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Tipitaka >> Sutta Pitaka >> Samyutta Nikaya >> SA 262

SA 262 Translation by Choong Mun-keat (Wei-keat) (2004)


3.勝妙法 (正見中道) The excellent dharma (Right view, the middle way).

T 2, pp. 66b-67a, sūtra No. 262. (= Saṃyutta-nikāya 22. 90 Channa (vol. iii, pp. 132-135). CSA vol. 1, pp. 53-56; FSA vol. 1, pp. 60-64.)


Thus have I heard.

At one time there were many senior monks staying in the deer-park at Ṛṣipatana1 [near] Vārāṇasī, soon after the passing away of the Buddha.

Then, in the morning, the elder Chanda, putting on his [outer] robe and taking his bowl, went into the city of Vārāṇasī for alms-food.

After eating, he put away his robe and bowl and washed his feet. Then, taking his door-key he went from grove to grove, from lodging to lodging, from walking place to walking place, and to other places, and asked of the monks:

"Instruct me, teach me dharma, so that I may know dharma and see dharma! I will know according to dharma and observe according to dharma."

Then the monks said to Chanda: "Material form is impermanent; feeling, perception, activities, [and] consciousness are impermanent; all activities are impermanent; all dharmas are non-self; nirvāṇa is cessation."

Chanda said to those monks: "I know that material form is impermanent; feeling, perception, activities, [and] consciousness are impermanent; all activities are impermanent; all dharmas are non-self; nirvāṇa is cessation."

And he said: "But I am not delighted when I hear that all activities are empty, not to be grasped at; and that the destruction of craving, the fading away of desire is nirvāṇa.

"In this case, what is meant by self? And what is meant by saying that to know thus and to see thus is to see dharma?"

A second time and third time Chanda said the same. And then he asked: "Who is there here among you capable of teaching me dharma, so that I may know dharma and see dharma?"

Then he thought: "The venerable Ānanda is now staying in Ghosita park at Kosambī. He attended on and closely served the World-Honoured One. He was praised by the Buddha, and is known to all practitioners of the noble life. He must be capable of teaching me dharma, so that I may know dharma and see dharma."

Then Chanda passed the night; and in the morning, having put on his [outer] robe and taken his alms-bowl, he went into the city of Vārāṇasī for alms-food.

After eating, he took up his bedding and put it away; then he took his robe and bowl, and set out for Kosambī. Travelling by stages he reached Kosambī.

Having put away his robe and bowl and washed his feet, he went to where the venerable Ānanda was, exchanged respectful greetings, and sat down at one side.

Then Chanda said to the venerable Ānanda:

"Once, senior monks were staying in the deer-park at Ṛṣipatana [near] Vārāṇasī. Then, in the morning, putting on my [outer] robe and taking my bowl, I went into the city of Vārāṇasī for alms-food.

"After eating, I put away my robe and bowl and washed my feet. Then, taking my door-key, I went from grove to grove, from lodging to lodging, from walking place to walking place, and to other places, and asked of the monks: 'Instruct me, teach me dharma, so that I may know dharma and see dharma! I will know according to dharma and observe according to dharma.'

"Then, the monks taught me dharma: 'Material form is impermanent; feeling, perception, activities, [and] consciousness are impermanent; all activities are impermanent; all dharmas are non-self; nirvāṇa is cessation.'

"I then said to those monks: 'I know that material form is impermanent; feeling, perception, activities, [and] consciousness are impermanent; all activities are impermanent; all dharmas are non-self; nirvāṇa is cessation.

"But I am not delighted when I hear that all activities are empty, not to be grasped at; and that the destruction of craving, the fading away of desire is nirvāṇa.

"In this case, what is meant by self? And what is meant by saying that to know thus and see thus is to see dharma?'

"Then I thought: 'Who is there capable of teaching me dharma, so that I may know dharma and see dharma?'

"And then I thought: 'The venerable Ānanda is now staying in Ghosita park at Kosambī. He attended on and closely served the World-Honoured One. He was praised by the Buddha, and is known to all practitioners of the noble life. He must be capable of teaching me dharma, so that I may know dharma and see dharma.'

"Good, venerable Ānanda! Now you should teach me dharma, so that I may know dharma and see dharma."

Then, the venerable Ānanda said to Chanda: "Good, Chanda! My mind is delighted. I praise you as a benevolent one who is able to be open in the presence of a practitioner of the noble life, destroying the thicket of deception.

"O Chanda! an ignorant, ordinary person does not understand that material form is impermanent; that feeling, perception, activities, and consciousness are impermanent. All activities (compounded things) are impermanent; all dharmas (the nature of phenomena) are non-self; nirvāṇa is cessation.

"Now you are capable of receiving the most excellent dharma. Now listen carefully while I teach you."

At that time Chanda thought: "Now I am delighted to have attained the most excellent mind, to have obtained a joyful mind. Now I am capable of receiving the most excellent dharma."

Then Ānanda said to Chanda: "I heard this myself from the Buddha when he was teaching Mahā-Katyāyana:

"Worldlings are confused, depending on two extremes: either existence or non-existence.

"Worldlings become attached to all spheres, setting store by and grasping with the mind.

"Katyāyana! If one does not feel, nor attach to, nor dwell in, nor set store by self, then, when suffering arises, it arises; and when it ceases, it ceases.

"Katyāyana! If one does not doubt, is not perplexed, if one knows it in oneself and not from others, then that is right view, the teaching of the Tathāgata (the Buddha).

"Why is this so? Katyāyana! If one sees rightly, as it really is, the arising of the world, one will not have the annihilationist view of the world. If one sees rightly, as it really is, the cessation of the world, one will not have the eternalist view of the world.

"Katyāyana! The Tathāgata, avoiding these two extremes, teaches the middle way, namely: When this is, that is; this arising, that arises.

"That is to say: Conditioned by ignorance, activities arise, and so on ..., and thus arises the suffering of birth, old age, sickness, death, sorrow, and affliction.

"As for the saying, 'when this is not, that is not; this ceasing, that ceases', this is to say: Ignorance ceasing, activities cease, and so on ..., and thus ceases the suffering of birth, old age, sickness, death, sorrow, and affliction."

When the venerable Ānanda had taught this dharma, the monk Chanda became freed from defilement and stain and acquired the pure dharma-eye.

At that time, the monk Chanda saw dharma, attained dharma, knew dharma, realised dharma; transcended doubt [knowing it] not through another; in the dharma of the Great Teacher, he attained the state of fearlessness.

Respectfully saluting by joining palms, he said to the venerable Ānanda:

"It is just so! As it is the noble life of wisdom, a good friend teaches the discipline and the dharma.

"Now, I have heard the dharma from the venerable Ānanda thus: All activities are empty, tranquil, not to be grasped at; and the destruction of craving, the fading away of desire, cessation, is nirvāṇa.

"The mind is joyful, one dwells rightly in liberation, and there is no returning, no more seeing self; one sees only the true dharma." Then Ānanda said to Chanda:

"Now you have attained great benefit in the profound Buddha-dharma, you have attained the wisdom-eye."

Then the two noble ones, delighted with each other, rose from their seats, and returned each to his place.

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