung their fingers into a garland which he wore around his neck. He had wreaked havoc in the surrounding villages.

One day the villagers noticed that lord Buddha was walking alone on the road towards where this robber lived. They warned him of the danger s but he paid no heed. People dared not walk there even in large groups and yet this ascetic was walking alone fearlessly. Soon he reached the place where the robber lived. The robber saw him walking alone and shadowed him, intending to kill him. Strangely enough, however swiftly he walked he could not catch up with the Lord, even though he saw that the Lord was walking with his usual gait.

At one stage, the robber stood still and shouted at the Lord: "Halt." The Lord coolly responded: "I am still; be thou still, too." The robber was puzzled by the reply, for he was standing still and it was the Lord who was moving. He expressed his thoughts and the Lord answered him: "I have abandoned aggression, Angulimala, and hence I am standing still. Your behaviour is unrestrained and hence you are not still." The robber' s heart was touched. He longed to hear the dhamma. He worshipped the Lord and prayed to be accepted as a disciple. The Lord said: "Come, O monk." The robber became a monk and accompanied the Lord on his tour of Savatthi.

While the Lord and Angulimala were at the monastery, the king heard from the people that the notorious robber was there. He went to see for himself. But, the Lord asked the king: "If you saw a monk who had taken to the life of brahmacariya, what would you do to him?" The king answered: "Of course , I would worship him." Pointing to Angulimala, the Lord said: "Here is Angulimala." The king was amazed. He said to the Lord: "Indeed it is most wonderful. What I could not achieve by the use of swords and other weapons, the Lord has achieved without the use of such weapons."

One day, during his begging-trip, Angulimala found a woman who was suffering severe labour pain. When he returned to the monastery the Lord instructed him to go back and say: "I have not intentionally harmed any creature since my ariya birth. By this truth may you be well." He did so. She was instantly relieved of her suffering.

By his own diligent practice Angulim-ala had arrived at the death-less state. While wandering one day he was pelted with stones and injured; his bowl was smashed and his cloak torn. The Lord exhorted him to bear it in patience: "Thus are the results of past kamma worked out here and now, instead of leading you to hell hereafter." He roamed about singing the glories of dhamma and of the Lord.



tam bhagavato asesam abhijanato uttarim abhinneyyam

N'atthi, yad abhijanam anno samano va brahmano va

Bhagavato bhiyyo 'bhinnataro assa yadidam kusalesu


Thus have I heard:

supreme knowledge leading to nibbana."

The Lord was staying near Nalanda. The venerable Sariputta came to him one day and after saluting him said: "Lord, such is my faith in the Lord that I think there is no one who is greater, nor has there been or will there be anyone who is greater than the Lord, who possesses the supreme knowledge leading to nibbana.

The LORD replied:

Surely, you have not known all the enlightened ones of the past nor do you know of the ones who will arise in the future. You do not even know me fully. How then can you make such a bold statement, Sariputta?

SARIPUTTA replied:

It is true, Lord, that I have no knowledge concerning the buddha of the past or of the future, or concerning the Lord. But I know this much: all those buddha of the past and the future have put away the five hindrances, got rid of the defects of the mind by wisdom, established themselves in mindfulness, perfected themselves in the seven branches of enlightenment and reached complete awakening. The Lord has done all this. Hence no one can be greater than the Lord. He is supremely awakened. He has taught dhamma well. Blessed is the order.

In the way in which the Lord teaches the doctrines of the dhamma he is unexcelled-the fourfold mindfulness, the four efforts, the four roads to psychic power, the five methods of sense-control, the five powers, the seven modes of enlightenment and the ariya eightfold path. The Lord knows all these perfectly; beyond that which he knows there is nothing to be known.

is the way in which the Lord has taught us the dhamma of sense-experiences, the internal and the external sense-fields. Unsurpassable is the Lord's teaching concerning rebirth: that there are four modes of rebirth: (1) one enters the mother's womb, abides in it and departs thence unknowing, (2) one enters the mother's womb knowing, but abides and departs thence unknowing, (3) one enters and abides there knowing, but departs unknowing, and (4) one enters the mother's womb, abides in it and departs knowing, too.

Unsurpassable is the dhamma concerning the modes of revealing another's mind; the Lord teaches that there are four modes: (1) by a visible sigh, (2) by hearing a sound uttered by humans or non-humans, (3) by hearing a rational sound made intelligently and deliberately, and (4) by intuition. Unsurpassable is the way the Lord teaches the four degrees of discernment: (1) discerning inwardly that the body is a hide- bound mass of manifold uncleanness, blood, pus, urine and so on, (2) discerning the skeleton covered by skin, flesh and blood, (3) discerning the unbroken flux of human consciousness established in this world and in another. (4) discerning that the human consciousness is not attached to this world or another.


yam tam bhante saddhena kula-puttena pattabbam araddha viriyena thamavata purisa-thamena purisa-viriyena

purisa-parakkamena purisa-dhorayhena, anuppattam tam


SARIPUTTA continued:

Unsurpassable is the way in which the Lord propounds the classifi- cation of individuals: they who (1) are freed both ways, (2) are freed by insight, (3) have realised the truth concerning the body, (4) have gained the view, (5) are freed by faith, (6) adhere to dhamma, (7) are faithful.

Unsurpassable is the way in which the Lord imparts the seven factors of enlightenment: mindfulness, enquiry into the dhamma, energy, joyous devotion, serenity, meditation and equanimity.

Unsurpassable is the way in which the Lord proclaims the stages of (1) progress is difficult, wisdom is slow, progress: (2) progress is difficult but wisdom (intuition) is swift, (3) progress is easy and wisdom is slow and  (4) progress is easy and wisdom is swift.

Unsurpassable is the way in which the Lord teaches discipline in speech: that one should refrain from falsehood, calumnious, abusive and contentious speech in an argument, and speak words of wisdom in due season. Even so the Lord teaches ethical conduct: how one should avoid trickery (divining and exorcism), and be self-controlled.

Unsurpassable is the way in which the Lord instructs the disciple concerning dhamma. The Lord knows: (1) which student will by the destruction of the three fetters enter the stream, (2) who will have so far diminished passion and hate and illusion that he will return only once more, (3) who, by the total destruction of the five fetters, will be reborn in heaven never to return, (4) who will, by the destruction of the asava, gain emancipation in this very life. Unsurpassable is the way in which the Lord teaches dhamma, so that the monk himself knows what his destiny is.

Unsurpassable is the way in which the Lord deals with doctrines of eternalism: recollecting past incarnations, one affirms that the soul and the world are eternal. Unsurpassable is the Lord's teaching concerning dwellings and doings in past incarnations, death and rebirth. Unsurpassable is the Lord's teaching concerning supernatural powers (a) without and (b) with worldly aims and mental defilements. The second is ignoble. The first is noble, and the means by which the monk cuts himself off from a disgusting or an alluring environment.

Whatever a noble person who has faith and energy and is steadfast may achieve, that has been achieved by the Lord. If someone belonging to another doctrine had even one such quality, he would be sounding his trumpet aloud; but the Lord does not do so. There is, has been or will be none greater than the Lord. There have been others equal to the Lord. But, there is none at the moment. For the Lord Has said that two buddha cannot arise in the world at the same time.

The Lord appreciated this and asked Udayin, who was there, to make a note of what Sariputta had said.



pano na hantabbo. adinnam n' adatabbam. kamesu miccha na

Caritabba. Musa na bhasitabba. majjam na patabbam.

yathabhuttan ca bhunjatheti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was in Kusinara, lying between twin sala trees just before he passed away. Ananda pleaded: "Lord, do not die here in this little insignificant village. Choose one of the bigger cities."

The LORD said:

Do not say so, Ananda. Long ago, a great king by the name of Maha Sudassana ruled over this very place. It was a great city then, known as Kusavati, equal in splendour to the capital of heaven. Its Ramparts were made  of gold, silver and precious stones. Everything in that city had an air of supreme prosperity. The great king was endowed with the seven treasures and four marvellous powers.

On a holy day, when the king was in the upper storey, he saw before him the treasure of the wheel. He knew that it appeared only to one who was to become the king of kings. He prayed: "Roll on, O Lord, O wheel, and overcome all." The wheel rolled in the four directions one after the other. The great king followed. Everywhere kings bowed to him and acknowledged him as emperor and guide. The great king commanded them: "Do not kill. Not what has not been given? Refrain from evil sense-enjoyment. Do not tell lies. Do not drink intoxicating liquor. Eat (enjoy) what you are allowed to eat (enjoy)." When they had returned from this expedition, the wheel became attached to the threshold of the king's inner apartments. Then he obtained the treasure of a celestial elephant and a celestial horse both of which could fly through space and he rode them. He obtained the celestial gem which, when held aloft, enabled everyone to see clearly, even in total darkness. He obtained the woman treasure, the most beautiful woman, endowed with great virtue who remained loyal to him.  He obtained a wonderful treasurer who took charge of his treasury. One day when they were sail- ing in a boat the king tested his prowess by asking for gold. The treasurer scooped up water which turned into gold in his hands. Lastly, the king obtained a wonderful adviser, wise and able, who was his counsellor. These were the seven treasures that the king possessed.

Then came the four marvellous gifts. The king was gifted with a handsome appearance, unequalled by other men. The king was gifted with a long life beyond the span of others' lives. The king was gifted with perfect health. The king was gifted with the love and admiration of his people, equalled only by his own love for them.

The king had a lotus pond built. Around it he established various charities for the poor, for the hungry, for the naked and needy. The people built a great palace for him and the king of heaven had a great mansion which was called 'Dhamma - righteousness' for him. The king entertained the wanderers and the holy men.


sabbeh' eva deva piyehi manapehi nana-bhavo vina-bhavo

annatha-bhavo ma kho tvam deva sapekkho kalam akasi

dukkha sapekhassa kala-kiriya garahita ca sapekhassa kala-kiriya

The LORD continued:

One day the king wondered: "On account of what past kamma do I come to possess all these?" Then he ascended the fortress (perhaps the subtle inner world?) at the same time commanding lust, ill-will and hate to stay away. He entered into the first meditation, the second meditation, the third and the fourth meditation. He radiated and filled the four quarters with the blessings of love, compassion, joy and equanimity blessings which were boundless, limitless and all-embracing.

The king had eighty-four thousand cities, the chief of which was Kusavati; eighty-four thousand palaces of which the chief was Dhamma; eighty-four thousand chambers of which the best was the fortress; eighty- four thousand elephants, horses, chariots and gems, the chiefs of which were the respective treasures; eighty-four thousand wives of whom queen Subhadda was the chief. The eighty-four thousand elephants used to pay him homage every day, but he decreed that one half of that number should visit him only every hundred years, by turns.

One day after hundreds of years queen Subhadda sought his presence. As she was about to enter the royal chamber the king stopped her. He ordered his attendant to lay the golden couch under the palm trees. There he lay down like a lion, calm and self-possessed. Seeing him, the queen was apprehensive: "He is so calm. I hope he is not dead." She said to him: "O king, all these eighty-four thousand cities, palaces and so on are yours. Arouse desire for them in your heart, and thus prolong your will to live."

But the king cautioned her: "Do not speak thus, O queen. But say, 'It is in the nature of things here that we must leave them behind, cut ourselves away from them. Do not pass away longing for them. Pitiable and unworthy is the death of him who longs for them." The queen, accordingly, mentioned each one of the royal possessions and cautioned the king: "Cast away any desire for these; do not long for a life hereafter." When she had finished with her admonition (in accordance with the king's own command) the great king died. He had lived the life of a prince, a viceroy, a ruler, a layman and the noble life in the palace of Dhamma for eighty-four million years. Now he had entered the happy world of Brahma.

I was that king, Ananda, and mine were all those wonderful things. How impermanent they are, for they have all been destroyed. That is the destiny of all component things. It is wise to be free from bondage to them. (The possessions are elaborately described here, to illustrate this point.)

I now remember that my body has been buried six times on this very spot. When 1 ruled as the great king here, it was the seventh time. I do not see any spot in the world of gods or men where the body can be buried for the eighth time.




yavakivan ca bhikkhave bhikkhu saddha bhavissanti,

hirimana bhavissanti, ottapi bhavissanti, bahussuta

bhavissanti, araddha viriya bhavissanti, upaṭṭhita sati

bhavissanti, pannavanto bhavissanti, vuddhi yeva bhik-

khave bhikkhunam patikankha no parihani

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was dwelling in Rajagaha on the vulture's peak. At that time the king of Magadha, Ajatasattu, was planning to invade the people of Vajji and destroy them. Before doing so, however, he sent a brahmana to the Lord to inform him of his intention. When the brahmana conveyed the message, the Lord replied: "As long as the people of Vajji meet together often in harmony and work in harmony, as long as they do not enact a law which is not in accord with established custom, as long as they honour and support their own elders, as long as they do not ill- treat or dishonour their women, as long as they maintain the shrines in the country and as long as they support the arahants so long will they prosper and not decline. These principles I have already imparted to the people of Vajji." The brahmana wisely concluded that the people of Vajji could not be overcome by force, and left.

Soon after this the Lord asked Ananda to assemble all the monks. He spoke to them of the seven conditions of the welfare of a community of monks:

O monks, so long as the monks gather and have frequent meetings, so long as they function in harmony, so long as they do not disturb established custom but act in accordance with the rules laid down, so long as they revere and support the elders, so long as they do not succumb to craving which brings about re-birth, so long as they delight in solitude, so long as they train their minds in self-possession so that good men might seek their company and progress in their company so long will the brotherhood prosper and not decline.

Seven more conditions I shall lay down: so long as the monks do not indulge in business, in idle talk, slothfulness, socialising, wrong desires and evil company, and so long as they do not remain satisfied with any achievement less than arahantship - so long will they prosper and not decline. I shall give you seven further conditions: so long as the monks are full of faith, modest, ashamed of wrong-doing, learned, full of energy, active in mind, and wise - so long will they prosper and not decline. Seven more conditions 1 shall lay down: as long as the monks shall train themselves in the sevenfold higher wisdom (mindfulness, enquiry, energy, joy, peace, contemplation, equanimity) they will prosper and not decline.



yavakivan ca bhikkhave bhikkhu anicca-sannam bhavessanti,

anatta sannam bhavessanti, asubha sannam bhavessanti,

adinava sannam bhavessanti, pahana sannam bhavessanti,

viraga sannam bhavessanti, nirodha sannam bhavessanti,

vuddhi yeva bhikkhave bhikkhunam patikankha no parihani

The LORD continued:

Seven more conditions to prevent the decline of dhamma I shall lay down: as long as the monks contemplate and remain aware of the im- permanence of all things, of the non-existence of a self (ego), of the impurity of all things, of the danger of evil, of the importance of reject- ing evil, of dispassion and of the cessation of sorrow so long they will prosper and not decline.

Six further conditions for the preservation of dhamma I shall lay down. Listen. As long as the monks deal in a friendly way with fellow- monks, as long as they speak to one another and think of one another with friendliness, as long as they share everything among all the brother- monks, as long as they dwell in the company of the holy ones practising noble virtues which are spotless, and as long as they live in the company of holy ones devoted to that vision and that view which will bring about the cessation of sorrow - so long they will prosper and not decline.

The Lord also discoursed on right conduct, right concentration and meditation, true wisdom and so on.

After some time he went to Ambalatthika with a large group of monks. He held similar discourses there. From there he went to Nalanda. While they were at Nalanda, Sariputta said: "Lord, I think that there is, there has been and there will be no one greater or wiser than the Lord."

At Nalanda, too, the Lord discoursed on dhamma. From there he went to Pataligama. To the householders of Pataligama, the Lord said: "The evil-doer reaps the five-fold harvest of evil he falls a prey to poverty, he has an evil reputation, he cringes when he has to enter good company, he is full of anxiety and after death he goes to an unhappy state. But one who does good reaps a harvest of good he becomes wealthy (through industry), he enjoys a good reputation, when he enters a good assembly he does so with confidence, he lives without anxiety and when he dies he goes to a happy state."

The ministers of Pataligama were building a fort. One day the Lord accepted an invitation to be their guest. He blessed the city: "It will become the chief city Pataliputta and a great business centre. It will of course, be subject to three hazards; fire, water and dissension among friends."

Buddha teaching his close disciples.



tasmat ih' ananda atta-dipa viharatha atta-sarana ananna-

sarana, dhamma-dipa dhamma-sarana ananna-sarana

When the Lord wanted to cross the river Ganga along with the group of monks, they found that the river was in flood. While the disciples were looking for boats, the Lord and the monks disappeared from one bank and appeared On the other!

The Lord then went to Kotigama where he said to the monks: "It is by not understanding the four ariya truths that people go round on the wheel of birth and death. When they are understood, the root of sorrow is destroyed and there is no more birth." He also discoursed on dhamma.

The Lord went to Nadika. Here, Ananda asked the Lord: "Salha, Nanda and some others have died in this place, Lord. What is their destiny?" The Lord replied: "Salha has destroyed the asava and attained final emancipation. Nanda has destroyed the five bonds and has gone to the highest heaven, never to return. Sudatta has destroyed the three bonds and will be born just once when he will end sorrow. Sujata has destroyed the bonds, he has become converted and will not be reborn in a state of suffering.

"That people die is normal, but it makes me weary when you ask about the destiny of each one. I shall tell you in brief how one can surely avoid purgatory and rebirth as an animal and so on. One should have faith in the buddha. He should have faith in the dhamma. He should have faith in the order of disciples who are walking the noble eightfold path and who are of supreme virtue, untarnished by desire. Faith is the mirror of truth; whoever possesses this will know that purgatory and evil destiny are not for him."

Then the Lord went to Vesali. He said to the monks: "Be mindful and self-possessed.  What is it to be mindful? To be aware of the body, feelings, moods and ideas, in such a way that both hankering and dejection are avoided. To be self-possessed is to have full presence of mind in whatever you are doing."

Having heard that the Lord was in Vesali, Ambapali the courtesan invited him and the monks for a meal at her house. The Lord agreed. Just after this the young Licchavi arrived with a similar invitation; but the Lord said to them: "I have already accepted Ambapali's invitation." After the meal, Ambapali presented her garden to the Lord for the use of the order. The Lord discoursed on dhamma again.

The Lord then went to Beluva where he decided to spend the rainy season. One day he was stricken with great pain. But by a strong effort of his will he overcame the pain. When Ananda noticed this, he said to the Lord: "Lord, do not pass away without instructing the order." The Lord said: "I have revealed everything, without holding anything back, without making a distinction between the esoteric and the exoteric. As to the rules concerning the order, it is for whoever heads the order to lay them down, it does not depend upon me. This body is worn-out. It is only when I am unconnected with any sensation that there is freedom Therefore, be ye lamps unto yourselves. Be ye a refuge from pain. unto yourself. Do not go to anything outside for refuge. Hold fast to dhamma as a lamp. Whoever shall so be a lamp unto himself, a refuge unto himself, both now and after I am dead, will reach the greatest height."



yassa kassaci ananda cattaro iddhipada bhavita bahuli-

kata yani-kata vatthu-kata anutthita paricita susamaraddha,

so akankhamano kappam va tiṭṭheyya kappavasesam va

One day, after the alms-gathering round at Vesali and after eating, the Lord and Ananda went to the Capala shrine. The Lord expressed his admiration of Vesali, the Capala and other shrines. Then he said: "Ananda, whoever has developed and practised fully the four steps to supernatural power and mastered them can, if he so desires, live for an epoch or the balance of an epoch. The tathagata is such a one." But Ananda did not comprehend this clear hint and so did not pray that the Lord might live for an aeon.

When the Lord was alone, Mara, the evil one, appeared before him and said: "Lord, the monks and the nuns of the order have all been well trained and are capable of spreading the truth in the world; the dhamma has been well proclaimed everywhere. It is time for the Lord to pass away." The Lord replied: "Be happy. At the end of three months, the tathagata will pass away." The tathagata renounced the remainder of his life-span.

There was a terrible earthquake. Ananda wondered about its cause. The Lord listed eight causes for earthquakes: water moves below the surface of the earth, a recluse or brahmana makes the earth move by his psychic power, the bodhisatta leaves his celestial realm and enters a mother's womb, he is born into the world, he arrives at perfect enlighten- ment, he founds the kingdom of righteousness or he rejects the remainder of his life and he passes away.

The LORD said:

There are eight categories of beings- nobles, brahmana, householders, wanderers, the guardian kings, thirty-three gods, mara and Brahma. When I instruct them I even assume their form and their voice. They do not know me. When I have instructed them I vanish.

There are eight positions of mastery. They are: (1) a man with the subjective idea of external form is conscious that he knows and sees: (2) with the subjective idea of form he sees forms which are boundless and is conscious that he knows and sees; (3) without the subjective idea, consciously he sees finite forms external to himself; (4) he sees boundless forms external to himself; (5) he sees forms which are blue in colour; (6) yellow in colour; (7) red in colour; (8) white in colour.

The Lord also expounded the eight stages of liberation. Then he told Ananda that Mara had visited him and that he had agreed to pass away. Ananda prayed: "Lord, stay with us for an aeon. Do not pass away." But the Lord reiterated: "You did not take the hint when it was made. It is your fault. I have given my word that I shall pass away."



Handa dani bhikkhave amantayami vo, vaya-dhamma

sankhara, appamadena sampadetha

The LORD said to Ananda:

"Let us go to the Kutagara Hall, to the Mahavana."

On arrival there he asked Ananda to collect all the monks together in the service hall. He spoke to them as follows:

The truths that I have perceived have all been made known to you. Master them. Practise them. Meditate upon them. Spread them all over the world in order that the pure dhamma may continue for a long time for the good and happiness of humanity.

I have declared to you the truths concerning:

The four earnest meditations

The fourfold struggle against evil

The four roads to arahantship

The fivefold sense-control

The fivefold strength (energy)

The seven kinds of wisdom

The noble eightfold path.

Behold! 1 exhort you: all component things must decay. Work out your salvation with diligence. The parinibbana of the tathagata will take place shortly.

The four meditations are: meditation on the body, on the sensations, on ideas and on the characteristics of phenomena.

The fourfold struggle is: the struggle to prevent evil arising; to put away evil states which have arisen; to produce goodness not previously existing: to increase goodness when it does exist.

The four roads to arahantship are: the will to acquire it, united with earnest meditation and the struggle against evil; the necessary exertion united with earnest meditation and the struggle against evil; the necessary preparation of the heart united with earnest meditation and the struggle against evil; investigation united with earnest meditation and the struggle against evil.

The fivefold sense-control (as also strength) consists of: faith, energy, thought, contemplation, wisdom.

The seven kinds of wisdom are: energy, thought, contemplation, investigation, joy, repose, serenity.

The ariya eightfold path.



dadato punnam pavaddhati, samyamato veram na ciyati

kusalo ca jahati papakam, ragado samohakkhaya sa nibbuto ti

One day, after alms-gathering at Vesali, the Lord looked at that town and said to Ananda: "This is the last time that the tathagata will see Vesali."

Then he went to Bhanda-gama. There he spoke to the monks: "When the four truths are not understood, we go round on the wheel of birth and death. The four truths are: noble conduct, meditation, wisdom and liberation. When these are realised there is no craving for a future life and hence no more birth." He also spoke on dhamma.

Then the Lord went to Hatthigama, Ambagama, Jambugama and then to Bhoganagara. In Bhoganagara the Lord said to the monks: "I shall give you a great piece of advice. It is possible that someone or the other might declare: 'Thus have I heard from the Lord's own mouth, this is the truth. or 'Thus have I heard from a company of monks and elders. You should not praise nor scorn such declarations. Compare them with the sutta and with the conduct of the order of monks. If they are in accord with these, accept them; if they are not, reject them."

Then the Lord went to Pava and stayed in the mango grove of Cunda, the smith. Having prepared a meal, Cunda invited the Lord and all the monks. It consisted of sweet rice and cakes and a quantity of sweet- potato (sukara-maddhava or sukara-kanda). The Lord said to him: "Serve me the sweet-potato and serve the monks with the sweet rice and cakes." After his meal, the Lord said to Cunda: "Whatever is left of the sweet- potato, bury it; only a tathagata can digest it." The Lord then discoursed on the dhamma. But soon afterwards, he was seized with severe colic and suffered from dysentery (lohita-pakkhandika).

The Lord then went to Kusinara. On the way he felt tired and rested under a tree. He asked Ananda to fetch water, saying: "I am thirsty." Ananda saw that the water of the stream was muddy and suggested that they might go to the Kakuttha river, but the Lord repeated his request. When Ananda went to the stream, it miraculously cleared at once. The Lord drank the water.

Then Pukkusa, a disciple of Alara Kalama, seeing the Lord, bowed to him. He said: "It is wonderful that they who have gone forth are so calm!" And he recounted how once Alara Kalama was unaware though fully conscious when five hundred carts passed close to him. The Lord revealed that at one time he was in a thunderstorm, with rain and lightning, but was unaware of it, though he was conscious. Pukkusa was wonderstruck at this and became the Lord's disciple. He presented the Lord with two golden robes, one of which at the Lord's behest - he gave to Ananda. While wearing it the Lord's body shone more radiantly than the golden robe. Explaining this, the Lord said to Ananda: "On two occasions the tathagata's body shines supremely radiantly before enlightenment and just before the final passing away." Then he instructed Ananda that no one should blame Cunda but should extol his gift of the last meal. The gift increases merit. Hatred dies in the self-restrained. The diligent (wise) man destroys sinfulness. Peace arises when attachment, aversion and ignorance cease.



yo kho ananda bhikkhu va bhikkhuni va upasako va upasika

va dhannanudhamma-patipanno viharati samici-patipanno

Anudhammacari so tathagatan sakkaroti garukaroti maneti

pujeti paramaya pujaya

The Lord, with Ananda, then went to the sala grove and lay down between two sala trees, which were laden with blossoms out of season. He lay down on his right side with one leg resting on the other. He said to Ananda: "The sala blossoms drop on the tathagata as if the trees were worshipping him. Celestial mandarava flowers and sandalwood powder are dropping from the skies. Heavenly music resounds in the sky to revere the successor to the buddha of the past. But all this is not the true worship of the tathagata. If a monk or a nun, a male or female devotee, lives in accordance with the dhamma, walking the path laid down by the precepts, he or she honours, reveres the tathagata with supreme worship. Therefore Ananda, be devoted to the dhamma and to a righteous life."

At that time the venerable Upavana was fanning the Lord while standing in front of him. The Lord asked him: "Do not stand in front of me. Move." When Ananda questioned, the Lord answered: "Very many celestials have come from a great distance to behold the tathagata at this hour; and their view is obstructed by the monk." In answer to Ananda's query, the Lord explained: "There are spirits in space that are worldly and spirits on earth that are worldly, both of whom are distressed that the tathagata is about to leave the world. There are other spirits who are free from passion and who have realised the truth that all component things must pass away."

Ananda asked: "Lord, till now monks and elders used to come to the tathagata and we used to receive them. But, from now on, what should they do?" The Lord answered: "They will now visit these four places, which all should visit, with reverence and faith: the place where the tathagata was born, where he attained enlightenment, where he set the wheel of dhamma in motion and where he shed his body. To these places the monks and the elders will come hereafter."

Ananda asked again: "Lord, how should we deal with women?" The Lord said: "By not seeing them. If you see them, by not talking to them. If you talk to them, keep wide awake."

Ananda asked: "Lord what should we do with the tathagata's remains?" The Lord replied: "Do not worry yourselves about this. But, work out your salvation with zeal and energy. The wise brahmaṇa who believe in the tathagata will deal with the remains. They should treat the remains as if they are the remains of the king of kings. After the due cremation, a pagoda should be erected over the remains. It is appropriate to erect such a pagoda over the remains of the tathagata, or over a fully awakened one who may not teach others, a true disciple (savaka) of the buddha and a king of kings, so that people who go there might be reminded of them."


yasmin kho subhadda dhamma-vinaye ariyo atthangiko

maggo na upalabbhati samano pi tattha na upalabbhati

The venerable Ananda entered the Vihara and stood weeping: "Alas, the Lord is about to pass away and I am far from perfection." The Lord asked the monks to find Ananda. He came and the Lord said to him: "Enough of this. Be not troubled. Have I not told you often that parting from near and dear ones is inevitable here? How is it possible that any thing which is made of components should not decompose? You have attended upon me for a long time with love and devotion; you have been very near to me. You have done well, Ananda. Be diligent, and you too will soon be free from the asava."

The Lord then addressed the monks: "All the enlightened ones of the past have also had someone to attend upon them, as Ananda attended upon me. Ananda is a wise man. He knows when it is the proper time for monks and nuns and other devotees to come to see me. There are these qualities which are found in Ananda as they are found in a king of kings. Monks, nuns and lay devotees are happy to be in his company and enjoy his discourses."

The Lord asked Ananda to go to Kusinara and inform the Malla of his imminent departure from the world. At that time the Malla were holding a council and hence it was easy to inform all of them. Immediately on hearing this news they rushed to where the Lord was. Ananda took them in by groups and introduced them to the Lord. This was during the first part of the night.

Subhadda, a wanderer, was also living at Kusinara at that time. He had also heard of the impending death of the Lord. He thought: "Rarely do tathagata appear on this earth. And he is passing away tonight. I shall go and see him for I have faith that he presents the truth by which shall be rid of uncertainty." When he approached where the Lord was, Ananda tried to dissuade him by saying: "Do not trouble the Lord, he is weary." But the Lord himself heard this and sent for Subhadda: "Ananda, Subhadda may be allowed in. He will ask from a real eagerness to know, not to weary me."

When he had entered the Lord's presence, Subhadda said: "Lord, religious leaders each have many disciples and followers; they have their schools and are esteemed by people. They assert that they know the truth. Have they really understood the truth?" The Lord replied: " Enough, Subhadda. Let this be as it is, whether they have understood the truth or not. But this much is certain: in whichever religion, the noble eight- fold path is not found, there will also be no truly saintly man: and in whichever religion the noble eightfold path is found, in it there will also be a truly saintly man. I went forth when I was twenty-nine. For fifty-one years I have been a pilgrim in this wide realm of dhamma. Out- side of this, there is no saint." Hearing this, Subhadda prayed to be accepted into the order. When he had been admitted into the order, he was extolled by Ananda: "Great is your good fortune in that you have been initiated into the discipleship by the Lord himself." Soon Subhadda attained to the state of an arahant. He was the Lord's last direct disciple.



yo vo ananda maya dhammo ca vinayo ca desito pannatto,

so vo mam accayena sattha

The Lord said to Ananda: "Some of you may think, 'We do not have a teacher any more'. It is not so. The dhamma that I have taught you, the rules of behaviour I have laid down shall be your teacher.. When I am gone, do not address each other as 'friend', but speak to each other with reverence. When I am gone, the order may dispense with the lesser precepts if they so wish. When I am gone, let the higher penalty be imposed upon the dissident Channa: that penalty is that, no one shall respond or speak to him whatever he may say."

Then the Lord said: "If you have any doubts and questions, ask now, so that later you may not regret having missed an opportunity." No one spoke. Ananda rejoiced and said: "How wonderful, Lord, that no one has any doubt or question." The Lord rejoined: "Yes, Ananda, so it is. I assure you that none of these five hundred monks will again be born in a state of woe; they are assured of enlightenment." Once again, and for the last time, the Lord said: "All component things are subject to decay. Be diligent. Work out your salvation." These were the last words of the Lord.

Then the Lord entered into the first meditation, the second meditation, the third meditation and the fourth. He entered into the state of infinite space, then into that of infinite consciousness where nothing particular was present. Then he entered the state between consciousness and unconsciousness. After this he passed beyond sensations and ideas. Ananda thought that the Lord was dead; but the venerable Anuruddha replied that he was not. From that state the Lord returned step by step once again to the first meditation. Then once again he entered the second, third and fourth meditation and expired.

At that moment there was a terrible earthquake and thunder. Brahma, Sakka (the king of the gods) paid homage to him. The venerable Anuruddha exclaimed: "He was free from all craving. He did not even gasp when he ceased to breathe. He had triumphed over the agony of death; he ceased like the bright flame without fuel."

The venerable Anuruddha asked Ananda to go and inform the Malla. At that time they were themselves holding council to discuss that very matter. Soon they assembled and organised the funeral. They paid their homage with dancing, music and so on. This went on for six days. On the seventh day they carried the body through the city and out through the east gate. At that time the venerable Maha Kassapa was on the way to Kusinara when he encountered an ascetic and learned from him of the Lord's passing away. A monk named Subhadda was delighted, because he said: "Now we can do what we like and no one is there to tell us that it is unbecoming conduct." But the Maha Kassapa restrained him with his wisdom. The Malla attempted to set the pyre alight,but they could not. Anuruddha revealed to them that that was because Maha Kassapa had not yet arrived. When he did come and pay his homage, the pyre caught fire of its own accord. The body burned away without leaving soot or ash. At the suggestion of the brahmana Dona, the remains were divided into eight portions and distributed to the chieftains, who erected pagodas over them. When a dissension arose, Dona stopped them saying: "He was the best of beings, it is unbecoming of us to fight over his remains."




na kho mayam brahmana, appatisarana, sappaṭisarana mayam,

brahmana dhammapatisarana ti

Thus have I heard:

Not long after the Lord's parinibbana, the venerable Ananda was staying_near Rajagaha. One day he paid a visit to the brahmaņa Gopaka Moggallana.

In answer to the brahmana's queries, Ananda replied: "There is not even one monk who is possessed of all those things which the Lord possessed. The Lord knew the way; knew the way; and the monks are disciples and pilgrims." At this point they were joined by the chief minister, the brahmana Vassakara. In answer to Vassakara's questions, Ananda added: "The Lord did not appoint anyone as our support after his passing. The order (sangha) has not chosen anyone as our support."

"Are you then without any support now?"

We are not without support, brahmana; we have a good support. The dhamma is our support." Ananda continued:

We revere, honour and depend upon any one who has the following ten signs of excellence: (1) perfect morality, seeing danger in the slightest deviation from the perfect morality, (2) knowledge of the dhamma after much hearing, with an insight into the right view, (3) contentment in regard to physical and material needs, (4) ability to enter into the four meditations naturally without effort, (5) psychic powers like appearing and disappearing, walking on water and flying in the air, (6) divine hearing with which one is able to hear celestial and human sounds, (7) ability with one's mind to comprehend the minds of others and know them as they are, (8) recollection of former lives and habitations, (9) divine vision which reveals the destiny of different beings, the pious who go to heaven, the impious who go to hell and so on, and (10) transcendental knowledge by which the monk, freed from the asava, realises his freedom.

After enquiring from Ananda as to where he was staying, Vassakara remarked: "The bamboo grove is pleasant and suitable for solitary meditation. And the Lord extolled meditation."

Ananda added:

But the Lord praised only certain meditation and not others. Some people are attached to the pleasures of the senses and, not seeing the danger in them, meditate on them. They meditate on ill-will, sloth and torpor, restlessness and worry, or doubt. The Lord condemned such meditation. The Lord praised meditation in which the monk, free from the pursuit of pleasure and from evil states of the mind, entered into the first meditation, then the second meditation and so on.

Vassakara appreciated this elucidation and then took leave of Ananda.




yam kho pana kinci abhisankhatam abhisancetayitam tad

aniccam nirodhadhammam ti pajanati

Thus have I heard:

The venerable Ananda was staying near Vesali when a householder, Dasama, approached him and questioned him thus:

Ananda, what is the one thing which the Lord laid down, with the help of which he who is not freed may be freed, by which all sorrow can end and by which one may attain to complete security?

The venerable ANANDA replied:

There is one thing which the Lord laid down by which all these are effected. And, what is it?

A monk who has abandoned the pursuit of pleasure enters into the first meditation which is accompanied by thought and reasoning, joy and ecstasy. But he reflects thus: 'This has been put together by thought and it is a product or effect. Whatever has thus been put together and effected must come to an end.' Firmly established in this awareness, he attains the destruction of sorrow. If he does not attain the total destruction of sorrow, he reaches nibbana on departing from this world and does not return to it.

Even so, a monk enters into the second, third and fourth meditation, reflects and realises that such meditation has been put together by thought and is an effect which has arisen from a cause; he knows that all that has thus arisen should come to an end. He is vigilant in this knowledge. The Lord has laid down such vigilance as the one thing that will put an end to sorrow, or at least enable a monk to attain nibbana after departing from this world and never to return to it.

Even so, a monk dwells radiating friendliness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity and enjoys the freedom of mind that arises from these. He reflects and realises that whatever has arisen and has been thought out must come to an end. This vigilant awareness puts an end to sorrow, or it enables the monk to attain nibbana on departing from this world, and never to return to it.

Even so, a monk attains to the realisation that 'ether is infinite', that 'consciousness is infinite', that 'there is no-thing'. He reflects and realises that such attainments have all been brought about by thought, and will therefore come to an end. Knowing this, he is vigilant and diligent in his awareness. Thus he is freed from sorrow, or he attains nibbana on departing from this world, never to return to it.

They who heard Ananda's discourse were delighted. Dasama held a feast for all the monks. He gave clothes to Ananda and also built a dwelling for him.

The one thing that lord Buddha emphasised is: the realisation that everything that has a beginning must come to an end. This is vigilance.




Buddha's disciples should read daily, piously and earnestly the following eight precepts in order to attain the state of enlightenment.

Impermanent is the nature of everything in the universe. Everything in the world, including the earth itself, is subject to disintegration. The body, composed of the four chief elements (earth, water, fire and air), is the source of sorrow and is devoid of self. The five aggregates (form, feeling, perception, tendencies and consciousness) that make up the living entity do not possess a self. It is an immutable law that all conditioned phenomena have a beginning and an end. Everything here is in a state of flux and is subject to decay. The body and all other objects of this world are beyond our control in their natural course. Hence, it is the mind that is the root of all evil, on account of its attachment to these worldly objects, and it is the mind that is the basis of crime and sin. Observing all phenomena from this angle we shall free ourselves gradually from birth and death. This is the first precept.

Craving begets sorrow. The sorrow of birth and death arises from greed which is also responsible for our leading a miserable life. Few desires and no craving make our body and mind comfortable. This is the second precept.

Ambition for acquisitions is insatiable. It increases sins. The aspirants to the bhodisattva state would never indulge in ambition. They are contented in mind. They endure poverty according to the buddha's doctrine. They aspire for nothing but wisdom. This is the third precept.

Laziness degrades a man. One should strive with all one's energy to acquire wisdom. Only thus can one destroy the evil of worries and over-come the four evils (arising from the five aggregates, death, suffering and samsara or the round of birth and death) and bring them under one's control in order to get out of the prison of the five aggregates and of sorrow. This is the fourth precept.

Ignorance constitutes the sorrow known as birth and death. Aspirants to the bodhisattva state should gain all the knowledge they can by learn- ing and listening. This will develop their wisdom and also increase their ability to spread the buddha's gospel to all beings, thus bringing them great happiness. This is the fifth precept.

Poverty breeds hatred and creates disharmony and ill-feeling among the people. The aspirants to the bodhisattva state should practise charity and treat friend and foe alike with the same degree of love, free from malice and free from the least trace of repugnance towards the wicked people. This is the sixth precept.

The five passions lead to sin and sorrow. They are: desire for wealth, women and reputation, and over-indulgence in eating and sleeping. Even laymen should not be tainted by the craving for worldly pleasures; they should think of the robes, bowls and other articles used by monks. If the laymen desire to become monks they should scrupulously observe the scriptural precepts and keep themselves away from all evil. Thus shall the perfect life be known and practised for a very long time, far and wide. Such a life, besides, will promote a deep compassion for all creatures that suffer. This is the seventh precept.

Birth and death are like the fire that burns the house down. Count- less are the forms of suffering. First we have to dedicate ourselves to the service of mankind, then suffer for its sake, and finally lead people to nibbana or the ultimate state of supreme bliss. This is the eighth precept.




saddhassa bhikkhave savakassa satthu sasane pariyogaya

vattato rumhaniyam satthu sasanam hoti ojavantam

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was touring Kasi with a number of monks. One day he exhorted them: "Monks, I do not eat at night and therefore I enjoy good health. Do not eat at night and you will enjoy good health too." The monks accepted the instruction. They arrived at the market town of Kitagiri. Two monks known as Assaji and Punabbasuka lived there. The monks in the Lord's company approached these two and conveyed to them the Lord's instruction; but the two monks refused to agree, saying: "We also eat at night, and we are in good health."

They reported the matter to the LORD who sent for the two monks and said to them:

Improper states of mind grow and good ones decline when one experiences a certain kind of experience, pleasant, unpleasant or other- wise and good states of mind grow when one experiences some other kind of experience. I have taught this on the basis of my own direct and intuitive understanding. Of course I do not give this instruction to all; for, the monks who have reached perfection and whose asava have been totally destroyed do not need such vigilance, for they can never be negligent. But I instruct others to be diligent, for in their case there is something to be gained by being diligent.

There are seven types of human beings who are instructed by me. (1) He who is freed both ways. (2) He who is freed by intuitive wisdom. (3) He who has realised bodily (and directly) the various aspects of freedom. (4) He who has the right view. (5) He who is freed by faith. (6) He who adheres to dhamma. (7) He who abides in faith.

Of these, the first two have reached perfection and have realised the eight forms of deliverance with their whole being; they know that their asava are utterly destroyed -hence they have nothing more to do with diligence, for they can never be negligent. Only some of the asava of the third have been destroyed. The person of right view has arrived at the acceptance of the tathagata's view of sorrow, etc., but his asava have not been totally destroyed. Even so with the one freed by faith who has well-established faith in the tathagata. He who adheres to dhamma is still not fully established in dhamma though he has faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration and wisdom. He who has faith but is not well established in it will grow into faith. They will greatly benefit by diligence.

One attains profound knowledge by gradual training. These are the stages: he who has faith draws near, sits near (the teacher), listens, hears the dhamma, recollects it, realises the meaning, understands the truth of dhamma (that dhamma is the truth), aspires or yearns for know- ledge, makes the necessary effort, weighs it up, strives intensely and being resolute, realises the highest truth with all his being.

It is not for the sake of the teacher that the disciple obeys his instruction. The disciple who has faith in the teacher feels: 'The teacher knows the truth, I do not.' He lives according to the teacher's instructions, knowing that they are intended for his own growth and progress. As a result, either he realises the highest truth here and now, or, if he is unable to do so, he ascends to the higher regions from which there is no return.




modanti vata bho deva tavatimsa sahindaka

tathagatam namassanta dhammassa ca sudhammatam

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying in Nadika. During this period the Lord used to declare the destinies of his followers and disciples who had died. Ananda had heard these declarations. He wondered: "But why has the Lord not said anything about the people of Magadha, the very land of his own supreme enlightenment?"

The Lord went out into Nadika, gathered alms, had his meal and sat down in contemplation: "I will find out the destinies of these people of Magadha." Towards the evening Ananda came again and saw that the Lord was shining with a divine radiance. The Lord revealed to him: "When I sat down concentrating my mind upon the destinies of the people of Magadha, a great spirit appeared before me and announced itself as Janavasabha.

The SPIRIT said:

I am Bimbisara. After departing from the world where I was a human king, I have become a celestial king in heaven. On account of your teaching, I am conscious that I shall not be reborn in a state of sorrow. I have only one desire - to attain final release after just one birth. Moreover, I had myself heard from king Vessavana in heaven about the destinies of the people of Magadha and I came here to report the matter to the Lord.

All the thirty-three gods were assembled with the four great kings (Dhatarattha, Virulhaka, Virupakkha and Vessavana). Soon an extra- ordinary brilliance in the north announced the arrival of Brahma Sanam- kumara, who said to them: "The thirty-three gods honour the tathagata and dhamma. His disciples come here as radiant gods, and the lowest of them become celestial artists. The Lord has perfectly revealed the four paths to supernormal powers: concentration with (i) noble desire (ii) energy or spiritual passion (iii) idea and (iv) investigation. I acquired these powers by these methods. The Lord has revealed the three avenues for arriving at bliss: (i) one who lives a life of sense-indulgence hears the ariya truth and takes to a life of detachment, (ii) one in whom the evil tendencies of thought, word and deed are not worn out, hears the ariya truth and gets rid of these tendencies, (iii) one who does not know what is good and what is evil hears the ariya truth and gets rid of this ignorance and gains wisdom. The Lord has also revealed perfectly the fourfold mindfulness for the attainment of the good: mindfulness concerning the body, feelings and the heart (citta), and mindfulness concerning phenomena. With the help of these one cognises the arising of sorrow and is prevented from coveting the objects of the world.

"The Lord has also clearly revealed the seven requisites for meditation (samadhi): right views, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort and right mindfulness. Thus one could say: the gates of nibbana have been opened wide by the Lord. He who has faith in the Lord, the dhamma and the sangha, will not be reborn in a state of woe. The two million four hundred thousand disciples of the Lord in Magadha belong to this category."




Thus have I heard:

The Lord was touring with the people of Anguttarapa, accompanied by one thousand two hundred and fifty monks. An ascetic with matted hair, Keniya, approached the Lord and was greatly inspired by the Lord's exposition of the dhamma. He invited the Lord to his hermitage for alms the next day. The Lord remonstrated with him twice: "But I am accompanied by one thousand two hundred and fifty monks. Moreover, you are devoted to the brahmana." The ascetic insisted and the Lord assented.

The ascetic thereupon returned to his hermitage and gathered together his friends and got busy preparing for the feast.

In that place there was a brahmana known as Sela who was highly learned in the scriptures and who had three hundred pupils studying with him. The ascetic Keniya was a great admirer of this brahmana. When Sela enquired of the ascetic the occasion for the feast the ascetic revealed that the Lord, the fully Enlightened One, had been invited for the feast the next day. "Fully Enlightened One?" wondered Sela. "Our scriptures speak of the thirty-two marks of the Great One. Their possessor becomes either a monarch or a world-honoured spiritual leader." He found out from the ascetic where the Lord was and proceeded to meet him. He satisfied himself that the Lord did indeed possess the thirty-two marks of the Great One.

Sela thought: "Such great ones reveal their true self if they are extolled. I shall do so, so that the Lord may reveal himself to me." Having thus resolved, the brahmana extolled the Lord in his presence: "You have all the marks of the Great One. But of what use is all this in a recluse? You should be king!"

The Lord replied: "I am king of dhamma, O brahmaṇa. I have set the wheel of dhamma in motion. This wheel will continue to be turned by Sariputta; he is the tathagata's heir. I know what there is to be known and have attained what deserves to be attained. I have abandoned what needs to be abandoned. I am the fully Enlightened One."

The brahmana declared: "I take refuge in the Enlightened One; those who wish, let them follow me."

All his pupils also joined him. They were all duly ordained by the Lord. They then entertained the Lord and his disciples to a sumptuous feast after which the Lord blessed the hosts: "They who wish to give charity, desiring merit, should give to the order (sangha) that which is the best."

In a short period of eight days the brahmana and his erstwhile pupils had attained perfection.



atthi kho me bhante bhagavati dhammanvayo hoti:

sammasambuddho bhagava, svakkhato bhagavata dhammo

supatipanno bhagavato savakasamgho ti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying among the Sakya. King Pasenadi of Kosala had gone to a pleasure garden. While he was there he felt that it would be a lovely place for meditation. He thought of the Lord and found out that the Lord was staying with the Sakya. He went there. He found some monks near the Lord's dwelling. They said to him: "The Lord dwells here, but the door is closed. Approach the door quietly, cough and then knock. The Lord will open the door." The king did so. The Lord opened the door. The king kissed the Lord's feet and reverently touched them.

