SN 4.24 Sattavassānubandhasutta: Seven Years of Pursuit

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Uruvela on the bank of the river Nerañjara at the foot of the Goatherd’s Banyan Tree. Now on that occasion Mara the Evil One had been following the Blessed One for seven years, seeking to gain access to him but without success. Then Mara the Evil One approached the Blessed One and addressed him in verse:

“Is it because you are sunk in sorrow
That you meditate in the woods?
Because you’ve lost wealth or pine for it,
Or committed some crime in the village?
Why don’t you make friends with people?
Why don’t you form any intimate ties?”

The Blessed One:

“Having dug up entirely the root of sorrow,
Guiltless, I meditate free from sorrow.
Having cut off all greedy urge for existence,
I meditate taintless, O kinsman of the negligent!”

Mara:

“That of which they say ‘It’s mine,’
And those who speak in terms of ‘mine’—
If your mind exists among these,
You won’t escape me, ascetic.”

The Blessed One:

“That which they speak of is not mine,
I’m not one of those who speak of mine.
You should know thus, O Evil One:
Even my path you will not see.”

Mara:

“If you have discovered the path,
The secure way leading to the Deathless,
Be off and walk that path alone;
What’s the point of instructing others?”

The Blessed One:

“Those people going to the far shore
Ask what lies beyond Death’s realm.
When asked, I explain to them
The truth without acquisitions.”

Mara: “Suppose, venerable sir, not far from a village or a town there was a lotus pond in which a crab was living. Then a group of boys and girls would leave the village or town and go to the pond. They would pull the crab out from the water and set it down on high ground. Then, whenever that crab would extend one of its claws, those boys and girls would cut it off, break it, and smash it to bits with sticks and stones. Thus, when all its claws have been cut off, broken, and smashed to bits, that crab would be unable to return to that pond. So too, venerable sir, all those distortions, manoeuvres, and contortions of mine have been cut off, broken, and smashed to bits by the Blessed One. Now, venerable sir, I am unable to approach the Blessed One again seeking to gain access to him.”

Then Mara the Evil One, in the presence of the Blessed One, recited these verses of disappointment:

“There was a crow that walked around
A stone that looked like a lump of fat.
‘Let’s find something tender here,’ he thought,
‘Perhaps there’s something nice and tasty.’

But because he found nothing tasty there,
The crow departed from that spot.
Just like the crow that attacked the stone,
We leave Gotama disappointed.”


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MN 26 From Ariyapariyesanāsutta: The Noble Search—Meeting Upaka

“…Then, bhikkhus, when I had stayed at Uruvelā as long as I chose, I set out to wander by stages to Benares. Between Gayā and the Place of Enlightenment the Ājīvaka Upaka saw me on the road and said: ‘Friend, your faculties are clear, the colour of your skin is pure and bright. Under whom have you gone forth, friend? Who is your teacher? Whose Dhamma do you profess? ’ I replied to the Ājīvaka Upaka in stanzas:

‘I am one who has transcended all, a knower of all,
Unsullied among all things, renouncing all,
By craving’s ceasing freed. Having known this all
For myself, to whom should I point as teacher?

I have no teacher, and one like me
Exists nowhere in all the world
With all its gods, because I have
No person for my counterpart.

I am the Accomplished One in the world,
I am the Teacher Supreme.
I alone am a Fully Enlightened One
Whose fires are quenched and extinguished.

I go now to the city of Kāsi
To set in motion the Wheel of Dhamma.
In a world that has become blind
I go to beat the drum of the Deathless.’

‘By your claims, friend, you ought to be the Universal Victor.’
‘The victors are those like me
Who have won to destruction of taints.
I have vanquished all evil states,
Therefore, Upaka, I am a victor.’

“When this was said, the Ājīvaka Upaka said: ‘May it be so, friend.’ Shaking his head, he took a bypath and departed.


