The Light of the World

 

        The Exalted One, Gautama Buddha, said:

        ‘So long, Bhikkhus, as sun and moon have not arisen in the world, just so long is there no shining forth of great light, no shining forth of great radiance.  But gross darkness, the darkness of bewilderment, prevails.  Neither day nor night is distinguishable, not the month nor the half-month nor the seasons of the year are to be discerned.

        But, Bhikkhus, when sun and moon arise in the world, then there is the shining forth of a great light, of great radiance, and gross darkness, the darkness of bewilderment, is no more.  Then are distinguished the day and the night, then are discerned the month and the half-month, and the seasons of the year.

        Just so, Bhikkhus, so long as a Tathagata arises not, an Arhat, a Buddha Supreme, there is no shining forth of great light, of great radiance, but gross darkness, the darkness of bewilderment prevails, and there is no proclaiming, no teaching, no showing forth, no setting up, no opening up, no analysis, no making plain of the Four Ariyans Truths.

        But, Bhikkhus, so soon as a Tathagata arises, all these things take place, and then there is a proclaiming, a teaching, a showing forth, a setting up, an opening up, an analysis, a making plain of the Four Ariyan Truths.

        What Four?  The Ariyan Truth of Suffering, the Ariyan Truth of the Cause of Suffering, the Ariyan Truth of the End of Suffering, the Ariyan Truth of the Ariyas Eight-folded path to the end of suffering. 

        Wherefore, Bhikkhus, do ye exert yourselves to realize: This is suffering, this is the cause of suffering, this is the end of suffering, this is the path to the end of suffering.”

 

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[“Some Sayings of the Buddha – According to the Pali Canon,” translated from the Pali by F.L.Woodward, Oxford University Press, Madras/London, 1925].

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