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11/27/07
Noble Eightfold Path-Wisdom-Right View
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Noble Eightfold Path

Wisdom

Right View

The Discourse on Right View
(Sammaditthi Sutta)

1. Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Savatthi in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapindika’s Park. There the Venerable Sariputta addressed the bhikkhus thus: “Friends, bhikkhus.” — “Friend,” they replied. The Venerable Sariputta said this:

2. “‘One of right view, one of right view’ is said, friends. In what way is a noble disciple one of right view, whose view is straight, who has perfect confidence in the Dhamma, and has arrived at this true Dhamma?”

“Indeed, friend, we would come from far away to learn from the Venerable Sariputta the meaning of this statement. It would be good if the Venerable Sariputta would explain the meaning of this statement. Having heard it from him, the bhikkhus will remember it.”

“Then, friends, listen and attend closely to what I shall say.”

“Yes, friend,” the bhikkhus replied. The Venerable Sariputta said this:

The Wholesome and the Unwholesome

3. “When, friends, a noble disciple understands the unwholesome, the root of the unwholesome, the wholesome, and the root of the wholesome, in that way he is one of right view, whose view is straight, who has perfect confidence in the Dhamma, and has arrived at this true Dhamma.

4. “And what, friends, is the unwholesome, what is the root of the unwholesome, what is the wholesome, what is the root of the wholesome? Killing living beings is unwholesome; taking what is not given is unwholesome; misconduct in sensual pleasures is unwholesome; false speech is unwholesome; malicious speech is unwholesome; harsh speech is unwholesome; gossip is unwholesome; covetousness is unwholesome; ill will is unwholesome; wrong view is unwholesome. This is called the unwholesome.

5. “And what is the root of the unwholesome? Greed is a root of the unwholesome; hate is a root of the unwholesome; delusion is a root of the unwholesome. This is called the root of the unwholesome.

6. “And what is the wholesome? Abstention from killing living beings is wholesome; abstention from taking what is not given is wholesome; abstention from misconduct in sensual pleasures is wholesome; abstention from false speech is wholesome; abstention from malicious speech is wholesome; abstention from harsh speech is wholesome; abstention from gossip is wholesome; non-covetousness is wholesome; non-ill will is wholesome; right view is wholesome. This is called the wholesome.

7. “And what is the root of the wholesome? Non-greed is a root of the wholesome; non-hate is a root of the wholesome; non-delusion is a root of the wholesome. This is called the root of the wholesome.

8. “When a noble disciple has thus understood the unwholesome, the root of the unwholesome, the wholesome, and the root of the wholesome, he entirely abandons the underlying tendency to lust, he abolishes the underlying tendency to aversion, he extirpates the underlying tendency to the view and conceit ‘I am,’ and by abandoning ignorance and arousing true knowledge he here and now makes an end of suffering. In that way too a noble disciple is one of right view, whose view is straight, who has perfect confidence in the Dhamma and has arrived at this true Dhamma.”

Nutriment

9. Saying, “Good, friend,” the bhikkhus delighted and rejoiced in the Venerable Sariputta’s words. Then they asked him a further question: “But, friend, might there be another way in which a noble disciple is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma?” — “There might be, friends.

10. “When, friends, a noble disciple understands nutriment, the origin of nutriment, the cessation of nutriment, and the way leading to the cessation of nutriment, in that way he is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma.

11. “And what is nutriment, what is the origin of nutriment, what is the cessation of nutriment, what is the way leading to the cessation of nutriment? There are these four kinds of nutriment for the maintenance of beings that already have come to be and for the support of those seeking a new existence. What four? They are physical food as nutriment, gross or subtle; contact as the second; mental volition as the third; and consciousness as the fourth. With the arising of craving there is the arising of nutriment. With the cessation of craving there is the cessation of nutriment. The way leading to the cessation of nutriment is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.

12. “When a noble disciple has thus understood nutriment, the origin of nutriment, the cessation of nutriment, and the way leading to the cessation of nutriment, he entirely abandons the underlying tendency to greed, he abolishes the underlying tendency to aversion, he extirpates the underlying tendency to the view and conceit ‘I am,’ and by abandoning ignorance and arousing true knowledge he here and now makes an end of suffering. In that way too a noble disciple is one of right view, whose view is straight, who has perfect confidence in the Dhamma and has arrived at this true Dhamma.”

The Four Noble Truths

13. Saying, “Good, friend,” the bhikkhus delighted and rejoiced in the Venerable Sariputta’s words. Then they asked him a further question: “But, friend, might there be another way in which a noble disciple is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma?” — “There might be, friends.

14. “When, friends, a noble disciple understands suffering, the origin of suffering, the cessation of suffering, and the way leading to the cessation of suffering, in that way he is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma.

15. “And what is suffering, what is the origin of suffering, what is the cessation of suffering, what is the way leading to the cessation of suffering? Birth is suffering; aging is suffering; sickness is suffering; death is suffering; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair are suffering; not to obtain what one wants is suffering; in short, the five aggregates affected by clinging are suffering. This is called suffering.

16. “And what is the origin of suffering? It is craving, which brings renewal of being, is accompanied by delight and lust, and delights in this and that; that is, craving for sensual pleasures, craving for being and craving for non-being. This is called the origin of suffering.

17. “And what is the cessation of suffering? It is the remainderless fading away and ceasing, the giving up, relinquishing, letting go and rejecting of that same craving. This is called the cessation of suffering.

18. “And what is the way leading to the cessation of suffering? It is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view… right concentration. This is called the way leading to the cessation of suffering.

19. “When a noble disciple has thus understood suffering, the origin of suffering, the cessation of suffering, and the way leading to the cessation of suffering… he here and now makes an end of suffering. In that way too a noble disciple is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma.”

Aging and Death

20. Saying, “Good, friend,” the bhikkhus delighted and rejoiced in the Venerable Sariputta’s words. Then they asked him a further question: “But, friend, might there be another way in which a noble disciple is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma?” — “There might be, friends.

21. “When, friends, a noble disciple understands aging and death, the origin of aging and death, the cessation of aging and death, and the way leading to the cessation of aging and death, in that way he is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma.

22. “And what is aging and death, what is the origin of aging and death, what is the cessation of aging and death, what is the way leading to the cessation of aging and death? The aging of beings in the various orders of beings, their old age, brokenness of teeth, grayness of hair, wrinkling of skin, decline of life, weakness of faculties — this is called aging. The passing of beings out of the various orders of beings, their passing away, dissolution, disappearance, dying, completion of time, dissolution of the aggregates, laying down of the body — this is called death. So this aging and this death are what is called aging and death. With the arising of birth there is the arising of aging and death. With the cessation of birth there is the cessation of aging and death. The way leading to the cessation of aging and death is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view… right concentration.

23. “When a noble disciple has thus understood aging and death, the origin of aging and death, the cessation of aging and death, and the way leading to the cessation of aging and death… he here and now makes an end of suffering. In that way too a noble disciple is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma.”

Birth

24. Saying, “Good, friend,” the bhikkhus delighted and rejoiced in the Venerable Sariputta’s words. Then they asked him a further question: “But, friend, might there be another way in which a noble disciple is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma?” — “There might be, friends.

25. “When, friends, a noble disciple understands birth, the origin of birth, the cessation of birth, and the way leading to the cessation of birth, in that way he is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma.

26. “And what is birth, what is the origin of birth, what is the cessation of birth, what is the way leading to the cessation of birth? The birth of beings into the various orders of beings, their coming to birth, precipitation [in a womb], generation, manifestation of the aggregates, obtaining the bases for contact — this is called birth. With the arising of being there is the arising of birth. With the cessation of being there is the cessation of birth. The way leading to the cessation of birth is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view… right concentration.

27. “When a noble disciple has thus understood birth, the origin of birth, the cessation of birth, and the way leading to the cessation of birth… he here and now makes an end of suffering. In that way too a noble disciple is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma.”

Being

28. Saying, “Good, friend,” the bhikkhus delighted and rejoiced in the Venerable Sariputta’s words. Then they asked him a further question: “But, friend, might there be another way in which a noble disciple is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma?” — “There might be, friends.

29. “When, friends, a noble disciple understands being, the origin of being, the cessation of being, and the way leading to the cessation of being, in that way he is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma.

30. “And what is being, what is the origin of being, what is the cessation of being, what is the way leading to the cessation of being? There are these three kinds of being: sense-sphere being, fine-material being and immaterial being. With the arising of clinging there is the arising of being. With the cessation of clinging there is the cessation of being. The way leading to the cessation of being is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view… right concentration.

31. “When a noble disciple has thus understood being, the origin of being, the cessation of being, and the way leading to the cessation of being… he here and now makes an end of suffering. In that way too a noble disciple is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma.”

Clinging

32. Saying, “Good, friend,” the bhikkhus delighted and rejoiced in the Venerable Sariputta’s words. Then they asked him a further question: “But, friend, might there be another way in which a noble disciple is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma?” — “There might be, friends.

33. “When, friends, a noble disciple understands clinging, the origin of clinging, the cessation of clinging, and the way leading to the cessation of clinging, in that way he is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma.

34. “And what is clinging, what is the origin of clinging, what is the cessation of clinging, what is the way leading to the cessation of clinging? There are these four kinds of clinging: clinging to sensual pleasures, clinging to views, clinging to rituals and observances, and clinging to a doctrine of self. With the arising of craving there is the arising of clinging. With the cessation of craving there is the cessation of clinging. The way leading to the cessation of clinging is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view… right concentration.

35. “When a noble disciple has thus understood clinging, the origin of clinging, the cessation of clinging, and the way leading to the cessation of clinging… he here and now makes an end of suffering. In that way too a noble disciple is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma.”

Craving

36. Saying, “Good, friend,” the bhikkhus delighted and rejoiced in the Venerable Sariputta’s words. Then they asked him a further question: “But, friend, might there be another way in which a noble disciple is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma?” — “There might be, friends.

37. “When, friends, a noble disciple understands craving, the origin of craving, the cessation of craving, and the way leading to the cessation of craving, in that way he is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma.

38. “And what is craving, what is the origin of craving, what is the cessation of craving, what is the way leading to the cessation of craving? There are these six classes of craving: craving for forms, craving for sounds, craving for odors, craving for flavors, craving for tangibles, craving for mind-objects. With the arising of feeling there is the arising of craving. With the cessation of feeling there is the cessation of craving. The way leading to the cessation of craving is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view… right concentration.

39. “When a noble disciple has thus understood craving, the origin of craving, the cessation of craving, and the way leading to the cessation of craving… he here and now makes an end of suffering. In that way too a noble disciple is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma.”

Feeling

40. Saying, “Good, friend,” the bhikkhus delighted and rejoiced in the Venerable Sariputta’s words. Then they asked him a further question: “But, friend, might there be another way in which a noble disciple is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma?” — “There might be, friends.

41. “When, friends, a noble disciple understands feeling, the origin of feeling, the cessation of feeling, and the way leading to the cessation of feeling, in that way he is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma.

