SN 12.65: Nagara Sutta — The City

Each week we study and discuss a different sutta or Dhamma text

Moderator: mikenz66

SN 12.65: Nagara Sutta — The City

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:49 am

SN 12.65 PTS: S ii 104 CDB i 601
Nagara Sutta: The City
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

The Buddha retells the story of how, on the eve of his Awakening, he re-discovered the long-forgotten laws of dependent co-arising and the Four Noble Truths.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Dwelling at Savatthi... "Monks, before my Awakening, when I was just an unawakened Bodhisatta, the realization came to me: 'How this world has fallen on difficulty! It is born, it ages, it dies, it falls away & rearises, but it does not discern the escape from this stress, from this aging & death. O when will it discern the escape from this stress, from this aging & death?'

"Then the thought occurred to me, 'Aging & death exist when what exists? From what as a requisite condition is there aging & death?' From my appropriate attention there came the breakthrough of discernment: 'Aging & death exist when birth exists. From birth as a requisite condition comes aging & death.' Then the thought occurred to me, 'Birth exists when what exists? From what as a requisite condition comes birth?' From my appropriate attention there came the breakthrough of discernment: 'Birth exists when becoming exists. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth... 'Name-&-form exists when what exists? From what as a requisite condition is there name-&-form?' From my appropriate attention there came the breakthrough of discernment: 'Name-&-form exists when consciousness exists. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form.' Then the thought occurred to me, 'Consciousness exists when what exists? From what as a requisite condition comes consciousness?' From my appropriate attention there came the breakthrough of discernment: 'Consciousness exists when name-&-form exists. From name-&-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness.'

"Then the thought occurred to me, 'This consciousness turns back at name-&-form, and goes no farther. It is to this extent that there is birth, aging, death, falling away, & re-arising, i.e., from name-&-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness, from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media... Thus is the origination of this entire mass of stress. Origination, origination.' Vision arose, clear knowing arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before.

"Then the thought occurred to me, 'Aging & death don't exist when what doesn't exist? From the cessation of what comes the cessation of aging & death?' From my appropriate attention there came the breakthrough of discernment: 'Aging & death don't exist when birth doesn't exist. From the cessation of birth comes the cessation of aging & death.'... 'Name-&-form doesn't exist when what doesn't exist? From the cessation of what comes the cessation of name-&-form?' From my appropriate attention there came the breakthrough of discernment: 'Name-&-form doesn't exist when consciousness doesn't exist. From the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form.' Then the thought occurred to me, 'Consciousness doesn't exist when what doesn't exist? From the cessation of what comes the cessation of consciousness?' From my appropriate attention there came the breakthrough of discernment: 'Consciousness doesn't exist when name-&-form doesn't exist. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of consciousness.'

"The thought occurred to me, 'I have attained this path to Awakening, i.e., from the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of consciousness, from the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of the six sense media. From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling. From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Thus is the cessation of this entire mass of stress. Cessation, cessation.' Vision arose, clear knowing arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before.

"It is just as if a man, traveling along a wilderness track, were to see an ancient path, an ancient road, traveled by people of former times. He would follow it. Following it, he would see an ancient city, an ancient capital inhabited by people of former times, complete with parks, groves, & ponds, walled, delightful. He would go to address the king or the king's minister, saying, 'Sire, you should know that while traveling along a wilderness track I saw an ancient path... I followed it... I saw an ancient city, an ancient capital... complete with parks, groves, & ponds, walled, delightful. Sire, rebuild that city!' The king or king's minister would rebuild the city, so that at a later date the city would become powerful, rich, & well-populated, fully grown & prosperous.

"In the same way I saw an ancient path, an ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times. And what is that ancient path, that ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times? Just this noble eightfold path: right view, right aspiration, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. That is the ancient path, the ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times. I followed that path. Following it, I came to direct knowledge of aging & death, direct knowledge of the origination of aging & death, direct knowledge of the cessation of aging & death, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of aging & death. I followed that path. Following it, I came to direct knowledge of birth... becoming... clinging... craving... feeling... contact... the six sense media... name-&-form... consciousness, direct knowledge of the origination of consciousness, direct knowledge of the cessation of consciousness, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of consciousness. I followed that path.

