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Saɱyutta Nikāya,
V: Mahā-Vagga
56. Sacca Saɱyutta
V. Papāta Vagga

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
Part V: The Great Chapter
56: Kindred Sayings about the Truths
V. The Precipice

Sutta 41

Cintā Suttaɱ

Reasoning

Translated by F. L. Woodward

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[1][bodh] Thus have I heard:

On a certain occasion the Exalted One was staying near Rājagaha,
in Bamboo Grove,
at the Squirrels' Feeding Ground.

Now on that occasion the Exalted One addressed the monks, saying:

"Once upon a time, monks,
a certain man left Rājagaha
with this intention:

'I will speculate about the world';

and be came to Sumāgavā[1] Lotus Pond.

On reaching it
he sat down on the bank of the lotus pond
and fell to speculating
about the world.[2]

Now, monks, that man saw
an army with its four divisions
(of elephants and horses, chariots and infantry)
entering a lotus stalk.

On seeing it he thought:

'I must be mad!

I must be out of my mmd,[3]
for I have seen
what does not exist in the world!

Well, monks, that man went into the town
and told a great crowd of folk:

'Sirs, I must be mad!

I must be out of my mmd,
for I have seen
what does not exist in the world!'

'How's that, good fellow?

How are you mad?

How are you out of your mind?

What have you seen that's not in the world?'

'Why, sirs, it's like this:

I left Rājagaha with this intention:

"I will speculate about the world",

and I came to Sumāgavā Lotus Pond.

When I got there
I sat down on the bank of the pond
and fell to speculating
about the world.

Then, sirs, I saw an army
with its four divisions
entering a lotus stalk.[4]

That, sirs, is how I must be mad,
must be out of my mind,
for I saw what does not exist in the world.'

[378] "Indeed, good fellow,
you are mad,
you are out of your mind!

What you saw does not exist in the world!"

Now, monks, what that man saw
was real,
not unreal.

Once upon a time, monks,
the hosts of the Devas and the Asuras
were arrayed for battle,
and in that battle
the Devas won the day,
the Asuras were defeated;
and the Asuras,
defeated and panic-stricken,
entered Asura Town
by way of a lotus-stalk,
in terror of the Devas.[5]

Wherefore, monks,
reason not about the world[6] thus:

'Eternal is the world or
Not eternal is the world.

Finite is the world or
Infinite is the world.

Life is the same as body or
Life and body are different.

The Tathāgata exists after death or
The Tathāgata exists not after death; or
He both exists and exists not after death; or
The Tathāgata neither exists nor not-exists after death.'

Why do I say this?

Because, monks, such reasonings are not concerned with profit,
are not concerned with the rudiments of the holy life:
conduce not to revulsion,
to dispassion,
to cessation,
to tranquillity,
to comprehension,
to perfect wisdom,
conduces not to Nibbāna.

When ye reason, monks, reason thus:

'This is ill.

This is the arising of ill.

This is the ceasing of ill.

This is the practice that leads to the ceasing of ill.'

Why do I say so?

Because, monks, such reasonings are concerned with profit,
concerned with the rudiments of the holy life:
conduce to revulsion,
to dispassion,
to cessation,
to tranquillity,
to comprehension,
to the perfect wisdom
conduce to Nibbāna.

Wherefore, monks, an effort must be made to realize:

'This is Ill'.

'This is the arising of Ill.'

'This is the ceasing of Ill.'

This is the practice that leads to the ceasing of Ill.'"

 


[1] Text has Sumāgadhā, but Sinh. MSS. and Comy., which I follow, Sumāgavā (a tank near Rājagaha).

[2] Loka-cintā. Comy. 'Such as: Who made the moon and sun? Who made the earth, the ocean, beings, mountains, mangoes, coconuts, etc.?'

[3] Viceto = vikhitta-citta. Comy.

[4] Here the Asuras would seem to be fairies or nature-spints.

[5] Text bhāyamānā, but v.ll. and Comy. mohayamānā, expl. as devānaɱ cittaɱ mohattā.

[6] Text, 418.

 


 

References:

AN 4.77
SN 5.56.8


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