42. “And what is feeling, what is the origin of feeling, what is the cessation of feeling, what is the way leading to the cessation of feeling? There are these six classes of feeling: feeling born of eye-contact, feeling born of ear-contact, feeling born of nose-contact, feeling born of tongue-contact, feeling born of body-contact, feeling born of mind-contact. With the arising of contact there is the arising of feeling. With the cessation of contact there is the cessation of feeling. The way leading to the cessation of feeling is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view… right concentration.

43. “When a noble disciple has thus understood feeling, the origin of feeling, the cessation of feeling, and the way leading to the cessation of feeling… he here and now makes an end of suffering. In that way too a noble disciple is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma.”

Contact

44. Saying, “Good, friend,” the bhikkhus delighted and rejoiced in the Venerable Sariputta’s words. Then they asked him a further question: “But, friend, might there be another way in which a noble disciple is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma?” — “There might be, friends.

45. “When, friends, a noble disciple understands contact, the origin of contact, the cessation of contact, and the way leading to the cessation of contact, in that way he is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma.

46. “And what is contact, what is the origin of contact, what is the cessation of contact, what is the way leading to the cessation of contact? There are these six classes of contact: eye-contact, ear-contact, nose-contact, tongue-contact, body-contact, mind-contact. With the arising of the sixfold base there is the arising of contact. With the cessation of the sixfold base there is the cessation of contact. The way leading to the cessation of contact is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view… right concentration.

47. “When a noble disciple has thus understood contact, the origin of contact, the cessation of contact, and the way leading to the cessation of contact… he here and now makes an end of suffering. In that way too a noble disciple is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma.”

The Sixfold Base

48. Saying, “Good, friend,” the bhikkhus delighted and rejoiced in the Venerable Sariputta’s words. Then they asked him a further question: “But, friend, might there be another way in which a noble disciple is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma?” — “There might be, friends.

49. “When, friends, a noble disciple understands the sixfold base, the origin of the sixfold base, the cessation of the sixfold base, and the way leading to the cessation of the sixfold base, he is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma.

50. “And what is the sixfold base, what is the origin of the sixfold base, what is the cessation of the sixfold base, what is the way leading to the cessation of the sixfold base? There are these six bases: the eye-base, the ear-base, the nose-base, the tongue-base, the body-base, the mind-base. With the arising of mentality-materiality there is the arising of the sixfold base. With the cessation of mentality-materiality there is the cessation of the sixfold base. The way leading to the cessation of the sixfold base is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view… right concentration.

51. “When a noble disciple has thus understood the sixfold base, the origin of the sixfold base, the cessation of the sixfold base, and the way leading to the cessation of the sixfold base… he here and now makes an end of suffering. In that way too a noble disciple is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma.”

Mentality-Materiality

52. Saying, “Good, friend,” the bhikkhus delighted and rejoiced in the Venerable Sariputta’s words. Then they asked him a further question: “But, friend, might there be another way in which a noble disciple is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma?” — “There might be, friends.

53. “When, friends, a noble disciple understands mentality-materiality, the origin of mentality-materiality, the cessation of mentality-materiality, and the way leading to the cessation of mentality-materiality, in that way he is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma.

54. “And what is mentality-materiality, what is the origin of mentality-materiality, what is the cessation of mentality-materiality, what is the way leading to the cessation of mentality-materiality? Feeling, perception, volition, contact and attention — these are called mentality. The four great elements and the material form derived from the four great elements — these are called materiality. So this mentality and this materiality are what is called mentality-materiality. With the arising of consciousness there is the arising of mentality-materiality. With the cessation of consciousness there is the cessation of mentality-materiality. The way leading to the cessation of mentality-materiality is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view… right concentration.

55. “When a noble disciple has thus understood mentality-materiality, the origin of mentality-materiality, the cessation of mentality-materiality, and the way leading to the cessation of mentality-materiality… he here and now makes an end of suffering. In that way too a noble disciple is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma.”

Consciousness

56. Saying, “Good, friend,” the bhikkhus delighted and rejoiced in the Venerable Sariputta’s words. Then they asked him a further question: “But, friend, might there be another way in which a noble disciple is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma?” — “There might be, friends.

57. “When, friends, a noble disciple understands consciousness, the origin of consciousness, the cessation of consciousness, and the way leading to the cessation of consciousness, in that way he is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma.

58. “And what is consciousness, what is the origin of consciousness, what is the cessation of consciousness, what is the way leading to the cessation of consciousness? There are these six classes of consciousness: eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, nose-consciousness, tongue-consciousness, body-consciousness, mind-consciousness. With the arising of formations there is the arising of consciousness. With the cessation of formations there is the cessation of consciousness. The way leading to the cessation of consciousness is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view… right concentration.

59. “When a noble disciple has thus understood consciousness, the origin of consciousness, the cessation of consciousness, and the way leading to the cessation of consciousness… he here and now makes an end of suffering. In that way too a noble disciple is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma.”

Formations

60. Saying, “Good friend,” the bhikkhus delighted and rejoiced in the Venerable Sariputta’s words. Then they asked him a further question: “But, friend, might there be another way in which a noble disciple is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma?” — “There might be, friends.

61. “When, friends, a noble disciple understands formations, the origin of formations, the cessation of formations, and the way leading to the cessation of formations, in that way he is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma.

62. “And what are formations, what is the origin of formations, what is the cessation of formations, what is the way leading to the cessation of formations? There are these three kinds of formations: the bodily formation, the verbal formation, the mental formation. With the arising of ignorance there is the arising of formations. With the cessation of ignorance there is the cessation of formations. The way leading to the cessation of formations is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view… right concentration.

63. “When a noble disciple has thus understood formations, the origin of formations, the cessation of formations, and the way leading to the cessation of formations… he here and now makes an end of suffering. In that way too a noble disciple is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma.”

Ignorance

64. Saying, “Good friend,” the bhikkhus delighted and rejoiced in the Venerable Sariputta’s words. Then they asked him a further question: “But, friend, might there be another way in which a noble disciple is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma?” — “There might be, friends.

65. “When, friends, a noble disciple understands ignorance, the origin of ignorance, the cessation of ignorance, and the way leading to the cessation of ignorance, in that way he is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma.

66. “And what is ignorance, what is the origin of ignorance, what is the cessation of ignorance, what is the way leading to the cessation of ignorance? Not knowing about suffering, not knowing about the origin of suffering, not knowing about the cessation of suffering, not knowing about the way leading to the cessation of suffering — this is called ignorance. With the arising of the taints there is the arising of ignorance. With the cessation of the taints there is the cessation of ignorance. The way leading to the cessation of ignorance is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view… right concentration.

67. “When a noble disciple has thus understood ignorance, the origin of ignorance, the cessation of ignorance, and the way leading to the cessation of ignorance… he here and now makes an end of suffering. In that way too a noble disciple is one of right view… and has arrived at this true Dhamma.”

Taints

68. Saying, “Good, friend,” the bhikkhus delighted and rejoiced in the Venerable Sariputta’s words. Then they asked him a further question: “But, friend, might there be another way in which a noble disciple is one of right view, whose view is straight, who has perfect confidence in the Dhamma and has arrived at this true Dhamma?” — “There might be, friends.

69. “When, friends, a noble disciple understands the taints, the origin of the taints, the cessation of the taints, and the way leading to the cessation of the taints, in that way he is one of right view, whose view is straight, who has perfect confidence in the Dhamma and has arrived at this true Dhamma.

70. “And what are the taints, what is the origin of the taints, what is the cessation of the taints, what is the way leading to the cessation of the taints? There are three taints: the taint of sensual desire, the taint of being and the taint of ignorance. With the arising of ignorance there is the arising of the taints. With the cessation of ignorance there is the cessation of the taints. The way leading to the cessation of the taints is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.

71. “When a noble disciple has thus understood the taints, the origin of the taints, the cessation of the taints, and the way leading to the cessation of the taints, he entirely abandons the underlying tendency to lust, he abolishes the underlying tendency to aversion, he extirpates the underlying tendency to the view and conceit ‘I am,’ and by abandoning ignorance and arousing true knowledge he here and now makes an end of suffering. In that way too a noble disciple is one of right view, whose view is straight, who has perfect confidence in the Dhamma and has arrived at this true Dhamma.”

That is what the Venerable Sariputta said. The bhikkhus were satisfied and delighted in the Venerable Sariputta’s words.




Part Two: [go up]
The Commentary to the Discourse on Right View

1. Thus have I heard: the Sammaditthi Sutta.

2. Herein, all such questions spoken by the Elder as ” ‘One of right view, one of right view’ is said, friends. In what way is a noble disciple one of right view…?” or “And what, friends, is the unwholesome…?” — these are questions showing a desire to expound. Herein, since those who know, those who do not know, those outside the Dispensation, those within it, those who speak by hearsay, etc., and those who speak by personal knowledge, say “one of right view,” therefore, taking it as an expression (common) to the many, he touched upon it twice, saying “One of right view, one of right view” is said, friends (sammaditthi sammaditthi ti avuso vuccati). The intention here is this: “Others say ‘one of right view,’ and still others say ‘one of right view.’ Since that is said, in what way, friends, is a noble disciple one of right view in respect of meaning and characteristic?” Herein, one of right view is one possessing a lucid and praiseworthy view (sobhanaya pasatthaya ca ditthiya samannagato). But when this word “right view” is used to signify a state (rather than a person endowed with that state), it then means a lucid and praiseworthy view.1

This right view is twofold: mundane (lokiya) and supramundane (lokuttara). Herein, the knowledge of kamma as one’s own and knowledge which is in conformity with the (Four Noble) Truths are mundane right view; or, in brief, (mundane right view is) all understanding that is accompanied by the taints.2 Understanding connected with the noble paths and fruits is supramundane right view.3 The person possessing right view is of three kinds: the worldling (puthujjana), the disciple in higher training (sekha), and the one beyond training (asekha). Herein, the worldling is of two kinds: one outside the Dispensation and one within the Dispensation. Herein, one outside the Dispensation who believes in kamma is one of right view on account of the view of kamma as one’s own, but not on account of that which is in conformity with the truths, because he holds to the view of self. One within the Dispensation is of right view on account of both. The disciple in higher training is one of right view on account of fixed right view,4 the one beyond training on account of (the right view) that is beyond training.5

But here “one of right view” is intended as one possessing supramundane wholesome right view, which is fixed in destiny and emancipating. Hence he said: whose view is straight, who has perfect confidence in the Dhamma, and has arrived at this true Dhamma (ujugata’ssa ditthi dhamme aveccappasadena samannagato agato imam saddhammam). Because of its going straight without deviating to either extreme, or because of its going straight by removing all crookedness such as bodily crookedness, etc., supramundane right view is “straight.” One possessing that view also possesses perfect confidence, unshakable confidence, in the ninefold supramundane Dhamma.6 And by becoming disentangled from all the thickets of (wrong) views, by abandoning all the defilements, by departing from the round of rebirths, by bringing the practice to its consummation, he is said to have come by the noble path to this “true Dhamma” proclaimed by the Enlightened One, that is, Nibbana, the plunge into the Deathless.