"Following it, I came to direct knowledge of fabrications, direct knowledge of the origination of fabrications, direct knowledge of the cessation of fabrications, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of fabrications. Knowing that directly, I have revealed it to monks, nuns, male lay followers & female lay followers, so that this holy life has become powerful, rich, detailed, well-populated, wide-spread, proclaimed among celestial & human beings."
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9614
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 12.65: Nagara Sutta — The City

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:08 am

User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9614
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 12.65: Nagara Sutta — The City

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:16 am

It's interesting to compare this sutta with the other suttas that describe the Buddha's awakening:

MN 26 PTS: M i 160 Ariyapariyesana Sutta: The Noble Search
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"In search of what might be skillful, seeking the unexcelled state of sublime peace, I wandered by stages in the Magadhan country and came to the military town of Uruvela. There I saw some delightful countryside, with an inspiring forest grove, a clear-flowing river with fine, delightful banks, and villages for alms-going on all sides. The thought occurred to me: 'How delightful is this countryside, with its inspiring forest grove, clear-flowing river with fine, delightful banks, and villages for alms-going on all sides. This is just right for the exertion of a clansman intent on exertion.' So I sat down right there, thinking, 'This is just right for exertion.'

"Then, monks, being subject myself to birth, seeing the drawbacks of birth, seeking the unborn, unexcelled rest from the yoke, Unbinding, I reached the unborn, unexcelled rest from the yoke: Unbinding. Being subject myself to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement, seeing the drawbacks of aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement, seeking the aging-less, illness-less, deathless, sorrow-less, unexcelled rest from the yoke, Unbinding, I reached the aging-less, illness-less, deathless, sorrow-less, unexcelled rest from the yoke: Unbinding. Knowledge & vision arose in me: 'Unprovoked is my release. This is the last birth. There is now no further becoming.'


MN 36 Maha-Saccaka Sutta: The Longer Discourse to Saccaka
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"When the mind was thus concentrated, purified, bright, unblemished, rid of defilement, pliant, malleable, steady, & attained to imperturbability, I directed it to the knowledge of the ending of the mental fermentations. I discerned, as it was actually present, that 'This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the way leading to the cessation of stress... These are fermentations... This is the origination of fermentations... This is the cessation of fermentations... This is the way leading to the cessation of fermentations.' My heart, thus knowing, thus seeing, was released from the fermentation of sensuality, released from the fermentation of becoming, released from the fermentation of ignorance. With release, there was the knowledge, 'Released.' I discerned that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'

"This was the third knowledge I attained in the third watch of the night. Ignorance was destroyed; knowledge arose; darkness was destroyed; light arose — as happens in one who is heedful, ardent, & resolute. But the pleasant feeling that arose in this way did not invade my mind or remain.


:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9614
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 12.65: Nagara Sutta — The City

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:04 am

At Sāvatthı̄. “Bhikkhus, before my enlightenment, while I was still a bodhisatta, not yet fully enlightened, it occurred to me: ‘Alas, this world has fallen into trouble, in that it is born, ages, and dies, it passes away and is reborn, yet it does not understand the escape from this suffering [headed by] aging-and-death. When now will an escape be discerned from this suffering [headed by] aging-and-death?’
    This same opening appears at SN 12.10
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html
      "Monks, before I attained supreme Enlightenment, while I was still a Bodhisatta,[3] the thought occurred to me: 'This world, alas, has fallen into sore distress. There is being born, growing old, dying, passing over and being reborn. But from all this suffering, from decay and death, no way of release is apparent. Surely there must be some way of release discoverable from this suffering, this decay-and-death.'
    However, in that case the usual 12-step chain is presented:
      "Then, monks, the thought occurred to me: 'By the absence of what does decay-and-death not come to be?' Then, monks, as I considered this thoroughly, the insight and comprehension dawned on me: 'In the absence of birth, decay-and-death does not come to be; from the ceasing of birth comes the ceasing of decay-and-death... becoming... grasping... craving... feeling... contact... the six sense-bases... name-form... consciousness... the formations... by the ceasing of ignorance comes the ceasing of the formations... So comes about the cessation of this entire mass of suffering.'
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9614
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 12.65: Nagara Sutta — The City

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:37 am

“Then, bhikkhus, it occurred to me: ‘When what exists does consciousness come to be? By what is consciousness conditioned? ’ Then, bhikkhus, through careful attention, there took place in me a breakthrough by wisdom: ‘When there is name-and-form, consciousness comes to be; consciousness has name-and-form as its condition.’