The Lord asked: "What is the reason for your paying such homage to this body?"

The KING answered:

Lord, surely there is a good reason for this, for I see all the signs of dhamma in the Lord. The Lord is indeed perfectly enlightened. The dhamma has been perfectly expounded by the Lord and the order has been very well established. Here are my testimonies.

I see elsewhere many recluses and brahmana who observe brahma- cariya for a number of years, after which they return to sense-indulgence. On the other hand, among the Lord's disciples I see life-long brahmacariya.

In the world, brahmaṇa, nobles, tradesmen, workers and householders quarrel among themselves. On the other hand, among the monks there is no disharmony at all. They live in harmony like milk and water.

I also see many recluses and brahmana practising asceticism, who are thin and wretched. They seem to observe brahmacariya under duress, against their will and pleasure; or perhaps they are concealing some bad kamma. But monks here are contented and cheerful.

I am a king, Lord, and I punish those who deserve to be punished. Yet, when I speak, people often interrupt me. I see that in the Lord's assemblies there is perfect silence while the Lord speaks, for the Lord has trained the monks without the use of the rod!

I have seen instances, Lord, where some clever scholars plan to out- wit the Lord in disputation. However, when they approach the Lord and the Lord expounds the dhamma to them, they are highly inspired and they become the Lord's disciples. In due course they reach the goal of brahmacariya. Then they realise that before that they were merely delud- ing themselves in believing that they had realised the truth.

I see this in the case of my own attendants whose livelihood is dependent upon me. They worship the Lord, not me!

The Lord then exhorted the monks to contemplate the testimonies of the king and learn from them.



yatha ye te samanabrahmana pubbe ananussutesu dhammesu samam

Yeva dhammam abhinnaya ditthadhammabhinnavosanaparamippatta adibrahmacariyam patijananti, tesaham asmi

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was touring the Kosala territory, along with a large group of monks.

On a certain occasion, in a village, a brahmana lady happened to take the name of the Lord; she repeated thrice: "namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa". Sangarava, a brahmana youth who had noticed this, spoke disrespectfully of the Lord. The lady remonstrated with him and glorified the Lord's moral habits and wisdom.

In course of time the Lord arrived at that village and the lady informed the young brahmana of this. Thereupon he went into the presence of the Lord and asked: "There are both monks and brahmana who claim that they have attained to excellence and have gone beyond' here and now. To which of the two classes do you belong?"

The LORD answered:

There is another consideration, O brahmana. There is a certain distinction even among those who claim to have reached excellence and 'gone beyond' here and now. Some of these monks and brahmaṇa depend upon what they have heard, practise the disciplines that they have learnt and claim to have reached excellence; these are the ones who are learned in the scriptures. There are others who depend upon faith alone, practise what they consider to be right through reasoning and claim that they have reached excellence through such reasoning; they are the logicians. There are others who realise the truth (dhamma) by themselves, without having heard of it before, and claim that they have reached excellence and 'gone beyond' here and now. I belong to this last category. I have pursued the path untrodden before, practised brahmacariya and reached the excellence by understanding the truth (dhamma) by transcendental knowledge.

Before my awakening, while I was still a bodhisatta, I observed that the life of a householder or that of a prince was limited and con- ditioned, and that it was impossible to lead a life of brahmacariya (dedication to truth) while remaining in that state. Hence I renounced it, shaved my head and donned the ochre robe. (The Lord gives an account of his austerities right up to the incident where he took some nourishment, to the astonishment of fellow ascetics.)

On taking that nourishment, I gained strength which was free from craving for pleasure. I then entered into the first, the second, the third and the fourth meditation. The mind was tranquil, free from impurities and conditioning.

The brahmana youth was exceedingly happy to hear this and prayed to be accepted as a disciple.



dasa kho pan' imani sariputta tathagatassa tathagatabalani yehi balehi

samannagato tathagato asabhan-thanam pațijanati parisasu sihanadam

nadati brahmacakkam pavatteti

Thus have I heard:

While lord Buddha was staying near Vesali, one Sunakkhatta, who had fallen from dhamma, was speaking to some people there in the follow- ing manner: "The signs of a superior man are not found in the recluse Gotama (buddha). He teaches a doctrine of his own invention. He suggests that the strange doctrine, aimed at something other than sorrow, can somehow put an end to sorrow." Sariputta came to know of this and informed the Lord.

Lord BUDDHA replied:

Sariputta, Sunakkhatta says all this because he is overcome by delusion and anger. However, in a way he is paying me a tribute when he says that the tathagata's teaching, though aimed at something else, does put an end to sorrow. Sunakkhatta, of course, will not realise that I am lord Buddha, who is fully awakened and worthy, who is endowed with wisdom and righteousness and who brings enlightenment to gods and men. Nor will he realise that the Lord is one and many, is capable of making himself manifest and unmanifest and of traversing the sky without being tangled; that his body envelops even the world of the creator. He will not realise that the Lord has divine vision and divine hearing. Nor will he realise that I understand well whose mind is pure and whose impure, whose mind is conditioned and whose unconditioned, whose mind is concentrated and whose mind is not and who is liberated and who is not.

The tathagata is endowed with the ten powers of the tathagata. Endowed with these ten powers, the tathagata occupies the place of the superior man and roars like a lion, and sets in motion the wheel of Brahma. What are they? He knows all things as they are. He knows the causal chain of everything in the three periods of time. He knows the truth concerning the coming into being of all beings. He knows the worlds of diversity as they are, composed of diverse elements and characteristics. He also knows the sources of sorrow, its inception, as also wisdom, concentration and liberation. He remembers all of his count- less past incarnations in all their detail. He sees the countless beings being born here in good and evil wombs, undergoing joy and sorrow in consequence of their good and evil deeds; he sees that they who scoff at the dhamma die and go to hell and they who follow the dhamma rise to heaven. Lastly, he has overcome all forms of psychological conditioning, and as a result is utterly freed from all bondage. These are the tathagata's powers and characteristics. Being endowed with them, the tathagata occupies the foremost place as a superior person and roars like a lion. Therefore he who says, like Sunakkhatta, that the tathagata is not a superior man worthy of respect, goes to hell unless he retracts his thoughts and words.



nibbanan-caham sariputta pajanami nibbanagamin-ca maggam

nibbanaga-minin-ca patipadam, yathapatipanno ca asavanam

khaya anasavam cetovimuttim pannavimuttim ditthe va

dhamme sayam abhinna sacchi katva upasampajja viharati tan-ca pajanami

Lord BUDDHA continued:

Moreover, I have arrived at supreme proficiency (or firm conviction) in regard to the following four: I am fully enlightened in regard to what i say; i am fully awakened, I have fully destroyed the conditioning and attained the unconditioned; I have fully realised the obstacles which I declare to be obstacles; and I have fully realised that the dhamma taught by me leads to the ending of sorrow. Hence, he who blames me on these counts is consigned to the worst hell.

I have addressed hundreds of assemblies of the eight kinds: assemblies of kings, of brahmaṇa, householders, monks, emperors, the thirty-three gods, the followers of Mara and the inhabitants of the Brahma- world. On no occasion did I experience nervousness or fear.

O Sariputta, I also know the four types of creation: those born of egg, those born of the womb, those born of moisture and they that arise spontaneously as the gods. I know too the paths that these beings take, and their destinations.

O Sariputta, I also know nibbana, the way to nibbana and the character of those who attain nibbana. I know how they attain nibbana: by the destruction of mental conditioning and the arising of the un- conditioned, by liberation from the mind and from separate awareness and by the right vision of the truth.

Whoever, O Sariputta, considers that the recluse Gotama is not a superior man and who does not retract that statement, surely goes to hell.

O Sariputta, I also know the five destinies (destinations) of people here. With my mind I can clearly perceive a person proceeding along the path of his life and I know where it will lead him.

It is like a spectator who, observing a wayfarer taking a certain road, is certain that he will soon end up in a pit of burning fire. For this is the sole destination reached by that road. Even so, that other person, when the body has ceased to live, goes to the niraya hell. At the appropriate time I behold with my divine vision that that is precisely what will happen to him.

Just as one is attentive and conscientious of a wound
When amidst a bustling uncontrolled crowd,
Likewise one should always guard the wound of the mind
When dwelling amongst harmful people.












yo kho mam sariputta evem janatam evam passantam evam vadeyya: na-tthi samanassa gotamassa uttarim manussadhamma alamariyananadassanaviseso, takkapariyahatam samano gotamo dhammam deseti vimamsanucaritam sayampatibhanan - ti, tam

Sariputta vacam appahaya tam cittam appahaya tam diṭṭhim appatinissajitva yathabhatam nikkitto evam niraye

Lord BUDDHA continued:

O Sariputta, I behold with my mind the mind of some other person. I know his life-style and I know for certain that upon leaving the body, he will take a subhuman embodiment. It is like this. A spectator observing a wayfarer taking a particular road knows that he will soon fall into a blind well, as he knows that the road leads only to that blind well. With equal certainty I know that this person has taken the road which can only lead to an animal birth in which he will experience great pain and suffering.

O Sariputta, again 1 comprehend with my mind the mind and the nature of some other person. I therefore know that that person will inevitably reach the realm of the ancestors. It is like this: a spectator who knows that a certain path leads only to a big tree with hardly any leaves on it, which stands on uneven ground, observes a wayfarer taking that path. He therefore knows that that wayfarer will inevitably reach that destination. Even so, I see that person going inevitably towards the realm of the ancestors, where he will find no rest nor peace.

O Sariputta, again I see with my mind the mind of another person. I know for certain that that person is proceeding along a path that leads only to rebirth as a human being after leaving his body in this birth. It is like this: a spectator knows that a certain path leads only to a tree which is well situated and is lush with leaves and branches. When he sees a wayfarer take to that path he knows too that he (the wayfarer) will soon reach that tree and spend some time in its cool shade. Even so, I know that the other person will be pleasantly born as a human being.

O Sariputta, again I perceive with my mind the mind of another and know that he is destined to go to heaven. Even as a spectator who is well acquainted with the terrain knows that a wayfarer taking a particular road will reach a large mansion, well protected and luxurious- ly furnished. Being hot and weary, he will find rest and comfort there. So too I know that the other person will find peace and comfort in heaven.

O Sariputta, similarly I know that a certain person whose mind I comprehend with my mind, will soon be freed from all cravings and gain freedom of mind. In due time with my divine vision I see that this is so. It is again like a spectator who, being well acquainted with the terrain, knows that a certain wayfarer who takes a certain road will certainly reach a lotus pond.

Thus, O Sariputta, I know the five destinations of people. Whoever O Sariputta, while knowing all this and seeing all this, declares that: "The recluse Gotama is not endowed with the characteristics of a superior man and that he teaches a doctrine of his own invention", will surely go to niraya hell if he does not repent and recant his view.



abhijanami kho panaham sariputta caturangasamannagatam brahmacariyam carita: tapassi sudam homi paramatapassi, lukhas-sudam homi paramalukho, jegucchi sudam homi paramajegucchi, pavivittas-sudam homi paramapavivitto

Lord BUDDHA continued:

O Sariputta, I also know and have practised the four forms of brahmacariya (living in Brahman). I have been an ascetic, a supreme ascetic; I have lived in filth, extreme filth; I have lived in utter contempt of everything, detesting everything; I have resorted to solitude, extreme solitude.

What sort of asceticism have I practised? I have wandered naked, without regard to socially acceptable behaviour. I did not accept food from a woman who was pregnant or who was nursing or who was with her man, nor food which was specially prepared for me or which contained meat or fish. I did not accept food standing in a house nor near a dog nor where there were flies. I abstained from all intoxicants. At times I lived on alms obtained from one house or two houses only. At times I had only one or two pieces of cloth. At times I ate once a day, once in two days and so on, up to once in seven days. For some time I ate only once a fortnight. I lived for some time on herbs and fruits or discarded grains and husk, even on cowdung. I wore coarse garments, blankets of hair, bark of trees, or animal skins, or even just grass. I have practised other forms of austerities like standing for days continuously, squatting, sleeping on a bed of thorns and bathing several times in the evening.

I shall tell you how revolting my body was. For years I allowed dirt and dust to cover my body, without even the thought arising in me that I should get rid of it or allow someone else to scrub the dirt off my body.

I lived in dread of harming any creature in the world. While I was going or while I was returning, there existed in me great compassion even for a drop of water and I thought: "May I never be the cause of the destruction of any thing!"

I shall tell you how I practised seclusion. If ever I saw a cow- herd or a villager cutting grass, I would run into the thickest forest, hoping that I might not see and that I might not be seen by anyone.

I resorted to other practices too.  Sometimes I would walk into a cowshed on all fours when the cows had been led away for grazing and then eat the dung of the calves. Often I remained in very dense forests in which, it used to be said, no one could even enter who was not totally free from all attachment. When it was cold and stormy and while snow was falling, I would spend all the night in the open; during the daytime I would stay in the thickest forest. During the hot weather, I spent the daytime in the open and the night in the forest.

At times I used to sleep in a cemetery with a skeleton for my support. Cowherd boys would approach me and spit on me and relieve themselves on my body. They would stick twigs into my ears. But I had no evil thought concerning them nor did I even regard them as evil, for I was established in equanimity (or in the state of non-judging).



imissa yeva ariyaya pannaya anadhigama ya 'yam ariya panna adhigata ariya niyyanika niyyati takkarassa samma dukkhakkhayaya

Lord BUDDHA continued:

O Sariputta! There are some recluses and also brahmaṇa who declare that self-purification is achieved through food. They claim that such self-purification is achieved by living on fruits, on vegetables like beans, on seeds like sesamum or on grains like rice. I have lived on all these. But I have also lived on just one jujube fruit, whereas those ascetics have eaten a lot of them, drunk their juice and made use of the fruits in various other ways. I ate so little that my body became just a skeleton clothed in skin. My eyes were like deep wells. If I touched the different parts of the body, the hairs dropped off at their very roots.

Similar was my experience when I lived on just one grain of rice and later on just one bean. By none of these did I reach the goal of human life, the noble vision or the realisation of the ariya (arya - the noble one). And why? Because, by such ascetic practices the noble (ariya) wisdom which leads one onwards towards the complete destruction of all sorrow is not reached.

O Sariputta! There are some recluses and also brahmaṇa who declare that self-purification is attained through repeated birth and death (samsara), or through evolution (upapatti), and that in due course this itself leads to self-purification. But I have passed through all that previously - except for birth as a deva in the Pure Realm (for if I had lived in the Pure Realm I would not have been able to take birth here in this world).

There are some recluses and also brahmaṇa who say that self- purification is gained through living in certain environments. During the immeasurable time past I have indeed lived in all environments, except in the Pure Realm.

There are some recluses and also brahmana, O Sariputta, who say that self-purification is attained through sacrificial performances and through the tending of the sacred fire. Indeed, I have been through all that when I was a wealthy and noble king or a brahmana in a past incarnation.

O Sariputta, there is yet another view. Some recluses and brahmaṇa say: "A man can possess supreme wisdom only as long as he is young and vigorous, but not when he is old and worn-out. I am nearly eighty years of age now. There are here, four disciples who are one hundred years of age, but they are full of wisdom, vigilance and energy, even as a skilful archer may be. If they were to persistently question me on the fourfold mindfulness and if I were to explain it to them uninter- ruptedly (except for the utmost necessary intervals), for the next one hundred years, the tathagata's dhamma would still remain unfinished. O Sariputta, even if I were to be carried about on a stretcher, there would be no diminution of my wisdom. Hence a wise man, referring to me, should say: "One who is utterly free from delusion lives in this world for the welfare of all beings."

The venerable Nagasamala applauded the Lord's teaching. Lord  Buddha himself allowed this sutta to be called the 'Hair-Raising Discourse', because it caused Nagasamala's hairs to stand on end.




yassa kassaci bhikkhave imehi akarehi imehi padehi imehi byanjanehi tathagate saddha nivittha hoti mulajata patiṭṭhita, ayam vuccati bhikkhave akaravati saddha dassanamulika dalha

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying in the Jeta grove when one day he address- ed the monks as follows:

A monk who is of an enquiring nature should enquire into the nature of the tathagata too. To begin with he should enquire: "Do impure states related to things seen or to things heard exist in the tathagata?" After a keen investigation of this question, he will come to the understanding that such impure states do not exist in the tatha- gata. Then, he should similarly enquire if, in the tathagata, there exist states in which there are even a mixture of the pure and impure. He will come to understand that such mixed states do not exist in the tathagata. Then he should enquire: "Do only pure states exist in the tathagata in regard to things seen and things heard?" Diligent enquiry will affirm this.

The monk should then enquire further: "Has the tathagata been thus pure only for a short time or for a long time?" He will assure himself that the tathagata has been pure for a very long time. The enquiry then continues: "Are there any pitfalls on the path of that venerable monk who has attained fame and renown?" Only when one has attained fame and renown does he encounter certain pitfalls; not before. The enquirer should then satisfy himself that "Though the venerable monk is famous and renowned, he does not encounter any pitfalls." Then the enquirer questions: "Is he disciplined by fear or is his discipline fear- less?" And arrives at the answer: "He is not disciplined by fear. He is disciplined because he has abandoned the pursuit of pleasure and has overcome attraction and aversion." The venerable one does not despise anyone, whether one is living in the order or elsewhere, whether one is making good progress or no progress, whether one is engaged in material pursuits or shuns them.

The monk should then question the tathagata himself on the above lines. The tathagata will surely answer that impure states relating to things seen or heard do not exist in him, that even mixed states do not exist in him and that only pure states exist, because that is his path. There is no other reason.

The enquiring monk should then draw close to that teacher and learn the dhamma. Stage by stage, the teacher will instruct the disciple in dhamma leading him from excellence to greater excellence. Thus instructed stage by stage in the dhamma, the disciple will gain confidence in the teacher. He will then know: "The Lord is totally enlightened and his teachings are perfect and the order is well established." Even so, he will declare to anyone who might question him concerning the Lord and his teaching: "I came to the Lord and he taught me and gradually I came to the fulfilment of dhamma by my transcendental knowledge."

O monks, he in whom such faith in the teacher has been well established by these methods - of him it is said that his faith is rational, strong and based on right vision. It cannot be shaken even by the gods or by Mara the evil one.




na kho anuruddha tathagato janakuhanattham na janalapanattham na labhasakkarasilokanisamsattham na iti mam jano janatuti savake abbhatite kalakate upapattisu byakaroti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Nalakapana. At that time many respect- able young men, on account of their faith in the Lord, had renounced the householder's life and entered the homeless life of a monk.

One day the Lord asked the monks: "Are the young men who have recently entered the homeless life happy with their discipline?" The monks did not answer. The Lord asked the young men themselves and they replied in the affirmative.

The LORD said to them:

That is as it should be. For you have not renounced the house- holder's life and entered the homeless life of a monk because you were coerced by someone else to do so, nor because of failure or fear, but because you had faith in me and because you felt that thereby you would find the way out of the sorrow and suffering that characterise life here.

Now that you have entered the homeless state, what should be done by you? If you do not gain joy, happiness and peace, which are independent of the pleasures of the senses and which are free from evil states of mind, then greed, hatred, restlessness, dullness and doubt will persist in the mind. On the other hand, if while remaining aloof from the pleasures of the senses and the evil states of mind, you do win joy, happiness and peace, such tendencies will not persist in the mind.

Tell me, what do you think about me? Do you think that the tathagata has not got rid of the defilements that result in birth and death and that I do something, refrain from doing something else, avoid something and control something on account of certain motivations? (They answered: "No".) Indeed, the tathagata has destroyed all the defilements that cause birth and death, root and branch, so that they do not arise again. This is the basis for what I do or do not do, what I avoid or control. Tell me, why does the tathagata proclaim the destiny of those disciples who have passed away, saying that such and such a monk has now become so and so?

The monks answered:

Our knowledge is derived from the Lord. It is therefore proper for the Lord to declare it to us.

The LORD said:

The tathagata's purpose is not to cheat or to mislead people, nor is it to gain fame or material advantage, but to enable the younger monks who have faith to realise the truth concerning these. Thus, if a monk or a nun hears that such and such a venerable monk was of moral habit, of such wisdom and was thus freed, he or she focuses the attention on the truth concerning this. In the same way, if the Lord declares that a certain lay-follower has attained nibbana or will return only once and so on, because that lay-follower was free from attachment, aversion and confusion, other lay-followers will derive great comfort from this. This is conducive to their welfare and happiness for a long time.




appamattakam kho pan' etam bhikkhave oramattakam

silamattakam yena puthujjano tathagatassa vannam

vadamano vadeyya

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was walking between Rajagaha and Nalanda with a group of monks. He was followed by the mendicant Suppiya and his disciple Brahmadatta. Suppiya was continually speaking ill of the Lord, while his own disciple Brahmadatta was all praise for the Lord. The monks spoke about this to one another and marvelled that though the teacher and his disciple were at variance in their appraisal of the Lord, they were still following him. The Lord questioned the monks about their conversation and they narrated everything to him.

The LORD said:

If something is said against us and if you get angry at that, you will not be able to judge how far their speech was correct or incorrect. So, when others speak disparagingly of me you should unravel what is false and point it out. Even so, if someone says something in praise of me, if you get excited about it, it will be an obstacle to your self- conquest. On the other hand, if someone praises me you should acknow- ledge what is right to be the fact. For, the uninitiated people deal with only trivia, matters of little value and mere morality when they speak about the tathagata.

What do they say when they praise the tathagata? They say: "He has rejected violence, he does not take what is not given, he is honest and pure at heart, he speaks the truth and does not break his word. He does not indulge in tale-bearing or create dissension among people. He is a peacemaker and promoter of friendship, his words are truthful and pleasant, he speaks on dhamma at the appropriate time, he does not injure seeds and plants, he takes but one meal a day, he does not witness shows (dancing and music) and he does not adorn himself with garlands and so on. He refrains from buying and selling and he does not indulge in crooked ways of bribery and fraud. He does not indulge in low conversation concerning kings (politics), food and drink, clothes and perfumes, women and heroes, ghost stories and speculations about the creation of land and sea or about existence and non-existence. He does not indulge in vain disputation using expressions like: You don’t understand what I am saying; how can you know this doctrine?' He does not practise base arts like palmistry, divining and interpretation of dreams, laying ghosts, soothsaying, fortune telling, using charms to bring luck to people and obtaining oracular answers from a deity. He does not sacrifice to the fire, counsel on customary law (tradition), worship the sun, invoke the goddess of wealth for good luck, practise as an occulist or a surgeon or administer roots and drugs." They say: "Whereas other recluses and brahmaṇa indulge in all these while living on alms provided by the pious and religious people, the good Gotama does not indulge in such unworthy conduct."



ime kho te bhikkhave dhamma gambhira duddasa duranubodha santa panita atakkavacara nipuna panditavedaniya ye tathagato sayam abhinna sacchikatva pavedeti, yehi tathagatassa yathabhuccam vannam samma vadamana vadeyyum

The LORD continued:

There are other things which are profound, hard to see, hard to realise, peaceful, sweet, beyond the grasp of logic, intelligent and comprehensible only to the wise. The tathagata has realised these. They who wish to praise the tathagata should praise him for these. What are they?

There are recluses, brahmana and monks who speculate concerning the very beginning of things and lay down eighteen doctrines embodying this speculation. Some of them are eternalists. They hold that the self and the world are eternal. They base their doctrine on the following rationalisation:

There are some recluses and brahmana who have by intense application recollected their former habitations in ages gone by. They recollect that they were so-and-so in such and such a birth and lived for so many years, and that they later became so-and-so, and so on. Based on this experience, they have declared that the soul and the world are eternal and that living beings transmigrate for ever and ever.

There are some recluses and brahmana who are logicians. By well-reasoned arguments they declare that the world and the soul (self) are eternal, though the living beings transmigrate from one state to another.

The tathagata knows that these people have arrived at their conclusion by resorting to such and such means; he knows that they who follow these doctrines will reach such and such a destiny. He knows a lot more than all this. Having such knowledge, he is not elated. Not being elated, he is pure at heart. Therefore he knows the arising of all these - feelings, experiences and their cessation, their unreliability and their peril. Since he knows all these as they are, he is unattached to them and therefore the tathagata is free.

These are the truths that are profound, hard to perceive, hard to understand, tranquil and sweet, beyond the reach of logic, intelligence, and comprehensible only to the wise. The tathagata has realised these. They who wish to praise the tathagata should praise him for these.

That men are ignorant does not mean that they are ignorant like cows and goats. Even these people seek the pathway to reality. But owing to perversion, they give rise to several kinds of misconstruction. The ignorant pursue names while what they seek is reality.
The Maha-Prajnaparamita-Sastra








tan ca tathagato pajanati tato ca uttaritaram pajanati

The LORD continued:

Then there are recluses and brahmana who are eternalists and non- eternalists at the same time. They maintain that the soul and the world are eternal in some respects and non-eternal in other respects.

How do they arrive at their doctrine?

O monks, after a considerable time this world-system will cease to exist. Then the beings who are here will be reborn in a world of light with bodies made of mind only, being nourished on joy and radiating light. After a considerable time this world-system will come into being again; but it will be empty. Someone from the world of light, with his merit exhausted will fall into this new world-system. He will feel lonely and wish for others to be with him. And of course others will fall from the world of light, even as he did earlier. The one who came first will think: "I am Brahma, the ruler and the lord of all the others," and he will be granted that status by them. Because they arrived after the wish: "May there be others on this earth," arose in him, they will consider themselves his creatures. One of these may become a recluse, consider all this and come to the conclusion that Brahma is the ruler, eternal and immutable, and that the creatures are non-eternal and mutable.

There is another source for this doctrine. There are some celestials who, corrupted by pleasure and given to sensual delights, may fall from the celestial region. It is possible that having fallen, one of them may become a recluse and think: "Because of our wrong-doing we have fallen into an impermanent and mutable existence, while the other celestials who are not corrupt are permanent and immutable."

There is yet another source for this doctrine. There are some celestials who are of a corrupt mind. They are extremely jealous of one another. They hate one another. They have feeble bodies and feeble minds on account of this corruption. Some of them may fall from the celestial region and come here. One of them may become a recluse and recollect his immediate previous habitation. He may feel: "They who were corrupt have fallen from their celestial habitation; the others continue to dwell there." Thus he may think that some are permanent and others are impermanent.

There is yet another source for this doctrine. There are recluses and brahmana who are addicted to logic. Through their own reasoning they may arrive at the conclusion that whereas the self, which is composed of the eyes, ears, nose and so on, is impermanent, the other self which is the heart or the mind or consciousness, is eternal and immutable. Therefore they may conclude that the self and the world are both permanent and impermanent.

The tathagata knows how these speculations have been arrived at. He knows them; he knows far more than these. Endowed with that know- ledge he is not proud. Not being proud, he is pure. Being pure he knows the way out of all this.

These are matters in respect of which the one who wishes to praise the tathagata should praise him; for his knowledge is profound, subtle and beyond the reach of logic.



tan ca pajananam na paramasati, aparamasato c' assa

paccattam yeva nibbuti vidita

The LORD continued:

There are recluses and brahmana who speculate concerning the infinitude or otherwise of the world. Some say that the world is finite because one can go around it. They also claim that in their ecstasy they have found it so. The second view is that the world is infinite: because, again, some recluse or brahmana has found it so in his ecstasy. The third view is that the world is horizontally infinite but vertically it is finite, because that is their direct experience in their contemplation. The fourth view is held by the logicians who by various arguments assert that the world is neither infinite nor finite. The tathagata knows how all these views have been arrived at, and to what conclusion they will lead if one believes in them. The tathagata knows all this and much more. He is pure and being pure he knows the way out of all this. He is free. One who wishes to praise him should praise him for this.

There are other recluses and brahmana, who are vacillating in their views (amara vikkhepika). Some of them do not know what is good and what is evil. They are afraid of expressing a wrong opinion or view. Hence they resort to equivocation, slipping from one argument to another: "It may be so", "It may be otherwise", "Maybe you are right", and so on. Some of them who do not know what is good and what is evil are uncertain and therefore apprehensive that they might fall into a condition that causes rebirth. Therefore they are evasive in their views. Some of them who do not know what is good and what is evil are fearful that more learned and more clever recluses and brahmana might call upon them to explain the expressed views; afraid that they might not be able to explain them satisfactorily, they are evasive. Fourthly, some recluses or brahmana are dull or stupid. On account of their dullness or stupidity they are evasive in their views and wriggle out of any stable position when they are spoken to.

They are evasive about whether there is another world, saying: "There is not one," "There is one," or "Maybe there is one". Similarly they declare that there are beings who arise spontaneously, or there are none, or maybe there are such beings. They are unable to decide whether good and evil actions will bear appropriate fruits or whether or not the knower of truth continues after death.

The tathagata knows why they do so and he knows the consequences of adopting their views. He knows all this and much more. Knowing all this, he is pure and free from pride. Being pure, he is completely freed. These are some of the qualities of the tathagata which should be extolled by one who wants to praise him.

There are other recluses and brahmana who believe in the accidental origin of beings and say that the world arises without a cause. They were unconscious beings and when an idea arose in them they died to unconsciousness and arose in the world of living beings. Such a one believes in accidental origin, because he thinks: "I was not, but now I am".



tad api tesam bhavatam samana brahmananam ajanatam apassatam vedayitam tanha-gatanam paritasita vipphanditam eva

The LORD continued:

There are recluses and brahmana who speculate concerning the future. Some say that the soul is conscious after death (with form or without form, happy or miserable). But the tathagata knows how they arrived at the doctrine and much more.

There are others who say that the soul is unconscious after death (with form or without form etc.). But the tathagata knows how they arrived at this doctrine and much more.

There are those who say that the soul is made of the four elements and is destroyed on the dissolution of the body. Some others feel that there is another soul which is divine but which belongs to the sensuous plane. Some others believe in a further soul made of mind. Others believe in a further soul which transcends all ideas of form and reaches up to the plane of infinite consciousness; yet others, in a further soul which reaches to the plane of neither ideas nor the absence of ideas. But all of them believe that on the dissolution of the body the soul is cut off and annihilated. The tathagata knows the source of their knowledge and more. Yet he is not vain but is quite free.

There are recluses and brahmana who think there is happiness in this life. Some say that when one indulges in the pleasures of the senses the soul has attained the highest nibbana in this world itself. Others disagree, though they agree that there is such a soul. Since sensuous pleasures are transitory, they believe that happiness is attained when one enters the first meditation. Because this involves reasoning and investigation, others disagree, but think that happiness is in the second meditation. Others disagree because this is accompanied by a sense of joy and is therefore gross; they think that happiness is in the third meditation. Because this involves a dwelling of the mind on the ease it has enjoyed, others consider this too gross and consider that happiness is in the fourth meditation. But the tathagata knows the source of such doctrines and much more. Yet he is not vain but is quite free.

All these recluses and brahmaņa who hold these doctrines concern- ing the past and the future, and concerning happiness, base their doctrines only on sensations and on mental confusion and insecurity; they know not, they do not perceive and they are subject to all kinds of craving. Their doctrines arise from sense-contact. From such sensecontact arises craving. Craving generates the fuel for becoming and from this there is rebirth with its attendant death, grief, sorrow and despair. It is only when all these are understood as they really are, only when their origin and end are clearly seen, that the way of escape from the six sense-fields is known and one goes beyond them all.

The recluses and brahmana who thus construct the past and the future are trapped in them. They wriggle this way or that in order to get out of this net, but are unable to do so. The outward form of one who has won the truth stands before you, but in his case that which binds him to rebirth has been destroyed. As long as this body lasts it will be seen by gods and men, but when the body falls, neither gods nor men shall see it.




evam sante bho gotama sunnam adun titthayatanam antamaso saggupagena piti - evam sante vaccha sunnam adun titthayatanam antamaso saggupagena piti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Vesali. A wandering ascetic named Vacchagotta was then staying in a nearby park. One day the Lord was getting ready to go to Vesali for gathering alms but realised that it was too early for that and so decided to go to the park and meet Vacchagotta. When the Lord entered the park, Vacchagotta greeted him and made him welcome. He offered an appropriate seat to the Lord and himself occupied a lower seat.

Vacchagotta said: Lord, I have heard it said that the recluse Gotama is all-knowing and all-seeing and that his perfect knowledge and perfect vision are constant whatever he is doing. Do they who say so express the truth or are they misrepresenting the Lord?

The LORD replied:

Of course they are misrepresenting me, Vaccha. They are not saying what is truthful. However, it would be correct to say that the recluse Gotama has knowledge of the three periods of time - the past, the present and the future. If they say so, it is in accordance with truth and is not a misrepresentation. For whenever I wish to, I can recollect innumer- able past incarnations. Again, I can see the destinies of people and what will become of them after leaving this world. Again, I am firmly established in a state of total freedom from sorrow and am freed from asava through my own transcendental knowledge and direct intuitive understanding. Hence, it is true to say that I possess knowledge of the three periods of time.

Vacchagotta asked: Is there any householder who has come to the end of sorrow, even upon leaving the body and this world, without abandoning the fetters of a householder's life?

The LORD replied: No, Vaccha.

Vacchagotta asked again: Can such a householder attain heaven? The LORD replied: Of course. I know that hundreds of house- holders have attained to heaven without having abandoned the fetters of household life.

Vacchagotta asked again: And what about the naked ascetics? Do they, upon leaving this world and their bodies, come to the end of sorrow and do they attain heaven?

The LORD answered: No. Not a single naked ascetic has ever attained the end of sorrow on leaving this world. I can recollect ninety- one kalpa (aeons) and I can recollect only one naked ascetic who has reached heaven, but then he professed kamma.

Vacchagotta asked: Then, it seems that the path of the naked ascetics is utterly devoid of any merit; that they do not even go to heaven.

The LORD replied: That is so, Vaccha.




iti samana gotamo savakanam sakkato garukato manito pujito, samanan ca pana gotamam savaka sakkatva garukatva upanissaya viharantiti

Thus have I heard:

Lord Buddha was living in the bamboo grove in Rajagaha. Several renowned wandering ascetics (like Anugara, Varadhara and Sakuludayin) were staying in the nearby park. One day the Lord set out to gather alms but, on realising that it was too early for that, he decided instead to go to the park and to meet Sakuludayin. There he saw Sakuludayin surrounded by many of his followers. When the Lord entered the park and sat down, they abruptly became silent.

Thereupon the LORD asked Sakuludayin: "Pray, tell me what you were discussing just before I came."

In response SAKULUDAYIN said:

Some time ago there was a discussion during which the following question arose: "Many great men are here to spend the rainy-season, along with numerous followers. Among them are Purana Kassapa, Makkhali Gosala, Ajita, Pakudha Kaccayana, Sanjaya Belatthi and Nataputta the Jain. They are all famous founders of sects. And, there is the recluse Gotama, who is also the head of numerous followers. Which of them is revered, respected and followed by many people?"

Then someone remarked: "Purana Kassapa is indeed the head of a sect. But he is neither respected and revered, nor is he faithfully followed by his own disciples. They contradict him. They argue with him. They criticise him and declare that whereas his conduct is defective, theirs is not. Purana Kassapa's own disciple once said to him to his face: 'You do not understand dhamma; how can you, for your whole approach is wrong. You do not even know how to express yourself effectively. I know dhamma; what I say is meaningful, for my approach is right." Someone else remarked in a similar manner concerning Makkhali Gosala, Ajita, Pakudha Kaccayana, Sanjaya Belatthi and Nataputta the Jain. On the other hand, someone remarked: "The recluse Gotama is the one who is universally acclaimed, respected and followed. Once when he was discoursing on dhamma, a member of the audience coughed and another sitting nearby remonstrated with him to be quiet; there was absolute silence and attention. Even if some of the monks have reverted to the household life, they blame themselves and never Gotama. They serve the order as lay-disciples."

The LORD questioned Sakuludayin: "What are the characteristics that you see in me, for which I am thus revered and followed by many people?"


I see five characteristics in the Lord for which many people revere and adore the Lord and follow him. (I) The Lord eats little. (2) The Lord is contented with simple clothes. (3) The Lord is contented with simple alms. (4) The Lord is contented with simple lodging and (5) the Lord lives in seclusion. He commends these characteristics to others, too.



atthi kho udayi anne ca panca dhamma, yehi mama savaka sakkaronti, garukaronti, manenti, pujenti, sakkatva garukatva upanissaya viharanti

The LORD said:

It cannot be that the disciples revere me because I eat little and speak of eating little, O Udayin. There are disciples of mine who eat much less and who are more ascetic than I in this respect. They would not revere me for my eating habits, for I sometimes eat more than they do.

Similarly, there are among my disciples some who wear only tattered garments made of discarded pieces found in rubbish dumps. They will not revere me because I am content with any robes and speak in praise of such contentment; for sometimes I wear materials that are worn by householders.

Even so, some of my disciples eat only what they obtain in their begging-bowls, refuse to enter a house to receive alms and keep walking along without stopping anywhere; whereas I sometimes eat richer fare, accept invitations to eat in the houses of devotees and partake of curries and condiments. Surely, these disciples will not revere me for being content with alms-food and for praising such contentment.

Nor will they revere me for being content with any kind of lodging and speaking highly of such contentment. There are among my disciples those who do not live under a roof but only under trees for eight months in a year; whereas often I live in well-built houses that have doors and windows secure against the winds.

Similarly, whereas there are among my disciples many who live in remote places far away from crowds of people, in total isolation, I dwell among crowds of people. Hence again, these disciples do not revere me because I live in seclusion and I exalt seclusion.

Thus, Udayin, my disciples do not revere me because of these five modes of behaviour on my part; but they do revere me because of five other characteristics that I possess.

Firstly, because I possess excellent moral habits they revere, honour and follow me, regarding me as their authority. Secondly, they revere and honour me because I possess unsurpassed knowledge and vision; they realise that I teach the dhamma because I have this supreme knowledge and this direct vision of the reality. They realise therefore, that my teaching is rational and convincing. Thirdly, because I possess the highest form of wisdom, there is no way in which my disciples can enter into disputation with me. Fourthly, they realise that I am the teacher; that they need the instruction and not the other way around. Hence, again, they do not even interrupt my teaching. Again, when people are caught in sorrow they come to me and request me to reveal to them the nature of sorrow, its cause, its cessation and the means to such cessation. It is I who reveal all this to them; hence they honour me and regard me as their authority.



param, udayi, akkhata maya savakanam patipada yatha

patipanna me savaka ariyam aṭṭhangikam maggam bhaventi

The LORD continued:

O Udayin, the path to the fourfold mindfulness has also been laid down by me for my disciples to pursue. According to this teaching, a monk contemplates the body in the body and cultivates mindfulness of it. Thus he overcomes deluded infatuation concerning it as well as ignorant rejection of it. Similarly, he contemplates the feelings (or experiences) as feelings (or experiences), the mind as the mind, and the psychological factors (percepts, concepts, ideas, notions, etc.,) as psychological factors, so that he does not entertain ignorant estimations concerning them or other defects. Following this path, my disciples go beyond the tendency to cling to diversity and they attain superior knowledge.

Again, the path has been laid down by me by which my disciples engage themselves in the fourfold striving. Pursuing this path they strive to prevent unholy states of mind from arising, or (if such states have arisen) to get rid of them and to promote holy states of mind, and (if they have arisen) to ensure their continued existence. Thus too, they reach the superior knowledge of the truth.

Yet again, the path to inner (spiritual) discipline has been shown by me, by which which my disciples cultivate contemplation based on right intention, or contemplation endowed with intense zeal and energy, or contemplation of the content of the mind and contemplation based on the activities (physical and mental).

Further, O Udayin, I have laid the path by which my disciples reach an understanding of the five senses. Treading this path my disciples purify their senses and thus gain quiescence and inner awaken- ing. They gain great energy and zeal; they contemplate the truth concerning the senses; they contemplate the equanimous state of the indriya (senses); they contemplate the wisdom concerning the senses. In this way my disciples attain to superior knowledge.

I have also laid the path by which my disciples gain the five forms of 'strength'. Treading this path they gain strong faith and then tranquillity and inner awakening. They develop great inner strength. They develop strong mindfulness. They develop strong concentration and also wisdom. Through all these, again, they reach superior knowledge.

I have also laid down the path of 'the seven limbs of awakening' mindfulness, investigation of dhamma, energy, rapture, serenity, concentration and even-mindedness - all of them are dependent on seclusion, dispassion, restraint and renunciation.

The ariya eightfold path has also been laid down by me, by which my disciple attains the perfect view, perfect intention, perfect speech, perfect action, perfect livelihood, perfect endeavour, perfect mindfulness and perfect contemplation. Many of my disciples have trodden this path and reached the state of superior knowledge.



pun a ca_param udayi akkata maya savakanam patipada yatha patipanna me savaka asavanam khaya anasavam cetovimuttim pannavimuttim ditthe va dhamme sayam abhinna sacchikatva upasampajja viharanti

The LORD continued:

I have also laid down the path by which my disciples attain the eight freedoms: 1. The realisation that it is the form that perceives the form. 2. Realising his formlessness, he sees all forms as 'external'. 3. He is established in the truth. 4. When the perception of forms and even the sensory responses come to an end, there is the realisation of the limitlessness of space. 5. Freed from this notion, the disciple realises that consciousness is infinite. 6. Beyond even this, he is established in no-thing consciousness. 7. Beyond this there is neither experience nor non- experience. 8. Finally he goes beyond even that, to where conceptions and experiences cease altogether. Thus he attains transcendental knowledge.

I have also laid down the path by which my disciples gain the eight forms of mastery: 1. Endowed with awareness of forms he sees small, limited external forms and knows them as such. 2. He sees unlimited external forms. 3. Having gone beyond inner material perception, he experiences all limited forms as external. 4. He experiences unlimited forms. Then he goes on to the experience of colours. 5. Blue-green. 6. Yellow. 7. Red. 8. White. Knowing all this fully and well, he attains transcendental knowledge.

I have also laid down the path by which my disciples contemplate the elements - above, below, undivided and unlimited. I have also laid down the course by which my disciples attain to the four meditations. Having with his whole being abandoned evil states of mind and pursuit of pleasure, he enters into the first state of meditation which is accompanied by logic and reasoning; then the second state, which is born of concentration and is full of ecstasy and delight; then these fade away, but there arises a bliss which is beyond all this; then he goes beyond joy and sorrow, gains knowledge of past pleasures and sufferings and enters into a state of equanimity and mindfulness. Thus does he come to transcendental knowledge.

I have also given my disciples a doctrine, with the help of which they see the truth concerning their bodies (that they are subject to decay and death). They directly see how their consciousness is bound to their bodies. Following my teaching, my disciples are able to produce another body from their own body and then to know: 'This body has come out of that'. Following my teaching, my disciples also enjoy various supernatural powers: the power to become many and to become one again, to become invisible and visible again, to walk in space, to disappear underground and to walk on water, to touch the sun and the moon and even to deal with the realm of the creator Brahma. With the help of my teaching, my disciples can acquire supernatural perception and supernatural hearing. They can also know with their minds the content of the minds of others. They can directly comprehend whether the mind of the other is with or without attachment, aversion, confusion, distraction, contraction (limitation), and whether or not the mind is tranquil and composed, freed or not freed. With the help of my teachings, my disciples can become aware of the events of countless past lives in great detail. They can actually behold the course of all beings in the universe - their travel in different planes in accordance with their deeds, good, evil or indifferent, and their conduct.

I have also given my disciples instructions concerning the path which leads to the destruction of all asava and to utter freedom through intuitive wisdom. By this path they reach the state of freedom and remain for ever established in it.




namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

One day, one of the star disciples of lord Buddha approached the Lord and asked if he might fetch his younger brother, so that he too might share the joy of being under the Lord's guidance. The buddha was pleased to hear such speech and asked the disciple to go and bring his younger brother to the community.

This younger brother proved to be a kind and gentle person but his mind was quite dull and he made no progress in his studies. Eventually he went to see the Lord and asked to be allowed to go home, so that he would not waste the Lord's time or ruin his brother's reputation. The Lord said: "There is no need for you to abandon the project of reaching liberation because of what you call a dull wit. I therefore recommend that, instead of philosophical studies, you limit your practice to meditation on a mantra which I shall now give you." The Lord initiated him into a personal mantra and sent him away with an encouraging pat on the shoulder.

But soon the monk returned in complete dejection and said: "My beloved Lord, I have forgotten the mantra the Lord gave me; thus I cannot practise!" The Lord kindly repeated it for him. Twice more the monk forgot it and twice he returned to the Lord, crying sadly. After he had forgotten even the simpler version of the mantra, the courage to go and see the Lord left him. The Lord, however, was not discouraged and said smilingly: "In fact there is a two-syllable abbreviation of the simpler version of the mantra." But when the monk could not even remember that, he broke down and wept.

Just then his elder brother entered the hut, and seeing that his brother had forgotten his mantra, he rebuked him angrily for ruining his good reputation and told him to go. Sadly the monk left the hut, but walking towards the grove, he met the Lord.

The Lord smiled and took his hand. Together they went to the temple where two old monks were sweeping. The Lord told the old monks: "This young monk is going to live in the temple from now on. Continue sweeping, and as your brooms move back and forth, utter the two syllable mantra that I shall now give you. Do not stop until I come back." The young monk sat down and listened to the regular movements of the brooms and the rhythmical whispers of the two monks repeating the holy mantra. This went on for many weeks and soon the monk attained full enlightenment.

The buddha reveals the true nature of all beings by means of nama and lakṣana, in order to enable all to understand the truth of things. The common people dwell only in nama and lakṣana, the thought-constructions that are devoid of substantiality.
The Maha-Prajnaparamita-Sastra








vita-ragehi pakkamum na sam lomam pi injayum

sabbe vijita samgama bhayatita yasassino

modanti saha bhutehi savaka te jane suta ti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was living among the Sakya in Kapilavatthu. The gods of ten thousand world-systems often went there to behold the Lord and the congregation of monks. One day the four gods of the pure regions thought: All these gods go to see the Lord. So should we." They too went to " where the Lord was and respectfully standing near him, sang hymns in praise of the Lord: "Whoever takes refuge in the buddha shall not encounter any danger or doom. When they shed their human bodies they will enter celestial ones."

The LORD said to the monks:

Even so, O monks, the buddha of the past were also adored by the gods, and the buddha of the future too will be so adored by the gods. I shall tell you in brief the identity of those gods.

As the Lord said so, the monks with their supernatural vision actually saw near them hundreds and thousands of gods, all eager to see the Lord. The Lord described them:

There are celestials known as yakṣa who belong to this country. There are over sixteen thousand of them. The four guardian deities of the four directions are here with their enormous retinues.

There are also the birds and the beasts and the reptiles. The cobras feel secure even though the big birds are near, because the buddha has ensured their safety. Therefore the birds and their prey come here together.

Then there are the deities who preside over the five elements, as also the deities which control different aspects of nature and natural elements like rain, thunder and so on. The deities presiding over emotions (like Cupid) are also here. The great gods like Visnu, Brahma and Subrahmanya are here. The sages are here and the deities presiding over the constellations are also here.

While these gods were assembled there, Mara, the evil one, came with his retinue. He commanded his hosts: "Come, assail them with lust. Besiege them. Let no one escape your onslaught." He and his retinue tried their very best. But the Lord knew and saw all this. He cautioned his followers: "The hosts of Mara, the evil one, are approaching." when they heard him, they became alert. The evil one departed with his retinue after They are free from infatuation. They have won the battle.
They are fearless. They are glorious. They rejoice
the disciples of the Lord. They cannot be assailed.

paying the following tribute:









pare ca na vijananti, "mayam ettha yamamase"

ye ca tattha vijananti, tato sammanti medhaga (6)

All phenomena are born of the mind, governed by the mind and made up of the mind. If a man speaks or acts prompted by an impure mind, sorrow pursues him as surely as the wheels of a cart follow the hoofs of the bullocks. Even so, if one speaks or acts prompted by a pure mind, joy pursues him as surely as his shadow follows him.