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MN 12 Mahāsīhanādasutta: The Greater Discourse on the Lion’s Roar

“…Sāriputta, there are certain recluses and brahmins whose doctrine and view is this: ‘Purification comes about through food.’ They say: ‘Let us live on kola-fruits,’ and they eat kola-fruits, they eat kola-fruit powder, they drink kola-fruit water, and they make many kinds of kola-fruit concoctions. Now I recall having eaten a single kola-fruit a day. Sāriputta, you may think that the kola-fruit was bigger at that time, yet you should not regard it so: the kola-fruit was then at most the same size as now. Through feeding on a single kola-fruit a day, my body reached a state of extreme emaciation. Because of eating so little my limbs became like the jointed segments of vine stems or bamboo stems. Because of eating so little my backside became like a camel’s hoof. Because of eating so little the projections on my spine stood forth like corded beads. Because of eating so little my ribs jutted out as gaunt as the crazy rafters of an old roof-less barn. Because of eating so little the gleam of my eyes sank far down in their sockets, looking like a gleam of water that has sunk far down in a deep well. Because of eating so little my scalp shrivelled and withered as a green bitter gourd shrivels and withers in the wind and sun. Because of eating so little my belly skin adhered to my backbone; thus if I wanted to touch my belly skin I encountered my backbone, and if I wanted to touch my backbone I encountered my belly skin. Because of eating so little, if I wanted to defecate or urinate, I fell over on my face right there. Because of eating so little, if I tried to ease my body by rubbing my limbs with my hands, the hair, rotted at its roots, fell from my body as I rubbed.

“Sāriputta, there are certain recluses and brahmins whose doctrine and view is this: ‘Purification comes about through food.’ They say: ‘Let us live on beans,’…‘Let us live on sesamum,’…‘Let us live on rice,’ and they eat rice, they eat rice powder, they drink rice water, and they make many kinds of rice concoctions. Now I recall having eaten a single rice grain a day. Sāriputta, you may think that the rice grain was bigger at that time, yet you should not regard it so: the rice grain was then at most the same size as now. Through feeding on a single rice grain a day, my body reached a state of extreme emaciation. Because of eating so little…the hair, rotted at its roots, fell from my body as I rubbed.

Yet, Sāriputta, by such conduct, by such practice, by such performance of austerities, I did not attain any superhuman states, any distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones. Why was that? Because I did not attain that noble wisdom which when attained is noble and emancipating and leads the one who practises in accordance with it to the complete destruction of suffering.

“Sāriputta, there are certain recluses and brahmins whose doctrine and view is this: ‘Purification comes about through the round of rebirths.’ But it is not easy to find a realm in the round that I have not already passed through in this long journey, except for the gods of the Pure Abodes; and had I passed through the round as a god in the Pure Abodes, I would never have returned to this world.

“There are certain recluses and brahmins whose doctrine and view is this: ‘Purification comes about through some particular kind of rebirth.’ But it is not easy to find a kind of rebirth that I have not been reborn in already in this long journey, except for the gods of the Pure Abodes…

“There are certain recluses and brahmins whose doctrine and view is this: ‘Purification comes about through some particular abode.’ But it is not easy to find a kind of abode that I have not already dwelt in…except for the gods of the Pure Abodes…

“There are certain recluses and brahmins whose doctrine and view is this: ‘Purification comes about through sacrifice.’ But it is not easy to find a kind of sacrifice that has not already been offered up by me in this long journey, when I was either a head-anointed noble king or a well-to-do brahmin.

“There are certain recluses and brahmins whose doctrine and view is this: ‘Purification comes through fire-worship.’ But it is not easy to find a kind of fire that has not already been worshipped by me in this long journey, when I was either a head-anointed noble king or a well-to-do brahmin.


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MN 26 From Ariyapariyesanāsutta: The Noble Search—Seeking the Unborn

“…Bhikkhus, before my enlightenment, while I was still only an unenlightened Bodhisatta, I too, being myself subject to birth, sought what was also subject to birth; being myself subject to ageing, sickness, death, sorrow, and defilement, I sought what was also subject to ageing, sickness, death, sorrow, and defilement. Then I considered thus: ‘Why, being myself subject to birth, do I seek what is also subject to birth? Why, being myself subject to ageing, sickness, death, sorrow, and defilement, do I seek what is also subject to ageing, sickness, death, sorrow, and defilement? Suppose that, being myself subject to birth, having understood the danger in what is subject to birth, I seek the unborn supreme security from bondage, Nibbāna. Suppose that, being myself subject to ageing, sickness, death, sorrow, and defilement, having understood the danger in what is subject to ageing, sickness, death, sorrow, and defilement, I seek the unageing, unailing, deathless, sorrowless, and undefiled supreme security from bondage, Nibbāna.’

