Aŋguttara Nikāya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
X. Dasaka-Nipāta
XII: Paccorohaṇī-Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
X. The Book of the Tens
XII: The Descent

Sutta 115

Dutiya Adhamma Suttaɱ

Not-Dhamma (c)

Translated from the Pali by F. L. Woodward, M.A.

Copyright The Pali Text Society
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[156]

[1] THUS have I heard:

Once the Exalted One addressed the monks, saying:

"Monks."

"Yes, lord," they replied, and the Exalted One said:

"Monks, not-Dhamma should be understood and dhamma;
not-aim should be understood and aim.

Knowing not-Dhamma and dhamma,
knowing not-aim and aim
according to dhamma and aim
should one fare onward."

Thus spake the Exalted One.

So saying the Wellfarer rose from his seat and entered the residence.[1]

 

§

 

Now not long after the Exalted One was gone
it occurred to those monks:

"The Exalted One, having given us this pronouncement in brief,[2]
without explaining its meaning in detail,
has risen from his seat
and entered the residence,
after saying:

'Monks, not-Dhamma should be understood
and dhamma;
not-aim should be understood
and aim.

Knowing not-Dhamma and dhamma,
knowing not-aim and aim
according to dhamma and aim
should one fare onward.'

Now who could expound to us in detail
the meaning of this pronouncement
made in brief by the Exalted One?"

Then it occurred to those monks:

"There is this venerable Ānanda,
one praised by the Master[3]
and honoured by his discerning fellows in the Brahma-life.

This venerable Ānanda is capable of expounding in detail
the meaning of this pronouncement in brief
of the Exalted One.

Suppose we go to see the venerable Ānanda,
suppose on coming to him
we ask the venerable Ānanda the meaning of this.

According as he shall expound it to us,
so will we bear it in mind."

Accordingly those monks went to see the venerable Ānanda
and on coming to him
greeted him courteously, and,
after exchange of greetings and reminiscent talk,
sat down at one side.

So seated they said this to him:

"Ānanda, your reverence,
the Exalted One,
after having given us this pronouncement in brief:

'Monks, not-Dhamma should be understood
and dhamma;
not-aim should be understood
and aim.

Knowing not-Dhamma and dhamma,
knowing not-aim and aim
according to dhamma and aim
should one fare onward.'

-but without expounding its meaning in detail
rose from his seat
and entered the residence.

Now, your reverence, to us here it occurred
not long after the Exalted One was gone:

'The Exalted One, having given us this pronouncement in brief,
without explaining its meaning in detail,
has risen from his seat
and entered the residence,
after saying:

"Monks, not-Dhamma should be understood
and dhamma;
not-aim should be understood
and aim.

Knowing not-Dhamma and dhamma,
knowing not-aim and aim
according to dhamma and aim
should one fare onward."

Now who could expound to us in detail
the meaning of this pronouncement made in brief
by the Exalted One?'

Then it occurred to us:

'There is this venerable Ānanda,
one praised by the Master
and honoured by his discerning fellows in the Brahma-life.

This venerable Ānanda is capable of expounding in detail
the meaning of this pronouncement in brief
of the Exalted One.

Suppose we go to see the venerable Ānanda,
suppose on coming to him
we ask the venerable Ānanda the meaning of this.

According as he shall expound it to us,
so will we bear it in mind.'

Let the venerable Ānanda go into details."[4]

"Now, your reverences,
suppose a man aiming at sound timber,[5]
searching for sound timber,
ranging about in his quest for sound timber,
should neglect the root,
the trunk of a great upstanding tree of sound timber,
arid think he must search for sound timber
in the branches and foliage.

This is just what has happened to your reverences.

For, though you had the Master face to face,
you passed by[6] that Exalted One,
and think that I am the one to be questioned in this matter.

Your reverences,
that Exalted One knowing knows
and seeing sees;
he has become the eye,
he has become knowledge,
become dhamma,
become Brahma;
proclaimer and expounder is he;
dispenser of weal,
giver of the deathless,
master of dhamma,
the Wayfarer[7] is he.

Surely that was the time
for you to approach
and ask the Exalted One the meaning of this.

According as the Exalted One should expound it to you,
so should ye bear it in mind."

"Surely it is true, your reverence,
that the Exalted One knowing knows
and seeing sees;
he has become the eye,
he has become knowledge,
become dhamma,
become Brahma;
proclaimer and expounder is he;
dispenser of weal,
giver of the deathless,
master of dhamma,
the Wayfarer is he.

Moreover that was indeed the time for us to approach
and ask the Exalted One the meaning of this.

