Dīgha Nikāya

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Sacred Books of the Buddhists
Volume IV

Dīgha Nikāya

Dialogues of the Buddha
Part III

Sutta 33

Saŋgīti Suttantaɱ

The Recital

Ones and Twos

Translated from the Pali by T.W. Rhys Davids and
C.A.F. Rhys Davids

Public Domain

Originally published under the patronage of
His Majesty King Chulālankarana,
King of Siam
by The Pali Text Society, Oxford


[207] [201]

[Nidana][bodh][olds] THUS HAVE I HEARD:

The Exalted One was once making a tour in the country of the Mallas,[1] accompanied by a great company of the brethren, numbering about five hundred. And he arrived at Pāvā the Malla capital. There he resided in the mango-grove of Cunda the smith.[2]

Now at that time a new mote-hall of the Pāvā Mallas named Ubbhaṭaka[3] had not long been built, and had not been occupied by recluse or brahmin or any human being whatever. And the Pāvā Mallas heard that the Exalted One on his tour had arrived with his following at Pāvā and was staying in Cunda's mango-grove. And they went to visit him, and saluting him sat down at one side. So seated they said to him: --

'Lord, a new mote-hall named Ubbhaṭaka has lately been built by us Mallas of Pāvā, and no recluse or brahmin or any human being whatever has yet occupied it. [208]Let, lord, the Exalted One be the first to make use of it. That is has first been used by the Exalted One will be for the lasting good and happiness of the Pāvā Mallas.'

The Exalted One by his silence assented.

3. When they marked his assent, they rose and saluted him, passing round by his right, and went to the mote-hall. They spread the whole hall with carpets, arranged seats, put a bowl of water ready, hung up an oil lamp, and returned to the Exalted One. Saluting [202] him and standing at one side they said: 'The whole mote-hall, lord, is spread with carpets, seats are arranged, a bowl of water has been placed ready, a lamp is hung up. And now, lord, whenever the Exalted One deems the time is fit. ... '

4. Then the Exalted One dressed himself and taking bowl and robe he went with the company of brethren to the mote-hall. On arriving he bathed his feet, and entered the hall, and took his seat facing the east, leaning against the central pillar. The brethren also bathed their feet and entered the hall ranging themselves against the western wall and facing the east, [209] behind the Exalted One. The Pāvā Mallas also bathed their feet and entered the hall, ranging themselves against the eastern wall and facing the west with the Exalted One before them. Then the Exalted One far into the night discoursed on the doctrine to the Pāvā Mallas, instructing, enlightening, inciting and inspiring them.[4] And then he dismissed them saying: 'Lovely, Vāseṭṭhas[5] is the night. Do ye deem it time?'

'We do, lord,' responded the Pāvā Mallas. And rising they saluted the Exalted One by the right and departed.

5. And presently the Exalted One, surveying the company of brethren wrapped in silence wherever they sat,[6] called to the venerable Sāriputta: 'There is an absence, Sāriputta, of sloth and torpor in the company of brethren. Let a religious discourse occur to thee, My back is aching, I will stretch it.'

'So be it, lord,' replied Sāriputta. Then the Exalted One, letting his robe be folded in four, took up the lion-posture on his right side, placing his feet [203] one in the curve of the other, mindful and deliberate,[7] having mentally noted a time for arousing himself.

6. Now at that time the Nigaṇṭha, Nātha's son, [210] had just died at Pāva..[8] After his death the Nigaṇṭhas became divided, falling into opposite parties and into strife, disputes broke out and they went on wounding each other with wordy weapons: — Thou dost not confess this Norm and Discipline! I do confess it! Wilt thou confess it? Thou are in the wrong! I am practising it rightly! I am speaking to the point; thou art off the point! Thou sayest last what should be said first, and first what should come last! What thou hast so long excogitated is quite upset! Thy challenge is taken up; thou'rt proved to be wrong! Begone to get rid of thy opinion, or disentangle thyself if thou canst! Truly the Nigaṇṭhas, followers ofNāthaputta, were out methinks to kill. Even the lay disciples of the white robe, who followed Nāthaputta, showed themselves shocked,[9] repelled and indignant at the Nigaṇṭhas, so badly was their doctrine and discipline set forth and imparted, so ineffectual was it for guidance, so little conducive to peace, imparted as it had been by one who was not supremely enlightened, and now wrecked as it was of his support and without a protector.

7. Then the venerable Sāriputta addressed the brethren:

The Nigaṇṭha, Nāthaputta, friends, has just died at Pāvā. Since his death the Nigaṇṭhas have become divided and have fallen into opposite parties and into strife. Disputes have broken out and they go on wounding each other with wordy weapons . . . so badly has their doctrine and discipline been set forth [204] . . . and now wrecked of his support and without a protector.