The Wholesome and the Unwholesome

3. Understands the unwholesome (akusalan ca pajanati): he understands the unwholesome called the ten courses of unwholesome kamma (action), penetrating this by way of function with the understanding that has Nibbana as its object as “This is suffering.” (Understands) the root of the unwholesome (akusalamulan ca pajanati): And he understands the unwholesome root which has become the root condition of that (unwholesome), penetrating this, in the same way, as “This is the origin of suffering.” The same method applies here also in regard to “the wholesome” and “the root of the wholesome.” And, as it is here, so in all the following sections, the understanding of the subject should be understood by way of function.

In that way (ettavata pi): by this much; by this understanding of the unwholesome, etc. He is one of right view (sammaditthi hoti): he possesses supramundane right view of the kind aforesaid. Whose view is straight… and has arrived at this true Dhamma: At this point the summary version of the teaching has been expounded. And this (part of) the teaching itself was brief; but for those bhikkhus it should be understood that the penetration (of the meaning) through right attention occurred in detail.

But in the second section (Section 4) it should be understood that the teaching too, as well as the penetration through attention, is stated in detail.

Herein, the bhikkhus [at the council at the Great Monastery held to rehearse the Pitakas] said: “In the brief exposition the two lower paths are discussed, in the detailed exposition the two higher paths,” taking into account the passage at the end of the sections setting forth the detailed exposition that begins “he entirely abandons the underlying tendency to lust.” But the Elder (presiding over the council) said: “In the brief exposition the four paths are expounded as a group, and also in the detailed exposition.”7

This query into the brief and detailed expositions which has been cleared up here should be understood in all the following sections in the way stated here. From here on we shall only comment on terms that are new or obscure.

The Unwholesome Courses of Action

4. Herein, firstly, in the detailed exposition of the first section: as regards the passage beginning killing living beings is unwholesome (panatipato kho avuso akusalam), “unwholesome” should be understood by way of the occurrence of unwholesomeness, or as what is opposed to the wholesome, which is to be dealt with below (Section 6). As to characteristic, it is blameworthy and has painful result, or it is defiled. This, in the first place, is the comment upon the general terms here.

But as regards the particular terms, the phrase killing living beings means the slaughter of a living being, the destruction of a living being. And here a living being (pana) is, according to ordinary usage, a being (satta); in the ultimate sense it is the life faculty. “Killing living beings” is the volition to kill on the part of one who is aware, in respect of a living being, that it is a living being, and which (volition), manifesting itself through one or the other of the doors of body and speech, initiates activity resulting in the cutting off of the life faculty.

In relation to beings such as animals, etc., which lack moral qualities (guna), it is less blameworthy in respect of small living beings and more blameworthy in respect of beings with large bodies. Why? Because of the magnitude of the effort involved. And when the effort involved is equal, because of the magnitude of the object (the being killed). In relation to beings such as humans, etc., who possess moral qualities, it is less blameworthy in respect of beings with few good qualities and more blameworthy in respect of beings with great qualities. When the size of the body and moral qualities are equal, however, it is less blameworthy when the defilements and activity are mild, and more blameworthy when they are strong: so it should be understood.

There are five constituents for this (act of killing a living being): a living being, awareness that it is a living being, the mind to kill, activity, and the death (of the being) thereby.

There are six means: one’s own person, command, a missile, a fixed contrivance, a magical spell, supernormal power.

To explore this matter in detail, however, would involve too much diffuseness. Therefore we shall not explore it in detail, or any other subject similar in kind. Those who wish to go into the matter may do so by looking it up in the Samantapasadika, the Vinaya Commentary.8

Taking what is not given (adinnadana): the carrying off of others’ goods, stealing, robbery, is what is meant. Herein, “what is not given” is another’s possession, which the other may use as he likes without incurring penalty or blame. “Taking what is not given” is the volition to steal on the part of one who is aware, in respect of another’s possession, that it is another’s possession, and which (volition) initiates activity resulting in the taking of that thing.

That (taking of what is not given) is less blameworthy when the other’s property is of low value, and more blameworthy when it is of high value. Why? Because of the high value of the object (stolen). When the value of the objects is equal, the act is more blameworthy when the object belongs to one of outstanding qualities, and less blameworthy when the object belongs to one who, in comparison, is inferior with respect to moral qualities.

There are five constituents of this act: another’s possession, awareness that it is another’s possession, the mind to steal, the activity, and the carrying off (of the object) thereby.

There are six means: one’s own person, etc. (as for killing).

And these (acts of stealing) may be classed, according to the way in which they occur, by way of the following: taking by theft, by force, by concealment, by stratagem, by fraud. This here is in brief; the details, however, are given in the Samantapasadika.9

Misconduct in sensual pleasures (kamesu micchacara): here, “in sensual pleasures” (kamesu) means in regard to sexual intercourse. “Misconduct” is entirely reprehensible vile conduct. As to characteristic, sexual misconduct is the volition to transgress bounds occurring through the body door by way of unrighteous intent.

Herein, out of bounds for men, firstly, are the twenty kinds of women, that is, the ten beginning with those protected by the mother, namely, “protected by the mother, protected by the father, protected by the mother and father, protected by the brother, protected by the sister, protected by relatives, protected by the clan, protected by the law, under protection, entailing a penalty”; and the ten beginning with those purchased with money, namely, “one purchased with money, one who lives (with a man) by her own desire, one who lives (with a man) on account of wealth, one who lives (with a man) on account of cloth, one who is given (in marriage with the ceremony of) dipping the hand in water, one who has been (taken to wife and) relieved of her burden-carrying head-pad, one who is a slave and a wife, one who is a servant and a wife, one who is carried off in a raid, one engaged at so much a time.”10

Then, as concerns women, for the twelve kinds of women consisting of the two, namely, under protection and entailing a penalty, and the ten beginning with those purchased with money, other men are out of bounds.

This sexual misconduct is less blameworthy when (the person) out of bounds is without good qualities such as virtue, etc., and more blameworthy when (the person) possesses good qualities such as virtue, etc. There are four constituents of this act: an object which is out of bounds, the mind to engage in that, the effort to engage, and consent to the union of sexual organs.11 The means is single: one’s own person.

False speech (musavada): “false” (musa) is the verbal effort or bodily effort for destroying welfare (made) by one bent on deceiving. “False speech” is the volition initiating the verbal effort or bodily effort of deceiving another on the part of one intent on deceiving. According to another method, “false” means an unreal, untrue case, “speech” the communication of that as being real, true. As to characteristic, “false speech” is the volition of one desiring to communicate to another an untrue case as being true, which (volition) initiates such an act of communication.

This is less blameworthy when the welfare destroyed is slight, and more blameworthy when the welfare destroyed is great. Further, when it occurs on the part of householders who, not wishing to give away some belonging of theirs, say “I do not have it,” it is less blameworthy; when one who is a witness speaks (falsely) for the purpose of destroying another’s welfare, it is more blameworthy. In the case of those gone forth, when it occurs by their saying as a joke, after they have obtained just a little oil or ghee, in the manner of the Puranas, “Today the oil is flowing in the village just like a river,” then it is less blameworthy; but for those who speak (as a witness) saying that they have seen what they have not seen it is more blameworthy.

There are four constituents of this act: an untrue case, the mind to deceive, the appropriate effort, the communicating of that meaning to another. The means is single: one’s own person only. That is to be regarded as the performing of the action of deceiving another by means of the body or by means of something attached to the body or by means of speech. If, through that action, the other understands that meaning, one is bound by the kamma of false speech at the very moment of the volition initiating the action.

Malicious speech, etc.: The kind of speech that creates in the heart of the person to whom it is spoken affection for oneself and voidness (of affection) for another is malicious speech (pisuna vaca). The kind of speech by which one makes both oneself and another harsh, the kind of speech which is also itself harsh, being pleasant neither to the ear nor to the heart — that is harsh speech (pharusa vaca). That by which one gossips idly, without meaning, is gossip (samphappalapa). Also, the volition that is the root cause of these gains the name “malicious speech,” etc. And that only is intended here.

Therein, malicious speech is the volition of one with a defiled mind, which (volition) initiates an effort by body or by speech either to cause division among others or to endear oneself (to another). It is less blameworthy when the person divided has few good qualities, and more blameworthy when such a one has great qualities. Its constituents are four: another person to be divided, the intention to divide, (thinking) “Thus these will be separated and split” or the desire to endear oneself, (thinking) “Thus I shall become loved and intimate,” the appropriate effort, the communicating of that meaning to that person.

Harsh speech is the entirely harsh volition initiating an effort by body or by speech to wound another’s vital feelings. This is an example given for the purpose of making it clear: A village boy, it is said, went to the forest without heeding his mother’s words. Unable to make him turn back, she scolded him angrily, saying: “May a wild buffalo chase you!” Then a buffalo appeared before him right there in the forest. The boy made an asseveration of truth, saying: “Let it not be as my mother said but as she thought!” The buffalo stood as though tied there. Thus, although the means (employed) was that of wounding the vital feelings, because of the gentleness of her mind it was not harsh speech. For sometimes parents even say to their children, “May robbers chop you to pieces!” yet they do not even wish a lotus leaf to fall upon them. And teachers and preceptors sometimes say to their pupils, “What is the use of these shameless and heedless brats? Drive them out!” yet they wish for their success in learning and attainment.

Just as, through gentleness of mind, speech is not harsh, so through gentleness of speech, speech does not become unharsh; for the words “Let him sleep in peace” spoken by one wishing to kill are not unharsh speech. But harsh speech is such on account of harshness of mind only. It is less blameworthy when the person to whom it is spoken has few good qualities, and more blameworthy when such a one has great qualities. Its constituents are three: another to be abused, an angry mind, the abusing.

Gossip is the unwholesome volition initiating an effort by body or by speech to communicate what is purposeless. It is less blameworthy when indulged in mildly, and more blameworthy when indulged in strongly. Its constituents are two: the being intent on purposeless stories such as the Bharata war or the abduction of Sita, etc., and the telling of such stories.12

Covetousness (abhijjha): It covets, thus it is covetousness; “having become directed towards others’ goods, it occurs through inclination towards them” is the meaning. It has the characteristic of coveting others’ goods thus: “Oh, that this were mine!” It is less blameworthy and more blameworthy as in the case of taking what is not given. Its constituents are two: another’s goods, and the inclination for them to be one’s own. For even though greed has arisen based on another’s goods, it is not classed as a (completed) course of kamma so long as one does not incline to them as one’s own (with the thought), “Oh, that this were mine!”

Ill will (byapada): It injures welfare and happiness, thus it is ill will (hitasukham byapadayati ti byapado). Its characteristic is the mental defect (of wishing for) the destruction of others. It is less blameworthy and more blameworthy as in the case of harsh speech. Its constituents are two: another being, and the wish for that being’s destruction. For even though anger has arisen based on another being, there is no breach of a course of kamma so long as one does not wish, “Oh, that this being might be cut off and destroyed!”

