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Culatanhasankhaya Sutta
(
MN#37) -The Shorter Discourse on the Destruction of Craving

 

by Bhikkhu Bodhi

 

[The ditto marks have been excluded to include the entire test for the experiential learning of the student.] 

 

1] Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Savatthi in the Eastern Park, in the palace of Migara’s Mother.

2] Then Sakka, ruler of gods, went to the Blessed One, and after paying homage to him, he stood at one side and asked: "Venerable sir, how in brief is a bhikkhu liberated in the destruction of craving, one who has reached the ultimate end, the ultimate security from bondage, the ultimate holy life, the ultimate goal, one who is foremost among gods and humans?"

3] "Here, ruler of gods, a bhikkhu has heard that nothing is worth adhering to. When a bhikkhu has heard that nothing is worth adhering to, he directly knows everything; having directly known everything, he fully understands everything; having directly known everything, he fully understood everything, whatever feeling he feels, whether pleasant or painful or neither pleasant or painful, he abides contemplating (observing) impermanence in those feelings, contemplating (observing) fading away, contemplating (observing) cessation, contemplating (observing) relinquishment (letting go). Contemplating (observing) thus, he does not cling (think about) to anything in the world. When he does not cling (think about), he is not agitated, he personally attains Nibbana. He understands: ‘Birth is destroyed, the holy life has been lived, there is no more coming to any state of being.’ Briefly, it is in this way, ruler of gods, that a bhikkhu is liberated in the destruction of craving, one who has reached the ultimate end, the ultimate security from bondage, the ultimate holy life, the ultimate goal, one who is foremost among gods and humans.

4] Then Sakka, ruler of gods, delighting and rejoicing in the Blessed One’s words, paid homage to the Blessed One, and keeping him on his right, he vanished at once.

5] Now on that occasion the venerable Maha Moggallana was sitting not far from the Blessed One. Then he considered: "Did that spirit penetrate to the meaning of the Blessed One’s words when he rejoiced, or did he not? Suppose I found out whether he did or not."

6] Then, just as quickly as a strong man extended his flexed arm or flexed his extended arm, the venerable Maha Moggallana vanished from the Palace of Migara’s Mother in the Eastern Park and appeared among the gods of the Thirty-three.

Now on that occasion Sakka, ruler of the gods, was furnished and endowed a hundredfold with the five, kinds of heavenly music, and he was enjoying it in the Pleasure Park of the Single Lotus. When he saw the venerable Maha Moggallana coming in the distance, he dismissed the music, went to the venerable Maha Moggallana, and said to him: "Come, good sir Mogallana! Welcome, good sir Moggallana! It is long sir Moggallana, since you found an opportunity to come here. Sit down, good sir Moggallana; this seat is ready."

The venerable Maha Moggallana sat down on the seat made ready, and Sakka took a low seat and sat down at one side. The venerable Maha Moggallana then asked him:

8] "Kosiya, how did the Blessed One state to you in brief deliverance in the destruction of craving? It would be good if we might also get to hear that statement."

"Good sir Moggallana, we are so busy, we have so much to do, not only with our own business, but also with the business of the gods of the Thirty-three. Besides, good sir Moggallana, what was well heard, well learned, well attended to, well remembered, suddenly vanished from us. Good sir Moggallana, it once happened that war broke our between the gods and the titans. In that war the gods won and the titans were defeated. When I had won that war and returned from it as a conqueror, I had the Vejayanta Palace Built. Good sir Moggallana, the Vejayanta Palace has a hundred towers, and each tower has seven hundred upper chambers, and each tower has seven nymphs and each nymph has seven maids. Would you like to see the loveliness of the Vejayanta Palace, good sir Moggallana?" The venerable Maha Mogallana consented in silence.

9] Then Sakka, ruler of gods, and the divine King Vessavana went to the Vejayanta Palace, giving precedence to the venerable Maha Moggallana. When the maids of Sakka saw the venerable Maha Moggallana coming in the distance, they were embarrassed and ashamed and they went each into their own rooms. Just as a daughter-in-law is embarrassed and ashamed on seeing her father-in-law, so too, when the maids of Sakka saw the venerable Maha Moggallana coming, they were embarrassed and ashamed, and they went each into their own rooms.

10] Then Sakka, ruler of gods, and the divine King Vessavana had the venerable Maha Moggallana walk all over and explore the Vejayanta Palace: "See, good sir Moggallana, this loveliness of the Vejayanta Palace! See, good sir Moggallana, this loveliness Vejayanta Palace!"

"It does the venerable Kosiya credit as one who has formerly made merit; and whenever human beings see anything lovely, they say: ‘Sirs, it does credit to the gods of the Thirty-three!’ It does the venerable Kosiya credit as one who has formerly made merit."

