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Dīghanakha Suttaṃ

(M.i.497)

A Discourse to Dīghanakha

201. Thus have I heard — at one time the Blessed One was dwelling at Rājagaha on Vultures’ Peak in the Boars’ cave. Then the wanderer Dīghanakha ¹ approached the Blessed One, and having approached, he exchanged friendly greetings. Having engaged in polite and friendly conversation he stood at one side. Standing on one side, the wanderer Dīghanakha said to the Blessed One: “I do not approve of anything.”

[The Blessed One replied:] “If this is your view, Aggivessana, ‘I do not approve of anything,’ do you also not approve of this view?” “If I did approve of this view, friend Gotama, it would still be the same.”[498]

“There are many, Aggivessana, in the world, indeed most would speak thus: ‘It would be the same,’ but they do not renounce that view, and take up another view. There are few, Aggivessana, very few who would speak thus: ‘It would be the same,’ who would renounce that view, and not take up another view.

“There are certain recluses and priests, Aggivessana, who speak thus, whose view is thus: ‘I approve of everything;’ there are some recluses and priests who speak thus, whose view is thus: ‘I do not approve of anything,’ there are some recluses and priests who speak thus, whose view is thus: ‘I approve of some things, I do not approve of some things.’

“Herein, Aggivessana, those recluses and priests who speak thus, whose view is thus: ‘I approve of everything,’ their view is close to passion (sārāgāya), to being fettered (saññogāya), to enjoyment (abhinandanāya), to clinging (ajjhosānāya), to attachment (upādānāya). Herein, Aggivessana, those recluses and priests who speak thus, whose view is thus: ‘I do not approve of anything,’ their view is close to dispassion, to being unfettered, not close to enjoyment, close to not clinging, close to non-attachment.”

202. When this was said, the wanderer Dīghanakha said to the Blessed One: “The Venerable Gotama praises my view, the Venerable Gotama exalts my view.”

“Those recluses and priests who speak thus, whose view is thus: ‘I approve of some things, I do not approve of some things,’ those things that they approve of is close to passion, to being fettered, to enjoyment, to clinging, to attachment; those things that they do not approve of is close to dispassion, to being unfettered, not close to enjoyment, close to not clinging, close to non-attachment.

“Herein, Aggivessana, among those recluses and priests who speak thus, whose view is thus: ‘I approve of everything,’ wise men will reflect: ‘If I hold this view — I approve of everything — if I cling firmly to this view and declare that only this is true, others are false; then I may conflict with two — those recluses and priests who speak thus, whose view is thus: [499] “I do not approve of anything,” and those recluses and priests who speak thus, whose view is thus: “I approve of some things; I do not approve of some things.” Where there is conflict (viggaho), disputes (vivādo) arise, where there are disputes, there are quarrels (vighāto), and where there are quarrels, there is vexation (vihesā).’ Seeing therein conflicts, disputes, quarrels, and vexation, he abandons that view, and does not take up another view. Thus views are abandoned and relinquished.

203. “Herein, Aggivessana, among those recluses and priests who speak thus, whose view is thus: ‘I do not approve of anything,’ wise men will reflect: ‘If I hold this view — I do not approve of anything — if I cling firmly to this view and declare that only this is true, others are false; then I may conflict with two — those recluses and priests who speak thus, whose view is thus: “I approve of everything,” and those recluses and priests who speak thus, whose view is thus: “I approve of some things; I do not approve of some things.” Where there is conflict, disputes arise, where there are disputes, there are quarrels, and where there are quarrels, there is vexation.’ Seeing therein conflicts, disputes, quarrels, and vexation, he abandons that view, and does not take up another view. Thus views are abandoned and relinquished.

