Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
II. Majjhima-Paṇṇāsa
3. Paribbājaka Vagga

The Middle Length Sayings
II. The Middle Fifty Discourses
3. The Division on Wanderers

Sutta 74

Dīghanakha Sutta[1]

Discourse To Dīghanakha

Translated from the Pali by I.B. Horner, M.A.
Associate of Newham College, Cambridge
First Published in 1954

Copyright The Pali Text Society
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[497] [176]

[1][chlm][than][upal] THUS have I heard:

At one time the Lord was staying near Rājagaha
on Mount Vulture Peak in the Boar's Cave.[2]

Then the wanderer Dīghanakha[3] approached the Lord;
having approached, he exchanged greetings with the Lord;
having conversed in a friendly and courteous way,
he stood at a respectful distance.[4]
As he was standing at a respectful distance,
the wanderer Dīghanakha spoke thus to the Lord:

"I, good Gotama, speak thus,
I am of this view:
All[5] is not pleasing to me."

"This view of yours, Aggivessana:[6]
All is not pleasing to me
— does this view of yours not please you?"

[177] "If this view were pleasing to me, good Gotama,
this would be like it too,
that [498] would be like it too.[7]"

"Now, Aggivessana, when those,
the majority in the world, speak thus:
'This would be like it too,
that would be like it too'
— they do not get rid of that very view,
and they take up another view.[8]

Now, Aggivessana, when those,
the minority in the world, speak thus:
'This would be like it too,
that would be like it too'
— they get rid of that very view
and do not take up another view.

There are, Aggivessana,
some recluses and brahmans who speak thus
and are of this view:
'All is pleasing to me.'

There are, Aggivessana,
some recluses and brahmans who speak thus
and are of this view:
'All is not pleasing to me.'

There are, Aggivessana,
some recluses and brahmans who speak thus
and are of this view:
'Part is pleasing to me,
part is not pleasing to me.'

As to this, Aggivessana,
those recluses and brahmans who speak thus
and are of this view:
'All is pleasing to me'
— this view of theirs
is close to[9] attachment,
close to the fetters,
close to delight,
close to cleaving,
close to grasping.

As to this, Aggivessana,
those recluses and brahmans who speak thus
and are of this view:
'All is not pleasing to me'
— this view of theirs
is close to detachment,
close to the absence of fetters,
close to the absence of delight,
close to the absence of cleaving,
close to the absence of grasping."

When this had been said,
the wanderer Dīghanakha spoke thus to the Lord:
"The good Gotama is complimentary to my view,
the good Gotama is very complimentary to my view."

"As to this, Aggivessana,
those recluses and brahmans who speak thus
and are of this view:
'Part is pleasing to me,
part is not pleasing to me'
— that which in this view is pleasing to them
is close to attachment,
close to the fetters
close to delight,
close to cleaving,
close to grasping.
But that which in this view
is not pleasing to them
is close to detachment,
close to the absence of fetters
close to the absence of delight,
close to the absence of cleaving,
close to the absence of grasping.

Concerning those recluses and brahmans, Aggivessana,
who speak thus and are of this view:
'All is pleasing to me,'
if a learned man be there who reflects thus:
'If I were to express this view of mine:
"All is pleasing to me,"
and, obstinately holding to it
and adhering to it,[10]
were to say:
"This is indeed the truth,
all else is falsehood"
— there would be for me dispute with two (view-holders):
both with whatever recluse or brahman speaks thus
and is of this view:
"All [178] is not pleasing to me,"
and with whatever recluse or brahman speaks thus
and [499] is of this view:
"Part is pleasing to me,
part is not pleasing to me"
— there would be dispute for me with these two.

If there is dispute there is contention;
if there is contention there is trouble;
if there is trouble there is vexation.'[11]

So he, beholding this dispute and contention
and trouble and vexation for himself,
gets rid of that very view
and does not take up another view.

Thus is the getting rid of these views,
thus is the casting out of these views.