"He insulted me, hurt me, overpowered me, robbed me" - they who entertain such thoughts cannot free themselves from hate (enmity). They who are free of such thoughts are free from hate (enmity).

Hatred ceaseth not by hatred, ever; only by non-hate is hate brought to an end. This is the eternal law (sanatana dhamma).

Some people do not realise: "I too shall die one day"; the wise ones who realise this truth cease to entertain hate.

As a gale will fell a tree with weak roots, so Mara, the evil one, will destroy that person who lives for the pursuit of pleasure, whose senses are uncontrolled, who is not moderate in eating, who is indolent and who wastes his energies. But, even as a gale cannot uproot a tree with strong roots, Mara cannot touch one who does not pursue pleasure, who is of controlled senses, who is moderate in eating, who has faith and who conserves his energy.

He who has put on the ochre robe (kasavam) without gaining freedom from impure thoughts (asavam) does not deserve to wear it. But, he who has freed himself from all impurities, who is of good conduct and is endowed with true self-control, deserves the ochre robe he wears.

They who regard the non-essential as essential and the essential as non-essential, do not reach the essential for they have resolved falsely. On the other hand, they who regard the non-essential as non-essential and the essential as essential, will reach the essential for they have the right resolve.

As rain leaks through the roof of an ill-thatched house, so attach- ment (lust - raga) invades the heart of the non-contemplative person. But, as rain does not leak through a well-thatched house, so attachment does not enter the heart of a contemplative person.

In this world and the other, the evil-doer laments, grieves and suffers, considering his evil actions. In this world and the other, he who does good rejoices, recollecting his good deeds.

"If I give this, what shall I be able to enjoy?"
Such selfish thinking is the way of spirits;
"If I enjoy this, what shall I be able to give?"
Such selfless thinking is a quality of the gods.








10th MARCH


appamado amatapadam, pamado maccuno padam

appamatta na miyanti, ye pamatta yatha mata

If a heedless man is well versed in the scriptures and does not live up to them, he is like a cowherd who counts the cows of others! However, if a man who is not so well versed in the scriptures lives up to them, having understood the teaching well, if he adheres to the dhamma, having got rid of passion, ill-will and attachment and if he is free at heart, he rejoices here and hereafter and shares the life of a monk.

Vigilance is the path to immortality; heedlessness leads to death. They who are vigilant do not die; the heedless are already dead.

Knowing this truth concerning vigilance, the wise ones rejoice in being vigilant; they engage themselves in such activity as is pursued by the noble ones (ariya).

These heroes (dhira) are ever contemplative, ever energetic and dynamic and enter into nibbana, which is the state of supreme security (welfare-yogakṣema).

One who is ever alert, awake and vigilant, whose deeds are pure, who is self-controlled and righteous, enjoys ever-increasing glory.

The wise man (medhavi) should awaken himself, remain alert and by means of self-control and control of the senses, create a haven for himself which no flood can engulf.

The ignorant (bala - infantile) and they who are of impure intellect are heedless. The intelligent man guards his vigilance even as a wealthy man guards his wealth.

Do not waste your time in heedlessness. Do not pursue the pleasures of the senses. The alert man, devoted to contemplation, attains supreme bliss.

As one who has ascended a mountain looks at the people who are toiling below, so the wise man who is alert and free from folly surveys the lot of the people who toil and suffer below on account of their heedlessness.

In the midst of the heedless, he is ever wakeful; in the midst of the sleeping (ignorant), he is awake (wise). Such a person progresses rapidly, even as a good horse gallops, leaving the weaker ones behind.

It is by vigilance that Maghava became the ruler of heaven. Vigilance is ever praised by all; heedlessness is condemned by all.

A monk who delights in vigilance and is afraid of heedlessness advances like a raging fire, consuming all his fetters, great and small.

Such a monk cannot fall. He is close to nibbana.


In its ultimate nature ignorance is purity itself; and so even the samskara etc., the products of ignorance are in their ultimate nature purity itself.

The Maha-Prajnaparamita-Sastra


11th MARCH

na tam mata pita kayira, anne va pi ca nataka

sammapanihitam cittam seyyaso nam tato kare (11)

The wise man makes his mind one-pointed, though it is unsteady, fickle and difficult to restrain, even as a fletcher fixes his arrow and steadies it.

The fish that is taken out of water and placed on earth struggles; even so does the mind struggle to free itself from the clutches of the evil one.

The mind is indeed difficult to restrain, restless (light) and clings to objects of pleasure. But it is good to restrain it. The restrained mind is the source of joy. The mind is extremely subtle, and its nature is hidden. A wise man should govern his mind, for a mind thus governed is a source of joy.

The mind moves very far. It goes alone. It is incorporeal. It is hidden in a cave (the heart). They who restrain that mind are liberated from the onslaughts of the evil one.

He whose mind is not controlled, who does not know the true doctrine (dhamma) and whose heart is ruffled, cannot gain fulfilment in wisdom.

He whose mind is freed from objectivity, who is undistracted and who has risen above virtue and vice, has no fear: he is ever vigilant.

He should consider his body as fragile as an earthen jar. He should consider his mind as secure as a fortress. He should fight the evil one with the sword of wisdom. He should then guard his victory without hankering after anything.

Very soon this body will lie on the ground like a log of wood, abandoned by all and useless.

A man may be hurt by one who hates him. He may be injured by an enemy. But greater than all these is the harm that is done to him by his own wayward mind.

On the other hand, neither father nor mother nor relatives confer greater benefits on a man than those that are conferred by a mind that is devoted to śreyas (the noble path).       


If one goes for refuge in buddha with clear faith, believing in and wanting to reach buddha, one believes the dharma that he taught. To practise its methods and to take it to heart is to go for refuge in dharma. And, by listening to the speech of all the awakened ones and individuals who have studied the meaning of the dharma and to practise and follow in their path is to go for refuge in the sangha. If one has gone for refuge in such a way, buddha decreed that in every life, both this and later, one will travel the path of freedom, one will meet the precious doctrine of buddha and will not encounter evil companions and will not stray in thought and action; nor will obstacles cause one to stumble, one will not be born in lower realms, and with all vehicles having a foundation, the cycle will come to an end.

12th MARCH

pupphani h' eva pacinantam vyasattamanasam param

suttam gaman mahogho va maccu adaya gacchati (4)

Who can conquer the earth and even the kingdom of Yama and the gods? Who sees the path of dhamma (dhammapadam) as clearly and easily as an expert recognises a flower? It is the disciple who conquers the earth, the kingdom of Yama and the gods. He recognises the path of dhamma as clearly and as easily as the expert recognises a flower.

Such a disciple should look on the body as foam or as a mirage. He should break the flowery arrow of the evil one and thus go beyond mortal existence.

As a great flood bears away a village in which all are asleep, death bears away the man who is busy picking the flowers of sense- pleasure.

Death, who puts an end to everything, puts an end to the life of the man who is busy plucking the flowers of sense-pleasure, even before he has satisfied himself.

As a bee collects nectar from flowers and flies away without injuring the flower or soiling its colour, so a sage should move in the village.

One should not perceive the faults of others or their deeds of omission and commission. One should, on the other hand, perceive one's own faults of omission and commission.

As a lovely flower may be colourful but without fragrance, so words may be well spoken, but are fruitless if they do not reflect one's own actions.

On the other hand, if these words conform to one's actions, they are like unto flowers which are colourful and have a sweet scent too.

As many garlands can be strung from a heap of flowers, so a should utilise his human birth to earn merit in diverse ways.

The scent of flowers, however strong the perfume, cannot travel against the wind; but the 'scent' of the good man does so. His fame girdles the globe. The perfumes of all the fragrant flowers of the world are nothing in comparison to the fragrance of excellent character which reaches right up to the abode of the gods. The evil one cannot discover the way of those people who are of spotless character, for they are completely free from heedlessness and ignorance and are ever vigilant.

As a lily arises from a heap of rubbish, so an enlightened one shines in the midst of the ignorant.


If in those who encounter me

A faithful or an angry thought arises,

May that eternally become the source

For fulfilling all their wishes.



13th MARCH

caran ce n' adhigaccheyya seyyam sadisam attano

ekacariyam dalham kayira, natthi bale sahayata (2)

To the sleepless man, night is long. A tired traveller finds a mile a very long distance. To the fool, ignorant of the true dhamma, samsara is very long indeed.

He who does not find a good (superior) man in spite of diligent search should remain alone: there is no friendship with fools.

The fool grieves, thinking: "This is my son; this is my wealth". He can not even control himself; how can he claim to have control over son or wealth?

The fool who knows that he is a fool is a wise man. But the fool who thinks he is wise is indeed a fool.

The fool who might serve a wise man for a whole life-time knows not the dhamma, even as the ladle does not taste the soup. On the other hand, a man of understanding who serves a wise man even for an hour, soon understands dhamma, even as the tongue tastes the soup.

Ignorant men of evil inclinations are their own enemies; their vicious actions bear evil fruits.

If one regrets or feels sorry for an action, and as a consequence weeps and wails, that action is not right. On the other hand, one does not regret right action, for it leads to cheerfulness of the heart.

As long as the evil action does not bear fruit, the fool rejoices in his wickedness; but when it reaches fruition, he suffers.

A fool may eat nothing more than the tip of a blade of grass once a month; but he is nothing in comparison to the one who has gained the right understanding of dhamma.

The effect of an evil deed is not instantly apparent, like milk turning sour. Like smouldering fire, the effect remains hidden but spreads its destruction in the fool.

Even knowledge possessed by a fool leads to misfortune; it swells his head and leads to self-destruction.

Should a foolish monk aspire to fame, honour, power and position, it would fatten his vanity, for one path leads to worldliness and quite another leads to nibbana. Let the monk not crave for honour but let him strive for viveka (wisdom)..


But if the elephant of the mind is firmly bound

On all sides by the rope of mindfulness,

All fears shall cease to exist

And all virtues shall come into one's hand.



14th MARCH

selo yatha ekaghano vatena na samirati

evam nindapasamsasu na saminjanti pandita (6)

It is good and desirable to serve a wise or learned man who expounds the treasures of wisdom, who points out the dangers of attachment and so on, and who promotes self-restraint.

He who exhorts and instructs others and who endeavours to eradicate the evil in them, is the friend of the good and enemy of the wicked.

Do not resort to the company of sinful, false and base men. Keep the company of the best among good men.

He who drinks the nectar of dhamma lives joyously with a happy and peaceful heart. The wise take delight in the dhamma of the noble ones.

The farmer carefully directs the irrigation waters. The fletcher carefully fashions the arrows. The carpenter diligently works on the wood. Even so, they who are rightly resolved, control themselves.

As a mountain is not shaken by wind, a wise man is unaffected by praise and censure.

When they hear the dhamma, the wise become like unto a deep, clear and unpolluted lake.

The wise men abandon everything. The righteous are not attached to desires. The wise are neither elated nor depressed in happiness or sorrow.

Neither for his own sake nor for the sake of others does a wise man desire a son, wealth or a kingdom. He does not aspire to prosperity in unrighteous ways. Such a man is of good conduct, wise and righteous.

Few among men cross over to the other shore. The others remain on this shore. They who live in accordance with well expounded dhamma, cross over to the other shore beyond the reach of the evil one.

Abandon the evil path. Tread the righteous path. Abandon the home and resort to the homeless state. Abandon all desires and become penniless. The wise should abandon everything and cleanse the heart of all sources of distress.

They whose minds are established in enlightenment, who delight in total non-attachment, who do not cling to anything, whose cravings have been destroyed - they are wise and resplendent in this world, having completely 'turned away' (or attained nibbana).


First of all examine well what is to be done

Then either undertake it or do not undertake it;

(If one is unable) then it is best to leave it,

But if one has started something then do not withdraw.



15th MARCH

game va yadi varanne ninne va yadi va thale

yatth' arahanto viharanti tam bhumim ramaneyyakam (9)

Free from sorrow is he who has completed his 'journey', who is free from grief, who is free in all ways and who has got rid of the knots of ignorance.

The mindful (alert) ones strive. They rejoice in the homeless state. They abandon their home and possessions just as swans abandon the little pools.

One cannot trace the path of those who have no possessions, who are disciplined in eating (or in other sensory experiences), who have realised the uncaused and who move in utter freedom. Their path is like the flight of a bird.

As the bird flying through the sky leaves no trace, so they whose perversions (asava) have ceased, who do not crave for food (or other sensory experiences), who have realised the unconditioned and who are totally free, do not disturb the world.

Even the gods adore him whose senses are controlled (like horses well-governed by a good horseman), who has abandoned vanity and whose impurities (asava) have been destroyed.

Such a one is not troubled even as earth is not so troubled. He is firm (unswerving) like Indra's thunderbolt. He is as clear as a lake without mud. For such a one there is no samsara (birth and death).

His thoughts, words and deeds are tranquil. Such is the response of one who is totally freed and who is utterly tranquil.

Greatest among men is he who has no blind faith, who has realised the uncreated, who has cut asunder the ties, who has destroyed the division of causation (avakaśa) and who has thus put an end to craving.

That place where the enlightened ones roam is delightful, whether it is a village, a forest, sea or land.

Delightful are the forests, but the people do not like them. Only  they who are free from attachment delight in them; not they who are full of desires.


The features of the face do not pass to the reflection in the mirror; nevertheless the appearance of the image depends upon them. The flame does not pass over from the wick of one lamp to that of another; neverthe- less the existence of the flame of the second lamp depends upon that of the former. In exactly the same way not a single element of being passes over from a previous existence into the present existence, nor hence into the next existence. The birth of the groups, the organs of sense, objects of sense, and sense-consciousness of the present existence, depends upon those of the past existence. So too from the present groups, the organs of sense, objects of sense and sense-consciousness, will be born the groups, the organs of sense, objects of sense and sense-consciousness of the next existence. (There is no 'soul' or 'self' migrating from body to body and existence to existence.)

Venerable Nagasena

16th MARCH

yo sahassam sahassena sangame manuse jine

ekam ca jeyya attanam sa ve sargamajuttamo (4)

Better than a thousand words which make no sense, is a single word full of meaning.

Better than a thousand couplets which are meaningless, is a single verse which is meaningful and which leads to inner peace.

Better than reciting a thousand meaningless couplets, is declaring a single expression of dhamma (dhammapada), listening to which one attains peace.

Greater than victory over a thousand men a thousand times is victory over oneself. (Victory over oneself is greater than victory over others). Even the gods and the evil one cannot prevail against one who has controlled himself and lives in self-restraint.

One might perform sacrifices every month for a hundred years. greater in merit it is to adore a man who is established in wisdom.

One might perform sacrificial rites throughout the year for gaining merit. Yet this merit is not a fourth of the merit earned by honouring the upright (righteous) man.

These four things increase in the life of one who is respectful of the aged and who serves them - life-span, beauty, happiness and strength.

One may live for a hundred years in evil conduct and indiscipline. Better than that is to live a single day devoted to the cultivation of right conduct and meditation.

One might live for a hundred years in idleness and without energy (vitality). Better than that is to live a single day in energetic endeavour.

One might live for a hundred years without understanding the nature of the origin and the end of things. Better than that is one day when one is aware of the origin and end of things.

One might live for a hundred years without realising nibbana. Better than that is to live for a single day in the realisation of nibbana.

One might live for a hundred years without seeing the supreme dhamma. Better than that is to live for a single day in the vision of the supreme dhamma.


By giving up all, sorrow is transcended

And my mind will realise the sorrowless state.

It is best that I (now) give everything to all beings

In the same way as I shall (at death).


17th MARCH

na antalikkhe, na samuddamajjhe, na pabbatanam vivaram pavissa

na vijjati so jagatippadeso, yatthaṭṭhitam nappasahetha maccu (13)

One should engage oneself busily in doing what is good, thus divert- ing one's mind from sinful tendencies. If one is slow in doing good, the mind delights in sin.

If a man has committed a sinful deed, let him cease from doing it. Let him not pursue evil, for sorrow is the fruit of evil.

On the other hand, if a man should perform a good deed, let him do it again and again. Thus should one develop an eagerness to do good. Joy is the fruit of righteousness.

The sinner seems to be happy until his sin bears fruit. (Or, the sinner believes his deeds to be good, until his sin bears fruit.) When the sinful deeds bear fruit, the sinner sees his sins!

Similarly, a good man might consider his good deeds sinful so long as they have not begun to bear fruit. When they bear fruit, he realises that they were good deeds.

Do not be complacent about sin, thinking: "It will not happen to me." Drop by drop, the pot gets filled. Even so does a wicked man's heart get filled with evil.

Similarly, despair not concerning good, thinking: "It is not possible for me to be good." Drop by drop the pot gets filled. Even so is a good man's heart filled with righteousness.

One should shun evil (sin), even as a wise merchant travelling with much wealth, but an inadequate escort, would avoid a dangerous road; or, as one who loves life avoids poison.

One who has no wound may handle poison; it does not affect him. He who is free from sinfulness is not influenced by sin.

Dirt thrown against the wind rebounds on the man who throws it. Even so, offence shown to a harmless, pure man who is free from wicked- ness, rebounds on the offender.

Some arise in human birth. The sinful go to hell. The righteous go to heaven. They who have destroyed their cravings (asava) attain nibbana.

Neither in outer space nor in the middle of the ocean nor in the mountain caves is there refuge for one who has sinned. The sinner is spared nowhere in the universe.

Neither in outer space nor in the middle of the ocean nor in the mountain caves can one find refuge from death. There is no place in the universe where one can escape death.


Although all things are devoid of reality, all the same, they are objects of experience, they are heard and seen and known.

The Maha-Prajnaparamita-Sastra

18th MARCH

sace neresi attanam kamso upahato yatha

esa patto 'si nibbanam sarambho te na vijjati (6)

Everyone trembles before the rod of punishment, everyone fears death and to everyone life is dear. Knowing that others also are like oneself, one should neither hurt nor kill another.

He who, desirous of his own pleasure, hurts others who love pleasure and happiness, does not get happiness on leaving this earth. But he who, though desirous of his own pleasure, desists from harming others who also desire happiness, experiences joy after leaving this earth.

Do not utter harsh words. They who are thus spoken to will retaliate. Angry words beget suffering. A blow received in return will be painful.

If you maintain your silence like a shattered gong, you have attained nibbana. There is no anger in you.

As a cowherd drives cattle to pasture, so old age and death are constantly driving your life out of you.

The fool does not know what he is doing when he indulges in sinful actions; but still he is scorched by the fire of his own evil deeds.

He who punishes those who do not deserve punishment, or who accuses the innocent, experiences the following ten states: intense suffer- ing, great loss, physical injury, dire disease, psychological distress, royal displeasure, great infamy, loss of relatives, loss of wealth, or loss of his houses in a great fire. Then, upon death of the body, he goes to hell.

Neither wandering naked, nor wearing matted locks, nor having a dirty appearance, nor starving, nor lying on bare ground, nor covering oneself with dirt, nor assuming an ascetic posture can purify a man who is not free from doubt.

Though richly attired, if a man is equanimous, peaceful, self- controlled and if he leads a righteous, non-violent life, he is a brahmaṇa, an ascetic, a monk.

No one is so devoid of shame as not to be affected by censure.

Get rid of this great sorrow with the help of faith, good conduct and energetic action, by contemplation and firm conviction in the dhamma and through knowledge and investigation into the truth.

The intention of the buddha is this:

My disciples must be free from passion for dharma, free from attachment to dharma, free from partisanship. What they seek is only the freedom from passion and suffering; they do not quarrel about the diverse nature of things.

The Maha-Prajnaparamita-Śastra

19th MARCH

jiranti ve rajaratha sucitta

atho sariram pi jaram upeti

satam ca dhammo na jaram upeti

santo have sabbhi pavedayanti (6)

Why do you laugh? Where is the cause for jubilation? Everything is burning! When you are surrounded by darkness, why do you not seek the light?

Behold this strange image - a mass of corruption somehow held together, distressed and disturbed by many thoughts and hopes - which knows no permanence.

This form decays and is the abode of disease. It is fragile. Soon it disintegrates for the end of life is death.

Look at these bones, bleached white. They are like cast away gourds. Where is pleasure in looking at them?

The body is like a fort made of bones and plastered with flesh and blood. Concealed in it lurk old age, death, vanity and deceit.

The chariots of even kings wear out. Even so does the body. The dhamma of the holy ones does not wear out. The wise ones proclaim this truth to all.

The man of little learning is like an ox. His flesh increases but his wisdom does not.

Countless are the births taken in vain search of the maker of this tabernacle. O maker of the tabernacle! You have been seen. Thou shalt not make any more tabernacles. All the rafters are broken; the ridge- pole is broken, too. The heart is at rest in nibbana beyond grasping and craving.

They who have not lived a life of brahmacariya (discipline), and they who have not earned wealth in their youth, perish like old herons when the pond has dried up and there are no fish. They lie there like broken arrows, regretting their past.

It is as if a man were to buy from a cowherd a pot of milk and were to leave it with the cowherd and go off thinking he would come the next day to take it. And on the next day it turns into sour cream, and the man were to come back and say: "Give me the pot of milk." And the other were to show him the sour cream; and the man were to say: "I did not buy sour cream from you. Give me the pot of milk." And the cowherd were to say: "While you were gone, your milk turned into sour cream"; and they, quarrelling, were to come to you. Whose cause would you sustain? That of the cowherd, of course. And why? Because in spite of what the man might say, the one sprang from the other.

In exactly the same way, the name-and-form which is born into the next existence is different from the name-and-form which is to end at death; nevertheless the new name-and-form sprang from the past name-and- form. Therefore, one is not freed from one's evil deeds.

Venerable Nagasena

20th MARCH

atta hi attano natho ko hi natho paro siya

attana hi sudantena natham labhati dullabham (4)

If a man loves his self, let him guard himself well. He should be awake during the last of the four quarters of the night.

A man should first engage himself in righteous activity and then instruct others. Thus will he be freed from worry.

As he instructs others so should he behave. The self-controlled person controls others. Self-control is most difficult.

One is one's own Lord; who else is one's controller? By control of oneself one attains the Lord who is otherwise very difficult to find.

The sin that is committed by oneself, which arises in oneself and which is born of oneself churns (or crushes) oneself, just as a diamond crushes a hard precious stone.

He who is caught in his own wickedness becomes what his worst enemies fondly hope he will become.

It is easy to commit sin which hurts the self; even so, it is hard to do good which is good for the self.

It is a deluded intellect that ridicules the teachings of the saints or the noble ones or they whose life is the dhamma. Such a sinful mind leads to self-destruction.

By oneself alone is evil done. By oneself alone is one made impure. By oneself alone is evil refrained from. One purifies oneself. Purity and impurity depend upon oneself and no one can purify another.

Let not one destroy one's own highest good even on the pretext of doing good to others, however great that may be. One should realise what constitutes his good, and diligently strive towards it.

Keep the company of the holy ones who are full of faith and alert, so that you may acquire a pleasing nature and right conduct. From this you will gain great joy and the end of sorrow.

Let attachment and hate fall away from you, even as withered flowers drop from the tree.

That monk is known as 'peaceful' when he has gained tranquillity of the body, when speech and thought are well disciplined and in whom worldly desires have utterly ceased.

Inspire thyself by thyself. Examine thyself by thyself. When the monk guards himself well and when he is mindful, he will live happily.


The division of the parts into atoms,

The division of the atoms into their directions,

And even the division of these directions (reveals) a lack of any (real) part,

There is (emptiness) like space, and hence even atoms do not (really) exist.


21st MARCH

utthitthe nappamajjeyya, dhammam sucaritam care

dhammacari sukham seti asmim loke param hi ca (2)

Do not follow a low (base) dhamma (religion). Do not live in heed- lessness. Do not hold a false view. Do not add to worldliness.

Arise and be not heedless. Tread the path of dhamma, of right conduct. One whose conduct is right rests happily in this world and in the other world too.

One should live a life of righteousness, not unrighteousness; for the righteous man lives happily here and hereafter.

The god of death does not see that person who sees the world as if it were a bubble or a mirage.

Look upon this world as if it were a strange, royal chariot; fools lament in it but the wise have nothing to do with it.

He who, formerly sinking in this world, later refrains from sinking, illumines the world as the moon does after being freed from clouds.

He whose good deeds overshadow wrong action, illumines the world as the moon does when it is freed from clouds.

The world is sunk in darkness. Few in it are able to see the truth. Few there are who soar into heaven even as birds that have escaped from a net.

Swans fly through space because of their power. Even so the wise, when they have overcome the evil one, rise above the world.

He who has transgressed dhamma, who is given to falsity and who does not consider the other world, will not hesitate to commit any sin.

The misers do not go to heaven. The fools do not applaud charity. The wise rejoice in charity and thereby gain happiness in the beyond.

Better than the sovereignty of the world and ascension to heaven is the life of a sotapanna (one who has just entered the path which leads to nibbana).


The buddha by virtue of their power of great merit, wisdom and skill, remove the perversions in the hearts of the common people and enable them to comprehend the svabhava- sunyata (the ultimate reality) of things. Akaśa for example is ever pure by its very nature; dirt and darkness do not soil it. But sometimes with the blowing of the wind the clouds screen it. The common people simply say that akaśa has become impure. But when the fierce wind blows once again and removes the clouds, people would say that akaśa has become pure. But in truth akaśa neither became dirty nor clean. Just in the same way do the buddha, by the fierce wind of their teachings of the dharma, blow away from the minds of the common people the screen of the clouds of perversion enabling them to get back to the original purity. But in truth, the ultimate nature of things itself neither becomes impure nor clean.

The Maha-Prajnaparamita-Sastra

22nd MARCH

sabbapapassa akaranam kusalassa upasampada

sacittapariyodapanam etam buddhana sasanam (5)

How can you mislead the enlightened one whose conquest is supreme and unparalleled and whose path is the infinite?

How can you mislead that enlightened one who cannot be entangled by the poison of craving?

Even the gods follow the enlightened and mindful ones who are devoted to wisdom and meditation and who are utterly desireless and tranquil.

Rare is human birth. Rare it is to be alive among the mortals. Rare it is to hear the true dhamma. Rare is the arising of a buddha, the enlightened one.

These are the instructions of the buddha: refrain from evil, do good, purify your heart.

The enlightened ones say: "Patience is the greatest penance and endurance (titikṣa) is the supreme nibbana". He is not a recluse who hurts another. One who harms another is not a monk.

Not to speak ill of others, never to hurt others, to live in accord- ance with the fundamental precepts concerning discipline, to be moderate in eating, to live in a far-off, secluded place, to practise self-purification these are the instructions of the enlightened ones.

Desires are not satisfied by indulgence (lit: by a shower of gold). The wise man knows that desires lead to mental disturbance and sorrow. He does not even seek heavenly pleasures. The disciple of the enlightened one is constantly engaged in the destruction of craving.

People take refuge in forests and mountains or in gardens and shrines when they are afraid. Such refuge is neither safe nor the best, for by seeking refuge in these places one does not find the end of sorrow.

He who takes refuge in the buddha, the dhamma and the sangha, he who has understood well and therefore sees the four noble truths, has sought the highest refuge which is safe and secure. By seeking this refuge he is freed from all sorrow.

Rare is a man of noble birth - he is not born everywhere. The family in which such a hero is born is indeed blessed, and attains happiness.

The birth of the buddha is blessed and evokes happiness. The exposition of the true dhamma is blessed. The unity of the sangha is blessed. Their united effort is blessed.


May I always be an object of enjoyment

For all sentient beings according to their wish And without interference as are the earth,

Water, fire, wind, medicine and forests.

The Maha-Prajnaparamita-Sastra

23rd MARCH

dhiram ca, pannam ca, bahussutam ca

dhorayhasilam, vatavantam, ariyam

tam tadisam, sappurisam, sumedham

bhajetha nakkhattapatham va candima (12)

He who honours those who are worthy of being honoured gains immeasurable merit. They and their disciples are the buddha who have transcended the world, who have gone beyond grief, who have reached nibbana and are therefore free from fear.

Let us even while living amidst people who hate, remain happily free from hate. Let us, even while living amidst sick people, remain free from ailments. Let us, while living amongst people who are full of attachment, be free from attachment. Let us live happily without calling anything our own, living like the gods, nourished by love.

Conquest generates hatred because the conquered one lives in sorrow. The man of peace lives happily, having abandoned both victory and defeat.

There is no fire like attachment (raga), no defect like hate, no sorrow like the khandha (aggregates) and no delight like peace. Hunger is the greatest disease. Sankhara_ (experience) is the worst suffering. He who knows this realises that nibbana is supreme bliss.

Health is the greatest gain. Contentment is the greatest wealth. Trust is the best relative. Nibbana is supreme bliss.

One who has drunk the nectar of solitude and tranquillity, dhamma and love, is unperturbed and free from sin.

It is good to see and live with the noble ones; it inspires great joy. By avoiding the sight of fools one remains happy.

He who keeps the company of fools grieves for a long time. The company of fools is sorrow even as the company of an enemy is sorrow. The company of wise men is conducive to happiness.

Hence, one should follow one who is a hero (intelligent), wise, who has heard the (dhamma) and who is of good character, disciplined and noble.

I have over come everything. I know all. I am free from the conditions of life. I am liberated because craving has come to an end. I have realised this spotless knowledge by myself. Whom shall I call my teacher?


I beseech with folded hands

The buddha of all directions,

To shine the lamp of dharma

For all those bewildered in misery's gloom.


24th MARCH

tath' eva katapunnam pi asma loka param gatam

punnani patiganhanti piyam nati va agatam (12)

He who is not devoted to what he should be devoted to but is devoted to what he should not be devoted to, abandons what is conducive to joy (piya) and envies one who has such joy!

Do not pursue what is pleasant (piya) and never pursue what is unpleasant. For separation from what is pleasant and association with what is unpleasant causes sorrow.

Therefore, do not regard anything as a source of pleasure (piyam), for it is from such a view that sin arises. He who regards nothing as pleasant or unpleasant has cut his bonds.

From the pursuit of pleasure (piya) arises sorrow and fear. He who is freed from the pursuit of pleasure knows no sorrow or fear.

From affection (prema) arises sorrow and fear. He who is freed from affection knows no sorrow or fear.

From attachment (rati) arises sorrow and fear. He who is freed from attachment knows no sorrow or fear.

From desire (kama) arises sorrow and fear. He who is freed from desire knows no sorrow or fear.

From craving (tanha) arises sorrow and fear. He who is freed from craving knows no sorrow or fear.

People hold him dear who is of good character and right view, who is righteous and truthful and who does his duty.

He who strives for the indescribable, who is awakened and whose heart is not attached to desire is known as one who swims against the current.

As a man who returns home after a long absence is lovingly welcomed by his kinsmen, the man of good deeds is welcomed by those very good deeds when he departs from this world and goes to the other world.

The gift of dhamma is the best of all gifts. The essence (or sweet- ness) of dhamma is the best of all essences. Devotion to dhamma is the best of devotion. When craving comes to an end, all sorrows come to an end.

Weeds destroy the field. Mankind is tainted by desire, hate and attachment (delusion). What is given to those who are free from desire, attachment, hate and delusion is productive of great merit.

In brief, the awakening mind

Should be understood to be of two types:

The mind that aspires to awaken,

And the mind that ventures to do so.


25th MARCH

saccam bhane, na kujjheyya, dajja 'ppasmim pi yacito

etehi tihi thanehi gacche devana santike (4)

One should abandon anger and root out vanity completely. One should transcend all forms of bondage. Sorrow does not befall one who is not sunk in (attached to) name and form and who possesses nothing.

He who restrains anger which has already arisen, as a charioteer changes the course of a chariot (when it careers away), is a true charioteer - others merely hold the reins.

One should overcome anger by total absence of anger, evil by good- ness, miserliness by charity, falsehood by truth.

Speak the truth. Be not angry. Give in charity, even if it be a little. By these three you will move close to the gods.

The sages who are free from violence, who are ever restrained in body, go to the acyutam (firm) seat, where they do not experience sorrow.

The asava (depravities) cease in the case of those who are ever awake, who discipline themselves (sikkhana) day and night, and who are inclined towards nibbana.

This is not new; this is a known fact: people blame him who is silent, they blame him who speaks much and they blame him who speaks little; in this world there is no one who is not blamed.

There has not been, is not and will not be one man in the world who is blamed by all or praised by all.

If the wise ones who are fully awakened praise one who is intelligent and constantly good, who is endowed with insight and whose life is pure, who can blame such a man? Even the gods, including the creator, praise such a man.

A man should guard himself against physical excitement. He should be physically self-controlled. Having renounced all evil action, let him dwell in purity.

A man should guard himself against excited (angry) speech. He should restrain his tongue. Having abandoned angry speech, he should dwell in purity.

A man should guard himself against excited thought. He should control his mind. Having freed himself from the evils of the mind, he should dwell in purity.

They indeed are self-controlled who are restrained in body, speech and mind.

As long as any sentient being

Anywhere has not been liberated,

May I remain (in the world) for his sake

Even though I have attained enlightenment.

The Maha-Prajnaparamita-Sastra

26th MARCH

sujivam ahirikena, kakasurena, dhamsina

pakkhandina, pagabbhena, sankiliṭṭhena jivitam

hirimata ca dujjivam niccam sucigavesina

alinen' appagabbhena saddhajivena passata (10-11)

You are like a withered leaf. Death is close at hand. You are ready to depart. But you do not have provisions for the journey and there is no resthouse on the way.

Make a haven for yourself. Act quickly. Be wise. When the dirt of impurities has been blown away and you are free from sinfulness, you will go to the celestial world of the ariya; you will not return to this world of birth and death.

As the silversmith purifies silver, so a wise man should from moment to moment purify himself little by little.

As rust born of itself corrodes iron, so do the evil deeds of the evil- doers lead them to hell (duggati).

Non-recitation of the text is its impurity; non-repair is the danger to the house; sloth is the blemish of beauty; heedlessness is the taint of a guardian; immoral conduct is the blemish of a woman; miserliness is the defect of the donor; sinful actions (papaka dhamma) are destructive in this world and the other. Ignorance is the worst of all evils. O monks, get rid of this impurity and become pure.

To one who is shameless, impudent as a crow, aggressive, hypo- critical, boastful and corrupt, life is easy! But to a humble man who seeks what is pure all the time, who is dynamic, free from vanity and undefiled, life seems to be hard.

A man who kills living beings, speaks falsehood, takes what is not given, commits adultery and takes intoxicating drinks, digs his grave even in this world.

Hence, O man, know that the evil-minded are uncontrolled. Let not greed and evil bring you sorrow.

People do charity according to their faith and capacity. He who grudges food and drink given to others knows no peace, neither by day nor by night. But he in whom such feeling has been destroyed at the root, enjoys peace day and night.

There is no fire like attachment (raga); there is no bondage like hate (dveṣa); there is no net like infatuation (moha); there is no river like craving.

Easy it is to find faults in others; difficult to discover one's own. One exposes others' faults but hides one's own. He who finds fault with others and is annoyed by them, multiplies his own faults (asava). He is far from eradicating them.

There is no path in the sky nor is a monk recognisable by his outward appearance. People are interested in the world; the tathagata are free from worldliness. The elements (sankhara) are not permanent, but the tathagata are immutable.

27th MARCH

na tena ariyo hoti yena panani himsati

ahimsa sabbapananam ariyo ti pavuccati (15)

He who acts whimsically is not righteous. The wise man investigates the right and the wrong. He leads others with humility and tranquillity (impartiality) along the path of dhamma. The intelligent man who guards dhamma is known as righteous.

He is not a wise man who speaks much! He who is patient, free from enmity and fearless, is known as a wise man, pandita.

He is not an upholder of dhamma who speaks much. He who, though he has heard but little, does not transgress dhamma but beholds the dhamma with his whole being, is known as the upholder of dhamma.

He is not an elder (thera) who is gray-haired. He may be aged, but he is known as a vain old man. But he in whom truth, dhamma, non- violence, self-control and the end of all impurity are found, in such a hero (dhira) is found an elder (thera).

A good speaker of good complexion is not a good man (sadhu) if he is envious, jealous and deceitful. But he in whom these evil qualities do not exist, who is intelligent and devoid of ill-will, is a good man (sadhu).

Shaving of the head does not make one a samana if he is not disciplined and is given to falsehood. How can one become a samana if he is full of desire and greed? He who has put an end (sameti) to all sins, whether small (anu) or great, is called a samana.

He is not a bhikkhu (monk) because he begs. By adopting the external appearance of a bhikkhu he does not become one. He who, by total dedication to the infinite (brahmacariya), has gone beyond merit and demerit and moves in this world with direct knowledge, is known as a bhikkhu.

He is not a sage (muni) who is silent (mouna), if he is dull and ignorant. He is a sage who weighs everything, accepts only the best (varam), and rejects sin. He who contemplates (munati) both this world and the other, is a muni (sage).

He is not a noble man (ariya) who inflicts pain on living beings. He who is non-violent towards all beings is a noble one (ariya).

Not indeed by moral conduct, observances, much learning, attaining samadhi (meditation) or by living in seclusion have I won the bliss of that which is beyond action (naiskarmyasukham) and which is unattainable by ordinary men. O monk, do not stop until you attain the end of all asava (perversions).

28th MARCH

"sabbe sankhara anicca" ti yada pannaya passati

atha nibbindati dukkhe, esa maggo visuddhiya (5)

The eightfold path is the best of all paths. The four noble truths are the best of truths. Dispassion is the best of dhamma. The seer is the best among men.

This is the path; there is none other for the purification of vision. Enter this path. It frees you from the evil one.

If you enter this path you will end your sorrow. Since I know what sorrow is, I teach this path.

You yourself have to strive and exert. The tathagata but point the way. They who strive and contemplate will be freed from the bonds of the evil one.

All component things (sankhara) are impermanent - he who sees this with right understanding is freed from sorrow. This is the supreme path of purity.

All component things (sankhara - experiences) are sorrow - he who sees this with right understanding is freed from suffering. This is the supreme path of purity.

All component things (sankhara - phenomena) are devoid of self - he who sees this with right understanding is freed from suffering. This is the supreme path of purity.

He who does not rise when it is time to rise because he is lazy, though he is youthful and strong, does not find the path to wisdom.

Guard your speech and your mind. Do no evil with your body. These three sources of action should be purified; thus should one resort to the path.

From yoga arises wisdom (bhuri); from non-yoga wisdom declines; one should see these two paths which lead to prosperity (bhava) and to adversity (vibhava) respectively and then should do what will promote wisdom (bhuri).

Cut down the whole forest (of thoughts or conditioning), not just one tree (vrtti). After having destroyed the forest and the undergrowth, attain nibbana. As long as lust for woman is not totally destroyed in a man, he remains fettered.

Cut off love of self. Then resort to the path of peace, of nibbana, which is revealed by the sugata (buddha).

"I shall dwell here during the monsoon and here I shall live during winter and summer"  thus schemes the fool. He knows not the - danger. Death bears away he who is attached to his children and property, even as a flood bears away a sleeping village.

There is no refuge in sons, father or relations when one is about to die. Realising this, the wise man of virtuous life treads the path to nibbana.

29th MARCH

saddho, silena sampanno, yasobhogasamappito

yam yam padesam bhajati tattha tatth' eva pujito (14)

If by the renunciation of a little pleasure one can enjoy great happiness later, the wise man should abandon that petty pleasure.

If one seeks his happiness by inflicting pain on others, he is not freed from enmity, but is enmeshed in it.

The depravities (asava) of the negligent increase by their omission of what ought to be done and commission of what ought not to be done.

They who remain constantly aware of the body do not do what ought not to be done and do not neglect to do what ought to be done. They are alert and mindful and their depravities cease.

The brahmana (knower of the truth) remains free from sin when he kills his father and mother (craving and egoism), two kings (the two extremes), and the kingdom with all its inhabitants (the kingdom of the twelve seats of consciousness).

After killing a mother and a father (craving and egoism), two kings (two extreme views) and the tiger (obstruction), the brahmana (knower of the truth) remains free from sin.

They who have been instructed by Gotama (Gotama-savaka) are wide awake and enlightened; they contemplate day and night the buddha, the dhamma and the sangha; they contemplate the body (kaya) day and night, they dwell on the virtue of non-violence and their hearts seek delight in meditation.

The life of a recluse is hard and difficult, even so is the life of a householder. To live with people who are not of similar disposition is painful; to revolve on the wheel of birth and death is sorrow. Hence one should not cling to this wheel of birth and death.

He who is full of faith, virtue, good reputation and happiness is honoured wherever he goes.

The greatness of the good is observed even from a great distance, like the Himalaya. The wicked remain unnoticed as arrows shot in darkness.

Delighted, even in a forest, is he who is content with one seat and one bed, who wanders alone, who is free from idleness and who is self- controlled.


Just as the blade of the sword cannot cut itself,

So it is with mental awareness.

But just as a lamp perfectly illuminates itself, (So does the mind know itself.)

The lamp does not illuminate (itself);

Because it is not obscured by any darkness.

Unlike the blueness (appearing in) a clear crystal,

(Natural) blueness itself depends upon nothing else.


30th MARCH

yam kinci sithilam kammam samkilittham ca yam vatam

samkassaram brahmacariyam na tam hoti mahapphalam (7)

Both he who falsely reports that which has not really happened and he who having done something says: "I did not do it" go to hell.

Many people who wear the yellow robe are sinful and devoid of self- control. They go to hell because of their wicked deeds.

It is better to swallow red-hot iron than to live a life of wickedness without self-restraint, or to live off the charity of the state (or king).

The adulterer suffers in four ways: he gains demerit, loss of sleep, dishonour and hell - or, gains demerit, the destiny of a sinner, pleasure tainted by fear and punishment at the hands of the king. Hence one should not seek another's wife.

A blade of grass cuts the hand if it is wrongly held. If the life of a monk is wrongly lived it leads him to hell.

An ill-done deed, an ill-kept vow and a religious life (brahmacariya) motivated by fear or accompanied by doubt do not yield the best fruits.

Let a man apply himself vigorously to whatever is to be done. A recluse who is dull in his endeavours raises a lot of dust (impurity) around himself.

What ought not to be done is better left undone; for an evil deed leads to suffering. What ought to be done should be done immediately; one does not suffer for having done what is good.

As a fortified city is well guarded within and without, so let a man guard himself in all respects. They who are negligent for even a moment come to grief.

They who are ashamed where there is no shame and who are not ashamed where there is shame they are of deluded vision and they go to hell.

Similarly, they who fear what is not to be feared and do not fear what ought to be feared are of deluded vision and go to hell.

They who do not abstain from what ought to be abstained from and who abstain from what ought not to be abstained from are of perverted vision and they go to hell.

They who see what ought to be abandoned as such and what ought not to be abandoned as such, attain to a happy state, for they are of right view.

The things that constitute duality cannot be one without the other. But common people speak of them as two, (i.e. separate and independent) and so what they say is a perversion... Whatever is a case of seizing the lakṣaṇa is a case of faring in duality.

The Maha-Prajnaparamita-Sastra

31st MARCH

atthamhi jatamhi sukha sahaya

tutthi sukha ya itaritarena

punnam sukham jivitasamkhayamhi

sabbassa dukkhassa sukham pahanam (12)

Like the elephant on the battlefield which endures the piercing of arrows, even so do I patiently endure the insults of this wicked world.

The trained elephant is led to the field; it is mounted by the king. The self-controlled man is the best in the world and he endures insults patiently.

The trained mules are excellent. Thoroughbred horses are good. The great elephant Kunjara is good. Better than all these is a disciplined man.

Mounted on animals, men do not go to where no one has gone before; but the self-controlled man goes to such a place, nibbana.

The elephant, Dhanapala by name, is difficult to tame. When he is bound he does not eat anything, but thinks only of the forest.

The glutton who is lazy, who is given to sleep and rolls like a great hog, is born again and again.

The mind has for so long wandered from object to object as it liked. I shall today control that mind, even as the elephant trainer restrains the elephant with the help of the goad.

Remain constantly vigilant and govern your thoughts (heart). Uplift yourself like an elephant which has entered into mud.

If you find a wise companion of good nature and self-control, move with him, having abandoned all troubles. But if you do not find such a wise companion, move about alone like a king who has abdicated his throne or like an elephant which has abandoned its forest.

Helpful companions are a blessing. Satisfaction is a blessing when shared with others. To earn merit with the passing of life is a blessing too. But the greatest blessing is the destruction of all sorrows.

Motherhood is a happy state. Fatherhood is a happy state. To be a monk is a happy state too. Above all these, the happiest state is to be a sage.

It is a great joy to remain pure in conduct until old age. It is a great joy to be established in faith. It is a great joy to gain insight or wisdom. To do no evil is good.




savanti sabbadhi sota lata ubbhijja titthati

tam ca disva latam jatam mulam pannaya chindatha (7)

The cravings of a heedless man grow like a creeper. He goes from birth to birth just as a monkey jumps from one tree to another in search of fruit.

If a man is overpowered by this poison of craving, his grief grows like a wild bush.

But if a man abandons craving in this world, his sorrow falls away like water from a lotus leaf.

I exhort you: dig out the very roots of craving. May the evil one not crush you again and again!

As a tree, though it is cut, grows again and again if the roots are not dug out, so craving rises again and again if it is not totally uprooted.

He in whom the streams of sense-pleasure flow strongly and constant- ly, is swept away by those streams.

When you see the creeper of craving, trace it to its root and destroy it there with the help of wisdom or insight.

As long as you are engaged in the pursuit of pleasure, you are subject to birth and old age.

Mankind, enmeshed in craving or the pursuit of pleasure, revolves on the wheel of sorrow for a long time. Therefore, let a monk who aspires for freedom abandon craving.

He who yields to other cravings after having renounced the house- hold life and adopted the life of a monk with a high ideal, indeed runs back into the trap!

Fetters made of wood, iron or grass are not strong. But love of wealth, love of sons and love of wife are strong fetters. They degrade man. Though they appear to be loose, it is difficult to break them. They who have got rid of these fetters and have become desireless resort to the homeless state.

Like a spider, man weaves his own web of desires and gets caught in it.

Abandon what is ahead (future) and abandon what is behind (past); abandon the present and go to the other shore. When you are thus free from all this you will never again suffer birth and old age.

As long as pursuit of pleasure is one's only goal and as long as one has doubts, the fetters will grow stronger and stronger. But if you cast off your doubts, remaining watchful and meditating on the evils of material life, you will snap the bonds of the evil one. You will then wear this body for the last time.

He who is free from craving and who knows the imperishable, is a sage and wears this body for the last time.

I have overcome everything. I know all. I am free from the conditions of life. I am liberated, because craving has come to an end. I have realised this spotless knowledge by myself. Whom shall I call my teacher?


n'atthi jhanam apannassa panna n'atthi ajjhayato

yamhi jhanam ca panna ca sa ve nibbanasantike (13)

It is good to control the eye, the ear, the nose, the tongue, the body, speech, mind and everything. When there is self-control in all ways the monk is freed from all sorrows.

He is called a bhikkhu (monk), who has disciplined his hands, feet and speech, and is in every way well disciplined, who delights in meditation and who is content in remaining alone.

It is a delight to listen to a monk who has controlled speech and who reveals the true meaning of dhamma.