11] Then the venerable Maha Moggallana considered thus: "This spirit is living much too negligently. What if I stirred up a sense of urgency in him?" Then the venerable Maha Moggallana performed such a feat of supernormal power that with the point of his toe he made the Vejayanta Palace shake and quake and tremble. Sakka and the Divine King Vessavana and the gods of the Thirty-three were filled with wonder and amazement, and they said: "Sirs, it is wonderful, it is marvelous, what power and might the recluse has, that with the point of his toe he makes the heavenly region shake and quake and tremble!"

12] When the venerable Maha Moggallana knew that Sakka, ruler of gods, was stirred to a sense of urgency with his hair standing on end, he asked him: "Kosiya, how did the Blessed One state to you in brief deliverance in the destruction of craving? It would be good if we might also get to hear that statement."

"Good sir Moggallana, I went to the Blessed One, and after paying homage to him, I stood at one side and said: ‘Venerable sir, how in brief is a bhikkhu liberated in the destruction of craving, one who has reached the ultimate end, the ultimate goal, one who is foremost among gods and humans?’ When this was said, good sir Moggallana, the Blessed One told me: ‘Here, ruler of gods, a bhikkhu has heard that nothing is worth adhering to. When a bhikkhu has heard that nothing is worth adhering to, he directly knows everything; having directly known everything, he fully understands everything; having directly known everything, he fully understood everything, whatever feeling he feels, whether pleasant or painful or neither pleasant or painful, he abides contemplating (observing) impermanence in those feelings, contemplating (observing) fading away, contemplating (observing) cessation, contemplating (observing) relinquishment (letting go). Contemplating (observing) thus, he does not cling (think about) to anything in the world. When he does not cling (think about), he is not agitated, he personally attains Nibbana. He understands: ‘Birth is destroyed, the holy life has been lived, there is no more coming to any state of being.’ Briefly, it is in this way, ruler of gods, that a bhikkhu is liberated in the destruction of craving, one who has reached the ultimate end, the ultimate security from bondage, the ultimate holy life, the ultimate goal, one who is foremost among gods and humans.’ That is how the Blessed One stated to me in brief deliverance in the destruction of craving, good sir Mogallana."

13] Then the venerable Maha Moggallana delighted and rejoiced in the words of Sakka, ruler of gods. Then just as quickly as a strong man might extend his flexed arm or flex his extended arm, he vanished from the gods of the thirty-three and appeared in the Eastern Park in the Palace of Migara’s Mother.

14] Then, soon after the venerable Maha Moggallana had gone, the attendants of Sakka, ruler of gods, asked him: "Good sir, was that your teacher, the Blessed One?" - "No, good sirs, that was not my teacher, the Blessed One. That was one of my companions in the holy life, the venerable Maha Moggallana." - "Good sir, it is a gain for you that your companion in the holy life is so powerful and mighty. Oh, how much more so must be the Blessed One, your teacher!"

15] Then the venerable Maha Moggallana went to the Blessed One, and after paying homage to him, he sat down at one side and asked him: Venerable sir, does the Blessed One recall stating in brief - to a certain of the renowned spirits with a great following - deliverance in the destruction of craving?"

"I do recall doing so, Moggallana. Here Sakka, ruler of gods, came to me, and after paying homage to me, he stood at one side and asked: ‘Venerable sir, how in brief is a bhikkhu liberated in the destruction of craving, one who has reached the ultimate end, the ultimate security from bondage, the ultimate holy life, the ultimate goal, one who is foremost among gods and humans?’ When this was said, I told him: ‘Here, ruler of gods, a bhikkhu has heard that nothing is worth adhering to. When a bhikkhu has heard that nothing is worth adhering to, he directly knows everything; having fully understood everything, whatever he feels, whether pleasant, painful or neither pleasant or painful, he abides contemplating (observing) impermanence in those feelings, contemplating (observing) fading away, contemplating (observing) cessation, contemplating (observing) relinquishment. Contemplating (observing) thus, he does not cling (think about) to anything in this world. When he does not cling (think about), he is not agitated. When he is not agitated, he personally attains Nibbana. He understands: ‘Birth is destroyed, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more coming back to any state of being.’ Briefly, it is in this way, ruler of gods, that a bhikkhu is liberated in the destruction of craving, one who has reached the ultimate end, the ultimate security from bondage, the ultimate holy life, the ultimate goal, one who is foremost among gods and humans..’ That is how I recall stating in brief to Sakka, ruler of gods, deliverance in the destruction of craving."

That is what the Blessed One said. The venerable Maha Moggallana was satisfied and delighted in the Blessed One’s words.

12-25-04
KK
 

Sutta translation (C) Bhikkhu Bodhi 1995, 2001. Reprinted from The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya with permission of Wisdom Publications, 199 Elm Street, Somerville, MA 02144 U.S.A, www.wisdompubs.org

 

Source : http://dhammasukha.org
 

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