As to this, Aggivessana,
those recluses and brahmans who speak thus
and are of this view:
'All is not pleasing to me'
— if a learned man be there who reflects thus:
'If I were to express this view of mine that:
"All is not pleasing to me,"
and, obstinately holding to it
and adhering to it,
were to say:
"This is the very truth,
all else is falsehood,"
there would be for me dispute with two (view-holders):
both with whatever recluse or brahman speaks thus
and is of this view:
"All is pleasing to me,"
and with whatever recluse or brahman speaks thus
and is of this view:
"Part is pleasing to me,
part is not pleasing to me"
— there would be dispute for me with these two.

If there is dispute there is contention;
if there is contention there is trouble;
if there is trouble there is vexation.'

So he, beholding this dispute and contention
and trouble and vexation for himself,
gets rid of that very view
and does not take up another view.

As to this, Aggivessana,
those recluses and brahmans who speak thus
and are of this view:
'Part is pleasing to me,
part is not pleasing to me'
— if a learned man be there who reflects thus:
'If I were to express this view of mine:
"Part is pleasing to me,
part is not pleasing to me,"
and, obstinately holding to it
and adhering to it,
were to say:
"This is the very truth,
all else is falsehood,"
there would be for me dispute with two (view-holders):
both with whatever recluse or brahman speaks thus
and is of this view:
"All is pleasing to me,"
and with whatever recluse or brahman speaks thus
and is of this view:
"All is not pleasing to me"
— there would be dispute for me with these two.

If there is dispute there is contention;
if there is contention there is trouble;
if there is trouble there is vexation.'

So he, beholding this dispute and contention
and trouble and vexation for himself,
gets rid of that very view
and does not take up another view.

[500] [179] But this body, Aggivessana,
which has material shape,
is made up of the four great elements,
originating from mother and father,
nourished on gruel and sour milk,
of a nature to be constantly rubbed away,
pounded away,
broken up and scattered,[12]
should be regarded as impermanent,
suffering,
as a disease,
an imposthume,
a dart,
a misfortune,
an affliction,
as other,
as decay,
empty,
not-self.[13]

When he regards this body
as impermanent,
suffering,
as a disease,
an imposthume,
a dart,
a misfortune,
an affliction,
as other,
as decay,
empty,
not-self,
whatever in regard to body
is desire for body,
affection for body,
subordination to body,
this is got rid of.

There are these three feelings, Aggivessana:
pleasant feeling,
painful feeling,
feeling that is neither painful nor pleasant.

At the time, Aggivessana,
when one feels a pleasant feeling,
at that time
one feels neither a painful feeling
nor does one feel a feeling that is neither painful nor pleasant.

At the time, Aggivessana,
when one feels a painful feeling,
at that time
one feels neither a pleasant feeling
nor does one feel a feeling that is neither painful nor pleasant.

At the time, Aggivessana,
when one feels a feeling that is neither painful nor pleasant,
at that time
one feels neither a pleasant feeling
nor does one feel a painful feeling.

Pleasant feelings, Aggivessana,
are impermanent,
compounded,
generated by conditions,
liable to destruction,
liable to decay,
liable to fading away,
liable to stopping.[14]

And painful feelings, Aggivessana,
are impermanent,
compounded,
generated by conditions,
liable to destruction,
liable to decay,
liable to fading away,
liable to stopping.

And, Aggivessana, feelings that are neither painful nor pleasant, Aggivessana,
are impermanent,
compounded,
generated by conditions,
liable to destruction,
liable to decay,
liable to fading away,
liable to stopping.

Seeing it thus, Aggivessana,
an instructed disciple of the ariyans
turns away from pleasant feelings
and he turns away from painful feelings
and he turns away from feelings that are neither painful nor pleasant;
turning away he is dispassionate,
being dispassionate he is freed,[15]
in freedom
the knowledge comes to be that he is freed
and he comprehends:
'Destroyed is birth,
brought to a close is the Brahma-faring,
done is what was to be done,
there is no more of being such or so.'