The monk who delights in the dhamma, who is devoted to the dhamma, who constantly contemplates the dhamma and who pursues dhamma, does not lose dhamma.

Jealous of others' achievements, the monk should not abandon what he has gained. The jealous monk does not attain samadhi (meditation.) If he does not exaggerate his achievement (even if it is little), even the gods esteem the monk for his faith and vigilant life.

He is called a bhikkhu who does not lose himself in name and form and who does not long or grieve for what is not.

If the bhikkhu dwells in friendliness and has faith in the teaching of the buddha, he will gain the abode of peace and bliss.

Empty this 'boat' O monk, and travel lightly. Having abandoned attachment and hate you will attain nibbana.

Meditate, O monk. Let not heedlessness exist in you. Let your mind not delight in sensual objects. Do not swallow a hot iron ball and wail aloud: "I am suffering," when you are burnt by it.

Meditation is impossible for one who has no insight; and insight is impossible when one does not meditate. He in whom both these are found is very near to nibbana.

When a monk enters a secluded place with a peaceful heart and realises the dhamma well, he enjoys superhuman delight.

When he is aware of the rise and fall of the khandha (forms and formations) and attains peace and bliss, he realises immortality.

This is the beginning for a wise monk: guarding of the senses, contentment and adherence to the fundamental precepts concerning discipline.

Since embodied creatures are injured

By both animate beings and inanimate objects,

Why only bear malice to the animate?

It follows that one should patiently accept all harm.



bahitapapo ti brahmano samacariya samano ti vuccati

pabbajayam attano malam tasma pabbajito ti vuccati (6)

O brahmaņa, arrest the stream of craving with great effort (with all your strength). Abandon pursuit of pleasure. When you know how to destroy the samskara, you will realise the uncreated being.

When a brahmana has reached perfection in the two dhamma (samatha or equanimity and vipassana or insight), then all his attachments drop away.

He for whom there is neither param (the beyond) nor aparam (here) nor paraparam (both), and he who is free and fearless, is a brahmaṇa.

He who is a meditator, free from impurity, who has done what has to be done and has realised the highest good, is a brahmana.

The sun shines by day and the moon by night. The warrior shines because of his armour and the brahmaņa shines by his meditation. But the buddha's resplendence shines over all at all times.

He who has banished (bahita) all evil, is a brahmana. He who is equanimous (samacariya) is a bhikkhu (samaņa) He who has thrown out pabbajita his impurities is a pabbajita (wanderer). There is a beautiful word-play in this verse).

No one should strike a brahmana; a brahmaṇa should not harbour ill-will towards the assailant. Fie on him who kills a brahmana. Fie on the brahmaṇa who hates an assailant.

Great (not small) is the gain of the brahmana who weans his mind from things dear to him. As he turns away from violence, to that extent his sorrow comes to an end.

He who has done no evil in thought, word and deed, and who is well protected in these three respects, is a brahmaṇa.

One should bow down to the one who expounds the dhamma as revealed by the fully enlightened one, after having thoroughly understood it, even as one bows down to the brahmana who tends the sacred fire.

One is not a brahmana because of his matted hair, his ancestry or his caste; he in whom truth and dhamma are found and who is pure (or happy), is a brahmana.

O wicked one! Of what use is your matted hair or deer skin? Within you is great darkness, and you clean yourself outside!

When one fares by seizing, by clinging, then in one's case  the world would be a mass of perversion; but when one fares  free from seizing, free from clinging, then the world itself is nirvana.

The Maha-Prajnaparamita-Sastra


na caham brahmanam brumi yonijam mattisambhavam

bhovadi nama so hoti, sa ce hoti sakimcano

akimcanam anadanam tam aham brumi brahmanam (14)

Him I call a brahmana who wears dirt-stained rags, who is emaciated, the veins of whose body stand out, who dwells alone in the forest engaged in meditation.

I do not regard him as a brahmana who is born of a brahmana mother. I would address him respectfully, if he were affluent. He who owns nothing and who is freed from possessions, is a brahmana.

I call him a brahmana who has cut the strap (of attachment), the thong and the rope (all that is related to attachment) and who has freed himself from the yoke.

He who is free from evil and yet endures calumny, injury and imprisonment and whose patience is inexhaustible, is a brahmana.

I call him a brahmana who is free from anger, firm in his resolves and without cravings regarding what is in this world or in the next. He has self-control, a contemplative temperament and wears this body for the last time. A brahmana is one who is unaffected by desirés as a lotus- leaf is unaffected by water. To him, all sorrow has ceased. He has laid down his burden. He is pure like the moon, wise, highly intelligent and knows both the right and the wrong path.

He is a brahmana who has given up violence towards all creatures moving or unmoving, and who does not kill or encourage others to kill. He is not hostile although living among hostile beings and is free from greed though living among the greedy. From him attachment, hate, pride and jealousy have fallen away. His words offend no one, but while being educative and truthful are free from harshness. A brahmaņa takes only what is given to him. In him there is perfect understanding and he plumbs the depths of immortality.

I call him a brahmana who has cut down merit and demerit and who is free from grief and impurity. He is a homeless wanderer who has abandoned pain and pleasure. He is thus cool and calm, freed from all limitations.  The truth concerning the birth and death of all beings is known to him. He is a sugata and enlightened (buddha). Even the gods, celestials and human beings do not know his destiny. A brahmana is one whose asava have ceased and who is therefore worthy of adoration (arahanta). Such a one owns nothing in the three periods of time. He is pre-eminent among men and a hero, a buddha.

known to him. He has reached the end of births. In him all the powers have reached perfection.

With folded hands I beseech

The conquerors who wish to pass away,

To please remain for countless aeons

And not to leave the world in darkness.



vijanati vijanatiti kho avuso, tasma vinnanan ti vuccati kin ca

vijanati: sukhan ti pi vijanati, dukkhan ti pi vijanati, adukkham-asukhan ti pi vijanati

Thus have I heard:

Lord Buddha was staying in the Jeta grove. One day the venerable Maha-Kotthita, returning from his returning meditation, approached the venerable Sariputta. The following dialogue ensued between them:

Maha-Kotthita: Whom do you call 'unwise' (duppanno)? Sariputta: Him I call unwise who is unable to comprehend: "This is sorrow", "This is the arising of sorrow", "This is cessation of sorrow" and "This is the way to end sorrow".

Maha-Kotthita: Whom do you call 'wise (pannava)? Sariputta: He who comprehends: "This is sorrow" and so on, is called wise.

Maha-Kotthita: What do you call (discriminating) consciousness (vinnanam)? Sariputta: That which understands pleasure, pain and what - is neither pleasure nor sorrow that is consciousness, (consciousness, awareness or cognition as the essence of a living being).

Maha-Kotthita: Are wisdom and consciousness the same or different, associated or not? Sariputta: They are associated and it is not possible to find a difference between them however much we try. That which the cognising consciousness apprehends is comprehended by wisdom and vice versa.

Maha-Kotthita: Is there a difference between wisdom and cognition in relation to our attitude towards them? Sariputta: Yes, wisdom relates to insight and the consciousness relates to our faculty of apprehending. Maha-Kotthita: What is feeling or experience (vedana)? Sariputta: The feeling of pleasure or pain and also that which is not pleasure or pain is vedana (feeling or experience).

Maha-Kotthita: What is perception (sanna)? Sariputta: It is said: 'He perceives when he perceives what is green, what is yellow, what is red or what is white. That is perception.

Maha-Kotthita: Is it possible to differentiate between perception, experience and cognising consciousness? Sariputta: No, they are all associated with one another.

Maha-Kotthita: What can one know when one's consciousness (mind) has been purified of the distraction of the senses? Sariputta: When the mind (consciousness) is purified, it is possible to know that the space is boundless, that consciousness (vinnanam) is boundless and that 'no-thing' is boundless.

Maha-Kotthita: How does one comprehend a mental object? Sariputta: By the eye of consciousness (pannacakkhu).

Maha-Kotthita: What is the purpose of this consciousness? Sariputta: To know, to comprehend well and to abandon.


dve kho avuso paccaya sammadiṭṭhiya uppadaya; parato

ca ghoso yoniso ca manasikaro

(The dialogue continues):

Maha-Kotthita : What are the conditions for the arising of right vision? Sariputta: These two: the confirmation by someone else and correct mental attitude.

Maha-Kotthita: What are the aids to the attainment of freedom? Sariputta: If the right vision is aided by the following five factors, there is rapid progress towards total freedom: right conduct, right hearing (receptivity), right company and discussion, equanimity or a state of equilibrium, and right or efficient observation.

Maha-Kotthita: How many are the causes or modes of 'becoming' (future births or existences)? Sariputta: Three: the becoming on account of sense-pleasures, the becoming with form and thirdly the becoming without form.

Maha-Kotthita: How does such becoming arise at all? Sariputta: When beings are enveloped by ignorance and bound by craving.

Maha-Kotthita: How can this be avoided? Sariputta: When ignorance- is dispelled, knowledge arises knowledge arises and craving ceases; then future becoming is abolished.

Maha-Kotthita: What is the first meditation? Sariputta: The first meditation arises when a monk has freed himself from craving and it is characterised by logical thought, observation or enquiry, ecstasy, delight and concentration of the mind.

Maha-Kotthita: It is obvious that one sense-organ does not function in the field of another. What is it then that forms the common ground and is the co-ordinator of all their diverse experiences? Sariputta: The mind.

Maha-Kotthita: On what do these sense-organs depend for their function? Sariputta: On the life-force.

Maha-Kotthita: On what does the life-force depend? Sariputta: On heat. Heat depends upon life-force and life-force depends upon heat.

Maha-Koṭṭhita: Is the life-force the same as the energy that makes sense-experience possible? Sariputta: No. If this were so, then a monk who had gone beyond the sense-experience would not be able to live. But since a monk can free himself from sense-experience and still live, this shows that the two are different.

Briefly the virtues observed

By the bodhisattva are

Giving, ethics, patience, effort,

Concentration, wisdom, compassion and so forth.

The Maha-Prajnaparamita-Sastra


yo cayam bhikkhu sannavedayitanirodham samapanno, tassa pi

kayasankhara niruddha paṭippassaddha, vacisankhara niruddha paṭip- passaddha, cittasankhara niruddha paṭippassaddha, ayu aparikkhino, usma avupasanta, indriyani vippasannani

(The dialogue continues):

Maha-Kotthita: What are the factors that cease when the body is cast away? Sariputta: Three things - the life-force, heat and consciousness.

Maha-Kotthita: What is the difference between such a body and the monk who has ceased to perceive and experience? Sariputta: In the case of the dead body, all physical and mental activities cease and at the same time the life-force, heat and sense-activity come to an end. But in the case of the monk who has restrained his perception and experience, his physical, verbal and mental activities have been restrained but his life-force is undiminished, the heat is undiminished and his senses are pure.

Maha-Kotthita: What are the means by which one is freed from the mind and thus from both pleasure and pain? Sariputta: Four. (1) By abandoning pleasure, (2) by ridding oneself of pain, (3) by abandoning past residual impressions and (4) by entering into the fourth meditation which is characterised by the absence of both pleasure and pain but which is full of equanimity and mindfulness.

Maha-Kotthita: How does one attain the unconditioned state? Sariputta: By not paying attention to that which is conditioned and by being mindful of the unconditioned.

Maha-Kotthita: How does one emerge from such a state? Sariputta: By paying attention to conditioned objects and by not paying attention to the unconditioned.

Maha-Kotthita: Regarding the four states of freedom of mind (viz., freedom which is immeasurable, freedom in which there is no consciousness, freedom in which there is total void and the freedom which is uncondi- tioned), are they totally different or are they different only in name but the same in substance? Sariputta: It can be said that they are different in substance and in name and that they are identical in substance but different in name. When a monk suffuses all the directions with friendli- ness, compassion, sympathy and equanimity, he is said to be in a state of freedom of mind, which is immeasurable. When he dwells in a plane of no-thing, there is freedom in which there is no-thing. When he reflects: "All this is void of self", there is freedom in which there is void. When he rejects the conditioned and is mindful of the unconditioned, there is freedom which is unconditioned. Here they are different. But, when a monk has cut down the tree of attachment, hatred and confusion, when thus he is rid of all obstacles, such a state of freedom is at the same time immeasurable, free from consciousness, void and unconditioned. Thus, the substance is the same though the descriptions may be different.

Entering the fourth meditation.


panca kho ime avuso visakha upadanakkhandha sakkayo vutto bhagavata, seyyathidam rupu padanakkhandho vedanupadanakkhandho sannupadanak- khandho sankharupadanakkhandho vinnanupadanakkhandho

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was then staying near Rajagaha. The devotee Visakha  approached the nun Dhammadinna and asked her the following questions. He received the following answers:

Visakha: What is it that the Lord refers to as 'one's own body' (sakaya)? Dhammadinna: The five groups (aggregates) with which contact is made are referred to as one's own body. They are the group with which matter is grasped, the group with which experiences are experienced, the group with which perceptions are perceived, the group with which tendencies are formed and the group with which understanding is brought about.

Visakha: What is the arising of this body? Dhammadinna: The  craving that leads to repeated becoming (or repetition of craving) and which is accompanied by pleasure and attachment is the arising of this body it is craving for pleasure, craving for existence and craving for wealth.

Visakha: What is the cessation of the body? Dhammadinna: The renunciation of the craving is the cessation of the body.

Visakha: What is the way to such cessation? Dhammadinna: The noble eightfold path itself is the way.

Visakha: Are there any other than the five groups you have mentioned?  Dhammadinna: No. All the means of experience are covered by these five.

Visakha: How  does a wrong View concerning the body arise? Dhammadinna: When  a person who has not heard the truth, has not come into the company of the noble ones and is not instructed in the noble Dhamma,  considers the physical body as the self, the experiencer as the self, the perceiver as the self, the psychological tendencies or the under- standing as the self, then the wrong view arises.

Visakha: When does such a wrong view not arise? Dhammadinna; when one comes into contact with the noble once and learns the truth from them and when one does not regard the physical body and so on as the self, the wrong view concerning the body does not arise.

Visakha: How is the noble eightfold path related to the groups (aggregates)? Dhammadinna: The noble eightfold path has been arranged in accordance with the groups. Right speech, right action and right life- style are related to right moral habit. Right endeavour, right mindfulness and right concentration are related to samadhi or concentration. Right vision and right thought relate to wisdom.


ya kho avuso visakha cittassa_ekaggata ayam samadhi cattaro satipaṭṭhana samadhinimitta, cattaro sammappadhana samadhiparikkhara, ya tesam yeva dhammanam asevana bhavana bahulikammam ayam tattha samadhibhavana ti

(The dialogue continues):

Visakha: What is concentration and what are its marks, its requisites and its development? Dhammadinna: One-pointedness of the mind is concentration (samadhi). The four forms of mindfulness are the marks. The four right efforts are its requisites. The persistent practice with the right attitude and intensification is the development.

Visakha: How many types of actions are there? (sankhara: action or tendency). Dhammadinna: Three - thought, word and deed. Inhalation and exhalation are physical actions. Reasoning and enquiry are verbal actions. Perception and experience are mental actions, bound to the mind.

Visakha: How does one attain cessation of perception and experience? Dhammadinna: Of course the monk does not think: "I will attain such cessation of perception and experience" or, "I am now experiencing their cessation" or, "I have attained such cessation". His mind has previously been trained in that direction and hence such cessation happens.

Visakha: When this occurs, which stops first - the activity of the body, speech or mind? Dhammadinna: Speech is stopped first, then the body and then the mind.

Visakha: How does one emerge from such cessation? Dhammadinna: The monk does not think: "Now, I shall emerge from this state. But, on account of previous training he naturally emerges from it. In this case the activity of the mind arises first, then the body and then speech.

Visakha: To what is the mind of such a monk attached? Dhammadinna: After emerging from such cessation, the monk is attached to a sense of void, a sense of non-identity and a sense of directionlessness. His mind tends to wisdom.

Visakha: How many are the experiences or feelings? Dhammadinna: Whether they are physical or mental, they are pleasant, unpleasant and neutral. Visakha: How do they become pleasant, unpleasant and neutral? Dhammadinna: A feeling is considered pleasant if the pleasure is lasting and unpleasantness is temporary; but it is considered unpleasant if the unpleasantness is lasting. It is neutral when there is consciousness of manifest pleasure and dormant pain.

Visakha: What is their origin? Dhammadinna: Attraction is the origin of pleasure, aversion that of pain and ignorance that of the neutral feeling. However, this does not always have to be so. Even so, though attraction, aversion and ignorance are to be got rid of, that does not always have to be so. The monk who enters into the first meditation is rid of them, because in him there is yearning for liberation which may even be experienced as distress (unpleasantness). In meditation he enters into a state of equanimity and mindfulness and is thus rid of ignorance.

Lord Buddha, who later heard of this dialogue, completely approved of the answers.

10th APRIL


evam eva kho vasettha tevijja brahmana ye dhamma brahmana-karana te dhamme pahaya vattamana ye dhamma abrahmanakarana te dhamme samadaya vattamana.... avhayana hetu va ayacana hetu va pattana hetu va abhinandana hetu va kayassa behda param marana brahmanam sahavyupaga bhavissantiti - n'etam thanam vijjati

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was touring the Kosala country with a large group of monks. He had arrived at a village known as Manasakaṭam. A number of learned and wealthy brahmaņa were staying in that village. One day there arose a discussion among them as to the true path. The young brahmana Vasettha argued that only the path pointed out by the brahmana Pokkarasati was the path to the union with Brahma. Another young brahmana, Bharadvaja, argued that the state of union with Brahma was possible only by the path pointed out by the brahmaṇa Tarukkha. They had all heard of the Lord because his reputation had preceded him to that place, and they decided to meet and consult him.

When they submitted their argument to him, the LORD asked:

Is there one brahmana versed in the three veda, who has seen Brahma face to face? Or, is there one among their teachers who has seen Brahma face to face? Or, have the sages whose verses are being memorised and recited by the brahmana of today, declared that they have seen Brahma face to face? To each of these questions Vaseṭṭha replied: "No". The Lord asked: Does it not follow, that when they talk of Brahma and declare that 'This is the path that will take you to union with Brahma' it is but foolish talk? It is like the blind leading the blind.

The LORD continued:

If a river is full of water and a man who has business on the other bank stands and prays to the other bank: "O further bank, please come to me," would that bank come to him? No. These brahmana who have not cultivated the qualities that make a brahmana but who have the qualities that are characteristic of a non-brahmana, call upon Indra, Varuna and others that they, by reason of such prayer should, after death, become one with Brahma surely this is impossible. Again if a river is full and the man who has business on the other side wishes to cross over but his arms are bound tightly behind his back, can he get over to the other bank? Surely not. Even so, if one is bound by the fivefold bondage he cannot become united with Brahma even if he is versed in the three Veda. What are the fivefold bonds? The senses of sight, sound, touch, taste and smell predisposing one to passion, are the bonds. The brahmana who are well versed in the Veda enjoy them with- out seeing the danger in such enjoyment. They cannot, after death, be united with Brahma. Again, if the river is full and a man has business on the other side, can he achieve that business if he lies down to sleep, veiling his eyes and his head? Certainly not. Even so, there are the five veils or hindrances: worldly lust, ill-will, sloth, worry and doubt. The disciple of the arahant realises that these are the hindrances. If the brahmana well versed in the veda is subject to these hindrances, he will not, after death, become united with Brahma.

11th APRIL


tathagato loke uppajjati araham samma-sambuddho vijja-carana sampanno sugato lokavidu anuttaro purisa-dhamma-sarathi sattha deva-manussanam buddho bhagava. so imam lokam sadevakam samarakam sabrahmakam sassamana-brahmanim pajam sadeva-manussam sayam abhinna sacchikatva pavedeti.so dhammam deseti adi-kalyanam majjhe kalyanam pariyosane kalyanam sattham savyanjanam, kevala-paripunnam

parisuddham brahmacariyam pakaseti

The LORD continued:

You have heard from the brahmana, Vasettha, that Brahma is not in possession of wives and wealth, his mind is free from anger and malice. He is pure and he has self-mastery. But the brahmaṇa well versed in the veda, on the other hand, possess wives and wealth, they have anger in their hearts, they bear malice, they are not pure at heart and they have no self-mastery. There is no similarity between them and Brahma. How can they be united with Brahma after death? On the contrary, they are sinking down into the mire and arriving at despair, though they think that they are proceeding to a happier land. Therefore their wisdom is a waterless desert and perdition.

Vasettha said: I have heard it said that the recluse Gotama knows the way to the state of union with Brahma.

The LORD answered:

It is like a man who, born and brought up in Manasakața, would be perfectly familiar with the way to Manasakața. Even so, I know the world of Brahma and the path that leads to it.

Vasettha said: Then let the recluse Gotama teach us that way and thus save the brahmaṇa.

The LORD said:

A tathagata rises in this world, an arahant, a fully awakened one, abounding in wisdom and goodness, happy, with knowledge of the world, the best guide to mankind, a teacher to gods and men; he is the buddha. He understands and sees the universe, including the realms of the gods, mara and Brahma and the worlds of the recluses and brahmana, princes and peoples. He makes his knowledge known to others. The doctrine he proclaims is lovely in its origin, in the middle and in its consummation. He makes known the higher life in all its purity and perfection. A house- holder, realising that the household life is full of hindrances, renounces it and enters the homeless life under the tathagata. He trains himself in self-restraint, mindfulness, contentment. He overcomes the five hindrances. His whole being is filled with joy and peace. He radiates love in all directions above, below, around and everywhere; with his mind he fills the quarters with love beyond measure. Even so he radiates compassion, sympathy, equanimity and with his mind suffuses the entire universe with these. This verily is the way to a state of union with Brahma

A monk who lives thus will not have wives and wealth; he will be pure, free from anger and malice and he will have self-mastery. Thus there is a similarity between him and Brahma and therefore, when his body is dissolved, he becomes united with Brahma.

12th APRIL


atthi bhikkave asava dassana pahatabba, atthi asava samvara pahatabba, atthi asava patisevana pahatabba, atthi asava adhivasana pahatabba, atthi asava parivaj jana pahatabba, atthi asava vinodana pahatabba, atthi asava bhavana pahatabba

Thus have I heard:

Lord Buddha was staying in the Jeta grove near Savatthi and he addressed the monks who were with him in the following words:

I shall speak to you about the removal of obstacles (asava). Only one who knows them and who is who is aware of them can remove them. Aware- ness or attention, O monks, monks, can be can be well-directed or misdirected. When the attention is misdirected new obstacles arise and old ones are strength- ened. But when the attention is well-directed, new obstacles do not arise and old ones die away.

There are obstacles (asava), O monks, which can be removed by observation; others which are removed by control, others by use, others by endurance (indifference), others by careful avoidance, others by elimination and yet others by contemplation or mindfulness.

What is well-directed awareness awareness and what is ill-directed attention? One is ignorant of the noble truth who: who: has not has not heard it, is not disciplined in the dhamma and is unacquainted with the dhamma of holy men. His attention is directed to unworthy objects and he ignores what is worthy of his attention. He contemplates that which should be ignored and is not mindful of that which he should be aware of.

On account of such perverse attention, there arise in him obstacles which were not there before, and those obstacles that were in him before wax greatly. They are: the obstacle (asava) of craving for sense-pleasure, the obstacle of 'becoming and the obstacle of ignorance. If one directs one's attention properly, then these obstacles do not arise and even if they exist, they quickly wane.

What sort of contemplation is associated with perverse attention? It is unwise contemplation if one thinks: "What was I in the past; when and where did I live? What will I be in the future; when and where will I live?  What am I now and what am I not? How has all this creation come into being and whither is it going?" From such contemplation the following false views arise: "There is self," or "There is no self," or "I am aware of myself, " or "I am aware of not-self". One is convinced that those erroneous views are the truth. He is convinced: "This myself is what hears, sees, speaks and experiences diverse objects; this self is eternal and changeless. Such are the errors which are like a dense forest. They are the fetters which bind the ignorant to the cycle of birth, old age and death which is subject to sorrow, troubles and tribulations.

13th APRIL


ayam vuccati bhikkave bhikku sabbasavasamvarasamvuto viharati, acchecchi tanham, vavattayi samyojanam, samma manabhisamaya antamakasi dukkhassati

The LORD continued:

O monks, there is one who has heard the truth and who is well-instructed in the noble dhamma, who has knowledge of the dhamma of the holy ones and has disciplined himself in it. His attention is well-directed and it does not stray in the unworthy direction. What does such a person contemplate? He becomes aware of sorrow, the origin of sorrow, the cessation of sorrow and the path that leads to the cessation of sorrow. Such contemplation frees him from the three fetters which are: (1) the false notion that the body is real, (2) doubt and (3) devotion to rituals. These are the obstacles (asava) that are removed by right observation.

There are obstacles that a wise monk removes by the exercise of self-control. He exercises control over his eyes, his ears, his nose, his tongue, his body and his mind. If he does not so control them, they might give rise to new obstacles and strengthen those that already exist. When they are controlled, such obstacles do not arise and the ones that exist perish.

What are the obstacles that the wise monk deals with by proper use? He uses a robe judiciously in order to ward off cold, heat, harassment by flies, mosquitoes and other such insects and for covering his nakedness. He eats simply to support life, in order that the consciousness may move in the infinite (brahmacariya) . Similarly, he uses lodging judiciously merely as a protection against heat and cold, inclemencies of the seasons, insects, other creeping things and for enjoying seclusion. He uses medicines judiciously to deal with ailments and to preserve his well-being. If these are not used sensibly, the obstacles may arise and increase; their judicious use destroys obstacles.

On the other hand, a certain amount of heat and cold, hunger and thirst, troubles caused by insects and other creeping things, insult and injury or pain will have to be endured. The wise monk deals with these obstacles by endurance. If he does not, they will arise and increase.

Again, there are the obstacles which the wise monk avoids. He avoids fierce animals, thorny bushes, dangerous precipices or filthy places and so on. He also avoids improper seats, improper places and food that is improper for one whose consciousness moves in the infinite (brahmacari). Otherwise, the obstacles will increase.

The wise monk gets rid of lustful, aggressive and violent thoughts and feelings and does not indulge them. Even so with unworthy and evil thoughts and feelings. If he does not, obstacles will arise and increase.

Lastly, the wise monk cultivates mindfulness associated with wisdom ( vivekam ) , dispassion (vir-a-ga ) and self-control leading to nibb-ana. Such mindfulness leads to inner awakening, to great energy, to ecstasy, to peace and to samadhi. Thus are the obstacles removed by mindfulness.

The wise monk thus gets rid of the various obstacles by appropriate means. He is freed of all cravings, of bondage and being freed from pride he reaches the end of sorrow.

14th APRIL


iti kho ananda vedanam paticca tanh tanham paticca pariyesana pariyesanam paticca fabho fabham paticca vinicchayo vinicchayam paticca chanda-rago chanda ragam paticca ajjhosanam ajjhosanam paticca pariggaho pariggaham paticca macchariyam maccariyam paticca arakkho arakkha-dhikaranam dandadana sattadana kalaha viggaha vivada tuvamtuva pesunna musavada aneke papaka akusara dhamma sambhavanti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was living among the Kuru. One day he said to Ananda:

The doctrine of causation is deep. It is because this generation does not understand this doctrine that it is in such an unhappy state and beings are caught in this wheel of transmigration. If you were asked, Ananda: "Are old age and death due to a cause?" you should reply:"Yes, birth is the cause". Similarly, becoming is the cause of birth, clinging (upadana) is the cause of becoming, craving is the cause of clinging, sensation is the cause of craving, contact is the cause of sensation, name-and-form is the cause of contact, cognition is the cause of name-and-form, and name-and-form is the cause of cognition. Such is the body of evil.

If there was no birth, then surely there would be no old age and death. If no one had become a sentient being, with or without form, there would be no birth. If there was no clinging (whether it is to sense-objects, speculative opinions, rules and rituals or to theories concerning a self) , there would be no becoming. If there was no craving, either for sense-objects or for ideas, there would be no clinging. If there were no sensations (or imagination) there would be no craving. Sensation is the basis for craving.

Craving arises because of sensation; pursuit of pleasure because of craving; gain because of pursuit; determination because of gain; tenacity because of determination; possessiveness because of tenacity; greed because of possession; and many evils and sinful states, fights and quarrels, arguments and strife, slander and lies, because one zealously guards one's possessions.

If there was no guarding, then fights, quarrels and so on would not arise. If there was no greed then there would be no need to guard one's possessions. And, if there were no possessions there would be no greed. If one did not tenaciously pursue anything there would be no possessions. If one did not have passion there would be no tenacity. If there was no determination there would be no passion. There would be no passion if there were no decision or choice, because there would be no purpose. If there is nothing to gain, there is no need for decision. When there is cessation of pursuit (of pleasure) there is nothing to gain or acquire. If there was no craving, one would not pursue pleasure. Thus, again, craving is the root of all these.

15th APRIL


yato kho -ananda bhikkhu n'eva vedanam attanam samanupassati-   na kinci loke upadiyati, anupadiyam na paritassati, aparitassam  paccattam yeva parinibbayati

The LORD continued:

Contact is the cause of sensation (sensory experience). If the senses do not come into contact with their objects and if they do not react, then there can be no sensory experience. Name-and-form is the cause of contact. If all those things which constitute name -and-form are absent there will be no contact, no sense impression. Cognition is the cause of name -and -form. If cognition (awareness) did not enter the foetus, if it ceased before or at birth or soon afterwards, no name -and -form would arise and grow. Again, name-and-form is the cause of cognition (aware-ness) ; for cognition arises only if it has a foothold in name-and-form. If there was no foothold how would cognition arise? Only when cognition and name-and-form arise together is there birth and all the rest of it.

People have various opinions concerning the soul: that it has a form, that it is formless and atomic, that it is formless and infinite or that it is now so-and-so and can be transformed in such-and-such a manner. But if no such speculations are indulged in, one does not say that the soul is or is not, that it has or does not have form.

Here are some speculative definitions of the soul (ego) : 'My soul is feeling', 'My soul is not feeling ' , 'My soul is sentient' ( or not sentient) , 'My soul has feeling or the property of sentience' . Now, a feeling can be a happy one, an unhappy one or neutral. It is impermanent; it is a product. If the soul were a feeling, it would also be impermanent. Nor is the definition ' My soul is not feeling' reasonable. If there were no feeling, who would say, ' I am' ? If a monk refrains from such speculations, he clings to nothing in this world; not clinging, he does not tremble; unafraid, he attains peace. An arahant is free from all such speculations.

There are seven resting places for cognition, and two spheres. The seven are: the understanding that beings are (i) different in body and different in intelligence, (ii) different in body but uniform in intelligence, (iii) ) uniform in body but different in intelligence, (iv) uniform in body and intelligence, (v) dwellers in infinite space having gone beyond form, (vi) in infinite cognition and (vii) in the realm of nothingness. The two spheres are: the sphere of beings without consciousness, and the sphere of beings of whom it cannot be said that they have or have no conscious-ness. Beings who rest in these seven places are unaware of how they arise, exist or cease. But when a monk becomes aware of all this he is freed because he does not hold on to anything. There are eight stages of liberation: (1) having form one sees forms. (ii) Unaware of one' s external form, one sees forms external to one's self. (iii) ) One becomes intent on the thought 'It is lovely'. (iv) Going beyond all forms, one abides in infinite space, then (v) in infinite cognition, then (vi) in the sphere of nothingness, then (vii) in neither-consciousness-nor—unconsciousness, and lastly one abides in that state in which these do not arise at all. When a monk has mastered all these in this order and in the reverse order, he is able to free himself when and where he chooses.

16th APRIL


yato kho avuso ariyasavako evam akusalam pajanati evam akusalamulam pajanati, evam kusalam pajanati evam kusalamulam pajanati, so sabbaso raganusayam pahaya patighanusayam pațivinodetva asmiti diṭṭhimananusayam samuhanitva avijjam pahaya vijjam uppadetva diṭṭhe va dhamme dukkhass' antakaro hoti

Thus have I heard:

One day while lord Buddha was staying in the Jeta grove, the venerable SARIPUTTA addressed the monks:

People speak of right vision. How does such right vision arise in a noble student or monk so that he is well established in dhamma?

On being urged by the monks, SARIPUTTA himself answered:

When a monk knows what proper action is and the root of proper (or appropriate) action; when he knows what improper action is and the root of improper (inappropriate) action, then he has perfect vision and is established in dhamma.

What is improper action? Aggressiveness is improper, acquisition (taking what is not freely given) is improper, deceitful fulfilment of desire is improper, false and harsh speech is improper, greed is improper, anger is improper, slander is improper and finding faults in others is improper. What is the root of such impropriety? Greed is the root, impure mind is the root and delusion is the root.

What is proper action? Ceasing from aggression is proper, ceasing from the other improper actions described earlier is proper. What is the root of proper action? Absence of greed is the root, absence of impurity is the root and absence of delusion is the root.

The noble student or monk who thus knows what is proper and what is improper and also knows the roots of what is proper and the root of what is improper frees himself on all sides from attachment and aversion, frees himself from the notion 'I am' and the consequent self-esteem and is rid of ignorance; he attains right understanding and right vision. He is established in dhamma and reaches the end of sorrow.

The monks applauded Sariputta and asked him: "Is there another way in which the noble student or monk can reach the same state of right vision?"

"There is," replied Sariputta and continued his discourse.

Although enemies such as hatred and craving Have neither any arms nor legs, And are neither courageous nor wise, How have I. been used like a slave by them?


17th APRIL


tanhasamudaya aharasamudayo, tanhanirodha aharanirodho ayameva

ariyo atthangiko maggo aharanirodhagamini-paṭipada

SARIPUTTA continued:

When a noble monk understands that by _which he is nourished, the arising of the need for such nourishment (ahara) , the cessation of that need as well as the means to such cessation, then he has perfect vision and is established in dhamma.

There are four kinds of nourishment: (i) food which is consumed by the body, (2) sense-experience, (3) thought or mental activity and (4) conceptual or notional knowledge or understanding. Craving gives rise to the need for such nourishment. The cessation of craving is the cessation of the need for such nourishment. The noble eightfold path is itself the means to such cessation of craving.

When a noble monk sees all this as the truth, he has perfect vision and he is established in dhamma. He is freed from attraction and aversion, from the notion of ' I am' , from ignorance and therefore from sorrow.

(The monks applauded this and asked again: "Is there another way in which this perfect vision can be cultivated?")

There may be another way. When the noble student similarly sees the truth concerning sorrow, the arising of sorrow, the cessation of sorrow and the way to end sorrow, he is endowed with right vision and he is established in dhamma.

Birth is sorrow, old age is sorrow, illness is sorrow, death is sorrow. Grief, lamentation, psychosomatic disorders and despair are sorrow. Non-attainment of the desired object and being subjected to the undesired are sorrow. In short, everything related to the five khandha (aggregates or aspects of the personality) is sorrow. It is craving that gives rise to sorrow. Craving leads to repeated 'becoming' . The total absence of craving is the cessation of craving and thus the cessation of sorrow. The noble eightfold path itself is the way to bring about such cessation of craving and sorrow. Thus, the noble student gains right vision and is established in dhamma.

Even so, if the noble student perceives the truth concerning old age and death, he gains right vision. What is old age? When the body is worn out, the senses lose their faculties, the hair turns grey and the teeth fall, people call it old age. When the body falls and disintegrates by the action of time upon its substance, people call it death. What is the cause of old age and death? Birth is the cause. Its cessation is the cessation of old age and death. The noble eightfold path itself is the way by which the cessation of birth (and therefore of death and old age) is brought about. He who knows this is freed from attraction and aversion. He is endowed with right vision, freed from ignorance and is established in dhamma.

18th APRIL

cha-y-ime avuso tanhakaya: rupatanha saddtanha gandhatanha rasatanha photthabbatanha dhammatanha. vedanasamudaya tanhasamudayo, vedananirodha tanhanirodho, ayam eva ariyo aṭṭangiko maggo taṇhanirodhagamini pațipada

SARIPUTTA continued to deal with yet other methods:

When a noble disciple or monk understands birth, its cause and its termination and the means for such termination, he gains a vision of the truth and is established in dhamma. What is birth? The coming into being of diverse substances, the arising of the self-limiting adjuncts or factors and the attainment of their respective receptacles, is birth. 'Becoming' is the cause of birth. The cessation of becoming terminates birth. The noble eightfold path itself is the means for such termination.

When a noble disciple or monk understands 'becoming' and how it arises, its cessation and how it ceases to arise, he gains the perfect vision. Such becoming (change from one state to another) is related to desire, it is also related to substantiality (with form) and to insubstantial-ity (without form). Change from one state to another is dependent upon the effort to seek and to comprehend. When such effort is abandoned, the course of becoming is terminated. The noble eightfold path itself is the means for such termination.

When a noble disciple or monk understands the dynamics of seeking and of reaching for a state other than 'what-is' , he gains a perfect vision, rises beyond attachment and aversion and is established in dhamma. What is seeking-and-grasping? There is seeking for the fulfilment of one's desire, there is seeking for a view (a psychological or psychic vision), there is seeking for a certain behaviour and there is seeking and dis-covery of a 'self' . Surely, such seeking arises from desire or craving. When the craving ends, the seeking-and-grasping also ends. The noble eightfold path itself puts an end to the craving.

When a noble disciple or monk understands craving, its cause, its eradication and the means to its eradication, he gains a perfect vision. There are six types of craving: craving for objects (form), craving for sound, craving for smell, craving for taste, craving for touch and craving for dhamma. The (awareness of) experience is the cause of craving. When experience ceases craving ceases, too. The noble eightfold path itself is the means for the ending of craving. (Dhamma here means 'phenomena' or 'characteristics' or 'ideas' .)

May I be an island for those who seek one

And a lamp for those desiring light,

May I be a bed for all who wish to rest

And a slave for all who want a slave.


19th APRIL

vedana sanna cetana phasso manasikaro, idam vuccat' avuso namam; cattari ca mahabhutani catunnan-ca mahabhutanam upadaya rupam .... vinnanasamudaya namarupasamudayo vinnananirodha namarupanirodho

SARIPUTTA continued:

When a noble disciple or monk understands the nature of experience, its cause and its ending, as well as the means to the ending of experience, he gains a perfect vision, is freed from attraction and aversion and is established in dhamma. What is the nature of experience? It is sixfold: visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, tactile and mental or psychological. Such experience is caused by contact of the senses with their objects. The ending of such contact leads to the ending of the experience. The noble eightfold path itself is the means for the ending of such contact.

Again, when a noble disciple or monk understands the nature of contact, its origin and its end and the means to its end, he gains a perfect vision and is established in dhamma. What is the nature of contact? It is the contact of the eyes, the ears, the nose, the sense of taste, the sense of touch and the mind with their respective objects. What is its origin or cause? The existence of the sense-objects is its cause. When the sense-objects cease to exist as such, contact with them also ceases. The noble eightfold path itself is the means for the cessation of objects as objects.

Again, when a noble disciple or monk understands the nature of the sense-objects, their origin, their end and the means to such an end, he gains a perfect vision and is established in dhamma. There are six types of sense-objects: visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, tactile and psychological states. What is their origin? Name and form. If name-and —form come to an end, they end, too. The noble eightfold path itself puts an end to name-and-form.

Again, when a noble disciple or monk understands the truth concern-ing name-and-form, their origin and their end, he gains a perfect vision and is established in dhamma. What is 'name' (psychological perception)? Experience, knowing, conceptualisation, psychological attachment and thinking - these constitute 'name' . The four great elements (earth, water, fire and air) and all things composed of them are ' form' . It is the movement in consciousness that gives rise to name-and-form. When such awareness of name-and-form ceases, name-and-form cease too. The noble eightfold path itself is the means to the abandonment of the awareness or the movement in consciousness, which causes the non-arising of name-and-form.

There the sphere of the speakable ceases, the activities of the mind come to an end; the unborn, the undying dharma is of the nature of nirvana. 

The sphere of the speakable is the domain of the determinate: the sphere where words do not reach is the highest dharma. The


20th APRIL

tayo 'me avuso sankhara: kayasankharo vacisankharo cittasankharo. avijjasamudaya sankharasamudayo avijjanirodha sankharanirodho

SARIPUTTA continued:

When a noble disciple or monk understands the nature of awareness, its arising, its ending and the means for its ending, he gains the perfect vision and is established in dhamma. There are six divisions or categories of such awareness - visual awareness, auditory awareness, olfactory awareness, gustatory awareness, physical awareness and psychological awareness. What is the cause for the arising of such awareness? The latent tendencies ( sarikhara ) or impressions of past experiences and their expressions are the cause. When they cease, the sixfold awareness ceases too. The noble eightfold path itself is the means to the ending of the sankhara or tendencies and therefore of awareness.

Again, when a noble disciple or monk understands the nature of the latent tendencies ( sankhara) , the formation of such tendencies, the ending of such formation and the means to the ending of the formation of such tendencies, he gains the perfect vision and is established in dhamma. These tendencies are of three classes or categories: physical or physiologi-cal tendencies, verbal tendencies and psychological tendencies or pre-dispositions. These tendencies are formed on account of ignorance or nescience (avijja) and when nescience is eradicated the formation of the impressions is arrested. The noble eightfold path itself is the means to the ending of ignorance and therefore the ending of the formation of impressions which otherwise become physical, verbal and psychological predispositions.

Again, when a noble disciple or monk understands the nature of ignorance or nescience, its arising, its cessation and the way to end it, he gains the perfect vision and is established in dhamma. What is ignorance? It is the ignorance of the truth concerning sorrow, its arising, its ending and the means to its ending. Such ignorance -exists with blind and externalised flow or movement of consciousness (asava); and they cease together. The noble eightfold path itself is the means to cessation of the two.

When a noble disciple or monk understands the truth concerning such blind and externalised movement of consciousness ( asava ) , its cause, its cessation and the means to its cessation, he gains the perfect vision and is established in dhamma. The following are asava: movement towards (craving for ) sense-pleasure, movement towards ' becoming ' (continued existence as an independent entity) and thus movement towards ignorance. This ignorance itself is the cause and the concomitant factor of the blind movement in consciousness (or craving ) . They cease together. Their cessation is brought about by the noble eightfold path. When these move-ments (cravings) are thus understood, the monk is freed from attachment and aversion, from the notion of ' I am' and from ignorance. He has a perfect vision. He is established in the true dhamma.

The monks who heard this discourse were delighted

21st APRIL

manapam vo gahapatayo sattharam alabhantehi ayam apannako dhammo

samadaya vattitabbo. apannako hi gahapatayo dhammo samatto

samadinno so vo bhavissati digharattam hitaya sukhaya

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was touring the country of the Kosala and arrived at the village known as Sala. The brahmana of that village had heard glowing praises of the Lord and therefore approached him respectfully. When they had been seated the Lord asked them: "Do you have a teacher in whom you have perfect faith?" The brahmana replied in the negative.

The LORD continued:

Then it is good for you to go to a teacher, listen to the true dhamma and to practise it. For that will be conducive to your welfare.

There are brahmana and recluses who hold different and opposing views in regard to the following: (1) some say that there is no cause and effect relationship in anything - gifts, sacrifices, good or evil actions - that there is no world other than this, that there is no father or mother relationship and that there are no recluses or brahmana who have by right conduct attained transcendental knowledge. (2) Some say that there is no harm in violent actions or in instigating others to violent behaviour and that there is no merit in charity, self-restraint and truthfulness. (3) Some say that people's hearts and minds are defiled without any cause or reason and that human effort or endeavour to purify them is useless, that all beings are guided by fate or chance and all are powerless to do anything at all. (4) Some say that there is nothing non-material or of subtle spirit, and (5) some say that there is no cessation of sorrow or cycle of becoming. These are all wrong views. Some other brahmana and recluses hold different and opposing views; and theirs are right views.

Why do people hold wrong views? Because they do not see the peril in what is wrong. Therefore they have abandoned right speech, right thought and right behaviour and have resorted to wrong speech, wrong thought and wrong action. Holding on to their false views, they mock at the ariya, exalt themselves and belittle others. But an intelligent person reflects thus: "Such wrong views earn only the condemnation of intelligent people here and life in hell hereafter. They have misunderstood dhamma and have taken a wrong stand. On the other hand, they who hold the right views in all this are admired by the intelligent people and they go to heaven after leaving this world. They cultivate good morality. They have understood dhamma rightly and have taken a correct stand."

He who holds the view that there is the non-material formless spirit does not engage himself in acts of violence or strife and does not indulge in falsehood, quarrel or disputation; he lives in disregard of the gross appearance and hence is unattached. Even so, they who believe that there is no cessation of sorrow or cycle of becoming are in bondage, constantly grasping and being attached to the objects. They who believe that there is such cessation of sorrow are unattached and are not fettered.

There are the following four kinds of beings here: they who torment themselves, they who torment others, they who torment both and they who torment neither. The last-mentioned respond to the teachings of the tathagata and reach the bliss of the self, becoming Brahma.

22nd APRIL

tayidam samkhatam olarikam, atthi kho pana samkharanam nirodho

atth' etan ti iti viditva tassa nissaranadassavi tathagato tad upativatto

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying in the Jeta grove. One day he addressed the monks.

The LORD said:

There are recluses and brahmaṇa who speculate concerning the future and say that after dying, the self (1) perceives or is aware, (2) does not perceive, (3) is neither aware neither aware nor is unaware. Some envisage the destruction of the essential being. Others envisage nibbana here and now. Some declare that the self exists after dying here; others declare the destruction of the essential being.

They who speculate that the self, after dying, perceives or has awareness, consider that it has a form or does not have a form, that it perceives unity or diversity and so on. They who speculate that the self does not perceive, consider that perception is evil and that non-perception alone is the truth. They who declare that there is neither perception nor non-perception similarly hold that perception is ill and that neither perception nor non-perception is the truth. However, since the hope of attaining to this plane is based on activities of sight or hearing and by experiences, it defeats its own purpose. That which is beyond construction of activities and experiences cannot be attained by such construction. Even so, they who declare that there is total destruction of the essential being, do so because they are afraid of their own body and hence they invent a way to get round it or avoid dealing with it.

The tathagata knows that whatever is thus constructed is gross-material and that the construction can be arrested. By stopping the construction, the tathagata escapes from it and goes beyond.

Even so some brahmana and recluses speculate concerning the past. They also speculate concerning the self and the world, saying that they are eternal or not eternal and so forth. But without faith, inclination, tradition, consideration of reasons, reflection on and approval of some view, knowledge does not become pure. When knowledge has not become pure, the little knowledge that these brahmana and recluses possess becomes an obsession.

Some brahmana and recluses abandon speculation concerning the future and the past and enter into the first, the second and the third meditations. However, they grasp the rapture or the happiness that arises then and consider that the truth. This again is a construction and as such is gross-material. Some others abandon speculation concerning the future and the past and go beyond the rapture of aloofness, beyond spirit- ual happiness and beyond feeling that is neither painful nor pleasant. They know: "I am tranquil; I am free from all attachment." But this too is attachment; for it is a construction which is gross-material.

But here is the path to peace which was revealed by the tathagata; having known the arising, the setting, the satisfaction and the peril of the six fields of sensory experiences and the escape from them, there is freedom without grasping.