    BB: Dependent origination is formulated in identical terms in the account of the Buddha Vipassī’s enlightenment at DN II 32,22-30.
    [DN 14 Mahâpadāna Sutta: The Great Discourse on the Lineage]
      ‘Then he thought: “What conditions birth?” And the realisation dawned on him: “Becoming conditions birth” ... “What conditions becoming?” ... “Clinging conditions becoming”... “Craving conditions clinging”... “Feeling conditions craving” ... “Contact conditions feeling”... “The six sense-bases condition contact”... “Mind-and-body conditions the six sense-bases”... “Consciousness conditions mind-and-body.” And then the Bodhisatta Vipassi thought: “With what being present, does consciousness occur. What conditions consciousness?” And then, as a result of the wisdom born of profound consideration, the realisation dawned on him: “Mind-and-body conditions consciousness.”

For the Buddha’s explanation of the mutual dependency of consciousness and name-and-form, see DN II 62,38-63,26. A translation of the detailed explanation at Sv II 501-3 with excerpts from Sv-pṭ can be found in Bodhi, The Great Discourse on Causation, pp. 84-89.

DN 15 Maha-nidana Sutta: The Great Causes Discourse
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
    "Thus this is a cause, this is a reason, this is an origination, this is a requisite condition for name-and-form, i.e., consciousness."
    ...
    "Thus this is a cause, this is a reason, this is an origination, this is a requisite condition for consciousness, i.e., name-and-form.
See too below SN 12:67:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
    It is as if two sheaves of reeds were to stand leaning against one another. In the same way, from name-&-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness, from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form.

Spk: When there is name-and-form, consciousness comes to be: Here it should be said, “When there are volitional formations, consciousness comes to be,” and “When there is ignorance, volitional formations come to be.” But neither is mentioned. Why not? Because ignorance and volitional formations belong to a third existence and this insight is not connected with them (avijjāsaṅkhārā hi tatiyo bhavo, tehi saddhiṃ ayaṃ vipassanā na ghaṭīyati). For the Great Man (the Bodhisatta) undertakes insight by way of the present five-constituent existence (pañcavokārabhava, i.e., existence where all five aggregates are present).

(Query:) Isn’t it true that one cannot become enlightened as long as ignorance and volitional formations are unseen? (Reply:) True, one cannot. But these are seen by way of craving, clinging, and existence. If a man pursuing a lizard has seen it enter a pit, he would descend, dig up the place where it entered, catch it, and depart; he wouldn’t dig up some other place where the lizard can’t be found. Similarly, when the Great Man was sitting on the seat of enlightenment, he searched for the conditions beginning with aging-and-death. Having traced the conditions for the phenomena back to name-and-form, he searched for its condition too and saw it to be consciousness. Then, realizing “So much is the range of exploration by way of five-constituent existence,” he reversed his insight (vipassanaṃ paṭinivattesi). Beyond this there is still the pair, ignorance and volitional formations, which are like the unbroken region of the empty pit. But because they have been included by insight earlier (under craving, etc.?), they do not undergo exploration separately; hence he does not mention them.
[/list]
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9614
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 12.65: Nagara Sutta — The City

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:36 am

“Then, bhikkhus, it occurred to me: ‘This consciousness turns back; it does not go further than name-and-form. [*] It is to this extent that one may be born and age and die, pass away and be reborn, that is, when there is consciousness with name-and-form as its condition, and name-and-form with consciousness as its condition.[**] With name-and-form as condition, the six sense bases; with the six sense bases as condition, contact…. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.’

    * This consciousness turns back (paccudāvattati kho idaṃ viññāṇāṃ).
    Spk: What is the consciousness that turns back here? The rebirth-consciousness and the insight-consciousness. Rebirth-consciousness turns back from its condition, insight-consciousness from its object. Neither overcomes name-and-form, goes further than name-and-form.
    Spk-pṭ: From its condition: Rebirth-consciousness turns back from volitional formations—the special cause for consciousness—which has not been mentioned; it does not turn back from all conditions, as name-and-form is stated as the condition for consciousness. From its object: from ignorance and volitional formations as object, or from the past existence as object.

    BB: It it possible the Bodhisatta had been seeking a self of the Upaniṣadic type, a self-subsistent subject consisting of pure consciousness that requires nothing but itself in order to exist. His discovery that consciousness is invariably dependent on name-and-form would have disclosed to him the futility of such a quest and thereby shown that even consciousness, the subtlest basis for the sense of self
    [see 12:61 http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=11987],
    is conditioned and thus marked by impermanence, suffering, and selflessness.


    ** Spk: To this extent one may be born (ettāvatā jāyetha vā), etc.:
    With consciousness as a condition for name-and-form, and with name-and-form as a condition for consciousness, to this extent one may be born and undergo rebirth. What is there beyond this that can be born or undergo rebirth? Isn’t it just this that is born and undergoes rebirth?