A monk whose mind is freed thus, Aggivessana,
does not concur with [180] anyone,
he does not dispute with anyone.[16]
He makes use of the common phrases of the world
without adhering to them."[17]

Now at that time the venerable Sāriputta [501] was standing behind the Lord,
fanning the Lord.

Then it occurred to the venerable Sāriputta:
"The Lord speaks to us
of getting rid of these things and those
by means of super-knowledge,[18]
the Well-farer speaks to us
of casting out these things and those
by means of super-knowledge."

While the venerable Sāriputta was reflecting on this,
his mind was freed from the cankers without clinging.
But to the wanderer Dīghanakha
there arose the stainless,
spotless vision of dhamma,
that whatever is of the nature to arise
all that is of the nature to stop.

Then the wanderer Dīghanakha,
having seen dhamma,
attained dhamma,,
known dhamma,
plunged into dhamma,
having crossed over doubt,
having put away uncertainty,
attaining without another's help
to full confidence in the Teacher's instruction,[19]
spoke thus to the Lord:

"It is excellent, good Gotama,
excellent, good Gotama.
It is, good Gotama,
as if one might set upright
what had been upset,
or might disclose
what had been covered,
or point out the Way
to one who had gone astray,
or might bring an oil-lamp
into the darkness
so that those with vision might see material shapes
— even so in many a figure
has dhamma been made clear by the good Gotama.
I am going to the revered Gotarna for refuge
and to dhamma,
and to the Order of monks.

May the revered Gotama accept me
as a layfollower going for refuge
from today forth
for as long as life lasts."

Discourse to Dīghanakha: The Fourth

 


[1] Cf. DA. 418,882, DhA. i. 96. SA. i. 122, ii. 63, 234, etc., where this Sutta is referred to as Vedanāpariggahana Suttanta.

[2] This cave, Sākarakhatā, is also mentioned at S. v. 233. SA. iii. 249 gives the same account of it as does MA. iii. 203.

[3] Sāriputta's nephew.

[4] MA. iii. 203 says that he stood at a respectful distance because the Elder (Sāriputta) was standing fanning the Lord, as below p. 180.

[5] MA. iii. 204 explains "all," sabbaɱ, for Dīghanakha as all uprisings and re-linkings, for to this extent he is an annihilationist. Gotama, however, takes "all" in its literal sense.

[6] Cf. M. i. 229 f., 238 ff. and M. iii. 128 f. for this epithet.

[7] That is, "pleasing" too.

[8] MA. iii. 205 distinguishes these views as annihilationism and eternalism.

[9] As at M. i. 411.

[10] As at M. i. 130, 257.

'there is no indication' There is no indication in the text, but there is indication enough in the sense. The thought is not complete enough to stimulate action without this conclusion.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[11] There is no indication whether the thoughts of the learned man stop here or at the end of the previous sentence.

[12] As at M. i. 144.

[13] As at M. i. 435.

[14] Cf. D. iii. 275, "the escape from what has become, is composite, originating from conditions, is its stopping"; and see S. ii. 26 which enumerates the things that, arising from cause, are impermanent, etc.; cf. A. v. 187.

[15] Cf. S. ii. 94, 125, iv. 2, 86; also S. iii. 46, 189; A. v. 3.

[16] Cf. S. iii. 138. MA. iii. 208 says he does not concur with the eternalists nor dispute with the partial-eternalists.

[17] Cf. S. i. 14; D. i. 202, quoted at MA. iii. 208.

[18] MA. iii. 208 says "he talked about the getting rid of the eternal having known through super-knowledge the eternalism of these things and those; he speaks of getting rid of the partially eternal through super-knowledge as to annihilation, as to partial eternalism; he speaks of getting rid of material shape through super-knowledge as to material shape".

[19] As at Vin. i. 12.

 


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