23rd APRIL

atthi kammam abhabbam abhabbabhasam; atthi kammam abhabbam

Bhabhabhasam;  atthi kammam bhabban c' eva bhabbabhasan ca;

atthi kammam bhabbam abhabbabhasan ti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Rajagaha in the bamboo grove. The wanderer Potali's son, one day approached the venerable Samiddhi and asked a question concerning action: "I have myself heard from the good Gotama that physical and verbal action are foolish and that only mental action is truth. When one has intentionally done a deed by body, speech and mind, what does one experience?" Samiddhi protested that the Lord would not have taught that physical and verbal action are foolish and that only mental action is truth, and replied: "When one has intentionally done a deed by body, speech and mind, one experiences sorrow." Samiddhi reported the matter to Ananda and together they went to the Lord and placed the matter before him.

As he did not approve of Samiddhi's answer, the LORD said:

I do not even recognise the wanderer Potali's son's premise. To his question, the proper answer would have been: "If one does a deed with the body, speech or mind with the intention of experiencing pleasure or pain or both, one experiences pleasure or pain or both. But I shall explain the whole thing. Please listen.

There are some individuals here who are violent, who steal, who are immoral and who are untruthful and wicked in speech and they hold a false view: on dying here they go to a bad destiny. There are some others who are violent and so on, but dying here they go to the heaven world. There are some individuals who refrain from violence and so on and who hold the right view: on dying here they go to the heaven world. There are some others who refrain from violence and so on and who hold the right view: on dying here they go to a bad destiny.

Hence, if someone were to say that everyone who is violent and so on and who holds a wrong view, goes to hell, and that this view alone is right and all else is false, I would not allow it. If someone were to say that everyone who is not violent and so on and holds the right view goes to the heaven world, and that this view alone is right and all else is false, I would not allow it. But if one were to say: "The individual who was violent and so on has reached a bad destiny on dying here," I would allow that. If one were to say: "The individual who was not violent and so on has reached the heaven world on dying here," I would allow that. But if someone were to say that his knowledge alone is correct and all else is wrong and _obstinately stuck to his point of view, I would not allow it, for the tathagata's knowledge of the great analysis of kamma is otherwise.

There are individuals who were violent and so on who have arisen in the heaven world on dying here, because they had done some good deeds earlier or later and on dying they adopted and held firmly to the right view. Others who were not violent and so on, have had a bad destiny because they had done some evil deeds earlier or later and on dying adopted and held firmly to the wrong view.

Thus, Ananda, there is action which is inoperative and appears to be inoperative, too; there is action which is inoperative though apparently operative; there is action which is operative though appearing to be inoperative; and there is action is action which appears to be operative and is operative. (Operative (Operative - which has to bear fruit, bound to happen).

24th APRIL


idam vuccati bhikkhave dhammasamadanam paccuppannasukhan c' eva ayatin ca sukhavipakam

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying in the Jeta grove. One day he addressed the monks.

The LORD said:

O monks, there are four ways in which dhamma (religion) can be practised. (1) It can generate pleasure immediately but lead to great suffering in the future. (2) It can entail suffering now and suffering later. (3) It can be painful now but lead to happiness in the future. (4) It can be practised in a way which is joyous now and leads to greater joy in the future.

The first is the path of the indulgent who ridicule the views of the recluses and who declare that there is no fault in the pursuit of sense- pleasures. They enjoy themselves. They associate happiness with the enjoyment of such pleasures. When they leave their bodies, they go to hell and are reborn in misery. There they say: "Because we enjoyed ourselves and indulged in sense-pleasures we are in misery.

The second is the path of the ascetic. He wanders about naked and he subjects himself to all sorts of suffering by undertaking painful practices. However, after leaving this body, he too goes to hell and is reborn in misery.

The third is the path of one who is full of attachment and who suffers on account of such attachment, also of one who is full of hate and suffers its consequences. It is also the path of one who is deluded and suffers its consequences. Unable to bear this suffering, he resorts to brahmacariya and becomes utterly purified. On leaving this body, he is reborn in a happy state.

The fourth is the path of that person who is not attached, who is not swayed by hate or delusion and therefore who is not suffering and unhappy here. He is full of wisdom and therefore he renounces cravings and evil states of the mind. He enters into the first meditation and then goes on to the second, the third and the fourth meditation. He is established in equanimity and mindfulness. On leaving this body, he goes to the heaven world and is reborn in happiness. This is the path that is full of joy here and which leads to great joy hereafter.

To him who understands the meaning in the teaching of the buddha and grasps the truth of derived name, he has taught that there is 'I'; but to one who does not understand the meaning in the teachings of the buddha and does not grasp the truth of the derived name, he has taught, there is no  'I'.

The Maha-Prajnaparamita-Sastra

25th APRIL


yam idam dhammasamadanam paccuppannasukhan c' eva ayatin

ca sukhavipakam

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying in the Jeta grove and one day he spoke to the monks as follows.

The LORD said:

All people wish that they could be happy and that all unhappiness would drop away from their lives. Yet, they experience more and more unhappiness and their happiness diminishes. Why is this so? I shall tell you. Listen.

One who is ignorant, who has not enjoyed the company of the noble ones and who has not been instructed by them, does not know what to do and what not to do, what to pursue and what to abandon. Because of this, his unhappiness increases and happiness diminishes. This is because he is ignorant. On the other hand, one who has been instructed by the noble ones and who is skilled in the dhamma of the noble ones, knows what to do and what not to do, what to pursue and what to abandon. Because of this he does what should be done and refrains from doing what should not be done; he pursues the right goals and resorts to the right company. Therefore his happiness increases and unhappiness diminishes. This is because he is intelligent.

There are four modes of living. One is full of suffering here and in the hereafter. The next is full of happiness now but leads to great suffering in the future. in the future. The third is full of suffering now but leads to happiness in the future. And the fourth is full of happiness now and leads to happiness in the future, too. He who knows all these, knows how to increase his happiness and decrease his sorrow. He who does not know all these finds his unhappiness increases and happiness decreases.

What are the four modes of living? In the case of the first type, the man is violent, sensual, greedy and full of ill-will; he hurts, lies, covets and speaks harshly, though all this makes him suffer here and now. On leaving this body, he goes to hell and is reborn to a miserable life.

In the second case, the man harms others, indulges in sense- pleasures, tells lies, covets and speaks harshly in order to gain happi- ness. He enjoys such evil. But on leaving this body he goes to hell and is reborn to a miserable life.

In the third case, the man abstains from harming others, from sensuousness, from falsehood and greed, but all this is unpleasant to him and he does not enjoy such a life. But on leaving this body, he goes to heaven and is reborn to great happiness.

In the fourth case, the man is happy to abstain from harming others, from sensuousness, falsehood and greed. Because of such abstention he experiences great happiness and pleasure. He is happy to be of the right view; and being of the right view makes him more happy. On leaving this body he goes to heaven and to a happy existence.

The first is like one eating poisonous food which is bitter and leads to bitter results. The second is like one drinking poison which has a pleasant appearance but which leads to bitter results. The third is like one drinking bitter medicine which heals him. The last is like a drink made of milk, honey, oil and sugar, which tastes good now and leads to good health. It is like the clear sky, free from darkness and shining. Such an understanding and practice of dhamma gives rise to happiness here and hereafter; it shines brilliantly.


26th APRIL

piyajatika hi, gahapati, sokaparidevadukkhadomanassupayasa  piyappabhavika ti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Savatthi in the Jeta grove. At that time the dearly beloved only son of a householder had died. The man was inconsolable with grief. He approached the Lord and submitted: "Since I lost my only child I have desire neither for work nor for food." "That is so," replied the Lord. "Such affection gives rise to grief, lamentation, sorrow, mental disturbance and despair." The man was unconvinced for he had heard that happiness and delight are born of affection.

The man then approached some gamblers and narrated what had happened. The gamblers were entirely in agreement with his view. The whole story reached the ears of the king who questioned his queen: "It is rumoured that the recluse Gotama says that only sorrow is born of affection." The queen responded: "If the Lord has said so, it is the truth." The king was displeased! "You say so merely because you think the recluse Gotama, your teacher, said so."

The queen commissioned a brahmana to go to the Lord and find out if the Lord had indeed spoken those words. The brahmana went to the Lord and narrated all that had happened. The Lord said: "That is so, brahmana." And he also gave a few examples to illustrate the truth. "Once here in this city a woman' s mother passed away and her mind became unhinged and unbalanced. Similarly, others in this very city have lost their fathers, brothers and other relatives and become stricken with grief . Again, in this very city a young woman lived with her husband. The woman' s parents and relations had planned to take he r away from him and get her married to someone else. Hearing this, the woman went to her husband and expressed her utter dislike of the other man. The husband thereupon killed her and himself in the hope of being together with her in the next life. Thus, sorrow is born of affection."

The brahmana returned to the queen and narrated to her all that had happened. The queen in turn approached the king and submitted: "Surely, you love your daughter, Lord? And if something were to happen to her, you would surely grieve. Even so, the commander of the army is dear to you and the peoples of your kingdom are dear to you and if something were to happen to them you would surely grieve. It was with reference to this that the Lord, the fully enlightened one, declared that grief is born of affection."

Having heard this, the king bowed to the Lord and worshipped him.

Every specific thing has its specific character. When the character is present one understands that the thing is present. For example, earth is hard, water is moist.... But akaga cannot be taken to have any such specific character. Therefore akaga itself cannot be.

The Maha-Prajfidparamita-astra

27th APRIL


tasmatiha bhikkave tathagato sabbaso tanhanam khaya viraga nirodha caga patinissagga anuttaram sammasambodhim abhisambuddho ti vadamiti

Thus have I heard:

Lord Buddha was seated at the foot of the great tree. To the monks who had assembled in front of him, the LORD said:

I shall speak to you of the truth concerning the fundamentals of all things. Listen carefully and assimilate it well.

In the case of one who has not heard the truth, who has no know-ledge of the noble truth (ariyadhamma) and who has not been initiated into it, who has not come into contact with holy men and who is therefore ignorant of their teaching, he takes the earth (matter) to be real. He thinks of it as matter and his thoughts are conditioned by materiality. He thinks: "This earth is mine" and rejoices in it. What is the cause of this? I declare that the cause is ignorance. One who has not rightly understood the truth concerning the fundamental nature of all things, similarly takes water to be real water, fire to be fire, air as air, living beings as living beings, gods as gods, the creator as creator, the celestials (abhass ara) as celestials, the demi-gods (subhakinna) as demi-gods, space-beings as space-beings, psychic entities as psychic entities, beings of supportless consciousness as such and others who are endowed with neither being nor non-being as such, too. Such beliefs and concepts arise in the mind of the ignorant one on account of the absence of right know-ledge or understanding. He is conditioned by this ignorance. He rejoices in such notions which are born of ignorance. He believes what he sees, what he hears, what he senses, what he thinks that he knows, and such belief colours his understanding. Similarly, he has fixed ideas concerning unity, diversity, all other things and even nibbana. He believes that all these are related to him and 'belong' to him. He derives happiness from such beliefs because he thinks they are true. He does not know. He is ignorant.

O monks, one who is intent on learning the truth and who seeks his true welfare, he too thinks of matter as matter and so on, but he should not allow himself to be conditioned by such beliefs. Why? Because he wishes to know the truth. Then there is the one who has got rid of his asava, who has laid his burden aside, whose bondage to the becoming has been destroyed and who is freed from ignorance; he too knows matter as matter, and so on, but does not allow such knowledge to condition his mind and vision and does not regard anything as 'This is mine' . Why? He knows and has clear understanding. His mental colouring has come to an end and there is uncolouredness or dispassion. His defects, short-comings and impurities have come to an end. His delusion has come to an end. Even the tathagata considers matter as matter and so on, but is not deluded by it. Why? Because of perfect knowledge. Therefore, he does not relate himself to matter, or consider it ' mine' or rejoice in it. He knows that such rejoicing is the root of sorrow, birth, old age and death. Therefore, 0 monks, I say that the tathagata is free of all cravings, is full of dispassion, self-control, renunciation and immediate and perfect enlightenment.

28th APRIL


tasmim pi nibbindati, nibbindam virajjati, viraga vimuccati, vimuttasmim vimuttam iti nnanam hoti: khiņa jati, vusitam brahmacariyam katam karaniyam, naparam itthattayati pajanatiti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Savatthi in the Jeta grove. One day after his solitary meditation, it occurred to him: "Rahula is mature concerning things that bring_ freedom. Perhaps I could train Rahula in the destruction of the asava." He then went for alms-gathering. On returning and after his meal, he said to Rahula: "Take a piece of cloth to sit on and come; let us go to the blind men's grove." They both went there.

The LORD asked him: "What do you think, Rahula? The eye, forms, visual consciousness and visual experiences (and similarly the ear and so on, and mind and mental consciousness) - are these permanent or impermanent?"

Rahula answered: "Impermanent, revered sir."

The LORD: "Does what is impermanent bring about happiness or sorrow?"

Rahula: "Sorrow, revered sir."

The LORD: "Is it then right to regard these as: 'This is mine, this am I'?"

Rahula:  "No, revered sir."

In the same way the Lord asked him about feeling, perception, habitual tendencies and consciousness arising out of the experiences related to the eye and so on. Rahula answered in a similar fashion.

The LORD then said: "Seeing this truth, Rahula, the instructed disciple turns away from the eye, from form, from visual consciousness, from visual experience and its consequences (feeling, perception, habitual tendencies and conditioning). Even so he turns away from the other senses and so on and all that is related to them. When he thus turns away, he is dispassionate. He is freed by dispassion. Freed, he knows that he is freed. He realises: 'Birth has been brought to an end. Brahmacariyam has been brought to its fulfilment. What has to be done has been done. There is no more becoming such or so."'

Even while this was being said by the Lord, the venerable Rahula's mind had been freed from the asava; it was freed from all dependency and attachment.

From giving there arises wealth, from ethics happiness,

From patience a good appearance, from (effort in) virtue

Brilliance, from concentration peace, from wisdom

Liberation, from compassion all aims are achieved.

The Maha-Prajnaparamita-Sastra

29th APRIL


rupam bhikkhave aniccam, vedana anicca, sanna anicca sankhara anicca, vinnanam aniccam; rupam bhikkhave anatta, vedana anatta, sanna anatta, sankhara anatta vinnanam anattam sabbe sankhara anicca, sabbe dhamma anatta ti

Thus have I heard:

Lord Buddha was staying near Vesali. An arrogant Jain named Saccaka questioned the venerable Assaji concerning the Lord's teaching. Assail replied: "The Lord teaches: form (matter) is impermanent, feeling (experience) is impermanent, perception (awareness) is impermanent, psychological conditioning is impermanent, consciousness (objective know-ledge) is impermanent. Form, feeling, perception, conditioning and consciousness are devoid of self. All that is conditioned and limited is impermanent; all phenomena are devoid of self." In order to challenze and dispute the Lord, Saccaka went to him with a big group of Licchavi.

Saccaka argued: "All plants and vegetables depend upon the earth for their growth. Similarly, it is because the self is material and has feeling, awareness and so on, that the person earns merit and demerit. Hence, I say that material shape and all the rest of it is my self." The Lord asked him: "Do you have the power then to alter the shape so that it is so and not so?" Saccaka had to say: "No".

The Lord asked: "Are material shape and so on permanent?" "No". "Is it wise to consider that which is impermanent as, 'This is mine' or 'This is my self'?" "No". "Does impermanence give rise to happiness or sorrow?" "Sorrow." "If one clings to that which is impermanent consider-ing it to be the self, can he ever come to the end of his sorrow?" "No." Saccaka remained silent with his head hung in shame.

Saccaka regained his composure and addressed the Lord again: "I am sorry for the idle boasting and the idle talk that I indulged in. To what extent do your disciples follow your instructions and reach the state of conviction which is beyond all doubt, without relying on the teacher's instructions?"

The Lord answered: "My disciple regards all forms of matter - past, present and future, subjective and objective - as they really are and he knows: ' This is not mine; this is not my self' . Similarly with regard to all feeling, perception, psychological conditioning and consciousness. To this extent he abides in the teaching beyond all doubt, firmly established in his own conviction."

Saccaka asked again: "To what extent has such a monk reached his own goal, freed from the fetters of becoming and endowed with perfect knowledge?" The Lord answered: "Having directly seen and realised in regard to all material forms and so on, that 'This is not mine; this is not self' , the monk is freed from all attachment. Even so in the case of feeling, perception, psychological conditioning and consciousness. To none of these is he attached. Thus does the monk become a perfected one, with all his cravings destroyed and endowed with perfect knowledge. He has a vision beyond which there is naught else, he has reached the goal beyond which there is naught else and he has gained total and complete freedom. It is such a monk that honours the tathagata knowing 'The Lord is enlightened and teaches the dhamma for our enlightenment. The Lord is self-controlled and teaches self-control. The Lord has reached the other shore; and he teaches dhamma so that we may also attain it.'"

30th APRIL


evam - eva kho avuso ye keci kusala dhamma sabbe te

catusu ariyasaccesu sangaham gacchanti.

Thus have I heard:

Once when the Lord was staying in the Jeta grove, the venerable SARIPUTTA said to the assembled monks:

Honourable friends! On account of its large size, the foot of the elephant is able to encompass the foot of all other creatures. Even so, all the other noble doctrines of the world are encompassed in the four noble truths: the truth concerning sorrow, the truth concerning the arising of sorrow, the truth concerning the cessation of sorrow and the truth concerning the way to such cessation. What is sorrow? Birth, old age, death, grief, suffering, despair and frustration are sorrow. The fivefold craving is sorrow. What is the fivefold craving? Craving (and the consequent contact or grasping) for forms (objects) , craving for experience, craving for perception, craving arising from habitual tendencies and craving arising from mental activity or knowledge.

What are forms or objects? They that are composed of the four elements - earth, water, fire and air. These elements can be said to be twofold, internal and external. Internally, the earth-element is whatever is hard and solid in the body - all the internal organs. With the inner intuitive vision, this is seen as: "I am not this earth-element; this is not mine." Thus does one cleanse the mind of the earth-element. Then, he is not affected when he is insulted and his body injured by sticks or weapons. He reflects: "It is the nature of the body to be affected by these blows and injuries. But the Lord has declared that he is not a disciple who harbours enmity in his heart when someone tears him limb from limb." Such contemplation will rouse invincible energy. Even if he does not immediately remain unmoved, this very reflection leads to utter tranquillity and equanimity; his achievement is great. Even so, the wise monk intuitively sees and realises this concerning the other elements. "This is not mine; I am not this." The internal water-element constitutes all the fluids in the body. The internal fire-element constitutes the gastric fire as also the body-heat and vitality. The internal air-element constitutes all internal motion, movement of wind in the different parts and limbs of the body. The space which is enclosed by walls and roof is called a house; the space which is enclosed by physical organs is known as the body.

If the inner vision is steady and undistracted ( 'undivided' ), then the eye does not seek and hold the object of sight and the notion of that object does not arise in consciousness. But when there is contact between the sight and the object, there is grasping of form. Similarly, there is grasping or experiencing of feeling, perception and awareness (as mental activity). The monk, observing this, is reminded of the words of the Lord: "Whoever knows the dependent origination knows dhamma." That itself is a great achievement. If, similarly, the other senses and the mind remain steady and undistracted, then there is no contact with the external object and the respective notion of that object does not arise in consciousness.

When the five forms of grasping (form, experience, perception, habitual tendencies and objective knowledge) are characterised by craving, they are the source of sorrow. When this craving ceases and when the grasping is characterised by control, there is cessation of sorrow.

1st MAY

yam kho, bhikkhu, rupam pațicca uppajjati sukham somanassam, ayam

rupe assado. yam rupam aniccam dukkham vipariņamadhammam, ayam

rupe adinavo. yo rupe chandaragavinayo chandaragapahanam, idam

rupe nissaranam

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Savatthi in the palace of Migara's mother. It was the full moon day and a large assembly of monks surrounded him. One of the monks humbly saluted the Lord and asked the following questions: "What is the root of the five groups of grasping (of form, feel-ing, perception, habitual tendencies and consciousness)?"

The LORD replied:

Desire is the root, O monk. The five groups of grasping do not comprise the whole of grasping; but there is no grasping without them. There may be diversity in their nature. For instance, one may thus wish: "May the form, (feeling, perception and so on) be such and such in the future"; and this gives rise to diversity. It is possible to define material shape (feeling and perception and so on) because of the four great elementals, the sensory impingement and also name and form. These are their cause.

"How does the wrong view that 'This is my own body' , arise?"

An uninstructed person, unskilled in the dhamma of the pure ones and uninstructed by them, regards material form as the self, or the self as having a material form (feeling, perception and so on). This is the wrong view. But a person who is skilled in the dhamma of the pure ones and who has been instructed by them does not regard this as so. In his case such a wrong view does not arise. Whatever happiness arises is given rise to by the material shape (feeling, perception and so on) and there is satisfaction (dependent on them) ; their impermanence, their nature as the source of sorrow and as ever-changing, constitute the danger in them; control of attachment to and desire for them is freedom from them.

"Knowing what, is a man freed from the false notion : 'I am the doer' in regard to the actions of the body and its relationship with what is external to it?"

He contemplates material shape, past, present and future, internal or external, gross or subtle, far and near and by means of perfect wisdom, realises 'this is not mine; this is not my self' . Even so with regard to the feelings, perception and so on. Knowing thus, the notion ' I am the doer' does not arise in him.

(At this stage, the thought arose in a monk: "If such is the case, then who is afflicted by what is done by the not-self?" The Lord intuitively understanding this unexpressed thought, sternly cautioned: )

Is not material shape impermanent and therefore painful? Are not perceptions, feelings and so on also impermanent and therefore painful? Hence, the well-instructed disciple turns away from them, is detached from them and is freed. In such freedom there is knowledge. Birth is destroyed and what has to be done has been done.

2nd MAY


pannatte va agganne apannatte va agganne, yass' atthaya maya dhammo desito so niyyati takkarassa samma dukkha kkhayayati

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying at Anupiya. One day he went to meet the wanderer, Bhaggava. Bhaggava received the Lord with great reverence and remarked: "One day the Licchavi Sunakkhatta came to me and said that he was no longer a follower of the Lord. Is it true?" The Lord affirmed that it was so.

The LORD said:

One day he called on me to announce that he was giving me up. I asked him: "Did I ever ask you to become my pupil? Or, did you ever promise to become my disciple?" "No." "Then what is the sense in saying you are giving me up?" He answered: "The Lord does not perform super-human wonders. Nor does the Lord reveal the origin of everything." asked him: "Did I ever promise to do all that? Or, did you lay them down as conditions for becoming my disciple?" "No." "Whether the origin of things is known or not, dhamma is taught by me for the destruction of sorrow. You have often praised me, dhamma and the order, while speaking to the people of Vajji. Now you say you are giving me up. They will only think that you are unable to live the holy life under me. Do you see what a foolish thing it is that you are doing?" He departed.

One day I was staying in Uttaraka. A naked ascetic, Korakhattiya, was living there. He was behaving like a dog, eating like a dog and so on. Sunakkhatta was impressed by him. I said to Sunakkhatta: "I know you are an admirer of Korakhattiya. I tell you that he will die of epilepsy in seven days and go to the demon-world. You might even now go and ask him if he knows his destiny." Sunakkhatta did not believe; yet he warned Kora to be extremely careful in eating and so on. But on the seventh day Kora died. Sunakkhatta went to him and shouted: "Do you know where you are?" Kora' s body got up for a moment and said: "I am in the world of the demons," and immediately fell down.

On another occasion I was staying at Vesali. A naked ascetic, Kandaramasukha, was also living there. He had taken many vows - to live as a naked ascetic, as a celibate, eating only flesh and drinking only spirit and so on. Sunakkhatta went to him and asked him a question which he could not answer; this made him (Sunakkhatta) angry. Later when Sunakkhatta came to me, I said to him: "Did you not go to that naked ascetic and ask him a question which he could not answer and so you got angry?" He replied: "That is true. But does the Lord begrudge arahantship to others?" I said to him: "Of course not. That is your own vicious thought. Get rid of it. But I tell you that this naked ascetic will clothe himself, marry, become vegetarian and will die in shame." That is exactly what happened.

On another occasion again I was in Vesali. Another naked ascetic, Patika's son, was also staying there. He had once issued a challenge in a public assembly: "Both Gotama and I have insight. But let us see who has greater ability to perform psychic wonders. Let samana Gotama come half way and 1 shall also go half way. Whatever he does. I shall do better." Sunakkhatta came and narrated all this to me. I replied: "But he is incompetent even to meet me face to face. If he does not take back his words and abandon his opinion, his head will burst when he stands in front of me."

3rd MAY


aggannan caham bhaggava pajanami, tan ca pajanami ,

tato ca uttaritaram pajanami

The LORD continued:

After the round of alms-gathering and after I had had my meal, I went to the park. Sunakkhatta went round and announced to everybody that there was going to be a show of wonders in the park. Many wanderers and brahmana assembled there. Patika's son (who was himself staying in another part of the park) heard of all this; he was stricken with fear and he_ ran away to the wanderers' park. The gathering sent a man to fetch Pat ika' s son. When he conveyed the message, Patika's son replied: "I am coming," but he was unable to rise from his seat! A councillor of the Licchavi tried to fetch him, but with the same result. Then Jaliya went to fetch him. He too found that Patika's son was unable even to get up. He teased him: "A lion made its lair in a certain cave. A jackal that used to eat the left-overs of the lion's meal, also decided to stay nearby. One day, he came out of his lair and said to himself: 'I shall roar like a lion thrice, ' but, alas, it was a jackal's roar. Your behaviour is like this." But nothing that he said was able to make any difference. He returned to the assembly and announced that P-a-tika's son was even incapable of getting up from his seat to come and meet me.

I then taught the assembly by means of a religious discourse. I entered into a jhana of fire, rose in space to the height of seven palm trees, projected a flame to the height of another seven palm trees and then resumed my usual state.

Sunakkhatta saw all this and departed.

The ultimate beginning of things I know, Bhaggava, and I know more than that. I have gone to the brahmana who hold that all things were created by Brahma or other beings. They are unable to explain their own beliefs and doctrines. But I have revealed the true import of their doctrines. Some recluses and brahmana hold the view that the creation arose by chance. I have asked them: "But who ordains such chance creation?" They are unable to explain but look up to me for an answer. My answer has been: "There are certain spirits who are unconscious beings (asannasatta). When an idea arises in them, they cease to be unconscious and arise in creation. Perchance, that being recollects just that event and feels: ' I was not but I came into being out of pure chance.' I do not cause confusion. Hence I resort to peace which can lead to no error.

I have been misquoted, Bhaggava; people say that when there is liberation one feels everything to be repulsive. May I say that one who attains deliverance is aware, and says: "It is lovely".


At birth one is born alone

And at death too one shall die alone;

As this pain cannot be shared by others,

What use are obstacle-making friends?


4th MAY


etam hi malunkyaputta atthasamhitam, etam adibrahmacariyikam, etam nibbidaya viragaya nirodhaya upasamaya abhinnaya sambodhaya nibbanaya samvattati, tasma tam maya byakatam

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Savatthi. One day, during meditation, the venerable Malunkyaputta became aware of the following train of thought within himself: "The Lord has not commented upon nor explained the following problems - whether the world is eternal or not, whether the jiva (living soul) is the same as the body or not, whether the tathagata (or the self) exists after death or not. That the Lord has not explained any of these questions is not satisfactory. I shall therefore go to the Lord and question him concerning these problems. If he explains these things satisfactorily, then I shall continue to lead this monastic life. If he does not, then I shall revert to the secular life."

The venerable Malurikyaputta approached the Lord, greeted him, sat down at a respectful distance and stated his problem, adding: "And if the Lord knows the truth concerning these, then the Lord should explain it to me. But, if the Lord does not know the truth concerning these, it would be honest for the Lord to say so."

The LORD said: "Did I invite you to lead a life of brahmacariya after promising that I would explain all these things to you? Or, did you stipulate that as the condition for entering the monastic order?"

The venerable Malunkyaputta replied: "No, revered Sir."

The LORD continued: "In which case, on what basis do you wish to abandon the monastic life and revert to secular life? O Malurikyaputta, if a man were to declare, that 'Unless the Lord explains all these to me, I will not undertake the monastic life, ' he might pass away without knowing the truth.

"It is like this, Malurikyaputta: If a man is wounded by an arrow, would he tell the surgeon who comes to pull that arrow out of his body, I will not have this arrow pulled out unless and until I know the identity of the man who shot that arrow, until I know the make of the arrow, the maker of the arrow and the nature of the bow from which it was shot'? If he said so, he might pass away without knowing the answer to all those questions. Even so, if one were to say that he will not lead the life of brahmacariya unless all these problems (concerning the world, etc.) are satisfactorily explained to him, he might pass away before even the tathagata was able to explain these to him.

"Therefore, the monastic life should not depend upon any of these views concerning the world and all the rest of it. Whether the world is eternal or transient, there IS sorrow and I teach the way to overcome sorrow here and now. It should not even depend upon whether the tathagata (or the self) exists after death or not; whatever that may and be, there IS sorrow and I teach the way to overcome that sorrow here now. I have therefore explained what has been explained and have not explained what has not been explained. I have not explained the existence of the world and so on because such explanation is not relevant to the goal of ending sorrow. I have explained the problem concerning sorrow because that is relevant to the goal of ending sorrow, to the attainment of nibbana. "

5th MAY


sassato loko ti kho vaccha ditthigatam sadukkham savighatam

saupayasam saparifaham, ... na sambodhaya na nibbanaya samvattati

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Savatthi. One day, Vacchagotta approached the Lord and asked him several questions:

"Is the revered Gotama of the view that the world is eternal; that the world is not eternal; that the jiva (life) and the body are the same; that the jiva (life) ) and the body are different; that the tathagata exists after dying; that the tathagata does not exist after dying; that the tathagata does and does not exist after dying or neither exists nor does not exist?"

The LORD replied to each of these questions: "This is not my view."

Vacchagotta asked: "Why does the good Gotama not deal with these problems? What danger do you see in them?"

The LORD answered: "To think that the world is eternal or otherwise is to cling to an ideology which is bondage and which leads to disputation and _sorrow, not to transcendental knowledge or inner awakening or nibbana . Seeing this danger, I do not deal with such speculative problems.

"But, Vaccha, the tathagata has directly realised the truth concern-ing the nature and the origin of form, experience, perception, _habitual tendencies and consciousness. Hence, I proclaim that the tathagata is freed by the instant abandonment of all imaginations, assumptions and of the vain feeling: ' I am the doer'.

" Vacchagotta asked: "What happens to the monk who is thus freed? Does he continue to exist or does he cease to be?"

The LORD answered: "These considerations are irrelevant, Vaccha."

Vacchagotta said: "But that is puzzling."

The LORD replied: "It should puzzle you, Vaccha. For the dhamma is extremely subtle. Let me ask you: ' If you see a fire burning in front of you, would you know that it is fire?'"

Vacchagotta said: "Of course, yes."

The LORD continued: "What is its cause?"

Vaccha : "Fuel."

The LORD said: "And you would know that if the fire has been put out, it has been put out. However, if I ask you: 'Where has that fire gone, in which direction did it go?' What would be your answer?"

Vacchagotta replied: "That is irrelevant, good Gotama. The fire was kept going with fuel. When the fuel was withdrawn, the fire ceased to burn."

The LORD said: "Even so is the case with the tathasata. The idea of a form (as a reality) has been discarded by the tathagata. Even so the ideas concerning experience, perception, habitual tendencies and consciousness have been discarded by the tathagata. Freed from these, he is deep and immeasurable. Considerations like: is he or is he not?' are irrelevant in his case."

Vacchagotta prayed to be admitted as a lay-disciple.

6th MAY

seyyatha pi ananda ganga nadi pura udakassa....balava puriso....

so sakkuneyya... param gantum....yassa kassaci sakkayanirodhaya

dhamme desiyamane cittam pakkhandati pasidati santiṭṭhati vimuccati

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Savatthi when he asked the monks who were assembled near him: "0 monks, do you remember my teaching concern-ing the five fetters that bind one?" The venerable Malunkyaputta replied in the affirmative and said : "I remember that they are : (1) false view in considering the body to be one's own, (2) delusion, (3) blind adherence to rituals, ( 4) craving for sensual pleasure and (5) aggression. "

The venerable Ananda said to the Lord: "This is the time for the Lord to expand that teaching ."

The LORD said:

Ananda, an uninstructed person who does not listen to the noble ones and who is uninitiated in their teachings, clings to these five fetters and does not comprehend the way out of them. These fetters continue to bind him. On the other hand, a disciple who is properly instructed by the pure ones, proficient in their dhamma and well trained by them, does not live with his mind obsessed by these five fetters. He is not overcome by them, he understands the way to get rid of them and in fact he destroys their very roots.

Of course, without a proper comprehension of the way by which these fetters can be got rid of and without resorting to that way, the fetters remain. On the other hand, if one truly understands the way by which the fetters are got rid of, it is possible for him to get rid of them by adopting those means and by following that way. It demands great strength to cut off these fetters that bind one, even as it demands great strength to cross the river Gang& when it is in flood; only a strong man ( crosses it, not a weak man.

What is the way to get rid of these five fetters? A man who is free from all physical impurity, who is not distracted by the pleasures of the senses and who is without attachment enters into the first meditation. He realises that form, experience, perception, habitual tendencies and consciousness are impermanent and sources of sorrow; they are not-self. When his attention is turned away from them, he realises the deathless being. He knows what is real - the abandonment of attachment, the destruction of craving, tranquillising of activities, nibbana. If he is  firmly established in that state, he completely destroys all the asava; if he wavers, he gains a better after-life and reaches nibbana there, without having to return to this world. Similarly, he enters into the second, the third and the fourth meditation and realises the impermanence of form and so on, and either enters into nibbana here and now or gains a better after-life from which there is no return to this world.

This is the way to the destruction of the five fetters.

7th MAY

panca kho ime bharadvaja dhamma diṭṭhe va dhamme dvidha vipaka. katame panca saddha ruci anussavo akaraparivitakko diṭṭhinij- jhanakhan-ti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was touring the Kosala country. He came to Opasada. All the brahmana of that place went to listen to the Lord. A brahmana named Canki, who enjoyed royal patronage, found out the reason for the brahmana going out and expressed the wish also to go and meet the Lord. His adviser dissuaded him, saying that he was of a pure birth, a teacher and an over-lord. But Canki replied that the Lord had all the excellences and in addition had renounced the world, destroyed all attach-_ ment and taught kamma. He desired no evil for the brahmana. He also regarded the Lord as a guest who should be respected.

When Canki went into the Lord's presence, the Lord was discoursing. A young man, Bharadvaja, interrupted the talk and the Lord tried to restrain him. But Cariki intervened on the young man's behalf and the Lord encouraged the _young man to continue, whereupon the young man asked: "The brahmana who are learned in the scriptures say: 'This alone is true, all else is false' . What do you say to this?"

The LORD replied:

But, Bharadvaja, they are merely transmitting hearsay. They do not say: "I know this to be true". It is like the blind leading the blind. There are five factors that are conducive to maturity. They are: faith, relish (zest), hearing, careful consideration and delight in speculation. However, one may believe in something, taste it and so on, and it may be false. Something other than that may be true. Such faith and so on may preserve a truth, but it is not enough. There is no awakening to truth by such faith.

When a householder approaches a monk and has examined and satisfied himself that there is no greed, aversion and confusion in him, then faith arises when that venerable monk teaches the dhamma. He draws close to the monk, listens to him, remembers the teaching, examines it and assimilates it; then aspiration arises. This is followed by effort, a new set of values and greater striving, and then he sees the truth in himself. He has awakened to the truth. But attainment of truth is different.

Attainment of truth is had by the continual practice of all this in oneself. The following are the aids to this attainment of truth: striving, correct scale of values, self-effort, aspiration, approval or understanding, examining and testing the teaching, remembering or reflecting upon the dhamma, hearing the dhamma, lending ear to the teaching, drawing close to the teacher, approaching the teacher and faith. All these arise from each other in the reverse order.

Canki was highly delighted and prayed to be accepted as a lay-disciple.

8th MAY


yo so bhikkhave bhikkhu satthari kankhati vicikicchati nadhimuccati na sampasidati tassa cittam na namati atappaya anuyogaya sataccaya padhanaya

Thus have I heard:

Lord Buddha was staying in the Jeta grove near Savatthi. One day he addressed the monks.

The LORD said:

O monks, he who has not abandoned the following five psychological stances and cut asunder the following five psychological knots does not grow or attain perfection in the understanding of dhamma.

What are the five psychological stances to be abandoned? (1) Doubt concerning the teacher. If a monk entertains such doubt he remains sceptical, unconvinced and dissatisfied and his mind (heart) lacks zeal and per-sistent application in the understanding of dhamma. Similarly if a monk entertains doubt concerning (2) dhamma, (3) the safigha or the order of monks or (4) the teaching or the training, he too will lack the zeal and the perseverance in the application of the understanding of dhamma. (5) Lastly, if a monk is angry with fellow monks and entertains towards them, he will lack the zeal and the perseverance in the application of the under-standing of dhamma. These five psychological stances should be got rid of.

What are the five psychological knots to be cut asunder? (1) If a monk is not free from craving for and feverish pursuit of pleasure, from infatuation, from thirst for sense-gratification and from craving generally, he lacks zeal and perseverance. (2) If a monk is not free from infatuated clinging to his own body, he lacks zeal and perseverance. (3) If a monk is not free from attraction to forms in general, he lacks zeal and perseverance. (4) If a monk, after having appeased his hunger, is intent only on sleeping on a comfortable bed - in other words, if he is intent only on eating and sleeping - he lacks zeal and perseve-rance. (5) If a monk engages himself in good conduct, austerity or brahmacariya (celibacy or contemplation) with the aim and wish of becoming a celestial or one of the gods in heaven, he lacks zeal and perseverance in the application of the understanding of dhanna.

That monk who has got rid of these ten obstacles to the cultivation of zeal and perseverance in the application of the understanding of dhamma, comes to possess their positive counterparts. The sources of inner spiritual power conducive to the following four aids become available to him: (1) intention, (2) energy, (3) awareness and (4) investigation. Along with these four, he also cultivates intense self-effort, which is the fifth aid.

That monk who is endowed with these fifteen aids, is qualified for spiritual awakening. He is able to break through the impediments to self-knowledge. He is freed from bondage without any doubt or difficulty. The hen which sits on her eggs properly until they are hatched does not need to wish that the chicks may break through the shell! Even so, he who has the above fifteen qualifications breaks through the shell of bondage without any doubt whatsoever.

9th MAY

tassa asarattassa asamyuttassa asammuihassa adinavanupassino

viharato ayatim pancupadanakkhandha apacayam gacchanti; tanha c'

assa ponobhavika nandiragasahagata tatratatrabhinandini sa c' assa pahiyati

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was then staying near Savatthi in the Jeta grove. One day he delivered the following discourse to the assembly of monks.

The LORD said:

O monks, when one is ignorant of the nature of the eye and when one is thus conditioned by the impact of the objects on the eye, one becomes attached to the eye. Similarly, ignorance deludes one with regard to the other senses, including the mind and the mental states. When one is ignorant of forms (and other external fields) as they really are and of the true nature of experience (whether pleasant or unpleasant) , one becomes attached to the form, to the visual consciousness and to that sensory impact (due to the impact on the senses and the resultant conditioning). Such a one is also attached to that sensory experience. While in ignorance, he remains attached and bound, the five groups of clinging are active and his craving, which leads to rebirth, increases. His anxieties and psychological distress also increase and he experiences great sorrow.

On the other hand if one knows the eyes and so on as they really are, material shapes and so on as they really are, the different forms of consciousness as they really are and the sensory impacts as they really are and, if one knows that when an experience arises (whether pleasant or unpleasant) it is conditioned by the sensory impact, then he is not attached to any of these. The five groups of clinging decrease. His craving which leads to rebirth decreases. His anxieties and psychological distress decrease. He experiences happiness of body and mind.

The view of what really is - that is his right view. Aspiration for what really is - that is his right aspiration. Endeavour for what really is - that is his right endeavour. Mindfulness of what really is - that is his right mindfulness. Concentration on what really is - that is his right concentration. His body, mind and speech are purified. The ariya eightfold path proceeds towards fulfilment with the four mainsprings of mindfulness, the four right efforts, the four bases of inner spiritual power, the five controlling faculties, the five powers and the seven links in awakening. Simultaneously he obtains calm and insight. Whatever can be understood, got rid of, developed and realised through transcendental knowledge, these are understood, got rid of, developed and realised. The five groups of clinging are understood by transcendental knowledge; ignorance and craving are got rid of; calm and insight are developed. Knowledge and freedom are also realised through transcendental knowledge.

10th MAY


yatonidanam bhikkhu purisam papancasannasankha samudacaranti,

ettha ce na - tthi abhinanditabbam abhivaditabbam ajjhositabbam

Thus have I heard:

Lord Buddha was staying among the Sakya in Kapilavatthu. A young Sakya, Danclaparii, approached him and questioned him about his teaching. The Lord replied: "In my teaching there is no conflict with anyone belonging to any class of beings in the world. Thus the brahmana who is free from pursuit of pleasure, free from doubts and remorse and free from longing for becoming and for non-becoming, is not obsessed by perceptions." The Sakya went his way, apparently unimpressed.

The same evening, the Lord narrated the whole incident to the monks in the assembly. One of the monks prayed for elucidation. The Lord replied : "O monks ! If a monk does not rejoice in or welcome or hold on to those obsessions and perceptions which disturb a man, there is an end of the tendency to attraction (raga) ; that itself is also the end of the tendency to repulsion. In turn this puts an end to the tendency to enter-tain views (bias and prejudice) , which itself is the ending of confusion and Of pride, of bondage to continue becoming; and the dispelling of ignorance. That itself puts an end to all disputes, quarrels, conflicts and lies. Thus ,there is a total and complete ending of all evil tendencies." Having uttered these words, the Lord retired into solitude.

Eager to gain a clearer understanding of this teaching, the monks approached the venerable Maha-Kaccana. They related the Lord' s words and asked for a detailed exposition. Maha-Kaccdna replied: "The Lord knows what there is to be known, he has become the divine insight, the perfect knowledge and dhamma. You should have questioned him for the detailed exposition." But on being persuaded by the monks that the Lord himself had praised him and that they_ had confidence in his ability to expound the teaching , the venerable Maha-Kaccana said to them:

When the eye comes into contact with a form there is seeing. There is contact of these three (the eye, the form and the perception). Feeling (experiencing) arises from such contact. Feeling gives rise to comprehen-sion. What one thus comprehends, one reasons over. Such reasoning (mental activity) creates obsessions and these continue to assail a man. Even so in regard to the other senses (hearing, smelling, taste, touch and also the mind). It is possible for one to become aware of this: when there is eye and the form, sight arises, then contact, feeling, comprehension, reasoning and the obsessions also arise. (Even so in regard to the other senses.) But when there is no eye and no form, there is no sight; in the absence of these there is no contact, feeling, comprehension, reasoning and therefore no obsession. (Even so in regard to the other senses.) Similarly when there is no mind and no mental objects, mental activity does not arise; when there is no mental activity, one cannot recognise the arising of sensory contact. That is what I understand from the Lord’s brief message. If you so desire, please question him about it.

When the Lord appeared in the midst of the monks again, they narrated Maha-Kaccana's words. The Lord said: "If you had asked me, I would have expounded the message in exactly the same words."

11th MAY

Thus have I heard:

Once the venerable Ananda came to see the Lord and asked him: "One speaks of 'becoming, becoming' , Lord. What is becoming?"

The LORD replied: "If, Ananda, there were no kamma (action) ripening in the sphere of sense existence, would any sensual becoming appear?"

Ananda said: "Surely not, Lord."

The LORD said: "Therefore, Ananda, kamma (action) is the field, consciousness is the seed and craving (tanha) is the moisture. The consciousness of those beings who are hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving takes a hold in a lower sphere. Thus there is in the future, a becoming, a rebirth.

"If Ananda, there were no kamma ripening in a fine-material sphere, would there appear any fine-material becoming?"

Ananda replied: "Surely not, Lord."

The LORD continued: "Therefore, Ananda, kamma (action) is the field, consciousness is the seed and craving is the moisture. The consciousness of beings who are hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving takes a hold in an intermediate sphere. Thus there is in the future, a becoming, a rebirth.

"If, Ananda, there were no kamma ripening in the immaterial sphere, would there appear any immaterial becoming?"

Ananda replied: "Surely not, O Lord."

The LORD continued: "Therefore, Ananda, kamma is the field, conscious-ness is the seed and craving is the moisture. The consciousness of beings who are hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving takes a hold in a lofty_ sphere. Thus there is in the future, a becoming, a rebirth. Thus, Ananda, is there becoming."

Whatever is in the three realms, all that is the con-struction of mind (citta ) . How is it so? It is in accordance with one' s thought that one realises all things. By mind does one see the buddha and by mind does one become a buddha. The mind itself is the buddha, the mind itself is my body. (Under ignorance) the mind does not know itself; does not see itself; it is due to ignorance that one seizes the determinate nature of the mind. ( In this state) , the mind (that is thus seized) is also false. All (these) things arise from ignorance. The bodhisattva penetrates into the ultimate reality of all things, viz. , the eternal gunyat-a, through (his comprehension of ) this nature of mind.

The Maha-Prajnaparamitastra

12th MAY


ye hi keci bhumija samana va brahmana va micchadiṭṭhino micchasam- kappa micchavaca micchakammanta miccha-ajiva micchavayama micchasati micchasamadhino te asan ce pi karitva brahmacariyam caranti, abhabba phalassa adhigamaya

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Rajagaha in the bamboo grove. One day the venerable Bhumija approached prince Jayasena ' s abode. He was welcomed by the prince who questioned Bhumija: " There are recluses and brahmana who declare that whether one practises brahmacariya with expectation, without expectation or with indifference one does not obtain the fruit. What is your teacher' s view concerning this?"

Bhumija replied: "I have not heard the Lord' s answer to this, face to face. But I feel that the Lord might say that if one practises brahmacariya with expectation of fruits and so on, one does not gain the fruit, but that if he practises brahmacariya attentively he gains the fruits, whether he practises with or without expectation of the fruits." The prince said: "If that is your teacher's view, he is head and shoulders above all other teachers."

Later Bhumija approached the Lord and respectfully related the whole dialogue with the prince. The Lord approved of the answer and explained further:

Whether they are recluses or brahmana, whether they observe brahmacariya with or without expectation or desire, if they are of wrong views, wrong ideas, wrong speech, wrong action, wrong livelihood, wrong effort, wrong mindfulness and wrong contemplation, they will not obtain the fruit of brahmacariya. It is like this: A man wants to get some oil. He heaps sand into a trough and presses it sprinkling it with salt. He will never get oil whether he desires or does not desire, for that is not the method. A man is in need of milk. He starts pulling the horns of a young cow. He will not get milk out that horn, whatever be his attitude. That is not the method. A man needs butter. He fills a jar with water and begins to churn it. He will not get butter, for that is not the method. A man wants to make a fire. He gets hold of a fire stick and rubs it against a wet piece of wood. He will not get fire, for that is not the method.

But, Bhumija, if a recluse or a brahmana who is endowed with right view, right aspiration, right speech, right action, right mode of liveli-hood, right endeavour, right mindfulness and right concentration, practises brahmacariya, with or without motivation, he will get the fruits of brahmacariya. That is like filling the trough with oil-seeds and press-ing them. It is like milking the cow by pulling the udder. It is like filling the jar with curd and churning it. It is like rubbing a dry piece of wood with the fire stick. That is the right method.

The venerable Bhumij a rejoiced in what the Lord said.

