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Spanish Translation

"To set a-roll'n the Dhamma Wheel
I get me off to Kasi town
beating the drum of deathlessness
in a world gone blind."

The story of Upaka

 

Saɱyutta Nikāya
5. Mahā-Vagga
56. Sacca Saɱyutta
2. Dhamma-Cakka-Pavattana Vagga

Sutta 11

Dhamma-Cakka-p-Pavattana Suttaɱ
Paṭhama Tathāgatena Vutta

A Roll'n a-tha Dhamma Wheel

Translated from the Pali
by
Michael M. Olds

 


 

[1][pts][bodh][than][nymo][piya] I HEAR TELL:

Once upon a time, Bhagava, Baranasi-town, Deer Park, Isipatana came a revisiting.

There to The Group of Five Beggars[1] he spoke thus:

Two, me bhikkhus, are ends
not to be gone after
by one embarking on the seeker's life.

What two?

At the one end:
whatever is desire,
is yoked to desire for the sweet-life,
inferior,
peasant-like,
of the common man,
not aristocratic,
destitute of character.

And at the other end:
whatever is yoked to causing self-torment,
is painful,
not aristocratic,
destitute of character.

It is by not attacking[2] either end, beggars,
that the Tathāgata woke up
to a way to go down the middle;
eye-opening,
instructive,
smoothing the way
to higher knowledge,
self-awakening,
Nibbāna.

And what, beggars,
is that way
to go down the middle
awakened to by the Tathāgata;
eye-opening,
instructive,
smoothing the way
to higher knowledge,
self-awakening,
Nibbāna?

It is this aristocratic
multi-dimensional
high way:

High view,
high principles,
high talk,
high works,
high lifestyle,
high reign,
high mindedness, and
high get'n high.

This, beggars, is that way
to go down the middle
awakened to by the Tathāgata;
eye-opening,
instructive,
smoothing the way
to higher knowledge,
self-awakening,
Nibbāna.

Here then, beggars,
this is the aristocrat[3] of truths
with regard to pain:

Birth is pain,
aging is pain,
sickness is pain,
death is pain;
grief and lamentation,
pain and misery,
and despair are pain;
being yoked to the unloved is pain,
being separated from the loved is pain
Not getting the desirable, that too is pain.
To be concise:
the five shitpiles binding up individuality are pain.

This, beggars,
is the aristocrat of truths
with regard to the origin of pain:

It is in whatever thirst
results in living;
delight;
lust for getting;
seeking delight
now here now there;
it is just as well to say it is:
thirst for pleasures,
thirst for living,
thirst for escape.

This, beggars,
is the aristocrat of truths
with regard to the end of pain:
it is in the passing out,
the rejection,
the doing away with,
the ending with nothing remaining
of that lust.

This, beggars,
is the aristocrat of truths
with regard to the way
to get to the end of pain:
it is this aristocratic eight-dimensional high way:

High view,
high principles,
high works,
high lifestyle,
high reign,
high mindedness, and
high get'n high.

Beggars, this previously unheard teaching
of 'the aristocrat of truths
with regard to pain'
opened my eyes
and knowledge sprang up,
wisdom sprang up,
vision sprang up,
the light sprang up.

When, Beggars, it occurred to me
that this previously unheard teaching
of 'the aristocrat of truths
with regard to pain'
must be thoroughly and precisely understood,
must be seen as true,
must be lived,
must be abandoned,[4]
it opened my eyes
and knowledge sprang up,
wisdom sprang up,
vision sprang up,
the light sprang up.

When, Beggars, it occurred to me
that this previously unheard teaching
of 'the aristocrat of truths
with regard to pain'
was thoroughly and precisely understood,
was seen as true,
was lived,
was abandoned,
it opened my eyes
and knowledge sprang up,
wisdom sprang up,
vision sprang up,
the light sprang up.

Beggars, this previously unheard teaching
of 'the aristocrat of truths
with regard to the origin of pain'
opened my eyes
and knowledge sprang up,
wisdom sprang up,
vision sprang up,
the light sprang up.

When, Beggars, it occurred to me
that this previously unheard teaching
of 'the aristocrat of truths
with regard to the origin of pain'
must be thoroughly and precisely understood,
must be seen as true,
must be lived,
must be abandoned,
it opened my eyes
and knowledge sprang up,
wisdom sprang up,
vision sprang up,
the light sprang up.

When, Beggars, it occurred to me
that this previously unheard teaching
of 'the aristocrat of truths
with regard to the origin of pain'
was thoroughly and precisely understood,
was seen as true,
was lived,
was abandoned,
it opened my eyes
and knowledge sprang up,
wisdom sprang up,
vision sprang up,
the light sprang up.

Beggars, this previously unheard teaching
of 'the aristocrat of truths
with regard to the end of pain'
opened my eyes
and knowledge sprang up,
wisdom sprang up,
vision sprang up,
the light sprang up.

When, Beggars, it occurred to me
that this previously unheard teaching
of 'the aristocrat of truths
with regard to the end of pain'
must be thoroughly and precisely understood,
must be seen as true,
must be lived,
must be abandoned,
it opened my eyes
and knowledge sprang up,
wisdom sprang up,
vision sprang up,
the light sprang up.