Wrong view (micchaditthi): It sees wrongly due to the absence of a correct grasp of things, thus it is wrong view. Its characteristic is the mistaken view that “there is no (result from) giving,” etc. It is less blameworthy and more blameworthy as in the case of gossip. Moreover, it is less blameworthy when not fixed in destiny, and more blameworthy when fixed.13 Its constituents are two: a mistaken manner of grasping the basis (for the view), and the appearance of that (basis) in accordance with the manner in which it has been grasped.

Now the exposition of these ten courses of unwholesome kamma should be understood in five ways: as to mental state (dhammato), as to category (kotthasato), as to object (arammanato), as to feeling (vedanato), and as to root (mulato).

Herein, as to mental state: The first seven among these are volitional states only. The three beginning with covetousness are associated with volition.14

As to category: The eight consisting of the first seven and wrong view are courses of kamma only, not roots. Covetousness and ill will are courses of kamma and also roots; for covetousness, having arrived at the (state of) a root, is the unwholesome root greed, and ill will is the unwholesome root hate.

As to object: Killing living beings, because it has the life faculty as object, has a formation as object. Taking what is not given has beings as object or formations as object. Misconduct in sensual pleasures has formations as object by way of tangible object; but some say it also has beings as object. False speech has beings or formations as object; likewise malicious speech. Harsh speech has only beings as object. Gossip has either beings or formations as object by way of the seen, heard, sensed and cognized; likewise covetousness. Ill will has only beings as object. Wrong view has formations as object by way of the states belonging to the three planes (of being).

As to feeling: Killing living beings has painful feeling; for although kings, seeing a robber, say laughingly, “Go and execute him,” their volition consummating the action is associated only with pain. Taking what is not given has three feelings. Misconduct (in sensual pleasures) has two feelings, pleasant and neutral, but in the mind which consummates the action there is no neutral feeling. False speech has three feelings; likewise malicious speech. Harsh speech has painful feeling only. Gossip has three feelings. Covetousness has two feelings, pleasant and neutral; likewise wrong view. Ill will has painful feeling only.

As to root: Killing living beings has two roots, by way of hate and delusion; taking what is not given, by way of hate and delusion or by way of greed and delusion; misconduct, by way of greed and delusion; false speech, by way of hate and delusion or by way of greed and delusion; likewise for malicious speech and gossip; harsh speech, by way of hate and delusion. Covetousness has one root, by way of delusion; likewise ill will. Wrong view has two roots, by way of greed and delusion.

The Unwholesome Roots

5. Greed is a root of the unwholesome, etc.: It is greedy, thus it is greed (lubbhati ti lobho); it offends against (it hates), thus it is hate (dussati ti doso); it deludes, thus it is delusion (muyhati ti moho). Among these, greed is itself unwholesome in the sense that it is blameworthy and has painful results; and it is a root of these unwholesome (deeds) beginning with killing living beings, for some in the sense that it is an associated originative cause, for some in the sense that it is a decisive support condition. Thus it is an unwholesome root. This too is said: “One who is lustful, friends, overwhelmed and with mind obsessed by lust, kills a living being” (A.3:71/i,216; text slightly different). The same method applies to the state of being unwholesome roots in the cases of hate and delusion.

The Wholesome Courses of Action

6. Abstention from killing living beings is wholesome (panatipata veramani), etc.: Here “killing living beings,” etc. have the same meaning as aforesaid. It crushes the hostile, thus it is abstention (veram manati ti veramani); the meaning is that it abandons the hostile. Or: with that as the instrument one abstains (viramati), the syllable ve being substituted for the syllable vi. This here is, in the first place, the commentary on the phrasing.

But as to the meaning, abstention is refraining (virati) associated with wholesome consciousness. What is stated thus: “For one refraining from killing living beings, that which is on that occasion the leaving off, the refraining” (Vibh. 285), that is the refraining associated with wholesome consciousness. As to kind, it is threefold: refraining in the presence of opportunity, refraining because of an undertaking, and refraining because of eradication (of defilements).

Herein, refraining in the presence of an opportunity (sampattavirati) is to be understood as the refraining which occurs in those who have not undertaken any training rule but who do not transgress when an opportunity for doing so presents itself because they reflect upon their birth, age, learning, etc., like the lay follower Cakkana in the island of Sri Lanka.

When he was a boy, it is said, his mother developed an illness, and the doctor said, “Fresh hare’s flesh is needed.” Then Cakkana’s brother sent him, saying, “Go, dear, and hunt in the field.” He went there. On that occasion a hare had come to eat the young corn. On seeing him it bolted swiftly, but it got entangled in a creeper and squealed “kiri, kiri.” Guided by the sound, Cakkana went and caught it, thinking, “I will make medicine for my mother.” Then he thought again, “This is not proper for me, that I should deprive another of life for the sake of my mother’s life.” So he released it, saying “Go and enjoy the grass and the water with the other hares in the forest.” When his brother asked him, “Did you get a hare, dear?” he told him what had happened. His brother scolded him. He went to his mother and determined upon an asseveration of truth: “Since I was born I am not aware that I have ever intentionally deprived a living being of life.” Straightaway his mother became well.

Refraining because of an undertaking (samadanavirati) is to be understood as the refraining which occurs in those who do not transgress in a particular case because they have undertaken training rules, giving up even their own lives in the undertaking of the training rules and in what is superior to that, like the lay follower who dwelt at Uttaravaddhamana Mountain.

It is said that after undertaking the training rules from the Elder Pingala Buddharakkhita who lived in the Ambariya Monastery, he was plowing a field. Then his ox got lost. Searching for it, he climbed up Uttaravaddhamana Mountain. There a large serpent seized him. He thought, “Let me cut off his head with this sharp axe.” Then he thought again, “This is not proper for me, that I should break a training rule that I have undertaken in the presence of my honored teacher.” Thinking up to the third time, “I will give up my life but not the training rule,” he threw the sharp hand axe that was slung on his shoulder into the forest. Straightaway the creature released him and went away.

Refraining because of eradication (of defilements) (samucchedavirati) is to be understood as the refraining associated with the noble path. After the arising of this even the thought, “I will kill a living being,” does not occur to the noble persons.

This refraining is called “wholesome” (kusala) because of the occurrence of wholesomeness (kosalla); or because of shedding the vile (kucchitassa salanato). Also, evil conduct is commonly called “weeds” (kusa) and it mows this down (lunati), thus it is called “wholesome.”

As in the case of the unwholesome, so for these courses of wholesome kamma the exposition should be understood in five ways: as to mental state, as to category, as to object, as to feeling, and as to root.

Herein, as to mental state: The first seven among these can be both volitions and abstinences; the last three are associated with volition only.

As to category: The first seven are courses of kamma only, not roots. The last three are courses of kamma and also roots. For non-covetousness, having arrived at the (state of) a root, is the wholesome root non-greed; non-ill will is the wholesome root non-hate; and right view is the wholesome root non-delusion.

As to object: The objects of these are the same as the objects of killing living beings, etc. For abstention is spoken of in relation to something which can be transgressed. But just as the noble path, which has Nibbana as object, abandons the defilements, so too should these courses of kamma, which have the life faculty, etc., as object, be understood to abandon the kinds of evil conduct beginning with killing living beings.

As to feeling: All have pleasant feeling or neutral feeling. For there is no painful feeling which arrives at the wholesome.

As to root: The first seven courses of kamma have three roots by way of non-greed, non-hate, and non-delusion in one who abstains by means of consciousness associated with knowledge. They have two roots in one who abstains by means of consciousness dissociated from knowledge.15 Non-covetousness has two roots in one who abstains by means of consciousness associated with knowledge, one root (in one who abstains) by means of consciousness dissociated from knowledge. Non-greed, however, is not by itself its own root. The same method applies in the case of non-ill will. Right view always has two roots, by way of non-greed and non-hate.16

The Wholesome Roots

7. Non-greed is a root of the wholesome (alobho kusalamulam), etc.: Non-greed is not greed; this is a term for the state that is opposed to greed. The same method applies in the case of non-hate and non-delusion. Among these, non-greed is itself wholesome; and it is a root of these wholesome (courses of kamma) beginning with abstention from killing living beings, for some in the sense that it is an associated originative cause and for some in the sense that it is a decisive support condition. Thus it is a wholesome root. The same method applies to the state of being wholesome roots in the cases of non-hate and non-delusion.

Conclusion on the Unwholesome and the Wholesome

8. Now, summing up the meaning of all that has been set forth in brief and in detail, he states the concluding section beginning with the words when a noble disciple. Herein, has thus understood the wholesome (evam akusalam pajanati) means: has thus understood the unwholesome by way of the ten courses of unwholesome kamma as described. The same method applies in the case of the root of the unwholesome, etc.

Up to this point, by a single method, emancipation as far as arahantship has been expounded for one who has the Four Noble Truths as his meditation subject. How? Here, the ten courses of unwholesome kamma with the exception of covetousness, and the (ten) courses of wholesome kamma, are the truth of suffering. These two states — covetousness and the greed which is a root of the unwholesome — are, literally speaking, the truth of the origin. Speaking figuratively, however, all the courses of kamma are the truth of suffering, and all the wholesome and unwholesome roots are the truth of the origin.17 The non-occurrence of both is the truth of cessation. The noble path fully understanding suffering, abandoning its origin, and understanding its cessation is the truth of the path. Thus two truths are stated in their own nature and two are to be understood by way of the guideline of conversion.18

He entirely abandons the underlying tendency to lust (so sabbaso raganusayam pahaya): Understanding thus the unwholesome, etc., he abandons in all ways the underlying tendency to lust. He abolishes the underlying tendency to aversion (patighanusayam pativinodetva): and he removes in all ways too the underlying tendency to aversion, is what is meant. Up to this point the path of non-return is stated.19 He extirpates the underlying tendency to the view and conceit “I am” (asmi ti ditthimananusayam samuhanitva): he extricates the underlying tendency to the view and conceit which occurs in the mode of grasping the five aggregates as a group (with the notion) “I am,” due to failure to distinguish any state among them.

Therein, by the phrase the underlying tendency to the view and conceit “I am” (ditthimananusayam) what is meant is the underlying tendency to conceit which is similar to a view (ditthisadisam mananusayam). For this underlying tendency to conceit is similar to a view because it occurs (with the notion) “I am”; therefore it is stated thus. And one who wishes to understand this conceit “I am” in detail should look up the Khemaka Sutta in the Khandhiyavagga (S.22:89/iii,126ff.).

By abandoning ignorance (avijjam pahaya): having abandoned ignorance, the root of the round (of existence). And arousing true knowledge (vijjam uppadetva): having aroused the true knowledge of the path of arahantship which completely extricates that ignorance. At this point the path of arahantship is stated.20 He here and now makes an end of suffering (ditth’eva dhamme dukkhass’antakaro hoti): in this very existence he becomes one who cuts off the suffering of the round.