[211] But to us, friends, the Norm has been well set forth and imparted by the Exalted One. It is effectual for guidance, conducive to self-mastery, and is imparted by one perfectly enlightened.[10] Herein there should be a chanting by all in concord, not a wrangling, that thus this holy life may persist and be long maintained. That may be for the welfare and happiness of many folk, for compassion on the world, for the good, the welfare, the happiness of devas and of men.

The Recital


[1.01][bodh][olds] 8. What is the single doctrine?

All beings persist through causes.

[1.02][bodh][olds] All beings persist through conditions.[11]

This 'single doctrine,' friends, has been perfectly set forth by the Exalted One who knows, who sees. Hereon there should be a chanting in concord, not a wrangling, [212] that thus this holy life may persist and be long maintained. That may be for the welfare and happiness of many folk, for compassion on the world, for the good, the welfare, the happiness of devas and of men.




The Recital


9. There are double doctrines, friends, which are perfectly set forth by the Exalted One who knows, who sees. Hereon there should be a chanting in concord [205] ...for the good...of devas and of men: — Which are the doubles?

[2.01][bodh][olds] i. Mind[13] and body.

[2.02][bodh][olds] ii. Ignorance and craving for rebirth.

[2.03][bodh][olds] iii. False opinion as to (a) rebirth, (b) no rebirth.

[2.04][bodh][olds] iv. Unconscientiousness and indiscretion.

[2.05][bodh][olds] v. Conscientiousness and discretion.[14]

[2.06][bodh][olds] vi. Contumacy and friendship with evil.[15]

[2.07][bodh][olds] vii. Suavity and friendship with good.

[2.08][bodh][olds] viii. Proficiency as to offences and restoration from them.

[2.09][bodh][olds] ix. Proficiency as to attainments and recovery from them (viz.: as to jhāna).

[2.10][bodh][olds] x. Proficiency in elements[16] and in understanding them.

[2.11][bodh][olds] xi. Proficiency in the (twelve) spheres of sense and in the (twelve factors[17] of the) causal formula.

[2.12][bodh][olds] xii. Proficiency in assigning specific causes, and in eliminating elements that are not causal [in a specific effect].[18]

[213] [206] [2.13][bodh][olds] xiii. Rectitude and shamefacedness.[19]

[2.14][bodh][olds] xiv. Patience and gentleness.

[2.15][bodh][olds] xv. Mildness of speech and courtesy.[20]

[2.16][bodh][olds] xvi. Kindness[21] and love.[22]

[2.17][bodh][olds] xvii. Absence of mind[23] and want of intelligence.

[2.18][bodh][olds] xviii. Mindfulness and intelligence.

[2.19][bodh][olds] xix. Unguardedness of faculties[24] and intemperance in diet.

[2.20][bodh][olds] xx. Guardedness of faculties and temperance in diet.

[2.21][bodh][olds] xxi. The powers of judging and of cultivation.

[2.22][bodh][olds] xxii. The powers of mindfulness and concentration.

[2.23][bodh][olds] xxiii. Calm and insight.[25]

[2.24][bodh][olds] xxiv. The causes [or signs]26 of calm and of mental grasp.[27]

[2.25][bodh][olds] xxv. Mental grasp and balance.

[2.26][bodh][olds] xxvi. Attainment in conduct and in [sound] belief.

[2.27][bodh][olds] xxvii. Failure in conduct and in [sound] belief.[28]

[2.28][bodh][olds] [214] xxviii. Purity in conduct and in belief.[29]

[2.29][bodh][olds] xxix. Purity in belief and the struggle according to the belief one holds.[30]

[2.30][bodh][olds] xxx. Agitation over agitating conditions and the systematic exertion of one [thus] agitated.

[2.31][bodh][olds] xxxi. Discontent in meritorious acts and perseverance in exertion.

[2.32][bodh][olds] [207] xxxii. The higher wisdom[31] and emancipation.[32]

[2.33][bodh][olds] xxxiii. Knowledge how to extirpate and knowledge how to prevent recrudescence.[33]

These, friends, are the Double Doctrines perfectly set forth by the Exalted One who knows, who sees. Hereon there should be a chanting by all in concord, not a wrangling, that thus this holy life may persist and be long maintained. That may be for the welfare and happiness of many folk, for compassion on the world, for the good, the welfare, the happiness of devas and of men.


[1] The Mallas were an oligarchy of rājas. They are called rājas in the Comy.

[2] Cf. above, Vol. II, 137

[3] 'Thrown-aloft-er,' 'So-called because of its height.' Comy.

