Under the rose-apple tree

Under the rose-apple tree

Sunday, 7 February 2016

The Middle Practice in Pali (1): Dhammacakkappavattanasuttaṁ

The enlightened Buddha's first mention of the middle, in his teaching to the group of five ascetic practitioners, is recorded in Pali in the Dhammacakkappavattanasuttaṁ, The Discourse that Set the Dhamma Wheel Rolling. 


“There are these two extremes, monks, that one who has gone forth ought not to associate with,
namely:
devotion to the pleasure and happiness in sense pleasures, which is low, vulgar, worldly, ignoble, and not connected with the goal; and this: devotion to self-mortification,which is painful, ignoble, and not connected with the goal.
Not having approached either of these two extremes, monks, the middle practice has been fully and transcendentally realized by the tathāgata, producing vision, producing knowledge, leading to peace, to deep knowledge, to the complete awakening of sambodhi, and to the release from suffering of nirvāṇa.
Now what is this middle practice (majjhimā paṭipadā), monks, that has been fully and transcendentally realized by the tathāgata, producing vision, producing knowledge, leading to peace, to deep knowledge, to the complete awakening of sambodhi, and to the release from suffering of nirvāṇa?
It is this noble path with eight factors, as follows:
seeing straight, thinking straight, talking straight, true action, making a clean living, true endeavour, true mindfulness, balanced stillness.
This is the middle practice (majjhimā paṭipadā), monks, that was fully and transcendentally realized by the tathāgata, producing vision, producing knowledge, leading to peace, to deep knowledge, to the complete awakening of sambodhi, and to the release from suffering of nirvāṇa.” 


...atha kho bhagavā pañcavaggiye bhikkhū āmantesi:
dveme bhikkhave antā pabbajitena na sevitabbā,
yo cāyaṁ: kāmesu kāmasukhallikānuyogo,
hīno, gammo, pothujjaniko, anariyo, anatthasaṁhito;
yo cāyaṁ: attakilamathānuyogo,
dukkho, anariyo, anatthasaṁhito.
Ete te bhikkhave ubho ante anupagamma, majjhimā paṭipadā
tathāgatena abhisambuddhā, cakkhukaraṇī, ñāṇakaraṇī,
upasamāya abhiññāya sambodhāya Nibbānāya saṁvattati.
katamā ca sā bhikkhave majjhimā paṭipadā,
tathagatena abhisambuddhā, cakkhukaraṇī, ñāṇakaraṇī,
upasamāya abhiññāya Sambodhāya Nibbānāya saṁvattati?
Ayam eva ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo, seyyathīdaṁ:
i. sammādiṭṭhi
ii. sammāsaṅkappo
iii. sammāvācā
iv. sammākammanto
v. sammā-ājīvo
vi. sammāvāyāmo
vii. sammāsati
viii. sammāsamādhi.
Ayaṁ kho sā bhikkhave majjhimā paṭipadā,
tathagatena abhisambuddhā, cakkhukaraṇī, ñāṇakaraṇī,
upasamāya abhiññāya Sambodhāya Nibbānāya saṁvattati.

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