Buddha Dhamma Kakka Ppavattana Sutta – I –

THE FOUNDATION OF THE  KINGDOM OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato, Sammasambuddhassa!

(Reverence to Gautama Buddha, the Blessed One, the Holy One, the Fully-Enlightened One)

Evam   me  sutam.  Ekam  samayam  Bhagava  Baranasiyam  viharati  Isipatane  Migadaye.  Me  evam  sutam.  Ekam  samayam  Bhagava  Baranasiyam  Isipatane  Migadaye  viharati.

Thus have I heard.  Gautama Buddha was once staying at Benares, at the hermitage called Migadaya.  And there Gautama Buddha addressed the company of the five Bhikkhus, and said:

“There are these two extremes, O Bhikkhus, which the Bhikkhu who has given up the world ought not to follow – the habitual practice, on the one hand, of those things whose attraction depends upon the passions, and especially of sensuality – a low and wordly way (of seeking satisfaction) unworthy, unprofitable, and fit only for the worldly-minded; and the habitual practice, on the other hand, of (wrong) asceticism (self-mortification), which is painful, unworthy, and unprofitable.

There is a middle path, O Bhikkhus, avoiding these two extremes, discovered by the Tathagata, a path which opens the eyes, and bestows understanding, which leads to peace of mind, to the higher wisdom, to full enlightenment, to Nirvana!

What is that middle path, O Bhikkhus, avoiding these two extremes,  discovered by the Tathagata;  that path which opens the eyes, and bestows understanding, which leads to peace of mind, to the higher wisdom, to full enlightenment, to Nirvana?  Verily!  It is this noble eightfold path; that is to say:

    Right Belief;  Right Intention;  Right Speech;  Right Action;  Right Living;  Right Effort;  Right Mindfulness;  Right Meditation.

 This, O Bhikkhus, is that middle path, avoiding these two extremes, discovered by the Tathagata;  that path which opens the eyes, and bestows understanding, which leads to peace of mind, to the higher wisdom, to full enlightenment, to Nirvana!

Now this, O Bhikkhus, is the Ariyan truth of suffering.

Birth is attended with pain, decay is painful, disease is painful,  death is painful.  Union with the unpleasant is painful,  painful is separation from the pleasant;  and any craving that is unsatisfied, that too is painful.  In brief, the five aggregates which spring from attachment,  the conditions of individuality and their cause are painful.*

This then, O Bhikkhus, is the noble truth of suffering.

Now this, O Bhikkhus, is the noble truth concerning the cause of suffering.

Verily, it is that thirst (or  craving),  causing the renewal of existence, accompanied by sensual delight, seeking satisfaction now here, now there – that is to say, the craving for the gratification of the passions, or the craving for a future life, or the craving for success in this present life. **

This then, O Bhikkhus, is the Ariyan truth of the cause of suffering.

Now this, O Bhikkhus,  is the Ariyan truth of the end of suffering.

Verily, it is the end, in which no passion remains, of this very thirst;  the laying aside of, the getting rid of, the being free from, the harbouring no longer of this thirst.

This then, O Bhikkhus, is the noble truth of the end of suffering.

Now this, O Bhikkhus, is the noble truth of the path (Patipada),  which leads to the end of suffering.  Verily!  it is this Ariyan eighfold path, (Ariyo atangiko Maggo),  that is to say:   

   Right Belief;  Right Intention;  Right Speech;  Right Action;  Right Living;  Right Effort;  Right Mindfulness;  Right Meditation.

This then, O Bhikkhus, is the noble truth of the end of suffering.

That this was the Ariyan truth of the end of suffering, was not, O Bhikkhus, among the doctrines handed down, but there arose within me the eye (to perceive it), there arose the knowledge (of its nature), there arose the understanding (of its cause), there arose the wisdom (to guide in the path of tranquillity), there arose the light (to dispel darkness from it).

And again, O Bhikkhus, that I should comprehend that this was the Ariyan truth of  suffering, though it was not among the doctrines handed down, there arose within me the eye, there arose the knowledge, there arose the understanding, there arose the wisdom, there arose the light.

And again, O Bhikkhus, that I had comprehended that this was the Ariyan truth of suffering,  it was not among the doctrines handed down, there arose within me the eye, there arose the knowledge, there arose the understanding, there arose the wisdom, there arose the light.

That this was the Ariyan truth of the cause of suffering, though it was not among the doctrines handed down, there arose within me the eye; but there arose within me the knowledge, there arose the understanding, there arose the wisdom, there arose the light.

And again, O Bhikkhus, that I should put away the cause of suffering, though the noble truth concerning it was not among the doctrines handed down, there arose within me the eye, there arose the knowledge, there arose the understanding, there arose the wisdom, there arose the light.