[4] B.'s comments on these four verbs is in the Soṇadanda Suttanta (I, 159) should be compared with those on the same passage in S.I, 114, given in Kindred Sayings I, 140, n.4.

[5] Apparently a leading family name among the Mallas both of Pāvā and the neighbouring village, Kusinārā. See II, 181.

[6] Literally, wrapped in silence, wrapped in silence.' 'Wherever he looked, there that part was silent.' Comy.

[7] Recorded in the same terms of Gotama, e.g. II, 149, S.I, 107; but cf. Devadatta in Vinaya Texts III, 258.

[8] This episode forms the occasion for Suttanta XXIX, above, p.111, and for the Samāgama Sutta, M.II, 243 f.(MN#104, same as DN#29)

[9] Only the Burmese Mandalay MS, and Rangoon edition and the Siamese edition here read also virattar.ūpā, 'repelled,' as on p.111.

[10] Cf. above, p, 115 f

[11] Cf. Khp. IV; A.V., 50, 55. The Digha alone gives the second aphorism. 'Cause'; āhāra, usually meaning 'food,' is literally a thing 'adduced,''brought up.' Four kinds of āhāra are specified. e.g., S.II, ii f.; below, 219 — food, contact, purpose, consciousness (in connection with rebirth), all considered as so many causes, conditions, antecedents of 'result' or fruit. Hence āhāra in general can always be rendered by paccaya. So B. 'Condition'=sankhāra: the karana or doing, action, that leads to the result. Comy.

[12] With this list compare Aŋguttara I, 83 f., and below, XXXIV, i, 3, etc.

[13] I.e. Nāma, by which in this connection the 'four incorpreal khandhas' (aggregates) are always meant. B. refers to the Visuddhi Magga for a detailed analysis (ch.xiv.).

[14] The former concerns one's own estimate of one's self, the latter the estimate of one's neighbours. Comy.

[15] Cf. Bud. Psy. Eth., p.344.

[16] The eighteen dhātus, those residual factors of our experience which cannot be expressed in more ultimate [subjective] terms (attano sabhāvaŋ dhāreti ti dhātu), to wit, the three ultimates in each act of consciousness, object, or stimulus, re-acting organ [of sense or mind], resulting cognition.

[17] The only apparent reason for linking these two is the common number.

[18] The first of the 'ten powers' of a Tathāgata (M. I, 69 f.; A. V, 33 f.; Vibh. 335 f. Cf. Psalms of the Early Brethren I, p. 167, n. i; II, 7, n.i; Bud. Psy. Eth., p. 348) shared partly by disciples (Points of Controversy, 139 f.). 'Proficiency' (kusalatā) is, by B., defined as 'intelligence-with-understanding' (paññā-pajāna), further specialized in x.a as learning, remembering, grasping, intuition, in x.b as the last two plus reflection, in xi.a as learning by heart, plus the last group, in xi.b, understanding of procedure, in xii. as determining.

[19] In Bud. Psy. Eth., § 1340, this term is not lajjavo (defined as hiribalaŋ § 30), but maddavo.

[20] Cf. Bud. Psy. Eth., § 1343 f.

[21] Literally, Not-hurting, defined as 'pity.'

[22] Defined as purity of fraternal love (mettā).

[23] I.e., of mindfulness (sati), muddleheadedness. Bud. Psy. Eth., § 1349

[24] Cf. Bud. Psy. Eth., § 1345 f.

[25] Cf. ibid. § 1355 f.

[26] Nimitta, on which see Points, 387 f. Refers to Jhāna-practice.

[27] Grasp=effort (viriyaŋ), Comy.

[28] Diṭṭhi, associated with sampadā, sampanno, is always used in this sense. Cf. Points, 269, n. 3. In the Comy. the contents of xxvii precede those of xxvi.

[29] Bud. Psy. Eth., § 1365 f.

[30] Ibid., p. 357, n. 2

[31] Vijjā. The term annexed from brahminism by the Buddha and made to refer, not to the three Vedas, but either to the whole field of 'insight,' intellectual and mystical, as in I, 124, or, as here (Comy.), to three tracts of that field, viz. — ibid., Nos. 14-16. Cf. A. I, 163-5; Psalms of the Sisters, p. 26, n. 2.

[32] Both intellectual riddance of the five Hindrances and Nibbāna. Comy.

[33] Cf. with Sum. V. Asl 407 on this passage. 'Bearing on rebirth' (paṭisandhivasena), it apparently refers to the doctrine in the statement of which the figure of the palm-tree stump occurs — ' so that they are destroyed and cannot grow up again.' See Vin. Texts II, 113. The phrase recurs in the Nikāyas several times.


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