In that way too (ettavatapi kho avuso): he marks off (this first part of) the teaching; by way of the attention and penetration stated in this exposition of the courses of kamma, is what is meant. The rest is as aforesaid. Thus he concludes the exposition by means of the path of non-return and the path of arahantship.

THE FOUR NUTRIMENTS

General

9. Saying, “Good, friend,”… (etc.)…” and has arrived at this true Dhamma”: Thus, having heard the Venerable Sariputta’s exposition of the four truths under the heading of the wholesome and the unwholesome, the bhikkhus delighted in his words with the statement, “Good, friend,” and rejoiced with the mind that aroused that statement; what is meant is that they agreed by word and approved by mind. Now, because the Elder was competent to give an exposition on the four truths in diverse ways — as (the Blessed One) said: “Bhikkhus, Sariputta is able to propound, to teach, the Four Noble Truths in detail” (M.141/iii, 248); or because he had said “in that way too,” being desirous of giving a further exposition, the bhikkhus, being desirous of hearing the teaching of the four truths by another method, asked him a further question. By asking “But, friend, might there be another way? Would there be another case?” they asked another question additional to that question asked and answered (already) by the Venerable Sariputta himself. Or what is meant is that they asked a question subsequent to the previous one. Then, answering them, the Elder said, “There might be, friends,” and so on.

10. Herein, this is the elucidation of the terms that are not clear. Nutriment (ahara) is a condition (paccaya). For a condition nourishes its own fruit, therefore it is called nutriment.21

11. Of beings that already have come to be (bhutanam va sattanam), etc.: Here come to be (bhuta) means come to birth, reborn; seeking a new existence (sambhavesinam) means those who seek, search for, existence, birth, production. Therein, among the four kinds of generation,22 beings born from eggs and from the womb are said to be “seeking a new existence” as long as they have not broken out of the eggshell or the placenta. When they have broken out of the eggshell or the placenta and emerged outside, they are said to have “come to be.” The moisture-born and the spontaneously born are said to be “seeking a new existence” at the first moment of consciousness; from the second moment of consciousness onwards they are said to have “come to be.”

Or alternatively, “come to be” is born, reproduced; this is a term for those who have destroyed the cankers (arahants), who are reckoned thus: “They have come to be only, but they will not come to be again.” “Seeking a new existence” means they seek a new existence; this is a term for worldlings and disciples in higher training who seek a new existence in the future too, because they have not abandoned the fetter of being. Thus by these two terms he includes all beings in all ways.

For the maintenance (thitiya); for the purpose of maintaining. For the support (anuggahaya): for the purpose of supporting, for the purpose of helping. This is merely a difference of words, but the meaning of the two terms is one only. Or alternatively, “for the maintenance” is for the non-interruption of this or that being by means of the serial connection of arisen states. “For the support” is for the arising of unarisen (states). And both these expressions should be regarded as applicable in both cases thus: “For the maintenance and support of those that have come to be, and for the maintenance and support of those seeking a new existence.”

The Four Kinds of Nutriment

Physical food as nutriment (lit. “food made into a ball”) (kabalinkaro aharo) is nutriment that can be swallowed after making it into a ball; this is a term for the nutritive essence which has as its basis boiled rice, junket, etc.23 Gross or subtle (olariko va sukhumo va): it is gross because of the grossness of the basis, and subtle because of the subtlety of the basis. But because physical nutriment is included in subtle materiality, by way of its individual essence it is subtle only.24 And also that grossness and subtlety should be understood relatively in respect of the basis.

The nutriment of peacocks is subtle compared with the nutriment of crocodiles. Crocodiles, they say, swallow stones, and these dissolve on reaching their stomachs. Peacocks eat such animals as snakes, scorpions, etc. But the nutriment of hyenas is subtle compared with the nutriment of peacocks. These, they say, eat horns and bones thrown away three years before, and these become soft as yams as soon as they are moistened with their saliva. Also, the nutriment of elephants is subtle compared with the nutriment of hyenas. For these eat the branches of various trees, etc. The nutriment of the gayal buffalo, the antelope, the deer, etc., is subtler than the nutriment of elephants. These, they say, eat the sapless leaves of various kinds of trees, etc. The nutriment of cows is subtler than their nutriment; they eat fresh and dried grass. The nutriment of hares is subtler than their nutriment; that of birds is subtler than that of hares; that of barbarians is subtler than that of birds; that of village headmen is subtler than that of barbarians; that of kings and kings’ ministers is subtler than village headmens’; that of a Wheel-turning Monarch is subtler than their nutriment. The earth deities’ nutriment is subtler than that of a Wheel-turning Monarch. The nutriment of the deities of the Four Great Kings is subtler than that of the earth deities. Thus nutriment should be elaborated up to that of the deities who wield power over others’ creations.25 But saying, “Their nutriment is subtle,” the end is reached.

And here, in a basis that is gross, the nutritive essence is limited and weak; in one that is subtle, it is strong. Thus one who has drunk even a full bowl of gruel is soon hungry again and desirous of eating anything; but after drinking even a small amount of ghee, he will not want to eat for the whole day. Therein, it is the basis that dispels fatigue, but it is unable to preserve; but the nutritive essence preserves, though it cannot dispel fatigue. But when the two are combined they both dispel fatigue and preserve.

Contact as the second (phasso dutiyo): The sixfold contact beginning with eye-contact should be understood as the second of these four kinds of nutriment. And this is the method of the teaching itself; therefore it should not be inquired into here, saying “For this reason it is the second, or the third.” Mental volition (manosancetana): volition (cetana) itself is stated. Consciousness (viññanam): any kind of consciousness whatever.

It may be asked here: “If the meaning of condition is the meaning of nutriment, then, when other conditions also exist for beings, why are only these four stated?” It should be said in reply: “It is because they are the special conditions for personal continuity.” For physical nutriment is the special condition for the material body of beings that eat physical nutriment; as regards the group of mental constituents, contact is (the special condition) for feeling, mental volition for consciousness, and consciousness for mentality-materiality. As it is said: “Just as, bhikkhus, this body has nutriment for its maintenance, is maintained in dependence on nutriment, and without nutriment is not maintained” (S.46:2/v,64); and likewise: “With contact as condition, feeling;… with formations as condition, consciousness;… with consciousness as condition, mentality-materiality” (S.12:1/ii,1, etc.).

What is this nutriment, and what does it nourish? Physical nutriment nourishes the materiality with nutritive essence as eighth;26 contact as nutriment nourishes the three feelings; mental volition as nutriment nourishes the three kinds of being; consciousness as nutriment nourishes the mentality-materiality of rebirth-linking.

How? As soon as it is placed in the mouth, physical food as nutriment brings into being the eight kinds of materiality (aforesaid). Then each lump of cooked rice ground by the teeth, on being swallowed, brings into being unit after unit of the eight kinds of materiality. Thus it nourishes the materiality with nutritive essence as eighth.

But with contact as nutriment, when contact productive of pleasant feeling arises it nourishes pleasant feeling; contact productive of painful feeling nourishes painful feeling; contact productive of neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling nourishes neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling. Thus in all ways contact as nutriment nourishes the three kinds of feeling.

In the case of mental volition as nutriment, kamma leading to sense-sphere being nourishes sense-sphere being; kamma leading to fine-material and immaterial being nourishes its respective kind of being. Thus in all ways mental volition as nutriment nourishes the three kinds of being.

But with consciousness as nutriment, it is said that it nourishes, by way of conascence condition, etc., the three (immaterial) aggregates associated with itself at the moment of rebirth-linking and the thirty kinds of materiality that arise by way of triple continuity. Thus consciousness nourishes the mentality-materiality of rebirth-linking.27

And here, by the words “mental volition as nutriment nourishes the three kinds of being,” only the wholesome and unwholesome volition accompanied by taints is meant; by the words “consciousness nourishes the mentality-materiality of rebirth-linking,” only rebirth-linking consciousness is meant. However, these are to be understood indiscriminately as nutriments as well because they nourish the states that are associated with them and originated by them.

The Four Functions

As regards these four kinds of nutriment, physical food as nutriment accomplishes the function of nutriment by sustaining, contact by contacting (touching), mental volition by accumulating, consciousness by cognizing.

How? Physical food as nutriment, by sustaining, is for the maintenance of beings by maintaining the body. For this body, though generated by kamma, is sustained by physical food and stands for ten years or a hundred years up to the end of the life-span. Like what? Like a child which, though given birth by the mother, is nurtured by the milk, etc., given to him to drink by the wet-nurse and thus lives long. Also, as a house is supported by a prop. This too has been said (untraced): “Great king, just as, when a house is collapsing, they prop it up with other timber, and that house, being propped up by other timber, does not collapse, so too this body is supported by nutriment, persists in dependence upon nutriment.”

Thus physical food as nutriment accomplishes the function of nutriment by sustaining. Accomplishing it thus, physical food as nutriment becomes a condition for two material continuities, namely, for that originated by nutriment and that kammically acquired.28 It is a condition for the kamma-born materiality by becoming its preserver. It is a condition for that originated by nutriment by becoming its producer.

Then contact, by contacting the object which is the basis for pleasure, etc., is “for the maintenance of beings” by causing the occurrence of pleasant feeling, etc. Mental volition, accumulating by way of wholesome and unwholesome kamma, is “for the maintenance of beings” because it provides the root of existence. Consciousness, by cognizing, is “for the maintenance of beings” by causing the occurrence of mentality-materiality.

The Four Dangers

Now, while these are accomplishing their function of nutriment by sustaining, etc., four dangers are to be seen: the danger of desire in the case of physical food as nutriment; the danger of approach in the case of contact; (the danger) of accumulating in the case of mental volition; and (the danger) of launching [into a new existence here or there by way of taking rebirth-linking] in the case of consciousness.

What are the reasons (for this)? Because, having aroused desire for physical food, beings face cold, etc., to undertake such work as checking, accounting, etc., and incur not a little suffering. And some who have gone forth in this dispensation seek nutriment through such improper means as the practice of medicine, etc., and they are to be censured here and now, and hereafter they become “recluse ghosts” in the manner described thus in the Lakkhana Samyutta: “And his outer robe was burning, blazing,” etc.29 For this reason, desire itself is to be understood as the danger in physical food as nutriment.

Those who approach contact, who find gratification in contact, commit crimes in respect of others’ guarded and protected belongings, such as their wives, etc. When the owners of the goods catch them with their belongings, they cut them into pieces or throw them onto a rubbish heap, or hand them over to the king; and then the king has various tortures inflicted upon them. And with the breakup of the body, after death, a bad destination is to be expected for them. Thus this entire danger — that pertaining to the here and now and that pertaining to the afterlife — has come about rooted in contact. For this reason, approach is to be understood as the danger in the case of the nutriment contact.

The entire danger in the three realms of existence has come about by the accumulation of wholesome and unwholesome kamma and is rooted in that (accumulation). For this reason, accumulation is to be understood as the danger in the nutriment mental volition.

