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BANNER OF THE ARAHANTS

APPENDIX I - DISCOURSES TO OR ABOUT BHIKKHUS

DISCOURSE ON SETTING IN MOTION THE WHEEL OF DHAMMA

 

Thus have I heard. At one time the Exalted One was staying at Benares in the Deer Park at Isipatana (the Resort of Seers). There he addressed the Bhikkhus of the group of five: -

 

Bhikkhus, these two extremes ought not to be cultivated by one gone forth to homelessness. What are the two? There is devotion to indulgence of pleasure in the objects of sensual desire, which is inferior, low, vulgar, ignoble, and leads to no good; and there is devotion to self-torment, which is painful, ignoble, and leads to no good.

 

The middle way discovered by a Perfect One avoids both these extremes: it gives vision, it gives knowledge, and it leads to peace, to direct acquaintance, to discovery, to Nibbána. And what is that middle way? It is simply the noble eightfold path, that is to say, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. That is the middle way discovered by a Perfect One, which gives vision, which gives knowledge, and which leads to peace, to direct acquaintance, to discovery, to Nibbána.

 

Suffering,[1] as a noble truth, is this: Birth is suffering, ageing is suffering, sickness is suffering, death is suffering, sorrow and lamentation, pain, grief and despair are suffering, association with the loathed is suffering, dissociation from the loved is suffering, not to get what one wants is suffering - in short, suffering is the five grasped-at groups.

 

The origin of suffering, as a noble truth, is this: It is the craving that produces renewal of being, accompanied by enjoyment and lust, and enjoying this and that; in other words, craving for sensual desire, craving for being, craving for non-being.

 

Cessation of suffering, as a noble truth, is this: It is remainder less fading and ceasing, giving up, relinquishing, letting go and rejecting, of that same craving.

 

The way leading to cessation of suffering, as a noble truth, is this: It is simply the noble Eightfold path, that is to hay, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort right mindfulness, right concentration.

 

‘Suffering, as a noble truth, is this’: such was the vision, the knowledge, the understanding, the finding, the light, that arose in regard to dhammas not heard by me before. ‘This suffering, as a noble truth, can be diagnosed’: such was the vision, the knowledge, the understanding, the finding, the light, that arose in regard to dhammas not heard by me before. ‘This suffering, as a noble truth, has been diagnosed’: such was the vision, the knowledge, the understanding, the finding, the light, that arose in regard to dhammas not heard by me before.

 

‘The origin of sufferings, as a noble truth, is this:’ such was the vision … ‘This origin of suffering, as a noble truth, can be abandoned’: such was the vision … ‘This origin of suffering as a noble truth, has been abandoned’: such was the vision … ‘This cessation of suffering as a noble truth, can be verified’: such was the vision … ‘This cessation of suffering, as a noble truth, has been verified’: such was the vision … in regard to dhammas not heard by me before.

 

‘The way leading to cessation of suffering as a noble truth, is this’: such was the vision … ‘This way leading to cessation of suffering, as a noble truth, can be developed’: such was the vision … ‘This way leading to cessation of suffering as a noble truth, has been developed’: such was the vision, the knowledge, the understanding, the finding, the light, that arose in regard to dhammas not heard by me before.

 

As long, Bhikkhus, as my knowledge and insight according to reality was not quite purified in these twelve aspects - in these three phases of each of the four noble truths - I did not claim to have discovered the full awakening that is supreme in the world with its gods, its angels of death and high divinity, in this generation with its monks and divines, with its princes and men. But as soon as my knowledge and insight according to reality was quite purified in these twelve aspects - in these three phases of each of the four noble truths - then I claimed to have discovered the full awakening that is supreme in the world with its gods, its angels of death and high divinity, in this generation with its monks and divines, with its princes and men. Knowing and seeing arose in me thus: My heart’s deliverance is unassailable. This is the last birth. Now there is no renewal of being.

 

Thus spoke the Lord. Delighted, the Bhikkhus of the group of five rejoiced in the Exalted One’s words.

 

Now during this utterance, there arose in the venerable Kondaññá the spotless, immaculate vision of the Dhamma: Whatever is subject to arising, all that is subject to cessation.

 

When the Wheel of Dhamma had thus been set rolling by the Exalted One the earth-gods raised the cry: ‘At Benares, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the incomparable wheel of Dhamma has been set rolling by the Exalted One, not to be stopped by monk or divine or god or death-angel or high divinity or anyone in the world’.