According as the Exalted One should expound it to us,
so should we bear it in mind.

Still we thought:

'The venerable Ānanda is praised by the Master
and honoured by his discerning fellows in the Brahma-life.

The venerable Ānanda is capable of expounding to us in detail
the meaning of this pronouncement made in brief
by the Exalted One.'

So let the venerable Ānanda go into details
and not think it a troublesome thing."[8]

 

§

 

"Well, your reverences,
do you listen.

Attend carefully
and I will speak."

"We will, your reverence,"
replied those monks to the venerable Ānanda,
who then said:

"Now as to that pronouncement which the Exalted One made in brief,
without explaining its meaning in detail,
namely:

'Monks, not-Dhamma should be understood
and dhamma;
not-aim should be understood
and aim.

Knowing not-Dhamma and dhamma,
knowing not-aim and aim
according to dhamma and aim
should one fare onward.'

your reverences,
what is not-Dhamma and what is dhamma?

What is not-aim and what is aim?

'Wrong view, your reverences, is not-Dhamma;
right view is dhamma;
also whatsoever divers evil,
unprofitable states
come to be
because of wrong view,
that is not-aim;
whereas whatsoever divers good,
profitable states
due to right view
reach fullness of culture,
that is the aim.

Wrong thinking, your reverences, is not-Dhamma;
right thinking is dhamma;
also whatsoever divers evil,
unprofitable states
come to be
because of wrong thinking,
that is not-aim;
whereas whatsoever divers good,
profitable states
due to right thinking
reach fullness of culture,
that is the aim.

Wrong speech, your reverences, is not-Dhamma;
right speech is dhamma;
also whatsoever divers evil,
unprofitable states
come to be
because of wrong speech,
that is not-aim;
whereas whatsoever divers good,
profitable states
due to right speech
reach fullness of culture,
that is the aim.

Wrong action, your reverences, is not-Dhamma;
right action is dhamma;
also whatsoever divers evil,
unprofitable states
come to be
because of wrong action,
that is not-aim;
whereas whatsoever divers good,
profitable states
due to right action
reach fullness of culture,
that is the aim.

Wrong living, your reverences, is not-Dhamma;
right living is dhamma;
also whatsoever divers evil,
unprofitable states
come to be
because of wrong living,
that is not-aim;
whereas whatsoever divers good,
profitable states
due to right living
reach fullness of culture,
that is the aim.

Wrong effort, your reverences, is not-Dhamma;
right effort is dhamma;
also whatsoever divers evil,
unprofitable states
come to be
because of wrong effort,
that is not-aim;
whereas whatsoever divers good,
profitable states
due to right effort
reach fullness of culture,
that is the aim.

Wrong mindfulness, your reverences, is not-Dhamma;
right mindfulness is dhamma;
also whatsoever divers evil,
unprofitable states
come to be
because of wrong mindfulness,
that is not-aim;
whereas whatsoever divers good,
profitable states
due to right mindfulness
reach fullness of culture,
that is the aim.

Wrong concentration, your reverences, is not-Dhamma;
right concentration is dhamma;
also whatsoever divers evil,
unprofitable states
come to be
because of wrong concentration,
that is not-aim;
whereas whatsoever divers good,
profitable states
due to right concentration
reach fullness of culture,
that is the aim.

Wrong knowledge, your reverences, is not-Dhamma;
right knowledge is dhamma;
also whatsoever divers evil,
unprofitable states
come to be
because of wrong knowledge,
that is not-aim;
whereas whatsoever divers good,
profitable states
due to right knowledge
reach fullness of culture,
that is the aim.

Wrong release, your reverences, is not-Dhamma;
right release is dhamma;
also whatsoever divers evil,
unprofitable states
come to be
because of wrong release,
that is not-aim;
whereas whatsoever divers good,
profitable states
due to right release
reach fullness of culture,
that is the aim.

Thus, your reverences,
as to that pronouncement made by the Exalted one in brief,
without explaining its meaning in detail,
namely:

'Monks, not-Dhamma should be understood
and dhamma;
not-aim should be understood
and aim.

Knowing not-Dhamma and dhamma,
knowing not-aim and aim
according to dhamma and aim
should one fare onward.'

such do I understand to be the meaning in detail of what was not explained in detail.

But if ye wish it
ye should approach the Exalted One himself
and question him on this matter,
and according as the Exalted One explains it to you
so do ye bear it in mind."

"Very good, sir,"
replied those monks to the venerable Ānanda,
and praised his words,
thanked him
and rose up and went away to see the Exalted One.