204. “Herein, Aggivessana, among those recluses and priests who speak thus, whose view is thus: ‘I approve of some things, I do not approve of some things,’ wise men will reflect: ‘If I hold this view — I approve of some things, I do not approve of some things — if I cling firmly to this view and declare that only this is true, others are false; then I may conflict with two — those recluses and priests who speak thus, whose view is thus: “I approve of everything,” and those recluses and priests who speak thus, whose view is thus: “I do not approve of anything.” Where there is conflict, disputes arise, where there are disputes, there are quarrels, and where there are quarrels, there is vexation.’ Seeing therein conflicts, disputes, quarrels, and vexation, he abandons that view, and does not take up another view. Thus views are abandoned and relinquished. [500]

205. “This body, Aggivessana, composed of the four great material elements, born from mother and father, sustained by rice (odana) and junket (kummāsa) — is impermanent, worn by stress, subject to breaking apart and destruction. It should be seen as impermanent (aniccato), unsatisfactory (dukkhato), as a disease (rogato), a boil (gaṇḍato), as a dart (sallato) as a misfortune (aghato), as an affliction (ābādhato), as alien (parato), as disintegrating (palato), as empty (suññato), as not-self (anattato). When one regards the body thus, desire, affection, and enslavement to the body is abandoned.

“There are three feelings, Aggivessana: pleasant feeling, painful feeling, and neutral feeling. When, Aggivessana, one feels a pleasant feeling, on that occasion one neither feels a pleasant feeling, nor a neutral feeling; one feels only a pleasant feeling. When, Aggivessana, one feels a painful feeling, on that occasion one neither feels a pleasant feeling, nor a neutral feeling; one only feels a painful feeling, When, Aggivessana, one feels a neutral feeling, on that occasion one neither feels a pleasant feeling, nor a painful feeling; one only feels a neutral feeling.

“Pleasant feeling, Aggivessana, is impermanent, conditioned, dependently arisen, subject to destruction, disappearance, fading away, cessation. Painful feeling, Aggivessana, is impermanent, conditioned, dependently arisen, subject to destruction, disappearance, fading away, cessation. Neutral feeling, Aggivessana, is impermanent, conditioned, dependently arisen, subject to destruction, disappearance, fading away, cessation. Seeing thus, Aggivessana, a well-instructed disciple of the Noble Ones is disenchanted with pleasant feelings, disenchanted with painful feelings, disenchanted with neutral feelings. Being disenchanted, he is dispassionate; being dispassionate, he is liberated. In being liberated, he knows: ‘Birth is destroyed, the holy life has been lived, what should be done has been done, there will be no more of this.’ With the mind thus liberated, Aggivessana, a monk does not agree (saṃvadati) nor disagree (vivadati) with anyone.² He uses the conventions of speech in the world without clinging to them.

206. Then, on that occasion, the Venerable Sāriputta, was standing behind the Blessed One [501] fanning him.³ Then the Venerable Sāriputta thought: “Indeed the Blessed One speaks about abandoning these things through direct knowledge; the fortunate one speaks about relinquishing these things through direct knowledge.” Reflecting thus, the mind of Venerable Sāriputta was liberated from the outflows without remainder. The pure stainless eye of Dhamma arose in the wanderer Dīghanakha: “Whatever phenomenon arises, that phenomenon ceases.”

Then, the wanderer Dīghanakha, having seen the Dhamma, having attained the Dhamma, having understood the Dhamma, having fathomed the Dhamma, having crossed over doubt, having dispelled uncertainty, having attained assurance, and become independent of others in the teacher’s dispensation, said to the Blessed One: “It is wonderful, good Gotama! It is marvellous, good Gotama! It is as if, good Gotama, what was overturned was set upright, what was hidden was revealed, the right way was pointed out to someone who was lost, or a light was lit in the darkness so that those with eyes could see. Thus, the truth has been explained in various ways by the dear Gotama. I go for refuge to the Venerable Gotama, to the Dhamma, and to the community of monks. May the venerable Gotama regard me as a disciple gone to him for refuge from today onwards for as long as I live.

Notes:

1. The name translates as long-nail. He was the nephew of the Venerable Sāriputta, who had not long gone forth at that time.

2. He does not take sides in a dispute.  

3. The Burmese text has “Bījamāno,” a variant spelling for “Vījamāno” found in the Sinhala text. Venerable Sāriputta became an Arahant while listening to this discourse, just two weeks after his going-forth, while his nephew attained Stream-winning.


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