And again, O Bhikkhus, that I had fully put away the cause of suffering, though the noble truth concerning it was not among the doctrines handed down, there arose within me the eye, there arose the knowledge, there arose the understanding, there arose the light.

That this, O Bhikkhus, was the noble truth of the end of suffering, though it was not among the doctrines handed down;  but there arose within me the eye, there arose the knowledge, there arose the understanding, there arose the wisdom, there arose the light.

And again, O Bhikkhus, that I should fully realise the end of suffering though the noble truth concerning it was not among the doctrines handed down, there arose within me the eye, there arose the knowledge, there arose the understanding, there arose the wisdom, there arose the light.

And again, O Bhikkhus, that I had fully realised the end of suffering, though the noble truth concerning it was not among the doctrines handed down, there arose within me the eye, there arose the knowledge, there arose the understanding, there arose the wisdom, there arose the light.

That this was the noble truth of the path to the end of suffering, was not, O Bhikkhus, among the doctrines handed down;  but there arose within me the eye, there arose the knowledge, there arose the understanding, there arose the wisdom, there arose the light.

And again, O Bhikkhus, that I should become versed in the way which leads to the end of suffering, though the noble truth concerning it was not among the doctrines handed down, there arose within me the eye, there arose the knowledge, there arose the understanding, there arose the wisdom, there arose the light.

And again, O Bhikkhus, that I had become versed in the way which leads to the end of suffering, though the noble truth concerning it was not among the doctrines handed down, there arose within me the eye, there arose the knowledge, there arose the understanding, there arose the wisdom, there arose the light.

So long, O Bhikkhus, as my knowledge and insight were not quite clear, regarding each of these four Ariyan truths in this triple order, in this twelve-fold manner , so long was I uncertain whether I had attained to the full insight of that wisdom which is unsurpassed in the heavens or on earth, among the whole race of Samanas,  Arhats,  Devas or Mankind.

But as soon, O Bhikkhus, as my knowledge and insight were quite clear regarding each of these four Ariyan truths, in this triple order, in this twelvefold manner – then did I become certain that I had attained to the full insight of that wisdom which is unsurpassed in the heavens or on earth, among the whole race of Samanas, Arhats, Devas or Mankind.

And now this knowledge and this insight has arisen within me.  Immovable is the emancipation of my heart.  This is my last existence.  There will now be no rebirth for me!”

Thus spake Gautama Buddha, the Blessed One.  The company of the five Bhikkhus, glad at heart, exalted the words of Gautama Buddha, the Blessed One.  And when the discourse had been uttered, there arose within the Venerable Kondanna the eye of truth, spotless, and without a stain (and he saw that) whatsoever has an origin, in that is also inherent the necessity of coming to an end.***

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Foot-notes:- 

(*) – Pank’upadanakkhanda – on the Khandha, or the material and mental aggregates which go to make up an individual.  Upadana, or ‘graspig’ is their source, and the uprooting of this upadana from the mind is Arhatship.

(**) – The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life correspond very exactly to the first and third of these three tanhas.  The lust of the flesh, the lust of life, and the pride of life, or ‘the lust of the flesh, the lust of life, and the love of this present world’, would be not inadequate renderings of all three.  The last two are in Pali ‘bava-tanha and vibhava-tanha’.  ‘The former applies to the sassata-ditthi, and means a desire for an eternity of existence;  the latter applies to the ukkheda-ditthi, and means a desire for annihilation in the very first (the present) form of existence.  Sassata-ditthi may be called the ‘ever-lasting life heresy’, and ukkheda-ditthi the ‘let-us eat-and-drink-for-tomorrow-we-die-heresy’.  These two heresies, thus implicitly condemned, have very close analogies to theism and materialism.  Bhawa-tanha signifies the pertinacious love of existence induced by the supposition that transmigratory existence is not only eternal, but felicitous and desirable.  Wibhawa-tanha is the love of the present life, under the notion that existence will cease therewith, and that there is to be no future state.  Vibhava in Sanskrit means: 1)- development;  2)- might, majesty, prosperity;  and 3)- property; but the technical Buddhist sense, as will be seen from the above, is something more than this.

(***) – It is the perception of this fact which is the Dhammakakkhu, the Eye of Truth, or the Eye for Qualities as it might be rendered with reference ot the maning of Dhamma in the words that follow.  They are in Pali yamkinki samudaya-dhammam, sabbam tam nirodha-dhammam, literally, ‘whatever has the quality of beginning, that has the quality of ceasing’.

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(To be continued)

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Buddha Dhamma-Kakka-Ppavattana-Sutta ”The Foundation of the Kingdom of  Righteousness’  translated from the Pali by T.W. Rhys-Davids, Oxford University Press, London, 1881).

 

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