And in whatever place rebirth-linking consciousness launches (the new existence), in that same place it is reborn by seizing the rebirth-linking mentality-materiality. When it is produced, all dangers are produced, for they are all rooted in it. For this reason, launching is to be understood as the danger in the nutriment consciousness.

The Four Similes

In regard to these nutriments with their dangers, for the sake of eliminating desire for the nutriment physical food, the Fully Enlightened One taught the simile of son’s flesh in the passage beginning thus: “Suppose, bhikkhus, a couple, a man and his wife,…” For the sake of eliminating desire for the nutriment contact, he taught the simile of the flayed cow in the passage beginning thus: “Suppose, bhikkhus, there was a flayed cow…” For the sake of eliminating desire for the nutriment mental volition, he taught the simile of the charcoal pit in the passage beginning thus: “Suppose, bhikkhus, there was a charcoal pit…” And for the sake of eliminating desire for the nutriment consciousness, he taught the simile of the man struck with three hundred spears in the passage beginning thus: “Suppose, bhikkhus, there was a thief, a crook…”30

Therein, taking the essential meaning, there follows a brief interpretation of the meaning. A couple, it is said, a man and his wife, took their son and set out on a desert trail a hundred yojanas long,31 with only limited provisions. When they had gone fifty yojanas their provisions ran out. Exhausted by hunger and thirst, they sat down in some scanty shade. Then the man said to his wife: “My dear, for fifty yojanas on all sides there is neither a village nor a town. Therefore, though a man can do many kinds of work, such as plowing, guarding cattle, etc., it is not possible for me to do that. Come, kill me. Eat half of my flesh, and having made the other half into provisions for the journey, cross out of the desert together with our son.”

The wife said: “Dear husband, though a woman can do many kinds of work, such as spinning thread, etc., it is not possible for me to do that. Come, kill me. Eat half of my flesh, and having made the other half into provisions for the journey, cross out of the desert together with our son.”

Then the man said: “My dear, the death of the mother would mean the death of two, for a young boy cannot live without his mother. But if we both live, then we can beget another child again. Come now, let us kill our child, take his flesh, and cross out of this desert.”

Then the mother said to the son: “Dear, go to your father.” He went, but the father said: “For the sake of supporting this child I incurred much suffering through such work as plowing, guarding cattle, etc. I cannot kill the boy. You kill your son.” Then he said: “Dear, go to your mother.” But the mother said: “Longing for a son I incurred much suffering by observing the cow-observance, the dog-observance, praying to the gods, etc., not to speak of bearing him in my womb.32 It is not possible for me to kill him.” Then she said: “Dear, go to your father.”

The boy died from going back and forth between the father and the mother. Seeing him dead, they wept, and having taken the flesh as described above, they departed. Because that flesh of their son was repulsive to them for nine reasons, it was not eaten for enjoyment nor for intoxication nor for making (the body) strong and beautiful, but only for the purpose of crossing out of the desert.

For what nine reasons was it repulsive? Because it was the flesh of their own offspring, the flesh of a relative, the flesh of a son, the flesh of a dear son, the flesh of a youngster, raw flesh, not beef, unsalted, unspiced. Therefore the bhikkhu who sees the nutriment physical food thus, as similar to son’s flesh, eliminates the desire for it.33

This, in the first place, is the interpretation of the meaning of the simile of son’s flesh.

Then, as regards the simile of the flayed cow: If a cow were stripped of its skin from the neck to the hooves and then set free, whatever it would rest upon would become a basis of pain for it, since it would be bitten by the small creatures living there.34 So too, whatever physical basis or object contact stands upon as its support becomes a basis for the felt pain originating from that basis or object.35 Therefore a bhikkhu who sees the nutriment contact thus, as similar to a flayed cow, eliminates the desire for it. This is the interpretation of the meaning of the simile of the flayed cow.

Then, as regards the simile of the charcoal pit:36 The three realms of being are like a charcoal pit in the sense of a great burning heat (lit., a great fever). Like the two men who grab hold (of a weaker man) by both his arms and drag him towards it, is mental volition in the sense that it drags one towards the realms of being. Therefore a bhikkhu who sees the nutriment mental volition thus, as similar to a charcoal pit, eliminates the desire for it. This is the interpretation of the meaning of the simile of the charcoal pit.

Then, as regards the simile of the man struck with three hundred spears:37 The hundred spears that strike the man in the morning make a hundred wound openings in his body, and without remaining inside they pierce through and fall on the other side; and so with the other two hundred spears as well. Thus his whole body is cut again and again by the spears which come without piercing him in a place where another has already struck. There is no measuring the pain arisen in him from even one of the wound openings, not to speak of three hundred wound openings.

Therein, the time of the generation of the rebirth-linking consciousness is like the time of being struck by a spear. The production of the aggregates is like the production of the wound openings. The arising of the various kinds of suffering rooted in the round (of existence) once the aggregates have been born is like the arising of suffering on account of the wound openings.

Another method of interpretation (is as follows): The rebirth-linking consciousness is like the thief. His mentality-materiality conditioned by consciousness is like the wound openings created by the striking of the spears. The arising of the various kinds of suffering by way of the thirty-two types of torture and the eighty-nine types of diseases in regard to consciousness conditioned by mentality-materiality — this should be regarded as like the arising of severe pain for that man conditioned by the wound openings.

Therefore a bhikkhu who sees the nutriment consciousness thus, as similar to one struck by three hundred spears, eliminates the desire for it. This is the interpretation of the meaning of the simile of the man struck by three hundred spears.

Full Understanding

Thus by eliminating desire in regard to these nutriments, he also fully understands these four nutriments. When these have been fully understood, the entire basis (for them) has also been fully understood. For this has been said by the Blessed One (S.12:63/ii,99-100):

Bhikkhus, when the nutriment physical food has been fully understood, lust for the five cords of sensual pleasure has been fully understood. When lust for the five cords of sensual pleasure has been fully understood, there exists no more any fetter bound by which the noble disciple might come back to this world.

Bhikkhus, when the nutriment contact has been fully understood, the three feelings have been fully understood. When the three feelings have been fully understood, there is nothing further for the noble disciple to do, I say.

Bhikkhus, when the nutriment mental volition has been fully understood, the three kinds of craving have been fully understood. When the three kinds of craving have been fully understood, there is nothing further for the noble disciple to do, I say.

Bhikkhus, when the nutriment consciousness has been fully understood, mentality-materiality has been fully understood. When mentality-materiality has been fully understood, there is nothing further for the noble disciple to do, I say.

The Arising and Cessation of Nutriment

With the arising of craving there is the arising of nutriment (tanhasamudaya aharasamudayo): This is the meaning: “With the arising of craving in the previous (existence) the arising of the nutriments occurs at rebirth-linking (in this existence).” How? Because at the moment of rebirth-linking there is the nutritive essence produced among the thirty types of materiality that have arisen by way of triple continuity.38 This is the kammically acquired physical food as nutriment produced by craving as its condition. But the contact and volition associated with the rebirth-linking consciousness, and that mind or consciousness itself — these are the kammically acquired nutriments of contact, mental volition and consciousness produced by craving as their condition. Thus, in the first place, the arising of the nutriments at rebirth-linking should be understood as occurring with the arising of craving in the previous existence.

But because the nutriments that are kammically acquired and those that are not kammically acquired have been discussed here combined, (the principle of) the arising of nutriment with the arising of craving should be understood to apply also to those that are not kammically acquired. For there is nutritive essence in the kinds of materiality that are aroused by the eight types of consciousness accompanied by greed;39 this is the nutriment physical food that is not kammically acquired yet is produced by conascent craving as its condition. But the contact and volition associated with the consciousness accompanied by greed, and that mind or consciousness itself — these are the nutriments of contact, mental volition and consciousness that are not kammically acquired yet are produced by craving as their condition.

With the cessation of craving there is cessation of nutriment (tanhanirodha aharanirodho): By this there is set forth the cessation of nutriment by the cessation of the craving that had become the condition for both nutriment that is kammically acquired and that which is not kammically acquired. The rest (should be understood) by the method stated, but there is this difference. Here the four truths are stated directly, and as here, so in all the following sections. Therefore one who is unconfused in mind can deduce the truths throughout in what follows.40

12. And in all the following sections the delimiting phrase In that way too, friends (ettavata pi kho avuso) should be construed according to the principle that has been expounded. Here, in the first place, this is the interpretation of it (in the present context). “In that way too”: what is meant is: “the attention and penetration stated by way of the teaching concerning nutriment.” The same method throughout.

The Four Noble Truths

14. Now, delighting and rejoicing in the Elder’s words, after saying as before “Good, friend,” the bhikkhus asked a further question, and the Elder answered them by another exposition. This method is found in all the following sections. Therefore, from here onwards, we shall explain the meaning only of the particular exposition he states in reply, without touching upon such words (as are already explained).

15. In the brief exposition of this teaching, in the phrase (he) understands suffering (dukkham pajanati), “suffering” is the truth of suffering. But regarding the detailed exposition, whatever needs to be said has all been said already in the Visuddhimagga in the Description of the Truths (XVI,13-104).

Aging and Death

21. From here onwards the teaching is given by way of dependent arising (paticca samuppada).

22. Therein, in the section on aging and death, firstly as to the term their (tesam tesam) — this should be understood as a collective designation in brief for the many kinds of beings. For if one were to state (the aging of individuals such as) the aging of Devadatta, the aging of Somadatta, etc., one would never come to an end of beings. But there is no being not included by this term “their.”41 Therefore it was said above: “This should be understood as a collective designation in brief for the many kinds of beings.”

In the various (tamhi tamhi): This is a collective designation for the many (different) orders by way of destiny and birth. Orders of beings (sattanikaye): an indication of the nature of what is designated by the collective designation.

Aging, old age (jara jiranata), etc.: As regards these, “aging” is the description of the nature; “old age” is the description of the aspect; “brokenness,” etc., are descriptions of the function with respect to the passage of time; and the last two terms are descriptions of the normal (process). For this is indicated as to nature by this term aging (jara); hence this is a description of its nature. It is indicated as to aspect by this term old age (jiranata); hence this is a description of its aspect. Brokenness (khandicca): by this it is indicated as to the function of causing the broken state of teeth and nails on account of the passage of time. Grayness (palicca): by this it is indicated as to the function of causing the head hairs and body hairs to turn gray. Wrinkling (valittacata): by this it is indicated as to the wrinkled state of the skin after the withering of the flesh. Hence the three terms beginning with brokenness are descriptions of function with respect to the passage of time. By these evident aging is shown, which becomes evident by the showing of these alterations. For just as the course taken by water or wind or fire is evident from the damaged and broken state, or the burnt state, of the grass and trees, etc., and yet the course that has been taken is not the water, etc., itself, so too the course taken by aging is evident through brokenness of teeth, etc., and it is apprehended by opening the eyes, but the brokenness, etc., themselves are not aging, nor is aging cognizable by the eye.