 

On hearing the earth-gods’ cry, all the gods in turn in the six paradises of the sensual sphere took up the cry till it reached beyond the Retinue of High Divinity in the sphere of pure form. And so indeed in that hour, at the moment, the cry soared up to the World Of High Divinity, and this ten-thousand-fold world-element shook and rocked and quaked, and a great, measureless radiance surpassing the very nature of the gods was displayed in the world.

 

Then the Exalted On uttered the exclamation: „Truly Kondaññá knows! Indeed Kondaññá knows!“ and that is how that venerable one acquired the name, Añña-Kondaññá - Kondaññá who knows.

 

            (Related Collection, LV1, II. Based on the translation by

            Ñánamoli Thera. See Wheel 17, B.P.S.)  


DISCOURSE ON THE NOBLE LINEAGES

 

Thus have I heard. At one time the Exalted One was staying near Sávatthi at the Jeta Grove, Anáthapindika’s monastery. Then the Exalted One addressed the Bhikkhus, saying: „O Bhikkhus“. “Lord“, they replied. The Exalted One spoke thus:

 

Here (in-this Teaching), Bhikkhus, are these four lineages of the Noble Ones, known as highest, known as oldest, known as the (true) lineage, pure from ancient times, unstained of old, neither suspect now nor will they be suspect in future, and not despised by samanas, brahmins and (other) wise men. What are the four?

 

1.      Here, a Bhikkhu is content with this or that robe and he speaks in praise of contentment with any sort of robe. For the sake of a robe he does not go about seeking it wrongly, in an unbecoming way. If he does not obtain a robe he is not worried while if he gets it he is not attached, not infatuated, not in bondage to it but seeing this danger he knows how to use it as a support (for his life). Yet he does not exalt himself because of contentment with any sort of robe, nor does he disparage others. Whoever is skilful in this matter, not lazy but clearly understanding and mindful, he is called a Bhikkhu who stands firm in this ancient and highest lineage of the Noble Ones.

 

2.      Then again, a Bhikkhu is content with this or that alms food and he speaks in praise of contentment with any sort of alms food. For the sake of alms food he does not go about seeking it wrongly, in an unbecoming way. If he does not obtain alms food, he is not worried while if he gets it he is not attached, not infatuated, not in bondage to it, but seeing this danger he knows how to use it as a support. Yet he does not exalt himself because of contentment with any sort of alms food, nor does he disparage others. Whoever is skilful in this matter, not lazy but clearly understanding and mindful, he is called a Bhikkhu who stands firm in this ancient and highest lineage of the Noble Ones. 

 

3.      Then again, a Bhikkhu is content with this or that lodging and he speaks in praise of contentment with any sort of lodging. For the sake of a lodging he does not go about seeking it wrongly, in an unbecoming way. If he does not obtain a lodging he is not worried while if he gets it he is not attached, not infatuated, not in bondage to it but seeing this danger he knows how to use it as a support. Yet he does not exalt himself because of contentment with any sort of lodging, nor does he disparage others. Whoever is skilful in this matter, not lazy but clearly understanding and mindful, he is called a Bhikkhu who stands firm in this ancient and highest lineage of the Noble Ones. 

 

4.      Then again, a Bhikkhu enjoys development (of good mental states[2]*) and delights in it; he enjoys abandonment (of evil mental states) and delights in it. Yet because of his enjoyment and delight in development and because of his enjoyment and delight in abandonment he does not exalt himself, nor does he disparage others. Whoever is skilful in this matter, not lazy but clearly understanding and mindful, he is called a Bhikkhu who stands firm in this ancient and highest lineage of the Noble Ones. 

 

These, Bhikkhus, are the four lineages of the Noble Ones, known as highest, known as oldest, known as the (true) lineage, pure from ancient times, unstained of old, neither suspect now nor will they be suspect in future, and not despised by samanas, brahmins and other wise men.

 

A Bhikkhu having these four lineages of the Noble Ones may dwell in the East or in the West, in the North or in the South and wherever he dwells, aversion (to wholesome mental states, boredom with helpful environments) does not overpower him but he overcomes aversion. For what reason? The steadfast sage, O Bhikkhus, has overcome both aversion and delight.

 

Thus spoke the Exalted One. the Wellfarer, the Teacher then further said:

 

            Not by aversion is the steadfast sage overcome,
            not by aversion, for the sage is steadfast, firm.
            The steadfast sage aversion overcomes,
            indeed is the sage aversion’s conqueror.
            What obstructions can there be,
            for him, all kamma rejected, given up?
            Who could blame him as worthy as
            an ornament of Jambu gold - 
            even the devas praise him,
            even by brahmas he is praised!

                                      Numeral Collection, Book of the Fours, Discourse 28.  


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[1]This is dukkha, as used in the body of the book.

[2] including meditation.