13th MAY


cha ajjhattikani ayatanani veditabbani, cha bahirani ayatanani

veditabbani, cha viiiikanakaya veditabba, cha phassakaya veditabba,

cha vedanakaya veditabba, cha tanhakaya veditabba

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Savatthi in the Jeta grove. One day he addressed the monks in the following words.

The LORD said:

The six internal fields should be understood. The six external fields should be understood. The six forms of consciousness should be understood. The six forms of experiences should be understood. The six forms of feelings should be understood. The six classes of cravings should be understood. These are the six sixes.

The six fields of the inner senses are: the eyes, the ears, the nose, the tongue, the body (skin) and the mind.

The fields of the external senses are: the form, sound, smell, taste, touch and state of mind.

The six forms of consciousness are the ones related to these and the ones that arise because of these internal and external fields of the senses.

The six forms of experiences are: the conjunction of the above three (the external sense-field, the inner senses and the related consciousness).

The six forms of feelings arise out of these experiences and are conditioned by them. That which is conditioned by sensory experience is the feeling.

The six forms of cravings arise out of the feelings. That which is conditioned by the feelings is craving and it is in relation to all these six fields.

It is improper for anyone to say, for instance: "The eye is the self", for then, since the eye is subject to arising and passing away, it amounts to saying: "The self arises in me and passes away". Similarly with the others. Thus, craving is not the self, for one can become aware of the arising and the cessation of craving.

It is when one says with regard to any of these (forms, body, mental states, feeling and craving): "This is mine", or "This am I", that there arises identification with the body and so on. When one does not regard these as such, there is cessation of the identification with the body and so on. (Identification: sakkaya samudayagamini patipada, the feeling towards these categories that ' It is mine' , 'This I am' , ' It is myself' .)

When the eye meets form there is visual consciousness and the experience that it is pleasant or unpleasant is conditioned by the feelings. The man rejoices if the feeling is pleasant and grieves if it is not. Thus attachment, repugnance and ignorance arise. While these are present, there is no cessation of sorrow. But if he does not rejoice when the feeling is pleasant or grieve when it is not, there is no attachment, repugnance and ignorance and there can be an end to sorrow. Seeing this truth, the instructed disciple turns away from all this; turning away he is dispassionate; by dispassion he is freed and in freedom he realises that that is freedom.

14th MAY

aham hi bhante pahomi hatthidammam saretum...amhakam pana bhante dasa ti va pessa ti va kammakara ti va annatha ca kayena samudacar- anti annatha vacaya annatha ca nesam cittam hoti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Campa. A wandering ascetic named Kandaraka approached him and asked: "Did the enlightened ones in the distant past also train disciples and lead them as well as they are led now by the good Gotama? And will the future buddha or enlightened ones also similarly train and lead disciples?"

The LORD said:

Yes, Kandaraka, it was so in the past and it will be so in the future too. In the present order of monks there are the perfected ones who have reached the goal of total freedom and there are the learners who are totally dedicated to a moral life and who are intelligently diligent in the fourfold mindfulness. This consists of: (1) contemplating the body in the body and becoming fully aware of it. (2) Contemplating the feelings in the feelings and becoming fully aware of them. (3) Con-templating the mind in the mind and thus becoming fully aware of it and (4) contemplating the mental states in the mental states and thus becoming fully aware of them, so that there is no confusion concerning them which might give rise to craving.

Pessa, the son of an elephant-trainer, said to the Lord:

The Lord has clearly laid down the path to nibbana through this fourfold mindfulness. We householders too, are able to practise this four-fold mindfulness. But the human being is complex whereas the animals are more simple. I can train an elephant easily; but my own servants and messengers are hard to train for they think one thing, say another and do still another thing.

The LORD said:

That is true, Pessa. There are four kinds of people in this world. (1) There are those that torment themselves. (2) There are those that torment others. (3) There are those that torment both. (4) There are those that torment neither.

Pessa said:

Of these, the first three do not appeal to my mind. All beings yearn for happiness and shun pain. Even the self-tormentor yearns for happi-ness and shuns pain but torments himself in spite of this. The other person torments others, though he knows that they yearn for happiness and dislike pain. It is the person who belongs to the fourth category who appeals to my mind. He has attained peace and bliss. (After saying this, Pessa left the assembly to go on his way. )

The assembled monks then asked the Lord to expound the teaching further. The LORD said:

The self-tormentor practises extreme forms of asceticism. He eats very little or not at all and wears very little or nothing at all. He who is intent on tormenting others is a butcher, a fisherman, a hunter, a jailer or an executioner. He who torments both himself and others is a king or a rich brahmatia who, for the sake of the performance of a religious rite, practises extreme forms of asceticism. At the same time he demands the slaughter of animals and in the course of such a religious rite he ill-treats his servants and messengers, thus inflicting great suffering on them, too.

15th MAY

so anattantapo aparantapo ditthe va dhamme nicchato nibbuto

sitibhuto sukhapatisamvedi brahmabhutena attana viharati

The LORD continued:

Then there is the person who does not torment himself or others, who has become cool and experiences bliss, who has become brahman (infinite). He is one who happens to come into contact with a tath-agata who proclaims the truth which he himself has directly realised. The householder or one born in a respectable family hears the dhamma thus expounded by the tatha-gata. Faith arises in him through the words of the tathagata. He then reflects: "Limited and futile is the householder's life; free and pure is the life of the homeless monk." He decides to abandon the householder's life. He gives away his wealth, dons the saffron robes and enters the homeless state.

From then onwards, he refrains from injuring any creature in any manner. He is friendly towards all. He is free from covetousness and does not take what is not freely given. He is chaste and pure. He is truthful and honest. He is fully restrained in his speech which is truth-ful, pleasant and beneficial and which does not cause dissension. He is a peace-maker and he lives in peace. He refrains from any action that is harmful to vegetable-growth.

He is disciplined in his habits; he eats once a day, at midday. He does not indulge in watching dancing and other such vulgar entertain-ment. He does not use cosmetics, garlands and jewellery. He does not accept gifts of raw food, grain or meat, gold or silver, men or women servants, cattle or other animals, farms or other property. He does not love luxury. He does not engage himself in any form of business, not even in sending messages to others nor going on errands. He is content with simple food for his body and simple dress to cover the body and these alone he takes with him wherever he goes. Thus, endowed with this moral habit, the seeker enjoys the bliss that flows from such moral habit.

He is not tempted or excited by the sights that his eyes may see, sounds that his ears may hear, scents that his nose may smell or by what the other senses (taste and touch) may experience. He knows that if he pays attention to these sensory experiences, the uncontrolled senses may give rise to evil mental states and consequently craving and delusion may follow. Thus living with his senses fully controlled, he enjoys the bliss that flows from being unaffected by sense-objects.

Whatever he does is appropriate to the occasion, regulated and proper.

He dwells in a forest, on a mountain slope, in a cave, in a cemetery, at the foot of a tree or in the wilderness. He gathers alms for his meal. After the meal, he sits cross-legged, having roused mindfulness in himself. He purifies the mind of craving and greed, hate and sloth and torpor, restlessness and worry. He gets rid of doubt. Free from these five hindrances, he enters into the first, the second, the third and the fourth meditation. He recollects his former births. He knows the path to heaven and hell and is aware of actions that lead to the former and those that lead to the latter. He then directs his attention to the destruction of psychological distress or sorrow. He knows directly the nature of sorrow, the arising of sorrow, the cessation of sorrow, and the path to the cessation of sorrow. His mind is freed from sorrow. realises his freedom from birth and death. He has achieved what has to be achieved.

16th MAY

yan tam nekkhammena natabbam, nekkhammena datthabbam, nekkhammena pattabbam, nekkhammena sacchikaabbam, tam vata jayaseno rajakumaro kamamajjhe vasanto kame paribhuiljanto kamavitakkehi khajjamano kamaparilahena paridayhamno kamapariyesanya ussukkho nassati va dakkhati va sacchi va karissaatitii n'etam thanam vijjati

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Rajagaha in the bamboo grove. One day prince Jayasena approached the novice Aciravata and requested to be taught the dhamma. However, when Aciravata taught him, the prince could not agree that a monk who is diligent, ardent and self-resolute should attain one-pointedness of mind. Saying so, the prince departed. Aciravata thereupon approached the Lord and related the whole incident to him.

The LORD said:

The prince lives in the midst of sense-pleasures, enjoying them, being consumed by thoughts of them and eagerly pursuing them. That which can be known, seen, attained or realised only by renunciation cannot be realised by the prince Jayasena who lives in sense-pleasures, enjoying them and pursuing them, burnt in their fire. It is as if someone standing on a hill were to exclaim: "I see delightful parks, woods and stretches of ground," and another one standing at the foot of the hill might deny it saying: "It is impossible." However, if the one standing on top of the hill were to come down, take the other man by the hand and lead him to the top of the hill, he himself might exclaim that he sees the parks and so on. He might realise: "Because my view was obstructed by the hill, I could not see what could be seen only from the top of the hill." The prince's vision is blocked by sense-pleasures and so he cannot see what there is to see.

(Using the simile of an elephant-tamer, the Lord continued):

A tathagata arises here in this world and a young man of good family goes forth from home to homelessness. The tathagata then trains him stage by stage, step by step: (1) To be moral and live according to the moral code. (2) To guard the doors of the senses and mind lest through unguarded doors evil states of mind should flow in. (3) To be moderate in eating, with the thought "Thus I am crushing an old feeling and giving rise to a new one". (4) To be intent on vigilance during the day, and during the first watch of the night and in the second watch of the night, while lying down on the right side in the lion-posture, to be mindful and clearly conscious with the thought of getting up again. (5) To be possessed of mindfulness and clear consciousness. (6) To resort to seclusion and there, sitting erect with mindfulness, to get rid of the five hindrances - covetousness, ill-will, sloth, restlessness and doubt and to purify the mind of these. (7) To contemplate the body in the body, feelings in feelings, the mind in the mind and mental states in mental states, for these four applications of mindfulness subdue the worldly aspirations of householders and lead them to the right path for the realis-ation of nibbana. (8) While applying the fourfold mindfulness, not to apply himself to a train of thought connected with the body, feelings, mind and mental states. Then the monk enters into the first, the second, the third and the fourth meditation and so on until he realises that he is freed, that what has to be done is done and that there is no more becoming. He is purged of all impurities of attachment, aversion and confusion. He is worthy of homage.

17th MAY

tan ca kho samkhatam olarikam paṭicca samuppannam etam santam etam panitam yadidam upekha ti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Kajarigala in the Mukhelu grove. One day a brahmana youth by name Uttara, who was a pupil of Parasariya, approached the Lord. The Lord asked him: "What form of control of the senses does the brahmana Parasariya teach his disciples?"

Uttara answered: "The teacher Parasariya teaches his disciples that they should not see forms, hear sounds and so on. Thus they should discipline the senses."

The LORD said:

"In that case, Uttara, a deaf man or a blind man has perfectly disciplined senses. The blind man does not see with his eyes and the deaf man does not hear with his ears!"

Uttara could not reply and remained silent with his head bowed. Then Ananda requested the Lord to expound his teaching in this context.

The LORD said:

The incomparable control (training or development) of the senses which the ariya disciple adopts is quite different, -A-nanda. When a monk sees a material shape with his eyes (hears a sound with his ears and so on) there arises in him likes and dislikes or neither-likes-nor-dislikes. He becomes aware of this. He is aware that they are constructs and are caused, and that they are gross; he is also aware that equanimity (indifference) is good and excellent . The likes and dislikes are arrested immediately and there is equanimity. All this happens within the twinkling of an eye. Even so with regard to the sounds heard by the ear, the smells smelt by the nose, the flavours tasted by the tongue, the feelings aroused when the skin touches, and the mental states that prevail in the mind. The likes and dislikes that they give rise to are immediately arrested. Equanimity prevails in the twinkling of an eye, as easily as a strong man stretches out his bent arm and as simply as a few drops of water, falling on a hot pan, evaporate.

But what about the student? He looks at a form (hears a sound and so on) and likes and dislikes arise in him. He becomes aware of these, he is troubled and ashamed and he hates it. That is the student's behaviour.

And what about the nature of the ariya whose training is well developed? When he sees a form (or hears a sound and so on), likes and dislikes and what is a mixture of these, arise in him. He is fully aware of them. He abides in equanimity, is mindful and clearly conscious. If he desires to perceive the impurity, he does so; if he desires to perceive the purity, he does so; and if he does not want to see either of them, he does so and rests in equanimity, mindful and clearly conscious.

Ananda, whatever has to be done by a teacher out of compassion for the welfare of his disciples has been done by me. Meditate, Ananda, be not indolent and slothful.

18th MAY

kammassaka manava satta kammadayada kammayoni kammabandhu kammapatisarana. kammam satte vibhajati yadidam hinappani tatayati

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Savatthi in the Jeta grove. One day a young man (Todeyya' s son) approached the Lord and asked him: "What is the cause of the disparities that exist among human beings - some are long-lived and others short-lived, some are visited by serious illness and others are not so ill, some are poor and others are wealthy, some are born high and others are born low, some are ugly and others are lovely."

The LORD replied as follows:

One ' s own kamma ( actions and their fruits) , young man ! One' s own actions are one' s close relations. Action is the womb. One is heir to one's own action. Action determines one' s life. It is kamma that is responsible for the disparities that are seen here - the lowly and the great.

If one has been cruel and murderous and if one has remained attached to those cruel deeds, one goes to hell on leaving this world, or one is born with a short life-span. If one has refrained from cruelty, one is endowed with long life.

If one has by nature been harmful to creatures, one goes to hell on departing from this world or is afflicted by many illnesses in the next birth. If one has been harmless to creatures one is born healthy and has few illnesses in his next birth.

If one has been wrathful and takes offence easily, one is born ugly. If one has not been wrathful and does not take offence easily, one is born beautiful.

If one is jealous and revengeful, one is born an insignificant creature in the next birth. If one has not been jealous and revengeful, one is born as an important person in the next birth.

One who has been a miser in this birth is reborn as a poor man in the next one. One who has been a liberal giver is born as a wealthy person in the next birth.

One who has been callous and proud is reborn as a lowly person in the next birth. One who has not been callous and proud is reborn as a great and renowned person (of a high family) in the next birth. _

One who has not resorted to the company of a recluse or a brahmana and who has not enquired into the nature of good and evil states and into what is right and wrong, is reborn as one weak in wisdom. One who resorted to the company of a recluse or a brahmana and enquired into the nature of good and evil states and into what is right and what is wrong, is reborn as one endowed with great wisdom.

So, young man, the course which is conducive to long life, health, wealth, renown and wisdom leads to those fruits in the next life; and the course which is conducive to short life-span, illness, poverty, low birth and lack of wisdom leads to those fruits in the next birth. It is one's own action that determines all this.

19th MAY


ajj' eva kiccam atappam; ko

janna maranam suve

na hi no samgaran tena

mahasenena maccuna

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was at that time staying near Savatthi in the Jeta grove. One day he addressed the monks.

The LORD said:

I will teach you the exposition and the analysis of the holy or the blessed one. The past should not be pursued and the future should not be desired. What is past is past; what has not arrived has not arrived. But there is clear vision concerning that which exists now. One should cultivate it, knowing it to be the present, but without distraction and thought-interference. What has to be done should be done today with the greatest zeal; who knows, one might die tomorrow. No one can fight (argue) with death. He who thus strives with zeal day and night, without indolence, him they call the holy or the blessed one or the sage at peace.

How does one pursue the past? By thinking: "Such was my form, such were my senses and their experiences", one's consciousness is bound to them by desire and attachment and one delights in such recollection. However, if one thinks: "Such was my form, such were my senses and their experiences" without his consciousness being bound to them by desire and attachment, and therefore without his delighting in them, he does not pursue the past.

How does one desire the future? By wishing: "In the future, may my form and my senses be such and such and their experiences such and such"; if the consciousness is bound to such wishes by desire and attach-ment, one delights in such thoughts. But, by wishing: "May my form and my senses and their experiences be such and such in the future" without the consciousness being bound to such wishes by desire and attachment, one does not delight in such thoughts.

How does one have clear vision concerning what is? When is one distracted by what is? When one who is not instructed in the dhamma considers the form and so on as the self or the self as having form and so on, he is distracted. In that wrong apprehension there is desire and attachment. He delights in them and is drawn away. If however, one is instructed in dhamma and one knows that the form and so on are with-out self or the self has no form and so on, there arises no desire or attachment towards them and thus he is not drawn away.

(The argument is repeated for feeling, perception, habitual tenden-cies and consciousness as for form .... The sutta l32-4 are repetitions of the theme through the medium of the Lord's disciples. )

2Oth MAY


nissitassa calitam, anissitassa calitam na 'tthi; calite asati passaddhi passaddhiya sati, nati na hoti; natiya asati agatigati na hoti; agatigatiya asati cutupapato na hoti; cutupapate asati n'ev' idha na huram na ubhayam antarena es' ev' anto dukkhassati.

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Rajagaha. The venerable Sariputta, the venerable Maha Cunda and the venerable Channa were staying on vulture peak. The venerable Channa was very sick. One day the venerable Sariputta and the venerable Maha Cunda approached Channa and enquired of his welfare. Channa said that his condition was grave: "I do not wish to live; I shall take my life with a knife." The other two dissuaded Channa: We want the venerable Channa to go on living; do not take the knife. If the venerable Channa is in need of food, medicines and so on we shall get them. If the venerable Channa has no one to attend to him, we shall attend to him." But the venerable Channa replied that he had no want in regard to food and medicines. "Revered Sariputta, I have also served the teacher with satisfaction. However, I shall take the knife, but without incurring blame."

The venerable Sariputta then asked the venerable Channa: "Do you regard the eye, visual consciousness and the things cognised by it as 'This am I' or ' This is mine?' Similarly with the hearing and so on?" The venerable Channa replied: "No". Sariputta asked again: "Do you regard what is in the eye, in the visual consciousness and in the things seen as 'This am I not' or 'This is not mine'? Likewise what is in the ear... , the mind... and so on?"

The venerable Channa replied: "I see that there is cessation, an end to all these, O reverend Sariputta and so I regard all these as 'This is not mine, this am I not' ."

The venerable Maha Cunda said to the venerable Channa: "Therefore, venerable Channa, this teaching of the Lord should always be remembered - There is wavering for one who is attached, not for the unattached. If there is no wavering there is no vulnerability to obstructions. If there is no vulnerability there is no yearning. If there is no yearning, there is neither coming nor going. If there is no coming or going there is no falling and rising. If there is no falling and rising there is no here and there. That itself is the end of sorrow."

Having thus exhorted the venerable Channa, the venerable Sariputta and the venerable Maha Cunda departed. The venerable Channa took his life with a knife. (However, as the fear of death arose in him, he quickly gained insight and overcame mental conditioning. ) Later the venerable Sariputta approached the Lord and asked about the destiny of the venerable Channa.

The Lord replied: "He who lays down his body and grasps another body is to be blamed. The monk Channa did not do this. He took the knife without incurring blame."

21st MAY


kammam vijja ca dhammo ca silam jivitam uttamam,

etena macca sujjhanti na gottena na dhanena va

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was then staying near Savatthi in the Jeta grove. At that time the householder Anathapindika became seriously ill. He sent another man and requested him to approach the Lord and convey his salutations to his feet. He also asked him to beg of Sariputta to visit him (Anatha-pindika). The venerable Sariputta soon reached the house of Anathapindika.In response to Sariputta's enquiry, Anathapindika revealed that his condition continued to grow worse and that there was no relief.

Then, the venerable SARIPUTTA spoke as follows:

Therefore, householder, you should train yourself in the following way: "I shall not apprehend vision, hearing and so on. Thus, I will not have the corresponding consciousness.... Similarly, I shall not apprehend visual consciousness and so on and therefore will not have dependence on such visual consciousness and so on.... I shall not apprehend visual experience and so on and therefore my awareness will not depend upon visual experience and so on.... I shall not apprehend the feeling that arises from visual experience and so on and hence my awareness will not depend upon such feelings.... I will not apprehend the elements (earth, water and so on) and so my awareness will not depend upon them.... I will not apprehend form, feeling and so on and therefore my awareness will not depend upon them.... I will not apprehend the planes of infinite space, infinite consciousness, no-thing, and neither-perception-nor-non-perception and hence my awareness will not depend upon them.... I will not apprehend this world, nor will I apprehend a world beyond and my awareness will not depend upon them. Thus, as I will not apprehend anything here that is seen, heard, sensed, cognised or pondered with the mind, I will have no consciousness dependent on it."

Hearing this, Anathapindika shed tears. When questioned by Ananda who had accompanied Sariputta as his attendant, Anathapindika replied: "I have never heard such a sound discourse before. May householders who are clad in white also become eligible to listen to such discourses, revered Sariputta."

Sariputta and Ananda left the place. Soon after, Ana- thapindika shed the body. He had ascended to the heaven of the deva - to become one of them. That night this deva Anathapindika approached the Lord respect-fully and said: "Surely, the Jeta grove which is frequented by the members of the order and the Lord who is king of dhamma, is the source of great joy to me. A mortal is purified by action, knowledge and dhamma and a moral life, not by birth (ancestry) or by wealth. May every monk become as excellent in wisdom as Sariputta." The Lord approved of this and the deva disappeared. The Lord later narrated this incident to the assembly of monks. Ananda asked: "Could this have been the revered Anathapindika who had great devotion to the venerable Sariputta?" The Lord affirmed this.


22nd MAY


I bow down to all jetsun guru! Especially I take refuge in him who bestowed upon me many bounties. In answer to your request, my son, I sing this song of bardo for you:

Sentient beings in sarnsara and all buddha in nirvana are in nature equal and the same in essence. Son, this is the bardo of view.

The all-manifesting red and white forces and the indescribable mind essence are but the true non-differentiated state. Son, this is the bardo of practice.

The myriad forms of illusion and the non-arising self-mind are one, not two, in the innate-born. Son, this is the bardo of action.

The dreams that arose last night through habitual thoughts and the knowledge of their non-entity this morning in the light of maya are the same. Son, this is the bardo of dream.

The five impure skandha and the pure buddha in the five directions are one in the perfecting yoga - the state of non-discrimination. Son, this is the bardo of arising and perfecting yoga, the bardo of path.

The father tantra that come from skilfulness and the mother tantra that arise from wisdom are one in the third initiation of the innate-born. Son, this is the bardo of quintessence.

Self-benefit is reflected in the changeless dharmakaya; altruistic deeds are done by the ever-manifesting body-of-form. Yet, in_ the primordial state, they are but one. Son, this is the bardo of trikaya.

The impure illusory body of the womb-gate and the pure form of buddha' s body are one in the great light of bardo. Son, this is the bardo of accomplishment.

RESULTS                                                            OF                                                       PRACTICE

These are the blessings which all the objects of refuge have: in mind, the very being of knowledge, love and capability; in speech, secret and inconceivable; in body, great merit and inconceivable qualities. With all these and one' s own great faith, devotion and inner thought, the basis and interdependence of all the truths of the arising of conditions and of emptiness, i.e. , that all dharma are by their essential nature non-demonstrable fall together. Then, as all fog-like obscurations and unwholesome acts are thinning out and being purified, there is awakening, and as the accumulation of merit and wisdom rise bit by bit, like the sun, the wisdom of knowledge of all that is and the way it is enlightens, and the enlightened state of buddha, awakened enlightenment, is obtained. Until then, during the intervening lives, all the happiness of the higher realms i s experienced, rather as excellent fruit and grain springs and grows from sound roots and stalks. To go for refuge with great faith and to clear away obscurations and to gather accumulations are extremely important. Have great faith in the sakya, gelug, kagyu and nyingma schools, since all are exactly the means of liberating all sentient beings from sarrisara by training them all in the religion of awakened enlighten-ment.

Venerable Kalu Rinpoche

(Karma Drubgyud Tendzin)

23rd MAY


api c' udayi titthatu pubbanto, tiṭṭhatu aparanto. dhammam te desessami: imasmim sati, idam hoti; imass' uppada idam upapajjati; imasmim asati, idam na hoti; imassa nirodha imam nirujjhatiti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying in the bamboo grove near Rajagaha. The wanderer Sakuludayin was living in the wanderers' park with a large number of followers. One day the Lord went there and Sakuludayin said to the Lord: "Once, someone who claimed to be all-knowing evaded my question concerning the past and became angry. I thought of the Lord then, knowing that the Lord would have answered the question."

The Lord said: "Surely, he who knows the past can answer such a question in the same way as I can. But let the past be past and let the future be future. I will teach you dhamma: if this is, that comes to be; if this arises, that arises; if this does not arise, that does not; if this is restrained, that is restrained."

Udayin said: "This is not clear to me, Lord. May I submit what my teachers taught me? They said: 'This is the highest light.' But of course I cannot point to it and say: 'This is it' , except that the healthy (holy) self is as lustrous as an emerald jewel."

The Lord said: "That is strange. You say: 'This is the highest light' and yet are unable to point to it. A glow-worm has more light in a dark night than an emerald jewel; similarly an oil-lamp, a blazing fire, the morning star, the moon at its zenith and the sun at its zenith are more lustrous than each other. There are many gods who are more lustrous than any of these! Again, tell me, do your teachers say that there is a rational path to the attainment of a world that is exclusively happy?"

Udayin said: "Yes sir, and our teachers say that asceticism, harm-lessness, non-covetousness, refraining from wrong conduct and from falsehood are the means to attain such a world."

The Lord said: "While undertaking these disciplines and asceticism, the self is certainly not exclusively happy! However, there is a realm that is exclusively happy and there is a rational way of reaching it. That is by leading a life of seclusion, abandoning the pursuit of pleasure and entering successively the first, the second and the third meditations. However, it is not for this that monks practise_brahmacariya under me. They know that a perfected, self-awakened tathagata has arisen in the world. Having got rid of the five obstacles, they enter into the first meditation which is an excellent thing. Then they enter into the second, the third and the fourth meditation. They gain recollection of past incarnations, they gain a knowledge of the consequences of the good and evil deeds of people and finally they realise the four noble truths and arrive at perfect freedom. This is the excellent thing for which my disciples practise brahmacariya under me. All these are superior to 'the world that is exclusively happy'."

Uddyin was highly inspired and prayed to be ordained by the Lord. His followers however restrained him and prevented it by saying: You have been a teacher; and you should not become a pupil now."

24th MAY


yatha yatha khvaham bhagavata dhammam desitam ajanami, nayidam sukaram agaram ajjhavasata ekantaparipunnam ekantaparisuddham samkhalikhitam brahmacariyam caritum

Thus have I heard:

Once the Lord was touring the Kuru country and visited a place called Thullakotthita. His fame as a perfectly enlightened teacher had preceded him and very many people came to meet him and to listen to his teaching. The villagers returned after listening to the Lord, but one young man of good family named Ratthap-ala thought: "If I have understood the Lord's teaching correctly, I feel that it is not possible to abide by that teaching and to attain to perfect purity while remaining in the householder' s life. I should enter the homeless state." Having thus resolved, he approached the Lord who, however, insisted that he should have his parents' consent before he did so.

The young man tried to persuade his parents who were vehement in their refusal saying: "While living the household life, you can enjoy sense-pleasures and also do meritorious deeds." The young man resolved to fast unto death if his parents refused to consent. The parents tried to dissuade him and requested his friends to do so too. These friends, unable to dissuade him, advised the parents: "Surely, if you still refuse to consent, he will die here; however, if you consent, it is possible for you to see him again even after he enters the homeless life." At last the parents relented. The young man entered the homeless state.

After several months, when the young man had realised the deathless state, he approached the Lord and expressed the wish that he might go to visit his parents. Receiving the Lord's consent he went to his former house and solicited alms; he was insulted and he withdrew. He went to another house where a servant of a former relation recognised him; she reported this to his mother who informed his father. The young man accepted the father's invitation to take a meal in the house the next day. The father had piled up gold, had excellent meals ready and had also invited the young man' s wives to be present. Ratthapala scorned the wealth offered to him saying: "This is the cause of much grief." When his wives bowed to him, he addressed them: "Sisters!" Hearing which, they fainted. Then the young monk had his meal and left the house after making the following utterance:

"Behold that which men call 'body' is but a mass of sores, subject to manifold afflictions and is ever changing. Behold the form decked with jewels and ornaments; it is a skeleton clothed in skin and flesh and made to shine with gaudy dress. The limbs and the face are smeared with colour! All this may delude a fool - but not one who seeks the reality."

25th MAY


atthi kho maharaja tena bhagavata janata passata arahata samma sambuddhena cattaro dhammuddesa uddittha; ye aham natva ca disva ca sutva ca agarasma anagariyam pabbajito

Soon afterwards, the venerable Ratthapla went to the deer park of the Kuru king to spend the rest of the day there. The Kuru king had ordered_ the park to be cleared. One of his men saw the venerable Ratthapala and reported the matter to the king who thereupon approached the monk. The king greeted him and asked: "People resort to the homeless state when they suffer four kinds of loss - loss of strength and youth, loss of health, loss of wealth and loss of relations. But you are still young, you are healthy, you belong to a wealthy family and all your relations are alive and well. What made you resort to the homeless life?"


The Lord who has seen the truth, who knows the truth, who is fully enlightened and is worshipful propounds four truths. Having heard these, understood them and been fully convinced, I have resorted to the homeless state. The first is: this world-existence is impermanent and it has an end. The second is: there is no security in this world. The third is: no-thing in this world belongs to anyone. The fourth is: there is no satisfaction in this world but there is insatiable craving.

You were an expert in dealing with an elephant, a horse, a sword and other weapons at the age of twenty, but now that you are eighty years of age and near the end of your life-span you are not able to do now what you did then. This is the significance of the first principle. You suffer from a chronic illness. Your friends and relations are unable to take it away from you and you have to endure the pain all alone. This is the significance of the second principle. Right now you are enjoying the pleasures of the senses with the aid of your wealth and so on. But this does not last long. Soon others will come into possession of the wealth and enjoy the pleasures. This is the meaning of the third principle. Now you are the lord of this country. But if reliable persons were to come to you from the east, west, north and south and say that there were rich countries beyond your boundaries and that you could easily conquer them, you would surely wish to conquer those countries too. This is the meaning of the fourth principle.

Having said all this, the venerable monk further recited a few verses:

I see people constantly acquiring wealth and enjoying the pleasures of the senses. Even a king is not satisfied and craves for more territory and more power. Alas, he dies even when the unsatisfied cravings are strong. His body is reduced to ashes. His own heirs inherit the wealth but he himself takes with him only his kamma. Neither wealth, nor wife and children, nor the kingdom follow him. Wisdom is better than wealth. Wealth cannot buy health or long life. At the touch of death the fool is filled with fear, but the wise one is not. Having seen all this, I have resorted to the homeless life of a recluse.

26th MAY


cattaro 'me sandaka tena_bhagavata janata passata arahata sammasambuddhena abrahmacariyavasa akkhata, cattari ca anassasikani brahmacariyani akkhatani

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was then staying near Kosambi. A wandering ascetic named Sandaka was staying in a nearby cave with a great number of followers. One day Ananda and a group of monks visited Sandaka who was noisily discussing all sorts of worthless topics. When Ananda approached them, Sandaka asked them to be silent. He gave Ananda a respectable seat and himself occupied a lower one. He then requested Ananda to discourse to them on the dhamma.

ANANDA said:

There are four ways of non-brahmacariya and four others which are meaningless, for they do not lead to success and are not moral. I shall describe them to you, listen.

The four non-brahmacariya ways are: (1) when a teacher declares that neither this world nor the other exists, that there is no merit in gifts, etc. , and that upon death, the components of the body decompose; (2) when a teacher declares that there is no merit in doing anything here - either good or evil; (3) when a teacher declares that there is no defilement of creatures at all here and that everyone experiences pain and pleasure; (4) when a teacher declares that earth, water, fire, wind, pleasure, pain and life-principle (ji-va) are uncaused and uncreated and do not affect one another and that all beings in course of time attain freedom from sorrow. Listening to all these four classes of teachers, an intelligent man wonders: "If this is true, then what is the use of follow-ing this teacher and becoming a brahmacari or seeker under his guidance?"

The four meaningless ways of brahmacariya are: (1) when a teacher who claims to be all-knowing enters a cave, gets bitten by a dog or encounters a fierce animal, and says: "I had to do all this,"; (2) when a teacher depends entirely upon the teachings of others, hearsay and tradition, part of which he remembers well and part of which he does not remember well; (3) when a teacher who is a good logician invents a system of his own, which may be partly logical and partly illogical; (4) when a teacher is stupid and ignorant and merely asserts his views with great vehemence. An intelligent man recognises these four ways for what they are and realises that following them would be futile.

Sandaka thereupon requested Ananda to point out the path of the wise. ANANDA continued:

On this path, a buddha arises in this world. A disciple attains eminence under this teacher by living without pursuing pleasure, free from impurity and by entering successively into the first, the second, the third and the fourth meditations. By stages the disciple is freed from the asava and realises that he is totally free. If a disciple does this, that would be the right way of brahmacariya. He does not transgress the five points of morality: he does not intentionally deprive one of life, he does not He and he does not indulge in sensual pleasures. In, whatever condition he may be, walking or standing still, asleep or awake, he knows "My a-sava are gone."

Delighted, Sandaka recommended that all his followers should thence-forth become followers of the Lord, adding: "It is not easy for us to give up our honour, fame and gains."

27th MAY


so vata bhikkhu chasu phassayatanesu samvutakari: upadhi dukkhassa mulan ti iti viditva nirupadhi upadhisamkhaye vimutto upadhismim va kayam upasamharissati cittam va uppadessatiti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Vesali. At that time a number of monks were proclaiming: "We realise that birth is destroyed for us and there is no coming into being for us." Sunakkhatta, hearing this, approached the Lord and enquired: "Lord, is it true as they say, or are they saying so out of conceit ?"

The LORD answered:

Surely, some are saying so truthfully and there are some others who say so out of conceit. But when the monks say so out of conceit, the only thought that occurs to the tathagata is: "I should teach them dhamma" ; no other thought occurs to him.

There are five strands of sense-pleasure - shapes cognisable by the eye, sounds cognisable by the ear, smells cognisable by the nose, tastes cognisable by the tongue and touch cognisable by the body. When some individual is set on material things, only the company of those who dwell on materiality is agreeable to him, not the company of those who expound equanimity.

But the individual who is set on equanimity seeks the company of those who expound it and not of those who expound material things.

There are those who are set on no-thing and who do not feel happy in the company of those who are set on equanimity; they lend ear only to talk on trivia (no-thing ) . They are released from the fetters of equanimity.

Then there are those who are set on ' neither-perception-nor-non-perception ' , who do not wish to have anything to do with those who are set on no-thing as it does not arouse profound knowledge in them. In the same manner there are others who are set on perfect nibbana, who do not listen to talk on ' neither-perception-nor-non-perception ' , but listen only to discourses upon perfect nibbana. -

But he who thinks: "I am set on perfect nibbana" may be proud of that goal. He may indulge in actions and experiences that are in conflict with perfect nibbana and then attachment may assail his mind. On the other hand, he may think : "Craving has been called a dart by the teacher; this dart has been plucked out by me. I am set on perfect nibbana." He may not indulge in actions and experiences that are in - conflict with it.

It is like a man who has been pierced by an arrow. A surgeon might extract the arrow with a knife and drain off the poison. The surgeon might warn the man: "The arrow has been extracted and the poison drained; but be careful in what you eat and how you bathe the wound, lest it should fester again." One might pay no heed to this admonition. On account of this carelessness one might come to death. Or one might pay heed to this admonition, and being careful, avoid pain. This is a parable. The wound is a synonym for the senses; the arrow for craving; the surgeon's instrument for mindfulness; the knife of the surgeon for ariya wisdom; the surgeon for the tathagata.

Thus, if the monk realises that: "Clinging is the root of sorrow", he does not cling to the body and restrains himself from sense indulgence.

28th MAY

atthi kho dhananjani anne sahetuka dhammika kammanta yehi sakka matapitaro c'eva posetum, na ca papakammam katum, punnan ca patipadam patipajjitum .... atthi kho dhananjani anne sahetuka dhammika kammanta yehi sakka kayan c'eva pinetum bruhetum na ca papakammam katum punnan ca paṭipadam paṭipajjitun ti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Rajagaha in the bamboo grove. One day the venerable Sariputta was touring the mountains. On the way he met a monk from whom he learnt that a certain brahmana, Dhananjani, had strayed away from diligence and was leading an unrighteous life. Soon after this, Sariputta met the brahmana and enquired: "I hope you are diligent and vigilant, 0 Dha-nanjani." Dhananjani replied: "How can I be? I have my parents, my wife and children to support, as also my servants to protect. I have my duties towards my friends and relatives, towards my guests and ancestors. I have to worship the gods and serve the king and I have to look after this body too."

Sariputta asked him: "Supposing that one were to lead a life of unrighteousness and conflict for the sake of his parents, his wife and children and so on or even for the sake of protecting his body, would he or would he not be taken to hell? Would he be excused because of his justification of such conduct and would his parents and so on be able to save him from going to hell?" DhananjEni replied: "Of course not. He would be taken to hell."

Sariputta said: "There are modes of conduct and living, Dhananjani, other other than unrighteousness and discord, by which one can support one's parents and so on and by which one can support his body too, by which one does not do evil kamma but proceeds towards what is good." The brahmana was convinced of this and departed.

After some time the brahmana fell ill and prayed that the venerable Sariputta would visit him. The brahmana said to him: "I am not well. I suffer violent pains. I have violent headaches and I feel as if gale-force winds are bursting my head. My stomach is being cut asunder. My whole body is burning." Sariputta asked him: "Which do you think is better: companionship with Brahma, the creator, or going to the brahma-world, the world of the gods, of the celestials, of the guardian angels, of human beings, of the manes, of animal wombs or hell?" The brahmana answered: "Of course, companionship with Brahma."

Thereupon, Sariputta said: "This is the way to attain companionship with Brahma . Radiate friendliness and compassion to the four directions, one by one, then above and below. Fill your mind with friendliness and compassion which are immeasurable and limitless (unconditioned)." The br-ahmana did so and saluted the Lord (though he was not present) and Sariputta. Sariputta departed; the brahmana passed away.

When Sariputta approached the Lord, the latter said to him: "The brahmana has departed and reached the brahma-world."

29th MAY

yo vitarago vitaragesu dadati

danam dhammena laddha supasannacitto

abhisaddhaham kammaphalam ularam

tam ve danam amisadanam vipulam ti brumi

Thus have I heard: -

The Lord was staying among the Sakya in Nigrodha' s monastery. Mahapajapati the Gotami (the younger sister of the Lord's mother) brought a set of new clothes for him and prayed for the gift to be accepted. A dialogue ensued between the Lord and Ananda, the latter recommending that the gift be accepted.

In the course of the dialogue the LORD said:

If one who is fully established in moral habit gives a gift to one who is of evil habits and if the gift has been well-earned by the giver who is also happy to give and fully convinced in the fruit of the gift -such a gift is purified by the giver.

If the giver is poor in moral habit but gives to one of moral habit a gift that is well-earned, but with a mind not happy to give because of a lack of faith in the merit of such gift - such a gift is purified by the recipient.

If one who is of evil habit gives a gift to one of evil habit and if the gift has also been ill-earned and the mind is not happy when the gift is made and is without faith in the merit of the gift - such a gift is purified by neither the giver nor the recipient.

If one who is fully established in moral habit gives a gift to one who is also established in moral habit and if the gift has been well-earned by the giver who is happy to give and fully convinced in the fruit of the gift - I say that gift bears abundant fruit.

If, without attachment, the giver gives to those who are also free from all attachment, a gift which has been well-earned, and if that gift is given with a happy mind, firm in the belief in the rich fruit of the gift (kamma) - I say that such a gift bears abundant fruit.

Such is the very nature of magical creation. Although devoid of any real being at sight root, they are yet objects of sight and objects of hearing.

The BUDDHA adds:

Such is the nature of ignorance too. Although, of it, it cannot be said that it is inside or outside, ... although it is devoid of any ultimate nature of its own, ... still, ignorance doesndeed function as the condition for the birth yg) of the sathskara.... When the magical power of creation ceases, the magically created objects also come to an end; even so when ignorance comes to an end, the products of ignorance, the sarfiskara etc., also come to an end.

The Mand-Prajnaparamita-astra

30th MAY

iti so viggahan ca vivadan ca vighatan ca vihesan ca attani

sampassamano tan c' eva diṭṭhim pajahati annan ca diṭṭhim na upadiyati

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near 1Rjagaha. At that time the wanderer Dighanakha approached the Lord respectfully and said to him: "I am of the view that nothing is pleasing to me."

The Lord asked him: "Is that view not pleasing to you?" He replied: Of course, of course."

The LORD said:

The majority of people who say: "Of course, of course" do not see the contradiction and hold on to their view. But there is a minority who see the contradiction and hence drop their view without taking up another view.

There are recluses and brahmana who hold one or the other of the following three views: (1) everything' is pleasing to me, (2) nothing is pleasing to me and (3) some things are pleasing and others are not, or part of everything is pleasant and the other part is not. The view that 'everything is pleasing' leads to attachment, to clinging, to bondage. The view that 'nothing is pleasing' leads to detachment and to freedom. The third view is partly conducive to attachment and partly to detachment.

However, a wise man sees that one who holds one or the other of these views, immediately comes into conflict with those who hold the other two views. He sees that this causes disputation, trouble and vexation. Seeing this, he drops that view without taking up another view, for the latter too will lead to the same result. Thus all the views are abandoned.

The physical body has form, is made of the four great elements (earth, water, fire and air), is nourished by food and constantly wastes away; it is impermanent, subject to decay and hence a source of pain and suffering. When this is seen, all attachment for the body drops away. Similarly with regard to feelings, whether they are pleasant, unpleasant or mixed. They are dependent upon certain conditions, they have a beginning and an end and hence they are impermanent. Seeing this, a wise disciple turns away from pleasant, unpleasant and mixed feelings. He is dispassionate. He is freed and he realises his freedom from birth and death. Being thus freed, he does not agree or disagree with anyone. He continues to make use of the common expressions without clinging to them. 

While the Lord was saying all this, Sariputta, who was standing beside the Lord fanning him, instantly realised: "The Lord is suggesting that these things are got rid of by means of transcendental knowledge." His mind was instantly freed from all the asava.

In Dighanakha the spotless vison of dhamma arose. He plunged into dhamma with all his doubts dispelled. He begged the Lord to accept him as a lay-follower.

31st MAY

api c' avuso yattha yattha sukham upalabbhati yahim

yahim tan tam tathagato sukhasmim pannapetiti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Savatthi. One day a carpenter approached the venerable Udayin and there ensued an argument concerning the Lord's teaching. The venerable Udayin held that the Lord spoke of three types of feeling (pleasant, painful and feeling that is neither pleasant nor painful) . The carpenter, however, felt that the Lord' s teaching only concerned two feelings, pleasant and painful. They could not come to an agreement. The venerable Ananda had heard this conversation and presented the matter to the Lord.

The LORD said:

Both of them were right, Ananda, but yet they disagreed with each other. Of course I have spoken of three types of feelings and two types of feelings and in several different contexts I have spoken of five, six, eighteen, thirty-six and even one hundred and eight kinds of feelings or experiences. I have taught dhamma in different contexts. They who do not see this truth, do not agree with one another and they dispute, quarrel and wound one another' s feelings with the sharp weapon of the tongue. But they who see this truth agree with one another and live in friendship and harmony - even as milk and water live together in harmony. First of all, there are the sense-pleasures which are fivefold. The pleasant feelings that are experienced through the senses and which arise from sense-pleasures are also called happiness.

But it would be wrong to say that that is the highest form of happiness! For there is a more exquisite form of happiness which is experienced when one who is untouched by sense-pleasure enters into the first meditation. This meditation is accompanied by thought and reasoning. This too is happiness.

But it would be wrong to call this the highest form of happiness. For there is a more exquisite form of happiness which is experienced in the second meditation when thought and reasoning cease and there is concentration, rapture and joy. This is happiness too.

But it would be wrong again to call it the highest form of happiness. For there is a more exquisite form of happiness which is experienced in the third meditation which is characterised by equanimity. Even that is not the highest form of happiness. For there is the happiness derived from the fourth meditation which is free from sorrow and happiness and which is entirely purified by equanimity and mindfulness.

But even that is not the highest happiness. For there are the follow-ing progressively greater forms of happiness which are: ( i) when a monk does not pay attention to differences and contemplates the infinite space, (ii) when a monk rises above that and abides in infinite consciousness, (iii) when the monk goes beyond even that and realises that there is no-thing - no object, (iv) ) when he transcends even that and is established in the state of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, and (v ) when finally he is established in the final cessation of perceptions and experiences. This is the highest happiness.

Should someone question you concerning my teaching on happiness, it is good to reply: "The tathagata teaches that whenever and wherever whatever happiness is experienced, all that is of happiness!"


1st JUNE


iti pi so bhagava araham samma-sambuddho vijja-carana sampanno sugato loka-vidu anuttaro purisa-dhamma-sarathi sattha deva- manussanam buddho bhagava

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was on a tour of the Kosala country with a large company of monks. He arrived at the brahmana village known as Icchanankalam. In nearby Ukkattham there was a learned brahmana, Pokkarasadi, who had a disciple Ambattha. Ambattha was as learned as his teacher. They had heard of the good reputation of the Lord which preceded him everywhere; namely that "The Lord is an arahant, fully enlightened, well endowed with wisdom and noble conduct, happy and endowed with a knowledge of the worlds, an unsurpassed leader of people along the path of dhamma, a teacher of gods and men, a buddha." Pokkarasadi sent his disciple Ambattha to investigate the claim, and said: "You know the thirty-two marks of a superior man. If they are found on a person and such a person leads the household life, he will become an emperor. If he has renounced the world he will become a buddha. Investigate to see if Gotama has these marks."

Ambattha went, accompanied by a few brahmaṇa. He met a few monks near the Lord's dwelling who pointed to it and said: "Go quietly, enter the porch gently, cough and knock on the crossbar. The Lord will open the door." So it happened. The companions were seated and the Lord was seated too; but Ambattha kept walking about. The Lord asked him: "Is this the way to behave in the presence of elders?"

Ambattha shouted: "Of course, it is proper for a brahmana to be seated when conversing with another brahmana and to behave in a courteous manner. But this does not hold when dealing with charlatans and menial black fellows. Uncultured and rude is the Sakya clan. It is violent. They are menials and they do not honour and revere the brahmaga."

The Lord thought: "He wishes to humiliate the Sakya. Let me ask him about his origin!" The Lord asked: "What family do you belong to?" "I am a kanhayana." Then the Lord traced the origins of the Sakya and the kanhayana. "Long ago, king Okkaka had banished some of his children from the land. They took up their dwelling on the slopes of the Himalaya near an oak tree (sako). To preserve the purity of their line, they intermarried with their own sisters (sakahi). When the king heard of this he exclaimed: 'They have hearts of oaks (sakya) and in this way they came to be known as sakya. King Okkaka had a slave girl called Disa. She gave birth to a black boy who spoke to his mother immediately after he was born. Since he was black they called him kanha. The kanhayana are his descendents. This shows that the Sakya were your masters! Do you acknowledge this?" The Lord asked him thrice, and yet Ambattha was silent. The Lord warned: "If a reasonable question is put by the tathagata and you refuse to answer, your head will split into pieces!" Just then a celestial wielding the thunderbolt (vajra) appeared above the head of Ambattha. Afraid of this, Ambattha acknow- ledged the truth of what the Lord had said.