    Spk-pṭ: To this extent: that is, by the occurrence of consciousness and name-and-form mutually supporting one another. One may be born and undergo rebirth: Though the expression “A being is born and undergoes rebirth” is used, there is nothing that serves as the referent of the designation “a being” apart from consciousness and name-and-form. Hence the commentator says, “What is there beyond this?” Just this (etadeva): namely, the pair consciousness and name-and-form.

    BB: It might be noted that jāyetha, jīyetha, etc., are middle-voice optatives in the third person singular. At KS 2:73 [AN translation], C.Rh.D seems to have mistaken them for second person plural optatives in the active voice, while at LDB, pp. 211 [DN 14], 226 [DN15], Walshe has used a roundabout rendering,
    ["Therefore, Ananda, just this, namely mind-and-body, is the root, the cause, the origin, the condition of consciousness."]
    presumably to avoid having to identify the forms. For a detailed discussion of the mutual conditionality of consciousness and name-and-form, see Bodhi, The Great Discourse on Causation, pp. 18-22. [DN 15, here is an alternative translation: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.15.0.than.html.]
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9614
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 12.65: Nagara Sutta — The City

Postby Sarva » Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:42 am

Thanks Mike, for exposing us to an interesting explanation.

EDIT: questions removed.

Thanks!
“Both formerly & now, it is only stress that I describe, and the cessation of stress.” — SN 22:86
Sarva
 
Posts: 209
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:49 pm

Re: SN 12.65: Nagara Sutta — The City

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:51 pm

“Then, bhikkhus, it occurred to me: ‘I have discovered this path to enlightenment, that is, with the cessation of name-and-form comes cessation of consciousness; with the cessation of consciousness comes cessation of name-and-form; with the cessation of name-and-form, cessation of the six sense bases; with the cessation of the six sense bases, cessation of contact…. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.’

    BB: The mutual cessation of consciousness and name-and-form is also found in the version at DN II 34,21-35,13.
    DN 14 Mahâpadāna Sutta: The Great Discourse on the Lineage
      By the cessation of mind-and-body consciousness ceases, by the cessation of consciousness, mind-and-body ceases; by the cessation of mind-and-body the six sense-bases cease; by the cessation of the six sense-bases contact ceases; by the cessation of contact feeling ceases; by the cessation of feeling craving ceases...
    Spk does not comment on the expression “I have discovered the path to enlightenment” (adhigato kho myāyaṃ maggo bodhāya), but the corresponding passage of DN is commented upon at Sv II 461,5-8 thus: “Path: the path of insight. To enlightenment: for the awakening to the Four Noble Truths, or for the awakening to Nibbāna. Further, enlightenment is so called because it becomes enlightened (bujjhatī ti bodhi); this is a name for the noble path. What is meant is (that he has discovered the path) for the sake of that. For the noble path is rooted in the path of insight. Now, making that path explicit, he says, ‘With the cessation of name-and-form,’ and so forth.”

    This explanation hinges upon the distinction (only implicit in the Nikāyas) between the mundane preliminary portion of the path (pubbabhāgapaṭipadā), which is the “path of insight,” and the noble supramundane path (lokuttaramagga ), which directly realizes Nibbāna. Since the supramundane path is identical with enlightenment, the commentary holds that “the path to enlightenment” the Bodhisatta discovered must be the mundane path of insight. In the DN version, having discovered the path to enlightenment, the Bodhisatta Vipassī continues to contemplate the rise and fall of the five aggregates, as a result of which “his mind was liberated from the taints by not clinging.”
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9614
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 12.65: Nagara Sutta — The City

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:18 am

Greetings,

mikenz66 wrote:“Then, bhikkhus, it occurred to me: ‘This consciousness turns back; it does not go further than name-and-form. [*]

* This consciousness turns back (paccudāvattati kho idaṃ viññāṇāṃ).
Spk: What is the consciousness that turns back here? The rebirth-consciousness and the insight-consciousness. Rebirth-consciousness turns back from its condition, insight-consciousness from its object. Neither overcomes name-and-form, goes further than name-and-form.
Spk-pṭ: From its condition: Rebirth-consciousness turns back from volitional formations—the special cause for consciousness—which has not been mentioned; it does not turn back from all conditions, as name-and-form is stated as the condition for consciousness. From its object: from ignorance and volitional formations as object, or from the past existence as object.


I find it interesting how radically different the interpretations of the Mahavihara commentators are to how Venerable Nanananada, for example, interprets this matter.