Decline of life, weakness of faculties (ayuno samhani indriyanam paripako): By these terms it is indicated by means of the normal (process) known as the exhaustion of the life-span and the weakening of the eye faculty, etc., that has become manifest with the passage of time. Hence these last two are to be understood as descriptions of its normal (process).

Therein, because the life-span of one who has reached aging is dwindling, aging is called “decline of life” as a metaphor (for the cause stated in terms) of its effect. And because the eye faculty, etc. — which at the time of youth were quite clear and could easily grasp even subtle objects — become deficient, obscure, unable to grasp even gross objects when one has reached old age, therefore it is called “weakness of faculties” also as a metaphor (for the cause stated in terms) of its effect.

This aging, thus described, is all of two kinds, evident and concealed. Therein, the aging of material phenomena, shown by brokenness, etc., is called evident aging (pakatajara). But in the case of immaterial phenomena, because their alteration in such a way is not visible, their aging is called concealed aging (paticchannajara). Therein, the brokenness that is seen is simply color (vanna) because of the ease of comprehending such things as the teeth, etc. Having seen this with the eye and reflected on it with the mind door, one knows aging thus: “These teeth have been afflicted by aging,” just as one knows the existence of water below when one has noticed the heads of cows, etc., bound to the place where the water is located.

Again, aging is twofold thus: as continuous and as discrete. Therein, continuous aging (avicijara) is the aging of such things as gems, gold, silver, coral, the sun and moon, etc.; it is so called because of the difficulty of perceiving in such things distinct changes in color, etc., at regular intervals, as we can in the case of living beings passing through the decade of childhood, etc., and in the case of vegetation (lit. non-breathing things) such as flowers, fruits, buds, etc. The meaning is: aging that progresses without interval. Discrete aging (savicijara) is the aging of the things other than those, i.e., of the aforesaid things (living beings and vegetation); it is so called because it is easy to perceive in them distinct changes in color, etc., at regular intervals. So it should be understood.

Following this (in the definition of death) the term their (tesam tesam) should be understood by the method stated above (in the definition of aging). Then, in the expression passing, passing away, etc., passing (cuti) is said by way of what has the nature to pass away; this is a collective designation (applying) to one-, four-, and five-aggregate (existence). Passing away (cavanata) is the indication of the characteristic by a word expressing the abstract state. Dissolution (bheda) is an indication of the occurrence of the breaking up of the aggregates (at the time) of passing. Disappearance (antaradhana) is an indication of the absence of any manner of persistence of the aggregates (at the time) of passing, as they are broken like a broken pot.

Dying (maccu marana): death which is called dying. By this he rejects the idea of death as complete annihilation. Completion of time (kalakiriya): time is the destroyer, and this (completion of time) is its activity. By this he explains death in conventional terminology.

Now, to explain death in (terms valid in) the ultimate sense, he next says the dissolution of the aggregates (khandhanam bhedo), etc.42 For in the ultimate sense it is only the aggregates that break up; it is not any so called being that dies. But when the aggregates are breaking up convention says “a being is dying,” and when they have broken up convention says “(he is) dead.”

Here the dissolution of the aggregates is said by way of four- [and five-] constituent being; the laying down of the body (kalevarassa nikkhepo) by way of one-constituent being.43 Or alternatively, the dissolution of the aggregates is said by way of four-constituent being; the laying down of the body should be understood by way of the other two (i.e., one- and five-constituent being). Why? Because of the existence of the body, that is, the material body, in those two realms of being. Or else, because in the realm of the Four Great Kings, etc., the aggregates simply break up and they do not lay anything down, the dissolution of the aggregates is said with reference to them.44 The laying down of the body occurs among human beings, etc. And here, because it is the cause for the laying down of the body, death is called the laying down of the body. Thus the meaning should be understood.

So this aging and this death are what is called aging and death (iti ayan ca jara idan ca maranam idam vuccat’avuso jaramaranam): this is spoken of as “aging and death” by combining the two into one.

Birth

26. In the section on birth, in regard to the phrase birth,… their coming to birth, etc., birth (jati) is in the sense of being born; this is stated with reference to those (conceived) with incomplete sense bases. Coming to birth (sanjati) is in the sense of the act of coming to birth; this is stated with reference to those (conceived) with already complete sense bases. Precipitation (or descent, okkanti) is in the sense of being precipitated (descending). This is stated with reference to those born from the egg and from the womb, for they take rebirth-linking as though descending and entering the egg shell or the placenta. Generation (abhinibbatti) is in the sense of being generated. This is stated with reference to those born from moisture or those of spontaneous birth, for these are generated as soon as they become manifest.

Now comes the exposition in (terms valid in) the ultimate sense. Manifestation (patubhava) is the arising. Of the aggregates (khandhanam) is to be understood as (the arising) of one aggregate in the one-constituent realm of being, of four aggregates in four-constituent realms, and of five aggregates in five-constituent realms. Obtaining (patilabha) is the manifestation in continuity. The bases (ayatananam) should be understood as comprising the sense bases arising (at conception) in this or that realm. For when the sense bases become manifest, then they are said to be obtained.

This is called birth (ayam vuccat’avuso jati): by this phrase he comes to the conclusion on birth taught in both conventional terms and in the ultimate sense.

With the arising of being (bhavasamudaya): but here one should understand kammically active being as the condition for birth. The rest by the method stated.

Being

30. In the section on being, sense-sphere being (kamabhava) is kammically active being and resultant being. Therein, kammically active being (kammabhava) is kamma itself that leads to sense-sphere being. For that is called “being” as a designation of the cause in terms of its effect, because it is the cause for resultant being, as when it is said: “The arising of Buddhas is bliss” and “The accumulation of evil is painful” (Dhp. 194, 117). Resultant being (upapattibhava) is the group of kammically acquired aggregates produced by that kamma. For that is called “being” because it exists there. Thus this kamma and this result are both spoken of conjointly as “sense-sphere being.” The same method applies to fine-material being and immaterial being (ruparupabhava).

With the arising of clinging (upadanasamudaya): But here clinging is a condition for wholesome kammically active being only by way of decisive support; it is a condition for unwholesome kammically active being by way of both decisive support and conascence.45 For all resultant being it is a condition only by way of decisive support. The rest by the method stated.

Clinging

34. In the section on clinging, in regard to the phrase “clinging to sense pleasures,” etc., clinging to sense pleasures (kamupadana) is analyzed thus: by this one clings to the object of sensual pleasure, or this itself clings to it. Or alternatively: that is a sensual pleasure and it is clinging, thus it is clinging to sensual pleasure. It is firm grasping (dalhagahana) that is called clinging. For here the prefix upa has the sense of firmness. This is a designation for the lust for the five cords of sensual pleasure. This is the brief account here. The detailed account should be understood by the method stated thus: “Therein, what is clinging to sensual pleasures? The sensual desire in regard to sensual pleasures,” etc. (Dhs. Section 1214).

So too, that is a view and clinging, thus it is clinging to views (ditthupadana). Or alternatively: it clings to a view, or by this they cling to a view. For the subsequent view clings to the previous view and thereby they cling to the view. As it is said: “Self and the world are eternal; only this is true, anything else is false,” etc. (M.102/ii, 233). This is a designation for the whole field of (wrong) views except clinging to rituals and observances and clinging to a doctrine of self.46 This is the brief account here. The detailed account should be understood by the method stated thus: “Therein, what is clinging to views? There is nothing given,” etc. (Dhs. Section 1215).

So too, by this they cling to rituals and observances, or this itself clings to them, or that is a ritual and observance and clinging, thus it is clinging to rituals and observances (silabbatupadana). For when one adheres to the idea that the cow ritual or cow observance brings purification, that itself is a clinging.47 This is the brief account here. The detailed account should be understood by the method stated thus: “Therein, what is clinging to rituals and observances? (The idea) of recluses and brahmans outside here (i.e., outside the Buddha’s dispensation) that purity (is achieved) by rules,” etc. (Dhs. Section 1216).

Now they assert in terms of this, thus it is a doctrine. By this they cling, thus it is clinging. What do they assert? Or what do they cling to? Self. The clinging to a doctrine about a self is the clinging to a doctrine of self (attavadupadana). Or alternatively: by this a mere doctrine of self is clung to as self, thus it is clinging to a doctrine of self. This is a designation for personality view with its twenty cases. This is the brief account here. The detailed account should be understood by the method stated thus: “Therein, what is clinging to a doctrine of self? Here, the uninstructed worldling who has no regard for noble ones,” etc. (Dhs. Section 1217).

With the arising of craving (tanhasamudaya): here, craving is a condition for clinging to sensual pleasures either by way of decisive support or by way of proximity, contiguity, absence, disappearance and repetition.48 But for the rest (it is a condition) by way of conascence, etc., too. The rest by the method stated.

Craving

38. In the section on craving, craving for forms… craving for mind-objects (rupatanha… dhammatanha): these are names for the kinds of craving which occur in the course of a javana cognitive process (javanavithi) in the eye door, etc. Like a name derived from the father, such as Setthiputta (”merchant’s son”) or Brahmanaputta (”brahman’s son”), their names are derived from the object, which is similar to the father [as being the cause (hetu) of it only, not as is the case with “eye-contact,” which is like a name derived from the mother in that (the eye like the mother in relation to her son) is a cause by its nature as a physical support (nissayabhava)].

And here, craving for forms is craving that has forms as its object, craving in regard to forms. When this occurs by finding gratification in visible forms through its nature as sensual lust, it is craving for sensual pleasure (kamatanha). When it occurs by finding gratification in visible forms, thinking “Form is permanent, lasting, eternal,” through its nature as lust accompanied by the eternalist view, then it is craving for being (bhavatanha). When it occurs by finding gratification in visible form, thinking “Form is annihilated, destroyed, and does not exist after death,” through its nature as lust accompanied by the annihilationist view, then it is craving for non-being (vibhavatanha). Thus it is threefold. And as craving for form, so too craving for sound, etc., (are each threefold too). Thus there are eighteen modes of craving. These eighteen in respect of internal visible form, etc., and in respect of external visible form, etc., come to thirty-six. So thirty-six in the past, thirty-six in the future, and thirty-six at present make up a hundred and eight.

Or there are eighteen based on internal form, etc., thus: “On account of the internal there is (the notion) ‘I am,’ there is (the notion) ‘I am such and such,’ ” and so on; and there are eighteen based on external form, etc., thus: “On account of the external there is (the notion) ‘I am,’ there is (the notion) ‘I am such and such,’ ” and so on. Thus there are thirty-six. So thirty-six in the past, thirty-six in the future, and thirty-six at present make up thus the hundred and eight modes of craving (tanhavicaritani; see A. 4:199/ii, 212).

Again, when a classification is made, they reduce to only six classes of craving — in terms of their objects, forms and the rest — and to only three types of craving — craving for sensual pleasure and the rest. Thus:

Craving should be known by the wise
Through description and when described
In detail; it (should be known) again
Through classification of the detail.