“Later, while still young, a black-haired young man endowed with the blessing of youth, in the prime of life, though my mother and father wished otherwise and wept with tearful faces, I shaved off my hair and beard, put on the yellow robe, and went forth from the home life into homelessness.…”


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AN 8.1 Mettāsutta: Loving-Kindness

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park. There the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus: “Bhikkhus!”

“Venerable sir!” those bhikkhus replied. The Blessed One said this:

“Bhikkhus, when the liberation of the mind by loving-kindness has been pursued, developed, and cultivated, made a vehicle and basis, carried out, consolidated, and properly undertaken, eight benefits are to be expected. What eight?

(1) “One sleeps well;
(2) one awakens happily;
(3) one does not have bad dreams;
(4) one is pleasing to human beings;
(5) one is pleasing to spirits;
(6) deities protect one;
(7) fire, poison, and weapons do not injure one; and
(8) if one does not penetrate further, one moves on to the brahmā world.

“When, bhikkhus, the liberation of the mind by loving-kindness has been pursued, developed, and cultivated, made a vehicle and basis, carried out, consolidated, and properly undertaken, these eight benefits are to be expected.”

For one who, ever mindful, develops
measureless loving-kindness,
the fetters thin out as he sees
the destruction of the acquisitions.

If, with a mind free from hate,
one arouses love toward just one being,
one thereby becomes good.
Compassionate in mind toward all beings,
the noble one generates abundant merit.

Those royal sages who conquered the earth
with its multitudes of beings
traveled around performing sacrifices:
the horse sacrifice, the person sacrifice,
sammāpāsa, vājapeyya, niraggaḷa.

All these are not worth a sixteenth part
of a well-developed loving mind,
just as the hosts of stars cannot match
a sixteenth part of the moon’s radiance.

One who does not kill or enjoin killing,
who does not conquer or enjoin conquest,
one who has loving-kindness toward all beings
harbors no enmity toward anyone.


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AN 3.10 Malasutta: Stains

“Bhikkhus, possessing three qualities and without having abandoned three stains, one is deposited in hell as if brought there. What three? (1) One is immoral and has not abandoned the stain of immorality. (2) One is envious and has not abandoned the stain of envy. (3) One is miserly and has not abandoned the stain of miserliness. Possessing these three qualities and without having abandoned these three stains, one is deposited in hell as if brought there.

“Bhikkhus, possessing three qualities and having abandoned three stains, one is deposited in heaven as if brought there. What three? (1) One is virtuous and has abandoned the stain of immorality. (2) One is not envious and has abandoned the stain of envy. (3) One is not miserly and has abandoned the stain of miserliness. Possessing these three qualities and having abandoned these three stains, one is deposited in heaven as if brought there.”


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SN 22.1 Nakulapitusutta: Nakulapita

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling among the Bhaggas at Suṁsumaragira in the Bhesakaḷa Grove, the Deer Park. Then the householder Nakulapita approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and said to him:

“I am old, venerable sir, aged, burdened with years, advanced in life, come to the last stage, afflicted in body, often ill. I rarely get to see the Blessed One and the bhikkhus worthy of esteem. Let the Blessed One exhort me, venerable sir, let him instruct me, since that would lead to my welfare and happiness for a long time.”

“So it is, householder, so it is! This body of yours is afflicted, weighed down, encumbered. If anyone carrying around this body were to claim to be healthy even for a moment, what is that due to other than foolishness? Therefore, householder, you should train yourself thus: ‘Even though I am afflicted in body, my mind will be unafflicted.’ Thus should you train yourself.”

Then the householder Nakulapita, having delighted and rejoiced in the Blessed One’s statement, rose from his seat and, having paid homage to the Blessed One, keeping him on his right, he approached the Venerable Sāriputta. Having paid homage to the Venerable Sāriputta, he sat down to one side, and the Venerable Sāriputta then said to him:

“Householder, your faculties are serene, your facial complexion is pure and bright. Did you get to hear a Dhamma talk today in the presence of the Blessed One?”

“Why not, venerable sir? Just now I was anointed by the Blessed One with the ambrosia of a Dhamma talk.”

“With what kind of ambrosia of a Dhamma talk did the Blessed One anoint you, householder?”