 

§

 

On coming to the Exalted One they saluted him
and sat down at one side.

So seated they said:[ed1]

"The Exalted One, having given us this pronouncement in brief,
without explaining its meaning in detail,
rose from his seat
and entered the residence,
after saying:

'Monks, not-Dhamma should be understood
and dhamma;
not-aim should be understood
and aim.

Knowing not-Dhamma and dhamma,
knowing not-aim and aim
according to dhamma and aim
should one fare onward.'

Now not long after the Exalted One was gone
it occurred to us:

'Now who could expound to us in detail
the meaning of this pronouncement made in brief by the Exalted One?'

Then it occurred to us:

'There is this venerable Ānanda,
one praised by the Master
and honoured by his discerning fellows in the Brahma-life.

This venerable Ānanda is capable of expounding in detail
the meaning of this pronouncement in brief
of the Exalted One.

Suppose we go to see the venerable Ānanda,
suppose on coming to him we ask the venerable Ānanda the meaning of this.

According as he shall expound it to us,
so will we bear it in mind.'

Accordingly we went to see the venerable Ānanda
and on coming to him greeted him courteously, and,
after exchange of greetings and reminiscent talk,
sat down at one side.

So seated we said this to the venerable Ānanda:

'Ānanda, your reverence, the Exalted One,
after having given us this pronouncement in brief:

"Monks, not-Dhamma should be understood
and dhamma;
not-aim should be understood
and aim.

Knowing not-Dhamma and dhamma,
knowing not-aim and aim
according to dhamma and aim
should one fare onward."

-but without expounding its meaning in detail
rose from his seat
and entered the residence.

Now, your reverence,
to us here it occurred not long after the Exalted One was gone:

'The Exalted One, having given us this pronouncement in brief,
without explaining its meaning in detail,
has risen from his seat
and entered the residence,
after saying:

"Monks, not-Dhamma should be understood
and dhamma;
not-aim should be understood
and aim.

Knowing not-Dhamma and dhamma,
knowing not-aim and aim
according to dhamma and aim
should one fare onward."

Now who could expound to us in detail
the meaning of this pronouncement made in brief
by the Exalted One?'

Then it occurred to us:

'There is this venerable Ānanda,
one praised by the Master
and honoured by his discerning fellows in the Brahma-life.

This venerable Ānanda is capable of expounding in detail
the meaning of this pronouncement in brief
of the Exalted One.

Suppose we go to see the venerable Ānanda,
suppose on coming to him
we ask the venerable Ānanda the meaning of this.

According as he shall expound it to us,
so will we bear it in mind.

Let the venerable Ānanda go into details.'

[Then the Venerable Ānanda, said:]

'Now, your reverences, suppose a man aiming at sound timber,
searching for sound timber,
ranging about in his quest for sound timber,
should neglect the root,
the trunk of a great upstanding tree of sound timber,
and think he must search for sound timber
in the branches and foliage.

This is just what has happened to your reverences.

For, though you had the Master face to face,
you passed by that Exalted One,
and think that I am the one to be questioned in this matter.

Your reverences,
that Exalted One knowing knows
and seeing sees;
he has become the eye,
he has become knowledge,
become dhamma,
become Brahma;
proclaimer and expounder is he;
dispenser of weal,
giver of the deathless,
master of dhamma,
the Wayfarer is he.

Surely that was the time for you to approach
and ask the Exalted One the meaning of this.

According as the Exalted One should expound it to you,
so should ye bear it in mind.'

'Surely it is true, your reverence,
that the Exalted One knowing knows
and seeing sees;
he has become the eye,
he has become knowledge,
become dhamma,
become Brahma;
proclaimer and expounder is he;
dispenser of weal,
giver of the deathless,
master of dhamma,
the Wayfarer is he.

Moreover that was indeed the time for us to approach
and ask the Exalted One the meaning of this.

According as the Exalted One should expound it to us,
so should we bear it in mind.

Still we thought:

The venerable Ānanda is praised by the Master
aad honoured by his discerning fellows in the Brahma-life.

The venerable Ānanda is capable of expounding to us in detail
the meaning of this pronouncement made in brief
by the Exalted One.

So let the venerable Ānanda go into details
and not think it a troublesome thing.'

'Well, your reverences,
do you listen.

Attend carefully
and I will speak."

'We will, your reverence,'
we replied to the venerable Ānanda,
who then said:

'Now as to that pronouncement which the Exalted One made in brief,
without explaining its meaning in detail,
namely:

"Monks, not-Dhamma should be understood
and dhamma;
not-aim should be understood
and aim.