With the arising of feeling there is the arising of craving (vedanasamudaya tanhasamudayo): But here the word “feeling” is intended as resultant feeling.49 How is that the condition for craving in respect of the six sense doors? Because of its ability to produce gratification. For it is through the gratification in pleasant feeling that beings become enamored of that feeling, and after arousing craving for feeling and being seized by lust for feeling, they long only for a desirable visible form in the eye door. And on getting it, they find gratification in it, and they honor painters, etc., who provide such objects. Likewise, they long only for a desirable sound, etc., in the ear door, etc. And on getting it, they find gratification in it, and they honor musicians, perfume makers, cooks, spinners and the teachers of the various crafts. Like what? Like those who, being enamored of a child, out of love for the child honor the wet-nurse and give her suitable ghee, milk, etc., to eat and drink. The rest by the method stated.

Feeling

42. In the section on feeling, classes of feeling (vedanakaya) means groups of feeling. Feeling born of eye-contact… feeling born of mind-contact (cakkhusamphassaja vedana… manosamphassaja vedana): because of what has come down in the Vibhanga thus: “There is feeling born of eye-contact that is wholesome, that is unwholesome, that is indeterminate” (Vibh. 15), the wholesome, unwholesome and indeterminate feelings that occur in the eye door, etc., are named after the physical base, which is similar to a mother, just as some are named after their mother, such as “Sariputta (Lady Sari’s son),” “Mantaniputta (Lady Mantani’s son),” etc.

But the word meaning here is this: feeling born of eye-contact (cakkhusamphassaja vedana) is feeling that is born with eye-contact as the cause. The same method throughout. This, in the first place, is the all-inclusive explanation. But by way of resultant, in the eye-door there are two eye-consciousnesses, two mind elements, three mind-consciousness elements; feeling should be understood as what is associated with these.50 This method also applies in the ear door, etc. In the mind door, (feeling) is associated only with the mind-consciousness elements.

With the arising of contact (phassasamudaya): But here the arising in the five doors of the feelings that have the five physical bases (as their support) occurs with the arising of the conascent eye-contact. For the rest, eye-contact, etc., are conditions by way of decisive support. In the mind door, the arising of feelings (on the occasion) of registration and of the doorless feelings (on the occasions) of rebirth-linking, life-continuum and death occurs with the arising of the conascent mind-contact.51 The rest by the method stated.

Contact

46. In the section on contact, eye-contact (cakkhusamphassa) is contact in the eye. The same method throughout. Eye-contact… body-contact (cakkhusamphasso… kayasamphasso): up to this point ten kinds of contact have been stated, namely, the wholesome- and unwholesome-resultants having the five physical bases (as their support). Mind-contact (manosamphassa): by this (he indicates) the remaining twenty-two kinds of contact associated with the mundane resultant (types of consciousness).52

With the arising of the sixfold base (salayatanasamudaya): The arising of this sixfold contact should be understood to occur by way of the arising of the six bases beginning with the eye-base. The rest by the method stated.

The Sixfold Base

50. In the section on the sixfold base, as regards the eye-base (cakkhayatana), etc., whatever should be said has all been said already in the Visuddhimagga in the Description of the Aggregates and in the Description of the Bases (XIV, 37-52; XV, 1-16).

With the arising of mentality-materiality (namarupasamudaya): But here the arising of the sixfold base should be understood to occur from the arising of mentality-materiality according to the method stated in the Visuddhimagga in the Description of Dependent Arising, as to which mentality, which materiality, and which mentality-materiality are a condition for which base (XVII, 206-219).

Mentality-Materiality

54. In the section on mentality-materiality, mentality (nama) has the characteristic of bending (namana); materiality (rupa) has the characteristic of being molested (ruppana).53 In the detailed section, however, feeling (vedana) is to be understood as the feeling aggregate, perception (sañña) as the perception aggregate, and volition, contact and attention (cetana phasso manasikaro) as the formations aggregate. While it is certainly the case that other states are included in the formations aggregate, still these three are found in all classes of consciousness, even the weakest. That is why the formations aggregate is here pointed out only by means of these three.

The four great elements (cattari mahabhutani): this is a designation for the four — earth, water, fire and air. The reason why these are called “great elements,” and other determinations concerning them, are all stated in the Visuddhimagga in the Description of the Materiality Aggregate.54

Derived from the four great elements (catunnan ca mahabhutanam upadaya): derived from (upadaya) = having clung to (upadayitva); “having grasped” is the meaning. Some also say “depending upon” (nissaya). And here the reading is completed by adding the word “existing” (vattamanam). The Pali uses the genitive (in the term for the elements) in the sense of a group. Hence the meaning here should be understood thus: the materiality that exists derived from the group of the four great elements.

Thus materiality taken altogether is to be understood as consisting of all the following: the four great elements beginning with the earth element, and the materiality that exists derived from the four great elements, stated in the canonical Abhidhamma to be of twenty-three kinds by analysis into the eye-base, etc.55

With the arising of consciousness (viññanasamudaya): But here the arising of mentality-materiality should be understood to occur with the arising of consciousness according to the method stated in the Visuddhimagga in the Description of Dependent Arising, as to which consciousness is a condition for which mentality, for which materiality, and for which mentality-materiality (XVII, 186-202). The rest by the method stated.

Consciousness

58. In the section on consciousness, eye-consciousness (cakkhuviññana) is consciousness in the eye or consciousness born from the eye. So also with ear-, nose-, tongue- and body-consciousness. But with the other one, i.e., mind-consciousness (manoviññana), mind itself is consciousness. This is a designation for the resultant consciousness of the three (mundane) planes of existence except for the two groups of fivefold consciousness.56

With the arising of formations (sankharasamudaya): But here the arising of consciousness should be understood to occur with the arising of formations according to the method stated in the Visuddhimagga, as to which formation is a condition for which consciousness (XVII, 175-185).

Formations

62. In the section on formations, a formation (sankhara) has the characteristic of forming (abhisankharanalakkhana). But in the detailed section, the bodily formation (kayasankhara) is a formation that proceeds from the body. This is a designation for the twenty kinds of bodily volition — the eight sense-sphere wholesome and twelve unwholesome — that occur by way of activation in the bodily door.57 The verbal formation (vacisankhara) is a formation that proceeds from speech. This is a designation for the (same) twenty kinds of verbal volition that occur by way of breaking into speech in the door of speech. The mental formation (cittasankhara) is a formation that proceeds from the mind. This is a designation for the twenty-nine kinds of mental volition — the mundane wholesome and unwholesome — that occur in one sitting alone in thought, and which do not cause activation of the bodily and verbal doors.58

With the arising of ignorance (avijjasamudaya): But here ignorance should be understood as a condition for the wholesome by way of decisive support and for the unwholesome by way of conascence as well. The rest by the method stated.

Ignorance

66. In the section on ignorance, not knowing about suffering (dukkhe aññanam) means not knowing about the truth of suffering. This is a designation for delusion (moha). The same method with respect to “not knowing about the origin of suffering,” and so on.

Herein, not knowing about suffering should be understood in four ways: as to containment (antogadhato), as to physical basis (vatthuto), as to object (arammanato), and as to concealment (paticchadanato). Thus, because of being included in the truth of suffering, it (”not knowing” or ignorance) is contained in suffering; and the truth of suffering is its physical basis by being its support condition; and (the truth of suffering) is its object by being its object condition; and it conceals the truth of suffering by preventing the penetration of its real characteristic and by not allowing knowledge to occur in regard to it.

Not knowing about the origin (of suffering) should be understood in three ways: as to physical basis, as to object, and as to concealment. And not knowing about cessation and the way (to cessation) should be understood in one way only: as to concealment. For non-knowledge only conceals cessation and the way by preventing the penetration of their real characteristics and by not allowing knowledge to occur in regard to them. But it is not contained in them because it is not included in this pair of truths. And these two truths are not its physical basis because they are not conascent. Nor are they its object because of its non-occurrence on account of them. For the last pair of truths are difficult to see because of their profundity, and non-knowledge, which is blind, does not occur there. But the first (pair of truths) is profound in the sense of opposition because of the difficulty in seeing the characteristic of their intrinsic nature; it occurs there by way of obsession by the perversions.

Furthermore: About suffering (dukkhe): to this extent ignorance is indicated as to inclusion, as to physical basis, as to object, and as to function. About the origin of suffering (dukkhasamudaye): to this extent, as to basis, as to object, and as to function. About the cessation of suffering (dukkhanirodhe) and about the way leading to the cessation of suffering (dukkhanirodhagaminiya patipadaya): to this extent, as to function. But without distinction, (in each instance) ignorance is described in terms of its intrinsic nature by the phrase “not knowing.”

With the arising of the taints (asavasamudaya): But here the taint of sensual desire and the taint of being are conditions for ignorance by way of conascence, etc.; the taint of ignorance, only by way of decisive support. And here the ignorance that had arisen previously should be understood as the taint of ignorance. That is a decisive support condition for the ignorance that arises subsequently. The rest by the method stated.

The Taints

70. In the section on the taints, with the arising of ignorance (avijjasamudaya): Here ignorance is a condition for the taint of sensual desire and the taint of being by way of decisive support, etc.; (it is a condition) for the taint of ignorance only by way of decisive support. And here the ignorance that arises subsequently should be understood as the taint of ignorance. The previously arisen ignorance itself becomes a decisive support condition for the subsequently arisen taint of ignorance. The rest by the aforesaid method.

This section is stated by way of showing the condition for the ignorance which heads the factors of dependent arising. Stated thus, the undiscoverability (anamataggata) of any beginning of samsara is established. How? Because with the arising of the taints there is the arising of ignorance, and with the arising of ignorance there is the arising of the taints. Thus the taints are a condition for ignorance, and ignorance is a condition for the taints. Having shown this, (it follows that) no first point of ignorance is manifest, and because none is manifest the undiscoverability of any beginning of samsara is proven.59

Conclusion

Thus in all this sutta sixteen sections have been stated: the section on the courses of kamma, the section on nutriment, the section on suffering, and the sections on aging and death, birth, being, clinging, craving, feeling, contact, the sixfold base, mentality-materiality, consciousness, formations, ignorance and the taints.

As to these, in each individual section there is a twofold analysis — in brief and in detail — amounting to thirty-two cases. Thus in this sutta, in these thirty-two cases, the Four (Noble) Truths are expounded. Among these, in the sixteen cases stated in detail, arahantship is expounded.

But according to the opinion of the Elder, the four truths and the four paths are expounded in the thirty-two cases.60 Thus in the entire Word of the Buddha comprised in the five great Nikayas, there is no sutta except for this Discourse on Right View where the Four (Noble) Truths are explained thirty-two times and where arahantship is explained thirty-two times.

That is what the Venerable Sariputta said (idam avoc’ayasma Sariputto): The Venerable Sariputta spoke this Discourse on Right View, having adorned it with sixty-four divisions — thirty-two expositions of the four truths and thirty-two expositions of arahantship. The bhikkhus were satisfied and delighted in the Venerable Sariputta’s words.

In the Papañcasudani, the Commentary to the Majjhima Nikaya, the Explanation of the Discourse on Right View is concluded.




 

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