When, Beggars, it occurred to me
that this previously unheard teaching
of 'the aristocrat of truths
with regard to the end of pain'
was thoroughly and precisely understood,
was seen as true,
was lived,
was abandoned,
was seen as true,
it opened my eyes
and knowledge sprang up,
wisdom sprang up,
vision sprang up,
the light sprang up.

Beggars, this previously unheard teaching
of 'the aristocrat of truths
with regard to the way
to get to the end of pain'
opened my eyes
and knowledge sprang up,
wisdom sprang up,
vision sprang up,
the light sprang up.

When, Beggars, it occurred to me
that this previously unheard teaching
of 'the aristocrat of truths
with regard to the way
to get to the end of pain'
must be thoroughly and precisely understood,
must be seen as true,
must be lived,
must be abandoned,
it opened my eyes
and knowledge sprang up,
wisdom sprang up,
vision sprang up,
the light sprang up.

When, Beggars, it occurred to me
that this previously unheard teaching
of 'the aristocrat of truths
with regard to the way
to get to the end of pain'
was thoroughly and precisely understood,
was seen as true,
was lived,
was abandoned,
it opened my eyes
and knowledge sprang up,
wisdom sprang up,
vision sprang up,
the light sprang up.

For just so long, me Beggars,
as I did not clearly know and see
this thrice-rolled
two-and-ten-part
four-quartered
aristocrat of truths,
neither, bhikkhus, did I declare
in this world
or it's heavens
with it's Maras,
with it's Brahmas,
with it's Shamen and Brhamen,
with it's gods and men
the highest self-awakening
of the Highest-Self-Awakened-One.

But, me Beggars, just as soon
as I did clearly know and see
this thrice-rolled
two-and-ten-part
four-quartered
aristocrat of truths,
I did declare in this world
and it's heavens
with it's Maras,
with it's Brahmas,
with it's Shamen and Brahmen,
with it's gods and men
the highest self-awakening
of the Highest-Self-Awakened-One.

Knowledge had arisen in me,
sight had sprung up:

'Unshakable is the release of my heart!

This is the end of birth!

Further living has been cut off!'"

That's what the Bhagava said.

And uplifted in mind
by the Bhagava's words
the Group of Five Bhikkhus
were greatly delighted
and it happened during this exposition
that in the Ancient Koṅdañña
there sprang up the untarnished,
unmuddied dhamma eye
that sees:

"Whatever thing has a beginning,
that also is a thing that ends."[5]

 


[1] Kondañña, Vappa, Bhaddiya, Mahānāma, and Assaji. "When the group of five ascetics saw the Blessed One at a distance coming towards them, they made an agreement amongst themselves saying, "Friends, here comes the monk Gotama who had become self-indulgent, given up the struggle and gone back to a life of luxury; let us not pay homage to him nor go to greet him and relieve him of his bowl and robes." from Arrival At Isipatana The Great Discourse On The Wheel Of Dhamma, Mahasi Sayadaw

But the Group of 5 was unable to remain seated as Gotama Approached.

From the story of the First Sutta.

[2] Taking anupakamma to be anupakama: Using, I presume, "anupakamma", Bhk. Bodhi translates "veering"; Bhk. Nanamoli, Bhk. Thanissaro, and Bhk Piyadassi all translate "avoids" or "avoiding"; Bhk. Saydow uses a manuscript with "anupagamma" and translates "avoiding" where at least to my eye the translation makes sense. What I am hearing as being said is addressing the issue of what it was that Gotama and the Group of 5 set out to do in the first place, which was to conquer the problem of existence or Dukkha (they saw the two problems as the same when starting out). He approaches them knowing their mind concerning his so called lapse into self-indulgence, so he immediately launches into an explanation that shows them how all their thinking was wrong. So what I hear him saying is that you do not 'attack the problem' from either of these two ends — either by ignoring it by indulging in sense pleasures or by attempting to attone for whatever it is that went wrong to cause all this pain by inflicing suffering on the self.

[3] Ariyasaccaɱ: others have Aryan, most often seen as "Noble" I usually use Aristocratic as here, but was tempted to suggest that what we should be hearing is the very deep roots of the word: a = to re = the sun ya = whatever; all around, complete, encompassing, full "The Truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth".

[4] This takes liberties with the Pali. In the Pali the sequence would have the listener abandon the second truth where what should be being abandoned is the subject of the truth: tanha. To my eye it looks like this is the case in all four cases, but the first, third and fourth are of such a nature as can be read either way. I suspect that the original was considerably more expanded and dealt with each truth in each of the four manners: thorough and precise understanding, seeing the truth of it, living it, and abandoning it...in that order. And that is how I have constructed my translation.

[5] The Pali text has here two additional paragraphs which are not attributed to the Buddha by the speaker, nor is there an indication that the speaker is speaking for himself. This material, has to do with the reaction of the gods to the conclusion of this sutta and at it's success in having brought Koṅdañña to the state of being a Streamwinner. The interested reader can find this in the versions of other translators.

 

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