“Here, venerable sir, I approached the Blessed One….

The householder Nakulapita repeats his entire conversation with the Buddha.

“It was with the ambrosia of such a Dhamma talk, venerable sir, that the Blessed One anointed me.”

“Didn’t it occur to you, householder, to question the Blessed One further as to how one is afflicted in body and afflicted in mind, and how one is afflicted in body but not afflicted in mind?”

“We would come from far away, venerable sir, to learn the meaning of this statement from the Venerable Sāriputta. It would be good indeed if the Venerable Sāriputta would clear up the meaning of this statement.”

“Then listen and attend closely, householder, I will speak.”

“Yes, venerable sir,” the householder Nakulapita replied. The Venerable Sāriputta said this:

“How, householder, is one afflicted in body and afflicted in mind? Here, householder, the uninstructed worldling, who is not a seer of the noble ones and is unskilled and undisciplined in their Dhamma, who is not a seer of superior persons and is unskilled and undisciplined in their Dhamma, regards form as self, or self as possessing form, or form as in self, or self as in form. He lives obsessed by the notions: ‘I am form, form is mine.’ As he lives obsessed by these notions, that form of his changes and alters. With the change and alteration of form, there arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair.

“He regards feeling as self, or self as possessing feeling, or feeling as in self, or self as in feeling. He lives obsessed by the notions: ‘I am feeling, feeling is mine.’ As he lives obsessed by these notions, that feeling of his changes and alters. With the change and alteration of feeling, there arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair.

“He regards perception as self, or self as possessing perception, or perception as in self, or self as in perception. He lives obsessed by the notions: ‘I am perception, perception is mine.’ As he lives obsessed by these notions, that perception of his changes and alters. With the change and alteration of perception, there arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair.

“He regards volitional formations as self, or self as possessing volitional formations, or volitional formations as in self, or self as in volitional formations. He lives obsessed by the notions: ‘I am volitional formations, volitional formations are mine.’ As he lives obsessed by these notions, those volitional formations of his change and alter. With the change and alteration of volitional formations, there arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair.

“He regards consciousness as self, or self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in self, or self as in consciousness. He lives obsessed by the notions: ‘I am consciousness, consciousness is mine.’ As he lives obsessed by these notions, that consciousness of his changes and alters. With the change and alteration of consciousness, there arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair.

“It is in such a way, householder, that one is afflicted in body and afflicted in mind.

“And how, householder, is one afflicted in body but not afflicted in mind? Here, householder, the instructed noble disciple, who is a seer of the noble ones and is skilled and disciplined in their Dhamma, who is a seer of superior persons and is skilled and disciplined in their Dhamma, does not regard form as self, or self as possessing form, or form as in self, or self as in form. He does not live obsessed by the notions: ‘I am form, form is mine.’ As he lives unobsessed by these notions, that form of his changes and alters. With the change and alteration of form, there do not arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair.

“He does not regard feeling as self, or self as possessing feeling, or feeling as in self, or self as in feeling. He does not live obsessed by the notions: ‘I am feeling, feeling is mine.’ As he lives unobsessed by these notions, that feeling of his changes and alters. With the change and alteration of feeling, there do not arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair.

“He does not regard perception as self, or self as possessing perception, or perception as in self, or self as in perception. He does not live obsessed by the notions: ‘I am perception, perception is mine.’ As he lives unobsessed by these notions, that perception of his changes and alters. With the change and alteration of perception, there do not arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair.

“He does not regard volitional formations as self, or self as possessing volitional formations, or volitional formations as in self, or self as in volitional formations. He does not live obsessed by the notions: ‘I am volitional formations, volitional formations are mine.’ As he lives unobsessed by these notions, those volitional formations of his change and alter. With the change and alteration of volitional formations, there do not arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair.

“He does not regard consciousness as self, or self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in self, or self as in consciousness. He does not live obsessed by the notions: ‘I am consciousness, consciousness is mine.’ As he lives unobsessed by these notions, that consciousness of his changes and alters. With the change and alteration of consciousness, there do not arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair.

“It is in such a way, householder, that one is afflicted in body but not afflicted in mind.”

This is what the Venerable Sāriputta said. Elated, the householder Nakulapita delighted in the Venerable Sāriputta’s statement.



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