At this the brahmana companions of Ambajtha were enraged and upset with Ambattha. The Lord pacified them: "Do not be too harsh on Ambajjha. For that Kanha became a great seer; and married Okkaka's own daughter."

2nd JUNE

na kho ambattha anuttaraya vijja-carana-sampadaya jati-vado va

vuccati, gotta-vado va vuccati, mana-vado va vuccati

The LORD said to Ambattha:

Sanamkumara, who was a brahmana, uttered these wise words: "If you consider status gained by birth, a ksatriya is superior; but he who is endowed with perfect wisdom and conduct is the best among gods and men." In the matchless perfection of wisdom and conduct, the question of birth, lineage or of pride does not arise. Such things are considered only where marriage is involved. Perfection in wisdom and conduct arises only when bondage of birth and so on are got rid of.

Ambattha asked: Good Gotama, what is that conduct and what is that wisdom?

The LORD then expounded the principles of morality and added: When a buddha arises in the world, a householder, after investigating the worthlessness inherent in household life, abandons it and takes to the homeless life. He is trained in self-restraint, contentment and mindfulness. He purifies himself of the five hindrances and enters into the four meditations. He gains the wisdom of perfect vision with regard to the body and the mind. He gains inner spiritual strength, the divine ear, superior knowledge, knowledge of past births, the divine eye and finally he gets rid of the asava.

In this taking to the homeless life there are four distractions: (1) without such perfection in wisdom and conduct, one enters the forest determined to live only on fruits that have fallen from trees; (2) without any of these, one resolves to live only on bulbs and fruits; (3) without any of these, one builds a fire-shrine and worships the fire-god; (4) without any of these, one resolves to entertain recluses or brahmana and to serve them. But you have been trained in none of these, Ambattha! Even your teacher has not fulfilled any of these.

A king's ambassador might speak as the king does while conveying his commands, yet, he does not become king thereby. Recitation of the veda composed by sages does not make one a sage. Did those sages go about well-dressed and groomed and live on rich food; were they waited upon by women; did they drive chariots or live in guarded towns as you do? No. Neither you nor your teacher is a sage, nor do you live as they did.

The Lord then got up and walked up and down. Ambattha observed all the signs of a superior man except two (concerning the Lord's private parts and tongue). By his psychic power the Lord made him see the first and at the same time he extended his tongue which touched his forehead. Ambattha was convinced.

"Ambattha returned to his, teacher and conveyed everything to him. Pokkarasadi himself went to the Lord and apologised for Ambattha's behaviour. He too verified the thirty marks as Ambajtha had done. Then one day, Pokkarasadi invited the Lord to a meal. After this meal, the Lord discoursed upon the dhamma; Pokkarasadi attained the vision of truth even while he was listening to it. He, his family and his people, there- upon became the Lord's disciples.

3rd JUNE

cetayamanassa me papiyo acetayamanassa me seyyo. ahan ce va kho pana ceteyyam abhisamkhareyyam, ima ca me sanna nirujjheyyum, anna ca olarika sanna uppajjeyyum. yan nunaham na ceteyyam na abhisam- khareyyan ti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying in Savatthi in the Jeta grove. One day the Lord thought of paying a visit to the wanderer, Potthapada. Potthapada greeted the Lord, and when he was seated asked the Lord:

Once we were discussing the arresting or suppression of awareness and how it could be brought about. One of the participants said: "Notions arise and cease in a man without reason or cause. When they arise he becomes aware of them; when they cease the awareness of them also ceases." Another said: "Awareness is a man's soul. When the soul enters him, he becomes conscious; when it leaves him, he becomes unconscious, unaware." Yet another said: "It is neither. Some recluses and brahmana are so powerful that they infuse awareness into one and withdraw it from another. When it is infused one becomes aware and when it is withdrawn the awareness ceases." I thought of the Lord, for the Lord is skilled in these matters. Therefore I submit this question to the Lord for clarification.

The LORD said:

It is not by any of these that awareness arises and ceases, but it is by a reason or cause. By training, ideas arise and by training they cease. And what is the training? (Here the Lord described how a house-holder renounces family life and trains himself in self-restraint and mindfulness and then resorts to seclusion for the practice of the first meditation.) When he has realised that the five hindrances to meditation (desire, ill-will, sloth, worry and doubt) have been overcome, joy arises in him; there is peace within him. Free from evil dispositions, he enters into the first meditation. He is aware that the evil dispositions have ceased. There arises in him an actual awareness of joy and peace which arises from detachment and this idea persists in him. Then he abandons reasoning and investigation and enters into the second meditation. The joy and peace born of detachment that he experienced pass away and there arises a subtle but actual awareness of joy and peace which are born of concentration. This awareness persists in him. Then he enters into and abides in the third meditation. The joy and peace born of concentration pass away and there arises a subtle but actual awareness of the bliss of equilibrium which now persists. Then he enters the fourth meditation in which the awareness of the joy and peace comes to an end. But there arises the awareness of the absence of pain and of pleasure and this awareness persists in him. Passing beyond the consciousness of form, he contemplates: "Space is infinite." Then awareness of form, which existed before, yields place to the blissful but actual awareness of the infinity of space. That too comes to an end when he contemplates, "Cognition is infinite" and there is awareness only of awareness itself. Beyond that he contemplates on 'no-thing' and there arises in him the awareness of the unreality of all objects. He then contemplates thus: "It is better not to contemplate at all. If I go on thus contemplating, these ideas might pass away and undesirable ones might arise. So, I shall not contemplate or imagine anything any more." Then no thoughts or notions and so on arise in him. There is total cessation of all thoughts. This is the training. Potthapada.

4th JUNE

etam hi kho poṭṭhapada attha-samhitam etam

dhamma-samhitam etam adibrahmacariyakam

etam nibbidaya viragaya nirodhaya upasamaya

abhinnaya sambodhaya nibbanaya samvattati

Potthapada asked: "Does the Lord teach of only one summit of conscious- ness or several of them?" The Lord said: "One and several. As one state of consciousness is restrained then the other is seen, up to the last. Hence, there are several and there is one."

Potthapada asked again: "Which is first, Lord, awareness or know- ledge?" The Lord said: "Awareness arises first and then comes knowledge. So that one is able to say: 'Because of my awareness of this, I know.""

Potthapada then asked the Lord about the world, soul and life after death. To all of these the Lord replied: "That is a matter on which I have expressed no opinion. This question is not relevant to dhamma; it is useless, for it does not lead to right conduct or to nibbana. But I have expounded what sorrow is, the origin of sorrow, the cessation of sorrow and the method of the cessation of sorrow. This, Potthapada is meaningful, promotes dhamma, it is the root of right conduct, it is Conducive to renunciation, dispassion, self-restraint, peace, insight, awakening and nibbana." (After saying so, the Lord left.)

After some days, both Potthapada and Citta, the son of the elephant trainer, approached the Lord.

The LORD said to them:

There are some who say that the soul is perfectly happy and healthy after death. I ask them: "Have beings from the beyond told you they are perfectly happy?" Their answer is "No". Surely, their talk is unfounded. It is like a man falling in love with a woman he has not seen or known. It is like a man building a staircase to a mansion which he has not even seen.

There are these three aspects of the personality. The material, the immaterial and the formless. The first one is made of the four elements and sustained by food. The second one is the psychological replica. The third one is  consciousness, awareness. I point out the way to the rejection of those aspects of the personality, so that those dispositions that tend towards evil may cease and those that further virtue may increase. Thus the fullness of perfection may be realised. It cannot be that when these are ensured sorrow continues. When these conditions are fulfilled, there will be joy, peace and unbroken mindfulness. But one may ask: "What are the three aspects of the personality you are talking about? My answer would be: "The very personality that you see for yourself. However, when one of the aspects prevails, the other two are not seen or realised; just as you know that you existed in the past, you exist now and you will exist in the future. But right now you exist as you are, not as you were or will be (and earlier you were as you were and not as you are now and so on). All these (material, immaterial and formless) are expressions which are commonly used and I make use of them without being led astray by them.

Delighted, Potthapada prayed to be accepted as a follower. Citta asked to be initiated into the order; and soon attained the highest goal.

5th JUNE

ekayano ayam bhikkhave maggo sattanam visuddhiya soka pariddavanam samatikkamaya dukkha domanassanam atthagamaya nayassa adhigamaya nibbanassa sacchikiriyaya yadidam cattaro satipatthana

Thus have I heard 

The Lord was staying among the guru. He addressed the monks.

The LORD said:

There is only one path for the purification of beings, for the over-coming of grief and lamentation, for the setting of sorrow and mental disturbance. for the attainment of what is right and for the realisation of nibbana. And that is the fourfold mindfulness. That is: mindfulness of the body, feelings, thoughts and ideas. Such mindfulness should be cultivated by one who has over-come both likes and dislikes which are common in the world.

The monk retires to thesecluslon of the forest or an empty room and sits down cross-legged with his body erect. He then rouses mindful-ness. He tnhales and exhales, mindful that he is Inhaling and exhaling. He Is aware that the breath Is long or short. He inhales, contemplating: "I inhale, conscious of my whole body" and similarly exhales. Then he Inhales and exhales contemplating: "I inhale and exhale tranquillising my whole body".

He contemplates the body internally and externally. He contemplates that the body is constantly undergoing change - how it comes into being and passes away. He abides in this realisation, without grasping anything in the world.

When he gets up and walks, he is fully mindful and aware all the time: "1 walk". Similarly, In whatever he is doing. He is fully conscious and aware: "I am doing this". But he is aware all the time: "This is the body..

He then contemplates the body from top to toe and becomes aware of the composition of the body - blood, skin, hair and so on. He contemplates and becomes aware of the fact that the body is composed of the four elements (earth, water, fire and air/. He contemplates the fate of a dead body, decomposing, swelling and turning black and blue. He realises that his body too will be subject to such decomposition and decay. He contemplates that body being devoured by animals; and realises that thia could happen to his own body. He contemplates that body reduced to • skeleton in the course of decomposition, or to the state of a heap of bones, and realises that his own body is subject to the same condition. Thu. He knows: "This is body" and is freed from likes and dislikes. He does not grasp anything.

Grasp - to cling to, to be attached, to depend upon, to identify oneself with.

6th JUNE

puna ca param bhikkhave bhikkhu dhammesu dhammanupassi viharati chasu ajjhattika bahiresu ayatanesu

The LORD continued:

Similarly, he becomes aware of feelings. He becomes aware of the arising of a painful or a pleasant feeling; he becomes aware of the cessation of such feelings. Thus he knows: "There is a feeling". He abides independent of them and does not grasp any of them.

Similarly, he becomes aware of thoughts or the state of his mind. When is lustful thought arises, he knows that it arises. When it ceases, he knows that the mind is free from lustful thoughts. He is aware when his mind is full of hate, or free from hate; he is aware whether it is dull or alert, attentive or distracted, and so on. He knows: "This is a thought".

Similarly, he is mindful of the nature of things. He is aware of the following five hindrances, when they arise and when they cease. He is aware when a sensuous desire arises and when it ceases. Even so with regard to Ul-will, sloth, worry and doubt.

So, too, he becomes aware of the five groups of grasping or attach-ment - form, feeling, perception, mental activities and cognition.

In the same way, he becomes aware of the six internal and external spheres of the senses. He is aware of the nature of sight, the objects of sight and any fetter that may arise on account of their interaction. He is also aware of the dropping away or of the abandonment of such a fetter. Moreover, he is aware of the way to ensure that such a fetter will not arise again. Even no with regard to the other senses.

Similarly, he becomes mindful of the seven factors of enlightenment. He knows when they are present in himself; he knows when they are absent; and he knows when they reach fruition. Thus he knows when mindfulness, the search for truth, energy. joy, serenity, rapture and equanimity come into being within himself and how they attain full development.

Even so the monk considers the nature of the reality from the point of view of the four noble truths. He is aware of sorrow as it really is. He is aware of the arising of sorrow as it is. He is aware of the cessation of sorrow as it really is and he knows the means to the cessation of sorrow as it really is.

Although the hands and so forth are many different farts

As a body that is to be protected they are the same;

Likewise although all creatures are different,

Their wish to be happy is the same as mine.


7th JUNE

yo hi koci bhikkhave ime cattaro satipaṭṭane evam bhaveyya satta vassani, tassa dvinnam phalanam annataram phalam patikankham, ditthe va dhamme anna sati va upadisese anagamita

The LORD continued:

What is sorrow? Birth, old age, death, grief, despair, suffering, not to get what one longs for - in short. the five groups of attachment are sorrow. One might long for or wish not to be born again or not to be subjected to sorrow. But this is not achieved merely by wishing.

The five groups of upadana (attachment) are material form, feeling, perception, mental dispositions and cognition.

What is the truth concerning the arising of sorrow? Craving which gives rise to rebirth, which is accompanied by lust and self-indulgence; whether it is craving for sensual pleasure or craving for a future life or even a craving for cessation of rebirth - it is still craving. Craving arises for those things in the world which are considered pleasant. What are those things? Things which stimulate the senses in a pleasant way. Craving arises from feelings that are born of such stimuli. Craving also arises from the perception of those things. Cravings arise on account of mental dispositions or conditioning which incline the mind that way. When the mind is preoccupied with the things of the world and when the mind is deliberating or contemplating those things, craving arises.

What is the truth concerning the cessation of sorrow? The total cessation of that craving, giving up of that craving, detachment from that craving. It has to be given up in those very sources where it arises. The objects that give rise to that craving should be abandoned. The thoughts that give rise to that craving must be abandoned. The feelings, the stimuli. the perception and the mental conditioning that give rise to craving should be abandoned. Mental preoccupation and deliberation about things seen and so on should be given up as these give rise to craving. This is the cessation of sorrow.

What are the means for the cessation of sorrow? The noble eightfold path is the means for the cessation of sorrow. Right view, right aspiration, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right meditation are the eight. Knowledge of sorrow, of its arising, of its cessation and of the means itself is the right view. Aspiration towards renunciation, benevolence and kindness is right aspiration. Refraining from slander, lying and idle talk is right speech. Refraining from killing, theft and immorality is right action. Living by right means is right livelihood. Effort to rouse good qualities and to destroy evil is right effort. Right mindfulness is the fourfold mindfulness. Right meditation is to resort to seclusion and, free from craving and evil, to enter into the first, the second, the third and the fourth meditations.

Whoever practises the fourfold mindfulness for a period of seven years will either attain enlightenment in the present life or he will return to this world no more. Nay, if he practises the fourfold mindfulness for even seven days, it shall be so.

8th JUNE

tassa evam appamattassa atapino pahitattassa viharato ye te gehasita sarasamkappa te pahiyanti, tesam pahana ajjhattam eva cittam santiṭṭhati sannisidati ekodihoti samadhiyati

Thus have I heard:

The lord was staying near Savatthi in the Jeta grove. The assembly of monks was engaged one day in discussing among themselves the Lord's teaching concerning mindfulness of the body. At that moment the Lord entered Into their midst and explained it in the following words.

The LORD said:

A monk, having retired to a secluded place in the forest, takes his seat holding his back erect. and arouses mindfulness within himself. Mindful he breathes to and mindful he breathes out, comprehending all the time: "I am breathing a short or a long breath". Then he trains himself, thinking: "I will breathe in (and out) tranquillising the activity of the body". While he does this, with diligence, all worldly memories and aspirations are dispelled; when they are thus dispelled the mind is made steady, calm and concentrated. (Even when the monk is walking. lying down, or whatever else he is doing and whatever be the position of the body. he continues to be conscious: "I am doing this".)

The monk then reflects upon the contents or composition of the body -the hair, skin, flesh, bones. internal organs, blood, excrements and so on. It is like a man who has a bag full of all sorts of grain and who. as the contents of the bag are poured out. knows "This is rice", "This is sesamum" and so on. Then the monk reflects on the elements that constitute the body - the element of extension (earth), the element of cohesion (water), the element of radiation (fire) and the element of motion (air). Thus he develops mindfulness of the body.

The monk might visualise a body lying in a cemetery being devoured by vultures and other animals, or a skeleton devoid of flesh, or a few pieces of unconnected bone-fragments. and realise: "This body of mine too is of the same nature and has not gone past that state". Thus he develops mindfulness of body. While he is diligently contemplating in that manner. all worldly thoughts and aspirations are eradicated and the mind is steadied and concentrated.

Again, the monk, free from pursuit of sense-pleasures and immoral states of mind, enters into the first meditation, the second, the third and the fourth meditation. At each stage, he saturates and suffuses this very body with the rapture and Joy of that stage of meditation. Thus he develops mindfulness of the body. As a result, those skilled states which are connected with knowledge grow in him. Mira, the evil one, afflicts one who has not developed mindfulness, but Mira does not assail one who has thus cultivated mindfulness of body. He who has cultivated mindful-ness of body is able to direct his attention to this or that and realise its truth through his transcendental knowledge.

The following ten advantages flow from mindfulness of body: conquest of likes and dislikes; overcoming of fear; endurance of cold, heat, hunger and so on; endurance of bodily feelings which may be painful; the ability to enter Into the four meditations without effort; acquisition of psychic powers; ability to comprehend with one's own mind, others' minds as they are; recollection of manifold former habitations; understanding of good and evil destinies of others; the destruction of asava and establishment in the state of freedom.

9th JUNE

anapanasati bhikkhave bhavita bahulikata mahapphala hoti mahanisamsa

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Savatthi in the eastern monastery with a large number of monks. There were many great elders who were train-ing newly ordained monks. The Lord was highly pleased with this and extended his stay there. This attracted more and more people and the number of newly ordained monks also increased. One full moon day the Lord addressed the assembly of monks.

The LORD said:

This assembly of monks is without idle words. It is worthy of honour. Gifts given to such an assembly are of incomparable merit. In this assembly there are fully liberated ones, those whose five fetters are destroyed and they who will take only one more incarnation; there are those who have entered the stream and are not liable to downfall and they who live intent on the practice of mind--development with the help of mindfulness on inhalation and exhalation.

Mindfulness of inhalation and exhalation, if it is cherished and practised with intensity, is productive of great fruit. It will bring about the four applications of mindfulness and the perfection of the seven links in awakening.

A monk having seated himself in a secluded spot. with his body held erect, arouses mindfulness in front of him. Mindful he exhales. mindful he inhales, whether the breath is long or short. Then he trains himself In the following ways:

(i) He breathes in and out) experiencing the body: he breathes in and out) tranquillising the activity of the body, thus at that time he is fully conscious of the body in the body. This is mindfulness of the body.

(ii) He breathes in (and out) experiencing rapture (and joy). Thus at that time he is fully conscious of the feelings in the feelings. This Is the application of mindfulness as to feelings.

(iii) He breathes in (and out) experiencing thought. Thus he rejoices in thought, concentrates on thought and frees thought. at the same time fully conscious of the mind in the mind. This is the application of mindfulness as to mind.

(iv) He breathes in (and out) beholding impermanence, detachment, stopping, casting away. Thus he contemplates the mental states and is fully conscious of them. This is the application of mindfulness to the mental states.

When thus unmuddled mindfulness is aroused in the monk, the first link in awakening (mindfulness) is stirred up. He begins to investigate it by means of wisdom and the second link (investigation) is awakened. While he is thus investigating, great energy the third link! is aroused. As a result of this, the fourth link in awakening rapture is stirred up. As a result of this the body and mind are tranquillised and the fifth link (tranquillity) becomes manifest. Tranquillity leads to concentration. The sixth link (concentration) is awakened. The monk attains to fulfilment. When he looks at a thought with concentration, the seventh link (equanimity) is stirred up and comes to fulfilment in the monk. Thus mindfulness of breathing leads to the four applications of mindfulness and also to the seven links of awakening.

10th JUNE


yam kinci rahula rupam... sabbam rupam n'etam mama n'eso 'ham asmi

na meso atta ti evam etam yathabhutam sammappannaya daṭṭhabban ti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Savatthi. One morning the lord went out for alms-gathering. Rahula was following closely behind him.

The LORD said to him: "All forms. Rahula, and all things that have form, gross or subtle. should be understood as form; realise by intuitive wisdom that 'This is form. This is not self. This is not mine'." the Lord continued: Not only form, but also experience, perception, habitual tendencies and consciousness must be realised for what they are." Rahula sought the foot of a tree and there sat cross-legged in contemplation (mindfulness). In the evening he approached the Lord and asked him: "How is the mindfulness of inhalation and exhalation so beneficial?"

The LORD said:

There are these five elements - earth, water, fire, air and space. They are both internal and external. Internally all that is solid is earth: hair, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, bones, internal organs. Internally all that is liquid is water: blood, phlegm, fat, tears, saliva, urine etc. Internally, whatever produces heat is fire: heat, warmth, vitality, digestion and assimilation. Internally all that is in motion is air: wind in the abdomen or in the limbs, breathing, etc. Internally whatever is cavernous is space: the ears, the nose, the mouth the throat and so on. One should realise by perfect intuitive wisdom: "This is not self. This is not mine." Thus one should see all this as it is. Thus is thought cleansed of these elements.

Still contemplating the elements, O Rahula, develop the characteristics of the elements. Earth, water and fire purify all that is thrown into them. They are patient and forbearing and are not disgusted with the unclean things thrown into them. Even so be forbearing. Air does not adhere to one spot; even so let not sensory Impressions stay in your mind. Then cultivate mindfulness that is friendliness, compassion, sympathetic Joy and equanimity; thus will you be freed from hate, cruelty, aversion and sensory reaction. Then cultivate mindfulness that all things are impure; thus will attachment to them not arise. Cultivate mindfulness that all things are impermanent ; thus will the egotistic notion: 'I am' be got rid of.

Then train yourself as follows. While breathing in feel (1) 'I inhale, experiencing the whole body'. (21 'I inhale tranquillising the activities of the body'. (3) 'I inhale experiencing rapture'. (4) 'experiencing happiness; (5) 'experiencing the activity of thought', (6) 'tranquillising the activity of thought', (7) 'experiencing thought', (8) 'rejoicing in thought', (9) 'concentrating on thought'. (10) 'experiencing freedom from thought'. ( 11 ) 'conscious of impermanence'. (12) 'of dispassion', (13) 'of the cessation of everything' and (14) 'of discarding everything'. (In each case, have the same feeling while exhaling.) He who is thus mindful of the inhalation and exhalation is conscious at all times, even at the time of his last breath.


11th JUNE

ekayano ayam bhikkhave maggo sattanam visuddhiya sokapariddavanam samatikkamaya duhkhadomanassanam atthagamaya nayassa adhigamaya nibbanassa sacchikiriyaya yadidam cattaro satipatthana

Thus have I heard:

One day, when the Lord was staying in the land of the Kuru, In Kammassadhamma, he spoke to the monks.

The LORD said:

There is but one path, o monks, for the purification of one's whole being, for the overcoming of sorrow and for the eradication of pain and psychological distress, for the progress in evolution and for the realisation of nibbana: that is the fourfold mindfulness. What is the fourfold mindful-ness? The monk beholds the body in the body with all his attention passionately centred in his attention, without any trace of ignorance or illusion concerning it. Similarly, he becomes aware or mindful of sense-experiences. Thirdly, he becomes intensely aware of the mind and its activities. Lastly, he becomes intensely aware of the truth (dhamma) in the essential nature of everything.

How does a monk practise mindfulness in relation to the body? He sits in a secluded place. He holds his back straight. He becomes aware of his breathing: "1 am now breathing in." "I am now breathing out." Then he learns to become aware of his whole body while breathing in and breathing out; he learns to tranquillise the psychosomatic agitations while breathing in and breathing out, by asserting: "I tranquillise the inner agitations while I breathe in." "I tranquillise the inner agitations while I breathe out." Thus he becomes fully aware of the body internally and externally, of its growth and of its decay. Knowing: "Such is the body" he lives wisely, free from attachment to anything. When he walks, he knows: "I am walking" and when he sits, he knows: "1 am seated". Whatever he does, he is aware of it and he acts in a conscious way. Moreover, he knows all that is in the body from top to toe - the hair, the skin, the blood, the bones, etc., even as the owner of the grocery store knows his stock. He is aware that the body is composed of earth, water, heat and air. He sees a corpse and he knows that 'his' body too is of a similar nature. He sees d decomposed or a decomposing body and knows that 'his' body too is of the same nature as that. By such contemplation and by such knowledge does the monk practise mindfulness concerning the body?

In the same way, the wise monk practises mindfulness concerning feelings and sensory experiences. He becomes conscious of the nature of a pleasant feeling and of an unpleasant feeling, whether they are associated with material or subtle objects. 1k becomes aware of the external or the internal nature of those feelings and of their commencement and their termination. He knows, "Such is the nature of feeling or sensory experience," and he is therefore not attached to anything in this world. That is how the monk becomes mindful of feelings and experiences.

12th JUNE

yo hi koci bhikkhave ime cattaro satipattane evam bhaveyya sattaham, tassa dvinnam phalanam annataram phalam patikankham; ditthe va dhamme anna, sati va upadisese anagamita

The LORD continued:

How does a monk practise mindfulness in regard to the mind itself? He is aware of the different states of the mind: "The mind is subject to attraction now", and "The mind is free from attraction now"; or that it is impure or pure, deluded or undeluded, contracted or expansive, great or small, moving on or without motion, collected or distracted, freed or fettered. With this knowledge, the monk lives free from attraction and aversion with just enough mental activity for such living.

How does a monk practise mindfulness in regard to the truth (dhamma)? He becomes aware of the truth concerning the five obstacles, which arc: desire, dullness, restlessness and doubt. He is aware of their presence when they are present, of their absence when they are absent, of their arising anew, of their elimination and of their utter annihilation (so that they do not arise again in the future). Thus he knows them as they are; he is aware of their essential and true nature.

Again, the monk trains himself to be aware of the five modes of conditioning which are: form, feeling or experience. Perception. Habit or mould (tendency or predisposition) and conditioned awareness. He is aware of the truth concerning their presence, their arising and their cessation. He pays just that much attention to them as is necessary and lives free of all attachment or dependence on the world.

Again. The monk practises mindfulness in regard to the six sense-objects, both internal and external. They are: sight and form, hearing and sound, the sense of smell and smell, taste and flavours, the tactile sense and its objects and the mind and its own objects. He is aware of their interacting relationship (bondage) when it arises, when it does not arise, when it is abandoned and when it is annihilated. Thus he lives without attachment to the world.

Again. The monk becomes aware of the seven links of awakening. They are: mindfulness, investigation of dhamma, energy, joy, serenity. Concentration and equanimity. He is aware of their arising, subsiding, existing, non-existing and annihilation.

Again, the monk contemplates the four noble truths. He knows sorrow as it really is, he knows the arising of sorrow, he knows the ending of sorrow and he knows the course leading to the ending of sorrow. Knowing the truth concerning these, he lives free of all attachment to the world.

One who practises this fourfold mindfulness for seven years, six. Five, four. three, two or one year; or seven months, six, five, four, three, two or one month, or a fortnight or a week gains either of two fruits, which are profound knowledge here rind now or, if there is some residue of conditioning, the state of one who does not return to worldly existence once again.

13th JUNE

cittuppadam-pi kho aham cunda kusalesu dhammesu bahukaram vadami ko pana vado kayena vacaya anuvidhiyanasu

Thus have I heard:

While the lord was staying in the kid grove the venerable Maha Cunda spoke to him thus: "Lord, we come across various points of view in this world, associated with the doctrines concerning the self, the world, etc. Does the practice of mindfulness or contemplation remove such views from the heart of the monk?"

The LORD replied

These views and doctrines are dispelled only by perfect wisdom and by the direct realisation : "This is not mine", "This Is not I" and "This Is not my self".

Such freedom is not attained when a monk enters into the first state of meditation, which Is accompanied by logic and observation. Nor is it attained by one who has risen to the second state where only peace and bliss prevail, though in these states the monk may feel :"I am free of the wrong views " .

The monk may even have risen above all these and may rest in peace which is the third meditation; or he may have got rid of joy and sorrow after becoming aware of such experiences in past incarnations. Yet. Though he is at peace here and now, he is not totally free from the wrong views.

Similarly, a monk may even realise the infinite nature of space or of consciousness; and beyond that he may rest in an ineffable state beyond perception and non-perception. These are indeed peaceful states but they do not constitute the higher life.

What is the nature of freedom? It is when you free yourself from violence or harmfulness, aggression or domination, greed, impurity of conduct. falsehood, unrestrained speech, corrupt life-style, anger, doubt. deceitfulness, indolence, lack of faith, arrogance, ignorance and confusion. weakness in wisdom and attachment to worldly objects.

Indeed, I say that the arising of thought can be regarded as conducive to the promotion of titiamma , in determining right action and right speech. In the monk. the thought should arise: "Others may be violent , we shall not be violent" and so on. With the help of thought, the monk chooses a 'different' road to the one that others take. That is the road of perfect view, perfect thought, perfect speech, perfect activity, perfect life-style, perfect endeavour, perfect contemplation, perfect Concentration, perfect knowledge and perfect freedom. Right thoughts elevate one even ab wrong thoughts degrade one.

It is, however, not possible for one who is himself sinking in the mire of indiscipline. To bring about a disciplined state of mind in another. It is possible for one who is himself well disciplined to help another discipline the mind. When the mind is thus disciplined, there is freedom from wrong views.

14th JUNE

tassa na vinnaṇavipariņamanuparivattaja paritassana dhammasamup- pada cittam pariyadaya tiṭṭhanti cetaso pariyadana na c'ev uttasava hoti na ca vighatava na ca upekhava anupadaya ca na paritassati

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was then staying. Near Savatthi in the Jeta grave. One day he addressed the following sutta to the assembled monks.

The LORD said:

Even as a monk is engaged in investigation, his consciousness of what is external should be undistracted and not dissipated and his consciousness of what is internal should not be slackened or disturbed by grasping (attachment); then there is no more birth, old age and death or sorrow for him.

Having said this much the Lord retired. The monks considered this among themselves and decided that the venerable Maha Kaccana should elaborate on the sutta thus given in brief by the Lord, for the Lord him-self spoke highly of the venerable Maha Kaccana. The venerable MAHA KACCANA then spoke as follows:

O monks, the external consciousness of the monk who is engaged in investigation should be undistracted and not dissipated. What does this mean? It should not run after signs of material shape nor should it be attached or bound to the satisfaction in such signs. Similarly with the activities of the other senses and their objects, up to the level o! the mental states.

The internal consciousness of the monk engaged in investigation should not be slackened or disturbed by grasping (attachment). What does this mean? Free from the pleasures of the senses, a monk enters the first meditation with its characteristics of rapture and joy: but if his conscious-ness runs after the rapture and joy. his thought is slackened in regard to what's internal. Similarly in the second meditation, if his conscious-ness runs after rapture arid joy born of concentration, and if in the third meditation it runs after the joy of equanimity, and if in the fourth meditation it runs after what is neither anguish nor joy. the thought is slackened in regard to what is Internal. All these should be avoided.

What is meant by 'disturbed by grasping (attachment)' ' It is when someone who is untrained In dhamma regards material shape Itself as sell, or the self as existing in the material Shupe (even so in feeling, perception, tendencies and consciousness). Isiah every alternation in the material shape and so on, his awareness alters and there is disturbance consequent upon such preoccupation with the changes in the forms and so on. Rut, if he is claimed in dhamma and does not regard the self as the form and so on (or that the self is in the form and so on), even while the form and all the rest of it undergo changes, his awareness is not preoccupied with the changes and there is no disturbance. His feelings change, his experiences change, his consciousness changes, but since his awareness is not preoccupied with these changes, there is no disturbance in him arising out of these changes. Because of this non-obsession with his thought, he is neither afraid nor annoyed nor subject to craving, and he is unattached.

Later. when. This exposition was brought to the notice of the Lord. he applauded and said.  "It you had asked me to explain it. I would have said exactly the same thing.

15th JUNE

tena hi tvam vaccha dve dhamme uttarim bhavehi, samathan ca

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near rajagaha. The wandering ascetic, Vacchagotta, approached the Lord one day and requested him to teach him in brief the moral and the immoral states. The Lord replied: "I shall describe them to you in full and in brief. Listen. The following are unskilled (immoral) states: greed, aversion, confusion, violence, stealing, unethical sense-enjoyment, falsehood in speech, slanderous speech, harsh speech, frivolous speech, covetousness, hate and wrong view. The absence of these are skilled (moral) states. He who has completely rooted out craving is a perfected one and he is freed."

Vaccha asked: "Has the good Gotama even one disciple who follows the dhamma?" The Lord answered: "Indeed, there are many hundreds of monks and nuns, as well as men and women lay_ -followers,who are enjoying sense-pleasures but who are keen on following the teacher's instructions." Vaccha accepted: "If only the good Gotama or the monks or the lay-followers or the householders (men) follow the dhamma, it would be incomplete; but since monks and nuns. lay-followers and men and women householders pursue the life of brahmacariya, it is indeed complete." He prayed to be accepted as an ordained disciple and was prepared to undergo a four-year probation if necessary. He was ordained immediately.

After some months, Vaccha approached the Lord again and said: "Revered teacher, I have learned what has to be learned. Let the Lord teach me further dhamma."

The Lord said: "Develop calmness and awareness. With these you will be able to penetrate all things and gain any psychic power you want. If you wish you can become many, go through a mountain,walk on water, enter the earth and emerge from it, touch the sun and the moon, acquire supernatural powers of seeing and hearing and knowledge of others' minds (to see if they are with or without attachment. aversion and confusion) and to know if they are freed or not, gain knowledge of your own past habitations, know the destiny of different classes of human beings and see for yourself how the noble ones go to heaven and the evil ones go to hell. On the other hand. if you wish_ to,_ you may gain transcendental knowledge and enter the state free from asava and abide in it."

Having heard this, Vaccha soon realised the state free from asava and of total freedom. He knew by his own transcendental knowledge that he had been completely freed from birth and death. He had become one of the perfected ones.

One day, Vaccha saw a number of monks going to the Lord and sent word through them: "Please convey my salutations to the Lord's feet and inform him: 'The Lord is waited on by me'." They conveyed this message to the Lord who said to them: "By my own mind I have understood that Vaccha has gained the knowledge of the three periods of time. Ile is of great power and great majesty."

16th JUNE

ayam vuccati bhikkhave bhikkhu vasi vitakkapariyayapathesu, yam vitakkam akankhissati tam vitakkam vitakkessati, yam vitakkam n' akankhissati na tam vitakkam vitakkessati; acchecchi tapham vavattayi samyo janam samma manabhisamaya antam akasi dukkhassati

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying in the Jeta grove near Savatthi. One day he addressed the following words to the monks.

The LORD said:

O monks, that monk who would cultivate the higher mind (adhicittam- super-consciousness) should again and again pay attention to the following five methods.

When the monk finds that there arises within him thoughts which are unskilled or unworthy, in as much as they are characterised by desire, aversion and delusion, he should turn his mind to those thoughts which have other characteristics, which are skilled (moral) and therefore worthy. By this method are the unskilled (immoral) and unworthy thoughts removed and the mind gains calmness and concentration. This is like the work of a skilful carpenter: he pulls out a large peg with the help of a small If, peg.

If however, the unholy and unworthy thoughts still continue to arise, even while the monk is endeavouring to replace them with holy and worthy thoughts, he should resort to the second method. He should then contemplate the dangers that are accompanied by such unworthy and evil thoughts and the painful consequences that are bound to follow if they are not checked. By this method are the unskilled and unworthy thoughts wiped out and the mind gains calmness and concentration. This method can be compared to a young man or woman who is fond of adornments. If that person finds a filthy snake or some such dead thing hanging round the neck, he or she would quickly throw it away in utter disgust.

If even this method is found to be inadequate, then the monk should resort to forgetfulness and pay no attention to the evil or unworthy thought. By this method the evil and unworthy thoughts come to an end and the mind gains calmness and concentration. This is like a man who does not want to see a sight in front of him and therefore closes his eyes. If even this method is not successful and if the undisciplined and unworthy thoughts continue to arise, the monk should investigate the phenomenon of thinking itself and directly observe the form of the thought. Thus will he be able to put an end to the undisciplined and unworthy thought and the mind will gain calmness and concentration. This is like a man who, while walking considers the nature of walking and decides: "It is easier to stand still, it is easier still to sit and it is easiest to He down."

If this method too is unsuccessful, then the monk should grind his teeth, press his tongue against the roof of the mouth and with a resolute effort subdue his mind. This is like a strong man overpowering a weak man. By this method he shall surely get rid of the unskilled thoughts and gain calmness and concentration.

O Monks, such a person is considered to have mastered the mind and its movement. He is able to think what he wishes to think and he does not entertain a thought which he does not wish to think. He gets rid of craving. He has snapped bondage. He is free from pride. He has gone beyond sorrow.

17th JUNE


nanu maya moghapurisa anekapariyayena paticcasamuppannam vinnanam

vuttam annatra paccaya natthi vinnapassa sambhavo ti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Savatthi. A monk known as Sati was propagating a wrong interpretation of the Lord's teaching, saying: "It is consciousness that does everything." Some other monks approached Sati and endeavoured to make him see the error, but Sati asserted that that was indeed the Lord's teaching. The monks then brought this to the Lord's attention. The Lord sent for Sati and questioned him. Sati replied: "Such indeed is my understanding of the Lord's teaching." "What is this consciousness, Sati?" asked the Lord. "That which feels, speaks and experiences the fruition of past deeds," replied Sati.

The LORD said:

When did I teach such dhamma? Deluded one, have I not with the help of numerous illustrations taught that consciousness itself arises on account of psychological conditioning and that otherwise (movement in) consciousness does not arise? You foolishly misinterpret the teaching and cling to the wrong view. This will lead you to great sorrow. (The Lord then turned to the other monks, who concurred that such indeed was the Lord's teaching.)

The LORD explained further:

Consciousness (awareness or experience) arises in response to certain conditions and is then identified as such. When the awareness arises in response to visual objects, it is known as vision;  when it arises in response to sound, it is known as hearing and so on. When the awareness arises in response to the mind or mental objects, it is known as mental consciousness. Do you see that the stimuli give rise to the awareness? Do you see that but for the stimuli that awareness would cease? (The monks assented). One then begins to wonder: can the stimuli be cut off and the awareness be stopped? However, only when one intuitively knows that the awareness has arisen and how it has arisen will the enquiry concerning it come to an end. When you have this purified intuitive vision, you know that the dhamma is a boat to cross over to the other side and not to be regarded as a gain by itself.

These are the four sources of stimuli (food) that are responsible for the birth and sustenance of created beings. Matter, sensation, mental activity and awareness. These have craving as their source. Experience gives rise to craving. Sense-contact gives rise to experience. the existence of their objects is the cause of such sense-contact. Name-and form (concepts and percepts) are the cause of these objects. Such concepts And percepts arise in consciousness. Consciousness arises on account of psychological conditioning or impressions. These impressions and this conditioning exist because of ignorance. On account of the conditioning caused by ignorance there arise the impressions, consciousness, name-and- form, sense-objects, sense-contact, experience, craving and the fourfold  stimuli, with birth and the sorrow attendant upon it. When one puts an end to ignorance, all the others cease. When craving ceases, grasping ceases, becoming ceases, birth ceases and with it old age, death and sorrow.

18th JUNE


so evam pajanati: evam kira me dhamma ahutva sambhonti,

hutva pativedenti ti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was then staying near Savatthi in the Jeta grove. One day he addressed the monks.

The LORD said:

O monks, Sariputta has great wisdom. For half a month Sariputta had uninterrupted clear-sight (vipassanam) into the nature of things (dhamma). Free from sense-pleasures and from unskilled states of the mind, he enters into the first meditation. He generates within himself all those qualities that belong to this first meditation: sustained and efficient reasoning, direct inner observation, ecstasy, concentration of the mind, feeling, awareness, determination, energy and mindfulness. All these arise in him in full awareness, he is aware of their persistence and he is aware of their cessation. He knows this: "These things were not and they have arisen; having been, they cease to be". Knowing thus, he is neither attracted by them nor repelled by them. He is independent of them. He dwells with a mind that is not confined or limited, but he knows that there is something beyond.

In the same way, he enters into the second meditation and generates those qualities that are the characteristics of the second meditation: inward tranquillity, ecstasy, concentration of the mind and so on. He is aware of their arising, persistence and cessation, but he knows that there is something else. He enters into the third meditation and consciously generates those qualities that are the characteristics of the third meditation. He is aware of their arising, of their persistence and of their cessation; and he knows that there is something else. Similarly, he enters into the fourth meditation and consciously generates the qualities that are characteristic of the fourth meditation feeling that is neither pleasant nor painful, purity of mind (through mindfulness) and so on. He is aware of their arising, of their persistence and of their cessation. He knows that there is something else.

He enters into the awareness that: "Space is endless". Then, consciously he enters into the awareness that: "Consciousness is endless". Then he becomes aware: "There is no-thing". Then consciously and in full awareness he enters into and abides in the plane of neither-perception- nor-non-perception. He emerges from that plane fully aware, mindful. He is aware: "All these things were not in me and they arose in me and they have ceased to be". He is not attracted by anything nor repelled by anything; he is free and dwells with the mind unconditioned.

He goes beyond even that state and realises that all his asava have been destroyed. Mindful he emerges from that attainment. He is not attracted to anything, nor is he repelled by anything. He is free and independent. He dwells with the mind unconditioned. He knows: "There is nothing beyond this".

If one could speak of someone who has attained total freedom or of someone who is the Lord's own son born of his mouth, one could truthfully say that it is Sariputta.

19th JUNE


evam santam etam ananda bhikkhu evam pajanati: yo kho

me pancas upadanakkhandesu asmimano so me pahino ti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Kapilavatthu. He noticed that in the dwelling place of Sakya Kalakhemaka, many lodgings had been prepared. He enquired of Ananda and found out that many monks were staying there. He then addressed Ananda in the following words.

The LORD said:

A monk does not shine if he finds delight in his own group or in some other group.  If he is not thus delighted in his own or in some other group, but finds happiness in renunciation and non-attachment, then he shines. I do not see a single form that can be the source of delight: all this is subject to change and therefore to grief and lamentation. Therefore, without becoming aware of any signs or indications (names), the tathagata abides in the inner emptiness. When the tathagata abides in this emptiness, monks and nuns and lay-followers gather around him. Even then, constantly established in non-attachment, he instructs them in order to inspire them. Therefore, a monk who also wishes to delight in such emptiness, should concentrate his mind towards that end.

A monk should practise this in exactly the same way as he practises the four meditations. He turns his attention upon the inward emptiness, but he is not satisfied with it; his mind is not freed by that emptiness. He becomes aware of this. He turns his attention to the inward emptiness and to the external emptiness. He becomes aware that while he does so, his mind has not found equanimity.  Then Once again he turns his attention to the inner emptiness and then again to external emptiness. Then he turns his attention on equanimity. While he is concentrating on equanimity, his mind is satisfied and freed.

While still in this inner state, he paces up and down, he stands, moves about and lies down. He is aware that in all those activities no undesirable state of mind arises. If he turns his attention to speaking, he thinks: "I will not indulge in vain talk; I will talk only on dhamma, awakening and nibbana". He is clearly conscious of this. Even so in regard to thinking. He thinks: "I will think only those thoughts connected with the goal, self-awakening or nibbana."

While he is thus reflecting, he finds that the mind is inclined towards the five strands of sense-pleasure, and he is conscious that it is so. If he finds that the mind does not lean towards the five strands of sense- pleasure, he is conscious that it is so. Even so in regard to the five groups of upadana. All these should be given up by a monk, who should be clearly conscious of their arising and of their cessation. While he is thus clearly conscious of their rising and falling, they are abandoned. Then the monk comprehends thus: within these five groups of upadana, whatever was based on 'I am' has been got rid of. He is clearly conscious of this.

20th JUNE


mahapurisaviharo h esa, Sariputta, yadidam sunnata

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Rajagaha in the bamboo grove. One day the venerable Sariputta emerged from his solitary meditation and approached the Lord, greeted him and sat down at a respectful distance. The Lord said to him: "You are calm and radiant. Your senses are pure and even your skin is clear. In what state are you established now, Sariputta”.

Sariputta answered: "I abide in the fullness of emptiness, sunnata, revered teacher."

The LORD said:

It is good, Sariputta. This is indeed the state in which the great men are established the state of sunnata (emptiness).

If a monk should wish to abide in emptiness, he should go about and train himself thus. He should consider: "As I went along the road for alms-gathering, did I have in my mind any attachment, aversion or confusion in regard to sensory reaction to the forms seen and so on?" If the monk realises that he had, then he should strive to get rid of them. However, if he knows that there was no attachment, aversion or confusion in his mind, he should get rid of even their seeds with joy and rapture and be devoted to the cultivation of the skilful states day and night.

Again, the monk should consider: "Have the five strands of sense- pleasure been got rid of by me? Have 1 got rid of the five hindrances?". If they have not been got rid of, he should train himself to get rid of them. If they have been got rid of, then he can abandon even their seeds completely, with rapture and joy, and train himself in the skilled states day and night..

He should consider: "Do I fully understand the five groups of grasp- ing?" If he does not understand them fully, he should strive to do so; if he does understand them fully, he can abandon them and train himself day and night in the skilled states, with joy and rapture.

Again he should consider: "Have I developed the four applications of mindfulness, the four right efforts, the four bases of inner spiritual power, the five forms of control of the senses, the five powers, the seven links in awakening, calm and insight and the ariya eightfold way?" If he has not, he should strive to develop them; and if he has, he can with joy and rapture abandon them and train himself day and night in the skilled states.

Again he should consider: "Have I realised knowledge and freedom?" If he has not he should diligently strive for them; and if he has, he can with joy and rapture abandon them and train himself day and night in the skilled states.

It is in this manner that the monk should purify himself completely, if he wishes to abide in emptiness.

21st JUNE

so sunnam idam sannagatam kamasavenati pajanati; sunnam

idam sannagatam bhavasavenati pajanati; sunnam idam

sannagatam avijjasavenati pajanati. atthi c'ev' idam

asunnatam, yadidam imam eva kayam pațicca salayatanikam

jivitapaccaya ti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Savatthi in the eastern monastery. One day he addressed the following words to Ananda, who recounted the Lords previous declaration that : "I. Ananda. through abiding in emptiness. am now abiding in the fullness thereof".

The LORD said:

Ananda. This palace of Migara's mother is now empty of elephants. and other animals, empty of crowds of people, empty of all but the assembly of monks. All else does not exist; only the assembly of monks exists. In a similar way, a monk may empty his awareness of the village and human beings, but remain aware of only the forest. His mind is satisfied with that awareness. He realises: "The disturbances caused by the village and human beings do not arise; only the disturbance relating to the forest exists for me". This Is his realisation of emptiness.

Even so, a monk, unmindful of human beings and of the forest. remains aware only of the earth. He then realises: "This perception is empty of human beings and forest; only the earth exists". Such is his realisation of emptiness. In the same way he might, unmindful even of the earth, empty his awareness of the earth, and realise: "Only one exists - the infinite space". He might be unmindful even of the infinite akasa (space) and realise that: "Only one exists - the infinite conscious-ness". He might be unmindful even of the infinite consciousness and realise that: "Only one exists - the plane of no-thing". He might be unmindful even of the plane of no-thing but become aware of "The only thing grounded on the plane of neither-perception-nor-non-perception". He might then comprehend thus: "The disturbances that may arise from the plane of no-thing do not exist; but only they exist that arise from the plane of neither-perception-nor-non-perception". Becoming unaware of even that plane, the monk attends to that which is grounded on the concentration of the mind that is without signs. Established in that, he realises: "The disturbances that might exist from neither-perception- nor-non-perception do not exist here. The mind is freed in the concentration of the signless. There is only this degree of disturbance - the six sensory fields that. conditioned by life, are based on this body itself".