Knowing not-Dhamma and dhamma,
knowing not-aim and aim
according to dhamma and aim
should one fare onward."

your reverences,
what is not-Dhamma
and what is dhamma?

What is not-aim
and what is aim?

Wrong view, your reverences, is not-Dhamma;
right view is dhamma;
also whatsoever divers evil,
unprofitable states
come to be
because of wrong view,
that is not-aim;
whereas whatsoever divers good,
profitable states
due to right view
reach fullness of culture,
that is the aim.

Wrong thinking, your reverences, is not-Dhamma;
right thinking is dhamma;
also whatsoever divers evil,
unprofitable states
come to be
because of wrong thinking,
that is not-aim;
whereas whatsoever divers good,
profitable states
due to right thinking
reach fullness of culture,
that is the aim.

Wrong speech, your reverences, is not-Dhamma;
right speech is dhamma;
also whatsoever divers evil,
unprofitable states
come to be
because of wrong speech,
that is not-aim;
whereas whatsoever divers good,
profitable states
due to right speech
reach fullness of culture,
that is the aim.

Wrong action, your reverences, is not-Dhamma;
right action is dhamma;
also whatsoever divers evil,
unprofitable states
come to be
because of wrong action,
that is not-aim;
whereas whatsoever divers good,
profitable states
due to right action
reach fullness of culture,
that is the aim.

Wrong living, your reverences, is not-Dhamma;
right living is dhamma;
also whatsoever divers evil,
unprofitable states
come to be
because of wrong living,
that is not-aim;
whereas whatsoever divers good,
profitable states
due to right living
reach fullness of culture,
that is the aim.

Wrong effort, your reverences, is not-Dhamma;
right effort is dhamma;
also whatsoever divers evil,
unprofitable states
come to be
because of wrong effort,
that is not-aim;
whereas whatsoever divers good,
profitable states
due to right effort
reach fullness of culture,
that is the aim.

Wrong mindfulness, your reverences, is not-Dhamma;
right mindfulness is dhamma;
also whatsoever divers evil,
unprofitable states
come to be
because of wrong mindfulness,
that is not-aim;
whereas whatsoever divers good,
profitable states
due to right mindfulness
reach fullness of culture,
that is the aim.

Wrong concentration, your reverences, is not-Dhamma;
right concentration is dhamma;
also whatsoever divers evil,
unprofitable states
come to be
because of wrong concentration,
that is not-aim;
whereas whatsoever divers good,
profitable states
due to right concentration
reach fullness of culture,
that is the aim.

Wrong knowledge, your reverences, is not-Dhamma;
right knowledge is dhamma;
also whatsoever divers evil,
unprofitable states
come to be
because of wrong knowledge,
that is not-aim;
whereas whatsoever divers good,
profitable states
due to right knowledge
reach fullness of culture,
that is the aim.

Wrong release, your reverences, is not-Dhamma;
right release is dhamma;
also whatsoever divers evil,
unprofitable states
come to be
because of wrong release,
that is not-aim;
whereas whatsoever divers good,
profitable states
due to right release
reach fullness of culture,
that is the aim.

Thus, your reverences, as to that pronouncement made in brief,
without explaining its meaning in detail,
namely:

"Monks, not-Dhamma should be understood
and dhamma;
not-aim should be understood
and aim.

Knowing not-Dhamma and dhamma,
knowing not-aim and aim
according to dhamma and aim
should one fare onward."

such do I understand to be the meaning in detail of what was not explained in detail.

But if ye wish it
ye should approach the Exalted One himself
and question him on this matter,
and according as the Exalted One explains it to you
so do ye bear it in mind.'"

"Well done, monks!

Well done, monks!

A sage is Ānanda,
of great wisdom is Ānanda, monks.

If you had come to me
and asked me the meaning of this,
I should have explained it even so myself,
even as it is explained by Ānanda:[ed2]

"Monks, not-Dhamma should be understood
and dhamma;
not-aim should be understood
and aim.

Knowing not-Dhamma and dhamma,
knowing not-aim and aim
according to dhamma and aim
should one fare onward."

What, monks,
is not-Dhamma
and what is dhamma
what is not-aim
and what is aim?

Wrong view, monks, is not-Dhamma;
right view is dhamma;
also whatsoever divers evil,
unprofitable states
come to be
because of wrong view,
that is not-aim;
whereas whatsoever divers good,
profitable states
due to right view
reach fullness of culture,
that is the aim.

