SOME SAYINGS OF THE BUDDHA – According to the Pali Canon – II –

   Thus have I heard: 

   Once Our Lord Gautama Buddha, The Exalted One, was dwelling near Benares, at Isipatana, in the Deer-Park.

   Then the Exalted One,  Our Lord Gautama Buddha, thus spake unto the company of Five Bhikkhus:

   ‘These two extremes, Bhikkhus, should not be followed by one who has gone forth as a wanderer:

   Devotion to the pleasures of sense – a low and pagan practice, unworthy, unprofitable, the way of the world (on the one hand), and on the other hand devotion to self-mortification, which is painful, unworthy, unprofitable.

   By avoiding these two extremes He who hath won the Truth, [Our Lord Gautama Buddha], has gained knowledge of that Middle Path which giveth Vision, which giveth Knowledge, which causeth Calm, Insight, Enlightenment, and Nirvana.

   And what, Bhikkhus, is that Middle Path that giveth Vision, which giveth Knowledge, which causeth Calm, Insight, Enlightenment, and Nirvana?

   Verily it is this Ariyan Eightfold Path, that is to say:

   Right View,  Right Aim,  Right Speech,  Right Action,  Right Living,  Right Effort,  Right Mindfulness,  Right Contemplation.

   This, Bhikkhus, is that Middle Path, which giveth Vision, which giveth Knowledge, which causeth Calm, Insight, Enlightenment, and Nirvana.  

   Now this, Bhikkhus, is the Ariyan Truth about Suffering:

   Birth is Suffering, Decay is Suffering, Sickness is Suffering, Death is Suffering, likewise Sorrow and Grief, Woe, Lamentation and Despair.  To be conjoined with things which we dislike, to be separated from things which we like – that also is Suffering.  Not to get what one wants – that also is Suffering.  In a word, this Body, this fivefold Mass which is based on Grasping, that is Suffering.

   Now this, Bhikkhus, is the Ariyan Truth about The Origin of Suffering:

      It is that Craving that leads downwards, to birth, along with the Lure and the Lust that lingers longingly now here, now there; namely, the Craving for Sensation, the Craving to be born again, the Craving to have done with rebirth.  Such, Bhikkhus, is the Ariyan Truth about The Origin of Suffering.

   And this, Bhikkhus, is the Ariyan Truth about The Ceasing of Suffering:

   Verily it is the utter passionless cessation of, the giving up, the forsaking, the release from, the absence of longing for, this Craving.

   Now this, Bhikkhus, is the Ariyan Truth about The Way leading to the Ceasing of Suffering.  Verily it is this Ariyan Eightfold Path, that is:

   Right View,  Right Aim,  Right Speech,  Right Action,  Right Living,  Right Effort,  Right Mindfulness,  Right Contemplation.

   At the thought, Bhikkhus, of this Ariyan Truth of Suffering, concerning things unlearnt before, there arose in me Vision, Insight, Understanding; there arose in me Wisdom, there arose in me Light.

   At the thought, Bhikkhus, “this Ariyan Truth about the Origin of Suffering is to be understood,” concerning things unlearnt before, there arose in me Vision, Insight, Understanding; there arose in me Wisdom, there arose in me Light.

   At the thought, Bhikkhus, “this Ariyan Truth of Suffering has been understood,” concerning things unlearnt before, there arose in me Vision, Insight, Understanding; there arose in me Wisdom, there arose in me Light.

   Again, at the thought, Bhikkhus, of this Ariyan Truth of the Origin of Suffering, concerning things unlearnt before, there arose in me Vision, Insight, Understanding; there arose in me Wisdom, there arose in me Light.

   At the thought, Bhikkhus, “the Origin of Suffering must be put away,” concerning things unlearnt before, there arose in me Vision, Insight, Understanding; there arose in me Wisdom, there arose in me Light.

   So also at the thought, Bhikkhus,  ‘The Origin of Suffering has been put away,” concerning things unlearnt before, there arose in me Vision, Insight, Understanding; there arose in me Wisdom, there arose in me Light.

   Again, at the thought, Bhikkhus, of this Ariyan Truth of the Ceasing of Suffering, there arose in me Vision, Insight, Understanding; there arose in me Wisdom, there arose in me Light.

   At the thought, Bhikkhus, that this Ariyan Truth of the Ceasing of Suffering must be realized,”  there arose in me Vision, Insight, Understanding; there arose in me Wisdom, there arose in me Light.

   At the thought, Bhikkhus, that this Ariyan Truth of the Ceasing of Suffering has been realized,”  there arose in me Vision, Insight, Understanding; there arose in me Wisdom, there arose in me Light.

   Finally, Bhikkhus, at the thought of this Ariyan Way leading to the Ceasing of Suffering, there arose in me Vision, Insight, Understanding; there arose in me Wisdom, there arose in me Light.

   At the thought,  Bhikkhus, “the Way leading to the Ceasing of Suffering is to be developed”   there arose in me Vision, Insight, Understanding; there arose in me Wisdom, there arose in me Light.

   At the thought, Bhikkhus, “the Way leading to the Ceasing of Suffering has been developped”, concerning things unlearnt before, there arose in me Vision, Insight, Understanding; there arose in me Wisdom, there arose in me Light.  

   Now so long, Bhikkhus, as my knowledge and my insight of these thrice-revolved twelvefold Ariyan Truths, in their essential nature, were not quite purified – so long was I not sure that in this world, together with the Devas, the Maras, the Brahmas, among the Hosts of Recluses and Brami, of Devas and Mankind, there was one enlightened with supreme enlightenemnt.

   But so soon, Bhikkhus, as my knowledge and my insight of these thrice-revolved twelvefold Ariyan Truths, in their essential nature, were quite purified – then, Bhikkhus, was I assured what is is to be enlightened with supreme enlightenment with regard to the world and its Devas, Maras and Brahmas, and with regard to the Hosts of Recluses and Brahmins, of Devas and Mankind.

   But now Knowledge and Insight have arisen in me, so that I know: “Sure is my heart’s release. This is my last birth. There is no more becoming for me.”  [Samyutta-Nikaya, v. 421-3.]

 

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(To be continued).

 

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