But then he comprehends: "This concentration of the mind that is singles has been put together by thought and is impermanent as a concept )". When he realises this, the mind is freed from sense-pleasures and from the asava of becoming. He realises this freedom. He comprehends: "The disturbances that arise from sense-pleasure and from becoming and from ignorance do not exist". He comprehends: "This wisdom is empty of the three asava which are pursuit of sense-pleasure, of becoming and of ignorance", He realises that there is only one factor which is not empty: the six sensory fields that, conditioned by life, are based on the body itself. This for him is the highest realisation of emptiness.

22nd JUNE

ya kho bhikkhave imehi sattangehi cittassa ekaggata parikkhata, ayam vuccati bhikkhave ariyo sammanamadhi sa-upanino iti pi, saparikkharo iti pi

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was then staving in Stivatthl in the Jeta grove. One day he discoursed to the monks on concentration with Its causal factors and accompaniments.

The LORD said:

One-pointedness of the mind, which is accompanied by these seven: right view, right purpose, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right endeavour and right mindfulness, is called the ariya right concen-tration with causal factors and accompaniments.

Right view, O monks, is the foremost among these. Why? Because it is by right view that one is able to know what is right view, right purpose, and so on and what is wrong view, wrong purpose and so on. To know wrong view as wrong view and right view as right view. is right view. Wrong view is to hold that there is no charity, offering and sacrifice; that there is neither this world nor the world beyond: that there are no recluses and brahmana who live virtuously and who proclaim the truth concerning this world and the other which they have gained by their own transcendental knowledge. Right view, O monks, is of two types: with asava and yielding rebirth and without asava and ariya (component of the way ). The right view with asava is the opposite of the wrong view (above). The right view without asava is wisdom, the component ol enlightenment, which arises in one who is of ariya thought and conversant with the way.

Right endeavour is the endeavour to reach the right view and it involves right mindfulness. These three are always together. Mindfully one gets rid of the wrong view, mindfully one cultivates the right view and this is right endeavour.

Wrong purpose inclines one towards sense-pleasure, and harm. Right purpose is twofold. Right purpose which is meritorious but leads to rebirth, inclines one towards renunciation and absence of ill-will and harm. Right purpose which is free from asava.' inclines one towards total focusing and application of the mind in one who follows the ariya way.

Lying, slander. harsh speech and gossiping constitute wrong speech. Abstention from these is right speech, which Is meritorious but leads to rebirth. If such right speech is found in one who is walking the ariya way, it is right speech free from asava. Violence, greed and incontinence constitute wrong action. Non-violence, absence of greed and chastity are right action, meritorious but leading to rebirth. In one who is following the ariya way this becomes right action free front asava. Cheating and dishonesty constitute the wrong mode of livelihood. Honesty is the right mode of livelihood, meritorious but leading to rebirth. When it is found in one who is on the way it is free from asava.

Right view is the most important. From It proceed right purpose. speech, action, mode of livelihood, endeavour, mindfulness, concentration. knowledge and freedom, in that order and wrong view in worn away by it. At the same time, immoral states that arise on account of wrong view come to an end. In the same way wrong purpose and so on are got rid of by right purpose and so on. All evil states arising from wrong freedom l are eliminated by right freedom and right freedom arrives at full development and fulfillment.

23rd JUNE

tasmatiha bhikkhave pandita bhavissama vimamsaka ti:

evam hi vo bhikkhave sikkhitabban ti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Savatthi in the Jeta grove. One day he addressed the monks in the following words.

The LORD said :

Fears, troubles and misfortunes arise only for the fool and not for the wise man. Hence, O monks, you should train yourselves saying: "May we become wise by means of investigation." When a monk is an adept in the fundamentals of dhamma, in the conditioned genesis or dependent origination and also in the possible and the impossible, he can undertake such investigation.

When can it be said that the monk is an adept in the fundamentals of dhamma? When he knows and sees the eighteen factors which are the five elements, their objects and the connecting consciousness, the mind. mental states and mental consciousness. Or, when he knows and sees the six elements (of extension, etc.). Or, when he knows and sees the dual factors, viz., happiness and anguish, gladness and sorrow, equanimity and ignorance. Or, when he knows and sees the pairs of opposites. viz., sense-indulgence and renunciation, malice and non-malice, harming and non-harming. Or, when he knows the three factors, viz., gross sense-pleasures, subtle materiality and non-materiality. Or, when he knows and sees the two fundamentals, viz., conditioned and unconditioned.

There are six sense-fields, Ananda, both internal and external -the eye and the material shape and so on. When he knows and sees these six internal-external sense-fields, he is skilled in them.

What is the conditioned genesis? Here a monk knows that : "When this arises, the other comes into being". Conditioned by ignorance are kamma-formations. Conditioned by kamma-formations is consciousness. Conditioned by consciousness are name and form. Conditioned by name and form are the six senses. Conditioned by the senses is contact. Conditioned by contact is feeling (experience). Conditioned by feeling is craving. Conditioned by craving is attachment (grasping). Conditioned by grasping is becoming. Conditioned by becoming is birth. Thence arise old age, death, sorrow and despair.

What are the possible and impossible? Here, the monk knows that it is impossible that one who is possessed of the right view would believe in the permanence of created things or in their being the source of happiness; or that he would rely on anything as having or being the self: or that he would take his father's or his mother's life or shed the tathagata s blood or create it schism in the order; or that the monk would comprehend that the wrong conduct of the body, mind of speech would lead to agreeable results and that the right conduct of the body. mind and speech would lead to disagreeable results; or that wrong conduct of the body, mind and speech would lead to a happy destiny or that the right conduct of the body, mind and speech would lead to an evil destiny. One who is thus adept in these factors, in the conditioned genesis and in the possible and the impossible, can undertake the investigation which will lead to wisdom.

24th JUNE

sila-paridhota hi bho gotama panna, panna-paridhotam silam, yattha

silam tattha panna, yattha panna tattha silam, silavato panna

pannavato silam, sila-pannanan ca pana lokanmim aggam akkhayati

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was touring the Anga country and had arrived at Campa. There was a brahmana known as Sonadanda in that place. One day, he noticed crowds of brahmana and other householders going towards the Gaggara lake in Campa; on enquiry he found out that they were going to meet the Lord. He too got ready to go, in spite of the remonstrance of his associates who said that if he went to Gotama the latter's prestige would increase and the brahmana's decrease.

As he approached the Gaggara lake, however, he became anxious. If he asked a question, the Lord might outwit him and he would lose face with his own students. If the Lord asked a question, he might not be able to answer properly and again lose face with his students. If he turned back now, they might ridicule him. He wished that the Lord would question him on a matter which he knew well! Knowing his mind, the Lord asked him: "What are the qualities, according to the brahmana, that a brahmana should possess?"

Sonadanda was happy and he answered: "That he should be born of brahmana parents on both sides, that he should recite the scriptures, that he should be handsome (of good colour), virtuous, learned and wise." When the Lord questioned him as to which one was dispensable, Sonadanda continued: "Colour could be dispensed with first. Even knowledge of the scriptures could be dispensed with. We could ignore the birth, too, if the brahmana had virtue and wisdom." At this his associates protested.. The Lord said to them: "Either let him speak to me, or, if you are not satisfied, you speak to me, the other being silent." Sopadanda pointed to a young brahmana and asked his associates: "If this boy who is fair, knows the scriptures and is born of good parents, but also kills and speaks lies, drinks and commits adultery, would his colour, knowledge of scriptures or birth be of any avail? Only virtue and wisdom are vital." The Lord asked him: "Can one of these two be left out as well?" The brahmana replied: "No, Gotama. Wisdom is purified by virtue; virtue is purified by wisdom. Where there is virtue, there is wisdom; where there is wisdom, there is virtue. To the virtuous, there is wisdom. To the wise there is virtue. Hence these two are considered foremost in the world."

The Lord said: "Exactly, brahmana. I, too, say the same." Then the Lord expounded both sila (virtue) and also panna (wisdom) and concluded: "This also is virtue and this also is wisdom".

Sonadapda was delighted. He prayed to the Lord to accept him as a disciple. He invited the Lord for a meal in his house. After the Lord had taken his meal, Sonadanda (who still wished to maintain his status as the teacher of the brahmana) prayed that the Lord might accept his salutations with joined palms. This would be equal to rising from the seat and taking off the turban as a salutation with the head.

25th JUNE

imaya ca brahmana yanna-sampadaya anna yanna-

sampada uttaritara va panitatara va matthiti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was touring Magadha. There was a brahmana, Kutadanta who ruled over a domain granted to him by the king. This brahmana desired to perform a great sacrifice. He went to the Lord and asked for instructions concerning the best way to perform the sacrifice.

The LORD said:

There once was a king named Mahavijita who similarly wanted to offer a sacrifice. His brahmana aide, however, counselled him: "The king's subjects are harassed by dacoits who plunder frequently.. This is not the time to levy more taxes in order to perform the sacrifice. To put an end to this disorder, let the king subsidise farmers, provide capital to traders and enhance the wages of the servants of the state. Thus people pursuing their professions will not resort to plunder. The king's revenue will go up and there will be peace!" The king decreed this to be so. The revenue went up and there was peace. Again the king thought of performing the sacrifice.

At the aide's suggestion, the king issued invitations to the kşatriya (warriors), the brahmana, the officials and the traders. They applauded the enterprise and provided the material for the sacrifice.

A brahmana aide counselled the king in the best way to perform the sacrifice. In that sacrifice no animals were slain, no trees were felled, no grass was cut, the workers were not driven by fear of punishment and they worked voluntarily. The articles used were ghee, oil, butter, milk, honey and sugar. The gifts that the kings had brought were distributed to the body. The gifts that the brahmana, the traders and the house-holders had brought were all similarly distributed around the sacrificial place. Thus was the sacrifice well performed?

Kutadanta was silent. Then he asked the Lord: "Does the venerable Gotama admit that he himself attended this sacrifice?" "Yes," said the Lord: "I was the brahmana aide to the king".

"Is there a sacrifice less difficult and less troublesome, but with greater advantage than this?" asked the brahmana. The Lord went on to describe the following: (1) an endowment which makes perpetual gifts to recluses possible. (2) The provision of a dwelling place for the monks. (3) Taking refuge in the buddha, the dhamma and the sangha. (4) The undertaking to practise the precepts, like non-violence, honesty, purity, and so on. Better than all these is a life of virtue (sila) and wisdom (panna). (Here the Lord discoursed at length on an encounter with a buddha, self-restraint and renouncing the home and everything up to the destruction of the asava.) "There is no sacrifice which is higher and sweeter than this, O brahmana.

Kutadanta obtained the divine eye for the realisation of the truth then and there.

26th JUNE


yatharupam bhante attabhavapatilabham sevato akusala dhamma abhivad- dhanti kusala dhamma parihayanti, evarupo attabhavapatilabho na sevitabbo

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was then staying near Savatthi in the Jeta grove. One day he discoursed thus to the monks on what to do and what not to do:

"I say, O monks, that physical conduct, speech and mental activity are of two kinds one kind to be promoted and the other kind not to be indulged in. Even so with the arising of thoughts and perceptions."

When the Lord had said this, the venerable Sariputta expanded and expounded the Lord's teachings in the following words: "What is the mean- ing of the Lord's words? Any physical action, speech or mental activity that is conducive to the increase of impure states of mind and to the decrease of pure states, should be avoided; they that are conducive to the increase of pure states of mind should be resorted to. Non-violence, compassion, non-stealing, restraint of the senses (particularly in regard to sexual relations) these physical acts are to be resorted to. Truthful- ness, gentle and sweet speech, non-indulgence in slander, abandonment of frivolous chatter, speaking what is true at the right time and talking of dhamma - this is speech fit to be resorted to. Non-covetousness and absence of ill-will constitute right mental activity. There is this distinction even with regard to the arising of thought: one should not let covetous and malevolent thoughts arise in the mind. Again, such perceptions as lead to covetousness and malevolence, and which as a consequence increase impure states of mind, should be avoided. Such perceptions as lead to non-covetousness and benevolence, and which as a consequence increase pure states of mind, should be pursued." The Lord approved of this expansion by Sariputta.

The Lord said: "Assumption of views and also assumption of individuality are of two kinds - one to be pursued and the other to be avoided." When the Lord said this, Sariputta expanded and expounded the teaching. "The assumption of that view which is conducive to the growth of pure mental states, is to be pursued and the other to be avoided. The right view is: 'There are recluses and brahmana who have realised the truth concerning this world and the world beyond and who have proclaimed that truth. Gifts are fruitful." That assumption of individuality which increases unskilled (impure) states of mind should be avoided and its opposite pursued."

The Lord approved of this explanation. He then expounded the six senses and their objects, robe-material, almsfood, lodging, country, and declared that even in their case there was one kind to be avoided and the other to be adopted. Sariputta explained that this distinction was based upon whether these things promoted skilled (pure) states of mind or not. The Lord approved of this explanation and concluded: "If the gods, men, brahmana, mara, Brahma and generations of recluses were to understand this, it would be conducive to their welfare for a long time.

27th JUNE


tassa me evam janato evam passato kamanava pi cittam vimuccittha, bhavasava pi cittam vimuccittha, avijjasava pi cittam vimuccittha, vimuttasmim vimuttam iti nanam ahosi

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was then staying near Savatthi in the Jeta grove. One day he addressed the monks in the following words.

The LORD said:

O monks, a monk declares that: "There is no more birth for me; there is no more becoming". Hearing this one should neither rejoice nor protest. But one might ask: "Revered one, the Lord has laid down four bases for such a statement. That which is seen is said to be seen, that which is heard is said to be heard, that which is sensed is said to be sensed and that which is cognised is said to be cognised. On which of these is your statement based?" If the monk replies: "Not being attracted repelled by what is seen, heard, sensed and cognised, I dwell independently with a mind unconfined", such a reply is to be lauded.

But one might ask again: "Revered one, the Lord has laid down the five types of grasping. How did you view these when you made your statement?" If the monk answers: "I have realised that the material shape and so on is worthless, impermanent and comfortless, and by their falling away, therefore, I realise that the mind is freed of the asava, with no grasping at all", he should be lauded. Similarly, one might enquire of his attitude towards the six elements (the five elementals and conscious-ness) which the Lord has fully described. If he answers: "I have realised that these elements are not-self and that the self is not dependent upon the elements. Thus is the mind freed", he should be lauded. Similarly, one might question his attitude concerning the six internal and external sense-fields (e.g. the eye and the material shapes). He should be lauded if he answers: "By the dropping or falling away of craving. Attachment or delight in respect to the eye, material shape, visual consciousness and objects cognised by it, the mind is freed. Even so with the other senses and fields. By giving up the hankering after these, realising that they are psychological dogmas, biases and tendencies, the mind is freed of the asava, with no grasping." Similarly, one might ask: "With what knowledge have you arrived at the falling away of the false notion: 'I am the doer'?" He might answer as follows: "Formerly, I was a householder. The tathagata (or his disciple) taught me the dhamma. I went forth into the homeless life. I lived a simple and austere life. Endowed with moral habit, I experienced the bliss of blamelessness. Unattracted by sense-experiences, I experienced the bliss of non attachment. Possessed of mindfulness and clear vision, I retired to a secluded place and generated mindfulness within myself. I got rid of covetousness, ill-will, sloth, restlessness and doubt, and cultivated benevolence (compassion), mindfulness, calmness and an unperplexed mind. Successively the four meditations. I truly understood: these are the asava and this is the course leading to their cessation. I was freed from desire. I was freed from becoming. I was freed from ignorance, I realise that I am so freed." He should then be applauded.

28th JUNE

santan' eva kho mahali sunakkhatto licchavi-putto dibbani saddani

nassosi piya-rupani kamupanamhitani rajaniyani no asantaniti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying at Vesali in the great wood. A large number of brahmana were also staying at Vesali at the same time. These brahmana, having heard of the Lord, decided to meet him. They went to the great wood. However, the venerable Nagita informed them that the Lord was in solitude and could not be disturbed. The Licchavi Otthaddha also arrived there with a retinue of his own. The novice Siha felt that it was better to inform the Lord. He did so and the Lord came out to meet all of them.

The Licchavi Otthaddha said: "A few days ago Sunakkhatta, the Licchavi, came to me and said that he had come under your care only three years ago and already he could see heavenly forms, though he cannot hear heavenly sounds. Are they or are they not real?"

The LORD replied: "The delightful forms that Sunakkhatta experiences, which are pleasant to see and which satisfy one's desires, are indeed real, O Mahali, not unreal, and the divine sounds are real, too. He is able to see the celestial visions and not hear the celestial sounds because he has practised one-sided concentration, directed at the visions and not at the sounds.. If he had practised concentration with the object of hearing, he would have been able to hear the celestial sounds. If he had been practising concentration with the object of seeing and hearing, that would have been possible. This is the natural effect of samadhi (contemplation)."

Otthaddha asked: "Is it for gaining these powers that the monks lead a religious life under the Lord?"

The LORD replied: "No, Mahali.. There are higher and sweeter things for which they lead such a life. They are, in order: (1) He destroys the three bonds (delusion of self, doubt and trust in ceremonies) and becomes a sotapanna. He is not reborn in a state of woe, being devoted to sambodhi or enlightenment (2) When the three bonds are completely destroyed and when attachment, aversion and delusion are worn out, he becomes a sakadagami who, on his next return to the world shall end sorrow. (3) When he has broken the five bonds (the above three and also sensuality and ill-will), he goes to the highest heavens, never to return to this world-condition. (4) When all the asava have been destroyed, he is freed in mind and consciousness. These are the states for which the monks lead the religious life under me."

Otthaddha asked: "Is there a method by which one reaches this state, Sir?"

The LORD replied: "Yes, Mahali. That is the noble eightfold path right view, right aspiration, right speech, right action, right means of livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration."

29th JUNE

imam kho aham kevaddha iddhi-patihariye adinavam

Sampansamano iddhi-patihariyena aṭṭiyami harayami


Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying at Nalanda in the mango grove. A young householder, Kevaddha, approached the Lord one day and said: "Lord, Nalanda is a reputed place already. If the Lord should train some of the monks in gaining psychic powers it would be even more so." But the Lord replied: "That is not how I wish to instruct the monks." This exchange was repeated thrice.

At last the LORD said:

There are three wonders which I myself have realised and which I teach the monks. They are: the wonder of psychic powers, the wonder of manifestation and the wonder of instruction. One who possesses the psychic powers can become invisible, multiply himself, walk on water and so on. Someone who believes and trusts him, should of course see him do all this. Then, that believer should in turn tell an unbeliever what he has been. The unbeliever might very well respond: "It is by the use of a particular charm that he is able to perform these wonders". It is because I see this danger in the practice of psychic powers that I loathe, I abhor and I am contemptuous of psychic powers. The wonders of manifestations are similar-like reading another person's mind, emotions and so on.

Then there is the wonder of instruction. In this, one could instruct another: "Do not reason this way, reason that way. Consider it thus and not thus. Get rid of this tendency, train yourself thus and remain so." A tathagata is born in this world. Someone renounces the household life and follows him. He acquires self-restraint and so on, gets rid of the five hindrances, and with the resulting peace he trains himself in the four meditations and achieves the destruction of the asava. This is the wonder of instruction.

Once upon a time, a doubt arose in the mind of a monk: "How do these four elements (earth, water, fire and air) dissolve without a trace?" He worked himself up into a state of ecstasy and went to the realm of the gods, where he asked them this question. None of them could answer, not even the king of the gods, not the creator Brahma, who instructed him to ask the Maha Brahma. When the Maha Brahma manifested himself before the monk he put the same question to him. The Maha Brahma did not answer but announced himself as the supreme, almighty Lord of all. When the monk continued to question him, the Maha Brahma drew him aside and, out of hearing of the other gods, he replied: "I do not know, but ask lord Buddha; it was foolish of you to abandon him and come here." When he came to me, I said to him:

"Your question should be: 'Where do earth, water, fire and air. find no foothold? Where do name -and-form cease without a trace?' And then my answer would be: 'In consciousness which is invisible and infinite. In it earth, water, fire and air, as also name-and-form, cease without leaving a trace behind. And when that consciousness ceases, all of them cease."

30th JUNE

kathan ca bhikkhave saphalo upakkamo hoti saphalam padhanam. idha bhikkhave bhikkhu na heva anaddhabhutam attanam dukkhena addhabhäveti dhammikan ca sukham na paricajjați, tasmin ca sukhe anadhimucchite hoti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying at Devadaha . One day he addressed the monks.

The LORD said:

O monks, the Joins hold the view that all the individual's experiences. pleasant or painful are due to past deeds, and that by burning up these in the practice of asceticism and by not doing anything now, one attains the destruction of anguish. I asked the Jains: "Do you know that you yourself existed in the past? Do you know that it was you who performed those acts? Do you know how much sorrow is got rid of by austerities now?" The Jains answered: "No" to all these questions. They answered that it was the doctrine of NEthaptitta who claimed omni-science and that it was his doctrine In which they believed.

I said to them: "Faith, inclination, tradition, consideration of reasons and acceptance of some doctrines have a twofold effect. Tell me: what was your faith, your inclination and so on?" They did not answer. l asked them again: "When you are engaged in severe effort or striving, do you experience a severe, painful feeling?" They replied in the affirm-ative. I said to them: "When there is severe striving or effort, there is surely a feeling of pain. Hut you think you can overcome sorrow by means of effort which gives rise to such severe pain! This is surely ignorance."

I asked them again: "Can you experience now that which is to be experienced in the future? Or, can you experience in the future that which is to be experienced now? Or. can you make an unpleasant experience a pleasant one and vice versa? Or, can you ripen an unripe kamma or postpone the ripening of a kamma?" They replied in the negative to all these questions.

O monks, if the experiences of an individual are the result of past deeds, or the creation of a deity (fate), or the result of some necessity or birth in a species, or the result of their present actions, then all effort becomes fruitless. How does -effort become fruitful? A monk does not let his unmastered self be mastered by sorrow and he does not spurn natural happiness, though he is not tainted by it. He strives against the source of anguish ( which is desire or attachment) in a spirit of detachment.

When he is indifferent to the source of sorrow, there is equanimity in him and there is freedom from sorrow. He realises that by living as he pleases, he allows evil states to thrive within himself, whereas by striving against the self through the experience of sorrow, evil states do not grow. After thus striving for some time, when the purpose is accomplished and there is no more striving through sorrowful experiences. such effort drops away because it has reached fruition.

Again, when a tathagata arises in this world, the monk has faith in him, he purifies his mind of doubt. Then he enters into the first, the second, the third and the fourth meditation. He recollects his former habitations (Incarnations) and he recollects the good and the evil destiny of beings. When his mind is thus thoroughly purified, he knows that sorrow has come to an end.

1st JULY


anupada parinibbanat tham kho avuso bhagavati brahmacariyam vussatiti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Rajagaha. Many monks were staying in their native district for the rainy season. Some of them approached the Lord and saluted him. He asked them: "Which of the monks living in their native districts are regarded by the local seekers (brahmacari) as those practising and propagating teaching the following.. contentment, love of solitude, non-attachment, dynamic application, right behaviour, concentration, wisdom, freedom, the right understanding and perception of freedom? Which of the monks are regarded as inspirers and instructors who can spiritually awaken, delight and guide other brahmacari (seekers)" They replied: "The venerable Purina who is the son of Mantani is regarded as such a one ." Sariputta, sitting near the Lord, heard this.

After some time, the Lord moved to Savalthi. Punna heard of this and went to where the Lord was slaying. After hearing the Lord's discourse on the dhamma, Punna retired to Andhavanam to contemplate. A monk said to Sariputta : "You have spoken highly of the venerable Punna. He is now in Andhavanam ." Sariputia quickly went to Andhavanam.

That evening Saripulta approached Punna and questioned him: "Sir, is a life of brahmacariya lived under the Lord?" "Yes," answered Puwa. But, to Sariputta 's questions: "ls it for the purpose of gaining purity of behaviour or purity of mind, or right view (vision), or getting rid of doubt, or knowing the distinction between the right path and the wrong path, or acquiring an insight into the nature of the course, or for gaining purity of knowledge and vision that one lives a life of brahma-cariya under the Lord?" Punna replied: "No, sir." S-ariputta thereupon asked: "What, then, is the purpose for which one lives a life of brahma-cariya under the Lord?" Punna replied: "Purely for complete nibbana without qualifications (or nibbana without conditions).

Sariputta asked again: "Is purity of behaviour, mind, and so on, total nibbana without qualifications?" "No, sir," replied Purina. "Is total nibbana without these states?" "No, sir ." When asked to explain, Purina said:"Sir, if the Lord considered that purity of behaviour was total nibbana without qualifications, he would have declared that such total nibbana is the same as qualified nibbana. Similarly with the other states. On the other hand, if nibbana has nothing to do with these states, then the ordinary (immature and unawakened) man would be in total nibbana”

I shall illustrate this with a parable. King Pasenadi of Kosala is staying in Savatthi and has urgent work to do in Saketa. To get there quickly, he orders seven relays of horses. Ile rides out of the palace on the first horse, abandons this when he finds the second horse and continues in this way until the seventh takes him to Saketa. However, it is by means of the first that he got to the second, and so on, till the seventh took him to Saketa. Even so, purity of behaviour leads to purity of mind, that leads to purity of vision, and then follow cessation of doubt, knowledge of the right path and the wrong path, insight into the nature of the course and purity of knowledge and vision. Such purity of know-ledge and vision is for the purpose of attaining nibbana. But the life of brahmacariya lived under the Lord, is only to reach unqualified nibbana which has no limitations."

Thrilled by this exposition, Sariputta extolled Purina, who, finding out it was Sariputta , exclaimed: "Ah, I have been talking thus to a great disciple regarded as being equal to the great teacher. Had I known this earlier, I would not have spoken at such length.

2nd JULY


chadhaturo ayam bhikkhu puriso chaphassayatano atthadasamanopavicaro caturadhitthano (yattha thitam mannussava nappavattanti, mannussave kho pana nappavattamane muni santo ti vuccati) pannam nappamajjeyya, saccam anurakkheyya, cagam anubruheyya, santim eva so sikkheyyati ayam uddeso chadhatuvibhangassa

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was on a walking tour of Magadha. He arrived at Rajagaha and approached the potter Bhaggava at whose house he wanted to spend a night. Another monk had already been accommodated by the potter. When the Lord asked the monk, he was more than willing that the Lord too should spend the night in the house. On enquiry, the Lord learnt that he was of a good family and had entered the homeless state on account of the Lord himself, though he had not met the Lord in person and would not recognise him if he did so. Both of them spent the night in meditation. It occurred to the Lord that he might teach the dhamma to the young monk, who expressed his eagerness to listen.

The LORD said:

Man has six elements, six sensory contacts, eighteen mental states and four resolves. When there is stability, conceit does not continue to exist and that sage is said to be at peace. But there should be no slothfulness in wisdom; truth must be guarded, renunciation must be cultivated and he should train himself in peace. This is the exposition of the six elements.

The six elements are the element of extension and so on. The six fields of sense-contacts are the visual field and so on. And the eighteen mental states are joy, sorrow and equanimity that arise in relation to each of these six fields of sense-contacts. The four resolves are: the resolves for wisdom, truth, renunciation and peace. When it was said that there should be no slothfulness in wisdom and so on, what was meant by it? Listen, I shall tell you how not to be slothful in wisdom.

The element of extension (earth) is both internal and external. Whatever is hard and solid in the body is of this element - hair, nails, teeth, the internal organs. In the same way whatever is hard and solid outside is of this element. Having clearly seen this, he knows: "This is not I" and thus he cleanses his mind of this element.

The liquid element is both internal and external. Whatever is liquid in the body is composed of this element - blood, saliva, fat, phlegm and so on. Even so whatever is liquid outside is composed of this element. He sees this clearly and knows: "This is not I" and cleanses his mind of this element.

The element of radiation (fire) is both internal and external. All internal warmth in the body, is from this element as heat - the digestive fire, vitality and so on. Similarly with external objects. Clearly seeing it thus, he knows: "This is not I" and cleanses the mind of this element.

The element of motion (air) is both internal and external. Whatever is motion in the body, is made of this element - wind in the belly, breathing and so on. Clearly seeing this and knowing: "This is not I" he cleanses the mind of this element.

The element of space is both internal and external. Internal space is the cavities of the mouth, ears and so on, and there is external space. Clearly seeing this and knowing: "This is not I" he cleanses the mind of this element.

3rd JULY


seyyathapi bhikkhu telan ca paticca vattin ca paticca telappadipo jhayati, tass' eva telassa ca vaṭṭiya pariyadana annassa ca anupahara anaharo nibbayati, evam eva bhikkhu kayapariyattikam vedanam vediyamano; kayapariyantikam vedanam vediyamiti pajanati

The LORD continued:

When the consciousness has thus been purified, with that conscious- ness a monk is able to comprehend what is painful, what is pleasant and what is neither pleasant nor painful. When such an experience arises, he knows that it has arisen; when it ceases, he knows that it has ceased.

The equanimity that remains after this is quite pure, pliable and resplendent. By focusing this equanimity on the plane of infinite ether (and later, on the infinite consciousness, on the plane of no-thing and on the plane of neither-perception-nor-non-perception) it is supported and nourished by what it is focused on.

But then he realises that such an equanimity is supported, nourished and constructed. He neither constructs such equanimity nor does he think of becoming or de-becoming (not-becoming). He is attached to nothing in this world because he does not cling to anything. He is not troubled. He has reached nibbana and he knows: "Birth has come to an end; there is no more becoming."

He is not attached to a pleasurable feeling or to a painful feeling. If such feelings come to him he experiences them in a detached way. Such experience is limited to the body and the life-principle; he knows that on the decomposition of the body all these experiences will cease. It is like an oil lamp which has been fed with oil and a wick. It burns on account of the oil and when there is lack of fuel it goes out. Even so, an experience that is limited to the body comes to an end when the body dies, after the life-principle has come to an end.

He who is endowed with this comprehension is endowed with the resolve to attain wisdom. It is founded on truth and is unshakeable. He is endowed with the highest resolve to attain truth. With this his former attachments cease; therefore he is endowed with the highest resolve to attain renunciation. The former feelings of ill-will and hostility, confusion and corruption are abandoned. Therefore, he is endowed with the highest resolve to attain peace. These are the four resolves.

He does not indulge in supposition; a supposition is defective. "I am", "This I am", "I will be", "I will not be" and such other ideas are all suppositions. When he has gone beyond all suppositions the sage is at peace. He is not agitated. There is stability. Hence it was said that when there is stability there is no conceit.

Having said this, the Lord asked the monk: "Do you remember the analysis of the six elements?" The young monk suddenly realised that it was the Lord himself and said: "Lord, I am guilty of a transgression. I did not know it was the Lord and treated the Lord as a friend. The confession led to his pardon. He prayed for ordination at the hands of the Lord. But the Lord pointed out: "Tathagata do not ordain anyone who does not have a bowl and robe." The monk went out to the village to obtain these. But on the way a cow knocked him down and he died. When this was later brought to the notice of the Lord, he remarked: "He was a man of wisdom. He followed the dhamma and did not ply me with questions about the dhamma. By the complete destruction of the five fetters, he has attained nibbana and will not return any more."

4th JULY


tajjam tajjam, bhante, paccayam paticca tajja tajja vedana uppajjanti. tajjassa tajjassa paccayassa nirodha tajja tajja vedana nirujjhantiti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Savatthi in the Jeta grove. One day the Mahapajapati the Gotami, said to the Lord: "Let the Lord speak to the nuns on the dhamma." The Lord found out from Ananda that it was Nandaka's turn to speak to the nuns, though he was reluctant. But the Lord asked Nandaka to speak to the nuns and he agreed. Nandaka there- upon went to the king's monastery and said to the nuns: "There will be a talk consisting of questions; answer if you can, if you cannot, say so and if you do not understand, ask for clarification." They agreed.

"Sisters, is the eye permanent or impermanent?"

"Impermanent, revered sir."

"Is what is impermanent happiness or sorrow?"

"Sorrow, revered sir."

"Is it right to regard what is impermanent and what gives rise to sorrow as: 'This is mine, this is I'?"

"No, revered sir."

Similarly he elicited negative answers to his questions concerning the ear and the other senses, the sense-experiences and the consciousness arising therefrom, and asked them: "It is like this: oil with which a lamp is fed is impermanent and liable to change; the wick is also liable to change. Can anyone assert that though these are liable to change, the light is permanent? If not, why not?" They replied: "It is not right to say so. Why not? As a result of this or that condition this or that arises; and if this or that condition ceases this or that also ceases. This or that cannot be permanent." Nandaka explained: "When the sense-fields are impermanent, the pleasure, pain or neutral state that arises on account of them cannot be permanent. This is clearly seen by an ariya disciple by means of intuitive wisdom. By means of this intuitive wisdom one cuts down the inner defilements, the inner fetters and the inner bonds, even as a butcher cuts an animal and skins it; after this, even if the butcher places the skin around the body, it will not become alive again - so too it is with this intuitive wisdom.

"There are these seven links in awakening which the monk develops and by means of which he destroys the asava and realises here and now by his own transcendental knowledge freedom of mind which is free from asava. These links are mindfulness, investigation, energy, rapture, impassability, concentration and equanimity, culminating in renunciation. Entering them, he abides in them, fully established in them."

Nandaka dismissed the nuns, who then went to pay their homage to the Lord. The Lord said: "On the night of the fourteenth lunar fortnight, people are in doubt as to whether the moon is full or not. Such is the mind of these nuns; there is a ray of doubt." Turning to Nandaka, the Lord said: "Repeat the instruction again tomorrow." Nandaka did so. When the nuns came to the Lord the next day, he said: "On the night of the full moon, people are not in doubt concerning the full moon. Even so is the understanding of these nuns. They were delighted with Nandaka's teaching and their aspirations were fulfilled."

5th JULY


ka ca bhikkhave, sappurisanam gati? -

devamahattata va manussamahattata va ti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Savatthi in the palace of Migara s mother. On a full moon day, he was surrounded by a large assembly of monks. The LORD spoke to them as follows:

O monks, a bad man cannot know who is a bad man; he cannot know who is a good man either. A bad man is possessed of evil tendencies, he keeps bad company, his speech and his actions are evil, his view is false and his gifts are the gifts of bad men. He lacks faith and has no shame or fear in regard to his evil. He is of muddled mindfulness. He is intent on tormenting himself and others. His speech is false, slanderous and harsh. He is violent, greedy and licentious. He does not believe in gifts (charity), sacrifice and service. He gives disrespectfully what is impure and useless. Such a bad man goes to hell after dying in this world.

O monks, a good man knows who a good man is and he knows who a bad man is. He has faith, he is ashamed of evil and fears evil (lest evil should arise in him). He has heard much and he is energetic. He is ever mindful and wise. He keeps company with good men of similar nature and habits. He is not intent on tormenting himself or others. His speech is free from lies, slander or harshness. He is non-violent, he does not take what has not been given to him and he is self-controlled. He believes in charity, sacrifice and service; he believes in this world and the world beyond; he has faith in the holy men. When he gives in charity, he gives with respect and with his own hand gifts that are pure and useful. Such a good man has a good destiny on leaving this world. What is that destiny? He attains the greatness of the celestials or he shines as the greatest among men.

All things are devoid of substantiality; they so exist that they are not absolutely existent. This non-substantiality of things which is their true nature, people do not know, and this is ignorance. All things are non-substantial and in regard to these the common people, owing to the power of ignorance and the thirst of passion, give rise to perversions and imaginative constructions. This is called ignorance. These people get bound by the two dead-ends; they do not know and have not seen the truth of the non-substantiality of things and so they give rise to imaginative constructions in regard to all things and cling to them. On account of their clinging in regard to things that are non-substantial, they yet give rise to perverted cognitions, perverted understandings and perverted views.... So they are considered as common people, comparable to children. Such people do not get beyond life in the limited spheres, viz. , the realm of desire and so on, ... they do not dwell in the noble way; for this reason they are called the common people, comparable to children; they are called also 'the clinging'a .... Because they lack and the power of skilfulness, they give rise to imaginative constructions and cling to things.

The Maha-Prafriaparamita-Sastra

6th JULY

sappuriso ca kho bhikkhave iti patisamcikkhati - catutthajjhana - samapattiya pi kho atammayata vutta bhagavata; yena yena hi mannanti tato tam hoti annatha ti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Savaithi in the Jeta grove. One day he addressed the monks.

The LORD said:

I shall speak to you of the dhamma (nature) of good men and the dhamma of bad men.

A man may have gone forth from an eminent family, or he may be famous or he may be engaged in acquiring the necessities needed for the sick. He might have heard much and may be an expert in vinaya and he may even be an eloquent speaker on dhamma. The bad man who possesses any of these qualifications becomes proud, thinks highly of him-self and disparages other monks who may not possess these qualifications. But the good man realises that none of these qualities necessarily mean the destruction of confusion and the cessation of evil. He , on the contrary, is intent on the path itself and does not exalt his own virtue nor disparage others for the lack of it.

A man may have become a forest-dweller, begging for alms, living at the root of a tree and eating very little. If he is a bad man he exalts himself and disparages others on account of these. If he is a good man he realises that these in themselves do not constitute the destruction of craving, aversion or confusion and hence he does not exalt himself or  disparage others.

Free from the sense-pleasures and immoral states of the mind, a man may enter into the first, then the second, then the third and then the fourth meditation. On account of this the bad man may exalt himself and disparage others. On the contrary, the good man reflects thus: "The Lord has declared that there should be no desire even for the fourth meditation; the reality is different from whatever one considers it to be." Knowing thus, he does not exalt himself or disparage others.

Even so with regard to the further states; to the realisation that ether is endless, consciousness is endless and so on. The bad man exults in them, but the good man realises that the truth is other than what it is considered to be and therefore does not exalt himself and disparage others. The good man goes beyond even the plane of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, enters the state of the complete cessation of perception and experience and knows that all the asava are destroyed. But he does not consider himself or anything or anywhere or in anything.



7th JULY


pandito sucintitacinti ca hoti subhasitabhasi sukatakammakari,

tasma nam pandita jananti: pandito ayam bhavam sappuriso ti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Savatthi in the Jeta grove. One day he addressed the monks.

The LORD said:

A fool is known by three characteristics: wrong thoughts, wrong speech and wrong deeds. It is by these characteristics that a wise man knows who a fool is. The fool experiences threefold anguish and dejection here and now. They are: (1) when some people are talking about him and his foolishness, he knows that they are talking about his foolishness and suffers anguish and dejection. (2) He knows that wrong-doers are punished by the king's men and fears that he might also be subjected to such punishment for his wrong-doing. (3) He fears that his destiny on leaving this world will be an evil one, the niraya (hell). If the suffering of a man being pierced by three hundred spears can be likened to a small stone, the suffering inflicted upon wrong-doers in the niraya (hell) is like the Himalaya mountain. The wrong-doers, after dying here, are reborn as companions of animals and worms.

A wise man is known by three characteristics: he thinks right thoughts, he speaks the right words and he does right deeds. It is by these signs that a wise man knows who a wise man is. On account of this, the wise man experiences threefold happiness here and now: (1) when some people are speaking about him, he knows that they are speaking about his wisdom and good qualities and is happy. (2) He knows that wrong-doers are punished by the king's men, and realising such qualities are non-existent in him, he is happy that he will not be so punished. (3) He knows that, after dying here, he will have the destiny of those who do what is right and not the destiny of the wrong-doers. Knowing this, he does not grieve. His happiness is incomparable. Yet I will give you a simile. It is like the happiness of an emperor (cakravarti) who possesses the seven treasures and four excellences.

These are the seven treasures: (1) the treasure of a wheel of authority holding which, the king holds sway over other kings in all the four directions and lays down the law of right living. (2) The treasure of the elephant on which the king visits the whole world. (3) The treasure of the horse which he uses similarly. (4) The treasure of the jewel which sheds its light over a great distance all round. (5) The treasure of the woman who is most beautiful and faithful. (6) The treasure of the householder who is ever eager to do the royal bidding. (7) The treasure of the adviser who is exceedingly clever, experienced and wise.

And what are the four excellences? (1) He is endowed with great beauty and charm. (2) He enjoys longevity. (3) He is free from all illness. (4) He is loved by all.

Surely, such a king would be exceedingly happy. Yet, such happiness is like a small stone compared with the great delights (like unto the Himalaya mountain) of one who is wise and does right action.

8th JULY

evam eva kho maharaja yan tam saddhena pattabbam appabadhena asathena amayavina araddhaviriyena pannavata, tam vata asaddho bavhabadho satho mayavi kusito duppanno papunissatiti, n' etam thanam vijjatiti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Ujunna when the king Pasenadi came into his presence, saluted appropriately and sat at a respectful distance. The king submitted: "They say that Gotama declares that no recluse or brahmana can have boundless knowledge and vision.  Is this true or is this a misrepresentation?"

The LORD answered: "Indeed, it is not true that I said so."

To the king's query, the commander-in-chief Vidudabha replied: "It was the brahmana Sanjaya who said so." The king sent for him.

The LORD continued: "I said that neither a recluse nor a brahmaṇa can know all things or see all things at one and the same time."

The king said: "That is reasonable. Lord, there are the four castes - the nobles, the brahmana, the merchants and the servants. Is there any distinction between them?"

The LORD said: "Only this distinction: the nobles and the brahmaņa are respected more than the others. But all of them may possess the five qualities which are vitally important: faith, health, sincerity, dynamic application and wisdom. Even as an elephant which has not been tamed and trained cannot be regarded as the peer of an elephant which has been tamed and trained, SO one who does not possess these qualities cannot be considered equal to one who does.  For that which can be achieved by faith, good health, sincerity, dynamism, and wisdom cannot be achieved in their absence. But if these qualities are present there is no distinction between one piece of firewood and another piece which might come from a different type of tree."

In the brahmana had arrived. When the king questioned him: "Who told you that the Lord had said such and such?" the brahmana answered: "The commander-in-chief."

In answer to another question by the king, the Lord said: "The gods in heaven and even Brahma the creator, return to a state of being if they are malevolent, but do not so return if they are not malevolent. The malevolent gods cannot even see those that are not malevolent, much less overpower them."

In the teachings of the buddha the ways that lead to nirvaņa are all equally one-pointed; there are no divergent paths.

The Maha-Prajnaparamita-Sastra

9th JULY


Seyyathpi manava nissatthatrnakatthupdanam paticca aggi jalati,

tathupamaham manava imam pitim vadami, yayam piti annatr eva kanehi  

annatra akusalehi dhammehi

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying near Savatthi in the Jeta grove. One day a brahmana youth, Subha approached him and said: "Some brahmaria say that only a householder and not a renunciate treads the path of dhamma. What is your opinion?"

The LORD replied: "Both the householder and the monk are praise-worthy if they lead the life of dhamma, but they are not praiseworthy if they do not lead a life of dhamma.

Subha said : "The brahmana declare that the householder' s busy life involves many duties and great problems and is therefore fruitful, whereas the monk's life, being not so busy , involves fewer duties and is therefore less fruitful. What is your opinion?"

The LORD replied: "The former is like agriculture and the latter is like trading. In agriculture you do a lot and if you succeed the reward is great. But if you fail, the reward is small. In trading there is not a lot to do, but if you succeed the reward is great and if you fail the reward is small. The householder has a great deal to do and the monk does not have a great deal to do, but if the monk succeeds the reward is great.

Subha said: "The brahmana declare that there are five factors which ensure success and skill in action. They are: truth, austerity, chastity or purity, study and recitation of scriptures and renunciation."

The LORD said: "But has anyone, from the great sages of ancient times, declared that I have realised transcendental knowledge and discovered this to be the truth’? No. They are merely repeating what someone else has said. Thai is like the blind leading the blind!"

Subha said in anger: "But some, like the brahmana Pokkharasati, say that they have reached the higher states."

The LORD replied: "it is like a person who is born blind saying that he sees colours! Listen. There are five obstacles which veil the brahmana Pokkharasati. They are: pursuit of pleasure, hate, sloth, rest-lessness and doubt. He who is hindered by these does not enjoy excellent vision or knowledge. The pursuit of pleasure is fivefold: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. He who is enslaved by these does not attain excellent vision and knowledge. Sense-pleasure is like fire which is fed by fuel. There is a superior fire which does not burn with fuel: it is the delight independent of sense-pleasure and unskilled states of mind. A monk who is freed from the pursuit o pleasure enters into the first However, the five factors laid and second meditations and abides in them. However, the five factors laid down by the brahmana are conducive to the development of the mind. These are natural to the monk who is intent on truth. Purity study. austerity and renunciation:

I know the Brahma-world, the path to the brama world and the way to companionship with Brahma. A monk radiates friendliness, compassion, joy and equanimity with a mind that is totally free. This is the way to the companionship of Brahma.

Subha became a lay-disciple of the Lord.


10th JULY

eva eva kho aham brahmana ariyan lokuttaram

dhamman purisassa sandhanam pannapemi

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying in the Jeta grove. A brahmana named Esukari approached the Lord and submitted the following question; "The brahamana, Lord, have certain regulations concerning service. A brahmana can only serve another brahmana; a noble may serve another noble or a brahmana; a merchant can serve another merchant or a noble or a brahmana and a worker can serve all. What do you say to this?"

The LORD answered:"This is surely the imposition by brahmana of their own will upon others. I do not say that everyone should or should not serve everyone else. But I do say that by such service, the one who serves should be elevated and ennobled. If such service makes the server better, it is good; if it makes the server worse it is not desirable. By better or worse I am not thinking of the colour of the skin, position or possessions. I am thinkinc, in terms of moral and spiritual growth, the growth of wisdom and the spirit of renunciation."

The brahmana asked again: "The brahmana say that their wealth is alms, that a noble warrior's wealth is his weapon, that a merchant's wealth is agriculture and cattle and that a worker's wealth is his implements. They also say that if these four castes of people abandon their own wealth and seek other means, they are robbers. What do you say to this?"

The LORD replied: "All this is the imposition by brahmar.ia of their own views upon the others. I declare that a man's wealth is dhamma, noble and beyond the earth (not worldly). One's caste is generally deter-mined by one's own ancestry on the paternal and maternal sides. That is how the individuality arises. Thus you have the br-ahmana, nobles, merchants and workers. But they are all the same. Even as fire will burn different types of firewood brought by different castes of men, if one takes to the homeless life and refrains from violence, greed, incon-tinence and wrong view he is accomplishing the right dhamma .

The mundane truth is that things exist as the result of the combination of causes and conditions, and that they have no separate essences of their own. A cart, for example, exists as a complex entity composed of wheel, etc.; there is no cart with a being of its own apart from its components. Such is also the nature of the individual. The individual is there as the complex of the five skandha (groups of material and mental elements); there is no individual apart from and independent of these five groups.

The Maha Prainiparamita-sastrs

11th JULY


pubbe kho tvan assalayana jatimaganasi jätin gantva mante agamasi mante gantva tan etam tvan catuvannin suddhim paccagato yan aham pannapemiti

Thus have I heard:

The Lord was staying in the Jeta grove. Nearby in Savatthi there were five hundred brahmana. They had heard the Lord declare that all the castes were pure. They wished to dispute this. They decided to send the most capable among them to the Lord, and therefore chose a young and brilliant brahmana known as Assalayana. At first he refused (saying: "No one can argue with Gotama on the dhamma and win.") but later he agreed to go.