Wrong thinking, monks, is not-Dhamma;
right thinking is dhamma;
also whatsoever divers evil,
unprofitable states
come to be
because of wrong thinking,
that is not-aim;
whereas whatsoever divers good,
profitable states
due to right thinking
reach fullness of culture,
that is the aim.

Wrong speech, monks, is not-Dhamma;
right speech is dhamma;
also whatsoever divers evil,
unprofitable states
come to be
because of wrong speech,
that is not-aim;
whereas whatsoever divers good,
profitable states
due to right speech
reach fullness of culture,
that is the aim.

Wrong action, monks, is not-Dhamma;
right action is dhamma;
also whatsoever divers evil,
unprofitable states
come to be
because of wrong action,
that is not-aim;
whereas whatsoever divers good,
profitable states
due to right action
reach fullness of culture,
that is the aim.

Wrong living, monks, is not-Dhamma;
right living is dhamma;
also whatsoever divers evil,
unprofitable states
come to be
because of wrong living,
that is not-aim;
whereas whatsoever divers good,
profitable states
due to right living
reach fullness of culture,
that is the aim.

Wrong effort, monks, is not-Dhamma;
right effort is dhamma;
also whatsoever divers evil,
unprofitable states
come to be
because of wrong effort,
that is not-aim;
whereas whatsoever divers good,
profitable states
due to right effort
reach fullness of culture,
that is the aim.

Wrong mindfulness, monks, is not-Dhamma;
right mindfulness is dhamma;
also whatsoever divers evil,
unprofitable states
come to be
because of wrong mindfulness,
that is not-aim;
whereas whatsoever divers good,
profitable states
due to right mindfulness
reach fullness of culture,
that is the aim.

Wrong concentration, monks, is not-Dhamma;
right concentration is dhamma;
also whatsoever divers evil,
unprofitable states
come to be
because of wrong concentration,
that is not-aim;
whereas whatsoever divers good,
profitable states
due to right concentration
reach fullness of culture,
that is the aim.

Wrong knowledge, monks, is not-Dhamma;
right knowledge is dhamma;
also whatsoever divers evil,
unprofitable states
come to be
because of wrong knowledge,
that is not-aim;
whereas whatsoever divers good,
profitable states
due to right knowledge
reach fullness of culture,
that is the aim.

Wrong release, monks, is not-Dhamma;
right release is dhamma;
also whatsoever divers evil,
unprofitable states
come to be
because of wrong release,
that is not-aim;
whereas whatsoever divers good,
profitable states
due to right release
reach fullness of culture,
that is the aim.

This is just the meaning of that thing,
and so do ye bear it in mind,"

 


[1] At SA. ii, 388, Comy. thinks the Master retired so that Ānanda might have a chance to sing his praises in his absence! Cf. K.S. iv, 57, for a similar instance, where a few words are worked up into a discourse, the truth of which is afterwards confirmed by the teacher himself.

[2] Uddesaɱ. Comy. mātikaɱ nikkhipitvā, 'laying down a summary.'

[3] Comy. 'in five matters declared topmost.'

[4] Vibhajatu.

[5] Simile at M. i, 111; S. iv, 94; below, text 256.

[6] Atisitvā (atisarati), but Comy. atiyitvā; cf. A. i, 66 and acceti.

[7] Tathāgato.

[8] Agaruɱ katvā; cf. SA. ii, 389, 'without making us ask again and again,' the trouble may refer to either party. Elsewhere I have translated, 'and not put us to further trouble.'

 


[ed1] The whole of this section, down to "Well done, monks!" is abbreviated by Woodward as follows:
(and they repeated their thoughts of a visit to Ānanda) ... So, sir, we went to see the venerable Ānanda and asked him the meaning of this. Then to us here the meaning of it was well detailed with these reasons, in these words, in these particulars by the venerable Ānanda.'
The detailed meaning, but not the introductory matter, is abbreviated in a similar way in the Pali, not with the more usual "...pe..." .

[ed2] At this point Woodward, following the Pali, abbreviates by omitting the final repetition completely, but we have many cases where the usual habit is as here in this version. The idea is rehersal to insure accurate memory. The commentary cited by Woodward above would have the initial exposition in brief be a simple excuse by Gotama to hear his own praises. This is unworthy of the commentator, not to mention Gotama, and more likely is the knowledge from previous experience, that Ānanda or some other Bhikkhu of experience would be sought out by the bhikkhus and that the teaching would by that become further developed and memorialized. We can see from the previous few suttas that this is an evolving sutta and the development here is one we have seen prevously for other suttas.


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