Out of interest, if anyone knows (i.e. don't bother looking it up just for my benefit), what is this "insight-consciousness"? Is this notion found in the suttas?

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14524
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: SN 12.65: Nagara Sutta — The City

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:58 am

retrofuturist wrote:I find it interesting how radically different the interpretations of the Mahavihara commentators are to how Venerable Nanananada, for example, interprets this matter.

As we've seen in the various SN suttas discussed above, this seems to vary. Sometimes the commentaries take quite a momentary approach, sometimes not. One gets the impression that various commentaries were written by various different people. Presumably then, as now, there were were variety of interpretations.
retrofuturist wrote:Out of interest, if anyone knows (i.e. don't bother looking it up just for my benefit), what is this "insight-consciousness"? Is this notion found in the suttas?

It's an Abhidhamma thing:
http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Mahasi/Fun ... ntals.html
There are fourteen thought moments in the process of seeing. If neither seeing, hearing, nor mind-consciousness arises, life-continuum goes on occurring. It is identical to rebirth consciousness. It is the consciousness that continues when you are fast asleep. When a visible object appears, life-continuum ceases, a thought-moment arises adverting consciousness to the object that comes into the eye door. When this ceases, seeing consciousness arises. Then comes the investigating consciousness, Then the consciousness that determines whether the object seen is good or not. Then, in accordance with the determination reached, moral or immoral apperceptions arise violently for seven thought moments. When these cease, two retentive thought moments arise. When these cease, consciousness subsides into life-continuum again, like falling asleep. From adverting to retention there are fourteen thought moments. All these manifest as one seeing consciousness. This is how the process of seeing takes place. When one is well-practised in insight meditation, after the arising of life-continuum following the seeing process, insight consciousness that reviews ‘seeing’ takes place. You must try to meditate immediately, like this. If you are able to do so, it appears to your mind as though you were meditating on things as they are seen, as soon as they arise. This kind of meditation is called “meditation on the present” in the suttas. “He discerns things present as they arise here and now.” (M.iii.187) The Patisambidhāmagga says, “Understanding in reviewing the perversion of present states is knowledge of arising and passing away.”

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9614
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: SN 12.65: Nagara Sutta — The City

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:46 am

Thanks Mike.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14524
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: SN 12.65: Nagara Sutta — The City

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:10 am

“So too, bhikkhus, I saw the ancient path, the ancient road travelled by the Perfectly Enlightened Ones of the past.

    BB: Spk elaborates minutely upon the parable of the ancient city and then draws extensive correspondences between the elements of the parable and their counterparts in the Dhamma.

And what is that ancient path, that ancient road? It is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. I followed that path and by doing so I have directly known aging-and-death, its origin, its cessation, and the way leading to its cessation. I have directly known birth ... existence ... clinging ... .craving ... feeling ... contact ... the six sense bases .... name-and-form ... consciousness ... volitional formations, their origin, their cessation, and the way leading to their cessation.

    BB: At this point saṅkhārā, omitted earlier, are finally introduced, and avijjā, their condition, is implied by the mention of “their origin.”

Having directly known them, I have explained them to the bhikkhus, the bhikkhunı̄s, the male lay followers, and the female lay followers. This holy life, bhikkhus, has become successful and prosperous, extended, popular, widespread, well proclaimed among devas and humans.”

    BB: This passage is also at SN 51:10 (V 262,9-14).
      ‘I will not attain final Nibbāna, Evil One, until I have bhikkhu disciples who are wise, disciplined, confident, secure from bondage, learned, upholders of the Dhamma, practising in accordance with the Dhamma, practising in the proper way, conducting themselves accordingly; who have learned their own teacher’s doctrine and can explain it, teach it, proclaim it, establish it, disclose it, analyse it, and elucidate it; who can refute thoroughly with reasons the prevalent tenets of others and can teach the efficacious Dhamma.’

    BB: I follow Spk in its explanation of yāva devamanussehi suppakāsitaṃ. The point is that, despite the use of the instrumental form -ehi, the Dhamma is not proclaimed by devas and humans, but “throughout the region (inhabited) by devas and humans in the ten-thousandfold galaxy, within this extent it is well proclaimed, well taught, by the Tathāgata” (yāva dasasahassacakkavāḷe devamanussehi paricchedo atthi, etasmiṃ antare suppakāsitaṃ sudesitaṃ tathāgatena). It is possible -ehi here is a vestigial Eastern locative plural; see Geiger, Pāli Grammar, §80.3.
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9614
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand


Return to Study Group

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron